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As It Should Have Been, So It Could Be

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The Warning

“I won’t be here long, Angel. I need to tell you this now before…”

“Before what?”

“Before I die.”

Angel took a step backward, shaking his head. “Cordelia, no.”

“If I do this just right, maybe I won’t die.”

“Do what right?”

“Deliver the warning.”

Angel nodded and started to reply when Cordelia kissed him passionately. And the weight of her visions bore down on his head and he saw the end.

He pulled back. “Stop.”

“I’m not done,” she said.

“If we continue, Cordelia, you will die. Right now. I got enough of the warning. I won’t lose you.”

The Price

While Cordelia lived, Angel suffered. His head threatened to explode on him. If he’d let her continue she would be dead, but since he stopped her…

She was alive. He was in constant agony.

But she was by his side and Angel Investigations was whole again. Not even being associated with Wolfram & Hart could change that.

Still, at night, when she was asleep on the bed in her apartment and he was watching her, he would grit his teeth as wave after wave of pain hit, not making a sound. It was his price to pay for her life.

The Deal

“You need Lindsey,” she said one day, almost out of the blue.

“Him? Why do I need him?”

“Duh, Angel, he knows more about Wolfram & Hart then you ever will. Get him, torture the information out of him if you have to. Just…find out what the big plan is.”

So he went. Took Gunn and Spike and went to the suburban version of Hell where Lindsey was stored. Led him down to the basement and made him talk. And Lindsey talked. So Angel made a deal with him:

When they needed Lindsey, which they would, Angel would get him.

The Unexpected

It had happened so quickly that no one was sure why it happened at all. No one except Angel, anyway.

When Connor came into the office demanding to see his father, Angel knew that the plot had thickened and the Senior Partners were already aware of the change in plans by Cordelia not dying.

And to make it worse, everyone was pissed at Angel for tampering with their memories. So he sat everyone down and explained things and took whatever was given to him.

When the Senior Partners perceived their plans had failed again, it became time for drastic action.

The Failure

Cordelia could do nothing but watch. No one had expected for this to happen, not at all. Angel pounded at the wall, leaving a gaping hole that just got bigger and bigger.

“Angel…” she began, but he ignored her. “Angel!”

“What?!?” he screamed, turning towards her, vamped out completely.

“There wasn’t anything you could do.”

“He didn’t have to---.”

“He saved you. He stopped the killer,” she said softly. “He made up for his mistakes saving you.”

Angel sank to the floor. “Why did Gunn do it?”

“There’s never a good answer for why when it comes to death.”

The Triumph

“I did it!” Wesley exclaimed. “He was wrong!”

“Who was wrong?” Angel asked.

“Fred…we can bring her back! She isn’t gone!” Wesley thrust an open book at Angel. “Her soul is part of Illyria’s. If we can separate them, and there’s the spell, we can have Fred back.”

“What about Illyria? We’re going to need her.”

“I have a plan about that, too,” Wesley said. “We have someone willing to meld souls with Illyria.”

“Who?”

Wesley’s face fell a little. “It’s…Harmony”

“Do you think we can trust her?”

“Possibly.” He paused. “Should we?”

“Yes. We’ll be needing Fred. And Illyria.”

The Team

The team was finally ready. Angel fulfilled his promise and rescued Lindsey. Between his knowledge and Eve’s connections to the Senior Partners, they had the upper hand for once.

Illyria and Fred were split and Illyria inhabited Harmony’s body, one she was much happier with, thanks to the power of the demon inside her. Harmony was resouled first, however, in order to give Illyria more control over her host.

Connor soon became a vital member of the team, though his family ended up disowning him when he told them the truth. It didn’t matter, though; the team became his family.

The Plan

“We get them where it hurts. We…” Angel began, stopping only when he heard Cordelia crying. “What is it?”

“If we go through with it you’ll die.”

“I know.”

“I don’t want you to die!” she said, throwing herself at Angel. He held her close, stroking her hair.

“I have to. That’s why I saved you.”

Spike cleared his throat. “There’s another way. I join the group. You kill them all, and then you kill me.”

Angel turned sharply to his vampiric offspring. “What?”

“You heard me, mate. That’s the new plan.” He nodded to Cordy. “You’re needed more than me.”

The Battle

It was quick. It was bloody. There was a casualty. And now…

Connor, Angel, and Spike walked back to the hulled out remains of Wolfram & Hart to wait for Lindsey’s cue to do battle with the Senior Partners. The demons they’d unleashed were all gone; now it was the three of them fighting for humanity.

“Imagine that: two vampires and vampire spawn trying to save the world,” Spike said as they entered the building.

Angel threw a glance back at the corpse-riddled alley, where Illyria lay. “Yeah.”

“Remember, mate,” Spike said as the cue came.

“You’ll die, Spike.”

The Aftermath

Los Angeles was a ruined place. The survivors had managed to find a working van and headed south to San Diego.

Cordelia looked back at those in the back: Wesley, Fred, Lindsey, Eve, Lorne & Connor. As she turned to Angel she asked, “It’s all over?”

“Yes.” He nodded to the cell phone between them. “Call Faith.”

“Why?”

“She needs to tell the Slayers.”

Cordelia nodded and made the call. When she hung up she took Angel’s hand and gasped. “Angel! You’re---“

“Warm? I finally shanshued. I can live happily ever after with you now.”

Cordelia smiled and cried.