Title: If Your Heart’s Not In It
Author: Ficbitch82 (aka Angelicgal82, aka Christie)
Spoilers: Everything up to and including “Couplet”
Summary: Angel reflects on sending Cordy on hols with Groo…
Disclaimer: If they were mine would I *really* be writing fanfic? Naw, Angel and Cordy would already be together, Riley might still be there and Giles would DEFINITELY be there! Not mine!!
Feedback: Love it, need it, crave it… “It’s like a Sickness…”
Dedication: To all the people who give me feedback – you guys, rock!!!
I keep telling myself that I’ve done the right thing. I know I have. I offered her the one thing that I can’t give her. I offered her the chance to go into the sun with someone she loves… In doing that, I’ve doomed myself to two whole weeks of torment. Two whole weeks of wondering, is she having… Is she… Well, ‘getting groiny’ with him?
When he came along, it felt like the world had crashed around my shoulders. I was standing there, finally admitting how I felt about a woman I’ve come to love so, so much and she runs to the arms of another. I hate him. All… Stupid hair and… Champion guy. How can he be a champion? I mean…
“Brooding again?” Fred stood at the door of the Hyperion, a bright smile on her face. In her hand, she held an ice cream, making Angel wonder if that’s what *she* was doing now.
“No.” He lied.
“You’re lying.” She said, shaking her head, “Cordelia’s taught me all about your brood patterns…”
“Brood patterns.” Repeated Fred, “First, you sit in a dark room… Or a dark corner…” She gestured to the dark corner Angel sat to illustrate her point.
“Well, bursting into flames today *isn’t* on my list.” Said Angel.
“No sunlight in the lobby, at least none that can signify a danger to you.”
Angel frowned, okay, okay, so she was right on ONE point.
“And then there’s the music.”
Fred pointed at the old record player situated not a foot from him, “Let me guess, La Boheme?”
Angel frowned again. “Two points to Fred.” He mumbled, under his breath of course.
Fred smiled, “And then there’s the… Oohhhh, what was the third one?” She frowned, trying to remember what Cordelia had told her, “OH! The overhanging forehead.”
“I do not have an overhanging forehead.”
“You do! When you brood, it sticks out!”
“You’ve never seen me brood!” Said Angel, petulantly.
“You’re doing it NOW.”
“Oh…” Angel sighed, “I’m not brooding. Really.”
“The statistical probability of – ” Fred stopped, mid-spout and looked at Angel, “You can talk to me, y’know?”
“So why don’t ya?” Asked Fred, coming to kneel beside him, “I mean, I’m a good listener. And even if I don’t wanna listen, I know just when to make all the right oohs and aahhhs, Ma taught me that… ‘Cause when she drove the bus people used to drone on and drone on and drone on and she’d never get a moments peace, or nothin’…”
“Gee, what’s that like?” Asked Angel, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Fred nodded, “She said sarcasm would come into it.”
“Who, your Mom?”
“Oh, we’re back to Cordelia again…”
“It’s always about Cordelia with you. Kyerumption, remember?”
“I thought you said you’d got that wrong?” Asked Angel.
“There’s been a minor glitch, nothing too serious. She’s yours.” Said Fred.
“How do you know that?”
“Cause only someone who was that devoted would cut the holiday trip of a lifetime short to be standing watching as you brood.”
Angel’s head snapped up, “Cordelia, what are you doing here? What’s wrong?” He asked, immediately worried.
“YOU!” She yelled, “You’re what’s wrong you big stupid… Jerk!”
“Time for me to go…” Mumbled Fred, scampering up the stairs to make herself scarce.
“I… Me? What did I do?” Asked Angel, “Didn’t I give you enough money?” I did what was right for you, you CAN’T be mad because of that. Then again, you probably ARE mad at me for that reason.
“I knew something was bugging me!” She said, folding her arms across her chest, “I just couldn’t figure out what it was.”
“And I’m guessing by the look on your face y – “
“LET ME FINISH!” Huffed Cordelia, “You told me to ‘go into the sun’ and me like an idiot did! Where do you get off saying things like that?”
“But I just wanted you to – “
“No, Angel. That wasn’t fair!” Said Cordelia. It was then that Angel noticed the tears in her eyes, the voice that was choked up with supressed tears.
