Title: Parental Guidance
Summary: Angel meets Cordy’s parents
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, Lio n Sara’s place
Notes: This was a challenge set eons ago. Can’t remember who by though but never mind! This has been done and sitting uselessly on a MIA fic disk for a while, finally found it and voila… Here it is!
Smoothing his shirt free of wrinkles, Angel cleared his throat and took a deep, unneeded breath. He’d never considered how foreboding a door could truly be.
Though he was a six-two, well built vampire who had massacred his way through half of Europe, he felt like a lamb on his way to the slaughter house. His palms were itchy, hot and clammy, his chest was close to exploding due to copious amounts of oxygen taken and his head felt that of a helium balloon.
It had taken the better part of three years to get Cordy to introduce him to her parents and, with her father’s permission, his future in-laws. In the beginning, he had mildly suggested, then nicely asked and finally pleading pathetically.
After getting nowhere with his usual ‘you’re ashamed of me’ speech, Angel had resorted to intense emotional blackmail.
Quirking up wryly, his smile was one of affection and amused amazement. It had not been the threat of discarding his permanent soul, nor was it the threat of having Drusilla for Thanksgiving that had worn her down but the calm statement of inviting her parents to the hotel.
Just the thought of having her parents around all her family and friends had Cordy on the phone quicker than Angelus could drink a human.
Now as he stood with his girlfriend on the doorstep to her parents’ house, Angel was more than a little nervous. A tiny glance to the brunette at his side told him she was more terrified of this than he could ever be.
Pushing his own worries aside in favour of comforting his girlfriend, the vampire reached down and laced his fingers through hers, squeezing softly. “Don’t worry so much”
“Follow your young man’s advice dear, worrying will only give you premature wrinkles”
At the sudden sound of a throaty female voice, Cordelia pasted on her brightest smile and turned to face the mother she hadn’t seen in three years. “Mommy, hi”
Angel was stunned.
In front of him was a carbon copy of his Cordelia.
Same cherub cheeks, same button nose, lips and eyes.
A single elegant eyebrow rose at his scrutiny, mouth tilting up ever so slightly. “If you would like to come inside, you will find plenty of pictures.”
Same sarcastic wit apparently.
Recovering his composure, Angel used every ounce of 250 years’ worth of charm and smiled at the woman. Holding out his hand, the vampire took the liberty of introducing himself in the most gentlemanlike manner. “Good evening ma’am”
Crystal Chase looked down at the outstretched hand and humphed. “We shall see if you deserve my hand, young man. Now would you please be so kind as to escort my daughter inside before she catches her death?”
Cringing inwardly, Angel sharply drew his hand back and wiggled his fingers free of the frost bite. “Of course”<
Shooting her mother a warning glance as she stepped inside the modest house, Cordelia instantly began looking around for her father. “Where’s Daddy?” Maybe she’d get lucky and they’d only have to deal with one parent.
“He’s waiting for us in the drawing room, dear. Dinner won’t be served until nine, your grandmother arrived a little after six so we thought it best to postpone.” Crystal looked her daughter over with a critical eye, examining each and every inch of her.
Angel struggled to hold his tongue at the way the older woman was eyeing Cordelia. He was beginning to think meeting her parents wasn’t such a good idea after all. Opening his mouth, he fully intended on defending his girlfriend against the heavy weight of her own mother’s gaze.
“Well” Crystal spoke, cutting the vampire off before he could begin. “I must say darling, the years have been very kind. Why, you have barely changed since we were last together”
Letting out a relieved laugh, Cordelia fiddled with a loose stray of hair and peered at her shoes, silently preening under her mother’s good graces. If only her mother knew about the benefits of being eternally attached to a vampire. “Thank you mommy, I was a little bit afra…”
“And this young man” Crystal removed her critical stare from her daughter to Angel, making his stomach clench in fear. “Well, I’m sure Felicity will provide help”
He couldn’t refrain from asking. “Who’s Felicity?”
“Our personal shopper” Cordelia mumbled, finding her shoes so very interesting. What must Angel think of her? She may not have the privilege of a personal shopper anymore, but it was still there. Still a part of the shallow girl she used to be.
Angel repressed a smile at the omission and let the comment pass without a remark. “Thank you for the offer, Mrs Chase, but if Cordelia has no objections to my dress then it doesn’t matter to me.” The mother needn’t know about the colour confrontations.
“Hmm” Crystal scowled a little, her eyebrow once again rising. “If you would both like to remove your coats, I would be happy to hang them up”
This time, it was Cordelia raising an eyebrow. Her face tilted up to look at her mother, surprise showing. Her mother, Crystal Chase, offering to do something herself? What was going on here? “Sure, thanks mom”
“Less of the slang dear, you know I find it intolerable when a young lady does not speak with the slightest modicum of decorum.”
