Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel, or any of the characters mentioned in the cannon.
A/N: Thanks to those who reviewed last chapter, it made it much easier to get this chapter out to you all. I'm sorry that it's so short, but it seemed like a good spot to end this chapter, before the next part begins. Enjoy :)
Cordelia walked along the hallway with her usual bold confidence; her hand bag slung over her shoulder. Her eyes moved from door to door, looking at the numbers that were peeling off most of the doors; her nose wrinkled in distaste, not being able to hide the fact that this entire building was far below her high tastes. 'I can't believe he lives here!' She thought disgruntledly as moved further down the hall; that was clean and well kept, but no less tacky for her tastes. 'I can't believe someone so hot can live in a place so… not.' She thought sourly whilst hoping that no one saw her here… not that anyone influential in her landing a role, but still… there was no way that she could stand the embarrassment at being spotted in such a tacky place!
She quickly rounded a corner, her eyes still scanning the doors looking for the room number the guy at the counter on the first level of the building had told her was the one she was looking for; after a far bit of persuasion on her part. Her eyes landed on the door with the room number she was looking for and she sighed in relief at finally having arrived at her destination. Now it wouldn't be much longer before she could get out of here and hopefully never step foot in this horrid place again. Stepping towards the door she slid the sunglasses she had slipped over her eyes to help hide her face from anyone that walked down the halls she'd had to pass through to get here, up onto her head, before she knocked on the door firmly.
Buffy looked up and over at the door as the sound of someone knocking at her door; the sound making her frown in confusion. There wasn't anyone that they knew here yet, so who could be at the door. 'I hope that we're not already behind in the rent.' She thought, not knowing who else could be at the door except one of the building employees. Putting down the sandwich that she had been munching on, Buffy got up, dusting her hands free of bread crumbs just as another more impatient knock sounded from the door. Walking over to the door she pulled it open and her eyes widened at seeing the brunette that she had never wanted to see again. "You!" She exclaimed in surprise.
Cordelia's mouth sagged open in her own shock. "You!" She exclaimed in return equally as shocked to see the ditzy blond that had run into her in the middle of the street the other day in the apartment that was supposed to belong to the hot guy who'd saved her; not this bitchy little blond bimbo! "What are you doing here?" She asked with an annoyed frown.
Buffy raised an annoyed eyebrow at the brunette woman, her attitude immediately irritating her as it had done on the street. "Uh, I live here."
"No, you don't." Cordelia denied her arms crossing over her chest as she stared the blond down.
Buffy made a disbelieving irritated sound as she crossed her own arms over her chest; not quite sure that she could believe that someone could be so rude. "Uh, yes I do."
"This apartment is supposed to belong to a tall handsome dark haired man… oh, I get it. He's like your brother right?"
Buffy's expression turned slightly amused, despite how irritated she was with the brunette. "I don't have a brother."
Cordelia scowled at the petite blond, hating the fact that the girl was holding her up; forcing her to stand out in the hallway, where anyone walking by could see her standing there talking to someone so tackily dressed as this blond. "Look, I know that he lives in this apartment." She said a waspishly, remembering that the first time she had seen her saviour was outside a supermarket, just before he had been joined by a blond… the world sure worked in mysterious ways to make it that a guy as good looking as her saviour was shaking up with a girl like… 'her'! "So, is he home, or what?"
Buffy shifted her stance as she continued to block the doorway. "Do you have any idea just how ru…"
"Buffy, is there someone at the door? I thought I heard a knock." Angel asked as he walked out of the small bathroom, accidentally cutting Buffy off midsentence.
Cordelia gave Buffy a triumphant smug look, before she shoved past Buffy; almost knocking her over as she forced her way into the apartment. "I knew that you lived here." She crowed as Buffy steadied herself not at all caring that she had almost knocked the smaller woman to the ground. She froze in her steps though and inhaled sharply at seeing her handsome demon saviour in nothing more than a towel wrapped around his hips; one of his arms stretched up to his head as he held another towel to his still wet hair. "Oh wow." She breathed, a warm heat filling her centre at the sight of him like that.
"You," Angel murmured shocked not having expected someone else to be in the apartment.
Buffy frowned. "You know her?" She asked, grumpily as she shut the door, not appreciating almost being bowled over by the arrogant bitchy brunette.
