Cordelia had no idea how long she had been asleep, but when she woke up, Fred’s hand was still firmly grasped in her own and the physicist was leaning her head against the headboard, eyes opening and shutting, as if debating whether to fall asleep herself.
Cordy shot up in bed, releasing Fred’s hand. “Fred! Why didn’t you wake me up? Jeez, how long have I been asleep? How long have you been awake?”
Fred smiled tiredly. “A couple of hours. No biggie.”
“I’m so sorry!” Cordy cried out, seeing how tired the girl looked. “Why didn’t you tell me, I would’ve let go.”
Fred smiled again. “It’s fine Cordy, I didn’t mind. I just…didn’t want you to be alone when you’re hurt and miserable. Cos I know what that’s like…” she trailed off and shuddered, remembering her cave and the isolation she suffered. Cordy smiled widely.
“You rock, you know that right?”
Fred grinned. “Yeah, but it’s always great to hear.” She winked at Cordy, making the ex-cheerleader laugh. Cordelia got out of bed and stretched, walking over to the window and looking out.
“Well, it’s all sunny.” She yawned. “I bet tall, dark and broody’s back.”
“Are you gonna forgive him?” Fred asked.
Cordelia turned around, glancing at Fred, who looked at her with wide eyes. Cordelia nodded slowly.
Fred let out a loud sigh of relief and jumped up and down, clapping her hand together. “Oh yay! I hate it when you guys fight. Cos, ya know, first you’re yelling and then he’s yelling and then you both start yelling and then Wesley… ”
“Fred! Honey, I got it.” Cordy smiled widely at her. Her smiled faltered slightly. “I’ll forgive him. But I still need to know why he did it. He said something about not wanting to feel the cold but hello? Dead person plus another dead person makes the freezer colder.”
Fred laughed. “I’m getting used to your logic Cordelia.” She stood up and straightened the bed covers. “Have you tried talking to him?” Cordelia felt a sharp stab of guilt wash through her, remembering the way she had just stormed out on Angel, without giving him a chance to explain.
“Well…he’s tried talking to me.” Cordy said sheepishly. “But I’ll actually listen this time.”
Fred smiled. “Good. Now let’s go get something to eat because I am hungry and I desperately need to pee!”
“Jeez girl, I was the one drinking all the water.” Cordelia followed her out the room, closing the door behind her.
“So…what you gonna say to the vamp?” Gunn asked curiously, waltzing along next to Wesley, who was clutching the crystal between both palms, as though his life depended on it. The sun shone brightly overhead and Gunn took a moment to acknowledge just how beautiful a sight it was.
They didn’t get to see or enjoy the sunshine much, never really got to experience its glory. Cordy often moaned about missing out on a day at the beach. Hell it was fine for him. What did Cordelia say he had? A permanent tan, that was it.
Gunn smiled. The girl had one hell of a permanent tan herself. He shook his head, turning it once again to Wesley and nudging the ex-watcher, who nearly dropped the crystal in shock.
“Christ Gunn! Don’t push me while I’m holding this!” Wesley’s face went an almost comical shade of purple and Gunn bit back a smirk.
“Sorry English. You just gotta learn how to answer a brother the first time he asks you a question.” Gunn said pointedly. Wesley merely rolled his eyes and sighed.
“What do you mean, what am I going to say to him? I’ll tell them both that I’ve found a cure…that we’ve found a cure.” He corrected himself at Gunn’s cough. “And then we’ll perform the spell so that they won’t be able to hear each other’s thoughts anymore.” Gunn looked at Wesley, annoyed.
“I meant about Darla.”
Wesley’s eyes widened slightly. “Oh. Oh. Well…I…I suppose I…I don’t know.” Gunn rolled his eyes. “Well, I think Angel obviously must have had his reasons and of course it was an incredibly unwise and ludicrous thing to do but…well, that’s Angel.”
He sighed. “Of course I’m disappointed in him…he put us all at risk and he stopped trying for his redemption…I’m upset about that. But I’ve long forgiven him for firing us because in all honesty he was just trying to protect us. Granted he did it in the most unconstructive way known to man…but then again that’s Angel.”
“Hmm…I dunno man. Sure I didn’t like the way he treated you and Cordy back then but it never really bugged me all that much. Cos Angel and I weren’t all that tight went he went beige. Yeah sure, now, it’s different. But I still ain’t that angry with him. I’m pissed, but I ain’t angry.”
