13: Double Dating
Chapter 13: Double Dating
Angel gave Cordy a hard stare hoping he heard incorrectly. “We’re going to what?”
“Double date,” she grinned at the vampire.
Turning to Buffy in a near panic at the idea, he demanded the truth, “You agreed to this?”
Slowly, Buffy found herself admitting, “It was my idea… sort of.”
The vampire let out a shout of irritation. “You mean Cordy talked you into believing it was your idea.”
“That sounds about right,” Angelus commented with a droll snort.
“Did not,” Cordelia responded defensively. Inquiring, “What do you think?”
Angelus gave a wry smile. “If that’s what you want. Besides, I think it’s about time Sunnydale realizes they’re twice as lucky to have me around.”
That had Angel rolling his eyes in typical Cordy fashion.
“Egomaniac.” Cordelia made it sound like a caress, smiling at Angelus in a way that suggested he had a right to be. “What about you, Angel. Game?”
Shaking his head, Angel crossed his arms over his broad chest as if adding another layer of protection against the idea. “No way, Cordy.”
Protesting, Cordelia pleaded, “Don’t be a party pooper. You’re the one who wanted all of us to get along together. This is a great way to have some fun at the same time.”
Taking a solid stance despite the fact that the cheerleader was practically tugging at his arm, Angel countered with, “Depends on your idea of fun.”
Getting into the idea that Angel was uncomfortable with this plan, Angelus loved it even more. He went as far as suggesting, “How about the Bronze?”
Buffy perked up at the thought. There would be a crowd at the Bronze. It wouldn’t be quite so obvious that they were double dating in a crowd. “That’s a good idea.”
As soon as she said it, Buffy was hit by a strange realization. Every nerve zinged in protest. She had just agreed with one of Angelus’ ideas. Must be the power of the Hellmouth!
Cordelia responded with lightning speed. “No way, Angelus. That’s advanced dating! Any activity that might involve total public humiliation should be avoided. So not on our list of things to do yet.”
“Humiliation?” Angelus didn’t see how he could possibly be connected with that word.
“Dancing,” Cordelia figured that single word should explain it all. Just in case it didn’t sink in, adding, “I’ve seen Angel attempt to dance. Slow is… good. Fast is… well, we won’t even go there right now. So I’m assuming that your dancing skills are of equal suckage.”
Angelus was standing apart from his double, but his defensive stance was just the same. Unwilling to admit it, the vampire merely held his tongue.
“Exactly.” Angel wasn’t going to bother denying it.
“So we’re all agreed,” Cordelia clapped her hands excitedly and hopped over to hug Angelus. “This is going to be so much fun.”
As Buffy and Angel exchanged questioning looks, both wondered exactly when everyone had agreed to the plan. Sending Angel an apologetic shrug, Buffy couldn’t help but feel that Cordelia had steamrolled all three of them.
And she’d done it with a smile.
Cordelia nibbled thoughtfully on the tip of her finger. “I suggest we start simple.”
“See,” Cordelia told the three silent statues sitting at the table with her. “This isn’t so bad. Just the four of us here at a quaint little sidewalk cafe.”
Buffy resisted the urge to point out that this was just the local Ice Cream Parlor not some Parisian nightspot. “Just us and that gaggle of girls staring at our guys.”
“What?” Cordelia turned in her seat to glare at the freshmen girls who dared to drool over Angelus. Who did they think they were dealing with?
At her haughty Queen C stare the giggling teenagers fled the scene. Buffy decided that silence was golden. She shoved a spoonful of ice cream in her mouth to stop from laughing at Cordelia’s response. Not that she wouldn’t have done some glaring of her own if those vampire bait wannabes kept staring.
Angelus relaxed back into his chair, giving them all a look that suggested this was an everyday occurrence. “We can’t help it if we’re hot.”
Cordelia raised her eyebrows in response before looking over at Buffy. Commenting wryly, “Told you he was an egomaniac.”
Sitting stiffly in the small wrought iron chair, Angel smirked a bit at Cordelia’s words, but remained silent.
Digging into her scoop of ice cream, Cordelia twirled the spoon around the edge of the small bowl. She lifted the spoon to her mouth, turning it upside down so that the ice cream melted directly on her tongue. As she pulled out the spoon and licked at it with an expression akin to passion, she realized that both vampires were staring at her.
