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Inktober 2019

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Personally, I kinda wanna slay the dragon.

Angel wakes up, terrified and breathless in a room — a bed — that it takes him a moment to realize is his. The walls are purple, his sheets damp with sweat. Outside, a siren wails, while two men argue on the sidewalk. And inside, a few floors down, Wesley, Fred, Gunn, Lorne, and Cordy are laughing. 

It’s day. He can smell the sun on the other side of the drawn shades. For one crazy moment, he wants to get out of bed and open them — the windows are special glass, so the sun won’t hurt him. It’s just like being in Pylea. The things that science can do now, it’s incredible. He’ll have to ask Fred how exactly that—

But he can’t. Fred’s dead. She died when— when did she die?

No, he thinks a moment later. That’s ridiculous. Fred’s not dead, he can literally hear her right now, downstairs chatting with Gunn. Why did he think that she was dead?

And Connor — Angel sits up sharply, realizes the crib is empty. Then he hears the baby giggle, on the same floor as the others, and relaxes. Cordy must have taken him downstairs. Funny that Angel didn’t wake up, or hear them. How long has he been asleep?

He stumbles to his feet and stretches. He can’t remember going to bed last night, or what he was dreaming about, except that it was dark and frightening and somehow empty, like he’d dreamt that the world was wrong somehow, like something had come undone, and he was left alone. 

And, he thinks with a scowl, Spike was there for some reason. 

A quiet knock sounds on the door. Angel sniffs. It’s Cordelia, of course. “Come in,” he calls. 

She opens the door. “Hey, big guy,” she greets him. “Sleeping late, huh?”

“Guess so,” Angel admits. He still feels groggy, but his head is clearing slowly. “Everything okay?”

“Peachy,” says Cordelia. “Just waiting on you, we got a new case this morning.”

“Okay,” Angel replies. The familiarity of his work knocks the last of the fogginess away. “I’ll be right down.”

“Great,” says Cordy, and she gives him a flash of that brilliant smile before she shuts the door. 

Right, Angel thinks, going to his closet for clean clothes. This feels right. 

Cordelia walks to the elevator. The doors open without her having to press the button. The woman she’s begun to think of her fairy godmother — her veiny, scary fairy godmother — is waiting, right where Cordy left her. 

“Well?” rasps the vengeance demon. “Is it everything you wanted?”

“It’s perfect,” Cordelia replies honestly. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” says the demon.