Title: A Sorta Fairytale
Author: Ficbitch82 (aka Christie)
Rating: PG-13 – for a couple of naughty words, I think. LOL
Category: Angst, Romance.
Summary: Cordelia and Angel weren’t interrupted during WITW. Sex ensued, Angel didn’t lose his soul and they *all* got squinky about it, in one way or another.
Spoilers: S3 – Night of the Ballet
Disclaimer: Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Just ask
Notes: This was a challenge for the CA_atlast community, given to me by the lovely Debs.
Notes 2: I really, really tried for that last prompt (being the song ‘For The First Time‘ by Kenny Loggins, but I just couldn’t do it. *sigh* Hopefully this is okay. Not beta-ed, so all mistakes are mine.
Notes 3: Title shamelessly stolen from a Tori Amos song.
Feedback: Yes please.
He’d thought of her, on and off, the way he’d kept telling himself he shouldn’t for three months now. She was there all the time, whether in the hotel or not, but it’d never been like this before.
Then again, Angel had never had sex with Cordelia before.
It was easier to think about it like that. Two days later and Angel couldn’t get the scent of her from his clothes, from his skin, even though he’d showered twice. He couldn’t get rid of her taste, the feel of her skin against his…
And it was driving him crazy.
She hadn’t been around much since it happened. That, in itself, was a bad thing. He knew Groo was at her apartment with her. The guy showed up on the same night Angel’s world had fallen apart and though Cordelia didn’t greet him like he’d expected – no kiss, at least – just the offer of her couch since he needed somewhere to stay, Angel couldn’t help but be pissed off about that.
She was showing him her world.
Jealousy clutched at his very being, leaving an acidic taste at the back of his throat. She was showing him the sights, the things she loved… Showing him things that Angel could never see because Cordelia belonged in sunlight and that’s why he couldn’t think about her like he did.
Couldn’t let himself remember how she trembled beneath him when he finally pressed himself inside her, how her fingernails scraped down his back and his cock leapt like it did… How right it all felt when he remembered her earlier words. I’m only alive when you’re inside me.
Angel closed his eyes and took a drink of his blood.
It’s not like we wanted it to be perfect happiness anyway, right?
Groo had been patient with her from the minute he got there. He didn’t push, didn’t expect anything of her, just accepted her couch and the blankets she handed him with a nod and a smile and a ‘thank you, Princess’ and Cordelia felt terrible about it.
He’d travelled through God knew what to see her. Risked dimensional portals and being thrown out the other end in some hellishly awful place like Pylea (pre-Princess days, of course) simply to come find his true love and Cordelia found she could give him nothing in return.
Things were different here and it wasn’t just because of Angel. Back in Groo’s world… It had been like a fairytale. Maybe not the torture parts and the poking of eyes with hot stick things– Duh.
But the rest of it… Being made Princess and meeting Groo. It had been completely made of awesome, until the real intentions of those robed monk guys had come to light.
They were going to take her visions.
Groo had put a more positive spin on it, sure. He’d come to ‘lessen the burden’ and Cordelia had thrown the biggest inner-tantrum at the unfairness of it all. A year and a half ago, had a hotty like Groo shown up and told her he was here to take her visions?
Cordelia would have jumped at the chance. They’d done nothing but bring her grief. In the space of a year she’d been impregnated with demon spawn, been launched into the ubersuck of all mystical comas and almost had her brain blown out the back of her head…
She hadn’t realized how important they actually were to her, until Groo had shown up to take them away and that was when Cordelia had known that she couldn’t give them up because, and she hated this as much as any completely sane person would, it was like giving up a part of herself.
It was like giving up Angel because without the visions, he wouldn’t need her any more.
Her fairytale had ended that day. She’d kissed Groo goodbye and got back in Angel’s car, ready to come home with her friends because that was where she belonged. With Angel. LA. Home.
Well, things were different, that was for sure. This time around there was no burden for Groo to take if they ever – and Cordelia truly didn’t think they would – got round to the comshukking. He was sweet, definitely… A total hotty and completely and utterly her type. Except there was one small problem.
He wasn’t Angel and he’d shown up at the worst possible time in the world.
“You don’t look pleased to see me, Princess,” he said later that night, after Cordelia had introduced him to pizza, diet Coke and Ben and Jerry’s. A banquet fit for a warrior, he’d called it, though he didn’t understand the tradition of putting food in boxes and not going out to kill it yourself.
