SUMMARY: Angel mourns Cordelia.
POSTED: 26 Jul 2007
CONTENT/PAIRING: Angel, mentions Spike, Xander, Eve, Wes
WARNINGS: None Listed
1) And a huge thanks to Sarah (boy_named_susie) for being a fabulous beta.

Eve had to make all the arrangements for the casket, the flowers, and the funeral home. After the third broken desk, everyone was tired of trying to get it just perfect for Angel and wanted to avoid his fist through another desk.

He watched, lips drawn in a tight, thin line, as the parade of people that hardly knew her made their way to the podium to give their final words. His face was stoic as they rattled off all the funny stories about Cordelia that told nothing of who she was. She was a hero who was now reduced to stories about outrage of having to buy off the rack and getting lost during a shopping trip to Los Angeles.

Wes spoke of their brief flirtation during her time in high school, and for a moment, Angel thought perhaps he felt a pang of something. Some bit of jealousy creeping up as Wes went on about the “worst kiss in history.” It was nothing though, a bit of acid indigestion maybe from too much otter.

When Xander got up there, his one eye missing, Angel thought for a fleeting moment that he felt some kind of joy at the man’s misery. The demon inside of him reared up to relish in his injury. The Schadenfreude passed just as quickly as had what he thought was jealousy.

He tuned out when Spike went up. This was just another moment for the pompous ass to have a second in the spotlight. Never could just let anyone have their time. Angel’s eyes went to the casket, the open casket. He fixed his gaze on the woman that lay inside. She was still as beautiful as the day he first saw her in Sunnydale and again in L.A. She was so young, that beauty lost now to be turned into worm food. No, he wouldn’t let that happen.

His hand clenched around the program, crumpling it. Anger. He could feel that. It was burning from deep inside the pit of his being, welling up, screaming through his soul. It railed against the injustice, the unfairness, the fact that he had said NO lilies and here they were. That was his best friend, the first best friend he ever had, lying there on a bed of satin lining when he said silk.

He felt a small hand against his shoulder, steeling him back into calm. It was not a serene feeling but rather the absence of any feeling, not really calm at all. He forced himself to look away from the casket, to focus once more on the processional of fools who trumpeted a woman they never bothered to notice was in trouble. A woman they never helped but who helped thousands.

Angel paid a great deal of money to be able to come back to the deep, dark recesses of the funeral home. Leave it to Wolfram and Hart to own a funeral home that was also a pit for ritualistic sacrifice. He wished he could take comfort or pride in the fact he had stopped that but he felt nothing.

He paid even more to make sure that they burned her casket with her. He wouldn’t let her flesh touch anything as simple as a pine box. She would have had his head for that. He stood by the conveyer belt, his eyes staring holes into the mahogany lid. If he just looked long enough, hard enough, she’d throw back that lid and tell him it was all an unfunny joke by The Powers.

He still thought that, even as the flames licked up the sides of the casket. He could hear the popping and hissing of the wood as the varnish burned off and the fire ate at the wood underneath. He couldn’t make her out against the dancing light. His eyes burned as he forced himself not to blink. If he blinked, the world might change. He needed the finality of watching her.

As the flames danced in his cold eyes, he felt nothing. He was dead inside without her. Just as dead as Cordelia. He watched without emotion as his heart burned.



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