Title: Girlfriend in a Coma
Author: Ficbitch82 – aka Christie
Content: Some elements of Cordelia/Angel, Cordelia/Buffy friendship…ish
Summary: Cordelia astral projects herself out of her coma and right into… Rome? (What? It’s not like I had a map!)
Spoilers: All the way up to S5 of Angel and S7 of Buffy.
Disclaimer: The characters here belong to Mr. Asshat–Sorry, Mr. Whedon and Fox/The WB/UPN. I don’t own, I’m just borrowing for my own purposes.
Distribution: Just ask first. :o)
Notes: Unbeta-ed and the first piece of fanfic I’ve wrote in aaaaages.
Feedback: Does Angel have fangs? :p
“I can stay on my own, Dawnie,” Buffy reminded her sister, “Slayer, remember?”
“Retired.” Dawn pointed out, “And I’m not saying you’re incapable… I’m just saying you haven’t been on your own since–“
Her voice tapered off and Buffy’s fingers flexed around the phone cord, slightly annoyed at the things people wouldn’t say these days. Since Sunnydale. Since the Giant Crater that was our hometown. Since Spike... “I’m fine, Dawn,” she insisted, managing to curb the note of irritation in her voice, “Just… Be careful. And have a good time. And call me if you need anything…” She heard the click from Dawn’s end and replaced the receiver with a sigh, turning to face an empty sitting room.
Dawn was right. Six months since Sunnydale and she hadn’t spent a night alone. There’d always been someone there – Andrew, Willow, Dawn, Kennedy – each of whom had an elsewhere to be that night.
She’d planned a night of pampering. She’d planned a night of movie watching and popcorn eating and getting so unbelievably bloated on junk food that she couldn’t even think about stretching on her sofa, let alone move.
Dawn’s hinting towards Spike had soured her mood somewhat. Most days, she was okay. Most days she wasn’t thinking about that last conversation de-awkward down in a crumbling Hellmouth where she’d told Spike she’d loved him and he’d said no you don’t, but thanks for saying it.
Most days, Buffy was busy. It was the nights that were the worst.
Nights when Buffy, Queen of the Retired Slayers would go out and find something to fight just so she could exhaust herself and find sleep. Easier said than done when you had people watching you like a hawk. She sat down heavily on her sofa, poking at the snack she’d prepared earlier and squinting at the television guide, wondering what she could watch when the figure appeared in front of her.
Buffy blinked at first, too surprised to move as the thing took shape into someone she recognised. “Cordelia?”
“Nice place,” said the brunette, “Kinda bohemian-chic-disregards-anything-resembling-fashion-ever… Willow’s influence?”
Buffy’s eyes narrowed slightly, and she pinched herself, wondering if she were that exhausted that she’d dozed off already and envisioned Cordelia damning her decor choices, “Aren’t you in a coma?”
Cordelia’s mouth twitched in exasperation and though she was more go-throughable than not, Buffy noted a measure of sadness in her eyes. “That’s my official status these days,” she nodded, “Not one I’m happy with but that’s life. So you’re inactive now, huh?”
“Retired,” Buffy corrected her immediately and then shook her head. She was even arguing with this version of Cordelia in her head. Great. “Am I dreaming?”
“God, I hope not,” Cordelia frowned, “You wouldn’t believe what it takes to astral project yourself into someone’s psyche. I need your help.”
“You astral projected yourself all the way to Rome?” Asked Buffy, unable to keep the disbelieving tone from her voice.
“Hey, I didn’t plan this,” Cordelia huffed, “Of all the people I thought would help me? You were way, way down the list. Well, okay,” she amended off Buffy’s look, “Sixth, maybe. Definitely further down than my friends, despite everything that happened last year. My point is that you help people. And you’ve helped me a few times in the past with varying degrees of success… I was sorta hoping you could do it again?”
So much for niceties, thought Buffy, blinking, “I’m inactive, remember? Retired? My saving the world days are over.”
Cordelia folded her arms across her chest, “And if it were as simple as that I’d be heading for the door right now but… It’s not. We both know it’s not.”
“Why are you here? Like you said, of all the people that would help you? I’m not exactly topping that list. And I figure Angel’s closer.”
The look on Cordelia’s face said it all. “Angel is closer,” she nodded. “A friggin’ continent closer. But I think–Wolfram and Hart are doing something to him, Buffy, to all of them. When I say that there are other people that can help me? What I really mean is that I’ve tried them. All of them. And it’s like… It’s like none of them are listening.”
Buffy frowned, ignoring the part where she was Cordelia’s last resort. “What do you mean? And who are Wolfram and Hart?”
Cordelia blinked, “You mean… You don’t know?”
Buffy frowned, “Know what?” She felt decidedly out of the loop here and she didn’t think she was liking the sound of where this was going to end up.
“Angel. Wolfram and Hart. The deal of a lifetime… He’s head of Hell Incorporated now. Literally.”