“I am pleased to see you,” she tried to reassure him, “It’s just– Things are complicated around here lately.” Meaning tonight.
God, what the hell had happened? Before the ballet Angel had just been her friend. Her hotty friend, undoubtedly, but Cordelia didn’t look at him like that ’cause he was most definitely in the undatable pile… Wasn’t he?
“Yes,” Groo nodded, “Lorne told me about Angel’s plight.”
Cordelia’s heart almost stopped dead in her chest, “Angel’s what?”
“With his son,” he said, his voice soft, “The things you have faced these last few weeks, Princess…”
Again, Cordelia felt bad. He touched her cheek gently, moved a fallen piece of hair behind her ear and Cordelia shivered for all the wrong reasons.
You’re not Angel. Somewhere down the line, Cordelia had started believing in a different fairytale.
It was okay, apparently, to leave the guy with the killer muscles – her different kind of champion – back in Pylea because somehow… That world wasn’t altogether real, Cordelia had known it wasn’t.
She belonged back here, back home, and she’d started believing in something else, in Angel, and she’d been slapped down hard for it.
They’d had sex.
To normal people, this wasn’t exactly the world-ending thing Cordelia had thought it would be. To normal people–God, Cordelia didn’t even know what normal was these days, especially not where sex was concerned.
Normal was most definitely not being taken over by spirits and forced to do it in a theatre with your best friend. Normal was most definitely not feeling like the world was crashing round your ears when afterwards, in a stark contrast to post-coital bliss, your best friend didn’t suck your face off through your neck.
Cordelia’s fairytale – the one she didn’t even know she’d started believing in – had crashed down around her ears because the simple fact of the matter was this: Angel hadn’t gone evil when they’d boned.
Cordelia wasn’t perfect happiness.
Sighing, Cordelia took Groo’s hand in hers. “Groo, sweetie… We need to talk…”
It had been a week since the ballet, a week since Wesley had witnessed that kiss and though he felt as thought parts of him had been torn up inside, he wasn’t alone and wallowing enough in his own jealousy that he completely missed Angel’s.
To his credit, he tried to get his friend to talk. Angel did nothing but grunt out two syllable replies, however, and Wesley only ended up with a larger headache when he tried to get his friend to come clean over what was bothering him.
It took Cordelia and Groo being in the hotel together for Wesley to really put two and two together. Theirs was an odd relationship, he’d decided, when he’d watched them for a moment or two, surreptitiously ducking his glance when Cordelia had looked his way.
Angel was off upstairs, doing much the same as he’d done for the entire week when Fred and Gunn had been around, and as Groo headed off to play with more of the weapons Cordelia had been introducing him to, he raised an eyebrow.
“It’s nice to see you around here again,” he offered, the sentence coming off more abrasive then he’d meant it to because Cordelia’s eyebrow arched instantly.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Wesley was almost flustered, until he realized that he was still leader of this business and he’d rather prefer it if his staff were here from time to time,
“You haven’t been around for a week,” he half-accused, though his face softened somewhat, “Is everything alright?”
She shrugged and smiled, though it wasn’t half as light as she’d meant it to be. “Sure, Wes. I’m just, y’know, showing Groo some of the sights.”
“And completely avoiding being at the hotel in the process,” Wesley tried, knowing he had to proceed carefully if he wanted to get anywhere right now,
“It’s rather noticeable, Cordelia. You haven’t spent a moment away from Connor since… Well, since Angel brought him home and now…”
Cordelia’s temper flared, “And now what? Are you saying I’m being all neglecty?” Because it wasn’t her fault that Angel was the complete doting Daddy who had to be around his son at, like, every moment of the day.
God, she missed the kid herself – like maybe an arm or a leg – but it was too difficult to be around Angel and not blurt out things she shouldn’t.
“I’m not saying that at all,” he shook his head, “It just seems like… It seems like something happened between you two. You can barely stand to be in the same room together before one of you is making an excuse and getting up to leave again…”
Without warning, Cordelia’s cheeks flushed. A whole week and that one time – that only time if she had anything to do with it – was still etched into her brain. The way his lips had swept across hers, possessive and demanding and…
And God, so damn soft at the same time. The way she’d clutched his forearms when–God, it wasn’t REAL. What the hell did it take to get that through her head? They’d been possessed. She wasn’t perfect happiness. End of sad and rather depressing story, thank you very much.
