In the Family Way

An Angel: The Series Fanfiction Story

Author: Jason W Thompson <jwt6577[at]>

February 5, 2003

Disclaimer: Once upon a time there was a guy he wrote a story with characters and settings he didn't own, but he put a disclaimer on his story and that made it a little less illegal. BTVS and Angel are owned by Joss, Fox, Mutant Enemy, the UPN and the WB. I don't own anything except the situation characters are in.

Category: AU Cordelia/Xander, With some Faith/Xander & Angel/Cordelia

Spoilers: Buffy Seasons 1 through 3; primarily, "Prophecy Girl, The Fluke Arc, and The Zeppo." Angel Season 1 through "Hero."


Summary: Continuation of "Dysfunction; "Cordelia and Xander spend a night together, that's never a good thing in the Angelverse.

Rating: PG-13

Distribution: Ask First.


Dedication: Dedicated to the usual suspects; Bri, Mary, Duchess, Dale, Blaire, Stone Cold, Ice Wing, Arashi, Aslan, Vega, Tony D, Jen Zimmer, Louise, Sairs, and Queen Angel who have allowed me to bounce my ideas off them, and Krac, cause she has the evil bunny slippers.

Part 1

Previously on Angel:

The male oracle raised his hand, "And for every door that opens..." Angel suddenly was thrown backwards out of the chamber.


Anya sadly smoothed Xander's hair away, "I'm sorry for this Xander." She leaned over and placed a kiss on Xander's lips softly... a purple mist left her lips and slowly passed into Xander.


Xander was suddenly struck with mind numbing pain. His legs buckled and he pitched backwards and he was bombarded with images...


Xander sighed, "Willow, it wasn't a seizure."

Willow had only stopped pawing at Xander long enough for Skip to fire him. Now Buffy and Willow were walking him home. "Xander, what do you call, collapsing and twitching on the floor? Hmm?"


"Oh God..." Xander and Cordelia looked up at Angel, who had slumped down into his chair, "Xander had a vision... He's my link to the Powers."


Buffy smiled and said, "Hey Xand. How's LA?"

<Um. That's why I called. It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to come back anytime soon.>


Cordelia shook her head, "Get this through your head Xander... You'll be alright."

Xander smirked, "As long as I don't get captured by demons who want to carve my eyes out week after week, I'll be fine."

Cordelia laughed, "Not every week, sometimes things get really tough."


And Now...

For Cordelia Chase, applying lipstick was a pain-stakingly fragile process. It required concentration, a steady hand, and a gentle touch. In short, and to quote her Ex-boyfriend and Angel's direct emergency line to the PTB, applying lipstick was "Zen and the Art of Cheerleading."

It was an exercise made even more challenging considering she had no access to a mirror and had to use one of the windows in a pinch. It was an unspoken rule around the office that they didn't have mirrors in the office; Angel was uncomfortable around them so Wesley in a moment of boot-licking took the mirror in the bathroom down. Normally Cordelia brought a hand mirror in her purse for such situations, but she had too small a purse for that tonight.

Just as she was finishing up, Angel's voice shattered the absolute silence she needed. "You look nice." Cordelia jumped as a result and her hand twitched. She turned and leveled a blistering glare at the intruding vampire. Once she felt she had silently chastised him enough, she turned back to repair whatever damage Angel might have caused.

Seeing the stray line of lipstick that ran up her right cheek she squawked, "Oh! And now I look like The Joker!" She quickly began to dab away the lipstick, "Let's hope I'm still too young and carefree for a heart attack." She turned back to Angel with a frown, "Would it kill you to hum a little tune or something when sneaking up on people?"

With a feeling of triumph Cordelia watched Angel show the decency to look sheepish, "Sorry." He turned back to folder in his hands and scratched the back of his neck, "Cordelia, I'm a little confused here." Crossing the office, he showed her the folder's label, "Why is Mrs. Benson filed under a 'P?'"

Cordelia looked at the folder in mild confusion, "That's an 'F.'"

His eyebrows rose, "Okay, I'm almost sure I'm going to regret this, but why is Mrs. Benson filed under 'F?'"

Cordelia shrugged, "'Cause she's French. Remember what a pain she was?"

Angel sighed and dropped the file on her desk, "I remember she made me want to drink a lot."

She nodded in a sympathetic manner, "That's the French for you."

With a sigh, the vampire walked back into his office mumbling, "Speaking of wanting to drink... can't she just use the alphabet?"

She rolled her eyes at his mutterings as she turned back to the window. She placed a few errant locks of hair then leaned over and inspected her cleavage; she tilted her head for a different angle, even pushing her breasts together before nodding approvingly.

As she was turning away from the window the door came open. Faith breezed in followed by Xander who was inspecting the mail, "Bill... bill... bill..." He smiled, "Hey, it's the check from Mrs. Benson, finally. Was she French?" Xander plopped down in a chair, his feet immediately finding a perch on Cordelia's desk. The mail scattered across her desk save one black-plastic wrapped magazine. Xander held the magazine like a prized trophy, "Ah, Playboy day, my favorite day of the month!"

Faith smirked as she hopped up on the desk next to the young Seer's feet, "Your love of air-brushed blonde beauties and their areola brings a tear to a girl's eye Tiger."