Wesley cocked an eyebrow, staring at his friend incredulously. “Gunn you do realise that makes absolutely no sense.”
“Yes it does.”
“No it doesn’t.”
“That’s cos you’re an ass pansy.”
“Oh, shut up.”
“Hey sweetie. You feeling a little better?” Lorne asked Cordelia, as she walked down the stairs with Fred. Cordelia gave him a big grin and nodded.
Lorne smiled. “Good. For a minute there I thought you were looking greener than me!” Cordy sat down on the couch next to him while Fred went to make a sandwich. She had offered incessantly to order tacos but Cordelia had refused. Fred had pouted once or twice and then conceded with making sandwiches.
Lorne looked over at the seer seated next to him. She looked tired but other than that, she was fine. Her eyes weren’t puffy and her mouth had tilted upwards slightly. When he glanced back up to find sparkling irises scrutinising him, he realised why.
“I know it’s a great view Lorne, but…” she trailed off smiling. Lorne laughed loudly and then looked back at her.
“Great? Jeez, that’s the understatement of the century.” His laughter subsided and he turned so that he was facing Cordy. “He really is sorry y’know.”
Cordelia held his gaze for a moment, staring into bright red, sincere eyes. “I know.” She whispered. Lorne gave her a sympathetic smile.
“Then tell him that, princess. Cos he’s gonna be driving himself crazy.”
“As long as he’s not driving her crazy.” Fred walked back into the lobby, holding a large plate with sandwiches and a glass of milk. She put the plate down and gave the glass to Cordy. “That’s the last thing we need. Two crazy people running around the hotel. You already have me.” She smiled ruefully, making Lorne smile back at her.
“All I’m saying is, Darla was a mistake. Hell, everything he did back then was a mistake. If you love him, you gotta let it go and move on. You may want to slap him silly, you may want to stake her, but think about it like this brown eyes. If he hadn’t slept with her…” he saw Cordy wince.
“he wouldn’t have had his fabulous epiphany. The Angel after their little romp in the sack is the Angel you fell in love with. That’s the on that regrets hurting you. That’s the one that loves you and is probably out there, wondering whether or not to walk into the hotel or walk into the sun.”
Cordelia’s eyes widened in panic and she hurriedly tried to swallow the piece of sandwich in her mouth in order to get a word out, but the slamming of the basement door interrupted her.
All Fred saw, as Angel moved quickly across the lobby, not stopping until he reached Cordelia, kneeling at her feet and resting both large hands on her knees, was a black shape that sped through the air, sending a light breeze over her shoulders and lifting the hairs off her neck.
Cordelia looked at Angel, eyes wide as ever, both in relief that he was alright, and pure confusion. What is he doing?
Angel took advantage of the fact that Cordelia’s mouth was full of bread to begin talking, without interruptions. “I’m telling you everything. Why I did it, when I did it, how…” Cordelia scrunched up her nose in disgust and Angel quickly waved that away. “I’ll um, leave that bit out because you probably already know how I tend to do that…” he trailed off at Lorne and Fred’s embarrassed looks.
“Right, okay. Cordy, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for everything I put you through back then. I’m sorry for firing you, all I wanted was to protect you. I’m sorry for pushing you away even when you tried to help me, I never ever wanted you to get hurt. I’m sorry for treating you like you were nothing to me, when actually you’re the very thing that keeps me alive…well, as alive as I can get with the being dead part.” Cordelia’s lips quirked up slightly and Fred let out a small smile. Angel continued, oblivious.
“I’m sorry that I slept with Darla. It had nothing to do with you or her.” He paused, gathering his strength. “It was just to do with me and the fact that I was cold and selfish and I couldn’t take it anymore because I wanted to save her and I wanted my redemption and I couldn’t get it.” Cordelia opened her mouth to speak but Angel silenced her with a finger to her lips.
“Please, let me just finish.” Angel pleaded, knowing that if he didn’t get out what he wanted to say now, he wouldn’t be able to. “I…I tried to save her. I tried so damn hard because somewhere inside I felt something for her, not the kind of love I feel for you but something else…something to do with obligation, with owing it to her. She was what made me what I am… I just thought that by saving her, I’d be able to save myself. I thought that if I saved her soul, everything terrible that I ever did would just…I thought that I’d be able to redeem myself completely.” Angel’s eyes closed, a deep anguish flooding through him. “I pushed you away because I had to deal with that Cordelia. I had to deal with it by myself.”
