SUMMARY: Based on Untouched with the timeline tweaked to season 1 to suit my purposes
POSTED: 26 Aug 2005
WARNINGS: Language
1) This is my first fic, so be gentle!

Chapter one: If the Choo Fits
“What the hell am I doing here?” Was the question Angel found himself asking repeatedly. He had set off on this grand adventure per the directions of Doyle, the part demon self-proclaimed seer Angel met earlier in the evening. So far, the expedition was anything but grand, and nothing close to what Angel would term an adventure.

Doyle’s instructions had been less than detailed, consisting only of a street name and the description of a dark-haired beauty Doyle had emphatically referred to as “a real stiffener.” Doyle was unable to provide a name for the girl and instead called her “Viagra in high heels,” and insisted that the only details he knew for certain was that she was extremely important. It was not out of the realm of possibility for Doyle to be an escaped mental patient (albeit a part demon one), but something had struck a chord in Angel when he listened to Doyle speak of atonement. There was no way he could ever completely atone for past horrors he had committed as the soulless Angelus, but Angel was certain he could make a difference by helping those in need. It was this hope that convinced him to investigate the street name Doyle gave him.

“Who in their right mind would want to be in this neighborhood at night,” he muttered as he turned right into the dark alleyway. Broken glass, empty beer cans, and numerous newspapers littered the floor and Angel found himself looking at a 1-900 number advertisement for a smiling African-American woman with the name Miss Cleo. He briefly wondered if she could have provided more information than Doyle and then he glanced at the fine print on the bottom of the page. This woman would have to be a demon to charge those kind of rates! He continued walking along. Graffiti adorned the walls on both sides, and as Angel walked along he began to hear the sound of sirens and noticed that the smell of urine grew stronger. A few paces more and he began to scent fear in the air, and something else he knew all too well—blood. He had to be in the right place, he thought as he broke into a run.

The alley ran perpendicular to another street and Angel noticed police cars parked at the intersection. Their flashing red and blue lights cast eerie shadows on the walls and illuminated the figures of two women in conversation by one of the police cars. Angel caught a glimpse past the police cars of what appeared to be six men attempting to pull a garbage dumpster away from the exterior wall of a building located on the other side of the cross street. What was behind the dumpster? Remembering what Doyle said about the importance of the brunette beauty, he again turned his attention back to the two women.

The blond whose face was turned towards him had “cop” written all over her stance, and this was confirmed when Angel heard one of the male officers approach her and say “Detective Lockley.” Angel made note of the name and face, and then turned his attention back to the brunette.

She stood with her back to Angel, with smooth rich mahogany colored hair which fell in luxurious waves halfway down her back. She was missing one high-heeled shoe and her clothing appeared slightly askew. She turned slightly, and Angel found himself participating in a slow perusal of her figure. She had a woman’s body that men dream about. “Thank you Doyle,” was Angel’s first thought, before steering his thoughts back to business. There was something so familiar about this woman, but he just couldn’t place it. He noticed an expensive looking shoe on the ground that matched the one she was wearing, picked it up, and began to walk in her direction. As he closed the distance between them, he begin to notice more details about the mystery woman, like the angry-looking welt that ran up one leg, the grime on her skirt, and the purse with the broken strap laying on the ground. It was obvious that she had been attacked, but what was the extent of the attack, and where had the perpetrator run off to? Angel again felt a twinge of recognition he couldn’t place. Who was she? He stepped forward a few more paces.

The blond police woman returned once more, concentrating on her notes. “I think we just about have it and then you can go home. You certainly got off lucky. You do know that we recommend turning over your purse to a mugger instead of fighting them? You could have been seriously hurt. Someone was certainly looking out for you. You’re certain you didn’t see who, or what, pushed the garbage dumpster?”

Angel could see the brunette visibly stiffen her spine before she retorted. “No, like I said before I tried to run away but lost a very expensive Jimmy Choo shoe.” That voice….Angel knew that voice! She continued, “Then they caught up to me, pushed me down, grabbed my purse, made some very disparaging remarks, and the next thing I knew….SMOOSH! It must have been someone on PCP or something, I don’t know. And you really expect me to just lay there and let someone mug me? Nobody mugs Cordelia….”