"Uh, I saved her… a few nights ago." Angel explained, his gaze going to Buffy as she turned around to face the room; the irritation on her face plain to see, but it was only for a brief moment as it was replaced by surprise and lust as well as a small hint of annoyance as her gaze skirted pointedly to their guest and he looked down at himself, suddenly becoming sharply aware of the fact that he was only dressed in a damp towel that could come undone at any moment. "Uh…I'm uh, gonna go put some clothes on." He muttered self-consciously.
"Good idea." Buffy grumbled as Angel quickly began gathering up his clothes that were scattered around the apartment.
"No, need to hurry about it." Cordelia called after him as her saviour hurried towards the bathroom, her brown eyes shining with amusement and arousal as she watched him disappear behind the bathroom door.
Buffy glared at Cordelia's back before she stalked further into her apartment, taking a deep breath to try and calm herself down. She couldn't really blame the brunette for ogling her boyfriend; especially when he was dressed so scantily… and maybe just maybe she was trying to be polite… "So, uh… are you here to thank, Angel?" She asked as she turned to look at the brunette, hoping that her face was a polite friendly instead of filled with the irritation that was still thrumming through her.
Cordelia released her lower lip from her teeth as she continued to stare at the door her saviour had disappeared through. "So his name's, Angel," She murmured. 'It suits him.' She thought her smile sultry for a moment, before she turned her gaze to the blond who was staring at her. "And no, I'm not here to thank, Angel." She informed the blond, looking down her nose at the smaller woman.
Buffy's polite friendly expression changed almost immediately as the brunette threw her offer of a truce in her face. "Then why are you here?" She asked with irritation, her arms crossing over her chest defensively. "And, how did you even know that he lived here?" She grumbled, realizing just how odd it was that she knew that Angel lived here.
Cordelia shrugged. "I have my sources." She said loftily.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Stalker, much," She muttered, earning a sharp glare from the brunette woman who had just caught the sarcastic muttering.
"What was that?!" Cordelia growled sharply, just as the bathroom door came open again and Angel hurriedly stepped out into the main area of the apartment where his girlfriend and the random woman he had saved a few nights ago where standing; having heard and felt the tension growing quickly.
"So," Angel began clapping his hands together, drawing both their attention to him. "I take it that you two know each other."
"Pfhht! Hardly," Cordelia denied not wanting anyone to think that she was associated with such a tacky person.
Buffy glared at the brunette before, she returned her gaze to Angel. "She's the rude… 'person' that bumped into me."
Cordelia mouth opened in outrage as she spun towards the blond. "Bumped into you?! You're the one who bumped into me! Spilling my stuff everywhere!"
"Oh! Who was the one who was so busy looking at her purchases to be paying attention to where she was going?!" Buffy growled.
"Well, you could have simply stepped around me!" Cordelia shot back.
"You stepped right into my path!" Buffy returned hotly, her cheeks beginning to grow warm in her anger.
"Ok, small world," Angel muttered as his gaze went to his love to the brunette he didn't even know the name of; his attempt at defusing the tension having failed miserably. Stepping towards the two bickering women, sliding an arm around Buffy's small body; drawing her ridged body up against his and almost immediately he felt her begin to relax. "So, why don't we start again?" He suggested, feeling Buffy's turn her hazel gaze up to him.
Cordelia huffed and took a deep breath. "Sure, whatever," She grumbled. She hadn't come here to trade insults with the blond; that Angel now had his arm wrapped around, confirming what she had suspected.
"Ok, good. How about we start with, how you knew where to find me." Angel suggested again, glad that he could feel the tension in the room beginning to dissolve.
Cordelia shrugged, not really seeing what the big deal the two of them had about her just showing up here. "I had the taxi follow you." She admitted casually. Buffy placed a hand over Angel's. 'I knew it, totally stalker like.' She thought still a little grumpy over the brunette's attitude towards her. Cordelia gave her long brown hair a slight toss, not at all embarrassed by what she had just admitted to. "I'm Cordelia, by the way."
"I'm Angel, and this is Buffy." Angel introduced in return, his fingers playing with Buffy's.
"Yeah, ok." Cordelia said dismissively, causing Angel to feel his own first flash of irritation at the brunette; finally getting a taste of the attitude that Buffy had gotten full doses of so far. "So, I found this place that would be perfect for us to set up shop." She said, jumping right into the reason why she had decided to come up to Angel's apartment today.
