Title: Turning the Tables
Category: Angst, Humor n Smut!
Content: C/A eventually
Summary: You play with a Vamp, he bites. You play with a Bitch, she gets even. Combine the Vamp and the Bitch, they work.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: AO, Cal n Lil’s place.
Notes: A request by Cal so here ya go, been working long and hard on this so you’d better enjoy or just remember my vegetable threats towards lily…!!!
Buffy glanced up at the vampire through her eyelashes; pain, heartache and sorrow embedded deeply in her blue eyes. Her baby-pink lips pouting as she tried to blink away the tears of the unfairness of the world. “I-I’m sorry Angel” she whispered to him apologetically as she went to caress his face, “I can’t be with you because I can’t have the risk of letting Angelus out again. I couldn’t stand it if he got out because of me again” she told him tearfully as she retracted her hand from his face.
Angel looked down at her, his face and eyes expressionless as he absorbed her words like a sponge. He knew he should tell her about his soul being permanent after being brought back from hell but to be honest, he didn’t really care much for anything right now. He was having a hard time adjusting to being back on Earth and not in that dimension.
The only thing the vampire could think of when he looked at Buffy was the fact that if she had cared about him at all then she would’ve realized that she only needed his blood to stop Acathla. Instead, she’d killed and sent him to hell. Something he’d never be able to forget, he could forgive because she thought she was doing what was necessary but he couldn’t forget. He was too emotionally raw right now to deal with anything else.
Like this God forsaken break-up of their tragic farce of a romance.
“Is that it?” Angel asked in an even tone as he stared down at the young Slayer with fathomless eyes that bore deeply into her.
Nodding, Buffy leaned up to kiss him goodbye; when her lips touched his all she could think was how much she deeply loved him and how she would give anything she had just to be with him. It was a bittersweet moment for her, the ending of her true love; she didn’t think she’d ever be the same after tonight. It was like a part of her was broken that could never be fixed again.
For Angel, the moment had gone on longer than necessary and he’d had enough of it all to be honest. He was tired, cold and he had better things to do other than play Romeo to her Juliet. Didn’t she get it at all that he’d just got back from 300 years in hell? He had a damned good right to be feeling the way he did, there were no words to describe how he felt after getting back, no words at all.
One minute he was angry, the next minute he felt like his soul was being torn in two and the next angry was an understatement to the rage inside. The rage of the demon at being contained behind a soul, the rage at feeling betrayed by someone who claimed to love him and the rage that had been with all through his existence.
Buffy found herself wanting more and couldn’t help but press her lips harder against his and she felt her arms going around his neck. “Umm” a choked and muffled moan came from her as Angel pushed her away from him. Covering her mouth with her hand, the Slayer blinked up at him questioningly at first but then understanding flooded her watery eyes.
“I’m so sorry for tempting you like that Angel” she whispered sorrowfully, “But I can’t help it. I just love you so much”
“Go” was the only thing he could think of to say that was in the least bit polite, anything more and he’d spontaneously combust with the whole sordid affair.
Nodding, Buffy backed away a few steps as she took a lasting look of the vampire she loved more then the world before she turned around and ran.
Leaving him to pick up his shattered thoughts.
Lying in the hospital bed as she had done for the last week, Cordelia smoothed the back of her hand across the dewy skin of her cheeks. Dewy from tears well-spent, dewy from restless nights and dewy from the lack of skin-care products she was used to. She felt alone, betrayed, bitter and angry over what had happened between Xander and Willow, God she felt sick to her stomach.
It wasn’t so much the kiss itself, it was the fact that it had been going on longer and she’d never noticed what had been right under her nose all this time. And she thought it was Buffy she had to worry about not sweet, innocent Willow Rosenburg, man stealer extraordinaire.
It was the thought that while he’d been kissing her, Cordelia Chase, Xander could have been thinking about Willow. Sure, they said they only shared kisses but it’s still cheating no matter what Xander told her to weasel his way out of it. Now here she lay, alone, cold and miserable without anyone to talk too or even to look at. She’d stared at the same ceiling for the last seven days, she’d talked to the same nurses for the last seven days and she’d seen the same doctor for the last seven days.
In fact, she’d bet what was left of her pride, dignity and self-respect that she’d seen that fly for the last seven days too.
Could her life get any worse?
Startled out of her well-deserved self pity party by a gentle tapping on her hospital room door, Cordelia turned the only part of her she could to look at who was there.
She had to think that jinxing line didn’t she?
“Xander, what do you want?” she asked tiredly, didn’t he understand the meaning of the words ‘Leave me alone?’
Xander eased the door open a little, feeling it was safe to enter the room he’d been chucked out of earlier. “I just wanted to see how you were… Are… I brought you some flowers” he held up a small bouquet of wildflowers from his neighbors’ yard.
