Title: The Flu
Category: Pointless fluff, mostly, and some stupid dialogue for a stupid previous conversation.
Content: C/A, B/X implied and others.
Summary: The Scoobies come and Cordelia has the flu.
Spoilers: Up to last ep of BtVS. Season 5 of AtS tweaked.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't claim them...anymore.
Distribution: Want some? Hit me up.
Notes: After last BtVS episode. Season 5 Ats, not W&H, Cor's awake, no psychotic Conner. Pretty pointless, but most of my stuff is so...
Thanks/Didcation: You know who you are
Feedback: Hell yeah.
Buffy didn't know what it was that drove her to Los Angeles. But after Sunnydale had been destroyed, only Xander, Willow, Kennedy, Giles, Dawn, Faith and herself had survived. Faith had quickly returned to L.A. to be with Wesley, which all of them still found a little strange and hard to understand.
Willow and Kennedy had broken up. Willow refused to talk about it, saying it was her decision and she had her reasons. What seemed like days later, Oz tracked them down after hearing of Sunnydale's destruction, terrified for Willow's well being. The two had been inseperable since.
A part of Buffy always knew when the dust finally cleared, she'd be right back with her same friends and family from high school. But someone was missing. That's why she was here, in Los Angeles of all places. Because she wanted him in her life. And she realized that any man, or vampire for that matter, who would put up with her mindless "cookies need baking" speech, and who said he'd wait for them to be done, was worth overcoming any obstacle.
Buffy just wished she would've realized that a long time ago. But there was no point in looking to the past. Now, she was ready to be with Angel again. It felt right. Her cookies were baked. So here they all stood, outside the Hyperion Hotel. She just hoped he was here and wouldn't be too shocked or too broody to not know what was going on.
"Are we going in, or what?" Dawn asked in an irritated tone. She didn't come all the way down here to stand outside a hotel in the scorching L.A. heat.
"Yeah. Let's go." Buffy took a deep breath and walked into the hotel, everyone following her inside. The hotel seemed vacant as the group looked around. Then they heard laughter pierce through the lobby.
"Stop it!" A woman's voice screeched. They recognized it as Faith and followed it. "I said stop! Don't make me kick your ass." Buffy opened the door to a closed in, large office and found Faith, laughing, Wesley, or at least Buffy thought it was Wesley but wasn't sure because he sure as hell didn't look like that last time she saw him, behind her, arms wrapped tight around her, hands tickling.
"If you think you can take me..."
"We'll see." Wesley lifted her up and she let out a scream, legs kicking as he placed her on the desk, body covering hers.
"I don't think Angel would appreciate us doing this on his desk."
"He did the same thing when it was mine."
"Because it was his first." She leaned up and kissed him quickly.
"If we're quiet..."
"You aren't quiet."
"You're one to talk."
"Eh-hem." Xander cleared his throat to make their presence known. The two looked up at him and neither of them seemed to mind being caught. Faith pushed softly to get Wesley off of her, but he didn't budge.
"You mind?" He asked, head nodding towards to door. They shut it and went to sit down. Moments later the two emerged, hand in hand.
"Hey guys. What's up? Oz?" Faith asked, tilting her head slightly as she asked the question. Wes smiled.
"I love it when you do that." He said, placing a soft kiss to her neck.
"Hey." Oz said, addressing them.
"Hey Oz." Wes said. "So, what are you all doing here? There another apocalypse? Someone else die?"
"Can't we come visit?" Buffy asked, defensively. She didn't like Wesley's tone. "Does there always have to be some sort of crisis?"
"No. There just usually is. You rarely come baring good news."
"Well, this time we're just here for a visit. Our town was destroyed, remember?"
"You bleeding wankers! You cheated! Everyone in this damn hotel is a cheater! You, Gunn, Peaches, Peaches in training over here! I can't win in this damn place!" Spike yelled frustrated as he walked into the main lobby from the side where the tv and Game Cube were hooked up.
"Spike?" Buffy asked. The blonde vampire turned in surprise as he saw the slayer.
"Spike. Quit being such a baby. You got a new life." Angel called from the room.
"Yeah. And Gunn made Fred promise that she would play easier on you this time." A voice Willow recognized as Conner called.
"You're alive?" Buffy asked.
"As alive as a vampire can be, yeah."
"Spike?" A woman with a Texan accent said. "I'm sorry. I'll let you win if it makes you feel better."
"God, he can be such a baby sometimes. Always was like that. If things didn't go his way-" Angel's voice trailed into the room.