“Mmm. Good stuff.” Cordelia spooned up another bite. Asking Angelus with a sparkle in her eyes, “Want some?”
Angelus stared down at the contents of the spoon. “No.”
“It’s ice cream,” Cordelia waved it in front of his face to tempt him. “Not the blood of a Tofu demon.”
While Angelus was busy avoiding the spoon, Angel corrected her, “That’s a Tofurani demon. It might be preferable to that stuff. Our taste buds are different than yours. That ice cream looks kind of bland.”
Setting the spoon back in the bowl, Cordelia looked at him as if he couldn’t make up his mind. “Complain, complain. The ice cream is too bland and my vamp juice is too spicy.”
Buffy finally piped up, “Bland? This is double mint chocolate chip.”
Scooping up the last bite and rolling her eyes in ecstasy, Buffy couldn’t understand how anyone could say that.
“Mine’s vanilla, but it is in no way bland.” Cordelia immediately thought about other non-bland vanilla things she had shared with Angelus and wondered if that had prompted her choice of dessert. “C’mon Angelus, just a taste.”
Adamant that he didn’t want to try the stuff, Angelus made a face. It was one thing to drink spiced blood, but this wasn’t blood at all. “No.”
Cordelia wasn’t going to give up so easily. Taking a spoonful and holding it up to her mouth, she told him impishly, “You just need a little incentive. C’mere! A little vanilla kiss won’t hurt you. Taste me.”
Watching Cordelia scoop the vanilla ice cream into her mouth, Angelus followed the instant the spoon was removed. Leaning forward in his chair, the vampire cupped her face with his hand as his lips descended onto the moist slant of her mouth still covered by a hint of vanilla cream. Tentatively, he smooched at her lips taking them between his own one at a time only to find his tongue darting along her soft inner flesh tasting her and the sweet hint of vanilla.
With a moan, Cordelia forgot about the ice cream melting in her mouth and threw her arms around Angelus’ wide shoulders to curl her fingers into his hair. Eagerly, their mouths meshed together sliding across each other seeking far more than just a taste.
Staring at the couple rather awkwardly, Buffy gulped down her nervous reaction. She had never thought twice about kissing Angel when and where she wanted to, but it was a bit different seeing someone who looked like your boyfriend macking on your former rival. Glancing away from the mind-blowing kiss, she looked toward Angel who was also staring at his twin with a totally blank look on his face. It obviously didn’t bother him one bit.
“Coming up for air soon?” Buffy cleared her throat when it looked like things were going a little further than first intended. Angelus nearly had Cordelia on his lap.
Sitting back in her chair, Cordelia looked rather dazed. “Wow!”
Angelus thought the same thing. Damn, but that girl could kiss. “Vanilla ice cream is almost as good as—”
Snapping out of her reverie, Cordelia realized what the vampire was about to reveal. Kissing in public was one thing, but she didn’t want him describing their first night together with their sweet vanilla sex as Angelus had termed it. Especially to someone who didn’t want the details. Cutting in, “Hey, Angel…you wanna taste?”
Buffy nearly fell out of her chair at the question. “What? I don’t think so.”
“I don’t have cooties.”
Letting out a distinct growl, Angelus left them in no doubt that he didn’t want Angel to have a taste of anything. Rolling her eyes, Cordelia suddenly comprehended the misunderstanding. “Angelus, I have a spoon.”
Snatching it out of her hand, Angelus didn’t care if she had a whole set of silverware.
“Brothers need to learn to share.” Raising an eyebrow as if he issued a challenge, Cordelia dipped her finger into the ice cream and held it out to Angel.
The growling in the background lowered to a constant rumble.
In the second that it took Angel to lift her hand to his mouth, he realized that Cordy was clueless about the direction her words about sharing had taken him. Pausing just before her finger touched his lips, Angel considered the fact that he was about to do a dangerous thing.
He could feel Angelus’ and Buffy’s eyes boring into him, but Cordelia’s sparkling eyes and teasing smile spurred him on. “Just a taste, silly vamp.”
Closing his mouth over her finger, Angel sucked down the ice cream, his lips opening a bit to pull her in deeper. His tongue swirled around to lap against her skin, rasping softly like wet velvet. Flicking here and there. Curling. Sliding up and down to gather every melting drop of sweet cream.
