Gloomy Sunday. 11-12

Part XI

When Angel opened his eyes, darkness still swirled around him, sickening in its entirety. He blinked once, twice; every muscle taut with tension. The voices were silent; the haunting images had disappeared. Perhaps they’d never been there. Just another figment of his manipulated imagination – he’d been deceived before, but even the First’s illusions had never felt so real. The haunting song still pulled at his heart, deep grief still sucked at him. But now amidst all the misery a thin ray of hope bloomed, shining the warmth of sunlight upon his soul, a golden stream of beauty and light. One small breath of life in this never ending sea of darkness, but it was enough to fight the confusion, to dig in and drag himself back.

“Can you hear me?” The voice was faint, far off, but insistent. “Angel. Angel, your eyes are open. Can you hear me?” He blinked again, mustering strength, latching onto the voice. It was familiar. Anxious. Male. British. Wesley.

And slowly, the room swam into focus around him; dim lights, sparse furnishings, silken sheets. Home. Wesley, bending over the bed, fearful eyes peering through wire rimmed glasses perched on a pale face. “Oh, thank Goodness,” he breathed, and sat down with a heavy plop. “You’re alive.” His face twisted in a confused thought and a wry smile. “Well, as alive as you can be, I suppose.”

Angel swallowed; his throat too dry and painful to speak. He hurt all over. Wesley was close, too close, and his heartbeat throbbed a pulsating rhythm in Angel’s ears, the hot rush of his blood too close, too easy, and even as Angel fought it, he could feel his face rippling, changing, his fangs sliding free, his muscles cording in preparation for the lunge. And then the smell hit him: hot, comforting and delicious, and he dove for the mug of steaming blood, barely conscious of the flash of dismay on Wesley’s face. He could hear his desperate gulps, knew what a disgusting picture he was making, but he didn’t care because God, the taste of it, warm and salty, the thrill as desperate hunger eased and healing finally began.

When the mug was empty, he let it fall to the ground and grabbed Wesley’s arm instead. “Cordelia,” he said, startled at the roughness in his voice. “Where is Cordelia?”

Wesley’s face settled into lines of concern. “She’s sleeping, I think,” he said carefully. “I can’t be sure if it’s sleep or,” he paused for a moment, adjusting his glasses precisely on his face. “She’s alive, Angel,” he finally said. “But I haven’t been able to wake her. I haven’t had any time to research it yet; just getting you both back here has been a lot of work.”

Angel pushed himself upright, steeling himself against tilting surroundings, bracing his bare feet hard against the ground. “What happened?” he asked.

Wes sucked in a surprised breath, blue eyes sharp on Angel’s face. “You don’t remember?”

Angel avoided his eyes. “Cordelia. I need to see Cordelia,” he said instead, and pushed himself up from the bed. Wesley jumped up, put a cautioning hand on his arm.

“Angel, you’re still very weak,” he said quietly. “Are you sure you don’t want to rest a little while first?”

Angel shook his head and started moving determinedly across the floor. “I need to make sure she’s okay,” he said. It was mere steps to the couch. It was the longest journey of his entire existence. With each step, his gut clenched tighter, terrified of what he might see. All he had wanted to do was save her, the way she had saved him. She’d brought sunlight and laughter and love, oh god, the most terrifying thing of all, and she’d breezed in and dropped them all over his head before he was even aware. And now, what had happened to her? What would happen to him without her?

There she was, lying on the couch. Wesley had changed her out of her expensive clothes; she wore an overlarge white T-shirt, coarse and draping over her like a hospital gown. She was pale and drawn, her tastefully applied makeup long since worn off. Desperation gnawed deep inside him and he dropped down to the couch next to her, snatching her hand in his own. It felt slender, cold, not at all like the warm Cordelia he was used to. The Cordelia he needed. He’d failed her, and this shell was all that was left.

Wesley’s hand landed on his shoulder, a poor attempt at comfort. “Angel, don’t give up on her,” he said softly. “She’s strong. She’d hardly just give up.” Angel drew in a deep shattered breath; strove to pull a semblance of control together. But it was hopeless. How could he control the bone crunching despair pulling at him? He pressed her hand against his chest, stared hard at her, willing her to wake up with every bit of strength in his body,

She didn’t move. Her breaths were shallow, barely lifting her chest. And then Wesley spoke again. “Perhaps, Angel,” he started hesitantly, “perhaps you might consider taking her to the hospital.”

