And Know the Place 1-2   1 comment

Title: And Know the Place
Author: WritingPathways
Posted:
Email
Rating: PG-13
Category: Angst
Content: C/A
Summary:
Spoilers: S02
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: GT, Just Fic, anyone ask just please ask.
Notes: Inspired when I asked a pal for inspiration and she gave me this snippet of a T.S Eliot Poem: We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring. Will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the first time. I’m hoping this story will only be around 6 or 8 chapters, I really wanted to just write a standalone but I suck at standalone ideas. Suck at them. Kate only feared suspension/firing when she went on her pill-a-thon but she didn’t lose her job. (mostly this is just because it makes my story easier if they have a cop on the inside) And also to make the story easier so I’m only focusing a few issues instead of a million the visions aren’t killing Cordy but they still hurt like molten lava being poured into her head.
Thanks/Dedication:
Feedback:I need it. I crave it. I have been a comment whore for over five years now.


Part 1

Cordelia pushed a few errand strands of her hair behind her ears and frowned at herself – the blonde highlights were too much, the cut was too short. “What had I’d been thinking?” she muttered under her breathe before padding out of her bathroom in bare feet and making her way to the kitchen.

It was all Angel’s fault she decided. Her decisions with her hair over the past months were all his fault. Starting with the horrendous first cut that had felt both too short and too bold. It’d made her feel like she should be Faith’s girlfriend in some weird Rebel Chicks Fantasy, and that was horrifying. She had enough horror in her real life without that playing around in her head every time she looked into a mirror.

It’d happened because she was nervous and concerned about Angel and had felt lost to do a thing about it. Then bam she’s fired. She hates her hair, she’s even more lost now because her so-called best friend had fired her and a few other trips to the salon and she had a short bob and blonde – blonde! – highlights. How had she let that fool of a hairstylist talk her into that? She blamed Angel, for the hurt, the confusion that sent her to the salon like so many woman before her when their lives were in upheaval and they wanted to take control.

With hair? Cordelia scrunched up her nose at herself and rolled her eyes. How freaking cliché of her, what was her problem? Sure her world had been turned upside down, it wasn’t the first time it’d happened. And that time she’d just gotten a tattoo. She should have gotten another tattoo, she realized and started to ponder the idea.

Her life was once again on a new track, with Angel back, her mind firmly made up to take the risk on him again despite the trepidation she couldn’t help fear. Risking her heart on people wasn’t easy for Cordelia Chase and giving someone a second shot? It was nearly unheard of, and did her forgiving and being semi-friends with Xander right before graduation even count? She’d still left Sunnydale, she’d left him behind – all of them behind. The only person she ever talked to was Willow and that was only for case-related things – or visiting vampires named Harmony.

“Damn it,” she muttered, she shouldn’t have thought about Harmony. It was all a mess, her feelings, her pain all twisted up about Angel, she actually tried to befriend another vampire. Other vampires weren’t Angel, he was well an anomaly, all soul-having and cursed to feel guilt. And did he love the guilt. “Fifteen minutes, Cor,” she grumbled to herself. “Go fifteen minutes without thinking about everything with Darla, and how that skanky vampire whore made him insane and nearly evil.”

Suddenly the refrigerator door opened and a can of root beer floated out of it and toward the counter. “Dennis?” the ghost didn’t ruffle her hair with a soft cool breeze but instead opened the freezer and pulled out the pint of vanilla ice cream she had, then the door with her glasses opened. “Oooh, Dennis!” she said. “You are a godsend.”

A cool ruffling breeze told her he liked the compliment. “I’m going to go see if there is anything worth watching on the television. It’s Sunday damn it, I want to enjoy one of my rare quote-unquote ‘nights off’.”

