Title: It Is Really Forever
Summary: Cordelia dies (sort of, hence the kudos’ to Rysher & Davis, etc.)
Spoilers: sometime after “To Shansu in LA”, Angel Investigations has a new office(a lot like the old)
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt, & Rysher & Davis&Panzar &/or Gaumount. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Feedback:Please, but I am fragile
Cordelia struggled against the chains. She yelled out Angel’s name, hoping that her souled boss would hurry up and save her.
Cordelia was extremely pissed and uncomfortable, but she wasn’t that worried. After all, Angel always saved her.
“There is no reason to strain your voice. Once he gets the message I left for him, I am sure, he will come rushing to play the role of the dark avenger and save the beautiful damsel. Or at least try,” smirked Lindsay McDonald.
Cordelia glared at the Wolfram & Hart lawyer from her chained position at the edge of the dock. Her body was wrapped tightly in a tarp secured by several lengths of heavy chains. “He will so kick your ass, lefty.”
Lindsay grimaced as he looked at his prosthetic hand. “I don’t think so, not this time.”
Cordelia was starting to get really nervous. The lawyer obviously wanted Angel to come and try to save her, which meant a trap and she was the bait. She so hated being the bait. She continued to struggle against the chains. She had to do something, she couldn’t let Angel be led into a trap. She just didn’t know what.
She stopped when she heard the ring of a cell phone. She watched as the lawyer listened to the voice on the other end.
“It’s time. ” He hung up the phone. Lindsay moved towards her with a knife in his hand. Cordelia tried to move away. He grabbed a portion of the chains and pulled her to him. “You are so in for it now, unborn-again lawyer-boy. Angel will kick your ass.”
“I don’t want him dead, “Lindsay whispered. “I just want to destroy him, watch him self-destruct in agony and guilt as I take something he values away. Because I saw, hell I felt, how he reacted when you were suffering with the curse of the everlasting visions.” He placed the knife against her throat. “Just imagine his torment when you die, while he watches.”
“Lindsay, let her go,” Angel said, trying to check the demon that was trying to emerge as he saw the lawyer put the knife to Cordelia’s neck.
“I am glad you could make it, Angel.” Lindsay slightly pressed the knife into Cordelia’s flesh. “I wouldn’t come any closer.”
Angel felt the rage inside him grow as drops of blood formed around the sharp blade. The sound of Cordelia’s whimpers caused his demon visage to appear. But Angel remained still. Even with his speed, he could not reach Cordelia before the lawyer could slice her throat.
“Let her go, it’s me you want,” his words almost undistinguishable from the growl rising from the back of his throat.
“Sorry, that would spoil my fun.” Lindsay lifted his free hand.
Cordelia gasped as she looked to where Lindsay had motioned. Emerging from behind the warehouse was a group of very large and mean looking vampires. Angel tensed as he sensed the group surrounded him.
“You will die,” growled the dark vampire.
“No, I won’t die, and you won’t either.” Lindsay stopped dramatically. “But, your seer will”, he smiled. With a quick flick of his wrist, he sliced Cordelia’s throat and dumped her body off the dock.
Angel cried out in pain and rage. He lunged at the lawyer in fury. The lawyer stepped back in momentary fear, but relaxed as he saw his hench vampires jump on the avenging vampire.
“Remember let him to feel the pain,” the lawyer said to the group of fighting vampires as he walked toward his waiting limousine.
In a blind rage, Angel fought off the attacking vamps. Those he couldn’t stake; he pummeled with his fist. The demon inside screamed in triumphant at the sound of bones cracking under his blows. Slowly, those vampires that could still walk slipped away.
Angel ran to the edge of the dock and jumped into the murky water. He dove down in desperation to find Cordelia. But the water was too dark for him to see. He frantically reached out, trying to feel for the dead girl. Angel searched for what felt like for hours, before he finally broke the surface of the water.
