Vampire Stories, story 4
BtVS / Buffy/Willow/Xander
Summery: Cordelia? There are many questions that arise. Some truths are revealed. And everyone has choices to make.
Love and Loyalties, part 11.
Disclaimers and warnings are listed in part 1 and still apply.
The next day, Cordelia was again seated at the dining table, writing in the journal. A coffee cup was near her hand. A dirty plate and fork pushed forgotten off to the side. She had managed to cook and eat scrambled eggs and toast. It was getting a little better. The night before, she ran to the mall to shop and to think. The kitchen needed pots and pans, tableware, dishes… everything. She needed to process what had just happened. Seeing that dead man on the floor didn’t horrify her. Scared her for a moment, but… didn’t really change anything. There had always been casualties. And at the end of her old life, hadn’t she also caused the death of innocents? Seeing it changed nothing. If anything, it stoked the burning sting of betrayal and grief she felt for all of them. She still wanted to help them. Still needed their help. She didn’t want to be alone. She felt nothing for that man and everything for Willow, Xander and Buffy and what happened to them. What they went through. What she went through. What happened to her. There was nothing that could be done to change it. Wouldn’t trust anything that offered to make it right. All she hoped for now was that they helped each other live with it.
These thoughts were being worked out in the journal when Xander, the first to rise, came down the stairs. Cordelia looked over and then ducked her head back over the journal. He was wearing jeans. Nothing else, just the jeans. To be fair, she didn’t know if he had anything on under the jeans or not and guessed she should be grateful he was at least wearing the jeans. Cordelia realized, remembered, the fact that these were vampires who kill was not actually the main thing she would have to get used to right away.
“Morning, Sunshine,” Xander padded barefoot over to the kitchen area and hopped onto the island counter.
“That name isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, is it?” Cordelia smiled and looked up at him. She drew in a sudden breath when she noticed scratches running down his chest. She resolutely exhaled and cleared her mind of unwanted images, instead focusing again of the table, the journal, anything else.
Xander laughed. “I’m surprised you didn’t hear us,” he teased. He looked down at the open journal; at the scrolling, running cursive that filled the page. “I don’t remember you writing that much all through school combined.”
Cordelia closed the journal. She looked back up at Xander. “Just trying to make some sense of it all.”
“You let me know if you ever do.” Xander smiled when Cordelia smiled and tilted her head in response. “So I guess last night didn’t get you running to the hills around here?” he continued.
“No,” Cordelia confirmed. “I’m with you guys. The world can just take care of itself. We sacrificed for the greater good, for humanity and look what we got. You’re who I trust. You’re who I want to help. This is where I choose to be.” Cordelia closed her eyes and just kept breathing through her wait for an answer.
“Okay,” Xander replied offhandedly. He jumped off the counter. “Then I guess I better order the stuff I’ll need to build you that room.”
Cordelia opened her eyes and watched him as he wandered over for the phone then doubled back to the area under the loft and retrieved a clipboard. She listened, stunned, relieved, as he started placing the order. She jumped in her seat when Buffy’s voice sounded suddenly close and unexpected.
“Coffee!” Buffy commanded the universe. The universe supplied. She poured herself a cup from the half full pot on the kitchen counter. She walked back around the island and sat down at the table next to Cordelia. “Xander ordering the wood and stuff to build the room?”
“Yeah,” Cordelia nodded in response. She tried to look at Buffy, but kept adverting her eyes. Buffy was covered, but only in a black silk robe. A robe that was loosely tied and draping open.
“You okay?” Buffy politely asked, though a bit of playful mirth could be heard in her voice.
“From last night? I’m fine,” Cordelia decided to direct the far too open question.
“I only ask because your heartbeat’s up,” Buffy commented. The teasing tone was still present.
“You startled me,” Cordelia accused and defended.
“Sorry,” Buffy offered. She smiled.
“No you’re not,” Cordelia countered. She laughed and shook her head.
Buffy looked at the plate on the table. “We have dishes. Do we have pots and pans and a kitchen full of stuff now?”
“The basics,” Cordelia took a big gulp of coffee and looked over to the kitchen.
“We still have coffee?” Willow asked from right behind Cordelia, making her jump again. Buffy laughed.
“Damn it! I’m putting collars with bells on each of you,” Cordelia exclaimed. She watched Willow walk around her and into the kitchen. Willow, at least, was clothed. The button-up shirt was only using two of the buttons, but it was better than the others.
