Cordelia practically skipped out of the Inn. Even, Gerty’s bawdy wink and lewd assumption that Cordelia had finally given into Angelus didn’t dampen her happiness.
Though, the innkeeper’s not so subtle suggestion that she deserved some sort of finders fee from Angel, did make Cordelia little annoyed. But who cared, Angel was there and she was going home.
“What I still don’t get was why Lila, the bitch esquire, sent me back to this hell hole- I mean how could that benefit Wolfram & Hart? Sure, they messed with me before, but that was just to get to Angel. This little scenario was even a bit farfetched even for them.”
“They found out about the Prophecy….” Wesley said, glancing at Angel. The vampire should really be the one to tell Cordelia that she was Angel’s soul mate.
“The prophecy- wow, I had forgotten. Gee, that is probably the only good thing about this whole mess. I imagine that Angel has been too busy to sneak off to Sunnydale or stuff.”
“I didn’t sneak.”
“Hmmph. Well, we will just have to worry about that when we get home.”
“Actually, then’s when we can stop worrying.”
“Later, at home. Wes, how much longer?” Angel would tell Cordelia, eventually. He didn’t want to though; he was scared of her reaction. But he would have to tell her or Cordelia would just keep nagging him about Buffy and Sunnydale.
“Not that much longer.” Wesley stared at his watch, willing the hands to speed up. He didn’t much care for waiting around in the dark alley.
“Gee, never thought I would be glad to see this alley again. Eww.”
“We will be home soon.” Angel smiled and grabbed Cordelia’s hand. She clutched gratefully. Suddenly, Angel stilled, and then pushed Cordelia behind him.
“I don’t think I like this, no, I know I don’t like this at all.” Angelus’ eyes shot from Cordelia to Angel. His eyes narrowed as he stared at the other vampire. He looked familiar.
“Whoa, Angelus that vampire looks like you, but with bad hair, really bad hair. It’s growing straight up. How do you do that? Why would you do that?” Spike said.
“Oh dear.” Wesley pulled out his crossbow.
“I don’t look like that,” Angelus glared.
“Sure, what ever you say, but when was the last time you took a look in a mirror. I tell you that vamp stole your ugly mug.”
Both Angel and Angelus growled at the blonde vampire.
Angel moved closer further blocking Angelus and Spike from Cordelia.
Angelus growled. Any discussion or curiosity about the strange vampire’s looks became irrelevant at Angel’s protective move and Cordy’s comfortable compliance to the other vampire’s touch and direction.
“She is mine.”
Cordelia pulled at Angel. “Remember.” She whispered. “Wesley, please tell me the portal will be opening any second now.”
“I wish I could, but we still have several minutes.”
“We hope. You didn’t happen to bring another one of those, did you?” Cordelia pointed to Wesley’s crossbow. She nodded gratefully as she grabbed Wesley’s second weapon.
“Cordy, Cordy……” Angelus chided. “Have you been cheating on me, playing with my affections? I find that annoying. If I find that you have been allowing another to sample your taste, I will be truly angry. Spike you can have the one over there, but the girl and the vampire are mine.”
“Angelus not to be a downer on your little obsession, but the chap is holding a crossbow. And while he looks like a wuss, even wuss’s have been known to aim straight. You want the tasty bit. You dodge the flying arrows. I’ll give Dru and Darla your regards.” Spike slipped away into the darkness. “I’ve got me a deadman’s party to go to.”
“I would advise you to leave, also.” Wesley cocked an arrow.
“Not without what is mine. “ Angelus growled.
“You won’t touch her, you will never touch her.” Angel said.
“I already have, she’s been marked. Where are your manners? It’s not polite to take another’s belongings. Didn’t your sire teach you that? It looks like I will just have to teach you.” Angelus growled, game face on.
“Go away Angelus, leave now.” Cordelia held up her crossbow.
“Darling, you know you can’t kill me.”
“Oh get over yourself, you arrogant bastard.” Cordelia said.
“But I can.” Angel growled.
“NO.” Cordelia yelled, pulling at Angel’s arm.
“I told you she was mine.” Angelus laughed and lunged. Angel met Angelus in mid- air.
“Wesley, do something.”
“Do you have any suggestions?” Wesley looked for a shot, but the vampires were too close to each other and too quick. One bad shot and either one of them could end up dust.
Cordelia shot an evil glare at her friend, and then returned to the bizarre, deadly scene before her. Angel fighting Angelus. The vampires were pummeling each other, the force of their blows throwing them back. Cordelia swore she could hear bones breaking, she did see their borrowed blood sweeping into the alleyway.
Cordelia yelled as Angel went flying into the wall, his body cracking the bricks. “Angelus no,” Cordelia ran in front of Angel’s slumped body, blocking the limping other vampire. “Whatever you want, don’t do this.”
“That’s my Cordy. Come here.” Angelus grinned, the blood dripping down his face; his swollen eyes didn’t detract from the evil triumph in his smile. His arms, one broken, were held out.
“How much longer Wesley?”
“How much longer,” she whispered.
“When I run, take Angel, and get to portal.”
“You want me, you will have to catch me.” Cordelia started to dash from the alley.
“Wesley.” Angel pushed his back up along the wall.
“Right.” Wesley ran grabbing Cordelia and throwing her to the ground, just as Angel leapt towards Angelus’ opened arms.
Cordelia struggled kicking and hitting, pushing Wesley off her. Cordelia glared. “What the….Wesley?” Her tone lowered as the air vibrated around her.