"Peaches! Shut the hell up and get your poof ass in here!" They heard a groan of frustration and muffled voices. "I know you didn't come all the way over here to see me. Especially since you thought I was dead."
"I'm glad you're not." She said with a small smile. He looked at her. "But you're right. I didn't. I came here to talk to Angel about something we discussed last time he came over."
"No problem, Love. I'm over you. I'm getting some else where now. It was fun though." He said, turning to walk to where Angel and his friends were coming out, all stopping when they saw her. "Oh." Spike said, before leaving. "About that conversation you're gonna have. Don't. You aren't gonna like what's said." He offered then went back into the room to practice. He wasn't going to lose to Fred again.
"Buffy." Angel smiled and came to her, embracing her in a tight hug. She smiled. It wasn't the reaction she was expecting, but she didn't mind it. The last time she saw him had started off a little steamier. "I'm glad you're okay. I knew you would be, but it's nice seeing you in one piece."
"It's nice being in one piece."
"Will, Xander, Dawn, Giles. Oz?"
"That's what Wesley said."
"Good to see you."
"You too. You're less pale."
"Thanks. You're hair's brown."
"Well, this is an exciting conversation." Conner said sarcastically in Cordelia fashion. Angel sent him a look. "What?" Angel rolled his eyes. "Cordy would agree." He pouted.
"Speaking of Cordelia...where is she? Last time you talked to Willow you said she woke up from her coma."
"Yeah. She recovered fast. Really fast. Like she just took a really long nap or something."
"Where is she?" Xander asked, anxious to see his ex.
"She's upstairs asleep."
"Asleep? It's five in the afternoon...at night...whatever. You know what I mean." Buffy said.
"I know. She's got the flu. Really bad. Not sure what kind it is, but she's pretty beat up from it. Muscle aches, stomach cramps, migraines, whole nine."
"Ouch. That sucks. How'd she get it?" Angel looked at Conner.
"I said I was sorry."
"Conner had it. We were both taking care of him and, well. Vampires can't get sick. But half demons can. But Conner's got vampire strengths like me so it didn't affect him too much. But Cordy... she's pretty miserable."
"I said I was sorry!" Conner yelled this time stalking away, in brooding Angel fashion. Angel snorted in amusement and watched him walk into the room Spike had left too. Poor Spike. Conner had a lot of frustration to work out.
"So, that's him, huh?"
"He looks like you. Kinda. He has you're-"
"Brow. I know." Angel smiled proudly. Something Buffy wasn't accustomed to and she found herself mesmerized for a moment.
"Well, as fun as small talk is, which is kinda new for us, I kind of do need to talk to you about something." He frowned.
"I thought there was no crisis?"
"There isn't. It's about...what we talked about when you came to Sunnydale and brought the amulet thing."
"What cookies?" Gunn and Fred asked in unison.
"Yeah. They're done." She said, looking at him. Angel frowned.
"We're not talking about real cookies, are we?" Gunn whispered to Fred. She shook her head.
"But I'm full." He told Buffy. She froze, staring at him, shocked. She sure as hell wasn't expecting that.
"But...but you kissed me."
"Angel!" Fred and Faith scolded. He winced.
"You told me you'd wait for me forever!" She was nearing the point of tears.
"Angel!" Now Fred, Faith, Gunn and Wesley all yelled at the vampire. He flinched. Hearing all the yelling, Spike and Conner re-entered the room.
"I know!" He yelled back. Conner and Spike exchanged a look of confusion. "It was before." He tried to explain to his friends. The Scoobies all exchanged looks of confusion. This wasn't going as Buffy planned...which meant bad things.
"What's going on?" The slayer asked, tears staining her pretty face. "Why can't we be together? I know the soul thing will be an issue."
"That's beyond the point."
"Then what's the problem? You're full? What kinda answer is that? That wouldn't even make sense."
"Neither did your "my cookies need to bake" speech." All the guys exchanged a look.
"Sounds freaky." Gunn said. He was ignored.
"I know it didn't make sense!" Buffy yelled. "But in order for you to be full you'd have to be eating cookies from somewhere else and...oh, wait. No."
"Buffy-" He tried to go to her.
"No." She pushed him away.
"Buffy." He grabbed her, hands on her forearms, forcing her to look at him. "I'm sorry." She broke free.
"This doesn't happen! You're Angel! You don't move on!"
"That's kind of pathetic." Conner said, and was elbowed in the side by Spike, who was pushed and sent flying backwards.
"I'm gonna kick you ass kid."
