Why I hate Harmony Kendall

Author: Nodakskip <nodakskip[at]aol.com>

Author's notes: This is an AU. All should be explained within the fic.
<> means thoughts. And for the hell of it I used the library from the Buffy 30 minute pilot and not the one from the series that we all know.

Setting: Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6

Disclaimer: None of the BtVS/Angel characters belong to me. I don't do enough crack and I don't have enough money, to claim otherwise. Plus I would have done them much better. But the story is mine!

Pairing: C/X

Latest addition

Part One

Winifred "Fred" Burkle sighed in pure frustration, as she leaned upon the check-in counter at the Hyperion hotel. So caught up in her evanescent thoughts was the former physicist, that she completely failed to notice one Charles Gunn walking up behind her.

"Hey there, honey, what's got y'all so wound up?" her boyfriend asked, as he noticed the state she was in.

Fred jumped, startled, at his voice. "Charles! Don't do that!"

Gunn held up his hands, trying to calm her down. "Whoa there. Sorry to scare you. You, uh, just looked like you had some stuff on your mind, is all..."

Fred nodded, as she sighed yet again. But then it occurred to her... <He might know,> she thought. "Charles. Is there something important about today?"

He shook his head slowly, thinking about it. "No, we cleared the last case last night. So, I'm thinking today should be free of anything…"

"No," the brunette interrupted him. "I mean the date. The 20th of November. Did something ever happen on this day, before I joined up with you guys?"

"Not that I know of. Why?"

Fred frowned. "You're sure?"

Gunn shrugged and nodded. "Pretty much, yeah. Why?"

The woman pulled herself up and sat on the counter, her legs dangling off the floor as she spoke. "Well, uh, Cordy came down here with me forty minutes ago. We just happened to wake up at the same time, I guess. She was complaining about how the slime from the demons last night totally ruined her pants..."

"Yeah, well, that sounds like our girl," Gunn commented, not seeing the point of all this.

Fred continued determinedly, "Well, she was checking the mail when she found some coupons for 20% off at Best Buy, she wanted to use them to get a new battery for her lap-top. Then I told her to check what dates for the coupons were good for. So, she looked! Then she mumbled and I quote, 'It couldn't be, not already!' She checked Wesley's calendar, and then bolted upstairs back to her room. It looked like she was going to start crying!"

"And she hasn't come back down?" her boyfriend asked in concern.

"No," Fred sighed even more this time. "I was about to go ask her what's wrong, when Angel stopped me. He said that he'd hoped that she wouldn't notice the date today. I asked him why, but he just said it was nothing important..."

The brunette paused. "Then later, y'know, I asked Wesley when he came in. And he just told me it was a personal matter of Cordy's! But the way she tore up to her room, something had to be wrong! And it's kinda weird that the two men who make it their life's mission to take care of her, don't go running to her side..."

"So," Gunn said, thinking it over carefully. "You never went to ask her?"

"Well...no…I mean, if it's something…"

Gunn cut her off, his mind made up. "I say, let's go see what's up."

He made for the stairs. Fred jumped off the counter and rushed to stop him though, "Charles! We can't just…."

"Fred, there's no harm in just asking. And it's pretty obvious pussyfooting around ain't gonna get us nowhere..." the black man told her, as he went up the stairs to the second floor.

Fred watched him for a few moments, before shrugging to herself and running to catch up to him. About thirty seconds later, the young couple arrived at the door to Room 215. Cordelia's emergency room.

Those who didn't live in the hotel, such as Wesley, Cordelia, or Bethany, their resident Vision Girl, had what the Fang Gang had come to call emergency rooms. A room that they used when they got back too late from demon fighting to go home, or just needed a place to rest and keep changes of clothes.

Well, Bethany had told Fred that when they were picking the rooms, that Cordelia had been very vocal that she would have Room 215. And when Cordelia set her mind on something, you did not want to get in her way.

As Gunn and Fred stood there, they could hear muffled crying coming from the room. Gunn lightly knocked on the door...

The response was immediate. "Go away, Angel!" Cordelia yelled, from the other side of the door.

Fred got close to the doorframe. "Cordelia? It's us, Fred and Gunn — are you okay?"

But again, the response was immediate. "I'm fine!"

Gunn got annoyed. "Well, you sure as hell don't sound like it!"

Fred looked up at him, startled. Pissing off Cordelia Chase when she was in a sour mood, was not a good idea...

Fred still had vivid memories of what Cordelia had done with the demons in Pylea, that had called her a cow. She also remembered the hard look in the brunette's eyes, while she did what she did. She'd almost felt sorry for the demon priests back then...

But only almost. Because five years in a hell dimension? It sure as hell toughens you up a lot.

And then to Fred's surprise she heard Cordelia again yell out, "Fine! Come in." Plus as soon as they came into the small two-room suite she told them, "Close the door behind you. I don't need Angel to come in already..."

The former Texan and the former gang leader found Cordelia sitting on the bed. She had her back against the wall, since the bed's headboard was long since gone. They could plainly see she had been crying a lot, but the main thing that Fred noticed? It was that Cordelia had changed shirts.

She now wore a maroon-colored jersey. And from the looks of it, something that belonged to a high school football team. A decal of a pig was in the middle, with the legend 'Sunnydale Razorbacks' on the top and bottom. Also, their friend's hair was out of its normal ponytail, and flowing freely over her shoulders.

"Didn't know you played ball," Gunn joked weakly, trying to get her to talk.

Cordelia smiled a tiny bit, before moving over so her back was to them. She pulled her hair back, so they could read what was on the jersey completely.


When she resumed her pervious position on the bed, Gunn looked at her funny. "A player gave you his shirt? Okay, I know Angel said you were this hot cheerleader and all...but most guys I know? They wouldn't part with their tops, unless someone grabbed 'em by the short 'n curlies and-"

"Charles!!" Fred interrupted.

Cordelia got a sad look to her face, ignoring the commentary. "It was his away jersey. The home game one was a lighter color..."

Fred was going to ask who she was talking about, when Gunn put a hand on her arm to stop her. He could tell his friend needed to get this out of her system...

So Cordelia just kept talking. Her eyes were downcast, and her voice had a very sad undertone to it, but still the words came out. "I remember, he forgot and left it in Daddy's car. This one game they'd beaten the other team, and gotten a chance at the division playoffs, y'know? And they were hoping they could get to state championships..."

The former cheerleader looked up to them. "Of course, they'd would have made it to the state finals. He always got 'em that far. It was, like, an accepted fact of life! On the drive home in my car, he was all smelly and the darn shirt was soaked from the mud and sweat, so he took it off..."

Cordelia giggled a bit at the memory. "I swear, he knew what seeing him all sweaty with no shirt did to me! So we pulled off to the side of the road and parked behind some trees, and made out for about an hour or so. He put his warm-up shirt on afterwards, and he just forgot this…" she pulled on the jersey with her fingers. "...in the back seat. I was going to wash it, then give it back to him."

Gunn and Fred both watched, as she pulled her knees up to her chin as she grew even more upset. "But I didn't get the chance. And now, I probably never will."

Fred moved to the bed. She sat next to her friend, and wrapped her arms around her. Cordelia wasted no time in burying her head in Fred's shoulder, and crying hard.

To be honest, this surprised both Fred and Gunn. The Cordelia Chase they both knew had never showed this much emotion, ever. Sure, she would laugh and joke around on occasion; but most of the time if you didn't know her, she would scare the living shit out of you.

Gunn had once described her as a cross between GI Jane and a Bond girl. Because she could be as deadly as she was beautiful. Anytime the Fang Gang needed weapons, swords, battle-axes, guns, even explosives, Cordelia would make a few phone calls and they would show up.

Fred remembered one time they'd needed some weapons, to go up against an army of vamps holding a bunch of children. She had gone with Cordelia, and the men they'd met to get the guns from had scared her badly. They were the kind of guys that if you looked where you were not supposed to…well, the authorities would never find your body, for starters.

But Cordelia had taken on a cold demeanor, talking to those dogs of war as if she did this sort of thing every day. And so the men hadn't crossed her in any way, shape or form. No sexual innuendo, no threats, no nothing.

And, too, Fred didn't want to know where Cordelia had ever gotten the money she'd used to buy the guns with.

"So who's this Harris guy, Cordelia?" Gunn asked, as he pulled his chair close to the bed.

The crying woman reached under the covers of the bed, and pulled out a 5 x 7'' framed photo. She gave it to Gunn, who looked at it carefully.

