Title: Of Demony Things and Crappy Lifetimes
Posted: REWORK! 20 Feb 2006
Category: AU, Humor
Summary: Just a what if Angelus had been chipped instead of Spike and Cordy found him What can I say? Was bored.
Spoilers: Hmmm….can’t think of any…. (BtVS 3)
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: By all means just tell me where? Stranger Things/GT is a given.
Author’s Squawk: This was originally a stand alone I think a year or so ago. I don’t know what happened. It ran away with me. Now its like 112 pages and I’m posting it as a serial. I’ve been gone long. I know. Please don’t hate me. But at least I’m back with a bang….er… I hope. Heheh. Missed you guys. Fer real!
Feedback:Like breathing air.
“Oh this is just great. Perfect.” The brunette trudged through the wet puddles of the sidewalk; her black dress stained and drenched, her suede heels ruined as she stumbled into another rain-induced puddle.
In the wee hours of the morning, Cordelia Chase squinted up at the flickering sign of the Bronze. Two hours before dawn- before reality would take shape and she would have to admit that she was no longer a Chase; but a homeless, penniless, gutless piece of crap.
And still she hadn’t been able to look at the wretched Cordettes’ in the face and tell them that she had no home to go back to, no money to call the cab and no guts to tell them to their face that she didn’t want to leave the sanctity of the Bronze.
But she didn’t say that.
And so now here she was with her coat and purse clutched in one hand and the edge of her dress in another as she began her first almost morning of being worth shit. “Where’s a vampire when you need one?”
Walking to car, she threw her bag and coat into the backseat before dropping into the driver’s seat. And then she caught the dial of her fuel gauge. “ARGH!” Smacking sting of her palms on the steering wheel didn’t hurt as much as the realization that fifteen minutes later when the party inside would breakup, she’d still be sitting here. And her lovely spineless exit from her so-called friends would be worth very little.
“Okay Chase.” She took a deep breath, her hands gripping the wheel for strength. “Breathe, step out and let’s walk.” Picking up her coat she left her empty purse in the backseat and kicked the door of her car shut. It along with everything she owned was going to be repossessed anyway. Where could she have driven it?
Hating the way her heels were soaked and dreading the long walk to a house that wasn’t going to be there in the morning, she shrugged into her coat and proceeded to map the sidewalk for the first time in her life. “Could this suck any more?”
And that was when she heard the crash and a strangled cry of pain.
Freezing in her tracks, her arms wrapped tightly around her, she dug into her pocket for the water pistol that Willow had handed her as a joke. She hoped the fact that it was filled with holy water wasn’t a joke as she stared into the dark alley.
“Okay whatever you are, I’m armed and dangerous.” There was a guttural groan before she made out the silhouette of a man struggling against the trashcan almost as if his legs didn’t hold him up.
Maybe it was just another homeless person who’d lost their parents and fortune all in one night: another riches to rags story. Then she winced when the grip he had on the trashcan slipped and he landed in a very large puddle with a splash and a snarl of pain that sent shivers down her back.
Even as she was taking the first step towards the sprawled form she was wondering about the sanity of her decision. She blamed the Scoobies for this stupid need to suddenly help if she could and her bravado on the fact that she had very little left to lose.
“Hey are you okay?”
“Do I look okay?”
The rich timbre of his voice was laced with pain and as he shifted in the slight glow from the streetlamp across the road, she couldn’t see his face as she stood there a few feet away from him.
In the slash of light she could see black pants soaked with muddy rainwater and blood, and hands slashed and purple as they clutched a very nasty gash across a chest that barely held the old black shirt that might have, at one point, been very expensive silk.
“You look like shit.”
“Tactless candor suits you brighteyes.” The retort would have been effective had it not been punctuated with the hiss of pain.
Her grip tightened on her little water pistol when she noticed two things. His chest didn’t rise and fall with his moans of pain only when he shifted and the black pants she’d noticed were leather.
