AUTHOR: LIOSLAITH (aka LESLEY-ANN)
SUMMARY: The past comes to visit unexpected, and changes the future for Cordelia and Angel but the past is far from happy with this outcome!!
POSTED: 1 Feb 2004
CATEGORY: Not indicated
WARNINGS: None Listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES: None
Fred glanced up as the front door of the hotel slammed. Standing before her was a group of people she didn’t recognise. At their feet sat luggage of all shapes and sizes.
Did they believe that this was a real hotel? Pasting on a big smile she prepared to enquire and resolve any possible mis-understandments they might have when a short blonde woman her age stepped up to the counter.
“Welcome to Angel Investigations! Is there something we can do for y’all? I’m afraid we aren’t a real … real hotel though. We just work out of one ‘an all. So if y’all are lookin’ for somewhere to stay I can suggest some place fer y’all.”
Ignoring her greeting the woman coolly demanded, “I want to see Angel!”
“Oh! Y’all are clients!! Angel isn’t available just now. You can see one of our other associates now or y’all can return later. It will give ya time to check into yer hotel. If you don’t have one yet I’d be happy to … ”
“I want to see Angel.”
Fred jumped as the blonde’s steely voice interrupted her.
“Angel isn’t available.” Fred explained again.
“Listen I want to see Angel. Right now. So just go and get him.”
Opening her mouth to repeat herself again Fred found herself looking at the blonde’s back as she turned to her companions.
“Would you believe it? Angel has managed to find himself someone even more inept than Cordelia to play at receptionist. And here I thought that to be impossible. But there you go!! He really should stop taking in strays.”
Glaring at the rude girl Fred felt her patience fray. “You are really rude!” she snapped making the blonde swing back around to face her.
“Excuse me?” she coldly asked. Unsure whether she had heard rightly.
“I said you are really rude,” Fred repeated slowly. Carefully enuciating each word.
“Who do you think you are, thinking you can get away with speaking to me like this?”
“I think y’all should ask yourself that question! Not me.” Fred bravely retorted taking to heart all the lessons Cordy had ever gave her on standing up for herself.
“And I think you should go get Angel for me.” the blonde crossed her arms across her chest, daring this girl to defy her once again. “If you go and get him for me now, I might – just might mind you – neglect to tell him of your treatment of me.”
“Go ahead! You tell him,” Fred hotly instructed. “Tell him and I’ll be glad to tell him how rude you have been to me. Angel won’t let you get away with being so nasty.”
Frowning at her sure tone the blonde snorted. “Like Angel would ever take your side over me!”
Fred gasped as the young man behind the blonde spoke to her.
“Don’t you think your overreacting here just a little bit? I’m sure she didn’t mean anything by it.”
“Xander’s right Buffy,” the red-head beside him agreed. “Maybe we should just come back later when Angel is available, just as the receptionist suggests.”
“I don’t want to come back later Willow. I want to see Angel right now.”
“I know your impatient to see him. After all it’s been a long time. But getting upset at his friends won’t help. It’s not her fault Angel’s not here.”
“She didn’t say he wasn’t here Will, she said he was unavailable. So he’s here somewhere and I want to see him.”
“Maybe he’s asleep,” Xander inserted. “It is daytime. The time for all good little vamps to be sound asleep. Right? Lets come back later. He might be around then.”
“And she might not be here to annoy me any further.” Buffy added jerking a thumb in Fred’s direction. “Then I will be able to spend some serious personal time with Angel without employees getting in the way.”
At her friends encouraging nods she turned again striding back up to the counter. Glaring at the other girl.
“Can I at least trust you to give Angel a message?” Buffy demanded.
“What message?” Fred asked evenly, just relieved at the prospect of the rude girl leaving.
“Just that Buffy will be back in a few hours. We’ll be back by four at the very latest. If he can wait that long. If not, which is more than likely, I will leave him my cell number. I won’t go too far away from the hotel, a few minutes max! So I can be back here in a flash.” Buffy yanked the pad out of her hands scribbling down a number on it before handing it back. “Give it to him as soon as you see him. Take it from me – he won’t be happy if you make him wait to see me.”