Cordelia stared at him, swallowing hard, unable to speak or think. A single tear rolled down her cheek at the torment evident on his beautiful face, at the image of the isolation and suffering he must have undergone. He looked up at her, striking brown eyes filled with his beautiful soul, bringing a hand up to gently wipe away the tear that had streaked down her cheek. He began explaining again.
“The reason I didn’t lose my soul was because it wasn’t perfect happiness. It was perfect despair. I did it out of sheer desperation to feel something other than the crap that was going on around me, and I was lost and unhappy and God…I gave myself over completely to Darla, because I was so miserable, I stopped caring. And that made it pretty much impossible to lose my soul. I never felt enough.”
“The reason I slept with her…God Cordy, I had nothing left. Everything just slipped through my fingers and I had nothing to hold on to, nothing to live for.” He swallowed hard. “The world was hell and I was a part of it. And I felt as though nothing that I could ever do in the present, would atone for what I did in the past. I lost sight of the mission, and I stopped caring because there was nothing left to care about. I…I hit rock bottom and there was nowhere left to go. I had no redemption, no hope, no…you.” He rested his forehead against Cordelia’s, palming her face with his hands.
Fred’s lips pulled down and she blinked back tears, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, sniffling slightly. Lorne glanced up at her in surprise, raising his eyebrows in a concerned gesture, which she brushed off, smiling.
Angel kept his forehead against Cordy’s and kissed the tip of her nose, once. “I love you. I will always love you. And I swear I will never leave you or hurt you again.”
Cordelia simply sat staring at Angel. For a whole minute, not one thought passed between them as she gazed at him, unsure of what to say, and him, unsure of what to expect. The silence was deafening and the moment seemed to be holding its breath.
“Cordelia, I’m so…” was all Angel got out before the seer silenced him, gently placing her lips on his own, cutting off anything he had to say, any apologies he had to make. She had made up her mind to forgive him once already, and now he had made it up for her a second time.
Sliding softly off the couch and on to her knees in front of him, never breaking the kiss, she placed both arms around his neck and hugged him tight, reassurance and love exuding from her touch. The vampire instinctively wrapped his arms around her, relief flooding his senses.
Fred let out a breath she wasn’t aware she was holding and the young physicist was positive that her heart had just burst and her insides had turned to mush. She sighed softly, blinking in surprise when Lorne’s hand gently gripped her wrist, snapping her attention to him. He nodded his head in the direction of somewhere behind her, as to give the vampire and seer, still engulfed in each other’s arms, some privacy. Fred slowly got up and followed him.
Cordelia moved away from Angel’s lips, resting her chin on his shoulder and squeezing her arms around him. I love you.
Angel closed his eyes kissing her shoulder once before burying his face into her neck. I love you too.
And I’m sorry…y’know, about…not letting you explain.
No, it’s…You had every right to be angry…I just feel sorry for whoever has to fix your door…
Cordelia laughed softly, kissing his cheek once, before resting her chin on his shoulder once again. And since we’re apologizing, I’m sorry for not telling you about the visions.
Angel’s entire posture stiffened and his arms tightened around her waist. Cordelia closed her eyes and squeezed him back, unsure of what to say, or how to reassure him. Angel…
I’ll find a way Cordelia. I’m not letting you go…
I’m not giving you up without a fight.
Cordelia let the tears fall, not bothering to hold them back, wanting to believe him, wanting to trust that he wouldn’t let her die, just as he had promised never to leave her, she wanted to promise the same thing to him, she wanted to be able to keep that promise to him.
But she was mortal. She’d die eventually. And she was thinking way too much because Angel could hear everything and his grip on her waist was becoming almost painful. As though he couldn’t bear to let her go, for fear that she’d disappear from his sight and from his life.
Then I won’t let them take me without a fight either. She raised her head slightly, arms still locked around his neck, and smiled. He didn’t smile but le leaned forward and kissed her forehead softly, still holding her in his arms, soaking her into his very soul.
The basement door slammed open, causing Angel and Cordelia to break apart in shock, and Gunn and Wesley strolled through it, Wesley carrying a wooden box and Gunn, his beloved axe.
“Sherlock Homes here found a cure.” Gunn said loudly.
Cordelia’s eyes widened. “Really?”
“Yes. I’m the man.” Wesley grinned at Gunn.
“You da man!”
“I’m the man!”
