Pain and Forgiveness


AUTHOR: TIPDIP (aka CAMMY)
SUMMARY: Cordy’s infidelity towards Angel has gotten their relationship in hot water. Can Angel ever learn to forgive her?
RATING: R/NC17
POSTED: 28 Nov 2003
CATEGORY: ANGST with RESOLUTION
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A in AtS S4, Refers to C/C
WARNINGS: None Listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES: I’m just gonna go ahead and post this thing. It might get me off my butt to finish it…Godwilling! Cali…thanks for taking a look at this. You too Helen. Thanks for your inspiration. I don’t know what I’d do without you two!
STATUS: Incomplete


Part 1

Cordy walked into the Hyperion with several empty boxes, hoping that no one was there to see her pack her personal belongings from her former office. Since Angel told her to clear out of the office, she wasn’t in the mood for confrontations. She wanted to get her stuff and get the hell out.

As she walked into the large hotel, she noticed it was dark, except for the small dim light in Wesley’s old office. She quietly tiptoed into the office to see if anyone was there; breathing a sigh of relief on seeing it was empty. She continued to her desk and settled into her chair trying to be as quiet as possible. “Lord knows the last person I want to see is Angel,” she thought.

She opened up her drawers and slipped some items into the boxes. She decided to throw the old magazines that were stacked in her bottom drawers. She’d held on to them because at one point she had hoped to appear in the glossy pages. “Of course it doesn’t matter–nothing really matters anymore”, she thought. She quietly packed each box until she ran into an old photo of herself, holding baby Connor. Surprisingly, Angel was in the picture as well. It always amazed her how he didn’t reflect in a mirror, yet he was visible in photographs. Her thoughts turned to the past when there had been a happy family here: Wes, Gunn, Fred, and Lorne; but mostly she thought about Angel – of all the cases that were brought to her by the PTB and how Angel and company would always try to save all the potential victims.

There were so many memories in this place. Some were bad, but most were good. It would be heartbreaking to leave. For everyone’s sake, though, it must be done. Cordy really didn’t know why she had done what she did. It was all a blur to her. It had been as if some unseen force was making her do its evil bidding, and it was only after the Beast was defeated that she realized that she had done the unthinkable – sleeping with Angel’s son, Connor. Having no real recollection of exactly what occurred, and having Connor and Angel point it out in detail had been a real joy – Not! Although She’d tried to tell him that it wasn’t her; that some force had made her do it, he’d continued to just glare at her with cold brown eyes. Then he had told her to get the hell out. She saw no way of fixing this mess; not without some proof, and how could she possibly do that? After hurting the people who mattered to her the most, there was no other option but to leave.

It didn’t take Cordy long to finish – even though she didn’t have much, two boxes were filled to the brim. Stacking the boxes on top of each other, she quickly walked out of her office and tiptoed to the lobby doors leading to the outside.
“OK. I’ve made it; just a few more steps and I’ll be out the door”, she thought. In her haste to leave, the heels of her shoes tangled with one another. Trying to catch her balance, her hands instinctively went out, and she lost her grip on the boxes – the contents spewing forward onto the floor. Hoping to God that no one had heard the commotion, she quickly tried to gather the items up and stuff them back in the boxes.

”I’ve got to get out of here before someone catches me”.

Gathering the contents of the boxes, Cordy again started towards the door.

“What the hell are you doing here? I thought I told you to leave.”

Cordelia took a deep breath and reluctantly turned around to face the angry Vampire. Great! This is all I need!

“I just came to…”, began Cordelia. Her words dried up when she saw the figure standing behind Angel: Gwen.

“Yes, Cordelia, please tell us. What are you doing here?” smirked Gwen.


Part 2

Cordelia felt her anger rise. She glared back at Gwen. “That’s really none of your business, now is it Gwen?” Gwen rolled her eyes and looked away.

“It may not be Gwen’s business, but it’s certainly mine. Now why are you here?” asked Angel with barely concealed distaste, moving to block her exit, and folding his powerful arms in his patented intimidation pose. That was so not going to work! Cordelia tilted her chin haughtily.

“Well, Mister Observant, I came for my things – that is allowed isn’t it? Now let me past, and you can go back to … whatever you were doing with Miss Electric-bitch here.” Sarcasm dripped from her tongue, as she eyed the other girl before looking directly at the imposing figure whose broad shoulders had tensed at her reply.

