Saved From Herself by Christie Baird
Summary: Cordelia realises what it's like to be on the other side of the coin.
Spoilers: Tomorrow, Season Three.
Notes: "There's a fanfic somewhere in there." KarKar, truer words have never been spoken...
"And you didn't think I would."
"I didn't think you would what?" Asked Cordelia.
Angel smiled, serenely, "Save you."
Well, I guess now I know, don't I? I'm so mad, I can't think straight. Actually, that would be part of the grief process, I think. Grief... Longing... Loss... All words that I should be familiar with. I mean, come on, I've been doing this for six years now - the whole noble, Scooby Champion thing. I should be used to the whole Losing Something You Love thing. Shouldn't I?
So why hasn't it got any easier then? Ah, now I, Cordelia Chase come to the other side of the coin. For weeks Angel had been acting like the biggest dork in ever and I refused to acknowledge it. I mean, come on - he'd been a dork since he came back from his beige period, why was now any different? I told myself, "It's just Angel." Or... "He'll get over it, he usually does." But I never asked him what there was for him to get over, did I? That's the bitterest pill to swallow - that I knew something was up with him and I never asked. With Wesley, I can justify it by saying that I wasn't around to help but... With Angel? How can I justify it? I knew something was going on and I just refused to accept it.
Ahh, now here's yet another Cordelia Chase way. Turn the other way and everything will be fine. I did it with the visions, I did it with Angel and now, I'm doing it with this. Keeping myself occupied is therapy, I don't think about what I heard that night or what I saw half as much as I would if I weren't kept busy.
He loved me. Angel. Champion of all things good and noble... My best friend. Loved me. The Powers That Be saw it coming, apparantly... Approved of it. So then tell me why Angel's gone and left me to face this life alone. He saved me, he saved us all, from what? Maybe we'll never know. From me, certainly death - Sahjhan was certainly going to snap my neck without a hindsight of thought. But maybe... Just maybe, Angel saved me from myself. He saved me from settling for less just because I was lonely. I thought I loved Groo and now I hate that he's still here. Angel's replacement. That's what it feels like. I looked at him this morning as I came down the stairs and screamed at him to put down the sword he was holding because... It's Angel's sword. I think he knows. He sees it in my eyes that I don't love him, that I can't, not when Angel was there all along and I refused to see it.
The reason I held myself back, yeah, it was because giving it up meant becoming less than I was. Settling. I don't deserve to have to settle. And Groo doesn't deserve to love someone who can't love him back fully.
I sleep in Angel's bed now, like I did so many months ago with him and Connor. It feels like months, although Wesley assures me it's only been weeks. The days seem so long without him. Connor sometimes creeps into the room, asks me to tell him about his Dad. Asks me to tell him how his Dad saved me from the One Eyed demons. I don't tell him the bad parts. He's not naive, he knows that there were some bad times but surely losing his father and living 15 years with Holtz is enough of a life of darkness. I like to romantacise things for him, I know it's silly. He's a grown boy, almost a man... But... Was Fred's theory so bad, that a white knight on a horse would sweep in and take her away. Angel did. He took me away from failure, give me friends, a family. A son. And as I sit here, watching my son sleep, I see a little of Angel in him. Angel took me away from failure and saved me. Saved me from prostituting myself to Russell Winters... He saved me from myself... He's done that a lot. Saved a lot of people... Made a choice knowing that it could hurt him, but save others in the end. He's a true champion...
Angel's gone. And he's not coming back. He sacrificed himself to save us all and as I stand here, part of me hates him for it. Part of me hates him for being so noble, for loving me and not ever showing it more. I know it wasn't his fault. Sometimes, something can be standing right in front of me and I'll never see it for what it is. I romantacize things for Connor and in my dreams, I do it for me. When Angel smelled my hair, I dream that he did it, not because he was being creepy weirdo guy - but because it was something he couldn't resist, like a last breath to a dying man. In my dreams, I admit it, I dream of what happened in that dressing room - happening for real. The words she spoke that set out skins ablaze...
//I'm only alive when you're inside me.//
They've been turned into a mockery of what I can't have. They aren't true. The fact is, the only time I'm alive or will be again, is when Angel's with me.
Right now? I'm going through the motions all because Angel saved me from myself... And for that, I'll love him always.