Archive for June 28, 2015

What Now? 5   1 comment

Two weeks after his return, Angel awoke to the sound of muffled crying. Cordelia was curled up beside the bed sobbing into her tightly hugged legs. Connor was asleep on the bed surrounded by pillows.

Angel wasn’t sure what to do. He wanted to hold her, to comfort her but he didn’t dare touch her. For the first time he spoke directly to her. “Cordelia?”

Her head slowly lifted from its hiding place. He was looking directly at her. He could see her. “I’m so sorry, Angel.”

“For what? You have nothing to apologize for.”

“I promised to stake you but I didn’t have any weapons. I had to keep Connor safe no matter what. Please don’t hate me. I couldn’t bear it if you hated me.”

He slowly approached her as if she were a wounded animal. “I could never hate you. It wasn’t your fault.”

She shook her head. “It was. It was all my fault. I made you lose your soul. I offered myself to your demon. It was all my fault. I’m so sorry.”

Angel wrapped his arms around her. She didn’t pull away from him. “None of it was your fault. You didn’t make me lose my soul. It was an accident. We didn’t know it was going to happen. You saved our son. I’m so sorry what it cost you. I wish to God I could take it all back. I wish I could make this better. I’m so sorry I hurt you.”

She buried herself deeper into his arms. “How can you not hate me? I…I did all those things with your demon. I let him… He made me… I didn’t want to. I tried not to. I don’t understand why. I didn’t want him touching me. I swear I didn’t enjoy it. I’m so sorry. I betrayed you. Please don’t hate me. I tried to hide but he kept saying things and those people.

I couldn’t let him hurt those people. I hid as much as I could but my tree doesn’t work anymore. I miss all of you so much. I don’t want to be alone anymore. No one’s going to save me. No one ever did. No one ever came to find me. I always went home when I was ready. No one’s coming to find me now either. Please don’t hate me. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

Hush. You did nothing wrong. Please don’t feel guilty for… I-he knows how to manipulate your body. It wasn’t your fault. I know that. I know you hated every horrible second and I am so sorry I put you through that. I never wanted to hurt you. I’m so sorry. Please let me help you. I want to be there for you. I just don’t know how. I hurt you. You should hate me. You should want me gone. I’ll do whatever you want. I just need you to tell me what to do.”

She curled up on his lap. “Please don’t leave me. We have to keep Connor safe. He’s all that matters.”

That’s not true. You matter too. How can I help you?”

“Me? No. I don’t matter. I’m not here.”

He gently began to rock her. “You are here. You’re safe now. I won’t let anyone hurt you. My soul is never going anywhere again. You’re safe.”

“Connor has to be safe. Connor is all…”

“Connor is safe. I will protect both of you. We’re a family. I won’t let either of you go. You’re both safe now.”

“You don’t hate me? You don’t hate me for what I did?”

I could never hate you. You are the bravest, most selfless person I know. I’m so proud of you. You kept our son safe. He’s alive because of you. Those six people are alive because of you.”

“I failed the other three.”

No. I failed them. I failed everyone. You did nothing wrong.” He lifted her chin until their eyes locked. “You did absolutely NOTHING wrong. You are NOT to blame for any of it. I let you down. I failed you.”

“No. You didn’t know that would happen. It’s not your fault. You couldn’t stop him from hurting anyone. I had to protect them. I had to keep them safe.”

“You did. You kept them safe and now it’s over. We’ll get through this. Lorne found someone you can talk to. She is going to help you get better.”

“Am I sick?”

“No. You’re just a little lost. I made you run away.”

“I was hiding in my tree.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “Did I ever tell you about my tree?”

“No” He gently rubbed circles on her back. “I’d like to hear all about it.”

“My grandmother had this little wooded area behind her house. I…”


It had been two months since their return. Wesley glanced around the empty lobby. He was still the first person to arrive. Things had improved. Their lives weren’t what they had been and they probably never would be. They had all changed.

Cordelia’s condition had improved since she started visiting the counselor Lorne had found. Angel joined her session once a week. The counselor had also come to the hotel twice to meet with everyone. She had a few private sessions with Angel and Fred.

Fred had stopped writing in her notebook but she still cried from time to time. She fussed over Cordelia and Connor all the time. Cordelia had started speaking again.

The whole hotel went still the first time she had laughed. He and Gunn had been bickering over the proper way to maintain a weapon and she suddenly started laughing. She called them an old married couple and continued laughing. It was a beautiful sight.

Angel spoke more often too. His eyes rarely left Cordelia but he would try to hold a conversation with the others. He even helped on a case.

Gunn was still angry but Cordelia had told him she’d never forgive him if he hurt Angel. He was however given carte blanche by Angel to stake Angelus if he were ever to somehow be released. Gunn promised to tie him up, bring him to his old hood and torture him before sending him to a dusty grave.

Connor had fared the best. The child was positively spoiled. The only time he was ever put down was to sleep and not always then either. He preferred Cordelia or Angel but he permitted everyone to hold him.

After a few sessions, she finally spoke to everyone about what happened. She refused to blame Angel much to Gunn’s confusion but she no longer blamed herself. She had learned in her sessions that rape wasn’t about sex.

It was about power. She had been his victim regardless of what Angelus had made her believe. Wesley had been shocked to learn that she blamed herself in any way. In his Watchers’ training, he had studied the emotional fallout from rape. It had in the past happened to several Slayers.

He became angry with himself for not being more helpful with what she had gone through afterwards. He assumed she had been broken by what Angelus had done to her, not by what he had led her to believe. They were all shocked when she asked them if they blamed her.

Fred had thrown herself into Cordelia’s arms and sobbed. They had their first group hug that day. They assured her wholeheartedly that no one had ever or would ever blame her for any part of what happened.

Wesley was rather surprised to see Cordelia grow closer to Angel as she improved. He knew logically that Angel wasn’t to blame for Angelus’s actions. He had explained as much to Gunn on several occasions but he found it surprising that Cordelia was able to make that distinction. She had been tortured by a demon wearing the face of the man she loved yet somehow she didn’t blame the face at all.

He eventually attributed it to the fact that during her ordeal she had focused the blame on herself rather than Angelus and by association Angel. Cordelia allowed Angel to touch her when they passed Connor back and forth.

He had been speechless when the two had been sitting on the couch together one day with their shoulders touching. The two continued to share a room, although they had chosen a new suite. They worked together to repair it. She and Fred did the redecorating. There was one king size bed.

Fred had told him that Cordelia and Angel shared it but Connor always slept in between them. She had theorized that the couple was trying to work their way back to where they had been before Angelus’s appearance. Wesley did his best to be supportive. He convinced Gunn not to voice his opinion.

He was startled from his reverie by Fred’s entrance. “Good morning.”

She smiled. Her eyes were no longer puffy and the dark circles were gone. “Hi.” She sat down at the computer. “Is there anything you need me to research?”

“Not at the moment.”

“I got donuts.” Gunn came bouncing down the steps.

“I have dibs on the glazed chocolate one. You did buy a glazed chocolate one, didn’t you?” Cordelia glared at him over Connor’s head.

Gunn stood staring up at her, his mouth open.

“Are you trying to catch flies or are you too scared to tell me you didn’t get me my favorite donut?”

“I… I didn’t forget.” He picked up the donut in question. “See.”

“You’re the best.” She resumed walking down the stairs and snatched it from his hand. “So what are we working on?”

Wesley shook himself from his state of shock. “We don’t have any cases pending. Gunn and I finished the Barrington case the other day.”

“Did they pay?”

“Yes. I deposited the check yesterday.”

“Good.” Cordelia placed Connor in his basinet. She tapped her finger on his nose. “You’re just the bestest baby in the whole wide world.” She looked up and found everyone staring. “What?”

“You seem in good spirits today.”

“I am. We had a really good session yesterday and last night we drove to my grandmother’s old house. I showed Angel my tree and we climbed it together. The branches were lower than I remembered but my seat was still there. I think my butt got bigger but then I haven’t sat there since I was eleven so there’s absolutely no need to let this donut go to waste.” She took a big bite.

“Where is Angel?”

“Mr. I’m-a-vampire-so-I-shouldn’t-have-to-get-up-early is still sleeping. Is it my fault he didn’t get any sleep on the car ride home? I offered to drive but nooo. God forbid he be a passenger in his precious car.” A painful memory flashed through her mind. She tried to blink back her tears.

Wesley rushed to her side. “Are you alright?”

“It comes and goes. Leslie told me my memories would hit me at the strangest times. She said it’s best to let them happen and then deal with the surge of emotions. Getting better takes time. It’ll never go away completely but the pain will become more bearable. It already is a little better. I have you guys and I have Connor and I have Angel. That helps. I won’t let Angelus win. He doesn’t have the power anymore. I do.” She offered a small but sincere smile.

“I have a case for us.”

“You do?”

“Yeah I had my first vision in months this morning. I guess the Powers think I’m ready to get back to work.”

“Their concern is so touching.” Gunn fist tightened squishing his donut. “Damn!”

“Dumbass. It doesn’t help to blame the Powers. They never did understand love nor have any appreciation for it. It’s all free will to them. It’s as much above their understanding as it is beneath their concern. We still have a job to do but I needed the break and they respected that. I don’t think I could’ve handled having anyone in my head for the last couple of months.”

“What did you see?”

“Some green slimy demon crawling out of the sewer and boy did this thing need a bath. I didn’t see it do anything but I felt its hunger.” Her eyes closed in concentration. “He climbed out behind that pizza place we used to go to when you, Gunn and I had the other office. It happens tonight at midnight. I drew a picture of it.” She handed Wes her sketch.

“I like the new non-painful visions but I’d prefer it if they didn’t come when I was on the toilet.” She noticed them trying not to laugh. “Go ahead and laugh but you try sitting on a toilet when you’re having a vision of some slimy demon crawling out of the sewer. I think the powers have a twisted sense of humor. I may never go to the bathroom again. You won’t think it’s so funny when you have to smell me.”

She glared at her friends but couldn’t stop a smile from forming. “Get to work people.”

Angel came grumbling down the steps. “I’m awake. Who needs sleep anyway? A solid four hours is more than enough.” He went over to his sleeping child.

“Oh sure. It’s okay when you sleep all day but I get yelled at.” He smiled at Cordelia. “So what is so important? We don’t have any cases. We could have slept a little longer.”

“I had a vision.”

He was at her side in an instant. “Are you okay?” He growled at the snickering people. “It’s not funny.”

“You haven’t heard the story yet.”

“Thank you Gunn. Your support is duly noted.”

“C’mon girl. I brought you a donut, didn’t I?”

“OK. You’re off the hook this time.” She turned back to Angel. She smiled at his scowl. “Don’t worry so much. It’ll give you wrinkles.”

She kissed his cheek. “I’m fine. I may even be able to use the bathroom again in time without fear of something crawling out of the pipes. I am pretty tough.”

His fingers gingerly touched his cheek. It was the first time she kissed him. “Bathroom?”

She rolled her eyes. “It’s a long story. I’ll explain while you get Connor’s bottle ready.” She dragged him from the room.

Wesley watched the pair go …. Cordelia Chase truly was an extraordinary woman.

END

Dock

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete

What Now? 4   1 comment

Wesley used to enjoy being the first one into the office. He would get to watch his makeshift family arrive one at a time. Each entrance would bring a smile to his face.

Smiling now felt unnatural in the hotel. Everyone was in pain and nobody was talking about it. Gunn was still angry. He wanted to release that anger onto Angel but he couldn’t bear to upset Cordelia. Fred was a mess. At least she had stopped writing on the walls. She wrote in a notebook instead.

Cordelia had barely spoken except a word or two about Connor. She only allowed Angel and Fred to hold him. Mainly she would rock him in her arms and wander aimlessly around the hotel. She seemed lost in her own world.

Wesley wanted to get her help but he didn’t know whom to get. Lorne said he would look for someone who would believe what she had to say. Angel had barely eaten or slept. He constantly watched Cordelia and Connor.

The only time he left them was to shower after which his skin always looked rubbed raw or whenever he got them food. He would put a plate of something or a bottle on the counter near them and she would pick it up. They didn’t talk to each other. Cordelia would on occasion speak at him but not really to him. He would immediately do whatever she asked.

It was always something for Connor. Whenever she used the bathroom or showered, she would hand Connor to Fred who in turn handed him to Angel and vice versa.

Wesley dreaded another day in the suffocating fog of despair that had settled over the hotel but giving up was unthinkable.

Fred wandered down from her room. Her eyes were puffy from crying. Her clothes were wrinkled and she had dark circles under eyes. She sat down on the red sofa with her notebook and continued writing. He had tried asking her about it but she would only say she was trying to figure out a formula.

Gunn soon walked in with a box of donuts. No one squealed in delight and no one fought over who got what. He set them on the counter and started cleaning his axe. Again. Wesley had made a previous comment about the weapon not needing anymore cleaning. Gunn had responded that he wanted it to be spotless when he finally took the vamp’s head.

Cordelia came down the stairs carrying Connor. She sat down on the red sofa with Fred but there was no talking. There was no giggling between the two women. He wasn’t entirely sure if she knew there were others in the room. Regardless of the conversation going on around her, she would rock Connor and whisper only to him.

Wesley had no idea what to do. There were no answers to be had in any of his books. When it came to emotions, Cordelia was the boss. She was the heart. He glanced at the doorway. He knew without a doubt his world had gone from bad to apocalyptic. “Hello Buffy.”

“Hi Wesley.” The petite blond scanned the room for Angel. “I came as soon as I could. Life has been crazy in Sunnydale. There are these three… It doesn’t matter anymore. Everything is going to be fine now. Where’s Angel?”

“He’s upstairs.”

She spotted Cordelia with a baby in her arms. “Is that Angel’s son?”

“Yes.”

Oh my god he’s so cute.” She crossed the lobby intending to hold him but Cordelia turned away from her. “Hello to you too. C’mon Cordy let me hold him.”

“Buffy, please don’t. Cordelia has been…”

“I heard. Willow told me.” She watched in disbelief as the brunette walked away with the baby. She was about to follow her into the courtyard when Wesley’s voice stopped her.

“I don’t think you understand. You cannot hold him.”

“Says who? What’s her problem? She didn’t even say hello. I mean rude much.”

“She has been through a lot.”

“She looks fine to me. Sure she has a bite mark but hey been there, done that.”

Wesley stilled Gunn from approaching the intruder. “This really isn’t a good time for a visit.”

“Don’t worry I can’t stay long. I just wanted to meet Connor and ask Angel in person when he was coming back to Sunnydale.”

“I don’t understand. Is there some oncoming battle you require help with because he isn’t..”

“No. Willow fixed his curse. He can be happy now. We can be together. You know everyone has been so worried about how dependant Willow has become on magic and I was too but I’ve seen the light. She’s become uberpowerful. First she pulled me… but now she’s given Angel back to me. Everything was so messed up. Giles left and Spike… I really needed some good news.”

Wesley removed his restraining hand from Gunn’s shoulder. “Buffy, I’m sorry to hear things have been difficult for you but I’m afraid…”

“Where’s Cordelia?”

Everyone jumped at the sound of Angel’s voice. It had been so long since he spoke to any of them, Buffy included.

“She’s outside being rude.”

Angel glanced at Buffy but turned to Wesley for an explanation.

“Buffy is here to pay us a visit. I’m afraid she tried to hold Connor shortly after her arrival.”

“And you let her?” His tone was accusatory.

“I told her to stop. Cordelia took him out into the courtyard.”

“Did she upset her?”

“I think Cordelia is…” Fine was not an appropriate word. “She didn’t seem upset, just protective.”

“OK.” He moved so he could look out at them. She was sitting on the bench with the sunlight streaming down on them. She gently rocked Connor in her arms. It frightened him how much she resembled Drusilla with one of her dolls. He had done that to her. He had done that to both women.

Buffy stared at everyone in confusion. “What’s the big deal? I just wanted to hold the baby. I wasn’t going to drop him or anything.”

It finally registered with him that Buffy was in his hotel. “Hello Buffy. I’m sorry but Cordelia won’t allow anyone but Fred and I to hold Connor right now. You’ll have to meet him another time.” He returned his attention to his duties as their sentinel.

Buffy didn’t understand what was happening but that didn’t matter. Her life would make sense again once Angel told her he loved her. She needed him to say he was happy about their future together.

“I came here to see you too. My life has been so hard lately. When Willow told me about the changes she made everything fell into place. I didn’t think I could be happy again but I was wrong.”

Angel nodded occasionally while Buffy spoke. It was comforting to know that someone he had once tried to break had found happiness again. It gave him hope for Cordelia. It had only been a week since they had returned to the hotel. His despair was so consuming that he had intended to walk into the sun but Cordelia stopped him. He sat curled up in his room waiting for the sun to rise. He heard his son crying.

Fred had placed him on the bed but he couldn’t hold him, not after what he had done. The internal moving picture show wouldn’t stop playing over and over again. Cordelia had sacrificed herself for his son. He had managed to commit so many unforgivable acts in only a 24-hour span. His demon had chosen its gift well.

Cordelia suddenly appeared in his doorway. Her scent made his senses go crazy. His demon stirred which only proved to intensify his guilt and shame. When he finally managed to look up, he saw her curled around their son.