“Is there anything they can do?” Angel asked desperately. “If they can help her –”

Wes moved in front of him, sitting almost primly in the leather chair next to the couch. “I’m not sure, Angel. This may be a result of the Desgial. It may just be that after the fight, her body is overloaded –”

Angel’s free hand clenched convulsively, curling into a fist. Fierceness burned in his eyes as his glare focused on Wesley, who coughed, blushed and stammered. “Fight?” he growled, fighting the ridge threatening his forehead, demon raging too close to the surface. “What fight, Wesley?”

Wesley gulped. “Perhaps I should start at the beginning.”

“Yes,” Angel gritted. “You should.”

“I don’t remember much,” Wesley cautioned. “I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I passed out shortly after finishing the spell. It was challenging, I’m not ashamed to say, and it rather took a lot out of me, and –”

Impatience surged and he must have done something or showed something, because Wesley blanched nearly white and stopped babbling. “Angel, you were – the demon was – I know you were trying, but –” He drew in another quick, impatient breath, and unconsciously tugged down his shirt sleeves, adjusting the cuffs so the seams sat exactly in the middle of his wrist. And still, Cordelia lay motionless, a true Sleeping Beauty. And Angel was no prince, no noble innocent hero able to wake her with a kiss. Instead, he stroked his fingers down her face, smoothed her hair and cradled her face, her soul, her life against him.

“It was beating you,” Wesley finally said. “I woke up and I just remember realizing that. It got to you, Angel, and you can’t blame yourself, but what you were going through was monstrous.” Angel bit his lip against the memories, hard enough to feel it split under his blunt teeth, but it stifled the nightmares and that was all that mattered. Still, his gut tossed and nausea build up behind his eyelids. “You were screaming, Angel, these awful, agonizing screams and I wanted to help you but I was frozen. I don’t know if it was the demon. Perhaps I was just scared, but I couldn’t move. I remember thinking that was the end. We were all going to die, and the demon would simply move on and continue haunting innocents and feeding off their pain and leaving behind these hollow shells, and then …”

Angel leapt on the word with all the hope welling up inside him. “Then?” He wanted to look back at Wesley again – he owed it to him, to be there as the man relived a nightmare, but he couldn’t tear his eyes free from her. She was everything. Then and now. “What then, Wes?”

“I saw her,” Wesley said, voice hushed in what sounded like amazement. “She just stood up, out of nowhere, and for a moment I thought she’d been possessed, but the look on her face!” He laughed, softly, bitterly. “It was Cordelia. She had that same look she gets when someone beats her out at a sale for a new pair of heels. Or when she lost that national commercial – remember that? – and then it aired with a blonde girl. She was furious, remember? Remember?”

Angel did remember, and a sad smile twitched his lips. She’d come storming into the office, full of snarky venom toward the mystery actress who’d stolen Cordy’s chance at stardom. He wished he could recall her rant now, but instead he remembered watching as she finally calmed, regained her infamous confidence, and informed them both regally that she was sure her next shot would inevitably be coming soon. And then they’d be out one secretary andVision Girl. She’d tossed her hair, beamed a smile and strolled across the office to eat a donut.

“She had the scimitar in her hands, Angel. I’m not sure how she got it. I remember she could barely raise it, her arms were shaking so, but she did lift it. The demon didn’t notice, and she got right behind it, and then she chopped its head off. Angel?”

Angel’s world was spinning again, and even Cordelia’s presence next to him couldn’t make it stop. She’d saved him. He’d been trying to save her, but she’d saved him instead and look where she’d ended up. He’d freed the demon but he’d been unable to fight it, and she’d stepped in and now maybe he had killed her. He could sense Wesley drawing closer, but Angel couldn’t stand any more clumsy attempts at comfort and he hunched his body over Cordelia’s, pulling away.

“She told it to leave you alone, before she struck,” Wesley added gently. “I think it heard her, it turned in that last moment, and I couldn’t see very well, but I think maybe it did something to her in that tiny second of time. She collapsed after that, just as you see her now. And she hasn’t moved since.”

Angel’s vision swam, smeared with wetness that blurred and ran. He curled his fingers in, over her wrist, testing the faint pulse that fluttered weakly against him. He couldn’t lose her. Not now. Not after all that he had learned, after all the time it had taken. Not now that he finally knew. “Cordy, wake up,” he whispered, and his eyes slipped shut as he poured everything he was into her, everything he believed they could be, every dream he’d never dared to believe in, he focused it all on her. He might not be much. A vampire with blood on his hands and stains on his soul, but he was a vampire that loved her. He had to believe that was enough. It was more than he’d ever dreamed possible. And it was all he had. “Cordelia,” he said again, tightening his grasp on her, pulling her upright, cradling her tightly against him and whispering into her hair. “Do you hear me? I need you. Wake up, Cordelia. I love you. Wake up.”

