Title: The Date
Rating: N-17 eventually
Summary: Cordelia doesn’t know what to think when Angel suddenly starts dating.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Take it, please! BUT! Drop me a line to let me know where.
Thanks/Dedication:To Califi, for getting on my ass to finish this, and all the fans of this story and all the C/A shipper fans out there who are being screwed over by Joss Whedon’s decision to write Cordelia out of the show.
Feedback:Parts 1-9 of this story were written in September 2001. Part 10 was written in June 2003. Sorry it’s taken so damn long.
“Jezebel,” Cordelia hissed under her breath.
It hadn’t been a loud sound, but Gunn, sitting whilst reading the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly in a chair a half dozen feet away, looked over anyway; a slightly curious spark in his eye and his lips pursed so as if he were waiting to hear more.
Cordelia said nothing but looked away. Gunn looked back at his magazine. And the display in the lobby continued on unaffected before them. Cordelia rolled her eyes.
Angel and his “date” were slipping on their coats. Or, actually, his “date” was while Angel helped. Cordelia didn’t understand what it was that he saw in this “woman”. She didn’t seem to have any qualities Cordelia would think Angel would go for.
She didn’t know how to fight, she wasn’t a cop, she wasn’t into sucking blood (that Cordelia knew of anyway) and she didn’t have blonde hair! Why on earth would Angel be even remotely interested was beyond her comprehension. She nearly winced as Angel helped his “date” slide her hair from beneath the lapel of her slightly—okay, VERY—fashionable—no, TRENDY—suede-skin camel dyed duster.
Cordelia’s eyes flitted across the woman’s face and sure enough it was there: That damn flirtatious smirk girls use to show guys that they approved of being helped on with their coats, and more so, that they’d like them do to it again and again and again, on many more dates, future dates. This meant she was just as interested in Angel as Angel was in her.
Of course, this woman had asked Angel out, so of course she was interested. That should be no surprise to Cordelia.
Cordelia leaned forward in slight anticipation as the two turned to head out of the hotel…sure enough, Angel’s hand flitted across the small of his “date’s” back…the “date” turned and smiled, Angel smiled, everyone was smiling, Cordelia grimaced, the “date” leaned in close, whispered something, Angel laughed, and they were gone.
He’d laughed. Cordelia started to feel nauseas. “Plech!” She spit into her trashcan.
“Now that was tactful,” Gunn said surely, tossing his magazine to the side.
“I don’t get it,” Cordelia growled, all the while looking disgusted. “I just don’t get it.”
Three weeks earlier, Angel had waltzed into the Hotel looking just a tad too carefree. The skip in his step and the whistle on his lips and the goofy, boyish grin on his face did nothing to deter it. Cordelia had been sitting in this very same spot,blandly looking over a case file filled with facts about a monster they’d managed to destroy the night before.
With Wesley’s nearly illegible Watcher scrawl scribbled across each page and a stamp of approval from Cordelia,the case was closed.
She’d shoved it all into this folder, stuck some paperclips in various places to hold it together, and was just about to get up to file it away when the vampire walked in, looking almost…sunny.”Hey, guys!”
“Hey.” Cordelia and Gunn said together, both stalling on the “ey” part as they realized how peculiar Angel looked. He looked almost…happy. He’d gone out for a quick fight, and yes, staking vamps usually worked as an upper on this guy, but no way should he of been acting quite like this.
“What’s going on?” Cordelia demanded. Typical worried Cordelia, flat and serious.
“Huh?” He queried, preoccupied as if he hadn’t heard the question.
“Dude, what’s with the waltz?” Gunn broke in.
“Huh? Oh!” And then he smiled. Wide. And Cordelia’s eyes narrowed and she peered at him. Angel wasn’t being Angel. Angel wasn’t being moody, broody, melancholy, or any of the other typical “ey’s”. He was stepping lightly, smirking to himself, and walking up to her desk.
He toyed his fingers along the frazzled leaves of Cordelia’s desk fern…it needed water…it was almost enough for her to smack his hand away and demand he snap out of whatever daze he was in. Instead she waited with her jaw slack open.
