I don’t own anything canon from Buffy, Angel
, or House
Author’s note at the end.
… Chapter Eight
Buffy stood staring at the door at the end of the corridor bearing the cross. They had come to a stalemate about Cordelia. None of them wanted to turn off the life support, because none of them were ready to say goodbye, but there was no denying Dr. Foreman’s prognosis. She was not going to wake up.
She had tried to call Giles in England, but he was unavailable, negotiating with an ancient tribe of warriors in Egypt. Without his guidance, Buffy was utterly lost. Angel and the others were too upset to offer any good advice and she still did not feel comfortable around Cordelia’s cousin and the other doctors. They were just too clueless about the way Cordelia had lived and was ultimately dying.
She had never turned to religion before in her life, not even when her mother had died. But her mother’s death was quick. Kendra’s death was quick. Jenny Calendar’s death was quick. In all the years she had spent surrounded by danger and death, she had never had to see someone die as slowly and agonizingly as Cordelia was now. She was lost.
Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the chapel door and sat down inside the softly lit room. At first she did not know what to do, so she sat there. She closed her eyes and leaned her head in her hands. The silence started out stifling, but soon she found herself being relaxed by it. There was something comforting about sitting there, even if she did not know what to say.
The opening of the door caught her attention. She opened her eyes and turned to see Angel standing in the doorway. He smiled sadly at her. She got up to join him in the hallway. “Hi,” she said.
“Hi.” He nodded toward the doorway. “I can’t go in there.”
He ran his hand through his hair and leaned against the wall. “I just wish there was something I could do,” he finally said.
Buffy laid a hand on his arm. “So do I.”
They were quiet for a minute. Then Buffy said, “What about the Powers? Is there any way you can ask them to intervene?”
Angel shook his head. “I haven’t been able to go through any of their emissaries since the Oracles.”
“What about Fred?” Buffy asked. “Can she?”
The vampire was quiet for a moment. “I guess it can’t hurt to ask her.”
Chase, Cameron, and Foreman sat silently in the conference room. The only noise was the rhythmic bouncing of House’s oversized tennis ball in the office next door.
Finally, Chase had had enough. “Will you please stop?” he demanded as he burst into House’s office.
House looked up at him, but did not stop bouncing the gray and red ball against the wall. He looked thoughtful. “What aren’t they telling us?” he asked.
“Your cousin’s little playmates,” House said. “What aren’t they telling us?”
Chase gave him a look as he took a seat. “What makes you think that they’re not telling us everything? They want Cordy to get well as much as I do.”
Foreman and Cameron hesitantly listened from the doorway. House continued to bounce the ball and looked intently at the floor. “Everybody lies,” he muttered to himself.
Chase rolled his eyes. “Right.”
“I think House has a point,” Foreman said quietly.
That got House to hold the ball steady in his hand. “You’re agreeing with me?” he asked. “You’re actually willing to admit that I might possibly be right, oh Great and Wise One?”
Foreman glared at him, then turned to Chase. “Some of the things they were saying earlier didn’t make sense. They fought together? She inherited a gift? Unless they’re all members of a gang, which I seriously doubt,” he added quickly when he saw Chase’s angry look, “then there’s something strange going on.”
“She did work for a detective agency,” Cameron offered. “I’m sure that the fighting could have been part of that.”
“Detectives don’t fight,” Foreman said.
Reluctantly, Cameron agreed. She, Foreman, and House all looked at Chase. “I’m sorry, Chase,” Cameron said. “But I really think that there is something else going on.”
House got up and went for the door. “Time to go find out. Maybe Cordelia will share this gift of hers with the rest of us.”
Foreman and Cameron followed. Alone, Chase sat in the office, not wanting to believe that his beloved cousin could possibly be keeping anything from him. But after a moment, unable to stay, he pulled open the door and followed them.
Fred sat beside Cordelia’s bed, holding her hand. She brushed tears out of her eyes. “Cordelia, I know we didn’t get a chance to get to know each other that well, you running away as soon as I got out of Pylea and all,” she said. “But I’d really like it if you woke up again.
“I don’t mind getting your visions. They don’t hurt as much as you said they do and I really feel like I’m helping people.” She stopped talking as her voice choked up and the tears took over. But her crying subsided as a vision hit her.
It was unlike any vision she had ever seen before. There was no pain, only two faces smiling at her. Cordelia was one. The other was a man with dark hair and green eyes who she had never met before.
Cordelia smiled at her. “Don’t worry Fred. I promise. I’m okay.”
The man nodded. “I’ll take care of her,” he said, his voice lilting with an Irish accent.
“Tell Angel that both Doyle and I are okay,” Cordelia said. “Please.”
