The... Something More Series
Part 3 - Dropping By
written by Nickle
"How odd is this?" Cordelia thought as she stood on his doorstep. She was poised and ready to knock on the door, but hesitated everytime she brought her hand up. It wasn't like she was afraid of him, Giles wasn't anybody to be afraid of. In fact he was someone she liked, someone she believed she could trust for the most part. So why was she standing on his doorstep like poor, scared, little orphan Annie? She had no idea.
"What the hell?" she snapped at herself and banged hard on the door. She wanted to say hi that's all. Just 'Hi, howya doin? I was in town on business for Angel and decided to drop by to see how things were goin.' She furrowed her brow. No answer. She banged again, disappointement slowly replacing her initial hesitation. C'mon Giles be here. She waited another minute before sighing in defeat.
Checking her watch, she realized it was getting late. She really should start back to LA soon. Angel would need his batmobile for when he went out later and despite her stellar-yes stellar- driving it would take her a while to navigate the traffic.
She glanced back up the silent door and shrugged. Not like he would've had all that much time for her anyway. Turning on her heel she trotted down the stairs towards the walkway when she jumped back as a superjock came streaking past her.
She whirled around. "Hey speedy you might wanna watch out for people while you are in your quest for -" she stopped as she got a good look at the runner. "Giles?" she frowned.
Giles turned and ran in place as he looked over at Cordelia. "Cordelia?" he breathed heavily cocking his head to one side. He stopped running and put his hands on his hips as he caught his breath. "What are you doing here?"
She silently looked him over quickly and shook her head with a laugh. "I was in town. On business. Decided to come by and see you,' she said as she walked towards him and pulled the sleeve of his t-shirt. "You're sweating pretty hard there. Not gonna have a heart attack are you?" She looked at him innocently.
He raised an eyebrow and walked over to the bench on the walkway lifting his leg to begin his cool down stretches. "Nice to see you too," he breathed. "So, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company this afternoon?"
Cordelia shook her head. Leave it to him to be so wordy polite. She kinda liked it. "Like I said I was nearby picking up some stuff for Angel and was on my way back to LA. I just swung through to see what was up with you. And the guys," she added quickly. She stood next to him, watching as he stretched his legs. She had to admit, running was *really* filling him out.
"Up?" Giles glanced back at her. "Nothing really. A fear demon during Halloween," he stood back up and faced her. "It was a small problem and taken care of in a pinch," he stopped and laughed to himself. "Nevermind," he said as he saw Cordelia look at him strangely. He stretched his arms out behind him. "How are things in Los Angeles?"
She rolled her head from side to side. "Okay. We got our first paying client last week," she grinned. "And it was well deserving let me tell you. Freak doctor who could send body parts all over the place using his brain-"
"Astral projection?" Giles frowned.
"No, psychic surgery or something," Cordelia replied. "He was stalking some girl, making out like they were some couple and -he just got a little nutty and went too far."
"And you and Batman and Robin saved the day?" Giles looked up at her with an amused look.
"Well, yah," Cordelia scoffed. "Of course it was mostly Angel, but Doyle and I helped. In the end the girl was saved and we got paid."
"You said that already." Giles said as he grabbed his towel off the bench and wiped his face.
"I know, but it's my favorite part." She bounced a little in her giddiness.
"I can see that," Giles remarked. He waved towards the door of his apartment. "Come on in, we can talk inside."
She hesitated as he walked over to the door. "Um, you sure? I mean you're all sweaty and gross-well you're not gross-but you probably want to take a shower-"
Turning back to her Giles threw her a pointed, but kind look. "Come inside Cordelia."
She closed her mouth and quickly walked up behind him. "Well if you insist," she said as he opened the door and let her pass. She stood inside the doorway, waiting for him to close the door and go into the living room. Looking around the room she saw that he had cleaned it up a bit -cleaned as moved his dusty furniture around a bit, adding a bit here, taking a few things away there-
What was that?
"Is that a tv?" she pointed over to the corner and looked up at Giles.
"Yes, Cordelia it is a tv. I am as shallow as the next bloody American," he mumbled as he walked past her to the kitchen.
"Well all I was gonna say is that it's no wonder you need glasses. Between the massive reading and squinting at the screen on that tiny thing you should be blind." She walked a little further into the room and silently looked around. Damn. It felt so... homey. And familiar, unlike her dumpy apartment. But even while she was here, she felt like.. like what? Like she didn't belong here anymore, maybe? Not that she was all that sure that she had belonged in the first place.
