Cordelia awoke slowly, groggily. She felt cold, and her head pounded as if someone was beating on it with a mallet. She thought a moment.
Vegas. They were in Vegas. Oh thank God, it had only been a crappy bad dream. She almost giggled in relief. It hadn’t happened. She and Wesley…they hadn’t…..she frowned, trying to raise a hand to her throbbing head. But she couldn’t.
Her eyes flew open and she raised her head slightly. Oh shit. She was lying flat on her back on a cold cement slab, and her wrists and feet were tied down at the corners. She dropped her aching head back to the cement slab and winced, closing her eyes as pain reverberated through her body.
Oh god…where was Wesley? They had been…she thought a moment. They had been sitting….in an office…that’s it. They were sitting in an attorney’s office….Melvin Smoot. Melvin Smoot, attorney. They were sitting in Mr. Smoot’s office, talking about the annulment, and….she grimaced, trying to think.
He had gotten up….excused himself for a moment….had poked his head back in, asking her to step out into the waiting room for a moment so he could speak with her privately…..
She frowned. She had, after a puzzled look at Wesley, gotten up out of the ratty chair and followed Mr. Smoot out into the waiting room. He had motioned her to come closer, and she had…then…a cloth over her mouth….and….nothing. She thought a moment. She had been drugged. Knocked out. And now she was here.
Oh, shit. Where was Wesley? What had they done…..she tried to hold still, faking sleep, as she heard muted voices at the far end of the room. Low murmurs in a tongue she didn’t understand reached her ears, and she strained to make sense out of what they were saying.
The murmurs came closer, and she tried to keep her breathing even so they wouldn’t know she was awake. She felt someone leaning over her…tingles raced up her spine and her eyes shot open before she could prevent it.
A large upright demon loomed over her, cobalt blue eyes staring down into her face. Cordelia sucked in her breath as he lifted one hand…hoof, actually, and stroked her face gently.
“She’s awake.” There was a rustle, and Cordelia found herself surrounded by three other demons, all draped in black woolen robes with small holes cut in the hoods to accommodate their horns. She looked from one to another, trying to still the panic rising in her chest.
“Who are you?” Her voice was a little reedy with fear. She tugged uselessly at the restraints around her wrists. The first demon leaned over her again, his voice a hiss.
“Do not struggle. You will harm yourself.”
“No, no. Wouldn’t want that….don’t want to harm myself. Hey, tell ya what…why don’t you just untie my wrists..”
“No. No. The ritual is clear. The fastenings must be in place.”
“Ritual? What ritual…because…I’m not really of…you know…your faith…whatever…” Cordelia looked around frantically. “Where’s Wesley? What have you done to Wesley?”
“The human is fine.” Cordy turned to face another demon. This one held a long, thin scythe, curved with a wicked looking jagged edge. He stroked it softly with his hand, and Cordelia flinched as she watched his fingers trail lovingly over the cool metal.
“Mmm…well…I need to know that. I need to see him.”
“The human is not of significance.”
“Oh. Well, there ya go. I’m human, too. Pretty insignificant here….really really just…you know….mmmmm.” She thought a moment. “Why don’t you just untie me and we can forget this whole little deal ever happened…”
“You misunderstand. Your significance is great. Ethereal, really. You are our honored guest.” ‘Guest’ was hissed out from thin, scaly lips. Cordelia’s mind raced, trying to stay on top of the conversation.
“Well, gotta say…you don’t treat your guests very well…why don’t you just untie…”
“SILENCE” Cordelia quickly closed her mouth as the first demon leaned over her, menace in his tone. “Your role in our ritual is great, but I will not stand for….”
“Let her go.” Cordelia almost passed out with relief when Wesley’s voice, firm and solid, sounded in the large, empty factory. She turned her head to see him standing, legs slightly apart, just inside the doorway.
“I thought you knocked him out hard.” She heard one demon whisper to another.
“I did. Really hard. Thought I’d killed him for a moment.”
“Pffftttt.” They looked down at Cordy. “Please. This man is a professional at getting knocked out.” She looked back at Wesley. “Get me out of here!”
Wesley looked at her, trying to remain calm. There were four of the demons, and they were massive in size. Angel should be here any moment, and hopefully would have Gunn with him. He just had to stall for a bit…
“Get out, human, while we choose to let you live.” The demon spoke dismissively.
“Not without my wife.” Wesley’s voice was firm and low. Cordy turned her head to look at him again.
“She is not your mate. We know this. You both said so.” The demon seemed unconcerned by any threat Wesley was trying to pose. “We know that this being…” he indicated Cordelia, “is a virgin. Untouched by filth. Clean and pure. She will be a fitting tribute to Ogranth.”
“Our Master. He who reigns supreme over all…”
Wesley smirked. “He doesn’t reign over me.”
The demon snarled back “He is far above humans.”
