0. Divine Intervention
by Drake Pendragon
Chapter 0 of the Man Out of Time
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything (meaning AtS) that is Joss Whedon’s is Joss Whedon’s. Everything (meaning Iron Man) that is Marvel’s is Marvel’s. I just tinker like a mad scientist.
Posting: I have only posted this story to Twisting the Hellmouth, nowhere else.
Angel closed the door to his office and checked one last time to see if anyone was eavesdropping. He finally turned back to the rest of us, me in particular. The old gang (plus Spike) had gathered after I called Angel with some very interesting news. He sat back down at his desk in his big comfy chair but looked anything but relaxed. It was pretty early in the morning, but with some coffee we were all ready to go. As if the news itself wasn’t important enough.
“You’re sure of this? You’re sure that you didn’t just dream it up?” Angel asked. I nodded and pushed up the sleeve on my blouse. There was simple charcoal drawing of an angel on my inner arm. The exact same symbol we used at Angel Investigations on our business cards. I had one twirling around in my left hand as we talked.
“I didn’t draw this myself. I’m right handed anyway, there’s no way I could draw this myself,” I said. Everyone took their turn examining my arm. Wesley tried wiping it away with his handkerchief but it wouldn’t smudge or smear, despite being charcoal.
Charles was the first to speak but it took him a while to find the words. “So… let me get this straight… you’re telling me that Cordelia -our Cordy- came to you in your sleep and told you to go dig up some frozen guy in the artic?” he asked.
“Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m telling you,” I replied, covering my arm again. Angel looked very broody at the moment, but I guess I couldn’t blame him. We were talking about a visitation from his would-have-been girlfriend and current higher power. I’d be pretty morose if she didn’t visit me if I were in his shoes.
“And, you’re saying that she drew that on your arm as proof?” he asked. I sighed and leaned back in my chair. His skepticism was getting annoying. I flicked the business card at him. It missed and fluttered down to the ground near the electrical outlet behind him.
“Well, she was the one who originally designed it,” Angel pointed out.
“I’m not buying it. I’m not saying you’re a liar, Fred. I’m just saying that this feels weird. If it were Cordy, wouldn’t she give all of us some kind of sign that it’s her?” Gunn asked.
I opened my mouth for an annoyed retorted but the outlet nearest Gunn gave a sizzle crack before a single arc of electricity snapped him on the rear. He jumped out of his seat clutching his backside and whimpering. Everyone stared in amazement at the outlet.
“Proof enough, Charles?” I asked dryly.
“No! That just means I got bad luck or Gwen is back in town,” he argued.
The door opened and a very annoyed glowing Cordy walked in. “God, you guys can be so dense sometimes. It was me. I shocked your ass, I drew that on Fred’s arm and I came to her in a dream. I can appear to MY champions sometimes,” she said testily and really possessively as if there were other higher powers bidding for us.
“Wouldn’t have been easier to just do this?” Wesley asked, gesturing to her entrance.
“Sure, if the dream was meant for anyone here besides the crazy taco-girl. Speaking of that, why are you here?” Cordy asked me.
“I figured Angel might want in,” I replied sheepishly.
“Didn’t want to be stuck up there with just Bobbi?” she teased. Bobbi could be a bit of a personality, but she was good company at least. I don’t think I’d be able to stand working with Tony for four months under that close of conditions.
“No, I just remember that Angel said he knew him from back then. Sentimentality is all,” I said.
Spike finally sat up straight on the couch as the wheels started turning in his head. “How long has this bloke been in there?” he asked.
“Nearly sixty years,” I replied.
He gasped and leaned back against the couch in disbelief. He let out a low whistle of amazement. “No, you couldn’t have found him. He went down in the bloody Artic Ocean for crying out loud,” he said.
“Uh, higher power here?” Cordy said airily.
“He’d be dead, though, wouldn’t he?” Angel asked.
“Who are we talking about?” Lorne asked but no one answered him.
“He’s alive, just… a Capsicle right now,” Cordy said.
“Angel, you in? I know you were a part of his team back then,” I asked.
“Steve Rogers and his Howling Commandos. Haven’t thought of them in a couple decades,” Angel said wistfully.
“Oi! I was there, too! If the poof’s in than so am I!” Spike said.
“But you fought against him,” I pointed out.
“Yeah, so? I’m one the champions now. Us heroes got to stick together,” he replied. I rolled my eyes.
“I’m still wrapping my brain around that,” Cordy replied.
“I’m in,” Angel said.
“Good,” Cordy and I said in unison.
“When are we leaving?” he asked.
“Tomorrow morning. Fury’s done filling my requisition order. He wants this done real bad and it just might get me back into his good graces after the whole Port of Los Angeles thing,” I said.
“That was a month ago,” Wesley pointed out.
“He holds grudges,” I replied nonchalantly.
“So, what, the four of us are just going to go up there, dig him up and bring him back?” Spike asked.
“We’ll be reviving him up there. Bring enough blood for about four months,” I said.
“Who are we talking about?” Lorne demanded. I looked at him with an excited smile on my face.
“Steve Rogers,” I replied.
“Who?” Charles asked. Angel, Spike, Cordy, and I all replied at once.
End of Chapter 0