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20 November 2005 @ 04:37 pm
Things were mostly starting to settle down and by mostly? I meant me. I couldn't speak for everyone and really I was the only one who was suddenly jubilantly happy at the prospect of real acting work. Okay, fine it wasn't exactly the lead in a Blockbuster or even a soap opera but it was something! Everybody had to start somewhere and I'd gotten used to the idea that I was going to have to work my way up in Hollywood. I could start small, a commercial for the latest prescription battling genital herpes. It was just acting! It wasn't like anyone was really going to see those commercials and say to themselves "Hey, that's Cordelia Chase. I didn't know she had herpes." Right? Of course I was right. Besides, the director knew like a ton of people in the business and I was pretty sure he could get my foot in the door. Genital herpes today and my own sitcom tomorrow? I could live with that.

I even finally called Angel after days of not talking to him. He sounded really happy to hear from me and actually listened to me ramble on and on about how fabulous my new job was. It wasn't until the end of the conversation when he quietly asked me if I was going to come back to work. Duh. Like he wasn't lost without me. Between him and Faith and Wes we were all in trouble. Someone needed to be at that hotel to make sure things actually went the way they were supposed to. Like us actually getting paid for helping those hopeless. I told him he didn't have to worry I'd be coming back to work the next day and I did. I went and I smiled and I did all of those things because that's what I do. I was like the glue. Faith and Wes and Angel were all in pieces and I had to hold us all together. I didn't mind, because clearly someone had to do it.

At least I'd finally managed to convince Wesley to stay in town. I didn't know who he thought he was fooling trying to escape. Where was he going to go exactly? He didn't have anybody except for us and okay, maybe Faith did try and torture him to death but at least she was trying. At least it seemed like it was even though I knew it was hard for her. I thought it might be good to get her out of the hotel so she'd been staying with me in my apartment for the last few nights. I wondered if that made Wesley nervous since he was staying just down the hall but I was hoping that he was starting to...I don't know. Get over it probably wasn't the best phrase to use. Deal with it? Spank that inner moppet? I trusted her, or at least enough to share a bed with her nearly every single night. Dennis trusted her which spoke volumes to me but part of me understood that even ghostly types liked to watch some girl on girl action. oh God, now I'm even starting to sound like a skank. I could just hear my friends from Sunnydale now. If they knew I'd moved away to L.A. and instead of become a famous movie star I ended up doing herpes commercials and sleeping with the girl who was the poster child for white trash.

Tonight I was taking my mind off herpes, past lessons in torture and everything else that had been bothering me because tonight I was escaping my crazy life full of demons and other icky things that we never got paid for. It was still mid afternoon, but things were slow at the office so I decided to go home and try on some outfits for going out to the club with Faith later that night. She was out on some assignment but she was going to meet me at home later on in the night so that we could go out. I raised an eyebrow going through the clothes in my closet. I didn't know what to wear. God, it used to be so easy back in Sunnydale where there was only The Bronze and I only dressed in the highest fashions. Now I had no idea what kind of place I was going to end up in. If Faith was picking? Probably something filled with horny leather wearing freaks. Great. I'd stick out like a sore thumb. My fingertips brushed over a pair of Faith's red leather pants. Well....I would look really good in them....Who could deny the hotness of me? And if my sexy girlfriend could get away with wearing leather pants all the time then I guess I could too.

It wasn't until I had the pants on that I realized where my train of thought had led me. My sexy girlfriend? Is that what she was now? There was no denying the sexy part but girlfriend? Cordelia Chase with a girlfriend?!

"Oh God, Dennis....I think I need a drink." I said dryly before turning around and realizing that Dennis wasn't even helping me pick out clothes. God, spend a few weeks away from your ghost and he starts to slack off! I swear.

"Dennis..." I called out, stepping into the living room when I realized why Dennis had been so distracted. Wesley. Wesley was here, standing in my living room and for some reason I felt strangely self-conscious in Faith's leather pants.

