: Three HeartsAuthor
: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series
, and Supernatural
; Seasons Five, Two, and One respectively. Some canonical events from these seasons, but mostly AU.Pairing(s)
: Xander/Cordelia/Sam; Willow/Tara; Giles/AnyaRating
: FRT-15 overall, though some chapters might earn a higher rating.Warning(s)
: Language, sexual situations, threesome relationship (m/f/m). Distribution
: Please ask first. Please do not screencap this story, save it to hard drives, exchange with others, or translate into other languages without written consent.Feedback
: Con-crit is valued; flamed are displayed and mocked.Disclaimer
: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, lyrics, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Snippets of dialogue may be incorporated from the original canonical episode(s) and belong to their respective authors/creators. The original characters and plot are the property of the author(s). The author(s) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended, nor should any be inferred. No profit is being made.Summary
: A chance meeting and shared vision send Cordelia Chase and Sam Winchester, along with his brother Dean, racing toward the Hellmouth to save Xander Harris. It must be Wednesday.* * * * *
Cordelia surveyed the club with antipathy and gave a heavy sigh.
In the course of her young life, she had experienced many low points – losing her boyfriend, her money, her house, her car, her parents, her virginity, and Doyle – but she thought this might be the worst yet. This was outright humiliating.
She had been the undisputed Queen of Sunnydale since she was a child. Even when her family lost its status, she hadn’t lost her ability to terrify minions. Besides, she was beautiful and smart, with a great sense of humor and an incredible pair of hooters. She should have wannabe alpha males lined up outside her door. Except she didn’t.
Instead, she had agreed to a date. A blind date. She was horrified.
Worse was that it had been set up by Angel.
When had it happened, she wondered? When had her social calendar become anemic? When had she become that sad, single girl who relied on friends for dates? Who relied on a freaking vampire to play matchmaker? Was there anything more pathetic?
Immediately, her mind listed several things: Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Xander’s wardrobe, that pair of leather pants Angel kept hidden in his closet, Miley Cyrus, and Wal-Mart.
She centered herself and exhaled slowly through her nose as her yoga instructor had taught her, via the classes she had expensed to the agency.
Okay, so it was time to take stock.
Self-analysis and personal reflection were boring and for other people, but it was apparent that something
was wrong in her life. Well, lots of things, really. Still, she had friends, a job, a nice apartment with a friendly ghost, and legs for days; surely there were worse things than Cordelia Chase going on a blind date. Even if it was set up by Angel. Who had no friends.
“Hey!,” she barked to herself. “I’m
his friend!” She frowned. “Well, sort of. I’m his employee. Wait! Business partner!” She nodded.
Oh god, she was talking to herself. Her eyes darted around to ensure no one had witnessed her temporary insanity. But then, this was L.A. Talking to yourself was par for the course. And if anyone said anything, she’d just tell them she was running lines. Because she was an actress. Right!
So who and where was this guy she was meeting? She made a vow then and there that if Mystery Date had body odor or moles of different colors, Angel would be greeting the morning with a holy water enema.
She debated what about herself she should reveal to her date. It was bad enough he knew her real name, but at least he didn’t have her number. She dug through her purse and triumphantly emerged with a scrap of paper on which she had written both. Of course, the number was for gay outcall massage. If her date showed up and was a complete troll, she’d fake an emergency, tell him to call her to reschedule, and then slip him the unholy grail. Angel could deal with the fallout. After all, he still had a lot of atoning to do, so he might as well put himself to good use and run interference for her.
She quickly sketched an autobiography: her name was Cordelia Chase and she was twenty. That was all she was willing to concede. She’d make no mention that her stupid father had lost all their money. She had a car - ooh! a BMW X5 - but it was in the shop. She wouldn’t be available for a second date because she was going on location.
She was filming a pivotal role in the latest Ryan Gosling flick; it was small but powerful, one which she had agreed to take rather than the larger one which required nudity, which was so not her bag. If Ashley Judd wanted to flash her headlights at the drop of a hat, that was her business.
In her spare time, she volunteered with the SPCA to walk cute fluffy puppies, and fed the recently-bathed homeless on weekends.
She nodded. This was good. And casting directors had the audacity to claim she had no imagination! Philistines.
