Avoiding Perfection

by Sweetprincipale

A Cordelia/ Angel short, smutty piece, that is set in an alternate universe kind of tagging off the one I built in "You an' Me Against the World". Set in an alternate season three or four, no major angst, no betrayals, no Connor, just a moment of fluffy smut.

Author's Note: This is my first ever Angel and Cordelia story, so I would appreciate everyone's kindness and patience. Here we have less humor, more struggle, and more smut.

Author's Second Note: Smut warning! Fumbling smut, but smut! You were warned.

Dedicated to ginar369, Sirius120, Alexiarrose, Dlillith21, omslagspapper, cavemenftw, mike13z50, teddybear-514, Jewel74, Jackiemack916, and Lyzzybelle.

Nothing of Buffy or Angel belongs to me, except my sincere admiration. However, this story is all mine.

Part IV

"Stop grabbing my hair." Cordelia lifted her head for the third time and glared pointedly.

"Am I pulling it too hard?" He was instantly apologetic.

"No... but I have it all sexy." She winked and licked her lips.

"You look incredibly sexy." He touched her cheek with his fingertips.

"Thank you. So do you." Her hand wrapped around him and bounced. "Hard not to when you go around hiding this." Yep. Proportionate. Extra proportionate. And that sucker's not going to end up inside and it's so frustrating! As if to quell the rebelliousness she plunged her mouth back down and concentrated on that.

Angel groaned and closed his eyes, fingers automatically tightening in her hair again, wanting her mouth to stay on him, to please him and delight him, and mainly because he thought it was fairly safe. This opening was warm, wet, and talented, but it was about three feet higher than he would have preferred. He felt loved, and intimate, but not as connected to her as he craved. A little craving was good in this situation, right? His fingers resumed their tangling as he let her mouth work him towards bliss.

"Angel! Hair!" Cordy jerked her head up again, and pushed herself up one one elbow, the other hand making sure her cross remained dangling down the back of her neck so as not to accidentally burn any sensitive "man parts".

He recalled the other benefit of being safely tucked into her cheek. The voice stopped pestering him while he was concentrating on the sensations. Oh, he loved her voice, he was quick justify his feelings, just not in such quantity. "Sorry, Cor."

"That's like the fourth time I told you!"

"Oh... stop worrying about your hair!" Angel grunted and did the unthinkable. He reached out and mussed it. On purpose.

She shrieked and rocketed up to her knees, fluffing the locks she was so proud of back in place. "You. Did. Not!"

"I think you're so beautiful no matter how you- stop! Get off! Not the front, not the front!" Angel fended her off, yanking her wrists down to his shoulders as she deliberately skewed his spiked up bangs.

"Vain people should not have sex." Cordelia decided as he managed to wrestle her to her side, very nearly undoing the safety catch on her wrist, and making them both jump.

"Hmph." He made a noise of agreement and rand his hands down her arms, facing her. "You do look really, really good like this." He stage whispered, tousling her hair again. "Sex goddess."

Cordelia ignored the playful assault on her hair and preened. "Mmm. Well..." She drifted her hands over his scalp. "You always look sexy. I think it's the heroic face."

"Really? Heroic?" He lit up.

"Duh. You're my hero."

"Oh, that's not playing fair." His voice instantly dropped into a low, passionate growl, and he seized her, rolling atop of her.

"No?" She asked breathlessly. Oh God. Naked on top of me. At the right angle this time. Oh come to Mama, Salty Goodness. No, that leads to badness... Oh please, when he's kissing me I can't think straight...

"I save lots of people." Angel began to explain why her words undid him, also trying to distract himself from the fact that one of her legs just circled his thigh and was pulling it down to nestle on hers.

"See? Hero. Although the bragging is less attractive."

He resisted the urge to headbutt her. "I didn't mean it like that. They see me for two seconds, maybe a couple days. They see the good guy and that's it."

"I see the crazy bastard who has no sense of humor, really bad social skills, and a demony center?"

