There is No End 4-5

Part 4

Cordelia hadn’t allowed herself to think once she started the car and she kept the promise to herself until she’d pushed the doorbell at the house. Willow had said ‘they’ were staying there with Dawn. For the first time since then Cordelia wondered who Willow had meant. The door swung open and there stood Faith her entire body language saying ‘I’m-the-dog-guard-and-ready-to-bite” rather than ‘Hi-I-live-here, welcome’.

“CC? Red said you weren’t going to show,” Faith said.

“Hi to you too, Faith. I went insane, and here I am.”

Faith stared her down and then stepped back. “Well then come…” then she stopped mid-sentence as her eyes focused on what was behind Cordelia on the street. Her expression became suspicious and she shot a glare at Cordelia. “That’s Angel’s ride.”

Cordelia looked back at the convertible, her eyes wide in shock and then quickly back to Faith. “He doesn’t want anyone to know he’s here,” she said quickly, his favor the first thing to pop into her mind.

“How the hell do you know he’s here?” Faith snapped.

“My car broke down on the road, he found me.”

Faith stared at Cordelia a smirk spread over her face. “You on the side of the road, helpless. Yeah, I can see it.”

“I was not helpless.”

“Whatever, CC.”

She walked into the house, and Cordelia stepped inside behind Faith. Cordelia’s mind started to whirl. Faith’s presence was bizarre but she was sure there were good reasons. Maybe she’d come to her senses after knocking herself into a coma. Part of Cordelia kept insisting she didn’t care about the story of why, while most of her realized she wished Faith hadn’t stopped her dog guard act.

Because she was inside now, which meant she had to face everyone and talk about death. Talk about Buffy. There would probably be hugging. And hugging was an intimate moment with people that had always left Cordelia feeling on edge, had her at her most defensive and it wasn’t a good feeling at all. A weight seemed to pull down all her limbs and she slowed down into a standstill.

Faith turned around and stared at Cordelia. “Red’s in the kitchen.”

That’s nice, Cordelia thought and suddenly she remembered she had a bag of clothes with her, of make-up. “I need to shower first, Faith.”

Faith eyebrows shot up but then she seemed to really look at Cordelia, and Cordelia braced herself for the inevitable insult. “You do look like shit, CC. Go on upstairs. I’ll just tell them you’re here.”

Them. Cordelia gulped and ran up the stairs.

***

Applying her lipstick Cordelia held her own gaze in the bathroom mirror and silently told herself that she could do this. She’d come all this way and dealt with flat tires and ick-infested mansion, she could do the grieving thing with Buffy’s family, friends, whatever they wanted to call themselves.

She’d made the stupid decision to do this because she felt like she needed to and Cordelia Chase didn’t not follow-through on the things she started. She decided something and she did it. She’d decided to move LA and now it was her home. She’d decided to become an actress and she’d had gotten jobs. She’d decided to land Alec as her boyfriend and they were in a committed relationship. She’d decided to return to Sunnyhell and deal with the weirdness Buffy’s death had churned up within her and she’d do it.

And then maybe the weirdness would go away. Cordelia smacked her lips together, put her lipstick into her make-up bag and shoved it into the bag where the clothes she slept were in all their wrinkly-glory. Open the door the bathroom, she nearly screamed in fright.

“Oh my God! Cordy,” Dawn said looking startled herself, “I didn’t mean to freak you out.”

“Didn’t mean to,” Cordelia muttered, looking Dawn in the face. “Then don’t lurk about the hallway.”

“Sorry, sorry, I just wanted to see you, I didn’t believe it when Faith said you were here.”

That makes two of us, Cordelia thought and then she realized that Dawn had grown at least a foot since the last time she’d seen her. “You’re so tall!”

Dawn smiled and then immediately broke out in tears. Cordelia felt a complete sense of panic hit her. This wasn’t at all good, this was beyond bad and how the hell had she made the kid cry, she’d just said she was tall.

