by Emily

E-mail: DoylesPrincess@aol.com
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, Doyle and Cordelia aren't mine. Fortunately, Angel and Wesley aren't, either. They all belong to the king of crack himself, Joss Whedon. He doesn't deserve to own Cordy and Doyle. But he can keep Angel and Wesley.
Rating: Nothing worse than the show.
Feedback: Would be nice if you could take just a minute… :-)
Distribution: If you want it, just ask.
Notes: I wanted some Cordy/Doyle happiness! There just wasn't enough!!! Grrr Joss…
Dedication: To my mommy who listens to me ramble on for hours about how Doyle and Cordy weren't given a chance, and who has never even watched an episode of Angel, yet she gave me the idea for this story - just based on what I told her. Thanks mom! :-)


"Your friend Angel was here earlier…begging for your return…" The male oracle stated, glaring at him. Doyle stood quietly, not wanting to say anything to disturb him or his sister. "By his visit, we realized that you do have a purpose. Small, perhaps. But with that you would save many people. You see, before you - Buffy Summers was the only person who brought any meaning to this vampire's life. But you - you helped him. You were his friend, no questions asked. You helped him in battles, you listened to his pain. Something that perhaps even the slayer herself didn't do. You kept him upbeat, keeping him from brooding so much and in so doing he was more alert in his battles. Without you there - he's having a hard time with it once again. So we're willing to send you back." Doyle's face lit up at this, he smiled for the first time in a couple of weeks. The female oracle shook her head.

"Not so fast. You won't be going back right away. Your value to them - both Angel and Cordelia - needs to be proven. It needs to be shown that both of them cared about you in some way…whether it be a friend or otherwise." Doyle's face fell at what she said.

"How…how do I do that?" He questioned, not really wanting to know the answer.

"We'll send you back. But you won't appear to them as you appear now. You'll be sent in someone else's body - so that they won't recognize you. We'll be watching you at all times, so you'll be unable to tell them your true identity." The male continued.

"But what if I can't prove it? Am I doomed to just stay in that body forever?" Doyle asked.

"No. You have exactly four days. When the clock hits 11:59 pm on New Year's Eve, you will either return to your natural state - alive and Alan Francis Doyle once again, or you will be returned to us. You will be who you were before you saved all those lives - half-demon with visions, yet still with a hero status, or you will be returned to us…and never have another chance at this again…Would you be willing to accept these terms?" The female finished, waiting for Doyle to answer. He thought about this for a minute - he could be returned to the life he once knew…it wasn't a good life, however…but it was more than he had here. Or he'd be stuck here forever… not having contact with Angel or Cordelia ever again. At least now he could watch over them…which was a form of torture in its own.

"So? Your decision?" The male oracle asked, beginning to get impatient.


Doyle walked down the street, reaching the doors of the agency. It was about three in the afternoon, and he was now living a life under the name of Randy London. He wasn't exactly happy with the body he had been given - it felt strange to him. But he knew he had to deal with it, and accepted whatever might come to him. He stood in front of the doors, suddenly afraid to go inside. What would he say to them? How would he get them to talk about him? It was a task he suddenly didn't feel that he was up for…but the thought of what might happen to him if he didn't do it made him feel even worse, and finally pushed the door open.

"Hi! Welcome to Angel Investigations!" Cordelia flashed a bright smile at him, he grew weak at the sight of her. So many weeks he'd had to watch over her, but not be in the same room, or anywhere near her. He struggled to find his voice.

"Hello…" He said, suddenly noticing that he had a very American voice. Something else he'd have to get used to.

"Do you need help?" She asked, suddenly concerned. Doyle straightened.

"Uhhh..yes…there's…uhhh…" He thought for a minute, then finally just started saying whatever would come out. "Someone's after me. Are you the one in charge?" Doyle asked, trying to act as though he knew as little about the agency as possible. Cordelia rolled her eyes.

"Please. Angel's in here - " She pointed into the other room, then waved him in. "Go ahead…" She said.

"Thank you…" He walked into the office, only to see Angel sitting at the desk, flipping through a newspaper. He glanced up as he entered.

"Hi." Angel stated, Doyle nodded.

"Hello. You're…Angel I presume?" He questioned, Angel nodded, putting the paper down on the desk.

"Yes. And you are?"

"Uhhh…" Doyle thought for a minute, then answered. "Randy London." Angel pointed to a chair, and he sat down.

"So…what's wrong?" Angel asked, sitting forward and folding his hands in front of him. Doyle stared at him for a minute. The oracles were right - even Angel didn't seem like the same person he had known not that long ago. More pain flickered in his eyes, and if it was at all possible, he seemed even sadder than he used to. Doyle attempted to shake it off, then continued.

"There's someone after me… a demon of some sort…"

"What do you think he wants with you?" Angel asked, Doyle shrugged.

"I don't know. I may owe him money…or someone he knows…" His voice trailed off, Angel tried to shake off the fact that Doyle had pretty much the same problem.

"Are you human?"

"What kind of question is that?" Doyle said, almost laughing. He wasn't sure what he was anymore.

"Just a question."

"Yes." He replied, not sure if that was the right answer. The oracles didn't exactly say that he was pure human - for all he knew he was still half-demon, even in this body.

"Then what were you doing business with a demon for?"

"I…uhhh…needed help with something. Needed money. A friend of mine recommended him to me, but then I realized I could never pay him back. I tried to avoid him, but now he's threatening my life if I don't pay up…" Angel looked away from him, Doyle sat forward. "Are you all right?" He asked, hoping maybe he might say something about him.

"Oh, I had a case like this before…" Angel said, obviously not willing to say much. Doyle prodded on.

"Really? What did you do?"

"My cases are personal."

"And what happened to the guy?"

"He's dead. Not from that." Angel stood up from behind his desk, Doyle wanted to say more but was almost afraid to.

