Title: Midnight Run
Fandom(s): Angel and Dukes of Hazzard
Originally published in Constricted By Plot, the con zine for Con*Strict 2001
Pairing(s): Bo/Luke, Angel Investigations er... polyamorously perverse? (This is not, however, a Domestic Piranhas fic. Just a random AU that you can consider as having branched off somewhere after Disharmony and pre-Pylea.)
They were stopped at a red light. Angel had to remind himself that they had a couple of hours yet, until the midnight bus got in. There was no hurry, except for the need to escape the voice in his ear.
It wasn't the one whispering, 'all your fault' at him; he'd gotten used to that one years ago. Rather, it was Gunn's. "Run this by me again -- you were where?"
"Georgia," Angel answered. "Some tiny backwoods place that didn't even have a name. Just a bunch of farms and hills and something almost big enough to call a town."
Gunn let out a chuckle which Angel pretended not to hear. "Sorry, just picturing it. Angel down with the rednecks. You'd stand out more than I would."
"I didn't have a lot of choice. I was running."
"From what?" Wesley asked, from the back of the car. Gunn was still snickering.
Angel sighed. Again. "From another vampire."
There was a moment of silence, before Wesley asked in a politely confused tone, "Another vampire?"
"Yeah. I broke his light fixture. He had... issues."
Angel had been moving from place to place for most of the thirty-some years since he'd managed to get lynched in L.A. Never in one spot for long, he'd got used to having no ties. Once in a while he found something that seemed to be more than just nameless faces and places flashing in his eyes, and he contemplated actually staying put. Then it would fall apart and he would move on, hating the hunger in his mouth for the very people he'd thought he could connect with.
Connecting with the other demons of the world was no better. Those that weren't evil wanted nothing to do with a vampire, souled or not. Those evil enough to want a solitary vampire's company were nothing that he could bear to be near. He'd ended up slaughtering more than one would-be companion, unable to shake the anger at his own delusions. It left him alone, and constantly moving, and without the belief that there was any point at all in it.
Then he'd ended up in New Orleans. A nightclub that catered to the weird and mysterious, mostly mortal but with the occasional otherwise client. He'd been about to walk past it, ignoring the lights shining through the front window in favor of a nice, dark alley, when Angel had noticed the vampire. The owner.
He was leaning back against a dark wood bar and watching. That was all, just watching. Nothing suspicious, not attacking his patrons, not polishing the floors with blood. Just watching. After a moment, he'd looked up at Angel, and raised his drink in invitation.
Angel had been about to go in. Ask what the deal was. As always, buried somewhere deep enough that he didn't have to admit it existed, there was the hope that he'd found somebody like him. Not of either world, but of both.
He'd had one hand on the door handle when he saw the other two vampires. Completely nondescript and unnoticed by anyone but him as they slipped onto the dancefloor, then quietly escorted one of the human patrons into the shadows.
Half an hour later, there was an empty building, and five piles of dust in a back room. Also, a vampire named Etienne LeGrande swearing eternal damnation -- minus any apparent sense of irony -- on Angel for ruining not his nightclub business, but the eighteenth-century crystal chandelier that lay shattered on the dancefloor between them. Alongside it lay the shards of Angel's obnoxiously resurgent hope that he'd ever find anyone else in the world like himself.
"Left town that night," he told Wes and Gunn as the light turned green and traffic started moving again. "Halfway to Mississippi, I figured out the nutcase was following me. Spent the next few weeks either running, fighting, or hiding. I finally managed to sneak off through Alabama and into Georgia, but not without a few scratches. Headed east until the sun was about to rise, then found an old deserted barn to hide in. Only...it wasn't so deserted."
Angel woke to find himself covered in hay. He wiped it out of his hair and looked around: it was daytime; sunshine streamed in through the half-open door below the platform where he lay. His body still ached from the fight the night before; all in all, a good reason to go back to sleep.
Then he realized that what had woken him was still there, beneath the hayloft. Whispers. Heartbeats, and the sound of fabric sliding over skin. Angel grimaced and closed his eyes. He did not need to overhear a couple of mortals having a tryst.
But that was exactly what he was hearing. He stifled a groan, and wondered which would be worse: the embarrassment of standing up and letting them know he was here, or the general torment of having to listen to what was happening on the other side of a thin wooden floor and a few bales of hay.
They weren't unfamiliar sounds, the soft noises, the groans a little louder than his own. The sharp intake of breath, and the slow exhale, in tiny jittery bursts of noise.
