Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Lorne/OMC, Angel/Cordy, Gunn/Fred, Ensemble
Challenge/Prompt: tamingthemuse #547: Serenade
Word Count: 1,476
Date Written: 17 January 2017
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, except Ricky Martin, belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission. Ricky is his own being. Everything else is mine.
"So I look out my window, right? And there is Ricky Martin serenading me."
Fred's mouth drops open. She stares, wide-eyed, at Lorne who twirls his drink in the air to add emphasis and style to the story he's telling his girls. "And he's wearing feathers like a showgirl."
"No way!" Cordelia exclaims, her hazel eyes equally as wide as Fred's. "You've got to be making this up!"
"So what if I am?" Lorne asks, shrugging one, Armani-clad shoulder. His red eyes twinkle. "You're enjoying the story, aren't you?"
"Gosh, yes! Hush, Cordy! Let him finish!"
"Well, honey," Lorne says with a twist of his wrist, "you know what follows next. The story's practically finished unless you want the steamy details of what happens next after I let Ricky climb into my window."
He sips his cocktail as Fred's glasses steam at the mere thought. Cordelia, however, rolls her eyes. "So you shook your bon bon all night long."
"Oh, yes! I shook my bon bon and his bon bon all night!" He winks again. "And it's not completely made up. It did happen, just not with Ricky Martin."
"Of course not."
"His name," Lorne tells them dreamily, "was Enrique, and he was a shapeshifter."
Cordelia's interest piques. "So it wasn't Ricky Martin, but it was a Demon who looked like Ricky Martin?"
"Oh, yeah, baby," Lorne croons.
"Even if he didn't look like Ricky," Fred sighs dreamily, "just think about havin' a guy serenade you like that! Gosh, Ah love it when Charles just sings along with the radio to me!"
"Gunn sings?" Lorne asks in surprise. "I thought he had some talent that one night you three got on stage."
Cordy makes a face. "Don't remind me," she says, slowly sipping her own drink and hoping it will ease the headache left behind by her latest vision. "But it would be so cool to have a guy sing to me like that!" She coughs and adds quickly, "Not that I didn't have guys falling all over me to do whatever I wanted back in high school."
Lorne reaches over and pats her hand. "Of course you did, brown eyes." He arches an eyebrow at her. "But did any of them sing like Ricky?" His red eyes shimmer with the delight of his revisited memory.
"Nah," she admits. "None of them could carry a tune in a bucket." Yet it's not the boys who chased her in her days of reigning in Sunnydale High's hallways as Queen C to whom her mind turns. Instead she makes another face as she hears Angel singing Barry Manilow again. That's one man who tries to sing on occasion but who most certainly can not.
"It didn't last though, even with him singing my praises like that. We enjoyed each other that weekend, but by the next week, some sexy Vampire walked by and got him all hot and bothered."
"It wasn't Angel, was it?" Fred asks in a hushed whisper, her eyes growing even bigger.
"Nah, sweet cheeks. It wasn't our Angelcakes. I didn't meet him until he walked into Caritas after moving here."
"It wasn't that Billy Idol wannabe either, was it?" Cordy asks.
"Who? Spike? Nah." Lorne shakes his head. "Just some random, hot Vamp. They do seem to have their way with women," he sighs, "and us guys who swoon over our own gender."
"What are you girls gossiping about?" Faith asks dryly, stalking through the kitchen of Angel Investigations headed for the fridge.
"Just reminiscing, darling," Lorne answers as she yanks open the door and grabs a beer.
Fred wrinkles her nose. She doesn't see how her Charles and Faith can drink that stuff. "We were talkin' 'bout guys," she tells her, ignoring Cordelia's mouthed warning of, "Don't." Cordy again rolls her eyes, but Fred continues undaunted. "Lorne was telling us about a lover he had once who serenaded him underneath his hotel window. Wouldn't that be so sweet??" She sighs wistfully.
