Subtlety >> That Vision Thing

C/A spice: Very Strong - We realize it.

This one's going down in the books!

Angel and Wesley can Cordy as she has the vision of the claw beast.

Angel: "Are you alright? - Talk to me."

Cordy, gasping: "There is a coin and, uhm, two clawed things, it's in China town I think. An herbalist's shop."

Wes and Gunn head for the books.

Angel stays: "Come on."

Angel helps Cordy up by taking her hand, but when he puts a hand on her left shoulder, Cordy jerks away with a gasp.

Cordy: "I'm okay. I'm fine. It just caught me off guard a little. (Angel looks at her, knows that something's wrong) Ah, go find the coin. (Starts to walk away) It has a hole in it."

Angel just stands there, looking after her.

Think Heartthrob when Angel comes back from his retreat and is going upstairs, while Cordy looks after him the same way because she knows that something is wrong.

Cordy is in the bathroom taking a couple of aspirins. She's taken her shirt off and turns to look at her shoulder blade in the mirror. There are three claw marks.

Angel knocks on the closed door of the bathroom.

Cordy: "I told you, it's about finding the coin."

Angel: "It's me."

Cordy: "I'm fine!"

Angel: "I'm not leaving until you open the door. I mean it, Cordelia, open up."

Cordy opens the door, shirt back on, hiding the scratches, and gives him a bright smile.

Cordy: "See? Fine!"

Angel stops her from closing the door again.

Angel: "They're getting worse, aren't they?"

Cordy: "I'm feeling better. Once I get a little protein in me, I'll be good as new. Honest. Now, go declaw those things!"

Angel: "I've asked Fred to take you home."

Cordy: "I don't need to go home."

Angel: "There is nothing else you can do here. Just - get some rest, okay?"

Cordy: "No..."

Angel: "O-kay?"

Cordy sighs: "Okay."

Three points to be made here. Notice how when Wesley knocked on the door, he asked about the vision. But when Angel knocks on the door, Cordy automatically knows he's worried about her and not the vision. Also seen, Angel's deep concern and protectiveness. Aww. And also, Cordy, in her own noble way, doesn't want Angel to worry about her. She feels that they should be focusing on the mission, because that's more important.

More concern from Angel as the guys are in the car.

Wesley: "How was Cordelia when you spoke to her?"

Angel: "She said she was fine."

Wesley: "You don't believe her?"

Angel gives him a pained look.

Who could forget the scene where Fred is at Cordy's apartment, following Angel's orders to make sure Cordelia's okay...

Fred: "Has - has anyone ever told you you're exactly like Lassie? Yeah. You're like Angel's Lassie. Sure, he does most of the saving but it's your visions that tell him that Timmy is trapped in the well, or the robbers are hiding in the barn. He really needs and depends on you."

Cordy: "Well, thanks. I'd be flattered except for the Lassie being a *dog* part.

Fred cutely blunt spiel does take a toll on Cordy later on.

Angel is sitting next to Cordelia on her bed. The others are looking on, standing.

Cordy: "A demon. An icky, boil-covered demon. A storefront downtown on the corner of fifth and something. And there was a key. I should probably draw you a picture of the key."

Cordy starts to get up, but Angel pulls her back down.

Angel: "Cordy."

Angel gently pushes the hair back from her face to reveal the boils she'd been trying to hide.

Angel: "Oh, god."

Angel: "Cordy, we should talk about this. You can't ignore what's happening."

Cordy sounding slightly hoarse: "I don't wanna talk. What's there to say? Except 'gross' 'yuck' and 'unclean.' (Cordy looks at the others, who avoid meeting her eye) Like you're not thinking it."

Angel: "Has this ever happened before?"

Cordy pulls the sleeve of her sweater up to reveal one set of claw marks.

Cordy: "Earlier tonight."

Angel: "Oh, whoa."

Again with the concern and closeness. Cordelia has really changed from her Sunnydale "What about my pain?" days.

This is right after the last scene. The gang leaves Cordy in her room to rest. As Angel comes out, he immediately focuses on Cordelia.

Angel: "We have to figure this out and now. Anybody? Gunn?"

Gunn explains that his Aunt used to get crusty stuff on her back due to her shellfish allergy. Angel makes a remark about how helpful Gunn's story was. Wes and Fred figure out about communicating with the PTB. Wes gives out the assignments and tells Angel to go find the key. Angel responds with...

Angel: "I'm not going anywhere."

Wesley: "Cordy's had two visions in the same night. You see what it's doing to her. If the Powers That Be are taking such extreme measures we have to assume that the coin and the key are of great significance."

Angel: "And so is Cordelia. If I go out and find that key, how can I help her?"

Wes: "By trusting me. I have an idea."

Angel finally agrees.

Angel knows his priorities. #1, Cordy.

Wesley opens the door of Cordy's apartment to let Angel in.

Wesley opens the door of Cordy's apartment to let Angel in.

Angel, right away: "How is she?"

Angel walks in Cor's room to find Lorne sitting beside her. Lorne tells him that Cordy isn't letting him getting into her mind to help her, and asks Angel to talk to Cordelia.

Cordy: "Was it there? Because I'm gonna be really ticked off if I'm all (points at her face) Phantom of the Opera and there wasn't a key."

Cordy's selflessness is making her even more loveable, if that's possible.

Angel, reassures: "It was right where you said."

Angel: "Why don't you want Lorne to try and trace the visions?"

Cordy: "It's not like I'm morally against letting a demon into my subconscious for a quick lookee-loo. Hey, might be fun. But with the Powers That Be doing this whole 'book of Job' thing, the last thing I want is more noise in my head."

Angel: "Maybe he can make the noise stop."

Cordy sighs: "Yeah."

Angel: "Isn't that what you want?"

