Title: Internship

Author: Gaeriel Mallory

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, Inc. or Melinda Metz and Jason Katims.

Note: Written in response to TTH's Fic-for-all #5: Angel/Liz Parker

Feedback: Yes, please.

Summary: Liz has an interesting job for winter break.

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Liz Parker sighed as she crouched down to pick up the stack of folders that she had dropped after bumping into one of the many people rushing past her, all more important than the lowly intern scrabbling to get papers back into some semblance of order. God, who knew accepting the winter break internship offer from a law firm would be a fast-forward lesson on real-world hierarchy—of which she was the bottommost rung. Well, maybe second from the bottom. The guy who pushed the mail cart around seemed to get less notice than she did.

Finally getting all the files back into her arms, she hurried to her destination, grimacing at the Musak version of 'Jingle Bells' playing in the elevator. "Here," she told the blonde woman sitting at the secretary's desk. "These are the forms that Mr. Angel asked Lorne to send over regarding the annual Christmas party."

Harmony raised an eyebrow at the eager young woman in front of her. "You are way too happy to be working at an evil law firm." She waved her nail file at Liz. "You know, if I had met you a year ago, I wouldn't have thought twice about biting you in the neck and leaving your corpse behind a dumpster somewhere. You were just the perky happy little nobody that would have annoyed me just by being alive."

The door behind the desk opened and a dark-haired man walked out. "Harmony, stop scaring the new intern." He smiled what he probably thought was a reassuring smile at Liz. "Hi, I'm Angel. Welcome to Wolfram & Hart."

Liz took his hand mindlessly. "Uh..."

He shrugged apologetically. "Don't mind Harmony. She's off her blood at the moment. The butcher was out of her usual and she had to make do with sheep." Ignoring the tongue his secretary was sticking out at his back, he grabbed the files sitting on the counter and walked back into his office, gesturing for Liz to follow him. "Come on in and take a seat. I haven't had a chance to congratulate you on getting the internship." Dropping the files on his desk, he sat down in his chair.

Liz carefully sat in one of the cushioned chairs in front of the desk. "Thank you, Mr. Angel—"

He waved a hand to the side. "It's just Angel," he told her. "So today's your first day? What are your impressions of the place?"

She nibbled on her lower lip. "Well," she said slowly, "It's a lot different than what I had expected."

He nodded. "I heard that you saw Paula from the secretarial pool get beheaded this morning. Sorry about that. We learned that she was helping Santa Claus and his elves with his Christmas planning. It's something we frown upon here, along with demon summoning and baby sacrificing."

Liz blinked several times at her boss. "It was definitely an experience," she admitted. "But... Santa Claus?"

"He's really a demon that climbs down chimneys and eats children." He shook his head. "God knows where they got 'bowl-full-of-jelly' from." Leaning forward, he asked, "But other than the odd decapitation witnessed, how are you settling in?"

"Okay, I guess."

"I imagine that this is all a bit of a change for you."

She shook her head. "Honestly, not really. I used to work for a politician."

He grimaced in sympathy. "Enough said. So I suppose demons are a step up for you then?" He stood up. "Well, don't think too much about it. You'll see some pretty strange things here and as long as you're not evil you don't have anything to worry about."

Liz shook her head as she got up too. "Oh no. I'm definitely not evil. Lorne passed me and everything after hearing me sing."

Angel sat back down again. "Yeah, about that. Lorne gave me a pretty interesting report about you. Something about aliens?" He looked at her in anticipation.

She resumed her seat and shrugged helplessly. "I'm from Roswell," she said, hoping that explained everything.

Oddly enough, it did. Leaving Angel's office, she yelped as she was splattered with green blood. "Sorry!" Mr. Wyndham-Price called out as he wiped the sword on the carcass of the dead demon on the floor. "You can send my department the dry-cleaning bill."

The music in the elevator was 'Joy to the World.' God, how was she going to survive until New Year's? And what the hell was she going to tell her friends back home about her job—and would they even believe it? Aliens were one thing. Demons were quite another, even with the evidence of demon blood on her blouse.

--fin--