Disclaimer: Don't own any Buffy or Angel characters, Children of the
Corn, In a Lonely Place, Mambo #5, or Steal My Sunshine. So don't sue.
Distribution: CordeliaDoyle archives (which yes I will eventually get up), Isa, Sabreil, Gabby, Daala, all others, well sure.
Notes: This was a challenge fic!!! So ... to see what the challenge stuff was ... see below. At the end. Oh, and excuse the lame title and suckiness of this entire thing just because I said so, okay??? I was listening to Jann Arden over and over and over again, and I was half asleep. Just be glad it's spell-checked.
Dedication: Rose, who asked for it, love ya to pieces and sorry for the delay!
Buffy checked the address six times before knocking.
"Get the door!" a familiar female voice yelled.
"You get the door. It's not my place, woman!"
Buffy frowned. Who was THAT?
A few moments later, Cordelia opened the apartment door, dressed in a short green silk robe. "Buffy!" she cried in surprise.
"Who's there, Princess?" came the same thickly-accented voice.
"What did I tell you about calling me Princess?!" Cordelia screeched.
"You know, if this is a bad time-?"
"It's not," Cordelia hurried to assure Buffy. "Come in."
Buffy smiled. "Thanks."
"Cord, Lass, who's at the door?"
Buffy's eyes widened in surprise as a man in a long robe came into the room. "Now I'm *sure* it's a bad time. I'll just-"
"You're Angel's girl, aren't you?"
Buffy looked surprised, but side-stepped the question. "Who are you?"
"Name's Doyle. And I suppose you're Buffy."
"How did you know?" Buffy asked suspiciously.
"You're Angel's girl," Doyle responded as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. And maybe it was.
"Used to be," Buffy said bitterly. "Doyle, you said?"
"That's right, ma'am," Doyle told her politely, extending a hand to her.
Buffy shook his hand tentatively, all the whole shooting Cordelia a 'why didn't I know about this?!' look.
Cordelia smile at both of them. "Buffy, what brings you here?"
"I-I was in the area," she responded, still frowning at Doyle. "My dad ... are you two involved.
"Yes," Doyle answered at the same time Cordelia said, "No."
Buffy raised an eyebrow. "I see."
"Sorta," Cordelia conceded with a sigh.
Buffy merely nodded.
"Do you want to see- Doyle what are you *doing*?!" Cordelia cried.
Doyle glanced up, looking like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
"Cocoa Puffs?" he asked meekly.
"I swear," Cordelia said to Buffy. "He's trying to make me fat."
"If that were the case, Princess, I'd knock ye up."
Cordelia's mouth dropped open as Buffy burst out laughing.
"Well I never!" Cordelia huffed, moving to attack Doyle but instead tripping over a copy of In Style magazine and landing in his arms.
Buffy merely stared, mused.
"This is *so* not funny. Imagine if Angel told *you* he was going to knock *you* up!"
Buffy immediately grew somber. That was just one more thing they could never have together.
"Oh, Buffy, I'm sorry," Cordelia murmured. "I didn't..."
"I know," Buffy cut in. "Don't worry about it. It's fine."
"Cord, Princess, I'm going to find my man Angel now so we can get some work done. You just keep on gossiping." Doyle turned to Buffy. "Nice to meet you, Buffy. I've heard a lot about you. I'll mention to Angel that you're here."
"No, don't-" Buffy broke off abruptly, sighing, when she realized Doyle was already gone.
Cordelia looked at Buffy. "Girl-bonding session?"
"Let me just go shower and change. Feel free to make yourself at home and discard anything belonging to Doyle."
Buffy watched Cordelia shut the bathroom door, grabbing a rubber duck along the way.
As the water began running, Buffy reached for the portable radio and flipped it on.
"I'm telling you, Man, she was looking hot!"
"I don't care," Angel informed Doyle, clicking away on the computer.
"Ah, but Man, I think you do."
"Why would I care?" Angel asked as he printed a page out.
"Because your hottie of an ex-girlfriend is dealing with Cordelia at the moment and probably brooding over you, too, right upstairs."
Angel lifted the lid to the scanner and placed an article under it. Hitting the 'start' button, he looked back at Doyle. "I feel for her, I really do, but she's not expecting me to be there. It's better this way."
Doyle gave Angel a 'yeah right' look. "Whatever you say."
"Damn it!" Angel yelled as the scanner lid popped open and the article flew out. "Where's the duct tape?"
Without a word, Doyle handed him a thick roll of silver tape and watched as Angel taped the scanner shut.
//Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mambo #5\\
Buffy shrieked in disgust. There was obviously something wrong with either the radio station or the radio itself, because this was the sixth time in a row the song had played. And Cordelia was *still* in the shower.
//A little bit of Sandra in the sun A little bit of Mary all night long\\
Buffy was about to yell again when Cordelia came out of the bathroom. "I swear, that radio is possessed. It repeats each song eighteen times. I counted. Do you know how much I *don't* like 'Steal My Sunshine'?!"
Buffy cringed. "I can imagine."
