angel | cordelia/wesley | looks and books
They're in the middle of what feels like hour seven billion of researching very nasty demons in very dusty books, and Cordelia gets that her calling is a noble one, that her brain-crippling headaches are for the greater good, that it wouldn't be such a stretch to deem her this generation's Joan of Arc except with, you know, actual good hair. (She tries to stifle all memories of her high school affinity for Marie Antoinette, and how there's a part of her that would totally rather rise to that destiny, as long as that whole decapitation thing's not set in stone.)
But God, it's boring, and did she mention nasty demons?, and so she lets her gaze drift away from the page and across the room to Wesley. Experimentally, she tries to look at him like she had a year or so ago. Which is to say, like a viable sexual candidate rather than the world's most remarkable prig/dork hybrid.
It's not so hard. Spazzy though he is, there's something about a proximity to books that seems to steady him, to make him surer. He turns a page, the movement thoughtless and precise. He's got one elbow on the table, his chin resting on his fist. He looks handsome in an old fashioned period piece way. Chivalry and sharp angles. She follows his eyes as they follow the words. Maybe her attention migrates south to his lips. Whatever experience she might have had to the contrary, he definitely doesn't look like the world's worst kisser. Not at the moment.
... She must be really bored. And, okay, a little nostalgic for a time when her biggest concern had been figuring out which dress made her look the most sexy-intellectual-irresistible-wise-beyo
She must laugh a little to herself, because Wesley looks up.
"Cordelia? What is it? Have you remembered another detail from your vision? Have you had another vision? Tell me, did the demons in question have two horns protruding from the forehead, or just the one. And regarding the mucous excretion--"
Yep. He's Wesley. He's so, so inescapably and totally Wesley.
"Simmer down, buddy. I was just looking."
"Looking?" He sounds so baffled. Oh, it's fun. "... At me?"
"Maybe," she says coyly. All her old pals come out to play, by sheer (and, lately, wasted) instinct: sparkly flirty glance, hair toss, big smile.
"Well," Wesley says. "Er. Um. I--"
Still got it, she decides, pleased. She spends the rest of the day feeling uncharacteristically kindly toward ol' Stick in the Mud Wyndham-Pryce.
gilmore girls | rory/logan | the mad ones
Sometimes with Logan, she catches herself wondering where she went.
She's used to being made up of loveworn paperbacks and sensible cardigan sweaters and the ghosts of blue plaid. Talking fast and silly but living slowly, quietly, sweetly. There's a lot of Belle and Sebastian. Many park benches. Life with Logan is stumbling in high heels, no-no-no-more-shots-okay-one-more-I-guess and the cheers that follow, it's like that passage in Kerouac that she only dimly remembers (because Kerouac makes her think of Jess, like cigarettes and every moody black haired boy she'll ever see again, and her heart and mind are in firm agreement that it's best not to go there, not anytime soon) about burning, burning, burning, exploding like spiders across the stars. 'The only people for me are the mad ones,' or something like that, and Rory has always liked the sound of it. She has always wanted to live more, to be better, and Logan is all the mad ones and spider stars condensed into one person. He jumps off bridges for fun. He kisses her and her brain swishes and swirls and she can't feel her knees.
He's great. He's spectacular. She loves him. She uses words full of big feeling for him, because she doesn't know how else to explain the rush. Or (sometimes, when he's puking in her bathroom at two a.m. and Finn and Colin are yelling encouraging comments from the other side of the door and Paris is shooting her death glares from hell, the ones that are pretty much code for Guess Who's Buying Me Coffee Every Morning From Here Until Eternity? You Are, Gilmore. You) justify it.
Maybe part of why she loves him so much is defiance. (Because she can do that. She is her mother's daughter.) A hearty shut up to the wise, cardigan-wearing, Dickinson-reading, park-bench-sitting, sixteen-going-on-forty Rory in the neglected corner of her skull, her heart. The one that keeps clucking her tongue and making Really? This one? faces.
She suspects sometimes that she's running from herself, with Logan, and she's got no clue what's going to happen when Rory 1.0 finally catches them up.
