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Blue Belle: Director's Cut

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Blue Belle Universe". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: He dressed up as his state's senior senator. Now he's a blue woman. How the hell does Xander keep landing himself in these situations?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > X-Men > Xander-Centered
Marvel Universe > Avengers
Marvel Universe > Spider-Man
(Moderator)JoeHundredaireFR1841199,171126930214,1464 Jun 126 Sep 14No

Chapter 33

Blue BelleJoe's Note: The aftermath of the ritual is at hand. It's unfolding differently because… well, because. A lot has changed from the first chapter to this point between the two versions. Oh, and for those of you who were hoping to see Laura again based on the way the previous story was laid out and possibly some comments I shouldn't have made in previous author notes… next chapter. Promise. Seriously this time.

November 25, 2011
Saint Barbara Parish
Sunnydale, California

     Cordelia frowned as she eyed her prey, tightening her grip on her stake. On the floor in front of her, Drusilla sat calmly with her legs tucked beneath her as she stared up at the green-haired cheerleader with an odd little half-smile on her face. Things had been simple up until now; with her powers, it had been child's play to release the pair of vampires that Spike had bound together for the ritual and then wrap the chains back around Drusilla as Angel crawled to safety. But when Cordelia had shifted the chains to open up a small gap and drawn the one stake she brought, Drusilla… had done nothing. Was still doing nothing. Just sitting there, smiling at her. Her eyes were clear and alert, so it wasn't that she was unaware of the threat she was facing. She just didn't care. Finally, Cordelia let out a sigh of disgust and threw the stake down next to her captive. "I can't do it."

     "What can't you do?" Michelle made her way over to where Cordelia was standing, Willow trailing a few steps behind as the feral mutant examined the black leather coat she was carrying. When Cordelia gestured down at the woman sitting at her feet, the redhead's eyes widened. "Oh. Hi there, Drusilla."

     "Hullo, my lovely." Peering back over her shoulder, Drusilla frowned. "I'd wave, but I'm a little tied up at the moment."

     "I see that." Michelle watched as Drusilla wiggled her arms a few more times before giving up and shrugging, and then looked up at Cordelia incredulously. "Why isn't she dead yet? Un-undead? More dead than usual?"

     Sighing, Cordelia gestured to the stake lying on the floor. "I can't do it. I just can't. I mean, I know she's a vampire and has been killing people forever but… it's not like she's ever done anything to us. And okay, I know, the ones we'll end up killing when you eventually drag me out patrolling won't have done anything to us yet either but I'm assuming they'll be attacking us. She's… not." Out of all the problems that could have cropped up tonight, this was definitely not one she'd anticipated. Cordelia had no qualms about defending herself against attack, lethally if need be. It was far harder to 'defend' herself against someone who was just kneeling on the floor smiling at her, though. Taking a few steps backward, she crossed her arms over her chest and shook her head. "Nope. Not doing it. If someone else wants to live with the idea of killing the helpless vampire lady, be my guest."

     Michelle rolled her eyes before thrusting her arm forward, pressing the barrel of her pistol against the back of Drusilla's head. The brunette's only reaction was to start humming softly, making Michelle hesitate and then eventually pull away. "Son of a… Willow? You want her?" Willow looked up from her prize just long enough to shake her head. "All right, what about…" Michelle trailed off as both she and Cordelia looked over at where Janet… had disappeared. That didn't concern Cordelia too terribly much given her powers, though, and so she quickly moved on to… and Victor was on his way out with Angel thrown over one shoulder like a sack of potatoes. "Shit." Ah, so Michelle was aware of their lack of other options too. Good; meant she didn't have to point it out to the redhead. "So… what do we do with her?"

     "Well, we stopped the ritual itself, killed Spike, and can take the book with the ritual back to Giles for safekeeping. How much longer do you think she'll survive? We could just let…" Cordelia frowned as Drusilla's humming was replaced with soft giggles and she peered down at the vampire. Who, now that Cordelia thought about it, looked pretty damn good for a vampire that was supposedly wasting away and needed a magical ritual to restore her health. "…there's nothing wrong with you, is there?" Whistling innocently, Drusilla stared up at the ceiling. "Get out. So you've been healthy all these years?"

