Part 2, Friends Over Coffee
“Spike!” Angel growled as though the blonde vampire was to blame for everything, “I knew I should’ve killed him the day he was turned”
Cordelia smiled grimly into her coffee, “It wasn’t entirely Spike’s fault, he didn’t hold a gun to Xander’s head and tell him to make-out with Willow. Well, not that I know of and I seriously doubt he would”
He’d never noticed anything about the red head or the boy either and he chastised himself for not seeing it. Angel was sure he would’ve said something to Buffy about it, well he may have said something to Buffy about it. That’s if she hadn’t already known about them that is. “No, it wasn’t” he gave her that point with a sigh, “Just like no-one held a gun to Buffy’s head about reading up on Acathla and how to stop it”
“What do you mean?” she asked curiously as she looked at the vampire who was now replacing her as the trodden-on-by-love person in their little pity world.
“Buffy didn’t have to kill me, Cordelia” Angel looked at her, his distress obvious as emotions swirled around his hypnotic gaze. “All she needed was my blood to close the portal”
“And you were sent to hell? But I thought you were soulless” Cordelia tried to fathom it out in her head, the whole EvilAngel had thrown her for a loop. Finding out that someone who had saved her life more than once was suddenly evil and hell bent on sucking the world into hell.
“I was… Until Willow’s spell worked and my soul got returned just before” his grip on his coffee cup was making his knuckles stand out and look white than the rest of his skin. “And Buffy…”
“Sent you there instead” she whispered as it all came together now, putting her cup down, the brunette covered his hands with hers. “I always pride myself on telling the truth Angel so I’m gonna play the devil’s advocate here for a… Was there a devil and did he have horns and a pointy tail?”
He gave her a hard stare, causing Cordelia to smile at him sheepishly and shrug innocently. “What? I can’t help it if I’m curious. I mean it’s not everyday you meet someone who dies and comes back from hell. So was there a tall, red devil with horns?”
“Yes and its name was Cordelia!” Angel shot back quickly, causing her to laugh soundly at his quick fire put down. At first, he wasn’t sure how’d she’d take someone else giving that to her but obviously she liked it if her musical laughter was anything to go by.
Cordelia shook her head when her laughter subsided and gave him a sideways glance. “They lost out big time you know that?”
He didn’t pretend to not know who she was on about, “Well Xander did, but Buffy’s better off without me. She can have a normal life, live in the sun and do stuff that she wouldn’t be able to do with me” Angel told her with an accepting shrug of his broad shoulders.
“That’s bullshit and you know it, Angel” Cordelia stopped his train of thought before it picked up steam. Setting her mug firmly onto the table top with a little thud, she gripped his hand tighter. “Buffy is a Slayer, where is the normality in that I ask? And another thing, what the hell is normal these days? If somebody walked up to me in the middle of the street and stuck a metal pole through me I’d go to hospital, and did actually, but there are people out there who pay people to stick metal through their eyebrows!”
“Do you know how many people consider themselves different or abnormal Angel? You’re not different than they are. Sure, you may have a psychopathic demon in there but we all have something” she stressed to him. “I have a psychopathic shopping demon and bad taste in men it seems. So that’s two for me, you only got the one”
“Being a vampire is a little different to compulsive shopping” he told her seriously with another hard stare.
“I don’t suppose you have an inner voice that whispers carnal cravings to you in the middle of the night” Cordelia agreed ruefully with a nod. “It’s like every time I go past Victoria’s Secret’s, I hear this ‘buy me buy me buy me’ nagging sound in my upper right hemisphere!”
“Get away from her, it may be contagious! Pick up your skirts and RUN!”
“Have you ever thought of seeing a head doctor?” Angel queried as his brow scrunched up in the middle. “Or maybe locking yourself up for the safety of the human race?”
“Once or twice, but it doesn’t work anymore. I know how to work the house security codes!” Cordelia deadpanned quickly, this time making Angel laugh. She looked at him, when he smiled his face lit up and his eyes burned with colors, bringing warmth to the cold, obsidian orbs he usually had. The apples of his cheeks puffed up and he tilted his head to one side, making him look a lot younger than his…
“How old are you?” she asked suddenly.
“240” Angel mouthed to her, “27” he spoke aloud.
