Archive for July 7, 2015

Timeline. 10   1 comment

Part 10

Angel’s Mansion
September 24, 1998

Angel crouched next to the old fireplace in the lobby of the old mansion. This place didn’t hold many fond memories. It was here that he, Drusilla, and Spike tried to unleash hell on earth.

It was in this very room that Buffy told him to close his eyes. Then she buried the blade in his chest. It was with that blow that Angel’s destiny was sealed.

The memory of the vampire with a soul could have faded into a distant memory. The ally and lover turned enemy could have been dismissed as a battle fought in the past, long since won, having no more effect on those who survived. But that isn’t what happened.

He was released from the hell in which he was housed, for reasons he wouldn’t understand until much later. He was to be a warrior. He was to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves. Funny how at one time they would have all needed protection from him.

For so long he had believed that his goal had been redemption with the promise of humanity. But now Angel saw it clearly. This child he sought to protect was his reward. She was not only his redemption, but also all of humanity.

Angel carefully removed a pair of bricks from the back of the fireplace. He dipped his hand into the hole and removed a rag-covered object. It was the palm pilot. His ticket back to his family. With a sigh, he stood up to make his goodbyes.

The Scoobies all lined up to say their farewells. Xander was first in line. After a quick handshake and a muttered “Goodbye”, Xander stepped a more comfortable distance away. Buffy gave him a quick hug, all the while trying to hold back the tears. “Go back to your family,” she said.

“Buffy, I’m sorry things won’t…”

“No,” she said. “When you go, all this will be forgotten. And for a while, at least, I can hold on to the fairy tale.”

“You were my first love,” Angel said.

“And you were mine.”

Angel smiled at her before moving on to Willow. The redhead looked adorable in pigtails and overalls. Angel thought back to when he first woke. A relationship with this girl would have been a lot healthier for him.

After a moment of debate, Angel made his decision.

To say Willow was shell-shocked when Angel laid the deepest, most passionate kiss she’d ever experience on her would be an understatement. Right before Willow could actually summon up her wits to do something, like slap him or go with the flow, Angel broke the kiss off. Angel grinned wickedly as Willow stared into space in a daze.

Oz was the next in line. “I’m sorry,” the vampire said. “I had to do that. But on the bright side, in a few minutes you won’t remember any of it.”

“And that’s your only saving grace,” Oz deadpanned. He shook Angel’s hand before turning to his girlfriend. “Willow, baby, you okay?”

“Angel…smoochie…wow.”

Giles was next. The Watcher wore an amused look as Oz tried to give Angel an evil glare. The young werewolf looked constipated. “Good luck to you, Angel,” Giles said. “Take care of Cordelia and the little one.”

“I will,” Angel said as he shook Giles’ hand. “I’ll do whatever it takes to protect them.”

“Yes,” Giles said, “so I’ve seen.”

Finally, it was Cordelia’s turn to say goodbye. Angel would have to convince his Cordy to grow her hair out. The young teenager wore a look of contentment on her face. It was the look of someone who knew good things would be in their future. If Angel could look in a mirror, he was sure he’d see the same expression on his face.

“I’m not real sure what to say,” Cordelia admitted. “Goodbye doesn’t sound right, because we’ll see each other when you go home.”

“How about ‘See you in a few’?” Angel smiled.

“That’ll work,” Cordelia smiled back. “We’re going to be good parents, aren’t we?”

“Are you kidding? We’ll kick ass.” Angel leaned in and softly kissed her cheek. Giving her hand a light squeeze, he then unwrapped the palm pilot. He then walked into the center of the lobby and took a deep breath.

Angel pressed the necessary buttons to begin his journey. A cold wind began to flow throughout the mansion. Electricity began to crackle along the walls and moved to converge at a spot above the center of the room. A loud tear was heard, as the fabric of time was ripped open. Angel tucked the palm pilot into his jacket.

“Time to go home,” he whispered. With a running start, Angel leapt into the vortex. Like a rubber band, the vortex snapped shut.

The timeline was preserved.

***********

Hyperion Hotel
October 19, 2003

Papers were whipped from Cordelia’s desk as a cold wind picked up in the hotel. Cordelia shot up from her seat and rushed into the lobby as fast as she could. “He’s coming home!” she shouted in glee.

In moments everyone had raced to the lobby. Fred and Gunn were the last to arrive, but they did so in time to see the vortex open up. Angel dropped, this time to his feet With a slight smile, he greeted the room.

“It’s done.”

***********

Hyperion Hotel
December 8, 2003

I remember when Connor was born. I was so nervous, so fearful, that I couldn’t appreciate the magnitude of the miracle before me. So concerned was I in the threat to my son’s life, that I couldn’t marvel in the tiny bundle I helped create. It took some time before I would fully understand what Connor’s existence meant.

He was a life. A tiny, miraculous life. In my existence, I had excelled in destruction. Particularly, the destruction of life. But in that moment of realization, it struck me. I had created life. A beautiful, pure life. He was something that I devote all of my love, and I discovered that I had the capacity to devote my soul to a being.

And when I held my little angel in my arms, I discovered that feeling again. My beautiful Aileen. My second miracle. With her mother’s perfect eyes, and her mother’s perfect mouth. My beautiful Aileen.

Looking at the scene before me, my heart swells with a pride more powerful than I’ve ever felt. Resting gently in a rocking chair, my love holds OUR miracle to her breasts, singing a lullaby slightly off key. She smiles sweetly down on our little creation.

She feels it too. That overwhelming sense of love. Not the blazing, inferno type of love. The type that burns and consumes, leaving nothing but ashes in its wake. But the warm, enveloping type of love. Like a comforter surrounds you on a chilly night. Surrounding you with warmth, and safety, and contentment.

“What are you thinking?” she asks me. I smile as I walk over and place my hand gently on her cheek. She leans into my touch, as I kneel to place my other hand by the head of our child.

“I’m thinking about Aileen,” I say. “About all the good things she will do. About all the hope she will bring. Can you feel it?” I ask Cordelia. “Can you feel her soul? Can you feel the love that she already holds?” I can see that she does.

“I do,” Cordelia said. “She will bring love to the world. She won’t hesitate to make the needed sacrifice. The sacrifice to save us all.”

I silently agree with her. I lean down to kiss Aileen gently on the forehead. The tiny life yawns as sleep tries to overtake her. I then kiss my Cordelia softly on the lips. Even though we know that our daughter’s destiny is the sacrifice of her life, we accept this. Because we can feel that she does.

“I love you,” I say softly.

“And I love you,” Cordelia answers.

“Sleep well,” I whisper in our miracle’s ear. “Your destiny awaits.”

End.

Liam

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete

Timeline. 9   2 comments

Part 9

Cordelia stared at the woman who wanted her and her unborn child exterminated. “This child can do so much,” she said. “She can eliminate hate and war. Why would you want her dead?”

Allison smirked at the brunette. “You really want to know? How do you like history?”

“Not very,” Cordelia said. “But if it gets me an answer, I’ll listen.”

Allison had to admire the balls this girl had. Walking into a situation she probably wouldn’t get out of, just because she wanted to know the truth. It was noble. Of course, nobility gets people killed.

“The people I work for,” Allison began, “do a lot of cool things. Right now, they’re just an upstart company, struggling to make ends meet. But in a few years, a lot of brilliant minds will come together. They’ll lay the foundation for success decades into the future.

“The War of the Rhineland in 2010 saved my company from bankruptcy. Sure, we’d had a few minor successes before then, but that incident saved us. The technologies we sold the British government to combat the new Neo-Fascist German regime not only stemmed the tide of a European conquest, it also made us boatloads of money.

“When the Arab coalition attacked Israel in 2015, the new fighter planes we sold to the Israelis saved them from total annihilation. It also earned us an exclusive contract to develop aircraft for eight different countries.

“In 2019, when the United States responded to a Russian threat against OPEC, the weapons and computer systems we sold the Americans boosted Hereford Innovations as the top military technologies corporation in the European Community.

“In late 2023, when the Seven Years War began, Hereford Innovations was the world’s leader in military hardware. The tanks we designed were far superior to anything the Americans or Russians could develop. We produced everything from new pulse rifles for the army, to destroyers for the navy, to stealth fighters for the air force.”

Cordelia could only look at Allison in confusion. “What the hell does that have to do with anything?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Allison asked. “It all comes down to one simple idea: There is no money to be made in peace. The mere idea of the Men-clar could be enough to destroy the Hereford conglomerate. During the Seven Years War, we pulled in trillions every year. That’s what happens when you’re the leading military distributor for all the world’s superpowers. We were the leading contractor for the Americans, Russians, Chinese, British, Germans, and Israelis.”

“So you’d kill my daughter just to make a profit?” Cordelia asked incredulously.

Allison pulled a pistol from her waistband, and pointed the muzzle at Cordelia’s head. “You’re damn right I would.”

***********

“Anybody else finding it scary that Angel has Cordelia’s scent in memory?” Xander had concluded that all were in agreement until Oz spoke.

“Well, I have Willow’s scent in memory. I could pick her out in a mall full of people.”

“Aw,” Willow smiled. “That’s so sweet.”

“Yeah,” Xander agreed. “Nothing says ‘I love you’ like picking out your girlfriend in a crowd by smell.”

“You’re just jealous because you can’t smell Cordelia,” Willow said.

“She’s near,” Angel said. The gang waited as the vampire tried to gain a bearing on which way Cordelia went.

The west part of Sunnydale was the oldest. It was the original foundation of the city, dating back to when the town got its jumpstart as a mining and lumber town. Most of the factories had long been abandoned, thanks largely to an local economic boom in the late 1950’s, allowing new businesses to be built elsewhere.

In fact, the west side was like a separate ecosystem. In the dilapidated factories lived homeless, drunkards, and transients who came through on the railroad. They scavenged the dumpsters around the few seedy bars in the area, and the occasional run-down diner.

It was also home to fledgling vampires, youngsters looking for an easy meal by preying on those too weak to defend themselves.

“That way,” Angel pointed. His game face slid in easily. Without waiting for the others, Angel bolted towards the old Henderson sawmill.

“You heard him,” Buffy said. “That way.” The gang gave chase of the vampire; all hoping he would find Cordelia intact.

***********

“You have to understand,” Allison continued, the pistol still pointing at Cordelia. “My company deals in the highest power. The power of knowledge. With knowledge comes the ability to shape those around you as seen fit. When you have the intellectual power, you have the ultimate advantage.

“Because of our knowledge, there will be seventeen Latin American revolutions from 2010 to 2025. We put in place the regimes that would benefit us. Because of our knowledge, the state of Palestine is but a distant memory. Because of our knowledge, we’ve made billions from untapped oil fields in Tunguska. We’ve got Prime Ministers, Presidents, Dictators and Kings on our payroll. And all of them want to buy our knowledge.

