Category: AU Season 5
Summary: Her kiss was a landslide and Angel wanted to fall.
Spoilers: Cordelia’s alive. No spoilers, I think, unless I’ve suddenly become psychic. In which case, go me.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Want, take, have. But be a peach and let me know.
Notes: Gabs wanted some beach smut, so I wrote her some beach smut because I am
Gabby’s bitch. Um. It turned out a leeeettle angstier than I had intended. Actually, it’s more angst than smut. Sorry. My bad. Also, I don’t think it makes a whole lot of sense. Anywho….
Thanks/Dedication: Happy Birthday my sweet
Feedback: Is like a crisp new twenty in my g-string.
The heat of the day lingered on after the sun had taken its slow slide below the horizon, giving the moon and stars the chance to declare their beauty. Bright, blinking bursts of dead light that had been his closest companion for a hundred years.
Constant, yet forever changing.
Angel could relate.
A dry Santa Ana wind whispered across Point Dume, rustling leaves and litter like an afterthought. Humid air prickled across his face like a lover’s teasing words, igniting memories of decadent nights spent in forgotten lands, of blood smeared across his chin while he watched the woman that damned him seduced the world. A snake charmer with sweet pink lips and golden locks that he’d once fisted in his hands as though it were his salvation.
Even then he was a fool.
A fool to stumble out into that alley, hypnotised by the sway crinoline and lace, dropping to his knees like a willing whore as the day was torn away, replaced with a hunger that would forever ache in his bones.
The soul had changed nothing, he was still the monster that had broken lives with a sharp flash of his teeth. The hunger still gnawed, the violence still simmered in his fingertips. The soul only gave him pause to regret his actions. Sometimes not even that.
White frills of foam lapped lazily at the shore, leaving behind its mark in the wet sand for only a moment. A storm would fit his mood better, instead Mother Nature gave him a balmy, languid night, air thick with spices and pollution, peaceful and calm when what he wanted was to rage and scream to the rhythm of crashing waves and booming thunder.
“You’re becoming predictable in your old age, Angel.”
Tension that hadn’t had the chance to bleed out of his shoulders twisted and tightened at the sound of her voice. The light scent of her perfume danced on the air around him, but it didn’t hide her deeper, heady fragrance that he alone was privy to know.
Woman. Lover. Friend.
“Whenever we fight, this is where you hide,” she said with amusement. Angel could feel her eyes dancing over him but made no effort to bridge the distance that was quickly growing between them.
Cordelia sighed at his continued silence like a mother trying to make peace with her wayward child.
“I don’t want to fight with you, Angel,” she said quietly, her words almost stolen by the soft whisper of wind.
A hollow bark of laughter choked at Angel’s throat before he could swallow it down, “funny, you seemed pretty keen on fighting when you threw your glass of wine in my face.”
“That’s what you get for being an ass,” she huffed, self-righteous indignation making her words click like a barrel of a gun. Cordelia took a deep, calming breath. Angel knew she was counting to ten before she spoke again.
“If a little red wine on your Armani is all you have to worry about, you’re more far gone than I thought, Champ.”
Angel clenched his jaw, fists drawn tight against the disappointment that dripped like slow running honey from Cordelia’s words.
“Don’t call me that.”
Angel felt Cordelia bristle at his tone, but the night was filled with too many seductive memories of mayhem for talk of champions and heroes.
“You were my champion,” she said firmly, as though it was the one thing she’d once relied upon, as though he was her north, south, east and west.
Angel didn’t know if that was still true.
The pull to look at her was too much to resist, the curve of her mouth stronger than the soporific beat of the waves, the fire in her eyes more seductive than the bleak open nothing spread out before him. He’d always been weak for a beautiful woman.
Darla, Dru, Buffy.
He’d lost and found himself in their spiteful hands and soft curves. Coveted their hate, pain and fleeting kindness. Darling boy, dark stallion, first love, he’d worn their mantels like a crown of thorns crafted by his own hand.
The bloodiest thorn of all.
Angel finally gave into the pull and looked at the woman standing beside him. A knife twist of guilt splintered through his gut at the sight of the puffy red skin around her eyes.
“Cordy-” Angel reached out to her but his hands stuttered in mid air, remembering the acerbic words they’d thrown at each other outside the restaurant while their food went cold and forgotten, not caring about their uninvited audience or the Merlot that would stain if not taken care of right away….
