Seperate Hearts. 1-2

Title: Separate Hearts         SH ficpic
Author: Becjane
Posted:
Rating: NC17
Email
Category: romance/angst.
Content: A/C,
Summary: An enforced separation forces Cordy to face up to her true feelings for Angel. I think the overall scenario may have been done before, but this is my take on it.
Spoilers: Set in ATS season 3 sometime after Provider.
Disclaimer: Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution:
Notes: Wolfram and Hart are doing everything in their power to keep Angel off balance in the hope of getting their hands on Connor. Holtz is biding his time for now. For reference, in the BTVS canon Willow has split from Tara and is going cold turkey on the magic front, Xander has just jilted Anya and Buffy is trying to keep her distance from Spike. It’s all AU from the start of my fic.A/N: I wasn’t going to write another crossover straightaway, but this just popped into my head and wouldn’t go away. I guess it’s not that crossovery (is that a word?!) because I’m going to concentrate mainly on Angel and Cordy’s feelings, rather than the Scooby Gang’s reactions to events. Not intending this to be an epic – maybe 5 or so parts; we’ll see how it goes …
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Part 1

Angel looked up at the familiar house, then back down at the sleeping woman and baby in the car seat next to him. He closed his eyes and recalled the conversation of the night before ….

“I’m not going!” Cordy stood with her hands on her hips, her hazel eyes defiant.

“Yes, you are.” The vampire’s voice was calm and controlled, his frustration with the stubborn woman in front of him not showing at all in his firm tone.

Maybe orders aren’t the best way to go, Angel thought to himself as the young brunette’s eyes turned frosty and narrowed dangerously at him. Emotional blackmail then?

“Please Cordy.” he wheedled, his deep brown puppy-dog eyes gazing pleadingly at her. “I need to be sure that Connor is safe,” he continued, omitting to mention that his son wasn’t the only person he wanted out of harm’s way. “I can’t protect him with everything that’s going on here, and they’re the best people to make sure he remains unharmed.”

“Why do I have to go too?” Cordy pouted, sticking out her full lower lip.

“Because I can’t leave Connor alone with people who are strangers to him.”

“What about Fred?”

“No.” Angel shook his head. “I love her like my little sister, but entrust my son’s care to her twenty-four hours a day? You’re the only one I trust to look after him properly, Cordy. It has to be you.”

He watched as Cordy’s eyes softened and her face flushed with pleasure at his statement. A shy smile crept across her pretty features. “All right, but when I get back – you’re going to owe me big time, mister.”

Angel’s mind returned to the present and he reached over to shake Cordy awake. “We’re here.”

“Oh goody.” Cordy replied sarcastically as she opened her eyes and yawned.

The young seer locked her hands together above her head and stretched out her cramped muscles. Angel felt his groin stir, as her blue top stretched tightly over the full breasts that she involuntarily thrust out in the process. He quickly turned his attention to the unbuckling of his son’s car-seat to distract himself from the arousing sight.

“So exactly how are you going to explain this little bundle of joy?” Cordy asked, reaching out to smooth down Connor’s wispy hair with a gentle hand.

“I’ve not really figured that out yet. “Angel replied, then shrugged. “The truth I guess.”

Cordy looked at the house with distaste. “Are you sure this is necessary?”

“I thought we had this discussion yesterday.” Angel said wearily. “With Wolfram and Hart on my back twenty-four seven, I need Connor to be some place safe with people who have the power to protect him.”

Cordy tucked her chin length dark hair behind her ears. “I know; I’m just not exactly thrilled to be back here. I used to pretend that they were my friends, but I know they never really were. I have my parents to deal with too. How exactly am I going to explain my part-demon-seer status to them? Not to mention the baby boy I have in tow. Daddy will probably have a heart attack.”

Angel placed his hand over hers. “I know this isn’t going to be a picnic for you, Cordy, but there isn’t any other option.”

Cordy nodded and got out of the car. “Okay – let’s go and face the inevitable. You are wearing a stake-proof vest, aren’t you?”

