“AAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” The scream went on and on, and stopped abruptly as Cordelia slapped a hand over her mouth. Frozen, she looked down at Wesley as he snored softly, a small trail of drool working down from the corner of his mouth.
No. No. No. No. Cordelia looked around wildly. Wakey wakey now. I’m ready to wake up now. She scrambled to a sitting position and moaned, grabbing at her head. Oh…this is….this is just so bad…..
“CORDELIA!!!!” Angel’s voice boomed frantically from the phone. “Answer me!” Cordelia finally looked down at the dangling receiver and gingerly picked it up, looking around wildly as if she could be magically guided through this conversation.
“Um. Oh yeah. Angel.” She closed her eyes. “I…ah….this is a bad time.”
“What the hell is going on there?”
“Cordelia, you screamed. What is it?”
“I didn’t scream.”
“I’ve heard it enough to know, Cordy. Why did you scream?”
“Oh. That scream. Um.” She looked around again, frantically. “Bug. Huge bug. Big, bad, um…bug.”
There was a silence. “You saw a bug. And you screamed.”
“Yes. There was. I did. Wow, look at the time…..”
“Gotta get about, Angel. You know, shower to take, aspirin to inhale, stuff. We’ll…um..” The soft snoring stopped on a snort as Wesley rolled over, eyes tightly shut, and draped one arm around Cordelia’s hips, burying his face in her thigh.
She held still, not breathing, as she spoke softly and slowly, holding perfectly still. “Gotta go.” And she hung up the phone gently.
She looked down at the lump burrowing into her leg and slowly reached down to lift Wesley’s arm from around her legs. Protesting with a frown, Wes clamped his arm tighter and mumbled into the rumpled covers.
Cordelia leaned back, groaning, and covered her face with her hands while she tried to think. Wesley mumbled again and Cordelia listened.
“Make it so. Mmmm…….dilithian crystals. Bolster the shields.” Cordelia rolled her eyes and winced with the pain of the effort. Oh god. She had come to Las Vegas, found and slayed…well, helped to slay, a kinethian demon, seen a huge replica of the Borg Queen, drank more amaretto sours than anyone had ever had in a lifetime, and ridden a couple of fun rides.
Oh yeah, and got married. She had gotten married. To Wesley Wyndam-Price. In a Klingon wedding chapel. She was very sure they weren’t being punk’d, because no one on the planet had the imagination to make this any worse than it already was.
“Wesley…” Her voice was a gentle coaxing. “Wesley.” He remained still, occasionally mumbling about takiyon emissions. “Wesley. You have to wake up. We’ve got a problem.” She poked him softly. “C’mon, Wesley. Wake up.”
Wesley gave a snort and rolled over onto his back, rolling his tongue out several times as if trying to clear a bad taste from his mouth. Cordelia watched him a moment. “Wesley…this is so so so bad. Wes. C’mon, open your eyes.” Wesely remained still, and began to snore softly again.
“WESLEY!!!!!! OPEN YOUR FREAKIN’ EYES!!!!!!!!”
“EEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII” Wesley’s eyes finally opened and he sat up with a screech, rolling off the side of the bed and disappearing from view to land on the floor with a fleshy ‘thud.’
Cordelia watched impassively and heard him mumble curses as he slowly sat up, peering at her over the edge of the bed.
“What? What is…is something…….” His voice trailed off as a soft green tint began to coat his face. “Oh dear. I….um…..”
“Right there with you, Wes.” Cordelia’s voice was resigned. “But we’ve got a problem.” Wesley looked at her blankly, his beard-stubbled face becoming more pale and green by the moment. “Um. Wes. What do you remember about last night?”
Wesley tried to fix on his surroundings. Some shrill voice was harping at him…..oh. It was Cordelia. She was just yammering……he frowned, groaning as pain shot through his forehead with the effort. She needed to….he wanted her to…..
“Shut up.” His voice was a desperate whisper.
Cordelia looked at him, a hunted look in her eyes. “Wesley, you need to focus here. We’re in deep doodoo. Really big trouble.”
Her panic finally registered and he trained bleary eyes on her face as he tried to straighten up. “What is it? Did the kinethian…didn’t we kill it?”
“Yeah, gone, yesterday’s news, keep up here.”
“Um. OK. What is it?”
“Wes…..ohjeeze. Wesley, I think….last night….” She took a breath. “Ithinkwegotmarried.”
Wesley looked at her blankly. “Was that a foreign language? Because I don’t recognize…”
“Wesley! Pay attention!” her voice was sharp. “Last night, we got married.”
A long moment passed. Wesley’s face remained blank. “Married.”
