The Next Best Thing. 10

Part 10

“I’m tromping through sewers. I could be out there on the nice clean sidewalk, but damn love and this need to be near my schizo vamp.” Cordelia maneuvered her sneaker-clad feet around the sewer floor.

Angel grinned at the grumbling brunette and grasped her elbow to steady her. “I went scouring across half of LA looking for you Cordy. You can put up with a little bit of sewer walk.”

The young woman grunted as she skipped and hopped about looking for clean spots.

~I can’t believe I’m stuck with you again Sully.~

~What did you expect Angelus? Sit back and relax; you’ll be here a while. Like forever.~

~Don’t get cocky soulprick. Your Seer’s in like with your demon.~

Angel looked sideways at the woman muttering under her breath as they headed towards the Hyperion. Even in the dark sewer and the light of her torch she was carrying, Angel could make out her nose wrinkled prettily.

His demon had a point. Cordelia Chase had some sort of bond with Angelus; all because she’d spent two days with the bastard.

~Now is not the time to call me names Sully.~

~Shut the fuck up.~

~Oooh, touchy. Okay. I’ll shut up. Don’t tell me you didn’t miss me at all though. I know I missed you. Wanna know where your better half’s been these two days? In Technicolor detail?~

Suddenly Angel was faced with the prospect of knowing exactly how far his Cordy had a bond with the Scourge of Europe. Between his morality and his jealous curiosity, Angel finally relented and let Angelus spin his little tale of two days in the life of Cordelia Chase.

And Angel lost his grip as the colors splashed before his eyes.

Cordelia blinked startled when the vampire beside her stumbled. “Who’s catching who here Broody?” She smirked up into his face; then frowned. “Angel?”

Brown eyes were cloudy, the fingers on her arms tighter that usual and for an instant she thought she saw fangs. But his feet hadn’t stopped and she noticed the funny twitch in his jaw before he spoke.


An eyebrow shot up. “Funny, you don’t sound it. What gives? Now you’re brooding standing up as well?”

Ochre eyes snapped to hers and she froze.

“Okay. Now you’re scaring me. What the hell is your damage?”

In the dim florescent light of the torch, his fangs flashed an eerie green. “Damage Cordy? Funny you should mention damage, because until 2 seconds ago, my entire damage was getting you to my bed and keeping you there; forever!”

Struck by the bitter anger in his tone, she stepped back slightly. “And there’s a change in plan now?”

“YOU tell me!” He snapped, his game face receding to replace the furious human mask, but the gold in his eyes didn’t dim.

Raising a finger, Cordelia glared back at him. “Okay. First of all; stop growling at me; it’s annoying. And secondly there is no change in plan from my end; I’m thoroughly with the idea of the bedroom bonanza.”

“For how long?”

What the hell kind of question was that? She blinked at the crisp question, the shadows in his face darkening. “All day, all night; what, do you want it in writing?”

“And after that?”

The uncomfortable knot wrung tighter in Cordelia gut and she forced a smile trying to make it go away.

This was Angel after all. “Just my luck. Out of the whole lot I had to pick the one with the neurotic appetite. Yes after that too doofy.”

“And the day after?”

She frowned. Okay now it was starting to border on creepy. “Of course, Angel. Where’s this going?”

“And next week?”

He took a step towards her and the growl that had been such a turn on in her bed suddenly made her marrow curdle with fear. She didn’t realize she’d taken a step back until he followed and the torch fell from her fingers with a startled gasp, the light rolling like a foreboding beacon to settle on her face and blinding her to the dark vampire towering over her.


“What about next month Cordy, or the year after that? Ten years from now?” Her eyes widened when the vampire snarled into her face, her back hitting the sewer wall. “What about then?” He barked.

She stared up into those scalding copper eyes and a chill skated down her spine when she read the emotion there. “Angelus.” It was not a question.

“You could tell him. You could beg him. Let him manipulate, blackmail you, but you couldn’t tell me?!”

She jumped when his palms slapped against the stone wall behind her, his hands bracing above her shoulders, his own body shuddering with restraint, the twisted snarl as potent as the betrayed fear in his golden eyes.

