Xander stared at the vampire. “Alive? Since when? How?”
“Today. Have they called? I didn’t hear the phone ring.”
“Angel, I’m sure they’re all fine.” Fred pushed up her glasses.
“The Powers gave her back to us to help stop the end of the world, they wouldn’t just let her die again before the end of world. That wouldn’t make any sense. She said she had to help stop it. And she still has her demon powers. Plus, Gunn and Wesley are with her… and Buffy, everyone says she’s really strong.”
Willow stood up. Fred had said it again. “Demon powers?”
Fred blinked. “You didn’t know. I thought you did. We didn’t tell you? I guess not. Then again, why would we? It’s a family thing. Anyway, Cordy’s part demon.”
Xander flopped down on the couch. “Cordy came back from the dead as part demon?”
“Of course not, she was part demon before. Chose to be one for Angel, to keep the visions.”
“Cordelia Chase, Queen C, Miss Priss, hater of all things gross and demony, chose to be one for HIM- dead boy?” Xander pointed at the glowering vampire.
“Whoa, Zeppo, demons in the room, one that’s getting pretty pissed and it’s not moi.” Lorne rolled his eyes. “Though, now I can see why you cheated on the Princess, you have absolutely no powers of observation.”
Xander looked up finally noticing that Angel had stilled, his stance and expression definitely menacing- all directed towards him. “What did I say?”
“Like I said, can’t see what’s in front of your face. Angel cakes, don’t bother.”
Angel tore his eyes away from Xander. “It’s taking too long.” He growled.
Dawn went up to the vampire. “Angel, Buffy will be fine.” Biting her lip.
Angel stared at the teenager, not understanding. He started to speak and then stopped, noticing the young girl’s concern for her sister. “I’m sure she is.” Angel said, going back to stand by Fred and Lorne. “She better be,” he growled.
“Why do I NOT think he’s growling over any worry about Buffy,” Xander whispered to Willow.
“Because, he’s not.” Willow sighed.
“This don’t look cool.” Gunn slouched his large frame further behind the boulder.
“Gee, what demon orgy does?” Cordy whispered.
Gunn glanced over to the young woman; her eyes were fixed on the tableau before them.
“That don’t look like any orgy that I…”
Cordy shot a look over to the black man
“That I’ve heard of, was what I was going to say.”
“Umhm, hidden past there, Gunn? What would Fred think?” her hazel eye’s twinkling under arched brows.
Gunn rolled his eyes, but he wasn’t annoyed. Cordy could tease all she wanted. It was much better than her earlier silence and aloofness. It was almost normal.
“The main event hasn’t started yet.” Cordelia turned quickly away from Gunn’s grin and pointed to the naked man and woman chained to the wall, the woman’s head and hands were covered with a dark material. The male obviously human, the female- humanoid in form, but her skin was a dark gold tone. “Meet, mom and one of the dads.”
“Mom ain’t human and what do you mean one of the dads?”
Cordy pointed, “Vision says dad number two- the creepy demon with no face leading the audience of other creeps.”
Gunn stared at the large robed figure at the alter leading similar beings in a chant; all together there was about a dozen. Black hooded garments covered each demon’s frame and head, but where Gunn expected to see a face of some sort he saw nothing but a black vortex.
“What the hell, what are they?“ Gunn shivered, looking at that swirling empty vacuum instead of a face was unnerving. Gunn could feel the malevolence of the beings grasping at his lungs and chest.
Again, Cordy shrugged. “That’s Wesley’s area, I only see and report. And my report is those are some scary whatevers, not your typical gross demony type, but definitely creepy.”
“Yeah. Daddy number 1 and mommy don’t look overly thrilled at being here.“ Gunn forced himself to look away from the robed figures and towards the struggling couple straining against their chains. “Where’s the kid that’s supposed to be sacrificed?”
Cordelia shrugged. “In the vision, mommy was pregnant, daddy #2 delivers the baby by bloody cesarean. Daddy #1 was already gutted.”
“You get some damn pretty sights, don’t you?”
Again, Cordelia shrugged. “Perks of the trade. Gunn, look.”
The faceless leader raised a bony hand, a flash of swirling fire and darkness appeared encompassing the bound couple, just as suddenly it was gone.