A million emotions battled each other, his anger and resentment as a human, multiplied a million times in demon form, the final realization that every human he loved paid for it: in tears and in blood. But nothing mattered more than this. And he shook her, desperation blurring his control until he was too rough and her head bobbled weakly on her neck. “Wake up!” He could hear his own desperate howl but didn’t care and he shook her again, as if he could force her to wake up, force her to smile at him and love him.

“Stop it, Angel. Angel, stop. Angel!” Wesley was speaking to him, nearly shouting, and it took forever before Angel could turn his head to look at him, and smear his tears dry to focus on the other man’s face. “Angel. Her eyes are open. Look, Angel. Dear God, she’s awake. She’s awake!”

The joy hit him, but he still turned slowly, afraid of what he might see, those hours of her haunted soul burned into his memory. But it was really her, drained and exhausted, but it was unmistakably her soul shining at him out of tired eyes. “Angel.” It was a hushed, tired breath, but he could see her struggling for energy, mustering it all together to try to smile for him. And even as he was pulling her close again, he was thanking every God he’d ever cursed, every deity he’d ever profaned, every soul in the universe, thanking them all for bringing her back to him.

“Cordelia,” was all he could say, dropping his head into her shoulder, breathing her in, relishing every movement she made because they all proved that she was alive. Alive, in his arms, and maybe he might just never let her go.

He felt her fingers, still cool – but alive! Alive! – against his neck, sliding through his hair. And then her voice, in his ear. “Don’t you know a girl needs her beauty sleep? Especially after being hijacked by a depresso-demon. And really? Depression? That’s so 1990s. You’d think Prozac would have put it out of business years ago.” Maybe she meant it, but her voice wasn’t hard or caustic. It was that teasing, beloved voice he had almost believed he’d never hear again and it was the most beautiful sound in the world.

“Cordy,” he whispered against her, and swung her up into his arms.

She exhaled hard, surprised by the sudden movement, but he had her in the bed before she could do much more than that. “Cordy,” he said again, and she looked up at him, lifted her arm to press the back of her hand against his cheek.

“It’s me,” she said softly, and then smiled; a faint mimicry of her usual gorgeous carefree grin, but a smile nonetheless. “I’m glad to see you too.” He sat down carefully next to her, and she turned into him, pillowing her head on his leg, her eyes slipping shut again.

Panic gripped him and he shook her again, gently this time. Her eyes opened again, blearily. “I’m fine!” she said, but subtle lines of exhaustion bracketed her mouth and she could barely lift her head. “I promise, Angel. I just need some sleep.”

It was hard to let her close her eyes again, but he did. He stood, pulled the sheets up over her, stepped away from the bed to dim the lights. Then her eyes shot open again. “Angel, wait,” she said in a sleepy whisper. “Wait? Maybe … maybe you could stay for a little bit? I don’t want to dream anymore, I don’t want to –”

“Shhh,” he said, and smoothed her hair, rubbed his thumb across her forehead before bending door and kissing her cheek. “I’ll stay.” An unfamiliar feeling bubbled up inside, and burst out in a soft chuckle. “Of course I’ll stay.”

She smiled again, sleepily. Peacefully. “Thanks.”

Part XII

When Cordelia woke up, she felt like she’d been sleeping for ages. The bed was soft but the covers had all puddled at the bottom and she was freezing. She lay still for a moment, tempted to pull them up over her and try to sleep some more, but her mind rebelled. It was awake, and moving a mile a minute, roving through foggy memories and organizing pieces one by one. She was alone. She had this vague feeling that Angel had been with her, holding her hand, gazing down at her with more feeling than she’d ever seen from him before, but that memory skittered away, replaced by a menacing voice singing promises of death and destruction. She screwed her eyes shut against them, desperately trying to focus on anything else. The smell of the sheets, slightly musty. The feeling of the pillows underneath her, feather-stuffed and covered in silk. The golden beam of a lamp, shining through her shut eyelids.

