A Little Ways Back. 20

Part 20

Angelus stumbled towards the high school, kicking opening the front door, heading for the basement, once safely sheltered in the blackness, he rested.

***

Angelus ran jerkily towards an alley, kicking open a side door of an abandoned building searching for a place to heal.

***

Buffy ran home gulping down her tears and immediately getting on the phone with Willow.

***

Cordelia looked around at the dreary cavern. “So, we’ll be safe here?”

“It’s almost daylight.” Angel scanned the cave once again. “No one’s here.”

“Gee, can’t see why, it’s so lovely.”

“Cordy,” Angel commented.

“Hey, if it’s safe, its beautiful that’s all I’m saying.” She brushed at the grime on a stone and sat.

“You won’t be here for long.” Angel pulled at the orb from his pocket, relieved that it was still in one piece.

“What’s that for?”

“The soul spell.”

“Um, Angel, those words don’t go well together, soul- spell, they just don’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Spell, soul, magic leads to mess-ups and bad stuff. A third Angelus running around would be a bad thing. Why do we need a soul spell?”

“It’s not for me, for you.”

“Me?” Cordelia squeaked. “Why do I need a soul spell?”

“Because, Wesley figured it out. Wolfram & Hart transported your soul. That’s why you’re in your 17 year old body.”

Cordelia’s eyes widened. “I really hate them.” She shrugged in frustration at not being able to smack a few lawyers around. “Okay, so this soul spell will get my soul back to where it belongs.”

Angel nodded. “Wesley gave me the spell. Once your soul is in this,” he raised the orb, “I’ll open the time portal, and send it through. Wesley says all he has to do is break it, your soul will go straight to your body, and you’ll be fine.”

“My body? Where is it? Wolfram and Hart don’t have it do they? They better not being doing anything weird or icky too it.”

“It’s safe at the Hyperion.” Angel reassured the young woman.

“Oh, okay.” Cordelia scrunched up her face again. “I thought that the Portal had to be opened from our present.”

“It seems Fred has been studying the equations of the old spell. Wesley was able to use what she learned to devise a return spell.”

Cordelia smiled at the braininess of her friends. “Hey, what happens to me?” She pointed down at her younger body.

“Wesley said that once your future soul leaves, all would be back to normal, soul, memory, minus this interruption, of course. All would be righted along with everything else. ”

“What about Angelus of 1898?”

“After you’re safe, I’ll go after him and send him back.”

Cordelia stared at the vampire,” After I GO back,” she raised an eyebrow.

“I want you away from him, from both of them.”

“No, Angel.”

“I’m not arguing about this.”

“Who’s arguing, I’m making sense, you aren’t. Angel, you send my future soul back, I won’t be away from either Angelus, I’ll still be here, and at a disadvantage because I won’t know what’s going on, neither of the Angelus’ care what soul they kill. And, you won’t be able to explain it to me, one I won’t listen because to my 17 year old self you will be Angelus and two, I can’t know because if I did I’d run straight for Buffy and the Scoobies.”

Angel scowled knowing she was right but hating it. “I’ll just do the time portal spell, you’re soul and 17 year old ‘self’ will be safe in 2002. When its over we’ll send the teenager you back,” he answered, satisfied with his alternative to Cordelia’s arguments.

“Angel, that’s stupid. You’ll need my help. And Wesley, Gunn, and Fred would never forgive you for subjecting them to a freaked out 17 year old me. I wouldn’t forgive you, I’d have to bitch slap myself.”

“You weren’t that bad.”

Cordelia rolled her eyes. Wow. Love was truly blind even in memories. “Try another plan.”

“Cordy,” Angel tried.

“No, Angel. And its just not Angelus 1 that we have to worry about, there’s Angelus 2.”

“Angelus 1, 2?”

“Do have a better way of keeping them straight. Angelus of ‘now’ and ‘past’ Angelus was confusing and way cumbersome, should’ve thought of it earlier.”

Angel shook his head. “Cordy, both Angelus came to your house, Angelus, um, 2, was obsessed with Buffy not you, you said in your letter that your plan to keep it that way failed. What happened?”