There was a time only 8 short days ago that Cordelia would have found his dorky attribute sweet but now she only saw it a pithy attempt to win her back or get her forgiveness. She was willing to give him neither of what he wanted. “Thanks. Drop them in the trash on your way out please. I’m tired”
“Cordy please, I’ve said I’m sorry what more do you want?” Xander expressed as he held up his free hand in exasperation, he made one mistake. One. There were people out there who made more than one mistake and they got forgiven, why couldn’t his one mistake?
“I want you to leave me the hell alone is what I want” Cordelia repeated her exact words from the four other times she’d spoken them to him. “I don’t want anything else from you or her, just please leave me alone Xander. Go away”
“I made one mistake Cordy” he said pretty much what he was thinking; she’d always respected people who did that didn’t she? If it meant he’d regain her respect, then he’d do just that.
“That one mistake missed my left kidney by half an inch, do you know what would have happened if it had been half an inch to the left Xander?”
Xander gulped and once again felt a searing pain, yes he knew what would have happened if that rebar had been half an inch to the left.
“I asked you a God damned question” Cordelia snapped, some of her frustration and anger slipping out as she demanded an answer from her ex-boyfriend.
“You” he swallowed again, “You would have died I know, but you can’t keep making me pay” he told her honestly.
“I don’t want to make you pay for anything” she said as sweetly as she possibly could as she reigned in her anger at him and the whole situation. “I don’t want to make you do anything except get the hell away from me before I call security. Go now Xander, and don’t ever speak to me again or I will make you pay. Got it?”
Nodding in full understanding, Xander inched forward a little more into her room and deposited the wildflowers on her lunch tray. “I’m sorry” it was the most sincere apology he’d given her since this whole thing came out.
“You should be. Goodbye”
He left, leaving Cordelia to pick up the remains of her shattered pride and emotions.
Part 1. Fancy Meeting You Here
“Annddd!” Cordelia smiled genuinely for the first time in what felt like forever as she toddled through the automatic door of the main entrance to the hospital slash prison. “I’m free!” she grinned when she felt the cool night breeze bring a refreshing change from the clinical atmosphere of the hospital. Outside, there was no smell of industrial strength cleaner or the putrid scent of hospital version of mashed potatoes and even better, there was no doctor around to poke and prod her anymore.
Balancing her small little overnight bag on her shoulder, Cordelia inhaled a deep breath through her nose and reveled in the wonderful smell of outside. Even if that smell was car exhaust fumes and pollution, anything was better than bleach ala hospital!
Spying the car her housekeeper had brought for her, Cordelia toddled off as fast as she could towards it, simply just enjoying being able to walk about and how no-one could order her to lye down anymore. She was, for all purposes, a free woman; free of the modern day Nazis as she called them once or twice after a few threats from the ward sister! She’d only gone for a walk to the vending machine for a Coke for heaven’s sake; it wasn’t like she was planning on taking on Mount Kilimanjaro.
The brunette felt like she had a new lease on life as though she had just escaped the confines of the concentration camp at Oschvitz! Slinging the bag from her shoulder, Cordelia rummaged around for her keys and typically found them underneath everything else.
“Typical!” she muttered to herself as she eased her currently fragile body into the drivers’ seat and started the car. “Ahh home sweet home. Peace and quiet. No Xander, no Willow, no Buffy and definitely no doctors. Bath here I come!” and she drove away, quite happy for now and just content to start her life again.
Angel had pretty much sat in his chair day in and day out ever since Buffy had dumped him four days ago. All that was missing was a baseball, a cap and he’d feel like the perfect lovesick teenager. The walls around him were bare just like always, it seemed as though his grandchilde had stored away all his stuff when he took off after his childe. Not that he minded a lot of course, but that was his stuff to put away into storage and not Spike’s!
Okay, forget the baseball and cap, Angel just realized he was brooding about his grandchilde putting his stuff into storage. He’d seriously sank to an all new low here and knew he had to get out of the house before he went stir crazy and killed someone, namely himself!
Dragging his tired and empty body out of the leather chair, Angel went straight for the front door when he paused in thought. He’d never gone for a drive in a very long time and he suddenly found the need to. It was one of the few things the demon and man agreed upon, a nice and relaxing drive in the night listening to some Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra.
Turning back on himself, Angel tried to remember where he put the keys to the barely used convertible.
“Top right hand drawer under the blue socks you never wear” came the all-knowing inner voice of his and Angel sneered at his demon and had visions of someday being able to flip him the finger or tell him to fuck off and go bother somebody else!
“You’d be lost without me Hans Soulio!”
