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The past comes back

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Family". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Sometimes, secrets gets uncovered and the past comes back. Sometimes it is for the better, and sometimes, it can make you question everything you know.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Sons of Anarchy
Multiple Crossings > Buffy-Centered
CherryCloverFR1840114,589810254,0869 Oct 1014 Sep 13No

Chapter Thirty-Six

I do not own Buffy or the Sons of Anarchy, or any other character that I might use. I am also going to play it loose with time-lines and stuff.

Warning: I'm disregarding some plots in Angel... You'll figure out which one :P



“Hello …. I think I’m going to call in for that favor… Is there anywhere that I can meet you?... As soon as possible… That would be perfect, I’ll see you then. Bye.”

*

“Hello Mr. Genovese.”

“Ah Buffy, I told you to call me Uncle Nickolas.” His smile is disarming and people who have never met him before would never suspect him of being the head of the Italian Mafia. “What can I do for you today?”

I gave him a tight smile before slipping a folder in front of him. “This was one of the operations that we managed to shut down… Unfortunately, it wasn’t their only one. A few days ago our Rio house got compromised, it was an inside job and the person involved has been dealt with.” He looked over the folder and even if his expression never changed, the murderous glint that momentarily escaped was caught by my senses.

“What do you want me to do?” I hesitated for a moment, before slipping a list of names in front of him.

“I… We can’t touch these people, and from what we’ve found they are the main benefactors of this group.” He gave me a bored look before looking at the list. Something happened as he went through the list.

“How sure are you of this list?” There was a sudden change in he’s demeanor.

“There are videos linking them to the program.” He nods.

“I want to see the video.The video will give me a decision.”

I contemplated for a second before I realized something. “You know someone on the list.”

“I know of most of them.”

I shook my head. “No, there is someone on the list that you know personally.”

He gave me a long look before answering. “Yes, there is someone that I thought of as family, but maybe my trust was misplaced.” I nodded at his reply.

“Is this room secure?” He raised an eyebrow at me and then nods. I took out a USB drive and plugged into his laptop. There was only one video that’s on it and it’s the only one I needed to show. Everyone on that list was in it.

The video started and it showed people in one of the labs. There were people in lab coats walking around, and then it showed the two girls strapped to the table. A few minutes later a group of people came inside, the head scientist started explaining what they were doing and what had been achieved so far. And the questions started coming from the new people.

“Freeze the panel.” I did as asked. The screen froze over two males; the one looked to have Asian blood in him, while the other was blond. I’m not sure who he was looking at, but he seemed to have made up his mind. “You can keep your favor Buffy… Bringing this to my attention is enough payment. I will make sure the people on the list will never cross the council’s paths again.”

“… I don’t want mindless bloodshed.”

“Neither do I…” We looked at each other and I knew the only option I have was to trust him.

“I need to know if there are others…” He contemplated for a minute.

“Do not worry about the details Buffy. That’s my field. You will know when you can access their homes.” I stare at him, and he gives me a grave smile. “Keep an eye out for the news” I nod and leave.

There’s no going back now. It needs to be done and I don’t regret it.

*

I kept an ear and eye on the news for the next few days like he asked and lone and behold, the people on the list started to make the news. Some suddenly found themselves in scandals that will destroy them, while others found their old businesses being dragged out in the open…There were a few suicides, a few convictions that will see some of them rot in jail for the rest of their lives, and then there were the few accidents... One way or another, these people will never have the money or power to go against anyone anymore. Almost my entire list was on it… Almost. I called Faith and told her to switch on the TV and call Xander. He’s seen the list, he will recognize the names.

{Buffy, how-} Later I got a call from him.

“I called in a favor. That’s all you need to know.” If I was there I would have seen he’s hard yet relieved expression.

{Thanks…}

“Xander you have the location of where they live and what other properties they have. I know there is one name that’s missing, but I have a feeling he won’t be bothering us anymore. Take Willow and some minis, make sure you go through every single property and destroy any information on us. I’ll let you know about the last one.” With that I ended the call. I know he will do as I asked and between him and Willow they would be able to get everything they have. So all I can do now is wait.

-

I was woken up early the next morning by a call from someone I wasn’t expecting.

{Buffy}

“Uncle Nickolas, I take it this isn’t a social call.” It’s too fucking early and I had a double shift last night. I’m seriously thinking about quitting or at least take a leave of absence.

{You need to get here. There are some things I’ve found, that’s quite disturbing.} Something that freaks out the Italian mob, well, that sounds like something for me.

“I need an exact address or GPS location.”

{Done, come soon.} The phone went dead and I contemplated just going by myself. Last minute I dialed a number.

