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01 November 2006 @ 06:47 pm
Walking In My Shoes (30/?)  

Title: Walking In My Shoes (30/?)
Author: Kelly and Mike (collaborative writing team)
Posted: 11/1/06
Rating: Chapters range from PG to NC-17
Chapter: Chapter Thirty rated R
Email: jjsoapchat AT yahoo DOT com
Content: All cuteness, romance, fluffy goodness
Scenes include: Cordelia, Angel, Kat, Ian
Summary: Written for a challenge proposed on the Stranger Things message board. Challenge By rousedower. An AU/TT Challenge: Angel goes to another dimension, hence AU, somehow. And in this dimension he is married to Cordy and they have kids. But something happened to the other Angel (he's missing or dead), so there's mad tension and what not between this Angel and AU!Cordy. She knows he's not her Angel, but the kids (a boy and girl) are pretty young and think he's their father. I imagine a scene where their little daughter asks him to read her a bedtime story/tuck her in with Cordy trying to explain to her that he's not her father (really), and he does it.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made. 
Distribution: AO, ST, FSB, LJ. Whoever wants it, can have it, just credit
Notes: Cast List: Kelly writes for Cordelia, Gunn, Lorne, Lillian, Kat, Illyria/Fred, Lilah, Eve, Faith, Gwen, Harmony, Vail, random shop owners/demons. Mike writes for Angel(us), Connor, Wes, Ian, random filler chars. 
Feedback: Yes, please. Tell us how we are doing!
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"MOM," Ian called as he ran for Cordy on seeing her. "MOM! Uncle Gunn got this for me!" He was waving an X-Box game. "Look! Its Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix!"

Cordelia smiled at her son as she crouched down to his level. "Oooh...let me see." She took the game from him and looked it over as if she was interested. "Well, you have a big decision to make. Daddy was going to take you on patrol tonight."

Ian's eyes widened. "Take me? Really? And you said it was okay?" That was the part he was having trouble with, Mom letting him go. Sure, he'd gone out with his father before, but not on a real patrol.

Cordelia nodded her head. She knew that the video game would be abandoned until tomorrow morning. "Well, Connor is leaving tonight to take Lillian up to the mountains for their honeymoon. Your dad needs someone to take care of him, make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. So I thought you could fill in for Connor."

"COOL," Ian said. "Do I get a sword?" He jumped away a bit from Cordelia. He got into a defensive stance like he was fixing to sword fight.

"I think we could arrange a sword." Cordelia stood up and offered her hand to her son. She knew how much stronger Ian was than other children so she knew that he could handle a very light sword. "You have to promise to be really careful though and remember that everything your dad, your Uncles, and Connor taught you about sword handling."

Looking up at his mother, Ian nodded. "Yeah, Uncle Gunn's first warning to me was be careful cause I could put somebody's eye out," he said. The fact was he almost did put out Gunn's eye when he leaped from the desk and Gunn had rounded the corner unexpectedly.

She led her son out of the grand ballroom and out towards the weapons case in the lobby. All these years with Angel, she at least knew how to choose a weapon. "Now, I am going to pick a sword out for you. And that will be your sword." She let go of her son's hand long enough so that she could open up the cabinet.

Ian stood a moment then started jumping up and down. His eyes were on the cabinet but he kept up his dance. "Mom," he said.

"What?" She turned to look back at him as he jumped up and down. She sighed. "Go to the bathroom and I will have a surprise for you when you get back."

The boy turned and ran. He couldn't help it. He got excited and so did his bladder. The sound of the bathroom door opening and closing just off the lobby could be heard.

Cordelia shook her head at Ian with a smile. She grabbed a light katana that was the shortest of them all. Angel had quite the weapons collection. She went over to her desk. She got out the masking tape and a Sharpie. She wrote Ian's name on a piece of tape and then put it on the handle of the sword.

Ian came back, his little tux shirttail hanging half out. "I'm back," he announced himself, which he probably didn't have to. "What's my surprise?"

Cordelia kneeled down and held the Katana out for him. She turned it so that he could see the piece of tape with his name on it. "Now, everyone will know this one is yours. Why don't you go upstairs and get changed into some demon hunting clothes. Make sure you grab a jacket. Your dad always wears one." Of course, Cordelia knew that was only because it was easy to hide weapons in the jacket.

He grinned from ear to ear on seeing his name on the sword, a real sword. "I know just what I'm gonna wear," he said and turned and ran for the stairs. "Watch out demons!" He tripped on a step but that didn't stop him. He got up and ran again.

Cordelia watched him go up the stairs. She shook her head. She put the Katana down on the counter so that she could head back into the ballroom. She had to find Angel to tell him that Ian was ready to go on patrol. She checked the time and the kids would be leaving soon to get to the airport. At least they didn't have to fly Air Vampire like she did for her honeymoon.

