TITLE: Nothing heals me like you do
AUTHOR: Lady Raven

DISCLAIMER: Cordy and Doyle belong to the Evil One AKA Joss.  Heather Nova performs 'London Rain (Nothing heals me like you do)'; you can get it on 'Songs from Dawson's Creek'.  The Mousetrap was written by the Mistress of Mystery, Agatha Christie. (Yes, I'm a fan, can you tell? :-] )

SPOILERS: Rumors about the first season of 'Angel', written before the premiere.

RATING/CONTENT: PG-13.  Cordelia/Doyle romance.

SUMMARY: Songfic.  Cordelia's beat after a long day; Doyle administers some TLC.  Set sometime in the future.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: I was struck by the potential of this song the first time I heard it; I was originally going to use this for Buffy and Angel, but I think it works better this way. //g//

//I'm coming, I'm coming home to you
//I'm alive, I'm a mess

Cordelia sighed as she turned the corner onto her street.  The underground station was just two blocks away from the house, and most of the time she liked the short walk, using it to clear her head.  But it had been a long, hard day, and to top everything off it was raining softly but steadily.  Doyle was following a hectic schedule with the assorted favors he was doing for Angel, Giles, Whistler's committee and several relatives on the otherworld side of his family, and Cordelia hadn't wanted to interrupt him to pick her up at the theatre.

//I can't wait to get home to you
//To get warm, warm and undressed

Cordelia made an effort to hasten her walk as she neared the townhouse in London that she and Doyle had taken for the summer.  The fact that it was summer didn't seem to make much difference to the weather; despite her cashmere coat, she was damp all over, cold and stiff.

She smiled longingly at the thought of being curled up with Doyle on the sheepskin rug in the study in front of a roaring fire, a hot chocolate cradled in her hands.  Then being all nice and warm for a different reason, involving both of them naked with Billie Holiday on the CD player.

//There've been changes beyond my dreams
//Everybody wants me to sing

Cordelia was grateful that Doyle didn't mind relocating to London for the summer; she'd been prepared to take their relationship long distance if Angel had needed Doyle, but her ex-boss seemed to be handling things fine on his own.

She needed a vacation badly, even a working one. For the past few months she had been working 12 and 14-hour days, five or six days a week.  She had auditioned for her present role while shooting on location in London.

She'd auditioned on impulse, thinking of Giles.   But when she'd told him that she had actually won the part of Mollie in 'The Mousetrap' while the regular actress was on maternity leave, he'd practically ordered her to take the part.  His love of Agatha Christie had been one of the few things he'd passed onto both her and Willow.

She and Doyle had discussed the chance at length, before she decided that a lead role in the world's longest running play was an opportunity too good to turn down.  Roles on the London stage were plentiful for Australian soap actors, but not American ones.  The chance for a serious dramatic role like this one was rare.

//There've been changes beyond my grasp
//Things that aren't sinking in

Cordelia sometimes still had trouble believing the events of the past five years.  A six-week contract on 'Days of our Lives' had been extended to three years.  She had garnered a Daytime Emmy the second year, and looked likely to be nominated again in a few months.

But even better - and even more unbelievable - was her relationship with Doyle.  After a string of relationships that ended either disastrously (Wesley Wyndham-Price), tragically (Kevin, killed before the Sophomore Spring Fling), or painfully (Xander), who would have thought that she'd find true love and happiness with a man who was half- human, half-supernatural?

//To keep me (keep me)
//In your bed all day (all day)
//Nothing heals me like you do
//Nothing heals me like you do

Cordelia sighed as she unlocked the front door and stepped in.  She turned and started to shed her dripping coat, when a pair of warm hands covered hers, and a soft, deep voice with an Irish accent said, "Let me take that."  Cordelia turned her head to smile at her long-time lover as he gently slid her coat off, hanging it on the rack on the wall.

Doyle smiled back, and went on one knee to take off Cordelia's boots.  "I called the theatre to ask you if you wanted me to pick you up, but Denise said you'd already left," Cordelia groaned as one too tight, wet boot came off.  Doyle looked up at her and gave her the unholy charming grin that she'd fallen for when she was eighteen, though she hadn't realized it for a while.  "I thought that with the weather, it might be an idea to build up the fire in the study.  Dinner's waiting."