The black man saw Cordelia in a dark blue prom dress, along with a guy in an old-style dark tux. He also noticed two more things. One, she had a cast on her right wrist. And second, her face was filled with so much joy and love as she looked at her date it was unbelievable.

Gunn was willing to swear he would never have believed that this was the Cordelia he knew, if she hadn't given him the photo herself.

"You wanna tell us what happened? Might make you feel better," the former leader of the Lost Boys told Cordelia, as he handed the framed photo to Fred.

The thing was, Gunn was now kind of worried. He had been told by Angel and Wesley that Cordelia had been a member of the demon-fighting group of the town where she'd grown up in. So, this story was likely to get dark, personal and ugly.

Cordelia leaned her head against the wall. She closed her eyes as she spoke, "It might help," she imitated a Boston accent, before she laughed. "That's what my shrink often said. Talk to someone about what happened, it might make you feel better."

The former May Queen looked back at Gunn. "Couldn't really tell him about the demons and vampires now, could I?"

"You could tell us," Fred stated.

"You really want to know?" she asked them curiously.

Both man and woman nodded their heads. "We're all friends here, Cordy," Gunn told her. "Family, even. If you're hurting, then we're hurting."

Cordelia looked at them for a few moments, took a deep breath, and then started talking. "Okay, look, the reason I'm upset? It's because today is the third anniversary, of the day my life was shattered. And the worst part is I have no one to blame for it, but myself. I was a stupid little girl, who thought she was a woman! Boy, was I wrong..." the brunette ranted, as she looked at the picture of the happy couple from years past.

Ms. Chase looked at it for a few moments more, before she looked up again. "But to understand it all, you have to know about the beginning, the very beginning. So, here goes. It all started, the first day of the first grade. The day I met the people who would be in my life for years, and would become my best friends. Willow Rosenberg, Jesse Marks, and Alexander LaVelle Harris."

"LaVelle?" Gunn choked in amusement, as Fred shushed him.

Cordelia just smiled to herself, as she continued. "Yeah, apart from his parents only the three of us ever knew it. But getting back to the story, we all got along great. For the entire year of first grade we would spend recess together, and hang out together — we all even had our little desks in the same area. Heck, I can't count the number of sleepovers we had! And you shoulda seen one home video my father made — total laugh riot. But then...we hit second grade."

"What happened in second grade?" Fred asked.

A sour look came to Cordelia features. "Harmony Kendall moved into town. She was our age, and her folks were just as rich as my parents and Alex's. But even back then, the damn blonde was totally insecure about herself. She tried to become the popular little 2nd grader! And since Alex was the richest boy in the school, she quickly latched onto him. And that kind of pissed me off..."

Fred grinned at her. "Oh, you liked him."

"I was just a kid!" Cordy told her hotly, then relented. "Okay, well, it was just sorta taken for granted that he was mine. When we did the elementary school play, I was Snow White and he was my prince..."

She sighed. "My mom showed me once a few years back all the report slips that would get sent home with me, because I ended up always fighting with Harmony. But Alex was always so dense around girls, he didn't have a clue what was happening."

"Then what?" asked Gunn.

Cordy fidgeted, "We got into some fight after that, one that for the life of me I can't remember what it was even about. Alex got so mad at me, and we didn't talk for the rest of the summer. At least, so I'm told. Then in 3rd grade, we ended up in different classes. Harmony and Alex in one, and Willow, Jesse and me in another."

She leaned over and pulled out a box of tissues from the night stand. "Our relationship just got worse after that. By the time junior high came around, Alex was dating Harmony. Of course, I'd dated a few guys over the years myself, but still...since Jesse and Willow's families were kinda middle class, meaning not rich, Harmony made sure they were shunned by the popular crowd. And since they were my friends, I got called 'weird' for continuing to hang out with them. Harmony and her pack of sheep, they called us losers and freaks all the time..."

"So, what you're sayin' is this Harmony and Alex turned into first class assholes, huh?" Gunn asked. He wasn't sure where the story was going, but this was the most he'd ever heard Cordelia talk about her past.

But a faint smile crossed Cordelia's face, as she glanced down again at the picture lying beside her. "No, only Harmony. Sure, Alex went around being a butthole to the rest of the unpopular nerds and geeks. But he never let the jocks or cheerleaders insult the three of us, whenever he was around. And Harmony never tried anything when Alex was within earshot, either."

"So he still liked you guys?" Fred asked. "But then, why didn't he hang out with you?"

The sad look returned. "Good question. All I know is something happened between Harmony and him, around the middle of freshman year. He wanted to break up with her, but she did this damn idiotic little puppy dog act! Like I said, he was always dense around women. The big dummy really didn't believe most of the girls on campus wanted to go out with him, and Harmony was not going to let her hooks loose of the best guy at Sunnydale High! But then, it all changed mid-way through sophomore year."

"What happened then?" Fred asked timidly.

"Buffy Summers arrived," Cordelia told them. "She was the vampire Slayer. Until then, we never knew that Sunnydale was sitting on top of the damn Hellmouth! The town was full of demons and vampires, but we. Never. Knew..."

"Wait up," Gunn said, with a frown. "Buffy Summers? Isn't that the chick that Angel's always actin' broody about? The one that got brought back to life, a few months ago?"

Cordelia nodded. "Yeah, that's our Buffy alright. Takes a lickin', but keeps on ticking! Angel and Buffy, they had this big star-crossed lovers romance thing. But that's an entirely different story," the brunette woman told him, discouraging further questions.

"It turns out that the Watchers Council — you know, the guys Wesley used to work for? — well, they knew that Buffy was moving to good old Sunnyhell, way back when. So they got one of their people, this guy called Rupert Giles, placed in as our school librarian. He was her new Watcher. I was in the stacks on the third floor of the library the first day they met, and I overheard their entire conversation."

"Your high school library had three floors?" Gunn asked amazed, but then he shook his head. "Figures, all the money for schools ends up in the suburbs..."

Cordelia took a quick drink from her water bottle that was sitting on the nightstand, before responding. "It was a cool place, I ended up thinking," she admitted.

"It had a large seating area, three floors of bookshelves going around the sides and back, spiral staircases, and even this hugeass skylight! Anyway, later that night I talked to Buffy about what I had overheard, which is when Willow, Jesse and another guy Jonathon, who I really didn't know that well, were taken from the Bronze by vampires. Believe it or not, they were looking for, like, take-out meals for this old Master vamp, who lived underground! Seems he was trapped in some Star Trek-like force field. And there was this ritual thingy in the pipeline to get him out, one that required one of his minions to drain a lot of people at the local nightclub to give him power somehow..."

She continued, "We lost Jonathon that night, he got turned. I had to stake him myself later, which is not something I'll ever remember fondly. But we got into the Bronze that Friday after sunset, and freed a whole bunch of people. Buffy, being the super chick or whatever, fought the vamps and decapitated the one that had grabbed me at the end," the brunette laughed.

"I realized later that Harmony was the next person in line to be killed, when we broke in to save the day. About a year or so afterwards, I actually wished that we'd been a few minutes late! I know, it's not nice to wish death by vampire on anybody, but that's how I felt."

"Did she thank you at least for saving her life?" Fred asked innocently.

Cordy shook her head. "Oh no, that woulda been a fate worse than death for her! By then Harmony hated me with a passion, just as much as I hated her. So thanking me for saving her ass, would not be good for what she thought was her public image."

"Typical," Gunn grunted. "Then what?"

"In the end, it just got called a 'gang fight on PCP'. I swear, everyone just ignored the bite marks on the bodies and went off in to their little dream world! But me, Willow and Jesse couldn't. Seeing vampires up close and personal, really kinda makes it hard to repress your memories like the rest of the townsfolk."

The former rich girl of Sunnydale then sat up straighter, and put a look of pride onto her face. "We became a team, you see. Giles, Buffy, Willow, Jesse, and me. Buffy was the Slayer, so Willow named the rest of us her 'Slayerettes'."

Fred giggled. "Like the Rockettes?"

Cordelia returned the giggle. "Not really, but Jesse did mention that if me, Buffy and Willow ever wanted to get outfits like the Rockettes, he sure as hell wouldn't mind."

Gunn had watched the tiny exchange between the two women carefully. Cordelia now seemed to be fondly reminiscing about her past, and it seemed to him that this was maybe the first time she'd spoken to anyone about this. He still didn't know what had happened to her, but to hold it all in for three years? No wonder she got cold and despondent a lot.

"Now, this is where it gets interesting," Cordy continued. "At least for me..."

