Oz had finished with the band a little after Buffy and the others had left. When he got to the library he had seen the vampires taking everyone away and followed them, being careful to stay out of site. He didn’t want to try to rescue Willow and the others immediately for he was no match for all of them. Even if he had been tempted to try in werewolf mode, he couldn’t, there wasn’t a full moon. He would have to watch and wait and when he saw his chance he’d take it.
Oh God, Oh God, Oh God Cordelia watched as Mordra finished tying Giles, Willow and Xander in a circle to one of the pillars of the old museum. She saw herself , look at Buffy, who still held by two vampires, and pick up her head by her hair and peered in her face.
Buffy? God please wake up. I can’t do anything! Cordelia’s pleas went unanswered as she saw Buffy’s confused expression. She felt herself laugh and saw Buffy’s head fall back down on the ground.
Cordelia had no idea what was actually was happening. She floated in and out of consciousness seeing bits and pieces of reality or what she thought was reality, she couldn’t be sure. She remembered Angelus’s attack-remembered seeing his face before she blacked out and then nothing. She remembered blackness and the faint sound of someone chanting-slowly, deliberately. Then she saw herself talking with Spike, Dru, both of them looking at her strangely-like they liked her. It frightened her and yet she felt relaxed with them. She also would remember Angelus. He only frightened her. She could feel him in inside her mind-probing, commenting, it was like he was somehow trying to plant things in her mind,she heard his whispers and taunts. She tried to ignore him but couldn’t-couldn’t do anything. She had no control over what she was doing because of the one they called Mordra. Mordra was in control. Mordra had taken her mind. Mordra had taken her body. Mordra had taken her life. There wasn’t a damn thing Cordelia could do but watch as Mordra planned and plotted with Spike and Dru-plot to use her to kill Buffy and the rest of the group and take over her body forever. She knew Mordra would do everything in her power to get the job done and Spike and Dru would help her do it. Cordelia watched helplessly as Mordra walked over to the table and pick up a dagger. Cordelia could only hope that Buffy would defeat Mordra and end this nightmare for everyone--especially herself.
Mordra picked up the dagger and looked over to Buffy as she struggled to stand. Spike and Dru stood behind Mordra, Angelus circling the trio that were bound and gagged.
"Well, look at this. Weeping Willow, Mr. Four-Eyes, and the Boy Wonder. Looks like you are in a real fix here- All tied up with not a prayer of getting out of here alive. Any last words?" He stepped from Giles to Willow and finally to Xander. Angelus snickered, Xander glared at him stonily.
Angelus then cast a sidelong glance at Mordra as she sharpened the dagger and then looked back at Xander. He could see Xander’s hate and rage blatantly on his face. Angelus leaned in close to Xander, a sneer on his face. Placing his lips next to Xander’s ear he whispered softly, "First Buffy, then Cordy-seems I keep taking them away from you don’t I? I must say I thought Buffy rather tasty, but Cordelia definitely satisfied a certain craving of mine." Xander strained against the ropes- the rage in him intensifying. Angelus laughed at him-mocking him.
"It’s time to start the party," Drusilla said impatiently. She turned towards the Slayer who was now fully awake and royally pissed off. Dru cocked her head at her examining her. "Are you ready to play?" she asked in a whisper. "My little girl is all ready to celebrate-She has her red party dress on , Spike and I have so many gifts to give her. But you have the most precious gift of all-you shall give her eternal life." Dru said with a flourish.
"Go to Hell Psycho-bitch." Buffy glared. "The only thing I’m giving her is a trip back to her own personal hell." Buffy nodded at Mordra.
"But Buffy," Angelus said in a mocking tone. "You’d be fighting po wittle Cordelia. I mean I know that you never really like her all that much, but come on this is Xander’s girl. Or rather was his girl. But what the hell you’ll all are gonna die so why don’t you go for it." Angelus caressed Buffy’s cheek. "Remember, lover, I know you well. You won’t back down from a fight. You will fight Mordra one way or the other...but you will lose.
Buffy turned away from Angelus looking at Mordra. "I’ll do what I have to in order to destroy the Anti-Slayer and if that means killing Cordelia so be it. I am sure she would prefer being dead than possessed by demon spawn of Spike and Dru’s." Mordra bristled at Buffy’s words and put on a tight smile.
"Well then let the games begin," Mordra said tightly. She nodded to the vamps holding Buffy and they stepped away.