“But the existence of the Men-clar would make it all crash around us. The global infrastructure we’ve worked so hard to build would be destroyed. And we can’t let that happen. That’s why I was sent back in time. To destroy the bastard child of a vampire and Seer. To make sure the threat to our existence would never come to be.”

“You’re a sick bitch,” Cordelia spat.

“I know,” Allison smirked.

“She also talks too much.” The vampire sprang from the shadows and deftly knocked the pistol away. Before the assassin could even breathe, Angel had her head in his hands, fully prepared to end her existence.

Led by Buffy, the Scoobies arrived only moments later. “Angel don’t,” Buffy pleaded. “You don’t have to kill her. There has to be another way.”

“Yeah,” Willow agreed. “We don’t want ya going evil or nothing again. How about you put the lady’s neck down?”

As the Scoobies pleaded with the vampire for another solution, Giles stood behind them silently. He knew that his charges wasted their breath. There would be only one way that Allison would survive this encounter. That was if Cordelia allowed her to do so.

“Cordelia?” Angel asked, his eyes flashing yellow.

Cordelia couldn’t believe the situation. It would be so easy to end the life of the person who threatened her child. She knew that killing a human was wrong. It could possibly even be dangerous for Angel to do so. But only one thought raced through the teenager’s mind.

“She wants to hurt my baby. Kill her.” The lack of emotion in her voice startled even her.

The sound of bone snapping was followed by a disturbing silence. The gang stood in horror as Angel dropped the broken body of the time traveler to the floor. The corpse of the once beautiful woman fell in a heap, quickly forgotten by the being that ended her life.

Angel walked slowly to Cordelia, trying not to shock the girl that still stared at the corpse. “Cordelia?” he asked softly, gently laying his hand on her arm. The woman he would come to love stared at him through tear filled eyes.

Softly, Cordelia spoke. “She said the child of a vampire and Seer.” Searching Angel’s face, she found the answer. “You’re the father,” she said. “That’s why you came here. To protect your child.”

Angel nodded slowly. “I came to protect my child. I came to protect the woman that I love more than life itself. I came to protect my family.”

Angel slowly gathered Cordelia into a hug, wrapping his long arms around her, breathing in the smell of her, revealing in the feeling that his family was now safe.

Part 10

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete

Timeline. 8   1 comment

Part 8

October 18, 2003
Hyperion Hotel

“Wow,” Cordelia breathed. She rubbed her stomach affectionately. “I knew this kid would be something special.”

“Something special is right,” Fred agreed. “The savior of mankind. Kinda swells you with maternal pride, huh?”

“I don’t want to burst any bubbles here” Gunn said, “but we gotta remember something. The child that is supposed to bring peace to the world has got some woman in the past trying to make sure it doesn’t get born. The question is why?”

The joyous moment was abruptly ended as reality was once again called into focus. That was the question.

“I doubt that we will learn why,” Wesley said. “The events foretold in the prophecy occur a couple decades in the future. Without knowledge of the situation in detail, we cannot understand Allison’s motivations.”

“But we can learn why,” Connor said. The group turned to look at the teen. “She’s back in the past. With dad. He can learn why.”

They would have to hope so. Because with that knowledge came a way to change the future.

***********

September 3, 1998
Chase Residence

With a copy of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ propped underneath a leg, Cordelia sat on a stool at the kitchen counter. Shrapnel still protruded from the wall. The crystal chandelier would never be the same, and neither would her mother ‘s china collection.

The police had bought the story about the microwave exploding, and considering the condition it was in, it was almost believable. Thankfully the stove still worked.

“My parents are going to have a fit about the repair bill,” Cordelia sighed.

Angel glanced over at Cordelia. Stirring the soup on the stove, he said, “Nah. Remember, as long as we stop Allison, the timeline is secured. That means events will transpire as I remember them, back from my time. I’m the only one who will remember any of this.”

“Which means I won’t even remember that I will become a mother,” Cordelia said. The sadness in her voice made his heart break.

“I know,” Angel said softly. “But I will remember. And I can go back to the future and tell your future self about how you fell in love with a life that won’t even be conceived for another five years.”

Cordelia smiled softly at that. “You think I’ll be a good mother?”

“You’ll kick ass,” Angel said. Grabbing a bowl, Angel poured some tomato soup for Cordelia. “It’s canned, but it was made with love,” he joked.

Cordelia gladly took the proffered soup. “When do you come back from hell?” Angel didn’t expect the question, and it was obvious. “I mean, since you’re around in 2003, that must mean you come back eventually.”

Angel nodded. “I return very soon. I didn’t know at the time, but I was released for a reason. Those people I told you about, the Powers, they brought me back to work for them.”

“So that’s what we do,” Cordelia said. Cordelia seemed to think for a minute. “Do you still love Buffy?”

The girl had a habit of asking questions point blank. “Yeah, I still love her. Not the deep, soul searing kind of love. She was my first love, so she’ll always have a place in my heart.”

“Does that mean you’re alone?”

“No,” Angel said. “The people I work with are my family. Besides, I have you. You won’t let me be alone.”

Cordelia actually blushed at that. It wasn’t often that she did that. And this was 1998 Cordelia he was dealing with. He didn’t think she knew about to blush back then.

It was then that Angel’s ears perked to a sound outside. It was a car, six cylinders. And from the strangled cries the carburetor was making, it was Giles poor excuse of an automobile. Angel cringed at the sound of the dying motor. “He really needs to take care of his car.”

Cordelia looked at him curiously. “What?”

“Nothing. Giles and gang are here.” Angel turned off the stove. “I’m going to cut out of here. I’m not too sure how Buffy and the others might take to my being here. When Giles comes in, tell him to patrol Ericsson Park. You know, the south side with the old Presbyterian Chapel?” Cordelia nodded. “Tell him to patrol there.”

As Angel moved to the door, Cordelia’s voice stopped him. “Where will you be when we patrol?”

Angel smiled at her. “I’ll be around.” Cordelia whipped around at the sound of knocking on the front door. When she looked back, she found the kitchen door open a crack, and Angel long gone.

“Damn vampire,” Cordelia muttered.

***********

“Things are strange,” Xander said. The muttering around him confirmed his sentiment. “A guy, who is supposed to be in hell, shows up on our doorstep to protect a girl who supposedly will give birth to the next messiah.”

“Damn right,” Cordelia exclaimed.

“So, uh, Cordelia? Is there any swelling of maternal pride going on?” Willow asked.

“Damn right,” Cordelia said again.

“I think it’s great Cordelia’s got a destiny,” Oz said. “Everyone should have a role to play. Me? I’m hoping my destiny involves being the lead guitarist of Black Sabbath and a harem of blondes and brunettes hanging on my every word.”

“Hey!” Willow said, slapping her boyfriend’s arm.

“Oh, yeah, plus my favorite redhead by my side.” Oz smiled at his girlfriend, letting her know he was kidding about his destiny.

“Funny,” Giles muttered. “For a period in the mid-eighties, I was hoping that was my destiny.”

“Strange,” Buffy said. “I was thinking you to be more lead singer of Blue Oyster Cult or something.”

“That was late seventies,” Giles said. “Now keep quiet. We’ve a job to do.” The gang fell silent as they continued the patrol.

***********

From the second floor of Sunnydale First Presbyterian in Ericsson Park, Allison Beasley waited. Silently she had stalked the so-called ‘Scooby Gang ‘. Always on the lookout for that damn vampire, she watched the group of teenagers, waiting for them to leave the highly populated city streets.

Finally they turned off Michigan Avenue and headed west. Taking a guess, Allison sprinted ahead to Ericsson Park, setting a sniper position behind the broken painted windows.

At 10:13, the group of vampire hunters appeared. As Allison peered through her rifle scope, she couldn’t help but think. How would the blonde be handling her supposedly hellbound lover protecting the vain girl? Allison thought the situation could be quite amusing.

But that wasn’t important. What was important was the fact that little brunette bitch was now in her crosshairs. And no vampire was around to save her.

“I know what you’re thinking,” a voice boomed from behind her. Turning swiftly, she saw the dark form of the vampire sauntering towards her. “You’ re thinking that you’ve won. That it can all end with a pull of the trigger. Well guess what, bitch? You lost the second you decided to come after my family.”

Allison barely got to her feet before Angel was on her. The first punch sent her flying back against the brick wall, her head banging hard. “How’s your nose?” Angel asked. “I hope it’s okay.”

“How the.” Allison started.

“How can I be standing in a church?” Angel asked for her. “Yeah, I know it’s holy ground and everything, but then again, so is a graveyard. I don’t touch the crosses, I don’t get hurt. Although, there is a tingling sensation all over my body when I enter a church. Kind of kinky actually.”

Angel jumped at her, but Allison delivered a sharp kick to his gut. With the vampire reeling, Allison leapt to her feet and countered. A few hard punches sent him against the wall, his back pressing against a crucifix.

Angel shouted in pain when the symbol began to scorch his back. Angel kneed Allison in the gut to free himself. All he needed was for her to make one mistake. That was all it would take to snap her neck.

But she didn’t make a mistake.

When Angel tried to attack again, the little bitch brought out her newest play toy. The taser hurt like a mother against his chest. The burst against his head made the world go black.

A few minutes later the gang had surrounded the fallen vampire. Allison was nowhere to be found.

“Angel?” Buffy asked. “Are you okay? What happened?”

The vampire forced himself up into a sitting position. “The bitch hit me with a taser. I was going to kill her quickly, but after all this, I’m not so sure.”

“Dude, why didn’t you tell us what you were doing?” Oz asked. “We could have helped you nab her.”

“I needed stealth,” Angel said. “I couldn’t risk someone tripping over their feet.” He looked pointedly at Xander on that one.

“What?” the boy asked. It was then that he realized Angel wasn’t looking at him, but the empty spot behind him.

“Where’s Cordelia?”

***********

Abandoned Sawmill
Seven Blocks Away

Allison tossed the taser away in disgust. She couldn’t finish a simple mission. Ever since her first time jump, things had gotten progressively worse. The vampire not only had her only means of getting home, but he had also foiled every attempt to eliminate the mark. Why couldn’t she get a break?

“Why?” a voice asked.

Maybe there was a God, Allison thought.

“Why do you want to kill my daughter?” Cordelia asked. “When she could do so much for the world?”

Part 9

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete

Timeline. 7   1 comment

Part 7

September 22, 1998
Rupert Giles’ Home

“Man,” Xander said. “Somebody really doesn’t like their peace.”

“I’m sorry,” Angel said. “But what did you say?”

“Men-clar is Persanese,” Giles explained. “I’m over 90 percent certain it means ‘The Bringer of Peace’.”

“Then why would someone want to kill the child?” Willow asked.

“I don’t know,” Giles said. “All I can tell is what is written in the prophecy. As I said, it is all very strange about the order it was written.

“The texts that actually use the word Men-clar are far more recent. The Persanese scribes date to around the year 1500. The oldest documents I can find are written in Latin dating to 350 AD.” Giles removed his glasses and wiped them off. Never before had he come across a prophecy like this.

