One-shot. Set in Season 3 of AtS. All characters belong to Joss.
They watched from outside Time and Space. The scene below centered on a rag-tag team of heroes in a rain-soaked alley, facing off against the hordes of Hell.
"You have to help them!" Him. "They're outnumbered 100-to-1!"
"The vampire chose this."
"This isn't how it was supposed to go when I gave him the vision," Cordelia Chase argued.
"This door cannot be closed," added another voice.
"But the Champion was disconnected from his link to us for a long time. Perhaps…" another mused.
"Their voices were like roaring thunder and gentle breezes – terrifying and comforting all at once.
"You guys owe me, and you owe them! Do I have to bring up the Jasmine debacle?!" Cordelia persisted.
"We cannot meddle with free will."
"We sit outside of time…let the young one choose a moment…"
"A speck in time…"
The first considered, then turned to Cordelia. "Choose an instant from the thread, but only an instant. One such moment to be altered by a touch or a word. Choose wisely. We will not offer this again."
Cordelia approached the stream of Time, using her memories to locate the thread she and the others traveled.
"I can go anywhere in this?"
"For a moment, yes. If Time is damaged, then worse will their fates be."
No pressure… Cordelia grumbled internally. She focused, centering on the decisions that had led them to that alley behind the Hyperion.
"There!" she exclaimed.
"Are you certain, child?"
"Her choice has fair odds," said another.
Cordelia nodded. "Little action, big impact."
"There will be consequences. It is inevitable when the past is altered."
"I know, but I think…I have to save them."
Cordelia suddenly appeared in a park. She grabbed the young woman in front of her immediately, covering her mouth so she couldn't scream, and pulled her behind the nearest tree. Turned her around and punched her soundly on the chin, knocking her out. Cordelia left the unconscious woman on the ground and ran across the street.
"I had a vision. Drive around all night, but answer your phone, okay?"
"Just trust me, okay? I have to go." She ran around the SUV to disappear again.
Wesley stood bewildered, then got in the vehicle and drove off.
Back with the Powers, Cordelia watched anxiously to see if her idea worked. It all depended on Wesley returning with Connor.
Days later, a haggard Wesley walked into the Hyperion to face the others. Angel ran up and grabbed Connor.
Wes nodded, following with the air of a condemned man. Fred, Gunn, and Lorne exchanged looks.
"There's going to be a lot of yelling, huh?" Fred stated.
In the office, behind closed doors…
The ex-watcher stood silent, waiting for Angel to speak first. The vampire had every right to be furious.
Angel kept his voice low so to not disturb Connor. "I should kill you…you took my son, had secret meetings with Holtz, attacked a member of the team… You should have told someone, Wesley." He held up his hand to indicate he wasn't finished. "The prophecy was false. Wolfram and Hart were slipping Connor's blood into the butcher's supply."
Wes glanced away, his throat clogging up as he realized all that turmoil was for nothing.
Angel continued, "But it wasn't your fault. You acted, stupidly, I might add, with the best intentions based on the information you had. We were played, by a being called Sahjahn. He changed the prophecy, brought Holtz to the present…"
"He wanted Connor not to be born…" he realized.
"Yeah. My son has a destiny, after all. Holtz probably would have taken Connor if he'd found him."
"Sahjahn's trapped in a jar. Holtz is dead. We live to fight another day."
"I only wanted to protect both of you, Angel."
"I know, Wes…but pull a stunt on your own like that again, and…"
There was a sudden commotion out in the lobby as Cordelia burst through the front doors, Groo trailing behind with all their luggage.
"What the hell's been going on around here?! I take one little vacation and you guys fall apart?! Ugh! You are so hopeless!!" she ranted.
Angel came out of the office. "Cordy? What are you doing back so soon?"
She shook her finger at him. "It almost wasn't soon enough, buster!" The finger got pointed at Wes as he stepped out of the office. "And you! We're having a talk later, get me?" He nodded dumbly. "All of you. Sit. Now!" She made her next point by smacking each of them on the forehead with each word. "If. We. Stop. Trusting. Each. Other. We. Lose! This is exactly how Wolfram and Hart and every other evil thing out there want it to go. If they can't kill us, then they drive us apart. Except we've been doing a hell of a job all on our own, huh?! Well, no more! No more secrets, got it?!"
They nodded silently, still stunned into silence by Queen C. She tossed her hair, put on a smile, and held her arms out for Connor.
"There's my little guy! I've got presents for you, uh-huh…I do," Cordy cooed. The others still awkwardly stood around. "Oh, you're dismissed," she added with a wave of her hand. All except Angel wandered off. He wasn't about to let Connor out of his sight, yet.
"How did you know…?"
"Vision. Well, more like a dream, since I was asleep. Packed up everything and headed straight home," she replied. "You okay?"
"Yeah," he sighed. "Now. For the moment. He's everything, Cordy."
She smiled down at Connor. "I know. I'm just glad he didn't forget me already."
Wrapped up in the family moment, they didn't notice Groo sling his bag over his shoulder and leave the hotel.
"I'm glad you're back."
"Me, too, Angel. Get some sleep."
She kissed Connor on the head, then on impulse, kissed Angel on the cheek, and left for home. Yeah, she didn't regret cutting her vacation short at all.