Desperate Measures


AUTHOR: WERELEOPARD (aka LEA)
SUMMARY: Cordy is dying from the visions and the AI gang will go to any lengths to save her, but they first have to go to Sunnydale to help the Scoobies.
RATING: PG13
POSTED: 18 Feb 2006
CATEGORY: CROSSOVER FIC: AtS/BtVS / AU
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A
WARNINGS: None Listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES: When Tara and Willow split up due to the magicks; Tara moved to LA and joined AI. And the timeline may not be correct but it is my story so just ignore it
STATUS: Complete


Chapter One

Angel paced he needed to get back to LA, to Cordy but Tara had told them that the orb they needed was in the Magic Box so he had to go back to Sunnydale to get it and he wished that Anya could find it already. He had been standing her for hours, but what seemed like and eternity to him and the vampire could feel Buffy’s eyes staring at him. He didn’t know what to say to her so he did what he could, he stayed silent and hoped that she wouldn’t bring up the conversation of ‘them’. He wanted to orb and then to get the hell out of dodge and back to LA, back to his home and his family.

Angel smiled at the thought of hoping that at times Cordy would be quiet but he knew that with Cordy he had no chance of that happening, a smile graced his face as he thought of his best friend, the woman that dragged him kicking and screaming out of his own self imposed darkness, the light that lit his face faded at the thought of her dying, her own bright light dimming each second, Angel wouldn’t let that happen he couldn’t lose her, not know. She knew him better than anyone, he could talk to her, not that he had much choice when she put her mind to something.

Buffy watched her ex-love everything about him apart from his look had changed. She so desperately wanted to go and speak to him but had no idea what to say, she wanted to hear all about his life in LA and knowing that this sounded selfish so she kept it to herself but she wanted to hear him say how much he had missed and still loved her, but he could barely look at her, the awkwardness between them had grown, it had become a huge chasm and Buffy hated this she had never thought that the could drift this far apart, she wanted to build a bridge to him but had no idea how to do it because they had spent so much time out of touch.

“Anya have you found it yet?” Angel called out impatiently this was getting ridiculous how long did it take to find a stupid orb, if it wasn’t soon then he was going to leave without it and Anya could phone them we she actually located it.

“No but it is here somewhere.” The ex-vengeance demon called back he voice echoing around the room.

Willow, Xander and Giles just sat there watching Buffy, watching Angel, while the vampire was looking everywhere apart from them.

The slayer couldn’t wait any longer she needed to talk to him, to feel some kind of connection. All she wanted was just for a little while go back to the time they were madly in love and all the existed was the other one.

“Angel?” Buffy whispered as she stood up and started to make her way over to the vampire.

Just then the Magic Box door flew open and in walked Fred and Wes. Angel moved away from Buffy and to his friends.

“What are you doing here?” He asked confusion covering his face.

“A vision.” Wes muttered not knowing if the others knew about Cordy, her visions and what they were doing to her.

Angel’s face paled more than it normally was, everytime a vision happened he always worried that it would be her last, that he would never be able to talk to her again. Angel watched as Fred grabbed a chair and pulled it out and then towards the door and he knew that his Cordy was still with them, was still fighting with everything she had. If only she would let them find a way to take away the visions but she had refused and told them if they tried without her permission then she would never forgive them and they would still lose her.

The door opened again and this time a pale, very ill looking Cordy walked in being supported by Gunn and Tara. Willow’s eyes widened as she saw her ex-girlfriend, she had missed her so much.

“Tara?” Willow whispered.

Tara briefly looked at Willow and then turned her attention back to Cordy making sure that she had a good grip on the seer, since moving to LA Tara had grown close to all of AI, they had made her feel welcome, part of the family but she had grown even closer to Cordy, they had a connection, they both lived through the hellmouth.

Angel rushed over to Cordy and gently pushed her shoulder length hair away from her face so he could see her.

“What are you doing here Cordy?” Angel asked softly.

Buffy stared opened mouthed she turned to her friends and they had the same look of shock on their faces, Angel was being so gently so soft with the ex-may queen. What the hell was going on?

“A vision Angel?” She muttered with a duh look at him.

“I know THAT, but my questions is what are YOU doing here? You should be back at home resting.” Angel told her his voice firm.

She looked into his brown eyes and smiled at him. “I HAD to come, I was TOLD to.” Cordy raised her eyes and glared up above her.

Xander, Buffy, Willow and Giles all looked up and all they could see was the ceiling of the Magic Box, they all shrugged their shoulders and turned and looked back to what was happening.

Just as they were making there way over to the seat that Fred and got ready for Cordy she suddenly screamed and her legs gave way beneath her, Tara followed her to the ground gripping hold of her hand and screaming with the brunette ex-cheerleader.

Willow stood but before she get any closer to Tara Wes took hold of her and shook his head and they all stood and watched as Cordy and Tara screamed and blood started to flow from Cordy’s mouth, eyes, nose and ears and all Angel could do was watch and wait until it was over and hope that this was not her last moment alive.


Chapter 2

Buffy and the Scooby’s watched on with part amazement and part horror, as the two women gripping each others hands in a death grip rolled around the floor in agony. There was blood starting to cover Cordy’s face as she screamed in pain. Tara was held as securely as she could be by Wes, as he was trying to make sure she didn’t hurt herself too much.

Willow paled as she watched the woman she loved in that much pain and not knowing the reason why, or how to help her. She wanted to move forward to help but she was frozen to the spot afraid if she got to close that she would make things worse.

The door to the Magic Box opened and in walked a bleach blonde vampire, his body lean, but muscular and a long leather coat that swung as he walked. Spike suddenly stopped as if he had hit an invisible wall as he watched the scene in front of him.

Angel held Cordy tightly but gently as he softly brushed the blood of her face as best he could, his gaze never leaving hers, his face tight with anger and fear.

