Angel quietly moved from the bed, trying not to disturb the sleeping blonde vampire. He didn’t want to deal with his sire, not just yet. First he had to think.
The dark vampire pulled on his pants and sat in the chair by the bed. Darla was beautiful, he admitted. And he had definitely wanted her a few hours ago. Angel had wanted her to take away his soul, so he wouldn’t feel anymore. He sighed, a small smile creeping on his face. Well, he sure didn’t feel anything now; he thought looking at the sleeping vampire.
Well, to be more accurate he didn’t feel anything for Darla. She wasn’t his love, well, she never was that, but still you would think he would feel something for the vampire that he had spent the greater portion of his undead life with. His demon didn’t even stir in lust when he looked at the sensual vampire’s naked form. And truth be told, it wasn’t in lust that he had taken her earlier, it had been in defeat. Angel had given up.
Not really the recipe for soul taking happiness, he sighed the smile on his face getting bigger.
God, he was stupid. Angel wished that Cordelia were with him to tease him on how stupid he had been. Angel suddenly frowned, Cordelia wasn’t with him, nor would she ever be if he didn’t do something right away.
“Angelus,” a purr came from the bed. Angel started his thoughts of Cordelia had made him forget momentarily about the vampire in his bed.
Darla leaned up with a smug satisfied smile, her limps stretching out like a well-petted cat. “Come back to bed, my boy. We have a lot of lost time to catch up on.”
“No,” Angel said getting up from the chair moving towards his dresser. “I have things to do.”
“Of course you do, my darling, we both do. We will get to your ‘human’ family, soon enough.” She laughed. “I say we start with that loud mouthed little seer. It will be fun to watch her whimper in terror until her spirit breaks.”
“I think you will be surprised at how strong that little loud mouth girl is,” Angel said pulling on a shirt.
“Then it will even be more fun,” she laughed stretching out on the bed. “Angelus, come here, we have all the time in the world.” She raised a small hand beckoning to the dark vampire.
“No?” Darla leaned up. Something was not right.
“No. No, I am not coming back to bed. No, I am not Angelus. And no, you are not going to go near my ‘human’ family, especially, not my loud mouth little seer.” Angel turned to Darla.
“What?” she growled.
“No. It seems that having sex with you did not have the requisite ‘happiness’ to bring back ‘your boy’. Sorry, if I led you on or anything, I thought it would work at the time, but I was wrong. Cordy is right, sometimes I am a very dense and stupid vampire, but then why should I be surprised, Cordelia is always right about what I need and what is best for me.” He sighed as he thought about his beautiful outspoken seer. “I don’t love you, never did. And it seems that I didn’t even really want to lose my soul.” Angel smiled at Darla.
Darla growled in rage lunging for the handsome vampire. Quicker than possible, Angel grabbed the blonde and swung her around his arm clapped over her throat. “For old times sake, I would like to be able to let you go, with your promise to leave LA and never to return, but I know you to well and that means I can’t trust that you would stay away or not harm Cordelia or Wesley. So, goodbye.”
Angel plunged the stake that he had gotten from the dresser into the blonde vampire’s chest. Angel stepped back as his sire’s dust scattered on the floor of his suite.
Angel looked at the pile of dust. He didn’t feel guilty. The vampire he had dusted was not the human Darla that he had tried to help. That young woman had struggled to accept her humanity, only to have it cruelly ripped from her as soon as she had. No, this was only the remains of his sire, which should have stayed dusted when Angel first staked her five years earlier.
Wolfram & Hart had a lot to answer for, the vampire growled. But first, his one and only priority was getting back to the hospital. He had to see that Wesley was still doing all right. And most importantly, he had to see Cordelia. Angel had to show her, convince her that his seer’s faith in him had not been misplaced.
Granted he had attempted soul suicide, but it hadn’t worked. It didn’t work because Angel didn’t want to loose his soul, not really. What the vampire wanted, what he really wanted was his family back. That was the only thing that would enable him to fulfill his destiny.
Angel frowned as Cordelia’s beautiful face flashed in his mind. She was the one, he thought. She was the only one that could really help him reach his humanity. He needed her. When Cordelia had turned her back on him, he had been willing to lose his soul. Angel looked back at the dust on the floor and then at the bed. He would just have to remember that his beautiful seer was also the only one that could ever take his soul. The overwhelming love that Angel now knew that he had for the young girl would have to remain his burden, his secret joy.