"So…will you help me?" Doyle looked to Angel hopefully.

"Of course. I just need an address…maybe I can check around your place, see if he's gone there…" Doyle suddenly realized he didn't have anywhere to say. What was he supposed to do, live in an alley for a week?

"I don't have one…" Angel looked at him strangely, Doyle continued. "I gave it up a few weeks ago. Figured it might be harder for the guy to track me. And yet he keeps on coming…"

"So where have you been living?"

"In various alleyways…" Doyle replied, afraid that Angel would ask him what ones. He simply nodded, then looked at him in sympathy.

"Look…I normally wouldn't do this, but you can stay here for awhile. I have an extra room, and it would be easier for me to keep an eye on you…" Doyle attempted to hide his smile - this could be exactly what he needed!

"No…really, that isn't necessary…" Doyle tried to fight, knowing that Angel would never let a person live on the streets who was in danger.

"No, I insist. Cordelia!" Angel called, she came in.

"Huh?" She questioned, glancing quickly at Doyle then back to Angel.

"This is Randy. He's gonna be staying with me until I can get his case handled - do you think you can make him some coffee?" Angel asked, Cordelia looked at Angel almost to protest, but the look he gave her back told her not to. She left the room quietly. "That's Cordelia. She's my assistant - she'll be writing down your case and also be writing your bill up. You can pay whatever is affordable to you…" Angel's voice faded, looking Doyle, wanting to take back his words knowing his situation.

"That's fine. I can handle it." Doyle replied, knowing that either way he wouldn't end up having to pay them. Angel tried to contain the surprise in his answer, but held back.


"Angel, I just don't think it's safe - " Cordelia stated later that day. Her and Wesley had been trying for about an hour to convince Angel that having "Randy" stay with him was a very bad idea.

"I don't know, Cordelia…there's just something about him…something in him that I trust." He said, looking off into space rather than at her. She shrugged and sat back in her chair, crossing her arms.

"Yeah, well - that was exactly what happened with Barney. And you see how well that whole mess turned out." She said, as usual not holding anything back. Wesley sat forward.

"I have to agree with Cordelia, Angel. You can't just take a guy in off the street - especially if his life is in danger."

"Wesley, you'd agree with what Cordelia said no matter what the topic." Angel muttered, Wesley's ears perked up.

"What was that?" Wesley asked, Cordelia looked at Angel, raising her eyebrows, obviously hearing what he had said.

"Nothing." Angel stated, then looked at Wesley. "Do you think…maybe you could leave the two of us alone? It'll be a slow night, you can go home…" He said, Wesley stood up but protested.

"Sure, you can let a guy who's being chased by a demon stay here, but when it comes to someone who's actually trying to help you…" He closed the door behind him, Angel looked to Cordelia.

"God - what did I ever see in that guy?" She questioned, Angel shook his head.

"I don't know…" His face turned somber again. "Have you talked to Randy yet?"

"No…he's been watching TV. I think he kinda feels like he's in the way - " Angel leaned forward, she did the same, propping her elbows up on her knees. "Why? What's wrong?" She asked, Angel's voice was low.

"He's human. There's a demon after him, apparently he owes him some money. Thing is, it sounds like the same problem Doyle had." Cordelia looked at him, not understanding.

"What do you mean?" She asked.

"I think the same people that were after Doyle may be after him, and I may be jumping to the wrong conclusion here, but I need to look into it - " His voice trailed off as Doyle showed up at the door. "Randy - come in…" Doyle stepped through the doorway, smiling at them.

"Sorry if I'm interrupting…" He said, glancing between the two of them.

"It wasn't important…" Angel replied.

"Uhhh…I was just wondering where the bathroom was - " He said, still trying to keep up the "I-have-no-idea-who-you-people-are" façade.

"Oh, right. It's just downstairs - take the elevator down and it's to your left…" Angel said, Doyle nodded in thanks, then left. Angel turned his attention back to Cordelia. "I need to talk to him…and I need you to talk to him. You're good with people. I'll try tonight, we'll see how far I get - all right?" Cordelia nodded and stood up.

"You want me to go get him?" She asked, Angel nodded.



"Randy?" She asked, almost immediately after she stepped off the elevator. Doyle stepped out of the bathroom.


"Uhhh…Angel wanted to ask you a few questions, if that's okay…do you think you could come upstairs?" She asked, Doyle nodded.

"Yeah, of course. But I thought he said you'd be questioning me - " Cordelia smiled.

"Yeah. But he just has to first - it's procedure."

"All right." They stepped onto the elevator, they stood in an uncomfortable silence as it moved slowly upstairs. They stepped off of the elevator, Angel already waiting for them.

"Good. Thank you, Cordelia - " Angel looked at her, she smiled.

"Okay. Well, I'll be going now…see you guys tomorrow." She said, then turned and left.

"So - what did you need to ask me about?" Doyle asked, Angel pointed to his office.

"Let's go in there…"

They sat down, Angel behind the desk, Doyle in the chair. He propped his feet up on the desk, Angel looked at him strangely.

"What?" Doyle asked, folding his hands in his lap. Angel shook his head.

"Nothing - " Doyle looked at himself, trying to see what was wrong. He then realized that he was sitting exactly as he used to. He immediately dropped his feet to the floor.

"Sorry - " He said, half-smiling. "Look…do you think we could do this in the morning? I'm kinda tired - " He wanted to get out of this conversation as quickly as he possibly could. He needed to think of something - what he could say about his past, family, friends - whatever. Angel looked at him suspiciously, then relented.

"All right. I'll show you to my extra room - " Doyle cut him off.

"I could just sleep here on the couch. And believe me, it's a lot more comfortable than those alleys I've been sleeping in - "

"I don't want to leave you up here - " Doyle put his hand up in protest.

