Preventing Mistakes


AUTHOR: JESSICA
SUMMARY: A day Cordelia will never forget.
RATING: PG13
POSTED: 7 Nov 2004
CATEGORY: Angsty sap
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A
WARNINGS: None listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES:
1) If I owned Angel and all things relating to Angel, oh man there would be so much more male nudity. Cordelia would still be there, it’d still be on the air, and did I mention more male nudity. I’m talking Angel, Gunn, Wes all shirtless, and they would be shirtless strictly for the plot. I’m not one to take advantage of a two minute lapse in the script just to have one of them meandering around with no shirt on. I am not that shallow.Anyways to make a long story even longer I don’t own them. I wish I did, but as the old saying goes, if wishes were horses, I’d have the best freaking team of them. I’m moving on now, thank you for your patients.
2) Thanks to Kimmer and Helen for reading it and telling me I ramble too much and I have an unhealthy love of the comma. So yeah you two totally rock. And if there are any mistakes, totally my fault, my bad.


My life began the day that I died. I died alone in a hospital bed, it was at night. I was buried in a cemetery with a simple marker; here lies Cordelia Chase, 1981 – 2004, beloved friend. The funeral prior to it was sad.

My closest friends, Angel, Fred, Wes, Gun, and Lorne were the only ones there. Every one except Angel cried, he did enough of that the night I died. He cried himself to sleep, or so he tells me, only to wake up because I gave him the one thing that I valued more than anything else in the world, sounds like someone else I once knew, I gave him a vision.

After all of the dust had settled he told me the vision is what led him to where he is today, kneeling over two beds, giving his best rendition of Oh the Things You Can Think, oh the things you can think if only you try. Well let me tell you about the things that changed my life and my future. The day my path changed, it was awhile ago, but I still remember it, in fact, it’s one of those days I will never forget.

Waking up to a leg cramp was never fun, especially when someone’s dirty diaper is right next to you. So I did what every good quasi mom/extremely helpful aunt does, I stood up, stretched my leg and winced when the muscle tightened protest, and the scooped up the baby next to me.

Of course I then winced even further when I balanced all of my weight on my very bruised foot. Stupid demons. So I hobbled a bit to Connor’s nursery, figuring I’d change him and get him some breakfast, easy peasy.

Half-way through Connor’s morning clothing ordeal, ducking flying urine, making the baby giggle by tickling him, a nice loud thump came from Angel’s room. Scooping up Connor I went to see what was going on. Only to find Angel on his knees next to the bed, his face full of fear.

I’d seen him once like that; I never wanted to see it again. “Angel?”

He looked up at me, his face paling even more he was shaking and he was hyperventilating. Do vampires hyperventilate? His eyes went from me to Connor.

”Connor?” Angel started to cry, he crawled towards the both of us, tears streaming down his face, “Oh God…I don’t understand…” He wrapped one arm around me waist and buried his face into my stomach for a moment and then proceeded to gently pull me to the floor next to him. “Connor…” He rubbed his face next to Connor’s. Then it was like a flip was switched and he changed. He pushed me away.

I was able to absorb most of the impact, but it still jolted Connor. It also gave me a view of Angel going into to game face mode, looking around. “Angel, what are you doing?”

“Stop this now! Stop this shit right now!”
I got up and ran into Connor’s room. I didn’t know what kind of demony goodness was in me right now, but it had better be enough to protect the baby. I shut to door to his room and blocked it as Angel started throwing things. Then he headed towards me.

“I can tell the real Cordelia from a fraud! She’s dead, I buried her, don’t fuck with me!”

“Angel, I’m not dead. I’m right here.”

He grabbed me snarling, “Shut up.”

I froze as his face was buried in the crook of my neck, he was smelling me. It took him a few seconds and then he looked right at me, Deep into my eyes. For a second it looked as if it was over, until he yanked my hair to the side.

“Where are they?”

“What?”

“The scars, where are the scars from where they made you look like her!”

I shoved him as hard as I could, “I am her! What the hell is your problem?” Connor’s cries were muffled through the door. I saw his eye dart towards the door I was guarding, “No! Don’t even think about going after him.” He shoved his way through me. The next was all a blur; I somehow was able to move faster than him to block him from reaching over the crib.

I stood in front of Connor’s crib, the baby was screaming, Angel was beyond angry, and I was the only thing between them. The ruckus had woken the others, and Lorne and Fred came barging into the room. Angel turned and froze when he saw the others. It gave me enough time to shove him away from the crib.

“Get Connor and run!” It’s amazing how fast people move when there’s an infant in danger. Lorne was able to scoop Connor up and head towards the door, Angel seemed frozen in his spot at the sight of Fred. Whatever made him freeze gave us the moments we needed.