Angel laughed as he handed his son to the smiling young woman, before reaching into the back seat to retrieve her luggage and all of Connor’s baby paraphernalia. “I don’t think that’ll be necessary.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that, broody boy.” Cordy threw back over her shoulder, as she started up the path to the front door with Connor’s car-seat hooked over one arm.

She waited for the vampire to catch up with her, then rapped sharply on the wooden door.

“Angel.” Buffy reached out to give her ex-boyfriend a hug. “Cordelia.” she nodded briefly at the former cheerleader, her blue eyes widening slightly at the baby carrier in her arms. “Come in.”

The two of them followed the blonde slayer into the lounge area where Angel deposited the luggage in the corner of the room. Connor immediately began to fuss, so Cordy placed the car-seat on the floor, lifted him up into her arms and started to sway from side to side to soothe the grizzling baby.

“You said on the phone that you wanted us to protect something. I take it that’s it?” Buffy said, indicating the tiny boy in Cordy’s arms. “Get yourself into trouble did you Cordelia?”

“‘It’ has a name – he’s called Connor.” Cordy said caustically, scowling at the petite slayer.

“So you want us to protect Cordelia and her baby. Why?” Buffy turned to Angel.

“Connor is my son.” Angel corrected the slayer’s assumption about the baby’s parentage. “Darla’s his mother, but she’s dead now – she staked herself so our baby could survive.”

“You’re a vampire – you can’t have children.” Willow said incredulously. “How did you …?”

“Connor’s birth was foretold. Wes found a prophecy about a vampire birth.” Angel explained. “It’s a long story which I don’t have time to get into right now. I was stupid – I risked – well, *everything* and slept with Darla. Nine months later, Connor arrived. I regret many things that happened during that time, but I wouldn’t give up my son for the world.”

Angel reached out to slip a finger into the now gurgling baby’s tiny fist. “I need you to protect him and Cordy for a few weeks while I deal with things in LA. It’s not safe for either of them there right now. Wolfram and Hart know that my son and my seer are my Achilles Heel; they are bound to try and exploit that sooner or later.”

The vampire turned to an open-mouthed Buffy. “Will you do it?”

Buffy was staring in shock at the baby in Cordy’s arms. “He’s yours?”

“Yes.” Angel confirmed. “Buffy, I need an answer – I have to get back to LA tonight.”

The slayer nodded. “Of course I’ll protect them, you know I will.”

Angel sighed in relief. “Thank you.” he said sincerely, reaching out to squeeze her hand in gratitude.

Angel turned to Cordy. “I guess I’d better get going.” he said, as he took his son out of her arms.

He lifted the tiny boy up in front of his face and kissed Connor’s soft cheek, breathing in his sweet baby smell. “I love you little man – I’m gonna miss you so much.” he whispered as he held Connor close, one hand supporting the baby’s diapered bottom and the other stroking over his son’s downy head.

He lifted his gaze to Cordy’s, and saw that her eyes were full as she watched him cuddle his little boy. Angel transferred Connor into the crook of one arm and reached out with the other to draw Cordy close. “Take care.” he whispered into her hair as her arms closed tightly around him.

Cordy eventually pulled away. “You told me this was just about Connor.” she accused the vampire.

“I lied.” Angel admitted. “Wolfram and Hart are gunning for me and I need to be sure that both of you are safe. You’re too important to lose.” He reached out to brush her tears away, then cupped her chin in his free hand and pressed a tender kiss against her lips.

When their lips parted, Angel stepped away and deposited his son back into Cordy’s arms. He bent down to place a kiss on the baby’s forehead, then stood up and looked into his seer’s startled expression.

“We need to talk when you get back home.” Angel said quietly, leaning in close to speak to her to prevent the others in the room from hearing his words. He ran the tips of his fingers gently down her warm cheek then, with a heavy sigh, reluctantly turned to leave, closing the front door with a click behind him.

