road

Road Trip, Interrupted

By Viv

INFO & DISCLAIMER

CATEGORY: C/A Friendship/Romance; B/A Friendship

SPOILERS/SEASON INFO: General Angel Season 2, Buffy Season 5.

ARCHIVE: Please contact me first! Mostly I'm going to agree.

SUMMARY: Cordelia and Angel go on a vision free road trip -- but a vision
hits and they are forced to detour to Sunnydale.

DISCLAIMER: All characters on 'Angel' and 'Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" that
appear in this story are owned soley and exclusively by Mutant Enemy,
Twentieth Century and Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt, etc

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Set about two months after Buffy's resurrection. Also
contains some spoilers I've heard about Angel Season 3, don't know whether
it's true. Be warned!

*~*~ PART ONE ~*~*

Cordelia's lips pursed tightly as she contemplated the bedraggled form of Angel in front of her. His shoulders were slumped with fatigue and the normally brooding vampire was taking in deep breaths in an attempt to recover his strength. Dried blood was beginning to congeal on his forehead and he repeatedly blinked trickles of perspiration out of his eyes as it rained down all over his body.

"Get in."

"Cordy ..." He protested before he checked himself. He realised that now was probably not the most appropriate time to debate the issue with his determined seer - particularly with the steely gaze that had fixed itself on her vibrantly beautiful face. "Ah ..."

She came around to stand behind him and roughly pushed him forward. Keeping her hands on his back, she forcefully propelled him to the large bed in the centre of the room.

"Don't argue with me vamp boy." With rustling quickness that belied her fatigue she stripped off his blood splattered duster and dumped it on the floor, before giving him a final push onto the bed.

Angel's half-hearted moan of protest was muffled as his face came in contact with the mattress. He had just enough energy to muster out a few words before descending into unconsciousness. "Cordy you okay? ... Don't want to bleed ... too much ... on the bed. Nice ..."

Cordy looked sympathetically down at Angel's prone form, her body beginning to droop from exhaustion from the night's battles. She gasped as she felt a tiny river of blood trickle over her eyes, before using a nearby rag to wipe it away in disgust.

She couldn't believe it. This was supposed to be a holiday, dammit! A holiday from the demon infested city of angels, also known as the wacky world of Los Angeles. A break from demon slaying, from mind numbing, bone crunching vision headaches, from ... well, everything! She was so sick of this, so sick of the perpetuity of the fight against evil, the constant big bads and most of all, the outrageously large dry cleaning bills. Why couldn't she have a normal life for once? A normal fighting demons kinda life with her four friends, making L.A safer from all things icky and supernatural? Was that too much to ask from the Powers That Be?

She wasn't an unreasonable person, not really. Was it too much to ask for a break? A small holiday, like what normal Joe and his family with their 2.8 kids take every couple of years to revitalise their body, to keep in touch with their inner moppet? No. Definitely not. And was it too much to ask not to be interrupted from that said holiday, even though she had practically kidnapped Angel into taking it with her? No. It wasn't. Not at all!

Cordelia sighed. She didn't want to waste needless energy ranting at the Powers That Be, especially now with a bruised and bloodied Angel lying spread eagled on the bed in front of her. Not that that was a bad thing in most situations; but this was not one of them. Her eyes lingered slightly on his form before she hopped off the bed in search for a basin and some clean bandages. It looked like she had to play Florence Nightingale again, and even though her mind was growing foggy with exhaustion, she knew she had to patch Angel up before drifting off into mindless oblivion for the night. God knew why she thought she had to; after all, the best thing about the whole vamp deal was the supernatural healing thing, but Cordelia could never bring herself to just leave Angel unattended like that. Somehow it seemed amoral, leaving Angel to bleed out from wherever he was hurt.

So she cared - so what? Big deal.

