Two Days Later
Angel growled to himself in frustration. He couldn’t help it. For two days they had been trying to find out where Cordelia could have ran off to and all they‘d come up with was a big pile of niente. Her parents were no help. Either they knew where she was and were being tight lipped about it or honestly did not know. And he was honestly getting pissed.
Clad in a white muscle shirt and black slacks, he sauntered over to his refrigerator and took out a bag of blood. Not only was he aggravated about not knowing were Cordelia was, he was also being reminded of the conversation he had had with Buffy after she stormed out of Giles’ apartment. Memory of the night surfaced to his mind again, and he slammed the refrigerator door shut in anger.
Two Nights Ago
“Buffy!” He shouted, trying to catch up with her. Angel had finally caught up with her after she’d taken off from Giles’ place, and upon knowing he was following her, she had decided to speed up her pace. “Goddamn it, Buffy, would you wait?!” Running up behind, her grabbed by her arm, wrenching her to a halt.
“What?” She huffed as she flipped her blond hair over her shoulder, trying to hide the fact she had been crying. Playground sand was getting in her sneakers.
“What’s going on with you?”
Trying not to meet his eyes, she glanced over his shoulder. “Nothing. Why?”
“Don’t lie to me, Buffy. I can tell you’ve been crying and I want to know why.”
“What do you care?” Her green eyes took on a fiery rage. “No one really seems to be caring about what’s going on with me or- even just me, for instance!” Seeing his handsome face during the past twenty-four hours, and seeing the concern on his face was just maddening. Especially because that concern was for Cordelia and not for her.
Angel shook his head in bewilderment. “That’s not true and you know it.”
“Oh, really,” she insisted, crossing her arms over her breast. “Does anyone even remember that I died last night? Nope. But they remember that Cordelia Chase became a slayer because of it! Cordelia’s going to be the strongest slayer ever. And-” she expanded her arms for emphasis, “She’s Japanese now, too! Freaking kill-joy.”
“Buffy,” Angel began quietly, stepping forward to bridge the gap between them. “No one has forgotten that you died last night. None of us ever will.” He cupped the side of her face, bringing her tear filled eyes to his. “I never will.” A gust of wind suddenly blew, causing her hair to flutter against his hand. She was truly remarkable and it killed him to know how much she was beginning to mean to him. Angel needed her to understand that he would never forget how lost he had felt holding her dead body in his arms.
Buffy shivered when he gently ran his thumb across her cheek, sweeping away a tear that had suddenly fallen. “It’s just,” she sobbed abruptly, her words catching in her throat. “Everyone seems more upset over Cordelia’s being gone, than about me. About what I went through.”
“I’m sorry, you feel that way, Buffy, but we have to find her. And that does not mean we’ve forgotten about you!” Angel didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but he had to make her understand the necessity for their determination in finding where Cordelia was. “She’s all alone out there, Buffy. She may not know what’s happened to her.”
“How do you know she’s alone?” she demanded, pulling away from Angel. “She could be living the life with Cabana boys in the Tropic with daddy’s money for all you know! You did say he left her with money at Sunnydale Airport right? So, that’s were she is and we can all stop looking for her now!”
Angel couldn’t believe the ugliness coming from her. He knew she was hurt and still violently shaken from what the Master had done to her, but this was just childish. She was jealous of a girl who had been called to share a similar fate with her- “That’s it, huh? You’re jealous of Cordelia because you’re no longer the only slayer.”
“That’s stupid, Angel.”
“Is it?” It was obvious by the sudden flush in her cheeks and they way she abruptly looked away from him. “Or could it be the truth and that’s why you’re running home to mommmy?” Angel knew his words were bitter, but he couldn’t help it. She was being a child- she’s only sixteen, Angel, he reminded himself.
Angel brought his eyes over her beautiful face- a face still plump with preteen youthfulness, that despite her hasty calling to adulthood as the slayer, had not fully been erased. She was only human, and a teenager at that- it was in her nature to be envious. “I can’t stop searching for her, Buffy, and neither should you. She’s a slayer, just as scared as you were when you were called, if not more. Even though Cordelia may not have been a close friend, she’s still a human being and you will always have an obligation to help others.”
Buffy shook her head vehemently, and back further away from him. She would not- could not, believe he was saying this to her. And about Cordelia! “I can’t believe you’re choosing her over me,” she sobbed, stumbling against the playground slide behind her.
“Buffy, I am not choosing her over you! Why is that even coming up?”
“Because it’s true, isn’t it?” Her voice was acidic with it’s accusing tone.
Angel ran his hands through his hair, fighting not to shout. “You know what,” he threw his hands up in exasperation. “We can deal with this tomorrow night. You’re talking about a girl that’s not even here, that I’ve somehow chosen over you and- you’re not thinking straight. So before we say anything else we may regret, we’ll just talk about it later.”
“Would if I could, Angel,” Buffy said, turning away from him. “I’m leaving town tomorrow morning for the summer. We can talk about it in August, okay?” Giving him another tearful look that also held a hint of malice, Buffy took off through the park again.
Trying to hold in his demon, Angel merely watched as she ran at full slayer strength through the trees. He wanted nothing more than to fly after her in a rage and-
And do what, he wondered fearfully. Everyday he had to remind himself that she was his natural enemy. And right now he felt that more than ever.
