Dreaming Of You by Christie Baird
Summary: Cordelia and Angel had a happy...here are the consequences...
Spoilers: Season Three.
Notes: To my wonderful father, William Baird, Dad I love you, I know you'll read this and cry, but it has to be said. You're my light.
vicious circle. Same thing, over and over and over. I go to work, I come home, I
sleep. And in dreams, he's always there. Always constant - my heart and mind
filled with him, filled with conversations we'll never have, filled with my
admission of love that he returned before I doomed him to a life of torment.
"Cordelia." His voice fills me with amazement, here he is again, and though I know that this dream will end badly, like they so often do, my heart skips a beat, my eyes pool with tears and I turn.
"A-Angel?" Every night I reach for him, and he holds me close, one hand circling my waist, the other stroking my hair tenderly. It hurts, being so close to him and knowing I'm going to wake up and every night before we talk I ask the same question, looking up into chocolate brown eyes, "Can we stay here forever?"
Angel nods, tears sliding down his cheeks, "Always." He whispers, wiping salty tears from my cheeks with the pad of one soft thumb. And then he takes me to the place he wants us to be, the place where, for tonight, will provide us some kind of solace, some kind of peace. Tonight, we belong in my apartment, sitting in front of the fire, the last place I saw my Angel, the last place I uttered the words that I loved him - and the last place he returned those words. The fact that this was the place where my life ended, doesn't matter - the only thing that remains is that this was where he told me he loved me once again, and he meant it. We lie there contented, in the blissful aftermath of sweet love-making, something that can only ever be repeated in dreams - sweet bitterness for when I wake up, I'll be able to remember every kiss, every touch of his skin on mine - everything, and when I awake, I shall be alone again, left with the memory of the night before. Strong fingers trail a light pattern on my skin, his touch burning through me - making me sigh. For I know that soon, I shall awake again.
"Cordelia?" He says softly, looking down at me. "Don't cry." The tears are sliding down my cheeks and I squeeze my eyes shut, not wanting to look at him. "Why does it always have to end?" I whisper, sadly. "Why can't we ever just be together...always? You promised me always..."
Angel's tears on my shoulder make me turn, look up at him. His face sad, eyes full of regret. "Always is a long time, Cordelia." He whispers. "You don't have an always with me."
And so it starts, the words cutting through me like a knife. "Our always ended when you killed me."
"I know." My shoulders slump forward and I stand, going to look out the window. "It'll be light soon." Is that really me speaking?
"You have to go." Said Angel quietly.
I nod. And slowly I wake up from the peaceful slumber that protected me.
When I look in the mirror now, I don't recognise who I am anymore. I killed him. In a moment of loving him I took away his soul and for that I'll always pay. As I sit here, I wait. Not for Angel, but for Angelus. I've made a deal with the devil. I take the cross down from my window at night, he lets my friends live. He uses me...for his own gratification and I do it willingly. I hate that he can set my skin ablaze by touching it. Every night, the same. Me willing myself not to let him get to me, to shunt the obvious arousal when his fingers are on my skin, his lips on mine. And every night, I try to pretend that this is Angel, touching me like he did the first time. The only time. The way I see it? Angelus is an easier ticket to get out of this life. I already know I'm dying. The visions are killing me - and I took solace in Angel's arms...we took solace in each other and it cost Angel his soul. There's no cure for me. We know that now. I'm dying. But for now, I strip down to my underwear and take the cross from the window, waiting for him to arrive. Praying that this night, will be the one that takes me to my Angel.
I hope he doesn't hate me the way I hate myself, my body for reacting to Angelus so. But we all make sacrifices and this is mine. I let him use me, Fred, Wesley and Gunn live on. I haven't told them about this. They'd die of shock themselves if they found out. Just have to keep hiding the bruises. What makes it worse is that...he wears Angel's face. If he wore his true, vampiric face, maybe I could justify it...say that I really am sleeping with a demon. But sometimes, he's so gentle, it's like Angel's back again and that's when I get scared. I'm human. I make mistakes. But this is my biggest yet. And somehow? I get the feeling that even after I die I'm going to be paying for this one.