Story for Kimmers


AUTHOR: MARIE
SUMMARY: On Valentine’s Day, Angel is shown that the Senior Partners (along with Eve) are *not* evil, but actually good and work for the Powers. Spike and Angel are still vampires, but are what is called Daywalkers…they can go out into the daylight. The Scoobies come to town and don’t like what they see.
RATING: PG13
POSTED: 12 Feb 2004
CATEGORY: HOLIDAY FIC (VALENTINE’S DAY) / FIC CHALLENGE
CONTENT/PAIRING: Cordy/Angel, Connor/Eve, Spike/Fred
WARNINGS: None Listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES:
1) A challenge by Kimmers.
2) Special thanks to Cali for being my wonderful beta at such short notice. :grouphug:
3) Kimmers, I dedicate this story to you and I hope you have a lovely Valentines Day. I know you love family based stories with happy endings so I’ve tried to write something that I hopw you will like with a happy ending.
STATUS: Complete


WOLFRAM & HART BUILDING.

If one looked carefully up at the top of the large imposing building known as Wolfram & Hart and lately home to the crew of Angel Investigations, the figure of a man could be seen staring out of the window into the city. Los Angeles at night was a myriad of neon signs and twinkling lights. The hustle and bustle of daytime city life, suddenly transformed into the hustle and bustle of night.

To the all the too heightened and sensitive hearing of the vampire silhouetted against the dark night sky, the incessant pounding rhythm interspersed with snatched snippets of conversation and occasional shrieks of laughter from the revellers and partygoers the night attracted did nothing to lessen the ever present pounding rhythm of darkness and despair that was drumming against his non-beating heart.

Los Angeles a place that could be shrouded in darkness as much as in light. A place that could easily be described as at one with the turmoil that forever lived within the vampire. A place that was also shrouded with darkness and light.

The vampire stood immobile and seemed to be made of stone. It wasn’t until he wearily sighed and moved away from the window that one realised he was not made of stone, but was crafted out of muscle and bone hardened and honed to perfection from centuries of living the life of the undead.

A knock at the door of the lavish office the vampire occupied indicated why he had moved away from the window.

“What do you want Spike?” he gruffly barked at the intruder.

“Is that any way to treat the closest thing to family you have, you big poofter” the only other known vampire with a soul in existence responded.

The taller darker vampire snarled and grabbed the smaller vampire around the neck and pinned him to the wall.

“You are not part of my family Spike, what you are is a thorn in my side, a constant reminder of all things bad from a time long ago. I have no family now, so give me one good reason why I shouldn’t snap your pathetic scrawny neck”.

“Er, well for starters I have a soul now which means I’m not evil anymore. I’m just like you Peaches and secondly I thought you might need some cheering up seeing as tomorrow is Valentines Day and we all know what an affinity you have with hearts and flowers once 14th February comes around”.

“What” as realisation hit the darker vampire, he loosened his grip around the smaller vampire’s neck and let him drop to the floor.

“Get out now Spike before I change my mind and do something you won’t live to regret” he retorted angrily.

“Okay no need to loose your shirt mate, only trying to help. Don’t bleeding well say I didn’t offer” the younger vampire cockily replied as he exited the room.

The dark vampire growled in frustration as he sat down on the plush leather couch that occupied one side of the wall of his opulent new office. He wearily rubbed his hands across his face and rested his head back against the sofa letting his eyes close as his mind began to wander.

How did things go so wrong? To be running the evil law firm that had tried to kill him several times. The very bastards who had been instrumental in denying him access to his son. Denying him all the moments he had been looking so eagerly forward to. Seeing him cut his first tooth, say his first word, stumble on shaky legs as he took his first steps.

All the things that he should have witnessed with his sassy intelligent seer by his side. A solitary tear slowly trickled down the vampires face as he thought about Cordelia and the events that had befallen her.

His beautiful Cordelia lying in a coma. God how he missed her. She had been the one constant in his otherwise miserable existence.

She had never failed to amaze him with her selfless devotion to him. She used to call him her fat dumbass warrior, but from her lovely mouth it had sounded like a caress and he’d never take offence. She was the only person able to pull him out of his darkness, she was the only person who really made him believe that perhaps there was a light at the end of the tunnel and she had promised to stay with him, to never leave him.

He should have known that he was being cocky to expect to be allowed to have it all. He remembered Cordy voicing the same in some far off distant corner of his mind.

God he was a pathetic wanker. He should never have allowed Cordelia to work for him in the first place. Even then back in the early days, he was a sucker for her beaming smile and sparkling eyes that were so full of life and vitality. Eyes that he watched grow duller and loose their sparkle as the visions assaulted her frazzled mind and weary body. Each time he was witness to that, a little piece of his non-beating heart darkened and died that little bit more.

It had taken a long time for Angel to realise that he was in love with his seer. No perhaps a long time to ‘realise’ it is not the right sentiment here. He had known from the time she had been hospitalised with her never ending visions that his feelings were growing deeper by the day for his seer, but he had chosen to ignore them in the mistaken belief that Buffy was the only one for him.

Buffy, he mused; yes I can’t deny that I did love her. She brought me back in touch with humanity after a fashion. I have to admit that she never fully accepted me. It’s not her fault really, it was never meant to be. We are polar opposites. She is a slayer and I am a vampire. Truth be told, I think I was more in love with the mythical element. It added mystery. If I’m completely honest, I found it a bit of a turn on. To be able to enthral a slayer. Now there’s a good old fireside story.

It’s only now, knowing how I feel about Cordelia, that I realise I was incapable of loving Buffy as fully as she loved me. If I felt half of what I feel for Cordelia for the slayer, then it would have been impossible for me to leave her.

I would give anything to have Cordelia back by my side. She would be so proud and happy that Connor is able to stand me for more than 5 minutes at a time without threatening to kill me. I think that what happened to Cordelia, has affected him more than I realised. He seems more mature these days. He no longer harbours lustful feelings for my beautiful seer.

