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

Outside In
By Minim Calibre
For Patricia RD

Sometimes, she thinks it was all a nightmare, that any minute now, she'll wake up in Silverlake and Dennis will have breakfast ready for her. Then, before she's even had her coffee, she'll feel her head start to throb because it's yet another message from the Powers that Be in full-on Gross-o-Vision, and boy howdy, does that seem better than the reality, which is that she's probably never waking up at all.

She thinks she's opened her eyes to check the alarm, but the alarm's not there. She's there, bloated and moaning with pain and the need to give birth to... that.

A soft hand slides across her shoulder. "You're seeing it again, what you did to my boy."

Darla. If Cordelia turns, she'll see a summer dress in the dark, blonde hair blending with the off-white gauze, blue eyes cold with rage. Darla's always in the light. No, Darla always is the light.

"That wasn't me."

"Wasn't it?" The hand slides down her back, the fabric of whatever outfit Cordelia imagines she's wearing disappearing with a touch. Fingernails dig into her skin, bleeding pink into Darla's dress, which Cordelia can see somehow, even though Darla's still behind her.

"No." But the woman on the floor wears her face, and it was her body beneath Connor's, and her regret the morning after. Cordelia never sees Connor, never sees the thing that they brought forth. All she sees is herself, the handprint blossoming on her belly.

Darla's hand traces the curve of her hip, sending tiny shivers of something wrong, curling inside her like her other self. Cups the barren flatness of her stomach, folded over the spot where Connor painted her with virgin's blood. "He killed for you, lied for you." Practiced fingers slide down, slide inside her. "Died for you."

The tiny shivers turn to shockwaves, and Cordelia's legs turn to jello and stone. She's trapped halfway between molten and frozen, between asleep and awake. "For her," she manages to say, hoping this time Darla will understand.

"Did you really think it would be that easy, that there wouldn't be a price to pay?" Darla's hand works faster between her legs, teasing and clawing, leaving her thighs wet with blood and sweat. "That your demon wouldn't want out?" The heat from Cordelia's body warms her skin, sending a cloud of Shalimar to wrap around them, powder and copper and salt.

But she didn't have a choice, she screams behind her closed lips, her open ones panting and moaning as she leans into Darla's touch. So many of her trapped in here, and none of them able to get out. She pictures bubble baths, smells death. Screams a name that's not her own, but was, somewhere, except it's too late. Dead fingers writhe like worms inside her where life kicks and swells.

"Give. It. To. Me." Each word forced from between gritted teeth.

Darla pauses, her lips a breath she doesn't have away from Cordelia's ear. "Give you what?" she asks, knowing and making her say the words, always making her say the words.

"Something real."

Darla's thumb flicks up, presses down, the light from her blinding, overwhelming, overtaking Cordelia, before everything fades once again to black.