Title: What Gives, Anyway?
Author: Dusk (dusk@goldserve.net)
Fandom: Angel
Pairing: Angel/Host, Wes/Gunn
Rating: PG
Archive: Songs of Mercy, AngelSlash, RareSlash, LoveLorne (elsewhere, ask.)
Web page: https://www.angelfire.com/falcon/dusk/
Disclaimer: Not mine. No profit made from borrowing them.
Series/sequel: uh, probably not.
Summary: Cordelia and Fred discuss a strange trend.
Comments: Set some time after season 2, although not actually in season 3 because I haven't seen any of that yet. 'Ways to get through a boring day at work, in 1000 words or less' (self-challenged and written during, yup, a boring day at work.)
Posted: Oct '01

***

The hotel was silent in the dim evening light. Its inhabitants sat idly around the lobby, filling in the rare pause between cases, visions and random demon attacks as best they could.

Cordelia flipped through 'Cosmo' for the third time, taking the opportunity to educate Fred on recent fashion trends.

Fred was alternating between the magazine and, more often, watching the men with the expression of mild curiosity she turned on most things she didn't quite get.

Cordelia looked up as her suggestion that Fred examine the hemline on a particular outfit went unheeded, and gave a faint sigh when she realised what was holding the other woman's attention.

Fred leaned in. "Maybe I'm not remembering all that clearly, but I don't recall many men doing that before I left...." she murmured.

"Not that often, no. Or that publicly, or so *constantly*," Cordelia agreed. "Nothing's really changed there... it's just this place, I think." She took a moment to survey the lobby. "It's bad enough that I have to watch the Undead neck - literally - with demons...."

"*Demon*," Angel's voice floated across the lobby, mildly emphasising the singular.

"Whatever," Cordelia said. "But now the human half of the team's in on the act too." She shot a glare at Wesley and Gunn, who were too wrapped up in each other to notice and wouldn't particularly have cared if they had. In any other circumstances - say, when she wasn't single - she might have found it charming to see her ordinarily reserved friends... well, let's face it, snuggling. As it was... she sighed again.

On the other couch, Angel was talking in a quiet murmur to the Host, nuzzling against his neck. She wondered for a moment if it would be possible for them to get any closer without actually having sex. Oh, both pairs were keeping it decent... more or less. Nothing they'd get arrested or shot for in the more open-minded parts of town. But somehow they were managing to convey something just as personal, intimate, as anything more overt.

The fact that all four men felt they *could* be so free in her and each other's company was the only thing that kept her from making some more pointed comments. She much preferred this to the strained atmosphere that'd had been prevalent until recently... no matter what she said out loud about it.

She turned back to Fred. "You know," she said wistfully, "once upon a time, there were three straight men employed here."

The sound of a stifled laugh was heard from the vicinity of the couches, and she looked over again, meeting a pair of red eyes, brows raised. Two pairs of brown eyes and one blue pair were looking anywhere but at her.

"Okay," she corrected herself, "*one* straight man, one closeted bisexual and one 'it just never came up' gay man."

Fred examined the four men more carefully, frowning slightly. Angel buried his face in Lorne's neck again, saying - or doing - something that made the demon laugh. Wesley looked faintly embarrassed and also distracted by whatever Gunn was doing. The innocent expression the latter wore meant it was a given he was doing *something*, most likely something he shouldn't be doing in the middle of the lobby during working hours, even if they weren't actually working.

"Um... which one is which?" Fred ventured after a long moment.

"You know, I sometimes wonder," Cordelia said darkly. "But I still say it's this hotel having some weird influence on them. There's no telling what kind of strange vibe this place could be giving out. We already had to exorcise it once, remember."

"Well, we got some time to spare, maybe we could try some spell or, or equation or somethin' to fix them, if they're not always like this?"

"Hey!" Four male voices protested in unison.

"Or not," she added hastily.

Cordelia surveyed her men folk with a critical eye. "Naah, best leave them be. If they're all tangled up in each other, they're out of our hair, right? And besides..." she lowered her voice, "they are kinda cute all love struck like that. Especially the look in Angel's eyes when he thinks nobody's looking at him."

"Heard that," Angel informed her.

She ignored him. "But if I ever start looking at *you* like that..."

"Like what?" Fred asked curiously. She hadn't noticed the look in question before.

Cordelia nodded towards Angel, who apparently didn't care that people were looking and had that expression that suggested the universe revolved around the man beside him. It was endearing; but also a little creepy... given the 'I don't do facial expressions' source. Lorne seemed to approve, though.

"Oh. I'm not so sure I'd like that," Fred said cautiously.

"Right," Cordelia agreed. "If I end up looking at you like that... *then* we do the exorcism."

[end]





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