Lilah circled her thumbs. “So what’s the count?”
“Three more attorneys are in the hospital.” Lindsay sat in the chair next to her.
“Impressive, that makes 8 wounded and 2 dead.”
“I don’t think you can count those two, Angel barely touched them, they died from heart attacks.”
Lilah looked around the hotel. “So, when we will know that it’s safe to return.”
“When Angel isn’t even a memory or barely one.”
“Well, if Angelus 1 succeeds and stays in 1998, killing Angelus 2, history will be changed. The vampire with a soul will never exist, no need for Wolfram & Hart to know about him except as a vicious vampire. If Angelus 2, succeeds then Angel never gets his soul back and we can close the vampire with a soul’s file as a prophecy wanna be.”
“So our memories will just change?”
“How do you know so much about time travel?”
“I watch movies.”
“Oh.” Lilah scrunched up her face. “I hope Angelus 2 wins.”
“What does it matter?”
“Angelus 2 doesn’t know Wolfram & Hart exists, Angelus 1 does.”
“So, Angelus 1 won’t come after us, we gave him Cordelia.”
Lilah rolled her eyes. “Angelus 1 isn’t the grateful type. He’s apt to bite the hand that feeds him, literally. Hey, if everyone’s memories change how are we going to get the credit?” Lilah asked the really important question.
Angel stared down at Cordelia. It had been too long. His hand covered hers. God, he had to get her back. He gently brushed his hands over her face tucking a strain of hair behind her ear.
Fred knocked on the door, clearing her throat.
Angel looked up. “Not now Fred.”
Fred cleared her throat again, this time with sorrow and regret. Angel didn’t look well. She knew the only time he left Cordelia’s side was to go question the Wolfram & Hart employees or anyone else he could think of that might have the answers.
Fred was sure that the only reason he slept and ate at all was because Wesley convinced the vampire that he would need his strength when they did find the answer.
“I’m really sorry, Angel, honest, but there is a messenger from a law firm. He has something for you.”
“Wolfram & Hart?”
Fred shook her head. “A law firm from Sunnydale. He said it was important. That he needs your signature as proof of service. I thought since, Sunnydale was where you used to live and well….I just thought you should know, maybe. I’m sorry.”
Angel opened the cardboard container to find another envelope. He pulled out the fine stationary, fancy initials adorning the top. He froze as he saw the writing. “Call Wesley.” He shouted to Fred.
“He’s at the magic shop waiting for the delivery of that old book on souls. He…”
“Yo man, what’s the yelling for, do you know something?” Gunn came in the lobby.
“It’s from Cordy…. dated November 18, 1998.” Angel showed them the big bold underlined date.
“I’ll call Wes.” Gunn ran to the phone.
“What does it say?”
Angel started to read out loud.
I hope you get this, I had to max out my gold card, I thought the point of gold cards was they didn’t have a max, anyway. I had to pay for this letter to get it delivered, lawyers cost way too much, but I’m pretty sure this one isn’t evil, just expensive. I couldn’t go back to the bank and face that weasely bank manager again after I ran out of there like a lunatic yesterday. I told the lawyer to send this letter three years from this now. I hope I got the dates right.
Anyway, I got this idea from watching a movie, this father left a wallet for his son to find 30 years…nevermind; we’ll rent it when I get back…. I should just jump right in, uh. Okay. I’m in Sunnydale. I’m not supposed to be in Sunnydale, I’m supposed to be in LA with you. But, what I think happened is somehow Wolfram & Hart sent me back to Sunnydale 1998. They got my body, I’m stuck in my 17 year old body. I had to go to Trig again, I’m not happy right now and I’m dating Xander, this sucks. I WANT MY BODY AND LIFE BACK.
Okay, enough with the venting, Xander and school are the least of my worries. See, at first I thought the evil weenies sent me back because this is when you lost your soul. Okay, not a great time, but I lived through it once. So, I figured if I just stayed out of Angelus way, I’d be okay until you saved me, but that plan didn’t go to well. I think I can safely say he noticed me and also to make matters even more fun, 1898 Angelus is also here. So, you see…. HELP.
I haven’t gone to Giles yet, because I don’t want to take the chance of changing stuff, but if this letter doesn’t get to you. I might have to, so I’ll give you five days. I’m at my parents’ house. They’ll be coming back that weekend. Please get this. One Angelus maybe I could handle but two? And Past Angelus wants to kill this Angelus. And I’m scared and …I’m whining. Sorry. I know you’re doing everything you can. But, hurry. Please.
I love you,
P.S. Wear your purple shirt. Sneaky 1998 Angelus tried to make me believe it was you. Pfft. Red silk, Leather-, and he can’t kiss worth a damn, well, not like you. I don’t want to have to do that again…. wear the shirt, you know which one I mean, you’d better. I love you.
Angel stood stunned, his eyes returning to the beginning to read again. He tried to grasp the meanings and his feelings as the words penetrated his brain. Cordy was alive, she was communicating with him…happiness, relief…okay, next emotion, Wolfram & Hart, Cordy being in 1998 away from him…rage, the desire to maim and disfigure…
Okay, two Angelus after Cordelia…fear, fear that weakened him at his knees…Angelus kissed her…rage, rage that made him stand straight and forget about wanting to cry in fear, but just kill…Cordy was alive and loved him, he kissed the best…happiness…Purple shirt…confusion.
Angel blinked and re-read, letting the cycle begin again.
Wesley barreled in to the lobby. “What’s happened?”