But then there are nights when the both of them are tired, when he hangs up his King of the Party crown for one evening, puts on checkered pajama pants and lets her tease him about how, you know what he really needs? some of those footie pajamas. They buy chips and guacamole and sit in front of the TV for lazy, old-seeming hours, a Norton anthology in her lap and her feet in his. He puts the TV on mute when she goes "ooh, ooh, ooh, listen to this!" (which happens once or twice or thirteen times an hour), then patiently obliges while she reads out some line of Donne or Keats or Woolf, the words happily tripping over each other. And he'll watch her with this tiny smile on his mouth, one finger hooking fondly around her big toe, and in that moment cardigan Rory and mad Rory are one and the same, and she thinks -- with warm relief like a sigh, like that first sip of coffee -- that maybe he really is hers for good. That one day he'll settle, and stay.
twilight | jacob/bella | we were sixteen, maybe less
Jacob looks at home in her truck. When she lets him drive, he keeps his left hand on the wheel and gestures with his right. (The one that’s closer to her. She pretends not to notice.) He’s all easy confidence, but not the infallible, one-hundred-miles-an-hour-but-it-feels-l
Maybe there’s a flash. Bella, don’t be reckless. But it’s quick and Jacob’s laughing so loud. She doesn’t have time to cherish his voice. Not here, with the heat blasting and the seat shaking a little underneath them (the consequence of driving over fifty) and the rain happily shimmying down the windshield and pounding the cement outside. It’s all so Forks, so ordinary, so teenage, so stupid, and she’s not used to liking it, and that’s a world Edward never belonged to. Edward was such a perfect escape from all that. That was kind of the point of him.
‘Whoo,’ Jacob says, grinning big at her. ‘That was a close one, huh?’
She reaches over to swat him on the head, and his hair is silky under her fingertips. She tugs on his earlobe – just teasing, not flirting, not flirting, she doesn’t do that, she’s a confirmed spinster who feels like a widow – then clasps her hands demurely in her lap. Shut up, she orders fiercely, nonsensically, to the curiosity in her fingers. Jake smiles at her like he knows.
'Eyes on the road, mister,' she says.
dollhouse | dewitt/dominic | trouble sleeping
For awhile after Alpha escapes, Dominic dreams about the dolls he killed. The people, he corrects himself once he's awake all the way. They were people, even if (if you ask him) they hadn't died that way. It's the ones lying bloody on the floor in the showers, usually. The whole situation was hideous, grotesque, but there was something special about that image, something that keeps it fresh in his brain: maybe the way they framed Echo, almost artfully, and she sat among them earnest and upright and unblemished. Observing, with polite bewilderment, that they wouldn't wake up.
He dreams about their faces. Faces he hadn't even been aware of memorizing. It's DeWitt's burden to carry, really. She's the one who makes them promises. But he's second in command, and he takes his portion of the guilt and dutifully shoulders it.
One morning, they meet with a client (a woman, forties, elegance that verges on frigidity) and her face hits him like -- like a truck, a ton of bricks, whatever you want. Pick your metaphor. What's important is that she's a dead ringer for their slaughtered India. Older, obviously, and her coloring's different, but there's something about her face.
Shit, he thinks, positive they're related for one irrational instant. It's a ridiculous leap. One's a Georgia society wife, one's an illiterate crack whore, LA born and bred. (Not to speak ill of the dead, but. Well.) What's that adage? Everybody's got a twin somewhere.
Looking at her makes him unsettled, a little sick. He fidgets. Clears his throat too often. He's not the only one. DeWitt sits stiffly, like she's locked in her own poise.
Blood, blood, blood, he thinks.
When the woman finally leaves, they look at each other.
He says, finally, "She looked just like ..."
"Yes," DeWitt says. "Yes, she did."
That's it. No elaboration. No feelings. They perfected this particular brand of polished brevity years ago. It'd be a shame to break pattern now. Still, he takes some comfort in it. He wonders how she's sleeping.