Finally, she opened her eyes again, glancing around her. She was in Angel’s bed; she’d known that instantly from the feel of silk. The pillow next to her had a telling dent in it, like maybe he’d lain close to her and watched over her while she’d slept. And how funny that despite their sudden descent into sexcapedes, they’d never slept in this bed before. She’d only been in this bed once before, and she’d spent the night drowning her memories of roachapalooza with peanut butter and Ritz crackers instead of sleeping. Angel had just been her vamp boss then, and then somehow her world had shifted and now he was so much more. And waking up in his bed felt different. Intimate. Right.

“You’re awake again,” she heard, and jerked up to see Wesley standing in the doorway, smiling at her. “Thank God. Angel’s really been distraught, and I –” his voice wavered, choked and he stopped abruptly. He was trying not to cry, she knew it, and so she tried as hard as she could not to giggle happily. She was pretty damn ecstatic to be alive too. And Wesley dabbing at his eyes with a pristine handkerchief was just the ultimate proof that she was actually alive, and not trapped in another one of those demon’s imaginary manipulations.

“Hi,” she said, and there he went, dabbing away at his eyes.

“Needless to say, I’m quite thrilled to see you up and about,” he was saying and Cordelia rolled her eyes affectionately. Near demon death or not, some things never changed.

“Wes, where’s Angel?” she finally interrupted, and he snorted.

“He’s making breakfast.” Her stomach growled loudly and they both grinned. “And not a moment too soon, I imagine,” he added.

“I feel like I could eat a bear,” she said cheerfully. Standing was harder than it should have been, dizziness hitting her hard until she grabbed onto the bedside table for support.

“I’m not sure I’d do that if I were you,” Wesley said, laughter behind his prim cautionary tone. “Angel’s beyond frazzled. If he sees you standing –”

“He’ll what?” she asked. “I can’t feel any worse then I do now. I’ll just take a quickie shower and be back in bed before he even knows it.”

Famous last words. She took her shower, so ridiculously hot she could barely see around the billows of steam. It was luxurious and liberating to wash away the stain of depression lingering around her. She used Angel’s shampoo and soap and her quickie shower turned into a long, thorough cleansing. By the time she stepped out, her fingertips were all wrinkly and pruney and the hot water was turning tepid.

But she felt a million times better, and she dried off and wrapped herself up in one of his fluffy cotton towels – and how was it exactly that a vamp paying her nearly nothing got silk sheets and Egyptian cotton towels, anyway? – wrapped another around her hair and stepped back into the bedroom.

Angel was sitting on the bed, arms crossed, eyes leveled on her. She cut him off before he started the lecture she could see brewing in his hooded eyes. “There’s no way I was staying in that bed for a second longer. I feel like I’ve been sleeping for days! And what’s up with the ratty T-shirt? You don’t have any beautiful negligees stashed around? Even if I’m sleeping, I’ve still got standards!”

And there it was, that tiny quirk of his lips that meant deep inside, he was smiling. “Blame Wesley for the T-shirt,” was all he said.

“Pfft!” she blew out, but she couldn’t take her eyes from him. He looked good. Okay, fine, he looked amazing. Strength and safety and everything she’d ever wanted all rolled up in a delicious vamp package. “Great. So now Wesley’s seen the goods too? What is it, a requirement for all Angel Investigation employees?”

His brows lowered, and he glared – actually glared! – at her. “No.”

She couldn’t help but smile, and it took a moment, but he smiled back. A full, glorious, angelic smile. “So, where’s breakfast?”

He stood, shifted to the side, and she saw a plate of eggs, toast and bacon on the bed, complete with placemat, napkin and fork. A glass of juice rested on a coaster on the bedside table, fruit salad and a container of yogurt behind it. She raised her eyebrows. “Do a little shopping while I was Rip-Van-Winkling?”

He didn’t answer, merely ushered her over to the bed. Moments later, a thick robe was held in front of her. She glanced up at him. His eyes were dark and warm and she shivered under his gaze. “No damp towels on the bed,” he said firmly.

She ignored him pointedly, instead settling back into bed and tucking into her breakfast. She made it halfway through the eggs and was munching on a strip of crunchy bacon when the memories hit her. Her hands started shaking, the bacon trembling in her grip. All of it, the prophecy, the demon, the awful soul sucking misery, Angel, balled up and tortured, and through it all, the horrible need to end the wretchedness, however possible. The bacon fell through her shaking fingers; she snatched up the napkin and covered her face.

The bed shifted, Angel’s weight settling in next to her and moments later, he’d wrapped up her tight, turning her into his arms. “You remember?” he asked, his voice a low rasp in her ear.

