Title: It’s a Woman Thing
Posted here: 08/05
Summary: This was inspired by an e-mail, I don’t know if an unauthored e-mail that has been forwarded around the globe most likely countless times needs to be disclaimed- but if it does- the section of this story under The Real Truth by Bob– is such a forwarded e-mail. It was forwarded to me, after being forwarded, and forwarded and forwarded. I have no idea who or where it originated. If someone knows- you can tell me. Just know I didn’t make it up. I did change the format a bit, but not the content.
Spoilers: S3 post-Fred arrival
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: if you have asked before on any of my other stuff and I said yes (which, I would have) it’s yours- that goes for all my stuff if anybody wants it- I just always forget to put it in the headings. Okay that was way too long….On with the fluff.
Thanks/Dedication:Oh, one more thing- since I haven’t finished ‘In Search of Happily Ever After’ yet- Dave still gets the dedication….I figure he would appreciate the contents of the e-mail, he probably wrote it.
“Why not, Angel? It will be fun. You like to have fun, you’ve even begun to grow a fun bone in that formerly brood bod of yours, evidenced by your unbridled passion for Charleston Heston movies. Granted, not seeing the complete fun there, but hey, it’s a start.”
“A double showing, two for one of Charlton Heston is fun. What you are asking is not fun. A movie is shown in a theater, a dark place where you can enjoy the film without mobs of strange humans or demons banging into you, talking to you. And it’s CHARLTON, not Charleston. A Carnival is not fun. Carnivals are seedy, dirty places with throes of people milling about bothering you. I’m not going.”
“Fine. We won’t go.”
“Cordy, you can still go.” Angel thought a moment about Cordelia wandering around a carnival alone. Something could happen to her. That wouldn’t work. “ Well, as long as Gunn and Wesley go with you. Fred, can go too.”
Cordelia raised both of her brows at the vampire’s gallant permission. “Gee, thanks a lot. Gunn and Wesley don’t need to learn how to be social and have fun. Or at least Gunn doesn’t. I’ve given up on Wesley.”
“What, Mr. ‘I’d rather stay at home and read boring demon lore from before the dawning of time’?” Cordelia raised her brow at the indignant former watcher.
Wesley immediately sat down. “I’ll be happy to accompany you and Fred. It will be fun. Gunn?”
“Wouldn’t miss it, hey girl, I’ll win you a big stuff bear.” Gunn nudged at Fred.
“Gunn, do I need to remind you that I am a much better dart player than you. I imagine, I’ll win the biggest stuff bear for Fred.”
“Maybe in your stuffy little ‘pub’. Gunn’s fingers quoted in the air. “But wait until we get into the real world, where the action is.”
“Really, it’s a challenge then.”
“You’re on. Wait to sit back and weep, fancyboy, as I win all of the stuffed bears, puppies, kitties and whatever else they have.”
“Knock the testosterone down a level, boys.” Cordelia raised both brows at the men.
“Sorry, sure thing. Can’t wait to go.” Both Wesley and Gunn said in unison, perching on the edge of the desk.
Cordelia smiled. “Thank you.”
Both Wesley and Gunn smiled and nudged each other. They stopped suddenly as Cordelia looked back at them.
“This will be fun, the last carnival I went to was over ten years ago in Texas. Though, it wasn’t really a carnival. It was a fair. It had horses, cows, and pigs, but it did have some rides, clowns and cotton candy. And I got sick from the cotton candy and the ride that hung you upside down. It just kept you there, swinging back and forth back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.”
Fred’s hands swayed together in time with her statement. “Completely defying the laws of physics, should have fallen splat to the ground.” Fred suddenly clapped her hands loudly.
The room jumped, as everyone realized that they had been swaying along with Fred’s speech.
“I did win a goldfish, though, it died. I had fun. Angel, you’re sure you don’t want to come?” Fred went on oblivious to the others’ green tinged expressions.
“No. I’m not going.”
Wesley and Gunn cringed at the loud drawn out sigh that escaped Cordelia’s lips.
“Cordy, I don’t want to go. I’m not going and that’s final.”
“Fine. I said it was fine. Really, Angel, It’s okay.” With another loud sigh Cordelia went upstairs.
“Ah, man, did you have to piss Cordy off, she will be in ragin’ princess mode all evening. What a barrel of laughs this will be.” Gunn shook his head.
“That’s not fair, Charles. Cordy just wants Angel to enjoy himself.” Fred shook her head and raised her brow at the stubborn vampire.
“Shit.” Gunn said under his breath and nudged at Wesley. “Did you see that?”
