There is No End 19-20

Part 19

Lilah hated Caritas. It was loud, full of too many demons and the owner made her skin crawl with the way he pinned her with his red eyes. She didn’t care what the others said, he could see too much even if you didn’t sing. But sometimes she had to enter the demon bar, put up with Karaoke because someone she hired would only deal with her in the sanctuary known as Caritas.

Calen, a tall, overweight Kailiff demon who was an atrocious shade of plum, was one such associate. Lilah smiled at him, nearly sincerely because she was so happy he’d finally arrived and leaned over the table in corner booth she’d chosen. “Did you get them?”

He gave her smile full of yellow teeth and waved a thick folder in the air. “I got them, but you won’t. Unless you have my cash?”

Lilah held back a sigh at the demon’s actions, they were so predictable. She pushed the envelope already on the table toward him. “It’s all there, as promised.”

He grabbed it, opened it and counted.

Lilah eyed the folder in his hands, impatiently and started to tap her fingernails against the table. “Come on, Calen…its all there, give it to me.”

He tossed her the folder with a grunt.

Lilah greedily grabbed it, opened it and frowned. “What is this?”

“What you wanted.”

“It’s, what is it written in? All of them, what are they written in. I’ve never seen…”

“Language older than humanity itself, lady. It’s the language of Old Ones. It’s their prophecies, as they became those who want to end this world, or protect the humanity who roam it. You said you wanted all prophecies in their oldest – most original form I could find; that mention a Vampire with a Soul and/or a Human female Seer. I got you the most original copies that still exist… no easy feat.”

Lilah frowned. “I don’t suppose you can read it?”

He laughed.

“I’ll just have to find someone who can,” she muttered.

Calen stayed sitting.

Lilah glared at him. “I’m done with you now.”

“No drink? No dance?”

Lilah laughed in his faced. “Do I look desperate?”

“You look all sorts of things,” Calen said, “but I can’t test them out here.” He stood up and tucked his money into his jacket pocket. “Remember me for other hard to find research in the future…”

Lilah didn’t look up from the prophecies she held in her hands. “Of course, it was a real pleasure to do business with you.” She forgot him before she finished speaking, her mind racing at she looked at the archaic demon tongues of the prophecies he’d found. She needed people she could trust, or at least scare into being loyal who also had the intellect to correctly translate all the scrolls for her.

It wasn’t going to be easy, and harder still she had to keep Lindsey from finding out she had more accurate prophecies about Angel in her hands.


Calen was at the bar for a mere moment before Lorne was next to him, looking at him with his red eyes making him squirm. “What?”

“Long time, no sing, Calen. Come in to croon a tune, make sure you are on the right path?”

“Just had some business, with a lawyer, was making sure my neck stayed attached.” Calen said and subconsciously started to scratch the horns on his jaw line nervously.

“Wolfram & Hart, yes, yes, one does want to watch their necks around them. Just what kind of business?”

“About that vampire, you know the one with a soul. Prophecies and such about him.”

Lorne raised an eyebrow. “Really? Prophecies? More than one?”

“Quite a bit, all in the language of the Old Ones. Bitch is going to have quite a time trying to translate them. Probably only person who can is the old man I stole them from.”

“Suppose you got paid quite well?”

“Oh yeah, had to go all the way to England, break into a subsection of that pretentious Watcher’s council that watches over the Slayer. Got in and out clean as can be though. There all up in arms still over the recent death of one and the fact a Rogue Slayer is now the only one.”

Lorne waved his hand in the air. “Watchers Council has prophecies on the vampire with a soul?”

“Yeah, it’s a big secret. But I know a guy who knew a girl, who knew a demon, who knew a Watcher who had a potential…”

“You have great contacts, Calen. So you give these prophecies to the lady lawyer in the corner? You know why?”

“She’s on the warpath, wants to know more about some prophecy before her partner – something about a human Seer for The Powers. Ever hear of such thing? Doubt that prophecy would come true. The Powers giving that gift to a human? It’s damn shame the type of demons they usually give it to, last one was this no good gambler – cousin of mine was killed just trying to teach the no good half-breed to pay off his debts.”

“A human seer? Sounds troublesome,” Lorne said, more to himself than to Calen, but Calen didn’t notice.

“It’s blasphemy, some things should stay with us demons. Humanity, they got themselves enough of a foothold in this dimension as it is – I mean most of them ignore the fact we even exist. We were here first….” Calen didn’t notice that Lorne stood up and walked away from him, as he got into his rant against Humanity.


