A.N. LE sigh...
She had done her best to take care of Rachel and Connor, thankful that both Dawn and Blaine seemed to have the same idea. They guided Rachel to her classes so that she could keep her head buried in the book that would likely need to be pried from her hands at some point, and they'd all been gentle with her, worried that she might snap, worried that she was still smarting from Kurt, from her fathers, from everything.
With Connor they'd simply boxed him in, letting him do as he pleased but making sure he didn't have time to catch dirty looks or heaven forbid a slushie to the face. Quinn was pretty sure that latter would result in Connor and or Rachel going ballistic and getting themselves expelled. Even before today it had been a dangerous game of Russian roulette to antagonize the boy, but now that his mother lay effectively dying, his leash was frayed and ready to snap. It was Brittany who had volunteered to keep Santana clear of the group that day, knowing that Connor and Rachel wouldn't be in any mood to take her abuse.
All five teens had spent the morning pouring over the books Rachel, Connor, and Dawn had managed to bring with them. Quinn knew that the others were flipping through the pages quickly skimming the words, hoping to find some mention of a spell that might save Cordelia, but Quinn wasn't. She was picking up discarded books and going over them more carefully, aware that she was the one most likely to spot a spell that might work because she was a witch.
After English and more than a few dirty looks from their teacher Quinn led Rachel out of the classroom and met up with Dawn, Connor, and Blaine. She gave Dawn and Blaine a grateful smile, glad to see that they were still flanking the boy. Quinn led them to the lunch room and went to get a lunch for Rachel while Dawn came with her to get Connor's, both girls aware that neither would be likely to touch the food.
They returned to the table just in time to see Kurt move to set his tray down next to Blaine's, "Hi guys…"
He looked nervous, and if he hadn't been such a little bitch the night before Quinn might have felt sorry for him but he had been and even Blaine didn't look all that happy to see him as he shot a worried look towards Rachel before shaking his head at Kurt, "Not today Kurt."
His boyfriend looked wounded as he stared at Blaine, "Blaine…"
Quinn growled low in her throat, "He said not today. It is the worst time for any of your crap Hummel so go away before I make you."
From the adjacent table Finn stood with a an angry grunt, "I am tired of you talking to Kurt that way Quinn, I'm tired of you and Connor thinking you know what's best for Rachel!"
Quinn narrowed her eyes after another poisonous look at Kurt, furious that he'd managed to have Finn defend him today of all days, "Back off Finn, you have no idea what's going on."
Santana, from behind Finn spoke up much to Quinn's disgust, "Because you won't tell us anything Q! You expect us to smile and put up with all of this new stuff, with Berry's new attitude, the fact that you're her new BFF, with Britt and Blaine being sucked into whatever the hell kind of crap you're into! Why should we just back off?"
Quinn pinched the bridge of her nose as Dawn stood to flank her, "S…"
Santana waved a hand, "No! Far be it from me to side with Pastry Nipples, but you're treating Hummel like shit… Because of Berry. Britt has been running interference all day because of Berry, and I want to know why!"
Dawn let out a scoff, "You couldn't handle knowing you vapid bitch. You have no idea what Rachel's had to deal with! What we've all had to deal with, new flash S we don't give a crap about what you want! "
Quinn raised an eyebrow; Dawn had apparently had enough of Santana.
Santana took a threatening step forward, "Mind your business Dawnie, as in this is none of yours."
Dawn stood her ground and growled back, "The hell it isn't. Rachel is my family, Connor is my family, Quinn, Britt, and Blaine are my family! And right now you need to back the hell off before I go all Sunnydale on your ass."
There was a loud snap from the table as Rachel stood up abruptly and snarled, "All of you shut up! I can't read with you all screaming at each other and we are running out of time!" She hefted her back pack and held a hand out to Connor who stood, "Dawnie leave it, Santana is never going to change, Kurt I'll speak to you later, once my world isn't imploding… again." She wavered and turned to look at Quinn, "Quinn I…"
Quinn softened and nodded, "I'm coming too Rachel."
Rachel offered her an exhausted but grateful smile, "I'll be in the auditorium." She turned and marched out with Connor on her heels.
Dawn tossed a final glare at Santana before picking up her back pack and following the two out.
Quinn glanced at Kurt who was staring miserably after Rachel and finally gave a little, "You want to help? We need help looking for something, and if you help it will go a long way towards me not wanting break your spine."
