Burn This Whole Building Down
Burn This Whole Building Down
Author’s Note: If Riley had his way, he’d burn this building down... well, not REALLY! If you haven’t heard Shirley Manson sing “Samson and Delilah” then the title of this chapter is lost on you, which is unfortunate. Riley, Cameron and the Connors have made it to L.A. in one piece... too bad Cordelia was in the bank when they did that nifty time-travelling!
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel or Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. No infringement intended! Also, I do not own any of the dialogue from the Pilot of Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles.
Cordelia Chase walked into the bank branch closest to “Angel Investigations” to deposit her pay check. It was called “Security Trust of Los Angeles” and the side of the bank said “This stone was set 1963 this day: March 7,” Cordelia noted. The truth was she’d needed some air after the phone call she’d had with Willow Rosenberg, an old ‘friend’ from Sunnydale. Willow helped decrypt disks that Angel needed information from. The information was disturbing, explaining that a blind woman named Vanessa blinded herself at the age of 21 and then trained with monks to hone the skills she would need to remain an active citizen. She is a murderer who Angel intends on stopping from murdering three blind children.
That was not all that she found out on the phone call with Willow. Willow was very anxious and distraught because Riley was missing and Buffy had gone to The Initiative to find that it had been completely cemented over. Willow told Cordelia that there weren’t any sightings of the ‘big bad’, a cyborg/demon thing named Adam either. Cordelia had never met Riley Finn before, since she’d been in Los Angeles since the summer before she was meant to start college. Apparently, Riley was the new Angel. Except, thankfully Riley was human.
So, Willow asked for Cordelia to keep an eye out for a brawny, brown haired, blue-eyed guy dressed like a soldier. Cordelia thought about that description as she walked into the bank, only to be shoved by a beautiful, odd looking teenage girl who was followed by a black-haired woman, a teenage boy and a brawny, brown-haired, blue-eyed guy dressed like a soldier.
“Riley?!” Cordelia half-whispered harshly and saw a response from the attractive bulky young man.
The young girl took the policeman standing by the door and pushed him, taking the gun in his holster.
She said loudly, “Everybody on the floor... please.”
People let out startled cries and dropped to the floor. Cordelia looked at Riley, leaning down slightly and tugging on his arm.
Riley looked over and Cordelia whispered, “You’re Riley Finn, Willow called me- she knows that you’re gone. You need to get in contact with Buffy, she’s freaking majorly!”
“Who are you?” Riley asked looking at his partners in crime for a moment; the young boy was looking at Riley curiously.
“I’m Cordelia Chase... I work for Buffy’s ex, Angel,” Cordelia explained, pleading to herself that Riley wouldn’t be upset by this.
Riley looked at the young girl holding the gun, who was being given the keys to the bank’s safety deposit boxes. She looked at him and then at Cordelia, all that the teenager said was, “We need to hurry.”
Riley began to walk away from Cordelia and the brunette said, “Stop!”
Riley followed the boy, woman and girl with the gun who was pointing her weapon at a clerk, making their way to the back, where the safe that held the safety deposit boxes was. Cordelia moved behind the group and heard the teenage girl say, “Lock us in and step away from the door, I’ll know if you don’t.”
Cordelia moved toward the safe and looked at Riley before saying, “Please, Riley everyone is worried sick about you in Sunnydale, don’t do this!”
The clerk closed the door and Cordelia began to bang on it, insisting that the soldier come out. Only a couple minutes later, a man with metal coming out of gouges in his face grabbed hold of Cordelia and threw her against the back wall, causing her to scream. Cordelia was very disoriented and dizzy when she saw this man rip pieces off the locked safe door like they were just pieces of Lego.
Finally, the man managed to rip off a piece and fire shots into the safe before punching the outside of the door. The lights in the safe were now off and Cordelia could hear voices coming from inside the safe. As electric blue lightning began to fill the dark safe with light, the super-human man ripped off the safe door completely and grabbed Cordelia after he saw a woman holding a gun.
Cordelia screamed as she was thrown into the room as a shield and she forced her body down to the ground, where an orb of light was forming and she missed the fantastic beam of energy that was being thrown at the super-human as a weapon, causing his head to be ripped from the rest of its body.