“What stroke of unbelievable luck. Of all the things to run into at this time of the night! A wounded vampire who’s probably also hungry. If it’s all the same to you, I’ll be going now. Hope you make it.” She turned to walk out of the alley.
“Chase, the least you can do is open the fucking manhole and give a vampire a fighting chance.” Her heels skidded to a stop when she finally realized why the husk of his voice was so familiar and why he knew her name.
Turning very slowly while she took a step back, she met amber eyes of one Angelus the Scourge of Europe; and Buffy’s latest dilemma. When she caught the distinct sparkle of fangs her jaw hardened.
“Awww, looks like the slayer got you good this time. What did you drag yourself here for? To let her lick your wounds?”
“Sure Chase. Kick a demon when he’s down.” She crossed her arms; slightly content in the sluggish movement of his muscles and the apparent beating he’d received.
“You don’t play the damsel in distress very well, Angelus. A little more on the pleading side might help.” The soft growl was tinged with a waver of a painful swallow.
“I have a reputation, little girl.” She shrugged.
“Fitting end I’d think. Scourge of Europe gets his tushi kicked by a girl slayer he happens to dote on and greets the sun.” She whirled around to leave.
“Cordelia.” The desperate edge to her name made her pause.
What the hell was she thinking? She couldn’t actually be considering helping him. He was a vampire. An eater of people. A soulless demon with sex and pain on the brain. So then why the hell was she still standing there with her back to the bruised and broken vampire and not just walking home like she should have?
With her foot tapping on the wet pavement she grit her teeth. Damn the Scooby idiots! She whirled around and glared at him.
“What? Do you really expect me to help you? YOU the pillager of innocents and mauler of women?”
“Jesus-fucking-Christ Chase, do I look like I can do either right now?!”
“No, you look like you should die. Between you killing me and you burning in hell; which ever shall I chose? Happy incineration, Angelus.”
“I’ll give you my word!” She snorted a dry laugh catching in her throat.
“Oh my god!” She feigned shock. “I so believe you now.” She glared at him. “The most I can do right now is to march to the nearest phone booth and call the slayer to finish the job and put you out of your misery.”
There was a defeated sigh and she frowned at him for a second. Then he spoke. “Are you going to open the manhole or not?”
“And that will save your pathetic life?”
“It will give me a chance to maybe try!”
“You’re evil. You should die.” The vampire let out an exasperated breath.
“Oh for…I AM dying! If I was able to pillage or maul anything right now you’d be calling me master!” He winced when he shifted again against the wall of the alley.
And again she thought. With a last cry of frustration, she pocketed her little water pistol and stalked towards the manhole some good ten feet away from the sprawled vampire and grabbed the latch with a grunt. “I cannot believe I am doing this!”
There was a chuckle from the other side as she grunted and groaned before pulling it aside. Huffing with effort she hitched her fists on her waist and watched him struggling to his knees. She bit her lip as she saw his legs waver with weakness, his arms shaking with the effort to push himself to his feet.
“Now give me a minute to use my tongue to crawl towards it, because my limbs are fucking rubber.”
Closing her eyes she let out a deep breath. “You are so pathetic.” Heels clicking purposefully she trudged up to the vampire with a death glare and grabbed his arm.
His head swiveled to the side and he stared up at her, the muscles in his neck taut with strain and twitching with pain. And she saw his face for the first time.
Cordelia’s mouth dropped open with a gasp as she saw the heavy trail of blood from his temple to his jaw, the flesh around his temples burnt and opened with what looked like a jagged razor. This did not look like the work of the slayer.
“Fuck.” She couldn’t hold the shocked profanity as Angelus struggled to keep his weight on his hands and knees, his head falling back to bow between his shoulders. “What the hell happened to you?”
A muscle in his jaw worked as he stretched on hand up and grabbed the edge of the garbage can and instinctively she caught his shoulder and helped him get to his feet.
