Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel the Series, along with the characters from their respective shows are owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.
Description: Cordelia agrees to Xander's offer for a ride to LA after graduation. They fight, they love, and things go crazy.:::::WHY US?:::::++Xander POV++
"Stop being such a coward." I told myself, as I stood in the doorway of the Sunnydale bus station. I knew the longer I waited, the less chance I had of actually catching her. The lady from the dream I'd had last night told me I needed to meet her today.
I was about to go on my road trip, and Cordelia was waiting for her bus to go to LA and become famous. This was my last, realistic chance to make things right between us. Who knew when we'd see each other again?
Finally, I sucked it up and headed inside the station. I just hoped I wouldn't end up making a complete ass of myself, I still wasn't sure where I stood with her, even after the prom.
After ten minutes of searching, I finally found her in a corner, on a bench. She sat there quietly, surrounded by two bags and a suitcase. It was a far cry from the girl I dated for almost a year.
I sat down on the bench next to her, a duffel bag between us, she didn't even bother to turn her head.
." She growled. "I told you before, I can make it on my own in LA just fine."
"I never doubted it for a second Queen C."
She looked over in surprise. "What the heck are you doing here dork?":::::
"Nice to see you too, pretty lady." I told her with a smile.
"Yeah right. Look at me, I'm-"
"As beautiful as ever Cor, I know that."
"Thanks." She replied quietly. "So what are
you doing here?"
"Well, I'm going on my road trip today, and I was looking for some female companionship of the non-hooker variety. Know anybody that needs a ride to LA?"
"I already paid for the ticket." She frowned. "I don't know if-"
"Don't worry, we can get the cash back. Besides, it sure beats sitting next to a guy who smells like he pissed himself, or a lady that thinks rubber chickens are taking over the world, right?"
"You're serious, even after everything that happened?"
"Seeing how good you looked in that prom dress made it all worthwhile."
She gave me one of those great smiles of hers, and everything was right with the world.:::::~~Cordelia POV~~
My eyes were closed and my head leaned back. With the wind whipping through my hair and hottie, Gavin Rossdale's voice singing 'Glycerine
', I could almost imagine that I was still in my Mustang.
When I opened my eyes, reality came crashing back. Cracked windshield? Check.
Rusty paint job? Check.
Warped and torn vinyl seats? Check.
Doofus thinking he knew the words of the song...
"Would you stop that?"
He looked over at me, startled. "What?"
"Stop butchering the song." I ordered.
"What the heck are you talking about? I'm just singing along to it, geez."
"You don't know the words, and all you're doing is drowning out Gavin."
"Who?" He asked dumbly.
"I don't know why you always made me do that."
"You sure didn't mind when we were fooling around, did you?" Cordelia argued.
"Do you have any idea how uncomfortable that Speedo was?"
"Stop whining." She ordered. "It's no worse then any of the crazy underwear guys try to buy us."
"I never bought you any underwear!" I would have been way
too embarrassed to even think about it.
"That's because you know I would have strangled you if you'd tried."
"Why do guys even buy girl's underwear? Doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose?"
In response, she smacked me in the back of the head.
"Ow!" I rubbed the spot she'd hit, Cordy had caught me with some of her nails.
"Quiet you baby.":::::~~Cordelia POV~~
"No! No! No! You have to get over to the left, or you'll never be able to get out of this lane!" I ordered. The last thing we needed was trying to get this heap to move fast enough to make a gap in traffic.
"Would you quit it?! I know where I'm going!"
"How many times have you driven to LA?!" I yelled, as I tried to use the side mirror to fix my lipstick.
He looked over at me, I already knew the answer. "Never."
"Right. If you get on Route 101 now, we can make it to I-405 easily."
"Yes'm Miss Cordelia, I be takin' that way right now." He jammed his foot on the gas and cut over to the lane I wanted him to.
I turned toward him, and he chuckled at me. Looking back in the mirror, I could see a big streak of lipstick across the side of my face. "Not funny.":::::++Xander POV++
I kept a grin on my face as we continued down the road. Cordy would occasionally look over and glare at me. It had been worth it. She smacks me, I mess with her makeup, it always worked out in the end.
