Cordelia Chase's Paid Vacation
by Kate Bolin

It was the first day of Cordelia Chase's paid vacation.

It was the first day in many days that she had not spent at the office, because evil never takes weekend breaks, much less state or religious holidays. And if evil can't take a few days off, then neither can Angel, and his hapless secretary/seer gets roped along, as per usual.

It was the first day of Cordelia Chase's paid vacation, and she was spending it as she should spend it -- wasting a few days' pay at a health spa. It was one her mother (and herself) would have never gone to, back in the day, but a few days' pay didn't mean much in Los Angeles, and even less at a health spa.

So while Cordelia Chase was getting massaged, waxed, facialed, manicured, lotioned, and generally pampered, she should have been calm, relaxed, and completely in control, right?


Because despite that it was the first day of Cordelia Chase's paid vacation, her mind was still on her work.

One portion of her work.

A small tiny portion of work.

Barely a blip on the caseload. If counting the many future cases they would get.

But still work. And despite how inconsequential it may seem in the grand scheme of things, it was still on her mind.

And despite how she continually attempted to make it seem smaller than it actually was, the thought that kept her from relaxing on her paid vacation was actually quite large, and quite important in her life.

Because normal girls enjoying a nice day out at a moderately priced spa while enjoying a paid vacation day did not spend it thinking about the person who had smacked them with an elbow. Normal girls did not wonder what she was doing in their employer's apartment and whether or not the subject of these particular normal girls had come up in their conversation.

But Cordelia had slowly come to realize that she was not a normal girl. And despite her refusal to think about Faith, she found herself continually returning to the subject. Remembering what she was wearing. How she looked. How seeing her, suddenly, inches away from her in the privacy of her own apartment...

A paid vacation day apparently didn't mean much when it came to wondering about one's sexuality. A paid vacation day, even at a spa, didn't stop the thoughts from flooding to the surface of Cordelia's mind. Thoughts of Faith standing, talking, dancing, moving, the sway of her hips and the curve of her arms.

The only thing that stopped Cordelia from getting too involved in her thoughts was the occasional press of fingers against the giant angry bruise that graced her temple. That minor flare of pain reminded her of what had happened.

That pain reminded her of what could never be. Of how a woman that hit her could never love her, and that, despite what Cordelia could do (or could not do), Faith would never look at her again. Angel may attempt for forgiveness, but a single glance, a solitary word, and Cordelia would be lost again. Faith was too explosive to be contained. Even within the heart of Cordelia Chase.

And she could never fully relax on the first day of her paid vacation.