Denial's The Scene
by Callisto's Dark Side

"Are you okay?" Buffy asked, placing a consoling hand on Amy's arm.

"Yeah, I'm fine," The tall blonde replied, "just a little disoriented."

"That's understandable considering you were just your mother and now she's gone."

"Yeah," Amy smiled, "she finally is."

"Umm," Giles spoke up from his crumpled position on the floor, "I could use a hand."

"Oh," Buffy turned around and pulled the Librarian up to his feet. "Anything else," Buffy asked.

"No, I believe I can make it to the hospital on my own," Giles replied, cleaning his glasses.

"Good," Buffy turned around and looped her arm through Amy's, taking her new found friend out of the destroyed classroom.


"So, where are ya gonna stay?" Buffy asked, walking side-by-side with Amy down the busy hallway.

"I dunno, my mom cast a spell on my dad and now I can't find him," The tall blonde explained.

"That's terrible."

"No, it's okay, really. I can live on my own."

"What are you crazy?"

"I could be, after what my mom did to me."

"No way are you living alone," Buffy stated emphatically. "There's more than enough room at my house, you can move in with me."

"I can?"

"Of course, I'm sure my mom wouldn't mind, and my sister, well, you can just ignore her."

"Are you sure?"

"Would I lie?"

"Well, I haven't known you for that long, but I'd like to think not."

"Well, I wouldn't."

"Okay," Amy grinned, "I guess if your mom doesn't mind, then I wouldn't either."

"Cool, I'll tell her after school."

The girls walked up to the trophy case and stared at the picture of Amy's mom.

"She was the best," Amy sighed.

"But obviously not the brightest," Buffy added, "I just hope she doesn't come back."

"I don't think she will. She said she was going to make it so that I wouldn't make trouble again."

"Well, wherever she is, I hope she's happy," Buffy drawled, placing her hand on the small of Amy's back and whisking the tall blonde away from the display case.


Cordelia threw Willow up against her locker and held the redhead by the collar.

"Don't think I've forgiven you for that deliver trick," Cordelia growled, her breath hot against Willow's face.

"What deliver trick?" Willow asked innocently.

"Don't play dumb with me little girl, you know exactly what I'm talking about." Cordelia moved her face closer, her nose now touching the other girl's while everyone stopped and watched.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know you would actually hit delete."

"Well I did, and I had to redo the whole assignment, cuz Harm did it too."

Willow turned her face from the brunette's penetrating eyes.

"Hey," Cordelia cupped the redhead's cheek and turned it to force eye-contact, "Look at me when I'm talking 'at' you."

"Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you, I just. I just."

"Just what? Need to do my homework for the rest of the year?" Cordelia smirked.

"What? That's not fair," Willow pleaded.

"No, what's not fair is that you weren't doing it from the start, but since the year's relatively new, I'll let ya slide."

"But, I can't, I have too much." Willow stammered.

"Can't schmant, you'll do it, or I'll make your life a living hell."

"But you're already making my life a living hell."

"Oh, this is nothing, just wait till I try," Cordelia threatened.

Willow gulped, "What time do you want the problem set done by?"

"That's my girl," Cordelia loosened her grip on Willow's collar, backed up, and smoothed the crumpled shirt against the redhead's chest, "a day in advance would be nice, no wait, make that two. I need you to explain what you've done, otherwise they'll know I didn't do the work."

"Okay," Willow yelped, her body tensing at the brunette's hands running over her chest.

"Oh," Cordelia reached into her purse and stuffed a card into Willow's shirt pocket, "That's my number, tell me when you're finished the assignment so we can arrange to meet. Normally, I wouldn't give my number to someone like you, but the thought of me calling your house, well, let's just say, I wouldn't."

Willow let out a big breath as her tormentor turned around and walked off with her friends following close behind.


"Nonsense," Joyce chastised, "That's your money, and you should keep it for your college education."

"But Ms. Summers, I wouldn't feel right living in your home without offering you something in return," Amy pleaded.

"If you really want to offer me something in return, you could promise to keep Buffy out of trouble."

"Hey!" Buffy shouted, "I resent that."

"I can do that," Amy smiled.

"I resent that too," Buffy frowned.

"That's okay," Amy grinned, "resentment can be good."

"How?" Buffy asked.

"Well, for one, it means I can live in your house without feeling guilty."

"Oh, then I guess it's okay."

"See," Joyce said, "you're already having a good effect on her."

"I don't think I like this," Buffy stated, crossing her arms, bringing big smiles to the faces of Amy and Joyce.


"What's that?" Xander asked, as he came up behind Willow who was twiddling a small white card in her hand.

"Nothing," Willow said, stuffing the card in her shirt pocket.

"Come on, let me see." Xander reached for the redhead's pocket, but had his hand slapped away.

"Hands!" Willow admonished.

"Sorry, but you were keeping a secret, and secrets don't exist between best buds."

Willow frowned, mentally arguing with herself if she should show Xander the card.

"Okay, just don't tell anyone," Willow said, drawing the card out from her shirt pocket and handing it to Xander.

"Is this what I think it is?" Xander's eyes lit up.


"Thank you Will." Xander wrapped the redhead up in a hug, "I don't know how I'll ever repay you."

"But." Willow struggled to get out of the bear hug, "It's not."

"I can't wait to call her," Xander enthused as he took off to tell everyone he had Cordelia's number.

"Wait!" Willow shouted after him, chasing him down the busy hallway.


Buffy walked, books in hand, as she looked for her friends in the halls of Sunnydale High. Moments later, she saw Xander barreling down the hall in her direction.

"Buffy!" Xander elated, "You'll never guess what I got!"

"Herpes," Buffy replied, as Xander held up a white card with a number on it.

"No, better, Ms. Rich Bitch's number."

"You got Cordelia's number?" Buffy asked, surprised.

"No," Willow said, grabbing the card, "I got Cordelia's number."

"But." Xander complained, as he unsuccessfully tried to snatch the card back.

"But nothing," Willow glared, as she stuffed the card back into her shirt pocket.

"How, why, when, where?" Buffy asked.

"Yesterday," Willow answered, "She kinda wants me to help her out with her homework."

"You sure she doesn't want you to do it?" Buffy asked.

"Yup," Willow lied.

"Okay, but just remember, I got dibs on the late-night study sessions?" Buffy smiled.

"Always," Willow answered.

"Hey!" Xander interrupted, "I thought I had dibs on those?"

"Not anymore," Willow said, walking away with Buffy.

"First you steal my heart, then you steal my guaranteed C," Xander muttered to himself.


"You sure there's enough room?" Amy asked, dropping the last box of her stuff down on Buffy's bed.

"Of course, we can just stuff your clothes under the bed," Buffy smiled.

"But isn't that where you keep the dirty magazines?"

"No, I keep the Cosmos in my desk drawer."

"Good, cuz I need to know if my man's been cheatin' on me," Amy drawled, before they both burst out laughing.


"Go away!" Buffy shouted at her sister, who was standing in her doorway.

"Who's she?" Dawn pointed at the tall blonde.

"My new roommate, now go away."

"Why's she here?"

"Cuz she is, that's why," Buffy said, moving to close the door, but Dawn snuck around the Slayer and jumped on the bed.

"Mom!" Buffy screamed, but to no avail.

"Hey, I'm Amy." Amy offered her hand to the small brunette, but Dawn just kept on jumping on Buffy's bed.

"Get off!" Buffy demanded as she stalked over to her bed to try and apprehend her sister, but Dawn was too quick and slid off the bed.

Amy watched in amusement as Buffy chased her little sister around the room until she finally caught up with her at the door and shooed her outside, slamming the door close.

"She's cute," Amy commented.

"Just wait a week; that cutie will turn into a thorn."


Willow's hand shook as she picked up the phone and put it back down. The completed assignment was on the desk with no name.

Willow read the number on the white card over and over again, cementing it into her brain. The only problem was, she could only dial up to the second last number, and then hung up before hitting the last.

"Okay, calm down," Willow told her self, taking a deep breath. "You're just calling to tell Cordelia you're done the assignment and you're ready to explain it. What am I thinking, it's 5 p.m., she's probably out hanging at the mall or something. Maybe that's a good thing. I could leave a message with her parents or the maid, and she'll have to call me back. No wait, she said she'd never call my house."

Willow argued back-and-forth for another hour before hitting the final number.

"Hello, Chase residence, how may I help you?" Nada, Cordelia's maid, spoke softly.

"Hi, I'm a schoolmate of Cordelia's, and I was wondering if she's home? If she's not that's okay, I can call back," Willow babbled.

"No wait, she's right here."

Cordelia, who was on her bed brushing her cat, glared at Nada.

"Sorry, I was mistaken, she's busy right now, may I ask who's speaking?" Nada corrected.

"Willow Rosenberg."

The maid covered the phone with her hand and whispered, "It's a Willow Rosenberg."

Cordelia frowned in disgust.

"Tell her I'm in the pool with a bunch of guys and will answer when I'm ready," Cordelia smirked.

Nada cleared her throat, "Ms. Chase is busy at the moment taking a dip in her pool, she will answer the phone shortly."

Nada covered the phone with her hand again.

"Why'd you say shortly?" Cordelia chastised.

"Did you not say you would speak with her when you're ready?"

"Yeah, but you never say shortly, that mean's they're important, which she isn't."

"I'm sorry, Ms. Chase, I won't make that mistake again." Nada bowed.

"You've been living in this house how long, and you still don't remember the basic phone rules?"

Cordelia grabbed the phone and said 'Hi,' before she remembered who was on the line.

"Hi, Cordelia?" Willow asked shyly.

"Yeah, that's me, what do you want?"

"I thought you were in the pool?"

"Ever heard of wireless?"

"Oh, yeah, sorry." Willow blushed.


"Um, I finished your assignment."

"Good, come over now and explain it."


"Are you deaf too? I said you're coming over now to explain it."

"But I thought I could just tell you over the phone."

"Yeah, then who's gonna sign it, you?"

"No, I thought you could do it before class."

"So the teacher catches you handing the assignment to me? Not likely."

"I don't know where you live."

Cordelia rolled her eyes, not liking the idea of having Willow, the ultimate nerd, over at her house, but it was a necessary evil. Cordelia quickly told Willow the address and waited for a response.

"You there?" Cordelia asked.

"Yeah, just writing down the address."

"Good, be here in 10, or else."

Willow froze as Cordelia slammed the phone down, which was interesting, cuz she said the phone was wireless and that she was in her pool.


"Where's Will?" Buffy asked, surveying the Bronze while sitting at a table.

"Dunno," Xander shook his head. "I thought she was with you two."

"Nope," Amy replied, "You and Willow were supposed to be helping me move into Buffy's house, but conveniently failed to show."

"Oh, about that." Xander adjusted his collar.

"That's okay," Amy smiled, "Buffy was great at carrying most of the stuff."

"As she should be," Xander added, "with her super strength and all."

"Hey!" Buffy frowned, "I may be strong, but I'm not a mule."

"Of course not, you're too pretty to be a mule," Amy teased.

"I second that." Xander raised his hand.

"I don't know if that's a compliment or an insult," Buffy said.

"Why's that?" Amy asked.

"Cuz, being prettier than a mule doesn't mean you're pretty."

"Oh, in that case, you're prettier than," Amy looked around the Bronze, "than anyone else in here."

"Thank you," Buffy smiled, playfully taking Amy's hand and kissing the top.

"Yeah, I think so too," Xander added, offering his cheek.

Buffy quirked an eyebrow and playfully pushed his head away.

"So where's Will?" Buffy asked again, looking around the Bronze.


"Where's the Slayer now?" The Master asked, sitting on his throne.

"She should be at the Bronze," Darla answered.

"So why aren't you there?"

"The sun's still out."

"Oh, in that case, wait till the sun sets." The Master shook his head.

"Yes Master." Darla bowed, before leaving the Master to feed on a fresh victim.


Willow stood outside Cordelia's front door, 20 minutes late, but still not wanting to push the doorbell, so she knocked instead, very softly.

To her surprise, the door opened, and the maid greeted her, "Hello, you must be Willow?"

"That would be me," Willow shook the maid's hand.

"Cordelia is just outside. Follow me."

Willow did as she was told, following the maid through several rooms until she was led into the backyard.


5 minutes earlier.

"She's here!" Nada called out.

"Wait a minute!" Cordelia shouted back.

"I don't think that will be necessary, she doesn't seem to be doing anything."

"What do ya mean?"

"Well, she's just standing outside the door."

"Then wait till she rings."

Cordelia quickly slipped into her violet two-piece bathing suit, ran down the stairs of her house, out the back, and dived into her pool. Unfortunately, her thong fell off when she dove in.

Cordelia frantically looked for her thong, found it floating near the top of the water, pulled herself out of the pool and slipped it back on.

"Okay, shades, shades." Cordelia looked around and found a pair next to where she usually sunbathed. "Perfect." The leggy brunette slid on the shades and laid down on the chaise lounge.

A few minutes later, she saw Nada lead Willow outside. Cordelia laid motionless, eyeing the redhead through her shades. She could see Willow instantly cast her eyes down upon seeing her sunbathing. This brought a smile to the brunette's face, knowing that Willow felt inferior at the sight of all her curves.

"Ms. Chase," Nada announced, "your friend is here to see you."

"That's an overstatement," Cordelia said acidly.

"We're not exactly friends," Willow explained to the maid.

"Oh, then your schoolmate is here to see you."

"Fine," Cordelia sighed, "you may leave us."

Nada walked back into the house, leaving a frightened Willow outside.

"What're doing?" Cordelia demanded, as Willow stood silently.

"Nothing, just standing here."

"How exactly are you going to explain the homework from over there?"

