Rating: Erm, PG? Or R.
Summary: Not much of one yet, just Angel helping to tighten Cordelia's corset for a case. And it's kind of hot. Set sometime s2 before Charisma relieved herself from the weight of that gorgeous hair she had.
Notes: Once a couple of years ago, I asked for prompts to help with a writing block, and landrews gave me one about Cordelia in a corset. I couldn't make it work until now, but I never forgot the prompt. Totally unbeta'd, so apologies for any errors.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Cordelia gazed at herself in the full length oval mirror, hands on her hips.
The corset was black silk and whalebone, stays threaded through loops and trailing limply down her back. Her hips flared softly out from under the laced bottom edge, her modesty protected by an almost sheer lacy black skirt falling below her knees in uneven waves.
Her hair was gathered into soft cascades on her head, held up by a hundred hairpins, and the black ribbon around her throat emphasized the length of her swan's neck and the delicate curve of her spine.
Soft falling light stole through the curtains of the suite at the country Bed and Breakfast, an unlikely location for a corsetry convention. But given the stables out back, with saddles and men dressed in livery, maybe not.
The Modiste stood off to the side of the mirror, her head inclined as she considered her client.
"The stays need to be tighter, Mr. Angel," she pronounced finally, her green tail thumping the hardowood floor behind her as she spoke. Spikey thorns flared out of her head, shiny black and deadly-looking.
Angel moved away from his chosen spot at the far corner of the suite and once again stepped up silently behind Cordelia. And Cordelia once again stiffened slightly at the feel of Angel's knuckles brushing gently against her back.
Even through the rigid whalebone, she felt them.
"Deep breath, Cordy," he whispered, sounding pained. She nodded and inhaled, holding the pose.
The stays tightened, cutting into her waist, depressing her ribcage into her lungs. It was the third time Angel tightened the corset at the Modiste's urging, and Cordelia was beginning to see black spots. But she held her breath while he tightened it again, inch by hard-fought inch, pulling at her in small tugs that shouldn't have been disturbing.
But she was disturbed.
Finally the Modiste nodded.
Angel tied the stays with hard jerks, hands falling down and away when he was done, but didn't move from behind her this time.
She couldn't see him in the mirror but his presence was unmistakable, pressing along the length of her spine without touching her unncessarily.
His hands came up and cupped her bared shoulders, eyes on her in the mirror.
It's funny, he touched her all the time - mostly to keep her from hitting the floor during a vision, holding her while the horror played out in her head, pushing her from the line of fire, or just to help her across the threshold of some crumbling-to-the-ground cave that was about to collapse completely - but the feel of his skin on hers just then was doing things to her stomach, making her almost jumpy with nervousness.
It was just a case, she told herself. So what if it was in a kink club for people who liked the powdered wig era? It was still just a case.
"Are you okay?" he asked her quietly.
She wasn't sure if the unsteadiness of her breathing was due to the corset cutting into her lungs or Angel's proximity, but she panted softly all the same, and nodded.
"I'm fine. Let's do this."
She moved from Angel's disturbing closeness and stepped into the four inch black heels, turning to face him.
He held the leash almost apologetically.
"If you don't want-if this is too much-"
Cordelia stepped closer, expectant.
"Time's wasting, big guy. Are we gonna talk about it some more-" which they had, ad naseaum, all week long. "Or are we gonna get the show on the road?"
Angel nodded, taking strength from her firm tone, and stepped up to her, bringing the leash up. He pushed a finger into the ribbon at her throat, pulling it from her skin enough to snap the leash in place, pulling her head closer to him, and when he finally looked up and met her eyes, she almost fainted from the look in them.
Hot, swirling black, incredibly powerful.
It was all there in his gaze as he took her in - the leash in his grip, her corset causing her breasts to heave upward, her distressed breathing, the length of her legs in her heels - every horrible, searing, delightful thing that danced between them, turned up to eleven by her costume, and the knowledge that it wouldn't happen.
"If only Mr. Angel were so inclined, he and mademoiselle would be so beautiful together on Madame's stage." The Modiste sighed in disappointment.
"The check's in the mail, thank you for your help," Angel replied as they walked out of the room.
The Modiste sighed again, and began gathering up her materials.
"A shame," she muttered under her breath.