Disclaimer: All the characters, places and themes belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt.
A/N: A crossover between Buffy and Angel this story has been in my head since I first saw the episode "Spin the Bottle" It's a Angel season 4 and Buffy season 7 re-write, starting from 'Spin the Bottle' in Angel and 'Sleeper' in Buffy. I have used some dialogue from the episodes. This isn't mine either.
This is a B/A (Liam) story and is rated M, for language, themes, and some upcoming smutty chapters.
I would like to thank my lovely beta's Constant Comment Tea and Clarabella75 for doing an amazing job with this. I owe them both so much!
Read, Review and most of all Enjoy!
It's Always You
Lorne grumbled softly to himself as he hurried down the deserted footpath on a dimly lit Los Angeles street. He kept his head low, the large trench coat and fedora keeping his green skin out of sight. Food wrappers and other rubbish he didn't want to think about lined the pavement. He was in a part of town he would normally avoid, but it was the quickest way back to the Hyperion and Lorne needed to get there as soon as possible. He shivered lightly as a cool wind blew from the north, causing the long coat to flap around his legs as he hurried back to the hotel. He wrapped the coat more tightly around himself, ducked his head to avoid the angry wind, and stepped onto the street.
A horn blasted angrily as he walked onto the busy road without looking. Jumping back just in time, Lorne only just managed to avoid a speeding yellow VW Bug. He shook his fist angrily at the driver and turned to watch the traffic.
Breathing heavily, he leaned against the streetlight and reached into the pocket of his jacket. He smiled softly as he found that the package he was sent to collect was undamaged. He straightened his jacket, pulled his hat further down to cover his horns, shoved his hands and the bottle back into his pockets, and continued to walk down the street. As he rounded another corner, he pressed his lips together and started to whistle a jaunty tune.
Angel and Cordelia were sitting on the edge of the fountain in the courtyard outside the Hyperion Hotel. Angel was staring awkwardly at his feet, Cordelia's breathing picked up and she licked her lips.
Crickets chirped, a slight breeze rustled the leaves, and the sweet scent of jasmine reached Angel's sensitive nose. He inhaled deeply and felt himself beginning to relax.
"I don't know what to say to you anymore," Angel whispered softly, his gaze on his shoes. "You used to be my best friend, I used to be able to talk to you about everything. Now I no longer know you. You are a stranger to me, and I want that to stop." He looked up at her with sadness in his eyes.
Cordelia shook her head miserably. "I know what year it is, I know all the shoe stores between here and Beverly Hills, hell I even know who's president!" She sniffed and wiped a tear off her cheek. "But I no longer know my age, I don't know what my favorite color is, my favorite food! I don't know who my friends are… even my own name sounds strange to my ears." She looked at the vampire beside her.
"I want to be me again, I want to have friends! We were friends right?" She asked softly, sadly.
Angel nodded slowly. "We were." He said with a small, unhappy smile. "Good friends."
"Only friends?" Cordelia asked softly, somewhat hesitantly.
Angel paused and pondered his answer. He considered Cordelia to be his very best friend: she was kind and considerate, a far cry from the carefree, shallow girl she had been in high school. Were they more then friends? They could have been-he certainly cared for her deeply-but in that way? He didn't think so.
He looked away. It was never that simple… the curse, the fact that he was still a vampire, and he still loved Buffy deeply, with all of his undead heart. Nothing, nobody would ever, ever change that!
No. Cordelia would never be more then a friend. A loved and trusted friend.
He took a deep breath and turned to face the confused young woman with a soft smile. "Yeah," he murmured. "Only friends."
Cordelia watched him for a second through large, expressive, brown eyes. Then she smiled and nodded slowly, she reached over to give him a quick hug. It was familiar, and Angel smiled as he wrapped his arms around her, and gave her a soft, comforting squeeze before letting her go. He heard footsteps along the path and stood up quickly. He tensed, the demon inside ready for any possibilities; but then a familiar scent relaxed him. It was only Lorne.
Lorne stumbled into the courtyard, clutching a stitch at his side. "Hey Angelcakes, Princess. What are you two bluebirds doing out here?"
Angel rolled his eyes and smiled at him, "Just talking about what Cordelia was like before."
Cordelia looked down "I wish I could remember"
Lorne chuckled softly and took a step toward them. "Well now, here I have just the thing to fix that little problem!" he announced cheerfully, reaching into the pocket of his coat and pulling out a bright blue bottle, which was roughly spherical in shape. Angel frowned in suspicion, eyeing the way the blue mist inside the bottle swirled around; common sense and experience told him to be wary of mystical objects like this.
"What are you up to Lorne?" He grumbled suspiciously, his voice a soft growl.
"Yeah," piped up Cordelia as she looked at the bottle with interest "What's with the Chanel No. 5?"
"The what?" Angel asked in confusion, turning his head and looking at Cordelia.
She looked at him in amusement and raised her eyebrows. "You know, perfume!" She chuckled and shook her head.