Whatever whammy was put on him seems to be loosening its tentacles around the miracle that is my son, and I swear with every fibre in my being, that I will destroy anything that dares to threaten him or the tentative but ever increasing Father and Son bond that is slowly emerging from the debris of Jasmine.

CORDELIA’S ROOM

To all intents and purposes the woman lying in the sterile environment of the room appeared to be in a deep healing sleep. It was only when you took into account the various paraphernalia surrounding her that you realised this was not the case.

Her hair which at one stage had been cut into a bob and streaked with blond highlights had returned to its former glory. Where short blonde locks once framed her face, glossy auburn tresses fell to just below her shoulders. Long dark eyelashes created shadows on her cheeks which were tinged with a healthy pink hue. Her full mouth seemed to be slightly upturned, giving her face a serene relaxed expression, making one wonder that if she was dreaming then it seemed to be a pleasant experience.

This was the beautiful vision the vampire’s senses were assaulted with as he quietly entered her room, wincing as his shoe scraped across the hardwood floor, almost as if he was afraid that the sound would cause distress to the sleeping woman.

The vampire stood at the side of the bed looking down at his seer for a long moment, before sitting down in the chair next to her bed and carefully covering her hands with his own.

“Hey, it’s me Angel, I’m sorry I’m a little late this evening, but I had unexpected company, ah, in the form of Spike, You remember him don’t you Cordy, Captain Peroxide, who tried to torture me with pokers …… yeah that was fun” he grimaced inwardly.

“Anyway I soon sent him packing, I just want to let you know that I’m here now and I’m going to find a way to fix this Cordy, I know I keep saying that, but you have to believe me baby, I’m going to get you back”.

“God, I love you so much Cordy, I only wish I’d had the guts to tell you before now. You’re gonna have to come back to me, because the hole in my heart is getting bigger by the minute without you”. His mouth twisted with pain as he continued to gaze at her silent unresponsive face.

“I wish you could see Connor, you’d be so proud of him, he’s a different person now, so much calmer and he doesn’t want to kill me anymore …… yeah I know kinda hard to believe, but it’s the truth. At last I think I may be getting a shot at having the son I always wanted. All I need now is for you to wake up and complete the picture Cordy”. Swallowing hard, Angel hoarsely continued.

“Fred, Gunn and Wesley all miss you Cordy. We’re not the same without you, we’re fractured as a family and we need to you repair the tear. Fred was right you are the heart Cordy, God, please come back to us please”. He blinked the familiar moisture that accompanied these ‘talks’ with her, when as usual there was no response from the prone figure of the woman lying in the bed.

The vampire gently placed a kiss on her forehead “Please come back to me Cordy, I don’t think I can carry on for much longer without you by my side”

He then settled back into the chair as he had done every night since she he had taken over Wolfram & Hart and resumed his nightside vigil by his seer’s bedside.

“Whats the point of having a fucking soul and fighting the good fight, if I can’t protect the ones I love” he snarled in frustration as sleep eventually overcame his weary body.
FRED’S LABORATORY

A distinct whirring sound was emanating from inside the laboratory as the pretty ex-pylean refugee physicist was conducting yet another experiment to she if she could make Spike permanently corporeal and thus bind him to the real world,

The thought crossed her mind that if anyone had asked her what her plans were for the future, several years ago, that never in her wildest dreams would she have been able to envisage the life she was now living and considered ‘normal’.

To Fred’s mindset, being trapped in Pylea and being referred to as a Cow, far outweighed any situation or circumstances that could ever arise again in her relatively short but traumatic life. Thus it was that Fred was able to happily potter around her laboratory and dream up all fantastical manners of new inventions and demon fighting machines.

So engrossed was the physicist in her latest invention, that she failed to notice Spike enter her domain and lean causally against the wall whilst watching the pretty brunette with an amused look plastered across his face.

“What’s that you’re doing love?” he uttered.

Fred jumped startled and turned around to find herself staring into a pair of twinkling blue eyes that appeared to be full of mischief.

“Oh, Spike, it’s you, you startled me”, the flustered physicist replied.

“Umm, it’s something I’ve been working on, to try and make you corporeal”.

Spike was truly touched by the chit’s determination to try and find a way to help him stay in the world and he had to admire her resolve. But Spike being Spike he had a funny way of showing it,

“Does the big poofter know this is how you’re spending his all his hard earned bucks Pet, trying to make good old Spike ‘real”.

“Why do you always do that Spike?”

“Do what pet?”

“Put yourself down? You are good. Maybe not as good as Angel, cos Angel is my hero. He rescued me from Pylea you know. He rode up on a horse, just like a knight out of a fairytale and brought me back home. Pylea it’s a land full of cows and hot pokers and collars that blow your head off your shoulders”, she explained on noting his raised brow, she then frowned in irritation.

“Oh my, I need to get back to work, cos thinking about Pylea messes up my head and scrambles my brain, scrambles, scrambled eggs, scrambled words, scrambled thoughts”.

“Whoa there, calm down Pet, I didn’t mean to get you all worked up. All I need is Angel on my case because I’ve upset the only brunette left in his life. The only living one anyway”.

As soon as the words left his mouth, he regretted saying them, as he noticed Fred’s eyes begin to well up with tears.

“How can you be say such mean things? We all miss Cordy, she’s the closest thing to a sister I’ll ever have. She used to look after all of us, in between her visions, she special you know. She’s good and kind and caring and that’s why the powers chose to her to be Angel’s seer and there’s Kyerumption as well, cos, that’s what they have Kyerumption”, she finished tearfully.

Spike stood in amazement, as he realised Fred hadn’t stopped to take a breath in between her tearful tirade.

“Sorry Pet, but I am still a sodding vampire and this soul thing, well, it’s still new to me, I can’t help it if I’m not Captain bleedin do-good”.

