Fandom: Highlander + Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Word count: 1842
Disclaimer: I don't own Highlander or BtVS
Warnings: Cold-blooded murder, sociopathy via absence of soul, mention of suicide
Summary: What happened when Angelus met Methos and decided he would make a delightful vampire + something that happened centuries later.
The first time Angelus lays eyes on Dr Adams, the good doctor is spectator to the aftermath of one of his little games. It is the look in the human’s eyes that catches Angelus’ attention. His expression mirrors the shocked revulsion of other onlookers, for the most part, but his eyes are sharp and cold. They are assessing eyes, vaguely curious and undisturbed.
And then the man meets the vampire’s eyes. His eyes become even sharper and colder, even more assessing. For a long moment their gazes are locked, and then the look in the human’s eyes fades into a dismissive one. He turns away, too late to curb Angelus’ interest.
How very fascinating.
“So, his name is Benjamin,” Angelus muses, a wicked smile curving his lips.
“Yes,” sobs the woman lying at his feet. “Dr Benjamin Adams. Please...”
Angelus reaches out. The woman flinches, but he only brushes aside a lock of her hair, tender and gentle as a loving parent. The woman stills, staring up at him with wide, tearful eyes. “Dear, brave Rosie. You have done well.” He’s smiling softly, his demonic face vanished in favour of the angelic human features that gained him his moniker.
Tentatively, shakily, she smiles back. “Yes, I...”
He takes her head between his hands and twists, taking just long enough that she has time to struggle and claw desperately as she realises what is about to happen. The last thing she ever hears is his chuckle, dark and amused.
Drusilla steps forward, pretty and dark and mad, just the way he made her, and gives a distressed moan and clutches at her hair. “You chase death, Daddy,” she says.
“What do you mean by that, Dru?”
“You chase death, death, Death on a horse.” She reaches out to him, her eyes wide and appealing. “Leave him alone, Daddy. He doesn’t need or want your kiss.”
He doesn’t understand. He laughs. “Why would it matter to me what he wants?”
The next few nights, Angelus stalks Dr Benjamin Adams.
Angelus makes himself into the shadow creeping at the very edge of Benjamin’s vision, faded away the moment the human turns to look. If Benjamin stops looking after the first few times, well, it must be because he has convinced himself that there is nothing there. Angelus doesn’t mind; after all, it was his intention from the start of this to make Benjamin doubt his own senses.
Sometimes, Angelus watches through Benjamin’s window as he sleeps. It never lasts for long, however, before the vampire grows bored and leaves to hunt the night instead.
On the third night, he follows Benjamin into a bar. It’s dim and smoky and crowded, and the doctor watches the door with those same sharp eyes that first captured Angelus’ attention, as he cradles a beer between his hands. That cold attention focuses on Angelus the moment he steps through the door, even though he followed in the wake of a group of several men, the better to blend in.
The look in Benjamin’s eyes fades to something milder, and he waves the vampire over. “I remember you,” he explains, amiably enough. “You were there when the Dawsons were discovered, God rest their poor souls. I was too, obviously.” The ensuing pause has an edge of awkwardness. “Sorry. I’m Benjamin.”
“Angelus.” There is amusement lurking at the edges of the vampire’s lips, and in the depths of his voice. The doctor doesn’t seem to notice.
“That’s an interesting name.”
Angelus shrugs, still amused. “I like it.”
“I’m sure it suits you.” For a moment, it seems that Benjamin is also amused. He drains his beer, nods in friendly but succinct farewell, and takes his leave.
Angelus leaves not long afterward, noticing as he does the strip of reflective glass previously at his back. He supposes that Benjamin must not have noticed the absence of his reflection, or that he easily dismissed it as a trick of light or reflection. After all, Angelus would have heard the human’s heartbeat speed up, were it otherwise.
Angelus has a plan. He rather likes his plan, because it promises to be fun, for him at least, and he’s all about the fun.
It starts with Benjamin’s landlady, the elderly and kind Maree Hunt. She doesn’t hesitate to invite him in, not when he pretends to be injured. He doesn’t take quite as long with her as he would like, because he wants her ready and waiting for Benjamin when he returns from the visitation with one of his patients.
Angelus sets her up just right, and then he settles on a nearby roof to observe what happens next.
Benjamin goes quiet and still when he sees Miss Hunt, cold and lifeless and mutilated. He steps up to her after a lengthy pause, and kneels at her side. He checks for her pulse, although it must be obvious that she is dead. In any case, there is something almost mechanical about his movements, as though he is acting on rote.
He finds the marks on her neck. For quite some time he simply looks at them, and then he stands and stalks toward the street. That sharp, cold look is back in his eyes, but far more intense than it ever was before. He is scanning all of his surroundings, peering into the depths of every shadow. There is something of the hunter in his manner, or of the about-to-strike murderer.