Buffy and Angel's expressions turned confused; her words making no sense to her. "I'm sorry?" Angel questioned with a puzzled frown.
Cordelia gave the both of them a condescending 'duh' look. "A place for you to work out of, Angel. I mean… you can't work out of dingy little apartment like this… I mean look at it… I'd be totally scared to touch anything in here."
"Then, don't." Buffy grumbled ticked off all over again.
Cordelia gave Buffy what could actually pass for a friendly smile from the brunette. "Don't worry I won't." She assured the blond. "Anyway, you totally have to come see this place I've scoped out for us. There were a few others choices that I liked, but this one is just totally perfect. You'll love it trust me." She said excitedly.
"What are you trying to get at?" Buffy asked, her hand tightening around Angel's, not sure if she liked what she was hearing. There was just something that she didn't like… but that could just be her own dislike coming through.
Cordelia rolled her eyes, starting to get annoyed all over again, at the slow up take of the two she was throwing her pitch to. "I'm talking about a place that Mr. Saviour, can comfortably save people from. I mean, how can you expect people to take you seriously if they come to you and they find you in such a cheap apartment. They wouldn't be able to put any faith in you… hell, if I hadn't seen you in action I wouldn't believe that you'd be up to the job." She muttered distastefully as she gazed around the apartment she found so appalling.
"Job?" Angel muttered softly, his frown deepening. "I don't… I don't do what I do for money." He explained.
"Phhft!" Cordelia said dismissively. "Everything's about money, Angel. Can't live without it, not even someone as pretty, and classy as me." Her unbashful statement making Buffy roll her eyes at just how cocky and self-centred she was.
"Well, this is most definitely not about money." Angel said firmly, his hand tightening ever so slightly about Buffy's small hand; and Buffy squeezed it comfortingly.
Cordelia pouted, not having expected the conversation to go like this; who in the world wasn't interested in money? "Well, I still think that you should look at this place and then you can make up your mind whether or not you like my idea. I can take you there right now." She said brightly, happy at the idea of getting out of this tacky apartment building.
"Uh," Angel said self-consciously, his gaze going towards the tightly closed blinds that was blocking out the sun; keeping him safe from the rays that would light him up like a flammable liquid. "Now's not really a good time, for…" He said awkwardly.
"For us," Buffy jumped in sensing just how uncomfortable he felt. "We have plans already." She excused, receiving a grateful squeeze from Angel's hand; his brain having frozen up a little at trying to come up with a quick excuse as to why he couldn't go out during the day.
To both their surprise Cordelia's expression brightened. "Oh, this has something to do with that demonic face change-y thing you have right… You're like some kind of vampire right? That's why you can't go out now, 'cause it's like day, right?" She exclaimed.
Buffy and Angel's expression turned shocked, neither of them having expected her reaction to be… that; nor that she would be so… spot on. Cordelia ignored their stunned silence. "That's no problem. I managed to wheedle the key off the retail guy that's trying to sell it." The retail guy, she had met with not being far too geeky and nondescript for her to take much notice of him; let alone take in his name. She grabbed a pen and a small notepad out from her handbag and moved over to the table where the last part of Buffy's sandwich still sat on it plate, untouched since the brunette woman's intrusion. "Just meet me at this address after nightfall." She said firmly, as she tore the page away from the pad and handed it Angel; who took it, more as a reaction than anything else… despite his curiosity about the place Cordelia was so hyped up about. "I'll see you then, Angel." Cordelia said happily as she moved towards the door, deliberately leaving out Buffy. With a final wave she walked out the door; pulling down her sunnies over her eyes once again as she began walking down the hall, with the same confident stride she had arrived with; one hundred precent certain that she would be seeing Angel that night.
"Well, she's something, isn't she?" Angel murmured slightly bemused.
But Buffy huffed in irritation. "Yeah, she's a piece of work alright! One that I'd gladly not see again." She grumbled her gaze still on the door the tall brunette had walked out of just a moment ago. She looked over at Angel and saw him looking down at the piece of torn paper that he was still clutching in his hand and she sighed; a feeling a little defeated. "You're interested in seeing that property, aren't you?" She murmured as she stepped towards him once again.