{This better be fucking important!} Ahh good old Faith, mornings are never her thing.

“Faith I need you ready in ten minutes. Go to the gate and I’ll meet you there. We are needed somewhere.” I ended the call. She will probably give me shit for not telling her more, but Uncle Nickolas sounded disturbed and that’s never a good thing.

She was waiting when I got there and got in without a word.“Where we going?” She asked. I started to put in the GPS coordinates and then replied.

“Hmm, it seems San Francisco.”

“Why?”

“How is the search on the other houses so far?” I diverted the question.

“Willow has been able to find and destroy everything we’ve found so far. Most of the information that’s useful was hidden in hidden rooms, which between everyone; we are able to get everything. Surprisingly there are only two properties left that still need to be searched. I think they would be able to finish today.”

I nod. “… The name that’s missing... I got a call this morning and they’ve found something, and I think it got them freaked. So we’re going to check it out.”

“Is it safe? And who the hell did you ask help from?”She asked me and frowned.

“Nickolas Genovese… And yes it’s safe… ” I was expecting her to ask more, but she didn’t.

The property was in a secluded area, making it easier to get to the place by magic.

I saw the cars line the front of the house and no one tried to stop us as we approached and once in the house we were led to a hidden door and more stairs that seems to be leading down to a dungeon. And I was right, heavy doors and cells ran down the sides as we hit the bottom. This is a prison, now the question is who or what is being held here.

“B, this place is giving me the wiggings.” I have to agree, I’m getting the chills.

“Did you feel that?”

“Which one? The vampires or the other things?” My senses had become stronger lately and I’m not sure if it has to do with my pregnancy.

“Both…” Tentatively I went to the first door on my right and I slid open the panel looking into the cell. “Shit! Faith is that what I think it is?” Faith came next to me as I moved so both of us can look.

“How the hell did they manage to hold that thing in? It took five slayers and a witch to kill that thing.” The thing seems to be sleeping or is it dead?

“Faith… I think its dead.” I made the move to open the door, but Faith stopped me.

“B, once they leave, I’ll get Willow and others here.You’re not opening that door. Not in you condition.” She was dead serious and I let out a sigh and moved to the next door.

In total there were two vampires, who had gone mad from starvation, two minor demons that reminded us of Clem. Some of the cells were empty, but it did nothing to prepare us for what was waiting for us at the end of the passage.

“Uncle Nickolas.” I can see Faith look at me in question, but her attention was diverted when the head of the Genovese family turned to us.

“Buffy, I wish we are meeting on better circumstances.” At this he motioned his hand towards a door at the end of the passage.

I walked up to the door and hesitantly turned the handle and went in. It was a full on medical room; with breathing machines, heart monitors, the works. It looked like the ICU back at the hospital and it just made me more apprehensive of who was on the bed. When I finally was close enough I came to a dead stop.

No, this can’t be happening… no, she’s dead. It can’t be… Before I could think anymore bile came up from my throat and I made a run for the bin. As I threw up, Faith got out of her shock.

“Shit! It’s Queen C…” I heard Faith mutter standing close to where I was bent over. If this is morning sickness it chose a freaking bad time to start. I closed my eyes and willed myself to breathe and to ignore the nausea.

“B you alright?” After a minute I heard Faith ask me tentatively. I didn’t know what to tell her, so I just nodded and slowly I stood up, letting the cool wall settle me. Then I opened my eyes and walked determinately to the bed.

She hasn’t aged since the last time I saw her. The same peaceful Cordelia that was put into a coma for some Power’s own amusement, and in a way I had blamed Angel for her condition. After looking her over I started to check all the monitors around her and slowly I came to a conclusion.

Cordelia is brain dead…

“I look peaceful don’t I?” The sudden familiar voice startled me and Faith. I could see Faith taking out a stake, but my gut told me that this is Cordelia, our Cordy…but she’s also lying on the bed.

I look to her and then to the bed. “I’ve been dead for a long time Buffy. Unfortunately some people just don’t seem to get that. My body might be kept alive by all these fancy machines… but my brain is dead and I‘ve moved on…” She looks up from staring at herself and looks into my eyes and I knew then that this is Cordelia, the girl that was once my enemy, but somehow had become a friend.

Faith was the first one to speak. “Queen C?”

She gave a smirk before answering. “Well now, that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long while.” I watch as Faith walk up to Cordelia, unsure of what to do. Cordelia gave her a smirk and then pulled Faith into a hug. That’s when I realized that she was copal, she isn’t a ghost.

“How…” I look to her in wonder.