"I'll stay here. I like the noise from the street." Angel studied him for a moment, debating on whether or not he should leave him there.

"All right. But I want to talk to you first thing in the morning."

"Deal. Thank you." Doyle said, Angel nodded and left. Doyle reached over and turned off the light, the streetlights streaming in through the windows. He pulled the blanket off the back of the couch and laid it out, then sat down heavily. He put his head in his hands, then ran his hands through his hair, sighing.

"Doyle, man…you got yourself in deep this time." He said sadly, then laid back on the couch, attempting to get some sleep.


"Angel?" Cordelia called into the office the next morning, Angel silenced her.

"Shhh…he's still asleep." He pointed to the couch, Cordelia glanced in on Doyle sleeping.

"You didn't let him sleep in your place?" She whispered angrily at him, placing her hand on her hip.

"He didn't want to - come on." He led her into the hallway. "He wouldn't talk to me last night. Said he was really tired and just wanted to sleep. I'm not sure whether or not to believe that - " Cordelia crossed her arms.

"I don't know. I guess we should just talk to him, see if there are any loopholes to his story." Wesley walked through the front door, slamming it behind him. "Wesley!" Cordelia cried, he looked at her.

"What?" He asked, startled at her outburst.

"Randy's asleep." She said, then glanced back into the office. "Not anymore though…" Doyle stepped out, rubbing his eyes.

"What time is it?" He asked, Cordy glanced at her watch.


"In the morning?" He asked, surprised.

"Yeah. Tired, huh?" She looked at him, trying to see why it seemed as though she had met him before. "You want some coffee?" He smiled at her.

"Yeah, that'd be great. Thanks." She left the room to make the coffee, leaving the guys to stand in silence. Doyle spoke up.

"So - when do you want to question me?" Angel looked at Wesley.

"We could put that off for a little while. I have some stuff I have to work on here, you can do what you'd like…" Cordelia walked back in, two cups of coffee in hand. She gave one to Doyle.

"Here ya go, Randy. May not be the best you ever had, but hey - this isn't Starbucks." He took it from her.

"Thank you." She began to sip from the other cup, Wesley looked at her somewhat helplessly.

"Is there any left?" He asked, she nodded.

"Yup." Wesley looked at her, almost expecting her to go and get it for him. "What are you looking at me like that for? You have two feet - go into the office and get some. There's cups in there." She stated, then looked to Angel. "So what's on the agenda for today?"

"Well, I need you to run to the store, buy some food. Why don't you take Randy with you? He can get out for a little while… " Angel looked at Doyle, then to Cordelia.

"Yeah, sure. Do you wanna come?" She asked, knowing that Angel was just trying to get something out of him.

"Uh, yeah…" He replied, a little too eagerly. She grinned at him.

"Good. Angel? Money?" She put her hand out, he took a couple 20's out of his pocket and handed them to her.

"Have fun." They walked out the front door, Angel looked to Wesley as soon as the door clicked shut. "I need you to look into some stuff for me…there's a demon that I think may be going after him…now I need you to go to the demon, pretend you need to borrow money, need help, whatever. See what he says to you. If I'm right, he should be rather threatening. Being that you're not a demon, he may refuse you. If he doesn't, then that may be who Randy's dealing with. Do you think you can handle it?" Wesley swallowed hard.

"But what if he tries to kill me?" Wesley asked, his voice shaking.

"Part of the job, Wes." He replied, there was no hiding the terror in Wesley's eyes when he said that. Angel tried to hide his smile.

"And I have to go now?"

"The sooner the better…"


Cordelia put a bottle of Dr. Pepper in the cart and looked to Doyle.

"Your turn." If he really had his choice, he'd be down the beer aisle right now - but he'd already slipped up enough. He looked at the shelf, then reached up a pulled a bottle down.

"How about this?" Cordelia frowned at his choice.

"Mug? Nuh-uh. That stuff's no good. You gotta get the Barq's - " She stated matter-of-factly. She found a bottle and put it in the cart.

"And why is that?" He asked.

"It just tastes better." She continued to push the cart down the aisle, Doyle following her.

"Oh, we gotta get some peanut M&M's…" He said, she looked back at him.

"Agreed." He threw a bag in the cart.

"Want me to push it?" He asked, knowing that she probably wouldn't come right out and asked him to. She glanced at him, surprised.

"Yeah, sure…" She let go and he began to push it around the corner. "So…Randy…where are you from?"

"L.A. Lived here all my life. What about you?"

"Sunnydale. Just moved here a few months ago. Ever been there?"

"No…sounds like a nice place, though…"

"Not really. The name just kinda hides the fact that it's sitting on a Hellmouth - " He tried to act surprised when she said that.

"I never woulda guessed…" She pushed a strand of hair behind her ear before picking up a loaf of bread.

"Nothing's ever what it seems - " She stated, then turned back to him. "Believe me when I say I've learned the hard way." She began to walk further down the aisle, he stood and watched her for a minute. She tried so hard to hide the pain she was going through. Her shoulders slumped a little, her walk was slower. She turned around. "Are you coming or what?" She asked, staring at him, confused.

"Yeah, sorry - " He pushed the cart quickly until her caught up to her, then slowed his pace once again.


Wesley walked back into the office about an hour later, he glanced around.

"Angel?" He called out, then saw him sitting at his desk. Angel looked at him expectantly.

"So?" Wesley sat down, Angel realized he was paler than usual. "You okay?"

"No, not particularly…" He said, straightening his tie. "I did as you asked…I thought he would kill me. Said he'd never done business with a human before and never would. I don't know how I managed to escape…" Angel rolled his eyes. A supposed rogue demon hunter, almost scared to death by one. People really didn't change, did they?

"Then it's something else after him…" Angel said, more to himself than to Wesley.

