Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters within the story. Not a big fan of originals as they tend to come off a little too, 'special' for my tastes. So thank Joss for the pretty people! Oh and I had to use some of the dialogue from the episode to start, but the rest is just what I figure was thought and what I would have liked to have happened.
Spoilers: Let's say, pretty much all of Angel, takes place at the end of You're Welcome
Feedback: Is love! I wanna hear from youuuuuu.
Distribution: Not so sure just yet, so ask first please!
"I, uh... just wish I could be there to see it."
Angel felt his chest contract. He'd just gotten her back, she had been right, he needed saving, more, he needed her. She was his heart, she was their heart. Everything had gone wrong from the time he let her go. No, he realized it wasn't that he'd let her go, he'd sent her away. He had thought he was being selfless, sending her off with Groo so she could be happy. What he was being was scared. It had all gone wrong after that. Now that he had hope again, now that he knew he could get back on track he was not going to lose her again.
"What do you mean? You're not..."
It was breaking her heart. She'd have done anything to stay. Well, almost anything. It probably would have been an option, but it was more important to her to save Angel. She couldn't let him continue down this path. So in the end, she'd give up anything for him. Part of her realized she had.
"I can't stay. This isn't me anymore. You can say good-bye to the gang for me, explain everything once you understand."
She couldn't mean it. She wasn't leaving. He could feel his demon rising. She was the only one that accepted him as he was. She loved him, he knew it, all of him. What he was, what he could be, and she didn't try to dismiss what he had been. It spoke to his demon as much as his own unbeating heart. His demon growled, wanting to claim her if it would keep her there. He pushed it down, away and walked over to her.
"That's gonna be never. I need you here."
She couldn't do this. She thought she could, but now that she had to say good bye she knew she couldn't. She couldn't do this and survive, her soul was being ripped in half. Shaking her head she went to back up, and found she couldn't. Silently she cursed the Powers. They should have known. About Jasmine, about her ascension about everything. It shouldn't have come to this. It wasn't anger for herself, it was the feeling they had abandoned their champion, they had put Angel in this position and while she would do anything to get him back on track, hadn't she just proven that, she shouldn't have had to.
"Don't make it hard, Angel. I'm just on a different road... and this is my off-ramp. The Powers That Be owed me one, and I didn't waste it. I got my guy back on track."
"Cordy, there's just—"
She knew what he wanted to say, she knew it and hoped he knew she felt the same. The only problem was, she couldn't bear to hear it. She just couldn't. Not now. She took that step then, but towards him, close enough to feel him, she always could. He didn't have heat coming off of him, he didn't breathe so there was no breath on her, but she felt him, as real and solid as anyone else. No, more so. Lifting a hand she cupped his face and tried for a smile.
"We take what we can get, champ, and we do our best with it. I'll be seeing you."
There, she did it. She said good bye. It was probably the best performance of her life, and she was never prouder of how stoic she was being. Turning she headed for the door. She knew she'd never make it and shook her head, the tears threatening to spill. Turning she rushed towards him.
"Oh, what the hell. One for the road? "
She was leaving him, and he couldn't stop her. She wouldn't let him. He would have told her, everything. Laid his heart and soul out for her, let her know that he couldn't be here without her. That his Shanshu meant nothing, without her, but she wouldn't let him. Knowing that it would have changed everything. Part of him wanted to blame her for that. What was so important that she had to leave him? Whatever it was, he knew she wouldn't be leaving if it wasn't important, he had faith in that. Then she turned and his arms opened for her before she even got there. It was meant to be a goodbye kiss he knew, but he refused to let it be just that. He put everything he had into the kiss. Every emotion and need, hoping, praying silently to the powers that it was enough. If he'd done anything right in his long life, don't take her. He didn't hear the phone, filtering it out of his mind, wanting this moment to be forever. She pulled back and then he heard it, saw her glance to the desk.
"You know, um... I don't...I don't need to get that."
She knew what it was as soon as she heard it. It was her cue. The Powers reminding her that her time was up. She'd obey, she'd leave, she had done what she came to do, they had held up their end of the bargain. Not that she wasn't planning on giving them an earful when she got back. Stepping back she smiled sadly, giving her hands something to do seemed imperative and she fixed his lapel.
"That you have to get."