Wesley merely nodded with a very unhappy look on his face.
“Cordy’s not mad, she said so.”
“You’re right, Angel. I’m sure Gunn is making a big deal about nothing. I’m going to help Cordy. I don’t know what she is doing, but I’m sure I can help her, so I’m going to go help her.” With a loud sigh, Fred went upstairs.
As soon as Fred was out of sight, Gunn jumped up from the corner of the desk. “Did you see that? Did you see that? Fred raised her brows and sighed. Both. She’s been hanging with the princess too long. Man, Angel you got to do something. Go, tell Cordy you’re sorry or something. Do whatever she wants.”
“What are you talking about? I haven’t done anything wrong. All I said was that I didn’t want to go to the carnival. Cordelia isn’t mad.”
“Yeah, she is and now so is Fred. Let the princess be mad at you, that’s your deal, but don’t drag Fred into Cordy’s pissedness. That just ain’t right.”
“What are you…”? Angel eyes widened at the glare both Wesley and Gunn were shooting him
“Fine. Nothing. How old are you? The vamp knows nothing bout women. Didn’t he learn anything in that long life of his?” Gunn shook his head at Wesley.
Wesley took off his glasses and wiped the lenses. “Now, Gunn, it’s not fair to blame Angel, entirely.” Wesley returned his glasses to his head and glared at the confused vampire. “After all he was Angelus for a good portion of that long life.”
“So? Can’t he at least pretend to understand? A pissed Cordelia and a pissed Fred is not something I want to deal with. Who knew Fred could get pissed.” Gunn slammed his long body into a chair, ignoring Angel’s yelp of ‘Hey’ and subsequent hurt look.
“All I said was…”
“Damn’t Angel read this.” Wesley threw a magazine at Angel.
Angel looked at the cover. “Where did you get this and why should I read it?”
“Cordy’s desk and because it’s relevant.”
Angel turned the fashion magazine around in his hands. He couldn’t understand how a magazine that portrayed an emaciated woman/child on the cover was relevant.
“Wes?” Angel felt definitely out of whatever bizarre loop, the others were traveling.
“Not the cover. Read it.” Wesley pushed the magazine back towards Angel.
Angel glowered and picked up the book. He couldn’t get past the cover. “Why? This….woman, looks ill.”
“That’s Kate Moss, one of the highest paid models.”
Angel looked again at the cover. “Really? But she’s not appealing, no shape, nothing to hold on to. I mean Cordy is better than this. Sure, she’s thin but Cordy has….” His hands involuntarily shaped an hourglass in the air.
“Whoa big guy, visual’s not needed. We just want you to fix the fuck up that you created.”
“What, oh.” Angel looked at his hands sheepishly and dropped them immediately. Maybe, he was entering into the bizarre loop, because Angel had no idea what was going on or why he was still imagining Cordelia in the red slinky nothing that the cover girl was wearing.
Angel looked perplexed at the men. “All I said was…”
Wesley ripped the magazine from the vampire’s grip. He shuffled through some pages until it landed on article. “Read this. Then fix it.”
The Real Truth by Bob.
What a woman won’t tell you, but Bob has figured out. Read and memorize.
Words Women Use the Most.
This is the word that a woman will use at the end of any argument that she feels she is right about but needs to shut you up. NEVER use fine to describe how a woman looks. This will cause you to have one of those arguments.
This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so it’s an even trade.
This means something and you should be on your toes. Nothing is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and backwards. Nothing usually signifies an argument that will last Five Minutes and end with the word Fine.
GO AHEAD (with raised eyebrows)
This is a dare. One that will result in a woman getting upset over Nothing and will end with the word Fine.
GO AHEAD (normal eyebrows)
This means, “I give up” or “do what you want because I don’t care”. You will get a raised eyebrow Go Ahead in just a few minutes, followed by Nothingand Fine and she will talk to you in about Five Minutes when she cools off.
This is not actually a word, but is still often a verbal statement very misunderstood by men. A Loud Sigh means she thinks you are an idiot at that moment and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over Nothing.
Again, not a word, but a verbal statement. Soft Sighs are one of the few things that some men actually understand. She is content. Your best bet is do not move or breathe and she will stay content.
This word followed by any statement is trouble. Example; “Oh, let me get that”. Or, “Oh, I talked to him about what you were doing last night”. If she says Oh before a statement, run, do not walk, to the nearest exit. She will tell you that she is Fine when she is done tossing your clothes out the window, but do not expect her to talk to you for at least 2 days. Oh as the lead to a sentence usually signifies that you are caught in a lie. Do not try to lie more to get out of it, or you will get raised eyebrows Go ahead followed by acts so unspeakable that I can’t bring myself to write about them.