He looked at her as he used his teeth to tear into the plastic. He plucked the magazine out of his mouth and cast the wrapper into the trash with a smile, "Faith, I'm hurt..." His smile turned into a leer, "You know I love brunettes best." The dark haired Slayer's only response was to run her tongue over her upper lip, pucker her lips and kiss the air. Xander merely nodded approvingly, "Nice."

With a scowl, Cordelia broke in on their semi-private conversation, "Oh please. Would you two mind not skanking out on each other on my desk?"

Faith hopped off the desk with a smirk, "What's the matter roomie?"

Cordelia narrowed her eyes at her unwilling roommate, a situation Angel forced upon her when he and Xander had decided to take Faith in. It was also something Faith seemed more then happy to remind the former Cheerleader of whenever it suited her. "Stop calling me that..." Her eyes widened when she noticed Faith's attire, "That's my tank-top... are those my leather pants?"

The younger woman arched an eyebrow, "Well, for the moment this is the only way I can get in your pants..."

Xander never looked up from Miss January as he piped in with; "Hot."

Cordelia sighed in annoyance. "Stop encouraging him Faith, I'd hate to think of what Xander might think of in the shower..."

"Oh don't worry Cor, mostly I think of that time in your pool-house when you did that striptease to..."


While Cordelia was trying to see how many shades of red she could turn. Xander smirked triumphantly and Faith laughed, "A lil' pool-house lap dance, now that is very hot!"

Angel re-entered the outer office with a glass of whiskey in his hand, "What the Devil is going on out here?"

Faith smirked, "It seems Queen C here has provided Xand with some visions of the masturbatory kind."

As Angel turned to Cordelia with shock on his face, Wesley thankfully chose that moment to come into the office proudly holding a hand-axe, "Hello all."

Cordelia smiled in an overly-bright fashion, "Wes! It's good to see you!"

Wesley flushed slightly under the warm reception, he stammered for a moment then said, "I was just in the neighborhood on patrol with my new Bavarian Fighting Axe," He held the weapon up for emphasis, "When I thought, 'Perhaps Xander's had a vision and evil is afoot!'"

Xander looked up from the centerfold, "Sorry Wes, no evil tonight." Faith took the opportunity to pluck the magazine rudely from his hand, "Hey! Who pays for the subscription around here?" Her only reply was a wicked smile as she settled down into Cordelia's chair.

The former Watcher deflated slightly, "Ah... Well, I brought Word Puzzle 3-D."

Cordelia smiled, "Wes, some of us aren't in our eighties."

Reaching now, he plucked a box from his bag, "I also brought Magic. If anyone has the nerve to take me on!"

Xander perked up from pouting over his lost Playboy, "Really?"

Faith scowled at him over her magazine, "Playing Magic is very not sexy Tiger." Xander waved at her dismissively before rounding the desk to look at the magazine over her shoulder.

Cordelia plucked her handbag from her desk, "Sorry Wes, you'll have to play you're weird card games without me. I'm going out."

Hanging up his bag on the coat rack in the corner, Wesley said, "Well if your idea of fun is shaking your 'booty' at the latest hot spot, you can call me..." The door opened and two young ladies stepped through the door. One was blonde with blue eyes; the other was dark-skinned with short hair. Both of them were dressed in club gear similar to Cordelia's outfit. "Horribly jealous."

The dark skinned woman smiled flirtatiously at Wesley, "Hi, I'm Sarina, nice axe."

Wesley turned pink and stammered for the second time that evening, "Oh, uh... This old thing..." In an effort to appear calm and cool, Wesley swung the axe and accidentally embedded it into the wall behind him.

Cordelia scowled at him, "Wesley..."

Sarina's eyebrows rose as she turned to Cordelia, "Tick-tock Cor." She nodded to her companion, "Emily told me Wilson practically had to have phone-sex with the manager to get us into Lounge La Brea."

Angel took another sip of his drink, "Wilson?"

Emily folded her arms, "Christopher."

The vampire tilted his head in confusion, "Christopher Wilson?"

With a roll of the eyes, Sarina huffed out, "Wilson Christopher."

Xander looked up as Faith rotated the magazine for a better angle, "The guy who sang the theme to Arthur? He's like fifty, isn't he?"

Wesley shook his head, "No Xander, Wilson Christopher is the ethno-archeologist from Brandies."

Sarina smiled at him in her earlier flirtatious manner, "Your Hugh Grant thing is starting to work for me." This time the Englishman turned red.

Angel smirked, "Christopher Cross sang the theme to Arthur."

Emily took her turn to roll her eyes, "Wilson Christopher is the hot new photographer who's been seeing Cordelia for like three weeks now. Where have you guys been?"

Xander matched Angel's smirk, "The Mouth of Hell?" Faith and Angel stifled laughter.

Angel pulled Cordelia aside, "So, you're seeing someone, why haven't you brought him by?"

Cordelia's left eyebrow rose, "Why so Xander and Faith can pick on him, while you get all creepy overprotective big-brother and interrogate him?"

Emily looked him over with a wicked grin, "Break out the hand-cuffs and you can interrogate me anytime."

Xander put his hands to his temples, "Guys..." He dropped to the floor.

Angel, Cordelia, Faith and Wesley all quickly began to cover for Xander's vision. Faith turned her chair and held out her boot, "Xand, could you be a sweetheart and get that knot out of my bootlace? I just got a manicure..."

