Archive for July 21, 2015

Misunderstandings. 15-19   2 comments

Chapter Fifteen

Angel gathered the young girl into his arms, stroking her trembling body with strong tender caresses. Cordelia let the vampire hold her. The pain of the vision was too great to struggle against his attempts to soothe her.

Cordelia pulled away blinking at the handsome vampire as soon as the agony ceased.

“Cordelia,” Angel whispered his now empty arms falling dejectedly to his sides.

Angel tensed under the unreadable stare of his beautiful seer. He didn’t know what she was thinking. Angel hated that; he had always been able to sense his seer’s thoughts and emotions. But now, they were being hidden from him. Angel had forgotten what an expert Cordelia had been at covering up her true thoughts.

She was almost as good has he was. But, at some point in the last two years, he and his seer had gotten past their separate needs to conceal their feelings, at least with each other.

Now, he knew that bond had been severely damaged if not completely destroyed. That scared him and filled him with guilt, even more so than the picture of Cordelia kneeling before the remains of his sire. Damn bitch, he thought angrily of the blonde.

Why had she had to come back? How could he had have let Darla cause so much harm to Cordelia and his relationship. Angel shook his head; he couldn’t dwell on that now. Angel had to concentrate on Cordelia, on helping her, on reaching her, on fixing things.

“Cordelia, the vision?” Angel softly asked focusing on the one issue he knew he could fix. He would get to the others soon, very soon he swore.

“Why do you want to know?” She asked raising an elegant eyebrow. “You are no longer a warrior for the Powers, right? Redemption and helpless be damned. Or are you telling me that not only is Darla fodder for a dust buster, that Druscilla is also, gone? And that Wolfram & Hart as been laid waste by your self-righteous indignation and hatred. The biblical cleansing salt has been scattered over its ashes preventing it’s evil to ever rise again.” Cordelia’s mask was firmly back in place. Her contemptuous tone confirming it.

Angel closed his eyes against his seer’s accusatory tone. He had to focus; he couldn’t afford to get lost in his own guilt and turmoil over his past choices.

“Cordelia, I want my redemption. I know what my responsibilities to the Power’s are and I am willing to fulfill them. Tell me, please. Your vision?”

“Since when,” she retorted.

“Since,” Angel paused, the memories of his surrender to the exhaustion his soul invading his mind. He couldn’t dwell on that now.

He concentrated on the epiphany he had under gone as he woke still with his soul. Angel had known then that he wanted to try to reach his humanity with Cordelia at his side. The knowledge that he wanted Cordelia, needed her, that he loved her had sparked such an intense feeling of hope in his soul. Angel had to center his struggling emotions on that hope.

It was the only weapon he had to fight his fear for his love and reach her, to save her.

Cordelia quietly contemplated the vampire. “It was a demon, large scaly, breathed fire, and looked like he wanted to do some serious damage at the homeless shelter on Market St, soon,” she added. “Well, what are you waiting for, are you going or not?”

Angel heard the implied dare in her question. Angel knew he had to go or Cordelia would not believe that he was sincere in his declaration. But he couldn’t leave Cordelia alone. His redemption, his mission was a priority; he believed that and felt it.

Yet, he also recognized that while his atonement was important, nothing was as vital to him than the young girl who stood before him. Angel couldn’t risk leaving her alone.

At his hesitation, Cordelia turned away from Angel, her shoulders slumping slightly. At that moment, Angel knew that Cordelia had concluded the test a failure and his assertions false. Angel had to go fight the demon in her vision. He couldn’t disappoint her again. Angel turned from the room.

“You are going?” Cordelia stared at the vampire. Her intent gaze questioning.

“I am going to call Gunn, he can…”

“Gunn? You want him fight what is suppose to be your battle?” she declared in disgust. “He could be hurt, doesn’t that matter, to you? Wasn’t Wesley, enough?”

“Cordelia, it matters, however I am not leaving you alone. Demon or no demon. Once Gunn gets here. I will go.” He said forcibly.

“Oh. But I said soon. The homeless are the important ones, the ones in danger not me, you have to go now. If you’re really going, that is.”

Angel began to feel frustrated at Cordelia’s continual denial that the vampire would fight the evil in her vision. It felt good. Frustration with his seer was a common feeling. Unlike the fear, desperation, terror, guilt and confusion that he had been experiencing over the last 24 hours.

“Gunn will be here soon enough,” he growled.

“You don’t know that,” she retorted.

“Cordelia, the Power’s will get their warrior and I will do everything I can to save the homeless, I swear. But not until I am ensured of your safety. I don’t know what you are thinking and feeling right now. Regardless, you need to understand and accept that you, not the homeless or any other lost soul, are the most important thing in my life, Power’s be damned.” He said roughly leaving the room to summon Gunn.

“No, No,” Cordelia cried angrily after the vampire. Angel’s redemption was what was meaningful; she thought throwing herself on the bed silent tears streaming down her face. She wasn’t more important, she couldn’t be, she wasn’t worth it.


Chapter Sixteen

Gunn came storming into the hotel, not stopping until he was directly in front of the vampire. Angel stood at the weapon’s cabinet gathering his arsenal.

“Man, I don’t know who you think you are ordering me around,” yelled Gunn.

“Gunn, I need you here to stay with Cordelia. I told you that on the phone.”

“Yeah, well, that’s the only reason I came, for Barbie.”

Angel nodded, barely acknowledging the young man’s anger. Angel knew that Gunn’s continual anger was justified, but he didn’t have the time or the inclination to deal with it now. He had to go battle the demon in Cordelia’s vision, and then he had to concentrate on his seer and her well being. Angel would tackle Gunn and Wesley’s sense of betrayal at a later time.

Because as much as he needed them, he needed Cordelia more. She was his first priority, his life.

“Cordelia is upstairs.”

Angel glanced up the staircase. He needed to go back up there and be with Cordelia. He had to get through to her, he had to understand but first, he had to go fight a fire breathing demon. Actually, he thought it might do him a world of good to pummel something evil, to release the tension bottled up inside his body.

Angel allowed his rage over all that had happened to Cordelia rise above his ever-present fear and guilt over the girl. Yes, he thought, it would definitely be cathartic to beat the holy hell out of something. Angel began to look forward to the battle.

“If anything, I mean, anything happens call me,” he growled pocketing his cell phone.

Gunn glared as Angel left the hotel. Damn, him, Gunn thought. Angel had ignored them, fired them and now he was acting like he was the head honcho. Ordering him around, ordering Wesley to move into the hotel when he was released and ordering Cordelia to stay here. Gunn glanced upstairs, thinking of the young girl that was suffering because of the vampire.

If Gunn had his way, he would take her far away from this dark place. It couldn’t be beneficial for Cordelia to remain here with Angel. It had been all of his fault that she had come to this. But, Gunn had promised Wesley. Wesley told him to not interfere with Angel and Cordelia, not unless Cordelia wanted him to. She was to remain, unless or until she asked for their help.

“Cordelia?” asked Gunn softly as he caught sight of the young woman that had been occupying his thoughts.

“Hi,” she answered almost shyly. Cordelia stopped at the bottom step. She had to force herself to meet the young man’s concerned eyes. Oh god, she thought, she hadn’t even started to come to grips with all she had put Wesley and Gunn through, what she was still putting them through with her severe lapse in judgment.

They were suffering because of her. Their pain just intensified the chaotic swirl of images and emotions that inhabited her mind and soul.

“Cordelia, are you are alright?” God what an asinine question, thought Gunn. She had tried to kill herself; all right was the last thing she was. Lord, he was truly beginning to hate the vampire, Gunn thought, as he took in Cordelia’s pale complexion and frail posture.

“Cordelia, maybe you should be sleeping. Or are you hungry?” Gunn said not sure of what to say or do for his beautiful friend. “I can order some food, I doubt bat-man has anything fit for human consumption in this place. Man,” Gunn looked around in distaste. “This place has gotten rank.”

“I am not hungry,” she shook her head struggling to compose her feelings. “How is Wesley?”

“Better, English is having fun getting looped on the painkillers,” Gunn tried to joke.

Cordelia nodded trying to focus on the trivial and mundane, anything other than her own turbulent mind. “I didn’t get a chance to thank you for getting my clothes and stuff.”

“No problem,” he stared concernedly at the young girl. “Here, Cordelia let’s sit.” Gunn motioned to the couch.

Cordelia nodded and moved slowly towards the sofa.

A flash of anger shot through Gunn as he noticed Cordelia nervously tugging on her long sleeves, stretching them out until they were twisted in her small fists. Damn that walking corpse, Gunn’s mind cried out.

“Cordelia, Cordy, if there is anything else you need, anything. If you want to leave here, I’ll take you. It doesn’t matter what the vamp says. It’s up to you, say the word and we are out of here.”

Cordelia cocked her head and stared at her friend. Leave here, she thought, glancing around at the dark, dusty lobby. Did she want to leave? She couldn’t decide. This place held the specter of Angel and Darla and all the angst and turmoil that their union represented.

This placed housed the culmination of Cordelia’s failure towards Angel. Cordelia hated it there. But did she want to leave? She just didn’t know.

Cordelia could feel her emotions in torment, begging to be acknowledged and set free. They were banging up against the wall of her mind taking the form of bright flashing colors. The chaotic colors pushed at her control, pounding for their release. Cordelia squeezed her eyes closed, concentrating on calming the jumbled and frenzied lights.

She had to understand them before she could allow herself to feel them. To do so without that comprehension, she knew would drive her mad. But it was so hard; all of her emotions were in painful disorder. Cordelia took a deep breath and looked at her friend.

“I’m fine here,” she said softly, making her decision.

“Cordelia, its Angel’s fault…”

Cordelia shook her head. “Gunn, I’ll be alright. And I’m fine here,” she said firmly, forcing her emotions down. She would be fine, she promised to herself, and to do that, she would have to stay in the hotel. The hotel was where it all started and where it would all end.

The two friends sat in silence. Gunn glanced at the young girl, then would look away. He wanted to help her. Gunn wanted to reach out to her and make her tell him why she had felt the need to resort to such a terrible solution. He wanted to be able to talk to Cordelia. But, he didn’t know how. Gunn was never one for deep emotional dialogues. It just wasn’t his style, but right now, he wished it were.

“Cordelia, I want to help….”

“I know,” she smiled slightly. “Thank you.” Cordelia turned away to look at the entrance of the hotel.

“Angel has been gone a long time,” she said more to herself than to Gunn.

Gunn looked away. He didn’t know what to say. Part of him wouldn’t be at all upset if the vampire disintegrated into the big dustpan in the sky, but another part wasn’t so sure. He looked back at the silent young girl. Gunn, suddenly wished Angel a speedy and healthy return.

There was something about the way Cordelia was holding herself, that suggested that the death of the vampire would cause her even greater misery.

Cordelia couldn’t help herself. She kept staring at the entrance waiting for the vampire’s return. Somehow, instinctively, she knew that she would never be fine, if Angel didn’t walk through that door. Cordelia would be able to try to figure out her mixed-up emotional state, once she knew the vampire was back.

That same instinct told her that the only reason she wasn’t still spiraling in her previous self-destruct nosedive was because of Angel’s presence. The fact that he still for some reason had his soul and cared for her, even after what she had done, was keeping her grounded.

So, Cordelia waited.


Chapter Seventeen

Angel limped back into a hotel filled with silence and darkness. He could sense both Gunn and Cordelia’s presence downstairs. Angel had been right, the battle had been therapeutic. For those several intense and violent moments, he had been able to feel nothing but his rage.

With each of his powerful blows, Angel pictured every person and everything that had ever harmed his seer and he annihilated them. Angel welcomed every return blow from the demon as his penance for not destroying them sooner. However, Angel’s sense of satisfaction at the demon’s death wail was short lived as he hurried back to the hotel.

His never ending remorse and apprehension for his seer returned with each step he took closer to the Hyperion.

Angel blinked as the main lobby light was turned on. He turned to the source. Angel’s eyes met the wide unreadable hazel eyes of his seer. Cordelia was standing by the light switch, her hand hovering over the fixture. Cordelia stared at the vampire from across the room. She narrowed her eyes.

“You’re hurt.” She stated, finally blinking.

Angel shook his head. “It isn’t anything. Just a few bruises and slight burns. Nothing.”

Cordelia nodded and walked over to the front counter, bending down briefly. She walked over to Gunn who was now standing. Cordelia placed the first aid kit in front of the young man. She looked once more at the vampire and headed up the stairs.

The men’s eyes followed the young woman’s ascent.

Gunn turned back to the vampire in chagrin. “Okay, so let’s see,” he grumbled at Angel.

“I am fine.”

“I’m really get sick of that term. Cordy’s ‘fine’. And now you’re ‘fine’. None of us are ‘fine’. It’s a stupid statement. Now, let me see. Barbie, obviously feels that I should do something,” Gunn said motioning to the first aid kit and the vampire.

“I can do it,” Angel said picking up the first aid kit. “How is she?”

“What?” Gunn asked incredulously. “Cordy isn’t ‘fine’, okay?”

“I know,” Angel said softly, pulling off his coat to reveal a charred shirt and injured flesh.

“You know?” Gunn asked contemptuously. “You know nothing about Cordy. You haven’t bothered or cared about her and what she had to put up with while you were on your own personal ‘lawyer bashing’ crusade. God, I don’t get you, man. You abandoned Cordy without even a backward glance and now you’re Mr. Expert on our Cordelia. Knowing what’s best for her for an’ all. Well, you haven’t a clue. If you did, you would know that she doesn’t belong here.”

Angel focused on taking the items out of the first aid kit, refusing to respond the young man’s angry, but meritorious comments. Angel couldn’t let his guilt or Gunn’s anger divert him from taking care of Cordelia.

All of his thoughts and energies had to be centered on his seer.

***

Cordelia walked up the stairs slowly. Finally, she thought, an emotion that she understood and could deal with. Relief, heartfelt, happy relief. She had felt that when Angel walked through the door. She sighed. That one emotion had stood out in the midst of all of the other confused and jumbled feelings that swamped her mind.

She had grasped at it like a lifeline. It gave her hope.

Cordelia stalled as she walked past Angel’s suite. She paused. Again, she was drawn to the room. Only this time the door was locked. To keep her out, she imagined. The colors of her mind were enhancing gaining velocity as she stared at that door overpowering her one stable emotion.

She was becoming confused again; the emotions threaten to cascade through, exposing themselves and their turbulence. She looked at the door in contemplation for moment and then turned to her room quickly.

She was only in the room for a few seconds, when she returned to Angel’s door. Her fist was squeezed tightly, hiding the item clutched in it from view. Cordelia looked down the hall; her gaze fell on the old type fire extinguisher attached to the wall.

***

Gunn was steadily watching Angel as he put ointment and gauze around the searing marks on his shoulder. Gunn’s hostility and annoyance grew at the vampire’s silence.

Angel and Gunn jerked up with a start as they heard a loud crashing sound form the upper floor.

Angel took off running. Gunn followed behind, but his slower human speed kept him more than several feet behind the vampire.

Angel stopped in front the broken door of his suite. The smell of smoke overwhelmed his senses. Cordelia, he thought in panic as he rushed in. Angel stopped suddenly at the sight of his seer. Cordelia stood transfixed by the flames that were slowly engulfing the scrapes of clothes, sheets and debris bundled on the middle of the bed. Angel said and did nothing as he watched the fire grow in size and heat.

“What the hell,” Gunn yelled as he ran into the room. He quickly looked around his eyes settling on the fire extinguisher lying next to the broken door. Gunn grabbed at the item heading towards the growing blaze.

Angel grabbed at Gunn, blocking his advancement. “Angel, we have to stop it, before it trashes the room, then the hotel,” Gunn cried.

Cordelia turned to the vampire holding back Gunn. “No, Angel.”

Angel nodded. “Let the room burn.”

“But, the hotel…” Gunn yelled struggling against the vampires hold.

“The hotel will survive,” Cordelia whispered with confidence.

Angel nodded, letting Gunn go. Gunn stared at the couple. Both Angel and Cordelia were enthralled by the inferno that was slowly but effectively incinerating the bed and the surrounding area.

Finally, the fire died out. Cordelia looked at the charred remains and the ashes on the floor. She nodded slowly in satisfaction and walked out of the room, ignoring both Angel and Gunn.

“We have got to get her back to the hospital,” exclaimed Gunn. “This is definitely not ‘fine’ behavior. Man, you can’t tell me that this is good. I’m taking her out of here.”

“No,” Angel growled, turning on his friend. “Cordelia stays here.”

“Angel,” Gunn interrupted in concern and fury.

“NO,” the vampire growled again, his eyes glowing yellow.

“You are nuts,” Gunn yelled storming down the stairs.

Angel ignored the young man’s incensed departure. The vampire looked around the room. A sense of satisfaction and release filled him as he took in the scorched remains of the room.

Cordelia had done what he had wanted to do what he should have done to this room as soon as he realized that he still had his soul. Angel wasn’t foolish enough to believe that the eradication of the physical signs of his desperate act with Darla would cure whatever torment Cordelia was experiencing and his own culpability, but it was a beginning.


Chapter Eighteen

Angel went to Cordelia’s closed door. Without any hesitation, he went to turn the handle. Angel sighed in relief as he heard the latch click open. He hadn’t wanted to force the door, but this time he knew he would if she had locked it. Angel had to talk to her.

“Cordelia,” he said softly to the young girl curled up on the bed.

“Go away,” she mumbled, her face hidden in the mattress. Cordelia had hoped that Angel wouldn’t come after her, but she had known he would. Just like she had known when he had returned to the hotel and that he had been injured. The knowledge was purely instinctual, a surety that she couldn’t deny or ignore.

“No. I will not leave you,” the vampire growled. “We have…”

“I am not telling you to leave me,” Cordelia interrupted pulling herself up. It would be pointless, she acknowledged to herself as she stared at Angel. The vampire was telling the truth, he wouldn’t leave her, not again.

That enlightenment confused her, yet she had to admit that it, also, somehow sparked something in her, a confidence that she had not felt in such a long time. Regardless, she needed to be alone right now.

Cordelia needed to try to process what she had just done, if possible. For a brief moment, as she watched the flames blister and burn the bed, she had felt in control. Cordelia had recognized a necessity to excoriate all traces of Darla and Angel’s union and had been able to act on that compulsion. It had been a very satisfactory feeling.

Yet, while it had felt good, Cordelia realized that her action was not entirely rational. And, she knew she couldn’t properly assess all of her feelings and actions with Angel’s presence overwhelming her thoughts. “I am asking you to let me be, just for awhile, please.”

“Cordelia?”

“Angel, please, just for a little while. I need to be alone, now,” Cordelia begged.

Angel went to the bed and reached out to caress her tear stained cheeks. “I will not abandoned you, ever again,” he promised. His non-beating heart broke at her plea. Angel longed to hold his seer, to comfort her.

Cordelia closed her eyes at the vampire’s tender caress. She raised her hand holding his to her face for a second before gently pulling it from her face. “Please.” Her wide eyes beseeched him.

“Only for a little while,” he growled. Angel didn’t want to leave her, but he sensed that she needed to be alone. So, he would do what she wanted. Angel was just gratified that Cordelia seemed to acknowledge and accept that he would be back and would remain with her, forever.

She nodded and curled herself back into the bed.

With one last glance he left her closing the door behind him.


Chapter Nineteen

Angel sat downstairs in the lobby wondering what to do next. Threads of doubt began to form and creep through his consciousness. Maybe, he shouldn’t have left Cordelia alone. Torching his bed was not exactly a normal reaction.

Gunn was right. Just who did Angel think he was? Angel wasn’t a therapist. He was a vampire. What the hell did he know about treating or helping victim’s of attempted suicide? What did Angel know about the inner workings of a 20-year-old mortal woman’s mind? Sure, Angel had been around along time, but that didn’t necessarily give if him any deep insight on the psyche of humans.

Hell, as a mortal, he hadn’t the talent or interest to empathize with other people’s problems, especially woman. And, while Angelus definitely knew how to recognize the fears and insecurities of men and women, his soulless self wasn’t exactly charitable towards them. He had been much more inclined to exploit and cultivate those fears for his own depraved enjoyment.

And now, well now, Angel wasn’t exactly issue free himself. Maybe, Angel was just being arrogant and selfish. Angel wanted and needed to be the one that got through to Cordelia, the one to save her, the one to always protect her. But maybe Angel couldn’t. Maybe he should take her back to the hospital.

No, Angel argued with himself. He may not be the most mentally well-balanced individual or know the ins and outs of the human psyche; he did know his Cordelia. No matter what Gunn had said. Sure, Angel had damaged his bond with his seer and that made it difficult to sense what she was thinking or feeling, but not impossible.

Angel pushed aside his doubts. Angel began to rationalize his thoughts; he knew and loved Cordelia. Angel could help her. While, Cordelia’s torching of the room may not seem to have been a logical act, he understood it. Angel knew deep in his soul that her act of destruction was not done out of some form of desperation, but out of strength and anger, and that was healthy. He would let her alone, for now and she would remain with him. He would save Cordelia.

But now what to do? Angel knew he couldn’t just sit there. Brooding wasn’t helping. Fretting and indulging in his remorse and self-doubts accomplished nothing for Cordelia. He needed to be active. Food, he suddenly thought, Cordelia would need some food.

Angel slammed the cupboards in disgust. There was nothing in the cabinets and nothing in the refrigerator except blood. He glanced angrily around the dusty, empty kitchen. He walked back into the lobby of the hotel. Angel had definitely let the place fall to seed.

Usually, the vampire was fastidious about his surroundings. Years of living in the grime of the sewers had made him very particular and neat in regards to the state of his living environments. But, along with everything else, he had lost interest in the appearance of the hotel as he sunk deeper into the darkness of his vengeance.

He looked around in displeasure at the room’s mustiness and disarray.

Angel sighed in relief, suddenly realizing that he now had something to do. The vampire went to the phone and ordered food for Cordelia, picking up the scattered files and books as he placed the order.

God, this place was dark, he thought as he went around turning on more lights. Angel glanced up the stairs. How long did ‘for a little while’ mean? He asked himself. The seeds of doubts had crept back into his mind, taking root as he tried to concentrate on the task of cleaning the lobby.

***

Cordelia scooted up to the head of the bed, leaning up against the backboard. She tried to collect her thoughts, grasping at those she could interpret. She would deal with those, first. Relief, she had felt contentment upon her realization that Angel was safe. She had also experienced a burgeoning sense of security in Angel’s vow to stay with her.

Contentment and confidence, she had not associated those particular sensations with Angel in such a long time

In the last two years, those feelings had grown within her, becoming a constant in her life, feelings which had always given her the strength to confront any situation, whether it be evil induced or just life in general. But, those sensations had been lost when Angel had turned his back on her, only to be replaced by anger, sadness, fear and now guilt.

Her strength had been sapped every day, every moment Angel had embarked on his dark path. Cordelia had been positive that her courage had been completely demolished, when she saw Angel and Darla together. She hadn’t even had the strength to stay angry at the vampire.

But just now down in the lobby, she had felt the spark of her former confidence along with the renewal of her strength. Cordelia needed to focus on those forces, cultivate them and use them to work through the chaotic mess of her mind.

And she had to acknowledge that she loved the vampire and needed him. Just like she had to admit that justified or not, she was still angry with Angel for abandoning her. That particular emotion had gotten lost and overwhelmed by her guilt, but she realized it was still present in the jumbled mire of her thoughts.

Cordelia got up from the bed, moving towards the mirror. She gazed at her reflection. Yes, she loved Angel, yet she failed him. What kind of love was that, her mind cried out. How could she be angry with him, if it was her fault? Flashes of painful hues swarmed through her thoughts as guilt began to overpower her once more.

Oh god, no, she thought, she wasn’t going to let her own feelings defeat her, not again. Cordelia forced herself away from the mirror, shoving down her guilt. Okay, Cordelia admitted, she wasn’t ready to deal with that particular emotion, just yet. God, she was exhausted….and she smelled, she thought scrunching up her nose.

