Chapter 8 – Information Exchange

chapter 8

Angelus watched Cordelia tug ineffectively at her wrists to try and touch him even though she knew that the cuffs locking her to the headboard wouldn’t budge. She was so out of it she wasn’t thinking straight and that’s was exactly how he liked her to be. Ever since she’d blown up at him over Buffy the night before she’d done everything she could think of to make it up to him.

While normally she would just agree to do anything he suggested, deferring to him as the one with the most experience, in her eagerness to please she’d even suggested a few ideas including this one. As he firmly thrust into her ass with increasing strength she loudly begged him for more. God, he loved his vixen this way, tied to the bed and begging.

“Say it!” He demanded, not for the first time that night, every time it was the same answer with a few variations depending on how far gone she was over what he was doing to her willing body.

“I want your cock! I need to feel you inside me! Please! Fuck me harder!” He watched the tears of frustration fall from her beautiful eyes and gripped her hips that much harder.

“Why should I?” As he spoke he began to slow his thrusts just enough for her to notice the change in pace, like he just might stop completely and leave her just like this.

“Because I was a bad, bad, girl to question you about her, I need to be punished please!” She was practically sobbing with want. He’d had her on the edge for hours now and hadn’t allowed her to cum. The beauty of it had been that it was her idea that he punish her for her transgression. She truly believed that she’d been wrong to question him about Buffy, to accuse him of going behind her back like that.

“Cum for me baby, I want to watch you fall apart.” As her screams of pleasured pain filled the room he knew it was only a matter of time before she stopped feeling the need to question him at all. When that happened, she would belong to him in every way and it wouldn’t matter what anyone else said or did. She would never leave his side. She would never leave his bed. “Good girl Cordelia.”

Buffy looked at the shock and anger on her friends face as she talked about everything she knew about Angel and Cordelia and she knew she’d done the right thing coming to Willow. She’d been slightly worried that her ever practical friend would take the same outlook that Giles was, that she didn’t have any right being jealous. Then again Giles wasn’t a teenage girl so of course he didn’t understand what a giant problem this was. All he could see was that she and Angel had separated before he started making such a monumental mistake with Cordelia. He didn’t see all the unofficial rules Queen C was breaking by being with her boyfriend.

“Then he was just all dismissive of me in the bathroom while I was trying to mend fences. I was being the bigger person, being all forgiving, and all he wanted to do was get back to Cordelia.” So she’d edited what happened a bit, that was allowed.

“Wow! So Angel had sex with Cordelia again? What a mean thing to do, I mean she had to know that you were going to get back with him at the meeting. How could she torpedo you like that? So not cool!”

“Exactly.” Finally someone else understood. “The only thing I can figure is that she was trying to get back at me for not falling all over myself to be nice to her. After all the world does revolve around her. So she sees Angel before I get there and decides to seduce him. Well we both know that wouldn’t just work, Angel’s way too smart for that plus he’s totally in love with me, so of course being the giant hoe that she is she must have filled his head with all kinds of lies. I figure she must have told him that I knew about the two of them and I wouldn’t forgive him, that’s the only reason I can see he would be stupid enough to get with her again. He thinks he’s already lost me.”

Yeah, his behavior in the bathroom had just been because of whatever nonsense Cordelia had told him. Her Angel would never talk to her like that. She was his everything. He’d just been defensive because she’d opened with an aggressive attack. Her telling him that she’d seen him with Cordelia must have confirmed his deepest fear. That he’d lost her. The conversation had devolved so quickly she hadn’t even been able to tell him that she forgave him, he must still think that she hates him.

“Poor Angel. Could you imagine thinking your only option in life is to be with Cordelia? That would be a nightmare. What are you going to do?” That was the tricky part.

“I don’t know Will, I have to find a way to tell him that I forgive him without bringing her up and making him defensive, but also without bitchy herself interrupting us. I think I might swing by his apartment after school and try to catch him there. Cordelia has cheer practice this afternoon right? No way she’d skip that so I should be in the clear for at least two hours right.”

