Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters are the property of their original owners.
Author’s Note: This story takes place in whatever early BtVS season you like, but it happens sometime between the point when Xander was still in the “We-Hate-Cordelia” club to the time of his first visit to the Sunnydale High supply closet with his gorgeous enemy.
The beautiful teenage girl with the headscarf and the oversized sunglasses unsuccessfully concealing her identity bestowed a glare of pure loathing upon everything in her vicinity. As Queen C proudly strode towards her doom, which was sure to include something in the next few minutes which would be a great deal more awful than any guillotine ever created, her path along the cracked sidewalk was taking this young woman directly en route to the most slovenly of the peasant hovels in this Sunnydale neighborhood.
Which figured, Cordelia Chase bitterly thought to herself. The subhuman clan known as the Harris family had probably learned about living in huts only a few years ago. Before then, they’d undoubtedly slept in trees, with the dumber simians being quickly removed from the gene pool by falling out of their jungle nests into the hungry jaws of the awaiting predators below. It really was a pity that this specific ludicrous mishap hadn’t in fact ever happened to that absolute jerk known as Xander Harris standing in the open front doorway of his home and beaming an ear-to-ear grin towards his approaching visitor.
In a voice like liquid nitrogen, which finished killing off the last dying patches of weeds and grasses in the ragged front lawn, Cordelia snarled, “Get back in
there, Harris! There’s no way I want anyone to see us together!”
“Wow, it’s nice to know you’re gonna be such a gracious loser today when you have to go through what you agreed to, after you lost our bet,” snickered Xander, as he backed up to make way for Cordelia to sweep into the house in a grand gesture that included snatching off her sunglasses, to then amiably close the front door after this girl.
Turning to observe how his lifetime foe had stopped short in the hallway to scrunch herself into an absurd posture that suggested she was attempting to prevent herself from coming into contact with any more molecules of Harris-substance than was absolutely necessary, Xander received a truly malevolent look from Cordelia that should’ve slaughtered him on the spot. This head cheerleader then gritted through her stressed dental work, “I and any other Chase am not
a loser! When I agreed to our wager, it was merely a lack of sufficient information that lead to my downfall, so shut your trap about the ‘L’ word!”
An unimpressed Xander merely folded his arms across his chest and shrugged, “Fine, whatever. You’re here, so that means you accepted the terms of the bet--”
“I’m holding you to them, too!” snapped Cordelia. Bestowing a disgusted gaze around at her surroundings, the girl nastily continued, “Are Mr. and Mrs. Neanderthal really gone for the day? Because if there’s the slightest chance that you were wrong about this when you called me, our agreement’s off and I’m leaving!”
Despite what a part of him had to agree concerning that insult being applied to Tony Harris, an annoyed glint abruptly appeared in Xander’s eyes. Taking a deep breath to keep from actually losing his temper, the young man muttered, “Yeah, they won’t be back until tonight. However, I’ve gotta say, the longer you keep complaining, the more time you’re wasting. So, are we gonna get started or not?”
With those last irritated words, Xander now stepped over to the right side of the hallway, where the door to the basement was located, and he then grabbed the doorknob and yanked this open, revealing the basement stairway that led to his bedroom below the house. As he held the door open, Xander did a quick, mental calculation regarding whether it was better to go downstairs first or after Cordelia.
Going first, while this was only polite, also meant presenting his defenseless back to a displeased girl following after him and being tempted during every step along the way to kick him down the stairs.
On the other hand, being behind that descending cheerleader meant she’d get to see right away what he had ready for her down there, which could easily result in Cordelia ripping off his head with her bare hands a split second afterwards.
It all became quite moot a few moments later, when an impatient Cordelia brushed past an hesitating Xander through the doorway, to at once disappear down the stairs. Still in the hallway, Xander now let go of the doorknob, and he nonchalantly leaned against the wall, allowing an evil grin to appear on his lips, as this high school student counted down in his head--
“NOOOOOOO! YOU BASTARD, I’M GONNA KILL YOU!”
After that first disbelieving shriek coming from below, the entire house now shook to both the thundering footsteps ascending the stairs and also the furious bellowing that stopped only when Cordelia popped into existence at the basement doorway, exactly like a murderous jack-in-the-box, coming to a dead halt while breathing fire and clutching to her awesome chest the small heap of clothing she’d brought along from downstairs.
Knowing he had only a minuscule window of opportunity before Cordelia stuffed what she was carrying down his throat, Xander hastily recited, “Section three, subsection ‘b’: Winner can pick whatever the loser has to wear.”
In her most deadly tone, Cordelia hissed, “I don’t care! This is going too far--!”
Interrupting in his own irascible voice towards a potential welsher, Xander growled, “Too bad! If it had been the other way around, there’s no chance you would’ve possibly passed up making me wear a clown suit!”