The odor of smoke surrounded her, permeating her clothes. Eww, she needed a bath. Cordelia clutched gratefully onto that need. Being annoyed about her physical appearance was a good sign, wasn’t it, she thought in hope.

Chapter 20

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete

Misunderstandings. 11-14   1 comment

Chapter Eleven
Angel wanted to believe that Cordelia really would be fine. But her ramblings just didn’t make any sense. She obviously lied to the doctor about why she attempted suicide. And she seemed to be glossing over the seriousness of her actions and the reasons behind it, even to him.

“Cordelia, the doctor thinks that you are suppressing your anger or hurt and that is what caused you to do what you did. Cordelia, we have to talk about it. ”

“Yeah, well, the doctor also thinks that we use to be a couple, she is wrong about that too,” grumbled Cordelia.

“Cordelia, you have to talk to me,” Angel urged.

“I have been talking to you. Weren’t you listening?”

“Cordelia, you haven’t said anything, but that you want to go home.”

“That’s because I do want to go home.” The girl retorted. Cordelia took a deep breath and stared hard at the vampire. “Don’t you think you owe me that much at least. After all, if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here now would I?”

The vampire’s usual superb mastery over his powerful body faltered as her words formed a physical blow that hammered his body and soul.

“Cordelia…” Angel started, then stopped, his voice wracked with pain. Angel couldn’t discern whether his seer was blaming him for her attempt at suicide or for saving her. Angel would accept the blame for whatever misery led her to try to take her life, but he would not accept censure for saving it.

“Cordelia, you are in this hospital, because you were in serious danger of dying. You slit your wrist; the blood flowed from your body staining the porclein red. I have a lot to apologize for but not for bringing you here, not for saving you, your life.”

Cordelia stare never wavered. “Angel, you misunderstand me, I am not accusing you of anything. I am merely stating a fact. You brought me here, I am still alive and I am fine, now you can get can get me out of here,” she said calmly. “Are you going to help me or not. Please, Angel.” Her tone changing abruptly to one of pleading. “I hate hospitals. You know that. Okay, we will talk later, but not here, I promise. Please.” Tears welled up in her beseeching eyes.

Angel was wary over Cordelia’s sudden change in demeanor. But while he would not accept blame for saving her, he felt the burden of responsibility for bringing her to this point. Angel had to help her; he couldn’t resist the plea in her beautiful eyes. The vampire would do anything he for her, except leave her or disappoint her again. Making his decision, the vampire nodded slowly.

“Thank you,” Cordelia whispered gratefully curling back up into the bed.

Angel strode out the room. “Dr. Radcliff, Cordelia seems better. She wants to go home,” the vampire stated firmly pushing his doubts aside.

“I don’t think that is a good idea,” cautioned the psychologist. “We can keep her for the next 72 hours. I think she is in denial as to what she tried to accomplish.”

“I agree,” stated Wesley firmly.

“Wes, you haven’t even talked to Cordelia. Go talk to her, Cordelia said she wanted to talk to you. Go talk to her then I will take her home. Doctor,” Angel argued interrupting the doctor’s oncoming statement. “I know Cordelia. She hates hospitals. She won’t be comfortable enough here to relax and get well. I am taking her home,” the vampire said firmly.

There were plenty of arguments that the psychologist could use to counter the dark man’s statements. But, she also realized that Cordelia did seem cognizant of her predicament, if not fully accepting the severity of her situation. The young girl was lucid, intelligent and seemed to have a basic understanding of what brought her to the hospital.

Without some definite symptoms of psychosis or repeated attempts on her own life, the doctor knew that the hospital would be unwilling to keep the young girl, no matter the doctor’s own doubts. The Neuro-Psych wing was already overcrowded with individuals that really, by documentation at least, were at risk. Unfortunately, if Cordelia was unwilling to stay and showed no relapse behavior, Dr. Radcliff couldn’t commit Cordelia without the young girl’s consent.

Dr. Radcliff nodded. “I will get Cordelia’s discharge papers ready, but I strongly suggest the she not be alone and that she seek professional help. Attempted suicide is not something that should be taken lightly, by her or by those that care about her,” she warned glancing at Angel and Gunn standing before her. Wesley had already gone onto Cordelia’s room. “And, I would suggest that you all resolve any differences that may endanger Cordelia’s well being.”

“Cordelia won’t be alone. I will take care of her,” swore the vampire vehemently. The doctor nodded and moved off.

“You, you are the one that caused this. You shouldn’t be near her,” the street kid whispered viciously. “What happens to Cordelia when you decide that you have to drop everything to go after your ‘blonde bitch’ obsession. I will tell you what, Barbie is left alone again, hurt. No, you won’t be near her.”

“Darla is dead.”

Gunn stood shock still. “Really,” he stuttered momentarily at a loss. Gunn shook his head. “Great, ding dong the bitch is dead, but what about the evil swanky law firm. What about your need to go all dark and vigilantly against the pond scum of Wolfram & Hart. The firm is still standing, right? Are you going to be able to resist jumping into the cesspool to take them down.”

“Wolfram & Hart will get what they deserve….But,” the vampire emphasized. “But, not at the expense of Cordelia. Wolfram & Harts’ time will come and I will be there.”

“And if Cordelia needs you to be with her?”

“Gunn, I know now where my priorities lie, in there,” the vampire motioned into the hospital room at Wesley and Cordelia talking.

“I will not risk them or you,” Angel added roughly. “But especially not Cordelia, not again.” The vampire stood and stared at his family. “Gunn, I will need your help.” The vampire stated not looking at the kid. “Cordelia will go with me to the hotel, but I will need you to stay with Wesley until he is ready to be released. Then when it is time, Wesley will also come to the hotel. Neither will be alone.”

“Don’t you think that they will have some say in that.” Gunn countered roughly.

“No.” the vampire growled.


Chapter Twelve

“Cordelia,” Wesley whispered gently.

“Hi,” Cordelia said softly. “How are you feeling?”

“Better. You?”

“Better,” she smiled.

“Cordelia, what happened? Why? Why, how could you do this?” Wesley wheeled his chair closer.

“I don’t know, Wesley. Actually, I guess I do. I was scared that’s all. More scared than I ever been. You were shot, laying here in this hospital. And, you know about the note. I thought Angelus was back. Obviously, I was wrong, but at the time, I believed it. And I just gave up that’s all. I knew that I didn’t have the courage to face him without you fully horizontal and swinging a book,” she gently teased the former watcher.

“Cordelia,” Wesley started.

“No, Wesley. I was just scared and a coward. I didn’t want to deal, that’s all. But I am better now.” She smiled widely trying to reassure her friend.

“How can you better, the situation hasn’t really changed. Angel could still become Angelus at some point and time, then what?”

For a brief moment, Wesley saw an assorted mixture of conflicted emotions pass through Cordelia’s beautiful eyes. A combination of thoughts and feelings that he couldn’t interpret. It worried him. But then just as quickly she gazed at him with sincere eyes.

“Wesley, you are right, our never-ending quest to fight the good fight is the same. My continual fated plight to save souls by way of painful yucky slideshows has not changed. The possible emergence of Angelus, well, is and always will be a possibility, until the Powers say otherwise. But, I am okay. I have as they say hit rock bottom, and I am now moving up the cliff.

I realized something, lying here, I don’t want to die. So, I won’t, well, not without a hellish drag down fight, anyway. That’s me, Wesley, Queen of the good vs. evil. WWF. I know you are worried and I am truly sorry for that, it was very selfish of me to do what I did without thinking of you. But, hey, I am Cordelia Chase sometimes I forget that the world doesn’t revolve around me. Forgive me.” She smiled at her friend tears pooling up in her hazel eyes.

“Cordelia, don’t.” Wesley said reaching up to touch her face, his heart breaking. “You are not selfish, you are just so young and we forget that sometimes. Of, course I forgive you. Everything will be alright,” he reassured her gently.

“I know. I do feel better, Wesley seeing you, awake and not drooling all over your English self.” She smiled again. “But, I do want to go home.”

“Yes, well, I am sure we can arrange that. Everything will be fine.” Wesley nodded. “I will speak to the doctor.”

“Thank you,” Cordelia said gratefully. She waved as Wesley rolled out of the room.

Fine, Cordelia’s mind clamored. Like hell everything is fine, but at least between Angel’s guilt and Wesley’s concern she would be getting out of this damn place soon, Cordelia thought curling back up on the bed. Then, well, she didn’t know, but first things first.

***

Wesley sighed, wiping a tear from his eye. “Cordelia is too young for all of this,” he said accusingly at the vampire.

“I know.” The vampire responded.

Wesley nodded at Angel’s acquiescence. “Doctor, I would have to agree with Angel, Cordelia should be released. I have talked to her and I believe that what drove her to do what she did was real and she knows it too. However, I do believe that as Cordelia said, she hit rock bottom and is now able to move her way back up. She has had to deal with a lot of different real bad situations…”

Wesley trailed off thinking of every evil, every death, and every fear that Cordelia has had to go through. “But she is strong, she just got scared and she is young, but she will be fine,” the former watcher assured the doctor.

The doctor looked at the men, then back at the room, which held Cordelia. “I can’t keep her, but from the short time that I have talked to her and to you all, I don’t think you should believe she is fine.”

“Cordelia says she is fine, she just needs some time to think, that’s all.” Angel argued.

Wesley nodded. “Cordelia is a very strong young woman and I have never known her to lie, have any of you?”

Angel and Gunn shook their heads.

“No, Barbie is always honest, sometimes way too painfully honest,” agreed the street kid.

“I will tell you what I see, you all may disagree, but I want you to think about it. I see a twenty year old young girl with three men that obviously care about her, I see that she knows it. I see that even though Cordelia knows that she is cared for, she tried to cut her wrist to the bone and bleed herself dry. I see that she has not yet once acknowledged her feelings on this, but rather is saying ‘whoops, I made a bad mistake, but nevermind I will be fine’. I see a young girl who is intelligent, charming, beautiful and deeply troubled.

Gentlemen, she is a player. And you are being played. And I suggest that you get over whatever hold she has on you, and concentrate on the true Cordelia, not the one that says what you want to hear, but the one that slashed her wrists. Because, if you don’t, she will do it again, maybe not tomorrow, or the next day, but she will.”


Chapter Thirteen

Angel kept glancing over at the young girl sitting next to him in the car. He kept thinking about Dr. Radclif’s admonishments.

Was Cordelia just telling them what they wanted to hear? The more the vampire thought about it, the more he realized that Cordelia still hadn’t said much of anything about why she had tried to kill herself.

Neither he nor Wesley were really any closer to understanding why Cordelia had attempted to end her life. She had talked to them, separately, and then five minutes later, they were both championing her release and reassuring the doctor that Cordelia was fine. Had Cordelia just been playing them, to get what she wanted all along, to get out of the hospital.

Angel admitted that Cordelia had the ability to be manipulative, not in the crude, evil way of some, but the dark young beauty did know how to use her charms, wit, and force of personality to get what she wanted. Cordelia had the ability to wrap Wesley around her finger and the vampire acknowledged that she had the same power over him, when he wasn’t being stupid and soul destructive. Angel sighed.

“Cordelia, I am sorry,” the vampire said with sincere remorse. Angel wanted to explain his previous actions. He wanted to let Cordelia know that he cared, really cared. Angel wanted to tell her that he loved her with all of his undead heart and soul. But Angel knew he wouldn’t. But the vampire could and would make sure that Cordelia knew he was there for her and would always be.

The young girl turned from the window. “For what?”

“For everything, for abandoning you, for firing you, Wesley and Gunn, for ….”

“Angel, I’m tired,” she yawned resting her head against the window. She closed her eyes ending her interest in the vampire’s apology. Cordelia knew that she would explode in some unmanageable melt down if she had to listen to the care and concern in the vampire’s voice.

He still cared? How could he when she had failed him? So, maybe, by the grace of the powers he wasn’t Angelus, but that had nothing to do with her. If it had been left up to her alone, Angel would be gone.

And it would have been all her fault. She couldn’t think about it. All Cordelia wanted was for the swirling imagines of Angel, Darla, and her own coldhearted face out of her mind. She wanted peace and quiet. She needed to regroup and readjust and Cordelia couldn’t do with it all the flashes and colors swamping her mind.

“Cordelia you can’t avoid talking to me,” the vampire demanded, willing the young woman to open up to him. Angel needed to know what was going on in her head. What was really going on, not just what she wanted him to know.

Cordelia blinked her wide hazel eyes at him. “Who’s avoiding? I am just tired. I have had a rough 24 hours, that’s all,” she said calmly. She had to get rid of the sound of his anxiety-ridden voice, her mind screamed. Cordelia struggled against the desire to throw herself in the vampire’s arms and to let go. To let all of her fears and heartache free.

Part of her wanted to trust the vampire, to let him heal the torment in her mind, body and soul. To ask him for his forgiveness. But she couldn’t. After observing the carnal display of Angel and Darla together, Cordelia had been blind-sided by her own guilt and the seeming hopelessness of everything and had been left with no option, but to spectacularly implode or that was what she had felt at the time.

Cordelia was alive for whatever reason, maybe that reason also was by the grace of the Powers. But she was not ready or able to lay bare her feelings to anyone, not the vampire, not Wesley and not even to herself. The young girl willed all of her varied and disparate emotions down, pressing and squeezing at them until they were nothing more than a sliver of thought in the corner of her mind.

“Of course you have,” the vampire agreed readily. “But we still need….”, he pleaded.

“Angel, not now okay. Exhausted that’s me…..Hey, this isn’t the way to my apartment.”

“No, I am taking you back to the Hyperion.”

“I said I wanted to go home. What part of ‘home’ don’t you understand.” Damn, the vampire was making the self-subjugation of her emotions virtually impossible.

“I am not leaving you alone,” the vampire answered keeping the growl in his throat.

“I am not alone at my apartment. Dennis, remember?” She could win this, her mind cried. Cordelia had to get away from the vampire.

“Cordelia, I agreed to let you leave the hospital against the doctor’s advice, but that does not mean that I will just drop you off to be alone.” This time the reverberations of his growl sounded through his words. He completely ignored Cordelia’s implication that the ghost was able to look after the young girl.

“I don’t need to be babysat, I told you that I am fine,” Cordelia huffed.

“Fine, God, I wish you were fine, but you are not.” Angel growled the determination and resolve furiously present in his game face.

Cordelia glared at the vampire and settled back into the window, blocking him, his anger and his concern out. Cordelia knew that she had lost this particular battle. Cordelia needed, wanted to be alone. She felt like she hadn’t had a chance to be alone since she placed herself in that bathtub.

It had been so peaceful. No worries, no concerned friends bugging her to open up. But that hadn’t been real. That feeling of peace was artificial; it had been merely an illusion, the result of her escape tactic borne of fear, guilt and desperation. An escape tactic that was an utter failure as well as being astronomically stupid.

Cordelia couldn’t even begin to comprehend that she had actually chosen that particular self-destructive route. Giving up was not in her character, but she had been so damn tired, so guilty, so lost.

Yet even though, Cordelia knew that she would never try such a drastic and desperate act again, being in the hospital faced with the concern of Wesley and some how Angel’s, just confused her rather than gave her clarity or peace of mind. Cordelia needed to be alone. And then maybe she could assimilate all that she was feeling and figure out where her real options lay.

Cordelia’s nerves felt like they were ripped open, exposed to the air, waiting to be incinerated by the slightest touch or word. Her body stilled as her mind widely struggled with the onslaught of feelings that were threatening to surface, again.

She squeezed her eyes closed beating down her emotions. Cordelia waited in anticipation for the time that she could escape, if only for a little while from the vampire’s all consuming presence. Her outside appearance remained calm showing no evidence of the ferocious battle with in.


Chapter Fourteen

Cordelia jumped out of the car as soon as they reached the hotel, running as fast and as far as the vampire would allow. She had to get away. Cordelia fled upstairs up to one of the guestrooms. Angel hurried after her, worried about the young women’s prior stillness and now frantic flight.

Angel followed her all the way up the stairs in the hotel, calling after her. He knew that he could catch her and stop her, but he didn’t want to force her to stay put. He could sense her fragility as well as her determination to run away from him. And as long as she was running away in the hotel, rather than out of it, he would let her run. But he would follow letting her know that he was there and always would be.

Abruptly, Cordelia stalled as she past Angel’s suite. Like a magnet she was drawn uncontrollably to the doorway. The swirls of blinding colors were once again cascading through her mind.

Angel stopped behind her. “Cordelia,” he begged reaching out for her arm trying to urge her away, his gut clenching in fear. God no, the vampire thought, as he pictured the varied proof of his encounter with Darla. Angel couldn’t even call it sex. It had been an act of pure desperation nothing more, but how would Cordelia see it? Oh god, what would she think? His mind and soul cried out in guilt. Angel had to get her away from his suite. He tugged again at her arm.

Cordelia glanced coldly at his hand on her arm and pulled away moving forward.

“Cordelia,” the vampire begged again trying to reestablish his claim on her arm.

Cordelia ignored the vampire and strode further into the suite until she was standing in front of Angel’s bed. Angel was frantic; his first thought was to grab Cordelia and bodily force her out of the room, to do anything to remove the young girl from the room. But Angel stalled at the expression on Cordelia’s face. He had no idea of what she was thinking or feeling and it terrified him, paralyzing his movements.

Cordelia looked around the room as if that was the first time she had ever seen it. She stared at the female clothes, torn and tossed around, the unmade bed her face tightening as she pictured the two vampires engaged in lovemaking.

She quickly looked away, and with a tremendous push of will was able dim the colors and suppress the emotions rising up inside. Cordelia’s eyes were drawn to a scattering of large pieces of dust a few feet from the bed. She walked over to the pile and knelt down. She traced a finger through the debris. “Darla?’ she commented.

A cold force full of guilt and pain shot through Angel’s body at Cordelia’s indifferent tone.

“When….”, he started his voice shattering into a thousand pieces choking on his own fear and horror at Cordelia’s actions. His soul was overwhelmed with anguish at the sight of the woman he loved nonchalantly swirling the remains of his greatest mistake.

Angel had to remove her from this room. Being here couldn’t be safe for her mental well being. Angel knew that it wasn’t for his. A nauseous feeling settled in the vampire’s gut, as he smelled the still present scent of his sire, sex and death. Angel had to get both Cordelia and him out of there.

Cordelia got up suddenly halting Angel’s struggled explanation.

“Gee, Angel loving you can be real bitch, can’t it,” she said emotionlessly wiping the rest of his former lover’s remains on her pants. “This place is a mess,” she shot glancing at the obvious evidence of the two vampire’s recent violent intercourse. “Just a little rambunctious weren’t you before you went all praying mantis on her?” She said matter of a factually walking across the hall into the guest suite and closing the door.

Angel remained stock still as Cordelia calmly and coolly walked past him. Angel’s soul cried out in panic as he watched the girl leave. Angel longed with every fiber of his undead being that some how, some way, he could erase the last 24 hours, or if nothing else the last 15 minutes as he perceived what Cordelia had seen.

The broken furniture, the rumpled bed, the scattered clothes, the pile of Darla’s remains, all evidence that incriminated him of his monstrous misjudgment. Angel wished for a blaze of scorching fire to eradicate and cleanse the room of all traces of the attempted abandonment of his soul.

Angel’s concern for Cordelia broke through his stupor. He couldn’t just let Cordelia go. He rushed to the door of her room; he reached for the doorknob, then stopped. Angel couldn’t face her, he thought in dread. Angel shoved his tortured emotions aside and turned the knob, he had to see her and make sure she was safe.

“Cordelia, let me in, please.” Angel called as he realized the door was locked. “Cordelia, please.” He urged.

“Go away, Angel. I need to rest.”

“Cordelia, I have….” The vampire’s voice breaking under the weight of his self-blame.

“No,” she shouted. “Not now.”

Angel stood at the door not knowing what to do. Should he break down the door or should he leave her alone? For the first time in his undead life Angel was truly at a loss to know what to do. Even when the vampire had made the wrong choices in the path he would follow, he never hesitated or doubted his decisions, abet the choices were grossly misguided and damning choices, but he had always been decisive.

But now, the vampire just didn’t know and it unnerved him.

Angel glanced up sharply at the door as he heard Cordelia’s gasp and then cry of pain. With no more doubts or hesitation the vampire broke through the wooden boundary and rushed to the shaking girl in the bed.

***

Cordelia sat on the bed her back up against the headboard, trying to think calmly and rationally. Cordelia wasn’t stupid, she knew that she had to deal with what had happened to her, what was still happening to her. But she just didn’t know how. Her eyes settled on the white bandages that were wrapped tightly around her wrist. Angrily, she pulled down her shirtsleeves to hide the evidence of her desperation and guilt.

Cordelia was never one to talk about her feelings, letting others know exactly how she felt. To do so invited betrayal and pain. So for most of her life she had always worn a mask of one sort or another, but her time in LA with Angel had slowly broken down her masquerades and her need for them. With Angel, Cordelia had begun to trust in people, to actually develop real friendships.

Then Angel had betrayed her and forsaken the family that they had formed, and the masks were back up. A disguise of false cheer, strength and confidence, became her costume of choice. And Cordelia had been maintaining her facade, she knew she had, at least until she had seen Darla and Angelus together. Cordelia wished that she could classify that one act as further evidence of Angel’s betrayal of their relationship and trust, because then she could just ignore him, erect her wall of defense, thereby effectively and permanently blocking him from her heart and mind.

But, it was impossible, because that one act hadn’t been his betrayal, but proof of her own failure. That sight and all that it implied obliterated all of Cordelia’s carefully devised fronts and she was left with nothing but the truth of her own feelings and the undeniable defects of her character. Cordelia slumped down on the bed vehemently trying to disregard the presence of the vampire outside the room.

Cordelia’s self-flagellating thoughts were interrupted abruptly by a sharp pain slicing through her head. She cried out as the agony as her vision overwhelmed her mind.

Chapter 15

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete

Misunderstandings. 7-10   1 comment

Chapter Seven

Gunn wished that Wesley would wake up. The street kid didn’t know what to do about Angel and Cordelia.

Should he try to make the vampire leave Cordelia’s room? Gunn didn’t like that Angel was there. Cordelia had been fine before she had left the hospital. She had said that she had something to do. Well, Gunn just knew that ‘that something’ had to do with their former boss and why she is now in the Neuro-Psych ward with two slit wrists.

What had the vampire done? The street kid started to pace in anger. Gunn wanted Angel gone. But, he thought picturing the angry determination on the vampire’s face, nothing short of staking the vampire would get him away from Cordelia.

Gunn stared at the vampire sleeping next to the young pale girl. Gunn turned to head back to Wesley’s room. Maybe, if he sat in there and stared Wesley would wake up. Watched pots do boil, just not any quicker. But the former watcher wasn’t a pot, so maybe it would work.

***

Cordelia felt a heavy weight on her chest. It was a cool weight, not at all uncomfortable. She wondered at the sense of security the heaviness induced through out her being. She sighed deeply; she hadn’t experienced this level of safekeeping in just a long time. Cordelia slowly opened her eyes.

They widened in confusion and fear as she saw the dark head sleeping on her chest. The head stirred sensing the awakening of the young woman. Cordelia’s eyes blinked rapidly as she gazed into a pair of warm deep brown eyes.

“Angelus?” she whispered, the bewilderment apparent in her soft tone.

Angel shook his head, his eyes never leaving the dazed beautiful hazel ones. “No. I didn’t lose my soul.” He answered softly sitting up on the bed.

“I saw him.” Cordelia’s head shaking, her mind recoiling against the memory of the two vampires engaged in sexual intercourse. The vampires’ perfect eternal bodies moving in an erotic rhythm. The face of Cordelia’s vampire transformed in lust pounding into the writhing blonde vampire. Darla’s passionate growls for more of ‘her boy’ ringing throughout the room over the sounds of bodies joining.

Angel turned away ashamed and fearful of the look in Cordelia’s beautiful eyes. “It wasn’t Angelus, it never was,” the downcast vampire whispered roughly.

Cordelia pushed herself up on the bed trying to distance herself as much as possible from the vampire. “Leave me alone,” she whispered a coldness creeping into her voice.

