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tales from a fangirl
Fic post 
16th-Dec-2006 03:00 pm
ca
Title: Pandora (3/5)
Summary: Mutual need and obsession come to a head when Cordelia finds Angel's sketchbook.
Pairing: C/A
Rating: Adults only.
Disclaimer: Not mine

Notes: I don't care for WIPs (with two or three exceptions) and I don't like to write them but I couldn't help it with this one. I don't have long stretches of time available to sit down and write uninterrupted so posting as I go is the only way I can do it or I talk myself out of posting altogether. Only two more parts to go, though, and it's done.
Feedback: is cherished, and concrit is welcome too. Honest. Email me if you don't feel comfortable doing it in LJ. Ammab@sbcglobal.net.

~~


(3/5)

Angel forces himself to his feet, following Cordelia where she has told him not to, worry and desire making a mad war in his skull as he watches her small shadow silhouetted by the inky black night.

It’s no hardship to keep up, he could go all night, but soon she’s turning into her street, flying out of the car and up the walk to her apartment.

He stays until the sun forces him home.

~~

The drawings are rumpled from being shoved hastily back into his drawer, and he smoothes the wrinkles out with his hand over the images, one by one.

The shame threatens to overwhelm him again, that she should see what he never meant for her to see.

“Then why didn’t you destroy them, Angelus?”

The voice is whiskey rough and little girl sweet, toying and taunting.

His hand runs over the image of a slumbering Cordelia, her face softened by dreams.

“She didn’t need to know.”

A hand, perfectly made, settles along his shoulder, the weight of her body winding around the back of his chair.

He glances up into Darla’s pixie face before returning his gaze to his sketches.

“You left them in a drawer with curious mortal girls roaming your home – did you really expect she wouldn’t find them?”

He doesn’t answer, his eyes searching the vellum for flaws.

~~

Instead of sleeping he waits, and when the sun falls back behind the horizon, he opens his balcony windows to the cool autumn night, curtains weaving around his bared torso like a lover’s soft touch.

Gazing in the direction of Silverlake yields nothing of Cordelia, but it pleases him to do it anyway.

The ghost in his bed is lounging with ease across his bedspread.

“She needs you.”

“No, she doesn’t.”

That he’s sure of. If it weren’t for him, she would still be an aspiring actress, ruling men and empires with her smile, not having her head torn apart nightly by visions meant to redeem him.

“Poor tortured Angel, guilt has really made you its dog, hasn’t it?”

He doesn’t answer.

~~

In Silverlake, Cordelia huddles on her couch with a blanket wrapped securely around her legs.

Dennis is an unseen presence next to her, smoothing her hair as she stares without seeing at the television.

The images streaking past her mind’s eye are of her own making. Blood and death and Angel, the dark unknowable things that grip him every day and every night, that take him by the scruff of his neck and jam his nose in the mess of his past. She can see him through an unbreakable glass, his soul held by a fragile thread and suspended over the deep well of his demon’s desires and urges and delights.

She lays her head back and brings forth the vision of Angel on top of her, draining and filling her at the same time, and the deep, voluptuous ecstasy of surrendering to the fall.

She turns her head into the cushion and cries.

~~

On Monday she’s the first to arrive.

Angel is sitting on the steps waiting, watching as she slowly opens the door and walks in.

He’s back in basic black, shirt open at the throat so she can see a smooth patch of pale perfection, and the ache begins all over again, an endless lump she has to constantly swallow against.

“Hey.” He says.

“Hey.” She replies as she steps down and walks across the lobby to her desk. He gets up and follows, and she has a fleeting thought of being surrounded by the dead.

“How’s your head?”

full of you

“Doing well enough.”

He pours her a cup of coffee and holds it out to her – long fingers wrapped around the ceramic. Fragrant steam rises from the cup. She looks at it and then looks up at him.

“Thank you.”

She takes the mug and brushes his fingers with hers, watching the trembling she feels echo in his hands.

She never thought there would be a point in their relationship where he could hurt her with a touch or a look, but here she is bleeding all over the floor of the hotel, his eyes spilling over her like a summer storm, full of thunder and lightning and sulfur.

