Now You See
Rating: R - strong language, and some violence
Spoilers: Set Any time season 1
Summary: Angel and Cordelia have a poltergiest - or do they?
Disclaimer: Joss owns Angel, not me. I definitely know that much.....
Thanks to Kaffieneaddict@hotmail.com for beta – ing
"We need to
get an exorcism spell!" Yelled Angel, desperately trying to avoid the
light from the window as the blinds pulled themselves up for the umpteenth
equally desperately trying to read a book of spells, whilst trying to stop
the lipstick on the table disappearing and re-appearing.
couple stood in the middle of the room.
busy today", said Angel, burning his hand on a patch of sunlight from
a displaced slat.
Dennis! I've told you that, like a zillion times, Angel!" snapped
Cordelia. "This is too big for Dennis, and he never comes out our
apartment! He's happy there!" She looked around. "It's your
damned office, Angel! Have you thought of that? Maybe it's some pissed off
spook from 200 years ago, when you were all 'GRRRRRR!!!!' with the fangs!
As if to
accentuate the point, all the drawers in Angels' desk came flying out.
all you! Shit only happens to me when I get in the way!" Cordelia went
back to the book, that was promptly wrenched from her arms.
Angel jumped and
spun around. "Cordy! It just touched my ass again!"
There was the
sound of a disembodied giggle, and the door slammed shut.
that's it for now?" Angel said nervously.
It had all started
two weeks ago. At first it had been footsteps, things moving around in the
office, when no one was there. Then It had moved downstairs, rearranging
Angel's pathologically tidy apartment. It had, as Cordelia had noted,
mainly concentrated on the vampire, but until today, with the blinds stunt,
been annoying, rather than malicious.
At first, they
had both thought that it was Dennis, even though Dennis seemed to be
confined to Cordelia's apartment, and had never come out of it. Most of the
stunts of this ghost were far beyond anything Dennis had ever done, and
Dennis had never focused on Angel - It couldn't keep Its hands off him.
Given all of the
terrible things that he'd done, as Angelus, it was perfectly feasible that
It was someone from his past.
But that lead to
other problems - who? What for? Both had the same answer - he had done so
much to so many.
But why wait so
long? Maybe it was from his last outing as Angelus, before Buffy had sent
him to Hell, and Willow had re - cursed him.
It did seem to
be a woman, though. Cordelia had thought as much. She had been the first to
hear the voice, not even a voice really, just a laugh. But it was
definitely a woman's laugh.
Then there was
out of her skin as the door banged. The keyboard was wrenched form her
It shrieked at her, from the screen.
She screamed as
she felt something behind her, and lashed out with the heavy book. It
connected squarely with Angel's stomach, winding him. He slumped against the
Cordelia! I'll take you with me next time I battle something big and
nasty!" He gasped.
someone who doesn't breathe gasp?" Asked a voice that had a Scots
accent and no body.
"I knew it
was a woman!" Cordelia whooped in triumph.
This was lost on
Angel as the elevator went down and the sound of his furniture being pulled
around scraped all through the building. It was singing a rather charming
version of 'On Top of Old Smokey'. This was followed by another bawdy song.
What a big axe you have!"
just let It change the bedsheets." Prayed Angel, grimly.
poof's hairgel!" Shouted the ghost.
The lift was
heard coming up, oblivious to the fact that its passenger was an inch think
layer of gel on the floor, topped off with a frothy layer of mousse.
Do vampires really use toothpaste?"
a spell we could use", said Cordelia, finding a use for the book apart
from assaulting her boss. "But it's disgusting."
Another NC17 drinking
song floated up the stairs, committing mental assault on them.
"What do we
need?" Asked Angel.
It had taken 3
days to get the ingredients - garlic, sheeps eyes. Angel had nearly thrown
up. Assuming he still had a gag reflex. So had Cordelia. It contained lots
more digusting animal parts, mixed with mud, blood and something else that
neither of them wanted to to think about. It had been placed in all four
corners of the office and the apartment. It put off several clients
"Paying ones, at that!" Cordelia had snapped.
It was so bad
that Angel had to move in with Cordelia and her terminal untidyness for a
few days. He'd almost spontaneously dusted when she'd put a glass down on a
polished surface, without anything under it.
It actually had
worked for a few days, until a can of air freshener had appeared, and the
office had reeked of summer meadows.