“You don’t love me, Cordelia.”

“Do too!”

“Then you don’t know that I love you!” He glared down at her, the tidal wave of helpless emotion crashing through him, twisting and bending his soul in a way nothing else ever had.

“When were you going to tell me?”

She looked away, the guilty tears gathering behind closed lids.

“Dammit Cordelia! Look at me!”

Squaring her jaw she looked up with liquid hazel eyes and met the flickering pools of dark chocolate.

“Because I was afraid.” She took a deep breath; the irrational fear hitched in her throat. “I was afraid you’d take them away.”

“Good guess, sweetheart.”

Her eyes widened as he grabbed her wrist and yanked her towards the sewer tunnel leading to the hotel.

“Angel!” When the vampire didn’t loosen the stone like grip or cease the determined pulling, she tried to resist. “Awoie! Let go you big bully!”

He dragged her up into the basement before she grabbed his arm with her free hand and dug her heels into the floor. “STOP!”

Yanking her wrist out of his grasp, she glared. “Stop now or I swear I will so kick your ass! With or without Angelus, and while we’re on the subject of your demon; can I just say, he’s a spineless, gutless, conniving piece of shit! He promised me!”

“Did you really think he wouldn’t tell me?”

“Not exactly a great fan of yours is he!”

“HE is about as concerned about this as I am! Only he has the emotional control I left in your bed!”

The young woman huffed and rolled her eyes. “Men! I swear their thought process is confined between their stomach and their goddamn knees!”

“Why didn’t you tell me the visions were killing you! Why didn’t you tell me Doyle cursed you like those fucking gypsies cursed me!”

She stilled. “This is not Doyle’s fault Angel. Take that back.” When he glared silently, she stepped closer and poked him in his chest.

“Take. It. Back.”

The vampire swallowed the crazy fear and helplessness but he couldn’t quell the fitful growling of his demon in his chest. Two days later his demon had finally been able to release the regretful ball of tension he’d been holding inside Cordelia’s mind and now that he was back, the yarn of his need to protect, claim and save Cordelia rivaled the soul’s.

For the first time, they agreed – on her.

“I’m sorry,” he ground out, “but the fact remains. The visions are going even if you have to kiss every man, woman, demon in this godforsaken city. You’re not keeping them.”

The girl rolled her eyes. “Hello!” She waved a hand in front of his face and he caught it with an annoyed frown. “Been there; done that. You were there remember; oh wait – no back then your head was still up Buffy’s…”

Angel stepped forward, a finger nearly touching her nose. “Don’t. Not a good time Hazel.” She raised an eyebrow, a soft smile tugging at her mouth. It was still a little unnerving to hear that endearment from her boss.

“Sorry.” To bad she didn’t look it as she took a deep breath. “But I’m keeping the visions. I’m vision girl Angel.” She shrugged.

“Dammit Cordelia! Why! Why do you want to die!”

“I don’t!” She snapped back, finally at the edge of her patience with her pushy vampire boss. “I don’t want to die. I don’t want to give up the visions and I don’t want to let go of the one good, decent thing in my life, Angel, which amounts to something and gives me purpose.”

He watched her hazel eyes flash with fire and resisted the urge to kiss her. Probably not the reaction she wanted; so he waited for her continue instead.

“The visions are a part of me like the tattletale demon is a part of you Angel. You aren’t complete without him and he’s not complete without you – no matter how much he’s the denial queen or just too damned afraid to admit it. Without it, you’d just be a freak with a leather fetish; just like I’d be plain, old, penniless Cordelia.” She glared hard at him.

“I’m doing this for me, not you, so stop looking at me with that self-martyred puppy eyes. I’m doing this so I can be with you, for as long as I’m here as I’m supposed to be – your Seer. Because there is nothing else in this world I want to be. Do you get that thick-head? You’re the champion and I’m the Seer! That’s how it works!”

“So there.”

For a crazy instant she thought she’d imagined it. She stared up at him while he stood here arms folded and sulking. “WHAT!”

