EPILOGUE

"I don't give a damn where you're used to sitting, bud – it's a widely accepted fact that this is my spot."

"Be that as it may, I find my reading material and research to be a bit more pressing than the line up for the tracks."

"Hey – you put some fairly large coin down on one of these races and you'll see how pressing such a thing can be."

"Angel, would you please talk some sense into your seer?"

"Angel, man – would you please do something with this twit before I choke the British right outta him?"

Having retreated into Angel's office when the argument started Cordelia smirked from where she was seated across from his desk, noting that he wasn't looking up from his book. "You're not going to help them out, are you?" She asked.

"Nope." Angel said as he tried to keep a straight face, turning the page and pretending he didn't hear the argument outside his door.

In a funny series of events the property owners of their previous office building had decided to rebuild with the insurance money from the explosion. Since the structure was still intact they'd just followed the original design in order to keep costs down. Once the renovations were complete Cordelia had received a letter in the mail advising them that they had first dibs on the space they used to rent and with Doyle now back it was too perfect to resist.

The original Angel Investigations was back in business, office and all, but with one additional face on the payroll then when it had first started. The couch across from her desk seemed to be a cause for continual debate and she leaned back in her chair, smiling as she watched the two continuing their battle through the window.

"You think we should just buy a second couch?" She asked, laughing at the dueling accents filtering into the office.

"Nope." Angel said, his smile widening.

"We're just gonna let them drive each other nuts?" She said.

"Pretty much, yeah." Angel said, resting the book on his chest and looking out at them through the glass. "That was my plan, anyway." He confessed as he grinned over at her.

"Uh oh, you're on – it's reached the referee part." Cordelia said and they both quickly pretended to be busy with the books they were reading.

"Do you hear this?" Doyle demanded as he pushed the door to Angel's office.

"Hear what?" Angel asked innocently.

Doyle pointed at him accusingly and shook his head. "Fine, just block it out – do us both a favor and turn a blind eye when I feed him his tie, as well."

"Big shock here, Angel; your friend seems to be acting rashly again." Wesley said with an aggravated sigh.

"How difficult is this? I mean really? You're an egghead, how are you struggling with this? I come in, I sit on the couch, I read the paper – it's like the tides, man. Just go with it, can't fight the natural order of things." Doyle complained.

"Where do you propose I research for our cases then, hmm? You tell me." Wesley said angrily.

"The roof's looking better and better for you every time you open your mouth, bud." Doyle shot back and Angel and Cordelia exchanged a private smirk.

"Lovely idea, why not read your paper up there then – perhaps let the morning sun chase away your daily hangover?" Wesley asked.

Cordelia mouthed an 'ooohh' while Angel hid behind his book and struggled not to laugh.

"You ever tried listening to yourself, bud? Do me a favor, record your droning for five minutes – just five bleeding minutes – play it back and tell me whether you're in need of a hard drink afterward. I know I sure as hell am." Doyle snapped.

"That's right, yes, let's blame the chronic alcoholism on me – because we all know it magically appeared when you and I met, certainly it wasn't a problem beforehand. I really don't know why I bother trying to have a discussion with you." Wesley said in disgust.

"Would ya look at tha – at least you and I finally agree on something! Stay off the couch and I'll happily avoid ever having to listen to your sniveling voice." Doyle called angrily as Wesley turned to walk away. "Angel, I swear to Christ if he doesn't…"

The instant he trailed off Wesley reflexively spun to face him, rushing back into the office as Angel jumped up from his desk, the two of them catching Doyle as the vision hit.

"Easy now, easy…" Wesley said as they lowered him to the floor, gripping Doyle's shoulders and helping Angel to keep him steady while he convulsed.

He opened his eyes slowly after a moment, groaning and covering his face until Angel handed him his flask.

"You alright?" Angel asked worriedly.

"Yeah…I'm…yeah…I'm…fine…" Doyle began in a daze as Angel helped him sit up and lean his back against the desk.

Cordelia dropped down beside them with the bottle of Tylenol, pouring several out into her hand and offering them to Doyle sympathetically. If she'd hated seeing him get hit with the visions before she was crushed by it now, understanding all too well the agony he was going through.

Wesley stretched to retrieve a notepad and pen from the desk. "What did you see?" He asked quietly, the two bickered endlessly but the second the visions hit it seemed to push all the pettiness aside. Cordelia swore the two only fought for something to keep them entertained – though Angel had told her with a smirk that the Irishman and the Brit may have been born with an innate hatred for one another, she had no idea why that would be and never asked him to explain it.

"Big ugly demon, think it's an Emolta. Got those silver scales and green eyes, nasty teeth…did I mention big? It's in a restaurant down on Fifth and Erie, just regenerated and it's looking for food – by way of the patrons instead of what's on the menu." Doyle told him, clutching his head as Wesley took notes. "Best be careful round back if any of us chase him there – thing can climb buildings and likes to drop down on ya unexpected like." He warned.

"Right, any idea how to kill one of these things?" Angel asked Wesley.

"If it is in fact an Emolta – and by Doyle's description I'd say it is, its heart will be in its stomach. You'll need to pierce it with silver…disposal should be simple enough, their bodies dissolve in water." He offered.

"No muss, no fuss." Cordelia mused. "Just do me a favor and drop him somewhere other than the reservoir, k? I don't want to be showering in dissolved demon for the next month, if that's alright with you."

Angel smirked and helped Doyle up onto his feet. "You ready for this?" He asked.

"Ready as I'll ever be." Doyle said as Cordelia gave him their standard post-vision hug.

"Good, let's get to work." Angel said with a grin, the four of them grabbing weapons and heading out the door.


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