The Day Denies

Author: Lucinda <lucindasiverling[at]>

rating: pg/pg13

main characters: Xander thinking about Cordelia

disclaimer: I hold no legal rights to any characters from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (creation of Joss Whedon & a whole lot of other people who aren't me)

distribution: INeedAParrot, XanderZone, Jinni's Quickfics, Paula, anyone else please ask.

notes: response to Jinni's Weekly Poetry Challenge (week 3, Poetry Quote below). Set in season 2, while Xander & Cordy are secretly sharing kisses, but nobody else knows.

"SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies."
-- She walks in beauty, Byron

It almost seemed impossible. For Cordelia Chase to have been kissing him. She'd spent years teasing him, calling him geek-boy and looser, ignoring Jesse and Willow. She was Cordelia, the Queen C of Sunnydale, beautiful, popular, the one who set the trends. And he was... just a guy.

At first, he'd thought it was because they'd been trapped in the basement, about to be killed by the disgusting Turaka bug assassin. And then they'd been kissing as if it was the salvation of the world, or their lives depended on it.

It had been a really good kiss.

Part of him had been convinced that it was just... a one time bizarre miracle. Something that had happened just because they had been about to die. But it had happened again. They'd kissed, and he'd seen sparks, or it had felt like it anyhow. Everything had been more intense, more... just more.

Now, they were kissing more often, generally in the utility closet, or the deep dark stacks of the library, or once under the football bleachers. She seemed to enjoy kissing him.

But she didn't want anyone to know. Nobody else knew that they were kissing, that there was anything beyond a somewhat reluctant agreement to both try to keep the world from ending, or the town overrun by demons. She didn't want her friends - or were they followers? She didn't want her sheep to know about them.

He didn't know quite what to think about that. Was he her dark, embarrassing secret? Some secret vice that she would never confess to in front of the people that she thought mattered? Or maybe she was just as confused and uncertain about all of this as he was.

Sudden motion at the front of the classroom caught his attention, and Xander blinked, remembering that he was supposed to be listening to his English teacher talk about poetry. He'd best at least look like he was listening, and he could just zone out if it was dull.

"Today, we are going to discuss poets. I'll be reading from works of some of the classic Romantic poets." With a small pause and a sip of water, the teacher continued. "She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellow'd to that tender light which heaven to gaudy day denies. Those words, perhaps part of the most famous love poem..."

Xander felt his focus slip as the quotation ended. It was perfect. It was Cordelia - beautiful, with hair like night and eyes like start, and mysterious and baffling and amazing. That was the perfect way to describe her. Maybe there was something to this poetry stuff after all.

He even wondered if the whole 'gaudy day denies' thing could apply to the sort of relationship with him and Cordy. 'They' wouldn't see the light of day, 'they' were a secret, one that she didn't want anyone to know. Could they have a future like that? Could she change her mind, let people know if once she got used to the idea?

Maybe he didn't have any answers, maybe he didn't know how the future would turn out. But he could think, and dream, and hope. And maybe slip her a bit of that poem into her locker.