Title: Eye Candy
Author: Cordelia’s Destiny
Category: What category? The title speaks for itself.
Summary: Cordy plays voyeur.
Spoilers: If any, S3
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: AA, Just Fic, Go Team, anywhere else, let me know.
Notes: I imagined this taking place end of season 2, beginning of season 3. The pre-connor, post Darla days. I know it’s in present tense, but I thought that added something rather than detracting. I’d be interested to everyone’s thoughts on this. Cordy POV. Notes 2: This was born of a challenge-ish thing over at AO, part of a writing exercise by Lysa. Yea, Lysa! Notes 3:I wouldn’t normally post something this short, but I thought, what the hell. I haven’t posted anything in awhile and my muse has turned up missing, so this is all I got. Enjoy!
Thanks/Dedication: Thanks to Lysa for jump startin’ my muse, if only a little bit.
challenge/Prompt: Scenario #10
BtVS or AtS
Cordelia comes across Angel during his workout and mmmm, boy howdy is that interesting to watch. What does she see and how closely is she looking? Don’t forget to describe her reactions, too.
I’ve seen him like this a hundred times, maybe even more, but today, something’s different. I don’t know what it is, but it’s got my chest in a vise and I can barely catch my breath.
I sink down on the basement’s bottom step, my chin resting in my hand, and drink in the sight of him.
Holy hell, he’s gorgeous.
I mean that in a totally scientific, completely red-blooded heterosexual female reaction, of course, like I have when I see Brad Pitt or Keanu Reeves. And I guess it is kind of redundant to say that Angel is gorgeous. Well, duh. Just look at him.
Shirtless, skin glistening with sweat he doesn’t need to cool his body, muscles straining as he cuts the air with the graceful moves of Tai Chi. His body is controlled power, shifting and flowing like a tree swaying in the wind. Here’s me, blunt literal girl, spouting poetry over a two hundred fifty plus old vampire fart who wouldn’t know GQ if it bit him in the ass. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t look sinfully alpha male on its cover, though.
I shake my head in disbelief as he turns away from me, his powerful back flexing and rippling as his arms arc above his head. He ignores me, but I know he knows I’m there. An undercurrent crackles between us whenever we’re together, a hum in the background that keeps our attention focused on each other. I don’t know when it started; maybe way back in Sunnyhell when he was still Buffy’s boy toy and I was Xander’s trophy girlfriend. It doesn’t really matter; it exists, and the more I feel it, the more freaked out I get.
My thoughts jerk back to the here and now as he shifts position. His tattoo stretches and shifts over his shoulder blade, and my eyes are drawn to its mysterious lines. It fits him, a rugged symbol of his blatant masculinity. No Tommy-Lee-like body tats for Angel; one simple old school motif says a thousand things at once, but most loudly, it proclaims that Angel has seen the world a time or two and been marked for it. And don’t I know it.
Even now, his moves remind me of deadly grace. Angelus is there, roiling underneath the surface, his charisma barely tamped down by the barrier of Angel’s soul. I watch Angel’s eyes sometimes as he represses the urges of his demon, and its a scary but beautiful thing to behold. There’s power there, barely leashed, and it rolls off him in waves. It almost has an aroma to it, something that’s gotta have an aphrodisiac in it because I can’t help but react to it when he goes all protecto-vamp on me.
I frown and swallow past the sudden dryness in my throat as he spreads his legs wider, back still turned toward me, and lowers his center of gravity. His lower back concaves with the move and leaves a definite V pointing straight down into the back of his charcoal-gray work-out pants. The move pulls his pants taut against his sculpted glutes, and I lick my lips as I watch him flex.
Damn, I think as my heart speeds up and my chest tightens up again. I can’t seem to pull my eyes away and the intensity of my concentration should scare me, but I’m beyond that now. This is Angel. Eye candy extraordinaire, but still only eye candy. No touchy, even though I’d give my left arm sometimes to have hot and sweaty sex with him, no strings attached. I frown at that thought, realizing that I’d give something even more vital to have a sexual relationship deeper than a one-night stand with him. And that thought does scare me.
I’m so lost in my thoughts that I don’t realize Angel’s finished his routine and is toweling off, staring at me in that intense way of his that cuts right through every wall I put up to defend myself against the world. He has a way of making me feel emotionally naked yet completely protected, all at the same time, and whenever I catch myself in one of those moments, it completely throws off my balance.
“Did you need something, Cordy?” he asks, and I jump, startled by the sound of his voice.
“Uh, yeah,” I stammer, faux-smiling brightly as if hoping that would be answer enough.
He shakes his head at my fumbling and barely smiles, his eyes soft as he walks towards me. I’m blocking his way up the stairs and he waits, an eyebrow raised, for me to glue the scattered pieces of my brain back together and give him an answer.
I growl, a completely girly sound that sounds like a frustrated kitten, and even that annoys me. My mission down to the basement has escaped my mind like the name of one of Wesley’s inter-dimensional demons. Demons. That’s it!
I smile triumphantly as my train of thought finally makes it back on the tracks.
“Wesley,” I say confidently, “has some watchamacallit demon to talk to you about. Something he found in a dusty prophecy or whatever.”
“A whatchmacallit? Isn’t that a candy bar?”
I raise my eyebrows, although I’m less annoyed at him and more surprised that Angel remembers a candy bar’s name.
“Hello!” I mock in an attempt to keep my mind from straying. “World in crisis here? Candy not so high on the priority list.”
“But it’s chocolate,” he says with a grin, teasing me now.
I roll my eyes and stand, my hands on my hips as I smirk at him. “Upstairs, vampire. There’s work to be done. A mission to fulfill, in case you didn’t remember.”
Angel looks at me for a few more seconds, eyes intense in that unreadable way that always intrigues me, then turns to walk up the stairs. I lean back, throwing my arms above my head and stretching the kinks out from sitting on the uncomfortable wooden step. In the middle of it, a yawn creeps up on me. I close my eyes and release it, using the expansion of my breath to stretch out the last of my muscles before lowering my arms and following Angel up the stairs.
But when I open my eyes again, I see him, paused halfway up, looking down at me with the same glazed look I must’ve had a while ago, his stare trained on my breasts, clearly outlined under tautly stretched t-shirt fabric.
I snicker, and he jumps, eyes guiltily meeting mine. The guilt sweeps away when he sees the sparkle in my eyes, and something passes between us in that moment. Something elemental, a subtle shift in the essence of our relationship that reverberates around us.
Climbing up the first few steps, my eyes still locked with his, I realize that there’s so much more than physical attraction, so much more than even friendship between us. And as Angel reaches his hand back and grasps mine, even for something as simple as a walk upstairs, I discover that he feels it, too.