Fred bit her lips and Gunn shrugged, they pointed to the motionless vampire with a letter tight in his grip.
“What’s…” Wesley walked closer to Angel.
“He got a letter from Cordy, a lawyers office had it delivered. He’s been like that for the last fifteen minutes.”
“What?” Wesley took off his glasses and rubbed his head. He knew that soon he had better come up with better questions. “Uh?” Okay, maybe he needed some more time or at least more information.
“We haven’t read the letter, he started to read it out loud but stopped, he did show us the date -November 18, 1998 and it was from Sunnydale.”
Wesley nodded that helped. “Uh?”
“I called the law firm, not Wolfram & Hart, it does exist in Sunnydale, but they wouldn’t give me any information, something about attorney -client confidentiality.” Fred kept nodding. “He won’t let us read it. He said to call you back, though,” Fred smiled helpfully.
“Growls and goes vamp if we get near.” Gunn agreed.
Wesley straightened his shoulders. “Angel.” He stepped back at the growl emitting from the vampire. “Angel,” Wesley tried again. “You wanted me here. Can I see Cordy’s letter, please.” He held out his hand tentatively, not flinching as gold eyes bore into him.
Slowly, they turned a deep brown. “She wrote.” Angel explained as he thrust the paper in Wesley’s hand so quickly that the man jumped back. “She was sent back to 1998, two Angeluses. I have to change. Figure it out.” He ran back up the stairs. Finally, Angel had figured out the purple shirt addition.
Angel sat on the chair next to the bed, his hand holding Cordelia’s tightly. “I’m coming.” He promised. Angel looked down at the same clothes he had been wearing for the past two days, then back at the prone young woman. “I better shower or you’ll just eww and I know what I’ll wear. I’m coming,” Angel, repeated his vow.
Angel bounded down the stairs, energy vibrating in his every movement. He was going to Cordelia.
“Angel,” Wesley cautioned.
Angel’s good mood, did a direct 360, “ Wes, we know where she is, don’t tell me I’m not going. DON’T.” he growled.
Wesley took a deep breath. “I’m not, I just want you to listen. This will not be like when we went back to 1898. You will have to be cognizant of the many possible ways you could effect our present. You have to be aware that you can’t see Buffy, or….”
“Fine, no problem, let’s get on with it,” Angel shifted his feet.
“Angel, this is serious, you can’t…”
“Wes, I have no reason too see Buffy, why would I want to, I WANT Cordy, now hurry up and tell me how.” Angel growled.
Wesley blinked at the force of the emotion and all that it encompassed. “You may run into her…”
“So, I’ll pretend to be Angelus, she’d expect it. No biggie.”
“Angel, she will try to kill you.”
Angel shook his head. “I hadn’t killed Jenny Calendar yet, she’s still hesitant, and being all gooey eyed. I can get away, I won’t hurt her or anything.”
Wesley caught his glasses before they hit the floor. That was the first time he ever heard Angel state nonchalantly an evil he committed as Angelus, and his blowing off Buffy was… Wesley knew that Angel loved Cordy very much, but this was unexpected.
“Yes, well, Cordy’s given us the date, smart girl, Fred has adjusted the original spell to create a time portal to that time. But, you will have to do the soul spell there,” Wesley handed Angel a glass orb. “It is very important that this remains intact. Once you do the spell, Cordy’s, our Cordy, soul will enter into it, leaving the 17 year old Cordelia fine if not a bit dazed,” Wesley looked up at Angel’s frown. “She will be fine, back to her delightful old self.” Wesley rolled his eyes.
Angel narrowed his eyes. “She wasn’t that bad. You kissed her.”
Wesley coughed, not sure which comment caused the vampire to glare at him. “Yes, well, she’ll be fine. But, then you have to subdue 1898 Angelus and send him back to his time. Once there, the normal time should flow.”
“Cordy’s letter said that I did notice her in 1998 more than before. I don’t remember that.”
“You wouldn’t. Your memory of Cordy and London happened after the time line was reestablished. While Angelus of 1898 is in Sunnydale, he is creating a temporal anomaly…a time cross roads if you will …if he returns to his natural era, then time should return to normal, There are arguments that time is circular, but you are an example that its not. You know,” Wesley pointed to his head. “That prior to your memory of Cordy being in London, she wasn’t even born yet, that it was a freak of Wolfram & Hart, yet, you remembered her. So, theoretically, Angelus of 1998 does too, just not as a time anomaly. You didn’t notice her in 1998, he probably won’t once Angelus is returned to 1898.”
“She said he did.”
“Yes, but, your love for Buffy remains the same, so that will also effect Angelus. Angel, you have to remember you can’t kill either Angelus. We can’t be sure of how that would effect the future.”
Wesley sighed at Angel’s growl. “Are you sure I can’t talk you into letting me go with you.”
“No. If this goes wrong for some reason you need to be here to help her.” Angel took one last look up the stairs. “I’m ready.”
Wesley, Gunn, and Fred turned to look at each other as Angel disappeared into the Portal. “Well?” Fred shoved at her glasses.
“Well, we take these.” Wesley handed out some small discs.
“Whoa, what?” Gunn raised his hands.
“If all goes well, Angel will return with Cordy’s soul but if something goes wrong we might never know. If time is changed, then so will our memories. Take this, and we will know, and then we can fix it.”
“Oh.” Fred grabbed at the wafer.
“Down the hatch.” Gunn took one as Wesley swallowed his own.
Fred nudged at her glasses, looking to Wesley. “So when did you kiss Cordy?”