Author's Note: This is a missing scene set during the end of 'The Bachelor.' It takes place after Doyle has his vision of Buffy in trouble and Angel and Cordy save him from his ex-wife's brain-eating fiance.This is what I would have liked to have seen happen. Special thanks to Scarlet who beta'd this for me.
Feedback: Yes, please. I love it lots!
It was still early in the morning when Cordelia pulled up in front of Angel Investigations. After the excitement of last night, she would have thought she'd be exhausted and would have slept until at least noon, but she'd found herself too hyped up and unable to sleep much at all. After all, it wasn't every day that one of your co-workers came seconds away from having his brains eaten by his ex-wife's new fiance. Her being unable to sleep had absolutely nothing to do with finding out that said co-worker and once been married. Or that he'd been a teacher in his past life of actual children. Or that his name was Francis, for God's sake.
Nope, not at all.
Unlocking the office door, Cordelia stepped into the darkened building and locked the door behind her. Making her way to one of the windows, she partially opened the blinds to let some light in and jumped when she noticed the slumped figure in one of the office chairs.
"God!" she shrilled, her hand on her chest. "Stalk much?" Upset at having been taken by surprise, she glared at the crumpled figure before her.
"Sorry, Princess," Doyle said and Cordelia found her expression softening despite herself, as she took in his even more than usual rumpled appearance and blood-shot eyes.
"Why are you here? I would think you'd be crawling in here around noon like you always do after a night of drinking and self-pity," Cordelia mused as she made her way to her desk and sat across from Doyle.
"What about you, Princess?" Doyle said, ignoring her blunt words, "You're up awfully early yourself, ain't ya?" Doyle asked while unsuccessfully attempting to open a bottle of aspirin.
"Hangover?" Cordelia asked, prying the bottle of aspirin out of Doyle's hands.
"Headache. Having someone attempt to eat your brains with a soup spoon will do that to a person," Doyle muttered, failing to mention that Cordelia bashing him in the head repeatedly with a tray while he was in demon form, didn't help, before holding his hand out for the pills.
Placing three pills into his outstretched palm, Cordy frowned as she watched him dry swallowed them.
"Were you here all night?" she asked as she took in the empty glass and bottle of scotch by Doyle's elbow.
"Yeah, Angel left for Sunnydale a few hours ago. I was just about to leave when you showed up," Doyle said his voice subdued.
Cordelia nodded in silence, recalling the vision of Buffy that Doyle had earlier, which further explained the headache. Taking in Doyle's rumpled and depressed appearance Cordelia sighed softly. "Look, Doyle, about Harry," she began, pausing momentarily as she noticed Doyle flinch at the mention of his ex-wife's name, "I just wanted to say I'm sorry," Cordelia continued, the words awkward on her tongue.
"Harry was a long time ago," Doyle said, clearly uncomfortable with the topic of conversation.
"It just -- it must suck to see your ex after all this time, and to find out that she's getting re-married. And, that the guy she's marrying is a demon," Cordelia continued, completely oblivious to Doyle's hurt expression. 'God, if I were to suddenly run into Xander Harris only to find out he was dating a demon of all things, I'd be like so angry--"
"'Delia," Doyle interjected, "while I'm grateful that you're concerned and everything, uh, I'd just really prefer not to talk about this, okay?" Doyle continued quickly.
"Fine, but I'm only letting this go because you look like crap," Cordy said, her expression turning sheepish as she took in Doyle's wounded expression.
"Sorry I just, I think it, I say it, remember?" Cordy said, repeating the words she said last night in her failed attempt to cheer Doyle up. Seeing his further hurt expression, she continued. "Sorry, that didn't help. What I meant is --" Cordy began only to be cut off by Doyle.
"While I appreciate the effort, Cordelia, my fragile ego can only take so much cheering up right now, " Doyle said, standing to leave.
"It's just, you never told anyone," Cordelia said quickly, relaxing when Doyle hesitantly sat back down. "I mean, we've been co-workers for months now, and yet you never mentioned that you were married. Or that you'd been a teacher, which is so friggin' weird, might I add. Are you sure you weren't held back and used it as a cover story?" Cordelia asked, repeating the question she'd asked Harry the other night. "And don't even get me started on the fact that your name is Francis, Mister."
"Okay, first off, never call me that again," Doyle said and Cordelia grinned in spite of herself. "And secondly, I never told anyone because I didn't see the point. I'm not that guy anymore. I haven't been in a long time now. It's just completely irrelevant. And it's not like you've been so forthcoming with your past either, Princess. You never talk about Sunnydale or what you were like in high school. And, it's not like Angel is Mr. Sharin' and Carin' Vampire guy either, you know," Doyle said defensively.
"Okay, point taken," Cordelia said, reluctantly. "Although it's different with Angel. I was there to know some of his past. And after he boinked Buffy and went all homicidal and stuff, Giles and the rest of us read up on him. You're Mr. Mysterious Pants in this scenario."
"Look," Cordelia began when Doyle failed to respond, "we got interrupted last night with the whole you having a vision and screaming in agony thing, but I meant what I said. Nice guys don't always finish last. And you really do need to get over this whole Harry thing, because seriously, one loser, pining guy in this office is way more than enough," Cordelia said before getting up and heading to the coffee maker.
"You really think I'm a nice guy?" Doyle asked after a pause, making a face as Cordelia pulled out a coffee filter and poured a mountain of ground coffee into it.
"Duh, I think it I say it, remember? Keep up," Cordelia scoffed as she finished preparing the coffee.
"Thanks, Princess," Doyle said, a small smile gracing his features.
Waiting for the coffee to finish percolating, Cordelia quickly filled two mugs and placed one in front of Doyle before sitting back down. Reaching for her own mug, she took a sip, failing to notice the look of disgust cross quickly over Doyle's features as he drank down the bitter brew.
