Transitional Moments

Author: Nodakskip <nodakskip[at]>

Just an idea I had while talking things over with Theo.

Beta: by Theo

Ships: Some C/X, some mentioned B/A

Continuity: This is a BTVS season 4/Angel season 1 fanfic.

Summary: Another twist at the Angel pilot episode.

Chapter 1

Los Angeles, California. Late September, 1999

"What?" A confused voice sounded. "No, I'm not."

"Are too!" A woman's accusatory voice sounded back.

"I don't know what you're talking about..." The man fumbled out.

"Hey, I'm from Sunnydale!" Cordelia Chase said firmly, as she pointed her finger at her companion. "We had our own Hellmouth! I think I know a vampire when I'm - alone with his fortress-like home..." Her voice lost its strength, as the woman realized her full situation. "And you know, I think I'm just feeling a little light-headed from hunger. I'm just wacky. And kidding! Ha, ha."

Russell Winters sighed, as he looked at the terrified girl "Truth is, I'm glad you know. It means we can skip the formalities." He vamped out and charged her, longing to sink his fangs into yet another stupid girl trying to make it in Tinsel Town.

As someone had once said, "There's moments in your life that make you, that set the course of who you're gonna be. Sometimes they're little, subtle moments. Sometimes...they're not."

Cordy had two choices here; turn and run, or stand and fight.

In another world she would have run for her life, and doomed herself to die in about five years.

Not here, though.

Russell pinned her against the arm of the couch, but suddenly his hunger went away along with everything else - when he suddenly burst into ashes.

"Gaggh!" Cordelia exclaimed, as she brushed what was left of Winters off one of the few good dresses she had left. "This could only happen to me!" The young woman suddenly grimaced, as she discovered that some of the ash had fallen down her top. "Oh, God! I am so taking a year-long shower as soon as I get home!"

The former cheerleader looked over the empty room, that she was now alone in. "So, now all I have to do is get out of here, without his goon squad finding out he's not tearing my throat out..." She moved over to the desk and pulled out the middle drawer, hoping for a better weapon than her sawed-off wooden drumstick. Cordy pushed around the normal desk stuff, till she pulled out a large checkbook.

(Maybe this has the address of where the hell I am...) Cordelia was then momentary stunned, as she saw that checks were not the only thing in the book. She almost squealed, as the girl quickly counted the hundred-dollar bills present. (Thirty-four hundred dollars?! Hello rent, for the next few months!) She quickly shoved the money into her bra.

The power going out curbed her enthusiasm, however. "Okay, now it's really time to go!"


Darren Braaten, the head of Mr. Winters's security quickly ran into the main foyer. "Did the girl get away?" he asked one of his men.

"Don't know," the goon replied, as they swept the foyer. "But no way she could have cut the power-"

"Doesn't matter," Braaten concluded, as he moved to secure the front door. "She is not getting away, whatever the circumstances. I still have nightmares about what happened to the last guy who let that happen!"

A yell caused them to spin around, and look up at the second floor balcony. Braaten was promptly knocked to the ground, when one of his own men was thrown down onto him. The second guard tried to fire blindly at the figure that landed on the other side of the foyer. Out of five shots, only one found their mark before the man and screaming woman smashed through the large window, out onto the lawn.

"This is Gibney!" he yelled into his radio, as the man in question ran to the shattered window. "Someone's helping the girl escape! I got him in the back of the shoulder!"


"You know, I've had a bit of an accident..." Doyle told Angel, as he tossed Cordelia in the back seat of his Plymouth convertible. But when he saw the armed men running down the lawn, the Irishman quickly threw the car into reverse. The tires squealed, as they burned rubber out of there. And all three ducked, as the sound of gunshots echoed in the distance.

When they were far enough away and he didn't see any signs of pursuit, Doyle spoke again. "I kind of dented your car a bit, but I know a guy who can-"

Angel wasn't listening, as he turned back to the girl he hadn't thought he'd ever see again. "Where's Winters?!"

"Hey, don't growl at me like that, Mr. Broody Pants!" Cordelia huffed. "And since when did you get a car?"

"Cordelia!" Angel growled anyway. "We don't have time for this! Where is he?"

Frustrated, Cordelia grabbed his hand and wiped some dust that was still on her onto his palm. "There he is, are you happy now?!"

