Title: The Broken Pieces
Posted Originally: 02/03
Content: Angst. (Romance/Friendship in later parts I promise)
Spoilers: During Some Assembly Required BTVS2 then AU
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: You want it, you got it. But be a peach and let me know.
Notes: This is my first attempt at C/A in the BTVS years (eep! as Willow would say). Answer to Jenilyn’s C/A BTVS challenge: A caustic comment from Cordelia intrigues a confused Angel, causing him to follow her home. What he finds is not what he expects.
Full challenge at: Stranger-Things Fanfic Help/Recs subforum
Notes for Part 4: Um…AU….playing with the time line….yadda yadda yadda…..I’ve written Angel completely out of character…..blah blah blah….all I want to do is write the smut…grumble grumble grumble…. I need therapy….Yep, that about covers it.
Dedication: To my fellow LotR whores who I have repeatedly frightened with my questionable taste in men. Added: To Dawn (Pushydame) who gave me a wonderful snip of dialogue, girl, you helped me more then you’ll ever know. And to Gabby, my little star, my hotness barometer, my ass kicker, you scare me but I love you. Feedback: Bring it on….
Cordelia:Why are these terrible things always happening to me?
Some Assembly Required.
Angel cursed to himself at the look of annoyance shadowing the beautiful young slayer’s face as he let himself be dragged out of the Sunnydale High School library by Cordelia Chase. Buffy had lied to him and yet some how he was the one feeling guilty. Angel felt too old, too dead and too angry to turn around and hash it out with the petite blonde girl, it was almost a relief have Cordelia volunteer him to escort her home. He’d had more than enough of that Harris boy for a start, it took all of the vampire’s restraint not to rip the kids limbs from his body every time Angel saw him after that dance.
“I just love getting a rise out of Buffy.” Cordelia’s vacant tone broke through Angel’s thoughts, he had been aware that the girl had been talking but he’d just tuned it out as they walked. Yet there was something in the way she said that sentence that brought him to a halt.
He knew what Buffy and her friends thought of Cordelia, spoilt rich bitch was what they’d called her one time. Angel had stayed out of the conversation, he was the last person who should be casting judgment on another.
There was a weariness in her voice that pulled at something deep inside of him that he had only felt once before, the night he’d watched Buffy Summers wash away the dust of her first vampire slay. Looking at the young woman beside him Angel was surprised to see how tired she appeared to be, it was true that he hadn’t spent a huge amount of time with Cordelia but whenever they had been in the same room she had always seemed to be so carefree and vibrant, a caustic tongue with an untouchable presence.
“Are you…Are you OK?”
“What?” Cordelia blinked at him, surprised by his voice even though he was next to her.
“Are you OK Cordelia?” Angel asked her again, his shoulders hunched, hands in his pockets. The words sounded foreign in his mouth and even more alien out in the open.
“Oh, after the whole hiding in a dumpster surrounded by Frankensteins off cuts drama? Well, yeah, I’m just peachy fine.” She rolled her eyes at the tall vampire, he watched as her demeanor shifted, back was the Sunnydale High head cheerleader in the blink of an eye. “I swear, those freaks are gonna be the death of me. You might want to tell your girlfriend that sucking people into the weirdness that is her life is not the way to make friends and influence people.” Cordelia fumbled around in her purse for her car keys, Angel noticed her hands were trembling ever so slightly, contradicting the carefree way she spoke.
“As much fun as this hasn’t been I’m going home to have a bath for about three days. Don’t worry about taking me home, I’ll be fine. I’m sure there’s some sort of vampire/slayer drama you’re late for anyway, wouldn’t want to upset the little woman now would you?” Cordelia flicked her fingers through her bangs distractedly. “Oh, and Angel? Cream? Not a good colour on you.” She waved her hand in disdain at his jacket.
“I…” Angel blinked dumbly at her, confused by her sudden changes of topic.
“Goodnight.” Cordelia ignored whatever he was about to say and turned around, striding confidently towards the door to the car park.
“But…” His words died on his tongue as the heavy doors closed shut behind her as she walked out into the night. Angel heard the hum of an engine starting then the rumble of tires over tarmac. He glanced back in the direction of the library, he should go back and talk to Buffy, resume the conversation they’d hadn’t been able to finish the night before when they’d found the open grave, find out why she’d lied to him this evening about where she was, help them search for the ghoul who was chopping up beautiful young girls.
Angel knew he should go back to the library.
His brain told him to but his feet weren’t listening as he followed the brunettes invisible footsteps out of the school.
Cordelia Chase stared unseeing into the murky mirror in front of her, her thoughts a million miles away from the grimy hotel room she sat in as she dragged a brush through her long wet hair. Long tired strokes that she had once labored over so very carefully, every strand in place, styled to perfection.
Queen C couldn’t be seen with anything less. A bitter humorless laugh slipped from her lips disturbing the unbearable silence, it echoed around the room, her own voice mocking her. She clasped a hand over her mouth, the other suspended in mid air, her knuckles white where she was holding her brush too tightly.
“Oh god, I’m losing my mind.” Cordelia shook her head in annoyance at herself. “Get a grip Chase.” She muttered and tossed the hairbrush on to the bed behind her. The sheets were unmade, the thought of spending yet another night beneath the scratchy over-starched off-white cotton made her skin itch with disgust. The flicker of a silent TV danced across her naked shoulders, the acrid smell of hopelessness and desperation borne of a thousand faceless nobodies that had once stood in the same spot as her hung heavily in the room.
She jumped when the unmistakable sound of a body hitting the wall in the room next to hers startled her. Holding her breath she waited for the shouting to begin, she didn’t have to wait very long. The anguished pleas and furious accusations of the lovers next door had bled into her own personal hell the same time every night for a week. It was seeping into her skin along with the dirt and lies that saturated every part of the motel.
“I’m fine.” Cordelia told her reflection with very little conviction, the same face she saw everyday stared back at her, nothing was different, eyes, nose, lips, chin, cheeks, eyebrows, all present and correct. The rasp of the worn towel wrapped around her told her in no uncertain terms that everything was different and would never be the same again.
“I’m Cordelia Chase and I’m fine.” The young woman took a deep breath and squared her shoulders, summing up the ice queen inside. It wasn’t working. She felt the burn of tears behind her eyes and in her throat. She’d promised herself she wouldn’t spend another night crying in this place. Not another night. But it was too much. It took too much to spend all day pretending then come home and keep up the charade for herself.
The tears fell as that word imbedded itself inside her heart. Her shoulders shook with the force of her sobs as she sat down heavily on the bed that had seen too much pain and too much faceless sex over the years.
Home, family, security. It was all gone before she had even had the chance to ask why.
Why Daddy? Why did you let this happen to us?
Cordelia buried her face in her hands trying to muffle the unbearable sound of her own despair.
From the shadows across the street a lone figure stood watching the beautiful young woman cry alone in the dank motel room. He could taste her pain, smell her fear, feel her desperation. It was as tangible as the earth under his boots, as though if he reached out he could run his fingers through it, as thick as molasses, staining his pale skin.
Cordelia Chase was crying and Angel had never witnessed anything so sad.