“I…” He shrugged, “Had a good day.”
“Nuh, huh.” Cordelia frowned. Shaking her head, she rose from her chair. Gunn moved to gather in beside her, and the two regarded the vampire with a mixture of confusion, awe, and suspicion.
“NUH HUH. You didn’t have a good day,” She said, crossing her arms. “Because that doesn’t happen. Angel, you don’t just have a good day. Something happened. Something different. What happened? You’d better tell it, and you’d better tell it quick, cause I’m getting really uneasy about this and I don’t want to have to stake you…or Angelus?” That last part was a question, and at the arching of her skeptical brow, Angel chuckled, shaking his head.
That action did little to calm her nerves.
“Yeah, man.” Gunn said. “What’s going on?” Angel turned away, now not only smiling to smile, but smiling because he was amused. His friends’ behavior had not been a surprise. He’d wondered on the way home just how he was going to explain this to them.
He’d have to tell them. After all…he’d be gone for the rest of the night. It’s not like they wouldn’t notice his absence. And they’d want to know why.
They’d ask lots of questions. They’d demand the truth and know if he were lying, so he wouldn’t lie. Besides, this was something he didn’t want to have to hide…he wanted them to know about this. As much as it may confuse them, they’d have to know.
“I HAVE A DATE!”Cordelia’s jaw dropped and Gunn’s brow shot up and the both of them ceased all bodily functions including breathing for the moment, and it took a moment for his words to actually register.
Angel grinned and smiled and swayed his shoulders and hips in a little, excited “happy-dance.” Somehow only Cordelia seemed to find this to be completely unnerving.
“STOP THAT!” She insisted. “STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!”
“Yo, whatch you mean you got a date?” Gunn asked. He leaned back against the desk and folded his arms in suspense. Cordelia looked from one face to the other, waiting for the “ye olde pale one” to speak. When he finally did, she didn’t know if she’d heard right.
“Just what I said!” Angel said, giddily. “I have a date!”
“An actual date?”
“An actual date!”
“Yo, man, congratulations!”
The two of them knocked fists and Cordelia nearly blew her top. “What the hell do you mean you have a date!” She shoved Gunn away and marched up to Angel.
“This girl!” Angel said incredulously. “This girl! She asked me out! I was on the promenade, walking off my adrenaline, you know. She just walked up to me, she asked me if I knew where Marco’s was. I said yes. I told her the way. We somehow started talking about other things, and she asked if I’d like to meet her there later,”
“Marco’s??” Cordelia snipped. “Ew, that dive???”
“And you said YES???”
“Are you CRAZY!!!” Cordelia grabbed Angel by the shoulders and shook. “Are you whacked??? You can’t go out on a DATE! Angel!!! You CAN NOT go out on a DATE!”
“Why not?” He asked, looking slightly annoyed as he fought to remove her hands from his lapel. “You used to go out on dates all the time,”
“Keyword being used to!”
“It’s not my fault you stopped!”
“No! It’s the visions’ fault…Angel, you can’t go!!!”
“YOU’RE A VAMPIRE!”
“ANGEL! Are you HEARING YOURSELF??? Do you know what you’re saying??? Did you get a hold of some bad blood—Are you HIGH? YOU CAN NOT GO OUT ON A DATE!” She grabbed his lapel and did the shaking thing again.
“Date?” It was Wesley. He walked in, set down a book and then circled around to where the others were standing, Cordelia’s hands gripped Angel’s coat so hard her knuckles were turning white and there was a maddening glare in her eye that made Wesley lean in for a closer look and then decidedly take a couple of steps back.
Angel again loosened Cordelia’s grip and brushed her off. “I have a date, Wesley,” He said lightly.
“Do you hear that, WESLEY?” Cordelia blared, spinning around and facing the ex-Watcher. “ANGEL has a DATE.”
“A date?” He repeated
“A DATE.” She snipped.
“Really?”Cordelia folded her arms sourly, and smirked. Now Angel was in for it; no way would Wes, good old Wes, condone anything like this! Angel was gonna get the Wesley Wyndham-Price lecture special! About how Vampires with souls CAN NOT in ANYWAY DATE—”And who’s the special lady?”