“Sounds like a plan.” It was the only plan she had anyway. Hopefully this visit would end better than the one before it. As the bell began to sound she couldn’t help the rush of heat that filled her as she thought of the last two times she’d been in Angel’s apartment. In his bed. Hopefully everything would go better this time.

Cordelia took a deep fortifying breath as she stared at the library doors. Beyond those doors the font of knowledge waited, she just had to hope that Giles really meant it when he said he’d help her if he could. As she began to walk forward the tug and pull of her aching body brought a smile to her face. While the slight burn of her marathon sex with Angel was uncomfortable, it was also kind of nice having that constant reminder that Angel preferred her over Buffy. Anytime she started to go down that rabbit hole of thinking that he would run off the second small blonde and perky looked at him sideways she just had to shift in her seat and she remembered that she had already done that. And he turned her down! Apparently epic love didn’t hold a candle to mind numbing sex.

She wasn’t stupid enough to think that Angel actually loved her or something. No! His lovey-dovey feelings were more than likely still centered on Buffy, she would just make do with having his body instead. Marching through the doors she found Giles right there at the counter sorting through books, like always.

“Cordelia, good morning, was there something I could help you with?” His tone was still all British and formal, but it seemed to be warmer than she was used to. Maybe he had been telling the truth about not being so frosty.

“Yeah, actually there is. Did you mean it yesterday when you said you’d help me if you could?” Her question stopped him in his tracks and dragged his attention to her and away from his books. Wow, she didn’t even know that anyone other than Buffy or another adult could do that.

“Most certainly. Do you require my assistance?” He seemed genuinely worried for her, it was kind of nice.

“Okay, I’m going to tell you something but I need you to promise you’ll keep it to yourself. No sharing. Oh, and no judging either. Okay?” If he couldn’t promise not to spill everything to saint Buffy then she would just have to find another way to get the information she was after.

“Very well. Whatever you say to me within the confines of this library, unless you expressly say otherwise, will remain in the strictest confidence. I shall also endeavor to reserve judgment. What can I help you with?”

“Okay, well you know how Angel and I have sort of gotten together right? I swear though he and Buffy were like completely on the outs when we first hooked up. I don’t poach. Well, this thing with us has sort of turned into a bit of a regular type thing, I see him more often then not. So I was thinking about it yesterday after you and he went on and on about the things he did as Angelus-“

“Cordelia I assure you that Angel is now quite harmless, the deeds of his past have long since come and gone. He no longer behaves in such an unreputable way.” Oh how sweet, he was trying to reassure her. Totally unnecessary but still totally sweet.

“Oh yeah, for sure, I know that. Gypsy curse, cuddles and rainbows for all. That’s not what I was getting at. See, what I realized after that conversation was that I couldn’t follow along with it you know, because I didn’t have the information that you did. I don’t know what Angel was like before. I wouldn’t ask, but he already knows about most of my life and I don’t know anything about his. Other than knowing that he’s a vampire who used to do bad stuff but doesn’t any more, I’m kind of in the dark.”

“I see.” And off went the glasses.

“Normally with a guy I’m with if I wanted to know something I would just ask the guy, but even I noticed how Angel doesn’t like talking about his grrr days. So I figured I’d ask you if you could give me the 411, kind of help me get on a more level playing field.”

There she’d asked, now it was out there and the ball was in his court or whatever. If he didn’t feel comfortable helping her then she would just suck it up and go to Angel directly. Worst that could happen would be that he’d say no after all.

“I shall make a bargain with you Cordelia. Everyday during your final period in here I shall explain part of Angel’s past to you. In exchange I would like you to consent to some self defense lessons during the latter half of the period. You may not be a slayer but there are some things you could learn that can help you when faced with a supernatural opponent.”

“Deal.” It wasn’t such a high price to pay for what she wanted to know, besides learning how to fight was probably a good thing for her right now. Hearing the bell sound she turned and made her way towards her first class of the day, today was definitely looking up.