This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can say to a man. That’s Okay means that she wants to think long and hard before paying you retributions for what ever it is that you have done. That’s Okay is often used with the word Fine and used in conjunction with a raised eyebrow Go Ahead. At some point in the near future when she has plotted and planned, you are going to be in some mighty big trouble.
This is not a statement, it is an offer. A woman is giving you the chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason you have for doing whatever it is that you have done. You have a fair chance to tell the truth, so be careful and you shouldn’t get a That’s Okay.
A woman is thanking you. Do not faint, just say you’re welcome.
THANKS A LOT
This is much different than Thanks. A woman will say, Thanks A Lot when she is really ticked off at you. It signifies that you have hurt her in some callous way, and will be followed by the Loud Sigh. Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the Loud Sigh, as she will only tell you Nothing.
Angel glanced up from the article tentatively. “This isn’t real. Is it? It can’t be. This is so stereotypical and Cordy’s is no stereotype. Cordy isn’t like this. No woman is. And doesn’t it sound just a bit sarcastic? Who is this Bob person?”
“A published author that’s who. He’s a regular in the magazine. Know’s his stuff.”
“You’ve read more of Cordy’s magazines? Why?”
“Not the point, the point is we’re trying to educate you.” Gunn waved away Angel’s question.
Angel looked at the article then at his friends.
Gunn shrugged. “Look at the evidence, man. Cordy wanted you to go, you said no. I counted three fines– two in one sentence accompanied by it’s okayand a loud sigh, which brings the total of sighs to two. And also two raised brows. She may not have said go ahead, but I think you have to count the brows going up. Wes?”
“I agree, the brows going up can’t be ignored. But I say there were at least four raised brows– Cordy raised both together a couple of times, that’s got to be worse. And then there’s Fred, our sweet innocent Fred, one- raised brow and a nothing. And we all know now that means something.”
“Don’t forget the loud sigh, she sighed, our little Fred sighed. Man.”
Wesley nodded. “I was getting to it.”
Angel looked back at the article. Wesley and Gunn seemed really sure about what they were saying. Really what did Angel know about women. It was barely four years ago, he was lurking in shadows, not saying much of anything to humans, except ‘Where’s Buffy?’.
And what about Buffy, it’s not like they had long deep conversations except about the ‘end of the world’ and saying that they couldn’t ever be together -over and over again.
Even this last time, after Buffy came back from the dead, what did they talk about- ‘saving the world’ and agreeing that they didn’t belong together- a step up from crying and brooding that they couldn’t be together, but still not much of a conversation.
And Cordy was definitely not happy about him not wanting to go to the carnival. That was easy. When his seer was happy, her face and eyes lit up in a fantastic smile. She wasn’t smiling, not even a little bit.
Angel was starting to get nervous. “How long have you know about this?” Angel snapped at the magazine. “Why didn’t you tell me? Am I in trouble?”
Wesley nodded. “It’s in black and white, Angel.” Wesley poked at the article.
“So true, man, sorry. But, Damn’t you made Fred raise her brows and say nothing. Do something. I’m sure Fred won’t be mad if Cordy’s happy. They’ve bonded or something. It’s a woman thing. It’s like a secret club or something. Take the article, it was all secret until Bob busted the code. Man, that guy’s good. God only knows what Cordy and Fred are up to up there, talking, planning, plotting. It’s damn frightening AND it’s all your fault.” Gunn looked accusingly at Angel. “Fix it.”
“And Cordy says I’m melodramatic”
“You are. I’m speaking the truth.”
“Gunn’s right, Angel. I’m afraid it is your fault. Cordelia made a point to tell us Thank you-, which Bob’s say she meant. And we said you,re welcome like we were supposed to. You, she told Thanks a lot. We forgot to count that one.” He turned to Gunn.
“Sure did, I think it was right after a raised brow, man Angel, you really are in trouble.”
Angel looked quickly back at the article then at his friends. “All I said was that I didn’t want to go to the carnival. I don’t.” Angel’s normally deep voice took on a definite whine.
“Yeah, but the princess wants you to. Hey man, it’s your choice. She ain’t mad at us. And, actually, Fred ain’t either. We’re going to the carnival.”
“That’s right.” Wesley looked hopeful. “Fred said nothing and raised her brows at Angel.”