Fred burst out laughing at the look of disgust on Spike’s face as he realised that he was in danger of being lumped in the same category as Angel, or that great poofter as he usually referred to him.

Spike was momentarily thrown by Fred’s changed mood swing from one of abject distress to laughing merrily.

“The chit’s definitely barking mad. Oh well, I always did like them mad” he mused as memories of another dark haired insane temptress came into his mind.

“Whoa, now just a bleedin minute, where did that thought come from” he said aloud as the realisation that he also thought of Fred as a dark haired temptress hit home.

Must be the soul, that’s what it is, making me have all these weird thoughts and feelings. Blimey no wonder Peaches acted like such a pathetic wanker around the slayer. Must be contagious, otherwise I would have never let the blond bint treat me like that. Maybe Peaches isn’t entirely to blame after all. Maybe having a soul makes you partial to a bit of slayer. One to tell the grandkids.

Spike let this revealing piece of information slowly sink into his brain. Things could be worse. Fred was attractive in the skinny kind of way that Spike liked. She was intelligent when she wasn’t ranting something intelligible. Anyway he was used to dealing with madness in his women, first with Drew, and then later with the slayer when she’d been brought back to the land of the living.

At least Fred wasn’t violent, she wouldn’t attack him physically, and he had to admit there was a growing sense of attraction between them.

Fred never made him feel worthless, never made him feel that he wasn’t worth bothering with, even when he spoke without engaging his brain. He had even heard her speak out in his defence when the need arose. All in all things didn’t look quite so bad to Spike as they had after his earlier run in with Angel.

Fred felt a warm glow emanating from her stomach and spreading throughout her body as she realised that no matter what, she genuinely did have a soft spot for Spike. He had the ability to make her laugh, whether he realised it or not and god knows laughs were in short enough supply nowadays.

“Well I’ll let you get on with it then” Spike said.

“That’s okay, I’m beat, I won’t be able to concentrate any more this evening. I’m going to grab a quick coffee before I go home”.

“Mind if I join you?

Spike noticed with amusement the slight pink tinge that was starting to colour the physicist’s cheeks.

“Um, well I’m not sure if that would be appropriate” Fred replied, flustered by the amused twinkle in his pale eyes.

“I meant for the coffee luv” he winked, with a small grin lingering on his face.

“Oh, of course you did, silly me, I suppose there’s no harm, yes okay then”.

Spike flustered Fred even further by linking her arm with his and gently guiding her out of the laboratory.

EVES APARTMENT

Eve had just arrived home after putting in another day at Wolfram & Hart, when there was a sharp knock on her door.

She looked through her spyglass and saw Connor standing on the other side.

“Just a minute” she yelled as she frantically searched for her keys that she had haphazardly thrown down on the sofa as soon as she entered her apartment.

Locating the keys which had fallen down the side of the sofa, she hastily unlocked her door and came face to face with Angel’s son.

“Hello Connor, what you brings you here so late in the evening”? she enquired of the handsome young man standing nervously in her doorway.

“I needed to see you” he blurted out.

“Okay, what’s wrong are you in some sort of trouble”.

“No, something’s been on my mind a lot lately and I need to ask you something”.

Intrigued, Eve invited Connor in.

“Okay Spill, what is it sweetie, she asked.

Angel’s son could in no way be described as the most articulate and talkative of young men, Indeed he seemed to have inherited much of his Father’s stammery way of talking when he was trying to articulate his feelings. This often meant that he just blurted things out in an abrupt fashion.

“We have a lot in common Eve. We both work for an evil law firm, we’re the same age, you like music, I like music, you like dancing, I like dancing. I tried to kill my Father, your Father tried to kill you”.

Connor watched closely at the horrified look that spread across Eve’s features.

“What are you talking about” she whispered.

“I know Eve, all about you and the Senior Partners. You see I’ve been watching you closely for some time now. There was something about you that didn’t quite add up. How could you, someone so obviously young and inexperienced be the link between my Father and the Senior Partners?” he asked bluntly. “So I did some research of my own. Bet you didn’t think I would be able to find out did you Eve?”

“I still don’t know what you’re talking about Connor”. Eve folded her arms tightly, looking defensively at the young man.

“I know that your Father was Holland Manners. I know that he had an affair with one of the Powers that Be. An affair which resulted in your birth”. Connor mimicked her stance. “I know that Holland Manners struck a deal with the Devil in order to run Wolfram and Hart and turn it into the evil law firm it is today. His soul in exchange for complete control of Wolfram and Hart”. Eyeing her paling face carefully, he continued on.

“Another provision was that the remaining Senior 4 Partners be banished to a hell dimension for all eternity. My Father was to be a major player in this Eve. Holland Manners ultimate goal was to bring Angel over to the dark side and on board at Wolfram & Hart. He almost succeeded. He did sleep with Darla and I was the end result of that union. Are you starting to see similarities here Eve”. Connor asked softly.

“We were both born from one good and one evil parent. Well as good as you can call a vampire with a soul anyway. I tried to kill my Father, because I believed he was the devil incarnate.
Your Father tried to kill you because he was in league with the devil incarnate. Your Father was going to offer you up as a sacrifice to the Devil”. He reminder her. “Lucky for you that your Mother realised what he was going to do the day he ran off with you and along with the help of the other powers foiled his plan”. His mouth twisted bitterly for a moment.

“Unlucky for me, that my Father never stopped Holtz and Sajhan. You grew up in what I suppose is the equivalent of Heaven with your Mother and the powers. I grew up in a hell dimension with Holtz. I know that you have been returned to Earth, because the time is right for something major to happen. What I don’t know is what is going to happen and when”. Eve had by now sank down into the sofa, her face had turned ashen with fear.

“What are you going to do to me Connor? Are you going to kill me? She asked, attempting to steady her shaking voice; he scowled in annoyance.