Her heels clacked a teeth grinding rhythm as Cordelia stormed out of the restaurant and down the promenade, the hem of her dress bunched tightly in her fists, fury vibrating the air with every step.
“Cordelia!” Angel called after her, but the low growl in his voice wasn’t enough to halt her march, it never was.
Cordelia stuck her middle finger up at him as she continued to march.
“Dammit, woman,” he grunted, running to catch up with her.
His hand curled around her upper arm and forced her to stumble to a stop.
“No! I will *not* calm down, Angel. I have had it with being calm and I am tired of hoping that you will come to your freakin’ senses already!” Cordelia stamped her foot, her impeccably made up face twisted with anger. “You think this is what Doyle died for? You think you crawling into bed with the devil was what our friend sacrificed his life for?” she shouted, trying to tug her arm out of Angel’s almost painful grip.
“I don’t want to hear one more of your excuses about how you thought it was the right thing to do,” Cordelia hissed, finally freeing her arm, “lately, it’s become more than clear that your concept of right and wrong has gone completely facockter! Jesus Christ, Angel, they were children! How could you just stand by and let them die?”
“I didn’t have a choice!” Angel roared, his stoic control shattered by a week that he just wanted to forget, “it was either those kids or the entire West Coast.”
“There must have been a better way-“
“Don’t you think we tried?” Angel narrowed his eyes at her, silently pleading for understanding.
“Obviously not hard enough because four innocent children are dead and you’re acting like it was just another day at the office!”
A crowd was forming around them, people out for an evening stroll, happy to watch a little after dinner theatre.
“I’m not doing this with you now,” Angel hissed, turning around only to have his path immediately blocked.
“Tough,” hands on her hips, foot tapping, Cordelia would not be swayed.
Angel sighed and looked up at the sky.
“Don’t give me that poor-henpecked-boyfriend act, Angel, this is serious. Ever since you took over- “
“I swear, girl, if you start on about Wolfram and Hart again-“
“If you can’t see that they’re using you-“
“It’s none of your business, you walked away-“
“Because they’re *evil*! And now you’re evil’s butt monkey-“
“We can do a lot of good-“
“Don’t be an idiot-“
“Don’t call me that-“
“Why the hell not, if the shoe fits-“
“You wanna trade insults Cor, cos I can think of a few for you-“
“How about…bitch? Does *bitch* work for you? Holier than thou, is another.”
“Hey, if you can’t handle a few home truths, sweetheart-“
“The man I fell in love with-“
“The man you fell in love with died when I watched you screwing my son!”
A collective gasp reverberated around the crowd.
Tears burnt in the back of Cordelia’s throat.
Angel stepped towards her, regret shadowing his brown eyes.
“Don’t,” Cordelia held him off with a hand. “It wasn’t *me*, Angel, you know that. I’m done apologising for it, I’ve paid my price. But you-” she paused, shaking her head, “you’re not God. Quit acting like you are.”
Shoulders straight, chin held high, Cordelia turned on her heel and stomped away….
“I’m sorry,” Angel murmured, his hand dropping impotently to his side.
Cordelia rubbed the back of her neck, it was sticky with sweat and gritty from an hour spent walking aimlessly through LA. “How did we end up like this?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” he answered honestly, “I just wanted to have a quiet dinner with my girlfriend without the world ending for once.”
Cordelia snorted, “it’s hardly the end of the world, big guy.”
“Feels like it sometimes.”
The waves kissed the shore as the Santa Ana’s whispered their secrets
“When did everything get so complicated?” Angel asked the moon lit strip of horizon.
“Things have always been complicated, taking over Evil Inc. has just made it doubly so,” Cordelia shrugged.
Angel groaned and rubbed his hands over his face. “What do you expect me to do?”
“The right thing.”
“Care to give me a clue what that is?”
“You use to know,” Cordelia raised her eyebrow pointedly before she left Angel’s side to walk along the shore. With her shoes discarded, the bottom of her long red dress trailed in the wet sand beneath her feet.
Angel loosened his tie and unbuttoned his collar as he watched Cordelia trail her toes in the shallow water, drawing invisible patterns like the ones she’d etched into his heart. She raised her arms above her arms and stretched the long line of her feline spine. The moon’s ivory glow bounced off her bare shoulders and back, highlighting the colourful sun he had memorised many a night with his lips.
The thought of never tasting that light again drew him to her like a starving man.
Cordelia didn’t jump when Angel snaked his arms around her.