Mordra and Buffy quickly faced off -each assessing the other. Buffy looked hopefully for any sign that Cordy was still in there, but seeing only Mordra’s cold stare, knew she wasn’t. Buffy quickly threw a right punch, but Mordra blocked it with her left arm. catching Buffy’s arm and twisting it. Mordra followed with a punch square in Buffy’s face and then a sweeping kick-sending Buffy on her back. As Mordra came over her, Buffy kicked up and sent Mordra backwards. Buffy quickly recovered and stood up, grabbing a chair and hitting Mordra on the back sending her down to one knee. Mordra growled and tried to push herself up as Buffy kicked her in the midsection and she went down again. Dru gasped and Buffy picked up a piece of the smashed chair ready to drive it into Mordra’s back. Sorry, Cordy All of a sudden Buffy felt herself being lifted off the floor in slammed into a wall. Mordra was resorting to her mental tricks now. Buffy slid to the floor, stunned by the impact. She ducked just as a table crashed into the wall where her head had just been. She jumped up and taking a running start kicked straight at Mordra’s chest. Mordra grabbed Buffy’s leg and Buffy’s momentum sent them both onto the floor in a heap.
Buffy was tiring and Mordra could sense it. She and Buffy were now on the floor -Mordra on top of her. She grabbed a handful of Buffy’s hair pulled her head up and slammed it back down on the ground. Buffy grunted, now dazed. She looked up in time to see Mordra take a crow bar and bring it down towards her head. Buffy put up her hand and turned her head away..
"No!," Cordelia could hear herself saying as she saw the crowbar come down. At the last second the bar smashed into Buffy’s arm instead of her head. Cordelia knew that Buffy’s hand was broken -could hear the crunch of bone as the metal hit Buffy’s arm.
Buffy cried out in pain and was able to roll out from under Mordra.
Damn it! Mordra no, you can’t do this. You can’t. You feel what I feel and I feel what you feel. Killing her is wrong--Don’t do this!
Cordelia could see Buffy try to get up, but Mordra slammed the crowbar down on Buffy’s back knocking her out. She raised the crow bar again to crush her skull and stopped.
"Finish her, daughter!," Dru cried excitedly.
"No," Mordra said absently. "No, she lives long enough to watch her friends die. We can proceed with the ritual now. She’s finished." Two vamps dragged Buffy to the table. Spike, Dru, and Mordra took their places around the table, Spike and Dru each taking a dagger and preparing to cut themselves.
Angelus turned towards Willow, Giles, and Xander. "Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you guys. Mordra will be with you in just a moment. I have a feeling she would like to sharpen her claws on some prey when she completes her transformation." Angelus smiled and moved closer to the table.
Dru began to chant and a strange floating image appeared in the middle of the circle at the table. Mordra felt herself momentarily weaken as her spirit began to migrate into the mist-the hellish nothingness of the other dimension threatening to overtake her. She felt Cordelia’s soul stir but knew she wouldn’t be able to do anything to thwart her plans. She saw Drusilla and Spike cut Buffy’s arm, her blood flowing onto the table. Spike and Dru then turned to cut themselves with the daggers when Mordra saw Angelus--his eyes glittering in excitement and she knew.
He was about to strike.
Angelus stood behind Spike and watched as they cut Buffy’s arm and smear the blood on the table. He waited as Spike and Dru were about to cut their arms again when he grabbed the dagger from Spike.
Both Spike and Dru looked up startled."What the hell?" Spike cursed.
"I’m sorry but I’ve been thinking about this and you know Spike, I think I could be a better mentor of sorts for Mordra. I mean look you still in that wheelchair and all, how could you possibly be of guidance to such a potentially powerful force as Mordra?" Angelus looked dead on at Spike.
Drusilla’s eyes glowed as she hissed at Angelus, "Give him the dagger Angelus. He is her father not you."
"Well if your child is to exist at all Dru, I will be the one to bring her into this world-not Spike. It’s your call babe-me and Mordra or no Mordra at all." Angelus grinned. He knew he had her. She had fallen in love with the child and would not give her up-never in a million years.
Drusilla looked over at Spike and then Angelus. She was in shock. My Angel, how could you do this to me? Dru looked blindly about her, confused, afraid, anguished. She looked at her daughter.My little girl She looked up at Angelus and nodded.
Angelus looked down at Spike and smirked, pushing his wheelchair out of the way. Spike looked at Dru. "Dru?" Hurt and rage leaked through. Drusilla looked away as Angelus began to cut his wrist.
