Title: In The Mist
Note: This was written shortly after Connor's birth on Angel and totally ignores everything
thereafter on both shows.
Summary: Cordy's dying. Buffy and Spike go to LA to pay their last respects. Old wounds are all
set to be re-opened.
Disclaimer: None of this really belongs to me. The Buffy characters belong to Joss Whedon and the
basic premise (and the odd bit of dialogue) is via Margaret Mitchell. I'll apologise to her memory
Buffy said nothing. That wasn't unusual. She hadn't said much for days now. Not since they'd
heard the news. Cordelia was dying.
The car sped down the highway under Spike's expert control, but even his usual manic driving was
tempered down to the occasion. A small part of him was almost hoping that they'd never reach LA.
Spike cast a glance over at Buffy. Her face was unreadable but he fancied he could read her
thoughts anyway. He knew exactly what would happen when they got there.
Buffy felt Spike's gaze on her but didn't look back. She didn't want to have to deal with him
right now. Her thoughts were in a tumble. This was it. Today was the day she'd dreamt of and dreaded
for the past ten years. Even in midst of her sadness about Cordy, a part of her heart was soaring.
Her memory replayed a thousand images from the past. Angel's kiss. Being in his arms dreaming of
a future with him. A future with a, human, Angel. It had never happened. They couldn't be together.
A single moment of perfect happiness with her had caused him to lose his soul. Had made him evil.
And later, when he had recovered it, when he'd returned from the hell she'd had to send him to,
they'd tried to be just friends. It hadn't worked out either. They couldn't be just friends, even
Spike had seen that much. So he'd left her and it had hurt.
He'd gone to LA and tried to build a new life. So had she. Riley had been a mistake. She'd hurt
him because she just hadn't loved him enough. She'd never loved anyone as much as she loved Angel.
Buffy risked a quick glance at Spike but his eyes were now firmly back on the road. She looked
away again. It was all so complicated.
Her and Spike had gotten involved against all the odds. He had been the only one to stay;
sometimes loving her, sometimes hating her.. but always there. She cared for him - truly she did -
but she loved Angel. He knew it. He still stayed, taking the crumbs she threw him. They lived
together, sometimes as happy as true lovers but more often detached and distant.. or hurling insults
and trading blows.
But they had never been more distant than now, since Dawn had died. They blamed each other. The
subject wasn't discussed but hung between them like a dark and foreboding cloud.
While she and Spike had their all over the place relationship, Angel's new life had moved on. The
first she'd heard about it was "the phone call". It had been Angel wanting to meet up. They met
halfway between LA and Sunnydale, as they had done before, after her second resurrection but this
had been different. He hadn't been alone.
Cordelia had been with him, holding a baby. Angel's baby son, Connor. Cordy had been cooing at
him, behaving like a mother, even though that wasn't biologically true. Buffy had acted happy for
him. She'd pretended to understand, even though it broke her heart. Every image was imprinted on her
mind, giving her constant pain.
She'd left, gone back to Sunnydale and torn strips off Spike. It was her favourite pass time.
Being Spike, he'd called her on it, hadn't let her get away with that. But he hadn't left. He'd
Then had come another apocalypse, another test. Hounds of Hell, a cult, trying to end the world.
It had taken all of them, the Slayer and her friends from Sunnydale and the gang from Angel
Investigations to beat them.
They'd won, but Buffy hadn't felt the victory. She'd seen that Angel and Cordelia were more than
just friends, so she'd played up her relationship with Spike. Angel had surprised her by being happy
for her, happy that she'd been able to move on, understanding now, so he said, that a "normal"
relationship was an impossible dream for her. How deeply that had cut her, he was happy for her! For
being with Spike!
Buffy glanced at Spike again and saw his sharp profile outlined against the window, casting no
reflection on it. His jaw was set tight and his hands had a death grip on the steering wheel. She
looked away sadly.
She'd cheated him. She knew that. She'd thrown herself deeper into their relationship, trying to
score points against Angel. But it had been for nothing. While she and Spike had carried on their
parody of a loving relationship, Angel, Cordelia and Connor had drifted into playing happy
families. For all intents and purposes, Cordy was Connor's mother. Buffy had hated her for it. The
child should have been hers and Angel's. She knew it.
