Character: Cordelia Chase
Pairings Included in Manifesto: Angel/Cordelia
Blurb: Cordelia Chase. Arguably one of the most awesome of Joss' characters, her growth throughout Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Angel: The Series was a joy to watch as she transformed from the silly, spoilt rich girl in the premiere, to the rounded, grounded HBIC of the Angel: The Series universe.
I could geek out for hours over how much I love her, and her relationship with Angel, but I think Jennifer Crusie says it oh so much more eloquently in her essay, The Assassination of Cordelia Chase. In it, she highlights everything there is to love about this character, details exactly when, and how, her character was violated, and why her epilogue was so welcome, for all its bittersweetness, in the final season of Angel: The Series.
Fic Rec #1: Bound
Why This Must Be Read: Set immediately after Doyle's death in Angel: The Series' season one, this story shows a grieving Angel and Cordelia trying to find their way as a duo instead of a trio. While Inamorata prefaces the story by saying, "I would like to make it clear that it is absolutely not the case that this whole fic exists simply because I thought it would be fun to get Angel and Cordelia to take a shower together," that is exactly the reason why you should read this story. And because it's case!fic that works. And the writing's gorgeous. And it's Angel and Cordelia, together. And did I mention the absolutely meltingly hot shower scene?!
Fic Rec #2: Line In The Sand
Why This Must Be Read: Authors generally deal with Angel's curse in one of four ways when it comes to Angel and Cordelia falling in love: 1. Angel's curse has been made permanent somehow; 2. Angel's far too self-aware now of all his responsibilities and guilt to ever forget again, perfect bliss or not; 3. Cordelia's not Buffy (and so bliss is not even an option); or, 4. Angel and Cordelia know they can only go so far before his curse becomes an issue.
Set after Waiting In The Wings (but in an alternate verse where Groo never appeared at the end of the episode), Dazzle shows us option four and an Angel and Cordelia who can't help but push and push and push at the limits of so far, constantly testing just how close they can get before they'll need to stop.
Fic Rec #3 Windows Of Night
Why This Must Be Read: Brief, but powerful, this ficlet fixes Cordelia's absence from Angel: The Series in a post-series way that rings unsurprisingly true.
Fic Rec #4: Sincerely
Why This Must Be Read: I describe this story as: while at Wolfram & Hart, Angel learns how to use email. And while that sounds like the start of a comedy, this is actually a beautifully written and bittersweet look at exactly who is missing from Angel: The Series' season five: Cordelia.
Fic Rec #5: Angel, Hear My Cry
Why This Must Be Read: One of my favourite tropes in Angel/Cordelia fiction is stories that take place in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer before Angel and Cordelia leave for LA at the end of season three. Set after Lover's Walk, Samsom shows us an Angel and Cordelia who are both hurting, and in need of comfort, and answers the question: just how, and when, did Angel get the Plymouth?
Fic Rec #6: Unexpected
Author: rgw / Robin
Why This Must Be Read: Set before Darla and Connor arrive in Angel: The Series, but after the initial angst of Buffy's death and resurrection in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, this is a wonderful story that shows the Scoobies reactions to Angel and Cordelia's friendship as they fall head over heels into something more. Covering a range of tropes, Robin spins out an evolution of Angel and Cordelia's relationship that we can only wish Joss n' Co would have considered.
Fic Rec #7: Tensity
Why This Must Be Read: This is Angel and Cordelia in a relationship. This is both characters, pitch perfect, in a relationship that is healthy and normal and unhealthy and abnormal in all the right and wrong ways. Beautifully written, this fic straddles the line between being dark!fic and happily-ever-after so finely, you'll have trouble deciding which is the stronger.
Fic Rec #8: Babylon
Why This Must Be Read: Considering that Tomorrow was the episode that started the derailing of Angel and Cordelia's relationship, and Cordelia's character, it's no surprise that so many authors choose it as the jumping off point to "fix" the show.
In this story, Starlet chooses to keep the episode as being the time when Angel and Cordelia make the decision to move their relationship forward, but rewrites it so that no sharks are jumped or harmed in its making. A sweet story that -- unlike the episode itself -- will leave you with a smile on your face.
Fic Rec #9: The Thrill Of The Fight
Why This Must Be Read: One of the things I love most about this story is that it doesn't hide, or try to dimish, Angel's love for Cordelia. Even when Cordelia tries to wave his feelings away as not being enough to lose his soul over, he is utterly resolute in his assertion that it is. A lovely, sexy little story.
Fic Rec #10: Snow Angel
Why This Must Be Read: Starlet is one of the most recced authors of Angel/Cordelia fiction, and this story is another example of why. Well written, fun and sexy, she gives us what we were all hoping for after the episode Provider in Angel: The Series' season three -- Angel and Cordelia (and Connor), happy and together and on vacation.
Fic Rec #11: Gloomy Sunday
Why This Must Be Read: Set during the second half of Angel: The Series' season one, this story shows the evolution of Angel and Cordelia's relationship from colleagues (and friends) to lovers in the days following Buffy's and Faith's appearances in LA. Case!fic meets romance and angst meets sex... and death? If your breath doesn't catch at the final two paragraphs of this fic, well... read it again. :)
Fic Rec #12: Thaw
Pairing: Angel/Cordelia, Buffy/Angel
Why This Must Be Read: One of my favourite fics for last. I'm a sucker for three things in Angel/Cordelia fiction: 1. Alternate realities (like the Birthday! and Wish!verses); 2. Angel and Cordelia in Sunnydale; and, 3. Angel and Cordelia in love and together. Not only does this story nail all three, it also fixes the disaster that was season four in Angel: The Series. The writing is gorgeous, the characterisations pitch perfect, and the canon messing and fixing is so completely spot on you'll wonder why Joss didn't just do this himself. A perfectly plotty AU romance.