"I have a sense of humor!" Angel cried, stung. "You are so blunt!"

"That's why you love me, Doofus. I'm fabulous- with a few attractive flaws. Like bluntness."

Only Cordy would consider that attractive. Okay. And me. Yeah. That's why we love each other. So hard not to show her more... "Do love you."

"I know. Love you." So hard to say. For both of us, really. Even harder to show, especially now.

A twin noise of frustration filled the room, and to dull the ache, they tried to lose themselves in each other again.

Kissing, rolling, his hands on her breasts, between her thighs, over her silky back, her legs wrapping around his, fingers kneading shoulders. But you can only do so much before you have to find a way to finish it- one way or the other.

"We need to- change things up." Cordy panted between kisses that were slowly sucking the oxygen right out of her. She was woozy, she needed air. Only when he nodded and pushed himself up above her, making sure she had all the air she could want, the hazy feeling didn't leave her. Could be the fact that doing that prolonged push up over her just made him look even more like a gorgeous hunk of Greek god she wanted to do nasty mythical things with. He has to, ooh, I don't even know what he has to do. We need to touch. The good parts. We need to cum, no more prolonging this, if I don't get off, I may go off. As in my rocker.

He looked down on her, all flushed, light perspiration around her cleavage and her neck. He was perfectly in control, he reassured himself. He was thinking very clearly. He was just thinking very naughtily. "We need... more?"

"Oh boy, do we need more!" She agreed emphatically. "Hm. Want me to go get chains from the basement?" She asked suddenly.

No! Oh geez, how do I tell her that's an Angelus thing, not a me thing? I mean... I don't think we should try that tonight of all nights. "I had no idea you were into that particular kink." He said carefully. "Not that it's a 'kink'!" Angel placated hastily as her eyes shot sparks that he could almost feel frying his skin. "After all, aren't all things in life just a particular preference? The-"

Cordy bopped him. Hard. On the nose, like swatting a cat that put its head in your glass of milk. "Ew! No! Not for that, in case you go rogue!"

"I'm not going to go 'rogue'! Geez, you make me sound like some sort of wounded circus elephant." He grimaced.

"How can you say that, when I feel like I'm going rogue?" She cried desperately, wide eyed. "I never thought we'd end up like this. With you. Over me, and wanting me like I want you." Both of them swallowed hard.

"I know, Cordy. Shhh. It's all going to be okay." He let himself down gently, not kissing her, just pushing her hair softly off her luscious face.

"All I want to do is pull you inside me and tell you you can't ever leave." She whimpered.

"You know I want that. You know I-" He gasped, words suddenly caught in his throat as her sinuous tanned calves locked over his taut cheeks, and pressed their bodies together. Not in her. On her. Resting over the wet pink split he'd prepared with his hands and his mouth, prepared and then left wanting. "Cordelia."

"It's not all the way." She rationalized, mouth almost trembling. Okay, yes for totally selfish reasons she wanted them moving together, hard, thick rod, not cold anymore, sort of skin temperature, against her boiling over center. She was so desperate to be filled she'd take this risk. But onto the unselfish reasons- Angel, in all the centuries of life and death, had only ever made love to someone he truly was in love with, once. And that went real well. What am I doing?

He pushed his head to hers and nodded, agreeing it wasn't all the way, and then he couldn't think of anything else to say. I should say no, it's falling over the edge. I should say no, I could never help myself. But for Cordy, I'd try. She'd kick the crap out of me if I didn't. I should say thank you. I should say I love you.

His jaw tightened and he laid kisses to her cleavage as it was thrust up, wishing he could look into her eyes and she'd understand him, like she always did. But her eyes were closed in an agony of want.

"Shh. All we have to do is move a little bit." One hand pulled at the back of his head, holding him close, her other hand lay sprawled back on the pillow behind her head, weaponized arm out of the way of accidental firing.

So he moved. Not in, but against. Hardness to softness, grating against, pushing softly, then building their tempo, indulging in everything he wanted to do to her- just not in the right place.