He slowly climbed back on the dock. He sat at the edge of the pier, watching the water, his soul breaking. He stayed like that until the beginning of the dawn. Angel was tempted to remain and let the sun take him.
But even in his anguish, his demon cried out for vengeance. Angel rose from the dock, his soul’s pain merging with his demon’s need for revenge. The resulting rage forced him away from the rising sun and away from Cordelia.
His one and only thought, was of the slow painful death of one certain lawyer.
A hidden figure watched as the dark haired man walked away from the pier. Once he was sure that the man had left, he emerged into the light. He was a young, slight man, who looked extremely nervous.
Brian Roberts walked to the pier and wondered at what to do.
He had watched Lindsay McDonald’s men kidnap Cordelia Chase from outside of her apartment. He had watched the lawyer terrorize the girl, watched him bind her in chains. He watched the lawyer taunt the girl’s boss, a vampire.
Brian silently watched while Lindsay calmly cut her throat and toss her body in the water like garbage. He watched as the vampire searched in vain for the body of his friend. Brian had not interfered. He watched and did nothing because that was his job.
Cordelia Chase was dead. She died because there was true evil in the world. Brian thought back in amazement at all that he had observed watching the young girl. By the nature of his job. He knew that they were strange things in the world, but he never knew that there was such evil.
He had to do something, because while he sensed that the lawyer’s blow was fatal, it had not severed the girl’s head. Therefore, he thought in relief, the wound would heal and she would live again.
His relief turned to concern, when he realized that if he didn’t find her body, she would just keep living, then drowning continuously forever.
He cringed at the image of Cordelia waking up bound in the chains, struggling to breathe, then slowly drown, just to wake up and start the nightmare over again. He had to find her and help her. It was his job to watch the pre-immortal and advise the council of her first death, then to observe and record her activities.
Well, he couldn’t very well observe much if she remained at the bottom of the water, he rationalized. Now, confident in his decision he scrambled to the water’s edge looking for the body.
Cordelia woke gasping for air. She choked as salty water filled her mouth. She tried to understand what was happening, but her mind became dark as she slowly drowned.
Cordelia woke again needing air. ‘Angel, help me’ her brain screamed as she choked and the darkness descended once again over her mind.
Again and again, Cordelia woke gasping for air. Each time her lungs would fill with water and she would slowly drown again and again. Her mind would cry out, but for who or what she didn’t know. Then the darkness would descend again over her mind.
Angel made it back to the apartment, before the sun rose. He wearily slumped on the couch, feeling his physical injuries heal. The pain reminding him that he was still in this world. He hated that feeling, he wished with all of his soul that he was at the bottom of the ocean and that his beautiful friend was still in the world.
Angel closed his eyes in an attempt to block out the sight of Cordelia’s strangled cry, as the blood rushed from her throat. He tried to push back the look he had seen in her eyes. Cordelia’s eyes had shone with confidence, when she first saw him. Then he saw the look turn from one of relief to terror when she realized that she was dying. No, he angrily thought, I don’t deserve to forget.
He failed her. So he remembered. Angel remembered the horror he felt when he knew that Cordelia was missing and his rage when he realized that Lindsay had taken her. He remembered his arrogant confidence that he could save her; he always saved her.
He was so sure in his ability, that he didn’t even call Wesley back from his research trip. Angel knew that he would have her back, before Wesley would return.
Shame and guilt invaded Angel’s body and soul. Wesley will rightly blame and hate him for letting Cordelia die.
The pain Angel felt was worse he ever felt in his long undead life. It was worse than the pain he experienced during his torturous time in hell; it was worse than the feeling of his heart breaking when he knew that he had to leave Sunnydale and Buffy. This pain invaded every part of his body, encircling and squeezing his heart and soul.
The intensity of the pain triggered a rage within him, a rage he couldn’t control, one that he didn’t want to control. Angel wanted to feel the fury of Angelus; he wanted Lindsay McDonald to meet the demon. He wanted Angelus to introduce the lawyer, to the demon’s unique brand of torture.
