Disclaimer: Joss is Boss. No money was made from this and no copyright infringement is intended. Any similarity to any other story not my own is coincidence.
Genre: Angel/Cordelia; fluff
Rating: G; because my dear and fluffy lord it's so sweet it could make your teeth ache
Timeline: Some point after the series
Author's Note: Let us just assume that rebirth is a given and that love transcends death. Oh, and that TPTB owe these two one.
We take what we can get, Champ, and we do our best with it. I'll be seeing you…
Liam stood, hands on hips, and stared up into the swaying branches of the cherry tree. He bit his bottom lip as he considered the problem of his kite tangled up with silver-green leaves and pink blossoms.
"Whatcha doin?" A bell-like voice suddenly asked at his shoulder.
Without looking, the twelve year old boy answered. "My kite…" he pointed up to the bird shape of his Raven kite. "It's…" he turned, his arm lowering and his voice trailing off as he took in the sight of the girl standing next to him.
She was of an age with him, with kohl dark eyes and molasses caramel hair that curled and twined down her shoulders. Shoulders, Liam noted, that were apparently bare but for the thick, white ribbons holding a pair of large, white feathered wings on her back. And those trailed down past the hem of her pink cotton tank top and ended in tapered ribbon edges somewhere near her blue jean clad ankles.
"It's stuck," he finished unnecessarily in a bemused sort of voice.
The pretty girl smiled, a flash of white in a honey gold face.
"And you were just what, trying to use the force Luke?" She teased good-naturedly.
"No," Liam responded in a somewhat affronted tone. "And my name's, Liam."
Suddenly, followed by a swirl of feathers, she dashed for the tree.
"What are you doing?"
"Just lending you a hand, Champ."
More gracefully than Liam thought humanly possible, the girl climbed up the cherry tree, skillfully maneuvering to keep her wings free of the branches. Her bare feet were light against the bark and her hands were deft as she pulled her way up. Finally she reached the kite.
"Here," she said, freeing the lightweight paper toy. "Catch."
She carefully dropped the kite so that it could flutter down to Liam's waiting hands. Then lightly, she settled on the branch, swinging her bare feet for a moment. The trailing ends of her wings tickled her toes and she smiled a moment before gracing the spring air with the silver bell sound of her laugh.
Careful you don't fall," Liam cautioned, almost instinctively protective.
She gave him an enigmatic smile before starting her descent carefully enough. But when she reached a halfway point, she leapt the remaining distance to the ground, free falling in a shower of white feathers and pink cherry blossoms.
The girl strode back to him.
"Thanks," Liam offered sincerely.
"Everyone needs a little help from a guardian angel sometimes, Champ."
"Are you my guardian angel then?" The boy asked in a voice suddenly gone thick and heavy.
"Looks like," the girl replied in tones as light as his were deep before continuing with a more teasing air. "But you know, I really do think I deserve a reward."
"I thought helping was its own reward for angels."
"Well sure," she replied lightly, "but even an angel likes to feel appreciated."
"I did say thanks…"
"Oh, I know!" The girl exclaimed brightly with a tone of inspiration, interrupting Liam before leaning in to kiss him unexpectedly.
For a moment, he was too startled to do anything but feel his heart burst into a million glorious pieces, each one becoming like a star in his breast. The dizzying sensation left him breathless until it began to kaleidoscope inward and he found himself able to focus on the more immediate particulars of the situation; the warmth of the girl's lips, the honeyed taste of her breath, the almost aching sense of déjà vu that filled him, though he had never been kissed before.
Then it was over and she pulled back with a bright smile before laughing lightly. She tossed her hair back carelessly before turning to dash away in the direction from which she'd come.
"Wait!" Liam said almost desperately.
She turned back to him from a few feet away.
"I don't even know your name…"
"Cordelia," she replied with that same bright smile. "But my friends call me, Cordy."
"Will I see you again, Cordy?" Liam asked, helpless to keep the note of hope from his voice, even had he wanted to do so.
"Of course," Cordelia responded with a tone that conveyed her belief in the inevitability of the occurrence. "I am your guardian angel after all."
She smiled for him again.
Liam agreed with a lopsided grin of his own.
He watched, still smiling, as the girl trailing angel wings disappeared into the spring growth filling the arboretum. Once she was out of sight, he looked down and saw one of the white feathers from Cordelia's wings. Liam picked it up.
"I think you're supposed to be," he said quietly, the whisper of fate, or perhaps destiny, lending the weight of truth to his pronouncement as he fingered the soft weight of the feather in his hand…