Then It had gone
off at full tilt, resulting in today's fun and games.
you hear about this woman?" Hissed Cordelia as Angel led her down
steps. The walls were adorned with pentagrams and goats heads.
A chicken ran
out of one of the rooms, clucking furiously. it seemed to take an instant
dislike to Cordelia, and began attacking her shoes.
A tall, regal
black woman came out of the same room as the chicken. She recognised Angel,
greeting him warmly in French. She looked across to where Cordelia was
trying to escape the clutches of the marauding chicken.
hung for murder in his last life. Killed his wife. I won him in a craps game
from some four - eyed demon. I forget his name." Countess Marie turned
back to Angel. "How can I help you?"
"We have a
poltergiest in the office," he said. "We've tried everything to
get rid of it. But nothing."
start with the pranks?" Asked Countess Marie.
"Now it's trying to kill me. At least that's what it seems like. It's
pulled the blinds up in the office during the day, and yesterday it went
for me with an axe."
tried to contact it?" Asked Countess Marie.
messages on the computer. And it sings. Badly." He replied. "It's
got quite a line in drinking songs, especially for a woman. It's Scots, if
concentrates on you?"
"That's why we think that it must be one of my victims."
just has good taste!" Chuckled Countess Marie.
like the Ghost has the hots for Angel?" Cordelia seemed to have shaken
off her feather attacker.
things have happened. Look at your own life."
agreed Cordelia. "You got your soul back, twice, and you're a vampire
in love with a Slayer."
said a Scots voice from out of nowhere. "It's the height, and the
body, that lovely soft voice....By the way, Cordy, here's the chicken
At which point,
the chicken materialised out of thin air, and flew straight at Cordelia.
back at the office!" Called the Ghost, bursting into a particularly
gaudy song about calling to men of the sea.
Cordelia from the chicken. "Help!"
Countess Marie went
into the room and came out with a bag.
quiet at the office, but the presence could still felt. Countess Marie
called up Gede, the Lord of the Dead, to help her, and entered Angel's
The sound of
incantations in French, and some other language could be heard, as could
the bleating of goats, and the clucking of chickens, at which Cordelia
looked around nervously.
There were bangs
and crashes. There were whoops and yells.
There was also a
shriek of "For the last fucking time, I'm not a bloody ghost! So quit
the Mambo bollocks!"
A few minutes
later, Countess Marie came out, dishevelled. "That's no ghost, Angel.
I can't help her." Clutching her bag, she left.
who the hell can help?" Stormed Angel."It'll stake me in my bed
at this rate!"
not a ghost, then what is she?" Wondered Cordelia. "A demon?
not a chicken!" Came the voice, making them jump. "Cross my
heart, Angel, if I wanted to stake you, I could."
ripped itself open, buttons flying off. There was a sizzling sound as a
cross branded itself on to Angel's bare chest. His true face appeared as he
roared with pain and fury.
back against the wall, jumping as the cross clattered to the floor before
her, out of thin air.
fangs away, Angelus. I'm done for now. See you tomorrow." The front
door banged and a drinking song could be heard.
through every book they could find, every database, called in every favour.
He tried to think of every demon with a grudge against him. He cracked
heads, passed bribes, contacted spirits, charmed ladies, charmed men.
It always came
back negative. There were plenty of grudges against him, but nothing
Angel had hit a
decided to give the Presence a name - Max. "Y'know, because she's
Scots. And Mac is just way too obvious."
Angel's branding, Max had been around, but quiet. She had only made
occasional clucking noisesin Cordelia's direction. Cordelia had begun to
talk to her - Cordelia always referred to Max as she, never It.
Angel began to
use the name as well. Max, for her part, never complained, so Max she
A few days
later, Countess Marie called to suggest that all the spirit wanted was some
attention. So that was exactly what they did.
Angel began to
speak to Max, whenever he felt her around. He felt Max's presence more
literally than Cordelia. Especally on his ass.
She began to
write things to them. Nothing major, merely things like "I take black
tea" or "Can't stand coffee."
Angel bought her
a cup with "Max" on it. It seemed to get used.