Without another word Buffy headed for the door with her friends in toe. Seeing their forgotten luggage Fred called out. “Y’all have forgotten yar bags!”
“Just take mine up to Angel’s room, mine are the two matching bags and the smaller matching tote.” Buffy replied with a sly grin. “As for Willow’s, the red one and Xander’s, the black one, just find them a couple of decent rooms. The best you can find. But just make sure they are away from ours … ”
“Ours?” Fred echoed confused.
“Yes ours. Mine and Angel’s room. After all every couple needs their privacy. Talking of which, make yourself scarce. Look on it as a little holiday break. I will even make sure Angel still pays you. How’s that? Despite our rocky start you will be working for us and I see no reason to make unnecessary waves. As long as it doesn’t happen again we can let bygones be bygones.”
“Me? Working for you?” Fred dully asked, frowning.
“Yes of course – Angel and I are a team. Partners, in everything. Oh … where was I?”
“Giving your new receptionist over there your first orders!” Xander quipped making her giggle.
“Oh yes … that’s right. Anyway, Angel and I will need a few days alone to celebrate our reunion. Willow and Xander are only staying a day or so till I’m settled into my new home. So it would be a good idea if you contact any others employees working here and tell them to stay away as well, at least for the next few days. It would be a whole lot easier if all of you stay away until either Angel or myself contact you to tell you to come back to work. So after you arrange Will and Xan’s rooms, contact them with my instructions and you can head on home. Any questions before I go?”
Fred’s eyes flashed as the other girl blithely rattled off her orders.
“I don’t take orders from you!” Fred finally burst out, ignoring her question.
“Excuse me?” Buffy asked, shocked.
“I said I don’t take orders from you! Your not my boss, you have no right to tell me to do anything.”
“I was willing to overlook your earlier outburst but I refuse to put up with further insolence. Especially from an employee. If you wish to remain working for us you will do well to remember that.”
“I don’t work for you.” Fred informed her.
“Maybe not yet … officially anyway. But Angel does employ you, and as this will soon be my business too, then you will be working for me. And I will not put up with any such rudeness from any of my employees. I suggest that you get used to it or start looking for alternative employment.”
“I am not an employee!! I’m an associate here, I work with Angel not for him. Same as everyone else here at Angel Investigations. Even if that wasn’t so I wouldn’t be working for you, Wesley not Angel is boss here.”
“Right!” Buffy snorted as her companions laughed out load. “Wes is boss!! That’s a laugh. Right guys?”
“Sure is,” Xander choked out as Willow continued to chuckle.
“You guys are sure rude!” Fred loudly stated, bringing their attention back to her. “No wonder Angel, Cordy and Wes hate Sunnydale so much if you are typical examples of it’s residents.”
“Angel hates Sunnydale?” Willow frowned. “So does Cordelia and Wes?”
“I’m sure she knows nothing!” Buffy assured her. “Angel doesn’t hate Sunnydale, he probably doesn’t like to talk about it because it reminds him of the fact we couldn’t be together. At least we couldn’t before now.”
Buffy practically glowed as she remembered the reason behind her visit.
“No they really don’t like that place.” Fred confidently stated. “And from what they say, and from having met y’all, I can honestly say I don’t blame them at all.”
“You know nothing about us or where we come from.” Buffy walked over to the counter, glaring at her. “And I suggest you mind your own business.”
“It is so my business when you come charging in here and ordering me around very rudely. Actin’ as if ya own the place and ridiculing a member of my family.”
“We didn’t ridicule anyone.” Willow denied.
“You did so!” Fred defended. “You made fun of Wes being boss.”
“Wes couldn’t run a mile, let alone a business.” Buffy snorted, laughing at her own attempt at comedy.
“For the last time,” Fred wearily stated. “Wes is the boss of Angel Investigations. This is not – nor ever will be again – a hotel, so we don’t have rooms for you or your friends. So you can leave, with your luggage, and call back later or wait for Angel but be sure to keep out of our way. We have a business to run and people to help.”
Emitting a sigh as she finished Fred awaited the blonde’s response, steeling herself.
Just as Buffy was about to respond a deep voice cut through the air.
“What the hell is going on down here?”
“What the hell is going on down here?”
Buffy turned about, gasping in surprise.
