“Cordy is here? Where is she?” Willow asked excitedly. Giles, Buffy and Xander looked at her disbelievingly.
“What? We haven’t seen her in awhile and I want to know how the spell came out.”
“What spell?” asked Buffy.
“The Dennis spell, of course,” she said. “Oh wait, I didn’t tell you about…”
“Wait, does Cordy, the former leader of the famed Cordettes need spells now to get a guy. Wait, I am not surprised..she is a …”
“Well, good now that everyone is here,” Wesley said loudly to cover up Angel’s growl. “About the prophecy..”
“Yes, the prophecy,” Giles repeated, staring at the vampire. He could have sworn that he heard Angel growl.
This is not good, Methos thought, as he heard Angel’s growl and noticed Duncan getting irate. He looked at Wesley. Wesley nodded and moved closer to the vampire and Methos moved closer to the Highlander.
“But, where is Cordelia?” asked Willow looking around.
“She is in the…the powder room,” answered Giles.
“Figures, that’s our Cordy. Always concerned with the important things,’Oh how does my hair look, is my make up perfect?’ nevermind that the world is about to end,” Xander quipped. Buffy giggled at Xander’s impression of Cordelia.
Wesley and Methos quickly moved in front of their respective charges, effectively blocking Angel and Duncan’s paths towards the joking young man. Though if asked, both men would have had to acknowledge there own growing irritation with Xander and his comments at Cordelia’s expense.
Wesley and Methos were so intent on Angel and Duncan that they failed to notice that Gunn was, also, getting annoyed. The young street kid thought that is was one thing for Wesley or him to tease or even make fun of Cordelia, but this guy. Who did he think he was.
Gunn moved closer to Xander. “I don’t know who you are, but I suggest you shut up.”
“Hey,” Buffy moved towards Gunn. “Just who do you think you are?”
“I think I am friend of Cordelia’s and one of the guys that are going to help save your little girly butt.”
Riley moved aggressively towards Gunn. Wesley looked questioningly at Angel. Angel shrugged. He didn’t doubt that Gunn could take the soldier boy and Xander for that matter, he smiled. But not Buffy, he reminded himself as he stepped forward.
“Cool it,” Willow yelled into the tense room. “Jeez, stop with all the testosterone, all of you. Wesley, where is Cordelia?”
“Hi, Willow,” a hesitant voice said from the doorway.
Willow turned and saw Cordelia. “Cordy,” she exclaimed embracing the nervous young immortal. “How are you? How is Dennis?” she asked happily.
Cordelia was surprised by the witch’s enthusiastic greeting. She gave a shocked look towards Angel. He smiled. Cordelia laughed and returned the witch’s hug. “Dennis is great, but Wesley is annoyed,” she giggled.
“Oh, I get it now, Dennis was just some guy to make Mr. Jr. Tweed guy jealous,” exclaimed Xander.
This time Methos jumped in front of both Angel and Wesley and grabbed Duncan’s arm to stop the trio from charging the young kid.
Giles looked again at the vampire. This time he was sure heard a growl. What the hell was going on, he wondered, worriedly.
Unfortunately, Methos had not noticed Gunn getting closer to Xander, until it was too late. Methos rolled his eyes as he saw the street kid punch the young man sharply in the ribs.
“Oww,” Xander yelled in pain and incomprehension as he fell to the floor. Anya jumped on Gunn with a scream.
“Stop! Angel, guys…GUNN,” yelled Cordelia as Gunn flipped the ex-demon over his head.
“Like I asked before, who in the hell do you think you are? You can’t just come in here a start throwing my friends around,” the slayer yelled moving quickly towards Gunn.
“Whoa, Buffy,” Cordelia moved into her path holding her hand up. “Let’s everyone take a deep breath moment and kill the overdrive of adrenaline. Gunn, put a cap on that testerone rush you seem to be having.”
“Sure, when she tells her ‘friends’ to stop badmouthing my ‘friends’,” the street kid answered angrily.
“Oh, that is so sweet and unnecessary,” she smiled at him. “But, please, like loser boy here could actually badmouth anyone, he just likes to pretend he is oh so witty.”