"Well don't ask me to look into it." Wesley threw his hands in the air. "Not doing that again." He was interrupted as Doyle and Cordelia walked in, carrying many shopping bags, both laughing. They stopped when they saw the expressions on Wesley and Angel's faces.

"What's so funny?" Angel asked.

"Oh…you would have had to be there…" Cordelia said, she put the bags on the ground, Doyle did the same. "So where do you want these?" She asked, her eyes sparkling. Angel had seen her like that in weeks - it was a nice change for once.

"Downstairs." They picked the bags back up and carried them to the elevator.

"What did he get her drunk?!?" Wesley exclaimed, Angel looked back at him.

"No - he made her laugh…" His voice trailed off, Wesley just stood, staring at him strangely.


"All he was really willing to say was that he's lived in L.A. all his life. He likes root beer and peanut M&M's. Nothing else really came up…" Cordelia folded her arms and leaned back in the chair, eyebrows raised as Angel looked at her expectantly. "He's not exactly the easiest person to talk to, ya know." She stated, he glanced away from her.

"Well, the demon that's after him isn't the same one that was after Doyle. But now that leaves us with less than we had before." Angel looked back at her. "I want to talk to him - but don't want to act as though I think he's making some part of this story up. Some parts…they just don't fit." Cordelia was thoughtful for a minute.

"Well maybe you should try taking him out. I was with him all afternoon and nothing. And I'm supposed to be the people person here."


"You wanted to see me?" Doyle asked, leaning into the office. Angel waved him in.

"Yes." Doyle sat down, awkward since he didn't really know how to sit out of character. When he finally settled into position, he looked up to see Angel staring at him strangely.

"Sorry…" He muttered in reply, Angel didn't seem to notice.

"So Randy - " Angel started out, not sure how to begin exactly. "Tell me about your family." He finally said, Doyle waited a minute, then began.

"Well, I had a mother, father, and a little sister. My father was never around much, always trying to make some money - support his family, ya know? My mother was sick a lot, and my little sister - Meg - well I took care of her for the most part." Angel thought about that for a minute.

"Did your father ever deal with anyone as you are now?" Doyle shook his head.

"None that I know of. But, like I said, he was never there…he could have. We never really talked much." Doyle cast his eyes to the floor, hating having to lie to Angel.

"Where is he now?"

"I don't know. Haven't seen him in about five years."

"And your mom?"

"She died a couple years back. She just couldn't get better…" Doyle looked back up to Angel, sympathy written all over his face. Either he was actually buying this story of his, or Angel was a better actor than Doyle had given him credit for.

"I'm so sorry…" Angel said, Doyle nodded.

"It's all right. Thank you, though."

"What about Meg?" Doyle was silent for a minute, then went on.

"Meg ran away when she was about 15. I haven't heard from her since dad left. It hit her kinda hard, him leaving…" Angel nodded in understanding, and waited before he continued.

"So what about who's after you? How'd you get involved with him?"

"Well after Meg left, my mom got sick - and I needed money to help her. My friend knew of him, so he introduced me. Things just got so tight that after my mom died, I ran. He's been sending people after me for a long time now." Angel sat silent for a minute.

"He sends someone different all the time?" He asked.

"Yeah. Never seen the same guy twice. There've been about six of them…" Doyle's voice trailed off, he noticed that Angel is no longer completely concentrating on him.

"Why do you think it's always different?" He looked back at Doyle, whose tone was serious when he answered.

"Probably so I don't get guys like you after them."


The next morning, Doyle woke up to find Angel, Cordelia, and Wesley standing over him. He squinted, confused.

"What's goin' on?" He asked, looking around for an explanation.

"I told them your story." Angel said, gesturing for Cordelia and Wesley to back up and give him some space; Doyle sat up.

"All right." He said, finally able to see straight.

"I need you to tell me where they were when they came after you - you said there were six?" Doyle nodded.

"Yeah. But they were all over. They didn't come to just one spot."


"Well one came to my apartment…that's when I left it. And before that, one had come to my house after my mom died. Other than that, pretty much whatever alley I was living in that week." Angel backed off, leaning on his desk as Cordelia handed Doyle a coffee cup.

"Thanks." Doyle looked at her and smiled, he could see Wesley shooting glares at him in the corner. He quickly took a sip of his coffee.

"Randy - " Angel said, trying to get his attention again.


"I want to go looking for them…tonight. Any descriptions you could give would be helpful…" Doyle shook his head.

"I really can't remember. It was normally pretty dark - and like I said, never the same one twice."

"I'm gonna be taking Wesley with me…you stay here. I don't want them to know where you are or that we're helping you." Doyle sat silent for a minute. He felt bad, leading his friend on a wild goose hunt. But he knew that he couldn't exactly fight it - he'd gone there for help, after all.

"All right."


A few hours later, Doyle knocked on the door to Angel's office.

"Randy - everything okay?" He asked, Doyle nodded.

"Yeah. I just…uhhh…wanted to ask a few questions of you…if it's all right…" Angel looked at him for a second, wondering what it could possibly be, then shook it off.

"Yeah, of course… come in." Doyle sat down, Angel waited for him to talk.

"Oh. All right. You know the first day I was here? You said you had a case similar to mine…that the guy died. I just…well…it sounds like the guy was your friend, the way you said it. I've lost a lot of people in my life… I could talk to you about it…" Angel glared at him, wondering exactly what right this guy had questioning him about Doyle. But there was something… it was as though he could trust him with this. He wasn't exactly sure where that came from, but he was afraid to completely open up to the guy.

"We killed the guy after him. I can't really say more." The hope died from Doyle's eyes - he knew when Angel made his mind up about something, that was it.

"Hopefully…hopefully you'll be able to do the same for me." He stood up, feeling defeated. If he couldn't get through to Angel he'd never get through to Cordy. Angel watched him as he began to leave.

