A Night on the Town
Summary: A picture of Angel and Cordelia end up in a magazine. Things happen from there.
Season/Spoilers: Angel season 3, Buffy season 6
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. All Joss', ok?
Author's Notes: Just a little fluffy piece I thought up on my way to work. Set about 15 months into the future.
~*~* Part One *~*~
Dawn idly flicked through the pages of the magazine held in her hands as she suppressed a yawn. She was sprawled comfortably on top of her bed, her bag and various bits of home work scattered haphazardly around her lithe frame.
She glanced down - the latest edition of Seventeen didn't seem as intriguing to her as it had been a year ago, and she sighed melodramatically for her lost youth. Of course, going up against all the evil Sunnydale had to offer hadn't helped in keeping the childhood innocence either.
She yawned again as she allowed her perfectly straight curtain of chestnut brown hair cascade over her shoulders, obstructing her view. She knew she really should be doing some homework - after all, she had a math quiz tomorrow and she hadn't studied one bit for it. She knew she sucked at math, and she had even gone as far as asking for Willow's help on it - yesterday.
Today was a different story though. Somehow, she couldn't get herself motivated enough to do anything. Which explained why she was idly flicking through the pages of a magazine that she didn't even really want to read, a soda balanced precariously on the lumpy mattress beside her. "Procrastination, thy name is Dawn," she whispered to herself as she quickly glanced at the contents of the next page.
Her eyes suddenly widened, and she exclaimed in surprise.
"Come on Angel!" Cordelia's high-pitched voice pierced Angel's sensitive ears, making him flinch inwardly. He took one last look at the suite around him, his careful eyes resting on the teenage boy who sat entranced at the small television, a Playstation 2 controller in hand. Ensconced in the midst of piles and piles of junk food of all varieties, it had taken Angel three attempts to get the boy's attention long enough to inform him that he was going out for the night with Cordelia.
"Coming!" He shouted over the loud roaring that emanated from the game. He ran his hands through his always perfectly coiffed hair and wished he could look at himself in the mirror. As things currently stood however, he had to rely on his somewhat unreliable teenage son for that.
"Stephen, do I look okay?"
"You look fine." He replied, without looking Angel's way. Oblivious to Angel's brief look of annoyance, he continued. "Can you please get some more potato chips on the way home? Because I think we're going to be out soon." He gestured vaguely towards the pile of discarded wrappings, his eyes glued to the screen. "Have you ever thought of using these ... automatic projectiles against demons?"
Angel suppressed another urge to sigh. Old as he was, he still couldn't seem to grasp the intricate workings of the teenage male mind. Even though he had been one himself.
"No." He picked up his black leather duster and swung it over his shoulders. "And I don't know why." He said pre-emptively.
Stephen shrugged his shoulders dismissively. "Chips?"
Angel was about to stroll out of his room, when a small voice called out to him. "Angel?"
"Yeah?" He turned back to face his teenage son.
"I like this game." For the first time Stephen turned around to face his vampiric father. "It's relaxing."
Angel frowned, half pleased and half concerned. He was half pleased because Connor - or Stephen rather, was at last feeling relaxed in Angel's home, which was good for the whole father-son thing. It had been a long and extremely painful process for the both of them - first Stephen's confusion over the real motives of Holtz, then Angel's almost murderous distrust over his own son after the 'incident' with the box - added to that were Stephen's continuing issues adjusting to this dimension - it would have been an understatement to say that things had been volatile to the extreme. Particularly in a place that stored over 300 pieces of medieval weaponry.
He was slightly concerned though over Stephen's choice of relaxation. Angel glanced at the screen, where a man was busily pumping a slightly green individual full of bullets. "What's this game about?"
Stephen sighed. "Zombies. A town's run over by zombies, and you have to eradicate them."
"And ... you stop them by shooting them?"
"Uh-huh." Stephen quickly grabbed another handful of chips.
"And ... you find this relaxing?"
"Oh." Angel frowned, slightly puzzled. "Isn't it a little ... you know ... violent? Wouldn't you rather ... do something less - less violent?"
"Okay." Angel said quickly, awkward once more. "Well, I'm going now." He paused. "Do you ... do you need anything else besides food?"
"No." Stephen munched thoughtfully as he paused the screen. He bit his lip, his expression hesitant. "You know Angel, I'm starting to like it here."
