Cordelia didn’t bother knocking, but barged in. Angel was asleep. Her scowl turned to a smile. It was true that she didn’t want to talk to the vampire, but it was equally as true that she wanted to see him.
This was perfect. Cordelia sat on the chair and watched. He saved her again. Angel always saved her. It was amazing how he did that. It really made it hard to stay mad at him. She really was one lucky woman; she had her own personal savior.
Buffy maybe his soul mate, but Cordelia had Angel in her life, everyday. Cordelia use to be envious of Buffy, and maybe she was still a little, but if given the choice she would rather have Angel’s friendship and daily presence in her life, then some tragic long distance wanting. Cordelia was if nothing but practical and, well, she wasn’t given the choice.
But if she had been…Cordelia sighed, she had to admit it would be nice to have Angel’s passionate real love, and not just his friendship, but again, not a possibility and she was practical. What she had was enough, more than enough. Stupid vampire.
Her hands lightly touched the bruises and the bandages Wesley had fixed up along Angel’s body. He could have been killed. He could have destroyed his future all in trying to destroy his past. Didn’t Angel realize yet, that the past was just that the past and the present, the future, his future was all that mattered? Cordelia would have willing laid down with Angelus and had him bleed her, if it could have kept that future safe.
God, she loved Angel. This was her favorite time, well not that Angel was hurt, she hated that, but when he was in his healing sleep. That seemed to be the only time that she could just stare with out him waking up. Now she was being stupid, but she couldn’t help it. Cordelia hand caressed Angel’s face.
Angel could feel his body slowly mend. Now if he could just get his emotions and mind to rest. He had had the chance to prevent Angelus from terrorizing souls. The number of people he could have saved would have easily outnumbered the ones he had saved so far with a soul. Yet, those few important ones that he saved with a soul were the ones he cared about, the ones that mattered to him.
He was selfish, but…maybe if he had never seen or met Buffy, Wesley, Gunn, or Fred… he could have done it, risked their lives to save those nameless victims of Angelus. But he did meet them and he did love them each in their own way. Who was he kidding there was only one reason, one person that prevented him from snapping Angelus’ neck.
Cordelia. He could sense her in his room, could feel her soothing touch. The light warmth it brought to his skin, inflamed both desire and anger with in his still body. She let Angelus touch her, she would have sacrificed herself to Angelus, the reasons were irrelevant to his anger, just as the fact that it was Angelus his former self that she allowed something that Angel would always have to deny himself, her blood.
Angel hated himself right then, but he couldn’t deny it; he was enraged and jealous that Angelus had something that he could never have. Something that rightfully belonged to Angel.
“Go.” He growled, pushing her hand away. It was too dangerous for her to stay, his emotions too volatile. He needed distance, time to calm down, time to remember that he loved her and that she loved him, he heard it and this time he had no doubt, there was no misunderstanding, but it also wasn’t enough, right now. Angelus was gone trapped in the past where he belonged, Angel’s future was ahead, but right then in the present if Cordelia didn’t leave Angel, he would ruin that future, because his demon, souled or not, wanted to possess Cordelia, too erase Angelus’ mark and replace it with it’s own.
And just like Angel would never let Angelus touch Cordelia, he would never let his demon touch her. But Angelus did touch her, his demon cried. “Go.” Angel said again, pushing Cordelia further away.
“I told Wesley, I didn’t want to talk to you when you were being all growly. Hmmph, at least Angelus could hold a conversation of sorts.”
Angel shot up in the bed. “Don’t push me Cordelia.”
“Push you, you’re the one pushing me. All I wanted to do was go home and get a bath, a bath, something I haven’t had in forever. But no, Wesley said I should talk to you.” Cordelia scrunched her face. “Not that I would do what Wesley says, mind you, but I thought I should see if you were okay. Well, you look okay. Hmmph. So, I’ll leave you to your pouty growliness. Though, why you’re mad I have no clue, I’m the one…Put me down.” Cordelia clutched at Angel’s arms as they picked her up.
“Angel.” Cordelia yelled.
“A bath, you want a bath.” Angel took the struggling young woman into the bathroom and tossed her into the tub, he quickly turned on the shower and the faucet.
Cordelia screeched and sputtered at the cold water, her hands pushing at her hair. “What the hell? This dress is like a thousands pounds soaking wet. Eww.” Cordelia squirmed to get her footing. Angel pushed her gently back down. “Bath time.” He squirted liquid soap all over the young woman. “Stop,” she whined.
