Disclaimer: All characters and things from ANGEL and BUFFY belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. If they aren't on the show they belong to me.
Summary: Takes place after "Waiting In The Wings". What if Angel and Cordelia hadn't been interrupted, and how would the outcomes of that one event change the lives of the Fang Gang forever? A/C pairing
"Lindsey?" Angel had to admit, he was slightly in shock as he stared up at the ex-lawyer in front of him.
"Did you miss me?" Lindsey asked.
Angel got to his feet, causally wiping his knees off and placing himself between Lindsey and Cordelia with his sons. "Honestly? Can't say I did."
"That's a shame." Lindsey smirked before hitting Angel across the face with the cross-bow one more time.
This time, Angel sprang back up, his game face on. "I really wish you would stop doing that." He punched Lindsey across the face.
Lindsey stumbled back a few feet, wiping the blood from the corner of his mouth, but never losing the smirk on his face. "Relax."
"Get out." Angel said simply.
"I would…but I can't." Lindsey replied. "See, I came here for something and I am not leaving until I get it."
"What?" Angel asked.
"Well…" Lindsey sighed. "You…Angelus…you know."
"Out." Angel repeated.
"Ok." Lindsey held his hands up in defense and moved out the door.
Angel turned back to Cordelia who had Liam in her arms and Connor next to her. "You okay?"
Cordelia nodded. "What is Lindsey doing back here?"
Angel shook his head. "I don't know…" He started, but was cut off as he felt something fly threw his lower abdomen. He looked down to see an arrow lodged in his side.
"Actually, I decided I would stay." Lindsey stepped back into the room, and moved to face Angel who was now on his knees. He held the crossbow to the vampire's throat. "Now I told you what I want."
"Well, you're not getting it." Cordelia pushed Lindsey as hard as she could from behind, planting his head into the wall.
Angel looked to see that Cordelia had put Liam back in his crib. "Thanks."
Cordelia smiled. "Sure." She knelt down next to him. "Let's get this arrow out of you."
Just then, Gunn and Wesley made it up the stairs, both were bruised and battered.
"Is he still here?" Gunn asked.
"Lindsey?" Cordelia asked back.
Gunn nodded. Apparently, he and Wesley had met Lindsey downstairs earlier.
Cordelia pointed to the corner where Lindsey had just been, but realized he was not there anymore. "What?"
"Mommyyy!" Connor called.
Cordelia whipped around to see Lindsey standing their with Connor under his one arm. "Let my son go!"
Lindsey looked down at Connor, who was struggling against him. "I thought he was Darla's?" he smirked.
Everyone else stood still; everyone except Angel.
"Let him go!" Angel got to his feet. "Or I will…"
"Or what?" Lindsey put the crossbow to Connor's head. "You will force me to shoot him."
"Angel, don't move!" Cordelia cried, fighting back tears as she watched her son struggle for his life.
"Yeah, Angel. Listen to her." Lindsey said. "Or actually…you can fall." He quickly shot the vampire in the leg again, causing him to fall back to the floor; and before anyone could stop him, Lindsey was out the window with Connor.
Wesley and Gunn moved to the window as soon as the lawyer had jumped, only to see that Lindsey had landed and was running toward a black pick-up truck with Connor under his arm.
"Crap!" Gunn said.
"Where is he going?" Cordelia cried.
"One guess." Angel said, yanking the arrow from his leg.
"You think?" Wesley asked. "You think he would go to Wolfram and Hart? After they fired him?"
"Where else would he go?" Angel slowly got to his feet. "Cordy, get Liam and everyone get downstairs."
"What are we going to do?" Cordelia asked, trying her best to gather Liam with her trembling hands.
"We're going to get our son back." Angel said simply before moving out the door and down the stairs as fast as he could with his new injuries. He was getting Connor back no matter what. He had just gotten his family back and no one would destroy that; he didn't care who he had to kill to find his son.
Lindsey fumbled to open the basement door to Wolfram and Hart while keeping a kicking Connor from screaming. He could not afford to be careless now; the Senior Partners did not know he was back and if they found out he was, let alone using their building, he knew he was as good as dead. Lilah had promised him security would not pick him up if he entered the basement door, but he was not taking any chances.
Lindsey finally managed to open the door. "Thank you." He mumbled as he carried Connor through, holding the two and a half year olds mouth.
Connor, however, was sick of Lindsey, and bit down hard on the ex-lawyers hand just as Lindsey was carrying him through the door.
"Damn it!" Lindsey smacked Connor hard across the face, causing Angel's son to stop biting.