Fred thought she nodded. When she tried to speak, Cordelia shook her head. “Don’t. Just tell Angel and the others. Doyle and Dennis will take care of me.” She looked happy and sad all at once. “And tell Buffy that it means a lot that she came all this way to say goodbye.”
Fred nodded again. The faces began to fade away. But suddenly they came back into focus. “Fred, tell Angel that I want to be buried back home,” Cordelia said. “Back in LA.”
Then they were gone. Fred blinked and saw Buffy, Angel, Wesley, and Gunn standing in the doorway, staring at her.
“Are you okay?” Angel asked.
Fred merely nodded. “She’s okay too.”
“What are you talking about?” Wesley asked.
“I had a vision,” Fred said.
The others rushed to her side. “Are you okay?” Angel asked. “What’s the trouble?”
Fred surprised them by giving them a sad smile. “There is no trouble. It was Cordy. She’s okay, Angel. She told me so. She said that Dennis and Doyle would watch out for her.”
Tears gathered in Angel’s eyes. “Doyle’s watching out for her,” he repeated.
Fred nodded. Buffy stepped closer to Angel’s side. But their moment was shattered by the blaring of alarms. The group turned to Cordelia’s heart monitor, where lights were flashing wildly. Buffy ran to the door. “Help! Dr. Chase! Someone, get in here!”
Chase came running to the door. His face dropped when he saw the monitor. “Code blue!” he cried and pushed a button on the wall.
House, Foreman, and Cameron ran to the door. “Oh no,” Cameron said, her voice choked.
Chase was running around the room like a madman, checking tubes and IV needles and each of the monitors. Cameron started crying. House and Foreman shared a look. House limped over to catch Chase by the arm. “It’s over, Chase. Let her go.”
“No!” He broke away from House and went for the defibrillator. “I won’t let her die.”
But before he even reached the box, an invisible push sent him reeling back. Only Foreman stopped him from crashing into the metal tray behind him. “What the hell was that?” Chase asked angrily.
Angel had a faraway look in his eye. “It’s Dennis.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Chase demanded.
“Phantom Dennis,” Wesley replied with a sad smile.
Cameron slowly switched off Cordelia’s cardiac monitor and the shrieking alarm of the flatline fell into silence. “I’m sorry, Chase,” she said.
Buffy shook her head. “Don’t be.” She looked directly at Chase. “She’s happy now.”
Fred nodded. “I know she is.” She took a deep breath. “Dr. Chase, Cordelia asked me if she could be buried in Los Angeles. Would it be okay if we took her body back with us?”
“She asked you?” he said, his voice breaking with tears. “When?”
Fred looked to Angel, her eyes saying plainly, Just now
. Angel nodded. “Back before she left. She always said that if anything should happen to her, that she’d like to be buried back home.”
Chase was hardly able to hold back a sob as he approached his cousin’s bedside. Again, he was tossed back and caught by Foreman, but Angel spoke aloud to no one, “Dennis, that’s enough. Let him say goodbye.” He nodded to the blonde doctor. “It’s fine. He won’t stop you.”
Foreman and House looked at each other in disbelief, but indeed this time Chase was able to walk, trembling, to Cordelia’s bedside. House, Foreman, and Cameron, as well as Buffy, Gunn, and Fred, quietly left the room. Chase was left with Angel and Wesley as they gathered around Cordelia lying lifeless in the hospital bed.
“I’m so sorry, Cordy,” Chase whispered tearfully as he knelt beside the bed and clasped her limp hand. “I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you.”
He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up into the face of Cordelia’s friend Wesley. “Dr. Chase, I promise. She’s at peace now.”
The energy in the room shifted, though only Angel was able to sense it. He looked sadly at Chase, then to Wesley. “Dennis is gone.”
“He must have decided that he wasn’t needed here anymore,” Wesley said. “He followed her.”
Chase looked between Angel and Wesley. “Who is Dennis?”
Wesley and Angel shared a look, but Angel replied, “Cordelia’s guardian angel.”
If Chase was skeptical, he didn’t show or say it. Instead, he accepted Wesley’s hand and climbed to his feet. “I always knew that she was special,” he finally said. “I should have known that someone would be looking out for her.”
There were tears in Wesley’s eyes. “She had many people looking out for her,” he told Chase.
With one final nod, Chase looked at his watch and said solemnly, “Time of death, 10:31 pm.” The three of them left the room then, so that they did not have to watch a sheet pulled over Cordelia’s peaceful face.
… AUTHOR’S NOTE
I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I know a lot of you didn’t want Cordelia to die, but it was the direction the story took me. And I also didn’t think that Angel and the others would reveal all the details about Cordy’s (and their) life, so that didn’t really get touched either. Lastly, I know Buffy’s a little OOC with the whole Chapel thing, but I figured after her time in Heaven, she might have grown a little more spiritual or something.
There will be an epilogue, coming soon!