Title: Underneath the Drowning Water (Book 2)
Rating: R, for now, going into NC-17 eventually
Summary: Fighting her way back to sanity after Angelus’ attentions the previous spring, Cordelia now has to deal with his return from hell. AU of BtVS s3.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: Part of my Persephone series of fics, this is part 4 of Book 2. The previous four ficlets that make up Book 1 have been organized under a tag and stored in my memories. These are under the same tags. This installment is unbeta’d, and it probably shows. I’m not sure what I have can be beta’d, since it borders on nonsensical.
“Pretty Cordelia,” the snake hisses in her face. Cordelia is lying on her back on her bed, a supine virgin laid for the delectation of the things that crawl. The king of them is sitting on her chest, so that her breath is constricted.
It likes the way her blood runs in a single line over neck and up to her chin. She’s half off the bed in a position that reminds it fondly of a portrait of nightmares and phantasms; even to the white gown she wears in an effort to hide her charms.
She cannot hide her blood, though. It crawls to him and he smears one finger delicately through the vintage, bringing it to his lips for a taste.
She stares up at him with an expression that resembles rapture, deep, frozen rapture for the thing that would take her alive and wiggling, and turn her to worm food. She watches it taste her blood, close its eyes, and savor.
It bends in a way that is not natural and smiles with its wicked teeth, fetid breath eating her air.
She won’t need it for long, not for long at all. It will have her, nails and hair and skin and soul.
She knows this, deep where her mind hides.
She will go where the others have gone, reside in his guts and rotted heart.
There to be his beloved for all time.
“You’ll like it,” it hisses, offended that she could think any different, haughty like a queen as it licks its finger.
And then it laughs as she stares,
eyes wide in rapture,
frozen rapture that cages her.
And the dream leaves her in the dark and cold, with her blood collecting at her feet and a rustle in the brushes to her right.
Her lover come back to her; face still speckled with deer blood.
He wears its face again, mouth wide in a grin as he approaches, light of the moon making him glow like a sandstone in the middle of a darkened beach.
“Angel,” she breathes in fear and loathing, caught in the dream.
“Come back to me, have ya lass?” he asks in a singsong voice that lattices through her flesh like sharpened chicken wire. “And brought such lovely offerings.”
He drops to his knees in front of her and touches her again after so long, cold hands on her cold legs, smoothing the cotton gown up as he devours what he reveals. His mouth isn’t that wide; she thinks to herself, it’s only her dream that exaggerates his grin, his teeth.
She thinks of a word, and struggles to bring it to the surface of her tongue, up to the top where she could use it as a talisman.
“Sssssssss,” she begins but cannot finish her own defense. Not with his hands all over her legs sopping up her blood like wine and wafers, her skin numbed from the elements and his elegant palms.
“Yes, sweet girl?” he prompts, looking up from the volumes of her gown with his shining eyes. “What is it?”
“Ssss-“ she fights her own tongue. “Stop.”
One whispered expulsion in the middle of the mud of her own nightmare, and it freezes him.
She feels a rush of power, a burst of something originating in her own body.
“Stop,” she whispers, her lips unmoving but her tongue defiant. She slurs the word, like she’s never said it before. Licks her dry lips and does it again. “Stop.”
They are waking up, the pair of them. Angel recoils from her body as it if was holy and had burned him and she falls back, into the dry earth and leaves and brush. His eyes are wide on her, scared, and she can’t reach for it, can’t connect.
Her name ruptures from his chest, a rasp that sounds as though it hurts coming out.
Shame chases the snake from his features, his eyes like worms scurrying for the earth, away from her.
This time is wholly different, the profound crime he’s committed on her body and mind and soul laying naked under the stars.
Her blood is still between them, smeared along the ground and the knees of his trousers.
“I-I’m,” glassy eyes in his suddenly sweaty face staring at her. “I-“
“Run,” she tells him; as though it’s enough just to say the words.