“The marks are gone.” Angel A held the glowing orb. “I need to leave, so do you.” He stared at the other vampire.
‘Little a’ nodded, but asked. “A couple of questions first.”
“I’m being uncharacteristically introspective. I’ve been through a lot.”
“Yes, me, come on think about it, think about you as me. When Cordy, Gunn, Fred-, and I won’t even ask about the hows and whys of her- dropped in I had efficiently driven Cordy away, along with Wesley and Gun. Got Cordy to say that she didn’t need me, my family didn’t need me or want me.”
Angel A sat on the edge of the bed. “Hospital, uh. Wesley will be fine.”
“But not because of anything I did.”
“No.” Angel sighed. He had stopped the police zombies but he had to acknowledge that it hadn’t been to save his friends. He hadn’t even known they were in danger.
Angel ‘little a’ nodded. “So, can’t you understand finding out that Cordelia Chase some how loved you, did love you, that you marked her, would be just a little question worthy. From what I gather, I have an epiphany, slept with Darla.” Angel shook his head, glancing up at the other vampire hoping beyond hope that he would dispute that particular future fact that he heard.
“The other way around.” Angel A said. “Believe me. You won’t be thinking of anything when you make that decision. Hell, it wasn’t even a decision, it was just easy, and you were just told that every thing you did didn’t matter. Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn were across town hating you, but still fighting your mission. You, I gave up.”
“So, Cordy was right it was just sex because of a ‘down’ time.”
“She says that because it is easier for her and me.”
“I don’t understand.”
“My soul wasn’t bound. I knew vaguely the curses parameters, just as you do. But, I didn’t care. I was actually surprised when I didn’t lose it.”
“You wanted to.” Angel ‘little a’ flopped down in the desk chair, he knew that he had cut himself off from his family; he knew he ignored the mission but to want to be Angelus again. “You could’ve…. even without the marks. Cordelia would’ve been the first Angelus went to.”
“You won’t care.”
“I will always care about that.”
“No, that time you won’t. That is why it easier for her, for me to shrug it off. The look in her eyes when she discovered that I lied…”
“How did she find out?”
“Darla made a return appearance and thought it would be funny. She waited until they were on the way to trusting me again. Cordelia had forgiven me for everything, except that, because when she asked me, or rather assumed that I wouldn’t be so stupid, I agreed. Things were going so well, she had said we were friends again. But then Darla.”
“And you still didn’t kill her?”
“I didn’t know until after. She didn’t try to kill Cordy or do anything in LA except destroy the lies that I had told. She left before I even knew she had been there.”
“Hated me again for putting our family at risk and then lying about it.”
“How?” Angel just stared at vampire that composed the fuck ups of his future.
“How, she loves me, you. I don’t know. But, she does. She won’t leave me. I thought about making her, but if the so called beige period didn’t make her go, I wasn’t sure how to do it and I didn’t want to.”
“You could’ve killed her.” Angel ‘little a’ growled.
“Going to take my place like the B version?”
“I would, believe me I would, but what’s the point. My soul isn’t bound and this crap would start all over again. “
Angel A nodded. “Glad, you realized that at least.”
Angel ‘little a’ cocked his head. “I’m not B, I’ve had Cordy in my life. I’ve told you what the others told me. You can’t hold it against Cordy. It never happened for her.” Angel ‘little a’ demanded.
“I won’t make her feel guilty about something she has nothing to feel guilty about.”
“Right, like you didn’t make her feel responsible for Angelus marking her.”
“You’re just talking now, you understand that.”
Angel ‘little a’ sighed. “I do, I just don’t understand her.”
“Neither do I, but I have no choice but to accept it, because otherwise I wouldn’t have her.”
Angel ‘little a’ nodded again. “Tell me about the sketches, she knew when she came to get me. How was I not so scared that she would leave that I showed her?”