“But you know it’s not like you’re a giant, you’re you know still pretty short just not as short as you were… you know you got bigger, not big, big…” Cordelia stammered and then suddenly, like she’d forgotten why she was here she realized she was being a fool. “This isn’t about your height is it?” She said more to herself than to Dawn and grabbing Dawn’s hand she pulled her into her own bedroom. By habit she grabbed a hairbrush off of Dawn’s bureau and sat behind her on the bed.

Odd memories of the million of times she had somehow gotten stuck with the babysitting duty. First it had been because it was Xander’s girlfriend, then even after they broke up and he couldn’t watch her due to whatever evil of the moment, Dawn would insist on her. It was because Cordelia would do her hair and let her put on her make-up. It was their secret. Their secret bonding ritual and Cordelia without thinking had pulled them both into something familiar, praying that it would stop the tears. She started to brush Dawn’s hair, noting how long it had grown but managed to bite her tongue before she said anything. The younger woman had calmed down even though tears were still rolling down her cheeks.

Cordelia focused on the brush, through the light brown hair, searching for something to say that didn’t sound empty, or strange. Nothing seemed right in her head. ‘I’m Sorry’, felt like something insincere and empty to really explain how she felt. She didn’t know what she felt except lost, confused and weird. But she didn’t want Dawn crying the entire time she was with her. She wasn’t going to stay long, she’d promised herself. In, out, deal with Buffy and back to L.A. That was the plan, she was sticking to it.

“I’m sorry,” Dawn whispered suddenly.

“Don’t be silly,” Cordelia chastised lightly. “You have nothing to be sorry for,” she explained, giving Dawn a small smile. “I think propriety declares I should say that, but I never got that term. Seems selfish really and since I’m selfish I know selfish. What does it have to do with me; it’s your…”

“She died for me. To save me. Did they tell you I was a Key?”

Cordelia rolled her eyes; she’d gotten the password-protected email Willow had sent her with top-secret Scooby Gang information. She’d wondered why Willow bothered, but had opened it anyway. And immediately not cared, memories were memories and she remembered Dawn. Didn’t much matter to her either way how they’d come to be. “It seemed like way too much to wrap my brain around so I decided to dismiss that information.”

“I’m not worth dying for.”

Cordelia felt her breath hitch and an odd anger surround her. “Don’t say that,” she dropped the brush on the bed and turned Dawn to face her. “Don’t ever say something so monumentally stupid, Dawn Summers. You are a Queen. You remember that?”

Dawn stared at Cordelia but started to nod. “You crowned me and everything. Said that I was the Queen of my whole world.”

“Yep. No one can put you down or dethrone you because you are the Queen. And shall always be.” Cordelia nodded.

Dawn sighed. “It was a game and it doesn’t make… Buffy, she…”

“Did what she had to do, Dawn.”

“Because she was the slayer.”

“Because she was your sister. She had to save you, slayer my ass, it was about saving her sister.”

Dawn grew quiet and started to shake her head. “But I’m not.”

“Yes you are.”

“I shouldn’t be, I should have jumped.”

“No!” Cordelia shook her head looking at the teenager, realizing she was holding Dawn’s face and that tears were hitting her hands. “Listen to me. You can’t do that what if, or say I should’ve…” Cordelia trailed off. “Dawn, I don’t have a clue how incomprehensible the pain is, or any idea what to say to make it better. But don’t say stupid things. Saying you weren’t worth it or stupid playing the stupid should-have game won’t make anything better.”

“I know but…”

“But what?” Cordelia huffed. “But I said stop it, and you want to go back to it after I leave fine but not in my presence. Now, I’m going to finish brushing your hair.”

Dawn sniffled but moved into the brush as Cordelia started to brush her hair again. “This is what I miss most about you being here.”

“Of course you do,” Cordelia said. “No one makes with the pretty like me.”

