Archive for July 3, 2015

Bewitched.   Leave a comment

Title: Bewitched
Author: Frazi
Posted Here: 22 Nov 06
Email
Rating: PG-13
Category: Humor
Content: C/A
Summary: Someone’s been decorating Cordelia Chase. But who?!
Spoilers: Third season, post WITW. I’m sorry if i’ve thrown people out of the arc or sound inaccurate about a detail here and there, its been a while since i’ve seen that episode. Don’t hate me.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: By all means just tell me where? GTC/A, Stranger Things, AO is a given.
Notes: I’m trying to get back to my writing and its harder than i would have thought. CA is forever and will remain my absolute favorite fanfiction genre and I still write it, so I thought I’d post it here no matter if its not up to my usual standard. I just needed this done before i left it as one of my many unfinished stories so don’t hate me if its not my usual snark and bite. I so miss those days. Sigh. Anyway. Have fun.
Feedback:always appreciated


Christmas. Bah humbug.

Damned commercialized holidays. All of them. I don’t understand why humans put so much effort and importance in the birth of things when everything has to die.

With my arm propped against the doorway, I watched my family bustle around the hotel lobby arranging and putting up decorations for the coming Christmas. And I, like the Scrooge that I’ve been compared to, stood away from the festivities.

Their insipid need to stick mistletoe in every compromising corner is a damned nuisance. Reminds me of all the things I’m not getting.

Like the stolen kisses from Fred as Gunn moves around maneuvering her under a mistletoe sprig every now and then. And I’m not a complete insensitive prick that I would feel jealous of all the festivities surrounding us.

But yeah. I do feel like a damned idiot standing in the shadows while everyone prepares for the party. As if I needed more humans crowding my hotel.

“Would you hold still?!”

With a wince I watched the raven-haired slayer try to maneuver over her watcher who just couldn’t seem to keep the ladder steady while she stood there trying to hang holly. Might have something to do with the black miniskirt Wesley was trying to avoid.

I could imagine the view and the obvious discontentment he must be feeling trying to keep his eyes away. I had to chuckle under my breath as the ladder wobbled again.

Poor little man.

“Angel? Would like me to warm some blood for you because I was going to make a round of hot chocolate for everyone. My mother used to say hot chocolate is half the holidays, do you think it could be just the sugar rush, but my mother was more of a coffee sort, so I guess her opinion really doesn’t matter on the subject huh?”

“Fred?” I smiled at the ranting woman gazing up at me with the Christmas glittering in her eyes. As much as I wanted to share the woman’s joy, I didn’t want to be included.

Selfishly enough, I wanted to be left alone with my son. What little joy I could feel in this holiday, I didn’t really know what to say to my son about the holiday. I couldn’t explain the spiritual significance and I had no idea what to tell him about Christmas.

But she could, and she wasn’t here. “I’d love some.”

The woman’s answering smile was bright and happy. She loved to do things for them. For her, having a family after her time away was therapeutic. But lately I had been imagining wide hazel eyes and smiles that were brighter than most.

But she wasn’t here.

I winced as the demon rooted deep in my being went into endless mocking. The big bad vampire. Scourge of Europe pinning away after a crazy half wit human who wanted a big hulking ape like Groosalug!

“Angel?”

I noticed Wesley watching me cautiously. It was only when I followed his gaze that I realized my hands were nearly ripping into the timber lining the doorway.

With a clearing of my throat, I stepped away and shoved my hands into my pockets. “Wes.”

“Will you speak to her?”

Letting out a lungful of stale breath I frowned. “Leave me be Wes.”

“I will not have you skulking about the hotel when there’s fun to be had.”

I scowled. “Give it a rest Wes. There’s nothing to be done.”

“She’s being obstinate.”

“Yeah well, there I agree with you.” Crossing my arms, I proceeded to glare across the festive lobby with disdain.

“Will you at least pretend to be smiling, for the sake of your son and Fred? It is their first Christmas.”

“No.”

The watcher sighed and shook his head. “Your gloom and doom will only convince Cordelia that she was right to leave you to your brooding.”

“I’m sorry if I’m not in the mood to play martyr in this episode.”

“You are rather smashing at it.”

I pointed a finger at the smirking man. “Last nerve, watcher.”

He chuckled. “Come on Angel. We’ve been on your nerves a lot longer than this. Why is Christmas such a problem suddenly? Or is it not just the Christmas?”

“It’s my son.”

He blinked. “The chap is only six months Angel what could he have done.”

I scratched the bridge of my nose and looked into the open door of the kitchen where Fred was humming, my frown deepening as I remembered the off-key humming I would wake up to once in while before my seer became a princess.

Before the ape found her. Her damned soul mate.

But then I guess this was my fault. I was the one who’d gone ahead and been screaming to the world that Buffy had been my soul mate and I was torn in two when I had to leave her behind. I guess the powers that do all shit were having a field day.

“He didn’t do anything Wesley. I don’t know what to tell him.”

“About what?”

“Christmas.”

The watcher flinched and shook his head. “I don’t understand you Angel. You won’t speak to her or tell her how you feel, but you expect her to understand. We both know Cordelia is rather thick-skinned when it comes to emotions.”

“She wasn’t damned thick skinned at the ballet.” Then I nearly bit my tongue. The ballet was an off-topic. Something I didn’t much like discussing.

Not after having Cordelia’s taste invade my senses every breathing moment and then having to come home and find the Groosalug back so they could fucking comshuck and be happy. And I felt like an asinine fool for going out and getting the damned potion so they could.

I should have been the one with the fat ‘L’ pasted on my forehead, not Xander.

“But let it be Wes. She’s happy this way.”

“And what about you Angel? Are you happy this way?”

“I’ll manage.” I glared at him. “If I stop brooding will you get off my back?”

“I shall endeavor to.” Wes grinned and took the tray from Fred as she brought it precariously out of the kitchen. “Angel? Go hold the ladder before Faith falls.”

“Wuss,” muttering under my breath, I walked into the glittering lobby and grabbed the ladder just in time as the slayer slung the holly over the chandelier. But I lost my grip and the ladder tipped sideways. And no. I did not look up her skirt.

“WESLEY!”

I did catch Faith, even though my eyes were glued to the front door that had just slapped open, the setting sun lighting a fire into every strand of honey blond hair. They don’t call me master for nothing.

“Okay who’s the wise guy!”

And I would have taken the time to admire the bare shoulder peeking from the festive red sweater or the jolly green skirt that left little room for imagination, but it wasn’t Cordelia’s attire that had suddenly sent the entire lobby into a state of stunned silence.

It was the dismembered sprig of mistletoe floating a few inches from her crown that caught everyone’s attention. Oh this was just going too far.

Now she was walking around with a damned mistletoe. “Cordy?”

“NO! Santa! Of course Cordy. But I guess you can’t really tell considering I have a friggin plant stuck on my head.”

“Technically Princess its not…”

The seer stuck up a hand before the Groosalug could correct her. “I know Groo. Shut up for a second.”

Taking a deep breath, those hazel eyes swept across the lobby, searching and for a moment Angel imagined it was him, but they roved past him and kept looking.

“Where’s Connor? I need my Connor fix before I kill something and with my new demon like powers everyone knows I can.” Then her eyes snapped back to me like a hawk and narrowed.

“Angel? Have you adopted Faith?”

“Ah…no?”

Her arms crossed; an eyebrow arching as she leveled the full power of her hazel eyes at me. Shrinking slightly under it, I noticed her tapping one foot. “Why then are you cradling her like a baby?” I only hesitated a moment but her eyes narrowed into slit.

“Put her down!”

And no. I did not drop Faith. She slipped.

With a groan, the fallen woman glared up at me. “Whipped son of a…”

But Wesley had wisely stepped forward and helped the caustic slayer to her feet while Cordelia stalked into the hotel, marching straight up the stares while we stood there staring at each other.

Groo cleared his throat and gave me a smile. I blame the damned holiday season.

He jumped when I growled back at him. “Friend Angel?”

Gunn slapped The Groosalug on his back. “Easy dawg. Angel just hasn’t had his O+ fix. Would you like some hot chocolate? Fred made some.”

But my mind was no longer on the ape. I watched her descend the stairs cooing to my son, her arms wrapped my child as she nuzzled his soft head, her eyes bright and her smile wide. And it wasn’t long before I was smiling back like the idiot I was where this woman was concerned.

Staking was too damned good for me. Still smiling at the baby, Cordelia stood in front of me. “Someone find me a witch doctor and get this jolly holly off me before I break something.”

Now that I took in the effect, I realized it was rather adorable. It just floated there, bobbing up and down above her head, the berries twinkling as if immensely pleased.

For a moment, I envied their proximity to my seer. “I don’t know. I think it looks kind of…”

“Don’t.” A finger stuck into my face, the red painted nail nearly touching my nose. “If you say cute, the first word Connor says will be ‘dork’.”

Stake me now. For a crazy moment, I indulged in the concept that Cordelia would be teaching my child his first words, his first steps. That she’d be around to see him grow. That she’d be with me.

Not living in a damned urban house married to the ape, and comshucking like rabbits. I scowled at the ape again. Maybe I shouldn’t have bothered with getting my damned soul anchored.

Angelus would have handled the ape differently.

“It’s stuck!” she muttered, still bouncing the happy child in her arms.

“Of course it’s stuck; it wouldn’t have been above your head in the first place if it wasn’t.” Faith explained sagely as she reclined on the couch.

Cordelia sighed and looked up at me as if I had all the answers. If only, honey. “Why is there mistletoe on my head?”

“I don’t know.” It was hard, but I was managing to keep my glare from showing, but my face contorted at an odd angle. “Maybe it’s a Christmas thing. Decorating people, or something.”

“Really?” Cordy snorted. “So why aren’t you decorated?”

“I’m Angel?”

“You’re a dork! I want this off okay! I wake up in the morning and find this stuck to my head and Groo there suggested it might be a prank and kissing would make it go away.”

Asshole. “He would.”

“But I’ve been kissing. And kissing so hasn’t help and just so we’re on the same page, Cordelia Chase does not need help in acquiring kissage. Do you KNOW the amount of people looking at me hopefully and then with pity! Do I LOOK like I need pity-smoochies?”

I let my eyes run over her for a moment. “Not like that.”

Her face lit up with a smile that shamed the sun. “Exactly. So whoever did this; it’s not funny.” She glared across the lobby.

Everyone was silent before Wesley cleared his throat. “Um…we’ve been busy decorating.”

“What?”

“The Lobby! Cordelia we would never…”

“Maybe there’s a certain someone you need to kiss to make it go away.” All eyes riveted to the specked woman who smiled weakly. “Or not.”

Stepping forward, in the pretense to soothe my own child, I placed on hand on the small of her back, the other smoothing over my son’s head that seemed perfectly at ease against this woman.

Of course, it could have something to do with the tiny hand wrapped around one plump breast. I glared down at him, nearly eaten with envy. Lucky rascal. “Don’t worry, Cordelia. Wes will find a way.”

“Before the party goers arrive.”

“Certainly. Let me look it up.” Wesley cleared his throat and darted for his little makeshift library.

Cordelia put Conner against her shoulder, rubbing his back unconsciously as she rocked him. “I’ve kissed everything from here back to my apartment. God! Like first vision day flashback, you remember Angel?”

She snickered and I couldn’t help smile back at the memory even though I was all kinds of unsettled at the prospect of Cordelia lips kissing everything on the way here. My eyes strayed to the grinning Groosalug and I had merry visions of twisting his head of and shoving it up his…

“OHMIGOD!”

My head snapped around to meet her eyes. “What?” I couldn’t help notice the slight tinge of guilt I felt there as I looked at her beautiful face turned towards me. Like she’d heard me, but it was honest fear I saw there that made me panic.

Oh no. She had heard me. But then I noticed several people standing at her front door and realized the party goers had started arriving and as luck would have it, the first was the Scooby gang. Oh joy.

Xander’s eyebrows shot up. “Nice mistletoe Chase.”

Some twenty minutes later most of Sunnydale had arrived, and thanks to Cordelia’s current fiasco, we’d skipped the nervous glances and awkward greetings and now were gathered around the lobby around the whining woman while Fred went about serving eggnog.

“So you have to be kissed,” Spike repeated for like the hundredth time before muttering under his breath, “lucky bitch.”

“That’s what the book says.” Willow told them grimly. “Wesley and I found out it’s a bonding charm. Really easy to do as far as charms go ya know, but it’s pretty difficult to counter. So I guess you’ll just have to go through with whatever the castor had in mind.”

“The book says she has to be kissed?”

To say I was feeling darkly about this, would be a damned understatement and Buffy’s constant repeating of my damned childe was grating on my patience. I sat there with Connor happily curled in my arm, sleeping soundly.

I sat there sprawled in the seat, eyes fixed on the ape sitting next to my Seer rubbing her back while murmuring sweet nothings in her ear. Oh how I missed my demon.

If it had been a few days ago I would have been offering over Xander and Groo and everything male that seemed to want to right Cordelia’s dilemma. In fact, I would have dismembered anyone who would have tried.

As it were now, I wanted to be as far away from this fiasco as I could manage. “I’m going to put down Connor.” Dragging my eyes away, I quietly made my way up the stairs.

Cordelia groaned and leaned her head back against the back of the couch. “My life is over.”

Groo gently rubbed her shoulder. “Don’t be like that Princess. You’ve kissed everyone, and it hasn’t worked. There must be another way.”

Suddenly the seer sat up, a silent light bulb going off in her head. “Not everyone.”

Fred grinned widely. “ANGEL! Krumption! I knew it!”

I was almost on the last step, having put Connor down when I noticed the shift in the room. Everyone was standing around uneasily and Cordelia was looking right at me. With a frown, I stepped off the last landing and regarded her cautiously. “What?”

“YOU did it!”

Balking, I stared open mouthed at the fiery brunette glaring at me. “ME!”

“Yes you! You halfwit moron. YOU did it!”

“Why the hell would I do something like this?!” I couldn’t believe the gall of the woman.

Not only had she been parading herself around me with her boyfriend on her heels, she had the audacity to accuse me in public about hexing her and with the damned mistletoe!

I knew there was no justice in this world. I would have rather been blamed for faking the possession at the ballet rather than hexing my seer so she’d go around kissing half of LA.

“I don’t know! I have no idea how your puny little mind works Dorkula but I’ve already kissed everything I could think of and you’re left!”

Taking a calming breath more out of habit than necessity, I held up my hands as she stalked over to me her finger poking into my chest. “Look Cordelia, you’re obviously upset and I can understand.”

“UNDERSTAND! There’s is a dismembered Christmasy article floating over my head!”

I could feel the borrowed blood start to simmer under my skin, my brown eyes spark with irritation as I crossed my arms, “Maybe you did it. Although I don’t understand why you’d want to bond with mistletoe. I thought you were popular.”

Oh hell. Maybe that was the wrong thing to say because for a moment I felt myself turn to dust as her glare darkened. “I DID NOT DO THIS! You think I NEED this to have men kiss me!”

“I kissed you,” Groo piped up helpfully.

“Shut up!” She snapped back before snarling at me and can I just say she’s damned good at it. “Cordelia Chase does not need to bond with anything to get kissage okay? Now get rid of it!”

I held her shoulders, resisting the urge to shake her and spoke calmly. “Cordelia. I did not do this.”

“Prove it!”

I blinked. “What?”

“Prove it! Kiss me!”

And I would have, if the audience wasn’t staring at me like I was a damned lecher and if I didn’t know that she’d probably already comshucked with the ape and used up my nice potion. I was such a benevolent fool.

I really should have walked into the damned sun for being so righteous. Hell I missed my demon.

An eternity of absolution was welcome over kissing Cordelia Chase at that moment when I’d promised myself I wouldn’t go anywhere near her. Already I couldn’t get any sleep; I was a walking corpse most of the time. Everything seemed to taste and smell of her and my son constantly reminded me of the one human who I wanted to share my unlife with. My humanizing factor. My seer.

Stepping away from her, I held up my hands as if putting deliberate distance between us. “Cordelia why would I…”

“I don’t know! Kiss me already!”

“NO!”

“WHY NOT!”

“Because I don’t want to!”

“Aha!” Cordy shouted haughtily, as if she’d just discovered electricity. “I knew you did it!”

“I didn’t.”

“You did.”

“Cordy, no I didn’t.”

“Angel, yes you did.”

“No, I didn’t.”

