AUTHOR: LADYTIGERLILI (aka Lili)
SUMMARY: A turn of events changes the way Birthday and the rest of the series plays out.
POSTED: 12 Aug 2010
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A in AtS S3
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, my wonderful husband for being my beta. The next chapter will actually be my motivation for writing this story, but I felt it needed a lead in, so there will have to be a chapter one, and where there is a chapter one and two then there must be more. I’m feeling totally giddy right now after writing this chapter, actually having it proofed, and posted all tonight.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Fred remarked.
”What doesn’t?” Gunn asked, as he closed the drawer he was looking though.
”It’s all… normal,” she replied with a confused look.
“And that’s wrong?” Gunn asked, walking towards her carrying a green scrap of silk in his hands.
”No, what’s wrong is you picking through Cordelia’s personal support things, “ she replied gesturing with her hands as she looked at the green bra he held.
“What, this?’ He asked, holding up and waving it in front of her. ‘Come on, you’re telling me you never hid anything in your underwear drawer?”
“I don’t know. I mean, for five years I didn’t even have,’ she began and stopped the color rushing to her cheeks. ‘Can we not talk about my underwear, please?! And put that down. I just figured if Cordy was taking something serious like Seltrex she’d have tried other stuff first. But, there’s not even any Aspirin in here,’ she explained leaning in to Gunn she whispered, ‘I think he’s protecting her.”
Gunn stepped back into the bedroom looking around but not actually expecting to see anything. He called out, “Phantom Dennis? Listen, we would never ask you to betray Cordelia, but we need to see whatever it is she’s been hiding from us. I mean, unless you so hyped on the ghosting life that you want her to join you?” He sat on Cordelia’s bed. It seemed for a moment that nothing had come of his request. Then, a storage container slid out from under the bed between his feet.
“Hmm. You looked through the underwear drawer first, didn’t ya?” Fred asked jokingly. Flipping the lid they begin to look through its contents. It was filled with folders, paperwork, MRI’s, CAT scans, and several prescription bottles. Gunn looked through some of the paperwork as Fred looked through the labels on the bottles. “The date on this prescription? It’s from a year ago,” she explained holding it up.
“Hey, take a look at this,” Gunn said handing her a large envelope he had found in the box.
Fred took one look at what was scrawled across the front and burst into tears.
“Cordy please wake up,” Angel pleaded.
“Don’t you think I would if I could? I’m standing right in front of you yelling and you can’t even hear me,” Cordelia’s astral body stood in front of him waving her hands in his face while her solid form lay in the bed behind her motionless. “What’s the use,” she sighed.
“Angel,” Lorne called from the door. “ You’re needed down stairs. I’ll sit with Princess for a while.
“Can’t it wait?” Angel asked looking at the green demon in the doorway. With a lost look in his eyes he looked back to the bed at the form of the woman lying in before him.
“No, I’m sorry. Gunn and Fred are back and they have something you need to see,” Lorne replied his voice almost breaking.
Angel leaned over and whispered into Cordelia’s ear, “I’ll be right back.”
Lorne looked on quietly in heart breaking silence. It wasn’t until Angel left the room that he broke his silence. “You’ve really done it now sweetheart. You think Angel was broody before, just wait.”
“What do you mean?” Cordelia asked forgetting for the moment that she couldn’t be heard.
“Why didn’t you just tell us what the visions were doing to you instead of hiding it?” Lorne asked, answering her in spite of the fact he hadn’t heard her and couldn’t see her standing there with an expectant look on her face.
“Oh, no.” she whispered with a shocked look on her face.
Angel stopped at the top of the stairs and looked over the railing, shocked by what awaited him there. Wesley was seated with a plastic storage container on his desk and a manila folder held limply in his hand. The look on his face was one of shock, distress, and sadness. Angel pried his eyes away from his friend’s face at the sounds he heard. It wasn’t just crying it was weeping. He saw Gunn sitting hunched over on the round sofa in the center of the lobby. Fred lay with her head in his lap, her body curled up with her hands covering her face. He must have made a sound because Gunn looked up towards him from where he was comforting Fred. Both anger and sadness dwelled in Gunn’s eyes.
