Not mine. Sadly. No infringment upon the rights of all the usual Corporate Suspects. As always, no profit, no foul, no lawsuit. Right?

A New Year's Ficlet
by suricata

It was New Year's Eve, and business, not to make too bad a pun of it, was dead. Apparently, everyone was forgetting auld lang's syne in favor of present inebriation.

"I think you should take off your shirt." Cordelia said suddenly.


"In the office. Take off your shirt, stand near the window. Although not too near, 'cause that could get dusty. But enough so people can see you. Bet we get a lot more walk-in business that way."

Angel looked over at Wesley, who made an "I'm-staying-out-of-it" gesture while fighting with the cork of the bottle of French champagne Cordelia had insisted on. It was a pretty bottle, with flowers painted on it, but Angel had never been much for sparkling wines. Even before he had become a vampire.

Then again, Angel thought, he'd been a pretty ignorant shit, before he was turned. One thing for being around a long time, your taste did change. So maybe this would be one of those things.

"I'm serious," Cordelia said, filing the nails on her left hand with as much attention to detail as she had given her right hand. "And we -need- the money."

Angel rolled his eyes. "Right. Fine. I'll do it, if you will."

"What?!" Her screech was borderline outrage.

He grinned at her, sure that he'd called her bluff. "A bikini top. I'll bet we double the amount of walk-in traffic."

Cordelia looked at him, then nodded once. "Deal."

Angel did an almost comic doubletake. "Wha? But, um, I..."

Cordelia tried to hold in her laughter, but it escaped in a very indelicate snort. "You should see your face... "

With a resounding *pop*, Wesley finally won his battle, and champagne flowed, for at least a little while...

Happy New Year!

-- suricata