While technically, they all took the weekends off more often than not they ended up at the hotel because of a vision or even a tip from a snitch. There was no rest for fighting the good fight…unless you’re a issue-laden vampire of course. Cordelia blew air out of her mouth in frustration. She had to stop going there, she had to stop being afraid something else would happen and throw him over the edge. She’d promised herself she’d give him a chance. She wanted to give him a chance. She needed too, it wasn’t even really a conscious choice, all she knew was after everything that had happened during Harmony’s visit that she’d ended up forgiving him without thought when she’d seen the clothes. It could have been anything she thought, even ugly clothes – thank god they weren’t! – and she would have had the same reaction. Angel was trying, he was tripping over his feet and stammering… and he was back with the team – her little family – trying to do the right thing.

And who would have ever guess the right thing meant so much to her. Cordelia Chase believed in The Mission, in doing the right thing for the lost souls and victims of the world. She still didn’t get it on some levels but she knew she’d never feel happy doing anything else. God, that scared her. A life fighting demons and having visions?

Her Dennis made root beer float appeared on her coffee table pulling her out of her thoughts. Lord, she was thinking too much for a Sunday she decided, grabbing the paper with the television schedule. She needed something good and escapist to watch, something that would entertain and not make her think. About the chaos of her life, the upheavals and the oddness of it all.

Or about Angel.

***

He knocked on the door. Hard and fast before he lost his nerve. Clenching his jaw, Angel told himself to get a grip and not be a wuss. The problem was Cordelia had the power to make him feel one inch tall, he wasn’t sure when or how it’d happened but it was what it was. Cordelia got under his skin, hell it’d been one of the main reasons he’d pushed her so far away and then fired her during Darla. Her eyes and her statements all blunt, truthful with that underlying Cordelia-esque warmth that was surprising in its heat had been too much. He’d had to run from it.

And now he needed to run back into it.

“Who is it?” Cordelia yelled through the door. His lips quirked up at the question, she never had been dumb enough to just open her door. “It’s me.”

The door flew open, and there she was in a pair of jeans and a tank top, staring at him quizzically. “What are you doing here?” she asked and then she started shaking her head. “If there is some snitch mumbling about a nest of demons or whatever, I’m not going…you can just tell Wesley too…”

“This isn’t about work.”

Cordelia raised an eyebrow at him. “Then why are you here, Angel?”

Damn it he’d been holding his own and now he felt all nervous. How did he explain this? How did he explain that he’d spent Friday night and all of Saturday wondering if she really had been sitting at home alone and hating the idea of it. How did explain the lecture Wesley had given him and how it kept echoing in his head, making him even more guilt as the days ticked by.

“Angel?”

“I, just, uh, look Cordy, can I come in?”

She rolled her eyes and turned away from the door. He sighed and walked in, hands digging deep into his pockets, he looked around the bright apartment. Even with her curtains closed or the sundown it managed to have a brightness, like her he thought.

“Why are you here?”

There she went again with the why of it all. He didn’t know why, he just knew he wanted to see her and try find the answers to the questions that had nagged at him all weekend. “How was your weekend?”

“My weekend?”

“Yeah.”

“You came over right after sunset,” she looked at her watch, “to ask me about my weekend?”

“Yes,” he said unsure. “I just, you know wanted to see how you are?”

“You’re trying too hard,” she whined and crashed down on her couch.

He bit his lip and made fists in his pocket, he probably was but damn it he had her back, he wanted to make sure he didn’t…he wasn’t sure what he was making sure of but she was back but it was different. He wanted to feel sure of her again. He was beginning to wonder if he’d always fear the idea of her pulling away from him. If she did he had no one to blame but himself. “I…”

“Don’t say you’re sorry.”

“I’m not.”

“You aren’t?”

“No.” He stepped further into her living room and sat down on the coffee table in front her. “I mean, I really want to know.”

“About my weekend?” Cordelia asked.

“Yeah.”

“You are such a dork.”

He gritted his teeth and ran a hand over his face. “I really wish…”

“What? That I wouldn’t tell it like it is? Lay the truth right there. Say to your face that the former Bad ass Angelus is a complete and utter dork?”

