Posted: Feb 07
Summary: Suppose Cordelia had come to the Hyperion the night Angel tried to lose his soul.
Spoilers: Reprise. Maybe.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: DW fic. GTC/A. Anwhere else,please ask first.
Notes: The result of some fun speculating on TIO today. Cyd, Cali, it probably isn’t the same as what we were gabbing about, but I hope it works anyway. It’s the first thing I’ve finished in nearly a month, so go me. Warning: It’s set during Reprise, so there’s some unavoidable Darla/Angel but it’s temporary.
Feedback: Always appreciated.
She can cut Angel out of the business cards with a swipe of white out or a neatly placed chocolate smudge. She can mumble his name through the answering machine’s greeting or on the phone with a potential client.
But she can’t cut him from her dreams.
He invades them with the precision of a slayer’s stake, standing by her bedroom window.
Sometimes he’s still, face blank, saying nothing.
Other times, he’s vamped and snarling.
She can never really tell through the teeth.
“Go away,” she says in a tone and cadence that wither men where they stand. “I don’t need you.”
“Don’t you?” He replies intimately, moving forward with arrogance and surety, hands loosely clasped in front of him in some parody of prayer.
She doesn’t move, rooted still by every step he takes, until he’s standing at the side of her bed, looming in such a manner that even in the darkness, she can feel his shadow cast over her.
He stares down at her, seeing through her, but she can’t see his face at all. It’s covered in shadows, some light, some dark, rearranging his features with every blink of her eyes.
“Don’t you need me?” He asks but it’s not a question. One knee bent on her bedspread, he kneels down and takes her shoulders in those big, chilly hands and pushes her back against the pillows.
“Don’t you, Cordelia?”
He kisses her, and she feels a knick on the soft flesh of her lower lip like a needle slipping in. Then the copper taste of blood threading through her saliva, falling into the back of her throat.
When she wakes up, she’s aching all over, unable to breathe right for a few minutes, unable to get the taste of him out of her mouth.
She feels as though he’s seeping out of every pore, shining from her vision-dulled eyes. Wonders if this is what dying feels like, this slow bleed out she’s doing. Standing under the cold fluorescent light of her bathroom at three in the morning with a thud through the back of her head like a jackhammer and her skin going pale because she’s been living his hours for a year and a half.
She goes past the butcher shop every two days, buying blood and shoving it in the back of her refrigerator, throwing the old tubs out when she runs out of room.
He’s not coming by anymore, but she can’t stop buying the blood.
“Dennis,” she whispers to her reflection. “What’s happening to me?”
There is no answer except for the cold presence pressing against her side. Dennis tries, but he’s not the dead man she wants.
Sitting on the side of her bed with the light from the hallway cutting through the darkness of her bedroom, she blinks slowly and knows she can’t sleep until she sees him. Hasn’t seen him in days, but now she has to.
Getting dressed doesn’t take as much time as it used to, just an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt. She doesn’t think about a coat until Dennis presses a sweater into her hands.
It takes a bus ride to get to the Hyperion and it doesn’t occur to the thugs sitting two rows down from Cordelia to harass her.
Maybe the still set of her shoulders warns them off.
In the dark courtyard of the hotel, she gazes up at the hulk of the building in front of her.
The doors open without a fuss and she slips in, listening to the silence.
There’s no one in the lobby but she can hear muffled voices and banging from the floor above. She lets her feet lead her, climbing the stairs into the waiting darkness.
The noises are clearer, coming from behind the door of Angel’s suite.
Her hand reaches for the doorknob and she swings it open.
The scene that greets her is like some obscene painting of Dante’s inferno and she flinches from it like a vampire drawing back from direct sunlight.
The whore is in red, straddled by the devil in black, both of them writhing like damned souls at the end of a spit.
Her straw colored hair is spread out over the table and Angel has one hand buried in it, holding her head still so he can open her mouth wider for his lips and tongue.
In her dreams, Angel tasted like honeyed wine and sugared dates. Seeing him kiss the instrument of his falling, she can’t imagine he’d taste like anything but dead dreams.
When Darla arches her neck so Angel can kiss his way down the pale column of flesh, her blue eyes open and she zeroes in on Cordelia’s presence, eyes narrowing in pleasure.
“Can we help you, Cordelia?” she asks mockingly.
Angel stiffens at the sound of her name, his mouth still pressed urgently against Darla’s white throat.
For a moment she’s afraid she can’t move.
Can’t move, can’t think.
Then she turns and runs.
She doesn’t even make it to the street before the vision slams her down, hands pressed to the sides of her head as if she can stop the images from getting in, but it doesn’t do any good and she goes under the pull of someone else’s pain.
It’s a short one; showing her just enough that she knows it’s too late already.
Drifting sounds of cars going by mark the passage of time as the vision lets her go in degrees.
When she opens her eyes again, she’s lying on the ground in the courtyard and the moon is fat and full and milky white above her head.
Angel is peering down at her, his face broken up by shadows, and for a second it’s like she’s in the dream again.
When he reaches for her, she slaps his hands away, scrambling to her feet.
“Don’t. You. Touch. Me.” The words are thick with pain and disillusionment, and she slaps his hands away when they reach again. He can’t make this better; he can’t even try and make this better.
He grabs her again, spinning her around to press her back to his front and lock her wrists together. She struggles, both with him and with herself, feeling like she was dying inside, hair spilled over his shoulder as he drags her back into the hotel, and up the stairs.
“You are not feeding me to her, you’re not!” Fear that he’s already lost his soul crowds her head, making it hard to breathe. “Angel, please.”
Except that Darla’s not in the room when he opens the door and throws her in.
