Content: Cordelia/Angel, Schmultz… with sporadic angst..which i like to call schmangst!
Spoilers: SUPERSYMMETRY!! Don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled!
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: I got a serious case of the warm fuzzies after reading the wildfeed for Supersymmetry and just had to write! I’m guessing this is going to be one of many post Supersymmetry fics but what the hey! Please excuse the random spelling and punctuation mistakes, I wrote this very very quickly.
Feedback: Is greatly appreciated.
“Were we in love?” Cordelia asked desperately. Angel blinked at her, taken aback by the question. Direct and straight to the point, no messing about. That was his Cordelia. He pulled his gaze away from her, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable, Angel studied the stone floor as though it were the most interesting thing in the world. He didn’t know what to say.
“Angel? Were we?” Cordelia asked again, her voice was soft but forceful, she needed an answer, she needed to know who she was.
“We….I….I love you and you love me Cordy.” Angel finally sighed, it was the truth but not what she had asked of him. This wasn’t exactly how he’d imagined his declaration of love would play out.
“OK….but were we *in* love?” Cordelia pressed him further.
“I don’t….I mean…we never….” Angel sighed again, he was even pissing himself off now. ” It’s…complicated.”
“What’s so freaking complicated about it? Either we were in love or we weren’t.” Cordelia’s brow creased in confusion.
“Cordelia, everything between us is complicated, that’s just the way we are. I…I’m in love with you….and I think that you love me too. But…we’ve never spoken about it, so I guess I don’t really know how you feel about me. But there’s was definitely something happening between us. I think.” Angel rubbed his tired eyes and continued to stare at the ground determination. “Like I said, complicated.”
“So an unspoken kinda love then. Well….that sucks. Please tell me it wasn’t all heated looks and subtext?” Cordelia muttered dryly.
“Something like that.” A small smile tugged at Angels lips. He finally tore his gaze away from the floor and dared to look at the woman who held his heart in her small hands.
The soft glow of the moon lit up Cordelia’s face and Angel felt his chest tighten at the sight. He watched her as she bit the plump flesh of her bottom lip, something she had always done when trying to work too many thoughts through her head at once.
“It’s pretty here.” Cordelia said so quietly that even Angel had to strain to hear her. “Did I use to spend a lot of time out here?” She asked him, her face still tilted to the sky as though she were asking the stars instead of him.
“Some….when things got crazy mostly. Cordelia, are you OK?” Angel asked the woman he loved, unnerved by her sudden appearance here and her random questions.
“I don’t know.” She sighed a world weary sigh and turned to look at him, a sad smile on her face. “I don’t know Angel and that’s the problem. I feel….sorta hollow and I don’t know what I need to fill me up. I just….I’m tired of not knowing who I am.” Angel desperately wanted to reach out and pull her into his arms and make her pain go away but he knew he couldn’t, it wasn’t as simple as that.
He saw her shiver, he didn’t know if it were from the cool night or her distressed state. Angel stood up slowly, wincing at the pain in his back from the earlier fight.
The vampire held his hand outstretched to his seer, hoping she wouldn’t shrink away from the gesture. When Cordelia slipped her hand into his a small bubble of hope rose up in Angel, at least she wasn’t screaming and running from him any more.
Things were looking up. She arched a perfect eyebrow at him when he pulled her up from the couch and led her into the warm hotel, Cordelia was starting to understand that this man used actions more than words when it came to her. But that wasn’t what she needed right now, she needed the words.
Once inside Angel didn’t let go of his hold on her, he wasn’t sure if he could. Cordelia’s skin was burning him to his soul, he wondered if she could feel it to or if it was just his overactive imagination torturing him again.
The sharp clack of her heels filled up the silent lobby, a sound he never thought he would miss but desperately did as much as he missed the sound of his own heart beating. The sound was almost as sweet.
Cordelia let the vampire walk her up the grand staircase and down the dimly lit hall, something deep inside her told her not to worry, she was safe here with him. She heard angry muffled voices seeping out of a door they passed, she couldn’t make out the words but even through the solid oak door she could feel the tension inside.
“That’s Gunn and Fred, I’m not sure what’s happened.” Angel answered her question before she even asked it, she wondered how he knew what she was thinking about. They finally came to a stop outside what she recognised as the room with her past in.
