Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon and Angel the series.
Spoilers: Takes place during the first episode of season two, so all of season one.
Synopsis: Lindsey finds a member of Angel Investigations stirring emotions he'd rather not have. He attempts to get any emotions out of his system with somewhat disastrous results for both Wolfram and Hart as well as Angel Inc.
The screaming was unfortunately, not that new. Wes and Angel were very used to it, however it still had Gunn swearing as he jumped up, trailing behind Angel and Wesley to Cordelia's kitchen. He was also marveling how she hadn't cracked her head open on a cupboard, counter, or floor. What he didn't realize was the fear of that happening was what drove Angel, pushing with preternatural speed to grab her flailing body. Wesley had the water almost immediately, and the pain medication, ready. Once they'd all moved back into the living room, her softly pained voice explaining the vision. Pregnant girl, a large demon chasing her. Angel leaves, leaving her to be taken care of by the other two. Cordelia is sure she's fine so sends Gunn at least, to go with him. Wesley nods and promises to search on the demon based on what she described. Cordelia puts on a smile and says she wants a hot shower and a nap. Not to worry. Everyone believes her, they all get to work, and Cordelia takes a very long hot shower, crying at the pain that is no longer letting up. She feels weak, incapable, and that somehow, she's letting everyone down. She does finally fall into bed, but the vision never lets up, and she falls into a light sleep, her thoughts hovering on the edge of pain.
Across town, there was another thinking on Cordelia Chase and her visions. Lindsey McDonald was brooding. He would be the first to admit that he hadn't been completely aware of what he was getting into when he accepted the scholarship and inevitable internship at Wolfram and Hart. However, once he had realized, he wasn't one to shirk responsibility. He was there and he was going to rise to the top. He was acutely aware that in many ways, this job came easier to him then to others. Lilah Morgan being one of them. Forced to work with her on the 'Angel situation', made that obvious to them both. Which only brought out her competitive streak. He didn't mind, it spurned him on to work harder where as before he could handle things with very little effort. He didn't bother explaining his secret, it was simple, he was dying inside. Emotions, morals, all out the window, he let himself wither and die inside, keeping only the drive to be the best. It had worked well and he even kept the enjoyment of winning every case, every negotiation. Angel had given him a unique project and the fact that he now had human friends working with him should have just been shown as another weakness to exploit.
The problem was Cordelia Chase. He'd researched her of course, just as he had the other two working with Angel. She was from Sunnydale, so most likely knew something of demons and vampires before she came to L.A. However, from there things should have been simple. A spoiled only child, parents had made a mistake and lost it all. He knew a little more about that then Ms. Chase did. She came to L.A. like any other small town beauty, hoping to make it big in movies. How she obtained visions was a bit more vague,, but the part that got him was her strength. She seemed to be like any other shallow beauty, she was blunt and should have been easy to dispose of. She wasn't. Time and again, even when it looked like they were down, she kept up. He'd see fear in her eyes, but she never backed down. He'd see her have a vision once, and that was all he needed to see. She should have given up, should have happily taken any deal offered. He doubted she'd even mentioned the private offers made to the others. She persevered, and then there was that smile. The triumphant one that he'd seen her use on pretty much everyone. He needed her out of his head. She had him contemplating things he didn't need to, mind going down tracks it should never go down.
His brooding on the seer was interrupted by a knock at the door. Straightening himself he quickly closed the file with her picture glaring at him and nodded to the door.
"Sir, we've been working on something we thought might interest you."
"I'm all ears."
The three younger men nodded and smiled coming forward with files for him.
"Well, we developed this, well spell, for lack of a better word. Using it, you can enter someone's dreams, and interact. Realistically."
"Well, we are unsure if there would be sustained injuries from one to the other but the dream world will follow them. They'll feel as though they lived it, not slept or rested."
"Hmm, and how did you believe this to be helpful?"
They cleared their throats and looked at the third man that smiled nervously.
"I believe, I could resurrect the dead."
"Well, more specifically, Darla. Angel's sire."
Lindsey nodded and looked through the files. His own mind was filling in blanks, coming up with ideas, more along the line of helping himself get his mind back on track. He couldn't allow the firm to find out though, and certainly not let this information go to waste. He shook his head and sat back.
"Resurrecting is out. Angel has moved on from the slayer, his sire won't be enough to bring him over. There may be use yet out of the dream spell. Is this all the information?"