But it had been a while. Long enough that Angel had to think hard, and count off by towns, to remember when. Who... He really couldn't put a name to the face, but there'd been a dishwater blonde girl with tight jeans, big hair, and a Van Halen t-shirt. She hadn't smiled, the whole time, but she hadn't charged much, either.
Nor had she said anything like what he was hearing now -- a low male voice asking, a higher one, also male, answering. Small words exchanged as the sounds of rustling got louder. Slow words like love, and always, and see what you do to me? Along with the more urgent now, and yeah, and right there. Comical, horrible, temporary words that Angel hadn't heard in longer than he wanted to remember.
By the time he'd decided it was too much to lie there and listen to, there was nothing left to hear, except the sounds of breathing slowing back to normal and soft, panting laughter. He let himself relax a little, hoping the two lovers would make their way out of the barn and leave him in peace -- or at least quiet.
"Hey, where'd you throw my shirt?" one of the men asked.
"Don't look at me; I wasn't the one who took it off ya!"
There were sounds of a scuffle, then more laughter, and Angel was about to scream at them not to start again because he really couldn't take it twice. Mercifully the horseplay ended and the first man asked, "Well, do you see it anywhere?"
"Look up there. You threw it pretty hard."
A second later, there was someone climbing up the ladder into the loft. Angel froze, hoping like hell he was hidden enough that the human wouldn't see him. He glanced around for any sign of the lost shirt, and blinked when he saw it, flung across a hay bale just inches from his leg. He must have been dangerously out of it, not to have woken up when the thing first landed near him.
Maybe the man wouldn't notice the black-clad vampire lying within hand's reach? The shadows were...well... sort of dark. Angel stared at the hay-strewn floor and fought the urge to close his eyes completely and pretend he wasn't here -- mostly because he'd look like an idiot if it didn't work.
"What the-- What're you doin' up here?"
Like so, for instance. Angel groaned, only half in disgust at himself for getting caught; the other half came from the pain that surged when he started to sit up, informing him in no uncertain terms that sleep hadn't managed to chase it away.
"Hey, are you all right?" The initial tone of startled embarrassment vanished, replaced by concern. Angel looked up to find a dark-haired young man staring down at him.
"Ah, yeah. I'm fine," Angel lied breezily. "I wasn't listening," he added, an awkward splurt of words that came from he wasn't sure where, since he hadn't intended to mention it at all.
But the man was looking at Angel's legs. "You're hurt. Hey Bo, get up here! There's a busted-up guy in the loft."
"There's a what?" the man's lover exclaimed; then a few moments later a blond head popped up from the ladder. "Luke, what are you-- hey! Who're you?"
"Never mind who he is -- go get on the radio. Call for an ambulance."
"No, that's all right. It's just my jeans are stained," Angel said quickly. He propped himself up on his elbow, trying again to rise. Luke put a hand on his shoulder.
"I can see the skin underneath," he pointed out. "You're not fine."
"I will be," Angel insisted. "I don't need an ambulance."
Luke just nodded. "Who you hiding from?"
Angel shifted uncomfortably. What were his chances of coming up with a plausible enough lie that these two would believe him? He'd never exactly been lauded for his genius when it came to telling stories; his talent had always been more in the visual arts. Sometimes audiovisual, when they screamed -- what were they calling it now? 'Performance art.'
He settled -- at least for now -- on, "It's a long story," and sat upright, resting his back against a hay bale. Luke was holding his shirt over one arm, plainly debating whether it was safe to let go of Angel in order to slip it on.
Well, Angel certainly wasn't about to bolt for the door, considering the world full of sunshine outside the barn. He settled into a more relaxed pose, and Luke let go of him, then slid the blue denim shirt over his own shoulders.
The other, younger man eyed Angel appraisingly. "You wanted by the law?" For all of its directness, the question was asked fairly calmly -- as if his continued existence didn't depend on the answer, as if the kid just wanted to get a better picture of what they were dealing with.
"No," Angel answered honestly. Any policemen who'd ever been after his hide were long dead; anyone else who wanted him didn't really count in terms of human legality.
"Good enough." Luke nodded. "Look, we won't call an ambulance, but you can't stay here. You're still bleeding."
Angel didn't especially want to explain why it hardly mattered, that as long as he could feed and rest, he'd be fine in a couple of days, as long as LeGrande didn't catch up with him by then. He'd thought he could bandage himself up after he'd slept, then hide out here, do some hunting in the woods, and be gone before anybody was the wiser. It still sounded like a better idea than letting these two country boys take him home.
