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Fianl gift for xlivvielockex
by LB (evangelin1202)
at January 5th, 2012 (11:42 am)

First of all I wanna wish you a merry delayed Christmas and an amazing new year!
Second of all I wanna apologize for this being late(i was gonna post yesterday when my screen broke and today I barely managed to get my stuff from my computer and on here).
And finally I really hope you like these, I went with the things you listed first - manips and fics which happen to be the two things I'm most unsure of so.. sorry.
I also found out two things: 1.with a lot more practice I might soon be making actually decent manips and 2.I love being in Angel's head :D

Title: Once in a Few Lifetimes
Author: evangelin
Pairings: Angel/Cordelia; Faith/Wesley
Word Count: 1005

Disclaimer: Own? I own nothing. Just trying to write something worthy.

Redemption is a hard thing to understand. Angel knows that. Knows it from experience. Every person feels guilt. From the breaking of a cup to the breaking of a heart, we all feel responsible for our deeds. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later. But redemption demands so much more than penance. Redemption isn’t for people who have stolen jewelry or gotten into bar fights, not in it’s true sense. It’s for people who don’t want to exist anymore. For those who have done the unspeakable and unthinkable, and want nothing more than to erase it. Only they can’t. So they have to settle for erasing themselves and everything they are. And starting anew.

And once you have started on that road you want and need nothing more than forgiveness. And at the same time, it’s the one thing you know you will never deserve.

These and so many other things that tore him apart every night Angel wanted to share with Cordelia. But he rarely did. Because they were painful for him and, for reasons he could still not fully understand, that made them painful for her. And hurting Cordelia was the one thing Angel knew he could never face. So when every night she snuggled up to him and kissed his shoulder, and pressed her warm body to his, and murmured wishes for pleasant dreams and vows of love, he gave his heart what it most desperately needed. He kissed her back and he wrapped his arms around her tight, and drew the blankets around them, and whispered a promise of always that he deeply wanted to keep. But that never stopped his heart from knowing what it deserved. Or rather, what it did not. Which was all of this. All of her. And no matter how many times she told him differently, he knew better.

That was probably why his desire to help Faith try to find her happiness had been so strong. Because he had known that she could never really be happy so trying was all that was left and it was still a lot. It was probably why he had taken her in. It was probably why he had made sure to say all the right words at all the right times to make Cordy see that there was change in Faith that deserved to be seen. It was probably why he had talked the dark Slayer into letting it all out in front of Wes.

Apologizes are the hardest thing in the world when you don’t really see forgiveness in the end of the line. And he guessed that if the ex-watcher had been more open-minded, easily convinced of her progress and welcoming to this new situation, it wouldn’t have worked. But he hadn’t been. He had been cynical and full of doubts, and he had always kept his guard up and Angel knew that Faith took that better than any acceptance. Because she had earned it. And it had made her want to struggle to prove herself even more. It had made her patrol more often, it had made her listen more carefully, it had made her stand up for herself when she knew she was right and for once in her life it had made her admit it when she was not.

Angel had tried to look from a far though his need to guide her had been almost overwhelming. But he had guessed by her equally teasing and bitter smiles when she had looked at him and Cordelia that she hadn’t wanted him there at all times. Because he had reached a place she had been just beginning to look up on the map. So every time Cordy had tugged at his hand and let him away from a researching Slayer and ex-watcher he had gone willingly, mostly because he could never go in a direction different than hers and to this day believed that there was nothing he wouldn’t leave behind for her, but also because he had seen with his own eyes that he hadn’t been needed. Faith had needed someone to take hold of her arm and be her anchor and she had chosen someone with a firm grip.

He had to give Wes credit. He might not have done right by the girl the first time but he certainly did the second one. However, Angel still knows that he’ll be forever clueless about ‘the break’. It was what Cordy had named the period when Wesley had gone back to England for two months and Faith had left for a place still unknown to him. Cordelia had sworn that they had simply taken there relationship to another level and had done the mature thing by giving themselves space and time. Normally, there were few things Angel trusted more than Cordelia’s instincts but in this case he had argued that no, Wes and Faith weren’t like that and while she may have become a lot of things recently Faith was still far from mature(and he really hadn’t been sure how close Wes was either).

Of course, as unlife has taught him on more than a few occasions, you never argue with Queen C (and he could still hear her laughing with everything she had when he had admitted it out loud). Wesley had come back in most ways the same but in some a man with an air of certainty he had never possessed before. And Faith had come back… well, she had looked like she was ready to give herself a break from self-loathing and fear and discover things her heart had never been opened to before. She had also looked ready to have some fun.

Angel likes to think that things would’ve worked out for them all no matter what. But he has lived a little too long to actually believe that. So every time Cordelia slips her hand into his, he holds on tight and knows that he has something that you only get the chance to win once in a few lifetimes.

