Title: Love Long Denied (A Darkness Within fic)
Category: Angst, hopefully hordes of smut
Content: C/A – eventually B/A (LMAO not really. Just wanted to give Cali a heart attack. )
Summary: This is based on a fantabulous challenge by Califi which I have included below. Basically, Cordelia comes out of her coma hurt and angry over everything that had happened. She’s determined to leave Angel behind for good, but the former Champion is going through a “dark period” and doesn’t plan to let the beautiful brunette go any time soon.
Spoilers: It’s all being spoiled people.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: DW/GTCA. Anyone else, ask first.
Notes: Proceed with extreme caution. Okay, I took the challenge in the spirit it seemed to be intended and ran with it. I don’t know, I guess I was just in a possessive Angel, smutty kind of mood. Either that or I really need to get laid. Note #2: With this, as with everything I write, I care very little about canon. If that bugs you bail now ‘cause I figure if I have to take the time to write it I’m gonna make damn sure it changes everything to be the way *I* want it to be. Note #3: Well, we’ve been talking about Angel’s “beige side” and whether it could pop up at any time or whether it should just be confined to Season 2. Since this is set Season 5ish I guess we’ll see how it works out. Note #4: I’m warning you now this isn’t gonna be a ball of fluffy cotton candy so read at your own risk ‘cause I’m completely dedicated to not caring if the story bugs you. Constructive criticism is always welcomed (although I’m fairly lazy so don’t be hurt if I don’t take it.)
Thanks/Dedication:Ummm…have you ever had an idea that gets stuck in your head and fills it with a zillion possibilities? Well this challenge was one of those things. I’ll be honest here, this challenge had actually been started by Scorch in a much better way than I’ve tackled it. But after repeatedly bugging her (which she put up with very sweetly), she made it perfectly clear that she was
not going to write any more of it *sob sob* and she gave me her blessing to try my hand at it. Thanks, Scorchy.
Feedback:Always appreciated, never discouraged.
Angel’s hand shook as he slowly hung up the phone.
She was awake! His beautiful Cordelia was finally awake.
Without wasting another moment he flew out of the room running at speeds so fast he was nothing but a blur to those he passed in the hallways. Slowing as he entered the hospital wing of Wolfram & Hart he made his way to the room that held his world.
He stopped in front of the door to her room suddenly nervous. This was it; this was what he’d waited for for so long. Turning the handle and pushing the door open he was filled with a sensation that at any other time in the last century would have triggered the bliss clause of his curse; but with all he’d been through in the last year he doubted that would ever be possible again.
Focusing on the woman on the bed he watched as she did something she’d never done before in all the times he’d sat with her here – she moved. It was a small movement, but it meant that the coma was over, that she’d really come back to him.
Crossing to her bedside he reached down and gently grasped her hand. His heart swelled with joy as her head turned and her eyes fluttered open. Her raspy voice had never sounded better to his ears and her eyes – he was drowning in her beautiful caramel gaze.
The unnecessary breath he hadn’t even known that he’d been holding rushed out in relief that she recognized him, that her mind wasn’t damaged in some way leaving her awake but not truly alive.
“I’m here, baby.”
Cordelia smiled slightly as her eyes slid shut, but she was only drifting into sleep as opposed to unconsciousness.
Just then Doctor Fisher entered having heard that the CEO had arrived.
Angel graced him with a rare but large smile.
“It seems your theory was correct, doctor. Believe me; I won’t forget what you’ve done here.”
Knowing that Wolfram & Hart both punished and rewarded in an extravagant manner he was overcome with relief that he had pleased his boss and that he seemed to have made an extremely powerful ally.
“Well, Mr. Angel, we would certainly do nothing but our best on a case so important to you. Besides, once we understood the intricacies of her condition it was only a matter of waiting for the situation to resolve itself.”
Turning back to Cordelia Angel addressed the doctor over his shoulder.
“Can I take her home now?”
“Of course. Now that we know what was happening to her, there’s certainly no need for further medical care.”
This time Angel’s smile was a picture of satisfaction as he gathered the sleeping Cordelia in his arms being careful to tuck her blanket around her to keep her warm.
