This was peculiar.
I had always liked Cordy. Well, okay, I guess I've always liked her. I had never really thought about it. We were too different.
She was just... there, somehow or other we had managed to get pushed into each other's company, first as Devon's girlfriend, then as Xander's girlfriend.
I'm still not sure when she became a friend.
It might have been that day I made her laugh in the library, or that night, when she stayed behind and risked her life to pull me away from the zombies while Xander and Willow had disapeared.
I never thought about it.
Until today, when her face lit up when I walked into the room, when she gave me a huge hug and smiled at me in a way Cordelia Chase has never smiled at me before.
She looked like a person.
She looked happy to see me. She looked like a friend.
And so here we were, walking away from Angel and the brooding, sitting at a bar, just .... hanging out. The two of us. With no Xander, and no Willow.
It was peculiar.
Well, no, there are three of us, if the Doyle guy counts. I thought Devon could chug. We've been here exactly thirty minutes and he's already downed five glasses.
I sat there, watching the two of them, Cordelia, who was regarding him with the same disgusted but amused against her will smirk that I saw with Xander.
And this guy definitely has a crush. He kept lookin' at her, smiling this grin that got bigger and bigger with every beer.
Cordy's different. I noticed that right away.
"You haven't changed at all, have you?" I blinked, and realized she was talking to me.
"Oz's don't change." I remarked, picking up a chip and popping it in my mouth. "I can tell you who has."
"Do you have peanuts?" Doyle suddenly asked. I turned to look at the Irishman. He was a festive, sort alright. And he treated Cordy like a queen.
Wow. Already she's got another one whipped. She's got talent, specially since all I've seen her give him is her trademark I'm not sure I like you scowl.
"Who?" She asked, ignoring him completely.
"Harmony." I answered, deliberately casual. "She's a vamp."
There was complete silence.
"She's a what?" She repeated.
"A vampire." I said casually.
Her face was absolutely unreadable.
"Cordy have I told ye just how beautiful ya are?"
"Millions of times, Doyle." She responded. Her eyes never moved from mine. "Okay, second word, sounded like vampire."
"Yeah, Bit the hell out of Willow."
She raised an eyebrow, and I could have sworn she had a smirk on her lips. "Poor Willow." She said dryly. She sighed. "Well. At least you bothered to tell me." She shook her head, and suddenly slammed her glass on the table.
I sat back, watching the water slosh around and splash onto the table. Uh-oh. Bitter Cordy. How long had it been since any of us had talked to her?
Oh, Damn. Oz is by himself against Cordelia. How did that happen?
Wait, wait. No, no against. We're on the same side. Friends, Oz. Friends.
"It's not like you give any of us a call." I pointed out methodically.
"Well maybe I can't afford the phonebill." She snapped, and then her face froze. My eyes widened slightly, but I didn't say a word.
Come on Oz, be a good boy and change the subject, or Cordy will get all defenso girl again, and there's no Xander here to repel the blow.
"So.... ... Angel still brood?"
"All the time. Lately he's been getting better, but after this little visit of yours, I'm thinking, at least three days of it non stop."
I winced. "Sorry."
She shrugged, heavily sighing as she leaned back. "I'm used to it. The guy has some serious social problems. It's always, brood,brood, brood."
"Well, in his defense he IS a vampire with a soul."
"And that gives him a reason?"
I only gave her a look, knowing I wasn't gonna win this fight. Nothing can beat out Cordy logic, cept maybe good ole Oz logic.
Strangely, they seemed to mesh at that moment.
"So.... Xander? Okay?"
I looked up, and felt my voice go soft, soothing when I answered. "He's good."
Cordelia and I both turned to look at him.
"Angela's Ashes!" he exclaimed happily, slamming me on the back. "That's the book!!"
Cordelia's face held pure confusion. "What book?"
"The book! The book!"
"Doyle, we weren't talking about books." I remarked.
"Yes we were!" He insisted. I glanced at Cordy, she sighed and shrugged.
"You!" He pointed at me. "You said that you liked the works of Lord Byron."
He nodded firmly. He turned to Cordy. "And you said that you would strip for me." He paused for a moment looking pensive. "Or was that in my dreams."
Cordelia's eyes actually flashed. Like, literally. Scary sight.
"I did NOT say I would strip for you, you moron!" She hissed.
Suddenly the bar got very quiet, and like, ten guys were all looking at us.
Doyle and Cordy barely even noticed, they were just staring each other down, Cordy with her arms crossed and Doyle just watching her, no expression.