“The oldest texts are actually Judeo-Christian apocrypha. They are religious texts, not sanctioned by the Church. I’ve managed to translate the Latin.” The Watcher grabbed a notebook and began to read the translation.

“In the dawn of the third millennium, there shall be a time of global unrest. It is a period when all of His lambs shall come into conflict. It is the Seven Years. It is a time when mankind will turn on itself, and walk the road to Armageddon.

“From this time shall emerge a Warrior. He is the Tro-clan.” Angel’s head snapped up at the mention of the Tro-clan. “Only by his bravery in battle will mankind not meet its ruination.

“From the ashes of the Seven Years will arise a Phoenix. She is the Men-clar, The Bringer of Peace, and sister to the Tro-clan. In the darkness following the Seven Years, She will be the Light. From a time of hatred and chaos, She will bring love and order. Mankind shall unite under Her leadership.

“But there shall be those who oppose Her, who in the end will be Her ruination. Her sacrifice will mark the dawn of the Golden Age, a thousand years of peace. Her death shall mark the salvation of mankind, and lead humanity to the end of the third millennium, when He shall pass His judgment on all souls.”

Giles tossed the notebook aside and fell back in his chair. His brain was still trying to grasp the concept that the prophecy spoke of. He could only imagine what was going through the minds of Angel and Cordelia at the moment.

“I don’t get it,” Buffy said. “I mean, the child is.”

“The child is basically the Second Coming of the Messiah,” Giles finished for her. “An individual, who sacrifices their life for the salvation of humanity.” Giles laughed and tossed his glasses to the table. “I can see what the text is considered apocrypha.”

“Why?” Willow asked.

“Because it says the Men-clar is a woman,” Oz said. “Considering how sexist religion tends to be, it’s understandable.”

“So I’ll have a daughter?” Cordelia asked excitedly. “I’ll have a girl who’ s the savior of mankind. How kick ass is that?”

“Indeed,” Giles answered dryly. “Angel, may I speak with you a moment privately?”

Angel froze at the request. The last thing he wanted right now was to deal with questions. He just learned the true destiny of his daughter. He’d have a daughter! Like Cordelia, the excitement he felt over the knowledge was tremendous.

And the realization of the role she would play flooded him with emotion. Pride, joy, wonder, fear, and innumerable others flashed through his mind.

“Angel?”

“Oh, sorry,” the vampire apologized. He reluctantly followed Giles into what appeared to be a study. Angel let out a low whistle. The man’s book collection was quite impressive.

When he felt Giles’ eyes on him, Angel turned to face the man. The Watcher studied the vampire. A few years ago, Angel would have squirmed under the scrutiny. But not now. Not with so much at stake.

“I don’t know how it could be possible. I’ve tried to tell myself that it can’t be. But our worlds are far from the ordinary. Things outside the realm of normal possibility seem to be the norm. So I am going to ask you this question, and I’ve given you the courtesy of doing so in private, so I expect an honest answer. Are you the father of Cordelia’s child?”

Angel stared at the man for several long moments. “I don’t want her to know. I don’t want anyone to know. The distraction it would cause, the anger that would stem from it, it would be best to avoid it.”

“So it is true,” Giles stated. Angel nodded. “How can it be?”

“Like you said,” Angel smiled slightly. “The lives we lead are far from normal. Things outside the normal realm of possibility are the norm. A few well placed prophecies, a couple entities in high levels of power. You’d be surprised at what can happen. Nothing short of miracles.”

At that moment Giles whole perception changed. Before him was not a monster. It was a man. A man who would stop at nothing to protect the family that he loved. That was what this was all about. Salvation of what is important.

“The prophecy made note of another child.”

“The Tro-clan.”

“Yes,” Giles said. “Do you know who it is?”

“I do. He has yet to be born.”

“Are you the father?”

“Yes.”

“Is Cordelia the mother?”

“No.”

“Then who is? Buffy?”

“It doesn’t matter who the mother is,” Angel said. “As long as I can stop Allison from killing Cordelia, his birth will transpire.”

For the time being, Giles would accept that answer. His mind was still reeling from the confirmation of his suspicions. “What should I say if anyone asks any of the questions I posed you?”

Angel smiled at the watcher. It was still strange for Giles, to see the vampire smile without a trace of malevolence. “Just say I stonewalled you. Traces of the old Angel that everyone came to know and despise.”

Despite the situation, Giles had to laugh at that. If Giles hadn’t just read the Men-clar prophecy, he would have sworn that Angel making a joke was a sign of the apocalypse.

“I have to ask. How did you arrive here?”

“Allison had a device. A palm pilot looking contraption. Somehow she could use it to travel across time. She dropped it when trying to escape. A friend from my time analyzed it. She said it had enough energy in it to make a roundtrip here to back home.”

“Where is the device?”

“It’s in a safe place. I didn’t want to risk it being damaged, or risk Allison finding it.”

Now it was time for the big question. “What do we do about this assassin?”

“Simple,” Angel said. “We draw her out into the open. Then I destroy her.”

Part 8

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete

Timeline. 6   1 comment

Part 6

September 22, 1998
Rupert Giles’ Home

With a loud groan, the vampire awoke. Tentatively opening one eye, Angel sighed heavily. He recognized that headboard. Same old, same old.

Or maybe not.

For one thing, he was lying on his belly. Which was probably a good thing, especially considering the pain radiating from several points on his back. The lack of handcuffs was also an encouraging sign.

“Good morning sleepyhead.”

Angel’s eyes snapped open fully. That was not the voice he was used to waking up to. Slowly, Angel rolled to his side and saw where the voice came from.

“So, from that comment I can assume it’s morning?”

“Well,” Buffy shrugged, “it’s actually mid-afternoon. Which in vampire terms is probably early morning.”

Angel managed a small laugh as he gingerly sat up. “I hurt..like hell,” he moaned.

“I’m not surprised,” Buffy said. “Willow found a lot of metal in your back. We’re thinking of melting it down so we can make a new bumper for Giles’ car.”

“Give the little witch a hug for me for playing doctor. I doubt she let me close enough to do it myself.” Angel fell back over onto his side when he had a sudden thought. “Cordelia!” The vampire tried to climb from the bed, but Buffy forced him down. “I have to see Cordelia!”

“Angel,” Buffy soothed. “She’s fine. A little spooked from all the near death experiences, but physically she’s good.”

“I have to talk to Giles. Men-clar, the child is the Men-clar,” Angel explained.

“We know. We heard you last night. Giles has spent all day researching it. Now just sit back and rest.”

Any other time, Angel would be fighting his way out. But at the moment he felt like shit. Nodding, he fell back against the bed, hissing when his back met the mattress. He laid there in silence for several minutes.

All the time he felt Buffy’s eyes on him.

“You’re still alive in five years,” Angel said.

Buffy sputtered a few times trying to form a sentence. How had he known what she was thinking?

“I’ve gotten good with people,” Angel grinned. He had her off-balance. This wasn’t the behavior she expected from him, and he damn well knew it.

“So,” Buffy hesitated, “are we still.”

“No,” Angel said. “Not for a long time.”

“There’s somebody else?” Buffy asked.

Angel said nothing.

“Anyone that I would know?”

Angel sighed heavily. “Even if I told you, you wouldn’t remember it. So why tell you, when I just know it’ll make you lose your focus.” Angel cut off her protest. “I know you, Buffy. After so many years, I can analyze your behavior when it came to me. If I tell you I’ve moved on, it will distract you. And honestly, in my condition, I’ll need your help to stop Allison.”

Buffy just looked away when Angel tried to look into her eyes. She didn’t want to hear it. She wanted to know that she would be with the man she loved. Not that he was with someone new.

“Buffy, I’m.”

“No, it’s okay.” Buffy moved quickly to the door. “I’ll get Cordelia for you.” Buffy was gone before he even could speak again.

Angel flopped back against the bed, muttering a few curses when his head hit the headboard. A couple minutes later Cordelia arrived. She hesitantly peeked her head into the room.

“Come on in,” Angel said.

Cordelia walked confidently into the room. Angel had to admire her. Given the time and place this was, at best she should look as if she were afraid of him. Besides Buffy, she was probably the only one of the Scoobies who would be willing to be in a room alone with him.

“So Vamp-boy. How are you?”

***********

Hyperion Hotel
October 18, 2003

He found it. And oh boy, did he ever find it.

Wesley looked up from the demonic Persanese transcribed on the pages of the book before him. Oh yeah, he found it.

“Connor?” he called out to the teenager.

The youth appeared at the office door moments later. “Yeah?” Connor was sipping on yet another orange soda. His father would really have to talk to him about cavities when he returned.

“Would you please retrieve Cordelia for me? I believe she’s outside by the fountain.”

“Sure. What’s up, English?” The boy picked up some nasty linguistic habits, too.

“I believe I found the meaning to Men-clar.”

***********

Cordelia hadn’t hesitated to hop on the bed next to him. After she made herself comfortable, which included stealing some of his pillows, she asked the big question.

“So what am I like in five years?” Angel grinned at her straightforwardness. “Hey, like you said, we won’t remember any of this. So what’s the harm in telling? Anyway, how far pregnant am I in your time?’

“It’s October in my time. You’re about seven and a half months along.”

“So is the father handsome and successful?” she asked.

“Probably,” Angel smirked. “You wouldn’t settle for anything less.”

“Darn right.”

Angel laughed, which was a bad idea since it aggravated his back. “In the future, you’re a true Champion. You receive visions from entities called the Powers That Be. These visions allow me to go out and save the people who need help. You’re right there beside me in my quest for redemption.”

That sounded cool, Cordelia thought. “But I don’t get to kick butt like Buffy?” she asked, somewhat disappointed.

“On the contrary, you become one hell of a fighter. You learned from the best.” Angel puffed his chest up in pride. He deflated in mock hurt at Cordelia’s “Pfft!”

“But like I said, you’re a true Champion. The things you will do not only save the lives of hundreds of innocents, it saves me on more than one occasion. You’re honest, and noble, and courageous. You’re a good person with a good soul. You’re everything that I can never hope to be,” he said softly. “You’re my hero.”

“So I turn out all right?” Cordelia asked, her voice full of emotion.

Angel laughed softly. “You turn out just fine.”

Outside the bedroom door, Willow stood. She hadn’t meant to intrude, but the words forced her to listen. At first, she thought that perhaps Angel was just being nice. But the emotion his voice carried told a different story. After a few seconds of thought, Willow gently knocked on the door.

“Angel?” she called, peaking her head in.

“What’s up, Red?”

Willow paused at that. This definitely wasn’t the Angel they knew. “Giles wants you to come down. He thinks he found information on the Men-clar.”

***********

“Giles?” Willow asked. “Can I speak with you a moment in private?”

