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Emptiness

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Summary: Cordelia makes a wish. Divergence Point? Sunnydale Quake, 1937

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > General(Current Donor)ShieldageFR1323,5700163,20418 Oct 1031 Oct 13No

Darkness

BtVs by Whedon & M.E., Alternate take on Season 3's "The Wish", some dialog obtained from DonSample's Buffy Body Count dot ca. That little extra bit of information about werewolves obtained from a story by dogbertcarroll: Reflection of the Sun



Cordelia stood behind the Bronze, her hand pressed against her side. The wound she'd received from falling through the stairs still pained her, but not nearly as much as when it had happened. The emotional pain from seeing her boyfriend in the arms of another wasn't fading nearly as fast.

When the door opened behind her she didn't even need to turn around to see who it was. The sound of the overpriced shoes told her enough.

"Buffy," she sighed. "What, did Xander look at you with those puppy dog eyes and ask you to pass the message on to me? 'Cause you can't beg nearly as well. Or is something about to attack me?"

"Nah," answered Buffy. "I'm out here of my own free will."

Not wanting to look at the blonde Slayer, Cordelia started slowly down the alleyway toward the main street. Buffy kept the pace easily and they walked in silence for a few moments.

Cordelia was the first to stop. She turned around, an eyebrow raised.

A half-rehearsed speech tumbled from Buffy's lips. "Cordelia, I know what it's like to be hurt by someone. Hurt so much that you don't think you’re going to make it. But I told my friends how I felt, and you know what? It got a little-"

A vampire chose that moment to jump between Buffy and Cordelia. It was basically instinct that propelled Buffy's kick. A flailing undead arm knocked Cordelia off her feet, but her fall was cushioned by a pile of garbage bags resting beside the dumpster.

The vampire wasn't so lucky. It hit the brick wall with enough force that it was barely able to resist when Buffy drove a stake through its heart.

"Hey." Buffy frowned down at the new pile of ash. "That was rude; Cordelia gave you a great opening like two minutes ago and you interrupt my speech?"

Harmony chose that moment to exit through the back door, too late to see the action but just in time to find Cordelia, her ex-leader, working her way out of the trash. "Oh, is that the new style," she said, accompanied by the giggles of her little gang. "Dumpster chic?"

"Ignore them," Buffy said as she moved to help. "They're not-"

"No." Cordelia waved a hand and managed to free herself the rest of the way. "I don't need help right now. I'm sick and I'm tired and don't look at me like that. Oh. It's not you. Do you know why I'm hurt? Do you know why my clothes keep getting ruined? Do you know why my boyfriend got so scared that he forgot about me? Do you know the reason why my friends keep dying? It's-"



"It's not something I can talk about." It was the next day, at school, and Cordelia was being investigated by a girl she knew as Anya the transfer student. "Really. I can't."

"You've already said it's not about school or anyone at school. So, it can't be your ex... This isn't about monsters, is it?" Anya kept right on talking, despite Cordelia's expression. "Oh, c'mon! My dad owns three twenty-four hour gas stations in Sunnydale and a take-away seafood place on the harbor. Of course we know about monsters."

Cordelia sighed. "Figures that the oh-so-normal so-glad-I'm-not-an-outcast-that-I'll-be-friends-with-one new girl would know something it took me years to figure out. No offense meant."

"None taken."

"You coming here. Paying attention to me. Letting me wear your lucky necklace," Cordelia said, touching the chain resting against her neck. "I just feel more real than I have for awhile. I guess that's one of the things that attracted me to Xander in the first place. We had a friend, named Jesse, who died twice. You know... that whole thing. Losing him started... I guess sharing a past with Xander was one of the things that drew us together, as much as sharing the present."

"What, you wish your friend had never died?"

"No. With my luck. Make that with his luck... Angelus would've eaten him. It's not fair that we have to deal with all of this when all those guys have to deal with is one little girl with a mediocre fashion sense and, well, us, whatever."

"What you're saying is?"

"I'm sick to death of vampires. I can't believe I've even had a crush on one! All because of this stupid Hellmouth. I wish that it would just eat them or something. That this entire place has been for years basically a big neon sign saying 'Vampires, stay away or-'... Um, all you alright? You know, I don't really like being laughed at."

Anya was bent over, her hair falling in front of her face. "No, it's not that. If anything, I'm grateful. Wish Granted."

Anya stood up dramatically, veins bulging across her face. Cordelia had a second to stare into those new demonic features before the world changed.



Sixty-one years in the past, Heinrich Nest, known to his legion of vampires as the Master, was having a very bad day. An earthquake had interrupted his effort to harness the power of the Hellmouth and unleash a reign of terror on the world. His nightmarish world would be ruled by him and his children alone, because he knew the secret of tainting the energies of the Hellmouth so none but the most powerful demons and those species chosen by him could survive its infernal radiance.

He'd become stuck inside the wedge of space he'd forced into the energy nexus and the half-completed ritual was whipping around wildly, thornily tearing into the sensitive regions of the Hellmouth.

Needless to say, it was pissed.

Henrich had a few seconds to realize why playing around with forces larger than him was a bad idea before the Hellmouth consumed his unfinished spell and became fully aspected against vampires. As he was literally at the center of effect, he ceased to exist rather messily.



Two years in the past, Angel, a vampire cursed with a soul, was driving from Los Angeles to Sunnydale when his skin began to char.

