AUTHOR: SCORCH (aka JUDI)
SUMMARY: Cordelia and Angel have a conversation in a She Said / He Said POV fic.
POSTED: 26 Dec 2003
CATEGORY: Angst / POV
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A, B/A mentioned
WARNINGS: None Listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES: None
There’s only one thing I truly hate on this planet and that’s the way plastic bag handles make these awful lines on your fingers. They damn well hurt and take ages to go away… Scratch that, make that two things I truly hate on this planet and the second being high heels. They may look nice and go great with skirts but they are not meant for walking.
My next door neighbour gives me a glance that asks if I’m crazy because I’m humming. “What are you looking at?” my bark is worse than my bite but not many people know and that piece of information will stay quiet. Good boy, look away because I am not in the mood for a row.
Joyness! The elevator’s broken down again, I’ll look on the bright side and think of this as a free workout and up the stairs I go.
Stair flight number one, dodge the trashcan I accidentally destroyed when she first came to my city. Next I side-step the blob of chewing gum no doubt stuck there by the brats from upstairs and I made it to flight number 2 in one piece.
Stair flight number 2, okay time to play dodge the poodle behind the rail guarding. “Oh will you stop yapping? You’re no higher than my ankle for God’s sake” I growl at it and success! After a whimpered doggy yelp, the poodle scuttles back into it’s canine kennel.
Number 3 and right at the end of this flight is… Oh brother, now they have to come invade the only place where I can have some peace. I purposely slow my walk down because I am no hurry to face them in my own home.
“Angel hi” I greet and come to a standstill in front of him, looking up at the Broody One I make absolutely no move whatsoever to invite him into my apartment. He’s here so where is his hip accessory? “Buffy not with you?”
He opens his mouth to speak.
How do I say this?
“Buffy’s gone back to Sunnydale” that came out easier than I thought it would and she’s taking it a lot calmer than I thought she would. She looks so pretty tonight, her hair is all bunched up, her cheeks are pink from the wind and her eyes are glassy from the crisp air.
“Oh you poor thing” she coos, I’m not exactly certain here but I think I’m detecting a hint of sarcasm in her reply. For a moment there I’d forgotten who I was talking too but as usual reality bites harder than me.
“Look, can I come in?” I’m playing it very low here, I don’t want to rush straight into anything at all because that will be how I’ll end up getting my ass severely kicked. “I need to talk”
Cordelia looks back at her apartment as if she’s thinking about a secret she’s keeping in there, “Um” she contemplates with a frown ruining her flawless face. “I tell you what Angel, how’s about I put my shopping in and we can talk out here? Sounds great to me and that way I can get some fresh air”
I know I have an identical frown on my face as I listen to her tell me I’m not welcome in her home. This is bad, this is so very, very bad but I relent and give her what she wants because I am in no position to demand anything of her right now. Not after I’ve practically ignored her since Buffy came to town, the only time I’ve really spoken to her is when it involved her visions.
It takes all my willpower not to cry at that realisation. She was supposed to be my best friend, I was supposed to be her best friend and I left her again. I don’t care about having a shot at being romantically involved, I just want my best friend back.
“Give me ten minutes to put these away and ask Dennis if he’ll put my coffee on okay? Then you can tell me all about it” now I definitely detect sarcasm in her voice.
“If this is a bad time, we can talk some other time. I’m in no hurry”
I hold back more tears as I watch her nod, agreeing that this is a bad time. I bite the bullet because what else have I got to lose?
“Actually” my voice stops her from entering her apartment and she glances at me over her shoulder, blinking those jewelled hazel irises at me quizzically. “I really need to talk”
“In that case” I fling my door wide open, praying Dennis has done what we agreed in the case Angel turned up. My place, my apartment, my safe haven from all things Buffy and Angel is now invaded by one half of the enemy itself. Should I wave my surrendering flag now or wait until later when the other half turns up to finish the conquer of Mount Cordy? “Come on in big guy, can you please close it behind you unless you’re not staying long…”
He gets the hint that I really don’t want him here at all, but the thing is I don’t feel any kind of guilt for not being sympathetic towards his hurt feelings. I’ve felt numb since she got here, it’s a good feeling is it Angel?
