Title: Christmas Kisses
Summary: This is Setje’s Christmas fic
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: AO, Cal, Lil n Lio’s place
Thanks/Dedication: Setje, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that dear, old Santa brings you everything you ask. May the New Year be good, bringing you peace, love and happiness in abundance. Love and Hugs from your friend for life, Scorch xx
He stood in the corner of Cordelia’s living room, staring at the real Christmas tree he had hauled into her apartment. Watching as his seer was decorated it with enthusiasm. Her hands worked a strip of shiny purple tinsel around some of the lower branches, slowly covering the greenery. The tree was full of little baubles of all shapes and sizes, stars, small Santa figures, snowmen, doves. Everything that symbolised Christmas was on the tree.
All around the apartment, decorations hung and little ornaments sat on the coffee table, mantle and window sill and none of it matched the tinsel on the tree. Her fire was roaring, filling the living room with a delicious warmth and lighting up the room with a array of fiery colours. The pine needles burning coated the room with a sweet, musky natural scent that reminded him of woodlands he used to go too as a human. A few scented candles added to the scent and light in the room as did the cute, little lamp that stood in the opposite corner to him.
His dark gaze went from the Christmas tree to his seer kneeling down so she could finish decorating the low branches. On her head, a red hat was carefully placed with a white furry bauble hanging from the tip. Her outfit was red with white, furry trimming around the hem of the dress that went no further than her thighs leaving sheer red stockings visible on her legs. Black socks were in place of the boots she had worn earlier and now there was some white tinsel tied around the tops. From her ears, Santa earrings dropped low to reach her shoulders and swished against the reindeer necklace adorning her throat.
“Angel, can you put this on top of our tree?” Cordelia’s happy voice broke him away from his study of her and her activities. Holding out her hand, Angel saw the large white angel and gave her an unimpressed stare.
Shifting uncomfortably, the vampire refused to put the angel at the top of the tree, “Why did you pick an angel?” he asked in a pained voice.
Her hazel eyes rolled upwards “Duh! It’s Christmas, Angel and it just so happens that angels symbolise Christmas. Are you gonna help me or do I have to do it myself?” he didn’t respond, just looked at her with a darkening gaze that gave her his answer. “Fine, if you wanna be Scrooge McVamp then be my guest” pushing up off the floor with her red-tipped hands Cordelia jumped up to her feet and placed her hands on her hips.
“Dennis, can you help me put the angel on my tree please? He seems to be quite content to brood whatever jollies he may have away” the white angel floated up as Dennis took the angel and stuck it at the top of the tree, Cordelia and Angel watched as the angel wobbled a little before staying on its given perch, leaning slightly to the side. “Thanks Dennis” she stated happily, looking to his wall with a thoughtful expression. “Do you like your decorations?” the wall was covered in shiny tinsel in the colours of purple, blue and white. Her uncertainty was laid to rest when the tinsel jingled around a little and she beamed around her apartment. “Great, that’s the decorations all finished, now it’s time to put the turkey in the oven”
Offhandedly, Angel wondered if her parents were coming to visit, “Are your parents coming?” he asked, intensely monitoring her reaction.
“Oh no, they don’t get out of jail for another five years” Cordelia replied evenly, her tone too bright and cheerful to his ears, making him guilty for bringing up something he already knew was a no go area. “Wesley’s coming over bright and early tomorrow morning to help set things up. Hey, do you think I should call him and invite him over tonight? After all, he does work with us now”
“If you want” Angel rubbed his forehead, he was getting tired just watching her fuss about with seemingly endless energy. “Listen, I’m just going to lay dow…”
“Oh no you don’t, mister” Cordelia spun round on the spot when he began to say he was going to lay down. Padding over to him, Angel ignored the way the hem of her little red dress floated around the tops of her tanned thighs and ignored the way the neckline caressed her cleavage when she moved. “You are not getting off that easily, if you think I’m gonna be the little woman slaving over a hot stove while you sleep away you have another thing coming. I can’t put the turkey in all by myself Angel, I can’t even make cheese on toast without setting off my smoke alarm!”
“You want me to help you make dinner?” it wasn’t a question as much as it was a statement, from the innocent look in those hazel orbs, she was confirming his statement. “I’ll put the turkey in” he agreed, giving to save on the bullying he would receive from her.