Gunn cut in with a sigh. “Man, just kiss her, prove you didn’t do it, and we can go back to the party and eat.”

My head shot around to look at Gun, glaring at him as if he had just ordered me to fornicate with Groo. “Gunn,” I hissed pleadingly.

“Look Angel.” Wesley interrupted quietly. “It’s rather unfair for Cordelia to have to walk around for the holidays with a bloody mistletoe stuck to her head.”

“But I didn’t bloody put it there!” I resisted the urge to stomp my foot and run out like a bereaved child. What the hell was this suddenly? A conspiracy!?

“Prove it then!” Cordelia stuck her hands on her hips and raised her eyebrows challengingly.

“Oh for fuck’s sake! Fine!” I set my jaw. I might as well have been walking to meet my death.

I stepped in front of her, and for a moment, I stared right into her eyes. Moving in just a fraction of an inch, I lowered my voice to a whisper, so only she could hear me. “I knew it wouldn’t last anyway.”

Her pretty hazel eyes blinked with bewilderment. “Wha-” But I didn’t let her continue when I grabbed her wrist and dragged her against me, my mouth covering her lips. For about the first two seconds, we were both frozen, our lips touching. Like back in the dressing room at the ballet. And I could hear her heart catch in her chest.

Fucking hell. She tasted like nothing I’d had before and I’d had plenty.

I knew more than I knew death that if I kissed her for a second longer I would never stop again. But when I made a move to pull back, she had grabbed me round the neck, and her mouth pressed hard against mine, merging, melding with a hunger I didn’t know she could have for me.

Her lips were incredibly soft, and the kiss was both gentle and furious. Like she hated how well we kissed. And for that moment I didn’t give a damn that the Hyperion Lobby was filled with people who would probably have collective cows when this was over. But for the moment I didn’t care who saw as my hand slid up her back, and she pulled herself closer in response.

Hades, I loved this woman. How could I want to keep her away from me? Mind already shot to hell, my tongue slid over her bottom lip, commanding entry, and she obliged, emitting a soft moan as I explored her mouth with a possessiveness that I’d promised never to relive.

And I knew the revisiting taste of Cordelia would keep me reeling for years. I conceded that for this kiss, if I had to stay at a distance, I would take this kiss as a last offering. The vague remembrance, that she needed to breathe, flirted across my enamored mind, but it was banished when she cradled the back of my neck and ran her fingers through my hair.

And then it was over.

Cordelia had stepped away, peeling herself out of my arms, breathing raggedly. Her wide caramel eyes watching me with growing fear.

Yeah baby. This is why I would have never done it.

“The mistletoe! It’s gone!” Fred cried suddenly, if not awkwardly.

And then all eyes were on me.

I winced. Fuck.

But Cordelia wasn’t even thinking about the mistletoe. She was staring at me, the fear giving way to fury and then without another word, she turned and stormed into the kitchen.

Dammit! I allowed her exactly ten seconds before I took off after her.

Buffy cleared her throat. “So who’s spiking the punch?”

The bleach blond vampire snickered. “Don’t look at me.”

“Dammit Cordelia, I swear I didn’t bewitch that mistletoe.” I caught her arm but she was almost heading for the back door when I spun her around. “You think I wanted to…”

But I was cut off because she had just slapped me and I stood there like a guppy, my mouth hanging open. “Wha…”

“How dare you!” She screeched, her fists clenched by her sides almost like she’d hit me again.

“I didn’t do it Cordelia, I swear.”

“I’m not talking about the mistletoe!” She shoved me and I stumbled back for a moment more in surprise than the force of her attack.

And my response was as original and charismatic as always. “Oh.”

“Yeah oh! What the hell was that!”

Rubbing the back of my neck I cleared my throat. “I just…”

“You just what Angel! Decided to give Cordy one last thrill!? Decided I needed one last kiss before you go back to being the cold bastard that you pretend to be!”

“Cold!?”

“And after you practically pushed me towards Groo. Going out and buying that potion! You wanted me gone! Why!”

“I would have thought that was obvious,” I muttered, my eyes cast low on my feet.

“Well, it’s not.”

“Evidently.”

“This is so not the time to be cheeky Angel.”

Running a hand through my hair, I decided I owed her at least that much. “I couldn’t do it anymore.”

“Do what exactly?”

“Put myself through this damned torture.”

“God Angel,” she rubbed her temples wearily, “can you please stop your evasive martyr dance and tell me already?”

“I love you.”

“Sorry?” For a moment I thought she’d fall off her feet, but she seemed to grab a nearby counter and hung on.

I shrugged my hands already evasively in my pockets. “I love you. And shit Cordy, I’ve tried not to, really, I have. Ever since the ballet, I’d go through the day, ignoring the fact that you’re cooing over that ape of a boyfriend.

Concentrating on my work, I’d be doing fine, and then I’d be sitting at your desk remembering that thing you do when you sneeze and you wrinkle your nose right afterwards and it would all fall apart. I know it would be hopeless, that I’d get over it. The taste of you. The way you felt in my arms.”

I shook my head with a bitter laugh.

“Dammit Cordy if you knew, the many times I just want to wrap you in my arms and keep you close. When the damned need is like necessity. And back there, I didn’t want to kiss you.”

She listened. Very quietly she stayed there while I finished my lamenting rant.

“Then why did you?”

I couldn’t stop the small, dry laugh. “You can only say ‘kiss me’ so many times before you get your wish. You don’t need mistletoe to get your kissage remember?” She hadn’t looked at me yet and I winced.

“This is where you tell me you hate me and call me a dork.”

“I never hated you,” she whispered, shaking her head sadly. “But you are a dork.”

“Oh.”

“I hate you now.”

With a flinch, I nodded. “Right.”

“Do you want to know why I hate you, Angel?”

“Not particularly, no.”

Her hazel eyes lifted, defiant and accusing. “Because you’re an arrogant butthole who thinks you decide what I want. I decide. Okay?” Her finger poked right in the middle of my pectorals and I winced.

How does she always find that spot?

“Cordelia Chase does not need anyone ruining her life. I’m perfectly capable of ruining it for myself; I don’t need you to add to my stupidity. So don’t stand there telling me you HAD to kiss me buster because I know you wanted to. I am a hottie and you wanted me the moment you saw me in that bikini and don’t you dare deny it.”

My mouth twitched and it only seemed to make her glare harder.

“Don’t smirk at me! You think I LIKED being pushed away! So I was confused! And I had every right to be, not like you said anything to me and what with the stupid mistletoe trick.”

“I didn’t…”

“Oh shut up already and kiss me!” Her hands curled into my black sweater and yanked me against her, her hands greedily reaching for my neck and I smiled against her mouth before she took away all mirth and reason and replaced it with honey dukes and caramel desire.

My mouth came down hard on her. Hungry and insistent. Filled with longing and love and desire. The same fire that had burnt in my belly for days. Hands and lips kissing and touching every inch of skin we could reach before I lifted her onto the hard polished surface of the counter and climbed up after her.

“Angel? Cordy? The tree’s up!”

Dragging my mouth away, I looked down into her eyes, my body humming with that odd purr she could call out of these dead bones while she grinned up at me as if I’d given her the world. “The tree is up.”

She chuckled, her fingers still playing in my hair. “So I hear.”

“What about…”

Her finger pressed against my mouth gently. “I’ll break it to him. Gently. But I have a feeling he knows.”

“Oh.”

“Considering you’ve been growling at him all the time.”

I had the decency to smile sheepishly. “Oh.” See what I mean? original and charismatic. She has that effect on me.

“Come on Angel. I want to celebrate Christmas with my family.”

She pushed and after several tries and stolen kisses I finally let her up, my arm wrapping around her shoulders possessively as I kissed her temple.

Somehow, I didn’t think my son would have problems understanding the importance of Christmas now and I had a feeling – neither would I.

That night Cordelia Chase was tucking in a yawning Connor while the vampire turned down the sheets of the bed. Giving the baby a conspiring wink she whispered softly. “Bewitching that mistletoe was so the best idea I’ve ever had.”

Angel looked up and blinked. “What was that?”

“Nothing.” Grinning at the smiling baby she shook her head.

“I’m just talking to your son.”

~*~

Frazi

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete

Air Conditioners.   Leave a comment

Title: Air Conditioners
Author: Frazi
Posted:
Rating: PG-13
Email
Category: Humour, UST
Content: A/C,
Summary: Cordy asks for odd favors. This one is the oddest of them all.
Spoilers: Up till they move into the Hyperion.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: By all means just tell me where? GT, Stranger Things and Angel Oasis is a given.
Notes:
Thanks/Dedication:
Feedback: Like breathing air.


Oh for the last time.

I shifted on the little beach chair against and put my arm up over my head in hopes of increasing surface area. Enough to feel the soft breeze that I so desperately needed.

Okay. Whatevah.

I admit it. I bet I looked plenty stupid lying on the roof of an semi-empty hotel in my albiet sexy and please note: Armani bikini (I snuck them in when we went wardrobe shopping for Angel. They were black. He didn’t even notice) in the middle of the night soaking up the night chill.

Or lack there off, but I had been desperate.

In the confines of my apartment and the lack of an air conditioner, I had abandoned Dennis and slunk into the Hyperion to sit on the roof, in the hopes of feeling something, besides this heat wave, that was hugging LA like a disease!

It was *so* not working.

I’d been lying here twenty minutes and the trip of carrying the beach chair up here had made me even clammier. The night air wasn’t as chilly as I had hoped, even up high as the Hyperion roof and suddenly I felt frustrated.

Frustrated and pissed off.

Why couldn’t God turn on the big fan in the sky and let us poor people rest for a change? This heat wave had been on for about four days. I couldn’t take it any longer.

Wesley had proceeded to hog the only portable fan in the office during office hours. Fred had resorted to sitting at the window with a glass of icy lemonade. Gunn had confiscated the little Chinese fan that Angel had hidden in one of his drawers.

(Yes. You can laugh. He does look stupid.) That left me: hot, humid and sticky.

And Angel of course.

A wave of jealousy went through me.

The lucky shmuck!

Through it all. The heat. The humidity. The ikhy stickiness. Our resident good guy vampire managed to walk around as happy as a lark without any regard for us mortals suffering in the wrath of the sun.

I admit today, here and now, that being a vampire has its perks. The healing is good enough on its own but this would have been bliss; to not feel the intense stagnant air that weighed down on all of us for the past four days.

I growled low in my throat, shifting again to aleviate the dampness under my leg where it met the chair.

I wonder how he was sleeping. All snug as a bell, no thanks to his cold and lifeless body.

I suddenly sat up straight. “Cold and lifeless and oh my GOD why did I NOT think of this!?”

Suddenly, giddy about my plan, I jumped off the chair and proceeded to run back to the door that lead back into the stuffy hotel.

I nearly bounded down each step without any regard for noise (just for reference, I swear I tip toed past Connor’s room as always) and raced straight to his room.

“Angel?” The lump lay lifeless on the bed. God, his room was hot. I blew a soft breath down over my chest to calm my breathing and feel the coolness that it instantly provided.

I walked to his bed. “Angel?”

The lump shifted. I glared. How could he sleep at a time like this.

Ignorantly insensitive much?

Reaching out with my foot I poked his side.

The lump lurched and suddenly it sat up with a snarl.

“AHHH!!!” Cordelia jumped back nearly knocking into a table and the lump blinked.

“Cordelia?”

“Oh for, who else you sweat deprived vampire!?!?” I couldn’t stop the panting of my heart.

Why the hell did he have to scare me like that? “Paranoid much you dead lump!? You scared me half to death!”

“I…um….sorry. You startled me.” He scratched his head and leaned over to flick the bedside lamp on.

Then he nearly jumped. “Jesus! Cordelia!”

I blinked and frowned as he stared at me. “What?”

“What are you doing!?” His eyes were wide and…..scared?

“I WAS trying to wake you up broody, but you sleep like a log. What’s your damage anyway? Can’t you just relax? I just needed your help with something.”

“You needed….my…..what?”

“Help.” He wasn’t even paying attention. I frowned. “Hello, Angel. I’m up here?” I waved my hand and suddenly his eyes snapped up back to my eyes rather than my chest and I smirked.

“There ya go. Now hold that pose.” I grabbed the sheet that had been covering him, wrinkling my nose in disgust at the extra layer and peeled it away and off the bed. Angel sat still on the bed while I proceeded to throw the sheet away and crawl up beside him.

I looked up and blinked. “Angel. You look catatonic. That is *so* not in fashion.”

“What are you doing?”

Dumb vampire.

“Angel….in case you haven’t noticed, its about as hot as a burning furnace around here. I couldn’t even breathe in my apartment so I came here to try and shack up on the roof, but even that didn’t work. So while I was laying there cursing the heat wave and envying your lack or sweat pores, it hit me!”

He blinked in confusion as my face suddenly lit up.

“What hit you?”

I rolled my eyes. “Oh for…an idea you dumbwit!”

His mouth slightly quirked in his half smile. “Oh no.”

I grinned wider. “Yes! You!”

He blinked again. “Me?”

“Yes you!. You’re roughly…what…sixty-five degrees at most….all year round?”

He stared. “What?”

“Your body temperature.”

He cleared his throat. “About.”

“Great! You could be like my mini air conditioner!”

“WHAT!?”

I frowned. “Can’t you get past the ‘what’? Your vocabulary book give out on you already? I’m so hot I wish I could crawl out of my skin. Your coolness will cool my hotness. Instant heat wave treatment!”

I grinned. “Now. Take of your clothes.”

“WHAT!?”

I sighed.

“No…I mean. What do you mean take off my clothes!?”

I glared. “You don’t have to yell. You’ll wake the baby. I need your skin against my skin. Hot. Cold. You know. At least I can sleep. That way I can wake up and be smilie! You want me smilie don’t you?”

He looked cowed.

“Yeah.”

“Good. Now be a good boy and strip or I’ll do it for you. I’m hot enough to not care if you want it.”

I saw the vampire gulp visibly then grabbed the hem of his t-shirt and pulled out of it before going for the drawstrings of his pajamas.

Yes. I am not at all excited about the prospect of his body against mine. Just that its cold. That’s all. Nothing more. Nope. Nada. Nope.

Oh. My. God.

Oh hell! I thought it couldn’t get hotter in here and suddenly I’m slapped with the answer.

Fire. In his eyes.

Before I did something really stupid like jump him without further thought, I crawled closer and stretched out beside him. His arms wrapped around me and I forgot to breathe.

Unable to stop the moan of approval I shivered as his cool body wrapped around mine snatching the scathing heat of the room around me.

Then the most amazing thing happened.

I fell asleep.


Wesley looked up as I walked into the office. “Morning Cordelia.”

“Morning Wes.” I looked up and met Angel’s eyes across his desk and gave him a secret smile that was reflected in his eyes. “Morning Boss.”

Wesley blinked at the chirpy grin on my face and frowned. “What’s got you so chipper this morning? We all hardly slept because of the heat.”

Angel continued to drink his coffee nonchalantly.

“Oh. Angel let me use his….” the vampire looked up his eyes wide, the cup stopping a few inches from his lips and I couldn’t help hide a smirk, “air conditioner.”

I looked at Angel with a level gaze. “I’ll just file those reports like you asked Boss. Call me if you need me.”

Wesley blinked at Angel. “Oh really? Do you think I might try it for a spot?”

Angel spat out his coffee on the book that was laid out in front of him, then coughed. “Um…it’s not…working anymore. I…uh…gotta get it fixed.”

Wesley sighed. “Too bad.” He shrugged and walked back to his desk. “Oh well.”

I ducked my head back into the office and grinned at him.

“Hey Boss man?” Angel looked up. “Do you think you can get that air conditioner fixed before tonight?”

His eyes regarded me with amused challenge. “I think I can manage that.”

With a chuckle I ducked back out and walked to my desk and flopped happily in my chair.

Gunn came into the hotel wiping his brow and sighed. “Man. This heat wave had better let up or I’m thinking of relocating.”

I put my chin in my hand and grinned.

“What heat wave?”

THE END – ????? -Frazi? You promised me a sequel…”The Following night…” *snikker*

Frazi

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete

Of Demony Things & Crappy Lifetimes Epi   2 comments

EPILOGUE

“Are you sure about this Cordelia?”

“Your slayer made it easy.” The cheerleader smiled at the Librarian. “It was a long time coming anyway. I was supposed to be on this bus like two months ago.”

Rupert Giles sighed. “I still cannot believe Buffy said that to you.”

