Title: Discord                                             Discord
Author: Califi
Rating: R/N-17
Category: Angst, smut- warning! a scene of S&M and one of none con touchy.
Content: C/A
Summary: A different angle on Angel dealing with Cordy no longer being his ‘friend’
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: Set After Epiphany, and in place of Disharmony,which will be used to take the story along – but with different content. A rather angsty [and smutty, ] relationship piece between C/A. Angel has his Soul for keeps, and realises just who he wants to use it on. Cordy is very angry, and doesn’t want the Vampire anywhere near her hurting heart any longer; Angel is determined to win it back – plus some! Who will win? NOTES 2: I have always seen the potential to change this particular ep – which would have changed everything else! – so I decided to do it. I know I have two others, but when you have a germ of an idea, it’s hard to ignore it!
Thanks/Dedication:To Hely, for beta-ing it so quickly – and not harping on TOO much about my other two! Mwah! Lysa: thanks for the betaring on the final chapter- ‘nother snog, mwah! Ficpic created b the gorge DamnSkippy– thanks Debs *snog*

Part 1

Angel descended the stairs slowly, looking around the lobby to see who was about. He was just in time to see Gunn carrying a box through the open Basement door. Wes and Cordy were sorting out more boxes by the desks.

“You really hurt my feelings.” Cordy’s words crept back into his mind as he spotted her walking across to her desk with a box. The ache in his gut became as sharp as a knife as he realized again how much those words had cut him to the quick.

He had to make it right – his epiphany brought to light just how much his Seer meant to him, and it had been quite a mind-blowing revelation. He hadn’t slept a wink since he’d got back to the hotel, alone. Instead he decided to clean up the lobby in preparation for their return. By the time he’d finished, exhaustion and the pain of his run-in with Lindsey had forced him to seek his bed, but sleep had still eluded him.

He was going to make this right – whether she wanted to or not. Friendship was only a part of what Angel realized he wanted from his Seer; but he was prepared to wait until bridges were mended first – for now. The epiphany had done more than make him realize how much he needed his family – it had also anchored his Soul. The near miss hadn’t gone unnoticed by TPTB, and after a ‘scolding’ they’d decided their ‘Champion’ was ‘all too human’ in some aspects – to their possible detriment.

At the time, Angel hadn’t really thought of the ramifications of his ‘gift’ – until he’d looked into the dazed and pain-filled eyes of his best friend – or Ex best friend, according to his Seer! That was when it dawned on him that there was nothing to stop him pushing for more – and also that it was Cordy he wanted. Badly.

Wesley looked over to him, then Angel slowed down, looking around. Wesley watched out of the corner of his eyes as Angel shifted his feet awkwardly, and then moved towards Cordy. The new Boss of Angel Investigations then disappeared into his office, giving them some privacy.

He couldn’t help but be aware of the atmosphere between them, and hoped, for all their sakes, that the Vampire would make it right. Cordelia’s devastation hadn’t been as well hidden as she would have liked, and it pained him to see the naked hurt in her beautiful eyes.

Angel glanced around to see who was about before speaking to her. “Uh…”

“Don’t.” Cordy, looked through the papers in her box, her back to Angel. She hadn’t missed his approach, and was amazed that she could still sense him so well. Bastard! it made her even angrier.

“Don’t?” Angel frowned heavily at her terse reply.

“You’re gonna start trying to make small talk, get all stammery. Don’t. You might strain yourself.” He didn’t miss the bitterness in her tone, and wished she’d turn to face him – needed to see if the coldness was reflected in her eyes too.

“I just wanted to know how you were. Are. I mean, we really haven’t had a chance…” Cordy picked up the box and Angel reached for it. “Here let me get that for you.” Cordy stepped back in annoyance.

Now he wants to know how she is? – Help her? Please! “It’s okay.” She kept her tone as neutral as she could manage, taking another step back; but he moved forward, crowding her.

“Nah, I’d be glad to.” Angel reached out his hands to grab the box, but Cordy yanked it back roughly.

“I’ve got it!” She practically growled at him. He flinched, taking an involuntary step back.

A part of him started to get irrationally angry; but he tamped it down, reminding himself that she had every right to be mad at him. After all, he threw them out of his life – what did he really expect? – Things to be how they were before? Even knowing this, though, his hurt anger wouldn’t quit, but he backed off, they’d only just come back. Give it time, he thought tightly. “Okay.” He shifted from foot to foot, and looked around. Cordy sighed heavily, setting the box down and turned to face him, her face blank.

“You wanna know how I am? Tired mostly – with sweaty running a close second. I’m also jazzed. Can’t wait to get our business up and sputtering again – ready to help those helpless.” She grinned without humor, then the faux-smile faded, and her expression became deathly cold. Angel’s gut clenched instantly.

” – But, just so we understand each other – you and I? – We’re not friends.” She finished abruptly, turning back to the box.