Kat made her way over to her father, beaming. She tugged on his pantleg and held her arms up so that he would lift her up. She had news of her own to tell him. But it was a big secret that she wanted to whisper just to him.

Reaching down, Angel picked up Katy. He could tell something was up by that look she had. "So, having a good time," he asked. "Ian leave any cake for the rest of the guests?"

She nodded her head with a big grin. "There is lots of cake left. Daddy...I have a secret though. I already told Lillian but I have a secret. Do you want to know what it is?" Kat was visibly excited as she bounced in her father's arms.

"Wow, must be something," he said as he walked, carrying her. "So, big secret. Is this a pinky swear one?"

Kat nodded her head again, like she was some kind of bobblehead doll. She held her pinky out and waited for her father to take it and make the oath. "I made Lillian pinky swear too. Its REAL important." She emphasized that word. From the glittering and excitement in her eyes, she thought this was far more important than anything in the world was.

Angel hooked his pinky around her small one. "Pinky swear, Care Bear," he said always trying to give her a bit of rhyme when she was like this to get a chuckle from her.

Kat laughed and turned her face against her father's shoulder. She giggled for a few seconds after the swear before she went to whisper in his ear. "The baby told me its name!" She tried very hard not to squeal in her daddy's ear. She knew that would probably hurt since it always hurt when Ian did it to her.

He raised a brow. "The baby told you its name," he said. "When did it tell you this?" He looked down at her. He didn’t doubt it at all. But how, that would be interesting.

"Tonight. I was talking to the baby and she told me. She told me that she likes having people talk to her. She gets lonely when she isn't sleeping. She sleeps a lot. So she told me how to tell when she was sleeping so I don't wake her up and then we can all be quiet for her because she needs to sleep a lot cause that is what babies do, they sleep a lot." Kat was so excited that the baby talked to her that she was now running a mile a minute with her talking. She still had yet to tell her father what the baby said her name was.

"Yes, I know," Angel nodded. "Babies need their rest because growing takes a lot of energy." He found a chair and sat down with her, holding her in his lap. "Well, what is her name?"

Kat grinned wide and clasped her hands together. "Its such a pretty name. When she told me, I was so happy. Cause she will have a nickname, like me. But I am not sure what nickname I want to call her." Kat paused for just a moment as she considered the possibilities of nicknames. In her excitement, she was getting very sidetracked from her original mission.

Angel hugged his daughter. "And yours is a dear and precious name, as well as beautiful. When I think of it, I think of the green hills of Ireland." He released the hug. She was the image of his little sister. He remembered her at Katy's age. She'd playing in the yard with the new pup he'd brought home. She hadn't a reason not to smile. She'd been the apple of their father's eye.

Kat giggled as her father hugged her. When he released the hug, she moved on his lap so that she could whisper in his ear again. "Her name is Annabelle." She pulled back from his ear so that she could see her father's reaction to the name.

Angel raised a brow and nodded. "That is a very pretty name," he said to her. "And you told Lillian? What did she say?"

Kat grinned as she sat back down in her daddy's lap. "Lillian said that it was a beautiful name. And if that is what the baby wanted, that would be her name. I told her that the baby didn't want it, that was her name. And I think Connor heard us cause he laughed at me." Kat played with the hem of her pretty party dress. She liked Connor laughing but not when it was at her.

 

Angel looked down at her little hands. "You know, Connor, he's just really learning kind of late in his life about laughing and stuff like that. But I bet he was laughing because he's very happy and very nervous. I bet he wasn't really laughing at you as he was himself."

Kat continued to play with her dress. She sighed softly. "I know, Daddy." She didn't need him to tell her that. She could feel it inside of herself whenever she was around Connor. She felt what he felt. But it didn't keep her from hurting slightly at him laughing at her.

Angel shifted a little. "Katy," he said, "he didn't mean to hurt you. You are the last person that Connor would ever want to hurt in any way. Besides, you'll have the last laugh when Annie is born and he finds out all the secrets she probably told you."

Kat looked up at her father. "Oh, I know that Daddy. I can feel what Connor feels when I am near him. I can feel what you feel. You feel happy but you are worried too. And you love Mommy a whole bunch. It makes you look pink!"

"It makes me," he said with a raised brow. This was new. Katy was seeing the same spectrums as a vampire, the reason a vampire could see in the dark which brought up the question. "Katy, when its night time, what do you see?"

"Yeah, it makes you pink. And when she is around and you are happy, you get little red sparkles." She reached up and she moved her hand around Angel's head. "Its really pretty. I see it with Mommy too. Connor doesn't get the sparkles and his pink is really light and cloudy." She paused as she thought about the question. "What do you mean?" She didn't understand the question.

Angel frowned a moment in thought, trying to word it so she could understand. "Do things look dark or do you see colors and see, well, can you see at night?" This was something Connor didn't have. He had the hunting senses but this, Connor didn't seem to have inherited it.