“Yes. Damn it. I’m not…”

“Are.”

Angel grumbled and pointed a finger at her. “You. It’s you, I was not a dork until I got to know you.”

Cordelia laughed and shook her head. “Whatever you need to tell yourself.”

Angel moved from the table to the couch next to her. “So are you going to tell me about your weekend or what?”

“Nothing to tell. I did some jogging, some laundry, shopping and I was trying to watch a movie just now.”

“That’s it?”

“Well, I am pondering getting another tattoo.”

“No dates? Going out with your friends, what did you call them?”

“Girl’s night out. And no on both counts.”

“What kind of tattoo and where?” Angel asked, thinking about the tattoo she already had, a sun on her lower back. He’d always thought it suited her, nothing really more perfect. What else could she possibly want?

“Not sure. I just… It’s a thing.”

“A thing.”

Her eyes suddenly shut and her body tensed up, Angel heard her heartbeat start to race and he wondered what button he’d accidentally pushed. She’d brought up the subject of tattoos. Cordelia then jumped up and hurried into her kitchen. “Want blood?”

“Uh, sure.” He got up and followed her, watching her pulling out a fresh container of blood and pull a mug out of her cabinet. “Cordy?”

“Why are you really here, Angel?”

“I told you.”

She nodded and pursed her lips, then before Angel knew what hit him, he was the recipient of a patented Cordy smile that made her eyes sparkle. “I was going to watch Ruthless People on cable, wanna watch with me and Dennis?”

He smiled back, he couldn’t help it, this was part of what he was missing. The total whirlwind that was this woman. He could never quite follow her train of thought and just when he caught on, she’d toss him another loop. Then there was the honesty and straightforward way she handled their lives. Death and pain, demons and him. God, he’d hurt her, he’d realized that seeing her with Harmony, with the scolding he’d gotten outside the vampire cult headquarters. Her hazel eyes had turned nearly brown with the pain of it, the fear she’d told him she felt. He didn’t understand her sudden turn around from stating they weren’t friends to forgiving him with such ease, he knew he didn’t deserve it but he was going to take it. And try to earn at least a bit of it.

“Is it good.”

“Bette Midler is hysterical.”

“The woman who sings The Rose?”

Cordelia looked at him, her eye brow quirked up and her mouth forming into a smirk. “Bette Midler and Barry Manilow?” she started to laugh. “You are such a dorky sap.”

He didn’t bother to try to deny but inwardly cringed that she knew his deep dark secrets musical secrets, singing Mandy had not been his best choice and why had he let slip he knew a song Bette Midler sang? He decided to blame her, she had him so confused most of the time he never knew what would end up flying out of his mouth, as hard as he tried to censor himself.

Feeling a chill he looked behind and him saw his mug of blood hovering toward him, taking it he nodded a thank you to Dennis, he took a sip and sat down on the couch, his eyes on her television set. But she was watching him, a smirk on her face, he tried to ignore it. He had a bad feeling whatever it was when he finally turned to her to ask, she’d tease him mercilessly about it. Her gaze though rivaled his and he started to feel itchy from it, damn that must be why she was always yelling at him not to stare; it wasn’t like he realized he was staring half the time. But she, she knew what she was doing, watching him with an unblinking stare with her lips quirked up and holding back laughter.

“What?”

“Leather trench coat, Angel? It really, well it goes against the whole point of a being lazy on the couch and watching a movie. You’ll all sitting straight and formal in freaking leather. Take it off broody boy!”

“I like the leather.”

“I know. I like the leather too, but relax. Lighten up. This is a light hearted comedy, minimal thinking required – if any at all – to watch it.” Cordelia reached out and helped him shrug out of the long heavy coat, then she stood up and he stood with her, reaching out for his coat.

“Cordy, it’s… you know.”

Cordelia turned back to him. “you and your coats. Look, folding it over this hear chair. See all neat and nice. Not getting it dirty or putting any wire hanger dents in it Mommie Dearest.”

