Title: Dreams Maketh The Man
Summary: Set after WITW, Groo is around but Cordy realises there’s a very good reason why she hasn’t taken that last step to making love with Groo- she wants Angel and sets out to get rid of the curse so she can have him. Sequel to Dreaming of You
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: The idea that vamps are more sensitive than normal guys was hinted at in another fic I read a while ago and I loved the idea so much I expanded on it a little bit. The fic is called Asphondel by Stephanie A. Sorry I don’t have a link but it was recommended here ages ago.
Feedback: Yeah feed me!
It was 2 am in the morning and on any normal day she’d have been tired and irritable at not being home in her comfortable bed. Especially with the day she’d had. First was the total mortification of being caught drooling over Angel – by Angel. God almighty, talk about cringe much.
But she’d managed to cover it up by starting to squabble with him, an excellent diversionary tactic that always worked like a dream. Aggravating and making him forget she’d been staring at him with hot and lust filled eyes. A common occurrence these days, but one she’d managed to keep hidden until today. She blamed last nights dream for her slip up. One Angel she could handle – but two?
Then came the inevitable argument with Groo; which in turn had set this whole thing in motion and was the reason why she was now on her way to the hotel to confront the vampire plaguing her dreams.
She’d done the right thing in letting Groo go and she knew it, if a bit late in the day. “God; sometimes I could smack myself” she muttered under her breath. Clueless much, and she thought Angel was bad? But as clueless as he could be and despite driving her crazy with his broody stubbornness she was in love with the big dork.
“Yeah and when did that happen”? She was still as dumbfounded as when the thought had first popped into her head.
Right smack bang in the middle of a training session. She’d been sitting on his chest having finally managed to bring him down, and on impulse had decided to keep him there with her slight weight pinning him down. Okay yes, she did know he was letting her – but that was sweet too, right?. He’d had this dumb grin on his face and hers had been twice as wide.
In no rush to get up she’d kept her thighs on either side of his ribs and simply sat on him, flushed with success and dizzy with a feeling of being powerful and .. control. Well, it wasn’t often a normal girl could say she’d captured her very own vampire.
Then she’d started to feel other – really bizarre feelings. The dizziness had gotten worse and she’d felt a warmth steal all over her body. Settling with sharp intensity between her thighs and making her want to squirm to get rid of the itch. Then before the impulse had registered on her mushy brain, she was leaning down to kiss those inexplicably irresistible lips.
Thank god, she stopped herself in time. Stunned, she’d babbled an excuse; vaulted up and streaked up the stairs of the basement – wasting no time going home where sanity lived, or at least used to dammit!
How could I fall in love with him- tragic farce remember? Hundreds of reasons had floated through her head ever since then. All of them logical and sensible of why she couldn’t or shouldn’t be with Angel. So she’d ignored her feelings and tried to get her relationship off the ground with Groo, who’d been more than willing.
But every time Groo had kissed her or touched her she would eventually close her eyes and then he would magically transform into Angel, at least in her minds eye. That was so yucky that she’d end up pulling away from him with muttered excuses.
She’d been kidding herself in thinking it would go away and finally she’d confronted it and Groo with the truth. As for the multitude of reasons why she shouldn’t be with Angel; well – she’d just taken care of the main one, and hadn’t that been enlightening. As for the rest, she’d decided they could take care of themselves.
Her tummy was doing somersaults in nervous protest just thinking about what she had to say to him, but she wasn’t going to put it off any longer. Realisation might have been long in coming but now she knew, she wasn’t willing to play the ‘does he or doesn’t he’ game and wait for the big dork to make a move. She preferred a more direct approach.
She opened one of the glass doors and closed it herself to keep the noise down. A quick scan of the lobby revealed all was clear and as deserted as she’d hoped it would be. Sighing in relief she smoothed her skirt and checked the neckline of the blouse she’d brought that day. Not exactly designer but it was flattering and almost gossamer thin.
Thinking about the sheer material had her wanting to check her appearance one last time, or more honestly the hundredth time. Hating the insecurity she resisted the temptation to duck into the restroom behind the reception desk, but it was a close run thing. Quit stalling and get up there, she commanded – irritated with herself.
God, what if he doesn’t want me like that, maybe I’ve got it all wrong. She almost bolted then, but the taste of retreat in her mouth was too unpleasant for her to contemplate keeping. So straightening her spine, she took a deep breath and marched up the stairs to the upper floors.
