Shiny Stuff Means Happy People

The door swung open. Cordelia glanced down from where she was perched on top of a chair and grinned before turning back to whatever it was she had been doing. She said nothing and it was that more than anything that sent the wave of concern through Angel.

"What's going on?" he asked.

Cordelia looked at him again and he frowned. Lips pressed together and eyes sparkling, she continued to stare at him. Her expression changed. Utter disbelief replaced the former unreadable look. She nodded her head as if gesturing at something.

Angel sighed and turned his head. "Christmas decorations. Is that... that's tinsel."

"Right you are, Angel," she confirmed. She grinned at him and waved something about that sparkled under the dim lighting. "This place was looking dull and that can't be good for business so I-"

"Made it look all sparkly instead?" Angel filled in.


"Oh, I see. Our customers are attracted to shiny things, then," he said.

"No! The dark, with the gloom! It's off-putting! Would you want to take your business to a place where they didn't show some sign of respect for... Angel! It's the holidays!"

"I..." he raised an eyebrow. "I just don't think a few Christmas decorations." He paused when she glared at him. "As pretty as they are! I don't think the customers really need them. Our customers tend to come here for the life saving more than-"

"Oh, come on! It lifts morale. Decorations make people happy," she insisted. "Admit it."

He got a good look at the item in her hand. It was star shaped and coated in gold glitter. "And that's what our customers need," he said slowly. "To be made happy."

Cordelia nodded, wearing one of the most serious looks he had seen on her in awhile. He could see it meant a lot to her.

"You know," he said. "I think they come here for our help. Private investigator type stuff." He waved at the decorations with one hand as he walked past her. "Not this... sparkly stuff."

"You'd be surprised actually," Cordelia said. "Statistics show people will go into a store with more pretty stuff in the windows than a boring old place like this was before I went decoration gal on it. You'll be thanking me later."

He paused at the door to his office. "Really."

"Yuh huh." She nodded and looked at him hopefully.

"Fine. Keep your decorations." He cringed at the squeal she let out. "But if you put anything in my office, anything at all-"

"Yes, Angel! Boss. Except, uh," she climbed off the chair and took two steps towards him. There, she pointed upwards at the mistletoe she had attached over his door. "You know what that means, right?"

Angel stared at her. He narrowed his eyes. "Cordy," he warned.

She shrugged. "You don't want to break tradition, do you?"

He held back for another five seconds in which she was certain he was going to drink her – or worse, fire her – and then quickly kissed her on the cheek. Her hand went up to the area of skin his lips grazed and hovered there.

Angel moved past her into his office. Before the door closed behind him, he called out one last thing. "I expect that mistletoe to be gone next time I come out. Understood?"

She grinned and made no move to retrieve the plant. "Understood, Angel."


The door closed with a sharp click.