Kurt looked at Blaine who nodded in agreement. Blaine offered his hand and led Kurt from the cafeteria with a quiet word.
Brittany moved to follow Quinn but was stopped as the witch shook her head, "No B, you keep S out of our way. Dawn is ready to snap and Rachel doesn't need any more grief today."
Brittany looked torn before she nodded with a frown, "Ok Q…"
Quinn leveled Santana with dark stare, "Say away from us Santana, I mean it this time. Today is not the day."
Her eyes were tired and itchy from no sleep and trying to read tiny words, half of them not even English in hopes of finding some sort of cure for Cordelia. She couldn't even tell you which classes she'd been to that morning, only that Quinn's hand had been at her elbow the entire time, leading her from place to place. She knew that Santana had tried to provoke something in the lunch room but for the life of her Rachel couldn't tell anyone what the catalyst had been, she only knew that all the yelling hadn't helped her pounding headache or her ability to concentrate and so she'd fled to the auditorium in hopes of finding quiet. Connor and Dawn had come with her immediately, with Blaine and Kurt coming in a few minutes later, the young watcher quietly explaining to Kurt what was going on and how he could help.
Rachel had mustered the barest of smiles for Kurt, aware that even though he'd hurt her the night before she couldn't afford to turn away an extra set of eyes. She settled in next to Connor and then dragged Quinn down on her other side as soon as the blonde had come close to the stage. Once she was settled she went back to pouring over her book, and would have been content to spend the rest of the day right where she was except a throat clearing broke her concentration.
She looked up and blinked as she stared at David Karofsky, "David… can we help you?"
The large boy looked sheepish as he shot a glance towards Kurt and Blaine before shaking his head, "I heard you guys in the cafeteria and I figured I could help you? I'm not sure what you all are looking for but I've got eyes and I can read…" He ducked his head and stared at his feet.
Quinn's hand curled around Rachel's arm as the blonde hissed, "What makes you think we need help?"
David looked up again and stared at Rachel intensely, "I owe you, I get that. That… thing last night, which I'm pretty sure was a vampire, would have slaughtered me so I owe you. Let me help, please? You didn't have to save me last night, but you did, so let me help you now?" Rachel pushed aside the exasperation that yet another person had figured out she fought vampires and considered David.
Rachel nodded after a long moment and ordered, "Blaine, tell him what we're looking for and give him a book that's in English."
Her tone brooked no argument and Blaine gave none, everyone excepting that Karofsky was helping because he owed Rachel his life, which he decidedly did. Rachel didn't like that he felt like he owed her something, but if it would help Cordelia she'd take it.
She and Quinn were alone in Spanish when David and Kurt of all people came barreling in together with a book held between them.
David spoke over Mr. Schue who was more than a little upset at the intrusion, "I think we found it!"
Kurt nodded furiously, "We both read it over and we think it could be what you all are looking for!" He and David exchanged a smile before proudly presenting Rachel with the book. Instead of reading it she handed it off to Quinn, unwilling to get her hopes up only to be told by the young witch that it wasn't an option.
Quinn slowly read through the passage while Kurt and David rocked on their heels next to their desks, all four teens completely ignoring Mr. Schue.
After reading it twice Quinn spoke, "It could work… It should work but… there are some serious risks and… if I'm reading this right I'd have to be the one to…" She leaned close to Rachel and whispered, "Do the spell."
Rachel took the book and read over the ritual that could be the key to saving Cordelia before faltering as she came to the same conclusion as Quinn, "I… We couldn't ask you to do this."
Quinn to her hand and replied firmly, "You aren't asking, I'm volunteering."
Rachel stared at her and was struck with the urge to do something, she wasn't quite sure what but Quinn looked especially beautiful in that moment as she bravely offered to help save Cordelia, despite the risks.
Rachel glanced over the spell one last time and murmured, "We should make a copy, just in case." She wasn't sure what she was guarding against but if Quinn was willing, she'd be damned if someone was going to stop them from saving Cordelia.
Rachel stood as the bell rang and turned to Mr. Schue, "We won't be in glee today Mr. Schue." She waited for Quinn, Kurt, and David to flank her before striding from the room with her phone in hand, intent on making a copy before heading home to present the spell to the Scoobies. She could only hope everyone shared her opinion that saving Cordelia's life was worth the risks of the spell.