He looked down at her, a feeling of dread like nothing he'd ever felt flooded him. He couldn't let go of her, he was sure if he did, she was lost to him. Reluctantly he let go of her and went to get the phone. Heedless that she had moved to the door.
"Oh... and you're welcome."
There was light, and she closed her eyes against it, until it finally receded and she could open them again. Cordelia looked down at herself, she wasn't wearing the white gown she had been the first time or even the second time she met up with the powers. She was in that stupid hospital gown. With a frown she looked up at them standing across from her. In typical fashion she put hands to her hips and glared at them.
"Someone want to explain? I did what you said, I didn't tell him about me, and I got him back on track. So now what? Or was that goodbye punishment enough for me?"
"You are not being punished. You are being rewarded."
"You both are."
The look of confusion was quickly replaced by a narrowing of the eyes.
"You didn't believe I could do it! That's it isn't it?"
"There was concern that the champion had gone too far off his path."
"However we granted your request that you try and reach him."
"My request? Excuse me, but you owed me, big time! As a matter of fact I would say you still owe me! If you had a little more faith in your champion he wouldn't have gotten so far off track!"
"We realize this. We also heard his request."
"And we have granted it."
Cordelia blinked, Angel had a request? When did this happen? She was thoroughly confused and opened her mouth to ask but then there was a hand on her head and she felt weak, tired. Images flooded her mind and a whisper that she would understand, then just like that, it was gone.
The world had frozen, only a few noticed and those that did were connected enough to the powers to know something important had happened. When the world started moving again Angel glanced back and found Cordelia gone. His eyes closed in pain. It hadn't been enough, he hadn't been enough.
"Angel. Yes? Wait, what? Are you sure? But she was just here, I. . . "
His face was set, he couldn't smell her in the office anymore, not even the lingering scent she had seemed to leave everywhere she went.
"I'll be right there!"
The light had receded, she remembered that, yet there was some light battering at her eyelids. With a groan she raised her hand to cover her eyes and found that it was like her arm was made of lead. It was almost impossible. Slowly she blinked and opened her eyes. Above her were lights, bright lights, and she felt sick. Shouldn't heaven be nice or something? Maybe a beach or something but not this! It looked like, the ceiling, in the hospital. Realization dawned on her and she tried to sit up, but suddenly there was a nurse there pushing at her, trying to get her to lay back down. She panicked and pulled at the IV, another nurse was there and suddenly she was overwhelmed, people talking over each other, to her, and she felt weak and sick. The doctor entered and frowned as he came over and sat on the edge of her bed.
"Ms. Chase! Please! I have called Mr. Angel and he is on his way."
"What? Angel? No no no no nononono! He can't see me like this! I'm not supposed to be here!"
She renewed her attempt to disconnect herself, the doctor barking orders to get a sedative and a nurse trying to quickly take care of the IV before blood went everywhere. She was confused, panicked she knew but she had said goodbye! She had done what she was supposed to and she had made her exit. A pretty damn good one too! She pulled at the thin sheet and blanket to try and get up but found she could barely move her legs. The flurry around her died and she stiffened and slowly looked up.
Angel had rushed down, Cordelia had shown signs of waking up they said. Which made no sense since she had just been there with him! He still didn't understand what was going on but he was getting a clearer picture. She must not have woken up, or she had died and come back. It wasn't his first time getting a visit from someone that shouldn't be around anymore, so he knew that her goodbye was not her choice. Which meant if she was waking up he was going to make sure no one and nothing was taking her away again. He had pushed through the nurses and luckily by the time he got to the room they knew enough to let him through. He stopped, everything stopped. There she was in the bed, she'd never gotten up. She couldn't have because the Cordelia he was looking at was not the one he'd spent the day with. She was thinner, weaker. He could see bags under her eyes like bruises, her cheeks hollowed out, her hair a mess. Still, he couldn't believe she was still there. He could smell her, hear her heartbeat and frantic breathing.
He walked slowly to the bed and the doctor got up, motioned to the others to back away. He barely noticed them as he sat down in the place the doctor had vacated. He lifted a hand to her face, brushed hair behind her ear and then slowly smiled. Pulling her into a hug he let out a shuddering breath, the first he'd taken in so long. His words coming out thick and low as he held her.
"They heard me, thank you. Thank you."