Title: There is No End
Posted here: 05/2004
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Please ask
Notes: Hi. This is my first Angel/Cordelia story ever and it’s an AU. Some things will be very different but other things won’t be. Also it’s starts as an Angel/Buffy crossover. Everything on Buffy happens as is up to the end of Season Five and Buffy will stay dead. As for the Angel verse. Cordelia and Angel never met up in L.A. so her life is completely different and Angel’s life is close to the same but he has no seer because when Doyle dies Cordy wasn’t there. Only other huge change I feel I should mention is Faith is in Sunnydale, she went back with Buffy instead of going to jail after Angel helps her.
Cordelia woke up wired, from an unknown energy, in the arms of her boyfriend, Alec. They were tangled together their bodies entwined from the sex that come before sleep, and it made Cordelia hot. Uncomfortably hot and she felt suffocated from the weight of his body. She moved without any care that she may wake him up, she didn’t care if he did or didn’t, not that it mattered. A banshee could scream directly in his ear and he’d stay asleep. Out of the bed, Cordelia quickly got dressed, grabbed her purse and left the apartment, not once pausing or looking back at the sleeping form of Alec.
She frowned as she stepped out of the apartment, it wasn’t cool enough outside to cool her off. But there was no use wishing that California weather be colder for her and out of habit she checked the time. Her watched said 3 a.m.. She cursed under her breath at herself and wondered for the briefest of moments why she hadn’t just stayed in Alec’s bed. Then she remembered she woken up wide-awake, wired by something inside of her and way too hot. It had happened before and the only cure she knew was to sleep in her own bed.
It would only be a few hours, before she had to wake up and go to her job, but it would be time in her own home, in her own space. Where the restless heat wouldn’t fade and she’d feel like herself again. Cordelia’s nose wrinkled, one second of doubt flickered through her mind but she pushed it away. It would work; it always did didn’t it? She focused on the walk to the parking garage, and held her purse close but ready to open. Her senses aware of anything out of the ordinary just in case she ran into someone, or something, dangerous.
She didn’t breath easily until she was home. Her apartment wasn’t as large as Alec’s and it wasn’t in an upscale neighborhood but it was her place. Within seconds she stripped down and curled onto her bed loving the coolness of the sheets. No thoughts, she told herself burrowing her head into her pillow, no thoughts, just sleep.
The morning was bright and Cordelia woke up, slowly and with a purposeful smile on her face. A brand new day, she said to herself out of habit as she showered, dressed and then gathered the clothes and jewelry she’d left on the floor to put away. It was when she walked into her kitchen to grab her morning coffee that Cordelia noticed the blinking on her answering machine. She grinned with instant giddy-anticipation and with well-trained optimism she thought, ‘it’s a job, or an audition, either way it’s good news’ and pushed play. As the tape rewound she started to sugar her coffee and forced herself not to hope too hard that it was about the part in a sitcom she’d had a second audition for.
Cordelia… you aren’t home are you?
Willow? Willow Rosenberg from Sunnydale. The high school’s bookworm who had no taste in clothes and had turned out to be a witch. The girl Cordelia would always in the back of her mind think of as the other woman? Willow? Willow who was both her enemy and her friend. On her answering machine? Cordelia felt panic start to roll through her, Willow would never call her unless…
You aren’t picking up…I guess you aren’t home… I just thought…I can’t say it…she’s…I thought you should know…I thought you should know that she…
Willow’s voice broke and turned into a loud squawk that made Cordelia jump. The sudden sob startling her. She’d been listening intensely hoping for news that would make Willow’s drama seem ridiculous. But the sob cut through her pretense and Cordelia glared at her answering machine daring Willow’s recorded voice to continue. Because she had to know, she had to hear it…but she didn’t want to believe it.
It happened doing what she did…Buffy…Buffy’s gone Cordelia. Call her house if you want to…we’re staying there with Dawn.
And then came the click of Willow hanging up and the sound resounded in Cordelia’s ears. The message had finished. And it had told her that Buffy Summers was dead.
Buffy. The girl who saved the world. The girl who was neither friend nor enemy; and yet in some way had been both. Someone who’d saved her life. Someone who she’d fought with and fought against. Buffy who was annoying, bitchy and a hero. The Slayer. The Slayer had died. Doing what she did? Cordelia felt dizzy and realized she wasn’t breathing and let out a breath and a sob came with it. Shock filled her at the sound and the tears that joined it, stinging her eyes and burning her cheeks. She shook herself; she shook her head. No.
There had been no mention of death. No mention of dying. Willow hadn’t made it clear; Cordelia told herself as she picked up her phone and dialed a number she’d thought long forgotten.
