AUTHOR: Siege (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere just let me know 'K
DISCLAIMER: All things BtVS related belong to Joss Wheadon and M.E.
SUMMARY: A short CX story, all about forgiveness.
FEEDBACK: Oh yes please, you know for the wall.
WORD COUNT: 3,245
AUTHORS NOTES: Millie has been at it again, whispering strange things in my ear. This is the result, a one off Xander Cordy piece I haven’t actually done X/C before but I liked the idea of them as a couple so here is a little something. Anya fans beware I’m not.
"Man, I don't believe it. You are still the most beautiful woman I've ever seen"
Cordelia’s dark hair whipped around her head as she turned sharply towards the voice in shock. There standing in the door way to the Hyperion Hotel was her once boyfriend and only real love in her life. He had damaged her when he had his little fling with Willow and the feelings of icy hatred were quickly back with her as she stared at him from a distance of a few short meters.
Angel and Wesley exchanged a worried glance, as her two best friends they knew only to well how much he had hurt her. Also Xander had been the only one so far not to come out to LA on a visit of some sort. They had no advance warning of his visit nor did they know why Xander Harris should be the one visiting.
The atmosphere in the hotel lobby crew both still and decidedly chilly as the two ex’s looked at each other. Uncharacteristically Xander was dressed well, in dark solid colours in an outfit that matched his frame and accentuated his height. It was if he had made an effort knowing who he would meet up with. He had two large travel bags with him that were currently sat at his feet. He had a small, almost hopeful smile on his face that seemed out of place on the usually smirk wearing young man.
“Xander” Cordelia said eying him with distain, the ice dripped off of every letter of his name.
“Cordelia” Xander replied, were Cordelia had ice, he was warmth her name sounded almost like a prayer to a higher being on his lips.
Neither the soul bearing vampire nor the ex watcher turned demon hunter knew what to do; they felt as if they were intruding on a private moment. In unspoken agreement they as one turned to leave.
“No, you two stay,” Cordy said looking at them, “you say what you have to say and leave” she said piercing Xander with an icy glace. “I assume, that the royal Buffy sent you to do her dirty work, or is this a donut delivery?”
Xander’s face darkened slightly but once again he accepted her harsh words. Just as he had when he had since first being discovered with Willow that fateful night. Taking a second to remove any trace of hurt or anger from his voice he finally replied to the ex cheerleader, “No message and I forgot donuts. I just came to see you”
“Really, then you wasted your trip” Cordelia said venom in her tone and eyes. She looked as though she wanted to physically rip the young man apart.
“I don’t think so” Xander said, a ghost of a smile on his lips. This was the Cordelia he knew.
“You will” Cordy said her tone slipping a little being around him and feeling the anger and pain once again was becoming too much for her, but she would not succumb to tears in his presence.
“I can’t. You see I need help” Xander said working without a chute.
“Help, The YMCA do a good deal on beds” she shot back.
“Only you can help me, Cordelia,” he said making a step towards her.
“No” she said holding up a hand to forestall his getting any closer to her.
“I’m sorry, I wanted you to know that”
“Are You” she spat her eyes flashing, “Are you really? Is that what you came to do, say you were sorry? If it is you wasted your time”
“That, among other things” Xander said his ghost like smile disappearing and something else, something indefinable entering his eyes.
“Just Go” Cordelia said with finality.
Xander nodded and moved to leave.
Only angel was able to hear the grunt of pain as Xander picked up the medium sized bags. Angel knew only too well that Xander was a powerful man; bags of that size would not be a problem for him. But it wasn’t that that worried him. It was the smell of blood in the air, still strong.
Angel acted on impulse. He and Xander had never got on but he respected, maybe even admired the boy who was now a man. He couldn’t allow him to be hurt and if he was injured, he knew only to well what could happen.
He arrived outside to find Xander sagged against a lamp post his face ashen, not a hint of the man who had been coolly standing in his hotel moments before. It was obvious something was seriously wrong with him.
Xander noticed angels approach and tried to stand up straight to project the image he had moments before. It had taken all of his strength to do so before and now he had nothing left. He tried anyway and just as Angel reached him his eyes rolled up into the back of his head and he feinted dead away.
Angel darted forward and caught Xander before he hit the floor picking him up in gentle arms he carried him and his bags back into the hotel.
Cordelia once again found herself whipping round to face the door she frowned at the sight of Angel carrying a limp Xander. A sight she had never thought to see. “I know I was mad, but you didn’t have to really. But I do like my gift” she said with a cruel smile.
To her shock angel vamped out, “Cut that out. Call that tame doctor, Damn It I’m in game face aren’t I?”
Cordelia nodded numbly, “Yes, you didn’t realise?”
“It’s the blood,” Angel said simply, placing the injured man onto a couch. Wesley immediately moved off to get the substantial First Aid kit that was a part of every good demon hunters arsenal.
Cordelia’s concern for her ex, something no one would have thought possible a few moments ago now blossomed onto her face. Even angel was surprised as she shoved the Rolodex into his hand and walked over to softly stroke Xander’s hair. He was clammy, slick with sweat and cold. Not a good combination in her experience. Something had badly hurt the man, she once thought indestructible.
