Title: Not Needed
Summary: Angel decides to show Cordy just how much she needs him. Cordy in turn reaches out to Angel… but does it work?
Spoilers: Set S2
Disclaimer: Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: The action commences in the last few minutes of ‘The Thin Dead Line,’ so contains lines from that episode.
Feedback: Yes please, but this is my very first attempt to write Beige Angel, so be gentle with me.
“Crime reports from that precinct…”
Angel looked blankly at the report as Kate Lockley continued with her narrative. “Up until three months ago there was a murder every two weeks, a rape every two days, and a robbery every hour and a half. And that’s what we just gave back to the people of that community.”
“I can live with that,” the vampire abruptly shut the file, and handed it back to the blonde cop.
“You learn to live with a lot of things, don’t you?”
“Yeah.” Angel shrugged, unmoved by the pointed query.
Wringing her hands in her lap, Kate fidgeted unnecessarily, nervous tension tightening every muscle in her body. “This job is making me crazy,” she suddenly confessed in a rush, reaching out for some emotional support from the expressionless vampire sitting opposite her.
The plaintive cry for help just glanced off the cold impenetrable wall that Angel had erected around his heart and soul. Since Darla’s re-initiation into the world of the Living Dead, he had no impetus to help the helpless – punishing Wolfram and Hart for their ever-lengthening catalogue of misdemeanours was the name of the game nowadays.
“I know the feeling.” he replied flatly, offering no comfort, or assistance, to the woman who was so obviously unravelling at the seams right before his darkly impassive eyes.
The awkward silence that followed was eventually interrupted by a pretty brunette clerk, “For you, detective.”
“Thanks.” Kate took the buff-coloured file from the chirpy young woman and flicked it open, quickly surveying the contents with a practised eye.
“Wyndam-Pryce,” she said, raising her head to look questionably at Angel. “Isn’t that the guy that works for you?”
Somewhere deep inside the black hole of emptiness that inhabited virtually every cell in the vampire’s dead body, a faint flicker of emotion stirred…
Leaning against the nurse’s station, Angel watched through the grubby glass window as Gunn and a drugged-up Wesley touched their fists together in the universal gesture of male comradeship. Ignoring the brief glimmer of jealousy that prodded at his jaded soul at the sight, the vampire turned to leave, only to be confronted by a thoroughly pissed off Cordelia Chase.
“What are you doing here?”
Angel thirstily drank in her appearance – to his friend-starved eyes, the seer looked impossibly good. She was dressed in a skin-tight ebony top, form-fitting black pants and a short dark brown leather jacket. A gold triangular necklace decorated the smooth hollow of her throat and matching hoop earrings adorned her pretty ears. Her shoulder-length dark tresses had been cut into a jaw-length bob, a few blonde highlights providing a harmonising contrast to the natural russet shade of her hair.
The faint shadows under the subtly made-up brown orbs were evidence of the strain that she’d been under in the months since he’d fired them, but the vampire was too busy absorbing the intoxicating warmth of her innate humanity to notice them – or the way her ice-cold eyes were boring into him, rife with accusation.
Finally becoming aware of the artic-blast from her steady hazel gaze, Angel remembered to speak, “I heard about Wesley.”
“Well, that’s great. Too bad it takes a gunshot wound to make you give a crap.”
Overwhelming shame and remorse kicked Angel in the stomach at her comments, knocking the wind out of him for a moment. Those sentiments quickly metamorphosised into stone-cold rage however, when Cordelia continued to lay into him without respite.
“Wesley doesn’t need you right now – *we* don’t need you. You walked away. Do us a favour and just stay away.”
The deliberate inflection that she used on the word ‘we’ transformed her words into ‘I don’t need you’ in the vampire’s unhinged psyche, and his loosely tethered demon reacted with implacable anger, incensed by the seer’s insistent denial of his exclusive rights over her person.
I’ll show you who needs who, little girl, he vowed vehemently as Cordelia brushed past him with a disdainful air of scarcely concealed abhorrence.
Once I’ve finished with you, you will comprehend that I’m as essential to you as water and air. Mark my words on that fact, sweetheart; mark my words.
The Following Evening…
Cordelia trudged wearily up the stairs to her apartment. She’d had a bitch of a day – spending the morning at the hospital with a still groggy Wesley, and then sitting alone in their rank-smelling office waiting for the phone to ring. Eventually giving up, she’d gone over to the Homeless Shelter to help Anne get rid of the evidence of the previous night’s zombie attack.