"Wesley. Hi!" I smiled brightly, trying to cover it up.
Current Music: Drug Like- Action Action
16 October 2005 @ 12:50 pm
First day on the jobCollapse )
Current Mood: nervousnervous
10 September 2005 @ 11:08 pm
So yeah, I might’ve mentioned that I’d take her somewhere special tonight, go for a little trip in the car and break in the backseat a bit more but hell, I didn’t actually have anywhere in mind! Didn’t even really think we were going to do it. That didn’t stop Tara from going on about it for half the afternoon, soon as I’d finished shagging her in the shower she started about it. Where were we going to go? What were we going to do? Bloody hell, I was surprised she hadn’t asked me to list the positions I was going to fuck her in.

Then again, there weren’t that many you could pull off in the back of that car, not too much space see and the ceiling…

Well, anyway, the point was I had no idea how I was supposed to make this into the special occasion she wanted. I knew how to be romantic, done it a lot; roses, shiny little trinkets, a nice set of juicy twins for supper, but I hadn’t been romantic with Tara…hell, I didn’t even know if she liked twins.

But why did I care?

Yeah, like I didn’t know the answer to that question. I cared because I cared. Bitch’d done the deed, gotten under my skin and I’d be damned if I could tear her out, that’s why it had to be right tonight, so…well, guess I was finally ready to show her I was fond of her. I was fond of her, didn’t love her, but every day…

Wouldn’t do any good to stew over that though, I had more important things to think about right now.

I’d sent my girl off to hunt down the block while I had myself a looksee at what the local jewellery shop had to offer. If anything made a bird’s eyes light up it was something shiny and since I was supposed to be making this a special night for her, then I s’pose I should have something special to give her.

Of course, that’s about as much of tonight as I had planned. S’pose I could take her hunting somewhere a little quieter than LA, find some nice, sweet choirgirl for her to tie up in our shiny new basement and corrupt. I grinned to myself as I looked over the trinkets in the window. Yeah, she’d like that all right. Hell, I’d like that.

“So that’s settled,” I muttered, smashing my fist through the jewellers window and grabbing a diamond bracelet – it’d go nicely with that collar I’d gotten her – before striding off down the street as the shop’s alarm cut through the night.

“Little drive, little present, nice little victim.”
25 August 2005 @ 04:13 pm
I got the job. I got the job! I couldn't believe it! I mean, hello I so could believe it because I am fabulous but I got the job! My mind was somewhere else and they held up those cue cards and I read them and remembered all that crap that Christie was always trying to shove down my throat back when I first moved to L.A. All that stuff about how to make yourself noticed and stand out from all the other actresses that want your job. It was really hard at first because back in Sunnydale? I was the it girl. There weren't a thousand other girls trying to clambor over me in high priced shoes so they could steal the limelight away from me. So I remembered all the things she told me and then I promptly threw them out the window and forgot it all. I didn't think I had the job but at the end of my audition they pulled me aside and told me I could come in tomorrow. I couldn't wait to go home and tell Angel and Faith. And now I was alot more glad that Faith was around because if I started acting professionally I wasn't going to have time to be office assistant gal anymore. Faith and Angel would have to do all that while I was on my way to fame and fortune. It was inevitable. I couldn't wait to go to work the next day.

Side effects may include dry mouth, dizzyness, headache, fatigue, some sexual dysfunction....

Alright, fine. I was the spokesmodel for the newest experimental drug. Whatever! It was a job! I'd get my face out there and before I knew it was I sure I'd be getting parts in series and sitcoms and then movies and I'd have a private jet, and a giant pool, and a twenty million dollar estate in the Hollywood hills. I was getting giddy just thinking about it, and I practically ran home to tell Faith and Angel. Of course, when I actually got there Angel was snoozing away in the bat cave and Faith was no where to be found. Great. Who was I going to share my big news with now? I thought about stopping over at my apartment and sharing my news with Wesley and Dennis. I really needed to go over there soon anyway and talk to Wesley about staying here with us. And by staying here with us I meant evacuating my apartment. I missed my ghost and my...did he have any idea how hard I slaved to get that apartment? Ok, well I didn't really have to slave for it but I lived in a really disgusting apartment for a really long time before Doyle found that apartment for me. And I missed Doyle alot and that apartment felt like...well, maybe it was the only piece I had left of him.