Cordelia felt herself slipping away under the loving assault, moving with him. Tip to nub, soft hips to thick pelvic ridges, over and across. "Ohhhh." He was splitting her but not filling her. Her muscles spasmed painfully, incomplete. Well, that's the point, right? Incompleteness. Something missing. When something is missing, it can't be "perfect". So this is good. Except I'm going crazy. "Angel."

"Hmm." He smiled against her lips, a strained, frustrated smile. The best thing he'd felt in so long, and in a way, the best thing ever. There was no torture of a desperate and forbidden love. It was him and Cordy - and apparently a heavily armed safety net force of friends- taking things to the next level. No pressure, just two loving friends who've fought so much, side by side, no need to worry- His mind gave him the equivalent of an electric shock. Yes worry, what the hell are you thinking? You're not thinking, focus. Focus on the fact that you need to worry like there's no tomorrow, or there won't be, not for her, not for your soul! Focus on caring about her more than simple feelings. Focus on what's at stake. Focus on- how amazing that feels- and how it would feel so much more amazing if you could just take her, make love to her until she was crying your name, begging for more, under you, over you, a hundred ways to be inside her, drenched in her juice and knowing you can never drown... "Oh, God." He swallowed hard, and his hips picked up the pace.

"I'll see your God, and raise you a few other deities." Cordelia groaned, sliding faster as well. "In fact... oh, yep, there they are." She giggled breathlessly, eyes rolling back. "Definitely see them from this angle."

He smiled down on her, enjoying making her feel this good. But I could do so much more...Much more, and I'd like it better. His head moved away from hers, working his mouth over her neck and shoulders, heading lower until his teeth tugged on the dusky skin around her nipple, making her gasp longingly. See? Much more.

Stop that! Don't think about the more, can't you ever be happy with what you have, the way it is?

No. That's why things are the way they are. The woman you love asked for just this much, and you never push Cordy. Well, not unless you have a really good reason or something really gross to do. This doesn't count.

Minutes passed, her peak came and went, small and quivery, an apex that only was halfway up the mountain. He held on past that point, pushing himself to give her more, jaw locked, head bowed.

Cordelia's eyes opened, as did her mouth, both in small, rapid movements, as she took in her friend turned lover. Angel rarely sweat, but she'd seen him do it a few times before, once or twice when he had been a victim of some spell or a poison, and a few times after some extreme battle or worse, torture.

And torture is springing to mind right now. Sweat was working its way from the walnut hair across the broad forehead and over the roman nose. Look at him. He's killing himself. He can't die, but he's working away, not speaking, head down, eyes closed... pained. Why is he pained? Is he giving me too much?

Or am I not giving him back enough?

He's noble.

I'm selfish.

He loves to push the limits of the burdens he can bear. He taught me to start taking the troubles of others seriously. No one's troubles are more serious than my Angel's.

The vanity should have left him by now, with her. She'd seen him as low as he could sink, many, many times. But that's what makes you such a mess, right? You still worry, still wonder what she's thinking... Grunting and plowing against her, never inside, but always feeling that sweet spot opening to receive him- and he slid past it. With anyone but Cordy, he'd have given this up. He was making a fool of himself, chasing some pleasure he didn't deserve, little taste of happiness he should starve himself from.

So why did he continue this slick, taunting charade?

Because whenever I open my eyes, she's looking back at me. There's no shame, there's no condemnation. She knows exactly what I am and she loves me.

His hands had been level with her ribs or waist for this session of pseudo copulation, and now they moved up, he let himself lower. "You okay?"

"Almost." She gulped down fiercely, drowning out the voices in her head. This is crazy, you've already gone too far. No. Not far enough, there's a line to cross, and I haven't seen it yet. We don't always have a lot, but we always use what we have. Dammit, we have more than this.

Her hand was suddenly around him, under him, guiding him along, making him wince pleasurably at her touch. "Oh, that's better." Only now I'm not on her. She bucks up like that- God, she's amazing- but she looks so stressed. "Is this okay?"

