FORGIVEN, NOT FORGOTTEN
Circling My Heart Series Part Two
By D. M. Evans
Disclaimer I own none of the characters (though Ceara and Aidan Charging Thunder are mine). As always they belong to Joss and Im just happy to get a chance to play. The lyrics below are from The Corrs song Forgiven, Not Forgotten.
Rating - Pg-13
Pairing - not tremendously important here. Its more action oriented, Cross-over ensemble but Willow/Tara and Xander/Anya are still together. Giles will be a featured player
Summary - A string of teen kidnappings and murders brings Angel Investigations to Sunnydale accompanied by Wesleys friend and Giles one-time lover, Ceara Charging Thunder and her teenaged son.
Authors Note 1 - This is an AR of Buffy S6 and Angel S3, taking place relatively early in the season. Major events in season six of Buffy and season three of Angel have been changed. Angel wont find out about Spike and Buffy (which is over for the purposes of this story) nor shall Buffy find out about Connor (who never returned from Quor-Toth). Angel and Cordy are not even thinking about dating.
Authors Note 2 Special Thanks to S J Smith for editing through this. To Anita B with help with the Australian Strine and to the Lakota who taught me many things. Heres hoping I dont mangle their language and customs too badly.
Authors Note 3 - This was started when I actually stopped watching both shows in S6/S3 and later, getting back into the shows the next year, this got set aside and languished for two years (it figures. It was the first time I ever put up a wip and I didnt finish it) Its now being finished for MY WIP Support Group Ficathon, dedicated to helping us find the endings our stories so richly deserve.
All alone, staring on
Watching her life go by
When her days are grey
And her nights are black
Different shades of mundane
And the one eyed furry toy
That lies upon the bed
Has often heard her cry
And heard her whisper out a name
Long forgiven, but not forgotten
The Corrs - Forgiven not Forgotten
Angel watched, somewhere between stunned and amused, as a lanky young man raced up and down the halls of the Hyperion. The thought that a boy this age should be playing with friends and not running around trying to decide which ghost to talk to first floated through the vampires mind. Wesley and Cordy stood behind Angel, also staring at the youth. Having just surfaced from the basement to find Wesleys friend, Ceara, already at the hotel, Angel stood at the base of the staircase wondering if he should follow the boy since some of the halls upstairs werent exactly safe.
Wesley glanced back at the boys mother. Ceara Charging Thunder gave him a quirky little smile. She had been in the Hyperion several months before and had come back to finish her work. Wesley had not counted on the fact his old acquaintance would come with child in tow. He hadnt even known she had a son. While disappointed she had never told him, he suspected he knew why.
m trusting your discretion on this, Ceara said, brushing back her hip-length raven hair.
Of course, Wes said.
Cordys face screwed up. On what?
Wesley fiddled with his glasses. Cordy, Ceara was a Potential.I know that. She rolled her eyes. She told us last time she was here.She also told us that she and Rupert had a relationship once the Watchers decided she was too old to become a Slayer, Wesley said. s fourteen. If you do the maths Giles son? Cordy squeaked. Oh, that cant be. She waved her hands, doing an exaggerated full body shiver.
No one really knows that, Cordy, but I suspected Wesley would figure it out easily enough, Ceara said. Rupert has no idea, and Im thinking the Watchers dont know either and nor should they.
Cordy shifted her weight, her heels clicking a bit on the flooring. What would they care?Cordy, the Council frowns on intimate relations between a Watcher and a Slayer or the Potentials, Wesley said, with a mixed expression on his face, part agreement, part sympathetic to such feelings should they arise.
But it happens. Ive seen it, Angel muttered, thinking back several decades. He leaned in the doorway, glancing up the hall to see where the boy had gone.
s the active Slayers Watcher. He doesnt need trouble with the Council, Ceara said. They could pull him back to England and replace him. Wesley said with a vaguely embarrassed look.
Her son came racing back up to them, nearly colliding with Angel as he slid to a stop. He cocked his head back to look at the vampire, his two waist-length plaits swinging wildly. A startled, almost frightened expression flashed over his face then smoothed out into one of curiosity.
I thought you slept in the day, he said finally, stuffing his hands in his jeans pockets. He studied the vampire with more intensity than Angel was used to enduring, especially from someone so young.
