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You know, if Doyle were to show up again, I'd hug him until he couldn't breathe.

Then I'd smack him one.

I understand why he did what he did, both in saving the Lister demons and in laying one on me. I didn't understand at first, and I certainly didn't want it at first, but I do now. Someone needed to be there to help Angel by guiding him in the right direction, and at the time, that was me. Pretty much by default. I've come to accept that. Hell, I became half-demon to with all the pretty, glowy moments to go along with it to keep the visions.

But that still doesn't mean I don't want to smack him. Mainly for leaving us behind. I really missed him. Still do. I loved Gunn and Lorne, don't get me wrong, but neither of them were Doyle. He was one of a kind.

In a way, after Doyle was gone, it really was just me and Angel. Which was why it hurt so much when he tried to shut us out while Darla played her head games with him. Thank God he came to his senses. Things could have been so much worse. Believe me, I know.

We managed to muddle our way through the next few years, fighting against Wolfram and Hart and their band of ambulance chasers. Do demons even use ambulances? Probably not, but Lilah and Lindsey certainly are those types. Anything to get ahead.

Then we caught wind of what was going on in Sunnydale, from Lilah Morgan of all people, so we headed up to help out. Wasn't good when the First showed up as Doyle, trying to convince me he was there to take back the visions. But we managed to win the battle, and now I'm with everyone else in England.

England. At one time, I would have killed to have an acting job here on West End. Now, I'm here, seer for a Council dedicated to stopping evil. Suddenly, it's not me and Angel anymore.

Funny how things change. I wish Doyle were here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Where are we going?" Cordy asked as Kieran led her out of the room and through the house. "Everyone's still back there with the dogs."

"I wanted to do this in private," he told her, taking her into the conservatory. They walked over to the window seat, where Kieran had her sit down while he stood in front of her. "Um...Cordelia, it's been a long time since I've done anything like this. Hell, I never even thought I'd consider anything like this again."

Cordelia looked up at him, wishing that her ability to get visions gave her the ability to understand what people meant sometimes. "Kieran?"

"Let me get this out. The thing is...I'm a vampire--."

"Really?" she broke in. "Cause I didn't really get that with the whole teeth and drinking blood thing."

Even though she was just teasing, he shot her a rather pained look, so she clapped her mouth shut and indicated he should continue. "Anyway...I know that me being a vampire...that's really not...well...oh bullocks, this isn't coming out right at all."

"Kieran...don't try to make it sound right. Just say it," she told him.

"All right. Cordelia," he said, kneeling down in front of her and taking her hand. "I love you. I never thought I'd be capable of loving anyone again, but being a family with my son and knowing you has changed all that. So..." He pulled out a box and held it up to her. "If you don't mind the idea of having a vampire for a husband...will you marry me?"

Cordelia gasped as he opened the box to reveal a beautiful engagement ring, a diamond with several smaller emeralds surrounding it. She looked from the ring up to his face, their eyes locking for several moments. "Really? You really want me to marry you?" She had never imagined this moment would ever happen in her life. Not after what had happened in her past relationships, especially in her one with Angel. When Kieran nodded, she threw himself into his arms.

"Yes!"

"Really?" She nodded and held her hand out for him to slip the ring on her finger.

"I know one person who's going to be very happy about this," she told him.

"Connor," they said together and laughed.

"Let's go tell him first," she said.

"Indeed. But first..."

Pulling her up, Kieran wrapped his arms around Cordelia and kissed her deeply.
 
 
 
 
 
 
After finally getting Connor down to sleep in his bed, Cordelia walked through the connecting door in her own bedroom. As she crossed to pick up her pjs from the chair she had tossed them on that morning, she looked out the window and noticed Kieran walking back up the pathway from the launch. He didn't come into the house, though, instead veering off into the gardens. Cordelia stood there for a moment, then dropped the pjs back onto the chair, grabbed her cardigan from the bed and hurried down to the garden.

"Kieran?" she called out. There was no answer, but she could hear a slight movement -- one of the talents that came with her demon side was that she could hear vampire movement now. "Kieran, I know you're here."

"Over here," his voice responded, sounding somewhat sad...thoughtful.

