Setting---A warehouse in
Compton, same night
"I fucking hate her."
"That's the twentieth time you've said."
"Well it's true every damned time."
"You're too tense. How about we relax..."
Cordelia allowed herself a swallow of air as
Angelus moved up behind her, his cold fingers digging into her skin,
kneading the aching muscles in her neck. His lips followed his fingers,
lighting on her soft skin, tongue darting out every few kisses to taste
"What do I taste like?" She mused, leaning back against his comforting
form. He chuckled in her ear and slid one hand around cup her right
"And?" Cordelia's eyes closed, his fingers
grazing over her nipple, sending electric jolts of pleasure across her
"Sunlight. You've always tasted like sunlight
to me." Angelus whispered, slipping his other hand under the hem of her
slinky shirt. The muscles of her stomach jumped under his touch and she
bit down on her lower lip. All these years and he still made her body
excited just by touching her. Still...her mind was elsewhere.
"Sunlight. I miss it sometimes." She whispered,
leaning back against him and wrapping her arms around his neck.
"How can you? You can go out anytime you want."
"I don't feel like I can."
Cordelia swallowed hard and closed her eyes
again. His hands on her skin suddenly hurt.
Everything on her hurt. She wanted it to end, but she'd miss
moments like this.
"No reason." She shook her shoulders and turned on him, taking his face
gently in her hands and kissing him full on the lips. She pushed him back
into the desk chair and straddled his lap, landing soft kisses all along
his jawline. Her hands crept down his chest,
dipping lower. Suddenly, Angel pulled away.
"Pardon me?" Cordelia's eyes went wide. "Why
are you calling out Wesley's name when I'm in the middle of getting my
Angelus shot her a quelling glare and said, "It's not that! I just had a
thought. If you were Lilah, who would
you want translating a prophecy?"
"Thank God I'm not Lilah,"
Cordelia scoffed a moment before she actually
thought about what he'd said. Her smile widened as she realized where he
was going with this. "Wesley..."
"Who else? It's so obvious, it's scary."
"And lord knows, if Wesley knows we're involved he'll immediately want to
help. Shit..." Cordelia pushed herself away
from Angelus and paced the floor. "So, if Wesley's doing the
translations...then how do we get him?" She traced a hand down across the
light burn marks still on her face from his magickal
attack on her in the sewer.
"Maybe we don't have to get Wesley. Maybe if we go after someone else,
he'll be persuaded to our way of thinking." Angelus mused, pursing his
lips as he watched Cordelia pacing.
She stopped dead in her tracks and turned her gaze to him.
"I think I know someone I'd like rip apart, limb by
"Good. Then I know the exact person...er...thing,
we need." Angelus smiled, reading her mind in that way he loved doing.
Cordelia turned on him with a smile.
"I love revenge."
Setting---The Hyperion Hotel, the next morning
"She's distracting you." Lorne commented from his position near the
bookshelf. Wesley looked up from the scrolls, a pencil between his teeth.
"Who?" He asked, spitting the pencil out and
glaring at the green demon before him.
"Who do you think?" Lorne shot back, pulling a book off the shelf and
plunking down in the seat in front of Wesley.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Lorne. I'm focused on my work."
Wesley said, somewhat indignantly.
"I know that, Prince Charming. But you're thinking about her right now."
The demon smirked at his boss over the top of the book in his hands.
"Because you brought her up!" Wesley sputtered,
running a weary, ink-stained hand through his streaked hair.
"Oh please, I could See you thinking about her
in the lobby!"
"You know what, that talent of yours is just....creepy and intrusive. You
ever think that not everyone likes you rooting around in their private
feelings? It's not ethical." Wesley growled, leaning forward to glare at
"I'm a demon; I don't have a code of ethics." Lorne grinned and flipped a
page in his book. Things went quiet for a moment and Wesley caught the
sounds of Anne and Faith talking in the lobby. Hastily he picked up his
pencil and jotted down a note. He got halfway through a sentence when he
threw the pencil back down again.
"What do you think of her?" Lorne didn't even look up from his book as he
"She's kind of scary."
"She's what?" Wesley sounded personally offended at his tone. Lorne
glanced up at him and corrected himself hastily.