“Okay, not the standard safe sex.” Gunn eyes widened as the woman’s body now showed definite signs of pregnancy- nine months worth. Several of the demons had grabbed the woman dragging her to the alter as others moved towards the collapsed young man, sharp sickle like weapons in their skeleton hands.
“Gun, now.” Cordelia leapt up from her hiding place.
Buffy looked back in the direction that Gunn and Cordy ran. “I should be saving the victim, not going on a scavenger hunt.”
“Buffy, if Cordy says that the object is important than it is.”
“More important than the victim?”
“Yes.” Wesley didn’t even look back.
Buffy stood the doubts clear on her face. She couldn’t let go of her memories of the utter incompetence of both Cordelia and Wesley, she didn’t know if she could trust them not to get the victim or anybody else killed. She shook her head.
Obviously, both had changed during their time in LA, she just might have to accept it. But it was hard to forget her high school impressions. Buffy tried to be objective, Angel must have trusted Cordelia and also in Wesley- at least before the former watcher betrayed him. Buffy did have faith in the vampire. She ran after Wesley.
Buffy reached the former watcher’s side immediately, pulling his arm, gesturing him to remain still. She mouthed, ‘I heard something,” and pointed.
Wesley nodded and moved slower, Buffy now taking the lead.
“Okay, what is it and where’s its face?” Buffy pushed Wesley against the cave wall.
Wesley peered over the slayer’s head. “I have no idea. But it’s performing a ritual and I would venture a guess the talisman in the fellow’s hand is the disc Cordy wants us to get. Also, it would be beneficial to get a sample of its blood.
“Blood? You did see its hands, right? Not much blood there.”
“Yes, but the body looks firm enough, though with the robes it’s difficult to tell. Buffy, I’m sensing an urgency in the chanting….I do wish I recognized the words. Ready?”
Okay, Buffy was really thinking she would have to readjust her opinion. Wesley wasn’t running away screaming like a girl, but moving forward with determination and confidence.
Well, there was only one of them. “I kick low, you grab.” She said running, lunching herself at the being.
“It’s a plan.” Wesley followed.
The demon fell back with a wail as Buffy’s foot plunged into its stomach. Wesley ran snatching the disc from its flailing arm.
“That was easy.” Buffy said kicking at the body again. She was pleased that her blows were falling on firm flesh and causing damage.
“I’ve learned that nothing is that easy. Buffy.” Wesley turned slowly in a semi circle.
The slayer jerked her head up following Wesley’s gaze. “This isn’t good is it?” Dark swirling bursts appeared in the air, twirling until they formed into more beings, each holding a weapon of a very sharp nature.
“Interesting.” Wesley lifted his axe.
“Interesting? That we’re being surrounded? That’s not interesting.”
“I disagree. The manner of their appearing is interesting.”
“No it’s not, it’s just freaky.” Buffy turned trying to target where each being was forming. Buffy looked at the axe in Wesley’s hand. “You do know how to use that, right?” Buffy couldn’t help but remember Wesley’s fumbling attempts to handle a weapon during a real battle. He had been very dangerous – to those he was supposed to have been helping.
“I’ve been practicing a little. I suggest we get on with this.” Wesley shoved the disc in his pocket and charged, axe swinging.
Buffy blinked, Wesley was definitely not running and screaming like a girl. Buffy swung, twisting her body in the air landing a fierce kick on an approaching demon’s empty hole of a face, grabbing its weapon as the demon fell.
Buffy spared a glance at Wesley as she sliced into another demon. The former watcher was engaged in his own battle with two demons. He was good. Buffy looked around as she kicked and stabbed, but it may not be enough. For every demon they killed another one appeared within a mini vortex. Buffy really wished Cordelia could have had this particular vision at night. Angel would’ve been really helpful right now. Buffy continued to fight.
Cordelia ran to the demons dragging the young woman. She swung her sword decapitating the nearest. Cordelia grumbled as she felt the splattered blood and goo land on her shirt. Great, she didn’t have any other clothes. This was just too typical for words. Cordelia grunted and swung some more, pulling the bound woman behind her. Once the immediate demons were dead, Cordelia knelt removing the cloth from the female’s head “Are you all right? Nevermind, run.”
Cordelia stood as more demons swirled into the cave. “Gunn.”
“I’m noticing.” Gunn grunted smashing the last metal link that held the young man to the wall. “Get the hell outta of here.” The young man just stared at that black man, his eyes large saucers. He wasn’t moving.