When Angel opened the door and stalked inside Cordelia hesitated for a moment. Stacked inside were innocent looking boxes that held glimpses of who she was, although she had already looked through them briefly days earlier Cordelia hadn’t really had them time to absorb the contents. Hadn’t the time to dig through the odds and ends that made up Cordelia Chase.
But now she had the time and the desire and it scared her. What if she didn’t like what she found? Taking a deep breath and squaring her shoulders Cordelia walked in the room that held her past within. She trailed her fingertips over the top of a pile of books, her books, waiting for some inkling of recognition but all she felt was the tingling of her skin from where Angel had held her hand.
Slightly unnerved from the reaction of her body from such an innocent touch Cordelia sat down in an old worn leather chair opposite Angel instead of next to him on the bed, she didn’t miss the crestfallen look on his face when she did so.
“I know they’re just things Cordelia, but they mean something to you.” Angel said, his eyes cast downward at the photograph he was holding. “What ever you need to know….just ask me and I’ll do my best to fill you in.” He laid the picture down onto the side table where Cordelia could see it.
It showed herself smiling down at a small child as she held him in his arms. Connor. Cordelia felt her stomach tighten with unease, she had to look away from the image when she felt the throat tighten, she fought back the urge to shudder with disgust.
“Cordy?” Angel said quietly when she didn’t say anything.
“Sorry.” Cordelia physically shook the thoughts from her head. She decided to deal with that boy later. “So Angel….how long have we known each other?” She curled her legs beneath her and leant back in to the soft chair, the musty scent of the leather surrounded her, causing her to relax almost against her will.
“About seven years now I guess.” Angel said, unsure if he really wanted to talk about the past and drag up all the pain that accompanied it.
“Seven years…wow. How did we meet?”
“Well, you were in High School, in Sunnydale.” Angel handed her her yearbook, his fingers brushing her on purpose, he needed the contact with her as though he still had to convince himself that she was sitting here in front of him.
He felt the electricity pulse between their fingers. Angel moved back and cleared his throat, starting again. “Yeah, so…you were sort of, kinda friends with the girl I was….seeing.” Angel grimaced at his words.
“Sort of, kinda friends?” She raised her eyebrows at him with amusement.
“You didn’t really get on. You were dating a friend of hers, Xander Harris.” She saw his scowl at the mention of the other mans name and flicked through the year book until she found the picture she was looking for.
Alexander Harris. She couldn’t help but smile at the goofy look the boy was pulling for the camera, but apart from that she felt nothing, no sudden spark of recognition. She sighed and traced the unfamiliar face with her thumb.
“Were you two friends?”
“Hardly.” Angel spat out before he could stop himself.
“Because.” He shrugged noncommittally.
“Angel I’m gonna need more than ‘just because’. Please, help me out here.” Cordelia frowned at him in annoyance.
“He was….protective over Buffy, my girlfriend, we just sort of clashed over things. He didn’t like me because I’m a vampire and I didn’t like him because he was an idiot. Apparently he’s grown up some since then, but I’ll need to see it to believe it.”
Cordelia flipped through the book until she found the name Buffy, staring back at her was a petite blonde girl whose smile was bright but whose eyes were sad with some unspoken pain.
“She’s pretty. Why did you break up?” Cordelia asked the question he hoped she wouldn’t.
“Buffy’s the slayer. Vampire slayer that is. I’m a vampire. We loved each other…..very much…..but it was kinda doomed from the get go. Things got…complicated.” Angel frowned at the memories. He really didn’t like to think about it very much.
“Everything seems complicated with you Angel.” Cordelia smiled softly at the man opposite her, realising she’d brought up a subject that would probably be better off being left alone. “So, head cheerleader huh?”
“Yep, you and your girls ruled the school…well, until you fell for Xander.” She saw his mouth twist into a grimace again, whenever he said Xanders name it seemed to have that effect on him. Cordelia had to stifle the urge to laugh. “You pretty much gave up your social standing for the boy.”
“I must have loved him a lot. Did it end very badly?” Cordelia rested her head on her hand, piecing together the jigsaw puzzle that was her life.
“It….could have ended better. You caught him kissing his best friend Willow, fell through an old stair case and became impaled on a piece of rebar. That’s what the scar on your belly’s from.” Angel just gave her the head lines of what happened, hoping it would ignite the fire of her memory. Cordelia lifted the bottom of her shirt and ran her fingers over the faint silver scar that she had noticed that morning.