Angel, put the phone down having called their tame doctor. The smell was really starting to worry him.
Wesley arrived back with the first aid kit and knelt next to Xander’s prone form. He gently pushed up Xander’s shirt to reveal a shocking sight. Wrapped around Xander’s entire lower stomach and part of his chest was what was once a white bandage.
Cordelia chocked out a sob as she realised just why he had been wearing dark colours. The bandage was soaked with deep red blood. From where he was standing Angel cringed as the full force of the blood aroma hit him. He didn’t try to leave, he had a strange feeling he may be needed soon.
Wesley drew out a razor sharp flick knife from his persona and carefully started to cut away the bandages. What he revealed shocked and disgusted him. There were literally hundreds of cuts all across Xander’s chest and stomach some up, some down. There were slashes and stabs and he was bleeding slowly but continually. Acting on some indefinable instinct Wesley cut Xander’s trousers free to reveal that he was literally swathed in bandages. Fearing the worst he then peeked under said bandages to find similar damage there was well.
With tears in her eyes Cordelia’s harshly tight and controlled voice cut through the shocked silence, “When I find out who did this too him I will kill them”
Angel found himself nodding along with her, what could have hurt the human who had faced down Angelus. Something that even he couldn’t do within himself. He found his hand dialling Buffy’s number before he even knew he was doing it.
It rang six times before her voice came back over the connection. Without waiting for her to finish he spoke.
“Buffy, its me”
“Yes, urm I have a problem”
“When did you last see Xander” Angel didn’t know why he was being so cagey with his soul mate, but something told him that he should be cautious.
“About a week ago, why?”
“Where was he going?”
“Not really sure, he took Anya up to his uncles cabin, said he had to tell her something. We all thought he might be breaking up with her”
“Breaking up with her, the ex-vengeance demon?” Angel said his eyes wide. A horrible thought was starting to occur to him.
“Yeah I know, he did say he may be away for a few days. None of knew why he was taking her away to do it, would have been quicker and easier to just get on with it” Buffy said with a smile in her voice.
“You can’t all be that dense surely” Angel bit out without thinking.
“W.W.What” Buffy said her voice small.
Cursing himself, and wondering not for the first time if he was the only one of the lot of them, who had any idea what sort of person, Xander was. “To protect you all. In case she didn’t take the news well. OH! AND GUESS WHAT SHE DIDN’T” he virtually shouted down the phone.
“Angel?” Buffy said her voice now tiny.
“I need you and Willow here, we may need a powerful witch and I mean now. I have a badly hurt Xander here in the hotel dying” now Angel really cursed himself as he saw Cordelia’s back become ramrod straight at his words. He knew them to be true, but he hadn’t wanted it to come out like that. He was seriously in shock to know how the hell Xander had managed to get to him in that state.
The phone line went dead and he knew his words had gotten to the slayer. He had never understood the slayer’s relationship with Xander but he knew that she cared for him a great deal. At first Xander had seemed to be head over heels in love with the blonde slayer. In time though, he seemed to get over his crush and move on. He still loved the slayer but it grew into something else entirely, but he was unsure where the slayer stood.
Angel walked over to Cordy and placed a hand on her rigid shoulder, “He won’t die” she informed him with a certainty in her voice that he didn’t feel. His senses screamed at him now that he was closer to the human, and he could barely make out the young mans heart beat at all now.
Wesley looked at his employer concern in his eyes, “If the demon Anyanka is back. We will need to deal with her.”
Xander who was just now barely conscious opened his eyes and Cordelia looked at him in shock. He shouldn’t even been able to regain consciousness at this point, not with the wounds he had, let alone try to talk which is what he was currently doing, “N.” he started his voice week, “Dead, she’s dead” he blurted out draining his reserves badly.
“Shhhhh” she told him gently trying to push him backwards back on the couch, He fought her and indicated she should come closer. She leaned forward her hair swinging forward into his face. The silken strands stroked his skin and a weak smile appeared on the stricken mans face.
Inhaling her scent he whispered into her ear. “Love you” before slumping back.
Cordelia reached out with tears running down her face and stroked his handsome face gently. Knowing what had just happened. His last words to her.
A flash and a bang shocked them all and a column of smoke rose from the floor and dissipated leaving Buffy and Willow in its wake. Looking weak with a line of blood running down from her nose Willow ran over and slipped something into the carpenters mouth before she feinted dead away, a final sentence on her lips.
“Don na acwelan” the words loaded with magical power.
Buffy strode over to the red haired Wiccan and picked her up easily. Then she placed her on a nearby chair before turning to face the others. With a small smile she took in their shocked faces, “What?” she asked innocently.
“Buffy, how can you be so calm?” Wesley asked.
“Because I trust Willow, you know she is pretty damn powerful these days. She was sure she could stop Xander dying, so am I”
“I have to admit that teleportation spells take incredible power,” Wesley said grudgingly. If she had that sort of power then perhaps what ever she had done would save Xander.
“What happened, do we know?” Buffy asked anger simmering.