Riley helped the frantic Cordelia up, just quickly enough for a full orb to form around the group and burst, displacing Cordelia, Riley, the two teenagers and the woman with the futuristic gun in a grand explosion of light and energy.
The next thing Cordelia knew, she was in the middle of a busy highway- naked and lying on broken asphalt. The teenage girl and boy, the woman and Riley were in a similar state, except for the girl who was kneeling on the ground, motionless. Everyone all got up slowly, slightly sore and disoriented by what had happened. Cordelia had no clue what had happened!
They all stood up and the teenage girl grabbed the teenage girl’s hand, pulling him off the street. The woman ran after them and Riley grabbed Cordelia’s hand and followed the others as well. Cordelia would have protested but it seemed ridiculous to be in the middle of the street naked and be indignant, she would save the indignity for later.
They all crouched down in the middle of a construction site, behind a bulldozer. Cordelia, and I’m sure the others, noted a sign light up and say “ROAD WORK... EXPECT DELAYS... 09-03-07 TO 09-24-07.”
The woman spoke first, in a concerned motherly tone. She demanded to know, “Where are we?”
The teenage girl spoke in her polished, angelic voice and explained, “Same where, different when,” and looked at Cordelia with emotionless eyes, clearly unhappy that Cordelia had followed.
The woman and boy looked at each other with shocked eyes as the teenage girl walked towards an approaching car.
Cordelia’s eyes pricked with fearful tears as she continued to stare at the Road Work sign. She whispered to herself, “No... no... this can’t be possible! T-time travel can’t exist! It’s not real! Demons, vampires, witches, visions and now... super-human guys with metal plated all over their faces?! Big rays of light coming from guns?! This can’t be happening to me!”
Riley looked to the woman and boy who were concerned for this girl they didn’t know but feared what repercussions that she would have on their mission. Riley ignored the sudden sound of punches, kicks and groans of agony and told Cordelia, “Its Cordelia, right? Look, I know that this is crazy, and it doesn’t seem real and I’m sorry that I got you into this but now that you’re here... you’re in it for good. You can’t just take it back, I’ll explain everything when the time is right but right now... all you need to know is that this teenager is the key to our survival and this woman is his mother and their names are John and Sarah.”
Cordelia looked at the two of them with watery eyes and nodded to each in respectful acknowledgement. She then looked at the teenage girl and asked, “Who is that?”
The girl looked at her and walked towards her with the clothes of the three guys she’d knocked out and said, “Put on these clothes.”
The teenage girl handed out the rest of the clothes and Riley whispered to Cordelia, “That’s Cameron.” Cameron snapped her head to look at Riley, glaring slightly. Riley knew why, Cordelia was a threat to their mission. She was just a girl and she was vulnerable, a weakness.
Riley sighed and put on the clothing that’d been given to him. Cordelia, Sarah, John and Cameron did the same. John looked at the scenery and then turned back to the others and said, “So this is where it all starts? This is where Skynet begins?”
Cameron looked at John thoughtfully and said, “Somewhere in there,”
“And nobody knows we’re here?” John pressed.
Cameron shook her head and John sighed in relief. Cameron walked close to John and told him, “You’re safe.”
Sarah and John replied at once, in unison, “No one is ever safe.”
Sarah walked over to John but addressed Riley and Cordelia as well when she said, “Come on,” and then looked straight at Cordelia to say, “We’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”
The five people filed into the blue car that the guys Cameron knocked out had been driving. The drive was quiet but restless and tense. It was late at night and Cameron broke into a clothing store to get clothes that fit everyone on their way. The first task was to find a house to live in and Cameron cajoled a real estate agent into letting them rent out a quaint two-storey house in a not-too-shabby L.A. subdivision. The house was furnished when the Connors, Cameron, Riley and Cordelia arrived.
Cordelia sat down on the couch in the living room, still in shock from the idea that she’d travelled through time. She was this as a part of her punishment for being so cruel to the people of Sunnydale. Who she ever catch a break? Riley sat down beside her on the couch, understanding that the situation was unnerving, also having given up his life to join in the battle for the future he knew that this was a huge, unwanted sacrifice for her. John and Sarah stood a couple feet from the couch, ominously standing over this new threat and Cameron stood a half-step behind John, ready to jump in front of him at any moment. Her face was fixated on Cordelia’s.