Connor was in shock that he had been hit, and it was apparent, because he did not move again until Lindsey flicked the lights on in a room on the garage level, and threw Connor onto a table.
"I want my mommy." Connor said quietly, not looking at Lindsey.
"Yeah?" Lindsey smirked. "Well your mommy is dead." He thought of Lilah.
"No." Connor looked up, defiant.
"Yes." Lindsey teased the child back. "And the fake mommy you have now…she is going to die soon too." Lindsey thought of Cordelia.
"No. She my mommy and she not ever die." Connor crossed his arms over his chest. "She told me."
"She told you she was never going to die?" Lindsey had to laugh. Cordelia was human, eventually she would die regardless of how her life ended.
"She never will. She said." Connor said matter-of-factly.
"You are so much like your dad." Lindsey shook his head, knowing Connor really did not fully understand him. "He lives in a dream world too."
"You are bad." Connor studied Lindsey's face and then said simply. "Bad man."
Before Lindsey could respond, Lilah seemed to emerge from the shadows. "Tie him up."
"What?" Lindsey looked at Lilah.
"The brat." He pointed at Connor. "Tie him up."
"He's a kid. He isn't going to do anything." Lindsey said. He couldn't help it, but it felt wrong to him to tie Connor up.
"He's Angel's kid, and you aren't supposed to even be in this building. If the Senior Partners found out, both of us would be dead. I can't risk it. Tie him up." Lilah explained.
Lindsey thought for a second, and then realized Lilah was right. He sighed, grabbing a rope and pulling Connor toward him.
"No!" Connor tried to struggle from Lindsey's grasp.
Lindsey grabbed Connor, pushing the child down on the table hard, and pulling his hands behind his back. He was surprised at the strength Connor possessed for a two and a half year old, and Lindsey struggled to hold Connor still as he tied his hands behind his back.
Connor whimpered and cried. He was scared now and it was evident to both Lindsey and Lilah, and neither could really look at the crying child as he sat curled in a ball, his chest heaving up and down as he tried not to cry loudly. "I want my mommy." Connor mumbled against the table.
Angel fumbled through the remains of his weapon cabinets. He was having a hard time finding all of his weapons since Wesley and Gunn had rearranged the cabinet when Angel had taken off earlier in the year. The rest of the Fang Gang hurried around the lobby as Cordelia made her way down the stairs carrying Liam.
"Do you have everything you need, Angel?" Wesley asked.
"Where is my little crossbow?" Angel asked.
"In the basement." Gunn answered. "I'll run down and get it." He disappeared down the stairs.
"I hate to bring it up, but do we actually have a plan?" Lorne asked.
"Yeah." Angel turned to face the Fang Gang. "I go and get Connor back."
"Right…" Lorne nodded. "But do we have a plan."
"I'll figure it out on my way over." Angel said, picking up his favorite broad-sword.
Gunn returned from the basement with Angel's crossbow. "Here."
"Thanks." Angel took the weapon.
"So back to the lack of a plan…" Lorne stated.
"Look. The plan is I go in and get Connor back by any means necessary." Angel said.
"And you know what those means are." Cordelia stated from her spot at the bottom of the steps. "They want Angelus."
"So then that's the leverage for Connor." Angel said simply.
"You can't give them Angelus, Angel." Fred said obviously. "That's just insane."
"I need to get Connor back." Angel said. "I just got my family back, I am not losing another part of it." He looked up at Cordelia. "Or another second of their lives."
"Angelus can't be the leverage." Wesley stated. "We need to find another way to get Connor away from them without risking Angelus."
"What if there is no other way?" Fred asked.
Wesley thought for a minute. "There will be. There has to be."
"It doesn't matter." Angel said simply. "As long as I get Connor back, none of it matters. Wesley and Gunn, you guys are coming with me. Fred and Lorne keep an eye on Cordelia and Liam."
"I don't need a babysitter." Cordelia said, almost annoyed.
"Right, I know." Angel moved toward her. "But I need to make sure you and Liam are safe right now. Wolfram and Hart could come back, and I am not risking you." He whispered the last part to her as he gently grazed her cheek with his hand. "I'm so sorry for everything."
Cordelia nodded, knowing Angel was telling the truth. He was truly sorry. "Just get our son back." She whispered back to the vampire she knew she loved.
Angel nodded. "I will. I promise." He then softly kissed Liam on the head and turned back to Wesley and Gunn. "Let's move."
Wesley and Gunn complied, following Angel out the front door of the Hyperion Hotel and leaving Cordelia, Liam, Fred, and Lorne standing on the steps, watching as the three men moved to the gate and down the street toward Wolfram and Hart.