She then told them, "By the end of sophomore year we had dealt with some weird things, besides the vampires. A few demons, and even this weird talking ventriloquist dummy! But the big thing that had happened to me by then, was that I'd gotten possessed. And not by a demon, but by a hyena."

"A hyena?" both her friends asked in surprise.

Cordelia shrugged. "Seems that the zookeeper in Sunnydale wanted to channel the primal spirit power of these hyenas, or some sorta thing like that. He had this big fashion-dead ritual all set up, but I had to go and try to save some guy from a bunch of bullies that had dragged him into the closed hyena den! So me and five other kids got possessed by those deadly African animals, instead of him."

"You can get possessed by an animal?" Gunn asked, surprised. "I thought it was just ghosts and demons."

"That's what I thought too," Cordy told him. "But believe it or not, we started to act like a pack of hyenas. We just had the animal desires, really. Hunt, kill, feed...and one other thing."

Gunn had already guessed what the other instinct was, but Fred looked confused. "What other thing?"

Cordelia blushed. "After we'd eaten something that I never want to let myself remember, ever again, well our pack leader, this guy Kyle...he wanted to take his girlfriend and myself out to the woods to...uh, mate. He'd apparently claimed me as his..."

The young woman paused and grinned, as she remembered that part of it. "Thing is, the hyena version of me didn't take too kindly to being treated like that. When I was normal I'd hated the guy, so I sure as hell wasn't going to let myself be 'claimed' by that asshole! I pretty much kicked his ass. I, uh, then went in search of my own mate, somebody that was...up to my standards."

Gunn had already guessed what was coming before Cordelia ended up saying, "And while I was in this hopped-up animal heat mode, I ran into Harmony — who started to bitch at me, for looking like a 'ho..."

Gunn chuckled. "Dumbass called you a whore? Oh, I'm afraid to hear what you did to her..."

Cordy lay back against the wall, with her hands interlaced behind her head. "It was nothing, really; I just grabbed her wrist, flipped her ass onto the ground and walked away without a second thought. But it was in front of everyone. And she really hated it, when most of the students cheered me on..."

Fred laughed. "What were you wearing that she called you a 'ho for?"

"Nothing all that bad," Cordelia shrugged. "A black leather miniskirt, dark blue blouse, and a leather jacket. I was on the hunt for a suitable mate, after all."

"Did you find one?" Fred asked.

"Oh yeah. And I really didn't have to look that hard," Cordy responded with a sigh. "Deep down...I was looking for just one guy, and him alone. Eventually, I tracked him down at his parents' guesthouse. And I still remember the look Alex gave me, when he first saw yours truly. He couldn't form coherent words, he was so flabbergasted! Later, he told me that I looked like some kinda dark goddess to him..."

"Then what? Then what?" Fred asked, totally into the girl talk mode. Gunn just rolled his eyes.

Cordelia shrugged, "I just grabbed him, and we started making out in a way that would even make people in the Playboy mansion blush. And I, uh, got very angry when he tried to refuse me."

"He tried to turn you down? When you were basically this animal in heat?" Gunn asked, shocked. A little too shocked, for Fred's liking.

Cordelia smiled and let Gunn squirm under Fred's glare, before she resumed...



April 17th, 1997
Harris family guesthouse

"Ah, Cordy?" Alex stammered, backing up. "Not that I don't want to do what I, uh, think you're suggesting we should do, but, um…"

He was cut off by the very attractive young woman in leather grabbing him by the shirt, and throwing him onto the island counter top in the kitchen.

"Shut up!" the brunette teenager-slash-hyena spirit told him forcefully as she kissed her first ever crush, ramming her tongue into his mouth and initiating another round of tonsil hockey.

And so he, like almost any other guy, went with the kiss, which only seemed to encourage Cordelia more. Thus she broke it off and quickly removed her jacket, tossing it to the ground before she climbed up there as well, straddling him.

"Cordelia!" Alex tried again. "What the hell has gotten into you!?"

"I told you to shut up!" she just demanded again. "I'm claiming you as my mate, already! So just get yourself juiced up enough, to do your job!"

Alex Harris was shocked when she said that, but even more so when Cordelia grabbed his shirt and ripped it off of him.

The buttons instantly flew away in all directions, clattering onto the ground.

"Cordy, please, talk to me! I know this isn't really you! Okay, granted, we've drifted apart a lot in the last few years, but I know you would never do something like…"

The male teenager then lost his voice for a moment, when his 'friend' quickly removed her blouse. "Oh, boy..." was all Alex could weakly mutter out loud, as he looked at the half-naked girl on top of him.

Luckily, he was able to tear his eyes away from the always-interesting area of her chest and looked into Cordelia's eyes. And what Alex saw there, shocked him to the depths of his soul.

His first grade best friend was gazing at him, with nothing but pure lust on her face.

Cordelia grabbed his hair forcefully and quickly told him, "Get this through your thick head. You're mine!" Before she sank down like a shark, and started to make out with him as if they were in a porn flick.

Neither of them heard the back door open, or the words "Holy shit!" ring out. All Alex knew was that a few seconds later, he heard a small 'bang' sound and Cordelia fell off of him, to slump down next to him unconscious.

He propped himself up by his elbows, as he looked at the newcomer. "Buffy Summers? Oh, I shoulda known," the boy groaned. "What the hell is going on here?!"

His demand for answers just incensed the petite blond girl. "What's going on here?!" the Slayer repeated back to him, as she waved the large frying pan she had in her hand at him menacingly.

"I'll tell you what's going on here! An asshole football player is taking advantage of my friend, when's she not in her right mind!"

Alex jumped off the counter to face her. "Listen, you little bottle-blond twerp! I may be capable of a lot of things, but I would never take advantage of Cordelia like that! Ever!"

The Chosen One laughed bitterly at that, full of contempt for him. "Yeah, sure, pal. You just keep telling yourself that..." she responded to him in disbelief. And when the now-angered Alex moved towards her, Buffy was ready and instantly nailed him over the head with the frying pan.

He awoke a bit later, but Buffy and Cordelia were long gone.



Both of her friends stared at Cordelia in shock, after she was done telling that part of the tale. "Holy crap, girl!" was all Gunn could say.

"Did he tell everyone what happened, the next day?" Fred asked, concerned.

"No. He'd have never done that," Cordelia quickly told Fred. "Luckily Giles was able to get us all un-possessed, later that night. The others, they all ended up in the loony bin after they realized what had happened to Mr. Flutie, our school principal. And trust me, you do NOT want to know details! Anyway, Buffy wanted to kill Alex because she thought he was going to rape me..."

"Real sensitive subject," Gunn interjected, shaking his head.

"Yeah, well, I was just so embarrassed by the entire thing that I told her and the others that I didn't remember anything. Giles knew I was lying, but he stayed silent about it. And I was just barely able to keep Buffy from killing Alex, the next day. But I still had to face him, afterwards."

"Let me guess," Gunn said. "He was a little freaked by it."

"Oh, ain't that the understatement of the year," Cordelia told them, shaking her head

Part Two


April 18th, 1997
Alexander Harris's bedroom

Cordelia peeked into the room nervously, "Alex, are you in here?"

The young man in question was in fact leaning back in his chair, reading a book with his feet up on the desk. And when he saw her, the football player was so surprised that he jerked up in his seat, and instantly lost his balance.

Cordelia winced, as she watched the guy fall backwards out of his chair and hit the floor.

"Alex!" the girl called to him, as she ran over. "Are you okay?!" Cordelia helped him up, to sit on the bed.

But Alex Harris just looked at her. "Shouldn't I be asking you that question, Cordelia?" He then got a look of mild fear on his face, "You're, uh, not here to try and claim me as your, um, mate again, are you? Because that's, that's just sorta…"

"No, I'm not," the brunette told him quickly. "I-I-I wanted to explain. About that. Ah, you see…a college guy – one who you definitely don't know – he, um, slipped something into my drink at the Bronze yesterday, and I…"

"Cor, knock it off. This is me here!" Alex said, interrupting the spiel. "Look, is everything okay – really? Are you in some sort of trouble now, or what?"

She just stared at him, with an odd look. "Cor," the teenage girl repeated almost to herself. "You haven't called me that in years. Last time had to be...back when we were little kids. Second grade..."

The man laughed at the memories. "Yeah, well, guess I'm a little out of practice talking to you, huh? Okay, I'll try saying Cordelia from now on, if you want."

"No!" Cordy insisted. "You can call me Cor. I, ah...I've kind of missed it."