Meanwhile, Wesley put his arm around Sarina, "So, would you like to have dinner this weekend?"

Angel smiled at Cordelia, "You better get going if you want to meet with this Wilson guy."

Cordelia grabbed her purse and quickly ushered Emily and Sarina out of the office, "Angel's right, let's go."

Just as Angel and Wesley began to relax, Sarina popped her head back in. "Hey Wesley, Cordy has my number, give me a call, okay?" With a wink she trotted to catch up to her friends.

With sudden confidence, the former Watcher turned to his employer with a smug expression, "Well, I do believe Cordelia's friend is quite charming."

A shaky hand appeared from behind Cordelia's desk, Faith leered down at the hidden member of Angel Investigations, "Hey Xand, since you're down there already..."

Xander's head emerged from behind the desk, "Untie your bootlace? How whipped do you think I am?"

Angel helped Xander to his feet, "What did you see?"

Xander steadied himself against the desk and shook his head, "Um... a big clawed scaly hand coming out of an egg..." He grabbed a pen and pad and wrote an address down "It's going to hatch tonight and I get the feeling it'll be really deadly."

Rubbing her hands briskly, the Slayer jumped up, "Alright! Let's cowboy up!"

Xander followed her to the weapons closet, while Wesley tried to pry his axe from the wall. Faith grabbed a broadsword which she tossed to Angel before taking a battle-axe for herself. Xander grabbed a cross-bow before he, Faith and Angel exited out of the front door. They turned back to Wesley just in time to see the axe come loose causing him to fall down. Angel shook his head, "Wes, quit fooling around."

Jumping up quickly, he trotted out of the office after them. "Sorry about that."

Part 2

Xander staggered through the splintered remnants of 25 Cabrillo's front door. He looked at the destroyed crossbow in his hands and cast the now useless weapon aside and flopped down on the porch.

Faith followed him through the doorway trying to wipe the orange gore off her coat and pants. "Who knew a thing barely three feet tall could spew up that much blood and guts?" Xander nodded tiredly. She looked at him then touched her cheek, "You got some guts on your cheek."

He sighed then squirmed slightly, "Faith, I have guts in my shorts right now."

Wesley exited the house next, covered nearly head to toe in the orange gore that was minutes before a newly hatched demon. "I believe this sport's coat is ruined."

Angel's shout and the sounds of breaking furniture brought their attention to the house, "STAY DEAD!" The vampire emerged from the house sheathing his sword. He then noticed a small bit of orange on his sleeve, "Oh Christ! I just got this coat." His remark earned a trio of scowls and glares. "Sorry."

Xander stood up shakily, "Two Questions: First, what the Hell was that thing? And Two, How on Earth, when you were right in the middle of that fight, did you avoid all the crap that thing was made of?"

The vampire smiled in a sheepish manner, "Luck?"

Faith rolled her eyes, "Must be nice to be a Champion."

Wesley gave up on his attempt to clean the demon off and sat down on the porch as well, "That, my friends, was an infant Tahval demon."

Shaking her head, Faith dropped her axe on the ground and ran her now free hands through her hair only to realize she had spread demon through it and sighed angrily, "I'd hate to see its parents if they fight like that as infants." She stood up, "I need a shower and a pizza." Turning towards Xander, she found him trying not to look so uncomfortable. "Wanna go Dutch on a pepperoni mushroom and banana pepper pizza Tiger?"

Xander jumped up, "Only if we get breadsticks too."

The Slayer nodded before offering her elbow to the Seer, which he took and after retrieving her axe the pair started down the sidewalk ignoring the gaping stares that only two people covered in dead demon and carrying melee weapons could create. "Great, we'll go to your apartment and we can share a shower, I'll wash your back and you can wash mine."

Not to be outdone in flirtation, Xander replied with "Only if I can wash your front too." Faith's laughter filled the night air.

Wesley watched them depart with a shake of his head, "Those two seem rather comfortable with each other."

Angel shrugged as he picked up Xander's discarded crossbow, "It's just a game Wes. They're both out to shock and embarrass the other." With an annoyed snort he threw the weapon into the house.

Wesley stood up and picked up his new hand axe, "Sometimes those three worry me." Turning to his employer he swung the weapon onto his shoulder.

The vampire stepped off the porch and held his arm out, letting his friend know he was ready to depart. After they started down the sidewalk in the same general directions their companions had left, Angel continued their conversation, "How so?"

Wesley shrugged slightly, "It just seems they take their duty too lightly. That was always a source of annoyance for me last year."

Angel had to laugh; he had remembered how annoying Wesley was to Buffy and the others last year. However in the two months he'd been working with Angel Investigations, they'd found another side to Wesley. Instead of the foppish bookworm the vampire was convinced Wesley was, there was a rather competent man who merely needed to put down the books he hid behind. It also didn't hurt that Faith Xander and Cordelia were pulling the stick out of his ass. However, for all of Wesley's progress into a person Angel might actually be able to call friend, he had a long way to go as he just proved; "Wes, not one of them is older than nineteen, they deserve time to be a little free-spirited."

