Title The Deal
Chapter Boys vs Girls 3/?
Pair Angel & Willow
Warning/Spoiler/Summary None. None. Willow has been sent to LA to detox from Magic. Is there something else she might become addicted to?
Disclaimer All publicly recognizable characters, settings, plot, etc. are the property of the creators of the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Any original characters, settings and plots are the property of devylish. devylish is in no way associated with the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and no copyright infringement is intended. This work is an amateur fan effort and no profit is being made.
Cordelia and I looked at one another and without a word dropped to the floor. I could feel the still writhing tentacles on the head of the Glathar demon as it flew over where, seconds ago, Cordelia and I had been just standing.
Turning to the left I made a silent 'eww' face as I watched the tentacles atop the head scramble along the floor. They continued to 'tentacle' towards me until Gunn clomped down on the head with a booted foot. This time, I didn't hold back on the 'eww' and I was echoed wholeheartedly by Cordelia.
Standing up and brushing off her top and pants Cordelia turned to face Angel. "Couldn't you have aimed that thing somewhere else? We almost got whacked by it."
"I said 'Duck'."
"Yes, we heard, and still I ask, couldn't you have aimed that thing somewhere else?"
"Fine Cordelia, next time I'm in a life or death fight, I'll change my stance so that I can decapitate the demon towards Gunn."
"Hey man, don't bring me into this."
"What I don't get," I said as I stood up with Gunn's help, "is why your fights all take place in alleys? Or sewers. I'm kinda missing the cleanliness of Sunnydale's graveyards."
Cordelia grinned, "ah yes… graveyards, I miss them so…. not!"
"Oh c'mon! Gucky refuse clinging to your clothes - your new leather clothes -- or graveyard dirt?"
Cordelia raised a brow then smiled, "good point." Looking around at the melting body of the Glathar demon she bubbled, "Well, if we're all done here, I need to get the 'gucky refuse' off of me…. I have a date."
Angel, Gunn, and Wesley checked with one another with their eyes. Nope; none of them knew anything about a date.
"A date? Who –"
She held up her hand to stop the onslaught of questions. "None of your business, any of you. and then she added more gently, "I'll be fine."
She headed out of the alley with a bemused Willow trailing after her. "Do they always get all worried about you like that?"
"Only when I've got a date with a new guy. Or whenever I leave the hotel…. Or whenever I step away from my desk…" she looked at Willow. "We have NO shortage of testosterone at the Hyperion. You'll see, first guy, or, uh, in your case, girl, who you look at, and Angel and the guys will go crazy with the questions, and the tailing, and the questions…."
"Ha! I'm never dating again, so I won't have to worry about the testosterone overload."
Cordelia stopped walking and turned to face Willow. "I felt that way after Xander."
Cordelia started walking again "But I was wrong. Xander was just a stop along the way. A dorky, sweet, goofy…, sweet stop. And if you ever tell anyone I said that I will make your life a living hell, and believe me, I know how to do that. But, anyway, while the break up was painful, I grew from it. I found a purpose, and new friends, and I now live in a town with more clothing stores than even I ever dreamed about. Life is kinda good."
"Plus you have a date." Willow added helpfully.
Cordelia gave an appreciative growly sound that Willow had only previously heard her use in reference to designer label clothing. Lowering her voice Cordy offered, "And he's yummy; in a: 'I so shouldn't have that' kind of way." As they neared the front of the Hyperion Cordelia warned, "And if you even think about touching this one, I'll rebitchify myself and show you my mean side." Cordelia turned and smiled her patented smile before skipping into the hotel leaving Willow on the front steps thinking, Goddess, I need less scary friends.
Angel and Wesley were complaining about some research project in the corner of the office and Willow was reading on the couch in the lobby when Cordelia came back to the hotel after her date. She walked in with a glowy, isn't-he-delicious, floaty kind of look on her face.