Angel pushed open the door to his room, his home within his hotel, and let Cordelia walk in front of him. Why he’d suddenly felt the urge to use the coffee maker in his room rather than the one downstairs in Wesley’s half of the office, he didn’t know. But he’d felt it be more comfortable for Cordelia upstairs, they were asking a hell of a lot of her after all. She might as well not have to worry about it, until Wesley got back – something Angel was hoping would take awhile. Another thing he was trying not to think about too much.

“Wow, this is nice. Much nicer than that dusty, echo-ey lobby.”

“Lobby’s not too bad. At least not when Gunn and Wesley are both in.”

Cordelia turned from her investigation of the room and glanced at him, flashing a quick smile. “It’s nicer than that dusty and echo-ey mansion too.”

Angel opened his mouth but shut it, the mansion had been pretty echo-ey near the end of his stay in Sunnydale. “I like it here.”

“How can you afford it?” Cordelia asked, turning to face him.

He shrugged. “It was abandoned.”

“You do know that didn’t answer my question.”

Angel gave her a small smile. “I do. You said you wanted coffee?” He walked into the kitchenette. “I’m afraid I don’t have much of a selection, I mostly use it to wake myself up during research.”

“Research always did need caffeine and sugar. Will there be donuts?”

“Gunn, brings some in and Mexican food too.”

“Ooh, Mexican.”

Getting two mugs, and pulling out the coffee, Angel glanced at Cordelia, who was still wandering around his room. Poking her fingers into things, touching almost everything else and even picking things up. He watched her in amusement, thinking that he really should be telling her to not touch his stuff. Wouldn’t he growl at anyone else upsetting his stuff? He’d have to move it all back into place later, now, as it was. “Uh, Cordelia?”

“What is this?” Cordelia laughed and she turned around holding an empty bottle of cheap whiskey in one hand and an empty book of matches. “Why do you have these two things all arranged on a shelf like they are priceless antiques?” She waved the matchbook in the air. “A Triple X strip club, Angel?”

“They’re…” he hurried over to her and grabbed the matches and the bottle, walked over to the shelf and carefully placed them back where they belonged. “They aren’t mine, they were… a friends…” he trailed off, he didn’t know what to say, or how to explain, and he was sure if he could feel heat he’d be feeling an embarrassed wave of it about the matchbook.

“Oh God! Me and my big mouth. Your friend, they…God, Cor, can’t you ever learn not to just blurt out things. I’m sorry; I shouldn’t even have been snooping around and touching all your stuff…”

Angel took one last look at the whiskey bottle, moved it a bit to the right, then stepped back and looked at Cordelia, who was blushing and looked completely embarrassed. “No, don’t, I didn’t mind you, uh, snooping…” he trailed off, too much, “so, it’s okay?”

“But, those, they are important to you, sentimental value type of thing, because…”

“Yeah, he died. A hero,” Angel smiled a bit remembering how Doyle had gone out, sacrificing himself for others, for him and his smile faded. “He was my friend,” Angel explained, thinking, first and sometimes he thought only friend.

“He saved you?” Cordelia whispered and Angel started out of his own mind and looked at her. She was staring at him, with wide eyes that saw a hell of lot more than he’d realized. It was like she was reading his mind; he tensed and crossed the room in a hurry.

“He saved a boatload of demons. They were being targeted by these demon elitists, didn’t want any demons living that had any human blood within them.”

“Angel, you don’t have to, I didn’t mean to bring up…you know stuff.” Angel heard her footsteps, her heart beat, smelled her perfume coming closer to him, as she made her way to the kitchenette.

Angel sighed, he’d tensed up and made her feel bad, great going he thought sarcastically. He turned around, coffee in one hand a mug in the other and poured it for her. “Yeah, well Doyle loved his whiskey, and naked women. He didn’t have much, and his ex-wife got most of what he did have – he left those behind, somehow they survived the explosion of our old offices.”

Cordelia took her cup of coffee and smiled. “He sounds like he was fun.”

Angel shrugged. “He did drag me to a lot of sports bars, I drew a line at the strip clubs.”

“Didn’t want temptation, I get that.”

He stared at her. “What?”

“Naked women, sex, moment of bliss… you have to be careful,” she explained, complete with a million watt smile and Angel somehow found he couldn’t be mad about her blunt perspective.

“Something like that,” he said, not completely agreeing but a conversation about his curse was never on his list of things to discuss. “Doyle, was a good friend and well, he was also a Seer.”

Cordelia’s eyes widened. “Oh, right! You mentioned him, before didn’t you? I think, in Sunnydale?”

