Family Matters


AUTHOR: STARAICE (aka STARRY)
SUMMARY: What happen when the secrets you keep, you can no longer hide?
RATING: R/NC17
POSTED: 25 Oct 2003
CATEGORY: AU
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A
WARNINGS: None Listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES:
1) I really suck at writing anything longer than two pages… so prepare yourself for a slightly bumpy ride. Feedback would be nice (hint hint)
2) Posted on Part 5: THANKS SACH- I swear, this wouldn’t be here without her. At all!!!! And it is her you have to thank for the slightly steamier part- I can’t write it. Oh and thanks to Shaun even though he won’t see this, he is the one I bitch to while typing stuff.
STATUS: Incomplete


Part One

Awkward pauses
Sad silences
Mournful goodbyes
We watched you walk out
With your head held high
Filled with righteous anger
But we’d never lied
You’re angry, hurt, confused
We still don’t know why
Yet we yet you walk out
Fading hopes that once were high…

As he walked around the building- skulked really- he briefly wondered how he had never before noticed how much of a home the three mortals had made the large hotel seem, how comfortable.
There were thing of theirs all over the place, tucked in where they looked like they belonged. A few of Gunn’s game cartridges scattered randomly on couches and stuck between seats. Wesley’s books lay opened on his desk and the main counter, notebook on Cordelia’s desk. Ah, Cordelia, he didn’t even have to look around to know that there would be at least half a dozen of her things here in the lobby alone; magazines, lipstick, nail polish, jewellery, those funny hair tie things that were forever turning up and a small dagger.

He frowned then, remembering her face when he’d told them to get out. He might have fired them, kicked them out, but it was for their own good. Well that was his story anyway.

Cordelia had acted like he’d slit their throats or something, she always seemed to forget the fact that he could actually do so if he wanted to. At one point h would have done so without a second thought just upon meeting her. Sure he knew that she understood that he was a vampire but she never seemed to take him seriously.

She hadn’t really started annoying him until recently when she was bugging him about Darla.
Darla… If he thought the issue of his sire, (or was she his grandchild? ) was complicated before, if anything it was ten times as worse now and to make matters worse he had gone soft after living with humans for so long, letting Cordelia prod him into doing more and more ‘normal’ things…
He wasn’t normal! It was time he started remembering that…

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

He kicked them out! She couldn’t believe it. How could he? The others she could sort of understand, as close as they were, they had only been employees, expendable. He couldn’t do this to her, not after everything they’d been through. Just to kick her out, she was Vision-Girl, she was essential to his redemption. Wasn’t she?

Stupid broody vampire- who the fuck did he think he was? If he thought they were just going to wait around for him to get his head out of his ass and come back- well he had another thing coming!
Gunn and Wes wanted to go to Caritas tonight, she supposed she would have to go too, find out what direction they should be headed in- She just wanted to curl up in bed with a tub or six of ice-cream.

She tried to push the feelings away, to finish putting her make-up on. She couldn’t put on eyeliner if she was crying could she? Bringing a shaking hand up to finish applying the last coat of lipstick she sighed then hardened her resolve. She was going to look good, even if she didn’t feel like it. Appearances are everything after all.

There was a knock at the door just as she finished and she grabbed her shoes out of the air mid-route.
“Thanks Dennis”

The sound of her voice shocked her and she sighed inwardly, she just wished she could talk to Nicolae, if only he wasn’t incommunicato. It had been 3 months since she’d even gotten a letter from him.

She plastered a fake smile on her face and opened the door.

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

Part Two

The punching bag flew across the darkened basement with the force of his last blow; he didn’t even flinch when it careened into the opposite wall with a deafening boom, sending a shower of plaster raining down. In fact he hardly even batted an eyelid, just leant over and picked up the discarded broadsword swinging it experimentally. The balance was slightly off on the left, but not so much that it would provide much hindrance as it sliced through Darla’s neck; he’d decided recently that since the more traditional staking hadn’t worked he’d try this.

Darla was the source of all his troubles really, she was the on who turned him, at least before he; well, Liam would have had a low life expectancy could have just died, apart from that she was practically the one who got him cursed. Oh, screw practically, she was the whole reason he had the gypsy girl in the first place – and then the bitch had to go and get resurrected.

He smashed the broadsword into the wall in sudden inexplicable fury, the sound echoing through the space ominously. Everything would just be so much easier if he didn’t care.

He’d never had any of these kind of problems as Angelus…

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

Wesley shifted slightly in the hallway, hoping Cordelia would open the door soon before the old woman down the hall invited him in to look at pictures of her grandchildren again. He was depressed, not suicidal.

The door opened slowly and Cordelia slipped out with a sound, as if trying not to disturb something fragile her own emotions perhaps? God knew she had to be devastated; she was closer to Angel than either Gunn or himself… poor thing.

Her smile fell as they reached the elevator, by the time they reached the floor, she was openly crying and he had no idea what to do. Looking at her tearstained face as she tried to compose herself was too much for him and he reached out gently pulling her towards him, he wrapped his arms around her and patted her back gently murmuring, “There, there.”