Angel gazed back into her scornful eyes. “No,” he said in determination ignoring his feelings of guilt. Angel wanted to please Cordelia, but he would not leave her alone, not again. No matter what she said she wanted.

“Leave me alone. Go away,” Cordelia repeated her voice breaking.

“I am sorry, Cordy,” Angel reached out to caress Cordelia’s face.

Cordelia turned curling herself away from Angel. “Go away. I don’t want you or your guilt.” She choked into the mattress. Silent tears saturated the sheet as Cordelia felt the weight of Angel’s body leave the bed.

Cordelia was scared. The last thing she remembered was being in the bathtub and slipping into a peaceful numbness where she would finally be free from pain and fear. But, it figures she couldn’t even succeed at killing herself. Well, at least she succeeded in making Angel leave. Cordelia turned her head.

The vampire hadn’t left, but was now sitting in a chair by the bed.

“I told you to leave.” Cordelia glared adamantly at the vampire.

“I am not leaving.”

“I don’t want to talk to you.”

“You don’t have to. Not right now. But, I am not leaving you ever again.” Determination and resolve flashed briefly in the vampire’s brown eyes.

Cordelia blinked her wide eyes at the vampire and then turned her back on him settling into the bed burrowing her body into the covers.


Chapter Eight

“Excuse me.”

Angel glanced at the woman standing in the doorway. She was in her mid- 40’s, the white coat and name badge labeled her as the hospital psychologist. The doctor beckoned Angel out of the room.

Angel looked again at Cordelia’s sleeping form then at the doctor. He nodded and went towards the psychologist.

***

“I would like to ask you a few questions about…Cordelia, before….before I go into talk to her,” she went on nervously. There was something about the handsome man that made her nervous. A violate power lay just underneath the surface of the man’s concentrated stillness. The man was riddled in a mass of contradictions; it couldn’t at be at all conducive for a healthy frame of mind, the psychologist in her diagnosed.

“Yes?” Angel commented.

“I understand that you are a family member of Ms. Chase. Do you have any idea why she would want to kill herself?”

“Yes, please tell us, I want to hear your explanation of how Cordelia, the strongest, the most animated, the most caring woman in this ungodly world ended up here, with her wrists slit open. Her spirit broken. Tell us Angel,” demanded Wesley from his wheel chair.

Wesley had insisted on being brought up to see Cordelia as soon as Gunn told him the news. Gunn stood behind the wheelchair, shooting angry glares at the vampire.

Angel didn’t want to look into his injured friend’s accusatory stare, but he did. The vampire wouldn’t let anyone add to his own feelings of guilt to force him away from Cordelia.

“Wes, should you be up?”

Wesley ignored the vampire’s concern. “Angel, answer the question.”

“Only, Cordelia can answer that.”

“That’s a cop out man and you know it. This is your fault,” Gunn declared.

Angel said nothing.

“Angel, if we are to help Cordelia, we need to know.” Wesley said trying to remain calm, but his anger at the vampire and concern for Cordelia was making it difficult.

Angel pulled out the note given to him by Dennis and thrust it into his friend’s hand.

“Angelus?” Wesley questioned out loud. “Why would Cordelia think that Angelus is back,” Wesley said stunned. The vampire standing before him was definitely not Angelus. Wesley was sure of that one thing.

Angel turned away and stared at the huddled form of the girl that he had caused so much pain.

“Cordelia saw me with Darla.” He said simply.

“What? When? Why?” the former watcher cried out comprehending the vampire’s meaning. “And why aren’t you…nevermind,” the former watcher stuttered seeing the doctor’s questioning glance.

Gunn looked confused, then his eyes widened in disgust. “You didn’t? Shit,” he yelled. “You have gone over to the dark side, either that or you are just plain nuts.” Gunn’s eyes flashed in hostility.

“Gentlemen, I am going to ask that you lower your voices, this is a hospital. And Wesley isn’t? I don’t think you should be out of bed.” The doctor looked sternly at the pale man.

“I am fine. I want to see Cordelia,” the former watcher demanded.

“I am not sure that would be a good idea, given your current frame of mind. I don’t believe the obvious tension between the three of you would be healthy for Cordelia.”

“I want to see her,” Wesley responded stubbornly. “She can have visitors, can’t she. He,” Wesley nodded towards Angel with barely disguised distaste. “Has been in there.”

“Yes, well, Angel has been in there since she was brought in. But, I really think that I should talk to her now, alone. Maybe, later.”

“Fine, but he doesn’t go back in. Cordelia doesn’t need him right now.” Gunn interrupted motioning to the still dark man.

“I would have to agree,” stated Wesley.

The doctor glanced uncertainly between Angel and the other two angry men. The handsome man hadn’t moved, but the doctor could see that the violate power shimmering beneath the surface of the man was about to explode.

“I will make that decision after I meet with Cordelia.” The doctor decided to prolong the onset of any unpleasantness, hopefully the girl’s answer would prevent any.

***

Angel never moved, but Gunn stepped back a pace in apprehension at the vampire’s expression or more accurately his lack of expression. The doctor wasn’t the only one that could sense the intense emotions that the vampire was restraining.

“Angel,” Wesley called in warning.

“I will say this once and only once more. No one, not either of you, not the doctors, not Cordelia will prevent me from being here, in there with her. Understood.” Angel said forcefully with finality. Angel’s words were clipped and to the point. To say anymore would give his demon the opening to erupt in violence against the two men that were trying to keep him from Cordelia.

“Angel,” started Wesley.

“Wesley,” Angel growled his own warning.

Wesley remained quiet, his angry glare turning speculative as he continued to stare at the vampire. “Angel, just how did you find her?”

Angel remained silent as the picture of Cordelia’s pale weak body invaded his mind.

“She wasn’t here.” Angel took a deep unneeded breath trying to shake the horrific tableau of Cordelia lying in her own blood from his consciousness. “I realized that she must have been in the hotel, when….” Angel paused. “ I needed to see her. So, I went to her apartment.”

Wesley nodded and looked back at the crumbled note. “Angel, we won’t stop you from seeing Cordelia, if,” he emphasized, “ Cordelia want’s to see you. If she doesn’t then for once think about her and do as she wishes.”

“No, Wesley.” Angel shook his head, the violence pounding through out his undead body now under control. His guilt coming to the forefront dampening his rage. “This has gone on too long,” he motioned around implying the emotional distance rather than the physical space that separated them all, “it has become too dangerous for all of us. I have to talk to her. I have to try to explain, get her to understand. I have to understand why she would do this. Otherwise, we all will be destroyed by this.”

“There is nothing to understand. You are a bastard.” Gunn interrupted.

“Gunn,” Wesley scolded. The former watcher reread Cordelia’s note. There was more going on than just what those simple words scrawled on the tear and blood stained paper implied. And the vampire was right in that Cordelia was the heart of all of them, without her, they were nothing but mere shells, without her they would be destroyed.

“Gunn, leave him alone. Okay, Angel, try to make Cordelia understand, then maybe you can make us understand your ruinous behavior and why Cordelia is lying in there.” Wesley said decisively rolling his wheelchair to stare through the glass partition at the young girl and the doctor.


Chapter Nine

“Cordelia,” the doctor called gently. “Cordelia,” she repeated as the huddled body started to stir. Cordelia lifted questioning eyes to the stranger.

“Hello, I am Dr. Radcliff, I work here in the hospital. I want to have a few words with you, if you are up to it.”

Cordelia scooted up on the bed considering the woman intently. “You are a psychologist,” Cordelia asked looking at the doctor’s nametag.

“Yes, that’s right. Cordelia do you know why you were brought to the hospital?”

“Gee, I assume it was so I wouldn’t bite the big one.” She said sarcastically. “Was there another reason?”

The doctor paused at the girl’s tone. “Well, no. Angel brought you in. He saved your life. You tried to kill yourself.”

Cordelia looked away from the doctor, her eyes met those of the vampire staring through the window.

“Angel?”

“Yes. You didn’t know?”

“Well, gee, I was kind of out of it,” she retorted turning back to the doctor. Cordelia hadn’t known. She had assumed that Gunn had found her, last she knew Angel was busy being preoccupied by a blonde undead bitch. No, her mind screamed. She wasn’t going to replay that particular horror porn through her mind, ever again.

“What is it you want?” Cordelia asked devoid of all emotion.

“I want to know, why you tried to kill yourself.”

“And?”

“And, if there is a danger of you doing it again.”

“And?”

“And, if you need to be admitted for a 72 hour emergency watch period.” The doctor said in exasperation. The young girl didn’t see to be reacting at all like suicide patient. Other than the evidence of a tearstained face and bandages wrapped around her wrist, the girl seemed calm if not nonchalant about the whole incident.

Cordelia nodded. “Well, there is no danger that I will try anything like that again, it was messy and it hurt. So, when can I go home?”

“Cordelia, you just tried to kill yourself, we have to know why.”

“’We’ do? I know. Why, do you have to? Isn’t it enough to know that I won’t do it again and you can release me without any worry or any blemish on your conscious,” the girl stated.

“Cordelia, you have three friends out there, that say they are family, that care very much about you and why you tried to kill yourself.”

“Three?”

“Yes, Angel, of course, then Wesley and Gunn.”

“Who told Wesley?” For a brief moment the doctor saw anger and guilt flare up in the girl’s eyes.

“You didn’t want him to know?”

“He was shot for godsake, Wesley has enough to worry about, without worrying about me. You know getting better, living, duh.”

“Cordelia, don’t you think that someone would have told him if you had died? Don’t you think that would have been more upsetting than knowing just that you tried.”

Cordelia glared at the doctor.

“Cordelia?”

“Look, I know what I did was selfish, okay. I won’t do it again, okay.” Cordelia regained her emotionless composure.

“I have to understand you why you did it, if I am to believe you.”

Cordelia wanted to scream at the other woman. She wanted to scream out that she was only twenty years old but had felt like she was older than the vampire outside. That she had been tired of fighting the never ending supply of evil, tired of having mind numbing visions and tired of being afraid.

Afraid that she would lose Wesley or Gunn. Afraid that Angel might not reach his reward. That someday, he might actually become Angelus for good because she failed him. Afraid that if Angel lost his soul, others would die, because she knew that she couldn’t kill him. Afraid of her love for the vampire. She had just been so tired of it all. Cordelia took a deep breath.

“Doctor, I was at a low point. Wesley is closer to me than any brother could be and had just been shot. I was scared. I was a coward. I wasn’t thinking of him or anybody else. I just wanted to stop being afraid. It was not the proper response, I know. But, now that I know he will be better, I am better. I will talk to him about my fears and I will be fine.”

“What about Angel and Gunn. Why didn’t you talk to them?”

“I just didn’t. I will in the future, if things get that bad again, okay.”

“Who is Darla?”

“What?” the young girl gasped finally showing more than just a glimmer of emotion.

“Darla. Angel mentioned that you saw him with someone named Darla.”

“Angel told you that?” Cordelia choked in disbelief.

“Well, actually, he was trying to explain your note to Wesley and Gunn.”

Cordelia closed her eyes trying to think. She couldn’t do it in this place. Cordelia took a deep breath trying to block out all of the emotions that were trying to break to the surface. She was never going to try to kill herself again, she swore, because when the whole ending the pain thing didn’t work, the living through the after effects was just a pain in the ass. She had to get rid of this doctor and out of this hospital, so she could think.

“The low point, I was talking about, that’s Darla. She is an old girlfriend of Angel’s that I was jealous of. He went back to her, I freaked, and then Wesley got shot. I felt alone and afraid. And here I am.”

The doctor studied the girl for a moment. “Cordelia, no man is worth losing your life over.”

Cordelia didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the cliché. Maybe not any ordinary man, but Angel was, she thought. And he would always be.

“Of course not, Doctor. It was just that with the break up and Wesley being shot, I freaked, that’s all. I understand that it was stupid. I will talk to Angel, also. Once, I get my anger and sense of betrayal out, then I will be fine.” She reassured the doctor sincerely.

“Okay, who do you want to talk to first Wesley or Angel?” the doctor asked testing the girl’s sincerity.

Neither, Cordelia’s mind screamed out. Everything she had just said was bullshit. Cordelia didn’t even blink. “Angel.”

The doctor nodded.


Chapter Ten

The doctor went out to face the tense men waiting anxiously for her to return from Cordelia.

“Cordelia wants to talk to Angel. Angel, let her get it out, she is suppressing a lot of anger and fear of loneliness. She didn’t go into much detail about your break up, but it hurt her, let her work through her anger. It was keeping it inside that brought her to this point.”

“Break up,” squeaked both Gunn and Wesley glancing shocked at a stunned vampire.

“Yes, Cordelia explained that it was Angel going back to an old girlfriend and then Wesley getting shot that caused her to act rashly. She is trying to minimize her actions and her feelings, but…”

Angel didn’t listen to the rest of what the doctor was saying he went straight into the hospital room. Cordelia wanted to talk to him, he thought gratefully, though what the doctor had been talking about, he didn’t understand, but it made no difference, he would figure it out later.

Everything would be okay once he and Cordelia had a chance to talk, the vampire vowed.

“Angel, come here,” Cordelia whispered urgently. “Look,” she said pulling the vampire to the bed. “That nosy Parker of a doctor won’t let me go home until she is satisfied that I won’t go all Suzy suicide on myself. So, I gave her some cock in bull story about how you dumped me for an old girlfriend… I know, I know cliché, but somehow I didn’t think she would grasp the delicacies of the whole Angel vs. Angelus concept. Anyway, it’s not that far off from the truth,” Cordelia rambled on.

“Also, of course I was devastated by Wesley being shot and all. Left out the part of the killer cop zombies, again, I don’t think she would understand.”

“Cordelia,” Angel cautiously interrupted the girl’s monologue.

“Sh,” Cordelia quickly looked at the door. “I am now telling you off, so get all broody. Right, like that,” Cordelia said giving her approval at Angel’s remorseful expression. “Now, I want you to go out there and tell Ms. Not quite a M.D. of the mind, that I have reamed you a good one and that I seem like my old self. Then I will talk to Wesley. Who told him by the way? He shouldn’t have been worried,” she huffed.

“I will make up something, so he doesn’t go into an over protective wiggy mode. You gave them my note, why did you, do that?” she shook her head. “Now, it is going to be all complicated and stuff. I am going to have a good talking to, to that ghost roommate of mine. That note wasn’t suppose to be given to anyone but Gunn and geez, not until I was dead. Am I dead? Nope, geez, geez. Stupid Ghost.”

“Cordelia, that ghost was worried, he tried to summon help. Cordelia, you tried to kill your self.”

Cordelia glared at the vampire. “Why does everyone keep saying that like I don’t know what I did. I was there. Anyway, so what? You tried to revert to the old evil one with the help of Darla dearest and no one is trying to keep you prisoner. Either that or you were just horny,” Cordelia grumbled. “Whatever, I don’t care right now, I want to go home.”

“Cordelia, no one is trying to keep you prisoner, the doctor just wants to make sure you are fine.” The worried and perplexed vampire declared deciding he would tackle one issue at a time.

“Well, I will be fine, as soon as I am home. You are the only one that can get me out of here. I am not sure that Miss nosy Dr. Radcliff will just accept my word that I am suicide free, Wesley is in no condition and I imagine Gunn is all freaked and mad. Growl, if you have to but get me home. Go.” Cordelia ordered pushing the vampire to the door.

Chapter 11

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete

Misunderstandings. 4-6   1 comment

Chapter Four

Angel quietly moved from the bed, trying not to disturb the sleeping blonde vampire. He didn’t want to deal with his sire, not just yet. First he had to think.

The dark vampire pulled on his pants and sat in the chair by the bed. Darla was beautiful, he admitted. And he had definitely wanted her a few hours ago. Angel had wanted her to take away his soul, so he wouldn’t feel anymore. He sighed, a small smile creeping on his face. Well, he sure didn’t feel anything now; he thought looking at the sleeping vampire.

Well, to be more accurate he didn’t feel anything for Darla. She wasn’t his love, well, she never was that, but still you would think he would feel something for the vampire that he had spent the greater portion of his undead life with. His demon didn’t even stir in lust when he looked at the sensual vampire’s naked form. And truth be told, it wasn’t in lust that he had taken her earlier, it had been in defeat. Angel had given up.

Not really the recipe for soul taking happiness, he sighed the smile on his face getting bigger.

God, he was stupid. Angel wished that Cordelia were with him to tease him on how stupid he had been. Angel suddenly frowned, Cordelia wasn’t with him, nor would she ever be if he didn’t do something right away.

“Angelus,” a purr came from the bed. Angel started his thoughts of Cordelia had made him forget momentarily about the vampire in his bed.

Darla leaned up with a smug satisfied smile, her limps stretching out like a well-petted cat. “Come back to bed, my boy. We have a lot of lost time to catch up on.”

“No,” Angel said getting up from the chair moving towards his dresser. “I have things to do.”

“Of course you do, my darling, we both do. We will get to your ‘human’ family, soon enough.” She laughed. “I say we start with that loud mouthed little seer. It will be fun to watch her whimper in terror until her spirit breaks.”

“I think you will be surprised at how strong that little loud mouth girl is,” Angel said pulling on a shirt.

“Then it will even be more fun,” she laughed stretching out on the bed. “Angelus, come here, we have all the time in the world.” She raised a small hand beckoning to the dark vampire.

“No.”

“No?” Darla leaned up. Something was not right.

“No. No, I am not coming back to bed. No, I am not Angelus. And no, you are not going to go near my ‘human’ family, especially, not my loud mouth little seer.” Angel turned to Darla.

“What?” she growled.

“No. It seems that having sex with you did not have the requisite ‘happiness’ to bring back ‘your boy’. Sorry, if I led you on or anything, I thought it would work at the time, but I was wrong. Cordy is right, sometimes I am a very dense and stupid vampire, but then why should I be surprised, Cordelia is always right about what I need and what is best for me.” He sighed as he thought about his beautiful outspoken seer. “I don’t love you, never did. And it seems that I didn’t even really want to lose my soul.” Angel smiled at Darla.

Darla growled in rage lunging for the handsome vampire. Quicker than possible, Angel grabbed the blonde and swung her around his arm clapped over her throat. “For old times sake, I would like to be able to let you go, with your promise to leave LA and never to return, but I know you to well and that means I can’t trust that you would stay away or not harm Cordelia or Wesley. So, goodbye.”

Angel plunged the stake that he had gotten from the dresser into the blonde vampire’s chest. Angel stepped back as his sire’s dust scattered on the floor of his suite.

Angel looked at the pile of dust. He didn’t feel guilty. The vampire he had dusted was not the human Darla that he had tried to help. That young woman had struggled to accept her humanity, only to have it cruelly ripped from her as soon as she had. No, this was only the remains of his sire, which should have stayed dusted when Angel first staked her five years earlier.

Wolfram & Hart had a lot to answer for, the vampire growled. But first, his one and only priority was getting back to the hospital. He had to see that Wesley was still doing all right. And most importantly, he had to see Cordelia. Angel had to show her, convince her that his seer’s faith in him had not been misplaced.

Granted he had attempted soul suicide, but it hadn’t worked. It didn’t work because Angel didn’t want to loose his soul, not really. What the vampire wanted, what he really wanted was his family back. That was the only thing that would enable him to fulfill his destiny.

Angel frowned as Cordelia’s beautiful face flashed in his mind. She was the one, he thought. She was the only one that could really help him reach his humanity. He needed her. When Cordelia had turned her back on him, he had been willing to lose his soul. Angel looked back at the dust on the floor and then at the bed. He would just have to remember that his beautiful seer was also the only one that could ever take his soul. The overwhelming love that Angel now knew that he had for the young girl would have to remain his burden, his secret joy.

But, Angel could still have her in his existence. Or at least he hoped he could as he remembered the coldness of Cordelia’s expression at the hospital. But, the vampire thought with confidence tinged with only a little bit of fear, he could be very determined when he wanted something. And Angel wanted Cordelia back and he wanted his family back. And Angel would get them, even if he had to threaten, plead, grovel, and buy Cordelia lots of stupid expensive stuff.

Angel stopped his rapid descent down the stairs. His game face flickered on. Cordelia. He smelled her scent. The fresh spicey scent of his seer was penetrating the mustiness of the room. Angel looked questioningly around. That was impossible, Cordelia wouldn’t have come to the hotel. No, Angel thought, he must just be imagining it, because he had been thinking about the beautiful young girl and wanting her with him.

The vampire shook his head and continued to run down the steps of the hotel grabbing his long leather duster on the way. He just wished that it would be as easy as buying Cordelia a few expensive trinkets. But that was not who is seer was, not really. Angel was going to have to fight to regain his proper place in his family.

But, he would regain their trust. Angel would regain Cordelia’s trust if it was the last thing he ever did, the vampire growled in promise.


Chapter Five

Angel stopped in front of the glass window that separated him from Wesley’s injured form. Gunn was asleep on the chair next to the former watcher’s hospital bed. Where was Cordelia, the vampire wondered searching for his seer.

“Excuse me,” a voice asked from behind. “Are you a friend?”

“Family.” Angel said as he turned to the young nurse.

The nurse smiled. “Well, then I am sure you will be glad to know that he will be fine. The bullet was removed in time.” She smiled with confidence.

The vampire nodded as the nurse started to move away. “The young girl that was with him, where is she? Beautiful, long dark…” Angel stopped. Cordelia had cut her hair, again. When? Why? He struggled with the thought; he loved her long dark heavy hair.

“ I mean, hair about to here,” he amended drawing a finger just below his jaw line picturing his seer as he last saw her. Long hair, short hair, it didn’t matter, she was still beautiful, still his Cordelia. “Beautiful,” the vampire added again just in case the nurse hadn’t heard or understood.

“I know who you mean.” The nurse smiled. “Ms. Chase left a while ago. I am not sure why. She left a cell number in case something changes. Luckily, nothing has. Your friend will be fine,” the nurse offered. Angel nodded letting the nurse go.

Why would Cordelia leave Wesley? That didn’t seem right. Angel knew that the former watcher’s well being was vital to his seer.

A feeling of dread invaded his soul as the vampire remembered the sweet fragrance of his seer drifting through the staleness of the hotel. Could she have been there? Did she follow him from the hospital? Had she come to him?

Angel strode towards the exit; his pace increasing in speed as a burning apprehension descended throughout out his body. Had Cordelia been in the hotel while Darla had been there? An intense panic squeezed his undead heart. Oh god, if she had saw…..No, please, the vampire pleaded with the God that he had abandoned so long ago, no… Cordelia would never forgive him for having sex with the blonde vampire.

Angel hadn’t really wished that Cordelia had been there to tease him about his stupidity with Darla. Angel never wanted his seer to know that he had sex with the blonde vampire. It had been horrible enough seeing Cordelia’s expression when the vampire had briefly alluded to the erotic dreams he had of his sire.

He had stopped talking about the dreams just to avoid seeing the bewildered disgusted look that his seer had failed to completely hide. Cordelia would be so mad and disappointed in Angel. It would only make his attempt at reparation of her trust so much more difficult.

Angel sped off in his car heading for Cordelia’s apartment. No…please the vampire prayed imagining the dark haired girl’s beautiful face scrunching up in distaste, that weird ‘Ewwwwing’,” sound coming form her pursed lips. That’s if she would even talk to him or look at him. Life, or unlife, couldn’t really be that unfair could it, Angel thought in panic. He had already been to hell and back; the powers wouldn’t be that cruel, would they?

Sure, Angel had messed up, terribly. He could have destroyed his friends, and Angel realized that now. He knew that he would have to work hard to regain his proper footing on the path to redemption. And Angel knew that he would need to convince Cordelia to come back to him, so she could take his hand and lead him through the difficult journey.

But if Cordelia had seen him together with Darla, she would never forgive him. He would really loose his chance at redemption. A deep growl reverberated in the vampire’s chest. Angel could do it, he would just make her listen, just explain that being with Darla was a horrible mistake, that it was just his useless, stupid attempt to commit soul suicide.

