Author: Nodakskip <nodakskip[at]>


Rating: PG-13

Continuity: Set after season 7 Buffy, and season 4 Angel.

A slight crossover with Charmed.

Summary: There can always be new beginnings, even for people like us.

New York State
Private Airfield
October 13th, 2003

The occupants of the private Lear jet were talking, as they waited for the plane to begin its takeoff. Most of the passengers were women, and as the pilot sent his message to the control tower one of them started to say...

"Hard to believe that just yesterday, we were in England," Willow said musingly. "And now, we're on our way to LA."

"Yeah," Kennedy sighed. "Again."

"You don't like LA?" Willow asked her girlfriend in confusion.

Kennedy shrugged. "No, hey, I like the city just fine. Besides the Hamptons, it's like my favorite spot in America! But I don't exactly understand why all of us have to travel all that way just to see how Spike is doing, now that he's all Casper the Friendly Ghost or whatever..."

"He saved us all, remember?" Buffy told the younger Slayer. "We owe him that much."

"And we owe nothing to the girls that died before that?" Kennedy challenged the alpha female of the pack, like she almost always did. "Buffy, a lot of families don't even *know* that their daughters or sisters or whatever are dead now! But here we are, flying across the world so you can be with your boy-toy..."

"Kennedy!" Willow screeched in indignation. "That's not fair! The way Spike sacrificed himself-"

"Okay, okay!" Kennedy yelled. "I get it, he's like our savior already. Buffy, you can have all the wet dreams about him you want, no more Complaints Girl...but you won't change my mind on this much - in my opinion, we didn't win in Sunnydale a few months ago because we were better. We won because we were luckier."

"How the hell can you say that?" Buffy hissed, unable to believe she was hearing this drivel from the young upstart.

The lesbian girl who hungered for power the same way that Willow had once hungered after the boy called Xander Harris - which was in fact also the way that Xander had hungered after Buffy, and Buffy had hungered after the vampire called Angel - paused. "I've got my reasons," she eventually said.

"Which are?!" the blonde demanded heatedly.

"That we may as well face the facts, Buffy," Kennedy told her with a shrug. The dark-haired young woman hadn't really intended to mention her opinions in detail, but since the bottle-blonde had demanded answers, so be it.

"Face what facts?!?"

"Well, for one, we didn't know a thing about what that amulet your old vamp boyfriend gave to your new one would really do. There was, what? Thirty of us left, when we went into the Hellmouth? You'd told us you had that vision of thousands of those Turok-Han things down there, and thirty potentials were going to stop them if something went wrong?"

Kennedy looked out the small window, "Every single one of those old guys in England that lived, they're treating us like we're the Second Coming or whatever. But we were just lucky, that's all."

As the bickering started up and continued without any end in sight, a few rows down two people were sitting by themselves.

"How long do you think it'll go for this time?" Andrew Wells asked, looking at his companion.

"Most of the flight, no problem," Dawn Summers answered simply, getting annoyed at the raised voices. "It's just stupid, though. Every single one of Kennedy's arguments is a repeat, almost word for word, of Xander's ones back then!"

"Then why is Buffy not telling Kennedy to basically shut up, like she did him?" Andrew asked in honest confusion. "She looked at Xander like he was the stupidest person in the world, sometimes..."

Dawn couldn't help it, she got upset. "Because Kennedy's a Slayer now. One of those with the power. You haven't noticed that thing about "who's got the power" my big sister seems to have developed, ever since she came back?"

"Came back from where?" the demon summoner asked her in confusion.

"You don't know? But I thought you and those other two nerds - oh, never mind," Dawn said quickly, as she suddenly remembered that Andrew hadn't been there for the final battle against that mad hellgod called Glory.

Oddly enough the brunette teenager had gotten used to the possibly- gay movie maker being around her, for what these days felt like a long time. And she was only now recalling that he hadn't been part of the Scooby gang, during the May of 2001.

Only she, Buffy and her original small group of Slayerettes from that fight knew what had happened back then - and now two of those people were dead, one was in England, one was a ghost, and the other wasn't part of her life anymore...

When the plane started to taxi down the runway, Dawn spared one more glance out the window. She strained to see the guy she was looking for.

Xander Harris.

She could see the man with the eye patch by the hangar for a few moments. Then the plane turned, and he was lost from her view. <Damn it...>

"Still wishing you could have stayed behind?" Andrew asked the former Key, as he saw a single tear fall from her left eye.

"Of course," Dawn told him sincerely.

Andrew frowned. "Uh, maybe I'm being dumb - but why?"

The young woman shrugged. "All I am right now is excess baggage, for Buffy. At least back in Sunnydale, I could pretend it was...semi- normal. But now - God help me, since I'm not a Slayer, I just don't fit into her life anymore."

Andrew was a little too quick to defend the powerful figure that he was currently swearing fealty to. "Hey, I don't believe that Buffy sees it that way! If you guys just talk..."

