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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)JoeHundredaireFR1841199,171126930214,0354 Jun 126 Sep 14No

Chapter 36

Joe's Note: If you read the partial chapter posts for Chapters 35 and 36, things in the final versions might not match up with what you remember. That's because I posted some near-simultaneous events as I finished writing them, and then sorted them out after. If this is your first time reading through this? I didn't say nothing. A lot of fun stuff in this chapter: the return of Victor, along with Laura's arrival in Sunnydale. Enjoy.



November 29, 2011
Chase Household - Dining Room
Sunnydale, California




     "You know, to be perfectly honest? Last night wasn't as horrific as I thought it would be."

     "Speak for yourself. First I was your twin sister, then I ended up as your actual sister… and that one was your idea. What that says about you, I don't even want to ponder…"

     "Pfft. First of all, she's only my half-sister. Same father, different mothers." Miriam paused and took a sip from her glass of orange juice, and then held up one finger that was quickly joined by a second as she realized she was a bit behind. "Secondly, you're not really her and so it doesn't count as incest. I wouldn't have sex with the real her, that would be weird. Not that it's stopped her and Pietro from asking." A third finger. "And thirdly… look at her. If you wouldn't have sex with Wanda, they should take away your lez card. Bi card. Whatever."

     Popping a piece of blueberry-smothered waffle into her mouth, Raven chewed slowly as she considered that. She would at least give Miriam the latter, although she would have much rather been having sex 'with' Wanda than 'as' Wanda the night before. The former… if you knew where someone was on your family tree, they were too close for you to be having sex with in her opinion. Although that middle bit was a good point. From a genetic standpoint, she was more of that twin everyone was rumored to have out there somewhere than actually Wanda. Perhaps it didn't count as incest, then. Still, it wasn't exactly something near the top of her list of things to do again, at least if she had anything to say about it.

     If she was willing to disregard the Wanda - and Miriam - facets of the night, though? Which was a pretty big if, but if she was? Raven had to agree that things hadn't been entirely terrible. At least for them. Poor Victor, though. Especially after the rough treatment she'd endured in order to pay for his scouting trip to Sunnydale, it had been incredibly cathartic to team up with Miriam and force the man to submit to her own wishes. Emphasis on force. Raven's lips curled upward in a smile; for someone who'd worked with Erik, Victor had looked awfully surprised at what a few pieces of metal and a magnokine's mind could do to him. Although while she was on the subject… "How are you going to explain the entirely new bedroom set to your husband when he gets back?"

     Miriam opened her mouth to respond before closing it, eyeing Raven for a moment, and then finally answering with a question of her own. "Bedroom set? I… the bed is obviously a complete loss and so is the nightstand, but-"

     Setting her fork down, Raven cut Miriam off as she ticked points off on her fingers. "Like you said, the frame and headboard are destroyed. The mattress has claw marks in it. The nightstand and the lamp both belong in the trash. I did a number on the mirror when you forced me up onto the dresser and shoved your tongue down my throat. My back is thrilled with you for that one right now. What else… I don't know who or how or when, but somehow we took the left two legs off the dresser itself. I think the chest is still intact, but you might as well ditch it if you're getting rid of everything else because that'd be easier than finding replacements that match."

     Before Miriam could reply, there was a low groan followed by some heavy footsteps. Limping into the dining room, Victor pulled out the chair next to Raven and threw himself into it, the wood protesting the abuse but somehow managing to hold together. "I had snu-snu."

     "…Victor in a red velour tunic and no pants. Thank you, brain; that was an image I could have gone my entire life without." Raven shuddered before looking away from her fellow Brotherhood member, returning her attention to the mistress of the house. Who was staring at Victor in a way that made Raven kind of uncomfortable, to be honest. "Miriam?"

     "Last night is the first time I've had sex since before the iMac came out. In for a penny, in for a pound." Miriam rose from her seat, circling around the table before reaching down to grab Victor's wrist. "C'mon, Victor. According to Raven, the chest in my room is still in mint condition and the dresser's not too bad either. Time to get creative."

     Raven's jaw dropped as Miriam manhandled Victor up out of his seat, the mountain of a man looking almost nervous as she dragged him away. "Can I at least have breakfast first? And a little rest? The spirit is willing, but the flesh is spongy and bruised…"

     "You have a healing factor. You'll live."

