Title: Keep Your Enemies Close...
By: nancy
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: dark!fic!, slave!fic, non-con, violence, INCEST, WIP.
Spoilers: everything for Angel, up through S3 of SPN.
Note: An Angel/Supernatural crossover
Summary: Wolfram & Hart make a big mistake taking Angel's soul away, but then they make an even bigger one by taking Dean Winchester from his brother Sam, forcing him to invoke demon powers of his own.

Sam gazed at the highrise from across the street. Even at night, it was well lit and had people coming and going. He felt the power emanating from the structure itself, not just the ones who had business there. There was something…especially at the top…Sam couldn’t quite sense what it was, but it was Big, capital B.

Putting that aside for the moment, he continued his stakeout and kept watch for the man who’d taken Dean. He’d been big and strong, far stronger than anyone they’d dealt with aside from vamps. Handsome in a detached way with short, dark hair and blue eyes, his suit impeccable, Hamilton had radiated scorn as he’d thrown Sam against the wall of the hotel room three days ago.

The undead man, Sam hadn’t felt a heartbeat, had given him an address in Los Angeles to be at as of tonight, midnight, and to come with his powers in full swing or not at all. He’d stated, however, that if Sam didn’t come fully equipped, Dean would become some demon’s plaything and wish for death. The utterly cold eyes had convinced Sam of that truth and he’d nodded agreement against the throbbing concussion. Between one blink and the next, Hamilton had vanished with Dean.

So now he stood before a luxury highrise, watching and waiting. He’d spent the first two days summoning his powers without success. This morning, though, with the deadline approaching and no way to get from Montana to Los Angeles in time, they’d burst into existence. Necessity had always driven the Winchesters and apparently, demon powers were no exception.

It had been a simple matter of thinking himself at this address to get here. He’d arrived freezing cold, but in once piece, and the hot summer sun had warmed him quickly. Rage hovered at the edge of Sam’s periphery, ready to blast out at the right target. Hamilton.

Once I get Dean back, Sam promised himself for the tenth time. He’d passed the time envisioning bloody ways of getting revenge for the kidnapping. They got bloodier as time wore on and he thought about Dean being hurt.

Finally, Sam’s patience bore fruit and Hamilton exited a limousine at about eleven thirty. He was dressed in another perfect suit, large frame exhibited by the custom tailoring. By comparison, Sam knew he looked like a dirty homeless person. He grinned at the thought and strode across the street, reaching Hamilton just as the other put his hand on the door.

Sam grabbed the man by the back of the neck and shoved him into the glass, lifting him a few inches from the ground. He and Hamilton were pretty equal in height and breadth and, now, strength.

“You wanted me? You got me. Where the fuck is my brother?” Sam snarled.

To his credit, Hamilton didn’t come remotely close to panicking. Of course, already being dead probably took some of the fear away.

At least until he finds out what else I can do, Sam thought darkly. Then he’ll fear me.

Hamilton said, “Nice to see you again, Mr. Winchester. If you’ll come inside, we can discuss the terms of your brother’s release.”

Sam squeezed until he felt a crack in the man’s vertebra, wondering idly if the spine mattered to a dead man. He let go to find Hamilton firm on his feet and felt a kind of disappointment. Baring his teeth at the other man, he said, “Lead on.”

Hamilton glared at the order, but merely opened the door and ushered Sam inside.

All kinds of psychic strain slammed into Sam the moment he crossed the threshold. He paused to sort through it… ghosts wailing in agony; psychics thinking too loud; demons with their magic; the undercurrent of pure evil dwelling in most of the beings within the building. Sam’s lips twitched in amusement as he thought, Myself included.

By the time Hamilton stopped to look back at him, Sam had figured out how to block everything and gave the man a thin smile. He fell into step with him, looking around the expensive offices. Despite the feel of old evil in the building, it smelled brand new. Sam had been around enough new construction in his life to know the smell of new carpet, fresh paint, and recent drywall.

Hamilton brought him up a metal staircase opposite the main doors and then down a short hall to a large conference room. Inside was a lone woman with brown hair, stylish makeup, and eyes as dead as Hamilton’s. She gave an alligator’s smile and met them halfway, holding her hand out to Sam.

Not taking it, Sam asked, “Where’s my brother?”

Her eyes rolled, but she made a gesture at the wall, which turned transparent to show Dean. He was bound hand and foot on a cot but, apparently, unhurt. “There, see? Big brother is just fine, Sam. Now, can we get down to business?”