"Oh, yes sir, we were going to present it at the meeting but. . . "
"Well, word is that Lilah doesn't. . . "
They stopped nervous. Pissing off the lawyers was always a bad idea. Lindsey however knew where they were going. He was careful to reward good work, he understood that keeping them happy would pay off. Like right now.
"It's all right gentleman. I understand. It's hard to find lawyers that can understand how very important your work is for us. We honestly couldn't do what we do without you. Well then, leave this information with me. I'll find a way to use it and you will of course be given credit when I bring the information to Gavin. Gentlemen."
He rose and shook their hands. His affable smile putting them immediately at ease and beaming at him as they shook his hand back, a little too earnestly, and then leaving.
Angel returned with a look of disappointment. He and Gunn sat down and Wesley rushed to tell him that the demon was not evil. Angel explained they already knew that. Too late however. They killed it and the girl was on her own now. He asked about Cordelia and was told she was resting. Leaving Wesley and Gunn to discuss options while he snuck in to check on her. She was sleeping and Angel sat on the edge of the bed frowning. She said she was fine, but he could see pain etched on her face. Her brow creased and he brushed the hair from her face, rubbing his thumb over that spot just between her eyebrows. He couldn't bring himself to wake her so returned to the others. Wesley explained that the woman needed her champion and Angel took off. He knew what to do, he went to Lorne to get help in finding the girl, and the tribunal that would come after her. He'd be her champion.
Lindsey had taken the information back to his apartment. He wasn't the kind of person that made decisions recklessly. Yet, he saw this as his answer. He couldn't think objectively when it came to her anymore and he'd be in a tight spot if anyone found out. Especially Lilah. It didn't matter if he never acted on it, never let it get in the way. The fact that Angel was still an issue showed that something was stopping them from destroying him. This was an easy scapegoat. The problem was, he needed a connection of some sort for the spell to work. Thinking it over he grabbed a drink and sat down to think on it. With a slow smile he had it. He grabbed a pen and started writing. He allowed himself the indulgence of romance. More than he felt, more than he thought he was possibly capable of, but enough to pull at the heart of any woman. He thought of adding something a bit more personal, but refrained, hoping the letter, and it's suggestion was enough to have Cordelia making the more personal connection so he wouldn't have to. He'd have to hope she did, and that one night, one dream, would get her from his system. Then, he could move on. Rid himself of the last of emotions. He toasted the letter with the last of his scotch and sealed it. He'd make sure it was delivered in the morning.
Cordelia got up the next morning confused. She tried to stay quiet in the kitchen. Letting Angel sleep on the couch but he was up and standing in the doorway as soon as she turned around. With a gasp she put a hand to her chest then gave him a look.
"Don't do that! Man, what is it with you and not making any noise?"
Angel gave a weak smile.
"Sorry. Did you sleep all right? How are you, feeling?"
She shrugged and went to start the coffee.
"I'm okay. You didn't wake me when you came back. How did it go?"
"Well, the demon was actually the woman's champion. So killing it was a bad thing."
"I'm so sorry, I, dont' understand. I mean, that's what I saw in the vision."
"I know, it's not your fault Cor."
"Is, she all right?"
"She is now. I found her and had to do some sort of jousting for her, but I won, she's safe. She and her child will be all right and are under the protection of the powers now."
Cordelia smiled and went to heat up his blood.
"Well that's good then. Honestly, she and her baby couldn't have a better champion."
Stirring up the blood and adding some cinnamon she handed it over. Angel sat down and took it from her.
"Thanks. Cor, are you sure you're okay? You slept awhile and, you looked like, it was still hurting."
Cordelia waved it off.
"It's fine Angel, nothing I can't handle. Visions are my department remember? You just take care of them."
She patted his hand as she sat across from him. It didn't bother her in the least that he was drinking in front of her. They both looked over at the door as a knock sounded and then Wesley peeked in. Seeing them up already he continued in and closed the door behind him.
"Ah, you're awake. And how are you feeling this morning Cordelia?"
Cordy rolled her eyes.
"I swear I'm just going to wear a sign. Angel already grilled me, I'm fine Wes. Coffee should be ready in a minute."
He glanced to Angel and saw that the man wasn't entirely convinced but nodded. He headed towards the kitchen and put down a small pile of envelopes.
"I hope you don't mind, I grabbed the mail on my way in. How was your evening Angel?"
Angel shrugged as Cordelia looked through the mail.
"I jousted. But the woman and her child are safe."
"Ah that's good then. Taken care of?"
Wesley went to pour himself a cup of coffee and Angel nodded. Cordy sighed.
"Bill, bill, bill. Okay was so have to get more paying cases."
