A/N: Written for the 2010 Doyle fic-a-thon on the LJ community doyle_cordelia. The prompt was "Doyle/Cordelia. Alive in some wonderful alternate reality and still working for Angel. I'd prefer it be before an established relationship with Cordy trying to work through the half demon issues." from spastic_visions.
Sitting at the table in Angel's kitchen, Doyle cursed under his breath as he lost his grip on the roll of gauze he was trying to wrap around his hand and it unravelled across the table.
"Angel just called in," Cordelia said as she walked down the stairs, "All the Listers were able to escape from the ship and regroup at a nearby warehouse. Won't be staying there long though. He said he's going to stay a bit longer and help them get out of LA tonight."
"That's good. It's not going to be long before the Scourge are on the hunt again."
"What are you doing?" she admonished as she watched Doyle try to rewind the gauze without bending his hands "I told you that I would do that as soon as I got off the phone with Angel. Did you even you disinfect them?"
"I thought that you...Never mind." He said shaking his head and presenting his hands to Cordelia.
Gently she unwrapped one of his hands and reached for a pair of tweezers to remove the threads of gauze that had already stuck to the wounds. Once she had finished doing both of his hands, she was able to see the full extent of the damage.
"Oh my god Doyle." she said sadly "I don't even know where to start. Maybe we should have taken you to a hospital."
"How would we explain how it happened? Not to mention what would happen if they discovered some of my more unique features." He gave her a small smile that was just a shadow of the smiles he normally gave her, suddenly afraid that he had just brought up the one topic that he wasn't sure they were ready to talk about. "Besides I have complete faith in your nursing skills."
It seemed that Cordelia also didn't want to discuss it and she didn't respond. Instead for the next few minutes she turned her attention to the first aid kit, reading the instructions on the various tubes of ointment, trying to find one suited to Doyle's injuries.
"That was the bravest thing I've ever seen." Cordelia said softly as she finally decided on a cream and set about looking for a cotton swab.
"Surprised I was capable of it Princess?" Doyle questioned, with no trace of bitterness in his voice.
"I have to admit, if you had of asked me yesterday I probably would have said yes. But now it just seems like you. Like you were always capable of it but it took seeing it for me to realise it. I mean you risked your life for the people on that ship. People you had never met before. Not to mention Angel and me." As Cordelia spoke her ministrations gradually slowed down, until they stopped completely. She stepped away from Doyle before she continued, "You are such a moron!"
"Wait a minute I thought you said that I was brave." Doyle said, confused at the sudden turn in the conversation.
"You were brave, but you were also stupid. You risked your life for a group of strange demons. You could have died. And that's what you thought was going to happen, didn't you? That's why you kissed me, because you thought that you were going to die and you were never going to get another chance! What would have happened if you hadn't been able to pull the plug in time? What would Angel have done if he had of lost his connection to the powers that be?" The brief burst of anger was already dissipating and sadness was taking its place, "What would I have done if you died?" she whispered.
Silently standing, Doyle walked over to Cordelia and embraced her.
Half talking into his jacket, Cordelia continued in a very low voice, afraid that if she spoke any louder Doyle would be able to hear the waiver in her voice "I find out that you're half demon, then you ask me out and then you kiss me. That's enough to take in in one day without you risking your life and almost dying as well."
"Is it too much? Because that kiss doesn't have to mean anything. Not that it meant nothing, because it did mean something to me, a lot." He took a deep breath "Just don't feel that you have to make a commitment to me because of it. If you want we can pretend that I never tried to ask you out or kissed you." He hoped she couldn't tell how much saying those words hurt him.
"You thought that you were going to die and one of the last things you did was to kiss me, of course that means something to me. It means a lot and it's not something that we can just pretend never happened. But there's more to it than just the kiss. There's this huge part of your life that I never knew existed and I need to know about it if we're going to be together."
"I thought we covered this at the dock. You found out I was half demon, demanded to know if I had any other big secrets and I said that was it. It seemed like that was enough for you."
"I know and I thought it was. But then I saw your face, your demon face, and suddenly the whole half demon thing seemed to be a much bigger deal. I thought that being half demon would mean that you would seem more human than Angel, but you weren't." Cordelia said, suddenly finding the floor extremely interesting.
As Cordelia said this, a sinking feeling came over Doyle. "Cordy, do you still trust me? Are you scared of me?"
"I don't think I could ever be scared of you. Unless you turn evil like Angel can. See that's important! Ever since I've been working with Angel I've been worried that one day he'll turn back into Angelus but maybe I should have been worried about what could happen to you as well."
"Bracken demons aren't generally known for their evil ways." Doyle responded, glad that he could alleviate at least one of Cordelia's concerns.
"That's good to know. I trust you and Angel with my life. But my heart is something different. Earlier tonight I wanted to go to dinner with you. But earlier tonight I thought I knew you and suddenly this huge thing's been revealed and maybe I don't know you as well as I thought I did."
"I promise you, I'm the same guy I was earlier tonight. I just have a slightly unusual family tree. And I will tell you anything you want to know about it." Doyle pleaded, thinking that his chance with Cordelia was about to slip through his fingers.
Cordelia returned to the kitchen table and started preparing the bandages for Doyle's hands. She indicated for him to sit and they spent the next few minutes in silence as she finished cleaning and bandaging the wounds.
"Ok I think we've done." Cordelia announced as she started to pack away the first aid kit.
"Done with the bandages or..." Doyle's voice trailed off.
Cordelia turned to face Doyle before she answered "I'm angry, you know? We had this whole conversation about how secrets were bad and you still kept this huge secret from me. And I'm scared and I'm tired and I'm confused because I've got all these feelings and thoughts and none of them seem to fit together and it's been a really long day and I just want to go home."
"Where does that leave us?"
"I think that maybe I need to get to know you again. Whether you like it or not being half demon is a part of you. Not that that's a bad thing, I think that being half demon was what drove you to risk everything tonight. And even though I need to get to know you again, maybe we can do that as more than friends?"
"Really?" Doyle exclaimed, moving forward once again to hug Cordelia. "I want to do this properly this time, without any interruptions." he said as he extracted himself from her arms.
"Cordelia, would you like to go to dinner with me?"
"Yes." Cordelia responded with a tired but brilliant smile "But I'm so tired, we'll talk about in the morning, okay?" she said as she moved towards the elevator.
"Anything you want Princess." Doyle replied as he watched her leave.