nothing worse than either series.
main characters: Cordelia, 'Adam '
disclaimer: I hold no legal rights to anyone that you recognize.
distribution: Jinni, Paula – anyone else please ask
"Wait a minute, you're telling me that all because of some miserable accident, my whole life is over?" Cordelia blinked at the man who was sitting beside her. She didn't know quite why he was here, or why she was on some sort of cold metal table instead of a hospital bed. After all, she'd fallen in that old factory, and the feeling of that bar piercing into her was still so vivid...
"Yes. Not over precisely, but certainly changed." He sighed, running his hand over his face. "Why don't I start at the beginning?"
"Please. With sense this time."
"You didn't just fall, you fell rather messily. By the time the ambulance arrived, it was too late for anything to be done. You were pronounced Dead On Arrival." He gestured around them, and the pale tiled room at the metal drawers along the wall. "That's why they took you to the morgue."
"The morgue? But... but... pulse!" Cordelia stammered, and then looked again at the metal table. There was a tray of surgical instrument beside it, and she realized that her clothing was covered in blood and dust. "Eeeeww..."
"You were dead. Fortunately, there's a big debate right now over whether or not you were listed as an organ donor, otherwise you'd already be sliced open." He shook his head. "Look, that's a side point. You suffered your First Death, and now..."
"First death? I thought once you died, that's it? Because I am not a vampire." Cordelia asked, feeling cold worry go through her. Or maybe that was just the room?
"Not for people like you and I. Not for Immortals." He shook his head. "Look, can we explain this elsewhere?"
"Right, I suppose so." Cordelia shrugged, feeling rather stiff as she slid off the operating table. "Got anything else that I could wear?"
"Sorry, I didn't bring a change of clothing in with me. I did bring a spare coat." He held out a dark gray mass.
Wrinkling her nose, Cordelia shrugged it on, freezing at the heavy mass that went along her back. "What's in here with me?"
"A sword. You'll need it." He stood up, offering her his hand. "Now, follow me, miss... what's your name anyhow?"
"Cordelia Chase." She sniffed slightly, and shivered. "Who are you?"
"Call me Adam." He tugged her along with him, and out to a car. "I'll explain things, I promise."
As they entered a small Catholic Church, Cordelia sighed, feeling slightly less cold but still entirely freaked out. "Okay, Adam. I'd like some answers. Why am I up and walking? There's not... there's no wound, not even a scar. And why were you there?"
"You're Immortal now. You'll never look older, never get sick. Things can still kill you, but unless you loose your head - literally - you'll heal and come back." Adam dropped in a pew, glancing around. "Of course, it's not quite that simple."
"Things never are. So, what's the catch? Why do I need a sword?" Cordelia looked at him, wondering what Adam wasn't telling her.
"You aren't the only Immortal. There are many more, and some of them are not friendly. Each Immortal carries a Quickening, their power and memories. If an Immortal takes another Immortal’s head, they gain the quickening. Some go looking for heads."
"With swords?" Cordelia was not stupid, and if he'd said that she would need the sword, there had to be a reason.
"With swords. Or axes." He nodded, and leaned forward just a little. "You'll have to leave here. I can teach you what you need to know, how to fight, how to create a new identity when you need one."
"Why can't I stay?" Cordelia wondered just what this guy's answer would be.
"How would you explain being alive again? How confident are you that you wouldn't get mistaken for a vampire and staked?" His eyes looked very serious.
"But... you said if I didn't loose my head..." Cordelia blinked, her stomach feeling tight.
"That you'd get better, yes. But getting a stake though the heart hurts like hell, especially if it splinters." He grimaced, rubbing at his chest. "And if someone decides to keep trying until you stop coming back... decapitation's actually pretty common as a way to kill things."
Cordelia winced, thinking about the researching. "Yeah, good point. So, where do we go?"
"Does it matter?" Adam had a faint smile as he asked.
"Will I need to pack some things? And why the church?" Cordelia asked, starting to feel certain that hew as serious, that this was real.
"I'll buy you everything that you need for now. As for the church... Not only will it keep the vampires out, it is forbidden for Immortals to fight on Holy Ground."
"And what enforces this?" Cordelia arched an eyebrow. "It's not like these people sound likely to worry about being punished in the afterlife."
"The last major fight on Holy Ground was in the Temple to Mars, in a town called Pompeii. Does the name Mount Vesuvius mean anything to you?" He replied.
"Ouch. I get the point." Cordelia sighed, and stood up. "So, I guess that I'm ready."
He took her hand, and they went back to his car, ready to leave Sunnydale. Ready to start a new life.
end Starting Over.