“Wow, you’re years older than me” she looked in awe at him, “You don’t look a day over 235!” she whispered and took a sip of her coffee, gracing him with an innocent look that he didn’t believe. Yeah, it was definitely Buffy’s loss if she dumped this one; Cordelia didn’t doubt that Angel would ever cheat on anyone. Maybe just maybe, she’d got a friend out of all this.
“What are you thinking about?” Angel asked, nudging her hand with his a little and vaguely noticing how neat her nails were. Not overly long but not short either, French manicured perfectly and the shape trim.
“Just how much of a loser freak Xander Harris is” it wasn’t exactly what she thinking but it was on those lines. If Buffy was involved, so was Xander in her book; she was adding Willow to that book too. “I was too blind to see what was going on right in front of me” Cordelia shrugged, it didn’t seem as bad now that someone seemed to be listening to her side of the story instead of Willow’s woe-is-me side. “But you Angel, you let your every move get dogged by Buffy, I don’t get it. You’re old enough to live your life so why do you let her tell you what to do?”
“I don’t let her tell me what to do” the vampire responded, if she’d been easy going enough to tell him about Xander and Willow, then he could at least return the favor. Off her look, his mouth pursed out and looked deep in thought for a second. “Buffy was the first person I came into contact with after decades of solitude, living off rats and she was the first person to show me any kindness at all”
“You mean you just wandered aimlessly for years like totally alone?”
Angel looked away from her, not wanting to see any pity in the girl’s face for him, he didn’t deserve or want that from his new friend and ally against Buffy’s little squadron. Cordelia scratched his hand, bringing his attention back to her “I’m not pitying you Angel, pity does nothing but make people wallow in their black pit of despair for all eternity. I just wish you had someone to go too, that’s all. It’s not fun when you’re on your own is it?”
“Ain’t that the truth. I’m stuck in here on my own and does anybody care about me?!”
“No it isn’t” Angel agreed and sighed, “That’s one of the reasons why I let myself be used so I won’t be alone anymore. Plus, I did-do love Buffy but that’s over now so what can you do?”
“Nothing short of crying your eyes out in a hospital bed” Cordelia answered as she shrugged at him. “Here’s to Alexander the Great Asswipe and Buffy, may you both suffer for your loss until the world gets the next ice age!”
“I’ll agree with you there, Xander is an ass Cordelia, you could do so much better than him and I could do better than a Slayer” Angel didn’t even register he hadn’t called Buffy by her name. “We should teach them a lesson, show them what they’re missing”
“And how do we do that O’ Brainy Vamp?”
“Ever hear the old saying The Enemy of mine Enemy is my Friend?” Angel asked as he started to get more and more into the idea that was now spreading wings and taking flight in his head.
“Yeah, and that has to do with me how… Oh, I get it now” Cordelia clicked on to his line of thinking. She tapped a fingernail on the table top thoughtfully, “I know that would really get up Xander’s nose but I really don’t wanna be on the end of your ex-owner’s stake Angel. I’m not scared of her, if she pushes me then I’ll push back but she is stronger than me”
“Buffy won’t hurt you, I won’t let her” he told her honestly as he returned her light hand-holding softly. “A vampire has to take care of his girl right?!” without waiting for an answer from the pretty much stunned girl opposite him. His demon spoke, he listened and reported back to Cordelia! “Here’s what we’re gonna do…”
Part 3, Battle Tactics and Accessorizing
Two days later saw Cordelia fidgeting nervously and pacing in the mansion while she waited for Angel to finish whatever he was doing in the kitchen. She looked around the mansion, taking everything or what there was of it, in. The walls were bare yet well kept and clean, the floor was simple cold, grey concrete and all except for an old couch, the furniture was sparse. The brunette figured most of it would be in his rooms where she suspected he spent most of his time.
Patience wearing as thin as her top, Cordelia hobbled lightly into the kitchen where she found Angel drinking a mug of blood in long, thirsty gulps which he choked on when he saw her watching him. Swallowing as quickly as he could, he turned away from not wanting to see disgust on her face at the sight of him drinking blood…
“Wow, you were thirsty or do you call it hungry?” Cordelia pointed out, “Do vampires get thirsty too? Or does O pos cure that too?” she asked curiously. “What does it taste like?”
“Huh?” Angel glanced round at her when she started playing a game of twenty questions with him. “Um, I’ve never really thought about thirst before actually. I normally just drink blood whenever I’m um… Hungry” he finished quietly.