“Chase.” Angel finished the sentence for her.
Chapter Two: Red Light, Green Light

“Angel?” Cordelia asked incredulously. “Oh my God, Angel! What are you doing here?”

“I take it you two know each other. Yes, just what are you doing here Angel, was it?” Detective Lockley questioned, opening her memo book and making a show of writing his name down.

Angel gave the blond detective a measuring look before replying, “I was a few blocks over and heard the sirens and figured I’d come over and rubber neck. What are you doing here Cordelia? What happened?”

“I wish I knew ,” Cordelia thought to herself. She recalled being frightened and then furious as she was pushed to the ground and her purse snatched. The next thing she knew it was the attack of the brown dumpster on her assailants. She sent up a silent thank you to her guardian angel. Speaking of angels, how did this particular one come to be standing beside her? One thing was for sure, she wasn’t likely to get a straight answer in front of an audience. Cordelia looked at Det. Lockley and asked, “Are we done here? I’d like to go back home and get cleaned up. Besides, you’ve got all my information.”

“Yeah, we’re done here for now,” the detective replied. “I’ll be in touch if I think of anything else. How are you getting back home? I don’t want to have to respond to anymore attacks tonight.”

“Why that little” Cordelia glanced around to see if she had voiced that out loud. “Exactly what is she insinuating? That I deserved to be mugged or that I’m a menace to society?”

“I’ll take her,” Angel quickly said, interrupting whatever Cordelia might say. “My car is just a couple minutes from here.”

“Fine,” the detective replied shortly, “you can’t go through this partition though, we have to finish processing the crime scene.

Angel handed Cordelia the shoe he had picked up from the ground earlier. “I think this belongs to you.”

“My Jimmy Choo!!” Cordelia squealed as she snatched it out of his hand. She quickly put it on, using Angel’s shoulder to steady herself as she bent over. Angel attempted, and failed to avoid glancing down her tank top and found himself enjoying the view immensely. Wait a minute, was she saying something to him? He redirected his thoughts off of her cleavage and back to their conversation.

“I was worried it was smooshed along with my would-be muggers,” Cordelia said. After securing the precious commodity back in its rightful place, she grabbed her purse from off the ground and the two set off back down the alley.

“Cordelia, what the hell were you doing here?” Angel asked again, once he was certain the detective wouldn’t hear their conversation. “And just how were your attackers crushed by that dumpster?”

“I live here in LA now,” Cordelia responded. “Oh, you meant here as in here in this part of town. Well, I’m an actress now, and I was here for an audition. I don’t know how they got flattened, I really don’t. I didn’t see or hear anyone other than those two cretins. Maybe it was Jimmy Choo incarnate, upset about the blatant abuse of my shoes. Maybe it was a demon dumpster. Maybe it was a pissed off Oscar The Grouch, who the hell knows? All I know is that they didn’t get my money which I am extremely thankful for. Speaking of demons, are you still, you know grr?”

Angel knew immediately what she was referring to, and couldn’t help but be amused at the Cordelia-esque phrasing of the question complete with pantomime. “There’s really not a cure for that,” he retorted with a small smile.
Angel unlocked the passenger side door of his car and ushered Cordelia inside. He carefully closed the door behind her and went around to the driver side and climbed in. “Angel, nice car. I didn’t know you drove,” exclaimed Cordelia as they sped off and hit a string of green lights.

“Of course I can drive. Why wouldn’t I be able to drive? Never mind, let’s get back to the subject. That’s weird, we haven’t hit one red traffic light since we started,” Angel commented as he drove.

“So do you really have a driver’s license,” queried Cordelia. “Because there’s the whole dreaded license picture, which I would think would be worrisome for a vampire. Not to mention what does a vampire list as his age, Methuselah, and wouldn’t being a vampire qualify as some sort of restriction?” She paused to catch her breath as Angel gunned the engine, then shot him a grin. “What is this an eight cylinder or a six? How many horses do you have under this hood, Mario? What’s the torque ratio?”