Angel nodded. “Yeah. He, uh, got these visions, said they were from The Powers that Be, that they wanted me to help the people in them. It was good for awhile, but then he died and well…no more visions.” Angel sighed, he hated thinking about what Doyle had said to him their first meeting, whenever the Powers came up – no one up there really cared about him, didn’t matter what Doyle and Wesley said, or even what he fact he’d been returned from Hell implied.

“Hmm,” Cordelia said.

Angel blinked and looked into Cordelia’s hazel eyes, they were sparking with amusement. “What?”

“You do know you do one hell of an impersonation of a statue, right? Grade A work, you could fill in at a Wax Museum, no one would ever know you were really an undead vampire.”

Again he was smiling at her, what was that, he thought fleetingly before deciding to go with it. “I didn’t know, but I’ll keep it mind as a back up position. The agency doesn’t have very many clients, might need a second job. Mostly, we find the demons to fight on our own. Few people understand the services we supply.”

“You could help people with deadbeat husbands and/or wives. Abusive spouses. Maybe a few divorce cases.”

“Divorce cases?” Angel shuddered.

“What? It’s a huge field, could bring you in money for that pig’s blood you need to survive, Statue-boy.”

“Those other ideas are good. I might run them by Wesley.”

“You should,” she smiled. “Am I brilliant or what.”

Angel smiled since he didn’t have a clue what to say and turned to make himself a cup of coffee.

“Where is Wesley?”

“Don’t know. Hadn’t realized he left until you got here.”


“How was the rest of your day?”

“Well, I woke up, went to work, conned my boss into letting me take off whenever I needed for week, so I can help you. Then I came here.”

“Didn’t see that guy, Alex?”

“Alec? No,” she turned away from him and crossed the room again, looking around, her brow furrowing.

Angel ran a hand over the back of his neck, and wondered why the hell he’d asked her about her boyfriend, it had seemed like a good idea. Usually people liked to talk about their relationships, or at least everyone from Sunnydale he’d know had. Though, they had all been kids at the time. “Seeing him later?” He asked still stuck on what to say to keep her talking to him.

“You have no pictures.”


“And no, I’m not planning on seeing him, later. I told him I didn’t know how late I’d be, that I had an acting class and I just wanted to go home, to my own bed and be alone. And, you have no pictures. Of this friend Doyle, or Wesley, or Gunn. Not even of Buffy? What is that?”

“Uh, I… I have some of Buffy. I just don’t have them out.”

“What, they stuck in your musty old books as bookmarks?”


Cordelia laughed. “What about your friends?”


“Doyle. Wesley, Gunn…”

“Oh.” He frowned. “Um. Well. I do have some of Doyle. His ex-wife, Harry, she took some of us one day. But they…”

“Where you stick them? In with older, mustier books you don’t even read?”

He frowned. “Uh, no.”

“Where then?” She laughed, staring at him. “And what about Gunn and Wes?”

“I don’t know. We’re guys, Cordelia. We don’t really…”

“I’m so bringing a camera then. This room needs a more personal touch, all you got is the whiskey and the strip club matchbook… and well that just makes you look weird and perverted.”


“Sorry, it’s just a bit of a occupational hazard, not that I even like my job. But I’m always matching personality with room – and well, I think your rooms should say more than you say with your body language. Or someone might guess you’re a broody vampire.”

She turned then and caught his eye. “Oh, come on, Angel. I’m just teasing, kind of,” she smiled.

“I, you, you are very unique, Cordelia.”

“Well, duh.”

“Do really want to be alone, later?”

She stared at him, confused by the question and Angel felt awkward. He was no good at this; maybe he’d latched onto the wrong thing to respond to in what she had said. But he wanted to know about her, not discuss his lack of pictures or his personality. “You said, you told your boyfriend you wanted to be alone.”

“Oh.” She frowned. “I just, he’s…I… I get so uncomfortable when I stay at his place, or even in my own bed when he stays over. I don’t really know why, I mean Alec is this really successful, great-looking guy and he’s a great boyfriend. You know with the attention, the gifts and he doesn’t want to be apart from me – it’s what any girl should want, right?”

“I wouldn’t…”

“But, I just get so uncomfortable when he’s around, especially lately… I mean, I guess… I’m just glad I’m here, Angel.”


“With you.”

“You are?” He smiled.

And Cordelia started to beam back at him; her large smile grew bigger than he’d ever seen it and she walked over to him. She touched his face and stared.


“I’m making sure I remember this. I might never see it again.”


“You, giving a full-fledge, no half-ways about it smile.”

“I smile.”

“Never seen one like this before. You should do it more often.”



“You’re happy you’re here?”