“Why would I kill you, I’m not evil you know. Why does everybody always think all I want to do is go around attacking and killing people”? Connor asked angrily.

“Past track record”. Eve replied.

“Oh, that, well that’s what it is Eve, a past track record, as in the past. Anyway, I only killed those that asked for it” he defended, deliberately smoothing his features and assuming a bland expression.

Now that the cat was out of the bag, she decided that she owed it to Connor, to be honest with him and let him know what was coming. After all what he had said to her did make sense. Their lives although lived at the most opposite sides imaginable, also bore startling parallels.

“You might want to sit down Connor. Please give me a few moments to compose myself. As you can imagine your knowledge about my origins has stunned me”.

“Sure, Eve, take as long as you want. I didn’t mean to upset you. Would you like some coffee? I can make great coffee. Cordy showed me how”. He offered a slight smile softening his face, making him seem more like the normal teen he should have been rather than the battle-worn man he’d become.

“Yes please, coffee would be good. I’ll just go and freshen up while it brews”.

Eve walked into the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. Pull yourself together Eve, you have nothing to fear. Connor knows the worst. The rest will be the icing on the cake. She splashed her face with cold water, and brushed her teeth.

Exiting the bathroom, she returned to the living room to see Connor had already returned with tow cups of coffee, which he had placed on the coffee table.

Eve tried to compose herself whilst she took a few sips of her drink, but as he placed her cup back down in the table her hands were shaking uncontrollably.

Connor noticed that Eve was trembling and uncharacteristically for him, he moved from the chair he was sitting on and sat down next to her on the sofa. He picked up one of her hands and held her gaze before he spoke.

“I like you Eve, please don’t be frightened of me”.

“I like you too Connor, but right now I am very frightened of you”.

That was the truth, Eve really did like Connor, but had never thought anymore about it.

She knew that the Angel was more than protective where his son was concerned.

Eve also knew that Angel believed her to be evil. She was the only liaison between the Senior Partners and the Vampire. In his eyes she was evil to be on such close terms with the Senior Partners. Only that was not the case and things were not always as they appeared to be.

Connor gently brushed her hair away from her face and pulled her into a soft embrace. He placed a chaste kiss on her forehead and held her trembling body until he felt her start to calm down.

Pulling back from Eve, he continued to hold her hands as she began to speak.

“You’re right Connor, in everything you’ve said. My Father was Holland Manners, He was evil. However, no matter what anyone else believes, I am not evil. Yes I am the link between Angel and the Senior Partners, but the Senior Partners are not evil. As you now know, my Father had them banished to a hell dimension for all eternity, and there they would have stayed if it had not been for Cordelia Chase”.

“Cordelia, what does she have to do with this”, Connor asked surprised.

“Every 100 years on Valentines Day, the Powers are able to grant wishes. They will only grant wishes they feel are deserved. It goes without saying that only good wishes will be considered. The Powers have been observing everything that has happened to Angel and his team of workers. The one thing that Angel wishes for more than anything, more than life itself, is to have his seer back by his side”.

“It has been foretold for countless generations that the Vampire with a soul will be a major player. This is correct to a certain degree; Prophecies can mean many different things to different people. I suppose it all boils down to what you are looking for, and what you want to believe”.
Cordelia Chase is also a major player, but this was never prophesied. She was always meant to inherit the visions from Doyle. This served the purpose of making it all the easier for my Father to try and bring Angel over to the dark side”, Eve explained to the young man who had remained silent throughout.

“Connor, Angel was deeply distressed by witnessing the suffering Cordelia had to endure as a result of the visions. Visions that she suffered to help your Father in his quest for redemption. This was just one more thing for him to feel guilty about and to add to his long list of woes. He felt impotent and alone. Don’t forget Darla was playing mind games with him as well. True to form and without thinking things through properly beforehand, Angel, simply sacked his team at Angel Investigations”. She paused, smoothing the fabric of her skirt before continuing on.

“The truth is Angel couldn’t cope with seeing Cordelia in pain day and night and because he is often his own worst enemy, he sacked her in the mistaken belief that if she wasn’t working as his seer any more, then she wouldn’t have the visions. This is when Angel’s beige period truly began. My father played a major part in this. As a result Angel slept with Darla in the belief that he would lose his soul”.

“This was not the case, obviously”. Eve added, relieved.

“What my Father did not realise at the time, was that Angel was deeply unhappy. He had sacked his team at Angel Investigations and he was hurting badly”.

“There was no way your Father could have achieved perfect happiness, not even if he had slept with the slayer, not in the state of mind he was in at that time”.
“There is no need for me to go into detail Connor with all that happened leading up to Jasmines birth, it is distressing enough for all concerned”. He nodded wordlessly.

“The first error of judgement in My Father’s plans and first flaw was Angel not losing his soul. The second flaw was your return from Quor torth. The third flaw occurred when you killed Jasmine”.

“I still don’t understand where Cordelia comes into all of this”. Connor cut in abruptly. “Hasn’t she been through enough? What more can you do to her? She’s lying in a coma. I won’t allow you to harm her further”, he warned her. Eve leaned forward and placed a reassuring hand on his arm.

“Connor, please let me finish”, she asked. “We don’t want to hurt Cordelia, in fact quite the reverse. As I said earlier, once every 100 years on Valentines Day, the Powers get to grant wishes. Your Father wants Cordelia to wake up. He wants things to be the way they were before the Jasmine debacle. He wants to rid the world of evil”. Connor still had a blank on his face.

So much like his Father, Eve mused.

“Don’t you see, Connor, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Cordelia will wake up. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to rid the world of evil, but we can make a start. The true Senior Partners will be released from their hell dimension to take over the reigns at Wolfram and Hart”.

“The deal that my Father made with the Devil, will be null and void and Wolfram & Hart can be run the way it was always meant to be. To help in the fight against evil”.

