Part 13: Shakespearean Kareoke
Angel’s hand dropped away from her waist and immediately she missed his touch. The two of them stood their staring at each other, neither talking for God knows how long, before Buffy walked up.
“Hi Cordy,” she stated. Cordelia jumped backwards, as if she had been caught doing something wrong.
“Hey Buffy. I, uh, I like your skirt.”
Buffy casually fingered the material as she moved to stand next to Angel, so that their arms were brushing against each other. “Thanks Cordelia. Your dress is nice too. I’m surprised though, you’re usually a lot more…obvious.”
It honestly took a minute for Cordy to realize what had just been said. Whoa, wait a second, did she just say that I usually dress like a slut? Does she not remember her wardrobe decisions her first year in Sunnydale? This is so pot calling kettle black.
Cordelia didn’t know exactly how to respond. She was used to initiating the cattiness with Buffy; she had been caught off guard. She looked at Angel, who just looked confused.
“Coming through, coming through,” Spike said as he walked over to where the three of them stood. He set the two drinks down on the table. “So what did I miss?”
Buffy hand started to move for the pink drink he had placed next to his beer. She didn’t like the fact that Spike hadn’t asked her if she wanted a drink, but it was nice of him to think of her.
Spike’s hand swooped down, picking up the glass before she actually reached for it. “One Cosmo for the lovely Miss Chase,” he said, handing Cordelia her drink. Cordy took it, biting her lip to keep from laughing. Every once in a while even Slayers got put in their place.
It’s just nice to know there is still justice in the world. “So, whose up for karaoke,” Spike asked.
Angel couldn’t really decide if he was having fun or not. It was definitely better than that time he had gotten impaled by that demon in North Hollywood, and yet nowhere close to as good a time as when he killed those five vampires with only a broken broom handle in the alley behind Mann’s Chinese Theatre.
The fact that he hadn’t had a single moment alone with Cordy since she walked in had a little something to do with his lackluster opinion of the night so far. Spike’s presence, and the fact that at some point his presence had started to not bother him as much also had something to do with Angel’s ambivalence.
But what was really confusing him was Buffy’s behavior. He hadn’t seen her acting this way since the time she came back from spending the summer in LA with her father. Except then she had been all over Xander. This time, he was the object of her weird conduct.
This is not just my imagination. It’s not like I mind her standing next to me, but she gets any closer and I’m going to start yelling “PERSONAL BUBBLE.”
She kept touching his hair or sitting on the arm of his chair or rubbing her chin on his shoulder. What’s her problem?
Cordelia had just about had it up to there. What is Buffy’s problem? The Slayer seemed to have developed an addiction to rubbing herself on Angel. It was such a transparent lesson, one obviously intended for Spike and herself, to show them that Buffy was going to be with Angel and there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it.
Fine. Go be together forever. But if she doesn’t quit shoving her eternal love in my face I’m going to use some sort of super secret demony deal to beam her ass back to the Hellmouth.
She saw Buffy put her hand on Angel’s thigh and couldn’t take it anymore.
Cordelia stood up without saying anything and walked over to the bar behind her. Why am I pretending that I am such a hard-ass? Why do I keep telling myself to be noble and that this is the way it is meant to be? Fuck that. I don’t want to be noble. I get that I can’t have him but that doesn’t mean I have to help HER have him. And even if Angel and Buffy do end up together, there is no reason on earth for me to sit there passively, like it doesn’t bother me. For I am very bothered. I haven’t been this bothered since the great flannel fad of 1993.
“There, there love. Buck up.” Cordelia turned around to find Spike. “Sure it smarts,” he continued, blowing smoke up in the air, “but that’s because we’re letting it get to us.”
He had a point. “Well, what do you suggest?”
“I suggest we get off our asses and quit telling ourselves we lost. You and I, we haven’t even started to fight but we’re getting all mopey, like the battle’s already over.”
“It is over Spike. Let’s say, for arguments sake—since both of us still haven’t actually admitted anything yet, that I don’t want those two together, that I want Angel, that I want Angel to want me. And let’s say you feel the same way about Buffy. How do we fight?”
Spike walked over to lean against the bar and Cordelia moved to mimic his position. “In love and war it’s best to keep things simple,” he said after a moment. “We need to have some sort of plan. I vote we go the classic route.”
