I plopped myself down on my bed for the duration of Buffy and Angel the sequel, the after effects of the demon still a slight annoyance to my usual chipper self. Did my best to keep a tight ear on the outside world but the magazines C kept in stock were far from my comic book tastes and the tube had nothing worth watching, so I was stuck with either plugging my ears and humming to myself or just kickin' it back and trying not to gag at that shit they spewed back and forth.
Man, I gotta slam on Angel for one thing. I get the boy's hurting and I'm sorry he had to walk in on that almost kiss... but dude, you don't go comparing Queen C to Buffy. I wasn't even part of the gang and I know not to go there. Sure, they were both popular rulers of the school, I heard about B's princess act pre-slayer; but that's about as much in common as they got. See, C's got a backbone. B's tough, but she's a softie at heart. It's not in her to whip out the bitch and be as nasty as the time calls for it. You really gotta push the Buff to get any reaction outa her. Girl sees the world in black and white too.
One thing I learned about these past few days with Cor is that she gets the grey thing, probably more than any Sunnydale geek could. See, the Fang Gang is a little more accepting of those of us on questionable ground. They're into saving souls. With B's Scooby pals, you're either good or you're bad and if you're not sure which side you're on, you might as well be blowin' up the whole fucking city. There ain't room for wild cards in B's put together deck. I was a bad seed to them from the start.
Gotta say, I really dug it when C laid it into him lack that for that remark. I knew it was coming too, I could just see it in my head the way she had to be frothing from the mouth with anger while Soul Boy pulled out that `you're just like Buffy` stuff. So maybe they were doomed from the start, just like him and B, but that don't mean they did the whole star-crossed lovers routine. For one, C's not a slayer. There's no `no-no` in the rule books about her dating a vampire. Another thing? Let's be honest here, nobody's gonna get a happy in a relationship with Angel. So until the boy gets a lock down on that soul of his? He might as well give up on the love thing. It just isn't happening, man.
Anyone else think that maybe all that hair gel he wears dulls his braincells like, a lot? I mean, you'd think he'd learn from his mistakes (and isn't that what he's all about? Learning from the past and becoming the better person, or in his case vampire, for it?)... but nope. Boy's still pulling the same old routine he was last time I caught him on the upside of a bad day. I really don't know what my thoughts are at this point other than the obvious stupid of this all. I feel like I'm trapped in the middle of a damn soap opera and there's no `off` button for the easy out.
Soul Boy finally bails, most likely with his tail tucked between his legs, just like when he left Sunnydale, and I sigh with relief that it's all over. "Finally," I mutter to myself, flipping myself on the bed so I'm flat out on my stomach instead. I hit the TV on again, looking for something decent to bore to sleep. Guess her cable's been pulled in her downtime 'cause all I'm gettin' is fuzzy NBC and public broadcasting. It's got some nature show on; maybe I'll get lucky and they'll go into mating habits. I'd be all over watching some jungle creatures get it on. I always kinda related to those big jungle cats...
That's when I hear something outside my door. At first, I don't think nothing of it. I'm staying in a place that's haunted for christ's sake. My slayer sense has been thrown out of whack with a ghost around, but I'm slowly getting to a point where I can tell the difference between a real threat and Casper just doin' his friendly ghost routine. I brush it off as a scare tactic until I hear a whimper. Is that C? I sit up, my finger hitting the mute button as I listen a little harder.
"Goodnight Faith. I'm glad you enjoyed your gift."
Then the footsteps retreat and I hear a door close. Shit. What the Hell am I supposed to do now? I thought the princess had a handle on this, but the way her voice cracked kinda tells me differently. All I really want is to strip down and get a good 8 in after a long day. Instead, I've got all these confusing feelings that tell me I should go check up on her, you know, just to make sure she isn't gonna party with a razor or something. I seriously doubt she's the suicidal type, I'm just saying. People do stupid things when they're grieving. You think I couldn't have taken B down if I really wanted to? I wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of being yet another short-lived slayer, but sometimes you just need out and that was the only door I could see.
