Title: Force of Instinct
Content: C/A(us), with B/A implied
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made. I own Holly and Alex
Distribution: AO, Cal, Lil, Lio n Sara’s place
Notes: I know this isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea, but it’s the only thing I’ve been able to write since before Christmas. It’s also unedited. Enjoy!
Dwarfed by his hand, the whiskey glass appeared fragile as the liquid, rich and warm, swished to and fro. Not so quiet despite being almost empty, Willy’s bar offered alcoholic solace at a, Angel smirked wickedly, fairly cheap price.
Since Spike and Drusilla, armed to the hilt with trouble, breezed into Sunnydale and with them, Angel’s past, his life had been effectively turned upside down.
At times, Buffy acted as though she could not stomach his face, blue eyes refused to meet his. Almost as if the physical proof of him being a vampire was like a cold dose of reality for her.
A month, four long weeks, he had dealt with her attitude and it was getting pretty damn boring, not to mention annoying. But she was the least of his problems right now, with his Childer in town and most probably causing chaos, Angel was suffering the mother of headaches as sleepless days and restless nights took their toll.
Breaking through his thoughts and restraint, the sudden surge of anger was hot and quick, causing the glass to crack and break, sharp shards now littered the table. Remaining half shattered in his palm, jagged edges cut his skin but went unfelt in favour of a final squeeze before being thrown over his shoulder.
Ignoring Willy’s disgruntled sound, Angel rose and without hesitating, left the tavern. The night air crisp and refreshing did nothing for his whiskey loaded head.
No sooner had he stepped into the cool night air than a body, soft and curvy, shoved him harshly against a wall and a hand, delicate and pale, wrapped tight around his throat.
Ears not detecting either breathing nor heart beat, his sixth sense instantly stating what he already knew.
At first, his brown eyes were full of boredom but on realising it was a female vampire, that boredom swiftly turned to mild annoyance.
Vampire or no, there was a small part of him that truly hated hitting a woman.
“I hope you’re not gonna squeal or anything, cus so not attractive on men.”
Her voice was light and breezy, with a silver tinkle to the tone.
Upon looking down at her face, Angel felt a smile threaten his stoic expression and purposely schooled his features, while using a single and swift motion to shove her to the ground. Inwardly grinning at the infuriated look shot his way from the dusty ground. Going on an instinct he shouldn’t have, he reached for an ever-present stake and clutched it tight, his first thought being to dust the bitch.
Rubbing her backside and glaring, the vampiress eyes were a bright hazel and reflected the moonlight into his. “Hey!” Even as angry as she obviously was, her voice never lost the sweet lilt. “Don’t you know it’s wrong to hit women? Geez and I thought you looked like such a gentleman. Oh, you’re a vampire too?” She huffed. “Just my luck”
Staying silent and circling her like a shark does it’s prey, Angel licked his fangs and studied her with orbs, dark and intense. Easing his grip from the stake and retracting his hand, he let it drop harmlessly to his side.
Her top, forest green and slits on the shoulders, looked nice against the backdrop of marble flesh and her skirt, knee length and black, gave away just enough. Spiked and wrapped around toned calves, heels were an exact match to her top.
“Well?” She demanded haughtily. “Are ya just gonna leave me here or are ya gonna help me up?”
Holding out a hand and waiting for her to take it, Angel wondered how old she was. If the innocent and youthful look on her face was anything to go by, he’d say at the most six months.
“I would say thanks but you were the one who put me there and so, no gratitude for you pal.” After dusting herself off and looking aggravated at having to do it, the vampiress made a dramatic show of hands on hips and feet apart.
Finally, Angel spoke. “Tell me, Childe, how old are you?” The more he looked at her, the more familiar she became.
The flash of thought was not missed. “A 100”
Rising high, his left eyebrow kissed his hairline and he shook his head, an amused smile flickered at his lips.
Trying again, “50?”
The right brow joined the left, the smile became a disbelieving smirk.
“Alright, alright. A year, ok? Happy now? First, you push me to the floor and then, you ask my age. Tell me, do you possess any manners at all?”
A year old and that had been her attempt at hunting? Angel wasn’t sure what to feel. On one hand, he felt sympathy and on the other, more vampires like her would be good. “Who sired you?”
She paused for a second. “The one that made me a vampire? I’m not sure, he wasn’t there when I woke up”
Sympathy was winning out. Here she was, a year old vampire with no sire and most probably, no blood family or clan, Angel wondered how she had lasted so long. Of course, she wasn’t his business or problem, she would have to learn one day and she may as well start now.