She was right, he was becoming predictable.
Closing his eyes, Angel rested his chin on the crown of Cordelia’s head, relief flooding his body when he felt her back relax against his chest. When nothing else made sense, this at least did. The beat of her heart, strong like her soul, filled his senses and silenced the ghosts of the past.
Angel pressed a kiss to hollow of Cordelia’s shoulder, a few silky tendrils of hair that had escaped the low knot of her bun tickled the side of his face as they danced in the hot breeze.
Cordelia cupped the side of Angel’s face, sliding her hand across his strong jaw and through his hair, scratching her nails gently over his scalp. A grateful sigh rumbled through Angel’s chest. Cordelia’s touch was a balm he’d ached for like a lost limb while she’d lain lost to the world.
“I can’t lose you because of this,” his lips brushed against her skin, tattooing his desperation into her flesh.
“And I can’t stand by and watch you throw away everything you, we, worked so hard for.”
“I haven’t thrown it away.”
“But that’s how it feels, Angel,” Cordelia twisted around in his arms so that she was face to face with him, “it’s like you’ve forgotten why you’re doing this, like it’s just a nine to five job now. Clock in, clock out, drive your shiny cars and remind Harmony to get your suits dry cleaned. Do you even careabout the people you help anymore?”
Even though her words were sharp, Cordelia’s eyes were kind, yet Angel still dropped his arms from her waist like he’d be burnt.
“I care, it’s just….” Angel’s unfinished sentence hung in the air between them. He dragged a hand through raggedly through his hair. “After Wes-” he started, but the words felt like cotton wool in his mouth, thick and immovable.
“Tell me,” Cordelia implored him gently.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Angel dismissed the subject with a shake of his head.
“There are a hell of a lot of things you don’t want to talk about, but pretending it never happened is only making it worse,” Cordelia grasped his forearm before he could turn away from her, forcing him to listen to what she had to say.
“Every day I see you slipping further and further away from us. I can’t, won’t, let you push everyone away again. Not now,” Cordelia cupped Angel’s face in the palms of her hands, brushing her thumbs gently across his the juts of his cheekbones. “You aren’t the only one who lost him, Angel,” she whispered, her breath warming his lips.
Angel squeezed his eyes against the flash flood of memories. Wesley’s blood staining his shirt, Cordelia’s desperate pleas, Fred broken tears, Gunn’s screaming rage.
The son that he’d changed the world for standing with death in his eyes, the gun still smoking in his hand.
“It’s my fault he’s dead,” Angel finally spoke the words that had sat so heavily on his shoulders ever since that stark December morning.
“Oh, Angel,” Cordelia sighed, her brow furrowed as she stood on her tiptoes to press a kiss to his lips, “you didn’t pull the trigger, you didn’t make Connor do what he did. You have to let it go.”
“I can’t,” he grunted gruffly, pulling out of Cordelia’s compassionate arms. “It’s me, Cordelia, can’t you see that? Everything I touch, everything I lovegoes away-“
“Do you love me?” she silenced his self flagellation before it could really begin.
“You know I do.”
Cordelia stepped back into his space, grasping the end of his tie like an anchor. “Say it.”
“I love you,” Angel frowned, confused.
“And I’m still here,” she guided his left hand to the side of her face, gifting a kiss to his palm, “you love me, and I’m still here.”
“You almost weren’t,” Angel leant his forehead against Cordelia’s, his hands finding home on her hips as a years worth of horrors crowded for attention in his mind.
“But I am,” she tugged his tie to punctuate every word. When Angel opened his mouth to ask for how long, Cordelia stole the question with a kiss. The soft press of her lips against his tugged at the invisible cord that connected them.
Love and forgiveness that Angel knew he didn’t deserve, would never deserve, bled into his skin, bringing life to dead flesh and cold bones. Angel let his fingers bite into the curve of Cordelia’s hips as he deepened the kiss, wanting more, always more, never enough, the slick slide of her tongue dancing against his, the pillow of her breasts pushing against his chest, he was an addict and even the darkness that blurred his corners wasn’t strong enough to fight Cordelia Chase.
Cordelia pulled him closer, soothed his sins with her lips, whispered silent promises that she knew he could hear, could feel, could take with him when the days were long and the shadows too deep.
Her kiss was a landslide and Angel wanted to fall, was falling, tumbling down like a child at play, lost in the lingering traces of red wine that hadn’t been spilt as he took what was offered, desperate to keep hold of the one thing he knew was true, the one thing that belonged to him.
