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Angel fanfic: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Angel
Angel, Cordelia, Wesley
1538 words
rating: G
WARNINGS:

It’s the first Christmas for Angel Investigations, but Angel isn’t really in the mood. Too bad Cordelia has other plans. Set in season one sometimes after Doyle died.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.


“What’s all this?” Angel asked, pushing aside the cage door of the elevator.

Cordelia balanced on a chair, a string of brightly colored lights in her hand. She smiled down at him. “It’s Christmas, silly.”

“Yeah, but what are you doing?”

“What does it look like?”

Angel crossed his arms. “It looks like you’re decorating my office with Christmas lights.”

“Ding, ding. Ten points for the vampire with the grasp of the obvious.”

Wesley came in before Angel could retort, lights twisted around both arms and his neck. He held out the strand, apparently looking for the ends. “I think these things came straight from Hell to torment me. Who put these away last year?”

They both glanced at Angel. “I don’t do Christmas. Take them down.”

“Angel-”

“No. Take them down.” He pushed past Wesley into the outer office. Lights twinkled from around the edge of the room with large plastic snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. He poured a cup of coffee and took a sip. He cringed, barely able to swallow. “Cordelia!”

Cordelia popped her head out of the office.

“What’s wrong with the coffee?”

She came all of the way out, hands on her hips. “It’s seasonal. It has nutmeg in it.”

Angel glared. “I don’t want seasonal coffee; I want normal coffee.” He put the cup down a little harder than necessary.

“Why are you so grumpy?”

“Because there’s a Christmas tree in my office, nutmeg in my coffee, and is that Bing Crosby?” He cocked his head at the music playing softly from a near-by radio.

Cordelia shrugged. Wesley came out of Angel’s office looking a little less tangled. “I think I have-” He yelped in surprise as he faceplanted in the doorway. Angel and Cordelia just stood there staring. “I’m okay; I’m okay,” Wesley said.

“See, they’re a tripping hazard.”

Wesley got up, dusting himself off.

“Well, traditionally they hang from the ceiling.”

“No.”

“Angel-”

“I said, ‘no.’ Take them down.” He huffed, going back into his office. “And make some real coffee.”

* * *

Cordelia flinched as the door slammed in her face. With a sigh, she began rolling up the lights on the floor. Wesley pulled the snowflakes from the ceiling with a snap of each string.

“I thought you said he wouldn’t mind,” said Wesley. “He’ll probably cut off our mutual communication-”

“He’s not going to kick you out, Wesley. It’s fine. Let’s just-” She looked around sadly. “Clean this up.”

She tossed the rolled up lights into a box on her desk then dumped the coffee. When it was brewed she poured a cup to take to Angel. She slammed the cup in front of him causing him to jump back.

“Regular coffee without a hint of holiday cheer anywhere to be seen.”

Angel growled, wiping coffee from the paper he’d been reading. “Cordelia-”

“No, don’t talk to me. I want to be mad right now.”

He frowned up at her. “That’s not very Christmasey of you.”

She pulled the chair she’d been using earlier to the edge of the room and climbed onto it. “Well, apparently Christmas is canceled within the confines of this office. So-” She began undoing the lights. “I mean it’s not like our clients will miss the cheer,” she muttered. “The only thing that might make their miserable lives a little brighter as they deal with whatever it is they’re dealing with. Not like we couldn’t use a little cheer ourselves. Naw, we wouldn’t want that. Much better to glower and brood and-”

“Cordelia,” Angel yelled. “Do you have something to say to me?” He turned to face her, arms crossed.

Cordelia glared down at him. “Of course not. You’re the boss, and if you want the lights down, then the lights will come down.”

Angel huffed. “Well, can we do it without all of the passive aggressive hostility?”

“Probably not.”

Grumbling to himself, he threw open the cage to the elevator. “I’ll be downstairs then.”

Outside, Wesley shouted, tumbling forward and landing with a loud thud. “I’m okay!”

* * *

When Angel dared go upstairs again, he found Cordelia sitting at her desk, not a decoration to be seen. She flipped the pages of a magazine.

“What happened to the tree?”

“Wesley took it home,” she said without looking up.

“Any messages?”

“Nope.”