He could make her understand and believe in him again. He could do this, the vampire swore as he headed into Cordelia’s apartment building. He was a 248-year-old vampire. He was strong. He feared nothing…except, he thought with resignation, the delicate, but unbreakable 20-year-old mortal girl that could crush him with a look or word.

***

The vampire slowed as a blaring jumble of sounds flowed out from Cordelia’s apartment. The mixture of voices from the T.V and music from the stereo clamored together to create an earsplitting obnoxious noise. What the hell? Angel thought wincing as the racket irritated his sensitive vampire eardrums.

Phantom Dennis threw open the front door, his spirit essence swirling around the vampire pushing the stupefied body further into the room. Creating the loud and obnoxious noise was the only way that the ghost could think of to summon help.

The longer the noise blasted through the wall’s the sooner someone would come to investigate and find Cordelia. Dennis hadn’t expected or wanted the vampire to show, but it didn’t matter now that the ghost loathed Angel for the pain that he had subjected Cordelia through in the last months.

No, it didn’t matter, not when Angel could save her. The music abruptly shut off, as books and other items flew banging into the closed door of the bathroom.

Blood, the vampire sensed his game face emerging. The potency of the sweet spicy perfume of Cordelia’s life giving fluid overwhelmed him, staggering him. It wasn’t the scent of her blood pulsing through her veins; it was the scent of her blood spilling out into the air, Angel growled in terrified fury as he tried to listen for the young girl’s heartbeat.

He rushed towards the bathroom as the fragile, erratic rhythm of his seer heart weakened and slowed. With unrestrained rage and fear, the vampire yanked the lock door from its hinges throwing it wildly aside.

“No” Angel growled in horror. Time froze as the world stopped rotating for Angel as he stared at the beautiful girl. Cordelia lay dying in the bath of her own blood.

The vampire forced down the overpowering fear that threatened to debilitate him as he grabbed for a towel, effectively blocking any thoughts or emotions, which would hinder him from his necessary goal. Angel ripped at the towel with his fangs as he pulled Cordelia’s frail limp body from the bloody water. The vampire cradled his seer’s form tightly onto his lap as he tied the strips of fabric around the still seeping wounds on the unconscious girl’s wrist.

Standing, Angel seized the Cordelia’s robe that was hovering in the air nearby. He wrapped the terry cloth garment securely around his precious bundle, cocooning Cordelia’s cold body in the thick robe. Angel paused as Dennis’ presence swirled around him.

The ghost had one more thing to do, an envelope floated in the air pushing itself towards the vampire the paper shoving itself into Angel’s hand. Angel saw Gunn’s name on the paper written in Cordelia’s familiar hand. Angel crumpled the envelope and thrust into his pocket. Angel would deal with whatever was inside later, right now; he had to get Cordelia to the hospital.


Chapter Six

Angel rushed into the hospital emergency room; Cordelia still clasped in his protective embrace. “Somebody, Please..” he shouted the vampire’s rough growl mirroring the panicked plea of his soul.

“What happened,” a busy nurse asked running up to the couple.

“She lost too much blood, too much,” he explained.

The nurse knowingly nodded as she looked at the bloody strips of terry cloth around the unconscious young girl’s wrist.

“We have a ‘slicer’,” she shouted to an orderly. The nurse along with the orderly tried to remove the young girl from the Vampire’s strong hold.

“Sir, we have to get her into a room. Do you know her blood type?”

Intoxicating, the vampire thought. “B positive,” he growled out loud reluctantly releasing Cordelia’s body.

The nurse nodded to the orderly motioning the man to put the young girl on the gurney. Angel followed the nurse and orderly as they rushed Cordelia up to a room. A terrifying sense of déjà vu descended over Angel as he pushed open the doors of the hospital’s Neuro-Psychiatric Wing. Angel watched as the needles and plastic veins were hooked into Cordelia’s once vibrant and healthy body. He closed his eyes as he saw the slow drip of life restoring fluid slowly being pumped back into her lifeless form.

“Sir, Sir, “ another voice broke into his concentration. “Sir, Are you family?”

“Yes” the vampire growled. The young doctor looked briefly away at the force of emotion reverberating off the tall dark man.

“Was she using in any drugs?” Angel shook his head.

“Any history of mental illness.” Angel started to shake his head again. No, he thought Cordelia’s previous stay in this place was not the result of any mental illness, but the result of Vocah’s curse.

“No,” he growled.

“Any signs that she would want to take her life?” The doctor inquired.

“NO,” the vampire choked. “Cordelia would never just give up, life was to precious to her, she was too strong.”

“Well, something happened to make her want to give up. Her cuts are too deep for it to be merely a cry for help. No, she wanted to succeed and she almost did. She has lost too much blood. It was good that you brought her here when you did, her body had already start to shut it self down.” The doctor looked at the man’s expression of devastation and denial. The young intern shook his head.

It was always hard for the family members of suicide victims to admit that their loved one had been in so much turmoil that they would be willing to kill themselves. “Sir, you did get her here in time,” the doctor sympathetically reassured Angel. “As soon a she is conscious, we will send around the hospital psychologist to speak with her.”

Angel looked up puzzled.

“Sir, there was a reason, she did this. It must be discovered and treated or she will just attempt suicide again.”

Angel shook his head forcibly. “No, she will NOT,” he growled. The doctor shrugged and left the distraught handsome man staring intently at the pale girl.

Why would Cordelia give up? She had been fine when Angel had seen her earlier in the hospital. Angry, frightened, but fine. She had still been the strong Cordelia that he had always known. What happened between then and now?

Okay, Cordelia had been in the hotel, but even if she had seen Darla and him, Cordelia wouldn’t have attempted to kill herself, no, she would have been much more likely just to have staked him. Angel felt the paper rubbing up against his hand that was buried in the pocket of his duster.

It was addressed to Gunn. Tough, he growled ripping the envelope open. Angel began to read ignoring the tearstains and smudged red blurs on the paper. ‘Gunn, I am sorry. I failed him, and now….Angelus is back. I can’t….I am not strong enough. I am just so tired. I am sorry. Take care of Wesley. I love you, both’, the ink blurred as it mixed with the tearstains and drops of blood on the paper. Angel crumbled the piece of paper in his hand.

A wave of guilt and nausea invaded his soul and body. It was his fault. Every action the vampire had taken over the last few months had brought his beautiful, strong, loving seer to this point. Angel had broken her will and spirit as if he had inflicted the cuts on the young girl himself.

“Angel,” a cold voice called to him as the vampire was seized from behind.

Angel opened his pain filled eyes into the very angry eyes of Gunn. “A nurse just told me that Cordelia was brought in. What happened? Where is she?”

Angel moved slightly away from the young kid’s grip allowing Gunn to see into Cordelia’s room. Gunn looked into the room noticing immediately the IV and the bandages on her wrist. Gunn turned back to the still vampire the fury in his voice undisguised. “What did you do? You did this. You were the cause. Wasn’t it enough just to abandon her, did you have to destroy her also.”

Gunn shoved at him pushing the unresisting vampire to the wall. “Get out of here, you have lost your right to care about her, either of them.” The street kid cried.

Abruptly, Angel grabbed at the kid growling as he picked the young man off the floor by the neck. No one would keep him from Cordelia or his family, the vampire swore to himself, not any more.

“Right? I have every right,” Angel growled his extreme possessive instincts towards Cordelia rose above his feelings of guilt. “She is mine. I will not leave her or Wesley, ever again.” the vampire growled releasing Gunn.

Gunn stared at the vampire. “They don’t want you here, we don’t want you here.”

Angel’s eyes glowed yellow. “I don’t care want you want. Don’t make the mistake of trying to come between them and me. You will fail,” Angel swore striding away from the angry young man before he did something that he would regret later.

Angel strode down the stairs his face expressionless as he pushed open the door to the floor that Wesley’s was recuperating on. The vampire stood at the foot of the hospital bed staring hard at the sleeping former watcher.

How did it come back to this, the vampire silently asked his friend. My family lying in this hospital fighting for their lives while the vampire had to watch, their pain and injuries caused because of him.

In his mind, Angel heard Wesley’s excited voice filled with awe and hope, …..Only a thing that is not alive never dies…It’s saying you get to live until you die…it’s saying you become human. How could he do that? Angel thought. How could the vampire become human without his family?

“I won’t disappoint you, again, I promise,” Angel said softly to his still friend.

Angel went back to the Neuro-Psychiatric floor, ignoring Gunn as the street kid was worriedly interrogating the nurse at the front station.

Angel stood beside Cordelia, his fingers tenderly resting on the bandaged hand of the young girl. Just like before, the vampire thought. But then, it had been an outside evil that had put Cordelia in the hospital. An evil that had a demon form, an evil that he could fight and destroy. A way that the vampire could save his seer.

This time, it was Angel’s own darkness, his own mistakes that brought Cordelia here.

“Cordelia…I’m going to fix this, I promise, I’m going to get you back….I need you back,” Angel’s voice breaking in emotion as he repeated his earlier vow of six months ago.

The vampire settled on the bed wrapping his large body gently around the girl’s smaller frame. “I need you…..I love you,” the vampire added roughly. Finally saying the words that he had known to be true even back then. “I love you,” Angel repeated laying his head on her fragile chest, taking comfort in the sound of the delicate rhythm of Cordelia’s heart.

Chapter 7

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete

Misunderstandings.1-3   Leave a comment

Title: Misunderstandings
Author: Onlyanne
Posted here:
Email
Rating: R/NC17 (the last part, anyway)
Category:
Content: C/A
Summary: the fic starts at the hospital, after the C/A confrontation in “Thin Dead Line”
Spoilers:
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: If you already have any of my stuff and want this, go ahead and take. Just let me know, so I can visit.
Notes:
Thanks/Dedication:I can’t give enough thanks to Cleo, for pushing and helping my muse finish, so I will just say ‘Thanks’.
Feedback:is needed and loved…


Chapter One

Cordelia sat beside the hospital bed gently stroking Wesley’s hand. “He will be fine,” she said with determination.

Gunn nodded in agreement, though he knew the young girl was talking more to herself than to him or their sleeping friend. “Cordelia, I will stay with Wesley for awhile if you want to catch a quick nap.”

Cordelia started to protest as she yawned, but then conceded to Gunn’s suggestion. She was exhausted both emotionally and physically from the horrors of the night.

“Okay, maybe for a little while, but come get me if anything changes or if you want to rest,” she ordered.

“I will,” the street kid promised.

Cordelia got up to leave the hospital room taking another long look at Wesley’s still form.

Cordelia wrapped her arms around her tired body as she curled up in the large waiting room chair. She didn’t think she had ever been as terrified as she had been when she saw the blood seeping from the gunshot wound in Wesley’s stomach. Cordelia took several deep breaths trying to clear her mind of that fear.

Wesley was going to be all right and the night of the living dead cops was over. She wasn’t at all sure why the zombies in blue had just crumbled and really died.

One minute, the teen home was being swarmed by the undead and everyone had been fighting for their lives, then all of a sudden, poof. It was like someone had pulled the plug on the undead group. But at this point she really didn’t care. Cordelia was just relieved that it was over and that she and Gunn had been able to get Wesley to the hospital in time.

Oh god, she thought squeezing her body tighter. Wesley could have died. Cordelia wasn’t at all sure what she would have done if she had lost Wesley. She had already lost Angel; she couldn’t have stood it if the former watcher had left her too.

Angel, she thought with bitterness. It was his entire fault. If he hadn’t fired them, cut them so completely out of his life, then this would have never happened. Gunn wouldn’t have gone to take on the rogue cops without proper back up. Wesley wouldn’t have been in the position to get shot.

It was the vampire’s entire fault, her mind ranted. And the nerve of him, just showing up here at the hospital acting liked he cared. The young girl was glad that she had finally told the vampire off. But, Cordelia questioned, how did Angel know that Wesley had been hurt and why did he come. Angel didn’t care about them anymore, right?

Cordelia thought back to her earlier confrontation with the vampire. At the time, Cordelia had been so scared for Wesley and angry at the vampire, she really hadn’t even seen him. But now, thinking back to the expression on the vampire’s face, she suddenly realized that he had been concerned.

And if Angel knew that Wesley had been hurt, then he must have been checking up on them, maybe even doing the night stalking bit. No, Cordelia shook her head. If Angel had been following them, he would have seen the living dead cop contingency and he would have seen the danger Wesley was in.

Angel would have helped them, wouldn’t he? He wouldn’t have just left the teens to fend for themselves. Or maybe he would as it was not evil lawyers that were trying to kill them just over zealous killer cop zombies. But why had Angel shown up at the hospital? she asked herself again. Cordelia was giving herself a headache.

Angel had known that Wesley had been shot and he had come to the hospital. So, maybe the vampire was trying to reach out to them. Cordelia winced, as she remembered her words to him. She had basically told him that they didn’t care about him and wanted Angel to leave them alone. That he had no right to be at the hospital showing false concern over Wesley.

But maybe it wasn’t false and if that was the case, she had effectively snapped his olive branch in two. Oh god, she thought. They did need Angel, they did care about him and just maybe, just maybe the vampire did realize that he needed them to. What had she done? She cried getting up suddenly. Cordelia had been so livid at the vampire and while, she still thought she had a right to be angry, she didn’t want Angel out of their life, her life, not really. Cordelia ran to Wesley’s room.

“Gunn,” she whispered urgently. “I have to go somewhere.”

Gunn looked up puzzled from the chair by the hospital bed.

“Cordelia?”

“It’s important, but I will be back. Call my cell phone, if there is any change.” Cordelia didn’t want to say anything about Angel, not yet. She first wanted to make sure that she wasn’t just wishing that she saw concern in the vampire’s face.

Cordelia quickly went over to Wesley’s side and placed a kiss on his forehead. “If it is true, I will bring him back if it is the last thing I do, I swear,” she promised her injured friend quietly.

Cordelia raced out of the hospital towards the Hyperion. She had to find Angel.


Chapter Two

Angel sat in the darkened room. Cordelia’s words playing through his mind. ‘It took a gunshot wound for you to give a crap’, ‘we don’t need you’, ‘stay away’, ‘stay away’, ‘stay away’, he heard over and over again. Her contemptuous voice ringing in condemnation, damning him. Angel closed his eyes against the sight of his friends as he last saw them.

Gunn standing so close behind Cordelia as she tenderly caressed Wesley’s brow. Gunn had occupied the space that had once been Angel’s. Their closeness ripped at his soul as he saw the family that they had become, without him, in spite of him. Theirs was the family that was once his, the one that Angel had purposely cut himself off from.

It made no matter that he had done so to insulate them from the path he felt he had to travel. Angel had wanted to protect their humanity; instead the vampire had destroyed the only chance he ever had of gaining his. They didn’t need him or want him. And could he blame them? Angel had ruthlessly shut them out and left them alone to fend for themselves, even after Wesley had come to the vampire telling him that they would continue the fight.

Angel’s head fell in guilt, what had he expected? Why had he been surprised when Kate had told him that Wesley was lying in a hospital bed struggling for his life? One of them had to get hurt eventually fighting the battles that should have been his.

It could have just as easily have been Cordelia, his soul cried. Cordelia’s beautiful face flashed in his mind. He saw her wide smile as she declared the vampire and the former rouge demon hunter her family. He saw her smile grow even brighter as Wesley told them that one day the vampire would become human. He saw his seer’s warm caring eyes as she promised to stay with him until the end, when she told him that he was not alone.

He saw her stunned and hurt expression when Angel had so coldly fired them. And finally, Angel saw the disdain in her eyes as she told the vampire that his family didn’t need him, that she didn’t need him. The pain he had felt in that moment had almost crippled him. More so, because Angel knew he had done it to himself.

Angel was so tired, so tired of striving for something that was so unattainable. There had been times, before Darla’s return, when he would look into his seer’s beautiful eyes and know with the utmost certainty that he would reach his humanity. Cordelia had believed in him and her unwavering belief had convinced the vampire that that impossible was possible. But his seer’s faith had been shattered. And with the destruction of Cordelia’s faith, came his own loss of faith.

Last year Wolfram & Hart had tried to destroy him by attacking Cordelia and Wesley. This year they had succeeded. Wolfram & Hart had won. The vampire was nothing, not mad, not sad. Just tired.

Angel glanced up as he sensed Darla’s presence. It figures, he thought ruefully, his sire had the instincts of a circling vulture. Always knowing when her victims were at their breaking point. Always knowing where the dying and rotting bodies lay gasping their last breath having already having given up their precious will to live. Well, the vampire thought, maybe it was time for his damned corpse to finally give up.

“My boy, sitting alone in the dark. Where is that human little family that you are so fond of?” the blonde vampire purred.

“What? Did they not like the new you. Just who is that vampire in the flapping black coat? Is it Angelus, is it Angel, no….it’s,” she stopped.

“Just who is it? I am curious. Tell me, please.” She cooed from across the room. Angel raised his dark eyes to her, his handsome face expressionless.

Darla contemplated the dark vampire. She moved cautiously forward a slow smile spreading over her face.

“You don’t want to dust me,” she laughed. “What is it my boy, did you finally realize that with a soul, you belong nowhere, to no one? I told you that Angel was alone. You should always listen to your sire. Your sire, always knows what’s best for her beautiful childe.” The blonde vampire glided up close to the seated vampire. Darla slid her body over the immobile vampire, straddling his lap.

“My boy, when we were together, you were never alone. You belonged to me, with me. It can be that way again, my love. Come to me, where you belong. Come home,” she whispered seductively against Angel’s lips.

Angel didn’t move. He was too tired to care that the vampire he swore to dust was draping herself all over his body. He thought about what his sire was saying. It was true. When he was Angelus, he knew what he was and where he belonged. Angelus had no doubts; no fears and more importantly he had no cares.

The soulless demon didn’t care if he disappointed anyone or if he hurt anyone. He had been free of guilt or torment. If he were Angelus, Angel wouldn’t care about the hurt he caused his friends. Angelus wouldn’t feel soul-wrenching pain at the thought of Cordelia not needing him, not wanting him in her life.

He wouldn’t feel despair at the beautiful girl’s sorrow or anger. Angel closed his eyes and reached up entangling his fingers in Darla’s blonde hair.

One kiss, one act of love, or to be accurate one act of sex, and his soul’s torment would be gone, as would his chance at redemption. What chance? He thought mockingly. He had already lost his chance as he pictured the loathing in Cordelia’s eyes and the sight of his three human friends bonding together as a family without him.

More than just the glass of the hospital room window separated the vampire from them. It was time for him to accept that and to accept what he truly was- a demon damned for eternity. Angel captured Darla’s mouth forcibly picking up the smaller vampire and moving them both to the bed.

***

Cordelia jumped out of the cab and ran up the stairs to the hotel’s entrance. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was going to do or say when, if, she saw Angel. But, she had to see him.

Angel had come to the hospital to check on Wesley’s condition, not out of some false concern, but because he did still care. Cordelia was sure of it; as sure as she knew her own name. Why hadn’t Cordelia seen that earlier? She used to be able to read the handsome vampire so well. But, over the last few months, she had lost that ability.

Why? How? Why hadn’t she reached out to Angel at the hospital, why hadn’t she tried to reach him even before that? Sure, she had yelled at him and complained when the whole Darla thing started, but she had never tried to find out what Angel was exactly feeling. Cordelia had let the vampire put distance and coldness between them.

Why hadn’t she kept her big mouth shut and just wrapped her arms around the vampire, she thought. Why hadn’t she let Angel share in her fear and concern for Wesley? Cordelia loved the vampire, even now when she was so mad at him. Why hadn’t she relented even just a little? She sighed; she knew why she was so cold to the vampire at the hospital. Because Angel had hurt her, hurt her horribly, so she did what Cordelia Chase always did when some one hurt her, she hurt back.

Cordelia was still angry at the vampire, but he was not alone in the blame for how bad the situation had gotten between all of them. Cordelia was his friend, his seer; she should have done more, they were family, Cordelia loved him. Well, she would do it now; she promised opening the heavy door of the hotel.

Cordelia looked around the lobby. It was a mess. Dust and a rank smell had settled over the furniture and the files that were scattered on the counter and floor. She strode up the stairs. If Angel wasn’t there, she would just wait. She had to talk to him.

Cordelia’s determined pace slowed as she heard odd noises coming from Angel’s suite. A sense of unexplainable fear descended over her heart as she cautiously opened the bedroom door.

Cordelia threw herself away from the doorway. Her body trembling up against the wall. She tried to calm her breathing, not wanting to make a sound. She gave one last look through the door and the intertwined couple on the bed. The dark vampire was thrusting forcibly into the blonde vampire’s more than willing smaller frame. Cordelia took off running trying not to fall as an overwhelming sickness flooded her body.

Finally in relief, Cordelia made it outside the hotel. With gasping breaths, she fell to the curb retching on the dirty pavement, no longer unable to control her nausea. Angelus, she thought in devastating fear, or if not Angelus, he will soon be, she thought as her body shook in rage and grief. What had she done? Cordelia cried damming herself.


Chapter Three

Cordelia struggled to stand. She had to go back into the hotel and stake both vampires. She couldn’t allow Angelus and Darla to reunite and start their new ‘Scourge of Europe’ act, because this time it wouldn’t be an overseas act, it would be a hometown show with the local audience being the bloody fodder for their sick games.

Now was the time, both vampires were obviously preoccupied. Cordelia choked on the bile seeping in her throat as the image of the vampires’ erotic embrace flashed through her mind. Cordelia could do this, she could dust Angelus, she declared brushing at the tears pouring down her face.

Cordelia laid a shaky hand back on the doorframe. With a disgusted grunt Cordelia pushed away from the door and ran. She couldn’t do it.

***

Cordelia barged into her apartment, her body still convulsing in sobs. Her body slumped to the floor as the door slammed behind her. A blanket came floating through the air. It was the only way Phantom Dennis was able to try to comfort the obviously distraught young girl.

Cordelia flung the blanket away and sharply raised her head. “Go away, Leave me alone,” she choked to her ghost roommate. “Go to your wall,” she yelled pulling herself up from the floor. Cordelia couldn’t deal with the solicitous ghost; she had to try to think.

Cordelia imagined she could hear the phantom’s whine of concern floating through the soft breeze that circled her body. “Please,” Cordelia whispered. “Please, Dennis, I need to be alone, right now.”

Cordelia fell to the couch in relief as she felt the ghost’s presence leave the room. She grabbed tightly around her knees. Why? Her mind screamed. Why would Angel have sex with Darla, knowing the risk to his soul? Why? Had he gone so far down the path of darkness that he wanted to be Angelus, that he wanted to join his sire? No, that couldn’t be it, she cried to herself, hugging her legs tighter.

Cordelia tried to push the panic and anguish from her mind. It was Angel that had come to the hospital only over an hour ago. What could have happened between then and now. What could have made Angel willing to loose his soul? She got up and started to pace agitatedly around the room.

She stopped pacing as she caught sight of her reflection in the mirror. Cordelia moved closer to the glass until she was merely inches away. The frightened tear stained face that stared back slowly transformed. The pain filled wide eyes turned into eyes filled with a contemptuous glare. The panicked expression became one of cold disregard. The haughty reflection spoke the same harsh words that Cordelia had spoken to the vampire earlier that night.

“No,” Cordelia screamed out loud smashing her fist against the unfeeling likeness of herself. The shards of the glass fell around her trembling body as she crumbled to the floor. Cordelia ignored the blood that ran down her hand as she gazed at the table in the middle of the room.

She pictured it as it was last summer. Wesley was sitting at the table engrossed in his many old tomes trying to find the right translation to the scroll. Angel was sitting nearby sipping at his blood, finally not embarrassed to drink his bloody meals in front of his two friends. Cordelia saw herself standing in the kitchen doorway, smiling in love and joy at her family.

Sure, they had been worried about finding a new office, worried about what the evil law firm was up to, they had been cramped and frustrated, but they had been happy. They had all had been here, living and working together.

If someone had told her then that Angel would fire her and Wesley six months later, she would have called them a liar or laughed in their face. If some one had suggested to her, that she would ever turn her back on the vampire when he needed her, she would have done more than call them a liar. She would have quite possibly killed them, if not with a stake, then force of her contempt at their vile insinuation.