"Randy - " Angel said, so quietly Doyle wasn't sure if he had said anything at all or if it were just wishful thinking. He turned around, leaning against the doorway.

"Huh?" He asked, and at his gesture, Angel knew. There was something about this guy - he was too much like Doyle. The way he propped his feet up on his desk, how he leaned against the doorframe - the same look he had when he saw Cordelia. It was all there. And while Angel knew it couldn't possibly be, he knew that in some way…it could.

"Come back in - " Angel said, Doyle tried as hard as he could not to show that he was very relieved by this. As soon as he was back in the chair, Angel began. "Randy - what I tell you in here has to be in the strictest confidence. You can repeat none of it to no one, since I normally don't talk about my other cases. But I feel I can trust you - " Doyle nodded.

"Of course…" Angel leaned back in his chair, debating on where to begin.

"As you know, I'm a vampire. We don't exactly have a lot of friends. And I did a lot of bad stuff in my time. Things I never want to repeat… Basically I hadn't had anyone to talk to in over 200 years. Once I was cursed, I didn't want to get close to anyone - feeling guilty for the crimes I committed and afraid I might do them again. I was scared to trust anyone and scared to let anyone trust me. I lived alone and in hiding, pretty much up until a few years ago. But that's a whole other story… I moved to L.A. over the summer, and soon after met Doyle." Doyle shifted in his chair upon hearing his name, but motioned for Angel to continue.

"Hmmm - hmmm…"

"I found him to be somewhat annoying at first - the guy broke into my place and waited for me to come home. But soon…I could count on him. Confide in him. He helped me fight, along with have a friend. He died saving my life, along with Cordelia's and about 20 half-demons. And everyone says I'm a hero… I couldn't even save his life." He looked away from Doyle uncomfortably, not seeing the tears brimming in his eyes. Doyle tried to blink them away quickly, before Angel looked back at him.

"He was the one person who was willing to be my friend before he even knew me. " Doyle swallowed hard, then tried to speak.

"Did it…I don't know…change you? It sounds like you've lost a lot… some say the more you lose, the stronger you become." He didn't realize how stupid it sounded until he said it, he could tell by Angel's expression he was confused by the question.

"No. I'm not stronger for it. After losing what I have, the more you lose the weaker you become. I've gotten sloppy with my work… If I couldn't save my friend why should I bother trying to save people I've never even met?" Seeing the expression on Doyle's face, Angel once again began to speak. "I'm worrying more about who I care about. And I won't let anything happen to Cordelia…" Doyle smiled when he said that.

"Well, she seems like she's lost a lot, too…"

"She's had a tough life. Tougher than she realizes at times, I think. But Doyle's death hit her very hard… Honestly? I guess harder than I expected… I've never seen her break like that before…" Doyle began to wonder why he had volunteered to pull the plugs in the first place. Sure, he saved so many lives…but the two people he cared about the most in the world he had put through torture.

"And where does Wesley fit into this whole thing?" Doyle asked, trying to alleviate the guilt he was feeling.

"That's a long story. It's not really important… he didn't know Doyle and he doesn't exactly work here…" Doyle raised his eyebrows at this.

"Really?" By the amount of time he spent there, he just assumed that he did.

"Like I said, long story."

"You've won half your battle. For awhile, we didn't think you'd get this far." The female oracle said, looking at Doyle as he stood before them.

"But now you need to get through to Cordelia. An even tougher task…" The male oracle stepped forward, crossing his arms.

"Yeah, cuz that'll be so easy…" Doyle muttered to himself, the male oracle raised an eyebrow at him.

"What was that?" He questioned, the female put her hand on his arm.

"Be patient." She said, glaring at him. He backed up a little.

"We expect you here tomorrow at some point. Hopefully for you, you will have succeeded in your task at that point." The male oracle stated as he turned around. The female oracle looked at Doyle one last time, and then was back underneath the post office.


It was about 7:00 when Doyle stepped back through the doors of Angel Investigations. He was greeted by the sight of Angel and Wesley putting various weapons into a bag.

"You're leaving already?" He asked, not really expecting them to leave until later. Angel lifted the bag, allowing the contents to fall to the bottom.

"Yeah. Thought we'd get an early start. Judging by what you've said, we may be out there awhile." Doyle glanced towards Wesley, who he could tell didn't like him and that he didn't want to be out all night. "I don't know what time we'll be back. Cordelia's here, she needs to finish up some paperwork - she'll probably leave around nine."

"I'll try not to burn the place down." Doyle replied, smiling.

"That would be nice." Angel said, then turned to Wesley. "Let's go." They began to walk towards the door, Wesley looked to Angel.

"How do you know she won't be dead by the time we get back here?" He asked, loudly enough so that Doyle could hear him.

"Because she won't be." Angel replied, irritation in his voice. Doyle laughed to himself, then went into the office.

Cordelia was sitting behind the computer, typing with one finger at a time.

"Hey - " He said, startling her. He leaned against the doorframe again, Cordelia tried to hide her surprise by this.

"You scared me…" She said, trying to pass her expression off as nerves as she quickly looked away from him.

"Sorry." He stepped into the room and took a seat across from her.

"Is something wrong?" She asked, he shook his head.

"No. Angel and Wesley went out looking for my demons - I was just sick of staring at the paint peel, ya know? Angel doesn't exactly want me going out at night…" Cordelia laughed bitterly at this.

"He's been very overprotective lately…" She said, he could tell it upset her to say this.

"Why?" He questioned, she shrugged her shoulders.

"Long story." She looked back at the screen and sighed heavily. "That's it. I'm not doing anymore." Doyle leaned over and looked at the screen.

"You've only got the word INVOICE typed on there…"

"So? Why can't he do the typing for once? Or have Wesley do it…" She clicked save and turned off the computer, pushing her chair backwards.

"You're leaving?" He asked, trying to think of an excuse for her to stay.

