If I had known what was to happen, I never would have asked him to go on this assignment.
I had come back from vacation with the Groosalug to find the office in a
shambles. Wesley was in the hospital, barely
clinging to life. Fred was
desperately trying to keep the office order while Gunn went out to fight the bad guys. Angel,
oh god Angel, hadnt left his room since it had happened. Not since the night that Connor had disappeared through the portal.
he refused to leave his despair to even attempt a rescue, not that there had been any chance of it.We exhausted every book,
talked to every informant, begged every God we knew of. We even called the gang in Sunnydale to help, which after the events
sunk in they were more then willing to do what they could, but even they had no luck. Groo, with the help of Lorne, returned
to Pylea in a vain attempt to find answers there almost the vast library of the monks that had once ruled. I think he must
have realized I couldnt be for him what he needed, there was too much for me to do here. We grew apart, quickly, silently.
I didnt even realize it till he was gone.
After a few weeks of my passionate begging I finally got Angel to eat. I
refused to leave the hotel, I dont
know what it was, but I couldnt leave
Angel. I had to be there for him, if he ever decided to open up to someone,
me. The visions were few and far between during this time, i guess the
PTB decided we needed a break, our champion was
down for the count and our morale was beyond low. Slowly, it took a couple months, Angel finally left his room. He didnt talk
about it, he just came out, and sat in the lobby. Hed go out and do the whole Good Fight thing with Gunn, but no emotion ever
crossed his face. We tried to be light hearted around him, we had already put away all evidence Connor was ever there at all.
We didnt burn it or throw it away, we just carefully packed it up and put it all in storage till he came back. If he ever
One night, while I was working late, an excuse to still be there really, Angel
spoke to me about it. He let loose
his grief and weeped. Curled on the floor of
the lobby I just held him, I cried with him, as he let it all out. After that
started to improve. The passion returned to his fighting, he even smiled on
occasion. We grew close. I stayed late
almost every night, and wed talk, after
everyone had gone. Sometimes wed talk about Connor, most times we just talked.
Small talk, the weather, a new movie I had seen, whatever we could use to string a sentence or two together. I was closer
to him then I had ever been, closer then any of the friends I had claimed in Sunnydale. Sure there was love between us, but
the love of friends. That was what he needed, a friend, nothing more. So that was what I gave him.
Then Margaret Godat came, with her ring covered fingers and designer handbag. Her son had disappeared after a dance at
there country club. He hadnt been the first either. It seems that something was targeting the club members. As many as five
people had disappeared in the last six months. No connections between the victims, different age ranges, different backgrounds
nothing to tie them together as a clue, except their membership. So I came up with the idea to infiltrate the club as a wealthy
young couple and gain a membership to fully explore the grounds. I would have asked Wesley to play the husband but he was
still weak, barely able to stand for more then a few minutes at a time, and Gunn would have been too scandalous. The club
only had a few african american members, an interracial couple would have stood out like a sore thumb. Angel was the only
other option, everyone agreed that it was a good plan, and Margaret even offered to vouch for us to better integrate ourselves
with the other members. Fred was more then happy to come up with a story of our background, names and occupations, where we
were from and such. It was a perfect plan, and a perfect excuse for some expense account shopping, not that we had all that
much money to work with, but Angel always looked good in a nice suit. That right there should have been a big bright warning
signal to me, I was actually appreciating how attractive he was. Bad, Cordy, bad, and it only got worse from there.
How did I ever let her talk me into this.
"Mr and Mrs Evans how nice of you to consider joining our little club, Mrs.
Godat has had so many wonderful things
to say about you both", Martin Williams, the president of the club, was a kindly looking man in his late 60s, plump and happy
with a neatly trimmed mustache above his top lip. His blue suit fitted him well but was slightly wrinkled and worn, obviously
his favorite of his outfits. The tie, however, was a hideous yellow and black checkered design that his wife most have begged
him not to wear, if she had any sense at all. Cordelia smiled warmly as she took the mans hand, but I could tell she was holding
back some comment, that I was sure I would hear later.
"Well, I'm sure she exaggerated. Were really not that special".
Thats right, down play it Cordy, not that that brilliant smile of yours is going to
keep us from being noticed.
Every man in the room had taken note of her the minute walked in, even in the slightly more dowry black gown she had
worn. It wasn't too flashy, but it clung in all the right places, excentuating ever curve and rise and my god what am I thinking
about. Move the eyes back to Martin, stop leering at Cordelia like a common drunkard. I have to keep my head, I may
have to hang all over her like a loving husband, but that doesn't mean I can think like one. Although, loving her, in that
way, would be easy. Loving her period would be easy.
"So you are in Real Estate, is that right Rob?" Mrs. Williams is looking right
at me, right Im Rob, gotta try and
"Yes, I am", I nod and smile, hopefully she bought it. I was never a very good
"And you've moved up here from San Fransico? I love San Fransico, especially Ghiradelli Square, their chocolate is divine,
dont you think?" You could tell by looking at the woman, she's had more then her fair share, and then some.
"Oh yes, and their coffee is too die for too". Thank god Cordy took over, I
think I'll just stand by and be that strong
silent type. She can keep up the
facade during all this inane small talk, and prehaps I won't feel the need to
myself in the head.
'Do you too have a house yet, being in Real Estate yourself, you can probably
get a really good deal, huh".
"Well, not yet, were still looking for just the perfect place", Cordy is hanging on me, Cordy is hanging all over
me, oh God, "Until then were renting this quaint little apartment in Silverlake".