But, Angel could still have her in his existence. Or at least he hoped he could as he remembered the coldness of Cordelia’s expression at the hospital. But, the vampire thought with confidence tinged with only a little bit of fear, he could be very determined when he wanted something. And Angel wanted Cordelia back and he wanted his family back. And Angel would get them, even if he had to threaten, plead, grovel, and buy Cordelia lots of stupid expensive stuff.
Angel stopped his rapid descent down the stairs. His game face flickered on. Cordelia. He smelled her scent. The fresh spicey scent of his seer was penetrating the mustiness of the room. Angel looked questioningly around. That was impossible, Cordelia wouldn’t have come to the hotel. No, Angel thought, he must just be imagining it, because he had been thinking about the beautiful young girl and wanting her with him.
The vampire shook his head and continued to run down the steps of the hotel grabbing his long leather duster on the way. He just wished that it would be as easy as buying Cordelia a few expensive trinkets. But that was not who is seer was, not really. Angel was going to have to fight to regain his proper place in his family.
But, he would regain their trust. Angel would regain Cordelia’s trust if it was the last thing he ever did, the vampire growled in promise.
Angel stopped in front of the glass window that separated him from Wesley’s injured form. Gunn was asleep on the chair next to the former watcher’s hospital bed. Where was Cordelia, the vampire wondered searching for his seer.
“Excuse me,” a voice asked from behind. “Are you a friend?”
“Family.” Angel said as he turned to the young nurse.
The nurse smiled. “Well, then I am sure you will be glad to know that he will be fine. The bullet was removed in time.” She smiled with confidence.
The vampire nodded as the nurse started to move away. “The young girl that was with him, where is she? Beautiful, long dark…” Angel stopped. Cordelia had cut her hair, again. When? Why? He struggled with the thought; he loved her long dark heavy hair.
“ I mean, hair about to here,” he amended drawing a finger just below his jaw line picturing his seer as he last saw her. Long hair, short hair, it didn’t matter, she was still beautiful, still his Cordelia. “Beautiful,” the vampire added again just in case the nurse hadn’t heard or understood.
“I know who you mean.” The nurse smiled. “Ms. Chase left a while ago. I am not sure why. She left a cell number in case something changes. Luckily, nothing has. Your friend will be fine,” the nurse offered. Angel nodded letting the nurse go.
Why would Cordelia leave Wesley? That didn’t seem right. Angel knew that the former watcher’s well being was vital to his seer.
A feeling of dread invaded his soul as the vampire remembered the sweet fragrance of his seer drifting through the staleness of the hotel. Could she have been there? Did she follow him from the hospital? Had she come to him?
Angel strode towards the exit; his pace increasing in speed as a burning apprehension descended throughout out his body. Had Cordelia been in the hotel while Darla had been there? An intense panic squeezed his undead heart. Oh god, if she had saw…..No, please, the vampire pleaded with the God that he had abandoned so long ago, no… Cordelia would never forgive him for having sex with the blonde vampire.
Angel hadn’t really wished that Cordelia had been there to tease him about his stupidity with Darla. Angel never wanted his seer to know that he had sex with the blonde vampire. It had been horrible enough seeing Cordelia’s expression when the vampire had briefly alluded to the erotic dreams he had of his sire.
He had stopped talking about the dreams just to avoid seeing the bewildered disgusted look that his seer had failed to completely hide. Cordelia would be so mad and disappointed in Angel. It would only make his attempt at reparation of her trust so much more difficult.
Angel sped off in his car heading for Cordelia’s apartment. No…please the vampire prayed imagining the dark haired girl’s beautiful face scrunching up in distaste, that weird ‘Ewwwwing’,” sound coming form her pursed lips. That’s if she would even talk to him or look at him. Life, or unlife, couldn’t really be that unfair could it, Angel thought in panic. He had already been to hell and back; the powers wouldn’t be that cruel, would they?
Sure, Angel had messed up, terribly. He could have destroyed his friends, and Angel realized that now. He knew that he would have to work hard to regain his proper footing on the path to redemption. And Angel knew that he would need to convince Cordelia to come back to him, so she could take his hand and lead him through the difficult journey.
But if Cordelia had seen him together with Darla, she would never forgive him. He would really loose his chance at redemption. A deep growl reverberated in the vampire’s chest. Angel could do it, he would just make her listen, just explain that being with Darla was a horrible mistake, that it was just his useless, stupid attempt to commit soul suicide.
He could make her understand and believe in him again. He could do this, the vampire swore as he headed into Cordelia’s apartment building. He was a 248-year-old vampire. He was strong. He feared nothing…except, he thought with resignation, the delicate, but unbreakable 20-year-old mortal girl that could crush him with a look or word.