Later he would remember every detail as he descended the stairs and crossed the lobby to where Wesley sat, but for now it was if time stood still. Wesley explained to Angel what Cordelia had been hiding from them all. She had been seeing doctors for the past year. Wesley showed him the scans of her brain and explained how it was dying. All the evidence was there laid out before him, but nothing Angel heard seemed to sink in. It was if he was in a dream.
With a concerned look on his face, Wesley slowly handed Angel a large envelope.
It was in that moment, when Angel glanced down at the envelope in his hands that the realization of what he had heard hit him full force. Somewhere inside of him where his heart used to be a great pain erupted. He let out a tortured vampiric scream. It seemed like hours passing when in reality a few moments later Angel sank to his knees and ripped open the envelope titled, For Angel In the Event of My Death or Something Like That.
Angel’s roaring scream brought both Lorne and Cordelia running. Cordelia came to a dead stop at the top of the stairs when she saw what was happening. Lorne ran straight through her on his way down stairs.
Angel was sitting on the floor in silence as he looks through the contents of the envelope. There is a standard Will enclosed listing Wesley as her executor. There are also 3 smaller envelopes addressed to Angel, Everyone, and her parents. His hands shake as he stares at the small ivory envelope in his hands. It smells faintly of Cordelia.
“No Angel don’t read that,” Cordelia screams in vain. He can’t hear her.
She tries to run to Angel and somehow stop him. Instead she is stopped in her tracks when an ominous black mass rises up in front of her and an invisible wind whips around her. One moment she is standing on the stairs and the next she is gone.
Angel slips the ivory paper from its matching envelope. He opens it and begins to read. After several minutes Angel stands up dropping the contents of the envelope to the floor. “No! This isn’t going to happen,” he says as he stalked towards Lorne.
“Angel honey,” Lorne speaks, sympathetically. He can feel the waves of distress and heartache radiating off of Angel.
“Lorne, I don’t care how many favors you have to call in. I don’t care how many gods you have to cross. You have a connection to the Powers That Be and you’re gonna find me a way to talk to them! Understand?” Angel demanded.
“It-it’s not that easy. I mean, contacting the Powers is a muddy, not to mention dangerous, area. But this is a, this is a bit much to ask,” Lorne fumbled.
“I’m not asking,” Angel replies, with a determined tone that no one can refuse. He fists Cordelia’s letter in his hand and starts up the stairs leaving silence in his wake.
Five sets of eyes watched Angel retreat from the room. The silence left behind was deafening. Gunn was visibly tense and shaken. Fred began sobbing softly, too shocked by what had transpired to make a noise. Wesley stooped to scoop up the remnants of Cordy’s envelope.
One minute Cordelia was standing on the stairs at the Hyperion and the next she was some were else. She looked around and became confused. She was in a mall. The black mass had manifested. Before her stood a rather intimidating Demon. Her instinct was to run but she felt glued in place.
“You’re – you’re – death?” Cordelia asked?
“I’m Skip,” the demon replied offering his hand to shake. “You’re Cordelia Chase, right? Sorry it took me so long.”
“What is this? Who are you? What the hell is going on?!” She demands.
“You got questions? I get that. And I’ll answer them,” Skip explained.
“Am I dead?” Cordelia asked?
“Not yet. But you will be – very soon. Unless you work with me,” he told her.
“I don’t want to die.”
“So don’t,” the demon states simply.
“Why are we in a mall?” Cordelia asks.
“We just figured you’d be more comfortable here.”
”We?” She asks, as she follows him down the mall corridor.
”The Powers That Be” Skip replies.
”The Powers That Be popped me out of my body and sent me to a Mall?” Cordelia asks astonished.
