Angelus moved stealthily through the night, carrying the unconscious girl over one shoulder. It was late enough in the night where no one would be out and see him. He moved quickly down the street, the shadows of the trees providing some cover in case an adventurous human was out so late..
The ritual had been successful; the Anti-Slayer was now alive and well in Cordelia. Angelus thought back to earlier that night...
Drusilla had not rested a minute after completing the ritual, talking to her daughter and explaining to her what was going on, where she was. The Anti-Slayer had listened to her quietly, transfixed by Dru as she caressed her face and stroked her hair, talking in a soothing voice. Spike had quietly observed the scene, appearing unsure of what to do next. The Anti-Slayer had acknowledged him and offered a small smile as if she recognized him.
Angelus continued to lurk behind them, quietly observing of the scene. He could feel the Anti-Slayerís power and potential, felt it through Dru. The psychic connection Dru had with the Anti-Slayer was strong and because he and Dru were connected...he was her grandfather of sorts. The girl was strong and powerful, oh so powerful. And she had intense passion, which when manipulated right-could present her as a great weapon. Screw Spike Angelus thought as he watched the happy Ďfamilyí. This family trip was too inane, even for Spike and Drusilla. The Anti-Slayer had the ability to be a great destructive force-especially against the Slayer, not some toy child for Dru to play with. The more Angelus thought about it, the more sense it made-Take the Anti-Slayer for himself. He could do it at the second part of the transformation. Take Spikeís place at the table and he would be tied to her and control her. He had to be careful though and not allow Spike and Dru to suspect what he was thinking. He would wait for an opportunity to...persuade...yes, persuade the Anti-Slayer to follow his lead. All that power and strength, and beauty too. Cordelia had been an attractive girl, Xander had seemed to think so. Angelus smirked The little twerp will definitely be pissed that I took not one but two of the women he cared for
Yes, Angelus had a plan; take the Anti-Slayer for himself, cleaning house afterwards of course-Buffy and her crew would go first and then Spike. Dru may be dealt with in some way, Angelus wasnít sure how yet. He had to figure out a way to get to the Anti-Slayer alone so he could redirect her sense of loyalty.
"Kitten, you look exhausted, why donít you rest?" Spike asked Drusilla as she continued to stroke the childís hair. The Anti-Slayer was sleeping again, the hostís body weak from the ritual.
"Isnít she beautiful?" Dru asked as she gazed at her daughter. "Our child is sooo pretty and she is all ours Spike."
"Yes, my pet, she is a beauty like her mother," Spike said as he watched the sleeping form on the table. He felt...what did he feel? He felt wonder, protectiveness, or even love for this child of his and Druís. It must be the because of the blood that he and Dru share with the Anti-Slayer now. Spike could swear he felt a bond with the child and it unnerved him. Unlike the feelings of blood lust that he experienced over and over during the years, the feelings he felt for the child were that of protector. He saw how much Dru loved and doted on her and it made him want to preserve that for Dru- no matter what. Spike looked around at Angelus and could sense him brooding over something -his predatory eyes slowly going over the girlís form. Heís up to something Spike noticed that Drusilla was asking him something. "What did you say Dru?"
"Darling, What do you think we should name her? I like the name Mordra. It was the name of my great-grandmother who gave me little dollies to play with. You remember her Angel, the one you killed so long ago?" Drusilla looked to Angelus.
"Yeah, I do remember her," Angelus said as he moved closer to the table watching ĎMordraí. "Mordra sounds like a perfectly suitable name," Angelus smiled as Dru looked towards Spike. He looked up at her and nodded silently.
Mordra Spike thought as he gazed at his daughter.
Dru smiled and leaned over Mordra who was beginning to stir. "Kitten, you need to rest," Spike reminded her as she sighed. "And we need to figure how to prepare Mordra to face the Slayer."
"Spike, she is still weak and needs to rest for at least another day," Dru whimpered as she cradled Mordra in her arms. "And I donít want her to leave me quite yet."
"Dru, Spike is right," Angelus began. "Cordelia canít be missing for too long, it will look suspicious. Weíll have to return her to her house for the time being and plan the slayerís defeat when she is rested. Because she looks like Cordelia, Mordra can get close enough to Buffy without arousing suspicion and observe her and determine the best way to attack."
"But I want her to stay here with me," Dru whined again.
" I know Dru and once the Slayer is gone, she can be with you," Angelus said. And me as well
"Listen, pet. We must bide our time, but in the end everyone will be where they should be and weíll be a happy family," Spike said as he picked up Druís hand and kissed. Dru looked to Spike and then Angelus, and then finally to Mordra. "How long do you think we must wait?" she asked.