“She was doing her slayer thing. It’s fine Giles. She made a point. I get her. I don’t like her.” She shrugged. “But I get her.”

“Are you absolutely certain you –”

Rolling her eyes, Cordy shouldered her backpack filled with what little she owned. “Yeah Librarian man. I’m sure I’m not staying.”

Giles grinned. “I meant about Angelus.”

Her grin melted into a glare and she poked a finger at him. “Don’t even. Not after you played stupid cupid with me. You know I don’t like anyone pushing me and you pushed.”

Holding up his hands, the older man laughed. “Guilty as charged. Although, I don’t think you’d frown upon the results.”

“Pfft, that’s just as well for you.”

“Cordelia?”

The girl looked up at the tender tenor of his voice.

Giles smiled gently, lifting one hand to gently touch her jaw. “Be safe.”

Her mouth widened into a dazzling smile that put the moonlight to shame and she threw her arms around him, nearly sending him toppling down under her as she squeezed him tightly. “Thanks Giles. For everything. I’d be a bag lady without you.”

There was the sound of a horn behind her. Insistent and demanding.

Looking over her shoulder, Cordelia watched the black ship of a car stop beside the curb. Her lips quirked when an irate vampire got out of the driver’s seat and glared at them. “Get your damn hands off my woman Tweedboy.”

Dropping a kiss on Giles’ cheek she pivoted and ran right into Angelus’ waiting arms, the bag tossed into the back, her arms wrapping around his neck, legs looping around his torso as he caught her against him effortlessly. “Where’d you mooch the wheels?”

Angelus smirked wickedly, his hands squeezing the ample flesh of her ass as he held her up. “They’re ours baby. Enough to fit the both of us in the backseat.”

His lips nibbled at the pulse in her neck, inhaling her scent, wondering why the hell he left her side even for a second. A possessive growl building in his belly.

“Company car. It’s a Plymouth, Chase. Appreciate the sentiment. I made an investment in Angelus Investigations.”

Giles held back a smile as Cordelia jumped out of her lover’s arms and put her hands on her hips.

“Angelus Investigations?! Whatever happened to equal partnership?”

“I said this car is half yours, didn’t I?”

“I can drive it then?”

“Yours is the half with the passenger seat.”

“WHAT!?”

Giles hoped LA was ready for them.

THE END

Frazi

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete

Of Demony Things & Crappy Lifetimes. 16a   1 comment

***

It was like the ground was sucked out from under her. Balancing precariously on the edge, Cordelia tried to distance herself from the vampire that surrounded her until he threatened to slide down her throat and wrap around her heart.

“How do you know I’m dying?”

An eyebrow arched cockily. “Because without you I’m dying and if I go I sure as hell am not leaving you behind.” He slid his thumb along her cheekbone, reveling in the feel of her coppery skin. “Come with me Chase.”

“When was the last time you asked me a question?”

The demon was suddenly thrown for a loop. He’d had enough experience with women, but it was safe to say that this Chase woman was a damned enigma.

From the moment she’d dragged him out of he gutter to the day she’d taken the bullet for him, Angelus had not been able to understand her. “Is this a trick question?”

Jerking away from him, she crossed her arms and regarded him with cool inquiry. “Go ahead. Ask me one.”

“Are you PMSing?”

Hazel eyes turned a scathing caramel. “Ask me IF I want to go with you Angelus.”

A smile threatened to tug at the corner of his mouth. “What’s the damned point? You’ll only lie to me.”

“See!” Throwing up her hand, the young woman started to pace. “Ever since this whole mess started I’ve not been given a single choice. Not one. I’m a fairly independent woman. I live my life my way and I’m my own queen. Don’t interrupt.”

She held up a firm hand when he opened his mouth and Angelus held his tongue more in amusement than in agreement. “From the moment I made the sad mistake of saving your fangless ass, I’ve been scratched, dragged, beaten and shot at! I’m a cheerleader for god’s sake not a slayer!”
“Seer.”

“Seer then!” She hissed, careful to keep her voice lowered, but let her temper run rampant. “First you parade yourself hopefully under my nose, screaming innuendoes and don’t think I’m a complete idiot. I know a ploy when I see one. This is what you wanted. You LEFT me in that kitchen so you could come up here today and seduce me.”

“I haven’t seduced you yet Hazel.”

“Really?” Her mind wrapped around that concept for a moment and her mind was assaulted with possibilities before she pressed her hands against her temples.

“ARGH! Stop! Just stop and listen to me for a moment…what are you…”

He held her hands in his, stroking her knuckles gently. “As much as I’d like to take credit for this Brighteyes, I’m afraid you’re the seducer in this picture.”

He mouth opened before snapping shut with a frown, her hands forgotten in his, skin tingling pleasantly under his thumbs. “How do you figure that?”

Eyebrows knitting together he seemed to concentrate on tracing patterns on her skin. “Problem is Chase, I’ve been asking you all the questions. You’ve just never given me a damned answer.”

When he lifted his eyes they were tinged with ochre and her heart pitched into her stomach at the sudden stillness in the night. “Frankly, I don’t think you have it in you to give me any answers.”

Hazel eyes averted and her hands trembled in his, colder than his undead ones. “Angelus… we’re…”

“One.”

She looked up sharply at his bitter laugh. Almost like he couldn’t believe it himself. “Yeah baby I feel bad for you. I think so does everyone else that you’re stuck with a bastard like me.” Then his gaze hardened hands tightening on hers.

“You’re not a bastard Angelus, you’re a cold blooded killer. Pun and all.”

“What is it that scares you more Cordelia? That I killed? Or that I killed for you?”

Dumbfounded with his aim, the young woman stood gaping up into the intelligent face of her adversary. “I don’t care what your reasons were!” She squawked indignantly.

“I don’t want to be responsible for the death of innocents.”

“Was he innocent?”

“You’re not the one to decide vampire.”

His mouth twitched. “Actually, you’re the one that decides.” When her pretty hazel eyes widened he chuckled and slid one finger across her jaw down to her chin sinuously.

“The damned chip in my head is not my leash Hazel.”

“Oh my god!”

“You are!”

“OH MY GOD!”

“It was about intent.” Stepping away from her, he ran a weary hand through his hair. “For the first time in my twisted unlife I didn’t kill because I was hungry. It was because I was saving an innocent. The only innocent that mattered. I’d figured it would be easy. I kill a few things, which is something I do anyway, and the PTB eventually let go.

What’s a few centuries to a demon? But then they threw you into the damned equation and I’ve been beating my head against a wall since then. For you Chase – I’d do anything. But I’ll be damned to hell again before I let you lie to me. So tonight you’ll get your wish. I’m asking the questions. And if you lie to me, I’m going to toss you over my knee and beat the truth out of you.”

Her pretty hazel eyes were wide as she tried to shove herself away. “Are you threatening me?”

“I’m taking your advice.” Cordelia stifled a gasp as she was spun around and pinned back against the railing of the balcony. “Why did you drag me out of the gutter?”

“You were wearing designer leather,” she shot back venomously, struggling under the bulk of his muscle holding her immobile against the railing. How she always ended up here with an agitated, enamored vampire bearing down on her, she wondered.

“Why can’t I ever seem to scare you enough?”

And the answers were already there in his eyes. Just like they’d always been, but no honest words would make it past her throat while his large frame leaned against hers, the coolness of his body burning every inch of her.

“Damn you Angelus, get off me!”

“Why did you talk to me Chase? Why did you stay with me?”

“I didn’t have a choice.”

“Didn’t you?” His eyes narrowed and she realized that he wasn’t playing anymore. The anger and clarity was potent in his low gravel tone. Hard and taunting.

“Why did you ask Giles to unchain the demon? Why did you fucking bother to bring me blood every damned morning? Why didn’t you let me bleed?”

“I tried!” She struggled to break free, eyes spitting with anger. She hated how he always seemed to corner her.

Wrenching answers out of her when all she wanted was to be left alone. “Don’t you think I tried!”

“No more lies Cordelia Chase!” His fingers tightened and for the first time she saw the man, her struggles ceasing.

“This fine little web is spun by you. You pulled the fucking strings. You did the seducing. These wide hazel eyes. Your sunshine tainted smile. I had their pity, but the only thing I got from you was understanding. YOU understood the demon! Wake up and smell the brimstone woman! You saved me.”

An enticing curl fell over her forehead as he shook her, hating himself for wanting to hear the truth from her mouth. “Why did you take my bullet Hazel?”

With his breath whispering against her mouth, Cordelia squeezed her eyes shut, willing him to leave her alone, but dreading the distance she’d already put between them. “What do you want to hear?”

“What you’re afraid to tell me.”

“You’re a demon.”

“I was a demon when you fished the bullet out of my chest. I was demon five minutes ago when you kissed me back like you could never stop. I was still the damned demon when you looked into my eyes lied to me that you feel nothing!”

She flinched at the memory. “Seems like ages ago.”

“Stop the damn dance Chase, my right hand’s itching.”

The flash of anger was instantaneous. “Don’t you dare!”

“Then be honest for a second! For fuck’s sake you owe me that much at least!”

She let out an exasperated sigh and tipped her head back, gaze sliding over the stars smiling down at her condescendingly. Yeah, laugh it up, she glared at them before dragging her eyes back to his. “I saved your life in the alley because I had nothing to lose that night. I saved your life because the alternative didn’t occur to me. I saved your stupid life because seeing the Scourge of Europe wallowing in the mud was so achingly familiar to what I was feeling that I just thought if could put you back on your feet…”

she trailed off, remembered the last drink she ordered at the bar before leaving. Her last martini. “I didn’t know it was visiony things then.”

“It wasn’t the visiony thing then and sure as hell isn’t the visiony thing now.” At the bewildered confusion in her pretty eyes, the demon shook his head, his mouth twisted into a lamenting snarl.

“You think this shit happens in a flash? Like two poles of a damned magnet? You cultivated this. I only wanted you Chase. You needed me.” The grumble was filled with regret.

“I don’t need you.”

A muscle tightened in his jaw. “You know I’d thought I would revel in hearing the words from your mouth. Willingly telling me everything your eyes scream the moment they meet mine, but I can see right now that your mouth won’t obey anything but your pride. So let’s strip you first.”

“What!?” Her eyes widened and he allowed exactly one breath before it was stolen from her.

Cordelia Chase had to physically bite down the need to scream her head off. Dangling over the trellis, her ankle still in the demon’s grasp she struggled and swayed like a pendulum with its tongue in between its teeth. “Angelusss!” She hissed. “Pull me up!”

“Say the words Chase.”

“You shit-faced ignoramus, when I get my hands on you!”

He shook her slightly and the woman gasped, her very nice silk gown nearly sliding all the way off until she caught it with both hands, her pretty hazel eyes wide. His mouth widened into a sickeningly sweet grin. “You do realize I can see everything anyway.”

“Pull me up!”

“Listen Chase, you have a few minutes before the blood starts pooling in your brain and you pass out, after which I will throw you over my shoulder and carry you off for a night of unadulterated passion and although I know I can have you begging in two shakes, let it not be said that any woman goes unwillingly into my den. I am Angelus. Just realized that you don’t respond to coaxing. So.”

He gave her another shake and the woman yelped nearly losing her hold on her skimpy clothing. “What’ll it be?”

“I HATE YOAAHHH!” Her hiss turned into a startled yelp when she dropped a few inches, her heart pounding into her throat. Oh dear god he was crazy! Batty and completely out of it! What the hell had she gotten herself into?

A life time of this foreplay and she’d be a basket case in six months. She whined before looking up into his face. He was taking heinous pleasure at her predicament. “FINE!”

“Fine what?”

Squeezing her eyes shut, the helpless tears building behind her eyelids she realized there was very little point in keeping something from him that he already knew. Dammit, hadn’t she been through enough?

Did she really need to be subjected to this humiliation of admitting her feeling for a dead thing that loved to look up her skirt at every given moment by possibly pitching her over balconies? For fun.

And she’d thought Drusilla had been psychotic. “Pull me up, I’ll tell you.”

“Tell me now.”

“Dammit Fang! Do you really want me to say this while I’m about to pass out and in a position to break my neck if you lose your grip!”

“I’m bordering on lunacy. No one said vampires were logical creatures. I could drop you and meet you in hell.”

“Oh god! I LOVE YOU! Okay! Now please…”

“God complex thing aside baby, I do have a name…”

She stared up at his self-satisfied smirk and wished he would just let her fall. Death was better than this.

“Angelus?” She tried to hold his gaze as best as she could with the blood pounding in her ears. She was very close to actually making good on his threat.

“I love you. I love you enough to want to die for you, you arrogant, self-serving, half-wit –”

And she was in his arms, her nose buried into his chest; she wrapped her arms around him, clinging to him almost like he’d dropped her. But then she wasn’t really sure he hadn’t.

Still muttering curses and shaking and delirious with the rush of blood to her head, Cordelia let the tears slide. His satisfied laughter melted into soft soothing whispers, his hands sliding over hair and back, holding her through it.

“Easy baby, let it go. I’ve got you. It’s okay to cry.”

She struggled, tried to push him away, but he held her. “No. No I’ll never be able to stop then!”

“Then I’ll just have to stay with you forever Chase.” And then he felt her body racking with soft muted sobs and felt his shoulder getting wet from her tears. But Angelus could care less.

Giles had been right. It couldn’t be harder to stay together than it was to stay apart.

She’d thought she had no tears. She thought she’d cried them all. And she thought she won’t feel because she wouldn’t allow herself to feel something so deep. She’d been scared of feeling love for anyone again.

And if anyone had seen closely as she’d walked down the roads, void of any real human contact, they would see the emptiness in her eyes. The dark space where love should have been. The gaping whole in her soul.

But she never would have pegged Angelus to fill that gap for her. But he was here.

And for the first time since the day she’d found her parents gone – Cordelia Chase let go.

For a moment he really feared she wouldn’t stop. But then his shirt wasn’t getting wetter and the woman had stopped shaking. Her arms were still wrapped around him like a vice and Angelus realized couldn’t believe something so unnatural could ever feel so damn good.

He’d seen his soul’s relationship with the slayer and he’d seen vampires and humans falling in and out of love. Why did it feel like this sharp-tongued child could give him the world?

“You realize that you’ve ruined perfectly good Armani silk.”

She smiled against his shoulder. “If I wasn’t broke, I’d buy you ten more.”

“You’re not broke with me around Hazel.”

He smile widened into a grin. “You do know how to woo a woman’s heart.”

“Sexiest vampire alive. Well. Almost alive.”

Tipping her head back she looked up into his black eyes, the odd calmness to the vampire laced with the prospect of the coming future. It made her shiver with anticipation and a hint of fear.

“What now?”

“I hear LA is really nice this time of the year,” he purred, softening her for the possible smooching she knew he was plotting.

“You’re welcome to come with.” Her eyes dropped to his mouth and it stretched into a full-blown Angelus-patented smirk.

“That’s better. I’m sick of this town anyway. Not enough nightlife.” He nodded sagely and bent his head to finally taste her without resistance.

Or so he thought.

“Before nightlife, there’s something we need out in the clear.” Putting one finger over his lips to delay her loss of coherency she could foretell in his eyes, Cordelia spoke.

“I’m so not a plaything. If I’m to accept this role as your beautiful seer and seducer, then I expect to play heroine. Not a sidekick.”

Angelus rolled his eyes. “Damn you mortal seers are demanding.”

When he bent down for his kiss she pulled back again, this time though, he saw the impish twinkle in her eyes. “And! I want new clothes.” He raised a humoring eyebrow as she pondered the options.

“And shoes! And a penthouse suite in a big hotel!”

Grabbing her wrist he dragged her against him, his nose sliding along hers, eyes holding hers captive. “For you Chase, I’ll buy the whole damned hotel.”

“Can you do that?”

“Fuck yeah.”

“Whoa.”

Grinning at the adorably greedy awe in her big hazel eyes, he pressed a hard kiss on her mouth. “Let’s go.”

She blinked before grinning widely, the happiness reaching her eyes for the first time in weeks. “Let me get my bag.”

“Leave it,” he took her hand. “Just grab your shoes.”

She blinked at his illogical trail of thought. “My shoes?”

“Don’t then,” he shrugged noncommittally as he pulled her toward the railing. “Have I ever told you about my fetish for bare feet? I remember this child I ate once; she—”

“Shoes!” She squeaked. “Shoes are good. I love shoes. Yes. See me wear shoes!”

