Realisations 5: To Forgive and Forget
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Cordelia stared out of the window, unseeing. The curtains flapped about her as the balcony windows creaked their annoyance to the wind. He had lied to her. He hadn't just not told her, he had actually lied to her. The thought tugged at her heart and she had to close her eyes in order to fight back tears.
She heard a noise behind her and she knew it was him. He was cautiously making his way over to her and she looked straight ahead, not willing to turn around, not willing to let him see the pain in her eyes.
"Don't." she turned to face him, anger overcoming hurt. "You lied to me. You lied to me about Darla."
The realisation hit him and he knew what the last vision had been. It hadn't been about the present or the future, but about the past. She knew he had slept with Darla, she knew.
"Cordy, I didn't want to lie to you."
"The why did you? Did you think I'd walk out on you? Leave without saying or doing anything?"
"Actually, yes. I thought you'd leave, although I figured I was in for a beating first."
"This isn't funny, Angel!" At the fury in her eyes, he took a step backwards, his knees coming into contact with the bed. He looked at it momentarily before snapping his head back up to meet her gaze. He opened his mouth a few times, but refrained from speaking. "Yes, I know. I know that's where you did it. Perfect despair."
Frowning, he stepped towards her. She turned around to look out of the window again, taking a few moments before walking out onto the balcony. "What did you mean by that, Cordy?"
She laughed, but there was no humour in her voice. "Perfect happiness to strip you of your soul, perfect despair to anchor it forever." She turned to face him, "Why do you think you woke up in pain?"
"I…I didn't know. It was like…"
"An epiphany." She said, repeating words he had said himself.
"Yes." He closed his eyes and stepped towards her. "Cordelia, I never meant to hurt you. I…I wanted to tell you…I wanted to tell you so much, but I was terrified of loosing you. Terrified that there wouldn't be anything I could do to keep you in my life."
"And you thought that lying would help?" she stepped towards him and raised her arm, hitting him hard across the face. He stumbled backward, teetering precariously at the end of the balcony, so surprised by her actions that he was of balance. Feeling himself pulled from the end, he fell forward a little, resting in Cordelia's arms.
"I'm so sorry, Cordy. There's nothing I can say to make this any better, I know that. I just…I just need to know that I won't loose you Cordelia. I need to know that you'll be here if I go out to help someone, that you'll be here when I get back."
"That's something that no one can promise, Angel. I can say right here and now that I forgive you…and, I guess in a way, I do. I forgive you because I know that your soul is here for good…but the…action…that's something that I'd rather forget."
"You and me both."
She smiled weakly before shaking herself a little; "There's something you have to do."
She laughed, "I mean, the second vision I got tonight was an actual vision."
"Oh." He smiled, a little embarrassed. "What do I have to do?"
"So…what? You're in the middle of a solo and you scream 'Eureka'?" Cordelia asked, frowning as Wesley cleared his throat embarrassed.
"It was more of a…holler, really." Fred added, nodding her head. Laughing, Wesley looked around the room. Angel and Gunn had just returned, having taken the young boy they had rescued home. Smiling, he pulled out the scroll.
"It was the solo that gave me the clue, actually. Tonight."
"Tonight?" Angel asked, frowning. He turned to Cordelia, Fred and Gunn in turn, but no one had a clue what he was talking about. He continued, "Cordelia's visions, your Shanshu…everything centre's around the events of tonight."
"In what way?" Cordelia asked, suddenly interested.
"They're preparing to leave you."
"Leave me?" she asked, almost in a whisper. "But…but who'll help Angel? And…what about…"
"Angel will not need the visions any longer."
Cordelia's eyes widened and she blushed, "This hasn't got anything to do with the whole passing on of visions, like with Groo, does it?"
"Passing on if visions?" Wesley asked, taking his turn in joining the others in confusion.
"Never mind." She said quickly, avoiding Angel's piercing stare. "What about Angel? What about his Shanshu?"
"The event in your final vision, will be all that's needed to give him his Shanshu."
The air was thick with unasked questions. Suddenly Cordelia collapsed, Angel at her side in an instant. He held her. There seemed to be no pain, again. No nothing, except her eyes, staring at something that no one could see. And then Angel felt himself falling.
"What happened?" He asked Cordelia, clutching at her hand in the white surroundings.
"I have no idea." She replied, holding onto his arm with her other hand.
"It is time."
"The destiny has been fulfilled."
Both Angel and Cordelia turned around.
"The Oracles," Angel said softly.
"I thought they were dead." Cordelia stated, slightly awed by the beautiful trinkets the female was wearing.
"Eh…these aren't the same ones."
"Indeed." The female nodded.
"The time has come."
"You have brought us a great gift."
"Eh…actually," Angel began, "I wasn't expecting the visit, so, you know, I didn't have time to get you anything…"
"The gift of life is enough."
"Are you confused?" Cordelia asked him, " 'Cause I'm confused."
Angel nodded, "I'm confused."
The male smiled and took the female's hand. They walked forward and Cordelia made a move to step back, halted only by Angel's reassuring squeeze of her hand.
"The destiny has been fulfilled." The female repeated.
"You mean the last vision?" Cordelia asked, frowning. Both Oracles nodded.
"But all I did was take the boy home. He was being trailed by a demon. Nothing out of the ordinary."
The female smiled, "Sometimes the most simple of things can be the most complex."
"Had you not saved the boy, he would have destroyed life as we know it."
"Your destiny is complete."
"Life a long life, our Warrior."
With a final nod at the couple, the Oracles raised their hands. Angel felt a searing pain run through his entire body. He watched Cordelia gripping her head, and then everything went blank.
"Is it just me, or does he look more dead, alive than he did dead?"
"What? Just seems to me he could use a bit of a suntan. Maybe a facial…I dunno, how 'bout a month in hibernation?"
Angel groaned and opened his eyes. The light made him curse and he took a deep breath before standing. Breath. He had breath. Throwing his hands to his chest, he felt his heart beating. He was alive. He was actually alive. He could live a normal life with…
"Cordelia?" he asked, turning sharply to the others.
"She's out on the balcony." Wesley replied, smirking. Nodding to the others, they prepared to leave. "It's good to see you…alive and well, Angel."
He smiled, "It's good to be alive and well."
Taking a few moments to stretch, he began to stand and slowly make his way up the stairs. Everything seemed different, more real. He reached his room and slowly entered, almost afraid to see Cordelia, afraid of her leaving now that they were no longer connect, visions and warrior.
Taking a deep breath and steeling himself, Angel walked into the room, heading straight for the balcony. The sunlight drifted in aimlessly and he almost cursed when it hit his skin. Smiling, he walked into the light, relishing in the feel of it warming his skin. He suddenly realised that he was cold, freezing in fact. Was he always this cold? How could Cordelia bare to touch him? Cordelia. He walked towards her and gingerly placed a hand on her waist. When she leaned back into him, he pulled her against him, wrapping his arms tightly around her.
"Is it really over?" she asked, still whispering. As if speaking aloud would take everything away, make it not true.
"It's really over." He smiled as she turned around, placing her ear against his chest and smiling.
"You're alive." She said softly.
"I am." He replied.
"The lets not waste any more time." Before he could say anything in return, her lips were on his and he felt himself drowning in her. This was how he wanted to live his life. Live, he was alive. Pulling her closer, and deepening their embrace, he was content. Realisations really were only the beginning.
Okay, so the mush returned with a vengeance! I don't care, I like mush!
If you enjoyed, I'm glad, it was fun to write.
Feedback is always appreciated J