“Just like I’d be lost with a map” Angel growled as he went directly for the top right hand drawer under his blue socks, ignoring the smug feeling inside him. “I think I’ll take the back roads, more chance of a kill that way”
“I was wondering when you’d start to see sense, oh well better late than never I s’pose!”
“I meant a demon kill, not a human. Haven’t you done enough of that?”
“Not nearly as much as I’d like to be honest… Hey stop trying to be my chum will ya? I hate your guts you freak!”
Having retrieved the keys to the stunning, sleek love of his life the vampire almost jogged to his baby waiting in the garage just screaming to be taken for a ride to get her juices flowing.
Cordelia wrestled her car to the side of the little lane when weird noises sounded from under the hood. Steam was coming out of the engine, the gear shift didn’t move right and her brake seemed to be a little on the none-working side.
“Great, thanks car. I love you too!” she yelled at the roof of the soft top Corvette as though that would make any difference. Unfortunately, it didn’t even make her feel better let get the car to start working. “After all the things I’ve had done to you, let’s see shall we? You’ve had your wheel arches widened, your shocks have been lowered, you have 17 inch tires complete with alloys I might add. Not to mention these nice and cozy little bucket seats. And what do I get in return?” she demanded.
“A breakdown when I need you the most. Didn’t you ever hear of your owner in need?” she asked her steering wheel desperately before hitting her hands off of it lightly. “I guess I’m walking home then. All that way by myself, in the dark with no-one to look out for me…” okay so the guilt trip didn’t work either!
Opening the glove compartment, Cordelia yanked some stuff out of it and stuffed the bits and pieces angrily into her little bag until it was overflowing. The car door shut behind her and the alarm beeped into action. “At least that’s one thing going right tonight. I feel like I should be looking around for Candid Camera or something”
Alone, she started walking along the empty lane, giving sparring glances at the little houses hidden behind the bushes. She’d love to have one of them, they were painted in bright colors that reminded her of the beach; so very different to her own more conservative home. Her parents had old money and they knew what to spend it on; but as good as her house looked, she’d still prefer to have one of those brightly colored cottage-type ones. They always looked so inviting and homely, hers was large and could be construed as foreboding to someone who had never been there before. Most of the time when she was alone in the house, she felt intimidated by it’s lavish size.
A grin quirked up at the corners of her mouth as Cordelia remembered one Halloween years ago, her parents had thrown a masquerade and had invited her aunt, uncle and cousin Timmy. When they had all gone to bed, she’d been so terrified of the costumes that had been worn that she had checked the whole house with her Barbie pen torch!
“What an idiot!” she chuckled as she remembered the good times she had when she was a child. She’d had some good times with Willow and Xander too, that she couldn’t deny as much as she wanted to. They’d play together in the park opposite kindergarten and eat ice cream while Xander pushed her and Willow on the swings.
“How sweet!” Cordelia snarked bitterly at the memory that she had been fond of but now detested greatly. She was so caught up in memories that she wasn’t watching where she was going, her foot slipped off the edge of the pavement and she stumbled into the road.
Freezing like a deer caught in the woods, Cordelia found herself face to face to two bright headlights no less than two inches from her face. Her breath caught in her throat when she realized how close she had come to getting knocked over and her heart started pounding wildly, not even registering the pain in her left side.
A man got out of the stalled car and ran round to help her up, “Miss!” he gushed as he knelt down to take her by the arms. “Miss, are you alright? I didn’t hurt you did I?” he asked hoping he hadn’t.
Cordelia was still staring into the head lights as he spoke to her so she didn’t really hear what he said. Giving her head a little shake, the brunette turned to look at the driver of the car and breathed a sigh of sheer relief. “I-I’m fine” she stammered a little as she tried to get her arms free of his gentle but firm grip, “I’m not hurt which is something I suppose”
Angel help the young woman up off the side of the road and helped her dust down her clothes, accidentally hitting her injury as he did so.
“OW! Stop it, don’t do that please. It hurts a lot” Cordelia brushed his hands off her body and straightened her clothes, blowing a strand of hair from her lips. “I don’t suppose you have a cell phone I could use please? My car broke down just back there and I don’t really want to walk home in the dark”
“Uh, no cell phone, sorry. Are you sure you’re alright Miss?” he asked again, she was hurt and he could smell fresh blood on her, but it wasn’t like he could say that to her was it?
“I’m fine really, thanks for not killing me or anything. I really appreci-Angel?!” Cordelia finally looked at the man who was trying to help her and recognized the vampire instantly. Great, now he was gonna go back to his little girlfriend and tell her everything. Just great, is there anything else you wanna throw my way?
Angel saw past his panic and took a good, long and hard look at the brunette standing in front of him. She looked as tired as he felt, she had bags under her almost lifeless eyes and her skin was pale. Her hair, though clean and nice, lacked it usual luster and she wasn’t even looking at him, she was walking away.
