Title: Boxers or Briefs?
Email(none at present)
Category: romance & adventure
Summary: C/A go undercover to a couple’s retreat…
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Please ask first
Notes: This story acknowledges that the whole ‘Darla’ story arch took place, BUT it takes place after it is all completely over. I just got tired of being not real happy with the show. So I moved this ahead to my own little world, where Angel is still my favorite vampire. There is no angst, just realization of romance between C/A.
Feedback:Is always appreciated 🙂
“Boxers or Briefs?”
“Uh?” stuttered Wesley looking up from his book.
“Come on, Wesley, boxers or briefs? You know, which are you, a boxer man or a brief man?” Cordelia was sitting on her desk, her bare legs swinging loosely as she held up a magazine. “It says here, that you can tell a man’s personality by the type of underwear he wears. So which is it? Or, ewww,” her face scrunching up. “You do wear some, don’t you? Stop! Don’t answer the mental imagine is wigging me out.”
“Don’t worry, I wasn’t planning on answering your irrelevant, asinine and highly personal question.” Wesley retorted returning back to his reading.
“Umph.” Putting the magazine down. “I am bored Wesley. No visions, no nasty evil doers to pummel.” Cordelia rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe that I want some death and destruction, well actually not like real world ending death and destruction, but maybe a little slime demon type action.”
“Cordelia, you should take advantage of the peace and calm. It won’t last,” Angel commented as he walked into the room. Angel smiled to himself as he looked at his restless seer.
Cordelia’s manicured fingernails were tapping on the desk. Her bright knee-length skirt was edging up ever so slowly as she swung her long goreous legs in the air. Angel noticed how her hair draped over her shoulder like a dark curtain of silk. The v-neck T-shirt pulled against her full breasts as she sighed deeply.
The vampire’s inward smile turned to a frown as he realized that he was staring at the beautiful young girl in a less than platonic or objective manner.
When had he started noticing how beautiful his seer was? Well, he had always known she was beautiful, it was hard not to notice her classic features, bright smile, warm eyes, thick dark hair, lush body, but when had her obvious beauty started to effect him? Angel looked over to Wesley.
The former watcher seemed to be oblivious to the innate charms of Cordelia. Angel knew that one time, Wesley had been attracted to the young girl, but it was if knowing Cordelia, really knowing her had transformed his attraction into a brotherly type affection.
While knowing Cordelia, had had the direct opposite effect on the vampire. It seemed the longer he knew Cordelia and cared for her, the more attractive, the more irresistible she became to him.
“Right,” Cordelia sighed. “But it is not just calm, it’s boring. No visions, no clients. You don’t think that the world has suddenly gotten to be a happy safe place do you? Nay,” she said shaking her head. “But, there is no new demons to research….”
“Cordelia, you could just try to read a book for the knowledge in it, rather than wasting your brain on that drivel,” Wesley interrupted pointing to the magazine.
Cordelia rolled her eyes not acknowledging the former watcher’s comment. “Anyway, all the paperwork is done and there haven’t been any demons to research. I mean how many times can I paint my toenails.” She swung up her bright red toes up for Angel’s inspection.
Angel looked at her freshly painted toes, forcing his gaze not to wander up the length of her legs. “Ergh,” Cordelia continued in total ignorance of Angel’s thoughts. “And, I have already answered all of these oh so insightful personality quizzes,” she said picking up the magazine. “Only to find out, what I already knew…that I am a smart, outgoing, secure, funny chick.”
“You cheated,” Wesley interrupted dryly.
Cordelia stuck her tongue at her friend. “Am too, see I scored between 100-150. That’s me a dependable, intelligent, extrovert.” She held up the quiz pointing to the relevant paragraph. “Anyway, everyone cheats on these things. You don’t think that people actually want to know that they are insecure, lazy or dumb, now do you?” Cordelia shook her head and leafed again through the magazine.
“Pajama’s or nude,” she asked her head still in the magazine. Cordelia scrunched up her face at Wesley. “Don’t answer Mr. Skin and Bones, the mental picture….” She shivered in mock disgust. The dark haired girl looked at Angel expectantly. “Oh, nevermind,” she stuttered as she realized that she didn’t want to know the answer.
