"After sundown," Angel told Fred as he pulled her against him. "Why don't you get some more sleep? It'll probably be a long night."
Hours later, Angel and Fred slipped out of the motel room. Angel had paid for another night, knowing they would have to find a more permanent place to stay soon. Their first stop was at a butcher, who stayed open late. They bought a couple containers of blood and drank it in the car. After they were finished with their dinner, Angel drove the car to where they needed to meet Gwen's friend.
The meeting place was in a warehouse district along the Hudson River. When Angel got out of the car, he could sense all the vampires in the area. It'd been years since he had been in the city, and he knew some of the vampires there were ruthless and fought harder than the vamps they encountered in Los Angeles.
"Fred," he said, looking over at her. "Be careful." He knew she would be able to sense them too, and would know what to do.
They started toward the designated warehouse when Angel noticed a group of vampires ahead of them. They were surrounding something and out of instinct, he rushed forward to help. It seemed the vamps were attacking another vampire that was dressed better than any vampire Angel had ever seen.
"Why don't you lay off him?" Angel asked as he pulled one of the vampires away.
"This doesn't concern you," the vampire growled. "This is between us and Trevor."
Angel looked down at the vampire on the ground. He was rolled up in a ball, whimpering. "Doesn't look like a fair fight," he said before punching the vampire nearest him.
"Hey! No one hits Louie and gets away with it," one of the vampires growled before sniffling the air. "Do ya fellas smell what I smell?"
"Yeah. He has himself a soul," one of the other vampires growled. "He's not even a real vampire."
Angel took a step back. "Fred, get out of here," he said as the group of vampires started to attack him.
Fred hadn't realized how rundown she had still been feeling until she had gotten the extra sleep and then drunk her container of blood from the butcher. Both things helped immensely, so she wasn't quite as worried that she would be a liability to Angel during their meeting. Still, she made certain that her stake gun was loaded and working properly.
She had got the idea several months before and had started tinkering, figuring it would be a better help that the decapitating trebuchet she had thought about making from a toaster and suitcase. It was more portable and a lot easier to reload. Gunn had whittled the first stakes for her, though they were smaller than normal. She had also practiced shooting for a few weeks to get her aim for hearts down.
Not that any of that had helped against the demon cops.
Shaking her head, she pushed that aside, and as they got out of the car when they reached the warehouse, she tucked the gun in the waistband of her pants under her jacket. She nodded when Angel told her to be careful, knowing that he wasn't saying it because he didn't trust her, but because neither of them were completely sure what they might be getting into.
As they approached the warehouse, she started to realize that something was wrong just as Angel broke into a run. She followed him, sensing the vampires - no humans, just vampires - and saw the attack. Stopping, she reached back and pulled the gun out as Angel tried to break things up, ending up in the fight. She ran closer, shaking her head when he told her to run. She couldn't leave Angel; she couldn't leave her Sire.
Cocking the gun, she shot the nearest vampire, causing him to explode into dust and pulling the attention of two of the others while the other two stayed on Angel. "Hey...look, a little girl with a gun," one said snidely.
"She's a vamp...and got a soul too," another hissed. Fred shot again, having to use two bullets this time. By the time she had, the first vampire was on her, trying to get the gun away.
"Give it up, little girl. We're gonna kill your Sire, then have some fun. You're not gonna stop us, so you might as well enjoy it."
"Funny," Fred said, shifting into her vamp face. "I thought I was since I've already dusted two of you."
Growling, she pulled, throwing the vampire off balance. He tried to turn around and grab her, pulling her to the ground. She kicked out, catching him in the gonads, knowing that it hurt as much for a vampire as it did for a human. As he doubled over, she pressed the gun to his chest and shot, dust flying into the air.
Quickly, she pushed herself up from the ground and, worried for Angel, looked over toward him. "Angel!"
Angel hated fighting New York City vampires. They fought dirtier than Los Angeles vampires and smelled of the sewer. He grunted and growled when he noticed two of them had gone after Fred. No one touched his Childe, and knowing two vampires were now turning on her, made Angel vamp out.
It didn't take him long to take care of the two vamps that had attacked him. He turned toward Fred just as she yelled his name. "I'm fine," he said before turning toward the vampire the others were attacking. He grabbed him by the shirt and hauled him off the ground. "And you're next!"
"Hey, whoa!" the vampire said, struggling in get away from Angel. "If you don't let go of me, my father will have you dusted!"
"I don't even know who your father is," Angel said, shaking the vampire a little.
"Let me spell it out for you - I'm Trevor Williams." Angel blinked and stared at the vampire. "Harry Williams' son." Angel blinked again. "He wrote about of plays. Won a bunch of Tonys. I'm one of the good guys! Soulless, yes, but I'm good! I'm what you call an information vamp. Need to find something? I'm your man...vamp!"
Angel reluctantly let the vamp...Trevor go. "What did you do to piss them off?" he asked, motioning toward the dust.