Angelus grinned at as the brunette ran all the way to the door; tiptoed inside, grabbed her shoes, tiptoed back and ran into his arms.

When they disappeared over the railing, Harmony rolled over in her bed and grunted. “About time.”

Epilogue

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete

Of Demony Things & Crappy Lifetimes. 16   1 comment

CHAPTER 16

Cordelia Chase was curled up into the huge bed, the girl snoring beside her. From where she was laying on her back staring up at the ceiling, she could see the kaleidoscope of colors from her little nightlight dance there.

The innocent memories of her own room and the childhood she’d spent in her own silk sheets of raven in her wrought iron bed. It was the pinks and fluffs of Harmony’s room that wouldn’t let her sleep, Cordelia concluded.

It wasn’t just Harmony’s snores.

Then she heard a grunt. Blinking at the still lump in her bed she frowned. That didn’t sound much like her bedmate.

“Awo! Fuck!”

Her spine straightened as she automatically sat up in the bed at the familiar voice.

“Argh! Shit!”

She nearly went tripping out of bed as she hurried to the sliding window of the balcony beyond. Her hair went tumbling out of the loose bun she’d tied at her nape as she gaped over the white railing and down at the trellis lining the balcony.

For a minute she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. A dark hulking man was slowly making his way up the white trellis trying to avoid the thorns of the rose bushes that grew around it.

When the spiky head tipped back, Cordelia stared down into the dark eyes incredulously. “Angelus!” She hissed softly. “What are you doing!”

“What does it fucking look like Chase?”

“Shhh!” She held a finger over her mouth and glared daggers at him. “Go away! I have nothing to say to you.”

“I have a few words to say to you woman.”

The pitch of his voice didn’t go down a bit and Cordelia darted one glance behind her to make sure Harmony was sleeping.

“Angelus you are,” turning mid sentence she froze, his nose nearly brushing hers, “fast.” She finished breathlessly.

Holding the railing with both hands, Angelus resisted the urge to kiss the living daylights out of her until she succumbed and promised not to go to LA. “Forget me. What the hell are you doing here?”

Eyes widening at the irate growl she grabbed him, one hand curling around his mouth. “Stop!” Her eyes turned pleading for an instant. “If you wake her, she’ll be so more than either of us can handle right now Fang.”

For more than a breath, Cordelia stood there, her gaze locked with his, the railing digging into her stomach and her hand warming on his mouth. When his eyes swept low deliberately, Cordelia’s own followed their path to stare at the very low neck of her silk nightgown. Cursing Harmony for talking her into wearing it, she fixed the full beam of her glare on Angelus mentally willing him to raise his gaze.

She could almost feel the smile behind her hand as an eyebrow quirked before his dancing chocolate eyes lifted up to her face. And then he licked her hand.

A startled yelp preceded her involuntary reaction of shoving him away.

And it was then when she remembered he was about twenty feet up in the air as he lost his balance.

“CHASE!” He hissed.

Before Angelus could reach out to grab anything, he felt a soft pair of arms wrap around his chest tightly and he was yanked back against the railing, the strumming heartbeat of his seer escalating into a mad crescendo as she let out shuttered breath against his neck.

With his hand free to slide through her hair, Angelus let her hold him tightly, his feet instinctively relocating footholds as he returned her embrace.

“Oh my god you almost…”

“Nice catch.” His gratitude was a soft murmur into her hair and it was the misplaced tenderness from the usually crude vampire that shook her out of her frightened haze.

Lifting her head from under his chin, where she realized it fit perfectly, Cordelia looked up at him with a mixture of beseeching and relief. “Why are you here?”

“You want me to answer that while I’m in the position to break my neck in case you don’t like the answer?” He leered. “Doesn’t the Florence Nightingale in you want me out of danger and my feet on solid ground first?”

She winced at his correct deduction. Every instinct in her had been screaming to first catch him and pull him to safety, and that intrinsic need alone had Cordelia shaking with fear. “I have half a mind to drop you where you are.”

“And the other half is rearing to tangle tongues?”

With a groan at his arrogance and his choice was words, she stepped away far enough for him to climb over the railing and land on his feet neatly.

“Okay.” She held up a hand between them to keep him away. “Just stop for a second.” She’d been caught off guard by his arrival and had reacted out of her need to be near him.

When she’d called Giles about the vision so he could relay the information to Angelus, it had taken every ounce of her strength and will to keep from running out and helping him when he got back from kicking demon butt.

And now that she was calmer and she was assured that he was in one piece Cordelia let her anger cloud her raw emotions gladly. “There is nothing you can say that would change my mind. I’m not coming back to Giles’ house and I’m not spending Christmas with the scoobies and I’m certainly not – what are you doing!!?”

“Hold still Chase,” he growled when she tried to push him off. “I’m just going to kiss you dammit.”

“What if I don’t want you to kiss me dumbass?”

“Then say: Get your hands off me Angelus.”

“Get your—”

That was as far as she got before he cut her off as his lips hungrily, not nearly as patient as his voice had been, descended on hers. The arms that held her tightened possessively, lips that stole her breath, had her parting her own lips to ask for more.

And her mouth was invaded by his quick and clever tongue.

It was like being swallowed, Cordelia thought hazily. Like being eaten alive with a greed that incited greed. Her heart beating like a wild animal against the cage of her ribs. Racing, wild. Dangerously fast.

And she wondered if they continued to ride this current, at this speed, how soon one or both would fly headlong off a very high cliff and come out with broken arms. Or worse. Broken hearts.

When her foot came down hard on his toe, Angelus let out a muted yelp and jumped away from her with a glare. “Christ Chase what the hell is wrong with you?”

“Air…” she gasped, grasping the edge of the railing as she tried to catch her breath.

“Oh yeah.” Slightly chastised Angelus chuckled, “Sorry, forgot you were human for a minute.”

“Again.” She grunted. “You were gulping me down like two quarts of prime whiskey.”

“You’ve got the tendency to be as potent,” he purred.

“I do?” She blinked at him in surprise.

The stunned female response got his borrowed blood pumping again and he grinned. “Do you really want me to come over there and reassure you? Better yet; let me.”

He reached for her again and she slapped his hands away with mild irritation. “Come on baby, you make it seem like you don’t want my hands on you.”

“I don’t,” she snapped angrily. Angrier with the lie she knew he could see right through. “I just need for you to open your ears and stop playing deaf for a change. Go away!” She hissed, hoping their loud whispers hadn’t woken Harmony to witness this scene.

“Dance with me.”

Cordelia’s eyes widened as his arm wrapped around her waist and she was yanked against him in the pretense of a waltz. “Are you insane!?” She hissed, struggling in his hold, but his arm stayed around her, his hand holding hers as tight as possible without breaking bones.

“Damn, I love your eyes Cheerleader.”

Exasperated at the capricious vampire, Cordelia let out a frustrated sigh, still struggling slightly. “Angelus, stop it, okay? It won’t work. I’m not changing my mind. No mind changing happening here. See?”

“They remind me of him.”

“Who?”

“The soul.”

Cordelia stilled in his arms, her curiosity piqued. “Angel?”

Angelus tried his best to keep the triumphant smile at bay. “Yeah baby, they go all glossy like when he broods. And when you’re happy, they glisten like golden emeralds.”

“There’s no such thing. Is there?” she asked, not really noticing that he was slowly moving her in the slow motions of a waltz. The vampire grinned, inwardly charmed by her insatiable curiosity.

It was one of the things that drew him to her. It was her curiosity that had made her venture into the alley. Curiosity and generosity. Something most people didn’t accuse Cordelia Chase of.

“I saw one a long time ago,” he answered with a rakish grin.

“Pfft! As if!” Her hands involuntarily slipped up his arms as her feet fell in rhythm with his.

“You show such little faith in your champion Hazel.” He grinned. “A Baroness. Happier days while we were in France. Darla was hungry for jewels and I was just plain hungry.”

“You mean horny,” she glared at the reference of his sire. Her eyes narrowed. “Are you drunk?”

“Not yet.” Silently swaying to a silent beat, he continued to hold her against him. “But then I was always hungry,” Angelus delighted in the jealous twinkle in her eyes, purposefully ignoring her statement.

“I remember a similar occasion of climbing into a balcony. It took a while but I finally coaxed the damned woman out of her bed.”

“Seduced you mean.” She asked as she suddenly realized where they were still twirling to nonexistent music, his body pressing intimately against hers. “Angelus? What are you doing?”

“Dancing.”

“I don’t want–”

“Aren’t you the least bit curious where it went?” He winked and tightened his arms around her as she tried to wriggle away.

“No! I don’t care for rocks anymore, get your hands off my –”

“I fed it to her.”

“You what?!?” she squawked; breath caught in indignation, disgust and the fear of discovery. She completely forgot her objection and stared up at him with gruesome wonder.

“Stuck it right down her throat. Safe to say Darla didn’t want it afterwards.”

“Eyow.”

“She had a similar reaction,” the vampire laughed softly, a deep rumbling in his chest that seemed to calm her nerves, “after she threw me out of the window. Either way, the emerald was buried with the dead woman.”

“You killed her.” Cordelia shook her head. “I’m SO flattered that my eyes remind you of that gory story. Much thanks,” she said dryly.

“Only when you’re glaring,” he reminded her. “The rest of the time, they’re absolutely breathtaking.”

At the tender compliment, she held his gaze. “But you don’t breathe.”

“I do. When you’re around.” He pulled her hand over his chest, the steady rise and fall mirroring her own. “Don’t you get it Chase. You’re my damned Soul, only I can’t get you out of my head.”

When her pupils filled with unshed tears, Angelus pulled her tightly against him, his feet stilling on the balcony floor. “Don’t. I hate it when you women cry. Drives me absolutely crazy Chase.”

“You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“Yeah sweetheart, I do. I’m not much for tragic love stories like the soul. Our story’s going to be a fucking satire. The world doesn’t define what we are.” He ran the pads of his finger down one bronzed cheek.

She seems to radiate the sun even though it is in the middle of the friggin night. “And there’s no way in hell I’m letting you pick up your sexy little butt and take it to LA. So I’m giving you a choice.”

“What?”

“You spend whatever time you have left, dying. Or you spend it living…. With me.”

Continue

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete

Of Demony Things & Crappy Lifetimes. 15   1 comment

CHAPTER 15

Cordelia held her head high as she flipped the latch closed for her bag. It was just as well. The great big hole in her chest would only get worse.

She needed her time away. She needed her space to come to terms with what her head and heart was telling her. And now that her contact with Angelus was restricted to a phone call, Cordelia was glad for the loneliness.

It reinforced what she always believed.

She was born alone and she’d die alone.

“Cordelia?”

Lifting her eyes, she pasted on the bright smile that would hide the loss of another friend. If she could ever call Angelus friend. It was just the bond. Nothing else. She kept repeating the mantra in her head so she’d remember.

Angelus didn’t love her. He didn’t want her. He was just as lonely as she was.

“Guess what Librarian man?”

Giles had stood there at the bottom of his staircase watching the young woman slap her clothes into the bag before he’d spoken.

After his night long drinking session with Angelus the week before and the torrent of tears he’d found his slayer in, loving her for her interference and at the same time dreading the effect it would have on both the occupants of his house, Giles feared the worst.

Cordelia was leaving for LA. Again.

“You just happened to find a bus ticket to LA in the mail?”

At the discovery of her secret wish, Cordelia’s smile wavered and she wrung her hand in a nervous gesture. “Not even Giles. Harmony invited me over to her house for Christmas.”

Giles’ heart plummeted. “Cordelia you don’t have to go.”

“I do Giles.” Suddenly the open wide smile melted into the impassive planes of her apathetic face. A face Giles never liked and had seen a lot of lately. “I can’t be here when they come bearing gifts I’m not getting.”

“Who are you running away from Cordelia? Them or him?”

She didn’t look surprised at his question. “Both. For different reasons.”

“For the same I fear.” The watcher came to stand beside her. “You’re afraid.”

“And I don’t like it.”

“Maybe if we all sit down together…”

She snorted. “Please Giles. Let’s not fool ourselves. I have a barely tolerable rapport with the slayer. The witch and the dork avoid me like the plague – which is good for them. And Angelus,” she let out a shaky sigh,

“he’s made it perfectly clear that I’m only vision girl. He’ll get his PTB induced guidance. I’ll call if something happens. His new cell number’s taped to the fridge. Right now? I just need to not be here.”

“But Harmony?”

“Beggars and choosers.” She shrugged and slung her bag over her head. She met his eyes with determination. “You get one hug old man.”

Giles smiled at the familiar reference he’d gotten used to hearing from their vampire. He covered the few footfalls and wrapped his arms around the girl, resting his chin on top of her head. “You’re coming back right after.”

She held him for a breath longer before muttering. “A bit long for one hug, don’t you think?”

Knowing that she hadn’t answered his question he released her and stepped away, giving her room enough to bring back her fake smile.

He was starting to hate it. Cordelia only gave him a tip of her chin before she turned and walked out of his house.

And he realized she had never looked back.

***
Giles smiled as Willow stood on the little ladder hanging the decorations on the tree. Joyce was curled up in his recliner writing out her Christmas cards. Xander was wrapped in Christmas lights.

He laughed when the young man nearly tripped taking Willow with him, the two laughing like he’d seen them laugh since childhood.

The house was filled with the smell of cookies and eggnog while Buffy worked in his kitchen. The atmosphere, save for one aspect, seemed perfect.

Giles would have figured that once Cordelia was gone, Angelus would have ventured away as well, but he had returned now and then. And he never talked to Giles unless absolutely necessary. Without his usual bite and sarcasm.

Almost like everything that was left alive inside him had gone with the brunette. And what remained was for what little connection she still had with the house.

Giles hadn’t let on, but he’d known the extension in his kitchen had been picked up silently when Cordelia had called him to tell him she was settled into Harmony’s house and how she was living a life of luxury for the while.

And he’d felt the sadness nearly potent in her voice as he felt it in his silence.

Then she proceeded to tell him about the vision. Angelus walked out of the house silently and returned with more than enough wounds that would have kept Cordelia busy the entire evening, but he wouldn’t let Giles tend to him, just collected his blood bag and left.

It was nearly Christmas morning. Almost like he needed to reassure himself, Giles grabbed his coat. “I’m just running out for some coffee, we’re out.”

Buffy peeked out from the kitchen with a frown, the jar of freshly ground coffee beans in her hand. “But we already have…coffee?”

Her frown deepened. “Weird.”

***

Angelus sat watching the flickering light on the second story bedroom across the street. Without the insistent whine of his soul, his mind painfully blank of thoughts. The burn of the brandy he’d stolen out of the watcher’s house in his throat and the ridiculous music from the night nearly deafening.

It’s been a while
Since I could hold my head up high
It’s been a while
Since I first saw you
It’s been a while
Since I couldn’t stand on my own two feet again
It’s been a while
Since I couldn’t call you
And everything I can’t remember
Is fucked up as it always seemed
The consequences that I’ve rendered
I’ve gone stretched myself beyond my means

It’s been a while
Since I couldn’t say that I wasn’t addicted
It’s been a while
Since I can say I love myself as well and
It’s been a while
Since I’ve gone and fucked things up just like I do
It’s been a while
But all that shit seems to disappear when I’m with you

And everything I can’t remember
Is fucked up as it always seemed
The consequences that I’ve rendered
I’ve gone and fucked things up again, again

Why must I feel this way
Just make this go away
Just one more peaceful day

It’s been a while
Since I could look at myself straight
It’s been a while
Since I said I’m sorry
It’s been a while
Since I’ve seen the way the candles light your face
It’s been a while
But I can still remember just the way you taste

And everything I can’t remember
Is fucked up as it always seemed
Me, I know its always me
I cannot blame this on my father
He did the best he could for me

It’s been a while
Since I could hold my head up high
It’s been a while
Since I said I’m sorry

Angelus wished it was approaching dawn. After his goddamn pansy behavior, he deserved it. Because he’d pegged her wrong. She wasn’t coming to him. Willingly or anything. And it was obvious – he’d fucked things up.

“Do you miss her?”

“Sometimes.” The answer was out of his mouth in response to the watcher’s question before he could stop it.

“When?”

This time he allowed himself a moment to find the right words. “When I can’t sleep.” And he didn’t hide the bitter want in his voice.

Giles let out a defeated breath. “Oh Lord…look, Angelus, we’ll drink, alright?”

Angelus took a deep drag on his cigarette before letting it out slowly through his nose, the tobacco burning out of his lungs. “Not tempting enough.”