***

Dropping her bags into the convertible, so she didn’t have to carry them around the house or forget them later, Cordelia prayed to whoever was listening that the rest of her visit wasn’t as hard as seeing Dawn cry and blame herself. Cordelia swallowed over the lump in her throat and wondered why she’d felt so damn driven to do this to herself. Watch a teenager blame herself for her sister’s death. It was all wrong.

“You aren’t trying to avoid me are you?”

Cordelia tensed. She’d heard Xander call after her from the living room when she’d come down the stairs. She’d just pretended she hadn’t and hightailed it to the car. To put her stuff in it, at least that is what she decided when she found herself standing next to the driver’s side. Maybe she had been thinking of fleeing, she wasn’t sure, all she knew was she wasn’t going to. Apparently she didn’t have enough sense at the moment to do something that smart.

“Hi, Xander,” she said turning around and facing him.

“Hi,” he said.

And they stood, staring at each other, until someone Cordelia didn’t know appeared in the door of the house and yelled. “Tea and cookies are ready.”

“I’m there,” Xander shouted. “Thanks, Tara.”

“Girlfriend?” Cordelia asked, glancing at the house where Tara had been.

“Willow’s yes,” Xander said with a smirk. “Come on the tea is made by Giles himself.”

“Ooh,” Cordelia said.

“Oh and my girlfriend is in there and she’s….”

“I’m marrying him, Cordelia. And if you try to get him back I’ll find a way to wreck vengeance on you.”

Cordelia looked at the woman who’d met them just inside the house. She was pretty but had intense eyes that were glaring at her with a dare. And the dare was about Xander. Cordelia almost wanted to laugh.

“Shh, Anya, don’t say that we can’t tell them yet.”

“Wouldn’t it cheer everyone up?”

Anya. The name seemed familiar. “Oh, weren’t you new to Hellmouth the last year of class? You showed up, right after Xander and I broke up. I told you all sorts of things I wish would happen to him.”

Anya flinched. “And I couldn’t grant a single one, well I did grant one, but you did something there and made it so Giles could fix it. He broke my power center and human I became. And now I’m getting every human girl’s dream and you can’t have him.”

Cordelia stared at the woman. “Every human girl’s dream? Xander?”

“Um, Anya, honey why don’t you go tell everyone Cordy and I will be in, in a minute.”

Anya glared. “No Xander for you,” she said one more time to Cordelia before leaving the room.

Xander pulled Cordelia into the dinning room and gave her a half smile. “She’s a bit…”

“Wacky.” Cordelia suggested.

“Yeah.”

Cordelia swallowed and felt tense again. This was Xander and she didn’t know what to do or say. He was the first boy she’d been with she’d thought she might love. And maybe she had and it had ended so badly, yet he was Xander. He’d helped her buy her prom dress and kept her secret about her father. Well, until she left town anyway. Soon everyone else found out about her going from riches to rags. “I…don’t have a clue what to say about Buffy,” she finally blurted out.

“I’m surprised you’re here. I mean Wil said you said…”

“I couldn’t come for the funeral. That would have been…. I didn’t even really. I just had to come here for some lunatic-like reason, I guess.”

“Well, you know since you are feeling crazy, let me hug you?”

Hugs. Cordelia held back the urge to roll her eyes, she had known there would be hugs. But then again, hugging Dawn had felt nice before she left her room after saying goodbye. This was a drive-by-condolence call after all. “You better, Xander, I’m not going to be here all day.”

Xander stopped short before hugging her and met her eyes. “You really mean that don’t you? I really did hear you upstairs telling Dawn goodbye already?”

Uncomfortable didn’t begin to describe how she felt, Cordelia decided and she reached behind her and sat down with a thud in one of the dinning room chairs. Xander quickly sat down next to her and started to shake his head. “You can’t stand to talk about her for more than five seconds, even now, when she’s…dead.”

