Sunnydale High Library
Four Months Later
“Okay, Giles, this is really starting to suck!” Cordelia Chase huffed, as she dramatically flounced her pom-poms down on the library check-out counter. The teenager was in full cheerleading attire and had just stormed through the library doors, obviously in emotional turmoil.
“I’m sorry?” The Watcher-Librarian rose from his crouching position behind the counter to address his newest slayer. Cordelia had only been a slayer for a few months and had proved herself quite the resourceful one at that, too. “What’s starting to- suck?” He was almost afraid to ask.
Cordelia rolled her eyes in exasperation, as she rummaged through her backpack, producing a good inch of envelopes. “These!” With disdain she slammed them down on the table, next her Sunnydale pom-poms.
Giles peered at the mass of envelopes the girl had just produced and began to gingerly sift through them. His mouth in a grim line he realized why she was in such an emotional upheaval- they were bills. “Cordelia, the post mark on these are from about two months ago. They’re long past due. What have you been doing?”
“Uh, let’s think about this… slaying!” She screeched, pleased when she saw him flinch. “I’ve been killing nasties, doing school crap- that, might I add you insisted I keep up with since I’m the new slayer on the block- and just trying to keep myself fed.” Cordelia scrunched up her neck, groaning as her muscles popped. “I don’t have the luxury of a mom or even a dad anymore to keep up with this stuff and to hold up some secret identity jive. I need help! I’m just a kid, Giles!” Cordelia slumped over the counter, laying her head on her arms in exhaustion.
Looking at her forlorn expression across her lovely face, Rupert Giles could tell that the responsibilities of adult and slayer life were starting to get to her. Cordelia’s adulthood was literally forced upon her twofold and she was going to buckle soon if she didn’t find a schedule. Unlike Buffy, Cordelia had to be an adult and provide for herself. Luckily, during those beginning months upon her return to Sunnydale, Cordelia’s cousin from Japan, Jin Yoshino, had come to stay with her to help her set up. But he had had to return back to Japan, leaving the slayer alone again.
During her time back in Sunnydale, there had been a rash explosion of demonic activity, keeping both slayers busy. Cordelia had already made a personal enemy out of Spike, the latest master vampire to hit the Hellmouth. Granted Spike hated both Buffy and Cordelia, but he seemed to have a more special yen toward Cordelia since she’d nearly killed him on Halloween. According to Angel, that was the nearest any being, slayer or demon, had come to killing him.
“Have you spoken to Angel about this?”
Cordelia snapped her head up, glaring at Giles as if he were a loon. “Why would I want to talk to him about my woes?”
“I-I just assumed since you live in the same building with him, he could try and stop buy on occasion- to m-make sure you were getting along with your bills. A friendly neighbor sort of thing.”
“Well my bills and I are not getting along at all, and the last thing I want is Buffy’s boyfriend to know about it.” The less she saw of Angel the whole lot better off she would be!
Cordelia spun on her heal, to take seat at the infamous Buffy-worship table to take a seat. Funny how this used to be a library at one time or another, she mused to herself. “I figured I could ask the Watcher for some kind of guidance other than slaying. It’s not like I’m asking you to be my surrogate father or something!” Trying to ignore the fluttering ache in heart at the mention of Angel’s name, she began to absently flip through a volume on succubae and incubi. She didn’t notice Giles’ face turn red at the mention of him as her surrogate father.
“Speaking of which,” Cordelia looked up from her book, “Any news on that?”
“Your father?” Giles was thoroughly confused.
“Uh, no, me getting my own Watcher.”
“Is there something wrong with me being your Watcher, Cordelia?” This was disconcerting. There was nothing that came to his mind to think of what he could have done to have offended the girl in anyway, to have her want a new Watcher.
She shook her head, as she leaned back in her chair, “Not in the least, it’s just that every Slayer has her own Watcher and wouldn’t it be easier for you? Buffy is a handful and I’m sure not that easy on your ulcer either.” Cordelia flashed him one of her brilliant toothy smiles.
“She is absolutely right, Mr. Giles. She is past due to have her own Watcher.”
Both Giles and Cordelia whipped their heads in the direction of the foreign voice that had just interrupted.