We were stuck in traffic right now, but at least we'd stopped at a gas station first and grabbed some food.
"You know it wasn't that
"I didn't say anything." I told her, before taking a bite out of a chocolate chip muffin. It was good one too.
"That's why you have that stupid grin on your face, right?"
I snickered. "I just thought of a funny joke, that's all."
"You keep thinking them up, and I'm going to stick my foot up your ass Harris."
"That big thing?" I asked, pointing down at her Nike-encased foot.
"I do not have big feet!"
"Don't worry honey," A truck driver called out from next to us. "You're well proportioned in all the places that count!"
"What?!" Her outraged scream carried amongst the cars, drawing attention from more then a few people.
My face turned red as I tried not to laugh. She would kill me where I sat if I did.
"You heard me baby! Go on down to the truck stop, you'll clean up real nice there!"
I was about to rip the guy a new one, when Cordelia beat me to it.
She grabbed the muffin right out of my hand and heaved it at the cab of the truck. It exploded on the corner of the window frame, showering him with the gooey mess. "Good luck cleaning that
I stared down at my now empty hand. I wasn't sure whether I should laugh or cry.:::::~~Cordelia POV~~
Finally out of the traffic jam, caused by some idiot who didn't know how to put out a simple car fire, we were making good time to LA.
I shook my head as dweeb-boy continued to mourn his lost muffin. I felt a little bad, but that truck driver had it coming. Besides, Xander and I had gotten a good laugh out of it at his expense.
The driver had been less then pleased, even threatening to get out and 'teach me some manners'. He'd even gone so far as to put the big tractor trailer in park, and start opening the door. That's when Xander had gotten involved...
"You take one step out of that cab, and I'll break your fucking neck.
The driver had taken one look at Xander's face and quickly closed the door. When I had turned back to him, he was sitting there as if nothing had happened. That was something I really liked about him, no matter what happened, I could always trust him to watch my back.
"We're about twenty minutes from your exit, make sure you've got everything ready. I don't want to hold you up."
"Hold me up from what?" I asked, confused.
"I'm sure you've got some kind of important party to go to, or a lunch with a big-shot producer."
"Xander, I haven't even moved in. No one knows me in LA yet."
"They're gonna take one look at you, and you'll be a movie star. I have no doubt about it Cor."
I couldn't help but blush. I'd had plenty of smoke blown up my butt for years, from the ass-kissers and hangers-on. They'd just said whatever I wanted to hear. Xander, in his infinite optimism, had meant every word he'd just told me.
As I sat back and watched the billboards pass by, I wondered how much I'd really miss the dork.:::::++Xander POV++
"We're coming up on that street you were looking for."
"Okay, turn left here, and it'll be number three-oh-two." Cordelia told me as she looked over her directions.
Looking at this area, I wasn't happy with what I saw. This was not
a nice neighborhood. After making the turn, I was even less pleased.
"Three-oh-four. Three-oh-three. Here we go Cor, three-oh-two." I scanned the three story building up and down, it was a freaking hovel.
Cordelia finally got a good look at it, and she froze. I seriously doubted this was what she'd expected to find.
As I parallel parked across the street from it, I didn't know what the heck I was gonna do. I couldn't leave her here like this.:::::~~Cordelia POV~~
I couldn't believe that
was the building I'd been expecting to move into. I knew the rent was affordable, but I didn't expect it to look like it was ready to fall down. After sweet-talking the landlord, Mister Umberto, into holding it until I got there, I was having second thoughts.
I didn't even want to look at Xander. I was so embarrassed that he'd know this was what I'd been reduced to. Sure, he knew I wasn't rich anymore, but after all that stuff I'd said about his house, he looked like a millionaire compared to this place.
"What do you want to do Cor?"
I finally got the nerve to look at him. His face was neutral, which was a plus, but I didn't know what he was thinking right now.
"Cor?" He asked, real concern in his voice.
Everything I'd had my entire life, my family, my friends, my fortune, all gone. Mother and Daddy were on the run, I was an absolute joke to my former Cordettes, and I had eight hundred bucks to my name.
Now, I was just another girl in LA, trying to make it big, and I was about to move into a place that should have been condemned ten years ago. Seeing the big dork just sitting there, hoping
there was something he could do to help made me finally lose it.