Her response was a brilliant smile that warmed him a little, her berry red lips curled completely upwards, making the apples of her cheeks puff up and the hazel to sparkle. “Okay, you can do that while I go get our presents to put under the tree…”
Angel’s dark eyes widened when she said presents, “What do you mean? Our presents?” surely she didn’t mean his present from her. He hoped not, he didn’t have her anything; he wouldn’t know where to start.
“Who else’s presents would I have? Of course I mean your presents, yours and Wes’s” Cordelia replied before flouncing off into her bedroom to fetch the gifts. They weren’t much but that wasn’t the point was it? Besides, one of the gifts was long overdue.
The vampire was now stood staring off into outer space, hoping against hope she didn’t have him a present. What if she did? What was he going to do then? It was 7 pm on Christmas Eve, how was he supposed to get her a present good enough at this time? Why the hell hadn’t he thought to get her a present before now? What with the Vocah situation and taking extra care of Cordelia after she had gotten out of hospital, he hadn’t given it much thought.
“T’is the season to be jolly fa-la-la-la-la!” the brunette came waltzing out of her bedroom with some small, neatly wrapped gifts and made her way towards the decorated Christmas tree. “Have you put the turkey in yet? Because it’s going to take forever to cook anyway and we can’t leave it too late to put in. At least my old cook at home put it in to cook slowly over night, what do you think?” she asked as she put the three presents under the table. “If you’re lucky, you can open your present at midnight” she teased lightly over her shoulder.
“I got Wesley a book of war poetry, Wilfred Owen, he was talking about him the other day remember? I got Dennis…” Cordelia grinned wickedly as she purposely stalled her words right there, making Dennis rustle the tinsel on the tree. “Nah, I’m not gonna tell” she ducked when a pillow came flying towards her head.
“You didn’t actually get me anything did you?” Angel asked, holding back an expression that would tell her he hadn’t returned her generosity. However, when she glanced at him over her shoulder the smile he received was knowing. “I’m sorry Cordy, I honestly forgot about the date”
Shrugging softly, the brunette scuttled to sit in front of her fire “S’okay Angel, I know shopping isn’t really your forte and I didn’t get you a present with the hope of getting one from you. Though it would have been nice to open oh say something sparkly that would fit around either my neck or wrist or any other jewellery-taking part of my body but it isn’t important”
Nodding at her words, the vampire nudged his head towards her kitchen “I’ll just…” he pushed his away off the wall and entered the kitchen. As soon as he was out of Cordelia’s sight Angel pressed both his hands at either side of his head in frustration. “What the hell am I gonna do? Dennis, help me?” it came to something when a 240-year-old vampire was practically begging a ghost to help him with Christmas presents.
‘I’m a ghost, how can I help you?’ was the ghost’s written response.
It was true, it wasn’t as if Dennis could leave the apartment to take a stroll through the mall just to help him pick out a last minute gift was it? Angel shook his head rapidly, trying to get his brain working while he fixed up the turkey. What would Cordelia love most in the world? Well, she had said something sparkly that would fit around either her neck or wrist, maybe he should get her a necklace or a bracelet…
No, jewellery didn’t seem right for him to buy her… He could always get her some clothes but that didn’t seem to fit her either… Chocolates… Flowers… Making the whole dinner… There had to be something he could get her surely, but what?
It turned out finding Cordelia a present was easier than he thought, in fact once he started he found he couldn’t stop finding things she would like and Angel was proud of himself. He’d bought her a matching bath foam, body lotion and perfume set “Apples” he grinned happily as he took the set from the store clerk and stuffed them into a bag. “Cordy likes to eat apples” he explained to the clerk before leaving.
Upon entering the jewellery store, the vampire immediately went to the silver “Gold clashes with Cordy’s eyes. See, her eyes are hazel with flecks of green” Angel told two perfect strangers with a smile. It was amazing just how well he knew his seer, he was surprising himself. Turning his proudly beaming eyes towards the collection of jewellery, he stared long and hard at a matching earring, necklace and ring set.
Emeralds set in silver would be the perfect thing to get her and she would have something that fit around her neck and finger, she would look so pretty.