     Shrugging as best she could while wrapped in chains, Drusilla nodded. "Well, yes. I'm a vampire. We can heal almost from almost anything that doesn't kill us."

     "But then why-"

     "Let Spike dote on me hand and foot for all those years?" Drusilla raised an eyebrow as she offered Cordelia a wicked grin. "Treat me like a queen and cater to my every whim and desire?"

     Silence reigned for several seconds, eventually broken by Michelle's nervous laughter. "Is it wrong that I kinda understand the crazy vampire logic she's spouting?"

     Drusilla nodded to that as well. "Probably, yes. I'm quite insane after all." She shifted a bit, making the chains around her rattle and drawing her attention to them. "Although you must admit, the whole thing was rather ingenious of me. I got to enjoy almost a decade and a half of pampering, and the ritual to 'restore me' would have ended the unlife of the vampire who killed my family, drove me insane, and then killed and turned me. And nobody ever saw it coming because of how much I loved my 'Daddy'." She snorted. "I'm crackers, not a cabbage. Bloody bastard is the reason I'm mad as a hatter, and he wiped out an entire branch of the Keeble family in the process. That's not exactly how you win a bird's undying devotion."

     If it was bad that Michelle understood the insane vampire's logic, it was probably even worse that Cordelia could see shades of herself in Drusilla. Because that was totally the kind of thing she would have pulled if she'd been in the vampiress's place. Suddenly, something occurred to her and she perked up. "If you're healthy, does that mean I can untie you and then we can fight until you get slayed? Or maybe you can make a run for it and we'll kill you before you escape?"

     "I suppose." The chains binding Drusilla slowly unwound themselves with a gesture from Cordelia, and then the brunette rose to her feet. Raising her arms over her head, Drusilla stretched until her back cracked noisily before relaxing and looking around. "Do I have to? I'm rather attached to my unlife, if it's all the same to you."

     Cordelia exchanged a puzzled look with Michelle, who shrugged helplessly. Again, a problem she hadn't anticipated. How did you fight a vampire who refused to fight? Granted one of them could pick a fight with Drusilla and kill her in the ensuing battle, but wasn't that just as bad as killing her while she was kneeling on the ground helpless? "I kinda think we have to. I mean, what are you going to do if we let you leave? Because we'll be responsible for any humans you kill between now and when we track you back down."

     The soft humming resumed as Drusilla wandered away, making her way over to where the red-haired woman that Willow had been fighting was laying on the ground. Leaning down, Drusilla grabbed both sides of the woman's head and then twisted sharply, snapping her neck. Cordelia narrowed her eyes and thrust her right arm out to the side, magnokinetically tearing Michelle's pistol out of her grip and pulling it through the air until it slapped against her own palm. Before she could fire, though, Drusilla pulled something off one of the corpse's fingers and held it up in the air. "She was an assassin, dearies, and the Order of Taraka doesn't leave work unfinished. If she left here alive, she'd keep going after Buffy until she was dead… and probably Willow to salve her ego as well. Is that what you want?"

     "No. Duh." …damn it. For someone who was supposedly insane, Drusilla was turning out to be awfully good at making sense. Lowering the gun, Cordelia looked over at Michelle, who shrugged before shaking her head. Okay, good, so she wasn't the only one capable of understanding how the vampiress's mind worked. That made her feel better about herself. It still didn't solve the problem at hand, though. "Okay, so you helped us. That doesn't mean we can just let you go now. I don't want to kill someone who won't fight back, but I like that idea a whole lot more than being the reason a bunch of my classmates die."

