Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon and Angel the series.
Synopsis: This is the Sequel to Dreaming with the Enemy. It is highly recommended that you read that one first! This takes place three months after the end of the first fic, so there's a small prologue before we get into major story drama!
Lindsey was the first to come around. Picking himself up off the ground with a groan he had to shake his head to clear it. He heard a mutter behind him and turned seeing Lorne trying to get up himself. Rubbing at the back of his neck he got up then went to help Lorne up.
"You all right?"
"What hit me?"
Lindsey looked around and got Lorne to a chair as he saw Wesley coming around as well.
"Good question. Wait, where's Cordelia?"
Wesley grabbed the back of the couch to steady himself then reached down to help Gunn to his feet.
"Last I saw Angel had her. Where is he?"
Gunn groaned and shook it off.
"I don't know about you guys, but that was a professional hit."
Lindsey went to check the office then turned back and looked at them.
"Of course it was, it was Wolfram and Hart. It had to be. What would they want with Cordelia? And Angel? They're both gone."
Wesley checked the kitchen and the basement door.
"Let's, not jump to conclusions. Perhaps he was able to escape and got Cordelia to safety."
Everyone stopped and looked at Cordelia. Gunn went for his cell.
"I'll call their phones."
Lorne went for the office.
"I'll call the house."
Lindsey looked like he didn't know what to do and Wesley came over and gave him a look.
"You took a knock to the head, let's get some ice. We won't know more until they get off the phone."
Lindsey sat down on the couch and reached for the bear.
"You and I both know she's gone."
Gunn walked over and shook his head, Lorne walked out of the office and the look on his face had everyone staring.
He looked up at Wesley.
"I, didn't get an answer at the house so I thought, you know, long shot but maybe he took her to the doctor, if she wasn't feeling well?"
Lindsey stood back up.
"She's there? Is she all right?"
Lorne shook his head.
"She's not there. The doctor said that Lilah stopped by. Word got out that a seer was pregnant. He tried to blow it off as just a normal pregnancy but, they took the files. They know all about the baby not being human."
Lindsey looked down at the bear then tossed it aside to the couch and headed for the door. Wesley went to grab his arm.
"Lindsey, where are you going?"
"Where do you think? Lilah has her and I'm getting her back."
"Not alone. We work as a team now."
"We go in together, first, we weapon up. Personally, I've been looking for a reason to deck that woman. Now I don't normally hit a woman, but, man she has it coming."
Lindsey paused then nodded.
"All right, but Cordelia is the priority. I know he's your boss but -"
Wesley held up a hand.
"There is no debate. Cordelia and the baby are the priority. Even Angel wouldn't argue that. Lorne, get the doctor on stand by just in case. Stay here and man the phones. We'll take the truck."
He turned to get weapons with Gunn and Lindsey before they headed out.
Angel felt stiff, groggy. He tried to lift his head but it felt so heavy.
"You might want to go slow, we hit you with quite a dose."
He went still, the kind of still only those with no heart beat, no breath could pull off. Opening his eyes he blinked away the blurry images until he could lift his head and stare at her. Sitting only a couple of feet away, he was on the floor, she was in a chair, legs crossed as she leaned down and smiled at him.
"Well, nice to see you up and around. Well up anyway."
He moved to stand and found his arms stuck, with a glance up he saw the chains. A quick look around confirmed they were alone in the room.
"Where is she?"
Lilah raised an eyebrow.
"Your seer? She's getting a full check up. Pregnant, that's quite the news. I mean, aren't you the least bit curious? What is it, what is it going to be able to do?"
Angel continued to stare at her and Lilah shrugged then sat back.
"Honestly, neither am I. The Senior Partners though, they got very interested. Actually, they were so interested, they didn't seem to care much at all that you were here."
Angel pulled at the chains.
"Okay, I'll bite. Why are they so interested in the baby?"
She tilted her head.
"You know, I was hoping you might shed a little light on that one."
Angel smiled slowly.
"What's wrong Lilah? Are you being left out of the loop again? That happens a lot with you, doesn't it?"
Annoyance just barely flickered over her face. Not that she had a chance to come up with a reply. There was a click and an interruption over a speaker.
"Ms. Morgan! There's a problem in the lab!"
She sighed heavily and stood up to go hit the button by the door.
"Then handle it."
There was a click again and then a scream.
"We are trying! We need security!"
Lilah frowned and knocked at the window to leave. Angel was already moving to standing and pulling at the chains again.
"What are they doing to her!"
The door opened and Lilah glanced back.
"I believe the problem is what the baby is doing."
She walked out leaving the door to close behind her and leave Angel alone.
When Gunn pulled up in front of the building he glanced in the rear view mirror to Lindsey.
"We got a plan?"
Lindsey stared out the window not paying attention.
"We find Lilah. She gives us back Cordelia, or we start taking away things that are important to her."
Wesley exchanged a look with Gunn.