A sad smile formed on her face “… I was given the chance to end this. I can’t truly move on until my physical body dies. The afterlife isn’t bad and the ‘Powers that be’ have no pull there…” She made a move towards me, but I was grounded to the floor. “I think everyone deserves an end, don’t you?” She gave me a tight smile.

Then it was like something snapped and my vision blurred. “I looked for you… we looked for you… Everywhere, from legal to illegal means, even Willow tried... I never gave up hope that you would just pop up one day and give me a lashing about my fashion sense or my messed up love life…” I sobbed and slowly slid to the ground and then I felt arms around me, comforting me and I let it all out. It is then that I realized that I’ve lost another person from Sunnydale, another part of my past.

“…Congrats by the way, you’re going to have your hands full.” I look up at her in surprise. She rolls her eyes. “Just because I’m dead it doesn’t mean that I don’t keep track of you misfits. You are going to have some really special children Buffy and you’ll be a wonderful mother.” She smiles at me mysteriously and before I could ask,the door opened, and Uncle Nickolas walked through.

He looks to us on the floor and then at the Cordelia on the bed and then back to the Cordelia with me and shook his head. “I’m not going to ask. I will be leaving. I give you my word that I did not take anything related to the Council or the supernatural world. You’re free to call in your people…”Then his facial expression softened. “If you need someone to talk to, you know where to find me.” He gave me one more smile, before schooling the neutral expression. I gave him a nod and he leaves. Not soon after I heard Faith call someone, but my attention was back at Cordelia. She was staring at her body as I slowly got off the floor.

“What are we going to do now?” She looks up to me with an apologetic expression and suddenly I had a sinking feeling. She looks to the machines keeping her body alive and I just knew.

“No… No…Cordy I can’t… Please don’t ask me… I can’t…” I started shaking my head and begging her not to ask what I knew she was going to ask.

“I’m sorry Buffy… If I could I would have flipped the switch on myself a long time ago, but I can’t. I’ve been waiting for someone to flip that switch…It needs to be done. I’m dead Buffy. That!” She gestured to the body on the bed. “Is just a fucking shell! I’m here, not there. Please…”

“That ain’t fair Queen C.”Faith’s expression was hard.

“I know it’s a lot to ask-”

“Then don’t.”

I watch as she gave me a sad smile. “But it needs to be done. Think about it, this body, this shell has my face yes, but because it’s alive a vampire can turn it or a demon can possess it… Can you kill me then? Can you stake me?” The logical part of my brain knows that she is right, but she’s asking me to pull the plug on a friend of mine, on her and even if the slayer in me knows that our Cordeliais dead and moved on. I’m still ending her physical life.

“I don’t want to be pulled back… I’m tired.” She gave me a wary smile. “I don’t want to be used again. I can’t go back to the way it was, I was given the option of moving on and I took it. It’s peaceful and I can rest and maybe when I get bored I’ll come back as someone else. But I can’t do it now, not after what they made me go through. I just can’t.” Cordelia bites her lip as she tries to explain to me the reason she’s choosing to move on and part of me understood. I was content to give my life for Dawn and I was at peace before I was ripped from it.

My body moved on its own accord until I was in front of the main switch. “Are you going to see the others?” I look to her.

She hesitated and then shook her head. “I’ve made peace with them a long time ago... I don’t want to chance Willow or Angel doing something rash. So please Buffy…” I look to my right hand and slowly I lifted my finger to the switch. I was shaking, and I didn’t know if I could, then I felt a hand on my shoulder. Cordelia gave me a hug as I felt my fingers press down and with a click the machine started to beep faster.

I snap my head to the body on the bed and listened as the machines slowly coming to a stop.

The breathing stops first. Then the heart monitor goes erratic, the beeping intensifies until finally it goes flat. I close my eyes for a bit before looking to the Cordelia who is now in front of me.

She puts her arms around me and hugs me as my tears kept on flowing. “Thank You. I know it wasn’t fair to ask you, but it needed to be done…”

Letting me go she looks to Faith “You were always too hard on yourself, but I think you’ve finally found that balance. Just don’t let this become your life. There’s a future out there for you, you never know when the past will come calling… By the way, your husband is looking for you.” She gave Faith one smirk, who looked at her with horror on her face.

Husband? Faith’s married? But before I could ask, Cordelia turns her attention back to me again. “Buffy, the Slayers aren’t under the ‘Powers that be’anymore; you all know that by now. They screwed up and in doing so violated a treaty that they signed millennia ago. But it also opened the gate to other things in this world. Just remember that Slayers have a future now. So live it, you having kids is just one of the perks.” She gave me a soft smile and then moved back.

“Thank you… and I never regretted becoming a Scooby.” With that Cordelia was gone in a white light.