"You know, scary in a my-god-don't-my-breasts-defy-gravity way. Not that I
was looking or anything." Lorne grinned and kept going, encouraged by the
smile on Wesley's face. "She told me to fuck off this morning when I tried
to read her again. Hmm...maybe you're right
about that code of ethics thing...."
"Does she umm...I mean, do you think she
umm..." Wesley's voice trailed off and he chewed on his lower lip, trying
to form the question that was weighing heavily on his mind. Truth was,
Wesley didn't know where the hell his mind was. Right now his mind was
divided into two categories: Prophecy and Faith. When he wasn't dwelling
on one, he was dwelling on the other and there wasn't room for both of
them in his head. What he thought he needed to do was purge himself of the
one and focus on the other.
"Oh, she umms...completely."
Lorne stared him down and glanced back at the office door. "She's a real
Wesley slapped his hands on the desk. "I mean, do you think she
umm...would she be...re-responsive..." He felt his face flush hot and he
stuttered a bit.
"Why don't you write her a note and ask her to check yes or no?"
"Sorry, sorry. I couldn't resist." Lorne chuckled and then grew serious.
"I can read you like an open book with neon letters, but Faith...she's a
wild card. Whatever's going on in that head of hers, it's complicated. So
maybe you should get off your ass and make a move before you lose her."
"Are you implying that I--"
"You know I am. Open book, neon letters. It's so obvious."
Wesley head sank onto the desk and he moaned. "This is so not what I was
looking for. Especially with Faith. Things are
complicated and our past is..."
"In the past. She's different now and whatever you think she's hiding from
you will come out soon."
"You think so?" Wesley lifted his head off the desk and Lorne burst out
laughing. With a disgruntled growl, Wes grabbed the yellow post-it note
off his forehead.
"I know so. In matters of love and war, I am the King." Lorne threw up his
hands and then brought them back down onto the book in front of him. A
shadow passed across his face and he grew quiet.
"What's the book for, Lorne?" Wesley asked, picking up his pencil once
"Huh?" Lorne looked startled at the question. He glanced hastily down at
the ancient tome before him. "Nothing...I was just...looking up something
"Oh really? Something to do with a vision?"
Wesley was immediately interested.
"Not really...more like getting rid of them." Lorne answered, swallowing
hard. Wesley's expression immediately went stone cold, his mouth hardening
into a thin frown.
"Fred asked you to look this up?"
"Not in so many words."
"You want to know, don't you Lorne?"
"Maybe I do." Lorne's chin lifted and he glared at Wesley.
"You realize it's not your place to decide such things." Wes stared him
down, eyebrow arching as the demon seethed with anger.
"Maybe, but I don't think the PTB knows what the hell they're doing.
Giving Fred the visions was...well I've known
civil wars that have made more sense!" Lorne hissed at him, trying to keep
his voice down.
"But the Powers wanted her to have them---"
"Bullshit! I was there, you weren't! Fred was the closest person to
Cordelia when that demon appeared and that's
the ONLY reason she got them. If I'd been faster...I would have been
closest. I'm a demon, I could handle them! Fred...Fred's...I can feel her
slipping away from me every day." Lorne's gaze dropped down to the book
and he said quietly, "The visions are killing her and I can't just sit
back and watch anymore. I love her Wesley. I love her with everything in
me. Once upon a time you did too, remember? Now help me save her!"
"You think I don't care?" Wesley leaned back in the chair and fixed Lorne
with his cool glare.
"I think you have other concerns and Fred isn't one of them." Lorne
snapped, his lime green hands balling into fists.
Wesley went quiet and then he steepled his
hands on the desk, his expression sober. "Find the cure, Lorne. Find it
and we'll bring her back to you. I promise."
"Thank you." Lorne stood, the book clutched in his hand so tightly
his knuckles were pink. He turned toward the door, but Wesley stopped him.
"You know, King of Love and War, maybe you should follow your own advice."
"What?" Lorne was startled and he glared at Wesley.
"She's not going to wait around forever. Maybe you should make the first
"Okay...I don't like it when you do that."
"Give me advice. That's my job." Lorne grinned and opened the door.
Wesley looked past Lorne and caught a glimpse of Faith in the lobby. "You
"Maybe. And maybe you need to get laid." Lorne
shot before he closed the door behind him.