     As the two disappeared around a corner, Raven shook her head bemusedly before picking up her fork again. Her eyes jumped from her own plate to Miriam's and back a few times, and then she reached across the table to steal the younger woman's breakfast. After all, she'd burned up an awful lot of calories the previous night, and it wasn't like Miriam was around to complain…



November 29, 2011
Michaelis Household - Aphrodesia's Room
Sunnydale, California




     "Have a nice dream about Michelle?"

     "What? No!" Wiggling away as far as Aphrodesia's full size bed would allow, Cordelia sat up and ran her fingers through her sleep-mussed hair. "Why would you even ask me something like that?"

     "Because you were drooling on my shoulder." Rolling onto her back, Aphrodesia made a show out of rubbing her left shoulder back and forth against the sheets before eyeing Cordelia. "You know, when I told you that you could stop by after school to pick up the box that Frost International sent me? Not exactly what I meant." When Cordelia merely rolled her eyes before climbing over Aphrodesia and slipping out of bed, the blonde pushed herself up onto her elbows and tried again. "Seriously, though, I'm not going to be the Dean Thomas to your Ginny Weasley. And not just because I have a boyfriend, either. There's this little thing called self-respect that I have an-"

     Snarling, Cordelia whirled around and threw her hand out, sending one of the gleaming gold cheerleading trophies on her dresser rocketing toward Aphrodesia. It stopped barely an inch from her face, bobbing up and down slightly, before dropping to the mattress beside the blonde. "Will you shut up about Michelle already? This has nothing to do with her. Well, I'm here because I couldn't sleep over there for obvious reasons, but that's all. And… I'm not sure whether to be offended that you're comparing my love life to Harry Potter or ashamed of myself for getting that reference."

     Unbidden, a moment in time she'd never lived through wriggled its way to the surface from the depths of Aphrodesia's mind. "I do! I understood that reference." At Cordelia's odd look, she waved a hand dismissively before sitting up and letting her legs hang over the side of the bed. "Cap memory. Man out of time. Pop culture fails all over the place. It's a thing."

     "Kay. Don't really care, but kay. Seriously though? I meant what I said. Right now, I am so completely glad that Michelle picked Gwen over me, it's not even funny. For that matter, I'm glad that Rosenberg's taste in cheerleaders runs toward the blond." Cordelia's shudder made Aphrodesia raise an eyebrow in curiosity, and while she didn't even want to think about it, much less talk about it… Cordelia supposed she did owe the blonde after using her as a human teddy bear. "You know how I always say my parents have a loveless marriage? Turns out that my mom wanted to put some love back into her life. With Michelle's mom. And Willow's uncle. At the same time."

     Aphrodesia blinked owlishly for a few seconds before grimacing. "Wow. Um… ouch. Ick. Ouch? I'm not entirely sure what the proper response to that is. Something negative for sure, but…"

     Wandering over to the duffle bag she'd yanked through her window on her way out of Dodge, Cordelia bent down and began considering her wardrobe prospects for the day. "Yeah. The sentiment's appreciated, though. Oh, and to make things worse? Michelle's apple sorta fell out of the tree and splattered on her mother's roots." Cordelia shot a glance over at the bedroom door before frowning and deciding to pick her words carefully; she was pretty sure she could hear the blonde's brother wandering around, and both of her parents were likely up and about too. "Michelle takes after her mom in every way." When comprehension failed to dawn, Cordelia leaned over and tapped a finger against a blue t-shirt that Aphrodesia had left lying on the floor near her. "In. Every. Way."

     "Oh?" Aphrodesia appeared to ponder that for a moment before screwing up her face in disgust as she finally put two and two together. "Oh. She can… do that thing that Michelle does. Her… makeovers." Cordelia gave a sharp nod. "Which wouldn't be bad unless… oh no. No no no. Your mom and her mom as twins?" Another sharp nod and Aphrodesia let out a squeal that she cut short by clapping her own hands over her mouth. Even muffled, the next thought she shared was clearly intelligible. "Eww!"

     "Ayup. So I'm probably going to spend a few days here. I've got enough clothes. Might go to the mall and pick up a few more if I need to." Finally deciding in favor of a purple and gold top to go with the jeans she'd already picked out, Cordelia rose to her feet and headed for the door. "I'll try my best to be quick in the bathroom but… well, this is me we're talking about. You might be better off seeing if you can use your parents' bathroom. We'll sit down tonight and figure out a better system for tomorrow morning."