Willow joined Buffy and Cordelia at the table. “Sounds sexy.”
Buffy laughed again and Cordelia just gave up and buried her head in her arms on the table. Xander joined them. “All set. The first round of supplies will arrive tomorrow morning. You’ll meet ‘em downstairs and sign for it, right Cordy?”
“Yeah,” Cordelia’s muffled agreement drifted out.
“What’s with her?” Xander motioned to Cordelia and looked to Buffy and then Willow.
Buffy caught Xander’s attention first. She shifted in her seat and her robe open a little further. “It turns out Cordy’s actually hoping for some pet vampires.”
“If only that it could be so,” Cordelia snappishly challenged as she sat up. The sudden fleeting impulse for some control over all of this provoked comment before thought.
“Really?!” Xander pushed. He was offended by the very idea. Of course he was offended. Why was he intrigued?
“No! Not really!” Cordelia denied. “Not really.” She took a deep breath. “Is there any way to get out of this conversation?”
Buffy and Willow laughed. It was Willow who spoke up. “For now.” Willow took a sip of coffee, then continued. “You should be able to go to the bank today and get access to your own account. I had a drivers license, birth certificate and social security card made for you. They look good too. That Quodquoth demon that hangs out at Jack’s place does good work. Since you didn’t come here with anything, we had to make it from scratch. Not sure what the powers thought you were gonna do about that. Anyway, it’s all set.”
Cordelia looked Willow in the eyes and smiled. “Thank you.” Her smiled slowly faded. “But what if people find out I’m still alive? I don’t want to explain any of this. And doesn’t it put you guys in danger?”
“Oh, sorry,” Willow grinned sheepishly. “I forgot to mention. I changed your name, your place of birth and your date of birth.”
Cordelia considered it for a moment. She sipped her coffee. “Is that like why I’ve been signing Buffy’s name Joan Morte? So, what’d I get?”
Willow nodded. “That’s why. We all have different names. Don’t worry, yours isn’t bad. You’re Cordelia Banks, born and raised in L.A., and you’re twenty-three years old. Meet Alexander Corazon,” she gestured to Xander. “I’m Willameena Flamme and you already know Joan. We’re also from L.A. and we’re twenty-two.”
“You made me a year older than the rest of you?” Cordelia protested incredulously. She took another deep breath. “Banks. That’s funny. You’re right, it’s not bad. Thank you, again.”
“You’re welcome,” Willow nodded. “Try not to look too surprised at the amount in the account,” she teased.
“Why?! How much is in the account?” Cordelia was suddenly worried.
“If I told you, it would spoil the surprise,” Willow laughed.
Xander wandered over to the kitchen and opened the fridge. He pulled out a beer and motioned to Buffy and Willow, silently asking if they wanted one as well. Seeing their accent, he pulled three beers out. “So, we’re set for now?” he asked the group.
“Just hanging out ‘til the sun sets,” Buffy confirmed. She got up and moved to the couch. She sat back and rested her arms behind her head. The robe just covered her thighs, opened in a ‘V’ down to the tie, but managed to mostly cover her breasts. Still, it was inviting. Willow got up to join her on the couch and Xander brought them the beers, then sat down on the other side of Buffy. Cordelia opened the journal to a blank page. She started drawing and doodling as a way to distract herself. She wondered what they would do now.
Buffy extended her arm along the back of the couch and started idly running her fingers through Xander’s hair. “So, you had a job interview, huh?”
Xander laughed softly. “Nah. I had a run in with him and a couple of his goons a few nights ago. He recognized me from Jack’s place, and since I just stood up to him, thought he’d better get me on the team. Just another would be master vamp trying to shore up support. You know how it goes.” Xander tilted back his bottle of beer.
“Were you tempted?” Buffy gently asked.
Xander turned his head and kissed the palm of Buffy’s hand. “By what? The chance to control the underworld doings of the city and demand the fear and respect of some officials? Eh…” Xander hedged. Buffy’s fingers massaged the back of his neck, sparked the connection. The expanding and deepening bond allowed honesty. “Yeah, almost. That call I feel, it suddenly had a bit of focus. But it’s much dimmer now. And I’ve been at your side near forever. I’m not just gonna leave it to stand next to some suit. This is where I belong.” Xander pushed Buffy’s robe aside and rested his hand on her thigh. He stroked her skin with his thumb and looked her in the eye. “Can I ask you something?” His eye closed when Buffy leaned forward and kissed him. As she leaned back, he opened his eye and smiled. “I’ll take that as a yes. I already asked Willow. I’ll ask you. The big bad call to destroy everything is a dull roar now, so the whole Slayer/Sire’s blood thing worked. But what if it didn’t and I was just like any other vampire?”