“Which is?” What is it with these guys from other centuries? Why did they always have to be so damn cryptic?
“We make them realize what they are missing,” Spike said slowly, as if he was speaking to a child. Cordelia was too intrigued to be offended.
“Like make them jealous? How are we supposed to do that? Do I go flirt with that blue scaled guy over there in the corner? Oh, and you could hit on that girl with the pointy ears. That is a girl, right?”
Spike ignored the question and turned to the bartender, requesting two shots.
“Alabama Slammers,” Cordelia put out, not wanting any more tequila.
“That’s a girl shot,” Spike whined. Cordelia gave him a look. “Fine. Anyway. What we need to do is pool our resources. Kill two birds with one stone.” He sighed upon seeing Cordelia’s blank look.
“WE FLIRT WITH EACH OTHER.” Before Cordy could react to that suggestion, someone else gave their opinion.
“I vote for that plan,” Dawn said. Spike and Cordelia whipped around, surprised and worried about how much she had overheard.
“Oh please, it’s all so obvious. I don’t care what the two of you need to do, just straighten this mess out. I swear I’ve never seen four people act more adolescent, and I’m in HIGH SCHOOL.”
“Dawn, you don’t—” Spike bit out.
“It’s really not like that,” Cordy said shaking her head.
“It’s exactly like that. That’s why I think you should go for this plan. Just don’t let it turn into some creepy Shakespearean comedy. I can see this going very ‘A Mid Summer Night’s Dream’ on all of us, and I don’t want that to happen.” With a snort of disgust, Dawn walked away.
Reaching for her shot, Cordy smiled. “I like her so much,” she confided to Spike.
“Me too,” Spike said, taking the shot and offering a grim smile.
Angel was trying to tell himself not to turn around to see what Cordy and Spike were doing at the bar. He had enough problems for the moment. Wesley was pissed because Angel kept calling to check on the baby and the last time had woken up Connor.
Lorne had just kindly informed him that the entire group had been ordering drinks and telling people to put them on Angel’s tab. Add to that the confounding issue of Buffy “Grabby-Hands” Summers and his plate was full. Maybe another beer was in order. Where did Lorne run off to? Angel looked around until the sound of the demon’s voice directed him to the stage.
Lorne was at the microphone.
“Well, is everyone having a good time?” he cooed. The crowed roared yes. “It’s about to get even better. Folks, I have what could be a real treat for you. May I proudly present, William the Bloody and Cordelia the Hottie, with their interpretation of the Paula Abdul classic, Opposites Attract.”
Angel and Buffy’s mouths dropped open. They traded horrified glances with each other, realized the irony in that, then quickly turned back to the stage.
Cordelia couldn’t sing all that well. Spike wasn’t singing at all, he had settled for basically speaking his lines. They were mostly off-key. They didn’t seem to know all the words. The crowd loved them.
“I don’t like cigarettes” Cordelia sang.
“And I like to smoke,” Spike countered, lighting up on stage.
Buffy wasn’t sure this was really happening. The stage in front of her was like something out of a creepy Twin Peaks dream. Spike and Cordy really were awful, but they didn’t seem to realize it, or maybe they just didn’t care.
And why do they look like they are having so much fun up there? Karaoke is NOT that much fun. Did she just whisper in his ear? You’re supposed to be up there singing Cordelia, not sharing secrets with my…my…with Spike.
“It ain’t fiction,
just a natural fact,
we come together cause opposites attract.”
Angel didn’t know about that. He didn’t want Cordy and Spike coming together in any way, shape, or form. Plus, they weren’t really opposites. They both had a lot in common, with their tendencies to be loud and nosy and tactless. If Cordy was looking for her opposite, well, Angel was a much better candidate. She liked to watch TV while he liked to read. She drank Diet Coke while he drank blood. See, opposites.
The song ended and the audience literally stood up and cheered. It was amazing. Some Rubsa demons in the corner started chanting “encore” and the rest of the crowd joined them. Spike dragged Cordelia in for a bear hug, stuck his tongue out in the direction of Buffy and Angel, then shouted something to Lorne.
Buffy mumbled something about going to the bathroom and Angel felt like if he didn’t get some air he would pass out (which was odd, since he didn’t actually need air). As he walked out of the club, he heard a familiar tune and then came Spike,
“Well, they say we’re young and we don’t know, we won’t find out until-l-l we grow…”