     Before Cordelia could make it to the door, Aphrodesia lunged off the bed and grabbed her by the wrist. "Woah, what? No, see, I get that told you 'I owe you one' and all, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't cover you getting to move into my house. That's like… I do a paper for you or help set you up with someone or-"

     Cordelia glanced down at where Aphrodesia's pale fingers were wrapped around her wrist, waiting until she was released before slowly looking up and meeting the blonde's gaze. "I've already gotten you further than you could have on your own by putting you in touch with Emma Frost to get the metal you'll need for this little project. Now… where else do you think you can take a pile of synthetic vibranium to get your shield made? Gonna look up 'metal working' in the phone book and give someone a call? See if any of the guys in the auto shop can turn it into something kinda sorta disc-shaped for you?" Aphrodesia shook her head slowly. "That's what I thought. Which means I have all the power, and I can tell you what the deal is. If, for some reason, you think our deal involved an IOU with limits? I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."



November 29, 2011
Demon Research Initiative - Conference Room
Sunnydale, California




     Tapping the end of her pen against her collarbone, Laura let her eyes wander up and down the pad of paper in front of her as she double-checked the notes she'd made. While she was relatively certain that she'd absorbed everything of worth from the Initiative's videos of Sunnydale's mutant activity, there was no such thing as being too careful in her line of work…

     Fact #1: The mutant vigilante group known as the 'X-Men' were at best occasional visitors of Sunnydale, and were therefore only peripherally relevant to the town's overall rise in superhuman activity.

     Fact #2: Even if they had been relevant, the X-Men appeared to possess training that was substantially inferior to her own, particularly when it came to the members in her own age group.

     Fact #3: Contrary to what she'd told interviewers in the past, Emma Frost's mutant abilities extended beyond her transmorph state. Telepathy at the very least based on the surveillance tapes; many telepaths were also telekines and so Laura would include that in her personal threat assessment of Frost until proven otherwise.

     Fact #4: Frost apparently commanded her own group of teenage mutants who were far more cowardly than the X-Teens; their level of training was irrelevant since they seemed disinclined to involve themselves in a conflict.

     Fact #5: She needed to thank Miss Oyama for helping her develop a larger vocabulary. It made for better report writing. It also made for longer reports. Perhaps thanks were premature.

     Fact #6: Sunnydale's mutant population appeared to be concentrated at one of the town's three high schools; furthermore, all of the town's most important players knew each other. Cordelia Chase, Janet van Dyne, Brittany Pierce, and Santana Lopez were all teammates on the Sunnydale High School varsity cheerleading squad, while the remainder were tied to Chase by either blood (her mother Miriam Chase) or friendship (Michelle Flaherty, Willow Rosenberg).

     Fact #7: Cordelia's chest was enormous. How the girl could cheerlead without giving herself black eyes baffled Laura. Accordingly, attempting to ingratiate herself with the leader of the group she'd be infiltrating by offering back massages was likely a viable plan.

     Fact #8: Willow's shorter hair was kinda cute, even if it would look horrible on Laura herself. Maybe she'd look good with an undercut, though? It was starting to rise in popularity among her age group enough that she wouldn't stand out…

     Fact #9: Willow did indeed have an amazing ass, as backed up by the dozen angles that the surveillance cameras had captured her from.

     Fact #10: Her uncle Victor was not only present in Sunnydale but in contact with Willow. Two-for-one deal, then; she'd always wanted to meet him but he'd left Weapon X's service by the time she was born.

     Fact #11: On the subject of family, Wanda and Pietro Lehnsherr had been spotted in Sunnydale twice in as many weeks to visit the Chases, bringing their children along both times. That made befriending Cordelia even more important; actionable intelligence on their movements could prove useful.

     Fact #12: Doctor Margaret Walsh was going to lose one of her squad leaders if Agent Hertzberg didn't figure out where her face was soon. Laura was used to both covert and open admiration of her assets, but doing the latter while she was delivering a briefing was just unprofessional.

     "Considering how messy things can get when first contact goes bad - X-Men meeting the Sunnydale Sirens, for instance - I'm thinking I should find a way to approach them away from the general populace. Once we remove school, the Bronze, and commercial properties, we're left with three noteworthy events. Number one: X-Men versus Sirens at night in a graveyard. Number two: one of the X-Men and two local girls at night in a graveyard. And number three: Sirens and Sabretooth at night at Saint Barbara Parish. So… given that they know about your HSTs and seem to be stepping up their efforts to fight them? Going out at night - particularly to graveyards - seems to be a good way to find them." Tapping the end of her pen once to retract the tip, Laura spun it between two fingers and then tucked it back between her breasts. "And if I don't run into them, I'm sure I'll run into someone else interesting." Her fingers curled into a fist, two adamantium blades emerging from between her knuckles. "Then run them through."