Angel looked at her in disbelief, not to mention utter shock. "You killed Winters!?"

Cordelia held up her wooden musical instrument-turned-weapon with a frown. "Yes, I killed him! How was I supposed to know you were there? Hey, I'm not a short blond we both know, so I didn't think you would be stalking me or whatever!"


A little while later back in Angel's underground apartment, Doyle was pulling out the bullet from Angel's shoulder. "Got it!" the messenger for the Powers called out, as he pulled out the long prongs with what was left of the bullet casing.

"Finally!" Cordelia exclaimed from her spot. "I thought I was going to faint while barfing!" Her mood quickly changed though, as she moved in with the first aid kit. She dabbed at the wound with a piece of gauze, causing Angel to flinch. "Sorry..." The vampire and half-Brachen demon then watched in mute surprise, as the girl bandaged the wound like a pro.

"You've gotten better at first aid," Angel commented noncommittally.

"Yeah, well, I've had a lot of practice the last month or so," the female teenager replied. She looked around. "Look, since you have a car now, does that mean you also have a phone?"

Angel pointed to the desk. "Two, actually."

"Good," Cordy sighed, as she went over to it. "I better touch base with someone at home..." She shook her head, annoyed. "Oh, he is so going to be mad at me!"

"Who's gonna be mad?" Doyle asked her. "'Cause hey, what man would ever be mad at you, princess?"

"Well, gee, a man who I kind of did lie to about where I was going," Cordelia grumbled, completely missing the Irishman's meaning. "And the guy I spent the evening with turns out to be a damn vampire!? Yeesh!"

Seeing the looks, Cordy quickly added, "Uh, no offense Angel!" The woman then stopped dialing, as she realized something. "Oh God, and I have to tell him that you were the one that got my ass out of there? I am so dead!"

Angel got even more confused, when she spoke into the phone. "Ah, Xander? You're not going to like this, but-"


The two men came back into the empty office space, after they had watched an unknown black girl pick Cordelia up in an old truck. As they entered, the short half-Brachen demon could restrain himself no longer.

"You've been holding out on me, man!" Doyle exclaimed, as they entered the elevator. "Ye know a lot of hot young women, do ya?"

"Don't be ridiculous. Even though I first met Cordelia back in 97, I hardly even know her," Angel replied, annoyed and aggravated after getting shot. "And I just met you last night. Besides, I thought you knew my life's story?"

"Just the high points my man," the half-human responded. "So, I take it by that look on yer face that ye don't like her boyfriend?"

"Oh, you could say that," Angel said dismissively, as the old elevator started its short journey downwards.


Cordelia Chase and Alonna Gunn walked past the three teenagers standing watch at the main entrance to the warehouse. And the mood between them could only be described as...grim.

"Just warning ya that your boy is not a happy man at the moment, Cordy," Alonna Gunn told her friend.

"I know," Cordelia sighed. "Angel isn't his favorite person in the world..."

"Want me to come up with something to get you out of there, in a few minutes?" her best friend asked.

"No," Cordelia answered her, as they entered the stairway to the converted private rooms. "It'll take a bit of effort, but I'm sure I'll be able to calm my boyfriend down..." She then stopped, as they reached Xander's room.

"Here," Cordy said off-handedly, as she suddenly took out two hundred-dollar bills. "This should help with the food around here, at least for this month."

Alonna's eyes went wide, at the sight of the money. "Where the hell did you get that?!"

"Well, let's just say I didn't think that creepy old vamp would need it anymore," Ms. Chase answered truthfully. "Besides, he did try to eat me!"

"Okay," Alonna shrugged, taking the bills. "I'll send the guys out now. Good luck..."

"Thanks, 'cause I just hate it when he gets cranky," Cordelia sighed, before she put on a neutral face and opened the door. "Now listen, Doofus Boy, don't be mad - just give me a chance to explain..." the former princess said as she went into the room, letting the door close behind her.


At noon the next day, the old truck pulled back up at the office building. This time it held Cordelia, Xander and Gunn; and while the woman wasn't unhappy about returning here, the two guys didn't appear to share her sentiments.

"The stakes aren't really necessary, Xander, ya know?" Cordelia told him snarkily, as they got out. "Buffy's back in Sunnydale, so I don't think Angel was able to get himself a happy recently-"

"Yeah, but don't forget that he's played us before. And I remember what it was like being on the receiving end of one of Angel's punches," Xander told her, as the three moved into the building.

