Cordelia gulped. Okay, now this? Was definitely bad. She could even have coped with the tenseness between herself and Angel more than she could cope with this. “Uhm…”
“MAMA!” Said Connor, insistently. Cordelia could almost swear the child was giving her father the evil eye for denying him his… Uh… Aunty Cordy.
Damnit, why hadn’t they corrected him when he’d started calling her Mama, or Mommy or Mamoo on one of his particularly gurglesome days. The child babbled and grinned an almost toothless grin, drool slipping down his chin.
“Ewww!” At first, Angel was shocked – Cordelia had never ‘eww’ed at Connor’s baby babble before! But it turned out the ‘ewww’ had come from Cordelia’s mother.
Huffing, Cordelia took Connor into her arms and glared at her mother, “Mom, it’s only drool.”
“ONLY drool? This is a three hundred dollar suit!”
“It washes out!” Said Cordelia.
“Not something I’m exactly willing to find out. Besides…”
“She can’t use the washer anyway.” Hissed Cordelia’s father, “Now, is anyone willing to tell me what’s going on?”
“Well, it started with Kyerumption…” Started Fred, smiling. “See…”
“Fred? Now’s not the time to start in on the land of Pylea and its theories.” Said Cordelia, glancing at her friend apologetically.
“Pylea? Have we been there?” Alara glanced at her husband, “Maybe we can get a cheap cruise or something. Maybe Angel would like to come along.” Her gaze swivelled back to Angel and she smiled, winningly.
Well, obviously not winningly enough anyway. “Mom stop HITTING on my friends!” Hissed Cordelia.
“Oh, but honey, you never used to bring home any of your boy friends, especially not this one.”
“And you wonder why?” Asked the brunette, raising her eyebrows. “Daddy used to intimidate them to the point of brown stains in their underwear, providing he got to them first, if not you were all over them like a bad rash anyway.”
“Pfft…” Alara exhaled, “Nothing wrong with being friendly!”
Angel squirmed uncomfortably and looked at Cordelia. Who’d have thought, her Mom a man-eater? Of course, rumours when Cordelia was in High School would have been quashed immediately.
She *was* after all, Cordelia Chase, Queen of Mean…
Not for the first time in her life however, the ‘Queen of Mean’ felt alienated. Not from her friends – but this time, from her family. Was her Mom really that dumb? Oh God, she wasn’t, right?
Was it possible that Cordelia had ‘caught it’ from her Mom???
Seeing the panic flit through her eyes, Angel was by her side, his hand rested protectively on her back, “Vision?”
“You could say that…” Said Cordelia, glancing at her parents then back up at Angel.
“WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON AROUND HERE?” The voice of Aaron Bailey Chase boomed throughout the hotel, making Fred jump back, startled.
“First off, where’s Pylea? I want to actually know where I’m taking your mother first and I’ve never heard of this place.”
“Oh, you wouldn’t want to take a trip to Pylea, Hellish dimensions aren’t very nice this time of year. Or… Well, any time of year for that matter. They call you a cow… And sell you into slavery…” Said Fred,
“I hear Catalina’s nice this time of year.”
A worried look passed across Alara’s face and she stepped back, warily, “Is she crazy?” She studied Fred, carefully, “The outfit would suggest that she’s…”
“MOM!” Cordelia’s eyes were blazing now. She’d had enough of the questions, of the constant berating of her friends, “I picked that outfit for Fred!” She said. It was a fact.
She and Fred had done the girly thing, gone shopping, bought food, laughed over Wesley and Gunn’s antics to get the ex-Pylean prisoners attention, fought a demon when it had risen in Neiman Marcus (AND destroyed a pair of shoes that once upon a time, Cordelia would have KILLED for) killed thanks of course, to her new and improved demon fightin’ skills and then gone home with aching feet, pouring over their purchases.
The girly thing.
Alara gasped, “YOU picked that outfit? But it’s so plain… Well, actually, it would explain yours, I wasn’t going to say anything but I thought you’d know better than that, Cordelia.”
Cordelia bristled like she’d been slapped. Her Mom wasn’t mean, or didn’t actually *try* to be. It was just her nature. The completely un-tactful nature that Cordelia thought she’d become immune to. Angel watched Cordelia, then glanced back to her mother.