Fortunately for her, because the guys were so entranced with their discussion, Willow was the only one who saw the glowy, floatiness. Closing her book on her finger Willow looked up at Cordy with a smile. "I take it the date went well?"
"Hmmm? Oh, yeah. He's..." she plopped down on the couch next to me. "He's perfect. Handsome. A gentleman. Funny. Handsome."
"You said handsome twice." I offered.
"He's that good looking. As a matter of fact, feel free to add another 'handsome' on there for me."
"And how is he in the smoochies department?"
Cordelia turned pink beneath her tan. "Sickeningly good."
"So is it LOVE?"
"No. NO! It can't be love. It can be fooling around. It can be a few nice dates, but," she lowered her voice and frowned, "love is out of the question."
She looked at me then glanced at where the boys were still getting excited by books. Dusty books. "Okay, if I tell you this you have to keep it secret. Like to your grave secret. I mean, I wouldn't even think about telling you except… I have to tell someone. And damn, I'm babbling like you do."
"Don't insult the person you want to keep secrets for you."
"Oh please, that wasn't an insult; an insult would be telling you that the mauve of your sweater doesn't do your red hair any favors." Cordelia paused, "Not that I'd tell you that, of course."
"Of course." I shook my head, "so what's the what? What's the secret?"
"The guy? The perfect guy that I can't fall for, even though, WOW, he's edible in the most amazing, pour me in a bowl fashion?"
Cordy leaned forward and lowered her voice even more. "It's Lindsey."
I blinked once or twice then gave up and shrugged my shoulders to indicate I was clueless.
"Lindsey McDonald? Anti-Christ lead lawyer for Wolfram & Hart."
My mouth dropped open. "You're dating a -!"
She clapped her hand over my mouth to cut off my screech.
Wesley and Angel stopped arguing and peered around the corner into the lobby. "Cordelia, you're home." Wesley observed.
"Did I just hear you mention your date?" Angel asked.
"No, no you didn't. You didn't hear me say anything about my date." She released her hand from Willow's mouth. "No one said anything about dating, did they Willow?"
I glanced at her, glanced at Angel and Wesley, and then looked back at Cordelia. "N-n-no. Nothing was said about anything. Nothing at all. Whole lot of nothing being talked about over here!"
Angel looked between the two women suspiciously, but, finally remembering that he couldn't read minds, especially female minds, he backed off of the issue.
Giving a quick glance of 'thanks' to Willow, Cordelia stood up and stretched. "Okay, I'm gonna head home now."
"Why didn't you have your new beau taking you home?" Wesley peered at her.
"Oh please! How many times do I have to tell you guys that I'm NOT dumb?" She headed to the door, "he doesn't get to enter Chez Chase until at least two dates."
And with that she was gone.
Angel started, "Did she mean 'enter' her apartment or did she mean…?"
Willow grinned and answered, "Do you really really want to know?"
Angel and Wesley simultaneously responded, "No!"
She giggled. For being such brave men, the thought of 'sex' and Cordelia freaked the heck out of them. It was kind of cute.
"So are the two of you going to go back to arguing about the vampire lineage papers, or is someone going to come out to the patio and moon bathe with me?" Willow stared pointedly at Angel.
"How can I resist an offer to spend time with company as delightful as you?" Angel asked rhetorically.
Standing up and heading out on to the patio, Willow responded none the less, "I don't know! I think I'm pretty irresistible."
Angel only half heard Wesley claiming victory in their little research battle since 'Angel was forfeiting the fight'. Instead, his eyes and his mind were focused on the girl, the woman, who had just walked out into the dimly lit courtyard. "Some things are worth losing a battle over." His words were quiet, heard only by him.
Turning off the foyer lights, he tracked after Willow.
"You did a nice job out there tonight, with the Glathar."
"Years of slayage training NOT gone to waste!"
"I'd still feel better if you stayed here, at the hotel when we get a case."
"Are you saying you think I'm weaker than Cordelia?" She asked him a no win question.