Dawn scowled, "Give it a rest, she's not listening right now! I swear, once I hit 18 I am *so* taking Giles up on that college offer and hitting the road - I mean it's not like the Watchers are going to miss that money, what with most of them being dead and all..."


Xander was leaning against the roof of his rental car, as he watched the jet take off. The dampness and cold from the never-ending light rain caused him to pull his jacket tighter around himself.

"G'bye ladies," the former Slayerette whispered sadly. "The end of an era, huh..."

Xander then looked over to the empty space next to him. "You all set?"

For a moment nothing happened, then a shower of white lights coalesced right alongside the former carpenter; and in an effect similar to a Star Trek Transporter beam, Cordelia Chase appeared.

She was dressed in a fashionable outfit with a tan trench coat, and a nice pair of boots. Her hair was back to the shoulder-length it had once been, and stylishly curled. "Yeah, dorkhead, I'm ready."

Xander looked back up, to see the plane already a tiny speck in the distance. "I still never would have suspected that it would end like this, ya know..."

Cordy put a hand on his shoulder, and gave it a squeeze. "It's not the end, Xander. Not by a long shot. Myself, I've started to think of it as just a new beginning."

"New beginning, huh?" Xander smiled. "Guess Andrew was right."

She looked at him strangely. "What could that nerd possibly have been right about?"

"That we're like the X-men," Xander told her, as he leaned his back onto the car to look at his companion.

"How the *hell* are we like those people in that fashion-dead movie?" the woman then tilted her head. "Okay, horror movie I can understand, but sci-fi?"

"No," the man with over seven years of Slayage experience corrected her; "I meant the comics version of the X-men. There are tons of new teams and groups that came from the original X-men, ya know. It's like we had the originals of us back in high school, then you and Angel went to LA and started a new team-" he stopped, in mid- explanation. "Huh, guess you may have a point. The X-men, they actually talked more than we ever did..."

"I know," the woman sighed. "My opinion, we got too hung up on the big Buffy and Angel thing. I figured any time I would have come to Sunnydale, I would get endless questions about Angel from Buffy and Willow."

"And I would get endless questions about Buffy from Angel, like that time when I came down to see your play during that February," her ex-boyfriend said with a nod, followed her reasoning.

"What?" Cordy asked with a smile. "You think I could have practiced my lines with Angel or Wesley?" They both laughed at that image. Then she sighed sadly, "My only regret now is that I should never have left Sunnydale like I did."

The former Zeppo raised a questioning eyebrow as the former cheerleader continued, "Okay, granted our romantic relationship was brain-dead big-time, but we were starting to reconnect - and I just took off. Boy, that dream of being an actress lasted a long time, didn't it?"

"Don't feel too bad, Cordy," Xander told her with a shrug. "You *were* manipulated by that evil Jasmine thing, for years. Ever since you moved there..."

"Funny you should mention that, Lame Boy. Because lately I've been thinking, maybe it wasn't *just* since I moved there."

"What's that mean?" Xander asked, confused.

"I honestly don't know anymore, Harris," the young woman said, as she ran a hand through her hair. "I mean, at the time I simply thought my life sucked. But think about it; Jasmine wanted me to go to LA to get the visions, end up in Paradise - then come back, screw Connor and give birth to her."

"Yeah, so?"

"Well, first I had to get to LA, right?" Cordelia demanded, as if it was obvious. "Because nobody put a gun to my head, to get outta town. If we'd still been together, there was a *small* chance I'd have stayed, despite being dirt poor and wanting a fresh start elsewhere."

"What are you telling me?"

"With all that we know now, don't you think it's just *way* too coincidental that you and Willow had that crazy fling back then, to drive us apart? That my parents were cheating on their taxes for twelve years, and then got caught at the worst possible moment for me?"

"Okay, wait just a darn minute," Xander demanded. "You're saying that *Jasmine* had some hand in both those things?" And at her nod, the former Halloween soldier shook his head. "No way! Cordy, about the fluke -I did that. Willow and me, that stupidity was all us. Me! No way I'm gonna let you try to tell me that-"

"Xander," she said, cutting him off. "It's just what I suspect, that's all. I know you better than to believe you'd let the blame be shifted off to someone else." Queen C then extended her hand to him, "So I hereby declare that as of now on, the cheating thing is not an issue in our lives anymore. Agreed?"

Xander looked at her hand for a moment, before shaking it. "Agreed. But, uh, does this mean that you want to-"

"Give us another try?" she asked with a laugh. "No, Xander, we are both way too screwed up for that right now. But from what we've been told recently, we'll have a *very* long time to figure all that crap out. So, just partners for now?"

"Partners, definitely," Harris confirmed it with a grin, as the rain stopped falling and the sun finally came out. "And Cor, I know I've said it already - but I want to thank you again for letting me say goodbye to Anya like that. I know it must hurt that I got to be able to do it, and yet you can't..."