Cordelia heard the break in his voice and stubbornly kept her eyes locked with his brown. Even though they were accusing and betrayed. “What did you think Xander, I sit and listen to you all tell Buffy tales between the crying and blaming of yourselves?”

“There had to be another way… another way besides one of them having to die.” Xander ground out through his teeth. “And what is wrong with thinking that? With wanting to talk about her, and share. You knew her, Cordy. The hero she is.”

“Yeah, and maybe that’s why I’m here, because it sucks and it’s sad. And it got to me more than I ever expect. Hell, I cried. And I denied. And I got mad but then I remembered. Slayers are supposed to die and what does that change about my life.”

“And your life is all that matters, right Cordy? What about Buffy’s.”

“What about yours,” Cordelia snapped. All of them had wrapped their world around Buffy Summers and she knew it was too soon for them to not be grieving and thinking about her none stop but she had to wonder. Would they ever stop? Why had she wanted to step into this place of grief? And would she ever stop asking herself that question.

“She’s my best friend,” Xander whispered, voice breaking and brown eyes full of tears and Cordelia closed her eyes.

“I know. She was…well my friend. In a way. And special and brave. And a bitch.”

“Hey,” Xander said sharply.

Cordelia ignored his anger. “Deny it if you want Xander, Buffy wasn’t perfect and I call it like I know it. I’m not happy she’s dead, I’m not happy Dawn is blaming herself, that you are and I’m sure Willow and Giles are too. But it’s what it is and I think…” Cordelia trailed off and she sighed. “I don’t know what I think and do you know how irritating that is?”

“If it makes you shut up,” Xander said, wiping at his eyes with the back of his hand but his mouth had turned up a bit into a small smile.

Cordelia rolled her eyes at him but bit her tongue, figuring that in his grief Xander Harris deserved the last word. Then suddenly she was swallowed up by his arms and very aware suddenly that Dawn had not been the only one to grow while she was away. He was all broad and big, strong really, she felt like she was being hugged by a man, and the fact it was Xander Harris nearly fried her brain.

“I miss you, Cordy,” he whispered into her ear.

Her heart tightened and she squeezed him a bit, blurting out the truth. “I miss you too.”

Xander held on for a moment longer and then let her go and leaned back in the chair he was still sitting on. “So, bye?”

Cordelia nodded. “Yeah, bye.”

“Willow and Giles are both in the living room. I’m going out back, Anya will want to know.”

Cordelia watched him stand up and decided what the hell. “Xander?”

“Yeah?”

“Anya’s got herself one sexy man.”

The grin that got her was almost worth the madness of the trip, she thought for a moment but then Xander ruined it by pointing to the living room and saying Willow and Giles with his eyes. She looked away from him and down at her lap, once again reminding herself that Cordelia Chase didn’t quit.


Part 5

The living room wasn’t more than a few steps away, less than a minute of walking and she’d be in there facing Willow and Giles. Cordelia couldn’t move and she bit her cheek and focused on the slight sting of pain, willing her determination.

Two people left, two people left and then she could leave – the house, not Sunnydale she thought with fear. Talking to Willow and Giles wouldn’t signify the end, it was only two more stops on this crazy, un-thought trip brought on by Buffy’s dying. Grief? Was she really grieving, Buffy? Was that why she was acting so weird? Why she felt like she had to be here and nowhere else right now. Cordelia wanted to leave but she knew she couldn’t, and a part of her didn’t even want to – and that was what was so confusing.

She’d really thought Buffy, her watcher, and her scoobies hadn’t had an impact on her life. Yet here she was afraid, scared but certain of what she was doing, as insane as it made her feel. Cordelia started to walk and wondered if it was really possible to feel sure and uncertain simultaneously.

“Where is Xander?” Anya’s voice barked, the second Cordelia entered the living room.

“Outside.”

Anya smiled. “Remember…”

“No Xander for Cordelia. I know,” Cordelia reassured the strange woman and shook her head. “Geesh.”