When did she agree to star in someone else’s tragedy?

“Cordy.” He takes a step towards her, compelled by something he sees in her eyes.

“Hello!”

Wesley has arrived.

Angel belays his advance and instead turns on his heel and walks around the counter, away from her.

Wesley comes in with fresh books and fresh enthusiasm and she sits at her desk to boot her computer, hand wrapped tightly around her coffee. Wesley is talking about hearing something from one of his underground sources, Angel answering when spoken to, slowly pacing in her periphreal.

She stares at the black void of her monitor as Wesley fades out.

The only sound she hears is the soft cadence of Angel's voice.

~~

(tbc)

Comments 
17th-Dec-2006 01:02 am (UTC)
Another fantastic part. I am really loving this story. I know you don't usually do multi-part ones but you do them so well. I can't wait until your next update. The characterization, the voices, it's all just spot on, like always.
17th-Dec-2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm thrilled that you're enjoying it, and glad that you're sticking with it. :D
17th-Dec-2006 06:35 am (UTC)
Gah! I see I've missed the first two parts.... Gonna look in your Memories and bookmark this for reading tomorrow afternoon.

Thanks! I love you A/C fic... :-)
17th-Dec-2006 08:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I was remiss at not putting this in my memories before so I just put all three parts under c/a fic. Thanks for being willing to read them:D
17th-Dec-2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
What an awesome treat shortly before Christmas! :)

I don't quite know what to say except repeat myself from the previous parts. This is such a wonderfully dark fic. I love the way you bring the vampire in Angel to the front but also having the guilt there. The two are totally lost in their conflicting feelings. Me loves!
17th-Dec-2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad Angel's coming across with his vampire nature and guilt in tact. It's a fine line and I'm so afraid of crossing it. Thank you for liking it!!

::hugs::
18th-Dec-2006 01:58 am (UTC)
You are EVIL. This is so very good and yet so very short! Behold the unfairness...

This bit was my favourite -

“How’s your head?”

full of you


- mainly because I imagine that's what Angel felt like most of season 3, so it was nice to see it from Cordy's POV. Also loved the blatant affection and desire she's harbouring and yet, her reluctance to live in this tragic farce almost. That was always healthy about their relationship I feel, that it was based on something very real, it cut the crap and it just *was*.

And hopefully it'll survive this train wreck you seem to be throwing their way. ;o) Now, are we going to get another kiss soon or am I going to have to stalk you? Hehe, dont make us wait so long for the next part, this was faboo.

18th-Dec-2006 02:31 am (UTC)
Sorry about the shortness. Basically I'm posting what I write so it's out there instead of undergoing revision after revision - this was a short sit-down session. I'm working on 4 right now so I'm hopeful to be posting soon.

Theirs was the most healthy relationship on either show, I think, and Cordy loves her man but you're right. She, in no way shape or form, wants to relive the tragic farce of Angel's relationship with Buffy. She never did.

And hopefully I'm not writing B/A part 2.

::worries::

But also I think there's this mutual need between them that I am exploiting into something unhealthy - purely for the angst and hot sex, because though I love the healthy side to their relationship, I can't write it. Plus there isn't nearly enough of this kind of C/A out there in ficland, so I'm doing my part.

We *all* should do our part.

::eyes you pointedly::
18th-Dec-2006 04:18 am (UTC)
I do my part! ;o) You just haven't read my WIP's, LOL. And you should know that, if that lovely little ficlet you wrote me is anything to go by, it's evident that you are perfectly and beyond capable of writing both the lighter side of their friendship/relation and the past tense. ;o)

Not to say I dont love this, I really do, and you most certainly are not writing B/A 2 - C/A could never be B/A 2, mainly because it was an entirely different relationship. Certainly, Angel had his obsessive moments and the love and emotion was incredibly fierce and strong but I think psychofilly said it best when she wrote about that tenderness and connection on a human level between them due to their blind trust, fiercly forged friendship and everything else that came in between and as a result of that. Angel may have *felt* once of twice like a human being in the company of Buffy but it wasn't until Cordelia that he really began to live.