The fates had cheated her all around. Ripping her from heaven, ripping her away from her soul
Then the worst possible thing had happened. The day she'd dreamt of. Angel had achieved his
reward. He'd become human and, instead of coming for her, married Cordy. Their family was complete.
Buffy and Spike had attended the ceremony together. Afterwards she had spoken with Angel.
Listened to him telling her that him marrying Cordy was the right thing to do. She'd seen it. Cordy
was a mother to Connor, the only one he'd ever known. He still loved her, he just wanted to preserve
the balance for his son. He was noble and strong, still sacrificing their love for doing the right
thing. It was one of the things she most loved about him. Nobility and sacrifice, even though it
She had been extra cruel to Spike later that night, taking her pain out on him. As always though,
he hadn't been prepared to take that. He'd thrown her onto the beautiful bed in their hotel room and
made love to her passionately through the night. It had been fierce and bruising, as their
lovemaking always was. It had been cleansing. It had made her happy to be loved. But the next day
he'd been cold and distant again. They had driven back to Sunnydale in silence and resumed their
strange life together. Fighting demons by night, barely existing by daylight. Sex and violence was
Dawn had kept them together. She had been their binding force and the only bright light in the
darkness they'd carved out for themselves. Her care and protection had assured their mutual survival
as a couple. Then they'd failed to protect her and had lost her. Something in their already shaky
relationship had gone with her.
Buffy looked up from her hands as Spike pulled the DeSoto up outside the Hyperion. The building
was the same as she remembered it. It was always the same. Buffy sat looking up at it, barely
noticing as Spike got out, went to her side of the car and opened the door for her.
"She isn't gonna hang on forever, love." Spike stated dryly when Buffy still hadn't moved after a
minute. "Or is that why you're not moving, so you don't have to face her before you take her man?"
His tone was bitter.
Buffy glared up at him as she got out but she said nothing. He slammed the door closed behind her
and went to the trunk to get their bags. She left him there and went inside.
Spike stared after Buffy, his heart in his mouth threatening to choke him. He'd dreaded that this
day would come. Now here it was. He'd lost. He took out one small suitcase, leaving an identical one
behind in the trunk, and followed her inside.
Buffy was sat on one of the chairs in the lobby, across from Wesley, Gunn and Fred. All of them
except Buffy looked up as Spike walked in, there were tears in their eyes, although only Fred let
them fall openly.
"Spike." Wesley said, nodding his head in acknowledgment.
Spike knew they tolerated his presence, nothing more. When his relationship with Buffy had first
come out there had been recriminations and accusations but his continued supressing of his demon in
order to fight the good fight had led to them accepting him as part of the group, even if they never
accepted him as a friend. He wasn't a white hat like they claimed to be. He never would be and he
never wanted to be. He loved Buffy and he wasn't evil. That had had to be enough.
Fred smiled and Spike smiled back. She was the only one of them who had ever smiled at him. Spike
suspected it was pity but she was a good person and meant no harm by it so he let it slide.
"How is she?" He asked and Wesley opened his mouth to reply but the sound of crying from up the
stairs cut him off.
"Where's mummy going?" A small boy's voice cried. "And why can't I go along too?"
All eyes turned to the stairs as Angel walked down them, carrying his crying ten year old son.
"We can't always go along." He told him softly.
Spike watched the stricken, yet hopeful, look on Buffy's face, his heart breaking again and he
had to turn away in momentary disgust.
They all stood up to greet Angel as he reached the chairs. Fred immediately went to him and
offered to take Connor, but he shook his head and sat down with the boy on his lap. Spike could see
that Angel was only just clinging on to his control. He touched his, now-human, grandsire's shoulder
reassuringly and got a pained look back. Spike nodded understandingly at him. He knew how he would
feel if it were Buffy in that room up there.
Angel looked over at Buffy.
"She wants to see you." He told her and Buffy looked surprised, even though they had travelled
all this distance at Cordelia's request.
Spike attempted to hide his sneer but knew that Buffy had seen it when she glared at him. He held
her gaze as she nervously went to the stairs, only turning away when she was out of sight.
Buffy was scared. Why would Cordelia ask for her? There hadn't been any love lost between them,
not since the earliest days when they'd almost become friends. When she'd first started at Sunnydale
High, back in the halcyon days, a very long time ago.