“Nude,” Angel answered.
Cordelia blushed as she imagined a naked vampire in bed. His long lean body stretched out. His broad rippling chest, his tapered waist and hips, his strong muscular legs, his…she stopped her thoughts in a panic.
“Oh,” she said as she burying herself back into the article, her long hair covering her expression. “I so did not need that mental picture,” she grumbled to herself fidgeting on the desktop.
Angel had no idea why he answered her silly question. Nor did he know why the sight of his seer’s embarrassment and her low comment made him somehow pleased.
“Anyway,” Cordelia said trying to regain any part of her composure. “I am…!” Her body tensed in preparation for the oncoming pain that accompanied a vision. Angel had the young girl in his arms before she had time to cry out in agony.
“Wesley,” he called as he stroked her pain-racked body. Wesley went to get Cordelia’s water and aspirin.
“Owww, that hurt. The next time I start complaining about NOT having these mind numbing freak shows, send me back to the psych ward.” Blinking her wide eyes at the vampire.
“Cordelia, are you okay?” Angel asked continuing to caress her back. She grimaced then smiled weakly and nodded.
“The vision?” Wesley asked handing Cordelia the water and pills.
“Thanks.” Cordelia took the pills from the former watcher and unconsciously leaned into Angel’s chest. The vampire tightened his hold trying to comfort her. God, he hated it when Cordelia was in pain.
“Right, the vision. It made less sense than usual, if that is possible. You would think that for such all-powerful and higher type beings they could just be a little clearer wouldn’t you? But no, they have to be all vague, mysterious and painful,” she griped.
“Cordelia, the vision?” Angel asked gently.
The young girl took a deep-frustrated sigh. “I don’t understand it. I didn’t see any nasty demon type or screaming tortured victim, just a place and a weird symbol. The symbol was all curvy and spirally,” Cordelia grabbed a pen and started scribbling on a piece of paper. “It wasn’t on anything just there.” She handed the paper to Angel.
“And the place was,” she scrunched up her face. “It looked like one of those spa-y new agey retreats. You know, with a lot of ‘Ummming’ and white sheets. It was this big building surrounded by smaller buildings. It had several pools, natural springs and mud pits; it was actually quite ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’. It was called ‘The Eros Center’. I didn’t see any danger or evil, but I did sense that it was coming. Something bad like is going to happen in that idyllic rich person’s self-help get away. I just don’t know what. But I did see that it was night time and the moon was full.” She looked apologetically at Angel.
“That’s okay. We will figure it out. Are you okay, now?” Angel slowly got up. Cordelia nodded and grabbed at his hand as he gently pulled her up.
“First thing, we need to do, is find out more about this ‘Eros Center’. Cordelia?” Angel said motioning to the computer.
“Okay, searching for the rich type retreat with major evil potential.”
“Found it,” Cordelia called a short while later. “It’s in the valley. It’s one of those touchy feely, we can solve the problems of your life sort of places. Here is the address.” She lifted the paper up to Wesley.
Angel grabbed the address and started towards the door. Cordelia rolled her eyes at the vampire’s back. “Angel, Angel,” she called.
“What?” he said puzzled. “Is there more?”
“I am sure there is. But daylight, sun, valley, burnt to a vampy crisp, any of this sounding familiar?”
Angel scowled. “Wesley, go get Gunn and check this place out. And come right back.”
“Done.” The watcher said exiting the hotel.
“Angel,” Cordelia called in puzzlement.
“What did you find?” The vampire came up close behind her chair.
Cordelia shot him a look over her shoulder and squirmed in her chair at his closeness. “Uh, personal bubble, remember,” she coughed self-consciously.
Angel startled. “Sorry,” he said moving a step back. Cordelia sighed. Angel studied his seer he couldn’t tell if she sighed in disappointment or relief. He hoped it was disappointment, the vampire thought to himself. Angel brought his mind up short.
Stop that, he chastised himself. Cordelia was his friend, his seer, and that was all. It didn’t matter, if Cordelia wanted or didn’t want him to be near. “What is it?” Angel said trying to ignore the warmness growing in his groin.
