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 brutally 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 then 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 entirely sure -but was getting close to doing just that. But then… she wouldn’t- because hello? Angel would know she was not only fully aware, but that he was getting to her.
Rubbing her hand over her neck 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 unerringly to the left and landed smartly on the dark 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 first day back.
He knew she’d been waiting for him to complain, especially after the first few times 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 girl- a human girl 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 an upsurge of his demon that was always just beneath his skin. And some of his actions towards his seer went against those instincts. His alter ego was insanely possessive of anything and everyone he regarded as his personal property- as Spike had, unfortunately, found out the hard way.
But the soul had broken that rule and not only hurt her deeply, but also let her dangerously roam free and away from his protection.
That usually loud and demanding part of him had kept strangely quiet when Cordy had rejected his olive branch, but he wasn’t really 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 was so into his own thoughts that he actually; turning his head to find Wes standing next to his crappy desk, his pale eyes peering down at him over his well-polished spectacles.
He hadn’t realised he’d spoken out loud. “Um, nothing,” shrugging nonchalantly. Wes looked at him strangely for a moment then nodded abruptly before making his way to what once was his office. Angel waited until the door had closed firmly behind him before turning his gaze back towards the main doors.
Maybe the way he stared at Cordy constantly had finally got on her last nerve? Most probably why she still hadn’t come into work. Angel knew he should stop. But he couldn’t; even if his very un-life depended on it.
It was all he had left of her right now.
At his newly-consigned desk, Angel was at least rewarded a little by the sight Cordy’s lovely profile. She’d almost caught his unblinking stare several times. The moment she shivered and snuck him a venomous glare, he began to limit himself to that particular view and instead took to loitering in dark corners. Unfortunately, this endeavour only allowed him the view of the back of her head.
The fact that Cordy unerringly located Angel the instant she’d turn 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 a few days back), but it didn’t deter him. It’s better than nothing, he miserably told himself, even as he hoped he’d either build up the courage to confront her again… or that he’d simply get over it.
He sighed. No chance of that happening any time soon.
Angel wilted in his seat – then abruptly tensed and 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 thickly and shifted in his hard, uncomfortable chair. He waited; eyes lowered, for her to saunter past with her head held high and head directly to her own desk, as was her usual habit.
But she didn’t.
“Hi.” He blinked and lifted his gaze. 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 obviously right 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, um…” swallowing again nodding; mentally kicking himself for sounding like a simpleton, 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 properly- or worse, I start ignoring it, hmm?”
One fine brow arched at the befuddled expression that quickly overtook the shadow of 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’ve thought of a way to solve both our problems.” A hand 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 another 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.