The Watcher would have said it could wait, but then he saw Willow’s serious look. The one where her eyes open real wide and she starts to bite her bottom lip. “Certainly.” Giles led her from the living room into his study. Shutting the door, he asked, “Willow, what is on your mind?”

The redhead didn’t really know how to get her point across. “Have you noticed that Angel seems kind of fond of Cordelia?”

Giles pondered the question a moment before answering. “Well, from what Angel has described, he and Cordelia spend much of their time together. After a number of years of such close proximity, it is only natural that he would hold a certain level of affection for her.”

“Yeah,” Willow laughed nervously, then switched back to serious. The girl would eventually give herself an ulcer, Giles decided. “Speaking of affection,” Willow said, “have you noticed how Angel pays an unproportional amount of attention to Cordelia as to say, uh, Buffy?”

“Like I said before, Willow, after a certain amount of time, it is only natural he would incorporate Cordelia as a main player in his existence.”

“I mean,” Willow said, still not able to really get her point across, “have you noticed he seemed to hang on every word she said a few nights ago? Kinda like.” Willow broke the sentence off. Maybe she was just nuts. Cordelia and Angel? Nah.

For Giles, however, understanding dawned in his eyes. He thought back to the first night Angel was here. It was a slight slip of the tongue, and Giles had passed it off as fatigue or bad hearing.

“Willow? Go back into the living room. Tell the others I shall be there momentarily. I need to gather my papers.”

Willow nodded in confusion at Giles abrupt change of tone. “Sure,” she said. She quickly left the room, leaving Giles alone to his thoughts.

It should be impossible, Giles concluded. But again, this is the Hellmouth. It was the place where the impossible becomes the possibility. Glancing at the notes he made from his texts about the Men-clar, he realized that once again that sentiment had proven true.

***********

The AI gang all gathered in the office. After days of searching, it seemed that Wesley had finally stumbled on the answer.

“You found it?” Cordelia asked. “You know what Men-clar means?”

“I believe so,” Wesley said. “Normally, when it comes to prophesies in our line of work, it follows a certain pattern. The original text that the prophecy is transcribed on is in an ancient demonic language. It is then transcribed into Latin, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, or occasionally Aramaic. Eventually, many prophecies can be found in Middle German, or more often, Old English. That isn’t the case with the Men-clar prophecy.

“It seems the oldest texts are written in ancient Earth languages. The newer texts are the ones in the demonic languages. Persanese, in this case.”

“What does that mean?” Fred asked.

“Wesley,” Cordelia said sharply. “What does Men-clar mean? Does it tell what Angel’s and my child will be?”

***********

“As I said,” Giles continued. “It is all very confusing about the progression of texts and the languages it is written in.”

“Giles,” Angel said. The Watcher stopped his ramblings and peered at the vampire. “What does Men-clar mean?”

Giles took a deep breath and steadied himself. He had the full attention of everyone in the room.

“It appears to mean ‘The Bringer of Peace’.”

Part 7

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete

Timeline. 5   1 comment

Part 5

September 21, 1998
Sunnydale High School

“Is it just me,” Buffy began, “or is Cordelia not even in the solar system anymore?”

The Scoobies were all gathered in the library, trying to discuss the best course of action to keep Cordelia out of harm. The brunette wasn’t really contributing any ideas. Instead, Cordelia had the same faraway look in her eyes that she had the previous day.

“I’m wondering if we’re even in the same universe,” Xander answered. He waved his hand in front of his girlfriend’s face. No response.

“She seems to be taking this in stride,” Oz observed. The thought that Cordelia would be a mother didn’t terrify him as much as it probably should.

“She’s been like that since Angel said she’d be a mom,” Willow said. This was just plain weird. A future version of Angel came back in time to protect Cordelia and her unborn child. And Cordelia was going catatonic over the fact she’d be a mother.

“Welcome to the Hellmouth,” Buffy said.

Giles made his entrance from the back of the book stacks, frustrated. Try as he might, he couldn’t find much of anything to disprove what Angel was saying. If things didn’t change for the better, Giles might be forced to believe the vampire.

“Any luck?” Willow asked.

“Absolutely none,” Giles answered. The Englishman wearily wiped his glasses as he spoke. “I searched every prophecy I could find. I can’t find anything about a time shifting demon assassin trying to eliminate the birth of a child.”

For the first time that day, Cordelia spoke. “That’s because she isn’t demon. She’s human. Angel said so.”

“And we believe that monster all of a sudden, why?” Xander asked. “For all we know, someone might be trying to stop him from killing you.”

“Pfft!” Cordelia waved him off. “I’m sorry, but having half your hide taken off your back to save my life kind of endears me to someone.”

“Still,” Giles insisted, “if at all possible, I would prefer that Angel not come too close. Even if he speaks the truth about traveling back in time, we have no true idea of his motivations. It could be all a manipulation.”

Cordelia quickly waved off the Watcher before returning to her daydreams. Rebecca Leigh for a girl, Matthew Tyler for a boy she decided.

“Perhaps it would be best if some of you could stay with Cordelia tonight,” Giles suggested. “In her home, she would be safe from Angel. And with Buffy there, she’d have protection from this other anonymous being.”

“Me?” Buffy squeaked. “I should stay at Cordelia’s?” That was not her idea of a good time.

“Yes,” Giles said, not missing his Slayer’s reluctance. “Is that acceptable to you Cordelia?”

“Sure,” Cordelia answered, still in her daydream. Maybe Hannah Michelle for a girl, Cordelia considered. “Just come after 10:30. That’s when the housekeeper leaves for the night. She’s not supposed to let people in when my parents are away.”

“Then I guess it’s a sleepover,” Buffy groaned.

“Perhaps Willow could keep you company,” Giles suggested.

The redhead gulped audibly. Oh…joy.

***********

Chase Residence
10:24 PM

“Goodnight Miss Cordelia,” Rosa, the housekeeper called to the teenager.

Cordelia sat at the kitchen table, and didn’t even look up from her notebook as Rosa shut the door on the way out. Jordan was a good name, she decided. That could be for a boy or girl.

Cordelia tossed aside the pencil and sighed heavily. What the hell was going on? Ever since Angel had said that she would eventually carry a child, she had been off in another world. She even flatly refused to go out with Harmony and the gang for a night at the Bronze.

Maybe it was the idea that she could be a better parent that either of the two she possessed that made Cordelia daydream. She may be a rich bitch with the material goods, but it’d be nice to have mom and dad give her a hug every once in a while.

Getting up, Cordelia went to the fridge and grabbed a Diet Coke. Searching through a drawer, she came up with a bag of popcorn. Tossing it into the microwave, she pressed ‘High’ and waited for the beep.

She didn’t hear the sound out the front door being jimmied open. Allison Beasley tucked the pick back into her pocket. She then pulled out her new toy. The Beretta felt damn good in her hand, despite the fact it was an antiquated relic. At least, in her time it was.

Walking silently through the living room, Allison twisted on her homemade silencer. From the kitchen she heard sounds of a microwave. Following the noise, Beasley quietly strode up to the kitchen doorway.

The mark was standing by the far counter, flipping through a book of baby names as she waited for the popcorn to finish. Allison leveled the Beretta at the mark’s head and pulled back on the cock.

“CLICK.”

Fuck, Allison mentally shouted. Didn’t count on that.

The sound of the bullet being chambered resonated throughout the kitchen. Cordelia Chase spun around and spotted the woman with the pistol. Thinking quick, she tossed the baby book at the intruder and dove behind the island counter.

Allison fired quickly, but the bullet missed and shattered a coffeepot. With a groan of frustration, Allison tossed the pistol aside. The silencer was only good for one shot. She then whipped out her favorite serrated blade.

Cordelia crawled towards the kitchen door to try to escape, but Allison was on her in a second. The assassin grabbed Cordelia’s hair, and jerked the brunette to her feet. Smothering Cordelia’s mouth with her left hand, Allison held the knife to her throat.

“Sorry, little girl,” Allison grinned. “It’s nothing personal. It’s just that your little bastard can never be born.”

The kitchen door flew off its hinges. Cordelia had never been so thankful to see Angel before in her life. And boy, did he look pissed.

“Let her go!” Angel shouted.

“Sorry,” Allison mocked. “Can’t really do that.” Allison grinned as she realized the vampire’s predicament. “Oh,” she taunted. “That’s right. You can’t come in unless you’re invited. That means you have to watch as I slit your little bitch’s throat. I may be from the future, but I read up on the rules about your kind.”

Angel growled furiously at the assassin. His game face slid easily into place, his fangs barred in anger. Angel then took a few steps away from the door. “Screw the rules,” Angel growled.

With a running start, Angel leapt at the door. The mystical barrier shattered like a pane of glass as Angel flew past the threshold. The moment of shock on Allison’s part was all the time the vampire needed.

Angel knocked Cordelia away and proceeded to land a series of punches to the assassin. But Allison quickly recovered and countered the vampire’s offensive. A shot to the gut and a spinning roundhouse kick sent Angel reeling backwards against the counter.

Allison jumped on Angel and twisted him around so his back was to her front. With her left hand, she jerked Angel’s left arm behind him in an arm lock. She then dug her right elbow into the very spot her pulse round struck two days before. Angel howled in pain as Allison ground her elbow into the wound.

“How’s that feel, vampire?” Allison taunted.

“Not bad,” Angel grunted. With a quick snap, Angel broke Allison’s nose with his right hand. “How’s that feel, bitch?”

Allison fell back, clutching her broken and bleeding nose. A sharp kick sent her flying against the wall. Angel pounced on his prey. He grabbed Allison by the neck and pressed her against the wall. Allison choked in desperation. She couldn’t breathe.

“Why do you want the child dead?” Angel shouted. “Tell me!”

Angel loosened his grip only enough for her to choke out her words. “The child is the Men-clar,” Allison grunted. “It is an abomination, a threat to the future. It must be destroyed.”

Angel’s eyes flashed dangerously. “Wrong answer,” he growled. “A piece of advise before I send you to hell. Never fuck with a man’s family.”

Allison forced a strangled laugh. “You’re not exactly a man.”

With a flick of her wrist, a knife dropped down into her palm from the holster attached to her forearm. She buried the blade in the soft flesh just above Angel’s left hip. Angel lost his grip as he shouted in pain.

Allison kicked the vampire away and grabbed a canister from the small of her back. As Angel jerked the knife from his gut, she said, “This isn’t over.”

She tossed the canister in Cordelia’s direction as she leapt into the living room. Angel’s eyes widened in terror as he realized what it was. “Cordelia! Get down!”

Pure protective instinct once again took over. Angel used a burst of vampire speed to grab Cordelia and place his body between her and the canister.

The fragmentation grenade exploded the instant it hit the ground. Shrapnel and linoleum from the tile floor sprayed throughout the kitchen. The metal fragments shredded Angel’s back as he dropped both of them to the floor. He stayed on top of Cordelia until he was sure the last bits of the blast had dissipated. Only then, with an agonizing grunt did he roll off her.