“How can you be sure that the Powers will grant this wish, I mean why would they, after all Angelus wreaked far more death and destruction that could ever be atoned for”.

“I still don’t understand Cordy’s role in all of this”, the now agitated young man snapped.

“It doesn’t make sense, why would Cordy be allowed to suffer so much”, he asked anger evident in every line of his lean body.

“Angel had to prove that he was serious in his quest for redemption. No matter what was thrown at him, he had to shows that he could carry on and he did even against the odds when you were taken away from him as a baby”, Eve responded.

“The only way that the Powers could return the Senior Partners to Earth was with the intervention of Cordelia”. The powers knew what would happen. All this everything has been foretold. “The Powers were aware even before Angel was the depth of his feelings for his seer. They knew that Angel would never leave Cordy not a second time. They also knew that he would do all in his power to make sure she was well cared for, until such time as a cure could be found for her”.

“The only way the Powers could get Angel to work from “within the belly of the beast” was to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse”. Connor, your Father would sacrifice his own life for the safe return of Cordelia. As harsh as it sounds, all this needed to happen for Angel to truly realise where he belongs and with whom he belongs to. Cordelia Chase is a remarkable young woman. She was destined to be with Angel, even before she ever existed. Angel’s breaking point is his seer. He has not been the same since she has been away from his side. The powers know this. Angel lost his way when he lost his seer”, she took a breath and then continued.

“To reply to your question about Angelus. Connor if you truly believe that Angel can never atone for the destruction he wreaked as Angelus, that he can never feel the pain and suffering of his victims, then I suggest you haven’t been looking closely enough”.

“Look at your Father closely Connor and you will see that he is at breaking point. Even though he is now a day walker, it doesn’t mean that he is immune to the harmful rays of the sun. If he stays in the sun for long enough, he will burst into flames. It will just take a lot longer. Something inside Angel died when Cordelia was taken from him, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he decided to take a permanent walk into the sunlight”.

Connor knew that they had to tell Angel about Cordelia as soon as possible.

“So, you really mean it. Cordelia will wake up tomorrow; the real Senior Partners will be released from their hell dimension”.

“Yes Connor, it’s all true” Eve replied.

“Does that mean you’ll be allowed to stay here, or will you have to leave once the Senior Partners are back?”

“No. I can stay here on Earth permanently Connor. As I am not classed as a true power, I do not need to stay with them, but I have visiting rights” Eve assured him.

“Cool”.

“Oh, Connor, there’s just one more thing”.

“You might want to tell Fred that she will find much to her amazement, that her latest invention to make Spike corporeal will work tomorrow”.

“What, how do you know that?”

Eve merely smiled and pointed her finger upwards.

Connor pulled Eve to her feet and swung her around the room in his excitement at learning that Cordelia was going to wake up and rejoin the small group of people that Connor was slowly but surely coming to admire and respect. Eve shrieked with surprised laughter and had to grab onto Connor for support when he eventually stopped swinging her around the room and deposited her back on terra fima.

Without giving her a chance to recover, Connor grabbed hold of Eve’s hand and ushered her out of the front door.

“Wait, Connor, where are we going? The breathless and dizzy young woman questioned.

“To tell the others, we have to let my Dad know what’s going to happen tomorrow”, he replied with a grin. You find Fred and Spike, I know where Dad will be and ask them to meet us in Dad’s office”.

“Do you think that’s a good idea, Connor? I mean Angel doesn’t seem to like me very much. He might think I’m lying, that this is just another game, something more to add to his long list of grievances”.

“Don’t worry about Dad; you just leave him to me. There’s nothing for you to be frightened of, I won’t let anyone harm you”, Connor promised firmly.

WOLFRAM & HART BUILDING

On entering the Wolfram and Hart Lobby, Connor and Eve bumped into Spike and Fred just as they were about to enter the lift.

“Spike, Fred, come on, he excitedly shouted, go with Eve to Dad’s office and wait there for me and Dad to arrive”.

Spike gave Connor a weird look before replying.

“Whoa just a minute there mate, where’s the fire, what’s with all the excitement?”

“I don’t have time to explain right now, Spike, but we have some fantastic news for you, please just go with Eve and I’ll meet you there with Dad as soon as possible”.

Spike inwardly groaned.

“Bloody hell, does Peaches have to be there, he gives me a hard enough time as it is. I’m really not in the mood to face him again tonight”.

“Stop acting like a ‘grand poofter’ yourself Spike” Connor retorted. The way you two act around each other, I’d swear if I didn’t know better, that there was something going on between the two of you”,

Spike howled with laughter after the initial shock of having his own term of endearment for Angel thrown back in his face, and by the whelp no less.

“Got to hand it to you kid, you’ve got more balls than your old man”.

Connor merely raised his eyes upwards in a show of exasperation and ran off to find Angel.

CORDELIA’S ROOM

Angel was still asleep in the chair by Cordy’s bedside, when Connor quietly entered the room. A slight smile played over his features as he realised that not only was his Father softly snoring, but he was also drooling.

Who’d have thought it, Connor mused. My Father, the former Scourge of Europe, drooling like a baby.

He walked over to Angel and gently shook his shoulder, “Dad wake up, it’s me Connor”.

“What the hell”, the groggy vampire suddenly became alert and sprang up out of the chair, one hand around Connor’s neck.
“Dad, it’s me Connor, you can put me down now” he gasped.

“Connor, uh, sorry about that”.

“You really need to brush up on your waking up habits Dad”.

“Haven’t you ever heard of the expression, never wake a sleeping vampire?”

“No, can’t say that I have”, Connor smirked.

“Couldn’t this wait until morning, you know I don’t like being disturbed when I’m with Cordy” the now petulant vampire whinged.

“Are you whinging?”

“I don’t whinge Connor”.

“That’s right, and you also don’t snore and drool in your sleep either” Connor playfully responded.

“You know Son, you sound more and more like Cordy every day”.