“I need…I mean we…the tea is cold,” Willow babbled and she grabbed the teapot and ran out of the room.

“I’ll go help her, “ Tara said, following her girlfriend and giving Cordelia a small shy smile for a hello.

Cordelia returned the smile and then left it there on her face. A mask that she felt she needed as she let her eyes find Giles’ face. “Hi.”

“Cordelia.”

Cordelia shift her weight from foot to foot, mentally shook herself and then moved to the couch and sat down. Her eyes fell on the coffee table and all the cookies spread out on a plate. “That’s a lot of cookies.”

“Willow and Dawn keep making more,” Giles said and cleared his throat. “Cordelia?”

Cordelia looked away from the table and at him, felt his gaze on her and felt all the questions he had in them. And his grief, his confusion and that he really didn’t know what to say to her anymore than she had any clue what she wanted to say to him.

“I had to come. Not really sure why. I tried not to but then there I was driving and then here I was. I’m leaving right after I talk to Willow. I just… I had to come,” she babbled suddenly. “Buffy wasn’t really my friend, well she was but it was complicated by who we were. That was no secret. I guess I just needed to come and see everyone, say something. Not that there is anything to say but that I know you all miss her. More than me. It affects you all so much more than me and here I am intruding – again. Just like I always did in the library. The honorary Scooby who never really belonged.”

“You belonged Cordelia,” Giles said softly. “In your way you belonged. You helped, you kept things in perspective and they, I even, sometimes needed that. You kept her secrets.”

“No one would have believed me anyway,” Cordelia laughed. “Stupidity reigns supreme here in Sunnydale. Guess it’s really the only way to survive the Hellmouth though. Denial.”

“You kept it for far more better reasons than that,” Giles said and sighed. “Though, I am surprised to see you here.”

“Me too.”

Giles nodded. “Grief manifests itself in surprising ways sometimes.”

“Is that why I’m here?” Cordelia asked bluntly.

Giles straightened his posture and Cordelia realized she’d shocked him. He thought she was sad and grieving Buffy, as much as the rest of them. Was she? She didn’t even know. She knew she felt sad, she knew she felt that it was unfair that someone her age had been taken from life so soon. But she also knew that Buffy had been the Slayer. Wasn’t it right that she had died saving the world and better yet her sister? Why grieve something that had happened for what mattered?

“Yes.”

Cordelia gasped. Giles voice had been so sure and she blinked, realizing that tears were falling down her face. She hadn’t cried since listening to Willow’s message why was she crying now. He was right, Giles was right, damn it. She was grieving Buffy. Her stomach flipped on her due to the realization but confusion still screamed throughout her mind.

And then Giles hugged her. It was awkward, short and it made her feel better, stronger, more sure and okay in the fact that she could miss Buffy, that she could mourn for her. He pulled back as quickly as he had hugged her and handed her a handkerchief, which she wiped at her tears with and sniffled.

“I just totally ruined my make up.”

“I won’t tell a soul.”

Cordelia smiled and handed him back the handkerchief. “Thank you. For the truth.”

Giles smiled back at her. “Of course. Thank you for stopping by, Cordelia.”

“I’m going to tell Willow, I really don’t want any tea.” She stood up and steeled her spine. “Goodbye.”

Giles nodded. “I do hope to see you again.”

Cordelia nodded and smiled as she walked toward the kitchen. It would be nice to see Giles again but a part of her couldn’t help but think that she didn’t really want too. The circumstances would probably be just as bleak as the current situation and bleak was something she really didn’t want in her life. Bleak had been one of the things she’d left Sunnydale to get away from.

“Cordelia!” Willow exclaimed jumping out of her girlfriend’s arms.

“I don’t want any tea,” Cordelia said. “I mean, thanks for making it and all but…”

“I’ll leave you two alone.”

“You don’t have to!” Both Cordelia and Willow said to Tara.