She looked up at Giles and nodded taking the bottle he handed her. "So this is the newly cleaned out Giles bachelor pad?" She snapped open the bottle of water and took a swig. "Looks good," she nodded. "Although you better have some damn good mood lighting and stellar 'getting it on music.'"
"Mmm hmmm," he grunted as he sat back on his couch. "I do just fine, thank you."
"I bet you do," she said distractedly as she continued to look around. "What's this?" she narrowed her eyes and kneeled down on the floor in front of his stereo. "Records." She looked up at him. "Mind if I look?"
Giving her a strange look he nodded. "They're hardly government secrets."
"Well no," she replied getting comfortable as she began pulling out a box, "but they could lead to major embarrassment. I mean you don't have Michael Jackson's Thriller album in here or anything?"
Giles threw her an indignant look. "Uh-no."
"Just checking," she said lightly as she thumbed through the albums.
"It's doubtful that you would know any of the-"
"Oh, cool," she breathed. She held up an album. "You have decent taste for a guy your age."
Giles got up from the couch and went over to her. "You know this group?" He asked as he sat down next to her.
"Oh yeah," she said as her eyes suddenly took a far away look. "When I was really young I would go visit my grandparents in Sacramento. My Aunt Theodora -well Aunt Teddy- who was known as the black sheep of the family for too many reasons to count, still lived at home much to her parents' dismay. She was the typical free spirit, hippie, slacker, rebel whatever who was supercool and into all the happening things.." She stopped and turned her gaze to Giles.
"Just trying to picture you as the rebel 'Ripper'," she said narrowing her eyes a bit.
Giles looked at her in horror. "Please don't."
She let out a giggle after a moment. "Too late." She looked at his face again and laughed harder until finally Giles smiled in defeat. She shook her head and cleared her throat. "Anyway she had records like these and played them all the time. I mean all the time," Cordelia sighed. "It got so that everytime I was told I was going to go to Nana and Grandpa's I'd start singing this stuff. Drove my parents crazy. They thought I was being turned into a slacker child due to black sheep Teddy's influence." She put the record back in the box. "So my visits started to dwindle down for some reason or another and then after a while I just stopped."
Giles watched her carefully as she continued to thumb through the box. "That's too bad. That your parents saw it fit to do that."
"I know,' Cordelia scowled and turned to look at him. " I mean the musicisn't that bad. I kinda liked some of it. With all the electric guitars and funky stuff it was cool." She looked back down at the box and stopped. "Red face alert," she grinned as she pulled out another album and showed it to him. "Barry White?" she arched an eyebrow at him.
"It was the seventies," Giles replied taking the album and examining it.
"Uh-huh. Keep that one in front so when you gotta set the mood for your ladyfriend it's easily accessable," she smirked.
Giles rolled his eyes and put the album back in the box. "If I were to need to set the mood as you keep saying, I wouldn't use Barry White." He got up and dusted himself off before going back to the couch to sit down.
"You scoff at the great Barry White? Someone should take away your 'groovy 70s badge' or something." She pushed the box back up on the shelf and stood up. "So what are you doin tonight? Goin out or stayin in?"
"Probably out," he said after a moment. "I had planned on staying in for Halloween, but it wasn't as much fun as I had hoped."
"Why not? I mean aside from the fear demon."
"I didn't get a lot of trick or treaters. My costume went to waste."
"You had a costume?" Cordelia's eyes went wide. "What did you dress as-wait rock star musician? Coolness, leather. No, wait- librarian man-long tweed jacket that flaps in the wind with a massive book to beat the baddies to a bloody pulp?"
Giles stood up and groaned in disgust. He went over to the closet and pulled out a hat and poncho. "This is what I wore."
All Cordelia could do was blink in shock and look silently from the hat to Giles and back to the hat. Holding back laughter that threatened to rupture her lungs she took the hat from Giles and put it on his head. She stared at him.
"Who were you? A revolutionary with a big hat fetish?"
He simply sighed and took the hat off. Suddenly he plonked it on her head and she staggered under its weight. Assessing her he finally nodded. "It is rather large."
"But on me it looks cute," Cordleia primped.
"Yes, well," Giles paused. "Yes it does," he nodded.
"But you looked good in it too. And I bet with the poncho on you carry it all off well." She nodded at him, causing the hat to bob up and down. Giles laughed at the sight and looked over at the coffee table.
