Title: Phantom Hand of Fate
Category: Smut, Humor…mostly, AU
Summary: Dennis creates some hijinks as Cordelia and Angel conspire to make a match for Wesley.
Spoilers: AtS Season 1-2 sometime between War Zone and Dear Boy
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Anywhere…please let me know.
Notes: Challenge by Becjane: C/A & W/?, Humor/Smut, NC17, C/A fix Wes up on a double date.
I’ve taken a few liberties with canon, so this fic is basically AU. Cordy and Angel are a couple, but the curse remains intact.
Thanks/Dedication: To Becky who’s recently given me a new outlook on ‘art’ appreciation.
Feedback: Always welcome and very much appreciated.
Ghostly footsteps creaked on the stairs at the Hyperion Hotel signaling the arrival of Phantom Dennis in the main lobby. After fifty plus years of haunting his mother’s apartment at the old Pearson Arms, he was now a resident still eagerly exploring every nook and cranny of his new environment.
When Cordelia moved from the apartment to the Hyperion in order to be closer to Angel, she insisted that something be done to transfer Dennis at the same time. He had never known what belonging meant until Cordelia came along. She was a warm, friendly soul whose energy drew him like a moth to a flame. Those she cared for were now his people, too. There was Angel, the souled vampire she loved, Wesley the Englishman and now the street-wise newcomer Gunn.
Shy of strangers, Phantom Dennis tended to gravitate toward Cordelia’s energies, but after the first few weeks of observing the others and her interactions with them, it became easier to focus on the hotel as a whole. He had his run of the place and spent countless hours rearranging furniture in one of the building’s 68 rooms. Though that provided diversion, there was nothing he found more fascinating than hovering close as his people interacted.
Goings-on at Angel Investigations kept Phantom Dennis occupied around the clock. Just today, for instance, he caught Cordelia trying to convince Wesley that she had found the perfect match for him. Dennis once had a girl and only tragedy kept them apart. Surely Wesley would not turn down such an offer even if this wasn’t the first time she’d made such a claim.
“Absolutely not, Cordelia,” refused Wesley determinedly keeping his head bent over his stack of research material rather than look up at her leaning over the front desk.
Stomping her foot and letting out a loud grmph Cordelia felt like pulling her hair out. “C’mon, Wes, I promise she’s nothing like the last one.”
Finally, Wesley peered at her behind the rim of his glasses without so much as moving his head. Calmly stating, “We’d have nothing in common.”
“I haven’t said what she’s like,” she pointed out. “Besides, if you’re looking for a girl who’s got something in common with you, I’ll have to call the Watcher’s Council to get you a date. Wanted: One mule-headed fuddy-duddy.”
“I’m not looking for a girl,” the Englishman stated bluntly.
“Oh, rrrreally?” Cordelia arched her eyebrows as she let the question roll, unable to let that one go without saying something. It was too much fun to prod him a little, “Should I be looking for another type of date for you?”
“No,” Wes answered curtly trying not to be drawn in by Cordelia’s verbal bait. “I’m not looking for a date at all.”
Cordelia tapped her fingers against the edge of the book he was studying with such rapt attention. “Why not?”
“Because I’m busy.”
“We don’t have any active cases,” Cordelia considered as she tried to make out the text of the dusty tome, some ancient language she didn’t recognize. “What can be so damned important that you can’t take a break for one night?”
Setting his pen down on top of the yellow legal pad, Wesley slowly folded his hands together leaning closer and whispering in a deliberately conspiratorial tone. “I’d rather not say at this juncture of my research.”
Looking perturbed, Cordelia narrowed her gaze at her friend, “This is just a ploy to get me to quit bugging you, isn’t it? You’re not researching anything.”
“Yes, think that if you want,” answered Wes with a smug gleam in his eyes. He was not going to tell her a thing at this point. If she knew the truth, Cordelia and Angel would be hovering around him and asking questions about his progress every five minutes.
“Pfft!” As if she was supposed to believe him. Cordelia straightened up from the desk and gave Wesley a hard stare. “Don’t think this is over, buddy. If you keep this up, you’ll start collecting cobwebs and I’ll have to dust you along with the rest of the place. You need to get out and have a little fun.”
“It’s not a priority right now,” Wes insisted, picking up his pen again and staring down at the book.