Angelus takes his leave before Dr Adams finishes with looking over the street and starts looking up instead.
The solicitor brothers, Horace and Albert Crockford. Mr and Mrs Tilford, and their tomboy Agatha, who was always getting into scraps. Percival Farley, who always gave biscuits to anyone who visited. Prudence Rogers, the schoolmistress.
All of them are butchered. All of them are found artfully arranged and posed. All of them were patients of one Dr Benjamin Adams.
Angelus catches up to him nights later, just as he is preparing to leave the island on a cargo ship. “Hello, Dr Benjamin Adams,” says the vampire, smiling as he steps out of the dark.
This time, Dr Adams makes no attempt to hide the sharpness or the coldness in his eyes. “Angelus. I thought I might see you again.”
“Did you, now?”
“Mm. You never really learned subtlety, did you?”
Angelus looks at Benjamin’s eyes, still sharp and still cold, and thinks that he sees contempt there as well. He remembers Drusilla’s words back when he started this; her riddle-shrouded, sphinx-like warning. He still does not understand the meaning, but for a moment he thinks that maybe he should have tried.
The moment passes. He shrugs and slips into his vampire face. “Whatever do you mean by that, Ben?” he says, stepping towards the doctor.
Dr Adams does not flinch or gasp, nor does he show any other sign of surprise; he just slides his hand under his coat. It is the expression on his face, or the complete lack of expression, that brings Angelus up short. His eyes alone are alive with malice.
“I try not to make a habit of beheading people, these days,” says Benjamin, “but perhaps I should make this an exception.” He smiles, and it is almost frightening in its emptiness. “I think you should tell me what you want.”
Curiouser and curiouser. Angelus does not know if the feeling thrilling through him is fear or delight. Maybe (probably) it is both.
He laughs anyway. “I was right,” he says. “You will make a delightful vampire.”
Benjamin’s eyes widen and he shakes his head. “Oh, no, no,” he says. “No way. I like sunlight, thank you, and I like being able to walk about in it. I like Italian food, and I like being unaffected by religious symbols. Why don’t you turn someone who actually wants it? Do all vampires have consent issues?”
Then he draws out the object he has been touching under his coat; a gun. He holds it to Angelus’ chest, and pulls the trigger before the vampire has time to react. Angelus stumbles, and when he looks up he sees that Benjamin is drawing out a broadsword.
Angelus supposes that one cannot win every battle, at least not immediately and without cheating, and that there is really only one thing to do at this point. So he falls backwards over the edge of the pier, thus submerging himself in the bay. Escape.
By the time Angelus makes his way back to dry land, it is already too late. It makes him furious.
He had intended to break something in Benjamin, of course, but he had also intended to create something new out of him before anything like this happened. Besides that, he had not thought that the cold-eyed doctor would give up everything just like that. Really, it is disappointing, and almost unbelievable.
It is true, however. Dr Benjamin Adams killed himself in order to escape, Angelus saw the body with his own eyes, saw the fatal wound and heard nothing where there should have been a heartbeat.
Benjamin must have known that this is the only way that Angelus would not continue to pursue him.
Angel stares at Buffy’s latest boyfriend, one Adam Pierson, with some consternation. He had expected...
He does not know what he expected, but he knows that it was not this. Dr Benjamin Adams, alive in front of him, does not seem to recognise him, although he does wear an expression of concentration, as though he is on the verge of remembering something.
“You’re dead,” says Angel, suspicious. “I saw it.” Even if he hadn’t, Benjamin should be dead now, centuries after their last meeting.
“I’m sure you’re mistaking me for someone else,” says Benjamin... Adam... whoever he is, a bit too quickly. It only makes Angel more suspicious.
Buffy rolls her eyes. “Sure, of course he is. Isn’t that exactly what you said to that other vampire last week? What was his name? Daniel?”
“Damian. In my defence, I only met him once, and I’ve met a lot of people.”
“Whatever. When did you meet Adam, Angel?”
He is interrupted by the sound of Benjamin snapping his fingers. “Oh, I remember! Angelus. I’d have thought you would’ve been torn apart by an angry mob by now.”
Angel frowns. “Well, an angry gypsy clan cursed me with a soul,” he offers.
“I told you, your subtlety’s terrible,” says Adam, nodding sagely and not seeming especially surprised. “So what’s it like, having a soul?”
Angel quirks an eyebrow at that. “What, you don’t know? Don’t you have one?”
Adam shrugs noncommittally, then almost falls down when Buffy punches his arm. “Idiot,” she says, light and fond. “I know soulless, and you’re not it.”
“I know some people who might disagree.”
“Well, they’re wrong.” She links her arm through his and starts pulling him away. “Come on, I want to hit the mall before it’s time to leave.” She waves to Angel as they leave. “See you next time, Angel.”