So, with that in mind, I pulled my ass out of bed and did something I never thought I'd do -- actually care about another person's feelings. I was always in the boat of saying the world screwed me over, so why should I give a damn? I still say the world screwed me over, I'm just a little less bitter now. As my shrink would say, I've overcome that roadblock and am on the fast track to mental health. I feel like I should be throwing a fucking party or something.
The door's closed when I meet it -- no surprise there. I stand there for a while, just gettin' my bearings before diving in headfirst. I knock... lightly at first. Then I suck it up and make a firm tap and wait.
"Who is it?" she asks, as if there isn't a total of 2 people who could be here, one of them being non-corporeal, so the odds of him knocking are about as impressive as the odds that Angel will get a suntan this year.
"The big bad wolf," I snark. "Now open up or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow this joint down."
The door flies open and I'm greeted with a flustered Cordelia. Aww, she didn't find my barb funny? I must be losing my touch. She glares and I smile, big and bright and full of good-natured teasing.
"You really do get amusement out of everything, don't you?"
I nod my head in reply, my best wise-ass smile in place. Hey, I got nothing to hide. "You're just sore because I'm the hot wolf while you're stuck being a wimpy piglet."
"Oh yes," she deadpans while rolling her eyes. "I'm *so* jealous of your wolf-like qualities. Please tell me how I can be as cool as you; I don't know how I will ever survive in my pig-like state. Now is there something in particular you wanted? I've had a rough day and I'd just like to take a nice soak in my nice hot bath and forget the latter part of this day ever happened."
Wonder if `latter part of her day` means Angel, me and that almost kiss, or both. I'd ask but... I'm a little too chicken shit to dive into the possibilities of a romance with Cordelia Chase. Girl's hot and all, but I'm not the settling down type. Maybe someday... but not today. Not today for her either... she's fresh out of a break-up and I'm not gonna serve myself up as rebound material. That's not my game.
"Actually, yea. I thought maybe you'd want to talk."
Her eyes bug out of her head at that one. Guess the thought of me actually initiating a deep thoughts kind of conversation is a little overwhelming. Hell, I don't quite believe it myself. Yet here I am, offering myself up as friend you can talk to when things get a little rough around the edges.
"What happened with Brood Boy," I reply casually. "I, uh, kinda overhead the big rumble the two of you had." When she gets a little red in the face, I quickly point to my ears. "Slayer hearing. It's better than the average bear's. Anyway, it sounded pretty harsh, those things he said. I just wanted to make sure you were handling it okay."
She shrugs, a frown creasing her face into a pitiful look. Oh yea, she really took a bad blow out there. There's defeat in her voice when she speaks again. "You better sit down for this then."
Like a good slayer, I take up her advice and sit down on her bed. It's still made up all nice. I bet she's been pacing trails into the carpet between the time she said her whispered goodnight and the time it took me to work up the guts to knock on her door. I can be a good judge of people like that. I give her my best `get to it` look and make myself comfy. Not a hard task to do considering her bed's fucking boss. I wouldn't expect anything else from a chick who actually believes in all that beauty sleep crap.
"You really heard everything?" she suddenly asks, I guess just to make sure I ain't playing her and this is all some act just to pump information out of her.
"Down to the T, Queen C," I chirp in with a smirk. You know, for the all around bad day this has been, I'm in damn good spirits. "Don't mind the rhyme, I'm suddenly feeling goofy. It happens."
"Yea," she mutters, a wistfulness there that tells me she wishes she shared my urge to goof off. Then she straightens up, a look of determination on her face. Here we go, boys. "I don't know what there is to say. I mean, you already got the running commentary from the source. We weren't ever even... we never had a relationship. I loved him, for a long time." She smiles, a little bittersweet laugh escaping from her lips in between confessions. "I still do... love him that is. Despite his behavior. Angel's my family."