     Doctor Walsh let out a snort as Laura retracted her claws, the thin cuts in her flesh where they emerged healing almost instantly. "What a charming daughter you have, Sarah. I suppose I can send her out with one of my teams this evening. Although we'll have to find some suitable clothing for her first. I don't need one of my soldiers dying because they were too busy admiring the winter line from Hookers Я Us."

     Glancing down at herself, Laura raised an eyebrow at the doctor's words. What was wrong with what she was wearing right now? Sure, her tank top rode low enough to show off a whole lot of cleavage… but pretty much anything short of a turtleneck left her showing off the goods to some degree, and she sure as hell wasn't going to wear a turtleneck out in seventy degree weather. Looking back up, she found Hertzberg staring intently at the exact same spot her eyes had just been. Again. On the other hand, Laura conceded, Doctor Walsh might in fact be on to something. If this was one of the best - perhaps even the best - soldiers under her command, Laura didn't even want to think about how the others might react to her. "Right. I'll hit up the quartermaster for an ACU before I head out tonight. Doctor Mom, did I miss anything?"

     "Hmm?" Looking up from her laptop, her mother blinked a few times before reaching out and pausing the video she'd been watching. A clip of Willow, for some reason. Not that Laura could blame Doctor Mom; her half-sister made leather look almost as good as she did. "Oh. I checked a few things out of the armory before we left home. The case is under my bed; combination is your birthday. I know you hate being weighed down, but I want you to take at least a taser and a baton out with you. Stabbing things isn't always the answer. And do you have any spare thumb drives on you?"

     "Of course stabbing things isn't the answer. 'Stabbing things?' is the question. The answer is 'yes!'." Chuckling at the look her joke earned her, Laura rose to her feet and patted at her pockets before frowning. There were no thumb drives in her left pocket and three in her right; in other words, all the ones she'd left the room with that morning were full of purloined data gleaned from the Initiative's poorly guarded computers. Not that she could say as much in front of Doctor Walsh. "And no thumb drives. Want me to grab you one while I'm in your room?"

     A high-pitched voice cut Doctor Mom off before she could answer Laura's question. "Oh! Shoot! Those are all not mine." Rose furrowed her brow in concentration as she clutched at her iPad with one small hand, swiping the others back and forth across the screen. And it still amused Laura to no end that everything from home was marked with a silver 'XS'. Weren't they supposed to be a top secret project or something? "These are mine! That's mine! That one! And that one! This one. These ones. Not those. Those aren't mine. But those are mine!"

     Wanting to believe the best of her sisters, Laura had assumed that the rapid tapping at their iPads meant that Bella and Rose were taking notes about the briefing they were sitting in. Even if they wouldn't be participating in this assignment, she reasoned, they did need to learn that field work was often ninety-nine percent preparation and one percent stabification. But no. They were playing games. If she had to guess… Bella let out a cheer, her iPad clattering onto the table as she thrust her fists up into the air. "Again I have bested, the littlest Fruit Ninja, bragging rights are mine."

     Sigh. Yup. Fucking Fruit Ninja.

     Thankfully, Doctor Mom seemed to agree with her on that front and leaned over, sliding Bella's tablet across the table until it bumped up against the size of her laptop before making a beckoning gesture that saw Rose likewise surrendering hers. "Keep it up, girls, and I'm going to call the Colonel and ask him to send Miss Oyama out here to help me keep an eye on you." That made Bella and Rose sit up straight and look attentive, not that Laura blamed them. Even if 'Lady Deathstrike' was Laura's favorite instructor, she was still scary as hell. "That's more like it. And yes, Laura, I'd appreciate it if you could grab me… two thumb drives. Better safe than sorry."

     "Can do." Turning to leave, Laura paused and looked back at Doctor Mom. "Speaking of grabbing things, can I snag some food on the way back to base? You know how much I tend to eat and compared to the mess back home, the DFAC here is stingy as hell. And they're worse cooks than me." How that was even possible, she had no idea; Laura was firmly convinced that being absolutely worthless in the kitchen was one of her mutant powers.

     Before their mother could even approve or deny the request, Bella had her wallet out and five dollars was being thrust toward Laura insistently. "Chicken McNuggets, go good with an extra large fry, and a Diet Coke."