There was utter silence behind him and Angelus figured the man had taken the hint and left, but then he felt himself being bodily lifted off the curb by the scruff of his coat collar.

“HEY! WATCH THE COAT!”

“ARE YOU GOING TO BLOODY WORK WITH ME OR NOT?”

Angelus bit down the urge to body slam the Englishman, but he was weary and had no strength to fight the pain of his chip for the sake of a few punches. Rattling on his feet while Giles shook him in anger, he glared up at him defiantly.

“Get your hands off me Giles, or I’ll take you to hell with me.” His voice deathly calm.

Looking at the reigned anger in the vampire’s eyes and control he was showing, Giles took a deep breath to calm himself. He couldn’t stand to see Cordelia so broken. And God forgive him, Angelus’ obvious moping was grating on his nerves.

Even Cordelia hadn’t been this darkened when he’d found her in that house sheathed in white. But without him, she’d seemed to disappear and Angelus was halfway down the same road. “Bloody sod…”

“One day you’ll give yourself a damned coronary Rupe, and I’m going to get a front seat.” Angelus reclaimed his bottle and dropped back into his previous position, picking up the fallen cigarette and taking another drag.

“Since when do you smoke?”

“Since I can’t bite.” At the raised eyebrow, Angelus rolled his eyes. “Oral fixation.”

Giles watched the vampire take a swig from his bottle before offering it to him. With a calm intake of breath he took the bottle and mirrored his motion, sitting beside him on the curb.

“Cordelia deserves better than you.”

“Beggars and choosers and all that jazz.”

Giles’ eyebrows shot up at the familiar words he’d heard from the woman in question. It was almost eerie the way these two were connected which only reinforced his belief that they needed each other to survive. And Giles would never admit it, but there were times he would sympathize with the vampire.

Cordelia was more than a handful, especially when she made up her mind about something. “It has been a week. How long do you plan to sit out here?”

“I don’t much care for your hospitality to come over anymore.” He snatched the bottle from the condescending man.

“Are you daft?” Giles leveled a glare at him. “After you’ve drained just about every drop of liquor in that house that I’ve ever had the displeasure of owning?”

“You should learn to hide it better.”

Giles let out a defeated sigh. “You skate around the issue almost the same way she does.” Running a hand over his face he stood up. “I cannot believe I’m about to say this.”

Angelus tipped his head back and glanced up at the watcher as he towered over him.

“Get off your bloody arse and go talk to her.”

Angelus couldn’t help raise an eyebrow. “That sounded too much like encouragement on your part. You sure you haven’t taken too much of the slayer’s eggnog?”

“My slayer’s eggnog is neither spiked nor bad. And furthermore.” Giles resisted the urge to wag a finger at the strangely complacent vampire. “When have you ever taken no for an answer?”

Pulling his gaze away from his, Angelus frowned at the inane need to spill his guts to the young man. To tell him of Cordelia’s rejection and his own rage. He wanted to kill her. To drain her and make her hurt, but since he could do neither, Angelus seethed and plotted.

Thought and planned, until he was drunk and dizzy and hungry. And then even the brandy would taste like her. “The seer needs to get off her goddamn high horse.”

“She won’t.” At the soft tenor of his voice, Angelus frowned up at Giles before he continued. “Cordelia is hanging onto the last vestige of her pride. Look at it from her point of view Angelus. She’s lost it all.”

“And I haven’t?”

“She didn’t bloody deserve it! And she’s human. What is it about her existence that eludes you? She is human and she knows her time is limited as opposed to you. And it’s hard to imagine yourself as a ticking time bomb with only a crass vampire for a companion until she blows.”

“It’s safer if she just does the seeing anyway.”

“What has escaped you Angelus? The fact that you’re bonded for eternity to a slip of a girl? That you are finally afraid?”

The bottle smashed into a thousand angry shards as the demon reared up, eyes amber and the snarl nearly deafening. “I’m NOT afraid!”

The human didn’t blink. “The thought of her dying doesn’t scare you? That you will lose her one day? Isn’t that why you’re out here and she’s in there?”

Muted fury melted into confused regret and Angelus lifted his head to look up at the house where his woman was hiding. “What the hell do you want from me Giles?”

“You will remain miserable without her. She will die young with the pain she’ll carry in her heart. And the visions will take her.”

Angelus’ eyes darkened back to chocolate. “She’s really dying?”

“Without her. So are you.”

Angelus frowned. “Stop the fucking riddles. Get to the point.”

“You are no longer two entities. The PTB granted you this gift so that you may redeem yourself. Her soul chose to save you Angelus. Now it is your turn to save her. Together you will find a solution. Not if you both act like egotistical arses.”

“Last nerve,” the vampire warned.

But Giles pressed on. “You need her.”

“NO I don’t.” Giles nearly smiled as the vampire started to pace. “I don’t need her. I don’t fucking need anyone. Not my childer and definitely not some bitchy harpy who thinks she’s above me.”

“Alright, I stand corrected.” Giles crossed his arms and gave him a twisted smile that wasn’t too amused. “You don’t need her. You want her.”

“Like I want blood.”

“Ironic that she’s the only one in this world that will allow you that liberty.”

Everything about the previously prowling vampire stilled. Flashing ochre eyes caught Giles like he wanted to burn right through him.

The smile on the watcher’s face was as wicked at the vampire was vain.

Damn blood lust.

Part 16

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete

Of Demony Things & Crappy Lifetimes. 14   1 comment

CHAPTER 14

“She fucking eats me.”

“Bloody ‘ell Gelus! I did not need to hear that!”

The hand thumped against a silent chest. “Right fucking here.”

“Will you bloody stop cursing! You bloody wanker!”

There was an unneeded sigh. “Hell was preferably better. At least I’d burn. This is a damned tease. An almost orgasm.”

“Oh those bloody suck.”

Angelus glared across the coffee table. “Will you fucking stop cursing! You fucking idiot!”

Giles frowned at the dark man resplendent on his couch as usual. “Devu-ja!”

“What?”

“You know that whole repeating itself. The thing! Again again.”

“I don’t like being eaten.”

“Who’s eating you?”

He rolled his eyes and shook his head. The men were so thick these days. “Hazel.”

“With a fork and knife my boy.” The bottle was raised in a silent toast. “You’ll give her indigestion.”

“Fuck, I hope so.”

“You’re doing it again.”

Angelus growled, the corner of his lip curling away from his fangs as he stared down into the nearly empty glass of rum. “I could just eat her.”

“You’d choke on her.”

His eyes darkened, the memory of her mouth pressed against his fogging his already alcohol addled brain. “Not so sure I’m not already Watcher.” He let his eyes wander up the stairs where she’d disappeared. “She thinks I don’t know what that is.”

“Choking?”

The vampire snickered. “Love.”

The man across the table winced, almost like he was physically struck. “Oh there were days.” He shook his head. “You grow old with love.”

“Why do you think vampires are immortal?”

The only mortal in the room frowned at the odd reference, his mind already going off tangents without warning, but something his companion said seemed to snap him into focus.

“But love is life. Love does not kill?”

“So little you know.” Older the vampire might have been, but his voice was laced with misplaced regret as he leaned back in the couch, head against the back, staring at the ceiling.

“Love is an anomaly created to put a damned leash on everything. And the woman. She’s the fucking devil wearing stilettos. History is littered with manly fools giving up kingdoms, knightly hood, Godly hood and lord knows what other kinds of hoods, just to appease the female soul. Look at their construction.”

Angelus’ eyes hazed, reliving the way she’d fit against him, her breasts pressing against his chest almost like she was coming apart at the seams. Following him down his own descent. “Those sinuous curves and soft lines, big sensual eyes lined with thick beguiling lashes and a stretch of alluring lips worth drowning in.”

Nodding, the watcher seemed to ponder that, almost on a higher level. “The whole creation issue is bloody sexist. Give women all the real power and let the men rule. Bloody puppets of mock superiority and false prowess!”

His mouth stretched into a wide grin.

“Exactly. They drive you to drink. They make you into kings then tear you down with a smile. They shake you and break you, then put you back together only to be broken again. They make murderers; they make thieves and then make villains. Vile creatures of hell with the face of an angel marked to test our endurance so we could never control it. That fucking manly ego and hormonal desire was meant to be uncontrollable, to tease torment and torture our sex for making the sad mistake of being born male!”

He let out a lamenting sigh. “And they say I’m bad.”

“God has to be female.”

The sharp bark of laughter was genuine. A finger pointed to the man rudely, swirling in the air between his eyes. “You’re drunk Rupe.”

The watcher sat up straighter. “Tha’s not possible.” He frowned at the bottle in his hand and shook it. “The rum’s all gone!”

“No shit watcher. It’s in you.”

“Oh now you’re just flirting with me.”

And that was how Buffy found them. Of course the notion that Angelus might be hitting on her Watcher and that her Watcher was indulging the vampire only made the woman realize that maybe she had walked into an alternative universe.

But then the smell of alcohol was prevalent in the air and so were the empty bottles between them. She let out a slow breath. “I so need to get a new gig.”

Pulling out her scarf, the young woman walked over to the duo and put her hands on her hips. “Consorting with the enemy?”

Angelus looked up, his nearly empty bottle raised in a toast to the bane of his existence. “Perceptive as always Sluffy. Blayer.” The vampire winced. “You.”

She sighed. “Yeah me.” Pulling the bottle away she took a moment to watch the two wasted individual silently for a moment. Contemplating her options. One finger tapping against her thigh she looked down into the loopy grin on her mentor’s face and hid a smile. “Scoot over.”

“Blood good! We got another one!”

Angelus kept his eyes on the very sober slayer and his mouth stretched into a slow knowing smile. “One last fuck?”

Her mouth open to snap, but then she seemed to rethink it. “I don’t want claw marks down my face, I hear she bites.”

“Hmmm.” His hand gently rubbed the spot on his neck where he still dreamt she’d left a mark. “Hell yeah,” he purred at the vivid memory, before his gaze focused on her. “Playing?”

She shook her head, taking a swig from Giles’ bottle then coughed, the heat rushing to her head. “Jesus.”

“She fucking eats me.”

Buffy looked up startled, her green eyes wide for a moment at the familiar timber of his voice. Her breath caught in her throat as she watched the vampire sprawled on the couch, his eyes swimming with memories, longing and rum.

She watched him lift his hand and put it over where his heart should have been. “Right fucking here.”

“Devu-ja!” Giles cried out jubilantly. “Again again! See?”

The young woman groaned inwardly. This had to end – for her sanity.

***

Cordelia Chase couldn’t concentrate.

The accompanying grunts and groans from the living room were started to grate on her patience. The feminine growls were making her wish she’d invested in earplugs instead of new hairpins.

Maybe the pins would work, she mused distracted, pulling her elbow on the textbook, her chin in her hand.

She was engrossed in exam induced visions of bobby pins and earplugs when she heard someone sigh behind her. With Christmas approaching and her last exam looming over her head, Cordelia missed the newcomer into the room.

It was when she spoke that Cordelia snapped out of her day dream.

“Nice studying technique. Staring off into space.”

Blinking out of her haze, Cordelia frowned at the panting slayer, still garbed in her training gear as she proceeded to pour herself a glass of water. “Excuse you?”

Buffy leaned back against the counter and shrugged. “Just thought you’d be paying more attention, what with your graduation on the line.”

“Oh my god!” Hazel eyes widened with mock surprise.

“You are WILLINGLY striking up a conversation with me. Will wonders never cease? Will we have a hot January? With the sun forget to set? Will Xander rediscover his sexual preference?”

Buffy bit back the glare and met the cheerleader’s eyes evenly. “I’m a big girl Cordelia. I am aware of your situation with Angel…Angelus.”

“Funny I don’t believe you when you still have to rethink who he is.” Rolling her eyes, Cordelia put her eyes back on her page, hoping it would dismiss the slayer, but the young woman didn’t move, instead she came and sat down beside Cordelia on the kitchen table.

“I know it’s rough for you.”

Flashing caramel eyes glared at Buffy. “You cannot begin to imagine, so don’t pretend to sympathize with me Buffy. I’m a big girl too.”

Rolling her eyes Buffy Summers let out a frustrated sigh. “For the last time, I’m not pretending to sympathize with you, and while we’re on the subject, you’re sitting in the company of one very unwilling slayer. You think I WANTED this?”

The young girl snorted. “I got stuck with this destiny. Just like you’re stuck with yours. So yeah. I can imagine what it’s like.”

Leaning back in her seat, Cordelia crossed her arms, eyes narrowing suspiciously. “What do you want Buffy?”

“I’m trying to be nice.”

“You’re being too nice. What’s your angle?”

“God Cordelia, are you really that cynical to think that I’m still after him?”

“Then what are you after?”

Buffy ran a hand through her hair. “I don’t know. I thought I wanted Angel back, but you were right. And so was everyone else. He’s not my Angel.”

She met the caustic cheerleader’s eyes carefully. “He’s your demon.”

A muscle worked in her temple as Cordelia denied the heightening of her pulse or the indignant denial burning in her chest. So she chose not to comment.

“I’m okay with it.”

Cordelia let out an incredulous laugh. “That is so benevolent Buffy, but no thanks. I don’t want your nightmare.”

“Cordelia, I’m not giving you permission, I’m just…”

“Your permission means nothing to me.”

“So you’ve accepted it then?”

The cheerleader rolled her eyes, now completely distracted from her work. “Accepted what?”

“That you’re falling for him.”

Instantly, scalding toffee colored eyes glared at her unwelcome companion. “Butt out.”

Buffy seemed to be struggling to stay calm and control her smile all at the same time. “I’d love to.” The slayer held her gaze unfazed.

Years of staring down demons. She ought to be able to handle an irate cheerleader for a while. “But your demon likes to be in my space. Just yesterday I was informed, none too politely, that you’re his soul mate.

Walking in on two drunk men can really snap things in perspective. Can you imagine that? I thought the soul was mine.”

Cordelia wondered if she should invest in body armor. “You want him, he’s yours.”

“But he’s not, is he?”

At the cryptically observant question, Cordelia grit her teeth to calm her bubbling anger. “Look whatever you’re attempting to say, say it and be done with it. I do have a life.”

“Get him out my town.” Cordelia felt like the slayer had punched her in the gut.

“He is Angelus Scourge of Europe, bane of my existence. And he IS yours, whether you ready to believe it or not. You’re the only one he listens to. The only one he seems to care about. The rest of us mean nothing to him. Because if the chip one day decides to go wonky – I WILL stake him.”

Her green eyes were unshakable. “I will not let him hurt my friends again. Ever.”

“You better not be threatening us.” Cordelia’s hazel eyes were dark. “Neither or us takes it lightly.”

“Us, huh?” The slayer smiled knowingly. “Tell him to take his championing somewhere else. I’ve got this base covered.”

“This isn’t just your town.”

“You’re always welcome to stay back Cordelia, but you won’t. And you know it.”

The finality in the slayers claim didn’t sit well with Cordelia. The blunt insinuation seemed to tip towards reality. There was always the possibility. And the longer Cordelia contemplated leaving the slayer’s domain with Angelus, the more it became plausible.

The mere notion of Angelus being staked was like amputating a limb. The attachment alone drained the color from the cheerleader’s face.

The girl looked up startled when she felt the slayer’s hand on hers, her bright eyes staring up at her. Buffy Summers’ smile was sad.

“I know you didn’t ask for this, but if they’ve given you the visions, then they’ve given you the strength to see them.” Stepping back, as if realizing she’d touched the girl out of concern and understanding the slayer sighed.

“My advice: stop fighting it. I’ll give him till graduation.”

Cordelia watched the slayer walk out of the kitchen.

Angelus nearly bumped into the blonde slayer and he was about to snap, when he saw the thunderstruck expression on his seer’s face. Frowning, he walked into the kitchen, dropping his freshly acquired blood bags on the table beside her books. “Chase?”

Her eyes snapped up to him, as if noticing for the first time.

“What’s did she say to you?”

Cordelia licked her suddenly dry lips. “Nothing.”

“Fucking hell Chase, don’t lie to me. Not only can you not, but I saw the slayer leave. What the hell did she say to you?”

When he made a move to go after the woman in question, Cordelia grabbed his coat sleeve, swallowing her own panic.

“No don’t. She was…polite.”

Angelus frowned at the complacent face she was wearing, but her pretty caramel eyes were wide with panic. “Fine. What did the slayer politely say?”