After another brief stopover at the hospital, the seer finally headed home, desperately craving a long relaxing soak in a fragrant-smelling bubble bath, already generously prepared for her – she hoped – by Phantom Dennis, her ghostly roommate.
She never made it that far though because, just as she inserted her key into the lock, a strong arm banded around her mid-riff and a cold hand clamped over her mouth, cutting off her startled gasp with calculated efficiency.
Quickly recognising his awe-inspiring presence behind her, Cordelia guessed who her attacker was as he pulled her flush against his broad muscular chest. Sucking in a shocked breath, she inhaled the vampire’s unique aroma, a scent that seemed significantly more masculine than she remembered it being.
So he’s ditched the cologne and decided to go with ‘eau de Angel, huh? she thought absently, as she struggled frantically against his tightening grasp on her. Guess it figures that psycho vamp wouldn’t be big on the personal hygiene front – after all, who needs to smell good when you’re blindly pursuing Wolfram and Hart for empty revenge?
Angel bent to speak quietly in her ear then, and she froze in his hold, immobilized by the menacing tone of his voice. It sent chills down the length of her spine, and made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end.
“Now baby, are you going to come quietly, or are you a screamer?” the vampire laughed mirthlessly at the double-entendre in his loaded question. “We can do this the easy, or the hard way, I have no great preference to be honest. It’s really all up to you.”
Yeah – apart from the part where you’re kidnapping me, you crazy sicko!
Knowing her captor as she did, Cordelia realised that resistance was futile, so grudgingly relaxed and submitted to his iron embrace. His behaviour was extreme, but Angel wouldn’t really hurt her – would he?
“Good girl,” the vampire coolly congratulated her reluctant surrender. “Not that I trust you to do as you’re told, mind you, but it’s a start. Come on – let’s go, times-a-wasting.”
Angel’s fingers closed around her wrist like a trap as he hauled her bodily down the stairs, and outside onto the street. Sweeping her up in his arms, he deposited his outraged hostage in the passenger seat of the Plymouth, before sliding into the driver’s side in one smooth unbroken move.
“Where we going, asswipe?” Cordelia demanded hotly as the car screeched away from the sidewalk, setting off at a dangerous pace along the road.
“An educational field trip.”
“Oh goody, love those, they always end *so* well. What’s it to be this time, I wonder – releasing an Inca mummy chick from her tomb? Or – wait, I know – we could go steal an ancient shroud that makes vegetarian vamp go all crazy and drink cop lady’s blood – that’d be so much fun!”
“Vegetarian?” Angel cast a sidelong glance at the irate young woman, one dark eyebrow raised in sardonic amusement.
“You don’t drink human blood, do you? Although, come to think of it, you never used to lock defenceless people in wine cellars with psychotic vampires either, so maybe draining humans doesn’t bother you anymore. I wouldn’t know of course, seeing as you abandoned m- … your friends *and* your mission to wreck petty revenge on the evil lawyer brigade. How’s that going by the way? Have you stood by and watched enough innocent people die yet?”
“I’d almost forgotten how truly irritating your constant yapping was,” Angel commented blandly, when the seer momentarily broke off her acidic rhetoric to take a well-needed breath. “You’re really much more attractive when you keep that pretty mouth of yours shut, you know.”
Cordelia couldn’t stifle the shocked gasp that escaped her lips at his cruel words, nor prevent the tears of hurt from welling up in her eyes. Inwardly cursing her sensitivity to his cold-hearted taunting, she swallowed the lump in her throat and turned her face away from the apparently unfeeling vampire, letting the warm breeze dry the salty tears, which escaped to run down her cheeks.
As a tense silence fell over the car, Angel ruthlessly quashed his soul’s instinct to reach out and apologise for his despicable behaviour, keeping his eyes on the road instead. He had spent the last twenty-four hours setting up this little tête-à-tête, and there was no way that he was going to let Cordelia get under his skin and ruin all his plans.
The girl needed to be taught a lesson – he was going to make sure that she understood, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to whom she belonged before this night was out.
Twenty minutes later…
“Ow! You’re hurting me,” Cordelia protested loudly as Angel half-dragged, half-carried her up the metal staircase in the abandoned warehouse.
