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13 June 2006 @ 09:02 pm
Going Home by Kelly and Mike  

Title: Going Home
Author: Mike and Kelly (Collaborative writing team)
Posted: February 26, 2006 (originally)
Rating: PG
Email: jjsoapchat AT yahoo DOT com
Content: C/A, Angst/Drama
Summary: This is a post-NFA story, tying up pesky loose ends. Angel, battle worn and near death is greeted by a familiar face.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Open to the public. Posted at WB and ST.
Notes: It is up to the reader to determine the validity. Reality or merely electric impulses.
Feedback: Yes, please.

The damage to Los Angeles was extensive. The fight between Team Angel and the Senior Partners had managed to level several city blocks. The mayor was still trying his hardest to explain the damage. And the giant dragon. Mass hallucinations were really not enough of an explanation for the citizens of Los Angeles. The sun was blacked out once more for nearly an entire week. However, this was a small fact that Los Angelites were starting to grow very accustom to.

The battle had lasted for days, each of the warriors in that alleyway fighting against what seemed like insurmountable odds. When the dust settled, it was hard to tell who had survived the battle and who had fallen amongst the litter of corpses: demons, humans, and mythical creatures alike. Among the rubble, across a stone slab, laid a man; or what, upon first glance, appeared to be a man.

Angel laid there, his eyes open but he stared up into nothing. His back arched over a large slab of what had once been part of a building. The dragon was dead but its massive claw impaled him. His torso had been flayed open and what was left couldn't be identified as organs. His hand slowly opened, his favorite broad sword rolled from his grip to fall with a clang that rung in the silence. But somehow he felt nothing. He felt calm, almost at peace.

Amidst the wreckage, walked a single figure. Feet avoided and stepped over bodies and debris. Nothing but a pair of white heeled sandals, straps wrapped around tan feet and a set of very long and shapely legs. The figure stopped in front of the man on the slab. Looking down upon Angel, she finally spoke. "You are laid out like a buffet there, Champ."

Angel looked up at the source of the voice and when he saw her a tired but genuine smile graced his lips. "Cordy?"

Cordelia smiled down at Angel as she moved to crouch down next to him. "You were expecting somebody else here?" She stood up, then moved to try to get that claw out of Angel. "Think you can help or you just want to watch me struggle? Granted, pretty sexy struggling but still." She tried for a strained laugh as she wrestled with that claw. She wanted to grant him some time to recover from his wounds as well as remove the pressure of the huge dragon claw crushing him.

Angel looked down at the claw that was stuck deep into his body. He reached up and grabbed it, started to pull. His eyes closed as he waited for the pain. But that pain never came as he helped to remove it. "I knew you really didn't leave."

"As much as you wanted to get rid of me." Cordelia shoved the claw off to the side, her nose wrinkling in disgust. "Can't say I am sorry that I missed the final throw down though." She moved to sit next to him on the slab. On his left side, as she had done so many times before. Her apartment, stairs of the Hyperion, their last meeting. Right hand man? No thanks, too overdone. She preferred Left Hand Half Demon Goddess.

Once free of the claw, his hand reached over to touch her. She felt real. Her skin was soft and warm under his fingers. As he pulled his hand away, he left a smear of blood and dust, marring the perfection. "I never wanted to get rid of you," Angel said. "There was just so much we didn't get to say." This all just seemed natural for some reason. She had returned to him once before in order to help put him back on his path. He turned his head now to look over the devastation. "But we did fight the good fight and won. Or at least I think we won."

"Oh, yeah. You won. Why do you think I am here?" She raised a brow as she looked over at him. He didn't get the joke about being rid of her. That was all Angel though. Thick as a stump, twice as oblivious. "I told you I would be with you until the end, Ace. This is the end."

Angel looked back to Cordelia. His eyes held that unspoken question. His eyes searched hers for the answer. Her eyes, however, told him nothing. Those two hazel orbs glittered with something unspoken but it wasn’t the answer he was looking for. She didn’t have the answer to the million dollar question of the Shanshu Prophecy.

Cordelia merely smiled at him and then offered her hand to him. "Are you ready to go home?" It was a simple question but by the tone of her voice, there was so much more to it than that. "Everyone is waiting for you."

He looked from her face to that offered hand. He moved his own hand to take hers. Home. It was such a nice word. Nicer even coming from Cordy.