The vampire slowed as a blaring jumble of sounds flowed out from Cordelia’s apartment. The mixture of voices from the T.V and music from the stereo clamored together to create an earsplitting obnoxious noise. What the hell? Angel thought wincing as the racket irritated his sensitive vampire eardrums.
Phantom Dennis threw open the front door, his spirit essence swirling around the vampire pushing the stupefied body further into the room. Creating the loud and obnoxious noise was the only way that the ghost could think of to summon help.
The longer the noise blasted through the wall’s the sooner someone would come to investigate and find Cordelia. Dennis hadn’t expected or wanted the vampire to show, but it didn’t matter now that the ghost loathed Angel for the pain that he had subjected Cordelia through in the last months.
No, it didn’t matter, not when Angel could save her. The music abruptly shut off, as books and other items flew banging into the closed door of the bathroom.
Blood, the vampire sensed his game face emerging. The potency of the sweet spicy perfume of Cordelia’s life giving fluid overwhelmed him, staggering him. It wasn’t the scent of her blood pulsing through her veins; it was the scent of her blood spilling out into the air, Angel growled in terrified fury as he tried to listen for the young girl’s heartbeat.
He rushed towards the bathroom as the fragile, erratic rhythm of his seer heart weakened and slowed. With unrestrained rage and fear, the vampire yanked the lock door from its hinges throwing it wildly aside.
“No” Angel growled in horror. Time froze as the world stopped rotating for Angel as he stared at the beautiful girl. Cordelia lay dying in the bath of her own blood.
The vampire forced down the overpowering fear that threatened to debilitate him as he grabbed for a towel, effectively blocking any thoughts or emotions, which would hinder him from his necessary goal. Angel ripped at the towel with his fangs as he pulled Cordelia’s frail limp body from the bloody water. The vampire cradled his seer’s form tightly onto his lap as he tied the strips of fabric around the still seeping wounds on the unconscious girl’s wrist.
Standing, Angel seized the Cordelia’s robe that was hovering in the air nearby. He wrapped the terry cloth garment securely around his precious bundle, cocooning Cordelia’s cold body in the thick robe. Angel paused as Dennis’ presence swirled around him.
The ghost had one more thing to do, an envelope floated in the air pushing itself towards the vampire the paper shoving itself into Angel’s hand. Angel saw Gunn’s name on the paper written in Cordelia’s familiar hand. Angel crumpled the envelope and thrust into his pocket. Angel would deal with whatever was inside later, right now; he had to get Cordelia to the hospital.
Angel rushed into the hospital emergency room; Cordelia still clasped in his protective embrace. “Somebody, Please..” he shouted the vampire’s rough growl mirroring the panicked plea of his soul.
“What happened,” a busy nurse asked running up to the couple.
“She lost too much blood, too much,” he explained.
The nurse knowingly nodded as she looked at the bloody strips of terry cloth around the unconscious young girl’s wrist.
“We have a ‘slicer’,” she shouted to an orderly. The nurse along with the orderly tried to remove the young girl from the Vampire’s strong hold.
“Sir, we have to get her into a room. Do you know her blood type?”
Intoxicating, the vampire thought. “B positive,” he growled out loud reluctantly releasing Cordelia’s body.
The nurse nodded to the orderly motioning the man to put the young girl on the gurney. Angel followed the nurse and orderly as they rushed Cordelia up to a room. A terrifying sense of déjà vu descended over Angel as he pushed open the doors of the hospital’s Neuro-Psychiatric Wing. Angel watched as the needles and plastic veins were hooked into Cordelia’s once vibrant and healthy body. He closed his eyes as he saw the slow drip of life restoring fluid slowly being pumped back into her lifeless form.
“Sir, Sir, “ another voice broke into his concentration. “Sir, Are you family?”
“Yes” the vampire growled. The young doctor looked briefly away at the force of emotion reverberating off the tall dark man.
“Was she using in any drugs?” Angel shook his head.
“Any history of mental illness.” Angel started to shake his head again. No, he thought Cordelia’s previous stay in this place was not the result of any mental illness, but the result of Vocah’s curse.
“No,” he growled.
“Any signs that she would want to take her life?” The doctor inquired.
“NO,” the vampire choked. “Cordelia would never just give up, life was to precious to her, she was too strong.”
“Well, something happened to make her want to give up. Her cuts are too deep for it to be merely a cry for help. No, she wanted to succeed and she almost did. She has lost too much blood. It was good that you brought her here when you did, her body had already start to shut it self down.” The doctor looked at the man’s expression of devastation and denial. The young intern shook his head.
