First Date by Psychofilly
Summary: This will hopefully be some short fics based on the premise that Buffy and Angel try and keep a connection after Angel comes to LA, but the purpose of the stories as they are written is to illustrate the change in *Angel* and the C/A dynamic over a period of time.
Spoilers: Early Season One.
Notes: I plan on four stories in this series, but I am a very slow and easily distracted writer.
thought you came to LA to get *away* from Buffy?"
"Cordelia." Angel sighed, exasperated.
"I'm just sayin'...far be it from me to give you dating advice, but when you break up with a person and move to another city to avoid them..." Her eyebrows rose as she watched her boss dress for his evening with the slayer. "I'm telling you, you should mix up the colors. You haven't seen her in what? Like, three months. Don't you want her to see how much you have changed for the better? Black on black is just...so..."
"Why are you still here?" the miffed vampire demanded. "It's Friday night, don't *you* have a date or something?"
The young woman folded her arms across her chest and flopped down on his couch in a huff. "Thanks a lot Angel. Point out the fact that tonight your social life is more active than mine why don't you?" She leaned back, rolling her eyes dramatically. "God I am such a looser!"
Angel stopped pacing the floor and buttoning his shirt long enough to give the brunette a curious once over, one side of his lips curling into something that resembled a smile. "You could always go out with Doyle..."
If looks could stake..."Oh, gee what a great idea! As if my social life hasn't taken a hit already working for *you*! Now you want me to go out with the little looser Irish guy."
"You could always quit," he said innocently, disappearing into the bathroom to fix his hair. He'd already sat through several hours of Cordelia weighing the pro's and con's of the "little looser Irish guy" since he had saved her recently from a vampire. Cordelia wandered over to the door to his bedroom and leaned against the doorframe.
"You'd like that wouldn't you?" She waved a finger in his face when he poked his head out of the bathroom, toothbrush in his mouth. "Well you're not getting rid of me that easy!" she sighed, her body deflating. "You know what the sad part is?" He shrugged an eyebrow. "I'd probably go, but between my brand new *fabulous* recently de-haunted apartment, and the new head shots I had done, I am flat broke! Ugh, Angel! I NEVER used to be broke, and now that's all I ever am. It's depressing."
Angel spit and rinsed. "That's life, Cordelia- get used to it." She stuck her tongue out at him, and he resisted the urge to smile. "Now why don't you go upstairs and wait for Buffy. She should be here soon."
Cordelia's features hardened. "What insane logic is behind this *date* of yours?"
Angel griped Cordy by the back of the neck and ushered her to the steps. "Not that it's any of your business, but we just want- we're just trying to- learn how to be friends."
Cordy turned and stared up into his eyes, her expression softer than any he'd seen from her. "Angel...."
"No Cordelia, it's really *isn't* any of your business but that's ALL that's going on." He stared at his toes, uncomfortable with sharing his fears and feelings with the brash young woman who had insinuated herself into his life. Finally he met her eyes, hedging his answer because really, he couldn't pin down the logic of it either. "I know we can't *be* together, but I don't want to forget...I don't want *her* to forget," he shrugged, his voice soft. "Maybe one day things will be different, and I don't want to be a stranger if that happens."
Surprisingly Cordelia eyes were moist with sympathy. He opened his mouth to tell her to go when she threw her arms around his shoulders and gave him a bone crunching hug. Out of sheer shock, his arms came up and wrapped around her though his body was uncomfortably stiff. If anything she squeezed harder, and after a moment he relaxed, allowing himself to be comforted. Just as abruptly she let him go and pulled away.
"You get groiny and I'm staking you both," she sniffed, turning and heading up the stairs. He smiled at her retreating form. "And color.... Think about it!"
Angel stood for a moment staring at the spot Cordelia had just inhabited, then with a confused shake of his head finished getting ready.
Exactly thirty minutes and a manicure later the door to Angel investigations opened and a blond head peeked nervously inside. "Hello?"
"Buffy, it's *so* great to see you!" Cordy's overly cheerful greeting made her flinch. "I'd do the hugs and air-kisses, but that was never our thing and hey! Why start now huh?" She waved plum colored nails in the air. "Plus, I don't want to muss- but hey."
