Cole and Drusilla moved a little way away from the mourning Cordelia, leaving Angel to comfort her - although Angel's form of comforting consisted largely of sitting quietly next to her, in the hope that she might draw strength from his stoic presence. Angel had never been much of an emotional person, and he was struggling to deal with his own.
"Why aren't you brown?" asked Drusilla, suddenly.
Cole looked at her, somewhat startled by the non-sequitur. "Why would I be brown?" he replied, confused.
"Well, you're black and red, but black and red make brown. So why aren't you brown? At least around the edges." asked Drusilla intently. Cole remembered that Dinza had mentioned her insanity, although he hadn't had a chance to see much of it. However, he also wondered whether this was Drusilla's coping mechanism.
Cole decided to play along. "Well, you have dark hair but pale skin. Why aren't you a sort of coffee colour?" he said.
"I suppose so. Do you think she'll stop crying over him soon? It makes me feel uncomfortable." said Drusilla, shifting from foot to foot.
"I don't know. Where I come from, dead is dead. When demons die, we don't mourn them, they're just gone." Cole answered slowly. Although he was telling the truth - he had never mourned a fallen colleague - he could understand and empathize with Drusilla being uncomfortable with the situation.
"I used to feel that too. Kind of hollow. I used to enjoy torturing people, you know? But I didn't care when they died. I think I preferred it that way." Drusilla murmured, only Cole's demonic hearing allowing him to catch it.
Cole wondered why having a soul made such a difference to Drusilla, but little, if any, difference to him. He'd had one for far longer than her, and yet he'd never felt the kind of qualms that she was expressing.
Then Drusilla reached up and kissed him. Cole hesitated for a moment, and then she broke away, avoiding looking at him. "Sorry. I - I don't know why I did that." she said. If she could still blush, she most certainly would've.
"On the whole, I don't really mind that you did. But I don't think that this is really the time." Cole said thoughtfully.
Suddenly, Cordelia got up and strode toward them, Angel trailing in her wake. She looked awful, although she had managed to stop crying. Her eyes were red, and her arms were crossed across her chest and her fingers were digging into her palms so hard that Drusilla could smell the blood. Periodically, she shivered violently.
"What are we waiting for?" Cordelia said, voice harsh from crying. "Let's get these demons on the boat. It's the least we can do for -" she broke off suddenly, but everyone knew the word she didn't say - Doyle
"I'll go and find the captain." said Angel quickly, hurrying off. Perhaps, if he intimidated the captain a little, to make him go faster, Angel might feel better. And at least it would give him something to do. He needed
something to do.
Cordelia watched him go, minute trembles running constantly throughout her body. Then she turned to Cole, her arms wrapped so tightly around herself that it was obvious that she was literally trying to hold herself together - or to stop incapacitating grief from pouring out. "Cole, can you - can you do something about Do- about the body? One of your fire ball things? I just - just can't stand it, with him - that there." she stammered, trying to keep her voice level and biting her cheeks to stop herself from crying.
"Of course." said Cole briefly, striding towards the corpse.
It was the work of a moment to incinerate the earthly remains of Doyle, and Cordelia couldn't force herself not to watch. When he was gone, she flinched as though she had been struck, then became stock still. Obviously, she didn't know what she might do if she had to move.
At that moment, Angel returned, scowling (even more than usual). "The captain says we can't leave until his first mate has been found. Apparently he's vanished. I thought I'd go and look for him." he said brusquely.
Before Angel had a chance to turn and leave again, Cole called out "No, stay, I can find him faster than you can."
Angel stopped, although he wished he could go. But if there was another way, by what right could he leave Cordelia in this state? So he settled for asking Cole "How?"
Cole wiggled his fingers in front of him. "Magic." he said simply. Cordelia wished that she could laugh, or even smile, at that.
Before Angel had a chance to ask Cole exactly what type of magic he was going to work, Cole's shadow detached from him, passing over Drusilla who stood as still as only a vampire can stand as it washed over her, before vanishing through the open doorway.
Now all they could do was wait, while Cole's shadow found the first mate. Everyone, even (perhaps especially) the crowd of Listers, wished that they could get a move on, get out of this place.
While Cole stayed in the abandoned warehouse, part of his mind was gone, traveling with his shadow. Cole had never had much control over his shadow - he could tell it what to do, but how and when it went about doing it was out of his control. Belthazor was better at it, but Cole didn't think the situation called for that.
Still, Cole was mildly surprised when he found his shadow flitting over the rooftops to the scene of the beating that had ultimately claimed Doyle's life. He was certain that there was nothing to be found there.
It seemed as though Cole was proved right, when the shadow zoomed off in a different direction entirely.
Unfortunately, the destination that Cole's shadow ultimately ended up was in the midst of hundreds of demons of the kind that he'd like to never see again - although Belthazor most certainly would.
So Cole watched through his shadow as the leader of the Scourge, the one he had met in Holland's office, gave a speech detailing how a human had betrayed his kind and a clan of half-breeds for money. He watched as said human - doubtlessly the first mate, which was why his shadow was here - was dragged out in chains, to stand before a vast orb. He watched as the Scourge's leader proclaimed that the orb - which he called the Beacon - would be the weapon with which they finally eliminated the human and half-breed population of the planet. He watched the machine being demonstrated, and the first mate being so utterly destroyed that not even ashes remained.