Cordelia made her way over in the direction the voice came from and found Kieran sitting on the ground in one of the clearings of the labyrinth. His legs were crossed underneath him, and Cordelia suddenly had the feeling that she had interrupted a meditation or something.

"Hey...I saw you coming back up from the launch. You disappeared from the pizza place," she said as she sank down next to him. "Everything okay?"

"Just...just thinking about things. About the way fate seems to work. How life...or unlife...goes in directions you never intended." He looked up at the sky. "Thirty-five years ago, I thought my life was over, and so I chose a different path. I never imagined then that I'd be here like this."

"Tell me about it. Just seven years ago, I never thought I'd be a half-demon raising the son of two vampires as my own son." She shook her head. "I always wonder what's going to happen next. Am I going to go all glowy on Connor when he misbehaves and make him levitate or something?"

Kieran couldn't help but chuckle at the image that brought to mind. "You're a wonderful mother, Cordelia. A wonderful mother...a wonderful..."

They looked at each other, and Cordelia leaned in, unable to stop herself. Their lips brushed together lightly before the kiss deepened. Kieran's hand came up to tangle in her hair, which was now back to its original brown color and shoulder-length again. Cordelia almost lost herself in the kiss before realizing what she was doing. She couldn't...she couldn't let this happen. Not again. Not after what happened with Angel. She couldn't lose her heart to another vampire. She couldn't.

Breaking the kiss, she sat back, her head shaking. "I'm sorry...I'm sorry, Kieran. I can't...not now...I can't..."

Kieran moved his hand to cup her cheek, looking into her eyes. "It's all right, Cordy. That was really all I wanted. A kiss to remember you by."

She didn't understand what he meant. "I've...I've gotta go." Getting up, she hurried out of the labyrinth, not stopping until she was back in the house, leaning up against the wall, her hand over her heart. If she couldn't do this again, then why did it seem to hurt even worse than doing it?

"Hey, girl, you okay?"

Cordy opened her eyes to a welcome site standing before her. "Gunn!" She practically threw herself into his arms, giving him a hug. "Oh God, it's good to see you. Where have you been?"

"We've been down on the other side of the state. Found a reapers nest there and took it out."

It was then that Cordy noticed the bandage on his arm. "Gunn...!"

"I'm all right. Nyssa's gotten to be a hell of a first aider."

"Where is she anyway?" Cordy asked as they headed upstairs to Gunn's room so he could drop his pack off.

"Checking in with some of her contacts in town. She should be back in a bit."

Cordy nodded. She still couldn't get over the fact that they were housemates with the former princess of the Vampire Nation. "Did I mention that's it's good to see you?"

"Yeah...but it's nice to hear again."
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sitting over in the window was Cordelia, holding Connor in her arms as she looked out into the dim garden. She was singing somewhat off-key under her breath as tears ran down her face until she was startled by the sound of Kieran walking in. With a gasp, she looked over.

"I'm...I'm sorry," he apologized. "I didn't realize that anyone would be in here. I'll go."

"No...it's...it's all right. I was just...Connor woke up fussy, and he likes it down here, so..."

Kieran nodded as he crossed the room and sat down across from her in the window seat. "I can see why he would. There's something quite soothing about this room."

Cordy nodded as she swiped at her eyes.

"May I ask...what's wrong? Was it what happened earlier?"

Cordelia stared at Kieran for a moment. Though she had been around the vampire for a few months now, she still couldn't get over that someone such as him could actually be as he was without a soul or a curse or even a damn chip. He actually seemed to care.

But how long would it last? She thought Angel cared. Hell...she thought Angel had loved her.

How wrong she had been. After all they had been through together, he had still been hung up on Buffy.

They all turned back. She knew that now. Only Wesley and Fred, she knew she could trust, because they were different. They didn't have that demon inside them, making them betray people after getting them to trust in them...to love them...

"I'd...I'd rather not talk about it," she finally said, her voice quiet and somewhat hoarse with buttoned-up emotion.

Kieran nodded, knowing somehow that he shouldn't pry. "Of course. Do you mind if I just sit here for a while with you then?"

She seemed to consider it for a moment, then nodded.

And so they did.