Alex turned to face Cordelia, and she could see the seriousness in his eyes. "Okay. But Cor, did some guy really give you drugs? Because if said asshole did give you Rohypnol or whatever to try and date-rape you, so help me God I'll get the team together and we'll tear off his…"

"NO!" Cordy stopped him. "Alex, please, let me handle it. In fact, it's been taken care of already. I just wanted to stop by, and…well, your mom let me in, but I just wanted to show you I'm okay now. Buffy said she had to knock you out…"

"Yeah, about that – what the hell is up with that crazy chick?" her first crush asked the woman. "She actually thought I would take advantage of you like that?" Alex asked in disbelief, shaking his head.

Cordelia shook her head. "Buffy is...well, just way overprotective of her friends. She doesn't know you as well as I do..." The girl then blushed as she said, "And you have to admit, I was doing a great impression of 'Cordelia Does Sunnydale' when she came in..."

Cordy then put on a false worried face, just for his benefit. "Oh, by the way, did I really have my top off? 'Cause I don't think I was wearing a bra..."

Alex suddenly decided to look very intently at the wallpaper pattern on the farthest corner of the room, as he tried not to think about whatever feelings that particular remark stirred up. But he was quickly brought back to the conversation with Cordelia's shout, "Hey! Cut the perfect gentleman crap, pal! I had my top off, didn't I?"

He looked at her and nodded. "Still, not that I would have tried anything Cor..." Alex reassured her quickly.

Cordelia waved that off, "I know you wouldn't have."

She then gazed at him with a pseudo-hopeful look. "Oh, and since you're the first guy I've ever flashed, and one of the few people whose opinions actually matter to me…I'd like to know. Did I at least look hot?" the teenager asked, as she struck a pose and waved her hand up and down her body like a fashion model. "'Cause hey, cheerleader here!"

Alex laughed. "Yeah, Cor, I'd say the term smoking hot would definitely apply."

Cordelia blushed shyly, as she looked down for a moment. "Was I better-looking than Harmony?" And at his funny look, she added, "Well, I figure you must have gotten a good look at her…by now...and I'm shutting up already."

Alex groaned, "Yeesh, you women! Look – I have to say, no matter what I really think, that my girlfriend is definitely a ten here, Cor. If I don't, then you know it'll get back to her..." His guest watched as he rolled his eyes and then spoke in a low voice, "Everything I say eventually gets back to her..."

"Something you want to talk about, Alex?" Cordelia asked him.

He sighed, "No. Hell, if she even knew you stopped by…"


A shrug. "Well, I already had a two-hour phone conversation with her last night – about how you attacked her yesterday."

"I so did not attack her!" Cordelia said hotly. "She got in my face first, and called me a 'ho!" Then she looked at him, "And did you just agree with everything she said?"

Alex shrugged again. "Uh, I'm not sure exactly what she said, really. It got to the point where I decided to put the phone up to my computer speakers, and start up this little repeating MP3 of my voice going 'of course', and 'the nerve of some people'..."

Cordy giggled at the image. "Who are you trying to kid? That can't really work."

"Cor, I've been doing it for a month now, and she hasn't said a thing to me about it," the quarterback told her in annoyance.

"Alexander LaVelle Harris," Cordy said sternly. "You don't do that sort of thing to your girlfriend! That's totally wrong – even if it is Harmony we're talking about. I know how I'd feel!" She sighed, "Alex, why the hell don't you simply break up with her? From everything you've just said, it's obvious you now feel that you two are all wrong for each other!"

"Oh, I tried that once Cordelia. Didn't last long. She's a pro, and I'm the dating amateur." He shrugged his shoulders and told her, "But there are some perks, I guess. She's not bad looking, and a pretty good kisser. Besides, it's not like I have any other girls lining up to be with me anyway..."

"Oh no you don't, mister!" Cordelia told him angrily. "No self-pity! You big jerk, I know of at least nine girls who would instantly make a play for you, if you and the she-bitch ever broke up! Harmony even has her bimbo squad keeping tabs on them, if they try..."

But even as she said it, Cordelia could tell that he didn't believe her. <Oh my God, she has got him so whipped it's disgusting! This is Alex. He doesn't deserve to be treated like that! Okay, that's it. This calls for drastic action!>

She sat back on the bed next to him. "Alex, I have to get going to a meeting, but I want you to know something. There are girls out there besides Harmony, who would kill to be with you."

"If you say so," Alex said, with yet another shrug.

His mellow response made her make up her mind; Cordelia grabbed his face with her hands, and pulled him to her. And before he could do anything about it, she was giving him a huge kiss. Not an aggressive, lust-filled kiss like the day before, no – this one was long, wet, and as tender as Cordelia could possibly make it.

About 30 seconds later, she got up and walked to the door as the guy sat there, completely stunned. "Yeah, I do say so," the cheerleader said, as she walked out of his bedroom with her face beet-red but with a huge smile on it.



"So, did he ask you out after that?" Fred eagerly wanted to know.

"No," Cordelia said sadly. "For the next few weeks, Harmony started watching him like a hawk. One of the Harmonettes must have seen me leave his mansion, or something..."

She shook her head, annoyed. "We did start sharing all these little looks from across the classroom, but any class we were in that Harmony wasn't, she had one of her groupies stalking us. But finally, it all came to a head on Prom night."

"What happened then?" Gunn asked.

The brunette woman sighed, "We were all busy with some big Hellmouth thing. The Master was going to get free from his prison, and it was kinda foretold that he would kill Buffy. But on the day of the Prom Alex had to go back out to the football field behind the school, because he'd forgotten his helmet after practice. And that's when…"

"When what?"

Cordelia grew angry, and for a moment Fred wondered if she'd pushed when she shouldn't have. "He found that little bitch, Harmony!" the former Sunnydale resident growled.

"It seems she was underneath the bleachers, making out with some guy from the college just outside of town. And if that wasn't bad enough, the horse's ass told the frat boy that she was only dating Alex because he was a popular jock, and that he was a really bad kisser!"

Cordy looked at her friends, "Which is so not true! He was a great kisser!"

Fred and Gunn shared a quick glance, wondering just how big Harmony's hospital bill had been after Cordy had gotten done with her.

"He came to the library, where all of us were, to see me after he overheard Harmony," Cordelia continued. "But like I said, we were trying to deal with that end-of-the-world type thing. Buffy was totally out of it, knowing she was destined to die; and the others wanted me to just get rid of him. But how the hell was I supposed to tell the guy, to simply get lost?"



Prom Night, May 31st, 1997
Sunnydale High School Library

Cordelia absently held Alex's hand as the rest, minus Buffy and Angel who were elsewhere, looked at them. Giles tried to usher the new arrival out, "I'm very sorry, Mr. Harris, I can see you have something on your mind – but, ah, we need Ms. Chase here for the moment. We have something that is rather time-sensitive going on, so…"

Jesse interrupted, "What he means is we need to be alone right now, so can you please take a hike already?"

"Jesse!" Willow scolded her friend.

"What?" the boy shrugged, ignoring the frosty looks from the two girls present. "We're on the clock here, and definitely don't have time to play three rounds of 'let's cheer up the quarterback'!"

"Yes, well, I am sorry Mr. Har-" Giles started again. But Alex surprised them all.

He looked at Cordelia and asked, "Is this something to do with the vampires?"

A pin drop could have been heard in the library. Giles looked sternly at Cordelia as the cheerleader shook her head, letting go of Alex's hand. "Hey, don't look at me! I didn't say anything..."

Willow looked at the brunette boy who'd once been her friend. "Vampires? Uh, Alex, there's no such thing. You're…"

"Oh come on, do you think I'm totally stupid?!" the football player asked the group, with a pointed look towards Giles. "Vampires are real, and maybe some other kinds of demon-y type things are too, and you people are the superhero-wannabes who fight them. Am I right?"

Jesse was stunned. "What…? No…uh, dude, how'd you…"

Alex rolled his eyes. "You guys honestly think I haven't noticed stuff? Please! Your friend Buffy can beat the crap out of my boys on the team, who are like twice as big as she is. So, something's up with her! It's kinda hard not to guess, what with all the weird crap that started after she just happened to move here..."