Finally the door opened and I glanced up from my spot at the desk to see Faith saunter in full of her usual cocky swagger. A bright smile lit up my face as I got up from the desk quickly and walked over to her. I was about to tell her my fabulous news when I actually took a good look at her. She was covered in...slime? Eww.

"What happened to you?" I demanded and hey! How had she already managed to ruin the new clothes I'd bought for her.

"Got in a fight." She replied sullenly as usual. I only rolled my eyes. Could she possibly give me any less information? Got into a fight? Well, that was pretty much par for the course with Faith. What kind of fight? Was she hurt? Why did she have that dejected look on her face? My mind raced with the possibilities as she just stared at me like I was the one who just waltzed in with slime covered clothes.

"Are you okay?" I finally asked tentatively, unsure of what might set her off. Not that I was afraid afraid of Faith anymore. More just afraid of pushing her away, because it was really easy to do. She ran from everything. So far I'd managed to keep her from running from me but I wasn't sure how much longer she would let me reel her back in. Faith was unpredictable, but she sort of felt like mine. I mean, as weird as it was-- she was mine.

"Little sticky." She replied brusquely before pushing past me towards the stairs. "I'm gonna shower. I'll tell you about it when I get out." And with that she disappeared around the corner and upstairs. She didn't even ask if I wanted to come with her...into the shower. Because the shower was where things happened and she pretty much wanted to be left alone. I could take a hint. I could! I knew when someone wanted to be left alone. It was just that sometimes I didn't care.

Fifteen minutes later I was sitting on the edge of the tub and demanding to know what had happened to her and why she was scrubbing so much slime off of her body. I had been expecting a lot of things...at least I thought I had been expecting alot of things but saving Wesley from a vision demon? Definitely hadn't been one of them. I couldn't believe that Wesley actually let Faith help him after everything that she'd put us through (and he wasn't nearly as forgiving/understanding as I was). Let probably wasn't the right word. It was hard to let Faith do anything. She pretty much just did what she wanted to do and apparently she wanted to save Wesley. I smiled at that. Because it meant that I was right. That Faith really could be helped, that she really wanted to do good things even when she was acting like a psycho skank.

I didn't want to pry but...yes I did. Prying was my middle name.

"So, did you and Wes....?"

"Kiss and make up?" She snorted at that. "What do you think?"

Right. That answered that question I guess but I still wasn't exactly happy about all the half information Faith was always giving me. Maybe it was because I was bugging her in the shower. I should ask her after the sex. She was always most agreeable and strangely talkative after that. She looked a little too cranky for sex now and I realized suddenly that I hadn't even shared my job news! I wanted to share the happiness with someone and it hit me like a tidal wave that the person I wanted to share it most with was Faith. Faith who was really cranky and scrubbing slime off of her pale curves.

Picking up Faith's soiled clothes from the bathroom floor I made an ick face before tossing them in the garbage can. Those were almost more toxic then the mold I found growing all over Doyle's apartment. I shuffled off downstairs figuring that when Faith was done working out whatever it was she had to work out she'd come downstairs and tell me more. Maybe. Hopefully. In theory.

I spent most of the afternoon and early evening doing paperwork as Faith railed into the punching bag downstairs. Still working out her issues I guess. Angel finally crawled out of his little hole in the world.

"Good morning, Sleepyhead." I greeted him as I put a cup of fresh pig's blood in his hand.

He only gave me a look before nodding and taking the cup from me. Then he promptly shut himself in his office without another word. Okay! That was enough of that! How did I get stuck with the two most stoic stubborn people in the whole world? I hadn't even told anybody about my fabulous new acting job yet! Did I suddenly go invisible girl? Marching straight over to Angel's door I flung it open and he glared up at me in surprise.


"What? You what? Good morning, Cordelia. It's nice to see you. How was your day, Cordelia? Have I told you how great your hair looks, Cordelia?" I railed into him, hand on one hip as I gave my patented eyebrow raise.

"Ummm....what?" He shook his head and gave me a confused look. Oh right. His pain was more important than everybody else's so he had to close himself in some tiny little room and blame himself for Doyle and shut the rest of the people who love him out! Well guess what, pal? I have pain too! I have alot of pain but that didn't mean that the world stopped turning. Or that we could just all hide away.