”Actually, this is more a construct of a Mall. You know, like in the Matrix,” he explained.
“You’ve seen the Matrix?”
”Oh, love that flick. When Trinity is all ‘dodge this’ and the agent just crumples to the … and I’m not really instilling any awe anymore, am I?” Skip tells her.
Cordelia sighed rolling her eyes. “Why did you bring me here?” She asks.
“To give you a choice. You can go back into your body and some time in the very near future I guarantee a vision is going to kill you or you can live. Life or death?” He asks.
“That’s the choice. What’s the catch?” She asked.
“The catch is what are you willing to do to live?” He asks. “But, we’ll get to that later. Right now we’ve got places to go and people to see.”
The wind whips around her again and for a moment she feels like she’s floating.
Wesley sat at his desk. He had read the letter Cordelia left everyone over and over before handing it off to Fred and Gunn to read. It was a lot to take in. A clash of emotions overwhelmed him. She was saying goodbye, but he was not going to let that happen. He knew Angel was not going to let it happen either now all he had to do was find a solution.
“There’s gotta be something we can do. This ain’t right. I’ve lost one sister, I’m not losing another,” Gunn ranted shoving the letter into Fred’s waiting hands. Lashing out he punched the wall. The sharp pain that shot up his arm went unnoticed. He stalked off leaving Fred to read alone.
I love you Guys!
I know if you are reading this then I am probably dead. I know the visions are killing me or have killed me. Please don’t be angry with me for not telling you. I just couldn’t take the pity. And, don’t be angry with yourselves for not noticing. I did my best to hide it.
Wesley and Gunn you are my brothers. I want to thank you for that. Fred I haven’t known you long but you feel just like a sister to me. Lorne, I want you to know that you are the classiest guy I know. You have all become my family, a way better one then I was born with or deserve. I’m not very good when it comes to goodbyes.
So, I’ll just say that I love you all. Take care of yourselves and each other. Please take care of Angel he needs so much help. Tell Connor what an awesome aunt I was.
“I can’t believe you Cordelia. If you weren’t in a coma right now I’d… You really piss me off, you know that? I thought we trusted each other. But you’ve been lying. MRI’s and CAT scans? It’s been going on for over a year. Why couldn’t you let me in? I could have helped you. You make me so furious,” Angel ranted as he held Cordelia’s lifeless hand. He stares down at the crumpled letter in his hand and gently smoothes it back out. He looks blindly at the words on the page.
I know what you must be thinking. Cordelia is so dead. Sorry bad joke on my part since if you are reading this I probably am dead. I don’t even know how soon after my death you will read this. It could be hours, days, or even years.
But, seriously, I know what you’re thinking. How could she do this? Well it’s like this. I couldn’t stand you and every one looking at me pathetically. Oh, poor Cordy, The visions are killing her. It would have taken time away from the mission. Help the helpless, its what we do, it’s who we are, it’s not me.
I know the visions are killing me or have killed me, but I’m not helpless. I always kind of knew I would have a short life. I was never one of those people who could picture growing old and living a long full life. You know back in high school I figured I would marry a rich guy and be set. That was as far into the future I could see. Now, to me that is pathetic. The visions gave me a purpose; they gave me a real family based on love and respect. They gave me you. I wouldn’t trade that for any amount of money.
I also know you well enough to know that you blame yourself. DON’T! I don’t blame you. I don’t blame anyone. It was my destiny Angel. I have come to terms with it.
I have a small confession to make. I’m scared. But I know it’s right. I know somehow it’s all going be all right.
I Love You
P.S. I’m sorry I had to break my promise. You’ll have to Shoe-Shine without me.
The lobby was fairly quite. Wesley, Fred and Gunn were all engrossed in books. Each felt the need to do something to try and help Cordelia. So far they had found little helpful information. It was pretty much all bad news. They had learned that humans were not well suited to having visions. They had found very few instances where a human with the visions had lived more then a year. Angel hadn’t come down for the past couple of hours, and everyone was getting more stressed as the time wore on. Their hope was renewed when they heard the front door open, and Lorne walked through. But, it was short lived when they saw the terrible shape he was in.