"Pfft." was Conner's only response. The two argued, everyone else focused on the conversation at hand. Until a loud sneeze echoed through the hotel, followed by a terrible coughing fit.
"Angel!" A nasally version of Cordelia's voice sounded through the hotel. "I need...ah...ah choo!" The loud sneeze sounded again. "Never mind."
"I got to go."
"Angel. This is important. We need to discuss this."
"This comes first."
"No. It doesn't. Cordelia comes first." It was a simple statement, but the emotion and tone he put behind it left the room speechless. He jogged up the stairs, taking them two at a time, leaving a group of stunned people down in the lobby.
Angel entered his suite, where Cordelia layed, blankets to her throat. Her nose was a reddish color that contrasted her pale face. Her hair was soaked with sweat and pulled back into a pony tail, away from her face. She was shaking from the chills and Angel didn't have to touch her to know her fever was through the roof.
"What do you need?"
"I don't remember." She looked at him. "Lay down with me." He didn't argue, pulling the covers over her and himself as he layed beside her. She snuggled into his body, facing him. "He leaned forward and gave her a quick peck on the lips. Then he kissed her again, longer, harder, until she pushed him away from her. "Angel. Ewwww." He raised an eyebrow. "I'm all sniffley and gross." He smiled and wrapped his arms around her shaking body.
"You're beautiful. Always."
"You're on drugs." He laughed and Cordelia smiled. Every time she heard the sound, she loved it more.
"I must be to put up with you downgrading yourself all the time.
"You gonna punish me?" She raised her eyebrows, daring him. He smiled wickedly at her.
"I'm thinking about it. I should. It'd be fun." She smiled. "But you [I]are[/I] all sniffley and gross..."
"Whatever you want lover." He said, leaning closer and kissing her.
"Good thing you can't get sick. Cos I'm not letting you leave me for the rest of the night." She cuddled into him and he smiled.
"Sounds good to me Cordy...Cordy? Cordelia?" The soft sound of her snoring floated up to his ears. He kissed her softly and closed his eyes, letting her heart beat relax him and put him to sleep.
Downstairs, Buffy was still in a state of shock.
"So, Angel...and Cordelia..." Oz said.
"They're kind of dating." Conner filled in quickly.
"How do you "kind of" date someone?" Dawn asked.
"It's my dad. It doesn't have to make sense." He said, sending Dawn a look of intrigue. The younger teenager turned her head, blushing.
Buffy took in a deep breath. She hadn't expected anything like this when she thought about coming to L.A..
"Why?" She asked.
"He loves her." Wesley said simply.
"Then why the hell did he come to me!" She couldn't understand it. "He said forever." It was a whisper.
"Buffy..." Wesley took in a deep breath. "I can't explain, or even begin to comprehend why Angel does some of the things he does. I don't even think [I]he[/I] understands sometimes."
"He doesn't." Spike and Conner said in unison, then glared at each other and exchanged a growl.
"I do know that he's been in love with Cordelia for over two years now. I know that the woman he loved, who we all loved, but him to a higher extent, was in a coma. We didn't know if she'd wake up. But Angel was at her side every night, holding on to some hope that she'd wake up."
"If he loved her so much, why did he come to me?" Buffy demanded. Wesley glared.
"You don't get it, do you? Does everything always have to be about your spoiled whiney ass?" Wesley all but growled at her, beyond frustrated with the slayer.
"Do not talk to her like that!" Giles yelled back, standing up. Wesley did the same, sending an evil smirk worthy of Angelus in Giles's direction.
"Rupert, I think it's time you let Buffy grow up. Let her handle her own battles and deal with her own pain. We all have. It's beyond her turn." Wesley walked proudly out of the lobby and into a back room, door slamming. Faith gave Buffy a long look, one the blond slayer couldn't quite read, then she left in the direction Wesley had gone. The room drowned in silence and tension and Buffy sat there, wide eyed, staring after the ex-watcher.
"He had no right-" Giles started, but was cut off by Willow shaking her hand. Buffy turned to her best friend.
"He was scared." Conner said quietly, staring at the floor. He could feel everyone's gaze on him. He didn't like it. "He started to think Cordy was never going to wake up. Then he had to take you that necklace of death thing. So, basically, he thought he was gonna die, he didn't think Cordelia was going to wake up and I almost destroyed the world and kind of hated him so, things weren't going well for him. He was just trying to grab on to some intimacy. To feel something before he died."
"How do you know this?" Fred asked.
"He's my dad. We talk."