At the time, he was rather absorbed in his thoughts of the cheerleader he'd seen on the steps of her school, the one the Powers that Be had apparently assigned him to protect. His first response to the darkening of his fingers was to hold them in front of his face and rub them against each other in hopes of returning them to normal color. This worked at first.

Then the pain set in.

It was all he could do to pull the car to the side of the road and stop it without crashing, an action made difficult by the screams coming from his throat.

Once the car was stopped, he realized that the pain had stopped increasing and was holding steady so, not wanting to abandon the vehicle, he decided to back out of the area of effect.

A few minutes later, he succeeded.

Pulling open the door, he sprawled in the dirt, exhausted. He was truly grateful he'd decided to drive late enough at night that the roads were virtually empty.

"Well." He stared up into the sky, hoping he'd pull himself back together before sunrise. "I'm going to have to check the newspapers to see if there's been a series of odd car crashes in a circle around Sunnydale, or try approaching the city from a different direction, myself. Either way, I am so fucking done for the night."



A year-and-a-half in the past, the phone rang in a house on Revello Drive. Joyce Summers answered it with a pleasant greeting.

"Mrs. Summers," Angel began. "I know you don't know me, but let me ask you this. Has your daughter been acting up lately? Sneaking out without leaving notes behind? Coming in at all hours of the night covered in bruises?"

"Um. Yes, but that's not a good way to start a conversation."

Angel gave a muted sigh of relief. He'd done the research on Slayer activities and hoped Buffy was being a good example of the breed. "Sorry, I'm not the most experienced person working here. I'm just willing to give her case a try. My name is Angel and I'm with the Troubled Teens Caring Mentors Program..."


Buffy came home that particular day to find her mother talking on the phone. She didn't believe the cover story for a second, but she wasn't about to dissuade her mother of that notion.

After accepting the phone and making nice noises into it until she could wave her mother out of the room, she dropped her voice into a snarling register. "Okay, spill."

"My name is Angel and I was given orders from way high up in the power food chain to look after you, but it seems that the Boca del Infierno is giving off a barrier surrounding your town that I can't break through. Being a mystical guardian isn't all it's cracked up to be if I can only do it by phone, but I'll guess I'll take what I can get."

"Yeah, and I'm sure you really wanted to do it in person too, because I'm cute." Buffy tossed her hair and was rewarded by the sound of Angel's teeth grinding over the phone. After a moment's thought, she continued more seriously. "I guess this Fiery Vale's also what's keeping out the vampires, right? Because, hello, that's my job description, but I'm having to carry axes and swords around and chop things into rather large piles of goo. I don't have it easy, I'm dealing with enough species of demons as it is, but I'm almost beginning to miss just offing a stupid bloodsucker and having it disappear in a nice, neat pile of poof."

"What," Angel finally interrupted with a sneer. "Fiery- The translation is closer to Hell's Mouth. Didn't your Watcher teach you anything? I didn't think he looked that stupid in Los Angeles."

"He died there too. This town came with a whole new Watcher. You are seriously out of touch."

"Ouch. I'm... I'm so sorry. It's rough losing someone. On the bright side, you're absolutely right about Sunnydale and vampires. I had someone approach your town with a vampire chained in the back of a truck. I, uh, have photos."

"What happened?"

"It wasn't pretty."

"Good."



Cordelia revolved in place, taking in her new present as she searched for 'Anya'. The demon had simply disappeared.

"Huh," were the first words out of her mouth before her view of the world began to go dark. She saw Harmony racing towards her and felt some warm feeling in her chest. Harmony had been turning a cold shoulder to her the past week or so, but she'd been a friend for a lot longer.

"Cordelia, are you okay?" Harmony said upon reaching her, slightly out of breath. "Where's your cane? Wait, your eyes, can you see again?"

"What are you talking about?" Cordelia stammered. "Why are you wearing a different dress? Why is it getting dark? And, now, I can't see a thing."

"Yeah." Harmony studied Cordelia's face closely and took an investigative sniff. "Your eyes are back to normal; the color's completely gone. You still don't smell like you did a few minutes ago. What happened?"

"No. I can't be blind again. Cheerleading... We fixed this sophomore year, right? Buffy confronted Catherine and all her spells vanished."

"Catherine? Who's Catherine?"

"Things aren't... Wait, what was with the smelling?"

"Are you sure you're Cordelia? I mean... Yeah, I've been getting hairy since last year. The love spell incident with Oz. No one told me that being a werewolf was an STD, but there you go."

"You guys look worried. Oh, and ravishing of course," said a male voice that was very familiar to Cordelia, as a warm arm draped itself across her shoulder. "Your cane's gone missing, right? So if you need any help moving, I'll steady you. I'm happy you like me enough to let me do this much. Fur-girl should be able to retrace your path and, if your cane was a victim of foul play, high-kick the perpetrators into submission."

"Jesse," Cordelia murmured, her head swimming. "Jesse," she continued in a firm tone, with emotion underneath. "They still have those big white foundation things along the side of the school, right? Could you please take me to one of them?"

"Sure, milady. As you wish."

Upon reaching the thick column, Cordelia spread out her arms to embrace it. With a sigh she touched her nose to the cool surface then, pulling her head back, hit her forehead gently against the column. She did it again, at a much slower speed, and rested there, closing her eyes against the darkness.

"Oh, great," she said, her face still pressed into the column. "Why didn't anyone tell me that burning a picture of your ex on the Hellmouth gives you a free Wish?"
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