Her sobs turned to chuckles and she pulled back to look at him, eyes regaining some of their usual spark as she simply said, “You’re so English…”

They walked out of the lobby, hand in hand, her still sniffling slightly and he a bit teary eyed as their eyes came to rest on the battered truck. Wesley opened the door and Gunn looked up from the radio controls, they exchanged a brief look over Cordelia’s head before he said entirely too brightly,

“Hey Barbie, I thought maybe you were going to keep us waiting again.”
She shook her head at him; he was referring to one time when they’d turned up half an hour early to watch videos and she made them wait outside for the whole time because she was in the shower.
She climbed in the truck and closed her eyes briefly as they started to move…

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

Cordy waved to the guys from her window waiting for them to disappear before she let herself just collapse on the floor, going to Caritas hadn’t helped at really, just served to remind them of what a prick Angel was being.

She could feel Dennis hovering around her somewhere and sighed, he was a sweetie but sometimes he was just so damn smothering.

She just for once wished that she didn’t have to pretend that she was strong, she wouldn’t have to if Nicholae was here, but he wasn’t and the only comfort she would get from him now would be his letters…
She slowly sat up and crawled over to the kitchen, opening the bottom drawer of the bench top and moving the first aid kit out of the way to find, nothing? Where was the box?

She sat back on the balls of her feet, shocked, she couldn’t remember moving them… oh, yes she could. She’d brought them over to the hotel a few weeks ago when she’d started to spend more time there, under the mistaken impression that if they were tucked away there that she would be able to look at them whenever she wanted.
She bit her lip uncertain before a rush of anger and determination started to course through her veins. There was no way that that son-of-a-bitch was going to stop her from getting them back, she didn’t care what kind of mood he was in, she’d just go in and get them.

There was no way she was leaving them there, not with him, not when they were the only things she had from her brother. No way!

She stood up quickly ignoring the slight dizziness it caused, her face hard and resolute she walked over to the door and pulled on a heavy black coat, opening the door she paused and thought twice before crossing the room swiftly and tucking a cross and a vial of holy water into the pocket not containing her keys, Dennis brushed against her in inquiry and she gave him a flippant smile, promising to be back later as she closed the door behind her and strode off into the night…

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

He dropped down onto the couch in exhaustion, cursing how unfit he had gotten when his hand flopped to the ground, he moved it, intending to rest only a short while before getting up to train again. His fingers brushed up against a wooden box – oak by the feel of it, and he frowned not recalling it, he closed his hand over it and picked it up, sitting up as he did so.

He turned it over in his hands slowly, wanting anything to distract him form Darla, he noted the plain markings before he opened it, revealing a bunch of folded papers.
Not bothering to turn on a light to keep up a semblance of humanity he picked out a random page and started reading;

Dear Cordy,

How are you? We are all fine here Lina says to say Hi.
Oh, I have some news; you know how I usually can’t tell you anything about clan business? Well I still can’t but I do have something to tell you that you might find interesting; The Elders are sending Jenna – you remember her, right? My cousin? Anyway the elders are sending Jenna down to Sunnydale on clan business, so I might get to visit you for a little while.
Oh and you aren’t supposed to know her, apparently she is going to pose as a teacher at your school under a false name; I have no idea why they are keeping it all a secret but I was asked to tell you not to give her away. Hypocrites.
Anyway I have to go now schoolwork is calling (Yuk), geeze if this is being brought into the modern world I would have rather they stuck to the old customs, then at least I wouldn’t have to do calculus .

Love ya,
Nicholae
XX

He snarled dangerously, the little BITCH! She’d been lying to him since the beginning. His face dark, he threw the box across the room viciously, in rage and jealously? Rage coursed through him until it was at fever pitch, he really wanted to murder something. Just then his hyposensitized senses picked up the slight sound of the front doors being pushed open and he moved quickly to be in a position to see who it was. It was her, he couldn’t believe she would back here after… He growled ominously causing her to turn towards the sound, surprised as he collided with her, lifting her up by the throat and pinning her to the door she had just walked through…

Part Three

“Cordelia!” He growled her name in rage and if she could have gasped she would have, she had never seen such hatred from him – well not directed at her anyway. He shook her roughly and it seemed to her that if he hadn’t of had such a tight grip on her throat it would have snapped from the force.
She gasped for air, flailing wildly –and uselessly- with her arms. The only thought she had been able to form for the past three seconds had been ‘OH Shit, I’m Going To Die!’

“A-Angel?” She managed to choke out questioningly, praying to anyone listening that this wasn’t Angelus, hoping it was- it was too terrifying to contemplate that this was actually Angel, her dorky somewhat socially retarded boss.

His eyes grew darker if that was even possible and his grip shifted to rest heavily and threateningly on her shoulders and collar bones- she had no doubt that were she to move, he’d crush them.

Slowly her left hand inched down her coat, towards her pocket. She never moved her eyes from his face though; the way he was just staring at her in silent fury was downright petrifying.

Breathing heavily now that she was able, she planned her next move. Angel would feel her move her arm but hopefully he wouldn’t stop her; she just needed to get the cross, or better yet the holy water.

Shivers ran down her spine and she stiffened involuntarily and her breath caught in the back of her throat as he shifted into what some may call his true face.
As her hand slipped into her pocket and shaking fingers tried to pull the stopper from the delicate vial of holy water, he smiled wolfishly, letting his mouth drop open to reveal deadly fangs.
The world seemed to pause for an instant as she gazed into his enraged eyes, trying to decipher the cause of his anger.

“WHERE ARE THEY!!!!!?”

The moment was shattered when he suddenly shouted; she would’ve jumped at least a foot at least if he hadn’t been leaning so heavily on her. The holy water splashed over hand and reflexively she brought it up to splash the remainder in his face.

He felt her movement and ducked quickly to one side, which, combined with her badly rushed aim, was the only thing that stopped it splashing all over his face as she intended.