I felt oddly like I was in the twilight Zone.
Suddenly he just shrugged. "My dreams then." He muttered, and picked up another beer. She rolled her eyes and turned to me.
"He's good. Everyone is good. Great."
She just stared, her face looking pained.
I raised an eyebrow. "You seem rather distressed by that."
"I'm not." She snapped, running her hand through her air. "It's just...." She smiled sheepishly. "Kind of liked to have believed maybe SOMETHING would have changed cause I was gone. I didn't.... nevermind. Nothing." My eyebrow went up again.
Cordelia was realizing the world didn't revolve around her. Be still my pulse. And I felt for her. I really felt her for her.
But she would get past it. She was Cordelia Chase. That was what Cordelia Chase did.
Doyle's head popped up. "It was a great book!"
Her face flitted into a smile and she turned to mock glare at the Irishman.
"Doyle, have you even read it?" Cordelia asked.
He nodded furiously. "Damn right I have!"
I smiled. "Okay, who were the main characters?" Like I knew.
There was a long pause, and I glanced at Cordy who winked at me, and watched Doyle with a placid face.
Doyle looked like he had been given the calculations to a bomb launch.
"Uh-Huh." Cordelia said knowingly.
"Betty and Barney Rubble!!!" Doyle shouted, triumphant.
Cordelai snickered. I could only manage another raised eyebrow.
Doyle's eyes flitted between the two of us, and suddenly looked at me.
"You have a girlfriend, man?"
"Uh, yeah. Yeah I do."
"Good." He patted my arm, gave me a wide smile. "Good, good." He leaned forward conspiratively. "Cause I was a little worried that maybe Cordy liked ya a little too much." He drifted into a loud whisper and Cordelia only rolled her eyes.
"Subtle, isn't he?" I remarked.
She only shrugged. "I ignore it, you should too."
I nodded, but I couldn't help but pat the guy's arm. I could see the guy was head over heels for her, and could only shake my head in sympathy. He had a hell of a courtship ahead of him.
"So you're doing okay?"
She smiled, a bright, too wide smile that made me know immediately that she was going to stretch the truth in her typical Cordy way.
"Way!! I mean, things couldn't be better-"
I put down my glass, stared at her, and somethign in my face made her falter. I took a breath. "You know... I'm not going to go back and do a book report on you, or anything. I'm asking you... seroiusly. As a friend."
She paused, her hazel eyes seemed to sparkle for a minute, and then there was the briefest hint of a smile.
"Are we friends, Oz?"
And I smiled back, a gentle smile, knowing it was exactly what she needed. "We're friends, Cordy."
And her smiled widened.
"What?" I asked, a bit confused by the reaction.
"We ARE friends." She said, settling back and popping a chip into her mouth. "Cause you just called me Cordy."
I chuckled. "I guess I did."
"God. A werewolf. I'm friends with a werewolf, I'm working for a vampire, and my best friend is a...." She motioned to Doyle who was hanging on her every word with a slightly dazed smile. I had to admit, that guy had a devilish charm. Made me wonder just how long Cordy had before she gave in to him. "Doyle." she finished.
"He's not that bad." I remarked.
Doyle's head lolled to look at me, and he laughed.
"Ye know what ye are?" He slurred, slinging an arm around me and another around Cordy. She promptly shrugged him off. I could only stare at him in the eye.
"What am I?"
He grinned, a cheeky grin. "Ye're my little Bam Bam, that's what ye are!"
Suddenly there was a huge snort and Cordelia was choking on her drink. Her eyes were wide, and she scrambled for her napkin as she looked at him.
Doyle gave her as even a stare as he could. "He's my Little Bam-Bam." He repeated
"Oh, God." Cordy buried her head in her hands. "He's never been THIS drunk."
"What does he call you?"
"She's my princess." He agreed, smiling. "And you!" He smacked me again on the back, causing me to lurch forward.
"That's what ye are." He repeated, a huge smile on his lips. "My Little Bam-Bam."
I raised an eyebrow. "He's going to keep this up all night, isn't he?"
She sighed, nodding as she took him by the hand and pulled him down again
Cordy rolled her eyes, smacked the guy on the head and ordered an ice tea. I could only sit and watch, and I felt the oddest thing.
A smile floated on my lips. And I leaned back, took a look at my beer and took a sip. Watching them, I could only come to one conclusion.
I had entered the world of Cordelia Chase. And I was loving every minute.