“Damn’t, dawg.” Gunn waved a hand in front of the released man’s face. “Shit, he’s in shock.” Gunn picked the man up and tossed him as far as he could away from the emerging demons. “Run, damn’t.” Gunn yelled at the slumped figure.
“Forget him, they seemed more interested in us and her.” Cordelia glanced at the female demon. “Run.” She urged.
“Hands, release my hands, hurry.”
“What?” Cordelia leaned in then suddenly swirled catching an approaching demon by its throat. She stilled as a familiar surge built up in her hand. “Eyes closed.” She warned as her body was engulfed in a bright light, radiating from within exploding outward in a great flash.
“Okay, what the hell was that?” Buffy yelled as a bright flare encompassed the cavern, cleansing the area of all of the attacking demons.
Wesley adjusted his glasses. “That would be Cordy, I presume.” Wesley never had the opportunity to see Cordelia’s new demon power. But in one of his rare trips to Caritas, Lorne had described it. “Come on.”
“Cordelia, did that? How?”
“I’m not sure she even knows. Her demon powers hadn’t fully developed before she…before she died.” Wesley blinked back the memory of Cordelia dead on the ground, the knife embedded in her chest.
Buffy stopped. She had assumed that Cordelia meant the visions when she said ‘demonizing powers’, not that she had ‘demon’ powers. Did that mean she was a demon? Angel never mentioned that. Buffy was beginning to feel an urgent need to talk to the vampire.
There was a lot that he left out about ‘his best friend’ and it was time she found out everything.
“Damn, girl. You couldn’t have done that sooner.” Gunn scrambled up from his crouch. The cave was empty of all the cloaked demons.
“Hey, don’t yell at me. It doesn’t always work on call. It mostly just happens. But, hey, cool, uh.” Cordelia said. “Are you hurt?”
“Bruises, nothing that TLC from my girl won’t take care of. You?”
“Fine, no TLC needed.”
“Too bad, Angel would’ve…”
“Gunn, shut up. Hey, where’s your saved victim.”
“Finally ran I guess.” Gunn shrugged limping and rubbing his shoulder towards Cordelia and the female demon.
“Who are you?”
Cordelia turned around to face the female demon. “I…” Cordelia’s eyes widened and her voice broke. “Oh my god, your baby, I… Oh god,” her eyes clenched shut against the evidence of what she had done, her arms hugging her body tight. The demon stood no longer pregnant.
The demon held out her bound hands touching Cordelia. “It wasn’t my baby. You purged me of the evil the Drakkus put there. You didn’t kill anything. Don’t feel pain over it.”
“It was a baby, I saw it. I killed…”
“No. It was a tool, nothing more and it was evil. It had no life, just blood, believe me, please and thank you.” The appreciation in the young demon’s eyes was boarding on hero worship.
“Drakkus? You know what those things were? And not to be rude or get personal or anything but what are you, you ain’t one of them, you have a face.” Gunn stepped up draping his coat over her naked body. The female demon definitely had a face, actually a very pretty one supplied with a set of big bright green eyes, a pert nose, pouty lips covering some very straight pearly whites.
“Thank you.” The young woman smiled at Gunn, trying to pull the coat further around her body. “My hands, please.”
“Sorry.” Cordy quickly untied the material that had covered the demon’s hands binding them together in one big mitten.
“Cordy, Gunn.” Wesley came running in.
Gunn nodded. “She’s fine, we both are, you?”
Wesley stopped and stared trying to judge Gunn’s question. He slowly nodded as he came to the conclusion that the black man was sincere.
“Yes, Cordy’s power manifested itself at an opportune time. The demons…”
“Drakkus- were popping in through swirly black holes.” Gunn nodded.
“Drakkus? I’m unfamiliar with that species of demon. How did you know?” Wesley straightened looking somewhat annoyed.
“That’s because they aren’t of this dimension.” The young demon commented.
“Great.” Cordelia scrunched up her nose. “They’d be from a hell dimension wouldn’t they, Geez, how many of them are there.” She shook her head.
The young demon scrunched up her nose. “I don’t know.”
“Hmmph. Well, lets get you some clothes and you can tell us what you do know, got to be more than us.” Cordelia smiled. The demon girl couldn’t be much older than eighteen or the equilivant in human years.