Folding his arms over his chest, Sam replied, “What makes you think I won’t just destroy this place and take him from you without hearing what you have to say?”

“Because by now, you’re about as curious as can be,” the woman replied, smiling again. “Who would dare take Dean Winchester from his brother in order to force him into accepting his demon powers? Who could possibly want to unleash that kind of evil onto the world? Am I right?”

Sam gave her a faint nod and waited.

She motioned towards the table and said, “Please, have a seat.”

Deciding it hurt nothing to oblige, Sam sat.

She began, “Wolfram and Hart are the oldest power brokers in the United States. And when I say power brokers, I’m not talking about stocks and bonds. This would be real power. Magic. Spells. Demons. Vampires. All things with which you are well acquainted, yes?”

Knowing it for the salesman’s trick it was, Sam just continued to eye her.

Snorting, the woman told him, “We’ve had a bit of bad luck for the last couple of years, thwarted time and again by a vampire with a soul named Angel. Have you heard of him?”

Sam shook his head and corrected, “Vampires don’t lose their souls.”

“Depends on which breed you’re talking about,” she countered. “The ones you’ve dealt with are probably half-breed bastards at best. True vampires are taken over by a demon who takes over the human host forever, destroying whoever was there first in the process. This particular vampire was cursed by gypsies to regain his soul and has spent the last hundred and fifty odd years being a pain in evil’s collective ass.”

“So you want me to stop him,” Sam guessed.

Making a pained face, the woman shook her head and explained, “We’d like you to restore him. One of our more eager junior officers, currently roasting if a very unpleasant hell dimension, let the demon out of his box for good. He got rid of the curse and we can’t re-curse him because the damned crystal ball or whatever doesn’t exist anymore. So we need a demon of your caliber to rescind Angelus’ free rein and bring Angel back.”

Sam laughed, long and loud, letting tears form so he could wipe them away. When she looked truly aghast, he cleared his throat and said, “No. Now give me my brother before I tear this place apart, brick by brick.”

“Excuse me?” she demanded. “You can’t…you’re a damn Winchester! Your line lives to protect the innocent!”

Sam smirked as he stood and pointed out, “Used to be a Winchester. Now I’m…something more and I really don’t care about your problems. I want my brother and I want him now.”

Hamilton said, “Tough. You do as we say, or he dies a slow and painful death.”

Not even looking at the other man, Sam envisioned decapitating him and heard the grind of bones and the splat of blood, feeling some strike him from behind. He grimaced at that and then looked the woman dead in the eyes before saying softly, “Give me Dean, or you’ll find out that there are worse things than being undead.”

She swallowed nervously and said quickly, “Abigo ere egi uxorem.”

Sam found himself outside the building and snarled in rage, letting it course through him. He ran to the door only to be flung backwards several yards by some kind of force field. Concentrating on getting through it only made it feel like walking through molasses. Finally giving it up, he shouted, “If you harm a hair on his head, you will all want to be nothing before I’m done with you!”

Then he turned away and went in search of an ally.

It was time to find Angelus.

*  *  *  *

Sam didn’t have any trouble finding Angelus, but not through a trail of mayhem or gore, as he’d suspected would happen. No, he found the nearest demon bar and sauntered into it, asking where he could find the vampire. The few demons present had fallen all over themselves to talk about the Hyperion Hotel where Angelus and his crew lived. Not as much crew, though; just another vampire, an ex-Goddess, and two humans.

For the last seven years, they’d fought evil and helped those in trouble. It was only the last six months that things had changed. Most of the demons thought it was a good change, what with the relaxed rules about hunting, but all of them were scared stiff of Angelus.

Curious about the ex-Goddess, Sam caught a cab to the hotel in a not so great part of the city. It was a big, old building complete with gargoyles. Definitely somewhere with enough atmosphere for a vampire, he thought with a grin. Taking a breath, Sam pushed his powers down so that he seemed like a normal human. He walked up to the front door and knocked, waiting for a response that took a few minutes to happen.

A guy around Dean’s age with dark hair, brown eyes, and pale skin answered the door. A bruise adorned the left cheek and Sam smelled semi-fresh blood… from a beating maybe? The other gave him a quick once over and asked, “Y-yes? Can I help you?”

“I’m here to see Angelus,” Sam replied pleasantly.

Those dark eyes widened and the man said, “No, you really don’t want that.”

