Title: "Of Black and White Keys"
Disclaimer: All the characters you recognize belong to someone else, as usual.
Category: One-Shot. Friendship
Characters/Pairing: Cordelia, Angel
Spoilers: Mention of things that happened in "To Shanshu in LA." Season 1.
AN: This is once again something that I wrote on my laptop while waiting for my sister to give up the computer, though don't getting any ideas that she's a grabber. I woke up this morning at 6 am and from then to midday or something I had the privilege to use the dreadful thing – as Giles would say. It's a ficlett, which I tend to write to entertain myself while taking breaks form the mayor Wips´ I have laying around.
Summary: Cordelia discovers something she never thought possible.
Peeking around the corner Cordelia called out, "Angel, are you there?"
She knew that had she called for any of the other guys she would actually be force to raise her voice significantly, especially in this huge old building, with its haunts and memories, but seeing as it was Angel she figured that he would hear her anyway with that enhance hearing he has manifested over and over again.
Geesh, you couldn't keep any secrets form him. Not that she really had any to begin with, but still it was the principal of things. Though she could hardly blame him, it wasn´t his fault that he was a vampire. Actually it was if deducing from the little things she had manage to drag out of him.
Creasing her brow Cordelia stepped out and looked around. Now, where the heck was that manpire!
She didn't want to go looking for him, not in this place as it still gave her the mayor wiggins.
It had only been two days ago since he announce that this place, this old creaky, smelly, way out of date place masking as the Hyperion Hotel, once one of the most prestigious Hotel in old Hollywood, would be their new home-base.
Now she couldn't be happier then she was about having them move out of her apartment, because really, having Angel living with her and then Wesley working out of her living room, it just, well it didn't really felt like home anymore, beside she prefers to keep her workplace somewhere else then her home.
But did it really have to be this! If she thought that it would make any difference she would have told Angel that they could move back to her place until they found something better but no, she saw that look on his face, and come hell or high water there was nothing that could change his mind.
There was some stubborn streak in that vampire!
The corridor she was standing in was gloomy and even she could smell the mol drifting up from the old carpet lining the floor and the shredded wallpaper. Carefully not to touch anything she inched closer into the depths of the corridor. The vast lobby was behind her and she knew that, beside the residence rodents and Angel, she was the only one here.
It was still early, not even close to midday so the light coming from the windows barely illuminated the space. She had tried to switch the lights on but nothing, she figured that either the power was off considering the sparkage that had erupted when they vanquished that demon, all right Wesley vanquished, or someone had to change the fuse.
How the heck will Angel be able to make this place manageable? Hope it doesn't mean a cut on her paycheck.
Looking back she gazed at the brightly lit lobby compare to the murky corridor and observed the furniture, some still had the protective sheets on them but the reception desk had been cleared. If she let her mind run wild she could imagine how this place looked in its golden age.
But there was nothing left but an old washed out shadow of a place, and it sadden her a little bit, it was much like her life, once glorious and queen like and now she was just a simple page, a grunt worker.
Oh well, no point to cry over stuff she couldn't change.
Her wanderous mind made her almost forget why she was here in the first place, and so early considering that the kept vampire hours, an adaptation they had to do due to some scary stuff that happened almost six months ago.
Uurgh, do not think of that Cor.
Shaking of her moody thoughts she turned once again to the corridor calling out to Angel.
Things would have been easier if she just knew what room he had picked, but nooo he hadn't deemed it important.
Oh well guess she has to do it the hard way. Walking further into the corridor wrapping her arms around herself she gingerly stepped forward, hearing every protest the hardwood floor gave under her feet. Even under the carpet, the only thing it did was muffling the sound of her steps.
She eyed the walls almost convinced that some ghost would pop out at her but she soon found that she had to divert her eyes as the patterns on the paper made her head ache, more so than it had already been doing.
Closing her eyes to will away the insistent pounding she waited a while. When it had receded enough she resumed her walk. At the end she could make out a window shaped in a strange way, it took her a while to realise that it was painted glass the likes that you could find in a church. Though there was nothing holy in the dirt covered image.
To her right there were three doors in dark oak and the one immediately to her left was according to the sign the one that led to the basement. Several feet further down the corridor there was another door to the left and shortly after the corridor took a sharp turn.
As she walked further down the light drew back as there where no lamps lit here. Seeing a switch she took a shot and tried to turn the lights on, perhaps they'll work better then the ones in the lobby, but no, no such luck.