She looked up from her book as Tara handed Kennedy a glass of water and offered the younger woman a sad smile. Willow watched the two as Ken accepted the water almost grudgingly and watched as Tara turned to Buffy who entered the room with red eyes and a set jaw.
Tara asked quietly, "How is she?"
Buffy shrugged listlessly, "Sleeping, for now. Angel's sitting with her."
Tara nodded, "Have you eaten?"
Buffy shook her head and moved to sit down next to Willow, "No, I… I don't think I could, not right now."
Tara sank down onto the coffee table and took Buffy's hands in hers before whispering, "I am so sorry Buffy… I…"
Buffy shook her head and freed one of her hands to cup Tara's cheek, "I… I can't be sorry she saved you Tara, she wouldn't be."
Tara hung her head, likely in an effort to hide the tears in her big blue eyes, "She's dying Buffy, and… she makes you happy."
Buffy glanced at Willow before quipping, "Who'd have thought Cordelia Chase would be the one to get me…"
Willow nodded furiously, "I keep wanting to ask Angel when she became a saint, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't appreciate that it's a serious question."
She smiled up at Ken as the younger slayer's hand came to rest on the back of her neck, "She seems like a good person, granted I've spent maybe two hours with her tops…" Ken trailed off.
Quietly Willow spoke, "I… I've known her since kindergarten but I don't really know this Cordy, the one that Angel thinks makes the sunrise."
Buffy glanced down, "It's her smile. She smiles and it's like there was never anything bad in the world, for that one moment everything is ok, as long as she's smiling like that at you." She continued sadly, "She never smiled like that in high school; I never would have let her go to L.A. if she'd smiled like that in high school."
Willow placed her hand over Tara and Buffy's still joined hands, "She needed to go to L.A. Buffy. L.A., Angel, the visions, Connor, they are all a huge part of who she is now. After all she's seen she can still smile that smile… it makes it even more special."
From the corner of the room a voice piped, "Y'all are talkin' about her like she's dead. Cordy isn't dead. She isn't going to die."
Willow turned to look at Fred and winced as she took in the tiny Texan's clenched fists and defiant scowl, "We know Fred we just-"
Fred's brow smoothed as she sighed, "I know, y'all love Cordy, y'all have history with her. I get it. I just… talkin' about her like she's already dead makes me sick to my stomach."
She stood and turned to look at the four women, "I've been here before, Angel, Gunn, and Wesley, we've all been here before, waiting on Cordy to die because she's done something selfless and crazy. She never does though, she never dies. So stop talkin' about her like she's dead." She picked up the book she'd been going through and marched from the room towards the stairs.
Buffy stood and cracked her neck, "Fred is right, no more talking about her like she's dead, or even like she's going to die. She isn't going to die."
As soon as the words had left her mouth the front door slammed open and Rachel, Dawnie, Connor, Quinn, Blaine, and two boys Willow didn't know poured into the house, "We found it! We found a spell that can save Cordy!"
Rachel held up a book with a nearly manic gleam in her eyes as she stopped in front of Buffy. Before Willow or Tara could take the book to look over the spell Giles cleared his throat as he strode into the living room.
"Rachel…" He held his hand out and Rachel grudgingly handed the book over before sinking into Quinn's arms.
Angel entered the room and laid a hand on Connor's shoulder, "Fred and Gunn are sitting with Cordy." He looked at his son, "Could it work?"
Connor nodded, "I read it in the car, it could work."
After an eternity Giles spoke firmly, "It isn't an option."
To Willow's surprise Quinn surged forward, "The hell it isn't! I read the spell, it could work!"
Giles shook his head, "We don't have a witch that can perform the spell."
Willow cleared her throat, "Um… Hello, sitting right here." She reached out and held Tara's hand up, "We're both sitting right here."
Giles turned to look at her, "It calls for a pure witch Willow, you… you have blood on your hands."
Willow felt her face pale, "I…" She dipped her head miserably, "Damn it."
Tara squeezed her hand before standing, "I don't. Give me the spell."
Giles withheld the spell and again shook his head, "It can't be you Tara, the spell is a sort of filter, purging the memories from Cordelia's mind, preventing further damage, it purges false memories, memories that don't belong in Cordelia's mind, but if you were to cast the spell the memories would simply settle with their originator. You would die in less than a heartbeat."
Willow looked at Buffy before shaking her head, "Giles is right, that isn't an option."
Miserably Buffy was forced to agree, "Cordy wouldn't want that."