"Ummm...what?" I shot back at him. "I got a new job today. An acting job which I would have told you all about if you'd bothered to ask me about my day. But you don't. You just storm around here and then hide in your office all day so that no one can see how sad you are about Doyle. well, you know what? I'm sad about Doyle too! He died, but I'm still here. Faith is still here. You are still here. Why don't you start acting like it instead of shutting all the people who love you because it makes you feel better. God, you are just as bad as she is. Maybe the two of you can run the business together because I'm going home and I won't stick around to watch the good thing that we started with Doyle go up in flames because you are so damn sad!"

He was speechless and I was...well, not. Instead I turned around and marched out of the hotel, my heels clicking solidly on the lobby floor before the door slammed behind me. I was sick and tired of being the glue that holds everything together around here. I gave them a day before they came looking for me, begging me to come back. I mean, Angel and paper work? That would be funny if I wasn't so pissed off.

I walked all the way back to my apartment which in all actuality wasn't that far. Someone must have been happy to see me too because the door opened right away and I felt something ushering me in.

"It's good to see you too, Dennis." I smiled as a cup of tea suddenly appeared in my hand. "Where's Wesley?" I asked him just as I heard someone moving around in the bathroom. Oh right. Faith wasn't the only one who got slimed.
31 July 2005 @ 02:39 am
This place is a shithole.

Why can’t we live somewhere nice?

We don’t even have proper running water.

For fucks sake, don’t know why the bint needed bloody running water any…Oh sod it, I’d long since stopped trying to nut out why women wanted or needed anything. Didn’t much care either…’course there was one thing I cared about, and that was keeping a willing bed mate. That, and well, I was actually beginning to like the bird, so I guess I’d better be the gentleman and get her what she wanted.

Get in some quality violence at the same time if I was lucky.

She wanted somewhere swish to live then I’d bloody find her somewhere swish to live. If only because it might stop her prattling on long enough for her to use that pretty little mouth of hers for other things.


I lit a fresh fag and threw a bill on the bar, time to stop dillydallying and get down to business. I was headed downtown, knew a little demon…family, I s’pose you could call ‘em but this wasn’t a social call. They had themselves a nice little flat, see, running water, the whole works. Yeah, lived like right sodding sell-outs with all their human luxuries…not that I was one to sneer; human luxuries definitely had their advantages but in my experience it was best not rely on ‘em for too long, else you’ll find you get sloppy, go out one night and more than likely get yourself dusted

Anyway, the point was they owed me a favour and I was going to call it in tonight. In the form of their flat.

I knocked and waited. Not long before it swung inwards and there was the head of the household in all his ugly-ass glory.


“Yeah, look I don’t have time to chitchat,” I interrupted. “I’m calling in that favour you owe me,” I said, looking over his shoulder into the apartment. Nice. Comfy looking couch and a nice big dinning room table…perfect for bending naughty little girls over for a nice hard shag. I grinned and licked my lips before looking back at the demon. He looked nervous. Rightly so, too.

“Of course, just tell us what--,” He began.

“Get out,” I interjected.


“Get. Out. Been house hunting see,” I threw my fag on the carpet and ground it out with my boot. “And with the market the way it is these days, well I just can’t seem to find anything I fancy in my price range.”

I grabbed onto the threshold and leaned in towards him.

“I fancy your digs though, so take your sprogs and get. The bloody hell. Out

“But where will we go? What…what are we going to do..?

Oh, please. I grabbed his head and twisted it, breaking his neck. His body slumped to the ground and I stepped over it. “Yeah, I really don’t give a damn, mate,” I said watching as the rest of his family screamed and started scampering about like bloody great cockroaches. Gotta love nicking digs from demons, never had to bother with the pesky invitation.

As I killed off rest of the brood a thought occurred to me.

Probably shouldn’t be doing this – not the killing, I should definitely be doing that – no the apartment, catering to Tara’s every bleedin’ whim. Next thing I’d be telling her I loved her and we all know where that gets a bloke. Nowhere fun. Oh hell, I’d just tell her it was because I was sick of her going on about it all the time, it was, but it was more…I

Bugger it, looked like I was headed back down that old familiar slippery slope. Oh well, just as long as I didn’t let on.