"I've been on Doyle's back about getting a new one ... why are you giving me that look? I didn't mean *literally*! Buffy!"
Buffy giggled. "Sorry. Continue."
Cordelia grabbed the radio and threw it against the wall, successfully ending 'A little bit of Jessica'. "Now Doyle'll *have* to buy me a new radio ... wanna watch a movie?"
"Sure," Buffy agreed.
Cordelia picked up two Blockbuster video cassettes off the VCR. "We only have two options, sorry."
Buffy shrugged. "Fine by me .. .what are they?"
"Um..." Cordelia looked at the video boxes. " 'In A Lonely Place' and 'Children of the Corn, Part III'."
Buffy shuddered. "Let's watch the first one."
"Old movie, here we come!" Cordelia murmured.
"You coming upstairs?" Doyle asked as Angel put a folder in a drawer.
"Nah, I'll just stay here."
"It's your place up there, you know. Not mine. I mean, it might be considered ... rude if I just walked in."
"Why *did* you get your own place when you spend all your time at ours, for that matter?"
"What difference does it make? I thought it would be a better place to put the office."
Angel sighed. "In that case, you go up to my place and I'll stay in yours."
Doyle turned to leave, shaking his head. "Up a wall, that's what you are."
"And why do you have a *jump rope* here?" Angel asked. "No, you know what, don't tell me."
"I was born when you kissed me. I died when you left me. I loved a little when you loved me."
"Ugh. Laurel is *way* too sappy," Cordelia mumbled, then glanced at Buffy.. "What's wrong?"
Buffy was near tears. "Nothing."
"Oh ... it reminds you of Angel, doesn't it?"
Buffy just nodded.
"In that case ..." Cordelia ejected the video and replaced tit with the other one.
"Children of the Corn, Part II?" Buffy asked.
"Doyle's favorite. He really is a freak," Cordelia informed Buffy.."
"Thank you," Buffy whispered.
"Why?" Cordelia was bewildered.
"I'm imposing on you, I know. And now I'm getting upset and broody on top of it, and ... I'm sorry. But thank you."
"Oh, it's no problem ... Was that XANDER?!" Cordelia asked in disbelief.
"There. On the movie. I swear, that guy looked *just* like Xander."
Buffy laughed. "Go call Xander up and ask him if he's secretly a movie star."
"Okay!" Cordelia responded, much to Buffy's surprise.
"I wasn't serious!"
"Cordy, Princess?" Doyle called as he threw open the door.
When Cordelia didn't snap at him, he frowned. "Cordelia?"
"She's on the phone," Buffy informed him, coming into the room carrying a hamster. "With Xander. Why didn't you tell me you had a hamster?"
Doyle stared at the hamster. "We don't."
Buffy shrieked and dropped the hamster, who scurried into a hole in the wall.
"Gross," Doyle muttered. "It's all thanks to Cordelia."
"What is all thanks to me?" Cordelia asked, coming into the room and setting the cordless phone on the coffee table.
"The fact that the apartment is growing hamsters."
Cordelia gave a cry and leaped up on the couch. "What?! Where?!"
Doyle just shook his head.
"Oh, hey, Buffy, Xander's jealous of Both Angel *and* Doyle. Not that he was any reason to be ..."
"Yeah," Buffy agreed softly.
"Oh, I didn't..."
Buffy nodded to signal that it was okay.
"Anyway, he informed me that he was not in a movie - although I think he was denying it because Children of the Corn sucked- and," Cordelia continued, ignoring Doyle's growl, "He then took off because he told Willow that they'd try again to change Amy the rat to Amy the human."
Before Buffy could respond, the door swung open and Angel walked in.
Buffy felt her breathing become shallow as they stared at each other.
"Well," Cordelia chirped. "Doyle and I have some fun of our own planned downstairs, we'll just see you two later!"
"We do?" Doyle asked, grinning.
Cordelia kept the smile plastered on her face as they hurried out the door.
When they were gone, Angel spoke up. "I didn't think you'd be here."
"And with that kind of greeting, I don't want to me," Buffy told him, moving towards the door.
Angel caught her hand, efficiently stopping her in her tracks. "You look like you're doing well."
"I'm managing," Buffy agreed.
"I'm glad. How's college?"
"It's okay," Buffy told him. "I get by. But I wish you were there, helping me through it."
"You know I can't. You know *we* can't."
"I know nothing of that sort."
"Well you need to learn. Buffy, we-" Angel was cut off when Buffy leaned up and kissed him.
When she pulled away, she stared at him. "You made a choice for both of us when you left, Angel. Now it's my turn. And I choose not to let you stay out of my life. I love you, Angel, and I need you by my side."
Buffy placed a finger over his lips. "No buts. Cordelia and Doyle are making it work, and so can we. Because I need you in my life, Angel. I won't let you walk away again." She inhaled shakily. "What do you have to say to that? Hmm, Angel? What do you have to say to that?"
Angel didn't say anything. Instead, he pulled her into his embrace and kissed her.
The challenge was a story with: