This Too Shall Pass
by Mary Jane Dank

Cordelia sat alone in the Hyperion's empty kitchen. As she sat on the counter cross legged, her eyes were fixed on the stainless steel freezer. She slowly sucked on the fudge pop, lost in her own thoughts.

Why and where had things gone so wrong? Why wasn't Angel and she upstairs in his room right now performing illicit acts of lust? Why did she feel so badly? Why did she ever come back to this hellhole instead of staying a higher being? Why was all she wanted to do was eat?

Cordelia's lips curved upwards as she chuckled at her mind's reply to the last question. Because you're high. Letting her head fall to the side, Cordelia's hand slipped into her pocket and she fingered the roach. She'd been working on the joint for two days now. She'd only bought a dime bag, but Cordelia hadn't thought that it would last this long.

The last time she smoked was in high school after her Junior homecoming dance. She and the Cordettes, along with their respective dates, had bought a half ounce, drove to the coast and sat out by the beach all night. She didn't know why she quit smoking. She didn't even know if she had quit smoking. After she chose the Scoobies over the Cordettes, her consumption of pot fell to zero. Bags just didn't come her way anymore and for the most part, she was fine with it. She had Xander and new friends who didn't smoke weed. Cordelia didn't miss it at all.

But now... Now with the visions, the looming apocalypse, the angry and hurt love of her life, and the fact that she had slept with someone who was, for all intents and purposes, like her step-son, Cordelia felt as though nothing but marijuana could help her.

Cordelia sighed as she pulled out the roach with one hand and the lighter with the other. As she placed the joint between her lips and held the flame to it, she inhaled, her eyes closing at the familiar feel of smoke invading her throat and lungs.

At the sound of a small gasp, the ex-cheerleader's eyes popped wide open. Her neck craned around, her eyes coming to rest on the small figure of Fred. Sighing once more, Cordelia asked in a dead tone, "What do you want?"

"I, I, I was just," Fred stumbled at first, but then recovered, remembering that she had nothing to be shy or timid about. "I was just coming down here for my peanut butter and jelly sandwich." She watched as Cordelia just shrugged and went back to toking on her joint. "Is that pot?"

Giving the other female a 'duh' look, Cordelia asked, "What if it is? You going to tell Mom and Dad on me?"

Fred furrowed her brow and frown. "Narc? Me? Are you joking?" She moved closer to Cordelia, her arms extending outwards, her fingers plucking the roach from the other woman's fingers. "In high school, I was the person to see if you needed to score some chronic. I knew all the connections." Fred pulled hard on the joint. She handed it to Cordelia and hopped up onto the counter as she tried to hold in the hit. A moment passed and she let the hit out with a small hint of a cough. "That's not chronic, but it'll do."

Shaking her head, Cordelia shrugged and took another hit. "So you won't tell?" Her voice was strained as she tried to keep the smoke from exiting her body as she spoke.

"Of course not," Fred replied. "I didn't even know you were a burner. You don't look it."

Cordelia passed the roach. "Well, usually I'm not. I just have too many things going on in my head at the moment. Pot slows it all down so that I can concentrate on one thing at a time."

"So what's on your mind?"

"You don't want to know."

Exhaling, Fred cocked her head and said, "Yeah, because that's why I asked."

"Fine," Cordelia said with a sigh. "You want to know?" She saw the other female nod. "I slept with Connor and I guess Angel watched the whole thing."

Fred nearly choked and began a coughing fit that lasted four minutes. "You had sex with Connor." Cordelia nodded, her eyes returning to fix on the freezer. "Connor," Fred repeated. "As in Angel's son, Connor? THAT Connor?"

"That's the one," Cordelia said in a deep, dull voice as she blew the smoke from her lungs.

"Eww," Fred commented before she even thought about it. "I mean, well, I guess he's...I mean, ewww," she said again, her face twisted in a mask of distaste.

"Yeah, well, it wasn't a horrible experience or anything. I just... I just wish I could take it back now."

Fred carefully handed the dwindling roach back to Cordelia and watched as the other woman tried not to let it burn her fingers. "Why did you do it in the first place?"

Cordelia got one last hit, then let the roach fall to the tiled floor. "I thought the world was going to end and that I would be dead and he would be dead and Angel would be dead." She sighed. "I thought it would make it easier."

Shaking her head, Fred slid off the counter, opened the refrigerator door and grabbed her sandwich. "Mmmm, want some?" she offered. As Cordelia shook her head to decline the offer, Fred leaned back against the fridge and focused her eyes on Cordelia. "Sex never makes anything easier, Cordelia."

"I know that," Cordelia responded. "I know that. I have much experience in that. But I did it anyway."

"Is that what's with Angel?"

"Yeah. He hates me."

Fred shook her head again. "He doesn't hate you."

"It sure feels like it."

"It will, I'm sure, until you two work things out."

Hopping down off the counter, Cordelia said, "I'm not sure if we ever will or if we even can. I fucked his son. Even if he forgives me, he'll always have those thoughts when we're together. He'll always see me moving under Connor when he looks at me."

Chewing her sandwich, Fred shrugged, then swallowed. "Give him some credit. He is like 300 years old or something. He'll get over it. He loves you."