“So blood cures the starvation but don’t you ever feel the need to have a nice, ice cold glass of water now and then? Or do you ice up your blood? Hey! You could make blood slushies!”
“Blood slushies?” now she really had gone mad! “What’s slushies?” Angel asked, not really sure if he wanted to know.
“They’re yummy drinks made up of crushed ice, I’ll make you a blood slushie one day if you’re a good little vampire!” Cordelia teased with a shy smile towards him. “After all, a woman has to make sure her vampire has plenty of iron cus we can’t have you turn into a pile of skin and bones now can we?”
“No, we wouldn’t” he agreed, to what he wasn’t entirely sure yet but he’d figure it out eventually of that he was sure. Looking the brunette over with his melted chocolate gaze, Angel took in her outfit for tonight; the night that they would fight back!
She wore a deep, rich ruby red blouse made of satin with sleeves that reached her elbows and a scoop neckline. The hemline just barely covered her midriff, showing off some of the pale but still bronzed skin on her stomach but also covering the bandages that hid her fresh injury. Her skirt was black leather, also as requested, with a silver studded belt that reached just above her knees.
Black, strap-tie sandals decorated her small feet and criss-crossed halfway up her calves to fasten just below the curve, enhancing the feminine slender legs. Her hair was held back by some loose grips, keeping stray wispy tendrils from fluttering around her heart-shaped face and her make-up was kept to a minimum.
Angel smiled slowly and appreciatively of the way she looked, definitely dressed to kill he decided. “Nice” he commented, his usually warm voice was a little heated with the accompaniment of the husky, purred lilt that sent shivers up and down her spine. He suddenly felt under-dressed; if they were going to be believable as Sunnydale’s newest power couple then he figured they should match. “I’ll be right back, just gimme a minute” he told her before scooting up the stairs quickly, leaving Cordelia to contemplate her sanity for going along with this hair-brained idea of his.
She had to admit though, having the opportunity to get back at Xander was something she couldn’t possibly pass up at all. And since it was Angel she was doing it with, all the better because if there was one sure fire to piss of your ex and that was to date the person he couldn’t stand. In this case, it was to date the vampire he couldn’t stand.
“Ahem!” a deep, throaty cough from behind her snapped Cordelia from her thoughts and she spun to face the vampire. Angel straightened the cuffs on his deep, berry red velvet shirt, the top two buttons were left unfastened exposing some of his obviously impressive chest and leather pants skimmed his muscular legs perfectly. Her hazel scanned his form, an eyebrow raised as she analyzed him from top to toe.
His dark hair freshly gelled and spiked up, a natural musky scent radiated from him and he wore the perfect boots to go with his outfit. But there was still something missing, just that one little thing but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
“Something’s missing” Cordelia stated as she looked at him with pursed lips, “Do you accessorize?” she asked. “Like a thumb ring or a chain or something. I remember that chain I saw when you, he, you-he tried to kill me in the graveyard. It was this silver chain with a locket or something on the end. Where’d that go?”
Angel shrugged, “That’s a sign of me soulless, Cordy, I don’t wanna go there anymore than I have to. It makes me uncomfortable” he confided.
“Makes you uncomfortable? Makes YOU uncomfortable does it? It makes me uncomfortable when you prance around posing as me. I demand you stop it right now and go put your poncey trousers back on!”
“Says the vamp who looks like he’s ready to eat me whole” she pointed out with a shake of her head. “Look, you have just as much right to wear the chain as evil you does. You may as well take advantage of his stuff, I would if I had half of his clothes and I were a man”
“Don’t you dare touch my stuff! Next time I get out, I’m hiding all my stuff so you can’t ruin it with your souliness! But I’ll let you borrow my pants if you give her a game of pool in that skirt!”
“Okay, I’ll just be a minute” the vampire told her before scurrying back upstairs, realizing this was a bit of roles reversal between a man and woman. Normally, it was the woman doing all the last minute fixing and the adding of jewelry and not the man. It was quite disturbing when he thought about it.
Angel rummaged around inside a drawer, looking for the chain he wore during his rampage last year. “Where is it?” he growled in annoyance, “Cordy’s waiting downstairs and I don’t to keep her waiting for much longer”
“Ooh! It’s ‘Cordeee’ now is it? That’s fast Hans, even where you’re concerned!”