“Guys!” Cordelia shouted, getting their attention. “Can we do so that we don’t, oh I don’t know, go insane???”
Wesley cleared his throat. “Yes, of course. I just need to prepare everything and then we’re good to go.” He walked into his office.
Cordelia sighed in relief, getting up and offering Angel her hand. He took it, pulling himself to his feet so that she wouldn’t have to hold his weight. The vampire slung an arm around Cordelia’s waist and pulled her down so that she was seated on his lap on the sofa. Cordelia let out a small squeak of surprise before shifting in order to get comfortable and nestling her head under Angel’s chin.
Gunn looked at them with raised eyebrows. “So you two kissed and made up, huh?”
Cordelia grinned and kissed Angel’s neck, making Gunn roll his eyes and cringe at their display of affection. Angel opened his mouth, but was interrupted, as Wesley walked out of his office and placed the crystal in front of him on the table. Cordelia’s attention was immediately diverted.
“Ooh shiny!” she moved off Angel’s lap, eliciting a growl from the vampire, making Gunn snigger, but she only ignored him and moved to hold the crystal in her hands, before Wesley shooed her away with a stern look.
“Cordelia, this is a very fragile and precious stone, we need to be careful with it.”
Cordy huffed. “Jeez Wes, I’m not gonna break the damn thing.”
“Well if you do, there’ll be hell to pay because you and Angel will be stuck listening to each other’s thought for ever.” Wesley confirmed. Cordelia put her hands on her hips and huffed again.
“But I thought you had to destroy it?” Fred’s voice floated out from somewhere, before she came into view, arms linked with Lorne. She rushed forward to join them.
“Well, I was all ready to do the smashing thing but English here decided to give me a heart attack.” Gunn said. Wesley pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Gunn, if you had smashed it…Christ, everyone sit down otherwise I’m never going to be able to explain this and I am going to go insane.”
Cordelia rolled her eyes and plonked herself back down on Angel’s lap, her arms around his neck and his arms around her waist. Wesley laid the book flat on the table
“Right well, if we’re comfortable, the crystal is the object that Fred suggested. It is of immense significance and importance to the demon. It occurred to me just as Gunn was about to destroy it, that Karranja demons have a tendency to fall desperately in love with shiny, mesmerising objects.”
“Kinda like Cordy.” Gunn smirked.
Cordelia smiled sweetly. “Well, at least I haven’t fallen in love with my axe.”
“No, but you have a boyfriend who seems to have fallen in love with mine.” Gunn retorted, blushing slightly and shifting in his seat, refusing to look at Angel. The vampire just buried his head into Cordy’s shoulder and didn’t say a word.
I still can’t believe you tried to take off his pants.
I still can’t believe you named his penis!
Wesley coughed, while Cordelia and Gunn reddened. “Yes, well, the crystal does eventually need to be destroyed. But, before Gunn smashed it I was able to observe that it has several engravings on the internal surface.” He lifted up the crystal and showed it to Fred who had taken a place standing next to him. She glanced at the inside. Sure enough, there were three long lines of inscriptions in a language that she recognised.
“Huh…what does it say?” Cordelia asked, genuinely curious. Wesley looked down sheepishly.
“I don’t know yet.”
Cordelia sighed, exasperated. “Well Wes, can you please translate it and get this stupid curse out of me?”
“Well Cordelia, that’s the beauty of it. I already know exactly what to do. So it doesn’t need to be translated. We can go through with it straight away.”
“Oh no.” Cordelia lifted her hand, shaking her head vigorously from side to side, “No way. I am not gonna take that chance and end up with horns or a tail or something really gross like that!” Wesley opened his mouth to interrupt but she cut him off. “No Wesley! Let’s just translate whatever it says and then do it. I’m willing to wait. Magic isn’t reliable and with my sucky luck, it’ll have guaranteed side effects.”
“She’s right.” Gunn chimed in, gaining a glare from Wesley. Finally, the ex-watcher conceded and opened a large book on his right, fingers strolling down the page. He observed the crystal closely and then glanced backwards and forwards between it and the book. His eyes squinted and he looked up, glaring at the five faces staring back at him.
“I can’t do it while I’m on bloody display!” he said loudly, exasperated. “Stop watching me! Fred, could you give me a hand please?” he beckoned her to follow him into his office. Fred hesitated, then shook herself and followed slowly.