“I’d hope you’d still choose to stay with us,” Buffy quickly and easily answered, her eyes never wavering from his.
“Just like that?” Xander sought reconfirmation.
Buffy smiled and ran her fingers through his hair. “Always. Why, what did Willow say?”
“I said basically the same thing,” Willow spoke up from the other side of Buffy. She had been content to just eavesdrop, but now that the conversation was getting more serious, she needed to feel the bond that bridged the broken bits and allowed the emotion. Willow scooted closer to Buffy and slid her hand under the robe to rest on Buffy’s leg. Her fingers started tracing the skin of Buffy’s inner thigh.
“Ahhh,” Buffy closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the couch. “What were we talking about?”
Willow laughed and eased the teasing touch. “Sorry.”
Buffy looked over to her and smiled. “Don’t be.” She turned her attention back to Xander. “So, before, with your question. Are you saying you’re not a typical vampire?”
“No, I am, I guess,” Xander tried to vocalize what he’d been thinking lately. “Just one with a little more free will than usual.”
Buffy adjusted her position. She leaned against him and into his arms. She brought her legs up and onto Willow’s lap. “That’s not a bad thing, is it?”
“Not at all,” Xander confirmed and kissed her on the head.
Buffy relaxed into Xander’s arms. She smiled when Willow pushed the robe completely off her legs and started running her fingers from calf to thigh. “I had a strange thing happen a few nights ago I didn’t tell you about yet,” Buffy started the confession.
“What?” Willow offered the expected reply. She leaned over Buffy’s legs and grabbed her beer off the table. After taking a decent pull, she dragged the cold bottle over the skin of Buffy’s leg.
“Hey!” Buffy protested. She motioned for Willow to get her beer for her. “I saw one of your slayers kill a vampire in an alley.”
“One of my slayers?!” Willow interrupted. “Why are they my slayers?”
“Your spell called them,” Buffy reasoned.
“It was your idea,” Willow countered.
Buffy waved the idea off. “Anyway, I saw a slayer kill a vampire. I heard her talking to herself. She didn’t have a watcher yet, but she knew of them. The Bringers killed the one who trained her. So, I… So I killed her before they could find her and assign someone.”
“You didn’t want to?” Xander wondered out loud. Even just hearing of it, he felt the urge to go out and hunt for another slayer. He remembered Willow had killed a slayer and then bragged about it. Willow told them all about how different it was to drain a slayer: the power, the fire, the life in the blood.
Buffy opened herself to the pulse of the bond, let it beat through her and fill her. She felt Xander’s arm wrapped around her, his hand resting on the skin just under her breast. She watched Willow absently run a hand over her calf. She trusted them. “No. If it was just me, I would have left her alone. But it isn’t just me, and we don’t need the Council here finding us. There’s more,” Buffy confessed. She took a large pull of her beer.
“Buffy, it’s okay. It makes sense, you being a Slayer and all. I’m sorry you had to do that,” Willow’s run on understanding tried to make everything alright. “Next time, call one of us.”
Buffy smiled. “You just want another slayer,” she teased. “The more thing is a bit of a mystery. I fed off her, cause I remember you talking it up.” Buffy motioned to Willow with a tilt of her beer bottle. “Then I violently threw it all back up,” she concluded abruptly. “What?” and “Why?” followed from Willow and Xander. Buffy laughed. “I don’t know,” she admitted.
“It must have something to do with your slayer part,” Willow started analyzing out loud. “I wonder if Xander will have the same problem to some extent.”
“Hey!” Xander objected to the idea. “Really?”
“Probably not,” Buffy consoled him. She stroked his arm. “It felt very much like I was rejecting it.” Buffy nudged Willow with her leg to get her attention. “Willow, I’m sure when you do all your research you’ll figure it out. It’s just another piece of the puzzle. But not now. I just wanted to tell you guys about it.”
“Alright,” Willow relented. She started tracing her fingers higher up Buffy’s leg, from the underside of her knee up her inner thigh. If she was going to be sidetracked from research, she would distract herself in other ways. “But I want to keep researching this. I want to understand everything that’s going on.”