The rest of Angel Investigations watched on with the same helplessness that Angel felt, watching two members of their family in so much pain. They remembered when Tara had come forward with the suggestion and Cordy had outright refused to let her do it but Tara was just as stubborn as Cordy was, the young witch knew that they needed the seer, she was the heart of Angel Investigations and had become a sister to her and Tara was not ready to lose her, not yet, not if there was something she could have done to help.

A few minutes later Cordy and Tara had both stopped screaming, their bodies aching, their hands still tightly locked, and their muscles finally relaxed. Cordy opened her eyes and stared at the vampire looking down at her, his face full of happiness that she was still around, but also full of fear and sadness. He was so afraid that the next time a vision hit he would be holding her lifeless body that the light of his life would fade and disappear and he would be left all alone in the darkness, with no one to lead him through his endless night.

“Bronze, young couple, 5 vampires.” Was all that Cordy muttered before her eyes closed.

Angel just sat there holding her for a little while longer, when Tara glared at him.

“Now.” She muttered and the dark-haired vampire had to smile at the way she had sounded so Cordy like, and even had started to get the glare right as well, they had definitely been spending way too much time together.

Fred walked around and laid two cushions on the floor, one underneath Cordy’s head and the other under Tara’s. Tara turned and gently stroked her friends’ arm and watched her as she slept. It seemed that as the vision pains had been getting worse, after a vision the PTB would knock her out to give her time to heal, and to give Angel and the others the time to go and kill whatever the evil thing Cordy had seen was.

With one last glance at the love of his life, Angel let himself be pulled away by Gunn and Wes. The quicker they did it the easier it would be for Cordy when she awoke. They had learnt to dispatch of these things rather quickly now.

Willow’s eyes widened as she saw Tara gently and lovingly stroke, her school tormentor’s arm. What the hell was going on with them? What had just happened? But what the redhead didn’t realise was the same thoughts were going on in the rest of the Sunnydale crew’s minds. What had happened to bring Tara and Cordy this close?

Spike shook his head as he walked into the shop more and stepping over a tired Tara and an unconscious Cordelia and he made his way to Buffy’ side.

“So what’s with the chit and the poof?” He asked conversationally.

“There is nothing going on with them? Angel came to get an orb?” Buffy muttered with that Anya walked out with the round item in the palm of her hand.

“Why are they sleeping on the floor?” Anya asked, still not understanding some of the human aspects, the way they never said what they wanted or thought and it just seemed like a waste of energy in her mind, but she was still learning.

“Actually we are not sure what happened?” Willow whispered her eyes never leaving her ex-girlfriends.

“Cordy had a vision.” Tara whispered.

Anya froze her eyes wide. “She’s a seer?”

Tara nodded. “Yes the PTB send her visions of people that need Angel’s help.”

“PTB?” Xander queried.

“Powers That Be.” Fred answered.

Anya nearly dropped the orb. “She’s a seer from the Powers That Be and Angel’s her champion.” Her face was full of awe, and then fell away as something dawned on her. “But she’s hum.” She shut up as soon as she saw Fred and Tara’s face and knew why Cordy was on the floor, but why Tara was there she was still at a loss. “Here,” She handed Fred the orb and with that she walked out of the room and returned a few minutes later with a blanket and gently laid it over the sleeping brunette.

Xander watched Anya in confusion it seemed that she knew something the rest of them didn’t.

“What the hell is going on?” Buffy yelled.

“Be quiet Buffy, if Cordy wants to we will talk about it later.” Tara told the slayer.

Buffy opened and closed her mouth a couple of times. “I want to know now.” She ordered but spoke quietly.

“Well it is not our story it’s hers and she gets to make the decision whether she tells you or not.” Tara said with quiet determination.

“Do you know this floor is cold?” Muttered a voice.

Tara looked down at Cordy and smiled. “How are you doing?”

“Just a bit numb.” Cordy said with a small smile.

Tara slowly stood with shaky legs and reached out her hand and Fred did the same on the other side and they gently pulled her to her feet and helped her to the small wooden chair that Fred had grabbed earlier. As soon as Cordy and Tara were settled, Fred rushed to her bag and grabbed water and painkillers for her two friends.

The door flew open and in rushed Angel, a beautiful smile appeared on his face as he saw his best friend awake. He rushed to her side and puller her into his embrace as he gently stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head softly.

“What the hell is going on?” Buffy asked again her voice rising as jealousy ate at her as she watched how gentle and loving Angel was being to her arch nemesis.

Cordy turned her tired and blood stained eyes at the blonde slayer. “I’m dying.” The brunette seer stated tiredly.


Chapter 3

Xander laughed nervously. “Yeah right Cordy. You just want to be centre of attention.”

The other Scoobies joined in with the same nervous laugh, not sure whether to believe what Cordy had said or not.

“Yeah, great joke Cordy.” Buffy said softly.

Tara’s eyes blazed with anger and disgust. “Why would she make up a joke like that, it isn’t funny?” She paused for a moment and looked at each of them. “You really don’t know her, know them do you?” The young witch said with amazement, she had only been in LA for a short while and she loved them as family and wouldn’t change any of them for the world.

Xander’s smile fell from his face, his chest hurt at the thought of his ex-girlfriend dying. “No Cordy you can’t die, who w-w-would torture us?” He stuttered the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach getting stronger.

Buffy glanced at Willow and they both turned and stared at the pale-faced brunette.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to tell you like this, actually I never meant to tell you at all but hey you know me I say what I think.” Cordy whispered she was so tired and didn’t want to deal with this now; her legs sagged and before Fred and Tara could do anything her legs buckled, but before she hit the ground two strong arms held her to a manly chest, she looked up into the brown sad eyes of her saviour.

“You need to rest Cordy; we can deal with all of this later.” He said as he waved his hand around to the Sunnydale crew.

Buffy took an automatic step back at the indifference Angel spoke about her and her friends, his friends. Spike watched with interest as the gang from LA gathered around each other and protected each other. They really were a family, one that loved each other.

“Tara we could go somewhere and talk?” Willow asked her voice hopeful.