"I dunno, I thought we might go inside, where we were more clothed, mainly you."

"Never seen a woman in a bathing suit?"

"Yeah, I've seen myself in one."

"No, I said woman, which would imply actual curves."

Willow flushed, lowering her eyes.

"So, you gonna stand there all day, or come over here and tell me what you did?"

Willow nodded, taking small steps around the slippery edges of the pool, until she was standing next to Queen C herself. The shaky redhead, put her backpack down and removed the assignment.

"This it?" Cordelia grabbed the stapled pages.

"Yup, you just need to sign it."

"Why is this in your handwriting?"

"Cuz I wrote it."

"Do you want me to get caught for cheating?"

"No," Willow lied.

"Then re-write it in my handwriting." Cordelia tossed the assignment back at Willow.


"Geez, you are deaf, aren't you? I said, re-write it."

"But I don't even know what your handwriting looks like."

"Fine, I'll give you a sample later. Just explain what you did."

Willow's heart sank, she was supposed to be meeting the gang at the Bronze, but instead she was stuck here with Ms. Rich Bitch of the year.

"Okay," Willow sighed, "the first question."


"Okay," Buffy looked at Amy's watch, "Willow's officially a missing person."

"So where do we look?" Xander asked.

"How about Cordelia's place?" Amy suggested.

"Cordelia?" Buffy and Xander said in unison.

"Yeah, remember you told me that she got Cordelia's number to help her with her homework?"

"Yeah," Buffy dragged out, "but why would Cordelia invite Willow over to her place?"

"I agree," Xander said, "I mean, getting Cordelia's number and being invited to her house are two totally different and impossible things, for me at least."

"Maybe you're right," Amy shrugged, "but where else is there to look? She's not home, and she's not at any of our places."

"We should try the cemetery," Xander suggested.

"Because some sun-loving vamps got a hold of her, right?" Buffy drawled.

"I was just trying to help," Xander pouted.

"Fine, you look through the cemetery while Amy and I go to Queen C's mansion."

"Why do I have to go to the cemetery?"

"Cuz, you suggested it," Buffy explained. "Oh, but we need you to tell us where Cordelia lives."

"What makes you think I know where she lives?"

Buffy and Amy each quirked an eyebrow.

"Okay, so I might have followed her home once, twice, a multitude of times, but that doesn't mean I've peeped into her window while she was in several states of undress."

"Note to self," Buffy said dryly, "always shut blinds in Sunnydale."


"Who's here?" Cordelia asked, sitting against the headboard of her bed, while Willow explained the last of the assignment to her in a chair next to her.

"A Ms. Summers and Ms. Madison," Nada answered.

Willow's eyes lit up.

"Why are they here?" Cordelia asked.

"They said they were looking for Ms. Rosenberg."

Willow got up off her chair, but the dark-haired brunette reached out and grabbed the redhead's arm.

"Where do you think you're going?" Cordelia asked.

"To see my friends."

"Not likely," Cordelia laughed. "If people knew that you were at my house, I'd never hear the end of it."

"But..." Willow protested.

"But nothing. Nada, tell them I'll be down when I'm ready."

The maid promptly left the room.

"You told them you were here, didn't you?" Cordelia accused, as she moved to shut the bedroom door.

"No, I didn't tell anyone."

"Then why are they here?"

"I don't know."

"Liar. Tell the truth or I'll make sure you'll never be able to show your face in this town again."

"I am. I came straight here. I never told anyone."

"Then how did they know you were here?"

"I don't know," Willow said, backing up from the fiery brunette. "Wait, they know I have your number."


"Xander found out I had your number and so did Buffy."

"Figures," Cordelia sighed, "Couldn't wait to tell everyone you had Queen C's number, huh?"

"It was an accident."

"Yeah, school nerd accidentally brags that she's got my number."

"It was. I was looking at your number and Xander saw."


"Mmm hmm."

"God, now every loser in Sunnydale's gonna call me."


Buffy and Amy gracefully sipped the drinks they were given by Cordelia's maid as they waited to see her.

Seconds later, Cordelia strutted down the spiral staircase, eyeing the two women on the couch.

Buffy and Amy promptly stood up and met the brunette at the bottom of the stairs.

"Why are you here?" Cordelia asked distastefully.

"We wanted to see if you knew where Willow was," Buffy answered.

"Ha," Cordelia laughed, "me, know where nerd-girl is?" The brunette held her hand over her heart. "I think you mistook me for someone that actually gave a damn."

Buffy frowned, her hopes dashed until Amy elbowed her in the side. Buffy followed Amy's eyes up the stairs where Willow was waving her hand around a corner and motioning for them to leave.

Cordelia saw where the two were looking and turned her head, but just missed Willow returning to hide around the corner.

"See something you'll never have?": Cordy asked, noting that an expensive chandelier hung above stairway.

"Yeah," Buffy smiled before thanking Cordelia for her non-help and leaving with Amy out the front door.

As soon as the maid shut the front door, Cordelia ran up the stairs and to her room, where Willow was sitting innocently in her designated chair.

"They saw you, didn't they?" Cordelia accused.

"No," Willow gulped. "I stayed right here, just like you told me."

"If I find out you're lying, so help me God, I'll make your reputation so muddy that no one will even care that you were at my mansion."

"But if you ruin my reputation, won't me being at your house, makes yours even worse?"

Cordy ground her teeth.


Buffy and Amy waited behind some bushes for Willow to come out of the mansion as the sun finally set.

"How long do you think it'll take?" Buffy asked, grabbing Amy's wrist to check the time again.

"I dunno, Cordelia's really guarded about her rep, she'd do anything to make sure no one knew Willow was at her house."

"True, I just hope Will's okay."

"I'm sure she is," Amy smiled, "I mean, Cordelia may be a bitch, but I doubt she'd actually hurt Willow, physically at least."

"Yeah, Cordy's style seems to be hurtful comments, not hair-pulling."

"Who'd you think would win?" Amy asked.

"In a hair-pulling contest?"


"I dunno. Cordelia's aggressive, but Will's got many years of torment to pay her back," Buffy laughed.


Buffy and Amy continued their wait for Willow behind several bushes as the moon became fully visible in the night sky.

"That's it, I'm going in," Buffy stated impatiently as she stood up from her crouched position.

"Wait," Amy protested, grabbing Buffy's arm to pull the Slayer back down.

"Why? We've been waiting forever."

"Look." Amy pointed to the curtained window next to the front door.

Two shadowy figures behind the curtains looked exactly like Cordy and Will.

"I think she's leaving now," Amy whispered.

The curtain was pulled open slightly to reveal Cordelia's head looking out, then shut promptly. Within minutes, the familiar shape of their redheaded friend walked out the front door and towards Buffy and Amy's hidden location.

Buffy's body tensed, as her head turned to locate a sound behind her.

"What is it?" Amy asked.

"Nothing," Buffy shook her head as her attention returned to the girl walking towards them.