"Yeah, it does Xander," Cordelia said with another sigh, as she leaned on the car next to him. "But it's all for the best right now, if they think that's my body lying comatose there at Wolfram & Hart. And it's not like I have any choice in the matter..."

When he saw a tear starting to fall, Xander wrapped his arm around her, letting her rest her head against his shoulder. "It's okay, Cor. I mean, they can't expect you to not want to set things right there, can they?"

The former seer wiped another tear away. "It's just that they're being so damn hypocritical about this! I didn't cause that stupid rain of fire, or summon the Beast, or screw around with the lives of my friends like that! I was stuck in my own damn body watching, as it killed all those people, and had pity sex with Connor!"


The woman paid no attention. "And *you* didn't destroy the balance of good and evil, by activating all those Slayers all around the world! I mean, so what if all it would have taken was two different words from Willow in that spell, to only activate the ones in Sunnydale?"

Xander leaned his head next to hers, trying to offer cold comfort. "Yeah, well, it sucks. But then, it's different for me - one way or another, my life has always sucked! And it does seem kinda strange that as punishment, we get this deal. And nobody from our old teams can know? Not for a while, anyway..."

"You and me as Champions though, Xander?" the former leader of the Cordettes said softly. "And God, I hate that word now just as much as Angel does! I don't know if I can handle this anymore. After all that crap I went through, I mean - am I really strong enough to do this?"

"Hey, you know you are, Cordy!" the one-time King of Cretins told her. "I think that's why they threw us together; we always did make a good team, when we had our heads on straight. We just work for the Powers That Be now, that's all. And we even get paid! Now, that's a first..."

She laughed. "Xander Harris, the human recently gifted with vampire speed and strength?"

"And his lovely partner. Cordelia Chase, the tough-as-nails Whitelighter who kicks demon ass," he replied with a smile.

"You know that *I'm* going to be handling the money side of things, don't you?" Cordelia suddenly asked, narrowing her eyes.

"What?" Xander demanded in mock outrage. "With your family's history concerning the stuff?"

The brunette just broke away, and playfully smacked his arm. "You jerk! Trust you to bring that up-"

"I've got to be me, Cordy," the one-eyed man told her, grinning widely. "Y'know, I've come to the conclusion that it was my great sense of humor that all you hot women fell for - well, that and my great-looking ass."

"Hey, I thought *I* was the one who was always supposed to be full of hot air?" she teased.

Xander held his hands to his heart. "You wound me, Princess Cordelia. Now, come on. Repeat after me: Xander Harris has a great ass."

She peered behind him to look for a moment. "Well," Cordy commented. "Maybe I could settle for nice."

"Nice!" the guy yelled, as he spun to face her and she laughed. "That's not what you said when you wanted me to model my Speedos again at your pool house, way back then!"

Cordelia shrugged. "Well, to be honest, it wasn't your backside that I was admiring. And no lewd comments about that, mister, or else I will kick your ass the first time we spar together!"

Xander held up his hand, with his index finger extended. "Not even one comment?"

"Not one," the guardian angel said with finality, as she opened the passenger side door of the car. Xander made a move to go to the driver's side, when she grabbed his arm. "What?" the man asked, as she pulled him back.

"Now that Buffy and the others are gone? I can finally do something about this," Cordelia told him firmly, as she reached up and removed his eye patch.

At her gasp Xander asked her morosely, "That bad, huh?"

The woman shook her head at once. "No, just surprised me is all. Now, hold still..."

The mystical healer covered his eye socket with her hand. There was an intense golden glow under it for a few moments - then she removed her palm to see a normal, undamaged brown eye looking back at her. "Better?" Cordelia asked simply.

Xander blinked a few times, as the new eye's vision cleared. "Muchly. Thank you," the 22-year-old man said, before he stared at her oddly.

"What?" the female Whitelighter asked, instinctively feeling for split ends.

"Oh, nothing - I, uh, just now remembered how beautiful your hair always looked, when it was highlighted by the sun like that."

Cordy blushed, before swatting him in the arm. "Just partners for now, mister!"

"I know, I know!" Xander said in mock hurt, as he started around the car.

But when he couldn't see her, Cordelia smiled and whispered to herself. "Oh yeah, I still got it!" Then she got in the car the same time he did.

"So, where are we off to first, partner?" Xander asked her as he buckled up.

The Whitelighter heard a jingling sound from her bosses, the Elders, in the higher realm. "Well, I always wanted to see Texas, for some reason."

"Okay then, Texas it is!" Xander exclaimed joyfully, before he turned on the ignition and they drove away.

And as the car vanished down the road, two figures stepped out from behind the two prop planes parked nearby. The balance demon turned to the ghost of the female Oracle and said with smug satisfaction, "There, I told you they would make a good team, didn't I!?"

"We shall see, lower being. We shall see..." the spirit said slowly, before she vanished.

"Unbelievable," Whistler said to himself in annoyance. "Even dead, they still have to act so damn all-knowing like that?" Then with a shrug, he went off to check out the closest bars in the nearby city.