They stopped in front of Angel's car, "Angel, Xander is your Seer, Faith is a Slayer, and while Cordelia and I are not bound to this fight by Super-natural abilities or duties we are warriors in the fight against the Darkness. We have little time for being free-spirited and flirtatious or dancing the night away with doxies..."

Angel grinned slightly, "I think Sarina liked you Wes."

Wesley immediately began to backtrack on his last statement, "By doxy, I hope you don't think I meant sexually promiscuous. You don't think my sticking the axe in the wall put her off?"

Angel opened his trunk and dropped his sword in there, while Wesley placed his axe and sports jacket in the trunk with a little more care. "No, it was charming." Wesley nodded as Angel closed the trunk, "C'mon Wes, let's go get a pint, maybe play some darts. Doyle and I found a great Irish pub down the street run by a Warlock."

The Englishman smiled at the notion, then frowned "What about our, rather my... unkempt appearance? Will it worry them?"

Angel shook his head as he got in the car. He reached into the back seat and grabbed a large towel, which he unrolled onto passenger seat before Wesley got in. "No, it'll just add mystery."


The frantic pounding on Xander's door woke him from a sound sleep. He found his face buried in the cushions of his couch and the TV filled with static. He pushed off the couch and stumbled in the darkness of his apartment being audibly bombarded the entire time by the pounding on his door. "Hang on. Hang on! I'm coming!" His assurances did little to calm his visitor. He reached for the door and yanked it open angrily as he said, "Keep you pants on..." His anger quickly extinguished at the sight of Cordelia's wild eyes. "Cor?" Any further conversation died when Cordelia practically attacked his mouth with her lips. They staggered backwards into his apartment, pausing only long enough to kick the door closed.

With a passion as frantic as her door pounding, Cordelia forcefully pushed Xander into his bedroom and then down onto the bed. Xander looked at her as she stripped in nearly record time, "Cordelia, what the Hell!?"

Once she had removed all her clothing, she jumped on top of him and put a finger to his lips, "Xander. Shut up."

She descended upon him again, and after a few moments of making out which put all of her previous broom closet romps to shame, Xander managed to pry her off his mouth again. "What is going on?"

Seeing she wasn't going to shut him up, she began to suck on his neck. Between licking, kissing and biting his pulse point, she managed to mumble, "Take your pants off."


She pulled away, grasped his hands in her and placed them atop her breasts, "Xander. Take your pants off!" He could offer no further protest.


Xander woke with a start when his alarm began its obnoxious war cry. He found himself laying across the bed on his back, his feet and head dangling over the sides and his blankets were tangled around him. He groped around, half-blind looking for the animal which last night had disguised herself as Cordelia Chase.

When he didn't find her by touch, he cracked his eyes and looked around. Other than the lamp they had kicked off the night-stand, he found no evidence that Cordelia had ever been there. "Cordelia?" When he received no answer, he cast the blankets aside and was greeted with a sight he'd never thought he'd see. All he could do was say, "Fu-"



Angel looked up from his copy of Lord of the Rings at Cordelia with mild curiosity. She had breezed in the door this morning with a bag from a fudge shop down the street, two hours late. She seemed much more relaxed then yesterday. If he didn't know better, he'd think Cordelia's date had gone better then he wanted to think about. "No thanks."

Cordelia shrugged and returned to her treat, "Suit yourself."

Faith entered his office and perched herself on the back of his couch, "So how was the sex last night Cordy? Was Wilson Christopher any good?"

Angel groaned, he didn't want to hear about Cordelia's or anyone's sex life for that matter. Cordelia shook her head nervously, "Oh, well... Wilson and I didn't..."

Faith smirked, "C'mon Queen C. You didn't come home last night; you come in here with chocolate and a pair of monster hickies," She pointed to marks, one on Cordelia's neck, the other on her chest just above the waistline of her pants, "...this morning and expect me to believe that you and him didn't beat up the old headboard last night."

Cordelia shook her head, "No, it didn't work out."

Faith laughed, "Fine, if it wasn't Wilson, who sent you on a trip to happy-town?"

"Cordelia!" Xander's voice shook all three from their conversation; they turned to find Xander standing in the doorway. That was when all normality left the room, Faith eyebrows jumped up her forehead, Angel's eyes widened and Cordelia's jaw slackened. Xander stood in the doorway dressed in sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt which did nothing to hide the strangest thing that any of them had ever seen. Xander's stomach was swollen as though he were eight months pregnant; he chose to break the silence with a question that was like a powder keg within the office. "What the Hell did you do to me?"


In the last two hours, Angel's office had taken on a sense of tension and worry due to two of its occupants; namely Xander who was pacing and casting angry glances at Cordelia who sat on the couch, her knees pulled under her chin. Meanwhile, Wesley and Angel poured over every book they had to try and find the cause of "The Unpleasantness" as Wesley referred Xander's situation.

However, some people in this world had no care for either tact or tension. Until that moment the Ensouled Vampire known to those close to him as Angel had held out hope that he only had the bad fortune to know one of these people. Faith's growing smirk as she watched Xander pace was a prelude to her showing him how wrong he was. "Xand, why don't you sit down?"

Xander paused in his pacing long enough to cast a wary look at the smirking younger woman, "Why?" He held his arms out so that his swollen abdomen was in full view. "This is why!"

