But it was just a dress, right?
Disclaimer: BTVS owned by Joss. American Vampire, created by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Raphael Albuquerque and is put out by DC/Vertigo comics.
I've been a fan of "American Vampire" since it started a couple years ago and I'm happy to say that it has not been a disappointing read. It's a fun read and actually restored my faith in the vampire genre after watching the horrific things Stephanie Meyer has done to it.
I've been wanting to do a crossover with American Vampire, but I wanted to do something different other than "Xander dresses up like an outlaw from the old west" or "Xander buys an old fedora" or "Xander gets turned by Skinner or Pearl". So I decided to take a slight detour on that idea...and let Cordy pick a different costume.
Cordelia Chase never saw herself as a victim. She always knew she was going places and she knew she had what it took to become an actress in Hollywood, even if she had to do it without her family's cash. She was somebody, dammit, she was “Queen C.”, currently ruler of Sunnydale High, but the world would be hers when she was free of Sunnyhell and out in the real world.
She smiled sadly at her warped reflection in the mirror and couldn't decide if her last minute decision to buy that dress at that weird costume shop was a blessing or a curse. Probably a bit of both,
she thought to herself as she flexed her fingers slightly. Claws started to protrude through her fingertips and she felt some pain as they poked through her skin, but she couldn't help watching in curiosity as she retracted the claws and her flesh almost instantly healed. She glanced over at the evening gown she had bought from Ethan's the day before and was still trying to decide if she should throw the dress away or keep it. Part of her was saying that she should keep it since it really was an evening gown from the 1930s and it truly did belong to an actress who was there when Hollywood was just beginning.
That was her other problem. Because it wasn't a costume, but actually did belong to an actress, Cordelia wasn't just possessed by the former owner of that evening gown; she also became what the owner was...and, unfortunately, that part still remained when the spell was broken. The craving for blood hit her almost immediately when the spell broke, but she managed to keep it under control until she got home. The next thing she knew, she had broken into a meat packing plant later that night (or early in the morning) and was drinking animal blood like it was Cool-Aid. Then the memories flooded through her...the memories of one Pearl Jones, former Hollywood Actress, loving wife, agent of some shadowy organization, traveler, and bad-ass vampire bitch.
Somehow, she was able to make it back home and into her bedroom before collapsing into oblivion and forgetting, momentarily, that she had turned into a fucked up version of a vampire. Actually, the Vassals called your kind Vampiris Americanus.
Cordelia shook her head as she pushed Pearl Jones to the back of her mind. She then turned her back to the mirror and then held up a hand mirror so she could see the reflection of the other little parting gift...a black sunflower tattoo in the middle of her upper back. There's no way I'm going to be able to hide that, especially when I'm taking a shower in the locker room at school.
However, she had to admit that it did look “cool” enough that those who saw it would probably think nothing of it and simply assume she had the tattoo done herself. I just hope Harmony and the other sheep don't try to copy me.
Another memory flashed through Cordelia's mind, this one of a red-haired vampiric monstrosity snarling at her. For some reason, the bitch looked a lot like Harmony Kendall, except for the red hair.
“This is payback, Pearl! After everything you've done to me!”
Cordelia shook her head again as the memory faded and she set the hand mirror back down on the bathroom counter. “No, Hattie,” she said softly, “you did it to yourself.”
She was thankful that Halloween fell on a Friday this time and not on a school night; she wasn't sure if she could handle going to school and dealing with all the memory flashes. Since her parents were out of town and she had the place to herself, Cordelia figured she had at least two days to try to get it together (three if she pretended to be “sick” on Monday). It's just as well, actually; it will give me time to sort some of this out...maybe do some research. Perhaps Giles would know.
She suddenly laughed at that thought. Oh yeah...I can just see how that's going to go. “Oh, Giles, my 'costume' turned me into some sort of vampire sub-species, but don't worry, I have my soul and sunlight actually empowers me...” Um...no, somehow I don't see that working out. Buffy will stake me, which will piss me off, and I'll rip her arms off and beat her to death with them. No...I think I'll skip that option for now.
She sighed and pulled her t-shirt back on as her phone suddenly rang. She knew it wasn't Buffy, Xander, or the others, they had all called her earlier this morning (which would have pissed her off if the sunlight shining in her room hadn't affected her the way a triple-shot mocha fired up Willow Rosenberg). She walked over to her bedside table, looked at the caller ID screen and frowned since it said “unlisted number”. She was tempted to let the answering machine get it, but something told her to pick it up.
“Hello,” she said cautiously, wondering if it was possible for a demon to attack her via the phone.
For a moment, there was no response, but she could hear the other person take a breath on the other end of the line. “Cordelia Chase?” a woman's voice finally asked.
“Yeah.” Cordelia wasn't sure why, but she had a suspicion who she was talking to. “May I ask who you are and how the hell you got this number?”