Sam smiled and assured, “Sure I do.”

A voice from inside commanded, “Xander! Let him in!”

Thus named, Xander flinched, but opened the door, closing it behind Sam before hurrying across the room to kneel beside another man. Not very tall, just under six feet, the other man was broad through the shoulders and had alabaster skin the way that only those who never saw the sun did. Dark hair and dark eyes completed the classically handsome man, the eyes lit with a fire that Sam felt more than saw.

“Not too many come around here anymore,” the one in charge commented, a slight brogue to his voice. “Why have you?”

Sam noted the way the vampire’s fingers tangled in the human’s hair as he countered, “Are you Angelus?”

“I am,” the other confirmed, baring fangs at him. “And I repeat the question. Why are you here?”

“I need your help to get my brother out of Wolfram & Hart,” Sam told him.

Angelus snorted and said, “You’re about six months too late for that kind of request. I don’t do good deeds anymore.”

Sam grinned. “So I heard. But you’d like to destroy Wolfram & Hart, wouldn’t you? I can help you do that.”

Lips pursed, Angelus questioned, “How? You’re just a man.”

Letting his powers come forth, Sam bared his own teeth at the vampire and amended, “Not quite.”

*  *  *  *

Curiosity stayed Angelus’ hand from killing the human outright when he just strolled into the hotel as though he had nothing to fear. Petting Xander calmed him too, the soft hair soothing in a way little else was these days. And then the human showed himself to be more than he seemed, the power practically blinding and stronger than any he’d known, except maybe Willow.

“Interesting,” Angelus murmured. “You’ve got my attention.”

Closing the distance between them, the youngling offered his hand and introduced, “I’m Sam Winchester.”

Taking it, Angelus replied, “You know my name, but this one here is Xander. And Wesley should be back any time now. Come on over to the office so we can talk. Xander, go find Spike. I think he’s going to want in on this.”

Xander shifted nervously, but did as he was told. The impulse to disobey had been beaten from him within the first week, though curbing his tongue of sharp words had taken longer.

Angelus brought Sam into the office and sat behind the desk. “Thirsty? Hungry? We’ve got food in the kitchen for Wes and Xander.”

“I’m good, thanks,” Sam replied.

Taking him at his word, Angelus questioned, “So if you want my help to get your brother out, why should I believe that you can help me destroy them?”

Sam explained, “I can’t get passed their barrier. Once inside, I’ll be able to bring them down without too much effort.”

“A lot of people have tried and failed to destroy them over the years,” Angelus informed him. “Even me. We destroyed the building, but they just rebuilt. Didn’t even take that long.”

Sam’s eyes went yellow in a way Angelus had never before seen and he stated flatly, “They took the only thing that mattered in the world to me. Trust me when I say that they’re going down and going down hard. You want in, or not?”

Angelus had heard a lot of bragging and boasting in his time. More than enough to know when someone was making claims they couldn’t back up and when they weren’t. This kid, this more-than-human human, stared back at him without any sign of over-confidence or hubris. Sam had stated a fact and, while he could be mistaken, he wasn’t lying.

Nodding slowly, Angelus replied, “I want in.”

“Angelus? What’s going on?” Wesley asked.

Glancing over at his lover, Angelus smiled a welcome and motioned him in. “Wesley Wyndham Price, this is Sam Winchester. He wants to bring down Wolfram & Hart and I think that’s a great idea. What about you?”

Wesley shook Sam’s hand with a frown. “Can you?”

Sam waved a hand over Wesley’s face and observed, “You’re not yourself right now, Mr. Price. There’s something binding you to him and it’s tainted you, changed you from good to not-quite-evil. You’ve always had the tendency to go bad, have even done so a few times in the past on your own, but now…now you’re really enjoying yourself and cutting loose, thanks to sharing blood with him.”

“Child’s play, or gossip,” Wesley scoffed.

Unexpectedly gripping the back of Wesley’s head, Sam stared into Wesley’s eyes, his own gone yellow again, and Wesley let out a shriek of such terror that Angelus felt it along their bond. He jumped over the desk only to rebound off something invisible and then bounce off the opposite wall. Before Angelus could even get to his feet, Sam released Wesley, who crumpled to the floor.

Over there in an instant, Angelus cradled an unconscious Wesley to his chest and snarled at Sam. “What did you do to him?”

“Showed him what Hell is really like,” Sam answered, yellow eyes changing back to an unassuming hazel. “Would you care to look?”