Mordra saw it all happening. It was all wrong-all wrong. He had waited and pounced when she couldn’t stop him. Bastard She couldn’t allow it to happen, she would not be his. She pleaded with her father Spike stop him. Stop him now She could not go back to the darkness-not the abyss but she would not be his. Her father would-Spike would save her. He had to.
Spike sat in his chair, his rage reaching its breaking point. He saw Dru turn her head away- shamed in betraying him. I understand love. I really do He knew Dru longed to have her child and Angelus did too. And he used it against her. Well, Angelus would not win. Not today nor ever again. Spike rose from his chair and stood behind Angelus. He saw Dru’s face turn towards - shocked. Angelus turned around the dagger poised above his arm. He never had time to comprehend what was going on until after Spike landed his first blow. Angelus growled and morphed into his game face..
The two men fought like savages, Spike’s contempt for Angelus fueling his attack while Angelus raged on throwing blow after blow. The vamps holding Buffy dropped her onto the floor and quickly moved out of the way. Drusilla stood powerless- unable to complete the ritual her child vulnerable and exposed.
Spike picked up the crow bar and swung out at Angelus making a gash down his cheek. Angelus raised a hand to his face and upon seeing blood, lifted a stone bench and hoisted it towards Spike.
Only Spike moved out of the way.
The bench landed on the stone table-smashing it into pieces. Mordra’s spirit immediately dissipated.
Cordelia collapsed onto the floor.
It took only a moment but Dru was screeching, flying towards Angelus, her face contorted in fury. As she was about to attack he was able to grab her arm and throwing her straight into a pile of wooden chairs. The chairs crashed into a million pieces and Spike and Angelus stopped. Dazed Dru stood and looked down at her chest, seeing a piece of a chair leg had gone through, and looked back up. She extended an arm towards them as her eyes went glassy and her head rolled to one side. "Spike" she whispered before she vaprorized into dust.
Spike jumped Angelus before he knew what hit him and they both went flying towards the broken chairs, Spike hoping to kill at least Angelus if not both of them.
Oh no you don’t Angelus was able to lean left and avoid the chairs, but not a stone column. It broke in pieces as they crashed into it the stone came tumbling down around them. The roof began to buckle as the columns began to crack under the added stress and the other vampires left quickly leaving both Buffy and Cordelia unconscious on the ground, Giles, Willow, and Xander tied up and the two insane vampires fighting to the death.
Cordelia didn’t know what was happening, her mind was so fuzzy and it was hard to think. She could feel dust from the falling plaster hit her face and moved her head.
I moved my head She opened her eyes and looked around her. Buffy was on the floor a few feet away, still out of it and injured. Cordelia sat up and looked at her arms and willed them to move. I’m in control again! She looked up and saw Giles, Willow, and Xander tied to another stone column, struggling to get free. Cordelia got up and began to move towards Buffy to get her up when she saw the stone column next to Giles and the others begin to buckle and start to fall on them. Without even thinking about it Cordelia ran under the pillar catching it as it began to fall. She had caught awkwardly and wouldn’t be able to drop it without crushing the group. Buffy was still out and Spike and Angelus were busy fighting. Cordelia was beginning to tire when Oz entered.
"Get them untied now!" she screamed as more bricks and rocks fell around them. Oz freed Giles and then moved on to Willow. Giles ran over to get Buffy while Oz came over to help Cordelia.
Giles was able to lift Buffy off the floor when a large slab of stone smashed into his shoulder-he dropped Buffy and grimaced in pain. Xander and Willow ran and grabbed Buffy and Giles helping them outside.
Cordelia watched as Spike and Angelus fought, a black, vengeful feeling coming over her as she watched them. Die, You bastards, Die.
"Okay, let go of the pillar and jump out of the way when I say so," said Oz. "Now!"
Cordelia let go of the pillar and prepared to jump left- towards the way out-but more debri fell from the ceiling down towards them. Oz was able to jump back but the rubble blocked Cordelia’s jump and she had to jump right to keep from being crushed. The pillar she had been holding fell, completely cutting her off from the only exit. Oz screamed her name but was forced out as the roof finally caved in-trapping Angelus, Spike, and Cordelia inside.
12:00 A.M.,Thursday, June 11, 1998
Willow and Oz sat in the hospital waiting room. People who saw the building collapsing had called the police and they had called for ambulances when they saw that there were injured people involved. Buffy had a concussion, a dislocated shoulder and a broken wrist and Giles a few torn ligaments and bruises on his shoulder. Willow, Oz, and Xander hadn’t been hurt at all-not physically at least. Willow watched as Xander sat in a chair in the corner, his eyes vacant and unfocused after he watched the building cave in.
