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"Darkness and Light"

"Darkness and Light"


Former watcher Wesley Wyndem-Price wearily took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. With a yawn the dark haired young man glanced out the apartment window....nearly dawn, Angel would be back soon.

"Cordelia,"Wesley began as he returned his attention to the book of myths in front of him. "I know I'll regret asking this but you wouldn't happen to have any coffee in this place would you?"

When the young brown haired woman didn't answer Wesley looked across the kitchen table at his colleague. Cordelia was sound asleep with her head resting on her arms on top of a pile of books and computer printouts.
Wesley sighed and got up and began to hunt through the few cabinets above the sink. As he opened the third cabinet Wesley heard Cordelia moan. He whirled around to find Cordelia thrashing about in her sleep.
Her arms and legs were flailing as if she were having a nightmare.
Or a vision.
At the last thought Wesley raced into the bathroom and snatched the bottle of aspirn. On the way back into the kitchen he grabbed a pad of paper and a pen. He set them both down in front of his seat as he moved in front of Cordelia attempting to wake her.

"Cordelia?"Wesley called as he grabbed her shoulders careful to avoid her hands.

"Cordelia? It's Wesley....you're having a nightmare."

Cordelia went ridged so fast that Wesley lost his grip on her shoulders.
Her eyes were still tightly closed.

"Cordelia?"Wesley shouted as he snapped his fingers in front of her eyes. "Wake up!"

Wesley wasn't sure if it was the noise or his voice that did it but Cordelia's eyes finally shot open. She appeared disoriented for a minute before she grabbed her head and closed her eyes against the pain.

"Vision?"Wesley prompted anxiously as he handed her the pad, pen and asprin.

Cordelia shook her head wincing at the movement. "No, it wasn't a vision."She replied just as Angel was let into her apartment by Dennis.

"What wasn't a vision?"The vampire asked as he joined them.

"It woke her up."Wesley replied indicating Cordelia's haggard appearance.

"Cordy?"Angel asked as he knelt next to her taking the aspirin bottle from Wesley. "What did you see?"

When Cordelia finally met his gaze Angel was shocked to see the tears and hurt. "It couldn't have been a vision, Angel. It had to be a nightmare."

"Why?"Angel asked as he glanced at Wesley. "Only visions give you these migraines."

Cordelia sniffled. "The only thing I saw was Doyle."

"Doyle?"Wesley echoed as he rocked back on his heels this was intriguing. "Maybe it was a left over image...."

Cordelia glared at him slightly as she stood and walked into the livng room. Dennis picked up a purple sweater from the sofa and draped it around her shoulders. She smiled weakly at where the ghost would be standing.

"I don't want to talk about it, Angel."Cordelia replied quietly as she moved to the window.

Angel stood and moved as close to her as he could and still avoid the sunlight. "Cordy, we have to....it might lead to....."

Cordelia whirled to face her boss eyes blazing. "What part of I don't want to talk about it don't you get?!"

Angel started to reply but quickly moved out of the way as Cordelia stormed toward her bedroom and slammed the door shut.

**********

With tears streaming down her face both from the pain and from the memories the vision conjured up Cordelia began tossing clothes into a suitcase. After a few minutes Cordelia realized she was slamming dresser drawers so loud they shook. She closed the rest more quietly not wanting to alert Wesley and Angel to what she was doing they'd only try to stop her.

She was a danger to them......and the only way to protect them was to leave.

With a last tearful look at the closed bedroom door Cordelia closed the messily packed suitcase, grabbed her coat and headed toward the window.
Once there the window refused to open after two tries. But Cordelia knew it wasn't stuck.

"Dennis."The young brown haired woman called to the ghost. "Please don't fight me on this."

The room was still so Cordelia tried the window again still nothing.

"Dennis, please. I know what I'm doing. I'll be okay."Cordelia stated as she blinked tears away.

Finally the lock on the window clicked and it silently rose up enough to allow Cordelia to fit through.

"Thank you, Dennis."Cordelia whispered as she climbed out into the sunlight.