What the hell—since when did Cordelia Chase know cars? What was she doing in LA, rebuilding engines in her spare time? Angel snorted at this preposterous notion as he recalled past encounters with the ex Sunnydale cheerleader. “The garbage dumpster, Cordelia, focus on the subject at hand. What exactly happened and just what kind of audition were you expecting in that part of town? Exactly what kind of acting are you doing?” Angel inquired. He quickly slammed on the car’s brakes as the traffic signal they had approached immediately turned from green to red. “What the hell happened to yellow caution?” he yelled.

He was met with silence until Cordelia said in a icy voice, “I don’t know. What did you mean by that last question exactly? You know, the one about my acting?”
Angel didn’t need any vampire abilities to sense that trouble was coming and heading his way. He began to furiously plot his best defense—distraction. “So,” he began awkwardly, “we’re both in LA. Isn’t that a coincidence? I think that this traffic light has been red for about seven minutes now. That’s gotta be some kind of record.” He chanced a quick glance in Cordelia’s direction. Nope, it wasn’t working. What the hell was Plan B? He quickly changed the subject. “I can’t believe there’s still this much traffic here at this time of night. You called those shoes something Choos, right? So they would be Choos shoes, isn’t that clever? Are they….comfortable shoes? Sure is a really long red light.” Oh my god, this was pathetic. The former Scourge of Europe was talking shoes? Plan C, plan C, did he even have a plan C? Apparently he did, and it was called panic. “We’ll just run this red light. It’ll be an adventure,” he hurriedly informed his deceptively quiet passenger as he stepped on the gas.

“I’d rather talk about what you asked regarding me and my acting,” Cordelia began, just as a loud noise sounded as the car had a blowout. Angel quickly steered the car to the side of the road brought the convertible to a halt.

“I just bought two tires,” he angrily exclaimed, flinging his car door open and stalking toward the trunk. “I even bought them new this time. Performance tires that salesman promised me. If I didn’t have my soul I’d disembowel him and wrap his entrails around his neck over something like this.” The car seemed to respond to his statement by deflating a second tire.

Cordelia fished her nail file out of her purse and began trying to repair the damage her earlier escapade had done to her nails. “Yes, well subtlety never seemed to be one of Angelus’ strong suits. I really think you should explain what you meant about that question,” she briskly said.

Angel by this time felt more than exasperated. He quickly responded, “It was the middle of the night in a shady part of town, you tell me Cordelia, exactly what were you auditioning for?” The lid of the Plymouth’s trunk promptly fell hitting Angel on the head. “Damn it!” He shouted. He slowly backed away from the car and then glanced in Cordelia’s direction. “I don’t believe it,” he stated.

“I can’t believe you’d insinuate something like that either,” Cordelia retorted matter-of-factly, “but if you offer a sincere apology and maybe a nice breakfast I’m willing to let it slide.”

“Not that,” Angel quickly said. “I meant I can’t believe the fact that this traffic light hasn’t changed from red since we stopped.”

Cordelia looked up at the traffic signal as it changed from a red light back to a green. “I guess it’s just not your lucky night,” she told Angel. “Do you have a cell phone?”

Angel threw a disbelieving glance Cordelia’s way, as he opened the trunk’s lid and rummaged through the contents. “Cordelia, what would a vampire do with a cell phone?”

“Couldn’t figure out how to use one, could ya” was Cordelia’s triumphant reply.

“I could too,” lied Angel. “Besides, we clearly don’t need one because what I have here is a spare tire and a can of fix-a-flat. This should be enough to get us to my place.”

“Presumptuous much? Look, I know you’re probably all rebound guy after your last relationship. Okay, let’s not call it a relationship so much as a saga, but I’m here to tell you Mister that Cordelia Chase is no one’s rebound!” Cordelia emphasized this by climbing out of the car and slamming the passenger door closed behind her.
Angel clenched his jaw and spared her a quick glance and said, “Whatever. Look, since you’re out of the car, can you grab the flashlight out of the glove compartment so I can see to change this tire?”

Cordelia did as he asked before asking in a more subdued voice, “So why your place?”