WHAT. Cordelia shook her head, blinked, then shook her head again. Sticking a finger in her ear to clear the wax, she listened again cause no way did she hear it right the first two times!
“Yo man, is she fly?” Gunn asked. Wesley and Gunn were congratulating him! Immediately, Cordelia’s hands went to her hips and her nostrils flared.
“Wesley!” Cordelia wailed. “Gunn!”
“I think it’s terrific,” Wesley continued. “I think it’s great that Angel’s making new friends.”
“Oh my god!” The brunette’s eyes were nearly popping out of her head from the stress.
“Whatever makes you happy,” Gunn continued. More with the fist knocking.
“What if she’s a spy!” Cordelia shouted out. “What if she were sent by, like, Wolfram and Hart or something! What if she wants to kill you!”
Angel looked thoughtful. “No,” He said shaking his head. “If she were going to kill me, she’d have done it there. I mean, probably… Besides,” He looked over at her. “She didn’t smell like Wolfram and Hart.”
“So, say she’s not from Wolfram and Hart, then she doesn’t even know what you are?”
“If things develop…I’d tell her…eventually.”
“If Angel wants to date, let him date!” Gunn argued.
“It’s about time, really,” Wesley said in all honesty.
“It probably wont go past a couple of drinks,” Angel shrugged. “She asked. I couldn’t turn her down.”
“I wouldn’t have turned her down either,” Gunn encouraged.
“There’s nothing wrong with accepting an invitation out,” Wesley’s proper, reasonable tone prompted an immediate growl out of the Seer, now forgotten on the way side in the sudden flood of testosterone.
“Is she a blonde? A redhead? Oh, a brunette?”
“She’s cute.” Angel repeated, smiling.
“ARE ANY OF YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME???” Cordelia screamed. But her cries were lost on deaf ears. The two human buffoons were huddled in fascination around the newly deemed crazy-vampire-retard, and Cordelia, seething with disbelief, moved in with a mission.
Time for more shaking. Or not.Spinning him around, Cordelia gave Angel a good, hard slap, and he recoiled, hand going to cheek. And then Cordelia spun around and slapped Wesley and Gunn, all in one swoop, like a scene out of The Three Stooges. Gunn had seen it coming though, and backed up taking only fingertips. Wesley however cried out, causing Cordelia to feel just a little bad about it.
BUT SOMEONE HAD TO SMACK SOME SENSE INTO THEM.
She turned back to Angel. Wagging her finger in his face, she started a barrage of scoldings, pointing out the finer details of his curse; reminding him of the last few times he’d became involved with strange women—Rebecca Lowell, anyone? And all about the Darla fiasco that nearly sent him over the edge last year. And finally, whole heartedly, she went into the details of one night last fall when he and Fred had had a “moment” and how he’d pushed her away because of the whole curse deal.
She’d rather have found out they were moving back to Sunnydale then find out he had a “date”. At least she could make sense out of Sunnydale…vampires and demons and werewolves, galore! Lots to do. Lots of ass to kick. Now, for the time being anyway, the only ass to kick was Angel’s. And she was completely up for the job!
“SO DON’T TELL ME YOU HAVE A DATE,” She crescendo’d. “Don’t tell me you’ve got a date. Angel, I swear to god, if you have a date, I am seriously going to beat the unliving CRAP out of you, do you hear me! DO YOU HEAR ME!!!”
“I hear, I hear!” He cried, holding his hands over his face to ward off any more blows. Cordelia stalked in a circle about nine feet across. All three men had backed away out of reach.
‘Calm down, Cordy. Get a grip,’ She told herself. She took deep breaths. It helped…a little. “how could you!” She was pleading now. Her voice had softened and as she approached, he didn’t recoil…as much. “Angel…honestly! Tell me you’re thinking clearly! Tell me you’re not insane!”
“Cordy, it’s just for a drink.”