Cordelia felt more panicked at the sound of the voice. She knew who it belonged too but couldn’t place it and she needed to talk to someone she knew. Willow, Giles, hell even Xander. “Who is this?”
“Who is this?” The woman on the other end shot back.
“Oh. It’s Faith,” her voice softened from uncertainty. “Do you want Willow or Giles?”
Fear and confusion gripped Cordelia; why Faith was answering the phone? But she shook herself, it didn’t matter, they didn’t matter, none of them. Well this call mattered because she wanted to find out she had misunderstood Willow. She’d find out for sure and then she could forget about them all, again. “Willow. Get me Willow,” she ordered.
There was no answer but Cordelia heard the phone being put down and soon after Willow’s voice was in her ear. “Cordelia?”
“What did that message mean?” Cordelia snapped wishing she had felt relief at the sound of Willow’s voice. But it sounded so far away, so pained that she started to fear that she hadn’t misunderstood anything.
“She’s…” Willow broke off. “I can’t…”
And she hadn’t misunderstood, or assumed anything. It was true. Buffy was dead. It was true. “It’s true,” she whispered into the phone. “Oh, God.”
“She didn’t want… much. We are,” Willow’s voice broke and she took a moment to compose herself. “ We’re burying her tomorrow morning…Hope Field Cemetery. Near her mother. She didn’t want anything but if you want to come down…”
“I don’t think…but, I’m so sorry Willow…” Cordelia winced at her words, that didn’t seem the thing to say at all. But what was the thing to say? What was she supposed to do? Go there? To Sunnydale. No, no way. “I can’t come, I mean I have…”
“I understand. I just thought…” Willow trailed off.
“Thank you. For telling me. For letting me know.”
“You knew who she was,” Willow said.
“Bye,” Cordelia said, hanging up quickly.
Buffy was dead. It was the death of a hero but she’d deal with it. Her life would go on. This didn’t change her life. It was just bad news about someone from her past. Buffy’s death, though sad, didn’t mean that Cordelia had to react to it by driving to Sunnydale. Cordelia’s life had no room in it for her to drive to Sunnydale. It hadn’t been her life that had ended.
Cordelia flashed a smile as she hurried into the office of Whitney-Roberts Interior Design Firm where she worked as a glorified office assistant, at least that was Cordelia’s term for her job. The other glorified office assistant looked up from her desk and immediately asked. “Why are you so late?”
“Someone died,” Cordelia explained without thought and she sat down, booted up her computer and started to sort through the pile of things that were already on her desk. “She very mad?”
“She seemed too distracted to be…wait! What? Someone died? Cor, are you all right?”
“As always,” Cordelia looked up and grinned. “Lisa, really it was just a death of an old friend – we weren’t all that close – and I’m fine.”
“From that small town you are from? Sundell?”
“Sunnydale, and yeah, someone from there,” Cordelia said and she started to arrange the things on her desk in order of priority for the day, praying there would be enough to do to keep her busy until six.
“What?” Cordelia looked up and stared at Lisa. “We should work, aren’t I in enough trouble?”
Cordelia could feel Lisa’s eyes on her, full of sincere concern, and not at all like the people Cordelia actually called her friends. She never called Lisa a friend but she probably was her only real friend in Los Angeles. And was the only person Cordelia knew she could count on if needed – except to let her drop the subject of friend’s death. Cordelia cursed the short circuit she seemed to have in her brain that made her say things out loud without thinking and waited for the inevitable. She’d get the conversation done with and then she could forget all about Sunnydale, and everything that came with it.
“Her name is, oops, was Buffy. Buffy Summers.”
“Buffy?” Lisa asked, “Did her mother hate her?”
“Her mother loved her actually. Mrs. Summers was really nice,” Cordelia said, and she wanted to throttle herself. Reminiscing was not on her list of things to do, nothing regarding Sunnydale was on her list of things to do.
“And you weren’t close?”
“But you were friends?”
“Yes. We were,’ Cordelia said and her stomach knotted up and she closed her eyes not wanting Lisa to see her face the truth. Buffy was her friend. In ways that mattered more than all the ways they didn’t get along. Maybe they didn’t talk and maybe they’d never laughed for hours over nothing. But they’d faced things together, and they knew things about each other, and it was those things that made them friends. Odd friends, not close friends but friends nonetheless. “But not close. Haven’t talked to her since graduation.”
“Well, it’s good someone called you. Someone I was never very close with in school died and I didn’t find out until years later when I asked a mutual friend how she was doing. It was her best friend too, made her cry it was embarrassing and not at all fun.”