The seer was beginning to get frightened now, her heart pumping wildly in her chest and her palms slippery with sweat. Her former boss had driven her to one of the less salubrious parts of town, parked the Plymouth in a stinking rat-infested backstreet, and then forced her to follow him into this run-down building.
The vampire studiously ignored her objections, and kept a tight hold of her elbow as he pulled her up the last of the steps and out into the centre of the second level floor space. Swinging her round in a wide circle, he finally released his hold on her, and the seer stumbled backwards, falling unceremoniously on her backside.
“What’s wrong with you? Have you completely lost your mind?” Cordelia stormed furiously, scrambling upright again. “Where the hell are we?”
Angel’s only response was to toss a couple of stakes at her feet, before he backed away to the far side of the room and leaned casually against the concrete wall, his arms folded over his chest.
Looking around, Cordelia noted the numerous worse-for-wear sofas positioned randomly about the place, as well as the selection of lumpy mattresses strewn haphazardly across the floor. Several dusty light bulbs provided the only light; the windows either boarded up, or covered with thick black drapes. The air was rank with the stench of stale sweat, and something else – a dark musty scent that she vaguely recognised.
A terrible sense of foreboding overtaking her, the seer slowly bent and retrieved the pair of wooden weapons from the ground. “This is a vamp nest,” she concluded. “It smells like dried blood. Why have you brought me here?”
“I already told you – to further your education.”
“My education in what?”
“You’ll see,” came the ominous reply, just as the sound of clanking footsteps could be heard ascending the metallic staircase.
Cordelia whirled around, her heart leaping into her throat. “Angel, this is getting way past funny now,” she said, her voice trembling with fear. “Please can we get out of here?”
“Angel?” the seer turned back around to find that the vampire had disappeared.
“Well, well, well – now what do we have here?”
Unable to goad herself into action, Cordelia stood frozen to the spot as three dirty and dishevelled vampires slowly approached her.
“Now, what’s a pretty young thing like you doing in a place like this?”
Being a pawn in my so-called friend’s sick game, that’s what.
“Stay back!” she warned, raising both her stakes to shoulder-height and trying to look threatening.
The three vampires looked at each other and laughed – Xena Warrior Princess, the slender brunette was not.
“That only works if you’re the slayer, sweetheart. Unfortunately, you’re not even close.”
“Hah! Now that’s where you’re wrong. I know her – skinny, bottled blonde, debatable fashion sense, not to mention *really* bad taste in men. Although I understand from a certain someone that that’s improved of late. Anyhow, just so you know, slayer-girl taught me how to use these Mr Pointy’s – so be afraid, fang-boy, be very afraid.”
“Tell you what, my pretty,” the leader of their number drawled. “I’m prepared to give you a fair chance, so you won’t have to deal with us all at once. We’ll take it in turns – how’s that?”
The seer shuddered as the master vampire’s mouth split into a wide smile, exposing a set of yellowing and dirty teeth. “Eew! Visit a dentist, halitosis guy,” she exclaimed in disgust, maintaining her bold front in spite of the nausea churning in her stomach.
The smallest vampire charged her then, knocking her flat on her back and trapping her underneath him with the weight of his body. Cordelia saw stars as the back of her head cracked against the stone floor, but she still managed to keep her wits about her, kicking and struggling like a wildcat to prevent the demon from biting her.
Catching a lucky break, her knee connected hard with the vampire’s groin, causing him to howl in pain and roll off her. Seizing her advantage, the seer quickly straddled the writhing creature and, lifting one of her stakes high in the air, plunged it directly into his un-beating heart. The vampire exploded into dust and she scrambled to her feet, pivoting around to face her next opponent, her heart hammering like a bass drum in her chest.
“Not bad,” the elder vampire commented dryly, “But then I only turned him a few weeks ago, so he’s not really that experienced. I think you’ll find that our Kieran here is a much tougher challenge.”
Cordelia sucked in a deep breath as the second vampire approached her – where the first was small and whippet-thin, this one was constructed like an ox, with wide powerfully built shoulders and huge tree-trunk limbs. The demon suddenly moved with an agility that defied his hulky figure, and swiftly knocked her stakes out of her hands before she even had time to react. One of the weapons skittered across the floor to end up at the feet of the master vampire, who bent to pick it up with a pleased smile.
