Green as Grass
WMullen78@Yahoo.com=H=H=GREEN AS GRASS=H=H=
I woke up to a hard shove in the side, but ignored it, as my pounding headache seemed to be the priority for the moment.
"Get off me you loser!"
"Ah!" A too familiar voice had me scrambling backwards, quicker then I thought possible.
I looked around to see we were in the middle of a deserted street, and then over to Cordelia, who was getting off the ground, and trying in vain to dust off what was left of her clothes. They were torn in several places, and covered in some kind of slime that I didn't want to know about. I looked down, mine were in better shape, but then again, I hadn't had demon tentacles wrapped around me either.
"This is all your
fault?" I replied in disbelief, I had just risked my life to save her after all. "I don't even know what you
were doing in the library!"
was doing?" She asked as she walked up, right in my face. "I was saving Willow, and Miss Calender from a bunch of freaking
vampires! I had to drive my car through two
sets of school doors to do it too! Do you have any idea how much that's going to cost to fix?!"
"Cordelia..." She seemed set on ripping me a new one, and all I could do was shake my head. We had just been drug into the Hellmouth, and all she could worry about was the shape her car was in.
I stood there, and waited for her to decide my dignity had been sufficiently shredded. While I waited, I started to check out our surroundings. The sky was hazy, like the smog in LA, but thicker. While the sun was visible, the haze was thick enough that I could stare straight at it without hurting my eyes.
As I turned my attention to the town we were in, I saw that it had definitely seen better days. While some of the buildings looked like they had been blown up, most of them appeared to be intact. Regardless, it was clear something bad had gone down here.
"Are you ignoring me?" I broke off my assessment, and was about to reply, when Cordelia smacked me in the back of the head.
"Are you out of your mind?!" I asked angrily as I spun around to face her. "We just got dragged into the Hellmouth, and almost eaten. Now, all you can do is stand there and yell at me?!" She opened her mouth to interrupt, but I cut her off. "I jumped on top of you and got dragged right down here with you. Now all you can do is hit me?! Thanks for the show of gratitude!"
I stalked away, towards a building I had seen earlier with it's door ajar. "Of all the people to be stuck in hell with, it just had to be Queen freakin'
"I'm sorry, okay!" She shouted at my back.
I had just opened the door when I had heard her, and stopped. I'd never expected to hear those words come out of her mouth. I'd known the girl since kindergarten, even then, she'd been a world-class bitch.
"Then quit screaming at me and help me check this house out." I called over my shoulder as I walked into the darkened room on guard. I heard her footsteps coming towards the doorway, and I hoped she'd keep her mouth shut long enough for me to at least try
to figure out where we were.
"Here, I found this on the ground out there." She said quietly. I turned to look at what she had and saw the axe that I'd held onto as we dangled over the Hellmouth. The upper part of the blade still covered with Giles' drying blood.
"Thanks." I replied, giving her a small smile, and hoped that would keep her temper down for awhile. I saw that she was shivering slightly, and that's when I felt how chilly it was. Since I had a t-shirt underneath a long sleeved one, I hadn't really noticed it until now.
Keeping the axe at the ready, we searched the house. It looked like the owners had left suddenly, and never come back. After going into a few more houses, and even a store, we'd quickly realized that the whole town had been abandoned. On the bright side, I'd found Cordy a red jacket in a closet while we searched. It had what I thought was a cougar on the back, and I figured it was for some kind of sports team.
I'd also noticed a familiar theme along the way. Bullet holes, lots of them. They were paired with the occasional patches of dark stains on the floors, and the surrounding areas. If that wasn't disturbing enough, there were smears across the ground, like the bodies had been dragged away.
It didn't take a genius to figure out that something nasty had gone on in this town. Cordelia seemed oblivious to it all, mostly just commenting on how dirty the buildings were. For the moment, I took it as a blessing.=H=H=
"None of these places have running water." Cordelia complained, as we walked out of the latest empty house.
"Well, they've been abandoned for awhile, I guess we'll have to hold off on a bath until we can find a swimming pool, or something around here." I glanced over at her and noticed she looked uncomfortable. "Or you could just use a toilet in one of the houses we've checked out."
"Ick," A look of disgust crossed her face. "No way buddy, every toilet I've seen has been backed up with God knows what. Are you some kind of pig?"
"Well how about a nice convenient bush?" She seemed unimpressed with my suggestion, so I decided to try another. "Or I know, I'll find you a shovel and you can dig your own latrine. How's that sound?"
