Speak No Evil. 4

Part 4

The first place Lorne went to look was Cordelia’s apartment. It made perfect sense that this would be the number one place Cordy would choose to hide, unless of course she really, really, really didn’t want to be found.

Arriving at the doorstep with a couple of stray raindrops running down his green face, Lorne watched in dismay as a torrential downpour of rain let loose of the streets of LA.

‘Darn,’ he thought. There was no way he could get back to the comfort of his own club without his ensemble getting an impromptu wash. Irritated, he began to swipe at his hair, making sure it was still adequately styled after the night’s activities, when he sensed something… weird. Not of the ordinary.

Without warning, Cordelia’s apartment door seemed to swing open of it’s own accord. Lorne had only visited Cordelia’s humble abode once before when she had been bedridden by the visions, and Wesley had been forced to call upon his services.

It hadn’t ended well, what with Lorne finding himself catapulted across the bedroom, but in all the concussion he seemed to remember Wesley telling him that Cordy was lucky enough to share her apartment with a benevolent – heck, downright sociable – spirit.

“You’d be Dennis, I presume?” Lorne said, as he crossed the threshold. A warm gust of wind was his only reply. “I’ll take that as a ‘yes’, then. Do you know where she is, Dennis?”

Dennis didn’t need to ask who ‘she’ was. Suddenly, the bedroom door flew open at such a velocity that it left a small dent in the plastered wall.

“Thanks, strudel. I’ll take it from here…”

Lorne walked into the bedroom, completely uninvited. The lights were off, but even as he flicked on the light switch Lorne could see there was no sign of Cordelia – just an amorphous blob of bed sheets that looked like they might be concealing a human.

Taking a seat on the mattress, he stroked the cotton fibres where he thought Cordy’s head might be.

“You know you can’t hide under there forever, Poptart.”

Sure enough, the Blob of blankets answered back in a completely defeated tone of voice. It sounded just like Cordelia.

“I can too.” the Blob said, “And did you just call me a tart?”

“A Poptart. An entirely different implication, I assure you.” Lorne continued stroking, “Poptarts are frosted, I mean – who doesn’t love Poptarts?”

The Blob shuffled away from his touch, seemingly annoyed. A moment of time passed – that is to say a series of increasingly awkward seconds, maybe even minutes – where nothing was said at all. Lorne felt himself getting annoyed also.

“You have to face this sometime.” He said.

“No I don’t.” Said the Blob.

Having a barrier of bedsheets sure made it difficult to read someone’s aura. Lorne couldn’t even get a good look at her poker face in this position.

“You’re in denial.”

“No, I’m not.”

“I think you are.”

“Am not.”

Lorne stretched his arms and lay back on the bed, shifting his body weight a little to get comfortable. Damn, this mattress was comfy. He could quite happily have stayed the night in that bed if the big blob of blankets wasn’t pissing him off so much.

“Denial, denial, denial.” Lorne sing-songed.


“And now you’re being childish.”

“Not!” The blankets countered.

“Sweetie, I just want to have a word with you.”

“And I have just the word for you, Lorne: ‘NOT!’ Notnotnot. Not. A resounding ‘NOT’ to anything and everything you could possibly have to say. This is all your fault anyway.”

Lorne felt slightly offended. Why was everybody making him the emotional punchbag this evening?

“Hey! For once in my life, the world doesn’t revolve around me. This is between you and the CareBear. How is it my fault?” Another awkward silence.

“I don’t know. I haven’t thought quite that far ahead. All I know is that I need a scapeboat…”

“I think you mean ‘goat’, Poptart.”

“Correcting me, and calling me ‘Poptart’ is only going to land you in worse trouble, Mr Fault guy.”

“It is not my fault!”

“What ever.”

This was getting ridiculous. It was insane logic, and reeked of Cordelia. Lorne sat up on the mattress and poked the bed sheet on what he thought might be her lower back.

“Do you want to talk about it, or not?”

“Not.” Cordy said.

“Well… fine, then.” Talking to Cordelia when she was in this state was not unlike banging his head against a brick wall. There was the slightest dip of the mattress as Lorne stood up and walked towards the door, mentally resigning his position of diplomat.