“The Portal, Angel.” Wesley ran to the fighting vampires. Cordelia was quickly beside him.
“She is mine. You will never touch her again. NEVER.” Angel had Angelus by the head, slamming it repeatedly against the hard ground, his eyes glowing a fierce gold. His tensed bulk leaning over the prone body of his former self. Angel reached for Angelus head, twisting it back.
“Angel?” Cordelia whispered.
“Angel, come on.” Wesley tugged at Angel’s arm. “He won’t, never again, not if we go now. Angel, you can’t kill him. Let’s go.”
“Please.” Cordelia whispered. “I can’t lose you. I love you, Please Angel.” Her word’s barely audible, unknowingly said, never intended to be heard. But Angel heard. With a loud growl, he dropped Angelus and got up.
Angel’s body was bruised and bleeding but the rage within in him still gave him the strength to move. Angel lunged, grabbing at Cordelia cradling her in his arms. Angel jumped through the now complete whirling black hole. Wesley quickly followed.
“Put me down.” Cordelia said. “You could have killed him, he might be dead.”
“Cordelia that is doubtful, since Angel is here and alive.”
“Alive? He looks pretty much on death’s door, for a vamp.” Gunn said, moving towards the trio. “What ran over him?”
“You should see the other guy.”
“Not cool. Angel could have killed him.”
“Not cool? What, we can’t even kill Angelus? Is there a vampire out there that we can kill? What’s up? By the way, welcome back. Glad everyone is in one piece.”
“Oh, Cordy, I’m so glad you are back and that Angelus didn’t kill you.” Fred ran up.
“Angel, stop that.”
Angel growled again.
“Don’t get mad at me, I’m not the one that risked everything.”
Angel growled again louder. He turned to go upstairs and faltered.
“Sit down,” Cordelia ordered going for the first aid kit.
“Don’t touch me.”
“FINE.” Cordelia stomped and flopped on the couch. “See if I care.”
“Angel, let’s get you to your room.” Wesley picked up the first aid kit and led the vampire to the stairs.
“Um, Cordy why is Angel so mad at you?”
“Yeah, what’s up?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t do anything. I was the victim. Geez.”
“Well, you look okay.”
“Okay, okay? I have spent the last two weeks in a cesspool, fed Jack the Ripper to Angelus, cut up the only descent person in that hell hole, been stalked and threatened by the psychotic dead guy, had to live in a brothel, no bath, no lotion, no shampoo, and NO SOAP. OKAY? I THINK NOT.”
Gunn and Fred jumped back.
“Can you go over that cutting up bit and the Jack the Ripper part again?”
“Angelus stalked you. Boy, it’s a good thing he didn’t kill you.” Fred said.
“Duh. Of course, it’s a good thing.”
“Yeah, I mean sure, but if he had killed you then the prophecy would have happened and that would have been really bad, not that you just being dead wouldn’t have been bad, because that would have been bad too, of course. But, you dead, Angel damned that would have……..”
“What are you babbling about? God, you sound like Willow.”
“Gunn, what is she talking about?’
“The Prophecy, why Wolfram & Hart sent you back. You met Jack the Ripper. So, Angelus ate him, no wonder that’s not in the history books. Didn’t they tell you?”
“Uh, no, Lila wasn’t much on explaining….”
“No, I mean Angel and Wesley.”
“Gunn, that’s enough.” Wesley said as he came down the stairs.
“How’s Mr. Growly butt?”
“Cordelia, Angel has every right to be in a unpleasant mood. I myself am not to happy with you right now.”
“I didn’t do anything.” Cordelia whined.
“Cordelia, trying to lead Angelus away from the alley was not at all very smart. In fact it was down right stupid.”
“It could’ve worked.”
“Really, do you think, that Angel or I would’ve just gone and left you to Angelus. Did you think that Angelus would not kill you?”
Fred and Gunn watched in fascination at the various emotions that played over Cordelia’s face. Anger finally winning over the doubt and guilt. “Maybe but Angelus wouldn’t have killed Angel and Angel wouldn’t have killed Angelus. History would have been protected.”
“History?” Gunn said.
“Geez. What? Was I the only one that you made watch Star Trek?” Cordelia snorted to Wesley.
“Cordelia, sacrificing yourself, would definitely not have prevented Angel from trying to kill Angelus. Your death would have…..Cordelia go talk to Angel.”
“I don’t want to. Anyway, Gunn was just going to explain about why Wolfram & Hart sent me back.”
“Yes, well, I’m sure that Angel doesn’t want to talk to you now either, but you need to talk to Angel.”
Cordelia glared. “I said I don’t want to, not when he is being mean.”
Gunn and Fred watched again in fascination as Wesley lectured Cordelia as if she was a two old and Cordelia took it.
“Fine,” she huffed.
“What in the hell happened back in time warp?”
Wesley shook his head. “Cordelia was pursued by Angelus. It seems Angel was right, his former unsouled self took quite an interest in her. That and his meeting Angelus has made Angel upset.”
“Um, did you meet Jack the Ripper, too?”
“Too?” Wesley eyes shot up the stairs. “Cordelia met Jack the Ripper?”
“Yeah, said she fed him to Angelus.”
“Oh my, no, we didn’t know that. I hope she doesn’t tell him right now, he’s a bit fragile.”
“Fragile? We’re talking about Angel right?”
“It’s been a trying experience for us all.” Wesley slumped on the couch.