Willow walked hesitantly into the shadows, almost certain that her friends had left, considering the amount of time Cordy spent interrogating her.

Willow imagined three, four, then five vampires surrounding her while Buffy sat at home drinking a cup of hot chocolate with Amy. Not good. Willow thought, realizing that calling for a ride would've been a much safer idea than walking.

Willow ran quickly as she passed a patch of bushes, but was grabbed from behind.

"Ack," Willow screamed, but the rest was muffled by the hand covering her mouth.

"Shh, it's us Will," Buffy whispered in the redhead's ear.

Willow turned around as Buffy let her hand slip from Willow's mouth.

"I... thought... vampire... you.." Willow exasperated.

"Nope, just a slayer and a witch," Buffy smiled.

"Yeah, nothing out of the ordinary," Amy laughed. "So what happened?"

"Happened?" Willow babbled, "Nothing happened. Why would you think something happened when clearly there were no happenings whatsoever?"

"Well for one, you were in there forever," Buffy pointed out.

"Cordelia just wanted me to finish up explaining the assignment," Willow lied.

"And that's all?" Buffy asked disbelievingly.

"Yup, that's all, as in that's all folks."

"Okay..." Buffy rolled her eyes, before she and Amy looped arms with Willow. "We decided to skip patrol tonight to have a girls night in," Buffy explained as the two blondes led the redhead back to the Summers' residence.

"With hot chocolate?" Willow asked, her eye's lighting up.

"Yup, and cheesy horror movies," Buffy smiled.

"Don't forget the staying up all night and napping during class time," Amy added.

"Napping during class?" Willow pouted.

"Yup, so you better get used to it," Buffy said, "because with us around, your grades are guaranteed to go down a letter."

"A whole letter, but B's not in my vocabulary," Willow protested.

Cordy watched with the lights out in her room as Buffy and Amy jumped from the bushes to greet Willow and then lead her away down the darkened streets.

The brunette clenched her fist, realizing that her entire rep now hinged on the two blondes keeping their mouths shut.


Darla crept in the shadows, her eyes and ears highly attuned to the slightest sounds. In the distance she heard just what she was looking for, the whispering voice of the blonde Slayer.

As she got closer, Darla deduced that the Slayer was in the company of one other girl.

Suddenly a door opened up and a girl walked out from a nearby house, causing Darla to stumble and hit the ground.

The blonde vampire froze, hoping the Slayer was too busy talking to notice.

After a tense moment, Darla snuck behind some bushes and watched as the Slayer and her friend confronted another apparent friend.

Darla watched as the schoolgirls giggled and laughed, their arms looped, walking down the dark streets of Sunnydale.


Cordy turned on the lights to her room when she was satisfied the three girls had walked far enough away.

Plopping down on her bed, she winced when her backside hit a sharp object.

"Oww," Cordy shouted as she reached behind to discover a partially chewed up blue pen. "Figures, I invite geek-girl over one time and she's already leaving her germs behind."

Cordy threw the pen away in disgust, but didn't bother to look where it landed as it ended up inside her schoolbag.

The brunette carefully surveyed the rest of her bed, before laying back and closing her eyes.


"Girls?" Joyce asked as she knocked on the door, but Buffy, Amy and Willow were too engrossed in the slasher flick to notice.

"Girls?" Joyce asked again, opening the door to see Buffy sandwiched between the frightened Amy and Willow on the bed.

"What?" Buffy asked, stuffing a handful of popcorn in her mouth.

"Are you girls planning on sleeping anytime soon?"

"No, we're going to stay up all night and skip school," Buffy drawled.

"Buffy..." Joyce chastised.

"Mom... we're watching here."

"Okay, Princess, but if your grades don't improve, no more slumber parties until the weekend."

"Fine, just let us watch the movie, okay?"

Joyce smiled and shook her head before closing the door.

Amy and Willow simultaneously nudged Buffy in the side, "Princess," they teased.

"Shut up," Buffy blushed.

"Yes Princess," Amy bowed, "your wish is our command."

Willow used her fingers to perform a zipping motion in front of lips while nodding her head, which caused the group of girls to giggle uncontrollably.


"Ms. Chase?" Nada called out from downstairs.

Cordy yawned and stretched out her limbs on her bed. The morning sun shone brightly, which irritated the brunette's eyes.

Rubbing her eyelids, Cordy awoke to the sound of her maid's voice.

"Ms. Chase, time for breakfast!"

Cordy froze, her mind racing to the events of last night, remembering she had fallen asleep after Willow left.

"Crap," Cordy cursed, looking at her watch, which she had forgotten to take off.

Moving into panic mode, Cordelia raced to her closet to pick out the day's dress, ran to the bathroom to take a quick shower, brush her teeth, wash her face and apply her makeup.

Amazingly, the brunette managed to do a decent job before she ran downstairs with her schoolbag half-hanging over her shoulder.

"Ms. Chase, your breakfast," Nada motioned to the kitchen.

"Not enough time. I need my ride to school, now."

"Very well, but promise me you'll eat at school."

"I promise, now can we?"

"Yes," Nada sighed, as she got the keys to drive Cordelia to school.


"Where's Buffy?" Joyce asked Amy and Willow, as the two girls entered the kitchen.

"Asleep," Amy answered.

"Why isn't she awake?" Joyce asked.

"She insisted on sleeping," Willow replied.

Buffy's mom put down her butter knife and headed upstairs, much to Amy and Willow's delight.

"Buffy..." Joyce opened her daughter's door, but the Slayer remained snuggled up in her blankets.

Joyce rolled her eyes and walked across Buffy's room to open the curtains, sending a blinding light Buffy's way.

"Argh," Buffy instinctively blocked the penetrating sun with her arm, "What're doing?"

"Trying to get my daughter to school, now up Missy, before I have to drag you out of bed," Joyce grabbed the end of Buffy's blanket and pulled it to the floor, sending a wash of cold air over Buffy's skin.

"M'okay," Buffy grumbled.


"Hey, there you girls are," Xander walked up to the trio of Buffy, Amy and Willow in the hallway.

"Yup," Buffy smiled, "on our way to Chem, which is what you should be doing."

"I was thinking the same thing," Xander smiled back, as he budged his way in beside Buffy, nudging Amy out of the way.

"Hey," Amy protested.

"What?" Xander looked around innocently.

"Stop pushing," Amy glared, nudging Xander out of way so she could loop arms with Buffy.

"Sorry, didn't know you two were dating," Xander joked as he adjusted his collar.

"If we were, you would've gotten more than a little girly nudge," Buffy drawled.

"Well then, I guess I'll have to take my place as the boy of the group, out here on the fringe."


Cordy walked with her usual crew, including Harmony as she made her way to Chem class, giving a quick glare Willow's way before entering the room.

"Rawrrr... What was that about?" Buffy asked, turning to Willow.

"Nothing," Willow blushed, "besides, what makes you think she was glaring at me?"

"Well, you were at her house last night," Buffy replied.