Angel poured another cup of coffee and went back to his office. Things had been slow the last week. And slow meant he had time to think. And thinking led to more thinking. He rubbed at his eyes. He didn’t want to think. Then he’d remember everything that was missing in his life. He could really go for some action. Maybe Cordelia would have a vision.

Just then, Cordelia peeked her head in. “I’m going to go run some errands, okay? I’ll be back in a couple hours.” She didn’t wait for Angel to answer.

The office was unnaturally quiet without her around, and Angel was surprised to find out how much he didn’t miss the solitude. He picked up a penny from the floor. Holding it on end with one finger, he flicked it with his other hand. It spun around and around, dancing across his desk.

“Knock, knock.”

Angel looked up to find Wesley standing in the doorway, looking sullen. “What? Do you need help with a case? Tell me you need help.”

“Actually-” He ventured a few steps in. “I wanted to talk about Cordelia.”

“What about her?” Angel got up and started rummaging through his file cabinet.

“It’s just- I know I haven’t been here very long, but I can’t help but notice-” He trailed off, licking his kips.

“Notice what?”

“That Cordelia seems a little-”

Angel waited, back to Wesley.

“Sad. I know things happened here before I arrived with Doyle and-”

“What are you getting at, Wesley,” Angel asked, banging the drawer shut.

Wesley took a step forward. “I’m saying that I haven’t seen her as bright and excited as I did this morning when she found those decorations. She needed that cheer.”

Angel dropped back into his chair, feeling heavier than he had in a long time. He felt like crap. Crappier than normal. “Things haven’t been right since-”

“Cordelia is hurting.”

“She seems fine to me.”

Wesley sat down across the desk. “That’s because you don’t want to see it. She feels like you’ve shut her out.”

“She told you that,” Angel asked with a frown. He got back up, pacing behind his desk and feeling more than a little trapped.

“Not in so many words, no. But it’s plain to see.” Wesley got up. “She’s all alone here.”

Their eyes met, and Wesley gave a weak smile.

“All of us are alone here,” Angel murmured.

“Yes, well, it doesn’t have to be that way.”

* * *

Cordelia shuffled the bags and boxes between her hands as she tried to open the door to the building. Her arms hurt from carrying everything the two blocks from her car, and now the entire load threatened to topple. She finally pushed the door in, but almost tripped across the lobby and into the door of Angel Investigations.

She shoved that door open with a bang. “The parking sucks around here. I had to walk-”

The top box lifted from her pile to expose a smiling Angel. Behind him Wesley beamed. Then she noticed it—the twinkling colored lights strung from every inch of the office.

“What’s going on?”

Wesley helped relieve her of the rest of her load. “Well, we just-”

“We just thought-” Angel broke in. “I mean, I thought maybe I was a little too-”

“Harsh?” Cordelia provided.

Angel swallowed hard. “Yeah.”

“Do you like it?” asked Wesley. “We put the tree back up. See?”

Cordelia pushed past Angel to sort through her bags. Supplies were put away in silence. She didn’t look at either of them.

“Um-” Angel started.

She glared at him.

“Cordelia.” Angel tried to stop her as she passed again, but she dodged out of his grip.

“No.”

“No what?”

“I’m still mad at you.”

Angel followed her into his office where she set down a box of paper reams. “I put the stuff back up.”

She turned, arms crossed over her chest. “That’s not why I’m mad.” She sighed. “You yelled at me.”

Angel stared at his feet. “I’m sorry.”

“Are you really? Or are you just saying that because it’s what I want to hear?”

“Of course, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have snapped. It’s just- I’m not really the holiday kind of person. And things have been so strained since-”

Cordelia put a hand on his arm. “I know. I miss him, too, but he wouldn’t want us moping around the office. I have a feeling Doyle would have gone all out for Christmas. He seemed like a holiday kind of person.”

A small smile spread across Angel’s face. “You’re probably right.”

“Of course I am.”

His smile widened. “I really am sorry about earlier.”

“Well,” she said with an evil grin, “you can make it up to me with multiple gifts. I like jewelry, shoes, and money.”

“Right, presents.” He grimaced.

“Multiple presents.” She patted his arm as she went into the outer office. “Merry Christmas.”

Angel sighed. “Merry Christmas.”

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