Summary: During season 2 of Angel, one of Cordelia's shopping excursion ends in a way she did not expect.
Disclaimer: All characters are owned by Mutant Enemy (Joss Whedon), a wonderfully creative company whose characters I have borrowed for a completely profit-free flight of fancy. Kindly do not sue me, please, as I am terrified of you. Thank you.
When Cordelia was first given Doyle's visions, she was annoyed by the migraines, but she learned to deal with them. Her ability was helping people, and that was worth the occasional blinding headache, she supposed. But over time, even though she liked helping the hopeless, she realized it wasn't so much a choice anymore as a compulsion: the Powers that Be were going to send her those visions whether she wanted to do anything about them or not. Cordy usually didn't think about it too deeply because when she did, she started feeling like the universe's puppet, with very little free will.
So, rather than thinking, she chose shopping. It was a lot less morbid and a lot more fun.
On this particular occasion, after the normal head-shattering vision had passed and Wesley and Gunn had saved a stranded couple who were about to be incinerated by a very weird-looking demon with three heads, all fire-breathing, Cordy had decided shopping therapy was in order. Grabbing Gunn by the shirt collar, she had convinced him that after all she'd been through, he really should offer to carry her packages for her on her excursion to the mall. After all, what was the fun in shopping if you got a backache in the process?
"Cordy, what in the hell are you going to do with half of this stuff? You've only got two feet, but I know you've got at least six pairs of shoes in here to add to that pyramid of footwear in your closet," Gunn said, shaking his head as they stumbled out of a cab and towards her front door. "You planning on being the next Imelda Marcos or something?"
"Hey, pal, all of this is basic girly equipment," she said, grinning broadly. Two shoe stores going out of business, both with a surplus of designer shoes in her size? Now that was a good day.
"And the shrub?" Gun said from behind the pile of bags he was hauling.
"I didn't buy any shrubs," Cordy said, turning around with an indignant look.
"Girl, then what's the damn bush stuck in front of my face?" Gunn called back.
"This," she said, plucking the plant from his grasp, "is lucky bamboo."
"Can you eat it?" he huffed.
"No," Cordy said, digging through her purse for her keys.
"Then I don't get why you'd want it. Looks like some sickly piece of celery that got left in the back of a fridge way too long," he said, casting a disdainful look at the bamboo.
"It's supposed to correct the feng shui in my apartment, bring in more earth element stuff… or something. Anyway, it's trendy," Cordy said, shrugging as she found the keys at the very bottom of her purse, then unlocking the front door.
The door unceremoniously slammed itself shut again.
"Phantom Dennis!" Cordy yelled, pounding on the door. "You have got to quit it with the jealous routine! It's only Gunn! Geez!"
"Only?" he said, quirking an eyebrow.
"You know what I mean," she said over her shoulder before turning back to the still firmly shut door. "Now open up, dammit!"
The door did not budge.
"Or for the love of…" Cordelia said, but for the love of what remained unknown as the door popped open suddenly, making her land unceremoniously on the rug of the entryway with Gunn toppling close on her heels.
"Okay," Gunn said, picking himself up, dusting off his dignity and looking at the empty air where he assumed Dennis was. "That's it. Seriously. I have had it. While Wes goes off to have tea or crumpets or whatever British thing he does, I gotta spend the day hauling packages for the princess, going from one freaky frou-frou boutique to another, not even complaining, at least not out loud, and then at the end of the day I get dissed by Casper. Forget it. I know when I'm not welcome. See you on Monday."
Turning on the heel of his sneaker, he strode off into the night. Cordelia suddenly realized that it really had been a rotten day from his perspective and was seized with a pang of guilt.
"Hey!" she called after him in the dark. "Hey! I'm sorry, alright! You know you're always welcome here, regardless of what my stupid ghost thinks!"
A pale white arm shot out of the night, instantly closing around her throat and cutting off her air before she could cry out.
"Thank you," cooed a woman's voice as Cordelia passed out from lack of oxygen and dropped to the floor. "I did so want an invitation to come inside your lovely home."
When Cordelia awoke, she was lying on the couch in her living room, apparently alone, but the telltale finger-shaped bruises and soreness she could feel on her throat made her remember things weren't what they seemed. Immediately, she reached under the couch cushions for the stake she always kept there, but it was gone. Eyes widening in fear, she leaped off the couch to make a run for the door when she was grabbed from behind.
"It's impolite to leave the party before the games are even played," Drusilla chided her, throwing her carelessly back on the couch.
Cordelia's eyes raced from one item to another around the room, but nothing was close enough or lethal enough to be a good weapon against the vampire. Drusilla's face had taken on its demonic planes, yet she stood motionless a few feet away, gazing down at her with golden eyes. Her expression was unfathomable. However, Cordelia also noted she wasn't dead yet, which was a pretty big bonus, and it also meant that she wanted something besides just killing her. She shuddered when she thought what "party games" might refer to, but pulled herself together.
