This I Promise You By JulesChapter 2
** A couple weeks later **
Cordelia knocked Richie down on his butt, triumphant, "Yes! Wahoo! I - Kicked - Your - @ss!" She reached down and pulled him to his feet.
Richie rubbed his tailbone, "I think you broke me."
Cordelia rolled her eyes, "Oh quit being such a wimp. God, you're acting just like Xander."
Richie grabbed his chest, like he'd been stabbed, "Ooh, insult right to the heart. That was a harsh one." Then he laughed putting his arm around her, "Ok, what do you want for kicking my @ss." He'd promised her anything she wanted if she beat him 5 out of 6.
She looks at him with her eyes hopeful, "Come with me to Sunnydale, it would be a total bore with out someone to fight with there. And since Duncan said I'm not supposed to alert anyone to my true nature, it's not like I can fight or train with anyone around there. I'd like to have one immortal there with me."
Richie's shocked, "Um, ok! That would be cool. California huh? Hmm, I always wanted to live there!"
They both feel The Buzz and look around.
"Mind if I come too?" Adam asks, as he comes into the room.
Cordelia's face lights up, "Really?"
"Yeah! I've always wanted to visit the Hellmouth, and a Slayer." Adam shrugs smiling.
Cordelia runs up and hugs the 5000-year-old man whom she's grown close to over the past two weeks. They had a lot more in common then Duncan would have thought, of course it was purely friendship though.
"Thanks guys! You are the best!"
"Plus we'll teach you how to have fun at night, so no one will catch you killing the bad guys." Richie whispers in her ear as Duncan comes into the room.
"What's going on?" He asks, seeing the looks on their faces.
"We're going to Sunnydale with Cordy." Richie tells him.
"Oh, well, please call me every now and then and let me know how you are." Duncan makes them promise, knowing he was going to miss his friends.
"I will. I promise Dunc. You're stuck with me now, you couldn't get rid of me if you tried MacLeod." Cordelia tells him grinning. ** Two-day's later **
** At the airport terminal **
"Take care of her." Duncan orders Adam and Richie secretly while Cordelia was at the gift shop, "She's still young, and very impulsive. You know how that could be a problem Adam."
"Don't worry MacLeod, we'll protect her. Hell, I've even bought a mansion right done the street from her for Richie and I, so we can be close by. Plus Richie somehow managed to get a job at the High School, I'm not even going to ask how. And since the mansion is still in the midst of being decorated, we're staying with her until her parents come home." Adam assures Duncan.
Cordelia comes up with a book in her hand, plus a little something for Xander.
"Are you guys ready? The plane's almost ready to board." She tells them.
"Yeah, we're ready." Richie confirms.
"Good, MacLeod, I'm gonna miss you. Thank you, if you hadn't found me, I would probably be headless right now, or locked up in a mental institution."
"It was nothing. I'm just glad that you're going to be ok. If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to call me Cordy. And never tell anyone what you are, unless is absolutely necessary." Duncan tells her.
The flight to Sunnydale was announced and it was time to leave.
He gives her a card, which means she has to pick up something at the airport once she's in Sunnydale, "I won't MacLeod." She gives him a quick hug, something totally un-Cordelia like, "I'll miss you. And I won't ever forget what you taught me. Au-revoir mon ami."
With that she hurries away, so he won't catch her tears. Adam gives Duncan a quick handshake, then runs after her.
Richie gives Duncan a hug too, "I'll protect her Dunc, you can count on me." Then he goes through the door too. ** Sunnydale **
** The airport, hours later **
The trio stopped at the pickup desk, where Richie and Adam got their swords. Then Cordelia handed them the ticket Duncan had given her at the Airport in Paris. Adam and Richie patiently waited with her, a long case was brought out too her. Cordelia knew better then to open it there, so once they got to her car in the parking lot, they opened it on the trunk. Inside was a beautiful sword, with an ivory handle with delicate patterns carved into it.
"Wow." Was all they could say, it was a very expensive, and meaningful gift. It was obvious that the sword had been used, but not for a very long time. It was in amazing condition too, for the 200-year-old Dragon-Head katana Adam identified it as. [Just to give you a little back ground info, the Dragon-Head katana was actually created for the show Highlander. You can buy a sword identical to the one used by Duncan on the show, but it is not a combat weapon. **]
"Duncan must have found when he was looking for things for his antique shop, I just hope that the owners didn't know what it really was, otherwise he would have spent a fortune on it."
Cordelia fingers the blade, then silently closes the case, "I miss him already. You know, spending practically every single minute of your life with a man for three months, they tend to grow on you, no matter how tacky their hair cut is."