From her place behind Rachel Quinn let out an angry huff, "I can do the spell. I don't have blood on my hands, and I have the power, I can do the spell."
Giles resisted further, "No Quinn, I'm sorry but it isn't certain that you have the power to control this sort of spell."
Tara spoke up, "Quinn does have power, she has a lot of it."
Giles replied shortly, "You of all people know that brute power does not equal control. Even if Willow could perform the spell I'd prefer it to be you. Quinn simply doesn't have the experience or control over her magic. It is too big a risk."
Quinn crossed her arms stubbornly, "It's my risk to take."
Giles finally glared at her, "And the anchors? They would die Quinn, if you failed not only would the back lash kill you, it would kill the anchors as well. That would be two lives in your hands, two deaths on your hands if you failed."
Rachel stepped forward aggressively, "It's like you want her to die. I already asked Quinn if it was a risk she was willing to take, and she said yes, what's more, I'm not a coward, if I have to risk dying, which won't happen because I trust Quinn, I will if it might save Cordy. Just because you don't think she's worth the risk…"
Giles reared back as if he'd been slapped, "Hold on a moment! Cordelia is like my own child, of course I want to save her, but Cordelia would never want others to risk their lives to save hers."
Rachel's fists balled as she shot a glance toward Tara, "So it's ok for Cordy to do it because she's risking her life for someone you love, someone Buffy loves, someone Willow loves! Not once did you suggest Cordelia give the memories back to Tara, because Cordelia never would, because she was willing to die to save Tara! Well guess what, I love Cordelia, Connor loves Cordelia, and we'll do the same thing Cordelia did if it means saving her life!"
Giles slammed the book shut and loomed over Rachel, "We still have time to save her but harping on a spell that is too dangerous isn't going to save her. Cordelia will be fine as long-"
Rachel cut him off with a vicious snarl, "That's what you said about my fathers… that's what you all said about my fathers."
Giles blanched before his face hardened, "The discussion is closed Rachel."
From the table Buffy spoke, "Really Giles… just like that? Just… discussion over, we're going to let Cordy die?"
Giles leveled the entire group with a look, "Can any one of you tell me that Cordelia would be willing to save her own life if it might cost three children their own lives? Her own son? Can anyone of you tell me that is what she would want?"
Willow hung her head as did the rest of the scoobies, each one of them knowing that Giles was right, it wasn't a risk Cordelia would be willing to take, she'd never gamble with Connor, Rachel, or Quinn's life even if it meant saving her own life.
Rachel sneered at the group, "Cordelia can't tell anyone what she wants, because she's dying, and all of you are letting her."
She turned on her heel and stormed out of the room with the teens save for Dawn following loyally.
As soon as the front door closed behind them Angel lunged forward and struck Giles across the face.
As the watcher hit the floor the souled vampire stared down at him, "If it were Buffy you'd let them do the spell." He all but spat the next words, "The only reason I didn't argue for the spell is because my son would be one of the anchors… my son, her son. But we both know that if Buffy were the one lying in that bed dying you'd have let them do the spell." He paused and then added, "It isn't that the risk is too high, it's that Cordelia's life isn't worth that risk, not to you."
Giles stood slowly, "I'm sorry if you believe that Angel."
Buffy stepped next to Angel and spoke, "He isn't the only one Giles. I… I think her life is worth the risk, why can't I anchor the spell? Why can't Faith, or Angel, or Fred, or Gunn? Why can't we at least try to save her?"
Giles made to reach out hand but thought better of it, "The anchors must be connected to both the subject of the spell and the caster. It has to be Connor and Rachel if the spell is to be performed by Quinn and I'm sorry Buffy but I can't risks three lives to save one."
Buffy glared at him, "So it's a matter of numbers? If it were two lives would it be more acceptable? Or one? She's dying Giles!"
Giles nodded, "I know she is Buffy, but this spell isn't the way."
She waited until they'd dropped off Blaine, Kurt, and Dave before speaking, "Screw Mr. Giles, we're doing the spell right?"
Connor replied, "Hell yes."
Rachel chimed in with a defiant gleam in her eyes, "Absolutely."
She turned the wheel hard and pointed her car towards the magic shop, hoping that between the three of them they had enough cash on hand to get the supplies they would need, "Still have the copy Rachel?"
Rachel nodded resolutely and set her jaw stubbornly.
Quinn smiled at the new store owner as they enter the magic shop, and tossed the man a little wave which she returned with a smile, "Hello Quinn!" He eyed their group, "No Tara today?"