She pressed two fingers to her weary eyes. What was she doing? Why did she always set herself up for failure? Angel knew her standards; he knew there were consequences for her dissatisfaction. He wouldn’t set her up with a freak or put her in danger, because he knew she would take his credit card and hit up Manolo Blahnik faster than Buffy could bemoan the unfairness of a Slayer’s life.
So she would think positively. This would be a good date.
A shiver raced up her spine, and she raised her head and glanced across the room, her gaze landing on the alleged male who had just entered wearing a red rose boutonniere.
Oh, hell no. Angel was going pay for this.
She peered down at her own matching flower, acknowledged her stupidity for ever donning it, ripped it from her dress, crushed it in her hand, and threw it under the table. Then she stood and raced for the bar, where she could take refuge until such time as she could plot her escape.
Damn, the guy had seen her! Not the flower, but the black sheath dress she told him she would be wearing. And why the hell wasn’t anyone else wearing black? This was L.A.! Black was uniform! She tossed the man a confused look and continued toward the bar, maintaining a relaxed yet swift gait. She required help. Assistance! A White Knight!
“Where the hell are you when I really need you, Harris?”
What! No! She didn’t need him! No one needed him, except as demon bait. Right!
She threw herself at the bar and put her head in her hands, releasing a horribly undignified yelp when the bartender materialized before her.
“What’ll it be?,” he gruffly demanded.
“Scotch and soda.”
He nodded. “Coming right up.”
“You aren’t going to card me?,” she barked. How old did this doofus think she was?
He looked her up and down and began walking away.
“I’m only twenty!,” she howled, slamming her fists down on the bar.
He snorted and she saw red. Her humiliation for the night now complete, it was time to start shredding souls.
“Hey! Jerk!,” she bellowed. “Do you know what the penalty is for licensed bartenders and the establishments which employ them if it is conclusively determined they have knowingly served alcohol to an underage person?”
He returned, his eyes narrowed as he considered her words, his fake nose ring glinting under the track lighting. He swallowed heavily. “Are you some sort of cop?”
She smiled and leaned in. “Hey, you’re old. Do you remember 21 Jump Street
“Shit,” he whispered, closing his eyes and dropping his head.
“Comp my Diet Coke and we’ll just forget any of this ever happened.”
“No problem!” He fled.
“With a wedge of lime!,” she called out after him. That was the most important part!
She sighed and collapsed on a stool, keeping an eye out for the Missing Link, whose eyebrows ended somewhere near the outer rings of Saturn. Had this guy not heard of waxing? It wasn’t just for girls anymore!
“Xander had weird eyebrows,” she muttered. “Cute weird eyebrows.” She blinked. “Damn it!” She again slammed her fists down on the counter; immediately, her Diet Coke appeared next to her left hand.
“On the house.”
“Yeah, whatever.” She then remembered she was supposed to be undercover and flashed him a megawatt grin.
He gave her a sheepish smile and slowly backed away like a good drone.
“Well, eight dollars saved is eight dollars toward that Nicole Miller bag,” she said, nodding.
A flash out of the corner of her eye and her heart began to thud. Unibrow was charging her like the club was Pamplona. She jumped from the stool and all but leaped into a passing crowd, racing toward the other side of the large, rectangular bar that dominated the space.
She accidentally slammed into the back of one of the seated patrons, inadvertently causing him to spill his drink down the front of her pants. Normally she wouldn’t have cared, but he could be someone important, or possibly introduce her to someone who was.
“Sorry,” she quickly said. “I didn’t see you there. Are you okay?” When he turned around, she stared. “Wow. You’re definitely okay.”
She was greeted by a headful of dark, floppy hair. Actually, there was a lot of hair, which suggested he wouldn’t be suffering anytime soon from male pattern baldness, unlike the alleged human Angel had foisted upon her. Dusky skin, high cheekbones, blue-green eyes that sparkled like the Pacific, only without the pollution. Yeah, she could work with this.
She raised a brow and smiled like the Cheshire Cat. “Are you okay?,” she repeated, all but purring the question.
“I’m fine, thanks,” he replied, giving her an easy grin.
“You sure are.”
His grin became a pleased if embarrassed smile.