"Wow. That's...great," Doyle said, thankful that Cordelia was oblivious to his disgust.
"So you get one question," Cordelia said, breaking the brief silence that had descended over them. Seeing Doyle's puzzled expression, Cordelia elaborated. 'You get to ask me one question about my past, and I totally withhold the right to not answer it," Cordelia quickly added as she saw Doyle's mouth open to speak.
Grinning ruefully, Doyle cocked his head to the side before finally speaking. "So what were you like in high school?" he asked.
'Duh," Cordy said, a smile gracing her features and making her look younger than her actual years. "I was totally popular and ruled the school. Daddy had a ton of money and I had my own little gang and everything. I was a cheerleader and had the nicest car, and clothes and home with our own servants and everything. It was great," Cordelia said before trailing off, the smile fading from her face, a look of sadness taking it's place. Picking up her coffee mug, she took another sip before placing it back down.
"So what happened?" Doyle asked gently, playing with his mug of coffee rather than drinking it.
"That's two questions," Cordelia said pointedly, but continued to speak much to Doyle's surprise. "Daddy lost all his money because of a little tax lie, and now here I am," Cordelia said softly.
"Sorry, 'Delia," Doyle said and Cordelia shrugged off his words.
"So is it my turn to ask a question?" she asked in an attempt to change the subject.
Groaning, Doyle reached for the open bottle of scotch and poured a liberal amount in his coffee cup before taking a gulp. "Go ahead," he said after placing the mug back down.
"Did you love her?" Cordelia found herself asking, despite already knowing the answer.
"Yeah, I really did," Doyle said so softly, Cordelia had to strain to hear him. Despite his answer she couldn't help the pang of unwanted jealousy she felt at his admission.
God! She was seriously going to have to find a gun and blow her brains out! Especially after her vow to never date another fixer-upper again. Not after the disaster that was Xander Harris. Still though, Doyle did save her life the other night from that vampire... And if anything, Doyle was clearly proving that he did have depth. Hidden depth buried under a mountain of hideous clothes, but still depth...
"Princess?" Doyle said, interrupting Cordelia from her inner musings.
"Come on," she said suddenly, getting up and turning off the coffee machine.
"Where are we going?" Doyle asked as he followed Cordelia out the door, albeit at a much more reluctant pace.
"I figure I owe you breakfast, what with you saving my life the other night after Mister Girlie Pants ran off like the big giant girl he is," Cordelia scoffed, still miffed at the fact that her date had ran off at the first sight of the vampire and basically left her for dead.
"Aw, come on, Princess. Like I said the other night, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before an even better, richer guy comes along to sweep you off your feet," Doyle said, keeping his voice even.
"Maybe I don't want that anymore," Cordelia muttered softly under her breath as she locked the front door.
"What?" she asked defensively when she found Doyle silently watching her, his brow furled. Feeling self-conscious under his piercing gaze, she crossed her arms across her chest.
"Nothing!" Doyle said quickly, self-preservation kicking in. "Actually Cordy, as much as I appreciate the offer and all, I was thinking of just heading home and maybe taking a shower and getting some sleep before coming back here," Doyle said, as he followed Cordelia to her car, and slipped into the passenger seat.
"Seriously? If anything I thought you'd be all 'Let's head down to the local pub for a pint of celebratory beer' or whatever it is they say in your part of Scotland," Cordelia said, trying to mimic his accent and failing miserably.
"Okay, first off, I'm Irish. And secondly, I don't sound like some sort of deranged Leprechaun," Doyle grumbled, "And thirdly, I'm not exactly in a celebratory mood right now."
Pulling out onto the street, Cordelia reached over and squeezed Doyle's arm sympathetically before letting go. "Fine then, home it is," she said, immediately contrite.
"Uh, Cordy? Again, not to question your sense of direction, but uh, my apartment is the other direction," Doyle said as he stared out the windshield from the passenger seat.
"Oh please," Cordelia said, "If it wasn't willing to drive to your place in the middle of the night last time, I'm certainly not going to drive there in broad daylight where I'm likely to be seen," Cordelia said despite having done exactly that the day before. Seeing the frown on Doyle's face , she sighed. "Look, you can take a shower and crash on my couch again and then we'll head back to your place to pick up some clothes and get some breakfast, deal?" Cordelia asked hesitantly, not wanting to leave Doyle alone so soon when he was still so upset over Harry, although she'd kill herself before ever admitting that to him.
"Deal," Doyle said after a beat, smiling despite himself.
The drive to Cordelia's house was quick and uneventful, both of them lost in their own thoughts. Parking outside her house, Cordelia stepped out of the car and locked it behind her, Doyle doing the same.
Walking through her front door, Doyle smiled as Cordelia greeted Dennis, her ghostly roommate. "Go ahead and take a shower. The pillow and blanket from the other night are on the arm chair. I'm going to try and get some more sleep," Cordelia said and Doyle nodded as she waved to him and entered her bedroom.
His smile quickly turned into a grin as a towel and washcloth floated into his arms. "Thanks, Dennis," Doyle said as he stepped into the bathroom and closed the door behind him. As he stepped into the shower, and turned the water to hot, Doyle couldn't help but recall Cordelia's earlier words. Who knew, maybe good guys don't always finish last. Maybe he too would one day have his happy ending. If anything, being here right now was definitely a step in the right direction.
"Dennis?" Cordelia asked as she slipped into bed. Watching the bedspread cover her gently on its own, she sighed before turning onto her side. "Doyle will be okay, right?" she asked hesitantly. The feel of the covers being smoothed over her and the closing of the blinds were her only response. "I think so, too," she said finally before closing her eyes, the sound of the running shower lulling her to sleep.