Author:  Meltha

Rating:  G

Feedback:  Yes, thank you. Melpomenethalia[at]aol.com

Spoilers:  Through AtS season 5's "Conviction."

Distribution:  The Blackberry Patch and Fanfiction.net.  If you're interested, please let me know.

Summary:  In the move from the Hyperion to Wolfram & Hart, Angel and Lorne do some… ehm… bonding.  Extremely silly.

Author's Note:  In response ot Lunanne's fluffathon challenge: Angel and Lorne friendship, a silly misunderstanding, and pink fuzzy slippers, no mention of Angelus, the soul, Spike, or Buffy.

Disclaimer: All characters are owned by Mutant Enemy (Joss Whedon), a wonderfully creative company whose characters I have borrowed for a completely profit-free flight of fancy.  Kindly do not sue me, please, as I am terrified of you.  Thank you.

A Highly Fluffy Story

The hustle and bustle of moving things from the Hyperion to the new staff quarters at Wolfram & Hart was beginning to reach chaotic proportions.  Of course, Lilah had smoothly offered a moving service to the Angel Investigations crew, but all of them had immediately turned her down with a choral "No!"  There was no possible way the mass of evil lawyers were to be trusted with their personal effects.

Currently, Gunn, his truck laden to bursting, was making his fifth trip to the new building.  Wesley was at his own apartment, boxing up his books and weapons, and wondering why on earth he had a bucket in his closet.  Fred had decided it was high time for someone to get lunch, and she had headed out on foot to the Mexican restaurant down the block, intent on bringing back enough food to feed a starving army. 

Angel and Lorne, the Hyperion's only occupants for the moment, were still going through their rooms, packing up the last of their belongings.  Lorne had just found a whole pile of old 45s he hadn't realized had even survived the explosion of Caritas.  Grinning madly, he pulled out a small turntable he'd already stowed in a crate, plugged it in, and was just about to fill the air with the sounds of the Temptations when he became aware of Angel shuffling around in his own room on the other side of the hallway.  The tired sound of the footsteps gave Lorne pause enough to think maybe Motown would be out of place just now.

Lorne knew Angel had been in a strange mood lately, quiet and sullen.  Well, he supposed, that really wasn't all that new.  It would be far more alarming if Angel had suddenly started wearing chartreuse and doing a snappy soft-shoe routine, but still, Lorne was bothered that he couldn't quite put his finger on why the vampire seemed so withdrawn.  The demon had told himself a thousand times that he should just let this group work out their own problems without sticking his nose in, but his nose seemed to have a mind of its own.  Well, technically, his nose did have a mind of its own, but Pylean anatomy aside, he cared about these kids, and that included the quarter-millennium-old kid across the hall.

Sucking in his gut and painting on his happiest grin, he sauntered into Angel's room with a cheery, "Hey, ya big apple dumplin', have you happened to see my orange and pink top hat lying about anywhere?  Can't seem to find it."

Angel looked up at him with an odd expression on his face.  "I think I'd remember seeing that if I had, and no."

"Hmm, drat," the demon said, coming fully into the room and watching Angel's progress in packing.  "Thought maybe you'd borrowed it, but it was probably Wes."

Angel stared at him, but the demon just winked, willing him to smile even a little.  No dice.

"I'll let you know if I see it," he said, turning his back and folding what appeared to be Angel's thirty-fifth black shirt.

"Angel, honeybun, do you even own something in a non-neutral tone? A red, maybe, or a nice sunny yellow?  I mean, just the color wouldn't make you catch fire, would it?" Lorne asked as he noticed the predominately black, gray, and, oh yes, still more black wardrobe that was still scattered around the room. 

"No, Lorne," he answered, but whether it was to if he owned anything vaguely cheery or if yellow had vampire-incendiary properties, Lorne couldn't tell.

The green demon frowned slightly, then looked at the bottom of Angel's closet and broke into a wide grin at what he saw.  Sitting there as though waiting for Angel to sit down before bed with a friendly book were an obviously comfy, wildly fuzzy pair of shockingly pink slippers. 

"Well, now, those are definitely a step in the right direction!" Lorne said, bending down and picking them up.

"Those aren't mine," Angel said in a slightly offended tone.  "I assumed they were yours.  I'd put them aside to give back to you but hadn't gotten around to it.  What are your slippers doing in my closet, anyway?"

"My slippers?  Au contraire, big boss, these little footsie wraps aren't mine, though they are adorable!" Lorne said as he examined them.

It happened in a flash.  One of the slippers opened up a very large pair of toothy jaws and lunged at Lorne's hand, missing only by millimeters.

"GYAH!" he yelled, dropping the remaining one to the floor and jumping in a swift movement onto Angel's stripped mattress.  "Demon slippers!"

Angel stared in disbelief at the flamingo-colored pieces of fluff that were currently circling the room and making noises not unlike Smurfs on acid.  They also had the disconcerting ability to run up the walls and across the ceilings, and one of them had decided to attack Lorne from above.

"Hero-type person!" Lorne shouted, swatting at the creature as it attempted biting his horns.  "You wanna get your derriere in gear over there!  Not exactly a damsel in distress, but definitely in need of some rescuing!"

Breaking out of his stupor of shock, Angel grabbed a nearby umbrella (color: black) he'd been about to shove into a box and tried spearing the fluffy menace with it.  To his surprise, it grabbed the umbrella with a pair of previously unseen tentacles and began whacking Angel about the head.

"Good!" Lorne hollered.  "You're distracting him great!"

"Great?" Angel yelled back, narrowly missing a sharp thrust of the umbrella's wooden handle at his heart.  "Are you insane?!"

