the pearl

The Hard Lines

Cordelia hitched her backpack up higher on her shoulder and brushed a lank strand of hair out of her eyes. She weaved her way in and out of the large groups of students, trying to get from one end of the campus to the other.

She tripped over a slightly raised piece of sidewalk and stumbled, cursing. A large guy with a dingy backwards baseball cap glared at her as she tripped, and her curse grew a bit more vehement.

It didn't used to be like this. She was a queen in Sunnydale. She was rich, she was popular, and everyone loved her.

But now she was another unknown poor college student. She gave up filet mignon and pate for ramen and Taco Bell bean burritos; MAC and Nars for Wet N Wild; Banana Republic and J. Crew for the occasional sale at Target.

She hated it. But, right now, there was nothing else for her to do.

She finally reached her destination, slowly opening the door and stepping into the small diner.

"Cordy, you're late!" a voice said from the kitchen.

"Sorry!" Cordy said, walking into the back and dropping her bag. "You try walking through the noon class rush against traffic...." She pulled on her apron and straightened her hair.

"Yeah, yeah..." The cook gestured towards the lunch counter. "Get to work, darlin'...there are people waiting."

Cordelia grabbed her notepad and scurried out to the lunch counter. She paused, affected a false cheer, then turned to the person staring at a menu. "Hi, welcome to Dinah's, can I help you?"


Giles held the thin book in his hands, nearly bouncing in excitement. Three years. He had been looking for this book for three bloody years and now it was in his hands, the smooth leather, the slightly cracked was all his.

He opened the door of the small diner, glanced up to find an empty booth, and sat down, his eyes still on the book. He slowly cracked open the book and read the first page, losing himself in the text.

Suddenly, he became aware of a person standing in front of him.


Cordelia had been going along busily, getting the orders, serving the food, handing the checks, doing her usual waitressing work, her mind off elsewhere.

Then he walked in.

Cordelia nearly dropped an entire plate of fries, but quickly recovered. She set the plate down, grabbed her notepad, and, on shaking legs, walked over to the booth where he was sitting.

He was reading a book. Just like the old times, he was reading a book, totally lost in the words on the page. She stood there, quietly, unable to speak, not wanting him to see her, never wanting him to see her. Not like this. Never like this.

"I...I'd like a club sandwich and....." He glanced back at the menu. "Your tea probably is tea bags and lukewarm..." he muttered. "And an iced tea," he said to her, not looking up.

Cordelia wrote that on her notepad in a barely legible script. "I....Is t-there any- anything else?" she stammered.

The man finally looked up. His eyes grew wide and the menu slowly fell back to the table. "Cordelia?" he said, his voice a whisper.

Cordelia nodded slowly. "Hi Giles," she said, just as quietly.


Cordelia walked back, a plate in one hand. She set it down in front of Giles, then walked back away. She returned back with two glasses and sat down.

Giles rose an eyebrow.

She gestured to the glass. "I'm on break," she said. "And I figured you had questions..."

Giles looked down, then looked back up. "Well, yes..." he finally said.

Cordelia gave a sharp quick smile. "So what do you want to know?" she asked.

Giles frowned, his mouth opening slightly. He closed his mouth and looked directly at her. "Everything," he said.

Cordelia chuckled dryly. "Everything. Right." She twirled the straw in her soda. "Well, where to begin?" she said briskly. "Why not at the beginning? My father cheated on his taxes, we lost everything right before prom, I wasn't going to be able to go to college, Grandmother Chase intervened and gave me just enough money to cover what financial aid wouldn't pay and now I work as a waitress just to cover rent and food." She smiled at him. "How's that?"

Giles blinked. "" He straightened slightly. "Why didn't you mention any of this in high school?"

"You weren't exactly paying attention, Giles. Too busy with Buffy, and Faith, and the Mayor, and graduation." She took a sip of her soda. "The minor difficulties of the Chase family were not anyone's concern outside of the family," she said, in a flawless imitation of an upperclass Bostonian woman. At Giles' raised eyebrow, she smiled sheepishly. "My grandmother said that right after she found out Daddy was going to prison..." She gave another brief razor smile. "Me and Xander finally had something in common....fathers in jail..."

Giles winced.

A long moment of silence passed. Giles finally looked up. "What are you studying?"


