The End of the Tether


AUTHOR: GILLY
SUMMARY: Angel and Cordy muse on their lives since graduation. One day something happens to change them both.
RATING: NC17
POSTED: 23 Jan 2004
CATEGORY: AU Adventure / Smut
CONTENT/PAIRING:Primarily C/A, but does have some B/A to start. Vaguely BTVS to S6.
WARNINGS: Sexual Situations
FICPIC CREDIT:
AUTHOR NOTES: Spike left after Acathla and didn’t return.


Chapter 1

‘Dawn get up now’ Buffy yelled, up the stairs.

In her bedroom Angel groaned and buried his head under the pillow, “damn it, forgot the earplugs again,” he muttered. He tried to block out the noise and recapture the dream he’d been having before Buffy’s shouting awakened him.

It was the same every morning, either Buffy yelling at Dawn to get up, or Dawn yelling at Buffy about any one of a number of topics they constantly argued about. This was the main reason for the earplugs, he couldn’t understand why she didn’t realise she woke him every morning. She knew he patrolled until just before dawn and so had only been in bed a short while before she had to get up. He thought she would have been a bit more considerate, but the more time he spent with the petite blonde slayer the more he realised how self-centred she was. He hardly heard Willow and Tara when they went down and made breakfast, they at least realised he was sleeping, or at least trying to.

He groaned again and rolled on to his back, knowing he’d be unable to sleep until the house was quiet again. He couldn’t believe how he, a master vampire, half of the former ‘Scourge of Europe’ had ended up as housekeeper, cook and general bottle washer, to a house full of women, one of whom was a vampire slayer, no less!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Angel stared up at the ceiling and thought about his un-life over the last few years. It had all started to go terribly wrong the night he had slept with Buffy on her seventeenth birthday, up until then they were in love and even though he knew they shouldn’t even be together, he couldn’t resist the attraction of the pretty blonde slayer.

After making love they had fallen asleep in each other’s arms, when he had awakened later that night he could feel his soul leaving him and afraid for his love, he stumbling outside, had run away from the still sleeping girl. His demon had taken control and for the next few months, it had made her and ‘the Scoobies’, her friend’s life’s hell, until finally Angelus had tried to send the world to hell, by opening Acathla a large stone demon he’d had brought to his mansion. Thankfully Buffy, with a little help from Spike had managed to stop him, just as Willow had restored his soul, but it was too late and instead of ensuring his blood fell on the portal that Acathla was opening to close it, Buffy had stabbed him through the heart and sent the confused vampire through it, and straight to hell.

After many century’s relegated in the hellish dimension. He was returned for some still unknown reason, to the small town of Sunnydale, only to find little time had passed on earth. At first he’d been totally feral and after Buffy had managed to capture him she had to chain him up in the remains of his old mansion, bringing him blood every couple of days. He now thought it amazing that he hadn’t been staked while he was chained and helpless. He supposed it was his reputation as Angelus that put the other demons off trying to move into his ruin.

One night he somehow sensed she was in grave danger and yanking hard had broken the rafter he was attached to and gathering up the handcuffs and chains he wore had raced to her rescue. This was the start of his return to humanity and so when they returned successfully from the high school, later that night, she had had left him unchained and it was the beginning of a new era for them.

But Buffy never quite forgave him for the things his demon had said and done, she wasn’t comfortable with him drinking blood in front of her, so he made sure he always ate when everyone was out. Giles hadn’t forgiven him for murdering his girlfriend, the gypsy who was trying to restore his soul. Xander never liked him anyway, and now took great delight in tormenting the dark haired vampire at every opportunity. In fact the only one who was remotely nice to him was Willow, it was she who had restored his soul and he felt a certain bond with the red haired witch. He knew she was going through a rough time with Tara, and felt a certain sympathy for her.

During the next year Angel had been poisoned by a bolt shot by Faith, the renegade slayer. It had nearly finished him off, but Buffy had found out slayers blood could cure him and after unsuccessfully trying to capture Faith, she insisted he drank from her instead. He’d been so delirious when she demanded he drink from her, that he had been unable to resist. He had nearly drained her and taken her to the hospital straight away, but had received the cold shoulder from the Scoobies again. The next day Angel had helped them defeat the mayor with his quest to destroy the world on graduation day

Angel and some of the others had decided to leave Sunnydale, especially after Buffy’s mother had visited him demanding that he leave her daughter alone. But after the trauma of the graduation Buffy had begged him to stay and because he felt so guilty about nearly killing her, had done so. Cordelia and Wesley had left and he still thought he should have gone with them. He often wondered where Wesley had gone, he knew he’d been sacked as a watcher and thought he had gone back to England.

The vampire had thought that once she went to college, Buffy would make new friends and move on so he would be able to leave. It was just too tempting for him to have her close but unattainable. He couldn’t risk losing his soul again, little did he realise his soul was bound; Jenny Calendar had changed the spell Willow had read out, so he couldn’t loose it again. The gypsy tribe had decided he did more good as Angel, and didn’t want the unsouled Angelus popping up causing mayhem if Angel achieved perfect happiness again.

Buffy had moved into a college room with Willow for the first term. But then her Mother, Joyce had fallen ill, so she decided to go back home to care for her Mother and her kid sister Dawn.

Willow seemed to recover from her grief at the end of her relation ship with Oz, the werewolf, and started to have feelings for a girl named Tara who was interested in magic as was Willow. After a while Tara moved in with Willow, and for a while they were happy together.

Then the ‘Initiative’, a group of covert government soldiers moved into the area and set up a base underneath the school campus. Their mission was to seek and neutralise any demons or hostiles, as they referred to them as.

Angel was unfortunate to be captured while patrolling one night, and have a computer chip inserted into his brain, stopping him harming any humans. He didn’t intentionally harm humans anyway but occasionally needed to be able to protect himself. Once Xander found out about the chip he taunted Angel relentlessly.

Unbeknown to the soldiers, the research labs were creating a monster of their own, which when it became active, destroyed its creators and went on the rampage. The remaining Scoobies rallied round and managed to destroy it after a lot of fighting and not without a little magic, which also wrecked the Initiatives base. The soldiers were recalled to another base. .

Joyce, who had seemed to be on the mend, suddenly had a stroke and died, so Angel, who had been living in one room of his ruined mansion, came to live in the Summer’s house. He slept in Joyce’s bedroom, which helped to keep temptation at bay. Buffy would snuggle up and kiss him as though she was trying to prove something, and then she would turn away, leaving him hopelessly frustrated.

While Buffy had been involved with her Mother’s illness, a new evil god called Glory had set up home in Sunnydale, looking for a ‘key’. Buffy found out Dawn was the ‘key’ and did all she could to protect the young girl.

Ultimately they had defeated Glory but at a tremendous loss, Buffy had sacrificed her own life in order to save Dawn and the world. Tara had also been hurt badly by Glory, who had mind swiped her, she had regained her memories after Glory had been killed, but it had left her confused about her purpose on the Hellmouth.

The few Scoobies left were totally shattered. Angel was deeply moved by the death of the slayer, and decided to stay to look after Dawn, who was inconsolable. Willow and Tara moved into the Summer’s house to help care for the teen, so Angel moved into Buffy’s bedroom so the witches could have Joyce’s larger room.

Giles had decided to return to England after Buffy’s death, he had no heart for the California anymore and thought he could do more good in the watchers council back in the UK. The Hellmouth also seemed to be inactive.

Unbeknown to Angel, Willow, Xander along with Xander’s girlfriend Anya and a reluctant Tara, had decided to try and raise Buffy from the dead. They waited until Angel had gone to LA to sell some of his artefacts to supplement the household income, before attempting the raising.

The Scoobies were disturbed and had to flee for their lives before the end of the spell and had left Buffy to claw her way out of her own grave. She had been wild and disorientated before eventually making her way home. Angel was absolutely horrified to see her, as she fell sobbing into his arms.

Buffy and Angel had had some long talks as she tried to come to terms with being wrenched from ‘heaven’. She would take him to bed, at first he’d been keen, figuring she wanted the release, and he wouldn’t achieve the ‘perfect happiness’ while she was in such a state. But after a while she had become violent with him and he almost cringed when they went to bed, wondering if he would be able to perform. That’s why he’d taken to staying out long after she’d given up patrolling, so she’d be asleep when he returned. It was just pure fucking, there was no emotion involved, and he loathed it. Even when he had been Angelus there had been emotions with his conquests, either hate, terror or lust.

He had thought he couldn’t protect himself from her, until one night in the cemetery she had come on to him and pushed him roughly against a gravestone. He was fed up of being treated like a doormat so he lashed out expecting to get a jolt from the chip, but was amazed when the blow landed and he didn’t feel a thing. She carried on laying into him until he fought back. It seemed that was a turning point in their relationship and just about brought him up to date.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The front door slamming brought him back from his thoughts and he sighed with relief, he stood up and shucked off the shorts and vest she insisted he sleep in, in case Dawn came into the room, and naked he fell back into the bed with relief. He hated sleeping clothed, it reminded him too much of all the years he’d spent sleeping rough and unable to keep clean, after Darla had chucked him out when his soul had been returned the first time. He’d spent time on the streets in total abject misery not caring what happened to him.

He soon fell asleep now the house was quiet.

Angel woke around two in the afternoon, having a good sleep for a change; he got up and padded naked to the shower. He liked this time of the day best; the house was empty until about five so he could relax and do what he pleased. He showered and donned fresh clothes before moving downstairs only to find as usual the house lit with bright but deadly for him, afternoon sunshine. It always was, unless Willow had been the last to leave, she would at least draw the drapes beside the stairs.

This was another thing Buffy didn’t seem to think about the fact that he could hardly get downstairs without bursting into flames, but he’d got it down to a fine art, keeping a coat and a long pole handy so he could cover himself and poke the drapes shut before moving through to the kitchen which faced North so wasn’t so bad.

He sighed when he saw the usual mess everywhere and spent the next half an hour clearing up and wiping worktops. He went back upstairs and gathered up his washing and went to the basement to start the washing machine. He then warmed himself a mug of blood and took it through to the living room in preparation to watch his favourite program on the television, ‘LA Health and Beauty’.

The signature tune was playing and the announcer giving a run down to that days events. Angel sat back and relaxed, he knew if he was caught he would be ridiculed for watching the women’s program, but the reason he did so was because Cordelia Chase, who had left Sunnydale after graduation had a job as a roving reporter on the program. She wasn’t always on so sometimes he was disappointed. Sometimes the tips were useful too, he could swear his hair was softer now he used the ‘Peach and Aloe’ conditioner recommended by the program, of course he wouldn’t admit to using it.

Angel sometimes wondered why he bothered, but when he saw her face on the small screen it made it all worthwhile. He knew his demon had fancied the beautiful brunette, but Angel had been so wrapped up with Buffy he’d hardly given her a second glance. Now he was beginning to think the demon was right and wishing he’d got to know her better when she’d been in Sunnydale.

He smiled as her grinning, happy face appeared on the screen, telling the audience whom she would be interviewing today. He wondered if she ever thought about her past life in Sunnydale and fell into a comfortable daze as he dreamt about meeting her again.

The program finished and he got up to wash his cup and start to prepare some supper for the witches and Dawn, he knew Buffy would be back much later after her shift at the burger bar ended. He’d noticed the friction between Willow and Tara lately and secretly agreed with Tara that Willow was depending on magic far too much, but didn’t say anything, not wanting to offend.

Later that evening they were all in the lounge in companionable silence, Dawn doing her homework at the dining table with Tara helping her, Willow and Angel reading on the softer lounge chairs. Suddenly the front door slammed open. Everyone jumped, ‘Buffy what’s happened?’ said Dawn as she noticed her sister looking like a thundercloud.

‘I quit, I just can’t stand it anymore’ said the fuming Slayer.

Angel went over to her squashing his revulsion at the smell of fried food that oozed off her. He tried to put his arms round her but was pushed roughly away.

‘Don’t touch me’ she said angrily, shoving him away.

Willow looked at the couple, seeing the flash of hurt in Angel’s eyes at Buffy’s rejection. “Buffy had better watch out or she’ll lose him,” she thought to herself.

Angel went back and sat down knowing eventually Buffy would tell them the problem.

After Buffy had slammed and banged about in the kitchen no doubt making more mess while getting a drink, she eventually came back into the lounge.