"So, he used me?"
"I don't think Junior meant-" Gunn started to be cut off by Conner.
"Yeah. I guess he did." Buffy glared at the kid. "I'm not scared of you. You have the hots for my dad, you ain't gonna do nothing to me."
"Conner." Fred tried to silence the kid.
"What?" She sent him a scolding look. "I can't say nothing." He muttered beneath his breath. "I'm going to bed. And I'm taking my gameboy with me." He pouted, taking it from Gunn.
"Buffy. Are you going to be okay?" WIllow asked silently, placing a comforting hand on her friend's shoulder, the other still grasping Oz's.
"I think I need to get some sleep."
"It's not even seven yet." Dawn complained. She didn't come to Los Angeles to go to bed early.
"I know. But I'm exhausted. This has been a lot to take in. I need to get some rest. Maybe things will make more sense tomorrow."
"I doubt it. This is L.A." Gunn said, Fred nodded in agreement. "But we gotta lot of extra rooms if ya'll wanna crash here." The Scoobies exchanged glances and shrugged.
"I'll show them up to some rooms. Meet you in the room?" Fred asked Gunn.
"Yeah." He gave her a quick kiss. "I'm gonna go check and make sure Wes didn't break something."
"Knock first." Fred warned.
"Plan on it." He said, going towards where the two had headed.
"I'll show you to some rooms." Fred said in a voice a little too cheerful as she showed the group to their rooms.
The Next morning
Buffy was downstairs, sipping a cup of coffee. She didn't even like coffee that much. But when Wesley had offered it to her, she had accepted it with a smile and a new sense of respect for the young ex-watcher.
Wes, Faith, Fred and Gunn had taken off. Apparently to get some new leads on their latest case or something. They didn't give her much information, nor did she ask. So here she sat, alone in the dimly lit hotel lobby. Her friends had taken Dawn out around Los Angeles. Buffy hadn't felt like going.
Buffy's mind was still on what she had learned about Angel and Cordelia yesterday. She was so deep in thought she didn't even acknowledge Cordelia's presence until the other woman spoke. Well, at least she thought that was Cordelia.
"Cordelia. Wow...you look like shit." Cordelia glared and was about to return an insult, but shook her head.
"Nah. Too easy." She said with a smirk and walked to the coffee maker. Buffy scowled, but Cordelia wasn't facing her any longer. "Fred make this?" Buffy shook her head no. "Okay." She poured herself a cup.
"Don't get me wrong. I love Fred. But her coffee making skills suck. I should know, I taught her how." Cordelia walked over to the counter and sat across from Buffy. Even though Cordelia was obviously ill; her skin pale, dark circles under her eyes, nose redder than when Angel had seen it the previous night, her voice nasally; she was still some how incredibly graceful and, and Buffy hated her for it, beautiful. "So," Cordelia spoke. "To what do we owe this visit?"
"No apocalypse. I already told Angel not to worry about it." Cordelia sent Buffy a quizzical look.
"Angel was down here this morning?"
"No. Yesterday." Buffy looked at Cordelia and gave a small, smug smile. "He didn't tell you I was here?" Buffy's voice was innocent as she asked. "Wonder why he wouldn't want you to know." Cordelia shrugged.
"Honeslty, I don't remember if he told me or not. I was heavily medicated. All I really remember is telling him he was on drugs for some reason. Oh well."
"Where is Angel?"
"He's still asleep. I kind of kept him up all night." Cordelia said with a smirk that almost made Buffy growl, until the brunette continued. "Poor guy. As soon as he'd go to sleep, I'd wake him up with a coughing fit or sneezing or something. And him and his vamp hearing. He didn't get any sleep last night." Buffy was amused, until she realized what that meant.
"You and Angel sleep together?" Cordelia nearly choked on her coffee.
"Excuse me?" Buffy realized how that sounded.
"You two sleep in the same room?"
"Yeah." Cordelia said non-chalantly. Buffy swallowed hard. "Are you two..sleeping together?"
"We're not talking side by side snoring, are we?"
"You know what I mean."
"Why would I answer that?"
"If you're embarrassed-"
"Yes. We are." Cordelia said quickly and Buffy stared, wide eyed.
"You and Angel are having sex?"
"You really want me to draw it out for you?"
"No. I mean...with the curse."
"Not a problem anymore."
"What do you mean?"
"We know someone. Basically, specializes in potions. One little bottle a year, and Angel's soul is as good as permanent."
"How long has he known about this?"
"We've known the woman who sells them to us for a few years. We've known about this particular one for a few months."