Breath caught in her throat, a hot buzz of electricity shot down from her fingertip to her loins. Cordelia found herself drowning in the ebony pools of his eyes, helpless to look away.
“Hello! That finger is mine,” she opted for sarcasm. “Liked it that much?”
Releasing her finger with a soft pop, Angel nodded, “Mmm. Delicious.”
Cordelia gave him a confused blink. The ice cream or her? “Next time, get Buffy to feed you. Double mint chocolate chip is to die for.”
“That’s why I carry a stake,” quipped Buffy. “No one gets near my ice cream.”
Laughing again, Cordelia gave the vampire a sad look. “Guess you’ll have to get one of your own Angel.”
“Good idea. Get one of your own,” Angelus repeated the suggestion. Then he found himself distracted by other thoughts. “Cordelia, my sweet, I want another kiss.”
With a smile curling her lips, Cordelia held out her hand. “Then give me my spoon.”
Angelus tossed the spoon onto the table. “Who cares about the ice cream?”
“What happened yesterday?” Xander asked Buffy. “We didn’t see you all day.”
Willow inquired with a creased brow. “Things okay?”
“Fine,” Buffy decided to keep it simple. “Truce called. Peace made.”
The redhead’s eyes popped wide in surprise. “You made a truce with Cordelia.”
Xander gaped in astonishment. “With Angelus?”
“This is Angelus,” Xander’s tone was tight with an undercurrent of anger. “He’s got Cordelia under some sort of thrall.”
“Angelus doesn’t have a thrall,” Willow told him with a sharp stare.
“Then why is she so willing to throw herself at a vampire?”
Buffy gives him a meaningful look. “Ahem.”
“I meant an EVIL vampire,” Xander clarified for her sake even though he saw no real difference.
“You had the same reaction when I started going out with Angel.”
“Yeah. For good reason, too,” Xander told her. “He’s your mortal enemy, Buffy, not Count Chocula.”
Cordelia stepped up to the group hearing the last part of the conversation. “Are we talking yummy goodness?”
“Angel,” volunteered Willow.
“So we are,” she confirmed her first impression. Then nudging at Xander’s shoulder, “You’re blocking my locker.”
Cordelia noticed that the conversation died as she arrived. They waited until she put her purse away and pulled out her books. Even now there were times when Cordelia felt like an outsider with these three. Not that she ever wanted to be an insider. She was just sucked into it.
Despite their differences, Cordy didn’t want to escape. “Xander, if you’ll stop staring at my ass,” she said before turning around to face them again, “you might see that I am actually a happy person this morning.”
“Staring? Who me?”
“No, the other dork that goes by your name who used to date me.”
Willow had to admit, “You were staring, Xander.”
“Thanks for the defense, Will,” Xander muttered sarcastically.
She gave him a chirpy smile, “No problem.”
“So you’re happy?” Xander asked her though he wore a frown.
The soft smile on her face erupted into a brilliant grin. “I am. Angelus makes me happy. Do I have to do your crazy Snoopy happy dance before you’ll believe me?”
Before her ex-boyfriend could react to her question Cordelia heard someone calling out her name.
“There you are!” Harmony’s voice sounded down the hallway causing Cordelia to turn toward it with a sense of dread. She hadn’t spoken to her ditzy blond friend since last Friday and so much had happened since then.
Seeing the company Cordelia was keeping, Harmony tilted her nose a bit higher.
“Well if it isn’t Cordelia’s Geek Patrol.”
“Good morning to you too, Harmony,” Buffy crossed her arms over her chest and gave the girl a dangerous stare.
“Maybe you should get to class, Harm,” Xander suggested. “Your brain cells need the extra time to warm up.”
“Shoo! Run along. Be a good little puppy and play dead or something.”
Cordelia suggested, “Maybe I should talk with Harmony alone.”
“See you later,” Buffy shrugged and headed down the hall.
Willow started to follow, but had to grab Xander’s elbow to get him to come along. “Run along and play dead at the same time? Who’s she kidding?”
Turning her gaze back to the other cheerleader, Cordelia gave her an expectant sigh, “Let’s have it, Harmony.”