“Actually, English, she did the brow thingy to us too, but the nothing and loud sigh was all Angel. And a multitude of stuff big poofy bears should make her cool with us. I say we put a hold on the challenge and work together on this one.”
“Yes, yes, I can see your logic. Yes, together.”
“What about Cordy? I want her to be cool with me, too.”
“Angel, Cordy’s your deal. You’re the one that thinks she’s better looking then Kate Moss.” Gunn shaped an hourglass in the air. “Besides, it’s your fault that she’s mad.”
“You can’t think that….that….skinny cover girl is more attractive then Cordelia.”
“Do you really want us to answer that?”
Angel thought about Wesley and Gunn picturing Cordelia in that red piece of nothing that he shouldn’t even be picturing her in. He growled. “No.”
“Didn’t think so. So, what are you going to do?”
“Going to the carnival, obviously.” Angel ripped the article out of the magazine, stuffed it in his pocket and went to the stairs. If he was going to have to face Cordelia, he wasn’t going unprepared.
“Thought so. Hey, English where you going?”
“Practice.” Wesley motioned throwing darts.
“Good idea. Hey, do we have any milk bottles around. I remember when I was a kid there was this thing where you had to throw a ring around the bottle necks to get the prize.”
“No, milk bottles.” Wesley thought a moment. “The Sacred Tibetan burial urn, it’s the same size. Just don’t recite any of the engravings, the urn is purported to contain a malignant spirit.”
“Not a problem. What about rings?”
“Sumerian prayer discs.”
“I’m on it.”
“Cordelia, whatcha ya doing?”
“Nothing.” Cordelia didn’t even look up, her attention occupied by picking at non-existent threads on the comforter.
Fred sat next to the other woman on the bed. “Cordy.”
“Hmmph.” Acknowledging Fred’s doubtful tone. “I think I’ve caught the brood bug from the master brooder. Why, won’t he go? It would be fun. Angel needs more fun.”
“Yeah.” Fred pushed up her glasses. “He’s going to the movies more,” she said trying to suggest a positive.
Cordelia grimaced, completely discounting the other brunette’s attempt. “Yeah, Angel’s going to dark places where his chances of human contact is limited.” Cordelia breathed out deeply, shrugging. “Fred, he has to get use to being out and about. He’s going to be human some day. Angel can’t be a dork forever.”
“Angel’s not a dork, he’s a hero.” Fred wanted Angel to go to the carnival. If he went then Cordelia would be happy and if she was happy everyone would have a good time. But, calling Angel a dork was almost blasphemous.
Cordelia shook her head, scoffing at Fred’s reverent tone. “Sure, when he’s fighting demons or saving the helpless, but in social situations- big fat dork. The last time we all went to dinner Angel attacked a woman because of her shawl. It was embarrassing.” Cordelia scrunched up her face.
“Then I threw up. Okay that may have been more embarrassing, but I had food poisoning, Angel was just being a goofball.”
“What was wrong with her shawl?”
“Nothing, it was a perfectly fine, expensive, Laura Mina original. Mr. Goofy Hero thought it was a Brahenran Battle Shroud. Geez. It was obvious that it was made out of silk, not the skin of dead kids.”
“Angel was either looking around all twitchy and nervous or going on and on about how in the ‘old days’ he could get a room and a tavern wench for the price of a bottle of wine.”
“Oh.” Fred reluctantly acknowledged. “Dork.”
Angel paced back and forth, Bob’s article firmly in his hands. He was growing more and more annoyed with Wesley and Gunn. Would it have been that difficult for them to have shown it to him before now?
How many times had Angel unknowingly stepped into the trap of women’s speak? It had been hard enough learning how to interpret Cordyisms, now this? Since when did that’s okay mean things weren’t okay? Angel took one more look at the article. Well, he knew now.
Angel raised his hands to knock. Angel wasn’t caving. He was just making the most logical and rational decision based on the circumstances. The same decision he would’ve made had Gunn and Wesley shown common decency and given him the article in the first place. Angel would have known as soon as Cordelia uttered fine, that things weren’t fine.
And Angel would have been able to make his decision based on all the facts, weighing the pros and cons correctly.
The pros of not going to the carnival were obvious- the cons were also now obvious. Cordelia was mad. Well, Cordelia mad was not a good thing, potentially more disturbing than the thought of getting jostled and bothered by all the humans sure to be milling around the carnival.
No. Had Angel known he would have said yes to Cordelia as soon as the fine was uttered. Angel knocked on the door.
Angel shifted from one foot to another waiting, the article and his hands securely hidden his pockets.