Cordelia could feel her face loose color as she looked into the eyes of the man who was standing in front of the library doors. It was the same eyes that she saw every morning, but this was not the face she ever wanted to see again.
“So, Buffy, we gonna Bronze it tonight?” Xander Harris eagerly piped, as he and Willow ran into Buffy outside of physics class.
Willow gingerly swooped in beside her best friend and looped her arm through Buffy’s. “Can we invite, Cordelia, too?” This was like mine fields, but it was worth a try. Buffy had to learn to get along with the other slayer and it was long past due.
The blonde halted in mid-stride, her sneakers screeching on the linoleum. “Do we always have to make an issue of this?”
“How are we making it an issue? She’s a slayer now, Buffy. She fights on your side.” Willow could not understand why her friend was so adamantly against associating with Cordelia. Aside from having to do occasional slays together, Buffy avoided her like the plague.
Buffy shifted on her feet, trying to control her temper. “It’s complicated, and I don’t want to go into it. Okay?”
Xander wrapped his arm around Buffy’s shoulders, “No prob, Buff. You can tell us when you’re ready.” He ignored the murderous look that Willow was giving him, and steered Buffy toward the library.
With silence hanging heavily between them, the three friends headed through the library doors and almost ran into the two people standing right beyond them.
“Whoa, there!” Xander exclaimed, as he and the girls came to an uncomfortable stop. This was not usual. Very foreign people in their sanctuary.
Giles was standing by the counter, looking ramrod straight and more serious than they had ever seen him. Cordelia was as beautiful as ever in her cheerleading outfit, not taking her eyes of the strange couple that was standing just before Xander and the girls.
And what a strange couple they were: the woman was positively gorgeous, with honey blonde hair and the man was distinguished, with raven-black hair peppered with gray. As Cordelia was staring at them, they were staring at her.
“Giles?” Buffy skirted around Xander, and the ‘odd couple’ to stand by her Watcher. Her look to him was ‘Who the hell are they?’
It wasn’t Giles who answered her, but the man instead. “Buffy Summers, I presume?” His accent was pure, classic British. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, my dear, I’m Daniel Bellaver.” He came over to her, extending his hand out, pleased when she shook it.
“Yeah, charmed. Who are you?” Buffy released his grip, and nodded to the woman.
The woman gave a sweet smile that set her beautiful face to an almost angelic expression. “I’m Vinessa Chandler, Buffy. We’re from the Watcher’s Council. I’ve heard a lot about you.” Vinessa turned back around to Cordelia and stepped over to the slayer. “And I’ve heard much about you too, Cordelia.”
“Yes,” Cordelia whispered, still not truly taking her gaze off of Daniel Bellaver. “I’m sure you have. Excuse me.” Cordelia gracefully came around to stand in front him. “What the hell are you doing here?!”
“Cordelia!” Giles shouted out in alarm. He knew exactly who this man was to the girl, but he was not prepared for her rude behavior. And poor Willow almost swallowed her tongue at the outburst.
The emissary from the Council merely smiled, “Cordelia Bellaver Chase… now is that anyway to speak to your grandfather, young lady?” He did admire her spirit. Always had.
She just shrugged. “You’re lucky I spoke to you at all, Grandpa.” Cordelia flipped her long hair over her shoulders, and smirked at him. “I can see that the pretty lady is obviously going to be my new Watcher, and she could have come here all by herself. And so I ask you again, what are you doing here?”
“Can’t an old man come and see his only grandchild?”
Buffy and the rest of the gang were watching this whole escapade in stunned silence. Not only was Cordelia getting a new Watcher, but her own grandfather was part of the Council? Buffy couldn’t believe how much was being revealed about the brunette in just a few months!
Giles decided he was going to take this into his own hands. “Um, Mr. Bellaver, Ms. Chandler? What’s say we have the children go so they can resume their classes? I think we have much to discuss.”
“Oh, I think so, Rupert,” Bellaver turned to the younger man. “Especially how it is that these other children know about the goings on of slayer business.”
“Uh, ye-yes,” Giles sputtered, clearly embarrassed about the whole situation. “Th-that would be best. Uh, Buffy, Cordelia- we’ll speak later.”
“Sure, whatever,” Cordelia grumbled, obviously brimming with rage at seeing her grandfather so suddenly. Gathering up her stuff, she politely sneered at him again and stormed out of the library, the rest of the gang following suit.
