Your Enemies Closer

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Chapter Fourteen:

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 her.

"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 breast.

"Like cinnamon."

"And?" Cordelia's eyes closed, his fingers grazing over her nipple, sending electric jolts of pleasure across her skin.

"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."

"Why?"

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.

"Wesley!"

"Pardon me?" Cordelia's eyes went wide. "Why are you calling out Wesley's name when I'm in the middle of getting my freak on?"

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 limb."

"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 Lorne.

"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 answered.

"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 umm-dinger."

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?"

"Lorne."

"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 again.

"Huh?" Lorne looked startled at the question. He glanced hastily down at the ancient tome before him. "Nothing...I was just...looking up something for Fred."

"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 move."

"Okay...I don't like it when you do that."

"Do what?"

"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 deserve it."

"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

"EUREKA!"

"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.

"EUREKA!"

"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! Correct translation."

"So what does it say?" Lorne asked, putting his book down and leaning forward.

"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 over hers.

"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 won't fail."

"But--"

"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 surrounded."

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.

Oh Godů

Chapter 15

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