A new day that would give her a few hours head start on Angel. Cordelia could only hope that he'd understand.

********

"Did she tell you anything as she was coming out of it?"Angel demanded as he glanced worriedly at the closed bedroom door.

Wesley let out a sigh of frustration he'd been answering the same questions for the past half-hour. "No she was acting like she was having a nightmare. It took me a few minutes to realize it was a vision."

Angel stood and started toward the bedroom. "I'm going to talk to her."

"I don't think that's a good idea."Wesley replied quietly his gaze fixated on the closed door.

The vampire whirled around. "She needs to talk about this."

"Why? Because she saw Doyle?"Wesley asked knowing he was treading on dangerous territory.

Angel's eyes narrowed sharply. "You didn't know Doyle."

"No, I didn't but I do know Cordelia."Wesley replied carefully as she stood. "It's clear that whatever she saw upset her greatly and she doesn't want to talk about it. She doesn't like to be cornered, Angel."

Angel's shoulders slumped and he returned to his seat on the sofa. "I know. She's been through so much this year.....Doyle's death hit her hard. I just don't want to see her hurt again."

Wesley walked over to his boss. "Neither do I......but Cordelia will talk to us when she's ready."

*********

By ten o'clock Angel was about ready to break the door down. It unnerved him that he hadn't heard anything from Cordelia in the past three hours. She was never that quiet especially when she was mad at him. He started toward the bedroom door but Wesley's voice halted him.

"Angel...."

"Have you ever known Cordelia to be this quiet?"Angel asked as he turned around.

Wesley shook his head as he placed the book he was looking through on the sofa next to him. "No, especially when she's mad."

"Exactly."Angel replied as he started toward the closed door. He was surprised to find the door tightly locked. As if something didn't want him to get in.

"Dennis."Angel called not in the mood for the ghost's overprotectiveness.

The door didn't budge on Angel's second try.

Finally Angel gave up and stalked toward the front door nearly toppling Wesley in the process.

"What's wrong?"Wesley demanded as he grabbed his coat.

"She's not here."Angel replied tersely.

*********

Xander Harris groaned as he heard a knock at the door. The dark haired young man rolled over and buried his head under the pillow hoping that whoever it was would go away.
Between helping Giles at the magic shop and joining Buffy on patrol it'd been a brutal night.

The knocking continued and Xander pulled his head out and glanced at the clock....barely nine. Whoever it was better have a good excuse for disturbing his Saturday morning sleep in time.

Xander tossed off the covers and pulled on a blue t-shirt before walking out of the bedroom.

"I'm coming, I'm coming."Xander muttered sleepily."Hold your horses."

As he opened the door Xander was surprised to see a familiar figure starting to walk away.

"Cordy?"Xander asked now fully awake as he stepped out into the hallway.

Cordelia turned to face her ex-boyfriend. She knew she shouldn't have come but she couldn't think of anywhere else to go.

"I was in the neighborhood."Cordelia greeted with a weak smile.

Xander frowned seeing the dark circles under her eyes. "Sure, everybody who lives in L.A. swings by the hellmouth. What's going on Cordy?"

"Can I come in?"Cordelia asked part of her anxious to see his new apartment. She'd been worried about him living in his parent's basement.

"Yeah."Xander replied as he stepped aside. "So how's tall, dark and brooding?"

Cordelia smiled as she set her suitcase near the sofa."Angel's fine."

Xander perched himself on one of the arms of the sofa."Not that I'm not happy to see you, Cordy, but why are you here? You moving back?"

Cordelia shook her head. "I need your help, Xander."

"Slayer type of help?"Harris asked wondering what trouble Cordy was in that Angel couldn't handle.

Cordelia moved over to the window and stared out at the city that she grew up in. "Can we keep Buffy out of this for now?"She asked softly.

Xander nodded as he stood. "Sure, anything you want, Cordy. But you know they'll start to ask why you're back."

"I know."Cordelia replied shuddering slightly as memories of her vision came back but she kept her gaze fixed on the window. "I just don't feel like talking just yet."