“I had to be told,” Cordelia heard herself say and then started busying herself by looking over a fabric order, once again trying to escape Lisa’s gaze and the conversation. She didn’t even know what that had meant, she just knew it was the truth. Willow had called her because everyone who had known Buffy had to know about her passing because, Cordelia furrowed her brow. It was there in her mind why Willow had even thought to tell her about Buffy’s death.
If she just thought on it long enough…Cordelia shook her head and took control of her thoughts again. She didn’t want to know, Sunnydale and all its baggage were out of her life. Buffy’s death was news and news didn’t change her life. It was simply news, bad news but news nonetheless and nothing more.
“Good thing they thought to tell you then…sometimes the people in the midst forget about people they don’t see.”
“It’s not that. They were thinking of her not me. I mean I’m probably one of the few that were called…” Cordelia groaned, wishing she didn’t like Lisa so much because then she wouldn’t be babbling on about something she wanted to put behind her as soon as possible. “It’s that Buffy, annoying as she was, was special.”
“Can we not talk about it?” Cordelia begged, feeling desperate to stop the conversation. She couldn’t talk about Buffy’s death without wondering if her car could handle the trip to Sunnydale or if she should borrow Alec’s Mercedes. She was not going to Sunnydale. She wasn’t going to go… do what? Watch them put a hero into the ground? She shuddered at the thought and there was not going to be a wake or anything, Willow had said they weren’t doing anything but a funeral. And she wasn’t going to go there and look at everyone’s red eyes or just stare at a tomb. It was depressing, and plus it had nothing whatsoever to do with her.
“Of course,” Lisa smiled and turned back to her own work and Cordelia thanked God and started to focus on the work she had to do. She had a life to lead, work to do, auditions to ready herself, an acting class, people to charm and a boyfriend to keep. The last thing she needed was to make a depressing trip to a woman’s grave. It didn’t matter that she’d admired Buffy as much as she wanted to bitch-slap her, going back to Sunnydale wasn’t an option.
“You want to borrow my car?”
Cordelia nodded, afraid to speak, afraid that if she said anything out loud she’d remember her promises to herself and that a certain blonde’s death didn’t mean she owed her anything. And she didn’t, Cordelia thought now, she’d always thanked Buffy for saving her life, or whoever else had done it and she’d helped save the world more than once, yet there she was standing in her boyfriend’s bedroom, fiddling with the strap of her purse persuading him to loan her his car. “Yes,” she gave her widest and most charming smile. “The Mercedes is such a smoother ride and it’s in better condition than my silly car.”
“If you’d just let me buy you a…”
“Could we not have that argument now?” Cordelia forced herself to continuing with the persuasive smile and stepped forward, dropping her purse on the bed and grabbing Alec’s hands. “Please? I really have to take this trip.”
“Why? I mean where are you going?”
“It’s just for a few days,” Cordelia said, her mind racing for a story, she couldn’t tell him the truth. He’d start asking questions because whenever he had heard her talk about Sunnydale it’d been to swear it off like it was hell itself. Not that that was far from the truth, she thought.
“I don’t know…maybe I should take some time off and go with you,” Alec wondered out loud. “You did say you were going alone.”
Cordelia wanted to scream, the last thing she needed was Alec tagging along and all the questions it would raise but not only that she didn’t even want to see Willow, Xander, Giles or the town itself. She wasn’t even sure why she’d decided to do this. She’d spent a day telling herself she wasn’t going to drive down there.
The funeral had been taking place as she got ready for work and went in and pretended that the design ideas her boss took credit for hadn’t been her own. But here she was, searching for things to tell Alec, so she could take his Mercedes and start toward Sunnydale. The last place she wanted to be but was going to drive too anyway. No matter what. Mercedes or not.
“You can’t come. I’m meeting some girlfriends. Some girls who graduated from the acting class I take. They are doing this play at some small college. It’s a girly gathering of solidarity. You’d be bored and you know how my car makes all those noises which your car doesn’t…”
“Okay. Okay. You can take the car.”
Cordelia squealed, the sound of absolute glee shocking her but not more than that she was happy to finally be able to leave. She’d already packed; she’d already loaded the car before coming up and asking. She hugged him and took the keys that he’d pulled out of his pocket and handed to her. “Thank you, thank you!” She exclaimed and gave him a quick kiss.
“Whoa, wait, Cor, you are leaving now?”
Cordelia didn’t even turn her head, “Sun’s setting soon, I’m already late I got to get moving. I’ll call.”
“Love you too.”
For about an hour the odd feeling of giddy relief stayed with Cordelia, as she drove the car towards a place she had left without ever looking back. She didn’t miss Sunnydale, and she’d barely given Buffy, Willow, Xander or anyone else from her past a second thought. She and Aura had kept in touch at first but soon they’d lost contact and neither had tried to reestablish it. She had gone to Los Angeles intent on not letting the fact she couldn’t go to college get her down, intent to prove that she had never needed her trust fund or money to get by and that she could take care of herself.
