Tha-at! Tha-at! Dude Looks Like a Lady!Author:
Not Stan Lee, 21st Century Fox, or anyone else who might have a hand in either the comic or film adaptations of the X-Men. And I’m not Joss Whedon or someone who might be able to legally make money off the Buffyverse. Not mine!Summary:
Cordelia has a secret she's been hiding from everyone in Sunnydale. She's got a brother in Westchester, a cousin in Sunnydale, and… used to be a boy?Joe's Note:
This was written for that "Conservation of Femininity" challenge. Given that Googling those three words provides no hits other than the challenge, either the poster was too inept to quote whatever Internet foolishness he actually intended for us to mention in the fic or… was trying to be witty and invent something himself? Not sure, but I'm ignoring that part of the challenge. Don't need moronic ninja jokes either, but thankfully that's in the optional section anyways.
Cordelia Chase stared down at her right foot in shock, the heel of her brand new bronze Coach Claudine pump dangling in the air as gravity warred with quality craftsmanship. In the end, though, gravity inevitably won out and her brand new high heel was short one heel. Oh… hell… no. She'd JUST purchased those shoes, ending up a whopping three hundred and eighteen dollars poorer for it, too. And she hadn't even gotten to take them out anywhere public yet so other girls could stare and envy her.
Growling, Cordelia dropped the stake she was carrying and undid the clasps on the undersides of the two thick metal bracelets she was wearing, letting them drop to the grass at her feet. Lucky for her, she was wearing a tank top and so there would be no shirt destruction or, even more embarrassing, shirt combustion. Again. Bobby was still calling her Hot Stuff in his weekly emails from that one. "Xander! Down!"
For once, her on-again off-again boyfriend was willing to listen to her and threw himself to the grass instead of continuing to chase the fleeing vampire with a cross. Focusing on the ball of throbbing power at the core of her being, Cordelia channeled it down her right arm just as she had in the Danger Room for most the summer and then punched out at the runaway bloodsucker.
There was a long moment in which nothing happened and Cordelia wondered if she was going to stand there all night looking like a complete dork. Then a single blue-white ring of energy appeared around her right forearm, starting near the elbow and racing down the length of her arm before launching off into the night. It was followed by a second, a third, and a fourth, the rings expanding as they shot out into the darkness, casting eerie pulses of blue light as they flew. The vampire was caught by the bursts of energy and torn apart, letting out a scream as his body was reduced to dust. Tamping the power back down, Cordelia lowered her fist and exhaled, a pale blue light radiating from her hand as the excess power bled off.
"I think I speak for everyone here when I say…" Cordelia groaned as Xander rolled over onto his back, propping himself up on his elbows. She did not want to deal with this. She'd been so close, too. Just nine more months and she'd be out of Sunnydale and away from the Chases, headed back to her brother and his wife in Westchester. No more Hellmouth, no more freaky demons and vampires, and best of all, no more bratty little cousin whose mutation seemed to be making the world orbit around her. But oh no. She'd gone and developed a conscience, and let them make her feel bad about the people of Sunnydale who might be getting eaten by vampires with Buffy gone. That had led to her playing bait, which had led to her getting pissed, which had led to… "…what the heck was that?"
Cordelia put things off for a moment, bending down to recover her bracelets. As she clamped the one over her right wrist, the graveyard was plunged into darkness again as her powers were finally locked down. She took as long as possible fetching the other bracelet and securing and checking the clasps on the underside of each. But when she couldn't reasonably delay anymore, she turned back to the Scoobies and took a deep breath. "Listen, since we all know you're about to go all Spanish Inquisition on me, can we at least do this at my place? I mean, unless one of you wants to get eaten while being distracted by my magnificence?"
Snorting, Xander used a headstone to pull himself upright. "Same old Cordy. So at least we know you haven't been replaced by an alien, demon, or some sort of pod person. Alright, I'm in. Willow? Oz?"
"You're not an alien, demon, or pod person?" Cordelia shook her head and Willow looked crestfallen. "Phooey. That means I owe Xander $20." Raising an eyebrow made the redhead squirm and blush guiltily. "Well, he does have a bad record. And you were really mean to us before you started getting interested in Xander's tonsils. I thought it was a sucker bet."
God, and she'd traded in the Cordettes for this? Stomping over to another grave, Cordelia reached over the marker and grabbed her purse. "Hate to break it to you, but I'm none of the above. And I'm not a wannabe witch like you, either, Sabrina."
A hand wrapped around her wrist and Cordelia whipped around to glare at the person, a sharp comment on her tongue, only to find herself face to face with an extremely nervous looking Xander. "We're just trying to understand, Cordelia. There's no reason to be mean to Willow. Seriously, seeing a girl shoot rings of energy out of her hand? Even in Sunnydale, that's not an everyday thing. We're not looking for a fight, just an explanation."
"Gimme a M! Gimme a U! Gimme a T! Gimme an A! Gimme an N! Gimme another T!" Even if it did feel weird to be going through the motions without pom-poms and a short skirt, Cordelia was fairly certain she managed a decent showing. While the normal cheers, 'Sunnydale', and 'Razorbacks' left her wanting on half the letters, Ms and Ts weren't exactly rocket science for her. Especially since she'd gone to cheerleading camp the summer before and they'd been taught a few different ways to do the entire alphabet. "What's that spell?"
"Mutant." Willow looked a little pale at the prospect, but Cordelia wasn't worried. Rosenberg was a Jewish name. Willow wasn't liable to be one of those 'kill the muties!' types, given what Hitler had done to the Jews, gypsies, and gays for 'daring' to be born the way they were.
"Mutant." Oz, on the other hand, looked remarkably… Oz-like. Cordelia was relatively certain that even an earthquake, followed by a winning lottery ticket, followed by a major record deal… would all fail to garner an expression. So she wasn't entirely sure what to make of his neutral look.
"You're a mutant?" Xander was the one she was most worried about but, like Willow, the revelation left him looking uncertain but not especially angry or fearful. She'd never really gotten the sense that he was the bigoted type, though, and so it wasn't really a surprise. She had better taste than to pick up someone who hated people for what was in their genes. "Any other secrets you've been hiding from us? Might as well get it all over with at once. Are you really a blonde? Have a genius IQ? Richer than Tony Stark?"
Cordelia pondered his query for a moment before deciding to come clean. It would probably destroy her friendships with most of them, or at least damage them severely, but she was oh so very tired of hiding things and lying to everyone she dealt with outside the house. And hey, if they did reject her, it at least cleared up her schedule a bit so she could leave town on the weekends.
And, well, he'd asked.
"Let's see…" Cordelia pointed at her boyfriend. "Xander, I've been cheating on you. Her name is Lorna Dane and she's the daughter of that mutant terrorist Magneto. We met through my brother Scott, who you've never met. The Chases are just fosters who are being paid to raise me. My real parents died in a plane crash. My father's name was Christopher Summers and his brother is Hank Summers. Yes, that means Buffy is my cousin. Pretty sure she doesn't know, though." Ticking points off on her fingers, Cordelia paused for a moment to compose her thoughts before continuing on. "Oh, and I used to be a boy named Alex Summers but I tried to sell my soul to the devil to get my mutant powers under control and got screwed over in the process. And… I think that's it."
Thump. Xander hit the grass in a dead faint.
Doing her best to look innocent, Cordelia smiled at Willow and Oz. "Was it something I said?"