‘They accused me of taking too long to get stuff from the store and wrecking the companies property’ she gestured to her torn and dirty uniform. ‘It wasn’t my fault, I went out to the store only to find a couple of demon rummaging about, by the time I’d killed them and disposed of the bodies, the staff were looking for me thinking I’d skived off. They haven’t a clue what happened, of course I couldn’t tell them, but as it’s happened before they cautioned me. I just couldn’t stand it any longer so I quit.’

‘Don’t worry I’m sure you’ll get another job soon’ said Willow soothingly.

Money was tight in the household, Angel had sold most of his valuable possessions, Willow had a little money from a trust set up by her grandmother, but apart from Buffy’s wages there was no regular income for the group. Angel has suggested he get a job as night watch man, or in a bar or similar, but Buffy had reasoned he needed to be able to patrol when she was on a late shift and during the night after she’d finished. He knew he had money tied up in various Swiss bank accounts, but it was all Angelus’ ill-gotten gains and Angel was loath to touch it. He sighed perhaps it was time to swallow his pride and see about getting some of the money transferred to an easily accessible account. He would see about it the next dull day, when he could move about easier during the day.

The peace of the evening had been shattered; Buffy would never sit quietly so Angel decided he would go out on an early patrol. He gathered up his duster and after a quick goodnight to the girls left the house with relief. He knew they would be in for a boring evening listening to Buffy moaning about how hard life was for her ‘the chosen one’.

He patrolled the Sunnydale cemeteries in a random order; it wouldn’t do for the demons to get complacent about his route, and stopped by Willies Bar for a quick whisky, a small luxury he still allowed himself, and it also gave him an opportunity to catch up on what was new. He looked at his watch he was early for a change and the bar was nearly empty. He quickly scanned the place for any undesirables, before taking a place at the bar.

‘Hi Angel, how’s things?’ said Willie, he’d become more friendly towards the vampire over the last year, since Angel had rescued him from a particularly nasty demon that had decided Willie had short changed him.

‘Ok, it’s very quiet out tonight’ Angel replied.

‘Haven’t you heard, there’s a new fight club opened up just outside town, it’s very popular. Hey, you should go, you can fight, you’d be able to win big bucks’ said Willie.

‘I don’t think so, I get enough fighting on patrol’ said Angel. His demon would have loved to partake in such an event, but Angel was content with the way things were and didn’t feel the urge to prove anything.

He finished his drink and left the bar intending to patrol the outer cemetery before heading back through the others again. He always had Willow check out the obituary column on the Sunnydale local paper web site, to get a rough idea where any new vamps are likely to rise. He remembered there was a last grave to visit in the Restwell Cemetery and turned to make his way over to it, of course they all weren’t going to rise, believe it or not there were some genuine deaths in Sunnydale.

It had started to drizzle so he pulled his coat collar up, he hated getting wet, and almost decided to leave the last one, it had been an old man he thought, and it would be unlikely he would rise, most vampires were picky whom they turned.

Angel was about to turn round and retrace his steps when he spied three vampires boldly walking towards said cemetery. “Oh looks like I’m going that way after all” he thought, and followed the vampires.


Chapter 2

Cordelia woke to the sound of her alarm ringing, she groaned, turned it off and thought about going back to sleep, but then she remembered she had an important meeting over at the Network HQ this morning. She wanted to make sure she attended, to fight her corner. Her immediate boss, Melissa, took ever opportunity to belittle her, but then took all the praise for the good ratings the program and particularly Cordelia’s interviews, received. Luckily the station manager who had hired Cordelia originally, took what Melissa said with a pinch of salt.

Cordy stumbled out of bed and into the shower, Dennis her resident ghost had started for her and prepared warm towels for her to use when she had finished. She had been out until the early hours of the morning with Wesley and Gunn, successfully tracking and disposing of a nest of vampires, who had captured a family and were about to start snacking. She was amazed that people would invite total strangers into their house, knowing nothing about them, they were just asking to get themselves killed.

“I must try and get more sleep,” she thought, as she yawned her way into work.

Cordy managed to arrive at the meeting with only minutes to spare, Melissa’s triumphant smirk changed to a scowl when she saw the vivacious brunette arrive. The more senior people arrived and the meeting was soon underway, helped along by the cups of coffee and fresh pastries. Cordy grabbed one of each and wolfed the sugary goodness ravenously, she hadn’t stopped for breakfast and her stomach was still churning from last night’s vision aftermath.

The meeting dragged on until lunchtime, Cordelia discreetly looked at her watch. “Crap,” she thought “I wanted to get going before lunch, looks like it’s gonna be a record breaking run to Sunnydale.”

It was the anniversary of her Grandmothers death and Cordelia always liked to go and put some flowers on the grave. It looked as though she would not arrive until early evening. The previous two anniversaries, since she had left Sunnydale, she had managed to arrive during the day and slipping in and out of the town without being spotted by any one she knew.

She had phoned her Mother in her luxury villa, in Mexico, to remind her but her mother had just asked her to order some flowers from them. This was what she had come to expect from her parents, she knew they were detached but until they had left her, hadn’t realised just how selfish they were. She knew they would never offer to pay for the flowers, not that she minded, but it was the thought or lack of that counted. Cordelia had loved her grandmother and had been devastated when she had died in the last year of her schooling. It was one of the main reasons she had left the town and gone to seek fame and fortune in the bright lights of LA.

The meeting eventually finished and Cordy rushed out of the Studio glad she had no interviews booked until the next week, maybe when she returned from Sunnydale she would be able to catch up on some sleep. She hurried into the apartment and had a quick shower, asking Dennis to set out her plum suit and matching blouse, and pack a few things in case she had to stay overnight. With a quick goodbye to the ghost she grabbed the shoulder bag Dennis had packed and after locking up, went down to the parking lot and started her car and was soon zooming on her way to Sunnydale.

On the way she stopped to buy a chicken and salad sandwich for a snack, then returned to the car and began to eat it as she drove along, thinking about her life over the years since she’d left Sunnyhell as she referred to the town. In the final year before her graduation, her parents had lost all their money and were wanted for questioning by the IRS. They had skipped town, leaving her to fend for herself. She had worked in a dress shop to support herself, living in a grotty motel, terrified someone would find out about her reduced circumstances.

Cordelia couldn’t wait for term to finish, she wasn’t sure the relief she felt after the horror of the Mayor’s demise was due to her leaving the dress shop and motel, or just the fact she was leaving the whole nightmare behind.

When she arrived in Los Angeles, she knew she had to get a job to support herself. As soon as she had found another cheap motel to settle into she went out and bought a local paper and looked through it for likely job vacancies. Almost immediately she realised she was severely limited with what she could actually do with her meagre qualifications. Most of the jobs she was interested in needed a degree, qualifications or at least experience of some sort.

A few days later after trudging around numerous studios, and getting nowhere, Cordelia decided that she might have to spend some of her remaining cash on registering with an agent, it seemed to get any sort of interview she had to have been recommended. The one she picked at random had no job vacancies but said they could keep her on their books, but she would have to pay quite a large upfront fee. She didn’t have that amount of money, so turned to leave as she did so she noticed a board in the waiting room, she walked over to it and saw a flyer advertising a party, inviting all, newcomer’s welcome, it said.

She thought she would go along to the party, at least there would be some free food and drink, she was already discovering that living here in LA was very expensive, much more so than Sunnydale.

Cordelia cruised around the party pretending to know everybody, when a middle-aged man approached her. “Have you ever thought of auditioning for television, you are a beautiful woman?” he said. “In fact I know just the person, let me give you his telephone number, give him a call, mention my name and I am sure you won’t be disappointed.” he scribbled a number on the back of his card and gave it to her.

Cordelia could hardly contain her excitement; maybe things would go her way at last. She floated through the rest of the evening unaware of the admiring glances a lot of the men were giving her and the envious ones from some of the women. At about 11 pm she decided to leave, she didn’t want to overstay her welcome, and one never knew when you might need these people again.

It was on the way back from the party that disaster struck, she had decided to risk taking at short cut across the local park and was about halfway across when three vampires sprang out of the bushes and ran up to her.

“Hey you guys, aren’t you supposed to be on the Hellmouth” she quipped, before screaming loudly. She managed to kick one of the vampires in stomach, but knew she had no chance against all three of them. She screamed again as one grabbed her from behind, he held her tight against his cold body. She struggled and opened her mouth to scream again, suddenly she was falling to the floor, a cloud of dust settling around her. She looked up from her prone position to see three men surrounding her, one of whom helped her to her feet.

”Are you’re OK lass?” asked one in a soft Irish accent.

“Yes, thanks to you” Cordelia replied. “How did you know I was in trouble?”

“I had a vision about you,” said the Irishman. “My name is Doyle, and these are my friends Gunn and Rondell” he pointed to the tall black men beside him.

“I’m very grateful, let me buy you a coffee,” said Cordelia. “There’s a coffee shop just along the next street.”

That was the start of a wonderful friendship between the oddly matched group, the two street fighters, the quirky Irishman and the beautiful high school student.

After her encounter in the park, Cordelia decided she ought to take some self-defence lessons as soon as she could afford them. She rang the person named on the card that she had been given at the party and was pleased when she was informed the studio was in need of the general go-between. They invited her in for an interview, she went during the afternoon and the studio manager liked her so much he offered her a job on the spot, starting the following day.

She soon settled into her new job and even though the pace was quite frantic at times, she enjoyed the work and often had a chance to go out with her boss to interview the stars and actors in Hollywood. That was until the woman who would be her immediate superior, who had been on sabbatical leave returned, she took an instant dislike to Cordelia, giving her menial tasks and belittling her to the boss.

Cordy met up with her new friends a couple of times learning about what they did and was amazed to find that Doyle had visions of people in trouble. He would then telephone Gunn and his gang and they would all head out to try and help the people in the vision. Cordelia smiled to herself it was just like being back in Sunnydale, without the annoying self centred slayer though.

Doyle had come over to Cordelia’s motel to invite her to go for a drink with him one evening, when he had seen the state of it; he offered to find her an apartment. Cordelia had herself looked at a few but ones that were nice were way out of her price range whereas the ones she could afford were dreadful. He came over the next evening telling her he had found a good one, Cordelia took one look and decided it would be perfect for her, she couldn’t understand why it was so cheap. As soon as the paper work was completed she moved in, relieved to be out of the motel. It was during the first night she found out why the apartment was so cheap. When Doyle came over the next morning to see how she was settling in, he found her terrified and shaking, as she dragged him into the apartment, her face and hair and mess.

“Whatever’s the matter Princess?” he cried, “what happened?”

“Oh Doyle, it was horrible, all night ghostly noises, something trying to strangle me, radio and television turning on and off, drawers slamming, knives flying through the air, I haven’t had a wink of sleep all night” gasped Cordelia.

Doyle looked thoughtful, “I need to check some reference books, will swing by later when you get back from work” he said. He went off to the library intent on consulting some of the occult books they had, and also having a look through back numbers of newspapers to see if anything odd had ever happened in the apartment block before, leaving the shaken girl to prepare for her day at the studio.

Doyle discovered there must be a ghost haunting Cordelia’s apartment, he had found there had been about four “suicides” over the last 40 years since the building had been completed. He set about finding the right ingredients to exorcise the ghost. He met Cordelia at her apartment after work that evening and between them they set about exorcising it. It materialised to be an old lady who had murdered her son and bricked him up in the chimney. Somehow Cordelia sensed this when they were getting rid of the old ghost, and so she took a large sledgehammer and smashed it into the wall above the chimney revealing a skeleton presumably of the son. When the skeleton was revealed, the Old Lady’s Ghost screamed and light transmitted between the skeleton and the ghost as she was banished forever.

Dennis, the son was so grateful to Cordelia for releasing him, that he became her faithful servant, tidying the apartment, handing her things and generally making himself useful. After a while she wondered how she could possibly have lived without her friendly Phantom.

Life was good for about a year, Cordelia enjoyed her work, the more she learned about the strange world of show business the more it intrigued her. She had been on a few dates, but nothing lasting, she knew she hankered after the tall, dark, handsome vampire, Angel. She tried to forget him, telling herself he was Buffy’s, but she couldn’t help but fantasize about him. ‘He was just pure ‘salty goodness’’ she thought

She was doing very well with her self-defence classes and had also decided to take up kick boxing, fencing and shooting. Her cheerleader training at Sunnydale held her in good stead, her body was flexible and she could learn steps and moves quickly, only needing to be shown once. She had learned to shoot as a child on her grandfather’s estate and was pleased to find her aim still true.