"I guess…" Her voice trailed off and she looked at him. "Why?"

"I was just wondering if you'd maybe like to watch a movie - or TV, whatever." She looked at him, an eyebrow raised.

"Anything good on?" She asked, he smiled.

"I'm sure we'll find something." Cordelia stood up from behind the desk.

"All right - come on." He followed her downstairs and into Angel's apartment. Once downstairs, she turned the TV on. Picking up the remote, she went and sat down on the couch, Doyle sitting down next to her.

"It kinda surprises me that a vampire would have a TV guide and all the good cable channels - " Doyle muttered, picking the TV guide up off the table.

"Yeah - but I guess he's gotta have something to do when there's no evil to fight. Besides, I'm almost positive that he's a closet Dawson's Creek fan." She stated, Doyle glanced over at her, amazed.


"Yup. I bet he can name everyone from Joey and Dawson up to Bodie - " She said, he looked at her, confused.

"Who's Bodie?"

"Bessie's…well, not husband… and I don't think they're engaged, so boyfriend…" Her voice trailed off as she realized what he was doing. "What?" She asked.

"And Angels' the closet Dawson's Creek fan?" He questioned, smiling at her. She hit him on the arm.

"Don't tell anyone, okay?" She sajd, laughing.

"Your secret's safe with me." He went back to the TV guide, then pointed. "We could watch Scream. It just started."

"Please. And watch all those people get killed? I see enough of that everyday of my life…"

"You're scared." He started, she looked at him, attempting to look angry.

"I am not!" She replied, he looked away from her, laughing.

"You're afraid of Scream - " He continued to laugh, she picked up the remote and changed the channel.

"There! I will show you how much I am not afraid of it!" She said, then looked to the TV where Drew Barrymore was now hanging from a tree. She quickly went to cover her eyes, but then looked back over at Doyle, whose eyes were fixated on her. She picked up a pillow and hit him with it as he began to laugh again. "I had something in my eye!" She said, hitting him twice more before she finally gave in and started to laugh as well.

After watching the horror movie marathon that had been on Showtime, Doyle looked over at Cordelia, who was now asleep. He stood up off the couch, laying her down, then pulled a blanket off the back of it and placed it on top of her. He leaned over, kissing her forehead, then brushed a strand of hair out of her face.

"Good night, Princess…" He said softly, then heard Angel and Wesley coming in upstairs. He went quickly to the elevator to meet them as they came down.

"Hey Angel…" Doyle said as he and Wesley stepped out of the elevator. Angel glanced in at Cordelia.

"She's still here?" He asked, Doyle nodded.

"Yeah. We were watching some marathon on TV - she fell asleep."

"We didn't find anything." Angel turned back to face him, half-ignoring his last comment. Doyle tried to act surprised.


"They may have known that we were looking for them - I'm not really sure. Or they may have given up looking for you. Either way, this is becoming more complicated than I expected."

"I didn't mean for it to be…" Doyle began, Angel cut him off.

"Well it's not as if it's your fault - " Angel said, Doyle shifted uncomfortably.

"I guess not. Look, I'm kinda tired - I'm gonna go to bed now…" He turned and stepped into the elevator, Angel shook his head.

"He always does that." He said, Wesley scowled in the direction of the elevator.

"I don't like how cozy the two of them have gotten. I don't particularly trust the guy…" Wesley stated, unbuttoning his jacket.

"Wesley - " Angel said, he looked at him.

"Yes Angel?"

"I think it's good he's here. Maybe, for a change, she needs a normal friend. One who isn't an undead vampire or a rogue demon hunter, who, when it comes down to it, acts like he's 17 instead of a grown man." Angel brushed past him and into the room where Cordelia was sleeping, while Wesley could do nothing but stare at Angel after his comment. He turned and went into the elevator without another word.

"Cordelia…" Angel said, kneeling down next to the couch, trying to wake her up. She finally woke up, looking groggily at him.


"Yeah - " She sat up, trying to become aware of her surroundings.

"Did you find anything??" She asked, sitting up straighter and blinking her eyes a couple times.

"No - " Angel shook his head, then sat next to her. "We were out there for hours. I figured we might find something." He looked at Cordelia.

"Not everything always goes how you want it to - " She replied, yawning. "Where's Randy?" She asked, finally noticing his absence.

"He went upstairs. Guess the movies you two watched made him tired."

"Yeah, maybe - "

"You know, I really want to help this guy. But it's so hard - he's given us barely anything to go on."

"I know."

"And I almost want to yell at him for it. Demand an answer. But he just…I don't know…in ways…he…he reminds me…" Cordelia looked at Angel, cutting him off.

"Of Doyle." They looked at each other for a minute, both realizing they felt the same way.

"You too?" Angel asked, Cordelia shrugged her shoulders, breaking their eye contact as she looked away.

"Just his mannerisms. And how he hangs around, and doesn't necessarily try to be in the way? But he is. It's nice." She stopped, Angel looked at her, expecting more.

"What's nice?"

"Having him around. It's like Doyle's here again but he's not. Like without the Irish accent or the same clothes. But a lot of the other stuff? That's the same…" Angel could hear the sadness in her voice, and almost put a hand on her shoulder for comfort, but refrained himself. He wasn't the person to do it - sure, he considered himself a friend, but definitely not the one you'd go to while in a lot of pain. He had his own amount of guilt, his own amount of pain that he worried he might inflict upon anyone else. That itself wasn't anything he'd ever wish on anyone.

"Yeah, it is - " He finally agreed, breaking free of his thoughts. Cordelia suddenly changed her tone.

"Well, before you go and go completely brood guy on me, I should probably go home." She said, pushing herself up off the couch. "I'll see you in the morning?" She asked, glancing back at him.

"Yeah." He attempted to smile at her, she smiled back.

"Don't try so hard, Angel." She said, then walked away.


