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Honour, Courage and Commitment.

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This story is No. 16 in the series "Faith in the Army.". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: A Faith in the Army spin-off story: Honour, Courage and Commitment were all things the Chase family lacked. After ten years in the Marines, Lt Cordelia Chase reconnects with her mother and father.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > General(Recent Donor)DaveTurnerFR1538,0700343,74811 Aug 1315 Aug 13Yes

Chapter One

Honour, Courage and Commitment.
By Dave Turner.

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I write these stories for fun not profit.

Crossover: None.

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.

Timeline: A Faith in the Army spin-off story set in May 2010.

Words: Three chapters of 2500+ words.

Warnings: None.

Summary:A Faith in the Army spin-off story: Honour, Courage and Commitment were all things the Chase family lacked. After ten years in the Marines, Lt Cordelia Chase reconnects with her mother and father.

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Wednesday morning at five o'clock
As the day begins.
Silently closing her bedroom door,
Leaving the note that she hoped would say more,

She goes downstairs to the kitchen
Clutching her handkerchief.
Quietly turning the backdoor key
Stepping outside, she is free.*


*: ‘She’s Leaving Home’; Lennon and McCartney.

Graduation Day, Sunnydale, 1999.

So, this was it; school was out forever, school was in fact a smoking hole in the ground so yeah, school was out completely. No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks, as the song went; school really had been blown to pieces. Cordelia tried to think positively, now school had finished, she had her entire life ahead of her; she could do whatever she wanted…as long as it didn’t include having had a collage education.

Was this how it was going to end? Was this what Cordelia Chase had finally come to? The great ‘Queen ‘C’ reduced to sitting on the floor of her empty bedroom, which hadn’t even got a bed in it anymore and all because her stupid father couldn’t fill in a tax return honestly? She was eighteen and her life had been ruined before it had even started…this was just so freaking unfair!

Taking a deep breath, Cordy got control of herself, self pity, while comforting, wasn’t going to get her anywhere. It was time to plan, to draw together all her meagre resources, find out what she had to offer and what she could get the world to give her. A steely resolve came over Cordelia Chase at that moment, she was going to succeed, at what, she didn’t know just at the moment. But, she was going to succeed in spite of her stupid parents; one day she would come back to Sunnydale and rub their stupid, dishonest faces in her success. They’d never really loved her, she saw that now, sure she’d wanted for nothing, as long as it could be bought with daddy’s cheque book. Now as she looked back on it she realised how her mother had used her as a ‘fashion accessory’, she’d seen the photos. The cute matching outfits, the identical hair styles. And when Cordy’d turned twelve and wasn’t a cute little girl anymore, suddenly ‘mommy’ didn’t want to be seen with her. Having a twelve year old daughter ‘aged’ her, how much better to pretend that her daughter had never existed?

Wiping the tear from her eye, Cordelia told herself not to whine or cry, that was something Buffy would do… No it wasn’t, Cordy found herself admitting; Buffy didn’t whine or cry, at least not without good cause. During her short time dating Xander Harris, she’d seen just how crappy Buffy’s life could be; she even felt some sympathy for her, although she’d never admit it not even if people stuck red-hot pokers up her… Well, least said where pokers, red-hot or otherwise, would be stuck the better; she was saying nothing to anyone.

No, the time had come for her, Cordelia Chase, to take responsibility for her life and actually do something with it. No-way was she going to work as a shop girl until she finally married some loser like Xander Harris just to get out of the place. No, she was going to make something of herself, so what had she got to work with?

Okay, Cordy picked up the burnt and singed High School graduation diploma that’d been lying on the floor next to her. She’d graduated with a good score on her SAT’s, not genius high like that freak and boyfriend stealer, Willow Rosenberg. But, they were high enough to get her into any one of a dozen good colleges around the country. But that wasn’t going to happen now…thank-you soooo much daddy.

So, what else could she do? She could ‘cheer’, but contrary to popular belief she wasn’t arrogant or misguided enough to think she could ‘make-it’ as a professional cheerleader…but, on the other hand she was pretty. Guys were always hanging around her trying to get in her pants (only a very, very few had succeeded), so a career as a hooker was always a possibility…the thought made her laugh for the first time that night. No-way was she going down that path, whatever some of her so-called friends might think of her.