Then one night, they were all enjoying a drink after work in the local bar they frequented, when Doyle had a vision, they quickly downed their drinks and went to the docks where the vision was to take place. Cordelia had taken to going with them if she was around and enjoyed practising her skills on unsuspecting demons and vampires, becoming quite adept at defending herself. This time they weren’t so lucky, and the only way out of a sticky situation was for Doyle to surrender his life in order to save the people and his friends. Gunn was going to try to rip apart the machinery that was threatening to burn all humanity but Doyle punched him knocking him to the ground, and after kissing Cordelia passionately, he leapt to destroy the machinery and in doing so lost his own life. He died a hero’s death, Cordelia was distraught for weeks afterwards and even Gunn and his gang were chastened by the unassuming Irishman’s noble deed.

It was a couple of days later that Cordelia discovered what had happened when Doyle had kissed her when she fell to the ground, an agonising pain in her head as she received her first vision. “Doyle if you weren’t already dead I would kill you,” she groaned, as she massaged her throbbing temples.

As luck would have it she was in the bar they frequented and the barman was used to their peculiar antics. He quickly rang Gunn and suggested he come over and look after the suffering brunette. When Gunn arrived Cordelia told him about her vision and they quickly disappeared into the night to take care of it. As soon as the vampires were dead and the people saved Cordelia headache lessened and she dragged herself home intent on a nice hot bath and some pampering by Dennis.

It was while chasing another demon that had been shown to them through her visions that they came across Wesley Wyndum-Price, the failed watcher from Sunnydale.

“Wesley, what you’re doing here,” cried Cordelia as she took in the leather-clad man before her.

“I’m a rogue demon hunter,” replied Wesley, taking stock of the ill-assorted gang.

The group moved to destroy the demon and then adjourned to the bar; Cordelia introduced Wesley to the rest of the gang. After poking fun at the Englishman’s accent, Gunn and his friends seemed to get on quite well with him.

Wesley explained that he had been travelling around California tracking demons and vampires and attempting to kill them on his own, but there seemed to be a large amount of them in LA so this was where he was based at the moment. Cordelia explained him about her visions, and Gunn about his life on the streets. They found over the next months they were often meeting up together on the same case, until they decided to join forces and pool their resources hopefully to make them more efficient.

It was on one of these excursions that they met Lorne, the green anagogic demon from another dimension. He had a karaoke bar, open to demons and humans alike. He suggested they all sing for him so he could read them, but not surprisingly they were not very keen.

Apart from the demons there was another large firm, Wolfram and Hart becoming more and more irritated by the antics of the demon hunters. Lilah Morgan, the leader of special projects, was given the job of stopping them. When she found out about Cordelia’s visions she set about splitting the girl from the group. She engaged a Shaman to bombard the girl with so many visions that it would drive her insane and eventually her brain would expire. Luckily Cordelia was in ‘Caritas’, Lorne’s bar when these visions assailed her. She fell to the ground screaming in agony; Wesley and Gunn looked at her in anguish realising there was little they could do except make her as comfortable as possible in Lorne’s bedroom, as she lay in a comatose state.

Unbeknown to the men, Cordelia had been transported outside her body, she could see them but they couldn’t see her. She then found herself in a place surrounded totally in white, there was a rushing wind noise and she turned to see a huge grey metal demon standing behind her. She gasped a little in shock realising he would easily overpower her if that was his intention. He introduced himself as Skip, and took her on a mystery tour showing her what her life would be, if she gave up the visions. She would have her own TV show, something she’d always wanted. Cordelia asked what would happen if she didn’t, he shook his head sadly and said she would not wake up from the coma she was in now. She walked up to him and poked him on his hard breastplate.

“There has to be something you can do, I need my visions, the gang need my visions, we are fighting blind without them,” she said.

Skip thought about it for a few minutes, “there is one way” he mused “and that would be to make you similar to Doyle, part demon”

Cordelia looked at him and said simply “so demonise me already.”

There was a blinding flash of light and Cordelia woke up to find herself lying in Lorne’s bedroom with some very relieved friends beside her. “Right let’s get to work” she said, pushing up off the bed “nasty slithery snakey thing coming out of the sea by the pier, about to snack on some unsuspecting bathers” she said.

Wesley looked at her in amazement “what no pain?” he commented dryly.

“Pain-free thank goodness, tell you later” she said. They ran out of the club climbed into Gunn’s pick-up truck and raced off to the pier to save the unsuspecting bathers.

Lilah Morgan was furious when she found out that the seer had survived the vision attack. She set about planning another way of ridding herself of the girl.

As her journey progressed Cordelia thought about the life Skip had shown her she could have had, the TV show was one thing she would have really liked and when Melissa had to cancel an interview with a popular Hollywood actor, Cordelia was only too pleased to step in her shoes. When the senior bosses saw the interview they immediately promoted Cordelia to be a roving reporter, to seek out and interview all the popular stars. She had a certain something that other interviewers seemed to lack and could get more information out of a star, than anyone else. The programme she worked on was women’s health and beauty, so she also had a lot of chance to try out various beauty products and give her opinions on them.

She was beginning to find her feet and become financially stable, and had contacted her parents through her father’s sister who had heard from them. They had decided to stay in Mexico, afraid to come back for fear of being thrown in jail.

Cordelia was still a little puzzled by the vision she had received approximately a week ago; it had made no sense at all. The vision had been of a girl in a library and that seemed to be all that was shown, the girl didn’t seem unduly frightened and there was no demon visible. Wesley was visiting all of the library’s trying to find any information about the girl, but had so far had drawn a blank.

Cordy saw the “Welcome to Sunnydale” signed approaching, just as the sun was setting, she felt her heart sink, she had hoped to be in the cemetery before now. She quickly stopped at the florists to buy a bunch of her Grandmother’s favourite ruby carnations, then drove to the cemetery and managed to park quite close to the gates.

She dragged a thick coat and her bag from the back seat of the car and after locking it carefully put the bag securely over her shoulder, the keys in the coat pocket and draped the coat over her shoulders, there was a definite chill in the air. She set off into the cemetery, and soon arrived at her Grandmother’s grave and after clearing away the leaves and other debris that had accumulated there, she placed the flowers in the vase and stood beside the grave in quiet reflection for a few minutes completely unaware of the vampires creeping up behind her.

“Well, well what have we here, a nice tasty snack” said one

“You guys have got to be kidding me, I’ve hardly been here five minutes” Cordelia cried. She pulled a stake out of her bag and tried to ready herself for fighting but was wearing the wrong type of shoes, stilettos not really being suitable for fighting in. She fought manfully managing to stake one of the vampires and just when it seemed as though she may be winning some youths ran over as though sensing easy pickings. She fumbled again in her bag for the small gun she kept there, hoping to scare off the humans, and wondered briefly where Buffy was.

Just when she thought she would lose, a tall figure in a flowing black leather coat appeared and staked the two remaining vampires, and then swung round to face the youths. He didn’t notice he’d dropped a stake from his wrist holster as he cried to Cordy, “Run, get out of the cemetery.” Cordelia struggled out of the grip of one of the youth’s and ran, leaving her coat behind in his hands.

Angel knew he would not be able to fight them, he just hoped he could keep them busy until Cordelia had got clear, he hadn’t realised it was her at first and was amazed to see her fighting with a previously unknown skill. The chip in his head was repeatedly firing bolts of pain into his brain as he tried to grab the human youth’s and stop them chasing the fleeing girl but it was no good, so he turned to run after her figuring he could pick her up and carry her, she obviously couldn’t run very fast in those high-heeled shoes. It was then he felt something slam into the back of his body, it was soon followed by more jolts to his thighs and rump. He practically fell to the ground as a searing pain radiated throughout his body. He had just about caught up with Cordelia and she turned to see what was happening, not noticing a bright pink light behind her.

“Lookout” called Angel, in vain, the light encompassed them both and swallowed them up, he had managed to grab her hand and pull her towards him as they tumbled through the vortex together.

The youths looked at one another in amazement, and then shrugging their shoulders turned and left the cemetery, it was no fun with no one left to fight.


Chapter 3

Buffy and Willow were walking along licking ice-cream cones, Willow had decided after Angel had left the house, that rather than put up with an evening of Buffy moaning, she would take the Slayer out and treat her to some sinful sweet creamy goodness, hopefully putting her in a better mood. Tara as usual, hadn’t wanted to come and had elected to stay with Dawn.

Buffy had spent most of the time going on and on about her job or lack of one and her crappy life, Willow sighed to herself thinking how self-centred the blonde was, Buffy never seemed to consider anyone else’s feelings unless it benefited her. The red head had enough problems of her own, her relationship with Tara was rapidly deteriorating, due mainly to the fact that Tara thought she was relying too much on her magic’s, but also the fact that Tara was very nervous since her attack by Glory, so much so that she rarely went anywhere other than to the college classes and then straight back home. Willow thought a little support from Buffy, one of her closest friends, would have been nice. She wondered briefly what had happened to Xander that evening, but assumed he was trying to worm his way into Anya’s good books again.

Willow shrugged as she walked along, she should be used to it by now, everyone dumping their problems on her. Such as Xander and his on off relationship with the vengeance demon. Dawn with all her school troubles, and even Giles, before he had returned to England, had been known to treat her rather as an unpaid servant, expecting her to research various demons and such on her computer, at the drop of a hat.

The girls were walking past the cemetery when four youths ran out looking spooked.

“I wonder what they’re running from?” queried Buffy, “I think I need to investigate.”

They made their way slowly through the cemetery until Willow spotted a coat lying beside a grave; she went over and picked it up.

“Hey, I’ve found something here,” she called to Buffy, the slayer walked over to the witch.

“These flowers look fresh, and look it’s Cordelia’s Grandmother’s grave, a wonder if it’s her coat?” said Buffy.

Willow gingerly put her hand into the coat pocket; she really hated this part of the job, but all she found was a set of car keys with no identification of any sort. She dug in the other side pocket and triumphantly held out a cell phone.

‘See what I’ve found, we should now be able to trace the owner,’ she declared with glee.

All for a sudden Buffy exclaimed as she bent down and picked up a stake “this is Angel’s,” she cried, “it’s one from his wrist holster, see they’re specially shaped to attach to the mechanism.”

She looked more closely at the ground and was horrified to see a large pile of dust close to where the stake had been. She looked at her friend, eyes bright with tears.

“Willow, do you think he’s been dusted?” she cried. She pocketed the stake then looked more closely at the surrounding area finding another smaller pile of dust.

Willow wasn’t sure what to think, it was a large pile of dust and it was one of Angel’s stakes, she just hoped that the en-souled vampire hadn’t met his end; she quite liked his quiet, calming presence around the house. If it was Cordelia’s coat she couldn’t imagine the brunette staking Angel, unless she’d mistaken him for Angelus, also she didn’t think Cordelia would be able to overpower the vampire.

The girls looked around for further clues, but not finding any, turned to go home and see if Angel had returned. They took the coat with them; Willow decided she would log on to the internet, when she returned home and trace the cell phone number, if it was Cordelia’s it would be ok, but if not thought she would take it and the coat to the cops in the morning, on her way into classes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

After much swirling and twisting Angel and Cordelia were eventually ejected from the portal, to land in a sunny patch of ground. They untangled themselves, Angel panicking trying to pull his long coat over his head to protect him from the sun; he quickly rolled into the shade of the bushes before realising that he wasn’t catching on fire. Cordelia looked round and noticed they were in a small clearing among some trees.

“Uhh, why am I not on fire?” he thought, before groaning as his body reminded him of the agony it was in, and his head started thumping from the previous hits the chip had inflicted on him. Cordelia looked at the vampire her eyes round with fright.

“What the hell just happened?” she cried, and stood up turning in a slow circle taking in the tall trees that surrounded them. She walked over to Angel who was still lying where he’d rolled. “Are you all right and how come you’re not a big pile of dust?” she added.

Angel just groaned and managed to stagger to his feet, he knew he wouldn’t be able to go far without pulling the bullets out of his body, he could feel the blood running down his back and legs from the holes they made.

“I don’t know, but we need to get somewhere safe until we find out what the Hell’s going on,” he said. He looked up into the sky and was amazed when he saw two suns. Cordy followed his gaze, a puzzled expression on her face, as she put her arm round Angel and attempted to help him take a few steps towards a rocky outcrop that stood a little way from the clearing they were in.

“We really need to get you somewhere so you can rest, let’s try up there among those rocks,” she commented. She half dragged the suffering vampire into the mouth of the cave, it was relatively dry inside except in one front corner where there was water running from a crack in the rocks above into small pool, and overflowing down the hillside. “This should be OK for a while” she said.