Dimples. Of course he would have dimples. And they reminded her a lot of Xander’s dimples. But she wasn’t going to dwell too much on that, because dimples were just Nature’s facial mistakes. Except for her own, of course, which merely enhanced her unquestioned perfection.
Wait, what was she doing? She was Cordelia Chase; she didn’t go gaga over some cute boy. L.A. was full of cute boys. Sure, most of them were gay, but they still wanted to hang out with her, so whatever! Hell, she worked for a stud of the highest caliber. Granted, Angel was undead and thus off-limits because, hey, who needed or wanted psycho demons in their bed? Well, besides Buffy.
So what the hell was her problem? She was a goddess. Men drooled over her. All of them did. Actors, politicians, lawyers, doctors, firefighters, cops, monks: they were all men, so they all called her. This boy was cute, but she’d seen cuter. Hell, she’d dated cuter. Why the hell had she ever thought herself in need of a blind date, anyway? She was awesome.
Superiority reaffirmed, though it had never truly been in doubt, she decided to dawdle for a while and see where the evening, and possibly this hunk, might take her.
“I’m Cordelia,” she smiled, tossing her hair and extending a hand.
He grinned again, this time rather bashfully, and took her hand in his own. “Sam.”
She noted with pleasure that his hands were massive, like grizzly paws, and everyone knew what large hands meant. She had dated Xander. She had spied on Angel in the shower.
He had a good grip, she decided: warm, dry, and solid. Strong. Not too strong, but enough that she recognized he wasn’t limp-wristing her out of deference to her gender, which she appreciated. After all, she had bigger balls than most men she knew, despite their age or ability to breathe.
She felt rather than saw the man sitting next to Sam desperately trying to get her attention.
“I didn’t ask,” she interrupted, keeping her gaze focused on Sam, who appeared, in turn, startled, bewildered, and finally embarrassed, his grin turning into a huge, if shy, smile. She liked that, a lot. She liked the way his eyes crinkled up at the edges and the way his nose scrunched. Full-fledged cutie. She was so staking her claim.
“It’s nice to meet you,” Sam added.
She beamed. “Of course it is.” She waved at the empty stool on Sam’s other side. “May I sit down, or are you expecting someone?”
“Please,” he said, jumping to his feet and slightly bowing, his eyes now bright, “be my guest.”
He retook his seat only after she had settled, which she made sure to do as slowly as possible, all the better to provide him a view which rivaled that of Malibu. He had manners! Those were a definite plus. Easily flustered was even better, and she ducked her head at his pink cheeks.
“Sam, I know we’ve just met, but I could really use your help.”
She watched with interest as he squared his shoulders and set his jaw. Yep, she had pegged him correctly: this guy was big into saving damsels. Not that she needed a man to ride to her rescue, but it was convenient at the moment and would save her a lot of trouble.
“What can I do?,” he asked.
“Pretend to be my boyfriend.”
He grinned and nodded. “Got it.”
“I could be your pretend boyfriend!,” the other man chirped.
She spared him a glance, looked him up and down once, and snorted. “No, you really couldn’t.”
“Why not?,” he demanded.
She shrugged a shoulder. “You’re too pretty.”
He offered a lazy grin in reply.
“Not as pretty as me, of course,” she added, “which could never happen anyway, but I have no desire for some cute twink past his prime interrupting my mirror time.”
Sam snickered. “Twink.”
The other man glowered. “Past my prime?”
Cordelia continued as if she hadn’t been interrupted which, as far as she was concerned, she hadn’t been. “You’re cocky and way into yourself. Lovestruck girls, and I’m betting a fair number of boys, must follow you around like goslings.”
He grinned again.
She shook her head sadly and turned back to Sam. “It’s tragic how stupid some people are. There should be a telethon.”
He roared with laughter.
“Shut it, Sam,” the other man groused.
Sam’s laughter continued before puttering out with a final wheeze. “This is my brother, Dean.”
Cordelia sniffed. “A pleasure,” she sneered, sparing another glance at Dean. “For you,” she then qualified.
Sam’s laughter renewed itself.
“You see, Dan, was it? Darren? Dink? Whatever. I’m betting you’re the guy the mothers of all us girls warned us about: great looking, funny, charming.”
Dean’s face lit up.
