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

Last Kiss Before Leaving
By Dolores
For Faithtastic

Ok, so like the last kiss I had was with Wesley. And woo that didn't work out well. I mean, I always figured suave British guys would be great kissers. I watched that Bond movie that time with Devon, and Mom was always watching reruns of Remington Steele and... well, ok, they were both the same guy. Whatever: he knew how to make a woman swoon in his arms and dance the lip samba, because that is what suave British men know how to do.

And, yes, people, I do know the difference between acting and reality - 'cause when Tom Cruise kisses the girls, that's so acting - but I always figured that like all stereotypes they were based on, y'know, something. Right. Some chance more like. Wesley kissed like a wet lettuce.

What's worse is: I like kissing. It's one of my most favourite things to do, up there with buying shoes - something else I don't get to do so much these days - and time was I could just turn up to High School and have the pick of all the dumb jocks who were falling over themselves to get to first base with Cordelia Chase. Then suddenly I was a dweeb for dating Xander Harris and then a poor dweeb after Daddy got busted and suddenly much less desirable. And of course it's the summer and Sunnydale High is a charred ruin which means dumb jocks don't hang around there anymore anyway.

Dumb jocks do sometimes hang around the Bronze, and so maybe that's why I agreed to go there for my last night in Sunnydale. Go out and be Cordelia Chase, Queen C herself, the most beautiful, glamorous, stylish woman in a twenty mile radius and suck face with one of the lame boys from my year one last time before I go to LA and I'm just another aspiring actress wondering if she needs to get a boob job to succeed or if she'll just have to blow the nearest producer. Or one of the most successful movie stars in history, which is at least as likely, but I'm trying to manage my expectations, y'know?

Anyway, it's just the four of us there: me, Buffy, Willow and Oz. Xander's off on his doomed, Kero-wacky attempt at self-development, Angel has gone off to be broody someplace else (which is a shame as if he and Buffy aren't dating any more he'd be so on the list of potential targets) and Giles is old and unsuitable company for a social event in which I am trying to make a good impression on eligible bachelors.

Not that there's many of those in the place. It is summer I suppose, and the usual crowd - well, those parts of it I want to see here - are probably on their foreign vacations or travelling around Europe or dead from all the fun of Graduation. Left behind are only the very dregs of the Sunnydale scene. In fact, it's totally chronic. I find myself wondering briefly if it would be so bad if I locked lips with Jonathan and then shuddering as I realise that it really, really would.

That's the moment that it all becomes unbearable and I suggest we leave. Oz offers us all a ride home, but I say I'd prefer to walk, have a look around the place before I go for good.

Oz's eyebrow moves upwards a tiny fraction, a gesture that for experienced interpreters of Oz's facial expressions indicates he'd prefer I went in the van. But there's hardly been any vampires around these last few weeks and I have a stake in my purse anyhow.

"I'll be fine. And besides, my hair always smells of pot after being in your rust bucket."

A minuscule shrug. "Devon's so wired after gigs we have to get him stoned or else he's incontinent. Pot's just the better odour, I guess."

There's a stand-off for a moment.

"Hey, look, I'll walk with you," says Buffy. "We can take in all of the graveyards; it'll be like old times."

I relent. "Okay, whatever. I guess I wouldn't want my last night in Sunnydale to be my last with the ability to achieve a natural tan."

Willow, Oz and I have our final goodbyes, and as I hug them both I get a knot in my stomach I didn't expect. I was actually going to miss these guys, even Willow (although her probably less than some of the others).

But I'm not going to college and so fame and fortune await me in LA. Je ne regrette rien and all that. It's still kinda weird going round the old town and thinking I'll probably never see it again, unless they take me back here in like 20 years when they do a retrospective of my life on E! or something.

Buffy and I talk as we walk and it's funny now I think of it. Sure, she has her future sorted with UC Sunnydale and all, but I guess it's also gonna involve a lot of random violence and a probable early death -- thank God I can go to LA and escape that fate! -- and odd though it sounds I can relate a little.

"We're kinda similar, you and me," I say.

"You think?"

"Strong women, actually quite snappy dressers -- though seriously, ask your mom about moisturising -- and people who should have it totally made without trying. But that's not how it works, and we're going to have to fight really hard if we're going to get what we want."

"You're different though. You truly believe you're going to get it."

"Yeah, I think I am."

"I wish I had that confidence."

I turn on my heel, and grab her arm. We stop and it just so happens Buffy is in really good light and her hair looks killer.

"Buffy, if anyone should have confidence it's you. Look -- and, hey, I'm probably just getting emotional about the fact that I'm about to leave but this could be useful stuff for me to draw on later once I start getting parts so I'm going to go with this -- you even managed to teach me some stuff about sticking to your guns even when life is sucky. The last few months haven't exactly worked out as I'd planned but then what you taught me more than anyone else is to go with what you've got and make it work for you. No matter how hard that is."

Buffy's cheeks flush a little. "Thank you. I think I might actually miss you, Cordy."

We have a moment. Her eyes look into mine, time freezes, all that stuff -- and I know how that works. I lean in and kiss her firmly. There's the strange sensation of her waxy lipstick on mine and just for a few seconds she starts to kiss back before suddenly she draws back, eyes wide.

"Uh. Yeah," she says, "so -- where is you're staying right now?"

I lick my lips before answering and we finish the walk in silence, more or less, until we reach the apartment my mom is renting and there's an awkward farewell that involves a brief hug before Buffy hurries off.

Maybe I should feel weirded out too, but actually I feel strangely elated. Cordelia Chase's last night in Sunnydale can be judged a success. I did my lesbian experimentation and didn't even have to go to college and it was with a pretty hot chick. Still Buffy, but she's not so shabby. And I got to kiss someone without it being a disaster. Well, neato.

Now I'm ready to leave this two-bit town; I have outgrown it. LA, here I come.