He had barely gotten over the shock of seeing Buffy and her two best friends standing in his lobby when he found himself with an armful of slayer.
Disentangling her Angel moved out of her grasping reach.
“Buffy … what are you doing here? And Willow and Xander as well.”
Reaching out to hug him Buffy excitedly explained.
“Oh Angel I have the most wonderful news.”
Pulling away Angel moved to the coffee machine. Holding up his cup he enquired. “Want some?”
When Buffy just looked at him in confusion and the other two didn’t speak, he just shrugged. Handing Fred her cup, he leaned against the counter sipping his own.
After a few moments of silence he glanced at Buffy.
“You were about to tell me why you three are in LA. Particularly in my lobby. Sure there’s nothing wrong? Everything alright in Sunnydale?”
“Angel what’s wrong?” Buffy asked worriedly.
“That’s what I’m asking you?” Noticing their luggage he smiled, “I get it now!”
Buffy smiled broadly, exchanging a knowing smile with Willow, “I thought you would.”
“Your in LA visiting and decided to stop by to say ‘Hi’ on your way to your hotel. I’m sure Cordy mentioned your Dad lived here. Visiting him are you? Nice of you to drop in.”
Fred bit back her smile at the vampire’s less than warm reception to his ex. She knew Buffy had expected a big romantic reunion with him.
“Why are acting like this?”
“Like what?” Angel looked at Fred in confusion. He had no idea what was wrong.
“Like you aren’t happy to see me.”
Angel frowned at the obvious acussation in her voice and words. He had done nothing wrong, he was sure of that.
“Of course I’m happy to see you. Don’t be silly!”
Buffy’s smile shone bright as relief poured through her. Angel was right, she was being silly. But his next words shocked her.
“I’m always happy to see old friends.”
Buffy’s face fell. “Friends.” Buffy softly echoed before asking in a stronger voice. “Is that all I am to you, an old friend?”
Frowning Angel looked at the blonde standing in front of him, a hurt expression on her face.
“Well,” he slowly spoke. “At one time we were more but that time is long gone now. Anything more than friendship between us is impossible.” With a deep sigh Angel drained his coffee, setting his mug down carefully. “Buffy please tell me you didn’t come all this way to try and start up anything between us again?” he pleaded.
“But Angel it’s all different now,” Buffy entreated.
“That’s what I’m trying to tell you Buffy,” Angel agreed sure the were both talking about different things. “Everything has changed since Sunnydale, it’s all different.”
“No … you don’t understand.”
“I have some wonderful news to tell you.”
“And that’s why your here?” Angel guessed. “Because you have something to tell me?”
“Yes,” Buffy excitedly agreed, glad to finally be telling him. Once he heard what she had to say he would be a lot more welcoming. Not to mention affectionate, maybe she should tell him alone. “Maybe we should talk in private?”
Seeing her look pointedly in Fred’s direction Angel frowned. “There’s nothing you can’t tell me in front of Fred.”
“Are you sure Angel?” Buffy frowned. “This is kind of personal.”
“Are Xander and Willow leaving too?”
“So it can’t be too personal then, can it?” Angel reasoned.
“But Xander and Willow are my friends!” Buffy defended.
“Fred is my friend!” Angel insisted. Beginning to become annoyed, remembering exactly why nothing more than friendship – a long distance one at that – was possible between them. “If you can talk about this in front of Xander and Willow then I can listen in front of Fred.”
“Your friend? I find it hard to imagine you with friends. You were never into socializing all that much to meet anybody, let alone make friends.”
“Well things change Buffy. I not only have friends now, I also have my family. It’s a life I never imagined in even my wildest dreams!”
Hearing his words, hearing the emotion in his voice, Buffy was shocked. More than shocked.
“A family? You have a family?”
“Sure.” Totally oblivious to Buffy’s shock Angel smiled broadly, love flowing through him as his thoughts turned to his ever growing family. “It’s so amazing. I sometimes think I am going to wake up and find that this is all a cruel joke. But it’s true, after all this time I really do have my very own family. Right Fred?”
“Sure are right. A true family, just like I told my folks when they came to visit a little while back. Your the hero, Wes is the brains, Gunn is the muscle and Cordy is the heart.”