Ignoring that squeaky inner voice, Angel finally got his hands on the chain he was looking for and quickly slipped it over his neck, positioning it right so the symbolic pendant dropped down from his Adam’s apple.
The vampire almost tripped over his own feet in the rush to get back downstairs so he wouldn’t have to keep her waiting any longer than necessary. “I’m back” he gasped for air he didn’t need, grinning at Cordelia like a mad man.
“So I see” she replied, not really wanting to know why he was grinning and panting to be honest, she could imagine well enough on her own thank you very much. “Shall we go then? Cus as much as I love watching you run around like a cat on a hot tin roof, I wanna get this over with as quickly as possible” she admitted her nervousness to him.
Angel frowned at her and guided her to sit on the couch, “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, Cordy, really. If you’ll find it too hard then we won’t do it and we’ll find another way to show them what they lost. But if it’s Buffy your worried about, then don’t be. She may not have been girlfriend of the year but she wouldn’t hurt humans” of that he was sure of.
“Yeah, but most humans aren’t dating their ex-vampboys, Angel, even though we’re not dating she’s gonna think we are and that could cause a whole lot of trouble for me at school” Cordelia told him honestly as she met his unwavering but understanding one with her own willful gaze. “I’d have Xander yakking in my ear at all hours, I’d have Willow chiming in at every given opportunity and I’d have Giles going on and on about how I would have to keep away from you for Buffy’s sake so she could concentrate”
“If any of those things happened, I hope you’d tell me about it” Angel told firmly as he tucked a stray tendril behind her ear. “It’s nobody’s business but ours if we’re dating or not right? Buffy dumped me, Xander lost you because he thinks with the wrong head and Willow, she’s still traumatized I killed her fish!”
“I remember that, they accused me of being selfish cus I wanted my car protecting… Sorry!” Cordelia apologized sheepishly. “But you were really scary soulless Angel, I mean big with the scary stuff you know. But you still knew how to dress, that I’ll give you”
“You told me once I think” Angel vaguely recalled something about Angelus, Cordelia, his butt and leather. “So, are you going to let them dictate who you date, Cordelia Chase? Or are you gonna be my girl?” he asked straight out as he held her gaze easily, trapping her within the heated depths of the rich chocolate ocean.
She couldn’t look away, the longer she looked and the deeper she dug; his hypnotizing gaze almost sending her into an enthralled trance. There wasn’t just black in his stare, there was flecks of molten gold and oceans of deep, dark chocolate.
Angel watched as black orbs of her pupils dilated, almost swallowing her irises altogether. Big, black eyes now captured his gaze as he focused in on the gold-hued hazel rims; long thick eyelashes enhancing her almond shaped eyes, making them appear twice as large. “Are you gonna date me?” he forced his voice box to work somewhat.
“Heh, someone with better thrall eyes than me, go figure… As in her figure! Satan I kill me sometimes!”
Cordelia blinked once or twice, she wasn’t sure but nodded enthusiastically in answer to his question. “So we’re dating then?” she asked for confirmation from the vampire just to make sure he was sure he wanted to go through with this.
“I guess we are” Angel replied then it all went silent between them as they wondered what to say to each other next. They’d never really gotten to know each other at all before the other night when they had coffee; if they were going to be dating then it seemed like the right thing to do. Get to know each other, that’s what they had to do.
“Was that a tumbleweed?!”
“So what do you…
“What do you do…”
They smiled shyly a little before Cordelia gave him a silent invitation to speak up first before she ploughed into something that would embarrass the living hell out of her.
“I was just gonna say that um, if we’re gonna be dating I should know a little bit about you and vice versa” Angel took the lead with a nervous but gracious smile as he left it open for her to disagree or agree. Not that she could disagree with that of course, it made sense to know something about the other.
“Well, I had an idea about that see” Cordelia began and got his full attention, “We could use these ‘dates’ of ours to talk openly in front of them, and let them see who we really are. Sure, they’ll probably laugh at me but what the hell. The whole school is laughing at me, I’m sure two nerds and crazy freak won’t matter” he nodded for her to continue.
“While we’re learning all about each other, we can use what we learn against them by ‘finding’ stuff in common. And when I say find, I mean fix”
“Good plan” Angel thought it over, “It would also be a good idea if we danced once at the Bronze too, I never danced with Buffy and it would be petty and pretty childish if I was to dance with you. But what the hell, if we’re gonna do this then we’re gonna do this right”