Then Cole's shadow came racing back to him, but Cole was no longer really paying attention to it. He was back in the abandoned warehouse. "We have to get out of here. Now." he said, urgently.
Angel, Drusilla and Cordelia stood as Cole explained what he had just seen, via his shadow - the two vampires impassively, Cordelia's face aglow with a fierce hatred at the mention of the demons who had killed Doyle.
"No, we can't leave." said Angel, once Cole had finished.
"Don't be ridiculous, of course we can. We just have to load the Listers on the boat and get out of here." Cole protested.
To both Cole and Angel's mild surprise, it was Drusilla who answered. "No. Even if we escape with a boat load of Listers, there are still millions of demons and humans that the Scourge can kill with the Beacon in this city alone. So we have to destroy it, and kill as many Scourge as we can in the hope that none of the other branches out there can build another, and that we kill the ones that built this one."
Angel further expanded on Drusilla's statement by talking about the plan he had just come up with. "So, we get the Listers on the boat, and it's an enclosed space so the Scourge won't be able to use their numbers to overwhelm us. We just have to hope that they come after us instead of going and using the Beacon elsewhere."
Cole coughed delicately. "That's not going to be a problem. I pissed their leader off at Wolfram & Hart earlier today, and once they see what I did to the ones who killed Doyle, they'll come after us." he said matter-of-factly. "But there's still only four of us. Even in an enclosed space, there would still be too many Scourge soldiers for so few to fight."
"We will fight too." said a young Lister from nearby. "You would die for us - one of you has already died for us. The least we can do is fight against those that would kill us."
"Do you speak for all?" asked Angel sceptically.
" came the answering roar from hundreds of throats. Cordelia smiled then, somewhat savagely, tears rolling unheeded down her face.
Drusilla turned to Cole. "Go." she said, simply.
"Go where?" Cole questioned, bemused.
"It doesn't matter. I need to See, and I can't whilst you are here. So go." Drusilla paused for a moment, then said quietly "But come back. I miss being sane."
Cole smiled at her, then turned to organize the move from warehouse to ship, aided by Angel. Drusilla squatted where she was, trying to cling to sanity so that she could coherently tell the others about what she Saw. Cordelia didn't feel in a fit state to help - she wouldn't know how to anyway - so she wandered away, out of the warehouse and further down the docks, where she looked out over the water, wind ruffling her hair.
Drusilla Saw. She Saw...
The Scourge were coming, like ants, towing the vast orb of their queen behind them. They were close, but they wouldn't get here until the trap was ready to be sprung. But too early, still, too early...
Drusilla Saw her own death.
The Angel-Beast was coming. He wanted to know what Drusilla Saw. Well, she wouldn't tell him what he didn't need to know. She told him they were coming, that he should hurry, that there wasn't long left. He left, satisfied.
Then Drusilla lost the thread of the present, tumbling into the future. It didn't concern her. She'd never see it. She just sat there and listened to the song of the stars. So beautiful. So very beautiful. And so sad...
It didn't take long for Angel and Cole to move the Listers the short distance into the hold of the ship, and it would've taken less time had they not stopped to collect anything and everything that they might be able to use as a weapon against the Scourge.
Then Angel went to get Cordelia, and Cole went to get Drusilla. Each thought that they had the best chance of convincing the respective slightly crazed lady to get on the ship.
Angel found Cordelia staring out to sea. She seemed calmer than she had before, as though she'd lost the anger and hatred that had kept her going until now, and replaced it with calm. Angel wasn't entirely sure that it was an improvement.
"Shall we go?" Angel said to her softly.
Cordelia looked out over the moonlit water, then sighed. "I suppose that we should."
They turned and left, and if an observer had been there to watch them, it would've seen them walking perhaps unnecessarily close together.
Cole found Drusilla rocking on her heels, hands pressed against either side of her face as though to reassure herself that it was still there. He crouched down in front of her and gently said "Are you alright?"
Slowly, Drusilla moved her hands away from her face. "I am. Now." she said, exaggerating every word. "Thank you."
"It's nothing." Cole said, standing. He extended a hand to Drusilla to help her up, although he knew that she didn't need it. She took it nonetheless.
"No, it is. Thank you. Really. I don't know whether I could do that again." Drusilla said truthfully.
"Well, you won't have to." Cole said, looking at her.
"No, that's true." Drusilla said, but the way she said it made Cole certain that she meant it in a different way from the way he meant it.
Cole realised that Drusilla hadn't yet released his hand, so he tried to remove it himself, but she wouldn't let go. Then, again, she kissed him, more passionately than before. Again, Cole broke it off. "It's still not the time."
"No. But there is no time but now." she murmured to herself. Cole wasn't sure that he had been meant to her it, and he was even less sure as to what she meant by it.
Author's note: given that none of the characters reacted this extremely to Doyle's death in the series, you might say that they're overreacting a little. However, I'd say they aren't, if only because there is a world of difference between watching Doyle getting killed by the Beacon and having him die in your arms.
Also, while Drusilla is less crazy when Cole is nearby, she isn't completely sane. Which may explain why she keeps kissing Cole.