“This ‘Eros Center’ it is one of those new age, find your inner peace, blah, blah, type of places. It is a little wacky, but I can’t find anything remotely evil or vision worthy about it. I mean look at their topics of lectures or seminars; ‘How to Find Your Inner Child’, ‘Rekindle the Love of Your Spouse’, ‘Learn to Love Yourself and Others’, and ‘Ten Easy Steps to Self-Fulfillment’.” The Center daily courses, weekend courses, weeklong courses. They have on-grounds accommodation for those that choose the weekend or weekly course. Hey, look, they have a five star chef, well, I guess the blood-only connoisseur of the family wouldn’t care. But the Center also has massages, mud baths, etc. Wow.”
Cordelia scrolled further down the web site. “But no evil stuff. Hey, do you think maybe they are like a nutty cult thing. You know, like let’s kill ourselves, then beam us up, new age Scotty, so we can take a joy ride on a passing comet?”
“I don’t know, keep checking.”
“Okay. Wow, would you look at those suites,” Cordelia exclaimed as she scrolled further down the page.
“So, what exactly are we supposed to do?”
“Go in and try to find out why Cordelia saw this place in her vision.”
“Are you sure she actually had a vision?” Gunn looked around at the beautiful landscape. The ‘Eros Center’ was definitely built for the wealthy. “Maybe she just wanted a vacation.”
“Come on.” Wesley ignored Gunn’s comment.
“What? You want to just walk in the front door?”
“Why not? Politeness and a little deception can go a long way.”
Gunn shrugged. He was not use to actually walking into places and asking for answers under the guise of politeness and subterfuge. The street kid had always gone for the more direct burst in, grab someone and threaten them until they gave you the necessary info type of approach.
A little man clad in all white greeted Gunn and Wesley in the antechamber of the main reception area. “Hello, you two. I understand from our little Gloria outside, that you are interested in our facilities and possibly interested in our next seminar series. Wonderful, we are equipped to handle every couple’s problems. Sexual orientation, matters not. What it is important is the inner soul and to help the two individuals cultivate and maintain that first spark of passion and love that they had in the beginning.”
The white clad little man looked at the two men with raised eyebrows. “Ooh, I see some distance between you two. We can help you rekindle that feeling of ecstasy when you first fell in love.” The man gave a big smile.
Wesley and Gunn looked at each other with wide questioning eyes.
“Oh, I know it will be difficult, but it can be done,” the little man nodded assuredly. “Obviously, if you are here than you sense the need to reconnect with each other. Lovely. Follow me.”
“Uh,” Wesley gasped. Gunn hit him in the stomach with a pamphlet that he picked up from the counter. Wesley read it. He looked at Gunn with a panicked look on his face. Wesley looked back at the brochure. It advertised a weekend course on how to ‘Recover the Joy and Passion with Your Significant Other’.”
“Uh,” gasped Wesley again.
“Hey, man, you were the one that wanted to go the front door way. I wanted just to sneak in beat somebody up and find the answers,” Gunn whispered.
“Oh, gentlemen, why so hesitant? You have come so far in acknowledging you problems, just by coming here.”
“It is not me,” Gunn ad-libbed. “It is him, he just is so…uncommunicative. He is English, you know,” Gunn whined uncharacteristically.
“Well, hopefully, we can help. But you have to be receptive,” The little man reprimanded the former watcher.
Wesley waited until the man moved ahead. “That was unnecessary,” he grumbled to the smiling street kid.
“Come on, he is about to give us the tour, I will distract, you look, okay? And don’t worry, I won’t tell any one that you are a closet homophobe.”
“I am not,” Wesley said clearly offended.
“Well, that was a waste of time,” Wesley said to Gunn. They had just returned to the truck after a two-hour tour of the facilities.
“Yeah, I didn’t see anything evil or dangerous. But this place must be bad news, nothing that saccharine could be good for you.”
“Yes, let’s go back. And Gunn, I am not homophobe, it is just the idea that somebody could actually think that I would be attracted to you, is well offensive.”
“Back at you, Wesley man,” agreed the tough street kid.