“Yeah, married.” Cordy threw the covers back and stood up, glancing down at her wrinkled jeans and knit top. The ring on her finger flashed red and green with rapid intensity, and she grimaced and looked away.
“Married.” There was confusion in Wes’ voice, as if the word was foreign to his language. Cordelia glanced over at him as she began looking around the room, spotting an ornately decorated sheet of paper laying on the dresser.
“Married, Wes. Wedded. Ball and Chain. Joined at the hip.” She stalked over to the piece of paper and looked down at it. It was gold leaf, and had a funky symbol stamped on the lower corner.
“Tlhogh….” Cordelia tried to sound it out.
“Mating” Wesley’s reply was automatic.
Cordelia looked at him. “Is this a demon language? What is this?”
“No. It’s…” Wesley slowly rose to a standing position, weaving a bit. “It’s Klingon.”
“And you admit to knowing it?” Cordelia’s voice bordered on incredulous. “Wesley, you gotta get a girl…” She broke off with a sigh, looking down at the flashing red and green ring. “Apparently, you did.”
Wesley wandered over to her and took the paper from her hand, squinting as he tried to read it. He turned it over several times before Cordelia sighed and reached down to the floor to pick up his glasses and hand them to him. He took them automatically, pushing them onto his nose, and read the paper. His eyes widened and he looked at her.
“This is basically a Klingon wedding license. Well, a certificate of mating, since in the Klingon Culture marriage doesn’t actually…”
“Shut up. Shut up. Oh god.” Cordelia looked at him, wanting to smack his scruffy face.
“Cordelia, I hardly think a souvenir certificate qualifies us as married.” His voice was the kind of calm people use when approaching someone armed with a knife.
“Yeah? Maybe, but I bet this…” Cordelia stalked over to the side of the bed and snatched up the official Marriage Certificate from the nightstand and waved it in his face. “…is more than just a souvenir. It’s a state license, Wes. It looks pretty official to me.”
If possible, Wesley went even more pale. He weaved a bit more before wandering over to the bed and plopping down with a shocked look on his face. He looked pathetic, his clothes from yesterday wrinkled and a bit gamey. Cordelia almost felt bad for him. Except for the part where she wanted to kill him.
“C’mon, Wes, we gotta get a move on. We need to go back to that chapel and see if this is legal, and if we can…oh…I don’t kow…take it back. Get a do over. Whatever.” Cordelia began to move, scooping up her robe as she stalked to the bathroom.
“Um. I think I’m going to throw up.”
Cordelia didn’t even pause. “Well, make it snappy. We got a marriage to end.”
Hours later, they trudged back to the hotel, despondent. They were silent as they rode in the elevator, their eyes shielded by sunglasses that covered the bleary redness that was proof of a hangover. It had been a long, long afternoon.
One trip to the Starfleet Chapel of Love had proven to be an exercise in humiliation. A huge guy in full Klingon regalia had tried to be patient with them, but finally told them that there were really no do-overs and they had to go through normal legal channels.
That meant a lawyer. It meant an annulment. Or a divorce. Cordelia and Wesley had listened with sinking hearts, realizing that for all intents and purposes, they were married.
The walk back to their hotel had been silent, each lost in their own thoughts. On the way out of the hotel earlier, Cordelia had grabbed a bellman and frantically asked what to do if someone found herself suddenly married in Vegas, which had earned her a bark of laughter and a leer.
They passed the same bellman on the way in without a glance, and slowly rode the elevator to their own floor. Wesley silently swiped his door key and opened the door, standing aside for Cordelia to enter. She did, stopping so abruptly that Wesley careened into her back, sending her stumbling further into the room.
A bottle of champagne chilled in a metal bucket on the low coffee table, next to a small white cake with a plastic bride and groom perched on the top. A printed card propped up next to the cake read, “Congratulations from your Concierge.”
A movie was playing on tv, and Cordelia squinted as she recognized herself, drunken and leaning into Wesley as they slurred out marriage vows in front of a huge, mean-looking Klingon. Oh. The souvenir tape of the ceremony that Wesley had bought.
Her heart almost stopped as her eyes went past the tv to the long legs, crossed negligently at the ankle, propped up on the other end of the coffee table. Her eyes followed the dark-clad legs up to rest on…Angel. Sitting in the chair, seemingly relaxed, his unreadable gaze on her as he rested steepled fingers against his mouth.
Wesley took in the scene and opened his mouth, closing it without making a sound. The three were held in suspension for a long moment before Angel lowered his hands, speaking softly.
“So……having a good time in Vegas?”