Adam puts his arm around her and kisses her on the forehead, "I know you do Cordy, but you can talk to him soon."
Cordelia sighs, nodding her head. She takes a deep breath then perks up, "So, what do you guys want to do? My parents aren't gonna be home for another two weeks from Switzerland, and the house is ours! School doesn't start for a week either, so we've got seven days and seven nights to fill."
"Oh, I think we can come up with something." Richie assures her laughing.
Cordelia had brought home tons more suitcases of clothes then she's arrived with, so her trunk and a seat in the back of her car were full of suitcases.
They all crammed into the car, Richie squeezed in the backseat, next to most of his and Adam' luggage, since the rest was being sent here, since they were moving everything they owned was being sent. Adam sat next to Cordelia in the passenger seat.** Right before sunset that night **
Richie and Cordelia were looking through her family's extensive collection of movies, trying to find a good one to watch, when Adam saunters into the room.
"Cordy, how would you like to get some practicing in?" Adam asks, with a twinkle in his eye.
Cordelia jumps up, actually excited at the prospect, "Ooh! I'll go change!"
She quickly runs upstairs and gets into the stealth look, which she'd grown to really like. Black, now that she thought about it, was a very appealing color. She put on a black wrap around skirt and a black spaghetti strap shirt, since it was still summer. She'd learned how to fight in heels too, so she put on some black 3-inch platforms. She pulled a see through black gauzy long sleeve shirt on over the tank and she was ready after tying her hair back. A lightweight, designer, black trench coat, which went to her mid-thigh, was long enough to conceal the sword, but still short enough to be fashionable.
Soon she, Adam, and Richie were walking through the cemetery, looking for some live dummies [vamps] to get some practice in.
They got bored and were soon sitting on some above ground symbolic tomb, with nothing in it, talking.
"I have to know Richie, how on earth did you get a job at my high school?" Cordelia questioned, leaning back and swinging her legs.
"I faked a resume, really simple actually. But I'm just going to be a student teacher, easy stuff. It will be nice to be giving back to a community."
"Oh please, you're just doing it just to get a close look at the cheerleaders at the games." Adam accuses knowingly.
"Who, me?" Richie asks innocently, "That's not true!"
Cordelia looks at him sternly, "That had better not be true Richie! And Adam, why did you have to say that?! I'm a cheerleader! Now that's all I'm going to be thinking about every time I do a high kick."
"Oops, forgot. I didn't mean it. And I'm sure that Richie doesn't plan on doing that." Adam lies, he knew that Richie had a crush on Cordelia, and was using every opportunity to give her extremely subtle hints.
All three jump when a deep voice comes up behind them, "It's not safe to be out around here after dark." He warns.
Cordelia stiffens, then jumps off turning around, leaning on the tomb, which Richie and Adam still sit on, "I know Angel, but it's like so quiet out here so far! No un-dead in sight!"
Angel's chest constricts at the sight of the beautiful girl, he hadn't seen her for months, and had thought it was just a phase which had passed, then now the moment his eyes lay on her, it happens again.
"Hey Cordelia." Angel raises his eyebrow, to the two men who've twisted around to see the vampire, "Hello, I'm Angel."
"Cool! This is the first time I ever met a vampire!" Richie exclaims.
Adam whaps Richie on the head, "Shut up you bonehead." He hisses.
"Cordelia, is there something you'd like to tell me?" Angel asks, wondering why she's let two strangers in on his secret.
"Relax Angel, these are my friends Adam Pierson and Richie Ryan. Adam has known about your kind's existence for years, and Richie, well, he just overhears things, but don't let his stupidity fool you, he won't tell anyone." Cordelia promises him, "These dorks live for bloodshed, and we were just really bored. So I was showing them the old haunts. How were thinks in Sunnydale while I was gone? Anything happen?"
"No, nothing since before you all went on summer vacation. But things usually are pretty quiet for awhile after a Master is staked. Things should be picking up again very soon. Actually, they're a little late in getting back into action, but soon."
Cordelia mentally chastises her heart for beating so fast because he's there, but goes on like it's not happening, "Oh, well, it was nice seeing you again Angel. Come on Richie, Adam, we'll just go change then I'll take you guys to the Bronze."
Angel watches the three walk away; Richie and Cordelia arguing.
"But Cordy, it's a teen hang out!" Richie protested, "I'm their teacher for Pete's sake!"
"Oh quit whining Richie, you're not officially a teacher 'til next Wednesday, besides your only a student
teacher to a GYM
teacher. You don't see Adam here complaining . . ."