Their eyes locked for a moment before she rested her head. He watched the two most important people in his life sleep. He couldn’t believe she would come so close to him after everything he had done to her, let alone sleep near him. She allowed herself to be vulnerable near him.

He knew then that his despair didn’t matter. He had to protect them. He had to protect her. There was something broken inside her and it was his fault. He had to do whatever it took to help her. He would do anything she asked of him. She didn’t speak in words but her actions told him she didn’t want him to go, at least not yet.

Buffy’s words started to intrude on his thoughts. He glanced over his shoulder at the people he would have killed if not for Cordelia’s selfless disregard for her personal safety and emotional well-being. They looked angry and the anger seemed to be directed at Buffy. It should have been directed at him. Everyone should hate him.

“So who’s the lucky guy?” Everyone stared at him like he’d grown a second head.

“What?”

“That’s not funny, Angel.”

He realized she must have said the guy’s name only he hadn’t been listening. “I’m sorry, Buffy. I’m distracted right now but I really am glad you’ve found happiness. It’s in short supply around here.”

“Angel, I don’t think you’ve understood Buffy’s intentions in coming here. She’s under the impression that you will be returning to Sunnydale with her.”

“Why?”

“Because you no longer have a happiness clause in your curse.”

“Don’t you get it, Angel? We can be happy now. Aren’t you excited? Isn’t it wonderful?”

It was the first time since his return that he felt rage directed at anyone but himself. He tried to reign in his emotions. If he reacted now, he wouldn’t be able to control his actions. His body grew completely still.

“I think it would be better if you moved back into the mansion at first. It will take Dawn some time to get used to the idea of you living at the house. Willow agreed to go over to the mansion and clean it up for you. She’s way powerful. It’ll only take her a spell or two to get the place ready. I’ve told everyone and they’re all happy for us. Well Xander isn’t but he’ll come around. Spike wasn’t… but he doesn’t matter anymore. I have you now. I don’t need him or his… approval. I called Giles in England. He was cautiously optimistic. He still has his reservations but he wants me to be happy. I haven’t been myself since I came back.”

Wesley couldn’t take it anymore. He glanced at his friends. He noticed Gunn had snapped the handle of his axe but he remained silent. Gunn didn’t know Buffy; he only knew their history from stories. Fred was scribbling at a furious rate and tears were streaming down her face. Wes was going to put a stop to this if Angel couldn’t.

“Buffy, excuse me for interrupting your jubilant plans, but how exactly do Connor and Cordelia figure into all this?”

“Well Connor would come too of course. We’ve never had a baby around before. Anya, Willow and Dawn are all excited about it. I know Tara would be too but she’s been a little scarce lately. That might change though. As for Cordelia, I’m not the boss of her. If she wants to return to Sunnydale, no one is stopping her. I doubt Anya would be too happy since she and Xander are getting married soon. Besides what does Cordy have to do with anything?”

“Cordelia had been through a terrible ordeal and her only comfort is Connor.”

“I’m sure it was horrible but let’s get some perspective. She had to deal with Angelus for one day. I had him stalking me for months. Hell even Giles had more of an ordeal than Cordy. Look at her. She’s got a bite mark on her neck and one faded bruise. Which I’ll grant you is on her face so that’s probably traumatic for her lordship but I think she’ll be fine.”

“Shut. UP.”

Buffy spun around to face Angel.

“I’ve been trying to control my temper but you have pushed me way too far. You don’t know the first thing about Cordelia or what I put her through.”

“Angel, in case you forgot”

“I haven’t forgotten anything. Everyone is always telling me I need to share. I can’t keep things bottled up inside. Fine here goes. After I lost my soul, I asked Cordelia who I should kill first, Fred or my son. She offered herself in their place. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up so I let them go. She didn’t fight me because she needed to buy enough time for them to get away. Do you have any idea what I did next?”

“I”

“You don’t have a clue, Buffy. I raped her.” He didn’t notice Gunn picking up the top half of his axe or Wesley restraining him.

“That was the first time I bit her. I only drank until she was unconscious then I wrapped her in a blanket, got dressed and put her in the trunk of my car. I drove us to a neighborhood she once said she wouldn’t mind living in. I picked a house that had a few lights on, wrangled myself an invitation, drained their staff and locked the family in the one teenage son’s room. I took Cordy up to the master bedroom and waited for her to wake up.”

He turned away from their horrified faces and stared out into the courtyard.

“When she woke up, I took her to meet the family. I told her that every time she said no to me I would kill one of them. I put their lives in her hands and she did exactly what I knew she would. She put their safety, six strangers, ahead of her own. I raped her again and again and again. It wasn’t just what I put her body through; the things I said were… I broke her.”

Buffy wiped her tears away. She couldn’t think about any of that now. She would deal with it later. First she needed to convince Angel to come with her. He was going to make everything right. That’s what she had been counting on for a week. She had finally started to feel like her old self and she wasn’t going to lose that because of Angelus.

“Angel, it wasn’t your fault. It was Angelus not you.”

“You can tell yourself that if it helps you, Buffy. I can’t dismiss it so easily. Even if I could lay the blame on Angelus, he did it because I’m in love with her. He did it not only to break her but to break me too. Like I said, you don’t have a clue.”

“Stop saying that! OK. I didn’t know that youhe… raped her and I truly feel sorry for her but it is NOT your fault. You can’t let Angelus win like this. Don’t you see? This is our chance for happiness and you’re letting him take that from us.”

Something broke inside of Angel, cold eyes locked with Buffy’s. “No. You don’t get it. You aren’t my idea of happiness anymore. If you were, Cordelia would be okay right now. I am in love with her and that is why she was made to suffer. My love cost her… so much.”

“But Angel…”

“NO! Go home Buffy. There’s nothing for you here and if you say one more time how happy you are for us I swear I will beat you down.” He walked into the courtyard, careful to stay in the shadows.

Buffy stood in the middle of the lobby, her entire body shaking. She tried to wipe her tears away but they kept flowing. “He doesn’t understand. He loves me. He’s just feeling guilty right now.”

“You really are stupid.” Fred rose from the couch.

“Excuse me? Who the hell are you?”

“I’m a member of this family. Do you even know how Angel lost his soul?”

“Something about his son.”

That was a part of it. Cordy and I were upstairs with Connor. We were talking. We didn’t know Angel was listening. I was asking her about the night before. She and Angel had fallen asleep together. I pushed her into admitting that she wanted to be Connor’s mother but she would never try to replace Darla. I assured her he could love them both. Then I pushed her into admitting she was in love with Angel. She said it aloud for the first time and Angel heard. He told he loved her too and he wanted them to be a family.

He told her he knew Connor could love her like a mother and Darla as well. They were going to be happy. They were happy and it cost Angel his soul. Angelus blocked our only escape route. Like Angel said, he was trying to decide which of us to kill and Cordy promised she would do whatever he asked if he let us go. She let him… and I just walked away.

She is a hero. She is my hero and right now she’s hurting. We, her family, are going to do whatever we can to help her and if that means kicking your ass out then that’s what we’ll do.” The skinny Texan folded her arms and stood tall.

“Get out of our home. You don’t belong here. You obviously don’t care about our problems so don’t expect us to care about yours.”

Buffy stood there closing and opening her mouth like a fish. She couldn’t understand what was happening. She couldn’t understand why Angel wasn’t making everything better.

“Buffy, will you be all right driving home?”

She slowly shook her head. “I didn’t drive. I took a bus.”

I can drive you to the bus station, if you like?”

“I…I don’t understand! He’s supposed to love me! Nothing makes sense anymore. Why couldn’t they just leave me in heaven? Why did my friends have to rip me out of there? How much more can I take? I don’t understand any of this!”

The other three stared at her in confusion and the beginnings of pity.

“Buffy, I believe I know someone who might be able to help you. He’s a friend of ours who helps to set people on their path. He’s staying at Cordelia’s apartment right now. The rampant emotions in the hotel were too much for him to handle. I can drive you over there. I should warn you though. He is a demon but he’s harmless. Well not harmless but he isn’t dangerous. He may make you wish you were colorblind though.”

He offered a slight smile to his former charge. He had no idea what she had been through. It had to have been a traumatic transition. He didn’t know how to help Cordelia but at least he could help someone. He grabbed his keys. “Shall we go?”

She glanced towards the courtyard. “Maybe I should…”

“I think it’s best if you leave them alone. Perhaps another time.” He looked directly at Gunn. “Do NOT do anything while I’m gone.” He received a hesitant nod in response.

He walked over to Fred. “It wasn’t your fault. Please believe that.” He kissed her forehead before leaving with the still shaky Slayer.

Continued.

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete

What Now? 3   1 comment

It felt strange to walk into the Hyperion. She had only been gone for one full day but the place seemed so different. It was foreign.

She heard the gasps, she saw the pity and she felt the touching hands but inside there was nothing. She knew her friends were touching her body trying to reassure themselves she was alive. Body, it was such a hollow word.

It echoed through her like the sound of someone crying in the lobby would echo through the hotel. Someone was crying. Her eyes scanned the room. Someone was crying. One face after another took form.

Everyone was crying but they weren’t whom she was searching for. Her eyes finally rested on a small bundle of blankets. Connor. Connor was crying. Her arms scooped up the trembling fragile body. Fragile, it was such a gentle word. Fragile.

Connor was fragile. Connor needed to be protected or he would break. His fragrant pink skin felt cold. She wrapped his blanket tighter. He had to be protected. His safety was more important than hers. She was a mother. She was an honorary mother.

A soft smile formed on her face. She felt a twinge of pain as her battered face twisted in an unfamiliar shape. Smiling, had she ever smiled before? It didn’t matter she was holding the only thing that mattered. Loud voices were making Connor squirm. She had to keep him safe. She had to silence the loud voices.

Her eyes connected with Wesley’s. “You’re upsetting Connor.”

“I’m sorry but I was trying… What happened?”

Questions, did they need to know what she had done? Couldn’t they see her guilt in her eyes? Didn’t they realize what she had become just by looking at her? “Connor is safe.”

“Cordelia, we were searching for you. I’m so sorry…”

“Connor is safe.” She rocked the baby in her arms. A sickening thought suddenly occurred to her. Could her baby boy smell what she had done? She needed to get clean. She shouldn’t touch the baby when she was dirty. It was funny. Could she ever be clean again? It didn’t matter. She was a mother. Darla hadn’t been clean and she was a mother too.

“I have to take a shower. I can’t take the baby with me.” Her eyes searched the room. Who would keep her baby safe? “Where is Angel?”

Fred pointed to the stairs.

Angel had curled into a ball on the stairs. It was funny. He was so broad but his body managed to fold itself until it almost disappeared. He was still crying. How could he keep Connor safe if he wouldn’t stop crying?

Another sickening thought occurred to her. He could probably smell what she had done. He needed to get clean too but he couldn’t go back to his room. His room was gone now. It had been destroyed by her thoughtlessness, her reckless disregard for his curse. She had betrayed him there.

Her eyes scanned the room. Someone needed to keep Connor safe while she showered. Her gaze fell on Fred. She had gotten Connor to safety. Why was she crying? She hadn’t done anything wrong. She hadn’t betrayed anyone.

“I need you to keep Connor safe while I shower and change.”

Fred nodded. She didn’t trust her own voice.

Cordelia handed the baby to her. Fred would keep Connor safe. Her eyes went back to Angel. Why was he still crying? She reached out to touch his shoulder but froze. He wouldn’t want her to touch him but she needed him to look up. Her voice sounded so hoarse.

Hoarse, it was a funny word. She had a horse once but the government took it away. So many things had been taken from her. Would that make her disappear one day? Could one too many things be taken and make her fade away? Marcy had faded away. She had made Marcy disappear. It was her fault.

“You can use the room Wesley stays in to shower. You can’t go back to your room. It’s not there anymore.” She didn’t notice the strange looks she received. “

You can sleep in Wesley’s room. You haven’t slept in so long. Gunn will get you some clean clothes. You can’t keep the ones you’re wearing. Gunn will burn them. Fred will bring Connor to you once you’re dressed.” She didn’t speak to the others. She knew they would follow her instructions.

It was funny. They would laugh if they knew how well Cordelia Chase could follow instructions. She could follow directions without whining, complaining or talking back. But they couldn’t know. They couldn’t know what she had done, what she had become.

She slowly walked up the stairs. She had a room too. Normally she’d use Angel’s but that wasn’t there anymore. She would have to use the room she had picked so long ago.


The shower had helped to ease her sore muscles. There was no one in there to push her onto her knees this time. Walking started to hurt again. It was strange to feel relieved by that. She was in pain because someone hurt her. She had been hurt.

It was funny. She embraced the pain, welcomed it like an old friend. Friend, would her friends leave her when they knew what she had done?

Her feet moved towards the sound of crying. She ignored the hushed voices that were floating around the hotel. Someone was crying. She took a hesitant step inside the room Angel was told to use. He was curled up in the corner. He was dressed in clean clothes now but he was still crying. He wasn’t the someone she was looking for.

Connor was in the middle of the large bed crying. Sucking on his fist could not smother his wails. His entire tiny body had turned purple. She crawled onto the bed and wrapped herself around him, protecting him. She had to keep him safe. His cries tapered off as her presence began to soothe him. He slowly slipped into slumber.

She was so tired. Her eyes drifted to the corner. He was watching her. He was watching them. The haunted look in his eyes forced her to look away. She had put that there. She rested her head on the bed and closed her eyes.

There was this wooded area behind her Grandmother’s house. She used to play there when she was little. She would pretend she was a lost princess. Her family and her prince were desperately searching for her. She didn’t need to be afraid because they loved her.

They would find her. No harm could come to her. Their love kept her safe. There was a beautiful tree in the woods. The branches looked like they were reaching down to scoop her up and keep her safe.

No one would have guessed that Cordelia Chase loved to climb trees. She would climb up to these two branches that made the perfect seat. She could lie down or sit depending on her mood. The full branches kept her shielded from prying eyes. The tree, her tree would keep her safe until she was rescued. She was safe.

Her tree kept her safe and hidden. No one could see her. No one would know what she was if she stayed hidden.


It had been three days since Willow had performed the spell. Three days since two of his closest friends returned to the hotel. Three days and he still didn’t know what had happened. Neither Cordelia nor Angel would talk about it.

During one of her lucid moments, which were few and far between, she handed him a newspaper and pointed out an article. She walked away before he could ask any questions. The article was about a triple homicide in a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles.

Three servants were killed in their beds by a masked intruder. The unknown assailant had been frightened away by a friend of the family who was visiting from San Francisco. The man had reportedly gone downstairs to investigate a suspicious noise.

The assailant had exited the detached servants’ quarters and was attempting to enter the main house. He escaped over the back fence after the exterior lights were activated. The bodies of the servants were discovered by police. The Police currently have no suspects. The investigation is ongoing.

When Wesley showed Angel the article, he told him the family lied. The servants had all been killed in the main house. He had never gone into the servants’ quarters. He couldn’t explain why the family lied to the police. No description of Angelus had been given and no mention of Cordelia was made.

That was the last time Angel had spoken. Cordelia wandered around the hotel with Connor in her arms while Angel watched them through haunted eyes. He never got close but he was never far away either. Wesley had no idea what to do. He hadn’t received a response when he informed them that Willow had managed to rewrite the spell. The curse no longer had a happiness loophole. Angelus was buried forever.

Gunn was barely concealing his anger. Soul or no soul, he wanted to stake Angel. He only waited for Cordelia to confirm their worst fears. Once the words were spoken, it would just be a matter of sweeping up the vamp’s ashes.

He couldn’t understand why she slept in the same room as Angel. She slept on the bed with Connor every night while Angel sat in a chair watching them. He had asked her why but her response had confused him. She only said that Connor needed to be protected, but protected from what?

Fred alternated between crying and writing on the walls. The frail woman felt responsible because she had left Cordy with Angelus. Neither Gunn nor Wesley could convince her she had done the right thing.

Fred had pushed Cordelia into admitting her feelings aloud. She was the reason Angel had heard those words and experienced a moment of pure happiness. Then after she did all that, she ran away and left her best friend to be brutalized. She just needed to find the right formula so she could go back and fix her mistake.

Lorne had fled the hotel moments after coming home. He couldn’t handle the swirling waves of despair, guilt, self-loathing and rage. He apologized before vomiting in the courtyard. He suggested they visit him one at a time elsewhere. Wesley gave him keys to Cordelia’s apartment. Lorne promised to explain what he could to Dennis.

Wesley was angry but he had no one to focus his rage at. Angel wasn’t to blame for Angelus’s actions. He was already hurting. One look in the vampire’s eyes almost made Wes want to promise him everything would be okay.

Cordelia, one of the strongest women he’d ever known, seemed frighteningly fragile. He wanted to hold her and reassure her but she flinched away from his touch. She only allowed Fred and Connor to touch her.

He had noticed that whenever Angel began to cry, Cordelia would hand the baby to Fred. Her words would be directed at Angel but it was Fred who would physically hand Connor to his father. It was these moments that prevented Gunn from acting on his threats. They didn’t know how Cordelia would react if Angel were gone.

He cursed himself for not being in the hotel that night. If he and Gunn hadn’t gone out that night, Cordy wouldn’t be broken. He had failed his family.