She raised her eyebrow, and stared at me like I was a bug. I couldn't help it, I started giggling like an idiot. Happy to forget the situation we were in, even for a few minutes.
"This is not
funny!" She yelled as she took a swipe at me, which I easily ducked.
"C'mon Cor, I fight vampires. You're gonna have to try harder then that." I taunted her, as I tried to catch my breath. "Give me some
credit at least."
"Give me the axe then." She pointed to where I had it casually slung over my shoulder.
"Why?" I asked innocently. "You need a shovel to dig a latrine."
Her face turned bright red, and I knew she was going to explode. I did the only sane thing a man in my position could do. I ran like hell.
"Xander Harris I am going to kill
"This place is really strange." I told Cordelia, as we came out of yet another house while looking for supplies. It had taken an hour long fight to finally settle our differences. After retrieving the axe from it's hiding place, I had agreed to letting her carry it, only after
she promised not to hit me, even with the blunt end. Now, we continued the house to house search for whatever we could find.
"Of course it's strange, we fell into a demon hole. Where were we supposed to land, Beverly Hills?" She replied, still angry over having to use a backed-up toilet.
"I'm serious Cor, look around. These buildings are all made of stone and wood. Do you see any modern-looking buildings anywhere around here?" I asked as I swept my hand around the area to emphasize my point.
"So? This place is a little behind the times, what's the big deal?"
"It looks like we're back in the middle ages or something. But there are power lines, fire hydrants, and cars that look more advanced then anything I've
ever seen before. Don't you think that's a little weird?"
"Well, maybe we're in some kind of backwards European town. Have you ever been to Paris? That city is crazy, there are buildings with doorways sometimes inches, from where cars drive by." She explained, trying to be helpful.
I stared at her, wondering if the bimbo act really was just an act. "And when
exactly, would I have had the chance to go to Paris? You've made it your mission in life to remind me of how poor I supposedly am, remember?"
"I said I was sorry
before, didn't I?" She replied, clearly annoyed that her suggestion had fallen on deaf ears. "Why do you think I picked on you so much? It was nice to have someone who could give, as good as they got, unlike those hopeless sheep
I hang out with."
Not sure if I should feel insulted, or not, I sat down on a nearby bench. Dropping the pack full of bottled water, and the odd can of food that we had managed to scrounge down next to me. I looked up at her and decided to let her have it.
"I never saw Willow have any snappy comebacks for you, yet she was your number one target. Care to explain that one
Cordelia's eyes narrowed. "I don't have to explain anything to you loser." She stated venomously. "And maybe I wouldn't call you poor if you didn't dress like the town idiot.
"What's wrong with what I'm wearing?" I asked, looking down at the black, long sleeved t-shirt, and jeans, along with a pair of black work boots.
Cordelia took her time, looking me up and down. I could tell she was simply considering the best way to verbally castrate me. Or maybe physically, since she was still holding the axe.
Just as she opened her mouth, I cut her off. "You know what, on second thought, I don't want to know. Honestly, I really could care less."
"Don't want to hear the truth dork-head?" She asked, ready to pounce again.
"No, I realized it's kind of stupid to discuss fashion, when we're in the middle of what could be hell. Plus, it's already getting dark."
She looked up with a frown, as the hazy sky was indeed darker then she remembered, just a few minutes ago. She turned to me and asked, "What are we going to do for the night?"
"I saw a house about half-way down the block, that had a couple of upstairs bedrooms that looked to be in pretty good shape. I think that's our best bet for the night." One that did not
have bloodstains or bullet holes in it either. I thought, as I grabbed the supply pack and headed down the street to what I hoped would only be a temporary home.
As we entered the house, I dropped the pack on the kitchen table and grabbed a chair from the dining room to jam under the doorknob. "Check, and make sure all the windows are locked." I told Cordelia as I took a second chair to do the same to the back door.
"Why?" She took several candles we had found in a house earlier out of her jacket pocket. "This place is obviously deserted, I haven't seen so much as a stray cat in this dump of a town since we've been here." She snarked, and caught the lighter I tossed her.
"That was in daylight, what if there are vamps around here? They could just walk right in if they wanted." I emphasized my point by giving the chair a hard nudge until it was firmly in place under the back door knob.
"Giles told me, during one of his boring
speeches, that vampires needed an invite to get into your house. Why the heck should I listen to you?" She asked, and then looked on smugly as she waited for my reply.
"You said it yourself Cor, your
house. Just because we're spending the night in this place, doesn't make it ours. For all I know, we'd have to have one of our names on the deed, since the owner is most likely dead."
"Oh, so mister vampire expert doesn't know something. How surprising."
