Movie Night

It had been two hours of non-stop action. The terrorists planned to murder the diplomat, and they had kidnapped the child of the young American couple. They tracked him throughout Europe, and the villain resurfaced just in time for the climax. At the last second, the father taps the terrorist on the shoulder and sends him flying down a staircase with barely a punch. The gun goes off by accident, the terrorist dies and they all live happily ever after.

Angel flipped off the TV, bored. "Too bad I wasn't around. I could have found the kid in a day."

Cordelia pouted. "That's it? After all that, they pat him on the arm and he shoots himself? I know it's Hitchcock and everything, but please! They would never get away with that these days. There'd have to be an explosion, or a gunfight or something. The little boy dangles precariously off the edge of the balcony as the armed guards come parachuting in…"

"And then the UFO lands on the roof of the embassy building, and the villain is sucked into a vortex…" teased Angel.

"Oh please. That's just getting a bit TOO close to reality for my tastes…"

"So, what do you want to do now? Ready to go to sleep yet?"

She smiled. "Bored, huh?"

He fidgeted. "Well, that's the fourth movie. And we didn't exactly get very good ones."

"Well, it's not my fault someone couldn't go out until after sunset and by then all the good ones were gone…"

Angel fiddled with the remote, impassive. Finally, Cordelia threw off her blanket and rose shakily. Angel jumped to his feet quickly, chivalrous arm at her side.

"Look, I'm sorry. It was very nice of you to agree to spend the night with me. I'm a bit less steady than I thought, Broody-boy. How about getting me a glass of water?"

He hurried to the kitchen. Dennis had over-heard, and considerately laid out the glass and turned the faucet on.

"You know," commented Cordelia. "This is the first time you've spent the night when there wasn't some catastrophe. The office is still intact, demon activity is quiet, no one is evil, or dead, or injured…"

"Well, you're not exactly in top form."

"Just a cold. People get them, I got one, and I happen to be a big baby about being sick. I can't sleep when I'm all stuffy, and you being the only friend I have who I'm not contagious to, I called you. I'm NOT contagious to you, am I?" she clarified.

"Not unless I suck your blood."

"Very funny."

"So you up for another one?" he asked, pointing to the stack of movie boxes.

"I don't know. Let's just have a break for awhile. You want a drink or anything?"

"Nah. I'll watch you."

She sipped her water, and Angel regarded her thoughtfully. "What are you thinking about?" he asked her.

She fidgeted. "I don't know. It's just, those movies…they romanticize the whole thing. Secret agents, super powers…I used to read fairy tales when I was a kid, and I loved them. When I was little, I truly thought I would grow up to have super-powers."

He smiled. "You got your wish."

"Yeah, but there was one thing I never considered."


"If super-powers are real, there have to be real things bad enough that you would need them. I somehow never took that into account."

"Good point."

"And here I am, an adult now, getting visions from omniscient beings, paying the dry-cleaner to get slime out of my designer clothes, and having a vampire with a gypsy curse baby-sit me when I'm not feeling well. We're sitting here watching HITCHCOCK and berating him for being so pedestrian."

Angel shrugged. "I thought the movie was ok."

"Angel, when you were born, people didn't even HAVE entertainment. Moving pictures on the screen with sound---it's like another universe. I, on the other hand, was raised in an over-stimulated, hyper-medium sound byte world- --it takes a lot more to impress me."

"Oh, I don't know. I had a lot of fun in my day."

"Well, if it involves excessive alcohol, Buffy, blood-sucking, slime, torture or Darla I don't want to hear about it."

"Well ok, SOME fun," he modified.

"Angel, I'm gonna ask you something, and I want an honest answer. Am I jaded? Am I just fooling myself into thinking I can ever have the kind of life I want?"

He thought for a moment. "Well, that depends on what kind of life you want."

"I just want it to be…I don't know. You see all these movies where the boy meets the girl, marries her, buys her stuff…I used to think that was the kind of life I wanted."

"Ok. But then you see movies where the girl is terrorized by some unseen supernatural evil…"

"But in THOSE movies, there's always the hero that rescues her. Then he falls in love with her, marries her, buys her stuff…it all ends the same way. Even Superman eventually gets married."

"So you're saying you'd be ok with the visions and the demons as long as you had a boyfriend?"

"I don't know. I just…you know, if this were a movie right now, we could at least fast foreword to the end and see how it all works out. IS the world saved? DOES the beautiful girl get a happy ending? We would know…"

"Only until the sequel."

She threw a pillow at him. "You're being so difficult! Aren't you supposed to be pampering me tonight?"

"I did. I got you water."

She sighed. "If all I wanted was water, I could have had DENNIS baby-sit."

The TV flickered on and off in indignant protest. "Oh, relax, Dennis," snipped Cordelia. "I didn't mean it that way."

Angel fidgeted. "So…what do you want to do now?"

"I don't know. I'm tired, but I'm stuffy and I can't sleep when I'm stuffy. Unless…why don't you grab me a sleeping pill? They're on my dresser."

"Sleeping pill? You mean to tell me that all this time, that was all you needed?"


"Four movies ago, you would have fallen asleep with a sleeping pill?"


"We could have skipped Hitchcock? Revenge of the Killer Tomatoes? That Thai thing with subtitles? Sleepless in Seattle?"

"Hey, you said you liked that one!"


"Thank you, Angel," she said sweetly.

He sighed, getting her another glass of water to go with the sleeping pill. He helped her to her room.

"You're all set on the couch?"

He nodded. "Just shout if you need me."

In her weakened state, the pill took effect quickly. "Great. There's blood in the fridge and…stuff…"

She drifted off, and he paused a moment to watch her sleep. She looked so innocent, so peaceful…

"Sweet dreams, Princess," he whispered.

He headed into the living room, eyeing the stack of movies. 'Revenge of the Killer Tomatoes' had some great special effects…

Phantom Dennis thoughtfully adjusted the volume as the opening credits flashed on screen, the vampire sprawled on the couch, warm glass of blood in his hands, beautiful woman drugged and asleep in the room next door… modern entertainment tries so hard to outdo itself, thought Angel, but this is real life, and it is full of such bland domestic moments as this one.

The end