Here She Comes to Save the Day
~~~ Lifting the Veil~~~
~~~Chapter 1: Here she comes to save the day~~~
Cordelia: "I get it, you're a ghost. You're dead. Big accomplishment, move on. You see a light anywhere? Go towards it okay?"
Cordelia: "I'm not a sniveling, whinny, little cry-Buffy. I'm the nastiest girl in Sunnydale history. I take crap from no one!"
Cordelia: "Back off polygrip! You think you're bad? All mean and haunty? Picking on poor, pathetic Cordy. Well, get ready to haul your wrinkly, translucent ass out of the place. Cause the bitch is back!"
From Rm w/a Vu, AtS1:5
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Comparatively, Cordelia Chase wasn’t impressed. Sure, the concept of dimension hopping was pretty neat the first time it happened, if you disregarded the whole enslaved and tortured aspect and skipped right to bejeweled princess part, but round two was decidedly less entertaining.
The trip to Pylea was brief, flashy, and over before she knew what happened. The passage through the mirror back to Doyle’s LA, on the other hand, did indeed feel like she was being pushed through molten glass. Her skin burned, melted, fizzled and she couldn’t help a silent scream of agony. She kept a tight grip on Doyle’s dark hand and her trio of bags, desperately hoping that nothing would get knocked off to tumble around in an inter-dimensional nightmare like that awful Stephen King short story Xander had tried to creep her out with, successfully, back in high school- the one where the boy woke up and got trapped somewhere between earth and Mars or some such.
And then it was over. They tumbled over each other, falling out of a wall sized mirror into a sitting room done in shades of pale pink, burgundy, and gold with matching carpets, upholstery and decorations. It was very classy and obviously cost a lot of money to decorate. If Cordy had been in slightly less of a hurry, she’d have taken the time to happily fondle the exquisite tapestry on the mahogany running board.
As it was, however, she was a bit pressed for time. She dumped her bags, barely noticing a pair of startled faces in the doorway, one ringed by a fringe of spring green hair, the other with dark hair and blue eyes, standing about four feet tall. She yanked the short sword from the bag and ran after Doyle, still glowing like a nightlight.
He’d pushed the duo from the doorway and was sprinting down the hallway to a closed door. Paying no attention to the calls of greeting and concern, the duo burst through the door and sprang into the room.
On the bed were the two figures from Cordelia’s vision. The petite redhead was wrapped up in the arms of a delicious looking man with silver tinsel hair. He was curled around her protectively, and she had a small smile on her face. Doyle looked once at them, and then to the window, but Cordelia was already moving.
She leapt over the end of the bed, managing not to snag her feet on the rumpled covers. The silvery man woke up, startled, as Doyle pounced on top of him, dragging him, and the woman, roughly to the floor. Cordy grabbed a hold of the window sill, eyes widening as a dark figure loomed up from the bushes just outside.
She gave a small shriek, slamming the window closed as the man-like shape blew a palm full of sparkling powder at the glass. Where it touched, the glass began to bubble and ripple, melting rapidly, the hole growing larger by the mirco-second. Staring her down, the not-quite-a-man raised a long barreled gun and pointed it at her face. Not wanting to see just how indestructible her new form was, Cordy ducked, yelling aloud for Doyle.
The dark sidhe raised to his knees, pulling his own gun from heaven only knows where, leveling it at the intruder. An exchange of shots later, the interloper slumped to the ground outside and a small porcelain vase from a shelf across the room exploded.
The silence after the attack was intense, only the harsh breathing of Cordy and Doyle echoing around the room. Carefully, the seer stood, gripping the sword tightly. She inched closer to the window, peering down at the trampled zinnias and roses with a frown.
The rumpled form of the attacker, in clear light, was definitely not human. With curling tusks and a wide jaw, pale greenish skin, and more muscles than an entire body building convention, Cordy could happily classify him as ‘demon’. She leaned out of the shattered window, careful around the glass shards, and sniffed.
“Oh, ugh. This guy smells terrible. Aren’t dead guys traditionally supposed to sit for a while before decomposing?” She turned to the rest of the room with a wide smile on her face. “So, who do we call for corpse removal around here? Is there a service, or is it do it yourself? Cause, I gotta say, I’m so over burial detail. Besides, just fixed my nails and it’d be a pain to do have to do it again.”
It was then that she noticed that the short redhead and the silver man were completely naked. And staring at her. Doyle had a bemused expression on his face, arms loosely crossed. In the doorway, she could see more than just the two faces that greeted her in the sitting room, and all of them were alight with curiosity.
She raised her eyebrows. “Not that I don’t appreciate the view, but did you know you were nude? I’m Cordelia Chase, by the way. I’ll be playing your rescuer today.” She winked and dropped the sword to the abandoned bed, stretching her tight fingers.
The woman blinked. “Meredith. Um, thanks.” She distractedly pulled the loose top sheet from the floor, wrapping it around her body like a toga. She poked the man lightly in the ribs.
He jumped slightly and nodded, pulling on a dark grey robe. “We are grateful. I am Frost.”
Doyle snorted. “Perhaps we should do all of the introductions. Shall we move back to the sitting room?”
The group in the doorway scattered back down the hall, followed by Meredith and Frost. Cordy took one more look out the window, shaking her head. She started when she noticed Doyle peering over her shoulder. He laid a hand on her arm, smiling that enigmatic smile of his.
“That was nicely done Princess Cordelia. I think you’ll fit in well here.”
She let out a shaky breath. Now that the adrenaline was gone and the panic of potential failure evaporated into the ether, she couldn’t help a flash of nervousness. These people were to be her… co-workers… family… friends… for the next however long. She had no idea what to expect. Then she straightened her shoulders and took a deep breath. She was Cordelia and everyone loved Cordelia, more or less.