She wondered if she should tell him. She knew he would go after Buffy. She had to make him understand. Cordelia wasn’t a big fan of the slayer, but she knew the girl meant business when it came to her business.

She knew the impulsive vampire’s safety was only a priority on Cordelia Chase’s list. Something she herself hadn’t made peace with. “She’s worried the chip will stop working.”

“Fuck I hope so.”

Her panic melted into a glare. “Do you even know what that means?”

“Yeah Chase, I’m a vampire, for Christ’s sake! I drain, I fight. It’s what I do best!”

A hand touched her throbbing temple as Cordy stepped away from him, going to pour herself a glass of water. “You’re a lot more than just a vampire fangbreath.”

“That’s what YOU see.”

“You’re also a PTB puppy remember? Or did we sleep through that rerun?”

“No I had a front row seat. What’s your point?”

“I don’t know.” Putting her hands on the counter she stared outside into the night. First the idea of staying in this stupid town had loathed her.

Now why did the prospect of leaving bother her so much? She’d never wanted to stay. “You can’t stay here.”

“Where?”

“Here!”

“At Tweed’s?”

“Sunnydale!”

His brow drew together and he covered what little different separated them and grabbed her elbow, spinning her around to meet his eyes. “Spit it out Cordy; riddles don’t suit you anyway.”

Just for a breath, Angelus thought he saw longing marred with concern in her beautiful hazel eyes, her hand sliding up to almost touch his face, but then she looked away, her fists clenched to her sides.

“If you stay here and the chip does stop working. You’ll go back to being an asshole, not that you’re not much of an asshole now.”

An eyebrow shot up, his hand curling around her wrist, pulling her closer. “That’s never bothered you before.”

“Dammit you obsessive dork! This isn’t about me!”

“Who else matters?”

“Exactly!” She wrenched her arm away. “That’s exactly what the trouble is. You don’t care about anything else!”

Now the demon was stumped. Scratching the back of his head, he regarded her with obvious confusion before sniffing the air. “That time of the month?”

“NO!”

“Dammit woman, I don’t understand.”

“You’ll go after Buffy!”

“And what Hazel, she’s your best friend now?”

Stamping her foot, the girl let out a cry of frustration, her hands thrown up as she started to pace.

“I cannot believe you! Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall! If you go after Buffy she will STAKE you. You will turn to dust and be of no use to me! Who the hell will slay my demons if you’re dust huh? Who? Tell me!”

She gave him her patented know-it-all wriggle of her head.

At first Angelus didn’t understand her train of logic, because the notion of Buffy staking him was impossible; she had nothing on him. Then her words began to seep in and the corner of his mouth slid up. “You like me undead and kicking don’t ya?”

“Egomaniac! I like me headache free and without the death of innocents weighing down my shoulders.”

The demon chuckled. “Damn Chase. Why don’t you just admit you want me?”

“Why can’t you just listen to what I’m saying for a change?”

His mouth spread into a grin, taking a step towards her, trapping her against the refrigerator with a predatory purr. “I always listen to you baby.”

Distracted by the sudden heat flaring up under her skin, Cordelia floundered. “That’s what she said.”

Angelus drew his head back slightly to look her in the eye. “Buffy?”

“I don’t want you to take on Buffy. Or the rest of the Scoobie stooges.”

“What the fuck Chase, are you asking me to be nice to them!? Are they nice to you?”

“I’m saying she wants you out of here! Because to them you are Angelus Scourge of Europe, arrogant, pain in the butt, S-O-B killer and drainer of Sunnyhell innocents! To them you’re nothing else but a vampire.”

“And what about you Cordelia?” He growled softly, head tipping down to silence her ranting. Nothing she’d said so far meant anything to him.

And he had a feeling the prospect of his leaving wasn’t what had her smelling like sweet fear. “What do you see?”

“This isn’t about me!”

“This is ONLY about you!” He snapped back, his hands coming to smack against the refrigerator door, the ochre in his eyes shimmering to keep cool. “Tell me Cordelia what do you see?”

Shaken by the very angry and demanding demon, Cordelia pushed back against the refrigerator to put a little distance between them. Enough so she could form proper thought, but his body followed, his hips pressing insistently against hers.

Galled and unwillingly turned on by his brash behavior she gasped, her hands pushing against his chest. “Asshole.”

“Besides that?”

When the immovable wall didn’t budge, she let out an exasperated breath, her hazel yes flashing with determination and refusal to be bullied. “Brains enough to know when to leave.”

“What else?” He hissed softly, eyes already speaking what he wanted to hear.

“What else is there?”

“Wits, madness.” His eyes were unfaltering. “Love. As far as a demon is allowed.”

Her pretty mouth dropped open. “What?”

“You know I love you. I know, you know.”

“Oh my god!”

“Tell me you love me Chase.”

“Angelus, I –”

“Shhh.” The rough pad of his finger slid up against her mouth, eyes like liquid chocolate as he held her there. “Don’t say anything, unless it’s a ‘yes.’”

Her mouth quivered under his cold finger, the insane need to run building up into necessity. Her head aching with the need to shake hard, to deny his claim.

Angelus leaned down, his mouth sliding over his own finger, keeping the distance, his lips nearly brushing hers; waiting for her to speak. “Cordelia…”

She forced the only words she allowed herself to voice past her lips with an effort that nearly took her breath away. “Angelus, I like you.”

With a wince he shoved himself away from her. “Fucking hell.”

Cordelia grabbed the front of his sweater, the absence of his presence oddly disconcerting. “You’re my friend! I just…”

“Letting Buffy stake me would have done less damage, I think.”

“But we are friends! Buddies! Amigos even!” She tried to smile despite her panic. “Doesn’t that count for anything?”

“No Cordelia. We were never friends. And now, we’re finished.”

Her hazel eyes widened, something inside her welling, tightening worse than when Buffy had asked her to leave with him. “Finished? What do you mean finished!?” He couldn’t mean. He couldn’t!

“I can’t be your fucking FRIEND Chase! I’ll touch you. I’ll say things you don’t want to hear, and then you’ll tell me you ‘like’ me and I’ll want to take a sunlit walk. It’s painfully obvious you’re a part of me in ways I can never welcome. It took enough out of me to hear you say it the first time, I’m not about to let you do it to me over again.

Thanks for the reminder Hazel. I am the Scourge of Europe. Vampire on a leash, blah blah, woof woof. But I sure as hell am not your kick puppy. And I’m not contributing to your fucking pity party. You’re so damned good at it alone.”

She grabbed his arm as he turned to leave the kitchen. “You told me you couldn’t quit! You said we can’t quit! The PTB won’t let us!”

Looking down into her frightened caramel eyes, Angelus gritted his teeth and proceeded to do the most difficult thing since he’d been dead. “I’ll do the championing. You’ll do the seeing. We just won’t do it together.” Extracting his sleeve from her panicky grip, he took a step away.

“I’ll be at the mansion for a while. I’ll call you and tell you how to reach me.”

And then he walked to the front door, resisting the urge to drag her in his arms and fuck her until she couldn’t say anything but ‘yes’. Only Angelus had promised. This one would come to him.

He knew it as well as he knew he’d hunt one day; the only way Cordelia Chase would stay was if she came willingly.

Love was a bitch.

Chapter 15

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete

Of Demony Things & Crappy Lifetimes. 13   1 comment

CHAPTER 13

Cordelia sat hugging the cushion as she watched the woman smile stupidly at the man bearing his calves to her on the black and white screen; making sure he wasn’t bowlegged.

Sitting through the old movie, watching the lanky form of the actor she’d never seen before, ‘Shop around the corner’ dug a hole into her chest in a way nothing else had yet.

It reminded her of where she was. This disoriented woman had found her man in a shop around the corner. She’d been right there with him the entire time. And it reminded Cordelia that the only intimacy she could share was this destructive soul bond she seemed to have with a demon.

And it was then when losing Xander hurt the most.

All her life she’s gone from guy to guy. Never really staying back long enough to let anything last. Convinced. Confirmed cynic. She’d been so sure the world was a bad place. Giving her heart away wasn’t worth it. And despite that she’d fallen for the loser.

She sighed. Because only her heart would have made her overlook his obvious geekiness. Did anyone notice the haircut? Hello!

Right at that moment she felt more alone that she’d felt when her parents had abandoned her. What was it about approaching holidays that made being alone worse? She looked up at the frosted windows. The colder it got, Cordelia realized the closer it drew.

She didn’t want to spend Christmas here. Christmas was a time when they’d convene in Giles’ house. Eat brownies and exchange gifts. She had the neither the money nor the inclination for the exchange.

Snuggling deeper into the couch, while Giles and Angelus were out hunting demons she’d seen in her vision, Cordelia sulked. Angelus was a blood hound. He never let her take on the tough ones. Egomaniac.

Could this get worse?

“Honey! I’m home!”

She winced. It could. “Oh joy.”

“You know if you stare at the blank screen long enough Hazel, it might stare back.”

“Coming from a starving impotent, that’s rich. Didn’t you used to count cracks in the ceiling to pass the time? Loser.”

Angelus took in the scene of the empty plate of cookies and the half drained glass of lemonade along with the pile of the watcher’s old movies.

He rolled his eyes, kicking the door shut behind him and embedded the ax right into the wood of Giles’ nice teak floor. “Christ, don’t tell me you’re still sore about the cockroach.”

He had figured the Cheerleader would get used to the whole scenario with him slaying and her seeing. And he’d been subtly weaseling his way into her personal space. After the near death experience, Cordelia had been avoiding him like the proverbial plague. She was never around when he woke up and she always went to sleep before he came.

The unusual abundance in the demon population was troubling the watcher, but Angelus was just glad for the action. Being put on a leash was no fun. He hadn’t had a bite in days. He smirked. Pun and all.

Without giving it a thought, he stuck his hand into his coat pocket, his own –thank Hades, and handed her a small bottle of Advil.

Almost used to the regular supply of painkillers, she didn’t bother to ponder his thoughtfulness, but rather just popped two pills out of the plastic bottle and drowned them with her remaining lemonade.

“Snakey bastard gone?” She lifted her eyes with a calculated sweep over his frame. “Anything to fix?”

Angelus grinned. He’d been extra careful this time. Shrugging out of his coat, he lifted his black sweater to allow her the full view of the two gouging bite marks over his right hipbone.

He delighted in the sharp intake of breath and the instant softening of her eyes. Smelling her anxiety, he had the decency to look sheepish when she glared up at him, almost seeing right into his head again.

“You so did that on purpose.”

“Now why would I do that?”

“Because you do it every time you sick masochistic freak.” Uncurling from her position she walked into the kitchen to fetch the first aid kit.

Shoving the smirking vampire into the couch, she dropped between his parted knees and lifted the sweater off him before proceeding to disinfect.

Once the customary bandaging was complete, and Angelus had looked down her shirt to his heart’s content he leaned back against the couch and grinned at her. “So what did my sexy little pigeon do while daddy was out?”

Her glower could have melted steel as she sat back on her heels. “One set of folks was enough. I don’t need parental guidance; so save it.”

He leaned forward, elbows on his knees, face merely inches away from her and for a moment, Cordelia held her breath, her gaze indecisively flittering between his eyes and his mouth, almost unable to decide which was more attractive.

“Cordelia, take my word for it, what I feel for you is nowhere near parental.”

She swallowed at the husky pitch of his gravely voice, the bottomless depths of his eyes reeling her in until she felt like he was drawing her towards him with invisible strings.

Like fish line. “I thought we weren’t supposed to feel,” she marveled at her squeak. If she had motor function, Cordelia would have smacked herself for the feminine clench to her vocal chords.

“Oh we feel baby,” his gaze swept low, mouth widening into a dark, sinuous smile.

Cordelia had to physically drag her eyes away from his face, but her body still didn’t obey her by moving away from the odd heat surrounding them. “Don’t.”

“Be specific Chase, I like things laid out on the table.” She didn’t have to look at him to know he was leering. “Don’t kiss me again?”

“The kiss was a fluke. You don’t want me.”

“Kiss me again and let me prove it.”

Her flashing hazel eyes snapped to him, not biting for his bait. “You’re just rebounding.”

He snorted, but didn’t pull away from her challenging. “Not the soul remember? No rebounds here. I like my women tall, beautiful and smart.”

“Blonde!” She spat out disdainfully.

“I don’t see a blond hair on your head Brighteyes and I’m still here.”

She let out an exasperated sigh. “Angelus, don’t.” Before he could quip bout specifics, she held up a hand between them. “I mean…don’t fall in love with me. I know it’s easy.”

A dark eyebrow arched at her condescension. “I’ve learned very few of you humans really know what that means baby. Love.”

“Look; just don’t.” She stood, the white box cradled protectively against her stomach. “You’ll just be in for a lot of unnecessary pain.”

He looked up at her, his gaze unwavering, not a muscle moved. “I am pain. I get off on it remember?”

“I think you’ve had enough.” She purposefully willed her feet to move and moved into the kitchen. She didn’t even have to see to know he’d followed. “And I so don’t get off on pain.”

“Oh but you do Hazel.” He leaned against the counter, arms crossed. “Pain is the number one motivator of life. Keeps the world going and such.” He twirled one finger in the air for emphasis and for a second her gaze riveted to the movement and held.

“I thought it was pleasure…”

“Opposite poles baby. Man and woman. North and south. Pain and pleasure.”

She scowled. “You’re a sadist.”

“That’s the trouble with humans.” She still wouldn’t look at him as she busied herself in warming blood for him. Without realizing what she was doing. “You give names to everything.”

Spinning on her heel Cordelia stuck the hard point of her nail into his chest, face set in a stubborn line. “Open your ears Fangless. I can’t love you.”

Trapping her hand against his chest with one of his own large ones he smiled down at her with a lazy ease. “Look again Cheerleader.” He heard the skittering of her pulse as he held her hand over his still chest.

“You already do.”

If the world had come to an end, Cordelia would not have been able to tear her eyes away from the hot chocolate pools gazing down at her as if he knew her soul. And like always, the lies wouldn’t come. Not with him.

“Yes.” She felt more than saw the triumph in his face. “But not in the way you want me to.”

“Matter of time.”

“I am not IN love with you dumbass! Get it? Not IN love!”

“…”

At the enigmatic smile, she hardened her jaw. “What the hell are you smiling at?”

“You’re so worried, Chase. Why?”

“Let go of my hand.”

“Make me.”

“Cordelia?”

The watcher’s voice seemed to break the spell and Cordelia wrenched her hand out of his. How’d it always end up there anyway? With complete disregard to the Giles’ entry into the kitchen, she marched straight into the bathroom and slammed the door shut.

Rupert Giles blinked owlishly behind his glasses. “Did I miss something?”

“Giles, I’m damned infatuated with her.” Angelus’ statement held none of the aggravation he was feeling while he stayed there leaning against the counter, arms crossed and forehead creased with a frown.

Cleaning his throat uneasily the watcher took off his glasses; cleaning them. “Angelus, that is more than I care to hear.”

“Tough.” Angelus growled, his eyes tinged with gold and determination. “You’re hearing this whether you fucking like it or not.”

It was then when Giles noticed the rigid line of the vampire’s body and the brooding frown. One that was eerily familiar. “Oh dear…”

At the nearly accurate deduction reflected on the watcher’s face, Angelus lifted an apathetic eyebrow. “Got anything to drink little boy?”

“Yes…”

“Get everything. I’ll need it.”

Part 14

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete

Of Demony Things & Crappy Lifetimes. 12   1 comment

CHAPTER 12

The pack of vampire demons they found indeed had the frat boys surrounded. From where Cordelia sat in Giles’ car she saw Buffy, Riley and Angelus marching up to the now snarling demon.

The young woman allowed herself a few seconds for just watching Angelus strut up to the pack with a smirk and his game face. The commando had lithe easy motions – but the vampire!

Cordelia recalled a previous statement about salty goodness and realized she’d been right on the money.

Angelus has his own unique pull to him. It was the way he walked up to the demon, fangs bared, the booted heel sending the demon sprawling away so he could take his time and play. Play with his new toy.

Giles’ coat discarded to the ground, the black silk shirt open around his throat, pulled out of the confines of his leather pants.

While the night had dawned, he’d finally convinced Giles to let him grab some clothes of his own and now Cordelia saw the confidence with which he went about disposing demon after demon.

She smirked. She always did think the right threads could make the `tude.

Putting her arms on the steering wheel, her chin resting on her arms she watched Buffy exchange blows, she saw Riley duck and parry, but it was Angelus who mocked, laughed and held all of Cordelia Chase’s attention.