Continued

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete

What Now? 2   1 comment

Angelus watched his sleeping beauty. He noticed signs of stirring. “It’s about time you woke up. I thought you’d sleep the day away.”

Her hand immediately went to throat. Under the torn flesh, she felt a strong pulse.

“No. I didn’t turn you. As I figure it, you’d probably be an even bigger bitch as a vampire and I haven’t had a nice hot cunt in a long time. And no, I don’t count Slutty. Darla was cold but her expertise made up for it. That and the fact she didn’t need to breathe made her a great fuck. Besides if I turned you, I’d lose the little control I have over you.”

“You already lost that. Fred and Connor are safe by now.” Her voice sounded foreign to her ears. It was so raspy. Her eyes quickly scanned the room for weapons. “Where are we?”

“I’m so glad you asked. I knew it was only a matter of time before the others came to your rescue. We had to relocate. Welcome to your new home. Would you like to meet your new family?”

“What?”

“A beautiful mansion like this comes equipped with everything. You should see what they’ve got to eat.” He threw a silk robe at her. “Cover yourself up. You don’t have to advertise that you’re a whore. I’m sure most people can tell right away, regardless of what you wear. I don’t want anyone gawking at my property.”

“I’m not your property, you fucking bastard.” She lashed out with her fist but she was still weak from blood loss. He easily caught the punch.

“I see you got some of your spirit back. I thought your need to be fucked was going to make you docile.” He yanked her hard. He released her hand as she lurched forward. She tumbled out of the king-size bed onto the floor. He laughed at her grunt of pain. “I said cover yourself. It’s time to meet your new family.”

She struggled to her feet. She slipped the silk robe on covering her nakedness. The soft material brought no comfort to her.

“Good girl. Now let’s go.” He grabbed her by the back of her neck and forced her to walk in front of him.

They walked down a corridor dripping with expensive artwork. He took her down a set of stairs. They stopped in front of a door with a padlock on it.

He handed her a key. “Open it.”

After she removed the padlock, he jerked her neck back. She handed him the lock and the key in response.

“If you don’t open the door, you won’t get your surprise.”

Her hand trembled as she slowly turned the knob. She had seen glimpses of sunlight during their walk. The sun was shining which meant she had been unconscious for hours. He could have caught the others and brought them to the mansion. She opened the door and found six strangers on the other side.

“Meet your new family, Cordelia.”

“What are you talking about?” There were two men, one woman, two teenage boys and one teenage girl. Six terrified people huddled together. The room was a mess. It obviously belonged to a teenager. The black walls and bars on the windows screamed a troubled teenager. She guessed it belonged to boy with dyed black hair and a nose ring. “Why are we here?”

“Well I knew you’d wake up being a bitch again. So I found us a new home and lucky for me I picked one that had a nice boy who doesn’t want anyone going into his room when he’s not home. He designed the perfect cage.”

“I don’t understand. Why..”

“You’re usually smarter than this. In this room are six innocent people and I will kill one every time you say no to me.”

Her eyes widened in horror. “What?”

“Don’t make me repeat it. I know you understood me. Like you said it’s just a matter of time before they bring Soulboy back. I plan to enjoy every moment I have with you.”

“But”

“Would you rather I just prowl the streets killing random innocent people? Do you want me to hunt down the rest of your ragtag bunch? Do you want me to hunt for Connor? What kind of do-gooder are you? You want to help people. You want to keep people safe from monsters. Well here is your chance. There are six people in this room that need your protection.”

Her tears fell unchecked. “You won’t hurt them at all, no feeding, no nothing, if I…” She turned her head away as his hand slid inside her robe and possessively squeezed her breast.

“You know what I want, baby. You want it too.” His tongue licked the flesh his teeth had ripped into. “I’ve given you the perfect excuse to give into your needs.”

Her voice came out in a whisper. “I hate you.”

“I love it when you whisper sweet nothings to me. So do we have a deal or should I just start killing.” The women shrieked in terror at his vampire features. “It’s all up to you. Their lives are in your hands.” He rolled her nipple between his thumb and forefinger. “You know you want me.”

She looked over the frightened faces. The women were crying and the boys looked like they were about to wet their pants. The two men tried to shield the others from Angelus but their eyes were on her, pleading for her help.

“We have a deal. You don’t touch them. Any of them. Agreed?”

“Agreed. Let’s go. We’ve already wasted so much time.” He grabbed her by the neck and started dragging her from the room.

“We can’t just leave them in here.”

“Sure we can. There’s a connecting bathroom and no way to escape. I think I’m being pretty generous by not tying them up.” His yellow eyes connected with the man who had claimed to be the owner. “If I hear you trying to break the door down, I will rip out your daughter’s throat.” He shoved Cordelia out the door. He kept an eye on her as he put the padlock back in place.

“Teenagers.” He ripped the robe off her body. “There’s no need to cover yourself anymore.” He quickly removed his clothes. “Get down on your knees. Soulboy was always too much of a boy scout to a let a human woman pleasure him properly. I may not have been there that lost day but I know his memories of it. The loser didn’t even have Slutty suck him off. She wasn’t the blushing virgin anymore.” He backed her into the wall and pushed into her mouth. This time his thrusting was slower. He wanted it to last.

“He fucked her again and again that day. He never gave you a second thought. The bastard always was stupid. How could he not have noticed you right away? You suck cock like a pro. I knew you were just acting coy before.” He leisurely fucked her into the wall.

Her mouth was still sore from the last time. The image of those scared faces behind the door kept her from biting him. She forced her mind to escape the confines of her body. There was this wooded area behind her Grandmother’s house. She used to play there when she was little. She would pretend she was a lost princess. Her family and her prince were desperately searching for her. She didn’t need to be afraid because they loved her. They would find her. No harm could come to her. Their love kept her safe. The taste of a bitter fluid running down her throat brought her back to reality.

“I knew you were the perfect whore for me. Let’s go test out the bedrooms. There are seven of them and I plan to enjoy every one of them before my times up. Lucky for you if properly fed, a vampire can have amazing stamina.”

“But we agreed..”

“Don’t worry. I ate before you woke up. You didn’t think I starved myself all this time, did you? If you’d woken up sooner, there would have been three more people to protect. Who says you can’t find good help these days? The staff here helped me to a full stomach.”

“Oh god.” Her knees started to buckle.

“There’s no use crying over spilt blood. It’s over. You already failed them. Crying about it isn’t going to bring them back. Although the way people keep coming back these days, I probably shouldn’t say that.

He shoved her into a pink room with a canopy bed. It looked kind of little-girlish for the teenage girl she had seen.

“I like it. It makes me feel like a dirty old man. Get on the bed.” He grabbed some of the stuffed animals on the window seat and tossed them on the bed with her. “It sets the mood. Darla used to love to play the role of the innocent virgin. Now you get to play.”

Cordelia let her legs be pushed apart. Her mind went back to the woods. There was a beautiful tree. The branches looked like they were reaching down to scoop her up and keep her safe. No one would have guessed that Cordelia Chase loved to climb trees as a child. She would climb up to these two branches that made the perfect seat. She could lie down or sit depending on her mood. The full branches kept her shielded from prying eyes.

The tree, her tree would keep her safe until she was rescued. She was safe. It didn’t matter that he manipulated her body to give them both pleasure. Her tree kept her safe and hidden. No one could see her. It didn’t matter when she heard him grunt his release or felt the resulting gush of fluid. No one could see her. It didn’t matter when his teeth pierced her breast. None of it mattered.

“I don’t think you’re giving me your full attention.” He grabbed her by her hair and dragged her off the bed. “You seem to be distracted. You are to think only of me and the pleasure I am giving you.” He pulled her into the next room. It must have been a guest room. It didn’t have a lived in feel to it.

“We’ll skip this bed. You’re starting to stink.” He headed for the bathroom. He pushed her into the shower stall and turned the water on. “We can conserve water if we shower together. Maybe that will help keep your mind from wandering.” He handed her a bar of soap. “Now get to work before I get angry.”

She tried to concentrate on what her hands were doing. She blocked out what she was touching, only that it needed to be washed. Her hands worked quickly but thoroughly. If he became angry he would hurt the innocent people. She didn’t understand how his flesh could get hard so quickly. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she remembered Willow, Buffy and her giggling over one of the books in Giles’s apartment. A vampire didn’t have circulation. It wasn’t blood flow to the penis that gave a vampire an erection. It was simply the will of the demon.

It was theorized by the author that a vampire could keep an almost continuous erection, although the theory was never tested. Buffy had joked that she wanted to do the testing. It had seemed funny at the time. It wasn’t funny anymore. Her vagina hadn’t been torn or even bruised by the rape but it had been a long time since she’d had sex. Her body wasn’t used to the invasion.

He grabbed the soap from her hands and began washing her body. She was too quiet. She wasn’t crying. She seemed empty. His hands began teasing her flesh. Making her cum was better than making her bleed. Her self-loathing would be the perfect gift for his soul. Angel was accustomed to carrying the burden of his guilt. Watching his precious Cordy hate herself would be a new torture. As a bonus, Angel would remember what it felt like to be inside her hot, tight cunt. He would remember what it felt like to be inside her mouth, her expert tongue rubbing his cock. He would remember every pleasure she had given him and he would remember every pleasure his demon had given her. He would remember everything. This time he dropped to his knees.

“Tell me you want me to make you cum.” Tears stung her eyes.

“Tell me! I will interpret silence as a no.”

“Please…” her voice trembled, “please make me cum.”

Her tears came down in torrents when his tongue parted her folds. She willed her mind away but it wouldn’t leave. She felt every disgustingly pleasurable moment. His fingers thrust inside her stroking her sweet spot, the one no man had ever found in her before. She sobbed in grief and shameful ecstasy.

Her sobs were music to his ears. He had her full attention again. Her muscles clamped down on the invading digits. His mouth released the pulsing bundle of nerves to savor the juices flowing out of her. He removed his hand so his mouth could latch on and capture every drop. Her sobbing increased when he pushed his tongue inside her. He brought her to a new high. He was tempted to give her a third but her legs were already shaking like crazy. They needed to lie down. He shut off the water. He didn’t bother to dry them off. The sheets were going to get wet one way or another.


Cordelia had managed to hide in her tree while she was in the next three rooms. It was almost a relief when the pain started. She was beyond sore. Her clitoris was raw from over stimulation. Her entire body ached. He had decided that each room merited a new position, actually the rooms merited several positions. He was well versed and her body was flexible. When they had reached the fourth room, the older boy’s bedroom, he had found a tube of lubricant. She had never… There hadn’t been any tearing or bleeding. He had carefully prepared her while telling her how lucky she was.

She was a lucky girl because he was going to allow her to enjoy being fucked in the ass. They had taken another shower afterward. She’d been the one on her knees that time. He told her she was lucky because he was giving her other holes a short break.

Lucky, it was a strange word. She was lucky. Cordelia was a lucky girl. Aside from the bite marks, her skin was unmarred. Her mind tried to recall what her health teacher had told her. What constituted rape? Didn’t it require the woman to say no and the man to force her anyway? She hadn’t said no. She hadn’t said stop. She hadn’t said please don’t. She had asked him to make her come. She had told him how good it felt. She had told him she wanted more. She had told him she would never get enough of him. She had told him she enjoyed being his whore. Did it matter that he instructed her to say those things? Did it matter that there were six reasons in a locked room why she couldn’t say no, don’t or stop?

Was it rape when she offered herself to him in the first place? Their first deal hadn’t been his idea. He had only asked her who he should kill first, Fred or Connor. She had been the one to make an offer. His later deal had obviously been inspired by hers. He had admitted it when she woke up. He would have lost his control over her by turning her. She had shown him her weakness. Was she really a victim if she told how best to victimize her?

She was a lucky girl. She had no tearing, no bruising, nothing to show to a doctor. She had nothing to show that says look I’ve been raped. She had nothing to show that says look I’ve been raped and it wasn’t my fault. Fault, it wasn’t a very big word but it had such overwhelming connotations. Fault, it was her fault Angel had lost his soul. She’d been reckless. It was her fault that she didn’t react sooner and fled his suite. Angelus hadn’t taken her against her will. He had accepted her offer. It was her fault, but she was a lucky girl.

She had cum more times than she cared to remember. She had screamed in pleasure. That was her fault. Her body refused to obey her commands. Her body betrayed her mind’s disgust and her heart’s shame. That was her fault. She had no marks to show how she had fought her rapist. She had no marks to show her family and say I was the victim. It was all her fault.

Angelus punched her in the face sending her sprawling across the room. He hit her again but her faraway smile only got bigger.

Cordelia cradled her bruised and bloodied face. She had a mark. She had something she could show the world.

“What the fuck are you smiling about? I want you focused. That’s it. Come with me.” He grabbed her by her hair and started dragging her towards the locked room.

He slammed her head into the wall as he released her. He reached into his clothes that were still on the floor and pulled out the key. This time he didn’t hand it to her. He took it off himself and pushed her naked body inside.

“Passive behavior is no longer enough. I’m sick of you making me do all the work. I want you to pick which one dies. Their death is entirely your fault.” Fault, it’s such a tiny word.

“Please”

“Are you ready to be a little more enthusiastic? Your mind keeps wandering and I don’t like it. It makes a man feel like you don’t enjoy his touch. You like it when I touch you, don’t you? You like it when my cock is inside you, don’t you?” He grabbed one of the teenage boys by the throat. “Answer me whore!”

“Yes”

“Yes what?”

“Why don’t you leave her alone, asshole?”

Angelus turned yellow eyes to the boy choking out words. He tightened his grip. “You want to be her hero, boy?” He yanked him closer. “It wouldn’t be because she’s beautiful, would it? Being her hero hasn’t stopped you from staring at her naked body.” His glare turned to the other men in the room. “I can smell the arousal coming off all of you. So you can drop the righteous indignation.” He turned his attention back to the boy. “I’m a reasonable guy. I’m in the mood for a good fuck. To show just how reasonable I am, I’m going to let you choose who. Do I fuck your mother, who looks good for her age? Do a fuck your sister, virgins are always a treat? Or do I fuck the naked girl over there?”

The boy’s terrified eyes darted around the room.

“Leave my son alone!” The man rushed him but was sent flying with one swing.

“Come on, boy. I haven’t got forever.” He leaned in and let his voice drop to whisper. “Actually I do have forever or until the soul comes back.” He pressed the boy into the wall. “Choose!”

The boy’s tear-filled eyes locked with Cordelia’s “I’m sorry.”

Angelus dropped him. “You’re pathetic. A real man would have offered himself in their place.” He turned to Cordelia. “You want to protect people like this? They don’t care about you. They’ll sell you out every single time. Tell me to go fuck myself and walk out of this room. They don’t deserve to live. Give up!”

Her eyes closed. *They are your responsibility, Cor.*

“I can’t.” Her voice quivered. “Come to bed, Angelus.” Her hand was almost steady as she lifted it to him.

“You’re so stupid.” He took her hand.


Angelus smiled at the sobbing girl. True to her word, she became his enthusiastic lover. It had been amazing to watch her riding him, moaning in pleasure, tears streaming down her face, wincing at her sore limbs, flinching every time he touched a raw nerve. She had probably had more sex in the last 24 hours than in her entire life.

A human woman may be multi-orgasmic but not even a seasoned whore could handle this much abuse. His cock was actually becoming a little sore too. He would have to feed soon or he wouldn’t be able to continue trying to break her. She showed the signs. He didn’t have time to do it properly. He had to finish before one of the do-gooders managed to curse him. It was pointless to try and fight it. Freedom from his soul was not to be had. His soul needed to stop caring, to stop fighting his instincts. The beige period had been a valuable lesson. They could be dark together without living in a gutter. He hoped eventually the soul would retreat so deep inside them, it would practically disappear.

He would break them both. Draining Connor would have helped to achieve his goal but Cordelia’s offer was too good to resist. Forcing himself on her would never break her as quickly as making her cooperate would. Making her cum again and again to her utter disgust would hurt her in ways his fists never could. He saw it in her eyes. He saw her start to believe his words. He hadn’t seen her give up yet but he would.

“You really are a hellcat in the sack, but I’m sure you’ve been told that before.” Her sobbing grew louder. “It’s okay to enjoy being my whore. I don’t think any less of you.” He planted kisses on her back. “I think you’re the woman of my dreams. You suit me so perfectly. Your burning need to be fucked properly and often is exactly what I want in a woman.” His finger teased her puckered opening. “I knew you’d get used to it. The first time was a fluke. Hearing you cum this time was music to my ears. You like making me happy, don’t you baby?”

Cordelia couldn’t take any more. Her body hurt but not as much as her heart or her soul. Her escape didn’t work. She couldn’t see the tree. She couldn’t hide. She needed to hide.

“It’s okay, Cordy. I won’t ever leave you. I’ll be here as long as you live. I enjoy your heat too much to turn you. Just think of our life together.” He felt the familiar burning start in his chest and expand. *Good luck, Soulboy.*

Her head popped up at the sound of his gasp. She saw his eyes glow bright. Her tears switched off and her heart went numb. She didn’t wait to see his confusion slowly turn to realization then horror and disgust. She turned away and slid off the bed. The sound of his sobs reached her ears but she didn’t react. She continued digging through the mother’s dresser. She found a set of workout clothes that would fit her. After dressing, she disappeared down the hall.

