Characters: Angel & Faith
Setting: Between S8 and S9
Notes: Putting a couple theories about Angel to work
Necessity doesn't quell misgivings; Faith's past contains some vile deeds, but force-feeding blood to a traumatized friend is a grisly chore by anyone's standards. Angel struggled the first time, so that more of it ended up on his face than inside him, and Faith left his side feeling hopeless and streaked with gore.
Now she returns with the blood in a Coke bottle instead of a cup, only to find him kneeling over a dark stain. “Jesus,” she snaps, unthinking. “Now you're pullin' a bulimic hunger strike on me? No. This time you're gonna drink and you're gonna keep it down if I have to stand there holding your-”
“Please.” His voice is soft and pitiful. “Faith, don't make me.”
Startled to hear her name from his lips, Faith lets her anger go and edges toward him around the pool of regurgitated blood. His head is hanging down, his hands on his knees. It hurts to look at him. “C'mon, buddy,” she says, gently now, letting her fingers rest on his shoulder. “Why won't you eat?”
One of his hands, no more clean than the rest of him, reaches out for her. She lets him pull her down and move her fingers to his chest, uncertain about what new kind of madness this could be but ready to interpret it as progress if she can. For a moment, they both crouch there awkwardly, and then Faith stops thinking about how far gone Angel is and starts thinking about the strange pulsing sensation beneath her hand.
It's not possible. Some human guy must be wearing an extremely convincing Angel mask. Or he's got a prank heart stuffed under his shirt. Either way, it can't be Angel here with a genuine human heartbeat because that's not possible.
“I tried to keep it down, but...”
Faith withdraws her hand slowly. “Who are you?”
He laughs, short and humorless. “Twilight, they told me.”
“You need food.” Impossibility aside, she knows he's not Twilight and he's not a vampire and that means he hasn't eaten in a dangerously long time. “Come on. I know how to make Spaghetti-O's.” She stands and offers a hand to help him up.
He takes it. Whatever it is she's dealing with now, hell if that doesn't count as progress.