Relief settled into him, he couldn’t help it he liked his clothes and she should understand. “Like you don’t freak out if your stuff gets harmed in anyway.”

“By demon guts, sure. Wrinkles I can handle. I mean otherwise I’d have to learn to Iron and like never stop. Plus, you can start ironing for me again,” she smiled. “I missed the ironing.”

Angel leaned against the back of the couch. “I didn’t,” he grumbled.

“But Angel, the clothes you brought me are all so nice and I’d just end up burning them and….”

“Okay, okay. You can bring your ironing over to the hotel again.”

“Just never ever give them away again, you understand me?”

“Never!” he held up his hands in surrender. “Never, Cordy,” he echoed a rush of need to let her know he’d never push her out of his life again.

The spark in her eyes had faded again, and he could smell a small amount of fear off of her, uncertainty. Nervousness. God, was it about him, what he had done? Had she really forgiven him after the clothes? He thought she had, things had been great, she’d even said ‘I love you,’ after he brought her lunch one day. Angel had never loved hearing those words more then when they’d flown bluntly out of her mouth.

She turned away from him and turned up the volume on her television. “Okay let’s watch some mindless comedy.”

“Okay.”

“Angel?”

“Yeah.”

“Thanks for stopping over,” Cordelia whispered, her voice a near whisper but loud enough for him to hear her clearly. And for the vulnerability in her voice to rock him, but before he had a change to react Cordelia was laughing at the movie. He watched her a moment longer, her laughter was real and she was once again at ease. Was he imagining the lapses in her mood? Her laughter continued, and he decided to try to start figuring out the movie’s plot, it’d be easier to figure out than the woman beside him on the couch.

***

Angel wasn’t watching the movie, instead he was watching her with an intent gaze out of the corner of his eyes at her profile. It always creeped her out when he did for too long but she wondered if he knew why? If he knew that the only thing his stare made her fear was that he could read her mind. Her thoughts. Her feelings. That by staring at her Angel was looking right into her soul and seeing things that even she didn’t understand. What would he make of all the questions, fears and doubts…and did he really have a right to try to peer into her anymore?

Yes. God, Yes! A part of her screamed it at her, Angel had every right try to see her for she really was, because if there was anyone she wanted to know her inside and out it was Angel. She didn’t know why, Cordelia didn’t understand it.

She’d spent the first eighteen years of her life believing the only person who had a right to know anything about the real Cordelia Chase was herself. She would be the only person to care about the truth anyway so why let anyone else in – if you tried they would only end up hurting you anyway. But it all changed, so swiftly she never even remembered being conscious of her decisions to trust them. Them being Doyle and Angel. Then Angel and Wesley. Then Gunn. It all just happened and there they were, the men in her life, her co-workers, all good and brave in their own ways. But out of all of them she wanted Angel to see her the most clearly.

But he’d hurt her. Burned her more than anyone, including her parents and Xander Harris. Cut her out of his life, cut their life, their mission together, out of his life. And he’d said he was alone.

It all cut her, shockingly deep. And no. God, No! He didn’t have a right to try to peer into her soul other parts of her mind and memory screamed. No looking at her, no trying to figure out her secrets. No right to ask about her weekend. No right to be here. On her couch, ignoring a movie and only pretending to laugh at the funny parts when she broke out into laughter.

She could probably tell them there was a pornographic sex scene in the middle and he’d go alone with her, she thought, darting a quick look at him. He didn’t flinch in his study of her. His eyes dark, his expression unreadable and she really wondered if he had a vamp mojo to read minds or something? Drusilla did didn’t she? Or something? He had made her?

No, Wesley said she’d had that skill even as a human? Dracula had something, Angel swore he was real, but did Angel? She was being paranoid, but the voice in her head that wanted to keep him away, keep pushing him away was screaming at her to tell him to stop. Her skin was starting to crawl, with worry and terror, that he could read her pain and her fear. She didn’t want to Angel to realize he could crush her in a single blow by walking away again, she didn’t want him to know…what was to stop him from doing it?