Tara briefly glanced up to the redhead and as much as she wanted to run into her arms, kiss her and never let go she had left for a reason and it was still there. Plus things were different now she had responsibilities now just like Willow had for Buffy and the others.

“Thank you but no I have to stay with Cordy, I have to make sure she stays all right.” Tara said, as she turned to the brunette seer in question.

Angel reached out and took hold of Tara’s hand; she had proved her worth time and time again, sharing Cordy’s pain, feeling it all but still protecting her.

“Why, what do you have to do for Cordelia?” Willow cried out jealous at the thought Tara might have moved on to her tormentor of all people.

“Tell them Tara.” Cordy whispered still clutching Tara’s hand and giving it a squeeze of reassurance.

“I have bonded us.” She stopped and all she saw was blank stares. “I did a spell which connects us, I take away some of her pain, some of the stress that her body and mind go through, it is the thing that is killing her. I am just giving her a little more time so we can find someway to help her.”

“But what if she dies?” Willow whispered afraid of the answer.

“Then I die with her.” Tara said her voice strong and confident. “It was my decision, Cordy tried to stop me but by that time I had got to know her, to know all of them and they became my family and I couldn’t, no I wouldn’t sit by and let her die not while there was a breath in my body.”

“So how do we stop this?” Xander asked he didn’t want Cordy to die; he didn’t want Tara to die either cause that would devastate Willow.

“We don’t know.” Angel said as he brushed a strand of hair from Cordy’s face. “But we have to find something I can’t lose her, I can’t lose you. I would be lost.”

The LA gang huddled together in a group gathering strength from one another and hoping that there was someway to fix this so they didn’t have to lose two members of their family.

“We better get to our rooms, Cordy needs to rest.” Tara ordered she knew how her friend was feeling and the others trusted her judgment. The Scoobies could only watch as the others left supporting the two weak women.

*****

It had been 4 hours later when Wesley received a call from Giles to come straight to his house he had some scrolls that might be of some help but needed help translating them. So there they had sat going through them all slowly and carefully making sure that they read everything correctly and had not missed anything out. Suddenly Wes let out a loud curse and Giles’ head shot up, a concerned look written all over it.

Before he could ask what was wrong Wes had pulled out his mobile and it was placed next to his ear.

“Angel wake everyone up and get them over here and make sure Cordy is never left by herself. She shouldn’t have come here, her life is in danger.” Wesley pulled the phone away as Angel started to scream and shout down the phone demanding answers; once it quietend he talked into it again. “There is a scroll here and it says that if the seer dies, the champion will lose his will and darkness will reign for an eternity. I haven’t read it all but I will continue to do so, and hopefully I will have more when you get here. Be careful Angel, be very careful.”


Chapter 4

Angel and the others were more vigilant then ever as they made their way from the Sunnydale motel back to the shop, they all crowded around Cordy not leaving a gap that anyone could attack her through. The young brunette felt suffocated but every time she tried to voice her feelings she was ignored and when she tried to move out of the tight circle of her family she would be dragged back in until she realised that it was no use, she was stuck like this until they arrived at their destination.

Once they arrived at The Magic Box Cordy ran to the centre of the room and took a few deep breaths, she knew they were trying to protect her and that they were lucky enough to arrive without incident but the crowding around her was just a little too much. When Cordy eventually looked up she found that everyone else had arrived and were waiting for them.

“English what the hell is going on?” Gunn said with his axe tightly gripped in his hands.

“If Cordy dies by tomorrow night, it says that the champion will lose all hope and darkness will reign.” Wesly directed his gaze to Angel. “I’m afraid that it will bring Angelus back, you having no desire to fight, after all look at what you have already gone through and if the PTB let Cordy die why would you want to carry on fighting, it will be a lot more easier to take your soul.” Wes said his eyes full of concern for his friend; he knew that Cordy and Angel loved each even though they had never confessed their feelings to each other. Angel was lost without Cordy, she was his humanity.

Angel punched the wall in anger; the plaster exploded as his fist went deep into the concrete, and he lowered his head and closed his eyes trying to control his anger.

Cordy slowly walked to him and once she was at his side she reached over and touched his shoulder. His entire body went rigid for a second before it relaxed underneath her touch.

“Angel it’s ok.” She whispered.

Angel suddenly turned to her, and her heart ached, she wanted to reach out and touch him, to wipe away that lost and lonely look from his eyes. The vampire reached out his hand and stroked her cheek gently as a tear managed to escape from the confines of his eye.

“How can it be ok if you are not in my life, I can’t do this without you.” Angel begged.

Angel glanced up at the ceiling. “Haven’t you done enough, Doyle was killed, your killing Cordy with the visions and now you have monsters after her to kill her. When is it going to stop?” He screamed at the heavens as he collapsed to his knees, with Cordy following him down as well.

“You can and will Angel, I’ll always be with you in here.” Cordy reached out and laid a hand on his chest, over his unbeating heart.

“Cordy I.” Angel whispered.

“I know Angel you don’t need to say anything.” Cordy whispered back.

“I love you.” He replied and it suddenly felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders.

Cordy thought her heart was going to burst, even though she had told him that she didn’t need to hear the words, deep down she knew she did. The smile that appeared on her face would have blinded the sun.

“I love you to.” She told him in return and before Cordy had time to say anything else his arms were wrapped around her and he was kissing her like this was the last time he could do it and for all they knew it could be.

Buffy stood watching them, her jaw had dropped, reaching up she rubbed her eyes and looked back, but the nightmare in front of her was still there Angel and Cordy were definitely kissing. The young slayer glanced at her friends but they all shrugged their shoulders not knowing what was going on either.

Fred stood with a silly grin on her face; Gunn and Wes also were smiling. Tara was sitting at the table with a book opened in front of her; she glanced up quickly at her friends and laughed.