     Sighing, Michelle sidled up to Cordelia and reclaimed her gun, holstering it on her thigh. "Well we've got to figure out something. We can't let her go, but it's not one of us can take her home with us or something." …or could she? Cordelia eyed Drusilla consideringly. Her dad would probably go for it, since it would allow him to lay one of the maids off and save some money. It wasn't like Undead-Americans had the right to a minimum wage, or any wage for that matter. Her mom, on the other hand, had been whining about the lack of class in Sunnydale and how she had nobody decent to talk to. Well… Drusilla was a few bags short of a blood bank, but she was probably better conversation than Melody Kendall. Not to mention that Cordelia could hit her up for tutoring in history, what with Drusilla having lived through the stuff they were talking about in class right now. And she probably didn't speak Spanish, meaning she couldn't talk behind Cordelia's back the way the other servants did. Her train of thought was derailed when Michelle reached out and swatted her on the arm. "No. You are not taking her home with you. She's a vampire, not a kitten or something."

     "Don't you see? It'd be perfect. This way, I know where she is and what she's doing… and I could put her to work so she could earn her keep! Make her cook and clean. Or something. And I'll have her rocking Charlie Sheen chic: slap an ankle bracelet on her so I know the second she tries to leave the property. And if she tries anything? There's plenty of stuff in my room I can kill her with, and I can't walk five feet in my house without feeling something metal that my mom's hidden away in case of emergency." Cordelia crossed her arms over her chest as Michelle let out an exasperated sigh. "You know what? It's my house and I can have a vampire servant if I want to. Well, technically it's my parents' house and I can only keep her if they'll let me, but you know what… I… mean…" Movement in her peripheral vision made Cordelia look to her right, and then her eyes widened at the sight of Janet approaching, her left hand full of maggots as she calmly dropped one into her mouth with her right. "Oh, what the fuck?"

     Janet grinned and tilted her head back, selecting a particularly fat maggot and dropping it into her mouth. "I am the wasp girl, he is the bug man. I am the wasp girl, goo goo g'joob."

     Turning back to Michelle, Cordelia brought her right hand up to the corner of her eye to block out the sight of Janet's snackfest. "And I'm the insane one for wanting a vampire maid?"

     "Yes. Janet's just gross. You're insane."

November 25, 2011
Demon Research Initiative - Conference Room
Sunnydale, California

     Frowning, Doctor Margaret Walsh leaned back in her chair as she watched the multitude of video feeds being projected on the wall, letting them run their course for the third time. Then she reached down, preventing a fourth loop of the footage with a few quick keystrokes. When they'd tapped her to assume command of the Initiative, she'd been briefed on vampires and those species of HST known to the DRI at that point. To Walsh, they'd presented an intriguing challenge: something to be analyzed and evaluated and then overcome. Mutants, on the other hand? There'd been nothing about mutants in her briefings. "Agent Hertzberg, Agent Finn. Your thoughts?"

     "Permission to speak freely, ma'am?"


     "In all honesty, ma'am? SHIELD gets the best of the best, and we get some of the best of the rest. The soldiers stationed here are quality men, yet we're completely outclassed by these teenage girls. You could give me every capable man in this base, every weapon in the armory, let me pick the time and place of engagement… and I'm still not sure we'd come out on top. If we did, it'd be a pyrrhic victory at best." Adam Hertzberg approached the wall currently being illuminated by the projector, tapping on the frozen image of a green-haired girl walking with an older, dark-haired woman on her arm. "She's a magnokine. Our bullets are made of metal. How would we combat something like that?" Walsh frowned before nodding in agreement; the X-2s they were currently testing for TASER International wouldn't fair any better and the directed energy weapons the scientists were working on were nowhere near ready for deployment yet. Moving on, Hertzberg tapped the Caucasian girl with black hair, then her Asian companion. "She got shot and didn't even flinch. What is she? What hurts her? What stops her? Do we need to cut her into pieces, or would that create a dozen of her? I don't know. Nobody does. And the Asian… massive infiltration risk. It's not invisibility; we had the church rigged for full-spectrum recording. If we can't see her, how can we stop her from walking right into this facility?"

