Title: Resolve. Companion Piece to  Hard Choices
Author: Califi
Posted Here: 04/10/06
Rating: R
Category: Angst. POV
Content: C/A implied
Summary: When all is quiet, Angel deliberates… 3rd in the Nameless Series.
Spoilers: S2 AU Disharmony (= no Harmony)
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Just ask first
Thanks/Dedication:Sometimes you just have to follow your Muse’s wanderings… With a ‘nudge’ from samsom that it was good enough to post
Feedback:always welcome.

Lounging back in his seat in the darkened lobby, Angel idly switched the cloth he was holding from one hand to another, equally dark eyes focused on nothing in particular.

The others had gone Straight home from fighting the vision. Cordelia had left the hotel before that. He’d known she’d gone before he’d even climbed into his Plymouth.
Wes had rung her at her apartment as soon as the vamps were dust. Angel didn’t miss the fact that the younger man hadn’t bothered calling the hotel or her cell number first.

His thoughts wandered for a while, then arrowed back to that moment in time, here in the lobby hours earlier …. The moment when stark fear and hot rage had blended until uncertain which had been strongest roiling in his gut.

Slim shoulders slumping, the eyes meeting his had blurred then shifted; the cold bleeding out until desperate yearning had remained. Frowning, he’d followed her gaze- his whole body stiffening when he realised she was now intent on the main exit of the lobby.

White-hot anger had him moving to block her view; muscles taut and ready to physically restrain if thought became action.

If Cordelia thought for one second that she could leave him, walk away and not turn back… It was never going to happen.

He’d make sure of that.

Teeth gritted, the cloth twisted tightly in his whitening grasp. He’d just got her back. His grip on the cloth faltered as recollection came slamming in.

“You’re all fired …”

Paling face and eyes deep pools of disbelief- and hurt.

There was no disputing who’d walked away first. But Angel knew even then that is was a temporary thing. He’d had his reasons; even more than they’d- she’d ever know or find out.

All three of them had assumed it was all about Darla. Fair enough, that undead bitch had been a big part of it. The last thing he wanted right then was for his friends -Cordelia especially, to intimately experience the backlash of the nightmare that was about to get worse.

Having Cordelia too close exacerbated an already bad situation. Not just because it wouldn’t have taken Darla long to click on, then making it her mission to put his seer into the ground- or worse.

No … that was only part of it. Angel had slowly begun to regard Cordelia in a different light; his hooded eyes on her, thoughts becoming darker as the days went by. She’d put down the hair-sniffing moment as part of his slow spiral down into his Darla- induced madness.

Scent-memory had his nostrils flaring and his eyes fluttered closed. Angel was only glad, yet again, that Wesley had been there before things had escalated.

That’s what he told himself constantly.

Blinking to clear the haze, he looked down at the cloth clenched in his hands. Relaxing taut fingers, he proceeded to smooth it out before bringing it up to his face.

Her forehead and flushed cheeks had been lightly beaded with perspiration when she’d turned and found him behind her. Angel knew she’d used the cloth he was holding to swipe if from her brow and upper lip before tossing it haphazardly on her desk after her vision. Once they’d left her alone.

As he breathed in the scent, he knew exactly what had made it all the sweeter.

Recalling the moment he’d blocked her view of the door and her expression when she’d seen his stormy gaze – knowing it had taken her back to not so long ago. Knowing she’d recognised the same look in his eyes…

He wondered whether it was the added effects of the vision- or that brief insight into his thoughts that had caused the cloth to be so deeply imprinted with the delicious scent of fear.

Angel also wondered whether he should have left the way to the door clear and gave Cordelia a chance to use it.

But as he drew the scent deep into his lungs, his dark head shook infinitesimally. They needed each other too much to ever separate again.

He just had to make sure she realised that, too.

And this time, gloves were off.



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