I don’t’ know when I stopped crying or when the others arrived. I felt I was on auto pilot,when Willow’s scream brought me back to reality, I bolted for the door. I needed to leave and I needed to be away from here.

I don’t remember setting the GPS or much of the driving, but somehow I made it to Miami,and to Dom and Letty’s. I know there were others around, but they didn’t exit to me and as I saw Han I all but collapsed into his arms and started crying.

*

When I woke up it was early afternoon and the rain was coming down in full force. I opened my eyes and looked into Han’s chest, I barreled myself further into him and I felt his arm tighten around me.

For awhile we just lay there and I basked in the comfort and calm he always seemed to be able to provide me.

“Faith called…” I stiffen “She told Letty what happened… You don’t have to tell me...” His voice drifted and for a long while we stayed silent.

“She was me… At fifteen, without a care in the world...The popular cheerleader, having everything going for her. Only when this calling came out of nowhere did my eyes open to the world and other things that mattered.” I turned around facing the window and watching the rain, but lost in my own memory.

“But somehow she became one of us. She was Xander’s first girlfriend, the one that always complained about the slaying and the demons, yet she’ll always be there even when we didn’t ask it. Then graduation happened and she had enough and we all wished her the best of luck and I thought that maybe she’ll be free of this.” Han pulled me back towards him and I melted into him.

“She never stood a chance… Once she became a part of us there was no going back. You see things differently, you take precautions and then you end up back where you started. She met Angel and they opened a PI business specializing in the weird cases… cases relating to the world she just left behind. Then they used her like they used everyone. The fucking ‘Power that Be’, they didn’t give her a choice with the visions, she would’ve never said no to a dying person, even if he’s part demon. It became her life; they turned her part demon so that she won’t die from the visions. They never told her about the pain and the headaches that came with it or the seizures that happens from time to time. Then they offered her to be one of them and thinking that she can do something she took it.”My hands went to my stomach thinking about the next part of Cordelia’s life.

“She came back with no memories of what had happened and changed… she just didn’t know about it. One of the Powers decided that he can play God and put in motion a series of events that would lead her to giving birth to a monster. She never experience the joy of having a child, she went into a coma knowing that it was a monster planted in her because of the Power’s plan to ‘save humanity’… She would’ve been a great mother. She was good with Conner when he was little and I sometimes hoped that she had never left then maybe I could’ve done something to keep her safe. Maybe she would’ve been with us rebuilding the council.” I felt so tired.

“It’s not your fault.” He squeezes me from behind. “It was her choice as well.”

“I know, I know, I just can’t help thinking about it.”Then the tears came again.

“Sh… this isn’t good for the baby.” I nod, but the tears kept on coming and I closed my eyes hoping to stop it. Slowly my mind drifted again and I fell into a fitful sleep.

*

The incident with Cordelia somehow started my bolts of morning sickness… And why the hell do they call it morning sickness when it could happen at any time?

I woke an hour later to dizziness and nausea. I forced myself to eat the crackers and ginger ale Han brought me, but one smell at the lamb Mia was cooking and I bolted for the bathroom.

I wanted to go home, but Han refused to leave me and I didn’t feel like explaining his presence to anyone at the moment, so I went back into the room I was in and just willed myself not to get sick.

I managed to convince Han that I’ll be fine the next morning. He didn’t want to leave me, but understood that I needed some time to myself.

I went to bed as soon as I got home, I was exhausted, physically, emotionally and mentally. I forced myself to eat some crackers and some tea before I couldn’t eat more.

I woke up later to Izzy looking at me worry written all over her face. “Faith’s been trying to get hold of you and she’s worried. What the hell happened?”

“… I had to switch off a friend’s life support…” Listening to myself saying it made it more real and I felt sick again as I bolted for the bathroom.

“Shit!” I heard Izzy swear and then she was there helping me tie up my hair. But she didn’t say anything and helped me back to bed. For the next hour, Izzy was just there comforting me as best as she could.

I was finally feeling a bit hungry, but I wasn’t going to chance throwing up again, so I asked Izzy to get me some crackers. She even made me some tomato soup which I was able to keep down.

When I finally took a look at my phone I cursed. There were at least forty missed calls from different people and the messages I got were all full of worry. I finally answered Faith’s call.

{B you there?} I lay on my back looking at the ceiling.

“Where’s she?”

{Willow and Xander is keeping her in the ICA’s morgue for now… Until we find her parents and get her buried… Shit! This is messed up.}

“Faith?”