“My boyfriend is not a loser and he is witty. And he gives great orgasms,” defended Anya.
“Uh, Anya…” Xander blushed.
“Yeah, right, maybe to himself and I repeat for the deluded in the room, maybe,” Cordelia quickly retorted.
“You are just jealous that he loves me and you aren’t getting any orgasms.”
Cordelia stared at the ex-vengeance demon for a moment and then burst out laughing. “Oh god, loser-boy may not be funny, but you are funny, seriously wrong, but way-out there funny,” she giggled wiping the tears from her eyes. Cordelia gasped trying to catch her breath.
The Sunnydale crowd stared in shock and surprise at the laughing girl. Methos moved away from Angel and Duncan, satisfied for the time being anyway, there would be no violence from that quarter.
Cordelia finally caught her breath and turned to Wesley. “So, I take it you haven’t told the home team why were are here?”
“No, actually, he hasn’t and if everyone is calmed down maybe he could? Or some one could?” Giles took off his glasses and rubbed his head.
“Yes, well if there is no more interruptions.” Wesley glared at Xander.
“What, he started it,” Xander whined pointing at Gunn.
“Xander, shh,” Willow whispered.
“Thank you, Willow. We have discovered a prophecy which calls for the raising or an emergence of an ‘all powerful immortal’ here in Sunnydale.”
“What type?” asked Giles.
Wesley explained about the Druid priest, Fergus and his desire to create an immortal.
Buffy was barely listening. She had moved to sit next to Riley, but she kept glancing over at Angel. She noticed that he looked good, great in fact. He seemed to be different from when she last saw him. But then again, the last time she saw him, he was blaming himself for Cordelia’s death. So, of course he would look different now, Cordelia hadn’t died, she had only been kidnapped.
Buffy was a little surprised that Angel hadn’t even looked at her since their initial greeting. In fact, all of his attention seemed to be concentrated on the brunette sitting close to him.
She watched as Cordelia whispered something in his ear in response to something Wesley had been going on about. Buffy’s eyes widened at the sight of Angel’s smile to the girl. Oh my god, she suddenly realized that she had never seen Angel smile before. He was gorgeous. Riley noticed Buffy’s sudden intake of breath.
“Buffy, is everything okay?” he whispered.
“What, oh yeah,” she said startled.
“Have you been listening? He looked worriedly over at the vampire.
“Yes, evil immortal guy coming to Sunnydale to do bad things, like that is new,” she answered dragging her attention away from the sight of Angel and Cordelia and back to Wesley’s lecture.
“So, how do I kill the bad guy?” Buffy asked out loud to Wesley.
“Well, actually you don’t,” Wesley answered.
“Letting the bad evil guys live, is not really in my job description.”
“You are the vampire slayer…”
“Gee, did you learn that in watcher’s school… duh,” interrupted Buffy. “How do I kill it?”
Wesley took a deep breath and tried again. “The prophecy describes the being that has the ability to kill the ‘all powerful immortal’ and it is not the slayer. What we need from you, from all of you, is help on finding where the spell is to be cast. It would be best, if we find the cave before the ritual’s incantation thereby stopping St. John. That way there won’t be an ‘all powerful immortal’ or a need to destroy it,” Wesley finished, looking at Cordelia.
“Of course, it would be best to stop the emergence of the immortal, but if we can’t, Buffy should know how to defeat it,” Giles said firmly.
“Again, she can’t defeat it,” said a frustrated Wesley.
“Oh, yeah?” retorted Buffy.
“Yeah,” Wesley shot back. “The ‘all powerful immortal’ can only be killed by the Druid Sword…
“Hey, we just need to get the sword, then Buffy can kill it,” yelled Xander. “Do we know where it is?”
“Yes, one of Cordelia’s visions led us to the sword.
“Wow, who would have thought it? Cordy does have some uses after all,” smirked Xander at his ex-girlfriend sitting on the couch.
Cordelia turned to Angel. “I told you…”
Before Cordelia could even complete her sentence, the vampire was up, across the room holding Xander by the throat against the wall.
