A quick 'go nowhere' ficlet, because it's 3:30 and I can't sleep apparently.
Title: Lost and Found
The Set Up: Cordelia gets chased by vampires and falls down the side of a hill somewhere in the woods outside Sunnydale.
Notes: There's really not much to it, I just felt like writing something with Cordelia and Angel, hurt/comfort. UNBETA'D. It if sucks, mea culpa.
Cordelia’s pillow was a tree stump, rotted enough to offer some cushioning. She lay close to the ground, head propped like she was a princess or a queen, watching the darkening sky and the way the moon rose, milky white and so big she could almost reach up and touch the silver surface.
She remembered a book once, about a girl made of silver who’d lost her sleep. And so a flute took her on a night flight across the world so that she could find her sleep. She saw a lot of things, plain and wondrous things, but it was only when she went home to her own, warm bed that she found her sleep.
Cordelia wanted her own bed, soft and comforting and familiar. But all she had was a tree stump, and the rough grass beneath her tired body. And soon, the stars came.
Cordelia didn’t think they’d take her anywhere.
Her parents took her everywhere, all across the world. It was like a flute, she thought, but with duty free. She liked the ocean sprawled across the south of Greece, it was green and blue and white sandy beaches, nothing like the cold that pressed her skin just now.
She wanted to see the Mediterranean again, walk on the sand, call Harmony and not worry about who would pay for her room service because she knew her father would. He’d always be there until her husband was.
But now there wouldn’t be fathers to cater to her, or husbands to take up the mantle on her wedding day. Only the cold ground and the cold sky and the stump under her head, and the vampires that would finish her off once they’d found her.
And she was right. When the moon was as high as it would go and she heard owls and crickets and a thousand other noises that made up the cacophony of the night, a vampire came.
He blocked the moon with his pale face and his black coat settled like wings on the ground when he crouched next to her.
“I fell down a hill,” she told him as she stared up at him.
“I know. Don’t move.” He ran hands over her body, as cold as the air around them, and at first she wondered if she should be scared. But it had been months since he came back from hell with his soul back in place, and he was only checking for injuries.
“I have a few,” she said. And she felt them for the first time since she had rolled into the tree stump.
A cracked rib.
And a wrenched wrist.
She listed them like her cheerleading coach used to, as though they were just the price a person paid to be the best.
But she wasn’t trying to be the best. She was only trying to live.
“Cordelia,” Angel drew her wandering attention back, grasping her good hand in his. “I’m going to get you out of here, take you to the hospital.” She nodded because he was waiting for it, and he gathered her up as gently as anyone ever had, and surged to his feet.
The world spun sickeningly, and the back of her head felt wet.
But Angel’s shoulder was solid and so she rested her wounded head there. He’d keep her safe, she knew. Because…just because.
“Okay?” he asked her softly, and she blinked in place of a nod so the world wouldn’t spin faster. “Okay. Let’s get you home.”
The world lurched and flew by and Cordelia closed her eyes so she wouldn’t see.
It seemed like the very next second hands were reaching for her, taking her from Angel, and when she opened her eyes, he was gone and she couldn’t see the moon anymore.
She thought about Angel’s coat as they placed her on a gurney, and the hospital became a different kind of cold.