Falling Cherries. 1

Title: Falling Cherries     FC ficpic
Author: Frazi
Posted: 05/12/04
Rating: PG-13 for mild language
Category: Light, humor, post/pre-ep
Content: C/A
Summary: Pre-IWRY. When Angel accidentally hurts Cordelia, he realizes how important she really is (I know – I couldn’t think of anything better
Spoilers: S1, I Will Remember You
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: Answer to Califi’s challenge of which the high points are as follows (See at end of fic.)
Thanks/Dedication: To Cali. If I didn’t lurve you as much as I do, I might just get time to breathe! LOL! Lucky me.
Feedback: Please.


Circles in the sand, damned history repeating itself. Hakunamatata indeed! Remind me never to let Cordelia drag me to a Disney movie again.

Not only did the damned coddling kitties stir up the demon to whining proportions no one else could comprehend, but sitting in that dark theater; how’s a vampire supposed to ignore the smell of fresh blood and with the added bonus of Cordelia Chase wearing a perfume that smells like a cherry garden. Cherries.

Red juicy, succulent cherries. Succulent like…

Shaking my head I glared at my slightly tipped desk surface. Okay. Getting back to the task at hand. My damned desk is crooked. CROOKED dammit. As if the tiny little thing wasn’t annoying with the drawers that always seemed to get stuck and the splinters that caught a vampire unawares.

~Stop being such a cranky bitch Sully. You went, you came, you conquered. Good thing you didn’t see the blonde vampire layer.~

Jumping to my feet I frowned. Where was that damned stake anyway?

Reaching to open a drawer I gave a tug and growled. Stuck again. Today was NOT my day! With a slightly more powerful yank I managed to pull the drawer open enough to allow me to pick up the old windup clock.

Okay. Plausibility wise, if I do this Angelus would shut up and I won’t have to daydream about the damned cherry garden. I nodded. Good plan Angel.

Placing the clock on the hardwood surface I watched one of its legs standing up from the left. I sighed exasperated.

Never letting Cordelia Chase go furniture shopping with Doyle again. Neither of them could see straight, I concluded.

~Plus the bastard is always touchy feely. Want me to rip those spikes out of his face any time soon?~

Pencil. Where’s the damned pencil again? Standing back I placed the pencil on the slightly tilting surface.

It’s not THAT tilt-y Angel. I mimicked the soft lilt in my secretary’s voice and rolled my eyes. The damned thing couldn’t even hold my nice old clock and that was an antique.

I was still engrossed in wondering where I should put the pencil to figure out the angle when I heard the voices outside my office.

“When did he get back?” I could practically hear the lower lip caught between the woman’s teeth.

~Succulent cherries?~

Shaking my head I glared at the pencil before putting it strategically on one corner.

“Late last night,” Doyle replied with a sigh. Why did everyone seem to sigh when they talked about me?


“Ah, he seemed fine.” Poor simple Doyle. He didn’t know where this was going. I sighed. Then frowned. Dammit, now they’ve got me doing it.

“He saw Buffy. He was in Sunnydale for three days, tracking her and that thingymagiggy you saw in your vision.” I nearly glared at my door. Did they NOT know about vampire hearing? The LEAST they could do was whisper dammit! I’m insulted.

And she’s doing it.

She’s sighing! And I can just feel her sad hazel eyes gazing at me with pity. I let the pencil roll and glared in its wake. It rolled until it hit the edge of the clock and stopped. Pity, I did not want.

I mean I DID go back to Sunnydale WITHOUT breaking down and going to see Buffy. Didn’t that deem some respect?

“Where is the crabby scowl, the morbid gloom? This just means that it cut deeper then usual. Batten down the hatches, here comes Hurricane Buffy.”

I nearly stood up there and turned to stare at her. Buffy? Come here? Then I shrugged. It sounded plausible enough. The slayer did have a nasty temper and I DID strategically avoid her while I was taking care of the vision.

Please don’t get me wrong. Buffy is Buffy. She’ll always be special, but somewhere along the year I’ve been away from her. I’ve gotten tired. I’m tired of being dealt the short straw and I know I deserve every bit of misery on my life-plate, but after I left Sunnydale I promised myself I wouldn’t buy pain.

No purchase of misery from the moment I stepped into the City of Angel. Egotistical as it sounded; yeah. This is my city. And I’m through with catching the sticky end of the lollypop and being left with a squeezed out tube of toothpaste.