Again his eyes snapped up to her with surprise and she looked at the bruises on his face and the blood drenching his shirt in wonder. This could so not be Buffy’s work. She saw his muddied forehead crease with a frown.
“What happened to letting me greet the sun?”
“You know I didn’t think anyone was worse off than me right now, but I concede to you. You look like shit.”
“Already said that.” He growled at the blinding pain in his broken leg and the stretch of tendons on ribs he knew were cracked. He watched the girl’s hazel eyes take inventory of his injuries and kept himself from leaning towards her lest he startle her and she leave him here in a heap.
“So you planning on helping me reach the manhole tonight because I forgot my sun block.” He could have sworn he saw the corner of her mouth lift slightly as she gingerly took firm hold of his upper arm.
Unwittingly, she ducked her shoulders and his arm fell around her as he finally managed to put his weight on his good leg and stand for the first time that evening.
“If I didn’t have a death wish not five minutes ago, I’d be scared witless, but nothing can faze me now. So tell me? This doesn’t look like Bluffy the vampire layer’s work.”
Instinctively Angelus’ nostrils flared with the smell of human blood, but after his night, he decided not to test the theory again. She looked about as human as they came.
“I got ensnared.” He growled as he hobbled with her weight fighting the urge to feed, knowing if he tried he’d die sooner. “A couple of commando wannabes got the jump on me. Two nights go.”
She looked up startled. “You got ensnared by an army? No wonder you look like death.”
He cried out softly nearly howling with the agonizing pain in his ribs when she shifted his weight and she stopped watching the flying colors of pain streak across his previously handsome face.
“Okay, let’s just get it out in the open already. I’ve had enough surprises this evening. Why aren’t you trying to eat me?”
He met her eyes, squinting his left eye to clear the vision with his right almost sealed shut with swelling. “Sounded too much like a request on your part, Chase.”
“Do you ever try straight answers Scourgey?”
He sighed wincing when he couldn’t prompt her to move further. The inquisitive glitter in her hazel eyes was insatiable and she was stubborn as hell; that much he knew from his run-ins with their little clan. “I can’t.”
“Because you love me?”
He couldn’t hold the scowl and the tightening of his muscles as he glared down at her. “I suck face with a slayer and now suddenly everything thinks I’m fucking love’s bitch.”
She didn’t muffle a sardonic snicker as her lips twisted up into a half smile, half smirk. “Duh.”
He glared down at her wishing he could rip out her tongue and made her eat it, but wishing did not make it so. So instead he shoved her away, causing her to stumble away and him to fall heavily against the alley wall, his leg trembling under the weight of his body as he gripped the brick behind him his game face slipping on in agonized frustration.
“I can’t bite you! I can’t fucking bite anyone! The reason I look like death is because I’ve been in the real life equivalent of hell on earth! The commando shits-for-brains put something in my head and now I can’t fucking kill or maim anything! Okay!”
Both her eyebrows shot up at the screamed admission and she took a minute to let the news settle. “Have you tried?”
“Oh for!” He let out an infuriated snarl as he stared up at the lightening sky and cursed profusely.
With a roll of her eyes, she sighed. “I’ll take that as a yes.” Then she grabbed his arm again. “Come on, you big baby. You’re not the only vampire that’s fangless. Remember Angel?”
He growled before leaning against her, unable to help himself from accepting this stupid little human’s help because staying alive was a higher priority than his life right now.
“Me. He was still fucking me! The damned sun seems appealing right now.” Cordelia marveled at her stupidity as she began the slow journey to the parking lot of the Bronze again, this time aiding one very deranged, hungry and wounded vampire sniffing her neck and she wondered what the hell she was thinking.
“Well I bet the Scooby gang would just love to hear about this and Buggy won’t be happy if she finds out I let her boyfriend turn to dust. You’re coming home with me until she comes to take you in the morning.”
“You mean stake me in the morning.”
“Whatever rocks your socks, now shut up before I drop you here, you’re not exactly light.”
Silence. Calculated steps. Then. “I’m not fat Chase.”