"Mhm." Her voice was a muted, trapped sound, fingers circling over him, over and over and- then the plunge.

They both reared back, stunned at the sensation.

"Oh hell yeah!" Cordy cried in rapt appreciation. "That's what I'm talkin' about!" Finally full! After months of filling empty inside in more ways than one.

"Yes! Beautiful!" His mouth and mind took a little hiatus from his current reality, overwhelmed.

"Good?" Cordelia purred.

"Beyond good, you're amazing, lass. Yes! Oh, like that, yes!" He wedged himself deeper inside.

"Glad you approve." She giggled, then frowned. "Did you just call me Lassie? Like the dog?"

"No, lass like the prettiest young woman in the world." He grinned down on her, slowly sinking into the tightest silken fist of flesh ever made."Besides, I'm Irish, and in the old days that's what I-"

"No age references right now, I'm enjoying this."

"Me, too." His grin matched hers, twin beams in the candlelight.

At least for a second.

"That feels amazing." Cordelia moaned.

"I know." He chuckled deliciously. "Really amazing."

Buried inside her, he froze.

Wrapped around him, she stilled.

Panicked looks were exchanged. "Uh-oh."

"I don't know about you, but I think things have been too quiet for too long." Gunn rested his ax across one knee, then shifted it to the other, pent up energy forced into one tiny action.

"I'm sure they're fine, or we'd have heard something. Right?" Fred's eyes were glued to the small television resting on the lobby desk.

"She wouldn't necessarily have time to scream." Wesley murmured in that distracted yet intensely worried way peculiar to him.

"That does it." Gunn stood up determinedly.

"Sit down." Lorne groaned, a sea breeze pressed to his crimson eyes. "Would you all please relax and trust my intuition?"

"Have you ever been wrong before?" Fred asked.

"Uh... not often."

"That's right, I'm goin' upstairs." Gunn was on his way again.

"Lorne, can't you get some sort of 'vibe', even without hearing voices or singing or something?" Fred asked desperately.

"Do you mean, can I 'sense a disturbance in the force'?" Lorne deadpanned in a voice a few shades deeper than his normally mellow tones.

"Yeah, can you?" Fred turned to him eagerly.

"NO!" Lorne shouted. "I'm gifted, maybe even 'clairvoyant', but I am not Yoda! We have a taste for green in common, and that's it."

"Wasn't Yoda, man." Gunn shook his head. "Did you even watch those movies?"

"Hey, I came to Los Angeles after they were made, I rented them on video."

"Would you both kindly stop yammering about science fiction films?" Wesley growled out, thumping his fist down forcefully. "Gunn, sit down! Lorne, focus! Fred- can you adjust the reception or the feed or the sound sensitivity?"

"Will do."

What are we doing?

Cordelia pushed his shoulders from hers for all of two seconds before pulling him back again.

Whatever it is, we aren't stopping. We tried to stop at a kiss, at touching, at what I frankly consider some seriously x-rated touching, and now- Angel broke off his steady pounding into her, and then resumed, and now sex. Actual, amazingly hot, wet, passionate- he let out a deep, chest reverberating growl- love making.

"Just a couple more minutes, then we'll stop." Cordelia patted his back.

"Five minutes, tops. I'm not gonna last long anyway." He admitted in a harsh wheeze. Firm hands suddenly pushed him up again. "What? Too much?" He asked, puzzled.

"You're undead. You don't need to breathe. You have super strength. Where's the stamina?" She demanded.

"I wasted it burning dinner, arguing, and trying to resist your feminine charms." Angel glared.


"Do you want me to stop now? 'Cause I can do that."

"Don't you dare."

"Cordy? Do me a favor?"


"Shut up. Save it for the stage."

"I would, but someone who requires supernatural visions to funnel through my head ruined my career." She reminded him, a well placed heel digging into his calf, making him wince.

"Well, did you audition for soap operas lately? I hear they have lots of roles that just scream for 'bitchy'."