"Wait a minute," Xander interrupted, "you, Willow Rosenberg, managed to get inside Cordy's mansion?"

"Yup," Willow shrugged, "but you can't tell anyone."

"Why didn't I know about this?"

"Cuz," Buffy rolled her eyes, "you were too busy drooling over our slumber party on the phone."

"Oh yeah," Xander sighed, "the memories." Xander stood under the doorway daydreaming while the girls sat down in their seats, Amy and Willow on either side of Buffy, with Cordy a couple rows in front.


"For the rest of this course, you will each have to choose a lab partner. Make your decision wisely, because once it's made, they're your partner for the rest of this course, which equates to life for many of you," Ms. Waters quipped.

Amy immediately reached out and grabbed Buffy's hand. The Slayer smiled in agreement.

Xander was about to tap Willow on the shoulder, when he noticed Cordy staring at him.

Cordy pointed at him and mouthed the words "You, me," and pointed at herself.

Xander nodded while grinning, then tapped Willow on the shoulder.

"Yeah, Xander?"

"Um, Will, I know you probably had your heart set on teaming with the amazing flunking Xander, but Cordy kinda asked me to be her partner."

"Really?" Willow looked at him oddly. "Cuz I could've sworn she just made me her partner."

"What're you talking about?"

"She was just pointing at me," The redhead explained.



"No, wait a sec. She was just pointing at me," Xander said, pointing at himself, before he looked up and noticed Cordelia shaking her head 'no.'

"See?" Willow blushed.

"Great," Xander exhaled, "now everyone's got a partner but me."


Harmony stared at Cordy in disbelief, "How could you partner with a loser like Rosenberg, rather than with your best bud, me?"

"Because... it's the easiest way to get an A in this course. Think about it Harm, what better way to pass this course than to have a nerd do all the work for you?"

Harmony smiled gleefully, clapping her hands, "You're soooo smart, Cordy. I think I'll get a geek of my own."

Harmony turned around in her chair to eye the girl directly behind her, "You're smart, right?"

The shy brunette answered shakily, "Me?"

"Yeah, you."

"I guess," The girl shrugged.

"Good, then we'll be partners, okay?"

"Okay," The girl smiled happily, glad the teacher didn't have to assign her a partner.

Harmony turned back around in her chair to talk to Cordy, "Great, now I got a geek too, which means Bronze for us, no?"

"As always," Cordy smiled.


Cordelia reached into her bag for her pencil case but couldn't find it. She searched frantically, but all she could find was Willow's chewed up pen she had thrown away in disgust last night.

Too embarrassed to ask for a pen, Cordy reluctantly used the munched on pen, but tried her best to hide it.

Half-way through the lecture, Cordy began daydreaming about the Halloween costume she'd wear this year to the Halloween dance.

She was unsure of what to get, but she was sure it would be spectacular; definitely something sexy that would make every girl in Sunnydale High jealous.

As Cordelia's mind drifted out of dreamland, she realized she'd been chewing on the chewed up pen and dropped it on her table in disgust.

"Is anything wrong, Ms. Chase?" Ms. Waters asked, stopping in the middle of her lecture.

"No, nothing at all," Cordy flushed, covering up the pen with her arms.

"Very well," Ms. Waters shook her head, before continuing.

"What was that about?" Harmony whispered.

"Nothing, just daydreaming 'bout the Halloween dance."

"You too?" Harmony smiled.

"Guess so," Cordy gave a fake smile, adjusting her arms to make sure no part of the pen was visible.


Lunch time.

Buffy, Amy, Willow and Xander sat around a circular table, eating their lunch, chatting about the lab partner situation.

Cordy walked into the lunch room with her crew, hungry as usual, but this time, really starving. The prospect of going the entire day without eating was weighing heavily on Cordy's mind.

Normally she'd eat a big breakfast at home, skip lunch to avoid being seen eating at school, then eat a late lunch upon returning home.

Today, the late lunch seemed too far away, especially since she skipped breakfast.

So Queen C sat at her usual table, with Harmony going on about something or other, while Cordy had her eyes set on Willow's lunch. She didn't know why she picked Willow's lunch to eye, but it just looked so good.

The brunette watched as the redhead took another slow bite into her sandwich, then a nice long gulp of her orange juice.

Cordy's stomach growled, causing her to rub her stomach, her mouth salivated and to everyone in her crew, she was staring at Xander.

"Earth to Cordy." Harmony waved her hand in front of the brunette's eyes. "Why were staring at loser Harris?"

A look of disgust crossed Cordy's face, "Harris? Puh leez."

"Then who were you staring at?" Harmony questioned.

"No one," Queen C answered defensively.

"Well, of course Xander's a no one, but why were you staring at him?," Harmony rolled her eyes.

"I wasn't staring at him," Cordy snarled.

"Okay," Harmony raised her hands up defensively, "but I only see three other people at that table, and none of them happen to be of the male persuasion."

"If you're trying to imply something? Stop." Cordy ground her teeth, giving her blonde friend an icy stare.

Harmony shut up immediately, which pleased Cordelia, unfortunately she was still starving and Willow's lunch looked even more delicious now that it was half gone.


Cordy salivated some more, unsure of how to satisfy the hunger in her stomach. Several solutions crossed her mind, but none seemed too appealing.

One, she could attempt to excuse herself from her crew, and find a vending machine somewhere where no one would see her.

Two, she could just buy something in the cafeteria.

Three, she could walk right over to Willow Rosenberg and snatch her sandwich.

Whoa, where'd that come from? Cordy asked herself. Why would I want to eat a half-eaten sandwich anyway? Especially one with nerd-girl's germs all over it?

The brunette shook her head in disgust.

Realizing that neither three of the options were likely to happen, Cordy settled on a fourth. She'd just buy a bottle of spring water and hope it tricked her stomach into thinking it was full. Although that sandwich, which was now practically finished, looked awfully appealing.

Cordy found herself staring once again, as Willow finished popping the last bit of sandwich into her mouth. Harmony had to bring Cordy back to earth again, by snapping her fingers.

"What?" Cordy snapped, turning her head to meet Harm's gaze.

"Nothing," Harm rolled her eyes, "Just wanted to make sure you were going to the Bronze tonight."

"Oh, yeah," Cordy answered, surprised Harmony didn't bust her again for staring at the loser table.

"Great," Harm smiled. "Maybe we can find you someone else to drool over."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing, Cor," Harm smirked.

Cordy clenched her hand underneath the table, not wanting to make a scene for no reason. Cordy figured this was the best time to go buy that bottled water she was planning on getting, as hopefully the water would cool her off. Not to mention, look dazzling on Harm's blouse right about now.


Willow popped the last of her sandwich into her mouth, well aware of her new lab partner's eyes on her. Every time Willow looked out at the corner of her eye, she could see Cordy staring in her direction.

"You okay, Will?" Buffy asked, noticing Willow's weird eye movements.

"Uh huh, why wouldn't I be?"