     Walsh spent a few seconds absorbing that before looking over at the silent third figure in the room. "Do you agree with your fellow agent's assessment, Agent Finn?"

     As his silence stretched on, Walsh narrowed her eyes and prepared to repeat herself, only to have Riley Finn shake his head. "No. Not entirely. I agree that these girls are incredibly dangerous… all of them, not just the three Hertzberg is focusing on. And yes, we'd lose a fight with them, badly. But I think the question we need to ask ourselves is… are they a threat to us? Is a conflict inevitable? I don't think so." He gestured to the wall. "Right now, we're both on the same side. Not only are they fighting the HSTs, but they're informing the civilians. I visited all three high schools in town to deliver the fliers for the college's upcoming campus visit days. Theirs was the only school where the words 'vampire' and 'demon' came up without it being a part of a discussion of Twilight or Supernatural. Informed civilians are less likely to end up in the ground… and then digging back up out of it."

     All points equally as valid as Hertzberg's, Walsh thought as she returned her gaze to the screen. But while Finn might in fact be correct when it came to the girls they were currently analyzing, the septet weren't the only mutants in Sunnydale. There was the purple-haired girl from the graveyard last week along with the half-dozen other teenagers that had been spotted all over Sunnydale over a three day period, Emma Frost and her two adult companions, and the green-haired cheerleader's mother and the other members of the Lehnsherr clan, to say nothing of the large male mutant who'd accompanied the quartet to the church tonight. While technically it was outside of her Need To Know, Walsh had connections in several of the government's other… unusual… projects and was fairly certain she recognized him as a former member of the cooperative CIA and Department K mutant experiment. The same one that Miss Rosenberg's mother had worked for a decade and a half ago, if she was correct.

     Suddenly, Walsh sat up a bit straighter. Weapon X. Or rather its present incarnation: Weapon XS. Some of the procedures they were pioneering here on HSTs were being sent back to XS for use on mutants. As far as she was concerned, Stryker and his merry band owed her and hers… and perhaps it was time to pay the piper. "You've given me a lot to think about, Agents. Dismissed."

November 25, 2011
Chase Household - Cordelia's Room
Sunnydale, California

     Michelle frowned as she looked around Cordelia's bedroom, doing a second headcount. She'd come up one short the first time and now she had to figure out who the missing one was. Obviously she was there. It'd have been kinda hard to count if she wasn't. Cordelia was sprawled out on her bed and also obviously a check, given that she was their hostess. Michelle counted the iPhone sitting on the nightstand as it ticked down from thirty minutes as Drusilla; the vampiress was currently downstairs in the kitchen proving her domestic bona fides. Janet measuring Willow so they could figure out how to modify Spike's duster to better fit the latter, check and check. Santana on Cordelia's oversized 'memory foam lounge bag' - translation: rich person bean bag chair - with a Brittany-shaped lap warmer, two more checks. An incredibly uncomfortable-looking Buffy next to the pair of Chellettes, check. Then who… wait. They had the original Slayer, but what about Slayer 2.0? "When was the last time anyone heard from Kendra?"

     "Did you send her to scout out Our Lady of Sorrows or All Saints-by-the-Sea? I overheard Spike talking to Dalton about arranging for a few 'surprises' to try and slow down anyone trying to stop the ritual." Bustling into the room, Drusilla deposited a twelve pack of Diet Pepsi in the middle of the room before carefully balancing a large metal tray atop it. Peering down at it from her spot at the end of Cordelia's bed, Michelle raised an eyebrow. There was a bowl in the center filled with something that looked a bit like salsa, surrounded by slices of toasted bread. "Bruschetta. Once in a while, when we had to live off bags for one reason or another, Spike would mix his blood with Weetabix. I was a bit more creative."