“Excuse us, Gwen,” muttered Angel, “it seems I need to have a word with my ex-employee.” He took the boxes out of Cordelia’s arms, set them on the ground, pulled her resisting body into the main office and slammed the door. Relieved that she wasn’t the object of his anger, Gwen left the hotel.

“You’d better explain yourself – and fast!” growled Angel. He still had a tight grip on her arm.

“I don’t know what you mean,” she shrugged, “one minute you’re telling me to get out; the next minute you’re stopping me from leaving. Make up your mind already, because I don’t have all day. And while you’re at it, do you think you can let go of my arm while I still have some feeling in it?” She raised one delicate eyebrow to the source of her pain. For a moment, his grip tightened unbearably, before releasing her with obvious reluctance.

“There was no need to talk to Gwen that way.”

“She started it with the whole ‘what who where’ speech – but of course you wouldn’t have noticed that, ‘cos you’re acting like a dumba–, Ow!” His hands gripped her shoulders tightly; the coldness in his eyes rapidly turning to rage.

“Don’t even go there, Cordelia. Maybe if you hadn’t slept with my son it wouldn’t have come to this.” He snarled, giving her a slight shake. Cordy swallowed hard, refusing to cringe at the barely restrained violence coming off him in waves.

“Well gee, Angel – what are you more annoyed about? – The fact that I slept with Connor,” she continued, as she struggled to free herself from his grip, “ or that I didn’t sleep with you?” Cordelia’s temper was rising, and all self preservation flew out of the window as she jabbed at Angel’s ego. She didn’t care. “But that couldn’t have happened anyway – what with the curse. It must really piss you off what with being pretty much a euni- hey, watch it, buster!” Angel pushed her up against the wall and his face inched closer to hers. Seeing the sparks of yellow mingle with the charcoal brown of his eyes, she knew that he barely had control of his demon.

”I am not a eunuch, Cordelia. Not anymore.” Angel growled.

Cordelia gulped, “What do you mean, not anymore?”

“The Powers That Be anchored my soul as a reward for killing the Beast. They figured that I must have deserved it because of all the trouble I’ve gone through in trying to save this godforsaken city.”

“Well hey! That’s great news for you then, isn’t it?” Cordelia’s heart sank because she knew that whatever plan Angel had didn’t include her. “I mean you and Miss I-like-to-electrocute-everything-in-sight-with-a-single-touch can be together, right? – But wait, you can’t because she doesn’t have blonde hair. I guess that puts her out of the loop, doesn’t it?” She continued on recklessly, “If that’s the case, there’s nothing stopping you from going back to Sunnyhell and picking up where you left off with Buffy…right?” When Angel’s face shifted, she knew her goading had gotten her into trouble.

“You just don’t know when to shut up, do you?” Angel said through clenched teeth. His grip tightened on her shoulders as he pressed her soft body up against his. A hand snaked up, grabbed her hair, and yanked her head back. His lips smashed against hers, plundering and grinding his mouth to hers. His fangs sliced into her pliable lips but he was careful not to overdo it. Cordelia gasped at the intrusion and the pain that it inflicted. She panicked when she tasted her own blood and struggled against him, but his grip tightened, holding her still as his assault on her lips continued. His tongue finally swept in to taste the blood that seeped into her mouth. Her blood tasted like an elixir to him and he craved more of it. As he continued the onslaught, Cordy mustered up enough strength to put some distance between them. She was breathing heavily from the effort. Her mouth was sore and as she lifted a sleeved arm to wipe the blood away, tears streamed down her cheeks. The tears were more from the emotional havoc Angel caused then from what his fangs did. She felt violated.

“H-How could you?” stuttered Cordy as Angel’s face slipped back to normal.

“How could I what?“ he snapped. His control was shaky and demon struggled to resurface; the taste of her driving him crazy. “ I and the others risked our lives fighting the Beast. I was the one that ended up with a fucking knife in my throat and got tossed several stories off a building! Then if that wasn’t enough, I was concerned about you and Connor’s safety! You ask me how I could do this to you? You’re the one that screwed my son! It should have been me that you were comforting that night, not Connor. It may not have brought perfect happiness but it sure would’ve made me feel a hell of a lot better.” Angel couldn’t stop the acid words from pouring out as the scene that night replayed through his mind.

Cordelia had never seen so much rage directed at her and she slowly backed away.
“I-I already tried to explain that to you, Angel. I-it wasn’t me! Well, yes it was – but I swear I had nothing to do with what happened! I don’t know how many times I can tell you this, or how sor-“

“Bullshit!” interrupted Angel. He advanced again “But hey! Maybe this time you can show me how sorry you are.” How could she lie to him? He saw it with his own eyes, dammit!