Cordelia tried to hold Giles back, since he now thought this young man could pose a danger to his Slayer. The Watcher then grew more concerned as Alex continued, "Let's see, just how much crap has happened over the last six months? First off, this so-called gang on PCP attacks the Bronze, and a few people end up dead. Then a cheerleader nearly gets deep-fried by, well…nothing. Dr. Gregory is found by you, Cordy, with his head missing in a freezer. Principal Flutie is eaten by…"

Alex held up his hands and made quotation marks with his fingers, "…a wild dog, which somehow no one sees or hears? A boy and girl have their brain and heart cut out, during the time of the school play? I somehow ended up a nerd, who almost joined the chess club? Cordelia and Buffy get kidnapped and attacked by some chick that the Men in Black take away, before the cops ever show up? And wild guess here...the vamps are the guys with the fangs, and yellow eyes, that are super-strong and go 'poof' into dust with you stick a piece of wood through the heart. Did I miss anything?"

Cordelia just started at him in shock. "You know all that? Have you been watching us?"

He shook his head. "Cor, you really think your little group here are the only ones that the bloodsuckers attack?" Alex asked her. "Two weeks ago, some of 'em attacked me and Harmony when we walked home from the Bronze..."

Cordelia looked at him, very concerned. "You guys walked home after dark?!"

The guy returned her look, full-on. "Well, how was I supposed to know this town suddenly had its own Evil Dead convention going on?"

Alex sighed, as he looked around at the group. "I was getting my ass kicked, while Harmony was yelling at me to stop messing around and protect her, when your little blond friend showed up. Then some guy with way too much gel in his hair yanked Harmony and me out of the area, while Summers fought the undead. I turned around in time to see the dust start flying..."

Alex then groaned at all the shocked looks he was getting. Jesse, on the other hand, was looking at his former friend with mostly just contempt.

"Well, that's just great for you," the boy told Alex, as he got up from his chair. "It's like, a big gold star for the imagination of the football jock!" He then grabbed the guy's arm, and began to drag him out the double doors. "But like I said, we have way too much work to do right now. So, goodbye!"

Cordelia moved to stop Jesse, when Giles put a hand on her shoulder. The look on his face reinforced what she already knew.

That there was no time to bring Alex up to speed. Because the Master was going to rise soon, and bring about Armageddon.

The brunette girl called to young Mr. Harris as he was nearing the doors, "I promise I'll come over first thing in the morning, Alex!"

"Yeah, sure you will..." Harris said, as he angrily shoved off Jesse's hands and walked out the door, shaking his head.

The cheerleader watched the doors swing closed, before she turned towards Jesse – who had a smug look on his face, that she instantly detested. "Was that, like, really necessary? We coulda used the help!"

Jesse looked at her, slightly surprised. "We don't have time to break in the newbie, Cordy. Buffy is supposed to die tonight, for God's sake. I think that matters more than whatever that idiot had on his mind!"

"He's not an idiot! He gets better grades than you do!" Cordelia shot back at him.

Jesse was ready to fire back, guns a-blazing when Giles stepped between them. "Children, please! You can settle this later, because right now we have more pressing matters to attend to!"



"Geez," Gunn snorted. "Did any of your friends like this Alex guy?"

Cordelia shrugged. "Willow did, but then she kinda had a little crush on him. Of course, I think she had one on Jesse, too."

Fred looked at her friend. "I guess you guys stopped that Master guy from rising, since Buffy didn't die until she fought that hellgod? And you're not dead…"

"Well, actually, he did rise," the brunette woman told them. "Thing is, Giles wasn't going to send Buffy off into a battle that she was prophesised to die in. But Buffy thought that if she'd cheated death a few times already, that somehow it might happen again..."

A sigh. "So she knocked good old Giles out, and took off for the fight. The bad part is that we didn't have the full translation, on that whole 'the Slayer will die' thing. The Master was freed from his prison by grabbing her, and then drinking some of her blood. If she hadn't ever gone down there, then the Master would still be stuck in that stupid cave of his."

"How could she have died twice?" Gunn asked, puzzled.

"Jesse went and got Angel, after he found out that Buffy had gone to fight the Master," Cordelia continued the tale. "There was a pool of water in his lair or something, because they found Buffy floating in it. Jesse tried CPR, and it worked. She did die, but he brought her back, and then they went to fight the Master on the roof of the school..."



Prom Night, May 31st, 1997

Willow turned back to Ms. Calendar in the library. "Well, the last time the Master's vampires attacked, they tried to get some fresh blood for the Harvest."

Jenny Calendar nodded. "Okay, then where was that?"

Willow's head shot up. "The Bronze!"

Cordelia was equally alarmed. "The Prom! We have to warn them!"

Ms. Calendar grabbed her keys off the table, turning to Giles as she and the two teenagers ran for the doors. "We'll go. You keep trying to find out what's…"

She didn't get to finish, because at that moment a bruised and bloodied Alexander Harris ran in through the double doors.

"Alex!" Cordelia yelled at his injured appearance.

But the boy paid her no attention, as he quickly grabbed the coat rack and slid it through the door handles. He then frantically moved the Xerox machine against the doors, before turning to the four surprised people. "Ah, by any chance is there another way out of this place?"

"Why do you…" Giles asked, as he ran over to the doors.

At that moment, a large fist with inhuman strength smashed through one of the round windows in the library doors, causing shards of glass to fly towards the group.

"Oh, hey, no reason..." Alex said sarcastically, as he put all his weight against the doors to help keep them closed.

Giles looked through the windows, to see over a dozen vampires trying to break in past the doors. "We've got to secure the stacks!" the British man called out, as he raced towards the back with Willow.

Ms. Calendar looked in fear through the windows, as the vampires tried to get in. "Why are they coming here?!" she yelled at Alex.

The football player gave his computer class teacher a stupefied look, as he tried to shake off a vampire's arm that had grabbed his hair. "Why the hell are you asking me!?"

As Cordelia finished helping him get his head free, they heard Willow scream. They all looked back in time to see a huge neck with three snake-like heads erupt out of the floor; its vine-like tentacles wrapping themselves around anything it could find. Giles was brandishing an axe as he attacked one of its heads, that was going after Willow...

Ms Calendar ran to help, as Alex turned to the shocked Cordelia next to him. "So…is this normal for a Friday night nowadays, for you?"

Cordy didn't respond, as she stared on in shock as the two teachers pulled Willow free.

The cheerleader then saw a blur, as Alex ran past her. She saw him jump up onto a table and grab a tentacle, one that was going for Giles' head.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out the way the football player thought it would, as the tentacle was much stronger than it looked; it wrapped itself around the boy, and lifted him high towards the ceiling. Then he was dimly aware of Cordy yelling his name, as the jock saw some weird-looking guy in leather laughing at him through the skylight.

As Alex hung there in midair, he did the only thing he could think of. He just flipped the leather guy his middle finger. Then moments later, the boy was whipped back down towards the floor.

The wind was knocked out of him, as the tentacle smashed him through a wooden table. The teen was released a second later, as the tentacle retracted; Alex would later suspect the impact had hurt it, as much as it had him.

Cordelia and Giles ran up, and pulled him clear of the ruined table. The Watcher then left her to attend to Alex, as he ran back to help the others get clear. The cheerleader checked him quickly for injuries, "Please be okay, you big doofus..."



"And then after Buffy had fought the Master on the roof, she was finally able to throw him down through the skylight – and he got impaled on a piece of the table that Alex had busted up. It was all just way too insane," Cordelia told them.

Gunn and Fred just exchanged shocked looks between themselves.



Prom Night, May 31st, 1997

Willow moved the obstacles from the doors, to let in Buffy, Angel and Jesse. "The vampires?" the redhead asked Jesse.

"Gone," he said simply.

"The Master?" Angel asked nervously.

Giles stepped aside, to let the souled vampire see the skeleton remains. "He's…a…quite dead."

Willow looked at the bones, and then at Buffy – who was also staring at them. "Quite a night, huh?"

Jesse looked towards her. "Yeah, Buffy died and everything."

"Wow, harsh."

Giles looked to his Slayer. "I should have known that wouldn't stop you."

Buffy returned the warm smile he gave her. Then, she finally noticed Alex being held up by Cordelia. "What are you doing here?" the blonde asked him.

"Well, uh, nothing much," Alex said, between the shots of stabbing pain. "See, there was nothing on cable tonight except 'Saved by the Bell' reruns, so I thought I'd drop by and see what you guys do for fun."

"Oh," Buffy said distantly, as she looked back to the bones.

"This may sound stupid, but what do we do now?" Ms. Calendar asked.

"I don't know about any of you," Giles began. "But I'd like to get out of here. I don't rather like the library right now."

Nods went around the room, before Jesse spoke up. "Hey, I hear there's a dance tonight. Could be fun?"

