Not sure where this came from or where it's going. Just a hunch, it sounded like it would be fun. As with all my other stuff, be kind in your reviews. If you can't be kind, be honest. I don't own any of these characters but would love to have met them. MKAngelus
The faintest of breezes brought the words to Jingle Bells as sung by the latest boy band flavor of the month to the sidewalk outside the large display window. A window that shimmered and sparkled from the hundreds of tiny candle like lights adorning a large white Christmas tree, surrounded by crudely wrapped presents and an old lumpy rag rug, intending perhaps to bring to mind Christmases from long ago. There was an antique rocking horse, a wooden sled and ice skates better suited to Hans Christian Andersen than Johnny Weir all were casually arranged at the base of the tree. No doubt perfectly suited for the imaginary children they were there to be oooohed and aahed over on that most perfect morning of the year. A small doll, intricately handmade also placed where she could be picked up by a little girl with love in her heart rounded out the homey picture. Behind the tree, the window designers had depicted a middle class Irish home, sparse but clean, well loved yet obviously not what the denizens of Los Angeles California would be used to seeing; at least not in this day and age.
Cordelia Chase, tall, bronzed, athletic and toned gazed into the window, trying to see what it was that had made her companion stop and stare. She tossed her short brunette hair impatiently and rolled her eyes, catching her reflection briefly she noticed what looked like a spot on her forehead, leaning in close to the window, she checked carefully and saw it was simply her imagination. What wasn't her imagination was the lack of reflection her companion cast, luckily no one had noticed yet. Not in the hustle and bustle that was this LA street three days before Christmas. "Angel," she said, dragging his name out slightly to accent her irritation, "Not that I don't mind the view of Christmas past sans the musty ghosts but why are we stopping here of all places?" Her displeasure was nothing new to Angel, and yet today it didn't even register. He only had eyes for one thing.
Headlights ricocheted off the window, causing the faux candle lights to appear to be moving about the tree, the light sought the darkest corners, letting them briefly show their hidden depths, yet only one thing mattered. To him that was. Checking her watch again, Cordelia sniffed and tried again to distract him, "Earth to Angel, Hellooo…" she said tugging on the sleeve of his well worn leather jacket. "What are you looking at Broody boy?"
Looking briefly away from the window and down into her face, Angel sensed at last her impatience. He shook his head slightly to refocus his attention to now, the 21st century and smiled slightly, "I'm sorry Cordy, I thought I saw something." He said and then finished mentally, something that can't possibly be here.
"What is it?" She asked warily, turning back towards the window. Shopping with Angel was usually as much fun as a root canal, so for something to have caught his attention it was either going to be some big bad thing that was going to bring around the end of the world, again; or it was something he may not have understood the significance of. Being around for 250 plus years didn't mean that current trends were something he grasped right away she had come to find out. When they'd first started their business, Angel Investigations he hadn't even known what 'little blue boxes' signified.
"It's..." He paused. The lack of cars currently had shrouded the lower corner of the window again and he leaned in closer, his own very keen vampire eye sight straining through the glass to see what wasn't there, or at least shouldn't be there. Another car drove by and the corner lit up briefly, he saw it again. "It's that necklace, there, look!" He pointed towards the corner and she looked, not seeing anything at all.
"Sorry Angel, I didn't see it." She said and noticed that there was a woman and her child staring into the window now too, however they weren't staring so much into the window as they were at the window. Tugging his sleeve with urgency she said, "Angel, we have to go, let's go inside?" Lost again to her as he strained to pierce the darkness she reached up and pinched his ear.
"OW! Cordy what?" He turned to look at her, rubbing his ear. She opened her eyes wide and nodded at the other two window shoppers, now joined by a middle aged man, his hand holding a camera phone. "I think its best that we get away from the window now Angel, these nice people want to look at the Flintstone Christmas, come on." She pulled his sleeve again and started to walk away.
"That man doesn't have a reflection." The woman said to her son and then to the man, "Look."
Angel realized why Cordy was wanting them to move and turned towards her fully now, "Oh you're right Cordy, let's go." He said awkwardly moving towards the small inset door that housed the rest of the stores' delights.
"No, couldn't be." The man responded, absently checking the time on his phone and putting it away. "Must have been a trick of the lights. Come on, it's time to get home, we've go gifts to assemble." He said, spelling the name in deference to the young boy still holding her hand.
Angel stood behind Cordy in the doorway as she reached down and pushed open the door. A bell tinkled faintly alerting their arrival to the store clerk. A tiny little man, not hardly bigger than a child himself, he was sitting on a stool behind a wide counter. The counter was glass and housed a myriad of items, looking around the store, Cordy wrinkled her nose at the musty odor but Angel, standing stock still behind her seemed enchanted. He strode around her immediately and went to the counter, bending down he looked inside and smiled, there was a silver pendant, engraved with a Celtic cross and a small emerald it hung on a long silver chain, a dagger next to it, wooden hilt, intricately carved with symbols continuing down to the blade. Next to that a woman's brooch with a heart outlined in red ochre and white ivory a small china bowl with gold gilt rounded out the display. He looked at the items and mentally cataloged them, things he hadn't seen in over 200 years and never in America.
Cordy, not used to his enthusiasm in a store stepped around him and looked into the cabinet too. It looked like what she imagined a pawn shop display would look like, pathetically trying to display costume jewelry in the right light to make someone think they were getting better than nothing. She turned up her nose at the broken pendent and dirty knife. The brooch appeared to have been broken and glued back together by monkeys. She strolled around the counter towards the merchandise stacked indifferently around the darkened and dusty store. It all looked like junk to her. She looked up and saw the only light appeared to be coming from the Christmas lights in the window and a solitary bulb hanging over the counter. Darkened cabinets behind the gnome of a man held books, candles and other odd assorted items.
"Angel" she whispered, "What is it?"
"Its home." He whispered back.
"Home?" She said condescension in her tone. "Home as in I live in a roach infested tenement and wow look at all the pretty junk? That kind of home?" She asked.
The little man behind the counter slid off of the stool and came around the counter, looking up at her with a snide little grin he said, "Is there something of interest there for you young man?" Cordelia looked down at him, noting his disheveled appearance and caught the faintest whiff of other worldliness about him. Just as she opened her mouth to say something the bell tinkled again and the room brightened tremendously. All at once, the store was alive with the smell of cinnamon pine cones; the counter was full of jewelry, glass orbs and small beautifully kept trinkets. Antique furniture and toys, well polished and gleaming oozed old world charm, glorious tiffany lamps and delicate lace shawls on tables that displayed small boxes and more books, Cordelia looked around in shock.
A couple of well dressed women entered the store, holding their many shopping bags and chattered about the display window. The man, now not quite as small as he appeared clapped his hands together and smiled at the women, "Ladies, how may I be of service?" He inquired.
Angel stood, and looked around surprised. He noticed Cordelia standing with the same look on her face and started to speak when she raised her hand and cut him off, "Oh no Bucko, we're getting out of here, I don't know what kind of funky mojo this place has, but I'm not about to get sucked into something out of a Stephen King novel, let's go." She grabbed his lapel and tugged him towards the door. Not easy to do with a specimen as muscular and solid as Angel, but in his current state easier than she expected. They both exited the store and he looked back towards the window. The display was now showing the same Christmas tree but the handmade doll was gone, in its place a nice neat china doll, adorned in the latest 18th century fashion, the rest of the window had shifted as well and looked like the window of an antique store before Christmas would look, instead of like the inside of an old Irish home.