Angel nearly smiled, amazed at the mature expression on the boys tanned face. t be rude, Aidan, Ceara said, her Australian accent much lighter than her son He glanced at his mother contritely then turned back to Angel. m Aidan Charging Thunder. You must be Angel.s a good vampire, Cordy said quickly. She put a perfectly lacquered nailed hand on Aidans shoulder. You dont have to be afraid.m not afraid. Ive seen vampires before but not many. They like to hang in Coober Pedy since most of the town is underground, but I dont go there often. Mostly I just see ghosts and therere some real rippers here, Aidan said, still studying Angels face.
t that wig you out, seeing ghosts I mean? Cordy asked.
He grinned like an eager puppy, adoration and desperation to impress her showing clearly in his blue eyes. Nah, always been able to do it. Theyre usually not scary or anything. Were staying here, arent we, Mum-cat?Yes, so well be good, wont we? Ceara gave Aidan a stern, knowing look.
He rolled his eyes, making the ring in his eyebrow flip. Damn, Mum, Im not a baby. I know how to behave. Can I go exploring some more?If Angel doesnt mind. Ceara wagged a finger. And no swearing.
Aidan turned back to the vampire expectantly. Angel, sir, are there any places Im not supposed to go?The basement springs to mind, and itll be for the best if you stay out of the weaponry. I could take you on a tour if youd like, Angel said, not sure why he wanted to do such a thing. He had kept quiet while listening to the conversation about the boys parentage. He couldnt quite picture Giles with a son but after all he had put the man through, he owed it to him to be kind to the boy even if the Watcher never learned about it.
Aidan glanced back at his mother.
Go ahead. She waved him on. You can trust Angel.d love a tour, sir.
Angel smirked. You dont have to call me Aidan. Its just Angel.
Ceara watched them go then turned to Wes and Cordy. Anything tremendously exciting happening around here?
Wesley indicated for her to sit. Not really. Thats why we thought it would be a good time for you to visit.Is it safe to assume that were not talking about what happened in Sunnydale? Ceara folded her legs up on the couch. Wesley had told her about Buffys resurrection.
It would be safe to avoid it. Were all still stunned. It was hard enough to lose Buffy but to have her backre all still adjusting. Thats why I mentioned it to you on the phone just in case you had heard something from the ghost paths. Wesley sat next to her.
Nothing, and it is amazing but Ill keep my questions to myself. Ceara waved a hand to clear away a ghost who flittered too near. Cordy gave her an odd look but Wesley was used to her addressing things he couldnt see.
Thanks. It seems like you have a very nice son, Ceara, Wesley said.
Ceara shifted and allowed the ghost to sit with her, draping an arm around her. Ceara brushed up against Wes, feeling him tremble a bit. She wondered if he still had the crush on her he had had when they were teens. She doubted it. That was so long ago. Maybe it was the ghost that was getting to Wes. His last experience that she knew of had gone badly. He would have died if not for her. s a good kid but were getting into the horny teen-aged years and Im not sure well survive it.s cute but Im still working on him being Giles son. I mean, how did you find the man under all that tweed? Cordy wrinkled her nose as she settled herself onto the staircase across from them.
Tweed? He wears tweed? Cearas brow wrinkled. Are we talking the same Rupert Giles? The man I knew would never wear tweed. Did he lose the earring, too?s chin tucked in toward her neck as her eyes popped. Did he turn into his father? Ceara grimaced.
I never knew Rupert except by reputation when I lived in England. You would know better, Ceara, Wesley said.
She made a face. It would be sad if he did. Its not like Mr. Giles was as bad as Travers or your... Ceara trailed off before adding to Wesley. His lips tightened and he gave a short nod to indicate he knew exactly what she meant. But still, Rupert was so much more fun, more open.Would you like some tea? Cordy got back up, regretting having not thought of it earlier. You like it as much as Wesley if I remember.Thank you. Ceara smiled. Make a little extra for my son if you would.
Cordy nodded. She only took two steps before collapsing with a scream. Wesley was off the couch and on his knees at her side almost instantly. Ceara, having seen Cordys visions before, knelt with them. She felt something getting nearer and figured it was Angel running, having been up against enough predators in her day to have a sense about those things.
Cordy, its all right. Wesley lifted her, holding her against his chest. What are you seeing?
The stiffness left her body as her cries died away. Cordy rubbed her eyes. she mumbled. re taking children. Angel asked, reaching her side. Aidan pounded down the steps, unable to match Angels preternatural speed.