“Oh, you were scared. You will be terrified. You got careless. It was after Cordelia had moved in. One night you will be making love to Cordelia and afterwards as she was sleeping, you will be so engrossed in drawing not to realize that she woke up. Then the drawer is open. All looked at all understood or least accepted. She’ll sit with you and make you tell her about Kathy and you will, she will cry with you when you tell her about Kathy, Hell and the victims, she will raise her brows and toss the books of Darla and Buffy off to the side, make you frame the picture of Doyle that she liked the best. Then she’ll blush and squirm when she gets the books of her, by then they will out number all. It will be morning before she drags you back to bed, makes love to you and tells you over and over that she loves you.”
“Oh.” Angel ‘little a’ stared at the unconscious teenage body of Cordelia Chase, amazement and love filled his being at the woman she would become.
“Yeah, OH. When you wake up, you’ll feel that a weight has been lifted from our soul. That’s until you see her going back through all the books with a frown on her face. You’ll be scared again, but then she will just start bitching that out of all the sketches she didn’t see one of Dennis. Which I though was bizarre on so many levels considering what she had seen, the least though being he is a ghost and not really even a friend to me, sure he was sympathetic before Cordelia and I admitted that we loved each other but afterwards I swear he sabotaged things. He never quite went as far as leaving the drapes open, but he would do things. I was going to make dinner at Cordy’s, she was tired of everybody eating ‘her dinner’ so we went to her apartment. I can cook,” Angel stopped and stared at the other vampire,” Of course you know that, well, the pasta burned and the sauce over cooked. A disaster.”
Angel ‘little a’ frowned he screwed up something so simple. Then he thought about it some more. “Just a question.’
Angel A narrowed his brow.
“Was the soul bound and was Cordy in the kitchen with you.”
Angel A twitched his lips and looked at his feet. “Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best example, it is hard to concentrate when Cordy is nearby, but that ghost was a menace for a while,” Angel A said with surety. “He never gave me any towels. I had to resort to taking showers with Cordy just to get towels. He always gave her towels”
“Oh god, are you telling me I’m going to have to resort to whining with a ghost to get a towel.”
“I think you’re missing the point.” Angel A raised his brows. “Cordy was mad at Dennis for making me drip dry. He got mad, but he didn’t have the balls to take her towels away so Cordy offered to share her shower and towels. I won that one.”
“I don’t remember Dennis so interfering.”
“He holds a grudge, he just only forgave me for your, my, fuckups. It seems he kept a calendar, that’s where Cordy got the idea for hers. Cordy marked good days but Dennis marked bad ones and he double scored if I was even remotely the cause. Cordy cries once and I’m double banged forever.” Angel sighed. “There were too many of those days.”
“Cordy said he was at the hotel, you didn’t exorcise him.”
“Do you even know Cordy?”
“Oh right, dust buster fodder. So, he went with her. In our room?”
“Has his own with a TV and everything, it’s the best in the hotel. He’s a ghost, he’s dead, not corporal, god Damn’t. But Cordy and Fred love him. It’s not just us. Gunn even gets jealous.”
“He and Fred.”
“Oh, have you warned him she’s crazy.”
“She’s not crazy, just unique, you’ll love her.”
“That’s what Cordy said.”
“Okay,” Angel drew a long sigh. “What about the Dennis’ portrait?”
“You heard about that?”
“Gunn said it was the best picture you, we, ever drawn.”
“It was before we got the spell to move Dennis. Cordy wanted have a picture of him during the wait, to tide her over from her and Fred’s visits with him, which were every day. I’ll admit I was a little frustrated. So I just gave her a blank page and with the date and my scrawl.” Angel’s brows raised as his shoulders went up and down. “ She loved it, they all did, even Dennis, he hasn’t skimmed with the towels once since then. It’s framed in our bedroom.”
Angel shrugged again. “I don’t see how, but it got me towels and a happy Cordy, which is better that an annoyed one. The annoyed one takes five seconds longer to get unclothed and on the bed.”
Angel ‘little a’ couldn’t decide if he wanted to hear more or just kill the vampire before him. He had to remind himself that his Cordelia was waiting. “I’ll go, but don’t fuck up my future. I know I get there, but don’t make it so she’s running away when I do. Love her, protect her, and keep her safe for me. Can you do that?”