Cordelia's words became unrecognizable. She was the same Cordelia, but Angel could tell something was different. For one, she's been dressed in all black, and she had a new, 'air', to her, something had changed. Angel shrugged it off as the results of a summer in France.** Two days later **
Cordelia decides to go patrolling, while Adam and Richie move somethings into their new mansion. They weren't going to be coming home until around midnight or later, so Cordelia had some time on her hands.
She put on another short black skirt, a tight black tank top and another lightweight see-through black shirt. It had to be something about not being a mortal, black just seemed like the prefect color for those who would live forever. Its appeal was becoming very noticeable to her, and most of the clothes she'd bought for herself in Europe were black too. She promised herself that she wouldn't only wear dark colors though, no matter how tempted.
Cordelia kept her hair back with a black knit dew rag, which allowed the curls she had to flow down her back, but kept them out of her face.
A few stakes, holy water, and a cross and she was ready.
Cordelia's thoughts were that she might as well do her part since Buffy hadn't returned from LA yet. Plus she needed to work out some tension, and she could only beat the crap out of Richie so many times before it got old!
Angel had always been grateful for his times alone. Though during the past few months it had been practically constant, which had gotten a bit lonely, but it had given him lots of time to think.
And he's been thinking even more since he'd seen Cordelia two days ago. Angel had always been secretly attracted to her at the same time he'd been attracted to Buffy. Buffy had caused the feelings first, but Cordelia made his mind go numb whenever he saw her, or thought of her.
Angel had actually ended up making a list earlier today.
Both were beautiful, but so different.
Buffy had shoulder length blond haired (yeah, bottled blond, but you get what I mean), she had greenish-blue eyes. She was strong, and not just in strength. He's been through a lot as the slayer. Watched friend be killed, killed friends, given up things. He'd really admired her, and grew close to her, but her being the Slayer had really caused a major strain. She's opened up his heart to love for the first time in around 220 years.
Cordelia on the other hand had very long satiny dark brown hair, hazel eyes, which blazed when she was mad. He knew the others didn't see it, but Cordelia was smart, and quick, but she was very protective of herself and hid behind her mask of being a b*tch. She didn't let many people into her heart, or let them even pierce the armor that she protected herself with. Her heart was pure and true though, and was waiting for someone to come along to make her see love, so she could open it up for the world to see it's beauty. She could be or do anything. The moment Angel had seen her he'd felt feelings stirring in his soul, unlike anything he'd ever felt, he just never let it show.
Angel also knew though, getting to close to either of them wouldn't be fair to them. Angel had also done research in his time along, and found that he could lose his soul, because of a damn happiness clause in his curse. And on top of that with Buffy, she was meant to kill his kind. Plus with either girl, they would both grow old one day, then die, leaving him alone, with the pain of loneliness once more. He couldn't allow him the luxury of happiness, and he'd have to end it eventually, didn't he? So he would just make Cordelia unhappy inevitably . . . Wait, Cordelia? He meant
to think 'either one', but Cordelia had just popped in his brain.
Then Angel saw her
walking towards him, he noticed her lips moving, and he hid behind a tree, not wanting to be spotted by her.
Cordelia wandered around the graveyard, which was dead quiet. She laughed softly at the thought.
"Of course it's dead quiet, it's a graveyard!" Then she groaned, "Oh good Cordelia. Now you're talking to yourself. You are seriously going mental. Basically your first time alone in three months, and you start talking to yourself." She sighs, "Oh well, it's better then all that quiet. I hate quiet, too eerie for my liking. Hmm, maybe this way I can think my thoughts out. They run around enough in there on their own, but maybe this will clear them up. First subject, vampires. To start, a handsome one, with a soul, who knows how to dress. Who of course, just like the nut job I am, captured my heart the second I laid eyes on him. He fills my dreams with visions, and feelings of his cool lips, and fingers all over my body . . ."
Behind his tree Angel was shocked at her words of her feelings towards him. And also at images that flash through his mind of him touching her hot body, pressing his lips against hers and his tongue exploring the hot inner depths of her mouth . . . [God, what did you THINK I was going to say?! Get your mind out of Gutterland . . . on second thought, maybe you should leave it there. That never fails on making a story more interesting! LOL
Cordelia went on, still unaware of her audience, "Running my fingers through his amazing hair. His strong hands and arms holding me. Caressing my face." Her hand unconsciously went up and lightly traced her cheekbone, as if she could feel him. The she stopped, shocked, "Ooh, Cordy, you should be ashamed of yourself, you're not supposed to have such thoughts about him, you promised yourself." She reprimanded herself, then giggled at how ridiculous that must sound, "I must be going crackers. New subject, new unsexual subject . . . um, ooh, um . . . damn, right when I need something my mind draws a blank." She stops and stands still for a second, "I got it! Various ways to kill evil vamps. The old fashioned stakes is one of the main ways to kill them . . . but if you want to torture them first, crosses and holy water. Now I'm starting to feel bad about the holy water or crosses though, what it must do to their complexion if you don't kill them!"