“But you’re also the type who will treat a girl as an easy lay or an afterthought or arm candy, or use her to stroke your own ego.”
Sam’s eyes widened. “Dude, it’s like she knows you.”
Dean cocked a wry brow.
“But Sam,” she continued, “is the guy all of us dream of finding, but fear we never will. So we settle for guys like you, believing we can do no better.” She yawned. “I learned my lesson a long time ago.”
Sam stared at her as if she were an exotic creature which demanded much scrutiny.
“And what makes you think Sam is the right guy?,” Dean asked, his tone more curious than offended.
She gave a mild shrug and turned to stare at Sam, though she addressed her words to his brother. “Some study numbers or books; I study people. I make decisions quickly and I trust my own judgment. Sam is the guy who is always honest, even when you don’t want him to be.”
She cocked her head and ensnared Sam in her even gaze. “He’s the guy who will rush off to save someone he doesn’t even know, leaving you behind in the house to wait and pray he’ll be okay, but you understand because that’s just who he is and you wouldn’t want him any other way.”
She sighed wistfully. “Sam’s the guy who would never intentionally break your heart, and every day you work extra hard to make sure you won’t break his, because you can’t imagine your life without him. He’s the guy you see when you envision your wedding day. He’s the guy who can make your toes curl with just a kiss.”
Sam’s mouth fell open, his cheeks on fire, as Dean laughed loudly.
“He’s all that, huh? Who knew?”
“Not you, apparently,” Cordelia snapped back. “Which is why all the girls might want to take you to bed, but it’s Sam they want to father their children.”
Dean scowled and turned away, surprised by how deeply her words cut.
“Which is why I want Sam to pretend to be my boyfriend,” she finished. She then decided to be magnanimous, because she was all about charity. She turned back to Dean. “Still, I’m guessing you’re the one with the street smarts, more guts than sense, and the one who would kill without a second thought anyone who hurt your little brother.” She nodded to herself more than to him. “Those are good things too.”
Somewhat mollified, Dean flashed a triumphant grin. He had enough insight into the girl to know she didn’t say anything she didn’t mean, and she wouldn’t waste time placating him. Actually, she was kind of awesome, for a complete and utter bitch.
Cordelia peered over her shoulder and winced. “Scary Blind Date at eight o’clock.”
Intrigued, the men turned in said direction, each pulling a horrified face.
“Aw, now that ain’t right,” Dean grimaced.
“Are we sure it’s one-hundred percent human?,” Sam asked.
“Let me handle this,” Cordelia whispered, “but if he makes a scene, just help me get out of here. Please?”
The brothers nodded as one. “No problem,” they said.
“Excuse me,” Unibrow crooned, pressing himself up against Cordelia’s side.
She curled a lip and glared, affronted by his audacity. “Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? There is no excuse for you. Now if you don’t mind, and even if you do, my boyfriend, his brother, and I are in the middle of something here.” She waved a hand in the general direction of the dance floor. “I’m sure there are any number of future porn stars with fake I.D.s and low self-esteem lingering about, just waiting for someone like you to take them away from all of this. Get lost.”
Sam bit his lip to keep the laughter at bay. Dean didn’t bother.
“I think there’s been some mistake,” Unibrow countered, taking her arm.
Cordelia grabbed the offensive appendage by the wrist and pulled it away from her. “Hold it right there, Sodapop. Any part of you that touches me, you’re not getting back.”
Dean leaned over. “This chick kicks ass,” he whispered to his obviously smitten brother, who nodded.
“Now,” she continued, “we can play this one of two ways. Choice number one: I can release your wrist, you will back away slowly, and we can forget any of this ever happened. Choice number two: I take the heel of my other hand and slam it into your arm, shattering your ulna, and possibly sending splinters of bone into your bloodstream which will eventually sever an artery or cause you to stroke out. Choose wisely.”
The man paled considerably, nervously licked his lips, and began retreating.
She tightened her hold momentarily, smiling again and nodding, before abruptly releasing him. “Good call. You should pick up a lottery ticket on your way home.”
As he fled, she had the decency to wish him a pleasant evening. She then turned back around, smirked, and sipped her beverage.
“Marry me,” Dean breathed.
