Summary: Willow and Lindsey are set up by a mutual acquaintance.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: My site, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Author's Note: Thanks to velvetwhip, emeraldswan and strangecreature for all of your help.
Author's Note 2: Written in answer to mrsdrake's Unanswered Challenges, Challenge #12: Pick two characters from the BTVS/ATS universe that have never met on the shows. Then send them on a blind date together. That's it. Be creative with it.
ETA: I just made this icon because I didn't have any Willow/Lindsey ones.
"Angel, you are not going to pounce on that girl the second she walks through the door," Cordelia reprimanded her boss.
"Of course not," he agreed. "I was going to wait for her to take off her coat first."
Cordelia looked up from her magazine to stare incredulously at Angel. Ever since she'd arrived at work that day he had been going on and on about Willow having gone on a blind date with Lindsey McDonald and that she was about to throw her life away on him. As the day had worn on, his rants became more frequent, and she could practically see the path he had worn in the floor with his pacing.
"Willow is a grown-up," Cordelia reminded him, again. "She has the right to date whoever she wants. Even evil lawyers."
As Angel, once again, pointed out that the fact that Lindsey was an evil lawyer was enough reason to object to Willow dating him, Cordelia silently mused over the turn of fate that had her defending geeky, boyfriend-stealing Willow Rosenberg. While she was partly grateful to the redhead for ridding her of her loser boyfriend, she was also still miffed that the mousy girl had been able to sneak around with Xander in the first place. No one had ever taken a man away from her before, or since.
Still, past aside, Angel was being an over-protective jerk, and that automatically made her side with Willow.
Recalling something Angel had glossed over earlier, Cordelia interrupted him. "Didn't you say that he told you that he didn't know Wolfram & Hart was evil when he joined the firm?"
"Well, yes, but maybe he took some kind of anti-truth spell potion before coming over here."
Cordelia simply raised an eyebrow in objection. "Now you don't really believe that, do you?"
Angel sighed, sinking into one of the chairs in front of her desk. "No, but that doesn't mean that I believe him."
"Obviously," Cordelia muttered under her breath.
"Am I really being that prejudiced against him, simply because he works for Wolfram & Hart?" Angel asked, sounding a little lost at the possibility.
"Angel, you have spent the last five hours telling me that Lindsey is evil because he works at Wolfram & Hart, despite the fact that he passed Willow's truth spell, and ignoring Willow's ability to see the good in people. I mean, she was the first to accept me into their little Scooby gang back in high school, even before your precious Buffy did. If she could be right about me, then can't you admit that she might be right about Lindsey too?"
Angel remained silent, mulling over what Cordelia had asked.
Before his thinking could become brooding, Cordelia said, "People deserve second chances, Angel. You should know that better than anyone. I mean, when you were Angelus, I was terrified of you, but you got your soul back and I forgave you. If I can work for you after experiencing that, then don't you think you can give Lindsey the benefit of the doubt, too?"
Angel winced as Cordelia made some very valid points. He idly wondered when she'd become so wise. He supposed that losing everything the way that she had when her parents' money was taken way had taught her something about humility.
He could remember when Buffy had come to visit him after his not-so-stealthy trip to Sunnydale. She had questioned him about hiring the former cheerleader as an employee. He had defended Cordelia, saying that she wasn't as bad as she had been in high school. She had learned from the past and wanted to help people, help him on his path to redemption.
Did he really have the right to deny Lindsey the same opportunity?
If Lindsey truly didn't know what he was getting into when he went to work for Wolfram & Hart, and honestly wanted to leave now, could Angel reasonably hold his current employment against him? No, he couldn't. It wouldn't be right for him to hold it against someone who truly wanted to return to a righteous path when he was seeking his own redemption for past sins.
"Am I really being that much of a hypocrite?" he asked.
"Duh," Cordelia succinctly affirmed. "What do you think I've been trying to tell you all day?"
"You know, it's not nice to tell your boss 'I told you so'," Angel sulked.
"Yeah, well, you deserved it. Does this mean that you're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt now?"
"I suppose," Angel reluctantly agreed, not meeting Cordelia's eyes.
"And you're going to offer him a job when he does quit Wolfram & Hart?" she pressed.
"Now let's not get ahead of ourselves," Angel protested, looking up sharply. "We don't know that he's going to quit working there."
"Oh, please," Cordelia huffed. "You said it yourself that he's falling for Willow. If she won't be with him while he works for Evil Incorporated, then he's gonna quit. You don't want Willow dating someone on unemployment, do you? Of course not. And at least if he's working here you can keep an eye on him, while helping out our clients even more."
"Can we just wait and cross that bridge if we come to it?" Angel gruffly asked.
Cordelia stared at Angel, knowing a delaying tactic when she saw one. In a voice that let him know that she would be bringing this up again when Lindsey left W&H, she said, "For now."
Just then, a movement by the door caught her eye. Her face lit up as she exclaimed, "Hey, Willow."
A little taken aback by Cordelia's excited greeting, Willow hesitantly replied, "Hi, Cordelia. It's good to see you."
Angel stood to greet the redhead. "Willow, hi. How was the conference today?"
"It was amazing," the hacker gushed. "I learned so much today. I mean, I thought that I knew a lot about computers, but some of the people there made me look like a toddler in comparison."
"And that's a good thing?" Cordelia questioned.