Snagging the pen from his hand, Cordelia pointed it at him, “You’re stuck here with your nose in these books 16 hours a day. Get a life.”
“I have one,” he assured her with a disdainful look, “and if I want to date, I’ll do so without your help.”
Those calm blue eyes said the topic was closed. Cordelia dropped the pen down on the desk, frustration showing on her face. “Fine, I’ll let you off the hook tonight, but I’m not dropping the idea.”
“No,” Wes muttered under his breath as he watched her head for the stairs. “You’re like a tenacious puppy with a new chew toy, only I’m the one you’re gnawing at.”
With his ghostly grasp, Dennis floated the pen toward the paper drawing a question mark. Wesley was unsurprised by his presence and explained, “It’s just the latest symptom. Cordelia’s keen interest in my love life is simply an outlet. Ever since Doyle’s death, she and Angel have grown closer. Their romantic attachment is getting frustrating and I fear that Cordy is determined to see someone in this family perfectly happy.”
“Lucky me,” he shuddered thinking about the last girl Cordelia had attempted to set him up with. Somehow, she’d gotten it into her head that he felt lonely whenever she and Angel were together determining that if he had a girlfriend of his own, Wes wouldn’t suffer from neglect. “Right now, I just need a little peace and quiet.”
Phantom Dennis left Wesley to his work after that. He knew what the ex-watcher was so diligently working on: the cure for the vampire’s curse. Cordelia had shared all of the details about the fine line Angel had to walk when it came to experiencing true happiness, so Dennis knew everything. Even if he’d never seen the dark side of the vampire, he knew evil. That was something the ghost would never allow to touch Cordelia as long as it was in his power to protect her.
That included protecting Cordelia from her own impulsive actions.
Strangely enough, Angel didn’t think that was his intention when Dennis interrupted the pair with a sub-zero blast of air the other night. Things looked rather sizzling from his ghostly viewpoint and while Phantom Dennis knew the vampire was immune to cold, the sudden change in temperature was enough to get his attention.
Worked every time. How often had Cordelia grumbled to herself that Angel was still a ‘no-bone’ despite their otherwise intimate relationship? Even Angel was unsure if sex equated to resulting bliss that would activate the curse, but it was a chance the two of them could not take. Dennis simply knew that boners and cold air never mixed.
“Dennis!” roared Angel knowing instantly what the cause was. Cordelia only shrieked in surprise before giggling as she watched the vampire whirling around as if planning to do serious damage to their resident ghost.
The sound of Angel’s fury sent the apparition fleeing to the far corner of the room despite the fact that he was invisible, intangible and far beyond physical harm. Not that Angel would have really done damage…maybe, but the gold tint to his dark eyes suggested the interruption had been a good idea.
Angel and Cordelia had come into this first-floor space having decided that Wesley needed a larger office area of his own. He’d been spending so much time at the front desk on a stool doing research that they were getting concerned for their friend. Also needing a larger area for resource materials, it made sense to combine the two, especially if it would stop Wesley from tracking their every move.
The ex-watcher continued to observe Angel’s activities, but only out of a growing sense that Angel’s relationship with Cordelia was reaching a point where they often edged past the necessary limits they’d set for themselves. They were close emotionally, normally drawing on their mutual strengths in times of weakness when physical longing for each other made temptation too hard to resist.
Dennis figured they were a lot like Swiss cheese. One day, the holes were going to line up and neither one would remember the curse or its implications. Until Wes could find the cure, it was going to be Dennis’ duty to keep an eye on the pair. Unfortunately, even the most innocent of situations could flare into something nearly beyond their control.
The big desk they had found for Wesley’s office seemed to give the two of them ideas that had nothing to do with research.
“There’s something to be said for vampire strength,” Cordelia watched as Angel slid the desk into place thinking about the way his muscles bunched up beneath the material of his shirt stretching it until the cotton lovingly molded the thick muscles of his arms and wide shoulders.
“I can always find work in between cases moving furniture,” Angel joked deadpan as he caught the way her eyes slid over him.
Cordelia nibbled at her bottom lip as she put both hands on the edge of the desk opposite him, leaning forward and gazing intently into his eyes. Desire sparkled in response to her own and their dangerous game of flirtation picked up again. “I was thinking more along the lines of you making me hot, but if you wanna think up ways of making a quick buck who am I to stop you? Maybe I’d stand a chance of getting a raise out of you sometime this century.”
