Incredibly Short Skirt
by Faithtastic

If there's one thing that Fred is convinced of - as sure as night follows day, as sure as Picard was the finest Starfleet Captain, and that in the Eleventh Dimension there exists a Winifred Burkle who is devoid of dorkiness and is a thing of radiant beauty - it's the fact that Cordelia Chase has the perfect backside.

After studying said anatomical phenomenon surreptitiously for the past half hour, that is the conclusion Fred has come to - despite the lack of empirical evidence.

She giggles quietly as she imagines her intrepid self traipsing around LA with a measuring tape, asking girls if she could take a look at their rears, all in the name of science. Thinks, as pick-up lines go, she's heard worse. Not that she makes a habit of picking up girls. Or anyone really. She's never really had an interest in sex, and the messy smooshing involved, beyond a detached biologist's point of view.

Just another thing to scrutinise from afar - like the developments she's been observing between Angel and Cordelia. She has this little notebook that she carries around, in which she inscribes notes in blue Biro, recording dates and times and peculiar behaviours as she waits and watches from behind her unfashionable glasses. Sometimes she hides the notepad inside books, and pretends to read while she busily scribbles down her observations.

It's sort of romantic, watching this thing unfold between them, but she still feels a little twinge of jealousy which she pushes down inside of her because, well, two heroes deserve each other. Not some supergeek like Fred.

At first she thought the jealousy was because of her knight-in-shining-armour complex around Angel but, no, that wasn't the whole explanation. She's mostly given up on the futile hope that he might one day find her attractive. No, it was something to do with an interesting recent occurrence. Fred had started to notice things - Cordelia's ass, for example.

Well, it had always been there, pleasantly shaped, and mostly hidden beneath flattering pants. However, the day before yesterday, Cordelia had opted to wear a skirt. An incredibly short skirt. It was ostensibly a lycra hankerchief and covered little more than Cordelia's buttocks. All morning Fred had pondered why Cordelia had chosen to wear such an impractical garment to work. Of course, then it dawned on her that it had to be for Angel's benefit and she'd quickly written that down. Alpha female accentuates long legs to entice Alpha male.

She didn't have more time to think on it that day, what with the distraction of her parents' sudden arrival and the giant demon cockroaches reclaiming their spawn.

But here she is again, chin propped on her hands, leaning over the reception desk, her eyes transfixed on Cordelia's derriere as the other girl goes about dusting the weapons cabinets. She remembers the tearful departure of a couple of days before, hugging each of the group, and how Cordelia had held on a little longer, a little tighter than the others and had whispered that she was a little jealous.

Fred had been startled by that because, when she looks at Cordelia, she sees everything she wishes she could have. She'd also been startled because Cordelia had never hugged her before and it alerted Fred to something she'd vaguely noticed but hadn't paid much attention to: Cordelia's breasts.

She realises that this - what could only be categorised as a crush - is jeopardising her anthropological study of Angel and Cordelia's courtship, that she's transferring her hero worship from one subject to the other. But she can't help but feel part of the romance, as if the three of them could live happily ever after in their own little world. Does it really matter that, when she thinks about riding off into the sunset, sometimes it's Angel and sometimes it's Cordelia she wants to sweep her off her feet?

She wonders if Wesley ever felt this way, before Charles came along and occupied his attention.

Maybe she'll ask him. She imagines he'll get flustered and stumble over his words like he always does when she asks an inappropriately direct question. He'll give her a blushing explanation and scarper away, like she's a precocious child overstepping the boundaries of polite conversation.

They all treat her that way at times. Bemused tolerance for the gifted child. Sometimes she feels like shocking them. Like, at this moment, what would Cordelia say if Fred just marched right on up there and told her she has a nice ass? But she won't do that because Cordelia is something golden and untouchable, to be admired from afar and, with one look or remark, Cordelia could crush her without thinking.

So she puts them on their pedestals, the Knight and Princess, and they shine. Fred is content to bask.