His grip tightened painfully as he hissed in pain, and panicking she dropped the glass and brought up the cross with her drenched hand, pressing it swiftly against the already painful skin that had just been exposed to the holy water.

It was only after she did this that his grip loosened and seeing her only chance she pushed him away from her as hard as she could, which didn’t move him far but still allowed her the space to shoulder past him and slip through the door.

She started sprinting down the abandoned street, kicking off her shoes and pelting as fast as she could along the pavement, not wasting any time looking behind her, she reached the corner and barely processing the car in the road turned the corner, she started to cry.

Angel roared, the noise making people stop in their tracks when they heard it, and grabbed the handle of the glass doors roughly he yanked them open, and then strode out into the street in full game face. He slammed the doors behind him, paying no heed when they bounced off the walls and then shattered from the force of the impact.

He looked unseeing in both directions, scenting the air on his tongue like a snake.
He started running at the exact moment he managed to separate the scent of her fear and adrenalin from everything else. There was no way the stupid bitch was going to get away that easy, and he’d always liked a chase…

Panting and out of breath Cordelia allowed herself to slow down slightly, thinking that this could possibly be far enough away for now. She risked turning around to look behind her and let out air she hadn’t known she’d been holding as she saw the empty street, not looking where she was going though she almost fell over when she walked into someone standing in the street. She gasped backing away fearfully

‘I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die’ she yelped when a hand touched her arm lightly.

“Ma’am, are you alright? You look awfully pale?” She blinked and managed to stutter a reply, running once more into the night.

It was two streets later when she felt a rush of air blow past her and she halted immediately, just avoiding crashing into the vampire who suddenly blocked her path.

“Hi honey, miss me?” He purred mock-innocently and when she went to turn he brought his hands up faster than her eyes could follow, bring them down painfully on the pressure points on either side of her neck, as her vision faded to black she thought he might have broken her cheek bone on the way down, then she knew no more.

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

Nick turned and waved at Emilia one last time, laughing at the young girls enthusiastic farewell. Jumping up and down, waving her arms around like crazy she was making a spectacle of herself. It was so cute.

Cordelia was going to be so happy to see him, especially when she heard his news. He’d be in LA in little over an hour and he’d probably be able to surprise her while she was still at work. Besides he wanted to meet Angel, he sounded like a funny guy/vampire from the last few letters he had gotten from her, she seemed happy and he was glad.

He took a picture out of his pocket and looked at it; a twelve-year-old Cordy sat in the sun grinning at the camera. That had been one of the only times he had actually known she was really happy; that summer her parents had gone overseas and she had told the maid she was going to stay at a friends, but she wasn’t- obviously. He smiled softly in remembrance as he boarded the plane and found his seat.

He poked his head around the door of the caravan nervously. He couldn’t even remember what he’d done wrong! His hand shook slightly as he raised his hand to knock on the door and he cursed at himself, he was 18 now, what could Bakro do now anyway? He was not still a boy to be admonished and turned over his knee.
Squaring his door he pushed the door open, and was immediately confused, where was he, and who was the slight girl standing facing the mantle.

He saw the girl start when the door closed with a slight thud and smothered a smile as she turned around, only to have it return in a full fledged grin of disbelief.

“Cordelia? CORDY?”

She grinned shyly suddenly self-conscious and simply said, “Hi.” Raising her hand up to wave slightly before she engulfed in a crushing hug. Doubt soon replaced with giggles and squeals of laughter.

He put her down and looked at her for a moment, he put on his solemnest face and then after her laughter had subsided, pinched her cheeks and said, “My, you’ve grown…” She hit him…

That had been the most amount of time he’d ever spent with her, all because of her bloody father. His teeth clenched with anger at the thought of the obnoxious, overbearing bastard. No matter though, he wouldn’t let thoughts of him intrude, especially when he could just savour his victory. It was funny; the elders put such strict rules on everything regarding Angelus yet they had neglected to check the bags of the one person in the clan with the most interest in the magic surrounding his curse.

He smirked to himself; well it helped that he had replaced the book with a fake, what they had in the library now was a copy of the bible, with a false cover put over it.
He brought out the old book, flipping to the page he had marked; ANGELUS.

Just you wait, little sister; you are going to be so pleased…

Gunn whistled softly as he walked down the street, it was good to be back in the old ‘hood after so long. He frowned, never having realised how much time he’d actually spent away. He was still a little apprehensive though, he knew he wouldn’t accept anyone back into the fold after they all but abandoned them, he had no right to expect Rondell to do it either.

Good thing he wasn’t looking to come back then, he couldn’t just up and abandon Barbie like that, English was alright too- well better than that damned vamp any day. He’d really done a number on the kid and he’d hated having to watch her try to be strong all night, English had too from the expression on his face every time she wasn’t looking.

He never would’ve thought it, would’ve decked anyone who had told him and still wouldn’t admit it but he’d come to rely on her: on them. Barbie had wormed her way into his heart, slowly but surely ever since she had declared she was there to save his life. He had laughed at her, but it was true, she’d saved him from himself and by now he thought she was as much a sister to him as Alonna had been.

Being that as it were, anyone who hurt her was in for a world of pain. After seeing her so crushed, if Angel didn’t get off his ass quick smart and beg for forgiveness, then he was going down. He’d come to the ‘hood to make sure that if it came to that, he’d have the support he needed.