Her eyes squeezed tight in pain, separating herself from Wesley. I dont know. There wasnt enough detail, just faces of the kids.s it? Wesley sat back, disappointment etched into his thin face.
I couldnt see who was taking them or whyone of the girls, she looked familiar, Cordy said as Angel and Wesley helped her up. Her voice went brittle with frustration.
Can you think as to why? Wesleys face held a curious look. Cordy had no real reason to know any teenagers.
She shook her head. Give me a minute. She flopped down on the couch, putting an arm over her eyes. Silence hung in the air as they waited for Cordy to recover. Their impatience translated into the soft rustling of clothing and shuffling of feet.
Aidan moved closer to his mother, worry gleaming in his eyes. Is she going to be okay?Yes, shes had a vision, Ceara said, patting his shoulder.
Aidan observed the pain readily visible on Cordys pretty face. re worse than John Wesley asked.
John Lays Hard, our cousin. My co-host on Paranormal Investigations, Ceara replied You remember him.Ah yes, the young man Cordy was drooling over, Wesley said, rolling his eyes.
I never drooled. Cordy overcame her headache enough to glare.
s had visions most of his life but theyre not painful and debilitating like Cordelia Ceara clarified.
Lucky him, Cordy muttered, forcing herself upright.
Maybe because his are naturally occurring and Cordys come from the Powers That Be, Wesley said then looked at Aidan, noting his wide-eyed stare. Are you all right, Aidan?I scared some poor woman upstairs before Cordy started screamingkinda makes you jumpy, you know. Aidan twisted a plait around his fist then caught himself at that nervous habit and scowled at his hand like it had a mind of its own.
Angel explained. s a little jumpy herself most of the time.I didnt mean to scare her, Aidan said, a nervous look fluttering over his young face.
I wouldnt worry about it. Shes easily spooked, Wesley said. ll be fine.
Cordy tapped the newspaper. This is her! she cried.
Angel pressed closer, trying to see what Cordy did.
This is her! This is the girl I saw in my vision. A triumphant expression flooded her dark eyes.
Wesley took the paper before Angel could and unfolded it, reading the cover story. Jessica Blayne. She was found dead last night. Theyre calling her death ritualistic but they dont give any details.Why would I have a vision about someone its too late to save? Cordy moaned, her eyes misting. s not fair.It says here that she was the first of six young teens taken, three girls, three boys, and shes the first to have turned up. Maybe were to find the remaining children before they share her fate, Wesley said, dropping the paper so he could rub her back.
But I dont have anything more to go on, Cordy said, leaning into his hands. Her tension transmitted to him through his touch.
That could be a problem, Angel said, trying not to sound judgmental.
m sorry. Cordys head sagged forward.
Angel put a big hand on her shoulder, s all right, Cordy.t you meditate or use an inipi to clarify your visions? Aidan asked, sitting on the stairs. He took the paper and ran and hand over the picture of the girl.
You really are Giles kid. Care to clarify? Cordy rubbed her face again. s an inipi?Sweat bath, Ceara offered.
I like a good sauna, but who has the money for that any more? Cordy pouted, eyeing Angel as if to suggest he could rectify that if he wanted to.
s has no control over her visions, Angel explained to Aidan.
But weve never actually tried to help clarify or control them. There are exercises out there that might help, Wesley said. Excitement at the thought of more research glinted in his eyes.
d be happy if we could find a way to keep me from getting headaches. She pinched the bridge of her nose.
You could talk to John. Maybe he has a trick or two he could teach you for that, Aidan said.
Thanks, I just might. Cordy said. Or maybe Ill just have him come back and rub my feet some more. That was awfully nice.
Ceara noticed what Aidan was trying to do with the newspaper. Are you getting anything from that picture, son?
He nodded, his plaits swinging. They found her where she was killed, in a park.It doesnt say that, Wesley said, glancing at the article, then realized Aidan was like his mother, able to pick up images. I guess I should be used to this by now.m not getting anything more than my son, sorry, Ceara said. This is as much help as we can be at the moment.Not necessarily. Is there anything I can do to help, Cordy? Aidan smiled, showing a wide mouthful of very white straight teeth.
