Secret Slasha — The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha — The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

It's Just Another Christmas Party
By Toes
For Dolores

It was a good party, Lorne was sure of it. The guests were happy, the music was loud, the dancing was frantic and the booze was flowing freely. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Everyone, that is, apart from Angel, but that was to be expected. Lorne had basically given up on that old guy ever enjoying himself.

But Fred was dancing wildly in her gangly and flailing way, with Wesley and Gunn awkwardly trying to keep up with her. Wesley's version of dancing seemed to be an awkward shuffling movement, accompanied by the occasional hand gesture that looked like it was a health hazard.

Gunn was full of his street smarts, bopping with the music and making Wesley look like a circus trained buffoon in comparison. Wesley didn't seem to mind, though, and Fred was grinning ear to ear, so it was all good.

Lorne stayed leaning against the bar, and took a small sip from his sea-breeze. Yes, he'd say the Christmas party at Caritas had gone extraordinarily well this year (better than last year's, in any case, when the band had failed to show up).

He looked around now, red eyes as bright and happy as the gold threads of his jacket, as he heard a new troop of partiers making their way down the stairs into his sanctuary. Immediately, a broad and delighted smile pounced onto his face. "Oz!" he said, drawing the one syllable name out long enough to play with it.

The short bassist quirked a smile at him and nodded in greeting. Behind him, Devon and the other members of his band filtered into the crowd. "Hey, Lorne. Angel here?" he asked. His voice was kept so quiet, but it carried over the music and over the laughter and over the chat-up lines that filled the club.

"Well sure, sweetheart. It's Christmas, isn't it? 'course our Broody Boy's here." Lorne turned and pointed Angel out, where his arms was crossed and he was attempting to tap his foot in time to the music. You'd think that vampires would have a good sense of rhythm, but it turned out that that wasn't the case at all.

"Thanks," Oz said, with a grateful smile, before he moved away from Lorne. He didn't look particularly festive, Lorne noted with a disapproving sweep of his eyes. Fashionably faded t-shirt and jeans that seemed to swamp his tiny legs.

But Angel was dressed in his typical black, so he got even more points off. Even Gunn had worn a red shirt.

As Oz approached and brushed a hand lightly over Angel's arm to attract his attention, a Christmas miracle happened right before Lorne's eyes: Angel smiled.

Heck, Lorne was pretty sure that Angel grinned, full of surprise and happiness and sunshine and all the things that vampires were supposed to be the antithesis of.

The two talked, in their non-verbal monosyllabic way, full of brief phrases and body language that meant more than a dozen of Cordelia's words.

"Hey, hey, hey, Cordykins. You're not out ruling the dance floor, I see," he said with a blasting smile as he spotted her, propping the bar up and playing with a single drink - just like him. You'd think a pretty little thing like her would be the life and soul of a party like this.

She looked up at him and smiled, seemingly weary. "No, Lorne. Sorry. This is a great party."

Well, damn. She couldn't have sounded less enthusiastic about that if she'd tried. Lorne could feel his party spirit turning out to be all party pooper. Had Angel's one smile used up all the positive energy in the room.

"But...?" he asked, leading her on, teasing the words out of her.

She rolled her eyes, shook her head, and looked down at the bar top. A shining star like her should have been out there in the crowd, wooing Angel and chasing her happy ever after. Once upon a time, she would have been.

"Nothing, Lorne," she said with a heavy sigh. "That was Oz turning up, wasn't it?"

Lorne nodded, but he wasn't going to let himself be distracted that easy. "Sure was, pumpkin. He's just over there, talking to-" He turned to point to Oz and Angel, but the pair had gone missing. Frowning, he glanced around the club. They weren't skulking in any corners, and they certainly weren't out on the dance floor."

"Angel?" Cordelia suggested, and she sounded even more melancholy than before. Well, shoot. She was really dragging the mood down now. "Yeah. Oz shows up, Angel disappears. It's a tradition. A dumb one."

"Wait, honey, you lost me. Disappears?"

"Just for an hour or so, don't worry. They'll be back. Together."

"Sorry, I- oh." Lorne's eyebrows rose and a smile spread as it clicked in his mind. "You mean..."

"Angel's gettin' some? Yeah. That's what I mean."

Lorne nodded, slightly surprised, slightly shocked, but very impressed. "Nice one, Angel cakes."

Cordelia nodded, but didn't seem nearly as impressed by the whole situation as Lorne was.


When Oz and Angel reappeared in Caritas, the party was already starting to wind down. The bigger and uglier demons had left, probably to find a virgin to sacrifice or a couple to scare before the season was over. Fred and Wesley had taken over the karaoke machine, but Lorne was trying to drown them out. He'd had enough to drink that he was no longer interested in reading futures.

Angel and Oz entered together, and Lorne gave them a quick once-over - taking in Angel's slightly creased shirt, and guilty walk. Oz, however, looked exactly the same; cool, calm, collected. As always.

They separated once they were in the door: Angel retreated back to his wallflower spot, while Oz filtered through the room to locate Devon, where he was making out with a tall redhead. A tap on his arm, a nod towards the door, and they were getting ready to leave.

First, though, he moved through the thinning crowd towards Lorne. Cordelia sighed loudly, then plastered on a smile for him.

Oz didn't return one for her, but he seemed happy enough. "Lorne, we're just heading out. Cool party."

"All down to you, sunshine," Lorne said, practically squealing by now. Why had no one thought to tell him that his Number One Werewolf and his Number One Broody Bum were getting it on? "You'll stop by again soon, right?"

"Yeah, when we can."

Lorne rolled his eyes, but he knew that was the most concrete answer he was going to get out of Oz. The little guy liked his plans to be fluid.

Oz glanced towards Cordelia now. "Nice seeing you. Take care of Angel."

She nodded enthusiastically, promising to do so, just before Devon appeared, slung an arm around his shoulders, and the band left - in a few moments, all that remained was the over-powering scent of Devon's aftershave.

Across the club, Lorne could see Angel watching Oz carefully, hungrily, as he left. He caught the vampire's eye and gave him a warm thumbs-up. Angel looked away quickly and stared at the counter: oddly enough, it was the first time that Lorne had ever seen a vampire blush.