Later that Night
Rupert Giles rose from his sofa, to brew some more tea. He, Xander, and Buffy had just informed Willow and Angel of their findings at Willis-Montgomery. It hadn’t been revealing as to where Cordelia had fled too, but it was a start. “Did you find any information with the Chases?”
Angel gave Willow a brief, disgruntled look. He didn’t know how the watcher would take to the news. He hadn’t liked it one bit. Angel knew that the Chases were holding out on something, but there was only so far he could push them. “Yeah,” he nodded, “You could say we did.”
“Uh-huh,” Willow agreed, trying her hardest to maintain her own composure. What they found out was big!
Finally, getting his tea just right, Giles came back to sit between Xander and Buffy. Both Willow and Angel were seated opposite the sofa in chairs. “Tell me,” he took a lengthily sip of tea. It was good, although it still missed something. Tea made in America just didn’t taste right, even if it was English imported.
“I really don’t know how this is going to affect you, Giles,” Angel began, “Or your training with the Watcher’s Council. What Willow and I found out was pretty disconcerting, but feasible.”
Xander made a face, “That word has nothing to do with what it sounds like, right?” That would be so gross.
“No, half-wit,” Willow snapped, throwing a piece of her chocolate chip cookie at him. “It mean’s ‘possible,’ now don’t interrupt.” Mental note, thesaurus and dictionary set for Xander prior to Christmas! Xander needed serious help in that department.
Buffy totally agreed with Willow, and just for emphasis, reached over and smacked Xander on the head. “So uncalled for!” Xander wailed, rubbing the back of his head.
“Kids!” Always the adult (for obvious reasons), Giles chided them. “Can we let Angel continue?”
“Thanks, Giles,” Angel said with a small smile. He wasn’t used to being around them so much, and their teenage prattle was beyond him. “To cut to the chase- no pun intended there! Her parents’ knew what was going to happen to her. Knew it so well that they prepared for her calling by forcing her away from them.”
Temple of the Yoshino Clan
God, she was so bored! There was only so much meditating she could do before she literally fell asleep from it. She had forgotten how warm and comforting it was in here, with the constant burning torches. And she was tired.
How can he ask me to meditate when he could see how tired and confused I am? She loved her great-grandfather a lot, but he could really be a pain in the neck with all this ritual stuff! Extraordinary things had just happened to her, well impossible things, and he wanted her to meditate!
Cordelia could actually feel a temper tantrum rise in her, she was so frustrated. She had been in there for over an hour and no amount of humming or feeling her mind transcend was going to block those horrible images of the Master from her mind. Any time she tried to concentrate, bat-face loomed in front of her. And every time she tried to relax, she’d fall to her side in near slumber. Mediation thingy is going nowhere!
Finally feeling her Queen C. resolve, Cordelia rose from her cross-legged position, her muscles aching in protest. She was still sore from her battle with the vampire. Sitting down again, after riding in the cab attested to that fact.
“Oh, I want some Advil,” she murmured, as she exited the temple. She knew Jun was going to be mad, but she needed his help now, not after self-channeling exercises!
Judging from their expressions, Angel took into consideration that they were shocked. Didn’t seem too uncommon. “Yeah, we couldn’t believe it either,” Angel attested, sharing a glance with Willow. What the Chases had confessed to was incredulous, but Angel knew deep in his soul that it as true. Everything that had transgressed the night prior was proof of that.
Upon the death of Buffy, another slayer would be called- a slayer chosen specifically by the higher powers. The Watcher’s Council was not to know anything about her until after she was called and even then, involvement was not necessary. The girl would be called, with the innate knowledge of the power she possessed and what she was supposed to do with it. No training required. This was giving Giles a headache. “Who, in Cordelia’s family predicted this?”
“Cordelia’s great-great grandmother. She was a powerful prophet in Japan,” Willow offered.
“Whoa, whoa,” Xander shook is head in amazement. He had been a good boy and had let Angel yap without interrupting, but this was too much! “Japan? Cordelia is part Japanese?!”
Willow understood why Xander would be surprised. They may have never liked Cordelia, but they’d know each other since they were kids and nothing had ever been mentioned about Cordelia being of Japanese descent. She’d always assumed the Japanese décor at Chase Manor was just that- décor! Willow had never even considered that it was familial. “Yup, it’s true. Cordelia Chase is one-eighth Japanese. Jeepers, it’s mind boggling.”
All throughout Angel’s story, Buffy hadn’t said a word. She’d sat stoic and silent while Angel had told them about Cordelia…
Cordelia was a slayer. Cordelia killed the Master, saving the world. Cordelia has vanished. Cordelia was part of a great prophecy. Cordelia is the greatest slayer ever. Now– Cordelia is Japanese! Does anyone remember that I died last night? Angel didn’t seem to care. All he wanted to do was find Cordelia… it was all about Cordelia!
