Subtlety >> The Price

C/A spice: Strong

The gang is fixing up Angel's room which was wrecked by the earthquake and fire in Loyalty.

Angel: Look, guys, I appreciate everybody's help... Really. But I just want everything back the way it was, okay? (then, as he moves) Or... close to it.

Angel carries the end table back near Cordelia.

Cordy: Not gonna be, y'know?

Angel looks at her. She gestures to the wall and molding.

Cordy: (cont'd) Unless we pay for real, dishonest-to- goodness, overpriced, contractors, those cracks are always gonna show.

Angel: Let 'em.

As he sets the end table down, he notices -

- Something reflective stuck behind the dresser Cordy's working on.

Cordy: Ah, the old "gives the place" character" philosophy. Guess that served you pretty well living in rotted out mansions and--

She stops when she sees him reach down and bring up...

A snowglobe.

Angel: Don't know why I bought this for him. A whim, I guess... Thought he'd like to look at it. The snow. Doesn't ever snow in Southern California.

On Cordelia, watching him.

Cordy: It did once.

There's something more to the way she said that than simply remembering that it snowed once. The one time was in Sunnydale at Christmastime in the episode Amends of BtVS. Angel, tormented by the people he'd killed in the past brought on by The First Evil, was waiting outside for the sunrise to kill him, when the redemptive snowfall which caused the sky to be dark for the rest of the day, saved him. That was a huge moment for Angel. It showed him that there was hope, that the world doesn't want him gone. Angel must have told Cordelia about this and she's telling him now that there is still hope.

He looks up at her. Then turns and notices the others looking at him as well. After a moment, Angel stands...

Angel: Hey, y'know... we shouldn't be wasting our time fixing up my place when we've got work to do.

He starts toward the door, the snowglobe still in his hand.

Gunn: What work?

Angel: Our jobs. The business. We're neglecting our cases.

Fred: Um, Angel? We don't have any cases. We haven't had a call in over a week.

Angel hesitates, disappointed.

Angel: Really? (then) Well, somebody ought to be downstairs. In case a walk-in should... walk in. (as he exits) 'Cause we get those. Sometimes.

He's gone, as the others look after him.

Cordy: (with a sigh) Never on Sundays.

Cordelia sees that Angel's still disconnected and that he wants to avoid talking about this. She's going to do something about that.

Cordy walks down the stairs to see Angel standing in the middle of the hotel lobby, staring at the pentagon on the floor. Cordy makes Angel talk to her, and it helps.

Cordy: "Hey, when did we get the statue for the lobby? - Oh, it's just you."

Angel: "Can we do something about the stain? It just scared off a client. At least I think he was a client. The guy barely said two words before he ran out of here."

Cordy: "Well, you know, some people can be pretty closed mouthed. - We've never really talked about everything that happened while I was away."

Angel, walking away from her: "You know the gist of it."

Cordy, following: "Yeah. Sure. I've got loads of gist. But what I don't got is the specifics. Specifically about that little five pointed doodad decorating our lobby and the voodoo that you dood - did over it."

Angel: "Cordy!"

Cordy: "I know you don't wanna talk about it, but you don't mess with dark magics and expect to walk away from it like it doesn't matter."

Angel setting the snow globe down on Wes' desk: "It doesn't matter. It was a waste of time."

Cordy: "Still. I should probably know what kind of spell it was. - You know there is almost always some cosmic price to using primordial powers. There could be repercussions. And you know the one person who could help us with that isn't around anymore."

Angel stops fiddling with the files on the desk and looks at her, then starts to walk out of the office.

Cordy: "Not going there. I'm just saying - You can run away, avoid talking about this, but you know as well as I do that stuff we do in the past usually comes back to bite us in our respective 'assi' and what you did."