***

Cordy placed a sleeping Connor in the bassinet, and brushed his little button nose lightly with her forefinger. The feelings she had for Angel’s baby son were growing stronger by the day, and she was desperately trying to fight them.

She touched her fingertips to her lips, as she remembered the pressure of Angel’s cool mouth against hers earlier that evening. What had he meant when he said they needed to talk? It couldn’t be what she thought it was – could it?

The young seer quickly squelched those speculative thoughts; it did her no good to think like that. Allowing herself to picture the three of them as family was a seriously bad idea; it would only end in heartache for her and everyone else involved.

I’m not Connor’s mother and Angel is just my friend, Cordy firmly chastised herself, Stop thinking that it can be more than that – you know it’s just fantasyland.

A soft knock on the bedroom door interrupted her confused thoughts, and Willow poked her head round the door frame. “Can I come in?”

Cordy nodded. “Sure.” she said, gesturing with her hand to invite the redheaded witch in. “It’s your room after all.”

Cordy was relieved that Willow now lived at the Summer’s house; the thought of sharing the place with just Buffy and Dawn had filled her with dread. Willow was the only one who had been remotely friendly to her, offering to bunk down on the floor in Buffy’s room while Connor and Cordy took the main bedroom.

Buffy was obviously not thrilled about Angel’s clear affection for her; she had been coldly polite to the seer all evening and Dawn hadn’t been much better. Cordy hadn’t seen Xander yet, but hoped that their history would mean that he’d be at least partially welcoming.

Willow came into the room carrying two mugs of hot chocolate, one of which she offered to the brunette after she kicked the door shut with her foot. She crossed the room to look down at the slumbering baby in the cot. “I still can’t believe Angel has a son.”

Cordy moved to sit cross-legged on the bed, cupping the hot drink between her hands. “It took us all by surprise too.”

“So Angel …. with Darla.”

“Yeah.” Cordy looked down into her mug, watching as the marshmallows melted into a creamy swirl in the brown liquid. Even though she’d forgiven Angel for his transgression, her heart contracted painfully at the thought of him having sex with the blonde vampire. Cordy refused to contemplate why that, more than anything else that he had done during his beige period, was still so painful to her.

“So how exactly did that work?” Willow asked curiously, as she perched on the edge of the mattress. “Seeing as I distinctly remember him staking her to dust six years ago?”

Cordy smiled ruefully at the witch’s comment. “Guess we have some catching up to do.”

“You think?” Willow said with a raised eyebrow and an ironic smile. “Come on then; it’s time to spill.”

***

Angel cursed his vampire senses as he glanced over at the now empty passenger seat beside him. Cordy’s spicy perfume and Connor’s baby powder scent had permeated the comfy leather on the journey to Sunnydale, and now taunted his sensitive nostrils reminding him of their absence.

The vampire had been so focused on getting Connor and Cordy to a safe haven, that he hadn’t considered what it would mean to leave them behind and return to LA alone. His baby boy was only a few months old and being apart from him was already causing an almost physical ache inside of the new father.

As for Cordy … Angel’s growing feelings for his seer had been somewhat derailed by Darla’s appearance and Connor’s subsequent birth, but now that he had got used to the idea of being a Dad, they were beginning to reassert themselves stronger than ever.

The vampire didn’t know why he had been holding back – the curse wasn’t even an issue anymore. His soul had been anchored for a while, ever since he’d turned away from his obsessive pursuit of Wolfram and Hart. The Powers That Be had decided that they no longer required the perfect happiness clause to keep their champion on the right path, so had rewarded his voluntary choice to return to the mission, by securing his soul.

His friends, however, didn’t know any of this; for some reason the words stuck in Angel’s throat whenever he tried to tell any of them.

Tonight though, as he held Cordy close in his arms, Angel privately admitted that he was totally in love with the beautiful young woman who had exploded, like a comet, into his life three years ago. He was terrified of being rejected, but knew that if he didn’t do something about the way he felt, he would always wonder whether or not his feelings were returned.