When Cordelia slipped his jacket from his shoulders, Angel didn’t complain about getting sand on his already ruined clothes, didn’t care about anything but the hot pulse of red stained lips trailing hotly over his jaw, teeth nipping roughly, with an urgency that sent a fast bolt of desire to his groin.
“I’m still here,” she whispered, her lips grazing the shell of his ear, making him shiver and pray to the God that he didn’t believe in that what she said was true.
Sometimes Angel feared that he’d never been pulled out of the ocean’s dark depths, that his life was nothing but another hallucination, a dream, a nightmare. Were Cordelia’s warm hands, burrowing beneath his shirt, scratching so enticingly at his abdomen, his punishment? To be able to soothe himself in her light only to wake one day and feel the cold nothing pressing in on him inside his son’s steal box.
No, Angel shook away the thought, this much at least was real. Her mouth speaking hushed promises into taught tendons of his neck, it couldn’t not be real.
“Cordelia,” Angel said her name like an epiphany, or maybe a plea. Not to stop, never to stop. For more. Never enough, always more.
The frown that creased his brow as Cordelia pulled out of his hold vanished as he watched her unfasten the small clasp that held her dress together behind her neck, red silk tumbling to the sand, the threads of woven silver shimmering like the stars that watched over them.
She knew, just as she always did. Knew what he wanted, needed, ached for before even he.
“I love you,” Cordelia smiled and Angel was lost in her forgiveness.
His belt hit the ground with a muffled thud, Cordelia’s nimble fingers confident in their work as she freed him of his corporate vestiges. The tie that had cost enough to feed a small family for a month thrown into the breeze, finding a new home on the craggy rocks. All the while she kissed him, hushing the demons of poor decision until Angel couldn’t remember what it was that had brought him here in the first place.
A fight? A lovers quarrel? The end of the world?
They meant nothing compared to the slow unravelling of brunette hair over moon kissed shoulders, velvet waves that blanketed his chest at night as he watched Cordelia sleep, the urge to seal the moment in charcoal and light warring with the need to just be.
Angel coiled his hand through her hair, snapping Cordelia’s head back so he could taste the line of her throat, musky with desire and spiced with the hot night air. He lapped at the sensitive skin behind her ear, silently roaring at the shudders that rippled through Cordelia.
The restraint he struggled to maintain for a century crumbled away like the weather beaten cliffs behind them, fruitless against the lush curves of the woman who had saved him from himself time and time again.
Hands that had torn open Wesley’s shirt and pressed against the heavy flow of blood that ran over the office floor like a red sea, now unfastened Angel’s dark slacks without accusation. Slim fingers that had sorted through the ex-watcher’s personal effects, trailed a blazing path over his cock, sparking firecrackers up his spine.
Cordelia gave him absolution with hands that had lost too much and Angel took it greedily, knowing he would take everything she could give and still demand more.
A selfish demon, a weak man, Cordelia knew what he was and still kissed him like he was her north. Still urged his hands to her breasts, still wiggled out of her panties with a smirk, still pushed Angel down to the shifting ground even though their future was a murky maze stretching out before them.
Angel want to laugh, cry and groan all at once, grief suffocating his words, love tightening his chest and desire coiling his muscles. An eternity of this would never be enough. The heaven of Cordelia’s heat cradling his hips as she planted messy wet kisses over his bare chest, fingertips dancing like the devil over the ladder of his ribs, making him twitch and shudder like the virgin he never was. It was more than Angel had ever dared to hope for and now he could never go back.
The teasing, slick slide of Cordelia’s desire swollen cunt rocking against his hard flesh drove Angel close to the edge, causing his hips to buck and jerk, seeking the glove of her body like it were the only thing that would bring him peace of mind. Cordelia laughed like the carefree girl she once was, before his shadows had consumed her, he flipped them over and Angel had to own that too, needed to steal it so it would keep him warm on the nights when she was no longer with him.
“Promise you’ll never leave me,” Angel said, hating the possessive desperation that roughened the edges of his voice.
“I’ll never leave you,” Cordelia murmured between short, flaming kisses.
Angel levered himself up on his arms, instantly missing the pillow of Cordelia’s body but the need to look at her, to really see the woman he loved was too insistent to ignore.