After I’d gotten rid of the bodies down the laundry chute I locked up and headed back to the flat to wait for my girl. She’d be right chuffed when she saw the place I’d found her…probably more so when we’d gotten some minions to clean up the demon blood stains, but still.

Wish she’d hurry up and get home.
18 July 2005 @ 02:47 am
Days had been quiet at the Hyperion, with everybody pretty much doin' their thing. Soul Boy had himself locked up in his office, with Cordelia reminding me and probably him every five minutes that he was brooding again. I had a feelin' Angel was feelin' all guilty cause his best pal Doyle up and died on him. Hey, life was a bitch that way and Angel'd been around for like a million years. You think he'd be used to the humans around him kickin' the bucket all the time. Why didn't he just do what everyone else did and lash out? Hurt back, except I almost got myself way too far gone to ever come back doin' that. Had I come back? I didn't know, wasn't sure-- it was confusing. I wanted to ask Angel lots of things but he was busy, and there wasn't nobody else except Cordelia. For her part she spent alot of time followin' me around and sometimes I didn't wonder if she was lonely or something. Always lookin' after me, like the mom I never had. A mom who shared a bed with me every single night for the last couple nights. Ok, that thought was just all kinds of wrong.

Wesley hadn't bothered to show up for a couple of days and I knew that bugged the shit outta Queen C. She was real anxious to get him in here, workin' with us. As if there were an us, less one mood vampire, a (formerly) psychotic slayer and a tapped out ex prom queen. Still, what better place for a fired bumbling watcher than here with the rest of us misfits? I knew the reason he hadn't shown up was cause I was here. Really who could blame the guy when I'd tortured him nearly to death not all that long ago. What were we supposed to do anyway? Just let bygones be bygones? I'd offered to leave like a million times but Cordy kept insisting that the both of us needed to work our shit out and get used to workin' together. There was no good way to argue with Cordelia and I'd long gotten over the urge to wrap my hands around her throat and squeeze everytime she wouldn't shut up. Now it was different, now it was...almost like she'd made me believe in something again as corny and lame as that sounded. She made me believe that I didn't have to end up the way everyone else always said I would. I was pretty sure she could do that for Wes too, cause let's be honest. Gettin' fired from the council musta stung the little prissy boy something fierce. Kinda almost felt bad despite the fact that he was the worst watcher ever in the history of watchers. He wasn't no Giles and I wasn't no B. Guess that was just the way it worked. Plus, Cordelia really wanted her apartment back. Vaguelly I wondered what would happen to the two of us once she did have it back. Might be kinda weird to go back to sleepin' alone.

Things were actually pretty boring for a few days which was sayin' alot when you were us. Cordelia and Angel were both still kinda sad about their pal, but at least I'd never met him. He'd just left me with the visions. Whatever the fuck that was. I'd only had the one and that had been painful enough. Sometimse when I closed my eyes I could still see it on the inside of my eyelids, I could still feel it. The way it'd felt to be that chick all helpless and beat up. Damn. Havin' no superpowers had to suck really bad. And maybe I'd once thought that the strong survived I realized that the strong usually died young, and the weak died younger. It was the smart one's that really survived, they made it way past the rest of us. And I never been known for my brains. That was for damn sure.

Either way I was bored as hell just sittin' around the hotel with nothin' to do and the only thing worth fightin' was a punching bag in the basement. So one afternoon I managed to convince Cordy to go on one of those auditions she was always talkin' about. She hadn't been on one in awhile and I guess she wanted to be some kinda actress. She was hot enough to be one, no doubt. She was probably a good actress, but I didn't think you really had to be good to get into movies. You just had to have a huge rack and a big shiny smile. C should be a fucking shoo in, in that case. But what the hell do I know? I just kill things. She'd been gone for about an hour, auditioning for some commercial as I wandered around the hotel. Think Angel was sleepin' or something, either that or spankin' himself for lettin' his friend get killed on his watch. Cordy said he always did this, I wondered if I'd eventually start doin' that too. Or if I'd been doin' it all along and just never noticed.