I decided to ignore the conversation in the hallway as I proceeded to check the short leg and calculating how much I would have to lift it.

“You think?”

Cordy’s answer was again a sigh. A rather exasperated one and yes dammit I’m still listening. First there’s the sighing and now there’s exasperation and the damned desk is STILL tilting. Reaching into the open drawer I pulled out the stake. You’re going down; I told the desk silently with narrow eyes.

“Maybe he’s over her.”

“You have so much to learn little Irish man.”

I ran my forefinger over the tip of the stake. I was still wondering if this stake was going to be enough when I heard Cordelia’s gasp.

“Oh, my God!”

I blinked as my Seer and Secretary ran into the office, her hazel eyes wide and trained on the stake and Doyle paler than usual.

“Don’t do it, Angel!” Cordy nearly vaulted over my desk to reach me and I raised an eyebrow. Okay, maybe I wasn’t the only one mentally imbalanced in this office.

~You know what they say sully. Class attracts class.~

Doyle was shaking his head as I watched them, cautiously confused. “Listen to me, man, it’s not worth it.”

And again I’m wondering what the hell they talk about. More now than usual. “It’s not?”

Cordy was beside herself, hands clasped together, brow creased worriedly as she looked me straight in the eyes. “No! You can’t let her get to you like this. You’ll meet someone else. Just give it some time.”

Doyle held out his hand. “Why don’t you let me have that?”

And that was when it hit me. My funny-man Seer and Hyper secretary thought I was going to stake myself.

~BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! Are they fucking daft? You need balls for that Sully!~

Ignoring the need to make good on their suspicion, I held back the fast approaching grin. “Because I need it to level my desk. “ Lifting the edge of the desk with one hand I stuck the end of the stake under the leg and stood back dusting my hands.

“The floor is uneven.” And then I couldn’t help smirk at them. “You two thought…”

Instantly, Cordelia’s mouth widened into a bright innocent smile as she pointed to her associate. “Doyle did. You know how he jumps to conclusions, – ’cause you saw Buffy.”

Of course, it is Doyle whose pulse goes flying every time the slayer is mentioned and prospect of visiting Sunnydale is brought up. I eyed the woman for a second then decided to let it slide.

She’d never admit it and I’m not the bastard to throw people’s insecurities in their face.

~That would be me.~

“It wasn’t a social call. I was there to protect her. I stayed out of sight. She didn’t even know I was there.” Maybe I was trying to reassure her, but I also wanted her to know that I hadn’t caved. I had conquered. Albeit, I’d been tempted, but self-preservation caught up with me just in time.

Yeah I’m a vampire who wants to live it up happily a little longer. Big surprise.

My secretary frowned as if not entirely convinced I was telling the truth. Actually, she looked down right shocked. What WAS it with people dammit? Did they not know I have some remnant of control over myself still?


~Well you LOOK like a wuss, what do you expect?~

I met her eyes candidly before nodding.

“So you avoided her.”

I glared at her. What; was it written in bright blue letters on my forehead? How the hell did this young woman always know what I was all about? Of all the people I’d wanted to figure me out, Cordelia Chase was not one of them.

That’s like giving a damned bazooka to a four year old. Too much ammunition in the hands of… of…

~Succulent Cherries?~

So I took the coward’s way out. I hedged and tried to make it as if I hadn’t been dying to come back home to my little family. Yeah family. I’m only a vampire dammit and we’re all about ownership.

This was my family. My seer. My secretary. My friends. My office. My purpose and my city. My. My. My! Addressing the concern on Doyle’s face and the suspicion on Cordelia’s I offered the first explanation that I figured they’d buy.

“Look, Buffy is always going to be a part of me, and that’s never going to change. But she’s human and I’m…”

~Looking at cherries? Switching diets? Bored with bleach?~

I frowned and pulled my eyes away from hers. She always seems to catch the lies there so I watched the curves of my boots instead. “And I’m not. And that’s also never going to change. We said our good-byes, no need to stir any of this up again.”

And when had Buffy ever not reminded me my little shortcomings? Vampire. Bloodsucker. Demon.

“You don’t want to ‘stir’, but if my ex came to town and was all stalking me in the shadows and then left and then didn’t even say ‘hello’ I’d be…”

“A little upset.”

My head snapped up and met green eyes a tad more antagonized than upset.

“Wouldn’t you?” She leaned there in the doorway and I waited. Waited for the gut-wrenching feeling of longing ache. Waited for the sinking feeling in my chest, the tingling in my limbs and the twitching of my fingers.