She smiled. “Yeah, well, kill a few people, make a few friends. It’s just like home.”
He chuckled, a deep rumbling sound, and steered her back the way they’d come. It had only been a few minutes since they’d arrived, but it already felt like eternity. Doyle moved to her right side, as if setting a stage.
The sitting room was full of people, no-not quite people: sidhe, when they returned; Cordy looked around with interest. The other princess, Meredith, was sitting in the center couch with Frost on one side and the green fellow on the other. And he was green, or greenish, even his skin. His hair was shorter than the other men in the room, with the exception of one long braid that curled over his shoulder and trailed almost to the floor. On a second couch were two men, one with wildly curling, waist length white hair and one blue eye shining from a pale face, the other eye covered by a pearly beaded eye patch, and a second man with milk chocolate brown skin and slightly darker hair, silky smooth and very long. She could barely make out the smaller man- boy?- from before, crouched on the floor, hiding under Meredith’s legs. There was a high humming sound and Cordy looked to her left, startled to see a miniature winged man about eye height with butter yellow shaggy hair and rapidly beating wings wearing only a kilt.
She blinked and said crisply. “Hello, I’m Cordelia.”
The flying creature buzzed back a few inches, as if started by her casual introduction. “Sage.” His voice was bell like, bright and hard, and while not very loud, commanded the attention of someone much larger.
She nodded. “Nice to meet you, Sage. Um, I don’t want to be awkward, but what exactly are you?” He buzzed closer, and Cordelia held up her hand, palm flat.
Sage landed, the wings stilling to stained glass perfection. He laughed, harshly, and said depreciatively, “I am a demi-fey.”
Cordy frowned. “Oh. Is that different from regular fae?”
Now he laughed for real, and a small smile graced his tiny, perfect features. “Only in stature, lady, only in stature.”
“Sage.” Meredith glared at him, eyes hard. The demi-fey sighed and flew from Cordy’s hand to a potted gardenia near the sofa. “You musn’t mind, Sage, Princess Cordelia.”
Cordy shook her head. “It’s Cordy, really. And I don’t mind. I’ve never seen a demi-fey before.” She looked around the room again and smiled. “Actually, I’ve only ever seen one other fae at all- Doyle. And, um, me I guess.”
Meredith smiled. “And now us. As I said before, I’m Meredith, and you can call me Merry. You’ve met Doyle, obviously, and Frost. This is Galen.” The green man smiled widely, innocently, and Cordy was struck with a strange sense of familiarity, though couldn’t place where.
Finally relaxing, her glow faded away to nothing and the whirls of amber and caramel in her irises slowed. Meredith widened her eyes. “How did you do that?”
Cordy looked around, catching Doyle’s smug eyes, though he said nothing. “Um, do what?”
“Mask yourself completely?” She stood then, and walked to the brunette, bright green, triple iris eyes bright with interest. “I can’t feel even a whisper of your magic, though it was definitely there earlier.”
“Princess Cordelia has many unexpected talents. I believe her ability to completely mask her sidheness is related to her original existence as human.”
Someone coughed across the room and Cordy got the distinct impression not everyone was completely filled in on the situation. She rolled her eyes. “Doyle’s right. Used to be human, now I’m not. No biggie. And the glow thing? It just does what it wants. He seems to think I’ll learn how to control it eventually. Till then, pfft. Whatever.”
If she was surprised by the casual dismissal of what was apparently a unique ability, Meredith didn’t show it. She merely nodded, tightened her toga and waved her hand at the rest of the room. “This is Kitto.”
The tiny fellow on the floor nodded shyly, and Cordelia remembered Doyle saying Kitto, half goblin-half sidhe, had nearly faded away to death not too long ago. His wide blue eyes looked up at her tentatively, as if afraid of rejection. She smiled warmly at him. He smiled slightly wider back.
Meredith continued the introductions. “The sidhe with dark hair is Nicca, and to his left is Rhys. They, along with Doyle, Frost and Galen, constitute my formal guards. Sage is here on leave from Queen Niceven, the queen of the demi-fey, and Kitto is my liason with the goblin court of King Kurag.”
Cordy nodded slowly, processing the information. There was obviously considerably more going on with the relationships between these faerie than appeared on the surface. She could almost taste the hostilities between Sage and some of the others, as well as a strange tension between Frost and Doyle. Meredith had sat a little bit closer to Frost than Galen, the green sidhe, and Galen didn’t seem happy about it. Though neither Rhys nor Nicca had said much, she couldn’t possibly believe they were free from the potentially soap opera connections of the others. She couldn’t help the bright grin that spread across her face. This was going to be just like high school, and she ruled high school.
Doyle gestured to the bags on the floor, haphazardly dumped in front of the mirror. “Nicca, would you take Princess Cordelia’s bags to one of the guest rooms? If we’ve finished with the introductions, I’d like to fill Merry in on what she’s missed, as well try to figure out why someone attempted to kill her in broad daylight.”
Nicca nodded obediently, and stood. Rhys cocked his head, a puzzled expression on his face. “But the introductions are not finished.”
Doyle arched a perfect, black eyebrow. “Oh?”
Rhys waved his hand at a spot about two feet in front of Cordelia. “What about him?”
“Him?” Doyle was frowning now, squinting at the carpet in front of the seer.
“Young, brunette, medium build, looking extremely guilty.” The pale sidhe smirked, rubbing his hands together slightly, and leaned forward.
Cordelia put her hands on her hips, glared straight ahead, and practically yelled, “Dennis?!? What the hell are you doing here?”
~~~End Chapter One~~~
To Be Continued…