Despite how briefly he was on the show, I always really liked Doyle. Furthermore, I loved him and Cordelia as a couple, and I was really sad that he died and that they didn't get more time to explore that. I have nothing against Cordelia/Angel, but I've always liked Cordelia/Doyle more. I used to really like doing rewrites like this, and I haven't done one in a long time, and I was re-watching Doyle's episodes recently, and I decided to go for it. I hope to eventually write all five seasons of the show with Doyle. It's been awhile since I've done a long-term published fanfiction like this, so bear with me. I might be a little rusty. I'll do my best.
Disclaimer: I don't own Angel.
Chapter One: Hero
Doyle took a deep breath as Angel looked at him, a resigned determination in his eyes. He could hear Cordelia take a sharp breath behind him. He knew that look. Angel was going to sacrifice himself to save everyone. There was no doubt that disabling the device would kill him, but there was no other way. Everyone on the boat would be killed if it exploded.
Except it couldn't be Angel. Doyle knew that, in his gut. Angel could not be allowed to die now. He was too important. He didn't know much about the future, but he knew that much, without a speck of doubt. The world was going to need Angel, when whatever was coming finally came. Angel could not be the one who sacrificed himself to save these people. That role, he realized, fell to him. This was about his redemption, not Angel's. He'd been the one who had let the Scourge kill his fellow demons before, and now was his time to make that right.
He thought he'd be afraid at the prospect of his own death, but he felt oddly calm. He knew this was what he had to do, and that brought a sort of peace to him. He looked at Angel again, who was still waiting for him to say something in response. He reached out and put his hand on his shoulder. Then he punched him in the face.
Angel fell to the deck below, met by several gasps. Doyle turned to look at Cordelia, and for the first time since coming to his decision, he felt a small flicker of doubt. To leave her…before he even really had a chance to truly know her… He stepped over and kissed her, because he had to do it once. When he stepped back, she stared at him with shock and confusion. "Too bad we'll never know." He said. He morphed into his demon face. "If this is a face you could learn to love."
She had never seen his demon transformation before, and her eyes widened slightly, but for the most part she didn't react, too occupied with everything that was going on. Below them, Angel was getting to his feet. "Doyle!" He called as he started climbing back up. "Doyle!" Doyle ignored him. If he let himself stop and listen, he would only allow himself to be talked out of it, and they were running out of time anyway. He got a running start and jumped off the platform, grabbing onto the light hanging above the center of the room.
It burned like nothing he had ever felt, seeping under his skin as he struggled to unplug the device. He could vaguely hear Angel calling to him from behind. They'd be okay, he tried to assure himself. He and Cordy, they would move on fine without him. The heat was increasing, coursing through his body. He was running out of time, and he was getting weaker. He felt his demon face fade away as the intensity continued building. Finally, he pulled the two cords apart. There was one last burst of light which swallowed him up, and a wave of the worst pain he had ever known, and then darkness.
The feeling of waking up was an odd one, mainly because he hadn't expected to feel it again. When he opened his eyes, he found himself lying on a marble floor. He sat up slowly, expecting to be sore, but found he felt perfectly fine. He looked around. The whole room was built from the same white marble as the floor, and was glowing with soft white light. There was a hallway leading off from the far wall, which looked very long and eventually faded into the light. He realized with a start that he wasn't alone; there was a woman and a man. They were gold with streaks of blue, and were both looking at him expectantly. "As far as the afterlife goes," Doyle said hesitantly, "This isn't really what I pictured. I was hoping for a bar with endless free whiskey or something like that."
"He's facing the consequences of his own mortality, and he resorts to humor." The man said, disdain in his voice. "How typical of a lower life form."
"Shush." The woman told him. She looked at Doyle. "You are Allen Frances Doyle?"
"Yes Ma'am." Doyle replied, getting to his feet and eyeing her uncertainly. "And you are?"
It was the man who answered, still speaking with a condescending tone that Doyle decidedly was not a fan of. "We are the Oracles of the Powers That Be."
Doyle swallowed hard. "So…I'm dead?"
"Yes and no." The woman said.
"Meaning?" Doyle asked in confusion.
"You died." The man said bluntly. "Your sacrifice killed you, as you knew it would." Doyle nodded wordlessly. He had expected as much. He knew what he was signing up for. He just couldn't let himself think of Cordelia or Angel.
"It was very brave." The woman said softly.
"Bravery does not factor into this decision." The man told her.