For the first time in a long time, Angelus felt a sliver of fear. Shaking his head, he snapped, “Of course not! And you didn’t have to do that just to prove a point!”

Shrugging, Sam sat back down and crossed a leg over his knee. “I think I did. He’ll be up in short order, don’t worry. I didn’t permanently damage him. Unlike that pet of yours. You do know that you’re going to hate yourself about him if you ever get your soul back, right?”

Angelus shrugged. “With the number of times Xander’s crossed my path and lived, I’m starting to think he was fated to be mine anyhow. The manner of how it happened, well, that’s just detail.”

Wesley stirred, his hand latching onto Angelus’ shirt and burying his face against his throat, shaking violently. Angelus crooned gently to him, soothing and reassuring. He was suddenly put in the mind of Shakespeare…Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer.

*  *  *  *

Since it wasn’t likely Wolfram & Hart would risk pissing off Sam by hurting Dean, at least not any time soon, it was decided that he would spend the night and they would regroup in the morning. Angelus couldn’t say he was all that sorry to get away from the kid, though of course they were all still in range of his powers.

Powers that had reduced his Wesley to a quivering mass of shaking fear. Still. He hadn’t seen Wesley like this since the man had first arrived in Sunnydale all those years ago. Holding and rocking him on their bed, Angelus was about to try some kind of spell, or maybe pouring alcohol down his throat, to break through to him when the shivering at last faded.

“Angelus, Angelus, please,” Wesley whispered.

Angelus kissed his forehead and whispered back, “What is it, my own? What do you want? Name it.”

“We can’t go there. We can’t…we’re going there when we die if we don’t renounce our ways,” Wesley said intensely, staring at him, a gleam of near-madness in those pale eyes. “We have to get your soul back! We have to, and I have to, to, become what I was! We can’t…we can’t…and oh my God, Xander! We have to fix him, Angelus, we broke him so we have to fix him!”

Lips pursed in surprise at the pronouncement, Angelus told him, “We can’t go back, Wes. This is who we are now.”

But Wesley shook his head and exclaimed, “No! We can’t be this! What he showed me…what I saw…I can’t go through that, I can’t! I won’t! I’ll leave, Angelus, I’ll go to some monastery and take vows before I subject myself to that willingly!”

Completely nonplussed, Angelus took a few seconds before he came up with, “Sleep for now, Wes. Just get some sleep and we’ll talk about it in the morning.”

“Really? We’ll honestly talk about reforming?” Wes begged.

Angelus nodded and lied firmly, “Yes. If that’s what you want. Don’t I always give you what you want?”

Wesley let out a long, deep sigh before stretching out alongside him and murmuring, “Yes, of course. Thank you, my love.”

Kicking at Xander at the foot of the bed, Angelus ordered, “Turn off the lights, bitch.”

Xander scurried to obey, shutting off the lights and returning to his place at their feet. His chains rattled satisfyingly to Angelus, reminding him of times past with Spike in that position. He grimaced thinking of his wayward Childe gone out without telling him or making even a token of respect. He would have to put Spike in his place the following night, just to make sure he remembered who was in charge.

The heaviness of death blanketed him for the briefest of moments and then it was night again. Wesley had gone somewhere else, though Xander still lay chained to the bed. Stretching, Angelus sighed luxuriously and gazed down at the human who lay very still on his bed.

Broken? he mused. Definitely. But Xander’s life was broken long before I took control of it. I was just the last straw on a very broken camel’s back.

“I know you’re awake,” he murmured. “Get up here and wake me properly.”

Xander crawled up the bed and pulled the blankets down. He settled between Angelus’ legs without hesitation and began licking and sucking on his dick. Sighing in contentment and sensation, Angelus pillowed his head with an arm underneath it and watched, which was half the fun. Cocksucker mouth, something he remembered thinking the first time he’d seen the boy. A man by age, but a boy withal, given the way he always acted.

Xander’s eyes were closed, but pure pleasure showed on his face as he went about his daily task. Angelus could have wished for Wesley to be there fucking the boy from behind to add to the sight, but this was good on its own, too. He groaned in lust when Xander went all the way down on his thick cock, nose to groin, and then repeated it rapidly, several times, before needing to breathe. Angelus smirked as he remembered breaking the boy of his gag reflex with his, Wesley’s, and Spike’s dicks, along with various inanimate objects.