Giving himself a sobering shake, Angel turned back the way he came, trying to decide if he should go home or hunt or just charter a damn plane out of this- a plane? You did say he left her with money at Sunnydale Airport right? Angel gave a brief smile in realization: Cordelia had left Sunnydale by plane. It wasn’t much to go on, but it was something. There was bound to be some evidence at the airport of were she may have fled to! Feeling energized again, Angel took off running, back to Giles’, his fight with Buffy forgotten for the moment.
Two Days Later
His fight with Buffy had been nerve racking, and so was the news coming over the radio. It was a full sunny afternoon outside, so he had decided to avoid the tunnels and get some much needed rest that wasn’t coming.
After he had told Giles that Cordelia may have left Sunnydale by plane, the librarian, and the kids, along with Jenny Calendar, had taken to the airport the very next day to ask questions about Cordelia. So far, nothing. Each ticket agent they had spoken to had been unable to recall just one tall brunette out of the hundreds they helped daily. And at least two of the staff members had not shown up for work that day, so it left an opening.
Jenny had decided to go back to the airport today to see what else she could find out. Maybe the absent employees had returned back to work.
From the news message he was getting from the radio, Angel doubted those girls would be back to work again. Ever:
The bodies of two Sunnydale women were found this morning, shot to death in their homes. The women were employees at Sunnydale Airport, but the names of the victims are not yet being released to the public until families can be contacted. Due to the fact that the women were shot in the same fashion, and were employed at the airport, that information is being released to warn women employees of Sunnydale Airport of a possible serial killer. Sunnydale officials are imploring that all of the women who work at the airport, should try and stay with a family or friend until the murderer is apprehended. If not, to see if someone can stay with them, especially if they are single. We will keep you updated as the story unfolds.
Angel plopped down in his chair, a frown furrowing on his face. He hoped this was not connected to Cordelia or Buffy in any way. It seemed unlikely, just some random killer stalking female employees who worked at the airport, but still- it seemed weird.
Suddenly there was a knock at his door. Angel quickly placed his glass of blood down and hurried to the door. It could be Willow or Xander with information on Cordelia. Feeling a slight pull of apprehension, Angel opened the door. The person standing on the other side was not what he expected. In fact, he had no idea who the man was.
He was ordinary, with a pleasant face. A face you wouldn’t necessarily remember in a crowd, even if you tried. Tapered brown hair and a medium build. He wasn’t even that tall. He was wearing a gray Irish wool sweater with black pants. He reminded Angel of dock workers he had seen during his time in New York. Ordinary men, nothing extraordinary about them. But this man did have something that made his oval face stand out- his eyes. They were a startling shade of gray. It was as if some little kid had literally opened a box of crayons and colored this guy’s eyes gray.
“Yes,” Angel frowned in curiosity. Not many people knew his name in this town, let alone humans, and this guy was human.
“I’m Sandefer. I was wondering if I could come in for a moment to talk with you,” his voice was extremely calm, and his words articulate. Angel could tell he was a careful man, and with careful men, there came a need for that. “I promise I won’t keep you long.”
Angel knew if he had to, he could take this guy down in an instance. He could sense nothing supernatural from him. Just an ordinary man. “Sure, come in.” Stepping aside, he allowed him to enter. “Please,” Angel gestured to one of his chairs, “Have a seat.”
“Thank you,” Sandefer said, taking a seat, his intense gray eyes surveying the room. “Nice apartment. A little small, but nice.”
“I’ve got no need for extra space,” Angel admitted conversationally, as he planted himself in the chair opposite of his new visitor. “It’s just me here. So what can I do for you, Mr. Sandefer?” Recalling his manners, Angel interrupted the man before he could speak. “You, didn’t want anything to drink did you? I’m afraid all I have is water.” And a coppery liquid that could resemble tomato juice at first glance.
Giving a small smile, Sandefer shook his head. “No, that won’t be necessary. I won’t stay that long.”
“No problem,” he said, he was curious as to who this guy was and why he was here. It wasn’t everyday he got visitors, especially people he had never seen before. “What can I do for you?”
“You can abandon your search for Cordelia Chase.”
Nothing really ever surprised Angel anymore. After all he had seen and done in his long existence, he considered himself pretty immune to surprises. But with what he had just heard, he knew now that he was still susceptible. “Uh, excuse me?”
“Cordelia Chase,” Sandefer repeated slowly, as if he were speaking to a child who wasn’t paying attention during a lesson. “The Slayer. Abandon your search for her. Now.”
Angel felt his anger boiling to the surface. It was funny, but ever since the night they had found out Cordelia was the Slayer, Angel had been having a terrible time in controlling his demon. Nearly every little thing was setting him off, but he felt he was justified in his anger now. This strange ‘ordinary’ man who had just entered his home had come giving him orders! And he knew about Cordelia. Angel didn’t want this man knowing about Cordelia. He didn’t like this man knowing about Cordelia. The sudden possessiveness he felt to the new slayer felt so natural, Angel didn’t even question it.
“Now why should I do that?” Angel gritted out, his voice dropping to a dangerous low. His face was tingling with the urge to vamp out. He wanted to attack this man and rip him apart for the very mention of her name!
“Well,” his calm tone didn’t falter even the slightest, even when he surely had to have heard Angel growl. “To put it quite simply- because I don’t want to die.”