Ever since he’d realized what the Powers had allowed to happen to Cordelia, to his son, the soul he’d worked so hard to redeem was slowly pushed to the background as he let the instincts of his demon nature surge to the forefront. It was that nature that was soothed now as his woman was finally resting in his arms and on the way to their home. Having her where she belonged would go a long way towards pacifying the restlessness that had been such a large part of him recently.
“I want you at my apartment in an hour. Even though all signs point to a full recovery I still want her checked out once I get her settled in.”
Knowing that his instructions would be followed, Angel didn’t wait for assurances as he carried his precious bundle out the door and into her new life.
Angel brushed a tender kiss on Cordelia’s forehead as he set her on his large bed. Lying down next to her he pulled her, blanket and all into his arms, not wanting to let her go for even a moment.
As the minutes passed the tension in him began to dissipate as he realized that they were finally here, together as they were always meant to be.
He cringed as he realized how much time he’d wasted before. All those years he spent dancing around the truth – that he loved her. He’d been so afraid that he’d frighten her, that he couldn’t give her what she deserved, and most of all that she wouldn’t feel the same.
But he wouldn’t make that mistake twice. This was their second chance and he wasn’t going to let it slip away. Even though the old group had all come to Wolfram & Hart, it just wasn’t the same anymore. Without Cordy they’d stopped being family and become colleagues. Now he and Cordelia were all that the other had left, and while he’d tell the others that she’d come back to them Angel knew that it was far too late for even Cordy’s heart to span the chasms that had formed between them all.
So lost in thought was he that he almost failed to notice the signs of Cordelia waking again.
As her eyes opened once more Angel leaned over her, wanting his face to be the first thing she saw.
Joy lit his features to once again hear his name on her lips.
“Angel, where are we?”
Cordelia struggled to sit up as Angel hovered over her worrying that she might be doing too much too soon.
“Cordy, I don’t think you should – ”
His concern was cut off by her suddenly cold voice.
“We’re still at Wolfram & Hart, aren’t we? My God, Angel; how could you possibly think that this is where I’d want to be?”
Shocked by the criticism he was about to defend himself when he realized what she had said. She had known that they were at Wolfram & Hart, a relocation that had been made only after the coma.
Of course they said that people in comas could hear things going on around them, but for just that very reason he’d left strict orders that no one was to mention the law firm within 100 yards of her room. He wanted to be the one to tell her about the move, to show her that it had been the only choice they’d had after the destruction that Jasmine had left behind. A tragedy in which they had all been victims.
“Cordelia, how do you know where we are?”
The still drowsy brunette pushed at the vampire with unexpected strength considering her condition. Taking advantage of his surprise she bounded off of the other side of the bed.
Angel stilled at the move. Despite the speculations of the medical staff it was still amazing to see Cordelia recovering by leaps and bounds, her body seemingly suffering none of the usual aftermath of a coma.
“How do I know? How do I know???” Cordelia’s voice climbed as her fury roused her to a more wakeful state. “I saw it. I saw it all, Angel. The Powers were kind enough to relieve the boredom of the Higher Realms by giving me a ring side seat to everything that happened after I got bumped from my body.”
Angel stood as he was gripped by the import of what she was saying.
“You weren’t in your body? When? For how long?”
Cordelia sneered at his confusion answering him in a tone laced with scorn.
“What does it matter when I actually left? I was already being pushed out before that. Ever since Skip stuck whatever the hell it was in my body; when I stupidly believed that being with you was worth any price.”
The last was muttered and even though it could be clearly heard by his supernatural hearing Angel was too lost in the fact that something had been wrong since that birthday that seemed ages ago.
“It started then?”
Suddenly the anger on Cordelia’s face gave way as a tired sense of resignation swept over her.
“How could you not know, Angel?” Her heartbreaking question was accompanied by a sheen of tears that covered her eyes but refused to fall.
“You were my best friend. You knew everything about me. Everything. But you never questioned anything at all.”
“You knew I’d only been with one man and we all remember how well that turned out, but you didn’t even think it was a little odd that I turned into a big ol’ ho for the first inter-dimensional champion to come my way. You just accepted what – that underneath I’d really always been a slut?”