"Don't worry." Bo grinned. "We got lots of practice tending to folks' injuries and keeping things quiet. Won't no one know you're here."
"Nobody'll know I'm here if you just leave me," Angel pointed out.
"Yeah, but then you'll still be bleeding, and we'll worry, and have to come check on you every so often. Somebody might follow us, wondering what we're up to." Luke sounded perfectly reasonable. It worried Angel that he even considered, for a second, accepting the offer.
He shook his head. "Thanks, but that's not necessary." As soon as he could get these two gone, he could... well, go nowhere, as long as the sun was up. But tonight, he could be on his way, if not fully healed.
"What're you running from, that's got you so worried?" Bo asked, brow wrinkled. The question sounded more innocent than suspicious. Angel wasn't tempted to answer him, not with the truth at any rate, but something in Bo's tone made him wonder what sort of life this man could possibly be leading, that had left him so untouched into adulthood.
Angel found Luke watching him, and when their eyes met, Angel realized Luke knew exactly what Angel had been thinking about his lover, and in the understanding was an unspoken warning. Luke would let nothing touch Bo, that would tarnish him.
Nothing, including soul-ridden demons from hell. "You really don't want me around," Angel warned them.
Bo gave a sideways glance to his lover. "That might be, but we were brought up better than to leave somebody lyin' in a barn to bleed to death. Least we can do is let you bleed to death on the sofa."
There were hands under Angel's arms, suddenly, and they were lifting him to his feet. "What part of no don't you kids understand?"
"The part that sounds like 'I got trouble on my tail and I'm gonna be all noble and not bring it down on y'all.' Don't worry; trouble's pretty common around here." Luke gave a firm pull, like he was about to try to sling Angel over his shoulder -- which would be about the only way they'd get him down that loft ladder.
"You don't want this kind of trouble. Put me down."
Luke just shook his head. "Nope. Feel free to yell at us all you like -- unless we tell you to keep quiet because the sheriff's coming. Otherwise-- hey!" Luke tried to retain his grip on Angel's arm, as Angel pulled himself away.
He and Bo gave Angel exasperated stares. Angel just looked back at them, severely unimpressed. "I'm telling you, this is none of your business."
"Luke, you ever met such a stubborn man?"
Luke grinned. "Yeah. I'm looking at him."
Angel watched Bo cuff Luke gently on the back of the head when he twigged that his lover was looking at him, and he wished even more that the two would just go. There was no way to convince them --except of course the truth, which was likely to get him staked. But he didn't want them around when LeGrande arrived, nor did he want to stand here and watch the two men tease each other and remind Angel how not a part of it -- or anything -- he was.
"Look, mister," Bo started in on Angel again. "Whatever you're running from, we can help."
Angel stepped back and looked around. No handy loose pieces of wood, and he doubted the barn was equipped with a holy water spring. They could always toss him out the window into the sunlight, but then, they were ready to drag him out the door, anyway.
"You think you can help with this?" he asked as he changed. They stood there staring at him, while he blinked at the sudden brightness of filtered sunlight to his enhanced vision. When neither of the men said anything after a second, Angel asked, "You want to know what's chasing me? It looks like I do -- but not nearly as friendly."
Well, nobody was making a move to manhandle him over to the window, or taking out a lighter. Finally, Bo spoke up. "So you're sayin' there's something out there more snarly than you?"
"Sounds hard to imagine," Luke added with a slight grin.
Angel stared in disbelief at them. Were they complete morons? "Don't you know what I am?" he asked.
"Look like a vampire," Luke said, shrugging. "So there's another one after you?" He glanced at Bo. "You wanna go out to the General and get our bows?"
"Right, good idea." Bo nodded and headed towards the ladder. As he disappeared down it, Angel realized suddenly that he was about to get staked. Bows and arrows were a bit dated, but still fit the bill as sharp wooden objects. Perfect. He was going to be slain by hayseeds. LeGrande would have hysterics when he finally showed up.
Angel tried edging backwards, though he had no idea where he thought he was going -- the only way out was into the sunlight. Luke was frowning at him now.
"You're going to tell me this place is overrun with vampires, or something? Your best friends are monsters?" Angel asked sarcastically.
"No, our best friends are a stock-car mechanic and a deputy sheriff who keeps apologizing when he has to arrest us. Vampires don't tend to hang around these parts much; they're afraid of Daisy's cooking."
Angel blinked. "Big on garlic, is she?"