“Just completing your tirade.”

The young woman growled and Angel suppressed a smile, his head a mixture of saddened love and helpless admiration and hope. Unable to silence his fears and the consequences ringing in his ears, he wrapped his arms around her.

“Fine. You have your way. You can keep the visions.” She looked up with a triumphant smile and he smothered it with a gentle finger over her stretched lips.

“You’re right: I’m the champion and you’re my Seer. If you go, then the PTB will have to find a new mascot as well. We do this together like always Cordy. This time’s no different.”

Cordelia frowned as she saw a shadow fall across his features. “That speech does not accompany that oh-we’re-doomed shadow on your face Broody, it’s less effective that way.”

Angel held her face between his fingers, mentally preparing himself to utter the words the demon was screaming in his head. The words he dared not speak to any human. Not with his soul in tact, because he had no right to ask. Only if it meant saving Cordelia, Angel would take another hundred years in hell.

“There’s a spell.”

Cordelia frowned. “Oh oh?”

Angel had to smile at the brave tint to her liquid toffee eyes. “Sweetheart, if I’d known about the visions, I never would have taken Angelus.”

Her blinked. “What?”

He winced. “There’s a way Cordy, besides turning you, there’s another way to give you immortality.”

She watched his face with confusion then her brow drew together as she stepped out of his arms and apprehension dawned in those hazel eyes.

“Not so good with the pressure. Immortality is like forever Angel.”

The vampire let out a dry laugh. “What did you think this was going to be Cordelia?”

She stared at him with wide eyes. “That was a line! The one you told me on the couch! With the forever and the wedding dress right?”

An eyebrow shot up.

Her mouth formed a perfect ‘O’ then she glared. “HE knew. Didn’t he!?” When he didn’t speak she took a step away from him. “Oh hello,” she breathed out, as the weight of her predicament finally hit her between her eyes.

Forever. Live forever. Never die. Immortal. Immortality with Angel. Forever with Angel.

And she didn’t know it then, but the softening in her eyes gave her away as she contemplated the possibilities; the mantra like thoughts spiraling through her head over and over. “Will I be human?”

He nodded. “Yeah.”

“But I won’t die?”

“Not naturally no.”

“Stake through the heart is a popular theme, isn’t it?”

The vampire let out an unneeded breath. “You could still get hit by a truck, but the possibilities go down yes. You will heal faster.” His eyes darkened and she realized the real reason why he’d never brought it up was what he said next. “You will share my demon. It’s a blood bond. You’ll belong to me.”

“Excuse you Mr. Caveman!” She glared at him her finger poking into his chest. “Cordelia *poke* Chase * poke * belongs * poke * to * poke * no * poke * one * poke poke *!”

Angel let out a soft frustrated growl. “And this is why we never take human lovers. They don’t get the deal, no matter how much they pretend to understand.”

The woman let out a yelp as the vampire suddenly pinned her against the crate, his body pressing into her intimately, stealing her breath.

“You do belong to me Cordelia Chase,” his voice was a silky whisper across her mouth and the brunette whimpered softly. “You were mine the moment you said yes. The moment my fingers touched your skin, the moment my mouth kissed yours, the second your body welcomed mine and when you came screaming my name and the soul’s? You sealed the deal.”

Cordelia’s eyes widened as the familiar tint in his eyes spoke enough for his demon. And the effect on her senses and Angelus’ honeyed avowal was almost electric.

“Your blood is flowing through my veins as we speak Hazel. And I’m not going to lie to you and feed your ego. You’re mine. But I shared myself too Cordy.” The brown was back and her knees shook as she held her breath, his eyes flickered with the erratic beat of her heart.

“And I’m all yours baby.”

The emotion lodged in her throat as she swallowed visibly before lifting her eyes from his mouth.

“Do I have to wear a dog tag?”

Angel’s lips curled into a wicked leer.


“Is this really necessary Willow?” Wesley watched the irate blue fire in the vampire’s eyes as he hovered a few feet away, his arms crossed and the proverbial steam rising from his blonde head.