“What can I say, I’m a fast learner”.

“Okay, are you going to tell me what’s going on?”

“Sure Dad, but we need to meet with the others in your office, this is something you all need to hear together”.

“Okay, give me a minute and I’ll meet you there”.

Angel sighed wistfully as he bent down to place a chaste kiss on his seer’s lips.

“I’ll be back Cordy. Connor has something he wants to tell me, it must be pretty important for him to disturb me”. With one last look at the woman he loved, Angel left the room and made his way up to his office.

On entering his office, he was surprised to find Spike and Fred with Eve.
A low growl was heard emanating from the stoic vampire as he glared at Spike.

“Dad, cut it out, please try and act like an adult”, Connor snapped. “There are some things more important than your dislike of Spike”.

Angel’s mouth gaped open in shock at being admonished by Connor in front of everyone.

Spike sniggered and received a sharp dig in the ribs from Fred.

“Oy bloody hell that hurt” he yelped.

“Meant to” the physicist replied.

“Okay, children, playtime is over”, Connor told them sternly. Eve and I have something very important to tell you, Dad, I think you need to sit down”.

“Bet the tyke’s got her up the spout” Spike said.

Angels’ ears pricked up and he glowered at Spike.

“Care to repeat that Spike”

“Oh for God’s sake shut up the pair of you” Fred shouted. “If Connor’s got something to say, then I suggest we listen to him”.

Mmm, the bint’s got some backbone, I like that Spike mused.

Connor took a deep breath and proceeded to fill the gang in on everything that Eve had told him.

To say there was a stunned silence in the room was an understatement.

All of a sudden Angel pounced and grabbed hold of Eve.

“You mean to tell me that all of this was planned from the start, that Cordy was meant to inherit the visions from Doyle, that she was meant to suffer intolerable pain, that the whole Jasmine debacle, and all because the fucking powers deemed it so. Give me one good reason, why I shouldn’t snap your neck”, he growled shaking her slightly.

“Dad, stop it, it’s not Eve’s fault. Haven’t you listened to a word we’ve just said”?

“Oh, I’ve listened alright. How do we know that this isn’t another game, that they’re not trying to screw us again?”

“You don’t” Eve replied.

“What?”

“You don’t, but why would I lie to you. What benefit would I get from it?”

“I don’t know Eve, what benefit do you ever get from evil”.

“I’m not evil Angel, I’m on your side”.

“Please let go of Eve, you’re hurting her”, Connor insisted. “Come on Dad, if she’s lying what do we have we to lose, nothing. Cordy will still be in a coma. But if she’s telling the truth, then we have everything to gain. I miss her too we all do. We all want Cordy back. Please just this once, can’t you give Eve the benefit of doubt”?

Angel abruptly released Eve and sank down in the sofa. He buried his head in his hands and spoke so quietly everyone had to strain to hear him.

“Just this once, just this once Eve, I will accept what you’ve told me, because my son believes in you and has obviously formed an attachment to you. He slowly raised his head and locked eyes with her. However, if I find out that you’ve been lying, believe me when I say that no-one will be able to protect you from my wrath, no-one not even the Powers”.

Eve had never been so frightened in her life. This was the reaction she had been expecting from the vampire. Pushing her fears aside, she walked over to the vampire and knelt down by his side.
Looking directly at him she began to speak.

“Angel, I know that you’ve never really liked me, I know that you believe I’m evil because of my link to the Senior Partners. I know the only thing that will convince you otherwise is when Cordelia wakes up tomorrow”.
“Please believe me when I say that I would never play such a cruel tick on you, I would never raise your hopes like that. I know how much you love Cordelia”. She paused briefly, and then continued. “There is just one more detail that you need to know, the Powers have decided to make your soul permanent. They feel that you have suffered enough and they want both you and Cordelia to be happy and be able to have a loving fulfilling relationship with each other”.

Angels eyes widened in surprise. It was all too much for him to take in.

“Get out, now, all of you, leave he roared angrily.

“No Angel, we’re not leaving you” Fred said with more bravado than she felt.

“You can shout and yell and stamp your feet all you like, but we’re not leaving. This affects all of us Angel, we are all Cordy’s friends and you don’t frighten me” she said advancing towards the angry vampire. Poking him in the stomach with a long finger, she added “Get over it, deal with it and move on, isn’t that what Cordy would say to you if she were here?”

For the second time that night Angel was speechless. Jesus, where was I when they attended the school of Cordy euphemisms, he wondered.

“And just how do you suggest I do that Fred?”

“By letting us all help you Angel, please”.

“Now, where do you think Cordy will feel most at home?”

“Um, with us” Angel replied.

“Jeez, Cordy was right you are a dumbass” Fred said. “Well duh that much is obvious”

“What, did you just call me a dumbass? and hey when did you turn into Cordy?”

“Focus Angel, Cordy will want to stay at the Hyperion not here”, she warned him. “Valentines Day is fast approaching. If we work hard and take full advantage of Wolfram and Hart’s many services, we can have the Hotel sparkling and shining just like a brand new coin” Fred enthused.

“We can have the all the rooms redecorated and new furniture installed. Ooh, we must get loads and loads of big soft fluffy towels to put in all the bathrooms with lots of smelly stuff for the bath”, Fred was getting more and more excited by the minute. “Food, we need food. We must stock up the kitchen cupboards and fridge with all Cordy’s favourites, she squealed. Cordy always loved Valentines day. We can decorate the hotel with red ribbons and heart shaped balloons. We can fill the lobby with dozens of red roses and tulips and carnations and all kinds of flowers”. Her brown eyes moistened with held back tears as she smiled softly.

“Oh Angel, can you just imagine the look on Cordy’s face when she sees the Hotel. She’s going to love it, she’ll be so happy”.