"Well, it's just that your right eye keeps moving in that direction. It's really freaky, Will," The Slayer answered.

Amy and Xander nodded in agreement, too engrossed in their lunches to actually verbalize.

"I know," Willow dropped her head.

"Is it because Queen C's staring at you?" Buffy asked.

"Huh, how'd you?"

"Well, it's pretty obvious, Will. I mean, what'd you do to her to make her so angry?"

"I didn't do anything."

"Then how come she keeps giving you the bad-eye?"

"I dunno."

"Come on Will, you must've done something."

Amy swallowed the rest of her sandwich and raised her hand, "In my experience, Cordy doesn't need much of an excuse to torment anyone, especially you, Willow."

"No kidding," Willow rolled her eyes.

"I don't get it," Buffy furrowed her brow, "Why does Cordy hate you so much?"

Willow thought guiltily back to the computer incident, "Well, I did do one thing not too long ago."

"See I knew it," Buffy stated triumphantly.

"But it was just one thing. I mean, if you check the score sheet, she's practically got a shutout," Willow said defensively.

"Spill," The Slayer demanded.

"Okay," Willow pouted, "when we were in computer class, she asked me how to save a file and I told her to hit 'deliver.'"

"I don't get it."

"Well, she ended up hitting DEL, which she thought meant 'deliver.'"

"Doesn't it?" Buffy asked, taking a sip of her chocolate milk.

"No. It means delete, Buffy."

Buffy sprayed her chocolate milk onto the table, getting some on Willow's white blouse. "Oh my God, I'm so sorry," Buffy apologized, quickly wiping up the milk from the table and handing Willow a handful of napkins.

Willow couldn't help but smile at the Slayer's reaction, almost proud of her little prank on the girl that had tormented her for years. Willow gratefully grabbed the napkins and began wiping off her blouse, but the chocolate milk refused to go away.

Just then, everyone's attention turned to Cordy's table. Harmony had just jumped out of her chair hysterically, her blouse doused with what appeared to be water from Cordy's bottle.

Willow couldn't help but notice a little smirk on Cordy's lips as Harmony ran to the bathroom.

When Cordy turned in Willow's direction, the shy redhead dropped her head to avoid the brunette's hard stare. Besides, Willow didn't want to be next.

The rest of Cordy's crew followed Harmony off to the bathroom, while Cordy curiously left in the opposite direction.

"Looks like trouble in paradise," Buffy quipped as Cordy left.

Willow kept her head down until she was sure Cordy had left the cafeteria.


Willow walked silently to one of the more private bathrooms in the school. The cool kids essentially had a monopoly on the west wing bathrooms, whereas anyone that wasn't considered cool had to go to the east wing.

Willow usually went to the one that was far east, so far in fact that she thought she was the only one that knew about it.

Buffy, Amy, and Xander had been forced to stay in the cafeteria by the head cafeteria lady, Ms. Larmer. Ms. Larmer thought that since Buffy and friends thought it was so funny to spew milk all over the table, that they might like to stay around and clean up the entire cafeteria.

Luckily, since Willow had gotten stained by Buffy's milk fiasco, she was allowed to leave to get cleaned up.

The hallway was empty, not surprising, since most kids stayed away from this little corner of Willow's universe. Taking the final steps to the bathroom door, Willow pushed her way through only to find that long-legged brunette on the other end.

Willow froze, her hand still on the door, propping it open.

Cordy was leaning against one of the walls, munching on a chocolate bar. As soon as Queen C saw the door open, she froze as well.

The two frozen figures stood frozen for only a few seconds, but it seemed like an eternity.

Willow froze because she couldn't believe that Cordy of all people would be caught dead in this bathroom. Willow also froze because it was Cordelia, plain and simple, okay, more like beautiful and spectacular with the sharpest tongue known to man.

Cordy froze, because she couldn't believe that she had been caught wolfing down a chocolate bar, not to mention that the person that caught her was Willow.

After the three second shock, Willow silently turned around and decided to find another bathroom, but Cordy sprang, dropped her candy bar and grabbed Willow by the shoulders.

The tall brunette spun the redhead around, slammed the door shut and pushed Willow up against the wall.

"Who do you think you are?" Cordy snapped.

"Um... um... Willow Rosenberg."

"I know that stupid. I meant, who do you think you are, coming in here and then just leaving?"

Willow shook her head frantically, "What?"

"I know what you were going to do. You were gonna go tell all your friends about how you caught, Queen C, munching on a candy bar in the loser bathroom in the east wing. Weren't you?"

"No," Willow lied, as she struggled to slip out of Cordy's intense grip.

The brunette simply pushed the redhead tighter against the wall. Realizing that some other loser might open the door, Cordy relaxed her grip on Willow and maneuvered her to the door, then pushed her up against it.

"You can lie better than that, can't you?"

Willow whimpered, not sure if she should answer the rhetorical question.

"I'm going to give you two options," Cordy breathed. "You can either keep your mouth shut, or keep your mouth shut."

"That's only one option."

"Smart girl. Are you smart enough to follow it then?"

Willow nodded her head in agreement, hoping that it would satisfy the angry brunette.

"How can I be sure you're not lying?"

"You have my word," Willow panted.

"Puh leez. Your word?" Cordy loosened her grip, then turned around dramatically, her hand high in the air. "You actually think your word means anything to me?"

Willow quickly turned around and reached for the door handle, ready to run out, until of course Cordy slammed her against the door once again, face first this time.

Cordy held Willow from behind, the redhead's cheek firmly pressed against the wooden door, with Cordy's body pressed firmly against Willow's.

"You see Willow, how can I trust you when you try to run out on our little negotiations?" Cordy purred, her hand softly brushing away the hair from Willow's right ear, exposing the simple, yet elegant earring hidden underneath.

Willow shuddered at the gentle contact. Cordy softly stroked the redhead's earlobe and fondled the pearl earring, sending still more shivers down the redhead's body.

"Well, well, it seems that nerd-girl actually has some taste after all. Either that, or your mom just gave them to you."

"I bought them myself," Willow replied proudly.

"Then you won't mind if I borrow them, for insurance of course?"


"I mean, I know I can't trust you, especially after the way you tried to run away. I need some insurance so I know you won't go blabbing to everyone about what you saw here."

"This is stealing, Cordelia."

"No," Cordy gave Willow a quick push up against the door, "It's only stealing if I don't give them back."

"How do I know you'll give them back?" Willow asked.

Cordy exhaled in frustration. "Fine, you can borrow my bracelet then. When I'm satisfied that you won't spill anything, you can have your earrings back and you'll give me back my bracelet, okay?"

"Okay," Willow reluctantly agreed.

"But if you so much as scratch it, there'll be hell to pay. And as far as you're concerned, I am hell," Cordy whispered into Willow's ear.

Willow shuddered at the cool breath against her sensitive ear.

Cordy released her grip on Willow and slipped off her bracelet.

Willow hesitantly turned around.