“About time.” She muttered and then went back to looking at the book, it had suddenly fallen of the shelf and landed at her feet, opened at the very page she was reading. Tara tried to keep the hope down in her heart, this could be a way for Cordy to live, and maybe the Powers were trying to help them, knowing that without Cordy they would lose their champion and maybe gain an enemy, a powerful enemy who was stuck on revenge for everything that he had lost.

*****
“She’s here and the seer must die by tomorrow.” A vampire said as he turned and looked at his companions. “We have arrangements to make. Keep an eye on them and report back.”

*****

Nothing had happened that night and Angel was getting worried, it was too quite, and something else was also starting to bother him, Buffy. She had tried to get him alone to talk to him but Angel was not going to leave Cordy’s side since she had told him she loved him.

Buffy sat watching them from a corner; she was trying to figure out how they fell in love. Her eyes travelled to Cordelia and she stared at the young woman as if it were the first time she had seen her. Yes Cordelia was very beautiful, she was a classic beauty and looked elegant in what ever she wore but Angel had been around for a long time, so it had to be more than just looks otherwise they would have been together in Sunnydale. Buffy needed to know why, why Cordy and not her so she could put a closure on them, well she hoped that she could but Angel was not moving from her side and Buffy could understand why. Noot only was Cordy dying but there were monsters out to get her as well.

The slayers eyes widened with realisation, Cordelia was not the same person. She was judging their relationship on when she had known them but just like herself, like Willow and everyone else they had all grown up, they had changed.

Spike stood watching Buffy watching the lovebirds, he didn’t want to see her hurt but maybe this would be a good thing so that she could actually move forwards because no matter whom she was with Angel had always been in the back of her mind. She had always had this young girls fantasy that she would always be his one and only true love, but Angel had moved on, he had changed and found the woman who fitted him, they were a matching pair and that was how Spike wanted it to be with Buffy, but hell they weren’t even friends, one minute she would let him in and then the next the door was locked and bolted against him, Buffy’s emotions changed so quickly that it made his head spin.

Wes glanced at his watch with one last look outside he turned to his friends. “We’d better head back to the hotel before the sun comes up.”

The AI gang nodded and all got to their feet, Tara walked over to Giles.

“Can I take this with, there might be something in here that can help?” Tara asked stuttering lightly.

“If it can help of course you can, if you need me to help with anything do not hesitate to ask.” Giles told her with a smile.

*****

Cordy and Tara settled into their twin room. Cordy could see that her friend had something she wasn’t telling them, her head had been stuck in a book all night and then the book had come back with her and she wanted to know what it was. But Tara had immediately fallen asleep it had been a long couple of days for them, hell it had seemed like an eternity ever since they had found out she was dying. In one way life seemed so short that it would be over so soon, but in another it felt as if it were forever. The never-ending pain from the visions some days made her wish it all to be over. It wasn’t long before the exhaustion overcame her and she fell into a deep sleep.

Tara and Cordy awoke with a start as two hands were placed over there mouths so they could not scream, the bright sunshine that blazed through the window blinded them as they were carried off, not knowing where they were being taken and knowing that Angel would not be able to follow them in the daylight.


Chapter 5

Angel paced his room until the sun finally went down so he could finally leave it, they just had to stay at a place where the sun hit the door directly and there was no shade, so there was no way that he could make it to Cordy’s room, being by himself for just this one night was almost more than he could bare. They had finally made there way to each other just in time to find out that she was going to die. But he wasn’t going to allow that too happen, she was going to be by his side, he couldn’t, no he wouldn’t lose her now.

He rushed out of his door and down to the room that Cordy and Tara were sharing, he smiled softly as he thought of Tara she had been so lost when she arrived in LA just like the rest of them had been until they had found each other, this make-shift family and she had fitted with them perfectly. Everything she had done for Cordy it was beyond anything they would have ever asked of her but she had suggested it and when they said no she took control and told them it was her decision, she had definitely been around Cordy too much, Angel laughed to himself. As he knocked on the door leading to their bedroom, the door swung open.

“Cordy! Tara?” He called out, a frown covering his handsome face, there was nothing just deadly silence in the room, he couldn’t even hear their heartbeats. “WESLEY” Angel screamed at the top of his lungs.

The disheveled ex-watcher opened the door to his room and peaked his head out.

“What is it?” He grumbled.

“There gone, they’ve been taken.” Angel replied flatly, it seemed every second that she was gone the humanity, the thing that made him a hero slowly started to vanish, the vampire looked like a lonely little boy who had lost something he treasured, the thing that meant most to him in the world.

Wesley rushed from his room through the door that Angel was standing near and came out a few seconds later, his face pale. He turned to his friend and noticed that at the moment the vampire was not going to be of any help.

“Angel.” Wesley said softly and when there was no reply he shook the tall mans shoulder. “Angel.” He said a little louder, Angel turned to him, his eyes lost and full of pain. “We need to get everyone together, we have to find them and stop this from happening. Angelus cannot be released back into this world.

Angel’s eyes went cold, as he seemed to stare through Wes. “If anything happens to Cordy they’re going to see an Angelus they never have before, they think he was a nightmare before, which will seem like a walk in the park compared to the darkness that will come.” Angel growled as he turned and stalked back to his room.

Wes’s eyes opened wide at the possibility of what could happen; if Cordy dies it may mean the death of a hero but those who took her, when he found them they were going to wish that they never existed. Angelus would create a horror and torture them so they begged him to kill them and what would the soulless vampire do; he would laugh and continue to do it over and over again. They had to find Cordy and Tara before it was too late for them and the rest of the world.

*****

Cordy groaned her head was aching, lucky enough it wasn’t as bad as the pain from a vision but it was still bad enough.

“Cordy, are you ok?” Tara whispered her voice full of fear.

“Yeah I think so. Where are we?” The seer asked.

“I don’t know, they haven’t hurt us.” Tara replied.

“They haven’t hurt us yet.” Cordy mumbled, knowing that this was the time that could bring Angelus back to the world. “As soon as they take me get the hell out of here and get the spell undone.”