“Wait,” the young demon pulled at Cordelia’s arm. “What are you?”
“Oh, sorry, my name’s Cordelia, yours?”
“No, What are you? You aren’t a Glisterain. You’re human or mostly, but you have our power. What are you?”
Cordelia blinked. “Uh.”
“The light.” The young demon raised her hands; a glow formed brightening her body radiating heat and light, her feet floating off the ground.
Wesley stepped forward. “I’m also unfamiliar with what type of demon you are.”
“That’s because I come from Drakkus also.” She turned back to Cordelia. “What…”
“Hmmph. I got zapped with hell dimension demon DNA, figures.” She shook her head and studied the young demon. The gold was kinda of pretty, better than green and she didn’t have horns or a tail, not ugly or gross at all. Cordelia shook her head and sighed. “I’m… we’re not sure…But, my name is Cordy, you are…”
“Uhuh, how about Crystal or Chrissie?” Cordelia smiled hopefully.
The young demon smiled back. “Crystal’s okay.”
“Well, come on then Crystal. You need some clothes.”
Cordelia stalled and shot a look to Wesley and Gunn. “Please tell me that I didn’t hear what I thought I heard.”
Buffy cleared her throat. “If you heard static sparks and the ripping of air showing swirling blackness, then you heard, if not, you didn’t hear anything.”
Cordelia turned. They all stared as small cuts and tears were ripped into the fabric of the atmosphere. “More Drakkus on the way?”
Crystal bit her lip. “No, not yet, but the spell was started- the vortex was formed. I kind of hoped it was stopped, but it doesn’t look like it. This is bad. But, we have time, I’m just not sure how much, though.”
“Wesley, you’re the demon and dimension expert.” Cordy questioned. “Time for some expert like wisdom.”
“Of course. Crystal, what’s happening?”
“I could’ve done that.” Cordelia scrunched up her face.
“Yes, but you didn’t hence the reason I’m the expert. To get the answer one must know the questions to ask and where to ask them.” Wesley said smugly.
Cordelia narrowed her eyes. “Pfft, kiss my Glistering ass.”
Gunn laughed. Things were really almost normal, right down to the weird unknown shit.
“Very well said, Cordelia, very mature.” Wesley smirked.
“Buffy,” Wesley said still smiling, “did Giles leave any of his texts, I may need more than I brought with me.”
“At the Magic Shoppe.” Buffy shifted uncomfortably on her feet. Nobody asked if she was all right. Sure, she was fine, not an injury on her, but she could’ve been hurt. She had begun to wonder if they even realized that she was still there.
They didn’t seem to get that this was Sunnydale, not LA. This was her town. It was her apocalypse.
“Good, I suggest that we return there, hopefully, Crystal will be able to give us the information we need to devise a plan to stop whatever is happening. Gunn, please call Angel, I’ll need Fred and her computer.”
“Willow does the computer work,” Buffy said, asserting her opinion.
“No one beats my girl on the those, she’s a hellcat.” Gunn flipped open his cell phone.
“I’m sure Willow can be of some help to Fred, if she needs it. I seem to remember Willow was getting quite proficient with computers in high school.”
“Proficient! Willow’s awesome on the computer. She has her own lap top.” Buffy yelled, but Wesley had moved on and no one else was listening.
“Hey, Gunn, tell Fred we need clothes for Crystal.” Cordy called and then turned to the demon. “Don’t worry, I’ll make Wesley wait until you’re fully clothed and comfortable before he dissects your brain.”
“Uh.” Crystal’s bright green eyes blinked.
“Kidding, Geez.” Cordelia smiled. “Though, he may bore you to death.”
“I knew you were kidding,” the pretty demon smiled back at the brunette and moved to follow the others.
Wesley stopped going back to a still motionless Cordelia. “Cordy, what is it, another vision?”
Cordelia’s gaze followed Crystal. “No. She’s nice, isn’t she?”
“Crystal? We don’t know anything about her.”
Cordelia chewed on her lip and nodded, her feet slowly moving towards the exit of the cave.
“Nothing. Come on, we have a world to save from swirly black voids.”
Cordelia sighed as she followed her friends out. Well, Skip was right. He said she would know and she did. Cordelia found her replacement.
It was really going to happen, she was going to die again. Cordelia had almost forgotten.