"No. Everybody's afraid of Daisy's cooking." Luke knelt down on one knee, and peered out the window -- watching Bo as he fetched the instruments of Angel's execution. "Or it could be they're afraid of Uncle Jesse. He knows lots of things. Like, when your leg's torn from thigh to shin, and the blood's dribbling out like you just got a really bad paper-cut, you're probably not human."
Angel found himself blinking again. "You knew what I was before you asked me to come with you?" Were they playing with him?
"We got a pretty airtight trunk. If we drove the car into the barn, could probably get you home without toasting you."
"You knew I was a vampire?" Angel repeated. He was feeling a little stupid at the moment, or at least confused. Maybe these two weren't human themselves? Except he could smell that they were.
"Still know it," Luke said, and he sounded suspiciously like he was talking to a child.
Angel narrowed his eyes. "I still don't think it's a good idea for me to go with you. LeGrande -- the other vampire -- is liable to show up as soon as the sun's down. He's a complete lunatic; anyone who gets in his way is in danger."
"That's what the arrows are for," Luke replied.
"They're for him?" The words slipped out before Angel could stop them.
Luke turned his head to look at Angel, and Angel could swear the expression on his face was reproach. When he spoke, there was no doubt about it. "You thought we'd offer you hospitality, then kill you?"
How did he manage to make it sound like Angel was the rude one for expecting it?
"It's happened before," Angel said slowly. Realized, after he said it, how that sounded, but it was still true. Hospitality of a sort had been offered to him once. He'd taken her up on it, and look where he was now: stuck in a barn with two insanely friendly yokels, a crazy Creole vamp obsessed with interior decoration hot on his trail.
He could hear Bo crunching across the dried grass towards the barn door; Luke looked at Angel, eyes narrowed, then something in his gaze softened. "Won't happen here."
Somehow, Angel found himself wanting to believe that. Maybe he was just tired -- or hungry. But he wanted to put his head down and not think about running and hiding and trying to stay undead. He was tempted, for a second. Then he shook his head. "I can't put you or your family at risk."
After a moment, Luke nodded, and Angel leaned back in relief that the man had finally been persuaded. Then, as Bo, a black cowboy hat now jammed down over his hair, appeared at the top of the ladder holding two long bows and two full quivers, Luke said, "Reckon we'll just keep an eye on you here, then."
Angel had been unable to argue, threaten, or cajole them out of it. The two men had set themselves up in the loft with him, bows within arm's reach. They'd regaled him with local stories -- things even he found hard to believe, to the point where he'd started to wonder if they weren't some distant relatives of his, possessed of that fabled Irish talent for telling a tall tale that had somehow bypassed Angel himself. In the afternoon, Luke had disappeared for an hour and come back with a small brace of rabbits for Angel to feed from.
By dusk, he'd found he'd reluctantly enjoyed their companionship. He was still eager to be going, though, and as soon as he'd been able, Angel had dashed out to their waiting car and -- after nearly tearing the welded-shut door off its hinges, slid head-first through the window into the back seat.
They'd driven him to the county line, with advice and directions for the quickest way out of the state, and the most Angel could say about managing to escape their hospitality was that at least he'd been able to argue them out of lending him their cousin's jeep, since he'd have no easy way to return it.
The last he'd seen of the two men was a wave out the window after they'd assured him they knew the trails through the woods like the back of their hands, and if LeGrande found them, they could lose him in the swamps in no time. The last he'd heard was an obnoxious musical car horn tooting a riff from Dixie, far off in the night.
He'd told himself it didn't have to mean they'd spotted LeGrande's stolen Chevy.
Even if it did, Bo's driving on the way to the county line had been worthy of a stunt driver -- they'd crossed a creek bed without leaving tracks, 'just in case he's tailing us.' Luke had shaken his head in a way that made Angel certain Bo showed off like this all the time, and Luke loved every minute of it.
So... maybe they were good enough to lose a vampire. Even an insane, obsessed vampire. He'd clung to that thought, as he made his way through the darkness, heading for someplace he could lie low for another day and wait for his wounds to heal.
"So we get to meet this LeGrande guy in the undead flesh, huh?"
Angel looked over at Gunn, finding himself pulled slowly back into the present. "What? No, he's dead. Caught up with me a few days later and we fought again. Killed him."
"Then who are we going to slay?" Wesley asked, hefting a crossbow for unneeded emphasis.
Angel didn't really want to answer. He didn't like thinking about it-- there was guilt enough in his life without dwelling on every single mistake he'd ever made. "LeGrande...found them. The men who rescued me. He told me exactly how he'd killed them, before--"
There was silence, then Wesley's soft voice said, "Before turning them?"