As the other boot came off, Cordelia leaned over to kiss him softly.  As she straightened, she asked, "Have I told you that I love you?"

Doyle grinned again, and Cordelia felt her heart flip.  "Not in the last twelve hours, no.  How was your day?"

Cordelia groaned and her head drooped in response.  Doyle stood, caught up a small glass of red wine on the sideboard, pressed it into Cordelia's hand and stroked her hair behind her ear as he said soothingly, "Drink.  Relax.  I love you."

Cordelia smiled as she let him lead her into the study.  They preferred eating in here to the glaringly white kitchen, or the dining room that was paneled in so much dark wood that they only used it when they had company and all the lights blazed.  The study had a great deal of wood as well, only it was just the desk, table, and bookcases.  These were offset by comfortable leather chairs, a sofa, and a huge marble fireplace, where a fire now blazed, warming the room.

//When somebody knows you well
//Well there's no comfort like that

Doyle had set up the plates beside the sheepskin rug on a small wooden bed-table; the kind that looked like a tray with legs.  Cordelia sank to her knees on the rug, then sat down and crossed her legs.

She looked at the bed-table and smiled.  Doyle had made hot buttered toast to accompany chicken soup, with a large mug of hot chocolate.  As Doyle sat behind her, his chest almost touching her back, she heard music.  Recognizing the voice of Billie Holiday, she turned her head to look at Doyle, and touched his face gently.  "This is almost exactly what I was dreaming of all the way home.  Did you have a premonition about it?"

Doyle slid his arms around her waist and replied, "No, I just talked to Denise.  The theatre gofer always knows everything.  She filled me in on the screaming match between the director and two of your cast-mates.  That and the three-hour delay in getting the lights running after the power surge.  So I thought you could use some comfort food.  What was the problem between Sean
and Roger, anyway?"  Cordelia sighed, and opened her mouth.  Doyle placed a spoon in her hands and added, "You can tell me while you eat.  Don't let it get cold."

Cordelia smirked and obeyed.  Between sips and bites she told him, "We're in final dress rehearsals, and Roger still isn't completely down with the blocking and his cues.  Sean thinks Roger should know it all by now, and he's right.  But then Sean brought me into it by pointing out that I'd come to the actual rehearsals two weeks after everyone else, but I knew all my lines, cues, and blocking."

Doyle rubbed his hands up and down her back, soothing the tired muscles, as he asked, "So why did Olivia come out swinging-in a verbal sense, I mean?"

Cordelia made a disgusted noise.  "She has to defend Roger. When Timothy left she recommended him.  After Sean brought me into the argument she made a crack about me knowing my lines because it wasn't like I was doing anything important before I came."

Doyle winced in sympathy, both for the insult to Cordelia and what she must have said to the other actress.  Very few things made Cordelia worked up nowadays, but insults to her acting ability, the Scooby Gang family or her dress sense made her go off like a rocket.  "What did you do?"

Cordelia tilted her head back and gave a sheepish smile as Doyle's hands moved to her shoulders.  "I kind of regressed to high school, and told her that next time she recommends an actor, she should do it based on his abilities on the boards and not between the sheets." Cordelia snickered, "Olivia stopped dead.  She actually thinks it's some kind of secret that she's sleeping with Roger."

//When somebody needs you
//Well there's no drug like that

Doyle's hands were moving in a different pattern now, one that made her skin tingle, as he asked, "Feel better now that you've vented?"  Cordelia nodded, careful to hide her smile.  "Still hungry?" he asked.

Cordelia went onto her knees to put aside the bed-table, and turned to face Doyle.  "Starving," she told him with a smile.  "Just not for food," she giggled as she pushed Doyle onto his back, straddling his legs.  He grinned up at her as she quickly unbuttoned his shirt, trailing her fingernails through the light dusting of hair on his chest, and in a line down the center of his chest to the waistband of his jeans.