“Oh, for the love of God, somebody get me a sea-breeze,” Lorne wailed stumbling though the front door.
Wesley and Fred rushed to his side as he limped into the hotel. He was in pretty bad shape. One of his horns is broken and dangling from his forehead. A large purple bruise covers the right side of his face
“Lorne! What happened?” Fred exclaimed.
”I can’t really talk about it,” Lorne informed them.
“Then how we supposed to find them so we can kick their asses?” Gunn demanded. He was feeling pretty helpless, and need to do some ass kicking.
”Ah, no. I mean I can’t talk about it. They cast a spell. I went down to the lo…” Lorne tried to explain, “See?”
“Did you get the information?” Angel asks entering the room.
”Oh, why yes, Angel. My horn should grow back in a couple of days. So kind of you to be concerned,” Lorne wined.
“We have bigger problems right now. You remember Cordelia,” Wesley interjected angrily. “How is she, Angel?”
“Not good. Fred will you please stay with her until I get back?” Angel requested.
“Sure thing,” Fred replied.
“Well, they didn’t say I couldn’t write it,” Lorne replied soberly. He grabbed a slip of paper from the desk and scribbled down the directions for angel.
Angel snatched the piece of paper and headed for the door.
”Angel, all kidding aside, this isn’t something to be taken lightly. Only a champion can
Cordelia looked around and found herself in an upscale apartment. A crowd of people surrounded her. There was a party going on. It all seemed vaguely familiar to her. A redheaded woman passes by catching Cordelia eye. She knew her. It was Margo; an acquaintance she had made when she first arrived in L.A. Cordelia now realized where she was.
Skip stared at Cordelia intently. “You remember this?” Skip asked.
“This is the party where I bumped in to Angel after I moved to L.A.,” she replied. “Oh look there I am. What was I thinking? That dress with those shoes makes me look about 3 feet tall.”
“Your whole life changed that night. Didn’t it?” Skip probed.
“Yes,” she replied.
Cordelia watched herself as she flirted with a couple of wanna- be moguls. Her eyes scanned the room. They settled on Angel. “Angel,” She whispered his name, and smiled.
“Angel looks the same,” Skip said, there was a hint of venom in his voice.
Cordelia shivered at Skips comment. She caught venomous undertones in his comment. Skip had been slowly creeping her out since she me him. “You know Angel?” She asked.
“We’ve met,” Skip replied doing a better job at hiding the bitterness in his voice.
Cordelia watched as Angel caught sight of her younger self, and walked to her towards her.
“Don’t trust him!” The voice came out of nowhere, but it seemed oddly familiar.
Cordelia was the only one who heard it, and before she could respond everything around her disappeared. Seconds later she was standing in side a cargo ship. Below her 20 or so Lister demons looked up, and watched in horror. A huge glowing orb was suspended from the ceiling. In front of her she was in mid kiss with Doyle.
Cordelia looked around in search of Skip. She found him standing behind her. “Please don’t show me this,” her words and her eyes pleaded.
He didn’t reply. He only stood there staring.
Cordelia didn’t catch the smirk that was hiding in Skip’s eyes, but a cold chill crept down her spine.
“Too bad we’ll never know if this is a face you could learn to love,” Doyle asks her younger self as he morphs into his demon face before leaping from the platform.
Cordelia rushes to try and stop what’s going to happen, but she is stopped. Skip grabbed her by the arm. She whipped her head around as she struggled to get free from the grasp.
“You cannot intervene,” Skip explained to her.
The scene in front of her froze with Doyle in mid jump.
“Why are you showing me this?” Cordelia begged.
“Be because it also changed your life,” Skip replied.
Cordelia could think of other times her life had been changed. The small moments that at the time seemed unimportant but had shaped her. She almost felt that they were more important then what she was being shown.