Tara turned to look at her friend; she knew what she was asking. It was so when Cordy died Tara wouldn’t follow her; she was trying to give the young witch time. “If one of us gets out the other does as well.”

“So what was the book you were reading at the Magic Shop?” Cordy asked the question that had been bugging her.

Tara sighed deep down she knew that Cordy would have asked at some point.

“It was an incantation that creates a portal and a possibility of a way to save you so the visions won’t kill you.” Her voice was quiet.

Cordy narrowed her eyes suspiciously she knew there was something Tara had missed out knowing that it would upset the ex-cheerleader and before any spell was done she was going to find out what it was.

*****

The door of the Magic shop swung open with a bang as Spike prowled in, his long leather jacket hitting the back of his legs as he walked, his lean frame shown in tight black jeans and a t-shirt to match. He ignored Buffy and walked over to the seemingly caged vampire who was walking from one side of the room to the other.

“Angel.” Spike said in a clear business tone, no joking, no winding Angel up since falling in love with Buffy he knew how Angel felt about Cordelia Chase and he was doing everything he could to help find her but it was also selfish in his point of view it meant that he would not be coming to Buffy for a shoulder to cry on, or she would be ‘checking up on him’ to make sure that he was ok.

Angel turned and looked at the younger vampire, his usual warm and loving eyes were cold, unfeeling, you could see the darkness, the demon that was always hiding shining deep in their depths.

Spike stepped back automatically he could see how dark the future would be if Cordelia died, he now knew more than ever why it was important.

“What is it Spike?” Angel asked emotionless, everything was bottled up deep inside waiting to be released, waiting to cause the pain.

“I know where they are!” He said simply.

Angel’s gaze was now totally focused on the blonde in front of him; Spike felt a shiver run through his entire body not knowing why but could see why people found him attractive, the ultimate bad boy, and the darkness that always just bubbled below the surface. Spike had no patience but Angelus, that was one thing he did always admire, as much as at times he really annoyed the hell out of him was the planning, the cool way he handled things, the mind games, the slow torture and enjoyment of the fear, terror and pain of the other person and at that moment he knew why people were terrified of what Angelus was.

“Well.” Angel asked impatiently.

“The old ware house on the outskirts.” Spike told him, it had taken him a while and he had to hurt a few, well actually a lot of people but it had to be done.

Angel’s knee-length cloak swung around him as he turned and stalked out of the shop, with the others following close behind him.

*****

“Tara, what is it that you didn’t want to tell me about the incantation?” Cordy asked her cellmate quietly.

Tara turned and looked at the beautiful brunette and just stared at her for a moment.

“It just says a sacrifice is needed, I am guessing whoever is going to sacrifice themselves for you is going to have to jump into the vortex that is created.” Tara mumbled, she closed her eyes and saw the words in her mind and quietly said them, there was no need to scream or shout them it was the power within and the correct phrasing that gave it power.

“No Tara stop.” Cordy cried out knowing what her friend was about to do.

The vampires slowly started to surround the cage.

“It’s time.” One of them muttered their eyes seeming to strip Cordy of everything she was; she shivered in revulsion and took a step back.

The main door flew open with a bang and standing there was Angel and just behind him was Spike and Buffy, with all of the others right behind them.

The vampires moved away from the cell that held the two young women, leaving a clear view, they didn’t mind going up against Angel, or Spike or the slayer but not all three of them together and that wasn’t including the people behind them who were all armed to the teeth and holding weapons like they knew how to use them.

A vortex grew in the cell holding Tara and Cordy, they all backed away and watched as it grew and grew.

“Angel remember I love you and no matter what happens you are meant to help people, when one door closes another one opens, I will always be with you my love.” Cordy shouted across to him.

“Cordy?” Tara whispered from next to her.

“Tara.” Willow called out and just as Tara turned Cordy stood and ran at the vortex jumping in before anyone could stop her and then it closed, disappeared as if it had never been there apart from one thing, Cordy had gone with it.

Angel roared as he rushed and ripped open the cell door and threw it across the room, he fell to his knees where the vortex once was and buried his head in his hands.

“Angel.” Tara whispered, the vampire didn’t move. Everyone else had stood back to watch, not knowing what to do they all felt lost, but not as much as the man huddled on the ground. “Angel,” Tara said a bit more forcefully but he still didn’t move so she punched him hard on the shoulder, he looked up and growled. “I’m alive Angel.”

His angry brown eyes stared at her not understanding what the young witch meant. “The spell I did, it was to give Cordy more time. When she died I would go with her, I’m still here which means somewhere out there so is she.”


Chapter 6

The long distance separation weakened Tara, her chest felt tight, she felt light-headed and her knees buckled under the loss of her bond mate, but the young witch didn’t mind this, it meant that Cordy was out there, somewhere alive and has her body was about to hit the floor strong arms grabbed hold of her, familiar arms, arms of a champion.

“Tara?” Willow cried out as she ran to her ex-girlfriend.

“She’s so far away.” Tara whispered, she reached out and gently touched Angel’s cheek. “We need to find her and it needs to be done quickly, I can feel her fading, I’m fading.”

With that Angel pulled Tara more firmly against his chest but still managed to cradle her gently, he turned and slowly walked out the door followed by Gunn and Wesley, protecting them on each side.

Buffy turned and looked at Willow her best friend, who was pale from the sight of the one she loved being in so much pain, the slayer then turned to Spike who just shrugged his shoulders and followed the others. The blonde vampire had no idea what was going on but there was only one way to find out and that was with the four people that had just left. Buffy reached out and wrapped her arm around Willow’s shoulders trying to lend her comfort and strength to help her get through this. They all knew what it was like to lose someone but that didn’t make things any easier, it was not something you ever got used to and you also hoped that you never did either.