As Angel took leave of the two most important people in his life, he decided that a lifetime of regret far outweighed the risk of being spurned by the woman he had come to love. He had therefore subtly declared his intentions by gently kissing his seer, and intimating to her that they needed to discuss something important when she returned to LA.

Now all he had to do was survive the weeks of separation ahead.

***

Cordy lay flat on her back, and gazed up at the shifting shadows being cast on the ceiling, by the moonlight filtering in through a gap in the curtains. She could hear Connor’s contented little snuffles from the cot next to the bed, but her own body and mind refused to shut down and sleep.

When Cordy had agreed to come to Sunnydale the previous night, she had done so under the influence of the warm rush of pleasure that had infused her entire being, at Angel’s assertion that she was the only one he trusted to take care of his son. She, therefore, hadn’t really considered the consequences of her decision, and it was only now that the significance of what she’d let herself in for was beginning to dawn.

Cordy was stranded in a town that she’d once called home, but that now felt like a desert island to her; she was isolated from her friends, the very people she was most comfortable with, and she didn’t even have Phantom Dennis to keep her company to compensate.

Not that I’ve actually spent much time at my apartment lately, she thought to herself.

In recent weeks, Cordy had invariably found herself staying over at the hotel, ostensibly to help Angel with Connor, but in reality because her life and heart were becoming more and more entwined with that of the souled vampire and his miracle son. This was despite her best endeavours to keep a certain amount of emotional distance from them.

Cordy sighed; denying her feelings for Angel was getting more difficult with each passing day, and being removed from his presence was only serving to heighten those jumbled emotions.

Cordy turned onto her side and punched a hollow in the pillow in which to lay her head, before closing her eyes and trying to shut out the images whirling around in her mind.

She had to stop thinking like this – it was a road to nowhere but heartbreak city.


Part 2

It was mid afternoon and Cordy was alone in the Summer’s household.

For the first few days, the seer and her tiny charge had accompanied the slayer to the Doublemeat Palace. Cordy, of course, was soon seriously bored, and this made her extremely bad-tempered. The constant sniping between her and the slayer had quickly reached intolerable levels and Buffy’s boss had also complained about the ‘noise pollution’ from Connor.

Angel’s son was usually a sweet-natured little baby, but within twenty-four hours of their arrival in Sunnydale the incessant crying had begun. After several nightmarish days, Cordy had eventually come to the conclusion that Connor missed his father and was, therefore, loudly voicing his protest at this unacceptable state of affairs.

Once Cordy realised this, she promptly solved the problem by calling LA and getting Fred to programme her cell phone number on speed dial for Angel. The technophobic vampire had luckily managed to grasp the concept of pressing 1 and then the green call button, and now called several times a day. The regular sound of Angel’s voice had convinced Connor that his Dad hadn’t vanished into thin air, and he had soon settled down again much to everyone’s intense relief.

Finally, in the interests of preventing World War Three from breaking out, Willow had come out of her self-imposed magic ban to cast a protection spell over the Summer’s house and garden. Provided Cordy and Connor remained within the property’s perimeter, they would be safe from attack long enough for the seer to call for help and Buffy to return home.

Cordy was currently curled up in an armchair, flicking through the latest issue of Cosmo; she had placed Connor on a blanket on the floor, and the baby boy was cooing quietly to himself as he happily kicked his little legs and waved his tiny arms about.

This was Cordy’s favourite time of day; she almost always had the house to herself and to cap it all she often received a phone call from Angel as well. It was the only time she could speak freely to the vampire; Buffy or one of the Scoobies were always listening in at other times and Cordy felt like she had to censor what she said.

Buffy, more often than not, took the phone off the seer to give Angel a progress report, which irritated Cordy no end. She usually swallowed her objections though because she thought that Angel would probably prefer to speak to Buffy anyway, and would therefore get angry if she tried to hog the phone.

