Cordy and Buffy have dinner.
"Chicken breast with portabello mushrooms, and french fries."
"Shrimp platter - shrimp scampi light on the garlic, please, and NO tartar sauce for the fried, it's embarrassing. Small garden salad on the side, no croutons, lemon peppercorn dressing."
"So, thanks for the dinner invite."
"You did realize we were going dutch, right? Because I can't really afford to pay for both of us."
"I realize it now . . ."
"Sorry. I thought you understood."
"No biggie, really . . . I sprang for the trip to LA, I can certainly afford a dinner, even though I'm not working like some people . . ."
"Please! I'm hardly raking it in. I admit, I get a nice apartment, and I'm not starving, but I eat most nights at home myself. I had this date with a banker recently-uuhhh."
"Not your type?"
"All the man could talk about was investing, and investments, and stocks, and bonds. He was rich, he was handsome, and when he dropped me off we were assaulted by vampires."
"Now that's a bad date."
"Tell me about it. He jumped into his car and took of running. If it hadn't been for Doyle -"
"What'd he do?"
"He staked one, and his first question was whether I was okay."
"Are you interested in him?"
"No! Well - I don't know. I learned some things about his apst - but still, as he is now, he's a drunk and he gambles, no matter how nice a guy he is. I don't know if I can take on another fixer-upper. I mean, look what happened with -"
"With Xander. Yeah, bad scene all the way around."
"Bad scene? I got impaled!"
"I was trying to help you not get too emotional over it."
"Besides, didn't you and Xander end up on fairly good terms?"
"Good enough, but it took a while - and both my heart and body were broken in the process. I'd rather that not happen again too soon."
"It's been almost a year. Are you saying -"
"No serious dates since then, no."
"What about that thing with Wesley? Looked kind of serious to me . . ."
"Wesley was a nice guy, but he was like the Anti-Xander. Besides, you know what happened when we kissed?"
"A firefly would have been mortified."
"And besides, did you see how OLD Wesley was?"
"We . . . caught on eventually."
"I mean, he was what? Almost 30?"
"Practically at death's door."
"Right! So . . . how's Xander doing?"''
"Not in college, but he's doing well enough. Living in his mom's basement -"
"Damn. He so needs to get out of that house. His family -"
"Yeah, I know the story. His parents are either clueless or borderline abusive."
"Pretty much. So, he find anyone to replace me yet?"
"Well, he's - well, I don't know how to put it. He's got this weird thing with -"
"With who? With. Who?"
"Um, with Anya."
"Anya?!! As in former demon, joined forces with the Willow-vampire, nasty bitchdemon, Anya?"
"Apparently the way she's adjusted to being human is by falling head over heels in love with Xander to the exclusion of everything else."
"Well, on that level I know how she feels."
"Not quite with her . . . intensity."
"You're keeping an eye on her, right?"
"Yes, and so is Willow. Willow doesn't like her any more than you do."
"Good. I mean, someone has to keep an eye on your love lives now that the Slayer of Dating isn't around to help. And I don't trust that Anya."
"Beware the green-eyed monster, Cordy."
"I'm hardly jealous, Buffy. Those feelings for Xander that I confessed to you at Homecoming - well, they're not gone, but time dims these things, you know? He and I made our peace, at least as much as we possibly could. I just don't want to see someone else hurt him. His choices in women leave a lot to be desired."
"Present company excepted?"
"Present company WAY excepted."
"So . . . how do you like the job?"
"I'm basically doing everything I did with you guys back in Sunnydale, only now I'm getting paid for it. I research, I talk to people, I fight ghosts in my very own apartment -"
"Well , yeah. One of them tried to kill me, but the other one's kind of friendly."
"His name Casper?"
"Never mind. Look, Cordy, did you ever think about maybe trying to stay AWAY from the supernatural?"
"Practically every minute of my life! But there are two problems. One is that I want to be an actress, and LA is where you go to BE an actress, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let some demons scare me away. Two - well, I don't now if you've noticed this, but demons are everywhere."
"So I've been told."
"Yeah, I guess YOU would know that, wouldn't you? Anyway, way I see it, if they're everywhere there's no escaping them, and I'd rather be here where at least I have an in with a demonfighter, rather than in One Horse Town, Iowa, where an encounter with a vampire might leave me Cordelia souffle."
"Gotcha. Hey, here's something you and Angel should know about. Your old friend Harmony showed up . . . as a vampire."
"Really. Wait, let me guess: She's as much a ditz at that as she is everything else, right?"
"That's Harmony for you: Once a sheep, always a sheep. But wait a minute. Why haven't you killed he yet?"
"She runs fast."
"Bleating all the way, no doubt."
"In a way."
"Well, if she ever shows up here, she'll be lamb chops."
"You really like to strangle the life out of a metaphor, don't you?"
"I see something I like, I go with it as long as possible. Or at least as long as fashionable."
"I . . . see."
"I wonder sometimes. Anyway, I'm glad this thing between you and Angel is now pretty much over."
"Oh, don't get me wrong. I know the two of you have had one of the great tragic romances of the millennium, and there were times it was fun, but let's face it: The two of you need to be apart. For practical reasons, if nothing else. I mean, we all know what happened the last time the two of you got close."
"That doesn't mean I want to forget him, though."
"Oh, those were just words. Trust me, if you've seen him stare off into space as much as I have the last two months, you'd know that nothing short of a construction girder to the back of the head will ever make him forget you."
"So again he's going for the clean break."
"Oh, wipe that long-suffering look off your face. Yeah, the two of you belong together; yeah, in a better world it would have happened that way, but this isn't that better world. And think about it like this: You two have fared better than most of the tragic couples of history - at least neither of you is dead. Well, okay, Angel is, but you get my point."
"I get your point, I get it. But that doesn't mean I want you throwing it in my face. There's this little thing called -"
"Called what? Letting you wallow in self-pity?"
"Tact, Cordy. It's called tact."
"Tact and I have very little to do with each other."
"Pipe dream, eh?"
"Oh, yes. Look, I may be wrong about this. On a level, I hope I am, because part of me would love to see some spell or something override the escape clause on Angel's curse. But right now it's just not happening."
"No, it isn't. Still, it's not up to you -"
"If not me, who? I may be blunt, but I'll always tell you the truth."
"No, just what you think is the truth. Not always the same thing."
"You're right, but I'm being honest. And right now honesty's what you need. You came up here all prepped for a big emotional confrontation, and you didn't really like what you got - a humble apology and some non-quality bitchiness. I didn't want you to go back to Sunnydale all angsty and emotional."
"Cordy, you know there's no way I'm going to be happy about this."
"Yeah, I don't expect you to be. Go home. Find some other cute guy. Relax a while. If the other relationship doesn't work out, you know Angel will always be here. It's not like he CAN find somebody else. He'll just keep throwing himself into his work."
"I guess you're right."
"Of course I am."
"Oh, thank you."
"Excuse me, I distinctly recall telling you that this salad was to be crouton-free. Now take it back and get me another one."
"Talking with you is always an adventure, Cordy."''