Tara continued her retreat and gave a wise smile. “It’s Willow’s turn with you. I’m going to go check on Giles, then Dawn.”

Cordelia crossed her arms and uncomfortably glanced at Willow, who was looking just as uncomfortable. There was so much to cover and nothing really to say, at least that was what kept spinning through Cordelia’s mind. What could she say to Willow? Sorry about Buffy? Well duh, of course, it didn’t really cover anything and even though Cordelia realized she was in her own grieving process now. As weird and as foreign as it felt to her, she still didn’t know why she’d come here and suddenly she was facing the most important person in the house. Willow.

And who the hell had made Willow the most important? Cordelia asked herself and looked at her nails and realized with horror she needed to repaint her nails. “What is will all the chipping?” She muttered to herself.

“What?”

“The chipping. My nail polish.” She showed Willow her nails. “I didn’t pack any nail polish, or anything. God, I was so pathetic in my planning on this trip…”

“So, you did mean it. The not coming?” Willow blurted out.

“Oh. Yeah. I did. And I didn’t. Because well…”

“Well, obviously, there you are. I mean here you are and…”

“We are being sad. We are being lame, and frankly I’m tired of it,” Cordelia said and she took a deep breath. “Only, I really don’t know what to do. This isn’t the type of situation I really know how to deal with. Give me a guy to flirt with, or a fashion faux pas to fix and…”

“Well, how’s my outfit?” Willow suddenly said. “Maybe we can discuss the disaster that is me with clothes?”

Cordelia stepped back, as Willow moved closer to her and did a bit of a spin to show off the dress she was wearing. Cordelia raised an eyebrow and studied it closely, checked on Willow’s hair, make-up and felt a smile form on her face. “You know being a lesbian has totally helped your fashion sense. It’s a bit Renaissance Fair for me but it suits you, very wicca-y without being all black. I like the soft colors and your make-up – as in you wearing it – very nice. You’ve come such a long way from the Softer Side Sears jumpers you used to let your mom dress you in Wil? Is Tara doing the dressing now?”

“Wow. That was like 4 % compliment. Cordelia! You’ve grown as a person.”

Cordelia nodded. “And you have grown as a shopper. It’s all good.”

Willow nodded and her eyes grew big. “That was fun. I mean I laughed, I really laughed. Wow. It was… okay. It was actually okay to laugh.”

“Well, duh.” Cordelia said. “She died Willow, not your sense of humor.”

Willow bit her lip. “It’s just, there is no Buffy. It’s not right. It feels very not right. Something happens and I think I have to tell Buffy. I see shoes she’d like in a window, or I think I see a Vampire and I’m like… I have to tell Buffy. But there is no Buffy. Now I can only tell Dawn or Anya about the shoes… and I don’t like to talk to Anya about shoes. Anya is not a person to talk to about shoes. Not that she doesn’t have good taste in shoes. She has your taste in shoes. But she’s not Buffy. And then there is Faith. Faith is the only Slayer now. One and only Chosen One. But no Buffy…and see I laughed. And you complimented me and I want to tell Buffy. I want to tell Buffy that Cordelia Chase likes my make-up.”

“Anya has my taste in shoes? No wonder Xander’s with her.”

Willow laughed. “See! You made me do it again.”

“It’s okay, Willow.” Cordelia stepped closer to the other woman, praying that Willow wouldn’t start crying or some such thing. She didn’t want more tears, Dawn’s and her own were plenty.

“My head knows, my heart not so much. But I won’t blubber. Not in front of you. Can’t cry in front of Queen C. You’d do something treacherous.”

Cordelia smirked. “Take a picture of your running mascara and get some geek to post it on the Internet for me.”

“See! Evil!” Willow said.

“Or, get it on the Sunnydale Evening News. How Not To Wear Mascara? Willow Rosenberg, Exhibit A-Z.”

Willow giggled. “Down right satanic.”

