Angel stumbled to his feet. There were two things wrong with this scenario. Well, three actually. Number one being Cordelia, growing a wrestler’s arm (not literally), number two? Angel being knocked over by a girl… Okay, sure, that had happened before but not one without slayer strength!
And number three? Buffy stand there, snickering behind her hand.
“This isn’t funny!” Growled Angel.
“Not laughing…” Mumbled Buffy, trying to keep her composure.
Angel rubbed the back of his head and looked at Cordelia, “We need to talk.”
“No, YOU need to listen.” Said Cordelia.
“I said YOU need to listen. You need to listen to me without butting in and yelling at me that I’m not dealing the way I’m supposed to. You need to listen to me without stopping me and telling me that what happened is in the past. Just… Listen to me.” She said softly.
Angel was stunned, “But…”
“No, just *listen* to me, can you do that?” Asked Cordelia, softly.
Angel sighed, “Here?”
“No. There’s some stuff that you mightn’t like…”
Angel frowned, “Buffy? Can we…”
“Use my room. But don’t make a mess… OR fight. I can’t afford to replace things you guys break.” She said simply, walking into the house and into the kitchen where Spike sat. “They sortin’ things out?”
“They’re on their way…” Said Buffy softly, sitting on Spike’s lap and wrapping her arms around his neck…
“So… Would you like to explain what’s going on?” Asked Angel, shutting the door behind him.
“Maybe you should sit.” Oh, damn… It was a statistical fact that when someone said you should sit down, what they were about to say wasn’t good news. Angel sat, fists clenching and unclenching nervously. “Okay, talk.”
Cordelia sighed, “Since this is probably going to be the hardest thing I’m ever going to tell you I’m just going to say it quick and you shouldn’t interrupt or… Well, I don’t know what *or* but I should just come out and tell you, ’cause if I don’t…”
Angel could see the nervousness and stood, gently taking her hands in his. “Cordy, just tell me.” He said softly. “Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it.”
Cordelia looked away from him, “Remember when… Remember when we found out about the visions? Remember what we found out about the visions?”
Angel sighed, “Yes.”
“Well… I was given a choice. By Skip, you know Skip, right?”
Angel frowned, “I know Skip.”
“Well, he showed me. What my life would be like without them and…” Cordelia frowned, pulling her hands out of his, “Y’know, if you *thought* that stuff, you should have said it to me! I mean… God, I deal with blinding pain, I can deal with my best friend thinking I’m a rich little girl from Sunnydale and can’t cope…”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Asked Angel, annoyed.
Cordelia’s eyes flamed, “Hang on – let me see if I remember the EXACT words, oh wait, I do! ‘Cause every time I hear your voice I STILL hear you saying them… ‘The visions are too much. She’s not strong enough to handle them’…”
“Oh, and then there’s my PERSONAL favourite. ‘Cordelia’s not a champion, she’s a rich girl from Sunnydale who likes to play superhero, she doesn’t have what it takes to do this… SHE’S WEAK!”
“Weak, huh? Well, I didn’t seem too weak when I was kicking your ass in the garden, did I?” She asked, angrily.
“No!” She yelled back, “You said you’d listen to me! And you’re damned well going to! Do you know how much that hurt?” She asked,
“After MONTHS of hearing Angelus saying that I was weak, that I’d do nothing but die with a broken heart and a broken spirit I heard YOU saying that. It felt like I’d finally woke up from the damned nightmare and I was sucked back in all over again! And this time it was YOU saying it! Not him!”
“But what? Are you going to try and justify it? Please do…”
“Well I will if you let me!” He said softly, “I was scared. I was trying to get you back – did you hear what I said after that? Cordelia, I’m more afraid of you dying than you are. What’s that?”
Cordelia closed her eyes and shook her head, “Angel… Hearing those words come from your mouth and knowing you belie…”
“I didn’t.” He said quietly, “I don’t believe what I said for one second. Cordy, I lost you when we found out the visions were killing you. And I lost you twice to Angelus. I didn’t want… I don’t want to lose you again.” He whispered. “I thought five years would be enough for me. I thought we could make the best of what we have. I can’t. I don’t want you to die. I’m so scared that…”
Angel closed his eyes, “I’m so scared that one morning, you just won’t wake up. I’m scared that one morning I won’t wake up to your smile. I’m scared that Connor will never know you. I don’t want you to die. And I hate that you go through so much pain to help me…”
Tears slid down Cordelia’s cheeks and she looked at him, “And what if I told you that… That maybe there’s a way.”
“A way of what?” He asked, puzzled.
“For me to stay here. To not leave. To not die?”
Angel looked at her, skeptically, “Do you want to?”
Cordelia smiled, “Yes.” She said quietly. “So, what if there was a way…”
“It would depend…”
Angel sighed, “What we have to do.”
“It’s already done.”
“Angel – lets just say having the visions comes with a requirement…”
“Being half demon…”
Cordelia smiled, “So, I guess we have more in common than you thought, huh?”
Angel was not impressed.