When they were out of sight, Fred moved up next to Cordelia, gently patting the seers back as Cordelia bounced Liam in her arms. "They will be okay."
Cordelia seemed to snap out of the trance she was in and turned to Fred. "Angelus is all they are after. That's what Wolfram and Hart wants."
"We know." Lorne nodded from his spot next to the couch.
"What if that's all they will take in order to get Connor back? If Angelus is the only trade…" Cordelia's voice trailed off as she thought of Angelus returning. This time he would be beyond pissed and they were as good as dead.
"Angel will do whatever he has to in order to protect his family and people." Lorne said. "We all know that, so I don't expect this situation to be any different. He will do whatever he needs to."
"I hope so." Cordelia sighed, looking down at Liam.
Lorne nodded. "He will." He knew Angel would do whatever it took to keep his family safe, no matter what the cost. The demon was just unsure of how extreme those costs would be in the current situation at hand.
Angel, Wesley, and Gunn made their way up through the sewers and into the basement of Wolfram and Hart. They had not been spotted entering the building, or if they had, no one had bothered to stop them. Angel wondered if this was all a set-up with each step he took.
"Where do you think they have Connor?" Gunn whispered as they moved around the dark basement.
Angel shook his head. "Not sure. Could be anywhere."
"Or not." Wesley realized. "Lindsey does not work for Wolfram and Hart. I bet if the Senior Partners knew he was here they would kill him."
"You think?" Gunn asked.
Angel thought for a second. It made sense. No one left Wolfram and Hart and got away with that. He nodded. "Lindsey was stupid for bringing Connor here." He stepped forward, breathing in the air. "And from the smell of it, Connor is not far. Come on." He moved forward.
Gunn shook his head and looked at Wesley. "The Angel smelling-thing is creepy."
"Shh…" Wesley said, following Angel.
Angel moved up the stairs and to the first floor of Wolfram and Hart. They were still not on the lobby floor, but rather the floor even with the garage. Connor's scent was stronger here. "He is somewhere up here."
"Are you sure?" Wesley asked.
Angel nodded and moved down to the second door on his right. He stopped outside the door and looked at Wesley and Gunn. "He is in here."
Gunn nodded, raising his crossbow. "Then let's do this."
Angel nodded and kicked the door in, finding Lilah and Lindsey over a table that Connor was strapped down to. Both Lindsey and Lilah looked up at the vampire who was followed by Gunn and Wesley.
"Let my son go." Angel said simply.
"No problem." Lindsey smirked, knowing Angel wouldn't hurt them if Connor was still on the table. "Just give us Angelus."
"Maybe I'll just feed you to the Senior Partners." Angel growled.
Suddenly, Lindsey became nervous. "What do you mean?"
"Like you are supposed to be in here." Angel smirked, and then looked at Lilah. "Lilah you should know better than to bring Lindsey back in here."
"I have it under control." Lilah tried to not seem threatened. "The Partner's don't even know Lindsey is here."
"But they will." Angel said, matter-of-factly.
"Yeah. Like you can be so sure." Lindsey scoffed.
"Well, someone will know you are here." Wesley said.
"Shut up." Lindsey snapped.
Suddenly Gunn pulled a small gun from his back pocket and shot the ceiling before shooting at the security system box in the corner. Alarms began to go off everywhere.
"Looks like they will be here soon." Gunn laughed.
Lindsey shook his head. "You won't make it out of here alive either."
Angel moved swiftly, gathering Lindsey up by the throat. "I am not alive, I am a vampire, and I will make it out of here." He threw Lindsey the wall and then turned to Lilah. "You come at my family again and I will kill you. You come after Angelus again and you are dead. Understood?"
Lilah nodded, hearing footsteps coming down the hall of security.
Angel quickly untied Connor who leapt into his arms.
"Dad." Connor hugged Angel tight.
"You okay, buddy?" Angel asked his son.
Connor nodded. "Yes."
"Good." Angel looked over at Wesley and Gunn. "Let's get out of here."
"Good idea." Wesley nodded, looking out in the hall to see three security guards running at them from the left. "Come on."
Angel burst out in to the hall followed by Gunn and Wesley. The security guards saw them and chased after the three men and toddler, ignorant to the fact that Lilah and Lindsey were in the room.
Cordelia stood pacing back in forth in the lobby while bouncing Liam in her arms. Fred and Lorne sat at the counter, watching the seer as if she was going to disappear if they looked away for even a split second.
