Gunn wished that Wesley would wake up. The street kid didn’t know what to do about Angel and Cordelia.
Should he try to make the vampire leave Cordelia’s room? Gunn didn’t like that Angel was there. Cordelia had been fine before she had left the hospital. She had said that she had something to do. Well, Gunn just knew that ‘that something’ had to do with their former boss and why she is now in the Neuro-Psych ward with two slit wrists.
What had the vampire done? The street kid started to pace in anger. Gunn wanted Angel gone. But, he thought picturing the angry determination on the vampire’s face, nothing short of staking the vampire would get him away from Cordelia.
Gunn stared at the vampire sleeping next to the young pale girl. Gunn turned to head back to Wesley’s room. Maybe, if he sat in there and stared Wesley would wake up. Watched pots do boil, just not any quicker. But the former watcher wasn’t a pot, so maybe it would work.
Cordelia felt a heavy weight on her chest. It was a cool weight, not at all uncomfortable. She wondered at the sense of security the heaviness induced through out her being. She sighed deeply; she hadn’t experienced this level of safekeeping in just a long time. Cordelia slowly opened her eyes.
They widened in confusion and fear as she saw the dark head sleeping on her chest. The head stirred sensing the awakening of the young woman. Cordelia’s eyes blinked rapidly as she gazed into a pair of warm deep brown eyes.
“Angelus?” she whispered, the bewilderment apparent in her soft tone.
Angel shook his head, his eyes never leaving the dazed beautiful hazel ones. “No. I didn’t lose my soul.” He answered softly sitting up on the bed.
“I saw him.” Cordelia’s head shaking, her mind recoiling against the memory of the two vampires engaged in sexual intercourse. The vampires’ perfect eternal bodies moving in an erotic rhythm. The face of Cordelia’s vampire transformed in lust pounding into the writhing blonde vampire. Darla’s passionate growls for more of ‘her boy’ ringing throughout the room over the sounds of bodies joining.
Angel turned away ashamed and fearful of the look in Cordelia’s beautiful eyes. “It wasn’t Angelus, it never was,” the downcast vampire whispered roughly.
Cordelia pushed herself up on the bed trying to distance herself as much as possible from the vampire. “Leave me alone,” she whispered a coldness creeping into her voice.
Angel gazed back into her scornful eyes. “No,” he said in determination ignoring his feelings of guilt. Angel wanted to please Cordelia, but he would not leave her alone, not again. No matter what she said she wanted.
“Leave me alone. Go away,” Cordelia repeated her voice breaking.
“I am sorry, Cordy,” Angel reached out to caress Cordelia’s face.
Cordelia turned curling herself away from Angel. “Go away. I don’t want you or your guilt.” She choked into the mattress. Silent tears saturated the sheet as Cordelia felt the weight of Angel’s body leave the bed.
Cordelia was scared. The last thing she remembered was being in the bathtub and slipping into a peaceful numbness where she would finally be free from pain and fear. But, it figures she couldn’t even succeed at killing herself. Well, at least she succeeded in making Angel leave. Cordelia turned her head.
The vampire hadn’t left, but was now sitting in a chair by the bed.
“I told you to leave.” Cordelia glared adamantly at the vampire.
“I am not leaving.”
“I don’t want to talk to you.”
“You don’t have to. Not right now. But, I am not leaving you ever again.” Determination and resolve flashed briefly in the vampire’s brown eyes.
Cordelia blinked her wide eyes at the vampire and then turned her back on him settling into the bed burrowing her body into the covers.
Angel glanced at the woman standing in the doorway. She was in her mid- 40’s, the white coat and name badge labeled her as the hospital psychologist. The doctor beckoned Angel out of the room.
Angel looked again at Cordelia’s sleeping form then at the doctor. He nodded and went towards the psychologist.
“I would like to ask you a few questions about…Cordelia, before….before I go into talk to her,” she went on nervously. There was something about the handsome man that made her nervous. A violate power lay just underneath the surface of the man’s concentrated stillness. The man was riddled in a mass of contradictions; it couldn’t at be at all conducive for a healthy frame of mind, the psychologist in her diagnosed.
“Yes?” Angel commented.
“I understand that you are a family member of Ms. Chase. Do you have any idea why she would want to kill herself?”
“Yes, please tell us, I want to hear your explanation of how Cordelia, the strongest, the most animated, the most caring woman in this ungodly world ended up here, with her wrists slit open. Her spirit broken. Tell us Angel,” demanded Wesley from his wheel chair.
