Paring: C/A ish
Summary: Angel takes care of Cordelia, and almost confesses something important.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: A little bit of a bridge between the teaser of Belonging and the first act. Beta'd by damnskippytoo.
Cordelia gagged and shuddered, and finally fell back against the side of the bathroom sink, sagging down exhaustedly.
Angel let go of her shoulders and took the damp washcloth Dennis handed him, holding it for her to take.
“Thanks,” she whispered, pressing it to her mouth, wincing at the cramping in her stomach.
The bathroom was dark except for the candles Dennis lit, as dark as the rest of the apartment outside the open door behind Angel’s back.
“Better?” he asked, and she nodded.
“Yeah,” she whispered again, afraid if her voice was any louder, it would set her stomach off again. “Some celebration dinner, huh?” She said, shivering a little. “I’ve faced demons, vampires, Wesley’s attempts at designing a new filing system, and what takes me out? Bad fish.” Leaning her head against Angel’s shoulder, she buried her face into the robe wrapped around her feverish body. “I kinda hate my life right now.”
“It’s not so bad,” Angel said, leaning his head back against the cool side of the sink. “At least the restaurant comped our dinner.”
She punched his arm weakly. “So not the point I was making.” She said. “I have a commercial tomorrow, a national that’s going to give me an emergency shoe fund if I’m lucky, I can’t be sick right now.” She sighed. “It’s like a curse.” She peeked up at him. “Well, not a curse curse , but – you know what I mean.”
There was silence for a few seconds, and then Angel shrugged.
“Maybe it’s a sign,” he suggested, turning slightly. “Maybe the universe is trying to tell you that being an actress isn’t what you’re meant for.”
“Then the universe is drinking bong water.” She yawned, her eyes watering. “What time is it?”
Angel closed his eyes.
“Just after midnight,” he replied, opening his eyes and looking down at the top of her head. “You know how much you mean to me, right Cordelia?”
“Duh, vampire boy, you’d be lost without me to navigate your cell phone for you. Not to mention those wacky visions.” She yawned again. “I’m so tired.”
“No, that’s not what I-“ Angel stopped, unsure of what he should be confessing. “I really – I mean, I think I –“
Cordelia jerked forward with an arm across her stomach, groaning.
Heaving upwards, Cordelia barely cleared the edge of the toilet bowl before throwing up again, helpless as her stomach cramped. Angel moved and knelt next to her, sweeping her hair back as much as possible. Not much was coming out, just some bile, and soon the spasms were over, and Cordelia was sagging back down to the floor while Angel flushed away the latest contents of her stomach.
“Maybe we should get you to a hospital,” he said, worry in his voice. She shook her head, nestling it against his shoulder again.
“No, it’s fine, I think that was the worst of it.” Moving slightly, she tried to find a comfortable position. “Maybe I can lie down on my bed for a while? Try to sleep?” She started to rise, but Angel stopped her and scooped her up carefully, carrying her through the darkened hallway to her room.
Dennis opened her bedroom door and Angel walked through the threshold over to the bed set her down carefully on top of the covers. Cordelia immediately curled onto her side, her eyes drooping.
“My hero,” she whispered. Angel hovered, looking down at her and then sat on the edge of her mattress, making it sag slightly. He covered her hand with his.
“Cordy?” he whispered, eyes tracing the delicate shadows of her face. She didn’t move, exhaustion taking root behind her eyes and in her body. “Please don’t leave me.”
She didn’t hear him, already slipping off into a recuperative sleep.
He wished she’d stay home and get better instead of going to the audition. He wished being an actress wasn’t still so important to her after everything they had been through. Even though she’d forgiven him and allowed him back, he still felt as though she were water through his fingers, easily lost again.
He sat next to her for a while, to make sure she wouldn’t lurch up in another spasm of painful cramps, but she didn’t move again.
At close to one-thirty, he finally got up, careful not to make any unnecessary movements, and left the room, shutting the door behind him.
“I have to go. She had a vision in the middle of throwing up and there’s a nest...” He stopped talking, feeling a swell of frustration rising up, tightening his chest. “Take care of her, okay? Call me if she starts again?” He felt Dennis’ agreement and a brush of air somewhere around his shoulder. He nodded and left the apartment.
He was a shadow down the darkened streets, becoming an indistinct blur of darkness and pale skin under the light of the moon as he disappeared into greater Los Angeles.
Inside the apartment, Dennis was a sweep of air and white smoke going through the apartment, securing his home and its current occupant as best he could before disappearing into his wall.
Then there was nothing but the slow ticking of the clock in the kitchen, counting the minutes until dawn.