It was then that the Scoobies came through the kitchen door and saw the carnage.

“What happened?” Buffy shouted as she rushed to Angel’s side, not bothering to check on Cordelia.

“She was here,” Cordelia explained, too distraught to bitch about the lack of attention Buffy paid her. “She tried to kill me, but Angel saved me.”

Willow went to Angel’s side to help Buffy, as both of the men moved to help Cordelia up. “We need to call Giles,” Willow frantically said.

Buffy’s ears perked up at the sounds of police cars in the distance. “Scratch that. We need to go to Giles. Cops are coming. We need to go. I doubt this is something we could easily explain.”

Oz and Buffy grabbed onto Angel and hoisted him up. They needed to get him out of here quick.

“Men-clar,” Angel muttered. “Child is the Men-clar.” The vampire groaned one final time before lapsing into unconsciousness.

“What was that?” Oz asked.

“Dunno,” Buffy grunted as she lifted Angel at the shoulders. “It can wait. Grab his feet. We need to go.”

The two carried the wounded vampire out the door as Xander scooped Cordelia into his arms. Willow was the last to make her way out the door. Before she left, she took a last look around.

It’s like a war zone, she thought. To go through this pain, the war must be personal to Angel. Willow slipped out the back door just as the police began to pull up at the front door.

Part 6

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete

Timeline. 4   1 comment

Part 4

September 20, 1998
Rupert Giles’ Home
8:21 PM

Angel stared blankly at the young witch. Willow gave another nervous smile. Oz left the room to tell Giles that the vampire was now conscious. “So,” Willow began, “you aren’t here to kill everybody, are ya?”

Even with that comment, Willow still talked to him as if he was her best friend. Angel always liked this girl. She had gumption, brains, and a weird sense of humor. If Angel hadn’t been so awestruck by Buffy back then, he might have made a run at this girl.

“I wasn’t planning on it,” Angel deadpanned. “How about setting me loose?” Angel rattled the handcuffs for emphasize.

“Oh well, that’s good then,” Willow grinned. In a flash, she turned nervous again. “About the handcuff thing, I can’t really do that. Not to say you’re a liar or anything, but last time we saw you, you tried to suck us into hell. No offense.”

Angel smiled at Willow’s niceties. “None taken,” the vampire said. “Since I assume Oz went to get Giles, you wanna turn the TV on while we wait. I want to see if Scooby-Doo is on.”

Willow had hoped that Angel was all better, but now she knew. He was still evil. The Angel they knew didn’t act like this.

“I have my soul,” Angel assured her, sensing Willow’s thoughts. “I have you to thank for that.”

Giles stepped quickly into the room bearing a crossbow. Buffy was right behind him with a stake.

“Hi,” Angel said, trying to be cheerful. “I was about to watch Scooby-Doo, you wanna join me?”

Giles glared at the vampire with a hardened look in his eyes. “You will tell me how you came to be here, and you will give me a damn good reason why you are here. Otherwise, I will send you back to hell.”

Angle met the watcher’s icy stare with one of his one. But after a few moments, the vampire’s eyes softened. “Take a seat,” he said. “You might want to bring the rest of the gang in here, too. They should hear this.”

***********

Hyperion Hotel
October 17, 2003

“Duncan Smyth is a very interesting character,” Fred said. The girl sat behind her laptop and studied the web page before her. Everyone gathered around as she began to rattle off the details.

“Received his doctorate in physics from Cambridge at the age of 21. He was quickly given a professorship at Cambridge and instant recognition because of his youth. After that, his career ran into a lot of controversy. Most of it came in 1987 at the age of 24, when in a thesis published and reported at an international conference, he basically said all that Einstein reported about time and space was crap.”

“Damn,” Gunn said. “You gotta have brass to say Einstein was full of shit.”

Fred continued as if she had ever been interrupted. “Like I said, his career went downhill. In 1989, his lost all university funding on his experiments to prove time travel was possible. In 1990, Cambridge finally had enough of his antics and forced him to resign.”

“Interesting stuff,” Cordelia said, “but what about Schuber?”

Fred quickly jumped to another page she had book marked. “Friedrich Schuber was a boy genius basically. As a teenager in the 1970’s, he was helping design computer processors that would redefine the industry. After graduating from the University of Vienna with a doctorate in chemistry, Schuber became interested in electromagnetism.

“He gained quite a bit of fame in the field. Eventually, NASA hired him in an attempt to develop a fuel cell to use on lunar modules, and hopefully later on the space shuttle. Reportedly he came up with a revolutionary idea, but it seems he could never quite get it to work. His idea never got past the prototype stage. NASA fired him in the early 90’s. After that, both Smyth and Schuber sank into anonymity.”

“Until both began work at a small technology research company in London,” Wesley observed.

“That’s a hell of a story,” Lilah admitted. “But why would some two-bit research institute hire a pair of disgraced scientists? Certainly not for prestige.”

“Unless it was an educated gamble,” Cordelia inserted. “Maybe they took the chance that both men had refined their work.”

“That’s certainly possible,” Wesley said. “Two men with ideas that if applicable could change the course of human history. It’d be worth the gamble.”

“So what?” Gunn asked. “Tom and Harry finally get their toys to work? No, man. This chick was carrying around a piece of equipment that Fred said was flawed in its efficiency. That means the technology is probably still new.”

Fred picked up where Charles was heading. “Which means that it will still be several years before the ideas will finally catch up to the technology.”

“Wait a minute!” Cordelia shouted. “Flawed in its efficiency? Fred?” That was not something she wanted to hear.

“Angel will be fine,” Fred assured her. “I calculated wasted energy into the equation when I determined travel distance and stuff. Angel will get home.”

Cordelia’s blood pressure was still up five points from that. She needed to lie down, get off her feet. Patting her stomach, she decided Little One could use a rest two. “Fine,” Cordelia said. “I’m going to go upstairs awhile. Come get me if you need me.”

Once Cordelia was out of earshot, Wesley turned to Fred. “You’re sure that there is enough energy for Angel to get home?”

“Oh yeah,” Fred said confidently. There was a 94% chance he had sufficient energy to come home. Certainly better odds than at Lotto.

***********

“You’re here from the future,” Giles said skeptically. Angel nodded in response.

“And you’re here to protect CORDELIA?” Buffy added. After the tears had ceased falling when she learned her love had returned, Buffy had gone into business mode. She prepared himself for when he woke up. But she was not ready for this.

“Why?” Giles demanded. “Why would you care about what happens to Cordelia? Why would you care if she lives or dies? You two have never been close.”

“Hey!” Cordelia said. “I’m in the room!”

Angel turned his head to give his full attention to the woman that would love him completely in a few short years. “Because you can’t even begin to realize the importance of the role Cordelia will play in the coming years. Hundreds of lives will be lost in the future if she were to die.” Softly, Angel said, “Because she’s my best friend.”

“How can we even believe you?” Giles questioned. “Only a few months ago you tried to suck the world into hell.”

“Yeah,” Angel muttered. “Not my finest moment. But you have to believe me. I NEED her to stay alive. For my own survival as well.”

“Why does this assassin want Cordelia dead?” Giles asked.

“It’s not Cordelia she wants dead,” Angel said quietly.

“Funny,” Cordelia snapped. “It sure seemed like she was shooting at ME.”

“It’s not you she wants dead,” Angel repeated loudly. “It’s the child you will eventually carry that she wants dead.”

The room fell silent. For several minutes nobody spoke. They were all shocked at the revelation. Finally, Cordelia spoke, a slight trace of amazement in her voice. “I’ll be a mom?” she asked.

“Why does this woman want to prevent this child’s eventual birth?”

“Our, uh, her child will evidently become someone of great importance in the future. I don’t know the exact reasons why she wants to prevent it. All I know is that she’s jumped to two different points in time to try and prevent this child’s birth.”

Angel hoped to God that no one caught his little slip of the tongue. They all seemed to have missed it, all except Giles that is.

“Who is the child’s father?” Giles questioned. The damn Watcher caught his slip. He had to lie quick.

“I don’t know,” Angel said. “Cordelia never told me, and I didn’t press her. I figured she’d tell me when she was ready to say.”

Giles seemed pacified for the time being. The Brit thought perhaps his hearing was going bad for a moment.

“I’m going to be a mom,” Cordelia whispered again.

Everyone tried to process the information they had just been told. It was a lot to take in, and was quite difficult to comprehend. Cordelia was silently marveling in the fact she’d eventually become a mother.

Xander wondered who the hell the father was. Giles pondered whether he should kill Angel. Buffy, however, didn’t believe a word of it. It was all a lot of trouble to go through over someone like Cordelia.

“Are you going to let me go?” Angel asked. “Are you going to let me do the job that I came to do?”

After a moments thought, Giles responded simply. “No.”

Angel glared at the Watcher. He respected the man a great deal back then. Hell, he respected him still. And he was truly sorry for taking Jenny away from him. But “no” was not the answer he wanted.

“Tough shit then.” With a jerk, Angel tore the handcuff chain in half, instantly freeing himself of the bed. “I won’t let you stop me from protecting her.”

Giles quickly leveled the crossbow as the vampire gingerly rose to his feet. The Scoobies quickly pulled out their stakes, prepared to use them if necessary.

Angel glanced around the room, knowing full well that they would kill him. “In the future,” Angel started, “Cordelia is my best friend. She knows me inside and out, better than anyone has since my mother over two centuries ago. She means too damn much to me to simply bow down. I will protect her, and I will kill anyone who threatens to harm her.”

Angel cracked the handcuffs around his wrists like walnuts. He discarded the useless metal on the bed. “Next time you handcuff a vampire,” Angel advised, “make sure the metal is enchanted. Otherwise, you’d be dead.”

Slowly, Angel grabbed his duster from the chair by the bed. Any second he expected the crossbow bolt to pierce his heart, ending his existence. Wrapping the duster around his body to cover his bloodstained shirt, Angel slowly moved to the bedroom door. Everyone moved to the side to get out of his way, although none of them knew quite why. Head lowered, the vampire eased his way out the door and down the stairs to safety.

All the while, Giles had the crossbow trained on Angel’s heart. When the vampire disappeared, he lowered the weapon with a sigh, not really understanding what just happened.

“We just let that monster walk out of here,” Xander exclaimed. “We just let that damn vampire walk out of here! Who knows who he could kill! We should get him!”

“No,” Giles said. “Leave him be.”

“What?” everyone, including Buffy exclaimed.

“Need it be said that the demon that tried to suck the world into hell just walked out that door?” Xander asked.

Calming down, Buffy spoke. “Maybe Giles is right. He could have easily killed Willow when Oz left the room. But he didn’t.”

“So? He knew we’d kill him if he did.”

“No,” Willow said. “I admit, that wasn’t the Angel that we all know but it wasn’t Angelus either.”

