Angel Investigations was having a slow day.
Cordelia was officially bored. Tapping a pen against the blank pad of paper
in front of her, she stared at the phone, willing it to ring. It didn't.
She put down the pen, and began to drum her fingernails on the desk, blowing
away a stray lock of hair that had fallen across her face. She looked about
the office, wondering if anything would catch her attention. Avoiding the
clock, and the pile of casenotes waiting to be filed, her gaze came to rest
on the box of donuts that lay open on top of the filing cabinet.
Sugar seemed like a good idea. She got up and crossed the short distance to
her target. Fingers with freshly painted nails pushed back the lid, and
Cordelia looked inside the carton... to find only crumbs mixed with
"Rats," she muttered. This was crappy; she really wanted a donut now.
She glanced at the coat stand. Angel's leather jacket hung from one hook.
A sly smile spread across Cordy's face and she moved toward it, patting its
surface until she came across a familiar shaped bulge. Reaching into the
inside pocket she pulled out Angel's wallet, a brown leather ticket to more
sugary goodness. A vague feeling of what might have been guilt nudged at
her conscience. But... she'd tell him later, so it wasn't really
Cordelia looked inside for some bills, finding a $10 note easily. She was
about to put the wallet back when she saw what looked like the corner of a
photograph sticking out from one of the pockets. Curiosity got the better
of her: would it be Buffy, or maybe her and Wesley, or someone gossipworthy,
Oz? Bemusement crinkled Cordelia's brow. Maybe he had pictures of all of
us, she thought, but though she looked through the other pockets, she found
no other photos. Just this slightly tattered picture of Oz, which evidently
Angel had cut straight out of a Sunnydale High yearbook; she recognised the
pose, Oz staring straight at the camera, expressionless. Looking like Oz
Why would Angel keep a picture of Oz in his wallet?
Cordelia looked at the door to Angel's office. Only one way to find out.
It was quiet in the office, and Angel was enjoying the peace, sitting back
in his chair and listening to nothing. His tranquillity was shattered by
Cordelia entering the room, heels clacking on the floor.
"Hey!" she said, smiling brightly. Angel knew that smile.
"What do you want?" he asked, resignedly. Whatever it was, she wouldn't
leave him alone until she got it.
She continued to grin at him as she took the seat on the other side of his
desk. "Oh, nothing. Well, actually donuts, but..."
"Well, go out and get 'em. You don't need my permission."
She gave him a 'duh' expression. "Yeah, dumbass, I know. I just don't have
the hard currency, so..."
"I'll give you money then."
Cordelia frowned at him. "Stop interrupting me. I already went into your
Angel's brows lifted a little in surprise. "You went into my wallet?"
She lifted one hand in up in dismissal. "Well, yeah. Anyway, that's not
"No. See, I was looking in your wallet for some money when I found this."
She produced the picture, and placed it on Angel's desk for him to see.
"So, wanna tell me what this is all about?"
He gave her a look of anger. "Cordelia, I am not..."
Cordelia sat back in her chair, crossing her arms, a smile on her pretty
face. "Of course, I could always just speculate with Wesley. Who knows
what sort of theories we could invent? Why on Earth would Angel have a
picture of Daniel Osborne in his wallet, Wesley?" She began to imitate,
badly, Wes's accent. "Why Cordelia, I wouldn't know. I do rather hope you
aren't suggesting any impropriety on the part of Angel..."
She trailed off as she realised Angel was ignoring her, hunched in his chair
with the photo in his hands.
"Sorry, Cordelia." He wasn't talking about his lack of attention.
Genuine concern coloured her tone. "For what?"
His eyes met hers briefly. "Nothing." He was silent for a moment,
apparently thinking about something.
Cordelia looked uncomfortable. "I was just teasing Angel, sorry."
When he spoke next, Angel was so quiet she barely heard him. "I kissed him
Her eyes went wide. "You... God, I thought there'd be a really boring
explanation... this is so cool! See, I knew there was a reason you
rejected me in High School that time. Wait - what was Buffy all about then?
Is it 'cause she's so butch?"
"Cordelia, it's not about male and female."
"Y'know, it also explains the clothes. See, I said to Wesley that no
straight man could ever dress as well as you, and as for the hair. . ."
"Alright already. So, okay, when?"
"When did you and he lock lips?"
Angel avoided her gaze. "He came to see us -- me -- a few weeks back."
Cordy pouted. "He did? You never said."
Angel nodded. "Yeah, sorry. Y'know Oz; he didn't want to make a fuss.
It's just... he'd split up from Willow. He was looking for someone to
help him with the lycanthropy, to see if he could cure it. Thought I might
know people. I think he just wanted a friend, too."
"He and Willow aren't... wow."
"So we talked a lot, and... "
Suddenly Cordelia laughed. "You and him talked? A lot? Honestly?" He
turned his head and glared at her. She raised a hand in deference. "Joke,
He took a second to compose himself again. "And I should have just been
there for him, but... I thought that... maybe he wanted me to kiss
Angel stared at the picture. "We'd been talking about how much you miss
being able to hold a person, that he was frightened of being lonely; he... was already. I remember that we just sort of looked at each other and I
He trailed off, and Cordy sat for a few seconds waiting for him to continue.
She grew impatient. "And? Did he kiss you back? Was there tongues?"
"Cordy... I... yeah, he kissed back. But then he pulled away. Got
up; said he had to leave."
An eyebrow lifted. "He freaked out?"
"For Oz. He said he didn't think that he was ready, he wanted to be apart
from people. I tried to stop him but he left and I haven't seen him since."
Cordelia gave Angel a sympathetic look. "Bummer. You'd have made a cute
couple. Kinda odd when you stood next to each other 'cause, y'know, big
hulking you and little spikey him. But cute."
Angel just looked at the photo. Cordy took the hint. "Well, anyway, I'm
going to get donuts. You want anything?"
He glanced at her, and shook his head.
"Cool. Well, y'know, if you ever want to talk to anyone... "
"For what it's worth Angel - he was stupid to give up a chance with you."
She got up to leave, making it to the door before stopping, and turning to
look at Angel again. She tilted her head. "But wait... that photo was
from Graduation. You must have had it before..."
Angel opened a drawer and placed the photo in it. Looking up at Cordelia,
he almost smiled. "That was the first time I got to kiss him, Cordy, not
the first time I wanted to."
He pushed the drawer shut.
Angel. Lonely. Wallet.