The new memories pounded into his brain. Everything he did came crashing back. Every horrible action, every cruel word, every unforgivable moment played in his mind’s eye.

Cordelia threw his clothes at him. “Get dressed and wait for me by the door.” She glanced out the window. Luckily the sun had just set. Her gut clenched at the thought.

Lucky, she was a lucky girl. Lucky, it had such a strange ring to it. She didn’t wait for a response. She walked out leaving his trembling form on the bed.

She clutched the small key in her hand. The small piece of metal bit into her palm. There should have been a twinge of pain but there was nothing. She knew walking should hurt. It hurt before but there was nothing. She knew her neck and breasts should hurt from being bitten repeatedly but there was nothing. Her free hand touched her bruised face. It should hurt but there was nothing. Angel was back. She would have to face her betrayal. He would know every depraved thing she had done. He would remember every time her muscles clenched in pleasure. He would know what she had willingly done. He would know what she had become. Her heart should hurt but there was nothing.

She slowly removed the lock and stepped inside. “It’s over. You can call the police if you want but you saw him. There is nothing they can do. Just try to forget this ever happened.” She flinched away from the mother’s reaching hands. “I have to go. Can you please just stay in this room a few more minutes while I leave?”

“But”

“It’s for your own good. You don’t want to see this.”

The family huddled together. She never did ask who the other man was. Was he an employee? A friend? Extended family? It didn’t matter. They were safe. She hadn’t failed them. The six living breathing reasons were well in body. She turned to go.

“Thank you.”

It was funny to be thanked for putting someone in danger then doing whatever you had to do to keep them safe. It was her fault Angelus had been free. She had gotten their staff killed. She absently wondered what he did with the bodies. She hadn’t seen any. Would the family call the police? Would someone come to the hotel looking for Angelus only to find Angel? Would he tell them what she did?

She closed the door and said nothing. She silently moved through the house. She didn’t know exactly where the front door was. Angelus had carried her unconscious body in. Body, it was such a hollow word. Body. She had a body that had been touched and tasted and filled by a monster. It was funny. It didn’t used to sound so hollow.

He was waiting for her. His clothes were rumpled and torn. Angelus hadn’t been patient with them. She absently wondered where he had found the clothes. She didn’t remember seeing that red shirt in Angel’s closet. She didn’t speak. Her throat hurt from… His keys dangled from her fingers. It was funny. She usually got excited about driving Angel’s car. He followed her out the front door. The Plymouth was out front. Fred hadn’t taken it. She slid in behind the wheel. He normally whined about being a passenger but he said nothing.

He sat in the passenger seat crying. Her mind tried to recall ever seeing Angel cry. She couldn’t really think of a single occasion. It was funny. He wouldn’t stop crying now. Maybe he had saved up all those tears for today. She hadn’t cried since he returned. Maybe he somehow took her tears. It was lucky. Her eyes still burned from all the tears she’d shed. She was a lucky girl.

She drove around the affluent neighborhood for a while before she found the highway. He knew the way but he remained silent. He knew how they had gotten there. He knew everything. It was funny. He had all these memories even though he hadn’t been there. Not really. She had killed his soul and sent it away. Now he had these new memories thanks to her. Fault was such a small word. It was funny if you thought about it.

Continued

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete

What Now? 1   Leave a comment

Title: What Now?
Author: Dock
Posted: 05-09-03
Email
Rating: R/NC-17
Category: Serious Angst
Content: C/A, C/Aus
Summary:
Spoilers: Up to Provider & Up to Wrecked (with some minor changes)
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: NF, GT and whoever else wants it
Notes: While I was working on “Baby, I’m back!” I got an idea for a darkfic…. I scrapped it because I didn’t think I could write it. Well I decided to… follow Dannyblue’s wise advise and think of my limitations as a challenge. Those of you who enjoy my fluffy fics should know THIS IS NOT FLUFF. It is very dark.
Thanks/Dedication:I just wanted to thank Syn for being my very first Beta and Gabby for her recommendations. You two totally rock.
Feedback:Are you kidding? Hell yeah! This is my first (possibly only) darkfic and my first standalone.


Angel stood in the doorway of his suite watching Cordelia bounce his son in her arms while she chatted with Fred.

“Isn’t he the bestest baby in the whole wide world?”

“Absolutely. So did you sleep here last night? I didn’t hear you leave.”

Cordelia buried her blushing face in the baby’s blanket. “Yeah I did. We were up late talking about how to spend the money while I was giving Connor his bottle. We just fell asleep.”

“That’s so sweet.”

“I know but I shouldn’t let that happen. I’m not his mother. I shouldn’t pretend like I am.”

“My best friend when I was little was adopted. Her mama said just because a woman didn’t give birth to a child doesn’t mean she can’t be that child’s mother and being that child’s mother doesn’t make the woman who did give birth any less of a mother. A child has enough love in his or her heart for both.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Yes.”

“Darla sacrificed herself for Connor. Despite my problems with her, I would never want to rob him of that precious love.”

“You wouldn’t be. I know you will tell Connor all about her. Well maybe not everything. He can love you both.”

“It’s not really up to me though. He’s Angel’s son. I can’t just decide to be Connor’s mother.”

“Do you want to be?”

“With all my heart.”

“You and Angel can give Connor a real family.”

She stared at the baby in her arms. “That would be heavenly.”

“So would you only be a mother or do you see yourself playing the role of wife too?”

“Fred”

“Come on. You can tell me.”

“He’s cursed.”

“But if we could find a way around that?”

“If…it doesn’t do any good to wish for something that isn’t going to happen.”

“Please? Just tell me and I promise I’ll drop it completely.” Fred crossed her fingers behind her back.

“Yes. I would want to be a wife as well. Happy now?”

Fred smothered her squeal of delight with her hand. “I knew it. You have kyerumption and moira. You love Angel. You love Angel.” The girl danced around the room.

“Fine. I’m in love with Angel.” She smiled. “I’ve never said it aloud. I’m in love with Angel. I’m in love with Angel and I want us to be family.” She gazed at the baby in her arms. “I want to be your mommy. Would you like that? Do you think you could love me and Darla, sweetie?”

“I know he can.”

The two women spun around at the sound of Angel’s voice.

“I love you too.”

Cordelia’s expression went from shock to fear to utter happiness. “What?”

“I said I love you too.” He took a step into the room. “I want us to be a family.”

“You do?”

“Yes”

“I love you, Angel. There’s nothing I want more than for us to be a family.”

Angel’s heart swelled with joy. The joy suddenly was replaced with a horrible ache that turned into a sharp pain. “Oh god. No. Please no.” He fell to his knees. He glanced up at Cordelia. He saw her joy turn to concern then fear before his soul was gone.

Cordelia stared in mute horror. She knew without a doubt it was Angelus who stood between them and the only door. They were too high up. She could never get Connor out the window. Her thoughts were shattered by the sound of cruel laughter.

Angelus rose to his feet and dusted himself off. “Do you have any idea how long I’ve been waiting for you two to admit your feelings?” He stretched his limbs. “Now the real fun begins. Poor Soulboy. He didn’t even get a kiss this time around.” His eyes drifted down to the baby. “Did he ever tell you how delicious family blood is? A baby isn’t very filling. It’s more of an appetizer but I may just save my boy for dessert. I think I’ll start with sweet crazy Fred. Although I really should take the time to show her how much of a beast I truly am before I kill her. What do you think, Cordy? Which one should I kill first?”

“Please don’t.”

“Don’t what? If you’re going to beg, you need to be a little more specific.”

Cordelia cradled Connor closer to her chest. “Please don’t hurt them.”

“Why would I agree to that?”

“I…” She glanced down at Connor’s sweet face. “I’ll do anything if you’ll just let them go.”

“Cordy”

“Don’t Fred.” The glint in her eyes was cold and hard as steel when she looked up. “Let them go and I will do whatever you want.”

“Now that is a tempting offer. What to do, what to do? Hunting them later could be fun too. The two hero wannabes will make it more interesting. So many choices. OK. I accept your terms.” He took a step away from the door. “Fred and my son can go.”

Cordelia handed the baby to her shaking friend. “Fred, you don’t stop until you and Connor are safe. Angel has been invited into Wesley’s apartment so don’t go there. Do NOT come back here until Connor is safe. That includes Wesley and Gunn.”

“But..”

“No buts. Now go!”

Fred eyes were riveted to Angelus as she edged her way closer to the door.

The scent of the girl’s fear and her tears was delightful. If he had enough time, he would definitely see them again. Once they were gone, he shut the door and locked it. “We don’t have much time, Cordy. Your heroes will be here soon.”

Cordelia stood frozen. She had promised Angel she would stake him but she knew she’d never be able to overpower him. The sun had already set. After he killed her, he could easily catch Fred and Connor. She needed to buy them enough time to get away. “What now?”

He dropped into a chair. “Take off your clothes.”

“What?”

“Should I go after them now? You know I can still catch them.”

“No!” She began undressing. She could no longer hold back her tears.

His predatory eyes raked over her naked form. “Beautiful. You have no idea how many times the soul imagined this. Seeing you offer your body to him like the whore we all know you are.”

She tried to raise her chin in defiance. “I am not a whore.”

“Spare me your delusions. You offered yourself to me. I always suspected that you secretly wanted to be my plaything.”

“I”

“Shut up. Come over here and get on your knees.” His features shifted at her hesitation. “Don’t make me repeat myself.”

She slowly walked over to him. She wondered how far Fred had gotten. If she’d taken Angel’s car, she could be… No she hadn’t had enough time to get anywhere safe.” She dropped to her knees.

“Unzip me.” Her trembling hands fumbled with his belt. “Don’t pretend like this is your first time. That’s better. Now take me into your mouth and if you try to bite me, I will make you watch Fred do this in your place.” He smiled as her hot wet mouth surrounded him.

His hands tangled in her hair and forced her head down. “Relax your throat, you stupid bitch.” He pushed her away. “For a whore, you’re not very good at this. Looks like I’ll have to do all the work.” He rose to his feet, took her head in a harsh grip and thrust inside her mouth. He ignored her choking and continued ramming his way in. His cock kept slamming into the back of her throat. “That’s better. Use your tongue. That’s what it’s there for.” He grunted in pleasure.

“Now you have the hang of it. I knew you’d make a great cocksucker.” He tightened his grip on her head, pulling her hair. “Ever want to know what a vampire tastes like? You’re about to find out.” He savored every whimper she made. The vibrations made him that much harder. “Oh fuck yeah!” He exploded in her mouth while he held her in place. “Swallow every drop.” Her throat contracted around him. “That feels so good. Do it again. Oh yeah.” Her constant sucking kept him hard. He shoved her away. “Now get on the bed.”

She climbed onto the same bed she, Angel and Connor had shared the night before. Her lips and throat ached from his harsh treatment but the rest of her body felt numb. A small part of her mind was aware that Fred might have made it to safety by now. Her eyes searched the room. She knew Angel kept stakes in his room but where?

“Don’t bother looking for sharp objects. Soulboy moved his weapons into his closet. As if the baby could get anywhere near them yet, he really is a moron.” He noticed her staring at the closet. “You’d never make it.”

The sight of his naked body made her feel sick. What should have inspired lust overwhelmed her with disgust. It didn’t matter. She would do anything to keep Connor safe.

“Lay back and spread your legs for me. Show me how welcome I am.” She mechanically did as he instructed. “I knew you wanted to get fucked by a real vampire.” He slowly began to crawl up her body.

Cordelia flinched when she felt his tongue make contact with her entrance. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Did you really think I was going to fuck you dry? What kind of man do you take me for? My women feel pleasure while I’m fucking them. The fear and humiliation are a bonus. We’ll get into the pain and blood part later. I wouldn’t want you to feel cheated.”

She tried not to think about what his tongue was doing to her body. She did feel the humiliation. Her body betrayed her heart as it became wet. Bile surged up her throat; she swallowed hard in response.

“Shouldn’t you be trying to stop the people in Sunnydale from resouling you?”

He moved further up her body until they were face to face. “You want me to go kill them instead of killing the people you actually care about? You really are a cold-hearted bitch. No wonder they hate you.”

She could smell herself on his breath as he spoke. She turned her head away. Her nausea increased. “Willow would have the spell done before you got there.”

He wrenched her face back. “Probably that is why I’m going to stay right here in LA. I’ve tasted freedom twice and I know it won’t last. I can run around trying to make it happen.” He leaned down to whisper in her ear. “It’s a vicious cycle. He can’t get rid of me and I can’t get rid of him.” He lifted his head and looked into her eyes.

“Instead of learning another lesson in futility, I plan to ruin the one thing he wants the most. Think of it as my little present for my lesser half.” His cock speared her body in one brutal thrust. “How does that feel, baby?” His hips continued to slam into hers. “You’re so nice and wet for me. So much for Soulboy, huh?” He grunted his pleasure into her ear. “You feel so good, so tight. When was the last time someone fucked you properly?”

Cordelia stared at the ceiling. Her body grew numb again. She watched a small spider slowly crawl across the ceiling. A laugh almost bubbled up. She usually screamed at the sight of spiders. She had been afraid of them ever since her cousin put one on her face to wake her up when they were both five. Now she fought monsters almost daily. They invaded her mind in her visions. They invaded her body. The feel of a monster, who wore the face of the man she loved, raping her made it seem almost funny to be afraid of spiders. She said it, even if only in her mind.

She was being raped. She was being raped by the monster inside the man she loved. How could the best moment in her life be on the worst day of her life? Is that irony? Angel said he loved her. He said he wanted them to be a family. Connor would be her son. The wonderful moment cost them everything. Connor’s father was gone.

All that was left was the thing moving in and out of her body in a harsh rhythm. She remained limp on the bed. It was strange but she wanted him to hurt her. He seemed intent on causing her unwanted pleasure. She could feel her inner walls start to hiccup in an oncoming orgasm. His thumb had begun rubbing insistently on her clit and her body responded. Her heart was screaming in horror that she could cum from being raped.

Her mind responded that nerve endings had automatic responses to certain stimuli and the pleasure he was causing was meant to be a part of the violation. Angelus wanted to humiliate her. He wanted her to know she was betraying Angel. She had promised to stake him if he ever lost his soul. Would he ever be able to forgive her for allowing herself to not only be raped by his demon but to cum while it was happening?

“Don’t fight it, baby. You know you enjoy having my cock inside you. It feels good, doesn’t it? The way we’re connected, the way we’re sharing something you and Soulboy can never have, it feels good. You like having me between your legs. I bet you’ve fantasized about it. You can tell me. Tell me what you imagined I’d do to you. I’m willing to take requests.” His thumb increased its torment.

He was close. He captured her mouth, forcing his tongue inside. He proceeded to fuck her with his tongue and cock. One hand held her head forcing her to allow him to continue the invasion. His balls tensed as his release drew near. He released her mouth and prepared to sink his teeth into her neck. His eyes focused on Darla’s faded marks. He joyfully intended to replace them with his own.

She silently prayed Angel wouldn’t hate her or blame himself for her death. He lost his soul because of her. It hadn’t been his fault. It was hers. She had given her body to his monster. The fault had been entirely hers. If she had reacted sooner, they could have escaped before his soul had been completely lost. She hadn’t fought. She had cooperated. Tears streamed down her face. Sobs choked from deep within her soul. She had cum.

Angelus bit into her jugular the moment her inner muscles clamped down on him. He slammed into twice more, savoring her blood as it slid down his throat.

Cordelia welcomed the approaching darkness. She wished Gunn and Wesley didn’t have to find her dead, naked body. She wondered if they would stake him rather than try to curse him again. Would Angel tell them what she had done? Would they forgive her for being Angelus’s willing whore? Would the Scoobies be told she had gotten off from being raped?

Her final thought had been a plea. *Please don’t turn me!*

Continue

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete

Baby I’m Back. 14   1 comment

Part 14: Epilogue

“Angel! Get your undead ass up here right now!”

Angel and Spike raced up from the basement, sword in hand. “What’s wrong?”

Cordy ignored Wesley, Gunn and Fred’s entrance. She was focused on Angel. “I just had a very interesting conversation with Buffy.”

His expression darkened. “Did she apologize?”

She continued as if he hadn’t spoken. “I invited them here for a celebration and imagine my surprise when she told me she couldn’t come. Apparently she’s not welcome here.”

Angel crossed his arms. “And?”

“I told her she must be misinformed because Angel would know better than to make an asinine statement like that.”

“Did she apologize?”

“I don’t see how that’s any of your business. Our disagreement was between us.”

“How can you say that? She called you Angelus’s whore!”

There was a collective gasp. “I’m aware of that. Your point?”

Angel raised his hands in confusion. “Anyone who talks to you like that isn’t welcome in my home.”

“Our home and if that’s the way you feel then you better go pack a bag.”

“What?”

“In case you forgot, let me refresh your memory. You called me a whore too.”

Angel stepped back as the men in the room advanced on him. “That was different. I was evil and I said I HAD thought it when I first knew you back in Sunnydale. I admitted I was wrong and you BIT me for saying it.”

“You deserved it.” She took a calming breath.

“Angel, I realize you were just trying to defend me and I…appreciate the sentiment. Are you aware that Buffy only knew that your soul was gone, Angelus was chained up and the curses didn’t work? She didn’t know that you rescued me from the evil law firm. She didn’t know that you ordered my favorite comfort food to make me happy.