“So the question remains: what do we do?” Oz asked.

“I honestly don’t know,” Giles said. The Watcher dropped the crossbow on his bed and proceeded to wipe his glasses. “But what I can suggest is that we gather to offer Cordelia some sort of protection, whether it be from this mystery assassin Angel spoke of, or Angel himself.”

Giles turned to Cordelia to get her opinion. “Cordelia? Do you have anything to say on the matter?”

Cordelia was still staring off into space, a slight smile on her face. “I’m going to be a mom,” she repeated. “That’s so cool.”

Part 5

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete

Timeline. 3   1 comment

Part 3

Hyperion Hotel
October 17, 2003

Lilah Morgan walked into the offices of Angel Investigations, confident no one at Wolfram and Hart would know. That happened when the surveillance equipment went on the fritz.

“So, whom do I talk to about taking my case?” Lilah called.

From the back office came the entire gang, Cordelia in the lead. “Did you find anything?” Cordelia asked. She was still hesitant around the lawyer, despite Angel’s recent comfort around her. Begrudgingly, Cordy had to admit Lilah had come through several times in the past year.

“I think so,” Lilah answered. Flipping open a file folder she carried, Lilah began to recite information. “Hereford Innovations does indeed exist. Located in London, the company was founded in 1996 by Douglas Edwards and Michelle O’Leary.”

Lilah handed the folder to an eager Fred, who began to quickly root through the contents. “What does Hereford Innovations specialize in?” Wesley asked.

“They do computer stuff,” Lilah said. “They’ve made a small name for themselves in research to boost cellular phone reception. They’ve also developed a pistol that is now employed by British recon units. That’s about it.”

“No groundbreaking research,” Wesley observed.

“Not yet anyway,” Gunn said.

“Hold on a second.” Fred flipped through the folder and came back to a page she found particularly interesting. “This is a spreadsheet of major employees at Hereford Innovations.”

“Yeah,” Lilah said. “They actually have a website. I pulled that page off it.”

“Well, I’ve heard of two of these people,” Fred stated confidently.

“Okay,” Cordy drawled. “But what does that mean?”

Fred looked at the gang, understanding starting to form in her eyes. “It means, if this information is true, I can begin to explain how a woman from thirty years in the future can travel through time on a whim.”

***********

Sunnydale, California
September 19, 1998

Rupert Giles stared in fascination at the metal dumpster outside the Elm Street Clinic. Placing his fist near the hole, he could determine that the entry shot was slightly larger. Whatever had narrowly missed Cordelia, and ignited this trash receptacle, was about the size of softball.

During the lunch break, the Scoobies had all gathered in the high school library to recount the tale of last night’s events. Giles was deeply upset that one of his charges had so nearly been killed, even if it was Cordelia. But then the natural curiosity came through.

“Tell it to me again,” Giles asked of his Slayer.

“Like I said, I didn’t see much,” Buffy said. “I was fighting a couple vamps, then I heard kind of a ‘thwomp’ noise. Next thing I know, Cordelia is on the ground, and the dumpster is on fire.”

“But you say there was a man that knocked her out of the way?”

“That’s right, G-man. We saw him clear as day, except that it was night and kind of overcast…” Xander rambled before Willow elbowed him.

“A man came running from that alley across the way,” Willow pointed. “Whoever it was tackles better than most of the linebackers on varsity.”

“It was Angel,” Cordelia insisted again. The brunette wore a small bandage on her hairline. It was hard to find a hairdo that would look stylish and cover it up.

“Cordelia,” Buffy said sadly. “It couldn’t have been Angel. I killed him.” The blonde began to tear up at the mention of her dead love.

“Poo,” Cordelia exclaimed, not really thinking about what Buffy might be feeling. “It was El Vampiro himself, or my name isn’t Cordelia Chase.”

“Well Linda Lu, shall I take you to dinner tonight as a consolation prize?” Xander inquired. He received a Cordelia ‘death stare’ in return.

“Sorry to break the lovers quarrel,” Oz said, “but we’re straying from the point here. There’s somebody shooting weird ass lights at Cordelia, and somebody who took a nosedive to protect her.”

“Quite right,” Giles agreed. “I’ll of course research this afternoon. But I suggest that we all patrol tonight, myself included. Perhaps this mysterious assassin and Cordelia’s Guardian Angel shall reappear.”

“Great!” Cordelia exclaimed. “What happens when whoever starts using me for target practice again?”

Buffy managed a small grin at the brunette’s query. “Duck,” she said.

***********

Clarke’s Ridge Cemetery
11:21 PM

“There are to many cemeteries in this damn town,” Cordelia muttered.

“The perks of the Hellmouth,” Xander retorted.

“Guys,” Buffy said. “We’re here to keep an eye out for any would-be assassins and any vampires stupid enough to cross us.”

“Precisely,” Giles agreed. “So be quiet and keep your eyes open.”

The Scoobies shut up at Giles’ request. For several minutes the gang patrolled the cemetery in silence. That is, until Cordelia spoke up.

“This grass is really sticking to my heels.”

Buffy lowered her stake and turned back to stare at the other girl. “Why are you wearing heels on patrol?”

Cordelia gave her best ‘duh’ look to the Slayer. “It’s the only pair of shoes I have that match this skirt.”

“You only have one pair that matches that skirt?” Buffy asked incredulously. “Damn, you’re slipping in style points.”

“Bite me, Buffy,” Cordelia snapped back.

“Will you both hush?” Giles demanded. The Watcher was growing increasingly tired of the two girls’ incessant squabbling. “I swear, if I have to say it again…”

“Giles, shut up,” Buffy ordered.

Normally, Giles would have snapped back at his Slayer for saying that, but he didn’t this time. Her ‘Spider Senses’ were working, he realized.

“Vampires?” Giles questioned.

“Would this be a good time to circle the wagons?” Willow asked timidly.

“Shush,” Buffy ordered again. “Vampire somewhere near,” she said after a moment. “Keep a lookout.”

Two hundred yards away, on the roof of a crypt built along the cemetery’s west wall, Allison Beasley steadied her weapon for the kill shot.

***********

Angel made sure to trail a safe distance behind the Sunnydale gang. The vampire wanted to keep his presence a secret as long as possible. It would be tough for him to stick to the shadows, especially after seeing what it was like in the light, but he felt this was the best option.

Angel watched his future love trudge through the slightly wet grass. Every ten feet or so, she’d stop and pull at dirt clumps that stuck to her heels. Angel grinned as he remembered the Cordelia from high school. Only she would gallivant around a cemetery hunting vampires in a short skirt and heels. He could imagine the fussing she was making.

She looked incredibly beautiful, Angel thought with a sigh. Long shapely legs leading to an attractive, short black skirt. She had a white silk shirt that showed off the tiniest bit of cleavage. And damn, her hair looked pretty. He’d have to convince future Cordelia to grow it out again.

Suddenly Buffy tensed. Angel quickly ducked behind a tree to hide. She detected a vampire near, he knew. Hopefully she wouldn’t detect which vampire it was. Angel peered at her through a twist of the branches. Oh yeah, she felt a vampire near.

Just like the Slayer’s senses went on full alert, Angel’s went haywire as well. The vampire quickly shifted to game face to access the possible threat. A couple hundred yards away he saw it. Allison was preparing to take her shot.

“Fuck!” Angel said aloud and bolted towards the Sunnydale gang. His vampire speed allowed him to close the gap between himself and Cordelia in a matter of moments. Dread filled the vampire as a loud ‘thwomp’ echoed throughout the cemetery. He didn’t know if he’d make it.

But he did.

Angel launched his body in front of Cordelia, taking the grapefruit sized pulse round square in his back. His momentum knocked him into Cordelia, sending them both into the ground.

The other members heard the distinct sound of the shot being fired, and turned back just in time to see a large body knocking Cordelia to the ground. The bullet impacted between the figure’s shoulders, sending blood flying everywhere. Willow jerked back in shock when a splatter of blood coated her cheek. She’d been closest to Cordelia when it happened.

“Aaghh!” Cordelia cried from underneath the body that fell atop her. “A little help please?”

The gang was quickly by her side, pulling the body away from her. They all gasped in shock at who it was.

“Angel?”

***********

“Who are they Fred?” Cordelia asked.

Fred continued to examine the paper before her. If this was true, then it could explain everything. “There are two men here that I’ve read about. Duncan Smyth and Friedrich Schuber.”

When Fred stopped, Cordelia grew extremely anxious. “Fred!” The other woman snapped to attention and noticed the entire group was focused on her.

“Oh, sorry,” Fred apologized. “Smyth is a British theoretical physicist. Schuber is an Austrian who made a big name working with electromagnetism.” Everyone stared at her blankly.

“Electro-what?” Gunn asked.

Fred sighed heavily. This would take a lot of explaining. “Give me ten minutes,” she said. “I’ll try to dig something up.” Fred then retreated back to her laptop to begin researching.

“He he,” Gunn chuckled. “Damn British can’t even spell ‘Smith’ right.” Gunn swore he heard a muttered ‘Fuck you’ from Wesley’s general direction.

***********

The amount of pain that Angel was in couldn’t be accurately described. He felt like someone had ripped the skin off his back. With a low moan, Angel hesitantly opened his eyes, when a sudden thought ran through his head. If he got nailed in the back, then how the hell did he get away from the Scoobies?

Angel tried to sit up, but was kept from doing so. He was handcuffed to a bedpost. Searching around desperately, he realized he was in a strange place. Finally, his eyes came to rest at the foot of the bed. “Aw fuck.”

Willow and Oz stood there, staring at him. Oz was his normal passive self, but Willow was nervously trying to smile at the vampire. “So, uh,” Willow began. “How are ya?” she finished cheerily.

Part 4

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete

Timeline. 2   1 comment

Part 2

Sunnydale, California
Hartford Park
September 18, 1998
10:17 PM

Angel dusted flecks of dirt off his black duster, all the while surveying the area with a distasteful glance. He really did not want to be here. There were many places he’d rather be than in Sunnydale. The Spanish Inquisition, the Final Solution, and Topeka were all looking much better. But being here wasn’t about what he wanted. It was about what he needed.

Cordelia.

This was for her survival, and by association, his own. As his eyes surveyed the area, his demon senses tuned in.

A few scattered vampires were nearby. There were a few humans around as well. But the one that he was searching for wasn’t near. Taking out the palm pilot he saw why. It was still nearly two hours before it became the 19th. He had time to wait before Beasley arrived.

Angel began to move out of the area. He didn’t want to deal with anyone that happened to see the vortex. The last thing he needed right now were questions. As he passed a sign marking the entrance to the park, Angel’s thoughts turned to a course of action.

It had been suggested that he go to the Scoobies and use their help in finding Beasley. Angel decided to avoid that if possible. His presence being revealed could complicate this matter further, a concept that only Cordelia really understood. It was September 1998. He was supposed to be in Hell.