Giles glanced at his watch for the millionth time not knowing what to expect, not knowing who would return, if anyone, there were so many variables to consider he didn’t even know where to start. This was the one thing he really hated, the waiting to find out if someone he cared about died; sometimes he didn’t want to do this job anymore. It took so much out of you and the emotional distress was beyond anything he could explain and just when he was about to quit and just leave, Buffy or one of the others would walk in and he would look in their young faces and see the horrors written in their eyes. Gunn flung the door open and was soon followed by Angel carrying a very weary Tara. Dawn, Xander, Anya and Fred jumped to their feet and stood next to the ex-librarian their faces full of concern, no one seemed hurt just emotionally exhausted. Spike was the last one to walk in and as he did he turned and closed the door behind him. Fred looked around and she found one thing missing, a very important thing missing, she frowned and looked at Tara who was still alive. “Where’s Cordy?”

Angel carefully put Tara down on a chair and Willow was immediately at her side. “We don’t know.” Wes muttered but his concerned eyes remained on Angel. Buffy went over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder; he shrugged it off and walked away from her. Fred watched for a moment longer and then walked over to her Prince Charming, the man, no the vampire that saved her life, someone she loved, someone she would do anything for, he was part of her family. He tried to pull away but not to hard as she wrapped her tiny arms around him, it took him a couple of seconds before his arms went around her waist and he held her tightly.

Xander stepped forward frowning. “What do you mean you don’t know, it’s Cordy, it’s not something you can misplace that easily?” his voice rising with anger.
Angel turned and growled at him, Gunn stepped forward and stood in front of Xander and then a quiet voice was heard but it seemed to run through them like water rushing from a dam.

“She knew that I was going to jump into the vortex, to sacrifice myself for her so that she could live, but she wouldn’t, Cordy.” Tara started to sob tears rolling down her face.

Willow didn’t know what to do her body had just frozen, so many things had been thrown at her today, and it was just too much. Angel turned and walked over to her; he knelt on the floor and looked into her eyes. “You are not around to be a sacrifice, you are part of our family you are irreplaceable, we will find Cordy so we can save the both of you. You need to get some rest, Tara you are going to have to save your strength. Can you fight for us?”
Tara looked at him through wet eyelashes and nodded and slowly stood as Fred took hold of one arm and Willow the other. “If I can sense anything more or if you?” Tara mumbled.

“If we find out anything we will come and find you.” Angel said smiling softly. Tara nodded just as they were about to walk out the door Fred turned and saw Angel open his mouth. “We’ll take care of her Angel and let you know if there is any,” Fred paused for a moment. “Change.”

The dark haired vampire nodded. Willow and Fred laid Tara gently on the bed and pulled a blanket over her. “You have to be ok Tara, I have to know that you are, don’t leave me.” Willow cried.

“I don’t belong in Sunnydale anymore; I have a home, a family. I will always love you Willow but I can’t stay here and you are needed here.” Tara whispered her voice slowly fading off as she slipped into darkness.

Angel sat alone he had never felt so lost, so out of place, the thing, no, the person he trusted most, his rock, his love was gone and even though they knew that she was alive and was fading away slowly. If it continued then they were going to lose her and Tara, he couldn’t lose her, they couldn’t lose her, they couldn’t lose either of them. Cordelia had to be found soon. A tear fell from his eye, a single drop, lonely just like he was.

“Angel?” Buffy said softly as she walked to his side and laid a hand on his shoulder, her breath caught in her chest as he looked up at her, the slayer had never seen such pain or anguish before, it broke her heart that he had moved on but it also made her determined that they would do whatever they had to, Cordelia Chase would be at there sides fighting the good fight and Tara would live so that one day her and Willow may find their way back to each other. “We’ll find her Angel, she’ll be back soon.”

“Really?” Angel sounded like a lost little boy that needed reassurance.

“Yes Cordy wants to be here and when have we known her to give up something she wants without a fight.” Buffy said with a laugh. Angel smiled gently at her and gently stroked her cheek, he then moved and stared into space, into nothingness, waiting and hoping that something soon would come up so they could find her.

“Cordy” Tara muttered. Fred and Willow looked at each other and then looked around the room, there was no one there, and there was nothing out of the ordinary. Tara suddenly sat up and screamed it was the sound of pain and of horror, the sound that came from nightmares. The young witch reached out her arms, reaching out to something.

“What’s going on?” Fred whispered and Willow shrugged her shoulders.

“No Cordy don’t please NO!!!!!!!!!” Tara shouted, tears falling from her eyes and as quick as it started she collapsed back on the bed, her breathing was shallow. Willow shook her gently but there was no reaction, there was nothing at all. Tara was alive but barely.


Chapter 7

Tears fell from Tara’s eyes, there had been a sudden excruciating pain but that quickly vanished and all that was left was an empty ache, a hole where Cordy had once been, she had lost something, her connection to her friend, it was gone.

“Tara what is it?” Willow asked softly as she reached out and touched the upset young woman on the shoulder. Tara flinched at Willow’s touch, the feeling of loss that she felt was still too strong within her. She never saw the hurt that flashed through Willow’s eyes.

Fred leaned forward and rested her head on the bed staring into Tara’s pain filled, teary eyes.

“Tara what happened? Is it Cordy?” Fred whispered hoping not to spook or upset her friend anymore.

Tara’s eyes moved to look at Fred, but she seemed to stare right through her.

“She’s gone.” Tara said softly, numbly.

Fred’s eyes widened, she forced the tears back, she had to know what Tara meant before she called the others.

“You mean she’s…” Fred stuttered afraid to say the words in case she made them come true.

“I don’t know.” Tara answered vaguely.

Willow’s face was full of confusion. “Then what happened?”

“The spell that I cast connected us, she was in so much pain, more pain than I could ever imagine and I was only sensing the tail end of it, it must have been unbearable for her and then she was gone.” Tara tried to explain through the tears.

“Gone how?” Willow asked sensing that Fred was too upset to ask anything.

“She cut the strands that connected us, so whatever she went through I wouldn’t. If she died I wouldn’t. She left me alone.” Tara sobbed she had enjoyed the connection, it had become part of her and now it felt as if she had had a limb amputated and the loss was devastating.