“You son-of-bitch! I’d rather walk through the fires of Hell! – I don’t even know what you are anymore!” She raised a hand and slapped him hard across the face. She didn’t even wait for his reaction as she raced out of the office, up the lobby doors, and out into the daylight, amazed that he’d let her go. She was in no doubt that he could have easily stopped her.

When she finally reached her apartment, she ran straight into the bathroom to assess the damage. Looking into the mirror, Cordelia ignored the dark smudges under her eyes, which told of many sleepless nights since the night the Beast was defeated. Opening her sore and swollen mouth she was surprised the wounds weren’t as bad as they felt. His fangs had merely nicked the soft skin; but they were still bleeding. Taking off her blouse Cordy assessed the damage that was done to her arms and shoulders. As she suspected, there were bruises forming where Angel had manhandled her. Realising how much Angel despised her caused her knees to buckle and she slumped down to the floor; tears filling her eyes and starting to flow. She felt a slight breeze as Dennis waved a Kleenex box in front of her. Quietly thanking him, she grabbed a handful to wipe her eyes and nose.

Drained from the events of the day, she forced herself to go to the bedroom. Falling on the bed and snuggling up against the pillows, Dennis put a thick comforter over her.

After several hours, Cordelia awoke still feeling like hell, although somewhat refreshed from the nap.

The growling of her stomach reminded her that she hadn’t eaten anything since the previous night. She checked the refrigerator, but could find nothing appetizing. After deciding to go out for some groceries she looked around for her purse, sick realisation dawned on her.

“Oh shit!” she cursed out loud.

While packing up her office earlier that day, she had placed her purse on one of the boxes to enable her to carry them. Unfortunately the boxes were still at the Hyperion.

“OK. Breathe, Cordy. Just breathe. When you go back to the hotel the others will be there and there won’t be anything to be scared of.” She told herself firmly. “After all, you’re just going to get the boxes, maybe chat with Wes and whoever else that might be there, and then leave. Angel won’t try anything while the others are there, so buck up kiddo, you can do this“

She paused.

“Yeah right; who the hell are you kidding? You’re gonna call Wes instead and have him bring your stuff over because you’re a ‘fraidy cat.” She mumbled as she picked the phone up.


Part 3

*Ring*

“Angel Investigations, we help the helpless.”

“Hey Wes, it’s Cordy, how are you?”

“Er…hello Cordelia, I’m fine. More importantly, how are you doing? We all miss you. It hasn’t been the same since Angel –“

“Yeah, I know Wes…I know.” Cordelia sighed. “Speaking of the vampire, he’s not around is he?”

“He’s in the other office right now. Do you wish to talk to him?” Wesley’s voice held a hint of hope.

“Um…no! I just don’t want to get you into trouble. The reason I called is because I left a couple boxes in the lobby area. Are they still there?”

Wesley glanced around the room until his eyes located the boxes. “Ah yes, they’re on the floor here.”

“Oh good! Do you think you can drop them off at my apartment this afternoon? I’ll be home.”

“Why of course! I do in fact have some errands to do. I’ll just drop them off before I attend to them.”

“Oh thanks Wes, you’re a peach!”

“No problem at all, Cordelia. I’ll see you in about fifteen minutes or so.”

“Oh, and Wesley?”

“Yes?”

“Could you also perform the uninvited spell at my place and don’t let Angel …well…you know.”

“If that’s what you want, then we’ll keep this to ourselves.”

Wes hung up the phone and turned towards the boxes, halting awkwardly on finding the Vampire in the room watching him.

“Who was that, Wes?”

“Just a contact that had some information on one of the cases we’re working on. It’s nothing of any real importance,” he lied, hoping the quiver in his voice wasn’t picked up.
“I see.” After a slight pause, Angel turned away nonchalantly “I’m gonna make some phone calls,” he threw over his shoulder as he retreated back into his office. “Let me know how it goes,” he added absently, before disappearing into the office.
Wesley let out sigh of relief when the door closed behind him.

“Well, I’d better get these over to Cordelia.” He thought as he made his way over to the boxes.

***

“Where’s Wesley?” wondered Cordelia anxiously, as she looked at her watch for what seemed like be the tenth time in the last minute. “He should have been here already.”

At the sound of knuckles rapping the door, Cordelia rushed over to open it, Wes, looking rather stressed, entered, carrying both boxes.