     …oh hey look, suddenly she wasn't hungry anymore. Brittany didn't seem to share Michelle's reservations, though, and snaked a tendril of hair out to grab one of the slices of bread. Dipping it into the mixture in the bowl, she stuffed it into her mouth and let out a vaguely agreeable noise before sending two additional tendrils out to grab and dip more slices of bread. One piece ended up in Santana's mouth while Buffy reached up to intercept the other, nibbling at it before answering Drusilla. "Britt and I ended up at All Saints. Found and slayed a whole bunch of vamps. If that was your boyfriend's idea of trying to slow someone down… yikes. Our Lady of Sorrows wasn't on our list, though. Cordelia?"

     Cordelia shook her head. "We found Spike in the last church on our list and all the others were empty, so it can't have been one of the ones we visited. And if a pile of vampires are Spike's idea of a 'surprise', I'm almost afraid to ask… Dru, do you know what was at Our Lady of Sorrows?"

     "…if she tried to enter the church? Likely not Our Lady of Sorrows anymore." Drusilla wandered over to the window, staring out into the night for a few seconds before continuing. "I'm not sure where Spike got it from, but I stumbled over a crate of C-4 a week or so back. It was gone by the time we left today. Since the 'surprises' were going to be at Sorrows and Saints, and the blondes ran into vampires at Saints… there's only one place it could have gone."

     "Well, it could have ended up somewhere else entirely and Kendra could be wandering Sunnydale on foot right now because we left the library before she got back…" Trailing off, Cordelia sighed. "Probably not, though, with our luck." She made a tugging motion and her phone flew through the air until it slapped against her palm. Dialing a number, she held the phone up to her head and waited for nearly thirty seconds before growling and ending the call, tossing the phone down on the bed next to her. "Great. Thanks a lot, Spike. Now we're stuck with Buffy if we want a Slayer for our group."

     "You know, I didn't like her or want her here in Sunnydale… but Kendra's dead, Cordelia. And you're sitting here making jokes. Have I reminded you lately that you really suck at being a decent human being?" Scowling, Buffy reached up and tugged on Brittany's hair to get the taller blonde's attention. "Remind me why we're here? I mean, seeing as how I don't like Cordelia and you don't like her and Santana doesn't like her either?"

     That… was an excellent question, actually. While Michelle obviously didn't mind the company of her Chellettes, she seemed to recall the excuse for their existence being that Santana and Brittany wanted to stay up to date on mutant things without needing to deal directly with Cordelia. And yet… here they were. What gave? "She wore less at the two cheerleading sleepovers I came to. I was hoping to get lucky and have some good scenery if I followed you guys back here." Santana muttered something under her breath at that, making Brittany pout as she turned to look over at her girlfriend. "What? I'm taken, not dead! And she's really hot!"

     Cordelia let out a snort of laughter as she slid off the bed, wandering over to her walk in closet and disappearing inside. "I'm not sure how I feel about that. Every girl likes being told she's pretty, but… no offense, Brittany, but you're pretty much the last person in the world I want crushing on me. Actually, second-to-last. The bottom two spots on that list belong to Willow and Harmony."

     "Who said anything about having a crush on you?" Brittany shook her head and Michelle watched in amazement as a familiar shade of green bled from the trichokine's roots, giving her hair to match Cordelia's. While Michelle had heard about that particular skill of Brittany's from Santana and Janae, seeing it for herself was different. Was that what she looked like when she shifted? "I mean, yeah you're hot but Buffy's right: you're a terrible person. I'd just enjoy a chance to hit it with you; there's no way I'd stick around afterward unless it was to go a second round."

     A plastic bag came flying out of the walk in closet, sliding across the carpet and skidding to a stop next to the food and soda. "Hmm. Not sure that's any better, to be honest. Whatever. And let's make something clear: I'm not happy that Kendra's dead. She seemed like a cool girl even if she was a little uptight. But… this is Sunnydale. People die all the time. You get used to it after a while or you go insane. Not to mention that if I'm a horse? I'm part of a herd."

     Buffy and Willow exchanged looks, and then the latter asked what they were both clearly thinking. "…a horse?"

