Disclaimer: All characters and situations owned by Joss Whedon and Alan Ball.

Timeline: post-You're Welcome, season 5 of AtS; later season 4 for Six Feet Under.

Thanks to: Victoria, for giving me the crucial idea; Kathy, for beta-reading.

The Burying Kind

I. Prologue

If everybody had just listened to Harmony, everything would have been far easier, but what else was new? Naturally, Angel didn't. When he told her that Cordelia was dead, that she never woke up, that what they had seen and talked to for an entire day had been some bizarre kind of ghost, Harmony was really considerate. By all rights, Angel should have been consoling her. She was Cordelia's oldest friend here, after all. Cordy had been her idol. She and Cordelia had tried out new diets and scared the hell out of all the losers at Sunnydale High when Angel had still been chasing rats somewhere and Wesley had been learning useless stuff at some Watcher Academy. She didn't even know what Fred and Gunn had been doing then, and didn't care, either. The point was that she had real grief, and nobody even thought of that. No, Angel was in his full broodathon mood which meant he expected everyone to act all consoling and considerate towards him, which just showed you how selfish he was. Still, Harmony did her best. She limited herself to a single becoming tear and even delayed asking whether this meant all of Cordelia's clothes that were still stored somewhere would be hers. Well, they certainly wouldn't fit Fred, would they?

Instead, she did her job and pointed out to Angel that Wolfram and Hart had several funeral homes among their clients – well, naturally – and some weren't even necromancers. They could give Cordy the kind of funeral Paris Hilton would die to get, though if you looked at Paris, it might already have happened. Was Angel grateful? He was not. Instead, he glared at her and pronounced that Cordelia would never, ever, be buried by anyone even remotely connected to Wolfram and Hart. Harmony knew at once what that meant. Horrible work in her time of grief. For she would have to go through all the relevant files to check out which funeral homes had never worked with Wolfram and Hart. Angel was such a selfish bastard sometimes.

Several hours later, she had succeeded in unearthing some dreary firm that had somehow managed to be so insignificant, so totally loser-ville, that Wolfram and Hart with its generous supply of corpses had never considered sending some of those its way.

"Fisher & Diaz," Harmony said. "Formerly Fisher & Sons. I guess they ran out of sons, or something."

Angel said they would do, and was about to do his dramatic swirling coat exit when Harmony, remembering he signed her paycheck which he couldn't as a pile of dust, pointed out to him that no Wolfram and Hart connection meant no necroglass in daytime, and no visits in the middle of the night, which it now was. Someone would have to go in the morning; Fred, Wesley or Gunn, but certainly not Lorne. They probably didn't have a clue about empathy demons, either.

Harmony didn't envy them, though she thought it would be fitting. Gunn had improved since his upgrade, but Fred and Wesley were so utterly lacking in style that those losers at the funeral home wouldn't even clue in about how much money they could make off this gig.

Then she thought again about how Cordelia would have hated being buried looking less than her best, and for some reason burst into tears. Not good tears, the kind that looked cute and made guys raise a fuss about you. Ugly ones that left her eyes swollen. Angel didn't make a fuss, either. Instead, he gave her a hankerchief. Which just went to show, once again, how cheap he was.

The least he could have done to console her would have been to promise a salary raise.