She shook her head. "No. I only see colors with people. I see them with you and Mommy and Connor and Ian. And I see them on Lillian now too but just around her tummy." Kat leaned back and she put her hands on her tummy to illustrate her point to her father.

"So, this is just with family," he said to her. "Only see this with blood related family?"

Kat just shrugged her shoulders. Her attention span on this topic was waning. She smiled though as she saw her mother coming through the ballroom doors. She pointed it out for her father. "Mom is back." She started to move off her father's lap. "I want to say goodbye to Annabelle."

Helping her off his lap and putting her on the floor, he gave her a kiss on the cheek then let her go. He stood looking at Cordy as she approached.

Cordelia watched as Kat ran off and made a beeline towards Lillian. She smiled though. Kat was taking her job as "aunt" very seriously. She moved up to Angel, wrapping her arms around his. "Ian is upstairs getting changed for his big night out patrolling. I gave him that Katana you picked up last summer. Put a piece of tape with his name on it so everyone knows its his."

"My retreat to Nepal," he said. "Dau Chin always puts out a nice welcoming tea ceremony," he said, clearly with something on his mind besides this conversation. His arm slipped around her.

She could tell too. The tone of his voice and his posture change. She knew that someone was on his mind. "Angel, what's up?" She knew that should be enough for him to tell her what was going on.

"Its Kat," he said still watching their daughter. "She's, well, seems she's developing more skills, or should I say senses." He looked down to her. "She sees in the same spectrums I do and... She talks to her unborn niece."

Cordelia paused for a moment and then she shrugged. "Okay, well, we can have Wes add it to her lessons. Are you really that surprised? Hell, I am still discovering powers that I never knew I had. She is half demon thanks to me, no matter what. And who knows what effect on your swimmers the demon blood had. As long as she isn't shooting fire out her butt, I think we are okay."

This was part of the reason that Cordelia could so easily accept that Angel was a vampire. He was who he was. Being a vampire didn't change the fact that he was a Champion, loyal to his friends with just the occasional misstep, protective of his children, and a huge dork. The blood drinking didn't affect WHO he was, only merely WHAT he was.

"Somebody been watching South Park with Lillian and Connor again," he asked her as he gave her a bit of a squeeze. "I know. But she's reading colors and auras now. But seems like it’s only with people that are blood related to her."

"I can't help it if that is what the kids like. I only ever get the TV for my show once a week. Which, can I add, completely unfair. I think I should get the remote every night." She leaned into him as he gave her the squeeze. She pats his chest lightly. "Angel, I have a confession. You already know that Kat is an empath well, its time to come clean. Lorne is her father." She tried desperately to hold back the laugh and the smile when she said this.

"Oh, damn," he said. "No wonder I saw her in a bright green suit with a blue shirt and singing on the karaoke machine." He sounded heart broken. "I was just hoping it was my love for Barry Manilow gene."

"If either of the kids get that..." She just trailed off into a laugh. She nudged Angel gently. "I will have Wes look into it. Promise. Until now, let's just enjoy the rest of the night. I see Connor inching Lillian towards the door. They are going to miss their flight."

Nodding he walked her on over to the door hoping she'd already grabbed her little bag of bird seed to toss. There was no more rice since it wasn’t good for the birds. Nothing was worse then stepping out on dead pigeon. Angel couldn't help but smile at Connor and his bride and to think, he's going to have a granddaughter to hold in a few months. How many vampires can brag about that?

Cordelia moved away from Angel so that she could hug the kids. She gave Lillian a hug first and then she gave one to Connor. "Now remember, anything happens, you give us a call and we will be right there. Any demons, Wolfram and Hart, or whatever. I already talked to The Powers and they better give me the heads up." She gives Connor another hug.

Connor returned that hug. "We'll be fine, mom," he said to her and then stepped back. He looked to Lillian then just beyond her to his father.

Angel gave a slight smile and nod to Connor. The two didn't do the hug thing but they had stopped the threats and fights. Then Angel looked at his daughter-in-law. He stepped up and took her in his arms for a hug. "Take care," he said to her. "Don't let anything happen to that baby."

Lillian returned the two hugs that she was given. She knew how much happier Connor was now that he let go of all that anger in him. He had finally made peace with it. This was a good family for her baby to have, she knew that in her heart. "Don't worry, Angel. Nothing is happening to our little girl." Lillian pulled away and then she took Connor's hand. She waited for him to start out so they could leave.

He frowned at Lillian then looked to Cordy. "Didn't you tell her the rule? She's not allowed to call me Angel anymore."

Cordelia laughed and bumped Angel's hip when he said that. "Look at her face. You are scaring the poor girl." She shook her head and looked back to Lillian. "He means, call him dad. He loves that sort of thing. For a vampire, he is a big old pussy cat sometimes."

Angel finally broke a grin. "Meow," he said. When Cordy bumped him, his hand slipped down her back and pinched her ass.