"Not long," Angelus stated as he began to untie Mordraís feet. "Soon sheíll be back here with us, the slayer will be gone and weíll then really have some fun."
Drusilla sighed as Angelus moved to untie Mordraís hands. "She can come visit us though, right my love? My little girl will need some help from her mommy and daddy before her big day. And when she returns for good weíll have a big party."
"Right," Angelus said as he finished freeing Mordra. "But right now we must get her back to Cordeliaís house. It will be light soon and we canít keep her here any longer."
"Iíll go with you,"Dru sat up.
"No, Dru," Angelus said. "You are too tired to be going out now and I must move fast. Spike here will keep you company and Iíll be back soon." Angelus hoisted Mordra over his shoulder, noticing Spikeís curious stare as he moved towards the door.
"Wait," Dru cried out as she ran to Mordra and whispered in her ear, "Now be good my girl. Mommy and daddy will miss you lots." Dru kissed her on her cheek and watched as Angelus moved quickly out the door.
Well that worked well enough Angelus thought as he approached his old apartment. They would need a little privacy. He would have a good two hours with Mordra before he needed to drop her off at home.
He entered his apartment and placed Mordra on the bed. He turned her face towards his. "Come on now. Wakey wakey little Mordra. We are going to play a little game..."
Two hours later Angelus made it to Cordeliaís house. She was groggy, but somewhat awake as Angelus helped her to the back door of her house.
"Open the door," he told her.
She fumbled with the knob and opened the door. Angelus gently set her down in the doorway and told her "Go and rest. You have a big day coming soon and we want you ready to party."
Angelus leaned over her a moment and kissed her on the lips, got up smiling, and disappeared into the darkness of the remaining night. Mordra pulled herself inside the house and up to Cordeliaís room where she locked the door and passed out onto the floor.
8:00 A.M., Monday, June 9, 1998
Ah, glorious school Xander walked slowly down the hallway of Sunnydale High. His first exam was in ten minutes, but his thoughts were not on the hell that was English Literature, but rather on Cordelia. He had tried to push her out of his mind and focus on other things: whether to flip burgers at the local burger joint or be the ball waxer at the bowling alley, whether Buffy was over Angel, why twinkies wouldnít freeze. No matter what he always returned to the scene in the parking lot last Friday. Damn it what is wrong with me He ran his fingers though his hair and leaned against a locker. He had tried calling Cordy Saturday and Sunday. To say what he didnít know, but he wanted to see if she was at least okay.. He didnít get an answer at her house until Sunday night and that had been her father. She wasnít feeling too well and wasnít taking any calls he said, would he like to leave a message.Sure, I dumped her on Friday and just wanted to call to see how she was doing. Like is she crying her eyes out over me or just sitting around doing her nails?
"Hey Xander," Willow joined him against the lockers. "Ready for the English final?" Willow stopped and looked at Xander a little more closely. He was definitely in muse mode, but not about English. What is up with him?
"Willow...," Xander started.
"Hi guys." Buffy said as she met them in front in the lockers. "Are you two ready for the final? I mean multiple choice, fill in the blank, and a gazillion essays. Are they really serious about us knowing all this stuff about Dickens, Bronte, and all those other long boring writers? Come on how can we know all that stuff and still know math too?" They started moving towards the English classroom.
"Well we just have to the best we can. I mean there are things that are more important than English. Like chemistry, computer class, and..." Willow stopped as she noticed Xander was off in la la land and Buffy was looking at him.
"Come on Xander, donít be so gloomy. Exams will be over in a matter of days. Summer vacation is just around the corner and it looks like Hellmouth is behaving for once so that I can have some semblance of a normal life," Buffy said with a smile as they stopped in front of the English classroom.
"Yeah well, finals arenít really a big concern for me right now...," Xander began. He stopped when he saw Cordelia coming towards the door.. He quickly moved out of the way as she entered the room. She looked up and their eyes held contact for a moment before Xander looked away. Buffy turned around at Xanderís sudden stop and turned right into Cordelia as she entered.
"Oops, sorry," Buffy said as Cordeliaís books went tumbling towards the floor. Both Xander and Cordelia bent down to pick up the books at the same time. Xander quickly handed her a book when he looked up into Cordeliaís face again. She watched him with an odd expression.
"Uh, here," he said as he handed her her pen. Cordelia took it and they both stood up.
"Thank you," Cordelia said flatly. She moved to go to her seat but not before flicking a glance at Buffy who had cleared out of her path. Cordelia sat down at her desk and sat back ignoring the rest of the class.
