Title: On The Steps, Under The Stars
Author: cookie dough
Pairing: A/C duh!
Email: (it doesn't seem to want to let me put it) angeliccord(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk
Rating: PG 13
Summary: Something's bothering Cordy, could Angel be the cause?
Distribution: If you want it let me know.
Disclaimer: Firstly they ain't mine, if they were I would be fulfilling every A/C shipper's dream, I would be the female version of Santa! Secondly you all know they belong to Joss and David and all those other people that would take too long to name, basically I'm just borrowing them for a bit of harmless fun.
AN: Just a little piece of fluff I came up with on holiday, hope you guys like, read, review and enjoy!
Angel found the physicist perched on the edge of her chair in Wesley's office, flipping through a copy of some science journal she had subscribed to. Glancing at the cover Angel found he couldn't hope to pronounce any of the title, let alone understand it's meaning, and this was saying a lot, he knew many languages, science not being one of them. He decided that the best way to slide into the conversation was to grab a mug.
Fred almost jumped out of her skin, as it was she nearly ended up gracelessly on the floor.
"Angel, why you frightened the living day lights outta me." She replied, a hand to her chest trying to stop her heart from jumping completely through her rib cage.
"Sorry." He apologised lamely. "Coffee?" he repeated, holding up the pot.
"Sure." She smiled, turning back to her journal she book marked her page for a later date, and dropped it onto the desk.
"So." He said, pouring the steaming hot liquid into a mug.
"Thanks." She replied, taking the hot mug and juggling it from hand to hand until she had found the handle. Angel, however, was oblivious to the heat pouring himself a cup.
"So, where is everyone?" he questioned, looking around the office noticing they were alone. The perfect link to finding out what was wrong with Cordy.
"Well Charles and Wesley are out following up on a lead in the Hampton case."
"And Cordy?" he cut in a little quickly, Fred hadn't heard his tone, if she did she chose to ignore it.
"She went to get changed." She stated simply.
"Yeah, she has a date."
"Another, date?" he asked a little jealous.
Fred smiled. "Why is there a problem?"
"No, no problem, why would there be a problem?" he replied a little too quickly.
"No reason." She said hiding her smiled behind her coffee cup.
Angel stood thoughtful for a moment.
"I mean this is what, like the fifth date she's been on this week?"
"Second date this week. Should we be worried?" Fred opened her mouth, but before she could reply Angel jumped in. "I mean she's young and attractive, but its Cordy you know, she doesn't do stuff like this."
"Well maybe there's a reason." Fred said, realising she had already said too much she took a long sip of coffee, almost burning her tongue.
"What do you mean, Fred do you know what's wrong with Cordy?"
At that moment Wesley and Gunn walked through the door, and Fred silently thanked whatever higher power was listening in, Angel turned towards them.
"Hey the guys are back." With that she jumped out of her seat and left the room.
"What?" Angel asked turning back to Fred's chair, but she was already gone.
Angel left the office, no more the wiser of the Cordy situation, and followed the sound of their voices through the lobby. He stopped mid way, vampire senses kicking in, he turned and saw a blue medium build of demon standing in his doorway. The demon wore a shirt with matching trousers and waistcoat, and Angel thought he had found the demon equivalent of Wesley.
"Can I help you?"
"Are you Angel?"
"Yeah, what can I do for you?"
"I have a nest that needs clearing out, it shouldn't take a moment, my contractor fell through and I need this done tonight."
"What's the rush? Angel asked suspicious of the demon that stood before him.
"It's my daughter's wedding tomorrow, and these vampires are using the basement of the restaurant to conduct their gambling.
Pausing a moment to think it over, he nodded his head.
"I think we can squeeze you in."
Twenty minutes later they were driving through the streets of LA. Angel had learned that the demon's name was Harry, he had also learned that Harry liked to talk, a lot. He would pause only to tell Angel to take a left or a right, however, Angel was far from listening to Harry's wedding talk, his mind was on Cordy, she would be on her date by now, with some guy who was totally wrong for her, and here he was listening to father of the bride complaining about the price of shrimp.
"I said left here." Harry stated a little louder.
"Sorry." Angel said swerving to get into the right lane. "Sorry." He said again as the cars behind him honked their honks.
"Are you sure you should be behind the wheel?"
"I'm fine." Angel said staring out at the road, but it was obvious he was lying.
"Come on, tell me about it. If I can sort out the seating arrangements for 250 guests and keep my Aunt Sally away from the open bar, there's not much I can't do."
"Women problems." Harry cut in, Angel nodded.
"Its just lately she's been acting kinda weird."
"How so?" Harry prodded.
Angel couldn't believe he was actually spilling this all out, but he went on.
"Well for one thing she's on her second date this week. Normally she doesn't go out."
"And, well it seems like she's avoiding me."
Harry smiled, Angel looked to him, to the road and back again.
"Oh nothing." Harry replied smiling.
"No, not nothing, you're the second person to do that to me today, you don't just smiled like that and expect it to be ignored."
"It's just, you seem a little jealous is all."
"I am so not jealous." Angel replied in a very Cordy tone.
"You talk like that all the time?" he grinned, Angel noticed how much he was beginning to sound like her.
"Hey, never mind that, the point is..."
"Pull up here." Harry said getting out of the car as Angel shut off the engine.
"The point is, I'm not jealous."
"Ssh they'll hear you." Harry said silently pushing the door open, Angel followed him in.
They climbed a metal staircase that adjoined to a catwalk that surrounded the ceiling to the basement of the restaurant. Below them sat four vampires gathered around a poker table, smoke hung in the air around them.
Seeing a metal bar hanging from the ceiling, Angel stood on the railing and silently jumped skyward and caught the bar. From there he swung from the pole and landed right in the middle of the table.