Cordy: "Yes! No. Well, no. Sure I hate looking and feeling like this, but - if I lose the visions, I wouldn't be able to help you anymore. You wouldn't need me."

Our poor, poor, Cordy. For a seer, she's pretty blind to Angel's feelings toward her. Not necessarily talking about romantic feelings, but just generally, Cordelia means a lot to Angel. This moment is like every C/A fanfic writers' ideal scene. *g* I don't remember how many times I've read something like this in a fic story.

Angel: (surprised) "That's not why I need you. *You're* important. - And the visions are just after market extras like Hurst shifter or Krager wheels."

What a charmer, huh? Your smile is like a Hurst shifter and your eyes, beautiful Krager wheels... :-D Angel's so adorable when he gets all human-ish with the pop culture references. Cute, but not the smartest thing to say.

Cordy: "Did you just compare me to a car?"

Angel: "It was a very nice car."

Cordy: "I guess that's better than a dog."

Angel: "Cordy, let us try and help. Okay?"

Cordy: "Okay."

I'm not sure, but I think Angel has his hand on top of Cordy's the whole time he's talking to her.

This scene is right after Cordy's third vision when Lorne is thrown across the room. Cordelia now has burn scars all over her arms. This time Angel gives Cordelia the pep talk, the way she talks to him in Judgement and many other times.

Cordy: "Is Lorne gonna be okay?"

Angel: "He's fine. He's unconscious, but he's fine. You're the one I'm worried about."

Cordy: "Am I a bad person? Am I just a horrible person? Because I know I can be snippy sometimes."

Ohhh, our poor heroine.

Angel: "This isn't happening because you're bad. - If anything it's because you're strong. Stronger than you realize."

Cordy: "I'm not. - I know what I said earlier. - But I don't want the visions anymore. I tried to be brave. I did. But I'm just scared now. I'm scared all the time. (Does her best not to cry) I mean look at me! (Holds out her arms, then takes a deep breath and wipes her eyes) What could be *so* important that the Powers would do this? I don't understand."

Angel: "I don't either. Hey..."

Angel reaches to take a hold of her hand. The door opens and Wesley sticks his head in. Wes motions for Angel to come out. Angel hesitates looking back at Cordy.

Wesley: "Angel. I really think you should hear this."

Angel looks back and forth between Wes and Cordy, then gets up. He steps out into the hall, closing the door behind him.

Angel: "This better be important."

We are floating happily in a sea of C/A goodness.

Angel is in Lilah's office.

Lilah: "I know what you're thinking. Yes. You could kill me now, but then you'll never be able to stop the visions. Just for the record, those little skin problems on what's-her-name weren't intended. Just an unfortunate little side effect."

Angel's right hand suddenly shoots out and he grabs her by the throat pulling her face close to his.

Angel: "Her name is Cordelia, and you *will* help her."

You know what this reminds me of? In BtVS "Graduation Part II", the Mayor says something offensive about Buffy, and Angel's right hand suddenly shoots out and throws him against the wall. Hmmmmm. Angel gets mad when people say things about his girl. *wink*

Just a little scene. Wes figures out how the key and coin work. Angel is ready to go off to the other dimension.

Wesley: "You sure I can't come with you?"

Angel: "Take care of Cordy."

So Angel's in the other dimension, doing Lilah's bidding. He's talking to the guard guy, Skip.

Skip: "And you're here to try to - rescue this guy? (Angel nods) But we're on the same side. Shouldn't you be helping to keep him in here?"

Angel: "I know. I know. Long story. Involves a girl."

I loved that line! "Involves a girl." He says that like it explains everything. Which it does. I wanted to add, "a girl I'd do anything for", 'cause you know that's true. Of course, it always starts with a girl. Remember "City Of"? "My story? It started with a girl." You know, Angel is a fool for love, too. :-D

After the tradeoff of the imprisoned Flame Boy for Cordy's well-being, Angel, in a very cool move, throws a crowbar directly into the limo window where the evil Fake-Visions-Brain-Guy is sitting. We see the window shatter, and then the crowbar impaled into Brain Guy head. He falls over leaving a trail of blood on the seat. Lilah gasps and turns around to see Angel is suddenly right there speaking softly into her ear.

Angel, in deadly tone: "Don't you came at me through Cordelia ever again. You play that card a second time and I'll kill you."

Angel has stuck to his no killing humans rule, even through his "going dark" period last season, but he is dead serious here.

It's the next morning and Cordy and Angel are sitting at the counter at the Hyperion. This is so cute.

Cordy pours Angel a cup of coffee.

Angel, smiles: "Heh. Cordy, I'm glad you're feeling better and all but..."

Cordy: "'re not really a foodie. I know. But - I saw this great, big industrial kitchen that we have, and never use and I thought that (both of the jump a little as two round waffles pop up from the toaster) one of these days we should get someone in here that can cook."

Cordy takes the waffles out of the toaster and puts one on Angel's plate the other on her own and pours syrup over them.

Cordy: "Here we are."

Angel looking at his plate: "Heh. Here we are."

Cordy: "Angel (he looks up at her) - what you did for me was unbelievably selfless - and brave, and amazing. (Angel looks back down) And it's so great to know that the next vision I have will just be blindingly painful and not turn me into Elephant-man or anything."

Angel: "I hear a big 'but' coming."

Cordy: "What if that guy you freed is someone or something that's truly terrible? Wolfram and Hart won this time and it's all *my* fault."

Angel: "It's not about winning, Cordelia, it's about what's at stake. And in this particular scenario you were way more important than winning. - I can't worry about that guy I set free. I did what I had to do. I'll just deal with the consequences when they happen."

They smile at each other.

What a way to end the episode! All hail Jeffrey Bell.

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