Wesley had insisted on being brought up to see Cordelia as soon as Gunn told him the news. Gunn stood behind the wheelchair, shooting angry glares at the vampire.
Angel didn’t want to look into his injured friend’s accusatory stare, but he did. The vampire wouldn’t let anyone add to his own feelings of guilt to force him away from Cordelia.
“Wes, should you be up?”
Wesley ignored the vampire’s concern. “Angel, answer the question.”
“Only, Cordelia can answer that.”
“That’s a cop out man and you know it. This is your fault,” Gunn declared.
Angel said nothing.
“Angel, if we are to help Cordelia, we need to know.” Wesley said trying to remain calm, but his anger at the vampire and concern for Cordelia was making it difficult.
Angel pulled out the note given to him by Dennis and thrust it into his friend’s hand.
“Angelus?” Wesley questioned out loud. “Why would Cordelia think that Angelus is back,” Wesley said stunned. The vampire standing before him was definitely not Angelus. Wesley was sure of that one thing.
Angel turned away and stared at the huddled form of the girl that he had caused so much pain.
“Cordelia saw me with Darla.” He said simply.
“What? When? Why?” the former watcher cried out comprehending the vampire’s meaning. “And why aren’t you…nevermind,” the former watcher stuttered seeing the doctor’s questioning glance.
Gunn looked confused, then his eyes widened in disgust. “You didn’t? Shit,” he yelled. “You have gone over to the dark side, either that or you are just plain nuts.” Gunn’s eyes flashed in hostility.
“Gentlemen, I am going to ask that you lower your voices, this is a hospital. And Wesley isn’t? I don’t think you should be out of bed.” The doctor looked sternly at the pale man.
“I am fine. I want to see Cordelia,” the former watcher demanded.
“I am not sure that would be a good idea, given your current frame of mind. I don’t believe the obvious tension between the three of you would be healthy for Cordelia.”
“I want to see her,” Wesley responded stubbornly. “She can have visitors, can’t she. He,” Wesley nodded towards Angel with barely disguised distaste. “Has been in there.”
“Yes, well, Angel has been in there since she was brought in. But, I really think that I should talk to her now, alone. Maybe, later.”
“Fine, but he doesn’t go back in. Cordelia doesn’t need him right now.” Gunn interrupted motioning to the still dark man.
“I would have to agree,” stated Wesley.
The doctor glanced uncertainly between Angel and the other two angry men. The handsome man hadn’t moved, but the doctor could see that the violate power shimmering beneath the surface of the man was about to explode.
“I will make that decision after I meet with Cordelia.” The doctor decided to prolong the onset of any unpleasantness, hopefully the girl’s answer would prevent any.
Angel never moved, but Gunn stepped back a pace in apprehension at the vampire’s expression or more accurately his lack of expression. The doctor wasn’t the only one that could sense the intense emotions that the vampire was restraining.
“Angel,” Wesley called in warning.
“I will say this once and only once more. No one, not either of you, not the doctors, not Cordelia will prevent me from being here, in there with her. Understood.” Angel said forcefully with finality. Angel’s words were clipped and to the point. To say anymore would give his demon the opening to erupt in violence against the two men that were trying to keep him from Cordelia.
“Angel,” started Wesley.
“Wesley,” Angel growled his own warning.
Wesley remained quiet, his angry glare turning speculative as he continued to stare at the vampire. “Angel, just how did you find her?”
Angel remained silent as the picture of Cordelia’s pale weak body invaded his mind.
“She wasn’t here.” Angel took a deep unneeded breath trying to shake the horrific tableau of Cordelia lying in her own blood from his consciousness. “I realized that she must have been in the hotel, when….” Angel paused. “ I needed to see her. So, I went to her apartment.”
Wesley nodded and looked back at the crumbled note. “Angel, we won’t stop you from seeing Cordelia, if,” he emphasized, “ Cordelia want’s to see you. If she doesn’t then for once think about her and do as she wishes.”
“No, Wesley.” Angel shook his head, the violence pounding through out his undead body now under control. His guilt coming to the forefront dampening his rage. “This has gone on too long,” he motioned around implying the emotional distance rather than the physical space that separated them all, “it has become too dangerous for all of us. I have to talk to her. I have to try to explain, get her to understand. I have to understand why she would do this. Otherwise, we all will be destroyed by this.”
“There is nothing to understand. You are a bastard.” Gunn interrupted.