“So,” Sarah started, causing Cordelia to look up at the older woman. Sarah sighed and asked, “How do you know Riley? Why was he so important to you?”
Cordelia blinked and looked at Riley. She looked back at Sarah and shrugged, “I didn’t even know who he was, an old friend of mine from Sunnydale told me that Buffy- Riley’s girlfriend- was looking for this guy named Riley and asked me to keep a look out for him. Even though Buffy and I were never close, I knew that she must have been hurt by him leaving and when I figured out who Riley was in the bank, I felt like I had to do something... I guess I got that from working for Angel...”
Riley tensed up at the name Angel and Sarah asked, “Who’s Angel?”
Cordelia looked at Riley again, “He’s my boss and Buffy’s ex-boyfriend... you might not believe me but he’s a-a...”
Riley took over, “Remember when I told you about ‘hostiles’ from The Initiative, Angel would have been considered one.”
Cameron spoke up, “Angel was a vampire, formally known as Angelus before he received a soul from a gypsy curse. A law firm called Wolfram & Hart had the power to send him to hell and so it was done, there are no demons in Los Angeles anymore. This was in 2004, the year after Sunnydale, California became a crater.”
Cordelia’s eyes bulged and she let out a cracked, “What?! What about Wesley and Gunn?”
“I only know that most of Angel’s employees died either during or before the Los Angeles apocalypse,” Cameron explained.
Cordelia whispered, “No...”
Riley sighed, remembering when he was told of this as well. He put a hand on Cordelia’s shoulder which Cordelia looked at momentarily before shrugging it off and standing up to look outside a window. She spoke calmly and told the group, “You know, I moved to Los Angeles to get a new start after I lost it all in Sunnydale. I didn’t ask for any of this, I didn’t ask for the visions or time-travelling! I didn’t even want to know Riley; if it weren’t for Willow Rosenberg I wouldn’t be here right now!”
Sarah sighed and John looked down at his feet, both understanding what it was like to feel as though you didn’t deserve what you’d been given- good or bad. Sarah went over to Cordelia and explained, “I know what it’s like to feel like you don’t deserve anything that is happening to you. I felt the same way when a machine from the future came back in time to kill me before I could conceive my son, John Connor, the leader of the resistance in this future. You know what happened? I met John’s father. He gave me a son only to be killed shortly after he came. I was thrown in a mental hospital for speaking the truth and am a wanted criminal for the death of Miles Dyson, who I didn’t murder. Even though I know that it should be over, it never is... machines keep coming for him and it is always a struggle not to give up... but I never do and you shouldn’t either.”
Cordelia looked at Sarah, her brown eyes boring into the other woman’s blue eyes. Cordelia said, “I’m not in my world anymore. I have no place here, nowhere to go... I’m alone,”
John spoke up, “Well you could stay here,”
“John!” Cameron said loudly.
John walked up to Cordelia and said, “Look, this situation isn’t what any of us wanted but now that you’re here and now that you know the truth, we can’t just send you off on your way with nothing! We can help get you on your feet, teach you a few things about starting over and if you don’t want to stay after that then you can go,”
Cordelia looked at Sarah and asked her, “Can I help you at all?”
Sarah blinked and shrugged, “We can’t just let you out on the streets,”
Riley finally spoke from his spot on the couch, “We’ll make an unconvincing family...”
Cordelia shrugged, “Not really. We could say that Sarah is my older sister with her two kids, John and Cameron. Riley and I could pretend to be related too,”
Cameron shook her head, “No that’s not convincing enough. In order for that situation to work, Riley and Cordelia would have to be married.”
“What?! NO WAY!” Cordelia and Riley began protesting.
Cameron snapped, “If you don’t, I’ll kill you both,”
John flinched and Sarah looked down at the ground.
Cordelia leaned her head against the nearest wall and muttered, “Till death do us part.”
There was still a lot unsaid, but that could wait for another day. It appeared that these five would be spending a lot of time together from now on.
CUE MUSIC: DUN-DUN DUN DUN DUHHH . DUN-UN DUN DUN DUHHH !
Did you like it? Was it corny? If I continue on with these shenanigans I think it will become a little more realistic! Here’s to another one-shot continuation thingy! Adios!