"It's okay, we'll work something out, I promise."
I threw my arms around him and I sobbed into his shoulder. Why was it, that my biggest enemy in Sunnydale was the only person that still actually cared about me?:::::++Xander POV++
After hearing from Cordy everything that was going on with her, I didn't know what to do. She'd told me she only had one nice dress for interviews and parties, plus no money for food after she paid rent. If she didn't find work immediately, she was screwed.
I wished I could wave a magic wand to make things better for her, but after taking Anya to the prom, I was never going to try that again. Instead, I did the only thing I could.
Getting my left arm free from where Cordelia continued to pour her heart out to me, I reached under the steering column and brought out a wad of cash.
"Here Cor, I want you to have this." I told her, holding it up for her to see over my right shoulder.
"What?" Seeing it, she pulled back in surprise. "No Xander, I can't-"
"There's about two grand there. When you become famous, I know you'll pay me back." I told her with a smile.
"Where did you get all of this money?"
"Jesse and me were planning this road trip since we were in seventh grade. With all the yuppie's in Sunnydale that don't wanna mow their own lawns, there's a lot of money to be made."
She shook her head. "No Xander, I can't take this. You'll have to go back home without it."
"You're trying to do something with your life. I'm just going to drive around for a couple of months and then find a dead-end job when I get home. Now, I can get a jump on that, maybe move up from fry cook, to a cashier job at the Doublemeat Palace a little faster.":::::~~Cordelia POV~~
I stared at him in disbelief. He was willing to give up all of his road trip money, so that I'd be more comfortable, and be able to have a better chance of finding a job.
I'd dumped this guy over something as stupid as a kiss. Because I
was Cordelia Chase, and no one dumped me
. But he wasn't back in Sunnydale, trying to get another kiss from Willow. He was here in LA, offering everything he had to help me.
"I want to go with you." I blurted out.
"You heard me dweeb. I want to go with you on your road trip."
"No Cor, you don't have to say that." He tried to shove the cash into my hands. "Just take the money."
Obviously, I needed to take a more drastic measure. I grabbed both sides of his face and kissed him. After several seconds, I let him go, not like he was struggling though.
"Let's try heading south," I told him enthusiastically. "How does that sound?"
He just nodded and started the car. I really liked that even after all this time, I could still kiss him speechless.:::::++Xander POV++
We got out of LA alive, and drove for another forty five minutes, finally ending up in a town called Greenwood. We weren't exactly sure where we were, but it was somewhere between Escondido and Palm Springs.
After driving around, we found a small bed and breakfast called 'Ellen's Place'. It wasn't anything fancy, just nicer then the motel rooms I was expecting to use when I didn't sleep in the car. Cordy and I had talked it over, and we'd decided to just splurge for tonight.
It was getting dark as we grabbed a few bags and headed to the door. Along the way, Cordy took my hand. While it was enjoyable, I wondered if it was going to go anywhere. It'd be great if we could get back together, but I just didn't want to push it.
Cordelia and I entered the house and looked around, it was nice, but even I could tell the stuff inside was dated. An older woman suddenly appeared from one of the rooms, several towels in her hands.
"Hello there!" She greeted, putting her load on a small desk. "Welcome to Ellen's Place, I'm Ellen Hathaway."
"Nice to meet you." I told her, shaking hands. "I'm Xander, and this is Cordelia."
"My, what unusual names." She said with a smile. "Are you two kids in college?"
"We just graduated high school," Cordelia informed her. "...We're on a road trip right now."
"That's nice I-"
"Mrs. Hathaway." A woman's voice called out from above us, followed by the sound of heels coming down the stairs.
I could see the owner grimace, I was guessing whoever it was, wasn't a favorite guest.
A nicely dressed woman, probably in her forties, came to the bottom of the steps. "Mrs. Hathaway, I distinctly remember asking for additional towels for our room."
"I understand Mrs. Stephens, I was just bringing them up to you," She motioned to the nearby towels. "When some additional guests arrived.
She gave us both a look of disdain. "Shouldn't you be worrying about paying
"I'd say we're covered." I responded, holding up the wad of cash.