Even if he were to survive an initial encounter with the gang, who was to say if they would even believe the story of a time traveling assassin looking to kill a girl whose boyfriend wasn’t even especially fond of. He would have to deal with so much hostility; it would likely be easier to go at this alone.

And he really didn’t want to deal with Buffy.

Not that he was still in love with her or anything. He wasn’t. Well, he loved her, but he didn’t LOVE her. Dealing with an over-emotional Slayer wasn’t something on his Top Ten List of Fun.

Angel decided to pick up an old habit to perform this mission. He’d stay in the shadows. He’d wait, he’d watch, and he’d kill that bitch the second she went after Cordelia.

***********

Monroe Street
10:25 PM

Brian and Susie hadn’t stopped running since they saw the vortex open in Hartford Park. Rounding a corner blindly, the pair was knocked flat on their backs. And so were Xander Harris and Cordelia Chase.

“Hey!” Cordelia shouted. “Watch it! This is a brand new skirt you’re threatening to ruin!”

“S-sorry,” Brian stammered.

The four gathered their bearings and got up, both men helping their girlfriends up. Buffy, Willow, and Oz caught up to their friends after lagging behind a bit. “Heck of a crash,” Buffy commented. “What has you two running?”

“There’s some weird shit going on in the park. Electricity, cold winds, weird shit. Felt like an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ man.”

Without any further words the couple split right between Cordelia and Xander and took off down the street. The Scoobies stared after them, wondering what that was all about. Cordelia, of course, was the first to speak.

“Brian Ross needs to stop smoking pot. He’s a big enough retard without it.”

“Oh, Brian doesn’t smoke pot,” Xander said. “That’s just a rumor that I started.” The gang looked at him with amusement. “What? He said that I used to eat paste in grade school. I had to get back at him.”

“Xander,” Willow started, “you did eat paste in grade school.”

“Shut up, Will.”

“How long are we supposed to be patrolling?” Cordelia interrupted.

“Giles wants us out until 12:30. The Elm Street Clinic is getting a shipment of blood around then, and he wants us to make sure all goes well.”

The gang began to move, deciding to make a sweep of the park. The Scoobies walked in silence, except for the occasional comment from Cordelia, who was still mad her skirt got mussed.

***********

Eternal Rest Cemetery
12:04 AM

Energy crackled, as the fabric of time was broken open. Allison Beasley dropped from the vortex and landed gracefully on her feet. Her second chance had begun.

Surveying the area, she took note of where she was. “A god damn cemetery. The universe can’t drop me in an alley or a field. It drops me in a damn cemetery.”

Allison hated cemeteries. She got lost in one when she was seven. The family had all gone to pay tribute to grandpa on Memorial Day and she’d wandered off. Damn big brother, he was supposed to watch out for her. Not that it mattered now, that prick had been dead for a while. Or actually, he’d be dead in twenty years.

Allison took off her backpack to get the palm pilot. Her blood ran cold. Digging furiously through the pack, she cursed loudly. “It isn’t fucking here!” Her mind went back to the alley in Los Angeles. She had tried to stuff it blindly back into her backpack.

“I won’t be able to get home,” Allison whispered. The thought didn’t terrify her as much as it should have.

Allison did the only thing she could do: focus on something else. She grabbed the mini laptop from her pack and quickly booted up. “Access database,” she instructed the computer. A search engine popped up. “Sunnydale, California. September 19, 1998.”

The processor whirred silently as it tried to bring up the information. The computer brought up several pages of data. “Cross reference with: Cordelia Chase, Buffy Summers, gang violence.”

The computer processed the commands nearly instantaneously. One hit came up. “Bring up file,” Allison ordered. It was a newspaper article from the Sunnydale Gazette. A truck containing a shipment of blood was attacked at a clinic around 12:30. Glancing at the clock on the monitor, she noticed she had a little over twenty minutes to get there.

Allison folded the laptop up and placed it back in her pack. She then withdrew her weapon of choice. It was the size of a large pistol, and made completely from a metal alloy. But when she pushed a button, the barrel extended, and a stock shot out from the other side. Fully deployed, the weapon was about the size of a sniper rifle.

“Time to go hunting,” Allison muttered. She slung the backpack over her shoulder and contracted her weapon for concealment. If she hurried, she might make it to that clinic.

***********

Elm Street Clinic
12:28 PM

Carl and Lenny locked the doors to the blood van as soon as they saw the men with the strange faces appear. Five of them surrounded the van, trying to coerce the humans inside to open up.

“C’mon,” the leader said. “Open up. We just want what you’re carrying.”

“Fuck you!” Lenny shouted through the glass.

“Lenny, start the damn car!” Carl begged.

“I can’t! The ignition won’t fire!” Lenny shouted back.

Lenny went unconscious as a rock shattered the window and slammed against his head. One of the vampires reached in and unlocked the driver’s door. “Dinner,” the vampire growled.

“Hey! Haven’t you heard canned food isn’t as good as fresh?”

The vampires turned to see where the voice had come from. About twenty feet away stood a petite blonde girl, flanked by four others.

“Haven’t you heard about minding your own fucking business?” the leader retorted.

Buffy made a face in mock disgust. “Language,” she chided. “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?”

“I ate my mother,” the vampire answered. “I also ate my dad, my two brothers, my baby sister, and the neighbor’s poodle.”

“Oh,” Willow moaned. “You ate a doggy?” She turned to Oz. “How could anyone eat a doggy?”

Oz didn’t get a chance to answer, because the fight was underway. It was four-on-one fighting all around. Four of the vamps circled Buffy, while the rest of the gang surrounded the remaining vampire.

Buffy was more than holding her own against the vampires. After a few moves, one of the undead was a pile of dust. The rest of the Scoobies, however, weren’t doing so hot. Cordelia, Willow, and Xander all brandished baseball bats. They tried to weaken the vamp so Oz could bury the stake in. But the son of a bitch wouldn’t go down.

A fierce punch sent Cordelia flying against a dumpster. A kick to the gut had Xander on the ground gasping for air. Feeling cocky, the vampire got sloppy. He took his time on a roundhouse kick aimed at Willow’s head. Fortunately, the redhead was quick enough to duck. Off balance, the vampire wasn’t able to dodge the stake coming down in a quick arc towards his heart.

On the rooftop opposite the health clinic, Allison peered through the scope of her pulse rifle. A slow grin crossed the assassin’s face. “Target acquired at fifty yards,” she spoke to herself.

Still stunned, Cordelia was just now climbing to her feet after the brutal punch she received. Twenty yards to her right, Angel lurked in the shadows, watching over her. The instinct to rip the throats from the vampires was incredibly strong. He so wanted to unleash the bloodlust, but Fred’s warning stuck in his ears.

From the corner of his eye, he saw the rooftop across the street. His demon vision allowed him to see the silhouette of a figure. Angel’s eyes narrowed as he realized who it was. His eyes then widened in fear as he saw what she held. He bolted towards his future lover without a second thought.

Buffy was jamming her stake in the third vampire when she heard the loud ‘THWOMP’ sound. Her sight never leaving the final vampire, her ears recognized the fact the sound came from across the street.

Willow, Oz, and Xander saw a white flash zip by. They also saw a figure tackle Cordelia, the flash impacting where the brunette had been only nanoseconds before. A small explosion ripped through the dumpster as the waste inside caught fire.

Allison cursed as she realized what happened. She had missed the little bitch, and the reason was clear why. The vampire was here. He wasn’t supposed to be here, not during this period of time. That meant he had the device.

Allison compressed the pulse rifle and grabbed her bag. It was time to go. She’d have another chance later, but now, she had to avoid being found.

As soon as Buffy jammed the stake in the alpha vampire’s heart, the Scoobies rushed to where Cordelia lay fallen.

“Sweetie?” Xander asked, pulling Cordelia upright. “Are you okay?”

A thin trail of blood dropped from a scratch at her hairline. The fear, confusion, and shock registered clearly in her eyes. “Where is he?” she asked, gripping the arms Oz and Xander offered in support. “He was here, he saved me,” Cordelia said.

“Who?” Buffy asked, trying to get the girl’s attention. “Who was that man?”

Cordelia fixed a steadfast gaze at Buffy. “Angel. Angel saved me.”

Part 3

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete

Timeline. 1   Leave a comment

Title: Timeline
Author: Liam
Posted: 2002
Rating: PG-13.
Summary: In 2003, a time shifter fails to kill Cordelia, who is pregnant with Angel’s child. When the shifter escapes to 1998 Sunnydale, Angel must follow to ensure Cordelia’s survival.
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy own Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
Distribution: Fine, just ask.
Feedback: Would be good.


Teaser:

Everything had gone to hell. It wasn’t supposed to be a difficult mission. She had spent years training for situations like this. This mission was to be the biggest of her career. And what happened when the time had finally arrived?

It had all gone to hell.

Allison Beasley had fucked up royally. But she had a chance to make everything right. A chance to fix her mistake. A chance to change the course of history. A chance to remove the threat of the future.

But she couldn’t do it here.

In the darkened Los Angeles alleyway, the dark haired, fair skinned assassin went to make her escape. Coming to a screeching halt, the woman took deep ragged breaths to get some oxygen into her tired body. The vampire gave a hell of a chase. That didn’t leave her with much time.

Pulling her backpack from her shoulders, Allison removed a palm pilot looking device from it. She began to furiously punch buttons on the device, trying to get the thing to work faster. Her head snapped back as she heard the vampire’s shouts of anger.

“Come on, you piece of shit!” She wished she had more time for the device to fire up. She needed to go back to the 1980’s, but she wouldn’t be able to do that. She had to settle for this.

Allison pressed hard on the ‘Enter’ button. The coordinates registered into the computer. The device activated.

Sharp crackles of electrical energy began to flow in the atmosphere. A cold wind ripped through the alley as the electricity centered at a spot a couple feet above the ground. A sharp crack sounded as a vortex was ripped in the fabric of time. In moments, a hole about six feet in diameter had formed.

“Hey you!”

Allison’s head whipped around to see the vampire and his son racing towards her. Allison tried to stuff the palm pilot into her backpack, but she didn’t notice she missed. The pilot dropped to the concrete street.

“Stop!” the vampire yelled angrily.

Allison ignored the demon. Instead, she plunged headfirst into the vortex. Another crack resounded in the alley, and with a snap much like a rubber band, the vortex was sealed. The electricity died, the wind all but ceased.

“What the hell was that?” Connor asked.

“I don’t know,” a very pissed off Angel answered. The vampire spotted the palm pilot on the ground. Picking it up, he read the screen.

VORTEX COMPLETE
TARGET DATE:
SEPTEMBER 19, 1998
ACQUIRED

TARGET DESTINATION:
SUNNYDALE, CA
ACQUIRED

“Dad!” Connor said, trying to get Angel’s attention. “What’s wrong? What is it?”

Angel stared at the spot where the vortex had been. “Trouble,” he answered.