What was stopping him from doing it again anyway? She shivered and hugged herself and watched as the ending credits of the movie started to roll across the screen. “Movies over.”

“I see.”

She glanced at him, he was looking at the screen acting like he’d been watching it the whole time. Cordelia stood up and rubbed her neck. “So, uh. Go home.” She cursed under her breath. It had sounded too blunt, to harsh what was she doing?

She was pushing him away, but she didn’t want to. She had wanted to kick him out when he arrived but she hadn’t wanted to do that either. She didn’t know what the hell she wanted. Out, in, him staying or going. Cordelia just knew she wanted him her life. Fear wasn’t enough to stop her. She was taking the risk and giving him another chance…all because a voice in her head kept insisting, it’s Angel.

“What?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for that to be so blunt.”

“Oh.”

“I just, I’m tired.”

“Your head?”

“My head?”

“Vision pain?”

“Oh. No.”

“Good.”

“Yes.”

“What?”

“Pain.”

“Huh, Cordy, you just said no pain.”

“Now. Now pain.” She choked out, tears already stinging her eyes, her body feeling heavy and disconnected from herself as the images started to slam into her brain. Quickly, painful and disconcerting. There was death, it reeked through the vision and there was vampire’s mouth… “Oh, eeeew I can taste him drinking the blood…Eeeew.”

“Vampire I take it?”

“Uh huh.”

“Where?”

“Apartment complex, down near where Gunn used to live when you first met up with him. 615. I don’t know anything else, they didn’t give me faces, or much. Just death and blood,” she answered quickly, leaning for a second into Angel’s embrace.

He was always wrapped around her now when she came back from a vision. No more floors unless she was alone. Always the solid embrace of Angel catching her, yet she couldn’t forget why she was going to throw him out. Only now she couldn’t.

“When?”

“Soon. Or already…” she whispered hesitantly. “I’m not sure. We have to go now.”

“No. I’ll go. You rest.”

“Angel, I have to go with you, it’s in her home. If she’s still alive…”

He clenched his jaw and nodded. “Fine, let’s go.”


Part 2

Angel hated when Cordelia’s forehead wrinkled. It wasn’t like when she scrunched her nose up because she thought something was gross, funny, or let herself be vulnerable.

No, an all out forehead wrinkle meant she was in pain, real true physical pain; always brought on by a vision. And it always sent him back to the day he’d seen her in the hospital screaming out in agony. An agony he never heard again, proof of how strong she was, stronger than he’d given her credit. Before. After. Probably now.

“It’s the sixth floor I think,” Cordelia said pushing the button in the elevator.

Angel glanced around the elevator, half wondering if it would break while they were in it. The building looked ready to collapse and wasn’t located in a part of Los Angeles that he wanted Cordelia. Cordelia who had closed her eyes and was breathing with purpose. Deep inhales and exhales he could hear and he knew it was to help her deal with the physical pain. Fucking visions.

Less than a second he was behind her, fingers digging into her tense muscles and his mouth near her ear. “This help?”

“Uh huh.”

She melted in him, her body shifting into his hands and brushing against the length of his. His throat went dry, he hadn’t realized how close he’d stood behind her, all he’d cared about was lessening the pain. The pain she dealt with for him – the pain she’d dealt with for months without him.

“How much does it hurt, Cordy?”

“Not too much,” she whispered.

“Cordy?” he didn’t believe her, he couldn’t believe her.

The elevator doors opened with a clatter and Cordelia stiffened and lurched herself out into the hall, her arms crossing over her breasts and her smile wasn’t bright enough.

“It’s apartment 615,” she reminded him, turning to look at the door closest to her. “Which way do you think?”

He watched her, eyes lowered, body language tense and he smelled the same low level fear that had permeated her odd mood swings at her apartment. It wasn’t exactly hot and cold and it wasn’t exactly a wall but she still had a thin layer between them. She wasn’t ready to really let him in and Angel didn’t know what the hell to do to break it. So, he looked at the apartment numbers and followed her lead to focus on the case.