"I guess." Faith shrugs as she shuts the door with her booted foot and pops the top of the beer can. "If you like that kinda thing." She takes a swallow from the can.
Fred frowns. "What do you like a man t' do?" she asks curiously. Cordelia shakes her head. Lorne looks down to his drink.
"Fuck 'em an' leave 'em is my style, babe."
"But that's not romantic," Fred argues.
"I don't need romance with this life style."
"You're tellin' me ya never wanted some romance, rather you needed it or not? Ah find that hard ta believe."
Fred frowns. Faith eyes her from over the rim of her beer can. "You never, evah dreamed o' havin' a guy romance you?" Fred persists, almost bringing a groan from Cordelia. "O' bein' rescued by a Knight even when you were a little girl?"
"No. I was never stupid enough to believe in such."
Fred's face flushes just as Gunn, Wesley, and Angel stride into the room, each loaded down with as many weapons as Faith herself is carrying. "What's wrong, babe?" Gunn asks, walking over and wrapping his arms around Fred's small frame.
"N-Nothing," she says, blushing and looking away from Faith. "Ah . . . Ah was just tryin' to include Faith in some girl talk. Mah mistake."
Gunn kisses the top of her head. "That's sweet, honey, but Faith doesn't do that stuff. She's one of us guys." He and Wesley continue on.
Faith looks at Fred's sad face, glances at Lorne watching Angel and Cordelia making eyes at each other, and snorts. "Fine. I guess if I had to choose something as being romantic . . . " She pauses, mulling over the concept as Fred sits back up at eager attention. "The most romantic thing a guy could do for me is have my side. Not ahead of or behind me but right there beside me through it all no matter what comes."
Fred nods slowly. Faith finishes her beer, crumples the can, and tosses it in the trash. "You coming," she asks, glancing at Angel, "or you gonna keep watching the cheerleader all night?" She strides on toward the impending battle without waiting for an answer. "Don't wait up."
Angel lowers his head in that shy way Cordelia knows means he would blush if he had enough blood running in his body to do so. "Go," she says quietly. "They'll never win without you."
He smiles the little, shy half-smile that means he's loathe to leave her but has a duty they both know he must fulfill. With another nod, he's gone after the other three fighters, leaving the others to consider Faith's words that still seem to hang in the room around them.
Fred sighs. "Ah wish Ah could fight," she laments, looking down at her spiked, sweet tea.
Lorne wrinkles his nose. "I don't. There's only one thing I like getting all hot and sweaty for."
Cordelia laughs, but not for long. Her mind instantly returns to Angel and the look they shared. He doesn't exactly stay beside her. He has to go before her at times, because he can fight things she could never stand for long against. She's not a fighter nor is her other two friends who remain in the room around her, but other than fighting, Angel does stay beside her. He never leaves her when she truly needs him, and there are so many times like tonight, when he knows her head is throbbing from her vision, when he wouldn't leave her except that he's got to in order to save lives. She needs to get back to practicing with him. She'd like to learn to be a fighter one day just so that she could fight beside him. They can't stand side by side together now, but maybe one day . . . or, rather, given Angel's condition of sunlight being lethal to his Vampire body, night . . .
And maybe, one night, she thinks, the alcohol beginning to have its effect, he might finally learn to sing. Even with his croaking voice that sounds like ten cats' tails being caught in a washing machine, if he was to dedicate his song to her, it would still be beautiful, she thinks.
Lorne refreshens their glasses, then raises his. "To our heroes," he toasts.
"Here, here!" Fred heartily agrees as Cordelia smiles, tilts her head in agreement, and clinks her glass against theirs. Angel may be out saving the world, but she knows she's a large part of why he's saving it. She's not just Vision Girl. There's something more between them these nights, something more than boss and secretary, than hero and sidekick, more, even, than the dearest of friends, and maybe, one night, they will stand side by side together and face the world, and all its darkness, in love.