“There’s someone I need to check in with and I figured I could call you a cab from there,” Angel replied. The two worked in silence for a minute before Angel softly stated, “Look, I left Buffy because it was the right thing to do. Things had been over between us for a while. We each couldn’t give each other what the other needed, and I didn’t like the person I was when I was around her. It was harder for her to realize, and it just seemed easier for me to be…”

“Out of sight out of mind” Cordelia finished his phrase for him. “Yeah, I get that. It seems like quite a few people think in that line.” A pang of loneliness hit her as she thought to herself,”Like my parents.” Angel noticed a wistful expression cross Cordelia’s face before she quickly covered it up with a smile and asked, “What now?”

“Well, now that we know the fix-a-flat worked on this tire, I can use the spare for the other one,” Angel said as he picked up the jack. “Then we can head over to my place and work on getting you home safely. Where are you living at right now?”

Cordelia named an address that caused Angel to do a double-take. “That’s not your usual kind of digs Cordelia, or a very good neighborhood” he pointed out as he slid the spare tire into place.

“Yeah, well a lot of things aren’t my usual style these days,” Cordelia muttered. “There are all kinds of new things going on with me. Besides, what makes you qualified to critique my personal tastes, oh great Carnac? You never seemed to notice anything other than Little Miss Likes to Fight before.”

“Just because I never commented doesn’t mean I didn’t notice,” Angel said, as he put his head under the lifted car to inspect something. “Maybe that’s something we can discuss over that breakfast I seem to recall owing you.”

“Angel, I don’t think that’s a very good idea,” he heard from Cordelia’s direction. “That little jack is not the same thing as a hydraulic lift.”

“I have changed a few tires in my day, Cordelia. Besides, vampire strength over here, remember” came the swift assurance from Angel.
The blanketing silence of the night was disrupted by the sound of groaning metal as the cheap jack begin to give way from the car’s weight, with Angel still under it.

“Shit,” Angel cursed as he scrambled to move from underneath the car as he heard Cordelia yell his name. The jack gave way and clanged on the cement and Angel braced himself for the weight of the convertible. Nothing happened. He moved from under the car, stood up, and found himself looking at his new hover-car? The Plymouth was levitated at least a foot off of the ground. “What the….Cordelia, are you seeing this? Cordelia? Cordelia?” Getting no response, he swiftly turned in her direction. Cordelia stood tensely with her hands clenched at her sides and a look of fierce concentration on her face. She did not appear to even register Angel’s presence. He grasped her shoulders and lightly shook her while calling her name. He heard the convertible drop to the ground behind him and saw a glazed expression cross Cordelia’s usually animated face as she weakly sagged against him.
Cordelia remembered the feeling of panic at the horrific vision of the black convertible dropping down towards Angel’s supine form. That was followed by a hot flash and a disjointed sensation. She was confused as to the events that had followed. She felt drained and nauseated and found herself desperately clutching at Angel to keep the blackness at bay. She heard Angel call her name and then heard him murmur a distinct “Oh shit,” before she gave herself over to oblivion.

Angel swiftly picked her inert body up into his arms. He glanced at the now-grounded Plymouth and then back to Cordelia’s pale face. “Well, I’d say that’s definitely new,” he said.
Chapter Three: Who Do That Voodoo Like You Do?
Cordelia woke to find herself in a comfortable bed. “Wait a minute. A comfortable bed? Now I know I’m definitely not in my little hovel,” she said out loud. She opened her eyes and looked around the unfamiliar room. The room was sparsely but tastefully decorated in earth tones that ranged from rich burgundies and chocolate browns to more muted colors. The effect was masculine, but not overpoweringly so, and Cordelia found that she enjoyed it immensely. The most luxurious item in the room appeared to be the king-sized bed she was currently occupying with its downy duvet cover. A night stand stood to the right of the bed and Cordelia made note of the various books of poetry and art scattered on top. She closed her eyes and tried to recall the events from earlier that night.