"Why are you here?" Cordelia said loudly. Somehow, whenever she felt she was in an out of control situation, raising her voice let her at least pretend she had some control.
Drusilla tilted her head to one side, staring down at her, and the statue-like stillness of her features was more unnerving than the silence. Cordelia suddenly realized she wasn't sure if vampires were capable of blinking when their faces were like this.
"Take a picture, it'll last longer!" Cordy finally spat out in an effort to break her frozen state.
"I was all alone," Drusilla said finally.
"I wonder why," she replied caustically, and Cordelia was surprised by the venom in her own voice. "You're a psycho. Generally speaking, they're not all that popular."
Drusilla's hand flashed out too quickly for the eye to see and slapped Cordy sharply across the face, throwing her back more firmly against the cushions.
"You will keep a civil tongue in your head when you speak to me," she hissed, though her tone could have belonged to a Victorian schoolmarm. "Do you understand me, pretty?"
Cordelia wanted to slap her back, but her instinct for self-preservation outweighed the nearly overpowering desire to get vengeance. Swallowing her pride with difficulty, she lowered her gaze to the floor, almost but not quite submissively.
"That's better," Drusilla said, and she felt a hand stroke her hair, putting it behind her ear. "Fussing makes the angels weep, you know."
"Okay, so, what exactly do you want?" Cordelia asked in a tone that was at least attempting to sound civilized.
"Many things," Drusilla sang quietly. "Shoes and ships and sealing wax and carpenters and kings."
"Okay, with the exception of the shoes, I'm fresh out of those," Cordelia said, smiling wanly, though silently vowing to kick Dru's ass if she tried to take her Jimmy Choos, especially the blue ones.
"The things I want are always the things I can't have," Drusilla said, sitting disturbingly close to her on the couch. "Gone away to ghosts in the air, dust fading away like starlight at daybreak."
"Uh-huh," Cordelia said, figuring it was better to agree than admit she had no idea what she'd just said.
"You see the future too, sometimes. Bits and pieces, screams and pain and white hot fear bursting like roses in your brain, twisting the thorns into your flesh," she said, and slowly her face smoothed, became more human. "It's hurting you. I can see it."
"Yeah, well, I guess I'll get used to it," Cordelia said, though she added mentally, "kind of like I could get used to dropping a bowling ball on my foot every day."
Drusilla giggled, and without knowing how she knew, Cordy was perfectly certain Drusilla had heard her thoughts, and it made her stomach drop a few inches.
"You won't get used to it, dearie," Drusilla said, running a hand over the skin of her forearm lazily. "I should know. They come to me too, you see. Sometimes they're lovely, bits of sugarspun gingerbread houses with sweet old ladies inside who snap up children, and other times they're horrid, bad things I don't want to know, like what I saw yesterday night."
"And that was…?" Cordelia asked.
"Grandmummy gives life in death, then ends in a puddle of raindrops and filth. My knight changes queens and plays in the opposite side of the war, jousting the rooks and bishops until he falls in fiery sparks. Daddy sleeps forever and a day, and no kiss from the princess awakes him, no, the beautiful evil will remain caged forever and never see the moonlight again," Drusilla said, becoming more and more agitated, ending in a shriek that was half animal, half entirely too human.
A feeling welled up inside Cordelia, one usually reserved for the victims of the more hideous things they dealt with, and that was pity. Drusilla was evil, ruthless, and cruel, but even so, the pain she was in was very real. Granted, Cordy didn't understand half of what she was blathering on about, but she got the general idea.
"So… Darla's dead then? I mean, like, again?" Cordelia said, not completely unkindly.
"Not yet," Drusilla said, "but she will be. The stars have spoken, and they will not be swayed in their courses this time, not even if I beg. They are cold, cold things, little hateful, beautiful diamonds."
"Well, that sort of sucks for you," Cordelia said, still trying to see a way out of the situation she was in.
She considered just making another break for the door, but she knew that would be useless since the vampire was so close. Biding her time and looking for an escape was her best option, or at least so she told herself. She didn't want to think about the fact part of her was just a little captivated by Drusilla's voice. A small part of her brain was struggling to remind her that she was known for her ability to thrall, but it was as though a mental hand were brushing the thought softly away, hushing that bit to sleep, though it was still struggling.
"I feel much better now," Drusilla purred, toying with the skin of Cordy's hand, and a thrill went up her arm at the touch. "This has been a very fortuitous night for both of us, you see."
"Really," said Cordy. "How so?"
"Do you know what happens to humans who have the sorts of visions you have?" Drusilla asked.
"They get headaches?" Cordelia said.