Humming to myself just under my breath I was alone in the kitchen, sloppin' together a sandwich comprised of mostly peanut butter and a little bit of jelly. Angel seriously needed to go shopping, or Cordelia did. Whoever it was that was in charge of keepin' us fed around here. Maybe I'd surprise 'em all and do it myself. Naw. That'd never happen. Movin' over to the fridge to put the jelly away, suddenly it was like a train just ran through my head. I staggered back, barely even hearing the sound of the glass shattering to pieces on the floor. Fallin' down on top of broken pieces of it, I cradled my head in my hands feelin' like my brain was about to explode.

It was the same as before, parts of it seen through his eyes and parts of it seen from the outside. One claw leaving a jagged raw open wound on his collarbone, and he was so scared. Fumbling with the crossbow and the weapon was faulty, not to mention I wasn't sure if he knew how to operate it or not. The roaring disgusting thing in front of him didn't seem to give a shit, it just grabbed his wrist and snapped it like a fucking twig as he screamed in pain. He screamed. Never supposed to scream, because I'd never made him scream. It was Wesley.

I was breathing hard and I could see my arms were all cut up from the broken jar, and sticky with jelly. Nasty. Not as nasty as the pounding sensation in my head and the realization that Wes was gonna die if I didn't do nothin' about it.

Getting up from the floor I was surprised Angel hadn't come runnin' with the noise, but he must be sleepin' pretty soundly. It was the middle of the afternoon, must be prime vampire sleepin' time. Walkin' to the bathroom slowly I grimaced when I saw my reflection in the mirror. Looked like hell and it was easy to see why. With a sigh I grabbed the tylenol off the medicine cabinet shelf and popped about four of 'em dry. Swallowing them down I finally ran the water in the tap before bendin' over the sink and splashing water over my face, cupping some in my hands as I washed clean the few small cuts I had from the jelly jar glass. Once I was all cleaned up, I had a decision to make and I really didn't wanna make it.

Walkin' out into the lobby I desperately wished Cordelia was here, because she'd know what I was supposed to do. Hell, I knew what I was supposed to do but not havin' her here kinda made it a little harder. Could still feel it though and idly I wondered how it worked. Would the vision haunt me forever if I didn't do nothin' about it? I wasn't exactly in a rush to go and rescue my fucked ex-watcher. He was just as bad as I was, even if he didn't wanna admit it and I....

I was runnin' out of excuses to hate him.

With a sigh I stood up and walked over to the weapons cabinet and began pawing through it's contents. If I showed up at Wesley's place with an axe he was liable to freak out. But the weapon wasn't for me, and I knew he'd freak out even if I showed up empty handed. Grabbin' a small hand held gun I flipped open the chamber to see if it was loaded, glad to see that it was. Hiding the gun in my jacket I thought about leaving Cordelia a note, but there really wasn't no time for that shit. I had no idea when that monster would try to attack Wes. All I knew was that it happened in a dark, kinda cold, concrete floor.....a warehouse? What the fuck was Wes doin' in a warehouse? Shit. How was I gonna find him? I hoped he was still at home.

Breaking out into a run, I was glad Cordelia's apartment wasn't far. But I pushed myself as fast as I could possibly go, racin' across the city til I was standin' at her front door. Takin' a deep breath, I swallowed hard. Now or never.

Raising my hand, I rapped my knuckles on the door.
Current Mood: guiltyguilty
Current Music: Amazed- Poe
07 July 2005 @ 09:12 am
"Wolfram and Hart!" I said, as Tara and I stood in the atrium that takes up a substantial portion of our building. I realized I was declaiming, and lowered my voice a few notches.

The tour had gone well so far. I'd handed off the keys to some lackey who would have it serviced, detailed and necro-tempered glass installed in the windows within the next two hours or I would hand him his head. Knowing the firm, they would probably add their own touches, and I made a mental note to let Tara know about them. I personally had left the listening devices in, since a bug in the hand is worth half a dozen installed where you don't know about them... but it was a manner of personal choice.

And now we stood at the nexus of power. "The firm was founded so long ago that no one is entirely sure when it originated. Here on Earth we're a huge international law firm, in some other dimensions we're the priesthood or the government. We're always the establishment, though, and even on this plane there is no corner of the world where our tendrils don't reach."