She didn’t know you got yourself free from the chains so you could rescue me…from vampires. She wasn’t here to see the way you loved me nor did she see the way you weren’t taunting anyone. Well except for Spike. Given her past experiences with Angelus, how can you blame her for being scared?”

Angel refused to be moved. “She had no right to take it out on you.”

“She would have lashed out at whoever called.”

“Cordy..”

“She needed to think of you as two different people.” Cordy pointed around the room. “And she’s not the only one. I did the same thing for a long time. It took time for me to get past that need.”

“Here’s her chance.”

“I had your friendship to make it possible. She has your anger and your judgments.”

“Cor, you had been through so much and Buffy chose to twist the knife.”

“Yeah ’cause I was support-o-gal back in Sunnyhell.”

“I was killing people in Sunnydale. I was hunting, taunting and tormenting everyone close to her. This time was different.”

“Which part of she didn’t know that did you not understand?”

“Did she apologize?”

“After I told her the whole story, she apologized. I also told her you would be calling to apologize for acting like a complete ass.”

“What?”

“You and your vampire hearing heard me.”

“Cordelia, you can’t..”

“I really can.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Fine. I’ll be sleeping in my apartment while you do.”

“No way! You’re not going anywhere.” Everyone stepped away from the angry couple.

She arched a brow. “Did you just tell me what to do?”

“Yes. You seem to think it’s okay to order me around.”

“I’m done talking to you now.” She turned to leave but he grabbed her arm.

“Why are you so mad at me?”

“You promised me you wouldn’t try to fix my problems without at least talking to me first. You broke your promise.”

“Technically my promise doesn’t apply. You kept it a secret from me. I had to hear about it from Spike.”

“How could you treat someone you once loved like that? You didn’t even have the balls to tell her yourself. You had Spike do it. How do I know that it won’t be me you turn against someday?”

Angel cradled her face with his hands. “You are my forever.”

She reluctantly smiled. “Sweet talker” She reached up and covered his hands.

“Buffy didn’t know how different you were. This is one instance where seeing is believing. Actually it was pretty hard for those who did see it to believe. She lashed out because she was afraid and because believing Angelus is capable of loving someone would be heartbreaking for her. If you had done the same things to me,

I wouldn’t want to believe you capable of love either. So I’m willing to cut her some slack. I HAD Angelus’s love and I HAVE yours. Knowing Angelus loves me enough to willingly accept his soul is more punishment than she deserves. She doesn’t need YOU ‘twisting the knife’.”

“I’ll call her.”

“Good. I didn’t really want to sleep in my apartment.”

Angel kissed her cheek. “I would’ve followed you. I still have an open invitation.”

“Oh..umm..actually you don’t. I had Fred and Gunn revoke that.”

“What?”

“I wanted Fred to have somewhere safe to work from.”

He walked over to Spike and yanked his sword from his hand. “I’m gonna go put the swords away.” He stomped his way to the basement.

“Baby!”

“Did Buffy ask about me?”

“Yes. She wanted to know when you planned to return to Sunnyhell.”

“What did you tell her?”

“Too soon for me but not soon enough for her. She asked me to remind you that you promised to take Dawn to some concert.”

“Bugger! I completely forgot.”

“Does this mean you’re leaving?”

“‘Fraid so, Pet. I’ll have to leave tonight.”

“I’m going to miss you.”

“You should come for a visit.”

“Umm..I won’t miss you that much.”

“Fair enough. I’ll come back soon if you promise me my next visit will be less eventful.”

“You live on a hellmouth.”

“The hellmouth will seem right peaceful compared to this asylum.”

“That’s a bit much. We haven’t had a crisis in like..you have got to be kidding me! What the fuck? Are we the center of some cosmic joke?”

“What no hugs? No welcome back to L.A.?”

“Lindsey, you should leave. Angel will be..” Her mouth slammed shut as a dark blur flew by her and pinned Lindsey to the wall. “back any second.”

“I warned you not to come back. Don’t tell me. Let me guess. You went back to work for Wolfram and Hart.”

Lindsey struggled to get his words out. Angel’s grip on his throat was cutting off his air supply. “They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

“Now I get to kill you.”

“Aren’t you guys going to stop him?” Gunn and Wesley shook their heads. Spike leaned against the wall and took out a cigarette. Fred crossed her arms and tried to look tough. “So it’s true. You kill humans now.”

“No. You’re a lawyer, not a human. So you can go and tell all your little lawyer friends, they aren’t safe from me. I don’t consider anyone employed by Wolfram and Hart to be human. It’s a whole new game.”

“Angel, let him go.” Cordelia tapped her foot. “NOW!” The rumpled lawyer dropped to the floor.

“Dammit Lindsey! You got out. Why would you choose to be satan’s toady again?”

“There is no out. Once you’re in, you’re in.”

“We can help you. It’s what we do.” Everyone including Lindsey looked at her like she’d lost her mind.

“Cor, are you crazy?”

“Maybe if I’d given Lilah a chance, things could’ve been different. In hind sight, it’s obvious she really cared for Wesley. How do we know she wouldn’t..”

“Cordelia, don’t do this to yourself.” Wesley placed a hand on her cheek. “Even if she’d been very much in love with me, nothing you said or did would justify her actions. Second guessing your choices doesn’t do anyone any good. Believe me. I know of what I speak.”

She smiled at him. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You’d be fine. You are a survivor, Cordelia Chase.”

“Maybe but life is better with my big brother in my life.”

He blushed. “That’s a bit pervvy considering our history.”

“I don’t know. That first kiss sure felt like kissing my brother.”

“Don’t remind me.”

“This is sweet but I came here for a reason.” Lindsey straightened his suit.

“My offer stands. We’ll help you get out and stay out.”

“Thanks but I’ll stay where I am. They’ve put me in charge.”

Angel laughed. “With your track record?”

“Yes. They realized Lilah had gone way too far. Her attempts on Miss Chase were excessive.”

“Ya think?”

“We also recognize our mistake in unleashing Angelus. The prophesy that concerns us never said we needed a soulless vampire. As I pointed out and you so thoroughly demonstrated moments ago, you are capable of evil with a soul. Plus you tend to be more..controlable.”

“You came here to tell me that?”

“Actually I came here to inform you of my return and to congratulate you on winning your soul.”

“Thanks. I’m touched. Don’t forget to deliver my message. I won’t let you harm any member of my family.”

“I’ll pass it along. And Miss Chase?”

“Yes”

“Lilah’s family would have been killed the second she attempted to leave the firm. There’s no offer you could have made her that she would have accepted. Don’t fret over her. She knew she was selling her soul when she joined. She saw the firm in action before she signed on the dotted line.”

He winked at her on his way out the door. “He always was my favorite evil lawyer.”

“What?!”

“He’s got those beautiful blue eyes and the way he sings..” She looked off into the distance.

“He is very handsome.” Fred ducked her head at Angel’s growl. “I mean for someone completely evil.”

Cordelia walked over to the red couch and plopped down, chewing on her nails.

Angel watched her. “Are you okay?”

She sighed. “I have some stuff on my mind.”

“That’s an understatement.”

She glanced at the hovering faces of her loved ones. “I mean..what is a Lemadro demon anyway?”

“What?”

Cordelia pointed at Spike. “You were all ready to take one for the team like Lorne until Wes said it was a Lemadro demon. What’s up with that?”

Spike wondered if she’d finally snapped. “That’s what’s on your mind?”

“Yeah. We already settled the whole Angel was overreacting about the Buffy thing. He has his soul and it’s clause free. We solved the blood issue. Sure I have a wedding to plan but there’s no rush. I want to enjoy being engaged for awhile.”

“Cordelia, in case you didn’t notice, Lindsey was just here! Wolfram and Hart is still a threat.”

“Weren’t you the one who told me that Wolfram and Hart has been around for like ever in one form or another? We are NOT going to start hunting lawyers. There will be NO preemptive strikes against them and for the record, the evil lawyers ARE human.”

“But..”

“No buts. Their actions have at times been inhuman but they are human.” She noticed how tense Angel was. “Look, I’m not telling any of you that you can’t defend yourselves. I don’t intend to allow myself to be victimized by them but we ARE the good guys. We can’t forget that. If we desensitize ourselves to killing humans, even lawyers, we become the monsters we’re meant to stop.” Angel reluctantly nodded.

“So is anyone going to give me the 411 on the demon in question or are you going to force me to go through the musty old books?”

“Lemadro demons are fairly harmless despite their hands off appearance. They are vegetarians by nature.” Wesley cleared his throat. “They are both male and female. Their reproduction is done asexually.”

“But..”

“They are..capable of having relations for..pleasure. They just need to be very…careful.”

“What the watcher is trying to say is this particular demon is covered in thorns.”

“Huh?”

“They’re kinda like a rose without the pretty. They’re the demon world’s porcupine.”

“So not exactly snugable and very ouch worthy?”

“Exactly. I’d take a slime demon over a Lemadro any day.”

“How could Lorne…never mind. I already have a rather disturbing mental image.” She looked over at Angel. “You might want to be extra nice to Lorne. Maybe you should go put on your leather pants. They seem to give him a happy, not that I can blame him. You really should wear them more often.”

“Anything for you.”

“Good answer”

Angel sat next to Cordelia and pulled her onto his lap. “Anything else on your mind?”

“Nope. I’m good. You?”

“I’m good.” His thumb stated tracing her tattoo. “So is it time for bed yet?”

“Damn Dawg! The sun hasn’t even set yet.”

“I’m a vampire. I’m supposed to be in bed while the sun’s shining.”

“Are you feeling sleepy, Peaches?”

“Shut up Spike”

“Have you forgotten about our plans?”

“Umm”

“I told you this morning. I made a reservation at Le Petit Renard for tonight. You still owe me dinner.”

He nuzzled her neck. “We can take our usual shortcut.”

Fred smiled at their romantic display. “I knew things would work out.” Her arm snaked around Gunn’s waist.

“It’s been a bumpy road for them.”

“You can say that again, English.”

Cordelia glanced around the room. “We’re not dead so I guess that means we’re stronger.” Spike and Angel coughed. “OK. Nobody’s dead that wasn’t already dead to begin with.”

“I’m gonna go pack while you all do the group hug. The musical from hell was bad enough.” Spike climbed the stairs. When he reached the top, he turned back to watch his family.

He’d never been accepted like he was here. Dawn was the only one in Sunnydale that truly cared for him. Buffy was still struggling.

He watched Angel and Cordelia. He wished he could have that kind of love and acceptance with Buffy. As much as he enjoyed being with his Los Angeles family, he missed Sunnydale. It was time to go home and try to have a family there. He hoped Fred was right and everything would work out.

Stranger things have happened.

***

“Cor?”

“Yes”

“Just how many kisses did you share with Wes?”

“Huh?”

“You said your first kiss was like kissing your brother. That would suggest there were more.”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re being silly. I called him my big brother. Why are you being jealous guy?”

“Sorry. I can’t stand thinking of any man touching you.”

“You’re the only one who touches me now.”

“Does this mean you’re not inviting Giles or Xander for a visit?”

“You’re such a dork.”

“Am not”

“Are too”

“Am not”

“Angel?”

“Yeah”

Cordelia handed him a piece of paper and rested her head on his shoulder.

“I miss Dennis.”

The End

Dock

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete

Baby I’m Back. 13   1 comment

Part 13

Angel opened his bedroom door to a truly welcome sight. A very naked Cordelia was lying on their bed. There were only two things missing from the beautiful picture. He should be next to her and she should be awake.

He moved to correct one of the flaws. He quietly stripped out of his clothes and slipped into bed, being careful not to disturb his sleeping beauty.

Cordelia rolled toward Angel’s cool body. She threw an arm across his chest. “Did you apologize to Spike for being mean to him?”

“Yes” He kissed her forehead. “Go to sleep.”

“I don’t wanna.”

“You’ve barely slept in two weeks. You need to rest.”

“I took a nap this afternoon.” She tried to stifle a yawn. “You just got home.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“Promise?”

“I promise.”

“Maybe I’ll close my eyes for a few minutes.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “You too. No staring all night.”

“I’ll sleep.” He let the sound of her steady heartbeat lull him to sleep.

***

Angel woke up delightfully warm. His arms tightened around the source.

“You’re squishing me.”

“Sorry”

“Is our family downstairs?”

Angel listened for a moment. “Yes”

Cordelia rolled onto her back and stretched her limbs with feline grace, oblivious to Angel’s hungry stare. “I guess we should get down there. The office is a total mess.”

“We could do that.” He gripped her hip and turned her to face him. “Or we can stay right here.” His hand slowly inched up her body with feather-like touches.

Her breath hitched. “What will we do up here?”

“What ever you want.” He leaned in. His tongue darted out and circled a nipple.

Cordelia felt a gush of wetness in response to his careful ministrations. “We could talk.”

His teeth released the trapped nipple. “We could do that.” He pushed her onto her back to lavish her other breast with the same attention.

The pull of his lips sent sparks straight to her womb. “We could call Willow about the spell to move Dennis.”

Angel trailed kisses toward her neck. “We could do that.” His hand slid down over her hip then back up the inside of her thigh.

Her legs drifted apart to accommodate his wandering hand. “We could..mmm..go see if Lorne is back.”

His fingers continued their gentle thrusting. “We could do that.” His mouth latched onto his mark.

Cordelia gripped his biceps as her muscles began to tense. “Oh god..or we could make love.”

“We could definitely do that.” His fingers slipped from her body. He shifted his weight to cover her trembling form.

She reached down and took his weeping cock in a firm grasp. She began stroking him.

“Please Cor. I need to be inside you.”

Her leg hooked around his hip, pulling him closer. Her hand guided him to her center. “Now”

He entered her in one fluid thrust until he filled her completely. His groan was lost in the cavern of her mouth. He stilled, savoring their connection.

Cordelia clutched his back. Her hips bucked spurring him into motion. She wrapped her legs around him. Her feet rubbed the straining muscles of his thighs.

His hands cupped her, lifting her pelvis to meet each slide of his cock. He increased his pace.

“So good” Her nails scored red trails down his back. She’d been on the edge before he even entered her. “Harder”

Angel felt like he was being consumed by her fire. His rhythm grew harsh as pounded into her. They needed release from this sweet torment. His hand snaked between their bodies, pinching and teasing her clit.

Her mouth opened in a silent wail. She felt the world shatter as her orgasm ripped through her body.

Her vaginal walls contracted around him. He vamped at the scent of the blood her nails had drawn. The promise he made to Gunn flashed in his mind.

Cordelia looked into his yellow eyes. “I love you, Angel.” She pulled his head down for a kiss. His fangs cut her tongue, giving him a taste of her blood.

He roared into her mouth as he spilled his seed into her welcoming body. He continued devouring her mouth. His hips shuddered to a halt.

The need for air forced her to break the kiss. She panted for the needed oxygen. Tears wetting her face startled her. “Angel?”

Yellow eyes locked with warm hazel ones. “How can you love me?”

A smile stretched across her face. “It’s as easy as breathing.” Her thumb wiped away a tear. “Actually it’s easier. Kissing you makes air seem like a luxury I can live without.” His laughter sent wonderful vibrations through her body.

“I don’t deserve you.”

“That’s true. What mere mortal could possibly deserve the likes of me? But then you’re not mortal so that doesn’t apply to you. ‘Course you are a lower being. I know the other higher beings are going to totally razz me about this.” She sighed dramatically. “It’s a little to late now. You already have me. I guess we’re stuck.”

His hips twitched reminding them of their still joined bodies. “Being stuck like this wouldn’t be too bad.”

She giggled. “It would make helping the helpless a little complicated.”

“Fighting would be difficult too. Does this mean we should get up?”

Her inner muscles squeezed him. “Up is always good.”

“Vixen”

***

“Do you think they’re ever going to come down?”

“I think they’re makin’ up for lost time, Pet. It may take a while.”

“Lorne’s in his room. I think we should make Angel sing for him sooner rather than later. Barbie’s been through enough.”

“Charles, Angel’s demon isn’t something Cordy needs to be afraid of. It can wait.”

“Fine but I don’t want you to be alone with Angel until he sings. I know you remember what he was like the last time he had human blood.”

“He didn’t hurt me. Those demons were the ones who suffered.” She shivered at the memory. “It was pretty intense the way he tore them apart.”

Spike moved until the counter was between he and Gunn. He knew the chip was gone but it had been a while since he’d fought a human. Holding back his strength so as not to hurt the slayer was a far cry from a normal human.

He didn’t want to hurt him. “Don’t go stake happy on me but you don’t have to worry. I’ve tasted Cordelia’s blood. It won’t make him any more aggressive than he normally is.”

Gunn grabbed a stake out of the weapon’s cabinet. He pushed Fred behind him. “You bit Cordy?”

He held his hands out. “No. She cut her finger and stuck it in my mouth before I knew what was happenin’. She was just tryin’ to prove a point.”

“Put the stake away, Gunn. He’s telling the truth. I was there. Cordelia did it to defend her decision to allow Angelus to bite her during..to allow him to bite her. It was reckless but this is Cordy we’re talking about. She’s made her decision.”

“And you’re okay with it?”

