You could say that Cordelia is a lot like the girl next door -- sweet, sensitive and always eager to help those less fortunate than herself. Of course, if you did say that, then you never met Cordelia Chase. The Cordelia of Sunnydale was as self-absorbed as they come, and she ruled her high school with an acid tongue and a wicked fashion sense. Her greatest pleasure came from keeping her lesser high school peers under her heel -- that is, until she fell for one. Xander and Cordy definitely weren't a match made in heaven, but their relationship and the dangers it brought with it (proximity to Buffy the Vampire Slayer) introduced Cordelia to the real world -- the gritty, hard-knock, demon-filled real world.
Upon graduation, Cordelia headed for L.A., filled with starry aspirations and no longer supported by her tax-evading father. A local wealthy vamp almost prematurely and permanently extinguished Cordelia's dreams of fame and fortune. Luckily, she was rescued by her old acquaintance, Angel.
Cordelia decided to help Angel in his efforts to save the doomed souls of Los Angeles (in between all those high-profile commercial gigs, of course). She assumed the role of secretary/bill collector and christened their business "Angel Investigations." She also met Doyle, Angel's half-demon partner and messenger from the Powers That Be. Despite her vow to never date a "fixer-upper" again, Cordy was drawn to the finer qualities that Doyle hid just below the surface.
Unfortunately, their relationship never had a chance to fully develop. In a heroic effort to save his friends and his fellow oppressed half-demons, Doyle sacrificed his life. But he didn't leave Cordelia completely empty-handed. Moments before his death, Doyle did something that he had wanted to do from the moment they'd met: He kissed Cordelia for the first and last time. In that kiss, Doyle's mysterious visionary gift that was the directive force behind Angel Investigations was transferred to Cordelia.
Through the experiences that this gift brings, Cordelia gains a new understanding and commitment to the fight she has unwillingly joined. In her own way, she finds out what it means to be a part of Angel's quest and develops a better appreciation for her newly adopted family. Cordelia is a long way from her Cordettes, but she is much closer to finding herself and what it means to finally be a part of something real and good.