Angel found that Fred’s enthusiasm was beginning to rub off on him. He had to admit she was right. What did they have to lose? So he allowed himself to believe that Cordy would wake up. He was being a selfish bastard as usual. He knew he wasn’t the only one who missed Cordy, they all did.

In the midst of all this, Spike was digesting the news that he would be made ‘real’ again.
He didn’t dare voice his inner fears that this indeed might be a trick. For now he would play along and join in the festivities. Like Connor said, what did they have to lose? He would be no worse off if it all turned out to be a big fat lie.

And so it was that the gang set to work refurbishing the Hotel. They worked tirelessly through the night with the help of Wolfram and Hart and just before midnight they returned to the Law firm.

***********************************************

VALENTINES DAY

Angel had rushed back to his apartment to shower and change. He wanted to be by Cordelia’s side as soon as the clock hit midnight. At 11.55pm on 13th February 2004, Angel once again re-entered his seer’s room. He resumed his usual nightly vigil by her bedside. He once again held her hand as he had done ever since she had lapsed into her coma and settled back to wait.

Midnight came and passed. 12.05am, 12.10am, 12.15pm, nothing happened.

Dammit it Cordy, please wake up was the last thought of the distressed vampire as he lost his battle to stay awake, His head slumped forward and rested on his seer’s stomach as sleep overcame him.

Cordelia Chase began to feel as if she was floating down into her body, from some warm cocooned haven. As her body began it’s descent back to reality, she became aware of something heavy pressing down on her tummy.

Groggily, she strained to open her eyes and as her vision became less bleary and more focused, the sensation of something heavy pressing down on her became more acute, Resting for a few seconds, she eventually turned her face to the side and looked down.

“Angel” she whispered. She raised her free hand and gently scrubbed the back of his head.

Angel thought he was dreaming. He could have sworn he heard Cordy calling him and touching his head.

“Angel”

There it was again.

“Eww, Angel, wake up, you’re drooling on my hand”

The Vampire’s head sprang up. “Cordy, you’re awake, you’re really awake, I’m not dreaming?”

He looked up to find himself staring into the amused twinkling eyes of his beautiful seer.

“Well unless I’m a figment of your imagination ……… only one way to find out” and with that the seer pinched the bridge of the vampire’s nose very hard.

“Ow, what was that for?”

“Just checking”

“Uh checking what Cordy?”

“Checking to see if I’m real, I am”

The vampire enveloped his seer in a fierce hug, “God, Cordy, you’ve no idea how much I’ve missed you”, he whispered softly in her ear, still unable to believe she was actually awake.

“I have actually”.

“What”

“The Powers, they gave me an all seasons pass to your shenanigans while I was up there, you know in that other place that wasn’t here”, she explained.

“You mean, you’ve seen everything”.

“Oh yeah Buster, I’ve seen it all, including your declaration to Miss Cookie Dough”.

“Cordelia, I never …… it’s not what it seems”, he began defensively.

“That you macked on the slayer, while I was lying in a coma, Yes it was, it was exactly what is seemed”.

“Then you’ll know I only did it too make Spike jealous”.

“I know, she sighed. Life’s too short to argue about insignificant blondes. How’s about you showing me that you’re not a figment of my imagination big guy”, she grinned coyly.

“I think I can manage that”. Angel returned the grin and leaned in to capture his seer’s mouth in a long slow kiss. “How was that?”.

“Mm you know, I’m not sure, I think you’ll have to repeat it, you know, just so I can make my mind up”.

“Your every wish is my command”.

Some time later, when the happy couple broke apart, Angel spoke. “Cordy, I have a surprise for you”.

“I know”

“You do?

“The Powers”

“Ah, the powers, those powers have a lot to answer for”.

“By the way Angel, you have some serious apologising to do you. You were horrible to Eve”.

“Do I have to” he whined.

“No more smoochies if you don’t.

“Okay I’ll apologise, Angel instantly agreed. The seer laughed merrily. “So much for your principles Angel”.

“Where you’re concerned, I don’t have any principles, or morals. In fact, I intend to spend a very long time showing you just how unmoral I can be, seeing as my soul is now permanent. And I say there’s no time like the present”.

“Angel” the seer gasped as she found herself picked up from the bed and carried to Angels’ apartment.

THE HYPERION HOTEL

Fred and Spike were the first to arrive at the Hyperion, shortly followed by Connor and Eve.

They had just assembled in the lobby when the door was kicked open and a giggling Cordelia was carried over the threshold and into the lobby.

She whispered in Angel’s ear to put her down. He groaned softly when she nibbled his earlobe as an afterthought.

“If you keep doing that I’ll never put you down Cordy” he warned softly, before reluctantly depositing his seer on to the ground but he kept his arm possessively around her waist.

Cordy sighed and turned to the vampire. She leaned up and said something to the vampire which made his gaze turn molten with love and desire. As the vampire loosened his hold on her waist, she bounded across the short distance and gathered Connor to her in a fierce hug. She then hugged Fred and Eve. Lastly, but not least she enveloped Spike in a gentle welcoming hug. Momentarily taken aback by her display of affection Spike quickly regained his senses and returned her embrace.

After hugging everyone, Cordelia stood back and let her senses soak up the feeling of warmth and sense of contentment that was threatening to overwhelm her. It was as if her very soul was being bathed in a warm golden light. She realised with a shock that what she was feeling was somehow linked to Angel.

It then dawned on the seer, that she would forever be linked to Angel, not only in body but also in soul. She was so closely linked to her champion that the sense of contentment Angel was experiencing from having a permanent soul was transferring over to her, brought about by their union.

The seer walked over to her champion.

“Angel, she gasped. Your soul, I can feel it. It’s beautiful”.

“I know you can, Cordy, and I can feel yours too”.

“What does it mean?” Connor asked.

“There is a myth, that certain souls are ‘lost, in limbo’ if you like, answered Eve. They do not realise it at the time. They tend to be discontented and unable to sustain any meaningful relationship, that is until they meet their pre-destined mate”.