“Ouch.” She said without any real emotion, what he was saying just didn’t seem real to her, it was as though Angel were telling her some other persons life story. “I guess we weren’t friends back then?” Cordelia smoothed her top back down and looked back at Angel who was still staring at where her bare flesh had been. His gaze held so much desire Cordelia felt her cheeks blush crimson.
“Uhh..” Angel tried to blink away the image of her sun kissed flesh, images of the night at the ballet swam before his eyes, unwanted memories of how she felt beneath him muddying his brain. For god sake get a grip on yourself man, Angel scolded himself. “Sorry, what did you say?”
“I asked you if we were friends back then.” Cordelia said nervously fiddling with the cuff of her sleeve.
“Oh, well, no not really. More like fellow non scoobies.”
“That’s what they called themselves, Buffy, Xander and Willow. Even Giles to an extent I suppose. They were such a close nit group, it was difficult for outsiders to really get in, no matter how much you loved them you could never become a card carrying member. You, Oz and I were always in the background, skirting around the boarders. That’s just the way it was back then.”
Angel shrugged, it had been a long time since he had thought about that part of his life, he’d always felt so detached from everything back then, maybe that was why he tried to hold on to Buffy for so long.
“But everyone looks so happy.” Cordelia said as she looked at a picture that was taken at the prom.
“It wasn’t all bad, there were good times.” Angel said rather unconvincingly. “I left Sunnydale after you guys graduated, that was quite a memorable ceremony.” Cordelia saw the crooked smile snaking across his face and couldn’t help but smile as well, even though she didn’t know the reason for it. “I moved to L.A. and one night I was on a case and who should I bump into but Miss Cordelia Chase.” His smile grew wider. “You lit up the room Cordy.”
Cordelia felt the blush that had receded springing back into action at his words.
“Why did I move to LA. ?” She asked him in hope that he would stop looking at her with so much adoration.
“Well…your parents had a little trouble with the tax man so you couldn’t afford to go to college, you thought you’d try your hand at acting. Which was…interesting.” Angel swallowed the laugh that threatened to tumble from him. Cordelia scowled at his ill concealed laughter, she felt the sudden urge to smack him upside the head.
“Anyway,” Angel hurried on, “You decided working with me wasn’t such a horrible idea and so Angel Investigations was born. You, me and Doyle against the forces of evil. We were quite a team.”
“Doyle?” She couldn’t remember hearing about him or seeing any pictures of him either.
“Oh, Doyle was….he was a very good friend to us both. He…died a few years ago.”
“I…oh.” Everything Angel had told her seemed to be steeped in so much pain that Cordelia wondered why she had stuck around here with him for four years. It must be love, she thought to herself. “Angel…tell me something happy, something good.” He thought for a moment then Cordelia visibly saw his face relax.
“You loved Friday nights here at the hotel, Fred would dig out some silly old board game and badger us until we’d all play. We’d have dinner, rent a movie. All part of your ‘integrate Angel in to normal society’ plan I think. And then little Connor came along. There was laughter in the Hotel.” Angel’s eyes glazed over and became unreadable. ” For a little while.”
Cordelia shifted uncomfortably at the mention of Angels son. That was a place she really didn’t want to be going right now.
“You make dreadful coffee but surprisingly good margaritas, you spend most of your pay check on shoes, listen to some sort of industrial noise that you insist on calling music and you make me smile each and every day. You have a family here that loves you, Fred, Gunn, Wes and Lorne….they love you very much. We might lead a lot of our lives in darkness but every so often a little sunlight breaks through and makes it all worth it.”
“And you love me.” Cordelia said pointedly, her eyes boring into his.
“Very, very much so.” Angel nodded and smiled easily at her. It felt so good to have it out in the open. Realising he was still in his bloodied coat he shrugged it off his shoulders, hissing at the sharp pain in his side when he moved.
“You’re hurt.” Cordelia shot out of her chair instinctively and helped him out of the jacket.
“I’m fine Cordy, it’s just a scratch. It’ll be gone soon.” The vampire reassured her, he took her hand in his and they sat side by side on the bed just as they had the first time she was in here trying to put together the clues that laid scattered around her as to who she was.
“You get beaten up a lot don’t you?”
“Yeah, one of the draw backs of working for the powers, that and the dental package sucks.” Angel quipped lightly, his heart soaring from just sitting next to her once again.
“You’re a very strange man Angel.” Cordelia chuckled and shook her head. A silence they were both beginning to loathe settled over the room again, it wasn’t exactly uncomfortable but it wasn’t easy either. “Who or what is a Groo? Connor mentioned something about it the other day but wouldn’t go into it. He had the same look on his face that you do now. Angel, what’s up with that?”