Lillian did have that nervous smile when Angel said that. She thought for a moment that it was some kind of weird ritual to get into the family or something. "Uh...okay...Dad." She sounded hesitant though. Even if she really wanted to, they still had the issue of him being a vampire, her being a Slayer.

"We'll work on it," Angel said to her. "Now go. Have fun. Check out the wildlife exhibit and tell Chief Lostsa Luck hello for me."

Cordelia turned and looked at him. "You have now passed from dork to mega-dork in one giant leap." She chuckled as she shook her head. She started to usher the kids towards the ballroom door. "Okay, come on, out of here or you will miss your flight! Angel is not going to open up his wallet to book another one, tell you that."

Cordelia had grabbed her birdseed and once others saw that the happy couple was leaving, they gathered around as well. She tossed her birdseed, followed by the rest. She couldn't help but laugh as it got caught in Connor and Lillian's hair. Angel and her had snuck off before this part so now, she was doing it vicariously. She crouched down and let Kat take some of the birdseed to throw too.

Kat tossed the birdseed but it landed at Connor and Lillian's feet. She called out though, voice filled with enthusiasm. "Bye Connor! Bye Lillian! Bye Annabelle!" She was waving wildly now that her hand was free. She couldn't wait until they came back though.

Angel watched as the kids got into the limo. Yes, he had sprung for the limo. If he could sigh, he would. It was going to quiet around here while Connor was gone. "If we can make it, it should be a breeze for them."

Cordelia patted Angel gently on the stomach and then moved out of his arms. She picked Kat up and turned to give him a smile. "Well, I think Kat and I are going to upstairs and watch a movie while you boys go patrol. I am leaving it to the cleaning crew to take care of the mess here."

Everyone said their good nights in the garden then departed. Angel walked into the lobby pulling off his tie then followed Cordy upstairs. There an anxious Ian, dressed in black met them. "Them demons aren't coming to us to get slayed, you know," the boy said.

Cordelia bit back the laughter as she saw Ian. He was dressed exactly like Angel was. "Your dad needs to change, kiddo. And then its demon slaying city. " Cordelia put Kat down once they were upstairs. "Kat, how about you go pick out a movie?"

Angel rubbed the boy's head. "Give me 10, kiddo," he said. He then leaned over, gave Cordy a kiss, and headed to their bedroom to change.

Kat nodded her head. She was more than happy to stay home with her mother and watch a movie than to go out with the boys. Kat looked at Ian. "If you get stinky, you better take a bath before you come to bed." Kat said firmly as she looked at her brother.

Angel came out of the bedroom in his more familiar attire. Black slacks, black shirt, and heavy treaded shoes that were steel toed re-enforced. "Okay, partner, let's go clean up our city," he said to Ian then moved to Cordy gave her a kiss and then gave his daughter one on the cheek. "Tell your mom and sister bye and that we'll be back in a couple hours," he told the boy. "You never leave on a patrol without telling the ones you love that you love them." He looked back up at Cordy as he spoke that.

Ian walked over to his mother and hugged her. "Love you mamma," he said and looked up at her. Then he looked at Kat. "I'm gonna get all demon gooey and come home and hug Sunny," Ian told her with a grin.

"DADDY!" Kat whined as she looked at her father. She didn't want Ian coming home all gooey and ruining her most treasured possession outside of the books that her father had given her. She stuck her lower lip out, allowing it to quiver to gain more sympathy.

Cordelia returned the kiss quickly and gave Angel a small smile when he looked back up at her. "I love you too." Though she doubted anything would happen to the two boys considering how much Angel cared for his children. Angel would let Ian kill a few small frog-like demons and they would be back in a few hours. That would leave Angel enough time to do a real patrol before dawn.

"Kat, I doubt you mother will let him in through the garden doors if he is gooey and smelly," he told his daughter. "She doesn't let me." How many times had Cordelia ambushed him with the hose after she became the mistress of the manor? Putting his hand on Ian's shoulders, he turned the boy and headed for the stairs.

"I have a hose with your name on it, Angel!" Cordelia called out, as if she was echoing her husband's thoughts. As Angel lead the boy out, Cordelia took Kat by the hand to the living room. It was time they had some mother-daughter bonding now that Kat had started opening up.

 

Angel watched his son as the boy stalked the thing that looked like a frog crossed with a squirrel. They would be cute but they had habits of eating small pets and sometimes infant babies. The vampire moved silently to the side trying to keep out of the way and yet close enough if Ian needed him.

Ian had his tongue stuck firmly out of the side of his mouth. He moved with a certain kind of grace, like his father and older brother possessed. He could see it perfectly in the dark light of the sewers. He already had his sword drawn, waiting for the perfect strike moment.

Angel did say anything. However, he was mentally trying to coach Ian on in his hunt. All the boy had to do was keep behind the little demon.

It was as if he and his father had a mental link. The same heavy dark look came over his brow as it did with Angel. He stayed behind the demon. The hand holding the sword didn't even twitch.

