Thanks for all of the reviews!! Let’s pretend Cordelia’s father made most of his money back after the IRS took everything in BtVS season three. This is AU, after all.
This story takes place right after the House MD
season two episode “The Mistake," where Chase is under investigation for possibly killing a patient. DISCLAIMER
I own nothing from Buffy
. For Cordelia’s father, I made up his name, but his character is still technically part of the Buffyverse and therefore not mine. … Chapter One – 2005
The production offices of the newest cable daytime drama were housed on the 43rd floor of a typical New York high-rise on the Upper West Side. In the first office on the right just off the elevator, a young receptionist named Jenny sat filing her nails at her desk.
It was just past 3:00 when the phone rang. “Casting, Miss Chase’s office,” answered Jenny. “Mmhmm, sure. Hold on.” Pushing the red hold button, Jenny put the phone to her shoulder and called, “Cor! Some guy’s on the phone for you! Weird, kinda Australian accent?”
Cordelia Chase frowned in confusion. “Thanks Jenny, I’ve got it!” She picked up the phone receiver, gold bracelets jingling. “Hi Daddy.”
“Hello sweetheart. How are you doing?”
“I’m fine. Where are you? I haven’t talked to you in nearly six months.”
“Oh, I’m at the Switzerland house.”
There was silence on the other end of the line. Cordelia waited impatiently. “Okay…? Daddy, what’s going on? You don’t usually call unless something’s up.”
Callum Chase sounded indignant. “Can’t a father just call his daughter to say hi?”
“You usually don’t.”
Again, there was silence. Then, “Did you know that your cousin is in New Jersey?”
Confused, Cordelia said, “No. How long has he been there?”
“A couple years. Princeton.”
“Oh. That’s nice.” She waited. “Did you want me to call him or something?”
“Actually, you might want to go visit him.”
“Daddy, just tell me what’s going on!” Cordelia said, frustratedly.
Callum sighed. “Cordy, I’m sorry sweetheart but your Uncle Rowan passed away.”
Cordelia was silent. “The lung cancer finally caught up to him,” her father continued awkwardly.
“Uh…” Cordelia struggled to find her voice. “Uh, when?”
“Six months ago.”
“Six months ago?” she repeated shrilly. “And why exactly did you wait until now to tell me?”
“I’m sorry, sweetheart. It was a nightmare arranging the funeral and everything.”
“And what if I had wanted to go to the funeral?” Cordelia asked. “Did that thought ever cross your mind?”
“Look, Cordy, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I just thought you being so close to New Jersey that you might want to go spend some time with your cousin. He’s been taking his father’s death pretty hard.”
Cordelia was silent for a minute, still angry and upset over the things her father had told her. Finally, she said, “I’ll think about it.”
“Thank you, sweetheart. How is work?”
“Work’s fine. Actually, I’ve really got to get back to work.”
“Okay.” Callum’s voice sounded mildly disappointed, but Cordelia didn’t really care. She’d talk with him later when she wasn’t mad. “I love you, Cordy.”
“Love you too, Daddy.”
Cordelia hung up the phone and clenched her hands in frustration. With an angry sigh, she pushed herself away from her desk and stalked out to where Jenny sat. “Jenny, if you found out that your sister died, would you wait six months to tell your kid?”
Jenny blinked. “Cordelia, I don’t have kids.”
She rolled her eyes. “Hypothetically, Jenny. Hypothetically.”
Jenny jumped at the explosiveness of Cordelia’s reply. “Is everyone okay?” she ventured.
Cordelia sighed. “Yes. It’s fine. Don’t disturb me for a while, Jenny. There’s some stuff I have to think about.”
Jenny nodded. “Okay.”
Cordelia returned to her office and slammed the door behind her. She sat at her desk and stewed for a good half an hour before her mind finally wandered to her cousin. Robbie must be so upset
, she thought. She remembered her blond-haired handsome cousin who used to play with her when the two were little. He was six years older than she was, but they were both only children and sought companionship in each other. Robbie’s parents got divorced when Cordelia was nine and after that, she and her parents stopped visiting them in Australia. She hadn’t seen him in easily ten years.
But how could she take time off from the office like that? Her office was one of the busiest in all of production. It would only be for a few days, but that much time could be disastrous without her there.
Suddenly a splitting headache blinded her and she grabbed her head with both hands. It passed nearly as soon as it came on, but Cordelia was left with the shaky, panicky feeling that had always followed those. She knew that back in Los Angeles, Fred had been getting her visions for four years, but she didn’t know why she continued to get these phantom vision headaches that came with no visions. And she had no way to contact the Powers to find out.
Some were worse than others. They had only come four or five times a year, but they always reminded Cordelia of the life that she had abandoned. Now she was faced with another reminder of a life that she had once had and had left behind. If she went to New Jersey, she would have to face the memories of her once-idyllic family life. She wasn’t sure that she could handle that.
A striking brunette figure walked down the boarding ramp in the terminal at Newark International Airport. Cordelia smiled sadly as she watched family members and friends joyfully greeting each other at the gate, hugging and kissing and crying their hellos. She knew that there would be no one there to greet her. She hadn’t told Robbie that she was coming.
She rented a car and started south toward the college town of Princeton. There was a hospital there and that was where she would find her cousin. When she pulled into the parking lot, it was hard to get out of the car. She was afraid of what she would find. She was afraid of seeing her cousin again. Most of all, she was afraid of regretting the last four years of her life.
Now Robbie needed her. The old her wouldn’t have cared. But she had declared that there was a new her a long time ago. She had to force the old her away. She took a deep breath and got out of the car.
There was no one at the reception desk when she entered the hospital. She sighed in frustration and tapped her foot. It echoed loud and satisfying through the lobby. A woman with long dark curly hair in a white lab coat approached her. “Can I help you?”
Cordelia read the tag on her lab coat. “Dr. Cuddy? I’m looking for Dr. Robert Chase.”