She eyes the nearly total darkness that the turn laid in and she almost turn around. But as she had something to tell Angel, something she needed to tell him she squared her shoulder, took a deep breath and walked to it.
Gingerly peeking around the corner she could make out some forms against the walls.
Calling out she waited to her something else beside the hollowness of the place, she could almost imagine that there were some faint echoes.
Suddenly she heard something.
Waiting a few moments she heard it again. Talking about having her curiosity peaked. It didn't enter her mind that perhaps there could be someone else beside Angel and her in the building, and that perhaps it would have been better to turn around.
Stretching her arm out she let her finger hover before the worn wall as she slowly walked down the new path. As she drew nearer she could make out that the form she had seen earlier was in fact small tables set in intervals. The walls were interrupted by more doors on either side and as she drew nearer to the end she suddenly heard a thump.
Startled she jumped and pressing her hand over her mouth she tried to hold back her squeal. Her heart was beating heavily in her chest cavity almost as it wanted to jump out aggravating her headache.
Then the strange pinging sound she had heard resumed again. She could make out a door at the end to her left and as she stepped closer she cold see a soft golden light emanating from the room.
As quietly as she could she drifted to the door. Standing beside it she looked around and notice that the corridor was different here then the one she originated from. At least from what she could tell from the soft light.
The carpet that had been lining the floor was absent and looking closer she noticed the intricate design the hardwood floors made. It was worn and had scuffmarks but still it was beautiful. The wall were brighter but she couldn't tell if they where painted with a lighter colour or if they had wallpapers on them as well.
Steeping closer the gap formed by the door and the wall she looked in.
Her hazel eyes widened in surprised and wonder.
The room she was looking into was rather large, half the size of the lobby with panels covering the nether part of the walls. It had no windows yet there where yellow silk drapes placed around the room.
The floor was of the same type as the corridor outside but with larger designs, playing with the dark and light aspect of the wood. On the upper part of the walls it was covered with mirrors with lamps attached to them in even intervals, they where of the old kind, the ones that held candles.
The mirrors reflected the few that where lit casting everything into a golden haze. It was almost something out of a dream. The sealing was of the like she could imagine a wealthy eighteen century home have. Something her own had imitated.
But what had her hold her breath was not that or any of the objects that lay in the room but the one in the middle of it and the figure leaning over it.
First of all it was way too early for him to be up; secondly what the hell was he up to in this forgotten room.
She did nothing but watched as Angel leaned over the beautiful black piano tweaking and tuning the old instrument. It was obvious that it was old, an antiquity.
Inching the door open a little more to have a better look she observed as Angel striated up, leaning over and testing the sound by playing over some of the keys.
He seams to be satisfied as he laid down the tool he'd been holding and walked around. She wondered what he was up to as he just stood there before the stuffed stool gazing down.
He was dress in black draw pants and a white tank top, he looked like he had just come out of bed and once again she could admire the beauty that man held, no not man – demon, have to remember, demon.
Mesmerized she watched as he sat down before the piano. He shook his shoulder before placing his hands over the white keys. He's gonna play? He can play?!
Soon a sad melody – one she didn't recognize even though as a privileged brought up Sunnydale girl she had undertaken some education in the classical aspect of music – began to flow out to her. Watching his face, what she could in the position he was in, she saw that he was rapped up in the moment and in the music.
She felt a soft pang in her heart when she saw the sad expression he had and she knew then that whatever melody he was playing it signified something important to him.
Minutes passed and Angel continued to play with a grace and beauty she didn't know he had. Until now he had always seem strong and violent and with everything he did you could see those traits like a ever present undercurrent flowing under the surface, but now the things he played held such fragility it was unbelievable.
Some of the things he played she recognized from the old classics but other where just beyond her, and she didn't mind since she could still enjoy it. As he played it didn't take long for her though to feel that she was intruding on something privet especially while reading the emotions on his face.
Quietly she withdrew from the door and began to walk back. She would give him this, the vision could wait, it wasn't urgent to begin with so...
She wonder though as she steeps into the lobby if he will ever tell them about the room hidden in the back and she thought, did Angel stumble over it by accident or did he already knew it was there, and what was his story to that room considering everything else he had with this place.
Perhaps there was a reason more then the obvious for him to pick this place up as his new home.
Or perhaps she was just letting her imagination run away with her again.