The strange looking demon was hunched over its meal. Tonight it had grabbed an alley cat that had ventured down thinking it could find a nice rat. It bit open the cat's belly and was sucking its intestines out like pasta.

Other children would have pulled away from the sight and the smell of such a thing but Ian didn't. He held steadfast in sneaking up on the thing. He stuck to the shadows and then, without warning, the smell of the little boy was gone. His heart beat quieted that only the strongest hearing could have detected it.

Angel's jaw muscles worked. He looked at the little demon then back to his son, only his eyes moved. The little demon stopped its feeding and seemed to sniff the air a moment. Angel tried to give Ian that mental nudge. That instinct to strike and that time was now.

Ian came wordless out of the shadows he was hiding in. He moved quickly and with the same stealth as his father. He brought the sword down and separated the demon's head from its body. Once the body fell, he plunged his sword through the thing's heart, just to make sure that it was dead. His heartbeat, even though faint, remained constant and calm.

Angel relaxed and smiled. Just like any proud father, well, not just like other fathers. This for a normal father would be a moment when his son caught his first fish type thing. He approached Ian and knelt by his son. "That was the best demon hunting I've seen in a long time," he told Ian. "And I've been demon hunting for...well, a long, long, long time."

Ian grinned wide at his father's compliment. The scent that had disappeared moments before the kill now seemed to come back to the boy. "I want to do it again!" Ian was wholly too excited at the prospect of killing more demons. "I want to hunt something bigger! I can do it, Da. I can."

"Sport, its late," he told his son. "We've got a long walk back and it is waaaay past your bedtime."

"Pleeeease!" Ian looked up at his father and he gave him the big pleading eyes. "Just one more, I promise. One more and I will go home and I will sleep all day and I won't give you any trouble. I won't even pinch Kat no more."

He looked at his son's pleading eyes then he froze. He remained still for a moment then he glanced to the small opening just behind his son. "Ian, get in that hole and stay," he said quietly. The look on his face and tone of his voice left no room for the boy to argue.

Ian hesitated for only a moment before he went into that hole. He climbed in but he was careful to take his weapon with him. He crouched down, hiding in the darkness. He could hide really well. His scent disappeared and his heartbeat went even fainter than before. Part of the reason Connor could never find him during games of hide and seek.

Angel remained as he was for a long moment then he let his demon come to surface. A low growl came from him and then he sprang up. Coming from a side tunnel a huge Vershnar appeared. Angel's sword came to play and for the demon's neck. The creature was faster then it looked and it dodged.

Ian moved to the edge of the hole but still stayed in enough darkness so that he wouldn't be seen. He watched his father and the huge demon. His stomach gurgled for just the moment, as the cake from the reception wasn't sitting well when mixed with the sense of danger and obligation. He knew that his father had told him to stay put but when did he ever listen to anything his father said? He knew that he could fight this demon. He was The Dark Revenger!

The Vershnar had Angel in a bear hug, the powerful arms squeezing tight. Angel struggled to get free and he felt his ribs starting to give. He clenched his fanged teeth, struggling to get an arm free.

Ian saw this and that was what made his decisions. Champions had to stick together. He moved quickly out of that hole, quicker than a human. He knew he could get the drop on this demon. Coming up behind it, he sliced quickly across the back of its legs. He was smart enough to know that it would cut through tendons and muscles to take the demon to its knees. The slice was just at his right height so it cut deeply into the demon. Ian jumped back but he didn't go to his hole. He just moved out of the way of a counter attack.

The demon screamed and dropped. Angel was able to get out of his hold. He scooped his sword up then brought it down on the thing's neck. Its head rolled off its shoulders.

Ian looked at his father and then back to the demon. He had been paying attention when Wes was teaching him demonology. He checked the seven points for demon identification. His little mind worked quickly. "Da!" He shouted. "Cut its heart out. It can go back together." Ian went over to the head and started kicking it towards the water so if the body did get up, it would have a hard time finding it.

Hearing Ian call out, Angel brought his broad sword up and swiftly cleaved open the chest of the squirming body. The demon blood spewed all over him but he found the heart and quickly removed it, tossing it towards the drain canal. He looked around. "Ian?"

Ian pulled his foot back and he kicked with all his might at the back of the demon's severed head. It went flying, hitting the wall and then landing in the water. He looked back at his father with a big grin. He was covered in demon blood from slicing its legs and his shoes were slick with gore from kicking the severed head. "Did you see that?!"

Angel moved quickly to his son and knelt down. His demon eyes scanned the boy. "Ian, are you okay," he asked. "Are you hurt?"

"That was AWESOME!" The young boy's eyes were glittering with excitement. "Did you see it? It had you in a bear hug but I wasn't going to let it get my daddy. And I came out of the hole and I cut his legs and then I kicked its head into the water. Did you see it? Did you?" Ian was going a mile a minute in his excitement. He was dancing around, partly from excitement and partly from needing to go pee.