That summer, Cordelia had known with all of her heart and soul that she would never abandon Angel, that she would be with him for as long as she had on this earth. Cordelia would have done anything and everything to make sure that Angel reached his Shansu. She had made that promise to Angel and she had meant every word.

What had happen? Cordelia had told Angel once that they were getting cocky. Was that it? Or was it the hotel, maybe they didn’t get rid of all the bad, nasty vibes of the prior evil resident demon. Or was it the mind games, along with the very real dangers that Wolfram & Hart kept throwing in their way. Or was it simply that Cordelia had failed to keep her promise.

Cordelia lifted up her cut hand and stared as the blood trailing down her arm. She watched the red fluid twist a path along her skin.

God, she was tired. The last few months had drained her dry. Cordelia was exhausted by the extreme effort she had exerted to cover up the sadness and loneliness she lived and breathed ever since Angel fired her. She was tired of the fear she experienced every day she hadn’t seen the vampire, fear for him, fear for herself. Cordelia was tired of denying that she loved Angel and needed him.

She was too tired even to berate herself for failing to stand by him, for failing to reach the vampire and help him fight his inner demons, to save him. And she was way too damn tired to fight Angelus.

Cordelia couldn’t face Wesley and Gunn. How could she explain that it would be impossible for her to stake Angelus? She laughed bitterly to herself. Cordelia had always thought she would be stronger than Buffy, if Angelus ever really returned. That she would be able to look into the handsome face that had belonged to Angel and thrust a stake through the soulless demon’s non-beating heart without blinking an eye or breaking a sweat.

Well, Cordelia wasn’t stronger. She was just as weak as the slayer when it came to Angel or Angelus. No, she was weaker, because she couldn’t just not stake the vampire, she couldn’t help her friends fight the demon. She was a coward. So much for the brave new Cordelia, she thought with another bitter laugh. That girl was gone; she had left with Angel’s soul.

Cordelia shoved herself up from the glass filled floor. She looked in interest at the piece of mirror that had become embedded in her hand as she pushed herself upwards. Funny, Cordelia hadn’t even felt it, she thought, as she pulled out the glass. More of her blood flowed, its bloody path matching the tracks that graced her other arm. A bath would be nice, Cordelia thought, moving towards the bathroom still holding on to the red stained shard of glass.

Cordelia sunk into the warm water. Her fingers swirled in the red tinted water. Wesley and Gunn were not going to be happy about her decision. Well, she couldn’t worry about that. Dennis would make sure they got her note. She was of no use to them, anyway. She would just fail them, like she had failed Angel. Angel, her beautiful, broody vampire, who really left her this time.

Left her alone, because Cordelia had told him to. She saw the handsome vampire, his dark eyes filled with concern, relief, and hope as he stared at her in the hospital. Cordelia saw it all now. Earlier in the hospital, Angel had made a move in her direction and she had effectively, ruthless blocked it, just as the vampire had done to her prior feeble attempts to reach him.

But, this wasn’t a game of tit for tat; this was his redemption and her life. And she had failed to keep her promise to him. Cordelia could have opened her heart to him, let him know that she still cared, that she loved him, then she could have yelled at him once he was safely back with her. It was too late now. God, she was cold, Cordelia thought, the piece of glass dropping from her limp hand.

She was tired maybe she should just sleep, Cordelia sighed as she closed her eyes sinking down into the water. The bath water was no longer red tinged, but a dark crimson as the blood from the two newly afflicted cuts on the young girl’s wrists filled the tub.

Chapter 4

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete

It’s a Woman Thing. 16-20   1 comment

Chapter 16

Angel laid her on the bed, his body preparing too follow. Cordelia scooted into the bedcovers. Suddenly she shot up. “DENNIS”

Angel jumped. “What?” Angel turned quickly looking around for evidence of the ghost. Angel didn’t know if he could handle any more interruptions or crisis. Dealing with Cordelia’s insecurities had been enough traumas for one lifetime; he really didn’t think he could deal with Dennis’. The ghost just might have to go.

Cordelia scrambled up on the bed yanking off the comforter. “If you weren’t already dead.” She pulled out a wet top sheet, the melting ice cubes still obvious. “Oh, he must have done this when I was in shower. I didn’t even notice. Damn, he must have used all of ice in the refrigerator. DENNIS.”

Angel couldn’t decide whether to rage or laugh. Since it would be very difficult to dismember a ghost and the ice cubes weren’t a fatal interruption, he decided to laugh.

“This is not funny.” Cordelia had bounced up standing angrily her hands on her hips.

Angel’s laugher died in his throat. Cordelia was a vision of beauty and sexiness. Angel stalked to the bed, kneeling before her his hands capturing her waist.

“Angel it’s wet and cold.” Pouting as she kneeled in front of Angel.

Angel growled tugging the comforter and top sheet off the bed. “Gone.”

Cordelia licked her lips, her hand feeling at the bottom sheet. It wasn’t too bad, not any worse than when she went to bed still wet from the shower. If Angel didn’t mind, why should she? And he obviously didn’t mind. Angel had pushed her back on the bed, bringing her legs around him. How did he do that so quickly? Experience, vampire or both? Cordelia decided she didn’t care as Angel’s lips traveled up her neck, to her cheek moving towards her lips.

Cordelia cupped Angel’s head and jerked him up hurrying his travels to her lips. Cordelia sunk deeper into the mattress tightening her grip around the vampire. “Coat.” She grumbled in frustration as her hands tugged on the leather duster.

Angel leaned up jerking off the coat and his shirt at the same time and in an instant was back over Cordelia.

Cordelia clutched at him gratefully, her face and lips brushing against the coolness of his chest.

Angel’s mind was in turmoil, the fire, the heat of her touches were driving him insane. He tried to keep some focus on Cordelia’s earlier nervousness and go slow. But Cordelia was making it very difficult.

Cordelia’s hands and lips were moving too slow, too fast- creating a fire within him. He had a sinking feeling that they had switched roles, he maybe the one with more practical experience but she was the one with life experience. Her every touch was making him feel alive. He wanted more. Angel’s sinking feeling turned to one of acceptance and joy. What was new about this? Cordelia was always the one that taught him how to live. This was only an extension of what she had always done for him.

Angel buried himself further into Cordelia’s body. Cordy’s arms and legs engulfed him, each moving and caressing to bring him closer.

Once Cordelia had made the decision to let her control go, to accept her love for Angel and his for her, her fear went away, now the only thing that existed was desire and need. Cordelia leaned away as Angel touched her breast. She struggled up pulling her tank top over her head, then settling back into the pillows.

She gasped, her hands reaching for the small of his back going as far as she could go while still letting Angel’s mouth caress her breast. Cordelia shot up again. “Off.” She pointed with one hand as her other tugged at her cotton pants.

“Angel. Now.”

A small part of Angel wanted to ask if she was sure, the other – the part engulfed in flames and desire didn’t care. Angel forced himself to listen to his soul not his instincts. “Cordy?”

“Next time can be slow, okay?” Cordelia threw her pants to the floor.

Angel decided that his soul spoke enough for now. Rather he didn’t have much of a choice. Cordelia was nude before him aggressively challenging him, daring him and begging him in all of her glory.

Angel growled, pulling her legs around him as he thrust into her center.

“Angel.” Cordelia winced and bit her lip.

Angel brought his hands up stroking gently against her face, his body stilled. “Cordy, I’m Sor..”

“No. Just give me a minute. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that it would be so much. I’m sorry.”

Angel gently laid his forehead on hers, his lips brushing her cheek, fighting the urge to embed himself in deeper. “Don’t apologize it’s not your fault. I didn’t think. I’m the one that is sorry. I’ll….” Angel made a move to lift his body.

Cordy grabbed at his head. “Don’t. I may not have realized, but I wanted you inside of me, okay.” She brushed her lips against his cheek. “I just didn’t …” Cordelia stopped as her body adjusted and started to ache. “Angel, move.”

Angel immediately started to withdraw again.

Cordelia grabbed him tighter. “Don’t leave me, move.”

This time Angel didn’t hesitate. He just thrust. Cordelia’s hips were starting a rhythm he couldn’t ignore.

“Angel.” He heard her breath against his shoulder. Her lips were frantic on his neck, her inner muscles tightening around him.

“Angel, please.” The same lack of control that had frightened Cordelia on the Ferris wheel, excited her now, she needed it, wanted it.

“Oh, please.” Cordelia tensed waiting for the release from the painful spiraling pleasure that she sensed was possible. “Please.”

Angel grabbed at her lips stopping her pleading as he thrust harder. His tongue thrusting as his hips moved, his hands stroking frantically possessively over the writhing body under him.

Satisfaction filled Angel as Cordelia’s nails tore into his flesh and gave a combination gasp and yell. Cordelia’s muscles contracted repeatedly and quickly around him. Cordelia fell back, her arms holding the vampire. She barely felt Angel still moving within her. Her legs loosened, her hands trailing down as Angel fell against her, his body now trembling.

Slowly, Angel moved again, placing tender kisses along her neck and chin. He shifted turning their still joined bodies relieving Cordelia of his body’s greater weight.

“Is it always like that? I mean before when….Or was…was it just me that felt..” Cordelia buried her heated face into his chest. She couldn’t believe what she was asking. Hopefully, Angel wouldn’t answer. The question had become pretty garbled maybe he wouldn’t understand.

Angel cupped her chin, studying her flushed face a small smile on his lips. “It definitely was not just you. And loving you cannot be compared to anything else. As for always, I hope so.”

Cordelia scrunched up her face. “So it was good…”

“Better. It was beautiful, wonderful and perfect. I love you.”

“Oh.” A smile brightened over Cordelia’s face dimming the redness of her embarrassment. Cordelia thought a moment. “So, when can we do it again?”

“I imagine soon enough.” Angel could feel the beginnings of his desire reignite. He hadn’t been exaggerating. Making love to Cordelia had been the singular most spectacular thing he had ever experienced. One that he wanted to experience over and over again. Angel took a deep breath, slowly withdrew. “But, you should probably rest now.”

“Uh, I’m not tired. I feel wonderful.”

“Cordy, I hurt you.”

Cordelia scrunched up her face, sincerely clueless. “When?”

“Cordelia, when I…”

“Oh, that…I’m fine.”

“You may be sore in the morning.”

Cordelia shook her head. “I feel wonderful.”

“Cordy.”

“Angel, really, I think I know my body better than you.”

“Really. That’s about to change.” Flipping her on her back. Angel wouldn’t have intercourse with her until he knew she was okay. But he could still give Cordelia pleasure and in doing so give himself pleasure.

“Angel what are you doing?” Angel’s mouth was settled firmly on her stomach.

” Am I doing something?” His tongue swirled and teased at her belly button. Cordelia gulped. Everywhere Angel’s tongue touched brought an ache inside.

“Uhuh.”

Angel’s lips moved down further. “Good.” He buried his head into the apex of her thighs.

“Oh.” Gasping as she clutched Angel’s hair, Cordelia’s hips jerking and the spiraling starting all over again.


Chapter 17

Cordelia stretched and sat up. She grabbed at the sheet on floor and settled it around her. “Why aren’t you in bed? What are you doing?”

Angel was sitting in the chair a pad of paper in his hand.

“I owe you a portrait.”

“Me?” Cordy grabbed the sheet wrapping it around her. Angel’s hand shot out grabbing the sheet.

“I’m still drawing.” He pulled the covering off.

Cordy tugged at the sheet, finally dropping it when Angel refused to let go and rushed to look. “Oh. Oh. Angel no one can see that.” The sketch was a portrait of Cordelia sleeping her body nude.

“You don’t like it.”

“I….I..I don’t’ have any clothes on.”

Angel shrugged. “Actually, this isn’t my best.”

“Your best? You have more of me?”

Angel nodded.

“Without clothes?” Squeaking.

Angel shrugged again.

Cordelia stared. She didn’t know whether to be angry or flattered. She looked again at the picture. Angel made her beautiful. “The others are better? You’ve never seen me naked how can they be better?”

Angel studied the picture again, his pencil making quick strokes fixing it. “I like this one the best. But technically, it’s a little rough. Too quickly drawn, but the one with the best inspiration.”

“Are you done?” Cordelia scrunched up her face, still not sure how to react.

“For now.” Angel put down the pad.

“Hmmph.” Cordelia grabbed back at the sheet and gathered it around her body.

“I wish you wouldn’t do that.”

“You said you were done.”

“I still like the view.”

Cordelia looked down at the sheet and then at Angel. He was sitting in the chair unconscious about his nudity. “Hmmph.” She dropped the sheet. “I’ve got to put on the shirt at least.” Her hand reached for Angel’s sweater. Angel watched as his sweater covered her form, the sleeves overlapping her small hands. Angel had to admit there was something very sexy about Cordelia wearing his shirt.

“Okay.”

“Gee, thanks a lot.”

Angel couldn’t help it; his euphoria was suddenly ripped from under him. Thanks a lot was not a good thing. Things had been miraculous he couldn’t take a chance that he screwed up some how. His hand went automatically to his pants.

Cordelia stood puzzled by Angel’s change of expression. The dork was back. Cordelia’s hand covered his as he pulled out the article. They tugged briefly.

“Angel.” Her brows arched, her tone firm.

She scrunched her face as Angel took on a sheepish expression.

Cordelia snatched away the paper and read it quickly. She didn’t know whether to laugh or yell.

“Angel?”

“What?” He tried to snatch the paper back.

“Angel, this is from Comos.” Her eyes widened. “You ripped this out of my magazine. Why?”

“Bob knows what he’s talking about.”

“Bob?”

“Bob.” Angel pointed to the paper. “That convinced me to go to the carnival.” There was no point in hiding the truth anymore.

Cordelia was too flabbergasted to yell, though she was thinking that yelling would be the correct reaction. “Uh.”

“You said fine. See.” Angel pointed to the definition. Cordelia stared again at the vampire.

Wow, Angel really had turned into a major goofball. It was a good thing that she loved the dork Angel as much as the one that had touched and tasted her all night.

“Angel, do you know who Bob is?”

“He’s a published author. Wesley and Gunn said that he was very informative.”

“Wesley and Gunn?” Choking. “He…He is Roberta Randall, a 40 year old house wife that writes a regular humor column for Comos. This is not a treatise but a satire. Humor. Sarcasm- as in not real.”

Cordelia laughed as Angel’s face paled. He didn’t have any blood flowing but he could sure get white.

“Wesley and Gunn believe this? Oh, don’t tell. This could be fun.”

“Cordy?”

The young woman raised her brows at the vampire. Angel stopped. Cordelia said that the article was sarcastic not real, but honestly there was something in the way she raised her brows that he just didn’t want to cross. “Okay.”

“Um, Angel?”

Angel’s eyes shot up at the change in her tone.

Cordelia bit her lip, twisting the sleeves of his sweater around her small hands. “I feel fine, this morning.”

Angel raised his brows, refusing to smile. “I’m glad.”

“I told you I would.”

“Yes, you did. Like I said I’m glad.”

“You said we had to wait…” Cordelia stopped, her blush turning into a glare at the pleased smirk on Angel’s face.

“You’re making me ask on purpose.”

“Ask what?” Knocking away the pillow that Cordelia threw.

“Fine.” She turned to stomp out of the room.

This time Angel wasn’t scared about the fine. He laughed. “You’re just so cute when you blush.” Pushing Cordelia back towards the bed.


Chapter 18

“Cordelia what are you planning?” Angel held the young woman back from running up basement steps into the lobby of the Hyperion.

“Oh, don’t be such a fraidy vamp it won’t hurt.”

Angel didn’t budge. “This isn’t a good idea.”

“Angel, you don’t even know what ‘It’ is.”

“Something not good for Wes or Gunn.”

“Pfft. Come on it’ll be fun.”

“Not for them, not for me. They’re going to be mad when they found out that I told you about Bob..Roberta.”

Cordelia shrugged, her eyes laughing. “Oh, don’t be such a worry wart.”

“I don’t see why we had to come back now. I had to leave my car.”

“It will be perfectly safe. And you can walk me home later. Won’t that be romantic?”

“The sewers are now romantic?”

Cordelia rolled her eyes smacking Angel on the arm. “You know this sudden burst of humor guised as cluelessness- is only a little bit funny.”

“I thought it was funny.”

“Hmmph.”

“Cordy, if you hadn’t been so anxious for your revenge we could still be at your apartment- in bed. We wouldn’t have to go back later.”

“And have Wesley freaked.”

“It’s that what you want.”

“Not about us. Now, you just keep quiet while I go find Fred.”

“This doesn’t feel right, I shouldn’t be helping you.”

“But you love me.”

“That’s not fair. Fine.” Angel said at her raised brows.

“FINE….ooh, scary word. Good thing you’re not a woman or I’d be shaking.”

“You know you do raise your brows, A LOT.”

Cordelia stuck out her tongue in response.


Chapter 19

“Dorks. Like women are so predictable.”

“So, you ready?”

Fred nodded eagerly to Cordelia. “Angel won’t tell?”

“He better not.”

“Oh. How do we start it?”

“With those two- they’ll fall right into it.”

“Lets go then.”

***

“Angel.” Wesley jumped as the vampire came into the lobby.

“Hey.”

“We haven’t seen the princess yet, she still pissed?”

“Cordy’s not mad.” Angel shuffled at the files on the counter. “Anything interesting?” Avoiding the others eyes.

“She hasn’t shown up yet. And Cordy was giving off major waves of ice when we dropped her off last night.”

“She’s here with Fred.”

“She is? I didn’t see her come in.” Wesley looked questioningly at the front door.

“Must have come in the back. I saw her go up to Fred’s. She seemed fine.”

“Go figure. Women.”

“Moody.”

Angel slumped into the chair. Attitudes like that were just going to get Wesley and Gunn in trouble. He really ought to warn them.

“Hi guys.” Cordelia beamed from the bottom of the steps, Fred close behind.

“Hey.” Wesley and Gunn said.

“Angel, good morning.”

“Right.” Angel mumbled not looking at the women.

“Angel, didn’t you sleep well. You went to bed early enough or did you go…out patrolling or something. “ Fred amended at Wesley and Gunn’s shaking heads. That’s right. Cordelia didn’t know about Angel’s stalking habit. Secrets and plots, Fred was going to have to get the clicks up to speed.

Angel’s head shot up, questioning.

Cordelia gave a slight shake of her head. Cordelia had only explained about Bob’s article

“No, I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

“Oh, must have been all the excitement of the carnival. You had fun, right?”

“Oh, I definitely had fun last night. What about you, Cordy did you have fun last night? Cordelia are you alright?” He said to his coughing seer.

“Fine.” She glared.

Angel didn’t have to turn to know that Wesley and Gunn were starting to tense. Angel hid his face in a folder waiting for the games to begin.

“Cordy, do you want some water?” Wesley said ready to jump up and fetch.

“I’m fine.”

Wesley settled back down and shrugged at Gunn. Sometimes-fine may actually mean fine.

“Anybody for breakfast. Fred?” Gunn said trying to make sure that everything stayed fine. Angel was already off to a rocky start.

“Why was that directed at me?” Fred raised her brows as she leaned against the counter.

“Uh, I just wondered….”

Fred let out a loud sigh. “Oh, go ahead Charles, tell Cordy how you and Wesley think I’m a pig, please do.” Fred’s brows still raised.

“Wh..at?” Both Wesley and Gunn started to stutter.

Angel was impressed; Fred had managed to turn Wesley and Gunn into gibbering idiots with one sentence. He expected it from Cordelia, but not Fred. She definitely learned quickly.

“I’m sure they don’t, do you.” Cordelia raised her brows towards the slack jawed men. “Go ahead, tell her you don’t.”

“Of course, we don’t.” Wesley shook his head in vehement denial.

“It’s morning, I just thought people might want breakfast, that’s all, really.”

Fred let out another sigh. “That’s okay.”

Angel hid his head further into the folder. Cordelia couldn’t help but giggle. Both Wesley and Gunn looked three shades paler, their hands wringing in abject terror.

“It’s not funny. What’s so funny?” Wesley turned to Cordelia.

“Nothing.” Trying to glare but all she could manage was more giggles. Fred joined in.

Wesley and Gunn looked back and forth from the laughing girls, then to Angel.

Angel finally looked up. “Congratulations, I think the both of you have managed to use all of them. Are you done?”

“Spoilsport.” Cordelia smiled and sat on the edge of Angel’s chair, ruffling through his hair.

“Stop that.” Angel knocked away her hand.

“I thought you liked it when I ran my fingers through your hair.” Cordelia’s voice low in his ear.

“Don’t start something you aren’t prepared to finish here and now.” He said equally low.

“Hmmph.” Cordelia got up. “Angel, training five minutes.’”

“Cordy, don’t you think that you better explain that five minutes means five minutes, not an half hour? Who knows what silly advice Angel’s been getting?” Fred smiled at Wesley and Gunn, then swirled and left, following Cordelia out of the lobby.

Wesley and Gunn turned on Angel as soon as the women left.

“You told.”

Angel shrugged. “It wasn’t a secret. Anyway, Cordy wasn’t mad, she thought it was funny.”

“Sure, that’s why she roped Fred into her plot to scare us to death.”

“They were laughing at us. Man, how could you do that? We’re bros, we’ve got to stick together. You sold out.”

“I did not. Cordelia found the article in my pocket. What was I suppose to do- lie?”

“Did you have to bring us into it? Fred was laughing at us. Where’s your loyalty, man?”

“Look it’s not such a big deal. They had their laugh. It’s over. It could’ve been worse, the way you two were shaking they could have made you jump through all sorts of hoops.”

“It ain’t over. That’s what they want us to think. Bob said…”

“Bob’s a woman, Roberta from the Valley. Cordy said she’s a humorist.”

“She told you that and you believed her? It’s just her way of making us believe that what Bob said wasn’t true. The princess is protecting their secret. She’s loyal to her gender. Unlike you. Traitor.”

“Angel, you really should have warned us.” Wesley contemplated the vampire. “Angel, why weren’t you included in joke.

“It wouldn’t have been funny. I already knew that Cordelia knew. I told her remember.”

“Yeah, he’s right, Wesley. So what did she do to you?”

“I don’t believe she did anything to Angel, did she?”

“What? You gave us up, just to protect yourself. Worse than a traitor- a snitch.”

“I told you she found it.”

“In your pocket? Angel, what was Cordelia doing in your pocket?”

“I took it out of my pocket, she saw. That’s all.” Angel felt no need to add that they both had been naked at the time.

“But you obviously knew what Cordy was planning. And you didn’t tell us.”

Cordy….Cordy told me not to.”

“So, you betrayed us because Cordy told you to. Angel, we all were under the assumption that you messed up again last night, that Cordelia was mad at you. But we were mistaken weren’t we.”

“English?” Gunn asked.

“You two did it.” Wesley said.

“What? No. Of course not. We didn’t do anything.” Quickly denying doing anything with Cordelia.

“You did to, you both finally told each other how you really feel about each other. It’s about time. That’s it, isn’t- that’s why you went along with her.”

“Oh that, yeah I guess we did do that. You knew how we felt?” Angel nodded, relieved. It was one thing to tease Cordelia. Angel wasn’t about to tell Wesley and Gunn about last night, not without Cordelia’s okay.

“Damn obvious. Damn basement is like a hot steamy whirlpool of ranging hormones. Can’t go down there anymore, gives me the willies. Well, I feel better. You’re not a traitor just whipped. ” Gunn said.

“Uh, I’m not whipped…, what does that mean? And nothing’s happened in the training room, except training.”

“Sure then, but that was before Angelus took a powder.”

“You know about that too?”

“Yep, no secrets here- Obviously,” Gunn said pointedly to the vampire. Gunn rolled his eyes. “I’m never going down to the basement again. That’s for damn sure.”

“What? We’re adults, not some sex starved teenagers. I’ve got to go, Cordy’s waiting.”

Angel growled at Gunn’s low whisper of ‘whipped’. He wasn’t sure what it meant, but it didn’t sound good. He glared once and went to the basement. Cordy was waiting.

“How much?” Gunn turned to Wesley after Angel had gone.