Sam began to chuckle, but his amusement died quickly when he turned to Cordelia and saw the girl gripping the edge of the bar tightly, her knuckles white, eyes squeezed shut in agony. “Hey, are you…”
He gasped and held his head in his hands as he began slipping from his stool.
“Sammy?,” asked a panicked Dean.
“Help her,” Sam whispered, inclining his head toward Cordelia and panting with the exertion.
Confused, Dean stared at Sam for a fraction of a second longer before his eyes slid toward Cordelia.
Racing toward her, he managed to catch her just before her weight forced the stool out from underneath her. “I’ve got you. Just hang on, okay?”
He turned back to his brother. “Sam, what the hell?”
“I don’t know, but we need to get out of here. Quickly.”
“Can you manage?,” Dean asked.
Sam nodded weakly. “You’ve got her?”
Dean nodded in kind. “Let’s motor, Sammy.” He scooped Cordelia up into his arms and began racing toward the exit, trying in vain for discretion but knowing it was a lost cause. He trusted Sammy would keep up, and threw up a prayer to whoever might be listening that whatever images that were being seared into his brother’s brain wouldn’t trigger a new string of nightmares.
“It’s okay,” he whispered down at Cordelia. “My car’s just outside. I’ll take care of you.”
She gurgled and nodded weakly, raising a hand to shield her eyes. “Thank you,” she murmured.
He discerned that she wasn’t thanking him for coming to her aid, nor for not asking any probing questions, but for trying to salvage her dignity. It made him slightly uncomfortable. He was used to hot girls thanking him from saving them from a big scary, but a heartfelt declaration for an act of basic human compassion unnerved him.
Sam was struggling to keep up with Dean, his mind racing in an attempt to figure out what had happened to Cordelia. He had a feeling that, whatever it was, was somehow his fault. What other explanation could there be? He gets hit with a vision, and she drops like the Titanic? Sam knew there was no such thing as coincidence. Christ, he hoped she would be okay.* * * * *
“Can you get the keys from my pocket?,” Dean barked.
Weakly, Sam nodded, and shoved his hand into his brother’s pants.
“Sam, I know we’re tight, but that’s not my scene,” Dean drawled.
Sam gritted his teeth. “Sorry. Dude, why aren’t you wearing shorts? Never mind, I don’t really want to know.”
He ignored his brother’s smirk and fished out the ring and unlocked the Impala, one hand still clutching his head, fingers pulling at his hair in an effort to relieve some of the building tension. “What’s wrong with her?”
“I don’t know,” Dean grunted. “Open the back door, okay? She needs to lie down.”
Sam complied, and Dean, as gently as he could, laid Cordelia across the backseat. As soon as he released her, Cordelia’s back arched and a small shriek was torn from her throat. Dean, both horrified and mesmerized, hovered over her face, and when her eyes fluttered again, he saw they were pure white.
“Holy shit!,” he shouted, so surprised that he sharply brought up his head, slamming it against the roof of the car. “Fuck a duck!,” he howled, becoming the third member of their little cabal to hold his head in his hands and groan. “Sammy! Her eyes are white! Like, totally white!”
“Possession?,” Sam panted.
Dean shook his head, the movement paining him. “I don’t think so. They’d be black if it was.”
“Vision,” Cordelia murmured.
“Oh, hell,” Dean muttered. “Not another one. Where the fuck is Dionne Warwick when you need her?” * * * * *
Another minute passed, during which time Sam had curled up into a ball in the front passenger seat as Dean worriedly paced along the outside of the car. Finally, blessedly, the simultaneous vision ended, and Dean stuck his head through the open driver window as he heard Sam and Cordelia both sigh softly.
“Xander,” they whispered.
“Is it over?,” Dean hissed.
“Yeah,” Sam grimaced, his eyes blinking furiously as the soft sulfurous glow of the streetlights assaulted his eyes. “Ow.”
“Dude,” Dean whispered. “Do you think, I mean, could she be like you? You know what I’m asking?”
Sam tried to shake his head, and immediately regretted it. “Different. If she was...like me...I would sense...something. I don’t know.”
“What the fuck is going here?,” Cordelia demanded, straining to sit up. “Who the hell are you two?” She glared at Sam. “Hey! I’m
Vision Girl! Quit stealing my thunder!”
“She’s recovered,” Sam said, rolling his eyes.