Faith stood up and crossed the room, "I'm just saying, someone in your condition should be conserving your strength," She paused and gently placed a hand on his stomach, "You don't want to upset Junior." With an angry snort, he knocked her hand away and resumed his pacing. "What? Is it hormone problems?"

Wesley's eyes widened and he stood out of his chair. "Oh dear..." The others turned to him and watched as the color began to drain from his cheeks while he cast worried glances at Cordelia and Xander. "Oh dear."

With great difficulty, Xander managed to sit down on the couch next to Cordelia, "I've seen that look on Giles..."

Cordelia ran a hand through her hair, "This is never good."

Wesley hand his text to Angel who began to read over what he'd just discovered as he began to explain to the others. "It seems Xander has been impregnated, well infected would be a better term, by a succubus."

Faith stopped laughing to herself long enough to look up, "Hold on for a second English. Do you mean man killing female sex-demons?"

Cordelia looked at the former Watcher incredulously, "Are you calling me a demon?"

Wesley shook his head, "No Cordelia, what I'm saying is that somehow through your... ah... sexual... contact... with Xander that you infected him and that right now he has a fetal succubus growing in him."

Xander watched Angel hand the text over to Faith who began reading, he turned back to Wesley. "Wes, I saw a bad movie with a succubus once, I thought they killed men during sex, kinda like vampires. How the Hell did Cordelia infect me with a succubus?"

"Well, Cordelia's been infected herself somehow, Cordelia, did anyone make contact with your throat last night?"

Cordelia shrugged, "I mean Wilson did, but he's a guy."

"Hmm, well somehow you had to have been exposed to the creature's pheromone, that's how it infects you. It makes contact with a woman's throat, transfer pheromones through the skin, making the woman a carrier so to speak. In turn, she will feel an uncontrollable rise in..." He looked down and cleared his throat uncomfortably, "Amorous emotions and will seek out males for... well..." He trailed off and reddened considerably.

Angel stood up and continued for Wesley, "Basically, Xander's carrying one of those things around, and Cordelia is a carrier. We need to find the source and find it now or otherwise, Cordelia will continue to seek out and infect Los Angeles' male population, and by morning Xander will... well..."

When Angel trailed off as well, Xander became incredibly worried, "I'll what? What's going to happen to me?"

Faith stood up and dropped the book into Xander's hands, "Did you ever see 'Alien' Xand?"

Looking down, the Seer saw a drawing of a male corpse which looked like it had exploded. "Oh crap."

Cordelia jumped up suddenly, "Oh my God!" She ran out of Angel's office. The others watched her rifle through her purse, followed by her desk. She produced a bottle and ran into the office holding it. "Wilson gave me this perfume last night, he asked me to put it on. Then like ten minutes later he tried to get all over me. I just thought he was a creep."

"Tell me Cor. How does Wilson infecting you with a demon mojo which is going to have us picking my spleen out of the carpet *not* make him a creep?"

Angel scowled at Xander and interrupted Cordelia's coming response, "Not now."

Wesley took the bottle carefully and began to inspect it, "Angel is correct. We need to find the demon. The only way to save Xander's life, and save Cordelia's future husband..." He tried to ignore Faith's snigger, "Is to kill it."

The vampire nodded while grabbing his coat, "Cordelia, I need to know where to find him. I need to know now."

Part 3

Wilson Christopher found himself sailing across VIP firing range of the Los Angelus Gun Club before he crashed through the safety window out into the hall. He bounced twice before skidding three feet across the hardwood floor. With a groan and the sensation of shards of glass digging into his body he rolled onto his back.

Before he could even think of sitting up, the man who took down six of his friends, even after taking two bullets to the chest, and had spent the last five minutes giving his doctor many opportunities to make money was standing over him. In a flash, his attacker grabbed his right wrist and stepped on his chest. He yanked hard and Wilson felt something in his shoulder tear, he cried out with the searing pain he felt. The unknown man shook his head and made a hiss of false-sympathy, "Gee Wilson; that sounded a lot like a torn rotator cuff. Tell me where you got that Perfume."

Wilson ground his teeth against the pain, "I don't know." With a sharp twist, Wilson felt the bones in his wrist give. "Oh GOD!"

"Three bones Wilson, you have a lil' more than two hundred to go."

Tears streamed down his cheeks, "I swear I don't know anything. I SWEAR!" The attacker squeezed his hand and Wilson let out a strangled sob when three of his fingers broke.

"I don't think you understand how serious I am about this, so let me explain again. Because of that perfume, two of my friends are in trouble. One has a baby succubus in his chest the other will spend the rest of her life killing every man she sleeps with. My friends are very important to me." Wilson cried openly while the man emphasized the word "very" with another twist which broke the bones in his forearm. "What's it going to be Wilson, just to be fair, I should tell you I can make this much more painful, I mean if you're crying over a broken wrist and forearm, imagine what will happen when I take a set of car keys to Big Jim and the Twins?"

"OKAY! I got it from this shop in Chinatown, the woman said it was an aphrodisiac, she said Cordelia wouldn't be able to keep her hands off me and that the sex would be the best I would ever have again. Then Cordelia's eyes got all glassy and she said something about some guy named Xander..." The man dug his heel into Wilson's chest, cracking ribs as he did so, "GOD PLEASE STOP!"

"Wilson, you are wasting my time. I need an address."

