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five people cordelia chase never fell in love with

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1. Spike. What exactly is so dreamy about vampires? It's not like they have a steady job -- unless lurking counts, which, wow, that's a real go-getter occupation -- which means that you're not getting any presents, unless some guy's torn out ribcage counts. It shouldn't, if you have, you know, standards. And if maybe she kind of gets the tall, dark, and handsome thing (Angel, despite his astoundingly sucky taste in women, has the whole tall-dark-and-handsome thing down), well, the Billy Idol peroxide 'do pretty much means that this guy's getting his 'dark' privileges revoked. And so even though the thought crosses her mind, fleetingly, when it turns out the new big bad in town is actually somewhat easy on the eyes for once, it's not like that's enough to tempt her away from

2. Xander Harris. Also known as: human proof that even the most glorious of women aren't completely infallible. Cordelia doesn't know what never-ending bad hair day of the soul could have possessed her to put up with that for so long, but one thing's for sure: love had nothing to do with it. Not once, not ever. Not even when he'd get all stupid and sputtery and crazy-eyed in the middle of arguing, and she got to revel in the satisfaction of his silence, and his stupid face, and the way his stupid eyes would turn from annoyed to God you're great and then, inevitably, they'd wind up kissing. It's not like kissing means anything in the long run anyway, unless the person you're kissing is

3. Doyle. As if Xander wasn't bad enough, the next guy to recognize her (undeniable, right? Right?) worth was a tiny Irish dork who couldn't even trust her to be totally open and accepting of his pointy-faced demonocity. Thanks! Stupid idiot. The idiot who trusted her with the most valuable thing he had. The idiot who met her when she was living in Cockroach Palace and begging (lucky) vampires to hang out with her, and liked her anyway. The idiot who tore her whole life apart -- by leaving something behind. By going. By choosing her. By knowing she could handle it. Doyle is the what if? she never quite lets go of. She hates it, but what can you do? It could be worse. Her what if could be

4. Wesley. Which, um, let her break it down for you: no. NO. An empire of no. You know what? Just call her The Empress of No. She likes to ignore the part where she ever used to sit in the library and, like, ogle him with his suits and his sexy-glasses. (Looking at him now, they are such dork glasses. God, it makes her hope they're new glasses, and that her perception hadn't been that hopelessly skewed.) Cordelia Chase will never trust a foxy accent again for as long as she lives. For the record. She's been through some nasty stuff -- that goes without saying, in her glamorous line of work -- but she's pretty sure nothing has ever quite matched up to The Kiss That Failed, And Failed, And Then Failed Again, Some More. Sometimes, these days, when Wesley's spiraling into a hissy fit because she set her coffee on one of his dusty old demon books, she looks at him and just thinks, WHY. Occasionally, this thought is followed Oh yeah, mister? I wonder what you would do if I kissed you right here right now. She likes to think he would faint. It's a thought that keeps her smiling even on days with the gnarliest of vision headaches.

Not that it's, like, a recurring fantasy of hers or anything. Please. Have you not met her? Remember that thing about standards? Yeah, that counts even in the buried depths of her imagination, thank you very much. Except for, okay, that time involving

5. Buffy Summers. Like, simmer down, deludo-brain, it was one dream. And Dream Cordelia just wanted to see what the big fuss was about.