“Cordy? What is it?” He asked quietly, “You can’t be upset over this…”
“Well I AM!” She yelled, “You only said that because… God, Angel, what happened last night? I didn’t even make it to the AIRPORT with Groo, I came back here after feeding him this bullshit story about what he’d came back here for. He came back for me and I can’t give him ME because me belongs to someone else only I’m too stupid to see and then the Me I belong to convinces himself that I should be in the light…”
“But you should be in the light.” Said Angel quietly, having totally missed the ‘I belong to you’ babble to which he’d normally be atuned to.
“You almost undressed me last night!” Yelled Cordelia.
Oh, Thought Angel, So we’re back on this now, hm?
“Was it the magic?”
“Was it the magic or the possessed souls or was it years of sexual tension building up and causing you to try and get groiny with me?”
“You really think that?” Asked Angel, a little hurt.
“I don’t know WHAT I think! I think I just turned down the trip of a lifetime based on a technicality that my best friend may or may not be jonesing for me in a ‘hey-I-Love-You’ way. I think I just sent home a guy I thought I loved because… Because he told me himself that my heart isn’t free. He told me himself that it doesn’t feel like my heart’s in it.”
“Is it?” Asked Angel quietly, “Is your heart in it?”
“I’m tired.” Said Cordelia, “I’m tired of being lonely all the time. I’m tired of feeling like it’s just me.”
“But it’s not.”
“I know you guys are here for me, I know you always will be but… That’s not what I need.”
“You know… You know what I need. And you know that you… That you’re the only one that holds my heart.” She whispered, “That’s why my heart isn’t free, because you hold it in your hands.”
Cordelia sighed, “But what? Angel, I didn’t get on the plane. I sent Groo back to Pylea all on the off chance that the feelings that I held last night were returned.”
“You only felt them last night?”
“I only admitted them last night. There’s a difference.”
“Cordelia, what you want from me, I can never give.” Said Angel, remorsefully.
“And… And you know what I want from you?”
“A normal life.”
“Damnit, Angel, I’m never going to have a normal life. I’m half demon! I get visions from the Powers That Be! I’M IN LOVE WITH A VAMPIRE! That’s not normal! I just want to stop being lonely for God’s sake!”
Cordelia sighed, “But you can never give me a normal life, but you can never take me into the sunlight… Did you ever think that maybe I just wanted to feel? You can’t even give me that.” She whispered, “I don’t think you want to be happy. I think you got so bogged down in the idea of Cordy loves Groo that you…”
“Can you blame me? You came to me for advice on how to have SEX with him!”
“I was confused!”
“Sex is sex, Cordelia.”
“That’s rich, coming from you, Angel!” She retorted, “Sex for me is a big deal, it’s not just a romp in the hay with a vampire then poof, we have a son…”
“That’s not fair…”
“Isn’t it? I couldn’t have SEX with him because I couldn’t give him what will ALWAYS be yours!” Cordelia shook her head, “Remember the last time I had a one night stand? Oh, wait the ONLY time – hello, evil Demon Spawn! It’s not even that! If I’m with someone like… That… I have to love them and I didn’t love Groo – I never WILL not like I love you!”
Angel sighed, “Cordelia, it’s not that I…”
“Forget it, Angel.” She said quietly, “I thought I could be with someone… Just to stop being lonely but it turns out, I can’t.” Said the brunette, pleased with herself for not having cried this whole time. “I can’t do that to you, to myself.” Turning, she went to walk up the stairs to go see Connor, when Angel was in front of her, burning himself with sunlight, making her gasp, “What are you doing?” She asked, “Angel! You’ll set yourself alight!”
“You’re not going.”
“Anywhere…” Said Angel, “I can’t let you go. I did it once today and it killed me…”
“You’re already dead.” Said Cordelia, “How’d that one work?”
Angel sighed, “Cordelia, I…”
“Let me finish.”
Angel moved quickly to one side then stood, a little awkwardly, “Cordelia, I… I just don’t want to lose you.” He said gently.
“You’re not going to but…”
“Angel, if your heart’s not in this then I don’t want…”
He leaned forward and gently touched his lips to hers. “You do know we are two of the most stubborn people on the planet, right?” He asked softly.
“Yeah, can you say clueless much?” She looked up at him and smiled, “Think we should get Fred out of hiding?”
“Oh yeah, about my overhanging forehead…”