"Yeah...yeah..." Angel smiled now with relief. "I saw...I sure did." He pulled Ian into his arms to hold him so relieved the boy wasn't hurt.

"We got to do that again, Da!" He allowed himself to be pulled into the hug. He was looking back at the dead demon body though. He really wanted to go over there and give it a good kick for hurting his daddy like that. "I can't wait to do that again!"

"Sometime," Angel said as he released the boy and brought his human mask back to surface. "But we better get started back for home before your mother starts to really worry." Walking back now and picking up his sword, he turned back to Ian. Indicated the tunnel they needed to take to get back to the Hyperion.

Ian put his sword back and he started down the tunnel. He shouted back to his father. "I will race you, Da!" He was already ahead of Angel though by a good couple of feet when he shouted that.

"Careful, now," he told Ian. "It gets slick down here." He followed after the boy letting him keep just barely ahead so if anything happened he would be there for him. He'd always be there for his kids.

Ian made it to the ladder leading up to the Hyperion underground entrance easily. He jumped up and climbed it, quick as he could. He got into the Hyperion basement. He was grinning, despite being covered in demon blood. "I beat you! I win!"

"You sure did, Champ," Angel said as he came up then he closed the grate. "Now then, you get to strip off now. You're mom isn't going to let us track demon goo through the hotel."

"NAKED!" Ian shouted. He tore his jacket off, following by his shirt, tossing them both to the side. He was delicate with his sword though. He treated that like the prized possession it was. He sat it down on the floor and then sat down next to it so he could pull his shoes off. "Wait until I tell Mom! I killed a bunch of little demons and a big one and I beat you in a race."

"Not naked," Angel said as he pulled off his coat. "Just to your underwear." He looked up at the do to the top of the stairs. "I wonder why she's not up there making sure we don't get this all over. She usually always somehow knows when I was home."

Ian tossed his shoes to the side and then he just laid down on the concrete of the basement floor to get his pants off. Underneath them, he was wearing his Batman Underoos. He got up quickly, gathered up his clothes, and held them out for his father to take. He yawned though because he was slowing down.

After Angel undressed he took Ian's clothes and his and put them in the washer. He took a washcloth from the cabinets in the laundry room, wet it, and brought it out so Ian could clean his face. He then grabbed his robe and put it on, tying off the belt. "Okay, this time I'll clean your sword, but from next time it’s your responsibility. You take care of your weapon and it'll take care of you." He picked up Ian and started up the stairs with him.

The young boy nodded his head as he rubbed the washcloth all over his face, hair, and hands. He wanted to clean his weapon but all the excitement had tired him out. His eyes started to droop. He was asleep against his father before Angel even reached the Hyperion Lobby.

Taking Ian upstairs to the apartment floor he then took his son to his bedroom. The covers were already turned down and he laid him in the bed then pulled the covers up. Leaning down he kissed him on the head. He turned to see Katy fast asleep then he leaned down and gave her a kiss and adjusted her covers. He then headed out the door, closing it to a crack. Walking on across the hall he entered his and Cordy's bedroom.

Cordelia was in the bedroom, laying with a cold compress across her forehead and eyes. Either she had too much to drink at the wedding or it was the stress of the day upon first observation. Truth be told, she had a rather intense vision. Even with her demonization, she sometimes got a few that were real doozies. She heard the door open and close, thinking it was Kat. "Back to bed, Kat. I am not reading you another story tonight."

"I'm not Kat," Angel said, "but I would like the story." He closed the door behind him and moved to the bed but then he noticed. A frown crossed his heavy brow as he sat on the next to her. Reaching around her head, he now started rubbing her temples, gently massaging. "What is it?"

Cordelia felt the cool fingers against her temples even if she couldn't see Angel there. She felt the heaviness of his body as it shifted the bed downward. "Just another gift from the Powers." She just left it at that for now.

"Anything important," he asked as he pressed a little on her temples then made circular motions. "Must have been something to have hit you like this."

"Just really really intense. You know how The Powers are. If you aren't hurting, they aren't doing their jobs. I am more upset that Kat and I had to cut movie time short." She took the cold compress of her eyes so that she could look up at Angel. She gave him a little bit of a smile, as best as she could with all the pain. "Yeah. Everything is good."

"Yeah," Angel nodded. "Ian killed a couple the Kermit the Squirrels and well, then there was a Vershnar...."

Cordelia sat up as quickly as she could when Angel said that. Her first instinct was to get out of bed and go to see her son as quickly as possible. "Oh god, is he okay, Angel? How badly was he hurt?"

"The Vershnar, we killed it," he told her. "Actually his brain that soaks up demon knowledge like a sponge came in handy." Angel looked at her. "He's fine. Excited. Will need a good scrubbing...but he's fine."

She tried to calm herself down but her heart was still racing like a jackhammer. "I am going to go check on him." She only hoped that Angel realized that it wasn't that she didn't trust him, it was just that she needed to check on her son with own two eyes. She started to get out of bed. She assumed Angel would want to get a shower. She could see the flecks of blood against his cheeks.