“Lets go,” Skip said.
The world once again began to fade out. As it did Cordelia heard,” You are being mislead.” It was the voice again.
“WESLEY!” Fred screamed. Her voice echoed through the hotel.
He dashed out of his office, and took the stairs two at a time. Gunn and Lorne were close on his heels as he rushed into Angel room
“I don’t think she’s doing well. I think she stopped breathing for a minute.” Fred cried as she held Cordy’s hand for dear life.
Wesley crossed the room, and looked down at Cordy lying on the bed. He leaned over and felt her pulse. It was weak but it was still there. Looking at her face he could see tears on her cheeks as if she had been crying.
“It looks like she has been crying,” Wesley commented and everyone gathered around her to see.
“She was. She was just lying there, and tears started to fall, but she didn’t move. Nothing else happened until I thought she had stopped breathing,” Fred rambled.
“She may have stopped breathing. Her pulse is very weak,” Wesley replied.
“I wish Angel was here.” Fred cried.
“Me too, Honeybun,” Lone said. He reached over and placed a comforting hand on Fred’s shoulder.
“Mystical coma or not, she’s not doing well I think it’s time we took her to the hospital,” Wesley explained.
“I agree,” Gunn said with a firm nod.
“I’ll go call an ambulance,” Wesley whispered as he exits the room.
Angel was free falling in nothingness when suddenly the ground rose up to meat him. He crashes to the floor. He was in roundish room with the floor covered in dirt, and there is a square column in the center. Atop of the column is a flame. Angel struggles to his feet. A myriad of voices surround him. It is as if they are all speaking at once.
“It is come. The champion is come. Come for what? Answers not to be had. Death is certain. Death awaits.”
“I want to talk to the conduit,” Angel demanded.
“We are the conduit. We are the gateway, the all the time, the ever. It wishes to speak to us.”
“Yes, it does. Are you gonna show yourselves?” Angel asked.
“We are unseen. Formless. It speaks unknowing. Send it away.”
“I’m not going anywhere until I get my message to the Powers That Be. My friend, Cordelia, has visions given to her by the Powers. They’re killing her. I want the Powers to take them back. Let her go. She’s suffered enough!” Angel pleaded.
An unseen force tosses Angel like a rag doll across the room. He smashes into the wall.
“Suffering? Does it know suffering?”
He’s picked up again and thrown into the opposite wall.
“Yes it does. The Powers owe nothing. Send it away. Send it away.”
“I’m not finished,” Angel announced, demanding to be heard.
Before she knew it Cordelia was standing the same round room. She watched as Angel pushed himself up from the ground and back to his feet.
“Its pleas are pointless. Her path is chosen. We will not interfere.”
Cordelia looked around for the source of the voices, but saw no one else in the room aside from herself, Angel, and Skip.
“The visions are too much. She’s not strong enough to handle them,” Angel pleaded.
“No, you’re not listening! Cordelia’s not a champion. She’s a rich girl from Sunnydale who likes to play superhero. She doesn’t have what it takes to do this! Don’t the Powers get that? Stop whispering and listen to me, damn it! She’s weak,” Angel raged.
Cordelia felt hurt. It was as if Angel was yanking out her heart. She wanted to run.
“See how little you mean to Angel,” Skip told her, as if throwing it in her face.
“He can’t mean it. He just…” Her voice broke
“Shall we go,” Skip urged.
“He lies,” It was that voice again in Cordelia’s ear. This time she could tell it was a woman’s voice. Now only if she could place it.
“You’re killing her. She’s unconscious, and she’s alone. Who knows if she’s in pain?” Angel was begging.
“It is angry. It is afraid.”
“See he can’t really mean it Skip…” Cordelia started but was whisked way before she could finish her thought.
“I’m more afraid of her dying than she is. What is that?” Angel asked.
“Love. He feels. Sent it away. Sent it away.”
Angel was hurled back up and out of the conduits plane of existence.