Willow stood just outside the locker room and tried in vain not to fidget anymore than normal. She was waiting for Cordelia, since she had an appointment with one of her teachers coach was letting her leave early and now would be the only time that she could talk to her alone. She tried not to let her fear of the girl who’d made her life a living hell for most of their formative years overwhelm her. If she let that happen then she would chicken out and she’d never say what she knew she needed to say. Looking left and right she tried not the let the deserted school hallway unnerve her, this was not scary, she’d seen scary and this wasn’t it. Just because Cordelia could reduce people far more confident and self assured than her to a babbling mess of insecurities and pain with only a few simple words, that didn’t make this scary.
She could do this. For Buffy.

Hearing the door begin to swing open she turned just in time to see Cordelia breeze past her like she wasn’t even there. Like she was invisible. Even though she’d spent a great many years trying to make herself invisible to Cordelia and her Cordettes, being so completely overlooked still stung. It was that sting of humiliation that gave her the courage to speak up and say what she’d come there to say.

“Cordelia! Could you hang back for a minute. I think we need to talk.” The cold look of utter and complete disdain and dismissal tossed her way was almost enough to make her back down, out of habit and self preservation if nothing else.

“What the hell could you and I ever have to talk about?” Okay so they weren’t exactly on the best of terms right now, but did she have to go all Queen C on her?

“About you and Angel. Buffy told me all about finding you and him in the library and I just had to ask you why you would do that. I mean I know you and Buffy aren’t exactly friends but seducing her boyfriend on the day you know she and he were going to get back together is low even for you. Wasn’t screwing him once in front of her good enough for you? What did you just have to twist the knife by doing it again?” There she’d said it. Now she just had to brace for the blow back. Seeing Cordelia narrow her eyes and look at her like she was just some disgusting little bug that was about to get splattered across her windshield kind of knocked the wind out of most of her sails.

“Listen here, and listen good, what I do with Angel is none of your business! What I choose to do with Angel is none of Buffy’s business. What I choose to do with Angel is none of Xanders business. What I choose to do with Angel is no ones business but mine and Angel’s. I get that you think that he and Buffy have this epic Romeo and Juliet romance, that they’re written in the stars and that their love will conquer all, but they aren’t together right now. They. Broke. Up. I don’t understand why that is so hard for you people to understand. They were together, then they weren’t together, now he and I are having a thing. Maybe they’ll get back together one day, maybe they won’t, but that choice has nothing to do with me and even less to do with you. So back the hell off red, before you really piss me off.”

She watched Cordelia turn to go, she should just leave it at that, but she couldn’t stop herself from one final parting shot.

“Angel may be blinded by your easy nature at the moment but sooner rather than later he’ll see that he hasn’t truly burned his bridges with Buffy like you want him to believe he has and they’ll be back together like they always should have been. Then you’ll be out on your whoring ass, alone, like you always should have been.” Turning the other way, she hurried down the hall not wanting to hear anything Cordelia might have to say to that.

Oz stood silently by his locker, still and un-noticed by the girls further down. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. His Willow, loving, kind, adorable, book-worm, Willow was being cruel. Or at least she was trying to be, it was hard to tell with Cordelia if she was succeeding or not. The one thing that had always held him so close to Willow had been that she was so… Willow, but this thing between Buffy, Angel, and Cordelia was changing her into something very not… Willow.

Shaking his head he left thoughts of his girlfriend for a later date, right now the one who really needed him was Cordelia. It just seemed to him that someone going through everything she was at the moment could use a non-judgmental friend in the know. Now he just needed a find a way to let her know that he was volunteering for that position. He’d always like Cordelia, sure she was a little mean sometimes, but that was mostly just because she was brutally honest. He could respect someone who pulled no punches. Closing his locker he began to wander towards the library, and Giles, they had a lot to talk about.

Spike woke to Dru dancing around the room again. She’d been doing that more and more of late.

“Dru, what is it sweetheart?”

“The fox is looking into the darkness. Soon the shapes will take form and the fox will see it. Soon the little Vixen will be all ours for the taking.”
As Dru began to laugh and sing to the stars that only she could see, Spike just shrugged and resigned himself to wait for something to make sense of her words. Everything usually became clear eventually, if you had the patience to wait for it. Fortunately for him waiting was something he was good at.

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