Lips drifting up at the corner, she gazed with amusement at her own appreciation of the dance of death. But maybe she was just morbid and maybe Angelus was just too damned studly for his own good.

Glaring at her train of thought, Cordelia slumped back in her seat, grumpily muttering about good-looking dead guys. And now she was bound to him for life. She sighed at the irony.

To find someone as yummy as him and for him to be Buffy’s ex and a vampire. It was just not fair.

Looking up at the heavens she glared. “Don’t I ever get a break?”

With a bereaved sigh, she slid her gaze back to the vampire and nearly choked. Kicking her door open she ran across the park just as Buffy’s fist connected with her vampire’s jaw. “Hey!” Jumping between them, unthinkingly putting herself between Angelus and the slayer, she glared at the flailing woman in Riley’s grip.

“What the hell is your damage?”

“ME!?” Buffy spit out, her green eyes flashing with rage. “He’s the one who goads me and incites ME!”

Angelus rubbed the sore spot on his jaw, his eyes still spitting fire as he watched the slayer struggle in the commando’s arms. Every instinct told him to reach forward and snap her scrawny neck, but the brunette was still standing between them and the insistent throbbing in his temple told him to keep his homicidal urges in check.

But that didn’t include the onslaught of his tongue. A few well placed words and the slayer was back in kick-butt mode. No amount of borrowed blood could sate the demon while the slayer was around.

“Incite or entice you Slayer? But then you slayers can never really make up your mind, can you?”

“Argh!”

Cordelia yelped at Buffy’s guttural snarl and jumped back against Angelus, her hand reaching back to curl into the collar of his silk shirt. She could almost feel the quip on his tongue. “Angelus…”

But he didn’t heed her warning; smirking banefully, he fixed his eyes on the green of the slayer’s. “Ever wonder why the soul didn’t stay? The goddamn ultimate happiness and all that crap that means so much to you Buff. Your tragic love farce about soul mates and two halves of a fucking whole! The truth is slayer; YOU were not the other half.”

Cordelia spun around when Angelus started his tirade and she tried to grab him, tried to make him shut up, tried to put a hand over his mouth but he wasn’t done, he grabbed both her wrists and continued.

Cordelia had only one other weapon left. “Your pathetic attempt at the fuck of a lifetime killed the soul. Because you were do damned bad at sucking my-”

Angelus had been so busy firing barbs; he didn’t see the panic chase dogmatic determination on the cheerleader’s face before her mouth was crushed against his and all sound was stolen from him.

Now the demon was a thing of action, but when he felt the soft wide mouth of one Cordelia Chase against his own, he missed those few precious seconds to react; she drew back and took a deep breath.

Buffy Summers had gone deathly still in Riley’s arms.

Cordelia however took a deep smug breath, happy to finally have the silence around her. “Well good. We’re silent. I was starting toMUFFFPH!”

Only he hadn’t given her a moment to inquire what was his damage was. Taking advantage of her agape mouth and bewildered state, he stepped against her, arms wrapping around her like iron bands, one holding her around the waist tightly, the other up her back, hand tangling in her hair and his mouth slanted on Cordelia’s.

Like Xander’s, his mouth was full and firm, but that was where the similarity ended. None of the dreamy kisses she’d shared with Xander compared to this burst, this shock of having a man’s skillful lips devouring hers.

Or the hot, impatient way he used his tongue and teeth to simply drink her in, to focus every thought, every feeling, every need into that points where mouth met mouth.

Angelus had reacted on instinct when she’d pulled away. The kiss she’d bestowed on him was hard, jarring and distracting. Mouth closed, lips pressing into his with vehemence.

But when he’d grabbed her again, he hadn’t intended to give her a moment to defend herself.

When he felt her body jerk, stiffening against the onslaught of his lips, teeth and tongue, he wondered if even a fraction of what was battling through him was heightening inside her as well. He’d expected biting and he’d expected heat.

But he wasn’t prepared for the power, the pleasure that her mouth was made to give and receive. Her wide mouth had incited many fantasies. In the tub while he’d lain awake all night. Bored. Wanting. Raging.

And he’d known he’d find it all in her. It slammed into him like a bare-knuckled fist and left him drinking deeper. And he wanted to taste where her pulse throbbed, but he couldn’t get enough of her mouth to move lower.

Cordelia didn’t hear the slayer stomp away in betrayed, confused anger, but she was brought back down to earth when one cold hand slid up her stomach, fingers plowing into the neck of v-neck blouse and dig out one silk covered breast.

The shock of the cold digits flicking over her nipple sent bullets of ricocheting heat through her already overloaded system. And she jerked her mouth away with a gasp. “Stop!”

His lips twisting into a sensual smile that made promises he had no right to make Angelus let his fingers stroke the swell of the breast in his palm. “You’re right. We need to finish this in a better place. My place or yours Hazel?”

“I’m homeless remember!” She placed trembling hands on his chest; she tried to push him away. The sheer weight of him surrounded her like a hot blanket and Cordelia fidgeted. “HEY! Hands off grubby paws! AIR!”

“Mmmm, yeah baby, I’m having trouble myself, but let’s breathe later.” He lowered his head, nipping at her jaw. “Let me have you Chase. Don’t fight this.”

Her breath hitched somewhere between her throat and her chest at the feel of his teeth on her neck. “NO! Let me go! Let me go NOW!”

She struggled against him, until finally she shoved him away and he went, more afraid the girl would bolt rather than the blinding pain his chip would reward him for forcing her.

“Go ahead and breathe Brighteyes, but it doesn’t change facts. Although,” he ran a hand through his spiky hair giving Cordelia a peek at the restraint he was showing, “I’m not too damned happy with this either.”

“Bullshit.” She tried to calm the wild pumping of her blood and heart as she fixed her clothes. “You think just because you’re a big sexy neutered vamp you can seduce me! Hand me downs! Easy pickings since I’ve never done this before!” The hazel in her eyes turned a flashing honey with anger.

He rolled his eyes. “Oh come off it Cordy! Hand me downs my—” He broke off, one eyebrow hiking up. “Never done what?”

“You know damn well what I’m talking about!”

One corner of his mouth drifted up slightly, eyes flickering with interest. “Never? As in ever?”

Cordelia clenched her fists to her side, waiting for him to laugh so she could deck him.

“Fucking hell Chase! How was I supposed to know; I just figured since you and the moron, you’d…”

“Did he say that!” Her eyes narrowed into slits as she poised ready pounce.

Angelus held back the laugh, remembering the last two occasions when she’d pounced on him, the flesh where she’d bit him warming at the memory. “No. But have you looked at yourself in the damned mirror. I just assumed that you’d—”

“Slept around?”

He winced at the snapping retort.

Hand me a damned shovel, he thought. Digging a hole with my bare hands is getting tedious.

He shrugged and chose his next words carefully, because already he’d decided this sumptuous creature with her clever mouth was going to be his. Seer or no seer.

“You’re a beautiful woman Cordelia. I just assumed you knew how to ask for what you wanted.”

“You’re the LAST thing I’d want!”

He smirked at her hissing, defensive reply. “Yeah right Chase. I’ve been thinking about you with as much heat as you’ve been thinking of me.”

“Have not!”

“Doesn’t matter. Because now that I’ve had my hands on you, I’m only going to be thinking more of you and everything else that can occupy your mouth.” Her eyes flickered as her mouth parted in surprise at his blunt appraisal, laced with promise.

“You’ve got one hell of a mouth on you Chase.”

“Shut up!” Spinning on her heel she marched towards the empty street where Buffy and Riley had obviously driven off and left them to neck in solitude. “I’m going home!”

He watched her strut her stuff to the lamppost across the street before looking back at him, the line of her shoulders not as sure anymore. When he stayed back watching, she scowled. “Are you coming or not!”

With a snicker he fell into step behind her as she tenaciously stomped back towards Giles’ house. He watched the sway of her hips and shoved his hands into his pockets, already grinning at the prospect his future was bringing. If serving the good side meant he could play with this little spitfire it would be worth it. For a decade or so.

He rubbed a hand over his belly, knowing it would take a hell of a lot to untie the knots there. She’d gotten to him. Gotten to him hard. And the fact that she had no experience about what all they could do together made it all the more unsettling for Angelus.

Unsettling and arousing as hell.

He walked behind her without a clue as to what he would do about her, but he knew for certain that Cordelia Chase would have to accept that the Scourge of Europe was going to be her first.

And last.

***

Buffy held the sword beside her thigh, angling her body as she looked at the solitary mausoleum standing in the middle of the cemetery.

“Are you sure this is it?”

Looking back at her watcher, Buffy took a deep breath. “Yeah, Riley should be here soon.”

“You trust him.”

“Don’t ask me why Giles; I just do.”

“I’m not questioning you Buffy, just that…”

The door creaked and the blonde slayer stepped forward. “He’s here.”

Willow and Xander followed Buffy into the marble crypt. Giles took a deep breath and looked back at Angelus and Cordelia. The seer had insisted on tagging along. “Angelus?”

“I’m coming Watcherboy, keep your panties on.” Angelus looked down at Cordelia. “Go back to the car.”

The seer rolled her eyes and blew her front bangs off her forehead. “Oh my god; is your record still on pause! We’ve been over this!”

“Dammit Chase, you’ll just get in the way! Go back to the fucking car!”

“You’re not my nanny!” Glaring at his cavemen attitude, she strode past him and grabbed one of the axes from Giles.

Angelus let out an unneeded breath as he looked at the watcher and followed inside. “I’m watching her.”

Giles contemplated the prospect and the finality in Angelus’ voice for a moment before walking after his troupe.

It was an ambush. And if they hadn’t been prepared, they would have been dead.

Angelus didn’t wait a second. The vampire demons were not soldiers. The soldiers were the Scoobie’s forte. It wouldn’t kill him to get payback for his time on the lab table. He reached forward and grabbed the first demon’s wrist in his left hand. He let out a snarl, game face in place as his right leg smashed over thing’s head and then snapped back throwing him back onto the ground, neck broken.

While Cordelia watched from behind him, Angelus fought like a vampire possessed. And not once did he let anything get near her.

Before the next demon could grab Angelus, his fist smashed into its stomach but one of the demons had rolled past him towards Cordelia. Spinning around he made a move to throw it away, but Cordelia’s axe had landed in the middle of the demon’s head before he slid to the ground. He blinked at the haughty woman dusting her hands. “Nice.”

The cheerleader grinned before her eyes widened. “Look out!”

She’d reacted without thinking.

Flying off her feet, her arms wrapped around Angelus’ waist, Cordelia forgot that bullets wouldn’t do a damn thing to the undead.

Angelus grunted as he hit the concrete floor, landing on his shoulder, wrapped arms around the woman as they rolled. And then he smelled it.

Blood. And it was hers. He just knew it.

The roar in the underground chamber of the old initiative headquarter was feral. The demon was on his feet, fangs elongating, and the ripples in his face furious as he sprinted straight for the last remaining soldier that had opened fire in desperation.

Giles rushed to Cordelia’s side.

The soldier barely had time to open his mouth as the gun was wrenched away from him. Angelus’ hand grabbed the man’s face and brutally smashed him into the wall behind.

The snarl reverberated through the hall and everything stilled but him, his rumbling dropped a notch as the man let out a whimper behind his hand, his skull cracked in several places as Angelus leaned into his neck, his eyes wide and terrified, peeking from between Angelus’ fingers.

Buffy stood beside a panting Riley, frozen as she saw the vampire tear into the soldier’s neck viciously, the blood staining his shirt and sliding down his neck as he drank deeply, painfully, his hands crushing bone.

Unrestrained.

“God no.” The dread building in her veins, the slayer broke off the leg of an abandoned chair and sprinted straight for the ravaging vampire.

“Let him go!” She wrenched the demon off the man, but not in time to save him. She watched in horror as the dead soldier slid down against the wall a trail of blood making an eerie arrow pointing down to his body.

It was when the slayer’s eyes lifted up to him in disbelief that he realized what he’d done. Sliding his tongue out to lick the fresh blood off his lips, Angelus’ mouth twisted up into a smile. “Well well.” It was gone.

He was free.

Buffy took a step back. “Angelus…”

His lips pulled back from his teeth in a baleful smirk. “Say please slayer.” He sprang forward, only to fall screaming to his knees.

Giles stared at the writhing vampire at Buffy’s feet. If he hadn’t seen Angelus kill the soldier he never would have believed it was the same one shuddering on the floor. For a moment Giles had thought the chip had malfunctioned, but now it appeared it had just blinked off. Enough to allow one meal.

But why?

“Angelus?”

Still covered in blood and trembling with the ripping pain in his head, he lifted his agony fogged brown eyes to his seer. She was alive. The bullet had grazed past her shoulder. She was alive.

Coughing as his own blood curdled in his throat, he swallowed painfully and glared at her. “Starting tomorrow Chase. I’m teaching you to protect your own ass.”

***

Giles stopped the car. The two occupants in the back most silent than he’d ever seen them. Today they’d fought by each other’s side. For the first time they’d reacted out of their instinct to protect each other and he could see it had rattled them. Rattled them enough for Cordelia to lose the cynicism in her eyes for contemplation. But she wasn’t as shaken as the vampire next to her.

Still brooding Angelus sat in the seat beside her, his jaw clenching and unclenching. The blood of the soldier still singing in his veins as he reflected on the concept that was his seer. Never in his damn life had anyone ever put his life in front of their own. Not even when he’d been human. He’d never been worth saving. But today. Cordelia had nearly died protecting him.

The idea unsettled him. It unsettled him to no end. “I’m going for a walk.” Kicking the door opened, he was gone before Giles or Cordy could look up.

Signing, Giles met her gaze in the rearview mirror.

***

They made fun of his confusion.

Walking aimlessly, his hands shoved into his pockets Angelus wondered what the hell they were saying behind his back. Their voices and hers molded into unbearable screams, deafening the rest of his world.

Cordelia Chase.

She tainted the shadows around him. When the darkness rose inside him, she radiated sunlight brighter than he remembered. It fumed the hatred and stirred the resting embers until he was smoldering worse than when he was in hell.

And the possibility of just how frail she really was, enflamed it to a holocaust, burning him from the inside. She was already essential to him. To them. This, Angelus realized, would never heal.

Pain. Longing. Loss. Love.

The fire.

The blood.

The lust.

How much could he take? When would it be enough?

He was dangerous. He knew he craved blood and lust. He itched for destruction. He wasn’t the Scourge of Europe anymore. He died the day he’d let the cheerleader swallow him whole. He was out of control and he wasn’t sure if he could save her back. Her death would be too hard to live with. For eternity.

Looking up at the porch to the watcher’s house Angelus swallowed the emotion sticking in his throat. He was afraid to leave, but staying horrified him.

“You’re back?”

His head snapped to the side to see her sitting in a chair on the porch. “Surprised?”

“It was getting late.”

“Too late.”

Her eyes darkened to his implication. “What do you mean?”

“You fucking know.” The shaky emotional voice laced with regret couldn’t have been his, but if she was responding to it, then it had to be his.

“I’m tired Angelus.” She stood out of the chair, satisfied that he was back.

“Then quit Cordelia!”

He’d slapped her without touching her. And she winced. He’d read perfectly into her inability to sleep. She didn’t trust him to come back.

“If you still think I’m leaving Chase, then go.” She couldn’t doubt him. Not after tonight.

“Angelus, I…” She had an answer for him. It was in her eyes. But she didn’t speak it.

“Shut the hell up Chase. I’m no longer listening.” He climbed the steps up to the front door. The barriers rose up to the heavens.

Impenetrable.

Obscure.

Unbreakable.

His eyes wandered over her face as he waited for her to go first. They spoke.

Hesitation.

Regret.

Absolute fright.

Cordelia swallowed them whole. “I don’t think we need to talk about this again.”

She walked into the house and the sun warmed the sky.

The moment had already passed them and the blood bond was established. It was painfully clear – they’d kill for each other if necessary.

Chapter 13

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete

Of Demony Things & Crappy Lifetimes. 11   1 comment

CHAPTER 11

“Buffy?”

The blonde girl looked up at her best friend’s timid smile and sighed. “Hey Willow.”

The girl sat down beside her on the lunch table and put her thick books down beside her quart of milk. “Are you…are you alright?”

The slayer sighed softly and dropped her chin into her hands, watching the students laugh and go about their lunch hour. “Almost.”