"Yeah," Drusilla said, her nose crinkling in disgust. "Headaches that get worse and worse, until one day…"
She suddenly clapped her hands together with tremendous force, the noise making Cordelia jump inches in her seat.
"That's what happens to their brains," Drusilla said, then giggled. "Like a firecracker on New Year's Eve. The stars inside their heads splatter all over the pavement in lovely patterns."
"Then why didn't it kill Doyle? I mean, he had them longer than me," Cordelia said, but stopped as Drusilla waggled a finger at her.
"Not human. Half human. Makes a difference," she said sagely. "Apples to oranges."
It never occurred to her to doubt Drusilla was telling the truth. Perhaps some part of her had always known the visions were more than her body could be expected to handle, though she was sure Doyle had never intended them to kill her. A sick chill ran down her spine as she realized she was going to die, horribly, and probably soon.
"Not so sad," Drusilla said, giving her a smile. "I said tonight was fortuitous to both of us, didn't I?"
"Look, you just told me I'm going to die! Pardon me for being distracted with that bit, you nut!" Cordelia shouted at her.
Drusilla's face changed again in a flash, and this time her blow knocked Cordelia to the floor, the vampire lying atop of her.
"No need to fear what's already happened," the vampire whispered in her ear in a surprisingly consoling tone. "It's come and gone, pretty Cordy. I said I was alone, but I'm not anymore."
Cordelia wasn't quite sure she understood what Drusilla had said, but she did know perfectly well that something inside her was struggling wildly to come forth, something that both frightened and attracted her.
"Yes," Drusilla said, the sound sibilant as a snake's. "Yes, let it come. Let it out."
Then, without knowing how, Cordelia felt the lines of her own face change. Her hands flew to her cheeks, tracing the ridges of her forehead, the protrusions around her eyes. With a gasp, she put a finger to her mouth and was met with the sharp, elongated teeth she saw mirrored in Drusilla's face before her.
"You were so sweet when you fell asleep in my arms last night, I had to kiss you and make you mine," Drusilla growled. "Now the visions will not kill you, and I shall never be alone again."
The part of Cordelia that was appalled was fading quickly, and it was rapidly being replaced with something else, something darker, wilder than she had ever felt as a mortal.
"That's right," Drusilla said, pressing her body more tightly to Cordelia's, and she was suddenly hyperaware of her every movement. "Let it come alive."
Cordelia moaned deeply as lust rocketed unexpectedly through her body. Without waiting for permission, she attacked the other woman's mouth, fusing their lips together hungrily as Drusilla crowed in triumph deep in her throat. She had never kissed another woman before, let alone a demon, but she was quickly finding it a very pleasant experience. Her sire's hands flew along the lines of her body, making quick work of her clothing, but Cordelia's were somewhat stymied by the laces and hooks of Drusilla's exquisite gown of lace and satin, which ended as shredded rags on the floor. Their mating was swift, urgent, a driving force that sent Cordelia hurtling over the edge into ecstasy, blacking out from the sheer pleasure of it and waking to find her head cradled between Drusilla's breasts, her chest thrumming to the other vampire's purrs.
"So… now what?" Cordelia said, lifting her head and grinning wickedly into Drusilla's eyes.
"Are you hungry, precious?" Drusilla said, returning the smile.
"Now that you mention it, I'm starving," she said, then laughed as a vision hit her, a perfect image of a couple on Lovers Lane a few miles away, their car stalled, and a group of demons nearing them. Not an ounce of pain blurred her mind.
"You saw it too?" Drusilla asked.
"Yeah. If we hurry, we can get there before them. They should make a nice appetizer," Cordy said, springing up. "I suppose we have to get dressed?"
"It's only polite," Drusilla agreed. "I'm afraid I shall have to borrow something of yours."
Ten minutes later, Drusilla was wearing a cashmere sweater and delicate tweed skirt that twirled around her knees, and Cordy was dressed in skin tight leather pants that she hadn't quite worked up the nerve to wear before along with a matching bustier.
"You know, the down side to this is I'm never going to see how amazing I look in this outfit," Cordelia said whistfully as she twirled in front of her vacant mirror.
"There are ways around these things," Drusilla said calmly, nipping her lover's throat lightly with her teeth. "We'll simply have your portrait drawn. Then we can eat the artist. They always taste of rainbows and sugar."
"A portrait, huh? Eh, I suppose it'll have to do," Cordy said with a pout. "Besides, there's gotta be a spell somewhere to get mirrors working again. I am so not going through eternity without checking my make-up."
Drusilla giggled happily at Cordelia's vanity, pleased with the childe she had created. She was a perfect blend of beauty, selfishness, and insatiable desire. As they went out the door of Cordy's apartment for the last time, Phantom Dennis was sad to lose his roommate, but, oh, the goodbye show he'd gotten!
- fin -