At the stern expression on her parent’s face, she let a meek apology and felt promptly put in her place, “Sorry.” Swiftly moving on before the topic could escalate, the brunette forced her smile wider. “Mommy, this is Angel. My boyfriend and business partner at Angel Investigations. We co-own it. Angel, this is my mother Crystal Chase. She and my father began working together in college”
Warmly as he could, the vampire greeted the elder Chase woman with another charming smile and made sure it reached his eyes. “The pleasure is mine, Mrs. Chase”
The mother’s expression went from delighted at her daughter’s formality to suspiciousness at the increasing amount of masculine wiles pouring from the young man. “I’m sure it is. Whether or not it will be my pleasure remains to be seen”
Lightly clapping her manicured hands together and pleased that the ice had been broken, Crystal smiled her first smile of the night. “Now my dear, shall we not go find your father? I know he is simply dying to meet your young man”
There was something in the tone of her voice and the frosty smile sent his way that made Angel swallow.
Leading her daughter and Angel towards the drawing room, Crystal was the epitome of poise, grace and confidence. Something he had often seen Cordelia portraying. He wondered if it was built into the genes of Chase women.
Head held high, eyes alert and aloof, hands swaying by her sides. Even her manner if walking was incredibly ladylike. Measured, even steps that landed light and gentle.
Cordelia’s mother belonged in a book.
Turning to face her daughter’s young man, Crystal oh so charmingly smiled at him as she reached for the door handle.
“Allow me” Angel fought off the grin and used purposely powerful stride to get there before she could open the door.
“Very … Admirable.” Another smile was directed his way. “However, it is my daughter, not myself, you intend on impressing I presume”
Cordelia’s smile became tight lipped as she listened and watched her mother perform old tricks. If Angel thought this was bad, he should have been here for the dinner Xander had to endure. Even now, her face flushed.
“Mommy, Angel doesn’t need to impress me…” Her words fell on deaf ears as a slender hand was brought up, silencing her.
“I find it pleasing to see such a gentlemanly display of courtship and I’m more than sure your father will find just as so.” Crystal didn’t appear to notice the flushing on her daughter’s face and continued to let Angel open the door.
The man sat in a lounge chair peered over the rim of his book, icy blue eyes instantly narrowing at the sight of the strange man close to his baby girl. He moved in a slow, gracious manner and rose up to his full height, book carefully deposited in the empty seat.
Feeling a twinge of recognition, Angel looked the man over with careful orbs. Taking in every detail right from the sandy brown curly hair to the deep blue eyes and the lean build hidden under a tailored outfit. Nodding his greeting, the vampire forced a tight-lipped smile to appear on his face. “Good evening sir”
“He’s a bit old fashioned, ain’t he?” Richard William Chase cocked an eyebrow as he held out both arms, ready to welcome his daughter. “Bet he was the one who opened the door, eh?” His voice thick with a lilt of a British accent that mixed with the American. “Welcome home, Sweets. Daddy missed his Cherub”
Part of the vampire was amused at the ruby red blush that stained his girlfriend’s cheeks as she accepted her father’s hug while another part of him tingled with suspicion. There was something about her father that he couldn’t quite name.
After hugging and kissing his only child, Richard pulled her back and treated her to a beaming grin. “Let me look at you. Haven’t you grown into a stunning young lady? I remember the days where I had to beat off those kindegarten boys with a stick.” His hand cupped her cheek, “C’mon then pet, introduce me to the man who’s stealin my little girl”
Now the man was fully facing him, Angel had a chance to study his face. Remembering his manners, the vampire pushed aside the urge to ask if they had met before and smiled at his girlfriend’s father. Once again, he stretched out his hand “My name is Angel and it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Snagging the outstretched hand in a very firm grip, Richard shook with enthusiasm and a smirk. “Richard William Chase, please call me Rich. Richard is far too formal for a possible future son-in-law.”
Closing the gap between herself and Angel, Cordelia’s smile grew to her usual real one. “Daddy, Angel is the co-owner and detective of our business, Angel Investigations. He’s the best in the field.” Maybe she was just a little biased but who cared? “My father was raised in London, England before moving to Sunnydale when he was thirteen”
“And does he take good care of my little girl?” Richard’s eyebrow rose questioningly, his words directed to Cordelia but his astute gaze completely focused on the vampire.
“To the best of my ability, sir” Angel responded honestly, feeling nothing but relief when her father smiled, happy in the knowledge his daughter was in good hands. If only Richard knew what and who he really was, he doubted Richard would be so happy then.
A small cough from Crystal drew attention, “May I suggest we go to the living room? It is more comfortable and Elizabeth will be waiting for us”
At the mention of her father’s mother, Cordelia’s smile turned affectionate and so very loving. Though she was now beyond the age of eight, she still couldn’t surpass that little slice of excitement she always got at the thought of presents. Her grandmother always brought her presents, especially when she went to St. Kitts for winter.
Holding out his arm, Richard’s tight smile towards his wife didn’t go unmissed by Angel and he wondered at the unspoken quarrel between them. “Allow me”
Crystal humphed but took her husband’s offer, raising an eyebrow at her daughter’s company and smiled icily when he repeated the gentlemanly move with Cordelia.
As they walked, Angel couldn’t stop suspicion from growing as he looked at Richard William Chase.
There was something about that man, he just knew it.