"Perhaps if I could do the talking?"
They parked and Lindsey didn't answer just got out and headed for the building. Gunn shook his head and tried to quickly catch up.
"Man and I thought the boss man was bad."
Wesley was also trying to catch up and they all hit the front doors at around the same time. Wesley headed to the receptionist and explained that Ms. Morgan would be expecting them. She looked dubious until she saw Lindsey and he smiled and gave a nod. She relaxed and buzzed them through security. Lindsey headed for the elevator and they were on their way.
"We won't have long, even if she believes us, the Senior Partners know pretty much everything that goes on here."
"We ain't used to a warm welcome anyway."
Lindsey led the way to the office, though they all knew the way by now. He didn't bother knocking but stopped, surprised it was empty. He looked around and then went for the desk, looking through files. Wesley frowned and Gunn stayed by the door.
"Well, now what?"
Angel had stopped trying to get the chains removed or broken by now. He had paced the two steps he was allowed trying to work out the sore joints from being tossed onto the floor. He was staring at the door, off and on and so was at full attention when the door opened again. Lilah stepped in and nodded to the corner opposite Angel. A man walked in, eyes careful on Angel and hit a switch, a bed flipped down and then another man brought Cordelia in and laid her down. The two men were quickly out of there, but Angel was watching Cordelia. If it were possible, she looked farther along then before. Where as you had to look to see the small bulge it was more prominent now. He looked at Lilah.
"What did you do to her?"
Lilah crossed her arms over her chest.
"We didnt' have a chance to do anything to her. She killed one man and I have four more comatose. Our entire medical team down! It will take at least an hour to get another team together."
Angel glanced back at Cordelia.
"How did she kill someone?"
"Beats me, but good luck."
She smiled and headed out. As soon as the door closed he heard not only the click of the door but behind him and the chains fell. He almost stumbled from the release of pressure. Rubbing at his wrists he walked over to the bed. Cordelia moaned and winced in her sleep, head tossing to the side. Angel sat on the edge of the bed and brushed the hair from her face. She was warm.
"Cordelia? Cor -"
She flinched then opened her eyes and stared at him.
He smiled and nodded.
"Yeah, I'm here. How are you feeling?"
She blinked, slowly, too slowly. Licking at her lips she let out a sigh. Her voice was distant and he was worried she didn't really know where they were.
"I thought, you weren't coming back."
"Of course I came back. Cor?"
She turned her head away and he was getting worried. Her face was flushed and he could have sworn she was getting warmer. When she didn't answer he brushed at her cheek and she finally turned towards him, tears already falling into her hair line.
"You promised you wouldn't leave. But you did. You just, left me."
He flinched and shook his head.
"I know. I'm sorry. I, should have stayed. I didn't realize how important it was."
She nodded dumbly and brushed at her face.
"No, I shouldn't be so upset, it was Buffy. I mean when it comes to -"
He reached for her hand.
"That's not it. Cor, believe me it wasn't that."
"Angel, Buffy died, the fact that Buffy well, anything is more important. And I'm, I'm such a mess and, and ruined and "
She bit her bottom lip refusing to outright sob and he pulled her into his lap, lips pressed to her forehead. So warm that they nearly burned.
"No. You aren't ruined. Don't ever say that. You survived. More than that you fought. For those other girls, for yourself. No matter what he tried to do he didn't ruin you, or break you. You beat him Cordelia. You won."
"Then why? Why did you leave? You promised."
He closed his eyes and Shook his head lightly.
"I don't know. At least I didn't know when I left. But I figured it out."
Tilting her head up she was wobbly but blinked through it and her breathing was heavy.
"Figured what out?"
He brushed a thumb over her cheek and frowned, she was too hot.
"That Buffy isn't a part of my life anymore. At first, there was the thought that eventually we'd be together, like it was inevitable. It's not."
"I don't understand. When you shanshu, you two could be together. Like a normal couple. I thought, that's what we were working for. Why you, left."
"I left because I thought something was wrong. I thought I'd be upset that she died, I'd need to grieve. I didn't. I realized that it's really over and I'm not only okay with that, I'm happy about it. When I realized it was okay to not grieve for her, all I wanted was to come home."
She smiled shakily and then her eyes rolled and she started to seize. Angel pulled her closer, supporting her head. Glancing up and around at where he was sure there were cameras he started yelling.
"Somebody! Get some help! She's burning up!"
Lilah walked into her office after making sure that a new medical team was on their way. She stopped in the door frame and crossed her arms. With a predatory smile she leaned against the door frame.
"Well, make yourself at home why don't you?"
Wesley turned to her and smiled in return, as Gunn stepped up next to him.
"We left your offices much more intact then you left ours."
Lilah shrugged and walked to her desk, glaring at Lindsey.
"I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about."
Lindsey picked up a file and didn't move.
"Really? Then why do you have Cordelia's medical files?"
Lilah went to grab the file from him but he stepped away.