{… Xander and Willow is a mess. The Minis don’t know what to do… Oz is with Willow, but Xander…I don’t know he’s calm almost too calm and quiet. He’s freaking out some of the minis.}

I let out a sigh, Xander will take it the hardest. Cordelia was closest to him before she left and Xander has always had a soft spot for her, even when he was in love with Anya. This would be the second women he has loved to die.

“Faith, get Anise.”

{B?}

“Just put her on the phone.” There was a moment of hesitation, before I heard her start to move. There was nothing to talk about so I just listened to the background until Faith finally found Anise.

{Buffy…} She sniffed, poor girl. She’s probably never seen Xander like this.

“Hey sweet-heart… How you doing?”

{Daddy’s sad… I don’t like it when daddy’s sad.}

“He needs your assurance Anise. We lost someone close to us yesterday. You remember how you felt when you lost your family?” I could almost hear her nod. “Well your daddy is feeling something similar now. I need you to go to him and give him a hug okay?”

{He needs a hug?} I sometimes wish Anise will always stay innocent. But I know with her past, she will always mature faster than the other girls of her age, but moments like this she’s still a child.

“He needs a lot of hugs. He needs to know that you love him and that you’re here.” As if deciding on something, I heard a pause and then the phone seemed to have been going through a fumble.

{Yo B what did you tell her?} Faiht was back on the phone.

“The best person to get Xander out of his funk will be Anise…”

{How you doing?}

“I’m fine-”

{Don’t talk shit B}

“I’m fine… and I need to go. Let me know if they decide to give Cordy a memorial.” I pressed end and I know I’m avoiding talking about it, but I just need a bit more time.

The days that followed was a blur. Dawn pitched up the night after I talked with Faith and Anise. She was worried about me and the baby, but I did convince her that now isn’t the time to tell them about the baby, so for now, the dinner I was thinking about is being postponed. And with great effort I managed to convince her that I was fine and she left for the ICA. I wasn’t in the mood to see any of them, I was the one who switched off Cordelia’s life support, even if it was by her request, I know there will be words exchanged if I go there now, while everything is still so raw, and I really don’t need more stress than I’m already getting.

My morning sickness hasn’t gone away… If anything it’s gotten worse and I finally went to see Divya about it. She gave me some pills to help. Then I buried myself in work.

I know it’s bad for me, but it was the only distraction I have at the moment and it took Divya pitching up at my little consult office for me to really stop.

“Okay, you need to stop.”

I look to her in confusion.

“You’ve been pulling double shifts every day for the last three days. I don’t know what happened, but if you want a healthy baby I suggest you stop and slow down.”

I blink at her and suddenly everything just felt too much and for a second I didn’t know how to respond “I-” then the tears came and I finally broke down. Everything that I was suppressing came out and Divya just sat there and let me cry.

When there weren’t any tears left I just sat there and I started talking.

“I had to switch off a friend’s life support last week. She asked me to do it… I wish she’d asked someone else, but she knew I would’ve honored her wishes. I haven’t spoken with anyone because I’m too scared of what they’ll think of what I did…Every little thing makes me cry…And throwing up fucking sucks!” I groan out the last part.

Divya laughed at my last sentence, but her expression softens as she tried to comfort me. “It was her choice and her final wish. I would think that your friends will respect that.”

I snorted at her reply and I couldn’t help but think back on a time when I was suicidal, when I was ripped from my resting place. They had reason to believe that I was in hell, but at the time I hoped that they’d never gotten me back… But that’s then and this is now. I have someone who loves me and I’m going to be a mother. I’m happy that I’m alive… My hand went to my stomach and I felt like curling up and just remembering that he or she is there.

“I’m going to take the rest of the day off…” I slowly get up from my chair and Divya gave me a warm smile before leaving with me towards the exit.

I got home and took out my laptop, and I listened to heartbeats that Divya had recorded for me. The baby is the person I need to concentrate on, and Han’s words came back to me.

“Forget about the others, be selfish and concentrate on you. They’re not more important…”

That just made me want him more and I got up and drove to Miami. I know I looked like crap and with the crying my eyes probably looked bad. But he just led me to his room and I relaxed into him.

After a long silence Han spoke up. “We need to get our own place in Miami…” He never renewed his lease on the last place. He was looking to buy a place, but then everything just seemed to happen all at once, so he was staying with Dom at the moment.

“I want a beach view… an open plan kitchen…a house, I like privacy…” I said the first things that came to my mind and he chuckled.

“Anything you want.” He responded and then kissed my forehead. “...Not that I’m in a rush, but when are you going to tell your family about us? I’m just getting a bit frustrated for not being able to be with you... Especially now.” As he asked his hands went to my belly and I smiled a bit.

