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The Shipwreck Dialogues

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Summary: Three dialogues with Cordelia --- Buffy, Xander, Riley -- concerning the Buffy/Riley breakup.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > DramaMediancatFR1334,060032,01530 Jun 0730 Jun 07Yes


Her lips were waitin'
Her eyes looked sad
The dreams of a lifetime
A year gone bad
The dreams of a lifetime
Told me wrong
Everything is all right
And now it's gone
Don't blame me
Please be strong
I know I'm not wrong

-- “I Know I’m Not Wrong,” Fleetwood Mac

“Identify yourself!”

“Identify MYSELF? You’re the one who popped up in my dream, nimrod. You first. And put down the gun.”

“Special Agent Riley Finn.”

“Why, why, WHY did I order that shrimp and garlic pizza? Never again, I tell you.”

“I told, now you.”

“Cordelia Chase. And this is one of the strangest dreams I’ve ever had.”

“Item one, this is my dream, not yours. Item two, why does your name sound familiar?”

“You probably heard Buffy mention me or something. You’re her traitor ex-boyfriend, right? God, if I only had a million dollars every time that phrase came up . . .”

“I’m not a traitor. I love my country; that’s why I’m here in Belize.”

“Not the kind of traitor I meant. I meant you betrayed HER. What you did to her.”

“It was my fault. Straight out. But -- she drove me to it, the way she used me. And I left her when she wouldn’t give me a reason to stay.”

“And had you given her a reason to give you a reason? Or had you been spending your free time paying a bunch of vampire hookers to give you, well, suck jobs?”

“Probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

“That’s a half step above dousing yourself in blood and jumping in a shark tank. I’ve seen people in comas do smarter things.”

“You don’t need to rub it in.”

“Somebody has to, and I guess given this dream we’re both stuck in that somebody is me.”

“I’m not going to listen to this. I have demons to kill, so I’m going to wake up now. We head out into the jungles tomorrow morning.”

“Think that’ll be far enough?”

“Far enough for what?”

“For you to run away from your problems. I mean, that IS what you’re doing, don’t bother to deny it.”

“I left because I had no reason to stay.”

“You left because you didn’t want to take the tough road of fighting for your relationship.”

“I didn’t think there was anything to fight FOR!”

“You loved Buffy, right?”

“Love. Yes. God, yes.”

“I can tell. Then why did you run away?”

“How many times do I need to repeat this? She didn’t give me a reason to stay.”

“And when did you ask her to give you this reason?”

“Excuse me?”

“The way I hear it, you talked to her within a day after she’d found out you were paying vampires to suck on you.”

“Yeah, that’s right. I needed to feel – what she felt when vampires bit her.”

“I’m guessing pain. That’s what most of us feel, at any rate.”

“Then why did she let both Angel and Dracula do it?”

“Dracula? Never mind I don’t want to know. Same person I’ve heard of, though? Hypnotic powers, the works?”


“There you go. Buffy didn’t let him bite her because of any great thrill she got; she was hypnotized. And as for Angel – well, the only time I KNOW about involved Angel biting her because he would die if he didn’t. Not a whole lot of sexual charge there either. I take it you enjoyed it, though.”

“Not really; they just needed me.”

“No, they just acted like it. So did you expect her to beg you to stick around when you obviously found more comfort in a bunch of vampire whores than with her?”

“Whose fault is it I went to the vampires in the first place? If she’d made me feel like she loved me, instead of like she was just using me –“

“How long did you feel this way?”

“A while now. I told Xander about it a month or so back but I’d figured it out before that.”

“So why didn’t you tell Buffy about it?”

“While her mother was in the hospital? That would have been pretty damn heartless of me.”

“How about before that? Xander said you told him about it in his basement one day; did Buffy’s mom get sick ten minutes later? Or maybe after she was out of danger – or did Buffy figure out your extracurricular activities while Joyce was still in the recovery room?”

“No – there was time. I guess I just wanted to keep it going as long as I could. Buffy – is an amazing person to love.”

“I’ve got quite a bit of secondhand experience working with a guy who knows that one. Did you despair of ‘getting’ her to love you?”

“Yes. I just wanted to preserve the illusion.”

“You do realize she chased after you, right?”


“After the two of you had it out Xander came by and read her the riot act. Told her she’d been treating you like a pet dog and asked her if she really loved you. She decided she did and came chasing after the helicopter taking you out of Sunnydale but when she got there it was too late.”

“Damn. Damn. Damn.”

“So who threw the relationship away? Her, for – ALLEGEDLY – treating you like a convenience, and right now I’m treating that as not proven, or you, who ran away from the problems, again and again and again?”

“Me. I’ve already admitted this was my fault. But I still think her using me caused part of it. Do you realize I wasn’t even the first person she told when it turned out her mom’s problem was worse than they thought, Spike was?”

“Spike? You’re kidding.”


“And where were you when she found out?”

“I was out killing the bastard who’d just staked her in the stomach.”

“Oh, right, the grenade thing. And when was this?”

“Sometime the middle of the night.”

“And when did you show up at Buffy’s next?”

"The next morning.”

“And so where were you in the interim?”

“Probably asleep.”


“I – might have gone out to a bar. I’m not sure.”

“So you triumphantly kill a vampire, an entire nest of them, with guts and a hand grenade, and instead of telling Buffy about killing the demon that had damn near ripped out her stomach you either catch some z’s or go for a drink.”

“I can’t be with her all the time. She made it abundantly clear there were times she wanted me there and times she wanted me gone.”

“And this was one of the latter? Did she spell this for you straight out?”

“Well, she needed time to recover from her injury. I later found out she spent the time talking with Spike, God knows about what.”


“Well, Spike does have a crush on her. He told me so himself.”

“THAT’S news. But I wouldn’t have thought you’d have had anything to worry about. Buffy doesn’t go for soulless demon types.”

“But Dracula –“

“Is Dracula, in a class by himself, and doesn’t count. So you went off to the hookers because you were JEALOUS?”

“Yeah, I guess that has something to do with it.”

“People have been betraying Buffy all her life. Her father’s an asshole, Angel lost his soul, tried to kill her and did kill a good friend of hers, Xander’s done stupid things, I know Willow made a stupid mistake last year, there was that asshole Parker I’ve been told about, and so much more. And now you. Betrayal after betrayal after betrayal. She’s been shown time after time that the only person she can really, truly, completely trust not to screw up is her. Is it any wonder she’s the way she is with people like you around?”

“I did nothing but love her as long as we were together.”

“And in the end you screwed her over just like everyone else.”

“I’ve said this was my fault. Over and over I’ve said this was my fault. I screwed over the woman I love AND now it seems I ran out on her without giving her the chance to say she really did love me. What more do you want?”

“Me? I don’t want a damn thing.”

“Then why are you here in my dream?”

“You know what? I think we’re sharing this dream. Someone somewhere wanted us to have this conservation.”

“Great. Now even God’s after me.”

“Oh, don’t be self-pitying. You screwed up, you admit it, now haul ass back to Sunnydale as soon as you can to try and patch things up. And keep apologizing. Because whether Buffy treated you like that didn’t justify what you did. You feel crappy? Good. You should.”

“You’re not a very nice person.”

“I had no reason to be nice.”

“But I’ll bear in mind what you said. Now could I get some sleep? Talking with you is an exhausting experience.”

“Damn straight.”

The End

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