Nervously Buffy knocked on the door before going straight in. The sight was horrifying. Pale and
drawn, Cordelia was almost drowned out by the pillows surrounding her emaciated face. Gone was the
princess of those high school days but she had never looked more painfully beautiful, lanky hair and
all. She opened her eyes and looked at the girl standing warily in the doorway.
"Buffy." She said weakly, smiling and raising a hand to call her over.
Buffy went to the side of the bed, looking like she was about to bolt any second.
"How are you?" Buffy asked, wincing at the stupidity of the words. "Are you in pain?"
"No pain." Cordelia told her. "Buffy.." She said her name again, clasping at Buffy's hand and
looking her straight in the eyes. Buffy tried to shift away but Cordy wouldn't let her. "We should
have been friends." She said. "I'm sorry. I was a bitch.. you were a bitch. It should have been
Buffy laughed despite herself but Cordy was still serious.
"Buffy.. Connor.." She swallowed with difficulty. "He was never really my son, but he felt like
he was." She held on tighter. "Look after him for me.." She paused. "And Angel. He seems so strong,
but he's really not. He doesn't do well.. alone. Look after him."
As Buffy looked into Cordy's eyes she knew that Cordy knew what she was here to do. She was here
to get Angel back, she still loved him, and Cordy was letting her have him. She was giving her
family to her. Buffy couldn't breathe.
"I will." She choked out. "I will, Cordy."
Cordy let go her grip and closed her eyes, a smile on her lips.
"Thank you." She said softly.
Then there was silence for so long that Buffy thought she was asleep.. or gone. A tear escape
Buffy's eye, suprising her. She reached out and touched the other girl's face tenderly. She had
changed so much from the girl Buffy had known. There was quiet grace here at the end. Such change.
She would never have believed it possible.
Cordy's eyes opened suddenly, she fixed on Buffy's face and smiled again.
"Spike." She said.
"What?" Buffy asked, frowning in confusion.
"He loves you so much." Cordy told her sincerely. "I wouldn't have believed it could happen but
he does. Be kind to him. You should be kind to him."
"Cordy.." Buffy blurted, tears overwhelming her suddenly but Cordy had already closed her eyes
again. She couldn't stay there a moment longer. Not here, in the presence of death. She all but ran
out of the room and down the stairs.
Spike looked up first, ever alert to her presence. He saw her stop dead midway on the stairs and
look down at them. Her eyes met his for a single moment but then flicked onto Angel. Connor was in
Fred's arms now and Angel sat slumped over the table, trying not to cry.
"I better take Connor to bed." Fred said and stood up to do just that. Wesley went with her,
putting an arm around her waist momentarily to reassure her. They smiled at each other. They noticed
Buffy only as they passed her by as she finished coming down the stairs.
Gunn spotted Buffy as she came to stand over Angel's slumped form. He looked up at her and she
met his eyes, smiling sadly. He glanced up the stairs and stood, swallowing harshly as he went to
Buffy focused on Angel now, Spike standing in the corner might as well have disappeared from the
planet, from this dimension even.
Angel, now that his son wasn't around, was crying openly. Buffy fell to her knees and hugged him.
"Oh Angel.. it's okay.. it's all going to be okay.." She told him soothingly.
Spike felt a pang, which surely must have been his heart finally crumbling to dust or all his
dreams dying. He couldn't take anymore. Grabbing his duster from the chair where he'd dumped it, he
slipped out unnoticed.
"Oh Angel." Buffy said again as he started crying harder in her arms.
"What am I going to do without her?" He sobbed and Buffy froze. "I can't live without her.."
Buffy pulled back. She saw now that he was holding something in his hands. A shoe. A silly
strappy pink shoe. He was fondling it, caressing it, like it actually was the woman it belonged to.
He was barely aware of Buffy's presence.
"You LOVE her!" Buffy stated incredulously.
"How can I go on without her?" Angel cried.
Pieces fell into place inside Buffy's head. He had gone on after she'd died. He'd survived
without her, he'd been able to live without Buffy, but he couldn't without Cordy.
"You've loved her all along?" She said weakly. "Why didn't you tell me? Why did you keep me
hanging by talking about 'doing the right thing'?"