Quinn hid her slight smile at the guy's obvious crush on Tara and shook her head, "Not today Mr. Alberts."
He waved a hand, "Quinn, I have told you and Tara to call me Bill."
Quinn nodded, "And Tara says I have to respect my elder casters."
He frowned, "I'm not that much older than Tara…am I?"
Quinn shook her head, "No, but you do own a magic shop."
Connor piped up, "She still calls my dad Mr. Angel sometimes." He rubbed his hands together impatiently, "Give him the list so he can help us find the stuff."
Quinn pulled the hand written list from her purse and handed it over. Instead of giving the magic shop proprietor the copied spell, all three teens had agreed that they were better off not letting the man know what spell they were preparing for.
Mr. Alberts looked over the list and then nodded, "Looks like what you'd need for a cleansing spell only…" He squinted at Quinn, "Who is doing the spell?"
Quinn lied outright, "Tara." She knew Mr. Alberts wouldn't call to ask and she was an excellent liar. She didn't even glance up from the crystal she was admiring to answer him.
She felt more than saw him relax as he finally smiled, "Let me round all this up, it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes."
Rachel rocked on her heels next to her, "Do you think they have any books on slayers?"
Quinn shrugged, "I don't really know, but I can help you look?"
Rachel beamed at her and grabbed her arm to lead her from the counter and over to the books, "Where do you think it would be?"
Quinn considered the question and then smirked, "Well… They don't have a hobbit section…"
Rachel didn't smack her arm, as a slayer she really couldn't without hurting Quinn, but she did exclaim, "Quinn Fabray! Rude…"
Quinn nodded and then ducked her head, "Kidding, kidding. I would say look under supernatural creatures… I mean at their core, that's kind of what slayers are."
Rachel nodded and the girls spent the next several minutes looking through the books while Mr. Alberts bustled around them, getting all sorts of supplies and placing them in the back pack Quinn had provided.
Finally he let out a huff of air, "Ok! That's everything." He sat at the counter and rang up the purchases while Quinn grabbed Rachel's hand, praying they had enough cash between the three of them to cover the sale, "That will be… two hundred and thirty-seven dollars, oh and seven cents."
Quinn sagged in relief as she forked over two hundred and fifty and waited for her change, "Thanks Mr. Alberts."
He bobbed his head happily, "No worries Quinn! You just give Tara my best and let me know how the spell went next time you come in?"
Quinn smiled softly, "Sure thing Mr. Alberts." She really hoped the spell didn't kill her, Rachel, and Connor, because Mr. Alberts would be devastated. Not to mention they'd be dead.
They stopped at Quinn's so that she could prepare the spell as much as possible before they went back to scooby central, they would have to work fast and trust that once the spell had been started the adults wouldn't be willing to risk her concentration by breaking down the door. They'd have to get into Cordelia's room separately; because there was no way any one was going to let them be alone with her together. In the end it was decided that Connor would go back to the house, alone, acting angry and huffy, with his back pack in hand, while Rachel stayed out. After Connor had successfully barred the door they'd climb in through the window, do the spell, and show Mr. Giles that he was full of crap.
Quinn smiled at Connor as he hurried out of her house, that was the plan at least.
He blew into the house and slammed the door behind him, making a point to announce his presence. He stormed past the living room but was stopped by Giles of all people.
He stopped but didn't speak.
The older man took his glasses off and asked, "Where is Rachel?"
Connor turned slowly and hissed, "She didn't want to be here…" He passed a glance over all of the still reading adults and added, "With all of you."
Giles let out a heavy sigh, "Connor, you must understand that…"
Connor took a sudden, aggressive step forward and watched as everyone in the room tensed, "What I understand is that you are letting my mother die. I'm here because she could die at any moment, and if she does I'll…" He choked and trailed off. Both Tara and Buffy took steps towards him and he did feel a little bad about the clearly devastated look on Buffy's face.
He held up a hand, "She's dying and none of you deserve to breathe the same air as her." He glared at his father, furious that the vampire hadn't moved heaven and earth to do the spell, "I would die to save her, I would die to give her a chance even… but all of you…" He spat the next words, "Cowards wouldn't?" He turned on Giles once again, "Go to hell, take your platitudes and shove them. They and all of you mean less than nothing to me if she dies."