"Hmph." She collected her towels and started to walk away, muttering under her breath.
I could see Cordy ready to pounce, so I put a hand on her shoulder. Normally I'd enjoy the show, but I was beat, and didn't want to look for a new place to crash for the night.
"Would you like one room, or two?" Mrs. Hathaway asked, trying to get back to business.
I wasn't about to answer that, so I turned to Cordy.
"One's fine." She told the older woman with a smile.:::::~~Cordelia POV~~
I started unpacking some of our things, while Xander went into our bathroom. I seethed inside, thinking how close that stuck-up bitch had come to getting knocked out. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, I couldn't help but wonder if I had really been that
Xander came out shortly after, he must have noticed the mood I was in. "You okay Cor?"
"Yeah." I told him with a sigh. "I just couldn't stand that woman, and I'm wondering if that's how other people think of me."
He sat down next to me and gave me a hug. "Honestly, I'm sure a lot of people do."
I looked at him in surprise. I wasn't sure why though, since that was what I thought already.
He noticed and gave me a squeeze. "Let me ask you a question first, okay?"
I nodded, I so
wanted to be wrong on this.
"Do you think the people that you saved feel that way?"
"The students at graduation, I saw you save more then a few from vamps. Do you think those people would still be alive to think of you that way if you hadn't saved them?"
"I couldn't save them all." I felt tears roll down my cheeks.
"And neither could I Cor. But my point is, no condescending bitch like that one, would risk their life for anybody
"I'm sorry Xander, what I did to you-"
"I had it coming." He finished. "You had every right to break up with me the second time."
"Second time." I muttered. "God I was a bitch."
"But in a good way Cor, I wouldn't know what to do if you suddenly became little-miss manners."
"Please." I told him, as I picked my purse up from the floor. "The day that happens, shoot me."
"It's crossed my mind a few times."
I gave him a fake glare. "I've got something for you." I told him, reaching into my purse.
"Is it a new muffin?" He asked excitedly. "I was very unhappy when you shared my muffin with another man, you know."
I just shook my head at his silliness, before pulling out a box of condoms. When we'd stopped at a gas station just before leaving LA, I'd told him I forgot something in the store. I'd wanted them to be a surprise, and I could see it was.
His tone changed instantly. "Cor, we don't-"
"I know we don't, and that's why I want to. You would have given me all your money with no strings attached, that shows me how much you really care."
"I do care, and I just wanted to apologize for-"
"Are you trying
to get me to change my mind?" I was slightly annoyed that he'd tried to bring that up. "Because I'd really like you to be my first."
"Yeah, first. Don't tell me you believe those football team rumors..."
"No- no- no- no- no." He implored. "I know that was all
Harmony." He thought about it for a second. "I mean both doing the team, and the rumors."
I snorted. "So true."
"And ah, just so you know, this won't be my first time."
"You do? How did-"
"Oh come on," I cut him off again. "That girl couldn't keep her legs closed, do you really think she could keep her mouth shut either?"
"Yeah, she was kinda-"
"Shut up and take off your clothes. Now.":::::++Xander POV++
I lay in bed looking straight up at the ceiling. Last night had been fantastic, probably the best of my life. Beyond the most obvious reason, it was the fact that Cordelia might be giving me a second chance.
I glared at the window though, with all the racket going on outside, I couldn't get back to sleep. At first I thought it was just a passing trash truck, but the loud noises and yells continued. Suddenly, a loud thud, like a car accident happened, startling Cordy awake.
"What the hell was that?!" She asked, as she sat up in bed, with a look on her face that would freeze the balls off a man at fifty feet.
I tried not to snicker at that, since I was quickly realizing that she was not a morning person. "Maybe it's a riot."
Cordelia turned to me, and I knew I'd messed up. "Laugh it up funny man. It's seven-fifteen, we don't need to check out until eleven. We could have slept a few more hours."
I was about to reply when screaming started somewhere out front. Shortly after, it was downstairs in the house. I ripped myself out of bed and grabbed for my pants on the floor.