"Yeah," Willow agreed. "Buffy?"

"Sure," the Chosen One said. "We saved the world, I say we party. I mean, I did get all pretty."

"What about him?" Ms. Calendar asked, as she pointed to the Master's remains.

"He's not going anywhere," Buffy said, looking at the bones with distaste. "Loser."

With that, they seemed to turn as one towards the door. "I'm not dancing though," Giles told Ms. Calendar.

Jesse grabbed Willow's hand. "Come on Wills, let's go show them how to really dance the night away!"

"Yeah, come on hero boy," Cordelia told Alex, as she helped him to the doors. "I better take you to the hospital..."

Alex flashed her a grin, before he turned to Buffy as they left the library. "By the way, I like your dress!"

Buffy laughed, "Yeah, yeah. It's a big hit with everybody."



Part Three

Fred, Gunn and Cordelia had moved out onto the large patio of Cordelia's suite, to get some air. Cordelia had just gotten done with the story up to the defeat of the Master, as she looked down at the cars zooming by during rush hour traffic in LA.

"So, you and Alex didn't go to the Prom with the others?" Fred asked.

"No. No we didn't," Cordelia said, as she moved from the railing to a plastic patio chair. She enjoyed the feeling of the light breeze through her hair before she continued, "I took the big dummy to the hospital. He checked out fine, just a little banged up. Alex then wanted me to go off to join the others at the Prom, but he didn't want to go himself since Harmony was going to be there. So, I decided to stay with him."

She continued, "One of the hospital rent-a-cops had a dad who worked for Alex's family, so he let us go on the roof of the hospital to hang out. We brought a radio, and the jerk found some station that played some dumb spaghetti music, as we just talked looking up at the stars from twelve floors up. We talked about everything and nothing. His family, my family, even about the fight we'd had when we were little kids. Turns out he didn't remember what it was about anymore than I did."

An almost shy look comes across Cordelia's face. "Then the radio started to play classical music. Alex told me he wasn't going to rob Cordelia Chase of her Prom Night, so right then and there he asked me to dance. We totally and completely lost track of the time just dancing, and before we knew it the sun was coming up. That was one of, if not the best nights of my life."

Ms. Chase looked to her two friends. "One thing above all else I learned about life, is that you don't remember the big things like you think you will. You remember the moments. Even the smallest ones. Being up there that night, dancing to every song that came on the radio, and just the look in his eyes as he stared at me...I can't explain how great that felt. If we'd been in a romantic movie or whatever, that's the point where we would have lived happily ever after and the credits would have rolled."

"But I'm gettin' the impression that that's not how it turned out," Gunn commented.

"Well, actually, no – for a while, it was pretty damn good," Cordelia told him with a slight smirk. "Alex broke up with Harmony the next day, when she came to find him and demand to know why he never showed at the Prom. And funny thing, he never told me just how he finally managed to get rid of her..."



June 1st, 1997
Sunnydale General Hospital

"Cordelia?!?" Harmony yelled, as her voice carried in the parking lot where she had cornered Alex. "You were with that bitch all last night!?"

"Don't call her that!" Alex yelled back. "And it's not like you're making it sound! I was in the hospital, for crying out loud!"

Harmony gave him a look of anger, mixed with cruel amusement. "Since when did you start growing a backbone? You do NOT yell at me, Alexander Harris! Do you know how much damage control I'm going to have to do, to cover the fact that my BOYFRIEND didn't show up at my Prom!?"

"Harmony, will you cut it out?! My God, but I'm sick of this. And you didn't want me there anyway!" Alex yelled back. "Why didn't you just take that college guy you were making out with, under the bleachers? You know, the one you made fun of me to?"

The blond didn't flinch. "Is that supposed to impress me, that you know I was making out with a real man? You know the drill, you idiot, we've discussed this before. I'm only with you until we graduate high school! After that, you've served your purpose. Come on, I'm Harmony Kendall! I have the BEST, and only the best! And at this thing we laughingly call a high school, you happen to be the most popular guy..."

"Okay, Harm, lemme put it like this. If you don't really give a crap about me beyond the sake of appearances, then why the hell do you care who I spent the evening dancing with!?" he demanded.

Harmony was getting annoyed at his attitude. "Do I have to remind you why you're going to do exactly what I say, when I say it!?"

The guy suddenly looked uneasy. "I didn't do anything wrong, and you know it! You were the one who came over, you were the one who even brought the condoms..."

A predatory smile came over Harmony's face. "It doesn't matter what really happened, dummy. It doesn't matter that I came over to your house because I was bored, and decided to have sex with you. And hell, you weren't even that good! I've had better, before and since..."

She then put on an act of total innocence, and gave her voice a schoolgirl quality to it. "All that'll matter is when I tell my dear old daddy, that the big mean old football player raped me. Oh, he forced me daddy! He came over and I kept saying no, but he didn't stop! I was waiting for my wedding night, I swear, but Alex raped me daddy..."

Harmony laughed at his pissed-off face. "Now, who are they gonna believe, Alex? The dumb jock, or the cheerleader who is just so traumatized by his vicious attack? Just think of it, every girl you'd ever talk to afterwards would wonder to herself, 'Did he really do it? Would he do that to me too?' Alex, face facts. I so own your ass!"

The blond girl was slightly surprised though, when his frown turned into a bigger grin than the one she had. She then watched as the quarterback calmly got into his car and started the engine, and wondered what the heck the other teen thought he was doing, turning his back on her.

Alex then looked out the open window to the manipulative creature, "All right, Harmony. Go ahead. Go call your dad, and lie to him that I raped you last year. In fact, I hope he does have me arrested! It will just dig you in deeper..."

"You think I won't, you horse's ass?!" Harmony raged full force at him. "You think you're going to make me believe that you don't care, that no one will believe me? Bullshit! I'm Harmony Kendall! Everyone loves me!"

The male teenager just watched her rant without flinching. "Have a nice life, Harmony. I hope you find that rich guy you're after, who can turn you into that trophy wife you so want to become some day. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to be somewhere."

"Where? Another meeting with that slut!?"

"No. The only slut I know right now, I'm talking to her..." Alex told his ex, which enraged Harmony more than he thought he'd ever seen her. "But if you must know, I have to go make copies."

This surprised her. "Copies?"

Alex reached into his pants pocket, and pulled out a small silver mini-tape recorder. Harmony grew quiet, as she saw the two black prongs turning the tape as the red recording light was on.

"I hereby solemnly swear that this tape was made by me, Alexander Lavelle Harris, on June 1st 1997 at the Sunnydale General Hospital parking lot at approximately 10 am. With me is Harmony Kendall, who had no prior knowledge up until now I was taping our conversation. Do you understand that for the record, you have spoken all of these words of your own free will, Harmony?"

The cheerleader looked stunned. "I – yes, I – what?" Then the murderous rage came into her eyes. "YOU SON OF A-"

Alex enjoyed the look on her face for a moment, as he switched off the tape. "Now, lemme make this real clear for you, Harm. You will leave me and Cordelia alone, from now on. And for the hell of it, you and your sheep will also leave Cordy's friends alone as well. If I hear any evil rumors spread around about me or anyone who I just mentioned, or you try to do the false rape thing? Then this tape gets sent to your parents, the police, and everyone at the country club. Do we understand each other?"

With a smirk, Alex Harris hit the button that brought the car window up, and Harmony saw the utterly shocked look on her face reflected in it as he drove away.



"So, anyway, Harmony and Alex broke up, and I have to tell you I'd never seen him happier," Cordelia said. "And man, a lot of people were shocked when we started to officially dating! For a week, it was heaven."

"Why only a week?" Fred wondered.

Cordy frowned. "School ended for the year. He went off to a football training camp, while I went to Tuscany with my family."

"That sucks," Fred deadpanned. "You guys just get together, then you get split up for three months?"

"Well, not the entire three months," Cordelia said with a gleam in her eye. "His football thing was only for two months. So afterwards, Alex flew over to Italy to meet with us. We backpacked through most of the country, and even went over into Greece for a month. I swear, when we got to one of the islands – Naxos, it was called – I was sure my life couldn't get any better..."

She saw their looks and shrugged. "No tourists, monolingual locals and beautiful weather. Of course Daddy instead we carry a GPS tracker with us, but otherwise it was just the two of us."

"The two of you, all alone?" Gunn asked, surprised. "Your parents actually let you go off with the guy, like unchaperoned?"