Angel looked beyond hurt, "Connor… son…"
Connor knew that when they saved Cordy he'd have to answer to her for putting that look on his father's face, for the tears leaking from Buffy's eyes, for risking his life, but he'd gladly take it if it meant she was alive.
Connor let himself soften, let the boy who was terrified of losing his mother shine through, "I…" He clamped down on it and shook his head, "I'm going to sit with her." He made to spin on his heel but paused and grumbled, "Give me a couple of books."
Tara handed him five and dipped her head, "I am so sorry Connor."
He shook his head, "I don't blame you Tara."
He finally did turn then and as he ascended the stairs he fired off a text to Rachel and Quinn, telling them to position themselves under Cordelia's window.
He moved quickly once he was in the room, once he'd kicked Fred out, dumping the books on the dresser and then shoving it in front of the door followed swiftly by the big chest that Cordelia had loaded full of sweaters and other assorted crap.
He went to the window, opened it, and then stuck his head out, "Hey."
Rachel and Quinn waved and he helped Quinn into the window after she'd been boosted by Rachel. Rachel for her part sprang up to the window and pulled herself in.
Connor shut the window, locked it and then turned to his girls, "We have maybe two minutes before they realize that I am up here with Cordelia alone."
Quinn nodded and opened his bag and began setting up the spell, he and Rachel watched with bated breath as she anointed Cordelia's forehead with some sort of oil before doing the same to herself, and then them.
She positioned them behind her after she'd lit the candles and said, "Take each others' hand and then grab my wrist."
They did as they were told and then he spoke, "Quinn…"
She turned to look at him, "Yeah?"
He looked at Cordelia, looked at his mom and then closed his eyes, "We could die… I know why I'm doing this, but you… I… you don't have to do this." He turned to look at Rachel, "Neither of you do."
Quinn smiled gently at him and shrugged, "WWCD."
He cocked his head, "What?"
A grin spread across her face, "What would Cordy do? It's my new motto."
Connor offered her a grin of her own but it fell away as Rachel shifted next to him and leaned forward. She pressed a short chaste kiss to Quinn's lips, wiping the grin away.
Quinn and Connor both blinked at her while Rachel ducked her head shyly, "Just in case."
Quinn stared at the little diva for another moment and then cleared her throat, "Right… let's do this?"
Connor nodded and Rachel spoke firmly, "Let's."
He grabbed Rachel's hand and then clamped a hand on Quinn's wrist and closed his eyes as Quinn alto voice began to chant. He felt the pull of magic almost immediately from his gut and knew the spell had been triggered.
Rachel gasped next to him and tightened her grip on his hand.
She couldn't even find it in her to smile at Fred as the tiny Texan entered the room with red eyes and a permanent frown, "Connor kicked me out."
Angel nodded, "I figured, he's… angry."
Fred shot a dark look towards Giles and snapped back, "So am I."
The older watcher let another sigh but otherwise ignored the obvious anger directed towards him. As Tara looked around the room she steeled herself for what she was about to suggest.
Quietly she spoke, "Let me take the memories back…"
The silence which before was dark and angry, was suddenly oppressive as everyone turned to look at her in shock.
It wasn't Willow, Dawn, or even Buffy who spoke first but Angel, "No."
She blinked at him, "But I…"
He shook his head, "I don't want Cordelia to die any more than the rest of you," He shot Giles a look, "In fact I want to save her probably more than most, she's my best friend… she…" He shook his head again, "She saved you Tara, and I have to, we have to respect that. She made a choice, she knew the risks."
Tara stood and wrapped her arms around her waist, "My life is not as important as hers."
Angel stepped up behind her and laid a hand on her shoulder, "She thought it was."
She turned to look at him and he offered her a rare smile, "And I've learned to accept that Cordelia is always right."
Buffy stood and nodded towards Angel, "You… you've been here Tara, you've seen what Cordy means to me, you get what she means to Angel, and we're telling you no."
Tara sagged but the sudden grief that overtook her was washed away a moment later as Giles demanded, "Fred…"
They turned to look at him as he took stock of who was in the room with him, "Was Connor alone with Cordelia?"
Fred nodded, "Well yeah."
As Giles paled Tara felt someone touch magic nearby. She sucked in a breath as a powerful spell was triggered.
From next to Kennedy Willow let out a gasp, "Oh no…"
Tara made eye contact with the red head and they shared a look before they bolted towards the stairs.
From behind them Tara heard Giles yell, "They've started the spell!"
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