Subtlety >> Forgiving

C/A spice: Mild

*Cordy and Groo? Still not back from vacation!* And Angel's making sure it stays that way.

Fred: But it's in Ga-shundi. And I don't read Ga-shundi.

Angel: (to Gunn) What about the files?

Gunn: They're in English... Cordelia's filing system isn't.

Angel: I know she was keeping some kind of list of time/space shifting entities.

Gunn: Okay. So's that under "time" "space" "shifting" or "entities?"

Angel: Let's check all of it.

Fred: It's Monday. What time is it in Mexico?

She reaches for the phone -- and Angel is suddenly there, grabs the receiver from her.

Angel: (accusatory) What are you doing?

Fred: (startled) Calling Cordelia?

Angel: Why?

Fred: (pardon me?) Why?

Gunn tentatively stands among the strewn files.

Angel: I don't want to ruin Cordelia's holiday.

That sounded slightly insane. Angel puts the receiver back into the cradle.

He doesn't want to ruin her vacation by telling her about the mess he's made back home while she was away, and admit to himself the fact that he needs her so much he can't do anything right without her. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. There! That's desperate gripping-onto-threads subtext for ya. But mainly, he doesn't want to burden her, just like she doesn't want to burden him in The Price. Of course, Cordy's decision not burden Angel about forgiving Wesley was a little more of a clear headed decision than Angel's insane reasoning here.

Fred: (venturing) Angel... Don't you think she'd want us to call? Shouldn't we tell her what happened? Maybe she could help...

Angel: No.

The madness and panic and grief that's been lurking just under the surface has crept a bit into Angel's voice. He stares at Fred. She stares back.

Fred: (oh the pain) Angel...

Angel: She'll be back soon... and when she does... she'll have presents. For Connor. (choking just a little) And he's gonna be here so she can give them to him. Okay?

You can tell that this is Angel's only wish, only fantasy right now. Imagining it in slow motion. Holding Connor in his arms, seeing Cordelia come back with a smile on her face and presents in her arms - only then would he know that everything was all right. Everything would be fine as long as he had Connor and Cordelia.

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