Buffy looked back down at Angel, who was still holding the shoe like it was the most precious
thing he'd ever seen.
"Angel!" Gunn's voice suddenly called and they turned startled eyes up to the landing.
Gunn was leaning over the railing, a stricken look on his face. Buffy had never seen Angel run so
fast. He threw himself up the stairs and into Cordelia's room, leaving Buffy alone in the lobby.
She stared around, like someone finally waking up from a long sleep.
"I've loved something that wasn't real. That hasn't been real for a long time.." She looked at
the floor. "And Spike knew.." She looked up again suddenly at the space Spike had previously
occupied. "Spike?" She demanded to the thin air that was all there was there now. "Spike..?" She
called again, panic in her voice now.
She saw her suitcase sitting in the hall, just her suitcase.
"Spike!" She shrieked.
She ran to the door and out into the night, crashing to a stop at the sight of the DeSoto still
sitting there in front of the hotel. The sound of an inhale and brief flare of light in the darkness
made her turn around.
Spike was leaning against the wall, sucking on a cigarette.
"Spike." She stated breathlessly. Resting her eyes on his face, the truth hit her like a ton of
"How's Cordelia?" He asked, moving deeper into the shadows so she couldn't make out his face. Her
pained face at the question, lit up from the light from inside the doorway, told him everything he
needed to know about Cordy. "Damn." He muttered with feeling and sighed. "She wasn't half bad, for a
mortal." He took a drag from the cigarette. "What did she have to say for herself?"
"She told me to look after Angel.." Buffy replied, staring at his shadowed face... stunned by her
Spike's laugh was harsh in the darkness.
"You even got her blessing! Heh!" The cigarettes tip flared bright again.
"Spike, I realised something tonight.." Buffy began hurriedly.
"It's okay, Buffy." He cut her off, chucking away the cigarette. He stepped out of the shadows
and went towards the car. "I was a lucky bugger for it lasting so long." He didn't look at her.
"You're leaving me?" She demanded, her voice breaking.
"You don't need me anymore, you got your precious Angel." He stopped with his handle on the door
handle. "It was always him." He opened the door.
Buffy stopped him by wrapping her arms around his waist and hugging up to his back. He couldn't
help himself but freeze in her embrace for a moment.
"I don't love, Angel." She said into his ear. "I love you."
She felt his body spasm before he pushed her away from him harshly.
"Bitch!" He spat out, looking at her for the first time. "You really do demand your pint of
blood, don't you?! You'd make a really viscious vamp!"
"It's true." She said sincerely, tears falling down her face. "I love you. Don't leave me.
Please. I need you."
His harsh expression didn't soften.
"It's too late." He stated. "Too much has happened. While Dawn was alive maybe we could have had
a chance. I loved her." He reached out and touched Buffy's face tenderly, she curled into the touch.
"I could pretend she was you, before the sacred duty and the dying had changed you. She was innocent
and pure.." He pulled the hand away and turned his back. "But it's too late now."
He opened the car door.
"No!" Buffy cried. "We can still make it work. I love you.. I'm sorry.."
He spun back.
"You're still such a child." He said softly. "You think you can make everything okay, just by
saying you're sorry."
He looked at her for a long moment but turned away again and got into the car.
"Goodbye Buffy." He stated flatly, not looking back, and reached out to close the door.
"I don't know how to live without you." Buffy blurted. "You made me live. What will I do without
Spike looked up at her, his face curling into a wry, mocking smile.
"Frankly pet, I don't give a bloody damn." He slammed the door, gunned the engine and pulled out
of the driveway at ridiculous speed.
Buffy cried. Collapsed to the concrete and cried her heart out into the ground. At the height of
the fit she stopped, dead stop, and looked up. A determined expression stole across her face. She
looked at the point where his taillights had disappeared.
"This isn't over." She stated flatly. "Spike!" She yelled to the night. "This isn't over!!!"
She stood up, set her shoulders straight.
"I'll find you." She said out loud. "Wherever you go.. I'll find you. If it's tomorrow or takes a
thousand tomorrow's. I'll find you."
Buffy stood framed in the lit doorway, accepting the consequences of her actions and making plans
for the future.
The End.. no, never the end.