"Hey Cordy." Buffy responded, neither surprised or put off by Cordelia's attitude. She had resolved to simply let the cumulative effect of Cordy wash over her and be the mature one. She after all, was in college. "Angel here?"
"I'm here!" One needlessly breathless sounding vampire skidded to a halt by the door leading to his office. Buffy had to admit he looked good in black slacks and a nice, rich, brown button-down shirt. She glanced at Cordelia who was grinning from ear to ear as she very obviously was checking Angel out. Buffy's gaze swung back to Angel who was studiously ignoring the young brunette even though her ogling was making him shift uncomfortably. Angel smiled nervously at her, opened his mouth and a very feminine voice said...
"See? Vampire hearing...he heard you come in and ran all the way up like the big old...."
"Cordelia!" Angel interrupted. "I think everything is under control here. Why don't you take the afternoon off and.."
"No can do boss. Remember that conversation we *just* had?" She eyed him with complete and utter disdain. "No, of course not. You were too busy getting your hair juuusst so." She made a scrunching motion with her fingers and Buffy tried not to laugh. She could never imagine teasing the serious vampire this relentlessly herself, but she had to admit, Cordy apparently had it down to an art form. The self-same Cordy arched a brow and scooted over to her computer terminal and began to type. "Nope, I'm just going to be here, earning an honest buck like any hard working young starlet-in-waiting."
She shuffled some papers and actually picked up the phone and dialed out, completely disregarding the hulking presence of the man taking up space across from her. Angel stood there a moment processing his dismissal then turned to Buffy an oddly strained smile on his face. "So...you made it?"
"Yep." Angel gestured her towards his office. Buffy allowed him to lead her into the dimly lit room. He stopped in the doorway and she turned around. "Angel? Is everything ok?" There was a look of dawning comprehension on his face and slowly a sly smile spread across his features.
"Yes, everything's fine Buffy would you excuse me for just one second?" He shut the door before she could respond.
Cordy looked up from her office work, completely unsurprised when Angel appeared by her desk once more. "Can I help you?" She asked politely. "I thought you and the slayer had some one-on-one time penciled in?"
Angel actually rolled his eyes in a perfect imitation of her. "How much is it going to cost me to get you out of the office?" He held out a twenty that disappeared from his fingers with preternatural speed.
She began to type as a soft "Pfft." escaped her upturned lips. Angel glared but another twenty appeared only to be snatched from his grasp. Cordy's typing got louder if not faster and Angel took one purely calming breath.
"Last one Cordelia...." The typing stopped when the money appeared. She made her grab, but he snatched his hand back and pinned her with a hard stare. "I don't want to see you till tomorrow, got it?" Cordy's eyes were on the prize, her entire being focused on the money in his hand. "Got it?" He reiterated, handing her the money.
She smiled then, wide and wild...the one that could do real damage to a man's heart, or a demon's, as evidenced by the crash of Doyle stumbling over something because apparently he'd been watching her flash her pearly whites instead of paying attention to the business of entering the office.
"You're the boss!" She all but squealed as she dove for her purse.
Doyle righted himself just in time for her to grab him by the elbow and drag him back to the door. "Hey, hey!" He grumbled without making any effort to remove her hand. "What's the emergency!"
Cordy grinned, winking at Angel. "It's your lucky day.."
"I won the lottery?" Doyle asked his brogue thickening in his confusion.
"Nooo...you get the pleasure of my company for the rest of the afternoon, since Angel is too scared to let us hang around him and Buffy."
"Hey!" Angel protested.
"Buffy's here?" Doyle scowled not liking the sound of that, " Are you *sure* there's no emergency?"
Cordelia drug him out into the hallway and shut the door. "Nope just a wussy vampire and his prone to violence ex. Your better off with me- believe it." She waited patiently until he got the hint and opened the outer door for her. Angel watched and listened through the window as Doyle ushered her into the sunlight.
Doyle wiggled his eyebrows suggestively at her as she passed him and the door clicked softly shut behind them. Faintly, Angel heard him muse hopefully. "So I'm gonna get lucky eh?"
"Not in *that* outfit."
Angel chuckled and turned back towards his office. Buffy was leaning in the doorway watching him curiously. "So, did you just *bribe* Cordelia to leave us alone?"