Cordy knew flirting when she saw it and smiled back despite her pain. No, I just have to wait until this headache goes away so I can get back to organizing those four boxes of books Wesley got from that old lady once we drove the Natyly demon from her library.She had an amazing collection of spell books and encyclopedias of demons. Wesleys eyes lit up. They were her great-grandfatherI could do it for you, Cordy. Aidan turned his blue eyes on her, doing his best puppy dog look. m pretty good with the occult stuff.
Cordy, not one to miss out on having a man do her work for her, beamed and pointed to the stack of boxes in the other room. Be my guest. Were just aiming for alphabetizing them by title, cross-referencing with authors name and were writing them in here so Wes can figure out if he wants to keep them all or not. She handed Aidan the tablet.
Right-o, I can do this. Aidan grinned goofily again and dove into the work.
Now thats a gentleman, Cordy said, giving Angel and Wes meaningful looks.
No, thats a walking hormone. All you have to do is bat an eye at him, Cordy, and hell be your slave. Ceara tried to smother a giggle at her sons expense.
I like the sound of that. Cordy primped her hair.
Try not to squash my son too badly. Ceara wagged a finger at the younger woman but Cordy didnt look apologetic about putting Aidan to work.
I think Ill see what I can find out about those disappearances since I dont have to worry about those books now, Wesley said.
Do you need help? Ceara glanced over at him.
No, you came here to do some more documenting of the haunts in the Hyperion. Angel can give me a hand, so why dont you go do what you came for, Wesley suggested. There was a ghost with you on the couch, wasnt there?Yes, but I spoke to her the last time. Shes just needy. There are some interesting ghosts in the courtyard. Thats where Ill be if you need me, Ceara said, taking up her satchel of tablets and taping equipment and head out into the balmy December sunlight.
It was really cool. I mean, it was sad and really spooky. Mental hospitals are always like that. You can feel them even from a distance, like they soak up misery like a sponge and just let it out all over. Anyhow, we didnt know how many ghosts were in there. The legends didnt even come close to documenting half of them. The most powerful one was in the chapel. She drew me right in. A nun, she hung herself in there and it was like I couldnt get free, not until she had her say and, boy, she could yabber. I filled half a tablet with all she said, and then there was this one who threw himself off the roof and impaled himself on the fencing, Aidan said, practically bouncing in his seat in Angels office. Angel had invited the boy to pass the daylight hours telling him a little about what he and his mother did. Aidan have been talking non-stop for a very long time.
Aidan, breathe please, Ceara ordered, stirring honey into her tea. Cordy sat across from her, sipping at her own tea. Remind him of that from time to time, Angel, if youre not already tired of his stories.
Angel hazarded a lop-sided smile. s all right. Its interesting.Well, hes been a yakkabox for the full four days weve been here. I figured you might be getting tired of him now. Ceara grinned and handed a cup of tea to Gunn who sat next to Angel. He was quietly listening to her sons tale as well. She thought he was mildly amused by Aidan. Fred was absorbed in something she was tinkering with. Ceara couldnt guess at its use.
Aidan groaned, flipping his plaits back over his shoulder.
Really, its all right. Let him talk. He reminds me of my sister. She liked to talk, Angel refrained from mentioning he murdered his sister. That memory was like a festering barb under his skin. He noticed Aidan was staring at him. Is something wrong?Nah, just thinking. The doctors say Im gonna be real tall, and I was just thinking if I do get tall will I have really big feet like yours? Aidan pointed at Angels boots.
I dont have big feet. Angel glanced down at them, self-consciously.
Ah, Angel, yes you do. Cordy said, struggling not to laugh. Gunn couldnt be bothered with trying to hold it in, all but rolling. Fred looked up from her gadget and nodded in agreement with Cordys words. Too big, really. Ive always wondered where you found shoes for them.
Angel shuffled his feet. They are not too big!t worry about it, Aidan. You look like youre perfectly proportioned. I bet youll be really handsome when youre done growing, Cordy said.
He blushed, running a hand along the blue streak that he had put in his hair. The blue streak framed his face. If youre done embarrassing Angel, son, would you like to go up to 205 with me and talk to the old man there? Ceara smiled at Aidan. s been sort of slow around here.Not so slow any more, Wesley said, coming into the room. He held up the days paper. They found two more of those kids. Angel asked, getting to his feet. He cast another glance down at his feet.
Wesleys voice held a tired note, like a man who had seen far too much death.