“Hey Mister, where are you going?” Heels clicked as the vampiress hurried to catch up. “Think you can just kick me to the ground and leave without apologising? No way.”
Stopping after a measly few feet and sighing, Angel sent a pointed expression her way. “Is there a reason you’re following me?”
Nodding, “Totally.” She just didn’t know what it was yet.
Furling up into a shining smile, glossy lips revealed a set of straight teeth that gleamed in the night’s soft light. “So, how old are you? If that hair style is anything to go from, I’d say 30 at the very least”
Nearly choking on his tongue at the answered question, Angel couldn’t help but stare at her. 30? Add another 210 years on top of that and it was somewhere close. “Something like that”
“Who sired you?”
“No-one you know.” Yes, her voice was nice but that didn’t mean he wanted to have it in his ear all night. “Now if you don’t mind…”
Doe eyes widened and cast down, the smile on her face faltered ever so slightly and placed shreds of guilt on his shoulders. “Busy, I get it. Who isn’t these days? I should go home. Hope you enjoyed throwing me to the floor. See ya.”
More or less stunned into silence as he watched her half-skip half-jog away, her ponytail swished around her neck and body moved with an upbeat swing. Hugging gently curved hips just right, the black skirt kissed and teased her thighs, the heels defining the legs and adding a little extra height.
He didn’t know where she was going and nor did he care. He had half hour to meet Buffy for a late patrol, if he wasn’t there, his life wouldn’t be quiet for a day or two.
Not having a place of her own to go to, the young vampiress stared up at the Sunnydale Motel, slender fingers sadly toying with another ring ready to be exchanged for another few weeks’ stay.
“Not like I can go home, is it? Especially since my stupid memorial service got such a great turn out.” Sarcastically, a grin formed but didn’t last long. “Let’s hear it for Miss Popularity”
Swinging her arms and blowing her cheeks up, the vampiress all but danced up to the check-in desk, hands flopping soundly down on the little table. “Hellooo… Anyone here?”
The woman, old and unpleasant, appeared behind the safety glass, her eyes disdainfully but greedily looking at the jewellery held out to her. “That’ll cover 3 weeks. Take it or leave it”
“I’ll take it.” Now, all her fingers were bare and throat was free of her necklace. It was either that or live on the streets and vampire or not, park benches and shop doors were so not her thing.
Taking absence of the old woman and heading for her room, Cordelia’s mind focused on getting inside and into a hot bath. She had that guy’s scent all over and smelling like some guy was not on her list of things to do.
Of course, he didn’t smell horrible or have body odour or anything, but she smelled like a man.
Accompanying her walk with a skip in her step and sway to her hips, she jauntily made her way towards the room.
Hands stuffed into pockets and feet dragged along the ground, Angel wondered about the vampiress. She was familiar, her face and scent, her voice and hair.
Wracking his brains for her identity and drifting off from Buffy, he pictured her and wondered where she was now. By rights, he should have dusted her, taken away another cold-blooded killer.
The more he thought of her, the more he was sure they had met before.
“Penny for em.” Snaking a side glance at the vampire, Buffy was mildly amused to see his eyes glazed.
“Nothing.” If she knew he’d let a soulless vampire walk, he wasn’t exactly sure what she’d do.
“It’s not nothing,” she blew a sigh. “What is it?”
Not feeling at all comfortable in talking about the vampiress, Angel didn’t answer immediately. Instead, he concentrated on looking around for things to distract her. Seeing none, “Nothing for you to worry about”
He hoped, anyway.
“Come on, talk to me. What’s troubling you?”
Like hell he could. Last time he talked to her about vampires, it had ended with her walking away in disgust, leaving him feeling bitter. Maybe he should tell her, just for a laugh. God knew he needed one.
“I’ve said, it‘s nothing. Drop it.” Upon seeing the flash of hurt cross her face, Angel felt a shred of guilt for sounding so harsh. As quickly as it came, the remorse vanished under the knowledge it had fuck all to do with her.
“Fine.” Her voice terse and clipped, expression pinched. Walking alongside him, Buffy’s brain raced through what could be the problem. Obviously, it was something to do with her, but what she didn’t know.
Flicking at her lips and swelling her cheeks, a smile appeared as she thread an arm around his waist, small fingers tightly squeezed his leather jacket. “I say we cut patrol short and go to the Bronze. Willow and Xander might still be there.”
