Disclaimer: the author does not claim ownership to the characters or plot development mentioned from "Angel" or "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Fray". These properties expressly belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Greenwolf Corporation, 20th Century Fox Television, WB Network, the UPN Network, Dark Horse Comics, etc. Any other characters contained in the original story are the author's.

Historical Note: Season three, after "Billy". e.c. 11 Nov 01

by Evan Como

Cordelia has the entire weekend off.

She oversleeps. Rushing to get ready -- Gunn will pick her up by ten -- she fusses with Dennis about her outfit. Because the ghost has trauma with the color red, she wastes five precious minutes playing tug-o-garb. Letting go of the sleeves, she can almost hear him curse after the fabric splats against the wall. Two hazel eyes caution the garment floating near the ceiling. Instantly, the iron pops on and the dress drapes over the pressing board.

Dennis shimmies the dress over her outstretched arms, tugs the lacey hem past her hips. As the warm georgette bias drizzles down her curves, Cordy knows the smile she's throwing would make a carnivore buy tofu. She puckers at the air flicking the hair across her forehead.

Gunn grins appreciatively when she greets him, then big brother concern takes over his handsome features while he escorts her to his truck. He opens the cab for her and waits until she's buckled in, guides the door until it latches, seals it with his hip.

He's hesitant during the drive, making excuses about how overcast mornings make him sluggish. Barely camouflaged by his brown complexion, the sleepy hollowness below his eyes is as apparent as the crimson dotting his irises. She can't believe he doesn't know how bad a fibber he is -- Gunn rarely frequented daylight until he made the acquaintance of a vampire. How paradoxical, much, is that?

The pancake house is packed and their waitress is grumpy. Gunn gears into mope mode. Cordelia wishes that the paper she borrowed from the guest stack had the Entertainment section, not three extra Sports; still, she manages to get interested in horse racing. While she's calculating odds, a fidgety foot accidentally scrapes across her sandal and its owner sighs above his cocoa.

Flashing her blueberry-tinted toothies, Cordelia presses the generous tip into the waitress' hand. While walking to the parking lot she inhales the ocean air, enjoys the breaking sun, makes it a point to say 'hello' to everyone that passes.

There aren't any lines at the Cineplex but, since she and Gunn are there to escape the world, she refuses to acknowledge why that is. On the screen, dimensions fold over one another in neon bursts. They break apart with violent, digital sound. The voices of the helpless screech forth and reverberate inside Cordy's skull. Her thighs are drenched with butter-substitute while she's plunged beneath their call.

During the minute she was out of it, the theatre became cavernous. Gunn focuses on her face and she marvels at an intensity that rivals Angel's. Though groggy, she nods her okayness, sips from the straw he pokes into her lower lip. Without thinking, she glides her palm along the side of his smooth, bald head. He parts his lips, but doesn't speak, reflexively shies away.

Cordelia wonders which one of The Powers That Be decided that she had to be at work on a Saturday night.

Her associates unwind in the Hyperion lobby -- scraped, bruised, but still alive. According to their animated report, Angel, Wesley and Gunn fought brilliantly with swords, knives, fists. Fred, yet again, girl-handled the laws of propulsion. Cordelia is convinced that, in the future, Fred will destroy something important with one of her battle appliances. Say, like, maybe California.

Cordelia kneads a cold pack until it's good and chilly. She presses it into the cradle of Wesley's neck. The scar under his jaw reminds her that their fearless leader is a resilient lame-head. He's been a regular cheater at Mr. Death's gaming table ever since the cross that Ethros demon stabbed him with barely missed turning him into a gusher.

Wesley's slender hand creeps beneath Cordelia's as he takes over his treatment. Affectionately, she knots her fingers around his. He rises unpredictably and, during the brief moment that he can withstand her regard, embarrassment makes his eyes water.

She sees Wesley as a network of scars, disentangling.

Angel is a dufus. He double-parked the Plymouth in front of her apartment building and cut the motor off. His voracious brown eyes take in her every movement. By each tick of the dashboard clock, she knows she is taking too long, fishing for the keys jangling in the bottom of her bag. But she doesn't snipe that he could turn on the interior light. And he doesn't mention that Dennis can let her in.

With her key ring in hand, Cordy opens the car door. The upholstery squawks when she swerves around to offer half a hug that Angel dives for. Angel isn't shy about getting his glom on anymore. Her arm curls around his shoulder and she holds onto his neck, grateful his leather coat restricts him from hugging off her circulation.

Cordelia hopes to have tomorrow all to herself, but she won't go breathless that'll happen. Facing the picture window with her feet tucked under a cushion and her forearms folded across the sofa back, the Seer watches her Warrior drive away. Long ago she accepted her destiny, soon she'll surrender to sleep, on 24/7 call for the city she helps protects.


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