“Ahh. But then, you’ve made a tremendous and fatal mistake. I am no human.” Wesley whipped his glasses off and carefully tucked them into his shirt pocket. “Hegh lu’meH QaQ jajvam. Hab SoSlI’ Quch!
The demons looked at him a moment before one spoke. “What did he say?”
The demon with the scythe looked at the other demons and said, “He said ‘today is a good day to die’ and ‘your mother has a very smooth forehead.’.” He caught their blank stares and shrugged. “I watch a lot of Star Trek.”
Cordelia whispered loudly, “Wes, untie me now so I can kill you.” She looked back up at the demons and laughed a little, hysterically. “OK, think I see where the snafu is. Guys, big mistake here…not your fault, just…ya know, a little teeny misunderstanding….the thing is…” her voice dropped to a whisper. “I’m really not a virgin.”
The four demons looked at her silently, then at each other. They spoke in tongues to each other, and finally looked back down at her.
“It is of no consequence. You have been chosen. Your death will be an honor.”
“No, no, not really feeling all that honored…just…”
“SILENCE” Dread poured through Cordelia at the heat in the demon’s voice. “Do not peddle your falsehoods upon us. The time is here….Ogranth must be appeased.”
“Yeah? He sounds kinda whiny to me.” All heads turned to see Angel, standing in the doorway, his black coat billowing out from behind him. A puff of relieved breath escaped Cordy as she began tugging again at her bonds.
Wesley sagged, equally relieved, and held up his hands to catch the axe that Angel tossed to him. Gunn appeared behind Angel, and they swept into the room and slowly approached the dais that Cordy lay on.
Angel spared her a small glance, and a muscle twitched along his jaw as he saw that her wrists and ankles were tied.
The demons rushed the three men, and the air was thick with clanging and grunting sounds as they fought furiously. Gunn beheaded one, and turned to help Wesley, who was being backed into a corner by another demon. Gunn caught the demon’s raised arm from behind just as Wesley slashed the axe through the scaly skin, bisecting him and shrinking back as bright demon blood spouted out everywhere.
“Angel…” Cordy’s voice was a whisper as she watched the demon raise the scythe over his head, towering over her body as he chanted softly. “Angel?” Angel raised his sword, clanging it against his opponent’s, leading him to the left before reaching around and slicing to the right, sliding his sword into the demon’s chest. He yanked it out with looking back as he turned to the dais, approaching it at lightening speed as the chanting demon closed his eyes and thrashed the scythe down towards Cordelia’s heart. “ANGEL!!!!!!!” Angel threw his sword at the demon’s arm and a thick fleshy rip sounded as the demon’s arm came flying off. Goo spurted out and over Cordelia, and the demon staggered back, howling in rage. Angel picked his sword up and stood over the demon, who fell to his knees. Angel casually drove the point of the sword through the demon chest and then turned to Cordelia, untying her bonds even before the huge body had crashed to the ground with a thud.
“Oh god…oh god…oh god…” Cordy gasped as Angel untied her ankles. “Angel…oh god.”
“I know, Cordy. I know.” Angel’s voice was rough. “It’s ok. You’re ok, baby.” He scooped her up and swept her off the dais, holding her tightly as he turned to face Gunn and Wesley. “You two alright?”
“Right fine.” Gunn said. “Cordy…you ok?”
“Yeah. Peachy.” Cordelia lay her head against Angel’s shoulder and she closed her eyes. “Wesley’s the one who got smacked.”
“No, no, I’m fine.” Wesley panted a bit and bent down to catch his breath before straightening up. “What was that about?”
“Oh, the usual. Go to see an attorney, he’s really a demon from hell.” Cordelia breathed in Angel’s scent before sitting up with a start and blushing, wriggling a bit before he set her on her feet. She looked down at her goo covered clothes and sighed. “This was my ‘get an annulment’ outfit. It’s ruined, now.”
Angel put his hand on her back and pushed her forward gently, leading her to the door. The other two followed, dragging their swords and axes behind them. “It’s ok. We’ll find you another outfit. Right after we find you another lawyer.”
Cordy looked up and opened her mouth and Angel spoke again. “Nope. I’m finding him. I’m paying for it.”
Cordelia looked surprised and Wesley started to protest. “No. I want it done right. I’m taking care of it. I want this over.” Cordelia stopped and looked up at Angel, her eyes narrowing. From behind them, Wesley gave a small sigh.
“tlhIngan maH!” They all stopped and turned to look at him as he pulled his glasses back out of his pocket and pushed them onto his nose. He looked up and grinned, sheepishly. “Oh. Sorry. Ancient Klingon saying.”
“Bite me, Wesley.” Cordelia turned to go, Angel right behind her. “Me, just now.”
Wesley followed, a disgruntled look on his face. Gunn brought up the end, grinning to himself.
Don’t know what the fuss is all about. They sure sound married.