“Looks like this way, Cor,” he said and moved to the left, reading numbers on doors as he passed until he stopped at 615. He stepped back, ready to kick the door down when Cordelia pushed hard in the chest.

“Don’t be such a dumbass. Let’s at least try knocking first, maybe she’s still alive?” she looked hopeful but he saw the flicker of sadness pass just beneath that optimism. Cordelia knew better but she wanted to be wrong. He decided to let her. “Okay.”

“Well, even if she doesn’t answer she could still be alive, maybe he didn’t drain her. You didn’t drain all your victims did you?”

“Well, uh…”

“Rhetorical!” she squealed, slapped him and gave him a patented Cordelia Chase eye roll. Back to letting me in, Angel thought, as she muttered dumbass and knocked on the door. “Hello?”

He waited a beat, grabbed her shoulders and carefully moved her away from him. “My turn.”

Her eyes rolled again but she smiled at him. He grinned and then kicked in the door and walked in. They were too late and he looked back at Cordelia and shook his head. “Sorry.”

“I knew better. But…”

“It’s good to hope.”

She nodded but her lips were pursed. “It happened in the bedroom, and this apartment is smaller than the bathroom at the Hyperion.”

“That’s a bit of an exaggeration, Cordy.”

“Close enough,” she said. “Do you, you know smell the blood?”

“Yeah,” he said, the room reeked of, freshly spilled human blood and he sniffed the air to pinpoint where it was strongest and found himself looking an open door. “That’s the bedroom.” He pointed.

He heard Cordelia breath in deeply. “Okay.”

“You don’t have too…”

“Pretty much already did, Angel,” she said, then she looked at him before crossing the room. “Do you smell a lot of fear?”

“No.”

“There wasn’t much in the vision either. Just this sudden moment of it when he bit her, but then I could taste the blood…and just eeeew.”

Angel bit his lip and held out his hand. “Come on, then. Sooner we look around and poke around, the sooner we can call Kate.”

“Kate?”

“We have call the police, might as well call Kate.”

“Doesn’t she hate you?”

“We’ve got a new understanding… I could…”

“I don’t need the details. Come on let’s contaminate the crime scene and then call your cop.”

“She’s not…” he trailed off when he walked into the bedroom and caught sight of the body. Young, female, naked and sprawled on the floor by an unmade bed. The air was potent with her blood, but also arousal, a tiny bit of fear but the emotion had been cut off by her sudden death. He’d slept with her first, Angel realized his conscience cringing. “He knew her. She trusted him.”

“A vamp who dates his victims?”

“Not unheard of. Happens a lot. It’s not easy but a lot of us can pull it off. Seeming to be someone in your circle, someone you can trust, be with and then…we kill you when you least expect it.”

“She’s an actress,” Cordelia said.

“An actress?” Angel echoed and took his eyes off the woman below to turn toward Cordelia.

Cordelia held up a post it note that said. “Audition. 2:30. Dress casual.” Then she held up a waitressing uniform. “Unless it’s a costume, looks like she worked somewhere as a waitress for a day job,” Cordelia whispered, fingering the name tag on the uniform. “Ariel, her name was Ariel.”

Memory grabbed Angel hard and fast in that moment. The blood, the woman on the floor of her own home killed by a vampire she’d once trusted as a friend. Tina. Tina, the girl who worked at a coffee shop and had wanted to be an actress; but then had just wanted to go home to Montana. He’d failed her. He’d tasted her blood. He stepped back from the body, staring at the blood until he turned and stalked out of the bedroom.

“Angel?” Cordelia called after him, he heard her footsteps behind him. Felt her hand grab his wrist but he didn’t look back. “What is it?”

“Nothing.”

“Angel?”

He swallowed. “Bad memory.”

“Of?”