Just the way she smiled drew a physical response as Angel felt a tug deep within his chest and another familiar stirring some distance below. “I’ll give you a raise right now.”
The wicked glint and the curl of his mouth at one corner dropped Cordelia’s gaze. “Could I see what this raise entails?”
“Possibly,” Angel never let his gaze drop from hers as he moved around the corner of the desk toward her, sensual promise sounding from his throat as his voice dipped an octave lower.
Only Cordelia circled to the other side, a playful glint lighting her hazel orbs. “All things considered, it’s more of a fringe benefit.”
“Stay there,” he ordered only to see the instant response of her arched brow.
“Don’t think so,” she laughed and darted around the corner of the desk again. While calling out over her shoulder, “Isn’t chasing your secretary around the desk a little cliché?”
Angel leapt over it landing at her side and yanking Cordelia into his embrace. “We can discuss your job description later, Vision Girl. Right now, I want to kiss you.”
“O—,” Cordelia didn’t even manage a swift agreement as his lips swept across hers.
Smiles still played across their mouths as they kissed in teasing measures, just fun little smacks meant to last moments. Cordelia’s lips tingled against the cool surface of Angel’s mouth as a contrary heat bloomed beneath the soft weight of each caress. Their hands kept to the safe zones, hers along his broad shoulders and his lovingly cupping her face as those playful kisses captured each lush lip in turn.
Cordelia looped her arms around his neck needing to be closer, pressing her body up against his muscular frame and feeling the underlying strength she’d been admiring. A sudden hunger welled up impossible to ignore as those kisses only enticed her into wanting more. They parted for an instant only to read the need in each others eyes coming back together with a fervent passion that felt like desperation, a need to be as close as possible, to have more, just a little more.
Gone were the teasing caresses as one of Angel’s hands followed her spine to fill his palm with the firm curve of her ass and haul her against him. Her hips shifted closer, Cordelia letting out a moan and opening her mouth beneath his, accepting the entry of his tongue as it darted in and retreated drawing her deeper into his embrace. Her hands clasped his shoulders, fingers curling and softly raking down the surface of his shirt-covered back eliciting a low growl from the vampire.
Too many barriers between them, their hands grabbed fabric and began to tug the annoyance out of the way. To be closer was all they needed, just a little closer and it would be enough. Rasping cotton followed the slide of silk as their fumbling fingers made fast work of the small round buttons. Dueling kisses kept their senses fogged as piece by piece their clothing spread across the desk behind them.
A moan sounded, immediately echoed as hands pressed along smooth contours of flesh. That was better. Just to be able to touch each other. But the light caresses wandered across skin stirring their desire. Cordelia gasped against his mouth as Angel’s hands reached between them to touch her breasts. Their turgid tips rubbed against the silk of her bra poking into his palms.
Unhooking the bra seemed too complicated for Angel’s brain at that moment as he simply hooked two fingers beneath the straps and tugged. The beauty of Cordelia’s breasts spilled into his waiting hands. He plumped them, squeezing softly as his mouth pulled away from hers long enough to let his heated gaze drop down. Then meeting her eyes again, stared deeply as silence held them in a timeless void where speaking might break the spell of their desire.
He plundered her mouth again, hers moving with just as much passion beneath the lips that swiped voraciously at hers. Cordelia’s head dipped back as Angel’s kisses wandered across her jawline to the delicate turn of her throat where his blunt teeth nibbled and his tongue lathed at the skin just above her bounding pulse.
Cordelia shuddered with need, her own hands seeking out every hard contour of Angel’s manly physique no longer content to tease his male nipples into little points, follow the line of his ribs or circle the dip of his navel. The hard ridge of his erection pressed into her belly proving too tempting to resist as she dropped a hand to cup the large bulge beneath those Armani pants. His moan reverberated against her throat, his hips bucking hard against her palm.
That heavy weight pressing into her palm wasn’t enough despite that the bulge was overflowing her grasp. She could feel the outline of his cock, but her fingers itched to explore flesh rather than fabric. No conscious decision was made to do so, but her hands reached up to unbuckle the leather belt around his waist and slide the zipper down allowing her hand to slip inside.
Her name sounded in her ear on a deep rasp of pleasure, though Cordelia was too distracted by the hard shaft filling her hand to do more than react with a shiver of answering need that centered in her loins. The cool flesh warmed beneath her touch stiffening into velvet steel under the eager exploration of her fingers.