“What do you want me to say, Wesley? That I’m upset because Angel and I got possessed by spirits because of some giant ballet-whacko who made a girl dance for him for a thousand-plus years? I am upset…”
Wesley peered at her a little closer, “But it’s not just that.”
Cordelia frowned, “Of course it’s not just that! While you were off getting all mysticky and hot-spotty and killing that guy? Angel and I were– We were–” she trailed off, her sigh heavy,
“Let’s just say we were getting a little hot and a LOT heavy. And now it’s made things all weird between us.”
“Are you sure that’s all it is?”
“What else could it be?” She asked, snapping though she didn’t mean to, “It’s not like I wanted to do that stuff with Angel. Hello, possessed!”
It wasn’t just that. Cordelia had gone over it again and again, over the bumbling mess that was Angel as he zipped himself up and apologised profusely. Or the embarassed mess that was her, trying to straighten out her hair and wondering what the hell had happened and why, exactly, Angel wasn’t trying to rip her face off…
“Oh God,” she whispered, her heart thudding against her ribcage, “We’ve– And you– Are you evil?”
He stuttered for a moment, caught severely between a rock and a hard place, and shook his head, “I don’t think– We were possessed, Cordy. It’s not– It wasn’t–“
Cordelia was an expert at reading between the lines, knew exactly what Angel was saying and she realized it’d been less painful falling on the rebar.
“I get it,” she said, purposely flippant as she’d stood and zipped up her dress and made with the shrugs and the whatevers – keeping herself busy so that mortification didn’t take over and make her do something really embarrassing like… Well, cry.
“It’s okay, Angel,” she told him, smiling like she didn’t have a care in the world when her heart was splintering from the inside out, “I know what you’re saying. Not perfect happiness. I mean… It’s not like we wanted it to be perfect happiness anyway, right?”
She slipped by him, patting him awkwardly on the arm as she went to join the others. Joined Wesley who’d figured out what was going on way before they had and stopped the director guy by smashing his freaky amulet.
“Are you alright?” He asked Cordelia, “You look rather flushed…”
“We, uh, we hit a hotspot of our own,” she told him with a more than awkward shrug. It was with sheer force of will at feeling Angel’s presence behind her that she said the next part, “Good thing you stopped it though, right?”
Wesley had merely nodded, looking mighty miserable all on his own.
She still hadn’t worked out what that meant when they were in the convertible on the way home, though she had noticed that Fred and Gunn had made an extra effort to not be beside each other for the whole five uncomfortable seconds they’d been in the lobby together.
Then Groo had shown up. Sweet, old, dependable Groo… And she’d took him home and she’d thought that maybe he could erase everything that’d happened with Angel. At least, he could have, if Cordelia wasn’t still so damn hung up on that.
So they’d had The Talk. The one where Cordelia told him she was sorry but she just didn’t feel that way about him, but they could still be friends… And that’s what they were now. Friends. And that was all.
Cordelia could barely look at Angel. Even now, the mortification was just too much. Sure, they talked a little. It was kind of imperative when you were his Seer and he was your Champion, but it was getting to her.
It was getting to her that their entire friendship, everything they’d been through together, had been erased by one teeny tiny possession.
“You’re going to tell me to go talk to him, aren’t you?” Cordelia asked with a kind of resigned sigh, looking at Wesley. She should have known better than to come into his office.
Interfering ass. “You’re gonna tell me that what happened that night shouldn’t affect our friendship and the sooner we get back to some kind of normal round here, the sooner you’ll stop looking all squinky like you are now.”
Wesley blinked, “Squinky?” He did not look bloody squinky.
Cordelia pressed on, regardless, “And you’re just gonna keep doing that Wesley-thing where you push until I finally snap and try to tear you a new one… Aren’t you?”
Wesley didn’t even have time to speak before Cordelia had placed both hands on her thighs, nodded, and stood up, “Well if you’re just gonna keep going on about it…”
For the first time in a week, Wesley’s lips quirked into a smile.
He watched the line of Cordelia’s back as she went up the stairs and wondered how it was, exactly, that she could come to a decision all on her own and make someone else feel like they’d done it for her.
When the door to the Hyperion opened and in walked Fred and Gunn, Wesley sighed and got up from his seat.
You’re gonna tell me that what happened that night shouldn’t affect our friendship…
Cordelia was right. Whether he liked it or not,
Fred had made her choice and now Wesley had to start living with it.