"2163 Ninth Avenue! Please God..." Before Wilson could continue blubbering, the pressure ebbed and his attacker was gone.


Wesley sat in the driver's seat of Angel's convertible, waiting for Angel patiently in the parking garage. Faith was riding shotgun, filing her nails, he heard the young woman mumble, "'Five minutes...' That was like half an hour ago."

Wesley nodded, "He does seem to be taking an unusual amount of time, do you think he ran into trouble?"

Faith shrugged, "Probably, that's why he didn't bring us; he gets off on it you know?"

"On what?"

The young woman smiled a wistful smile as she thought of the carnage Angel was no doubt bringing on the Gun Club, "On the violence, on playing Super-hero. Especially when Cordy's the damsel in distress, he loves going back to her after beating up the bad guys." She turned and thrust her nail file into Wesley's chest to emphasize her point, ignoring his grunt of slight discomfort, "Plus, he's got some issues over all this. Think about it, he's been crushing on Cor for months, then her Ex comes into town, with Visions no less, and they flirt shamelessly. Then when struck with demonic panty peeler, where does Miss Chase go? To the X-man, that's gotta eat at him a little." She shrank back into her seat, hugging herself slightly, "Trust me, a situation like that can mess with someone's head."

Wesley watched her for a moment, for the first time since she arrived; he finally saw past her defenses, he saw the woman Angel and Xander seemed so desperate to protect. He hadn't understood Angel and Xander when she arrived in town. After all, since coming out of a coma, Faith had stolen Buffy's body and tried to destroy the lives of all their friends in Sunnydale. Then upon coming to LA, she tried to assassinate Angel, beat up Cordelia and himself then tortured Xander. She broke down when Angel confronted her, then he and Xander took her in, even defending her when Buffy came looking for the younger Slayer.

He just couldn't understand why when she'd tried to kill both of them on more then one occasion that they were so intent on protecting and helping her. Seeing Faith with her defenses down, even just a bit, Wesley understood. He saw a young woman who had endured untold hardships and betrayals. His research of Angelus had led him to believe that Angel had endured what would be considered today an abusive childhood, and according to Giles, much the same had been Xander's fate as a child.

They identified with Faith's pain and seemed to be willing to do anything to ease it. He looked forward and still found no sign of Angel's return, turning back to Faith he decided to break the silence, "Faith, did what happen between Cordelia and Xander upset you somehow?"

The young woman snorted, "Why would it? It's not like I have a leash on the boy-toy. Hell, we only did it once. If he and the Cheerleader want to bang, I can't stop him."

"That's not what I asked."

She screwed her eyes shut and ground her teeth for a moment, "What do you want me to say Wes? Do you want me to say that I dig Xander? Fine! It wasn't just playful flirting okay! He's been helping me, even after what I did to him. That kind of compassion is hard to ignore. So yes, I can completely relate to Angel's annoyance at Cordy and Xander, 'cause my first instinct this morning was to rip her hair out and shove it down her throat. Right now I hate her more then I've ever hated anyone, even Red, and if Xander dies, I just might make sure Cordelia doesn't have to worry about killing her next sex partner 'cause I'll probably kill her!" Wesley reached a comforting hand tentatively for Faith's shoulder which she shrugged away, "Save it English!"

Angel chose that moment to return, "2163 Ninth Avenue. A woman sold him the perfume as an aphrodisiac." He got into the back seat.

Wesley turned around, "So he didn't know what it would do?" Angel shook his head and Wesley noticed a line of blood trickling down the side of his mouth. "Angel. Did you...?" He pointed at the blood.

Angel reached up and touched his lip, he inspected his finger and smiled sheepishly, "Oh no, this is mine. His buddies jumped me." The ambulance pulled in and the paramedics jumped out. Wesley watched a smirk spread slowly across Angel's lips, "Just 'cause I didn't drink, doesn't mean I didn't have fun. They shot me, ruined one of my favorite shirts. He had it coming." He grabbed the tarp, "Let's go Wes." He pulled the tarp over him and Wesley started the vehicle before pulling out of the garage.


Cordelia had watched Xander from beneath her lashes since the others left, not having the courage to let herself look him in the eye. He seemed entirely engrossed in some imagined spot on the wall. He looked absolutely miserable, which she supposed he had every right to after all, if Angel didn't save the day, Xander would spread his horizons, all over the office. "I'm sor-"

Xander's gaze never left the wall, "Save it." His scowl wavered and she watched his face turn pale and sweat bead at his hairline.

"What is it?"

"It moved." He ran a hand over his face, "Angel better hurry up and save the day." He groaned as he sank back into the couch.

"Xander, for what it's worth..."

His eyes snapped open and captured her gaze into a hold tight enough to crush concrete, "Stop. Okay! Just stop. Your apologies aren't worth jack unless I get this thing out of me! So save it Cor! Save it until I have more than hours to live." He pressed his palms into his eyes, "I swear Cordelia if I get out of this, I'm going to learn how to say no to you." He turned to her with a morbid grin. "Someone has to."

Cordelia rolled her eyes and allowed herself to laugh for the first time since he entered the office this morning.