"Well, my mom had always kinda liked him. And she knew how I felt about him...she just told me to think carefully, when we were off together." She shrugged. "Besides that, she knew we'd be okay – he knew Greek pretty well, and I can speak fluent Italian. Che parla italiano fluente..."

Fred seemed stuck on something. "So, so, you and your first crush were alone for a long time, right? Did you two-?" the former physicist stopped, not knowing how to phrase the question without making herself sound like a pervert.

Cordelia saved her. "You mean, did we have sex?"

Gunn smirked, as Fred blushed and nodded.

"Well," Cordelia said slowly. "I'm not ashamed to admit it, despite the fact that Alex and I were only sixteen years old. My first time was with him, under the stars, on one of the beaches of that Greek island. We were completely alone, and it was all so magical...so I don't regret ever making love to the guy, no matter what else happened in our lives."

Fred clapped her hands in girl-y delight with a huge grin, while Gunn suddenly wished he was anywhere but here for the intimate details.

Cordelia sighed, "You know, during that time I thought that was how my life should have been. I so did not want to come back to the Hellmouth, and continue to risk my neck fighting demons..."

"So, how did your friends feel about your new relationship with the guy?" Gunn asked.

Cordy shook her head. "When we got back? Willow was happy that I was happy. Giles was upset, but only because he'd have to deal with another American teenager. Jesse and Buffy? Yeah, big surprise, they didn't like it much. And Angel...well, he didn't even know Alex then, at least no more than what Buffy had told him and he'd seen for himself at the Bronze..."

"What about Wesley? What did he think?" Fred wondered.

"Wesley wasn't there back then; he didn't show up in town until well into the second half of senior year. And this was our junior year," Cordelia told her. "But the start of the year was uneventful, really. Oh, we had some problems, Hellmouth-wise; and a new rich guy moved into town and Harmony immediately made him her pet project. She did everything she could, to make him into the biggest stud on campus..."

"I'm almost afraid to ask what your little Hellmouth problems were," Gunn said, as he leaned back in his chair with his feet resting on the patio table.

Cordelia just shrugged, as if she didn't believe this info was anything important. "Well, there was this one guy, Chris Epps? He and this other guy called Eric brought Chris's dead older brother back to life, a la Dr. Frankenstein. But Daryl Epps – I'd known him, by the way – he didn't want to live his freaky eternal life alone, so those two dummies of his dug up a few recently-dead girls to make him a bride."

Fred looked sick and Gunn just shook his head in disgust as Cordelia continued, "Long story short, they needed a fresh live head for the girl they were making, and they decided to pick mine. Jesse was the one who got me out, when the building caught on fire. But ya know, he was really kinda pissed I wasn't more grateful..."

A shrug. "I never understood the problem, I mean we'd saved each other's lives every day some weeks. But I ran for the field to find Alex, since it all happened during a football game..." Then as an afterthought Cordelia added, "Oh yeah, we also met Spike and Drusilla a week or so after that, when they tried to go all Die Hard on us at Parent-Teacher Night."

At seeing her friend's looks, she just shrugged again. "Hey, by then nothing in that town surprised me anymore. But then came one hell of a night. Halloween..."

"Yeah," Gunn said. "I'd imagine that in a town like that, the vamps would love Halloween. It'd be like undead New Year..."

"Oh no, they hated it," Cordelia told him. "Like Giles said, traditionally that night is dead for the undead. Way too tacky and commercial for them. No, the big threat was Ethan Rayne. He was this chaos worshiper..."

At Fred's confused face Cordy cut off her imminent question, "Bottom line, he was this British asshole who just got off screwing with everyone. He opened a costume shop, and just about all the kids got their costumes there, including me and my friends. Just our luck, we became our costumes..."

Ms. Chase counted the outfits on her fingers as she ticked them off. "Alex bought a Highlander-style trenchcoat and fake sword, Buffy got this 18th century noblewoman outfit, Willow dressed up as a ghost with clubbing gear underneath – don't ask – and Jesse was a cowboy..."

"And you?"

A sigh was the answer to Fred's question for a few moments before Cordelia, "I didn't even know what it was, at first. I just thought I looked so damned hot in it. Black leather pants, boots, and a used black leather jacket. It turned out that..."



Halloween Night, October 31st, 1997

The vampires led by Spike looked down at the unconscious form of Jesse on the ground, as they tried to get by him without passing through the ghost of the redhead. It seemed that the undead didn't care for ghosts all that much, for whatever reason. But the main drama was going on a bit more into the building...

"Let her go right now, you lousy bloodsucker!" Cordelia raged, as she and Alex tried to get the crying and cowering Buffy away from Spike. Angel was nowhere to be seen, and things were looking bad...

"Oh, now, the Prom Queen has a bit of fight in her, is that right?" the bleached vampire mocked the female teenager, as he held Buffy down by the neck. "Maybe after I get done with the Slayer 'ere, I'll take you back to my place and break you o' that..."

The persona Cordelia had become didn't even flinch, just because the vampires were leering at her leather-covered body. She was very used to stupid men and demons trying to terrify her.

But unfortunately Alex, the football player-turned-Immortal, yelled in outrage and went after Spike – his persona's morals from the 16th century Scottish Highlands demanding satisfaction for those words. The British vampire avoided the swinging Japanese katana though, and needed only one punch to knock his opponent down to the floor.

As Spike was laughing to himself about the blood flowing from the boy's mouth, he suddenly watched in astonishment as the injury healed – with the blue-white lightning bolts flashing across the wound. Thus Spike didn't have time to react to the screaming, ferocious, leather-clad warrior that slammed into him, hard.

"Don't you DARE touch him!" she who had been Cordelia Chase screamed, as the force of her blows sent the Master vampire back. He had no choice but to let go of the frightened Slayer, as he tried to shield himself from attack. His undead minions fell back too, as they saw their sire getting his ass handed to him by a teenage girl...

Cordelia was so enraged – and in the zone, so to speak – that she could and would have dusted the bleached-blond vampire. If not for the fact that at that exact instant across town, Rupert Giles smashed the statue of Janus onto the ground and broke the spell.

Spike took full advantage of Cordelia's now-confused state, as the vampire knocked her to the floor. "You think you can 'urt me, pet!? You're nothing, little girl! I'm thinkin' I should turn you and make you beg me for death, forever! What do ya think about that, huh!?" he taunted the cheerleader, but then the English undead turned around when a tapping on his shoulder caught his attention.

The Big Bad looked in surprise to see Buffy standing there, with the black wig on the floor and her telling him, "My opinion? I think that idea sucks, big-time!" the Slayer said simply, before she punched him clear across the room.

And of course, the Master vampire wasted no time in heading out the back door as soon as he recovered.

Buffy watched as Cordelia crawled across the floor, to the still-dazed Alex. The cheerleader then took his head into her lap and held him, as if her life depended on it.



The former Sunnydale resident continued to narrate the tale, anticipating the next question from her friends. "My outfit was kinda unique; it was from a real woman, a woman that if I ever met in real life, I would have been scared shitless of her."

"Should I even ask?" Gunn wondered aloud. "And what about what happened to the others?"

Cordelia shrugged. "Alex, Buffy, Jesse and Willow were fine. They all went back to normal; which was kinda a relief, as I didn't want a boyfriend that would be a teenager forever!"

Then she went on, "The persona I became, her name was Olga. A Russian mercenary, and one real scary lady. She really could kill you a hundred different ways, with her bare hands. Even her own employers were scared of her; it seemed that no one could ever get close to her..."

Cordelia's face grew somewhat dark, as if she was recounting her own family history rather than telling a story. "She met a guy though, and fell in love with him. It was like this weirdest thing; that she could be a cold calculating bitch to everyone else, but just melt at the sight of her man. She even called him that, 'her man'. So they got together and lived their lives in peace – rich peace, to be sure – but the point is they were happy. For a time."

A very dark look then came over her face. "Then one of her old enemies, Boris, showed up," Cordy growled when she said the name. "Olga and her man were happy, and in love – so much so it scares me, thinking back on it. She hadn't ever thought she would feel love like that, but feel it she did. So she got married, and was going to have his child. A daughter. But then Boris came, and killed her husband out of revenge..."

Fred just closed her eyes. She still didn't like hearing of someone getting killed. She hoped she never got used to it either, or one day there might be nothing left of the real Fred Burkle in her.

"Olga lost it, after she saw him killed right in front of her. All I'll say is that it got ugly, but at least she took Boris with her in the end. She died – before she could have her baby. But no one ever knew, I guess, what happened. Anyway, somehow one of her outfits had gotten into Ethan's group of costumes. And I became her."