Gunn reached over and gave Angel's arm a brief squeeze. "S'all right, Angel. We'll take care of them."
Angel stared at the road now, not looking at his partners. "He made a point of telling me how Luke almost managed to kill Bo, before LeGrande could get to him. Once they woke up. he sent them back home. To their family."
There was silence after that, for the rest of the trip to the bus station.
"Coffee?" Angel thought for a minute that Gunn was trying to hand it to him, even though they knew he didn't drink the stuff, but a glance told him the steaming cup was being handed to Wes. He was tempted to look at his watch, but he knew what it would say: eleven fifty-six, the same as the last time he'd looked, ten seconds ago.
The loudspeaker crackled. "Bus 1040, arriving twelve o'clock from Daytona, departing twelve-thirty, now arriving in stall nine. Passengers with tickets..."
Angel stood up, the muscles in his legs complaining silently at him for having sat on hard plastic for two hours. "That's them."
"Really? You're sure they're arriving on bus 1040?" The gentle sarcasm in Wesley's voice told Angel that he might've mentioned that before. Twelve or thirteen times.
Gunn and Wesley stood as well, shouldering bags that looked like carry-on luggage, but weren't.
"We don't just pop 'em, as they're getting off the bus, right?" Gunn looked at Angel for confirmation. "Draw them outside to the alley and keep the bystander casualty rate down?"
"They called to tell me they were coming; I don't think it'll be too hard to get them to follow me around back." Angel looked at his two companions, and started to ask them to wait in the alley.
"Right, then. Let's go meet them." Wesley gave Angel a look that said it hadn't worked the last five times Angel had suggested that he greet them alone, and it wasn't going to work now. Gunn was already walking towards the bus. Passengers were disembarking, gathering around the luggage holds and wondering where the restrooms were.
Angel hurried after Gunn, Wesley at his side. He scanned faces, backs of heads, shadows on the bus, looking for any sign of the two vampires. Finally Angel spotted them, and he tensed. Luke was getting off the bus, turning his head slightly to speak to Bo, who stood behind him.
"That them?" Gunn whispered.
Angel just nodded. He let a few new arrivals head past them, before moving forward. Hopefully the Dukes wouldn't try anything here, in front of everyone. Would they? Some vampires were notoriously fond of mayhem, but they hadn't been stupid men in life. Suicidally friendly, maybe, but not stupid. Still, Angel found himself wishing he'd thought to have Wes pull the fire alarm and clear the station of as many innocents as possible, the moment the bus arrived.
"Angel!" Luke turned around and spotted him, his face breaking into a wide smile.
His older, more wrinkled face.
Angel stared. He took in the sprinkled gray in Luke's dark hair. The lines around his eyes that hadn't been there twenty years ago. The heartbeat that thumped in the human's chest.
"You're certain that's them?" Wesley whispered. "I was expecting someone a little less..."
"Middle-aged?" Gunn finished.
"That's not middle-aged," Wes said testily. "They're not that much older than I am."
"What I said, geezer..." Gunn replied with a grin, and ducked Wesley's thwap to the back of his head. Then he turned back to Angel, frowning slightly. "For real, that's them?"
Angel stared as Luke walked toward them. Was still staring as he caught sight of Bo's face and the similar changes time had wrought in him. The fluffy eighties hair had been replaced by a shorter cut, and not a cowboy hat in sight; just faded jeans and a NASCAR t-shirt. "They're alive."
Luke grinned even wider. "Hey, public transportation ain't what it used to be, and it didn't use to be much, but I wasn't exactly worried about survivin' the trip."
"That's 'cause you didn't have to sit next to the bathroom," Bo teased.
Angel glanced at Wesley and Gunn, wondering if they were seeing something he wasn't. He found equally confused expressions staring back at him, then turned back to Bo and Luke. "You're alive," he said, aware that he was repeating himself, but at a loss for anything else to utter.
Luke and Bo exchanged a quick glance, then Luke gave Angel a nudge. "Why don't we get out of these folks' way?"
Angel let himself be herded away from the bus, in the general direction of the small pile of luggage that remained. Bo headed directly for a pair of duffel bags, while Luke and Angel stood off a short way. Luke gave him a quizzical look. "There a reason you expected us to be dead?"
"LeGrande told me you were."
Luke looked surprised. Then he shook his head. "Nope. Though that explains why you never came back through Hazzard -- good thing we didn't loan you Daisy's jeep. You thought he'd killed us?"