So Angel sat in the darkness of the apartment, allowing Angelus to grow. He sat there for hours waiting for the sun to set. He instinctually knew when the darkness came to the sky. He got up and walked to the weapon’s cabinet getting the items that Angelus would need. He didn’t stop what he was doing, when he sensed Wesley coming down the elevator.
“Angel? Cordelia? Is anyone home?” called Wesley. “Oh Angel, good you are here.” He saw the vampire. “I got some excellent research material on my trip,” rambled the unknowing former watcher. “One book was written by…” The watcher stopped as he noticed that Angel hadn’t turned to greet him, but was gathering weapons. “Angel?” he asked.
“Afraid not, watcher.” Angelus turned towards Wesley.
Wesley stared in shock. He frantically looked around. “Angel, you are making me nervous, that’s not funny.”
“No, it’s not, but believe me it will be fun.” Angelus grinned as he saw the former watcher step back in fear. ” I am sorry, but you are not who I came to play with, ” Angelus said stroking a dangerous looking dagger.
“Cordelia, oh my god, where is Cordelia?” cried the panicked former watcher. “You didn’t kill her..” Wesley stopped as he saw a sudden flash of pain on the vampire’s face.
“No, I didn’t kill her, that useless souled wimp let her die and now, he has let me out to extract my own brand of justice. And believe me I will enjoy this.”
Wesley grabbed at the vampire’s arm, ignoring the game face that flickered across Angelus.
“Stop, what do you mean?” shouted the former watcher. “Angel, I know you are in there. What happened to Cordelia? TELL ME,” begged the other man.
The vampire closed his eyes at Wesley’s struggle to contain his pain and terror. “Wesley, she is dead. Lindsay kidnapped her and killed before I could do anything. I saw her die,” growled Angel.
Wesley knew that it was Angel, he could see the pain and guilt on the vampire’s face. Wesley also knew that Cordelia was dead. The former watcher fell to the couch, numb.
Angel watched his friend’s pain. “Now Angelus has to go make that bastard bleed, ” the vampire said as he headed to the elevator.
“I am going with you,” said the former watcher.
“It won’t be pleasant,” Angelus smirked.
“Good,” was all Wesley said as he followed the demon out of the apartment.
Brian finally found what he was searching for. He saw the glimmer of white material tangled in the pilings under the pier.
He scrambled down into the water. He tugged at the material, his hands reaching into the murky water. He grunted in satisfaction. Brian pulled at the chains, dragging the wrapped bundle up from the water. He sat down exhausted beside the body.
He gently touched Cordelia’s throat. He noted in astonishment that there was no evidence on her skin of the fatal wound. He had known she would heal, but it still amazed him. Brian drew his hand back and waited for her to start breathing again.
Cordelia gasped for air, then waited for the taste of salt water and for the darkness again. She gasped again, and then again. She didn’t taste water. Cordelia slowly realized that she was no longer in the water. She gulped greedily at the air. She cautiously opened her eyes. She started when she saw an unfamiliar face staring intently at her.
She struggled to get up, but she couldn’t move. She looked down at her body and saw it wrapped in a wet, dirty tarp secured by heavy chains. She leaned back and closed her eyes, trying to remember how she got into this predicament.
Nothing, she had no memories of anything, prior to the water and blackness. She shuddered at the remembered feeling of water slowly filling her lungs. The feeling was so real; she started to cough, gasping for air. She felt a hand lift her up and pat her back.
“Who are you?” she gasped to the young man holding her up.
“Brian um, Brian Roberts,” stuttered the man.
She closed her eyes again, trying to see if the name was familiar. “I don’t know you, do I?” Brian shook his head.
“I assume that you pulled me out of the water.”
“Um, yes,” the watcher answered.
“Then, I guess it is safe to assume that you didn’t put me in it, or do this?” Cordelia motioned with her head at the chains.