If anything, this might explain the way Cordelia was in High School, the tactless ‘not-afraid-to-say-anything’ young lady he’d grown accustomed to back in his Sunnydale days. However, Angel didn’t like the look on Cordelia’s face, she seemed almost hurt by what her mother had said.
He watched as she blinked a couple of times, breathed in deeply and then looked at her father, “Meet your Grandson.” Tactful, to the point and… Woah, what?
She found a great deal of pleasure in the look on her parent’s face. But mostly? The look on Angel’s face was priceless. She shot him a gaze, the words dancing in her head, but not from her lips ‘Not totally clueless after all, huh Grrr guy?’
“M-my Grandson?” Cordelia’s fathers gaze softened slightly from the ‘oh-my-God’ shocked look, but he still found it in him to glare at Angel, “You impregnate my daughter then insult me? Not a way to go about getting approval for marriage, son…”
Marriage? Okay, but… SON??? I’m at least five times his age! Thought Angel, shaking his head. “I didn’t impregnate your daughter.”
“Don’t lie to me.” Hissed Aaron, “There’s no denying that that child is yours. He has *your* overhanging forehead and *my* daughter’s eyes… He’s yours alright.”
As Cordelia bent down to grin and look at Connor’s eyes, Angel growled, “His name is Connor and… Hey!” A hand came up to his head and Angel felt a frown sliding across his features, “Do people have a fixation with me and an overhanging forehead?” He asked.
Thinking it time to butt in before Angel’s own fixation with his overhanging forehead appeared, Cordelia looked at her Mom and Dad, “Listen, there’s been some… Changes… In my life. Very big changes.”
“Your having a child being one of them.” Said Aaron, glaring at Angel, making him shrink back a little.
“Well, there’s that.” Said Cordelia, taking a deep breath and looking at Angel, unsure what to tell her parents.
“Mama!” Connor had had enough of being ignored. What he saw was his Dad, his Uncles Wesley and Gunn and his Aunty Fred standing, tense looks on their faces and his Mommy – obviously upset about something. He might have been Angel’s son, but he wasn’t stupid.
He started to cry, sob… SCREAM! When Angel went to take him however, Connor was having none of it. He wanted his Mommy and he wanted her out of the bad place. See, the pysche of Angel’s son wasn’t that complicated.
Mom happy + Dad happy = Nice!
But then, Angel’s wasn’t that complicated either, ‘Cordelia + Naked = Uhm… Bad thoughts’ and then ‘things‘ he couldn’t exactly hide.
“What’s wrong with him?” Said Angel, glancing worriedly at Cordelia. His panicking days were well and truly over (sort of) where his son was concerned, but he seemed perfectly content sitting here in Cordelia’s arms – well, as long as Cordelia wasn’t in here right now anyway.
“He can sense that everyone’s tense.” Said Fred, gently. “He’s just reacting to what he feels in the room right now. You’re looking daggers at his Daddy, his Mommy’s looking daggers at her parents – it’s a whole dagger thing.”
“I’ll take him upstairs…” Said Cordelia, battling against the flailing fists of her son as Angel tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to wrench him from her grasp.
As Cordelia crossed the lobby, a thud was heard. As Cordelia crossed the lobby, Angel realised she had stopped and was now floating in mid-air.
As Angel turned back, Cordelia’s father was glaring imperceptibly at Angel, “SHE FLOATS TOO?”
Fred turned to Wesley and Gunn, “Should I say it or do you guys want to?” She asked.
“Uh-oh…” Said the three friends, simultaneously, glancing at Alara, in her three hundred dollar suit, on the floor, out cold. “Should I get some smelling salts?” Asked Fred.
Angel sighed and went towards Cordelia, “What did you see?”
“What did she see?” Yelled Aaron, “What about me? My daughter’s floating!”
“Uhm, yes.” Said Wesley.
“Trick of the light?” Offered Gunn.
“Something damned weird is going on around here and I wanna know what…” Growled Cordelia’s father.
He growled. GROWLED! A human man growling at a vampire. Angel gulped and looked at Cordelia, “Any chance of us running?”
Looking up at the minion approaching the door, Cordelia shook her head, “Not likely…”
Angel frowned, it was just one thing after another in here…