She remembered the attempted mugging followed by the surprise rescue from the killer demon dumpster on wheels. Then she had run into Angel… “Oh my god, Angel,” she gasped. Was he Plymouth road kill? She pushed the covers back and stood up. Wait a minute. She didn’t own a men’s button down shirt. Where the hell were her clothes, and, more importantly, who had taken them off? She raided the dresser in the corner for a pair of men’s sweat pants and quickly pulled them on before leaving the room.
She noted the mouthwatering smell of food and decided to follow it. Her stomach immediately growled an agreement to that course of action. She entered the kitchen and was greeted to the sight of Angel cooking what appeared to be an omelet on the stove. “Thank God,” she exclaimed.

“For what?” Angel asked, as he scooped the omelet onto a plate.

“That you’re alive. Well, okay not alive in the strictest sense of the word, but you’re here for one thing,” Cordelia told him as her salivary glands kicked into overdrive, “and breakfast for another. That is for me, right?”

“Well, I’m not really in the omelet and toast kind of mood, so I guess you can have it,” came the sardonic reply.

“Toast too? Hand it over, Mr. Goodyear,” Cordelia demanded, as she grabbed the breakfast laden plate out of his hands.

“Like the blimp? Are you calling me fat?” Angel inquired petulantly, while he surreptitiously checked for the presence of love handles.

“No, dumbass. Goodyear like the tires. You really should take a class on pop culture or something,” she answered between taking bites of breakfast and alternately sighing and moaning in response.
“Cordelia,” Angel began awkwardly, “I think we need to talk about..”
“Darn tooting we need to talk,” interrupted Cordelia. She gestured towards her less than fashionable ensemble before asking, “Angel, what happened to my clothes? Please tell me you didn’t look at my girl parts, because that is such a blatant violation of my personal bubble.” Cordelia felt herself blush at the thought of Angel seeing her naked, and quickly glanced back down at her breakfast plate.
“I’d like to violate her personal bubble,” came the less than angelic thought from his inner demon, and he quickly turned back to the direction of the stove. He hadn’t missed the blush that had come across Cordelia’s face before she’d hid it, or the sound as her heart rate accelerated rapidly. He couldn’t help remembering the sight of Cordelia Chase clad only in a mere few scraps of lace in his bed before he had covered her with one of his shirts. Angel glanced down and saw how tightly he was grasping the spatula and hastily dropped it with a clatter on top of the stove. He took an unnecessary breath as he pondered how to put Cordelia at ease with the situation. “I just thought you’d be more comfortable,” he began.

“Yeah, I was pretty wiped last night,” Cordelia cut in, and steered the conversation to a less intimate ground. “How weird is that? One minute I’m all keyed up, and the next I’m out like a light. It must have been from stress or something.”
“I think it may have been a bit more than stress,” Angel said as he sat down next to her at the table. “Cordelia, just how much of last night do you remember?”

“Enough to know that my agent is going to be royally pissed that I missed my audition,” joked Cordelia. “Let’s see, there was the would-be purse snatchers, the savior that came in form of a smelly dumpster, that badly dressed blond cop lady, running in to you again, the less than complimentary insinuation from you that I’ve been trying out the old casting couch,” Cordelia gave Angel a measuring look before continuing, “Don’t even think that one breakfast is getting you out of the doghouse for that one buddy.” Angel gulped visibly as Cordelia emphasized this last point by stabbing her fork in the air in his direction before she continued, ” Let’s see. Where was I? Oh yes, the late night joyride complete with two blowouts, the fact that Mister Tall Dark and Fangy has yet to master the intricate skill of using a cell phone…”

Angel broke in at this last statement, “It’s not that I can’t use a cell phone,” he began, only to be silenced by the distinct “Pfffftt,” that Cordelia issued. “Forget the cell phone for a minute,” he instructed, “what else do you remember about the car?”

“Enough to know not to discount vampire strength,” Cordelia said. “Seriously Angel, I hope you didn’t damage the car too much. I mean, the car may not be a Corvette, but it is a classic.”

“Here’s the thing, Cordelia,” began Angel, “I didn’t touch the car.”

“So you did get flattened? You sure don’t look any worse for wear,” came the response from Cordelia.

“No. I didn’t touch the car and the car didn’t touch me,” Angel explained. “I think it was…”

“Vampire speed!” Cordelia shouted. “Because vampires are a very speedy bunch, right? Or are you going to tell me that my friendly neighborhood trash can paid you a visit too?”