Title: Not Easier But...
Author: evangelin
Pairings: Angel/Cordelia; Buffy/Spike
Word Count: 1006

Disclaimer: Own? I own nothing. Just trying to write something worthy.

Angel’s eyes moved from the two girls on the dance floor to the blond vampire next to him. He watched Spike swallow the rest of his beer and wave the bottle in front of him, letting him know he was off to the bar. Angel shook his head, refusing another for himself.

He loved it when he and Cordelia went out with Spike and Buffy. Saying it had taken a while for him to get to this point was an understatement but, as Buffy liked to say, apocalypses had the tendency to bring people together. And now, excluding the times he could have Cordelia all to himself, Friday nights like this one were his favorite thing.

They usually met at a cemetery, one couple or the other always late due to ‘vamp activity on the way’ (which Buffy had come up with and Cordy had deciphered for him as ‘we were too busy having sex to come on time’). They patrolled and though he would never admit that out load, not even to Cordelia, patrolling with Spike was just as much fun as wrecking cities with him had been back in the day. And they still did most of the fighting without the girls just like before. Spike swore that he could not sleep without getting his ‘spot of violence’. Buffy loved to run the show on some nights but mostly got her fill training younger Slayers (which he knew, from the few times he had volunteered to train with some of them, weren’t an easy deal at all and thanks to Faith and Spike’s teachings, Buffy said, had very little respect of anyone, no matter how many apocalypses you claimed to having averted) and sparring with Spike. And Cordelia loved to prove herself with a crossbow or a sword as long as there wasn’t a sale in the mall on Saturday that she had to discuss with Buffy (while their vampires dealed with a dozen of demons by themselves, occasionally yelling for some back-up with no visible results - but he was totally over that now).

While he and Buffy didn’t really have that habit Cordelia had demanded dances and drinks after each patrol and as Spike wasted no time siding up with her it had quickly become a tradition. Every once in a while, he reminded them that he preferred going home, cleaning his weapons, and taking a shower, and Buffy pointed out that she’d rather be snuggled her to a Spike-shaped pillow in front of the TV, but even they didn’t believed themselves anymore and secretly appreciated having the kind of partners that pushed them out of their comfort zone (which one night Spike had called ‘how Buffy and Angel would’ve died of boredom on their second anniversary if it wasn’t for us’ and clicked his beer bottle to Cordelia’s glass).

So normally those nights were pretty great and, as Spike pointed out (not that he’d ever admit that he was right), even made him drop the brooding for a few miraculous hours. However, that was when Cordelia wasn’t pissed off at him, Buffy hadn’t slayed HIS vamp and Spike didn’t seem unable to cheer anyone up while trying to dodge incinerating Slayer glares.

“So what did you do?” asked Spike with more tiredness than curiosity in his voice once he got back with a new beer and one for the dark vampire despite his refusal earlier.

He took the beer but just shook his head at the question.

“Fair ‘nuff. Don’t feel like tellin’ myself” Spike sent him a half apologetic glance. “or listenin’, for that matter.”

Angel looked back at the dance floor where Cordelia and Buffy were mostly dancing by themselves but also collecting male glances with an unsettling ease.

“Do you think we had it easier?” he asked, not sure if he actually needed an answer.

At Spike’s confused look, he elaborated.

“You know. In the good ol’ days. With Darla. Dru.”

The blond was silent for a long time and when Angel finally turned to look at him he saw him staring at the girls with a small smile. Next thing he knew Spike was off the table, quickly making his way through the crowd and picking Buffy up in the air while at the same time smashing his lips to hers. She pulled back and slapped him upside the head put he just tightened his hold whispering something in her ear and giving her just a few seconds to take it in before attacking her mouth again. This time he met no resistance and he was soon strolling back towards him clutching Buffy’s hand in his. They passed the table, Buffy just giving him a small wave before turning her whole attention back to hurrying in her high heels.

Suddenly, Spike appeared before him again, slamming his fist on the table lightly to get his attention as quickly as possible.


Angel raised his eyebrows in question and Spike gave him a grin before explaining.

“We had it easier.” His grin grew. “But now we have it better.”

And then he was gone. Probably in a hurry to prove his own theory. Which Angel knew he would. Because it was a damn good theory and when did Spike start having all the right answers, anyway?

He shook his head with a little grin of his own, got up and went to Cordelia. Waiting ‘til she noticed him and raised her eyebrow in a ‘I’m still mad at you, don’t you dare think about sex’ way.

A slow song came on. He smiled.

“Can I have that dance?” he whispered in her ear.

She was surprised, he could tell (and rightly so, he rarely danced.. ok, make that never). But she was Cordy and that was why he loved her so much.

“Sure. But just so you know, I’m going to step all over you.” she said looking him straight in the eyes, challenging.

He smiled again.

“Wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Good things never came easy anyway.