“Go, be with your friends.” Angel said dutifully. “I’ve got something I need to take care of.” He had to know who the vampiress was and if she was trouble.
“Can’t it wait? We haven’t had a night out in a while, it’d be nice to take a break.” Buffy shrugged, a wistful calm on her face. “You know, be normal for once”
Here we go. Unnecessarily sighing and resisting the urge to knock himself out, the vampire grit his teeth together. When would she learn? A slayer and vampire was not, and never would be, normal.
Placing her arm by her side and stepping back for space to breathe, Angel offered a rare and weak smile. “Go. Have fun.” Not waiting around to hear her reply before disappearing into the night.
Back outside of Willy’s, Angel scoured the ground for something she may have dropped, thus giving him an excuse for tracking her down. Seeing nothing, he gave up and inhaled deeply, catching her scent.
No chemically enhanced perfume, only her as nature intended. Soft and delicate with a hint of heady night air.
Nice. Very nice, indeed.
Following the fragrant path with a growing sense of familiarity, he questioned his motives more than once.
Why was he doing this? He didn’t sire her and so, it wasn’t his problem to deal with.
He kept telling himself this, even as he followed the trail of breadcrumbs directly to the Sunnydale motel. Confusion warred with a careless heart as he scanned the doors lining the rundown building.
This was where she was staying? Didn’t she have a home or a place to go?
“Course not.” Angel muttered, feet heading for room 3. “She has no sire, why would she have a place to stay?” At least she was here and not out on the streets, killing.
The paint was flaking off the door and littering the entrance, the window was covered and he was thankful she sense enough to do that. Orange and clearly not working as it should, the light outside the room flickered on and off, giving little to no protection for anyone.
Shrugging, Angel entered without obstruction and difficulty, not sparing a look for the useless lock. Stepping inside her room and closing the door behind him.
And on turning round, came to an immediate halt.
As her skin began to wrinkle up, Cordelia decided that her game of foot play lacked a certain something with only one participant. It was worse than having a conversation with yourself, at least you could pretend to be interesting.
Her toes just weren’t interested, they refused to wiggle enough. It was obvious they were so totally not into it.
With her disinterested toes, she yanked the plug and suddenly stood, water cascaded noisily down her body. Pointing to herself and lip-syncing to the CD. “One way or another, I‘m gonna find ya. I‘m gonna getchagetchagetchagetcha!”
Hopping out of the tub and grabbing a courtesy towel, methodically wringing sections of her hair dry and bare feet tapping along with the music. “One way or another I’m gonna win ya. I’m gonna getchagetchagetchagetcha!” The cloth was swooped and looped, twirling her tresses into a turban.
Taking a running step and skipping for the bathroom exit, manipulating her feet into a controlled slide and skidding into the centre of the room. Her body was all toned and tight, the sleek muscle shining with water and much more noticeable. “One way or another I’m gonna see ya. I’m gonna meetchameetchameetchameetcha!”
Completely unaware of Angel’s presence, Cordelia unfurled the towel from her head and comically shimmied about. Gripping an edge in each hand and thrusting her ass into the cloth, merrily shaking back and forth. “One day, maybe next week. I’m gonna meetcha, I’m gonna meetcha, I’ll meetcha!”
The snapping of a wet towel was audible and her wrist was flicked, sending the used towel back into the bathroom. Spinning around with a gleeful giggle and arms spread wide, her hair obscuring her vision but not her breasts.
Angel, too much of a gentleman to stare, was now painfully aware that Cordelia was clean shaven and came complete with a navel piercing.
A screech sounded upon finding him in her room and with the speed of the wickedly embarrassed, the vampiress snatched the top bed sheet and made a toga, a skill that required practice.
Storming the few feet towards him and yanking on his ear with her free hand, Cordelia spun him round and rapped her knuckles off his head. “You saw nothing!” Her fist made contact again and again. “NOTHING!”
Batting the attacking hand away and retreating from her, Angel held up his hands in submission. “I didn’t know you would be in the tub.” His apology was as lost as it was hopeless. Not completely hidden under the sheet, which was becoming transparent with moisture, he averted his gaze from the soft swell of her breasts.
“How did you find me, huh?” The vampiress advanced, keeping a firm grip on the sheet. “Didn’t you knock? What were you thinking, just barging in here like that?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think.” Focusing on the wooden floor and not her nipples, that were hardening with the chill.
Huffing in frustration and severe annoyance, Cordelia shook her head and swiftly made for the bathroom. “When I get out of here, I want some explanations pal.”