Part 1

Hyperion Hotel
Los Angeles, California
October 16, 2003

The Hyperion was alive with activity as the members of Angel Investigations tried to figure out the course of action that needed to be taken. To say the least, things had been hectic since the 8th.

That was when the woman had arrived. Cordelia had admonished Angel in a teasing manner when she had first arrived. “Pick your tongue off the floor,” she had said. The attractive woman with the black hair and fair skin and come into the office saying she needed help.

She introduced herself as Allison. She explained that her sister had gone missing a few days earlier. Allison commented on how quiet it was in the office. Angel smiled and said for the moment it was just he and Cordelia, his girlfriend. When Allison congratulated them on Cordelia’s pregnancy, Angel beamed with pride. Before his head got too big, Cordelia redirected the conversation back to business.

“Yes,” Allison had said. “I have a picture of my sister, I hope that helps you.” Reaching into her purse, the woman pulled out a pistol. Angel’s protective instincts went into overload. With a burst of vampire speed, he slapped the gun away when the woman tried to level it at Cordelia.

Angel tried to subdue the woman, but she was an amazing fighter. When Allison escaped, Angel didn’t try to give chase. He was more concerned about his family.

Since that day, they discovered a few things about the woman. Rather, they discovered a few things that she knew. She referred to the baby as the ‘Men-clar’. Nobody knew what the hell that meant, but Wesley and Lorne had been working near around the clock to find out. They also discovered some more bad news.

“What do we have on the palm pilot?” Angel asked.

Fred had been digging through dozens of Watcher Diaries and physics textbooks trying to unlock the secrets that the palm pilot held. The girl was exhausted; she had worked major overtime to find the answers.

“I’ve been able to dig through its database. It does appear to be a time travel device. It keeps a log of all movement. There are two listed. One from November 17, 2031 to October 8 of 2003. The second is October 15 to September 19, 1998.”

“So we can use that to go back and find her,” Angel stated.

“It isn’t that simple,” Fred told him. “I’ve been able to examine the energy cell that it uses. I have no idea what the thing runs on, but after examining the energy capacity levels and the frequency and distance between time jumps, I do know one thing. There is only enough energy for one person to have a round trip ticket to 1998.”

“Are you sure?”

“Pretty sure. That first jump, the one that brought her to this time, took most of the energy. If my calculations are right, one person can get to 1998 and get back to this time.”

“So I go,” Angel said quickly. “I go back and stop her from hurting Cordelia.”

“Is that such a wise choice?” Wesley questioned. “In 1998 Sunnydale, Angel was present. What if he were to meet his past persona.”

“Angel wasn’t in Sunnydale in September,” Cordelia said softly.

The gang paused as they thought about that. Realization hit them all at the same time. No, Angel certainly wasn’t in Sunnydale then.

“Which would make Angel a great candidate to go back,” Fred said. “The best thing that you could do would be go back and make contact with the Sunnydale crowd. What do you call them?”

“The Scoobies?” Cordelia asked. “Wouldn’t that seriously fuck things up if they knew about what was going on?”

“No!” Fred said excitedly. “That’s the great thing about time travel.” Fred dug furiously around her desk and found her notepad. “From studying Watcher Council experiences with time shifting entities, and drawing information from my physics books, I’ve reached a conclusion: the universe is incredibly fickle. It absolutely hates change.

“From everything I’ve studied, the universe has failsafe after failsafe to ensure that the timeline isn’t altered. You could go back and tell Buffy she would die against Glory, but it wouldn’t change anything. I don’t know if it’s mind erasing or what, but that isn’t important.”

The AI gang gathered around as Fred explained it. Although none really understood the technical concepts, Fred managed to speak in a way even an 18th Century relic like Angel could understand.

“Time is a linear function. It travels in a straight line. So in that respect, think of time like a flowing river. We’re all in the river, swimming downstream. But if we get out, run back upstream, and then hop back in, nothing happens. You don’t change the river by doing that.

“But the way I figure it, the only way the timeline can be altered is if someone lives when they shouldn’t, or if someone dies that shouldn’t. Then the timeline is forced to alter itself. It’s like building a dam midstream and digging a new river flowing a different direction.”

“So, as long as Cordelia survives, the timeline is kept intact?” Angel asked.

“Yes. If you go back and stop Allison, the timeline will remain constant up until the moment you jump backwards in time. When you return, only a few hours or days will have passed for us. At least I think so. I’ll try to program a return date and destination into the computer. But going back to a previous point, there are a few catches.”

“Of course there are.”

“Like I said, the timeline is forced to alter itself if a person dies that shouldn’t die, or if a person lives that shouldn’t live. Which means, if you see a person about to get eaten by a vampire, you can’t stop it. It might affect the timeline. You can’t save the person just like you can’t slay the vampire. Not if you want this timeline preserved.”

Angel nodded his head in understanding. He wouldn’t do anything that might jeopardize Cordelia and the baby. “Do you have any idea who may have manufactured the palm pilot?” he asked, changing the topic.

“Someplace called Hereford Innovations. I haven’t had a chance to do any digging on that.”

“Don’t bother with it,” Angel told her. “You just double check those calculations of yours. Someone else can look into Hereford Innovations. Connor? You feel like going for a ride?”

“Sure,” Connor answered. “Where we going?”

“We’re going to see your aunt.”

***********

Lilah Morgan sat down with her glass of brandy on her plush leather couch. “So what is it that you want?” Her voice didn’t contain any of the usual snide undertones. Angel hadn’t heard that tone directed at him in a long time. Except when they were in public.

Angel sat down in the black leather chair across from Lilah. Connor sat next to him on the floor, sipping on an orange soda. Even though Lilah didn’t admit it, she liked the little punk. Angel knew that too. Because she always seemed to have orange sodas whenever they came to visit.

“I’d appreciate it if you looked something up for me.”

Lilah quirked her lips in a slight grin. “You’d appreciate it? My, my, it must be big if you break out the civility.”

“Somebody tried to kill Cordy,” he explained to her.

Lilah’s amused expression disappeared instantly. “Is she okay?” she asked with genuine concern.

“For now she is. But for the past week, a time shifter named Allison Beasley has been trying to kill her. Last night, after one last failed attempt, Beasley jumped back in time to September 1998.”

“Allison Beasley? Strange name for a demon,” Lilah said.

“She’s not a demon. I’m pretty sure she’s human.”

The glass stopped before it reached Lilah’s lips. “You’re shitting me,” she said.

“No. Just before she jumped through the portal, she dropped a palm pilot device. Fred analyzed it. She thinks that I can jump back to 1998 and stop Beasley from killing Cordelia. She also found out a manufacturer of the device. A Hereford Innovations. The device seems to have been made around the year 2031. You heard of it?”

“It doesn’t ring any bells, but I can look into it. But Angel, if it was created in 2031, it’s plausible the people who created it haven’t been born yet. Hereford Innovations might not even exist yet.”

“I know that,” Angel said. “But you have channels. If this company does exist, I want to know all about it. Please Lilah, I need this. I need to keep my family safe.”

Lilah sighed and set her glass down. The damn vampire knew she wouldn’t say no. She missed the days when she didn’t have a conscience. “Fine. I’ll do some digging tomorrow, see what I can turn up.”

“Thank you,” Angel said. In amazing synchronization, Angel and Connor stood in unison, adjusted their leather jackets, and went to leave.

“Angel? Lilah called.

“Yeah?” The vampire turned back to see Lilah staring at the fireplace.

“If you do jump back, be careful, okay?” Trying to recover from her tender moment, Lilah showed a flash of the old bitch. “Lord knows I wouldn’t want you fucking up my existence.”

Angel smiled slightly. “Oh no, wouldn’t want that.”

When Angel and son left, Lilah allowed a small grin to come across her face once more. “Wouldn’t want anything to happen to your child either.” Lilah shook her head in mock disgust. “When the hell did I go so soft?”

***********

The calculations had been checked and rechecked. One person, one roundtrip ticket to 1998 and back. Angel had no illusions about it. In the end, he would have to destroy a human life to ensure the survival of his family. And he had no problem with that. Because no one fucked with his family and expected to live.

Cordelia gripped Angel in a strong, desperate hug, her swollen belly pressing against his own. Angel smiled as he reveled in her feel. Inhaling deeply, he put to memory the smell of her hair. Just in case, he told himself.

Cordelia pulled back and held his cheeks in her hands. Tears moistened her beautiful hazel eyes. The love that shone for him almost blinded Angel. Never before could he have imagined that a woman could love him so completely, loved him the way that HIS Cordelia did.

“I want you to promise me,” she said in a shaky voice. “I want you to promise me that you’ll come home. That you won’t do something stupid.” Choking out a laugh she said, “Because if you think that I’m going to do the single mother bit, you’ve got another thing coming, Buster.”

“I promise,” Angel whispered as he leaned in for a kiss. The passion and love in that contact sent shockwaves through is body.

“I love you,” Cordelia said.

“And I love you,” Angel said. He kissed her forehead lightly and stroked her cheeks with his thumbs. “I will return,” he whispered. “And when I do, you, me, and this little miracle inside you will live a long and happy life together.”

“I’m going to hold you to that,” Cordelia smiled slightly.

“I know you will.”

Hand in hand, the couple walked into the lobby. “Are we ready?” Wesley asked.

“Yeah,” Angel said. The vampire slung a crossbow over his shoulder, and tucked a few knives into his belt. Slowly, he put on his leather duster. Giving a long, lingering glance at Cordelia, Angel spoke. “Open the vortex.”

Fred pressed ‘Enter’ on the palm pilot. Energy crackled, and within moments, the vortex appeared in the center of the lobby. Fred quickly handed the palm pilot to Angel and hurried to give the final instructions.

“I have the vortex opening on the night of September 18. When you need to return, press ‘File’, ‘Open’, then ‘Recall’. It should bring you back to a point in our near future.”

Angel nodded and took the palm pilot. He knew if he looked back to Cordelia he would lose his resolve. So Angel did the only thing he could do. He leapt into the vortex. As soon as the vampire disappeared, so did the vortex.

“Be safe,” Cordelia whispered.

***********

Sunnydale, California
Hartford Park
September 18, 1998
10:14 PM

Brian and his girlfriend Susie walked hand in hand along the bicycle trail. They were hurrying to get home. Neither was stupid. They knew bad shit happened in this town at night. Like this for instance.

Electricity crackled near the fountain in the center of the park. The wind quickly whipped up around them, sending chills down both teenagers’ spines. “Brian?” Susie asked fearfully. “What is that?”

“I don’t know!” Brian cried. “Let’s get the hell out of here.” Both teenagers took off running just before the vortex opened up. Angel dropped ungracefully onto the wet grass below.

With a groan, the vampire pushed himself up into a sitting position. Looking around, only one thought came to his head.

“Home sweet Hell.”

Part 2

Posted July 7, 2015 by califi in Complete