Passing a store called Victoria’s Secrets, the vampire became completely still when he looked into the shop window and saw the underwear on display. A bra and panty set in a lustrous green hung on the model in the window causing Angel to frown and scratch his nose in disinterest. “Cordy looks better than that, the green would look nice with her jewellery”
Upon entering the store, he was immediately pounced on by a sales representative, “Excuse me sir, can I help you?” she asked, holding back her amused smirk. This man was obviously out of his league in here.
“I need the pretty green bra and panty set. It’s for Cordy” Angel replied with an uncertain smile.
Though she had no idea who Cordy was, the sales representative smiled reassuringly back at the sweating man in front of her. “Of course, what size is she?”
“Size?” he stared blankly at the woman, “Breast size?”
“Or her clothing size, is she a size 8, 10 or 12?” she asked, trying to coax some information on Cordy out of him.
“Um, I think she’s the model’s size. The green would look nice with her necklace, earrings and ring” Angel whispered his secret. “It’s silver because gold clashes with her eyes which are hazel with flecks of green and gold in them. I also got her a bath foam, body lotion and perfume set that smells like apples because Cordy likes to eat apples”
“Let’s see what I can do about the underwear set hmm?” it was fair to say that Cordy was a lucky woman.
“Thank you” Angel was pleased, he had presents for Cordy and that was all that mattered. Then he turned to follow the helpful lady and he saw the biggest, fluffiest bathrobe hanging near a mirror. It was a pretty yellow colour with long sleeves and big enough that it would probably wrap around her at least twice.
“Cordy should have that too, that way when she gets out of the bath she won’t catch cold and be ill. Not that I mind taking care of her because I don’t, I just don’t want her to get ill… Do you have slippers? She should have them for when she gets out of bed in the morning…”
He was just about to grab a book, put his feet up and relax when he got a slightly frantic knock at the door, with a sigh and a muttered “No rest for the wicked” Wesley trudged towards the door. Opening the white painted wood to reveal an unusually haggard looking Angel who held up a roll of wrapping paper, the presents he had bought Cordelia and sticky tape.
“I don’t know how” the vampire said hopelessly and thrust the presents closer towards the ex-watcher.
“Do come in, Angel” Wesley sighed, moving away to let his boss into his apartment.
Once the gifts were half-neatly wrapped albeit covered in sticky tape, Angel grinned stupidly at Wesley and looked like a little boy who had just gotten his first bike. “Thanks Wesley, I’m going back to Cordy’s now because I have to hide these”
Smiling tightly down at the vampire on his floor, Wesley nodded and got up off his recliner “Are you going to be at Cordy’s for dinner tomorrow?” he asked his boss.
“Of course, I’m cooking the turkey” Angel replied, practically bouncing up and down on the spot.
Was it him or had Angel been programmed to talk like a robot? Wesley could help the suspicion that filled him for a fleeting moment before he disregarded it with a shake of his head. “I shall see you bright and early tomorrow morning then. I’ll see you out”
He gave his friend a quizzical look as he was ushered towards the door, “Aren’t you coming?” Angel asked, his forehead scrunching up in what could well be his millionth frown of the day. “She has a tree with presents under it and she has decorations and scented candles” check him out, he had social skills!
Shuffling on his feet, Wesley glanced his sparsely decorated apartment and his blue gaze landed on the small, fake tree in the corner with tiny fairy lights sparkling on the green branches. Looking back at the waiting and gift-laden vampire, he made his decision.
“Where is that vampire?” Cordelia growled in annoyance, “He said he was going out to do his nightly watch vamp duties, what is taking him so long? Is he making the vampires?” she checked her watch, letting anger replace the worry over him being gone so long. Her eyes glanced around the apartment containing Dennis and herself, though they were family it just didn’t feel right without Angel being there.
At the first knocking sound on her door, the brunette jumped off her couch and ran to answer it, “Wesley hi!” she greeted with forced happiness “I thought you said you weren’t coming until tomorrow not that I’m not glad to see you because I am. Are you going to stand there all day or are you coming in?”
“I would come in Cordelia but it turns out someone is blocking the door” Wesley dryly responded in a humoured, even tone. Already, the Christmas spirit was taking a nice, little hold on him. “Let’s go into the kitchen shall we? I’ll make us a spot of tea” thankfully her delightful happy chatter disguised the face he was making it possible for Angel to enter the apartment without being noticed.