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

Angel stood in shadows, waiting for the girl tied to the bed to awaken. He smiled wickedly as his eyes once again fell on the tight bonds surrounding her wrists and ankles; the only things removed being the bulky jacket and shoes. He’d chosen rope because he could tighten it as much as he wanted, and he knew it would hurt more when she struggled than cuffs would.

He watched intently as she started to stir, going to stretch her limbs to no avail. He held back a sinister chuckle as she blinked her eyes open in confusion; her eyes widened almost impossibly when she fully realised her position. She twisted her head from side to side trying to see him-wincing when her bruised cheek hit the mattress. ‘That’s right darlin’ keep looking, you ain’t going to find me.’Cordelia visibly relaxed when she could see no trace of him and eyes slide shut, the instant she did so, he pounced.

Her eyes snapped open at the sudden weight on the bed and as her eyes focused her mouth opened as if to ask a question and quicker than the human eye could follow he reached up and snapped her jaw shut, shaking his head.
“I’m asking the questions here, sweetheart.” He tusked, malice dripping from each and every syllable. She swallowed, eyes pleading with him, she couldn’t possibly know what she was pleading for but she was.

She shuddered briefly underneath him when he deliberately smirked, lifting the left side of his mouth upwards. He leant down, careful not to touch her at all, leant so close that their lips were almost meeting, then tilting his head, so his mouth rested just to the side of her ear and whispered, “Where are they?” She frowned before her eyes widened and she exclaimed loudly, and with more than a hint of anger that she had no clue where that skanky ho and the crazy one were.

He snarled and pulled back, hitting her viciously in the ribs, cracking a few at the very least, he watched her as she gasped in surprised hurt, fear emanating off her when she fully realised that he would actually hurt her, and had planned on doing so from the beginning. Reaching out he felt her pulse with his fingertips almost gently before squeezing just enough to cut off some air not unlike what he had done before, except now the young woman’s windpipe was already bruised and damaged and did not need much pressure to produce the same airless effect.

“You stupid slut, don’t play games with me. Where are the gypsy-pigs?” He asked in an almost kind tone of voice, completely at odds with his actions and he knew she was contemplating that instead of the question, he tightened his hand slightly.

She gasped out the words, “I …don’t …know… what you’re talking about…” though her elevated heart rate gave her away somewhat. Oh, I was so hoping you’d say that, makes everything that much more fun.

“You see sweetheart,” He said casually removing his hand from her throat, “I already know that you know something, so now what it falls upon me to do, is convince you to tell me.” He smiled chillingly and reached into the waistband of his pants, having to stop himself from laughing when Cordelia started shaking beneath him, eyes riveted to the serrated blade he had exposed to her vision.

“Cordelia,” he said conversationally as he grabbed the thin material of her top next to her shoulder, slitting it at the seam. “You must know by now that the Kalderash gypsies have been the bane of my existence for over 100 years.” He paused looking at her expectantly and she nodded nervously, afraid of where this was going.

He started slitting the thin, filmy top in a diagonal line, slowly, shallowly cutting the skin underneath. If for some unforeseeable reason, he let her live, he didn’t want her permanently scarred. Cordelia started breathing deeply through the pain, well as deeply as she could through her damaged throat, and briefly reflected that he definitely knew what he was doing, if he had of sliced quickly it wouldn’t have hurt as much, that she was sure of.

Angel stopped, aware that he no longer had her full attention, and he’d only cut about 5 inches of skin. He waited until she had focused on him again before continuing, both the cutting and the monologue, shifting his grip on the blade so the serrated teeth were now cutting into her skin, making larger rents in the creamy flesh, bringing up more blood, and he knew from experience that it hurt like hell.

“Now imagine how, hurt, I was to find out that you, my Seer, had been consorting with them behind my back for years.” As he finished speaking her jaw dropped open, both because of the revelation that he knew about Nicholae and the fact that the knife was just under her sternum and she thought she was going to pass out.

Angel watched Cordelia’s eyes roll up into her head and reached out with his left hand slapping her into awareness at the same time as the blade kept slicing down, sliding past her bellybutton, looking down objectively and seeing the damage the serrated blade had done Angel once again shifted his grip on the blade, using the tip to slice the rest of the way to her hip.

Angel brought the knife away from her body and just letting her bleed, brought his fingers up to the knife and wiped the blood off. He leant over until his chest was touching her crimson stained one, fighting his bloodlust long enough so that when she gasped in surprised pain from his weight he could slip the fingers coated in her blood through her lips and onto her tongue. He threw the knife away careless of where it would land and held her jaw in place so that she couldn’t bite him as he brought his fingers out and smeared her lips with the red fluid.

Smiling sadistically as Cordelia flinched away; he let her turn her head and levered himself up, sliding down her body until his head was level with her hips. With the smell of so much blood just hanging in the air he couldn’t help but let his teeth elongate, well why not? It wasn’t like he was trying to impress anyone.

Looking up into her face Angel saw her lift her head to try and see what he was doing, given the way she was tied though she couldn’t and just let her head flop back onto the pillow. Whatever he was going to do, it wasn’t like she could stop him anyway. He reached up and parted the remains of her shirt and bra, leaving her open and exposed to the cold night air.

Angel dipped his head down and leisurely licked up the blood at the bottom of the wound, sticking his tongue as far into the wound as he could, scraping undamaged flesh with his fangs. He didn’t flinch when she bucked violently, just threw an arm across her and continued. He swallowed, loving the feel of the hot coppery liquid flowing over his tongue like velvet, coating it in a rich almost perfect taste, and bit back a groan as it hit the back of his throat and settled in the pit of his stomach. He didn’t stop once, not even to gloat and when he was finished – if he had paused to reflect he would have said that her blood was the most fulfilling meal and yet, he’d never get enough of it.