Nibbling kisses along her neck leading to her shoulder, Angel’s hands never stopped moving. Without Cordelia realizing what he’d done, she felt the soft material of her skirt sliding over her legs and hitting the floor. The wispy bit of silk that matched her bra soon fell around her ankles; she kicked them away even as she kept focus on holding him in her skilful grip.
Touches, even like this, remained on their ‘let’s do’ list, but it wasn’t enough, never enough. They needed, wanted, had to have just a little more than the last time.
Angel grasp moved from her hips along the curve of her waist and the swell of her breasts to hold her beneath her arms titling her back. Her back arched as he toyed with the rosy tips of her breasts sucking one and then the other into his mouth and playing havoc with his tongue across her sensitive skin. Cordelia lost concentration for a moment, loosing her hold on him.
Then he lifted her in one smooth motion to the surface of the desk, the wood smooth and cool beneath her skin. There were no words spoken. None. Just the intensity of his deep dark eyes gazing down into hers as Cordelia felt her body liquefy under that potent stare.
Curling her hand around the nape of his neck, she pulled him in for one more kiss, but it only fed the flame between them. Angel took her hands from around his neck where they had settled and pushed them down atop her thighs leading her to press them open wide. With a look of lustful resolve, Angel dropped to his knees putting himself at eye-level with the swollen pink folds of her sex.
For a moment, he simply stared and then lifting one hand trailed the back of his fingers along the outer edge circling back up on the other side. His finger flicked softly at the hard nub of her clit eliciting a short cry from her throat, but Cordelia swallowed the sound just as quickly, her fingers keeping hold of her inner thighs. After what seemed like eternity, she watched Angel’s head descend and felt the first rasp of his tongue against her wet heat.
To say that Angel enjoyed pleasuring Cordelia this way would be an understatement. There were countless other methods he could employ to send her toppling over the edge as she reached climax after climax and often he did. Only this substituted for something he wanted, something they both craved and couldn’t have.
The taste of her tangy arousal kept Angel purring against her. Sounding out his need, he devoured nearly every drop of the glistening fluid her body offered and laving the rest over the silky petals guarding that tight core. Rhythmically, his fingers set a pace that stroked her most sensitive spots sliding along her grasping inner muscles.
Below, with his free hand, Angel touched himself with that same rhythm keeping his cock in a tight grip imagining all the while that it was her. But it was never enough no matter how hard he came. No matter that Cordelia always screamed out his name, Angel knew that she deserved more…completion.
“Let me see you,” Cordelia’s husky plea sounded as she raised herself up on her elbows. In a tousled array, her long satin hair pooled over her shoulders and down onto the dark mahogany desk.
With his gaze back on hers, Angel rose to his feet, his pale skin stretched across the heavy, corded muscles of his torso and powerful thighs. Cordelia let her eyes soak up every bit of him settling on the action down below as he stroked the thick shaft of his cock. He was close. Enough so that she could reach out at touch him with her fingertips and she did so drawing Angel even closer so that the curls of her sex teased the blunt tip of his cock whenever his hand stroked downward.
That’s when her fingers teased him, running across the sensitive tip. Until one time the action accidentally caused him to collide with Cordelia’s clit. Seeing the instant reaction as she cried out in need, Angel wanted to watch her come again. Cock in hand, he rubbed the blunt tip back and forth against her swollen nub eliciting little gasps as her hips jerked off the desk toward him.
Angel focused on the sight of their nearly joined bodies, watching as the pink folds of her glistening sex teased the tip of his cock as he slid it against her. He wanted to come. He needed to come. He needed to be inside her. This teasing was nowhere near enough.
Struggling to control his need and to let go at the same time, Angel sensed he was in a losing battle. Cordelia wanted this just as much as he. Thoughts of irrational nature were the only ones filling his head…until a cold blast of air shocked him from the haze of his lust.
“Dennis!” roared Angel knowing exactly what had caused the interruption frustration and anger sounding in that cry.
Even as their resident ghost fled to the corner of the room, he knew that the action had prevented potential disaster. Once Angel finished his tirade, he stared down the length of his body toward his once-tumescent loins.
Yup, Phantom Dennis thought, giving out his self-directed kudos for saving the day, works every time.