Gloss smudged lips and sand messed hair, bright eyes filled with questions Angel couldn’t, wouldn’t answer. Full breasts, slim waist, legs that had brought many a man to his knees. Cordelia may have been Doyle’s Princess, but to Angel she was a Queen. His fallen Goddess with a razor sharp tongue and too many shoes, perfectly flawed with a thousand invisible scars that he’d learnt by heart with his sword callused hands.
Angel nuzzled his nose against Cordelia’s cheek, swallowing the swell of emotion that bubbled up in his chest.
“It wasn’t your fault, Angel, it wasn’t. You have to let it go. We have to move on, Angel, please.” The strong iron bands of guilt and grief that had squeezed at his shoulders too so long weakened at the sound of Cordelia’s quiet, confident words.
“I can’t,” he choked, his body aching for the comfort that lay so near.
Cordelia sighed, sadness cloaking her eyes as she ran her hands down his back, kneading tense muscles before she wrapped her right leg over his hip and pulled him down, saved him, gave him a moments release from a life that neither could or escape.
“Jesus,” Angel hissed as her tight flesh that accepted him. It was just as intoxicating as the first time they’d given into the call of their bodies, not caring about evil alter-egos or lost souls as they’d grappled with dangerous desire on the office floor. They’d waited so long already and perfect happiness just a distant memory, Angel had too much to lose, had already lost too much to forget who, what, he was.
It was the closest to bliss he dare to touch.
Angel’s shoulders shook as he forced himself not to thrust blindly into Cordelia’s willing body, eyes squeezed firmly shut while gentle fingers mapped the secrets hidden on his face, the ghosts of broken bones and torn flesh healed by his lover’s knowing hands.
“Shh, let it go,” Cordelia whispered against his lips, her soft spoken words almost drowned by the rhythmic whoosh of the waves that inched towards their feet. A shudder quaked through the vampire’s body, snapping his hips forward with a violence that he knew would leave Cordelia sore when the sun would once again creep over the horizon.
A surprised gasp ripped through Cordelia’s throat, her back arching clumsily from the sand as Angel fought to bury his entire being inside her body.
Wrapping his arm around the small of Cordelia’s back, Angel locked them together as a single beast, moving as one on the still warm sand, practised finesse forgotten and all pretence of control shattered.
The world, his mistakes, lost friends and an unattainable redemption faded into nothing, replaced with the burning rapture of her. With blunt teeth, Angel seized the side of Cordelia’s neck, hard enough to leave two crescent bruises on her unmarked skin. The thought of tearing open that sweet throat, supping from the cup of Cordelia’s life paralysed his brain, if not his body.
His hold on the monster within was fragile at the best of times, but with Cordelia it was almost non existent. His dark beauty haloed in sunlight and sin, spread out before him, hair fluttering in the Santa Ana wind as he drove them both to insanity. Again and again, sharp thrusts of pleasure that absolved and inflamed while silent cries for more shattered the peaceful LA night.
Cordelia clawed roughly at his back, thin slices of pain that made Angel stutter and groan, the hurt making the heavy ache in his groin pulse, forcing him to finally do as she had begged of him.
He let go.
Angel let go of the friend who had found him, betrayed him, loved and died for him. He let go of the son who had spat in his face and torn his world apart. Let go of the cold black shadow that threatened to slowly suffocate his soul. Face buried tightly into the crook of Cordelia’s neck, Angel gave away his pain to the humid night and found the peace only she could give.
Angel watched with lazy amusement as Cordelia sprinkled sand over his chest, drawing intricate patterns that fluttered away in the breeze as soon as they formed. She laid curled to his side, head resting on his shoulder, leg tangled through his as Angel palmed the curve of her hip.
“Maybe we should go away for a while,” Cordelia thought out loud, “take a break from real life.”
Angel kissed the crown of her head and wished they could. “Real life would just follow us, you know that, Cor.”
“Yeah,” she sighed, “probably.”
Nothing had changed. Wesley was gone, Connor was lost, Angel still stumbled through his redemption like a blind man led by the devil. Hope was a mercurial beast that slipped through his fingers, only to be caught and remoulded by Cordelia’s hands.
Cordelia shivered as the now cooling air licked goose bumps over her skin.
“You’re cold, we should get home,” Angel tensed to move but Cordelia held him still, her hand over his heart.
“Not yet. Lets stay here, just for a little longer,” she murmured.
Angel banded his arms around Cordelia.
Nothing had changed, but for a while he could pretend it had.