“I think it was you,” Angel blurted out.

Cordelia calmly took a drink of milk, sat the glass down on the table, and wiped the corner of her mouth with her napkin, before she broke out into full-bodied laughter. The sound of her mirth reverberated throughout the apartment, and immediately bestowed the dim apartment with a feeling of light and warmth. Angel quickly glanced at her in concern, and was awestruck at the sight that met his eyes.

Cordelia Chase garbed in her Queen C armor was a beautiful woman. Cordelia Chase without her icy demeanor was nothing short of stunning. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes sparkled. Her smile was endless and warm enough to melt the coldest heart. Watching her, Angel felt as if he was being touched by something he had been without for hundreds of years—pure undiluted sunshine. Her smile was contagious, and Angel felt his lips twitch into an unfamiliar position in response as he leaned back in his chair to continue his study of the enigma that was Cordelia Chase.
“Either Angel’s smiling, or, do vampires even get constipated” Doyle thought to himself as he entered the kitchen and looked at the two people sitting at the table. He noted how Angel had relaxed in the presence of the captivating brunette. She looked very different from the way she had appeared in his vision. The girl in question clutched her sides and shrieked with laughter. It seemed every time she glanced in Angel’s direction, she dissolved into more gales of laughter. It was a very homey scene that made Doyle realize that this woman was meant to be a part of Angel’s path and not the path of the half demon. He briefly cursed The Powers That Be under his breath, and not for the first time considered attempting to contact his ex-wife Harry. He was about to make his presence known, when he saw Angel glance in his direction and give a slight nod of acknowledgment.
“You’re certainly taking this better than I thought you would, Cordelia,” Angel remarked.

Cordelia chuckled a few more times as she briskly wiped the tears of laughter from her cheeks. “Angel,” she wheezed out, “has your blood been tasting, I don’t know, maybe a little more hallucinogenic lately? Seriously, has someone been selling you O-pos laced with a little vitamin LSD? God, if you start freaking out and saying ‘Don’t touch me, I’m an orange’ I am so out of here!”
“It’s not as crazy as it sounds Cordelia,” Angel retorted. Cordelia shot him a look of disbelief before she dryly replied, “What a relief, because it certainly sounds little-white- men-coming to-take-you-away certifiable kind of crazy.” Doyle watched this exchange with amusement before he took pity on Angel and audibly cleared his throat to divert Cordelia’s attention.

Angel pounced on the opportunity Doyle had provided. “Cordelia, let me introduce you to Doyle. Doyle here has visions. He’s actually the one who sent me in your direction last night. Doyle, this is…”

“Cordelia Chase, voodoo priestess according to Mr. Stoner over there,” Cordelia interjected, as she extended a slim hand to Doyle.

Doyle took her offered hand and replied, “Francis Doyle, soothsayer extraordinaire. Cordelia, that’s a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.”

Cordelia merely arched a regal eyebrow before she said, “You know, that line might work better for you without the polyester blend you’re wearing.”

“Francis?” Angel inquired with a look of incredulity. “No wonder you go by Doyle.”

“Yes, because Angel is a much more masculine sounding name,” Cordelia replied.
“Doyle here gets visions from The Powers That Be,” Angel said abruptly, glad to change the subject.

“The Powers That Be what?” Queried Cordelia.

“The Powers That Be driving me to drink,” responded Doyle.

“Would that be Angel, your horrible fashion sense, or your Irish ancestors?” Cordelia sweetly asked, “because my money’s on the blood sucker.”
Angel quickly interrupted, “Doyle, I believe Cordelia over here is telekinetic.”

Cordelia rolled her eyes before she muttered something under her breath about Angel “getting fit for a straight jacket.”

Angel paused and waited until he had her attention before he stated, “Cordelia, you’re an absolutely horrible actress and I threw your shoes away….”

“WHACK!” Doyle’s mouth seemed frozen in an “Oh,” of surprise as he glanced first at Cordelia with her fists clenched to her sides, then to Angel who appeared to have the visible imprint on his cheek of the spatula that had apparently flown across the room which he currently held in his hand.
“Damn,” the vampire said, as he rubbed his hand across his striped cheek. “That apparently wasn’t one of my better ideas.”