The abrupt change of the girl’s angry features into absolute blankness revealed to Xander that he’d just struck the nail right on the head, as he then balefully eyed Cordelia clearly scrambling to come up with some sort of believable claim that she hadn’t been planning exactly that.
Eventually, Cordelia came to the realization that she had no practical choice between wearing what she was holding or simply hurling these skimpy garments into Xander’s expectant face and storming out of the house. Except, that latter action would in due course totally ruin her reputation as Queen C at Sunnydale High. Nobody would quail before somebody stuck with the label of “poor loser” or anything else that proved Cordelia Chase was someone who refused to fulfill or honor any gamble or obligation she’d freely entered of her own will.
Her stunning face turning iron-hard, Cordelia now declared in a steady monotone that was much more scarier than any screamed threat, “You do
understand that if there’s ever any pictures about this that turn up at school, I’ll hunt you down wherever you hide and do something really horrible to you?”
Knowing he’d pushed his guest right up to her absolute limit, Xander solemnly nodded, to then scramble out of the way in the hallway as Cordelia savagely stalked past him to find someplace private to change elsewhere in the house. The teenage boy then made his own trip down the basement stairs, allowing himself a satisfied smirk the moment it seemed safe enough to do this.
Still with a wide grin on his face as he reached the foot of the stairs, Xander headed straight to his bed against the far wall, plunking himself down upon this. After stretching himself out on his back, interlocked fingers cupping the back of his skull, Xander gleefully regarded the stained basement ceiling, as he chuckled, “Hey, Jesse, this is all for you, dude. Even if you couldn’t be here for it, I still got Queen C good, and I hope that wherever you are, you’ll be watching what’s gonna happen next.”
Dreamily staring upwards for a few moments after he’d finished saying that, Xander then abruptly became a bit more serious. Sitting up again on his bed, he swung his legs over to perch on the edge of the mattress, and then he leaned forward to grope under the bed. Pulling out a large cardboard carton, the teenager then flipped open the lids of this box, only to then have an unholy light illuminate his face, as this hormone-driven boy lustfully stared down at the assorted paraphernalia inside the carton. All of those things there were items that a certain Cordelia Chase had probably never touched before in her entire life, yet like it or not, she was going to become intimately familiar with all of them in the next few hours. Reaching out to pick up from the carton a certain object that had gotten himself a very odd look earlier today from the salesperson discreetly depositing this bought item into a plain shopping bag, Xander allowed himself to once again contemplate just what the girl with the hottest body in the entire high school was going to do with--
A feminine voice now spoke, with the utmost revulsion possible in her tone, “God, Harris, I always knew you were a pervert, but from the way you’re fondling that thing, you’re even sicker than I ever thought before!”
Glancing up at where Cordelia was standing at the foot of the basement stairs and glaring at him in her skin-tight garments identical to the same kind of attire that had launched a million ‘Dear Penthouse’ letters, Xander simply smirked at what hadn’t surely been intended as any kind of compliment at all. Getting to his feet, Xander strolled over to where his guest was still giving him a supremely disgusted stare, which only deepened when Cordelia grudgingly accepted what the grinning boy now handed to her. This young woman’s fingers gingerly gripped the shaft of the short cylinder, as she glowered at that guy turning away, who was going to totally pay for this, somehow, someday.
Plopping back in his bed, Xander once more stretched out in his former relaxed posture, though a second later, his right leg came off the mattress to drop close to the floor, as the sole of teenager’s right sneaker came into contact with the side of the cardboard box there. Straightening his leg to shove the carton closer to Cordelia, whose face now bore an expression of total horror as she stared at the numerous cleaning supplies overflowing that container, Xander smugly instructed his newest domestic servant, “Okay, get busy paying off our bet by cleaning my bedroom. Remember, you have to make the whole place spotless. That includes my bathroom, too.”
A very thoughtful look then flashed over Xander’s face, as he continued while nodding at the box on the basement floor, “You might want to wear the rubber gloves and the gas mask in there when you’re doing that. Last night, in celebration of me winning the bet, I went to Senor Si’s Cantina in town and had the Mucho Bean Burrito with extra jalapenos at that fast-food joint, which resulted in the usual consequences. Well, Cordy, enough chatting. Start dusting, slave.”
Apart from a bag of marshmallows, there’s probably nothing more useless than a feather duster when you want to beat someone to death with this. Still, from the superlatively homicidal look that Cordelia Chase in her classic French Maid costume was presently bestowing upon Xander Harris as her fingers tightened around the handle of this stick with feathers attached at the other end, if he dared to say another single, solitary word, she was damn well going to try.
Author’s Note: What did you
think was going to happen?