Author: Closetromantic19 aka Katie
Willow Rosenberg gazed upon her LCD computer monitor, pouring aimlessly over the contents of her corporate email account.
"You read your spam?" Buffy Summers' blonde head peered over her shoulder, knocking her from her reverie.
Willow spun around in her seat to face Buffy. "It's not spam," she said, looking disgruntled.
Buffy leaned into the screen and began to read aloud. "'Enlarge your penis size in thirty days or your money back?' I'm pretty sure that's spam, unless there's something you want to talk to me about, Will."
Willow shook her head bashfully at the blonde. It never ceased to amaze her how quickly she devolved from the bold, unselfconscious career Willow back into the babbling, awkward high school nerd when she was around her lifelong friend.
Buffy noticed the change in her friend immediately. "What's up, Will, you seem kind of on edge...Is Cordy giving you shit again? Do you want me and Faith to..."
Willow sighed warily. No matter how old or successful she got Buffy would always treat her like a kid sister. "No. I mean I don't want you to do anything to Cordelia. It's nothing to do with Cordelia, okay? Even if it was, I can fight my own battles, Buffy," she finished in a huff.
"Jeez, Will, I didn't mean to imply..."
Willow turned abruptly back towards her desk and focused back on her computer screen. "Look Buff, I've got a lot of work to get done, and I'm sure Faith could use you back at the reception desk."
Buffy glared at the back of her best friend's head, willing her to apologize or tell her what was wrong, but after a few moments of silence decided to just leave quietly.
"Well I've been working for Chase Enterprises for two years now," Amy was saying as she led Tara down the hallway towards the executive offices, "So naturally I figured when Ms. Chase started looking for a new personal assistant, she'd be searching inside the existing employee pool, but," she spared a withering glance at the blonde, "clearly she's looking for somebody a bit more...fresh."
Tara cast a sideways glance at the brunette, wondering whether or not this was just some sort of intra-office hazing. This was the fifth not-so-subtle allusion Amy had made to Tara's lack of qualifications, however, and the blonde was beginning to grow irritated.
"Still," Amy continued somewhat more cheerily, "Cordelia Chase is not an easy woman to please. Make a few too many mistakes on her dime and you'll be out on your ass befor e you even personalize your desk." At this thought Amy smiled broadly to herself and Tara's eyes widened in a mixture of disdain and fear.
After a few moments of silence, and a raging internal debate in which Tara finally concluded that Amy was playing with a few cards short of a full deck, she managed a bland, "Thanks for the tip Amy. I'll definitely try to look out for that," and did her best to keep silent for the remainder of the tour.
"Cordelia, you cannot fire Anya for marrying Xander," Willow said exhaustedly into her handset, "And you cannot keep calling me to save yourself the pain and suffering of walking across the hall and talking to me in my office like a normal person."
Cordelia Chase was pacing furiously back and forth in front of her panoramic view of the Los Angeles city skyline. "Willow, you are my second in command. Do you have any idea what that means?"
Willow glanced through her blinds into the reception area, where Faith and Buffy were chatting amicably with Tara. She couldn't help but envy the easy way Faith and Buffy managed to make her laugh or smile. It was a beautiful smile. It was-
"WILLOW!" Cordelia's voice rang shrilly out of her earpiece, "Are you paying attention?!"
Willow held the phone away from her ear for a moment as she cast once last look at Tara. That damn smile was going to get her into trouble. "Of course I'm paying attention. Your second in command, meaningful...very...for God's sake Cordy you cannot fire your accountant because she happens to be marrying your high school sweetheart!"
Cordelia burst into a chain of expletives that Willow could hear clearly with the phone resting securely on her shoulder. Based on the reactions Willow could see from Buffy and Faith (who were laughing hysterically) and Tara (who looked like she couldn't decide whether to be afraid or to laugh along with them) she was not the only one getting an earful.
Faith wiped the tears of laughter from her eyes and turned to Tara, who looked more than a little anxious about her new job, or at least her new boss, "No worries, Blondie," she said, clapping the girl on the back, "You'll get used to Her Holiness eventually. She's not that bad. I promise."
Cordelia's shrieks continued to escalate in volume. Buffy turned to Faith dubiously and in a moment the two were in silent agreement. "But you'll have plenty of time for that later," Buffy shifted the conversation easily, "Tonight let's celebrate your new job. Margaritas?" She grabbed her coat and handed Faith hers. "Our treat."