Sure her job sucked mostly because they used her ideas without giving her credit or bonuses, and maybe she wasn’t a star yet but she loved her acting classes and she was getting more and more auditions. The people who needed to know who she was knew the name Cordelia Chase, or was starting to learn it, things were going well. Also there was Alec. Rich, young, good –looking and he would buy her a elephant if she wanted him too. He wanted to take care of her and it was only a matter of time until he asked her to marry him, complete with a ring as big as her smile, she was sure of it.
There was no reason to return to Sunnydale, even taking Buffy’s death into consideration. No reason at all. Yet, there she was on the road at night, driving toward the very place she didn’t want to be and didn’t need to be. And she really didn’t know why. It had something to with Buffy, or rather who Buffy had been, someone who saved the world.
Cordelia had seen that right away, the importance, it was why she gave Buffy the time of day as person and not just as pretty competition – her only Sunnydale competition. It was why she’d found herself wrapped up in the supernatural and usually world-ending crises that arouse, working with Xander, Giles, and Willow. It was why when Xander had broken her heart she hadn’t ended up completely away from it all and had been able to help unite the school against the mayor.
The only problem was she’d never really understood why. Why it mattered to her that the world was being saved, that monsters were real…she’d seen her high school friends outside of the Scooby circle forget and rationalize. She’d watched Aura and others do it after Graduation. To them all that had happened was that there had been a bad fire that singed the diplomas.
It’d been enough for them, they didn’t want to know about Vampires, or Zombies, or Hellmouthy-weirdness. Cordelia after all she’d seen the first year Buffy had been in Sunnydale hadn’t been able to forget that Vampires existed, and that the Hellmouth was underneath.
And even years later in Los Angeles she’d kept her eyes open for the things no one else saw. It was because she knew too much not to, that was what she’d told herself and it’d proven to be smart. Cordelia hit the accelerator harder as she remembered that because she carried a cross, stake and holy water in her purse she’d been able to save her friends’ lives.
Two different friends; two different memories but both similar experiences. And both women had forgotten what they’d seen and rationalized the situation. Cordelia had been thanked for scaring off muggers. The reality had been she’d scared off one vampire with the cross and mentioning Buffy. The other time she’d somehow gotten lucky enough to stake the vampire before he bit her instead of her friend. Luck had been with her both times; she knew it because it’d been lucky both of the vampires had been alone.
Yet she’d been able to make those two occasions faded memories of her first year in Los Angeles. She created a monster-free, Sunnydale free existence for herself and she’d vowed to never look back. To never go back because Sunnydale had held nothing for her. Now she wasn’t only going to Sunnydale, she was remembering vividly the faded memories of two vampires that had painfully reminded of one of the reasons she’d left.
Cordelia frowned, “Stop thinking about stuff you don’t want to think about. Just do whatever craziness Buffy’s death has put in your head and get back to your regularly scheduled life,” she muttered to herself. Then the car lurched out of her control and she realized one of the tires had gone flat. “Perfect. Buffy, why did I let your death do this to me!”
Cordelia groaned as she turned off the car, she was on the side of an empty barely traveled highway toward Sunnydale in the early and dark hours of morning. “This is just perfect. You never did anything but make my life suck!” she yelled to the sky where she pictured Buffy looking down at her laughing her blonde butt off.
Getting out of the car Cordelia found the tire that had blown and she growled, “I knew, I knew I should have learned how to change a tire. On the list of things to learn but did I get to it?” She pulled out her cell phone and groaned realizing it had no signal. “Well, of course,” she muttered.
Then she heard a car and her heart stopped for a second and then sped up, she felt her stomach knot. Did she hope it stopped or that it passed her by? Did she go show some leg, she was wearing a skirt? Or did she grab her spray can of mace and the spray-bottle of holy water? The headlights grew closer and Cordelia dug into her purse and started looking for the mace and the holy water. This close to Sunnydale a vampire was probably more likely than a rapist or a serial killer but she believed in covering her bets. Searching she glanced up, hoping the car would pass her but instead it pulled over and parked behind her car. She prayed it was a Good Samaritan but kept searching through her bag and finally wrapped her hands around her mace. It was better than nothing she thought.
“Do need…help?” a man asked her from the other side of the car.
Cordelia took a breath, readied the mace in her hand and looked up over the car and felt her eyes pop out of her head. “Angel?”
“Are you evil?”
“Are you sure?”
Cordelia breathed out in relief. “Thank God! Because I so need help.”