But he didn’t stop he just lifted up, putting all of his weight on her hips, revelling in her strangled gasps of pain. He looked her in the eye for a moment and then moved forward attacking her mouth viciously, with a mouth as red as hers had been before. He pulled away just as abruptly and left the room with a snide, “Now don’t you go anywhere.”

Returning, Angel held the item he had collected behind his back. This time he chose to just to sit on the bed, by her side and lifted the hand not holding the item brushing her hair back from her face, where it had stuck to her tears.

“Have you got anything to tell me?” He asked, playing with her wound, and for the first time, lightly touching her breast.
Cordelia bit her lip and shook her head slightly. He scowled and brought his hand out from behind his back, revealing the bowl of salt he had collected from the kitchen, he scooped up a few granules, letting them slip back through his fingers, she had no idea how much this was going to hurt.

Cordelia’s tortured screams echoed loudly off the walls, unfortunately not one note drifted out onto the daytime street…
Part Five

Wesley looked at the phone for the thirteenth time in the last minute; he was really worried about Cordelia. It was hard to remember sometimes but she was still a young girl and the only thing that was keeping him from calling and checking up on her at this moment, after she had spent all last night trying to convince him and Gunn that she was fine, was the fact that she would probably yell at him for waking her up when she probably had a hang-over just to nag.

He sighed and turned back to his crossword. A celestial being. 5 letters. ANGEL. He snorted in disgust and tossed the paper away from him haphazardly, the crossword being the only bit that interested him, the front-page story had been concerning the massacre of the Wolfram and Hart employees and he knew more about that then what had been put in the newspapers.

The papers were still fluttering to the ground when he heard a knock at his door, he looked from it to the papers and back again before shrugging, anyone who knew where he lived shouldn’t really care what his house looked like, especially if they had turned up at this time.

He made some kind of encouraging noise towards the door and walked over swiftly opening it to find Virginia. “Hi, I wasn’t sure if you’d be at work yet or not but….” She trailed off, obviously noting something in his face. “Why aren’t you at work?” Wesley motioned her in and closed the door behind her, not relishing the task of having to explain to her that he had been fired.

They sat on the couch whilst she listened patiently, and when he was finished calmly said, “ You’ve looked at the phone more times than I can be bothered counting, so why don’t you just call Cordelia and see if she is fine, from what you’ve said about last night, I think she’ll be understanding of your need to reassure yourself.”

Virginia left after about an hour assuring Wesley that even if Angel didn’t come to his senses hecould always stay with her. He looked at the phone again and it seemed to get larger and larger the more he stared. Almost without him realising it he reached out, picked it up and dialled Cordelia’s number. He only fully became aware of what he was doing when he heard the connecting dial tones; but he needn’t have worried though, as she didn’t pick up.

********

Cordelia Chase drifted slowly into consciousness and the first thing she became aware of was the darkness, then, as her eyes adjusted and she blinked like a new born seeing the world for the first time, she became aware of the silence, the silence that was the world poised on the edge of something, waiting – deadly silence, filled only by the sound of her breathing, and her heartbeat telling her that she was still alive.

Then, like a switch had been turned on she felt it. Pain. At first it was outside of her, just floating on the edge of her consciousness. It drew closer and became a part of her. Then, so abruptly that she gasped aloud, the pain became her whole existence. She was the pain and it was she. There was nothing else.

She wanted to throw up, the pain so intense she wanted to physically eject it from her body. She struggled to push the nausea down, vaguely remembering that she was tied up. She’d heard somewhere, maybe at school, that if somebody threw up when they were flat on their back that they would choke in their own vomit. Gross – plus she didn’t want to die.

She swallowed the bile in her throat, which seemingly was a bad idea because her ribs moved, and her ribs really didn’t want to move. Now she did throw up, twisting her head to the side at the last moment she vomited in harsh painful spasms on the pillow next to her head. Then she passed out.

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

Angel walked towards the room, actually having little idea what to do with the girl; he doubted she would actually tell him anything. As he neared the room he could smell blood and salt and something sickly sweet- he could actually taste the alcohol in the air.

He thought back to a few hours ago, to the image of her spread out before him, bare from her waist up. God she was beautiful, although thinking about it the wound he’d inflicted spanning her entire torso was a bit of a turn off. He paused, remembering the sticky sweetness of her blood.

He took an unnecessary breath in, trying to calm the borrowed blood that was suddenly rushing south. It was no use. He knew he couldn’t walk in there with any form of desire showing on his face- or in his body, it would undermine his control, instead he focussed on her betrayal, letting the anger flood his senses. But it still didn’t help. At all!

He opened the door anticipating the view he would be seeing again- granted if she was totally naked it would probably be better, but he hadn’t removed her pants – yet!. His mouth watered in anticipation; until the full stench of what he had smelt before came to him.

She’d thrown up! The silly little bitch had gone and messed up the picture she had made where he had left her when she had passed out. Angel stifled the initial surge of concern, frowning at its existence and instead grinned as an entirely unpleasant idea entered his head. He slipped over to the bed and quickly released her limbs from the bonds holding her down.