Cordelia gasped, reached back and fumbled for a bottle of holy water.

"I was just joking!" Angel yelped.

Cordelia dangled the bottle over her lips. " Keep pissing me off. I'll drink some. And then that thing you liked me doing earlier, the thing with my mouth?" She smiled evilly, "You won't like it so much anymore."

"Truce?" He surrendered, practically feeling himself shrivel.

"For five minutes."

"It's already been five minutes."

"Then five more!" She closed her eyes and turned off her brain, trying to concentrate on just feeling.

Ten minutes later...

It stopped being a back and forth. There was no more going back now, no more making jokes or jibes. They'd somehow realized they were crossing into a private territory they might never go into again, and it was too precious to fool with.

I love him. I want to give him all of me, every inch of me. But I hold back, at least a little. Because if I don't- there won't be anything left of either of us.

She looks at me with a look I've never seen before. Honestly, in searching through all the faces of lovers and all the sexual encounters in hundreds of years- Angel could swear he'd never, ever seen this look. She looks at me with so much love, and so much fear in her eyes, all at once.

He looks like he's being chased, like he's running to something and away from something all at once. Boy, I hate this. Not him, love him. But talk about Mr. Complicated...

What's in her eyes, is in mine. I was never this scared in my life- that I could hurt her and lose everything that means anything. She's trying not show it, but I can hear her heart pounding, scared even to breathe- but she loves me enough to try this.

Angel's eyes blinked, flickered in sudden relief. "Hey." Cordelia returned the startled expression. "I just figured out it's going to be okay." He whispered, and moved to capture her lips. But as per usual, they were still in motion.


"I can't be perfectly happy." Which makes me pretty damn happy. But not in a bad way.

She rolled her eyes. "Again, why?"

How to sum up years' worth of feelings that had suddenly crystalized in a single glance? Flatly, like always. "Because if I do, I'll lose you." Angel murmured softly.

Tears sprang suddenly and completely unwanted to her eyes. Yes. Duh. That's why we do what we do, this whole night, these past couple years, that's always been a huge part of us. How to say that without saying "Well, yeah. I figured that out forever ago, idiot."? Cordelia smiled into his eyes, blinking her own moist ones.

"You couldn't have figured that out before I dressed up like a slutty Indiana Jones?" She teased in a choked voice, moving her armed wrist and hand before his eyes.

"No. I mean, yes, we knew that, but there's a deeper knowledge now. It plays in my head, over and over and over, reminding me I love you- and there's something in your eyes that never relaxes around me." He confessed, a pained expression crossing his face.

Her face mirrored his. "I want to, Angel, I just can't right now."

"But you still come to bed with me." It was a declaration, not a question.

She nodded, barely breathing as she replied, "I love you more than I'm scared."

He nodded back. "I love you enough to stay scared. To not let myself sink into bliss."

Cordelia let out a grin of mild relief. "A little fear is good."

He looked guilty. "It was always an aphrodisiac for me."

She rolled her eyes. "Not scared like that." She grabbed holy water, unscrewed it, and took a swig. " Go on. Kiss me. I dare you." He only gaped. "See? Like that. A little fear, a little edge."

"I know. I was only trying to explain..."

"Don't explain. I dared you, now kiss me, sissy boy." She winked.

He laughed. "You're amazing."

"I know."

Ten minutes later...

"Yes! Yes, that's it, I'm right- ooh- ohhhhhhhh." Cordelia never finished her sentence, merely let the orgasm wrack her body, and squeeze him until his limbs locked.

This is it, been so long, never been like this, oh God, this is going to be amazing. Angel grunted sharply, and his motions turned jerky and erratic, head back, eyes unfocused, chasing the long promised release.

Cordelia watched the face transform, relax, inhibitions floating away, felt the juddering thrusts halt, the buttocks tightening- and slapped him full across the face, hard.

"Arrrrrrhh- ow! Hey!" His cry of pleasure turned to one of shock, though on autopilot, his body finished the job, spurting inside its snug paradise. "What? What was that for?" He demanded, so confused, tingling from erotic sensations and face stinging unpleasantly.

