Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the characters, I don’t own any of the universes that this is set in, and I barely control the plot that I am twisting to my own devious purposes. I definitely don’t own anything worth suing me over *sigh*
Cordelia desultorily poked through the bins at “Ethan’s Costume Shoppe”; she already had her costume rented from “Party City” but the rest of the Cordettes still hadn’t made up their minds. As if they had minds to make up, Cordelia mentally added. The only reason she hung out with those brain-dead, vapid creatures was because she could rule the school through them. Cordelia had long ago come to the conclusion that the best way to protect herself was by being the one in charge, no matter what one had to do to achieve that.
She watched Harmony, Gwen, Aphrodesia and Aura flip through the costumes available and felt her fingers snag on something soft in the box in front of her. Cordelia looked down and saw that she was holding a white felt beret.
She looked up from the cap and scanned the rest of the store. Okay, there was a sword over against the wall; a revolver and holster that might work; a fairly authentic looking set of medals; and she knew she had a realistic looking, plush Siamese cat at home. Harmony was about her size and could wear the costume from “Party City”; after all, it was better than anything Harm could come up with on her own.
Hmm, Daddy’s tailor did fast work - maybe it wasn’t too late to change her costume plans after all…
Cordelia snapped back to herself and stared around in confusion. She was holding a fake sword in her hands and there were several bodies strewn around her; some dead, some just unconscious. There was also a bristling cream and grey animal with six legs standing guard.
Suddenly the creature –“Treecat”, her memories supplied- stopped snarling and whipped it’s…his head around to face her and search her with wide, grass-green eyes. Then he launched himself straight at her. Automatically Cordelia dropped the sword and caught him although his weight staggered her back a step.
Nimitz reached up with his foremost two paws/hands and cupped her face while staring at her. His eyes widened even more and filled with sadness while a soft keening sound began as he dropped his head and hid it in her shoulder.
Cordelia just sat down in the middle of the street among the bodies and cradled the ‘cat while she tried to sort out the memories of the past few hours. She had dressed as Honor Harrington, Captain in the Royal Manticore Navy, from David Weber’s books; then on her way to the party she planned to attend she had suddenly BEEN Honor Harrington, complete with all her knowledge and abilities up through “Honor Among Enemies”, the last book Cordelia had read. And to make things complete, the stuffed toy on her shoulder had come to life as Nimitz, Honor’s Sphinxian Treecat companion.
Honor and Nimitz had been bewildered by their appearance in this strange town, but they had been attacked too quickly to spend much time working things out. She had found out quickly that her revolver had little or no effect on most of the bizarre creatures, but that her sword and Nimitz’s teeth and claws worked just fine. They had spent the next few hours protecting the humans they had gathered together for safety until things had returned abruptly to normal.
Cordelia had no idea why Nimitz was still here if Honor was gone, but she did her best to comfort the empathic ‘cat. She also had no idea how long they sat there, but when Cordelia looked up the people who had merely been unconscious had all woken up and stumbled off.
Cordelia very carefully got to her feet without jarring the ‘cat. Nimitz’s ears un-flattened just the tiniest bit and he looked around before looking at her with questioning eyes.
“It’s not very safe around here after dark. I need to be getting home, and I’d better take you with me so that nothing bad…” Cordelia winced, the misery pouring off the ‘cat was unmistakable, “er, nothing worse will happen to you.” Nimitz nodded and tucked his head back into her shoulder as Cordelia started off down the street in the direction of home.
The mansion that she called home was ablaze with lights and from all outward appearances seemed to be welcoming. Cordelia knew better. Very quietly she crept around the back and let herself in to head to her room. She wasn’t worried about her parents seeing her with Nimitz –Daddy was at the office, either working or screwing his secretary, and Mother was undoubtedly drunk somewhere in her suite- but the servants had good hearing and she didn’t feel up to acting imperious tonight.
Once safely in her bedroom she lay down on the bed and really looked at the Treecat in her arms. Nimitz looked just like he was described in the books: a cream colored body with subtle gray stripes changing to rings around the tail, emerald green eyes, a very long tail and remarkably cat-like head and ears. If it weren’t for the six legs and large size most people wouldn’t give him a second glance. She continued stroking his soft fur gently and settled in for some serious thinking.
Cordelia still didn’t have a clue what had happened tonight, but the ‘cat was real enough. She thought back over everything she knew of the species; and of Nimitz in particular. She would have denied it with her dying breath, but she was actually quite intelligent –she almost had to be to keep up her good grades while maintaining her social status- and reading was her guilty pleasure…especially science-fiction and fantasy. Sadly, she actually got most of the references Xander tossed out while Buffy and the rest of her merry band of losers stared blankly.
Okay, Treecats were natives of Sphinx; which had a higher planetary gravity which made him stronger than he looked. He was an empath who had approximately a young child’s understanding of English. His claws and teeth could do some serious damage –note, if he was going to stick around see about getting some tougher clothes. He was omnivorous with carnivorous leanings, but adored celery above all else…couldn’t digest celery, but loved it. He was bonded with Honor Harrington. He was fiction and shouldn’t even exist.
The last two were problems. But given that this was the Hellmouth, a little bit of non-reality between friends was almost normal around here. The being bonded issue was a really BIG problem. According to the books, ‘cats tended to die when their partners did. Honor may not have “died” in a traditional sense, but she sure as hell wasn’t here now and wasn’t likely to ever be here again. Cordelia may have kept all of Honor’s memories, but she wasn’t Honor Harrington any more.
If she couldn’t find a solution then Nimitz could very well die, and that didn’t sit well with her.
Damn. She was going to have to do something she didn’t want to do: contact the Scoobies
A/N – This was intended to be a fluffy-bunny story, but the characters have other ideas. I suppose I was being hopelessly naïve to think that you could take a telempathic critter, plunk it into the middle of Sunnyhell and expect everything to be puppies and rainbows *sigh* Bear with me, I have no idea where this is going (except for straight out of my control…)