"Okay, can we say the ice queen cometh?" Buffy said as they moved to their seats. Xander quickly went to his seat and busied himself with a random page in his book just as the teacher came in.
"Okay class, the teacher said. "This is a three part exam; each part should take you about thirty minutes each for a 1 and a half hour exam. I will give you two hours to complete it. Good luck." She began passing out exams.
Buffy looked behind her at Xander who looked back at her and Willow giving them both a thumbs up sign and a big if hollow grin. When they turned around Xander quickly glanced at Cordelia with a puzzled look on his face. When he had first seen her when he walked in he felt that same feeling from Saturday night-something was wrong. Something is wrong in general pal. You broke it off and yet you are still wigging over her. Let it go and move on to what you want-Buffy. She is what you want right stupid? Xander shrugged. He didnít know what he wanted-he did have more than friendship feelings for Buffy-but he was realizing that he cared for Cordelia too. He needed to talk to someone about this, but who? Mom and Dad ? Yeah right and they know Iím alive right? Buffy was off limits-this was Cordelia related and he needed an objective person to talk to. Scratch Willow for the same reason. There had to be...well there was Giles and well they werenít close. As a matter of fact Xander had a feeling Giles just put up with him on most occasions, but he had survived being around women for a long time and was the older and wiser one of the group. Xander definitely needed help and its was coming to the point where he needed to do something before he lost it. But first take care of exams and the big ones would be over tomorrow.
Okay exams and then talk to the G-man. That is a plan-maybe not the best one, but the only one I have.
Xander groaned as began working on his exam, pushing the thoughts of Cordelia out of his mind for the moment.
3:12 P.M.,Tuesday, June 10, 1998
Giles sat in the library savoring the solitude. Thank God for some peace at last School would be over as of tomorrow and he could finally put forward all his energies in his Watcher duties; catch up in the Watcher diaries, read more on the slayerís prophecies, and most importantly read up more on Angelus.
There hadnít been any unusual vampire activity as of late. The last major assault made by Angelus being Jennyís murder, Angelus had remained threatening, but not active in attacking Buffy nor her friends. Although it was too much to hope for that Spike, Drusilla and Angelus would remain inactive for long, Giles hoped that they would give him enough time to gather enough information to formulate a more offensive rather than defensive course of action. In the meantime he just learned to savor the lull in the ongoing storm.
Giles looked up from his book and saw Xander standing in the doorway. Hmph, well there goes peace and solitude "Oh, Hello Xander. I would have thought that you would be off preparing to celebrate the end of school."
Xander moved closer to the table where Giles sat. "Yeah, well I do have two more exams tomorrow, canít quit studying too soon." Xander plastered a goofy smile on his face.
Giles just looked at Xander as he babbled on. "Yes, um. Is there something that I can help you with? I was planning to do a little research this afternoon." Giles got up from the table and began walking up the stairs to place the books on the shelves.
"I kinda need to talk to you about something, but if youíre busy I can come back later." Xander moved towards the door.
"No, no come here," Giles said as he came down the stairs.Unusual
"Well, I donít know quite how to start this. I mean this is kinda a personal thing." Xander sat at the table, obviously ill at ease.
"Well, Xander I canít help you if you donít tell me what is wrong." Giles looked at the boy waiting for him to talk. Giles became a little concerned: Xander didnít ever come to him for help except for that time he cast that spell.Oh, God, just when things were so peaceful.
"Okay let me just blurt it out. You know Cordy and I were dating this year. I mean you could call it dating; we went out together, we smooched a lot, we fought a lot." Xander watched as Giles nodded. "Well it surprised everyone, me, Cordy, Wills, Buffy. The entire school thought we were the weird couple- the may queen and loser slacker."
"Yes, Xander. I know," said Giles as he held his breath waiting for the shoe to drop.Please boy, donít have done anything stupid
"Well, the thing is. I...uh...I kinda like Buffy. I mean really like, as in more than friends like." Xander avoided Gilesís stare.
"Oh, I see. And you are having conflicts of the heart as to..." Giles encouraged him to finish.
"Well, I realized that I shouldnít lead Cordy on, not that I thought our relationship was all that deep, at least before last Friday I didnít."
"Last Friday?í Giles asked.
"Last Friday...I broke it off with Cordelia. I thought that since my feelings for Buffy were so strong and Cordy and I were so an weird together, that I should end it. But now," Xander paused.
Giles looked at Xander with confusion. "Xander what has happened since then to make you doubt your decision?"