“It means that these two souls have been searching for each other for centuries. Their union has bound them together for all eternity. No-one, nothing will ever be able to break their bond, not even in death”.

“We’ll see about that” a brittle voice was heard.

All heads whipped around to see who the owner of the voice was.

“Buffy” they all groaned collectively.

“Buffy, what are you doing here, Willow, Xander?”

“What am I doing here, she spluttered. The question is: What the hell’s going on here? I’m your soul mate Angel, not some brainless ex-cheerleader”.

“Hello Buffy, nice to see you too” Cordelia replied.

“Shut up Cordelia, I wasn’t speaking to you”.

“Buffy, I told you this wasn’t a good idea” Willow said.

“I don’t remember inviting you into my home Buffy” Angel finally spoke.

“I will not tolerate you speaking to Cordelia in that manner, apologise to her now”, he demanded softly, but with a hint of steel threading through his voice. Buffy’s mouth dropped in stunned amazement.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, I will not apologise to slut-o-rama”.

“Then get out” Angel replied simply.

“Angel, you don’t mean that, you can’t”.

“Oh, I mean every word of it Buffy. You’re not part of my life anymore”.

“But Angel you love me, I’m the love of your life, we’re soul mates, everyone knows that”, she reminded him, unable to believe what she was hearing. You can’t be happy without me. I’m the only one who can make you happy”.

Angel snorted derisively, tampering down the guilt of knowing he’d more or less led her on, the last time he was in Sunnydale, reminding himself of her seemingly rapid ability to move on when he left Sunnydale all those years ago.

“Get over yourself Buffy. You cared so much for me, you leapt straight into the bed of a fellow student at the first available opportunity, then there was ….. oh, let me see Riley, Spike, did I miss anyone out on the way?, he asked, his brows rising in mock wonder. “The truth is Buffy, you are more in love with the mythology of vampire and a slayer. You want to believe that I’m pining away for you. It adds mystery to your life. Newsflash. I’m not. I never did. I was never truly in love with you Buffy. Not in the way I love Cordelia. I now know that’s why I was able to walk away from you”, he ended quietly.

“But you lost your soul, with me, you obviously haven’t with her” she sniped, unable to hide her hurt at his callous words.

“It was all prophesied Buffy,Angel defended. I didn’t lose my soul through experiencing perfect happiness. It that was the case, I would have lost my soul countless times since then. The happiness I felt at becoming a Father far outweighed anything you made me feel. The happiness I felt at having Cordelia in my life would have dammed me to hell a long time ago if I lost my soul through perfect happiness”.

Angel knew his words were harsh, but he was sick and tired of the farcical nonsense surrounding him and the slayer. It was more than overdue to lay that particular ghost to rest.

“I’m sorry Buffy, to be so harsh, but you need to get over this obsession and move on with your life, he insisted. Now if you apologise to Cordelia, and if Cordy agrees you can stay and join in our Valentines Day Party, otherwise don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out”.

Buffy, although obviously shocked by Angels’ outburst had to concede that Angel was partially right.

I’ll show them that I’m the bigger person here, I won’t lower myself to their level. I will apologise to Cordelia. Her slayer brain had missed the fact that she had been the one to cause the problem in the first place. Head held high and shoulders squared the slayer spoke: “I have to admit there’s a lot of truth in what you’ve just said Angel”. She turned to face the seer. “Cordelia, I’m really sorry, you didn’t deserve that”.

“Okay, no problems Buffy”, Cordelia replied, still shell-shocked at what Angel had said to the slayer.

“Well thanks for the invitation, but we were on the way to visit my Dad and thought we’d make a detour here on the way”. Buffy refused the invite adding. “So see you around” and with that the slayer and her faithful band of merry men exited the hotel.

**************************************************

Later that evening, everyone was sitting in the reception area of the Hotel. It looked beautiful. Candlelight replaced the harsh glare of bulbs. The reception area was covered with red ribbons and balloons.

Empty bottles of champagne lay on the floor, along with half eaten boxes of chocolates, but no-body seemed to mind.

Cordelia was sitting next to Angel with her head resting on his shoulder. He had her enveloped in a protective embrace.

Connor and Eve were playing charades and Spike and Fred were laughing merrily together over in the corner.

Angel turned his head and looked at his beautiful seer.

“I have one more present for you Cordelia”, he told her softly and she immediately looked into his eyes, smiling happily.

“Oh, Angel, you didn’t have to, this is more than enough” she whispered.

“No it’s not, it will never be enough for you Cordy, never. I can never find a way to thank you enough for all you’ve done for me, for the way you’ve stood by me through thick and thin ….. well you know what I mean”.

“I’d do it all over again Angel, I love you so much”, she replied, a soft catch in her throat as it clogged with emotion.

“I love you too Cordy, more than you’ll ever know”. He fished into his pocket and produced a small blue box.

Cordy’s hands were shaking so much she couldn’t open the box.

“Here, let me”. Angel opened the box. Cordy gasped in surprise. A beautiful diamond ring was nestled in the satin lining of the box.

“Cordy, I think by now you realise just how much you mean to me. I love you Cordy with all my heart and soul. Will you marry me”, he asked her nervously.

The seer’s eyes welled up with tears. Who would have known that Angel could be so romantic and gentle?

“Oh Angel, yes, of course I will, I love you too, nothing would make me happier”.
Angel jumped up from the sofa pulling Cordelia with him.
“Guys, Cordelia and I have an announcement to make. Cordelia has just made me the happiest man ….. manpire alive, by accepting my proposal. We’re getting married” he blurted out.

Thus it was as Valentines Day drew to a close that the Hyperion Hotel was witness to a truly awe defining moment as the Vampire with a Soul and his half demon seer, were toasted by another vampire with a soul, an ex-pylean physicist and the two offspring of immortal beings.

 


…THE END…


 

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