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Could We Start Again, Please

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Story

Summary: Cordeli looks to the future - Spoilers through AtS Season 4

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Cordelia-CenteredTenFR1311,479072,52128 Jun 0328 Jun 03Yes
Could We Start Again, Please

(Part 1 of a Highlander/Angel Crossover)

by Ten



RATING: PG

SUMMARY: Cordelia searches for her destiny

SPOILERS: Through Season 4

DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to the god that is Joss Whedon (all hail and bow low before him), and WB, UPN, Mutant Enemy and some other people, but not me. Other characters are the property of members of Davis/Panzer Productions. No one in this story belongs to me, I just play with them like a delicious collection of vampire Barbies!




"My Immortal" by Evanescence

I'm so tired of being here

suppressed by all of my childish fears

and if you have to leave

i wish that you would just leave

because your presence still lingers here

and it won't leave me alone

these wounds won't seem to heal

this pain is just too real

there's just too much that time cannot erase

when you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears

when you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears

and I've held your hand through all of these years

but you still have all of me

by your resonating light

but now I'm bound by the life you left behind

your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams

your voice it chased away all the sanity in me

these wounds won't seem to heal

this pain is just too real

there's just too much that time cannot erase

when you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears

when you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears

and I've held your hand through all of these years

but you still have all of me

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone

but though you're still with me

I've been alone all along




Cordy brought the glass of wine to her lips, the shade of red battling the color of her lipstick. She could not take her eyes off the man across the table from her. He was absolutely stunning with dark, longish ebony hair and eyes that looked right through to her soul. He possessed the kind of devastating good looks that caused women to stop and watch as he passed by, which is exactly what almost every woman, and many of the men, in the restaurant had done as they were seated at their table near the window.

Sunlight sparkled on the silver and crystal, and most particularly through the merlot shimmering in her glass and now on her lips. She laughed lightly at his anecdote compelling him to lean across the small table and kiss the droplets of wine from her mouth. For the first time since they had met, she allowed it.

In the last few weeks, he had become a new and intriguing figure in Cordelia's life. She had been taken with him from the first moment Wesley had introduced them at a cocktail party. It had been the most pleasant evening she could remember having in at least a year. She had, at first, been totally entranced by those soulful brown eyes and his honeyed voice with the light Scottish accent, but as the evening went on they had chatted endlessly about Los Angeles, the things they liked, the things they grew accustomed to, and the little inside jokes that people outside of the vast Southern California metropolis couldn't possibly understand. The hours had slipped by carelessly before she realized that, without a doubt, Duncan MacLeod was one of the most fascinating men she had encountered in a very long time.

Now, sitting at lunch with him, the warm summer sun heating her bare shoulders, she realized she had been holding back from him, as well as going ahead with her life, for far too long. She had kept their relationship at a comfortable, friendly distance, even though it had been quite obvious that Duncan was interested in pursuing a great deal more between them. "Damn Wes," she thought to herself. He had such a way of seeing what she needed and offering it to her, usually gift-wrapped, when she still didn't want to admit she needed something ... or someone. He had watched silently as she and Angel's relationship never recovered from the horrors of Jasmine and what she had put them all through, the terror, the joy, the deception, the coma. Cordy didn't remember much of it, but Wes and Fred had reluctantly filled her in on everything she had missed making it possible for her to at least understand how things could have gone so wrong for them all, especially between her and Angel.

Now Wes had presented her with a near perfect man and dangled him like a carrot before a race horse. He even had the additional advantage of, not only being immortal but, of being able to be in sunlight, as well, something which truly appealed to her usually ungratified California girl sun worshipper upbringing. She really missed the sun.

Cordy felt herself being drawn more and more into the initial casual kiss. Duncan's lips combined with the wine seduced her into the familiar warmth of arousal that she had missed. It had been a very long time since anyone had kissed her like this, or even kissed her at all, once she thought about it. And this was someone she could be tempted to live out the rest of eternity with, someone who aroused her not only sexually but also intellectually, someone with many common interests and incredible brown eyes. He was someone who could actually steal her heart away from Angel if he wanted to. The thought both thrilled and terrified her.

Duncan sat back down, his eyes not wavering from her, watching her reaction and trying not to be too encouraged that the very strong walls Cordelia Chase had built around her were beginning to weaken. He didn't speak, but from what she saw of his expression, he really didn't have to. She recognized that look immediately; it was one she had seen on Angel's face a thousand times. Hope. Hope that she would accept him, want him, stay with him.

Cordelia quickly cast her eyes down at the fine, linen tablecloth, tracing her lips absently with her fingertips as if she were trying to feel any residual of his kiss. She liked it. She liked it a lot, and that was at once a surprise and a revelation to her.

She had sat on the fence of indecision about her place with Angel for too long. She was too scared to leave and too scared to stay, and she was still too hurt and devastated by Angelus's cruelty and the possibility that Angel could, yet again, become the monster to risk being alone with him anymore. She knew that five silent minutes between them would result in her melting like ice cream on a hot day. She still loved him above all others. But she couldn't be with him, not the way things were now, and particularly not since he himself had distanced from her. He seemed reluctant to be alone with her much less to reconcile and repair what had happened. In essence, she felt as if he was moving on and away from her, leaving things somewhat raw and unresolved between them.

Lifting her eyes to Duncan, she suddenly felt bathed in peace. Just the sound of his voice made her relax and feel comfortable and unthreatened even if all he was doing was ordering lunch. She found herself staring at him, soaking him up into her mind and her heart as he asked for salad dressing on the side. Suddenly it was all very clear to her. She reached across the table and rested her hand on his. Duncan's attention immediately went to her; it was the first overt sign of affection she had ever shown him.

"Let's get it to go." Cordelia's smile was warm and welcoming.

He nodded to the waitress before he turned his hand over beneath hers then cradled her hand between his own. Looking into her eyes he tried to remain calm, the corners of his mouth turning up almost playfully. "So, my dear, where shall we take our lunch?"

Cordy hadn't even thought seriously about it. She just suddenly wanted to be out of the restaurant, away from prying eyes, some of whom, no doubt, had already reported where she was, who she was with, and what they were having for lunch. Her eyes met his for a few moments and all the thoughts she had just moments before replayed themselves to her now swimming mind. Here was a handsome, intelligent, immortal who was obviously attracted to her and had the kind of characteristics that, under normal circumstances, could have captured her heart in a few moments, much less the weeks Duncan had been waiting just to have a simple lunch alone with her. One advantage to those who were going to live forever, they were rarely in a hurry.

Duncan patiently waited for her to reply while she mulled things over in her mind, his eyes searching hers for any hint of an answer. The decision suddenly became clear to her, and she smiled slowly, letting the twinkle in her eyes touch his.

"Take me outside, Duncan. I want to be in sunlight again."



The End

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