“No, all we managed to get was that she is dead” Angel said
“Good” the single word laced with passion came from Cordelia who was looking as mad as anyone had ever seen her. But then as Buffy took in the sight of Xander’s bleeding body she had to agree. Because if Xander had not removed the demon either she or Cordelia sure as hell would have. Buffy had to admit it would likely have been Cordelia who got there first.
Cordelia now with tears streaming down her face looked up and screamed out, “WHY, I HAVE THESE VISIONS AND YOU DIDN’T WARN ME! WHY?”
To her ultimate shock the PTB choose to answer her.
Cordelia screamed out in pain as a vision began to assault her senses. Her body feinted dead away but her mind seemed to project through time and space and she found herself standing in a cold snow drift outside what she supposed was Xander’s uncles cabin.
She walked forward, not feeling the cold and walked straight through the wall into the interior of the cabin. She found Xander sat on a chair in front of the fire with his hands out warming them. A noise distracted her attention and she turned to find Anya coming out of a bedroom wearing only in a fur coat and a smile.
She swaggered up towards Xander with passionate intent but Xander held his hands up to her, “No Ahn, this isn’t why I asked you up here”
Cordelia felt a hot rush of relief at his words. So much so it defied her own explanations.
Anya virtually snarled at him, “We haven’t had sex in weeks; who do you expect me to continue like this. I need my orgasms”
Secretly happy at her discover Cordelia perched on the table behind Xander with a triumphant grin.
Anya wrapped the coat around herself and slumped down in a chair in anger.
Xander took a deep breath and went for it, “Look, I needed to talk to you. I brought you up here so we could deal with this together, I hope, like adults.”
Anya eyed him with deep suspicion.
“I,” Xander took another breath, “am so sorry Anya. But I don’t love you. I think we need to break up”
Anya’s eyes flashed but she stayed calm, “Do you have someone else?” she asked
She cocked her head at him.
“I’m afraid I am in love with someone else. It wouldn’t ever happen, I burnt that bridge rather spectacularly but I still love her and it isn’t right being with you. I don’t want to hurt you”
Cordelia felt her heart break once again; this man would certainly be the undoing of her.
Anya on the other hand seemed still very calm. Almost too calm.
A moment later she was joined on the couch by a dark haired demon, “See I told you”
“You were right, Hallie” Anya said with a sad smile.
“Now are you coming back” another voice came from behind her and Cordelia turned to find the Vengeance Demon Lord D’Hoffman standing there with an evil smile.
“Yes” Anya replied with a nasty light in her eye.
Smiling D’Hoffman waved his hand and a pendant appeared on Anya’s neck.
He and the other woman disappeared with a final, “Have fun” left floating in the air.
Anyanka smiled and her demon form appeared with a snapped of her fingers.
“You think I didn’t now. All this time, you think I actually fell for it”
“Huh” Xander said from the bindings he was now encased in.
“You think that all this time I wanted you? Did you know that once a contract has been made a wish granted I have to stick to it? Seek vengeance for the wronged one? I’ll admit that for a while there I was almost fooled. Really thought I loved you but then I was shown the error of my ways.” She waved her hand and one of Xander’s recurring dreams appeared. It was of him and Cordelia kissing in the cupboard at the high school their passionate embrace. This was a dream but also a memory. It shifted to them standing at an alter. That was a dream, a dream that he had often thought off as he went through the day. He knew it could never happen, but god did he want it.
Cordelia felt herself begin to cry she had never realised the depth of his feeling for her more than now.
Anya grinned viciously and a knife appeared in her hand from nowhere. Cordelia tried to stop her, she really did but her fist past straight through the now demonically visage’d ex-human. She moved towards Xander with deliberate steps and he just smiled at her, her just smiled. Cordy couldn’t believe it until she took a close look at Xander’s eyes. They were cold, like ice. He would wait and he would have his revenge.
Her viewpoint changed rushing through the torture as if it was on fast forward, until finally Anya found herself with her own knife sticking from her stomach and Xander reaching over her with a angry snarl. Then Cordelia watched as Xander fixed himself up and left the cabin. She saw his journey down the mountain and towards LA. She felt what he felt and knew that he knew that he was dying. His only aim to see her, to try to make amends before he slipped into the arms of Orpheus. She watched the confrontation in at Angels' and Xander’s feelings.
Then she snapped back to the present with Buffy, Angel and Wesley all looking down at her with concern on their faces. “What are you all looking at,” she said weakly prompting a smile from those present.
“A Vision?” Angel asked his handsome brow furrowed with concern.
Cordelia merely nodded.
“Where?” Wesley asked, already packing himself up.
“Not one of those, this was of the past. I saw what happened and I think I know why I was shown. I’ve been such a fool,” she said slowly and painfully getting to her feet. She walked over to the prone form of her high school sweetheart and stroked his face.
“When you wake up, I’ll be here” Cordelia said gently and very quietly.
Angel looked at the others and they all nodded. Buffy reached down and picked up Willow carrying her from the room as they departed leaving the seer to tend to her loved one.
When and If he woke up Xander Harris would find himself better off than he had been since Cordelia had left Sunnydale, the missing piece to his otherwise shattered heart.
:::: The End ::::