Angel nuzzled further into Cordelia’s neck, taking comfort in the scent and gentle echoing of her heartbeat against his chest. He wanted to remain in her embrace but something kept nagging at him, preventing Cordelia’s soft sounds of life from lulling him back to sleep.
Angel’s eyes opened realizing the frustration. They weren’t curled, intertwined in each other’s bodies in their bed at the Hyperion. With a dread that cut through the contentment, Angel recognized where they were and what needed to be done before he could get that happiness back.
Angel turned to wake Cordelia but stopped, his eyes drawn to the long windows as his nostrils flared. He moved slowly, not to disturb Cordelia.
Angel stood in the middle of the room, scenting the air. The room was rich with the combined fragrance of their lovemaking. With reluctance, he blocked out Cordelia’s and concentrated on his own. A low growl rumbled in his chest as he was led to the window.
Rage overcame the vampire, rage at his stupidity, the danger that had existed and at the gall of his selves, but even in the anger there was a smugness- in the ‘eat your dead hearts out boys’ sort of way. Angel shook head- was he ever not an arrogant bastard.
Cordelia stretched up at the lost of Angel’s presence. She rubbed her eyes. “Why are you ‘grr’? What is it?”
“Get dressed.” Angel stilled his rage, smugness, and his self-recriminations, concentrating on Cordy’s safety.
“Angel?” She got out of the bed, wrapping the sheet around her. “Is something wrong?”
“Get dressed, we have to leave NOW.” He grabbed for his pants.
Cordelia stood firm. “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me why.”
“Cordelia,” Angel ordered.
Cordelia scrunched up her face at the demanding tone. It was not the typical request couched in a coaxing manner or frustrated plea, it was a tone that the vampire rarely used with her, one that gave her no room to argue, one that Cordelia took seriously even if it pissed her off.
Cordelia went to her dresser and started to yank out clothes. “All I’m asking is for full disclosure, an open line of communication, for you to tell me what the hell has got you so riled up all of sudden.” She shoved her legs into her jeans.
“They were here.” Angel relented once he saw that she was following his directions.
“Who was here?” Cordelia poked her head through her shirt, waiting for Angel’s answer. Her eyes widened, as she comprehended his silence. “They as in them? Both of them? Where? There?” she ran to the window, only to have Angel pull her back.
“When?” She blinked up at Angel. Her mouth dropped open at his continuing silence. “Then? When we…. Those voyeuristic perverted bastards. They just stood there and watched?” Her eyes flashing. “What kind of ……eww. Why?”
Angel looked up from putting on his shoes trying to decide if she really wanted an answer. He sighed as she tapped her foot with balled fists on her hips waiting for him to say something. How was he to explain that the watching was the only thing he understood?
Cordelia’s body, her beautiful face writhing in pleasure, giving pleasure to his body, to theirs, hell, he’d have been transfixed by the sight. He growled. He caused that wondrous sight and fuck his past selves. Angel grunted and compromised with his answer. “Cordelia, I imagine they came looking for you.” Angel threw his ripped shirt aside.
“Together?” Cordy’s face was still wrinkled in wordless disgust.
Angel kept his face passive, confused at that particular concept. Angel wasn’t that different than his soulless counterparts when it came to certain things – the paramount being his aversion to share what was his. With a soul, his possessiveness was tempered by love and the knowledge that Wesley, Gunn, Fred and even Lorne were Cordy‘s, as well as his, friends and family and because of that he would willing share her with them to a certain extent.
But, as Angelus he knew that wouldn‘t even be a consideration. He found it difficult to believe that either of the past Angelus‘ would stand side by side while watching him make love to Cordelia, no matter how beautiful and enticing she was. Angel would want to kill the man in her bed and so would they. The fact that they hadn’t tried made him uneasy and triggered his instincts to get Cordelia to safety.
“Together or separate, who cares. We have to go.” Angel stood.