“It was supposed to be last weekend, but with the whole Crodelia thing… I think I’m just going to tell them after her burial… They have her will and she dosen't want a big funeral or a memorial service. So we’ve decided to gather for her burial.”

“When is it?”

“They haven’t decided yet. Angel went on a rampage when Cordelia’s will appeared on his desk. Apparently it’s magically signed so it will only appear if she was physically dead… I think that’s why Cordelia wanted me to end it. She wanted closure not only for her, but for Angel and the rest of the LA bunch.” Han’s arms tightened around me. He knew some parts to my relationship with Angel and he knew the reason why we never could be. I think in the back of Han’s head he’s scared that I’ll leave him for Angel if Angel ever got rid of his curse.

“Dawn told me that some of the LA slayers are complaining that Angel’s been raiding nests and getting into fights with demons and more often than not he wins the fights… He’s angry. He doesn’t know that I was the one who flipped the switch and no one wants to tell him.”

“You don’t have to.” I shook my head at Han’s reply.

“No, he needs to hear it and Faith said that he doesn’t believe that it was Cordelia’s choice to move on.” I know the confrontation was coming. It had to be soon… Faith sent me a message this morning telling me that she’s taken care of Cordelia’s body and I knew what she meant. She had her cremated. So she will never be able to be brought back.

I changed the topic after that. I didn’t want to think about the whole situation and I didn’t want to think about Angel. So I started to give Han a list of things I wanted for the house. It doesn’t need to be big, but there are a few things I would like, if Miami is going to end up as a second home. Then I told him to have everything he wanted in it too, because this place will more than likely be his sanctuary, like Charming was mine.

*

I took the next day off and luck would have it I got the call from Giles. He needed me at the ICA, so after stopping by Charming to shower, change and pick a few things up. I headed for the school that I had helped to build, but haven’t stepped a foot in for more than two years.

From Dawn and Faith’s expression, they weren’t expecting to see me and if the glare to Giles is any indication. They didn’t want me there, and I think the state I was in really didn’t help matters. Even if I didn’t look as bad as I did when I arrived at Letty’s, my eyes are still puffy and I had bags under them. And the baggy clothes I wore probably made me look a lot smaller than I already am. I just gave them a tired smile as they hugged me.

Dawn and Faith took each side of me and kept on asking if I was okay and Faith being one without tact told me I looked like shit. I thanked her but chuckled at it.

I followed them into the hidden library. This place was our memorial to Sunnydale High’s library. Old, dusty, yet it felt right. Everyone was already there with what was left of the LA bunch. Surprisingly most of them had survived the LA battle a few years back with only the disappearance of Elytra that has left everyone with questions. Giles had arrived just in time to save Wesley and the Slayers joined the battle and managed to turn the tide.

I had avoided looking at any of them and went to sit on a double couch and lifted my knees to my chest. Dawn joined me with Faith deciding to stand by the table next to me. It was their way to try to protect me and to show that they were on my side. I gave Dawn a soft smile before Giles started to talk and I concentrated on him.

“Cordelia does not want a funeral or a memorial. She said that if we have to have something then just have a burial service.” No one said anything to argue so Giles carried on. “She also wants to be cremated-”

Angel interjected there, refusing to burn her body, but it was the right thing to do. With the amount of magic and demons out there no one wants to chance their bodies to be used in some other means.

“No, there must be a way, Willow-” Angel was going on and on and when he turned to Willow, I knew he’s gone too far, but Faith stopped him before he could ask.

“It’s done already.”

“What?” Angel looks to her in confusion.

“I cremated her yesterday. Her ashes are in Giles’s office.” Faith didn’t look apologetic or guilty, but why should she? She’s doing what Cordelia wanted and what was the right thing to do, and if anything she can be the most objective person here.

“How could you?!” He screamed at her, but then he saw me and when our eyes met, I knew this was going to be hard.

“And you!” He pointed a finger at me. “Why?” So he knows then. He knows that I’m the one that had essentially ended Cordelia’s life.

“How could you flip that switch when Willow was just minutes away?!” He screams at me and I unintentionally flinched, but I didn’t back away. “How could you…” He was a broken man at the moment. All rational had left him, because I knew, I knew that for the last five years what kept him going was the hope of Cordelia waking up, of finding her, of knowing that she was alive somewhere when she dissapeared. The illusion that she could be happy and maybe one day come back is now shattered. I know at this moment that he loves her more than he ever did love me and surprisingly I was relieved. I wasn’t his focus anymore. I was just a past love.

“She asked me.” My voice sounded horse and I grimaced at it. Dawn handed me some water and I gratefully drank some.