Angel looked up at Buffy, feeling slightly guilty at wanting to; knowing that she didn't like Cordelia in the slightest… not that he could blame her for that. "Yeah, but you don't have to go if you don't want. I mean, I'm just going to have a look at it." He assured her; even though, he really wanted her to come along… hear her opinion… "But I would like you to." He tacked on, a hopeful look on his face.
Buffy smiled, happy that he wanted her to be a part of it; despite that the decision really had nothing to do with her and the fact that she would once again be forced to spend time with Cordelia.
"You made it!" Cordelia exclaimed happily as she spotted Angel coming towards the building she'd been standing on the stairs, with barely restrained impatience. Her smile faltered somewhat when she noticed Buffy standing beside him. "Oh, and you came to did you?"
Buffy didn't flinch as she met Cordelia's clearly unhappy gaze. "Is that a problem?" She asked sweetly; enjoying rubbing the brunette's nose in the fact that there was nothing she could do about it.
Cordelia's lips pursed in annoyance. "Of course not," She forced herself to say. It wasn't like she truly hated the girl, but she was so tacky… and she really didn't think that she would be all that beneficial to her cause. She had a feeling that she would have better luck convincing Angel to go along with her plan without Buffy's influence, but she would just have to work around it as best she could. She was Cordelia Chase and no little tackily dressed blond would stand in her way!
Angel stared up at the large building, for the most part ignoring the small exchange between the two women as he took in the somewhat run down building; but for its age it was still grand and spoke to the part of him that enjoyed grand things. "So, shall we go in?" Cordelia asked.
"Yeah," Angel agreed without hesitation. Buffy stared up at the building as she walked up the steps with Angel. It was huge and had an old feeling to it… just like her Angel.
"The retail guy told me that this used to be a hotel that closed down years ago. Ran out of business or something like that. But anyway when I saw this place, I just thought that it was perfect to set up our business."
"Our business?" Buffy asked as they walked through the very dusty entrance hall.
"Well, yeah." Cordelia said immediately as she watched Angel; searching for the favourable reaction that she was hoping for. "I'm going to be part of this business. I'm the one that thought up the idea after all. And I really need a job, whilst I'm waiting to land a role." She explained firmly, there was no way that she was going to allow the little blond to get between her and the money she needed to keep her apartment and keep up the lifestyle she was so used to as she attended all the right parties and finally got the acting career that she wanted so badly.
Buffy rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest in annoyance. "I knew it." She muttered, hoping that Angel had heard just how selfish Cordelia's motives were in showing him this place, but as she glanced around for her boyfriend she realized that he had disappeared. "Angel?" She called, her voice echoing about the hall they were in, but receiving no reply.
"Oh, great!" Cordelia muttered with annoyance how was she supposed to sway Angel if he just disappeared on her. "Where'd he go?" She demanded of Buffy.
Buffy shrugged. "I dunno, probably snooping around here somewhere." She murmured, before she began moving towards the staircase, Cordelia following after her, much to Buffy's annoyance.
Buffy touched a hand to her head; Cordelia's voice coupled with her frustration was giving her a small headache along her temples. 'Come on, Angel where'd you go?' Buffy thought as she moved down the rundown hall of the third and final floor of the hotel. Buffy took another step and heard a crack, before it gave way beneath her foot. She let out a startled sound as she felt herself falling. Her ears picking up the sound of Cordelia's frightened scream from behind her; her fall was suddenly halted by a strong hand, looking up she sighed in relief at seeing Angel. "Are you alright?" Angel asked as he helped Buffy remove her foot from the part of the floor that had caved in under her foot.
"Uh-huh." Buffy murmured, her heart still racing from the unexpected short fall.
"We should get off this floor. It doesn't seem all that stable." Angel murmured. Buffy nodded and together along with Cordelia walked back the way they had come.
"So…" Cordelia said as they walked through the entrance hall, heading towards the street. "What do you think of the place?" She asked, before hurrying on. "I know that it's a little rundown, but with a little work it'll be good as new. And can you just imagine how many more people you'll be able to help, when your set up in such a place… set up a phone line and get the number out there… people will be able to come to you. And you won't have to live in that cramped little apartment anymore." She added hoping that at least one of the things she said would be enough to get Angel to take the place… cause she really needed the money for a job… and working in a place like this for a guy that wanted to save people… no one that could affect her dream of becoming an actress would see her here. It was so perfect… if only her would be boss would just agree along with his tacky little girlfriend.
