Do What You Have To Do by Christie Baird


Summary: Cordelia's home from her holiday, Groo's not here.  She finds a world of hurt.


Spoilers: Sleep Tight, Season Three.


Notes: The song and namesake for this fic belongs to Sarah McLachlan. Dedicated to Gordon. Just because.



I've been around death for maybe the last six years of my life.  Not just with Angel, but with Buffy and the gang.  Every night, a new evil to face, I was one of the gang.  But I've never smelt defeat before.  During the Ascension, when Ms. Calendar died - there was always a light.  It mightn't have seemed it at the time but there was always a light at the end of the tunnel.  Something we could look forward to.  We don't have that now.  Our light, our child, is gone.

What ravages of spirit
Conjured this temptuous rage

Created you a monster
Broken by the rules of love*

The rules of love, hm?  Simple really, aren't they?  You love, you lose.  It's the way of the world.  It will *always* be the way of the world.  No one stays together forever.  Buffy and Angel had the whole immortal, forever love crap and where did it get them?  Nowhere.  Buffy sent Angel to Hell.  Then she died.  Is this love?  Then forgive me, I may be lonely, but I don't want it.  For I know who I love.  I know where he is right now, and I don't want my love to kill him or push him away further than he's gone.

And fate has lead you through it
You do what you have to do
And fate has led you through it
You do what you have to do*

I was prepared.  I was ready to tell Angel what maybe I've been denying for a long time.  I love him, it's so obvious - but me, being the idiot I am, just never noticed.  It wasn't like he made it obvious, sure, he was over-protective, but this is Angel.  He didn't go out of his way to touch me, or... Anything like that, not really...

Angel's cool, remember?

Or... He was...

And I have the sense to recognize that
I don't know how to let you go

Every moment marked
With apparitions of your soul*

No one's told me yet.  No one's told me why.  I'm not sure I'll ever understand.  I don't blame Wesley, how could I?  He loved Connor.  He did what he had to do...

When I left, the hotel was a life force to be reckoned with.  It spoke of love, success for we truly were a family.  And now, the empty hallways are devoid of laughter, devoid of love.  For betrayal surely is the bitterest of pills to swallow.  That's what it is.  We can paint it any way we like, but we were betrayed.  Not by Wesley, but by the Powers That Be.  Connor's protected, nothing can harm him - but Holtz can poison his mind against us, wherever he's took him...

Wherever Angel is now.  He's not upstairs, sitting in front of Connor's crib like I know he is.  He's not cradling a small toy in his arms, singing softly to it.  Wherever Angel is inside?  He's with his child, his redemption and I can't bare to pull him back from that place.  I tried.  I certainly did, for how could I now?  We needed him.  We needed him to snap out of it and get Connor back.  I did the one thing that I'll never forgive myself for.  I took his child away from him.  It sounds crazy, I know.  Connor's already gone, I can't take something that isn't there.

But I took away Angel's illusion - and his world crumbled once again, like it must've when he saw Holtz slipping into an unknown dimension with his son.  I know what's right.  I need to make Angel face up to the fact that his son is gone and might not return.  But how?  Take away his child a third time and just let him deal?  Perhaps...

And I'll kill him even more.

I do what I have to do
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
But I have the sense to recognise

That I don't know how
To let you go
I don't how
To let you go*

How could I?  I want Angel to wrap his arms around me and tell me everything's going to be alright, but in his own world, he doesn't understand that things aren't as they seem to us.  He has the warmth and sunshine that Connor provided us from the minute he was brought into our lives.  We have an emptiness.  In his arms, Angel holds his redemption, lifts a bottle to its lips and feeds it lovingly, patting its back when it needs to burp.  And we see a man, broken.  A man, feeding a small cuddly toy, bought for his son.  We see him brushing his lips lovingly against the head of a stuffed animal.  We're broken too.  Only Angel, after stumbling so long in the darkness, has finally given himself light.  He's given himself his son, just like he deserves.  It's us who watch.  Not only have we lost something that brought us much love, a son.  We've also lost two good friends.  Wesley isn't dead.  But he isn't awake yet.  How can he live with his choice?  How can we?

A glowing ember
Burning hot
Burning slow
Deep within I'm shaken by the violence
Of existing for only you*

I have to believe, Angel.  I have to believe that one day, you'll wake up and see us crumbling around you.  And then, on the other side of the coin, I hope that you don't.  I hope you stay, where it's warm.  I hope that wherever you are, you can play in the sunshine with your son.  I hope that you can teach him the things that will shape him, make him be like you.

And if you don't?  I'll be here, waiting on the other side for you.  The other side where you've existed for such a long time - the cold, dark and lonely place we sit and drink coffee, like it's a normal thing.  It is normal, at least it feels like it is.  You love, you lose.  The way of the world.

I left you at your darkest hour and as a result, I'll never get you back again.  Not until the day I can place your child in your arms and wipe away the tears... Maybe that will never happen

I live in hope, Angel.

I live in hope for something better.

I live in hope for something I may never get.

I live for you.

I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
And I have the sense to recognise
I don't know how to let you go
I don't know how to let you go
I don't know how to let you go*

I'll live for both of us, until the day you return to me.  For I have to believe.


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