"He's asleep," he said as he stood. He wasn't going to stop her. He pulled off the robe and went to his closet to grab some clean boxers from the drawer.

"I am the last person that wants to wake him up." She chuckled. "He can tell me his version of the story tomorrow. I am sure he will need the whole living room to tell it." She moved over to Angel and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Sure you don't want to make it a bath?" There was a hint of something to her voice. Not a round three but rather just some time spent in the tub together.

Standing there a moment as if he was trying to make a choice then he nodded. "Bath sounds rather inviting." Then he looked at her from the corner of his eye, that twinkle that was only for her shown in it.

"Give me a minute to check on the kids. Use the lavender stuff. Maybe it will help me relax and get rid of this headache." She gave him another quick kiss before she headed out to check on the kids. She slipped into their room and even without turning on a light or using the nightlight, she could tell they were okay. It was a relief to her. She leaned over, giving Ian a kiss on the forehead before moving to do the same to Kat. She looked at them for a few moments before heading back into the master bedroom. She shut and locked the door on the off chance that the kids got up and wanted to share war stories.

The sound of the water running in the bath could be heard and soft jazz played. Lighting flickered softly from the door, he'd lit candles. The smell of the lavender wafted into the bedroom.

She grinned as she heard and saw all that he was doing. She leaned against the doorway of the bathroom, looking at him. "You work fast, don't you?" She was still holding that same grin as she had when she stepped into the bedroom and smelled the lavender, heard the music.

Looking at her after lighting the last candle he smiled. "One of those perks of being a vampire," he said. "Fast where it counts and needed, but the patience to take it nice and slow on the right occasion."

"Could that have sounded any dirty?" She chuckled and stepped into the bathroom. She closed the door behind her and then shed her clothes. She moved over to him, slipping her fingers under the waistband of his boxers. She pushed them down off his hips and down until they fell off him.

He lowered and kissed her, starting with a slow, loving kiss. His arms wrapped around her pulling her warm body to him.

She knew that if she kept kissing him for much longer, it was going to turn into round three. She just didn't have the focus or the energy. It was amazing she could even try to keep up with him. Her less than stellar libido coupled with his super charged one made for some interesting situations. She pulled away from him, smiling. "I don't want the water to get cold."

"Cold water wouldn’t be a good thing," he said to her. Angel watched her and waited for her to step into the large tub, one she had picked out when they remodeled this floor several years ago. After she got in, he also stepped in and settled into the hot water.

Once she was in and Angel was settled, she leaned back against him. She had picked out the big tub for this reason. Not the only reason but she did enjoy it. She closed her eyes as she settled back against him. "You know...I had an idea while you were gone..."

Putting his arm around her, he held her. The water warming his body now so that it was close to normal at touch. "What was your idea," Angel asked as he lifted her right hand and pulled it up to his lips for a kiss.

"I was looking at the pamphlet from the cabin we rented for the kids. If we rent again in the next six months, we can get an amazing discount. I was thinking that maybe instead of a wedding, we could take a second honeymoon before Lillian has her baby." She didn't put up any hesitance as he lifted her hand up and kissed it. She was a little too preoccupied with thoughts of her earlier vision.

"If that is what you want," Angel agreed. "I do like to ski." He was sensing something and he leaned just a little to look at her profile. "Your troubled about something. What?"

"Just the vision is all. It took a lot out of me this round." She squeezed his hand lightly. "I think we need to get away for a couple of days. It will give us a chance to reconnect. I know you want another wedding but I would rather just skip all that and go right to the honeymoon."

"What I want is for you to be happy," he told her. "I know we could never have normal. That's never in the cards for us or anyone else from Sunnydale...though that's not really where I'm from. But...and I'm rambling."

She laughed softly. "I like it when you ramble. Ramble on." She lifted her hand out of the water and made a rolling gesture with it. She just wanted to lay here with him and listen to him.

"I'm not a good rambler," he said. "Now listening. I can do that. I do that really well. Like now, I'm listening to your heart, and your soft breathing...that soft sigh you make."

"Oh, come on. You talk my ear off plenty of times." She opened her eyes and tilted her head back so that she could look at him. "You like to play this big brooding vampire all the time, sitting in the corner with your book but I know you, Angel. I know how excited you get about things. I have seen your face light up more times than I can count in the past near decade or so that I have known you."

"But I am a brooding vampire, its in the rules," Angel replied. "You know the creature of the night thing. Crosses and holy water...the whole grrrrr thing. Works well for me in many circles."

Cordelia turned around in his arms so that she could face him now. She scooted up and rested on her hands so that she could look him in the eye. "You are so much more than that. You are a wonderful father, a loyal friend, a caring husband. You are a true Champion, Angel."