Willow winced slightly at the misery in her friend’s voice. “He can’t be right you know.” Blue eyes lifted up listlessly as the Wicca continued.

“I mean look at it this way: the soul made him more…almost human you know. The man…vampire you loved was Angel. And we all saw him. He was real. Well he was dead, but he was real you know. For touching and stuff. But that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that you loved him. And that was real. Right? So what Angelus said about the soul being a parasite can’t be true. What you had was real.”

Buffy took a deep breath before rubbing her arms gently in the chill of the wind. Winter was coming. “Yeah Willow. We were real.” Then she looked up, blue eyes sad.

“I’m just human I guess.” She blinked slightly. “Well, Slayer. And I can’t help look at him and feel like he’s here. And somewhere deep down, a part of me wishes he wasn’t real. That would make being around Angelus…somehow easier.”

“But he’s not ya know. Not Angel.”

At the soft announcement, Buffy frowned. “What do you mean?”

“What I mean is,” Willow licked her lips, choosing her words carefully, “last night, Giles and I were going over some books. You know the really musty kind that smell sorta spicy and all. Anyway, any previous notions we might have had about the soul and the demon was based on assumptions, considering there’s no other vampire running around with a soul. Not willingly anyway. Not that Angelus would have picked this. My point is: Angelus is not the soul. The soul was an entity introduced into his body that tipped the balance towards light, but he’s still a vampire you know. Still a creature of the night.”

Buffy frowned at what the witch was telling her, somehow not grasping her point. “Meaning?”

“Meaning, the vampire in Giles’ bathroom is not the one you loved. Not the one who loved you. His destiny wasn’t the same as Angel’s. Angelus is tied to the oracles because they picked him. Angel is…”

“In hell.”

Willow winced at the blunt interjection. “No Buffy. Angel is more like – dead.”

“In heaven?”

Willow shook her head. “For demons there’s little to do with heaven or hell. They just exist. Angelus wasn’t supposed to go to hell, you sent him there. From what Giles and I could dig up; Angel just…”

“Doesn’t exist.”

“Yeah, but like who’s to say he’s not in heaven. I mean he was good and all. I personally think he’s in heaven. But hey, that’s just me.”

“I’d like to believe that.” Buffy took a deep breath. “What about Cordelia? How does she fit into all this?”

“That was a doozy.” Willow fidgeted in her seat. “Somehow you fit with the soul, and Cordelia…”

“She fits with the demon. Only a vampire would be lucky enough to have two soul mates when one betrays him. We humans never get a break.”

“Thus the vampire with soul. Two entities.”

Buffy smiled slightly at her friend’s perky response. “I get it Willow. I get that they’re different entities. Not that blonde you know.”

For just a moment, Buffy wondered that if Cordelia was the soul to the demon Angelus, did that make her the demon with the soul Angel? Then she shook her head.

Angelus was not Angel. Willow was right. And she was going mad. Besides, vampires made bad boyfriends. That much was a given.

Shaking herself out of the doldrums Buffy took a deep breath. She was in no mood for a pity party. “Anyway, any lead on the demon we toasted last week?”

The Witch winced. “Not very much I’m afraid.” She sighed heavily as she opened one thick book and pointed to a place on the page she’d bookmarked.

“The demon isn’t listed anywhere. I mean there are similarities and there are close matches, but nothing exactly like it. The color is all wrong and the teeth don’t nearly curve out like the one we saw. They have a tiny little bump right under…”

Buffy cleared her throat. “Ah…Willow. Point?”

“Oh yes!” The red head grinned. “Point is: I can’t find the demon.” Her face fell and she sighed again. “Bummer.”

“And the computer chip.”

The hacker’s eyes lip up. “Oh that! Well that’s a different story. I’ve pulled up an inventory of the manufactures of that particular version and let me tell you. Pretty decent work on the silicon on this one. I mean the simple logic circuits were just so…” At the bewildered look on her friend’s face, Willow smile sheepishly. “It’s pretty high tech.”

The slayer nodded thoughtfully. “Meaning expensive. Who’d have that kind of money just lying around?”

“The government?”

Buffy shudder slightly. “I’m in no mood to go down that road. I mean the watcher’s council is as far as I’d put politics into this.”

“But there’s an upside.”

The slayer blinked at the warning tone to her friend’s paradoxical statement. “Oh oh?”

Willow gave her friend a dire look. “The work is exactly like the x-ray scans I got from Angelus’ head. I’d even go as far to say they came from the same maker.”

Instantly Buffy sat up straighter. “So the demon ties in with Angelus’ chip?”

Willow nodded eagerly. “They’re nearly identical.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Which would mean the stupid vampire knows more about it than he was letting on. I’ll kill him.” Then the Slayer leaned back slightly in her chair and took a deep breath.

“Tonight. Right now I so need a little R and R.”

“We could go to the J-Crew opening at the mall.” Willow provided half heartedly. “Hotties there could prove to be helpful distraction.” When Buffy didn’t answer Willow frowned and followed her affixed gaze and raised an eyebrow.

“Or we could do that right here.” Willow mumbled softly as the tall man walked towards Buffy and stood besides the lunch table.

“Buffy?”

“Why is this becoming a habit?” She smiled slightly, watching the mirrored smile on his face, but it didn’t reach his eyes.

“I think I might be able to shed a little light on your demon problem. Got a minute?”

Buffy patted the bench beside her an ironic twist to her mouth. “Who needs an education anyway? Spill it.”

***

Cordelia purposefully chose to ignore the heavy implications of being the chosen one. That was new to her. She’d always chalked that name up to the slayer, but she’d be kidding if she said she wasn’t feeling better about the whole thing.

Yeah. They had the Slayer and they had the Wicca. But they picked her. Her – homeless little penniless rich girl. The fact that she was bound to Buffy’s ex just gave her all kinds of wicked ideas. Let them think she’d taken him.

That’d teach them.

Walking down the corridor of the school she frowned. Teach them what, she wondered. To take away Xander? She snorted and rolled her eyes, suppressing the dull ache of being jilted. No. Xander Harris hadn’t been growing on her. No more than moss.

With determined strides she made her way to her literature class. Maybe she could get off for good behavior. Save a few extra ones before dinner time and cut back on the sentence. Oh yeah. That way she could be free in like two or three years.

First order of business, she decided. Graduation and then she’d do her bit for destiny.

Only her confident walk faltered and her delicate little ankle twisted as the first kaleidoscope of colors hit her and then the vision sent her to her knees.

Bright flashes and screams in her head were followed by the garish fangs. Familiar fangs of the demon that had died with a fork in his eye. Only this time the huge gray demon had the man by his throat, claws digging into the man’s skull and abdomen.

And then she saw another. And another.

***

Angelus was sitting on the couch tossing playing cards into one of the decorative, open skeleton skull of the dead Nunuki beast when he felt the twist in his chest. With a wince, one hand drifted to the dull ache. It was then when he realized it was exactly where his heart should have been.

Looking down he stilled, the card drifting from the fingers of his other hand. “Oh no. Not now.” His gaze skittered up to the glow behind the curtains before the burn settled like pinpricks under his skin. “Fine. Fine! Christ I get the fucking idea!”

Grunting and irate the vampire stood up and walked over to the cloak closet and threw the dark brown coat over his head; one that smelled too much like the watcher for his taste.

And then he ran out into the sunlight in search of his soul.

***

“I still don’t get why he had to carry me.”

“You were unconscious Cordy. Be glad Xander was around to fetch you.”

“Fetching is all he’s good for anyway.”

“Hey!”

Cordelia sat in the library chair the cold pack on her head as the headache nearly ripped right out of her skull.

She looked up at the scoobies huddled around the table; the new dark haired boy sprawled in his chair, swinging it back on its rear legs as he filled them in on how he’d been following the missing experiments until he found out the illicit dealings of the military organization chipping vampires.

The seer just wanted to get the slaying over with. Why did they have to sit there and engage in a symposium? Ignoring Xander’s hurt yelp she fixed her eyes on the new comer.

“So let me get this straight,” she said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice, “they were using vampire research to make some sort of anti vampire demon and ended up what? Making an Anti people demon instead?”

Riley smiled slightly at the sharp tongued brunette. “Something like that. The demons were vampires.”

Buffy stared at the man. “So you’re saying Angelus would have become one of those…slimey fangy things?”

“Experiment 14 was resilient to most mutations.”

“No shit.”

Eyes snapped up to the smoking figure in the library doorway, fangs flashing and eyes burning gold.

Angelus growled; the sound vibrating through the book racks. “Being a few centuries old really builds up the resistance. Let’s see yours.”

“Angelus no!” Cordelia stood out of her chair and Buffy was instantly in front of Riley, but the vampire didn’t make it to his target. As soon as the intent to tear the human limb from limb was clear, the chip sent him howling to his feet.

The entire library fell silent, as the vampire trembled on his hands and knees, cursing profusely, the heel of his hand pressing into his temple as if meaning to reach into the flesh and tear the chip out.

Riley raised an eyebrow from behind Buffy. “No wonder they want this one back.”

Cordelia was the first to move, striding across the library while Xander watched with growing unease and Buffy frowned at the seemingly companionable way she offered him the compress as he stood to his full height still reeling from the pain.

Giles turned to the Commando and frowned. “Beg your pardon?”

Riley shrugged as he watched the grumbling vampire mutter something to the cheerleader who only rolled her eyes. “The chip didn’t work on anyone else. None of them survived the implant. Well you’ve seen the outcome.”

“This one had to live I’m afraid.” Leaning back against the table, Giles crossed his arms as he watched the unsettling sight of Cordelia and Angelus move away from the group, automatically settling into each other’s company.

For a moment he felt bad about leaving the girl home alone with the demon so much, but then this Initiative and the new demon introduced into Sunnydale had been primary on their mind. He watched his slayer’s blue eyes darken as she saw Cordelia laugh at something Angelus said.

“Not that I’m a big advocate of the vampire,” Giles looked at Riley, “but it concerns me that they are conducting such…research that is putting the lives of people in danger.”

“I agree. I’ve been trying to find proof enough to make it stick, but a few wayward demons and corpses aren’t enough with all sorts of crazy things running around this place already.”

Buffy sighed. “That’s the Hellmouth for you.”

“Besides I’m just one man.” He looked up at Buffy pointed. “Which is why I approached you.

The slayer held back her smile.

Giles cleared his throat and faced the redhead still bent over her laptop. “Willow?” Her pretty green eyes blinked up at him. “Did you track down the suppliers?”

The girl nodded, her fingers flying over the keys effortlessly. “It isn’t confirmed, but I’ve isolated the only possible supplier. Technology like this isn’t come by at e-bay you know.”

Xander pretended to rummage through his book-bag as he watched the vampire put one hand on the table beside the cheerleader and lean closer while she ranted.

“Serves you right all the bruises came back, or I would have given you shiny new ones.” She stood under his scrutiny, without a hint of unease, hip leaning against the table.

“Damn the soul had it easy. I miss the bastard.”

“There there.” Cordelia patted his head.

“The hair is off-limits Chase. At least the soul bites fair. You don’t.” He ran a hand back through his hair to fix the spikes. “Besides, I’m playing the damned cowboys and Indians with you; so give it a rest.”

“Ye-hah!” Cordelia glared at him, arms crossed, the headache seemingly lessened now that she was occupied. “After you let the little girl die.”

“You’re wasting your time. I haven’t felt guilt since the 18th century.”

Cordelia sighed and shook her head. “So all you’re going to do is bitch.”

“I am doing something.”

She lifted her head to find his eyes only a few inches above her, his position over her giving him a mighty fine look down her shirt. But she stayed there. Curiosity getting the best of her.

As always. “What?”

“Standard response to unforeseen dilemmas perfected over many centuries.” He paused for effect and smirked. “Nothing!” She snorted with laughter at his quip and Angelus grinned at her, basking in the glow of her wide smile and sparking hazel eyes. “Besides, you didn’t want this gig either; remember?”

“I die and it’s over. Bonus; remember?”

A muscle worked in his jaw and he let out an unwanted sigh. She had to be the most stubborn human he had the displeasure of verbally sparring with. The girl always had some comeback to everything he said and it was just damned unsettling on a woman.

“Does the term self-preservation mean anything to you, Chase?”

“Death can be therapeutic. I won’t ‘feel’ as you so eloquently like to point out all the time. Besides it was lack of self-preservation that got me into saving your fat ass remember?”

He pointed a threatening finger at her; the tip nearly touching her nose as he let his hip slide along hers with a whisper of a touch, testing her boundaries, and when she didn’t pull away, he let the tip of his finger graze her pert little nose teasingly. “Okay that’s three. One more and I won’t be responsible for my actions.”

“That night,” she smirked up at him, the twist of her pretty mouth almost taunting enough to match his own, “you were ready to die as much as I was, fangless.”

Angelus watched her oddly for a moment, his head drawing back to look at her more openly. “Are you kidding me Hazel? Do you think I want to die? Do you think it’s goddamn easy after hundreds of years? Why do you think I made the deal in the first place?”

She raised a cocky eyebrow, leaning closer to him haughtily. “So you don’t tempt the slayer into staking you?”

“The Slayer’s just in heat, she needs to ride someone.”

Cordelia muffled the spurt of laughter, casting guilty glances around her before she cleared her throat. Angelus watched her for a moment, the animated twinkle in her eyes. The infectious smile on her wide mouth.

“Why the hell did you think I’d actually help you? Before I found out I had no choice I mean?”

She blinked up at him, startled by the direct question. She thought of joking. She thought of hedging and she thought of just walking away. But most of all she thought of the way he looked right into her eyes as if nothing in them could faze him.

And for the first time in weeks she found herself relaxing. Almost like she didn’t have to fight to keep the mask in place. “The alternative seemed unthinkable.”

A cocky eyebrow drifted up. “Forgotten the fangs and flesh already?”

“You weren’t doing anything else.” She rolled her eyes and tried to sway the conversation back to sparing, but Angelus wouldn’t let her.

“You shouldn’t have.”

At the slight husk in his voice Cordelia met his eyes and for a moment, just a moment, she thought she saw confused awe battling longing in his eyes. “All said and done?”

But then the look was gone to be replaced by the impassive chill of the vampire’s amber tinted eyes. “No. But I’m choking on the rest.”

“Choke alone.” She slid out from underneath him.

He caught her arm and she was slingshot back against him, for a breath, the others paused as Angelus glowered down at the girl, eyes brimming with gold, nose nearly level with hers.

“I’ve spent more than two hundred years killing, what the hell makes you think I’m suddenly turning over a new leaf Cordelia?”

Held against the hard planes of his chest, Cordelia had to fight the urge to lean closer. Somewhere along the way, the lines had blurred between food and consumer. He wasn’t eating her and she had started to see him as more than a demon.

The change in their affiliation startled her into silence almost as much as it incensed him into sneering. “We are built for certain things baby. Like that guy, Sisyphus, he rolled that damned stone up that mountain and it rolled right back down. Then he got to start all over. That’s what he was good at.”

The young woman bristled at the know-it-all-arrogant tenor of his voice. The glint in his eye was enough to tell her; he figured the reference was lost to her. “No. The difference between Sisyphus and you is that he doesn’t whine all the time.”

It was distracting. Damn distracting the way she leaned back into him, her shoulder softening against his chest, her wrist loosening in his grasp even while she shot back with equal venom, Angelus took a moment to answer.

“Maybe that’s because he’s immortal. At least he isn’t just waiting around to die like you Chase.”

“Well I’m grateful for my mortality. Few people find life good enough for it to last forever. Me? I intend to go out with a bang.” Yanking her arm out of his grasp, she picked up the melting compress, the headache returning tenfold as she left Angelus glaring after her and slumped back into her chair next to Giles.

“Can we get on with the invasion plan already? I have an appointment with my masseuse after this migraine.”

Xander cast one scathing look at the silent vampire behind them as he leaned against the table there; arms and legs crossed, face set in a brooding frown. But it was his eyes that made Xander want to beat the undead stuffing out of him.

His eyes were fixed on Cordelia Chase.

Angelus was cursing all the hell and heavens as he tried to calm the rage mixed with the need to possess the woman who challenged him on every turn. He couldn’t for the unlife of him understand how they were supposed to work together without tearing each other to pieces. Verbally or otherwise.

That or tear each others clothes to pieces.

It was then when he realized the singular train of thought and his eyebrows shot up in realization.

Dammit! He was getting accustomed to her.

Part 12

Posted July 3, 2015 by califi in Complete