As he lifted her into his arms her shredded top and bra fell to the floor. He was briefly surprised that they hadn’t stuck to the remaining blood that would have normally seeped out of her wounds – before he remembered the salt, he looked down, ignoring the vomit clinging to her hair and felt compelled to run his hands down the silky smooth skin of her back, enjoying the satiny velvet of her warm flesh against his cool skin. He was so cold.

The urge to awaken his sleeping beauty grew as he made his way to the bathroom; time to show her yet another side to him, he thought with a twisted grin..

**********

Cordeia was shocked awake, freezing cold water coursing over her head as it was held over a basin. A heavy arm hooked around her waist and held her lower body to a hard wall of flesh and bone, whilst a large hand forced her forward, gripping the back of her head. He plunged her head around under the water by her hair, muttering a litany of curses as he did so, calling her a dirty gypsy whore ‘just like the rest of them.’ Gypsy?

The only person she was close to who could be described as a gypsy was Nicky- and he was only half gypsy, Angel didn’t know about him anyway- or did he? Her mind flashed back to the image that had greeted her as she walked into the lobby- was it only last night? Papers, envelopes scattered across the floor and… a wooden box, lying in pieces near the wall. All rational thought fled her brain when he abruptly held her head under the water deliberately.

It was several long and agonising seconds before he laughed and just let her go. Cordelia collapsed at the sudden lack of support, hitting her head with a glancing blow on the bottom of the basin. For the first time since she’d come here she wasn’t confused or hurt, she was angry, and she really wanted to kill him.

She spun around, ignoring the dizzying lights behind her eyes and lunged with a primitive growl lodged in the back of her throat, screaming unintelligibly when she ran into hard unyielding muscle. She kept lashing out even as he laughed again; strong arms coming around her and hoisting her up, carrying her as he strode into the bedroom. Then her entire world span on its axis as he tossed her onto the bed. She had just enough time to notice he’d changed the sheets before she came to a stop, resting in a half curled position on the pillows.

Cordelia didn’t even get a chance to regain her equilibrium before he was on top of her holding her down, so close she could smell her blood on his breath from earlier. He’d twisted them around so that she was laid out flat beneath him, his hands roughly travelling up and down her sides ignoring or perhaps taking pleasure out of her gasps of pain. Bastard. She thought hazily, a part of her in shocked disbelief that someone she’d grown to care about could do this to her.

Angel pinned her hands above her head and leant down further, making sure to catch her eyes before he continued. Coming closer to her face, until they were sharing the same breath- or they would be if he breathed. He hovered, mere millimetres from her lips and she could almost taste him. Deliberately he brought up his free hand and cupped a heavy breast, his thumb grazing the tip even as a heavily muscled thigh forced it’s way between hers. Cordy’s eyes widened in growing understanding, instantly opening her mouth to cry out. Before she could utter a sound his mouth crashed down, taking advantage of her parted lips.

In the very instant that their lips made contact, her body stiffened; Angel assumed it was apprehension. He smirked against her lips; he’d certainly given her reason to be. He only realised that it wasn’t quite what he’d thought – nor the more preferable beginnings of arousal; when she gasped against him in agonised pain. Mere seconds after, her body began to convulse, and he recognised it for what it was: a vision seizure. She bit down on his bottom lip in reflex, hard enough to draw blood.

Darla standing in the darkness, black dress blending with the shadows.
Boxes stacked in a corner. A warehouse.
Demons, lots of demons.
A fight.
Teeth and claws and… Fire?

Lifting his head up, he held her squirming body still, leaning up further back in shock as she started gasping out a litany of words. A habit. Reflex. She had a vision she tells it, its not like she could see through the pain to tell who might be listening. Apart from the images all she had the energy to think about was that obviously the powers hadn’t got the message that Angel had fired them.

Druscilla swaying to some non-existant music in a strangely modern dress.
A symbol, gold; something twisty and curvy like intertwined snakes.
Angel, seated in shadows, laughter.
A broken street sign.

Angel thought it strange as he noted the address; after what he’d put her through, she’d remained stubbornly silent- except for her moans and screams. He hadn’t been able to cause her to reveal this amount of hurt, though – at all. Old feelings stirred in his recently closed off heart. A brief rekindling of the bond he had shared with the young woman before her betrayal, abruptly flared into life- and with it came an immediate surge of guilt and compassion, emotions that having not been experienced for quite some time, were considerably startling, and much stronger.

The Vampire didn’t even know at that moment why he’d been so angry- well he knew why, but when he looked at Cordelia, incapacitated on his bed with pain he couldn’t understand it. Couldn’t understand why he had wanted to, and in fact had caused her pain prior to it – didn’t think he could have ever been capable of hurting this girl

Why he had not seen this when he was torturing her he didn’t know. He rolled off the bed and grabbed her ankles, shutting out her whimpers of pain; he straightened her body out until she was laying flat on her back, head resting on the pillows. Then he picked up the discarded comforter and tucked it around her carefully.

Once satisfied that Cordy was comfortable, Angel walked out of the door, not bothering to lock it behind him; he seriously doubted she would be going anywhere soon. It was only when he was halfway to the warehouse that he even paused to question the sudden surge of tender feelings that had pushed aside his rage and need to hurt her, the Betrayer.

********

Darla started to walk out of the building, impatient to be gone, when she realised belatedly that Druscilla wasn’t behind her. In fact she couldn’t even sense her in the room. Irritated now with the insane vampire she spun quickly, expecting to have to drag the other vampires away from her dolls or some other such nonsense.

