-- Well, in at the last minute! Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays to Arieanna. I hope you enjoy the fic, which will now probably spawn a series, so watch out for that!
As usual, I own absolutely bugger all.
- - - -11:43 AM
Christmas was not usually a quiet time of year. In fact, Christmas was a time demons went on killing sprees (being the season to be jolly) and in spite of the all-round message of peace that human kind needed to spread.
Cordelia Chase, employee of Angel Investigations and aspiring actress stared hopelessly at the door, waiting and willing for a paying client.
She could hear the painfully slow ticking of the clock, the bubbles from the water cooler, and still no movement from the door.
She slouched back into her chair at admittedly, Angel’s desk and drummed her pen onto the smooth, polished wood.
Looking up at the clock, she sighed.11:44 AM
The chime of a bell roused Cordelia from a very realistic daydream, and she jumped up expectantly, combing her fingers through her mussed hair and surreptitiously checking for drool but-
“Oh Wesley. It’s you.” The disappointment was obvious in her voice and she visibly drooped.
He looked at the young woman before him, “Quite. Please, don’t look so enthused Cordelia.”
She shrugged, “Okay. You got the coffee?”
Wesley’s smile was extremely wide – a testament to exactly how slow business had been, “Yes, actually. And I daresay coffee is no good for you Americans without some accompaniment, so I also bought some doughnuts,” he placed the box of pastries in front of Cordelia, who rewarded him with a beam of her own.
“Thanks Wes. Any, you know, anything demon-y?”
Grimacing he checked the clock – 11:55 AM
– “No, nothing your end?”
Her reply was a bite into a doughnut. Then, without any warning she hurtled forward, and her head smashed violently into the desk, “Wes…..vision…GET….ANGEL...”
- - - -
It was horrible. One moment she heard a voice telling her to look into the mirror, then suddenly her senses were assaulted with the stench of blood; something that Cordelia knew too well.
She looked around her – odd that her vision seemed more like a dream, and was startled by the presence of another woman there – for surely someone that imposing would have been noticed immediately?
Cordelia studied the person before her; she was tall – very tall, with good posture, extremely fair skin and long golden hair that surely couldn’t all be real. But her features were not entirely discernable, as much of her face seemed to be bathed in light.
“This is a vision – my vision, so why can I talk to you?” she paused, rolled her eyes and continued, “Because seriously, usually it’s all blah blah blah; icky demon; agonising pain and the grossest smells.”
The Lady (because even in Cordelia’s media-washed mind, there seemed no other way to describe her) glided towards her, “You may speak because I have willed it. What you should ask is why I have done so.”
She found she couldn’t look directly at this Lady, whether it was her extreme paleness, or iridescence completely unrelated she could only see her properly out of the corner of her eye. Trying to hold the Lady’s gaze, she asked the question as prompted, “So, why have you brought me here then?”
The guest in her vision (or was Cordelia the guest?) looked weary, and for a moment it was almost as though her face was lined and aged with worry – but only for a moment.
“Because of who you are. Of what you can do. And,” a sly smile graced her features, “like in your world, because of who you know.”
Cordelia, unimpressed, sighed theatrically, “Big yawn! Hello! Obviously there’s something major at stake here - since you decided to hijack my vision - so cut with the cryptic and get to the point.”
Again, the fleeting shadow passed over the Lady’s face. She had no patience for youth and the aggressive entitlement it brought, “Very well. I shall tell you what I can.”
“It began in the First Age, when a young wizard, Sauron was taken apprentice by the Dark Lord Morgoth. In time, as is always the way, Sauron’s wickedness exceeded his teacher’s though through his senseless devotion to his Dark Lord.
“After Morgoth fell, Sauron feigned repentance, but only to save himself from destruction. He evaded the Valar, the god-folk, and hid on Middle Earth; this place I have brought you to. He fashioned himself as Annatar, Giver of Gifts and true to his name gave to the races of men, elves and dwarves each magical rings. They were powerful gifts indeed, and many were deceived for in secret Sauron forged one master ring, one powerful enough to rule over all the others.
“The men succumbed first to his will, becoming wraith-like and wretched, and to this day serve their Dark Lord. The dwarves, greedy in their mines were saved from this fate by their single-mindedness, and the elves having foreseen much did not yield, instead refusing to wear their rings.”
Cordelia had sat down on the soft grass, her chin resting in her hands, “But what does this have to do with me?”
Amusement crept into the Lady’s voice, “Do you not wish me to continue the tale?”
“It’s not that this isn’t thrilling, it’s just my visions are usually shorter, and much more concise.” She scrunched her nose in thought, “You know, in a vague, interpret-y, blood and death sort of way.”
“Then let me tell you of the ring. It had been made with all Sauron’s malice and purpose, and with it he was absolute. A great war was fought, with many losses for our part, but Sauron fell and diminished – though the ring endured and so did his spirit.
“The ring has now been recovered, and Sauron attempts to return to power once more, but he has grown more ambitious. I do not know how he came to find your world, but he would dominate the life here,” the Lady stared forcefully into Cordelia’s eyes, “I come to warn you. He does not yet possess the ring, and measures are being taken as we speak to prevent its return to him, but do not underestimate him or his forces. He is Sauron the Deceiver, and a world of men such as yours would be easily caught in his deceptions. I do not know how time passes between our worlds, so I can only offer you this: be alert, be equipped. You will need an army of great force and courage.”
“Wait? An army? Where am I supposed to find a-“
Cordelia looked around, to see a very concerned Angel and Wesley hovering over her.
“Cordelia,” Wesley spoke softly, and she could see a fair amount of fear in his eyes, “You’ve been asleep for three days. How are you feeling?”
Her eyes widened in surprise, “Three days?!”
Angel nodded sagely, “We were afraid that the visions had hurt you somehow.”
She smiled sheepishly, “Okay, well I feel great,” she saw Angel’s discerning face, “honestly. Fit as a fiddle here. Whatever that means. The point is we’ve got a big fight coming. Let me tell you what’s been going on.”
Wesley sighed, “And we couldn’t just have a quiet Christmas?”
- - - -Please REVIEW! And watch out for a sequel...it can't really just end there!