Angel stood back and smiled. He had thought only blood and lust would curb his anger, but actually, a good dose of cold water, a little humiliation for Cordelia did wonders. It was a strange sort of love that he had for his soul mate. One minute wanting to pound into her and rip her neck wide, the other just wanting to watch the myriad of expressions flowing over her beautiful face. She really was life in all of its beauty.
“Help me with this, you, you, YOU. I can’t get it undone.” Cordelia pulled at the strings that bound the bodice of the old fashioned dress.
“Let me.” Angel grabbed the ties and broke them.
Cordelia struggled with the dress pulling it off her throwing it to the side. “What are you staring at? Bring back memories?” She jerked to the chemise she was wearing under the dress. “Stupid thing.”
“I can honestly say this is not something I’ve seen before.”
“Right. Aren’t you wounded or something? Go to bed and leave me alone.”
Well, Cordelia did have one half of a good idea. Angel smiled at the infuriated girl. And it was true, this was not a memory he ever had. The chemise was a familiar garment but never had he seen one cover such beauty. The beauty was in his memory or rather Angelus’. The face wasn’t not completely, just the imagine of dark hair, beauty, fire and spirit. She was the one that got a way.
The one that frustrated and tormented Angelus. The one that he had planned to turn and take Darla’s place at his side. The fight in the alley was a blur as if Angelus had blocked out Angel, Wesley, and the Portal. All Angelus remembered was that his dark haired beauty left with another vampire, thwarting his plans and causing him a lot of physical pain.
It was sort of like Pavlov’s dog, Angel guessed. Angel was sincerely grateful for his prior obsessive love for Buffy, without it Angelus may have noticed Cordelia more, may have remembered and realized. That would have truly changed history.
“You know, it’s all your fault.”
“What? I didn’t do anything and what are you doing?” Cordelia stepped back in the tub as Angel stepped in.
“My aversion to brunettes. It’s all your fault.”
“I knew it. You do hate brunettes, blondes, blondes, and blondes. Be original why don’t you, have you ever thought about a redhead. And what about Dru?”
“Nope, it was you.” Angel pulled at the chemise ripping it from Cordelia’s soaked form, the water from the shower wetting them both.
Cordelia eyes widened as her hands flew to her body. “Oh my god, we brought the wrong one back.”
Angel chuckled and brought her to his chest.
“Angel what are you doing? Don’t Angel. Angel…” Cordelia’s words were stopped as Angel’s mouth descended onto hers.
Cordelia wasn’t sure what was happening; well she did know that she was naked in a shower with Angel and that he was kissing her. She just didn’t know why or how. And at that very moment, she didn’t care. She would have to care soon, but right now, she just wanted to enjoy it. So she did. Cordelia leaned into Angel, her arms reaching up to his shoulders, his bare skin slick against her fingers. Okay, now time to care she thought, as her insides melted.
“Um, Angel, um, Angel.” She mumbled against his lips. “Angel,” she snapped pushing him back.
Angel cocked a brow and gave a wicked grin.
Her eyes widened, she tried to move further away.
He let her out of his arms. “Don’t know who you are with?”
“Shut up. I know perfectly well which dead guy I’m with. What I want to know is what you are doing?”
“I thought it was obvious.”
“Oh, and here I thought the soul changed everything, but you are still one arrogant bastard. Hmmph. Just because you hate brunettes, and therefore your soul is safe, doesn’t mean I will have sex with you. Hmmph. And you don’t hate me.”
“Have I ever told you that you are beautiful even when you pout.” Angel leaned in rubbing his thumb across Cordelia’s bottom lip.
“I said stop that. Angel…don’t please.”
Angel stared. Cordelia was frightened truly frightened. Angel turned the water off and got out of the tub, he held out his hand. “Come on.”
Cordelia shook her head, her wet hair covering her face.
“Come on, it will be alright.” Angel held out a towel for the wet naked girl.
Cordelia hesitated then grabbed the towel and quickly wrapped it around herself. She tentatively held out her hand and let Angel lead her into the bedroom.
Cordelia was scared. More scared then she had been in her entire life, which was saying a lot. But something was happening, Angel was starting something, going to say and do something that would change everything. And she honestly didn’t know if she could handle it.