Now he sucked cock like a dream and Angelus moaned, gripping the soft hair and shoving him down as his hips thrust up and he came. Xander swallowed quickly, not missing a drop, and worked the shaft with his throat until Angelus released him.

Angelus pet him on the head and praised, “Good boy. Go fetch your key and you can start breakfast.”

He’d just rolled out of bed when Wesley walked downstairs with a tray of tea, the scent preceding him. Xander crawled over and knelt beside Angelus until he bent to undo the lock that bound chain to collar. Swatting the boy in the back of the head, he ordered, “Go see to our guest. Make sure he has whatever he wants, understood?”

Xander nodded and hurried naked from the basement apartment.

Wesley wagged a finger at him and placed the tea tray on the nightstand table as he scolded, “Sending Xander off to service a stranger is hardly turning over a new leaf, Angelus.”

Tugging his lover in close, Angelus wrapped his arms around Wesley and replied, “Mea culpa. I guess you’ll have to punish me.”

Snorting, Wesley kissed him instead and it quickly spiraled out of control. He pushed Wes onto the bed and growled when the other moved, warning him to be still. Wesley instantly flushed, but remained still. Angelus had just taken his mouth in a deep, hungry kiss filled with tongue when an irritating, “Oi! Where is everyone?” echoed from the top of the stairs.

Angelus growled at the interruption, but Wesley just sighed and pointed out, “We do have plans to make, love.”

Conceding the point, Angelus nonetheless told him, “We’ll pick this up later.”

“I should certainly hope so,” Wesley retorted.

With a chuckle, Angelus stood and tugged him upright before heading for the shower. It didn’t take long to clean up and get dressed for the coming night. When he got upstairs, he was startled to find Spike and their new guest facing off, but stayed quiet, curious as to what would happen.

*  *  *  *

Sam woke up early and stared at the ceiling for a few minutes before getting up and ready for the day. The shower was old, but the spray of water firm and hot. He barely had to concentrate to bring his bags from Montana to his room, the two of them whooshing into existence to land on his bed. He dressed in comfortable jeans and a t-shirt before sliding a dagger into his boot and pulling on a shoulder holster, which he filled with Dean’s favorite gun.

The door opened and he turned to find Xander standing hesitantly in the doorway. It took a few seconds to process so much bare skin and firm muscles but he eventually returned to looking into the brown eyes and smiled. “Yes?”

“M-master wants me to s-s-see if you need anything,” Xander replied.

Sam thought about it for a few seconds, his dick stirring lazily, but there was no fire in the other man. It would feel too much like simply using a glory hole. Not that he’d ever done so, but it wasn’t exactly high on his list of life’s accomplishments, either. Shaking his head, Sam told him, “I’m good, thanks. Could use something to eat, though. Guess that’s downstairs?”

Xander nodded, relief flooding over his face. “I can show you.”

“Thanks,” Sam said, following him out.

They’d just reached the stairs when someone shouted out, “Oi! Where is everyone?” and Xander sighed.

Sam asked curiously, “Who’s that?”

The flat, annoyed answer was, “Spike,” which was the most animation Sam had seen from the other so far.

They arrived at the bottom of the stairs to find a slender, bleach-blond man in a black duster and boots tramping around impatiently. Pale blue eyes met Sam’s from across the room and a smirk lit the handsome, sharp face as the other said, “Well now. What have we here?”

Sam walked across the room and answered, “Sam Winchester. And you are?”

“Spike’s the name. Or William the Bloody. Whichever grabs your pretty fancy,” Spike replied.

Now this, Sam could get into. This man would be a challenge, all prickly and pushy, just like Dean. Standing directly in front of him, Sam blatantly looked him up and down and questioned innocently, “Really? How about Willy? You look like a Willy to me.”

Eyes snapping fire, Spike snarled, “Don’t even think it, pooftah!”

“Too late,” Sam replied, grinning easily. He stepped forward, bringing them almost into contact, and continued, “So what do you do around here, Willy?”

“Eat blighters like you for breakfast!” Spike growled, hands wrapping in Sam’s shirt and spinning him around, into the nearest wall.

Sam grunted at the impact, but let his powers out a little, adding to his own strength enough to break the hold Spike had and follow up by kicking the vampire’s legs out from under him. Sam sat across the man’s hips and pinned his arms down at the wrists.

The vampire struggled but couldn’t get free no matter how hard he tried. He finally stopped and, glaring, demanded, “What the fuck are you?”