"I'd like to say I'm happy for you but-"
"You're right. I'm not."
"I didn't expect to have your blessing Buffy. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me if you approve or not. You and I were never friends. But Angel, it matters to him because of what you had. He still cares about you Buffy. Just not like he used to."
"Not like he does about you?" Buffy's voice was laced with venom. Cordelia glared.
"Exactly." She studied the blond. "You really wanna do this now?" Buffy ignored her.
"How do you know he loves you?"
"I just do."
"You can't handle knowing." Buffy swallowed hard.
"Everything he does. The little smiles he sends me for no reason. The long adoring looks from across the room. The way he always has a hand on my arm, my waist or on the small of my back when we're out in public. The way he holds me flush against him at night. The way he kisses me. The way he touches me."
"I get it." Buffy said between clenched teeth.
"So you really think he loves you? Really believe all that crap you just told me?" Cordelia laughed. A strange sound considering her congested state.
"I don't have to think about it. That's what makes it so true."
"That doesn't make any sense!"
"No! It doesn't!" The blond was infuriated.
"I don't have to think about whether or not he loves me. I don't have to be afraid he's gonna leave me, I trust him completely. I don't have to think about it. I just know. I can feel it. Angel would never hurt me, would never leave me. And I know that, not just because he tells me he won't, but because I can see it when I look into his eyes. He loves me. He wouldn't leave the ones he loves."
"He left me." Buffy said. Not sure if she was trying to prove a point, or get an answer she was afraid to identify herself.
"I guess that tells you something, huh?" Buffy drew in a shaky breath.
"I think I need to leave."
"You don't have to Buffy."
"No. I do. The whole point of me coming here was to get Angel back. To tell him I was ready, that my..."
"Your cookies were baked?"
"How do you know about that? He told you?"
"I knew before. Whole mystic coma thing. But he did tell me when I asked him about it."
"Well, he talks to you. You got that going for you."
"That among other things." Cordelia lowered her gaze to the floor for a second, then back up to Buffy. "He won't be happy you left without saying goodbye."
"I don't think he'll mind too much. Plus, I think I'd rather leave with a little dignity left." Cordelia nodded in agreement.
"Yeah. Save yourself the embarrassment. Because, if you would've tried to take Angel from me, things wouldn't have gone well for you." Cordelia casually took another sip of her coffee. Buffy watched the girl. Even though her face was a mask of flu symptoms, Cordelia had noticeable changed. She was wiser, even more confidant if it was possible, and dangerous if provoked. She too was now a warrior. And Buffy had little confidence she could take her on.
"If it makes him feel better, tell Angel I don't hate him and..."
"We have your blessing?"
"Even though we don't?" Buffy pursed her lips and exchanged a knowing look with Cordelia and walked out of the hotel to her car and called her friends, who had taken off in Giles's SUV, leaving them a message to meet her at a coffee shop by where her father used to live. It seemed to her Los Angeles had been a pointless trip. And she saw no reason to return again.
Angel walked down the stairs, rubbing sleep from his eyes. He saw Cordelia and gave her a loving smile.
"There you are. I woke up and freaked out when you weren't by me."
"Thought I should let you sleep. I kept you up enough last night." He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek. "Love you."
"Love you too, Cordy." He moved and found her lips, kissing her for a few moments, letting everything else dissolve around them. He leaned his chin on her shoulder, then the other woman's scent caught his nose. "Take it you know Buffy's here?"
"Uh huh. Don't know why you didn't tell me though."
"Would you have been able to comprehend what I said even if I told you?"
"Okay then. Where'd she go?"
"Left, left? As in went home?"
"Yes. Don't sound too broken up about it now." He chuckled.
"I think I'll manage to survive."
"Her too." He looked down at her, eyes boring into hers with unasked questions. "She sent her blessing Angel." He smiled.
"No she didn't." Cordelia frowned.
"How do you know?"
"You're not a liar, Baby."
"Well, we have that in common too." He sat beside her. "Do you care?" Off his look. "That she doesn't accept it."
"Pfft! Hell no."
"Then I don't care either." She smiled.
"Did I mention I love you?"
"Not in the last few minutes." He went to kiss her, and she put her hands up to cover her [I]dry[/I] sneeze. "Ew. Cordy." She pulled her hands away from her face, then grabbed a damp towel to wipe her dry hands and face for no reason, then erupted into a coughing fit. Angel started laughing and she glared at him. He smiled and she melted.
"Just shut and kiss me already." He complied.