Cordelia took a few minutes to compose herself before she dropped her head in her hands and wailed, “Oh my god, this is horrible.”

“It’s okay Cordelia,” Angel reassured her. “It didn’t even hurt–much. I don’t think it will swell too badly.”

Her reply was too muffled from her hands for either Angel or Doyle to make sense of. Angel awkwardly patted her on the back before he said, “I mean it’s just a little red now, but it will fade. Really, I’m okay.”
Cordelia whipped her head up and glared daggers at him. “God, Angel. Not everything is about you ! This is horrible for me. How did this happen? Is this something I caught from someone in Sunnydale? Why couldn’t it have been gonorrhea or something? Of course, I’d actually have had to have had sex to get that. Ignore that. What I mean is a little penicillin and it would clear that little problem right up,” she looked pleadingly at Angel and asked, “Do you think penicillin would help my current situation? What am I saying? Of course it wouldn’t, because that would be too easy. What the hell am I going to do with telekinesis? I mean mind control, now that’s something that would have helped out my acting career. Even the whole vision thing, because then at least I’d know which auditions I had a shot at.”

Doyle felt obligated to correct her last misconception and interrupted, “Actually, it doesn’t quite work that way…”

“Oh, just be quiet over there Lucky Charms,” Cordelia ordered, before she rounded on Angel. “This is all Buffy’s fault. Before I met her, I was just another devastatingly gorgeous popular cheerleader destined to become Homecoming Queen.”
“Calm down Cordelia,” Angel said in a soft soothing voice. “I know you’re scared, but Doyle and I can help you with this. We can figure out how this happened and help you learn to control it.”

“I’m not scared,” insisted Cordelia, “I’m just…just…a freak” she hung her head in defeat as Doyle shot Angel a look of concern. Angel moved closer to the distraught girl intent on offering her whatever comfort he could provide. Cordelia was panic stricken at the thought of any form of weakness being visible and she held a hand up to ward him off. Angel was alarmed to see the hand tremble visibly. Never before had he seen so many chinks appear in the ex-cheerleader’s icy facade. It made him feel something he never in a million thought he could feel about this girl with the acerbic tongue…protective. He took another step in her direction as she took a deep breath in and raised her gaze to his.
Gone was the look of a vulnerable child in a woman’s body. In it’s place was a look of sheer determination and pure grit. It was the look of a true warrior. Angel was amazed that the pity he had previously felt for her had now been replaced by a healthy dose of respect that now held him stationary. Angel realized that he had never truly seen Cordelia Chase in Sunnydale, but here she was right in front of him, and she was a sight he wouldn’t forget any time soon.
The moment passed all too quickly and Angel swore he could practically hear Cordelia’s protective Queen C mask fall back in to place. She let her hand fall back to her side and said, “Just forget it. I know I’m going to try to. I figure if I just ignore it, it will go away.” Angel opened his mouth to comment, and she cut him off. “Like I said, just forget Angel. Well, this reunion has been fun and all, but I need to get going. Cordelia Chase is destined for stardom, not for freakdom,” she said as she grabbed her purse off the counter and practically ran out of the kitchen.

Angel decided he would give her some time to adjust to the situation and then he would be in touch. Meanwhile, he could see just how useful Doyle was at research.
Unknown to any of them was the conversation that occurred at the office of the infamous Wolfram and Hart law firm regarding the new players that were in town.
Chapter 4: Law and Disorder
The offices of Wolfram and Hart were blatantly deceptive. The pristine clean architectural lines of the high-rise was complimented by the sleek modern interior design. Upon viewing the building, the average person would be greatly surprised to know that this was the house where evil dwelled. That element of surprise never ceased to please its CEO, Holland Manners.