“I didn’t say that. I’m a former watcher. A human accepting a vampire’s claim most certainly goes against my instincts but they are my friends. I want them to be happy. Angel’s soul is secure. The decision is theirs. I believe Angel and Spike’s assessment of Cordelia’s blood. She is unlike anyone I’ve ever known or read about. She’s a higher being living on this plane. That doesn’t mean I won’t ask Lorne to read him, just to be sure.”

“This is too weird.”

“I ate an omelet prepared by the Scourge of Europe and so did you I might add. Weird seems to get redefined almost daily. Just go with it.”

Gunn tossed the stake in the cabinet. “I need a vacation.”

***

Cordelia lay there panting for breath. “Wow”

“Wow yourself”

“My legs feel like jello. No wonder Buffy stopped staking vamps.”

Angel started laughing. “Why do you say that?”

“Vampire stamina. Her drunken confessions make so much sense now.”

Suddenly insecure, “Does this mean you were less than satisfied with my performance without a soul?”

“I wouldn’t say that. The sex was great but it was kinda limited, what with you being chained up.”

“What about after I got loose?”

“That was pretty great but..”

“I bit you.”

“Exactly”

“Well what about when I first got back or when we woke up this morn..afternoon.”

“You claiming me again was pretty amazing.”

His thumb stroked his mark. “I would agree with that.”

“This last time was just different. It was more..athletic.”

He grinned. “Definitely”

“You know you never did explain about the chains.”

“We should get dressed. I’m surprised nobody’s come looking for us yet. I know how much Spike enjoys interrupting us.”

“When did you have the chains enchanted and why was Wes the only one who knew?”

“Cor..”

“I want some answers, Mister. I’ve cut you a lot of slack. Don’t think I forgot about you calling me a bitch.”

“I was evil.”

“You’re stalling.”

“Does it really matter now?”

“Yes”

“It doesn’t..I don’t..” He sighed. “I had them made after Billy.”

“Why?”

“Do you remember how I told you that his touch didn’t affect me?”

“Yes”

“That wasn’t entirely true.”

“What? You lied to me?”

“Not exactly. I believed what I told you when I told you.”

“Huh?”

“His touch took longer to work on me. I felt the rage slowly rising within. At first I thought it was just normal urges.”

“What happened?”

“The rage became intense. I know a guy that makes custom restraints. He chained me up and then performed a spell specifically designed for me so I couldn’t get loose. I stayed there until it wore off.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Billy was gone. I didn’t want to worry you for no reason.”

“Angel”

“I didn’t want you to be afraid of me. I’d already told you I was immune. You said it was comforting.”

“Why did you tell Wes?”

“After you asked me to let Wesley come back, he and I had a little chat about his betrayal. I told him about the chains just in case I ever started acting strange again. So he could chain me up rather than..”

“I understand. Did you hurt anyone?”

“I reacted differently than the others. I wasn’t feeling the need to hurt women. I just wanted to kill. I released some anger by cleaning out a vamp nest.”

She settled back into his arms. “You should have told me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“C’mon. Let’s get ready. You have some singing to do.”

***

“Has Angelcakes made his grand appearance yet?”

“Nope”

“Gee and I thought I’d be the last one up.”

“You could always go upstairs and check on them.”

Lorne stared at Gunn like he’d suddenly sprouted horns and forked tail. “Do I look like I have a death wish?”

“They gotta come up for air eventually. Why don’t you go up, Blondie?”

“Sorry mate. It was only fun to interrupt back when they couldn’t shag. Angelus never like interruptions and somehow I doubt Angel’s any better. They’ve got a lot of unresolved tension to work off.”

“I think Cordelia is just trying to get out of helping.” Wesley dropped another box on the counter. “Will someone please tell me why we moved so many things to the apartment?”

“‘Cause Cordy said we weren’t allowed to return to the hotel until it was safe.”

“Well that was the last box. I vote we take a break. I’m hungry. C’mon girl. I’m even willing to have Mexican.”

“Mmmm Tacos”

“Very well. I suppose we could unpack later. Perhaps after Cordelia decides to grace us with her presence.”

“I heard that.”

“Cordelia, I..”

“Save it. We’re here so you can quit your bitchin’.”

“We weren’t…”

“I think you guys forgot about vampire hearing.”

Wesley risked making eye contact with Cordelia. He could detect amusement in them. He released the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. “We decided to order Mexican.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“It’s good to see you, Angelcakes. You’re positively glowing. I hear you have a song for me.”

“Why don’t you two go into the office for some privacy?”

“Why?”

“Angel, honey, you know I love you but I really don’t want to hear you sing.”

“Hey!”

“I love that pouty lip too.” She pulled him in for a kiss. “Now be a good boy and go sing for Lorne. Remember no bitey sex until you get in touch with your inner Barry.”

“Right. Come on Lorne.” Angel grabbed the green demon by the arm and dragged him into the office.

“Cordy, can I..ask you a question?”

“Shoot”

“Doesn’t it hurt..you know..when Angel bites you?”

“It hurts for like a second then…it’s like every cell in my body liquefies and then explodes in pleasure. Think of the strongest orgasm you’ve ever experienced and then multiply it by a factor of ten.”

“Wow”

“Very wow” She winked at the starry-eyed Texan.

“Fear not everyone. Angel is fine. Looks like Miss Demony Britches has some extremely rare blood.”

“I told you. It’s like vampire chocolate.”

“Actually that would be slayer’s blood. Yours is more like vampire Prozac. It soothes the savage beast. No offense, Crumbcake.”

“So is everyone satisfied?”

“Yeah. Just no more talk about your orgasms, okay?”

“Pfft. Someone who got down and dirty on the desk in the office and takes his girlfriend to a brothel every now and then, shouldn’t be so squeamish.”

“You had sex on my desk?!”

“Your desk? Wes, you’re not the boss anymore.”

“Angel, honey, about that.” Cordelia sauntered over to Angel and wrapped her arms around his waist. “Umm..I kinda..sorta put Wesley in charge.”

“What?! You know what, it doesn’t matter. I’m back now so you can just undo it.”

“We could do that,” she looked up with pleading eyes, “but we’re not going to.”

“You can’t be serious. After what he did, you think he can be trusted to run things?”

“Angel, he’s not going to make the same mistake. He now knows that he should put his trust in his family before a musty scroll or book. He’s the best person for the job.”

“What about me..or Gunn..or Fred?”

“Well Gunn used to lead his gang but his number one priority is Fred and he tends to act rashly. Fred is brilliant but she gets flustered and doesn’t really like the pressure that comes with the job.” Cordelia glanced at the people in question. “I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

They both shrugged. “S’okay”

“Angel, you’re not exactly the most level headed person. You’re not very good at delegating responsibilities and your people skills could use some work.”

“Is that all?”

“You don’t really have a head for business either.”

“What about you? You were in charge before all this happened.”

“I didn’t really like being in charge.”

“Cor, I don’t know if I can do this.”

“You can. Besides it’s not like any of us follow orders. You only listen when it suits you and nobody’s ever really the boss of me. You of all people should understand second chances. This time I’ll be here, watching over him. I trust Wesley.”

Angel rested his forehead on hers. “OK”

“That’s settled then.”

“I’m just going to ignore the fact that Angelcakes didn’t suggest me.”

“Lorne, you know we love you but your green skin and horns might scare some of our clients.” She turned in Angel’s arms. “Did someone mention Mexican ’cause I’m starving.”

Part 14

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete

Baby I’m Back. 12   1 comment

Part 12

“You have five minutes to get dressed and get downstairs or I’m gonna eat your pizza!”

Cordelia stared at the locked door. “How long do you think Spike was standing there?”

Angel finished cleaning his mark before lifting his head. “I don’t know but the others got here about fifteen minutes ago.”

“What? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I’m not as dumb as you think I am. You would’ve wanted to stop or at least hurry.”

“Hmmph. It’s just like a vampire to think..” His hand covered her mouth.

“I’ve been waiting too long. Believe me when I say Wes and Gunn will understand.”

“Muph mike ma manp”

“What?”

She removed his hand. “I said just like a man.”

“Is that an insult?”

“It was an observation. C’mon. We need to get dressed.”

“Who’s the one who said ‘patience is overrated’?”

“Whatever. If Spike eats my pizza, you’re going out to get me another one.”

“Don’t worry. According to Gunn, you’re the only one who likes fruit on their pizza.”

“Hmmph. Of course you’re not in a hurry. You just had your dinner.”

“Cor”

“Geez. I’m kidding. You have a permanent soul now. You don’t have to be afraid of laughing and joking anymore. It’s time to get yourself a sense of humor.”

“I have a sense of humor,” Angel pouted.

“Yeah. You’re a laugh a minute.” Cordelia had slipped on a pair of jeans and one of his shirts. She ran her fingers through her hair. “Ready?”

Angel finished lacing up his boots and looked up at her disheveled appearance. His shirt was swallowing her form. Gone was the hollow look in her eyes. Her face was devoid of makeup but her skin seemed to be glowing and not in a semi-demonic way. His renewed claim was peeking out from her collar, as a reminder of their lovemaking and their bond.

“I’m ready.”

***

Wesley couldn’t hold it in any longer. He had already waited until everyone had finished eating. “I’d love to hear all about the trials. It will be interesting to see how it compares to Spike’s experience. My research indicates..”

“Wes, that can wait. He just got back. Give him some time before you start your interrogation. OK?”

“Of course”

“Wes, I will tell you all about it after I get some rest.”

“Now that Angel’s back, things can go back to normal.” They all stared at Fred then burst out laughing. “Okay maybe normal is too strong a word. I meant..you know..normal for us.”

“I vote for abnormal. I’d like some peace and quiet.”

Angel lifted Cordelia into his lap. “That sounds good to me.”

She whispered in his ear, “We have your permanent soul that really should be tested.” Spike was smirking at them when she looked up.

Angel ignored the other vampire’s amused stare. “So have you had many cases?”

“We had one interesting case. There are no pending cases. I’m afraid we’ve been rather…distracted as of late.”

His thumb absently stroked Cordelia’s tattoo. “I want to apologize for everything I put you guys through.”

“All things considered, your behavior was rather..”

“Cordy-whipped. I gotta say meetin’ the evil vamp was nothin’ like I expected. He was almost as whipped as you.”

“I must agree with Gunn. It was rather surprising.”

“Not for me. I always knew you were a poof at heart. You just needed to find the right woman.”

“I thought it was sweet, the little I got to see anyway.”

Cordelia kissed his cheek. “You were pretty sweet.”

Despite the light atmosphere, Angel couldn’t help but add, “I shouldn’t have just left like that. Cordelia told me about the apartment you leased. I imagine you’ve been looking over your shoulders.”

“I was rather shocked by your sudden disappearance. I truly believed you had genuine feelings for Cordelia.”

“Me too. ‘Course that didn’t stop me from watchin’ my back.”

“Mine too. Charles wouldn’t let me out of his sight. He even waited for me outside the ladies room the one time we went out to eat. He wanted to come in with me but I put my foot down.”

“What? I wasn’t gonna let anything happen to my girl.”

“I can understand that.”

“Angel, about our decision to relocate while Cordelia remained at the hotel…”

“I already told him I didn’t give you guys a choice.”

“True. Nevertheless I would have remained but in my opinion Angelus wasn’t the threat, at least not to Cordelia. The real danger was Wolfram and Hart, and I believe we proved ourselves to be more of a liability than an asset in that department.”

“Wesley”

“Cordelia, you know it’s true. You could protect yourself better without us around.”

“Yeah. English is right.”

“Hey! I’m standin’ right here.”

“What of it, Blondie?”

“In case you bloody forgot, I was here to protect her.”

“And what pray tell did you protect her from? Eating?”

“Look Watcher..”

“Guys! Just stop. There will be no fighting. We’re celebrating.”

“Cordy’s right. So behave.” Fred gave the men a stern look. “Speaking of eating though, I’ll go to the butcher first thing in the morning. This way you two can..sleep in.”

“Thanks Fred”

Cordelia turned in Angel’s lap so she could face him. “Is that even necessary?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well..” Her fingers rose to stroke his mark. “Do you think you’re going to need it?”

“Woah. You’re not suggestin’ Angel snack on you, are ya?” When Cordelia turned to glare, Gunn noticed the puncture wounds on her neck. “What the fuck?” A stake quickly appeared in his hand. “What happened to your neck?”

“Gunn put that stake away now!”

“Not until I find out how you got what looks like a vampire bite on your neck.”

“Your overreacting.”

“No. You’re..underreacting. What? He gets his soul back and suddenly starts bitin’ people?”

“Not people. Just me.”

“How do we know that? Are we even sure he got his soul back? Maybe this is evil vamp’s way of gettin’ his teeth in you.”

“Gunn, Angel isn’t lying. This is between us.”

“If he’s feedin’ off of humans, it’s very much our business. In case you haven’t noticed, we make a livin’ off of staking vamps who do exactly that.”

“Charles”

Spike backed away from the rising argument. Somehow he didn’t think Gunn would react any better than Angel did about his own experience tasting Cordelia’s blood. The determined brunette would have to handle this argument without his support. Hopefully neither she or the watcher would drag him into it.

“So now that he’s got a permanent soul, it’s okay to feed off of Cordy? I’ve seen how Angel gets when he’s had just a drop of human blood. I don’t really want a repeat performance.”

“I’m not exactly completely human, in case you forgot. You don’t need to worry. My blood doesn’t effect Angel the way normal blood does.”

“It’s only been less than an hour. Give it a few days and he’ll be ripping the arms off of the nearest demon.”

“Gunn, my blood didn’t make Angelus hostile.”

“What?! You let him feed off of you too? Are you crazy?”

“Gunn, calm down.”

“Did you hear her, English? How can you tell me to calm down?”

“It’s not as bad as it sounds.”

“You knew?” He turned his glare to Cordelia. “Is this the real reason you wanted to keep me outta the hotel? You knew I’d stake him.”

“Over my dead body! I realize you’re upset and I understand your concerns. Especially considering what happened when Wolfram and Hart messed with Angel’s blood supply, but this is different.” Cordelia started rubbing circles on the silent vampire’s back. “My blood is different and it is MY blood, MY decision.”

“Cordy”

“Gunn, I am in love with a vampire. There is no need for you to go into protective mode. I would never do anything that I thought would jeopardize the safety of our family. You have to believe me.”

“It’s not you..” Gunn studied the couple for a moment. “You really have your soul?”

“Yes”

“And Cordy’s blood is different than regular human blood? You won’t go all psycho on us?”

“It is very different and it won’t make me violent. I promise no more biting until I sing for Lorne. When is he supposed to get back?”

“He ran for the hills. We called him after Cordy informed us of your return. He should be back soon.”

Gunn relaxed his grip on his stake. “OK. I’ll let it go but I reserve the right to change my mind.”

Fred reached over and squeezed her boyfriend’s hand. “It will be all right, Charles. I just know it.”

Cordelia could feel how tense Angel was. She knew her vampire was struggling with the moral implications. He’d had his doubts before Gunn’s tirade. She continued to gently rub his back. Their celebration had been seriously derailed.

She blurted, “Angel asked me to marry him.”

Fred squealed and launched herself at the couple. “Kyerumption! You’re gonna get married? I’m so happy. I knew you were meant to be. How did he ask? What did you say? When are you gonna get married? Are you gonna do it here in the hotel?”

“Need to breathe”

“Sorry” Fred released her death grip and returned to her seat by Gunn.

“Congratulations to you both.”

“Yeah. Congratulations”

“So where’s the ring? Don’t tell me Cordelia Chase accepted a proposal without a ring.”

“Very funny, Wes. There’s no ring yet but he did give me this.” Her hand snaked into Angel’s pants pocket. “Check this out.”

“Oh my god! Wow!”

“What? It’s a rock.”

“Charles, that’s an uncut diamond. A really big one too.”

“Yup, hence my desire to start pinching pennies. Angel needs to save his money. We still need to get this cut and buy the setting. Plus we’ll need wedding bands. Oooh I need a dress and we’ll need flowers. You’ll need a dress too, Fred. A maid of honor always wears a special dress. I promise not to pick anything too hideous.”

“Do ya mean it?”

“Of course silly. I don’t want you looking ridiculous. It will ruin the pictures. Oh we’re gonna need to find a photographer who won’t scream when he or she sees Lorne.”

Fred launched herself back at Cordelia. “I’m gonna be your maid of honor. We’re gonna have so much fun plannin’ this wedding. I bet Momma and Daddy will want to come.”

“Ya think?”

“Of course. They adore y’all.”

“I’d really like to have some parents there. God knows mine won’t be.” Fred released her grip. Cordelia turned away from her sympathetic look. “You, mister, are gonna need a tux. The same goes for you two.”

“I think we’re going to need a lot more cases.”

“You’re damn right. A girl only gets married once. Well until her second marriage anyway.”

Angel growled, “The ONLY way you will go through this more than once is if you want to renew OUR vows.”

“Duh”

“That reminds me, Fred. To answer you’re earlier question, when I asked Cordelia to marry me she was too busy focusing on the diamond to actually answer me.”

“That sounds like Barbie”

“Then when I refused to give her the rock until she answered me, she blanked on the question.”

“I did not! I knew the question.”