"So, what do you think?" Buffy asked softly as she stood with Angel, a little apart from Cordelia who was watching them both intently; her fingers crossed behind her back that Angel would come out with the answer that she wanted. Buffy took in the way he was looking up at the building and sighed quietly… almost resignedly. "You like this place don't you."
Angel turned his gaze down to Buffy, a small smile curling up his lips. "I know it's a little rundown… and needs a bit of work… but yeah. I do like it." He took her hand in his own, his dark brown eyes bright as he stared down at her. "I can see it, Buffy. In every room I looked at in there. I could see us in there… I could picture the way it'd work with helping people; saving them." Buffy looked up at him; taking in the passion for it she could see in his eyes. Whilst Cordelia continued to watch on, waiting for Angel's final answer, but from what she'd just heard; it was in the bag! Something that had her almost wanting to jump for joy at the prospect of getting money… something she'd been lacking for far too long since moving to L.A and being cut off from the financial support of her parents.
"But what do you think, Buffy?" Angel asked, causing Cordelia's glee to be replaced with annoyance once again; her success immediately seeming to be snatched away. 'Oh, great,' She though bitchily. 'Why'd he have to put the decision in her hands?'
Buffy bit her lower lip, her gaze going to Cordelia who was standing behind Angel, before going up to the large hotel building that Angel seemed so enamoured with. "I think that it's your redemption." She murmured after a moment, before turning her gaze back to Angel a small smile curling up her lips. "But I also think, that the building suites you. It's got an old feeling to it, and has a lot of history not all of it good… just like you."
Angel smiled at her, his hand squeezing around hers in a silent 'thank you'. He turned his gaze back up to the building for a moment, before looking over at Cordelia who was still waiting a little anxiously now for his answer. "You can tell your retail assistant that I'll take it."
Cordelia breathed out a sigh of relief; thinking for a small moment that perhaps the blond wasn't so bad after all. "Great! So what shall my starting salary be? I think that at least $30 an hour is a fair starting wage."
Causing Buffy to almost choke on her own saliva. "And just where is your wage supposed to come from, exactly?" She asked sharply.
"From all the people we are going to help." Cordelia replied simply like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Angel frowned. "I can't charge people for my help."
Cordelia's expression fell, not having expected that reply from him and she sighed. "Well, maybe not all of them, just the rich ones… people have got to survive Angel… and that takes money."
Angel glanced over at Buffy, knowing that Cordelia was right; he'd need money to buy his blood and he'd need money for food for Buffy… if he didn't have that… she'd starve to death… not something that he wanted. "I'm sure that we'll be able to work something out." He finally said after a moment of consideration. The idea of charging people in need making his stomach queasy, but the blood money he'd earned as Angelus… wouldn't last forever… especially after the large chunk he was going to take from it to buy this place and the money it would take to fix it up.
Buffy took a deep breath, fighting to keep the scowl off her face as she stared at Cordelia, the feeling that she was going to be stuck with the selfish brunette in her life for a long, long time. 'Please may she not be as bad as she seems?' Buffy thought resignedly, knowing that Angel wouldn't turn Cordelia away… not after saving her… he'd want to help her get back on her feet after being attacked… by whatever it was.
Doyle watched from the shadows across the street, but instead of paying close attention to Angel like he was supposed to be doing, he was watching the beautiful brunette that had had the luck to be saved by the soulful vampire. And as far as he was concerned the woman was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. Which was saying something for him as he had seen a lot of women in his time… but none matched up to her… and suddenly he really, really hoped that the en-souled vampire would make the cut for The Powers That Be, because if he didn't, he'd be sent somewhere else, and he'd lose the chance to meet her. As he continued to watch he saw the three depart from the old hotel building and he sighed as the brunette went in another direction from the happy couple.
He stared after the brunette for as long as he could, before he was forced to once again follow after Angel and the blond that he was living with; as always being as careful as he could to not be detected by the vampire.
A/N: Ok that's chapter 14, I know that it's smaller than the others, but I hope that you enjoyed it all the same. Next chapter will hopefully have more to it :) And I know that in the series Angel can't actually buy the hotel, but for simplicities sake in this story he can by The Hyperion. Anyway please let me know what you think and I'll try to get the next chapter out soon :)