"What decision?" Doyle asked in confusion.
"The Powers That Be have decided that you are too valuable to die." The man said.
"Too valuable?" Doyle repeated in shock. He had never been told he was too valuable for anything.
The woman nodded. "You are an important part of the mission of the vampire with a soul."
"Angel?" Doyle said. She nodded again.
"He needs you." She said.
Doyle was silent for a moment. "Forgive me." He said. "I guess I was just under the impression that the visions could be passed on in the event of-"
"They can." The man interrupted.
"It's not just the visions." The woman said. "He needs you just as much as he needs the visions you provide."
Doyle fell silent again, surprised and unsure what to say. It felt like there had to be some mistake. He had never been important beyond the visions given to him. Certainly not important enough for the Powers That Be to even notice his death, let alone decide that something needed to be done about it. "So what does that mean?" He asked finally.
"You are being returned to the mortal world." The woman said.
Doyle turned to look at her in awe. "They're resurrecting me?"
She actually smiled slightly. "I suppose you could say that."
"I…I don't know what to say." Doyle stammered.
"You are expected to earn it." The man warned him. "It is incredibly rare for the Powers That Be to interfere with the natural order of death in this way. They are doing it for you, and in return they expect that you will fulfill your role fighting for them."
"Of course." Doyle said quickly. "Fighting the good fight. I will."
"You are being given a second chance at life, but it is the only one you will get." The woman warned him. "The next time you meet your death, it will be final, regardless of whether it is fifty years from now or tomorrow. Use your chance wisely."
"I will." Doyle said seriously. His heart was pounding in his chest- which, he realized, was actually something to marvel at considering only a few minutes ago it hadn't been beating at all- while his mind raced trying to keep up with everything that was happening. He had died, but was being given a second chance to live. He could see Angel and Cordelia again. Cordelia…
"The visions." He said suddenly, looking at the Oracles again. "I passed them on before I jumped."
"We know." The man said. "They have been returned to you. The girl, Cordelia, she is human. An ordinary human would have an incredibly hard time handling the Sight. She has an important role in the fight too, but not as a Seer. That is your gift."
Doyle nodded. "I don't know what I've done to deserve this." He said after a moment.
"It's not what you've done." The woman said. "It's what you're going to do." And with that, there was a flash of light that briefly blinded Doyle. The floor disappeared beneath his feet, and a moment later he slammed onto solid ground again, causing him to fall to his hands and knees just as his sight cleared again. He was on the floor in the middle of the Angel Investigations office, alone.
Angel and Cordelia had both been completely silent the entire drive to the office from the docks. They had seen the others off in the boat, and then returned to Angel's car so he could drive them both back. Cordelia was fighting tears again, and failing. Angel drove with a stony expression. It wasn't until he parked on the street outside the office that he looked at her. The street was abandoned except for them, which seemed to intensify the silence, and Angel didn't know what to say.
It was Cordelia who spoke first. "I can't believe he's gone." She whispered.
"I know." Angel said quietly.
She looked at him, tears running down her cheeks. "There's so much I didn't say to him." She said. "I…I liked him, and…I never told him…I was so mean to him…if I'd only given him a chance…"
"You can't think like that." Angel said. "He made his choice. He was a hero."
She nodded, wiping her eyes. "He was." She agreed. "He really was."
Angel got out of the car, and she did the same. "Come on." He said, putting his arm around her. "Neither of us should try to get through this alone. I'll make tea."
They walked inside the building and up to the office door. "I don't suppose you have anything stronger than tea?" Cordelia asked tiredly.
"I might have something." Angel replied as he opened the door. They stepped inside, and both of them froze.
Doyle was sitting on the corner of Cordelia's desk, staring at the floor, but he looked up with he heard them come in, and stood up. He saw the stunned looks on their faces, and opened his mouth to speak, but found himself at a loss for anything adequate to say. "Hi." He finally said lamely.
There was several second of silence, and then Cordelia cried, "That's all you've got? 'Hi'?"
"I don't understand." Angel said, frowning.
"I know." Doyle said. "It's kind of a long story."
Angel ended up making tea after all. The three of them went downstairs to his kitchen, and sat around the table with tea while Doyle explained what the Oracles had told him. "Next thing I knew I was back here." He finished. "It all happened so fast I barely had time to comprehend any of it."
"So, that's it?" Cordelia asked, the first time she had spoken since he had started his story. "The PTB just brought you back from the dead?"