Cordy reached out and opened the pocket on the front of Willow's blouse and dropped the bracelet inside. Cordy smoothed her hand over the pocket, which just happened to be over Willow's breast, to make sure the bracelet stayed there.

Willow pulled back from the intimate contact, but couldn't pull back much as she backed up into the door.

Cordy glared at the fear-stricken redhead until Willow reached up to her ears to hand over the earrings.

Cordy took the earrings and stuffed them into the pocket on the front of her blouse.

"Nice to know we could work this out in a civilized manner, milk-stain girl," Cordy smirked, before brushing Willow aside to open the door. "Oh," Cordy turned her head to force eye contact with Willow, "don't even think about wearing that bracelet," Cordy threatened, before exiting the bathroom and disappearing into the hall.

Willow let the door close after Cordy left the bathroom, intent to stay there and calm down for the next hour or so. The redhead had almost forgotten why she had even gone to the bathroom in the first place, until Cordy's catty little comment at the end.


Patrolling, quite possibly the most boring part of being the Slayer. Okay, sometimes it was interesting, but usually it was the same old routine, dusting vamps.

Amy had wanted to come with, but she got stuck babysitting Dawn. So Buffy patrolled alone tonight, which she usually preferred. No distractions to annoy her when she fought, but more importantly, she didn't have to worry about protecting a friend.

Life was already tough enough without having to worry that your friend might get killed by a demon.

The Slayer walked the familiar grounds of the cemetery, humming the latest hit song in her head.


The Slayer sprang into action, leaping over gravestones until she reached a small clearing.

Two vamps surrounded a blonde catholic schoolgirl. The girl had her hands tied behind her back around a small pole pitched into the ground.

The two vamps lunged immediately at the Slayer. The first was dusted within seconds, and the second, was dusted one second afterwards.

Buffy held both stakes in each hand triumphantly, "I've been meaning to try that double stake technique," Buffy smiled, as she pocketed the stakes and dusted her blouse off.

"Oh my God, you saved me," The girl squealed.

"No problem, it's my·" Buffy trailed off as she approached the schoolgirl, "Are you sure you believe in God?"

"Why wouldn't I?" The girl asked meekly.

"Cuz from what I can tell, you don't have a soul," Buffy replied, pulling a stake out.

"I'm surprised you didn't notice right away," Darla purred, her hands still tied behind her back. "Besides, just because I have no soul, doesn't mean I don't believe in God."

"Oh, really?"

"No, it just means I believe Satan's much more powerful," Darla smirked, making no move to get free.

"Tell him I said hi when you get there," Buffy quipped, as she moved to stake the vampire.

"No, wait!" Darla gasped, the stake stopping inches from her heart.

"Why should I?"

"I have information."

"Not this again," Buffy rolled her eyes. "You're the tenth vamp that's said that this month."

"No really, I do. Don't you remember me?"

Buffy furrowed her brow, the catholic garb oddly familiar. Then it clicked, she'd seen her just when she moved to Sunnydale. In fact, she was pretty sure this was the same vamp that tried to kill Willow.

Buffy clenched the stake tightly in her palm, really wanting to drive the stake through the vampire's un-beating heart.

"You tried to kill my friend."

"So you do remember?"

"Just spill, so I can dust you already."

"I'm afraid it doesn't work like that."

"That's interesting, cause I'm the one with the stake here."

"True, but if you kill me you'll never know what the Master's up to."

"The Master?"

"Yes, you may have stopped him once, but you won't stop him again."

"What do you know?" Buffy demanded, placing the stake firmly against Darla's breast.

"That's my girl," Darla smiled.

"Tell me now, or you die."

"What's the hurry, Slayer?"

"Well, for one, hanging out here with you isn't exactly my idea of a fun night."

"Then let's make it fun," Darla pushed back against the pole and lifted her legs in the air, quickly wrapping them around Buffy's body and pulling the surprised Slayer against her.

Before Buffy could react, Darla passionately pressed her lips against the Slayer's, holding the kiss for a mere few seconds, before Buffy fought free, dropped her stake, and pulled away from the unwanted kiss.

"What the hell was that?" Buffy spat, wiping her mouth on her arm.

"Fun," Darla answered succinctly.

"For you, but for me, that's what I call eww."

"Then why'd you let me do it?"

"I didn't let you do anything. You caught me off guard."

"Really? I, a tied up vampire, caught a Slayer off guard?"

"Well, yeah," Buffy answered.

"Sounds like denial to me."

Buffy stomped over to Darla and smacked her hard across the face.

Darla laughed in delight.

"Shut up!" Buffy demanded, but the vampire continued to laugh. "Shut up!" Buffy screamed again, smacking Darla once more.

"Is this how you treat all your lovers?" Darla purred.

Buffy ground her teeth, "Yeah, and I usually finish them off with a stake to the heart," Buffy pulled out the second stake from her coat pocket, raised it up high and plunged it towards Darla's heart.

Before the stake could hit its target, Darla had managed to free her hands and caught the Slayer's wrists in a vice-like grip.

"Naughty, naughty," Darla teased, as she spun the surprised Slayer around, forcing her to drop yet another stake.

Buffy dove for the far stake and did a front roll to reface the sultry vampire, but Darla had already put some distance between them.

The sexy vampire spun around and blew the Slayer a goodbye kiss, "Call me," Darla laughed, as she disappeared into the night, her short skirt flowing in the wind.

Buffy snorted at the absurdity of the comment, "How can I call you if I don't even know your name," Buffy muttered sarcastically to herself. "Oh that's right, I don't care what your name is, you're a vampire."

The Slayer dusted herself off, walking over to pick up the other stake.

"If I got the name of every vamp I staked, I'd have to keep a black book with all their numbers. Of course, they'd all be same, 1-800-I'm in Hell," Buffy said whimsically as she decided to call it a night.


"Hey, check it out," Buffy motioned her head towards Queen C, whom was strutting down the hallway.

"Check what out?" Willow asked, finding a convenient position behind the Slayer and the open locker.

"Cordy's got a new pair of earrings and she's flashing them to everyone in the school," Buffy replied, as she watched the brunette show off to her fellow cheerleaders.

"What?" Willow cried, jumping out from her hiding position to see what Cordelia was doing.

"I said," Buffy emphasized, "Cordy's showing off her new earrings."

Willow squeezed her eyes, trying to make out the fine details of the earrings in question, "I can't believe she'd do that," The redhead steamed.

"Do what?" Buffy turned to her friend curiously.

"Nothing, I mean she'd totally do that," Willow quickly corrected, "She is the self-proclaimed Queen C after all."

"Not to mention the Sunnydale High Fashion Cop," Buffy quipped.

"That too," Willow agreed.

Both girls turned their attention back to Cordelia, who had already wowed the others in the hall enough, that she decided to head the way of Buffy and Willow.

Willow dropped her eyes, as Cordy approached. The long legs of the sultry brunette slowly came into the redhead's view.