"I never said I was." I replied, as I started checking the windows myself. "I live with my parents just like you do, I never really had a reason to ask. Besides, the sooner we get this done, the sooner we can eat."
Behind me I heard her give out an exasperated sigh and walk away. I couldn't help but smile, as she stomped upstairs to lock the windows.=H=H=
"This is most disgusting thing I have ever seen." Cordelia said as she looked down into a can of mystery meat.
Reaching across the table, I plucked the can from her hand and gave it a sniff. While not exactly the freshest
meal I'd ever seen, living in the Harris household taught me not to be especially choosy on where my next meal came from. I dug my fork in and took a bite.
"I stand corrected." She said with a look of complete disdain.
"I could give you a list." I offered helpfully.
"Just shut up, and give me a different can you dweeb."
I leaned over and stuck my hand into the bag and pulled out a random can. After opening it up with a knife I'd found in a drawer, I looked down, and smiled when I saw it's contents.
"You're in luck Cor."
" She asked, looking way too excited over a can of food. "What is it?"
"Lima beans." I replied cheerfully.
"You..." She started, murder in her eyes.
"Sorry princess, I don't think we'll come across a can of fish eggs around here." I told her as I set the beans down, and went for another fork-full of the mystery meat. I looked over to the small fireplace in the living room, and I thought about starting a fire to at least warm it up, but I was just too tired to bother.
"At least I'm not eating dog food."
"You're absolutely right, this is indeed dog food." I said with a smile. "You win a prize."
"What's the prize?"
I sighed contentedly, as I finished changing the sheets on the bed in one of the smaller bedrooms. A full stomach from the lima beans, and dog food, along with a clean bed to sleep in had me in a better mood then I expected. I had even convinced Cordelia not to strangle me, it hadn't taken much, once I found a can of sliced peaches for her. I could tell she was in a much better mood as well, now that she had something in her stomach.
A series of loud thumps, and the sound of something breaking made me change my mind on that though. I picked up my candle and figured she wasn't in danger, or she'd have been screaming by now. After some hesitation, I decided to knock on the door to the bedroom she had chosen, to see what was the matter.
After getting no reply, I decided to try my luck with words. "Cor, what's wrong?" I asked, hoping there was enough concern in my voice to placate her.
The door was pulled away from me and I suddenly found myself face to face with Queen C.
?" She asked, obviously annoyed by my interruption.
"I heard some noises, I wanted to make sure you were okay."
She stared at me for a moment, and sighed. "I need a shower
, my clothes are destroyed
, and my feet are freaking killing me
I took a look at her clothes, I could see her once white, sweater was now bordering on dark gray. The light purple slacks had several tears in them, and the demon slime had crusted in swirls. Her feet were bright red, and slightly swollen. I scanned across the floor, and saw her shoes. Leather dress shoes, with heels. I couldn't believe she had walked in those things all day.
"Those shoes are going to have to go." I said simply.
"What? No Xander, I am not
getting rid of them."
"Cor, you realize we might be in hell right? Do you really think the little devil that's poking you in the ass with a pitchfork is going to stop and ask you where you got them? Unless you plan on wearing them around the house like a pair of slippers, they're worthless."
"Are you nuts?" Cordelia asked, exasperated that I would make such a suggestion. "Those shoes cost more then your father-"
I cut her off by putting my right fist through the wall next to me. "Not. Another. Word." I growled at her.
She nodded, cowed by my sudden outburst. It reminded me of my mother's behavior around my father. I instantly regretted that I had caused her to act that way.
"I'm sorry Cordy." I took her hand, holding it lightly and looked her strait in the eyes. "I really don't want you to be afraid of me. We may not get along that great, but that is the last
thing I want. I hope you believe me, when I say that."
"Yeah doofus." She said with a smile. "You may be a loser, but I know that's not who you are."
Sighing in relief, I led her over to the bed and sat down next to her. "I'm going to be honest with you. I don't know where we are, and I don't know when we're going to get home. For all I know, Giles will have a portal open for us tomorrow and you can keep whatever shoes you want. But there is a real
possibility we could be here for awhile, I just don't know."
I held my breath, praying I hadn't just destroyed every bit of hope she had left.
"If we're going to be here for awhile, I'm going to need a new wardrobe. I am not
going to wear those things any longer then I have to." She pointed over to the drawers, which no doubt held the former occupant's clothing.
I groaned as I got up, and let go of her hand. "Fine Cor, tomorrow, I'll take you shopping." I said, as I walked towards my room to finally get some sleep.=H=H=END