“No, of course, not.”
“That’s good, so maybe then you could get me out of these?” She motioned again to the chains.
“Right, of course, the chains,” he stammered getting up to leave.
“Wait, don’t leave me,” she begged.
“Don’t worry I will be right back, I promise. I have to get some bolt cutters out of the trunk of my car.”
Who was this guy, she thought, more importantly, who was she? Why couldn’t she remember, she cried to herself. Calm down, whoever you are, she said to herself. She was alive; she was out of the water and soon to be out of the chains.
Damn this was uncomfortable, she complained. She silently prayed for the man to hurry.
Brian was amazed. The girl just returned from a fatal wounding and multiple drowning and she was coherent. She had been in the water a long time. He had been afraid that the experience would have made her mad. But she seemed sane.
A very short while later, Brian returned with the promised tool. Cordelia sighed in relief as the chains were cut and pulled from her body. Once the restraints were off, she untangled herself from the wet tarp.
“God, that was gross,” she said as Brian helped her to her feet. “What is that horrible smell? EWWW,” she whined as she realized that it was her. “Yuck!” She looked down at her wet and dirty clothes. “I so need a shower, like right now.” Cordelia started up the embankment.
Brian watched in amazement as the wet and dirty immortal walked away from him. His revere was interrupted by the sound of her shout.
“Hey, come on.”
Brian ran to catch up with her.
“So, where is your car?” she asked impatiently, looking in disgust at the seaweed she pulled from her hair.
“Over there.” Brian pointed to an old Ford Tempo.
“Good, lets go.”
“Where exactly are we going?” he asked once they got to his car.
She stopped. “I don’t know, I was hoping you had an idea. Somewhere with a shower would be good…. You wouldn’t happen to know who I am, would you?” she asked hopefully.
Brian stood stunned. “What do you remember?”
“Nothing really, just the water and the feeling of drowning over and over again.” She shivered. She suddenly looked scared. “Someone wanted me to die…why? Who?”
Brian thought quickly, if he told her, she would go back to the vampire and be in danger again. And the vampire would be too busy fighting his own battles to train and teach Cordelia how to survive as an immortal, he rationalized.
She couldn’t stay in LA. But where to go, then the idea came to him. It was unorthodox and against all the rules. But what the hell, in for a penny in for a pound.
“Your name is C…Caroline um Ford”, he said looking at his car. “I’m not sure why or who was behind your predicament. I came along as you were being thrown in the water,” the watcher lied. “I think it would be best, if we leave Los Angeles as soon as possible.” That wasn’t really a lie, he thought, he did think it was for the best. “Lets go.”
“Someone just tried to kill me… Why should I trust you?”
“Because it is my job to watch over you. And… Whoever tried to kill, didn’t just try, they succeeded. Get in the car,” he said to the shocked girl. “I will explain on the way.”
They were silent as the car pulled out of the warehouse district.
“I am a watcher, your watcher and you are immortal.” He went on to tell Cordelia about what the watcher’s role and what it meant to be an immortal.
“So let me get this straight, I died. I mean, I really drowned and you just observed?”
A feeling of unease came over Brian. He didn’t know that words could be said with such contempt.
“It’s my job, I…. am not suppose to interfere,” he stuttered.
“So why did you?” Cordelia saw Brian squirm in his seat. She decided to let him out of his misery. After all he did save her from never-ending watery deaths. She shivered at the memory of her confusion and a fear as she continued to live and then to die.
“Thank you,” she said gratefully, flashing him a big bright smile.
Brian gasped as he saw her smile. She was beautiful grime and all. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her.
“Hey, Mr… I am a Watcher of Immortals, watch the road.”
“Umm…right…ok”, he stuttered. Shit, he thought. He was screwed. He was a failure as a watcher. Brian knew as he turned to concentrate on his driving, that he was not ever going to not interfere if Cordelia needed his help.