“Yeah. I mean, it’s…I’ll be… I don’t know how to explain it. Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do, Angel? Why you made the choices you did?”

He knew that feeling, he felt often enough but he wasn’t quite sure he was following Cordelia. “I think so, but what do you mean?”

“I mean, lately, I just haven’t been… And then there was Buffy, and this with you…”

“Cordelia, I don’t…”

“Angel, are you in here…Oh, Cordy! You’ve arrived, lovely. We really should get started.” Wesley walked into the room and gave her an awkward hug hello.

Cordelia beamed at Wesley. “I’m all caffeinated and raring to go, teach me about these big bad demons.”

Angel gritted his teeth and swallowed a growl, he’d wanted more time alone with Cordelia. He’d probably never see her again after she helped out with the demons. He didn’t want her being used by them again at any right. He knew that much.

Part 20

Cordelia was freezing which she realized made sense, she was in a tiny little white dress that gave less coverage than some lingerie she owned, standing in one of the wider passage ways of the Los Angeles Sewer System in very uncomfortable white shoes with stiletto heels. All around her where the sounds of terrified women who’d never laid eyes on a demon before and the raspy, guttural language of the demons. She hugged herself, half for warmth and half because she was starting to join her fellow ‘sacrifices’ in terror.

Where the hell were they? Glancing at the demons, who were all huddled together at some sort of dais made out of rotted wood, she decided to risk it. Pulling the silver comb, Wesley had presented her with stating it was a wire, state of the art, digital and no actually wires needed, she hissed into it. “Where the hell are you? They took us down a sewer entrance in that warehouse, we walked for what felt like forever but could have been the heels, I don’t know what direction. They herded us like cattle… cattle! These demons are so on my list…and if you guys don’t get here soon…”

“Shut up!” A demon rasped, a rough hand grabbed Cordelia’s wrist tightly, making the comb/wire fall to the ground. “Who were you talking too, Ms. Chase?”

Cordelia looked into, what as far as she could tell were empty eye sockets. Wesley had claimed that they did indeed have eyes, extremely good vision in fact, in his yammering about the Ycuchbn demons while in their demon form. She didn’t know about their sight, but damn was it ugly. “The Ms. Chase thing made much more sense when I thought you were an agent…or are you the photographer? When morphed I lost track of who was who… maybe if you took off the ugly and moldy robes?”

“It’s a wire,” someone said and Cordelia darted her eyes, and saw that another demon had picked up the comb.

“Go, find who she is talking too and kill him.”

Cordelia fought the urge to glance around at the various sewer tunnels that surrounded the area. They would come, she knew they would.

“Start the ritual Wetyl,” the man holding her wrist shouted at the third demon. “We will not let anything get in the way of giving our God his bounty.”

“You’re truly fanatic, you know that?” Cordelia said.

He met her face again, his wrinkled demon face moving into what Cordelia guessed was an evil grin. “You have tried to stop us, but it has failed.”

“It isn’t over yet,” Cordelia managed, though her heart was pounding.

“You shall die first.”

Cordelia felt terror roll through her but a quick glance at the shaking women around her; she knew there was really no choice. They wouldn’t be able to handle it, they wouldn’t know it wouldn’t happen. She rolled her eyes at the demon. “Making it personal, huh?”

“No one will stop the God from getting his bounty.”

Cordelia pffted at the demon but when he started dragging her toward the dais, survival instincts kicked in and she started to drag her feet. “Wait, isn’t there more to the ritual – aren’t two of you supposed to be saying the words…I swear I heard that…”

“What do you know of our rituals?” The demon spat, grabbing her more bodily and hurling her onto the brittle wood.

Splinters cut into the skin of her legs and hands as she managed to move to her feet, feeling extremely unsafe on the rotting wood under her feet. It was swaying under her weight. She started to move toward the edge, when something sparked and Cordelia realized the magic was starting to take effect. One demon talking or not. Wesley and his books were full of it; Cordelia thought when she felt stuck in place by some kind of force field. The demon who’d hurled her, joined his demon friend and they kept on with the words.

Cordelia let out a string of swear words, as she met the wide eyed terrified look of the other women, standing together where she’d been only seconds before. Where the hell were they, she thought as some kind of hole began to form in the sky. They were cutting it way too close she thought, she was about to be some evil god’s bounty, and that was not how she planned to die. She opened her mouth and screamed as loud as she possible could. “Take that, Angel,” she thought smugly taking a breath before giving another screech.