When she reached the foyer however Druscilla was staring off into mid-air. Scowling Darla moved swiftly across the room and took her roughly by the arm, intending to pull her out of the room. Druscilla refused to budge; instead babbling as she was wont to do.

“Daddy has a new pet. The sun shines in her eyes and the she hears the birdies. They don’t talk to her though, they bite and push and scream.” She paused, becoming lucid. Well as lucid as Dru could be. She turned, pinning Darla with intense blue eyes.

“Daddy isn’t daddy anymore, and he’s not the Angel-monster. He shall hurt us tonight, because of her. We shall not go. We shan’t.”

Darla rolled her eyes and let go taking a few steps towards the door, fully intending to just leave. That was as far as she got before she started to feel discomforted. Every step she took after that got harder and harder, when she reached the door however it was like there was an invisible barrier covering it.

Testing it once more she frowned, then stepping back towards the other vampire sighed silently as the discomfort eased. She had forgotten that Dru was both her sire and also a fairly powerful vampire in her own right, even if she was insane.

She made eye contact with her and Dru just smiled slightly, humming before she stopped suddenly. Looking incredibly sane for once, and really scary, she turned and picked up Miss Edith, addressing her rather than Darla.

“Maybe, sometime soon we should take Daddy’s pet and invite her to tea.”

The rest of the night was lost to her ramblings and while Darla usually payed her no mind normally, she was inclined to believe her right now, thinking of the girl, the Seer. She was vexed to realise that once again her childe was obsessed with a mortal, a mere baby. Well she’d see if she couldn’t change that, and maybe get her ‘darling boy’ back in the process. Darla played second fiddle to no one!

Cordelia stirred, squirming and frowned in her half-asleep state. For some reason she was sure she shouldn’t be this comfortable. Her eyes screwed up in denial as she remembered why she shouldn’t be comfortable, and what had happened the last time she had been awake.

Oh my God! He’s killed me! I’m dead; heaven has some nice beds though. She opened her eyes and gasped, not expecting to see what she did.

She whipped her head around- ignoring the dizziness it caused and looked around at Angel’s room. It all looked so innocuous, and she was tucked in! She was beginning to think she’d just had a vision-induced nightmare when she rolled onto her side, reopening her wound as she did so. She gaped soundlessly in pain and rolled out of the bed, not knowing where to press to lessen the hurt.

“ANGEL!” She yelled, not really wanting him to come, but wanting to know whether he was lurking around or not.

Receiving no answer- and no angry vampire she made her way painfully over to the chair over which her jacket was draped. Shrugging it on painfully she was glad it was loose as she zipped it and stood up. Well stood half way up anyway before she collapsed.

Determined to leave before Angel came back, Cordelia managed to ignore the pain in her chest aside long enough to push herself up onto her elbows and started crawling towards the stairs.

Once Cordelia got there she stopped, groaning at the daunting task before her. She couldn’t really get down; if she slipped she’d hit her head. Turning around so that she was facing the hallway she extended her left leg slowly behind her, feeling out with her foot to find the first step. Sliding backwards she slipped her knee off the edge and onto the step below.

She thought she was going to die by the time she reached the half way mark. Her ribs were killing her. She couldn’t feel the cut strangely enough, it was the most deliberate part of the pain he had caused, and she couldn’t feel it.

Cordelia stopped where she was and just bent her head. It was all just too much she couldn’t handle it. She bent her head down until it was resting slightly on one of the steps and she started sobbing, spasms wracking her body adding to her pain. She just couldn’t believe that Angel had done this he was the one person she thought she could count on- well except when he was turning evil- and she was almost positive that hadn’t happened now.

She just couldn’t comprehend it, she lo… He was… She thought he at least cared about her a little. But how could he, if he could…
Glass crunched in the doorway of the lobby, but she didn’t hear it. She didn’t see the lone and unsure figure that walked right into the middle of the floor and tuned around a few times, confused.

“CORDELIA!”

Familiar yet strident tones echoed through the open space and up the stairs. Cordelia jerked as the sound reached her ears, her brain only registering the gender of the speaker as she instinctively tried to scramble up stairs it had taken her an hour to get halfway down. She fell, hard.

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

Stepping out of his rented car with a smile Nicholae looked up at the building in front of him, noting its age and dignity. He frowned when he came to the front and saw the state the doors, or rather what had previously been doors was in; smashed and scattered into a million different pieces. Not exactly sure what to do he delicately stepped over the doors trying to ignore the crunching that sounded beneath his feet.

He made his way to the middle of the lobby floor, finding it a little strange that nobody was around. He turned a few times, confused before taking a deep breath.

“CORDELIA!”

Nicholae looked around as he heard a soft thud and pinpointed it as coming from the stairs leading up to the second floor of the building- he was beginning got think that he’d written down the address wrong and that this wasn’t where she worked.

He walked forwards and glanced up the stairs, rushing forward when he saw the figure crumpled three quarters of the way down. He gently took hold of the shoulder vaguely outlined in the bulky black jacket. The figure twisted and tried to scramble backwards- away from him.

“Hey, hey. Shh it’s alright.” Nick sat back slightly and spoke softly- as if confronting a wounded animal. Which, he supposed was much like the situation here.

The dark head moved, turning towards him as the soothing tones registered. He held back a gasp with difficulty as the hazel eyes focused on him, brimming with unshed tears, the tracks left by earlier tears showing clearly on her cheeks.