“That had been my plan,” Cordelia insisted in a slightly defensiveness manner. “But, I…it wasn’t my fault, it was the stupid Powers fault.” She explained.

“The Powers?”

Cordelia rolled her eyes. “I had a vision, do you believe it? Like there wasn’t enough to worry about.”

“A vision? Are you all right? You didn’t have the potion.” Angel’s eyes urgently scanned her face and body, looking for any signs of distress that some how he failed to notice when he had previously examined every inch of her body with his hands and lips.

Cordelia brushed off his concern. “Mom has some killer drugs stashed away, I was okay. But, I had to go out at night and save the victims.” Cordelia didn’t like the vampire’s sudden silence or his glare. “Angel, I had too, what else was I going to, I couldn’t go to Buffy, you weren’t here. I couldn’t let them die.” She rushed, her tone completely defensive.

Angel blinked rubbing his forehead, the action used to calm his anger. Anger was not productive. Cordelia was safe. “Tell me.” He said in manufactured calmness.

Cordelia scrunched up her face at the vampire, his tone wasn’t much better than his glare. “Well, two vampires in the cemetery getting ready to ruin some kids make out session. I got there in time, you should’ve of seen it. One of the vampires grabbed me from behind and I used the kick you taught me, “ Cordelia demonstrated her move, swinging and kicking high, just in case Angel didn’t remember. “Then I hit him,” she mimicked the rest of the fight, “I did it. Dust bunnies.” She nodded.

Angel nodded, interrupting the young woman’s proud demonstration. “And while you were patting your self on the back,” he said slowly without any inflection in his voice, “the other vampire, was where?”

Cordelia frowned. “He tackled me. But, I was holding my own. I was.” She claimed at Angel’s steady stare. “Well, I would’ve but, he saw your marks and then freaked and went all-sorry this sorry that and well, I staked him. Why didn’t you tell me these things,” she pointed to her neck, “ act as vamp repellant. How’d he know they were yours, well actually, he thought they were Angelus 2’s.”

Angel covered his face. “The vampire got close enough to biting you to scent them? Is that what you call holding your own?” He was going to have to tie her to his waist or lock her in their room. She was too reckless. Cordelia was giving him ulcers or would if he could get them.

“I…he could smell that they were yours, weird,” deciding to ignore Angel’s angry question. “Is there some sort of database, you know identifying vampires by smell. That’s a lot weird and just a little bit creepy, but cool.” She nodded encouraging the vampire to speak.

Angel really didn’t want to have this conversation with the young woman that was now trying smell the marks on her neck.

“Cordelia.”

Cordy jerked her head up. “How does it work?”

Angel sighed, resigned to the fact that she would not continue with her story until he explained. “I don’t know the physiology of how it works. All I know, all vampires know, is that a mark is different than a just a bite, a mark incorporates the vampire scent into the wounds, warning others that the prop…the person is claimed. A vampire sensing such marks, may not be able to identify the scent by name, but will be able to know the strength, age, etc. of the one that made them, then if and only if, the vampire is concerned with being able to fight and win against that other vampire, will he leave the person alone. So, you see, Cordy, it’s not a vamp repellant if the vampire that is trying to kill you is arrogant or stupid enough not to know that I wouldn’t tear them apart for touching you. It’s not a guarantee of anything, that’s why I didn’t tell you, because you would think of them as some sorta free pass.”

Cordelia considered, a smile breaking out over her face. “Pooh, you’re the bestest and strongest vampire out there. That other vampire ran like a chicken.”

Angel wouldn’t let the warm glow of her confident praise deter him. “That’s because he identified you as belonging to Angelus, here in Sunnydale at this time, the only vampires that are close to my age or…. viciousness are Dru and Spike.”

“So, they would…”

“I don’t know. Un souled, they would never go against me, but with a soul, they’d be less respectful of my mark. But it doesn’t matter because you aren’t getting near either of them. Now, you were explaining how Angelus 2 noticed you.” Angel signaled the end to that conversation with a long burdened shake of his head.

