Disclaimer: I own neither BtVS nor the Blake-verse.
A/N: Creative license has been taken with various back-stories, in other words this is an AU. Post-Fluke for BtVS, and fluid as far as Anita is concerned. Just a challenge I felt I needed to respond to.♥♥♥
Cordelia took a deep breath... and choked on the miasma left behind as the taxi pulled away from the curb. Sinking to her knees, she held onto a sturdy bit of luggage until her lungs were blessedly clear.
Once on the ground she stayed there, blinking stupidly in the sunlight and wondering what on earth she was doing here surrounded by all her remaining worldly possessions and about to throw herself onto the mercy of a relative she hadn't seen in years.
It was all daddy's fault. If he hadn't forgotten to pay the IRS... oh, who was she kidding? He hadn't forgotten
, not even close. Any deceit he had committed had been done willfully and with full disregard for any laws that might stand in his way. Robert Chase was a man above the petty rules that governed the squabbling masses.
Or so he thought.
Cordelia supposed he knew differently - now. At least she hoped he did, she hoped he felt at least some modicum of guilt for running off to the Camens with his favorite maid and leaving her mother and her to pick up the pieces.
She hoped that his skin crawled with guilt and that his heart was positively aching
with remorse... but she wasn't going to hold her breath. With her parents the less said about family loyalty the better, suffice to say that it was nonexistent.
Take her mother for example: Aurora Thomas-Chase. Wealthy in her own right, the prenup saved her none-too-small trust fund from the grasping hands of those government agents so happy to see the Chase empire crumble. With the desertion of her husband she was welcomed back into the fold of the loving, tight-knit Thomas clan... so long as she left all evidence of her mistake
Prime example being the last remaining sign of twenty years of Aurora's life down the tubes, also known affectionately as 'Cordy.' Not that her parents had ever used the nickname the few times they had deigned speak with her.
That was what brought her here to this sunny little patch of god's green earth, miles away from Sunnydale and the life to which she'd had seventeen years to grow accustomed. Miles away from everything familiar, from what few friends she could honestly claim.
Of course, on the plus side she was also miles from the Hellmouth. Not that it mattered really, things still went bump in the night out in the real world. They also went 'bump' in the daytime too, everything was legal and out in the open and so very different from good ol' Sunnydale.
She'd known, of course. World-traveler that she was, she had been well aware of the distinction between Hellmouth creatures and those that lived among the rest of the world as legal citizens. Her father had bought his home on the Hellmouth when such deliciously different real estate was all the rage, and later when he realized the danger it posed, well he was never one to back down and admit defeat. Robert chose his business trips wisely, putting as much distance between himself and his home as possible, often taking his lovely wife - and his current favorite from among the staff - with him and leaving his young daughter to fend for herself.
She could not honestly say she was surprised at this newest abandonment. That was not to say that it did not hurt, it was a slow burning ache in her gut, but it was not new
. Cordelia had lived with this injury for years and expected to harbor it for the rest of her life. This not-good-enough feeling was as much a part of her as her dark hair and eyes. Her parents, Xander, her mother's family... it was a recurring theme in her life.
With these thoughts running through her brain she lifted her eyes to the house she stood before. It looked so innocuous: very normal, very suburban. Cordelia looked at it and a sick feeling rose in her stomach. She didn't think she could take another rejection today, and yet here she was in front of the house of the one person in all the world most likely to send her packing.
Robert Chase had a penchant for pretty Latino girls, preferably ones he employed. To be honest it was a wonder that he hadn't produced more by-blows, but there it was. Cordelia had one sibling, one half-sister who she hadn't seen in years. Who she had, truth be told, met only a few incredibly stilted times - though that didn't stop her from reading up on her infamous sister. Employing some of the research skills she'd reluctantly developed with her ex-boyfriend and his buddies to learn as much as she could about her last hope.
Mustering what remained of her flagging courage, the teenager made her way up the drive to the door. She stood before the blue-painted wood for a moment, then knocked.Please answer. Please don't answer. Please...
She heard the sounds of footsteps, then the door opened a crack as one lavender eye appeared. Slowly the opening widened to reveal what was possibly the most beautiful man the brunette had ever seen.
His voice was soft and wary, "May I help you?"
Cordelia took a deep breath... then choked on her own words, coughing horribly for the second time in the last hour, almost collapsing as the spasms shook her exhausted frame. The man led her quickly to a seat just inside the door, pushing her head between her knees in a misguided attempt to help. She heard footsteps, then quickly exchanged words as the beautiful man spoke with the new arrival on the scene.
She looked up into dark eyes so much like her father's
- so much like her own
. Her lips twisted into something that was not a smile at the surprise and suspicion she read so clearly there.
A/N2: I think Cordelia is my new favorite character. Lemme know what you think.