Issue Three: "A Fateful Glance"
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or rights of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series, or any other series that may be referenced herein. This disclaimer will be expanded chapter by chapter as it becomes necessary.
Touched by Destiny
“A Fateful Glance”
Sunnydale High School
Xander Harris' summer had been long. His dad had been fired from another job and had taken to drinking all day long rather than just everynight. Xander's best friends Willow and Jesse had both been gone with their families all summer, leaving him little refuge. Thankfully he had been able to spend the summer working for his uncle. He mostly spent it helping the mechanics repair and refurbish old cars, but he picked up a lot of skills from the three months with his hands covered in grease working on engine blocks.
Today was the first day of high school. He was a freshman, or fresh meat if you subscribed to the Varsity View of the school. He was skating through the parking lot before the school on his skateboard when a horn honked. He had to swerve to avoid the large chevy van that had just hit its brakes. he vaguely recognized the driver as the bass player for a new band he'd seen during the summer, Dingoes Ate My Babies. They had been pretty good, he thought, although the bass player had seemed a little short to be able to play a standup bass. He figured that an electric bass would do better.
His train of thought was disrupted when he saw Willow and Jesse walking together. He smiled and was about to yell at them when he ran into someone, taking her down to the ground with him. His innate nobility kicked in and he managed to rotate himself so that he landed on his back with her on top of him. Eyes still closed from panic he let out a breath, glad that he had at least stopped her from hitting the ground.
"Watch where you're going, loser." He heard as the figure on him hit his shoulder. He recognized those dulcet tones.
Opening his eyes he beheld the glaring vision of Cordelia Chase.
He would never admit it to any living soul, but he really didn't hate her as much as he professed to. He only joined the "We-Hate-Cordelia" Fanclub to shut Willow up. She had a quick wit that matched his own and he always enjoyed their verbal spars. There was no denying she was beautiful, yet despite how stuck up she was he felt a kindred spirit from her. She appeared rich and in control of her life, but he could tell her home life wasn't the greatest. He remembered when his mom had worked as a maid for the Chase family and she would take him to work with her on the weekends. The house had been huge and richly appointed, but it had felt sterile. It was a house, not a home. Cordelia was a project to her parents, not a child to be loved, and he could feel it.
In that instant as he lay there on the ground, with Cordelia's hair obscuring both their faces from view he stared into her eyes.
He whispered the words, so low he wasn't sure if she even heard them, but he couldn't help it.I love you, Cordelia.
He did see a momentary flash in her eyes before she pushed off of him and her expression turned stormy. As she stalked off, insulting him the whole way, he sat up.I wonder, if our lives had been different, if we might have been able to date.
Xander knew that he and Cordelia could never be together. They were both trapped within their lives, without the power to free themselves from their shackles.
But as long as he lived, he would never forget that moment; never forget the look in her eyes, or the words her lips formed but her voice just couldn't say. He would never forget that day long ago.I love you, Alex.
In a corner of Sunnydale Park, behind a century old oak tree, a carving stood testament to Sunnydale's greatest secret.
Carved into the bark of the tree in between two of the large roots was a heart, carved in at least eight years before. Within the heart were carved the words "Cordy+Alex Forever".
While the two could never admit it to the world, chained by their fates as they were, both knew deep down their hearts would always be entwined.
To be honest I'm not sure how satisfied I am with this one. I'm wondering if I should use a flashback to show when and how the heart was carved or not. I wrote this because as I write RotU my plans change and evolve. The relationship between Xander and Cordelia is far deeper and more important than originally envisioned. I realized that in order to truly explain and justify how quickly and easily they get together after Halloween I needed to establish a ground work of them and their feelings. That moment on the ground is critical, for it was that moment that reminded both of them of what they truly felt, even if neither yet had the strength to break their chains and admit their feelings.