“That’s not a bet I want to take. But, I will tell you I’m not going down there with out knocking first.”

“Damn straight.”


Chapter 20

“Are they still pouting?” Cordelia was in the middle of the floor, going through her sword exercises.

Angel stopped and watched. She was getting pretty good. She held the sword with confident strength, her swings wide and graceful. Everything about her was graceful. And beautiful and sexy.

“Bend your arm just a little, and put more weight on the balls of your feet.”

Cordelia automatically complied. “Well, are they?”

“No. Now they’re contemplating our sex life. Tighter arches.”

“They’re what? You told them.”

Angel went up behind the still girl, reaching around putting his hands over hers as they held the sword. “Like this.” He brought their arms up and swung the sword together. “Cordy, they had to know sooner or later and I prefer sooner. I don’t want to have to keep sneaking out at night.”

Cordelia leaned against Angel’s broad chest, letting him guide her strokes.

“I thought you liked my apartment.”

“Your ghost doesn’t like me.” Angel kissed her on her head.

“He’ll come around.” Cordelia released her sword letting Angel take it to his side. She turned placing her hands on his chest. “So they know, uh.”

“That we love each other, yep. The details- no. You mad?”

“Nay, you’re right.”

“Wow. You just said I was right.”

“Don’t let it go to your head.”

“Hm, Cordy what does whipped mean?”

“You, bad ass vamp, with the evil history are asking me?”

“Gunn said I was whipped.”

“Oh.” Cordelia started to giggle.

“What does it mean?”

“Don’t worry about it Angel. You’re not whipped, if you were I would have a new car.”

The car again. It was the second time she mentioned it.

Cordelia lifted her hands to cup Angel’s face. “Honestly, Angel I don’t want a car.” The humor in her eyes and smile apparent. “I’d have to deal with insurance, parking- it would be a pain, why do I need a car when I have you to drive me around or the use of your car when you can’t. You’re such a goofball. Gunn is just saying that you’re whipped because you’re wonderfully concerned about what I want. Men who aren’t capable of showing their concern about the woman they love say that about men that do, that’s all. It’s purely defensive. Men like that would say that Sir Walter Raleigh was whipped because he didn’t want the Queen’s feet to get dirty. Gunn’s just a Neanderthal, ignore him.”

Angel took her hands gently bringing them to his lips. Gunn was right he was whipped. But Angel didn’t care, looking into the beautiful eyes of his seer. They were so full of love. How could he not try to do anything and everything she wanted of him? And so far and always Cordelia only wanted the best for him.

She had already shown him that by bringing light to his gloom and plastic flowers. Angel smiled. “I love you.”

Angel was tempted to close his eyes at the brightness of Cordelia’s smile, but if he did then he would miss it.

“I love you, too. So, you don’t like it when I rub my hands through your hair.” Fingering the hair on Angel’s neck. Cordelia began comb her fingers upwards onto his scalp.

“It’s a perfectly okay thing to do when it is accompanied by kissing.”

“Oh. That’s good to know.” Cordelia smiled and pulled his lips lower.

***

“Hey, where are Cordy and Angel?”

“Training.” Wesley and Gunn said in unison.

“Oooh, I love to watch them spar. Kyerumption.” Fred headed for the basement.

“Kyerumption” Gunn laughed. “That just can’t be a real word.”

Wesley nodded. “Kyerumption.” Both Wesley and Gunn looked at each other and started to run after Fred.

“KNOCK” They shouted in panic.

The End

OnlyAnne

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete

It’s a Woman Thing. 13-15   1 comment

Chapter 13

“Welcome back to earth.” Wesley came up to Angel.

“Yeah.” Glancing at Cordelia. The young woman hadn’t looked up from the ground since they disembarked from the Ferris wheel and poor kitty was going to need a new head soon, if Cordelia didn’t stop wringing the animal’s neck. Angel wished that they were back on top of the world, alone.

Being back to earth would likely become more complicated than he or his demon wanted to deal with right now. But he would have to. Cordelia’s feelings and insecurities came before anything else.

“Ready to blow this Popsicle stand.”

“Popsicles? Where?” Fred spun around, her armful of stuff animals turning with her.

Wesley put a hand out stopping the spinning girl. “Gunn simply meant are we ready to leave. Of course, if you want we’ll see if they have Popsicles.”

“Lord, girl how much food can you shove in to that pint size body of yours.”

“Are you saying I’m a pig?” Fred’s brow rose.

“Now, I’m sure Charles didn’t mean anything like that.” Wesley shot a disbelieving glare at the young black man. Gunn didn’t see it though; he was too busy blanching at Fred’s expression.

“Of course not, I…I’m just impressed, that all. Really.” Gunn said.

Angel ignored the two men’s bumbling attempts to get Fred’s eyebrows back to normal.

“Cordy, you do want to go home, don’t you?” Cordy still hadn’t said a word.

Cordy kicked at the trash on the ground. Angel was right- carnivals were dirty and crowded. If she got pushed once more she was going to scream.

“Cordy, do you want to go home, don’t you?” Angel repeated, gently touching her on the arm.

Startled, Cordelia looked up. Had Angel just asked her if she wanted to go home and have sex?

“What?” She managed to squeak out.

“Do you want to go home? We can stay if you want. Maybe go on more rides or something?” Please say no. Angel really wanted to get out of this crowded place and be alone with Cordelia. But he would do whatever she wanted. She just needed to tell him.

Cordelia bit her lip. Okay, she added the last part. Cordelia glanced up at Angel. His expression was patient, willing and wanting to please her. Cordelia started chewing on her lip. Except for his eyes, they weren’t patient at all. Okay, she hadn’t added the home equals sex part.

But he would accept her decision. What was her decision? Anticipation, fear, love and desire swirled around in her mind. “I want to go home.”

“Come on we’re leaving now.” Angel herded everyone to the exit.

“Fred, I’m sure Angel won’t mind stopping to get a Popsicle somewhere. Will you?” Wesley turned to Angel. His expression hopeful, pleading and demanding.

Angel ignored it all. “I mind.”

“Angel.” Wesley’s scowl almost matched the one on Angel’s face, but Angel had the advantage of being able to growl.

“Angel.” Cordelia raised her brows.

Angel stopped his growl. He still wasn’t sure what Cordelia wanted. The usually forthright and painfully honest young woman was hesitant and subdued. “We can stop. But Fred wouldn’t you rather just go home. We have ice cream there. You like ice cream, right?” Angel was still hoping for the best.

Fred’s eyes widen. “We’ve got rocky road don’t we. Ice Cream it is. Hey, let’s rent a movie, that’s will fun. Cordy, do want to see a movie, we could all watch a movie and have ice cream. I could make popcorn. I know how to make popcorn.”

“Fred, aren’t you tired. I’m sure everyone else is tired. I’m tired.” Angel said.

“Pooh, you’re a vampire, you don’t get tired. And I don’t want this night to end, it was so much fun.”

“I get tired.” Angel adamantly disagreed. But Angel did agree that he didn’t want the night to end, but he sure and hell didn’t want to spend it with the gang. Unless Cordelia did. “Cordy?” Angel knew he had to be alone with Cordelia, if for no other reason than to talk this all out, though he wanted, needed to finish what was started on the Ferris wheel. Angel glanced at Cordelia.

That’s if she wanted to, if she wanted to watch a movie than he would watch a movie.

“That’s a great idea Fred.” Gunn and Wesley said, ignoring Angel. Fred was smiling, her normal sunny disposition back. But neither man wanted to take a chance.

“I’m tired, too.” Cordelia managed to say over Gunn and Wesley’s enthusiastic agreement. Her anticipation and desire were rapidly overcoming her fear. The idea of spending two hours watching a movie with the gang was now what scared the hell out of her.

“Oh, Cordy, you don’t want to go back to the hotel and watch a movie with us?”

Cordelia did want to go back to the hotel, just not with everyone. And she didn’t see herself running up to Angel’s bedroom and holing herself up there, while the rest of the group was downstairs watching a stupid movie.

God forbid, actually being alone with Angel in his bedroom with everyone at the hotel.

“No. Angel you can just drop me off at my apartment, I guess.” She would much rather go home alone and throw things at the wall then watch a movie.

“I don’t want….okay.” Angel said.

“So, you’ll watch the movie with us?” Fred asked.

“Lets just go.” Angel pushed everyone out of the exit towards the car.


Chapter 14

“Cordy, are you…” Fred leaned up to the front seat as Angel drove up to Cordelia’s apartment.

“NO.” Cordelia didn’t mean to slam the car door or maybe she did. Her anticipation and desire had quickly turned to frustration then to anger.

Angel turned off the engine. “I’ll be back. I just want to make sure Cordy gets to her door.”

“Since when has he needed to tell us that, the vamp barely lets Cordy cross the street alone.”

“Kyerumption.”

“Whatever, but it didn’t happen tonight. Angel must’ve screwed up again- bad. Cordelia would barely speak. She wouldn’t even look at Angel.” Gunn said.

“I’m afraid you’re right. They will never admit their feelings for each other if he keeps messing up.” Wesley said.

“I don’t think Cordy’s mad at Angel.” Fred watched the vampire disappear into the apartment complex after his seer. “Though, he does seem anxious and she was awful quiet. Maybe, I should go talk to her, maybe she needs a girlfriend to talk to. Cordelia said I’m her friend. Maybe…”

Wesley pulled Fred back down into the seat. “Fred, you are Cordy’s friend, but Angel is going up there now. Let’s give him a chance to try to make things better.”

“Yeah, they always make up. Movie and popcorn, remember?” Gunn said.

***

“Cordy.” Angel rushed up as the apartment door was about to close. Cordelia must have run.

“Don’t you have a hotel full of movie watchers to entertain?” Cordelia kept walking, the door remaining open. Finally, she turned her brow arched high.

Angel was actually very grateful to see it. Cordelia’s tense silence in the car had started to make him very nervous. She hadn’t even been able to look at him. Regardless of what Bob said right now the eyebrow thing was helping him regain his confidence.

Angel had been fearful that Cordelia had been changing her mind. That she was starting to have doubts. But she was mad. That was good. Angel began to wonder how good.

“A movie would be fun, you sure that you don’t want to join Wesley, Gunn, Fred and me. Popcorn, ice cream. Maybe, we can watch two.”

“YOU ARE NOT watching that movie with them.”

“I don’t see how I’ve much choice; they’re coming over. It would be impolite not to let them. It wouldn’t be very social and you want me to be social. Wasn’t that the whole point of tonight, for me to have fun and be social? Isn’t that what you wanted.”

“WHAT I WANT is to MAKE LOVE WITH YOU, you dumb ass.” Cordelia’s mouth dropped open as her face turned beet red. She couldn’t believe it. She had just yelled at the top of her lungs that she wanted to have sex with Angel. Cordelia hid her face. She was doomed and she was an idiot. “My neighbors, oh god.”

“Wesley, Gunn and Fred probably heard it too.”

Something in Angel’s tone made Cordelia’s head shoot up. “You son of a bitch.” Kitty went flying into the pleased smirk on Angel’s face.

“You’ll hurt kitty.” Angel cupped the stuff animal gently in his hands.

“You did that on purpose. When did you get to be such Mr. Funny guy? And give me back Kitty.”

Angel was in front of her in a flash of a second. “I’ll be back as soon as I drop the them off at the hotel. Please. I really want to make love to you too, may I?”

Cordelia wasn’t sure if Angel’s soft question referred to whether he could come back or whether he could make love to her. Though, it didn’t matter her answer was yes to both. Except. “What are you going to tell Wesley and them? You’re not going to tell them that are you? Please.”

Angel wanted to shout it as loud as Cordelia had. Only louder so all of LA could hear and know that he was in love with Cordelia and she loved him. But obviously, Cordelia didn’t want them to know or she would have demanded that they all take their movie and shove it.

“You don’t want them to know that we love each other?”

“Angel, I’m still getting use to it and…I just want tonight to be about us…we tell them and Wesley will be all with the soul questions, Gunn with his ‘oh mans’ and Fred jumping up and done screaming Kyerumption or whatever that stupid word is.”

“It’s a very nice word, very appropriate.”

“Hmmph.”

Angel didn’t even care what that meant anymore. It was just adorable the way her nose would scrunch up whenever she said it. It made him want to kiss it. So, he did.

He leaned up taking Cordelia in his arms. “You’re still nervous.”

“Not as much, just a lot.”

Angel smiled. “I love you.” Angel captured her smile with his lips, gently pressing and teasing her mouth until it opened and accepted his tongue. His kiss became more persistent as Cordelia melted into his embrace. Her lips and tongue moving with his. With a groan, Angel finally released her. His eyes heavy with desire.

Cordelia licked at her lips. “I can kiss.”

Angel took a deep breath, to give him time to beat down his need to rip off all of Cordelia’s clothes and take her where she stood. “Yes, very well, too.” He couldn’t help it. He had to taste her again.

This time Cordy moaned as their mouths parted. “I better go. The sooner I go the sooner I come back.” Angel stood still his eyes fixed on her lips. He leaned in again. Cordelia pushed him back. “Go and hurry.”

With a frustrated nod, Angel turned.

“Angel.” Cordelia was back in his arms before he made it to the door.

Repetitive and blaring horn blasts finally forced Angel to release Cordelia. “Soon.” He was out the door before Cordelia could say another word.

***

“He was awful quiet.”

“High dosage Brood stuff. He must’ve not been able to square things with the princess.”

“Do you think someone should go talk to him.” Fred looked up the stairs.

“No, let him be. I imagine he is up there now trying to figure out how to make up with her.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Princess gets new clothes.”

“Maybe, but definitely a late night stalker.”

“Stalker?”

“Angel doesn’t know that we know, but he has a habit of going to check up on Cordelia. It started two years ago, when she was attacked by Vocah.”

“Vocah? Oh, I read about him in Cordy’s file. He’s the demon that gave her the everlasting visions. She has so much courage.”

“Been busy, haven’t ya.”

“I don’t like to be out of the loop. It helps with the clicks.”

“Very smart, Fred. Anyway, Angel’s nightly check ups seem to increase whenever Cordelia’s been in danger or when she’s mad at him.”

“Which is almost every friggin night.” Gunn shook his head.

“That’s sweet. Angel is so chivalrous.”

“He’s a damn nitwit. If Cordy ever found out, she’d have him for dust. Ready for that movie?”

“She doesn’t know?”

“Nay, that’s why it’s called stalking.”


Chapter 15

Cordelia looked at all of the clothes strewn on her bed. “Dennis.” Cordelia tightened the towel around her body. Damn it where was that ghost? Why wouldn’t he come out and help her choose. “Dennis.”

A large sweatshirt and the accompanying bulky pants were flung on the top of the pile. “Are you nuts, I’m not wearing those. Angel is coming over. How about this?” Holding up a red silk camisole set. The sweat combo came flying up to her face.

“Dennis.” Cordelia knocked the shirt and pants down. “Angel and I….” She stared as her bedroom door slammed shut. “Oh. Nevermind. Maybe you should just stay in your wall tonight.” Cordelia winced as another door slammed.

Cordelia picked up the silk. It was…too much. Cordelia tossed the garment aside. Why was this so hard? What does a girl wear to make love to the man she loves who she never thought would love her when she was scared to death. The sweats were beginning to look better and better for her peace of mind.

Oh this was stupid. Angel would be over soon and she would still be in a towel. That might work. No, way too obvious. Errgh. Cordelia picked up a white lacey shift. White lace? Yuk. What possessed her to buy it? It was so not her. She tossed on it on the floor. Well, no decision was a decision.

Cordelia grabbed her favorite pair of cotton pajama pants and a sleeveless t-shirt, both worn down and soft from repeated wear. If she was going to make a fool of herself, she was going to be comfortable. Cordelia pulled her hair up into a makeshift ponytail. Make up or no make up? No. Comfort was a priority. Sexy didn’t seem to be possible right now.

Cordelia glanced at the clock. Crap. Cordelia quickly gathered up all of the rejected clothes and tossed them into her closet. Cordelia looked at her bed. Shit.

“Dennis did you change the sheets? Big pouter.” Cordelia said, as she got no response. She hurried and looked in the hamper. Dirty sheets. Whew. Cordelia was just glad that Dennis had done it before knowing that Angel was coming over. Okay, she took a shower, picked out…her favorite jammies with zip sex appeal. Maybe, she should go with the red silk.

Cordelia flopped on the bed, rubbing her palms into her eyes. It wasn’t the choice of an outfit that was making her frantic, she was just plain scared and nervous. Cordelia had been serious when she told Angel of her fear that she couldn’t do it. Cordelia knew that making love to Angel would cement their love, but it would also strip her of any self-protection that she had remaining towards the vampire. She was already vulnerable enough to his decisions and moods. Her life was already connected and centered on the vampire.

Could she also give him her heart and in doing so, give up herself. If she let herself love Angel, really love him; she would never be able to distance herself from the vampire. He would own her lock, stock and barrel.

She flung herself down on the bed. Angel would be there soon, expecting Cordelia to make love with him. Why shouldn’t he, she had pretty much told him that she loved him, yelled out that she wanted to make love to him. Oh god. Cordelia had no idea what to do. But she would have to decide something; she couldn’t put her or Angel through anymore of her indecisions and denials caused by fears and insecurities.

The rapid knocks on the door signaled that she had no more time to not make a decision. “Dennis.” Oh, stupid ghost. “Coming. Sorry,” Opening the door. “Dennis doesn’t seem to want to be helpful.” Cordelia shot a scowl over her shoulder to the empty air.

Angel just stared. His eyes took in every part of the young woman before him. The pants were tied falling low emphasizing the swell of her hips and the flatness of her belly, the female version of a muscle shirt hugged her full breast, one loose strap hung down, leaving a smooth shoulder bare. Soft tendrils of silk graced her neck and shoulders as dark hair escaped from the ponytail on top of her head. He took a deep breath. Angel had never seen Cordelia look so beautiful, cute and sexy. He finally found his voice.

“Can I come in?”

Cordelia rolled her eyes, looking to the floor and moving away resisting the urge to slam the door and run. “Duh, invite given a long time ago.” Cordelia refused to let the purpose of why Angel was here freak her out. Maybe if she just pretended it was like every other time that he came over, it would be okay.

Of course, every other time, she didn’t rush around like an idiot, worrying about taking a shower, what to wear or clean sheets. God. She had no idea what she was doing.

“I thought maybe Dennis revoked it.” Angel smiled slightly. He knew that the ghost was protective of Cordelia. And the vampire wouldn’t have blamed the ghost if he had tried to keep Angel away. Angel would have exorcised him, but Angel wouldn’t have blamed him.

“So. Everyone settled in to watch a movie?”

“Engrossed, didn’t even see me leave.”

Cordelia nodded and bit her lip. “Um, You want some blood or something?”

“Or something. Cordy?”, reaching and turning the young woman around to face him. True a back view of Cordelia was as enticing as the front, but Angel needed to see her eyes. Cordelia had avoided looking at him since her initial greeting.

“Angel.” Cordelia couldn’t keep the catch out of her voice.

“Trust me, please.” Caressing her soft cheeks down to the smoothness of her neck.

“I do.” Stepping back away from his touch.

“Cordy? What is it? It’s more than you just being nervous, you’re still scared.” Angel didn’t understand. He had only been gone for a short time. What had happened? Angel knew that articles would never be enough to figure Cordelia out. Maybe there was a book out there somewhere.

Cordelia turned away, fumbling and wringing her hands. When Angel wasn’t being dense, he really did know her. Cordelia felt coolness of his touch on her shoulders pulling her into his chest. She tensed, and then allowed herself to lean back into his embrace. “If we do this, it will change everything.” Her words soft.

“Everything is already changed. But if you don’t want to. I understand.”

“You don’t understand. Here I was thinking that you knew me so well.” Cordelia’s soft laugh coating the words with warmth.

“You’re right, as usual, but I want to. Help me. I love you.”

Cordelia briefly hugged his arms around her and then moved away turning to face him.

“I am scared. Not of you, not even of my….inexperience.” Cordelia blushed. She couldn’t help it.

“That’s not something to be embarrassed about.”

Cordelia shook her head. “It is- not that I haven’t been a ‘ho- just talking about it. But, I’ll get over it. No. I’m scared because making love will change everything- “

“Cordy-“

“-For me. Angel.” Cordelia bit her lips wondering how to put her fear into words wondering if she could even expose herself that much. Angel looked so lost. Now he was beginning to look scared. He deserved the truth. Cordelia just wasn’t sure how to explain. Where was her trademark blunt honesty when she so desperately needed it? “Angel…I…I am your seer, your friend-“

This time Angel didn’t interrupt. Cordelia was trying to tell him something. Something that just may change everything again. Angel didn’t want things to change. He wanted and needed Cordelia to love him, really love him. He also needed to listen.

Cordelia shook her head starting over. “Your life is my life. I have no other outside of your- our mission. I’ve accepted that. You have my life, I don’t know whether I can give you my heart.” Tears welled up as she saw the expression on Angel’s face.

Fear overcame Angel’s guilt. “You said you loved me.”

“I said probably.”

“You love me.” Angel’s fear became anger. For the briefest moment Cordelia saw the gold of the demon’s eyes. Angel calmed his demon, trying to understand. Cordelia did love him; he just didn’t understand that’s all.

Cordelia struggled with her tears. God, she really did love Angel. He was right. It was too late. Things had already changed. But, she wasn’t ready to concede. “I don’t know if I can.” Cordelia took a deep breath. “ I haven’t had the best track record with relationships, romantic or otherwise.”

“Cordy-“ Angel had to convince her; he wasn’t about to lose the feeling of being on top of the world. “I’m not Xander or anyone..”

“No. You are the one person that can already hurt me the most. I don’t know if I can give you anymore power over me.”

Power? Over Cordelia? Angel laughed. He couldn’t help it, even when Cordelia glared at him. He choked trying to stop. “Now who’s being clueless?” Angel started to laugh again.

“Angel.” Cordelia couldn’t believe that Angel had the gall to laugh at her. Here she was being heart wrenchingly honest sharing her fears and he was laughing.

“I’m sorry but it’s funny. Cordy…” Angel stopped laughing. He was smiling but his tone now serious. “Cordy. Think about what you said-your life is my life- well that works both ways- it always has and always will. And as for power- Cordelia you have the power over me, hell all of us. You are the heart of AI, but more importantly you are mine. You connect me to life. Without you I’m nothing but a demon. I can’t do this without you, not because of the visions, but because of you and who you are. You have the power to turn me into a blithering idiot. I went shopping for you. That’s power.”

“You only did that because I was mad.”

“Yeah, and I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t stand that you said I wasn’t your friend. I had to do something. You wouldn’t listen to me. You wouldn’t let me close. I had to do something to make you smile at me. To make you see that I needed you back. You didn’t see me giving Wesley or Gunn a new wardrobe.”

“You didn’t give away their clothes.”

“No. But I did hurt them, but it was YOU that I needed forgiveness from. I wanted it from them but I needed it from you. I stay up all night watching your apartment to make sure your safe, I jump through portals, I …”

“You what? You stalk me?”

Angel gulped, then glared. “And you make me gulp. Vampires aren’t supposed to gulp. No reason to. But because of you I’ve developed some sort of nervous habit.”

“I make you gulp?”

“Yeah, face it’ you control my conscious and unconscious actions- I have. If I have any power over you it’s minimal to what you have over me. My life is yours; my soul is yours and my dead heart, whatever that is worth. I don’t deserve you. And if that were the reason that you said you couldn’t love me, I would accept it. But not this, it’s just wrong.”

“It’s worth everything.” A smile started to creep over Cordelia’s face. There was something very heartwarming and convincing about Angel’s frantic pacing and ranting. Angel had said everything had already changed.

They had, but they also remained the same. Cordelia’s life would always be intertwined with Angel’s, just as his would be with hers. And obviously, they both had the power to hurt each other. Those things would remain whether Cordelia admitted her love or not.

Angel was right, it was pretty clueless of her to think otherwise. Denying her love and Angel’s now that she knew it existed wouldn’t give her any self-protection; it would just make them both miserable. And maybe just maybe now they would also have the power to bring each other real happiness.