Fred and Gunn stood as a man in a white lab coat approached them.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Wells. Are you here with Cordelia Chase?” The doctor greeted them and asked.
”How is she?” Fred wanted to know.
“Are you the next of kin?” Dr. Wells asked looking directly at Fred.
“She’s my sister,” Gunn told him.
The doctor raised an eyebrow at him.
“Half sister that is,” Gunn quickly explained.
“Right,” the doctor said not believing him. He continued on anyway. “ Ms Chase’s vitals are low. She has slipped into a coma. There’s not much we can do. We’re running a few tests, but her neurologist has faxed over her latest MRI and CAT scans. It doesn’t look good.”
“Is there anything you can do?” Gunn asked as he held on to Fred whose head was buried in his shoulder.
“I’m afraid not. Normally I shouldn’t even be giving you any information, but you seem to really care about her. You need to be prepared for the fact she will probably never wake up. You’ll need to contact her actual next of kin.” The doctor explained to them as kindly as he could.
As the doctor walked away, Gunn wrapped his arms around Fred and gave into his own tears.
“See, he can’t really mean it Skip. He’s just in pain,” Cordelia was still in mid sentence when she found herself once again in the mall with Skip.
“Angel’s always in pain,” Skip replied sarcastically.
“I don’t think I like your attitude very much,’” Cordelia told him.
“Fine, you don’t like it, then I’ll leave. I didn’t sign on for this,” Skip said as he disappeared.
“Skip wait! Don’t go! How do I get back?” Cordelia cried out.
Several minutes passed. Cordelia was all alone. She didn’t know what to do or how to get out of where ever she really was.
“He’s just trying to scare you.”
Cordelia looked around her for the source of the voice. It was the same voice she had been hearing since this whole out of body journey with Skip had started. It was steadily growing more and more familiar to her.
“I’m really getting tired of all your cryptic messages! Would you just show your self already,” Cordelia yelled, her voice echoing through the empty mall.
“If you insist.”
A woman appeared before her. It was the last person Cordelia expected to see. She was shocked. “Darla!?”
“Hey you can’t be here!” Skip yelled returning. He began walking towards Darla and instantly froze in place.
“Darla!?” Cordelia exclaimed in disbelief.
“Very good Cordy. Do you think we might move past that?” Darla replied sarcastically.
“I knew it, I’m in hell,” Cordelia assumed.
“Pfft! Why do you think this is hell?” Darla wanted to know.
“Don’t Pfft me. I’m the Queen of Pfft. Why wouldn’t we be in hell? Hello, you’re evil!” Cordelia replied.
“Ok. Ms Queen of Pfft, why would you think you’re in hell? Your all miss goody- two-shoes?” Darla sassed back.
“Humph, so, this isn’t hell,” Cordelia said.
“No, apparently self sacrifice is a get out of jail free card,” Darla explained. “Now we haven’t got much time left before Mr. Ugly Demon over there unfreezes. Look through the lies he feeds you. Oh shit! Times up. Gotta go. Remember, you can’t trust him.”
“How do I know I can trust you?” Cordelia asked, but Darla had already disappeared and Skip was beginning to unfreeze.
“Where did she go?” Skip raged.
“She appeared and disappeared almost the moment you came back. Thanks for leaving me by the way,” Cordelia answered him.
“Well, I’m back now. It’s time I told you your choices. You can go back now, and you will die, or you can become part demon,” Skip explained to her.
“Part demon?” Cordelia asked in shock.
“It will save you from the pain and harm of visions, but you still don’t have to answer now,” Skip told her.
“What kind of demon? Are you sure that’s really the only choice?” Cordelia wanted to know.
“That’s all the Powers told me, but why worry now. It’s time to go to the future,” explained Skip.
Wesley slammed the phone back down on its cradle as the anger and pain inside him began to boil over.