“Groo was your….boyfriend.” Angel looked like he was chewing on a lemon as he spoke. ‘Does he like none of my boyfriends at all?’ Cordelia asked herself. “I’m not really sure what happened with him, the night you disappeared we think that he went back home.”
“Oh. I don’t have much luck with men do I?” Cordelia grumbled, she noticed that her thumb was tracing small circles on the back on Angels hand, she wasn’t even aware that they were still holding hands. It felt….natural. The only thing that had felt right to her since she woke up in the hotel lobby with no memory of who she was.
“He was a good man, as was Xander. They loved you Cordelia. It’s actually kind of impossible not to love you.” Angel watched her delicate thumb moving over his skin and forced himself not to just grab at her. They were getting somewhere and this was usually the time that he’d say or do something to mess it up, so he sat as still as he could and waited for her to speak.
“So…I’m not a horrible person then, I don’t go around kicking puppies and mugging old ladies?” She asked him half seriously. Angel chuckled at her words.
“Not at all Cordy, not at all. You have a beautiful heart and a shining spirit. You’ve kicked my arse a couple of times mind you.” He grinned and bumped his shoulder into hers, delighting in the further contact.
“Something tells me you deserved it.” Cordelia squinted her eyes at him in mock suspicion. “Oh! I remember what I was going to ask you! Why am I blonde? In all those pictures I’m brunette, what ever possessed me to reach for the peroxide?”
“Honestly Cordy, I have no idea. I always thought you liked your hair the way it was, I certainly did. You went away with Groo for a couple weeks and came back blonde.” The vampire shrugged, he had wondered what had made her change her hair so suddenly.
“It can’t have been much of a holiday if I was passing the time getting my hair done.” Cordelia wound a short strand around her hair and studied the ends intently.
“Has anything I’ve told you felt familar?” Angel asked her hopefully.
“No, not really.” She looked down at where their hands were linked on the bed. “But this does. It feels…comfortable, easy. I don’t know how to explain it.” Now that one of them had pointed out that their hands were still grasped together the loaded silence that had been following them like a shadow washed over them once again.
Angel could feel her warm breath on the side of his neck, all he had to do was lean a little closer, just a little closer and press his lips to hers. Cordelia’s heavy lidded eyes told him she was thinking about it as well. Angel slowly dipped his head watching as her tongue snaked out over her bottom lip, just a little closer…….
“I should go.” Cordelia jumped up from the bed, Angel almost tumbled forward at her sudden movement. His hand felt empty with out her.
“OK.” Angel nodded solemnly and walked her to the door, cursing himself for another missed opportunity.
“Umm, thanks for…clueing me in on a few thing.” Cordelia said to the floor, unable to meet his hungry gaze.
“Anytime Cordelia, you are always welcome here.”
“Thanks.” She said again, unsure what else to say.
“Is…is Connor OK?” Angel blurted out, Cordelia’s head shot up at the mention of the boys name.
“He needs his father.” She finally looked him in the eye.
“Complicated? Yeah, I’m starting to get that.” Cordelia rolled her eyes at him with affection. Still his Cordelia. “I was wondering…would it be OK if I came over tomorrow night? I think if I spend some time here it might help with the memory thing.” She asked the hunched vampire that was looming over her. Her heart did a funny little skip when he smiled down at her. ‘Oh boy’, sighed Cordelia’s internal monologue.
“That’s a date. I mean…not a *date* date. It’s not like we’re going out for dinner and a movie. Unless you *want* to go out for dinner and a movie? Absolutely, completely up to you. No pressure. What ever you want.” Angel rambled. ‘I use to be good at this back in the day, what the hell happened?’, the vampire thought to himself.
“Very very strange man.” Cordelia chuckled. Then she did something that surprised them both, lifting herself on to her tiptoes Cordelia pressed a soft kiss on to Angel’s lips, it was over in seconds, if you’d have blinked you would have missed it, but it was the sweetest thing either of them had felt in a long time.
“Umm, see you tomorrow.” Cordelia blushed then hurried out of the room. Angel listened to her heels clicking on the lobby floor then the heavy creak of the front door opening and closing.
Ten minutes later Angel still stood there surrounded by Cordelia’s belongings with her perfume swirling around him, his fingers hovering over his lips, a wide grin on his face and blossoming hope in his heart.