Martin hands me a glass of scotch, just what I need. "So you too have any kids yet?"
And thats all it takes, to bring everything thats happened back. I can practically see the cloud hovering over
Cordy looks at a loss, but she covers well, "Uh, no".
I can't take anymore and wander off to a dark corner, where I can sit and brood for awhile. I"m sure Cordy can come up
with something, by their glances of pity and sadness, I have a feeling she may have overdone it. After a few more minutes
of small talk, Cordy wanders over to where Im sitting.
"You okay? Stupid question of course not. God I didn't even think about .. well that they'd ask about that. God, I should
have known better. I'm so sorry. I told them the story, well not exactly. I left out the part about the vampire mom and
the time tripping maniac who jumped through a portal to an alternate reality but, I should really just shut up now".
She's knelling in front of my chair, with such concern in her eyes. I want to
take her in my arms and run my fingers
through her hair until the pain goes
away, but instead I just look at her. "Im okay. We should get back to the
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah". She smiles at that, one of those million dollar smiles. She stands and
holds out a hand to me, I take it and
we wander back towards the other guests.
"Good, because you've been invited to a poker game in the trophy room, and I"m going off with the other wives from some
gossip in the lounge".
"Are you sure its a good idea to split up like that? What if something
"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine".
Martin walks up to us then and grabs me by the shoulder, "So you ready to lose your shirt to me in some poker. Just kidding,
its just some harmless fun with Brandy and cigars. Do you smoke?"
"Only during the day".
"Right, uh okay, lets leave these lovely ladies to their chit chat and go have
some fun". He leans over a gives his
wife a peck on the cheek before heading to the door.
Cordy looks up at me, still holding my hand, "Go on honey, try not to have to
much fun without me".
"Not a chance in hell". I say it with a smile, but it's all sarcasm. Then I do
something I immedietly wish I could
take back, I lean in and give her a quick
husbandly kiss. Okay maybe it wasnt so much quick as soft and loving. The shock
in her eyes is almost enough to cause me to break character, but I play it off and hurry out of the room. I can't help
smiling, It was a nice kiss,
comfortable. It felt like the right thing to do, for so many reasons.
Oh geez, she's gonna kill me.
And then it happened...
It had been hours since I had left the club. I just couldn't stay after that. After he kissed me like that. My god
what was he thinking? He was thinking that's what married people do, he was acting, just like I asked him to do. It's my own
fault, and he probably doesn't even care. Didn't mean a thing to him, I'm sure.
God I could kill him.
Here I am pacing the apartment, wearing a goove into the floor, again, wondering where he is, and what's going on. And
the more I pace the more I think about that kiss, and it meaning nothing, how it was all an act, and the madder I get. Why!
I don't understand myself, it was acting, something I do for a living. Or at least I would if I could get a decent paying
job at it. So why was I so upset about one little kiss. I wasn't, it wasn't the kiss that had me upset, it was the thought
of it being only acting and meaning nothing to him. I'm insane for thinking this way. Where is he?
So here I am, standing outside her door, getting ready for the inevitable screams and accusations. And the begging for
forgiviness I'm bound to have to do. I've been standing here getting ready for about thirty minutes now. I can hear her pacing
just inside the door, man she must be really mad. The demon was nothing compared to what I'm about to face in that little
apartment. I should just get this over with. So I knock. Moments later the door swings open and I can see it on her face,
this is going to be a long night.
"Where have you been! I've been waiting for hours. Who the hell do you think you are!"
"Cordy," Angel stammers over the words, "Can I come in?" Almost afraid she'll say no.
"Get your undead ass in here!", she grabs me and pulls me inside, almost making me lose my balance,
"You've got a lot of nerve buster!"
I stand there, looking very much like a wounded puupy, wringing my hands, unsure of what I can say to
improve this situation." Cordy, I'm sorry.."
"I was just.."
"You were just what Angel?!"
"I was acting, like you asked me to!"
"Like I asked you too! I don't remeber ever asking you to kiss me!"
"I just thought that's what I should do in that moment, we were pretending to be a happily married couple, what
did you want, for me to act like we didn't care for each other in that way? I don't think they would have bought it if I hadn't
acting like I..."
"Like you what?"
"Like I loved you."
"Oh, of course you were acting like you loved me so they wouldn't be the wiser!"
"What did you want me to do!"
"What I want.. what I want.. I...I..." suddenly she wasn't quite sure what she wanted. Actually she knew exactly what
she wanted, but that was something that she could never have.
"Never mind.", she turns to walk to the kitchen and away from the whole conversation.
I grab her by the elbow and turn her to face me, holding her arms gently as I look into her eyes. Her eyes that I
expected to be full of rage but find that they are full of conflicting emotions, "What do you want me to do."
"I ... I can't talk about this anymore.", she turns her head away from her concerned friend's face, a friend who
truely cares about her, but not for her.
"Cordy, look at me," I gently lift her chin so she's looking at my face, I can see the tears welling up
in her eyes. It's all I can do to keep for pulling her into a tight embrace. Seeing her upset is killing me. "Tell me,
what do you want?"
"Damn it Angel," she pulls away from me and takes a step back, " I want you to kiss me and actually mean it!"
Her eyes go wide at the realization of what she has just said. She looks at her best friend who seems as shocked
as she is. All they can do is stare at one another. The silence between them is almost deafing. For a moment that is all they