Right, Cordelia sniffed, wiped her eyes again and sat up straight, on the plus side she had brains, looks and she was physically fit…what could she do with that? For a very long time she sat there in her empty room and waited for an answer to present itself to her. None did. Letting out a long sigh, Cordy’s shoulders slumped. Obviously she needed more options and equally obviously Sunnydale wasn’t going to present them. She needed to get away, she needed to go somewhere bigger, somewhere that would provide her with more options, somewhere like LA.

Reaching into a near by closet, Cordy pulled out her bag and searched inside for her wallet. Finding the wallet she opened it and looked at her limited monitory resources. If she was really careful and was willing to give up frivolous stuff like eating for a while. Cordy calculated she had enough money to buy a bus ticket to LA and be able to rent a small apartment for about a month. A month should be long enough to get herself back on her feet, to start her rise to fame and fortune…and maybe if she returned the prom dress and got the money for it she wouldn’t have to give up eating completely.

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LA, about a month later.

Things had not been going quite as well as Cordelia had hoped. The big problem was that LA was full of pretty young women who (and Cordy hated to admit this but deep down she was a realist) were every bit as good looking as her and the fact that she had a brain actually seemed to be working against her. So far the only job offers she’d had were waitressing or flat on her back positions, neither prospect appealed.

So, with her money almost gone and only eating every other day, Cordelia found herself outside the Marine recruiting office just down the street from her roach infested two room apartment. Having thought it through she appeared to be out of options. Either she could walk through that door or she could put on her waitress uniform or get comfortable with the idea of standing around on street corners waiting to be picked up. She wasn’t worried about how tough the training was going to be, hell she’d been a high school cheerleader for three years and a Junior High cheerleader before that. Running around or climbing over walls held no fears for Cordelia Chase. Perhaps the fact that she could read without moving her lips and add up long columns of figures in her head might prove useful…hell! Cordy laughed, she might end up enjoying herself…and Christ she was going to look sooooo hot in those dress blues!

Thinking that the Marine Corps didn’t know how lucky it was to have Cordelia Chase joining it, Cordy straightened her shoulders and with head held high walked into the recruiting office. As with most things in life it didn’t quite turn out the way that Cordelia expected, but, hasn’t everyone got a constitutional right to be wrong?

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BOQ, Fort Drum, May 2010.

Sitting on the edge of her bed, Lt Cordelia Chase rubbed her right leg and tried not to cry. Her leg hurt so much it had woken her up, but still she refused to take the pain killers the Medical Officer had given her. When she’d been shot down in Yemalia back in ’09 she’d had both her legs broken in the crash. After being taken prisoner by El Raisuli he’d got her a doctor who’d set her legs. The left leg had healed perfectly, but the Doc hadn’t done such a good job on the right. After escaping with the help of Faith Lehane and returning to the States, the Navy doctors had had to re-break and reset her leg.

Cordy had still been in a wheel chair when Faith and herself had been called to the Whitehouse; Cordy remembered how Faith had insisted on pushing her chair. How Faith’d stood there in her Army uniform, ever inch the Chief Warrant Officer, her chest full of medal ribbons and with those Ranger tabs on her shoulder. Cordelia remembered how the President said how proud she was of them both; as far as Cordy could see she was a major screw up. Having been shot down she’d not gone down fighting and had let herself be captured only escaping when Faith came on the scene. Big, tough, snarky, Ranger Faith who’d held her hand and made her feel better about herself, who seemed to think she wasn’t a screw up.

Faith still hadn’t given up on Cordelia even after they’d crashed in Kansas. That had all been her fault too; at least that’s what Cordy told herself. She should have checked the weather reports, she should have put down and taken cover as soon as they’d spotted that twister. Instead she’d tried to fly through it and they’d crashed and she’d nearly killed them both, as it was she’d badly bruised her leg and started it off hurting again.

But Faith still hadn’t given up on her, in fact she seemed to like her even more than she had before. Somehow the crap that they’d both been through drew the two women closer together. But deep down Cordy knew she was a screw up, what did the President or Faith know? Cordelia Chase…failure. Why a failure? What did Cordelia Chase have? A small room in the BOQ and a leg that hurt so much it woke her up in the morning.