“I remember,” she said, wishing she couldn’t. Wishing it was all just a nightmare. “All of it.”

His fingers pulled the towel free from her head, threaded through her hair and rubbed her scalp in a slow, mesmerizing circle. “You know, you saved my life.”

She peered around at him. “I don’t really remember that part,” she said honestly. “I just remember—” Her breath hitched in her throat.

“Wesley saw it all,” he said. “You killed it. Somehow you fought its spell and you pulled yourself free. You’re stronger than I was, Cordelia, and when you killed it, you saved me. And countless other innocent people.”

She nodded against him, curled her legs up until she was practically in his lap. “I don’t want to think about it, Angel. It was just so—”

“I know,” he said, and she could feel a fine tremor race through him. “I don’t really want to talk about it either.” He waited a moment, then tugged her hair until she tilted her head up to look at him. “Cordelia, do you remember what happened? When the demon first got to you, I mean. Do you remember?”

She cast her mind back and tried to remember. “I was researching the demon. I’d just hung up the phone with you and Wesley was in your office. My head hurt, more than normal after vision pain, and I wished someone would get me some pain meds. I wanted a massage.” Then memories sharpened, crystallized, and suddenly she wished she could lie to him. But she couldn’t, not with him staring at her with all his concern and caring so clear on his face. She couldn’t lie, not to him. “I wanted you there, to take care of me. And I hated it! Because I take care of myself just fine. And you weren’t there, and then I realized you never really would be. Because you would always be with –”

Her candor deserted her, but it didn’t matter because he finished her sentence for her. “Buffy. You thought I’d be with Buffy?”

She lifted a shoulder, a pale imitation of her normal carefree shrug. “Maybe not right then. But eventually.” Her laugh was hard and bitter. “She’s your true love, Angel. You wouldn’t have come near me if it hadn’t been for this demon. It made you feel alone and you needed someone. I get that.”

He was shaking his head, and his grip on her was starting to constrict her breathing. “Cordelia, Buffy’s not my true love. She’s a girl I loved.” His eyes narrowed in sudden understanding, and he tilted his head, somehow drawing even closer to her. It felt like he’d suddenly comprehended something, and she felt naked in front of him, far more so then when he’d stripped off her clothes in the dark of her bedroom. “Cordy, I’m not in love with Buffy anymore. You, of all people, should know that.”

A thousand emotions clogged her throat, and when she spoke it sounded perilously near the tears she hated to shed. “How am I supposed to know that? You didn’t bother to actually say anything!”

His lips quirked. “Is that what that fight was about? In your apartment?”

She ducked her head, pressing her cheek against his chest. There’s only so much she could say looking in his eyes, but in his arms she felt strong enough to say it all, to be her normal frank self. “It’s not easy, Angel, to care for you. At the very beginning you told me it didn’t mean anything, and with you it’s always been Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, so I wasn’t surprised. It didn’t matter as much then, because it didn’t really mean anything. But it started to change for me, and it didn’t for you, and I just needed to protect myself, I guess.” Her courage bolstered, it was suddenly easier to look back at him. He was staring at her, face so full of so many emotions that she couldn’t decipher. It was scary, but she’d already started and couldn’t stop now. “It’s not easy for me to care for anyone. It hasn’t worked out that well in the past.” Her hand instinctively flickered to her side, and he tracked its movement wordlessly. “We’ve all got some baggage, Angel, even if it’s not three hundred years worth.”

His brows lowered in mock outrage. “I’m not three hundred years old, Cordelia.”

“Whooops?” She grinned meekly at him, loving the way his face softened immediately.

“Cordelia, you’ve always meant something to me.” She snorted, and flicked a glare in his direction. He amended it, albeit reluctantly. “Once we met up in L.A., you’ve always meant something. I never understood what, maybe because I didn’t try. It just took me a while to figure it out. Even our first night – I came to you for a reason. I needed you. And I wanted you. When I start thinking back, it’s been you, Cordelia, for a long time.”

This soft warmth was unfolding inside her, unlike anything she’d ever felt before. But he wasn’t done yet. “I figured it out when we were down in the sewers, and then when I thought I might lose you, I just about lost my mind. I mean it, Cordelia. Don’t ever do that to me again.”