She helped Angel remove his leather coat and wrist holsters, then hurriedly scooped up some of the dry leaves and dead grass lying on the floor of the cave together, to form a crude bed. Angel sank to his knees in pain and started poking about in his back trying to remove the slugs embedded in his flesh.

“Here, let me do that,” said Cordy, digging around in her bag, she thought she had a manicure set in it somewhere, hopefully it would contain tweezers or at least a file.

Angel looked at her with amazement as she undid his shirt then pushed it off over his shoulders, and then she gently pulled his black muscle shirt over his head. “Lie on your front, I’ll get the rest of these out,” she said.

Angel lay on his stomach trying to work out if this was the same Cordelia he had known three years ago. Figuring, she couldn’t do any worse than he was doing, what with not being able to see, he let her get on with it, she couldn’t put him in any more pain than he was causing himself.

Cordelia went and dipped his black under shirt in the little pond in the corner of the cave, and gently bathed his back to find out exactly where the holes were. She noticed there were three holes in his back, but he also had more in his ass and thighs, she could see the holes in his pants. Luckily the bullets weren’t very deep; the leather of his coat had slowed their momentum somewhat.

“Can you undo your pants?” she asked, “there seem to be some lower down.”

Angel fumbled about and managed to undo his belt and zip, she carefully peeled them down hiding a smile as she noticed his underpants. If he could have blushed he would have, for the black, stretchy, close-fitting boxers he wore had little red angels complete with haloes and a cheeky expression, all over them.

“Umm, laundry day,” he muttered.

“I thought you’d be more of a silk boxer man,” replied Cordelia still smiling, as she rolled the boxers down to get at the slugs.

“I am usually, Willow bought these for me one Christmas, they are always at the bottom of the pile and don’t get worn very often,” he replied.

“How is a good old Willow?” asked Cordelia, “still all ‘witchy’ and mooning over Xander.”

“Actually she’s moved on, she now has a ‘girlfriend’. We all live together, in Buffy’s house,” replied Angel.

‘Oh well, that answers my next question,’ thought Cordy, arching her eyebrow at the thought of Willow being gay. She’d been about to ask him of he was still with Buffy.

He winced as she dug out a particularly deep slug, “sorry that one was a bit deep,” she carried on digging around. The last slug was just above his knee, and before she could remove it she had get to rid of his pants. She undid his boots and slipped them off and had to have another smile when she saw the rainbow striped socks he was wearing. “Laundry day again?” she said, as she carefully removed his pants leaving him in just his boxers and socks.

“Yeah, and Willow again,” Angel replied, “she seems to think I need colour in my life.”

“Well, I can agree with her on that,” Cordelia looked at the black-on-black clothes he had been wearing. She dug the final bullet out and after gently cleaning the area, pulled his boxers back up and sat back on her heels. She couldn’t help her eyes travelling over the near naked body of the vampire before her. She knew he looked good in his clothes, but boy did he look even better without them. His broad shoulders, with the black tattoo standing in stark contrast to his white skin, and the corded muscles of his back, tapering to a slim waist. The stretchy material of his boxers clinging temptingly to the contours of his ass, with long muscular legs stretched below. She tamped down lustful thoughts, her enquiring mind wondering how he looked from the front. She stood up and went back to the small pond and rinsed the shirt out. By now Angel was feeling very weak from the blood loss.
“I’m gonna have to rest for a bit to recuperate, don’t go anywhere will you?” he gasped, before falling unconscious.

Cordelia went and sat in the entrance of the cave studying the surrounding area, when she was convinced that there was no one around she decided to explore a little. She went back to her bag to see what Dennis had packed for her and was pleased to find a pair of running shoes along with clean blue underwear, top and jeans. With a quick glance towards the unconscious vampire, she shimmied out of her suit and blouse, replacing them with the top and jeans, then kicked off the stilettos and pulled on the running shoes with relief. She set off out of the cave climbing towards the higher ground, figuring that would be the best place to see the whole area. When she came to the top she carefully kept her head down until she knew what or who was the other side.

There are still didn’t seem to be anybody around, there were a few odd looking animals grazing on the sparse meadow. Cordy was surprised how quiet it was, of course after living in LA, the city that never sleeps, she was used to noise all around her. She went back down the rocks taking a slightly different route and was pleased to find a natural pool, which appeared to be fed from an overhead stream falling down over shear rocks in a gentle waterfall fall, to over flow into a narrow stream that disappeared round a bend into the distance.

She washed her face and hands at the pool’s edge and then decided to return to the vampire. The suns appeared to be setting as she made her way back to the cave wondering where on earth they were or even if they were still on earth, judging by the two suns, probably not. She’d heard Wesley talk about alternate dimensions but had thought they didn’t really exist.

Angel was exactly the same position as she had left him, so she scooped up more of the dry leaves and grass and made herself a crude bed on the other side of the cave and after removing her shoes, top and jeans, lay down to try and get some rest. She dozed off but after a couple of hours woke feeling chilled, by now it was quite dark, with very few stars lighting the sky. She got up and pulled the vampire’s abandoned leather coat over her as a blanket, the comforting smell of the leather and Angel soon sent her off to sleep again.

Angel woke in the middle of the night feeling very hungry; he looked around a little disorientated, until using his vampiric eyesight, noticed Cordelia lying in the corner under his coat, her bare shoulders and one long lean leg peeping out from the side of it.

He looked down at his body finally noticing how nearly naked he was, he stood and went to the mouth of the cave to find that Cordelia had laid his relatively clean muscle shirt on a sun warmed rock to dry, and that it was practically dry. He pulled it over his head and then went back for his pants and boots quickly pulling them on and tying the laces.

He sniffed the air intent on finding a meal of some sort not knowing what creatures would live in this obvious alternate dimension. He walked past the pool Cordelia had found earlier thinking it would make a good place for bathing, the rock sides stopping the grass and mud from dirtying the water. He decided he would have a wash on his return after his meal, his whole body felt dirty and sticky. He sniffed again and could smell animals of some description but he wasn’t sure what, they smelled like horses and cows combined. Angel walked over the ridge and down the other side where the trees were sparser, he could now see there were a herd of animals with mule like bodies but cow like heads, almost like red deer, except they were a dull grey in colour.

Most of the animals were lying down half asleep; he crept up to the nearest one trying not to startle it, hoping he could snack on it without it struggling too much, they were not large animals and he thought he could probably manage to hold one-down if he had to. They almost seem domesticated and not bothered about him being among them, he crouched down beside his chosen beast and after gently patting and scratching its neck he lowered his head and morphing into game face sunk his fangs into its neck and took deep draughts of the rich, warm blood. He didn’t take much not wanting to weaken the animal, so he moved to another and repeated the same procedure until he felt sated. He thought it was possibly nicer than pig’s blood, which was what he had existed off for the last few years.

Angel stood up and popped his back straight then decided to head back to the cave. On his way past the pool the tempting water was too much and after a quick glance round he stripped off his clothes and slipped naked into the pool. He was pleased to find it was about 5 ft deep he grabbed his boxers from the rock where he’d left his clothes and using them as a washcloth scrubbed the remainder of the blood and grime off his body. He climbed out of the water and while his body was drying slipped into the cave to pick up his shirt, he took it back to the pool and rinsed it along with his boxers and socks, he put them to dry on the flat rocks at the entrance of the cave. He then pulled his vest and pants back on his now dry body, picked up his boots and went back to the cave to lie down and get some more rest. He fell asleep and quickly started dreaming, his body still exhausted from the night’s exertions.

~~~~~~~~

Back in Sunnydale, Willow and Buffy had returned home Dawn took one look at the expensive looking coat and wondered where it came from.

“We found it in the cemetery beside Cordelia’s Grandmothers grave,” said Willow. Buffy butted in with “beside one of Angels wrists stakes, has he been back, we can’t find him anywhere?”

The girls hadn’t noticed the light over the cemetery that had plucked Cordelia and Angel from the cemetery. The youths running from it certainly hadn’t stopped to talk.

Willow sat down and booted up her computer, she soon hacked into the phone company listings and discovered the phone was registered to Cordelia. ‘Well, it is hers,’ she commented, ‘I suppose we could keep her things, she’s bound to realise we would have them, after all she knows you patrol at night.’

‘Yeah whatever, it’s been a long day,’ remarked Buffy, ‘I’m going to bed,’ and yawning as she made her way upstairs. The rest soon followed behind her.

~~~~~~~~

Cordelia woke first in the morning and looking over at the still sleeping vampire, curled half on his front and half on his side, and realised he had been up in the night as he was now dressed in his shirt and pants. She stretched and pushed his leather coat to one side and gathering up her fresh underwear, top and jeans slipped out of the cave and down to the inviting looking pool.

She stripped off and climbed into the water or marvelling at how warm it was, she rinsed her under wear while her body was drying. Then donning the fresh underwear top and jeans she made her way back to the cave, draping her washing on the rock beside Angel’s now nearly dry things.

Her stomach rumbled ominously, she’d risked having a drink of water from the waterfall before it ran into the pool and it had tasted fine but it seemed a long time since the chicken salad sandwich yesterday afternoon.

Cordy sat in the mouth of the cave waiting for Angel to wake up, and studied him. She couldn’t get over how young he looked when he was asleep, when all the weight of his sins was forgotten. He was mumbling in his sleep.

Angel opened his eyes and noticed the brunette girl lying beside him, under his leather coat. The coat had slipped enticingly during the night to reveal a deep crimson strap over her delicate shoulder. He carefully peeled away more of the coat to reveal the sensual body beside him wrapped in wisps of crimson lace. He felt a growl rumble in his chest as he eyed the delightful sight. As he studied her she opened her eyes and lifted her arms in an invitation for him to move closer. He kissed her lips tentatively, and on not being refused, licked her bottom lip begging an entrance into the warm cavern of her mouth. He couldn’t stop a moan of pleasure from escaping, as he tasted her, angling his head to deepen the kiss, his tongue exploring and tasting, before moving to kiss a path down her slender neck where he nipped at her pulse, causing her to shiver with arousal.

Her small hands undid the pearl buttons of his black shirt, revelling in the pale, firm muscular chest she revealed as she parted the halves, and pushed it off his shoulders. Her fingers slid back to his nipples and gently scraped the dark chocolate nubs, soon bringing them to small hard points. Angel made short work of the front clasp on her bra and peeling it back, had to swallow another growl at the perfection revealed to him. He moved his mouth to suckle her breast, rolling his tongue round her nipple as she arched her back in response, his other hand paying the other one the same attention she had paid to him. He unconsciously ground his erection against her hip and her hand went to caress him through the material of his pants, before moving to the belt and fastenings. Angel slid his hand down and hooked it in the top of her thong. Just as he was about to achieve his goal he looked up to see Buffy standing in the doorway and unreadable expression on her face.

“Buffy?” he murmured, before waking and finding it was all a dream. He rolled onto his stomach quickly, to hide his obvious arousal.
When he groaned in his sleep Cordelia looked at him, she couldn’t help noticing the front of his pants tenting, and then when he had said Buffy’s name she realised he must be dreaming about the blonde slayer. Little did she realise he was actually dreaming about her.

“Hi, how are you, did you sleep well?” he asked, when he surfaced sufficiently to taking his surroundings and realise it was all a dream.

“Well, it’s not exactly the Ritz, but I managed. I take it your wounds have healed?” she asked.

‘Yeah, I got up in the night and found some food for me, but we need to find you something, I can hear your stomach complaining,’ he said, grinning at Cordelia’s obvious embarrassment.

Cordelia thought how good he looked when he smiled; it lit up his whole face. “I think we need to pool our resources and see what we have between us,’ she commented, and began to empty out the bag Dennis had packed for her, glad to be doing something. She hadn’t wanted to start rustling about was the vampire was still sleeping figuring he would need to rest to heal his wounds.

Angel picked up his coat, but after a few minutes fumbling only came up with a box of matches, two stakes and a dagger. “I’m afraid I travel light’ he commented, as he looked at the growing pile of things she was finding in her bag.

Cordy held up the small revolver triumphantly ‘I knew I had it somewhere,’ she said. Angel ducked and moved over to take it away from her.

‘Don’t wave it around,’ he said, grabbing the gun from her and checked the safety catch was on, before laying it down out of reach of Cordelia.

‘Stop panicking, I do know how to use it,’ Cordy replied, she rummaged right to the bottom of the bag. ‘That’s about it, apart from a few samples of hair products and a lipstick Dennis packed for me.’

Angel’s eyebrows rose when she mentioned Dennis, he should have realised the beautiful vibrant girl would have a boyfriend. ‘I don’t suppose you have any hair gel?’ he asked hopefully, heaven knew what his hair would look like without it, he thought.