And I waited.

And waited a little more.

Waited still and I guess I was still waiting before Cordelia looked between us too with a forced smile before fixing it on the slayer.

“Buffy! – Buffy’s here – in town.” She looked at me pointedly as if asking me to say something and still I waited. I saw hazel eyes widen emphatically before she turned to Buffy. I was still waiting. “What brings you to..”

“I came to see my father.” I supposed everyone thought I only had eyes for the slayer, but I was waiting dammit and the silly elation didn’t come. The only feeling in my still veins was uneasiness and weariness.

“Thought I’d stop by,” she finished before pushing away from the doorframe to stand straighter.

My secretary let out a fake laugh and I almost wanted to reach out and wrap her in my arms. Yeah baby, I know how uneasy this is, but that wouldn’t have gone well.

Not just yet. So I let Cordy beam with false bravado. “What a surprise!”

And Buffy didn’t even look at the ex-cheerleader. For some reason it seemed to irk, but I was frowning at the lack of empathy on my part and blaming my demon before Buffy finally looked at the brunette rolling on the heels of her feet, apparently antsy.

“Cordelia, how are you?”

“Good. I’m good. You?”

Yeah baby, say it with a little more feeling, I urged silently, but again decided not to voice my coaxing. Wouldn’t help matters.

There was still the issue of one irate ex-girlfriend in my doorway.

“I’ve been better.” And didn’t that just make me feel all happy and welcoming inside. Her green eyes were watching me. Accusing and I was supposed to say what exactly?

‘Hi Buffy, I’m avoiding you and now you’re here making me feel horribly guilty and aggravated that you put me in the spot.

I mean don’t people realize that when someone’s avoiding them, confronting them won’t make them feel better about having to eventually face you? It only irritates you further.

~Eat her.~

I didn’t trust myself to speak. I was afraid I’d agree with Angelus.

Cordy watched my mute state and looked at my Seer in blind panic before grabbing his arm and dragging him next to her with a grin.

“Uh-huh. Well, this is Doyle.” She patted his arm, her worried Hazel eyes watching me for an instant before looking at Buffy. “And he gets visions of people in trouble.”

The Irish demon cleared his throat and tried his brightest smile at the slayer. “Nice to meet you.”

Drop it man, you’re coming out even more morbid thanI feel right now.

And still I didn’t speak. What the hell was I supposed to say? Sorry? This was the exact fucking reason I hadn’t seen her.

Cordy grabbed my Seer’s arm and proceeded to drag him out of the office. “And this is us leaving you two alone.” And I panicked; opening my mouth to ask her stay.

Beg her to not leave me here to deal with Buffy, almost dragging her back bodily.

Buffy closed the door.

The damned smell of cherries was gone.

And I can’t meet her eyes because suddenly the only thought my dead old brain is capable of is finding a way to bring them back. Anyway.

Desperate measures even.

~She’s looking at you Sully. And it’s creeping the fuck out of me. Tell her to piss off already, I’m in the mood for fruit.~

Clearing my throat, I moved out from behind the desk, although even instinct inside me told me to stay where I was. Far away from her. Where I wouldn’t have to touch her. Where I wouldn’t have to be given the choice of wanting to touch her.

And it scared the hell out of me because it wasn’t for the same reason I’d left Sunnydale. “Well, umm, it’s good to…can I get you anything?”

“How about – an explanation?”

Okay so small talk was out of the question. It took all of my inner strength not to growl or show my weariness. “Buffy…”

“Who do you think you are coming to my town and following me around behind my back?”

My eyes snapped up to meet hers. Why did she always put me at the defensive? It was always me trying to explain myself, my actions, my decisions and my shortcomings. Vampire. Demon. Bloodsucker.

And I’m sucked back into the vicious circle. “I’m sorry.”

“What is this? Some new torment you cooked up just for me?”

Then I’m sighing. Yes I see why they do it. The need to suddenly expel air mimics trying to expel the exhaustion and irritation. And it saddens me that that is all I’m feeling.

“No, I don’t want to torment, Buffy…”

“What is it? You can see me, but I can’t see you? What are we playing here?” I look up and frown at her. Again with the interrupting dammit.

You know all that time away from the love of your life and suddenly having nothing left in the world really gives you a perspective on what you want out of life. The simple things come back without the heartache and blindness that being in love brings.