Angel finally snapped out of his fantasies and heard that she'd changed the subject and decided to make his presence known.
"And I guess fire always will be a good alternative to kill the vampires too . . ." She mussed.
Angel forced a laugh, "Are you planning to kill me anytime soon?"
Cordelia jumped grabbing a stake, and spun towards his voice, "God, Angel! You are so lucky I looked before I staked, otherwise you'd be a pile of dust right now!"
"I guess I am." He tells her, his smile disappearing, "What are you doing alone in the graveyard so late at night?"
"I'm just walking, for now. I figured I might as well make sure there weren't any new vamps coming around, to run rampant once Buffy came back . . ." She looked down and blushes, "And I had nothing to do, Adam and Richie won't be back until after midnight."
"Cordelia, you shouldn't be here alone." He tells her sternly.
Cordelia's eyes flash and she looks up at him, "I can protect myself perfectly well thank you Angel."
Angel sighs, "Cordelia, Buffy would stake me if I let anything happen to any of her Slayerettes while I was on duty. I think your turning into a vampire would qualify as something."
"Geez, uptight much? Relax Angel. You sound just like Adam! If you weren't a vampire I'd tell you to cut down on the caffeine intake!"
Angel just looks at her, "Come on, I'm taking you home before something happens."
"Too late." A new voice tells them.
While they had been arguing, a small group of vampires had sneaked up on him.
Cordelia and Angel immediately go back to back, so Angel doesn't see Cordelia's eyes sparkling in excitement.
"Damn." Angel mutters.
"Scared?" Asked one of the obviously very new vampires, who was about to attack him.
Angel smiled evilly, "Nope." Then he morphed into his demon face and pulled a stake out of his pocket.
Soon both he and Cordelia had dusted two vamps each, with three more to go. Now that Angel was facing her, she high kicks a vamp in the chin, stunning it, then kicks it Angel's way, where he stakes it. One tried to get away when Angel's back was turned, so Cordelia throws a stake, like Adam had taught her to do with knives, and dusted it.
Angel looked Cordelia up and down once the fight was over, her hair was a mess, and she had a cut at her hair line, "That doesn't look too good. I'd better take you home and bandage that up."
Cordelia was feeling fine, and knew that soon after he taped it, it will have healed, but just went with him.
She invited him in and brought a first-aid kit to the dining room table, and pulled out some antibiotic cream on it, gauze, and tape.
"Have you ever been in love Angel? Are you in love?" Cordelia asks cautiously, as Angel was putting the antibiotic cream on the wound.
"I might be. But I can't be in love, and she can't love me, it wouldn't be fair to her." He tells her, as he gently placed the gauze on her cut and tapes it on.
"God, Cryptic Guy rears his head! Care to explain that Soul-boy?" She asks teasingly.
Angel gives a little grimace, because she sounded like Xander, then explains his sad plight to her, "It's because of a clause in the curse, which gives me my soul actually. If I experience total happiness, I lose my soul and become Angelus again, and he's a mean guy. Trust me, I remember, and he tries to talk me into things every day. I just wish that my soul was anchored, so I don't have to worry about hurting those who I love. If I had my soul, I could finally be happy with someone I love."
Cordelia feels her hear practically break for the sexy man sitting next to her. It was then she made her vow, she would get Angel his soul, with no clauses where he could lose it. Then maybe he could be happy with Buffy. She knew she'd never have a chance with him, but if he was happy, she'd live the rest of her immortal life knowing that she did do something selfless for once. She bit her lip to keep from crying, realizing that she'd lose him forever because of this, but knew she had to.
Cordelia swallowed the lump in her throat, "I hope it happens one day. Ooh, you'll have to go to be before Adam and Richie come back."
"They're coming here?" Angel questions.
"Yeah, they are living with me, since my parents gave all the servants paid vacation, until they come back next week. It's lonely here all alone."
"They left you completely alone?" Angel asks, if he had a heart, it would be going out to her right now.
Cordelia just shrugs her shoulders, "It's not like it's the first time. And I guess they figure that I'm 16, I don't need a babysitter. It's just that the mansion is so big, and it gets creepy when no one else is around . . . not that anyone's around much when they are 'home'." she leads him to the door.
"Oh, well, good night." Then he walks away into the darkness, his soul aching for the obviously neglected teen behind him.
She follows Angel out the door then calls out after him, "Good night Angel, protect the world."