Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

By Benaresq
For Wendy

Fred is into life's smaller pleasures. Enchiladas for example. She can't really handle the big kind. You know, the sort with fireworks and explosions and other metaphors implying danger.The kind of pleasures with love in.

So this: this now, with Cordelia staring deep into Fred's eyes, caressing her gently but, it seems, possessively, along her jawline: this is almost too much.

Cordelia's eyes are hazel eyes, and they are beautiful. Fred has come to recognise that Cordelia herself is not a soft person but she has eyes that Bambi might get jealous of. Fred can see herself reflected in Cordelia's pupils. They are dilated, Cordelia likes what she is looking at.

Enchiladas are safer than this. Enchiladas don't bite back.

"What's with the screwing your eyes up, Fred? You can open them," says Cordelia. "I'm not about to eat you. God, I saw you in that outfit you wore in Pylea. You saw me in the Pylea outfit! And I think I had Pylean animal dung in my hair. Like we have anything to hide from each other after that. You should let me look at you." Fred opens her eyes, and reluctantly allows Cordelia, whose hand is under Fred's chin, to lift Fred's face up to look into those big eat-shit-Bambi eyes.

"You should let me look at you," says Cordelia again gently. "You're beautiful."

"No," says Fred flatly. Realising what that sounds like: "I mean, yes. I mean, yes, you can look at me but no I'm not beautiful, I, I don't want to be beautiful, I..."

"You don't want to be beautiful?" Cordelia frowns over that one. "I mean, sure, it can make people think you're a shallow, snobby bitch even when there's absolutely no justification for that and even sometimes when there is, and it can raise your expectations of life too high so it gets all confusing when no one treats you like you're special any more. And then there's the whole thing when your migraines from heaven are making you look old before your time and you're just absolutely terrified that the only weapon you have left to fight with is being lost and flushed down the pan and even your stinky hang-out-in-sewers colleagues won't ever find it again. " She pauses, and not just to take a breath. "Uh, IS that why you don't wanna be beautiful? Because if it is, I have to say that those are... damn stupid reasons. You are beautiful, anyway. Let me..." She brushes the hair off Fred's face and doesn't finish the sentence. She doesn't have to: her caress of Fred's cheek, the way she keeps looking at Fred's lips, says it all for her.

Fred nods and submits: truthfully she has never known how to comport herself around Cordelia, finding in her always a symbol of things she wants and can't have: first Earth, and America and sanity, and then respect and princesshood on Pylea; and of course Angel: it would have to be the handsome brave hero and the princess, there is a rightness to that. And now, Cordelia is for her: belonging, and beauty, and another, more prosaic kind of sanity: maybe Fred no longer doubts her existence and her numbers, but she would like to be ordinary again, and she feels her usual sense of almost-awe in the nearness of Cordelia who manages to be ordinary and a princess at the same time. And always, always there was the beauty, the realler-than-life glossy magazine face: it is the face of a filmstar and the face of a heroine, and the perfection goes right down to the legs which are like a scaled up Barbie doll only a lot bendier with kicks and everything, and Fred feels-- well, looking at Cordelia makes Fred hungry, and she can't deal with that at all and wants to hide inside an enchilada.

So she is clay in Cordelia's hands as Cordelia touches her, she feels owned, controlled, remade, because Cordelia to Fred is less a person than a force of nature and as such she is to be revered: as such she must be submitted to. She feels trails from where Cordelia's hands have been: ghosts of touches that she knows have changed her, claywoman and Cordelia's fingermarks are there. As for the places where her hands are now: well, Fred just burns there, and tries not to writhe away from it, from the intensity, from the intimacy, from letting herself be known and owned like this.

Cordelia is talking some more. "Is it really that hard for you to think you're beautiful? I guess five years in Pylea could do that to a girl. Wow, you're like from a whole other era. You totally missed the Clueless big sock trend, and, my God, did they even have alcopops in your day? You have serious catching-up to do. Five years. That is a LOONG time."

Fred can barely keep herself still at that: the thought of Pylea always makes her want to cry, or scream out loud, or fling herself out the nearest high window, and she shudders a little from the tension of holding it in.

Cordelia, whose hands are more sensitive than her tongue, feels that, and immediately pulls Fred into a hug. "Sorry, sorry for that. Me and my big mouth. But I'm helping you, aren't I? Right now. I'm helping you the best way I know how."

And Fred, whose face is buried in Cordelia's bosom, whose nose is sticking right down the front of Cordelia's dress and has just for a moment completely forgotten she was ever unhappy, murmurs "Mmmm," in assent.

But when Cordelia lets Fred go and she is no longer enfolded in a cosy hug it all becomes too much again. And she is fighting the urge to jump up and run, to fetch an enchilada and take really big bites out of it, bites so big that she will have to concentrate her whole mind on chewing. To just get away from Cordelia and Cordelia's touch and the closeness of Cordelia's far too beautiful body, and most of all from the casual blindness the seer seems to have, that can let her torture Fred and not even realise she's doing it. But Cordelia is a force of nature and must be obeyed and worshipped: so Fred sits still in the chair and passively submits to all her ministrations.

"You seem waaay twitchy," and, thank God, thank the Malicious Mathematician, she's noticed: and for a moment it's a relief: but then Cordelia is looking in Fred's eyes again and it is so much less than a relief, it is worse than before: this scrutinising gaze. And when Fred tries to turn her head away, to hide, Cordelia catches her face in both hands and turns it back towards her again.

And looks.

And looks, and looks again ,and Fred is blinking rapidly now, close to tears of shame at everything that must be written on her face,everything she doesn't want Cordelia to know.

After what seems like forever, Cordelia speaks. "I was wrong about the lipstick. You know, I think you're actually more of an Autumn." Cordelia grips Fred's chin again in one hand, and begins wiping the lipstick off with a tissue: as before, Fred squirms under her touch, under the brush of fingers across her lips, and just manages not to lick her way through the tissue.

"Fred!" says Cordelia impatiently. 'Keep still! I can't--"

And Fred says, firmly, "Fuck the lipstick. Fuck the whole damn makeover, Cordelia. It was a nice idea, but that isn't what I'm needing." And she looks right up into Cordy's eyes.

And Cordy says faintly "Oh..." and then "Oh."

And on the pucker of the O, finally, finally their lips meet.