Title: Want A Picture?
Posted: 28 Dec 05
Rating: R for language
Category: Angstish fluff (if that’s possible, lol)
Content: C/A tentative friendship
Summary: “It might last longer”…. A silly little ficlet that popped into my head last night, so I quickly wrote it today. All typos (which I hope I’ve caught) and sappy/crappy stuff are mine.
Spoilers: S2 Post-Epiphany.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Just ask
Notes: This is a little break from finalising Breathe Again (which should be posted soon, once tidied and betared). I needed to doodle with something light and fluffy for an hour. Hope you enjoy it.
He was doing it again.
The universal warning system built into every human on the planet was blaring away, demanding she take notice.
Cordy took notice, hooboy, did she!
Ever since they’d come back to the Hyperion- albeit with different Bossman/Hired Help dynamics, Angel, the-now Office Boy had seemed to have found a new hobby: boring a hole into the back of her skull.
At first, it hadn’t been so bad- until she told him in no uncertain terms that they were no longer friends, and then it escalated after his failed attempt at bribery- though she grudgingly admitted to herself that the vampire had darned good taste in women’s clothes. But still it had stung that he thought she was still the shallow spoilt girl of days gone by.
Pshaw, Cordy had soon put him in his place…. shrugging off the ache she’d felt at the stricken expression on his face as he’d turned away.
Damn prickly alarm system! Batteries should have been required. That way she could have merely let them drain of power until they were as dead as a doornail. And most of all stop bugging the hell out of her.
Why she didn’t go over and demand in no uncertain terms that he “Stop with the creepy staring already!” Cordy wasn’t sure -but was getting close to doing that. But she wouldn’t- because then Angel would know she was not only aware, but that he was getting to her.
Rubbing her hand over the back of her head in irritation, Cordy leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes. Deep breath in….long breath out…. Her tense shoulders began to relax. In…Out…. The tight line of her mouth softened, eyes less scrunched… PRICKLE.
“Dammit!” she cursed under her breath and shot upright in her seat. There had to be a way to deal with him without making a major drama out of it. Cordy could still clearly see that wounded expression and it bugged her that it bugged her.
Wes was out meeting a client and Gunn spending the day with his crew, which had left herself and Angel alone in the hotel for the past three hours. With no sign of a bone-crunching vision, her mind was made up.
Reaching for her purse, she rose quickly to her feet, swivelling gracefully as she did so. On her way to the main door her gaze turned to the left and landed smartly on the figure half hidden by a floor plant and shadows cast by the dim lights of the lobby.
“I’m off.” She declared in a deliberately bored tone, ignoring Angel’s startled expression. “Tell Wes If I have a vision I’ll call.” Cordy added, forestalling his attempt to respond.
As the door swung shut behind her, Cordy wracked her brains for a way to nip Angel’s creepy new hobby in the bud before he ended up on more than the sharp end of her tongue.
Cordy was running late.
Angel shifted in his new chair, cursing under his breath when he knocked his knee against the edge of the too-small desk his estranged seer had pointed out as his on their the first day back.
He knew she’d been waiting for him to complain, especially after the first time he’d cracked his knee, just like he had now, but not one word left his lips.
His eyes remained on the main door as he thought back.
“We’re not friends.” That still caused Angel to want to cry like a baby. A big strong vampire such as himself nearly brought to tears by a slip of a woman- a human woman at that. Such a weakness would have normally set his demon off, but not that time. And it had almost got her killed.
His fall to the ‘beige’, as Cordy called it, was more of a human failing rather than a upsurge of his demon that was always just beneath his skin. And some of his actions towards his seer went against those instincts. As Angelus he was possessive of anything and everyone he regarded as his sole property, but the soul had broke that rule and not only let her go, but also let her roam free and away from his protection.