‘No sorry, don’t use it,’ she replied, looking at the small amount of makeup she had, ‘oh well it’s back to nature then,’ she thought.

‘Can we go find some food, I’m starving?’ she asked.

‘I think I remember smelling something sweet like fruit last night, let’s take a look,’ Angel replied, and stood up straightening his sore back, even though his flesh had healed there was still a certain amount of internal pain from the bullet wounds.


Chapter 4

Angel and Cordelia set off from the cave and past the rock pool. Angel thought it was wonderful to be in the sun, something he hadn’t been able to do for over two centuries. Cordelia linked her arm in his as they walked, he looked down and smiled, that was something Buffy never did, the blonde was always ready to run off after something and too keyed up to relax. Angel enjoyed walking in the warmth and light, with a beautiful girl on his arm. After a short walk they came to where he had noticed the fruit last night.

‘I can’t understand it, there seems to be no sigh of human life,’ murmured Cordy as she skipped ahead when she spotted the fruit. ‘What is it, do you think it’s ok to eat?’

Angel picked one up it looked like a cross between a peach and a mango, ‘it smells like edible fruit to me,’ he said, sniffing the fragrant skin, and pulling the dagger from his belt, he cut into the fruit, juice ran out as he sliced off the hairy, firm skin. Cordy grabbed the piece he held out and nibbled it tentatively.

‘Umm, sweet and juicy,’ she moaned, when the first bite hit her taste buds. Angel bit back a groan as the tip of her tongue poked out and licked the juice off her lips; he thought he’d never seen anything so erotic. He quickly looked away, and chastised himself for thinking about Cordelia in a sexual way. She has a boyfriend, he reminded himself, but the dream he had just woken from was still fresh in his mind and he couldn’t stop thinking about her. He cursed his vampire eyesight that enabled him to see the crimson strap of her underwear when she had been asleep, an image reinforced tenfold when he noticed it set to dry on the rock by the cave, just two tiny scraps of lace.

They walked further into the trees and Cordy was pleased to find some nuts under a towering dark green tree. ‘These look edible as well, at least I won’t starve,’ she commented, as Angel cracked a couple together in his hand to remove the hard shells, and offered her the contents.

‘I can try and get you some fish, I noticed some in that stream where the rock pool overflows, the water’s so warm they look nice and plump,’ he said.

‘How are you gonna catch them, we don’t have any net or line?’ she asked, arching a questioning eyebrow at him.

‘Well, when I was a boy I was taught how to ‘tickle trout’, I think I can remember how to do it,’ he replied.

‘Umm, fresh river trout and almonds,’ sighed Cordy, licking her lips, ‘I think I’m liking that idea more and more’

They continued on their walk and caught up with the strange animals again. Angel tried to approach one but the herd moved out of the way. ‘I’ll wait ‘til dark,’ he said, ‘they were much more cooperative last night.’

‘Eeew, did you kill one?’ gasped Cordy, they weren’t pretty animals, but she didn’t like to think of them killed just for their blood.

‘No, just took a little blood from a couple of them,’ Angel replied, ‘I don’t think they missed it, they’re big enough to cope.’

They turned and retraced their steps, stopping beside the nut tree to pick up handfuls of the fallen nuts; Angel stuffed them into his pockets. When they’ve walked past the fruit trees Cordelia picked up a couple of the fruits. They ambled back to the cave, the suns were beaming down directly overhead and it was getting uncomfortably hot, and they were glad of the relative cool shade in the cave.

They spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with each other’s lives over the last three years, and then deciding what they were going to do about the predicament they were in. Neither said much about their love life, or lack of it, each assuming the other was happily settled. Angel was amazed to find out about Cordy’s visions and that she had met up with Wesley and a street fighter and his gang and was actively involved in fighting the evils of the night. He was even more astonished to find out she was now part demon, he just couldn’t imagine anyone being put in the situation she had found herself in, say nothing of carrying on Buffy’s mission but in LA.

‘I often wondered what had happened to Wesley, I quite liked him. After he came to see me and admitted he was wrong to capture me when I tried to help Faith, we had a few pleasant evenings chatting, he’s quite a knowledgeable guy, you know, of course Giles and Buffy didn’t know about it,’ Angel mused, thinking back to the time before the Mayor had been vanquished.

He was even more astonished to find out she had taken lessons to learn how to fight and defend herself; of course he’d seen an example of her in action in the graveyard.

Cordelia was horrified when he spoke about the chip embedded in his brain, ‘so even if you get the big happy and go evil, you can’t hurt humans?’ she asked.

Angel thought about what she’d said for a minute ‘God no, I hadn’t thought about that before, it certainly hasn’t been an issue lately. Actually if Angelus was free he would go berserk and try everything in his power to get it removed.’

‘Yep I can imagine he would,’ she replied. She thought about what he had said and realised he had hardly spoken about Buffy; perhaps all wasn’t well with his relationship with the blonde bombshell. They chatted for a while longer until Angel decided as dusk was approaching, he would go and try to see if he could catch a fish for her supper.

Cordelia went to sit in the mouth of the cave, her back against the sun-warmed rocks, she had been going to go with him but decided in case he was unsuccessful, that she didn’t want to embarrass him, so would just wait and see how he fared. After the suns had set and the temperature began to cool, she moved to the nearby trees and started to collect some of the fallen twigs and branches in anticipation of having a fire that evening and maybe even something to cook over it.

Angel came back about an hour later proudly holding two fish out to the stunned girl.

“See, told you I could,” he said, grinning at her shocked face, and set about lighting the firewood she had collected. He had already cleaned the fish but had left the heads on, figuring he could suspend them over the fire to cook. He soon had the small fire cheerfully crackling in the mouth of the cave, Cordelia held out her hands to the warmth. It was surprising how soon the air cooled down after it had been such a hot day. It didn’t take Angel very long to cook the fish, holding them suspended on a stout stick over the flame, for they weren’t that large.

Cordelia looked at him and asked “how you know they’re cooked, and don’t look at me, I can hardly boil water successfully?”

“Trust me, they’re done,” he replied, smiling at her and carefully removing the smaller of the fishes and laid it on a large leaf he had washed. He cut off the head and tail with his dagger then peeled the charred skin away carefully lifting the flesh off the bones and offered it to Cordy. She carefully picked up the section of the pinkish flesh and after blowing on it to cool it, popped it into her mouth.

“Umm, delicious,” she sighed, as the delicate flavour of the fish hit her taste buds, “you’d make somebody a lovely wife.” Angel smiled wryly, thinking of all the meals he’d cooked for the girls in Sunnydale.

Angel took the other fish away from the heat and prepared it for her. He then laid a few larger pieces of wood on to the fire and soon had a healthy blaze going, the warmth from it penetrating to the back of the cave. Cordelia finished her meal with a few nuts and a piece of fruit, and then went to have a drink from the fresh water supply trickling into the pool.

She came back and sat down in front of the fire, welcoming its warmth as the evening became cooler. After a while Angel sat beside her, neither speaking, each lost in their thoughts.

Cordelia rested her head on the vampire’s shoulder, “I could really get to like it here, except for the lack of sanitation and shop’s,” she murmured, feeling comfortably full.

She stared into the mesmerising light of the fire and soon found herself drifting off, she lifted her head, and yawning looked at Angel, “I think I’m going to turn in I feel exhausted, even though I haven’t done a great deal today, I think this climate is very draining,” she said.

“I think I’ll go and find a meal before I turn in,” said Angel, thinking it would give her time to get to sleep, and him time to quell his increasingly lustful thoughts.

~~~~~~~

Meanwhile back in Sunnydale, Willow was woken by the sound of a cell phone ringing. She reached out and plucked Cordelia’s phone from the bedside table. “Hello” she mumbled still half asleep.

“Hello, Cordelia, is that you?” said a British voice.

“Uum no, it’s Willow,” the witch replied, “who is this?”

“Oh.. Miss Rosenburg, this is Wesley Wyndum Price, please may I speak with Cordelia?” asked Wesley.

“No sorry, she’s not here, we don’t know where she went, we found her coat and this phone in the cemetery,” replied Willow.

“Are you in Sunnydale?” asked the former watcher, “I wonder what she’s doing there” he murmured half to himself, ‘would you mind asking her to call me when she returns?’

‘Yeah, sure, how are you?’ asked Willow.

‘Oh you know, researching and other things’ he replied, the Sunnydale gang had always treated him with contempt and he had no reason to think they would be different now, he certainly didn’t want to tell them of his demon fighting activities in LA, he could just imagine Buffy’s amusement.

“You should come and see us sometime, catch up with the events of the last few years,” said Willow, thinking she would find out what Cordelia had been up to.

‘Err, yes perhaps later on,” said Wesley, not wanting to commit himself.

Then Willow’s alarm clock burst into life, Wesley heard it through the phone and it gave him an excuse to ring off, reminding Willow to ask Cordelia to call him as soon as she could.

Willow said she would and rang off thinking it was strange to hear from Wesley suddenly after all these years, he had obviously been keeping in touch with Cordelia and she wondered if the crush the cheerleader had on the watcher had blossomed. She sighed as she thought about her own love life. She noticed Tara had got up early again, as though trying to avoid being alone with Willow. She had been in bed, asleep when Willow and Buffy had returned from patrol last night, Willow climbed out of the warm bed and yawning went into the bathroom to prepare for the day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Angel and Cordelia found over the next few days that they were beginning to get closer, of course Cordy always fancied Angel, but had pushed those feelings firmly back when she realised he was only interested in Buffy. But seeing him nearly naked had rekindled those feelings, and she had a job to stop herself staring at him when he rose in the late mornings wearing his boxers that left very little to the imagination. She sighed and wondered if he knew what he was doing to her.

Angel had started to have feelings for Cordelia rekindled from his Angelus days and when she had first appeared on the television show, especially when Buffy had turned so domineering with him.

They fell into a pattern of days, mostly hunting for food and collecting firewood, with Angel hunting at night, occasionally bringing back a small mammal or bird, to cook for her. Luckily he’d cleaned them first so she didn’t see what they were They spent long hours talking about their lives, Angel was surprised how much Cordelia had changed from her spoilt, rich bitch Sunnydale days, he told he a little about his life with Buffy and the girls. Cordelia got the distinct impression all was not rosy in the Summer’s household. She was interested to learn about Willow and her girlfriend Tara, even though Angel mentioned he didn’t think they would last, as Tara seemed to be drifting away.

Cordelia had taken to spending the mornings whilst Angel still slept, lying in the sun on the grassy bank above their cave. It didn’t seem to get really hot until the afternoon. She was amazed to find that the sun hadn’t burnt her at all and that even Angel looked as though he may be getting a tan. She thought it suited the vampire, when they had first arrived in this strange land his skin had looked grey and washed out, now he almost looked healthy and alive.

She lay in her underwear not quite daring to lay naked, just in case Angel or anyone came across her. After a couple of hours she pulled her jeans and blouse back on and went to the rock pool to bathe. By the time she had finished and donned her dry clothes from the previous day, she knew Angel would be stirring. They would then spend the afternoon foraging for firewood, fruit and nuts. He had found some mushrooms the other day in a damp shady spot, she had nibbled a small piece raw and on not having any ill-effects decided to go and find some more, they would be a pleasant addition to her meagre diet.

They made their way over to the nut trees and Cordelia skilfully climbed the tree that had the best nuts on it and started throwing them down to Angel waiting below; she mischievously aimed them so they landed in his hair, which with no gel was now flopping messily all over the place, even though he kept pushing it back.

“Hey monkey, you just wait till you get down here, you’re just asking for a spanking,” said Angel, grinning up at her. He was still amazed to see the changes in Cordelia, and would never have imagined her climbing trees like a tomboy. He leaned against the trunk of the tree arms folded waiting for her descent. “You can’t stay up there all day,” he added.

Cordy grinned down at him thinking how young and carefree he looked when he smiled and how devastatingly sexy as well. She climbed down the tree and was preparing to jump the last few feet when her foot snagged on a branch, she fell and would have landed awkwardly had it not been for Angel quickly moving to catch her and break her fall. He held her close their lips inches apart staring into each other’s eyes, Cordelia thought she would drown in his warm chocolate depths. She watched mesmerised as his lips descended on hers, softly massaging the plump fullness, and licking her bottom lip, begging for entry. With a small sigh she opened her mouth slightly it was all the invitation he needed and his tongue darted in to explore the warm cavern of her mouth, her tongue tentatively moved to his mouth delighting in the coolness she found. Angel groaned and deepened the kiss, massaging her lips and slanting his head. He didn’t think he’d ever get enough of the honeyed taste of her, the fruit she had eaten earlier blending with her own natural taste. He plundered her mouth mercilessly, only allowing small pauses for her to breathe. All he wanted was to be embedded deep inside this wonderful body, with cock and fangs, and claim her as his.

He pulled her flush against his hard body bringing him fully into contact against her; Cordelia groaned as a wave of longing shot through her, he was really good at kissing, she could only imagine what a good lover he would be. Her whole body responding, her nipples hardening and moisture flooding at the apex of her thighs, as her womb clenched with longing. Angel lifted his head, he could smell her arousal and it made him yearn to possess her. He suddenly realised what he was doing and all of a sudden pulled harshly away.

“I’m sorry, Cordelia, I shouldn’t have taken advantage of you like that, please forgive me,” he gasped, and turned and was gone before a dazed Cordelia could draw breath to speak.

She put her hand to her mouth in wonder at the feelings Angel had awakened in her and turned to see where he had gone, but the forest was empty. She collected the nuts in a dream and turned to make her way slowly back to the cave, her emotions spinning wildly.

Angel ran deep into the forest, he had to get away before he did something they would both regret. He finally stopped and leaned against a large tree. He gasped for breath he didn’t need, and couldn’t rid himself of the wonderful intoxicating feel of her warm pliant body pressed against his. His cock surged into renewed life at his thoughts and he just knew he would have to get some relief before he could go back. He took a few more calming breaths hoping to quell his passion, but it was no good, he knew the minute he saw the beautiful brunette again, it would do something to embarrass him.

He undid his pants and pulled out his tumultuous erection, and taking himself in hand he imagined Cordelia doing the same or even better taking him in her mouth. He groaned at the images he’d conjured up and it didn’t take long for him to spill his seed on to the forest floor. He wiped himself on some handy ferns and redressed, he knew he ought to be getting back, he didn’t like to leave her too long on her own and at least now with some relief hopefully he wouldn’t embarrass himself in front of her. He wished, not for the first time, that he had been wearing his leather pants when he’d been sucked into this dimension; at least they would give him some control over his unruly body.