Cordelia sighed, knowing she got as much as she would from the vampire. “Angelus 2 was there. He saw the fight and the scaredy vamp. He wanted to know what vampire marked me. I didn’t tell him. And then I did a couple things that might have made him mad,” shrugging.

Angel cringed knowing perfectly well that Angelus just didn’t politely ask Cordy questions. “What did he do?”

“Really, just asked, little forcibly okay, but I wasn’t hurt or anything. He was though.” Cordelia reassured.

“What did you do?” Angel knew he didn’t want to hear it.

“I kicked him in the nuts, then chopped him, just like you taught me,” she snapped the sides of her palms in the air.

Angel groaned. That would’ve certainly gotten Angelus’ notice. “That’s it? You said you were with him in my old apartment.”

“That was later. See, I still thought it would maybe okay, but the Scoobies showed up and I couldn’t let Buffy get to him, she may have killed him, I wasn’t sure. Usually, she screwed up with Angelus, but he was still kind of stunned, you said it would give me 3 seconds, but it was it was at least 5. So, I told him to run and I sorta of screamed into Buffy’s arms. I was really convincing,” she assured.

Angel refused to let his growl emerge. He took a deep breath. “You saved him. That would definitely get you noticed.”

“Yeah, I did figure I messed up, but what else was I supposed to do. That’s when I pretty much decided just to leave Sunnydale and hide out in LA and wait. So, I was probably a little too talkative when he showed up at my window later that night.”

“No, not you. I don’t believe it.” Angel groaned shaking his head.

“Hey.” Cordelia narrowed her eyes. “Well, it could’ve worked but then I had another stupid vision the next day. So, I had….”

“You went out, knowing that both Angelus’ were waiting for you.” Angel was getting an uncharacteristic tick in his left eye, along with a burning in his stomach. Oh my god. Cordelia had done it she gave him warmth, the illusion of life, and the health issues that went along with it. He groaned again.

“No. I didn’t know about Angelus 1 yet and Xander had called and said that Buffy had run into Angelus 2 after he left me and she beat him up. He said that Angelus went limping and bleeding off, that he be out of the picture for a while. Pfft, wrong, he looked okay to me, leaping up on buildings, doing all sorts of vamp stuff all while carrying me.”

“Back up. Explain.” Angel tried to ignore the churning in his stomach. It wasn’t real.

“Oh, after I killed the vampires, and saved the little boy, Angelus 1 showed up.” Cordelia bit her lip and took a quick look at the vampire. “Anyway, Angelus 2 kind of saved me.”

“You’re not telling me everything,” he growled, the symptoms of his imaginary medical maladies disappearing.

“The important stuff I am.” Cordelia insisted. She refused to tell Angel about the little boy’s fate at Angelus’ hands. “ Anyway, I ended up with Angelus 2 in your old apartment. At first, I thought it was you, I mean, who would’ve thought that Angelus would save me, and he did try to pass it off. But, he couldn’t and I double bluffed him and escaped.”

“Because he kissed you?” Angel was about to hit something.

Cordelia nodded. “And red shirt and leather pants. His wardrobe choices just screamed out evil ‘grr’ guy.”

“And during the kiss,” Angel choked on his growl. “The marks?”

Cordelia shrugged. “Maybe he just smelled an old mean vampire?” Cordelia said hopefully. She shrugged again in resignation.

“Damn.” Angel let his growl out blocking any other more violent reactions. “As disturbing as that was, it still doesn’t explain why they were both together.”

“Eww.” Cordelia‘s mind going back to her bedroom and the creepy feeling of having both evil vampires watching her and Angel make love.

“They should be trying to kill each other…”

“Well, Angelus 1, did say he’d kill Angelus 2,” Cordelia added helpfully.

“Yes, that’s to be expected and for Angelus…2 to want to kill 1, but them together, doesn’t make sense.”

“Why? Sure, it’s weird, but why are you so blown out about it?”

Angel stared at Cordelia. “Because they are me, and I want to kill both of them.”

“Because they’re Angelus, your trip to the dark side. But, maybe they’ve bonded in an evil lack of soul way.”