“Cordy, I – ”
“Do you know what it was like? Being in there, screaming for you to hear me; to figure out that something was wrong as everything about me began to change? But you didn’t. By the time the meeting at Point Dume came along and whatever thing it was got rid of me all together and shoved me upstairs I thought I’d weep with joy at not having to watch you show just how little you knew me, how wrong I’d been about our friendship, about our… about everything.”
Cordelia began to shake with the force of her anger so long unexpressed.
“But no, no blissful ignorance for me, I get to watch ‘Oblivious Angel – The Movie’. I got to see it all, to watch as you made clear over and over how little you must have really thought of me. Not only did you not bat and eye at me swanning off with Groo while Holtz was on the loose, but you actually thought I’d – ”
She almost couldn’t mention the nightmarish incident that, had she had a body at the time, would have caused it to be violently ill.
“You actually believed that I would sleep with Connor. Me!” She spat the word at him. “The woman who changed that boy’s diapers, who helped take him for his first check up. And you thought – ”
Her voice tapered off as a cry choked her. The weight of her despair was too much to bear and her body shook as the anger lending her strength deserted her.
Seeing her begin to sway Angel raced around the bed catching her falling form, pulling her back to rest against his firm chest.
Cordelia’s struggles were weak but sincere as she tried to push herself away from Angel’s strong embrace.
“Shhh. Cordy, stop baby. You’re gonna hurt yourself.”
“Yeah, and why would I need to do that when you’re here to do it for me.” Her bitter words were accompanied by more fighting to get away from the arms keeping her pinned to the large, hard body behind her.
Angel just held her tighter. He’d deal with these shattering revelations later; right now he just needed to calm her down, to make her see that all of that was finally behind them.
“Cordy, it’s over now, all of that’s over. Everything’s gonna be okay from now on; you’re safe. I have you back, that’s all that matters.”
There was nothing but stunned silence for a moment.
“What? You have me back? You could have had me back right away if you’d cared to, if you’d bothered to notice anything about me. But now? Now you have nothing.”
“Do you honestly think I’m going to stay here? No way. I’m done – with you, with your train wreck of a life, and with your questionable efforts to save your soul.”
Cordelia laughed but the sound was harsh, grating.
“God, isn’t that a joke. You’re Satan’s legal advisor; I don’t even think your soul is redeemable for 50 cents off a box of Cheerios.”
“It’s over, Angel.” The flat, monotone voice scared Angel in a way that her anger hadn’t begun to. “I’m leaving.”
It was the wrong thing to say although she had no way of knowing. 6 months. 6 months of hell waiting for her to show even the slightest signs of recovery. From the moment he’d realized that his best friend was gone and something had taken her place he’d been lost. He’d known even then that he loved her, but he hadn’t understood how necessary she was to him. He didn’t know who to be, what to do without her. And if she didn’t like the choices he’d made in her absence, well, he’d done the best that he could and each choice had been made out of love, to bring her back to him. If she thought he’d ever let her leave she was sadly mistaken. Her place was nowhere but with him and he was going to make sure that she understood that.
“You’re not leaving me, Cordelia.”
Not deterred in the least by the steely resolve in his reply she recklessly pursued her course blithely unaware of the danger building around her.
“I went to Italy once. It was nice and I wouldn’t mind going back. Although honestly, even Europe doesn’t seem far enough from here.”
His hands clenched as she continued to make plans that would take her away from him. Any remnants of the soul urging him to go slowly with her in this fragile state were drowned out by the raging of instincts far more natural to the creature he was. “You’re not leaving me, Cordelia.”
“Besides, the Scoobies are there off and on, so it’s not like I’d be absolutely alone.”
His roar finally broke through her musings. Dizziness swept through her as she was spun around to face a furious Angel, her mouth dropping open as she watched his face flicker between human and demon. Seeming to settle on a compromise his human features remained but a searing amber bled into his eyes confirming that the demon was still in control.
Holding her at arms length he bent forward until their faces almost touched. His voice was a breath above a whisper but the sinister promise lurking below the surface of his words was unmistakable.
“Get this straight, Cordelia. You’re not going anywhere. Your place is here, by my side and it always will be. Whatever problems we have, whatever anger lies within you we’ll resolve, but you will neverleave me; not again.”