“Why do you say it like that?” Harmony was immediately whining in response. “Like you expect me not to be angry that you completely snatched my guy out from under me?”
“Angelus is not a rug.” Cordelia returned. “I did no snatching.”
“Huh. I totally had dibs on him. You walked away from him at the Bronze and he picked me.”
Cordelia couldn’t deny that Harmony actually had a prior claim, but she knew that it meant nothing to the vampire. “It’s been over a month. Angelus hasn’t touched you since then.”
“No,” Harmony admitted with a pout. “So he’s been with you?”
“He’s mine,” Cordelia confirmed. “Every tall, dark and sexy inch of him.”
“Beth saw you with him at the café last night. The other one was there, too, with Buffy.”
“Angel,” reminded Cordy.
“Feel free to try and snag him, Harmony. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to go through Buffy to do it.”
“I don’t think so,” Harmony shook her head. Buffy scared her. Still, it was lots of fun to imagine herself in Cordelia or Buffy’s shoes. Her eyes sparked as giggled over the idea. “Two of them.”
“Yeah. I know,” Cordelia had to agree with the drool quotient. “Twice the eye candy.”
“So does Angelus have any more brothers?”
What was she hoping for? Triplets? “No. His only other relatives are out of town right now. Besides, I don’t think Spike is your type.”
“Guess I’ll have to settle for Devon. You don’t mind, do you?”
“Nah!” Cordelia responded as if she had never cared about the band singer. “What’s that they say about never letting a guy come between a girl and her friends?”
Harmony eagerly chimed in with a hopeful, “So you’re saying if you and Angelus break up—”
“Forget it,” Cordelia responded so quickly her head was reeling at the thought.
“So…is it everything I told you it would be?” Harmony asked her with a knowing look on her face.
Cordelia admitted with soft smile, “Better.”
“What about—,” Harmony was cut off by the class bell as it sounded overhead.
Realizing that there was one more place she needed to stop, Cordelia jumped in before the blonde could ask any more questions. “See you at lunch, Harm?”
“Yeah, Cor. I’m there.”
Cordelia darted into the library finding Giles behind the counter sorting books. It was awkward seeing him because in a way she had lit into him just as harshly as Buffy the other day.
Standing in front of him on the opposite side of the countertop, Cordelia simply asked him, “Are we okay?”
Rupert Giles had spent the past day trying to figure out how a teenager could use his flaws against him so effectively in an argument where he was trying to protect her. This sometimes self-centered and tactless girl had more depth than her friends and he himself gave her credit for. He hadn’t realized it until after Jenny’s death when she made an effort to check up on him.
He wondered if that was why he was so obdurate about his position on Angelus. He was in his own way jealous of the loss of attention. Now in her forthright manner she barged into the library to ask him if he was going to hold a grudge. “We both made valid points, Cordelia. I am still concerned about your relationship with Angelus for more reasons that I can go into.”
“Angelus has really made an effort to change,” Cordelia stressed her point.
Giles nodded, finally admitting, “Yes, he has thanks to you. In hindsight, I agree that he has been doing everything we have asked of him. That still doesn’t make it right that he should start an affair with you.”
“Buffy and Angel—,” Cordelia began only to be cut off.
“I don’t approve of their relationship either,” Giles pointed out stiltedly. “Angel is a vampire and Angelus represents the darkest side of his nature. That he has been able to suppress his demonic tendencies in your presence amazes me.”
Cordelia was tempted to forget about Buffy’s plan and ask Giles herself about his talk with Angel. The second class bell rang indicating that Cordelia was already late. “Are we okay?”
As she repeated the question, Giles pursed his lips in a reluctant response. “Yes, we are fine, Cordelia. I won’t hold a grudge about your comments regarding my past if you can live with the fact that I still have concerns.”
Well it wasn’t the wholehearted change of perspective that Cordelia wanted, but at least it appeared Giles would not hold it against her for bringing up his colorful past.
As Cordelia left with the library doors swinging shut behind her, the Watcher knew that his concerns could not be easily assuaged. It wasn’t just apprehension over the soulless Angelus, but concern regarding Angel as well. Everything that Angel told him that day in his office suggested that this deal with the Moirae could quickly go sour.
There was nothing Giles could do except watch, research and wait. He tagged on softly as the doors closed completely, “So many concerns.”