As I yanked them on, I could see Cordelia was clearly unhappy that the Sunnydale weirdness had followed us. "Cor, there's a hand axe in the blue duffel bag, grab it and come downstairs." With that said, I ran to see what the heck was going on.:::::
I came down the stairs to find Mrs. Hathaway, and several people that must have been other guests, gathered around a man on the floor, next to him, was the bitch from last night. All were freaking out just inside the front door.
The man was sitting on the floor clutching a severely bloodied left arm. His wife was next to him babbling about something. No one was doing anything to stop the bleeding, and I somehow doubted they'd called 911.
Before graduation, I would have been just another face in the crowd. But after having a major role in planning and executing the assault on the mayor, I had enough confidence to get involved and try to help.
"Is anyone here a doctor or nurse?" I asked as I moved toward the crowd.
The bitch wife looked up at me with disdain. "Does it look like any of us are you moron?!"
I crouched down in front of the husband. "Then everyone get back, I've been training to be an EMT." It wasn't true of course, but I was the closest thing this guy would get. Turning to Mrs. Hathaway, I told her to get a first aid kit, and then to a random woman to dial 911.
All but the wife backed up, seemingly grateful to have someone take charge. "What's your name man?" I asked as I coaxed his hand off his arm.
"Henry." He said, grimacing as he got another look at his forearm.
Looking at it myself, I could tell this wasn't some cut. The flesh and muscle were gone down to the bone. "My name's Xander. Can you tell me what happened?"
"I was loading up the luggage into the trunk, we wanted to get an early start to Los Angeles." He grunted as I prodded the wound.
"I'm just getting a busy signal, I can't get through!"
"Keep trying!" Turning back to Henry, I told him to continue.
"Some guy. I don't know, maybe he was homeless. He came up and grabbed Laura. I struggled with him and he bit me. I managed to throw him off, and we came back inside."
Random screaming could be heard outside as things seemed to get worse. I wondered how many people this guy had attacked.
Mrs. Hathaway brought the medical kit and I started swabbing the wound down. Henry groaned loudly, I couldn't blame him, this bite was nasty.
"Be careful you idiot." Laura said. "You mess this up, and we'll sue you into the ground."
"This coming from a woman wearing last years Prada shoes? Please
." Cordelia snarked, as she came down the stairs in jeans and a t-shirt, axe in hand.:::::~~Cordelia POV~~
The woman glared up at me. "Who do you-"
I'd seen that look before, it was the same one Mother used to give, when the 'help' did something she didn't like. Money or not, no one
did that to Cordelia Chase.
"I'm the girlfriend of the guy trying to help your husband. Stop acting like an ungrateful bitch and keep your mouth shut."
"Laura please." The bleeding man begged his wife.
I'd almost feel bad for the guy being married to the woman, except he was dumb enough to do it to begin with.
"Cor, keep an eye out the window for me. Let me know if you see this homeless guy that attacked him." Xander told me as he bandaged up the mans arm.
"Uh, what's with the axe?" One of the other male guests asked, eying the small, but nasty looking blade.
"It's a lot more effective then mace." I told him with a smirk, as I walked to the window.
"Where is that goddamn ambulance?!"
"It's still busy!" A woman called back from somewhere.
Looking out the window, I didn't like what I saw. People were crowded around something on the ground in a nearby yard, and there was a car wreck down the street. Plus, the 'homeless' guy was wearing an expensive three-piece suit. That wasn't the worst of it though.
"Xander, that guy you were talking about has a huge hole in the side of his neck. He's walking around like a drunk, he should be dead."
Finished with the bandaging, Xander got a look for himself. He then turned back to the group of people. "Are any of you carrying masks in your bags? Specifically African one's?"
They stared at him like he'd grown a second head.
"My husband is bleeding on the floor, and you're worried about masks?!"
I could see Xander losing control of the situation, he was simply too nice to put the older woman in her place. I didn't have that problem.
"We've had some experience with this stuff before. We might be able to stop it if we have enough information."
I couldn't believe this crap was happening. We finally got away from the Hellmouth and here we are in the middle of this. I was betting Xander was thinking more or less the same.:::::++Xander POV++
"Experience with homeless people?" One of the guests asked.
"No, that guy out there is a zombie." I explained flatly.
"Are you crazy?!" Henry screamed. "It was just some guy in a dirty suit!"