Angel looked down; his heart feeling like it had just been torn from his body. This time he didn’t try to help Cordy as she picked the box up again – but he attempted to meet her eyes as she started to walk past him, as he wasn’t prepared to give up- no way. Suddenly her face scrunched up as she is hit by a vision.

Letting the box go, Cordy lurched back, her hands going to her head. Before she could hit the floor, Large, cool hands gripped her shoulders and pulled her tight against a solid, hard body. As the pain took over, Cordy forgot her immediate surroundings as images flew through her mind.

As he held her closely against him, Angel absorbed the thrashing of her slight body; cursing himself for the thousandth time as he thought of every vision she must have had when he went ‘postal’ as Cordy so nicely put it. He hadn’t missed the faded bruises along her arms and shoulders that most likely occurred when the others weren’t so quick to catch her descent to hard floors. He swore to himself he’d never let her go again.

“Wes!” His new boss exited his old office immediately, pausing only to grab a pen and pad. Gunn appeared from the Basement and rifled through Cordy’s desk for her painkillers, then went for water.

The blurry vision of two kids being dragged out through the shattered car windows shot through her head. “Okay, she’s screaming. They’re pulling her from a car. Guys in robes. Blue robes.” She muttered painfully – her head snapping back as more images pound her.

“They’re taking – people and, and, whoa, big bird.” Cordy finally relaxed, and; then realizing who was holding her, yanked away abruptly, sinking weakly into a nearby chair. She didn’t want his comforting arms around her; ignoring the confusing protests of her traitorous body at the loss.

Angel fought the urge to grab her back into his arms. The naked dislike on her face as awareness came back was like a punch to his gut. The pained anger flared again. He squatted directly in front of Cordy, causing her to press back against the seat; the dislike blending with aggravation.

Why can’t he leave me alone? she thought, angry again at her body’s hot response to his nearness – that was new; and she wasn’t sure why she was reacting to him in such a way. -And the way he was looking at her caused unease as well as something that she wasn’t prepared to analyze right now- if ever.

“Big bird?” Gunn’s voice brought him out of the reverie he was in, of how exactly he was going to make this right. It wasn’t helped by the slight scent of arousal drifting from the woman facing him! Cordy looked up, totally blanking Angel as she glared half-heartedly at the younger member of her ‘family’.

“Not the Muppet, you dumb ass.” Smirking a little at his muttered, “I knew that!”

“Where’s the car, Cordelia?” Wesley kept his voice low, knowing how sensitive her hearing got after a vision. He flicked his head sharply toward the Vampire, silently ordering him to give the girl more room – he was practically hemming her in.

Angel’s intense expression as he eyed the girl unnerved him a little, not being able to read it. If he hadn’t been more focused on Cordy, the Ex- Watcher wouldn’t have overlooked the raw, angry possessiveness pouring from the Vampire’s darkened eyes seconds later as he reluctantly straightened- but he still didn’t move back; his knees almost brushing hers.

“Ah… Lafayette Park, near the fountain.” Cordy replied as she closed her eyes briefly. When she opened them, she found Angel was still crowding her. Without thinking, she shot out a booted foot and connected with his shin – he growled low in his chest as he noted the small, satisfied smile that briefly touched her full mouth at his hiss of pain. The guilt was still there where she was concerned, but the hint of anger was gradually creeping up and vying for supremacy with each dig or unpleasant comment his Seer made.

“Right. Let’s move.” Wesley made his way to the Weapons Cabinet, joining Gunn who was already removing his axe. He caught the crossbow that was thrown his way deftly, before turning to the steps leading to the entrance doors.

Angel hesitated, leaning in closer to Cordy, concern in every line of his face; the anger temporarily forgotten as his dark eyes took in her pallor.

“Are you, uh…?” He asked tentatively, but Cordy leaned back, grimacing angrily and holding up a hand.

“Personal bubble? – I’m fine; what’s with all the concern suddenly? Not like it bothered you before” She sniped, missing the instant tightening of the Vampire’s mouth – and the flexing of his hands into fists as he fought not to invade her ‘personal bubble’ in a way she wouldn’t misunderstand.

Shaking his head abruptly at the dark thoughts that invaded his mind, Angel reluctantly moved away. The darkness that had overtaken him when he fired them was obviously still very much a part of him- would it ever disappear? He knew deep down that he had no right to be offended by anything said or done by his wounded ‘family’ – but he still couldn’t stop the irrational anger whenever Cordy dealt it out.

“You should, ah, take off.” He reached for his jacket, “I mean, ah, for the rest of the night”, backing away from her to follow Wes and Gunn – “go home.”

“You’re not my Boss any more – so don’t tell me what to do!” Cordy curled her lip as she turned her head away from him.

He backed into one of the pillars, stumbling at her harsh words, freezing for a brief moment before swiveling on his heel to exit the hotel. Now was not the time to confront his Seer.

“I may not be your Boss – but you still belong to me!” he growled low in his throat as he strode towards his car…

Part 2

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