“She sure is.” Angel agreed oblivious to the angry and disgusted look on Buffy face.
Before Buffy could formulate an answer the doors behind them flung open.
Buffy frown of displeasure deepened as a trio of strangers came trooping into the hotel and halted themselves directly in front of the Sunnydale trio.
The two men flanked a small brunette. As the two groups stood staring at each other the tall thin man on the left of the woman spoke, addressing Buffy directly.
“Good gracious! Buffy,” he looked at her friends in turn, “Willow and Xander too!”
They looked at each other in surprise. This man knew them all, by name.
“What an unexpected surprise! What on Earth are you all doing here?” Wesley looked at Angel who just shrugged his own confusion. Returning his gaze back to the silent slayer enquiring, “I do hope nothing is wrong. Has something happened to Mr Giles?”
Buffy stared at him in confusion.
“Buffy?” Wesley prodded.
“Do I know … ”
She was cut off by Willow who gave a startled yelp. Moving her attention to her best friend Buffy looked at her in surprise.
“Willow what’s wrong?”
“Yeah Will what’s up?” Xander chimed in.
“I don’t believe it!” Willow gasped staring at Wesley with wide eyes.
“Don’t believe what?” Buffy asked.
“It’s Wesley! Or rather he’s Wesley!”
“What are you talking about Will?”
“Him Buffy!” Willow sighed gestured at the man who had spoken. “That’s Wesley Buffy,” she asserted.
Wesley smiled warmly at the babbling girl. Funny she didn’t seem to babble as much as he remembered. Either that or having known Fred for some time the redhead seemed quiet by comparison.
“Wesley?” Buffy looked at her former watcher in shock.
“Hello Buffy,” he said by way of confirmation.
“I don’t believe it!” Buffy repeated Willow’s earlier words, shocked at his altered appearance.
“What’s wrong with you guys?” Gunn asked briskly, not sure he liked these visitors much. “Why are you looking at English like that?”
Xander frowned, confused. “English?”
“He’s talking about Wes,” Angel clarified.
“He is?” Xander responded cluelessly. “Why English? It makes no sense.”
“Yes it does!” Fred argued.
“Fred’s correct,” Wesley agreed. “It makes perfect sense. It’s just a nick-name.”
“Why English? Not much of a nick-name if you ask me.”
“Nobody asked you!” Gunn argued.
“Guys!” Angel shouted stopping the argument he saw growing. “Let’s not get testy here, there’s no need.”
“Tell them that!” Gunn snorted eyeing Xander in disgust.
“I am telling everyone,” Angel emphasized.
“Gunn it’s alright,” Wes assured him. “I’m sure Xander mean’t nothing by it.”
“Of course I didn’t,” Xander agreed. “I just thought it a strange nick-name. It’s kinda … I don’t know … unimaginative. I’d figure Wes would’ve had another nick-name … something more … him.”
“Like what?” Fred queried curiously.
“Like … I don’t know … erm … how about screamer?”
“Why screamer?” Fred asked. “It makes no sense that one!”
“Fred’s right,” Gunn agreed. “Screamer is stupid as a nick-name.”
“And English isn’t?” Buffy taunted.
“Of course not,” Fred denied. “Wesley is English, so it makes sense as a nick-name. Unlike screamer which makes absolutely no sense.”
“It does so make sense!” Xander insisted petulantly. “Let’s face it … it’s what he is,” he gestured towards Wesley missing Gunn’s hostile glare completely.
“Wes is a screamer?” Fred frowned looking at her friends in clear confusion. “I’ve never heard Wes raise his voice, let alone scream. Why would he?”
Buffy rolled her eyes at her, exchanging an amused glance with her friends. “Well, obvious much! Haven’t any of you ever seen his reaction to … say … a vampire?”
“Or any other demon!” Xander chuckled.
“I don’t think I like what y’all are implying!” Gunn growled out, his stance totally angry and ready for a fight.
“Oh huh!” Fred whispered looking at Angel in immediate understanding at their friend’s actions.
“Whose implying?” Buffy laughed. “Wesley’s reactions are well known in Sunnydale!”