“Cordelia… Wait” he caught up with her in a few steps, turning her round with a gentle hold on her arm, offhandedly noting she seemed frail under his much more powerful touch. “I-is everything okay? I mean do you need a ride someplace?” he offered, “I have a car”
What was it with him and acting like a teenager today?
“I know, you almost squished my head with it” Cordelia replied as she looked at him, the hazel orbs that were once full of spite and a bitchy attitude, were now practically void of that and it made him frown in genuine concern.
“Yeah, sorry about that, really I am” Angel told her honestly as he continued to look at her, wondering what had brought this lively, voracious girl to such a gloomy place.
“You know, that’s the second genuine apology I’ve had this week” she pointed out with a choked laugh as she sniffled back a tear. It was no use crying in front of Buffy’s boyvamp, he’d just go back tell her and that was something she didn’t need. “What? Does the world’s population want mugs for genuine apologies now? I swear” she growled, the hazel flashing for just a second before she once again reigned in her anger.
“Why did someone apologize to you?” Angel asked in confusion, ignoring his demon telling him to just drain the girl and put her out of her misery. “D-did someone do something to you? Do you need help? I can…”
“No, I don’t need help Angel. I just want to be left alone if it’s all the same. Thanks anyway though. It was nice talking to you, drive safe” Cordelia smiled and waved at him sweetly before turning away from the confused vampire to continue on her way home.
“I know what it’s like” Angel spoke up suddenly, why he didn’t know but he couldn’t let her walk off the state she was in. It wouldn’t do him any harm to listen to someone else’s problems for a while either, it just might put his perspective if he was lucky.
That stopped her in her tracks.
“You know what what’s like?” she threw over her shoulder, not turning round so he could see the tears welling up in her eyes.
“To be alone” he was cold, “To feel lost” nope, still nothing, “And to feel betrayed” BINGO!
“What the hell do you know about being betrayed?” Cordelia snarled out as she spun round, almost losing her balance with her rapid spin. “Or should I be asking CryBuffy that question?” she smirked when she saw a flash of something in those melted chocolate orbs. “I mean she does have the most loyal puppy in the world, I should ask her where I can get one”
“Buffy and I have nothing to do with you” Angel growled out as he took a step closer to the brunette. “So keep your nose out of what isn’t your business”
“Take your own advice, Angel, I’ll keep out of yours if you keep out of mine” she retaliated but walked a step closer to him. “Until you have any clue what the deal is, just go about your daily routine of lick balls and play fetch because I don’t need you and your help”
Angel walked a step closer to her, his hands clenching and unclenching into fists at his sides. He was already unstable and he didn’t want her to be the one who set him off. It was clearly obvious she was reacting to his own anger with hers, maybe if he channeled it the right way he could get it out of her what had her so upset.
Of course, he’d get it out of her right after he gave this stuck up bitch a piece of his mind.
“You think you’re better than everyone else, you don’t give a damn about anybody but yourself and you don’t care who you hurt as long as you get your own way” Angel growled at her and walked until they were almost nose to nose, steam coming out of them both. “Poor little rich girl” he mocked, “What’s the matter Princess? Daddy not give you his credit card? Or has your footballer of the week left you for a better woman…”
Were they stars he was seeing? Angel blinked back tears as he held his nose between his thumb and forefinger. He was not expecting her to retaliate with violence, maybe he’d gone a bit too far with the better woman comment. “Truth hurts doesn’t…” when he turned back round, Cordelia was walking away with her head held high.
“Fuck!” Angel swore, shaking off the vestiges of her punch, the vampire quickly took off after her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it Cordelia. I don’t know what got into me” he apologized profusely and loudly so she would hear him.
Oh, she heard him alright but ignorance was bliss in her little world and she wanted no part of his little bizzaro world that’s for sure. Cordelia shrugged and started to mentally prepare herself for her retaliating punch from the almighty Slayer.
“Cordelia please” he yelled, she was the only person other than Buffy who had talked to him at all in the last few days. Even if that talking was more of a barrage of canine insults. “Please talk to me” he all but begged and his demon threw up!
Once again, his words stopped her in her tracks and the brunette spun round to face him again. “What now? You gonna start on the reasons Willow was a better choice than me? You gonna start in on how Xander was right to go behind my back? Or maybe you’re gonna stick the stake in and say that I should have been half an inch to the left”
“Half an inch to the left? What’s going on? I don’t under… Oh” the rest of her words caught up with him and he winced visibly. No wonder she’d smacked him after the other woman comment that was really the wrong thing to say. Angel looked at her and shrugged helplessly, not really knowing what to do. “I came back from hell and my girlfriend dumped me”