Groaning out loud Cordelia rubbed her thigh harder, it seemed to make the pain recede a little. In a minute or two she’d be able to get up and have a shower; that helped as well. Once she’d walked on it for a few minutes the pain would retreat to a dull, background ache…maybe she should take one of those little pills after all…just one. Because it really-really did hurt so freaking much.

Tears started to trickle down Cordy’s cheeks; she wanted to be able to bury her head in someone’s neck, to feel their arms around her to hear them tell her that everything was going to be okay. But there was no one, not for her, not for ‘bitch Cordy’. Perhaps the universe was punishing her for being so mean in the past.

Forcing herself to stand up, Cordelia gritted her teeth and refused to let the moan of pain escape her lips. Hobbling towards the shower she discarded her PJ’s in an untidy line behind her as she walked. Stepping into the shower she switched on the water and felt the cold needle like jets hit her skin and drive the sleep from her head. Slowly the water got warmer, and she adjusted the tap so the temperature was just right. As she ran the soap over her body, Cordelia remembered that today she was officially on leave for a week.

It was the first ‘real’ leave she’d managed to take since Yemalia, but even this had been spoilt by a telegram she’d received from her parents. How they’d found her she didn’t know, she’d not written to them or even attempted to contact them since she’d joined the Marines back in ’99. They’d not exactly gone out of their way to find their wayward daughter either. As far as they knew she could be dead, a drugged up hooker in a pauper’s grave somewhere. But, no doubt they’d seen a photo of her in a newspaper, or maybe seen her picture on the TV news…it couldn’t be helped, women winning medals for combat missions, particularly things like Yemalia, was still big news.

Smiling at a memory, Cordy remembered a hot, smoke and dust filled room. The sound of Faith’s AK blasting away at the Yemalies outside. How that big, Arab, bastard and his friends had gotten in. Cordy remembered shooting one of them then smashing out the teeth of another with the butt of her empty rifle before fighting for her life as two more Arabs jumped her…she smiled harder still as she remembered the taste of blood in her mouth as she’d bitten off one of her attacker’s ears! Suddenly finding that her leg didn’t hurt anymore, Cordy quickly finished her shower. Switching off the water she wrapped a towel around her body and one around her hair and went back out into her bedroom to get dressed and ready to face the world again.

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Half an hour later, Cordy had dried herself off, quickly tidied up her room and made her bed. Standing dressed only in her underwear she looked at the civilian suit she’d bought to go and see her parents in. She’d bought the suit the day after the telegram from her parents had arrived. Apparently Gran’ma Chase had died and Cordy’s presence was required for the funeral. Cordelia could only just remember her father’s mother vaguely. They’d met a few times when Cordy was a child and all she could really remember about the woman was that she always seemed to smell of lavender.

Normally Cordy would have worn her Dress Blues to a funeral, but somehow she just knew that her mom and dad wouldn’t approve. Cordy picked up the hanger with the suit on it; it had a skirt (not too long, not too short) and jacket. It was smart, stylish even, with the right sort of blouse and accessories it’d probably look very nice. The sort of thing you might go to a business function in or perhaps a first date with a work colleague. Cordy gave the suit a last look, sneered and dropped it back on the bed.

To hell with her parents, she was going to wear her Dress Blues, white gloves and all and she was going to wear all her medals. Hadn’t the President given her that medal? Hadn’t the President said how proud she was of her? Hadn’t she, Cordelia Chase said how she was going to rub her parent’s faces in it? Yeah, she had! Slipping into a pair of stylish jeans and after putting on a nice matching blouse, Cordy set about packing up her Dress Blues and finding the wooden box which contained her medals, combat badges and pilot’s wings.

Screw up? Not her; that had been the pain talking. Her earlier doubts and fears forgotten Cordelia set about packing her bags. Yes she’d take a selection of her civilian clothes but her Dress Blues were taking pride of place…take that Mom…take that Dad…she’d show them.

Just as Cordy was getting a couple of pairs of shoes from the bottom of her locker she found the lock box that contained her personal pistol…a great brute of a .45 automatic, just the thing for taking down monsters. Her hand hesitated over the box for a moment, she was going to her grandmother’s funeral they’d be no need for weapons.

“Damn-it!” Cordy cursed quietly, “Now you’ve jinxed it.”

Pulling the box out of her locker, she placed it next to her bag. Hell, she told herself, better safe than sorry.

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