“So you slept with Darla, huh?” Gunn asked Angel bluntly, as soon as the door to Wesley’s office closed. Both vampire and seer jerked their heads up and looked at him in shock.
“How did you…” Cordy began.
“I told them.” Angel said, catching Cordelia’s eye. She looked at him for a moment and then looked back down at her lap, where their hands were now joined. A wave of uneasiness swept through her but she concentrated on Angel’s earlier words and pushed it away.
Gunn addressed Angel again, annoyed that he wasn’t getting any attention. “So how come there was no evil alter ego bustin’ out?”
Angel kept his gaze on Cordy. “It wasn’t perfect happiness.”
Cordelia kept her eyes on his hand, large and comforting, rubbing small circles into her palm. “Why not?” Angel’s eyes snapped to Gunn’s. “She’s blonde and short and annoyingly whiny. You must have blissed out bigtime!”
“Gunn…” Lorne sighed softly.
Angel’s gaze didn’t waver. “It was perfect despair.”
Gunn’s brown eyes, landed on Cordelia, who gave him a pleading look, worth a million words. He looked at Lorne, who was giving him more or less the same look, pained and beseeching. He switched his focus to Angel, who was staring at him apologetically, regret and remorse written all over his face. Gunn softened slightly at the immense sincerity in both the vampire’s eyes, and his next words.
“I’m sorry Gunn. I didn’t say that soon enough and I deserve your anger. But for what it’s worth, I never meant to hurt any of you. I just had to deal with…certain things. But I know I upset you and I regret that more than you will ever know. It won’t happen again.”
“Dam right, it won’t happen again.” Gunn said lowly, staring at the vampire. Angel growled inwardly but nodded.
Gunn’s face remained completely void of emotion for a moment. “Well, if Cordelia’s forgiven you…then I don’t see why I should be all pissy about it.”
Cordelia let out a sigh of relief and Gunn gave a small smile, the look on his face almost sympathetic.
“Thank you.” Angel said, sincerity laced through his words.
“Well man, you and I weren’t exactly the best of friends. But you saved my ass once or twice and all that matters now is that you’re back. We all have bad days. Or weeks, months, whatever. Personally, I’m just glad you’re the one sitting here and not Angelus. Sure, I should probably volunteer Cordy to bitchslap your ass into next week for even doing it but I’m feeling strangely content. Could be all that destruction I caused with my axe…” he looked over at Cordy with raised eyebrows and then glanced back at the vampire.
“But I just thought I’d let you know about us being cool and shit. You’re not gonna wanna hug are you?” he asked, almost fearfully.
Angel couldn’t stop the small smile that graced his lips. “No Gunn, but thanks for asking.”
Gunn smirked. “I’ll leave the cuddles up to Cordy.” He rose and Cordelia smacked him hard across the back of his thigh, making his grin widen. “I told you Cordy, I ain’t an S & M man.” He laughed as he stretched.
Cordelia hid her grin by covering her face with her hands. God, she loved Gunn. Despite his insecurities about Angel and his receding reluctance to accept what the vampire truly was, deep inside, she knew he had an amazing ability to cut through the crap in life and just live it through for what it was worth.
He acknowledged the horrors of the past but cut it down to size through the hopes of the future. He had lost so much, normalcy, a little sister, a hell of a lot of friends…but regardless of everything he lost, he laughed and smiled, with the help of everything he gained. And he knew how to distinguish the two beautifully.
Lorne chuckled. “Well Angelcakes, two down, one to go!” he smiled at the vampire, tipping his head towards Wesley’s office.
How the hell am I going to explain this to Wes?
Just tell him what you told me. Trust me Angel, Wesley is far more understanding than Gunn and I can ever dream of being. He’ll work it out eventually.
Angel just kissed her shoulder and shifted his feet to make himself more comfortable. Cordelia made a move to get up, but steel bands around her waist refused to let her go and she remained in place. She rolled her eyes and slumped against him.
“Right, so that’s a T…” Wesley pointed at the strange circular character, staring at him from under the shiny surface. “Scrap that, it’s an A.”
Fred watched him, brown eyes narrowing behind her glasses, taking in every movement as his torso reared from left to right, from book to crystal, stiffly, as though he had a steel ramrod up his spine. “Wes, you’re making me dizzy.”
Wesley looked up, annoyed. “Well, this has to be done Fred.”
Fred sighed. “Yeah but at least loosen up. Here…” she moved forward, placing her hands lightly on his waist, as to help him straighten but he jerked away, blue eyes staring at her in horror, and then remorse.