“Sure you did after I asked you again. Do you know what she said?”

“Angel”

“She said ‘duh’.”

Fred started giggling. “She didn’t?”

“What? My answer was obvious. Of course it was yes. I mean..duh.” She ignored her laughing friends. “Marriage or not, I plan to spend the rest of my life with you.”

“Duh”

Cordy wrapped her arms around Angel’s neck. “Did you just ‘duh’ me?”

“Yes”

“That’s so cute.” She began kissing his neck. “You sounds so adorable when you talk like me.” She kissed her way to his mouth.

“He definitely has his soul. Only Angel has that goofy grin.”

“Yes well perhaps we should call it a night. It is rather late. Today’s battle was fairly exhausting and I’m sure Angel and Cordelia are..tired.”

“Yeah. I’m not really wantin’ to see a demo of the whole mating thing. C’mon Fred.”

“OK. Cordy and I can talk tomorrow..er..today.” The three friends scurried out of the hotel as the couple’s kissing grew more passionate.

“Don’t make me get out the fire extinguisher.”

Cordy broke the kiss. “Sorry. We..where did everyone go?”

“They went back to the apartment. They weren’t enjoyin’ the floor show.”

“So why didn’t you leave?”

“Well Peaches, I wanted to ask your girl why she told the chit not to go to the butcher’s.”

“You know as well as we do..”

“Yeah I get that but in case you forgot, I happen to be a vampire too. Is your plan to let us both drink from you.” He ignored the flash of yellow in his sire’s eyes.

“I’m sorry, Spike. I wasn’t thinking. Are you out?”

“I finished it today. So much for hospitality. Is this your subtle way of tellin’ me my services are no longer required?”

“No. You know I want you here. I’ll go as soon as the shop opens.”

“Don’t worry, Pet. I’ll go. I know my way around the sewers by now. I wouldn’t want you to quit shaggin’ on my account.”

“Good night, Spike.”

“Good night, Luv. Peaches.”

“Wait a minute. Cor, why don’t you go on up? I’ll join you in a minute.”

“OK”

Angel waited until they were alone to speak. “I wanted to apologize to you. You were the only one on the receiving end of my taunts. I said some things that were out of line and untrue. You came here to help and protect Cordy. The stuff you said to me really did make a difference.”

“I’m just sorry I didn’t do a better job of protectin’ her.”

“If you had returned to the hotel with Cordelia, you would’ve been used against her too. They already had the others held hostage. You wouldn’t have been able to do anything but watch. They weren’t expecting me so I could sneak up behind Lilah. The fact that Cordelia’s life was the only one I placed any value on, at the time, also helped.”

“How are you handlin’ the killing?”

“I don’t pretend to have all the answers. In theory I should be torn up about killing humans but I can’t seem to feel bad about killing Lilah or any other Wolfram and Hart employee. If anything I wish I’d killed her sooner. Then Cordelia wouldn’t be having nightmares every night.”

“That’s what…fuck! I’m such an idiot. I didn’t think..I should’ve..”

“I’m back now and I’m going to take care of her.”

Spike nodded. “I spoke to Buffy.”

“So?”

“She’s pretty confused.”

“She’ll figure it out.”

“You do realize you’re partly to blame for the way she thinks.”

“I know. She got through her brush with Angelus by telling herself it wasn’t really me. I got through it by telling myself I’d never let it happen again. It’s hard to forgive someone if you refuse to let yourself admit they did anything wrong. I know I told you about the time I waited for the sunrise.

She truly believed the First was the only reason I was on that hill. She never quite understood I felt guilty because I was guilty. Don’t get me wrong, the First definitely made it feel worse. Having everything in your head is bad enough. Giving it form and a voice is worse.”

“It’s weird. She holds everything I did as a soulless demon against me. She decided to give me another chance because of my soul but she doesn’t pretend like I never hurt her, never tried to kill her. Yet she draws a line between you and your demon.”

“When you tried to kill her, you simply came straight at her. When you hurt her, you weren’t actually trying to hurt her. Hell you even tried to help her. Dealing with you isn’t that difficult. When she loved me, she did it with her whole heart, no past hurts holding her back. After I lost my soul, I tried to break her. I tried to kill everyone she loved simply to weaken her. As evil as you were, you never compared to me.”

“That’s true. So are you sayin’ that you’re not..”

“I’m still mad but I’m willing to admit my part in all this. I was the one that made Cordy question herself. I left without saying anything but Buffy kicked her when she was down. I’ve apologized to Cordelia. So should Buffy.”

Part 13

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete

Baby I’m Back. 11   1 comment

“What?”

“The others? Why didn’t they return with Spike?”

“Because I sent them into hiding. Don’t look at me like that. I didn’t know what to expect. You disappeared.”

“They just left you here? Alone?”

“I wasn’t alone. I had Spike.” She pulled him with her as she sat on the edge of the bed. “They didn’t want to leave. Wes pretty much had to be dragged out, kicking and screaming. I reminded Gunn that Fred was the one he needed to protect. I think Lorne may be tired of getting knocked out.”

She squeezed his hand. “They left because I needed them safe.”

“And you didn’t want to be responsible for anything happening to them.”

“I promised Wes that either Spike or I would stay with you at all times. You hadn’t slept because you were watching me all night. I thought you’d be asleep for hours. I wasn’t gone for very long.”

Angel pulled her into his lap. “Not having you beside me woke me up.” He cupped her cheek. “I put you through so much. I’m sorry.”

“I have my best friend, my champion and my lover back. What more can a girl ask for?”

“A husband?”

“Mmmm I like the sound of that.” She kissed his cheek. “Well there is one thing I could ask for.”

“Anything”

“Let Dennis move in?”

He scowled at her grinning face. “Fine. Your pervert ghost can move in, but I think it’s totally unfair of you to use my guilt against me like this.”

“You’re right. I feel terrible about it.” She shrugged. “But I’ll get over it. I’ll ask Spike to call Willow. I know she was close to figuring it out before…everything happened.”

“Why don’t you want to call her? She didn’t say anything to you, did she?”

“No. She even called a few times to see how I was holding up. I just..she lives with..I’d rather not..Willow and Rupert were both supportive.”

“Giles called?”

“Yeah. He offered to fly in from England but I told him it was probably a bad idea. I didn’t think it would be safe for him to be near me.”

“You got that right. I mean now that I have my soul..I wouldn’t..but there’s no reason for him to come here now.”

“Angel”

“Unless you want him to come for a visit.”

“There’s my sweet manpire. Right now I think we should focus on our family. You didn’t do any taunting or play any mind games so there shouldn’t be any problems with welcoming you back. The lawyers were the ones that did the real damage.”

“Cor, I..”

“We are not going to start the blame game again nor will I allow you to apologize for what you did to protect me. I wish things hadn’t..gone like they did but Lilah is responsible for the choices she made. We need to put this behind us, all of us.”

She lifted his chin. “Unless you need to talk about it. I don’t know exactly what you had to do to rescue me from Wolfram and Hart and I don’t know what you did for blood until you reached Africa. I’m sure the trials were pretty harsh. You probably needed a lot of blood to heal afterward. I want you to know that I’m here for you if you need to talk about any of it. I don’t want you to hold it all in. I won’t judge you. We can take it slow if that’s what you need.”

“I’ve been here for less than an hour and you’re already trying to take care of me. I don’t want you to ignore what you’ve been through.”

“I’m not. I will deal with my baggage at my own pace. I would like to let myself be happy right now. Is there something wrong with that?”

“Of course not. I want you to be happy too.”

“Good. We’re agreed then and as I’ve told you many times, taking care of my family makes me happy. I have spent the last two weeks wallowing in self-pity and self-doubt. I’m ready to focus on someone else now.”

“OK. Have you called them yet?”

“I was just about to try Wes’s cell phone. Nobody answered at the apartment.”

“Whose apartment did you call?”

“We leased an apartment as a temporary office. We helped the owner out with a demon problem so he looks the other way while we operate a business out of a residential building.”

“An apartment?”

“Yeah. An office doesn’t require an invitation. I didn’t want them to use any of their apartments because…you could just set the building on fire to force them out. Plus they can live and work out of an apartment.”

“That makes sense in a frightening sort of way.” He tightened his arms around her waist. “I’m sorry I made you worry so much. If I had told you I was…”

“Stop. What if’s are pointless. We are focusing on the good right now. Let me up so I can call our family and tell them you’re back.”

***

“Summers’s residence”

“Hi Niblet”

“Spike!”

“Yeah. Is big sis around?”

“She’s upstairs. I miss you. How’s Cordy?”

“I miss you too. I need to talk to Buffy.”

“Is something wrong? Did something happen?”

“No and yes. Can you get her for me?”

“Is Cordy okay? Nobody’s hurt or dead, are they?”

“Cordy’s fine. Now let me talk to Buffy.”

“OK. BUFFY! SPIKE’S ON THE PHONE!”

He winced at the girl’s lung power. He could hear shuffling.

“What’s wrong? Did Angelus kill someone?”

“No. Everyone’s fine. I wanted to let you know that there’s nothing to worry about anymore.”

“He’s dust? Oh god! I knew..”

“No, Luv.” Spike cleared his throat. “I have great news. Peaches is back and he’s all soul-havin’ again.”

“What? You guys found a curse that worked? That’s great! I want to see him. He’s gotta be broken up about what Cordelia did. I’m sure he could use a friend right about now.”

“Slow down, Pet. Take a breath.” Spike took a deep breath as well. “We didn’t curse him. He just returned from Africa.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Angelus did the same thing I did.”

“But why?”

Spike took another deep breath. “For Cordy. He knew it was the only way they could be together.”

“I don’t understand. If he got his soul then Angelus wouldn’t really get to be with Cordelia. Angel would and why would he think Angel would still want Cordelia after she cheated on him?”

“I tried to tell you before. Angel is Angelus.”

“That’s not true.”

“I know it’s hard to accept. The whole thing is complicated and pretty damn confusing.”

“How is he?”

“He’s…Luv, he’s angry about..”

“I’m sure he is but don’t worry. He won’t hurt Cordelia. He’s got his soul now. Betrayal isn’t easy to get over but he’ll..”

“Buffy, he isn’t angry at Cordy. Angelus got his soul for her.” He decided to be blunt. “Angel asked Cordy to marry him and she’s accepted.”

“You mean he’s already forgiven her? Maybe he doesn’t remember. It takes a little time for everything to come back.”

“There’s nothing to forgive. Well except for the part where he left without sayin’ anything.”

“But she cheated on him with Angelus.”

“Pet, having a soul doesn’t mean I’m no longer Spike. I’m still a demon but now my soul controls that demon. It’s the same for Angel. He’s still Angelus, only now his demon doesn’t make all his decisions. Cordy didn’t cheat on Angel. She was with Angelus because he is a part of Angel and she loves Angel completely.”

Spike took another deep breath. “Angel knows how lucky he is to have a woman that loves every part of him and so does Angelus. Angelus chose to accept his soul so he could be what Cordy needs him to be. It’s hard to explain. Basically Angel can be Angelus because he is Angelus but Angelus can only try to be Angel.”

“So you’re saying that Angel isn’t mad at Cordelia for sleeping with Angelus?”

“Exactly. He never dreamed it was possible for her to love that part of him.”

“But isn’t that part..I don’t know..gone now?”

“No. Angelus isn’t another person. He’s the demon, the vampire. Angel may have a soul now but he’s still that same vampire.”

“So you’re saying that he’s the same vampire who killed Miss Calendar and tortured Giles?”

“Yes and no. He is the same vampire but not. His soul would never allow him to do those things. Well…let’s just say, soul or no soul, it’s a good thing Rupert stayed in England.”

“I don’t understand. If Angel is Angelus then why did I get sick games and Cordy got…why didn’t Angelus love me? Angel loved me.”

“Angel is Angelus but Angelus is only a part of Angel. Angel’s soul was very much in love with you. The demon..wasn’t.” He could hear her sniffling. “I’m sorry, Luv.”

“I don’t know what to think.”

“Look at it this way. I tried to be the man you needed but I failed because I wasn’t a man. I was a demon. Loving you, made my demon want to be a man so I got my soul. Angelus went through the same thing.”

“I don’t..”

“I know. The fact that Peaches likes to use two different versions of the same name doesn’t help.”

“Wait. You said Angel is angry. If he isn’t angry at Cordelia then who’s he mad at?”

“Oh..um..Luv, he’s angry about what you said to Cordy while he was in Africa.”

“I’m sure she didn’t waste any time telling him.”

“Actually she didn’t say anything.” He cleared his throat. “Angel said something that gave me the impression he knew so I started to defend you. By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late. He demanded to know what happened. I’m sorry.”

“So Cordelia slept with Angelus and he’s mad at me?”

He shook his head. The slayer still didn’t understand. “Yes”

“Maybe I should talk to him. I could be there in a couple of hours. He just doesn’t understand.”

“Pet, I don’t…he asked me..it would be best if you gave him some time to cool off.”

“No. We need to clear the air. Once I explain, he’ll..”

“Buffy, he said you’re not welcome in his home.”

“What?”

“Give him some time. I’ll talk to him. So much has happened. He just..needs some time. It will give you an opportunity to work out the whole Angel/Angelus thing.”

“I can’t believe he’s mad at me.”

“It’ll be okay.”

“I have to go.”

“Buffy”

“I’ll talk to you later. I need to patrol. I suddenly feel the need to kill something.”

“Ask yourself this. If Angel isn’t Angelus, if he isn’t the vampire who killed Miss Calendar and tortured Giles, then what’s the point of his mission for redemption? According to your philosophy, he isn’t guilty of any of Angelus’s crimes.”

“Good bye”

He heard the phone cut off. “That went well.”

***

“Stop that!”

“It’s my shirt. I’m just taking it back.” She slapped his hands away. “It does look better on you though. Have you been sleeping in my shirts and boxers?”

“Yes” She struggled to keep said shirt closed and on her body. “They’ll be here soon.”

“I want to get some food in you so I asked them to stop and pick up a ham and pineapple pizza from Sal’s. We have some time.”

“Are you suggesting we have enough time for a quickie?”

“I’d rather not rush but waiting sounds like torture.” He gave up on the buttons and slipped a hand under her shirt.

“Angel, I want to make love too but our family will be here soon. Spike is downstairs. I’m sure he’ll be up here once he’s finished talking to Buffy. So unless you want an audience, I suggest we wait.”

He rolled onto his back and pulled her against his side. “Okay but waiting means our family gets five minutes to say ‘I’m so glad you’re back’ before I kick them out.”

“You’ll do no such thing. We are ALL going to celebrate. We’ve been through a lot. It’s time to be happy.”

“I’m trying but you won’t cooperate. Don’t forget my demon got to have you but the rest of me is still waiting.”

“Does that bother you?”

He thought a moment. “No. I remember every touch, every taste, every wonderful second. I look forward to doing it again and again.”

“So you’re not upset that our first time together was when you were soulless?”

“No. Were you worried I would be?”

“A little. Most of my decisions were based on assumptions and opinions. I was sure I understood..”

“And then I left?”

“Yeah. Even though I know why you left now, I can’t help second-guessing myself.”

“Well stop. If you hadn’t been the loving, accepting woman you are, I would still be soulless or dust.”

“That’s true. Okay so sex was of the good.”

“I’d say hell yes to that.”

“What about the biting? Are you mad about that?”

“What?” Angel turned and stroked his mark. “I didn’t exactly give you a choice.”

“Not that. My doubts about that disappeared the moment you said you were okay about it. I meant the other bitey sex.”

“That was definitely part of the good.”

“Really? You said you’re soul would be furious.”

“If the situation had been different, I would have.”

“You mean if you hadn’t been in love with me?”

“That too but I meant the whole glowy power. You weren’t really in any danger.”

“Yeah that really did make a difference. I wasn’t afraid of you but more importantly, I wasn’t afraid for our family. I knew I could protect them.”

“If you’d been completely human, I would’ve been furious with you for endangering yourself.”

“So now that you have your soul, will the sex still include biting?”

“Well…I don’t want you..I would hate…it doesn’t…if you..”

“I only ask ’cause you said the marking thing was what your demon wanted. I kinda liked the biting but if you don’t want to that’s..”

“Are you kidding?”

“So that’s a yes for biting?”

“That would be a hell yes but only if you’re really okay with it. I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to do just for me.”

“Which part of ‘I kinda liked it’ was confusing?”

“It’s the kinda that concerns me.”

“Well it’s just..” She sat up to face him. “It’s going to effect my wardrobe.”

“I’m sorry. What?”

Cordy opened her shirt enough to reveal the curve of her breast. She smiled when he licked his lips. She pointed to the faded bite mark. “Not all of my shirts and dresses will cover these.”

His fingers lightly stroked the healed wound. “I would hate to prevent you from wearing what you want.” He cupped the once injured breast.

Her breathing grew heavy. “If you could bite like an inch this way..” She directed his fingers. “My wardrobe would be very grateful and so would your credit card.” His thumb teased the hardened nipple.

“I could do that.” His free hand finished unbuttoning her shirt.

She glanced down at his busy hands. “What about my neck?”

His hands stilled for a brief moment. “I don’t have to bite you there.”

Cordy cradled his face. “Yes you do.”

“Cor”

“It’s important to you so it’s important to me.”