He couldn’t believe that this bundle of quivering and shaking nerves was his sister. She’d always been so strong; he didn’t understand why she was here alone. What had happened? And why the hell hadn’t Angel been here to…Shit. That’s it, isn’t it? His eyes narrowed and his lips tightened into a thin line, as all kinds of unpleasant scenarios filled his mind.

He bent down and waited until full recognition shone in her eyes before gingerly wrapping his arms around her slight frame.

“Ni.. Nicky?” She murmured against his chest between sniffles and he nodded needlessly before murmuring his assent. He slid his arms underneath hers and gripped gently, standing.

Cordelia inhaled sharply and her knees buckled, Nick tightened his arms around her and, if she’d had the energy to do, so she’d have screamed at the intense pressure it put on her abused ribs. He held her propped up as much as he could while at the same time bending down so he could hook an arm under her legs to carry her the rest of the way downstairs, and consequently outside too.

“Can you stand for a second?” Nick asked anxiously reaching the bright yellow bug. He felt Cordy nod against his shoulder, noticeable tremors running through her slender frame. He gently placed her feet on the pavement positioning her to lean on the small hood so he could open the passenger side door.

Fumbling with the keys, Nicolae almost dropped them twice before he managed to slide them into the lock sighing with relief as he heard click of it popping open. He almost flung the door open in his haste but barely remembered where he’d put Cordy and just pulled it before turning to gather her up again.

In the time he’d been trying to open the door Cordelia had collapsed onto the dirty pavement, unable to stand the pain racking her ribs and chest, she just wanted to curl up into a little ball and escape from the world. She was barely aware of the arms that slid around her gingerly except for the fact that her ribs were jolted by the movement. Blinking as she was placed into the passenger seat she let the seatbelt be fastened around her and waited as Nick walked around and got behind the wheel. She was still half expecting to wake up back in Angel’s room.

She refrained from wincing when the motor started becoming aware of a raging headache that had somehow been held at bay, probably by all the other injuries.

“Where’s the nearest hospital?” She heard the other ask distantly through the rolling waves of hurt now travelling through her head. She immediately jerked forward eyes wide and panicked and if not for the sudden adrenalin coursing through her system she would have been cursing the move.

“No.” She stated emphatically. “No hospitals.”

Nick turned to face her, pulling out from the curb and glancing at her face he knew better than to argue with her, sure she wasn’t going to budge on the matter, instead he just asked her did she feel up to directing him to her apartment. He would have ignored her had he known that the lift was broken and he’d have to carry her up and into her apartment. Reaching the door he had an awful thought and turned his head to look her in the eyes making sure that she was paying attention.

“You do have your keys right?” She managed a smile, the first he’d seen since he found her, involuntarily his mind flashed back to the picture he’d seen when he saw her.

Feeling unfamiliar rage sweep through him he must have tightened his grip because Cordelia squeaked in his arms. He grimaced sheepishly and Cordy held up the keys to him, hiding a wince at the pressure the movement brought to her ribs.

She didn’t need to though; Dennis was already opening the door. Nick walked in; quickly scanning the room and placing his sister gently down onto the couch, folding her arms as comfortably as he could over her torso. If she hadn’t been in so much pain Cordy would have been very aggravated at being treated like an invalid, but then again she supposed at the moment she was one.

“I’ll be back in a second.” Nick jumped up and rushed out of the door, leaving it open, dashing back to the car he opened it and took out his bag, feeling to make sure the book was in there.

Reassured he locked the car and sprinted back in to Cordy, he pushed the door shut haphazardly and barely registered the clicks of it closing and locking. Dropping to the floor in front of her he fumbled with the bag before bringing the book out, Cordy raised her eyebrow at the cover ‘Walt Disney- Animations Made Easy’ and he shrugged opening it and flipping to a page close to the front.

Scanning the spell he found there, he found that it was mostly about the intention of the spell caster so he looked around, and finding a candle, grabbed it bringing it back to place directly in Cordy’s line of sight so she would hopefully focus on that while he healed her as much as he could.

Telling her to concentrate her energy on the candle he recited the usual generic blessing and the took a deep breath focusing his energy, it was possibly the hardest thing he had ever done, trying to keep his thoughts positive and healing as he uncovered each new injury, by the time he was finished Nick was exhausted and Cordelia had fallen into a light sleep.

Truth be told, if he didn’t know that it wasn’t entirely the vampire’s fault he would be over there killing him by no; as it was, he was definitely going to beat him up as much as he was able. Flipping the pages of the book again he focused his tired eyes on the prophesy, the one he had come here to foil, he had the words memorised already and half way through reading git he finally slipped into slumber slowly sinking to rest against the couch, his head almost touching Cordy’s.

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

Wesley hurried down the halls; Cordelia was probably just fine but still, he wouldn’t feel right unless he checked. She hadn’t been answering her phones, either of them and he was getting worried.

Approaching her door he was relieved to find it in one piece but quickly scolded himself for expecting less. Jangling his spare keys he was once again touched at how much Cordelia had trusted him, to let him have free access into her house he knew that after almost everyone had let her down that she didn’t really trust many people to this degree.

Walking in and closing the door behind him, he dropped his keys back into his pocket glad he’d called Gunn, the house was way too quiet. Eyes roaming the lounge he was relieved to find Cordelia’s figure resting on it before he noticed the second figure in the room, which had stirred upon his entrance and now looked at him with suspicious green eyes. Both opened their mouths to speak at the same time.

“Who the hell are you?”


…TO BE CONTINUED…
THIS STORY APPEARS TO BE UNFINISHED


 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s