While the burly vampire pursued her with dogged determination, Cordelia began to dart in and out of the myriad of sofas and mattresses, desperately searching for something else that she could use as a weapon. Grabbing hold of a sheet of corrugated aluminium, she whirled round and bashed the demon in the face with it, succeeding in knocking him off-balance and causing his nose to pour with blood.
Kieran growled angrily and ripped the piece of metal from the seer’s tenuous grasp, then advanced on her menacingly, his hands outstretched in preparation to grab hold of, and wring, her swan-like neck. His progress came to an abrupt halt however, when the elder vampire chose that moment to launch his stake, with deadly accuracy, towards his companion’s un-protected back.
“What did you do that for?” Cordelia blurted out in open-mouthed astonishment before she could stop herself.
“He seemed to be getting the upper hand,” the vampire replied with a shrug. “I don’t like to share at the best of times, but certainly not when I have something as sexy and spirited as you to play with.”
“You’re a hotbed of unexplored passion, aren’t you little girl?” he drawled with a suggestive wink, making the seer’s blood run cold. “That always makes the blood taste so sweet, you know.”
There was a blur of movement, and Cordelia found herself pinned up against a stone pillar with the vampire looming threateningly over her. She cringed back with a petrified whimper, trying to melt into the solid stone behind her, as the demon tugged her legs roughly apart and pressed his inflamed groin into the vee of her thighs.
“You’re one gorgeous creature, so I think I’m only gonna take a small sip of that delicious sweetness to start with,” he whispered ominously in her ear. “Then we can have a little bit of fun, before I drain you completely of that piquant red wine that I just know you have flowing throughout your pretty veins.”
The aroused demon bent and sniffed at the pulse-point on her neck, and Cordelia desperately tried to twist her head away, catching a glimpse of Angel emerging from the shadows as she did so. She sagged in abject relief at the sight; he hadn’t abandoned her after all.
The vampire simply stood there however, his dark eyes hooded and locked intently on her frightened gaze; it was as if he was waiting for something from her before he made a move. Try as she might though, Cordelia just couldn’t fathom out what he was hoping to gain from this morally ambiguous game that he was torturing her with.
As her attacker’s mouth opened wide and the tips of his fangs grazed at her skin, the seer stiffened in horror, and then she screamed when the sharp points punctured her neck and sank into the pulsing artery beneath.
“Oh God! Angel please! Help me – I need you! Angel!”
The master vampire’s iron hold on her disappeared in a flash, and she coughed and spluttered as a cloud of dust swirled around her like a mini-cyclone.
“That’s all you had to say,” Angel told her in a cavalier manner, tucking the stake back inside his jacket’s inner pocket.
The vampire’s calm exterior belied the inner turmoil raging inside – he hadn’t expected her to hold out so long before asking for his help. The insistent tug of his soul had eventually forced him out of his hiding place to make his presence known, but his demon had held him in place, refusing to act until the seer specifically expressed her need for him.
“What?” Cordelia asked shakily, two fingers pressed to the bleeding wounds on her throat while she struggled to regain her senses.
“Like it not, Cordelia – you need me, and you always will, so you’d better get used to that.”
At first the seer was very confused, then it all clicked into place and she stiffened in unmitigated fury, “This is about what I said at the hospital last night, isn’t it? You brought me here and… and… you… you bastard!”
“Actually no,” Angel replied calmly. “I think legitimate is one thing that I can actually claim to be.”
“How could you do this to me? What kind of sick freak are you? I hate you!”
The vampire stumbled back in shock, taken completely by surprise when Cordelia flew across the room and attacked him. She was feral creature – punching at his chest and abdomen with clenched fists, lashing out at his shins with her sandaled feet, and scratching at his face with her fingernails.
Angel hissed in pain when a particularly well aimed kick caught him directly on the anklebone and so, grabbing her flailing arms, he pushed her up against the wall, holding her hands by her sides and pressing his body-weight into hers to restrain her.
“Let me go!” the seer ceased her struggling, but glared angrily at him, her hazel eyes turning to flint as the two of them stared each other down, neither of them prepared to back away from the confrontation.
Cordelia was breathing heavily, her heart thumping hard against the solid brick-wall of his chest, and as the sweet smell of her blood assaulted his nostrils, Angel’s demon surged. Everything about the seer was soft, warm and deliciously alive, causing the slow trickle of blood from the twin puncture wounds to call to him like a siren’s song.