Cordelia quickly filled the basin she found from the kitchen with water before returning to the room. God. Some trip this was turning out to be. All she had wanted was a holiday, an all American all expenses paid road trip, and -- was that so wrong? She was an American dammit! And she was young and adventurous, and Americans who were young and adventurous liked and hell, needed road trips! So what if she basically cajoled and wheedled and finally blackmailed Angel into taking it with her? It wasn't as if she could've gone on a road trip by herself! She wasn't trying to find her inner self, she wanted to have fun! And as much fun as Wesley and Gunn's bickering and Fred's zany sense of humour were, fun was where Angel was and dammit, she needed him to have fun! So what if she pulled the vision girl card on him? It was all in the spirit of -- fun.

Plus he paid for everything. Which only added to the fun.

Cordelia sighed as she set the basin down on the night table. Angel was still lying on the bed and resembled a pole-axed cow, which would've been quite funny if not for the whole bleeding on the bed part. She pursed her lips again as she contemplated his form before attempting to single-handedly roll him over onto his back.

She pushed. She shoved. She even tried pulling him over from the other side of the bed -- but to no avail. She had no idea he was this heavy to lift. What did the man have for breakfast -- oh yeah, nothing. Just the blood. Great. Suddenly what Cordelia had previously admired as Angel's impressively toned, amazingly sculpted bulk of a body had just turned into ordinary bulk -- lots and lots of it.

What the heck was she supposed to do? She couldn't roll the stupid vampire over to take off his shirt. If she couldn't take off his shirt she couldn't clean and dress his wounds. And if she couldn't clean and dress his wounds she wouldn't be able to take a shower to get all the demon yuck off her, and if she couldn't take a shower to get the demon yuck off her she couldn't ever sleep!

Okay, she admonished herself. Breathe. In. Out. God, she hated those stupid, good for nothing PTBs, and so help them God when she gets her hands on them --

Suddenly Cordelia sucked in a deep breath. She took a run off toward Angel, launching herself against his prone body and pushed -- hard. She grunted and sweated and finally -- the vampire's inert bulk began to shift. Slowly, with almost inhuman strength, Cordelia was able to roll Angel over so that he was lying on his back.

Sweating profusely and breathless from the effort, Cordelia took a long moment to gather her strength back. Broody boy sure was heavy.

Without worrying about propriety she straddled Angel's unconscious form, unbuttoning his shirt and carefully peeling the soft material off the now crusty wounds over his torso. She grabbed the basin of water and the clean bandages from the side table and began cleaning the blood off.

God. She was practically giving Angel a sponge bath now. Not that this wasn't fun ... well, it would probably have been a lot better if he had been awake to enjoy it. Not that he would've enjoyed it anyway after being gutted by a demon and all, but the whole point of this road trip thing was that she have fun, and guess what? In a twisted 'only on the Hellmouth' sense she was having fun because here she was straddling Angel, his shirt off, not even protesting in his usual broody boy way of his as cold water trickled down his pale body giving Cordelia enough views of his luscious form to last her a life time, and that was saying something considering the lusciousness of his form --

-- And never mind that Angel, her bestest vampire friend in the whole world, was lying unconscious from the wounds he'd received for protecting her. Never mind that this was, in fact, all the stupid PTB's fault for making them stop -- in Sunnyhell of all places -- just so they could help the Scoobies stop a little demon uprising that threatened the world once again, and didn't those demon types get tired of trying to end the world anyway?

She sighed. Cordelia quickly dressed Angel's wounds, stifling several yawns in the process. Luckily for her, she hadn't actually been driving when the vision express hit or else she'd be in a hospital even now. But Angel nearly had a coronary -- he almost always did when he saw blood trickling from her nose post-vision, which it did more often than not and which she privately considered yet another sign of the debilitating effect the visions were having on her.

He had pulled over quickly and before she knew it he was digging around the glove box trying to find her medication. Which was totally sweet of him -- the being prepared for her vision thing, even though she had point blank told him she wasn't going to have visions during her vision free vacation, and the Powers better listen up because she wasn't going to put up with their crap for two weeks. And what did she know? Barely one hour into her self-professed vision free vacation the stupid vision had hit.

What was worse than having a vision during her -- and she couldn't stress this enough -- vision free vacation, was that the vision involved everything she had wanted so badly to avoid for two weeks. Demons. Magic. Swirly lights. Portals.