~~~~~~~~~

In LA Lilah Morgan was feeling very proud of herself, her contacts had reported that it seemed she had been successful in removing Cordelia Chase from this dimension. They had discreetly asked around in the demon karaoke bar and the haunts where the demon fighters usually hung. It seemed no one had seen the seer for over a week and rumour had it her gang were getting seriously worried about her.

‘That should ensure me a few bonus points with the senior partners,’ she thought. She couldn’t care less what had happened to the irritating brunette, and now she ruled the roost as top bitch.

The TV station Cordelia worked for had given out that she was on holiday, so obviously there were no problems there. She smiled and sipped the large bourbon she had poured herself, ‘life was good right now,’ she decided, and leaned back to enjoy the classical music softly playing in the background.


Chapter 5

Wesley was becoming increasingly concerned by Cordelia’s absence. He had finally discovered a library that appeared to have the girl in Cordy’s vision working for them. The assistant he had spoken to showed him a photo of the girl and commented on how worried she was. Apparently the girls’ name was Winifred Burkle and she had been cataloguing in the archaic language section, when she disappeared, about eight weeks ago. The police hadn’t been inclined to do anything when the Librarian had reported her missing, saying that because she was of age, all they could do was file a missing persons report. Wesley spent a while looking through the books stored there before leaving the library and making his way slowly home, deep in thought.

It was the following morning when he had tried calling Cordy’s cell phone, which had resulted in Willow answering it, Wesley hadn’t realised she had been going to Sunnydale. When Cordy didn’t reappear after the weekend, he began to think something must have happened to his friend. He decided to visit her apartment; Dennis let him in and indicated he was worried, by floating his presence around. When Wesley asked if she had gone to Sunnydale, Dennis moved the air frantically, indicating again that he was anxious that she had not returned as expected.

Wesley decided with a sinking heart, that he would have to make take a trip to the hated town; it brought back so many unpleasant memories for him. He knew he would have to go and see Buffy and no doubt suffer her sarcastic remarks. The only bright spot was he might be able to renew his friendship with the vampire, Angel. He had been surprised when the vampire had decided to stay in Sunnydale; he had thought that Angel had decided to move on, but obviously the slayer had more of a hold on him than Wesley realised.

He called Gunn on his mobile and arranged to go to Sunnydale the following day, they would have to go in Gunn’s pick-up truck, as Wesley’s motorcycle was in the garage at the moment, having the last lot of dents repaired after it had been used as a demon ram raid.

~~~~~~~~~~

Angel made his way slowly back to the cave, deep in thought; he was beginning to think he was falling hard for Cordelia. A few years ago if anyone had asked him he would have said he would always love Buffy, but when it became apparent on his return from the hell dimension she’d sent him to, that she no longer had the same feelings towards him, his feelings had cooled somewhat. Even more so when she had been resurrected, she had become so demanding and controlling, if it hadn’t been for Dawn, Angel would have left. He felt a certain obligation to the young teen who had suffered first the death of her mother, then being caught and attempted to be sacrificed as a ‘key’, and finally have her sister die and then be resurrected. No wonder the girl was mixed up Angel thought, it probably didn’t help that she lived with him, and the lesbian witches, Willow had tried to contact Hank Summers, Dawn’s father, only to be told by a member of his company that he was out of the country and would ring when he returned and so far he hadn’t fulfilled that promise, Angel decided the man obviously wasn’t interested in his daughters, and he hadn’t even bothered to attend his wife’s funeral.

Angel picked up his pace now eager to see Cordelia again; perhaps with a little careful questioning, he would find out how serious she was with this Dennis she occasionally mentioned.

He came across the usual herd of animals, who were by now quite used to him moving amongst them as long as it wasn’t daylight. He decided have an early dinner hoping to spend the evening trying to find out about Cordelia’s lover.

When he returned to the cave he found her sitting beside the fire hugging her arms around her bent knees.

‘Hey, are you OK, did you have supper?’ he asked gently.

‘Yeah, there was some of that bird left,’ she replied, looking at him warily.

Angel sighed, he knew he owed her an apology and an explanation but was unsure where to start. ‘Umm.. sorry about running off like that,’ he said hesitantly.

‘Was it that bad?’ Cordelia replied, a hurt look on her face.

She knew she wasn’t very experienced with men, but none have ever run off like that, and Xander had seemed to like her kisses.

‘What? No it wasn’t you, it was me, I was being a berk, I couldn’t resist you, but I realise you have a boyfriend, it won’t happen again,’ he replied, shocked she would think it was her fault, and that he somehow didn’t like kissing her. The memory of her soft lips still lingered on his.

‘I do? That’s news to me,’ Cordelia replied, puzzled as to why Angel would think that.

‘Yeah, Dennis you called him,’ Angel said, looking sad.

Cordy laughed, ‘is that what you think? Dennis is my ghost; we rescued him from the wall of my apartment. He looks after me and we keep each other company,’ she said.

Angel let the breath go he didn’t realise he was holding, ‘so no boyfriend?’ he asked, haltingly.

‘No, between my not 9-5 job, the mind crunching visions and demon fighting, I really don’t have much time for dating. Oh, I’ve been on a few dates, but you try to explain to a guy why you can’t concentrate on him, cuz of the flashing behind your eyes or having to rush off to find other men to help you. Believe me they don’t take it well,’ she said.

Angel smiled, ‘I don’t suppose they would; it’s difficult being in this job. I know that Tara, Willow’s girlfriend is looking for a way out; she’s had enough even though she’s a wicca. Since she had her mind sucked by a Glory, the god we killed, she’s been a different person, I can’t see the relationship lasting much longer,’ he said, sadly.

Angel hadn’t realised just how much the visions and the demon fighting intruded on Cordelia’s life. He wondered why she did it, she had told him about her trip to the astral plain when she had been offered a way out, but had declined. He admired her courage, it couldn’t have been easy for her, and he thought, not for the first time how the people of Sunnydale seemed to possess some sort of gene that encouraged them to help others.

They chatted more that evening until deciding to turn in. A couple of nights ago, on his nightly jaunt, Angel had found an abandoned shack with the roof falling in. At first he thought it could be patched up and they could use it, but on closer inspection he decided they were better off in the cave. There had obviously been people of some sort living there. He found bones and animal skins left in some old pens behind the shack, also as a bonus two ratty course woven blankets and a type of cooking pot. He had triumphantly brought his haul back to the cave and after washing the blankets and settling them to dry on the nearby bushes, he put them on Cordy’s bed, giving her some small measure of comfort from the hard floor and soft but itchy grass she used.

~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile back in LA, Lilah Morgan’s gloating didn’t last very long, for when she returned to work after the weekend break she was immediately called into a meeting with a representative from the senior partners and the heads of the other departments.

It seemed a new prophecy had been discovered. Wolfram and Hart had translators working round the clock to unravel it, but so far they were baffled as to who or what it referred to. There seemed to be a passage about a Destroyer bringing hell to all evil; it also commented about a Seer and Warrior. Well, Lilah knew about a certain Seer, and she’d already dealt with that irritating problem, the dimension she had sent Ms Chase to had an accelerated time, every day here was a month there, she would soon be too old to be any more of a threat.

Lilah smirked as she wondered who the Warrior was, sure that none of the seer’s gang of do-gooders could be called a warrior, they were keen, but not that powerful. Even if the ‘white hats’ found out what Lilah had done they would struggle to find the seer, in a year Cordelia would be thirty years older, assuming she survived at all in the strange dimension on her own.

Lilah leaned back in her seat and thought about the problem, as long as this ‘warrior’ who ever he or she was, could be found and was in this dimension, she felt confident the prophesy wouldn’t come to pass. After the meeting she set the wheels in motion to find out more about this Warrior.

~~~~~~~~~~

Willow came back from college to find Dawn looking miserable, sitting in the kitchen among the dirty breakfast dishes.

‘Hey, what’s up?’ Willow asked, looking at the mess, obviously Angel hadn’t returned during the night. The girls were used to the place being tidy and meals ready for them, say nothing of homemade cookies in the tin.

‘Oh Willow, where is he?’ Dawn cried, tears falling down her cheeks.

‘Well, he may just have gone to LA, you know he sometimes does’ replied Willow, trying to ease the guilt she felt at Angel’s none return last night. She personally wouldn’t blame him at all, and if it weren’t for the fact of finding the stake next to a big pile of dust, she would almost believe herself.

‘He wouldn’t go without telling me, he always tells me where he’s going’ said Dawn quietly. Willow thought this was true the teen had become very reliant on Angel, using him as a substitute father figure after Buffy had died. When Buffy had returned and been so distant Dawn had clung to Angel even more, even insisting he went to the parent evening at the school, to speak to her teachers, instead of Buffy.

Willow thought for a while, ‘I’ll tell you what; if we don’t hear from him in the next couple of days I’ll try a spell to find his soul. Just don’t tell Buffy or Tara, I’m in enough trouble already with them,’ she said.

Dawn hugged her and smiled for the first time, ‘I can’t believe his gone, I’m sure I would have felt something’ she said.

Willow looked at Dawn ‘Yeah I know what you mean, ever since I restored his soul I feel a sort of connection with him,’ she said, ‘do you know where Buffy is?’

‘No, I haven’t seen her since last night, I thought she might be having a rest but she’s not in her room, maybe she’s gone job hunting’ replied Dawn.