“She asked?... Right she asked you! How do you know it’s even her?!” He was becoming hysterical and part of me was scared. Not for me, but for the fact that I can’t fight back that I can’t chance fighting back.

But Faith stood in his path “I was there. She asked Buffy to flip the switch… It was Queen C.” Faith was probably the calmest person in the whole room. Even Oz seemed disturbed by Cordelia’s death.

“You don’t even know her that well!” As Angel carried on ranting at Faith I chanced a look around the library. Oz and Willow were on a love seat, they were subdued like everyone else, but there’s a calm that I wasn’t expecting to see in Willow. Xander has a hard expression on his face and for once I can’t read him. Giles had his glasses off, pinching the bridge of his nose. Wesley and Gun was keeping an eye on Angel, sadness was clear in their eyes, but they weren’t angry like Angel is. However the person that surprised me is Spike. He looked irritated, not at us, but at Angel and I know that look. It’s the one he gets when he really wants to punch someone and at the moment it’s directed at Angel.

A crack and a crash brought me back to Angel. Faith’s had enough and punched him in the face which sent him crashing to the table behind. Unfortunately it seems to have fueled his anger than placid it. He lounged for her and she responded in kind and somewhere in that fight Spike joined. It was a mess.

Dawn suggested that we leave. There isn’t going to be anything done until Angel calms down and work out his anger. After watching the fight for another five minutes I told her lets go.

As we approached the door I realized that I had left my bag, so I went back to get it. I didn’t see Angel pushing Faith off and kneeling Spike to get him down. I didn’t see him look at me and made a move towards me. The only thing I did hear was Dawn’s scream and then turning to see a pissed off master vampire charging towards me.

I should move, I should get out of his way, but I was rooted to the ground and as he came closer I closed my eyes and braced myself.

The hit never came. I heard a loud bang and then I heard the voice that I had heard just days before when she asked me to turn off her life support. My knees went a bit weak, but Dawn was suddenly there making me sit and trying to get me out of the shock.

“Corde-” Angel looked to Cordelia in shock

“Shut up! You don’t get to talk right now!” She then turned towards me and Dawn. “Get her some lavender tea. It will calm her down and help her settle her stomach.” Dawn’s eyes widened for a fraction before she went off to get me some tea.

“You are the biggest idiot I know!” She screams at Angel. “If you had hurt her, I can tell you the guilt you’ll feel once you calmed down would be a lot worse than the anger you’re feeling now!”

Dawn came back as Cordelia started to chew Angel out, and I thanked her as I let the tea warm my hands.

“I asked her to switch off the life support! I wanted it to end!”

“You could have come back…” Angel stood, silently looking at Cordelia with pleading eyes.

“But I didn’t want to come back…” She looked him in the eyes and I can see Angel break piece by piece at her confession.

“Don’t you get it Angel? My soul moved on the moment that thing happened to me! When I gave birth to a fucking monster! You don’t just recover from that… I didn’t want the pain anymore and I didn’t want to be used anymore. I can’t live with it; I would’ve killed myself if I had lived…” Tears were streaming down her face and I could even see the realization on Angel’s face.

“Don’t you see how screwed up the situation was? I slept with your son Angel! I didn’t want to, but some sick fuck thought it would be a brilliant idea to bring a freak show to this world through me. And you know what the worst part is?” She towered over Angel as he slid to the ground. “I could see, hear, and feel everything, but I couldn’t do anything. It was torture…” She hugged herself looking disgusted and disturbed.

“I was given a chance to move on… So I took it. I’m at peace and content and before I could move on completely I needed that shell to die. I want to keep the peace and happiness I feel when I go back. I don’t want to feel that and then have it ripped away from me!” Everyone looked to her then, horror and realization hit them and I look down to my tea. But I could feel the stares.

“That’s way I asked Buffy… Because she would’ve respected my wish… She understood!” Angel looked devastated at Cordelia’s rant

“Cordy… Please…” I’ve never seen him this broken.

“I can’t Angel… Until you rid yourself of the Power that be, there will never be a chance.” He’s eyes widened.

“Angel, with the Slayers out of their control, they’re left with the champions that they’ve created... And they don’t want to let you go. Don’t you see? Buffy was put in your path, but they never expected for you two to fall in love. So they moved you when it became too intense and they were losing control… I was suppose to be your reward at the end, but when they realized that I had the potential to end your curse they offered me the position to be one of them. I stupidly agreed thinking that I could help you…You know they could’ve ended the other Power’s plan a long time before Conner had touched me, but they were curious how it would play out and what you would do… We were nothing but a bunch of guinea pigs for them and I’m glad to be going to a place that they will never have control.” She gave him a sad smile as she touched his cheek and Angel lost himself in the touch. The scene was heart breaking and I felt for them.