Cordelia shook her head. “They can’t get in, either of them, I never invited…” her eyes shot up to Angel. “I did invite them in didn’t I, they‘re you.”
“Yes, now do you see why we have to get out of here?” Angel picked up his shirt again, pulling it on letting the loose sides fall.
Cordelia studied the vampire and ran out of the room.
“Cordy?” Angel had a momentary fear that she was escaping from him, blaming him for the danger she was in. Confusion overcame that feeling as he heard Cordelia yell back that she’d only be a second.
Cordelia puffed back into her bedroom. “Here.” She threw a gray sweater at the vampire. “It’s my dad’s.” She stuffed her mother’s painkillers into her back pocket.
“Where are we going to go?” She bit her lips and scrunched up her face. Angel was a lot broader in the chest and shoulders than her dad.
“It’s too small. I’ll go get….”
Angel grabbed Cordelia’s hand. “It’s fine. I need my jacket. Do you have any weapons here?”
She nodded. “Not much but what I have are downstairs.”
“Keys.” Angel had his hand out.
“It’s my car.”
“Fine,” she fished out her car keys. “So, where are we going?”
“I’m not sure. Angelus of now knows Sunnydale as well as I do. The mansion is out and so is my old apartment.”
“Nice place, by the way.”
“You were there?”
“Angelus took me there.”
“Watch the road.”
“What did he do?”
“Not now, Angel. We have to decide where were going.”
“I know we can go to the Magic Shoppe. Giles doesn’t own it yet, so no chance of the Scoobies hanging around. I can do an uninvite spell. What’s wrong with that idea?” She asked at the vampire’s silence.
“You uninvite them, you uninvite me.”
“Oh, so where do we go?”
“Get rid of the your car, take the sewers, back track, confuse the scents and go into one of the old tunnels.”
“Won’t Angelus of now, know about them?”
“Yes, but, I only need enough time to do the soul spell and open the portal.”
“What soul spell?”
“Later.” Angel stopped the car. “Get out, will leave your car here.”
“In this neighborhood?”
“Are you worried about someone stealing it? Come on Cordy, Sunnydale has the lowest crime rate in the country, well except for murders.”
“I knew there was a reason I liked this town, Gee.” Cordelia rolled her eyes and followed Angel through the alley.
Angelus kicked at the young woman’s dead body. Useless. He surveyed the crushed skull, the woman’s dark hair matted with blood, her body torn and violated. Damn, it looked like his past self had the same need to get rid of the sight of Cordelia Chase writhing around under the soul.
Angelus searched, trying to catch the scent of another victim to alleviate his own rage and frustration. Angelus halted, looking back at the dead woman.
Why look for a substitute when the original was waiting. He should’ve just gone after Cordelia earlier once he realized that the presence of the soul in her house gave him a free pass. But, at the time, he hadn’t thought that fighting both the soul and the past Angelus was the most prudent course to get what he wanted.
Angelus growled. If that was what he was thinking, what were the chances that the other Angelus had the same thought.
He ran back towards to Cordelia’s house.
Angelus jumped on the balcony, growling at the smashed window and his past self.
“They’re gone.” Angelus of 1898 stalked towards the other vampire. “Your presence has interfered with my plans for the last time.” He lunged.
His plans. What the fuck? Cordelia was his. He saw her first. Okay, maybe not first, with this whole fucked up time line crap but Angelus was sure that he knew her longer, hell hadn’t he spent days and hours in that stifling library surrounded by the teenage gaggle that accompanied Buffy. So what, that he had a soul then, it counted.
Okay, so the Past Angelus clued him in on who Cordelia really was. But Angelus would’ve of figured it out eventually and taken her. It was the past Angelus that was fucking with his plans.
Angelus reared up meeting the past Angelus, grabbing hold of him as they both fell out of the window.
