Sink or Swim

Title: Sink or Swim. A Darkness Within ‘short’
Author: Anna
Posted: 3/26/06
Rating: R/PG
Category: Angst
Content: Cordelia pov
Summary: The infamous scene where Angel bribes Cordelia with new clothes, so technically post-beige. Sequel to Hard Choices..
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: Just my take on it.
Feedback:Yes please

The thing about trying to hold onto hate is that it can drag you down. It can fill up every part of you until you feel so weighed down that you can barely move. Real hatred can consume you, soak into every part of your life and leave you struggling for breath.

New clothes. An apology for months of pain and anger. He presents them with such an air of hope, a look of longing in big, brown, puppy-dog eyes. Eyes that for so long had been cold and lost. Eyes that had threatened. Eyes I couldn’t read anymore.

I’ve swum these waters before, know what its like to try and navigate my way through pain and betrayal. People you care about can hurt you so easily, you let them in, start to feel confident and then bang … suddenly you find yourself sinking into a pool of hate and revenge.

They’re so pretty. Bright splashes of colour in a bleak office. They seem to whisper with the promise of good times to come, times to push out the memories of months of struggle and uncertainty. Like little rays of hope reflecting off the shards of shattered friendships.

He stammers out apologies for lost clothes, but they aren’t the loss he is trying to make right. He knows that, knows that what is gone can’t be fixed with gifts and empty promises. So he does what he can physically do. That’s so like him.

I want to throw them back at him, to turn and walk away and let him know what rejection is like. I want to yell and scream and make him hear how I’ve been feeling, that my pain deserves more that just expensive clothes. But I don’t. I just stare at the desk filled with pretty things and feel numb.

Hating him is so easy to do. It builds a wall and protects me from falling back into friendship. Everyday I feel myself getting pulled deeper into its murky depths, the water slowly closing over my head.

So I look at him one more time and make my choice. I accept the clothes and the apology. I have to; if I don’t then I’ll drown in the hate and drag him down with me.

We both know this doesn’t fix everything. Trust will need to be earned and friendship relearned. I’m willing to try. It’s sink or swim, and I’m not quite ready to let go of the life raft yet.



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