Part 4

Bells sounded as Angel stepped into the herbal shop flanked by Faith and Wesley. He strode down the stops inspecting items on displays placed around. He smiled and picked up a box containing a ring, "I haven't seen a ring like this since I ran into that Chinese Slayer in Moscow... Boy she was a wild fight." His smile faded as he recalled the run-in Angelus had with the young Chinese girl.

When he looked up, he found Faith and Wesley regarding him uncomfortably. Faith arched an eyebrow at him, "Angel, I'm not especially fond of your jaunts down Angelus' memory lane."

The vampire nodded, "Point taken."

The rustling of beads drew their attention to the back room, where a short white haired woman with slight hints of red stepped behind the counter. "May I help you?"

Wesley crossed the room, "We were looking for the woman who runs this establishment."

She smiled sweetly, "That would be me dear."

He looked at her with a hint of confusion, "Forgive me, I suppose I expected..."

"Expected some elderly Asian woman? I get that a lot."

Wesley laughed, "Quite." Reaching into his coat, he produced the bottle of perfume Wilson gave to Cordelia, "A friend of mine received this perfume from a date. He said he purchased it here, we need to know where you acquired it from, it's incredibly important."

The woman looked the bottle over, "I'm afraid I can't help you dear."

Angel narrowed his eyes at her as he walked towards the counter, "Why not?"

She smiled, this time lacking any hint of warmth and sweetness. "I think you know why."

The vampire looked her over, "I have some suspicions. But my friends say I'm a little dense. Why don't you spell it out for me?"

She gave him a long appraising glance, "You're something new, a vampire with a soul; traveling with a Slayer no less. If this were any more fantastic, it would make quite a story, maybe even a television series or two." She stepped slowly around the counter, "I won't tell you where I got the perfume, because it's not a perfume."

Wesley stepped around Angel, "We knew that already. It's pheromone from a succubus, a rather industrious succubus I wager. You sell it as an aphrodisiac and make money off the poor and unfortunate young men who cross your path. It doesn't concern you that you are sending innocent men and women to horribly gruesome fates at all, do it?"

"Quite the contrary, I enjoy it. See, I've been doing it for years, dooming women to impregnate vile males and kill them. But, times have changed; killing men by procreating doesn't pay the bills you know. I just decided to make money while I procreate. Killing horny little bastard men is just the icing on the cake." The trio watched as the old woman's skin began to turn a sickly grey and her fingernails began to extend and become pointed. "Now, I guess I'll just have to kill you three."

Angel sighed, "Why do they always want to resort to violence?" He charged forward with Wesley and Faith quickly jumping into the fray as well.


Cordelia handed Xander a glass of water, "Maybe this will settle your stomach Xander."

Xander's lips twitched with a hint of a grateful smile, "Thanks Cor, but it's not my stomach I'm worried about." She watched as his hands began to shake as the glass approached his lips. He took a sip then his face twisted in agony. The glass slid from his fingers and shattered on the floor. He slid off the couch and crawled towards the bathroom, "Cordelia. Get an axe."

"Xander, I don't want to kill you!"

Xander groaned, "You'll have to kill that thing, Wesley said they're lethal from birth, so swing for its head." He slumped against the floor then rolled on to his side and curled into the fetal position. "Though killing me might not be such a bad idea..."


Wesley landed in a bruised heap in the back of the herbal shop. He pushed himself onto his hands and knees and got up on wobbly legs. The fight with the succubus was something of a stand-still as they didn't have the common sense and foresight to bring weapons; which meant they had no real way to finish it off. He scanned the store and smiled when he saw the fire hose and axe which was housed next to it. He ran over to the axe, he grabbed a stool along the way and smashed in the glass. He pulled out the axe and turned back to the fight.

Angel blacked a swipe from one of the succubus' clawed hand and leveled a kick to her stomach. Faith delivered a low kick which buckled the creature's knee and staggered her. Angel grabbed her by the hair and back and launched her headfirst into the glass display counter. He then picked up the cash register and brought it down on her back, ushering a howl of pain out of her. Wesley then called out, "Angel. Here."

As Angel looked up, the Englishman tossed the axe to the vampire. The succubus, meanwhile, was pulling herself out of the shattered remnants of her display counter. She stood up straight just in time for Angel to catch the axe and swing it in one motion, lopping the creature's head off easily; spattering its blue-green blood across the back wall and coating Wesley in gore for the second in as many nights, though not nearly as bad as the Tahval demon the night before.

There was a tense silence as Faith and Angel had no idea how the former-Watcher would react, finally he pulled out a handkerchief and removed his glasses then began to clean his glasses vigorously, "Well, at least it's not orange this time."

Angel's eyes shined with restrained laughter, while Faith nodded, "Oh yeah English, because blue-green is definitely more your color."

Wesley responded with a rather improper snort, "Yes. Quite."


Xander's eyes snapped open and the haze of pain cleared from his vision, he had felt that thing die just then. Angel must have killed it, he sat up slowly. "Angel must have killed it! God bless that vampire! He killed it!" He jumped up and pumped his fists in the air while whooping for joy. Cordelia dropped her axe and joined in on his celebration. That is, until he turned green, "I'm gonna be sick!" He ran off into the bathroom.

After a moment, Cordelia heard Xander retching in the bathroom. Her face scrunched up in disgust, "Eww! Xander some courtesy noises please!" She rolled her eyes, "Some people are just thoughtless."