That usually loud and demanding part of him had kept quiet when Cordy had rejected his olive branch, and he wasn’t that surprised. He’d deserved it and more. The clothes bought to attempt to breach her frozen walls were still piled high in the back of his closet. Angel knew he could have taken them back- got a refund, but he’d kept them as a reminder of his blind stupidity.
“She’s late,” he muttered anxiously.
“Pardon me?” Angel jumped at the voice and turned his head to see Wes pausing in his stride across the lobby.
He hadn’t realised he’d spoken out loud. “Um, nothing,” Wes looked at him strangely for a moment before nodding and continuing on to his office. Angel waited until the door had closed behind him before turning his eyes back to the main door.
Maybe the way he stared at Cordy constantly was getting to her? Maybe that’s why she still hadn’t come into work? He knew he should stop. He also knew that he couldn’t stop if his unlife depended on it.
It was all he had left right now.
The constant visual of the back of Cordelia Chase’s head.
At his new desk Angel was rewarded by the sight her delicate profile, but she kept catching him staring unblinkingly, and the first time she shivered and glared, he limited himself to that view and took to loitering in dark corners, which only allowed him to stare to his content at the back of her head.
The fact that Cordy unerringly located Angel the instant she turned to look no matter where he was hiding indicated clearly that she was aware of his ‘creepy new hobby’ (he’d heard her mutter that once or twice), but it didn’t deter him. It was better than nothing, he miserably told himself, even as he hoped he’d either build up the courage to confront her again or simply get over it.
Angel sighed wearily then sat up a little straighter when the woman plaguing his thoughts came strolling in through the door.
Soft sunlight surrounded her like a halo for a moment before the released door thunked shut behind her. Angel swallowed and shifted in his hard, uncomfortable chair and waited for her to saunter past with her head held high directly to her own desk. But she didn’t.
“Hi.” He blinked. With her hands behind her back and head tilted to the side she stood directly in front of him, only his too-small desk between them.
“Uh.” Clearing his throat, Angel tried again. “Hi.” Cordy just stood there; seemingly sizing him up and then took a deep breath.
“This can’t go on, you know. – The staring,” she elucidated when he did exactly what she’d decided to confront him about- stared at her. But this time his unreadable expression melted away to reveal embarrassment.
“Though now it’s different ‘cos, hello? You can’t not look at me while I’m yammering on at you, but you know what I mean.” She added pointedly.
“I’m, uh…” swallowing again nodding, kicking himself for sounding like a retard, he just closed his mouth.
“Anyway, “ Cordy scrunched her brow and took another deep breath. “I don’t like it.” She blurted out. “Your staring is messing about with my built in warning system and I can’t have that, because say if it gets so messed up that it stops working- or worse, I start ignoring it, hmm?” Her brow arched at the befuddled expression that overtook the embarrassment in his deep brown eyes.
“Don’t you get it?” Angel shook his head dumbly and watched as she rolled her eyes and let out an annoyed breath.
“If I start ignoring my warning system, then one day it could get me killed. And I don’t want that, thanks very much! So I thought of a way to solve both our problems.” An arm came from behind her back and she slapped something on the desk, but Angel was still distracted by the word ‘killed’.
Cordy stepped back and propped her hands on her hips. “I’m still mad at you, and still don’t really wanna share air chatting niceties, but if you leave me alone to get over it, then…maybe I might.” She paused as his eyes suddenly became focused and intent on her face.
“So…” Cordy chewed her lip and seemed to shake herself.” I found a way that you can keep up with your creepy staring hobby and I can work in peace without getting yucky prickles on my neck every five seconds. Okay?” With that, she nodded to herself and turned away to walk towards her desk, her step a little lighter.
Angel watched her go with a bemused look on his face, waiting until she’d sat down before finally glancing down at his desk.
There on the surface lay a thin strip of pictures- the kind that came out of a photo booth. A slight smile tilted his lips as he looked at each image.
Left profile. Right profile. Back of head…. And best of all, the full face of a smiling Cordelia Chase