Summary: One of my favorite XF episodes is Kaddish. At the heart of the usual MOW episode is a beautiful, and deeply heartbreaking, love story. I couldn’t help but pay ‘homage’ to it by blatantly ripping off the idea to form my own angst ridden little ficlet.
Spoilers: set in AtS S5, after You’re Welcome.
Disclaimer: Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Please ask
Notes: Chris Carter forgive me. And there’s a quote from Solomon in there as well.
Thanks/Dedication: As always, huge thanks to damnskippy for taking a look at this.
Feedback: Yes please.
It was nothing now that he owned Wolfram and Hart.
A few phone calls, his black Am Ex card, and the right incantation.
Then some specific instructions.
Long hair, all the way down her back, red or black dress, heels.
That was important.
He wanted to see the whiteness of her teeth in the dark.
The dark is where he waits for her, in his office, seated behind his desk. He sent everyone home, cleared out the other offices, and darkened the lights to an amber glow.
He heard her heels first, alternately loud on the bare parts of the floor, then muffled by fifteen thousand dollar rugs spread strategically to give a sense of personal luxury.
When the door to his office opens, he tenses, waiting.
A figure walks through, shapely, a woman’s hips swaying in gentle refrain.
Her hair is haloed in red highlights, and parts in the center, like the way she wore it the night they met again for the first time, at an LA party.
He blinks past the sting in his eyes, remembering.
Her arms swing gently with the rhythm of her walk as she approaches him, looking neither left nor right. She’s not curious about his office, not about the view, nothing but him. Rounding the corner, she gets between him and his desk, never doubting that he’d scoot his chair back, make room for her.
And he does, he makes room for her as he always had, her hips settling at his eye level as she leans back.
Her face is shadowed, but he can see the arch of her eyebrows, the shadow of the beauty mark on her jaw.
He can’t see her eyes.
He stares up at her, reaching out and running his hand up her thigh, feeling the silk of her stockings. Dragging her dress up, exposing her. Scooting closer, he leans down and buries his face in her fragrant lap, hands caressing the undersides of her thighs, parting them.
Her fingers are in his hair, permitting all the things he never got around to asking for, when there was time.
Now there’s no time.
Nothing but what he steals for them.
Hooking his arms under her thighs, he leans back in his chair, dragging her into his lap, pushing his desperate hands up her belly and torso, dragging gently over her smooth breasts, until he buries his fingers into her hair, tilting her head just so he could surge up and kiss her.
She kisses him back, mouth hot and damp, tongue slipping against his, fragrant with dark secrets, and he wants to drown in it, in her.
Nipping at her mouth, he peers up into her face, seeking a deeper connection, rooting for the warmth of her person, her personality.
“I love you,” he whispers, confessing what he couldn’t before. “I’m sorry I couldn’t –“
He can see her eyes.
She blinks down at him, lipstick smudged.
For him to act so she can react.
His fingers tighten along her hairline.
“Cordelia?” He whispers desperately. “Can you hear me? It’s Angel.”
“That’s not Cordelia.”
Angel jerks her slightly to the side so he can look over her shoulder, ready to tear into the new intruder.
Wesley stands in the darkened doorway, turtleneck black and appropriately mournful. He takes his hand off the doorknob and walks further in.
“But you know that, don’t you?” His tone is without mercy, uncaring as always. “Cordelia is gone, buried. This…is an obscenity.” He gestures to the still form in Angel’s lap, and Angel holds her closer, unwilling to listen.
“How’s Illyria?” He can play rough, too. “Still walking around in Fred’s body?”
“It gives me a certain amount of authority on the subject, wouldn’t you say?” He replies, aware, as always, of his own failures. “I don’t think this office needs another ghost, Angel. There’s too many running around as is and Cordelia, more than any of us, deserves better.”
Angel blinks and looks down. The body in his arms has not stirred once since Wesley’s intrusion and he’s beginning to feel as though he’s holding a doll.
When he looks up, the other man is gone, the door closed behind him.
He shifts, bringing himself face to face with her again.
He touches her hair and smiles.
And she smiles back.
It’s empty of everything he loved most about the girl he buried, and the ache inside him gapes wider, digs itself deeper into his soul. It pulses like a living thing.
He’d do anything not to feel this way.
He brings her left palm up and kisses the center, right over the Hebrew writing.
“I am my beloved’s….” he rubs his thumb over the word Emet, slowly erasing the first letter. The weight on his lap slumps to the side, begins to lose cohesion. “And my beloved is mine.”
He watches her beautiful face slowly fade into sand that falls apart, her shoulders and body following suit, slipping from his lap into granules and lost dreams.
The next day Wesley walks into Angel’s office, seeing the dried clay and dirt all over the desk and floor.
Angel is not in.
He calls Maintenance, instructing them to bring a vacuum.