The little witch sat on the floor, her shoulders shaking softly as she muffled her giggles and looked up at the vampire suspended in mid air.

She hadn’t stopped since Spike had tried to get down and after many tries to dance, swim, run and shimmy; Spike was still hanging in midair over their heads, albeit furious, but helpless.

Angel was the first one to blink and pause at the sight and Cordelia ran into his back. “Put a stop sign, will you?” Peeking over his shoulder she frowned.

“We’re playing float the vampire and no one called me?”

Willow grinned up at the new comers. “He was attempting to step out without his sun block.”

Spike pointed threatening finger at his sire. “You are so bloody dead when I get my hands on you poofy.”

Angel raised an eyebrow. “Already dead little boy, and that is IF you get down.”

Wesley let out a visible sigh on relief at Cordelia’s presence and smiled. “I’m glad you finally decided to grace us with your presence. We have the spell ready by the way. Willow has been a great help. We discovered there were two ways really. One slightly easier, notwithstanding the intimate discomfort on both your parts. And the second was a spell. A tad hard to work out, but we did splendidly. ”

“Oh yeah!” The red haired witch giggled. “I was such a good witch! I didn’t even finish the spell until I double checked. Proud of me?”

“Shocked none of us are yipping puppies Luv.”

Looking up she glared at the vampire. “Hey! I knew ‘lishkant’ did not mean dog!”

“Right after spectacles there corrected you. Your foreign demon languages are horrid pet.”

Wesley rolled his eyes. “They go on forever. Cordelia are you ready?”

The cheerleader bit her lip. “Yeah Wes, about that.”

Angel rubbed the back of his head and suddenly the entire room went silent.

Spike hovered there above them and his blue eyes narrowed, then widen. “You didn’t!” When neither the vampire nor the cheerleader spoke, his mouth dropped open.

“You DID!”

“Oh dear lord,” Wesley rubbed his temples trying to get around the idea, and then he decided he’d rather not think about it at all.

Spike stared at the older vampire. “Bloody hell peaches I didn’t think you had the balls.”

“Thank you for the crude testimonial Spike.” Angel glared at his child.

Willow blinked as she looked between them. “What?”

Wesley cleared his throat.

Cordelia blushed with a soft winsome smile and shrugged. “What can I say? I’m irresistible.”

Willow gasped, her cheeks flushing as red as her hair. “Oh goddess. Too much information. Too much!”

“Catch on fast, don’t you luAHHHHHH! WILLOW!!!” He hung there upside down, as the Witch merely stared at Cordelia and Angel. “PUT ME DOWN YOU BLOODY WITCH!”

Willow frowned. “And I put up with him all this time for nothing?”

Angel sighed and met Willow’s eyes. “Not quite Willow.” His voice was tinged with enough gravity that Willow spun Spike upright.

“What do you know about a blood bond?”

Spike hit the ground –hard.


Cordelia turned and hit something hard and cold. Dragging her heavy eyes open she blinked up at the smirking visage of her demon lover. “Angel?”

“In the flesh, baby.”

The brunette groaned as she tried to roll back into sleep, but one large hand curled around her waist and drew her against his chest, his nose nuzzling into her neck, his fingers slipping across her belly button.

“How many did we get up to?”

Cordelia sighed as she felt the insistent press of his hips behind her. A smile curled her mouth as she flushed.

“Apparently I can’t count past fifteen.”

“You can still speak?” His tongue slid into her ear and Cordelia sucked in a shuddering breath, the electric shiver shooting down her spine.

Oh why had I confessed it made me weak…oh…that’s why.

She purred softly as he repeated the caress, her body instinctively sliding into the contours of his body. “Ooops?”

His hand ran across her stomach in a tangent before curling around one breast possessively. “Now I can’t have that can I?”

Hazel eyes misted over before falling shut with a shuttered sigh as he slid into the tight heat of her body with a deft shift of his hips.

“I wished you’d given me your stamina along with your super vampy healing.”

“Wait for it.”

Her eyes snapped open.


The End


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