She reached his door and stopped to stand utterly still with her hand raised to knock but not connecting with the wooden panel. Doubts came flooding back and she could feel her heart hammering away in her chest. She took yet another deep breath and fisted her sweating palms, striving for her usual nonchalance. For craps sake, Cor get a grip – he’s not gonna eat you.
“I wish” she muttered and then her face flamed when the door was pulled open and she couldn’t stop a startled yelp.
“Will you not do that – Geeze you scared me” she scowled at him, irritated and angry at having her carefully planned entrance ruined by ‘super hearing vamp’. “Can’t you just wait until I knock”?
Angel stood inside the doorway looking at her with bemused brown eyes, a clear question on his handsome face. Cordy froze, unable to believe that things were already going to hell and irrationally she wanted to blame him for it. She strove for calmness, squeezed her eyes shut for an instant and then gave him a big bright smile.
“Hi, I was just in the area – oh wait its 2am isn’t it”, she stammered to a halt and gave him a sheepish smile, then tried again. “Look I know it’s late and all, but can I talk to you about something”? Her voice was a mixture of wheedling and cajoling.
“Sure, come in” he said and pulled back the door in invitation. She walked through it and stopped, hit by another wave of panic. I can’t do this, he’s my friend and I know I’ll hate him if he turns me down. “Erm, Angel I think this may have been a bad idea”. She looked up into his face and to find him frowning and staring intently at her
It was too late to back out now. Angel had caught the obvious signs of nervous tension coming off her. The pulse at her neck was beating a rapid tattoo, so hard and loud that he’d been able to hear it before he’d even opened the door. In fact that was the reason he’d pulled it open instead of waiting for her to knock.
“What’s the matter, Cordy? has something happened to you”? His sharp voice and grave expression gave away his concern and he snagged her hand when she went to walk past him and out again. “Tell me why you’re so frightened”. His grip was light but unyielding and when she didn’t turn back he tugged, trying to make her look at him.
She turned too quickly and stumbled against him. His other hand came up to steady her and that was it – she was caught. Not by his hold but by the look of caring concern on his hard face. His usually fathomless dark eyes were filled with worry about her.
She felt a melting sensation in the region of heart and her mouth spread in a beautiful smile of relief. I am sooo, not wrong about us. Her confidence boosted, she lifted the hand not held by his and traced a line over his dark brows.
Angel was instantly distracted by the softness of her hazel eyes and when she reached up to touch his face, he simply froze not knowing what to think or do about it. He felt the gentle touch of her fingers as the warmth of the tips travelled over each and every hair. His face tingled under her touch and he shivered at the curling heat unfurling inside his chest.
He opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out so shut it, took a breath and tried again. But Cordelia got there before him. “Have I told you how handsome you are”? That softly worded question was enough to tangle his tongue in knots again so he just numbly shook his head at her.
Cordy blushed and laughed at his dumbstruck expression, “What’s up Speechless, have I never complimented you before?” She tilted her head as if in contemplation. “Come to think of it, maybe not so much”. Her light teasing laughter brought him out of his funk enough to push her further into the room and close the door.
He hated putting distance between them, but after her teasing affection he needed it to stop his tongue from sticking to the roof of his mouth. Knowing it would probably shake loose only long enough for him to say something absurd if he wasn’t careful.
He walked into the tiny kitchenette and mindlessly put the kettle on, acutely aware of where she was standing in the room. Trying to be casual he hid his helpless response behind a blank mask – except for the single raised brow.
“Nice diversion Cordy, but that’s not what has you so stressed out that your heart is almost jumping out of your chest”.
He leant back against the counter and fixed his dark gaze on her face as she followed him into the kitchen to stand in front of him. “Actually, Angel you have it wrong”.
She stopped and winced, suddenly unsure how to proceed. Angel’s only response was those slashing brows of his climbed halfway up his forehead. Baffled, he waited for her to explain what the hell she meant by that.
“What do you think of Groo”? She asked him after a few moments of total mental breakdown followed by blessed inspiration. Cordelia watched his face intently, looking for those nuances of expression that always gave him away, even if only to her.
His mouth tightened, dark brows drew together and his midnight eyes flashed with aggravation before he smoothed his expression out to one of polite but distant interest. “He’s Okay – I guess” he answered her carefully.
Yeah sure, for a big dumb, clueless Asshole, who wouldn’t know how to please a woman even with diagrams. None of his jealous thoughts showed on his face though, at least not after that first unguarded instant.
Cordelia’s lips twitched in amusement, not fooled in the least by his show of indifference. She’d known him long enough to be able to tell when he was truly aloof to something – now was not one of those times. Time to test the rest she decided and gave him a big flirtatious smile. The megawatt one that always had him melting, and even against his better judgement sometimes – giving in to her.