Doyle woke up the next morning, surprised for once that everyone else didn't wake him. But he knew that today was his last day - and that he had to talk to Cordelia. He sat up, stretching when he heard a key in the front door. Cordelia stepped inside, closing the door quietly, trying not to wake him.

"It's okay - I'm awake…" He said, she turned around quickly, startled.

"Randy!" She said, then smiled. "You like scaring me, don't you?"

"Well you get this funny expression on your face -" He replied, she rolled her eyes at him.

"Cute…" She stated, then walked over to the coffee machine. "Ugh - there's not coffee mix left." Annoyance was etched in her voice, Doyle stood up quickly.

"We could go get some if you'd like. My treat." She looked at him, then decided to take him up on his offer.

"All right. There's a Starbucks down the street."

"Great. Lemme just get changed first, all right?" He went into the elevator, then returned about ten minutes later and ready to leave.


They stepped inside the Starbucks and took their place on line.

"So - what're you having?" Doyle asked as he read the menu.

"Just a coffee. I'll go get us a table, okay?"

"Sure." She walked off and he wondered how exactly he'd bring the topic of himself up. Should he just come right out and talk about it? Or should he do what he did with Angel - which most likely wouldn't work with her? He decided on the first, and headed to the table she had found in the rear of the room.

"One coffee - " He placed hers down, then sat with his.

"Thanks." She took a sip and then put it down on the table.

"They've got nothing on your coffee - " He said jokingly, she smiled.

"Oh, I know…" They were silent for a minute, Doyle finally managed to get the courage to speak.

"So…Angel says my case is like something that happened to a friend of yours…Doyle or something?" Cordelia's eyes flashed angrily at him.

"I don't want to talk about Doyle." She said flatly, then went back to drinking her coffee. He was taken aback by her reaction, not expecting that in the least bit. After sitting in an uncomfortable silence for about ten minutes, Cordelia spoke again.

"What did he tell you…about Doyle?" She asked. There was a softness when she spoke this time, almost as though she had never snapped at him before. Doyle sighed heavily before replying.

"He told me they killed the guys after him. He told me that he was his first friend in like 200 years. That he died saving your lives." Doyle concentrated on her as he spoke, her features softened, looking sadder than angry.

"Yeah…" He noticed the distant look in her eyes, almost as though she was thinking back to that night. She blinked rapidly as if trying to get out of that world and into the one she was in now.

"I gotta tell ya… at first? Doyle was probably one of the most annoying people I'd ever met. I think it's because I knew he was also one of the nicest." Doyle smiled slightly as she said this, she looked at him strangely. "I don't know why I feel like I can tell you this stuff - "

"You just need someone who'll listen."

"I guess." She pulled her hair back from her face and began again. "He saw me how other people didn't. He knew who I used to be…but he didn't care. He noticed things…my new shoes, for example. Xander never noticed my new shoes. And yeah, maybe that was because I was never in the same pair twice…but that was high school. I was really beginning to get used to him…I liked having him around. I didn't mind it…" Her voice trailed off and she looked at Doyle. "I must be boring you with all this - "

"Not at all." She took that as a sign for her to continue, so she did.

"But then he went and decided to play hero on us. It wasn't his job, you know? And I'm not saying it was Angel's either, there just…there just had to have been another way…but you know what he did? Before he jumped?"


"He kissed me. It was...wow. That ever happen to you?" She looked at Doyle, who nodded.

"Yeah, maybe once…"

"But then I got his visions and realized the only reason that he kissed me was to pass on those visions…" She stated, the bitterness back. Doyle shook his head frantically.

"No!" He exclaimed, almost too much force behind it. Cordelia looked at him strangely.


"I'm sure that's not the reason he kissed you. He had…you know… he probably wanted to for a long time. He probably knew it was then or never. Plus, maybe he needed something to help him get through that. Like one good memory from a life full of regrets. Maybe he didn't know he'd be hurting you in doing that." It hurt him so badly to find out that Cordelia thought that the kiss was only to pass on the visions. If he had known, would he have still done it? Probably. But it still hurt.

"Maybe." She sat for a minute, thinking about what he had just said. Maybe he was right. Maybe it wasn't for the visions - maybe it was just for him. So many maybes… She shook her head. "Do you wanna know what he said? After he kissed me?"


"He said 'too bad we'll never know if this is a face you could learn to love.' And then he turned demon on me. But it didn't scare me. I realized that I wanted to get to know that part of him… maybe even love it. Love him. Because it was part of who he was. But we never got that chance - never will." Tears began to fill her eyes, as did Doyle's. She cared more than she ever let on, he only wished they didn't have to go through all of this to find that out. "I'm sorry - " She said, wiping her tears away with a napkin.

"It's all right - " He said, his voice cracking a little. He had no idea it would hurt this bad, just trying to get his life back. He just hoped that after all he'd put everyone through in the past few days that it would pay off. "Would you give him a chance now?" He asked, she looked at him through blurry eyes.

"What do you mean?"

"If there was anyway…would you give him a chance? Accept him for who he is?"

"Of course I would!" She exlclaimed, almost wanting to ask why he'd want to know such a thing when she couldn't see any way of it happening, but thought better of it. She stood up from the table. "Can we go back to the office now?"


"You have done your job. But you still must stay silent - not until it's time." The female oracle stated, Doyle nodded.

"Of course."

"Enjoy your life -" The male said, sending Doyle back through the entrance.


"I felt kinda better after talking to him…almost like he was my shrink." Angel sat listening to Cordelia as she explained the events of that morning.

"But that's good. I think once this case is solved, he may still be willing to be your friend."

"I hope so. I always feel like no one's listening to ,e. Well, maybe except you - you're pretty good at that. But you're not exactly Joe Chatterbox either…" Angel diverted his attention to the front door, where Doyle had just walked in. He stepped into the office, obviously in a very good mood.

