Title: Ghosts n Goodbyes
Category: AtS/Ghost Whisperer crossover
Content: Cordelia/Angel implied
Summary: A different take on You're Welcome.
Disclaimer: I own nixies.
Distribution: AO, FSB, TIO, the places of Cal and Lea. Anywhere else, just ask.
Notes: I'd never normally do a weepy, but well, this just wouldn't leave me alone so here it is. Enjoy!
She lay there, beautiful, pale, sleeping the sleep of death. It was the quietest she'd ever been and he longed, he ached, to hear her voice, to hear her yell at him, goad him, tease and taunt him until he snapped. He needed to hear her persuading him to try colour, to get out more, to get a life. He'd sit through a thousand insults if only to hear her one more time.
Miracles didn't happen to people like him and silence reigned bar the machines and monitors attached to her, bar the breathing from the one human in the room.
The human that had come to him, stating she saw and spoke to the dead, but how was that possible when the woman she claimed to see wasn't dead?
"Why?" Angel asked, his helpless gaze never leaving the woman asleep. "Why didn't she come to me?" He worked for Wolfram and Hart. They had a million and one resources for dealing with the dead. He could have helped her the way he hadn't been able to help her in life.
Melinda clutched her bag tighter, ignoring the beeping of the machines keeping the woman alive. She stepped forward and touched the man's arm, flinching when he sharply pulled away. She glanced at the brunette who was watching the man with sadness all over her face.
"Because I know him," was the reply and it came with a flicker of a smile. "He'd find a way to keep me here. A place I no longer belong. He'd go through heaven and hell, he'd kill and he'd die trying to do what he could to save me even though there's nothing to be done."
Melinda took a deep breath. "She doesn't belong here..."
"Yes she does," Angel snarled, his eyes tearing up as he realised he was clutching her hand a little too hard. He pulled away like he'd been burned. Speaking quieter, more in control, "Yes, she does. She belongs here with us. With me
"Tell him to wake up and smell the O-pos," Cordelia huffed and crossed her arms, rolling her gaze at the medium. "He seriously can't mean to keep me here, in this place, wearing an ass open hospital gown and listening to the music that is a fake heart beat."
Melinda tried to smile, but she couldn't. The desperation on the man's face almost too much to bear. "She says it's her time, Angel. She needs to move on and she needs you to let her do that. And she doesn't like the thought of having her rear on show."
Angel struggled to keep his tears behind his eyelids. "I can't. I need her."
For the first time since Cordelia appeared in her kitchen munching on a bag of chips, Melinda saw the first cracks in the spirit's armour. Hazel irises brightened and the heartbreak behind them intense. "I need him, too. I need him to love me enough to let me go."
The medium bit her lower lip and this time when she touched the man, he didn't pull away. "She says she needs you, too. She needs you to love her enough to be strong and do this for her."
His skin was red now as he lost the battle to stay so angry, he didn't feel anything. Begging, "Please, Cordelia," the first tear fell. "Don't make me do this." He couldn't
do this. He couldn't kill her, not when the beeping machines gave the hope that someday she might wake up and be okay.
Cordelia approached Angel, her presence going unseen, unfelt, and God that hurt. She laid her ghostly hand on his shoulder, his shaking going right through her spirit to touch her soul, one word leaving her mouth. "Please, Angel. Please let me go."
Melinda wiped her eyes. "She's asking you to help her."
How the hell could she expect him to do what she wanted? To do this
? "I can't."
Cordelia ignored the salt on her lips as she pressed a soft kiss to his roughened cheek and whispered in his ear. "Help the helpless, Angel. Help me now."
"She can't move on, Angel. Not without you helping her."
He knew it was the truth and knew what he had to do, but he just couldn't bring himself to take the final. He shook his head, seeing her bedsheets go wet as a steady stream of tears fell. "No."
"Tell the crybaby to get a grip and do it or I'll tell everyone I know his favourite Disney movie is Lady and the Tramp."
Melinda choked out a laugh. "Mine's the Lion King."
Angel's snapped round to look at her so fast, she was surprised he didn't break his neck. "What?"
"My favourite Disney," the medium explained and then sobered. "You need to do this or your secret's out. Sorry."
He gave a small nod, not seeing the humour at all. He looked back to the beauty in the bed, still soundly sleeping. "She was my best friend, you know. Saved me. Brought me out of the darkness. How can I send her into that?"
Cordelia unsuccessfully tried to wipe his tears. "There's no darkness where I'm going, Angel. I'll be fine. I'll be waiting, but feel free to take your time. I'm not going anywhere."
Melinda relayed the message. "She'll be fine."
"Last time she said that I found out she was dying."
"She's going to a good place," Melinda told him. "And she says she'll be waiting, but you have to take your time."
That cut Angel more than anything else. "She's always taking care of others. Exchanging a bit of her lifeforce for every stranger she saw in need. Being a pain in the butt to just see Gunn alright. Giving up her humanity, the chance to be a princess, to stay by my side."
Melinda glanced at the spirit, who merely shrugged in response. Her attention instantly returned to the man slowly coming to terms with what he had to do.
"I guess... I guess it's time someone looked out for her." Angel sucked his lips inwards before leaning down, going straight through Cordelia in the process, and pressing one last kiss to her cheek. "I love you, Cordelia Chase. You can rest now, I promise."
Melinda stood back, her breath lodged in a thick lump in her throat as she watched his hand leave the woman's and reach for a little white switch.
With a calmness he didn't feel, Angel slowly flipped the switch to off and waited until the beeping gradually went from rhythmic to a long, high pitched whine that went on until his fist met the machine.
Cordelia rose from her postion next to him, facing the whisperer with a smile full of gratitude and relief. "Thank you," she said and looked once more at the vampire who'd come to mean more than the world to her. "I gotta go, bub. Give my love to the guys. I'll see ya around."
"I know," Angel spoke as though he could actually hear her, and maybe he could.