Fic: Staring into Forever and Nothing
Title: Staring into Forever and Nothing
Genre: Romance, angst
Prompts Used: N/C
Summary: (Post "That Vision Thing") The pain is getting worse by the day and it's getting harder to fight, but when Cordy has a dream about her own mortality, Angel makes her see that death doesn't matter.
This was her normal now. Stumbling back into the apartment at stupid-o'clock in the morning, tired and torn and dripping with the icky. LA life was… Well, it beat being Sunnydale's scream queen—she kicked evil's ass now—and she had her boys to take care of, and her—whatever Fred was. She liked her life, loved it. But. Damn if there wasn't an ugly-ass BUT. The throbbing in her head was getting worse by the day and exhaustion was a ton weight on a weary body, almost convincing her to collapse on the carpet and never bother to hoist her tired, listless body up again.
Dennis flicked the lights on as she hobbled to the bathroom, shaking hands fisting another almost empty bottle of industrial strength pain meds. Popping two pills and swallowing them dry, needing even a moments respite from the pain, she glared at her reflection with vicious scrutiny. If she didn't know that it was her in the mirror, she wasn't sure she would recognise it. Cordelia Chase, high-school Goddess, replaced by a weary-eyed adult. Hair scraped back in a pony-tail, make-up ravaged by rain and sweat, mascara raking claw-marks down hollowing cheeks. Her eyes distinctly blood-shot. If she had the energy she'd smash the damn mirror.
Peeling off her clothes from Angel's 'I'm sorry' collection, she sank into the bath, and yanked the shower to life. Blasting herself with warm-water massaging and buffing away demon slime and cloying memories. Memories of dead friends and brain-splitting visions, of hospitals and pills and keeping secrets. Some stains just never wash off.
Dennis shut the lights off as she climbed from the bath, towel-dried, naked, slipping between stain sheets. Without even trying she fell into dreaming.
Flickering, stark florescent light danced aggressive circles on golden skin, cold and goose-pimpled, shaking. A doctor leans over a desk, folder clutched between gnarled fingers. The folder falls open and the colour drains from the world like the skin of the dead. Tears splash against the image of a brain, one that's sick and fading.
She's in a hospital bed, hands raking through her hair. Her breath chokes over tears. Hands pull away and are dripping. She floats on a river of blood.
Then she's in the shadows, a shadow herself. She reaches out before her, hand resting on someone's shoulder. Grips it tight. Figure knelt in sodden grass, hunched and cold and weeping. His head is resting against a tombstone. She kneels beside him as the rain begins to fall. Gently she places soft lips against Angel's cheek and whispers in his ear, "now we're both dead."
The rain is red and bloody, just like his tears.
"But only one of us is a ghost."
The pain ripped through her head like a bullet and dragged her out of slumber. Her nostrils were filled by the smell of salt and copper. Something warm dripped into her mouth. A finger brushed tentatively beneath her nose and came away red and wet.
She didn't even realise she was crying. Tears soft and gentle, streams drawn by angel wings. She couldn't move. She was scared. She thought she might be dying.
Dennis lifted the phone and began to dial. Cordy was frozen and he couldn't help.
"Hello? Cordy?" Angel said desperately on the phone.
He could hear crying, and breathing and a lot of silence. He didn't even hang up the phone. He was already running.
When he burst into the apartment, the room was drawn in dusk-light and shadow, and Cordelia was waiting.
Her face was scrubbed clean and deathly, fatigued eyes misting with tears. Her hands were painted with the faintest swirls of blood. Her body was bare and golden with the glisten of sweat, hair wild and ravaged. Unneeded breath was trapped in his chest. She looked so fragile. And more beautiful than any creature, real or mythical.
Her eyes searched him desperately with something like fear and needing. Her lips silently formed a name; "Angel." She took a step towards him, and felt like she was gliding. Another step, another, until their chests touched. She inhaled the unnecessary breaths he panted out, eyes locked in shared urgency and confusion. Her hand reached upward to bury itself in his rain soaked hair as she pulled his face to hers into a feather-light kiss.
He pulled away first, not understanding. He… He loved her. He could hardly remember not loving her. But she didn't, she couldn't… "Cordy? Are you sure?"
Cordelia didn't say a word. She slipped her hands into his shirt, feeling the tensed muscles beneath, glancing between his eyes, lips and chest. She slowly began to unbutton his shirt, kissing lightly the skin she revealed. She pushed the silky material from his shoulders, tracing muscles and bones beneath cool skin, watching his shirt fall delicately to the floor.
Breaths and sighs were a melody that wove through the room. Angel could hardly make himself touch her, for fear of breaking whatever spell she was under, but when her head lay on his chest—long eyelashes tickling his skin—and her fingertips flitted over his tattoo he couldn't stop himself. He captured her face in his hands and pulled it to his in a searing kiss.
They were melting. Floating. Lost in a world of fire and ice. She tasted like sweetness and honey and spice. She tasted like fear. Like pain. His mouth made her shiver in the best way. She moaned and his tongue slipped into her mouth, the feeling in the blurry lines between delicate and passionate. Bare chests brushed together, sharing heat. The two of them were melting.
This time she pulled away, smiling at Angel's whimper from the loss of contact. She turned, and with her back to him, fingers laced through his, she pulled him lightly in the direction of the bedroom, ignoring the dawn trying to bloom behind the blinds.
Then they were falling. They fell back onto the bed, mouths slipping restlessly against one another's, nimble hands working until his pants were a distant memory. Mouths and hands explored, softly gracing each other's skin. Cordy's warm mouth trailed bites and kisses along Angel's chest, Angel's hands leaving fingertip caresses along every inch of golden skin he could reach. One finger slipped inside her, eliciting a gasp as he gently drew out her slippery essence, painting delicate swirls on her thighs. Her soft, pillowed walls pliable yet tight, drawing his finger inside over and over. His mouth paid special attention to her faintly blood-stained hands, kissing and licking and sucking long fingers into his attentive mouth, his hands still buried deep within her quim until she pulled him up to her in another breathless kiss and he finally slipped himself inside. She'd never been so full, but they fit perfectly.
Bodies moved together in perfect symbiosis, deep thrusts and shared moans blanketed by slow-burning passion. Whilst her hands ghosted wildly over his flesh, his were buried in her hair, gripping tightly not ready to let go. Through every thrust and caress their mouths were locked in a heated kiss, coveting and savouring their lover's taste.
Her muscles squeezed him tightly as she crested waves of pleasure, crying out into Angel's mouth. The flutter of her around him pushed Angel over the edge and he filled her with his spendings.
They lay in the bed for a long time, still intimately connected, Cordelia's back against his chest, Angel's arm draped over her abdomen. He lay with his eyes shut, listening to her breathe and waiting to wake up from this perfect dream.
Cordelia sighed and he felt something drip onto his arm. She turned to face him, hot, salty tears making twin paths down her flushed face. "Angel," she couldn't look into his eyes, instead she focused on the arm wrapped around her, "I think I'm dying."
Angel's grip tightened. His eyes pulled shut and his head lowered so their foreheads lightly touched, "I am too."
And she almost did it. She almost whispered 'you're already dead.' But then she understood. He was dying for her. And that meant, for a while, at least, that dying didn't matter. The Sun burned through morning clouds and hours slipped by. Forever could have happened and neither would have noticed. In each other's arms nothing mattered. Not even death.
They were already dead. They would live forever.
Cordelia didn't cry again.