"Well, there is that," Cordelia admitted. "But come on, that was just keeping up appearances to smoke out Faith. Besides, he didn't eat that Doyle guy last night!"

"The other dude could be a vamp too," Gunn said simply, as they reached the open doorway to the almost-empty office. An old couch and a few folding chairs were in it now.

"Hey, I am not a vampire!" a voice rang out.

Xander got in front of Cordelia, as Doyle and Angel came in from the inner office. "Hope ya don't mind if I ask you to prove it," the former Zeppo said, as he tossed a small cross to the Irishman.

Doyle easily caught it, and twirled it in his hand. "Fine. See?"

Xander squared his shoulders and took a step forward. Just out of Angel's reach though, just in case. "I'm sure you know how hard this is for me to say, Dead Boy, so I'll just say it straight out...thank you for saving Cordy last night."

Angel's eyebrows went up at that. "You're welcome. Now look, I can understand her..." he motioned to Cordelia. "...coming to live in LA, but why on earth are you here? Did Buffy send you to the big city for some reason?"

"No, she didn't," Xander replied stonily. "Fact is - I live here now, mostly."

"Mostly?" the former Angelus queried.

Harris shrugged. "What, I can't go back for a weekend visit now and then?"

"Hey, that's enough small talk," Gunn snapped, putting a halt to their conversation. He looked directly at Angel, and not in a nice way. "Look, dead man, my buddy here says you're somehow a good vampire...technically. Something about you having your soul back?"

"Yeah," Angel said, staring at the black man inscrutably. "What's it to you?"

Gunn made sure Angel could see the stake he was holding. "I'm trying to make up my mind if I want to let you operate in my territory or not."

"Your territory, pal?" Doyle asked, amused. "This isn't any gang turf that I know of-"

"We've just expanded into the area," Gunn answered tightly. "Consider this a fact-finding mission to determine if your nosferatu here, will be going around killing people."

"Ah, don't worry 'bout that. Pardon the funny, but me 'n Angel? We're definitely on the side o' the angels, if ya know what I mean," Doyle grinned nervously. He then stared at Cordelia, (Now what's a beautiful woman like yerself doin' amongst these people?)

"Mind telling us how you just happened to be out at Winters' estate, Dead Boy?" Xander suddenly demanded, not liking the look Doyle was sending to Cordy.

"I've told you before, don't call me that!" Angel growled. "And if you must know, he killed a woman I was trying to protect. I was going to hurt Winters for that...a lot."

"This woman-" Xander looked back to Cordelia, "Tina, right?" The female brunette nodded, so Xander turned back to the Dynamic Duo. "This Tina was a friend of yours?"

"No," Angel admitted. "Doyle had a vision about her, I was supposed to help the woman - but I failed. Winters got to her first."

"Vision?" Cordelia wondered, latching onto the relevant phrase. "That's new-"

"So when you say vision, you mean like a Slayer dream?" Xander interrupted by asking Doyle, the hostility fading a little.

"Why don't we just tell everyone about me?" Doyle demanded, annoyed at Angel before answering the question. "No, man, the sit-rep is the Powers send me these painful, head-splittin' messages of the people we have to save. My job is to tell Mr. Depressed here about 'em, is all."

"Powers?" Gunn wanted to know.

"The Powers That Be," Doyle sighed. "And don't ask for a better explanation, 'cause I can't give ye one. I just get the info, and the big hero here saves the day."

"It's that simple, huh?" Gunn asked, a suspicious scowl marring his handsome features. "And yet now, why am not I buying this?"

"Let's just be cool about the situation," Xander told his friend firmly. "Look, Angel and I aren't on each other's best buddy lists or anything - but he did save Cordy last night when he didn't have to, so I'm thinkin' we should give him the benefit of the doubt here." He looked over towards his old Sunnydale acquaintance. "And knowing him the way I do, I'd say Dead Boy would operate on our turf without our consent anyway, if it came to that. Makes sense not to create more enemies than we already have, if we can avoid it - right?"

Gunn looked back and forth between Cordelia and Xander for a moment. "Fine, but he steps out of line just once and I will do what I have to. You get me, vampire?"

Angel just rolled his eyes. "Now that I'm all intimidated? As I said, I know why Cordy's here in town, from our little conversation at that party - assuming it wasn't all lies. But why you, Xander? Why would you leave Buffy's side?"

