Chapter 19: Heard and Not Seen
"Are we there yet?"
"For the last time; no. Geez...you're just as
bad as....me." Cordelia said, glancing down at
the wrapped bundle on the floor, his dark orbs peaking out into the
sunlight filled cab of the truck.
"Sorry. But I've got this feeling that we're running out of time. We've
got to get to Wes soon." Angel said, fidgeting on the seat so much she
could almost hear his muscles aching.
"Oh, so you're actually concerned with someone other than yourself, now?"
She answered with a wry twist of her lips.
"I know I've been....obsessed with getting Connor back, but....I do care
about you guys. You're my family. Even Wesley, as much as I'd like to rip
his head off and feed him to a Hecklaar
"You were hurt when you thought he was dead." Cordy
finished up for him, saying the thing she knew he couldn't bring himself
to. She'd felt his anger and hurt all too well and had been infected with
it herself. When they'd first started this quest for vengeance, all she'd
been able to think about was getting the Slayer and making her pay. But
now that they knew more and after Faith's phone call, things were more
And she still had a million questions. Not to mention her
overwhelming feeling that feeding Wes to a Hecklaar
demon might be fun to watch. Just a little bit.
"Yeah. I was. But that still doesn't mean I'm
not seriously pissed at him. I'm not -quite- ready to forgive him for what
he did." Angel said, voice muffled by the blanket.
"He understands that." They went silent for a moment as
Cordelia watched the sun go down. As soon as
the last ray slipped below the horizon, she tapped Angel on the top of the
head and he promptly threw the blanket off.
"We're here." She said, turning off of 40 and heading into the rest stop
parking lot. The only other car in the lot was a dusty Chevy Malibu and
she pulled up next to it.
"What the fuck?" Angel breathed next to her, eyes blazing as he looked
across her down into the Malibu. Her mouth dropped open and she found she
Wesley woke with a warm strip of sunlight across his shoulder, dried blood
itching on his cheek and the weight of something crushed into his arms. He
opened one crusty eye and stared down into the pale face resting against
his chest, her mouth parted artfully as she slept in the too warm car. He
couldn't help but smile, one eye on the setting sun. It'd be night in a
Brushing a weary thumb against her cheek, he wondered when his world had
turned so completely wrong, yet so completely right. It was mind-boggling
and yet, he couldn't even begin to imagine what he'd do without her. She
was his rock now; the one he'd needed for so long to give him a swift kick
in the ass and tell him to stop being such a prat.
Driving back to Los Angeles the night before he'd told her to shut up
while he talked. He had needed to tell her something that had been painful
to him and he didn't want her to interrupt, or he'd lose the courage to
say it, but it was something that needed to be said. He'd told her about
Billy and that long-buried hatred he had in him, well all men had in them.
When he was done, she'd turned sober eyes to him and shrugged.
"And? It wasn't your fault you were born with a
dick. You think there isn't a female Billy walking around infecting women
and hating men? I knew plenty of bitches like that in the pen. Of course,
most of them had a reason. Don't sweat it." She'd told him, leaning her
head back against the seat, fingers clenched around his. He tried to talk
to her more, but she wouldn't hear anything else he had to say on the
subject. So he dropped the subject and turned to other things not said.
When he'd pressed her about prison; she'd gotten really quiet and stares
off into space, like the recent memory was too painful for her deal with.
It had hurt him to see that dark, throbbing pain in her eyes as she
thought. He kissed the top of her head and pulled her that much closer to
suddenly muttered, shaking her head and her
eyes flitted open, then slammed shut a second later. "Too fucking
"The sun is down. It's just the parking lot lights."
"No shit." She asked, shaking her head and leaning away from him, the
shirt sticking to his skin from where she'd lain on him all day. She
righted herself and flipped the visor down, squinting into the mirror at
her bleary eyes.
He was silent for a moment as he stared at her, blue eyes far away. "Was
"Oh. Yeah it was." Faith said, that shadow
crossing back over her face and the spark in her eyes dimming. "And I'm
probably going back as soon as Asshole Rob finds out I'm back. I violated
my parole, ya know."
