Title: Speak No Evil
Category: Light, smut
Summary: After offending a powerful shaman, a spell is put on Angel and now he can only speak the truth. Loudly. And in public.
Spoilers: None, set in season 3
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
For the first time in her life, somebody had told Cordelia to shut the hell up.
Well, Angel mused, that wasn’t strictly true. He suspected there was an innumerable amount of poor bastards that had tried to get Cordy to shut up in the past, but this afternoon when Wes had told her to “sit down and for the love of God, keep quiet!!”, for the first time in her life, Cordelia Chase obeyed.
It was eerie.
“Shut up.” was practically the sum total of all the advice Wesley had felt it necessary to offer his colleagues on the subject of diplomacy.
It was no secret at their office that chewing the walls and looking dangerous were Angel’s areas of expertise, and anything outside the fields of manicures and first aid went completely over Cordy’s head, so despite Angel Investigations’ unparalleled success in the ‘Discover-the-Potholes-Yourself!’ school of inter dimensional relations, Wesley considered today’s negotiations too valuable to gamble on the vague possibility that Cordelia might, for once in her life, have something relevant to contribute to the proceedings.
Wesley had banished her to the upstairs hotel rooms for the evening, and that went for Gunn and Fred too.
Now Wesley Wyndam-Pryce – he was a diplomat. Angel could see him out of the corner of his eye, nervously tugging at his shirt collar and adjusting that god awful plaid jacket that he usually wore to formal events.
For a while, Angel had noticed, Wes had gone through a delightful stage of wearing a tasteful black Armani suit, presumably Cordelia’s influence. To everyone’s dismay, it had appeared that the ex-watcher had switched back to plaid, probably owing to too many Tarantino jokes on Gunn’s behalf.
“So Wes,” Angel shifted awkwardly on his stool, “The client guy’s kind of late. D’ya think maybe he-“
“He’ll be here, Angel.” Wesley replied curtly.
Still, Angel shifted. If this was such a delicate diplomatic situation, why did he have to be here?
“Are you sure, because maybe he got caught in some-,” off Wesley’s look, Angel unperceptively flinched, “-traffic?”
“Do stop fidgeting. And no, I don’t believe the millennia-old shaman got caught in a little cross-dimensional traffic.”
“No need to be sarcastic.” Angel mumbled.
Wesley tried to glare at Angel, but unwillingly his eyes softened.
“I’m sorry, Angel. I don’t mean to snap – I think we’re all a little on edge, we’ve never had a client of this…. ‘caliber’ before.”
“What would a shaman want with us anyway?”
Wesley shrugged, “We’re champions for hire, I suppose. Sometimes even the darkest magicks just don’t get the job done. I think, maybe…”
Angel could feel the deep rumbling beneath his feet before it was even audible. Before Wesley had a chance to finish his sentence, a slice of white energy cut through the air in the middle of the lobby, and a black robed figured stepped nonchalantly out of nowhere.
“Now remember,” Wesley added in a hushed whisper, “don’t fidget and don’t say anything to offend the nice shaman.”
Fred and Cordelia lay back leisurely on the bed, grinning wildly as Gunn stripped down to his boxer shorts.
“Y’all lied to me,” He said, “you have played this before!”
Cordelia gathered up all the cards and started to expertly reshuffle them, a handy little trick her good friend Doyle had shown her, once upon a time.
“Yeah, well… you were the one who wanted to play strip poker, mister! Just be grateful we’re not playing for money!”
“Ooo!” squealed Fred, “Can we play for money next? Because I get to see Charles naked practically all the time.”
Cordy snorted as Gunn quietly fumed.
“Just deal already.” Demon hunter or not, there was nothing intimidating about a man in Snoopy underwear.
In a way, Cordelia was glad they didn’t have to be at that stupid meeting with the boring client. She was a firm believer in making her own fun, and a dusty old shaman certainly didn’t fall under that category.
Cordy shuffled and reshuffled, until she was satisfied that the cards were in no particular order, and then with a cocky flick of her wrist, she dealt three separate poker hands.
“Right,” she chirruped, “are you all ready for round four of me kicking your asses?”
Cordelia’s smugness was cut short by a second thundering sensation that caused the playing cards to fall off the mattress and onto the floor.
Fred let out another squeal, only more terrified and definitely at an eardrum-piercing decibel, as she gripped onto Gunn’s bare arm for support. This rumble seemed to be a lot more powerful then the first one. Gunn, Fred and Cordelia sat numbly for almost thirty seconds, completely unsure of how to react.
Finally the noise slowed and stopped, and the hotel seemed to settle back into peace. Cordy gathered up the playing cards, and went about her usual business off pretending that nothing was wrong, and that she wasn’t practically peeing her pants just a moment ago.
“Hm. Guess shaman guy has left the building” She said, “Think we can go downstairs now?”
Gunn leapt to his feet and immediately began pull on his jeans.
“Thank merciful Jesus! I really got to talk to Wes about suitable reading material in the office, I don’t think y’all should be allowed to read Cosmo anymore.”
Gunn was halfway out the door before he’s even finished shrugging back into his luminous orange sweatshirt, leaving Fred and Cordy to giggle half-nervously to each other.
Slowly, Cordelia and Fred gathered what few items they had brought upstairs with them, and made their way out into the dark hallway. They stopped suddenly as they saw Gunn standing on the top of the stairs, gawping down into the lobby at the smoking remains that was once the front desk.
No. Nonono…, Cordelia moved to stand behind Gunn and peered over the bannister, her arms frozen to her side in complete disbelief. What the hell happened? Was everyone alright?
From her position, Cordelia caught a brief glimpse of a very singed Angel, looking sheepish, trying to dig the toe of his shoe into the linoleum of Wesley’s office, but more-or-less unharmed.
‘Oh, thank god!’ She thought, ‘Angel’s okay, that’s the main thing.’
She paused for a moment and wondered where that thought had suddenly come from, but the rush of relief was too consuming to dwell too much on anything else.
Finally, a barbecued Wesley came into view, and Cordelia felt herself relax a little more.
Wesley looked pissed, and understandably too. He was pacing back and forth in his office, stopping every couple of seconds to open his mouth, and let it flap noiselessly in the air, as if he couldn’t find the right words.
Periodically, Wes would glare evilly, and most of this glare was directed at a very silent Angel. Cordy wondered about whatever it was that Angel could possibly have said to get himself into so much trouble, and leave a gaping black hole in the middle of the hotel.
When Wesley finally spoke, he was livid.
” I thought I told you to keep your bloody mouth shut!”