Title: Mental Machinations
Explanation: Cordelia does some thinking.
Archiving: Until the move, this’ll be at http://www.realmofthreshadow.com/harper.htm. Anyone else, please ask.
Disclaimers: I don’t own the BtVS characters. Joss and company own them. I make no claims and make no money. I also don’t own Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Outkast does.
A/N: This is just a short little piece. It’s un-beta’d, and later I’ll read back through it and find horribly embarrassing mistakes and cringe. Please look past them. If you’d like to send feedback, I’d love to receive it. I’ll be at Xfjnky2@yahoo.com.
Sometimes she thought about it.
Not seriously thought about it, as in going out and doing anything about it kind of thinking about it, because hey, Sunnydale might be a town living in blissful denial about most things, but that didn’t mean that it didn’t cling to its small town attitudes. There were no queers in Sunnydale. There might be vampires, there might be zombies, there might be guitar playing werewolves, but there were no queers in Sunnydale.
Which wasn’t exactly the truth, really, because she knew that they had to be there, somewhere, winding their way through life with everyone else. Trying not to call attention to themselves because Sunnydale was most definitely a town where anonymity was a plus. Well, unless you were so anonymous that you quite literally disappeared, though on the whole it was in the best interests of all involved to not be noticed. Getting noticed usually meant imminent death, and so everyone had learned how to blend. They’d also learned the art of willful blindness, but some things could even break through that.
Like her going dykadelic. That would draw attention, surely. Because really, she’d always lived under a microscope, her life excruciatingly public. Sometimes that was a good thing. Say, for instance, when she wanted to be May Queen or when she wanted to… well, that was about the only time all that attention really came in handy. Other times it was really an annoyance, doing nothing more than opening her up for the curious delectation and derision of the masses.
“Cordelia’s dating a loser. How sad… she had such promise.”
“She has to have gotten a face-lift. Like real people have cheekbones like that. Honestly.”
“Cordelia’s Daddy didn’t pay his taxes and the IRS came and repossessed everything. I hear they even took her shoe collection.”
“I hear Xander knocked her up and left her. And for Willow Rosenberg, which is utterly delicious. All I’m saying is this… abortion.”
“Cordelia Chase? One word for you… bulimia. I heard her one day in the bathroom after lunch. It was sooo disgusting. But really, it only makes sense. I mean, come on… look at her.”
“She’s just gone so totally weird lately, hanging out with Buffy. Hello, juvenile delinquent chic is so out.”
“Cordelia fucked the whole swim team. Why else do you think they started winning? Free blow jobs in the locker room after a good match, that’s what I heard.”
Which was so completely unfair because she hadn’t even really had sex all that many times. The only member of the swim team that she’d ever gotten to know in an intimate manner had been Xander, and he didn’t count. Not that anyone would believe that of course. So yeah, she had enough problems without going and knowingly adding to them. Because honestly, uselessly crushing on a girl who was very clearly not ever going to return her romantic inclinations would be an even lower low for her, and thusfar she’d managed to almost scrape the bottom of the barrel.
But still, she’d thought about it. She even had her girl all picked out, and if the identity of that one wasn’t a no-brainer, then she didn’t know what was. Her criteria for attraction? Well, apparently she was so obviously jonesing for the slightly nerdy with that ever so alluring air of danger types. And who was laying around, conveniently fitting her criteria to a T?
Nothing said geeky yet darkly appealing quite like a Slayer. Or, to be more precise, like Buffy.
She was really quite surprised that no one had noticed her crush yet. Subtlety was often a hard thing for Cordelia to swing. It involved deception and duplicity, and even if those were things at which she was normally quite skilled (see her dumb cheerleader impersonation for an example), when it came to feelings of the romantic/lust type feelings, she was notoriously bad at hiding them, (see Xander).
So, there it was. She had a crush, a horribly embarrassing crush, and was convinced that she’d rather cut off her right arm than have it ever brought to light. Which meant that it was probably a good thing that she and the Scoobies were currently estranged because if she continued to remain in such a close vicinity to her crush, then one day someone would figure it out. The others were many things, but stupid wasn’t really one of them. True, they could be blind on occasion, just like everyone else in this Hellmouth of a town, but give them enough time and they’d figure it out.
She really didn’t want them to figure it out. How embarrassing would that be? Just one more thing to laugh about behind her back. Not even behind her back. The pointing, the whispers, the giggles… she could just picture it.
“Cordelia’s got the hots for Buffy. Who would have guessed that she was one of… those girls?”
“I knew it. She’s so totally lipstick lesbian. I mean, I so caught her checking me out in the locker room after gym one day. She probably would’ve jumped me if coach hadn’t come in.”
“Well, it only makes sense, doesn’t it. She’s fucked everything with a cock in this school. Girls are all that’s left.”