It was Holland himself who had called the morning meeting, an order which gave the employees of Wolfram and Hart a feeling of dread as they plotted ways to save their lives and their jobs.
“I love the smell of fear and chaos in the morning,” Holland thought to himself as he watched as the firm’s employees eyed one another with open distrust and hostility. Holland helmed the firm in much the same manner as the senior partners. He used blackmail, dishonesty, and always a feeling of desperation in order to obtain his goal from clients and employees alike. He considered the job very similar to a chess game and planned his moves in advance. The pawns were always the first to be sacrificed and the rest of the pieces followed a predictable order. Everyone was expendable, except for the king.

His true intentions were masked in a benign father figure exterior, which he never failed to use to his advantage. He wanted people to underestimate him, they often dropped their guard and made it easier to observe their true intentions. It also made their terror more profound when careers and lives were obliterated. He enjoyed watching the rat race scheme and betray to get ahead in the game he had orchestrated. Plus, a little healthy competition was good for team morale and increased productivity.
Two of the law firm’s newest members had been making his job increasingly enjoyable lately. They were every bit as devious as he himself had been at that age and he expected great things from them. Lilah Morgan and Lindsey McDonald had been around just long enough to learn what their job performance expectations were, as well as what the repercussions would be if they failed to meet them.

It was his love of the hunt that prompted Holland to say, “Great job on the Winters’ case dismissal Lindsey. The Senior Partners and I were very pleased.”

“Thank you sir,” Lindsey replied, visibly pleased with himself. “I’m just glad I was able to help the firm out,” he said as he straightened his tie.

Holland could barely hide a smile as he watched Lilah Morgan visibly bristle as she muttered, “Suck-up” to Lindsey.

“Maybe if you worked harder at that and followed it up with some ‘dic’tation you’d have more results, Lilah,” Lindsey returned with an amiable smile.

“I’m sure your country living has perfected your ‘suck-up’ technique Lindsey, ,” Lilah replied in a cool voice. “Next you’ll be brushing up on your ‘Squeal like a pig’ repertoire.”

“Bitch,” Lindsey bit out, as he conceded defeat at this battle.

“Okay people, let’s get to work,” Holland instructed as he gestured to the papers in front of them. “So far this is what we’ve received from our psychics. The girl pictured here is reputed to be a telekinetic. This picture was taken after she obliterated two men with a dumpster. Our sources in the police department list her name as Cordelia Chase. Her bio is listed on the following pages and I want you to study it. The Senior Partners are most interested in this girl and her companion, also pictured here. We don’t know much about him yet, other than the fact that The Senior Partners want us to find him. We don’t have his name yet, but our psychics and mind readers are working overtime to find out. We’re hoping when we find Miss Chase that we’ll also find him. Make no mistake about it folks, The Partners want these two as acquisitions for the firm.”

Holland glanced around the room, ensuring he had everyone’s attention before he said, “Lindsey. Lilah. I want you two to head up these projects. I trust that won’t be a problem for you?”

“Excuse me sir, but you want the two of us working together?” Lindsey inquired in an incredulous voice. “It’s just that I don’t always play well with others,” he stated as Holland merely turned a steely gaze in his direction.

“It will be fine sir,” Lilah interrupted as she stood up. “Besides, I think all of us here know that Lindsey has been playing with himself too often
to be healthy,” Lilah said this double-entendre in a saccharine sweet voice as she patted Lindsey on the shoulder.

“Fine then. I’m trusting you two to get this matter taken care of,” Holland said dismissively. “That’s it for this morning folks. Everyone get back to work.”

Lindsey grabbed Lilah by the elbow as they exited the conference room. “If you think I’m working with you,” he began, only to be cut off in mid sentence as Lilah interrupted. “What’s the matter, cowboy? Having a little performance anxiety” she innocently questioned as she eased her arm free of his grasp.

Lindsey merely smirked at her as he replied, “I’m just worried you’ll be crushed when you realize which one of us has the bigger cock. I would have thought penis envy was beneath you, Lilah. Maybe that’s you’re problem….nothing right now is on top of or beneath you.” He watched Lilah’s eyes widen in outrage and thought to himself “Direct hit.”

“Bastard,” she seethed as she turned her back on him and stormed off. Lindsey laughed out loud as he mentally tallied the score tied at 1-1. He whistled as he headed back to his office to review the case files on his new project. He decided he would give Russell Winters a call and collect on a portion of the vampire’s debt.




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