"Like my earrings?" Cordy asked, flaunting them to Buffy and Willow.

"Sure," Buffy replied.

Willow continued to stare at the ground, unresponsive.

"Willow?" Cordy asked, taking a step closer to the frightened hacker.

The redhead gulped, and raised her eyes, "They're beautiful, Cordelia," Willow stated, averting her eyes immediately afterwards.

"Of course they are, I picked them out myself," Cordy replied. "It's too bad you'll never have anything like them," Cordy exhaled, then spun around to join her friends.

"What was that about?" Buffy questioned, as Cordy left.

"Nothing," Willow murmured, her face completely flushed.


"So you really didn't mean to spill that water on me?" Harmony questioned.

"Of course not Harm, you're my best friend," Cordy lied, although, when Cordy thought about it, it might actually be true, which was quite sad.

"Really? Best?"

"Best," Cordelia assured, with a fake smile.

Harmony bounced excitedly and brought Cordelia into a vibrant hug.

"I knew it couldn't be true," The blonde enthused.

"What couldn't be true?" Cordelia asked, as she was squeezed tight by the blonde.

"They," Harmony turned her head and shot their followers a dirty look, "said that you did it on purpose."

"Oh, did they?" Cordelia shot the girls an equally deadly stare, almost causing them to hyperventilate.

"Uh huh, they accused you of hating me," Harmony added, finally letting Cordy out of the hug.

"Well, what do you suppose we should do about their insubordination?" Cordelia asked.

"Their what?" Harmony questioned.

"Insubordination, as in disrespecting our power," Cordy clarified.

"Oh, right. I think they should do our homework for the next week."

"We already have people doing our homework, Harm."

"Oh yeah, I forgot."

"You forget a lot of things," Cordy muttered under her breath.

"What was that?"

"Nothing," Cordy smiled, knowing the other girls had heard her loud and clear.


"Cordelia, I think it's getting kinda late," Willow protested from her position on the chair next to the brunette's bed.

"You wouldn't know late if it smacked you on the head and said, 'hey, it's late,'" Cordy laughed, while flipping through the pages of her Cosmo, as she sat comfortably against the headboard.

"But it is late. Look outside."

Cordy took her eyes off her magazine long enough to take a quick peek out her window at the black night sky.

"What's your point?"

Willow was taken aback by Cordy's uncaring words.

"My point," Willow gathered up as much courage as she could, "is that it's late and I think I should leave."

"Leave? I thought we were just getting started." The brunette slapped her Cosmo down on the mattress and looked straight at the nervous redhead.

Willow averted her eyes before replying, "Well, we would have started a long time ago if you hadn't insisted on reading your magazine."

"Fine, I'm done. Let's start," Cordy replied, scooting over on her mattress till she was at the edge of her bed, next to Willow.

Willow sat nervously in the chair, the books laid out on the table before her. Cordy didn't make it any easier, as she lazily stretched out on her side, her long legs bare to the air, and her body clad only in a small white tank top, and tight red spandex shorts.

"I think I should call home first," Willow suggested, afraid her friends and family would worry about her whereabouts. Although, she realized it would most likely be her friends that would come looking for her, as her mom and dad rarely cared where she went.

"Always the goodie goodie, huh Rosenberg?"

"No, I'm just responsible."

"That's just another way of saying goodie goodie."

"Sorry, it's not my fault my parents care about me," Willow shot out, knowing in reality her parents could care less where she was.

The statement seemed to stun Queen C for a moment before she replied in her usual icy manner, "Care? More like smother," Cordy spat. "My parents understand the need for independence," Cordy lied.

"Whatever. Can I just call?"

"Fine, just use the phone on the desk," Cordy sighed, as she sprawled out on the bed, lying flat on her back while Willow made the call.

Willow took a little time dialing the number, not used to calling home.

"Hello," her mother said, as she picked up the phone.

"Hi, mom, it's me, Willow."

"Oh, hi Willow. Why are you calling, aren't you upstairs?"

"No, mom, I'm at a friend's house," Willow answered, realizing that 'friend's' was an overstatement the moment she said it.

"That's nice dear, will you be eating at your friend's house?"

"I dunno."

"Well, you should find out. Because, your father and I are going out, so we don't really have anything prepared for dinner."

"Okay mom, just a second." Willow brought the phone down to her chest. "Cordelia, my mom wants to know if I can eat dinner here."

"Why?" Cordelia questioned, as if it was the most absurd thing in the world.

Willow just continued to stare, her face doing all the replying.

"Oh, alright," Cordelia caved, realizing she couldn't starve the poor girl while she helped her with her homework.

Willow brought the phone back up to her ear. "I'll be eating here tonight," Willow confirmed.

"Great honey," Willow's mom replied. "Have fun."

"I will," Willow lied. "Bye mom."

"Bye honey."

Willow hung up the phone once she heard her mother had done so. Willow turned to the brunette who was once again reading her Cosmo, although this time on her back, as she held the magazine up in the air.

However, the redhead was more interested in the pearl earrings that the brunette still wore.

"Are you ever going to take those off?" Willow questioned, irritated at Cordy's brazenness.

"Eww," Cordy dropped her magazine on the mattress as she crossed her arms over her body, across her tank top and shorts.

"Not those," Willow spat. "My earrings."

"Oh," Cordelia brought her hands up to caress the beautiful pearl earrings that adorned her earlobes. "I like them, they bring out my eyes."

"They're mine," Willow stated angrily.

"True, but you have my bracelet, which means they're mine for now."

"Only because you forced me."

"You agreed, didn't you?"

"Under the threat of physical harm."

"Oh, please, it was the threat of reputational harm. I don't do physical."

"Is that even a word?"

"What word?"


"Do I look like I care?"

Willow exhaled, thinking she was going to explode.

"Look," Cordelia sat up on her bed, "You're supposed to be helping me with my homework. So let's do that, okay?"

"Fine," Willow agreed, realizing that arguing with Cordy wasn't going to get her anywhere.


Cordelia brought her right hand up to her neck and tried desperately to massage her aching neck muscles. Lying on her side while Willow explained the homework wasn't helping her sore neck she got from cheerleading practice.

Willow watched from the corner of her eye as the brunette sprawled onto her back, bringing both hands up to massage her aching neck muscles.

"What are you doing?" Willow finally asked.

"Trying to relieve the achy sore feelings in my neck."

"Don't you have a personal masseuse to do that for you?" Willow asked sarcastically, figuring Cordy was rich enough to afford one.

"No, why would I want some old man giving me a massage?"

"Why would it have to be an old man?" Willow asked.

"Because, I checked. All the masseuses here in Sunnydale are either old men, or old women, neither of which are very appealing."

"Oh," Willow answered.

"No. More like sucks," Cordy replied, as she slapped her hands to the mattress, giving up on the useless self-massage.

"Cordelia!!! Willow!!! Supper's ready!" Nada called from downstairs.

"Coming!" Cordelia answered, as she sat stiffly up in the bed.

To be continued