"They have been gone long." Cordelia said, looking out the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of Angel with Connor.
"Not really, Cordy." Fred sighed. "Only an hour or so."
"Still…" Cordelia continued to look out the window.
Lorne stood, moving toward Cordelia. "Why don't you stay away from the window?" He pulled her back toward the center of the room.
"They are coming back." Cordelia took a deep breath and smiled up at Lorne. "I should get Connor's bed made, he will be tired when he comes back." She moved up the stairs with Liam in her arms.
"Should she be up there alone?" Fred asked.
Lorne looked up the stairs after Cordelia. "She will be fine. It won't do her much good worrying down here anyway. At least she can keep herself busy."
"Well then Angel better come back with Connor." Fred said.
"He will." Lorne nodded. "He doesn't have a choice." And that was the truth. Lorne knew Angel would come back with Connor or he wouldn't come back at all. He knew that Angel couldn't lose his son, nor would he be able to face Cordelia if he failed. Lorne also knew that if Connor wasn't back soon, Cordelia was going to lose it. It had become apparent that Cordelia was in fact Connor's mother, caring for her in all the ways a mother ever could. Lorne knew Connor had to come back.
Angel moved swiftly with Connor under one arm and a sword in the other while Gunn and Wesley followed close behind. The guards had still not caught up to them, but Angel knew if they didn't get out of Wolfram and Hart soon it was only a matter of time before they were captured.
"Angel…" Gunn's breath was heavy. "I think they are gaining."
"We need to split up." Angel said.
"You need to get out." Wesley spoke up, breathing just as hard as Gunn. "You and Connor go, Gunn and I can deal with this."
"No." Angel said. "I can't leave you guys in here to do my job."
"Your job is to get Connor home safe." Gunn said simply.
Angel heard the guards getting closer and looked down at Connor in his arms. "Fine." He nodded to Wesley and Gunn and then took off.
Wesley and Gunn watched Angel move one way and they then moved the other way, trying to lead the guards away from the vampire and his son.
Cordelia held Liam and continued to glance out the window for Angel, Connor, Wesley, and Gunn. Fred and Lorne had given up trying to get her to focus on anything but outside the hotel, and the two quietly sat at the counter, playing cards.
"This is ridiculous." Cordelia said, glancing down at Liam. "You're daddy is ridiculous."
"What's ridiculous is that you won't sit for a second, sugar." Lorne glanced at her.
Cordelia just rolled her eyes, but did not say anything as the front door swung open. She held her breath waiting for Angel to walk in with Connor, but instead it was Gunn and Wesley.
"Hey." Gunn smiled up.
Cordelia didn't even greet him. "Where's Angel?"
"He isn't back yet?" Wesley asked.
"No!" Cordelia snapped, shifting Liam from one arm to another. "Should he be?"
Wesley and Gunn looked at each other a little confused. Angel should have beat them back to the hotel, after all, the guards had followed them.
"It will be fine, Cordy." Wesley said. "He was right behind us, I am sure."
Cordelia just stood there numb. Her world was falling in on all sides of her. Angel and Connor may both be gone for good, and she did not get the chance to tell Angel she really truly loved him, or hold Connor one last time.
Angel had made it out of Wolfram and Hart with Connor safely in his arms. He didn't bother to look back at the law firm, and kept pace down the dark alley behind the building, glad he wasn't alive to need a chance to catch his breath.
"Daddy?" Connor said, once they were out of the alley and back on the busy streets of L.A.
"What is it?" Angel had slowed down his pace now, and glanced at his son, who was clinging to his leather jacket as if it was his last life line.
"I want mommy." Connor said simply, resting his head on Angel's shoulder.
Angel nodded down at his son. "So do I." Angel smiled faintly at the thought of Cordelia. "That's why we are going back to the hotel, so we can see mommy."
"You gonna leave us again?" Connor asked.
Angel looked down at his son. "No way. I love you guys.
"Mommy said you always love us." Connor said.
Angel nodded. "She's right. I always have loved you and Liam and I always will."
"Then don't leave." Connor said. "Don't leave mommy. She sad when you go."
Angel sighed. "I'll try not too, bud, but sometimes mommy's and daddy's just can't always get along."
"My mommy loves you." Connor said simply.
Angel smiled at his son's innocence, so grateful to have the boy back in his arms as he turned the corner toward the hotel, but was cut short as someone stepped out from the shadows.
"Awww how cute, a vampire and his spawn." Lilah stepped out of the shadows. It was visible in an instant that half her face was bruised and Angel could smell the blood on her knuckles.