She still let
fly with the odd song, and felt up Angel on a regular basis. The drunks at
the back of the building complained about the singing ghost, and a child in
the building insisted that Angel had a Mrs Doubtfire ghost.
don't understand," said Angel."Is Max is a demon, why can't I
clean." Cordelia shrugged her shoulders."At least she's stopped
wrecking the office. I can just about take the kareoke now. She's no worse
Just then the
phone rang. Angel picked it up. "Angel Investigations. We help the
"I'm not a
demon." Max's voice was pleasant, with a Scots accent. She sounded
genuine. "I really don't get any of this at all."
Cordelia crashed to the floor, moaning. Or she should have, remaining
suspended in mid - air. As she came round, a pencil and paper materialised
in front of her.
Gross, two -
horned demons, a child, and 14 Below.
The black - clad
vampire burst into the club, into the thick of the chanting demons. Kicks
and punches flew in the whirlwind that was Angel.
The childs' bond
loosened as if by magic, though no - one could be seen. The child was
spirited away in the melee.
Angel on the back of his head, hard. Stunned the vampire fell to the
ground. A long, silver swaord glinted in the light as it was drawn. Several
of the remaining demons were converging on Angel's prone form.
A plank of wood
sent one demon flying into his friend. A bottle dealt with another. Then
the sword picked itself up, and beheaded all three.
Angel got up,
heard Max shout "Angel!" He pirouetted, knives shooting out from
his wrists, killing the two demons rushing him from behind.
He heard a
scream, and turned to see a demon clutching a broken bottle. It was feeling
the air, a few inches off the ground. Where a body would lie, he realised
with a chill.
There was blood
streaming from one end of the space, spreading out on to the ground.
The demon fell
over lifeless, as Angel broke its' neck. The child, a boy of about five,
came running over. "The lady! She's bleeding! The monster hit her on
the head with the bottle!"
Angel asked the child, who pointed to the pool of blood. Angel quickly
pulled off his top, and pressed it to where the child had indicated. He
could feel a head, part of a face, and long hair, sticky and matted with
blood. He could hear Max moaning, and feel hands gripping his wrists.
boy?" Asked Max. She sounded very faint.
fine.I've got to get you home."
blood on your top," said the child.
matter." Angel replied.
the lady's top. It's all red now." The child spoke matter - of -
see her?" Angel asked in disbelief. The child nodded.
for some reason. I think they can see stuff until they believe the adults
who tell them it's not there, so they can't see it. So they stop
seeing." Max sounded stronger. "Junkies, drunks and psychos can
see me, too. Help me up."
Max as she stood. He could feel a warm body, athletic. He could smell her
now, blood and sweat. He could see the warm blood running out over his
hands, caressing the skin, as a lover might....
going to get this kid home, or are you going feed off me, in public?"
Angel took the
child home. After reminding him that if it was real to him, then it was
real, Angel whispered to him. The child shook his head, then replied
something with a shy smile on his face.
feel like it needs stitched". Angel was dealing with Max's head wound,
noticing how the gauze and zinc tape disappeared when he placed it on her
Cordelia came in
with a cup of tea for Max, that she gratefully accepted, then.......
shock." Explained Cordelia
yours," Replied Cordelia. "We're all shocked out with you. Right,
now Dr Frankenstien's done, start explaing!"
what?" Asked Max.
and my ass," said Angel.
Angel picked up
the discarded top. "This is human blood, so I'm guessing that you're
that when you first felt my blood trail over your skin." Max made it
sound like an intimacy between lovers. The first sensations of the blood,
and its owner where still fresh to his senses.
it, and brought them back to the present. "When did you first not see
about six months now. I don't know anyone here, so I never saw anyone, so
no one saw me. Didn't expect it to be literal."
"It must be
a real pain in the ass when you can't get served at the store."
credit cards. These days no one has to meet any one." Max said sadly.
"So what is
your name?" asked Angel.
have told us this before." Angel gave her a stern look.
But if you don't expect to see someone, you don't. Same for hearing
the chickens. Normal people only hear you when they're pissed off."
excuse, then?" Max playfully pinched Angel's ass. He put on a mock -
now?" He asked her. "Being invisible could have it's advantages.
I couldn't have saved that kid without you. There, a place here if you need
it, either as a friend, or actually earning the right to pinch my
ass." He wedged his ass against the desk. "We've got used to
both know how it feels to be alone". Cordelia agreed.
I'll bear that in mind," Max said. "And don't worry about me
earning my keep!"
Angel gasped as
his balls were cupped.
me like that," said Cordelia. "You don't pay me enough as it
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