“Oh thank God! You’re here…I thought you might have run into some problems,” she said as took them from his arms to set them on the floor; her relief palpable.

“No; no problems at all. I’m in one piece – Good grief, Cordelia, what on earth happened to your mouth?” gasped Wesley as he lifted a finger to touch the torn skin gently.

“N-nothing Wes.” She moved her head away from him jerkily.
“ Just me being clumsy and biting my lip – can I get you anything? Tea, coffee, water?” she asked, looking everywhere but at the man in front of her. Wesley’s eyes narrowed in concern, but stifled his questions at her obvious discomfort.
.
“No thank you. After I perform the uninvited spell, I really must be going. I still have those errands to run, and I think Angel will expect me back. I have a sneaking suspicion he overheard our conversation.” Wes was actually certain he had, knowing all to well how good the Angel’s hearing was and was surprised the Vampire hadn’t reacted to it. A short silence pervaded the apartment, then Cordy shrugged.

“Well, it doesn’t matter now – I have my things.” Cordelia replied with outward casualness. “All I wanted was the rest of my stuff so I can be out of his way for good. Surely he wouldn’t have a problem with that!” Wes silently doubted Angel would really let his Seer cut herself off completely.

“You’re absolutely right. There’s nothing to worry about.” He agreed, as he didn’t think this was the time to get into it. “Just lately, he hasn’t been himself. It reminds me of that period when he fired you, Gunn, and myself. You know…during the Darla incident?” Wesley reminisced.

“Yeah, I remember. Speaking of Darla. What’s up with Angel and Gwen these days?” asked Cordelia. “They seem to be all nicey-nicey towards each other, don’t they? Is he that desperate to get some, now that his soul is anchored?” Her friend missed the bitterness that tinged her tone.

“I’m not really sure where their relationship is, to be quite honest, Cordelia. It seemed to be rather one-sided on Gwen’s part. I noticed she’s been coming to the office more times than I care to count.” To tell the truth, he personally thought Angel merely tolerated the rather dull girl’s presence.

“Well, they’re welcome to each other. I’ve had enough of his chippie problems to last me a lifetime.” Wes shifted uncomfortably, not missing the bitterness Cordelia now couldn’t hold back. Although he knew what happened between his two friends, he knew better than to get in the middle of it. He doubted either one would be willing to divulge in anymore information, so he let it go.

After performing the spell, Wesley glanced at his watch and turned towards the door. “Well, I’d better get going. I have quite a few stops to make on the way back, and I’m already running late – are you sure you’re going to be okay, Cordelia?” his worried blue eyes flickered over her face, resting briefly on her lips.

“Yeah…I’m sure. They feel better already, Wes,” she replied, touched by his concern for her well being, and getting close to tears again. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could keep up her façade of normality if he didn’t leave soon.

“Very well –you know where to find me if you need to talk about anything,” Wesley insisted as he grabbed her and gave her a hug. “Don’t be a stranger, Cordelia,”

“I’ll try not to, and thanks for bringing my things over,” she said gratefully, trying not to wince from the pain of her bruises as she returned his embrace.

“Anything to help. Call if you need anything at all?”

“Okay” she forced a bright smile as she walked him to the door.

As soon as she’d closed the door, the smile dropped instantly, and she grabbed a couple of tissues to dab her eyes before approaching the boxes.

“Ok purse, where are you?” Taking a deep, cleansing breath, she rummaged through the top box but didn’t find it. She went through the other box and it wasn’t in there, either.

“What the fu–?”

Her head whipped round when there was knock on her door.

“Wes must have found my purse – It probably just fell out of the box as he drove over here.” Cordelia thought instantly relieved, running to the door with a big smile on her face. Her smile vanished when she opened it.

“Angel!”

“Hello Cordy. Are you looking for this?” Angel smirked, as he held up the purse.

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m here to return your purse – plus I want to talk to you,” Angel said nonchalantly

“Well…hand it over – and whatever you have to say, you can say out there,” she retorted.

“No Cordy, it doesn’t work that way. I want you to invite me in.” his smile reminded her of a big, dangerous shark.

“In your dreams. I don’t know who you are anymore. I think I preferred Angelus to what you are now. At least I knew what to expect with him,” quipped Cordelia bravely, silently thanking Wes for putting back the uninvited spell.

“I’m giving you one more chance, Cordy. Invite me in!” the smile disappeared as quickly as it came.

“Go to hell!”

