A/N: I wrote this WAY back in early 2001, when Angel season 2 was first aired on Sky One in the UK. I recently found it when going through old files on my computer and, although my writing style has changed somewhat in the last 4 years (and despite some plot holes you could drive Angel's rather stylish car through) I thought I'd post it because, generally, I'm quite fond of the story.
It was written immediately after season 2's 'Reunion'. So take yourself back to a time when Darla had been newly re-sired by Dru, Angel was getting darker in order to fight them, and had just fired Cordy, Wesley and Gunn. The story was not only a response to that, but to two other plot lines that were niggling me at the time:
1) It annoyed me that, after Amends (Buffy Season 3), the First simply gave up on trying to turn/destroy Angel and just disappeared from sight (Bear in mind, I wrote this long before the First turned up again in Buffy Season 7).
2) I was intrigued by Angel's relationship with his little sister, Kathy, as shown in the season 1 episode, 'The Prodigal'. I had always hoped that this would be explored further in the show…
I started to write a sequel to this story 4 years ago, but my studies distracted me and I now have about 10 pages save on my hard drive. Depending on the response I get to this, I might finish it now…
Final Note: One of the biggest plot holes for me at the time of writing was the magical mind-meld I wrote to enable Angel to confront and fight Angelus in his mind… Who knew that 2 years later, the TV programme would do the very same thing…:-) Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I can only dream of owning something this good. If you recognise it, it ain't mine - it belongs to the demi-gods that are Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt and Mutant Enemy Productions. Grr Arrg…
Morning broke in the city of angels, and as sunlight began to warm the air, the inhabitants woke and began their daily business.
With one exception.
Daytime was Angel's night. He lay in his room in the Hyperion Hotel, heavy curtains guarding him from the deadly rays of the sun. Fast asleep, he began to toss and turn, in the grip of a nightmare. His face contorted, in pain from the images that danced before his eyes.
He dreamt of his past, as he often did. But now it was more vivid, more harrowing, than it ever had been before.
One face stood out from the crowd. One face that broke his heart more than the rest combined. He had loved her, cherished her more than any other while he was human. Then he lost his soul and took her life.
He had been dreaming of her a lot lately. Scattered memories of her life came flooding back to him each night when he closed his eyes. He saw her smooth, pale skin, her soft brown hair and intense young eyes as brown as his own.
He relived how she had been when she was alive. How sweet and kind. How she had tried to comfort him when his father beat him and told him how worthless he was. No matter how bad things got at home, she had always tried to make him feel loved.
Then, one night, everything changed. When he was out whoring and drinking he had met a woman. She offered him the world. He accepted.
Her name was Darla. She made him a vampire.
Kathy was the first member of his family that he killed when he was sired. He had knocked on the door of his former home and she had answered. Tears formed in her eyes when she saw the brother she thought was dead.
'Liam?' she had asked, puzzled and over-overjoyed all at the same time.
'Yes sweet Kathy, it's me,' the newly born Angelus had replied.
'You've come back to me then. You're an angel.'
He smiled at her young girl's innocence.
'Will you not ask me in Kathy?'
'Of course. This is your home. You will always be welcome here.'
With that he entered, and she threw her arms around him.
'I thought I'd never see you again, Liam,' she said through her tears.
'Sure didn't I tell you that we'd be together again,' he had replied as his face changed.
When he bit into her soft, white neck, he felt exhilarated beyond his wildest dreams. Her blood was sweeter, more powerful, more intoxicating than anything else he had ever tasted.
The memory made him shudder in his sleep, and he woke with a start.
It took a moment to realise that he wasn't alone in the room. Reaching for the crossbow he kept by his bed, he slowly turned on the bedside lamp.
A young woman sat in an armchair at the other side of the room. She was perfectly still. Perfectly calm despite the deadly Byzantine crossbow aimed at her heart.
Her dark brown eyes fixed on Angel's. An eternity passed.
When she finally spoke, her voice was calm and even, with the soft lilt of an Irish accent.
Cordelia sat in her apartment staring out her window into the morning. It was hard to get motivated into going to work anymore. Of course, she put on a convincing front for Wesley and Gunn, but working without Angel hurt her deeply.
She missed him.
He was the reason she was doing this in the first place. When she left Sunnydale for LA she thought her demon-fighting days were over. She wanted a new start as an actress, far away from the Hellmouth. Then, when a rich vampire set his sights on her, Angel had rescued her.
No, if it weren't for Angel, she wouldn't be battling demons and saving souls.
She'd be dead.
The change in him over the last few months was frightening. He lost his direction, his mission.
Darla had changed everything.
Cordelia shook herself and stood up. 'That's enough mopping for one day,' she said resolutely.
Picking up her bag she headed off to work, to save more souls.
Angel was silent, still in shock from the appearance of this woman.
She knew his human name. How was that possible?
She looked so familiar. He felt the recognition in his gut. It wasn't possible.
'Who are you?' It wasn't quite the only question he had for the stranger, but it was the first one he could form the words to ask.
The woman smiled. She wasn't about to tell him.
'You're in no danger from me. You can put that down.' Her voice remained calm. She was not afraid of him. Yet somehow he knew she knew he was a vampire.
Angel lowered the crossbow, but it remained in his hand.
'I haven't been called Liam in a very long time.'
'What would you prefer then? Angel? Or Angelus?'
The question caught him off guard for a moment.
'Angel will be fine. What can I call you?'