Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

By Mary Borsellino
For Bex Stormcrowe

At a party, someone asked what she was working on now and she couldn't make her mouth work, couldn't choke the words out. She flashed a glittery smile, worthy of a superstar, worth a million bucks when its owner would be lucky to afford enough frozen dinners to last the whole week.

"Supernatural film noir." the lie had been so easy, because it was hardly a lie at all. "You know, world-weary existential hero stuff, heaven and hell."

"So you're playing, like, a beautiful girl who needs saving?"

The lie slid smooth as butter off her tongue. "No. I'm the hero."


January was funeral month in Sunnydale. Kids would fail to return from New Year's parties, turn up dead and bloodied. Two or three days later their families would be found, killed with expressions of surprise etched on their faces.

The minister at the church that buried most of Cordelia's friends over the years had a thick brogue in his voice. That lilt always made her feel safe somehow, sad but protected. Angelus had a hint of it in his voice but she never acknowledged that, because it was for some reason important to keep some of the furtive sanctuaries of childhood safe.

Maybe that's why it was so easy to trust Doyle so wholeheartedly, despite all the evidence that she shouldn't. Easy not to worry when he and Angel retreated behind closed doors for hours at a time, because that was just a priest performing an exorcism, expelling out the devil with expert hands and lips and leaving behind a newly baptized hero.

Cordelia sat at the top of the stairs and listened to two low voices but only one set of heavy breathing, and held a piece of sharp wood on her lap, just in case. It left splinters in her palms but she'd stopped looking at her hands, the nails bitten and ragged as if they'd never known what it was to be pampered and manicured.


Then Doyle died, and Cordelia cried and Angel broke things, and the visions came and Cordelia cried again and threw a vase against the wall and cut her hands cleaning it up. As a child, blood had made her ill, but growing up in Sunnydale had cured that. Now it made her afraid, with Angel so close by and no holy man to drive the demon out. She hoped she would never hear an irish accent again.


Wesley and Angel made Cordelia sad, because sitting on the stairs with the stake across her knees reminded her of Doyle, and the power was so imbalanced between them. She knew that it would always be Wesley on his knees, on his stomach, and that the man needed that because somewhere deep inside he loathed himself, and Angel needed that because it meant that this wasn't what he'd had with Buffy, who had been his equal, whom he had worshipped. Wesley expected and received no worship.

They nearly died, thanks to Wolfram and Hart, and when she awoke in hospital Cordelia sobbed because how far had she fallen that being saved meant being brought back to this, a woman struggling through life with visions screaming in her thoughts?


Her dreams had become fractured things since the visions had come, narratives lost to images and feelings. The curve of a wing, the glint of a knife. Doyle's back arching, lips open but soundless, Angel's wet and deadly mouth buried between his legs. Sometimes it was Wesley, twice it was Xander. Always dark hair, always men, always damaged merchandise. If Faith had been a boy, or she herself had been more visibly broken, perhaps they too would be there in Cordelia's dreams and Angel's bed, black lambs for the sacrifice.

Cordelia decided to lighten her hair.

In one dream Doyle began to explain in his thick accent about the visions, about the seven eyes within her, yonic energy and the balance between all things. But the words kept getting lost against Angel's throat, and Doyle's mouth was bloodied, and Cordelia willed herself awake.


Then Wesley found people who loved him, and it became harder for him to loathe himself. Virginia, and Gunn, and Cordelia's hands were free of splinters because Wesley didn't have to go to Angel for penance anymore, his purgatory was over.

Things went dark, and Angel was falling into a darker place still, and in her nightmares Cordelia began to hear a voice with a lilt on the words telling her about the end of days, the predator and the prey and the other, the one who should have been prey but was graceful and strong enough to escape and triumph. The wolf, the sheep and the deer, the dream called them, and Cordelia knew that they had other names too.


She slept with Virginia, while one wry corner of her mind said 'over identify much?' because it was so easy to see who she'd once been in the proud and clever woman. Her hands on Cordelia's skin were smooth and manicured, and when they were coming down, sweaty and tangled, Cordelia's head daggered with pain from a vision and she started sobbing and couldn't stop.

Angel came back, and Wesley went to his room and locked the door behind them, but Cordelia knew it would never be Wesley on his knees again so she didn't bother sitting guard with the stake and took Gunn out for frappacinos instead.


She never expected to be a princess again, or to have a beautiful humble boy love her. To have a chance to lose the visions. It was all she'd wanted for so long.

At least, she'd thought it was. But as she sat and thought, and looked down at her lightly calloused hands, Cordelia knew that she hadn't been lying at that long-ago party. She wasn't a beautiful girl who needed saving. Some things were more important than happiness, so she cried and shook her head and walked away from who she'd once been, and could have been again.

And when they got back to their own world, and Buffy was dead, Angel sobbed and screamed and broke things and it was Cordelia who calmed him down, rocked him as he cried, and she'd made herself so strong and hard inside she didn't even shiver when the brogue crept into his voice.