Of course technically the veil lifts when you find that perfect place that calms and soothes and puts all your worries to rest. When you’re with the one you love and think of forever. Not having the liberty of having that with Buffy had given me options. And I’m a fucking vampire dammit. My mind tends to wander.

Just as it does while she talks and I’m thinking of sniffing cherries. The whole damned situation seems like such a farce right now because let me tell you, when you’re wandering through dark streets alone without a purpose and a friend in the world you do a hell of a lot of soul searching.

And when you find them all you do the next logical step. We move on with our lives and we leave the pain and hurt behind.

“We’re not playing Buffy. At least, I’m not playing anything. I wrestled with this decision…”

“Which you made without me.”

And this time I did glare at the interruption. “I tried to do what I thought was right. It’s complicated how this all happened, Buffy, you know? It’s kind of a long story.”

“Your new sidekick had a vision, I was in it, you came to Sunnydale?”

Can I just say the word ‘sidekick’ just bristled all kinds of new little chords inside me? “Okay, maybe not that long.” I ran a hand through my hair hoping to lighten the atmosphere with humor, but it didn’t help.

How the hell does Cordy do it anyway?

~Flawlessly you ignorant piece of shit.~

“You didn’t feel that I was important enough to even tell me that you were there.”

I dragged the strength in me to look at her face, to see it twisted into a saddened frown. A part of me felt bad, I admit. It was a lousy, nasty, cowardly thing to do, but we’re already gone over survival instincts remember? There only so much emotional beating a vampire can take.

“I’m trying to explain.” I tried to keep the exasperation out of my voice, but the look on her face said I didn’t succeed as well as I planned. “It’s because I felt that you’re important that I didn’t tell you.”

“I’m a big girl now, Angel. I’m not in High School anymore. A lot has happened in my life since you left.”

Smug little girl. “I know. Mine too.” I crossed my arms and leaned back against my desk evasively.

“And I don’t need you skulking around, trying to protect me.” I wondered if I should remind her it was the vision, but she looked all self-primping, so I chose my patented silence as she continued her little tirade.

“Unless, of course, I’m in some gigantic fight to the death, which – I was last night. That was you, helping me, wasn’t it?”

~She really is dumber than she looks isn’t she?~

Afraid I might admit the state of my annoyance and her ignorance of the fact that when my Seer had visions I had no choice BUT to go to PTB bidding; I tried my usual. I hedged some more. “I was in the neighborhood – skulking.”

When she didn’t seem to entertain my deadpan humor I rubbed my throbbing temple and clamped down the sudden need to run out of the office. Wouldn’t that have been all brave and warrior-like? The PTB would be disgraced for their immortal lives.

“I’m sorry if I handled this wrong. I mean, what else was I supposed to do?” And again I wondered why all I did to this woman was apologize? For things that happened. Things I did. Things I was.

Vampire. Bloodsucker. Demon.

“I don’t know Angel.” She ran a hand through her hair and seemed to match my weariness for an instant before her green eyes clouded with empathy that froze me in my spot.

~Oh for the love of Hades; here it comes.~

“I just know that when you’re around, whether I see you or not, – I feel you – inside – and it throws me.”

I took a deep steadying breath. Yes goddammit; even we need it at times like his. Still male you know. “Throws me too.” Just not for the same reason anymore.

I hadn’t realized or seen the softening in the young woman because I was still merrily hyperventilating inside my head. The breathing didn’t tip you off? There are only two things vampires breath during.

Being interrogated is one of them.

~Angel the Shagless vampire.~

I growled softly under my breath.

“So let’s just stick to the plan. We keep our distance until a lot of time has passed. Given enough time we should be able to…” She stumbled over her words, green eyes misty and asking me for things I didn’t have any more.

She was standing there asking me to sweep her into my arms share forbidden kisses but those damned forbidden kisses had been my undoing. I was sick and tired of forbidden things. They hurt and stole you from yourself in a way you could never find back. And I’d just barely found myself again.

When she still looked at me, hoping, expecting, I provided the word that eluded her. “Forget?’

Soft disappointment streaked across her pretty features before she nodded. “Yeah. – So, I’m gonna go – start forgetting.”

I nodded.

And then her green eyes narrowed. “I’m going.”

I nodded again.

Green eyes darkened and she stood there. “Start the forgetting you know.”

And I raised my eyebrows, unsure of why she was still in my office, and I admit I must had looked slightly condescending, but this was my office dammit and there’s also only so much emotional melodrama a demon can take.