“Gunn,” Wesley scolded. The former watcher reread Cordelia’s note. There was more going on than just what those simple words scrawled on the tear and blood stained paper implied. And the vampire was right in that Cordelia was the heart of all of them, without her, they were nothing but mere shells, without her they would be destroyed.
“Gunn, leave him alone. Okay, Angel, try to make Cordelia understand, then maybe you can make us understand your ruinous behavior and why Cordelia is lying in there.” Wesley said decisively rolling his wheelchair to stare through the glass partition at the young girl and the doctor.
“Cordelia,” the doctor called gently. “Cordelia,” she repeated as the huddled body started to stir. Cordelia lifted questioning eyes to the stranger.
“Hello, I am Dr. Radcliff, I work here in the hospital. I want to have a few words with you, if you are up to it.”
Cordelia scooted up on the bed considering the woman intently. “You are a psychologist,” Cordelia asked looking at the doctor’s nametag.
“Yes, that’s right. Cordelia do you know why you were brought to the hospital?”
“Gee, I assume it was so I wouldn’t bite the big one.” She said sarcastically. “Was there another reason?”
The doctor paused at the girl’s tone. “Well, no. Angel brought you in. He saved your life. You tried to kill yourself.”
Cordelia looked away from the doctor, her eyes met those of the vampire staring through the window.
“Yes. You didn’t know?”
“Well, gee, I was kind of out of it,” she retorted turning back to the doctor. Cordelia hadn’t known. She had assumed that Gunn had found her, last she knew Angel was busy being preoccupied by a blonde undead bitch. No, her mind screamed. She wasn’t going to replay that particular horror porn through her mind, ever again.
“What is it you want?” Cordelia asked devoid of all emotion.
“I want to know, why you tried to kill yourself.”
“And, if there is a danger of you doing it again.”
“And, if you need to be admitted for a 72 hour emergency watch period.” The doctor said in exasperation. The young girl didn’t see to be reacting at all like suicide patient. Other than the evidence of a tearstained face and bandages wrapped around her wrist, the girl seemed calm if not nonchalant about the whole incident.
Cordelia nodded. “Well, there is no danger that I will try anything like that again, it was messy and it hurt. So, when can I go home?”
“Cordelia, you just tried to kill yourself, we have to know why.”
“’We’ do? I know. Why, do you have to? Isn’t it enough to know that I won’t do it again and you can release me without any worry or any blemish on your conscious,” the girl stated.
“Cordelia, you have three friends out there, that say they are family, that care very much about you and why you tried to kill yourself.”
“Yes, Angel, of course, then Wesley and Gunn.”
“Who told Wesley?” For a brief moment the doctor saw anger and guilt flare up in the girl’s eyes.
“You didn’t want him to know?”
“He was shot for godsake, Wesley has enough to worry about, without worrying about me. You know getting better, living, duh.”
“Cordelia, don’t you think that someone would have told him if you had died? Don’t you think that would have been more upsetting than knowing just that you tried.”
Cordelia glared at the doctor.
“Look, I know what I did was selfish, okay. I won’t do it again, okay.” Cordelia regained her emotionless composure.
“I have to understand you why you did it, if I am to believe you.”
Cordelia wanted to scream at the other woman. She wanted to scream out that she was only twenty years old but had felt like she was older than the vampire outside. That she had been tired of fighting the never ending supply of evil, tired of having mind numbing visions and tired of being afraid.
Afraid that she would lose Wesley or Gunn. Afraid that Angel might not reach his reward. That someday, he might actually become Angelus for good because she failed him. Afraid that if Angel lost his soul, others would die, because she knew that she couldn’t kill him. Afraid of her love for the vampire. She had just been so tired of it all. Cordelia took a deep breath.
“Doctor, I was at a low point. Wesley is closer to me than any brother could be and had just been shot. I was scared. I was a coward. I wasn’t thinking of him or anybody else. I just wanted to stop being afraid. It was not the proper response, I know. But, now that I know he will be better, I am better. I will talk to him about my fears and I will be fine.”
“What about Angel and Gunn. Why didn’t you talk to them?”
“I just didn’t. I will in the future, if things get that bad again, okay.”
“Who is Darla?”
“What?” the young girl gasped finally showing more than just a glimmer of emotion.
“Darla. Angel mentioned that you saw him with someone named Darla.”
“Angel told you that?” Cordelia choked in disbelief.
“Well, actually, he was trying to explain your note to Wesley and Gunn.”
