Title: To Say I Love You
Category: Just read it…
Summary: Angel and Cordelia are together, but some things can’t be said.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
The sounds of quiet movement penetrated Cordelia’s sleep. She knew what they meant and she groaned and rolled over, pressing her face a little deeper into the pillow, because she was so not in the mood to do this scene now, she’s tired damn it, but relentlessly her mind forced her awake and she prised a bleary eye open.
Her mouth went ever so slightly dry, as she saw Angel, naked, all silver and dark in the moonlight filtering in through the window, moving around in the dark bedroom, as he slid his trousers on, trying to locate the rest of his clothes. She felt a faint pang.
Angel dressing. It wasn’t a sight she liked much. He pulled on his shirt and she sat up in bed, pulling the sheet around her to cover her breasts.
Angel glanced over at her.
“Sorry, did I wake you up?”
She shrugged. “Doesn’t matter, though I’m warning you I’ll need a few hours off work in the morning to recover.”
“Recover?” His lips quirked, “Why Miss Chase, what do you need to recover from?”
Her heart twisted a little. She loved to see him like this, very nearly lighthearted. She’d done that, she’d made him feel happy. Almost happy, she amended.
“Oh my boss keeping me awake until 3am having the best sex ever.”
“Best sex ever hmm?” He sat next to her on the bed as he slipped his shoes on. “We’ll have to see about that.”
Wow surely it couldn’t get any better than it already was, but then that was Angel, always trying to achieve the impossible. There was one thing that could make it better, but she cut that thought off before it became fully formed. Cordelia Chase did not yearn for things the way she wanted them, she dealt with them the way they really were.
He leaned in and kissed her, a long after-sex kiss, sated and grateful. So different from the frantic kisses they’d exchanged only a few hours before. Those kisses had been full of aching, desperate passion. A thought occurred to Angel and he pulled away.
“Are you just saying that so I’ll give you the time off?”
She smiled and wrapped her arms around him. “Well then it’s up to you to make it true isn’t it?”
He kissed her again, and this kiss was a little more hungry, she moaned into his mouth, not able to hold it back, even though she aches all over, and could sleep for a year, and how does he *do* this to her? She can never, ever get enough of him.
Slowly he pulled away, sensing her exhaustion, mirrored in his own, and put a little distance between them before the heat overwhelmed them again. He gently distangled himself from her arms and stood up.
“Sleep. I’ve got to go.”
“You can stay.”
He shook his head. “Best not.”
And it hurts damnit. Even after all this time, even though this is their routine now, she offers, he refuses. It hurts. But she never asks why. She knows why. Though it’s beyond her how plunging inside her doesn’t give him true happiness, but sleeping beside her might. Still whatever his reasoning is it’s working, Angelus hasn’t put in an appearance, something she never fails to thank God for.
Though it’s still a little upsetting. Buffy gave him perfect happiness, hell a drug gave him perfect happiness, why can’t she?
The only thing she can think of is that he doesn’t love her, not enough and he doesn’t want to sleep beside her because he’s making the point this can never be more than what it is.
Aching, yearning sex in the dark.
Still she reminded herself it’s better than the alternatives, no lover, or Angelus.
Though sometimes she ached for him to stay, to hold her as they both drift into sleep, to wake with him next to her, to kiss him awake, for them to sleep together the way they work and talk and have sex together, but he never, ever does.
That’s why she usually prefers to be asleep when he leaves. It saves her from feeling like she’s been gutted from the inside out as she watches him dress and hears the click of the door as he leaves.
He shrugged into his coat, and gave her one last kiss, and she can feel his longing to crawl back in with her, and as he pulled away she bit her lip to keep the words in, the words that every day become a little harder to hold back.
“Take as much time as you need tomorrow I doubt I’ll be up anyway,” he said as he turned to leave and she had to smile. He was trying to be kind, but paint it any way you want, watching your lover walk out after being inside you is a recipe for heartache.
But she couldn’t stop this any more than she could say to the PTB, “actually I don’t feel like having a vision today, try again tomorrow.”
Come to think of it the two things were pretty similar. Unstoppable. Powerful. Gut wrenchingly painful.
“See you tomorrow.”
She lay back down, waiting for the click that meant he’d left, as she heard it she whispered quietly, so quietly even if he’d been in the room he couldn’t have heard.
“I love you Angel.”
Angel leant against the door to Cordy’s apartment. Every night it got worse. Harder to leave. The feeling that he had to physically wrench himself away from that apartment and the woman within it.
But if he stayed he’d never be able to hold back, he didn’t know how he held back as it was. The words, the emotion he longed to set free were just getting stronger with every passing day. And he couldn’t tell her, she still didn’t know.
And that was all it took to keep him from that moment of perfect happiness, even as he moved inside her. He should tell her, but then they’d have to stop, and they had so much here as it was, friends, lovers, was it worth spoiling all that just to say those three little words?
His mind flashed back to the resignation on her face as he declined her offer to stay. Again. He knew she loved him. Knew all it took to hear the words spilling from her wickedly beautiful mouth was for him to say them to her. And God it wasn’t like he didn’t want to!
He’d die to hear her say those words, to say them in return. But he was protecting her, that was what it was all about, even if it meant hurting her a little, and in an imperfect world, and an impossible situation, they’d somehow found a way to be together. And this was about as good as it was going to get.
He whispered at the door.
“I love you Cordelia.”