“Just a guest,” Sam answered easily. He pressed down on the wrists until they creaked with the pressure and Spike winced. Bending forward until his mouth hovered next to Spike’s ear, he said, “You and I are going to become very well acquainted when I have time, Willy. Count on it.”

Spike’s pupils expanded and Sam breathed in the scent of fear-tinged arousal. Smirking, he climbed off Spike and turned to find Angel, Wesley, and Xander standing across the room, just watching the spectacle. He held a hand down to Spike who took a long second to think about it before accepting the help to stand.

Giving the others a pleasant smile, Sam asked, “What’s for breakfast?”

*  *  *  *

Wesley prided himself on being a good judge of character, but he just could not get a bead on the newcomer. To the outward eye, he was a clean-cut, handsome young man in his mid-twenties. So far, however, he’d shown Wesley a Hell that he never wanted to encounter in reality, made claims of being able to destroy Wolfram & Hart for good, and had easily fought Spike to a standstill without even breaking a sweat. On the other hand, he hadn’t taken advantage of Xander whatsoever and was extremely polite.

Not that there haven’t been polite demons before, he thought wryly.

Wesley watched openly as Sam and Spike eyed one another from opposite sides of the room and Sam put away a staggering amount of food. Angelus had decided to stay out of it, for whatever reason, and Xander had more than enough sense to even look at the circling alpha males, even while stationary.

It was an interesting situation, just as Sam was an interesting not-quite-demon. He had demon powers and, certainly, the same ruthlessness that demons employed, and yet he was human and had been all his life. Or, so Wesley assumed, which he hated to do but didn’t feel anywhere near comfortable enough with the other to ask about his personal history.

“So what do you think about the shield?” Sam asked, finally putting his fork down. He didn’t seem the least bit put off by all the scrutiny.

Angelus quirked an eyebrow Wesley’s way and, bringing his attention to the matter at hand, Wesley said, “I would have to go down to the building and see if it’s geared towards you specifically or a general ward against those who wish to do Wolfram & Hart harm.”

Sam nodded. “That’s first on the agenda then. What do we do in either case?”

Thinking about it, Wesley mused, “Well, if it’s geared towards you specifically, we would have to find the source and render it impotent. If it’s a general ward, then you should be able to fool it into thinking you have no ill will towards those who inhabit the building, nor the structure itself, and it will let you through.”

“That’s it?” Sam questioned, looking surprised.

Wesley nodded. “Though I do rather suspect they’ve warded the place against you specifically. They may be evil, but they’re generally not stupid.”

Sam snorted and agreed, “I got that impression from the woman in charge. And Hamilton.”

Angelus growled and demanded, “ Hamilton?”

While Wesley was more interested in the woman. “What woman? Was she slender, pretty, brown hair, and a superior attitude?”

“That’s the one,” Sam confirmed.

Wesley grimaced and related, “That would be Lilah. Wolfram & Hart must have brought her back when we took out most of the upper management a couple of years ago. Figures that she would resume the head bitch position for this kind of operation.”

“Don’t mind Wes,” Angelus told Sam, smirking. “Lilah’s his ex.”

Wesley made another face, this time aimed at Angelus.

Sam blinked at him and then asked, “You used to date a corpse?”

Testy, Wesley retorted, “Well, she wasn’t dead at the time.”

“What about Hamilton? What kind of condition is he in?” Angelus questioned.

Sam’s lips curved into a satisfied smile as he replied, “Headless, when I was banished from the conference room. Although they may have put him back together again by now, I don’t know.”

Spike finally spoke up with, “So what’s the plan? Or are we going to sit around yappin’ all bloody day about things? Maybe have a tea party?”

Angelus opened his mouth, but Sam beat him to the punch with, “I’ll go down to Wolfram & Hart and check the shield, thinking happy thoughts to see if I get through. You know, while we’re down there, we might as well show that we’ve joined forces. See if that scares them into giving up Dean.”

“And if it does, you’ll just let them stand?” Angelus growled.

Sam shook his head, looking frighteningly innocent until his eyes glowed yellow and he replied, “I’ll be sure and keep my fingers crossed behind my back when I promise we’ll be good.”

Wesley shivered and reminded himself to talk to Angelus later about repentance. If Sam’s Hell truly existed, then he wanted no part of it and would do anything to make certain Angelus didn’t wind up there when all was said and done, too.

