Content: C/A, pre-romance/romance
Summary: I suck at these. Let’s just say it’s about A/C’s relationship, okay? Okay.
Spoilers: Angel/Cordelia end of season 2ish for a timeline.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: This is a sequel of sorts to And Know the Place, however I’m writing it as if it can stand on it’s own. It’s just in that same universe, post Angel’s beige period, no Fred with a few changes I made for hell of it really. The visions aren’t killing Cordy, but they do hurt like hell. And Kate’s still on the police force and around. This chapter is pretty much just some set up of a few things and a start. Hopefully, I’ll have more very soon. And also, no I’m not forgetting my other stories, it’s just been so long since I wrote on them (or wrote for that matter) I’m doing this little story to get my feet wet again. Thanks and hope you enjoy.
Extra NOTICE:This is a complete rewrite. I didn’t reuse one word of what was posted at the end of August. Now I’m planning to tell the same exact story I have in my head, but I really hated how I started it last time — it was all wrong, completely wrong but I realized it too late because I posted it too soon in a moment of weakness. So, while it has the same title, and will be the same story — totally different beginning and I believe a much better beginning.
First things first:
A curse on a subject by any member of a Gypsy Clan is a complicated matter. Gypsies as a whole tend to operate on a very old world logic that doesn’t always make sense to our more modern senses. A curse from such clans, such as the Kalderash or the Monamar, are nearly as complex as a spell performed by the most cunning of witches. This is due to the fact that a curse upon a subject by a gypsy clan tends to be situational due to the clan seeking vengeance for a specific act by the subject.
The most famous Gypsy Curse known to modern man is of the one the Kalderash Clan of Romania circa the late 1800’s performed on the vampire known as Angelus, the one with the angelic face…one of the most vicious vampires to ever walk the earth. Facts are vague, but it is known that Angelus viciously murdered the clan’s favored daughter. The curse bestowed upon the vampire was a soul…
Angel’s insides flew out of his body and hit the ceiling before slamming back – at least that’s how it felt. Cordelia’s voice had more than startled him but he recovered quickly, slammed the book shut and tossed it with vampiric precision under his bed.
Calming his shaken nerves he made his way to the door and silently yelled at the woman on the other side. She told him he needed a bell? The woman was uncannily stealthy for a human who wore high heels.
“Are you brooding?” Cordelia asked, pushing past him and starting to walk around his room, her hands on her hips. She started walking towards the furthest corner but stopped suddenly and turned around. “Well? Are you brooding, because there will be no brooding buddy? You understand? I thought you had snapped out this bad habit… hmm.”
“I…what are you…”
Cordelia was suddenly standing right in front of him, nose to nose, the point of her finger pressing into the center of his chest. “Don’t give me the stutter, mister. You’ve been holing yourself up here for a week. Not coming down stairs except to grunt, and ask if we have any cases, and when we mutter ‘nope’ you’re back up here using your vampy speed. So what’s got your over-hanging brow all furrowed up this time? Hmm, broody boy? Inquiring Seers need to know so I can tell you to get over it, then kick your undead ass out of this cave.”
Angel liked to believe he wasn’t stupid, in fact he knew he wasn’t stupid but there was something about Cordelia that caused him for brief moments to believe that he was in fact a dumbass. Confusion at her accusations didn’t begin to describe how he felt, so he stood there staring at her, replaying her words in his head as she stared at him, her eyes growing more and more narrow by the second. Damn she was getting impatient, he realized and blurted out.
“I have not grunted at you guys.”
“Close enough,” Cordelia said, then she closed her eyes and took a step back. “Are you denying that for more than a week you have been hiding up here and doing God knows what. Only coming down stairs when you run out of blood up here, hear me scream from a vision, or we call you because of a case.”
Angel winced because it was true and he hadn’t realized it.
“And you do remember that last time you acted a lot like this, it was because someone was messing with your head, you were dreaming of Darla and then you went completely obsesso-stupid vampman.”
He cringed and stepped forward and grabbed Cordelia by her shoulders, he needed her to look at him directly, it was important. “I didn’t realize. I’m sorry. I swear it’s nothing like that, I promise.”
He studied her studying him, wishing for the millionth time he could read her mind, like it felt she could read his sometimes – at least she seemed to read him better than anyone he’d ever met, maybe even himself. Her eyes were intense, still narrowed and it felt her inner regality was growing stronger and stronger by the minute as she made her conclusion.
“Then what is it, Angel?”
“Don’t give me that ‘oh shit’ look.”
“Are you sure you aren’t telepathic,” he said, let go of her and walked towards his bed, his eyes zooming in to the space between it and the carpet. Underneath were books, essays, archaic and modern treatises about curses, hexes and Angelus the Vampire cursed with a soul. There were so many reasons for it and a lot more questions – and he still wasn’t sure he was asking himself the right questions.
