Title: Merry Christmas
Author: Christie aka angelicgal82/ficbitch8282
Summary: It’s Christmas in the hotel and Angel’s spending it exactly the way he wants to
Spoilers: Set just after the beginning of S2.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: Yes, the title is ultra lame. But it’s Christmas. You all forgive me.
Thanks/Dedication:For Cali. Who asked for Christmas fic.
It had been Angel’s idea to spend Christmas at the hotel. He’d surprised Cordelia with his insistence, actually.
She’d expected him to brood alone in his room for half the day, come out and ooh and aah appreciatively over the gifts she was sure he’d like and then head back to the Brooding Den for much pensiveness over the awful things he’d done back in the powdered wig days.
Angel had done none of that and Cordelia was starting to get a little suspicious.
The big-ass industrial kitchen that no-one ever used was rife with a host of smells to make the average vision girl’s mouth water.
Gunn was staying well out of way with the Game Boy game she’d picked up for him earlier that week and Wesley– Wesley was drooling over some translation or other while Cordelia hovered.
“You’re not supposed to be in here,” he observed, popping his head over the top of the refrigerator door.
Cordelia’s eyebrow arched. “I thought I’d see if you wanted some help,” she told him, biting her lip to keep from laughing as he stepped out from behind the door. She’d have been less surprised if he’d been naked. “What the hell are you wearing?”
“My Christmas present from Gunn.” He explained, lifting the 15 pound turkey as if it were the easiest thing in the world and trying to avoid any major spillage. They’d each been allowed to open one gift before dinner – Angel’s insistence again.
His gift from Gunn had been the gaudy kind of apron – the one with boobs and the maids outfit – the works. She honestly hadn’t expected him to wear it.
Cordelia had wanted to open them all – especially the big one gift-wrapped at the back of the tree, decorated with gold paper, a silver bow and a tag with Angel’s (slightly girly, if she was honest) writing.
“I don’t see why we can’t open the presents now,” she pouted, “Dinner won’t be ready for forever and it was always tradition that we opened the gifts first.”
Angel looked at her, amusement tugging at the corners of his mouth. “Cordelia–“
“I’m exercising serious restraint here, Angel. Do you know how hard it is seeing them lying there? It totally defeats the whole purpose of a gift! They’re made to be unwrapped a-and–“
Angel let her rant run its course until the air was practically blue and Cordelia’s pout had turned into more of a scowl and stepped forward, pressing a small, box-shaped gift into her hand.
“I was going to wait until later but…”
She was about to say that she was more concerned with the big-ass gift under the tree. She was about to say that they’d agreed – three gifts each (that was a totally fair number) – on account of the fact that visions had been lacking and clients had been even more sparse.
She’d been about to say that apart from the beautiful Pashmina shawl that she was sure Angel couldn’t afford, she’d spotted two other gifts under the tree and that the one in her hand equalled gift number four.
Angel smiled indulgently. “Are you waiting until after dinner to–“
He didn’t get the rest of the sentence out. Cordelia had torn off the paper already and was snapping open the little lock on the box. “That’s for me?”
It was a stupid question really, considering the fact that she was the only girl who worked at the hotel but– Still. “You bought me that?”
Angel nodded and for a moment, doubt crossed his face, “You like it?”
She smiled, but it was watery. She remembered seeing it months ago on the one shopping trip she’d actually gone on with Angel and looked at it in the window of some ass-old jewellers that specialised in antiques.
When she’d went in to try it on a week later (nothing wrong with window shopping) the necklace had gone.
“It’s the one–“
“Grace McCandless wore. I know.” He nodded, “I went in when you ordered me out of Socks.”
Cordelia grinned, “Saks?”
Angel just smiled again. She could forgive him that one, since he’d bought her the necklace she’d been eyeing for weeks, though it was way out of his price range. Her face threatened to fall then.
Could he actually afford this? The Pashmina shawl had probably cost him a few thousand bucks alone– Unless he’d gone all five fingered discount Angel but that wasn’t really his style.
Sensing that something was off, Angel caught her gaze, “Cordelia?”
“Not that I don’t love the gifts or anything,” she cautioned, lest he take them away and send them back to the stores he’d got them from or whatever, “Because really, they’re beautiful, it’s just… Not only can we really not afford this? But Christmas… It’s not really your thing is it? I mean, I wasn’t even around last Christmas but the amount of brooding must’ve been immense.”
She seemed to realise what she’d said because she opened her mouth again, her words coming out in a rush, “And who could blame you? It’s not a regular occurrence being visited by the ghosts of years gone by… Unless you happen to be Scrooge and– Hey,” she laughed, nervously, “Vampineezer Scrooge.”
His face really fell then and Cordelia realised that she hadn’t just put her foot in it, she’d thrown her entire leg in. “I didn’t mean that! I mean… Look at the gifts! And all the food! And–“
“Are you trying to say thank you, Cordelia?” Asked Angel, hopefully.
Cordelia’s mouth closed abruptly. She was getting used to reading Angel, recognising patterns and signs that he was in for Brow City and a broodathon a-and this new Angel who knew how to read her was disconcerting, and frankly? A little weird.
“I– Yes, but that’s not the point, Angel… What gives? There’s no snow, I don’t have a Christmas miracle to offer you unless you happen to like me mixing up the black on black look for your incredibly pale ass and there you are getting all with the joys of Christmas. Did I miss a memo?”
She didn’t mean to be suspicious, really she didn’t. But it really was a little strange, wasn’t it? Especially considering his last Christmas which was spent in the clutches of The First.
“Okay,” Angel sighed, putting the towel down on the counter, “You wanna know what’s going on?”
Cordelia nodded. It’d make all this easier. And if Angel was seriously forcing the festive she’d find a way to unforce it and they’d get with the eating and the opening of gifts. Simple!
“It was the Shanshu prophecy,” he started, “It… It got me thinking, was all.”
He paused and Cordelia took that as her cue to jump in. “Angel– I thought you were okay with that…” Not that she would blame him if she wasn’t or anything but…
They’d had that talk. He’d gone, spanked his inner moppet and she thought they’d been okay.
“I am okay with that,” he nodded, “That’s my point. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but… I’m a little slow to catch on,” he smiled, “I realised that I have something that I’ve never– I have family, Cordelia. I have something I didn’t last year – something I haven’t in… Well, never, and that’s new to me. I’m just trying to celebrate it the best way I know how.”
“Through lots of gift giving?” She asked, hopefully, her face relaxing into a smile. Okay, now she felt better.
It was weird – all year they’d been about tiny little epiphanies, about finding people and losing people and learning what was important and the one day Angel had the biggest epiphany of all?
He managed to totally freak her out in the process.
“Through lots of gift giving,” he grinned, “So… You gonna get out of my kitchen?”
Cordelia started to laugh and reached up, kissing Angel’s cheek, “Okay. Merry Christmas, Broody. And don’t take too long with the cooking, okay? Some of us are dying to open our other presents.”
Angel chuckled and hugged her briefly, watching as she headed out of the kitchen. He turned back to his turkey only to find her at the door again. “Cordy?”
“Thanks, Angel,” she said softly, “For the necklace and… Well, y’know, family. Christmas at home was– Well it was never like this, that’s for sure.” She smiled.
Angel nodded. “You’re welcome.”