Peering round the door, the vampire’s eyes waited for the second the Englishman and his seer got out of sight before creeping over to the tree and setting the presents down under it. “There” Angel stated happily, he had gone shopping and gotten presents for Cordelia. As he peered down at his presents he saw a large package with his name scrawled over the paper in her handwriting.
Glancing over his shoulder to make sure Wesley was still keeping her in the kitchen, Angel knelt down and began to feel his gift off her. Something was a little hard, bendy, long and thin “Hmm” he felt a little more.
There were smaller things in there too, thinner than the long, hard and bendy thing, picking up the gift he shook it to see if it rattled. “Oooh!” it kind of rattled, “I wonder what it could be…”
“Hey what do you think you’re doing?” abruptly dropping the present, Angel sprung to his feet and looked immensely guilty at being caught. Cordelia stood with her hands on her hips, foot tapping and her eyebrows raised high. “Do not worm your way out with a dumb lie, I know you were trying to figure out what I got you”
Off his kicked puppy expression, she looked away before she could give in to him “Oh no you don’t Angel. You don’t deserve to get clues, you go out on a mission and don’t call to tell me you’re alright and don’t come back for ho… Oh my God, where did those come from?” she pointed to the pile of presents he had bought just for her.
Angel gave her a smug half smile, “Oh they’re just a few things I picked up. But you can’t have them until tomorrow”
After hours of constant pleading, laughing and toasting, they finally went to bed with Wesley on a fold out bed in Angel’s room and Cordelia in hers.
Shortly after midnight, Angel quietly popped his head round his bedroom door to make sure the coast was clear before creeping along towards the Christmas tree and his present.
Cordelia popped her head around her own bedroom door, unfortunately for her the position of her door made her unable to see the vampire and she scuttled towards the Christmas tree and her presents.
Then she saw the vampire once again on his knees and rattling his gift close to his ear, his tongue was flicking out in deep concentration as he focused completely on his present. “What are you?” he asked quietly.
“A little sneak!” Cordelia whispered into his ear, relishing in the fact that she had just scared the living daylights out of her first vampire. Angel dropped the present with a loud shocked gasp of breath and clutched his unbeating heart firmly.
“Christ Cordy” he growled, “Don’t do that… What are you doing up?” he asked when she knelt down beside him.
“You excited too huh?” she answered with a question of her own “This is our first Christmas together Angel and I’m really excited to have this”
“The presents?” he enquired, quizzically tilting his head to one side.
She shook her head, making loose strands of chestnut hair fall from the loose untidy ponytail to frame her heart-shaped face. Her clear lips furled up into a whimsical smile and she tucked her hands into her knees to warm them up against the slight nightly chill. “No, but they are a bonus. What I mean is, I feel like I have a family now. Here with you, Wes and Dennis, I feel like I belong here and that I have something that can’t be taken away. It’s just a shame that…” her voice grew nostalgic as recent happenings involving their heroic friend came back to haunt her.
Nodding in complete understanding, Angel uncertainly reached out to place his large hand on her shoulder comfortingly. Silently, minutes ticked by as they both remembered the brief but happy time they had spent knowing Alan Francis Doyle.
The fire that had been the sole source of heat earlier was now nothing more than dying, glowing embers that gave little light and heat off making Angel notice the chill bumps rising on her arms. “You’re cold”
“A little” Cordelia replied with a soft sigh, she shifted so she could sit cross-legged in front of the glowing embers. She rubbed her arms with her hands to erase some of the chill when she saw him change position.
Angel shifted his body around a little “Come here” he watched with a hidden, satisfied smile as she beamed up at his for his gesture and moved into the safety her offered her. Settling her back against his chest, she deeply sighed in contentment when his heavily muscled arms came around her. “Merry Christmas Angel”
“Merry Christmas Cordy” he replied, turning his gaze down to look at her upturned face. A small waving movement above his head made him turn his gaze upwards to see Dennis wafting a sprig of mistletoe over them. The vampire was just going to ignore it when the ghost whacked him on the head with the sprig as if to say ‘Get a move on would you’
Gathering his courage, Angel tucked a finger gently under her chin to tilt her face up to see the mistletoe hanging in the air. Instead of her pulling back from as he expected her to do, Cordelia simply smiled softly and leaned up to press her lips on his in a timid, sweet kiss.