She paused on a letter and set the bills aside to open it. Angel and Wesley both began looking through the bills. They muttered to each other as they passed them back and forth deciding which needed to be taken care of first. It was Angel that first noticed something and turned to look at Cordelia, her face flush and worrying at her lower lip as she read the letter.
She jerked and looked up at him then eyes flew to the letter again. Wesley frowned.
"Is something wrong?"
She quickly folded the letter and put it back in the envelope and shook her head.
"No, no just. Um, it's some guy, must have found out my address from the agent or something. Excuse me."
She got up and headed to her bedroom. Wes and Angel exchanged a look.
"You don't think, it's a, stalker or threatening do you?"
"I don't think so, she'd tell us. Wouldn't she?"
"Perhaps it's an admirer."
Angel frowned deeper somehow liking the idea of a stalker better.
Lindsey had made the preparations in his own room. He wouldn't admit to the nerves, and wouldn't think of admitting to what they meant. There were no real consequences. It was just a dream. It might feel real, it might not be easily forgotten by her later, but he didn't really believe it would do any lasting damage. He realized, he shouldn't even care if it did. Setting the spell he crawled into bed and drifted to sleep, making sure to seek her in his mind as instructed. One night, he reminded himself. One night and then, he could move on.
Cordelia had finished the day with everyone else. They went over files, they tried to figure out how to handle bills, and every once in awhile, her mind and eyes would drift to her room. To the letter she knew was there. She was caught a few times and she waved it off. They agreed to meet again tomorrow and Wesley and Gunn left, Angel asked if she needed to rest and she admitted to wanting to get some rest. Telling both the vampire and the ghost good night and headed to her room. She changed into a pair of cut off sweat pants and a tank. Nothing fancy. Pulled her hair back and slipped into bed. She pulled out the letter again and read it over.
She hadn't had a secret admirer. It was, new for her. That the person seemed to know so much about her should have been, well, creepy. Except it wasn't. The letter alluded to more than it actually said out loud. Still, the letter seemed to see more in her than she saw in herself and though an odd request, she saw nothing wrong with putting the letter under her pillow while she slept.
She knew it was a dream, somehow. Yet she was in her bed, they were her sheets, her room. Even though she couldn't see it. For some reason, she couldn't open her eyes. She couldn't move either. She tried raising her arm and couldn't. She tried to open her mouth and call for Angel, still believing he was on the other side of the door. No sound came. Then the bed moved, that slight depression that someone else was sitting there. She could hear her heart beat in her head, it raced. She felt a hand across her face and panicked, then the hand was gone.
"This was, a bad idea. I didn't want to scare you."
The voice, was familiar but it was so distant, so sad, that she couldn't figure out who it was. She was able to frown and that was the only communication she was allowed. Yet, she could feel a smile trained on her.
"You actually feel bad for me don't you? I forgot that was a possibility."
The hand was on her arm then, just brushing along her skin.
"I'm not going to hurt you. I, don't want you to think this is about sex. It's not. I just, can't let you see me."
Her frown softened and she relaxed. That tension through her muscles was gone and she went pliant, not sure why, but she trusted him. As if that was the sign he wanted he moved, and was laying next to her, turning her so her back was to him and he spoke. She still couldn't open her eyes, his hand only stroked her arm, her hair. He did nothing else. But she listened. She could hear the confusion, the frustration. Even though he gave no details on who he was, what he did, she learned a lot. Including why he contacted her. He admitted he was hoping that by seeing her, having a chance to speak to her, one night, he could go back to his life. It was around three hours when she was able to speak. It surprised him as much as it surprised her. Then they were having a real conversation. She wanted to know why, why he felt he had to see her at all?
"I've seen you. Something in how you work. You remain strong even when you shouldn't have to be. You push forward when it would be easier to give up."
"Usually, that's called being stubborn."
"No, it's not. Stubborn is, ignorant. It's refusing to move no matter the consequences, without knowing them or caring about them. Stubborn means whining later. You don't whine."
"Oh you really don't know me if you think I don't whine. That's it isn't it? You don't really know me. And I have a feeling I've met you, but I don't know you, do I?"
He paused. He wasn't expecting this. A sound broke through and he recognized it as his own alarm. He kissed her temple.
"I have to go."
"Hey, you didn't answer me!"
He promised it without a second thought and already realized that he'd taken a step he shouldn't have. One he couldn't take back. He was gone when she found she could move and open her eyes. Looking around her room and sighing. Closing her eyes again she was in a real sleep. For about two hours.