It all started a bit over a week ago – something said by a stranger – a client really – and his instincts started to overload and he started to read and read and think and think. Hell, maybe he was brooding – but he still wasn’t sure what he was looking for, what he was thinking, if he was coming at from the right angle. He running on a gut feeling that it was time to start asking and that was the only thing he was certain of; it was time to research his curse.
Ouch. He cringed and turned around, saw the fire and hurt in Cordelia’s eyes. “Cordy…”
“I thought we were past this. Past you keeping secrets, pushing me, us, away.
“You’re right, you are…it’s just…”
Her hands landed on her hips, her head lifted up and her eyes were wide and blazing – and Angel couldn’t help thinking she looked like a Queen and damn if he didn’t feel like her subject.
He wanted to, it was so clear in his head, he wanted to take her by her waist and sit her on the edge of his bed, scoop out the books and explain everything about the case and the client that had lead him to this, investigation, for lack of a better word. But he couldn’t, not yet, it was too soon, it was still too vague even to him what it was that was driving him, what answers he was hoping to find – and he knew he may not find them at all.
Her eyes narrowed.
He hurried on with his explanation. “But Cordy, I swear I will tell you, I will tell you everything. You and Wes, you’ll be the first two people to know what’s going on…as soon as I figure things out better…right now, it’s just…instinct.”
“Wesley?” Cordelia said, her hands dropping and her body language softening, yet not losing the regal air that was simply her and Angel was realizing more and more was one of his favorite things about her.
“Something that Wesley and I will be the first to be told? Angel…”
“No, it’s not bad. It’s not dangerous…” he trailed off and decided he was right. He wasn’t going to do anything stupid, not without them knowing his plans anyway. “You and Wesley will know, everything, just not yet…I need to be sure what it is I’m sharing before I do.”
Cordelia stepped forward and grabbed his hands, he squeezed hers and looked into her eyes. She was doing it again, somehow reading his mind enough to help her figure out how to handle him – why couldn’t he do that with her, it might make his life easier. She was so hard to handle – not that he didn’t mind, she kept him on his toes.
Then she smiled, full wattage and Angel felt his stomach dip to his feet and wondered at the beauty of it – no one should have such a perfect smile he thought and was a creature as damned as himself so blessed to know the soul who did?
“Okay, I’ll trust you. But don’t make me regret it, Angel.”
“I won’t. Cordy, I won’t,” he said and knew his voice had come out edgier than he’d meant it but he needed her to believe in him, to know he would never betray her trust again.
She nodded. “Soon, soon you will tell me and Wesley?”
She nodded and he saw her bite her tongue, swallow a million questions, quench her natural curiosity and probably a lot of worry…but she did it, for him and he was reminded yet again how lucky he’d been to have her in his life, and to have earned her forgiveness after his betrayal.
“Okay, so since whatever this is, isn’t dangerous, and hopefully not stupid…I think that you should come with us to the shelter tonight.”
“Yeah, you remember it. Anne runs it, for runaways, a few of whom are running around in the few brand names I managed to buy on my pittance of a salary…” her eyes glinted with humor but he still felt guilt at giving away her clothes.
“Don’t. You got it was wrong, you got me new clothes – and it’s so lucky you have a gay man’s taste, but why you can’t use it to buy yourself some bright colors,” Cordelia said, her hands coming up to his neck and she started to straightening out his collar, mouthing ‘it’s crooked’ to him.
She smiled again and continued on with her work on his collar and her explanation. “We’re going over there tonight to help out Anne. She’s realized the kids, especially the girls need some self-defense lessons. Gunn offered and Wesley volunteered, and so did I…” she winked at him.
“Common sense, but why now…”
Cordelia’s hazel eyes darkened with pain, the type of pain he usually saw after one of the more violent visions of carnage The Powers sent her. “Rapes. A lot of rapes…some serial rapist is on the streets, targeting runaway teenage girls.”
His hand reached up and cupped Cordelia’s face without thought. “I’m there.”
The sadness vanished, not completely but enough, as she smiled broadly at him again. “I knew you would. We leave at sunset…but since you say you aren’t brooding, maybe we could see you downstairs before then?”
He nodded and watched her hands trail down his chest, trying to ignore the heat of them searing through the silk of his shirt onto his skin. She tugged at the hem, straightening the shirt out, making everything even and then she surveyed her work.
She then made her way towards the door to his suite, her eyes not leaving him and she paused when her hand hit the knob. “Soon?”
And then she was gone and Angel couldn’t help but feel like the room had lost a lot of light. He turned back to the bed, looked at the floor and thought about the books and the conversation he had with her. He then turned around and went to the door – he could research and remember to spent time with his family at the same time…she was right, he was being too reclusive and that was something he’d promised her he would fight after the Darla Debacle.
He was going to keep that promise, all the promises he made to Cordelia were of the highest priority. His soul would keep, the books wouldn’t disappear… he’d read more later tonight, after he helped out at the shelter. Helped those girls fight the evil that lay in men – it was part of their mission, whether it was demon or not.