For one night I was granted a reprieve. For one night. And for that entire night, I wondered. It didn’t matter that tonight I wasn’t being forced to do things I would never do out of love. It didn’t matter that for the first night in the entire six months Angel had been gone, I wasn’t hurting.
What mattered was Angelus wasn’t here. He hadn’t turned up. I’d have liked to have thought that… He’d gotten sick of me and moved on but I knew this wasn’t true. He has a hold over me and for as long as he decides to keep me here, he has that hold.
Perhaps, if I’d been thinking straight, I would have gotten out of there sooner or REALISED at least, that something had happened. It was, after all, only the night before that my friends had found out what had happened.
But I didn’t think, I was too busy WORRYING about the consequences, that I didn’t think they’d actually happen…
He hadn’t been there the night before and that worried Cordelia a whole lot more than she cared to admit. If one of her friends had gone after him and he’d hurt them then…
The door grunted under a dead weight and Cordelia whimpered. Nodding to Dennis to open the door, the dutiful ghost did so. Cordelia was taken aback, Angelus almost fell through the door, thrashed to within almost an inch of his unlife, there was blood everywhere.
Cordelia didn’t even think. She ran to his side and helped him in her apartment. “What happened?” She asked, almost fearfully. An answering growl made her quieten and Cordelia stood… A hand clamping down on her wrist.
“Where are you going?” He growled.
Not dead, nor not of the living. Spirits of the interregnum, I call.
“T-to get the bandages and stuff…” She whispered. “You’re… You’re hurt.”
Cordelia went into the bathroom, pulling the things she used for when Angel was injured down from the top shelf and walked back through, kneeling next to him, tending his wounds in silence. “Why are you doing this?” He glared at her, “You hate me.”
“You’re right, I do.” She said gently, placing gauze where a stake had penetrated his stomach. “But that’s… You’re in his body. And I couldn’t bear to see him hurt.”
Gods bind him, cast his heart from the demon realm, return his soul. Let him know the pain of humanity – reach your wizened hands to me, give me the soul of the one I seek.
“I don’t know why you do this,” Said Angelus, cruelly, “It doesn’t mean he’ll hate you any less.”
Cordelia continued in silence, making Angelus even more annoyed. Why wasn’t she reacting anymore?
“Oh, I’ve got some news for you…” He smirked.
Another set of cruel words. This time, Cordelia was prepared. She wouldn’t let him see her react. Not this time. Not again. She’d just carry on, regardless.
He tilted her chin up with his fingers, wanting to see her break a little bit more, “I’ve never been fond of smart-mouthed black kids.” He said, his eyes glowing a sickly yellow colour as he morphed into demon form. “He fought well. Not well enough though.”
Cordelia sucked in her breath, “No… You didn’t… YOU DIDN’T!” She yelled, getting up and pulling away from him forcefully.
Restore to the corporal vessel that which separates us from beast. Use this orb as your guide.
This earned her a slap which sent her flying across the room and into the wall as she sobbed, “YOU TOLD ME YOU WOULDN’T HURT THEM!” She screamed, scrambling up the wall and back, away from him.
“And we had an arrangement.” Growled Angelus, “You wouldn’t tell them and I wouldn’t hurt them.” *There, she’s starting to break.* Thought Angelus, a self satisfying smirk on his face.
“You killed him.” She whispered, “Y-you really did, didn’t you?”
Angelus laughed, “Have I ever lied to you before?”
Cordelia looked up, tears streaming down her face, a steely determination in her eyes, “You told me you were better than him.” She said calmly, “You lied.”
I call on you Gods.
Do not ignore this supplication.
Angelus lunged for Cordelia, thrusting her against the wall, his hand clasped around her throat.
Let this orb be the vessel to carry his soul to him.
Cordelia gazed at him, “You can beat me.” She whispered, “You can rape me. You can torture me. But you’ll never break my spirit. Ever. Because that belongs to ANGEL…”
It is written, this power is my people’s right to wield…
A fist. The crack of bones. Cordelia’s body sliding down the wall… Angelus stalking away into the night…
Let it be so! Now!
And Dennis. Picking up the fallen form of his friend and frantically dialling the hotel’s number… Fingers flying over memorised buttons…
And a soul, floating through the ether until it reached it’s target. He fell to his knees, rasping for breath, eyes frantically searching for his bed. The last place he remembered, for Cordelia in a blissfully wonderful haze. Instead, he found gravel. He found memories…
A lamb to the slaughter…
Blood on his hands…