“Sit.” Angel pulled her to the bed.
Cordelia looked around and bit her lip. She really wanted to just go home, go to sleep in her own bed, maybe have Dennis fix her some tea. Tea, she hated tea. Oh, she just wanted out of there, but she couldn’t move in any direction other than where Angel led her.
Angel stared at Cordelia, his eyes fixing on every curve and feature of her face. He didn’t know where to start, so he just said it. “I love you.”
“UH?” That was not at all what Cordelia expected.
“I love you.” Angel smiled. It wasn’t that hard to say after the first time. In fact, it was pretty easy and fun. “I love you.” He smiled.
Cordelia paled and her eyes got wide. It was worse than she imagined. “Uh, no you don’t”
“Yes, I do.”
Cordelia took a deep breath, which she hadn’t realized that she had been holding. “Right, the best friend thing, I love you too.” She smiled. “Can I borrow some clothes?”
Angel pulled her back on the bed. “Yes, you are my best friend and yes, because of that I love you. But I love you, beyond that, more than that.”
“Angel,” Cordelia calmed. “That’s very sweet. But, I think maybe the portal did something to you. You don’t love me. You love Buffy. Remember the Prophecy. It’s okay. Weird stuff happens.”
“Cordelia, you are the only one that thinks that the Prophecy meant Buffy.”
“No, that’s not true, everyone agreed with me, even you.”
“No, no one wanted to argue with you or break your little bubble of denial, even me.”
“I do not deny. I am very aware of what’s going on. And you don’t love me.”
“I’m sorry, I do.”
“Angel, why are you doing this to me. Stop saying it.”
“Maybe, I will, when you tell me what you said in the alley. And then tell me you don’t mean it. And you will have to think of something better than I’m a dumbass.”
Cordelia’s mind scrambled back. She said a lot of things in the alley; she thought a lot of things in that stupid smelly alley. But she didn’t say….”I didn’t say it.” She shook her head.
“Yes, you did.”
“I…Oh damn.” Cordelia hid her face in her hands.
“So, did you mean it?”
“If I say no, will you leave me alone?”
“If I believe you, maybe.”
“What kind of answer is that?”
“The truth. I love you. And I now that I have said it, I like saying it. I like feeling it. I like knowing that you love me………”
“I haven’t said that.”
“It makes the whole being soul mates easier.” Angel said ignoring Cordelia’s interruption.
“Soul mates?” Cordelia blinked.
“Yeah, it seemed even Wolfram & Hart realized it before you did. Actually, I think I should be hurt.”
“What’s with you? I want the growly Angel back.”
“Cordy, I’m sorry, I wish that I could make my demon disappear for you.”
Cordelia scrunched up and hid her face in her hands at the sound of pain in Angel’s voice.
“And even though, I have my permanent soul, I’m still a vampire, but I promise that I won’t let my demon touch you.”
Cordelia peeked from behind her fingers. “You have your permanent soul, since when?’”
“Oh, gross.” Cordelia dropped her hands and grimaced. “That’s just fucked up. You lose your soul because you slept with the do gooder blonde and you get it solid by sleeping with the blonde dead bitch. That’s just whacked. Those Powers are just whacked. I want to go home.”
“Cordelia, you aren’t leaving me.”
Cordelia stared. Angel was getting all grry again. “This soul mate thing, is it written down somewhere? Like was it proclaimed from a high or something.”
“Cordelia you are my soul mate.”
“Hmmph. Fine. But there are going to be some rules in place.”
“Rules, as dos and don’ts. Don’ts- no blondes, ever. No anyone for that matter, got it? Or I’m out of the soul partnership thing. Powers or no.”
“Done. The dos?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll think of something.” Cordelia glared.
“Um, Cordy, does this mean you love me?”
“Yes.’” Cordelia pouted and rolled her eyes. “ It’s so not fair. I find out that I have a soul mate the same time I find out that my so-called mate got his soul by having sex with an old skanky girlfriend. Where’s the romance in that, hmm? Where’s the wine and gifts?”
“Do you want wine and gifts?”
“Of course, but right now I want you to kiss me, again.”
Cordelia rolled her eyes. “Duh?”
Angel laughed and pounced on Cordelia, his body covering hers.
“I said kiss, not smother.”
“Okay.” Cordelia smiled as Angel’s lips descended.