I've rambled. ;o) Just wanted to reassure you because you truly are fabulous and despite being a fluff lover at heart, I've loved every single piece of writing you've put out there. It's always nice to see different takes on the characters and I do enjoy venturing into dark fic every now and then because you cant ignore that element of character in both Angel *and* Cordy. She was best friends/lovers with a vampire for goodness sake! ;o)
18th-Dec-2006 05:06 am (UTC)
Well thanks;D

::slips you a twenty::

When I said we should all do our part, I meant there should be more c/a fics overall, angst, fluff, adventure ::coughs:: smut - c/a writers should put fic out there, every day. For *me*. Because I *want it*.

Seriously, I love your stuff - your writing is voluptuous and redolent with feeling. I eat it up. But yeah, I rarely read WIPs, though I do make an exception for LA Angels and a couple others. With work and home, I don't really have time to invest in long pieces so I choose carefully what I read.

Love, trust, and friendship. They had it *all* - Cordy brought him blood, dressed up his dreary world and connected him to the everyday pulse of life. Her fondest wish when he became human wasn't wrapped up in what it meant for her, she just wanted to take him to the beach. I love that. And I love that Angel understood Cordy, her motivations, her need to help, because it was like his.

But I like to explore the way they need each other. Cordy gave up her humanity to save him - that tells me that she needed him on a level she didn't like to acknowledge. It's not just about what's best for Angel for her, but what she needs to do to satisfy her love for him. At least that's what I try and write. Though I love the lighter stuff. Remember the World's Shortest Fic thread at ST? There were so awesome gems in there.

Somebody should probably resurrect that thread.

::whistles::
18th-Dec-2006 05:18 am (UTC)
Well, thanks. ;o) :slips back the twenty:

Hehehe...You know, I watched a B/S clip in which she feeds him blood from a cup through a straw and makes a face and Spike's all, I'm sure you did this for Angel, but did she ever really do it the way Cordelia did? Buffy always made a face or held it far away from her, and she was always opening curtains and nearly burning him with direct sunlight - Cordy put cinammon in his blood in an effort to make it taste better. Buffy barely wanted to touch it but it was a part of who he was, a part of who he would always be and who someone who loved him and trusted him would have to accept.

I just find it funny when B/A is put on a pedestal because in brutal honesty it was a bunch of crap. It was unrealistic, rather perverse when you think about it, and based on all the wrong things. It was oh, purpose as oppose to live in alleyways eating rats, attraction and then bam! Love? Yeah, sure, makes perfect sense... And whenever I compare to C/A, which honestly I dont like doing cos they're such different relationships, B/A always comes up short. I remember a scene where Angel vamps out and tells Buffy she shouldn't have to see him like this (wtf?) and she says, oh, I didn't even notice - which was meant to be incredibly romantic and sweet? In TSILA, Cordelia hands him his blood and tells him not to be embarrassed because they're family. So essentially, Buffy was suggesting that there *was* something terrible there to notice as oppose to Cordelia who was all, this is who you are and we love you.

It's fun to ramble, are you noticing this about me? ;o) I do like what you've said here though, about them needing each other and that thing deep within Cordy's soul that was never explored properly - her unselfish need to help others and to help Angel, though perhaps in some way to satisfy her own darkness. I do think it was combined with what was best for Angel though, I actually think she was the first person who gave him that unconditional, unselfish affection and faith.

I need more C/A icons. That's gonna be my thing to do this week... ;o)
18th-Dec-2006 05:53 am (UTC)
Oooh, let me know what you come up with. I'm always trolling for new C/A icons. And feel free to check out my user info - I've got tons.

Just to be a stinker, I'm using one of the Superman ones I found. He's my boyfriend right now. Isn't he pretty?

::pets him::

Even In the Dark, which was like the third ep of s1, you could see that Angel already means so much to her - in Doyle's apartment, she's just huddled in a ball, rocking back and forth and worrying because he didn't come back when he said he would. And the way she stood up to Spike. The way they called each other's names when Spike brought her and Doyle to Angel. *Especially* the way Angel shudders out her name.

The way she warned Bethany off. Not because she wanted him for herself but because she didn't want him hurt. The way she turned on that actress in Eternity (by the way, have you read my version of that ending scene?) the second she realized what she'd done to Angel.