Of course, she really should avoid situations like the one she was in if she was going to keep her little crush hidden. There were certain things that, when added together, tended to make her do stupid things. Consuming copious amounts of liquor and wallowing in a semi-depression were two of them, and she’d managed to do both.
Cordelia was drunk. Not slightly intoxicated, not buzzed, not feeling good… she was drunk. It wasn’t that hard, even at the Bronze, and after a week spent pondering just how shitty her life was, she’d decided that it would be a good thing. Drinking and dancing and forgetting her troubles, that was, but she’d been wrong. Her troubles followed her no matter what she tried to do to dispel them, which meant that her solution had really actually been a non-solution at best.
They were all there. Buffy, Xander, and Willow. Even Harmony and her ex-sheep were somewhere, but she was trying desperately to forget about them so she didn’t even bother looking. She tried not to look at her ex-boyfriend, her crush, and the little backstabber too, but they were harder to ignore. Willow was sitting on the couch looking at her guiltily and Buffy and Xander were dancing. Since the two were dancing in somewhat close proximity to her, there wasn’t really anything that she could do other than watch them. Sure, there was some guy standing in front of her, his hands roaming places that they shouldn’t be, but she was too preoccupied with the show to swat them away.
Buffy looked good. Cordelia had often mocked her wardrobe in the past, sneering as she mockingly referred to the blonde as the pastel princess, but tonight she’d managed to deviate from the world of baby blues and light pinks. Tonight she was wearing something black, with little straps criss-crossing her back, baring her shoulders and arms, and Cordelia was momentarily afraid that she was going to drool. That dark blonde hair was pulled up in some kind of haphazard arrangement, baring her neck even as little wisps drifted down to caress the sides of her face, and not for the first time, Cordelia was glad that it was dark in the Bronze.
Dancing boy’s hands were moving up her ribcage, his thumbs teasing the undersides of her breasts through the satiny fabric of her dress, and Cordelia looked at him, frustration written clearly across her features. Here she was trying to salivate over the object of her lust, and he was trying to feel her up. Couldn’t he see that she wasn’t paying attention?
“Time for you to leave now,” she said shortly, placing a hand squarely in the middle of his chest, pushing back.
But, dancing boy apparently wasn’t yet ready to be moved, because he grinned at her, one of those “I can win you over to my side if I molest you for long enough” smiles, and kept right on dancing. And, his hands stayed on her torso, inching slowly downward until his fingers were teasing the skin at the base of her spine, and with a huff of exasperation, Cordelia tried again.
“Hands off,” she growled, trying to take a step back. Dancing octopus boy followed, and Cordelia paused for a moment, wondering whether or not she’d be permanently kicked out of the Bronze if she eviscerated him.
With an impatient wave of her hands, she tried again. “Go. Shoo. I’m not interested.”
And then he spoke, that shit-eating grin still firmly in place. “Come on, baby. Don’t be such a tease. I know you want me.”
After staring at dancing boy for a moment in total befuddlement, wondering what part of the DNA chain was responsible for the male inability to understand when they weren’t wanted, she decided to take matters more firmly in hand. So, moments later, she applied a tried and true method for removing recalcitrant obstacles… a sharp heel to the instep.
With a roar, dancing boy stumbled back, eyes narrowing as he looked up at her. “Stupid bitch. You could’ve just said no,” he said bitterly, and Cordelia rolled her, sighing.
“Listen here you little… Oh, hi Buffy.”
As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Cordelia wanted to reach up and slap herself on the forehead in physical recognition of just how utterly lame that was. Yes, one rant falling by the wayside in favor of simpering. Which was silly because she didn’t simper, didn’t make goo-goo eyes, didn’t flutter her eyelashes and ask to feel anybody’s biceps. But there she was, blushing slightly and looking shyly at her petite maybe savior, trying to stomp down the rising tide of hormones rushing through her bloodstream, mingling dangerously with the liquor already swimming around in there.
“Problem here?” the blonde drawled, looking first at Cordelia and then at the now scowling dancing boy.
“Just a fucking tease,” the boy spat out, looking at Cordelia with derision. She didn’t really care though, because at that moment, dancing boy was of supreme unimportance.
Hazel eyes narrowed under finely arched blonde brows, and Cordelia tried to remind her alcohol laden system that it wasn’t in her best interests to swoon. It was just that ‘fierce Buffy’ had always been a favorite of hers, and when inhibitions were at their lowest, she had problems keeping those unruly impulses in check.
“Looked more like you couldn’t take no for an answer,” Buffy observed lightly, moving over to stand in front of dancing boy. One hand reached up to rest on his shoulder, and Cordelia noted with pleasure the grimace that spread across his face at the movement. “I suggest you look it up so that we don’t have this problem in the future.”