I flashed my card to get past security, since their vampire sniffer was having a panic attack at the end of its chain. "She's with me. As I was saying, Wolfram and Hart's goal is to bring about the apocalypse and the triumph of Hell." I hesitated. "Well, eventually. Like all businesses, we mainly work to perpetuate ourself. Apocalypses come and go, as you no doubt learned back in Sunnydale, but a good corporation is forever."

We stepped into the elevator. "You're a witch... I bet you might enjoy the library. You've never seen anything like it."

((Open to Tara))
06 July 2005 @ 06:12 pm
After Cordelia went upstairs, I cleaned up the kitchen a bit, taking care of the plates and silverware, then the coffee mugs. As I put them away, I glanced at the mug that Doyle had used once, before Cordelia had commented on how beat up it was; it was still stuffed away at the back of the cupboard where she had hidden it.

When I was done, I wandered into the office, settling down behind the desk and I sighed, running a hand through my hair. There was a picture sitting on the desk, one of Cordy, Doyle and I... I hated having pictures taken, and now, I remembered why- all they did was remind me of what I had lost. Like the picture of Buffy and I that Doyle had run across one time; I had lost Buffy. The picture of her, Xander, Giles, Willow, and I- I had lost all of those friendships, as well, with my rampage as Angelus.

Reaching across, I turned the picture over so I didn't have to look at it, and closed my eyes. I knew that I couldn't blame myself for Doyle's death, but... wasn't it my fault? I hadn't checked in... And now I had to worry about Spike being back in town, as well as his 'new girl'. Like there wasn't enough going on? It was almost like being back in Sunnydale already.

I closed my eyes, leaning back in my chair, as I tried to push thoughts of Doyle out of my head. I needed to be able to concentrate, to be able to think... or to clear my head enough to sleep. I hadn't slept much in the past few days, what with everything that was going on. I knew that I should probably work on getting sleep, because I would need it... I just wanted to make sure that Cordelia and Faith would be safe overnight, that Spike wouldn't come back while I was sleeping... but I just couldn't keep my eyes open. Maybe they were right, I did brood too much...
I walked up the stairs lethargically after delivering one not so inspiring pep talk to the big broody one. It wasn't my fault really, of course I already knew it wasn't my fault. That never stopped Angel from thinking it was his fault, he thought everything was his fault. I tried to tell him that he couldn't be everywhere all the time. If he'd been busy checking up on Doyle instead of rescuing me from the slayer formerly known as psycho maybe he and Doyle would be having the same conversation- only about me, and possibly Wesley and Faith as well. It didn't make the ache go away, it didn't make me miss Doyle any more or less it was just a fact. When you love and you live and you lose you have to learn what's important, and I knew exactly what that was right now. Just like I told Angel. Doyle was dead, but Doyle's mission was still very much alive. I would be damned if I was going to watch Angel give up on everything he's worked for because he can't help but blame himself for everything that's ever happened.

Why is it my lot in life to have to convince the most stubborn people and manpire on earth to do...what they should be doing anyway?! I mean, Faith has no where to go, she definitely couldn't go back to Miss Likes to Fight in Sunnydale courtesy of a knife to the gut. Faith was floundering, drowning slowly and I couldn't even begin to understand the kind of things she was going through. Angel was more suited to helping her than I was, and yet I found myself doing it anyway. Something about her, I didn't even get it considering I would have rather thrown myself on some more rebar than have anything to do with the skank slayer a couple years ago. Let alone end up in the shower with her! I'm not gay! Okay, I was confused, and that made sense because Faith was confusing. She danced circles around me and sometimes I had to just hold her still so I could...help her. Figuratively with the whole dancing thing, since holding Faith still is not a job way too big for any one person. The fact was, Faith needed us as much as we needed her. Especially with the whole vision gig she had going on now. I wasn't sure what that was all about, but I knew it was connected to Doyle and Angel. I couldn't believe the Powers that Be picked her of all people to be their messenger but everything happened for a reason. It was just more proof that I wasn't the only one pulling for her, the powers were too. Which by the way? Was saying alot coming from the powers that sit on their asses and never actually help any of us down here.

