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Aspirin's Just Not Doing It

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Dracula's Gift". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Cordelia has some very unusual visitors while she's recovering from one of her headaches.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Cordelia-CenteredGreywizardFR1324,2521156,10013 Aug 1131 Aug 13No

Chapter One

Disclaimer: They all belong to either Joss and ME, or Eric Kripke. Deal with it. I have.

Category: BtVS/Supernatural crossover.

Time Frame: Story #2 in my "Dracula's Gift" series, and a follow-up to my earlier 'Destiny Rolled Snake Eyes,' which takes place in at the beginning of a very AU BtVS season three.

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: None.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This is story #12 for Challenge 6471: August Fic-A-Day 2011, and second in a series which is a response to TTH Challenge #588.

~~~

Chase Residence
Sunnydale, CA

August 31, 1998


Cordelia Chase was lying on the couch in the family room of her parents' unquestionably palatial home, recuperating from the aftermath of her latest headache. Oh, and trying not to worry overmuch about the reasons she'd been experiencing them.

Mother had been her usual self, flitting about whichever room Cordelia was in, murmuring vague reassurances that everything would turn out all right, while never really allowing more than the occasional, momentary touch to occur. Cordelia could tell that the woman had clearly been wondering just how much more time she needed to allot to her daughter before she could reasonably voice whatever excuse she'd decided to offer her only child this time for her imminent departure to whichever hot spot she'd made plans to visit this month.

Daddy, of course, had already left, zooming off on yet another 'business trip' after taking time out of his oh-so-precious schedule to fly down with her and Mother to Sanford ("Nothing but the best for my baby girl."). It was amazing how he’d had the doctors there fawn over another possible grant donor and then fuss over her, while still not being able to come up with any sort of explanation for why she kept getting these god-awful headaches.

One of the idiots there had even suggested that her headaches were psychosomatic, and she was having them as a way to get her parents' attention focused on her again, the way it had been when she was a little girl. *That* S.O.B. was lucky Cordelia hadn't followed up her initial impulse and punched him in the face, because she probably wouldn’t have stopped before she'd beaten his brains out – assuming he had any, to begin with.

While she'd never admit it to any of her minions, the sheep that harkened to her every word when they were together at Sunnydale High (or at least they used to; downward mobility due to her choice of boyfriend, and all that), Cordelia was terrified. No, that was too mild a term; she almost out of her mind with fear about what was going on, and she didn't have anyone she could talk to about her fears about what was happening to her.

Well, that wasn't completely true.

She was pretty sure that she could tell Doofus-boy how she was feeling, and he wouldn't run around and blab everything to anyone else – especially if she told him not to – but the problem with that was, she wasn't about to spill her heart out to someone she wasn't going to be dating for much longer.

Because from the way Xander had sounded when she'd spoken to him earlier this morning, and the way he'd said they needed to talk but avoided saying anything about what he wanted to talk *about*, Cordy was pretty sure he was he was going to break up with her. After all, why would he want to be stuck with a flake-y type like her? That was exactly what she would have done in his place, even as recently as last year.

Cordelia was considering whether she wanted to expend the effort of getting up and raiding Mother Dearest's alcohol stash, when her depressed and melancholic musings were interrupted by a Bronx-accented, somewhat grating voice she didn't recognize.

"Hey, toots, nice place ya got here."

Opening her eyes, she winced – not only because of the bright light filtering in through the blinds, but because of the mindnumbingly god-awful outfit on the fashion reject standing just a few feet away. If someone could vomit pastel, this would be the guy’s suit.

"Who the hell are you?" the undisputed queen of Sunnydale High snarled as she held up a hand to shield her eyes against the light – and his clothes. "And how the hell did you get in here?"

"The name's Whistler," the apparent wannabe-be pimp informed Cordelia with a leer, "and I dropped by to have a little talk with you about future.

"Or, what's a lot more likely, your lack of one," Whistler added a moment later, his comment causing Cordelia to narrow her eyes and glare at him.

"What do you mean, my *lack* of a future?" she immediately demanded.

"Those headaches you've been getting lately," her uninvited guest said, apparently ignoring her question, "they come with visions showing you people who're getting hurt, who're in danger, right?"

"How'd you know that?" Cordelia asked, her face paling at his words.

"Because I'm a messenger – well, sort of. And those visions are an ancient, powerful force, kid," Whistler said. "Demons are the only ones who can withstand them, so even though I'm not sure how you actually got 'em, I'm guessing you've got some demon blood lurking on one of the branches of the old family tree.