If the damn wire wasn’t working, she had hope that the vampire had hit the sewers looking for her and there was no way he wouldn’t hear her screeching. As she took a breath to form a third scream, she heard an odd snapping sound and felt the wood beneath her cave in…looking down she realized she was now hovering in the air, over a pile of broken wood due only to the magic…

”OH SHIT!” She shouted as a glance at the demons, showed Wesley and Gunn tackling the two demons performing the magic.

The air went empty in that instant, Cordelia screamed even louder than before and for the first time with real terror, only she never hit any wood because the feel of leather was against her skin, arms had her in a hold, then there was a swoop and her feet were suddenly planted on solid ground.

“Thanks for the screaming,” Angel said before Cordelia could find her orientation and even recognize the vampire as her savior. Then he jumped out of her line of sight. Cordelia turned to see him already in a fight the third demon, the one that had been sent to kill them and had obviously failed. She looked down at her feet, saw the cruddy ground of the sewer and rolled her eyes.

“Beats being killed by a big pile of splinters, or being bounty,” she muttered idly to herself. Then she took a breath and made her way to the other women. Her next duty was to try to calm them down and get them to the sidelines of the battle. One thing she had honed to perfection in Sunnydale, besides being bait, was how to stay out of the middle of a big fight.


Angel felt the bones of the Ycuchbn he was fighting crunch from the pressure of his hands around its throat. It didn’t satisfy him and he looked up, saw Wesley still struggling against one and lunged at it. He poked his fingers into the eye sockets, searching out the eyeballs that they protected. Their eyes being one of the demons most sensitive areas, and he wanted to cause pain. Deep writhing pain to the demons had nearly killed Cordelia. The demon screamed, the sound of nails of a chalkboard but to Angel beautiful music at that moment.

Cordelia never should have been sent in with some stupid technology as her only back up, it hadn’t worked, they hadn’t heard a peep from her. He’d finally broke into the warehouse and followed her scent into the sewers. But they’d nearly been too late, if she hadn’t started screaming. He dropped the now brain dead demon to the floor, wiped his hands on his pants remembering too late how hard eye was to get off the skin and scanned the area for Cordelia.

It took a second to find her, she was walking over to him and he realized in that instant she was wearing next to nothing. What the hell was that white cloth on her? He stilled to a standstill as stared at it and realized that she just could not remain so unclothed. He started to take off his coat, when he heard her voice.

“That was beyond gross…you know with the eyeballs,” she said.

“Here,” Angel said handing out his coat.

“Oh! Good idea,” Cordelia said, turning around and walking over to the other women. “Wes, Gunn, your coats. Here you two share this one, you two take theirs, you need to stay warm. We really should get them to a hospital or something…” Cordelia said, helping the girls into the cover of the men’s coats. “They are in shock, they need to be looked at. I’ll think of something to tell the hospital, I guess.”

Angel watched in shock and horror, as Cordelia covered all the other woman but herself. He cleared his throat and walked over to her. “What about you?”

“Me? I’m in not shock. I knew what was going to happen.”

“I mean…aren’t you,” he cleared his throat and eyed the flimsy; he didn’t know what to call it but a cloth covering Cordelia.

“Isn’t this awful. I have underwear that covers more of my ass; I’ll change when we get back to the warehouse. You do know how to get back there right?” Cordelia asked.

“Right. Warehouse, clothes, hospital,” Wesley said, interrupting Angel’s thoughts as he tried to catch up with Cordelia, with everything that had happened really. A bit of guilt rushing through him when he realized he was ignoring the actual helpless…again.

He’d always been bad at it, but he used to remember to focus more on the victims he rescued. He’d at least ask if they were all right, and for awhile he’d even chatted with them a bit before disappearing into the dark. Making sure they got to some place safe and well lit first. Giving them stern warnings about being more careful late at night, taking them to the hospital if they were need of being looked at.

Only that had been before Darla… he pushed his sire out of his mind. He had gotten past that and he wasn’t going to dwell on it now. What mattered was when it came to the victims he aided he hadn’t gotten back into gear. What mattered at this moment was that his only focus had been Cordelia. Making sure Cordelia was unharmed, warm, and not half-naked. She’d been his only focus from the second he realized they’d lost contact with her. He’d only thought of her as he winded his way through the sewers and when fighting the demons. How she had almost been sacrificed, almost landed on that pile of wood and been impaled.

Angel felt a chill at the realization, because it went deeper than this moment. She’d been on his mind constantly for days, when had this happened? The last time he’d felt so focused on one woman he’d nearly lost…. Angel cleared his throat, stopped thinking and stalked past Cordelia. He purposely did not look at her, before glancing at Wes and Gunn and shouting out. “Follow me.”

Part 21

Posted in TBC

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