Disclaimer: I own neither the West Wing nor Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I claim not ownership of any of the characters within this story. They are all the property of their respective creators/owners.
Spoilers: For the West Wing, this is set during Bartlet's run for re-election. The divergence from the Angel timeline will become apparent later in the story, when we learn about what Cordelia does remember.
Note: The title of this fic is taken from the new Bob Dylan CD. All title chapters are taken from Bob Dylan songs.
The first thing Cordelia realized upon waking up, was that she was not in her own bed. Further examination confirmed that she was not even in a room that she recognized. Panic began to set in as she sat up and looked around. Cordelia had a few one-night stands before. But she had always remembered them. She had always known where she was when she woke. But this time was different. She had gone to sleep in her own bed the night before, she knew that she had. And there was no hang-over, not evidence of anything that might have made her memories of a drunken fling vanish.
Cautiously, Cordelia got out of bed and began to look around. There were two dressers. Two closets as well, one containing men's suits, the other women's clothing including suits and a few fancy dresses that Cordelia couldn't help but admire. The people who's room she was in had good taste, that was apparent. Of course, it didn't give her any comfort.
There were two other doors in the room, one that led to a large bathroom, the other to a living room. She decided the living room was a better choice for exploring. A glance out the window confirmed that she was in a neighborhood she didn't recognize. It didn't really look like an L.A. place. Maybe she was in a suburb or something.
She couldn't find her purse, or any of her belongings, but there was a phone on a side table. She quickly grabbed it and dialed a familiar number.
"Angel Investigations: We help the helpless."
Cordelia breathed a sigh of relief when she heard that.
"Wesley, it's me. I need help."
"Cordelia? What is it? Did something happen with Josh again?"
Cordelia paused, "Josh?" she asked, more than a little confused. "Who's Josh?"
She heard Wesley sigh on the other end of the line.
"Cordelia, I realize that things have been bad between the two of you lately. But I don't think pretending he doesn't exist is going to help matters. He is your husband after all; maybe you should-
Cordelia didn't wait to hear the rest of Wesley's thoughts on the matter. She just turned off the phone and stared at it for a long moment. What the hell was going on? She glanced desperately around the room, hoping that something might give her a clue as to what was happening to her.
A photograph on the table caught her eye. The phone slipped from her hand and crashed to the floor, but she didn't even notice. It was a wedding photo. It was her wedding photo. There she was, white dress and all, happily smiling into the camera, standing in the arms of a man that she had never seen before in her life.
Cordelia sat down hard on the couch, not sure what to do, not even sure what to think. Married. She was married to some guy that she didn't even recognize. How was that possible?
She ran through the possibilities in her mind. A spell of course, but whether the spell was to make it seem like she was married when she wasn't, or to make her forget she was married when she actually was, she couldn't know. Or maybe she was in a alternate universe. Some version of other version of Earth, and she had slipped into it somehow.
There was a purse hanging on a coat rack by the front door. It was most likely hers. It looked like something she might own. Getting to her legs, rather shakily, she walked over and picked up the purse. She began to dig through it and quickly found a wallet.
"Cordelia Lyman." That's what was printed on her driver's license. Her District of Columbia driver's license. She lived in Washington, DC. She no longer lived in L.A. Which meant she no longer worked for Angel. Now she knew this must be some alternative universe. There was no way that she'd stop working for Angel. She just wouldn't.
A ringing began to sound from inside the purse. A little bit more digging and a cell phone was produced. Cordelia opened it and glanced at the Caller ID. "Josh" was all it said.
She wondered if this could be her husband. Steadying herself, she took a deep breath, and turned on the phone.