Leaning closer his lips brushed against the curve of her ear.
“In case that wasn’t clear enough, Cordy, listen well. You’re mine. Since the day I wrapped myself around you and saved you from Russell Winter’s bullets you’ve belonged to me. A life saved is a life owned and I’m not letting you go – ever. Do what you need to to come to terms with that, but do it soon. We’ve wasted enough time. We’re not wasting anymore.”
With that his hand moved from her arm to her hair, twisting in the long chestnut locks, another sign of her miraculous healing. With a swift tug he pulled her face up to meet his and took her lips in a crushing kiss.
Never expecting that, Cordelia gasped in surprise. Angel was fast to take advantage of the opening and his tongue forced it’s way past her lips, sweeping into her mouth to thrust deep into the warm moist cavern, pulling back slightly only to surge forward again and again in a clear show of dominance.
To her everlasting shame Cordelia found herself responding. Her head spun with the taste with him even as her body strained forward longing to press into his own. Even though she knew he was proving a point to her, declaring some kind of ownership over her, her body, she couldn’t help the arousal unfurling deep within her.
That was her one enduring weakness – she loved him. No matter what happened, no matter what he did her feelings just wouldn’t seem to die. God knows she’d tried to kill them often enough. During the beige period, when she’d realized he’d lied to her about Darla and played Russian roulette with his soul, while she was trapped, a prisoner in her own body; she’d worked so hard to stomp out this unrequited emotion, but apparently it was boundless and nothing either of them did could eradicate it.
But she wouldn’t, couldn’t act on it. If he knew he’d
never let her go. She wasn’t sure where Angel’s possessiveness was coming from and given his behavior over the past months she wasn’t even going to hazard a guess. But it was crystal clear that he felt that somehow she belonged to him.
Whatever. She knew that she couldn’t deal with any of that right now. All she cared about was getting away; from the law firm, from her former life, from him.
With a Herculean effort she pulled her arm away, jerking back and leaving him in the position of either retaining his grip on her hair and hurting her or setting her free. To his credit Angel chose to release her.
Raising a shaking hand to her swollen lips Cordelia slowly backed away from him.
“You’re insane. You’re absolutely insane.”
And with that declaration still ringing between them she turned and bolted from the bedroom towards the front door.
It was a useless flight as Angel’s speed was far greater than hers would ever be. Just as she opened the door his palm hit it, slamming it shut before she could even try to run through it.
Overwhelmed with a feeling of helplessness Cordelia turned towards Angel and shoved him. Catching him off guard he stumbled back a few steps. Instead of taking advantage of the chance to escape, the overwrought and exhausted young woman lunged at the vampire and began pounding on his chest all the while screaming almost incoherently.
Trying desperately to catch her flailing limbs before she did herself harm, Angel was alarmed as she suddenly slumped into his arms. Clutching her close to him he finally noticed Dr. Fisher standing behind her, an empty syringe in his hand.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Angel, but Miss Chase seemed to be hysterical which, while understandable given the circumstances is still definitely not advisable this soon after awakening.”
Swinging Cordelia up into his arms Angel gave a small jerk of his head, indicating that the doctor should follow him into the bedroom. Laying her once again on the bed he gave the doctor a terse order to check her over before striding out of the room to make some important calls.
Her head felt fuzzy. For a moment that was all Cordelia could focus on. Finally opening her eyes she groaned as she realized where she was. Struggling to sit up her hazy gaze swept over the dimly lit room.
Just as she’d thought – There, in the corner was Angel, lounging in a heavy, leather chair. His eyes bored into her intently as if he’d been staring for hours. As he stood Cordelia scooted closer to the headboard in an instinctive, protective gesture.
Smiling grimly Angel ignored the movement and gestured to the door at the side of the room.
“The bathroom’s through there, Cordelia. Go have a bath. I think we both need a chance to calm down so we can discuss things rationally.”
Her eyes followed him as he left the room. Sighing to herself she was willing to acknowledge that just maybe she’d gotten a teensy bit irrational during their last “conversation”. She was loathe to admit it, but it was probably best if they did both take some time to unwind. Fighting with Angel wasn’t getting her anywhere and she was sure that once he understood that she’d seen it all, that she knew that his affections rested with someone else he’d forget whatever weird idea had formed in his even weirder brain and see the wisdom in them parting ways.