*  *  *  *

Angelus hadn’t been to the new Wolfram & Hart since his reappearance. He was sure standing across the street was setting off all kinds of warning bells inside and grinned to himself at the thought. He was actually hoping that Hamilton had been put back together so he could have a proper go at the man, even undead.

Sam glanced at him and said, “Ready when you are.”

Nodding, Angelus crossed the street with Sam at his right and Spike on his left. Wesley and Xander were back at the Hyperion, which Wesley was not happy about; not that Angelus really cared. He wanted his boys safe and out of the way so that he could concentrate on mayhem. It was a definite bonus he held over Angel. By not worrying about Wes’ sensibilities, he could order the human out of harm’s way without any guilt about bruised egos and whether or not Wes felt included or equal.

Simple fact is, he’s not equal, Angelus thought as they reached the main entrance. He’s human and even as good with weapons as Wes is, he’s too fragile. Too easily hurt. No one hurts what’s mine, except me.

Keeping the pleasant thought of Wesley front and center allowed him to pass through the entrance with only a shivery tingle of sensation. He’d been part of the staff at one point and, since this was technically not a new building altogether, his invitation hadn’t been rescinded.

Sam, unfortunately, stood outside with a glower on his handsome face.

Angelus shrugged at him and turned around to find soldiers armed with stakes in shotgun-styled weapons pointed at him. Smiling, he greeted, “Boys, come on! It’s me! You can lower your weapons. I’m here to talk.”

“Last time you were here,” Lilah called from the staircase, “you reduced this building to rubble and killed most of the senior partners.”

“It was time for a shakeup anyhow,” Angelus replied, smirking.

She eyed him a long moment and then descended the stairs. “I’ll be sure and rescind your invitation to this building the second you leave. In the meantime, amuse me with the reason you’ve deigned us with your presence.”

Angelus wagged a finger at her and scolded, “You’ve been a naughty girl, Lilah. First you take my soul away and then, I assume to fight me, you made Sam dig up his demon powers. Bad, Lilah, bad!”

Rolling her eyes, Lilah stopped behind the row of soldiers. “None of this would have been necessary had you simply accepted our employment offer. As Angelus, surely you no longer have any objection to taking the occasional job for us.”

“I object to you and this firm on principal, Lilah,” Angelus told her. “The fact that you slept with Wesley also doesn’t endear ye to me.”

With a dismissive gesture, she pointed out, “Water under the bridge. And it’s not like your little chippie didn’t already kill me and Wes cut off my head. If anything, I should be holding a grudge against you and yours.”

“And you aren’t?” Angelus questioned skeptically.

Lilah snorted. “No, I am. I’m just a professional and won’t let it interfere.”

Folding his arms across his chest, Angelus asked, “Will ye no turn over the human Winchester?”

“Oh, no, I think we’ll hold onto that little bargaining chip, thanks,” Lilah responded.

Angelus smirked and said, “I’m so glad that’s your answer. Now I get to have some real fun.”

Without warning, or even a prearranged signal, he and Spike jumped at the soldiers nearest them each. Angelus slammed the gun back into the soldier’s face and then spun to kick the one on his left hard enough to send him flying. He barely dodged a stake and then grabbed the third one to use as a sideways battering ram against two others, slamming them into the floor and kicking them each in the head.

When he turned back, Spike had taken care of the remaining four soldiers and had cornered Lilah against a column. He let the other vampire toy with her for a moment, taking the opportunity to drain a couple of the soldiers of their blood. Replete and pleased with how things had turned out, Angelus walked over to them and grinned at the sight of Spike’s hand under Lilah’s skirt. She looked about as freaked as he’d ever seen her, which made him even happier.

“Now my lad, that’s no way to treat a lady,” Angelus scolded. “I’d’ve had her clothes off to give her a proper shag by now.”

Spike chuckled wickedly and replied, “Was just warmin’ her up for ya, Da.”

“Thanks, boy,” Angelus said, leaning up against Lilah from the side. He leaned in to scent her and made a face at the lack of blood. “It’s too bad we’ve no the time to show you a right, proper good time, Lilah, but our new friend’s waitin’ and like to be gettin’ impatient. Are ye sure ye won’t change yer mind?”

Lilah shuddered, the fear scent heady even from her dead body, and shook her head. “Dean Winchester stays here.”

He nipped her throat and murmured, “Too bad. We’ll be back to collect him and then? We’ll be sure and have some real fun.”

Chuckling on that promise, Angelus headed for the door, Spike at his side.