A Cordelia/Doyle story, without our favorite half-demon appearing. Dunno quiet where it's going - I vaguely recollect my thoughts, but it's all lost in the mists of last week.

"Cordy?" Angel inquired gently. "Are you, I mean, are you alright?"

She sat with her back to his.

"Cordy. . ."

"Oh, yes, I'm just peachy." She spun towards him. "I'm carrying my dead semi-demon lover's child, I have terrible, technicolour migranes, I fighting monsters by night, and now your telling me my child - *my child* - might turn out to be some evil, demon, monster thingy. Yeah Angel, I'm fine!"

"Cordy. . ."

She bit her lip. "I can't get rid of it Angel. It's all I have left." She blinked back tears. "It doesn't have to evil right? I mean we raise it okay, it'll be fine. I mean, you're all 'grr' and all, but you're not evil. You're good."

"Cordy, I don't know what to suggest."

"You said you'd help me." She looked at him, tears rolling down her cheeks, a lost, lonely girl. "Angel - I can't do this alone."

He stared at her, his mind working overtime. Finally he sighed. "C'm here Cordy." She collapsed into his embrace, sobbing. He stroked her hair. "It'll be okay, I promise."

He looked past her shoulder. "It'll be okay."

- 0 -

We named it Doyle for it's father, and drowned it in the stream.

It was a girl.

The ice water from the hills rushed over my hands as I held her beneath the shallow water, until her tiny chest ceased to move and I heard her heart stop beating. Cordelia slept while I buried her beside the stream, and lashed two sticks together to mark the grave. She awoke and watched me, then wandered into the woods. She returned with a selection of wild flowers she had managed to find, even though it is not yet spring..

I stuck the longest of the sticks in the ground, straightening the shorter, so it was at an exact right angle to it. Cordelia placed the flowers beside it and I left them alone in their silence, the burns from the cross still marking my hands.

- 0 -

I can feel her in my lap, a phantom child. She smiles, though all the books say children who are only an hour old cannot smile. Perhaps she is older than, a few weeks. It's her first smile. It's magic.

I feel her weight in my arms, though all I hold is air. I am lightheaded, from the blood loss, and Angel is driving way too fast. I see this in the speed that the world passes me by and a tear falls. It goes by so fast.

- 0 -

I carry her in, she is barely consious. She is light though, like the child I held for so few minutes. I call out for help, remembering a time not so long ago when I carried Buffy through these doors. Buffy. for a moment she is lying on the bed, a ray of light, her hair glinting, and I shake the image.

No, she has no allergies.

Are you sure?

No I'm not. But I don't think so.

Has she taken any drugs?

No, she's clean. She would never. . .

They treat her while I watch, replacing the blood, doing things I didn't know the name for. Doctors and nurses, so very human and so very young. So very suspetible to mistakes. I don't trust them.

But I must, and I will. Cordy'll be fine. She' be fine.

It'll be okay.

- 0 -

He's here. Why is he here?

He should be in LA, fighting whatever needs fighting, rescuing people, not here, in Sunnydale, in the hospital.

But then I realise I'm not in the hospital anymore.

I'm a the office and he's teasing me about my lack of computer skills. He's waiting for the witty come back, the put down, the typical Cordelia glare and pass over. I treated him so badly and still he came back for more. I'm like that. It's easy to push them away, knowing they'll come crawling back, than pull them close and fear every moment that they could leave.

Is that why I never pursued anything with Angel? Because I knew in my heart, that his would always be with Buffy?

I shouldn't be thinking about this. It's betrayal to Doyle, though he's dead. She's dead. They are both dead and I must move forward. But not to Angel. He's too dangerous.

- 0 -

He's here. Why is he here?

He should be in LA, fighting whatever needs fighting, rescuing people, not here, in Sunnydale, in the hospital.

He hasn't seen us, patching up from the last 'end-of-the-world-crisis,' he's peering into a hospital room, while the doctors are working. He's so totally focused, I don't want to break that. Who is in there, that he cares so much?

"Angel." He spins, on guard, what's he expecting? He looks like he was expecting a ghost. Hey, I may look bad, but not, hopefully, ghost like.

"Buffy." He responds, watching me. He doesn't move towards me, just watches, like he's peering straight into me.

And then he turns back. He looks down. He's gathering his thoughts.

"Buffy." His voice is broken, he is broken.

"Angel?" I wlak towards him and embrace him and he breaks down in my arms. The others are staring, now, I feel them. But all I want to know, is what has broken him?

Then I see her. Cordelia Chase, the most annoying, tactless, thoughtless girls I ever had the displease of meeting. The one with all the friends, all the clothes, all the popularity. The one with riduclued to her face. The one who always had a smart reply, but who we never talked to.

She's the ghost.

Pale as a sheet, but I never understood the expression. Sheets can be a million different shades, but still, Cordlia is as pale as one. Doctors, nurses, specialists, everywhere.

I hear a gasp and I know the others have seen.

Is she what has broken My Angel?

- 0 -

Here they come, the shooting pains, the blackness, and yes, there's the mish-mash of colour I must try to sort through. Doyle helped me when it began, but it was hard. I think being full human didn't allow me to use his gift properly.

See through the colours, Cordy. Let them wash over you until you see a picture.

Easier said than done. It kills let me tell you that. It's even worse when you get sucked into them, living the life of which ever victim you have to save. The fear, the despair, the utter pain. And that's before you start trying to undone the knots of colour.

And I'm not even starting on the other four senses.

I feel myself fall into it, and struggle to pull back, to remain objective, but I can't. I don't even know what the message is, just a horrible sense of despair. And loneliness. And conviction. A suicide perhaps? It feels like the right kind of emotion. How sad to know what the 'right kind of emotion' is for sucide.

It fades, as it always does, back to normal, or at least as close to normal as possible. During these next few hours it'll be the worst, but it'll fade quickly, going back to the flickers in the corner of my eye and the whispering voices.

- 0 -

The doctor comes up to Angel, addressing him Mr. Chase. Does the doctor think Angel is a father or a husband?

Mr. Chase? You're sister is coming around.

Coming around. Angel leaps from my arms towards her. Has she broken him? My perfect Angel?

- 0 -


"Heya Cordy. How you doing?"

"Angel." She begins to cry, and I hold her imediatly.

"Shh, sh hh."

"Had 'nother vision." She mumbles from beneath my strong arms, so quiet only I can hear. "Dunno what 'bout. Suicide maybe, but 'twas too quick."

"It's okay, it doesn't matter."

"Doyle was much better at this than me." She sniffles, and sees the Scooby Gang behind me. "I'm sorry."

"Well, Doyle couldn't do everything you can do."

Her eyes glaze over. "She could have done anything." She whispers and I don't know what to say.