"Here," he went over to the table and picked up the bowl of leftover Halloween candy. "Since you are in a costume, you should have your treat."
Cordelia quickly ran up to him."Geeze Giles, wish I had more nice guys like you in my neighborhood when I was kid trick or treating." She picked up a candy bar.
"That's it? Take more," he urged. She looked at him and took another candy bar.
"More." Cordelia took a handful of candy.
"Actually," he handed her the bowl. "Just take it."
She smirked at him. "Yeah right" she pushed the bowl back at him.
"No take it. It was for the trick or treaters and they didn't get it. The others ate what they wanted. So take it."
Cordelia's jaw dropped. "Um, one, I would like to avoid thunder thighs and a huge big butt until I'm at least forty and two, after what I spent on my braces I am not gonna bathe my teeth in pure sugar." She put down the bowl. "I'm just taking a few."
Giles watched as she picked out her candy. "You're taking all the chocolate."
"Yeah, well, I like chocolate."
"But you're leaving all the other candy?"
"Yeah well I don't go for 'nerds' -especially after high school-and -Ooh!" Cordelia stood up witha triumphant grin. "One bag of candy corn, alright!"
"Wait a second," Giles stopped her.
"I didn't know that was in there."
"The candy corn."
Cordelia looked from him to the bag, her mouth open. "You're kidding? Right?"
"Well," Giles looked at her sheepishly. "I really like candy corn. I thought I had eaten it all earlier."
"So basically what you're telling me is that I got thirdhand reject candy," Cordelia looked at him, a hand on her hip.
"No, no, not reject candy-"
"I should be so offended," she huffed. She looked back down at the bowl and then up at him. Suddenly she smirked and threw the bag at him. "Take it, candy corn man." She stooped to pick up the bowl of candy and hugged it to her. "I'll just take this."
Cordelia looked up at him in challenge.
"Enjoy," he smiled. She smiled brightly in return.
Suddenly her eyes got big as she glanced down at the watch on his wrist. "Oh, I gotta jet!" she looked back and forth around her for a second before realizing that she still had her purse wrapped around her. "Angel is never gonna let me use his car again if I'm late-Oh crap!" She quickly headed towards the door with Giles following behind her.
She turned around quickly. "Thanks so much for the water. And the candy. It was really sweet of you even if you did take away my candy corn."
"You're welcome," he quickly said as she turned around and opened the door. She tried to walked through, but the hat wouldn't let her through.
"Here, let me help," Giles said biting the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing. He took the bowl from her as she lifted the hat off her head.
"Thanks," she breathed as they exchanged items and she rushed through the door. She turned around again. "Sorry I'm rushing off like this, but Angel is such a baby about his car."
"So that black convertible out front is his?" Giles said as he stood in the doorway.
"Yep. The Angelmobile. With the car and the long black flowing coat, he's got the superhero persona down."
"Angel the superhero-who would've thought it?' Giles mused.
"Ask me that a year ago and I would've laughed. Well not laugh, more like bite your head off," Cordelia sighed catching her breath. She gave Giles a small smile. "Nice hanging out with you candy man. It's been fun."
"Always a pleasure, Cordelia," Giles replied
She pointed at him. "Careful there. I might be tempted to visit more often."
"Wouldn't be a bad thing," Giles crossed his arms in front of him. "You're always welcome here."
Cordelia looked at him strangely a moment and then smiled. "You're a really nice guy, Giles. Too damn nice." She cocked her head to the side. "Bye," she waved and started down the path.
"Good-bye Cordelia," Giles called after her. "Drive safely!"
Running to the car, Cordelia quickly opened the car door and slid inside, placing the bowl on the passenger seat. Buckling up she started the car and took off. Maybe if I floor it all the way I'll get back before the count gets his undies in a wad, she thought.
She grumbled as she came to a stoplight and beat the steering wheel in agitation. Looking down at the bowl of candy she pulled it closer to her and felt around. What was she in the mood for? Milky way? Sweet tarts? She stopped feeling around and pulled up a small package. Holding it up she looked at it befuddled.
It was a bag of candy corn.
But there had been only one-
She let out a soft laugh and glanced unconsciously behind her. Opening the bag, she took out a few pieces and popped them into her mouth.
"Too damn nice," she murmured as the light changed and she drove off towards LA.
Read the next part: A Friend In Need