Ms Chase shook her head for a moment, to clear her thoughts. "At first, it was as if I had two people in my head. I don't think it was really her soul or whatever, but a tiny bit of her essence. Gradually, she eventually faded into the background of my mind and I became completely me again. All her skills and contacts stuck in my head, though. That's why I can build a bomb out of anything now. Which really came in handy, when we fought the Mayor with his lameass Ascension."

"So, in one night, you got all these cool fighting moves and stuff?" Gunn looked impressed. "That sure beats any training method I ever heard of."

"Yeah, I can kick Chuck Norris's ass now, but that's not all I got," Cordelia said. "I didn't tell this to Giles or the others, but I also got her memories. It was damned weird. And it's not like my memories are in conflict with hers, it's...the best way I can describe it, is to say I have two hard drives on one computer system. One is Olga Priabin, and the other is Cordelia Chase..."



November 1st, 1997
Sunnydale High Library

"You sure you're all right, Cordy?"

She looked up from the new laptop screen, to see the only other person in the room. "Yes Alex, I'm fine."

Her boyfriend was still in awe of it all. "I know this makes me sound like a pig here, but you can kick my ass now in less than ten seconds. My girlfriend can kick my ass..."

She gave him an evil grin, "I would never kick your ass, sweetheart. I'd rather give you another good spanking!"

Alex quickly leaned in. "Cor! We talked about this – not in public, remember?"

The brunette waved that off. "It's just us here," she whispered the next part. "Fine, I'll let you spank me tonight..."

Alex looked at her in mild surprise. "Tonight? I thought you had something to do tonight?"

She got the evil grin back. "I canceled it. Not only did I get her fighting skills, but she had some other skills that I think you will definitely like. I can't wait to try some of the things she knew." Cordelia leaned down into her purse, pulled out a five-dollar bill and handed it to him.

"What's this for?" Alex asked her.

"For lunch today, I want you to buy at least three energy drinks. You'll need as much as you can get."

"Okay, I'm happy – and yet, a little terrified," the male Scooby said with a giddy look on his face.

They both looked up when the bell rang. "Damn!" the boy said. "Time for English..." He leaned down to give her a quick kiss, when the cheerleader grabbed his head with both hands and gave him a very passionate kiss.

"Wow," Harris whispered with a goofy look, before he grabbed his books and was on his way out the door.

Cordelia watched his backside as he left the library, with a predatory smile. "God, he's got a great ass!" she told herself, before returning to the computer in front of her.

Suddenly, all expression left Cordy's face as she opened the web browser, going right to the site for the offshore bank in the Cayman Islands. After entering the login ID and password, she watched as a screen flashed...

Accounts Last Accessed 12-08-1980

Then a page full of account numbers came up. A very sinister smile came to the teenager's face, as she saw 26 account balances pop up. Most already had seven figures, and four had eight figures.

"My God, I love compound interest..."

The girl knew that this money, that had been just sitting there untouched for years, had not been earned in ways that the people she fought with would have liked. So she quickly learned not to think of the things that had been done, to obtain all the zeros she saw on the screen.

Olga may have found love at the end of her life, but she had been no saint by anyone's standards.

Cordelia spent the next half an hour shuffling the money into other banks, and investing in various companies. In one night, she had become richer than her parents or anyone they knew from the country club. Cordelia could now buy and sell most of them with the ease that some use when buying a can of Pepsi.

After she closed out the bank web pages the teen opened a new window, and typed in a long URL. Cordy wondered how she knew it, since she understood that the Internet hadn't been around when Olga was alive. But seeing as how she'd just gotten the memories and the bank accounts of a dead woman from a spell that had turned her into her Halloween costume, she just decided to accept it for now and go with the flow.

Weapons images filled the screen. Everything from pistols, machine-guns, rocket launchers, swords, axes, and even some newer land mines flashed across her eyes.

Cordelia ordered various weapons, and spent several thousand on ammunition alone. She also ordered a Soviet-era Graz-Burya handgun; a brutal, reliable weapon often favored by the Russian KGB. The girl made sure to have it customized to the way Olga had always had her old one, too; as far as part of her mind was concerned, the last one had felt like a part of her arm. And the young woman wanted to be sure this one would, as well.

Cordy couldn't wait to see how her enhanced senses from her hyena possession would help with her targeting skills, either...

Some would wonder why she needed all this; but living on a Hellmouth, Ms. Chase wanted to be ready for anything. An overwhelming desire to have the best to protect her mate and her friends washed through her. No one would hurt them like that ever again.

The last thing she ordered online caused the evil smile to return. A full Conan the Barbarian outfit, for Alex. She knew they would get a lot of fun out of it...

"Hey, Cordelia."

The voice surprised the girl, and she quickly toggled the web browser to the page displaying the website for Cosmo magazine. "Hey, Jesse."

The boy sat down across from her, and groaned. "Man, I am so not ready for Mr. Davis's test today." Her friend sighed and shook his head. "How the hell can anyone know that much about history, let alone the Soviet Union? I am so going to bomb on this thing, and give Snyder another reason to get on my case."

Cordelia smiled warmly at her male companion. "Don't worry, you can copy off of me."

"What, you found time to study with all the crazy stuff that's happened?" he asked.

"No, I'm just feeling lucky today."



"Alex was the only one who I ever really told about just how much I got from Olga. Just like he told me what it was like, feeling that you were nearly 500 years old," Cordelia told her two friends.

"After that, everything went relatively good for months. Then the Watchers fired Giles when he did the right thing during Buffy's 18th birthday, the stupid assholes. Wesley showed up to be Buffy's new Watcher, and don't kid yourselves – she and Faith didn't like him at all. He had such a stick up his ass back then..."

"Faith?" Fred interrupted. "That's the evil Slayer that tortured Wesley, after Wolfram & Hart hired her to kill Angel, right?"

The darkest look they had seen yet came over Ms. Chase. "She is so damn lucky I was on vacation, back then. If I'd have been here, that bitch would have been put in the ground as soon as I saw her." Her look went to annoyed. "But Angel just has to be the great soul saver. You know, I think he got her to turn herself in more to protect her from me, than to deal with her past or what happened with Wolfram & Hart."

"You'd really kill her?" Gunn asked, already knowing the answer.

"Damn right I would. I've even got a special knife all ready and waiting for the next time I see her. Buffy started the job with it, and if I ever lay eyes on Faith again I'll finish it. She better sit in her cell and pray she really doesn't get out of that place in Stockton for the next 25 years," Cordelia said with pure hate in her voice.

"What did she do?" Fred asked. "I heard she went bad after working with you and the others, but that's it..."

For a moment Cordelia's anger slipped away, and Fred and Gunn saw a single shiny tear slide down her cheek.



May 5th, 1999
Sunnydale Country Club

Harmony Kendall walked to her bright red Dodge Viper, and instantly got pissed off. "Hey, get your skanky ass off my car!"

The curvaceous brunette teenage girl jumped off the hood, before turning around and admiring the car. "Wicked bad set of wheels you've got here, Blondie..."

Harmony was annoyed, as she suddenly recognized her companion. "Yeah, well, I'm betting you mostly only see this kind of car when the guys that drive it pick you up from your street corner! Now, you mind telling me why a friend of the biggest losers in Sunnydale has the guts to talk to me? Or should I just call security, and have you thrown out of here?"

The brunette ignored the insult and leaned on the car, as she looked Harmony over. "I'm not with those idiots who hang out in that library anymore. You see, Blondie, right now I downright hate them. And I was wondering if you'd like to help me do something to hit 'em where it really hurts..."

The cheerleader shook her head. "Why should I give a crap about you, or them?"

"Oh, no reason..." The junior vampire Slayer responded. "I mean, I just thought you would love to teach that whore Cordelia Chase what happens when you steal a guy from Harmony Kendall. But hey, you want to let her think she's better than you, that's fine with me..."

Harmony's interest shot way up. "And just how would I get back at her, and that bastard Alex?"

"Just by having some fun," was Faith's answer. "But what I have in mind needs a real cold bitch for the job, someone who doesn't give a shit about what happens to either of them."

"And you know that's me, or else you wouldn't be here."

"Damn, you're quick Blondie! So, you want to shatter their great relationship into a million pieces and leave them miserable for the rest of their lives?"

The blond smiled in a way that made Evil Faith sure that she had picked the right person. "Let's go into the clubhouse and talk."

"Lead on, Blondie..."