"Sorry to break up the game guys, but this one here is cheating." He said pointing to the vampire dressed in something reminiscent to the 80's.
The other three turned on him.
"I wasn't cheating, I swear." He said holding up his hands, causing cards to fall from his sleeve.
Allowing them to complete his job, Angel watched as the vampires took a stake to the cheat.
When they turned to thank him, they were shocked to see that Angel had already taken a stake to the vampire in the middle. He soon exploded and the other two stared on in horror.
"Dude, what are you doing?"
"Just trying to keep the roach levels down."
At that they both ran at him. They didn't get very far, one tried to tackle Angel to the ground, seeing the move coming a mile away, he jumped and collided with the second vampire, causing him to roll into the wall. Recovering quickly he stood as the two vampires ran at him from either side, he looked up and saw the catwalk above. Jumping he grabbed the edge and swinging his legs out, he knocked one of them to the floor. Letting go he crashed into the table and snapped off a leg driving it into the chest of the vampire on the floor. He turned just in time to reuse the stake on the remaining vampire that ran straight into it, he was dust before he could speak.
Panting, although he didn't need to breathe, Angel stood. "That's what happens when you gamble with your life."
Harry laughed joining him. "How did you know that vampire was cheating?"
"I didn't, lucky guess."
Harry laughed again. "That was great, now...."
"Whoa, no now, what now, we never discussed a now."
"Now it's time for your reward."
Angel looked a little surprised.
"You want to know what's happening with this girl right?"
"Cordy?" Angel almost whispered, he had forgotten about her date with all the excitement.
"Close your eyes and everything will be revealed."
Angel gave him an implausible look. "Your kidding right, I've fallen for that one before."
"Oh stop moaning and do as your told."
He hesitantly closed one eye and squinted the other.
"No peaking!" Harry said pulling up his sleeves.
Giving in he shut his eyes.
Growing impatient he spoke. "What's suppose to happen?" he asked Harry. When there was no reply he opened his eyes. He was no longer in the basement but sitting opposite Cordy in the restaurant.
Angel was shocked, he looked down at his out fit to find that it was now a suit, and when he looked at his hands, he had a tan. Glancing around the restaurant he spotted a mirror and himself, well himself trapped inside Cordy's date. Starting to panic, he began to call her name.
"Cordy." There was no answer and she continued talking.
"Cordy, its me, Angel. I'm kinda having an identity crisis here." Still nothing, then he heard Harry's voice echo in his ear. "You want to know what's happening with this girl right....all will be revealed."
Calming himself he began to listen to Cordy's conversation, he was surprised to find that she was more than a little drunk.
"I mean your there for them everyday, day in day out. And they don't care about your feelings, not enough to notice them anyways, and then they act all hurt when you change the subject. "Cordelia took another mouthful of wine, knocking it back as if it were diet coke.
Cordelia's date, who had obviously given up with the evening started to go all therapist on her, probably from countless sessions himself.
"Well did you tell him how you feel?" he asked annoyed.
"No, but that doesn't mean that he can't work it out for himself." Then realising that her argument had taken a turn, she corrected herself.
"Wait, he can't figure it out."
"That's what I've been saying." He replied exasperated.
"No he can't find out, ever, it won't work for a number of reasons."
By now Angel was well and truly confused. Cordy still hadn't given him a clear indication of the problem, much less how to solve it. And as the conversation wore on, he was jealous at how open she was being with this stranger. Here she was telling this guy about her personal problems, albeit she was drunk, and Angel who was her best friend, could barely get two words from her.
"These reasons are just excuses you have created to stop yourself from getting hurt."
"But I will be hurt because he doesn't think of me that way, it's just too awkward."
"Why because you work together, because he's your best friend?"
Now in the past people had labelled him as being a little slow on the up take, but now Angel was starting to put two and two together, sure his total may have come to five, but he was close, he could feel it.
"If you really want to get over him, first you have to admit it to yourself first. Do you love him?"
She seemed to sober up, and Angel who now understood, sat metaphorically at the edge of his seat. She slowly nodded yes.
"Fine, do you want to be over him?"
"No." She said shaking her head.
"Then tell him and save this date." He said pointing to the two of them. "From happening to other guys."
She smiled apologetically at him as the waiter brought the bill.
The next Angel knew he was back in the basement standing next to Harry.
"So how did it go?" Harry grinned.
"Lets just say the problem is solved." He grinned.
"Why don't you go upstairs, I'm sure you can catch her before she leaves."
"What can I say, the shrimp's expensive but it's worth it."
"Thank Harry." Angel called running upstairs.
"Don't mention it."
Cordelia had decided to take a taxi home, she had said goodnight to her date and was standing on the steps of the restaurant entrance awaiting her ride. Couples walked arm in arm past her, laughing and enjoying themselves, and all Cordelia could do was feel depressed at how she didn't have anyone. She pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders, keeping out the cold of both the evening chill and loneliness. She had to snap out of it, she had feelings for Angel, more than just feelings, she had practically admitted to a complete stranger that she was in love with her best friend. She had to find a way to put it behind her, that's what this date was all about, her way of getting over him, yet that turned into a last ditch effort. She turned and glanced through the glass doors of the restaurant to see the time on the huge clock, the taxi should be here by now. She turned to find Angel making his way up the steps, she suppressed a sigh, he looked good tonight, he looked good every night.
He stopped on the step below her and looked up.
"Angel what are you doing here?" she asked surprised.
"I came to see you."
"Why is something wrong, are the guys all right?" she asked panicking.
"Then what...?" she asked shaking her head in confusion.
"I needed to tell you something." And with that he leaned forward, embracing they kissed.
Pulling apart he spoke.
"I needed to tell you I love you too." Smiling, she leaned forward and kissed him again, on the steps, under the stars.