Man, can you tell I'm rambling too? Hee. Can't help it.

To me, B/A is first love. Angel may have been older than the Constitution, but from the glimpses we had of his past, he's never been in love in all that time. Buffy is his first love, and she'll always have a piece of his heart, but Cordelia is the person he falls in love with when he begins to need more in his life, when he begins to mature. I imagine he likes who he is when he's with Cordelia, because they are friends where Buffy and him never could be.

::sighs::

I know some people marry their first loves and live happily ever after, but from my thinking, that's rare. Remind me to tell you about *my* train wreck of a first love. I come by these beliefs rather honestly.
18th-Dec-2006 05:59 am (UTC)
I had a train wreck too ;o) Hehe, and agreed - it *is* rare and it's something you hold dear yet learn from. B/A were first love and it will always be important and special but when I say crap, I just mean I dont see the big deal. Granted there were trips to hell and back but otherwise, emotionally, I dont think it rated above Giles/Jenny or Oz/Willow or even Xander/Cordy, though it seemed one-sided until he lost her and then realised what an ass he'd been... It was just a little too unhealthy for my liking, they were both left so badly burned by the whole thing that it took Cordy and Spike coming along to actually make sense of what love *could* feel like in its best form - it didn't have to be epic or tragic or dramatic - it just was.

And yes, I think Angel was the best man he could be when he was with Cordelia, and he knew that.
18th-Dec-2006 06:24 am (UTC)
Don't *even* get me started on Xander/Cordelia. That boy has always wanted the one he *wasn't* with, but nekkin' with Willow while he's got Cordelia Chase...I'll never get that. He doesn't even understand the depth of her hurt or sense of betrayal, and his contrition last about five minutes. Then in the Wish, which was like the very next episode after Lover's Walk, he essentially tells Buffy and Willow he's done feeling bad about it. What-the-fuck-ever. I wanted to reach through the screen and *strangle* him. If he was sorry, if he truly wanted her back, he would have been on his knees for as long as it took for Cordy to trust him again. He would have been willing, you know? But he just goes on acting like he was the one impaled on a rebar and doesn't show any sense of caring until, of course, Wesley enters the picture.

Sorry. Xander issues.

I know you don't, and I get why, but I've always seen B/A through Buffy's eyes. I get it in that context. Overall though, I think Giles was the one to get royally shafted. Buffy sent Angel to hell, but Giles found his love dead in his bed. Of all the Scoobies, his gripe was the most legitimate, the one Buffy really needed to apologize to.

I suppose we've *all* had train wrecks dotting the countryside of our pasts. I had to come to believe it was necessary to go through the tribulation of that first time in order to recognize what love *wasn't*, so you can recognize what it was when you did encounter it. Eventually, you get tired of feeling so miserable, and you begin not to love them. That's what I believed happened during that fight at the police station during Sanctuary. They began not to love each other because they were both tired of the misery. Especially Angel. Love shouldn't be that hard, that conflicting. It should be as easy as a smile, as effortless as making breakfast for someone at four in the morning.
18th-Dec-2006 06:53 am (UTC)
Hmm, through Buffy's eyes I saw it - I just didn't like it. ;o) Definitely didn't make much sense through Angel's. Plus, shallowly (is that even a word) speaking, I think SMG is hugely overestimated - the word 'beautiful' is thrown around far too loosely for my liking now-a-days and this is no exception. Granted that's not what love is based on but if it came down to taking a pick...no question. ;o)

Now Angel's "the most beautiful woman in the world" line to Cordelia made perfect sense. ;o) And just for fun, was pretty much a final nail in the B/A coffin though that had been built aaages before.

Aren't I one with the metaphors? What was I going to say...aah yes, Xander. The words idiot and moron come to mind. But he was a stupid teenage boy and he had his moments. That didn't stop him from making similar mistakes with Anya when he was older so I guess her really is an asshole and frankly, a dolt. And yes, his reaction post Cordy's impalement was disgraceful - though I think it was more out of regret and humiliation that he'd been told to get the hell away from the best thing that had ever happened to him.