Meanwhile, the slipper's mate took a mighty leap and began eating Lorne's baby blue satin shirttails.

"Get your incisors off my Isaac Mizrahi!" he screamed in a war cry, whirling around quickly enough to throw the slipper off with centrifugal force. 

The slipper, however, was undaunted, and came back again, paying close attention to Lorne's ankles.  Angel continued to battle its twin as it stuck a series of holes into the mattress he was standing on, filling the room with a blizzard of feathers from the rips.  As ridiculous as it seemed, they appeared to be losing.

That's when the second unexpected thing happened: Lorne's adversary, by nipping sharply at his ankles, had gotten the green demon hopping from foot to foot.  As he raised one foot, the slipper hurled itself at it, quickly sheathing his foot so he was now wearing the slipper on his left foot.

"What in the name of Manolo Blahnik!" he cried as the slipper began moving his leg around in what was unmistakably the opening steps of a one-legged Can Can.  "Angel!  Help!"

"Kinda having problems of my own here," he grunted as the slipper made a particularly vicious jab with the umbrella handle, knocking Angel onto his back, then performed a rather impressive back flip off the ceiling, coming to rest at his feet and forcing itself onto his right foot.

Before Angel knew what was happening, the slippered foot was making him hop across the room to where Lorne was currently doing a one man version of a kick line, which abruptly became a two man kick line as Angel found himself compelled to link arms with the demon and mirror his steps, though in the opposite direction since he had on the opposite shoe.  Consequently, Angel and Lorne were kicking the heck out of each other's shins.

"Ow!  Watch it!" Lorne shot angrily as the vampire's foot connected with his knee. 

"You think if I had any control over this at all I'd be doing a scene from Moulin Rouge with you right now?" Angel growled at him.

Helpless, the two of them kick-ball-changed their way down the hall and towards the main lobby of the hotel, fighting and losing to the demonic slippers every step of the way.  It wasn't until they were within sight of the balcony railing above the lobby itself that they realized two things and exchanged horrified looks, neither of them sure which was more terrifying:  the fact that the slippers were obviously going to hurl them down the steep stairs to at least one of their dooms, or that the others had returned and were talking cheerfully in the lobby below.

Angel looked skyward and mumbled between high kicks, "You really hate me, don't you?"

"Uh, Angel-cakes," Lorne asked, a tremble in his voice, "any ideas?"

"Just one," Angel said. "Hang on tight!"

With that, Angel did the last thing slipper one, slipper two, or Lorne expected and used his free leg to leap over the balcony railing and out into thin air, covering the ten-foot distance to the large chandelier hanging above the lobby.  There they swung, clutching the swaying and decidedly ancient lighting fixture, their feet still attempting to dance though they were dangling in mid-air.

Wes, Gunn, and Fred looked up, their mouths agape in shock at the spectacle above them.

"Man," Gunn finally said in an awed voice,  "y'all the weirdest bunch of people I ever been around, and that includes the homeless guy my crew bunked with that one summer who thought he was Madonna."

"Wes," Angel said, attempting to regain his dignity in spite of the fact he was hanging off a chandelier, wearing a fuzzy pink slipper, and Can Canning better than Nicole Kidman, "the slippers are cursed.  You want to try to find a way to break the spell before the electrical cord pulls out of the ceiling and we plummet twenty feet?"

Wes blinked a moment at the odd picture, then seemed to realize he wasn't watching an extremely odd episode of reality TV.  "Right.  I should have a book somewhere in the office that will do the trick," he said, dashing out of sight.

Fred continued to look at the two of them swaying precariously above, her brows knit together in disbelief, apparently completely unable to speak, a taco still stuck in her mouth.

"So," Lorne said conversationally to Angel as they continued to dance sporadically, occasionally bashing their limbs into various large crystals on the chandelier, "how about those Lakers?"

Angel sighed heavily.

It took Wesley just under half an hour to find the proper spell to make the demonic possession leave the slippers, allowing them to fall harmlessly to the floor.  Apparently, one of their old enemies had not only tried to kill them, but had tried to do so in the most laughable way he could think of.  Unfortunately, it took Gunn an additional hour to find a ladder tall enough to reach the chandelier.  By that time, Lorne had gone through half his repertoire of the greatest hits of the 1970s and was just belting out a lovely rendition of the Carpenters' "Close to You," which Angel had disturbingly found himself singing along with under his breath. 

About three weeks later, Angel walked into his office one morning to find a large gift bag on desk.  Cautiously, he reached inside and produced…

With a surprisingly high-pitched shriek of terror, Angel grabbed a battle-ax off the wall behind him and proceeded to hack the fuzzy pink slippers into fluffy oblivion.  Finally satisfied that the slippers couldn't possibly do any more damage, he sat back, exhausted.

"Um, boss?" Harmony asked, poking her head through the door, "Everything okay in here?"

"Fine, Harmony, fine," he said.  "Get maintenance to deliver a new desk up here though."

"Righty-oh," she said cheerily, disappearing though the door once more.  He could almost hear her roll her eyes.

It wasn't until that moment that he saw the envelope, chopped neatly in half now, sitting on top of the remains of his desk calendar.  It should have been rather hard to miss considering it was brilliant orange and had his name written on it in blue glitter pen.  Carefully piecing the contents back together, he groaned.  It read:

Angel-Crumpet,

You still DO need some color in your wardrobe, so I got you these.  Don't worry; they aren't inhabited by anything nasty.  And thanks for the dance, Twinkle Toes!

Stay fabulous,

Lorne

Angel buzzed Harmony on the intercom.

"Yeah, boss?"

"How soon am I due for a vacation?"