Lorne was a few feet from the door when Angel refocused on the rest of us, he made one more move towards Lorne and Connor and I ran as hard and as fast I could, grabbing his shirt, to stop pull him down. I heard the door slam and I tried to draw in a breath while keeping Angel down long enough for them to escape.

I glanced over next to me to see tears falling from his eyes; he was staring at the ceiling.

“Prove to me you aren’t real. Stop playing the stupid mind games and tell me that all of this is a fake, a fraud, give me that much. I’m begging you.”

“Angel, I’m real. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you, but dammit, I’m Cordelia and you just tried to attack Connor!”

“You aren’t real, I buried you! Connor was kidnapped and raised by Holtz! Fred died only to have her body taken over by a goddess, so yes you aren’t real. I was there I remember!”

I was on my knees, next to him, tears streaming down my face, “What are you talking about?”

“If you are the real Cordelia, prove it. Just prove it.”

“How?” It sounded more exhausted then I had intended it to be.

He looked over at me, quietly he asked, “What’s a shoeshine?”

I chuckled as I sniffled, “It’s when you become human.”

“And?”

“And I get to put you in plaid and take you to the beach.”

Angel looked over at me, his body seemed to relax, but his face told me he still didn’t believe me, “Proves nothing.”

“Then I don’t know what the fuck you want me to say.” I was just as tired as he was, both facing each other, “What is wrong with you? You’re not Angelus, so what the hell is wrong!?”

“I was in the alley behind the Hyperion, Spike, Gunn, and Illyria…”

“Spike? Illyria?”

“You know who they are,” He glared as I sat there with my mouth hanging open, “we were fighting the army of demons Wolfram and Hart sent after us, Gunn fell first, then Spike was staked. I looked over to see how Illyria was doing, it was the wrong move. Some demon stabbed a wooden cross into the right side of my chest and another chopped off my head. Now I wake up in my bed at my hotel with a woman who died less than six months ago and my infant son who was taken from me, only to grow to hate me. Tell me why I should believe any of what is going on right now!”

“Angel, we fell asleep last night, remember we rescued Fred, then counted and recounted the money. That’s what happened; there was no big demon army. It was a dream, I don’t know why Spike was in it or who Illyria even is, but we fell asleep last night, nothing else happened.” I leaned in slowly, “Angel, trust me.” I touched his right shoulder and he winced.

I sat frozen in my spot as he peeled away his shirt and undershirt to see an already scarring cross that dominated his right pectoral. I had to feel it for myself, I reached over, my eyes on his chest, feeling his eyes on me as I did.

Dumbly, I couldn’t believe it I knew for a fact that he didn’t have a wound like that from last night. It was fresh. even if he did get it last night, it should be more healed then this. It wasn’t supposed to be there!

I looked and into his eyes the look in my eyes were mirrored in his. He shouldn’t be wounded. There shouldn’t be a cross shaped scar on his chest. Dammit I would have known!

I scooted next to him, yes he did assault me and tried to go after Connor but Connor wasn’t here now and I was numb. The same thought kept going through my mind. There shouldn’t be a scar on him. Silently, we both just sat there sat against the same old wall shoulders barely touching and both of us lost in our thoughts.

To this day I don’t remember how much time had passed I just knew that one minute I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on and the next I was trying to keep Wesley from putting an arrow through Angel’s heart. It was one mass of confusion after another Gunn was trying to pull me out of the way, Wes was aiming his crossbow, and Angel was trying to both keep Gunn’s hands off me and avoid Wes’ arrow. God I hate it when my life goes down the crapper and me without life jacket!

I was finally able to explain in the barest of facts, that I could understand what was going on. Gunn still wanted me out of the way, but Wes’ crossbow was lowered, score one for Cordelia.

“He tried to kill both you and Connor, and yet you’re still protecting him?” Gunn had a problem with my stance on the ‘let’s not kill Angel’ policy.

“Speaking of Connor, Gunn, I want you to go get Lorne, Wes stay with Fred and the baby.”

Gunn started towards the door until Wes’ voice stopped him, “Cordelia, you will go with Gunn and remain with the others until all of this is over.”

I glanced back at Angel who had once again slid down the wall and was sitting on the floor, “No, Gunn I want you to bring Lorne.”

“Cordelia, I am the boss of Angel Investigations, and I said you go with Gunn.”

I took a step towards Wes, “You might be the boss of Angel Investigations and when it comes to Fred, Gunn, Lorne, or the agency, I agree you’re in charge, but when it comes to Angel or Connor, I make the final decisions. This is my call, not yours.

“Cordelia.”

“Wesley, just do it.” I was tired and it was all too confusing.

“And if he tries to kill you again, like he did earlier? What then?” Wes just wasn’t going to let go.

I looked down at Angel whose eyes were closed, God, he looked so broken, “He won’t.”

“You are willing to trust the man who less than an hour ago had you pinned to Connor’s crib. Dammit Cordelia, he’s not stable! Something is wrong, I’d rather have you and Connor safe than to have to worry about you.”

“Wes, come with me.” I lead Wes over to the side of the room, “Look, I know that if anything were to ever happen to me or Angel, you would take Connor and leave no trace. I need that…to know that he’s safe no matter what happens to me.”

He still didn’t look convinced, so I tried harder, “Please just go, I trust Gunn to kill Angel if the need arises, but I trust you to raise the baby as your own.”

“Leave us, get Lorne, then we’ll figure out what to do next.” Angel’s voice was quiet but it reverberated throughout the room.

Wes and I stared each other down for a few more moments; Gunn looked like he couldn’t leave soon enough. Finally Wes stepped back and left the room. I looked around Connor’s nursery, it had seen better days; the table next to his crib had been knocked over by one of us. I decided now was as good as time to clean as any.

Gunn once pointed out that cleaning was my avoidance tactic, that’s why whenever something goes bad, this place turns into germ-free central.

I’d cleaned up the nursery, refolded Connor’s clothes, and changed the bedding in the crib, all of this before Gunn came walking into the nursery with a crossbow and a very uncomfortable looking Lorne.

Lorne took a deep breath, “Okay Angelcakes, let’s see what’s going on.”

Slowly, Angel raised his head to look at Lorne, and then began to sing, extremely off key I might add, Mary Had A Little Lamb. I have to admit sounded more like Mary was leading her lamb to its death, but then again I can’t hold a note to save my soul.

Then Lorne did something I’ve never seen him do. Visually shaken, he fell back a few steps, and then spun and stumbled out the door. Great, my aura reading demon is heading for the hills, just what I needed. So I did the next logical thing, I ran after him.

“Lorne! Lorne stop, what did you see?”

Lorne turned around, “I saw everything Connor being taken, Wes’ throat being sliced, Princess, what’s going to happen is bad. I saw everything up to Angel’s head getting cut off, and then it goes blank.” Lorne paused, what is with people and dramatic pauses, just tell get to the important stuff, “But I do get this recurring vibe, something about preventing mistakes.”

“Preventing mistakes?” I just stood there, Angel somehow was sent back to prevent mistakes, “What kind of mistakes?”

“The Apocalyptic kind, lots of badness, and sweetie, you play a key role.”

“Me? Oh this day just keeps getting better and better.” I grabbed Lorne’s arm and led him back into the room. “Okay, here’s what’s going to happen. You guys and I are going to go visit The Powers That Be. I want answers and I want them now! Any questions?”

I watched Gunn raise his hand, “Yeah, how do we get them to talk?”

I turned to Angel, “You talked to them that time I went into ‘It’s a wonderful life land’ we’ll go there.”

“Princess, only a champion can survive.”

“Well Angel’s a champion and I’m his seer, we’re a package deal! Now let’s move it!”

The drive went by quickly, Lorne and Gunn did the whole driver/navigator thing while Angel and I sat in the back. In the middle of our ride there I reached over and grabbed his hand, he squeezed back so hard, I thought he was going to break it. He looked as scared as I was, never a good sign. We get to this place, I kid you not, it was a giant brick wall with a door. Angel and I walked through the door and then landed very ungracefully onto a very hard floor. Groaning I pushed myself up off the floor to see Angel doing the same thing.

A voice boomed, “Champion and seer.”

I looked around the voices were being bounced off the walls, “Yeah, he’s a champion and I’m his seer. We’ve come for some answers. As in, what the hell is going on.”

“We’re fixing mistakes.

“What mistakes?”

“Many mistakes, closing doors.”

“Enough with the cryptic! Tell me what is going on!”

“Mistakes were made….”

“Yeah we got that! Why is my Champion going all psycho on me and you guys are keeping up with the cryptic?”

“Door were opened…champions were crossed…mistakes.”

I let out a scream of frustration, because hey this was just turning out to be the day from hell for me, “Look I don’t give a shit about doors or champions just tell me what is going on!”

“Humans! Always so impatient.”

I spun around to see Joyce Summers, “You have got to be kidding me, Mrs. Summers?”

“Seer, such impatience, all things would have been revealed. We come to you in a manner you recognize. We allowed things to go unchecked, beings became more…ambitious…than we thought possible. We are rectifying those mistakes.”

I grabbed faux Mrs. Summers, and then got the shock from hell. God, how I don’t miss those killing visions, ‘cause I got another taste of them. I felt the tingle and froze; flashes of Skip opening a portal and Groo stepping out. Then I flung back into Angel’s arms, watching helplessly, as I ran to Groo and left with him. I felt my body being thrown forward as I watched Connor be taken, oh God, it hurt to see it all.

Worse was to come when I showed up, I was so damn selfish, I was on my back racking with pain as Connor returned, and I fucking took Skip’s advice and ascended. I could feel the cold floor seeping through my hands and knees as I watched my body molesting Angel’s son, the boy I loved as my own I threw up as I cried my eyes out. All those people that died, I felt them all die, and then I felt that damn higher being ripping herself out of my body.

The next thing I can clearly recall is Angel wiping vomit and tears off my face. The look in his eyes told me he got the muted version of what I saw. All I could say was I was sorry, the words never left my moving lips, but he knew.

“Events will be changed, futures rewritten…”

I was up on my feet, all of the exhaustion I had felt was gone, “You bastards, you let Connor be taken and then sat back, while a rogue PTB on a power trip molested him! You let all of this happen, what were you doing, playing with yourselves?” Incoherent I know, but I was wobbling on a very ugly precipice with out a warning.

I was pissing off a member of the PTB, but at that moment I didn’t really care. They had been slacking on the job while all of this shit went down, and now they wanted me to give them a pat on the back? I don’t think so. I reached for that woman, Angel was pulling me back. “You swear to me that this doesn’t happen, you swear to me that none of what I just saw will happen!”

“Your champion has been sent back, your futures will differ.” She paused and began to walk away, “Those of us who have worked against us have been punished, now leave.”

Angel and I were slammed unceremoniously against the brick wall, Lorne and Gunn were still there, Lorne took one look at me and nodded at Gunn. Guess it was their signal for the night, it didn’t matter. I told them to take us to Connor, then Angel and I climbed into the backseat of Angel’s car, and we sat quietly the entire ride back to my apartment with our hands entwined. They fucking hid Connor at my place, I sat Wesley down a few weeks later and told them they needed a better place to hide. He agreed with me, smart man.

I told one step into my apartment and saw Connor’s bassinet on my coffee table, I wanted to cry some more at the sight, instead I moved aside and Angel rushed towards Connor. He picked him up gently and held him so close, I understood why. They took one look at us and Fred started to ask a question, all it took was me raising my hand to silence them, and a flick my head for them to leave. Queen C was never too far below the surface, they all understood, it was time for them to leave.

I held the door open long enough for the last person to walk out, then shut the door, and walked into the bathroom. I threw up twice more and then curled up into the fetal position and cried. I remember feeling Dennis hover around me, silently, asking if I was okay. I answered him by asking him to start a shower for me and then I proceed to scrub every inch of my body until I was red.

I took my time getting dressed; I was scared to see Angel and Connor. I knew it wasn’t me, my soul, my being that did that to him, but I still saw it, felt it. I dry heaved a bit more at the thought of it. I just finally sucked it up and walked out of my bedroom.

Then I froze, I saw Angel leaning back on my sofa with Connor in his arms, he was tracing Connor’s face, dry tears were streaked down his face. He looked up at me and scooted over for me to squeeze in next to them. I sat down and reached around to pull them both towards me.

My men, I wanted to touch them both, make sure everything was okay. I slid my fingers through Angel’s hair and ran my hand over Connor’s tiny body. My eyes closed so that I remembered every sensation my fingers picked up as they ran through Angel’s hair and over Connor. I wanted to feel everything about them and I need to be reassured, as well as offering comfort back. I smiled as Angel laid a soft kiss on my forehead.

“I’m sorry Cordy, I’m so sorry.”

“For what?”

Angel was rubbing his cheek against my hair, “For earlier, for what I did to you, I’m so sorry.”

I smiled softly at him, “Baby don’t worry about it.” I leaned in and kissed him, there was no reason to say anything else. So we sat there, Angel holding Connor and me holding them both.

That was five years ago, and tonight, as usual, I got to watch the three loves of my life doing our little bed time routine. Angel would read a book, Ireland would drop off in the middle, I’d get to watch my husband pause long enough to tuck our daughter back in. He likes to wrap the kids up like burritos in their beds, and then continue on until he either finished the book or Connor called for me. My son refuses to go to sleep until I kiss both him and three year old sister goodnight, and then we leave the room, shutting the light off as we go. Connor never stays awake long enough for the lights to turn out.

Tonight’s no different, Angel finished the book, and I’m making my way over to my children. I’m smiling as I kiss my daughter goodnight and head over to my son, he’s almost asleep. I give him a kiss and Angel I leave.

This is our future, how it was suppose to be and now is. The PTB and I made up when Connor’s first tooth broke. The PTB felt it was time to secure Angel’s soul, I think they were still on a guilt trip. I don’t feel anything bad towards them because they had fixed their mistakes. I have everything I want. We still help the helpless, our family is still together, a bit bigger now, and this is my life. And I love every single second of it.


…THE END…


 

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