"They asked me to find this demon for them. I looked up what they wanted and there was no way I was going to help them raise a I'telck demon. Do you know how much bad mojo those demons can bring. They were the ones that started the Chicago fire years ago. Kind of like New York City too much to let it burn down," Trevor said as he straightened out his suit. He smiled and nodded at Fred before looking at Angel again. "What a minute! You're him, aren't you?"
"Huh?" Angel asked.
"You're Angel...the vampire with a soul. I knew it was you!" Trevor said as he bounced a little and started to dig through his pockets. "I should've known by the big forehead."
"My forehead isn't big!" Angel said as he rubbed it and looked at Fred. "Is my forehead big?"
"Here it is!" Trevor suddenly exclaimed as he pulled a pen out of his pocket. He then pulled out a piece of paper and thrust it at Angel. "Sign an autograph for me? Dude, I can't believe you're Angel! I'm a huge fan! Even made a website dedicated to you!"
Angel just blankly stared at him. "Erm..."
Fred joined Angel, staring at the other vampire as he explained who he was. An Information Vamp? She'd never heard of anything like that before. In fact, she had never heard a vampire without a soul talking the way this one did before. It was almost as though...he were still human.
Before she could ask how in the world he was the way he was when he didn't have a soul, Trevor had suddenly appeared to recognize Angel. She found herself looking over at him in disbelief, shaking her head when he asked if his forehead was big. She never thought so. She always thought he was just right.
"Your forehead's--," she started to say but was interrupted by Trevor asking Angel for an autograph. "Wait...you have a website? For Angel? How do you...?"
"I told you, I'm an Information Vamp! Started hearing about him, checked online to see if others had and found a bunch of people on a bulletin board. When the board went down, I made us a new place, complete with information on him and..." He looked at her. "Hold on. You're Fred, aren't you? The girl he saved? His new love? But..."
He looked her up on down, and Fred suddenly thought she knew what it was like when a scientist examined a specimen before dissecting it.
"When were you turned into a vampire?! We didn't hear anything about this on the website?" Trevor shook his head. "Oh my God, the shippers are going to flip about this! And Karia's going to die when she finds out her story's almost like real life now."
"Wait--wha...?" Fred asked. "Shippers? Stories? People are writing about us?"
"Oh, yeah! Honey, people love the two of you together!"
Fred looked over at Angel, suddenly wondering what surreal Neverland they had stumbled into instead of New York City. "That's good. I think."
Angel didn't know what to say. He continued to stare at Trevor as he continued to talk about websites and shippers and stories. Stories? People wrote stories about them? "Stories?" he asked, his brow furrowing. "People actually write about Fred and I? Like - stories about us? About things we do? How are they finding out about the things we do?" He reached over to shake Trevor again but the vampire stepped back.
"Not about things you've done. We just make things up," Trevor explained as he waved the piece of paper around. "You should read some of the smut."
"Smut?" Angel curiously asked. "What's smut?"
"Stories about...sex," Trevor whispered.
Angel glared at Trevor and tore the piece of paper out of his hands. He then grabbed him around the collar and started to shake him. "You are to stop writing about our sex lives," he growled. He then pushed Trevor down onto the ground and turned toward Fred. "Lets go."
"C'mon, Angel! Don't be like this. The stories are just for fun," Trevor said as he stood up. He picked up his pen and cleaned it off. "Let me write down the website for you and you can check it out."
"No thanks," Angel said as he looked over at Fred. "We need to find Gwen's contact."
"Gwen?" Trevor quickly said. "The electric Gwen? Oh my god! I talked to you this morning on the phone and I didn't know it was you?! Oh man."
"You're Gwen's friend?" Angel asked. Trevor nodded, while Angel groaned.
Smut? People wrote stories about her and Angel...having sex? She couldn't help but think about what she and Angel had done the night before in the hotel, and the idea that someone out there was imagining them doing things like that was a bit...disconcerting. Especially since they were letting other people read them. What did they know about the two of them? They had no idea what she liked to say to Angel and what he liked to do to her.
She was starting to realize that vampires were indeed able to get headaches.
Like Angel, she didn't really want to see the website either, knowing that as long as she didn't know exactly what they were saying about them, she didn't have to think about it. Or worry about it. In the end, the only thing that mattered in her and Angel's relationship was her and Angel.
Going to find Gwen's friend instead sounded like a very good idea, but when Trevor said that he was the person they were looking for, Fred couldn't believe it. Raking a hand through her hair, she then shook her head. "Maybe we should go somewhere to talk then," she said. "Since obviously, this isn't exactly the safest place to be."
"We can go to my place," Trevor offered. "Or there's an upscale demon bar not to far..."
"Your place," Fred said, looking at Angel. She was sure they didn't want to be talking about this where anyone could hear them. Especially in a demon bar, considering vampire hearing.
"Great!" he said as they headed down the alley. "Hey, maybe you two can record something for my site using the webcam. Everyone would love that!"
Reaching out, Fred squeezed Angel's arm gently. They needed this information, whatever was going on, so they'd get through this.
"Oh, man," Trevor suddenly groaned.
"What?" Fred asked.
"Those toads slashed my tires," he said mournfully, staring at what looked to be a very expensive car.