"Didn't you hear me before?" Angel was furious at the sight of the lawyer. "I said leave my family alone!"
"Relax." Lilah put her hands up. "You win."
Angel looked at her for a moment. "I win?"
Lilah pointed to the bruise on her face. "Senior Partners got rid of me. They caught up to me and Lindsey after you managed to get out of the building."
"I can see that." Angel smirked.
Lilah rolled her eyes. "Anyway, they decided to go in a new direction."
"And which way is that?" Angel asked.
"The way in which they fire me, do God knows what to Lindsey, and decide that Angelus isn't worth the hastle…yet." Lilah said, slowly turning her back to Angel.
"So what?" Angel called after her.
"So your safe." Lilah gave him a half wave. "For now." And with that she walked off into the shadows.
Angel looked down at Connor and smiled. Things were starting to look better for him and his family. He quickly sprinted back to the hotel.
Cordelia was changing Liam's diaper upstairs when she heard the front door open. She froze for a minute, holding her breath, until she heard Angel's voice in the lobby. She quickly gathered Liam up.
"Daddy is back!" Cordelia kissed Liam on the forehead before rushing down the stairs with him. From the landing she could see Angel holding Connor and Gunn, Wesley, Fred, and Lorne surrounding the vampire.
"Angel?" Cordelia called out.
Wesley, Lorne, Gunn, and Fred took the sight of Cordelia as their cue to head toward the office, giving the vampire and seer some time alone with their family.
Angel turned to see Cordelia rushing down the stairs straight towards him. "Hey."
"Mommy!" Connor wiggled out of Angel's arms and met Cordelia half way, throwing his arms around her leg.
"Oh baby, you're okay!" Cordelia knelt down, still holding Liam in one arm and grabbing Connor in a bear hug with her free arm. She kissed him and squeezed him, so happy to have the boy she considered her son back.
"He was tough." Angel stood, shifting his weight from one foot to the other as he watched Cordelia hold onto Connor like she was never letting go.
"Yeah!" Connor agreed, pulling away from Cordelia and sticking his fist up. "I was tough."
Cordelia just laughed at him. "Oh really?"
"Daddy was more tough!" Connor exclaimed, clearly un-traumatized by his night as he bolted for the couch and being to jump on it. "He fighted everyone!"
Cordelia slowly stood, looking at Angel. "Thank you for bringing him home safe."
Angel nodded, almost sadly. He had half hoped Cordelia was going to rush down the stairs into his arms, not to hug Connor and ignore him completely. He knew now that any chance he had ever had with his seer was over. She would always be the mother to both of his children now but she would never be more. "Well, he belongs here with you. This is his home and I know he is safe here."
"What does that mean?" Cordelia moved to put Liam in his portable crib that was set up in the lobby.
"Means that I know he will be safe here. I won't worry." Angel looked toward Liam. "About either of my boys. I know you will keep them safe when I am not around."
"Why wouldn't you be around?" Cordelia was now standing in front of Angel, her arms crossed.
"I want to give you space, Cordy." Angel told her. "I don't want to hover and I don't want to keep you from living your life."
"Angel…" Cordelia started.
"No, Cordy. Let me finish." Angel cut her off. "Cordelia, I love you. I think that's obvious but I can't make this work because it's how I want things to be. You need a chance to live a normal life and be happy."
"Angel." Cordelia took a step closer to him. "Did you ever stop and think that maybe I could be happy with you?"
Before Angel could answer, Cordelia pulled him into her and gave him the kiss she had longed to give him since the first day she ever saw him in Sunnydale.
When they broke apart, Angel looked down, confused. "Cordy…I…"
"I know what I said before, Angel, and I was just so upset and hurt and confused but I realized that all of those feelings only crossed my mind because I love you. I always have." Cordelia told him in one quick breath.
Angel smiled down at her. "I love you too." This time he pulled her in for the kiss.
The kiss was broken apart by Connor's giggling from the couch. Angel and Cordelia both glanced at their son.
"What are you laughing about?" Cordelia smiled at Connor.
Connor continued to giggle, covering his mouth slightly and hanging on the back of the couch. "Get a room…" He giggled.
The smile on Angel's face turned to shock at his son's comment. "What?"
Cordelia just laughed again. "I am going to have to keep an eye on what his Uncle Gunn is teaching him."
Angel wrapped his arms around Cordelia, kissing her neck. "Well, this time around, I can help you."
"Oh yeah?" Cordelia tilted her head toward the vampire, smiling.
"Yeah." Angel smiled back. "I think it's about time I become a family man."