And actually, she did feel rather disgusting. No matter how many sponge baths a person gets you’re never quite clean until you do the job yourself. In fact, dwelling on it now had her wrinkling her nose at the hospital smell that seemed to permeate every cell of her body. Now that she noticed it she’d never be able to focus until she’d washed it away, so deciding that even though the idea was Angel’s it wasn’t necessarily bad, she made her way to the bathroom.
Cordelia wanted to scream. This place was gorgeous and under any other circumstances she’d welcome the luxury. Although she no longer lived for this kind of life that certainly didn’t mean she couldn’t appreciate it. And there was a lot there to be appreciated.
The room, easily the size of her entire apartment was covered entirely in white marble shot through with obsidian veins. In the middle of the room was a platform with a set of stairs leading to a tub easily the size of a large spa. Along one side wall were a set of ornate sinks and a vanity, and across from that was a small sitting area with a burgundy, velvet chaise lounge and two matching overstuffed chairs. Two thirds of the back wall hosted an enormous glass shower with various benches and a variety of shower heads strategically placed so that no area was without water. Next to the shower was a marble partition that she assumed hid the toilet from view.
Stubbornly refusing to take Angel’s suggestion of a bath simply because it had come from him, Cordelia headed for the shower. Wanting nothing more than to burn the pajamas she was wearing which smelled entirely too much like hospital, she instead laid them on the chaise, loathing the fact that she’d have to put them back on but knowing that she had little choice other than to borrow something of Angel’s and
that wasn’t something she’d be doing again any time soon.
Stepping into the shower Cordelia was caught off guard by the electronic panel where the shower knobs should be. Rolling her eyes she realized that even with her expensive tastes she could see the difference between opulence and overkill. Perusing the choices she finally found the button to turn the water on. As it rained down from all directions she noticed two things simultaneously. One, the water was set at the perfect temperature for a lengthy, relaxing shower. Two, the glass of the shower wall went from transparent to opaque and soft light flooded the space as soon as the shower was activated. With a roll of her eyes she wondered how a guy who could barely cope with a cell phone could manage this epitome of high tech.
As Cordelia was halfway through her third cycle of rinse and repeat she was startled as a masculine voice called to her.
“Cordelia, here’s some clean clothes for you to change into when you’re finished.”
Straining to hear the door close she began to speed through the remainder of her shower. The fact that he couldn’t have possibly seen her was little comfort as a feeling of vulnerability set in in light of their recent kiss and the fact that she was currently completely naked.
Carefully peeking out the door before deactivating the shower, she grabbed a towel and began drying herself quickly before wrapping it securely around her. Feeling somewhat better at the small amount of coverage she picked up another towel and began wringing as much water as she could from her hair.
As soon as that task had been seen to she made her way to the clothes Angel had left for her. Disbelief froze her to the spot as she saw what her modest pajamas had been replaced with. There on the chaise was a stunning negligee set – a fragile, almost transparent robe of tea green chiffon covering a delicate silk gown in a rich emerald hue. Lying on top of the set was a matching lacy confection that she assumed was supposed to pass for underwear.
Muscles finally unlocking she spun around searching for the clothes she’d worn into the bathroom. Sure, she didn’t want to wear them again but anything was better then the ensemble before her which was little more than an erotic invitation to whoever saw her in it.
After minutes of frantic searching Cordelia realized that her former best friend had absconded with her original outfit leaving her no choice but to wear what he’d left for her. The feeling of helplessness was fast returning and for a moment she actually considered storming out there in the towel currently draped around her. However, the realistic part of her brain conceded that anything, even the flimsy excuse for clothes before her was better than venturing out in her current state of undress.
She shivered slightly as the silk slithered across her skin coming to rest against her ankles. Stepping forward gather up the robe she felt the material part and expose her leg up to the lacy edge of her panties thanks to one of two matching slits cut into the gown.
Nearly shaking with rage she stormed out of the bathroom intending to give the vampire a piece of her mind that, should history hold true would have him wishing for a stake and a holy water cocktail.