The frown flew off Angel's face, lighting it up inexplicably. "Really?"
Stephen smiled briefly as father and son locked gazes, before his expression took on his more usual mask of hostility and he returned to the game. Angel stared at his son's lean frame for a while, regret piercing his heart painfully. If only ...
But he couldn't allow himself to dwell on this again - to dwell on the past. What he had now wasn't perfect, but it was something. He had his son again, and they were talking. And he had Cordy downstairs, probably annoyed enough by his tardiness to give his wallet full of cash a good work out tonight.
"You are late." Cordelia stared pointedly at Angel as he descended the foyer stairs, lifting up a delicate brow in emphasis. Her expression did not seem to improve at Angel's sheepish reply.
"Stephen and I were talking about zombies."
Both of Cordelia's impeccably plucked brows shot up this time. "So I've been waiting downstairs all this time, hair and make-up perfect as usual, because you guys were macho bonding over zombies?"
"Well ..." Angel sought a way of backtracking, "it wasn't strictly about zombies per se." His eyes searched hers hopefully for any signs of her annoyance relenting, but her eyes remained steely and fixed on his. He hurried on, "he said he was starting to like it here."
The desired effect took place on Cordelia's face, and her expression became more radiant than usual. "Really? He said that?"
"Yep." Angel couldn't help unleashing a goofy grin. "He really said that."
"Wow." Cordelia's momentary annoyance disappeared as it gave way to her hope for the future. "That's great Angel. Really ... great."
"It is." Angel moved closer to her, leaning in to inhale the delicious, womanly scent that swirled all about her. Wrapping his muscular arms around her lithe frame, he leaned in and whispered into her ear, "Which means ... I'm in the mood to celebrate."
Cordelia looked up at him through her lashes. "Moody enough to splurge on a nice dinner, dance, movie normal date combo?"
His hand snaked around her waist and crept underneath her perfectly fitted top. She shivered involuntarily at his cool touch, as he whispered conspiratorially into her ear.
Cordelia coloured slightly at his enthusiastic description of just what exactly he was in the mood for. Her breath hitched as it raced through her imagination, prompting all sorts of hidden sensations in her body to materialise. She cleared her throat noticeably.
"Well, we've got plenty of time to do those things later." She gently extricated herself from his tight embrace and smoothly slipped one of her hands into his. "You've got some dinner to buy me."
Angel smiled, his mind once again wandering to the past. His life wasn't perfect by any means, but as long as he had Cordy and Stephen in his life, he didn't think it was half bad.
"Oh my gosh, you guys, you have to see this." Dawn burst into Xander's apartment, ruck sack in hand and letting in an amazing amount of dust from the construction work taking place outside.
"Hey, hey, close the door!" Xander gestured inarticulately at her. "Dust! Dust coming inside to my nice, expensive apartment."
"What?" Dawn asked before comprehension descended. "Oh." She closed the door behind her absent-mindedly and brandished the magazine in front of her, waving it about like a mad woman. "Xander, you'll never guess what I've found."
"Another demon uprising?" Xander's expression darkened for a moment. "God I hope not. I've got an early start tomorrow at the site and - hey, what are you doing here?"
Giles looked up from behind an impossibly ancient book. "Yes Dawn, it's almost dark. What are you doing here?"
"What?" She dumped her bag on the floor and sat down next to the Englishman, who quickly closed the book he had been holding. "Oh ... it's not demons. I mean, you know, not a demon that needs killing or anything."
"There's a demon in ..." Xander's eyes travelled to the magazine in her hands, "Seventeen?"
Giles squinted at her from behind his glasses. "Er ... as fascinating as it sounds, I don't think -"
"Oh can it guys." Dawn waved their objections off. "This isn't girly girl teen mag stuff, 'cause duh, how stupid would that be, showing you guys - anyway, look at this." She shoved the magazine in front of Giles and Xander, who collectively backed away.
But Dawn was insistent. "Just look." She pointed to a particular picture on the page. Tell me they're not who I think they are."
Xander bent over and looked hard at the page, almost swallowing his tongue in surprise. His milky brown eyes met Dawn's smiling blue ones.
"That's Angel and Cordy."
Dawn looked on with an expression which clearly conveyed 'I told you so'.
(c) June 2002