“I already have, not always the best way, but she’s still waiting and loving. Don’t worry about me, worry when she looks at you and tells you- you hurt her feelings, worry when she tells you -you aren’t her friend, cherish every fucking smile you get when she forgets momentarily that she hates you.”
“It’s going to hurt, isn’t it?”
“Worse than you can ever imagine. But, it will be worth it. Once in our long fucked life we will have done something right, we will have wanted something someone so much for the right reason. You think she’s a weakness. I’ll tell you she is our strength.”
“I was coming too that conclusion. I just wish could have remembered it sooner.”
“Cordelia wouldn’t be ready. But she will be. Oh, keep sketching the dreams. Cordy is quite happy that now there are more books of her than anyone else. She gets ‘gooey’.
“Her words. She likes that I made her beautiful. Odd, she knows that she is, but she is always amazed when I draw her. I don’t think she has ever really seen herself. Dorkiness and the puppy dog look are for easy fights, shutting her up by kissing is the next line of defense. Leaving a sketch for her eyes only is the big guns. If that doesn’t work give up and truly beg. You want my future- fine- but I’ll warn you the once Scourge of Europe is in the future whipped by a beautiful sharp tongued full of heart young woman.”
Angel ‘little a’ looked up not really surprised. He had already accepted the inevitability of Cordelia Chase.
“I really go shopping?”
“Yeah, but you do that on your own at first to make her smile, then later to get her to hug you. No fighting involved, you just want to be hugged.”
“Do I have to do it often; that just seems like hell?”
“It is, but it’s worth it. Body Works, Victoria Secret and shoot, I can never remember the name, but it has really nice changing rooms, big enough to lie down,” Angel wrinkled his expression. “Shopping isn’t that bad.”
Angel ‘little a’ growled. “I want to kill you.”
Angel A swerved from his thoughts of him helping Cordy zip, unzip, zip and unzip on a carpeted floor, with a large mirror that showed only her squirming in pleasure.
“Yeah. I bet you do. But, the anticipation the hunt, the challenge of getting her to accept you back was terrifying and exhilarating. It will be your finest work.” Angel smiled.
“And the day you realize that the smile beaming towards you was hiding juices steamed with arousal, begging to be touched. You will be one happy camper, frustrated as hell, but it will result in the sketch that makes Cordy compete with an excellent fantasy. Cordy with all of her heart, all of her courage, is also vain, a pain in the ass and quite competitive.”
“I knew that.”
“Yes, but I’ve experienced it. You need to go, so you can start on the journey. I will tell you this. We do go through some horrendous shit, Wolfram & Hart will screw with her, she be will sucked into a hell dimension, but it’s worth it.”
“Wolfram & Hart.”
Angel jerked to the other vampire. “You will do some damage but you won’t destroy it. I won’t either, but I will make sure that they understand once in for all, they can’t get to me by way of Cordy. I can’t destroy the firm, but I can kill every person walking and talking in the firm.”
“What?” Angel ‘little a’, stared at the other vampire’s shake of his head.
“Cordy,” he shrugged. “With Darla, I got chastised about letting the lawyers die, with Cordy in danger-Wesley, Gunn and even Fred don’t seem to mind so much. They are hypocrites.”
“And. I love them for it. They have their priorities straight. I have to go, she’s been alone for too long and this one may wake up,” he nodded to the prone girl. “And then there will be hell to pay.” He puzzled.
“I know I loved Buffy, but how in the hell did I miss her?”
“Be thankful that you did or Angelus wouldn’t have – the dreams.” Angel ‘little a’ reminded him.
Angel ‘little a’ stared. “I knew she was beautiful.”
“Like I didn’t.”
“You said you missed her.”
“I’m not arguing with myself over this.”
Both vampires froze in fear as the young woman stirred. “Okay. Time to go.” They both echoed as they ran out of the bedroom.