The Sunnydale group still in shock as Angel in game face squeezed the boy’s throat. The LA gang or at least the men stood around and watched with interest and some enjoyment.
“Angelus,” Buffy whispered fearfully.
“No, don’t be stupid,” Cordelia said ignoring the shocked looks and went over to the vampire.
“Angel, put him down. He is harmless, annoying, but harmless. Now, get the ‘grr’ face off,” she chided gently.
With a low growl, Angel dropped the gasping boy.
Xander gulped for air and scooted closer to the wall, away from the vampire. “Dead boy tried to kill me,” he choked.
“Don’t be so melodramatic, if Angel wanted you dead, you would be dead. And don’t call him dead boy,” Cordelia commanded.
But, he is…” Buffy said softly.
“No, he is not Angelus. Xander just made him mad, that’s all.” Cordelia corrected. “Can we please get on with this? We are wasting time. We need to find out which dark hole St. John has set up shop. It would have to be large enough to hold a small army of nasty type ‘grr’ guys,” she said ignoring the still stunned expressions on the Sunnydale crowd’s faces.
“What we need to know is why…um…Angel…is acting strangely,…he just tried to kill Xander,” demanded a still shocked Giles.
“Angel is fine,” answered Wesley confidently.
“Yeah, it would only be strange, real strange, if he didn’t want to kill the big mouth over there,” retorted Gunn.
“Guys, please. Angel didn’t try to kill Xander,” commented Cordelia going over to the vampire. “Angel, don’t do that again, okay. I can handle Xander,” she said in a low voice only he could hear.
Angel nodded and smiled softly at Cordelia. “I have my soul. Just tell Xander to stop wasting our time by making such inane comments, then everything will be fine.”
“Yes, well now that has been taken care of, we still need to find the cave,” Methos interjected.
“Taken care of?” Buffy asked incredulously. “Just who are you?”
“Me? I am with them,” he said evasively, pointing to Angel and Cordelia. “The cave…it really is important.”
“Do you know how the immortal is to be defeated,” the slayer asked.
“Yes, and Wesley is right, it’s not the slayer.”
“Then who can defeat it? You?” she demanded trying to figure out Methos and the other quiet stranger’s role in all of this.
“Good lord no, I am here, along with Duncan for moral strength and physical if need be, which the longer we wait to find the cave the more likely the physical stuff will be needed.” The immortal sighed wishing he was back in London.
He had spent the last thousand years of his life avoiding trouble and now these kids and their prophecies were going to be the death of him or at least cause him to loose his sanity. “Look, if I tell how the immortal can be defeated can we start looking for the cave?”
“Please,” answered Giles.
“Fine, the ‘all powerful immortal’ can only be killed by another immortal. That immortal must have the ability of a seer and she must hold the soul of the undead warrior. The ‘undead’warrior, would be the vampire with a soul, Angel, for those of you that are a little slow. Satisfied, the cave?”
“But that is me,” cried Buffy.
“Excuse me.” Methos looked at the girl.
“You said, she- well I am a girl.”
“True and a very pretty one, who I am sure is quite good at slaying vampires, but…”
“And,” Buffy interrupted getting angry at Methos’ condensing tone. “The spirit of the first slayer is eternal, you know, immortal.”
“I have always taken a more literal view of the immortal thing, but go on.” Methos was interested in how the blonde was going to rationalize the rest.
“I have dreams that prophesize about things and…well, then there is Angel.”
“I get the dreams part, but the Angel part, you are going to have to explain.”
“Come on, I even get that. Buffy, Angel, the forbidden love thing, the soul thing,” exclaimed Xander.
“Sh, Xander,” Willow said looking at a distraught Riley.
Cordelia had had enough. “So, let’s see. Buffy thinks she is the one because she is from a long line of stake happy females and, ooh, she has dreams, but best yet, because she caused Angel to lose his soul way back when. Have I got it?”
“Well, Cordy, there was that whole Angelus thing, you know, and well the other stuff is true.” Willow said quietly.