“I know,” Buffy acknowledged. She smiled and opened her legs a little wider into the touch. “I want you to.”
“I went back to the sea last night,” Willow confessed, mostly to Xander. She looked him in the eye. “Being who I am and how I am is enough.”
“What are we talking about here?” Buffy felt like she was missing something.
Willow faced them both. “You know I found I could connect with the power in the ocean. I’ve been going to the sea to feel that power, to practice pulling it. And, well, that entity, it started talking to me, by the way. No problem!” Willow quickly reassured. “I didn’t piss it off or anything. But I realized, with Xander’s help, and yours too, Buffy, though you didn’t know you were doing it, that I didn’t need to do it, that I didn’t need that power.”
Xander reached across the back of the couch and held Willow’s hand when she reached for his in turn. “Good job, Will,” he commended.
“I’m still lost,” Buffy put in.
“The call of that power was calling me away from you guys,” Willow started to try and explain. “The part of me that wants to fix everything was the part of me that was drawn to it. All powered up and manipulating… that’s not being in a relationship. I don’t want to be the boss of us. I’ll just, learn to live in my own skin and do the magic that I can do. I choose you guys. You’re much sexier than some dark, dank sea aspect anyway.” Willow drained her beer and put it on the table.
“Well, thank you, I think,” Buffy teased to lighten the mood and give her a moment to think. She handed Willow her empty beer bottle so it could also be placed away on the table. “I get it,” she started in a more serious tone. “I’m proud of you, Will. I know what we lost. It’s… different now. The empty space. But together…” Buffy reached up and put her hand over Willow and Xander’s.
“Yeah,” Willow confirmed and smiled.
“You sure you didn’t piss off this water god? Cause if we have to fight him one day…” Buffy switched from consoling to worry.
“Aspect,” Willow quickly corrected. “Not a god. And no, he, I think it’s a he, maybe. He wasn’t angry. It’s okay with him if we keep talking. Though he definitely sets the conversation and it makes little sense.” Willow placed her hand on top of Buffy and Xander’s and squeezed. “I remembered something finally. A little late, but better late than never and all that. There’s a difference between connecting to commune with a source of power and connecting to draw from a source of power. Communing, good. There’s a line there. I’m always bad at not crossing lines.”
“There’s nothing wrong with my Willow,” Xander asserted.
Suddenly, Buffy started laughing. “You know, it’s like nothing’s changed, only… Last night, we end up in a fight that felt just like slaying patrol nights. Only now, Xander’s a kick ass fighter. Willow’s still researching for answers. Only now, she doesn’t have to solve all the problems.”
“And you?” Xander wondered. He trailed his fingers over her chest and across her breasts.
“I have the both of you at my side,” Buffy began. She tangled her fingers in Xander’s hair and looked into Willow’s eyes. “Only now, I can have you both in a way only fantasized at night after patrols.”
“And how was that?” Willow insisted. She untied Buffy’s robe and the upper part draped open. Willow ran her hand up Buffy’s inner thigh and lightly teased between her legs as she waited for an answer.
Buffy felt Xander cup a breast and pinch her nipple. She grabbed Willow’s wrist and pressed her hand to her center. “Just like this,” Buffy encouraged. She pulled Xander forward and kissed him.
Willow smiled and bent down to kiss Buffy’s hip. She entered her with two fingers and fucked her while her thumb stroked her clit. Willow looked up and across the room to see if Cordelia was still at the table. Willow rested her head on Buffy’s hip and felt Buffy’s fingers tangle in her hair. She watched Cordelia watching them. Cordelia darted her attention back to the journal when she saw she had been spotted. Willow was sure she would soon enough start to watch the show again. A tug on her hair pulled her focus back to Buffy and she trailed kisses across her hip.
Buffy encouraged Xander to kneed her breasts and pinch her nipples. She bared her neck to his blunt teeth. She glanced across the room and smiled at Cordelia. “You okay over there?” Buffy called out.
Cordelia looked quickly down at the table again. She refused to look up and over. “Yeah, fine. Just… dandy.”
Buffy felt Willow quicken her pace and deepen her thrusts. Xander kissed down her neck. “Oh, god. Me too,” Buffy joyfully agreed.
As she listened to Willow and Xander laugh, Cordelia folded her arms on the table and dropped her head on top of them. Breathing steady and deep, she resigned herself to one last test. She giggled a little and peeked over again. It wasn’t the worst thing she’d seen, it was just one of the strangest things she’d seen.