“I need to go,” she murmured.
“Now just simmer down there, Princess,” Dean drawled.
She stared at him with eyes so cold, he could feel his blood begin to freeze. “Don’t you ever call me that, or I’ll kick you in the nuts so hard, they’ll get enlarged in your flared nostrils.”
“Whoa,” he said, eyes widening as he held up his hands. “Look, lady, I’m not trying to piss you off, okay? I really don’t think I want you mad at me. We’re just trying to figure out what’s going on. We’ve never met someone else who has visions like Sam.”
Cordelia pursed her lips. She was not happy. The vision thing wasn’t the best gift with purchase, but it was hers, and she worked damn hard to be good at it. She didn’t want some random hilljack and his psychic brother rolling onto her turf and interrogating her like she was on trial. That was her job!
Still, if this Sam guy was the real deal, if he had just seen what she had, then she needed his help, because she had no clue what she was dealing with.
“How long have you had them?,” she softly asked.
“A few months,” Sam whispered.
She sighed. “Me too.”
“Do they hurt you?”
“Duh. You think I buy Vicodin by the pound because I’m a desperate housewife?”
“Your eyes turned white,” Dean interrupted.
She glanced at him. “Yeah, so?,” she barked. “Don’t his?,” she asked, waving at Sam.
Dean shook his head. “No.”
“We need to go,” Sam advised.
“Yeah,” Cordelia grunted. “Me too.”
Sam and Cordelia both turned to stare at Dean.
“Xander,” he repeated. “Both of you said that when you came out of it.”
They remained silent.
“What’s a Xander?,” Dean asked.
“I don’t know how to find him,” Sam groused. “There were no clues.” He turned and looked over his shoulder at Cordelia, narrowing his eyes. “But you do, don’t you?” She set her jaw and held her tongue. “You saw what I did, didn’t you?”
“What’s it to you?,” she barked.
“Because the thing that’s after him killed my girlfriend last year! It killed our mother!,” he screamed.
Dean swore softly under his breath.
Cordelia cocked her head and considered Sam before wriggling out of the car, only to be halted when Dean stepped into her path.
“Where are you going?!,” Sam yelled.
“Out of my way,” she shoved at Dean. “I’m driving. I’ll fill you in.” * * * * *
“I can’t believe I’m letting some random chick drive my baby,” Dean moaned.
Cordelia blew a raspberry. “What are you, ten? It’s a car, not a kid.” She snorted. “Gearhead.”
Despite his aching head and his strung-out nerves, Sam laughed.
“Dude, shut the hell up!,” Dean complained.
“Can’t handle the backseat?,” Sam grinned.
“Never been back here alone,” Dean answered, a lazy grin on his face.
“You’re not alone,” Cordelia noted. “You have two hands. If you’re lucky, maybe they won’t fall asleep, though I don’t see how they could help it.”
Sam wheezed, and grabbed his head again. “Don’t...make me...laugh,” he panted.
She shrugged. “It’s either laugh or cry, and I’ll be damned if I start crying now.”
He looked askance at her, and the admiration which had begun in the club was now blossoming into something much deeper. “What’s going on?”
Cordelia said nothing for a moment, trying to decide just how honest she could be. She didn’t know these two from a hole in the wall, and with Xander’s life on the line, she wasn’t about to take any risks, but forewarned was forearmed, and she just might need them. “Before, you thought I might be a demon.”
“How much do you know about demons?,” Dean asked her.
“Been killing them professionally four years running,” she replied.
Sam looked over his shoulder and caught Dean’s eye. “So you’re a hunter,” he guessed, turning back to look at Cordelia. “That makes it easier.”
“A what?,” she asked, her confusion obvious. She shook her head. “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. I fight demons. And the occasional witch. And an evil law firm.”
“Aren’t all lawyers evil?,” Dean smiled.
one I’ve never heard before,” Cordelia sighed, rolling her eyes. “Look, if you know about demons, then you understand why I’m not sure how much I should reveal.”
“I get it,” Sam said, “but you know where we’re going?”
She nodded once. “To save Xander. It must be Wednesday.”
“Who’s Xander?,” Dean asked.
“My ex-boyfriend,” she curtly responded. “Buckle up boys, we’re heading for the Hellmouth.”