“What is?” Angel stopped mid pace.

“Your dead heart, silly.”

“Silly? I’m silly?”

Cordelia nodded. “Not thinking I loved you. Silly.”

Angel gaped, then slammed his jaws shut. “Did I forget to mention that you also drive me insane.”

“It’s a gift.” Cordelia giggled. “Um, Angel can we make love now that you’ve gotten that all out of your system.” Lifting her eyes up.

“Insane.” Angel growled not even hesitating in his stride to pick up the giggling love of his life.

Chapter 16

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete

It’s a Woman Thing. 12   1 comment

Chapter 12

“They’re still on the ride?”

The attendant nodded. “Boy, that guy is slow. Usually, it only takes two or three turns for the girl to be all over the guy. Probably should have kept them up top for longer.” Watching Angel and Cordelia’s cart get higher.

“What are you talking about?”

“Action, man. Girls love it up there. It’s a sure thing.”

Wesley and Gunn stared at the attendant then up at the Ferris wheel.

“You don’t think…”

“They wouldn’t, they couldn’t? Angel’s definitely has feelings for Cordy, but he wouldn’t.”

“Sure, he would and so would she, it’s Moira.” Fred happily nibbled on her corn dog.

“Moira- what are you talking about, girl?”

“The undeniable physical attraction. It’s goes with Kyerumption. Angel and Cordelia got Kyerumption.”

“I’m not disagreeing with you, they definitely feel something more than friendship but there is no action going on up there.”

“There better not be, or we got a whole lot of Angelus shit to worry about.” Gunn said.

“Angelus?”

“Angel’s soulless…”

“I know who Angelus is. I read Angel’s file. But he’s gone.”

“Girl, you obliviously didn’t read the fine print.”

“Yes, I did, but I overheard Lorne and Angel. Angel’s soul was made permanent months ago.”

“What? Why didn’t he tell us.”

Fred shrugged. “Angel was worried about Cordy’s reaction about him and Darla. I know who she is, too. She’s an old vampire girlfriend of Angelus. Though, Cordy doesn’t have to worry about any old girlfriend. She and Angel have Kyerumption. I think it’s sweet that they want to stay up there. It’s romantic.” Fred took another bite of her corn dog.

“Angel’s soul is permanent?” Wesley gazed up at the ride. “Interesting, maybe they will finally admit their feelings for each other.”

“Fred, wanta take the next ride on the big wheel? I’m game.”

“I’m sure that it would not be a good thing for Fred to get on that ride after eating those corn dogs. Remember, Fred how you said that you got sick after eating the cotton candy and going on that ride when you were a kid. Shouldn’t take the chance. How about some more stuff animals?”

“A gold fish would be fun.”

Wesley smiled smugly at Gunn’s disappointed expression.

***

Cordelia gazed off into the ever-changing horizon. She really didn’t want to continue this truth bearing session with Angel. Enough embarrassing and dangerous truths had been revealed. Though, what more she could reveal, she didn’t know. Except that maybe she really wanted Angel to put his arm around her again.

Being in love with the vampire was so not smart.

Thoughts slowly started to return to Angel’s consciousness. The first and foremost being that Cordelia not only loved him but also was IN love him. He discounted the ‘probably’ in her earlier explanation. How? When? And why did that particular thought make him happier than he ever thought possible. Could it be that he was IN love with her too, not just that he loved her.

Yes. Angel smiled -that was it. Everything made sense now. The way he would get all stuttery and stupid around her, trying to please her all the time. His desperate need to always keep her safe. The warmth and contentment he felt every time she smiled at him. And then there was very real desire he finally allowed himself to acknowledge. Angel smiled. He was happy. He studied the tense young woman beside him.

Cordelia wasn’t.

“I’m not in love with Buffy. I haven’t been for a while. Probably even before I realized that I could go on living when I thought she had died.”

“You did feel guilty about it. You felt guilty because you love her.”

“I felt guilty because I had loved her and thought that I would always love her and thought I was betraying her not just because I could live without her, but because someone else had become more important to me than she was.”

“Angel?”

“Cordy, you have become the most important person in my life. Your life, your happiness, your safety are more important than anything, Buffy, my life, my fight for the powers. I love you and not just as a friend.”

“Don’t ever say that.” Cordelia glared at the vampire.

“I do love you.”

“Don’t you ever say anything is more important than your redemption and the mission. Don’t.” Cordelia pounded her small fist into his chest.

Angel captured her fist holding it close. “I won’t ever say it again.” He wouldn’t if it upset Cordelia, he just would never stop knowing it or believing it. “Can I at least say that I’m in with love you?”

“You really do love me?” Cordelia’s fingers spread out along his chest, digging at the material of his shirt. Her face tilted upwards, her eyes pleading for reassurance.

Angel pulled her to him, his hands moving to cradle her face in his palms. He stared as Cordelia’s tongue nervously wetted her lips. He watched. Its movement fascinated him. He wanted to capture the darting pinkness.

Cordelia tensed then melted as Angel’s lips engulfed hers. She followed his lead, sucking, nipping and caressing, their lips moving together gathering strength and force.

Cordelia’s hands tentatively started to glide up his sweater becoming more confident as Angel’s lips became persistent. A dull ache was expanding in her belly, making her feel empty needing something to fill it. Instinctively she knew that she only chance she had of curing the ache was in the hands of the vampire that had caused it. Cordelia reached around his neck, finally finding rest in his hair, pulling him closer.

It wasn’t helping. Angel was still too far away. The ache was just growing. Cordelia wiggled trying to move her hips and legs to allow Angel to press in even further. Angel turned to the side, his hands on her hip straddling her over his thigh. He cupped her buttocks molding and caressing, his lips never leaving her mouth.

Cordelia sighed into his movements, the emptiness was filling, but the ache wasn’t going away. Rather it was turning into a desperate need, it was if her all body and an itch that had to be scratched or she would go crazy.

Cordelia squirmed trying to find relief, bringing her hands down reaching under his coat, her fingers clutching and pressing at the fabric of Angel’s shirt. Angel brought his hands to the small of her back holding her against his body.

Cordelia leaned back her head. Angel’s lips caressing her cheek settling into nuzzle and lick at her neck. A moan almost a growl ventured from his throat as his hands moved under Cordelia’s blouse as his teeth tugged at it’s neckline.

Cordelia jerked as Angel’s hands found her flesh. His hands roamed and moved, fondling at her stomach caressing up to the lace of her bra. She moved instantly back pressing her flesh into his touches. It was the only way Cordelia knew to satisfy the ever-changing ache and need. Her own hands found their way under his sweater.

Angel’s touch became insistent as her own traveled up and down bringing heat to cool flesh of his back. Cordelia’s shirt and bra was pushed up as Angel’s lips engulfed a nipple.

Cordelia’s hands stilled. Desire. It was desire pure and simple. Or rather not that simple, Cordelia never felt such overwhelming sensations take over her body. She tried to think, tried to restrain it. She was getting frightened of her mind’s inability to control her body’s actions. Her body was ignoring her frantic thoughts to slow down, to pause and give her time to think.

Of its own volition, her upper body moved slightly back giving Angel the room necessary to gain better access to her breast. Her grip on his shoulders became tight as his hands moved to the waistband of her pants. Cordelia clenched her eyes shut as the friction of the gentle insistent fingers rubbing against her panties ignited the ache in her belly into short bursts of electricity, each causing intense pleasure.

Cordelia softly gasped pressing against the stroking fingers. Her hips moved instinctively trying to emulate the rhythm, trying to keep the pleasure, trying to bring it to an end. Cordelia’s hands floundered, fluttering haphazardly against Angel’s shoulders. The bursts of pleasure were increasing in length and intensity. It was almost painful.

Her nerves were tittering on the edge. There was no way to end it but to let go, not to think, to give up the last bit of control over her body and actions. It scared the hell out of Cordelia. She tensed jerking away from Angel’s touch trying regaining some measure of power over her senses.

“Cordy.” Reaching automatically, Angel’s voice thick with desire.

“I…I can’t.”

Angel clenched his reaching hands and struggled to reign in his instincts. He had said that he had better control, that he wouldn’t force his desire on Cordelia. But that was before he actually tasted her, touched her, felt the heat of her moistness in his hand, felt the warmth of her touch over his skin.

It wasn’t Angelus he feared, but something worse- his own souled response to her. Angel forced his love to temper the violence that threatened at Cordelia’s rejection.

“I…I’m sorry..I.” Hiding her face.

“Cordy?” Angel gently lifted her chin. Tears clouded her eyes. “What is it?” No longer was Angel’s voice rough, just tender and questioning.

Cordelia closed her eyes and brought her hands up over her ears. She couldn’t look at him, didn’t want to hear his soft voice. It was so pathetic and embarrassing. All of it, her tears, her reaction. She wanted to just disappear.

Cordelia felt her hands being moved, heard his soft questions. Angel wouldn’t let her. She blinked away her tears, brushing at them. A harsh broken laugh escaped from her lips. “This is so stupid.”

“Stupid?”

“I want to, but I’m scared okay.” Wiping again at her tears.

“I won’t…”

“It’s not you okay, it’s me. I’ve never felt like this before. I’ve only been with one other person. And Wilson shouldn’t count, considering how that turned out, kind of turned me off on the whole sex thing. Sure, I kissed a lot in high school, but that’s not sex. And here you are all Mr. Vamp experience. What if I do something wrong. God, this is embarrassing. What if I can’t?” Covering her face again.

Angel was surprised. He had always assumed that Cordelia was experienced. She was always so confident in her sexuality. And she was never lacking for male attention that was until she started working with him. But, she dated a lot back in Sunnydale. And then there was Xander. He had just assumed. Which was very stupid of him.

Angel knew that Cordelia wasn’t the promiscuous type, no matter the comments the idiot Xander made about her before and after they broke up. Angel could kick himself, when was she suppose to have gained all this experience. She was only twenty years old. How could he have forgotten how young she was? And Wilson had been her first. Angel knew he should have killed the bastard.

“Don’t be scared or embarrassed. Please.” Angel brought her gently back into his arms.

“Easy for you to say, you’re not the one spilling your lack of sexual history.”

“That’s NOT embarrassing. And, you know about the furies. That’s embarrassing.”

“That’s just ewwy.”

“Yeah, that’s my recollection of the encounter too.”

“Sure it is.”

“No, really. I’d forgotten how cheesy they were.”

Cordelia giggled into his jacket.

“Come on the ride is almost over. We’ll go home. Oh, and Cordy there is no way you could ever do anything wrong.”

“Angel…”

“No. Believe me.”

Cordelia started to feel her breath shorten and heat pool in her belly at Angel’s intense stare and low voice. Angel loved her and wanted her. He looked like he would devour her right then and there. She was starting to believe him. Maybe she could do it.

Part 13

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete

It’s a Woman Thing. 10-11   1 comment

Chapter 10

Cordelia moved forward making the small cart swing back and forth. She smiled at Angel. “Isn’t it beautiful up here. It’s higher than the roof of the Hyperion. You can see everything.”

“Beautiful.” Angel smiled at his seer. She really was beautiful. “Um, Cordy, don’t lean so much.” Angel cleared his throat. Cordelia kept hanging over the edge of the cart. She could fall.

“I’m…” Cordelia was about to say she was fine. But Angel was getting that weird protective look and she didn’t want to argue with him. She settled next to Angel, her hand reaching for Angel’s. “So. Are you having fun?”

Angel glanced down at the small hand holding his larger one then up to Cordelia. “Yes.”

“Mmm.” Cordelia sighed. “I told you so.”

Warmth flowed through Angel’s body as he heard her small sigh. Cordelia was content. Bob’s article said that in that situation the best thing to do was not move.

“You cold?” Angel frowned at Cordelia’s slight shiver.

“A little, it’s chilly up here.”

Angel brought his arm around Cordelia, tucking her in the crook of his arm, pulling his jacket part way around. “Better?”

Another small sound escaped Cordelia’s lips as she snuggled closer hugging her stuffed animal to her chest.

Angel smiled softly and stared out as the world slowly went up and down as the Ferris turned in it’s slow circular path, the sounds of the carnival faded leaving nothing but Cordelia’s small breaths and steady heartbeat. This was more than fun. Angel felt like he was on top of the world.

Warmth and peace radiated into him from the young woman pressed close. He tightened his hold on Cordelia.

“Hey don’t mush Kitty.” But Cordelia didn’t move away, her voice barely a whisper.

“Of course.” Angel pulled the squished animal out between their bodies and placed it safely on his lap.

The silence of contentment came again and remained between them as the ride came to an end.

“That was too quick.” Cordelia’s tone was wistful.

Angel nodded in complete agreement. “Again.” He shoved some cash at the young attendant that came to unlock their cart.

The young man rolled his eyes but took the money. He was going to make a killing tonight. The leather-coated guy hadn’t been the only one that had paid to keep their date on the Ferris wheel. And the kid couldn’t blame this guy, the chick was a babe.

The attendant counted the extra money Angel had given him. Wow. The guy just bought as many turns as he wanted. That guy definitely wanted to get lucky tonight. Well, for that price the kid would help him out. There was nothing like stopping the wheel at the very top for a good while. It never failed.

***

“Hey, Angel and Cordy didn’t get off.” Gunn pointed as the Ferris wheel started up again.

“You can see everything from up there. It’s so fun. Wow. Angel must have liked it. He’s having fun. I’ll bet he’s glad he changed his mind.” Fred said.

“It seems so.” Wesley contemplated the ride, trying to keep track of the cart that held Angel and Cordelia. Wesley just hoped that Angel wouldn’t screw it up. If he misread Cordy just once up there, things could go bad.

“Hey, Fred do you want to go again. I’ll go.”

Wesley shot Gunn a dirty look. “Or maybe you’re hungry. All you’ve had was some cotton candy? Maybe we can find some tacos.”

Fred considered. “Do you think they have corn dogs?”

“No tacos?”

Fred shook her head. “I had corn dogs when I was a kid at the fair.”

“Corn dogs it is then. Let’s go looking for the dogs on the stick. We’ll catch up with Angel and Cordy later.”


Chapter 11
“Angel? You gave him money, real money?” Arching her brow as the young attendant scurried off without letting them out.

“It’s fun. You didn’t want to get off. Did you? You’re not too cold?”

“No. Where’s my cheapsake?” Curiosity and surprise apparent on her face.

“I’m not a cheapsake, I just know a value of a dollar. I don’t waste it on frivolous things. “

“Uhuh.” The elegant brow arched again, this time at the stuff kitten cuddled between them.

Angel noticed her look and squirmed. “It’s squishy.”

“Therefore not frivolous, I understand.” A small smile played over her lips.

Angel shrugged. “You wanted it.”

“Oh.” Her small smile became wide as she settled back into his side. “Um. Angel.”

“Yes.”

“I want a car.”

She couldn’t be serious. Angel looked down. Cordy would probably want a really expensive one. “Cordy…” He stopped as Cordelia’s eyes twinkled in undisguised humor. “Maybe there’s a used bumper car we could pick up.” He finished.

“You were actually considering it.” Cordelia laughed.

“I was not.”

“Were to. What a Goof.”

“Is that better than a dork?”

“Marginally. Angel.” Cordelia said suddenly serious.

Questioningly, Angel looked down.

“Thank you for coming to the carnival, for kitty, for this.” Pointing out to the ever-circling horizon.

His chest constricted as her gaze locked on to his. Angel was forced to expel air that had somehow got trapped in his throat at the warmth and sincerity that radiated from her eyes. Angel tried to respond, to say your welcome, but the beauty of her smile stole his voice. He gulped, finally managing a small smile.

It seemed sufficient. Cordelia leaned back into Angel’s chest, giving off a content sigh.

Cordelia pressed her head against Angel’s chest. Angel couldn’t help ,it is hand automatically went to her hair his fingers brushing at the strands of silk.

“You’re so quiet and still, no breathing, no heart beating, it’s creepy.”

Angel’s fingers stopped. He didn’t want to be creepy not with Cordelia. But she hadn’t sounded like she was creeped out. Her tone was soft. And her head was still lying on his chest.

“I’m dead.”

“I know, creepy. But weird.”

“Creepy and weird isn’t the same thing?”

“No, it’s weird how something creepy can be so comforting. I feel safe. Though I guess, I shouldn’t should I.”

“Cordelia, I’ll always keep you safe.”

“You’ll try. But you can’t guarantee it, no one can. And then there is the Angelus factor. Always got to be on guard for the evil one. But, still I feel safe. Weird, uh.”

Angel was happy. Cordelia was a realist, yet even knowing the inherent dangers in their fight for the powers and the possibility of Angelus, she still felt safe with him. She believed in him. Angel had been called many things over the centuries, comforting had never been one of them, but Cordelia was comforted by him.

It was amazing. She was amazing. No one had ever fought him or for him with such resolve. She tried daily to brighten his life with laughter and fun.

No one had ever cared so much for his well-being. Angel wanted to tell the young woman how happy she made him. But first, he had better clear up the Angelus issue. Cordelia was right in that he couldn’t guarantee her safety completely, though he would die trying. But, he could ease her mind over Angelus.

Angel just hoped that she wouldn’t classify it as lying. He hadn’t lied, he just hadn’t told. Maybe, she would see the distinction and not get mad. He hoped so because nothing had ever been as perfect as this slow ride. Angel hesitated

“Angel?”

“Mmuh.”

“You’re fidgeting.”

He didn’t want to ruin the moment, but he would have to tell her eventually. It might as well be now when she was in a good mood and feeling charitable towards him. Angel gently pulled Cordelia away and took a deep breath. “My soul is permanent.”

Cordelia blinked, then shook her head slamming her jaw shut.

“Did you just say that your soul is permanent, as in no more Angelus?”

Angel was not at all comforted by the way she shot up out of his arms. “Well, no more soulless demon. I’m still dead and ‘creepy’.”

“How come I don’t know this?” Cordelia scooted away from Angel, her brows arched.

Angel started to fidget again. He really should have told her when he found out. He started to make a joke about her already knowing that he was dead and creepy, but her glare changed his mind. “I found out after my epiphany.”

“You got your soul bound because you had sex with…with what’s her name. No wonder you didn’t tell me.”

Angel’s fidgeting became more pronounced.

“Hey, don’t hurt Kitty.” Cordelia snatched the stuff animal from Angel’s twisting grip.

“Sorry.” He patted at the stuff animal until he realized that he was trying to soothe a toy.

Angel brought his hands back and shoved them into his coat pockets. “Darla didn’t bind my soul. I don’t know how or why exactly, but I do know it wasn’t because I had sex with her. Lorne’s not sure why, but he did confirm after a couple really bad versions of ‘Soul Man’.” Trying to bring humor to a conversation that was beginning to have the makings of a train wreck.

“Eww. I told you that I never wanted to hear her name again.”

“Sorry, and that’s why I didn’t tell you when I found out. It would’ve brought it all back up again. And things were going so well between us. We were friends again. That’s all.”

“That’s all? I’ve been calling you an eunuch because of the whole ‘can’t have sex or Angelus’ thing and you let me.” Cordelia felt like a fool.

“I told you I wasn’t a eunuch.”

“You didn’t tell me why.”

“I’ve never been a eunuch, Cordelia.” This fixation of Cordelia’s that he was a eunuch was really beginning to frustrate him.

“No, you haven’t have you?”

“Now, why are you mad? Why is so important that you think of me as a eunuch?”

Cordelia hugged at her chest and scooted as far away as the cart would allow, still glaring. Cordelia didn’t know who she was madder at Angel or herself or more importantly why she was so mad. No threat of Angelus was a good thing, not bad. Why did she wish that Angel hadn’t…no, she couldn’t wish that he never received a permanent soul, she just wished that Angel had never told her.

Why was it so important that Cordelia continue to think of Angel as a non-sexual person? Even after finding out about Darla and the furies, she still called him eunuch, still thought of him that way. And it had been easy, because of the then still real threat of Angelus.

Why, did she need to keep thinking it? Cordelia didn’t know or want to know for that matter.

“Why aren’t we moving?” Cordelia looked down from their high position. Great. They were stuck on the Ferris wheel. Cordelia really wanted to leave now.

“Cordelia answer my question.”

“No.” Cordelia shook her head and tightened her arms around her.

“Cordelia.”

“I can’t. …I don’t know, okay. I just don’t have an answer.” Cordelia finally spit out at Angel’s relentless gaze. Angel stared at the defensive posture of his seer.

“You’re scared.” Now Angel’s frustration turned to confusion. Maybe mad he could’ve understood but frightened- frightened of what? It didn’t make sense. Angel wanted to pull out Bob’s list, but he was pretty sure that this situation was not covered in it.

When he finally got back to the hotel, Angel was going to search, seek, and retrieve every article written by the man.

“I am not.”

“Yes, you are. Why? You can’t be scared of me you just said I made you feel safe, didn’t you mean it? You know I would never hurt you.”

“Sure, you would never hurt me. You couldn’t, when you were a Eunuch.” Cordelia grumbled and stared out into the horizon.

“Cordelia, I was never a ….”

“NEVER an Eunuch. I GOT IT.” Jerking back to glare at the vampire. “WHY is this damn ride not moving.” Cordelia felt trapped. She had to get away from Angel.

“Cordy?”

“I got it, okay. I’ll never call you a eunuch again. Okay. Now shut up and leave me alone and make this damn thing start.”

“Cordy you’re not making any sense.”

The angry frustrated sigh that escaped Cordelia’s lips sounded like a growl. “ Look, I got it. You’re not a eunuch never were. But you were to me. A nice safe brave dorky dead cute sexy eunuch.”

Sexy? Did Cordelia just say he was sexy?

The silence that suddenly came over the cart was not the same easy silence of before, this silence was deafening in its tension. Angel and Cordelia just gaped at each other.

“Why won’t this DAMN thing MOVE?” Cordelia ripped her eyes away. Cordelia was mortified and really frightened. She couldn’t believe that she had actually said Angel was sexy. Of course, Angel was hot; she had even told him he was handsome before, but not like that, not like his hotness affected her.

She was supposed to be immune. Immune, because she made herself immune, by convincing herself that Angel was non-sexual. Even when evidence to the contrary proved otherwise.

A non-sexual sexy vampire- how delusional could she be. Cordelia began to fidget, now that that illusion was busted, she would have no choice but to deal with the fact that Angel was an extremely sexy vampire, one that had every ability to affect her.

No more close quarter training sessions that was for sure, at least not until she could get rid of the imagine of a sexy, sexual Angel.

“Cordy, you’re attracted to me?” The unbelievable thought had taken over his brain as he studied her movements, expressions and scent.

“Am not.” Cordelia shook her head and tried to move further away.

Angel was stunned. It never occurred to him that Cordelia would be attracted to him, she never gave any indication that she was. Never. Until now. And that knowledge was playing havoc with his own desires- desires that suddenly sprang out of nowhere. Angel tried to think. His desires didn’t just pop up whenever he was around a woman that was attracted to him, they didn’t.

That is unless he was attracted to the woman in the first place. But he was always able to control his attraction, ignore it even. This sudden forceful burst of lust, there was no over word to describe the feeling was unprecedented. Unless…unless, it wasn’t sudden.

Angel studied the beautiful woman. He thought back to his interaction with his seer over the past several years. When Cordelia first came to work with him, she had been a firm believer in ‘personal space’. Which Angel had been grateful for as he had the same belief. But over the years, especially recently both of them had begun to ignore or not need the personal bubble rule at least not with each other.

It may have begun out of necessity, Angel was the only one that had a chance of catching Cordelia from falling when a vision hit. She was the one that assumed the role of nurse when he was injured. But it was more than that now. Even before the
training sessions.

How many times a day had Angel found himself reaching out to Cordelia to touch her when they talked. How many times had she placed her hand on his arm, his shoulder? How many times had he needed to feel her warmth? In a roomful of his friends, Cordelia was the one he automatically went to sit or stand by.