I desperately try not to cringe or cry when I hear my door close behind hi, I’m praying for some miracle here that he went before it closed. “Dennis?” I use my amazing roommate and turn around to address his newly decorated wall. I put dried flowers at the corners, drew pictures and put up magazine cut-outs of his favourite models. “Can you help me please? The handles are cutting into my skin again”
Yep, he’s still here but he has his back turned to me and his hands are resting on the back of my door. It’s so hard not to stick my tongue out at him, give him a wedgie or something equally childish. Oh well.
I sigh gratefully as the heaviest shopping bags kind of dance merrily into the kitchen and my grateful grin turns into an all out laugh at the sight of my grocery shopping doing the hula. “Dennis you are too much” I trail after my shopping with my remaining bags. “Coffee Angel?”
It’s weird how I know him like this, it’s weird how I know he noticed the lack of laughter in my voice as I speak to him far too politely to be classed as best friends.
“Do you have something stronger?”
“I’m sorry I don’t” is my honest reply, “All the alcohol I had I gave to Lorne because alcohol and my new anti-inflammatory medication doesn’t go all that well” I know the visions aren’t killing me anymore but they don’t half pack a punch sometimes, the last punch I got ended up with me plastered to my bathroom wall.
And they thought the floating was freaky. HA! They have yet to see my recent demonic upgrades and the subsequent bruising when I land wrong or when my back collides with a wall. Unfortunately, my healing still takes a while to work but at least I heal and not dying anymore which is a very good thing.
“I have espresso which you’re more than welcome to have if you’d like” it must feel awful to be treated like a stranger by a friend.
It hurts, it makes you feel like they don’t care in anyway about you, like they only want you around because of your visions. It makes you feel used.
“Why are you taking medication?” I hear “I thought the visions weren’t fatal anymore?”
She said medication, why is she taking medication for the visions if they aren’t fatal? What the hell is she hiding this time? I don’t care what barriers are between us right now, she is going to tell me what is going on, I won’t let her hide it again.
I find Cordelia methodically placing a teaspoon of coffee into a mug followed by two teaspoon’s of sugar. “Why are you taking medication?” I repeat, I want an answer and expect her to deny any severity.
“It’s for when my floatation goes whacked and I either land wrong or end up as part of the plaster on my ceiling” that throws me a little, not the fact of what happens but the fact she’s being open and honest.
Now I know I’ve crossed the line from best friend. The thing with Cordelia is when she’s honest like this, you know that a closeness has been lost because she’s the type of person who refuses to let people she cares for worry about her. She‘d rather talk to her worst enemy rather than me, she proved that when she went to Lilah on her mission to kill Billy.
“What do you mean?” I ask, a little more firmly. I want a straight answer from her and she will give it to me.
“Why did Buffy leave?” change of subject, we’re back to denying it now. Fine, I can play this game too Cordelia.
“It didn’t work out” simple, easy and honest answer even if half the information has been left out on purpose.
“She’s just at the end of a phone Angel” and the award for the most abruptly spoken sentence goes to… “It’s nothing but a small lover’s tiff. You’ll get over it”
“I am over it Cord…elia” I’ve lost the right to call her ‘Cordy’ she stopped that with a simple glance and it hits me just how hurt she must be. She using her own pain to hurt me in the only way she knows how. “She… It just didn’t…” do not go on vacation when I need you most, Brain and please stay in contact with my mouth.
“I understand” Cordelia pats my hand as though I were a dog who wanted petting, “We’ve all been dumped at some point in our lives. Hell, you dumped her once didn’t you?” say what you’re thinking why don’t you?
“She didn’t dump me, I left her” I confess quietly as I reach out to take my coffee from her cold hand. She’s been outside so I’m not going to worry too much about her cold hands. Not that I have a right to worry about her after basically acting as though I really don’t give a damn.
“And you’re here because you want to share your feelings with me, is that?” she speaks slowly and clearly, working things out piece by piece until it all fits together. This is where she would have laid into me with everything she had until her anger had dissolved.
Instead, there’s just silence and all I can hear is the steady, unwavering and strong thumping of her heart under her breast. The rate hasn’t changed, her breath hasn’t hitched, there are no tears; no signs of any sort of emotion. Cordelia seems to have pushed aside any feelings she had in order to see with a crystal clear clarity that I envy.
“I wasn‘t heart broken” my will is dissolving and I’m so close to leaving because my hope is gone, there’s nothing left for me here.
“I am now” I give her my coffee cup “Thank you for the coffee, I’ll see you at work tomorrow” then I leave.
The door closes quietly behind me, my hands grip the rail in front of me as I will myself not to cry.