Cordelia banged on the door again. “Jun? Momiji?! Let me in!” She’d been standing outside the farmhouse doors for ten minutes, pounding on the door. Stubborn old people, stuck on traditions. They suck.
Finally, a voice boomed from inside, “Did you complete your meditation? Because something tells me you haven’t, magomusume.” There was no getting past Jun Yoshino. The man had eyes everywhere.
“No, I didn’t,” she admitted. “I can’t concentrate, jiisan. I’m tired and hungry and I was almost killed yesterday!” And I smell, she thought wearily. She hadn’t taken a shower since earlier that morning in Sunnydale.
“Those are no reasons to delay you duties to your ancestors. Now, get back to temple and focus your energy.”
This was too much! He was more concerned about dead people than her? “Jiisan! Open the door or I will break it down!” She meant every word of it.
“Oh, really?” Cordelia could tell by the sound of his voice he was getting beyond irritated. Welcome to the club gramps, she thought bitterly to herself. She knew he was standing by the door. “Just like you broke the gate? And you will be helping in getting that repaired.” Suddenly the door slid open, and there he was- the immovable samurai. “You can’t concentrate. Why?”
Because I want to get out of these clothes, she wanted to scream. But that wasn’t the entire truth and he knew it. Bringing her hazel eyes to his brown ones, “Because,” she began, feeling her throat tighten with emotion. “Because when I close my eyes I see his face.”
Jun nodded in acceptance. He knew she told the truth. “The one that did this to you?” He lightly fingered her bruised jaw, which was already fading to a sick yellow. The one under her eye was still black and blue. “The kyuuketsuki?”
The vampire. Cordelia couldn’t hold back her surprise, “What?! How did you know?”
“It is time for you to come inside, granddaughter. There are things about yourself that you should know.” Stepping to the side, Jun gently guided her into his home.
Buffy couldn’t help it, the jealousy that welled within her. She’d fought so hard for two years, only to have her glory and her non-boyfriend’s attention taken away from her. And by Cordelia! It was just wrong. “Guys,” she forced herself to her feet. “I’ve gotta go. My mom’s going to be worried about me.” Trying not to meet their eyes, she abruptly turned away, grabbing her coat.
“Buffy?” Giles questioned, still concerned about his slayer. She had a ruff few days, with her prophecy and her encounter with the Master. “Are you going to be alright walking home by yourself?”
“Oh, yeah,” she replied, hoping they wouldn’t hear the tears in her voice. “Slayer, remember? Nothing messes with me, I mess with them.” Waiving goodbye, she headed out the door.
Angel knew she was upset. He only had one guess as to why. “I’ll make sure she gets home, Giles.”
“Great,” Xander said. “Just what every girl wants- a dead-boy escort home.” He ducked another cookie bomb from Willow. Soul or no soul, Angel was still a bad guy. He only hoped Buffy wouldn’t get hurt when she found that out. Xander knew he had no special powers, but he could just see imminent doom radiating off tall, dark and blood-sucking.
Angel didn’t even acknowledge Xander as he walked out the door. Pretty soon that boy was going to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.
East Crest Apartments
Sybil Warner sighed in relief as she walked through her apartment door. There was nothing like being at home from a long day at work. She’d had to pull a double shift, cause one of the girls had called off sick. Being a ticket agent sucked, but it paid the bills.
Kicking her shoes off, Sybil stumbled through her hallway, flicking on the light as she made her way to the kitchen. Her thoughts in a jumble from the days workload, she could only focus on having a hot bath. She didn’t even realize that she was about to die.
Her killer was perched on the rooftop of the loft apartments across the street. He had been waiting for her all day. He had been expecting her a lot earlier, but he was a patient man, and didn’t mind waiting. Sybil Warner now had a tiny red dot tracking her every step.
Gently touching his earpiece, Sybil’s would be assassin, established communication with his employer. “I have the target in sight.” His voice sounded a little muffled under his ski mask, but he doubted his employer would have trouble hearing him.
“Take the shot.” The cold voice on the other end replied.
Adjusting the scope on the lens, he leaned in, his finger applying pressure on the trigger. It’s a shame really, he thought to himself, as he let his eye linger on her face. She was quite lovely. Sybil now had the red dot on her forehead, oblivious to that fact, as she milled about in her kitchen. She’d just finished feeding her cat. A cute, orange tabby. Cat’s gonna need a new home.
And he squeezed the trigger.
What was once a lovely, blond haired woman was a mess of blood and skull.
“Target has been eliminated. Awaiting instructions.”