“What? Get attacked by a demon? Yeah, the odds of that are so high.” But her sarcasm didn’t mean anything anymore, because he wasn’t paying attention. He was tilting her head even farther until she felt the tension in her neck, and he was bending down, slowly, brushing his lips against hers. And that last puzzle piece clicked into place, and everything was right with the world. She slid her arms around his neck and kissed him back, wholly and completely.

It was beyond everything she’d ever imagined. No more desperate rough caresses, fierce kisses. No, now he kissed her gently, nibbling on her lips, coaxing her, wooing her. Loving her. He kissed her like he never wanted to do anything else again, and the coolness of his lips thrilled her, the softened spikes of hair teased her, but most of all, his kiss calmed her. Her heart thrummed loudly, broken only by the sound of their kisses, his rumble of pleasure when she shifted completely onto his lap. The towel fell to the bed silently, and he didn’t even kick it to the floor. No, he was too busy learning her body, caressing every inch of skin, brushing a hint of a kiss against the hollow of her throat, slowly allowing his fingers to drift lower, to explore rounded breasts and taut nipples, to stroke, cajole, entice and adore.

It was too much and yet not enough, all at the same time. But this was his show, he was setting the rules, and he was showing her in a million ways that he loved her. So she let him lay her back into the pillows, let him stroke big hands down her body, trailing tingles of arousal in their wake. Her body warmed, softened, welcomed him, and even though she told herself not to move, her legs parted for him instinctively, letting him in, wrapping around him, holding him close.

He felt wonderful inside her, and every movement thrilled her until she was biting back whimpers and all sorts of embarrassing sounds, even though she knew he wouldn’t rest until she’d dropped all her barriers and shared it all with him. He was taking his time but he wouldn’t take anything less then all of her, and she gave in, tumbling freely into the opulent desire he’d painted onto her naked body, moaning his name, digging blunt nails into the arms propped over her, under her, around her, surrounding her, her lover, her love.

He froze, inside her, smeared his thumb against her cheekbones, drying tears she hadn’t realized she’d let free. “Cordy, do you remember? What I told you before you woke up? Do you remember?”

She blinked up at him, still moving inside her, slowly, rhythmically, until her brain threatened to melt and her body corded with desire. She couldn’t talk, couldn’t speak, was too full –

“I said I loved you, Cordy,” he said, each word a grunt of restraint, beads of sweat sliding down his face, his chest. “Do you remember? Do you?”

Her orgasm was long and lush, cascading over her until she writhed under him, spasms shuddering through her, hot pleasure all she could register. Until, gasping for breath, she looked into his desperate face, pressed her palms to his cheeks and dropped her last, precious wall. “I remember, Angel,” she said, and he gripped her, tight, struggling for control. “I remember. And I love you too. Angel,” she giggled a little, overwhelmed, overcome, “I’m so in love with you.”

He threw back his head, control shattered, tendons straining against his throat, fingers grasping her hands and holding them tight, and then he grunted, more of a growl, and she knew that sound, knew he’d lost control and couldn’t fight back his orgasm, it was seconds away –

He dropped his head down, pressed his forehead against hers, whispering his love against her mouth, his soft, gorgeous lips curving in the world’s most beautiful smile and she could see it overtaking him and she whispered it back to him, her love, so much love, undying, endless, and she saw it in his eyes – she saw it in his eyes, a flicker of orange. A flicker of fire. A moment of sheer, perfect bliss?

And in the background, voices too perfect blended in simple harmony: death is no dream for in death I’m caressing you. With the last breath of my soul, I’ll be blessing you …

Gloomy Sunday.

The End


**Gloomy Sunday is a Hungarian song written in the early 1900s, and has since been covered by an amazing amount of artists! This is the version that inspired me: Gloomy Sunday, Artie Shaw There’s lots of urban legends about the song, including that the Hungarian composer that wrote the song committed suicide. There’s another that when the English version came to the US, radio stations refused to play it unless a third ‘happy ending’ verse was added to it. This version doesn’t have the add-on verse, but many others (including Billie Holiday’s) do.

And … here’s the original challenge:

– Season 1
– Angel and Cordy have a sexual relationship, but not love – yet. The relationship can be already established or just coming into existence, but some R or NC-17 level smut is required! (I kind of like the just coming into existence stories myself, but dealer’s choice.)
– One of them realizing he/she is in love, and angst ensues
– Doyle and/or Wesley finding out and having an amusing fit of hysterics
– Evil must be vanquished, and Cordy is hurt
– C/A action somewhere risque (balcony, couch in office, public library, etc)

– Crossover BtVS
– Tootsie Rolls (don’t ask)

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