Connor gave a happy little cry when the cell phone on the arm of the chair began to ring. Cordy smiled at the baby’s response. “Is that Daddy Connor? Is he calling to say hi?”

She bent to scoop the baby up into her arms, then reached to answer the phone as she settled Connor comfortably on her lap. “Hey!”

“Hey you.” Angel’s warm masculine voice sounded in her ear. “Whatcha doing?”

“Me and Connor were just chilling out.”

“You alone?”

“Yeah – Will’s at college, Dawn’s at school and Little Miss Like-to-Fight left for work an hour or so ago.”

“Good.” Angel replied, the relief evident in his voice. “We can talk properly then.”

Cordy’s heart flip-flopped in her chest; she thought she was the only one who felt like that. “You don’t want to speak to Buffy?” she asked incredulously.

“Not really – I call because of you and Connor, no-one else.”

“But I thought …..” Cordy trailed off; she was almost speechless and her stomach was suddenly fluttering with butterflies.

“You thought what?”

“Buffy is your one true love.” Cordy stated emphatically, as if that explained everything.

She heard Angel sigh on the other end of the line. “No, Cor – Buffy was my first love and in time I got over it. It didn’t kill me to live without her for two years and I coped with her death because I’d moved on. I just didn’t realise it until she was gone for good.”

“You’d feel differently if you could bone her and not go all evil.” Cordy insisted, her mind refusing to accept the possibility that Angel wasn’t as unavailable to her as she’d always convinced herself that he was.

“If that was the case, then I would’ve returned to Sunnydale a year ago.”

“What does *that* mean?”

There was deathly silence on the other end of the phone. “Angel?”

“I hadn’t intended to tell you like this.” Angel’s voice was slow and careful as if he was unsure of how to proceed.

“Tell me what?” Cordy exclaimed impatiently, her voice sounding a little shrill.

“I – uhh – the PTB’s secured my soul. It happened after my epiphany.”

Cordy’s world ground to a halt. “You mean no perfect happiness clause anymore?” she asked, her voice shaking slightly.

“Yeah.” Angel confirmed quietly. “For just over a year now.”

The seer’s hazel eyes widened and her breathing became laboured – he had kept this a secret for all this time? “Why didn’t you tell me?” she demanded.

“You weren’t exactly that approachable back then, Cordy.”

“Pfft and who’s fault was that?” Cordy retorted, a note of bitterness creeping into her voice. “Besides that was ages ago – what’s been stopping you these last few months?”

Angel sighed again. “I honestly don’t know. I’ve tried to say something, but the words wouldn’t come out.”

“Am I that hard to talk to?” Cordy’s eyes filled with tears; she couldn’t help it – it pained her that he didn’t feel he could confide in her over this. “Does Wes know? Or Gunn?”

“No, you’re the first person I’ve told.” Angel answered the easy question first, then tried to explain why he’d been so reticent. “It just became so difficult to talk to you about this, and the longer I left it the harder it was to say the words.”

“Why?” Cordy couldn’t keep the hurt out of her voice.

“I .. Fuck! ..” Angel swore. “Look I don’t want to discuss this over the phone. I’ll see if I can get away for twenty-four hours and we can talk then. I need to see Connor anyway – I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be to be parted from him.”

Cordy melted when she heard the vampire’s voice vibrate with emotion, as he mentioned missing his baby son. “You wanna say hi?”

“Yeah.” Angel’s voice sounded hoarse and strained.

Cordy switched to speaker phone so that she could report Connor’s responses back to Angel. “He can hear you now.”

“Hey little man – how you doing?”

Cordy watched as a big smile broke over Connor’s chubby features at the sound of his father’s voice. “I think he’s pleased to hear from you – he’s smiling.”

Angel continued to talk to his son, telling him and Cordy general stuff about his day in that singsong tone that babies always reacted too. After a while, Connor began to babble back nonsense in response, much to Cordy’s amusement.