“IT’S NEVER JUST FOR A DRINK!” She screamed. “Not with you it isn’t!” She was near hyperventilation. How could she get it through his thick, vampire skull! Forcing herself to breathe, forcing out the words, she said, “It’s not just a drink, Angel! You’ve been ogled plenty of times before by strange women! You’ve never taken them up on it!”
“It’s a drink, Cordelia! I don’t understand why you have such a problem with it!” He said, annoyance back in full swing.
“HELL-LO!” She howled, flailing her arms. “Did I not just run off about a gazillion things in my outburst???”
“You made some points,” He said very casually, moving past her in the other direction. She started to catch his arm, but he turned and grabbed hers instead. “And if you hit me again,” He warned, pointing his finger in her face, “I’ll hit you back,”
He knew he wouldn’t, she knew he wouldn’t, but it was enough to get her attention, and she settled down.
“I’m sorry!” She heaved desperately shrugging away from him. Her chest had become tight and constricted during the heated moment, and now it was taking it’s toll not allowing her to breathe properly. Angel supported her for a moment until he knew she was okay. And then he let go.
“I’m sorry! I shouldn’t have slapped you!” She turned, glancing in Wes and Gunn’s direction to include them in the apology. They meagerly accepted. “I just…” She turned back to Angel, slunken shoulders and head bowed. “Angel, I just…I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. To US.”
“I know.” He said, his own expression softening as he let most of the animosity leave his voice. Coming back to her, he reached out a hand, placing it gently on her shoulder and leaned down to speak softly. “Cordy, I understand. But it’s my decision. You always said I should get out more. This girl asked me to meet her for a drink, and I accepted. I thought you’d be happy.”
“Look.” His voice fell a little more, and the red mark from her hand dissipated from his pale face. The hurt look in his eyes…
‘Jeez!’ Cordelia thought. ‘Kicked puppy dog, much?’ “…If you don’t want me to go, I’ll go to her and explain that I can’t stay. Then I’ll come back here and we can all…” He regarded the lobby thoughtfully. “Sit around, or, something.” ‘Jeez. Milk it.’
Cordelia sighed heavily. “No.” She said reluctantly, and he smiled. “No, I don’t want that…go. Go have your…drink.” She had meant it just as it had sounded: singular. One drink. “And THEN tell her you can’t stay.”Angel’s smile immediately cracked. “Or not.” She reiterated.
She was defeated. She knew it. She pulled away from his grip and went back to her desk. “Go on, Angel. Go. Have fun. Have your drink, er, drinks, with your “date”. Go on. Get out. Before I change my mind. Just go.”
“You wont hold it against me?” He asked softly.
She rose her gaze and stared at him through fallen trestles of hair. “No. I wont hold it against you. You know that I wont.”
“Which is why I love you.” He said. So, everything was solved…for the moment. “Don’t wait up.” She allowed a small, though totally fake, smile to grace her pretty features, and then he left.
Behind her, Wesley rubbed his cheek, hard, and Gunn fell into a chair with an amused expression…
Much like he was wearing now.”I just don’t get it.”
“Cordy…stop being jealous.”
“Jealous???” She repeated, sitting up straight. “OF HER??? I’m not jealous!”
“Angel likes her. Give her a chance. I’m sure she’s got…something to offer.”
“Oh, shut up, Gunn!” Cordelia barked. “You just like her because she looks like that what’s-her-name…Denise Richards!”
“It helps,” Gunn leered, and then laughed as Cordelia threw a wadded up napkin at him.After a moment, she sighed,
“Why did she have to show up now? She’s going to ruin everything. I just know it!”
“She’s not going to ruin anything!” Gunn exclaimed. “Besides, Angel would want her there!”
“Why?” The wrinkled up nose sent Gunn into hysterics.
“Because she’s his girlfriend!”
“DON’T YOU DARE USE THAT WORD!” Cordelia exclaimed. “Don’t you dare!”
“Well she is his gir—”
“TUT, TUT, TUT!”
“If she ain’t his girl, then what is she?” Gunn waited patiently for the comeback.
“She’s his…” Cordelia looked for the right expression. “Date.”