Angel: "Okay. So maybe I wasn't thinking too clearly. I mean, I was drunk for a while. Drunk on my own son's blood, slipped into my food by the good folks at Wolfram and Hart. And my head was a little clouded with rage over a trusted friend stealing my child from me - (Throws up his hands and drops down to sit on the stairs) Damn it, Cordelia, you got me talking about this."

Angel buries his face in his hands.

Cordy: "Probably just needed to vent."

Cordy goes to sit beside Angel as he raises his head from his hands.

Cordy: "Why didn't you call me?"

Angel: "I didn't want to mess up your vacation. I just thought - one of us should be happy."

Angel sighs.

Cordy: "But I could have helped. I could have done - something-"

Angel: "There is nothing you could have-"

Cordy: "How do you know? What makes you so sure? I've got a hotline to the freaking Powers, buster. I could've gotten a vision, or-or something to warn us. Oh, plus, I've got demon in me now. (Jumps up and faces Angel) So, maybe - maybe there is some untapped power that could have help find Connor before, you know, before, before--"

Cordy stops with a sigh.

Angel: "You needed to vent?"

Cordy: "I - I should have been here for you."

Angel: "You-you were. I mean, you are. You're always. (Stands up) Look -look, I'm just - I'm just trying to move on like you told me to. I'm just trying to not be so into my problems into my head. Just focus on - something else for a while. You know?"

Cordy after a beat: "Sure. Yeah. I-I get that. - But next time - you call me."

This was a nice C/A scene, and it added relatively later to the script since it wasn't in the shooting script. I like Cordy's invented words. "Assi", hehe.

Fred: Cordelia...

Cordy: (re: Groo) He is such a sweetie. So loyal. And loving. Like a puppy-dog.

She crosses to the reception desk, taking off her gloves, removing her scarf. Fred follows.

Fred: Cordy...?

Cordy: I know. That didn't sound very good. But he is. A puppy-dog. A sexy, well-built, go-all-night, puppy-dog. (then) Okay, that sounded worse.

Groo is very sweet and cute in a very innocent way, but the way Cordelia's describing him - not exactly a good basis for a healthy relationship...

Fred: Cor...?

Cordy: No. (off her look) You want me to say something to Angel about Wesley. Sorry. Can't. Won't.

Fred: Why? Why can't won't you? You've known them both longer than anybody. Angel would listen to you...

Fred knows Cordy's the only person that can get through to Angel.

Cordy: Probably. But he doesn't want to hear it. Which is why I'm not going to burden him--

Fred: Look, whatever he did... It's Wesley. You care about him. I know you do. Can you imagine the pain he's in, how horrible he must be feeling--

Cordy: Angel's feelings are the only ones I care about. He's my priority.

There's no doubt that Cordy and Wesley are very close friends. He's stuck by her even when Angel didn't. But when it comes down to choosing between them, Cordy chooses Angel.

Widen past Cordy to find Groo's standing in the room. He's heard these last words and appears hurt and bewildered by them, though neither Fred or Cordy notice him.

Cordy: (cont'd) I got dosed with demon DNA for that man. I'm semi-demon! And I still don't know what that means... Apart from the random floatyness and seizure-less visions, which is keen except sometimes it's hard to tell when I'm having--

She stops when she notices-

Angel, getting flung across the room. He's wearing the same clothes, thought somewhat disheveled and his shirt's ripped.

Cordy: (cont'd) Angel?!

Before she can move to him, he's one the other side of the lobby, behind the reception desk.

Angel: (O.S.) What? What's going on?

Cordelia had one of her seizure-less, hard-to-tell visions, of Angel.

Cordy tries to get Angel's attention to talk about the vision she had of him. Angel doesn't oblige.

Cordy: (mid-rant) minutes you're standing there, all shocked looking, then -- whammo -- you're knocked across the--

Angel: Cordy, can we talk about it later? (indicating sitch) Working here.

Angel: No. He kept saying "we." This morning is was "we have to go." Now, "we're thirsty..."