Halfway through telling them about the research into a demon that Wolfram and Hart had recently let loose on the populus of LA, Angel’s voice cracked and he broke off his narrative. “God I miss you both so much.” he choked out, then fell silent.

Cordy could hear him struggling to fight back the tears and the escalating loneliness that she had been desperately trying to ignore suddenly overwhelmed her. “I miss you too – I wish we could come home.” she confessed tearfully.

Angel took an unneeded breath, steadying himself. “It’s not safe yet baby.” he told her, the endearment slipping spontaneously from his lips. “I’m going to drive down to see you tonight though – Wes and the others can handle things here for a day.”

Cordy wiped away her tears with the fingertips of one hand and pulled herself together with effort. “We’ll see you in a few hours then.”

“Yeah – bye till then.”

“Bye.”

Cordy hung up and gathered Connor to her, pressing her warm lips to his baby-soft skin. “Daddy’s coming to see us sweetie.” she whispered to the tiny boy as she cuddled him close.

***

“Bloody Hell.”

“Cool man.”

“Way to go corn-muffin.”

“I told y’all – it’s kyrumption. Didn’t I tell y’all?”

Angel looked around at his stunned friends, smiling briefly at Fred’s excited comment.

“Are you going tell her?” Wesley asked once Angel’s confession had properly sunk in.

“Tell who?”

“Cordelia.”

“I already did – on the phone earlier – didn’t I just say that?”

Wesley rolled his blue eyes at Angel’s cluelessness “I didn’t mean about your soul.”

“What then?”

The ex-watcher didn’t reply just shot his friend a withering look. Caught like a deer in headlights by Wesley’s steady gaze, Angel shifted uncomfortably and looked down at his feet. “Am I really that obvious?”

“Yes.” was Wesley’s simple response.

“Is the Pope catholic?” Gunn sniggered.

“Angelcakes, your aura’s brimming to overflowing with all that hot smoochy loving for the princess.”

“It’s definitely moira.” Fred added her affirmation to the other’s positive replies to the vampire’s embarrassed question.

“When she gets back home – yes I’ll tell her. She’ll probably run as fast as she can in the opposite direction, but I have to know one way or the other.” Angel sighed, running his hands over his face and his fingers through his dark spiky hair. “I hope it doesn’t backfire on me.”

Wesley smiled at the vampire’s insecurity. “I really don’t think you have anything to worry about as far as Cordelia is concerned, Angel.”

“When we were in Pylea, she said she loved the Groosalugg.” The vampire pointed out, his broad forehead crinkled in concern.

“It was a fantasy, Angel that’s all. She fell for a tall, dark and handsome man; a champion who kept the population safe from the evil demons that plagued their society. Now where have I met someone like that before?” Wesley scratched at his chin as if in deep thought, but his blue eyes twinkled with friendly amusement.

Angel relaxed, his confidence buoyed by Wesley’s certainty in Cordy’s feelings; if anyone would know it would be him. Besides himself, the ex-watcher was closest to the young woman; the two of them shared a brother/sister type relationship. Sure they bickered almost constantly, but Angel was aware of the deep affection that lay behind all of that. If push came to shove, Wesley and Cordy would do anything for each other.

“I need to go and pack – I want to leave on the dot of sundown.” The vampire turned and headed upstairs to his room.

Fred blew her breath out noisily from between her lips. “Phew! I didn’t think I could stand much more of the UST.”

“UST?” Wesley asked her, a puzzled look on his face.

“Unresolved Sexual Tension – it’s a term used in on-line fan fiction for when the characters have the hots for each other, but don’t do anything about it – you know like Mulder and Scully in the X-files.”

“The X-files?”

“You have to have watched the X-files.” Fred stared at the boss of Angel Investigations incredulously.

“No.”

“I’ve still got loads of reruns to watch of what I missed while I was in Pylea – you can watch them with me.” Fred decided. He couldn’t be in the line of business he was in, and not have watched the X-files; it was unthinkable!

“So what happens when this UST gets resolved?” Gunn asked, an amused look on his handsome face.