“Just a bad memory, Cor, back off,” he snapped turning to face her.

She winced, then her eyes grew hard and her hand left his wrist. Angel felt instant guilt but he couldn’t talk to her about this, how could he share this with her. No, too much had happened.

“Don’t. Don’t give me that, last time you wouldn’t talk led to you going on a Darla obsessed-psycho kick. No way. Tell me what just happened in there, Angel!”

“Cordelia.”

She sighed. “I hate that tone.”

“It’s not something you want to know.”

“Don’t tell me what I want, Angel. I don’t…you don’t… Damn it tell me. This is me, you tell me anything. I want to know.”

She was angry, she was worried but she was also scared. The same uncertain fear she’d been putting off for most of the night was back only more potent. Whatever he was doing now was part of the thin layer she had erected between them, keeping them from getting completely back on track. Fuck. She didn’t want to hear this.

“Doyle, the first time he gave me a vision quest it was a girl. An actress who worked as a waitress. She was killed in her home by a vampire. Russell Winters, remember him? I…I got her blood on my hands, I tasted it. There. You know. I’m going to call Kate.”

“No. Look at me first.”

She’d grabbed his arm, holding on tight to keep a grip on him. He didn’t want to yank away from her but the last thing he wanted to see was the disgust in her eyes. Not in Cordelia’s eyes. Not ever again.

“Angel, look at me.”

“Cordelia,” his voice cracked but he didn’t care, she wasn’t going to make him do this.

“God. You make me so mad, fine I’ll do this with you all turned away like a coward.”

He spun then not thinking but he couldn’t have her thinking he was coward. “I’m not a coward,” he spat out as his eyes connected with hers. Hazel eyes full of mirth, warmth and understanding.

“I knew it. I knew that would overwhelm your guilt, at least for a second. And look at me Angel. No anger, no disgust. Just me.”

He nodded. “Why?”

“Why? I already knew about Tina. How she got scared, tried to leave and when you tried to stop her the sun made you vamp. Then you got to her too late. Doyle told. He told me everything, and you’d told him about her blood. Told him he was right, the humans were starting to look too tasty. And he was right. The getting out there and being around people helped, right?”

“Yeah. I’ll never figure that out. It’s not like the craving goes…”

“Angel. I understand and this won’t be like Tina.”

“We already failed her. Ariel. Not Tina.”

“For some reason we weren’t supposed to save her. I don’t pretend to know why sometimes we get bodies instead of a soul to save. But there must be a reason? Right?”

Angel half nodded and half shook his head. “She deserved it as much as…”

“And we’ll find the vampire who did this and you’ll stake him through his heart.”

“Cordy, about…”

“You licked some blood. You weren’t where you are now.”

“Just a month ago…”

“I don’t need reminders about a month ago.”

Angel felt cold. Her voice had gone so cold when he brought up the bad place he’d been a month ago and he wanted to stake himself. Why had he brought it up? “Cordy, I…”

She shook her head, held up her hand and told him to wait. He bit the inside of his cheek and ran a hand over his face. Then Cordelia spoke without an ounce of cold or hurt in her voice. “That aside. You were in a different place and you realized that Doyle was right in what he was telling you. Somewhat anyway. Did take us forever to get some fun out of you…geesh when I remember how you’d suck the life out of my parties…but I digress. You make mistakes Angel, you may not be human but you screw up like one. I get that, okay?”

She wasn’t just talking about Tina he realized but Darla. Darla was still sore, it still hurt her but she willing to put it aside and forgive him. As much as her own pain was still sore. He didn’t know what to do or say.

“Call Kate,” Cordelia said, and she walked over to a desk. “I’m going to look for a phone number of a friend, family, agent, her job, blah-blah-blah. “

Angel frowned, he felt like he should say something more, something else. Try to reach out and break that one last layer between them. If not now then when? But how? He had no clue, so instead he went back to the game plan. When in doubt focus on the case.

Part 3

Posted December 13, 2015 by califi in Complete

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