It was nearly three in the morning, for cryin’ out loud – and Cordelia was as stubborn as a mule when she wanted to be. Angelcakes was on his own on this one. Lorne switched off the light switch on his way out.

The change in brightness caused Cordelia to peek her head out from under the safety of the quilt. With his back turned towards her, there was no way Lorne could possibly have seen the slight flash of panic in her eyes as she realised he wasn’t going to push her for information.

Pretending to exercise a sudden change of heart, Cordelia lay on her back and stared at the ceiling, clasping her hands together over her stomach like it was a regular session at a regular therapists.

“I suppose I saw it coming… ” She said, beginning her great emotional spiel.

‘Great,’ thought Lorne, halting in his tracks, ‘I was this close to curling up with a nightcap and a trashy romance novel’.

He went and sat next Cordelia on the mattress, for the first time getting a good look at what seemed to be a very comfortable pair of satin jammies she was sporting.

“Now you want to talk?”

Cordelia rolled her eyes, “No. You wanted to talk, I’m merely complying.”

“Honey, this is all for your benefit. I mean, HEL-LO? Anagogic here. I knew how you felt before you did. You just have to start admitting a few things to yourself, is all.”

There followed yet more silence. Cordelia appeared to have found a particularly fascinating area on her ceiling as she pondered what Lorne has just said. She opened her mouth to retaliate with something insulting, when a harsh pounding noise cut her off.

Someone was banging at the front door. Oh crap.

Cordelia crawled under her blanket again. Lorne went to answer the door, leaving Cordelia to whimper under the bedsheets and contemplate how the hell she was ever going to look Angel in his soppy brown eyes again.


Lorne couldn’t quite believe his eyes.

He stood with his yellow sleeves rolled up to the elbow, leaning against the doorway and essentially barring any intrusion the late night guest might attempt.

Lorne let his body language do the talking, staring down his nose and refusing to budge, no matter how foolish an idea he thought it might be.

Actually, Lorne decided to revise the use of the word ‘foolish’. ‘Dangerous’ might be a better one. There were, after all, very few creatures on this plain of existence that could barricade Angel from a place he wanted to be.


The vampire stood there, covered in a thin sheen of rain and slightly sweaty from the exertion that comes from running for sixteen blocks, climbing fences, and evading irritated colleagues.

Never the less, the vampire didn’t seem remotely affected by his outward physical appearance, instead choosing to stand out in the hallway of Cordelia’s apartment with a patient grin on his face, his hands clasped behind his back and looking for all the world like a dorky first date.

“Hello Lorne.” He said, simply, “Is Cordelia home?”

Lorne sighed, “Okay, genius. What are you doing here?”

“I came to see Cordelia.” Simple. Direct. Honest.

“You do know that your being here could probably make things worse, right?”

Angel shrugged. He had an excellent poker face, and if Lorne wasn’t a demon then Angel may actually have managed to convince him that he wasn’t a nervous wreck.

“It crossed my mind. Then it occurred to me that the worse thing that could possibly happen was that Cordelia could avoid me forever and the Hyperion could blow up. And on both accounts, I’m halfway there, so if you’ll excuse me…” He pushed past Lorne, nearly knocking him to the floor.

“What are you doing?”

“Trying to make things right.”

“Hello? Do you remember earlier on this evening when I gave you your orders? I do damage control, and for your part, you don’t do any more damage!”

“Yeah, actually – while we’re on the subject, since when did you start giving orders?”

“Since earlier today when you became the total embodiment of tact, and the honourable Mr Wyndam-Pryce couldn’t stop banging his head against one of my tables.”

Angel grimaced at the memory. Sympathetically, Lorne tried to re-style Angel’s hair for him, despite the vampire’s half-assed squirming.

“I know she’s here, I can smell her… Cordy?” He went to move towards the bedroom before it slammed shut in his face. It was probably the work of Dennis, but from Lorne’s position he couldn’t see whether it was actually Cordelia or not.

Angel placed one hand on the door, with little pressure. He looked tired.