‘Oh well, best start making some dinner, what’s left in the fridge?’ said Willow and proceeded to hunt for food.

~~~~~~~~~~

Angel woke early the next morning and on seeing Cordelias bed empty decided to go and find her, he noticed her scent disappearing up the hill and followed it. When he found her he could hardly prevent himself gulping as he took in the beautiful sight before him. She lay in the sun in just her under wear, her bronzed body lean and fit. He walked up purposefully kicking a few small rocks so she would know he was there, he was always getting told he was too quiet and to make a noise or hum when approaching people.

“Hi, may I join you?” he asked.

“Of course, its great at this time of the day, but it gets a bit unbearable later on,” replied Cordelia.

Angel shrugged off his shirt and pants and lay down in his boxers on the soft grass beside her, he hadn’t bothered putting his boots on as he’d forgotten to wash his socks the night before.

They lay together for a little while before finally the suns became too hot and they were forced to retreat to the cool of the cave. A few hours later they decided to go and hunt for some dinner, Angel decided to try his luck at fishing again, while Cordy went to forage for some nuts and mushrooms. She didn’t realise how far she strayed when all of a sudden she heard a rustling in the undergrowth, she looked up thinking it was Angel, but was unable to see him.

She concentrated on the rustling sound and was horrified to see a large woolly hell beast looking at her from the bushes; she opened her mouth and screamed for Angel.

Angel’s head shot up when he heard Cordy yell, he dropped the fish he was gutting and took off in the direction of her cry. When he found her he was horrified to see she was flat on her back with a large hairy hell beast on top of her. It looked about ready to take a large chunk out of her shoulder. Angel roared and morphed into game face, and with fangs bared he launched himself upon the beast. The hell beast looked up and snarled at the vampire, but seemed reluctant to leave its prey.

Angel knocked the beast off Cordy but it was stronger than he expected and it turned on him in fury at being deprived of its meal, he felt its claws digging into his midriff, and its hind legs scrabbling at his legs. They rolled together on the forest floor as Cordy hastily scrambled out of the way, looking for a way to distract the beast so Angel would be able to finish it off. She picked up a large piece of wood and managed to get quite a decent hit in, it was enough to distract the beast and Angel was able to reach up and with clawed hands grasped it tightly round its neck effectively cutting off its air supply. The beasts struggles became more feeble as it ran out of oxygen and Angel was finally able to snap its neck.

He quickly rose and after dusting himself down moved to Cordy to check she was ok, apart from a few scratches on her arms, she seemed fine as she flung herself into his arms and kissed him gratefully.

“Where the hell did that come from?” she said, “I’ve never seen anything like that before, have you?”

“No, can’t say I have. Are you sure you’re OK?”

“Yeah, I’m fine just a bit shaken, can we go back to the cave now?” she replied.

They made their way back to the cave, Angel picked up the fish he had caught on the way, surprised it was still there, especially with obviously carnivorous beasts lurking around.

After the meal Cordelia decided to have an early night, she still felt a little shaken by the events earlier in the evening. Angel built the fire up and then decided to find some dinner before turning in.

“You should be OK here, I don’t think it’ll come close with the fire so large,” he commented.

“You’ll not go too far, will you?” she asked, a little fearfully.

“No, just scream if you need me,” he said, and disappeared into the night.

She set about rinsing her clothes before preparing for bed.

Angel soon found the group of cattle he had been snacking on since they had been in this strange dimension, and after satisfying his hunger he quickly made his way back to the cave not wanting to leave Cordelia alone any longer than he had to. On his return he noticed her clothes set to dry and decided to rinse his shirt and pants, they still smelt of the hell beast.

He lay down on his heap of grass and was soon asleep. He was woken in the middle of the night, by Cordelia crying out in her sleep. He moved and knelt beside her gathering her into his arms, “shush, it’s OK, I’m here now, you’re fine, go back to sleep,” he murmured.

He laid her down gently, but she had grabbed his arm and refused to let go, he sighed he didn’t want to wake her, so he laid down beside her, preparing to move as soon as she relinquished her hold on his arm.

He soon fell asleep lulled by the intoxicating scent of her warm body, and sometime during the night she rolled fully into his arms, as he drew her against him. When he woke in the morning, early for him, he lay and thought about how wonderful it was to have her in his arms. He felt her stiffen as she woke and quickly shut his eyes pretending to be asleep. After a few frantic minutes wondering where she was, Cordelia relaxed back down into the vampires embrace, turning slightly to face him.

He opened his eyes to find her intently studying him, and he couldn’t resist moving in to capture her lips with his. She gave a little gasp and her lips parted at the wonderful sensations he was creating, allowing his tongue to slip in to the warmth of her mouth.

He soon deepened the kiss, and Cordelia couldn’t prevent herself moaning at the sensual feelings she was experiencing. She reached up and put her arms around his broad shoulders pulling his naked chest down on to her. It was Angel’s turn to moan when he felt her hot skin against his cool chest. Cordelia’s nipples responded by hardening into tight nubs. He carried on skilfully kissing her and until she felt as though she was drugged with passion, and found her body heating up in response.

Angel moved his mouth and began to lick and nibble a path down her neck and over her breasts, skilfully undoing her front opening bra with his teeth, and groaning when she was bared for his perusal. The light was still dim in the cave but he could see her perfectly with his enhanced vision.

He skilfully removed the tiny garment and started tracing patterns over her ribs and down to her belly as she writhed beneath him, arching her back into his cool caress.

“Angel, what you doing, we shouldn’t be doing this?” Cordy asked.

Angel raised his head briefly and smiled at the girl, “just lay back and relax, let me please you.”

She thought that what he’d said and figured why not, after all he’s not likely to lose his soul with her, was he? She may as well enjoy it, probably the only chance she would ever had with handsome vampire.

His hand moved lower over the satin and lace of her thong, her legs fell open at his touch and he was able to run a questing finger between them. He could smell her arousal and now he could feel for himself how wet she was, the thin material of her thong was soaked. He slipped his finger under it and into her moistness; he parted her folds and pushed his finger deep inside her. Cordy arched up pressing herself against his hand, trying to find relief from the tension she could feel building at his skilful ministrations. Angel moved quickly and stripped the thong off her long legs, she crossed her legs self-consciously, but he moved his hand back to its original position and all she could do was quiver in anticipation as he gently pushed her legs further apart. He added another finger and used his thumb to rub her already sensitised clit.

Cordy’s hands fell to grip the edge of the course blanket she was laying on, and as she moved her right hand she grazed and vampire’s very obvious arousal. It was his turn to groan her slightest touch sending shivers throughout his body. He couldn’t understand why he was so turned on, but supposed it was because he had had no good sex for so long, apart from Buffy 17th birthday, before that it had been over a hundred years.

He could feel her arousal heightening as the moisture flooded out of her, all of a sudden a complete look of surprise came over her face and with a final thrust on to his fingers she came.

“Jeez Angel, please…” she gasped, not really knowing what to say, but knowing she had to tell him. “I want you, but please be gentle, I’ve no experience.”

Angel looked at her surprised, he’d heard the rumours about her in high school, and also knew she had dated Harris for a while, he felt sure Xander would have been in her pants, given the first opportunity.

He shucked off his boxers and after carefully scooping up some of her juices, coated himself, and carefully positioned himself between her spread thighs and after rubbing the tip of his cock in her moistness carefully guided himself into her warmth. He hadn’t gone very far when he felt her resistance, and quelling his urge to thrust hard, he looked deep into her eyes and said, “this may hurt I’ll be as gentle as I can.”

He thrust past her resistance capturing her mouth in a mind-drugging kiss, to swallow her pained gasp as he broke through her maidenhead. He kept still when he was fully sheathed in her hot tight channel, to give her time to get used to him. After a while she thrust her hips up at him and he figured it was safe to go on. He withdrew until only his tip remained inside, then pushed back in with a long slow thrust and to he was fully embedded.

Cordelia couldn’t believe how good he felt the smooth coolness of him bathed her hot channel in a way she hadn’t thought possible, and she wrapped her arms and legs around his body, drawing him in close. Angel repeated the action a few more times until he knew he would be unable to hold back for much longer, he reach down and gently squeezed her clit soon bringing her to another climax, as her walls clenched around him, he gave a few final ragged thrusts and exploded deep inside her.

He lay still for a few seconds before withdrawing and rolling onto his back giving a small sigh as he left her intoxicating warmth.

“Wow that was something else,” gasped Cordy, when she could breathe again.

“Yeah, it was good baby,” said Angel.

He lay and studied the roof of the cave; he couldn’t believe how wonderful she was, and he turned to kiss her again as they both fell into a doze hands clasped together legs entwined.


Chapter 6

Cordelia woke later that morning and after her first initial surprise at being surrounded by a blanket of sleeping vampire, she sighed and snuggled deeper into his embrace. She was amazed at how safe Angel made her feel, she had never felt so protected. She giggled to herself as she watched him sleeping with two fingers in his mouth. Who would have thought someone as old as he was, would still suck his fingers? She smiled to herself, glad she’d at last lost her virginity, it wasn’t that she’d been holding on for any particular reason, it was just she hadn’t found a man who she liked enough to be with.

At first she had been concerned for Angel’s soul, but figured if he was going to lose it he would have by now. She seemed to remember when he lost it with Buffy; he had done so shortly after the event. She mentally shrugged, “I suppose I’m not experienced enough to give him perfect happiness,” she thought, as she drifted back to sleep, feeling safe and cared for.

Angel woke a while later the call of her blood teasing his senses. He realised he had his fingers in his mouth, sucking them like a baby. He breathed in the intoxicating smell of her blood and carefully cleaned his fingers, being sure not to miss a single drop of Cordy’s virgin blood, combined with her womanly essence and his own juices, it made a powerful cocktail he just couldn’t resist. He had to have more so he slid down until he was positioned at the apex of her thighs.

When Cordelia next woke she found herself sprawled on her back, legs apart with Angel’s head between them. She shuddered as she felt herself quivering with lust as his fingers pushed deep inside her as he lapped at her folds, she began to climax.

‘God, Angel, don’t stop, I want you,’ she gasped, as she exploded into her orgasm.

Angel finished grazing making sure not to miss a single drop.

‘No baby, not this time or you’ll be sore,’ he said, trying to ignore his aching shaft, angrily twitching at being deprived of her glorious warmth.

He crawled up her body and gathered her into his arms, before kissing her one final time and jumping to his feet. He gathered his now dry clothes from the previous night, and almost ran to the bathing pool. Cordy pulled the tatty blanket round her body and snuggled back down to dream of the events of the last night, she hadn’t realised sex with Angel would be so wonderful, of course she realised he’d had a lot of years to practise, but even so, ‘Ummmm,’ she sighed smugly, as she drifted off to sleep.

Angel soon returned dressed, hair still damp and swept-back. The cool morning breeze had brought him to his senses. He sat outside the cave and thought about last night.

“How could he have been so greedy? To take the most precious gift Cordelia could give and use her like that,” he mused, sinking into a deep brood as he thought about his actions, not that he regretted it; she had been everything he had hoped and more besides. He felt his cock surge into life again at his thoughts. “Go away,” he willed it and forced himself to think of more sobering thoughts, such as how the hell they were going to get home and what they would find when they did so. He had no way of knowing if time passed the same in this dimension, Cordelia’s watch had stopped during the first week and he didn’t wear one. Being with Cordelia had made him all the more determined to carry on fighting for his redemption, something he had begun to doubt over the last few months of living with Buffy.

He had decided that if they returned to their world he would finish his work in Sunnydale, Buffy didn’t really need him these days, and he felt he could do more good in LA. Cordelia had explained what her and the gang of misfits were attempting to do. He’s been surprised and a little jealous to find she was working with Wesley, he knew she’s had a crush on him in high school and hoped the ex-watcher didn’t still lust after ‘his’ Cordy.

‘Wow,’ he thought, pulling him self up on that thought, ‘my Cordy’ he mused, who’d have thought it, he smiled at the warm feeling it gave him.

When Cordelia finally woke fully she found herself alone. She stretched up, wincing a little at the slight throbbing between her legs. She decided to sample the delights of the rock pool; the sun should have warmed it by now, she thought. Angel was conspicuous by his absence.

She moved out of the cave, the tatty blanket draped round her body, collecting her dry clothes on the way, then climbed down into the water and sighed as she wished she had some soap and hair shampoo, but the samples Dennis had packed had long since been used up. She scrubbed herself with a handful of soft sand, which was lying beside the pool; she’d found it was the most effective substance to make her skin feel clean and soft.

She idly wondered where Angel had disappeared to, she couldn’t wait to see him again, and couldn’t believe how much affection she had for the handsome manpire; they had grown close since they had been in this strange land. She knew that if left to her own devices, she would have struggled and probably perished.

She finished bathing and pulled her clothing on, and went back to the cave only to find Angel had returned while she had been out.

He looked at her, a pained expression on his face.

‘I must apologise for my actions last night, I shouldn’t have taken advantage of you like that,’ he said, looking so guilty that Cordelia felt her heart clench.

“What?” she said. “Don’t be silly, I wanted it used as much as you did.”

“I should have had more control over myself,” he said, his head in his hands.