“So you don’t know if she’s…” Willow waved her arms around vaguely but deep down glad for what Cordy had done; the witch didn’t have any idea what she would have done if Tara had died.

“I don’t know anything except that I can’t sense her.” Tara mumbled, the tears still falling as she turned and hid herself under the blanket wanting everyone to leave her alone to mourn, mourn the loss of a special connection.

Fred breathed deeply trying to control her emotions, taking out her cell she hit speed dial and held the phone to her ear.

“Angel?” She said softly her voice tinged with the emotions she was feeling.

*****

Angel stared down at the small piece of plastic in his hand as if it were a demon.

“NO!!!!” He screamed as he threw it against the wall and it shattered into a million pieces just like his heart.

He turned and walked towards the wall and stood there just staring at it. Everyone except Buffy stood their watching waiting to see what was going to happen, whether he would remain Angel or would it be the return of Angelus.

“Angel?” Buffy asked cautiously as she reached out and touched his shoulder.

“Cordy.” Angel sobbed as he punched the wall and pieces of it showered over them.

Wes and Gunn walked forward and stood either side of him.

“Angel what has happened to Cordy?” Wes asked his voice shaking ever so slightly.

“No idea.” Angel mumbled numbly his shoulders hunched.

Gunn and Wesley frowned at each other.

“Angel man what do you mean?” Gunn asked.

“Tara, she said that she sensed Cordy was in a lot of pain and then the connection between them was cut.” Angel muttered.

“So we don’t actually know that she is dead.” Wes told them logically.

Angel turned his eyes blazing amber. “But we don’t know if she is alive either.” He growled.

Wes’s eyes went cold. “Well it is up to you what you think but until I have proof I’m not giving up, I won’t, I can’t. She wouldn’t and hasn’t ever given up on me.”

Angel’s eyes turned back to their natural human brown colour.

“I’m sorry Wes.” Angel reached out and grabbed Wes and Gunn by the shoulders and gave them a gentle squeeze.

“We won’t give up. Cordy’s our girl and no one, I mean no one gets her without a fight.” Gunn told them with a grin.

*****

Cordy lay on the floor in a fetal position trying to become as small as she could, hoping and praying that they would leave her alone. Her body shook as the pain racked through it.

She had tried to figure out where she was but whoever had her didn’t like it and they blinded her with a spell, she guessed it was a spell because it was exactly like what had happened back in Sunnydale except that she had no one to help her. All she had was herself.

“You could have taken strength from your little witch friend with that connection you had.” A ghostly indistinct voice said.

“Yeah and if I die so does she. That was just so not going to happen.” Cordy said with as much strength as she could muster.

More excruciating pain went through her body and she could feel the blackness come over her.

“Thank god.” She whispered as she went into unconsciousness her last thoughts were hoping that this was over and she wouldn’t wake up for awhile or that she wouldn’t wake up at all.

*****

Daylight was approaching he could feel it as he stood watching over Tara. She poked her head out from under the blankets and looked at the man who was just a shell of the vampire he was a few hours ago and there was only one thing Tara could do, she held out her arms to him and it only took a second for him to be in them as they both cried at the loss they felt. They never noticed the one other person in the room, Willow. The young red-head felt out of place, it felt as if she were intruding but it also hurt. Tara had a whole new life, a family that she knew nothing about.

*****

Cordy awoke still in a world of blackness her body ached with all the pain that had passed through her, but something was different she seemed to be laying on some kind of hard surface her ankles and wrists were bound and she couldn’t move and Cordy screamed as a knife bit down in the flesh on her thigh.


Chapter 8

A month had past and there was still no sign of Cordy, they couldn’t find out anything, they had followed the journey of the spell but by the time they had got there all that was left was a stone tablet covered in blood and nothing else.

Angel grew more and more distant he would only talk to his family but those conversations were far and few between and with each passing hour he became angrier, the demon within him was now just beneath the surface and every time he fought the demon came out and it was getting more and more violent each time.

Wesley never seemed to sleep day or night he would be sitting and reading trying to find any clue, anything that would lead them to her. He couldn’t give up on her not yet, not after everything they had been through. He prayed that she was alive, but deep down within him the hope that once shone began to fade but that didn’t stop him, and he wouldn’t until he had absolute proof that she was in fact dead.

Tara and Fred the bright light in their eyes seemed to dim and they kept to themselves in their room, Tara blaming herself for letting Cordy go without her and still need managing to deal with the loss of their connection and Fred had lost part of her family someone she wanted to be like, the one that told her things honestly and then helped her out, the one she went to with problems they were all like a ship lost on the ocean with no one to guide them home.

Gunn was rarely seen he went out with his axe and came back battered, bloody and bruised during the dark and during the day he just walked and walked hoping and praying that he would just find her, he would stop off and by Tacos for the girls and drop them off before he left again, they were all hurting and lost and were afraid to try and move on because it would seem like they were giving up on her, they didn’t want to move on, they wanted her back.

The Scoobies had gathered together and talked when Angel or Gunn went out Spike or Buffy would be with them in case they needed back up, Willow sat in a chair in the hotel room and watched over Tara and Fred, Giles and Xander stayed with Wesley, Giles helped with the translations and Xander and Anya would get more when they were needed.

However, even though the Scoobies were always around they could not get past the impenetrable wall that the LA gang had erected around them, they would get strength from each other but that was starting to fade, they were all drifting apart and if they didn’t find out what had happened good or bad it was going to split them apart, it was the not knowing that was destroying them, if she was dead the could grieve together and pick up the pieces and move forward trying to build something of a life together again but at the moment they were all in limbo.

*****

Cordy sat in what she assumed was the middle of nothingness, there was no up, no down, no left or right, just nothing, it was very disorientating.

“You have passed the test.” Said a voice that echoed around her.

“So you keep telling me.” Cordy muttered knowing that they were going to go through the talk again.

“You showed us by doing the….” The voice continued

Cordy interrupted “Greatest sacrifice of all, you life for someone else blah, blah blah. We have done this now time to move on, let’s go time is a wastin’.”