"A seer is pregnant, we thought we'd look into it. Just in case."
Gunn snorted and crossed his arms over his chest.
"Yeah, you looked into it all right, all the way into our place and took our people."
"Again, I have no idea what you're talking about."
Lindsey closed the file and tossed it to her desk.
"Cut the crap Lilah. The Senior Partners wanted Angel, and now they want Cordelia, both are missing, and those were the firm's men that broke in. So tell me where she is."
"You know it's really sad, no, it's pathetic is what it is. You were on the fast track, and you gave it all up."
"I thought you'd be pleased. After all, you were going to be the one getting cut if I stuck around."
She answered his smile, she knew the buttons to push, and not just the one under the desk that had the security team arriving momentarily.
"Oh, on a personal level I could care less. I just thought you had better taste. Leaving all of this for some little slut that's pregnant with another man's baby?"
It was timed almost perfectly. The security was only half a second early to see Lindsey rear back and punch Lilah in the face. Wesley was already moving to stop him. Security was faster, guns out and already had Wesley and Gunn stopped and another grabbed Lindsey, punched him in the stomach and held him back. Lilah got up and covered her eye.
"Get them out of the building. Make sure none of them make it back inside."
Wesley and Gunn were familiar with this routine so simply walked calmly out of the building. Once outside Lindsey was tossed and he stumbled forward. Gunn sighed.
"Well that was productive."
Lindsey shot him a look then shook his head.
"I can't do this."
Wesley frowned and looked back up at the building then to Lindsey.
Lindsey raised his head and looked at him.
"It was easier, when I was numb."
"I expect it was. It's your decision on whether or not it's worth it. Personally, we've already made that decision. So if you could simply let us know your decision. So we know if we are working with you, or against you. Either way, we are getting them out."
With that Wesley nodded to Gunn and headed for the truck.
Cordelia had stopped seizing but was still burning up. Angel hadn't moved, unsure what good banging at the door would do. It felt like forever before the door opened and a guard came in with a doctor. The doctor seemed reluctant to get too close but looked at Angel then the guard.
"Take her. I need to examine the damage."
Angel glared at the guard advancing on him and stood up pulling her with him. The guard stopped.
"She had a seizure, she's burning up. Whatever the hell you guys did to her. . . "
He glanced down at her, he didn't want to have her disappear on him again but she needed help. He moved to hand her over to the guard but she whined and grabbed his shirt, shoving her face into his chest. He was cool and she was so warm. The doctor narrowed eyes at Angel before looking at the guard.
"He won't try anything. Escort them both."
Angel would have thanked him but didn't think he really did it to be helpful. Still, he turned and followed the doctor out. Adjusting her in his arms he made sure to look around as they walked. It was a nearly empty hall, no windows, few rooms and all with the same kind of locking mechanism on it as their room. The lab was also locked down so a chance to run there wasn't going to work, of course making a break for it while she was in this condition wasn't going to happen anyway.
The doctor walked around a table and gestured to it.
"Lay her down, then step back. Keep him from the instruments."
Angel didn't need that reminder, the guard had been followed in with another that had weapons trained on him. He set Cordelia down and pulled her hands from his shirt, holding them in his hands.
"I'm not leaving her."
The doctor didn't seem to notice or care. He used instruments that Angel hadn't seen before to check on Cordelia, or more accurately, the baby. It worried him that there was more concern on the child than Cordelia, as if she wasn't even there. Finally the doctor took her arm and put in an I.V. and gave her a shot of something before grabbing a blanket to cover her up.
"That should lower the temperature to acceptable levels."
Angel stared at the doctor who didn't answer until Lilah walked in, a blossoming bruise across her cheek.
"Go ahead doctor, answer him."
Angel raised his lip in a snarl at the woman but the doctor was speaking already.
"The tests done on the baby seemed to have awakened it's latent abilities. It fed off of the last medical team and that sped up the gestation. I believe with one more large feed it can be taken."
Angel's hand tightened on Cordelia's until she moaned and he lessened it. Lilah smiled and stepped into the room to look at the monitor then at Angel.
"The baby is the priority. If we can have it delivered sooner then we will."
"What do you mean another feed? What did you do to it?"
The doctor looked affronted.
"We did nothing. The abilities were latent but still there. It might have been easier on the woman if the abilities weren't awakened until after birth but that's neither here nor there."
Angel frowned still not understanding and Lilah crossed her arms and grinned.
"The baby is a succubus. It sucks the life force out of people, preferably men, but if it doesn't get enough, it will suck it out of the seer. Either way, we get a pretty powerful new weapon."
She looked at the doctor.
"Keep me informed. Oh, and keep him sedated."
She motioned to Angel just as the guard shot at him and a tranq hit his neck. He slapped at it and pulled it out but he was already dizzy and they shoved him into a chair, chaining his legs to it and one arm, allowing him to keep a hold of Cordelia's for now.