Angel nodded, still feeling dazed. "He told me he'd turned you. Into vampires."
Luke's gaze hardened as the picture made its way into his mind, but Bo grinned as he rejoined them. "Damn, that would'a been fun. Uncle Jesse would've cussed us a week from Sunday, then got that old witch woman from Green Hollow to stick us with souls..."
Luke executed a maneuver involving his hand and the back of Bo's head that looked surprisingly familiar to Angel. "Don't even think about it, Bo." He turned back to Angel. "Truth is, we kinda thought he might've done away with you. When we didn't hear anything more, well..."
"Then we were down watching the races in Daytona, and one of the mechanics said a guy named Angel saved his girlfriend from some creepy goin's-on back in L.A. Got some details and a phone number off him, and--" Bo waved his free hand at their surroundings. "Here we are."
"With about twenty years in between, yeah," Luke amended.
"So just to recap for those of us with the bags full of deadly weapons, these two aren't vamps? " Gunn asked.
Angel tried hard not to look as stupid as he felt. "They're as human as you two."
"Great. I'm Gunn, this is Wesley. We're not here to kill you." He held out his hand, and shook Luke's, then Bo's. There was a flurry of hellos and pleased-to-meet-yous, then somehow Angel was following the other four back towards the car. Bo and Wesley were already talking about something -- a bar? A movie? Angel couldn't tell, which said something about either films these days, or bars these days -- and Gunn was offering to show them around during the day, while Angel was trapped indoors.
"But. Wait," Angel called after them. When the four stopped and looked back, he said, "LeGrande said he killed you. How did you not get turned? Or eaten?"
Bo laughed. "Eaten? He'd have to get his hands on us first. Old boy couldn't drive if his undeath depended on it. Heck, the General Lee had him eating dust before he even knew we were there."
"He...never even caught up with you?" Angel couldn't believe it. All this time thinking they'd become what he was -- no, worse -- and they'd never even been in danger?
"Angel," Luke said, shaking his head. "No offense, but the guy didn't exactly like you much, and he wasn't all there, anyway. Why'd you believe him so easy?"
"I'd say he was just tryin' to look big," Bo added.
Angel tried to come up with an answer that didn't make him look like an idiot for not having verified LeGrande's claims. "Well... he said..." What had he said that had made Angel so sure he wasn't lying? He looked at the two men, letting their older faces soften and blur into those of his memory as he searched for the answer -- and realized it wasn't an answer at all, but a question. "He said he'd turned you loose and aimed you back towards your family when you woke up. How'd he know you had a family, if he never caught up with you?"
The Dukes looked guiltily at each other -- then smiled brightly at Angel. "Asked around town?" Bo offered.
Angel continued to look at them. Finally Luke shook his head, and admitted sheepishly, "Okay, so he might've caught us. A little. But only 'cause the General stalled out in the mud down by Moccasin Swamp."
"And you did what, to get away?" Angel eyed them curiously now. They were human -- so how had they escaped, if their getaway car -- or more likely their showy driving -- had failed them?
Bo looked particularly proud -- the same way he'd looked when they'd soared over the wet creekbed, barely touching the banks, twenty years ago. "Shot him. Flaming arrow."
They had reached the car now, and Gunn turned around to look back at them, mouthing the words, "Flaming arrow? Can we hire these guys?" at Angel.
"You didn't hit him in the heart," Angel pointed out. Bo just grinned wider.
"Put it this way--" Luke ruffled his cousin's hair, and strangely, managed not to make it look like Bo was about sixteen years old. Almost. "He didn't tell you he killed us while the two of you were sittin' down over dinner, did he?"
"You shot a vampire in the ass?" Gunn sounded impressed. No, wait, that would amused. What with the laughing.
"On purpose?" Wesley added, and had the grace to look abashed when Angel glared at him.
"It was the biggest -- I mean, best target," Bo explained. "If he hadn't been running, I could've gotten the heart, but..."
"Damn." Gunn shook his head. "We should definitely hire these guys. Between them and Wesley's crossbow, you and I won't actually have to walk up and hit anything ever again."
Angel shook his head. "Cordy'll complain."
"Complain?" Wes repeated in amazement. "Why would she complain? The dry-cleaning bills would be cut in half."
"But she'd say we're just proving her point, that all the good ones are cursed, or gay."
Angel felt a hand on his buttock, and manfully did not yelp as he was goosed.
"Or both," Wesley said. Then pinched Gunn, too.