Dancing boy winced, squirming under the petite blonde’s surprisingly painful grip. “Yeah, yeah… whatever. Just… whatever.”
“Ah, the inherent inability to admit to any wrong conduct. So prevalent in the human male. Such an unattractive feature,” Buffy sighed, releasing her captive with a push, immediately dismissing him. Then, to Cordelia, “You alright?”
“Uh, yeah,” Cordelia managed to mumble. “He just, you know…”
Suddenly she really, really regretted the eight Kamikaze shots that she’d slammed when she got there, realizing that they’d apparently stolen her ability to form coherent sentences.
Buffy’s brow furrowed, not completely happy with Cordelia’s reassurance. “He just what?” she questioned, wondering if she should have let the guy get away with only the few bruises that she’d undoubtedly left.
“Uh, nothing. Just wouldn’t leave me alone. Thanks, really,” the brunette stammered, mentally rolling her eyes. When had she transformed into stuttering inarticulate girl?
“Oh. Well, okay then. I’ll just let you get back to… whatever you were doing,” Buffy said guardedly, thrown slightly off-kilter by Cordy’s uncharacteristic response. All the times she’d saved the girl’s life, and she wasn’t sure that she’d ever gotten a thanks for it. And now all she’d done was send a groper packing, and she got a thanks?
Cordelia lurched forward awkwardly at the words, grabbing Buffy’s forearm with something akin to desperation. She hadn’t meant to do it, really she hadn’t, but her limbs just weren’t taking direction from her brain any more.
Buffy eyed the death grip on her arm warily, not quite sure what was going on. “Are you sure you’re okay, Cordy?” she asked slowly, taking in the other girl’s glittering eyes, the slight heave of her chest as she struggled to take in air.
“No… I mean… Dance with me?” the brunette squeaked, then immediately scrambled for any explanation that could possibly make her words sound any less deranged than they came across. “I mean, so I can thank you properly.”
Oh, that was horrible, Cordelia acknowledged to herself, wincing at the words. “So I can thank you properly?” Why didn’t she just strip naked and offer herself to the blonde. She was almost certain that it’d be less painful that way.
For a moment, Buffy looked slightly perturbed. Then, with a hesitant nod of her head, she acquiesced.
Of course, the speakers chose that moment to start pumping out Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, and Cordelia barely stifled a moan. Slow seductive bass, a ton of alcohol floating happily through her veins, and Buffy swaying warily in front of her. It was a recipe for… well, for something very bad. She didn’t know what kind of bad, but undoubtedly something bad.
And yes, it’d already started. Her hands were in her hair, pushing it back off her face and gathering it in a loose ponytail behind her, even as her body inched ever forward, slinking across the scant space between herself and the blonde until they were barely touching, the fabric of her dress whispering against Buffy’s. She could feel her tongue dragging a long, slow stroke across her suddenly oversensitive lower lip, could feel her eyelids droop until Buffy was all she could see. The blonde’s face was shadowed in the darkness of the club, and Cordelia sent furious messages to her brain, commanding it to take a step back, to pull herself out of the seductive bubble she’d created.
She wasn’t sure if Buffy had picked up on the intent of her behavior. Of course, the other girl would have to be pretty unobservant to miss it considering Cordelia’s hips were rolling softly against the shorter blonde’s lower belly, but the brunette could only hope.
No, there was no not noticing this. This was one of those bad things. This was too much alcohol and the sticky web of a seductive beat and her filling the air with “please let me fuck you” vibes.
Buffy’s voice was tinged with confusion, and the brunette finally tore herself away from the other girl, forcing her body back a step. She dropped her hands, feeling her hair fall back to settle against the nape of her neck like a stifling curtain, and she looked around with a hint of panic.
“I… I’ve got to go,” Cordelia bit out, then turned on her heel and fled, supressing the urge to look back over her shoulder, to catch one more glimpse of the undoubtedly confused blonde.
The air outside of the club was cool, drying the beads of perspiration that had gathered on her skin when she’d been trapped in the oppressive confines of a crowd of bodies and her own stupidity. She shook her head, hoping that the movement would do something to clear away the fog that she was stumbling through, but it really didn’t help.
Cordelia only thought about those kinds of things. She didn’t act on them, didn’t throw herself at anyone, didn’t come on to girls.
“Oh God,” she hissed, slightly horrified. Maybe she could chalk it up to having had too much to drink. Maybe she could pretend like it never happened, and if Buffy ever brought it up, she could simply stare at her and sneer, mocking the idea that she, Cordelia Chase, would ever do anything like that. As if she’d ever blatantly throw herself at Buffy as she’d done.
Slightly unsteady footsteps took her to her car, and she slid into the cool leather of the driver’s seat gratefully, letting her head slump forward to rest on the steering wheel, a sigh of relief slipping past her lips.
No more thinking about it. Not any more.