“I need a drink,” Lorne announced. He made his way to the front desk where he kept his emergency makings for a sea breeze. Pulling out the vodka he took one quick look at the cranberry juice on the shelf in the mini-fridge before unscrewing the top of the bottle in his hands and pouring a glass of straight vodka. He walked over to Wesley with the glass in one hand, and the bottle in the other. He set the glass on the desk in front of Wesley before tipping back the bottle of vodka and taking a long drink.
Wesley stared at the glass in front of him with his eyes clouded over in a haze of red anger. He pick up the glass with a shaking hand and brought it to his lips. He downed nearly half the glass before throwing it against the wall.
Angel heard the shattering glass as he approached the doors of the Hyperion. He rushed the last few steps to the door. As he reached for the handle the door opened for him and Wesley came barreling out.
“Wes, where are you going?” Angel demanded.
“I need to see a lawyer,” Wesley replied with out stopping.
Angel rushed inside to find Lorne standing in the middle of the lobby. He was in some kind of trance and didn’t react when Angel approached him. Big tears welled in the Pylean’s eyes.
Angel turned and dashed towards the steps but Lorne’s voice stopped him.
“She’s not there Angel,” Lorne said numbly.
“Where is she?” Angel yelled, whipping around.
“The hospital,” Lorne’s reply was barely out of his mouth before Angel was out the doors on his way to the hospital.
A moment later Cordelia was standing in a run down apartment. Weak candle light flickered around the dingy room. Her eyes came to rest on two men. One was a mere boy, and the other was Angel. At first she couldn’t understand what was happening. They seemed to be fighting over a jacket. She cried out as the young man lunged to attack angel.
Angel dodged him and pinned him against the wall. “Listen to me,” Angel demanded.
“No!” The boy yelled in Angels face. He pushed against Angel and twisted him around so that Angel was the one shoved against the wall.
“ Can’t we do something?” Cordelia pleaded to Skip.
“This has not happened yet.” Skip explained.
She turned back to watch Angel and the young man struggle.
Angel let out a sigh as he was released. He charged after the boy, grabbing him by the back of the shirt and throwing him up against the opposite wall. Angel held him there. “You will listen.”
“No!” The boy yelled again as he struggled to get free of Angels grasp.
“Conner stop!” Angel pleaded.
Cordelia felt her heart drop from her chest as the boy, Conner, pulled back and punched Angel. Time froze before impact. Conner’s hand was just millimeters from Angel’s face. She whipped around to question Skip. “What the hell is going on? Is that Conner?”
“Yes, and all because you weren’t there,” Skip replied cryptically.
The hospital smelled like antiseptic and death. Funny that it should smell like both. Lorne had made it to Angel’s car just in time to leap in as Angel peeled out of the parking lot. Now they both stood in the door to Cordelia’s private room.
A noise from the door caught Gunn’s attention, and he looked up at Angel and Lorne. Fred sat on his lap. She had long since fallen asleep after crying. She stirred in his arms.
“Where’s Wes?” Gunn asked.
“He said he needed to see a lawyer,” Angel replied, but he didn’t take his eyes off Cordelia. She was hooked up to all kinds of things. He wanted to desperately look away and not see, but he couldn’t.
“That’s not good. We gotta do something,” Gunn exclaimed gently pushing Fred from his lap and jumping up.
“Why?” Angel answered coldly. “The worst thing that can happen is he kills a couple of lawyers.”
“No man, the worst thing is he gets killed,” Gunn replied.
Angel’s eyes softened in slight apology. “ I didn’t think. I just… Cordelia… I mean.” He couldn’t get the words out.
“Angel,” Fred said gently. “We love Cordy and we are here for her.”
“If there is a way to help her we will,” Lorne said.
Angel looked longingly at Cordelia before nodding his head and turning from the room.
Fred wandered back to the chair beside Cordy’s bed.
Gunn grabbed Lorne’s arm, “Lets go Green, we’ve got answers to find.”
…TO BE CONTINUED…
THIS APPEARS TO BE AN UNFINISHED STORY