Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, the characters belong to Joss Whedon and, I’m guessing Andrew Lloyd Webber? Meh.
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Author's Note: Song snippets are: Connie Frances- It it takes forever
Help the helpless, that’s what they did. Or at least what they used to do. This last case hadn’t been going too well, but then, it wasn’t every day their client was a demon. It was unprecedented since demons usually took care of their own, but Tarquin was desperate and rich –so rich he had Cordelia drooling- and over the last month someone had been taking out his lackeys. And taken out a couple more since Angel Investigations had taken the job a week ago. When they’d followed up all their leads and come up with zilch there was only one place left to go…
The vampire in question stifled a wince and glared at a couple of sniggering demons as Lorne made his way over.
“And you brought the kids. Cordy, love the new hair. Y’know, not that I’m not glad to see you guys, but if you’re planning on, for lack of a better word, ‘singing’ can you hang on until nearer closing? I need something to clear the place later.”
“Hey! We weren’t that bad, right? Right? Wes? Gunn?” Cordelia sighed as Wesley coughed and muttered something inaudible and Gunn merely shuffled his feet. “Fine, whatever, I’m getting a drink,” she muttered, and headed for the bar.
“We need information, Lorne-”
“Yeah, right, don’t get your fangs in a bunch, sit down and take a load off, I gotta go introduce the next act. By the by, you really should take a seat before she starts, this little lady has a voice that’ll make you weak at the knees. Hey, forget the knees, she makes you weak all over.”
Irritated, Angel, followed by Gunn and Wesley, took a seat at the nearest empty table and were soon joined by Cordelia carrying a huge drink which looked like it had a rainforest growing out of it.
“Those of you with beating hearts had better hold on to ‘em, cause this next little lady is going to rip them right out. She may be a vamp but she’s got soul where it counts. Get ready for real treat, kittens, you won’t hear anyone like her in ten lifetimes.”
A spotlight hit a chair on the stage, lighting up the tiny, delicate-looking young woman seated there clad in a long white dress, a picture of innocence. Her head was bowed, her eyes closed as the soft music started and tendrils of her long, softly-curled brown hair fell over her face. She didn’t move for a long moment as the music grew, then slowly raised her mouth to the microphone, only opening her eyes after the first note passed her lips. And what a note it was, softly soaring, beautiful and heartbreaking, full of sorrow which hit every patron like a truck and left no doubt that she’d lived with that kind of heartbreak. No…that she was living it now.
“If it takes forever
I will wait for you
For a thousand summers
I will wait for you
‘Till you’re back beside me
‘Till I’m holding you
‘Till I hear you sigh
Here in my arms”
Angel and the gang were spellbound and Cordelia looked on the verge of tears- come to think of it, so did Wes- as the song rose, filling every nook and cranny in the crowded room. All conversation, even all movement in the bar, had stopped in the presence of such…purity. They had all given in to gaze in awe.
“Anywhere you wander
Anywhere you go
How I love you so
In your heart, believe
What, in my heart, I know
That forever more
I’ll wait for you”
It was unbelievable that such a large sound could come from such a fragile little thing. There was such emotion in the voice- it hypnotised them, made them think of love lost. It was sad, and yet also the most beautiful thing they’d ever heard. It made Angel want to hold the girl and make her happy, just to hear how she’d sound when overjoyed; to keep her for himself so she’d sing just for him. And from the look of the other customers they were thinking along the same lines.
When it was over the room erupted with applause, but the only sign that the girl even heard this was a small, sorrowful smile as she stepped down from the stool and slowly made her way down from the stage to speak to Lorne.
Angel found himself rising from his seat and crossing the room, deaf to Cordelia calling after him, and then he was behind the girl, barely catching the last of her conversation with the green-skinned host of Caritas.
“…is all I can see, sweetness. O.G’s coming for you and he is not a happy bunny.”
“But what will happen to him? Will he succeed?” She asked in a gentle English accent with a touch of something else.
“Like I always say, I only see the journey, not the destination. But if you want to improve the odds you should turn around.”
She did so with a frown and came face to face with Angel, who looked just as confused as her.
“You came looking for answers, Angel, and the green guy sure delivered. You’ll find what you’re looking for if you stick with Chris here, but first you might have to pry her away from her biggest fan’s goons.” He nodded, indicating something behind them, and they glanced around to see four huge, horned demons heading for them.
“Shit, has it been half an hour already?” This from Chris who was glancing around looking for an escape route and looking worried. In Angel’s opinion, such profanity seemed…wrong coming from such a fragile figure, but that was not the most immediate problem.
Angel stepped in front of her protectively and saw Cordy, Wes and Gunn stand up and start making their way over to join him. “Leave the girl alone.”
“She belongs to the boss. We’ve just come to take her home.”
“And I think she’s a person- vampire- who doesn’t belong to anyone, so you’ll have to go through me.”
The lead demon looked Angel up and down with a sneer and seemed to make a decision. His fist shot towards the vampire with startling speed, but Angel didn’t move an inch and let the protection spells of Caritas do the work for him and knock the demon across the room.
The other three demons turned their heads to follow the flight of their fallen comrade and Chris took the opportunity to dive for the exit, calling on her vampiric speed to evade anyone in her way and was outside in seconds, Angel and the demon quartet hot on her heels, and Gunn and the others not far behind them. It was only then she saw the other two demons waiting by a car outside.
She slid to a halt so fast the hem of her long white dress blew forward and was caught in the fist of one of the demons, who began reeling her in with a grin. Instead of pulling back as he’d hoped, she leaped forward unexpectedly and hit him square in the chest. His surprise at such a manoeuvre was her saving grace given the size difference and he toppled backward, releasing his grasp on her skirt. Without giving him a chance to recover, she grabbed both of his horns and twisted with all her strength until she heard a sharp crack, but she had only a moment to rejoice before her arms were pinned to her sides by a bear hug from the remaining demon behind her.
All of this had taken but moments and it was at this time that the others emerged from Caritas and, now free from the spell’s range, began to brawl.
The fight went as most of their fights often did. Left punch, right punch, take a hit, fake a backhand, save [insert name here], roundhouse kick, dodge, take a hit, fall down, leap back up and start again. Repeat as necessary. This carried on for several minutes until three more of the demons were dead and the other two decided to call it quits and make a hasty exit, speeding off in their car.
Angel and the gang were bruised but fine- if you could call Wesley’s dazed expression and stumbling walk fine- and Chris had a bloody cut on her hand which was already healing. She tensed as if to run again but Angel, still in gameface, grabbed her and started dragging her to his car, the other three trailing behind with Cordelia muttering about the state of her new shirt.
He threw Chris in the car as she tried to free herself and after a stern glare she seemed resigned to the fact that she would be joining them, folding her arms over her chest and sitting ram-rod straight in the front seat while Cordy, Gunn and Wesley piled into the back. Cordelia took this opportunity to slip a palm-sized wooden cross surreptitiously out of her handbag. Just in case.