Aidan muttered. s bad.I tried working with your cousin but I still couldnt get any more than that girls face. Cordys gaze dropped. Her body shuddered with contained emotion. I want to do more.We know, Cordy. Were not blaming you. Wesley took her hand but she pulled away, angry with herself. He stepped back to give her space. Another two children were taken last night as well. For now, we can assume theyre still alive at least. We can concentrate on saving them.Could this be demons? Freds big eyes were bright with curiosity. I mean, there has to be demons who want kids, right?I dont think we have enough information to say but with the ritualistic overtonesmaybe not. Maybe someone is trying to raise a demon or could just be the next serial killer out of the box, Wesley said, his tired tone deepening. His hand convulsed on the newspaper he carried. We dont really have enough to go on.But the Powers That Be want us to do something about this or Cordy wouldnt have had that vision, Gunn pointed out.
Wes, what do you know about the child that was taken? Angel asked.
Before Wesley could respond, Cordy shrieked and collapsed backwards. Gunn caught her. They rode the vision out with her, it having become an all-too familiar thing. Cordys thrashings slowly died.
Gunn stroked her hair. Do you need some aspirin, Cordy?
She pinched the bridge of her nose, shaking her head. t help much.What did you see? Angel crouched next to her.
More kidsre not in Los Angeles anymore.Do you know where they took them? Wesley asked as Gunn signaled Aidan to go for water for the aspirins in spite of Cordys protests.
Yes, it was like a clip show of back home. Theyre taking the kids to Sunnydale. Cordy looked at them all with horrified eyes.
Angel rocked back on his heels. m sure of it. She sounded almost apologetic.
That would be a good place to try summoning things, Ceara put in, her face pinched and tense.
t that the Hellmouth? With portals and things? Freds voice went tight. She cast a panicked look at Angel.
ll call the Sunnydale police and see if there are any children missing, Wesley said, heading out of the room.
How can I go back there? Angel asked so softly they barely heard him.
We dont have a choice if thats where theyre taking the kids, Cordy said, letting Gunn and Ceara help her up.
If were going to go to the Hellmouth, I might be able to help. The producers wanted my team to investigate some places there. You never know what the ghosts will tell you about whats happening around them, Ceara said.
s dangerous there, Angel said. His dark eyes bore into Cearas, giving her warning.
She flipped her long hair out of her face. m aware of that. The show would have taken me there anyhow. My cousins band will be playing some gigs down there before hitting San Diego, too. They obviously have the tour manager from hell. I wasnt going to be able to avoid Sunnydale this time around.
Wesley came back. Sunnydale has two kids missing from the junior high. The police, of course, wouldnt comment. Not so with the local reporters. I guess were going to be heading for Sunnydale, Angel said, rubbing a hand over his face. m not sure Im ready for this.Mum, isnt Dad in Sunnydale? Aidans eye glittered, worry etching his young face. re not supposed to let him know about me.He was in England last I heard. Giles went back after Buffywent away. I can double check for you, Wesley said, putting a hand on the boys shoulder.
d appreciate it. If Rupert is in Sunnydale, well just have to find a place for Aidan to stay here in L.A, Ceara said, apologetically.
Aidan started but stopped when his mother glared. She knew he wanted to meet his father, but if that were to ever happen she wanted to prepare Rupert for it.
He can stay here at the hotel with Fred. She wont be coming with us. Angel said then seeing Cearas look of horror at the idea, added, I can have Lorne look in on them both.ll be fun. You can help me with my inventions, Fred bubbled, glancing at Aidan. She appeared very excited to not have to go to Sunnydale, even if she was worried about her friends.
Aidan gave her a dubious look. Does it have to involve math? Fred said, her eyes glowing at the prospect of doing equations. Aidan grimaced.
t worry, kid. Ill be here, too. Ill stick around and see if I can dig up anything else here. Podunk little towns arent my speed and someone has to keep watch here, Gunn said, chucking Aidans shoulder. The boy smiled with something akin to hero-worshiping an older brother.
Ceara gave them all a grateful look. Cordy, you might want to give Willow a call and tell her were coming to town. Angel, we need to figure out a place where we all could stay, Wesley said.
Of course. If its in good enough condition still, the mansion would hold us all easily, Angel said.
Oh, perfect, lets go camp out in a dirty abandoned house, Cordy said, holding her head.
ll try to have an alternative just in case the house is not in good condition, Wesley said, and got to work.