Then she turned to me. “I’m sorry Buffy but you needed to know. The time that you were supposedly dead… well you won’t completely.” My eyes widened at her reveal. “The Powers snatched you before you can move on and placed you in a place that resembled a resting place. They like to keep their Champions… the spirit world does not look highly on them, but they have a treaty so they can’t interfere. But to snatch you from going to the afterlife was a violation of the treaty. They would have gotten away with it if it won’t for Willow bringing you back. They were so busy trying to cover up their mess; they let the first evil pass.”

“It wasn’t my fault?” Willow asked, bewildered yet hopeful.

“It was a bit of both. You bringing Buffy back did weaken the barriers between the worlds that kept the first evil and here. But if they had been doing their job it wouldn’t have been able to pass through.” Something seemed to lighten in Willow and I can see the relief wash over her. Willow’s always felt the guilt of being the cause of the final battle and now she can let it go knowingthat it could’ve been prevented.

“But like I told you before, the Slayers are free now. You have a future and you can have a normal life if you wish it. There will always be something for the Slayers to kill and the humans will know of the supernatural world eventually, maybe not in your life time…but look at your Slayers and potentials, the signs are there.” She gave me a smile before turning back to Angel.

“Once you’re free… I’ll come back. Maybe not straight away, but I’ll find a way. If you still want me then...” She looked to angel and I watched as she gave Angel a tender kiss before disappearing all together. This will be the last we see of Cordelia Chase, I’m sure of it.

After a few minutes of silence I got up and took my bag. Angel was crying on the ground where Cordelia had disappeared and it didn’t seem right to see him grieve. Once I made the move everyone, except Spike left him to his grief. Spike gave me a shrug when I looked to him. I probably would never understand their relationship. But they will always have each other, they’re family and if anything Spike had proved that he’s loyal, so I left him to keep watch on his grandsire.

The whole morning was an emotional rollercoaster for everyone and I didn’t really want to stay so I made my way towards the parking lot.

“Buffy.” I turned and saw Willow.

“I was never angry at you…” I looked to her in confusion. More the fact that she knew what I was thinking. “Look, I’ve done a lot of things and I know you hated me at a time for bringing you back, but I don’t’ regret it.” She looks to her hands and wringing them. “We needed you, and it was selfish, but I know it’s wrong, so I listened when Faith said that it was Cordelia’s choice… But it was still hard losing someone we knew, someone that was part of us from the beginning. But I wanted you to know that I’m not angry at you.” She was fidgeting and part of me saw the nervous geeky girl from my first day of Sunnydale High and I smiled.

“Thanks Willow.” I hugged her. It was assurance for her and for me. As I carried on making my way to the car my mind drifted to Xander and lone and behold there he was leaning on my car.

“Hi.” He said as he put his hands in his packet. I gave him a weak smile, not sure what’s on his mind.

“I… I knew she moved on.” He gave me a look as my eyes widened at his confession. “She came to me in a dream after the final battle. I was grieving for Anya and she came to help me have some closure, but she never gave me closure for Anya, rather she made me see that I needed to get out and try to find my own path. It was hard, I didn’t believe it was her, and with the whole First thing still so fresh, it took her a month to convince me. But she told me she’s at peace and there may come a time that she’s going to asked one of us to do something… I never thought she would ask you. I always thought it would’ve been me.” I nodded and I finally understood his calmness and I let out a breath that I didn’t know I was holding.

“Why not Anya?” I decided to change the topic then.

“I don’t know, she was being cryptic, but she told me not to give up hope.”

“You don’t’ think-”

Xander shook his head “I asked Willow to look for her after the battle. Her life sign was gone and all signs point to the spirit world, so I let it be.” I nodded and gave him a hug.

I get in the car and let down the window. “I’ll see you at the burial, just let me know when.” He smiles at me and nods and I drive off.

It’s seems that the loose ends of the past are being tied up and the some will be getting the closure they needed, while others will have more questions. Either way I can't help but think of what the future will hold, and at the moment, it seems daunting.



Hello!

I thought about splitting the chapter into two, but ultimately decided not to. So you ended up with this big chapter.

I hope you enjoyed Cordelia's part in this. I didn't particularly like the way they ended her story on Angel, and when I thought about bringing her back I decided not to do it permanently.

And if you caught the Faith thing... Well let's just say that I thought it would be funny for Faith out of everyone to be the one married. ;) (No, I haven't decided on who she's going to be with - suggestions welcome. But I have an idea of what type of man he will be. Her piece will be more a comic... but nothing is set in stone)

Thanks for reading!

Please review!
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