"I guess." Doyle said, looking down at his cup uncomfortably. "I guess Angel needs his window to the Powers." He had left out the part about being important himself; it made him uncomfortable, and was awfully personal anyway.
"Whatever their reasoning," Angel said, looking at him, "I'm glad you're okay. And I'm sorry there was nothing I could do."
"Oh, don't go getting all broody on me." Doyle told him. "It was my decision. It was in no way your fault."
Cordelia sighed and stood up. "Well, it's been a long night." She said. "I'm going home."
Doyle got up and followed her, catching her just before she started up the stairs. "Cordy," He said, "Can we talk?"
"Talk about what?" She asked, turning around. "Should we have further conversation about you hiding the fact that you're half demon from me for months?"
Doyle faltered. "I know, I'm sorry…but I thought you said-"
"Or should we talk about how you kissed me and then sacrificed yourself by jumping into a big ball of evil light?" She continued as though he had not spoken. "I mean, I thought Angel was overdramatic, but that was off the charts!"
"I get it, you're upset." Doyle said. "I understand. It's been a long night for all of us."
"No!" Cordelia cried. "How am I supposed to react to that, Doyle? I mean, you just kiss me, something we had never even come close to doing, and then you go off to get yourself killed! What the hell is a girl supposed to say to that?"
"I know." Doyle said desperately. "But I only had a couple of minutes, and I had to make a fast decision. I knew there was no way I was getting out alive, so I just…"
"So you just kissed me." Cordelia finished for him. "Because that wouldn't be confusing or traumatic for me? To kiss you for the first time moments before I had to watch you die?"
Doyle hesitated. "I'm sorry." He said. "I didn't want to hurt you, I just…I needed to do something." Cordelia looked away, crossing her arms over her chest. "Do you still want to have dinner with me?" He asked her.
She returned her eyes to him. "Oh no." She said. "Don't even go there! Since the PTB seem to have undone everything that happened tonight, why don't we just assume that they undid that too?"
Doyle met her eyes for a moment, and then nodded. "Fine." He said. "Whatever you want. See you tomorrow." She nodded back and then disappeared up the stairs.
He lingered at the bottom as Angel came up behind him. "She's just upset after everything that happened." Angel told him. "You were right, it's been a long night. She just needs some sleep and time to calm down."
"I know." Doyle said, turning around.
"She was really devastated." Angel continued. "She's happy you're alive. Trust me."
Doyle managed to smile at him. "Thanks, man." He said. He massaged his temples, and Angel looked at him with concern.
"Are you okay?" He asked. "I mean, you did die. No one would blame you for needing time to recover or not being totally okay. I do have some experience, if you want to talk."
"Honestly, man, I'm just exhausted." Doyle said. "I mean…yes. I'm not saying it wouldn't be a good idea to talk about it. But not tonight? I really just want to go home and get some sleep. Can we talk tomorrow?"
Angel nodded. "Of course. Get some sleep. I'll see you tomorrow morning." Doyle nodded and started to walk upstairs. "Doyle?" Angel asked, causing him to pause and look back. "I am glad you're alive."
After a moment, he nodded again and smiled. "Thanks." He said. "Goodnight." He went upstairs. Angel smiled to himself and returned to the kitchen.
Doyle walked into his apartment and turned on the light before dropping his jacket onto the floor and pausing to look at his reflection in the mirror he had propped against the wall. He even looked exhausted. He sighed tiredly and rubbed his eyes. He had been totally wired and wide awake when he had first met Angel and Cordelia in the office, but telling them the story and the journey home had drained him, both physically and emotionally, and he honestly couldn't remember the last time he had been this tired.
He looked at his reflection for a moment longer, running the events of the evening through in his head. Filming Cordelia's commercial felt like years ago. He closed his eyes for a moment, and the feeling of the heat from the light flashed through his mind, seeming to run through his body. He gave an involuntary shudder and opened his eyes. He pushed the horrors of the day to the back of his mind. He just needed some sleep. Tomorrow, life had to resume.
He was fine. Just fine.
I don't know how often I'll be able to update. I'm on break right now and for the next few weeks, so I'll have a little more time than I usually do until the new semester starts. I'll update as much as I can, but I won't promise any regular updating schedule because I'll never be able to follow it. I want to do each episode, and then also a few independent chapters occasionally, between episodes. I should have the next chapter up soon. Please review!