Oh well, his loss, Angel's gain. ;o)
18th-Dec-2006 07:16 am (UTC)
The most beautiful woman he's ever seen.

Mmm.

Best. Line. EVER.

Considering how old he is, how well traveled he is, and the whole other dimensions thing, that's says a lot, doesn't it.

I loved that line so much I asked Damnskippy to make an icon for it, and she *did* and I love her for it. And other things.

I don't hate Xander - sorry to come off sounding as though I do. He's shown too much real courage and empathy and friendship for me to hate him. But I have issues with how he sees the women in his life.

And yeah, Angel may hate that Cordy fell on a rebar but I'm sure he's very glad Xander cheated. Not that he'd tell Cordelia because he likes his head *intact* and not bitten off.
18th-Dec-2006 07:25 am (UTC)
And yeah, Angel may hate that Cordy fell on a rebar but I'm sure he's very glad Xander cheated. Not that he'd tell Cordelia because he likes his head *intact* and not bitten off.

Hehe, there's a fic in there somewhere... ;o)

No, I dont hate Xander either - he was a great friend, but a terrible, terrible boyfriend. How he got such beautiful women as Cordy, Faith and Anya interested in him is beyond me. Though I did like X/A...

And sorry, I jabbed up the line - he's ever seen, not in the world, though they mean relatively the same thing. And yes, 'tis indeed a feat. My stomach still flutters when I hear it...

It kindof made me aware though you know, of how perhaps even the writers acknowledged that, despite not giving her as much limelight at SMG or AH or even ED when she guest appeared on the show, Charisma really was the most beautiful woman they'd ever had on set or ever seen.

Fanwanks are fun. ;o) Now about that Angel/Cordy/Xander fic...I have a kink for jealous Angel, can you tell?
19th-Dec-2006 04:26 am (UTC)
One day soon, I will write a ferally possessive, jealous Angel - I mean, go all out bad!fic. There'd be growling and the word MINE will feature prominently.

I always had this idea to write a fic where Angel and Cordy go to Sunnydale, to team up with the Scoobies to fight the big evil. They aren't a couple, Cordelia's oblivious, but it's dawning on Angel. He sees Cordy talk to Xander and fishes for info on her feelings later, being all ackward and dorky, then he and Buffy see Cordy and Spike with their heads together, strictly working, and they *both* get this panicked look in their eye and go break the other two up. Angel takes Cordy's elbow and steers her up from the table and out of the room and she's all 'b-but Angel, we were getting somewhere.' and Angel answers 'I know.' And she looks at him like he's insane. And later, after the battle, Spike goes to help Cordy up and Angel wedges between them and helps her up himself.

Yeah, I like jealous Angel a lot myself:P
19th-Dec-2006 07:38 am (UTC)
:jawdrop:

:drool:

Oh...my...GAWD. Write it, write it NOW.

Oh, come on, it would be fabulous - and then there could be a scene where Cordy maybe gets all in Angel's face and tells him to stop being an ass and then he yells that he's not being an ass and maybe something about his feelings being real and she's gobsmacked and it only takes her a few seconds to find her tongue and then she's back to calling him an ass and there's all this cracklng tension between them and the BAM! He grabs her and kisses the living daylights out of her in front of everyone.

Ahem.

Write it, write it NOW! It would be soooo good!
25th-Dec-2006 03:00 am (UTC)
Livie's pimping of must reads for the year led me here, and boy I have to say I am one lucky girl this holiday season. This is a great story so far, it really has the feel of the characters and the inner dialog that was happening at that point in the series. I am really enjoying this and am so glad you are sharing it with us.

Thank you, and I look forward to the final 2 chapters.
Lisa
25th-Dec-2006 05:28 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed what I got so far, and hopefully you'll like the next two.

Merry Christmas!
26th-Dec-2006 09:58 am (UTC)
please continue ... fantastic little fic..touching..intriguing...mesmerising..and my favourite 3some, Cordy, Angel and Angelus.

dont stop, don't quit...your fic is addictive.

post more soon, please.

take care, sarahk_4005

26th-Dec-2006 11:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words:D

I'm thrilled you like it.
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