“Yeah…right…already been there. If you’re not going to let me in … we’ll do this my way then.” He reached into her purse where he pulled out a wad of bills.

There were large ones mixed with smaller ones. Out of the wad, he pulled out a $20.00 bill and held it in front of him as he dropped her purse on the floor.

“Last chance, Cordy,” he threatened, as he pulled out a lighter to hold it under the bill.

“Yeah right. You wouldn’t dare.” Her voice quivered. It was the only money she had to her name … She’d had to pull everything out of her savings just so she could pay her rent for at least another month while she looked for a different job.

“Wouldn’t I?” he challenged as he flicked the lighter. The flames caught onto the bill and it quickly dispersed under the flames. He waved his hands to put the remaining flames out, leaving her with a burnt piece of charred paper.

Cordelia gasped as he continued; “Now if I’m not mistaken, you have a few hundred dollar bills in your purse as well. Want to see them go up in smoke?” he asked coldly as he reached for her purse.

She couldn’t afford to have him burn the remaining wad of bills. With a defeated look on her face she gave in.

“Come in, Angel.” She backed away as he walked forward into her apartment.

His impressive bulk alone made the room even smaller. He had an inherently powerful presence for a dead guy, she reluctantly noted. He also looked so handsome in his dark purple button down shirt, dark slacks, set off by his usual finishing touch of a leather jacket that moulded against his heavily muscled frame.

“Well…Angel, what do you want? I thought you’d be celebrating with Gwen once I left the hotel. What brings you out to my neck of the woods? Pardon the pun, by the way,” she added humorlessly.

He glanced at her. His eyes settled on her lips noting how bruised and ravaged they look. He hadn’t meant it to go as far as he did. The confrontation early this morning had left him wanting more than just the taste of her lips. He also took in her appearance and knew that the last few days have taken their toll on her. Her eyes had a dull look and it looked as if she hadn’t slept in days. Her hair wasn’t it’s usual healthy sheen…and it was apparent to him that she’d lost a little weight.

His eyes flickered with guilt for a second, as he knew that he was part of the reason for the way she looked. But then his eyes hardened; reminding himself that most of it she’d brought on to herself.

‘ The traitorous bitch asked for this; she’s in the wrong- not me!’ he defended himself angrily.

Cordelia stared into his eyes. For a brief moment she was sure she saw, what…regret, guilt? Was she wrong? Did he actually regret what he did to her? Did he even feel the slightest bit of guilt?

‘I seriously doubt it!’ she decided sadly, when his eyes again met hers and were once again replaced with the same hard, cold and cruel expression.

“And again, I ask you, Angel; what are you doing here?”

“I decided that I missed you, Cordy.” he smirked unpleasantly, sending a shiver of fear along her spine. “I also decided that I don’t want you out of my life after all, and more importantly, I want you to come back and work for me.” he added smugly.

“What game are you playing at, Angel?” She asked warily, “You don’t want me there. You have something up your sleeve, don’t you?” eyeing him suspiciously.

“Well…not really.” His lips twitched, “I guess it depends on you whether you want to play or not.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, ask yourself; do you have another job lined up? From the look of that wad of money, I’d say you were going to pay rent in the next few days. After the money runs out, what are going to do? Live off the streets?” His dark eyes flicked her body with deliberate insult.

Her spine stiffened; Cordelia knew he had a point. Her luck in finding a good job wasn’t paying off and the last of her savings were in her purse. She needed the money, yesterday. She stared at his smirking face, knowing all too well that he had her where he wanted her…and he knew it.

She sighed, “What are the conditions, Angel”

“Conditions?” the Vampire’s face expressed faux confusion.

She rolled her eyes at him angrily. “Conditions, Angel. You know…strings? What do I have to do in order to pay you back for being so ‘nice’ to me?

Oh…I see. Well…something that only you can do.” She really didn’t like the sound of that at all.

“Like?” her lovely eyes narrowed warily.

“Well…it’s really very simple,” he replied slowly, as if talking to a child.

He approached her, and his mouth no longer held even a trace of a smile, his eyes were now black chips of ice…. cold and empty.

“I want that night back. I want what you gave to Connor”, his voice low and just as cold as his eyes.

“That night…? What do you mean?” She gulped; realization slowly building along with the sick feeling in her belly.

“Don’t be dense, Cordy; it really doesn’t suit you” Angel sighed with exaggerated weariness. “I want you in my bed.”


…TO BE CONTINUED…

THIS STORY APPEARS TO BE UNFINISHED


 

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