Wesley's "Piss off!" was lost to the confines of the office.
Setting---A warehouse in
Compton, same day
"So glad you could come."
"And on such short notice."
"Well, I didn't have anything better to do." Angelus smiled at the demon
sitting across from him on the floor. His purple-tinted skin was covered
in a downy fluff the color of pink roses. Contrasting the girly colors was
a huge mouth with razor sharp teeth extending down its chin. Yellow saliva
dripped down the tusk-like teeth and matted into the rosy down on its
chest. The demon looked like some childhood nightmare and in truth, that's
exactly what it was.
"Now, you understand exactly what we want right? It's very important."
Cordelia said seriously, her long legs crossed
elegantly over one another.
"I think I've got it." The demon smiled and the ghastly mouth only grew.
Angelus smiled with him.
This was going to be so much fun.
Setting---The Hyperion Hotel, later that night
"What?" Faith's head snapped up as the door to Wesley's office burst open
and his came tumbling out excitedly. Everyone turned to look at him waving
a piece of paper at them.
"What the fuck does that mean?"
"If it means what I think it means then I'm going to be a very happy
girl." Anne commented, watching Wesley intently. "Well?"
"Well...eureka!" Wesley grinned wide enough to
crack his face. "I was going about the translation wrong. You see I was
cross referencing the scrolls with a Baltic text from the seventh century,
which really was unnecessary considering the--"
"Wes!" Gunn interrupted him, throwing up his hands.
"Oh sorry. Anyway, I ran the scrolls through a
different book that's written in an ancient form of Babylonian and eureka!
"So what does it say?" Lorne asked, putting his book down and leaning
"There will be four signs of the Apocalypse. A floodgate
opened, a birth, a battle of two great armies
and a death."
"A birth?" Anne shifted uncomfortably on the
couch, her hand rising to her stomach apprehensively. Gunn put his hand
"It's okay baby, you're not due for another
month. I wouldn't worry." Anne smiled at him, but she still looked
worried. "So bro, when do you think these will happen."
"That's where I'm not so clear, actually. It could be anywhere from right
now to a month from now. It depends on when the signs start to show up.
From the moment the first sign appears, it's only approximately six hours
from then to the end of the world."
"So we want to watch out for these signs, huh?" Faith spoke up, chewing on
her lower lip. Wesley turned his gaze on her and smiled.
"Not us." He said firmly, jamming his hands into his pockets.
"What?" Gunn asked, tearing his gaze off of Anne and glaring up at Wesley.
"What do you mean, not us? This is what we do!"
"Not this time. Wolfram & Hart are better equipped to handle something of
this magnitude. We're just helping them this time." Wesley explained,
sitting down heavily on the couch beside Lorne.
"And what if they fuck up?" Charles snapped,
his eyebrows furrowed in anger.
"If I know Lilah Morgan, and I think I do, she
"No buts, Charles." Wesley snapped and stood up. "But...if it makes
you feel any better, we'll keep an eye out. Just in
case." He turned on his heel and stalked back to the office.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm calling Wolfram & Hart with this information. And if I'm not
mistaken, we're all going to get rewarded handsomely."
"Yay! Money!" Anne
said, patting her stomach and smiled over at Faith. The office door closed
behind Wesley and Faith was left staring after him.
Lorne and Gunn started talking, but Faith drowned them out. She was
suddenly uneasy, for reasons unknown. Her stomach roiled and she frowned.
"Faith? You okay?" Anne leaned forward,
touching her knee in concern.
"No...my spider sense is tingling..." Faith
stood and turned around in a circle, eyes scanning the top floor above
them. "With good reason."
"Do we get complimentary chocolates on our pillows?"
"Oh shit!" Gunn leapt up and turned his attention to the familiar
voice at the top of the stairs.
"What? No welcome?" Angelus said, smiling as he walked down the stairs,
Cordelia on his arm.
"Yeah, where's your hospitality?" Cordelia
grinned and made a motion with her hand. Vampires suddenly swarmed up out
of the recesses of the hotel, rushing into the lobby. "Uh-oh...someone's
Faith turned her head in all directions and her blood ran cold. She
recognized every single one of the vampires. The Hunters stared at her
hungrily and Faith felt a tight knot of guilt in her stomach.