The characters of Cordelia, Dennis, Gunn, Wesley, Winifred, and the general setting of Angel are the possessions of Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt, Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Entertainment, Fox Studios, and the Warner Brothers Network. No infringement is intended. Otherwise, this story is copyright © 2001 by Eric Jablow. Please do not remove the copyright information, or modify the story. This was originally written and posted on September 12, 2001.
“The unmentionable odour of death offends the September night.”
-- W.H. Auden, September 1, 1939----
Dennis does not sleep. In the dark of the night, he sits on Cordelia's couch and reads her magazines and books, or he logs onto the Internet and chats with strangers from all over the world. He has only been able to enjoy life now that he's dead. Sometimes, he thinks one of his correspondents is another ghost, but there is really no way for him to tell.
As dawn approaches, he earns his keep. He sets the coffee machine to brew that life-giving blessing, and he prepares a tray for Cordelia's breakfast. He cannot retrieve the newspaper, though; he cannot leave the apartment. He does turn on the radio, however; he listens to NPR's Morning Edition. He finds Howard Stern revolting.
It's just before 6am, and he hears a report that shocks him. He snaps on the television set in the den to see what has happened, and then he sees the terrible picture of the burning North Tower. He rushes into Cordy's bedroom, something he never does, and he shakes her awake.
“Dennis! What are you doing? Stop—”
Dennis lifts the remote control and flicks on her bedroom television. Cordy stops dead. “Oh, my God.”
Cordy moves to the end of the bed facing the television; neither can believe what they are seeing. They hear reports that an airplane hit the building, but it doesn't register. Then, they hear the screams and see the plane smash into the South Tower. Cordelia herself screams, and they hear others from all around the apartment complex.
They sit there for the next terrible hour; Dennis lifts a quilt around her shoulders and wraps a phantom arm around her, and they stare at the television screen. The phone rings, and neither moves to answer it.
Two hours later, they hear knocking at the front door. They still don't move, and then someone unlocks the door from the outside. Wesley, Fred, and Gunn walk in, and they rush toward the bedroom. They see Cordelia weeping uncontrollably; she turns to them and asks, “Why didn't they warn me? Why didn't they send me a vision? Do they not care?”
In Memoriam, 11 September 2001.
We shall not forget. We cannot forgive.