     "Well yeah. Horses are terrible people." There was a long moment of silence as everyone processed that, and then Cordelia continued. "As I was saying… Buffy, do you remember your first day of school? Specifically that part where I came over and told you that gym was cancelled due to 'the extreme dead guy in the locker'? Willow, you didn't really seem to care. Buffy, you started quizzing me about the corpse. And the boys… Xander made a joke about the corpse's level of dead, and then Jesse tried to hit on me. Oh, and Janet? I don't suppose you remember the first words to come out of your mouth when we found out Blue was dead two weeks later?"

     Grimacing, Janet looked down at the floor even as her body shrank slightly, her gossamer wings emerging from her back. "If I lie and say no, you'll just tell them anyway, won't you?" A vaguely affirmative noise came from the walk in closet and Janet sighed. "Ugh, fine. I asked who was going to be the new third flier because we had a competition that weekend."

     "That's right. So if I'm a terrible person for not having like, a wailing lament moment over Kendra dying? What makes you think that you're any better than me? Any of you?" Silence reigned again, broken only by the soft sounds of Cordelia undressing. Ducking her head, Michelle grew her hair out a bit more to better hide her face as she thought. Cordelia was right, though. What made her joke about degrees of death - oh yes, she remembered it now - any less offensive than the quip Cordelia had loosed in regard to Kendra's death? Was Cordelia's more of a crime because they kinda sorta knew the corpse, while the boy who'd been found in a locker was someone Michelle had seen once or twice but didn't even know the name of? But then wouldn't Janet's be an even bigger sin, since this 'Blue' girl had evidently been on the squad with them? Were they all like, psychopaths or something? Or - as Cordelia had said - was this level of callousness and detachment just a necessary evolution to survive life in Sunnydale? She was pulled from her thoughts when a bare-shouldered Cordelia peeked her head out of the closet, nodding toward the bag on the floor. "I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm changing into something more comfortable. You guys should know where the bathrooms are by now. There's a t-shirt for each of you in the bag. And a pair of Michelle's pants; if someone else wants them, you'll have to fight her for them."

     Michelle took a moment to look around the room… and then dove off the bed, tackling the bag and hugging it to her chest. Because not only was she not going without pants tonight, she had no desire to end up fighting someone else for possession of her own pants. Reaching inside, she dug around until her fingers brushed against something heavier than a t-shirt and then pulled it out. A pair of black 'boyfriend' pants from Aerie? "…please tell me you stole these from my room last weekend. Otherwise, I'm going to feel really bad about going back to American Eagle and demanding they replace the pants they forgot to put in my bag."

     "You what?" Poking her head back out, Cordelia stared at Michelle in disbelief before breaking into laughter. "Oh my God, you're such a dork. I told you I was taking a pair to keep here."

     Wait, what? Michelle shook her head. "Maybe you thought you did or were going to, but I'm pretty sure you didn't."

     "Yes, I totally did."


     Cordelia finally emerged from her closet and Michelle bit her lip to keep from laughing as she got a good look at the cheerleader's pajamas: a pair of purple shorts and a matching tank top that declared 'I HAVE A MAGNETIC PERSONALITY' in gold letters across her chest. "Food court. You were packing back up after snipping tags, and I took a pair and told you why and then stuffed them into one of my bags."

     Thinking back to that rather busy and all-around odd day, Michelle frowned. "Wait, wasn't that when you'd just come out of Fredy's in the too-small bra that pushed your girls up and together so much that you could practically motorboat yourself? And you stood the whole time and kept bending over at the waist in front of me? Because… yeah. Gee, I wonder why I don't remember you telling me something then. It's a mystery."