The office of Angel Investigations had been unusually quiet for the last two days. The absence of Xander Harris could have that affect after all. Angel felt a grin tug at his lips as he read of the last defense of Helm's Deep, he'd been able to actually read instead of enduring Xander and Cordelia bicker slash flirt with each other, while Faith and he traded suggestive comments. Not that two months hadn't given the vampire an appreciation for Xander, he now considered his Seer part of his family, but he was still just as annoying as he had been Sunnydale.

After all, since Xander had shown up with the visions from the PTB two months ago, he hadn't had a chance to finish Tolkien's Epic. It didn't matter that he'd read it countless times before, great books were meant to be enjoyed again and again. Now he was lucky to get in a chapter a night. There was too much distraction these days. The front door burst open and Cordelia and Faith entered as they bickered, "Two distractions, right on cue."

"Faith, I am not going to tell you again. Stop asking about that time in the pool house!"

Angel scowled into his book, he wasn't exactly happy with Cordelia. She might have been under the influence of a demon, but deep down, his ego bristled that she had chosen Xander over him. The night before he spoke at length about his feelings concerning Cordelia and Xander with Wesley, he had helped Angel deal with his growing feelings for Cordelia, and beat down his ego enough to realize that she would have issues of her own concerning the night with Xander. Adding his own issues to Cordelia's trouble would only complicate things worse.

The worst revelation he had made was that now he knew what Xander must have felt when he had slept with Buffy two years ago. "It must just eat you up that I got there first," Angelus had said to him in the Hospital, now those words stung him.

His thoughts were interrupted by his novel being rudely plucked from his grasp and Cordelia yelling in his ear, "ANGEL!"


The young women sighed as though the weight of the World rested solely upon her shoulders. "I asked if you think Xander will be coming into work today?" Angel shrugged in a non-committal fashion, which caused her to growl in anger and frustration, "This is so like him," she paced the office, "'Ooo, I'm Xander, I had a demon growing inside so I'm taking time off.' Jeez, talk about selfish. I think he just did this to avoid listening to Wesley go on and on about Sarina. Just because she agreed to go to that stupid ballet with him he doesn't have to be all Big Watcher on Campus."

Faith smiled in an overly-sweet fashion at Cordelia, "I'm sure he was avoiding someone, but I think it was you. Maybe he's afraid you'll try to jump him again and plant another demon in his stomach." Angel's eyebrows rose as Faith laid the gauntlet down. Since the other night he had noticed that Faith's playful teasing of the older girl had taken on an icy tone. He decided to talk to the young woman if the opportunity arose.

That opportunity passed as Xander walked through the front door with a dozen donuts and a small cooler. "Hey, hey, hey, it's Vision Boy to the rescue with pastries and..." He reached into the cooler and pulled out a bag of blood, "Fresh AB positive for the Boss-Man." He handed Angel the bag, and then a mug. "Drink up Angel, you're a growing Vampire."

Angel took the bag but instead of tearing into it, he stood and put the bag in a cooler he kept in his office. "Thanks Xander."

Xander nodded, "Listen Angel, Faith. Thanks for pulling my butt out of the fryer."

Angel waved him off while Faith leered, "Such a lovely butt too boy-toy, I couldn't let it go to waste."

Xander smirked before sitting down, "I've learned some things too. Lesson one; never answer frantic pounding on my door in the middle of the night. No matter how much fun they bring with them. Two; women have a really hard job with the pregnancy. And three: Sex can only lead to evil things."

Angel nodded, "You don't have to tell me twice."

Xander chuckled then continued, "But the most important lesson is this: I have friends who love me, even when they can't stand me and will help me when I need it. Thank you guys, it's good to know I'm not alone."

Faith smiled, "Aww Xander. C'mere." She pulled the Seer into a hug and copped a quick feel, "Love that butt."

Angel laughed, "Despite Faith destroying that moment, I just want to say Xander; you guys are family. Besides, we'd all feel horrible if we destroyed Cordelia's social life."

Cordelia smiled, "You're damned right you'd feel horrible! I'd make sure of it."

They fell into a more comfortable silence for a while, until Xander's eyes lit, "I almost forgot, yesterday I won two tickets to a concert tonight; Queens of the Stone Age at the Metal Shop."

Cordelia and Faith sat forward and spoke simultaneously, "I'd love to go." The pair then exchanged glares which could start an apocalypse.

Xander pulled the tickets out of his jacket pocket, "Actually I was going to ask if Dead-Boy wanted to go."

Angel looked up from the book he had started reading with shock, "Me?"

Xander nodded, "Yeah, I figured you might enjoy a night of Drug-Metal and maybe a couple of pints afterwards. What do you say Angel?"

The vampire shrugged then set his book down before getting to his feet. "Sure. Let me grab my coat." He pulled a black trench off his coat rack and followed Xander out the front office, "So this Drug-Metal stuff, do you have to take drugs to listen?"

Xander laughed, "No, it's just a title; it doesn't make it true, like when you call George Clooney an actor." Xander and Angel left the office.

Cordelia and Faith watched the door the two departed through in stunned silence. Finally, Cordelia sunk into her chair and turned to the Slayer, "You don't think I scared Xander off women, do you?"

Faith just sighed, and sagged into the couch, she then mumbled; "I hope not."