He’d faced demons, monsters and hell hounds by the score. He’d lived through the equivalent of three hundred years in Hell. He’d been atoning for his sins for almost two hundred and fifty years.
But nothing struck fear into his heart (and the Death March into his head) like this…
This, was the kind of beast that fed on fear, trepidation… More dangerous that ANY demon or monster that could be found? He was the potential Father-In-Law. Okay, so perhaps Angel was jumping the gun here.
He wasn’t even sure Cordelia honestly LIKED him that way but… It could happen. He guessed. And plus, the last time he’d felt like this was going to see a girl’s parents he was courting back in the day. Of course, he’d killed them when they’d refused permission for him to marry their daughter and then turned her into his childe but…
Drusilla had forgiven him. And it wasn’t like he could do that here, right?
(Oh but how he wished.)
From the moment he’d walked in the door, he’d felt the hostility come from Cordelia’s father in waves. Huge waves. Tsunami’s. It wasn’t pleasant.
“Dad, why are you wearing a pink shirt?” In an attempt to alleviate the antartic conditions within the hotel right now, Cordelia tried to sway the conversation onto territory that was less… Dangerous?
And more like a minefield. She could see her father’s face turning different colours as he spoke. “Well, you’d think after three years she’d know how to work a washing machine.” He bit.
“Did I *ask* you to dirty the shirt? Nooo… Did I ask you to…”
“Uhm, Mom, Dad – have you met Fred? Fred’s a physicist.” Said Cordelia, hurrying to change the subject, her parents were ALWAYS like this.
“She’s really smart. Wesley too! And Gunn’s the muscle of the group! Angel’s…”
“Obviously not the brain.” Said Aaron, scathingly.
“Well, no. Fred and Wesley ar – DADDY!” Yelled Cordelia, frowning.
Cordelia’s life was never simple. For while her father was insulting her friends. Her mother was standing painfully close to Angel and smiling. Brightly. That 1,000 watt Cordelia Chase smile of CORDELIA’s that had aged about 40 years on her own mothers face.
“M-O-M.” Said Cordelia through gritted teeth. Her mother sprung away from Angel like she’d been caught doing something naughty and smiled brightly, “Yes, baby?”
“Why are you guys here?”
“We just thought we’d come stay with you for a while… We’d have dropped by your apartment but… Well, we wanted to see this nice big hotel of yours and meet this Angel you talk about so much.”
Cordelia’s mother preened, holding out her hand to Angel, “I’m Alara, Cordelia’s mother. If you need anything, anything at all feel free to…”
“Oh, Cordelia, you should lighten up, honey.”
“Have you had Band Candy again?” Asked Cordelia, “Cause I’m thinking, if you have? I want to move my wardrobe right out of *town* this time.”
“Angel, can I talk to you in the lobby please?” After the initial pause, Cordelia realised that she didn’t *want* a favour from Angel, she *needed* a favour from Angel. “Now?”
Standing under the beady, burning gaze of Mr. Chase, Angel went through into the lobby with Cordelia, both of them talking at once…
“Why couldn’t you tell me about your parents being here?”
“Could you have shown a little *more* sanity if you’d tried?”
“I didn’t know they’d be here…”
“Okay,” Said Cordelia, “We need to both stop talking. Then, *I* need to ask you something.”
Wisely, Angel stopped talking. “Ask away.” He knew what she was going to ask but Angel, being Angel, wanted her to beg. Well maybe not beg, grovelling would be fun too.
“Angel, we have to let them stay here.” Said Cordelia, desperately, “I can’t take them home, I mean… Dennis! And you’ve got like a billion rooms in here that AREN’T being used. Please? I’ll do anything!”
“Angel, please! I’m desperate or else I wouldn’t have asked you!”
“I’m not so sure it’s a good idea, I mean I’ve already…”
“Annngeeellll!” She whined, looking for all the world like a petulant teenager.
Angel smiled, “Okay, but you owe me BIG time, Cordy.”
Sighing, she went back through into the office – where Fred was now standing with Connor in her arms. As soon as Cordelia went in, the little boy raised his arms. “Mama!”
“Uh-oh…” Said Angel, shooting a nervous glance at Cordelia.
“You’d better explain yourself, young lady!” Said her father, his glare chilling the recesses of Angel’s unbeating heart. Oh yeah, definitely scary alright… Definitely father-in-law material…
This? Spelled bad in more ways than one…