There was no way in hell she was going to stay on campus as long as he was here! Winter mid-term be damned, she thought to herself.
“Cordelia, wait up!”
It was Willow shouting after her. With Buffy and Xander likely in tow, old kill joy. Cordelia wanted to just keep on walking, but Willow and Xander had been the only ones to be treating like a human being, so she decided, “What the hell.”
Stopping by a bench in the outside quad, Cordelia ceremoniously dumped her pom-poms and books on the seat. Spinning on her heal, she turned around to great the coming onslaught of questions. And judging from the fiery green in Buffy’s eyes, they would be coming from her.
“What is going on, Cordelia?” Buffy stopped mere inches in front of the other girl, not happy that she had to look up into her eyes. It was one thing before when she hadn’t been a slayer, but now she held equal power to her and was taller. “Why didn’t you tell us your grandfather was part of the Watcher’s Council?”
This chick was really starting to get on her last nerve. Ever since she had seen her nearly come apart when the Anointed Twerp had tried to raise the Master, Cordelia had backed away, given Buffy some room. She’d realized that night that Buffy needed Willow, Xander, and Angel more than she ever would. So, she had decided to step off to the sidelines, hoping that Buffy would come around and realize that she wasn’t that bad anymore, and would begin to accept her. They were slayers; never in the history of their existence had two been activated at the same time. One would think the girl would be bright enough to see how much damage they could bestow to the dark side, but no! Buffy was a twinkie.
Cordelia was tired of being nice and tired of the bleached blonde. I think it’s almost time to throw down, she gleamed. For the first time in weeks, Cordelia felt a smile spread upon her lips that actually touched her soul.
“Are you going to answer me or not?” Buffy pressed, “And what’s with that stupid grin?”
Xander quickly jerked his head toward Willow, whose eyes were equally wide. This was so not good. Buffy may have never wanted to admit it, but Cordelia was a better fighter. Xander had been there with Angel when she had almost beheaded Spike on Halloween. He’d seen the bitch in motion and it looked like she was about to go ‘ka-boom’. Slowly, he began to inch away from the super-chicks, pulling Willow with him by her backpack.
Crossing her arms over her ample chest, Cordelia took a large step forward, until she was toe to toe with Buffy. “In regards to ‘what’s going on’, it seems as if I’m getting my own Watcher, so now you’ll have Giles all to your very own. No more Cordelia getting in Buffy’s way of bonding with her Watcher!” Buffy looked like she had just been slapped. Pretty. “And about my grandfather being part of the Council-” Tilting her head up to the blue sky above, she let Buffy sit on that one.
“You. Never. Asked.” Turning on her heal, Cordelia went to gather her things.
“Whoa! I never asked?!” Buffy had leapt forward, right in front of the other slayer as she was about to get to the bench. “How dare you speak that way to me! We had the right to know that you had a direct link to the Council, Cordelia. What’d you think you were so special that you could keep it to yourself?”
Oh, that did.
Balling up her right fist, Cordelia laid a punch so hard against Buffy’s jaw that she slammed into a spruce tree four feet away, her shoulder hitting the trunk. That suede jacket was definitely going to need dry cleaning now.
“Cordy!” Xander shouted out in alarm as he ran over to were Buffy was struggling to pick herself up. Her lower lip was totally split open with blood dribbling down her chin.
And to make matters worse, nearly half the school was out there witnessing the whole event. Most of the student body new that Buffy was stronger than normal, by having seen her do the impossible with their own eyes or stories passed down from peers. But now they had just seen Cordelia Chase, picture perfect cheerleader, display an equal amount of physical prowess.
Holding up her hand in warning, Cordelia’s hazel eyes bore into Buffy’s. “That was just an appetizer. Unless you want the full course, dumbass, I suggest you watch what you say to me from now on.” She began gathering her stuff, still not taking her warrior’s gaze off of Buffy. “The day you declare that my personal life is your book to read again, is the day your ass is grass. Again!”
Giving Willow and Xander a brief smile, she headed back into the school. She had a chemistry mid-term to take, and she suddenly felt more than capable of taking it on. Surprisingly, Cordelia found no trouble making her way through the crowds. They were making way for a queen.