Cordelia: Okay, so he's pretentious. Angel, we have to talk about my vision--

Angel: It can wait.

Cordy: (getting in his face) No. It can't! You think The Powers beam me pretty pictures purely for my amusement?! It tells me when someone's in danger (blocks Angel but putting her on his chest) and that someone is you!

Angel: Oh, gee, I'm in danger. What else is new? Look, I want to deal with somebody else's problems for a change. I want to deal with Mr. Phillip Spivey of Inglewood... Who came to use this morning for help. He's the one we need to be concerned with. Not me. This has nothing to do with me!

Mr. Philip Spivey suddenly wakes up, points to Angel and blames him, then collapses a la Sandman.

A weird translucent slug thing crawls out of the former Mr. Spivey's sandpile. The gang decides to lock the exits and form a hunting party.

Cordy: Hotel's shut tight.

Angel: Good. Don't want anyone else getting infected.

He hands Cordy another sword and offers Groo a sabre. Instead, Groo reaches past him and grabs the largest and heaviest battle-axe off the rack.

Groo: This weapon will serve me better.

Angel: Little big for our purposes, isn't it?

Groo: (matter of factly) I have had no complaints.

Angel: Yeah, great.

Ooh, we've got a little Groo/Angel tension! This is very different from Couplet where Groo is completely trusting of Angel as a friend to him and to Cordelia. Probably after hearing Cordelia's "priority" list, Angel's now a rival in Groo's eyes.

Cordelia and Groo are searching for the sluk in one of the hallways of the hotel.

Cordy: Poor Angel. It's eating away at him.

Groo: (looking at her) You are having another vision, Princess?

Cordy: What? No. I meant... Knowing it was the spell he performed, trying to find Connor, that made this... whatever it is we're hunting. (beat) Knowing that it caused a man's death.

Groo: He is your priority.

Cordy: What?

Groo: You said... earlier. Angel's feelings were your only concern. He is all that matters.

Cordy suddenly recognizes Groo's uncertainty.

Cordy: Oh. Oh, no, Grooey... I-- I meant, work priority. Work. You see? You. You're my... other... stuff priority. You get that, right?

On Groo, grimly staring back. He slowly raises the battle-axe.

Cordy: (cont'd) Groo? Honey? We can talk about this--

Groo: Do not move.

Cordy, suddenly realizing he's looking just past her, slowly turns her head to see a sluk perched on a pillar behind her, ready to pounce. Instinctively, CORDY spins and swipes at it with her sword, slicing the creature. It squeals before leaping out of frame.

Ha, the part I found funny was how Cordelia thought Groo was actually mad enough to swing a battle axe at her. After all, she just told him that what she meant was work priority. Unless she really *doesn't* mean work priority and has a guilty conscience about it.

I thought it was cute when Angel and Cordelia open the door and say in unison.

Angel and Cordy: "We saw it! - *You* saw it?"

The rest of the gang hears the new news.

Gunn: There's more than one?

Angel: Two, at least. Should probably assume there are more.

Lorne: Do we have to?

Angel: But at least we have one advantage.

Cordy: What, they glow in the dark? How's that supposed to help us, unless we shut off all the lights in the holy crap you're not serious.

The crew, minus Fred and Gunn, approach the South wing.

Cordy: Listen... It's like... It's almost like...

She shakes her head, not wanting to say it.

Angel: Birds.

Cordy looks at him and nods, grateful he hears it, too. (Though we don't. Not yet.) They both turn toward the sound.

Only Angel and Cordelia hear the sound. Mmmmmm.

They come up to a set of double doors chained shut with and padlocked.

Cordy: Do we even have a key for this?

Angel offers a sly grin (are you kidding?), then brings up his foot and kicks in the doors, they fly off their hinges...

Cordelia returns a nod (yep, that'll do), she and Angel share a look.