Angel had never tried to analyze why the touch of his seer was so important to him, why it seemed so natural. But it was and the reason why was now obvious. His definite physical reaction to seeing Cordelia in slip of a bathing suit should have clued him in. But he hadn’t had time to think about it, with the demon to fight, trying to apologize to Cordy for embarrassing her at the commercial shoot,and then there was the whole Plyean jaunt, plus Buffy’s death and resurrection.

How long would he have been able to continue denying his attraction to the young woman? How long would he have been able to convince himself that he sketched erotic portraits of Cordelia just because she was an easy beautiful model to draw? Angel didn’t know, he just knew it was going to be very difficult to ignore it now.

Okay. One mystery solved, now he had to know why Cordelia was frightened. Angel was surprised and overwhelmed, but not frightened- so why was Cordelia? Unless. The beginnings of a suspicion came over him. Now he was getting uneasy.

“You are scared. Is it because I’m a vampire, there is no more threat of Angelus, so is it just because I’m a demon?” Angel really wasn’t at all sure that he wanted to hear Cordelia’s answer. But he had to know.

Cordelia hid her face in her hands. She couldn’t look at Angel anymore. It would be so easy just to say yes and end this all now. But, Angel had that puppy dogface on again. And she knew if she uttered that lie, his expression would go from cluelessness to hurt and sad resignation. Cordelia couldn’t do that to him.

“Don’t be stupid, I’m not scared of you.”

Angel had to lean in to interpret her low mumbled words. “Then..” He was relieved but now he was back to having no idea why she was scared.

Cordelia took a deep breath and decided on blunt honesty. It was always what she did best and she couldn’t stand the way Angel was staring at her. “I can’t be attracted to you, I don’t want to be attracted to you, and I’ve spent the better time knowing you keeping you safe in the no-boner category. I’m scared because having you out of that box is dangerous to me, not because you’re a ‘grr’ guy because of who you are and who I am.”

Angel remained silent trying to understand what she was saying. Cordelia had placed him in a ‘no-boner’ category. Angel thought about it. It did kind of make sense. After all, he had obviously placed her in the same box.

She was his friend, his very beautiful, loving best friend he hadn’t ever wanted to mess that up by thinking of her as anything else. So, he had blocked out all and any of his male reaction to the physical attributes of his seer and just concentrated on everything else.

Again the bathing suit incident being an exception, but he had been surprised and then been able to forget about the marvelous sight with everything else that had been happening at the time. Sort of.

Obviously, some part of him remembered or he wouldn’t have started drawing erotic pictures of his seer. Angel decided he was just going to have to get rid of all those pictures.

That was something he probably shouldn’t be reminded of.

“Because we’re best friends?”

Cordelia nodded and decided to leave it at that. She groaned as Angel continued to speak. Why wouldn’t he just leave it alone?

“I understand that. You don’t want our friendship complicated by our attraction to each other but…”

“OUR attraction? YOU’RE attracted to ME?”

Angel stopped. Hadn’t he said that already? Or had he just only admitted that to himself. Considering the stunned look on Cordelia’s face, it must have been the latter. “Yes.”

“No you’re not.” Cordelia frantically shook her head.

Angel nodded. “But that doesn’t have to affect anything. We’re friends, best friends. It doesn’t have to be scary and isn’t dangerous. Now you’re being melodramatic. I’m not dangerous to you.”

“Oh god, you’re SO dangerous to me.” Cordelia hid her face again.

“Cordy.” Angel was hurt. “You can’t believe that I would ever force my desires on you. Sure, I’m a vampire, but I have better control over my instincts than that. I have my soul, I would…”

“Desire? Instincts? ” Cordelia squeaked. “Oh god.” She buried her head further into her hands.

“Cordy…I wouldn’t….”

This had to stop. Cordelia lifted her head. “Angel, I…I’m not scared of you, okay. I don’t think you’re going to vamp out and ravish me….” Her words trailed off as she considered the possibility. She fidgeted trying to get her mind away from the image of Angel ravishing her.

God, for three years she had successfully been able to block any thoughts of Angel as a man, a man she could be attracted to.

Angel, sex, Angelus equals bad. It hadn’t been that hard. Even when, it became clear that sex alone wouldn’t trigger Angelus. But it had happened once and that had been enough for Cordelia.

But now it was like a floodgate had burst open, and every thought that she hadn’t had about Angel’s sexuality bombarded her.

Angel was listening intently until her last words and saw her actions and smelled her growing desire. He gulped. Up until then, Angel was confident that he would never vamp out and ravish her, but it was getting very difficult to ignore his demon’s inherent instinct to take what it wanted. And right now, soul or not, Angel wanted Cordelia.

“Cordy?” Angel tried to control the roughness of his voice. He had to get her talking and away from whatever it was she was thinking. Whatever it was, it was affecting both of them. He was beginning to imagine it was the same think he was thinking and wanting

“Um.” Cordelia shook her head focusing on what she had been trying to say. “You’re dangerous because you’re my best friend, you’re brave, good, wonderful, sexy and you’re goofy enough not to be overwhelmingly perfect. I need you and love you, all of which means I can fall in love with you. Pfft, probably I’m already there. Which is dangerous to me, cuz even though you’re attracted to me, you love Buffy and I will NOT be attracted to or be in love with someone that loves someone else. I won’t.”

Angel gulped. His mind had been effectively wiped of all imagines of ravishing Cordelia. It fact his mind was a complete blank. Angel would have remained sitting there his mouth gaping, if he hadn’t seen Cordelia wave the attendant to the cart. He hadn’t noticed that the ride had stopped again, and now it was over.

Angel pulled Cordelia back in the seat and growled at the approaching kid. The kid immediately swiveled and headed in back to his controls.

“Angel. I want to get off now.”

Angel shook his head and kept a tight hold on her arm as the Ferris wheel started to move again.

Chapter 12

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete

It’s a Woman Thing. 6-9   1 comment

Chapter 6

“Angel, what are you doing?”

“I… I’m going on the bumper car ride.” Angel stalled his descent into Cordelia’s little car.

“I said boys against girls. Get your own.” Cordelia huffed and pushed on the gas. The little red car moved away from the vampire. Angel stared. He didn’t want to get in a little car, not alone. He saw the ride, couples were jerked and pressed together in the tiny cars. He wanted to get into the little red car that was getting further away.

“Angel, hurry up or you’ll miss your turn.” Wesley and Gunn jumped in the next two available cars, each of their little vehicles heading in the direction of the waving physicist in the yellow car.

Angel growled and pushed the man that had cut in front of him and jumped into the little black car. He pushed the gas heading towards the red car that had left him.

Angel was almost there when the red car shot off slamming into Wesley’s blue car. A loud cheer arose from Cordelia as she lightly bounced back and Wesley went skidding across the rink.

Fred laughed as she turned her car into Gunn’s. “Oh.’ She said as his car pushed her across the floor.

“Push the gas.” Cordy yelled to Fred as she straightened her little car towards Wesley again for another go.

“Gas, right. It has been so long since I’ve driven, but gas, okay.” Fred pushed down on a pedal. She squealed to a sudden stop.

“The other one.” Cordelia yelled. “Ow.” Her car skidded as a little green car bounced into her.

“The other one. Right. One brake, one gas. Left. Right. I’ve got it.” Fred yelled as her little yellow car swirled away from Gunn’s approach. “Sort of.” She mumbled as her car turned in 360 degrees. Steering wheel. Brake, Gas, and Steering Wheel. She got it now. Fred straightened the little car and gunned for Gunn. Giggles erupted from her lips as she realized her dump pun.

“Whoops.” Fred looked around as she was again spun across the rink. Wesley. How could she’ve forgotten about Wesley? Okay. It really all clicked now. Fred hovered in her spot quickly computing the vectors and the speed needed to make the most Bang. She shifted and slammed on the gas going at a 45-degree angle.

Wesley didn’t have a chance. He went spiraling in tailspins across the track. Fred giggled. This was fun. She straightened her car, computed, and targeted Gunn.

“Yeah, Fred..Whoops.” Cordelia spun in her car. She scowled at the grinning driver in the same green vehicle that had sideswiped her earlier. Cordelia was about to yell something, when he disappeared or rather was bumped to the other side of the rink.

Angel grinned happily and waved to Cordelia. He turned his black little car quickly as another car came near Cordy’s. He jammed into it sending it flying. Just as soon as he finished with that one, he went for another car that was heading for Cordelia.

Cordelia sat in her car not moving. She scowled. There was no reason to move. Angel in his little miniature black convertible had managed to bang, bump and she could swear, growl all of the other cars away from her. This was not fun. Wesley and Gunn wouldn’t even get near. They were having too much fun banging and getting banged by Fred.

Cordelia scrunched her face. That didn’t sound right. Whatever. She got out of her car. She stood in the middle of the rink, ignoring the yells of the attendant to get back into her car. Danger? What Danger?

Cordelia didn’t even pause as a green little car made a brave attempt her way or was it suicidal. She didn’t stop. Why should she? The conductor yelled frantically. Cordelia rolled her eyes and kept walking. She shook her head as the oh so dangerous green little car went flying across the rink away from her.

She glared at the black little car that had slowed down to escort her out of the rink. “Cordy, why are you leaving? This is fun.”

Cordelia stared at the vampire looking up at her in his little lethal black car. Cordelia really wanted to yell, but Angel had such a cute, clueless smile on his face. It was his puppy dogface. It was the only face that she wasn’t able to resist. Cordelia shook her head.

“Give me a ride.” She pointed across the ten feet that separated her from the exit.

Angel really smiled. Damn. Cordelia wished he wouldn’t do that. It melted her stomach. She grumbled trying to recapture her anger at Angel for ruining her fun at bumper cars. Really what fun were bumper cars if no cars were allowed near to bump with.

“You didn’t have fun. I had fun.” Angel’s smile got bigger as she climbed into the passenger side of the little car.

Cordelia slumped down in the seat. “Oh, Angel.” She shook her head.

Angel jerked the car to a stop. Oh. That meant something. He just couldn’t remember what. He quickly drew Cordelia out of the car and placed her on the platform over the fence. He barely acknowledged the conductor yelling at his seer. He turned and pulled out Bob’s article.

OH:

This word followed by any statement is trouble. Example; “Oh, let me get that”. Or, “Oh, I talked to him about what you were doing last night”. If she says Oh before a statement, run, do not walk, to the nearest exit. She will tell you that she is Fine when she is done tossing your clothes out the window, but do not expect her to talk to you for at least 2 days. Oh as the lead to a sentence usually signifies that you are caught in a lie. Do not try to lie more to get out of it, or you will get raised eyebrows Go ahead followed by acts so unspeakable that I can’t bring myself to write about them.

Angel shoved the paper back into his pocket. That wasn’t applicable. Or at least he didn’t think it was. Cordelia had said oh. But she had said oh, Angel. That wasn’t a statement and he had nothing to lie about. He hadn’t done anything. What did it mean?

It was going to plague him. Angel had to know. He turned and then growled. Who the hell did that guy think he was yelling at Cordelia? And she was taking it? Angel moved quickly towards the attendant.

“Angel, what in the hell to you think you’re going to do?” Cordelia jumped in his path.

“Cordy, he has no right to yell at you.”

Cordelia stared at the vampire a minute then turned towards the pale attendant. “Go away. Don’t worry. We won’t be back. Now shoo.”

The young man grunted once to show his seriousness, but left very happy that he didn’t have to face the guy in black.

Cordelia swung back around to Angel. “You, come with me.” She tugged Angel off the line platform to an empty spot in the causeway.

“Um, Cordy. Why are you mad? You didn’t have fun?”

Cordelia blinked. “Uh, NO.”

“But.”

“Angel, the idea of bumper cars is to be BUMPED and to BUMP back.How can I have fun, if you don’t let anyone near me to BUMP.”

Angel turned back to the rink. The little colorful cars were spinning and bumping into each other. The drivers were laughing and shouting to each other. It looked like a big cartoon traffic jam.

“I…” Angel shifted from one foot to another. This would probably be a good time to lie, except Angel had lost all ability to lie convincingly to Cordelia. If he tried, she would just get madder. But the truth was going to make her mad too. “I thought…you could’ve gotten hurt.”

Cordelia closed her eyes taking deep breaths trying to calm down. Finally, she was able to speak. “Angel, I don’t need protecting from a bunch of kids in little toy cars trying to have fun. Half of those dangerous drivers that you catapulted into space were under the age of twelve.”

“Some of those kid hit hard. You could’ve…”

“Angel.” Cordelia stopped and tried to start again. “Angel, you know that I’m serious about learning how to fight, don’t you? Don’t you?”

Angel had no clue how they switched from bumper cars to their training sessions. “Yes.” He said, trying to figure out where Cordelia was heading.

“And you realize that I’m learning to fight, so I can fight, don’t you? Fight demons and other bad guys.”

“I…” Angel paused. He knew where this conversation was going and he didn’t like it.

“That’s right Angel. I’m not spending two hours a day getting sweaty and achy for the exercise. And I expect that you will let me fight, not waste time protecting me.”

“Protecting you IS NOT a waste of time.” Side stepping the issue of whether Angel would ever allow Cordelia to actually use the skills he was teaching her outside of the basement. Avoidance was not lying, it was just avoiding having to lie.

“It is when I don’t need it or when it takes your attention away from saving the real victim. So. No more unneeded, unasked for protection. Got it?” Cordelia shook her head a walked away.

“Protecting you is not a waste of time.” Angel said quietly as he followed. He was not looking forward to the fallout that was going to occur when Cordelia deemed herself ready to be on the frontlines of their battles – sword in hand.


Chapter 7

“Angel, Cordy.” Fred came running up breathless. “Wesley and Gunn said that they’re going to win me a big stuff bear. Do you want to come? Come on. Angel you can win something for Cordy. Wouldn’t that be fun?”

“Um, Fred. I’m sure that Cordy and Angel don’t want to play silly games.” Wesley said. “Go do whatever you were planning to do. We’ll meet you later.” He waved Cordelia and Angel in the other direction.

“We weren’t planning to do anything. I don’t know what we can do that won’t set Angel off into Dorkzone.”

“I said I was sorry.”

“No you didn’t.”

Angel scowled. He could have sworn he apologized. Then again, maybe he just assumed he had since he seemed to be always apologizing to his seer for something or another.

“I’m sorry that I ruined your fun at the Bumper cars.”

“And.”

“The next time, I’ll let the cars hit you?”

“No, stupid. What about the portrait?”

“I’m not sorry about that- the guy wasn’t any good.”

“Hmmph.”

“Yeah, We’ll just meet you later.” Gunn said meeting Wesley’s eyes. They had to get Fred away from Angel and Cordelia before it was too late.

“Why don’t you want Angel and Cordy to go with us?” Fred’s brows shot up.

Too late. Both Wesley and Gunn squirmed.

“Yeah, why not?” Both Angel and Cordelia said.

“Just didn’t think you wanted to go that’s all.” Gunn looked at his feet.

“Hmmph.”

“Cordy, do want a stuffed bear? I could win you one. How about that one.” Angel pointed to a five foot pink fuzzy bear hanging from a booth.

“No.” Glancing at the booth.

“Aw, it’s cute.” Fred said.

“I could win it.” Angel said.

“Of course you could- all you would have to do is use your vamp strength to hit the weight up to the bell. Woo Woo big challenge there. Geez, Angel you’re stronger than anyone out here.”

“That’s not my fault.”

“Come on, let’s go find something with some challenge. Then you can try to win me a prize or maybe I’ll win you one.”

Angel didn’t see why him being a vampire should disqualify him from winning Cordy the big bear. But at least she didn’t seem to be mad at him anymore. He trailed after his seer.

“Fred, you like the pink bear?” Wesley studied the booth and the people trying to win it.

Fred nodded.

Wesley nudged at his friend. “One of us should be able to win.”

“One pink bear coming up.” The men moved together determined to bang the hell out of the weight and win the prize for Fred.


Chapter 8

“How about this one.” Angel pointed to a stuffed Panda. It wasn’t as big as the pink bear, but it was pretty big.

Cordelia shook her head.

“Why not?”

“Darts, Angel? Isn’t that just too much like tossing pointy weapons. When’s the last time you missed. Hmm?”

“Cordy, that’s not fair. Being able to aim has nothing to do with being a vampire.”

“No.” Cordelia moved from the row of booths into the arcade. “There.”

“Those are puny.”

“They’re cute. And you being a vampire won’t help you at all. Do you have enough quarters?”

Angel looked into the glass box filled with small animals. “Cordy, don’t you want a big one?”

“Nope. I like the white kitty.” She pointed to the squishy small kitten with a rhinestone collar.

Angel grumbled. “Some challenge.” He fed the coin into the slot and grabbed at the steel claws control. Damn. Angel put another quarter into the machine, then another and another. Angel growled as the claw kept picking up and dropping every prize except the kitten. “More.” Angel shoved some bills at Cordy.

Cordelia started to giggle at the frustration growing on Angel’s face. She went to the change machine and came back with more coins.

“Angel youre going to do it.” Cordelia pointed to the blue cow being towed up towards the hole in the glass.

“Angel?” She watched the vampire release the control and let the cow fall. He put another coin into the slot.

“Not the cat.”

“But.”

“Shh.” Angel concentrated on trying to capture the stuffed kitten again. His frustration turning into low growls as his grip whitened around the control stick and more quarters went into the machine. He forced more bills at Cordelia with a low grunt.

Cordelia looked at the bills in amazement. “Angel, this is twenty dollars, you already wasted…”

“More.” Angel stared at the kitten. He could’ve sworn it smirked at him. Angel was going to get that feline for Cordelia if he had to spend the last quarter on the earth or until his patience broke and his fist went through the glass. It was a close call.

“Come on, kitty, here kitty, kitty. Ah Ha. Gotcha, thought you could laugh at me did you. Ha.” Angel slowly moved the control stick, the white kitten dangling from the steel claw.

“Angel…” Cordelia amazement turned back into giggles. Angel was talking to the stuff animal. He was such a cute dork.

“Shh. Come here kitty, that’s my kitty. Upsy daisy. Gotcha. You’re mine now.” Angel gave a triumphant laugh as the kitten came tumbling down the hole into his hands. He brought the small stuff animal up proudly. “I got it.”

“I see.” Cordelia beamed at the smile on Angel’s face.

“I didn’t even break the glass.”

“No. Were you planning to?”

Angel’s eyes shifted momentarily. “Maybe.”

Cordelia laughed.

Angel smiled again. “Here. It’s not very big though.” Angel gently handed the small furry animal to Cordelia.

“It’s cute and you won it for me, spending tons of quarters and not breaking the glass. It’s perfect. Thank you.” Cordelia leaned up and kissed Angel on the cheek.

Angel shuffled. “Do you want another one? How about the cow? Or the lion, it’s a cat. Or the puppy, the puppy’s cute.”

Cordelia shook her head smiling. “Kitty here is enough. Come on, let’s find the others.” Grabbing his hand.

Angel frowned. He had fun. Well spending the money and standing immobile controlling a rigged metal claw wasn’t fun, but Cordelia’s giggles, smiles and her kiss had been fun. Angel wanted to win her another stuffed animal.


Chapter 9

“Wow. Look at Fred.” Cordelia laughed. Fred was walking towards them, her arms filled with the huge pink bear and the big panda.

Angel scowled and looked at the puny kitten in Cordy’s hand. “I could have gotten those for you.”

“I love my kitty.” Cordy released Angel’s hand that she had still been holding and gave the vampire a reassuring hug. Angel stilled as Cordelia’s body pressed into his. Her warmth encircled him. Without a thought, Angel pulled her closer, his face brushing against her hair. “I wanted to give you the biggest.”

“Pooh, who needs the biggest when I got the best.” Squeezing tighter then letting go.

Angel’s hand moved slower, not ready yet to release her.

“Hey ya, look what Wesley and Gunn won for me.” Fred bounded up.

Angel moved further away from Cordelia, but one hand still rested lightly on her back.

“Who rang the bell?” Cordelia asked.

“That would be me.” Gunn pointed to his chest.

“I won at the darts.” Wesley looked at the two bears again. Damn. Darts took more skill than brute strength. His really should have been the bigger bear.

“Angel gave me this.” Cordelia said proudly. “Isn’t she precious? Kitty is squishy and has taste.” Cordelia plucked at the gleaming rhinestones around the kitten’s neck. “She’s going to be much more comfortable to sleep with than those- not that those aren’t nice.” Cordelia’s tone clearly indicated their inferiority.

“Cordy, you’re going to sleep with it?”

“Of course. Squishy.” Cordelia hugged at the small animal, smiling at the vampire.

Angel considered looking again at the two big bears. Not special, definitely not precious, just big. Kitty was squishy. Obviously the best. “I won it.” He was proud again.

“She’s adorable. Can I hold her?” Fred shoved the bears at Gunn and Wesley.

Cordelia scrunched up her face. “Okay, but only for a minute.”

“She is squishy. Aww. And look at this cute collar.”

“I told you.” Cordelia held out her hand to take the kitten back.

“Fred it’s pink and big.” Gunn held up the bear he won for her.

“And look at how cute the panda is.” Wesley pushed his bear in front of the pink one.

“But not squishy.” Angel said.

Wesley and Gunn’s eyes narrowed at Angel’s condescending tone. Angel ignored them. It served them right for not telling him about Bob’s article earlier.

“Okay, where next?” The stuff kitten was safely back in Cordelia’s arms.

“The Rocket was fun.” Angel remembered how Cordelia had clutched on to him as they plunged down at an unnatural speed.

“So were the bumper cars.”

“No.” Cordelia shook her head. “Those jr. Rusty Wallace wanta-bes can be vicious.”

Angel shot a look at Cordelia. She wasn’t scowling, raising her brows or anything. Angel’s eyes widened. Cordelia just winked at him. He smiled. Cordelia giggled.

Wesley, Gunn just stared. Fred leaned into Wesley. “Kyerumption.” She nodded knowingly.

Angel heard Fred. But this time he didn’t yell at her to stop saying it. This time he didn’t mind. His hand slowly reached out. Cordelia’s fingers automatically entwined his. Angel smiled more. Cordelia had been right. Carnivals could be fun.

The group slowed then stopped in front of the attraction directly before them. Each of them looked at the sign then at each other. Their heads all shook and they moved on without looking again at the invitation to enter the ‘Haunted House’.

“How about that one?” Fred pointed at swirling ride ahead.

“I’m on it.” Gunn said.

“If you want to.” Wesley wasn’t about to miss out by commenting that the ride didn’t look much safer than the Rocket.

Angel studied the ride. It was a large disc, people were standing straight up strapped individually along its side. The disc rotated, moving up and down. There was no way that you could touch the person next to you. “I don’t want to.”

“Angel. It could be fun. Those people look like they’re having fun.” Fred pointed.

Angel turned towards Cordelia. The young woman hadn’t said anything. “Cordy?”

Cordelia tore her gaze away from the ride. “I’m with Angel. I don’t like the looks of it. But you kids go have fun. We’ll…”

“Go there.” Angel pointed. That looked fun.

Cordelia glanced to the ride that Angel was pointing to. “We’ll be on the Ferris Wheel.” She smiled.

“Ooohh. A Ferris wheel, I want to go on that.” Fred jumped up and down.

Wesley and Gunn stared at the ride then each other. The ride was another two seater.

“Flip a coin?” Wesley pulled out a quarter.

“Heads.” Gunn said.

The two men watched the coin spin in the air and fall to the ground. Tails.

“Two out of three, man.”

“It was a fair toss.”

“Come on. Two out of three.”

Wesley picked up the coin. Again they watched as the coin twirled and landed. Heads.

“Okay, but no four out of fives.”

“Just do it. No wait, let me.”

“Really, Charles.”

“Hand it over, English.”

Gunn rubbed the coin and threw it up in the air. “ Ha. Heads. I win.”

Gunn looked around for Fred. Fred was gone.

“There.” Wesley pointed to the Ferris wheel. Fred was barely visible sitting alone between two large stuffed bears.

“Hey, wait.” Gunn rushed to get to the ride.

Fred waved to the two men on the ground as she started to move upwards.

“Two out of three.” Wesley shook his head in disgust.

Chapter 10

Posted July 21, 2015 by califi in Complete