AUTHOR: VISION GIRL (aka CHRISSY)
SUMMARY: Sometimes when you’re confused and grieving, it’s good to be alone with a friend.
POSTED: 21 Nov 2004
CATEGORY: None Specified
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A Friendship
WARNINGS: None Listed
AUTHOR NOTES: I always thought Angel going away for three months after Buffy’s death was a little overdramatic so I figured it’d be fun to write a small standalone that dealt with his conflicting feelings over her death and tie it up all in a little bow.
Angel let his head fall back and hit the wall with a loud thump, ignoring the throbbing and the bump forming on his skull as he swallowed hard and stared up at the ceiling. Shoving his hands in his pockets, the vampire let his legs stretch out across his bed, his dirty socks wiggling in motion with his toes as he thought long and hard.
Taking in an unneeded breath and holding it so his cheeks puffed out, Angel closed his eyes, screwing them shut and grinding his teeth all at once.
Two minutes passed and he was up on his feet and wondering what he was doing. His mind was just as empty as it was when he was lying down.
Nothing was going to help. “God damn.”
Holding back the urge to just grab his lamp and toss it across the room with all the strength he had, just to see how many pieces it would shatter into, the vampire took his hands out of his pockets and ran them through his hair. The gel he used to spike it up was nearly gone. It’d been a day since they’d all gotten back from Pylea and arrived to see Willow waiting for them.
Since Willow told them, him, what happened to Buffy. Since she told Angel how Buffy died. She died with her friends, saving the world. She died without Angel by her side.
All the strength he had been using to not throw objects was gone and before Angel knew it he was gripping not the lamp but the bedside table all together and was lunging it across the room.
The door opened just as it passed by and Cordelia Chase stopped in her tracks, holding her hands out defensively and staying still until she heard the last picture frame fall from the wall from the impact. Stepping inside, she closed the door and looked at the damage for a moment before turning to Angel. “In Pylea I woulda had that cleaned up like that.”
Ignoring the Seer snapping her fingers, Angel entwined his fingers together and pressed them against the back of his head, hoping to push the bump that was forming there right back in as he growled and shut his eyes once more. “Is there something you want, Cordy?”
Cordelia shook her head, “Not really. Just came up here to ask-”
“I’m fine! I don’t need you to come up here and ask me how I am,” Angel growled in a dangerous tone he hadn’t intended on ever using on Cordelia. Ever since he’d returned to her, to the gang and decided to work for them instead of having them come back and working for him, he had been as nice and generous to Cordelia as he could. It hadn’t been so hard until now.
“Actually, I was going to ask you if you’d seen last month’s issue of Cosmo. We all know you get bored sometimes and read em’,” she awkwardly explained, taking a step closer to Angel, who refused to look at her directly. “But golly gee whiz, I promise that I won’t be bothering you in the future about this whole scenario because you’ve convinced me you’re fine.”
“I detect a hint of sarcasm,” Angel mumbled, falling back on his bed with a sigh. “And why do I get the feeling that you’re going not to leave until we talk about what’s bothering me?”
A small smile tugged at the corner of Cordelia’s lips and she removed her jacket, tossing it onto the foot of the bed as she walked around it to sit next to her friend. “Because you know me too well.”
Angel shrugged, “Do we have to do this now?”
“When’s a good time for you?” Cordelia asked, her voice a little quieter as she looked at Angel, her eyes narrow as she studied him. “I mean, let’s face it, I have practically no life outside of this place. So I’ll be here till you ShooShan-”
“-So you could avoid it right now but…we both know eventually, in the definite future, it’ll get brought up and we won’t be able to avoid it.” Cordelia brought a hand to Angel’s back and started to rub comforting circles along his spine. “Come on, big guy. I gave up getting waited on hand and foot and a hunky warrior with dreamy eyes for you, so I at least get a long, emotional talk about what happened to B-”
Angel looked to her, surprised and confused at the same time. “You gave it all up for me?”