“You can say that again!” Xander agreed. “Nobody could run so fast or scream so loud as Wesley could as soon as the demons showed up.”
“Well except for Cordelia,” Buffy inserted laughing even louder.
“Yeah I hafta admit Cordelia was as good, if not better at it.” Xander was oblivious to Gunn’s mounting anger or Angel’s as the vampire began to growl warningly in the back to his throat. “Then again Cordelia did have more practice at it.”
The Scoobies riotous laughter and the LA gang’s growing anger was interrupted by a new voice who asked brightly, “Cordelia had more practice at what exactly?”
As one they all turned to look at the new arrival and the Sunnydale group all gasped loudly at what they saw.
“Cordelia had more practice at what exactly?”
As one they all turned to look at the new arrival and the Sunnydale group all gasped loudly at what they saw.
“Well? Isn’t anyone gonna tell me what’s so amusing?”
Adjusting the precious cargo in her arms she continued to look at the all in askance.
“So, is anyone going to answer me or have you all been struck dumb by my amazingly good looks?”
Angel smiled warmly at the vivacious brunette as their visitors continued to stare silently.
“Come on guys! Have I suddenly grown a second head or something?”
“Or something!” Xander gulped transfixed at the sight before him. “Aa I seeing things?” he asked his friends desperately.
“If you are then so am I,” Buffy responded.
“Oh my Goddess!” Willow squeaked. “You have a baby!” she pointed to the child sitting happily in her arms, eyeing the strangers in his home curiously. “I … we … didn’t know you had a baby. Why didn’t you tell us you had a baby?”
“Hello Willow,” Cordelia greeted her warmly before addressing her companions much more coolly, “Buffy … Xander.”
Racing forward to stand directly in front of them Willow reached out a timid hand, touching Connor’s leg almost reverantly.
“Oh he is absolutely gorgeous!” she praised Cordelia. “What’s his name?”
“His name’s Connor,” Cordelia beamed nuzzling his face making him giggle.
“What a lovely name. How old is he?”
“Thank you, we like it but it’s really Angel you should flatter.” Cordelia smiled broadly in his direction.
Totally enraptured in Connor Willow didn’t see the look, nor Angel’s responding smile. But Buffy had and was none too happy with the warmth and affection clearly visible between the two friends.
“Connor is almost six months old,” Cordelia went on. Like Willow oblivious to Buffy’s negative feelings. “He’s getting to be a big boy now.”
“How come you didn’t tell us about him?” Willow asked gently, not moving her eyes from the equally interested infant.
“Yeah Cordy? How come you didn’t tell us?” Xander demanded sounding more than a little put out.
“Isn’t it obvious Xan?” Buffy snorted.
“Can’t say it is,” he retorted calmly.
“We didn’t think to tell any of you guys for a coupla reasons,” Cordelia cut in. Firstly, we had a lot of crazy stuff going on here when Connor was born. We were all too busy dodging all kinds of demons and bounty hunters to consider sending out birth notices. And when we finally managed to get things settled back down we were too busy looking after our newest family member and enjoying our time with him and it never occured to us to send news.”
“Cordy’s right!” Angel piped in. “Having a baby around the place tends to take priority over everything else.”
“Not that we’re complaining!” Cordelia assured them brightly as Angel crossed to stand next to them, plucking Connor into his own arms.
Buffy looked on in horror as he cuddled the baby close. He seemed so at ease as he played with the child in his arms.
Frowning she noticed that the three of them looked like a family. Mom, Dad and Baby Son.
As she watched Cordelia and Angel both tickled and kissed the infant. Talking softly to him.
Unable to take it any longer she snapped out snidely and loudly at her high school nemesis.
“So tell us about Connor’s father Cordelia. Is he still hanging around or did he take off when you told him you were pregnant?”
Cordelia looked at her increduously. “Excuse me?”
Putting on a fake look of concern Buffy placed a hand over her mouth momentarily. “Oh dear,” she gasped trying to look shocked and friendly warm. “I’m so sorry! How insensitive of me,” Buffy apologized not looking the least bit repentant. “You don’t know who he is and here’s me going on about him and embarassing you … I hope you can forgive me!”
…TO BE CONTINUED…
THIS FIC APPEARS TO BE UNFINISHED