On top of that there was Wesley. Wesley who was currently staying in my apartment and keeping my ghost company. Alright, so maybe I was getting a little homesick and hey, how could I not miss the ghost that gives the best back rubs ever? Dennis was the perfect roomate and my apartment was the perfect apartment. That didn't mean I wanted Wes to leave town, I could help him find an apartment of his own. Besides, Wesley was like Faith in that he had no where else to go. He couldn't go back to England, he definitely couldn't go back to Sunnydale (even though I was pretty sure he never got stabbed). He needed us, and we needed him. God, what does it take to get through to these people? Was I the only one who could see four people floundering around, trying to find their place. Their place was here, we needed eachother. It all went back to Doyle's mission, which was once again, very much not dead.

I was about to disappear into the room I'd been staying in when my eyes inadvertantly strayed to the door across the hall. Faith's room. Was she sleeping? Was she freaking out about the vision she had? Had she already slipped out the window and disappeared and now I'd never see her again? The irrational thought struck a chord somewhere inside of me and before I could think about it for too long I flung the door to Faith's room open.

"I know what you're doing in here!" I exclaimed pointing an accusing finger at her, before I actually looked at her. Dark hair was rumpled and hung loose around her shoulders as she blinked at me with half opened eyes. Oh my God! She was sleeping, she was probably exhausted from her like five minute coma yesterday that accompanied that vision. Finally her eyes focused on me and a surprised and annoyed eyebrow arched over an eye. Great, now I'd pissed off the sleepy slayer. "Sorry, I just...I thought you were trying to escape! Not that you're a prisoner here or anything, I mean...you're the slayer so you could pretty much just leave anytime you wanted to." I smiled nervously as I edged my way inside of her room and closed the door behind me. What was I doing in here? Take another shower? I mean, no! No more showers! I was just here to help, and that was why I'd just interupted her sleeping...because I wanted to help. Nice try, Chase.

"Cor?" She asked me sleepily, pushing dark tangles out of her face. "What the fuck are you doin'?"

"I just...I don't know." I finally admitted, sitting on the edge of her bed and looking at her. "I was just worried about you, you had that vision and then you got up and left so quickly from breakfast. I mean, Angel's pancakes aren't that bad."

She sighed and flopped back down on the bed, her hair spread out like a dark cloud on the white pillowcase. "It wasn't the pancakes that I have issues with."

"Wesley." I said quietly, nodding my head because hello! How obvious was that? It almost knocked me right over, the tension between the two of them and hey you couldn't blame them considering he spent a really long time trying to help the Watcher's Council kill her and then she tied him up to a chair and tried to slowly kill him a lot. It was understandable that they were uncomfortable with eachother, but they just...they needed to get past it somehow. They just did.

"Yeah. I know you want me to apologize or whatever, C. But I just can't do it yet, so can we just drop it? I'm wicked tired." She mumbled sleepily and lazily and for once? Okay maybe just this one time I was willing to wait to have a conversation. But only because I was tired too.

"We can drop it for now." I agreed reluctantly. "I'm tired too." Then why was I still sitting on the corner of her bed? I should go across the hall and sleep in my temporary room. Seperately from her and not anywhere near a shower.

"Good." I could barely even hear her voice now as she closed her eyes and curled up slightly. It reminded me of the first night that Angel had brought her back all bloodied and bruised. I remembered how small, vulnerable she looked when she slept curled up in a little ball. Almost hard to believe this was the woman who'd handcuffed me to a pipe for days.

"Cor?" Her voice tore me from my thoughts and I glanced down to see her pop one eye open and give me a look.

"Oh! Sorry." I smiled sheepishly and stood up to go into my own room. I didn't know why I'd just stayed and stared for so long. I was halfway to the door when I heard a low sigh come from the bed.

"You don't have to leave if you don't want to." Came the low voice from the sleepy slayer behind me. I turned around and searched her face to see if she was serious. I didnt' have to leave? Did that mean? She wanted me to stay here with her? In that bed! In the bed where things could happen, like a shower. Except Faith didn't look like she wanted anything to happen except sleep. I was tired too, and I'd feel better in here with her then across the hall all by myself.

I nodded at her slowly as she closed her eyes again. Crawling into bed beside her I pressed myself against her warm back and it was only a few seconds before I was fast asleep too.