Lorne laughed as Angel glared at both of them, not amused that he was again the butt of everyone's jokes. "Ok…Ok!" he muttered, closing his eyes momentarily and holding out his hands in defeat. "Enough laughing at me, just tell us what it is, Lorne."
Lorne cleared his throat and looked between Angel and Cordelia, his normal joyous face is serious. Angel realized then, that whatever was in the little bottle was seriously dangerous stuff.
"It's a memory spell," Lorne answered solemnly. "This here will help our little Cordy get her memories back!"
Cordelia blinked in surprise and gave a soft gasp; Angel's mouth popped open and he gaped at Lorne. It would have been comical if it weren't so serious. Angel shook his head and closed his mouth.
"Are you sure?" He asked quietly, his voice steady despite the butterflies in his stomach at the thought of Cordelia getting her memories back.
Lorne nodded quickly. "I'm sure Angel-wings," he answered. "The girl who specialises in these is a good friend, she wouldn't steer me wrong. This will work, you just have to trust me!"
Angel paused and looked over at Cordelia, she looked at him, looked at Lorne and then took a deep breath. Turning back to Angel, her eyes were clear and her mouth set in a determined line.
"Let's do this," she told them. "I want to be me again!"
Angel turned and looked at Lorne. "What do you need?" he asked sincerely.
Lorne winced softly. This was the tricky part.
Wesley and Alvin, a senior member of his new team were sitting in Wesley's apartment polishing and cleaning various weapons.
Wesley looked around, got up, and walked over to the large wooden crate in the middle of the room. He bent down and lifted one of the spring-release stakes from the box. It was a sharpened piece of white oak strapped to a piece of leather that could be secured around the forearm. It was slim enough that it could be concealed under a jacket, but strong enough that it produced enough force to drive the stake straight through the heart of a vampire.
The ones in this box had been modified to Wesley's specific instructions; he had wanted the stakes to be longer, almost double the length of a normal stake. The added length enabled the hunter the advantage of distance between himself and the vampire's fangs.
Wesley was proud of the new weapons and smiled to himself as he tied one of the weapons to each of his forearms, holding one of his arms out, he pressed a small button on the inside of the weapon close to his wrist that released the spring mechanism, with a sharp 'whoosh,' the wooden stakes came out. Wesley stepped back, and gave a few practice thrusts, imagining burying the weapon in the chest of a vampire. The stakes were well balanced and strong, and he was confident that the vampires wouldn't see the weapon until it was too late. It was an asset to his new hunting team.
Suddenly, the phone rang, shattering the still air in the apartment and causing Alvin to jump in his chair. With a grim smile, Wesley quickly folded the stakes back into the sheaths under his sleeve and walked over to pick up the phone.
"Hello?" He asked softly, his voice measured and controlled, cold.
"Wes, it's Angel. We need you at the hotel."
He wasn't surprised that there was no greeting; he was, however, surprised that Angel wanted to see him at all. "Why?" he asked evenly,
"We've found a way to get Cordy's memory back," was the blunt reply.
Wesley paused. "I'll be right over," he answered evenly, before he hung up with a soft click. There was no need for a goodbye.
"I'm going out, Alvin, if you could finish unloading the weapons, and lock the door as you leave? I'll see you tomorrow for training," Wesley called out as he grabbed the keys to the motorcycle, his leather jacket, and helmet, and walked toward the door.
"Sure thing, Boss," Alvin answered without looking up, all his attention focused on the 13th century metal sword in his large hands.
"I don't know why he has to be here!" Gunn muttered darkly to Angel. They were both leaning against the counter in the lobby, waiting for things to start.
Angel looked up and watched as Wesley slowly glanced around the lobby and descended the stairs. He walked to the other side of the room and dumped his helmet on the floor, then put his hands in the pockets of his jacket and looked over at them.
"We need him here," he murmured to Gunn. "You want Cordy to get her memory back, don't you?"
"Well we needed six people for the spell," he whispered.
"Could have called Connor," Gunn muttered darkly.
Angel looked at him and glared. "Don't go there Gunn, not now…besides you know he hates magic."
Gunn rolled his eyes, "Ok, ok… I don't have to like it do I?" He asked quietly.
"No. Just try to be civil until this is all over," Angel told him softly.
Gunn crossed his arms over his chest and glared at Wesley, but nodded his head slowly.
At that moment, Fred walked out of the office. Her long wavy hair flowed down her back and she was wearing a long denim skirt and a light green tank top. Her head was buried in an ancient book. She glanced up and caught sight of Wes. She gave a small hesitant smile, then turned around and walked over to Gunn and Angel. Wes followed her with his eyes, a look of pain and wonder on his face.
"Though if he keeps staring at my girl, then there's gonna be a problem," Gunn muttered, too quietly for Fred or Wesley to hear. Angel, standing next to him, heard it perfectly and struggled not to smile.