“Cordy! I want to talk to you!!” He sounded so tortured. A book flew into the back of his head, causing Angel to snarl involuntarily. Lorne flinched away, hands in air. Now that definitely was the work of Dennis.

“Cupcake, for your health and mine please leave. Until tomorrow at least.”

Angel leaned against the wall, and slowly slid down until he was in a squatting position. Lorne didn’t like the look of that. It looked determined – it looked like Angel wasn’t going anywhere.

Angel wasn’t looking at Lorne, and he wasn’t looking at the bedroom door where Cordelia was hiding. He was staring longingly into space, the smallest smile on his face.

“I’m not an idiot. I know I have nothing to offer her… ” he shook his head as he realised she was probably listening to him through the door, “Do you hear me Cordy? I don’t have anything to offer you! That’s why I couldn’t – I wasn’t going to – tell you how I felt. But if you think what I’m feeling isn’t real, or that I’m going to try to force you into anything, then you’re wrong. I need you Cordelia, we all do…”

It was back to staring into space again. Angel lowered his head and slowly let a drop of rain fall from a strand of hair and down his nose to his lips. He let it linger there for a moment, not even noticing it. Lorne crouched next to him. It was turning out to be a long, long night.

Angel sighed, and licked the drop of rain from his lips.

“I’ll do it, Cordy. As soon as this spell is lifted, I’ll keep my mouth shut – I’ll never mention this again. I’ll watch you grow older and marry someone else. Hell, I’ll even babysit your kids for you – I’ll let it tear me up inside until there’s nothing left, because honestly? I’d rather have you as my best friend until one of us dies, then to not have you in my life at all. I can’t do this without you, and I don’t want to.”

Another drop of rain travelled down Angel’s face, and irritated, he swiped at it again with his tongue. Lorne looked impressed.

“Well done. Nicely said, if not a little melodramatic. Must be the Manilow taking effect.”

“That’s why I don’t like talking.” Angel admitted. Lorne stood up and rolled his shoulders.

“I’m sorry, Angelcakes, but I’m wiped out. If you want to stay here and dig yourself a nice little grave, then be my guest. Just don’t come singing to me when it all goes horribly wrong.”

Angel didn’t answer. He dug the heel of his hand into the side of his head like he was trying to pick up radio signals from a space station or something. Lorne patted him on the shoulder, and walked mournfully towards the front door. He didn’t like the sound of the rain outside.

As he was about to leave, Lorne heard the familiar ‘click’ of a door unlocking. Angel jumped to his feet excitedly, and again clasped his hands behind his back, ever the dork.

Cordelia stood in the bedroom doorway, clad in the same snug pair of black pyjamas that looked to Lorne all too much like Heaven. Cordelia sighed, and leaned against the door frame, evidently trying not to be amused by Angel’s over-eager behaviour.

And Lorne knew she had finally figured it out.

It scares you when you find out someone you love hasn’t been completely honest with you, but here she could see that it was still the same old Angel standing in her apartment.

It wasn’t a solution, but it was starting point – somewhere where Cordelia and Angel could probably come to a compromise, start rebuilding the tattered fragments of their friendship.

Either that, or –

Angel lunged towards Cordelia, and instinctively she leapt up into his arms, wrapped her to legs around his rain-soaked thighs and kissed him.

Kissing was an understatement. Angel pushed her against the nearest wall and devoured her mouth, desperately trying to show her what he did have to offer her, letting her run warm fingers through his damp hair and down his neck, before she started picking furiously at his shirt buttons.

Lorne’s jaw dropped, incapacitated momentarily by the sparks of lust that flew between the two people and the sheer audacity of them, dry-humping against a wall before his very eyes after all the hell they had put him through that night.

He’d demand an apology, but Lorne knew he wouldn’t be getting one that night.

Silently, Lorne took a step backwards, and Dennis obliged by opening the front door for him as a subtle hint. Angel didn’t even notice. Cupping Cordelia’s face, he mentally willed his hands not to wander around her body and unceremoniously grope the woman he loved.

She was worth so much more then that… even if she was doing that thing with her tongue that was slowly driving him insane. He felt the palms of his hands starts to inch their way down her neck…

Eyes still bugging, Lorne let himself out.

Part 5

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