Giles stared at her in shock.

She looked back at him. "It's your fault, you know. All those nights spent researching..." She shrugged. "I guess it sort of...rubbed off on me." She looked down at her drink. "So now instead of long nights trying to find out what demon was going to kill us next, I spend long nights translating something that's been translated twenty million times before by twenty million other Intermediate Latin students..."

Giles frowned for a second. "Cordelia, I..." He paused, trying to find the words. "University of California Sunnydale has a very good Classics program...I'm certain that you can get in for the next term..and if you were to transfer, your tuition would be covered and you would have a good apartment to live in..."

Cordelia stared at him. "Excuse me?"

Giles looked down at his untouched food. "Come back with me. Come back to Sunnydale."

Cordelia slumped back against the booth, laughing. "Come back with you?" she said, chuckling. She straightened up slightly when she saw his indignant look. "I....I can't, Giles," she said. "I can't go back there. It'd be pointless."

"It'd be better than this, wouldn't it?"

Cordelia suddenly turned serious. "Would it?" She looked up into his eyes. "Look at me, Giles. I'm not Sunnydale High's prom queen any more. I don't have any money, and I don't even know if I want what I had anymore." She sighed. "Buffy, Xander...everybody...they have this image of me...and I'm not that person any more."

"But, Cordelia..." Giles protested.

She slowly stood up. "My break's over, Giles..." she said softly. She bent down and kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you for the offer, but I can't."

"Cordelia, I..." Giles said, rising slightly.

"I just can't." She bent down and kissed him gently on the cheek. She walked back behind the counter, pulling out her notepad and getting back to work.


She came by a half hour later, dropping his bill onto the table. He slowly got out his wallet, trying to make her stay a bit longer. "I wish you would reconsider," he finally said. "We need you."

Cordelia chuckled, shaking her head slightly. "They don't need me," she said. "Anything I could possibly do, somebody else can do a lot better....Willow can cast spells, Oz can speak Latin, Buffy slays...hell, even Xander can fight monsters better than I can."

Giles handed her a twenty dollar bill. "Cordelia..." he said, his voice low. "I need you."

Cordelia's hand pulled away from his quickly, the twenty in her hand. "I...I'll go get your change," she said shakingly.

"Keep it," he said, his voice still low.

"Giles, this is a twenty dollar bill!" She tried to give it back to him.

"Keep it," he said, taking both of her hands in his. "If you won't come back with me, the least I can do is help you."

"Giles, I..." She pulled her hands away and reached for her notepad. She scribbled something, tore it off and handed it to him, then quickly fled.

Giles looked down at the sheet of paper, read the address, then carefully folded it and placed it in his coat pocket.


Giles slowly made his way up the walkway and rang the doorbell.

After a few seconds, a short dark-haired girl answered the door. "Yes?" she asked.

"I...I'm here to see Cordelia," Giles stammered.

The girl smiled widely. "Oh! Come on in!" She held the door open. "Cordy!" she yelled. "Mr. Giles is here!"

Giles looked at the girl. "H-how do you know who I am?" he said, a slight indignant tone in his voice.

The girl smiled again. "Cordy told me, of course. She tells me all about the fun you all had back in high school with the Latin club."

She looked towards the hallway and saw Cordelia walking towards the living room. "Oh, and she talks in her sleep, too..."

"Don't listen to a word she says, Giles," Cordelia said, grinning as she walked in. "Mandy always lies."

"Do not..." Mandy said, pouting slightly. She bent down and grabbed a large bag. "Anyways, I'm off to the library and the store. Want anything?"

"A pint of Haagen Dazs. But you know I don't get paid until Friday..."

Giles pulled out some money. "Here you go," he said to Mandy. "Buy Cordelia her ice cream."

Both Mandy and Cordelia stared at him, Mandy's eyes wide with surprise, Cordelia's eyes narrowed. After a few seconds, Mandy shrugged. "Sure thing. Want anything yourself?"

Giles smiled sheepishly. "Um...No...No thank you."

"Right. See ya!" She waved, then left.

Giles waved. "She's a nice girl..." he said.

"She was my roommate my freshman year and taught me how to survive on $50 a month for food," Cordelia said, her voice flat and slightly aggravated. "And you shouldn't have given her money to buy me things."