His answer to ‘the’ smile was to raise the other brow and cross his arms over his wide chest and then sigh heavily – dramatically considering he didn’t breathe. He knew her at least as well as she knew him. She’s up to something, of that he was convinced but ‘what’ was the question he wanted the answer to, and damn quickly too.
Annoyed that just when she needed it to the smile wasn’t working. She decided to up the ante. She knew she’d, inadvertently or maybe deliberately, aroused his interest with her question and Angel being Angel – would follow her around like a bloodhound to find out what had prompted it.
So utterly confident he’d follow, she turned to walk back into the living area; her hips swaying provocatively, an action highlighted by the carefully chosen clinging, dark gold skirt. Afterwards she would swear she could literally feel his eyes checking out her butt in a heated caress, without even needing to turn around and see it.
Buoyed up with fresh confidence she turned to face him again and leaned against the back of a couch, pushing back on the red upholstery with both of her hands so that her chest was thrust out. Subtly was wasted on Angel especially when it came to women and relationships. So wanton would just have to do.
Oh yeah, he is so struggling to keep his eyes above my neck, she grinned elated at her success and just about resisted checking out his fly for further evidence.
“Did I thank you for fetching the tonic for me”? She asked him lightly.
There was actually a point to this topic, as she was trying to steer the conversation the way she needed it to go. It had sounded logical to bring it up when she was rehearsing but now she wished she hadn’t when his face turned thunderous.
“Yes – you did”. Angel replied abruptly.
He did not want to get into yet another conversation about how ‘helpful’ he’d been in her aim to have sex with the Groosalugg. Just thinking about what they might have been doing over the past week had him fantasising about gelding the half demon.
“Look, Cordy I’m kinda busy here so …” he said with deliberate emphasis and raised a brow, waiting for her to take the hint and leave him alone to brood; over her again – thanks for the refresher Cordelia.
He did manage to forget about it for maybe an hour at a time if he was lucky. But now thanks to her ‘visit’ he knew he was heading for a brooda-thon and wanted to be left in peace to wallow in it.
But of course she didn’t take the hint. Not exactly unusual for Cordelia he thought wryly and considered making up a reason to leave himself, either that or give into the urge to wring her neck for coming here, to his place to talk about Groo.
His brooding dark eyes refocused on her and then sharpened, having finally noticed she’d been rummaging around on her purse. Obviously finding what she was looking for she pulled something out. He stared in shock at the sight of the full bottle in her hand.
“I never used it” she told him. Her hazel eyes bore into his and she walked over to lay it carefully on the table between them.
“Why not”? Angel asked her uncrossing his arms and blocking out the urge to snatch it up and smash it against the wall. He hated the damn thing, although less now he knew she hadn’t used it.
There was only a small occasional table between them and this close, her perfume teased him and he wasn’t thinking about chemicals just then but the scent that was all her own. His nostrils flared and pupils dilated with a surge of powerful hunger. Trying not to be obvious about it he drank it in, keeping his inhalations shallow so that she wouldn’t question the unusual rise and fall of his chest.
“Because I’m not in love with him and it wouldn’t be fair to use him as a substitute for another”. Her face shone with candid honesty as if she was saying something that he should be happy about.
Yeah, sure Just when he was starting to relax and enjoy the idea that she hadn’t been intimate with Groo. She hit him with another man – fuck!
“Who”? He shot at her, not even realising he’d stepped over the table and was now crowding her against the couch.
When he did realise it he backed away, ducking his head to hide the taut anger he knew was on his face. Stalling for time he walked over to the chair in the corner, as far away as he could get and sat down heavily into it.
Another disgruntled sigh passed his lips, genuine this time and he pressed two fingers to his eyes. Hating to know but needing to at the same time, he forced the question between gritted teeth. “So who’s the lucky guy”?
Cordy was stumped by the dumbness of that question. She shook her head in pure amazement at his incredible lack of perception. “Well you should know, Angel – the two of you are very close”.
He was so miserable he missed the sarcasm in her voice and hearing it was someone he knew, changed his mind about wanting to know who it was. He didn’t care who it was, he lied to himself. He’d had enough and just wanted her to leave before he lost it completely and did something he’d never forgive himself for.
Cordelia found herself bundled towards the door with such speed that she had to grab hold of him to keep her balance. “Angel, will you just stop” she yelped.
Just having his hands on her was giving his darker side a thrill as aggravation loosened his soul’s hold on his demon instincts. He loved her so much, maybe too much as no one else on the planet could drive him to such extremes. One minute he’d be feeling all soft and fuzzy after a warm look from her or something and then the next he’d be seething with some roiling emotion he could barely contain – like now.