I wanted her to go so I could wallow in misery that usually followed her wake. I didn’t need to anticipate the brooding session I knew I was going to have after this. The sooner she left, the sooner I could get back to my life.


I blinked. “Aren’t you?”

Green fire licked at her eyes. “Excuse you! Weren’t you the one who came after me?”

“The vision Buffy. It was the vision. I wouldn’t have come back to Sunnydale otherwise. I promised myself and you.”

I really hadn’t wanted to point out the reason I’d dragged myself back to my past, but she wasn’t leaving and I had a feeling things were about to get a lot hotter than my male taste allowed.

And she stood there, one hand on her mouth as if physically struck by my words and instantly I felt the guilt building in my chest. Guilt that hadn’t visited me in a while.

Guilt that had been replaced with grins and smirks and laughs.

~And Cherries.~

“Buffy don’t. Don’t make this harder than it already is.”

“Is it?” Suddenly she’s not hurt or the same lovestruck woman standing in my doorway or the one I left in Sunnydale. Suddenly she’s angry and she’s the slayer and it stirs all kinds of wrong instincts in me.

No. Will not eat her. Will not eat her.

“Yes it’s hard for me to do this again and again.”

“What leaving me?”

I couldn’t help the growl of frustration. “No. Picking up the damned pieces every time you blow through my life.”

“YOU were the one who left.”

“I had no choice Buffy! We were making each other miserable. Wasn’t that indication enough that it wasn’t meant to be?”

“Meant to be!” She stared at me incredulously. “Before you left, WE were meant to be!”

“Well this is now.” I raked my hand through my hair and shook my head. “It’s not like I’ve forgotten Buffy. Those are memories I wouldn’t part with for anything.”

“I’m not a fucking memory – I’m standing in front of you!” She snapped.

I met her eyes, tired of hiding behind false facades of calm. “What do you want Buffy?”

The young woman’s face twisted with confused fury before she started the pacing, her hands clenching and writhing against each other. “I don’t know.”

She threw up her hands as she wore a path in my office floor. “Since you’ve been gone, I’ve been trying to make sense of what I felt for you. I’ve been trying to get past the insane need to be near you. But it’s been hard Angel.” She looked up at me and I saw her for what she was, a young girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders.

But we all have our fights. I’d come to understand ours wasn’t the same. It looked like she didn’t. Yet.

“It gets easier down the road,” I shrugged, my hands sliding into the pockets of my pants. The damned smell of Cherries had nothing to do with it. Nope.

~Keep tellin’ yourself that wussy.~

And I realized that Buffy was not a fool. “Is there someone else?”

My head jerked up and I stared; my mouth opening then closing as I stood there struck dumb by her question.

And she seemed to suddenly go cold. “Oh.”

But there wasn’t. Not yet. I tried to find the right words, but with me that’s never easy. My foot likes to lodge itself firmly in my throat. Panic welled in my belly. And I pushed the maddening urge to reach out and shake the woman firmly.

Anything to get the confusing thought out of her head and mine. Talk about putting ideas into someone’s head.

~As if Sully. Cherries haven’t been on your fucking mind.~

The firm line of her features as not as confident as she probably means it to be. “Who?”

“There’s no one…”

“Don’t lie to me!”

“Buffy there isn’t…”

“Are you denying it?”

“All I’m saying is…”

“Are you denying it dammit, it’s not a multiple choice!”

And for a second I wonder if I should even bother with this verbal sparing its only grating on my already tender nerves. “Will you listen…”



“WHO!” And then she was stepping closer and the demon was snarling, the ripples skating precariously under my face.

“Ahem? Angel, sorry to interrupt, I know you’re all cozy and in the moment, but this invoice…”

Turning to the door like a whiplash, and gold-rimmed eyes I nearly snarled at the mahogany head sticking in through the slightly ajar door.

“Don’t you ever think to knock?” I was livid and antagonized and unable to see the widening of her hazel eyes as I shot at her. “You forget what you’re here for.”

As soon as the words had left my lips and I saw the instant flash of pure hurt on her fine-boned features, I cringed.

~Fucking hell Sully! You have LOUSY aim! THAT is the secretary! The vapid slayer is behind you!~

The fangs and ridges instantly melted. “Cordelia…” I took a step toward her, but froze at the blank, icy expression on her face.

“And now I’m going to lunch.” Without another word or even a glance in my direction the door clicked shut.