Cordelia pointed her finger at him threateningly, “Don’t change the subject.”
Smiling a little, Angel looked away again at some invisible object that seemed to hold his attention. For the longest time it seemed like he wouldn’t be able to get one single word out. And right before Cordelia was about to open her mouth to push him to talk, he finally spoke. “She’s gone. And I miss her.”
Hiding the ache that was in her heart when she heard the pain in Angel’s quiet voice, Cordelia nodded. “You might not believe me when I say this, but I miss her too. We might have not gotten along all the time but she was…”
“Buffy,” Angel finished, licking his lips and swallowing the big lump forming in his throat. How Cordelia had convinced him to talk about the tough subject he couldn’t figure out. He was stuck in the last situation he wanted to be in. “She wasn’t perfect and we both know that-”
“Of course she wasn’t. None of us are.”
Angel shifted in his sitting position and cleared his throat to keep it from shaking. “But I used to think she was. After all of our fighting, even after I left Sunnydale and came here. I still always saw her as this…this constant light that, no matter what, would always keep shining.”
Cordelia remained quiet in response, the words that she usually was so good with lost and unable to find their way to her mouth. Seeing Angel speak so passionately about the woman he loved…it made her ache with envy. Why couldn’t she have that? But then again, considering the kind of passion, the desperation and grief, he was experiencing, she wasn’t quite sure if she wanted it as much as she always thought.
“I always loved her, I always will but…” Angel glanced at Cordelia so quickly she almost missed it. It was almost as if he were afraid to look her in the eye, as if he were admitting some deep dark secret. “This past year has changed me, made me see things different and…when it came to Buffy, I stopped…I stopped wanting it to work out. I stopped wanting to be with her.”
“You never said-”
Angel shrugged, “I had more important things to worry about. Like figuring out where I belonged and…winning back your trust, your friendship.”
Cordelia smiled and blushed, actually speechless for a moment. He was finally looking right at her and she was the one who had to look away to keep from crying.
“I’m having a hard time with her death not only because she’s gone but…” Angel straightened up, trying to make it all come out right. “But I’m thinking to myself that I’ve gotta pay the bills, I’ve gotta refill my blood supply. Make sure we get clients to pay, hope that the visions aren’t getting worse with you-”
Cordelia gulped at that, but thankfully Angel didn’t notice. Now wasn’t the time to tell the long story of her developing condition.
“My point is, Buffy’s gone and I’m still here.”
“And you’re able to move on…” Cordelia nodded, understanding. “I guess it is kinda weird. Back in high school when you two were together it always seemed like if one of you croaked we’d get a modern day Romeo and Juliet.”
Angel laughed a little at that. “Is it bad that I’m thinking things like this? That I feel like this?”
“Nope,” Cordelia said it, like it was that simple.
“You really think so?”
Cordelia looked at Angel for a moment, grinning. “I’m Cordelia. I don’t think, I know. Okay?”
Angel let out a long breath, perhaps one of relief, as if he’d been afraid of admitting what he had just confessed for the longest time. “I think I’m gonna be okay.”
“I know you’re going to be okay,” Cordelia assured him, tapping his nose and laughing when he scrunched it up. “Did you wanna come downstairs and-?”
“No…” Angel refused. “I’m still not…”
Cordelia stopped him there, getting it.
“I just wanna be alone for now.”
“Okay,” Cordelia patted his back and with a final, small smile, she stood up off the bed. Only Angel snatched her hand and kept her from getting too far. She turned around to see him looking up at her with the most adorable puppy-dog expression, his eyes wide with innocence and a little bit of loneliness that made her heart break.
“You could, you know, be alone with me,” he asked, hopeful. Cordelia couldn’t help but smile as she sat back down with him on the bed.
He kept holding her hand, his smile small but staying on his face for the longest time as the two friends sat in silence. Being alone together.