Cordelia closed her eyes trying to think. She couldn’t do it in this place. Cordelia took a deep breath trying to block out all of the emotions that were trying to break to the surface. She was never going to try to kill herself again, she swore, because when the whole ending the pain thing didn’t work, the living through the after effects was just a pain in the ass. She had to get rid of this doctor and out of this hospital, so she could think.
“The low point, I was talking about, that’s Darla. She is an old girlfriend of Angel’s that I was jealous of. He went back to her, I freaked, and then Wesley got shot. I felt alone and afraid. And here I am.”
The doctor studied the girl for a moment. “Cordelia, no man is worth losing your life over.”
Cordelia didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the cliché. Maybe not any ordinary man, but Angel was, she thought. And he would always be.
“Of course not, Doctor. It was just that with the break up and Wesley being shot, I freaked, that’s all. I understand that it was stupid. I will talk to Angel, also. Once, I get my anger and sense of betrayal out, then I will be fine.” She reassured the doctor sincerely.
“Okay, who do you want to talk to first Wesley or Angel?” the doctor asked testing the girl’s sincerity.
Neither, Cordelia’s mind screamed out. Everything she had just said was bullshit. Cordelia didn’t even blink. “Angel.”
The doctor nodded.
The doctor went out to face the tense men waiting anxiously for her to return from Cordelia.
“Cordelia wants to talk to Angel. Angel, let her get it out, she is suppressing a lot of anger and fear of loneliness. She didn’t go into much detail about your break up, but it hurt her, let her work through her anger. It was keeping it inside that brought her to this point.”
“Break up,” squeaked both Gunn and Wesley glancing shocked at a stunned vampire.
“Yes, Cordelia explained that it was Angel going back to an old girlfriend and then Wesley getting shot that caused her to act rashly. She is trying to minimize her actions and her feelings, but…”
Angel didn’t listen to the rest of what the doctor was saying he went straight into the hospital room. Cordelia wanted to talk to him, he thought gratefully, though what the doctor had been talking about, he didn’t understand, but it made no difference, he would figure it out later.
Everything would be okay once he and Cordelia had a chance to talk, the vampire vowed.
“Angel, come here,” Cordelia whispered urgently. “Look,” she said pulling the vampire to the bed. “That nosy Parker of a doctor won’t let me go home until she is satisfied that I won’t go all Suzy suicide on myself. So, I gave her some cock in bull story about how you dumped me for an old girlfriend… I know, I know cliché, but somehow I didn’t think she would grasp the delicacies of the whole Angel vs. Angelus concept. Anyway, it’s not that far off from the truth,” Cordelia rambled on.
“Also, of course I was devastated by Wesley being shot and all. Left out the part of the killer cop zombies, again, I don’t think she would understand.”
“Cordelia,” Angel cautiously interrupted the girl’s monologue.
“Sh,” Cordelia quickly looked at the door. “I am now telling you off, so get all broody. Right, like that,” Cordelia said giving her approval at Angel’s remorseful expression. “Now, I want you to go out there and tell Ms. Not quite a M.D. of the mind, that I have reamed you a good one and that I seem like my old self. Then I will talk to Wesley. Who told him by the way? He shouldn’t have been worried,” she huffed.
“I will make up something, so he doesn’t go into an over protective wiggy mode. You gave them my note, why did you, do that?” she shook her head. “Now, it is going to be all complicated and stuff. I am going to have a good talking to, to that ghost roommate of mine. That note wasn’t suppose to be given to anyone but Gunn and geez, not until I was dead. Am I dead? Nope, geez, geez. Stupid Ghost.”
“Cordelia, that ghost was worried, he tried to summon help. Cordelia, you tried to kill your self.”
Cordelia glared at the vampire. “Why does everyone keep saying that like I don’t know what I did. I was there. Anyway, so what? You tried to revert to the old evil one with the help of Darla dearest and no one is trying to keep you prisoner. Either that or you were just horny,” Cordelia grumbled. “Whatever, I don’t care right now, I want to go home.”
“Cordelia, no one is trying to keep you prisoner, the doctor just wants to make sure you are fine.” The worried and perplexed vampire declared deciding he would tackle one issue at a time.
“Well, I will be fine, as soon as I am home. You are the only one that can get me out of here. I am not sure that Miss nosy Dr. Radcliff will just accept my word that I am suicide free, Wesley is in no condition and I imagine Gunn is all freaked and mad. Growl, if you have to but get me home. Go.” Cordelia ordered pushing the vampire to the door.