Both vampires rolled to the ground, jumping to their feet and lunged again. Bones cracked as the blows were thrown with equal strength. Both vampires staggered back, blood pouring from their identical faces.
Angelus of the past laughed. “You can’t kill me.”
“Right, because you’re me. Guess what, I don’t have any tender feeling for any past version. She’s mine.” Angelus growled.
“Tender feelings, hell, I understand, I hate you too, but this isn’t my first trip to the future and I’ve learned something very interesting.”
The Angelus’ circled each other. “And that would be what? You got better looking as time went on. Have you even heard of hair gel?”
Angelus smirked. “God, did I turn into a witless fool, spouting off bad repertoire for lack of intelligence, what the hell happened to me?”
“Get over yourself, melodrama without a taste of humor is a bad opera.” Angelus rolled his eyes.
Angelus narrowed his eyes. “Take this opera, you can’t kill me. When Cordy was sent to me, she couldn’t kill me, just like the soul couldn’t when he took her, just like he couldn’t kill me in his time, because I am him, I am you.”
“Okay, now you’re being that German fellow, thought he was so existentially smart and deep, but really made no sense, his opera’s sucked.” Angelus growled.
“I die, you die, that simple. Without me, you both are dust. But, the really interesting thing is I can kill you both and I’m fine.” He lunged.
Angelus kicked out, shoving the past vampire back. His head jerked as he caught a familiar scent. “Tell that one to the slayer.” Angelus jumped, grimacing as he landed on the branches above. He groaned. The partially healed wounds that Cordelia had inflicted tore back open.
Great, just great. Angelus sucked in his breath leaping to the ground away from his past self and Buffy. He felt like he got run over by a truck. He needed to rest.
Angelus prepared to follow when he was knocked to the ground by a forceful blonde whirlwind.
“You won’t get to me by skulking around Cordelia.” Buffy glared. “Stupid to even try.”
Angelus stood wiping at the blood on his mouth and stared at the petite blonde. “I still don’t get it. You’re so skinny and a slayer. What vampire in his right mind would choose you over Cordy? I’m so ashamed of what I became.” Angelus spit out some more blood.
“Uh.” Buffy stepped back in surprise, she had hit him hard but not hard enough to draw blood. Buffy mentally kicked herself. She had to get over her hesitation at fighting the soulless vampire. He wasn’t Angel. Angel was gone. She straightened her slim shoulders. “Mind games, Angelus? So predictable.” She forced a confident laugh.
“Mind games? With you? You give yourself too much credit, there isn’t enough there to play with. Let’s get this over with, so I can get back to what I came here for.” He swung knocking Buffy up against a tree. He moved towards the stunned slayer, reaching for her head, preparing to twist her neck.
He winced as Buffy punched up, striking his chest, pushing him back.
“You tried to kill me.” Buffy blinked. Angelus teased and taunted. She wasn’t a complete fool, she knew that he would try to kill her eventually, but for the present he had been gleefully happy just cause her pain.
Angelus groaned to stand. “I’m a vampire, that’s what I do.”
“Back to the mind games. You’re so stupid. God, how far I fell. The soul really wanted you? I don’t get it.” Angelus lunged; miss stepping as the pain from his earlier battle caught up with him.
“Angel loved me.”
Angelus laughed. “No. Soul may have deluded the demon for a moment, but Cordy’s who we want. Grow up.“ Angelus swung.
Buffy pushed away the pain the vampire’s words caused as she kicked out.
Angelus grunted falling again to the ground. He staggered to his feet, finally realizing that he wouldn’t be able to kill the slayer under the current circumstances. He winced. “Little girl, it seems that you’ll live through the night, but don’t count on tomorrow, I could give a damn about whether you live or die, honestly. But, you will die if you interfere with me getting what’s mine.” Angelus ran.
Buffy stared after the vampire. She had learned to expect a vicious tongue, taunts, and threats but Angelus said that he wanted Cordelia. That Angel wanted her. Since when?