Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
and The West Wing
and all associated characters are the property of their creators/corporate owners. I make no claim of ownership to that, or to any other, copyrighted material.
I'm old enough to be her father. In fact, she's younger than my daughter. Mallory was pissed as hell when she found out about us. I hadn't seen her so mad since she found out that her mother and I were getting a divorce. I can't really blame her for being upset. The situation isn't exactly normal. Mal had to put up with the jokes on late night talk shows. She had to put up with the scandal and the tabloids. A daughter shouldn't have to see her father go through all of that.
No one else was really happy with me either. Jed lectured me for a few hours when he found out. Josh actually called me up just to tell me off. CJ hasn't mentioned it, but her husband has. Toby went nuclear, told me that I had just killed myself in politics. But I didn't really care. Honestly, I think I was ready to be done with politics anyway.
It could have been worse, of course. I could have met her earlier. I could have fallen in love with her while Bartlet was still in office. That would have been horrible. I would have missed my second chance. I couldn't have pursued a relationship with her then. A lot of people think I shouldn't even be pursuing one with her now.
But I love her. She's snobby, and aggravating, bitchy, and often self-absorbed. But I love her. I denied it to myself for a long time. I didn't want to believe I could be attracted to someone who seemed so wrong for me.
I met Cordelia Chase at a fundraiser in LA. Hoynes was a year and a half into his term. I wasn't really doing anything in politics anymore, just going to functions, and giving the occasional lecture. Mostly I was just puttering around at home. I never imagined that I'd actually be retired. But those eight years at the White House had taken a lot out of me.
Cordelia was a guest of one of the Party's biggest contributors. She tells me that she didn't know who I was when she first started flirting with me. And, God, how she flirted. I almost laughed when I first realized what was going on, I mean, why would a beautiful young woman be flirting with someone more than twice her age? Of course, that's not to say I wasn't flattered; I was. And it's not exactly like I didn't flirt back.
A few weeks later I was back in L.A, giving a lecture. Afterwards I was at a reception, talking to students and professors who had attended. I caught a glimpse of her across the room. I didn't remember her, not right away, I just knew that I had seen her somewhere before. She turned, and saw me staring at her. A smile lit up her face, and then it clicked. I knew where I had seen that smile before.
She approached me and we began to talk. She asked me a few questions about my lecture, and we ended up talking for quite a while. She asked me to come out for dinner, and, despite my better judgment, I said yes. We talked for hours, about pretty much everything under the sun.
Late into the evening, she mentioned that she wasn't from L.A. originally. She told me she was Sunnydale. I recognized the name immediately. She had grown up on the Hellmouth. I probed as gently as I could, and eventually ascertained that she knew about all of the things that go bump in the night. I didn't tell her that I knew about it, not then. It wasn't until a few months later that I told her she could be completely honest with me about her life.
She told me about working for Angel, about her visions, about her battles against darkness. My Cordelia has many layers to her. She can be superficial. She can be mean-spirited. She can be more self-involved than anyone I've ever met; which is saying quite a bit, considering I've spent most of my life in politics. But there is a lot more to her than that. She's intelligent, she has depth, and despite everything that has happened to her, she still keeps fighting the good fight. She has a great capacity for caring. And woe to the man who hurts someone she loves.
Cordelia is fiercely loyal. I learned that when a tabloid reporter came after me. After everything that the Bartlet administration went through, I've learned not to let the press get to me. Cordelia was a different story. She wanted to go to a friend of hers, and have the reporter cursed. When I stopped her, she decided to take a different route. I'm still not entirely sure how she did it, but she got the reporter fired. She's actually gotten a reputation among the press. Most people are careful not to piss her off to much.
We've been together for almost a year now. Despite the age difference, despite the reactions of the people around us, we're still together. I don't' know how long it'll last. I still worry sometimes that she'll decide that she wants someone closer to her own age. But I love her, and I truly believe that she loves me too.
Even if I am old enough to be her father.