“What about your wardrobe?”

“I don’t own any turtlenecks so we’re gonna have to come up with an answer to the inevitable questions. We can make the gang understand. I’m more worried about strangers asking why I have what looks like a bite mark on my neck. A faded white scar is one thing but that would mean you’d have to stop biting me there. We’ll figure it out later. Right now I want to make love.”

Angel pushed the material off her shoulders. “I thought you wanted to wait?”

“Patience is overrated, but if you’d rather wait then..” She giggled as Angel pulled her down and rolled her under him.

He whispered against her lips. “No more waiting.” He used her moan to invade her mouth.

Cordy yanked on the edge of his shirt, desperate to touch bare skin.

He pulled from the kiss to remove his shirt. “Don’t worry. I’ll go with the discreet bite this time.”

“No” Hazel eyes locked with warm brown ones. “I want you to claim me again.”

“Cor, you don’t have to prove anything to me.”

“I know that.” She cupped his cheek. “I want you to.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes” She hooked her leg around his hip drawing him closer. “Now shut up and make love to me.”

“I can do that.”

Part 12

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete

Baby I’m Back. 10   1 comment

Part 10

It’d been two weeks. Two weeks of not knowing where Angelus was. Two weeks of not knowing why he left. Two weeks of not sleeping. Two weeks of barely eating. Two weeks of trying to remember how to breathe now that her world had fallen apart.

Cordelia had kept it together at first. She ordered Wesley, Gunn, Fred and Lorne into hiding while she and Spike searched LA. It wasn’t until she called Sunnydale that she began to lose it.

The nightmares didn’t help matters. She couldn’t bring herself to tell Spike why she kept waking up screaming and sobbing. He assumed they were about Angel being gone for good. She knew he’d feel guilty if he knew the truth. Every time she closed her eyes, the same two vampires would appear. The nightmares had grown steadily worse. Angelus was there too now, laughing and mocking her.

Slowly her lack of sleep, loss of appetite and her fears had taken their toll. Her hair grew limp. Dark circles had formed under her eyes. Her ribs and spine were practically exposed. She looked like she had aged years.

Spike had finally threatened to bring her family to the hotel if she didn’t eat something, get some sleep and shower, not necessarily in that order. She didn’t want the others to see her like this. She needed them to remain as safe as possible. She couldn’t bear the thought of anything happening to any of them because she had thought with her heart instead of her head.

Cordy managed to choke down a bowl of soup. She took a short hot shower. She didn’t like to see her naked body, not when it was so violated night after night, even if it was only in her mind. She lay down in their bed. Spike suggested she move back to her apartment or at least move to a different room but she refused. He might come back. She needed to be there just in case.

She closed her eyes. The bottle of sleeping pills Spike bought was on the night stand. She wouldn’t take any. They would only trap her in her nightmare. Her fingers stroked his mark, trying to draw strength from them. She prayed for a dreamless night’s sleep. She almost asked Spike to stay with her but he wasn’t the vampire she needed. Besides Spike had joined the others to deal with her second vision in two weeks.

Sleep came but so did the vampires. She could hear Lilah laughing while one of the vamps ripped off her clothes. The other held her down despite her struggling. The grip on her wrists tightened. She started to cry, knowing what came next. Suddenly Angel’s voice filled her head.

“It’s okay, Cor.”

“No. It’s not. You’re not here. You left me.”

“But I came back.”

“No. You don’t want me. You just left.”

“I’m sorry. I was angry and confused. I’m back now and I’m never leaving you again.”

“No. You’re not coming back. I…don’t deserve you.” Her tears became gut wrenching sobs. “I’m so sorry, Angel. I thought I understood.”

“Shh. It’s okay. Wake up.”

“No. You’re never here when I wake up. Facing them is better than not having you. They come every night. It’s what I deserve.”

“Cor, wake up!”

She jerked awake to find warm brown eyes hovering over her. “Angel?”

“Yes. It’s me. I’m back.”

“You’re back? You came back? You came back to me?”

“Yes, yes and yes.”

“I don’t understand. How?”

“I went to Africa and faced the trials?”

“Why?”

“For you. For us.”

“You don’t hate me? You aren’t disgusted with me…for being unfaithful?”

“What?” Angel’s body turned to steel. “Spike! That fucking..”

“No. With Angelus.”

“What? You lost me.”

“I slept with Angelus.”

His body relaxed. “OK. I already knew that. I was kinda there.”

“So you don’t hate me?”

“Of course not. I am Angelus. I am my demon. I thought you understood that.”

“I thought I did but then…it doesn’t matter. You’re back.” She began chewing on her bottom lip. “Do you still love me?”

“Yes. More than anything.”

“I love you, Angel. I love you so much.” She drew him in for a kiss. Angel pushed her onto her back. Their tongues come out to explore and taste each other. She turned, panting for breath. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too.” Angel could feel her ribs pressing into his chest. His hands moved to confirm his suspicions. “When was the last time you ate?”

“I had some soup today.”

He noticed the dark circles under her eyes. “You haven’t been sleeping.” A thought occurred to him. “Who comes every night?” He lifted her chin when she refused to meet his eyes. “Talk to me.”

Her words were barely a whisper. “Nightmares”

“Oh god!”

“Why did you leave without saying anything?”

“I was angry. When I woke up alone, I went looking for you. I found you talking to Spike. I heard you say you could be with me because it was only temporary. I marked you and you said you understood. I thought…I thought you had accepted my soul being gone. I needed to clear my head before I did something I’d regret, so I left the hotel through the sewer tunnels. I wandered for hours trying to figure out what I’d done wrong.

It hurt so much when you said it was killing you. After a few hours of feeling sorry for myself, I decided that I would prove to you I didn’t need a soul to be your champion. I walked the streets until I stumbled across a gang of vamps chasing some guy. They were playing with him, letting him think he might get away. I dusted them.

It was pretty easy. They were all newbies. The guy..he was so scared. His fear absolutely drenched the air, so did the scent of his blood. I wasn’t hungry. Your blood had taken care of that but his still..it called to me.”

He looked into her eyes. “I didn’t drain him but I wanted to. I ran. I knew if I didn’t get away, I would bite him. Spike had been right. It couldn’t work. Eventually I would be weak. I wouldn’t be able to control myself forever and you would be forced to stake me. I left for Africa.”

He cupped her cheek. “I should have told you but I wasn’t sure it was going to work. You told me it was about my heart’s desire and I was angry. I hated that I couldn’t be strong enough for you. I couldn’t be enough for you. My heart wanted..needed you but I wasn’t sure that meant I’d be given my soul. Plus, I didn’t want to get your hopes up.”

He rested his forehead against hers. “I forgot about your nightmares. I’m so sorry I wasn’t there to keep you safe.”

“You’re back. That’s all that matters.”

“I hurt you, in more ways than one.” His thumb stroked her scar. “I’m sorry.”

Her hand reached up and covered his. “I understood why. I just..wanted to wait.”

“I know. In a way it seems right that it was done without my soul present.”

“Why?”

“Because this is how a demon claims its mate.”

“You aren’t upset?”

“Only that I hurt you by not respecting your wishes.”

“I wanted to wait because I thought that’s what you would want.”

“I know but it was my demon who needed to mark you like this. My soul…the man in me wants to mark you in a completely different way.”

“Huh?”

Angel pulled something from his pocket. “Cordelia Chase, will you marry me?”

“Oh my god! Angel, is that what I think it is?”

“If you think it’s a raw uncut diamond I picked up while I was in Africa, then yes.”

“Oh my god!”

“I thought you might want to pick out the ring you wanted but I couldn’t ask you to marry me empty handed. This way you can choose the cut, the setting and the size.”

“Oh my god! It’s huge. I can make an engagement ring, a matching wedding band, a pair of earrings, a necklace and a tennis bracelet. I saw a raw stone once. It was in a display at Tiffany’s but its size was like a quarter of this one.” She reached out with a trembling hand but he snatched it away. “Hey! Mine.”

“Not until I hear the magic word.”

Her face scrunched up in confusion. “Please?”

He rolled his eyes. “The word I hope you’re searching for is yes.”

“Huh?”

“Cor, I asked you to marry me and I’m still waiting for an answer. You can’t have the rock unless you say yes.”

“Duh”

“Is that a yes?”

Her face light up in a huge smile. “Yes” She pounced on him, showering his face with kisses. “Yesyesyesyesyesyes” Her shower ended at his lips.

Angel dazedly realized she managed to steal the stone during her assault. “I’m starting to think you’re marrying me for the diamond.”

“Pfft. I’m totally marrying you for your body.”

“That’s more like it.”

Giggling, she placed her engagement rock on the night stand. “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too.”

“I love you, Angel. I love you so completely.”

“You amaze me.” He seized her lips, his tongue demanding entry. “I love you, Cordelia Chase. I don’t deserve you but I’m going to do everything in my power to make you happy.”

“Angel, you already have. You got your soul for us.” Her eyes twinkled. “You got a permanent soul for us.”

“I’d do anything for you.” He smiled. “Is there anything I could do for you right now. Like I said I want to make you happy.”

“Sweet talker”

Spike burst through the door. “Cordy, are you all right?”

“I’m fine. What’s wrong? Did something happen?”

“I heard Angelus’s voice.”

“Spare us your concern, Spike. I could have already killed her by now. Where have you been? What happened to ‘I won’t be more than 100 feet from her’?”

“I had to handle a vision. She was in no condition to come with me thanks to you.”

“Angel, leave Spike alone. I wouldn’t have made it through this without him.”

Angel grumbled as he wrapped his arms around Cordy. “Thanks for taking care of my girl but you could have fed her a little.”

“I tried. I even tried forcing her to eat but she started glowing at me.”

“I said I was sorry about that. I didn’t even singe you. Big baby.” She looked up at Angel. “Speaking of food, how come you never told me about my blood?”

“I didn’t want to let myself think about it. I felt guilty enough every time I’d accidentally cut you when we kissed. I couldn’t admit how amazing the flavor was. I thought I might scare you. I was afraid you wouldn’t trust me. I assumed you were afraid of my demon. I never imagined anyone could love me completely.”

“Well you know what they say about people who assume.”

“Angelus wasn’t lying.”

“I already knew that. Spike totally backed you up. He said..”

“Fuck!” Spike jumped to his feet and ran from the room like the hounds of hell were snapping at his heels.

“What’s the matter with..” Her words died on her lips as her eyes connected with her lover’s now yellow ones. “Angel?”

“That son of a bitch!”

In the blink on any eye, Angel was gone. She leaped out of bed and hurried after them. By the time she caught up, Angel was holding Spike by his throat, bending him back over the counter.

“How dare you taste her! She’s mine. What did you think you were doing?”

Spike might not need to breathe but having your throat crushed was not a pleasant sensation. He struggled to get his words out. “It wasn’t my fault.”

“Oh really? Cordy forced you to drink from her, is that it? You were defenseless. Let me guess, you only tried it once but you didn’t swallow?”

Cordy considered yelling at her irate vampire but decided a demonstration would be more effective. She picked up the same ceremonial dagger and sliced her finger open. She stuck it in Angel’s mouth before his senses could even register the smell of blood.

Angel released his grip on Spike to gently hold her wrist. He savored her blood until it stopped flowing. His demon immediately felt calm..er. He pulled her finger from his mouth before dropping a kiss on her palm.

“Spike didn’t know I was going to do that anymore than you did. I was trying to convince Wesley and Spike that you were telling the truth about my blood. Spike thought you might be saying that just so I’d be okay with the bitey sex. I figured if he tried it then he’d have to believe you. I was trying to avoid a fight. I was tired and I wanted to go to bed.”

Angel glanced warily at Spike. “Okay, if that’s all there was too it.” His eyes pinned the blond where he stood. “Don’t ever..”

“Calm yourself Peaches. That was the only time and if you tell your girl to keep her fingers out of my mouth, we can avoid any future unpleasantness.” He switched his glare to Cordelia. “Pet, I told you not to tell him.”

“I thought you meant Angelus. What’s the big deal anyway? You’re acting like we slept together.”

“Don’t even joke about that! Are you tryin’ to get me killed?”

“Cor, blood is a very intimate thing between vampires and their mates. You belong to me. I have sole blood rites.”

Her brows arched so high they almost disappeared into her hairline. “Excuse me?”

“You’re in love with a vampire. If it makes you feel any better, I belong to you too.”

“Well as long as it work both ways.” She wrapped her arms around his neck. “Besides once we’re married all your stuff will be mine anyway.”

“I think you mean half my stuff.”

“Pfft. That’s if we divorce and if that were to happen, you’d be dust and I’d still get all your stuff.”

“We are going to live happily ever after even if I have to kill every demon and lawyer in a hundred mile radius.”

“That’s my sweet manpire.”

“You’re gettin’ married?”

“Yup. Oooh I gotta show you my engagement rock.”

“Don’t you mean ring?”

“Nope. I can’t wait to show Fred. Damn! I need to call the gang. They don’t know Angel’s back.” She glanced in Spike’s direction. “I’ll let you call Sunnydale.”

“I’ll take care of it, Pet.” He watched her bounce up the steps as if the last two weeks never happened. “She’s been through hell. You should’ve told her you were goin’.”

“I know. I wasn’t exactly dealing with a full deck at the time.” He continued staring where she once stood. “She’s so amazing.”

“Yeah”

“Thanks for looking after her.”

“No problem”

“I put her through so much.” He shook his head. “She actually apologized to me for being unfaithful.”

“She told you about that?”

“Yeah”

Spike took an unneeded breath. “Don’t be too mad at her. She..”

“I’m not.”

“You’re not?”

“Of course not.”

“Wow. I thought you’d be pissed. I know I was. Buffy shouldn’t have said those things.”

“What?”

“I mean I know she was afraid you might go after her and hers but..”

“Spike, what are you talking about? What did Buffy say?”

“I thought…dammit! Look Peaches, you said it yourself. Buffy doesn’t handle surprises very well.”

Angel’s voice grew deadly. “What did she say?”

“You vanished. Cordy didn’t think you’d go to Sunnydale but she didn’t think you’d run away either. She called Buffy to give her a heads up.” Spike began pacing.

“The slayer didn’t take the news very well. You have to remember having Angelus on the loose has been one of her greatest fears since she was 17. When she found out that you weren’t even chained at the time of your disappearance, she blew up. Cordy explained that you were in love with her and she thought it would be okay.”

Angel could smell Spike’s fear. “What. Did. She. Say?”

“She told Cordy ‘if you stopped being Angelus’s whore for five seconds you might have realized he was just saying what you wanted to hear so he could get loose and come after me. How could you do that to Angel? He loved you.'”

Angel’s whole body seemed to be shaking with a repressed growl. “That self-centered bitch!”

“Hey! She wasn’t here to see you together. She is afraid of Angelus for damn good reasons.”

“She called my girl a whore!”

“She doesn’t think of you as one person.”

“She never could. It doesn’t make it okay to..”

“I know. I told her how out of line she was. I told her you loved Cordy. She didn’t believe me.”

“Of course not. Angelus didn’t love her therefore Angelus isn’t capable of love.”

“Believing you were two different people kept her from dusting your ass. You never exactly discouraged the belief. You go by two different names for fuck’s sake. You do remember that Angelus is just Latin for Angel, right? You don’t see me goin’ by a different name now that I have a soul?”

“I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to understand unless they actually experienced it. I was wrong. Cordy understands and she still loves me. Buffy made her feel…this is why Buffy and I could never have worked out.” Angel stared straight into Spike’s eyes. “When you call Sunnydale, tell Buffy she better stay out of LA.”

“I know you’re upset. I was too but don’t ever threaten my girl, Angelus.”

“It wasn’t a threat. She’s no longer welcome in my home.”

“She was scared and confused. Do I need to remind you what you put her and her friends through?”

“No and if she wants to hate me or try to stake me, I wouldn’t blame her. Going after Cordy is NOT acceptable. The fact that I went to Africa to get a soul so I could be with Cordy should clear things up for her.”

Spike watched Angel leave. He wasn’t looking forward to calling Sunnydale. He knew Angel was right about one thing. When she found out what Angelus had done for Cordy, she wouldn’t be able to deny the truth anymore.

***

“Why didn’t you tell me what Buffy said to you?”

“Because it doesn’t matter. I have you back.”

“She called you..”

“I know. I don’t need to hear it again.”

Angel lifted her chin, forcing her to look at him. “You are not now nor have you ever been anyone’s whore. You are a loving, truly amazing woman. I never dreamed it was possible for someone to love me so completely. I barely believed someone could love me in spite of my demon. Acceptance was the most I hoped for.

Cor, knowing how completely you love me is the greatest gift I have ever been given. You made our family a possibility. Your love not only inspired my demon to want to be a better man, but a champion as well. Please don’t ever let anyone make you feel ashamed of loving me.”

She brushed her tears away. “I was so confused. I don’t know how to love you any differently. I was so sure I understood and then you left.”

“I’m sorry I made you question yourself.”

“You got your soul and came back to me. I’m so happy. I can feel every painful memory, every doubt just fading away.”

“I love you.”

“I love you, my sweet manpire.” She laid her head on his chest.

Angel tightened his arms, pulling her closer. “Cor, where is everyone?”

Part 11

Posted June 28, 2015 by califi in Complete