Cordelia arched her brows at the vampire, her body leaning up against the doorframe.
Angel clenched his fist around the article. Bob was right. Angel could actually hear Cordelia’s unspoken dare. “Um, Cordy, I changed my mind.”
Cordelia’s eyes widened, standing straight. “You what?”
“I want to go, I’m sorry I said I didn’t want to go. I really want to go.” The words rushed out ending in a tentative smile.
“Really? You want to go? What about ‘carnivals are dirty with oh my god’,” her fingers raised in quotation marks, “all those people milling around?”
“I like people. I wanna get out and be one of them. I just forgot. You’re right. I’m sure it will be fun.”
Angel nodded, hoping that his expression was convincing. So, far so good. The eyebrows were no longer raised and there hadn’t been a loud sigh or anything else on Cordy’s face except surprise.
“Ha, of course I’m right, took you long enough to remember I’m always right,” her surprise turning to satisfaction. Cordelia’s face brightened in a wide smile. “We’ll have fun, I promise. Thanks. Angel’s going to the carnival.” Happily turning to Fred.
Fred bounced on the bed. “Yeah, now we’ll have fun.”
“Give us five minutes, then we can go.” Cordelia pushed Angel out of the room.
“Well?” Wesley paused in his dart throw as Angel entered the room. Gunn put down the Sumarian discs. “Yeah, what happened?”
“Cordy, said thanks.” Angel smiled.
“Good, Good.” Wesley nodded.
“Fred- how was Fred?” Gunn asked.
“Jumping on the bed.”
“Good save, man.”
“They said they needed five minutes to get ready.”
Angel nodded this time in the know.
“Well, that gives us plenty of time to practice.” Gunn picked the discs back up, handing one to Angel. “Hey, English do you wanta order a pizza?”
Gunn and Wesley were arguing over whether to order pepperoni or sausage when the young women came down the stairs. “You’re SO NOT ordering a pizza. We’re going to the carnival.”
Angel halted his throw and turned along with Wesley and Gunn at the sound of Cordelia’s voice.
Cordelia scowled at the confused look on the men’s faces. “I said five minutes.” Her sigh was loud and clear.
“Um, yeah, but five minutes means…” All three men started in unison.
“Means five minutes. Geez. Come on, let’s go. Don’t panic, there’ll be food at the carnival.”
“But..” Angel stammered attempting to bring out the article. Bob said that a woman’s five minutes meant a half hour. It had been barely five minutes since Angel came down announcing that the women would be five minutes.
That left the men with at least twenty-five minutes or so said Bob. Angel would show Cordelia.
“Angel,” both Wesley and Gunn shook their heads at Angel’s actions. Angel raised his eyes in question.
“What’s up with you all? Why are you all being so dorky?” Cordelia called from the doorway. “Come on.”
“Nothing, nothing.” Wesley said hurriedly, giving a quick uneasy smile towards Cordelia and Fred. Both Angel and Gunn shot the former watcher a look. Wesley’s eyes widened as he realized what he said.
“Right. Nothing. I don’t even want to know what your ‘nothing’ is. Let’s go.” Cordelia rolled her eyes at Fred. “Men.”
Fred nodded. “Dorks.” Repeating Cordy’s earlier word. She kind of liked it. It was fun to say. And based on the expressions on the guys’ faces- appropriate.
Angel pulled Wesley and Gunn back from following Cordelia and Fred out of the door. “Bob said…” Angel went back into his pants pocket.
“Angel. Don’t.” Wesley pushed at Angel’s hand. “They can’t know we’re on to them.”
“Bob’s right. This was just a fluke. Probably just some plot to keep us on our toes. We better be careful.” Gunn nodded confidently.
Angel considered. Cordelia usually did take longer than five minutes to get ready to go anywhere that didn’t include demon killing. “What do you think they’re up to? I’m going to the carnival. She said thanks. Bob’s article said that was good, she didn’t say thanks alot-that’s the bad one. Why would they be plotting anything? You said that Bob wrote other articles. Where are they? Do they say anything about plots?” Angel scanned the room for more women’s magazines.
“Will you guys hurry up? Geez.” Sighing loudly from the doorway. Cordelia’s sigh was echoed by the other brunette.
“No time, man. We’re just gon’ have to wing it.” Gunn hurried to the door.
“Gunn’s right.” Wesley quickly followed.
Angel glanced nervously around hoping that another one of Bob’s articles would magically appear.
Damn. He felt like he was going into minefield without any hope of seeing the mines before they blew him to smithereens. Angel nodded and went towards Cordelia’s voice.