"But, ya see," he then went on, "your problem is that you're not a demon, for all practical purposes you're pretty much completely human, so sooner or later – and by that I really mean sooner, not later – those headaches are gonna make you feel like your head's exploding.

"'Cause it will be," Whistler finished up.

"So why are you here, telling me all this?" Cordelia demanded, her face so pale that some people might have mistaken her for a vampire. "You *enjoy* watching people's heads explode?"

"Nah," Whistler shook his head. "I'm here because my bosses – they're called the Powers That Be; your buddy, the Slayer, she knows who I'm talking about, so ya can ask her about them whenever she gets home – they can help ya out with this problem you got."

"How?" Cordelia immediately demanded.

"Well, they'll kinda turn ya into a half-demon, ya see," he explained.

""WHAT?" Cordelia yelled. "Are you out of your lame-oid, horribly-dressed mind?"

"Nah," Whistler shook his head. "I said 'kinda', remember? You'll still *look* human, you'll just have to give up part of your humanity after getting some demon essence implanted into ya. Ya won't turn into a full demon, but ya'll end up strong enough to survive the visions."

"And what do you – or rather, your bosses – get out of this?" Cordelia asked, eyes narrowing as she tried to figure out what angle these Powers That Be might be working. She knew for a fact that no one without a personal connection, whether they were human or demon, ever did anything simply out of the kindness of their heart. These Powers had to be benefiting somehow from making her part-demon.

"Well, if they do this, then ya'd become one of their messengers, kinda like me," Whistler admitted, "so you'd be pretty much obligated to follow whatever directions they want ya to follow, when situations like helping a Champion prevent the end of the world show up.

"Pretty much like what ya've been doing over the past year or so," he pointed out. "Just with the directions and warnin’s being a little more specific than the Slayer gets from that so-called Tweed Brigade."

"I need to think about this," Cordelia said, not knowing what to say at the moment, but knowing she didn't want to give any sort of answer right away. "How long do I have before, y'know, before my head goes 'boom!'?"

"I don’t really know there's any definite timeframes, toots," Whistler shrugged. "But I'll stop by in a day or so, for your answer – and to see how you're doing," he told her.

"But I wouldn't wait too long to make your decision, if I were you," he cautioned her. "Don't want to risk too much brain damage, and all that." Whistler then turned and walked away, vanishing around the corner.

Getting up to check, Cordelia made sure that her 'visitor' was gone – before walking back over to the couch she'd been lying down earlier, and she then slumped into one corner. Pulling her knees up, Cordy wrapped her arms around her legs and let her head drop down and began crying, letting her fears and worries out in a torrent of sobs and tears.

"Hey there, little lady, there's no need to cry like that."

Looking up at the second instance of an unknown voice speaking to her inside her own home, Cordelia saw a dark-haired man with a somewhat scruffy-looking beard looking down at her with what appeared to be genuine compassion. Unlike Whistler’s, his outfit of simple jeans and a t-shirt, didn’t add to her headache.

"What?" she snarled, sounding more that a little acerbic, even to herself, she had to admit. "Your bosses don't want to wait, so I have to give them an answer now, or they'll make my head explode?"

"Sorry, but you've got it wrong. I don't work for those clowns," the man shook his head at Cordelia's question.

"Actually," he said, after a moment's reflection, "I'm not the least bit sorry I don’t work for the so-called Powers, because they're nothing but a bunch of pompous, self-important assholes."

"So why are you here?" Cordelia demanded, her eyes narrowing in a combination of annoyance and frustration. "Come to make a pitch for whoever *your* bosses are, so I can somehow survive my visions and work for them instead?"

"Uh-uh, doll. That's not the way I do things," the man shook his head in disagreement again. "I just stopped to let you know that whatever Whistler told you, it may have been the truth – but it almost certainly wasn't the *whole* truth about whatever's going on here, not by any means. I know him too well for that."

"How do you know that?" the brunette demanded. "And just who the hell *are* you, anyway?"

"Well, let’s just say I know Whistler's bosses from way back when, and we disagreed a lot on how they did things – especially about the way they use and abuse people, to get whatever they want done," her second uninvited visitor told her. "So now, whenever I get the chance, I try to screw things up for them by letting whoever they're trying to manipulate know that they're not getting the whole story.

"And you can call me Loki," he added almost parenthetically.

"Loki? The Norse god of mischief? And I don’t get it. Why are you doing that?" Cordelia asked, frowning at the explanation given her. "What? You'd like seeing the world come to an end?"

"Nah. That’d spoil all my fun, if I let that happen," the undercover archangel, whose real name was Gabriel, shook his head 'No,' again with a small grin. "But ya see, the way the Powers want things done isn't the *only* way the world can be saved – it's just the way *they* want it done.

"And that alone's a good enough reason for me to want to see it done another way."

~/~/~
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