"You looked happy!" Cordelia justified.

"I was!" He was amazed he could want to kiss her fervently and slap her right back, all at once.

"Then I was right!" She proclaimed triumphantly.

"No." He explained patiently. "Not perfectly happy, just happy." Still pretty happy. But wow. The moment, the worrying moment, it's gone. He laid down with a grunt beside her.

The two heroes looked each other over, drinking in the sight.

Flushed, olive-hued skin, glassy eyed and sharp eyed by turns, breathing hard.

Pale, dripping, chest heaving pointlessly as their eyes met.

"Was it good?" Cordelia asked quietly.

"Very. Not perfect, but..." Angel rolled over to her, and draped on arm over her slender shoulders.

Cordy smiled her wide grin. "Mmm. Mission accomplished." She preened.

The pair surveyed each other for a moment in silence again, then she broke the post-coital stillness. "I'm sorry if I was too bitchy." She gave a wincing smile.

"I'm sorry if I left any bruises." It was a genuine fear for him, and a most genuine apology.

"You didn't."

"And you weren't." He cleared his throat. "Not more than usual." He took an elbow to the ribs and sighed. " I do. Um. Love you."

"I love you, too." Cordelia snuggled up against him, content. Happy. Happiness turning into a burning flame inside her actually. We did it! And we're both alive! He loves me... She sighed.

Angel sighed in return, then frowned. "We have to be very careful about this." Dammit. I was getting all relaxed and peaceful. Peaceful isn't the same moment of pure inner joy, that- oh what the hell. This is better. At least safer.

She rolled over head on his shoulder, peeking her eyes up at him, the rest of her face hidden on his skin. "Oh, believe me. I get it. We could get into a habit, get lazy or sloppy and boom. No soul and no more alive."

He nodded gravely. "Right."

"So not too often. I liked just being with you." True. All this time I thought the guy had to have money, power, a large Armani wardrobe- turns out all he has to have is the right heart. Although he's totally handsome and owns a freaking big house and a decent car. I think I did all right. "We do okay, don't we?" She murmured tentatively.

"We do great." He tucked her up more firmly to his side, something that surprised them both at first. They weren't cuddly. Are we cuddly now? Neither pulled away. Maybe it belonged in the post-sex relationship. Speaking of which, "There are lots of ways to- please each other without hrm- what we just did." He coughed.


Silence descended. They rested together, spent, mostly satisfied, not entirely at ease.

"Stop pacin, you're making me crazy, Dude."

"Sir Wesley of Stressed-ville. Be seated. Have a drink." Lorne closed his swatches wearily and tucked his pen back in his pocket. "Uh-oh."
"What?" The trio of investigators demanded frantically.

"Wes, can you print out another one of these spells?"

Gasps of horror resounded.

"No, no, nothing like that, I just realized I wrote down all my color choices and fabric numbers on the back of this email." Lorne giggled nervously.

"Oh, for God's sake, Lorne!" Wesley stomped off to his computer. "Fred, how's that amplification coming?"

"I'm a physicist and a geek, not an electrician or a sound technician." Fred put down her screwdriver with a frown and a twitch. "And I think this is getting a little creepy on our part. And on their part. I don't wanna spy on Angel and Cordy! On the other hand, we haven't heard a peep in awhile." Her eyes suddenly got wide. "Wes! What if he turned, and bit her, and she managed to dust him in the process, and now she's lyin' up there, bleedin' to death, too weak to get help, or dead, or she shot him an' he's hurt real bad, too, or-" Fred's rambling train of worry derailed as she suddenly clutched both hands around her long brown braid and bolted for the stairs. "We gotta check!"

"Finally!" Gunn tore after her.

"I hadn't even considered they both might be injured..." Wesley raced behind them, sword, orb, and a cross stacked haphazardly in his arms. "Lorne! Bring that print out!"

