Story Notes: Canon up to The Kiss in AtS episode 3.11 Birthday, then branches off into the Cordy!verse.
Author’s Note: I started this back when Joss was still on tap for the Wonder Woman movie.
Disclaimer: Angel the Series and all associated characters are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, and Warner Brothers. Wonder Woman is property of DC Comics. This work is not for profit and no ownership of aforementioned copyrighted material is implied, nor any infringement intended.
* * *
“Look, Cordy, relax. You’re putting too much muscle into it.”
The actress scowled at the stunt coordinator. “It’s a fight scene, Ted.”
The man sighed patiently. “But not a real fight. Look, you do Tae Bo, right?”
Cordy tried not to smile. Tae Bo *was* her cover story for the real training she did. “Yes, I do.”
“So you know how you just go through the moves, you don’t go like you‘re actually going to hit someone. It’s based on martial arts, but it’s an aerobic workout.”
“But if it’s supposed to look real—” Cordy huffed.
Ted held up his hands in a placating gesture. “Okay, okay; ever play tennis?”
Cordy failed to see the connection and raised an eyebrow. “When I was younger.”
“What happens if you try to hit the ball too hard, and miss?”
“Hyperextension, maybe tennis elbow eventually.”
“Yup,” Ted said. “So, stay with me—because you’re not actually connecting with someone...”
“I’m over-muscling and could potentially injure myself.” Cordy nodded when she came to the conclusion.
“You know, I’m proud of you. I had initial reservations when they said you were being cast for Wonder Woman, but now...”
“I am woman, hear me roar.”
Ted smiled. “You do have depths, hotshot, I give you that.”
* * *
The security guard started from his lunch-induced sloth. “Hey, buddy, you can’t come in here.”
The new arrival slammed a flower-filled vase against the guard's head, rendering the guard unconscious. The intruder then turned to see Cordelia staring. “You’re not her! You aren’t Wonder Woman,” the man screamed. “You’ll never replace Linda!” He pulled a large folding knife from a pocket and opened it before advancing on the actress.
Cordelia grabbed the boom mike from a shocked stagehand, and smashed the far end into the assailant’s face. The padded grip only stunned the man, so she swapped the boom, end for end, and brought down the microphone on top of the man’s skull as hard as she could. He collapsed bonelessly.
Cordelia knelt on the groaning man’s back and proceeded to bind him with her lasso. She executed the complicated pattern without hesitation and trussed the deranged man like a turkey.
Ted stared, open-mouthed for long seconds before speaking. “Umm, did you actually use your prop lasso to tie that guy up?”
“Well, I knew that the lasso was going to be one of the main weapons, so I thought I’d learn how it could be used.”
The stunt coordinator stepped in close to Cordelia, and looked from the hogtied man to the actress. “You studied Hojojutsu,” he said incredulously.
Cordelia nodded once.
“Holy shit,” Ted said with respect.
The red-haired craft services person cleared her throat nervously. “Umm, shouldn’t someone call the police?”
Finally, the stunned people on the set began to move. Cordelia’s assistant Nev raced up, looking pale. “Cordy, are you alright?”
* * *
After the police had come and gone, Nev watched Cordelia sit in the other chair in the star’s dressing room. Neither had spoken since they entered the trailer. From the corner of her eye, Cordy watched her assistant flutter his hands nervously.
Nev chose his words care. “That thing in Beverly Hills last year that was on the news... That was real, wasn’t it?”
Cordelia smiled disarmingly. “C’mon, you know better than anyone how fake television is.”
Nev fiddled with an empty coffee mug from the counter. “I saw you fight with something that looked like a monster, cutting on it like you meant it. And that wasn’t choreographed, was it?”
“No,” Cordelia said softly.
“Fuck!” Nev threw the coffee mug across the room. “Does anyone else know?”
“From Sunnydale, where you grew up. Anyone here?”
Cordy nodded. “A couple of them moved to L.A., too. I keep in touch with them.”
Nev guessed, “You work full time with the rest of us on the movie, or your show, and then when we all go home you go out and fight monsters. Real monsters.”
Cordelia nodded again.
“Jeez,” Nev breathed. “We really aren’t worthy.”
“Pfft,” Cordy scoffed.
“I just want you to know I can keep this swept under the rug. You aren’t going to end up in the tabloids. Well, anymore than normal.”
Cordelia laughed. “I know I can count on you.” She stepped forward to hug her assistant.
“Well, time for spin control,” said Nev as he opened the door of the trailer and stepped out.
After the door closed Cordelia flopped into her ‘comfy chair.’ She stared into nothing for awhile, then opened the drawer that contained all of her best fan mail. She pulled out a card from a Sunnydale-postmarked envelope. ‘You make a difference’ proclaimed a silly cartoon animal on the front. Inside, curlicued writing read:
I saw you on the news last week. It was even better than your show. I hope you’re being careful if you’re doing all your own ‘stunts’ on a regular basis. Please call if you need anything.
Cordelia smiled and closed the card.
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