And one deceptively skinny, newly resurrected from the dead Slayer.

Cordelia groaned even now as she carefully patted down her handiwork, satisfied that the bandages would hold until she had the compulsion to redress them. What was stupid about the whole vision thing, beside actually having the damn visions in the first place, was that it led them to straight to Sunnyhell itself. So what if they had been going in that general direction anyway? It wasn't that she hated the Scoobies, or the Slayer ... it was just that she hated the place. Bad memories and all that, and she had never wanted to go back to that one Starbucks town. Angel hadn't been all that keen either, even though it'd meant that he could see Buffy again, which so didn't make sense since she'd just dropped by a month ago with a 'Surprise, I'm totally alive' message that took her and the others about a two days to get over, and took Angel about a week to get over before he was fawning all over her. She guessed she shouldn't have been surprised though, 'cause if she thought her long lost eternal love was dead and he totally came back to life, she'd be all eager to drop by too, Hellmouth or not.

Okay the snarkiness wasn't helping. Cordelia didn't really have anything against Buffy. Even though a tiny part of her had been way jealous about Angel's reaction to the Slayer and for basically ignoring her for the entire week Buffy was in town, she was just glad that he was back to becoming his old broody self again. It was just in time too. After the Himalayan monastery debacle she, Wes, Gunn and Fred had had to endure endless renditions of Barry, last name Manilow -- so much so that even she could now sing both Mandy and Copacabana off by heart which totally did nothing for her mental well-being at all.

Suddenly she caught herself wondering what Angel would've looked like with all his perfectly gelled hair shaven off and dressed in one of those Dalai Lama outfits.

Shaking off the disturbing mental imagery, Cordelia got up off Angel and sighed loudly for dramatic effect. Her face screwed in disgust as she saw the bloodied water swirling around in the basin. She felt sick. She was tired, and sick, and she so badly needed a shower.

Pausing on her way to the bathroom, she scrutinised Angel as he lay in restful slumber. Even though he didn't strictly breathe, Cordelia was somehow able to sense that he was a lot more comfortable now. In less pain. She smiled before giving him a light thump on his thigh.

"Big baby." She smiled indulgently as she trotted off to her long, hot shower.

* * *

Cordelia towelled herself off hazily as she made her way out of the steam filled bathroom. Much as she would have loved to luxuriate in a hot bath the entire night soaking all the demon guck away, there came a point when she had to leave. That point being when her skin had started turning all wrinkly and grandma looking, which was a sight too gross to even contemplate, much less see.

Cordelia paused as she once again passed Angel's slumbering form. He hadn't moved an inch since she had deposited herself in the bathroom, and it didn't seem likely that he would move the rest of the night. Which was okay of course, since this was his room and his mansion and all.

She planted herself on the edge of the bed beside him and glanced around the room. Unlike his suite in L.A, his old room at the mansion was totally Spartan by comparison. There wasn't anything around that could remotely be construed as personal; no cheap art deco paintings or medieval weaponry or portraits or pictures or books. Nothing. It was as if he hadn't existed at all in Sunnydale outside of the fact that he actually walked and talked. She began to see what it must've been like for him, being on the outside of everything the Scoobies did. Not that Cordelia didn't know what that felt like, but at least she sort of had other friends and family around, although they didn't help much in the end. He must have been so lonely, with nobody besides Buffy that he could've turned to.

Cordelia lightly brushed a hand down his pale cheek, careful not disturb him. The moonlight streaming in through the heavy curtains cast an eerie yet gentle glow on his face, illuminating the startling yet boyish features of her best friend as he lay peacefully on the bed. It had been a long time since Cordelia had even noticed Angel's features -- hell, it had been a long time since she had even been in a position to do so.

She got up and gently rolled the comforter on top of him, and yawned. God, she was so damn tired. The sight of Angel sleeping peacefully on the bed called to her and before she knew it she had tumbled backwards onto the bed, surrendering herself to the bliss of dreamless sleep.

(c) September 2001