Cordelia nodded and then nearly toppled over when Willow had her arms wrapped around her in a tight hug. She responded similarly, shocked by the weight of the emotions that were hitting her.

“It feels all real now. Someone who wasn’t here but knows is here and not it’s all real.” Willow whispered.

Cordelia felt her throat close and her eyes start to sting and realized too late that she was going to cry again. “I know. Makes it all too real for me too. I think it’s why I came. I couldn’t believe it unless I…”

“I don’t want to believe it. I keep trying not to believe it. But it’s all true. No more Buffy. But still there are things…”

Cordelia tightened the hug and just nodded against Willow’s shoulder. Willow squeezed her back and then moved backward, letting her hands run down Cordelia’s arms and she grabbed Cordelia’s hands.

“There are things… that are still… like you are still funny.”

“Something has changed. You just totally copped a feel of my breasts.”

Willow blushed, “I well, they are… don’t tell Tara!” Her eyes widened in alarm and she started to laugh. “See! I feel so much better and all guilty.”

“Don’t be guilty. Lord, what is it with all of you and the guilt. There is no guilt to be had here. Everyone is guilt-free. Well, except you and the copping of a feel. Even Xander didn’t cop a feel.”

Willow took a deep breath and rolled her eyes. “I think you are a bad influence on me, Cordelia.”

“Better than being a good influence. Who wants to be that?” Cordelia asked, and she sighed. “I need to go now Willow, I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I just… you understand right? Plus, I still need to see Buffy.”

Willow’s face fell and then grew concerned. “I could go with…”

“God, no! No offense but I want to do it alone. She and I… it’s personal.”

“Right.”

“I still don’t know what to say to you. You lost so much more than me.”

Willow shook her head. “We all lost her. The world lost her.”

“World Schmorld, Willow. She was your best friend. Screw the Slayer thing and be selfish about it. You deserve that.”

Willow wrinkled her nose and then got a determined look on her face. “Well, okay…but Cordy? I refuse to say goodbye to you. Do you have an email?”

Cordelia stared at the red head and saw the look on her face. Willow’s determined face. Cordelia knew it, she’d seen it for the first time in kindergarten and even she had known to not argue with it. “Yeah, at work,” she muttered and took the pen and post-it Willow seemed to have grabbed out of thin air. Quickly she wrote down her email address and handed it to the girl. “There you go.”

“Okay, good,” Willow nodded. “We’ll keep in touch.”

Cordelia nodded, hugged Willow one more time quickly and waved goodbye – not wanting to be yelled at for saying it and hurried out of the house as quickly as she could without running. And found Faith leaning up against the hood of Angel’s car her arms crossed.

“Took your damn time, CC. Figured you’d be faster.”

“What the hell do you want?” Cordelia asked the other Slayer. Faith was not part of her journey of Buffy-Grief. Her last stop was going to be Buffy herself and no one else.

“Angel.”

“Well take it up with him,” Cordelia snapped and wondered if the woman was still a bit evil.

“Look, he helped me out a while back. Got Buffy to even give me another shot and now here I am. I’m working hard to keep it together, keep things safe. Keep Dawn safe for Buffy… and I ain’t going to say this more than once. You are going to tell Angel to meet at the Barrington Tomb in the cemetery by his mansion. Got it.”

Cordelia shrugged. “I’ll give him the message but I’ll be honest, he didn’t look sociable. He looked like he might want to jump into the fire place – even before he had a fire in it.”

Faith shrugged. “Whatever, just tell him I want to see him.”

Cordelia got into the car and started it, staring at Faith who still stood crossed armed in front of it. “I’ll tell him, now move or I’ll run you over.”

Faith laughed and moved to the side and Cordelia gunned the engine and roared off the street. She didn’t even know where she was going, not back to the mansion, not yet. Not to Buffy’s grave, she wasn’t ready too and her head was spinning with Dawn, Xander, Giles and Willow’s faces and everything that had been shared in the last hour or so.

Part 6

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