Stumbling against a counter, she looks around, but they’re alone.
He advances on her, no expression on his face.
“I staked her, she’s gone.” He grabs her wrists and backs her into his room, crowding her against the table where she found him with the vampire bitch. He lets go of one of her wrists and grabs up a handful of the dust she hadn’t noticed before.
“See? Gone, just like that.”
She stares at the dust drifting through his fingers, then up into his face.
He grabs her wrist again, bringing her lower body up against his as he presses her legs against the table. Darla’s ashes smear over her skin, and she tries not to recoil at the feel of the gritty substance.
“Why?” He jerks her up against him, face inches away. “How can you ask me that?”
He leans down and tries to kiss her, but she jerks her head back, staring at him with incomprehension.
“What do you think you’re doing Angel?” She whispers. His nearness is not enough to wipe out the image of him on top of Darla, but it’s enough.
“Nothing matters, Cordelia.” He whispers into her face, pressing closer. “I can’t do any of this any more, none of it.” He kisses her and she can taste his lingering grief, his desolation and it spears through her.
He wants to die, to just slip away, and he was trying to do it with Darla.
She wants to cry.
Instead, she reaches up and cups his face before pushing her palm against his cheek, along the slant of his jaw.
The sudden hiss of burning flesh makes him jerk his head up, staring down at her with eyes gone gold. He pulls her hand away from his cheek and holds it up, gazing at it intently.
The cross is new, still pink around the edges, going from her wrist and nestling between the pads at the base of her hand.
There’s an angry red shadow on his cheek, echoing the design on her hand.
“Nice cross,” he says.
Holding her gaze with his demon’s eyes, he pushes the tattoo against his cheek again, fitting it into the burn she left. The sizzle is worse the second time and she flinches, trying to pull her hand away.
“Come on, Cordelia; don’t lose your nerve now.”
He pulls her against his body and rests his forehead against hers as he presses the art harder against his burning flesh.
“Make it hurt, but don’t think it’ll stop me.”
Swooping down he opens his mouth over hers, pressing her head back over the arm around her shoulders, closer than lovers.
She sinks under the weight of his despair and desire, her dreams of him mixing with this unreachable, untouchable stranger scarring his face with her defenses.
He eats at her mouth, tongue sweeping in and tasting as if he had every right, as if he hadn’t left her out in the cold while he pursued his old obsession, telling her with his silence and his absence exactly what she didn’t mean to him.
She’s not ready to let that go, and tries to push him away, denying her own emotions.
But Angel isn’t willing to let go of her.
“No, don’t you pull away from me.”
Pushing her back against the mattress, he follows, covering her body with his and jerking her hands up and flat on the bedspread.
He presses desperate kisses along her jaw, slowly pushing his hips into hers, nudging her legs open and sliding in-between her thighs. She raises her jaw up and he presses his open mouth along her neck, tasting her pulse point.
The throb in her body grows and grows, and she knows she’s wet for him, and he knows it too, pushing his cock against her center, making her want to cry from the pressure he’s building inside her body.
He rears up suddenly.
“Say you want me,” he demands, holding her prisoner underneath his body, with his eyes so wide with need. She blinks up at him, tendrils of desire showing in her low-lidded gaze.
He leans down and takes her mouth in another deep, soul-stealing kiss that says he owns her, that her desire is already his.
“Say it,” he begs against her mouth, pushing his cock right up against her soft and wet center, tightening the need another notch. “Say it.”
It becomes like a prayer against her skin, as he sheds her clothes from her body without her realizing it, trailing kisses along the path he lays bare, ending in long licks at her breasts, nipples tightening underneath the onslaught of his suckling mouth.
She cries out, and she’s not sure if she said the words he demands to hear. All she wants is to be closer to him, as close as she can get and still remain a separate person. Her hands clutch at his shoulders, nails raking down his back, and when he penetrates her with his finger, then two, her flesh convulses desperately against his digits.
He caresses her clitoris with skillful knowledge, slipping against her flesh and making her breath shallow, taking her mouth over and over with his drugging kisses.
“It’s okay to let go, baby, just say it, say you want me.”
Slipping her thighs open, spreading her wider beneath his body, he thrusts inside just as she arches her back and cries out, pulling out and thrusting back in, pushing her higher.
He pulls up, thrusting slowly into her, gazing down at her with eyes that say she’s his, always.
She hesitates, and he puts a hand under her thigh, pulling her leg higher up on his hip, an the angle makes his thrusts the deepest she’s ever felt, and her head arches on her neck, back into the pillow as he comes down on top of her again, licking the skin over her pulse point.
“Say it, say it, say it. You’re mine, you want me. Say it.”
It’s too much, too much feeling, too much need and love and she freezes for that endless second before falling over the chasm as his thrusts become even deeper, harder.
She screams out months of pain, months of need, and he covers her mouth with his and takes it all inside himself, following her over the abyss, coming inside of her with hard grunts that she swallows down.
Then it’s over.
For a long breathless moment, she feels as though they’re still suspended over that chasm, but slowly, gradually, she comes to her senses.
He collapses on top of her, covering her with his arms, nestling deep in her hold. She doesn’t move him off, there’s no strength left to.
Wonders if she just unleashed hell onto the earth.
When he smoothes back her matted hair and lays a small kiss against her brow, she relaxes, allowing the last of the tension to leave her.
She drifts off, the boneless quality of her body dragging her down over the edge.
She hadn’t said the words, but that was fine.
He rests his mouth against the edge of her forehead, and tightens his arms around her sleeping body. The burn of her tattoo is faint already, but he knows it’ll leave a mark.
He likes the idea, her mark on his skin.
It’s only fair, after all.
She’ll wear his soon enough.