"No offence, but I really don't get why all you girls go ga-ga over him," I throw out. Might as well get this off my chest, my shrink says it's good for me to voice this shit. "Sure he's got the Calvin Klein poster boy good looks going on, but we all know about his curse. Only person who'd be satisfied in a relationship with Fang would be a nun."
I can tell she wants to argue with me. She probably wants to lecture me on how it's not all about sex and how he's such a great guy, and I should really cut the dude some slack, but the fight's gone from her. Instead, she opts not to waste anymore breath on a lost cause and goes with something a little more Faith-friendly. "You're not being helpful, Faith. Bashing my taste in men is not going to make me feel any better."
"That isn't what you girls do?" I ask, honestly put out by this. "I thought it was like, tradition for all the girls to get together after a break up and say stuff like `you're better off without him` and `he was jerk for treating you the way he did`. Doesn't matter if it's true, it's just a way to cope."
"And you're so the expert on coping little Miss I Kill People To Deal With My Problems."
"You're right, I probably don't know what I'm doing, but at least I'm trying here. I feel like this whole thing is partly my fault. I shouldn't have tried to kiss you like that. It was wrong of me and I'm sorry."
There it is -- the bomb -- dropped and out in the open. It's fair play now; if there's a time for her to slug me one for makin' a move on her, it's now. I wait for it, counting in my head the seconds that pass in that awkward moment. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...
"It wasn't all you," she says softly, barely loud enough for me to catch onto her words. She clears her throat and gives it another go. "You don't have to be sorry. None of this is your fault. Angel should have knocked."
And we're back on the knocking issue. Maybe it wasn't all just a trick of the lights that she leaned in too... could she really have wanted a piece of me? That moment was wicked intense; something major could've happened if Soul Boy's bad timing hadn't put a stop to it. Good to know it wasn't all me. It's what she isn't saying that's speaking volumes to me. Silence says she's wiggin' over the fact that she might've enjoyed a tumble with me between the sheets.
"Time to change the locks?" I ask once the silence gets a little much. I was never any good at quiet contemplation. You know me, I'm an action chick.
"Maybe," she quirks a smile. When she looks at me, there's something grateful staring back at me in her eyes. "You were right about one thing. Girls normally get together to bash ex-boyfriends. God, it's been so long since I've done that. I almost forgot what it was like. I don't know if I have it in me to bash Angel, though. I feel like I've hurt him enough."
"Soul Boy will get over it, he always does."
I'm at a loss of what to do now. Since we're not gonna throw an I hate Angelfest, I might as well book it back to my bedroom and let Cor get her bath and beauty sleep. I get up from the bed, catching the questioning look she gives me once I'm up on my feet again.
"I should probably get going now, huh? You got that bath waiting for you and I've got..." lions fucking on PBS waiting for me, "some TV catching up to do. I wanna see what kind of lame jokes Leno's putting out these days. I missed the big chinned guy while in the joint. Does he still have that skunk thing going on for him?"
Cordy laughs at my eagerness to check out the late night TV front. "You're asking the wrong girl. Higher being, remember? We don't get Jay Leno in heaven."
"Riiiight," I drawl out, the sarcasm dripping from my voice. "Well then, I guess I'm in for a big surprise. I can hardly wait!" I resist the urge to clap my hands like some over-zealous kid. That'd be overdoing the mock excitement just a bit. Cor might actually think I get my kicks out of Leno's hair-don't. Man, I'm even starting to sound like her now.
"Be sure to fill me in tomorrow," she adds, joining in on my tirade with one of her own. "This little piggy is simply dying to know."
"Will do, Queenie," I mock salute her in return. I can't believe we're still on this nursery rhyme kick.
I turn to make my exit, feeling wicked good about myself that I did something right for a change. More than anything though, I'm glad me and C are on good terms. I think I might just like living here after all.