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: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, Season Two.Pairing
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: Xander explains something important about Cordelia to Buffy and Willow.* * * * *
“When are you guys going to stop making fun of me for dating Cordy?,” Xander demanded with feigned calm.
“Sorry,” Willow said with considerable petulance.
“But never,” Buffy finished, nodding. “Besides, what does it matter what we think? Cordelia doesn’t care.”
“Of course she cares,” he insisted. Noticing his best friend’s nod, he then added, “But not the way Willow thinks.”
The redhead continued to nod for a few seconds. “Wait. Huh?”
“Cordy cares what people think of her, but not in the way you or I do, Will. We want
people to like us. Jesse was the same way. Remember how happy all of us were when we realized Buffy wanted to be our friend?”
The witch offered a confused nod, while Buffy served up a pleased, if self-conscious, smile.
“Cordy isn’t like that,” he continued. “She doesn’t care if people like
her, but she wants them to respect her; there’s a difference.
"She cares that they realize she’s a decent person, that she has high standards for everyone, including herself, and does the best she can to meet them. We’ve known her our entire lives. Have you ever known her to lie or to take the easy way out of anything?" He shook his head. "No. She’s honest and brave, even when it would be safer for her to lie or run away.”
“So, no, she doesn’t care if people like her, but she does
care what they think
. At least, about the stuff which really matters. Despite what most people believe, Cordelia is a good person. She has integrity."
He stared hard at both of them, glad when Buffy smiled slowly and a light bulb almost appeared over Willow's head.
“That’s why I love her,” he quietly finished, shrugging.