“Well it’s done now so let’s forget it,” she said, a little wistfully, thinking she’d probably been right in thinking that was the only chance she would ever get with the vampire. “Well what’s for breakfast then?”

“Humm well there’s some of that animal left, the one you didn’t want to know what it was, and I went and picked a couple of fruits. I think the fruit will run out soon so we’ll have to find another source,” said Angel, relieved she had taken his apology so well.

After she’d had her breakfast they spent the morning foraging for firewood, it seemed there had been a little rain at sometime during the night, so they ended up deeper in the forest trying to find dryer wood. Angel was still feeling guilty, so that despite Cordy’s best efforts at conversation most of her remarks fell on stony ground.

That night as Cordelia prepared for bed, Angel went to find his own dinner determined not to return until she was asleep and stay on his side of the cave. The night passed with both tossing and turning, only sleeping for short periods and eventually they awoke un-refreshed the following morning.

Eventually after a few days in the same pattern, Cordelia decided enough was enough, so she waited until Angel had gone to bathe, then slowly made her way towards the pool from the opposite direction. She gulped a little as she admired his now slightly tanned body. Her eyes travelled south to rest on his groin, quite visible in the clear water. She licked her lips, “Wow, yum,” she groaned quietly, catching her first glimpse of ‘all’ of him in daylight. Angel lifted his head, flicking his wet hair out of his eyes, when he heard the slight noise she made, to see her standing watching him.

“See something you like?” he asked smiling, he wasn’t modest, being a vampire soon cured him of that human trait, not that he’d been that modest as a human to begin with.

Cordy blushed at being caught staring, her eyes drawn up his firm chest to his face.

‘I ..I just wondered where you were,’ she said, giving him her most beguiling smile. Angel didn’t believe her for a second, but decided to play alone with her, these last few days, he’d been so frustrated, that he’d half convinced himself it would be ok to be with her, but he wanted her to make the first move.

Cordy stood on the side of the pool and slowly stripped off her clothes, her eyes never leaving his, until finally naked she stepped down into the pool and stood waiting for him to come to her.

Angel felt his groin tightening as her body was revealed to his hungry gaze, and he moved over to stand in front of her. He took her in his arms and lowered his head to capture her lips in a searing kiss. Cordy’s mouth opened under his skilful manipulations, and she moaned at the wonderful sensations he was creating. Angel pulled her into his arms, the water further stimulating the erotic sensations, as their bodies slid together, as though made for each other. His tongue massaged the warm cavern of her mouth until she felt she would swoon from the sensual taste of him.

Angel groaned as Cordy’s body pushed against his, the evidence of his ardour pinned between them. He slide one arm round her back and pulled her closer while his other arm moved down to cup her ass and encourage her to part her long golden thighs. He pushed a long finger into her welcome warmth and felt himself harden almost painfully with want, as her leg crept up his, her foot running up the back of his leg until it came to rest around his thigh. He pumped slowly into her before allowing his thumb to work it’s magic on the tight bundle of nerves, causing her to buck into his embrace as he skilfully brought her to the edge.

‘Oh Angel, don’t stop’ she whispered. Angel pushed another finger into her and pulled her close. Cordy erupted into a spiralling climax at his knowing touch, before she had finished he effortlessly lifted her and lowered her onto his hard arousal, carefully guiding himself with one hand and holding her close with the other, the buoyancy of the water helping to keep her in place.

They both groaned at the wonderful sensations his penetration gave them and Angel had to still, so he didn’t finish, before he’d even started. He’d been replaying the other night in his mind, tempting and taunting his senses until he thought he’d go crazy with want.

He got himself in control and started a rhythm of long deep strokes interspersed with short shallow ones, trying to prolong the pleasure for both of them for as long as possible. Cordy was undulating her body as she gripped his broad shoulders to help lift herself as she peppered his face with kisses. Angel recaptured her lips and sucked on her bottom lip before pushing his tongue into the hot cavern of her mouth, mimicking his thrusts lower down.

Angel knew he wouldn’t last much longer, it was just amazing, the feel of her gripping him and seeming to pull him deeper with each thrust. So he reached between them and stroked her clit and at the same time adjusted his position so he could hit that sweet spot inside her, causing her to climax around him. The feel of her muscles clenching around him, milking him forced his last thread of control to snap and he drove up hard inside her as he exploded into his own powerful orgasm. They clung together as they came own from the high emotions, kissing and in Angel’s case nipping at each other’s face and neck. Angel’s fangs just itched to sink into the long golden neck as he licked her pulse point. He fleetingly wondered why he’d never felt the urge to bite Buffy during sex, but pushed the though away as Cordy began to unwind from his body, sighing a little as he slipped out of her.

‘That was… wow,’ she said when she regained her breath.

‘Yeah, wow sums it up,’ he agreed, a satisfied, proud masculine grin on his face as he captured her lips for another kiss before moving to the edge of the pool and lifting her out and pull himself out beside her. After a while Cordy gathered her clothes and dressed before going back to the cave. Angel soon followed and they sat talking until late in the night before crawling under the tatty blanket and falling asleep safe in each other’s arms, both having a good nights rest for a change.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lilah Morgan sat in her large office on the fourth floor at Wolfram and Hart, she had spent most of the last two days down in ‘Files and Records’ looking for information about this warrior. All she had come up with was that the being was a demon with a soul, who worked for the ‘Powers that be’. She couldn’t really believe that there was such an entity; all the demons she had ever had dealings with couldn’t by any stretch of imagination be described as good.

After two days in the claustrophobic room, in exasperation she had asked the robot in charge if she had any information and was told it was ‘Angel’. Lilah had laughed, thinking the robot meant the warrior was an angel, not listening to the way the robot inflected her speech. She left the gloomy department and returned to her office to ponder the problem further, not realising she’d missed a vital clue.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wesley felt his heart sink into his boots as Gunn’s pickup truck passed the ‘Welcome to Sunnydale’ sign. If he had been able to think of a valid excuse not to visit he would have, but his concern for Cordelia, who he now thought of as a sister, was so great that he felt he had to travel here to investigate her disappearance. Just entering the town seemed to make him shrink into himself. Gunn glanced over at the ex watcher.

‘Yo, English, what’s up?’ he commented.

‘I hate this town, it brings back unpleasant memories I’d rather forget,’ Wes replied.

‘You think you’ve problems, what about me, a black man in a middle class, white neighbourhood, I’m really going to blend in, hey?’ replied Gunn, ‘but I don’t care, I’ll just chill, tell me more about this slayer chick,’ he added, hoping to take the Englishman’s mind off his inner turmoil.

Wesley looked at Gunn, ‘well she’s incredibly fast and powerful, has a wilful streak I found most irritating, apart from that she has a group of friends known as the ‘Scoobies’ for some reason that escapes me. They follow her lead and ignore most of anything I say, unless Buffy’s original watcher OK’s it first. Cordelia used to date one of the gang, but I feel she was always on the outside as well, only included because she was dating Xander, the other male of the gang.’

Wesley fell silent thinking about the reception they would receive, he knew there was very little love lost between Buffy and Cordelia and wondered if the slayer would even bother to help him search for the seer. He gave Gunn directions on how to drive to Buffy’s house and sat back glumly to ponder the future.

‘Oh, they sound a barrel of laughs,’ said Gunn, concentrating on Wesley’s instructions, as he powered his ‘baby’ through the town.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Cordelia and Angel the next two weeks carried on much as before with one exception they now spent their nights together, sometimes just holding each other, and sometimes Angel introducing Cordy to the joys of lovemaking. They spent their days gathering food and firewood, and discussing all manner of subjects. Angel was amazed that Cordelia knew some of things she came out with, she had obviously had a very thorough and varied education, before her parents had lost their money.

It was after one early-morning lovemaking session that Cordelia had a vision.

”Oohh,” she cried, grabbing her head, as a myriad of sounds and images raced through her brain.

Angel held her close unsure of what was happening, “what’s up, what’s the matter with you?” he said, concerned as to what was happening to her.

Cordelia’s body shook for a few more moments before she raised her head and looked at him, her eyes wide and unfocused. “That was a vision, of that girl from the library again, the one Wesley was trying to find. We have to go and help her. She’s here in this world.”

“How can you tell?” asked Angel.

‘The ‘Powers that be’ send me visions, they’re not half as painful as they used to be before I became half demon,’ she replied. ‘They’re usually pretty cryptic, but this time I got a definite sense of direction. We need to go and rescue the girl, she has been captured by some green demons, who look a lot like Lorne, I might add. They are going to execute her if we don’t save her.’

They decide to leave that morning after breakfast, Angel wondered how she knew where, but Cordy seemed instinctively to know which way to go. They spent the next couple of nights sleeping in the open, using the large fern leaves as a bed. Luckily there was always plenty of food for Cordy and wood for a fire so Angel could cook the game he’d caught for her. He had no trouble draining the animals and birds he caught, it helped to supplement his diet of cattle blood.

It was on the morning of the second day of travelling that Angel suddenly stopped, Cordy nearly walked into the back of him.

He held his fingers to his lips. “Shhh, I can hear something,’ he whispered and motioned for her to follow him as he crouched down and crept up the side of the rocky incline they were climbing. He carefully peered over the top and Cordy soon popped her head up to see. The sight that met their eyes made Cordy’s blood run cold for there in the middle of a cluster of dwellings was a raised dais with a horrible looking chopping block on it. There were a group of demons heading towards it dragging someone wrapped in a sack.

“Angel that’s it, that’s what I saw in my vision, it’s that girl, and they’re going to her murder her. We have to do something to rescue her,” whispered Cordy close to Angels’ ear.

’Can you ride a horse?” asked Angel, quickly scanning the area, taking stock of the available resources.

‘Yes, why?’

‘If you go down carefully, there are some horses tied up across the square, untie a couple and get on one, I’ll try and create a distraction, then grab the girl,’ said Angel, handing over her bag, which he’d been carrying.

They both shuffled back from the summit and then stood and began to make their way in opposite directions, around to the other sides of the clearing. Angel thought that he could smell swine of some sort and decided they would make an excellent distraction. He followed his nose and sure enough came across a corral, which held about a dozen pig like animals.

Angel undid the gate, at first the animals were reluctant to leave, but when he grabbed one and snarled at it, it squeaked and headed out, the others catching on to its panic soon followed and it was a simple matter for Angel to move so they headed in the direction he wanted them to go in.

If the situation wasn’t so serious it would have been laughable, as the pigs ran amongst the gathered demon’s, tripping them and causing even more squealing and shouting as the demons struggled to stand, catch the beasts and work out what was happening all at the same time. By now the captives head had been laid on to the raised block on the dais, and so Angel, with a burst of preternatural speed, raced up behind the confused demons, and using the executioner’s own axe clubbed him hard on the side of his head with one sweep, the demon fell like a log, the ground seemed to shake as he landed.

Angel threw the axe above the other demons heads; they all ducked expecting to have it land on them. He grabbed the girl, and picking her up, ran as fast as he could towards the horses, ripping off the ties, which were binding her arms behind her back, on the way. Cordelia was already mounted on one horse and holding the reins of another. Angel put the girl down and leapt on the back of the horse and grabbing the girl’s arm pulled her up behind him. With a quick dig of his heels, a flick of the reins and a shout, he set the horse galloping out of the settlement, Cordelia on her horse, hot on his heels.

By now the pigs had made their way away from the dais and in a bid for freedom ran towards the horses. Cordelia had to foresight to release the other steeds, thinking that at least the demons would not be able follow if they had to catch them first. But the mounts had other ideas and startled by the racket the pigs were making, took off after the fleeing pair. Cordy figured the demons would not be able to follow them very quickly unless they had another supply of mounts installed somewhere else. The whole herd galloped out of the clearing, soon leaving the settlement far behind.

The loose horses gradually peeling off as they became tired and there no longer seemed to be anything chasing them, this just left Angel and Cordelia to carry on.
Angel slowed the pace a little until he decided they had put sufficient distance between themselves and any followers. He pulled up under a few trees at the edge of the forest and dismounted, lifting the girl, who had been clinging like a limpet to his back, down as well. Cordelia slid off her mount, her legs throbbing; she hadn’t ridden that hard and bareback for as long as she could remember. Her legs trembled as she leant against the animals heaving sides.

“Well, that was exhilarating,” she cried, smiling at Angel before turning to look at the girl, who had so far said nothing.

“Ummm, handsome man saved me from the monsters… thanks… bye,’ the girl said, before running off among the trees.

“That was odd,” commented Cordy, as the girl just seemed to vanish before their eyes.

Angel turned the horses and slapping their rumps pointed them off in another direction away from the settlement, waving his arms to scare them into trotting away. He turned to Cordy, and then gathered her into his arms for a thorough kissing. After a while when he knew she needed to breathe he raised his head and said, “shall we go and find her then?”

He took the bag containing all their possessions back from her and holding hands they walked off into the forest.


…TO BE CONTINUED…

THIS FIC APPEARS TO BE UNFINISHED


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