"Yes, I know. I...I was thinking about that. There must be something I
could do..." His voice trailed off and he rubbed his
stubbled chin with one long finger.
"Don't worry about it. It's not a big deal." Faith said, lip trembling and
hope springing in her eyes; it was odd how easily he could read her now,
when he couldn't before.
"Yes it is. And....I don't want you to go back. I want you...out." He
shifted on the seat and wiped sweat away from his neck with the palm of
his hand. She turned to him and smiled, the
hurt dimming and the spark of fire coming back to her eyes.
"I do too...but...it's all about destiny. And I have a feeling a murdering
bitch like me is destined to be locked away. Just the way it is." She
shrugged, the smile making light of her words. He saw the movement of
something large and rusty out of the corner of his eye, but he ignored it
and reached for her.
"I don't believe that." He said simply, taking her hand in his own and
pulling her toward him. Her lips grazed his and he kissed her deeply,
hands pushing back into the pile of sweaty hair tangled at her neck. He
pulled away a moment later and smiled into her eyes. "You won't go back. I
won't let you."
"I know you won't." She said softly, reaching for him again. She nipped
his lower lip and then a devilish smile crossed her lips. "Hi."
Wesley followed her line of sight and blanched as Angel and
Cordelia stared at them from Gunn's truck.
Cordelia's mouth was open wide, her hazel eyes
bulging at the scene before her. Angel was staring at him, looking
straight at him for the first time in a month. Wesley almost wished he
wouldn't, when he saw the rage in his dark orbs.
"Hello." He choked out, keeping his hold on the Slayer and his mouth
turning into a grim smile. Cordelia opened her
mouth to speak, but then a piercing shriek cut the air and something red
and massive slammed down on the roof of the Malibu, crushing in the roof.
The back of his head throbbed and he felt dried blood crackle on his neck
as he moved. Tightly wound chains encircled his wrists and bit into his
flesh. Gunn cursed a blue streak under his breath and stared into the
darkness of the hotel lobby.
He heard a moan and knew it was Lorne, even though he couldn't see him.
"Gunn? You're awake!" Came the demon's
pain-filled reply from just behind him.
"Yeah. Where's Fred?"
"Over here! Charles, I was so worried!" Fred's anxious voice came
from the shadows near the front desk and he squinted to make her out
through the fog in his brain.
"Baby, are you okay?" Gunn asked, trying to shift position and finding
that the chains were wrapped all the way around his body, binding him to
the floor like a roped calf.
"I'm fine. There's something in here...." She answered, her voice
trembling as she looked around for that something, the chains binding her
biting into the soft, white flesh on her arms.
"And whatever she is, she's mightily pissed,
amigo." Lorne said, chains rattling as the
green demon shifted on the floor.
"What does she want?" Gunn asked, trying to break the chains about his
wrists, but he didn't even budge them. A grunt escaped his lips and he lay
back down on the floor.
"I don't know. All I got was the word prize when I read her." Lorne
answered, red eyes shining in the darkness.
"Fred? What did Angel say those demons following Wes looked like?" A
moment of silence as the girl's mind whirred into action and then she
answered him in a matter-of-fact tone.
"That they all had tattoos on their faces of crescent moons and they were
females. Lorne, did you see a tattoo?"
"I didn't get a look at her, just felt her aura
for a second before she slammed it shut on me. Whatever she is, she's
powerful." Lorne answered in an apologetic tone.
"Yes I am." A child-like voice rang through the lobby, echoing off the
walls and chiming in their ears. Fred wished she could have moved her
hands to block the sound from her ears, but she suffered on the floor.
"Who the hell are you?" Gunn asked, searching through the lobby and
finding nothing but a darker shape amongst the shadows.
A spine-tingling giggle sounded from the corner and bounced off the walls.
Lorne reached for the demon's aura once more, but a blast of something
cold and hard slammed into his mind. He moaned and lost his grip on
"Told him to wait." The petulant voice of a
child said from the shadows and then that cold hardness slammed into
Gunn's mind. He heard Fred moan at the same time and knew she was getting
hit with it too.
"Angel...." Gunn moaned before he slipped into darkness once more.