"That dirty suit
is a three thousand dollar Armani custom. Where did a homeless guy get that?" Cordy added.
"Three thousand for a suit?" Laura cut in. "Please, at that price anybody
can have one."
"Oh I get it now, you're nouveau riche
." Cordelia accused. "You come into some money, and now you think you're something special. Get over it lady."
"Look people," I interrupted. "Just take a peak out the window if you don't believe us."
"Daddy!" A little girl's terrified scream came from outside. "Daddy help!"
Cordelia and I looked at each other, we weren't going to ignore that. She handed me the axe and quickly grabbed up an umbrella. Then, on three, we opened the door.:::::~~Cordelia POV~~
The neighborhood was a complete mess. There were two on the lawn that started toward us as soon as they saw us. I watched as Xander headed toward one of them, the axe raised over his head.
"Go find that girl, I'll handle these guys!"
I didn't have to travel far, I found her in the very next yard. She was blond, and about six, wearing a pink nightgown. She was sitting in front of the gate of an eight foot tall fence. She continued to scream as she tried to hold the gate closed, a bloodied hand trying to force it open.
I ran and threw myself against the gate, trying to get the arm to pull back, but it just kept reaching.
I looked down, and could see the girl looking up at me in terror, probably thinking I was one of them too.
"It's okay sweetheart, I'm here to help you. Just hold the gate, and I'll get rid of this guy."
After getting a nod from her, I pointed the umbrella into the space the arm had made and shoved the thing backwards. I then slammed the gate shut and attached the small hook to the eye on the fence. I wasn't much, but it would work.
I bent down and picked the girl up, holding her on my hip.
"I'm not your-"
"No look, mommy!" She exclaimed, and pointed over my shoulder.
I looked and saw a pale woman in a bra, with a bite on her neck pounding on the window. It finally shattered, and she started to climb through. I gagged as she gutted herself on the shards of glass as she continued to drag herself out.
Behind her, I could see a man with most of the skin on his chest and belly missing, I was guessing that was 'daddy'.
"Shit." I turned around, and realized we were in trouble. There were four of them coming right at us across the lawn. Besides that, 'mommy' was crawling toward us, 'daddy' was on his way out, and the back gate was being pounded hard.
As I clutched the little blond girl tight, I did the only thing I could. "Xander!"00000==Elsewhere==
Whistler rushed through the halls of the prison of the undying. He still couldn't believe what had happened, and the bosses upstairs were pissed. Now they wanted to know why he
hadn't done anything to prevent it.
Finally reaching the door, he waited impatiently for the guard to whisper the release on the large lock. He walked inside, she stood there in the middle of her chambers, her back to him.
"What the hell were you thinking Jasmine?!"
The fallen power turned toward him suddenly, before he could even react, she had him by the neck against the wall. Her maggot-ridden face, just inches from his. "How dare you come into my chambers and speak to me in that tone, inferior being.
" She spat.
"The bosses want to know how and why you released that plague." He grunted out.
"My mother's destiny has changed. If I cannot devour the world, their dead shall do so in my name.
" Jasmine then casually threw him across the room.
"Mother?" The balance demon asked, as he picked himself up off of the floor. "What the hell are you talking about?"
" She growled. "Before your powers have one less insect to command.
Whistler didn't need a second hint, he quickly scrambled out the door, and hoped he'd never have to return to The Devourer's chambers again.00000==A higher plane==
The woman in the bright white gown growled as the bitch thought she had actually beaten her in this dimension. The dream had worked, but Jasmine had started what could be an apocalypse in response. As she checked to make sure her fashionably cut hair was still perfect, she decided this wasn't over.00000A/N: While I am making no money from this, on October 31st, The Walking Dead will be premiering on AMC at 10pm Eastern time. I believe that the better the show is received, the better chance the show has for a long air life.
The problem is, that I don't believe the people at AMC have done a good enough job of advertising it, which was part of the reason I did this story. For a 4.5 minute trailer, you can easily find it on YouTube.
Disclaimer 2: The Walking Dead was created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore. It is owned by Kirkman, Moore, Image Comics, and AMC.
Disclaimer 3: The song 'Glycerine' is owned by Bush and Trauma/Interscope/Atlantic Records.