"Well, no, but they were willing to share their ideas, which was way cool. I was afraid that everyone would be all closed-mouth, trying to keep their breakthrough secrets to themselves, but it wasn't like that all. I guess a shared love of computers made them more open."
Seeing the blank stares on her friends' faces, Willow changed the subject. "So what did you two do all day? Find any new baddies to stop?"
Cordelia and Angel exchanged a look before Angel said, "It's been pretty quiet today. We're in between cases."
"Which means that we're waiting for someone to call and hire us," Cordelia explained. "Or a vision."
"Oh. So what do you do around here while waiting for people to come a-calling?" Willow asked.
"Read mostly," Cordelia answered. Granted, her reading material tended to run towards Cosmo and Variety, while Angel tended to stick to musty old books on demonology.
"Really? You read?" Willow teased her former nemesis.
"Yes, I read," Cordelia said with an exasperated sigh. "Just today I read all about a great part coming up in a series of commercials."
Willow couldn't contain a giggle, and when she snuck a glance at Angel, noticed he was having a difficult time keeping his laughter in check as well.
"So, Willow, Angel has been telling me that you've met a thorn in our side that goes by the name of Lindsey McDonald," Cordelia said, changing the subject.
Willow's face lit up at the mention of Lindsey's name, even as a blush stole across her cheeks. "Yeah, we've met."
Ignoring the glare coming from Angel, Cordelia pressed on. "From what I hear, you've more than 'met'."
"It wasn't like that," Willow exclaimed, not wanting to be thought of as a slut.
"I didn't mean it like that," Cordelia corrected. "I just mean that it sounded like more than just a casual run-in."
"Oh, right, yeah it was. I didn't even know you guys knew him until I got home from our date. You see, my friend Tara set me up on a blind date when she heard I'd be in LA for the conference. All I really knew about him was that he was a lawyer - oh, and Tara's cousin."
"Lindsey with family. Huh," Cordelia mused. "Just goes to show that he wasn't spawned from Hell, like Angel here said."
"Hey, don't go dragging me into this," Angel protested. "And I never said that."
"Close enough," Cordelia muttered. "So he's related to your friend? I don't remember going to school with a Tara."
"I met her in college, at a Wicca group," Willow explained. "She was the only one there with any power to speak of and we just clicked. We've been hanging a lot since Oz left."
"Yeah, that was a bummer," Cordelia said. "I never would have thought he'd just up and leave like that."
"Me either. I mean, after what we all went through in high school, I never would have thought he would cheat on me."
"Wait a minute," Cordelia interrupted. "Oz cheated on you? I always thought he was the loyal type."
"Yeah, me too. He met another werewolf; a skanky female werewolf, who was also in a band. What's it with werewolves and music anyway? Does it really soothe the savage beast?"
"Focus, Willow," Cordelia chided.
Willow had the grace to blush. "Sorry, guess I'm still kind of bitter."
"You have every right to be," Angel said, trying to comfort her.
"Thanks," Willow smiled. She gave herself a mental shake and said, "Doesn't matter. Oz is my past. Now there's a new guy in my future, I hope."
Angel's small smile instantly slid off his face, seeming to jump to Cordelia, whose smile grew tenfold.
"And this time not only is he older and taller than you, but he's gotta have a lot of money, working at Wolfram & Hart," Cordelia beamed.
"Yeah, he's made a great living for himself being evil, hasn't he?" Willow dejectedly agreed.
"Hey, don't do that. He's gonna quit, I just know it," Cordelia said, mentally slapping herself for bringing Willow down again.
"How do you know that? Did you see it in a vision?" Willow snarked. "It's not like I asked him to leave his job for me."
"No, no vision. But if that guy's half as smart as he is gorgeous, he won't let you get away. From what I heard, he isn't really happy there anyway. Who would pass up a chance to be happy with their job and a great girl like you?"
"Hopefully not Lindsey," Willow muttered under her breath.
"So, when are you seeing loverboy again?" Cordelia asked, not having heard Willow. "You are seeing him again before you leave, right?"
"Yeah, he's taking me out for breakfast tomorrow," Willow smiled, anticipation beginning to fill her with butterflies again.
"In that case, let's say we do an old fashioned movie night," Cordelia suggested.
Angel looked decidedly uncomfortable with this suggestion. "What exactly does that entail? And will my presence be required?"
"Yes, your presence is required," Cordelia insisted. "We'll order pizzas and watch classic movies, I think we need a love theme."
Willow perked up at the idea. "Ooh, can we get 'Say Anything'? You can't have a good movie night without John Cusack."
"You know, maybe I should go patrol. Pizza and chick flicks aren't really my thing," Angel protested, standing up and backing towards his office.
"Oh no, buster." Cordelia jumped to her feet and was blocking Angel's path faster than a human should be able to move. "Willow won't be here much longer and you are going to hang out with us. And you're going to have fun."
Willow barely managed not to laugh at the scene before her. Moving over to her friends, she took Angel's arm. "Come on, it won't be that bad."
"Fine. But it'll have to be at Cordelia's apartment. I don't own a TV," Angel reluctantly agreed.
"Great. I'll order the food now and we can pick up the videos on the way to my place," Cordelia said, gathering up her things.
Before Angel could sneak away, Cordelia pushed him ahead of her out the door, leaving Willow to close it behind her as she laughed and followed them to Angel's car.
Continued in Chapter 5