"Whatever," Cordelia said with a shrug. She turned, glancing at the clock. "I should get going now. It's almost time for Angel to get hungry. I don't want to be down here when he comes to get his blood."

"Maybe you should be here," Fred suggested softly. "Maybe you two just need to talk about it."

"Tried that. Doesn't work." Grabbing her light jacket, Cordelia moved to the kitchen door. Twisting her neck, she looked back at Fred. "Don't tell anyone else, okay? I don't need everyone knowing."

"Not a word."

She gave Fred a small smile. "Thank you."

"Thanks for the grass, man. I've been jonesin' for some for about a month or so now."

Cordelia cocked her head to the side and continued to smile softly. "Maybe if I hook up again, we'll get together and do it again."

With a gentle nod, Fred said, "I'd like that." She waited until Cordelia had turned around again before she said, "Cordelia? Don't worry about all this. It'll all work out like it always does. Just remember to breathe and remember that this too shall pass."

Cordelia did not acknowledge Fred's words with anything more than a shrug as she walked out of the kitchen, the two way door swinging closed behind her. She climbed the steps up to the lobby, hoping that no one would be up there. Besides the fact that she smelled like a big fat doobie, she just didn't want to see anyone.

There had been a time in her life where she was so close to Gunn and Wesley. There was a time when they were her only support; her only friends. But that time was over. Things weren't the same and they never would be again. The days of Wes and Gunn arguing over a silly board game were over. Now they argued over everything. It didn't matter what it was, they just wanted to make their distaste of each other known to everyone. Now it was hard to imagine the old days when they were willing and quite content, actually, to take a bullet for each other. These days they were so consumed with their own lives, they scarcely had time to think about Cordelia and her life.

Cordelia had meant to go out the front door of the hotel when she reached the deserted lobby, but instead, she found herself ascending the flights of stairs up to Angel's suite. Without even thinking about it fully, she found herself knocking on Angel's door. His loud voice booming, "Who is it?" shook her out of her slight daze. Her eyes were wide with panic as she realized where she was. As she turned to go, the door opened and she froze. "You. What do you want now?"

Taking a deep breath, Cordelia braced herself and turned to face the vampire. She tried to think of words to say to him, but she could not find any. Cordelia stood there before him, her eyes searching his face as he stood there with a bored expression. After a long moment, Angel folded his arms over his chest. "Cordelia, I don't have..."

Cordelia grabbed his hands, impulsively taking them into her own. She locked eyes with him. "Don't forgive me if you can't." She swallowed hard against the lump in her throat. "But let go of this anger and hurt. Don't let it..."

Angel cut her off, "Yeah, well, thanks for the advise and all, Cordy, but I don't really feel like listening to a thing you have to say."

Slowly Cordelia nodded and turned to leave. "Okay, Angel," she conceded softly. "If you want to let what we have slip away, that's your..."

"What we HAD. HAD, Cordelia. What we HAD. We have nothing now."

She turned back once more. "Is that so?" The vampire held firm. "Then why do your eyes scream out in pain when you look at me?"

"Because they're assaulted by the memory of you and my son copulating as the world was about to end."

Her eyes fell to the floor. "I thought the world was ending, Angel," she said quietly. "That's why... I thought we wouldn't have another day."

"So you let Connor mount you."

Cordelia's head snapped up. "Don't be crude." Her expression softened. "He just needed..."

"Cordelia, I needed." His eyes dug into hers intensely as he said, "Didn't you think that maybe I needed someone to hold as the heavens rained fire down upon us?"

"Angel, I didn't..."

"Didn't you need someone that night? I'm sure you did. You chose Connor. Instead of being with me, who you've claimed in the past to love, you took Connor into your bed. You chose to go out of this world making love to him, only the world didn't end that night."

"I didn't 'make love,' with him, Angel."

The vampire nodded. "Okay, you chose to go out of this world fucking Connor instead of making love with me. Is that better, Cordy?"

Cordelia sighed, defeated. Backing away, she shook her head. "No. No that's not better, Angel." The buzz of just a half hour before was nearly completely worn off and she knew she would have get another bag soon if she were to make it through another day like this one. "I...I have to go now."

"Yes, that's right. Go home to him."

In a flat voice, she answered, "I can't help it if he lives where I do."

"Yes, you can," Angel challenged.

"Where am I going to go, Angel? Do you have a room I can stay in?" She looked up at him quickly. "Didn't think so." Squaring her shoulders, Cordelia took in a deep breath. "Now if you'll excuse me."

Cordelia walked quickly down the hall, knowing that he was just standing there watching her go. It had been stupid for her to go to his room at all, but it had been even more stupid for her to have gone high. As she rounded the corner, now out of view from Angel, she dragged a hand over her face. "I'm still in love with you, Angel," she whispered. "I'm sorry I wigged."

Angel's voice inside her head rang out with a reply, "Me too." She felt tears sting her eyes as she rushed to leave the hotel. Even though the tears were there, she would not let them fall. She was too strong for that. She might not have Angel or her friends anymore, but Cordelia Chase was still strong.

As she stepped out into the crisp evening air, Fred's words echoed in her mind, "This too shall pass." Taking a deep breath and wrapping her arms around her midsection, Cordelia wondered if it ever really would.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Plain Style / Fancy Style