     "Hey, guys at school can manage to ogle me and answer questions at the same time. How was I supposed to know you couldn't?" Cordelia tugged the bag out of Michelle's hands and began pulling shirts out of it so she could distribute them. Brittany and Santana each received an oversized black t-shirt bearing uppercase, rainbow letters that proclaimed 'RECRUITER', while Janet's t-shirt was black but with a cartoonish wasp printed on the chest in bright yellow. And while Buffy didn't seem to find her 'Dye Another Day' Bond parody shirt to be particularly funny, Willow let out a little snicker after receiving a shirt that… Michelle blinked. At first, she didn't see what the big deal was about a Jurassic Park logo shirt, and then it hit her. The T-Rex on the logo had been replaced with the Tyrannosaurus Dinozord, and the text below it altered to read 'ANGEL GROVE'. "I was going to go with 'iGrowl' or 'iStab' or something, but the site I was using limits the number of custom designs I can submit at once and I used up my slots on mine, Buffy's, and Janet's. So I had to buy you an existing design. I saw that on the front page, there was that Halloween…"

     Willow looked from the shirt to Cordelia and back before letting out a soft chuckle. "First grade. I'm surprised you don't repress that because Power Rangers is for geeks or something." Given that she and Cordelia - and Michelle, but nobody knew that - were the only ones who'd been in town back then, she elaborated for the others' sake. "She was Jen and I was Katie, and we had this big argument because she said I was dressed as a boy because her Pink Ranger costume had a skirt and my Yellow Ranger costume didn't." Turning back to Cordelia, she gave the green-haired girl a sheepish grin. "You were actually right, in a way. It turns out that in Mirai Sentai Timeranger, which is the Japanese show they adapted to make Power Rangers Time Force, TimeYellow really was a boy and that's why…" Cordelia tilted her head back and made a snoring noise, and Willow trailed off before sight. "Right. You don't care. Thanks for the shirt, though. It's cute." Nodding, Cordelia stuck her hand into the bag again but Willow interrupted her before she could reveal the last shirt. "Why am I on the bottom of the list? I mean, I get that I'm completely the opposite of your guy type, but-"

     "Next to last. Harmony's at the bottom because… well, hello. Harmony." Cordelia pulled out a shirt and tossed it to Michelle. Catching it, the shapeshifter unfolded it and snorted. Smurfette's face stared back at her, along with the text 'DON'T MESS WITH THE BLUE CHICK'. Cute. "You, on the other hand? You're our super smart hacker girl. You'd probably like, hack into my iMac and watch me change or something. Not that I'd have problems with a theoretical girlfriend seeing me naked, because that'd just be silly, but-"

     Proving that being highly intelligent didn't necessarily make one smart, Willow couldn't keep from replying to that. "Actually, I wouldn't need to 'hack' anything, per se. I'd just wait until you let me use your iMac for something, get into System Preferences and tweak one setting, and then I could use Apple Remote Desktop on my computer to take control of yours and launch Photo Booth and-"

     Cordelia stared at Willow with widening eyes as she rambled before clearing her throat loudly and turning to Michelle. "So! Want a free iMac? Cuz I'm thinking of going over to Best Buy and picking up a Dell tomorrow."

     "You do realize she never said she can't hack your computer to spy on you. Just that she wouldn't need to with your Mac. If you buy a Dell, you'll just have a shitty computer and Willow could probably still work some mojo to spy on you." Michelle left Cordelia to ponder that as she headed for the ensuite bathroom. "Oh, and I'm not sleeping in the same room as Drusilla. Keep that in mind when you figure out who's crashing where."

     Faint simultaneous tugs on every bit of metal on her outfit made the redhead pause and look back over her shoulder at Cordelia, who arched a brow. "And if I say otherwise?"

     Michelle rolled her eyes and turned to face forward again as she resumed walking. While she didn't mind being a fairly loyal Cordette to avoid upsetting the delicate balance of power at the top of the Sunnydale High social pyramid, she wasn't a drone like some of the others. "The beds in the guest rooms can each sleep three. There are five other girls. There'll be an opening for me somewhere."

     As she entered the bathroom and closed the door behind her, Michelle could hear both Brittany and Santana speaking up as one. "You should really keep Drusilla in here with you…"

     Oy vey.
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