"That's none of your-" Xander started to say, but was cut off by Cordelia. "Oh, you might as well tell him already! Or else he's just going to dig around till he finds out, and annoy the heck out of everyone back home..."

"You sure, Cordy?" Xander asked with concern.

"Yeah, it's just another thing that's gone wrong in my life. Not even that major, compared to the end-of-the-world things over the past three years," Ms. Chase then moved over to the couch, and took a seat.

"Basically, this guy tried to rape me," she then said simply. "I was heading back to my apartment, because Xander was going to meet me while passing through town on his big road trip-"

"Funny thing about that," Xander interrupted. "I was stranded for a day in Oxnard, when some guy I'd never met before gave me a car and told me to haul ass over here. Never got a name, all he said was 'think of me as some guy who prefers not wear his ribcage as a hat'..."

Cordy took a deep breath, before continuing. "Anyway, the rapist pulled me into an alley, and managed to rip away my skirt. I tried to fight him off, but I wasn't doing that great-"

"Look, bottom line is I heard her screaming when I pulled up next to her building. Real classy place it was too," Xander cut her off, knowing how upsetting those memories were. "Needless to say, I got the guy off of her..." He made a show of rubbing his left arm, that now had a scar under the shirtsleeve. "He had a K-bar knife, and I wasn't expecting that. It hurt a lot...but thankfully, Gunn and his people showed up right then and freaked him out. The guy just cut his losses, and ran."

Cordelia closed her eyes. That night was not one she liked to remember. "Between what that guy was trying to do to me, and Xander getting cut like that...God, I thought that had to be the worst of it! But the guy must have followed us or something..." She looked to Angel, disgusted. "I started getting these sick and twisted phone calls! All the nasty stuff he wanted to do to me, constantly filled my answering machine."

"So, no way I was continuing on with the road trip or going back to Sunnydale while all that was going on," Xander commented with a shrug.

Cordelia sent him a warm look, before she resumed telling the story. "We talked to Gunn, and him and his people helped us eventually find the guy. Turns out, I wasn't the only woman he'd attacked. And as a big bonus, the police had enough to nail his ass so that I didn't even have to testify, just fill out a statement. Like I wanted to sit around in a gross courtroom for ages, staring at his face!"

"During all that..." Xander sighed. "No friends, no family in town, I was hanging out with Gunn and his crew. Told them what I knew, helped out however I could. And I have to tell ya, Angel, it felt damn good not to be treated like a hindrance out on patrols!"

He shrugged at the look the vampire sent him. "Buffy and Willow didn't like it when I phoned them and they arrived, and that hurt - but Buffy tried ordering me not risk my life that way. We had a big fight and in the end, I decided to stay here and find a job. I have a room with the Lost Boys, and sometimes I stay over with Cordy. What the hell, it beats my parents' lousy basement any day!"

Angel took the story in, with a mental note to make sure the man that had been arrested had been sufficiently scared away from Cordelia. "So, you guys are back together now?" he looked questioningly at Cordy. "That girl that picked you up last night, called Xander your boyfriend..."

"Yeah, I finally forgave the big dweeb for that thing with Willow, after he saved me from getting raped," the 18-year-old virgin told the vampire, with a pointed look towards Xander. "Who knows? I may make a man out of him yet."

"Hey!" Xander yelled, causing Cordelia and Gunn to smirk.

Doyle tried to hide his disappointment. (Figures, all the good ones in this town are already taken!) "So, you guys'll let us do our business all peaceable, then?"

"Business, as in 'business'?" Xander wondered, as his eyes narrowed. (I know a double-entendre when I hear it!)

Angel shrugged. "I was thinking of setting up a detective agency as a front for what I do, so that I can help those that Doyle doesn't get visions for."

Xander shrugged back, contemplating the possibilities. "Not a bad idea, at that. But just my opinion, two people isn't exactly a big staff there, Angel-"

"Three people," Cordelia said firmly, causing all eyes to look at her.

"Excuse me?" Xander demanded. "Cordy, what are you-"

"Well, I have to do something to pay the rent until this town recognizes my inherent greatness as an actress!" the brunette told her boyfriend. "So I might as well work for someone that I know - that we know - rather than some sleazeball who's only after one thing..."