November 30, 2011
Sunnydale City Hall
Sunnydale, California




     Leaning back in his seat, Mayor Richard Wilkins the Third - and the Second and the First - tapped his fingers lightly against the top of his desk as he considered the email he'd just received. Despite his best efforts, things were starting to spiral quite badly out of his control. It had all started on Halloween, when Ethan Rayne's spell had somehow managed to trigger a spike in the number of mutant teenagers in town. Mutants whose newfangled 'social networking' - and incessant need to share every last insignificant detail of their lives with the entire world - were drawing far too much attention to his supposedly quiet and idyllic little town.

     The wards Wilkins had woven over Sunnydale to keep people from thinking too hard about certain things were working overtime to keep the Friends of Humanity and other anti-mutant groups from causing a ruckus when they came to town in search of the girls. But even the wards had been unable to keep Xavier and Frost's people from coming to town, and Magneto's elder children were becoming increasingly frequent visitors as well. And now to top it all off, Doctor Walsh was apparently reinforcing her toy soldiers with their very own mutant helper, who seemed to be a far more lethal version of the Rosenbergs' daughter.

     At the rate things were going, Wilkins wasn't sure he'd be able to keep control of his own town through this coming May, much less the day of his Ascension in 2013. Something had to be done to keep the darn mutants from inviting even more scrutiny onto the town, or - even worse - killing more of the vampires and demons that he had agreements with. Flipping through his rolodex, he quickly found the number he was looking for and dialed it, switching his desk's phone to speakerphone as he rose from his chair. As it rang, Wilkins walked over to his bookshelf and opened a small wooden box, eyeing the glowing red gem inside. The call connected, and a deep voice filled his office. "…what do you want?"

     "Good morning, Mister Marko. I seem to recall telling you that you would owe me a favor if I sent someone to recover a certain bauble you left behind in Korea…"



December 3, 2011
Michaelis Household - Backyard
Sunnydale, California




     Arms crossed over her chest, Cordelia watched as Aphrodesia hurled the gleaming metal disc she'd created at one of the mannequins set up in the backyard. How the blonde had gotten her hand on a dozen or so black mannequins - and from where - Cordelia had no idea. But she had to admit, it was pretty damn awesome to watch Aphrodesia's new shield hit one, ricochet off it to impact another, and then return to the smaller girl's outstretched arm. "So? What do you think?"

Aphrodesia Michaelis and Aura White     Aphrodesia twisted her arm a bit, staring down at the shield as she ran her free hand over the top. "Almost worth letting you drool down my back for the last few days. It's a little plain, though. You're not going to finish the job? Even after me going above and beyond on my end?"

     "Above and beyond? I'm sorry, are you forgetting that discussion we had about supply and demand and me being able to set the terms because you have nobody else to go to for this?" Cordelia made a crooking gesture with her finger, causing Aphrodesia's arm to twitch a few inches to the left. "Besides, I have the ability to control metal, not paint. Did you seriously think I was going to do that part for you and risk ruining any of my clothes? Or even worse, my manicure?"

     Letting out a snort, Aphrodesia slid the shield off her arm and let it drop to the grass in front of her. "Oh, the horror! And no, not really. Would have been nice, but since when are you ever nice?" She stomped on the edge, causing the shield to flip up into the air… where it hung for a moment before plummeting back to the ground as her arm slashed through the space behind it without finding purchase. Frowning, Aphrodesia peered down at her new toy. "Okay, thanks might be premature. I think this thing is heavier than it's supposed to be. I should have been able to make that grab…"

     That made Cordelia join her friend in frowning as they eyed the shield suspiciously. While she didn't want to insult Aphrodesia by putting the blame solely on her, she didn't really like having her own workmanship insulted either. But before she could fire back, Cordelia realized the likely culprit and immediately felt stupid for missing something so obvious. Then again, Aphrodesia clearly hadn't realized it either, which meant she wasn't that stupid… or she was stupid and surrounded by equally stupid people. "It's synthetic vibranium. Not real vibranium. Now that I think about it, the tiara I made out of it is a bit heavier than my mom's tiara… even if it was only one or two percent heavier, that would add up fast when we're talking about this much metal, right?"

     Aphrodesia furrowed her brow in concentration before stomping on the edge of the shield again. This time, she timed her thrust perfectly and slipped her arm through the two straps on the back of the shield at the apex of its flight. "Gotcha! Yeah, I'll have to put this on the scale upstairs to see what it weighs… the original is twelve pounds. Although I don't suppose knowing how much more it weighs will actually help. I'll just have to practice until I'm used to this version."