Like an idiot I stood there, torn between running after her and leaving Buffy upset and still angry. Looking up into her disturbed features I cursed silently.

Leave it to me to find some way to suck the happiness out of everything. “Buffy…”

“It’s her.”

And I was slapped.

But I didn’t know if I should be angry or if I should be shocked or if I should just admit the damned scent of cherries branding my senses. Taking the last vestiges of the honesty left in the situation, I met her gaze.

“There’s nothing going on between myself and Cordelia. There hasn’t been anyone since you, Buffy. But I don’t forget that you’re not mine and I don’t forget that I’m a vampire and you’re a slayer.” There was a flash of regret and denial in her eyes before she averted her gaze, but I had to tell her the truth. I owed her that much.

“Cordelia’s my friend. One of my best.”

“Bitchy little Cordy is suddenly Angel’s best friend?” She snorted softly. “Alert the presses.”

I frowned. “Don’t.”

Looking up, I saw guilt chase shame across her pretty features, her lower lip pouting as she thought. Finally with a ragged sigh, she raised her gaze back to mine and the conflict of emotions had calmed considerably.

“Not fair Angel. Your forgetting is no way near mine.”

“Really?” I watched her carefully. “Admit it Buffy, it’s not fun wallowing in misery. After a while even that gets old. And then you don’t have a choice but to go forward.”

Fearful she voiced her question. “Why her?”

“Why not?” I shrugged. “She’s tactless and inexperienced, but she’s also compassionate and fiercely loyal.” I couldn’t’ help the exasperated throwing up of my hands. “I mean for god’s sake; You put up with Xander don’t you?”

Although no way was I comparing Cordelia to that annoying pain in the butt.

Her nose wrinkled. “Touché.”

I shook my head at the stung look on her face. “That wasn’t a point. Just stating a fact.”

She was silent for a moment then looked up with a deep breath and most resolve than she’d shown the past few minutes. “So this is it. We’re moving on.”

Suddenly the prospect was as frightening for me as it seemed to her and for a moment I wondered if I was right, but the flashing pain in those hazel eyes kept haunting me. “Yes – this is it.”

In the silence that followed, my office door was thrust open. “Angel?” Looking up I regarded the alarm on my Seer’s face as he stood there.

“What did you do?”

I winced. “As Cordelia puts it Doyle. I’m the king of bad timing.”

He glared. “What did you say to her?”

I shook my head before grabbing my coat. “Something I didn’t mean. Which isn’t all that new. Where’d she go?”

“Don’t bother going after her Angel. She quit.”

I froze. “She what?”

The Irish demon stood there with his arms crossed and his blue eyes flashing with anger. “Yes bossman; she quit.”

“She can’t quit!” I snapped, the unwarranted fury mingled with the budding fear as the prospect of Cordelia Chase leaving finally sank in.

~YOU, you pansy assed prick! You did this! YOU! YOU! YOU!~

“That woman always does what she wants and what she wants is to never see you again.” Doyle crossed his arms. “What did you say to her?”

I sighed, rolling my shoulders to adjust the coat as I looked at Buffy, who was silent. “It doesn’t matter. I’m going to apologize to her. I’ll bribe her dammit. She can’t quit! I won’t let her!” I glared at him. “Where’d she go?”

Doyle let out a sigh. There. He’s doing it again and he’s looking at me like I’m a clueless little school boy. But then I figure I might as well be. Cordelia Chase does not woo easy.

“Home Angel. She told me she was going to buy Rocky-Road, go home for a bubble bath, and sue you for harassment in the work place tomorrow morning when she sends for her paycheck.”

I raised an eyebrow. “She figures she’d get a paycheck AND a lawsuit?”

“It’s Cordelia,” Buffy pointed out with a roll of her eyes.

~Slutty’s got a point.~

I’d have to take the sewers. The lengths I went to. “Well first she’ll have to deal with quitting without notice.” Meeting Buffy’s eyes I took one last look at the woman who’d taught me to love unconditionally and walked out of my office.

Over my shoulder I called out, “Doyle, give Buffy a tour!”

Buffy Summers looked up at the Irish man staring after Angel as if he’d been given a death sentence. “Well don’t start jumping for joy yet.”

Blushing slightly Doyle turned to the blond slayer and gave her his most winning smile.

“Francis Doyle at your service madam.”

A snicker shot out of the woman.

He smirked. “Me mother had a wicked sense of humor.”

Buffy smiled back. “So did mine.”


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