Doyle sucked in a breath and sat up, tipping Cordelia to sit between his legs.  He dropped his shirt beside the rug and slid his arms around her waist to hold her close, before he kissed her deeply, his tongue entering her mouth, gently entwining with her own.  After she broke the kiss for lack of air, Doyle left a line of kisses along her jawline and down her throat, muttering in Gaelic.  Cordelia had picked up enough of the language from him and Angel over the years to know what he was saying.  He was telling her how much he loved her, how much he had missed her, how much he longed for her and exactly what he wanted to do to her right now on the rug.

Cordelia moaned and let her head loll back, love and desire flowing over her until she felt hazy and drugged.  She languidly lifted her arms as Doyle pulled her sweater over her head, resting her head on his shoulder as Doyle slid one of her camisole straps aside so he could pick up where he left off, kissing a line down her throat and over her shoulder.

//To keep me (keep me)
//In your bed all day (all day)
//Nothing heals me like you do
//Nothing heals me like you do

She rested her palm over his heart, feeling his human-speed heartbeat thud against her hand, before slowly sliding it down his chest to unbutton his jeans.  Doyle groaned, sending a glow threading through her, before he reached to unfasten her own jeans, undoing the ornate silver crucifix belt buckle he'd bought her in Mexico before sliding his hands down her legs, leaving a burning trail as they went, to pull off her socks.

Cordelia sighed and slowly sank back onto the rug, leaving her legs on either side of Doyle, only lifting her hips when he tugged off her jeans.  She laid her head down and closed her eyes, gasping when she felt Doyle caress her body through the camisole, letting the black silk carry his touch.  She heard the rustle of his remaining clothing falling to the floor, then felt his lips on her skin, leaving hot, wet circles on her forehead, both eyelids, and the peak of her cheekbones, before his lips met hers.  Cordelia opened her lips and slipped her tongue into his mouth, licking his teeth and gums.  She heard him groan deep in his chest, and felt his press body hard against hers.

She broke off the kiss, and opened her eyes.  Doyle was staring into her eyes, his gaze as burning hot as the fire that crackled next to them.  He rolled them onto their sides, and Cordelia was silent as she felt the silk slide over her skin.

//To keep me (keep me)
//In your bed all day (all day)
//Nothing heals me like you do
//Nothing heals me like you do

She was suddenly hungry to feel his touch on her skin, and placed his hand on her ribcage and murmured, "Touch me."  Doyle gave the chuckle she found sexy now, but had once found maddening, and used his fingertips to trace between her ribs.  Cordelia gave a choked giggle, and Doyle's hand moved to her back, where his fingers trailed up and down her spine, caressing her back as
he kissed her.  Cordelia sighed into his mouth as she lost herself in their kiss.  The lingering tension of the hassles at the theatre melted away, so did her exhaustion.

Then he moved on top of her and everything else disappeared.  Nothing else existed but the two of them and what they made together.  There was only his body crushing hers from above, and the sheepskin cushioning her from below.  She ran her hands down his back to his waist and up again, feeling the muscles of his hard body flex beneath her fingers, and the velvet of his skin
against the satin of hers.

//When I'm home, curled in your arms
//And I'm safe again

Sometime later, Cordelia smiled as she curled up in their bed, Doyle's chest hard against her back and his arm around her waist.  He kissed her shoulder and she reached a hand back to stroke his hair, longer now than when they had first met.

It had taken her some time to recognize it, but this man was everything she'd spent eighteen years searching for. Doyle made her feel secure, in a way that no one else in her life had ever managed to do.  He kept her safe, he nurtured her dreams, and he listened to what she had to say. He would never betray her and never leave her.

He accepted her for what she was, not what he wanted her to be.  He loved her with everything that he was, and accepted her own love without conditions.

//I'll close my eyes and sleep
//Sleep, to the sound of London rain

Doyle whispered to her, and Cordelia answered, before closing her eyes and drifting off to sleep.

The rain was still going, but now Cordelia listened to it with the contentment of someone that is warm and dry, and has everything she needs to be happy.

//To keep me (keep me)
//In your bed all day (all day)
//Nothing heals me like you do
//Nothing heals me like you do
//To keep me (keep me)
//In your bed all day (all day)
//Nothing heals me like you do