When Xander was about to protest further, Cordelia crossed her arms. "Or would you rather I start waitressing at that strip club? Because I can do that, if you like..."

Harris quickly relented, as he recalled the outfit of the clubs waitresses. "No, no, that's fine. Better Angel and his sidekick than that place!"

Angel was slightly surprised though, when Cordelia looked down for a moment. "I mean, um...that is, if you think you can use me?" she stammered.

The vampire gives her a reassuring nod. "I think we could use the help."

"Great!" Her face beamed happily, as she got up. Cordelia wouldn't admit it to anyone but Xander, but her acting career was nowhere close to getting off the ground. (I need money to pay for my acting lessons, and it's gotta come from somewhere...)

And as much as she liked helping at the warehouse, now Ms. Chase would have something all her own. Her own job. "Okay, then! The guys and I will go get some desks from this thrift store I know. And we're going to need a much better couch than this one..."

"Be back in a bit!" the young woman suddenly called back behind her, as she ushered the two men she'd come in with out the door.

Doyle spoke up, as the door closed behind the three youths. "You've made a good choice. She'll provide a connection to the world. She's got a very...humanizing influence."

Angel gave him a half-smile. "You think she's a hottie."

The half-demon quickly nodded. "Yeah, she's a stiffener alright, I can't lie about that. But ya know, she's got a boyfriend - and I don't go poachin' on other men's women. Not only is it too dangerous, but it just ain't classy."


The half-breed smirked, "That's not to say though if they ever split up, I won't make my play for her! But even with her friends being around...the princess sounds like she could use a hand."

"True," Angel agreed again.

"Tell me about the boyfriend," Allen Francis Doyle suddenly asked.

The vampire looked surprised. "Why?"

The seer had a look on his face. "Just humour me."

Angel started to pace. "Well, where do I start? I first met Xander, not long before I met Cordelia. We didn't exactly get along..."

"Lemme guess. It was all over a woman, right?"

Angel nodded, looking suddenly circumspect. "Someone we've both lost, in our own way..."

"Hey, now don't brood like that, man," Doyle advised his new boss. "That thing with yer brow - it's not good fer the chicks to see, if ya don't want them ta go all weak at the knees at the sight of ya!"

Angel resumed his story, with a look of annoyance. "Anyway, he was able to spend time with the woman I loved in a way that I couldn't. I...I got jealous of him, for that. Didn't find out till later, that he was even more jealous of me - because the girl he wanted had picked me, over him."

"Ouch," the half-demon sighed. "So who was this girl, then? That pretty blonde vampire Slayer?"

Angel just looked at him. "Don't go there right now, Doyle. Maybe one day, but not today."

Doyle nodded, knowing when to back off. "Fine. Then what happened?"

The Champion released an unnecessary sigh. "A few months later, I found out our girl was gonna die in an inevitable prophecy. We all took it hard - and none of us thought we could do anything to stop it. Except him...Xander refused to give up, he forced me to take him to her at stake point - and somehow he got around that prophecy, he brought Buffy back to life and she later saved the world. Because of what Xander did."

Doyle nodded. "Sound like our boy is a real hero type-"

"A White Knight," Angel interrupted softly.

Allen Francis asked, "What?"

The vampire sighed yet again. "That's what my soulless self called him, when he prevented Angelus from murdering the Slayer when she was sick and helpless in a public hospital."

Doyle nodded again. "Definitely one of the good guys, then. So, why does he still dislike ya so much - if he moved on to the hottie of a princess, then?"

Angel looked away. "Angelus killed too many people that he knew. And he tried to destroy the world back in 1998, which you probably already know..."

The Irishman shrugged. "Aye, that I do. Still, I'd rather have that guy on our side than against us...what do ya think, we could eventually convince him ta join our new business as well?"

Angel shook his head at once. "Xander and I can work together, if need be; especially during the annual apocalypse season, we always seemed to have back in Sunnydale. But there is no way in hell he would ever take orders from me, as a paid employee. Never."

The half-demon had a thoughtful look on his face. "Leave that part to me. Because ya know, there's a lot of people in this city that need helping," Doyle told him.

"So I noticed," Angel responded.

"You game, then?" the shorter man asked.

"Yeah," Angel concluded, as he looked around the office, and outside at the bright sunshine. "I'm game."

And thus began a brighter future for the City of Angels.

The End