“You are still human and so the visions will still kill you, but there is a choice.” The voice said with a hint of impatience.

Cordy grinned she knew that she was finally getting to them. “So what is the choice?”

“You can either have you life re-written from the moment where you would have met Angel in LA or you can become part demon. Think about this carefully the tests you have been through so far are nothing to what becoming demon will feel like, or you can have your greatest wish and have the life you always wanted.” The voice said the irritation out of its voice.

Cordy breathed deeply and closed her eyes and all she saw was her family. “You know that is not much of a choice because I have the life I always wanted, with my family demonise me already.”

“We have chosen well. But the final choice is also not just yours.” The voice muttered cryptically.

Cordy frowned not liking the sound of that.

*****

This was the time when Angel tried to sleep, the daylight ours, this is also the time that made him more insane when he couldn’t do anything or kill anything, it was also the time when he just wanted to walk out into the sunshine and let it all be over. But he wouldn’t he knew that, he knew that so he tried to sleep.

Angel closed his eyes and it wasn’t long before reality faded around him and the dream world appeared.

A green meadow surrounded him, the sun was shining brightly and standing in front of him was Cordy and Buffy.

“It is time to chose, you have been conflicted for so long, it has stopped you from being the champion that you must. Choose now!” The voice out of thin air muttered.

“What do I have to choose?” Angel screamed to the heavens.

“You have to choose the woman who taught you how to love, and to love in return, or to choose the woman that taught you how to be human and took you out of your self imposed darkness. That is your choice, pick one.” The voice told him.

Angel looked at Buffy the longing he once had for her was gone, but the love would always be there just like it would for her, they loved each other but not in love with each other any more. They had both moved on and changed and they were both happy and that meant the world to him, then he turned the brunette the woman that made him happy one minute and angry the next, the person who had become his best friend, the one that he had grown to love, it wasn’t the same as with Buffy it wasn’t that hot need, the bright glow that would fade, no this was an everlasting one, it grew from friendship and trust, through trials and tribulations this was a love that would burn long past when Cordy had gone and Angel had to live his life alone, he would do anything to have her with him always and the only way to do that would make her a vampire and that was something he would never do, he would rather live an eternity alone than take her into that horror, one that if they managed to get her soul she would hate him for and that would make him walk into the sunshine begging her forgiveness.

“The choice is made.” The voice said.

“What, what have I made.” Angel cried out.

*****

“The second choice has been made and now it is up to you if you want the third one.” The voice said.

Cordy looked around suspiciously. “What is it?” She asked carefully.

*****

Angel walked up to Buffy and watched her carefully.

“Are you alright?” He asked softly.

“Better than ever, well apart from the missing Cordy thing. Don’t worry will find her.” Buffy said with a smile.

Angel’s heart broke if Buffy was feeling better than ever then he must have chosen her and condemned Cordy. He screamed and fell to his knees, tears falling from his eyes, a numbness encased his heart, it was their faults the PTB, the vampires that took them it was everyone’s fault this whole damn world and they would pay, every single one of them.

Coldness touched every bit inside of him and he glanced up and Buffy stepped away in fear, it wasn’t the fact that he had vamped out, it was the hate in his eyes they were losing him to the demon, the reason that this was going to make him worse than how Angelus ever was hate, the absolute hate that would eat away inside of him and that stemmed from everyone who was involved in taking away his Cordelia and then it would be the world, there was nothing to stop him.

Buffy grabbed Angel’s arm with all of her strength and the vampire grabbed her by the neck and slammed her into the wall hard, pieces of brick flying everywhere. Slender but strong arms grabbed him from behind.

“Spike.” Angel growled as he dropped Buffy and pushed himself backwards until he heard and uuummmpphhh as Spike hit the wall hard and managed to break his arm free as he grabbed Buffy by the throat again.

Anya had heard the commotion, she saw what was happening and ran to get the others. The rest of the Scoobies and the LA crew ran into the room and just as he was about to break her neck a glow emanated around them, it grew and grew until a figure appeared in the middle of it.

“Angel.” The familiar voice said.

Angel dropped Buffy and walked towards the light, to the voice he knew, to the person he thought he had lost.

“Cordy.” Angel whispered as he walked into the light, his friends and family calling him back but he was going where he wanted to be in the arms of his love.

Fred and Tara started to cry, Wes and Gunn stood either side of them comforting them all watching the glow grow brighter and brighter until it was blinding then in a quick flash it was gone and all that was left was two figures, their arms around each other kissing passionately the world around them gone.

Fred, Tara, Gunn and Wesley grinned at each other and ran to the room hugging the two figures that were finally pulling away from each other.

Buffy looked at her friends. “Ok I’m confused.”

“She’s not completely human.” Muttered Spike rubbing the back of his head that had hit the wall.

Everyone turned and looked at Cordy.

“Well I still have my visions but I had to pass some tests and you know become part demon.” Cordy said with a bright smile.

“Cordelia Chase.” Angel’s voice was deep and disapproving.

“Angel it was the only I could stay with you guys.” Cordy said quietly. “Thank you for choosing me and there is one other thing?”

Angel’s smile wouldn’t leave his face he had chosen her. “What?”

“Well it is technically two things.” Cordy hedged nervously.

“So what are the two things Cordy, just tell us ok.” Angel said softly realising how nervous she was.

“Well there is no happiness clause but uhh only with me.” She rushed out quickly.

“What do you mean?” Angel asked cautiously.

“They bound us together Angel as long as you live I do, you are kind of stuck with me until you die or.” Cordy trailed of shrugging her shoulders.

“I become human and we can grow old together.” Angel said with a grin as he held her tightly again.

It wasn’t long before they were in a group hug.

“Let’s go home.” Tara whispered.

Willow knew that Tara would leave but that didn’t stop her hoping, they loved each other but at times that just wasn’t enough, there had to be more and Tara had to become her own person and hopefully one day they would be back together again.

 


…THE END…


 

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