"You forgot something. You forgot tall, dark, handsome, and damn sexy," he said it with that little quipped up corner to his mouth. But looking at her in this light, how the candle light danced off her features, these were moments he wished he could freeze. Okay it was only a figure of speech because they had dealt with that time freezing thing. It was not the best thing, world destruction and all.

She smiled back at him as she saw that little smile that was playing just on the corner of his lips. "Just take the compliment. You keep this up, you might not get any more of them." She didn't mean that but she wanted him to think that she did. It was just a game that they could play between each other.

"You should have seen Ian tonight," Angel said. "He has this ability to slow his heart and minimize his scent. He slipped up on those little demons and it was too late before they realized it. And he soaks up that demon knowledge like Wes."

"Our kids really came up winners on the roll of the genetic dice, huh?" She chuckled softly. "All the powers that Kat has while Ian's are totally different. And neither of them has the same as I do outside of Kat having prophetic dreams now and again. I guess I should bite the bullet and let Wes poke and prod me until he can figure out what I am?" She was asking Angel if that was what he wanted. She was more than happy to just let things be and discover things as they happened. Every time she got some kind of test done, the results usually weren't good.

He frowned just a bit. "I don't know. I...I don't like the idea of him treating you like a lab rat."

"Me either. How about we just make a pact that whatever comes, comes. And we will deal with it as it does?" She lifted her hand out of the water and offered her pinky to him. The pinky swear was something that was quite in fashion in this household, especially among the kids.

Looking down at her he let a small smile come to surface. He raised his hand and hooked pinkies with her. "Pinky swear."

She leaned forward and kissed him quickly on the lips. "Sealed with a kiss too." She turned back around so that once more her back was against his front. She settled against him, closing her eyes. A smile came to her face as some thoughts crept into her mind.

"You've gone quiet," he said noticing. "You do that you're up to something or thinking about being up to something or both."

She laughed when he said that. "Am I that obvious? I mean...really?" She turned back so that she could look at him for just a moment. "I was thinking about how I need some new clothes before we go up to the ski resort. That's all. And then I was thinking about what sexy little things I want to prance around in. I can prance, you know. I am accomplished prancer."

"And you never told me before now," Angel said as he acted hurt. "How many years have I known you and you just now tell me? I'm going to drown myself." Then he slipped down under the water.

"That would be a lot more effective if you had to breathe!" She laughed and shook her head at him. She turned in the water, trying to see just where he had slipped down. It was a huge tub to say the least. She had watched Pretty Woman one too many times and envied that huge hotel tub one too many times.

Angel surfaced and shook his head, water droplets flying. "Yeah, that is a draw back to trying to drown," he agreed. "Hey, no loss. I washed my hair. Got that demon goo out. It was starting to itch some."

"You could have just said something." She shook her head at him again. It was always a habit when she was around him. "I think I better prance myself out of this tub and get to bed. It’s way past my bedtime. Are you going out again or are you going to curl you still warm up against mine?"

"I think I'll stay in," he replied. "Its been over 48 hours since I've had much rest...and its not far from dawn anyway. Oh, if you want me hot I can fill the tub with hot water then come in and really warm the bed." He grinned and winked at her.

She rolled her eyes at him and put a hand on his chest. "Settle down, manpire. I already gave you two rides on the Cordytrain tonight. No midnight express tonight." She chuckled as she moved to get out of the tub. "I don't remember you being this dirty when we were just friends. Or when you were in the Land of the BuffyLove."

"What can I say," he told her. "Its all your fault. You've done it to me." He came up and kissed her. She didn't say anything about not giving her a nice, hot, deep kiss.

She kissed him for a few seconds, returning that kiss with the same intensity before she broke off. "Yes, I am just a sensual, sexy vixen. I am quite irresistible." She said that with conviction because she was. She finished getting out of the tub and grabbed her robe. She slipped it on. "Are you going to get hot for me or what?" She stood there, looking at Angel.

Looking up at her, he grinned again. Leaning over, he turned on the hot tap. The water flowed from the faucet and started to steam. "Just give me a few minutes."

"I am going to go get under the covers. All this steam is going to ruin my hair. This wedding hair is too fabulous to get ruined." She left the bathroom. She shed her robe along the way and climbed under the covers. She reached over to turn the electric blanket on for Angel's side. If she was going without pajamas, she wanted him to stay warm through the whole time they were sleeping.

Getting out of the tub after about ten minutes in the hot water. He dried off and came on to bed. Quietly he slipped under the covers and moved up against her back. His arm slid around her and he kissed her bare shoulder.

Cordelia settled back into him. Her eyes were already closed and she was getting closer and closer to sleep. "I love you, Angel" she said softly as she got herself into that perfect spooning position. They fit together perfectly, like they were meant to be together.

"I love you, Queen-C," he used her old nickname, one not used since high school. He laid there for some time just enjoying the feel of her in his arms and against him. It was right. It seemed for once the Powers were being nice to them.

-TBC-