Cordelia turned on the blonde slayer. “So you think you hold the undead warrior’s soul. What about his heart? Oh right, you have that too. Once you have Buffy, you can never go back, uh. Tell me, miss little slay happy, how does GI Riley feel about all of this?”
Buffy glanced at Riley. “Oh Riley, I am sorry, but..but Angel’s soul…”
“You do not hold,” Cordelia yelled. “Maybe at one time you had the ability to lose it for him, but you never had the power to bind it. And I wouldn’t feel so special about giving him the ‘big happy’, that could have been accomplished by any tramp with a dose of happy drugs.”
“Cordy,” Angel said softly.
“No, Angel. I know you loved her once, but I am sick and tired of her self-centered belief that the world revolves around…Shit,” she said going for her bag under the chair.
Duncan and Methos already had their swords drawn and faced the door.
“Cordelia, go into the other room, I will face him,” Duncan ordered.
“Do it, now.”
“Cordelia go. You can’t take the risk,” agreed Methos.
Cordelia stood with her sword at her side. “You can’t interfere. He came for me.”
“And he won’t get you,” growled Angel. “Wesley take Cordelia out the back,” he ordered.
Wesley nodded vigorously. “Come on, Cordelia.”
“No,” she shook off the former watcher.
“Does anyone else think that this is really weird,” asked Xander. He jumped as the front door was kicked in. Buffy moved to the door, stake in hand.
The strange immortal looked at the slayer. “Sorry, I am not a vampire,” he smiled looking past her. “Ah, there you are Ms. Chase, it is time. Let’s play.” He beckoned the young immortal out into the sunlight.
Duncan stepped in front of Cordelia.
“Highlander, it is good to know that chivalry isn’t dead. But, it has no place here and now. I will meet you soon enough, but not today. You know the rules.”
“I am challenging you.”
“That’s nice, but later. Mine comes first. Ms. Chase,” he beckoned to the girl, again.
“NO,” Angel growled standing out of the sunlight.
“Yes, well, you have nothing to say in this. Just wait inside like a good vampire. You will know soon enough when the girl is dead, don’t worry. It’s a real shame that you can’t come outside in the sun and enjoy the sights, isn’t,” he laughed.
“If…you live, I will strip the skin from your flesh inch by inch, until you are nothing but a bloody mass of flesh…”
“Yes, I know, then you will rip my head off. But see, you have to get to me first. And face it, vampire, you just aren’t coming outside.” The immortal stood back further into the sunlight.
“I will hunt you down,” Angel growled in game face.
“You will have to find me first. And come sundown, you will be a little busy. Ms. Chase let’s go.”
Cordelia stepped past Angel. “You know where St. John is, don’t you?”
“Tell me,” she demanded.
“Whoa, a different time, a different place, less money, I would love to have you try to seduce it out of me, you really are gorgeous,” he winked at her. “Come on, we are wasting time.”
“Yes, we are,” she agreed.
“Will some one please,explain to me, what is going on? Why does have Cordelia have a sword and why does it look like she has just been challenged to a duel of some sort?” asked Giles.
“Cordelia is an immortal, that other immortal has just challenged her, if he takes her head then she is dead,” Wesley said quickly going to the door.
“That didn’t really help any,” Giles said after the other watcher.
“Cordelia is an immortal, like she can live forever? Oh god, that is a frightening thought.” Xander shivered in mock disgust. “Hey wait a minute, she can’t fight. She never fights. And with a sword? She will be too worried about her nails.”
Angel turned to Xander in full vamp mode and said silkily. “You are a waste of space. I would suggest that you go sit in that corner and remain quiet, because if I hear another word from you I will rip your tongue from you mouth and slowly, but expertly cause you great pain,” he growled smiling.
“Angelus,” he stuttered.
“No, worse,” Angel growled as he moved as close as he could to the sun filled doorway.
Wesley had remained in the doorway torn between staying with Angel or going to Cordelia.
“Go,” Angel ordered. “And Wesley if he kills her, don’t let the immortal’s have him, bring him back to me,” he growled.
Wesley nodded and ran out to the others. He successfully blocked out the thought that he just might have agreed to help Angelus torture someone, again.