“Those are the *best* fics.” The young Texan replied enthusiastically. “I love it when they finally get together – it’s always so hot and ….”

Fred stopped, a pink blush infusing her cheeks; she might have revealed a little too much there. “Uhh – I’ll just go and check on that research.” she stammered, then scurried off into the other room.

“I’m thinking our little Fred may not be as innocent as she seems.” Lorne commented wryly as the three men watched her retreating figure.

***

Cordy frowned as her eyes fell on Buffy, who was leaning casually against the bureau in the living room. She wouldn’t normally be wearing those clothes if she was just spending the evening at home; the slayer was only decked out like that because Angel was visiting.

Buffy was dressed in a knee length beige skirt with a slit up the side that exposed her toned leg to mid-thigh. Her upper half was encased in a tight-fitting cream blouse that clung to her small breasts, making her seem curvier than she actually was. Soft leather three-quarter length brown boots completed the outfit.

The slayer exuded simple style much to Cordy’s chagrin; the seer looked down at her own outfit of well-worn jeans and a loose sweatshirt. She used to be a style-queen – how come she now resembled a harassed mom?

Cordy glanced over at the giggling baby being bounced on Willow’s knee and a warm feeling flooded her belly. Connor was the reason for her change in wardrobe; the latest designer fashions were hardly practical clothing when you were taking care of a four month old.

Cordy didn’t begrudge Connor’s impact on her life, but Angel was a man, and a vampire, with a now permanent soul. When he walked through that door, who was going to grab his attention? Not her that’s for sure.

“I need to change.” Cordy thought out loud, leaping abruptly to her feet. “Willow, do you mind watching Connor for a bit?”

“No, go ahead.” the witch replied, her attention focused on the baby on her knee.

Willow had fallen in love with Angel’s son. Cordy privately suspected that being adjacent to Connor’s innocence helped the witch deal with and resist her magic addiction. When Willow became agitated, holding the baby boy in her arms seemed to calm her almost immediately.

Buffy, in contrast, rarely showed any interest in Connor which surprised Cordy a lot. The slayer was obviously still territorial over Angel, so not making an effort to get to know his beloved son seemed kind of strange behaviour on Buffy’s part.

Cordy took the stairs two at a time and entered the main bedroom, where she made a beeline for the closet. She flung open the doors to contemplate the clothing therein. She pulled out an extremely short skirt – way too obvious; Cordy flung the garment over her shoulder onto the bed. Another pair of comfy jeans – too casual; the seer rejected that outfit as well.

Cordy went through the entire closet and finally settled on a pair of black hipster pants and a soft V-neck turquoise top that emphasised her curves and exposed the right amount of cleavage. She sat in front of the mirror at the dresser and carefully applied her make-up – not too much, just enough to accentuate her best features. She brushed her sleek dark hair until it was shining, then finished off the outfit with the necklace that Angel had bought her from Sri Lanka.

The seer stood up and twirled in front of the mirror; perfect – she looked like a young sexy woman again. If the broody vamp didn’t think she looked hot, then he was blind as a bat. It all crashed in on Cordy then. Oh my God! I’m actually dressing up so Angel will notice me.

Cordy sat down heavily on the edge of the bed, as her walls of denial crumbled to dust. She was completely in love with him; she couldn’t deny it any longer. With his permanent soul, it was safe to be with Angel now but, unfortunately, there was still the Buffy factor to consider.

Angel had said that he was over the slayer; Cordy wasn’t sure that she totally believed him though. It was easy for the vampire to say that when he didn’t see Buffy every day, but the seer still thought he would feel differently, when he was actually in her presence for more than a few minutes.

I guess the next twenty-four hours will be the barometer, Cordy thought to herself as she got to her feet and crossed to the bedroom door.

She slowly descended the stairs, a mixture of hope and dread churning in her stomach. As she reached the bottom step, there was a sharp knock on the door.

Oh God – he’s here.

Part 3

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