It was always hard for the family members of suicide victims to admit that their loved one had been in so much turmoil that they would be willing to kill themselves. “Sir, you did get her here in time,” the doctor sympathetically reassured Angel. “As soon a she is conscious, we will send around the hospital psychologist to speak with her.”
Angel looked up puzzled.
“Sir, there was a reason, she did this. It must be discovered and treated or she will just attempt suicide again.”
Angel shook his head forcibly. “No, she will NOT,” he growled. The doctor shrugged and left the distraught handsome man staring intently at the pale girl.
Why would Cordelia give up? She had been fine when Angel had seen her earlier in the hospital. Angry, frightened, but fine. She had still been the strong Cordelia that he had always known. What happened between then and now?
Okay, Cordelia had been in the hotel, but even if she had seen Darla and him, Cordelia wouldn’t have attempted to kill herself, no, she would have been much more likely just to have staked him. Angel felt the paper rubbing up against his hand that was buried in the pocket of his duster.
It was addressed to Gunn. Tough, he growled ripping the envelope open. Angel began to read ignoring the tearstains and smudged red blurs on the paper. ‘Gunn, I am sorry. I failed him, and now….Angelus is back. I can’t….I am not strong enough. I am just so tired. I am sorry. Take care of Wesley. I love you, both’, the ink blurred as it mixed with the tearstains and drops of blood on the paper. Angel crumbled the piece of paper in his hand.
A wave of guilt and nausea invaded his soul and body. It was his fault. Every action the vampire had taken over the last few months had brought his beautiful, strong, loving seer to this point. Angel had broken her will and spirit as if he had inflicted the cuts on the young girl himself.
“Angel,” a cold voice called to him as the vampire was seized from behind.
Angel opened his pain filled eyes into the very angry eyes of Gunn. “A nurse just told me that Cordelia was brought in. What happened? Where is she?”
Angel moved slightly away from the young kid’s grip allowing Gunn to see into Cordelia’s room. Gunn looked into the room noticing immediately the IV and the bandages on her wrist. Gunn turned back to the still vampire the fury in his voice undisguised. “What did you do? You did this. You were the cause. Wasn’t it enough just to abandon her, did you have to destroy her also.”
Gunn shoved at him pushing the unresisting vampire to the wall. “Get out of here, you have lost your right to care about her, either of them.” The street kid cried.
Abruptly, Angel grabbed at the kid growling as he picked the young man off the floor by the neck. No one would keep him from Cordelia or his family, the vampire swore to himself, not any more.
“Right? I have every right,” Angel growled his extreme possessive instincts towards Cordelia rose above his feelings of guilt. “She is mine. I will not leave her or Wesley, ever again.” the vampire growled releasing Gunn.
Gunn stared at the vampire. “They don’t want you here, we don’t want you here.”
Angel’s eyes glowed yellow. “I don’t care want you want. Don’t make the mistake of trying to come between them and me. You will fail,” Angel swore striding away from the angry young man before he did something that he would regret later.
Angel strode down the stairs his face expressionless as he pushed open the door to the floor that Wesley’s was recuperating on. The vampire stood at the foot of the hospital bed staring hard at the sleeping former watcher.
How did it come back to this, the vampire silently asked his friend. My family lying in this hospital fighting for their lives while the vampire had to watch, their pain and injuries caused because of him.
In his mind, Angel heard Wesley’s excited voice filled with awe and hope, …..Only a thing that is not alive never dies…It’s saying you get to live until you die…it’s saying you become human. How could he do that? Angel thought. How could the vampire become human without his family?
“I won’t disappoint you, again, I promise,” Angel said softly to his still friend.
Angel went back to the Neuro-Psychiatric floor, ignoring Gunn as the street kid was worriedly interrogating the nurse at the front station.
Angel stood beside Cordelia, his fingers tenderly resting on the bandaged hand of the young girl. Just like before, the vampire thought. But then, it had been an outside evil that had put Cordelia in the hospital. An evil that had a demon form, an evil that he could fight and destroy. A way that the vampire could save his seer.
This time, it was Angel’s own darkness, his own mistakes that brought Cordelia here.
“Cordelia…I’m going to fix this, I promise, I’m going to get you back….I need you back,” Angel’s voice breaking in emotion as he repeated his earlier vow of six months ago.
The vampire settled on the bed wrapping his large body gently around the girl’s smaller frame. “I need you…..I love you,” the vampire added roughly. Finally saying the words that he had known to be true even back then. “I love you,” Angel repeated laying his head on her fragile chest, taking comfort in the sound of the delicate rhythm of Cordelia’s heart.