Cordelia and Angel disagree on the application and use of tinsel on the Christmas tree.
- CONTENTS: C/A in AtS
- CATEGORY: Holiday Fic / Christmas
- RATING: R
- LENGTH: Short Story / 1,300 words
- STATUS: Complete
- FICPIC CREDIT: Lysa
Curled up on the circular couch in the Hyperion lobby, Cordelia teetered on the edge as she turned in her sleep, awakening with a surprised snort as she sensed she was falling. As she jerked into a sitting position, momentary confusion hit at the blinking colored lights and sounds of soft Christmas music. Then she recalled that the gang had gotten together to decorate the tree Angel had spontaneously bought for the hotel.
It was a beautiful tree, perfect in symmetry and just the right height for the spot Angel chose. Mister Perfection had obviously shelled out a load of cash. As if that wasn’t enough to make Cordelia suspect that her favorite cuddly vampire had been replaced with an evil alien clone, he’d volunteered to take her shopping for Christmas presents for the gang tomorrow night. Normally, it took a huge effort on her part to get Angel to do anything remotely Christmassy.
A yawn held her voice captive for a moment. Cordelia had no idea what time it was, but knew that it had to be way past midnight. Late even for their normal hours. There was no sign of anyone except Angel in the lobby. He stood by the tree holding a strand of tinsel between his fingertips.
Cordelia wavered to her feet and walked over to his side. “Where are the others?”
“Gah!” Angel turned to stare.
His big brown eyes were wide with surprise. She’d actually snuck up on him for once. “Geez, that’s usually my line.”
“I was concentrating,” Angel held up the tinsel for her inspection. He turned back to his task, positioning the strand on a branch and then adjusting it twice.
Glancing at the tree, Cordelia realized that Angel had started on the task before she had fallen asleep. Only one quarter of the tree was now decorated with the tinsel. “The others got tired of waiting, didn’t they?”
“Wes left right after you fell asleep,” Angel told her, picking up another single strand of the tinsel. He glanced around the lobby as if realizing for the first time that Fred and Gunn were no longer there. Concentrating, his eyebrows quirked up and he quickly tried to block out the sounds he’d picked up. “The others decided they had better things to do.”
“Who wouldn’t. Mold grows faster,” she pointed out. “Who put you in charge of the tinsel?”
Cordelia’s mouth formed an ‘O’ as she remembered giving him that task. After watching him rearranging the ornaments they’d put on the tree into a ‘better’ position, she should’ve known that tinsel would be dangerous. “You’re putting it on one strand at a time.”
Glancing back at his work, Angel looked a little hurt as he admitted, “Of course. It looks great, doesn’t it?”
She had to admit, “Yes, it looks perfect— too perfect.”
The obvious criticism confused Angel. How was it possible to be too perfect? He figured an explanation might help Cordelia to understand. “By putting them on one by one, I can maximize the reflection of the colored lights without obscuring any of the ornaments.”
“Uh huh,” Cordelia nodded, unimpressed. “You’re forgetting the most important rule of Christmas tree decorating.”
Angel silently awaited enlightenment.
“Having fun, you dork!” Grabbing a handful of tinsel, Cordelia started tossing a few strands here and there letting them fall randomly across the pine branches. She twirled around, still tossing the tinsel in the air. Closing her eyes, she threw a few strands over her shoulder.
Wide-eyed, Angel reached out to adjust a few strands that landed in a lump only to receive a sharp slap on his hand.
“Ah, ah, ah!” Cordelia shook her head. “Leave it, buster. No fluffing the tinsel.”
“Perfect the way it is.”
Taking another handful of tinsel, Cordelia held it out to him. “Your turn. C’mon, big guy. Let loose. I know you’ve got it in ya,” she teased smilingly.
Angel took the tinsel, but didn’t make a move toward the tree. His mouth slowly curled into a captivating smile as his gaze swept over her face and hair. Leaning in close, he reached up, his fingers threading through her mahogany tresses.
“What are you doing?” Cordelia sucked in a tiny gasp unable to look away from his eyes.
There was a soft flutter against her cheek as Angel pulled the fallen tinsel from her hair. “We’ll save this for the tree. You don’t need any adornment.”
Cordelia’s responsive grin faltered as she saw past the friendly tease in Angel’s voice. He wasn’t one to hand out compliments lightly. Normally, he didn’t look at her as if she was the center of his world. Or gaze at her mouth a hungry glimmer in his eyes.
Reflexively, Cordelia traced her tongue across her lips and watched as Angel’s mouth got closer and closer to hers. Hooboy! He was leaning in to kiss her and the mere thought of it made her panic. It was the why of it that got her.
Why her, why now, why—
When Angel’s lips melted into hers, Cordelia stopped thinking about the reasons why her best friend suddenly decided to change things between them. Gossamer kisses quested across the soft silk of her mouth heating quickly. She moaned his name, winding her arms around his neck as Angel pulled her against his muscular body.
Opening to the wet slide of his tongue, Cordelia trembled with arousal. He kissed gently and then deeply, hot and sweet. Oh, so can’t get enough good.
Angel hands wandered from the firm curves of her bottom, across the slight span of her waist to linger at her breasts. She arched toward his touch and took every opportunity to reciprocate. How different it was to touch Angel like this.
He was so responsive to her. Every kiss, every trailing fingertip, the press of her nails and the nip of her teeth worked to arouse him. Right now she wanted more. Big and hard he pressed into her hand as she slid her open palm down the front of his slacks.
As if her touch shocked them both into their senses, their lips parted, Cordelia breathing hard. Angel dragged her hand up to his mouth and kissed the center of her palm. His gaze smoldered with lust simmering down until only love remained.
Cordelia saw it and was awestruck as she realized this wasn’t a random act of passion, but something that went too deep to be ignored, for both of them. He looked petrified for a moment and Cordelia realized that she hadn’t said a word since they stopped kissing.
Grinning brightly, she slid her arms around Angel’s neck again. “You’re covered in tinsel.”
Angel stole another brief kiss. “I wanted this Christmas to be perfect— for you. I might have gone a little overboard with the tinsel,” he admitted.
“Oh, I dunno,” Cordelia muttered against his mouth. “Christmas is looking pretty perfect so far. Told you tinsel was fun!”