"No. No! You're both, uh, equally strong." He sat down on the lawn chair closest to hers.
"So you let Cordelia fight the good fight… why not me?" This was the argument that had gotten her out on cases with them to begin with.
"I… she… I…"
Willow grinned her adorable Willow grin. "Vampires are so cute when they stutter."
She said it without thinking. Without really meaning anything by it. She was just saying what she thought. He WAS cute. He was handsome… drop dead handsome. But when he got flustered, that handsomeness turned to cuteness and all she wanted to do was smile, and hug him, and…
Wait, did I just sorta tell Angel he was cute?
Angel looked down at the reclined Willow. Cute. She thinks I'm cute. Well that's not bad. Is it? Cute is good. Babies are cute. And kittens and puppies. And does she think I'm a puppy? I mean, I'm NOT a puppy! Not that I really care what she calls me, but… I'm not cute. I'm tough… and rugged. And… and masculine. Why couldn't she have said 'Vamipres are so masculine when they stutter'?
Because, you idiot, stuttering vampires are NOT high on the list of masculine things in this world.
Willow dared to look up at Angel and found herself half happy/half saddened that he was lost in his own thoughts and not thinking about the idiotic thing that had just come out of her mouth.
"Do you do the same thing for Gunn? And for Wesley?" She asked suddenly.
"Watch over them. I mean, when they go on dates, and stuff."
"Wesley and Gunn?"
"Not together!" She paused, "Although… they would be kind of hot…."
"Okay, don't go there."
Willow smiled and tried her question again, "Do you worry over who they'll date? Do you, uh, question them? Their moves?" She paused then added, "Like you do Cordelia?"
"No. Yes. I don't know." He stood up. "I worry about them all. About all of you."
"We fight the evils of the world. Demons. Vampires. Mummy Goddesses…." She smiled, "'I' worry about us. We all worry about 'us'. We'd be dumb not to worry about one another… but, umm, you're kinda all with the Daddy Angel thing. At least with Cordelia. Which would suggest you have… special feelings for her, or, that you're sexist." She shrugged and gave him his choice.
She giggled again. "I'm just saying."
"I love Cordelia. But I'm not in love with her. She – she's probably my best friend. Loves me beast and all."
Willow didn't say anything. But she felt a twinge in her gut.
Angel repeated, "But no, I'm not in love with her."
"Which leaves us with sexist."
"I was born a quarter of a millennium ago. Some things aren't as easily shaken as others."
"Some things like: sexism?" Willow sat up in her chair. "Darla, Drusilla, Buffy… all the women in your life have been like super heroines…. How can you not know that women can kick ass?"
Angel sat down again, "it's not the ass kicking ability that I'm questioning. Not at all. Not really…. It's…" he took a deep breath. "Men are different from women."
Willow gave an obvious glance down at her chest. "You think?"
"… In a more than anatomical manner. Boys… men… think with, uh, the wrong head sometimes. A lot of the time. Most of the time."
Angel grimaced, "Women don't know how much men…."
And then Willow was laughing. Laughing hard. Doubled over in her chair laughing.
"I'm glad you find this so hilarious."
"You honestly think that women don't know that men want sex? Or better yet, you don't think women think about sex?!"
Angel thought about Dru and Darla; he knew women thought about sex, but men….
The question slipped out of her mouth before she could stop it. "So if I start dating someone here, are you going to 'Daddy Angel' me?"
Angel felt his blood flow head south 'Daddy Angel' was awfully close to 'Daddy Angelus'… he'd definitely been there, done that… but not with Willow. He almost groaned at the thought of her, teasingly, seductively calling him 'daddy'. Gathering control of himself, he offered lightly, "It might depend on if you're dating a woman or a man."
"Oh Angel," Willow stood up and patted him on the shoulder, "don't underestimate women." As she headed back indoors she added, "I could probably tell you about some fantasies I've had that would make your toes curl."