She stood up and waited for him to stand as well. "The guys are going to be really excited. They have been trying to get me or Fred to be a fourth for their poker game." She leaned a little closer to him to lower her voice. Such an intimate gesture and from her closeness, she smelled of sunshine and warm summer days. "Fred cheats. She counts the cards. And me, never was good at cards. But you...well put on the brooding face, it could be your poker face."

Angel got up so that he could stand with her. "I've won a hand or two in my day," he said. "What I want to know is," he held up her hand. He had thought about saying this a thousand times but the moment never felt right. Until now, "have I won this one?"

"I wouldn't be here if I didn't love you, Angel. And you know I love you. You know your answer." She started to walk with him, stepping around the slab where his body was. She wrinkled her nose up. "Very literal bloody mess. Glad I don't have to grab the bucket and rag for this cleanup." She laughed-that perfect Cordelia laugh that always made him smile too. “Oh jeeze, remember Fred and I scrubbing the floors of the Hyperion? So glad that is over.”

This all seemed normal to Angel. Fred...seemed right. "Fred will be at home?" He didn’t turn yet to see what she is looking at.

She turned to look back at him. "Why wouldn't she be?" She paused for a moment. "Oh...the Illyria thing huh? Apparently, none of you guys bothered to take high school physics. Energy can't be created or destroyed. That is what you get for listening to a crazy God-King. Doyle and I had a good laugh about that one." She looked back for one last moment. She shook her head before she started to lead him away from the dragon. She headed out towards the street, moving east.

"Doyle?" It was then he turned and looked back. He saw it then...himself on that slab. He lay stone still, gutted by that claw. It was then that it really dawned on him.

Cordelia watched him as he looked back and saw his own body. She stopped walking. She wanted to give him a moment to process this. Unlike some of the others, he had yet to experience this sort of thing. "Do you still want to come with me? You can always go...back to the cold."

"Is it really finished?" he asked. "Have they been defeated?" He asked the question though in his heart, he already knew the answer. Why else would Cordy be here to take him home?

"It’s never really over. There will always be evil to balance out the good. But it’s over for you, Angel. This is your reward. Wes...well come on, wouldn't be the first time that he misinterpreted a prophecy." She moved closer to him now. She reached to turn his head away from the morbid sight of looking at his own body. "You get to decide. You can come home with me or you can stay here. We all want you to come home. Wesley, Gunn, Doyle, Fred...Katharine..."

"Katty," his voice was but a whisper. Katharine, his little sister. How could she want to see him not burn in Hell for what he did?

Cordelia let go of his hand. She reached up to touch his face. She could see the emotion in his eyes. There were centuries of guilt and pain piled up within him. She just wanted to make all of those pains vanish. "She's been watching you. She's seen all the good that you did. Please..." She moved closer to him. Her lips barely brushed against his. She didn't want him to go back. She wanted him to be with her forever, for him to finally know perfect happiness with no consequences. She knew, thanks to the Powers, what would happen if he did. He got once chance. One ticket to Paradise.

Her lips brushed Angel's but he then pressed his to hers, tasting them. She tasted sweet even, like chocolate and wine. He wanted to let himself get lost in her kisses. When he pulled back, he pressed his forehead to hers. "Let's go home."

She grinned at him. He made the right decision. She turned her head, towards the sun rising in the sky. It was creeping its way up into the sky as if it was scared to chase off the darkness of the past few days. Finally, though, gaining confidence, the sun rose over the horizon to fill the sky with a brilliant light.

Cordelia took his hand once more. She faced forward and walked towards the warm and inviting light. She let it bathe them both and take them home.

(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2007 12:48 am (UTC)
Nice job.A beautiful end for a weary and lost "champion".
{¯`·._.·Kitten·._.·´¯}not_purrrfect on June 28th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Really great. I like how it played out.
Kelly: C/A Foreshadowingxlivvielockex on July 3rd, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Sarah: Cordelia/Angelboy_named_susie on July 1st, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
Very nice. I kept having this nagging thought that Angel would be stupid and not choose to go with her since he loves the brooding and the fighting, but he finally made the right decision.
Kelly: C/A Togetherxlivvielockex on July 3rd, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
Gah, I know. Knowing him he would be like no thanks, i think I will just sit here and brood. But I figure, he can brood in heaven too. That would be his idea of heaven. LOL