“No, I want them to die, because they threaten you, they are trying to take away what is mine. There is no way that either Angelus would be able to let the other survive. This isn’t about a soul or lack of one, it’s purely what is. You are mine, they think the same way.” Angel growled.

“No, Angel.” Cordelia walked up to the vampire, gentling cupping his tense jaw. “It has every thing to do with your soul, these,” she brushed at the marks,” are here because of your soul.”

“Cordy,” Angel shook his head.

“Angel, look at me, I’m 17. I don’t have the scar on my stomach, I don’t have my tattoo, but I do have these. You say that my soul was transported back, well so were these, evidence of my love and trust in you, not something I would give Angelus. You may be the vampire that was Angelus, but you are Angel now. You may have the instincts, the needs, but you are who you’ve become because of your soul. That’s who I love, I’ll accept the part of you that was Angelus, and I’ll accept the demon that you are, but I only accept it because of the compassion, goodness and love that resides along side that demon. If you could tell me that Angelus could give me those things then I’d take you all to my bed and my heart.”

Angel growled.

Cordelia cocked a brow and laughed. “Okay, I’d only take you as Angelus, I like layers, the others are way too limited.”

Angel shook his head grumbling. “This is stupid conversation.” He grabbed a hold of the young woman pulling her close. “I love you, Cordelia Chase.” He nuzzled into her neck, fighting the urge to claim her again.

Cordelia leaned back up, her hands going back to his face. “You really are an insecure vampire aren’t you?” She smiled, licking her lips. “It will dawn soon, no way to do anything now.” She kissed his lips gently. “I’ve never made love in a cave before,” she whispered running her tongue along his bottom lip.

“It’s dirty,” he growled, holding her waist, straddling her legs around his lap.

“That’s probably why.” She kissed him again, pushing him back slightly, “You’ll just have to keep me off the grime.” She leaned up, taking off her shirt.

Angel leaned back further making sure that his body was between Cordy’s and the rocks at all times, as he thrust into her love and sipped at her blood.

***

Angelus groaned, stretching as he stood in the basement of the high school. He lifted his red silk shirt, studying his healing wounds. Better, much better, but not perfect, but Angelus wasn’t worried, he could accomplish what he came there for.

Angelus entered into the school’s main hallway, his normally stealth footsteps echoed in between the lockers the sound amplified by the emptiness created by the Saturday morning. Angelus pushed open the library doors, half expecting Buffy’s watcher to wander out of his office. Angelus frowned, the uptight British stiff must have gotten a life. It would’ve been convenient if the watcher had been there. He could’ve gotten some information and blood.

Angelus rifled through the books that populated Giles’s small office. He threw down the last in disgust. Angelus ventured to the aisles of books in the main room. Fiction. He scanned the books quickly. Nothing, but fantasies.

This was useless. Angelus tried one more avenue of information. He stood behind the computer recalling Buffy’s little redhead sidekicks’ actions to access the secrets of the Internet.

Angelus hit on site after site all focusing on time travel, some more fanciful than the fiction he had just read, some couched in mathematical promises of success….if the universe worked that way.

Angelus shut down the computer. Okay. It was pretty much unanimous time travel was impossible, except Angelus knew that to be false because he just fought his past self and saw his future souled self. Accepting that, Angelus of the past was right.

He couldn’t die. Angelus swung crashing the computer to the floor. That really pissed him off. Nothing in Giles’s books or the computer gave him a fuckin clue how to get rid of the past Angelus.

The vampire leaned up against the counter. The souled freak wouldn’t be here if he didn’t know that way. That meant he had to get Angel to tell him. Once Angelus was gone, he could kill the soul and take the girl.

Against every instinct and desire, Angelus left the school trying to figure out a way to get the soul to cooperate before killing him. Angelus frowned, he knew the soul, after all he had been him, and well, Angelus didn’t have any weakness.

Angelus smiled, he didn’t have any, but the soul had plenty, starting with the big ‘L’ word. Hell, souled he compromised plenty of his demon’s needs. This one couldn’t be that different.

Part 21

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