Lorne rubbed his temple. " 'Help the kiddos', I said to myself. 'They deserve to feel love, they deserve a champion's reward', I said to myself. 'It's the right thing to do', I said. Well, no more. Next time I'll just tie 'em together and shove 'em in a closet. Out in Altoona. That should be far enough away..." He ambled to his loafers, and looked up the stairs, then at the little makeshift stash of alcohol beside the coffee pot. "Nah. It never helps anyway." He grabbed the spell and headed after his friends.

"Cordy! Angel! Is everything okay in there?" Fred bellowed, then blushed. "I mean- sorry to intrude an' all, but-"

"Yes, we're both still alive. And we have souls." Cordelia's strident, annoyed voice jarred them all back a step.

"How do we know that's true?" Gunn demanded. "Tell us something only Cordy would know!"

"She'd know it anyway, she's still herself, even if she's a vampire." Wesley muttered, elbowing him, blanching at the words he just heard himself utter.

"Angel! Say something!" Fred pleaded.

"Uh... Hi, Fred?" Angel's uncomfortable voice said faintly.

"It could be a trick. They could both be bad now. Or- he could be making her talk."

"You have trust issues." Wesley frowned at Charles, and then patted him on the back. "An excellent thing to have around vampires, Angel excluded. Usually."

"This is so awkward." Angel groaned, cheeks aflame, though not outwardly.

"You think this is awkward? Try getting a stiletto caught in a soft-top convertible's hinge. A Mercedes' convertible your borrowed from your daddy- and a Gucci shoe you borrowed from your mother. That's awkward." Cordelia swung her legs out of bed, and pulled on her black blouse, marching determinedly towards the door.

Angel sat up. She's seriously not.

"Hang on a minute, I'm coming!" Cordy shouted, picking up her red pants, deciding she couldn't bear to put on the skin hugging leather when she was all sweaty, and dropping them.

She is. "CordyCordyCordyCordy!" Angel chased after her, speaking in a breakneck whisper. He almost caught her arm, and then drew back with a yelp as she flung open the door. He scooted behind it just in time.

"Well- can we get y'all anything?" Fred asked solicitously.

The door popped open, and a disheveled Cordelia, clutching a shirt closed across her ample bust and letting it flirt with disaster at the tops of her thighs, gave her a saccharine smile. "A pizza in about an hour would be terrific."

"Plain or with pepperoni?" Fred asked reflexively.


"It's a good question!"

"Are you alright? Are both of you?" Wesley pushed Fred gently to the side.

"Yes. Now go away. Far away. Well- down to the lobby anyway." Cordelia hissed and pushed his shoulder. "You're all turning into nosy perverts!"

"Perverts! We're not the one's fuckin' the undead." Gunn reminded her hotly.

"Charles! Language!" Fred gasped.

"Sorry, baby." He apologized and looked suspiciously at Cordelia before smiling, reassured by the realization that she was still wearing her cross on a chain and he could easily see her breathing. Her chest was practically slapping him in the face. "I had to have my big sister's back, you know that."

"I know that." She smiled- then glared playfully. "But don't you trash talk about the boss. He is my man."

"I am? Really?" Angel's pleased, surprised voice rang out from behind the door.


"Uh. Yeah." Angel ducked his head, and only his head around the door. "Hi guys."

"Hi." Fred burst into giggles. "Oh! I'm so happy for you both. I'm gonna go order that pizza."

"I'm - I'm gonna sit downstairs. I'm still ready to throw down, though." Charles looked pointedly at Angel, and tapped the blunt edge of his ax to the wall. "Try not to hurt each other."

"Yes. Or the furnishings." Wesley turned away hastily as well. "The company cannot afford to pay for friendly fire."

Three left as one ambled into view. "Well, well, well. Hello, Lovebirds. Flying high are we?" Lorne grinned.

"Nice and high. But not too high." Cordelia smiled.

"Good. Hi, Tall, Pale, and Embarrassed. You gonna hide behind that door all night?"

