Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Challenge/Prompt: faerie_wish13: Theater/Drama Challenge
Word Count: 902
Date Written: 26 August 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
It seems she’s spent her whole life acting out one role after another. It’s no wonder she’s an actress, even if she rarely gets paid for it these days. Her whole life is on a stage. When was a child, she was the perfect daughter who made straight A’s and all the right moves and always kept her parents, and any other authoritative figure in her life, as pleased as punch.
Somewhere along the way, though, her parents stopped paying attention to her. Her father became too absorbed in making profits for his company, and her mother lost herself in drink. She could no longer please them whatever she did, so Cordelia’s audience became her whole school. She was the star, and everybody, teachers and students alike, clamored for her hard-to-win approval. Those who gained it were in as long as they held it, but those who couldn’t hold it, like Buffy and her friends, were targets for the rest of the school. If Queen C liked you, you could survive; if she didn’t, it would be a living Hell for you and anyone stupid enough to hang out with you.
But once again, Cordy had found the tables turned. She’d almost lost everything when she’d nearly lost her life, all because of one nearly fatal mistake with a stupid Zeppo. For the third time, her role changed as she went from being the star to the surviving underdog, but she did survive -- and brilliantly so.
She’s played a lot of roles in her time, but none of them have ever been harder than the one she finds herself having to fulfill these days. She wants nothing more than to give up her role, to throw her arms around her leading man and lay a passionate kiss on him worthy of any leading lady and her beau.
But she knows what doing so will mean: She’ll lose more than the man she loves; she’ll lose her best friend. She’s already lost so much. She doesn’t know if she can survive another loss, and she certainly doesn’t want to find out. So as he pulls closer to her, she pulls further away. She’s never delivered such lines as she does these days. She should definitely win an Oscar, or at least an Emmy, for every time she tells him she doesn’t love him.
She almost she wishes she didn’t love him, that, too, was simply a role she has to play to keep her life going the way it should. The problem is that Angel is almost impossible to love. She’s been falling for him ever since she first saw him the Bronze back in Sunnydale, and although his Vampiric status kept things cooled between them for a long while, these days, it’s taking every bit of her strength and determination to remember Angelus and keep from letting him know how she truly feels.
She’s not going to make the same mistake Buffy did. She’s not going to let Angelus out. She loves Angel too much to hurt him, and although she knows he loves her too, she knows what their love will inevitably unleash. She won’t do that to him, and if she does, she knows already she won’t be able to send him like Hell as the Slayer did. She has no choice but to play this role for him, for her, for little Connor, for the whole freaking, wide world. She has to tell him she doesn’t love him or her Angel will fall. He will be no more, and his monster will be out. She won’t let that happen.
Which is exactly why she knows driving to meet him now is a mistake. She knows what he wants to tell her. She aches to hear those three little words uttered from his sensual lips to her with every bit of her being. She wants to tell him how she feels about him, how much she truly loves him. She dreams of it every time she closes her eyes. She dreams of him every time she closes her eyes.
There are tears in Cordy’s eyes as she steps out of her car. Every alarm in her mind is going off. She knows this is a trap. She can feel it in the very fabric of the air. But taking this offer will keep her from doing what she knows she’ll eventually do no matter how strong she tries to be. If she goes to Angel now, she will tell him. She’ll tell him she loves him, and that will be the beginning of the end.
She’s got to take this offer. She’s got to get away. She’s got to stop herself, and this will not only keep Angelus from escaping. It will even help her protect the love of her life and their friends more. She’s got to do this. It’s the right move. It’s the right role for her to accept next. So why is it, Cordy wonders, choking down her love for Angel that will eventually doom them all, that she feels like the curtain’s about to be drawn, as though these are her final steps, her final role?
She closes her eyes. She accepts her fate. And all the while, with every bit of her heart, she loves Angel. She loves him but will never tell him, and that truly is the greatest role she’ll ever play.