     "Well, considering you've never actually used any other version, it shouldn't be that hard." As Aphrodesia pondered that little nugget of wisdom, Cordelia bent down and grabbed the messenger bag she used for school in one hand and her duffle bag full of clothes in the other. "At any rate, you have fun with that. I'm tired of listening to you whine about how I'm overstaying a welcome I didn't even have, so… who knows. Maybe I'll go crash with Harm or Aura for a few days, or maybe I'll suck it up and go home. Toodles."

     As she ascended into the orangish-red light of the late afternoon sky, Cordelia turned in a slow circle as she considered her options. While she and Aura were friends, Cordelia didn't exactly feel like they were at a 'hey, can I show up and crash here out of the blue' level of friendship, nor did she have any favors she could call in with Aura. Not to mention that Aphrodesia would probably be calling her bestie over to check out her new toy now that Cordelia was gone. Harmony had a decent bed but seemed to spend most of her time with Willow these days. Going over there could mean ending up in close quarters with one of the people she wasn't wild on seeing at the moment. The recent change in intragroup relations meant that Gwen would have been a no-go even if they were any closer than Cordelia was to Aura. Michelle… no for two different but equally valid reasons. Janet was a fellow mutant… who lived with a colony of bugs that liked to perv on her. Pass.

     Just as she was about to give up on her hopes of delaying her return to the house any longer, Cordelia's phone chirped in her back pocket. Slipping her messenger bag's strap up onto her shoulder to free up a hand, she dug out her iPhone and grinned at the name attached to the incoming text. Between her own temper tantrum, her mom's cheating slutfest, and her side project for Aphrodesia, she'd never properly finished the discussion about new costumes. There was no time like the present, though. Especially given that Cordelia had been pondering the whole Ginny Weasley thing since Aphrodesia had brought it up. Not with the blonde; she really didn't need the drama that would come with trying to split up a well established couple so she could try and poach a girl who wasn't even into girls. But taking herself off the market might make Michelle think twice about her decision to pass Cordelia up… and rumor had it that a certain costume-loving geek girl preferred the fairer sex too. Rather than text and fly, though, Cordelia opted to dig her earbuds out of her bag and plug them into the headphone jack. Thumbing the home button, she waited for the chime that meant Siri was listening. "Call Kat."

     "Calling Kat McKee. Mobile."

     One ring… two rings… three rings… four rings… Cordelia was just about to give up when Kat finally decided to pick up. "…you do know that unless a text includes the phrase 'call me', you're supposed to text the person back, right?"

     "Are you wearing pants?"

     There was a long pause before Kat finally replied to the non sequitur. "Not sure why this is at all relevant, but no. I'm trying on a new dress I just finished. Why?"

     Cordelia glanced down at her own jeans. Eh, it was probably for the best, she decided. If she made Kat pay for their business dinner date thing, the brunette would probably just raise her rates to recoup the money spent. Might as well just eliminate the middleman. "I'm bored and you want to talk, so I'm taking you out to dinner. What's your address?"

     "Oh, I'm over on 123 Nope Street. Where I'm cooking myself dinner tonight." Kat paused, muttering something under her breath, before returning her attention to the phone call. "And even if I wasn't, you can't just order me around like that. I'm not one of your minions, and I won't be even if I agree to help you with your little project."

     Which was totally fine with Cordelia. She didn't want a minion this time; if Kat had rolled over and agreed to be a Cordette the first time they met, the brunette would have been fired on the spot. Cordelia was counting on the fact that the girl would speak her mind when necessary. Otherwise she could end up right back in something hideously unflattering because Kat nodded and smiled when Cordelia asked her if she looked good. Although… feisty and capable in the kitchen? This had definite potential. "Okay, what's your address anyway? You can cook me dinner tonight and I'll take you out another night to pay you back."

     "…if I wasn't the only McKee in the Sunnydale phonebook, I'd so be hanging up on you right now." Kat let out an exasperated sigh and then Cordelia pulled her phone away from her head as it chirped again. An address for her to plug into Maps. Score. "Fine. But you're staying for some Doctor Who. BBC America is running a marathon of the Tenth Doctor's Christmas specials tonight, and I'm not going to miss something just so I can be a good hostess and show you out."

     Free food and an excuse to not go home for a couple more hours? She'd take it.
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