"Hey!" Angel and Cordelia exchanged glances, then looked back at him.

"Hey - " Cordelia replied, half-mocking him.

"What are you guys up to tonight?" Doyle asked, Cordelia shrugged.

"Probably just stay at home with Dennis, watch TV…why?"

"Because I think we should have a party. It's New Year's Eve - we deserve a party!" Angel was the first to protest.

"I don't think that would be such a great idea - "

"Why not? It's the year 2000 - and we should celebrate that! Besides, it sounds like we'd all pretty much be alone - why don't we just spend it together?"

"Randy, while I appreciate your enthusiasm towards the holiday, I just don't think - " Cordelia stood up and stood next to Doyle, cutting Angel off.

"I agree with Randy. Every other office has a holiday party! And last I checked, this is an office. And Randy may not work here, but he's staying with you and therefore he should come. Please, Angel?" She asked, finally begging. Glancing between the two of them, both so hopeful looking, he finally gave in.

"All right. But I won't wear one of those plastic hats or blow one of those little horns - " Cordelia smiled widely at him.

"We'll see about that…"


By 8 o'clock that night, the office was covered in decorations announcing the New Year. Cordelia had dressed up in her prom dress, since it was really the only formal thing she could find, and Wesley had come in a suit.

"Well, I just feel terribly underdressed…" Doyle said, glancing over at Angel.

"It's the year 2000. I wanted to look good for when the world comes to an end." Cordelia answered, obviously hearing what he had said.

"You're not alone, Randy…" Angel glanced around the office looking at what they had done to it. He just hoped no clients would need help tonight.

They listened to music and Cordelia showed them her audition that she had to go for on Monday. Wesley tried to make a suggestion, and she came to the defensive, saying it was perfect - and naturally Doyle agreed while Angel made no comment. They watched other places around the world hit 2000, and made comments about how horrible it would be if they blew up at that moment after all the times they had stopped the world from ending.

And finally, it was 11:55. Four minutes until Doyle would turn back to Doyle, and he'd see if what his friends had said about him was true. He stood up off the couch.

"I'm just gonna run to the bathroom - " Cordelia looked up at him.

"Well you better hurry - you've only got about five minutes." He smiled nervously and left the room, going to the bathroom.

He turned on the light and looked at himself in the mirror. His only guess was that Angel had put one in after Cordelia complained one too many times. He glared at his reflection. His hair was light brown, longer than his normally was. But he still had his eyes. And his mouth was shaped differently, and his build was different. He glanced at his watched, his hand trembling - 11:58. He took a deep breath, exhaling loudly and running his hands through his thick hair. He didn't even know what to expect. Would there be a big flash of light, then BAM there he was again? Or would he just kinda morph back into himself?

"Randy! Almost a minute!" Cordelia cried from the other room, he turned in the direction of her voice.

"I'll…I'll be right there!" He yelled back, then looked at his watched as it hit 11:59. He looked into the mirror and the change was almost instant. He wasn't exactly sure how it had happened - but there he was - Alan Francis Doyle. He smiled at his reflection, a single tear rolling down his cheek. He ran a hand over his face, almost to see if it was real.

"Randy! 30 seconds!" Cordelia's cry broke the spell, and he decided that he had to go out and face them now. He walked back out and into the room where all three stood with their backs to him, watching the TV.

"10! 9!" Cordelia chanted with the people on TV, but heard Doyle enter the room. "Randy! I didn't think - " Her voice trailed off as she turned around to face him. Her smiled turned to a look of shock as she dropped her glass to the floor.

"Cordelia?" Angel turned around to see what she was staring at, and was almost afraid to move, in fear of it not being real.

"Happy New Year!" Wesley cried, then noticed that no one else was paying attention. He turned to see what they were actually looking at, and he, too, was dumbfounded.

"Happy New Year?" Doyle managed to say, as Cordelia finally managed to close her mouth from hanging open.

"Doyle?" Angel questioned, stepping forward a little. "Is it…"

"Yeah, it's me…" He said, Cordelia couldn't take her eyes off of him.

"No…it can't be…you're dead." She said, her voice wavering on panic. Angel put a hand on her arm as if to silence her.

"How…how did this happen?" Cordelia looked at Angel as he asked.

"It's not him, Angel. It can't be…"

"It makes sense. We knew it felt like it was him but we didn't think it could ever be…" Cordelia shook her head, crying.

"But that just doesn't happen…it can't…" The tears fell freely down her face, and she made no attempt to fight them. Doyle stepped towards her, forcing her to make eye contact with him and took her by the arm.

"Cordelia…you and Angel…you were the ones who brought me back. You made it happen. I saved your lives, you saved mine. I'm here and I'm not going to leave again. Not if I can help it." He reached up, wiping the tears off of her face. "Don't cry…" She looked at him a minute, examining him, trying to see if it was real.

"Doyle?" He nodded, then she pulled him to her, hugging him tightly and continued to cry into his shoulder.

"Shhh…" He ran his hand over her hair, and looked to Angel who was just staring at him in disbelief. Wesley had sat down and was drinking the champagne they had bought to celebrate the New Year.


About an hour later, Wesley had left and Angel, Doyle, and Cordelia were all sitting downstairs in Angel's apartment.

"You never did answer me." Angel said.

"About what?"

"About how you came back." Doyle shrugged.

"I'm not really up for explaining it. At least not tonight. Adds more mystery." He smiled, Angel stood up.

"Well, if that's how you want it. I'm going to bed. Doyle - I'm glad you're back." As Angel headed off towards his bedroom, he could hear Cordelia and Doyle talking. There was a lot that needed to be said between the two of them, but they would figure it out. They had been given a second chance, and Angel knew that the PTB weren't as bad as he originally thought them to be.

"Thank you…" He said quietly, before turning off the light.

The End

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