Angel crossed his arms and tried not to look guilty, or like a complete and utter moron. "No."
Angel woke in the pitch black shelter of his bed. The cool dark of the room suggested midnight but some internalized sense told him it was closer to nine AM. He let himself drift in the illusion of solitude his bedroom provided, turning over the events of the previous day in a endless dog chasing it's tail, pointless sort of way.
Angel had refused to make a plan for the day. They weren't going on a date, and he didn't want to do anything that would be a painful reminder of just how much they couldn't share for either of them. Despite her ill-hid disappointment, Buffy had accompanied him on a few case related calls and they tried to get past the awkward, stilted trickle of conversation and find a zone where they could talk comfortably and just get to know each other again.
The day had ended with his face between her legs and Buffy screaming his name.
Angel had learned over the course of the day that Buffy hated Spike too and kinda dug a guy named Riley. She was struggling with her classes but she enjoyed them more than she had thought she would and there were commando's stalking the campus for some ungodly reason. By the end of the evening he'd dove between her knee's, irregardless of the danger to his soul, just to shut her up about her life that seemed to be going perfectly fine with him out of it no matter how much she claimed to miss him.
He took a deep breath, pushing down the rising frustration, only to smell the faintest trace of eau de Doyle. Which meant he wasn't as alone as he'd like to be. He got up, opened the door then realizing his state of complete undress turned back and snagged a pair of grey boxers and stepped into them. Cordy was always complaining about the lack of color in his wardrobe, if she only could see his underwear he thought -grey, not black- she'd faint.
He padded noiselessly into his living room. Feeling a tickle, his hand slid southward under the hem of his boxers to give his balls a healthy scratch and adjustment. He heard a distinctly feminine throat clear. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes and looked down to find Cordelia reclining on the loveseat right about eye level with his crotch...his hand jerked out of his shorts so fast there was an audible snap of elastic.
"Thank you, Al Bundy for that lovely image! Ugh, is there anything grosser than men?" She huffed.
Angel stalked to the refrigerator, using the heavy door to cover his embarrassment. "I'm a vampire.." He mumbled under his breath.
"Well, duh." Cordy agreed hearing him despite the low tone and the heavy door hiding him. "Sure the blood sucking falls on the side of ew, and no one likes it when a vampire attacks, but can there really be anything grosser that raw unrefined testosterone driven manliness?" Angel straitened, a plasma bag in his mouth and an armful of breakfast supplies in his arms. From the corner couch Doyle groaned. "I didn't think so." Cordy confirmed, watching him move about the kitchen from her spot, making no apparent effort to move. "Don't make Doyle anything. I don't think he'll be ready for solids till at least around four or five." Her expression turned unrepentantly evil. "Maybe he'll have what you're having...."
"Shut up you devil woman!" Doyle moaned, the thought of an o-positive breakfast obviously making his stomach turn.
"Like you shut up last night?" Cordy exclaimed indignantly. She turned to the barely clothed vampire who was discretely sipping his blood while he fixed her eggs and chopped up fruit. "Cheese please!" She smiled wide and he nodded heading for the fridge. "You should have heard him last night, Angel, he tried to start a riot in O'Malley's. He brought up the whole Irish religious thing between Catholics and Protestants and then started shouting about the persecution of both towards demon religions." She rolled her eyes. "You can guess how well *that* went over...."
Angel put the finishing touches on Cordy's cheesy eggs and popped a piece of cantaloupe in his mouth as he contemplated his life. He had a moment to realize that no matter how much he missed Buffy, he was doing perfectly fine here in LA. He had a mission, and he had friends. He saw an almost endless procession of day's like this. Doyle struggling with his own demons, atoning for his own sins. He hoped one day the young half demon would trust him with those secrets, trust him to help him carry the burden.
Cordy's laughter brought a faint smile to Angel's lips. Cordy who he hoped would make it as a star if that's what she wanted, though he was beginning to realize he might just miss her and her brand of peculiarness in his life if she did. She threw him and steadied him and made him smile and laugh and forced him to get over himself. He had been frustrated last night -since coming to LA really- because he hadn't had a clue as to how to begin to be anything besides Buffy's boyfriend.
Through Doyle and Cordelia, he was learning.