Title: The truth of friendship.
Disclaimer: The characters of Angel belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and Fox. I don’t own them, I’ve just borrowed them.
Summary: Angel reflects upon the truth of friendship.
Spoilers: Up to Season Three ‘Birthday’
Author’s notes: I’ve just seen ‘Birthday’ and this little piece jumped into my mind. I haven’t written anything for nearly a year, I hope this is the start of a few more ideas.
She lied to me.
That thought reverberated through my mind as I watched her. Why couldn’t she tell me? I thought we shared everything, didn’t we?
As the questions flowed through my brain, an image of her appeared, her brown eyes tinted with anger as she spoke the words, “You slept with Darla?”
I remember wanting to hide from reality, but I couldn’t continue the lie. I admitted everything, and although she’d been a little annoyed, well actually really ticked off, we’d gotten through it.
I thought we shared almost everything, but on reflection, we shared everything except the really important stuff.
I reach out and gently move a loose strand of hair from her face. She looks so peaceful; she could almost be asleep, lost in a dreamland where reality will never hurt her again. But I know that however hard I tried to wake her she wouldn’t, or rather couldn’t leave the peacefulness that embraces her.
Connor’s asleep in his crib, oblivious that his Aunt Cordy is slipping away from him, from me. He won’t even remember her, not like the rest of us. He won’t remember her smile, the way it can light up even the darkest room. He won’t remember how much she loved him; how she carefully cradled him, or sang lullabies to him, when she thought no one else was listening. He’s already lost one mother; he can’t lose the person who has so willingly accepted the burdens of looking after him, even though the responsibility is not hers to carry.
I try to imagine a future without her. Of course there’ll be Wesley, Fred and Gunn, after all they are family too, but it will never be the same without her. It never could be the same without her. She’s the one person who makes working for redemption truly worthwhile. She taught me something, something I never expected to find. She taught me how to live, how to embrace humanity, how to accept the past and finally start to move on, to walk along the road towards forgiveness. She’s the guide to my soul, how can I continue without her?
All I can do is sit here and wait. I’m sitting here waiting for her to die.
The story of Sleeping Beauty floats into my mind, the princess waiting for her prince to wake her from her sleep. I lean forward, desperately hoping that a kiss will awaken her. My lips graze on hers, the warmth of her lips briefly leaving their mark upon mine. As I draw backwards, I watch her face intently, every inch of my being hoping that her eyes will open and she’ll admonish me for being too close to her.
Not even a glimmer of movement on her beautiful face.
I grasp her hand between mine, and rest my chin upon her fingers. I close my eyes and do something I’ve not done in over two centuries.
I pray to God and anyone else that will listen for her to come back to me, to Connor, to our family. I don’t think anyone’s listening to me. Why should they? For years I rampaged and killed to satisfy my demon’s blood lust. I deserve to suffer, to pay for every life that I stole. But the world would be a darker place without her. She’s embraced the challenge of her visions, leapt into the fight and grew up. Cordelia Chase might not be a renowned actress, but she’s changed everyone’s lives that she’s touched, with her compassion, braveness and loyalty.
I remember her at high school, how she tried to find happiness through money, but still she helped Buffy, Xander, Willow and Giles when they needed her. She might have moaned, but she still helped. I didn’t know her then, but I don’t think anyone really knew her then; she kept the truth well hidden. Afraid that if people really knew her, they’d hurt her.
I guess that’s the truth, because she let me know her, she let me see the real Cordelia. The one who’s willing to give up her dreams in order to help fight Wolfram and Hart and all that they stand for. She let me in, and how did I repay her? I hurt her, tossed aside the friendship that meant so much to both of us, for a moment of insanity. A period of my life that she refers to as beige, where the past welcomed me back, pulled me from my path and tried to destroy me and my family. But she forgave me. It took new clothes and lots of reminders about how special she is to me. But she forgave me. She forgave me, not only for my indiscretion, but also for the result of that indiscretion. Connor.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I ask her silent form. “I would have found a way to help you. I need you Cordy. Please don’t leave me.”
I hope that wherever she is, she can hear my pleas and choose to return to me.
I close my eyes and wait.
All I can do is wait and hope.
A scream brings me back to reality. She’s writhing with pain, her hands clasped to her head.
I rush towards her, the others hurry into the room, concern etched upon their faces, a reflection of the look on mine.
She sits up, “No horns.” She says before glancing over her shoulder. “No tail.”
I pull her into my embrace, ignoring the comments, she’s still hallucinating. “I thought I’d lost you,” I admit, wanting to tell her with those words how much she means to me, how much I need her in my life. I know they’re not the words I really want to say. I don’t have the courage to say them yet, I don’t think she’d believe me if I did say them. I’m sure she thinks I still love Buffy, and in a way I do. I think I always will, but it’s nothing like I feel for Cordy. She anchors my soul; she makes me as human as I can be, for now. She doesn’t judge me; she accepts me and trusts me.
She pulls from my embrace and jumps out of bed, her face aglow as she rambles about a vision, a one armed man and an actress.
Confusion fills my mind.
We need to talk.
She begins to describe another vision. As she does, her body seems to forget about gravity as she floats effortlessly into the air. I feel my mouth open with shock.
We really need to talk.
We need to talk about everything, not just about what we think the other needs to hear. From now on I think it’s time to be honest with each other, because that is the truth of friendship.