The woman laughed at the other end of the phone. “Wow, you really are spunky,” she said. Then her voice took a more serious tone. “I'll just get to the point, Cordy. My name is Pearl Jones and, for a few hours last night, you were me and some sort of connection was formed. I'm guessing some asshole was playing with magic of some sort, right?”
Cordelia smirked a little at that comment. If this really was Pearl Jones, she definitely had some “spunk” of her own despite being an old bitch. “Yeah,” she admitted, “something like that.”
“Okay, listen carefully,” Pearl said. “I'm currently in Rio de Janeiro, but I'm booking the next flight to Los Angeles; we really need to talk.”
“No shit,” Cordelia said out loud before she realized she had actually voiced that thought. “Sorry, meant to keep that to myself.”
Pearl chuckled. “I should be in LA by seven in the evening tonight. I'll rent a car and should be in Sunnydale by ten.”
“Probably not a good idea,” Cordelia said. “If you have some of my memories, then you know what the night life is like here.”
“Cordy, Cordy, Cordy,” Pearl chided, “you forget what we are...but I would suggest that you keep a low profile until I get into town.”
“Because if anyone gets wind of what you are, it will attract trouble...more trouble than you've already encountered.” Pearl's voice had become serious again. “You just entered a bigger and badder world, girl. However, unlike the person that turned me, I'm not going to just let you loose in the wild to fend for yourself. There's some things you need to know.”
“Fine,” Cordelia said, “I'll just kick back and relax at home then.”
“And whatever you do,” Pearl said, “do NOT tell your Slayer friend about what happened.”
“Well, duh,” Cordelia replied. “That's kind of of a given since she is a 'Slayer'.”
“It's not her I'm worried about, it's her handlers I'm wary of. Just lay low and wait until I call you, okay?”
“Okay, just relax. You sound paranoid even for your old age.”
“Well, it's kept me alive all these years, and you'd be wise to start embracing your paranoia. Because, like I said, your world got bigger and nastier. I'll see you later tonight.” Pearl then hung up, terminating the connection.
Cordelia shook her head again and laughed as she put the phone back on it's cradle. “Wow, over-dramatic much?”
In response to her question, some more memories flashed through her head, showing her glimpses of some of the nasty shit Pearl had encountered back in the early years of Hollywood, causing her to shudder slightly.
“Then again,” she said out loud again, “maybe I should just have a lazy Saturday by the pool.”
Spike flinched as he watched a minion go flying across the room before landing in a crumpled heap on some boxes in the warehouse.
“No, no, no, no! It can't be here...one of them can't be here! It's not in the order of things!” Spike looked over at his beloved Drusilla who was arguing with that little doll she carried around with her. He then walked over to where the minion had landed and helped him back on his feet.
“What happened?” he asked.
The younger vampire shook his head. “I don't know man, she was freaking about something she swore she saw last night, but she really didn't lose it until a few minutes ago when she started arguing with that damn doll. That bitch is fucking nuts.”
“Thanks for the information,” Spike said. Then he suddenly vamped out and shoved his hand into the other vampire's chest, ripping his heart out. “And that's for insulting my Dru,” he said as the minion and his heart crumbled to dust.
“You're wrong,” Drusilla cried at the doll that was sitting on a small crate. “You have to be...they can't be here. Because if they're here...HE will come. No...no...no candyman...no candyman...”
“Dru,” Spike said softly, his facial features returning to their human facade, “what's wrong?”
Drusilla looked up at her lover, tears in her eyes, a fearful look on her face which concerned Spike because it was her vampiric face. “One of them is here, Spike,” she whimpered, “one of the abominations.”
“Well, we are on a hellmouth,” Spike said with a grin, hoping it his voice would calm her down. “You'll have to be a bit more specific when talking about abominations around here.”
“The Candyman, Spike,” Drusilla whisper, “the one born of snakes, blood, and sun...one of his are here.”
“The Candyman?” Spike repeated. He really had no clue what Dru was talking about, but something about 'being born of snakes, blood, and sun' did jog his memory, but he couldn't quite remember. The only “Candyman” he could think of was the character from a really cheezy horror movie franchise and he was certain that Dru wasn't talking about that guy.
“One of them is here, Spike,” Drusilla said again, “and if one of them is here, he may follow...the Candyman doesn't like others of his kind running loose like that...no...no...no. He'll kill them...he'll kill us all...we must leave.”
Spike reached over and pulled Dru into a hug. “Dru, calm down...who is this Candyman?”
Dru looked up at him again, he human visage returning, but the fear in her eyes was still there and her body shuddered as she whispered a name. “Skinner Sweet.”
Then Spike felt a chill of his own when he heard that name. He knew about that THING and what it had done. “Oh, bloody hell!”