She and Xander had been waiting outside with Buffy and Giles as the building caved. Xander wanted to go back in, but Willow wouldn’t let him. He was about to push her off when Oz came out. Xander waited a second, saw Cordelia wasn’t behind him and ran for the entrance. Oz had to tackle him and pin him down to keep him from running back in.
"She’s gone, Xander! She’s gone!" Oz said as Xander struggled against him.
By the time the police came it was all over-the roof had completely caved in-tons of rubble piled on top of each other. Oz and Willow answered questions as rescuers started sifting through the rubble, while Xander sat on the ground still hoping that they would find her, that she would be alive somehow. He waited and waited and waited some more.
They didn’t find her.
Giles came out into the waiting area, still covered with dust and his arm in a sling. He saw Willow and Oz sitting in chairs and went over to them. "Any word?" he asked as they sat up. Willow glanced to her left and Giles followed her look and saw Xander sitting in the corner, his face dark and blank. Giles bowed his head and silently cursed. As he sat down in the seat across from Willow and Oz the doors of the emergency room pushed open.
"Oh no," breathed Willow. Giles turned around to see Cordelia’s father rush through the door. Harried, worried, and upset he stopped several of the staff before finally seeing Willow and Oz stand up. He rushed up to them.
"Willow?" He asked cautiously.
"Uh, yeah Mr. Chase," she said softly.
Giles took over. "Mr. Chase, I’m Mr. Giles. I was with Willow and the rest of the group when the building collapsed."
Cordelia’s father turned to look at Giles. "Do you know where my daughter Cordelia is?" he frantically asked.
"I am sorry sir, I don’t." Giles began.
"What do you mean you don’t? The police said she was with the rest of you when the building collapsed and that all of those found were brought here." Mr. Chase said his voice strong and demanding, but tinged with fear.
"Mr. Chase, I’m sorry but the authorities at the scene did not find her..." Giles stopped as the emergency room was filled with yells and shouts as the paramedics came in. The crowd of doctors and nurses moved into a cubicle in the emergency room. Amidst the shouts of the doctors and nurses they could here a familiar voice say, "I’m fine, really. Please let me call my father."
Cordelia’s father yelled "Cordelia!" and ran to the cubicle.
"Dad?" Cordelia called.
Giles followed Mr. Chase a bit while Willow and Oz stood in their spots. Xander looked up from where he sat, his eyes unbelieving.
A paramedic came out and Giles stopped him. "Where did you find her?" Giles asked incredulously. "When we left there was no hope for anymore survivors of the cave-in."
"Can’t tell you how she got out. That place was a disaster area and we were about to leave when the rescuers heard her calling for help. Tell you one thing she is damned lucky to have survived." The paramedic left..
Giles peeked into the cubicle seeing Cordelia’s father hug her tightly. Giles backed away and then turned to look at Willow, Oz, and now Xander as they stood in the hall. He sighed in relief, thankful that they had all survived their latest battle against the evil’s of Hellmouth.
Epilogue: 1:30 A.M. Monday, September 7, 1998
Xander sat patiently watching Giles replay in his mind what Xander had been thinking about the entire summer.
After she had been checked and release from the hospital Cordelia’s father whisked her off to Europe and away from Sunnydale. Nobody had heard from her and Giles was worried about how she was holding up. He didn’t know exactly what Mordra had done to her-whether Cordelia was mentally healthy after the ordeal. Somehow he doubted that she was.
They never knew what had happened to Angelus and Spike. It was assumed with the decreased vampire activity that they had perished. But Xander wasn’t worried about them, he was worried about Cordelia. "I think," Giles began, "I think that the time she has spent away from here will have done her some good and hopefully helped her recuperate.." He paused before he spoke again, "We have to be prepared, though, for almost anything. What happened last spring will take some time to deal with, but we can deal with it."
Xander stared at Giles a moment and then looked away. Giles watched as Xander shook his head and then studied his hands. "I keep thinking that if I’d only..." he laughed, shook his head again and got up.
Giles got up and followed him to the door. "Xander, there is no way that any of us, especially you, could have prevented what happened."
Xander opened the door and turned back to look at Giles. He seemed to want to say something, thought better of it and just smiled and nodded, closing the door as he went out. Giles continued to stare at the door long after Xander left and suddenly too exhausted to climb the stairs, turned off the downstairs’ lamp and stretched out on the couch. As he drifted off to sleep, he pondered just what the aftermath of this past spring would bring and how they all would, if they could, deal with it.