Giles walked over to the threadbare couch and sat down. "And why not?"

Cordelia sighed. "Because she'll think you're either a john or a sugar daddy, Giles."

Giles raised an eyebrow. "Really?"

Cordelia shook her head. "I don't know....I don't know what she'd think, I don't know what I think, I don't even know why I gave you my address!"

Giles looked up at her, his expression suddenly serious. "And what do you think, Cordelia?"

Cordelia began pacing around. "I don't know..." She stopped and turned to face him. "No, wait. I do know. I'm not going back to Sunnydale. I don't want to see Buffy, or Willow, or Xander ever again. But I..." her voice trailed off.

Giles leaned forward. "Yes?"

Cordelia looked at him, her eyes glittering. "I..."


"Damn you!" Cordelia spat out. "Damn you being here in L.A.! Damn you for caring about me! Damn you for...." her voice broke in a sob.

"Damn you for making me care about you."

Giles stood and walked over to her. "Cordelia, I..."

She fell into his arms. "Don't say anything?" she said in a small voice. "Just...hold me...please?"

"Oh Cordelia..." he said softly, stroking her hair gently. "My dear sweet girl..." She looked up at him, resting her head against his chest.

"Giles..." she said, her voice soft. "I..."

"Shh..." He stroked a single finger over her cheek. "I know..."

He bent down and gently, delicately pressed his lips against hers. Her arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer, her luscious mouth opening to his kiss, her body pressing up against his. She moaned when his hands slid down her back, wrapping around her waist, sliding under the thrift-store sweater to press flesh against flesh in hot sensation.

The kiss ended slowly, Cordelia resting her head on Giles' shoulder. Giles gently kissed her forehead. Her hands stroked his chest gently, sliding down lower and lower.... Giles stopped her hands right before they reached his belt. "Cordelia..." he said softly. "Cordelia, do you..."

She looked up at him, her eyes shining. "Yes," she said calmly.

She stepped away from him, holding on to his hand. "Come with me..." She led him from the living room through the cramped hallway to a small room. Giles looked around the small bedroom, seeing the beat up mattress on the floor, the boxes of clothes, cinderblocks-and-board bookshelves filled with books, the photos of the Sunnydale crowd. He turned back to her. "Cordelia..." he said softly.

She smiled sadly. "It's not four-posters and mahogany, but it serves its purpose," she said softly. She pulled him close to her. "Giles..."

"Rupert," he said, nuzzling her neck.

"Rupert," she said quietly. She pulled his head up and looked into his eyes. "Rupert...make love to me..."

Giles closed his eyes for a second, then pulled her back into a rough, passionate kiss. Her hands slid up to his shirt, undoing his tie, unfastening buttons, sliding fingers against his undershirt. Giles' hands slid over her body, undoing her bra under her sweater, dipping down below her waistband to stroke her hips, sliding up against her stomach to cup her breasts... She moaned as his thumbs delicately stroked over her nipples.

"Step back, darling," he whispered into her ear. She stepped back just far enough for him to pull her sweater over her head, taking her bra with it. He stared at her in sheer admiration for a few minutes, then, slowly, effortlessly, sat on the mattress, pulling her down on top of him.

His mouth slid over her breasts, licking, kissing, tasting. He captured a nipple in his mouth and sucked, gently at first, but then harder. She wriggled in his lap, straddling him, pressing herself against the hardness in his trousers, gasping raggedly against his forehead, moaning every time he moved his mouth. She pulled his shirt and braces away from his body, leaving him in the thin undershirt. Her hands slid down, pulling it out of the waistband, pulling it up, trying to get skin against skin. She pulled his face up, kissing him roughly, pulling his shirt up. They separated enough to remove his undershirt, and she held him tightly, pressing her breasts against his chest, reveling in the sensation of skin against skin, the rough texture of his chest hair against her sensitive nipples.

His hands moved around her waist, sliding over her jeans, unbuttoning them slowly. Her hands undid his belt and slowly undid his trousers.

She stepped back and roughly pushed her jeans and panties down. She stood in front of him, completely naked.

"Oh God," Giles whispered quietly. "Oh Cordelia..."

She smiled bashfully, then rummaged in a small box beside her bed. After a few seconds, she pulled out a condom and set it on the bed. "Rupert..." she said quietly.