"I found the spell," Fred called to Lorne as she placed the old book on the counter. "It's quiet a simple incantation like you said, and there is a diagram here that you need to paint on the floor."
Lorne got up from the couch and walked over. "My friend did mention a design…" he looked at the pentagram. "She didn't mention it would be quiet this complicated, though," he muttered, concerned.
"Well it's a good thing your friend gave you the book to borrow!" Fred said brightly.
Lorne nodded and took the book in her hand, "I'll start this now. Fred, can you help? Gunn, there are some talismans and protective salts on the table, can you finish sorting them please?" He asked. Fred nodded and Gunn gave a muttered affirmative.
Angel pushed himself away from the counter and walked toward the stairs. "I'll go get Cordelia," he said softly, ascending the staircase slowly.
Angel paused in front of Cordelia's door and knocked quietly.
"Come in," Cordelia called from inside. Angel smiled to himself and pushed the door open. He took a step inside and looked around, Cordy emerged from the bathroom in a pair of jeans and a tight black sweater that showed off her sexy curves, a towel around her head. She smiled at Angel and walked toward the bed. Sitting down, she reached for a pair of black, heeled boots and pulled them on. "So, what's up?" She asked softly.
"Lorne and Fred are almost finished with the preparations, we're just waiting for you, then we can start the spell."
"Really?" she asked excitedly, wiggling her toes and standing up slowly. "That's great," she reached up and tugged the towel from her head, running a hand through her damp hair and fluffing up the ends. "I'll just brush my hair and I'll be down," she told him, moving into the bathroom and hanging up her towel. Angel walked forward and leaned against the door jam, watching as Cordy stood in front of the mirror and gently ran a brush through her short hair.
"Are you sure you're ok?" He asked softly. "This is a big deal."
Cordy put her brush down and turned to look at Angel, smiling. "I'm sure," she said softly. "It needs to be done… I…. it needs to be done." She told him with determination.
He nodded in understanding. "Come on…They're waiting." He reached forward and took Cordy's hand in his, and guided her out of the apartment.
In the lobby, Lorne moved around the intricate design, careful not to smudge any of the paint. At each point of the pentagram he placed a small satchel of herbs and protective charms. In the center of the pentagram he placed the small blue bottle containing the memory spell.
"Ok everyone," he called. "Sit at the top of each point of the pentagram, make sure the satchels are in front of you! Oh and leave the Northern point for me," he added.
One by one, the rest of the team sat with their legs crossed. All of them shift in their seats, furtive glances are cast Wesley's way as Cordelia takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Fred smiled at her and reached out to pat her knee. "It's going to be ok," she whispered.
Ignoring them, Lorne picked up a stick of incense, lit it and started to chant a series of words as he walked slowly around the group. Once he had completed the circle three times, he sat down in his spot, placed the stick of incense in front of him, placed his hand on his knees, and started to recite the spell he had been given.
As he watched, fascinated, the small bottle started to glow and a mix of blue and silver mist radiated around the pentagram. He started to get alarmed when the mist swirled around the design, getting closer and closer. Lorne swallowed nervously, and raised his hands to try and disperse the mist.
But it was magical, and was not shaken from it course. It reached his knees and started to entwine itself around his body. He was still chanting; his friend had made it perfectly clear that he must keep up the chant for the entire duration of the spell. She wasn't sure of the side effects if he should stop.
The mist continued to twist and twine around his body. As he glanced up, he noticed the same thing was happening to the others. The mist reached his face and settled over his eyes.
Almost immediately he could feel the effects; he started to feel dizzy and his thoughts became quiet muddled. It felt as if he was somewhere else and it was a struggle to keep up the spell. Time and time again, he found himself slipping into blackness.
The mist was affecting him, and he could do nothing to stop it, he shook his head to try and clear the fog from his brain. He got up slowly, stumbling and disorientated. He clutched his head and moaned softly. It was no use; the magic was too strong, he couldn't fight it. He slumped to the floor, falling in a heap behind the counter. The spell was ruined.
The silver and blue mist became stronger; its brightness overwhelming. It began to affect the rest of the AI team in different ways. Fred got up and wandered over to a potted plant, talking to it in hushed tones before she threw up in the pot.
Gunn stood up and started practicing martial arts moves and fighting stances, while Wesley continued to sit on the spot, looking around in fascination. He started to giggle, "Let's just wait and see if there are any side effects." Then he burst out laughing.
Angel groaned, clutching his chest and fell backwards out of the design. He laid sprawled on the tiles and groaned again. "Ow…me head," he muttered, his voice thick and the accent strange.
Cordelia looked around her in panic. Spotting the bottle in the middle of the design, she got to her feet and moved toward it. "If I can just…stop it!" She lifted her foot and brought it smashing down onto the bottle.
The glass shattered and the mist dissipated immediately. Cordelia blinked and looked around in confusion. "Ok!" she snapped, putting her hands on her hips. "If this is some kind of sophomore prank, it's not funny!"