Unknown by Cordelia he was having some trouble resisting the temptation to simply drop her on his bed and ravish her – willing or not, and damn her and this guy whoever the hell he was. Only the fact that he’d rather stake himself than force himself on her saved her. But she had to get out of here now.
Cordelia was powerless to stop the headlong flight to the door but she wasn’t known for her cutting tongue without damn good reason. She used it to good effect now. “If you don’t let me go right now, then kiss me goodbye cos I am out of LA for good”.
She found herself free so quickly she stumbled but managed not to fall on her ass. As for Angel, she found him across the other side of the room. He couldn’t be further away from her unless he left the apartment.
Her threat to leave him had been like a douse of cold water. Pain had exploded in his chest at the thought of never seeing her again and the look she’d given him had been hot enough to convince him it hadn’t been an idle threat. So he paced, not looking at her and trying to shackle the demon that was still threatening to erupt. If she left LA he didn’t know what he’d do but he know did one thing, he wouldn’t be far behind her.
“Do you love me, Angel”? It was the last thing he’d expected her to ask him or even hint at. It threw him for a loop and his demon retreated a little, strangely appeased.
“What”? He asked her, sitting abruptly back down in the chair, his head whipped up and mouth dropped open in shock and then his brows drew together again in a sort of horrified confusion before he stammered. “Of course I love you, you know that”.
Her feet felt like lead, mainly because that was where her stomach was right now. Ignoring that she ploughed on anyway; “yes I know that, but how do you love me? As a woman or as a friend”? She had to know if she was in with a chance. If she was wrong she would just have to get over it and get on with her life.
He vaulted back to his feet thrust his hands in his pockets, looking everywhere but at her. His reaction and body language wasn’t exactly encouraging and Cordy’s heart squeezed painfully as she stared at his stony profile, feeling slightly sick.
Seeing his jaw was locked and coupled with that dark forbidding frown – it was too much and stricken, she picked up her purse and got ready to deliver the ‘forget I asked’ speech that she’d rehearsed just in case.
“I love you in every way, as a woman and a friend” Angel answered her from somewhere in front and over her head. She blinked at finding herself blocked by his large black clothed body.
Angel had moved with all of his vampiric speed the moment he saw her pick her purse, obviously getting ready to leave. “Why are you asking me all these questions, Cordelia”?
It wasn’t a request so much as demand that she explain herself. She’d opened a Pandora ’s Box with her questions and he was damned if she was leaving before he knew why. He didn’t relax his stance even when she dropped the purse again and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly before speaking.
“I sent Groo away; well actually he left when I told him the truth”. She held up a hand when he opened them to speak. “I told him that I was in love with someone else”. She shrugged lost and uncomfortable under his unreadable, enigmatic stare.
“It’s taken me a like ‘forever’ to realise it, but I think I’ve loved this person for a long time. Groo was just handy and adorable and I wanted to love him. Easier to handle ya know”. She smiled in self mockery and pressed her hands together to still the nervous trembling.
She knew she was babbling but couldn’t seem to stop. “I went back to the brothel and they told me that I could use the tonic in two ways. Either on myself and have Groo or give it to you and then..”. She stumbled to an embarrassed halt and blew out a breath.
She tried to drop her face but his fingers caught her chin in a gentle grasp that nevertheless forced her eyes back to his dark ones. “And then”? He asked her with quiet intensity. Other than that he stood totally still, as if waiting for something.
“My visions can only pass to a living being or so she told me. If you take the potion it will prevent the curse from kicking in while you’re with me but – and I quote ‘we’ll be stuck with one another then or else lose what we want to keep’ – end quote”.
She could feel the blush as it spread from her chest, up her neck and then spread over her hot cheeks. She had never felt so vulnerable and embarrassed before in her entire life. Just from knowing that she’d all but told him that she wanted him to become her lover.
“What are you trying to tell me, Cordelia”? He needed it straight from her and not roundabout, mixed up in garbled explanations.
“For cryin’ out loud, Angel – what, you need pictures”?
“Cordelia” his warning growl might have intimidated anyone else but her. All she felt was exasperation with him.
“O-Kayyy” she snapped back and their eyes met and clashed in a heated and charged dual. Cordelia felt like hitting him for being so stubborn and …dense. “I’m in love with you and I want you to make love to me – is that clear enough, Geeze”? Her eyes rolled in exasperated annoyance and both hands slapped onto her hips.