"Yes?" he said, his voice low.

She smiled bashfully again. "If you just knew how many times I daydreamed about being able to say that...." She sat on the mattress and slowly began to push him back.

He fell back against the pillows, and felt her small fingers sliding across his stomach, sliding across his waist, sliding his trousers and pants down, leaving him in socks, then the socks were gone and he was as naked as she was, no longer what they had become but what they always were — two humans.

She rested her head along his hipbone, one hand tracing a pattern across his stomach, the other stroking his inner thigh. Giles groaned low in his throat as she breathed gently on his hard cock. She leaned over just a little, and barely touched the seeping head with her tongue.

He groaned louder, thrusting his hips upward. Cordelia shifted slightly and took the head of his cock into her mouth, sucking gently. Giles gripped the bedsheets, moaning. And as quickly as her mouth slid onto his cock, it was gone. He cracked open his eyes. "Cordelia...?" he asked in a ragged whisper.

The thin latex barrier was slowly pulled over his hard cock.

Cordelia straddled him, her lithe body over his. "Rupert," she said quietly. "Do you want this?"

"Yes," he said, his hips raising. "Yes, yes, yes..."

She slowly put him inside herself, her hips eventually reaching his, their bodies joined together. She leaned over and kissed him, her tongue sliding over his lips as she rode him, her hips rocking back and forth.

Giles' hands moved up to her breasts, squeezing gently, his head pushing back on the pillow, living entirely in the hot wet slickness that surrounded his cock. It was heaven, it was hell, it was all in that slow movement and fast breathing of the woman on top of him.

Cordelia rode him, her pace increasing, his body rubbing up right against that oh-so- sweet spot, bringing her closer and closer and closer and...

"Oh God! Oh Rupert Oh God Right there oh my God! Oh yes....yes...OH!" And she came, she came hard, she came, clenching down on him, squeezing his cock.

Giles was trembling, Giles was close, Giles felt the young woman in his arms slowly fall onto his chest. He slowly rolled her over onto her back, keeping himself still inside her.

Her eyes opened, and she smiled widely. "Oh yes..." she said, her voice soft. "Please..."

And he started to thrust. She was still faintly spasming around him, she was so tight, she was so perfect, she was wonderful, exquisite, amazing and it was so good so bloody good it was too much he couldn't stop he couldn't it was...

"Yes," Cordelia said, looking directly at him. "Yes..."

And he came, he came hard, thrusting into her fast and hard and oh it was heaven oh it was hell it was all wrapped into this one glorious moment and oh....

He fell onto her body, exhausted, breathing hard, trying to come back to earth, come back to his life and...

Oh God. She didn't want to be with him.

He slowly rolled off of her, nestling next to her, capturing the smell of her into his memory, his face nuzzled against her neck. She stroked his hair softly. Finally, he spoke. "I can't convince you to return with me, can I?"

She froze for a second, then resumed stroking his hair. "I can't go back there, Giles," she said softly.

He sighed. "I know," he said, his voice sad, yet accepting. "I just wish it wasn't this way..."

She rolled onto her side and kissed him tenderly, sweetly, finally. "I know," she said softly. "I know..." She sat up and reached for her clothes. She looked up at him, somewhat sheepishly. "Mandy'll probably be back soon, Rupert...I'm sorry..." She looked down and pulled her sweater over her head.

Giles watched her, memorizing every detail. The scar along her stomach....the slight wave to her hair....the curve of her hip... She looked at him, her expression one of softness and hardness, sadness and happiness. She looked down. "If I can help...without going to Sunnydale...." she started, not knowing what to say.

He looked at her in surprise. "There is," he said, sitting up, thoughts connecting in his head. "Help Angel."

She stared at him in shock. "Excuse me?"

"Angel....he needs someone here to help him...with research...You can do that."

She smiled softly. "Yeah, I guess I can..."

Giles looked down at the rough sheets on the old mattress, and stroked the cloth slowly. "Will..." He searched for the words. "Will I see you again?"

Cordelia sat back on the bed. "I can't go back, Giles," she said, her voice firm. "Especially now." She stroked his cheek gently. "But every time you come here..."

He grasped her hand and held it tightly against his face. "Thank you," he said quietly.

She smiled softly. "Thank you," she said in a whisper.

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at