Never Disturb a Sleeping Vampire
Cordelia has something she needs to tell Angel, but he’s sleeping.
Will she wake him, or stick to her personal rules about never disturbing his sleep?
CONTENTS: Cordelia / Angel
CATEGORY: Cordelia POV
LENGTH: Short Story / 1,300 words
FICPIC CREDIT: Lysa
Never disturb a sleeping vampire.
One of those rules to live by—living being a very good thing in Cordelia’s book.
So why was she standing on the threshold of his bedroom door planning to wake him up?
She knew that it was probably for the best to wait until he came downstairs on his own. To find a way to talk to him privately about important things.
Maybe it would be better to say nothing. Keep everything to herself. Telling him would change nothing. How could it?
Dennis had disagreed practically pushing her out the apartment door wearing nothing but her pajamas. Barging back into the living room, she told him that driving to the Hyperion at the crack of dawn was not a good idea. “I’m supposed to go like this?” Her robe, slippers, and car keys floated her way before his phantom hand nudged her back into the hallway.
A sleepless night of tossing, turning, and thinking about Angel’s reaction to what she had to say to him left her feeling even more muddled about the whole thing. Should she or shouldn’t she go in there, wake him up, and tell him absolutely everything? Cordelia had never been afraid of the truth or hesitant to speak it until now.
Everything she knew needed to come out felt like a thick knot in her chest squeezing her heart. How could she do this? Telling him was a risk. She did risky things all the time, but not this. It might change everything. Ruin everything. But nothing could change, not really. Wouldn’t that be worse? Telling him would require waking him up. Breaking one of those cardinal rules she had set for herself when it came to having Angel in her life.
Be brutally honest.
If brooding is unavoidable, be there for him when the mood hits.
Don’t bone your boss.
Be his friend, his seer, his family, everything else he needs.
Keep a stake in your desk.
Never disturb a sleeping vampire.
Yup! It seemed smarter not to distract someone with fangs when he wasn’t fully aware of his surroundings. Angel’s vampire instincts still ran deep even with the iron control he usually maintained. Though he would risk walking in sunlight if it meant saving her, or any of their friends, there was still a part of him that was dangerous.
Coming here now was not the best of ideas, but she had done it anyway. Instead of bursting into the room, she opened the door as quietly as possible, and closed it behind her with little more than a soft click after stepping inside. She moved slowly across the carpeted floor trying to decide how best to go about waking him. Thinking she should have just slammed the door, she glanced that way, but decided against it. The bedroom door was now behind her and she needed to move ahead with this plan.
Catching her first glimpse, Cordelia held her breath at the startlingly delicious sight in front of her. Angel lay motionless beneath the soft cotton sheets tangled low on his waist. A hint of a waistband peeked out confirming that he wasn’t completely nude under there—a thought that felt out of place, but also left a twinge of disappointment. One hand rested on his taut belly, the skin beneath layered over the dense muscle she knew simply from patching him up countless times or from accidental touches during training sessions. The restrained strength in those hands, capable of breaking her, could also be so gentle. The touch of his palm against her face, his fingers smoothing her hair, holding her protectively in the circle of those big, strong arms whenever she had a vision.
Fully exposed, his contoured torso made for interesting eye candy as she let her gaze wander across his smooth skin, his solid, impossibly wide shoulders. His handsome face in a state of rest, no broodiness straining against his forehead or the contours of his lips. Did he dream? If so, they had to be pleasant ones—although what might constitute good dreams to a vampire might make hers seem pretty tame. There was no outward indication of it. No REM movements beneath those closed lids. No movement at all, she realized, fascinated to learn a new detail, even if it was just about how Angel slept.
So still, the reflexive breathing that Cordelia had sometimes noted had always been a facade, a vampire trick, was not on display now as he slept. He had admitted as much when she asked him pointblank one day thinking it odd that he would bother to fake anything with her. By now it was habit, Angel had said. It had nothing to do with making her forget that he was a vampire. As if she could—a cursed one at that.
He looked so peaceful in his sleep. Unburdened by the demon living so close to the surface. The hours that had passed since Cordelia last saw him were scant in number, but felt longer, as if they had been separated for days instead. Maybe it was just the lack of sleep making her feel unsettled, or just that she honestly wasn’t quite ready to spring this on Angel just yet. Morning sounded better. Technically, it was already morning since the sun’s light brightened the horizon on her drive across town. Later, she meant, because her foggy thoughts made sleep far more appealing than what might happen if she chose to wake Angel up.
Cordelia eyed the empty side of the bed next to Angel and briefly thought about the room she kept here at the Hyperion. It was really more of a place to store clothes, shower, and change when she needed it. Angel brought her here after her visions began to worsen. She was used to his bed, and the comfort it brought to her. Not that he was usually in it at the time, but that made no difference now.
She wanted to sleep, and to be there when he woke up. There were things to say, but they could wait just a little while.
Slippers shucked off easily, one of them flopping under the bed. The robe slipped to the floor where Cordelia dropped it making little sound as it slid down across arms and legs and silky short PJs. Grasping the edge of the sheet, she moved it aside and lifted her knee to the bed.
The shifting movement of the mattress was enough to stir him as she crawled in beside him. With anyone else, she mused, Angel would have noted an intruder’s presence the moment they entered the room. He’d be awake and ready for whatever came through the door. Familiar and trusted, she raised no red flags. In a way, she belonged there, and so he had slept on undisturbed until now.
Curling up next to him, Cordelia knew there was available room on her side of the bed, but she saw no need to cling to the edge just to avoid touching him. Fluffing her pillow, Cordelia rolled to her side, glancing up at Angel to see him stirring. “Cordy?” Her name was on his lips without him being fully cognizant of it. Hushed tones urged him to, “Go back to sleep. It’s just me.”
A grunt of acceptance sounded as his arm closed around her. Angel pulled her close as if he’d done it a hundred times, letting her find a comfortable spot. Cordelia did not try to resist as it felt good, perfect, so normal to be there with her head against him, and his big hand covering hers as it relaxed against his bare skin. As he fell asleep again, a contented curve graced his lips. Reality not disturbing his dreams one iota as if the two were not so dissimilar. Cordelia was not far behind him, her eyelids growing heavy with every blink, the contentment of being in Angel’s arms tugging her into the land of nod.