Next, Gunn brings the sluk-infested Fred in. Gunn and Angel has a testosterone rally over whether Fred should be brought to the hospital or not. Cordy steps in, the mediator.

Cordy: Hey! We have to stick together.

This echoes later on when she doesn't leave Angel.

Angel decides to use himself as a decoy so the others can escape. Cordelia has her say because 1) she doesn't like the way he's always self-sacrificing, they should be in this together; and 2) she's worried about him

Angel: Cordy, turn off the stoves. Groo, the ovens.

Groo moves to do it, Cordy hesitates.

Cordy: Angel, why--

AngeL: Hurry.

As she switches off the burners...

Angel: (cont'd) Cordy, you and the others get Fred to a hospital.

Cordy: Didn't we talk about that? Infecting the world blah blah blah.

Angel: We don't have a choice. They can keep her hydrated there, hopefully long enough to surgically get that thing out of her.

Groo: We are surrounded. How are we to get past?

Angel: I'll keep 'em occupied. Slow 'em down as long as I can.

Cordy: How do you expect to do that?

Angel: By giving 'em what they want.

Angel picks up his sword.

Angel: (cont'd) Groo. Damsel in distress. You know the drill.

Groo nods, takes Fred in his arms.

Angel crosses to the side door, the one connected to the ballroom, and unbolts it.

Cordy: Angel--

Angel: Go. Save Fred. (off her hesitation) Please.

Cordy reluctantly turns and joins the others at the door. Lorne unbolts it.

Angel: (cont'd) Now!

He kicks the door in.

About 7 things happen in 10 seconds.

A swarm of sluks slither in, heading straight for water.

The other push their way out the other entrance.

Cordelia, in the doorway, sees: Angel, battling away at the Sluks as they attack him.

In the hall, Groo looks back to see -

Cordy, at the door looking at Angel. She brings up her sword and runs back into the kitchen.

Groo reacts with heartbreak, then turns and continues.

In the kitchen, Cordelia arrives at Angel's side, fighting by his side.

Angel: (cont'd) Cordelia! I told you to get out of here!

Cordy: Make me.

In the kitchen.

Cordy: Incoming. Four o'clock.

Angel, hearing that, spins as a sluk pounces. His sword catches it in mid-air.

Another one lands on Cordy's upstretched arm. Something's happening.

Cordelia begins to GLOW. She stares incredulously, open-mouthed, as the glow intensifies and begins to move down her body.

Cordy: Angel...? What's... happening... to... Me?

Angel stops fighting long enough to witness:

Whoosh! A blinding light emanates from her whole body - her head, her finger-tips, etc. - and fills the room, then the lobby. Light burst forth from every window of the building.

Then, just as suddenly, the light's gone, and the sluks are gone.

Reactions in the hotel lobby.

Lorne: Okay, unless anyone else has something, let me be the first to say *What the hell was that?*

Angel: Cordelia.

Angel and Cordelia enter.

Angel: (looking at her, appreciatively) That... was Cordelia.

Groo looks at her with worshipfulness and a slight tinge of sadness.

Almost like, "she's beyond me".

Groo: You are truly a goddess.

Cordy grins.

Cordy: (an aside to Angel) Well, demonness, anyway. Sure beats horns and a tail.

Extra Quotage

Fred: We were just thinking... Well, I was thinking and Groo agreed... That, well, since we have to repaint your room anyway, maybe you'd like a change. Y'know, for a change.
Angel: Groo agreed?
Cordy: Don't mock. He's actually got a good color sense.

Angel: My fault? Cordy: (eyeing the dusty rubble) That's what the Sandman said.

Angel: Watch close. This thing's hard to see.
Cordy: This thing drank every speck of moisture out of a man's body.
Cordy: (cont'd) I'm just saying... Shouldn't we wait to see what Fred finds out before we go chasing around after it?
Angel: Longer we wait, the sooner that thing finds a way out of here. And into the world. And I'm not gonna let that happen.

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