“Wesley, why are you doing this?” Fred whispered, voice breaking, tears of frustration and heartbreak pricking at her eyes. “Why are you throwing away our friendship because of something I have already forgiven you for?”
Wesley looked down, swallowing hard. He gestured back to the book. “We should really…”
“No Wesley!” Fred said, her voice raising slightly, making the ex-watcher glance up at her. He recognised the anxiety and desperation in her voice and he wanted nothing more than to remove it. But he couldn’t, not when he was unable to deal with the weight on his own heart.
“I don’t want to evade this anymore. I don’t want these side long glances and hesitancies and this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that every time I move to touch you, you’re gonna move away.”
“Because I don’t want you to. I don’t want you to move away. I spent five years in a place where I couldn’t touch anyone, couldn’t hold anyone, couldn’t have anyone just there with me. I had to hide and run and I craved human interaction, without the fear of being caught and enslaved…” Tears were flowing freely down her cheeks now and Wesley felt his heart break just that little bit more.
“And I like being able to talk to you, to be comfortable around you. Because you’re my friend and I can’t bear to think that you’re going to make me give that up because of something that isn’t your fault and something that you’re not forgiving yourself for!”
Blue eyes locked firmly with determined brown ones and Fred continued, “Please forgive yourself Wesley. Please. It wasn’t your fault. It never will be your fault. And I trust you. Please believe me. I don’t want to give this up. I don’t want to give you up. I’m not ready to. Please don’t make me…” her last words were whispered and she crumpled, knees buckling, cheeks wet with tears.
Wesley found he could no longer stand there while the woman who was stealing his heart fell apart, and rushing forward, he gently gathered Fred in his arms and rocked her.
“I’m sorry Fred.” He whispered. “I’m so sorry.” Closing his eyes and blinking rapidly, he continued. “Fred I just…I never ever wanted you to see me like that. It wasn’t me, I know…but I can’t help thinking that every time you see me, you see that face. And I’m scared to touch you or to be near you because I see that face. I see your face, terrified of me. And I can’t bear it. But I’m going to get over it. I’m going to have to get over it because you’ve just made me realise how much I miss you.”
Fred sniffled, burying her face under Wesley’s chin and squeezing his arms. “I only see you Wesley. I only see you.”
Wesley smiled into her hair and kissed the top of her head once, before helping her gently to her feet. He removed a handkerchief from his pocket and dabbed her eyes gently, before handing it to her. Then he smiled warmly, a smile that made Fred’s heart warm suddenly because it was something he hadn’t given her in a long time now. She smiled back.
Wesley grinned. “I’m sorry for being such an ass pansy.”
Fred giggled, smiling widely at him, the heavy weight on her shoulders lifted and floating gently away. “That’s okay. I like you regardless.”
Wesley felt something inside him pull sharply and his smile softened. “Good to know.” He gestured to the large tome on his desk. “Shall we?”
Fred smiled shyly, feeling slightly giddy for the first time in weeks and nodded, following Wesley as he strolled to the desk. Taking a seat, an immense feeling of peace settled within both of them. Of course, neither expected to hear both Cordelia and Angel screaming their heads off, mere seconds later.
Wesley and Fred rushed out of the office, their faces holding expressions of unadulterated shock at the sight that beheld them. Cordelia, well, that was closer to usual, writhing on the floor, Gunn restraining her flaying arms, preventing her head from hitting the ground.
What they didn’t expect to see was Angel crumpled in a heap on the tiles, clutching his head in agony, hand blocking his ears, yelling loudly, Lorne hovering over him, unsure of what to do and more than a little frightened.
Wesley glanced at Gunn. “What the hell happened?”
“I don’t know! One minute we’re all talking, the next minute, Angel goes flying into the wall and Cordy’s on the floor.” The girl in question grunted, thrashed wildly one last time before shuddering and burying herself into Gunn’s waiting arms. Gunn felt a wetness seep through his shirt and he gripped Cordelia’s shoulders tighter, offering her whatever comfort he could.
Wesley rushed over to Angel who was still moaning, softer now, curled into an almost foetal ball. The Englishman gently touched Angel’s shoulder, squeezing lightly, waiting patiently for a response.
Angel rolled his head so that he could look at Wesley, eyes squinted in pain, hands still over his ears. Finally he managed, “What the fuck was that?”