"I'm not really dressed for company." Angel pointed out with a glare.

"But someone sure is. Wowza. Cordelia, you look ravishing. Or ravished." He winked.

"See you later, Lorne." Angel began to close the door.

"Ah ah ah." Lorne held up a hand. "I need to hear something first."

Angel and Cordelia rolled their eyes as one, and then began to sing two different songs.

"The greatest love of all-" Cordelia's wavery, off key voice began.

Angel looked heavenward, mainly to avoid Lorne's eyes, "When a ma-an loves a woman-"

"Oh boy!" Lorne waved them to silence hastily. "Yep. Yep, a beautiful rendition. Souls in place. Hearts in place. No one's evil. That wasn't what I wanted to hear." He grinned, crooked a finger and coaxed. "C'mon... three little words to your very own green genie, and I can go downstairs and start ordering accent lamps."

Cordelia caught on, and smiled, leaning forward to kiss his cheek. "You were right."

"Oh. You were right." Angel smiled.

"And that's what I'm talkin' about." Lorne twirled in an about face, and slid down the hall. "I feel good, do -n-do-n- doo doo, I fee-eeeel good, and I knew that I would now..."

The door slammed behind him.

"Is this weird now?" Angel asked uncomfortably.

"Not weirder that usual." Cordelia tossed her hair, then slid out of her shirt. "And the weirdness gives us a nice imperfect feel, don't you think?"

"Oh. Uh-huh. Yes, it does." Angel's nether region gave a suddenly reawakened surge. "The reality kick definitely adds... something." He found it hard to talk when he looked at that stunning form. Harder still when she began to walk towards him.

"I was just thinking." Cordelia shrugged nonchalantly "We could probably get away with twice in a row. Just this once. Considering how much hassle it's been."

"Mm. Maybe." He let his hand rest on her silky thigh. She moved it further in. Temptress. "You want to see see how imperfect looks from the top?"

Cordelia laughed and raced to the bed, her naked partner following her. He slid in on his back as she bounced in on her knees, kneeling above him. Oooh, he has the bad boy smirk all the sudden. Makes me wanna ride him until I lose feeling in my legs. She ran her hands up the broad, creamy chest, steadying herself.

Ohh you are a wicked woman, Cordelia Chase. Angel swallowed and watched her move over him, with that wretchedly hungry, sinful smile on her face.

There's a little half dark, half light glimmer in his eyes. Never seen that before. Like he can't wait to devour me. Oh. Devouring can be very bad in this case.

Still, she laughed, reached over to the dresser and grabbed the heavy golden cross from the pile of crosses and other holy implements, and dropped the long chain over her head.

Angel winced as it swung near him, and then settled in as it came to rest between her proud breasts. "You know that's going to make it impossible for me to grab those without getting mild burns, right?"

"Oh, I know." She bounced them enticingly and watched a look of frustration pass over his face as she straddled his waist. "It's either this, or I can just undo this safety catch..." She touched the latch on her wrist.

"No! You heard Wes and Gunn. No friendly fire- to us or the furniture."

"So." She cupped her breasts, tantalizing him. "It's a look but don't touch deal. How annoying is that?" She grinned perkily. He tried to smile back. Then both smiles faded as they joined together, looks of concentration and desire taking over.

After a moment or two of positioning and getting comfortable, when baser pleasures released them enough to think more clearly, Cordelia reached down and caressed his jaw with one hand before her fingers locked with his. "I'm sorry it's not relaxed, that it's not better, that I can never make it perfect for you. I hope you know," her smile faltered, "that I would if I could."

Angel closed his eyes and let the feel of her warmth crest over him, warring with the faint unease brought on by the crosses beside him and above him. They skated on the edge of perfection, always, both of them in themselves as individuals, as well as together as friends, as lovers. Even now, in this moment, there was always some flaw under something so beautiful.

But it was better than anything he'd ever had before. "I have you with me. That's all I want. It's perfect enough."

Thank you for sharing this glimpse into an alternate world, life on a different stage.