Cordelia drew in a sharp intake of air when he suddenly swooped down to lap once at the small lesions on her neck, before he lifted his head and violently crushed her lips under his. The kiss was hard and bruising, and the resolute vampire wasted no time in sweeping his tongue along the length of her plump lower lip, and forcing it into her mouth.
As his cool tongue curled around hers, the shell-shocked seer couldn’t help but respond; her body melting into a puddle of liquid fire, as they devoured each other like starving children would their weekly meal.
Feeling her surrender, Angel released her wrists and swept his large hands around her body to rest on the curve of her butt, pulling her up against him and grinding his hips into hers. Cordelia moaned into his mouth as the hard evidence of his desire pressed into her hipbone, and he grunted his approval when she shifted her legs further apart, allowing him to settle deeper into the soft welcoming cradle of her thighs.
Continuing to kiss the beautiful young woman like there was no tomorrow, Angel gradually became aware of how far things had gone. This had not been on the agenda, and the vampire had no idea how they’d gotten to this point. He’d let Cordelia get under his skin, just like he promised himself he wouldn’t, and it was this realisation that finally halted the runaway freight train of his lust dead in its tracks. Tearing his mouth from the seer’s lusciously inviting lips, he twisted away from her, leaving her open-mouthed and gasping for breath.
Cordelia was hot and dizzy with want, and she lifted her fingertips to her swollen and tender lips, still feeling the pressure of Angel’s fervent kisses there. Blinking rapidly and trying to calm her hormonal body down, she focused her gaze on the vampire’s broad back and shoulders, noting the way that they heaved with un-needed breaths as he struggled to regain control of himself.
She had managed to break through the rock-solid fortress that he’d built up around his emotions, the seer recognized immediately, and purposely gathered her wits about her, determined to press her advantage. Maybe she could bring him back from whatever hell dimension he’d been living in, these past few months.
“What’s the matter Angel? Too out of practise that you can’t follow through?” she deliberately goaded him, closing the distance that the vampire had put between them. “Or maybe you’re scared that you might actually feel something.”
“Shut up!” he growled at her, his tone darkly threatening.
“Come on Angel – this might be your one and only chance to get some,” Cordelia continued to taunt him. “I mean – considering the cold and empty place you inhabit right now, perfect happiness is not really on the menu, is it?”
“I said shut the fuck up!”
The infuriated vampire whirled round, and hauled her up against him so that they stood nose-to-nose. The seer watched in satisfaction as his expressive eyes flickered back and forth between deep brown and golden yellow, while he fought an inner battle with his turbulent emotions.
Finally giving in, Angel tightened his grip on her upper arms and lifted her effortlessly off her feet, tossing her backwards onto one of the dirty mattresses that littered the floor. Cordelia gasped when he immediately flipped her onto her front and roughly tugged her skirt up over her shapely bottom.
“Is this what you want, Cordelia?” he bent to murmur in her ear, his hand sliding up between her spread legs to cup her heat through the material of her panties.
“Or maybe it’s this?” he added, as his dextrous fingers pushed aside the thin scrap of satin and threaded through the damp curls to gently tease her moist folds.
The seer curled her fingers into the springy mattress as Angel continued to lightly stroke her centre, slowly building up her sensual cravings brick by brick. Her eyes briefly flickered open and it was the sight of the greying and stained material in front of her, which ultimately brought the awful reality of the situation crashing in on her.
Here she was, in this scummy hole of a place, being fingered by an out-of-control vampire like some common whore – this was not who she was by any stretch of the imagination.
“Angel please – can we not… Not here anyway, oh god please – it’s so dirty and sordid.”
The vampire’s fingers stilled at her soft pleading, but he didn’t immediately remove them and Cordelia held her breath waiting for him to move or speak.
Angel looked around the dimly lit warehouse – it epitomised what he felt inside right now, but to taint Cordelia with its darkness? He simply couldn’t do it, no matter how beige his aura was. She was sunshine and light, and he wasn’t so far gone that he didn’t at least retain a faint hope of bathing in that warm radiance again.
Retracting his hand from her panties, the vampire stood up, and waited patiently while Cordelia rose to her feet, smoothing down her skirt and combing her mussed hair with her fingertips.
“Come on – let’s get out of here,” he eventually said, when the apprehensive seer looked over at him, her hazel eyes wide and questioning.
Cordelia followed quietly in Angel’s wake, all the while wondering where they went from here, and what the rest of this night had in store for them…