Not Like This by Chris Kenworthy
true Cordelia's take on this season.
Out, Season Four.
anywhere you like, please! I'm not sure where to post this.
I don't wanna die.
I mean, sure, yeah,
I don't want the world to get taken over by Hell-
bitch. If my death
is the only sacrifice that can stop her then by all
means, off with my head. But I don't wanna die. And I sure as
hell, (as the saying
goes,) don't want my death to be the fruition of her dastardly plan.
I still remember
when it happened. I was on the higher plane, looking
down on my guys as
they left Las Vegas, everyone safely accounted for. I was even feeling a little juiced that maybe I had been
a part of
that, that maybe by WANTING it hard enough, I'd been able to nudge
Angel's slot machine
so that it won, thus bringing Ange into the control room where he could kick some bad-guy butt and save
friends. (Not to
mention get his destiny back.) It felt great, like
as far away as I
was, I was still a part of the gang. Then that feeling started to wear off and I went stir-crazy again,
the hell... oops, I really shouldn't use a word like that about
the higher realms, I
guess, should I? What the phooey I was doing up there and when I would be allowed to do it, instead of just
on my glowing,
fabulously dressed keester. (Except that I couldn't
even seem to sit
while I was up there, I just stood, surrounded by the brightness and the harp music. Woulda really bugged the
outta me except that
my feet didn't get tired, which bumped it down
But I'm getting
off-topic. Wondering why I had been called to the
higher plane? REALLY
not a question I wanted to know the answer to, as it turned out. Because the way I've worked it out, I
didn't go there
to serve the forces of good. I went there to fufill the
purposes of evil.
One very particular evil force. I'm still not sure why
SHE was there, maybe being held prisoner by the powers that be or something, and I was part of the escape plan.
It happened so
suddenly. BAM. I had a vague feeling of a presence
was hoping it was one of the senior higher beings coming to tell me what was what, but no such. This... this
slammed into my body
and immediately started making itself at home.
And then an instant
later it left the higher plane, bringing my body back to its home realm in some way that I REALLY wish I'd
been able to
do by myself first. Bringing it back to earth.
I didn't really
understand how little I was in charge, though. I
arrived in the hotel
lobby just a few instants before the gang started tromping in... of course, I didn't see them come in.
called out my name,
(I could never mistake that,) and I turned around...
I mean, I actually thought it was me. I thought I was calling out "Oh, Angel, angel, I'm so glad to see you,
I'm so glad I'm
It took a few
seconds to realize that what actually came out of my
mouth was "Who
are you people??"
Yes, I've seen and
heard everything that she's seen and heard with my
body, and touched,
and smelled, and you get the picture. (Speaking of touch, that night with Connor... shudder. Not that it wasn't
but, you know... horrendously awkward emotionally, not to
mention I had a
notion it was part of this demon-girl's worst plans. But I'm getting ahead of myself.)
We have these mental
conversations, too, where I scream and rant and
complain about how
unfair what she's doing to me is, and she acts all snide and superior and makes me feel like a lost baby puppy
deserves to be put
down. Sometimes, if I annoy her enough, she does
this thing to
torture my aura, like make me feel as if I'm being drawn and quartered by horses or eaten alive by fire ants.
More often than
you'd think, she doesn't even bother.
While our body
sleep, sometimes we're in a dream together, and we can
actually talk, and
fight, face to face. I never win there anymore. But I don't stop fighting. I don't care how much she can make
me hurt anymore,
even the smallest possible chance of hurting her back would
be enough for me.
But let's see... I
was telling you about when 'we' first came back. I
could tell that she
was lying about having amnesia... even if she couldn't pull memories out of my head one at a time... (It
was like the
most personal parts of my mind were locked out against her, but
she could get the
keys by finding each one inside my aura... it took a while, and wasn't pleasant for either of us, mostly me, but
could get into
anything she wanted to.) As I was saying, even without
my own memories, I
was plenty sure she knew the gang, and my own life, well from her own research. Bitch did her homework. But
wanted to make the
gang think she, or I, couldn't remember anything
though. For one
thing, that made it easier to manipulate and upset them.
And she ran away
from the hotel to Connor's place. That was no
wanted to start cultivating him right away. It's weird, I really did start to develop a deeper empathy for
him, just from
being there, watching him while he was with her. Sure, he locked
Angel up into a big
box and sent him to the bottom of the pacific, still angry about that, but we all have our issues. He's been
lot and he's not sure where his life fit. Demon-me gave him an
answer to that
question, a lying answer, but still. I don't blame him for falling for it.
So, let's see, the
memory spell. She was expecting that, of course,
waiting for it. She
really hammed up the amnesia angst every time she was around Angel, making him really WANT to see her/me get my
memories back. I
realized that the spell was really her idea, that
she had had Skip
deliver the spell to Lorne's contact. Given that she was living inside my head, (among other places I'd rather not
into,) it actually
wasn't that hard for me to tell what was going
through her mind.
Even when she'd rather not have had me know. Too bad I couldn't actually DO anything with the dirt I got.
Skip. Yeah, he was
working for her, I figured that out early. Which
made me wonder if
not only getting 'called up to the majors,' but accepting my demon half was part of the evil master plan. To
possible for my body
to serve as the host for a full demon spirit. I
can't tell you how
much that scares me. Even if I get out of this alive, I'll have to figure out what I really am... if I'm
human or not
anymore, in the best sense of the world. But I'm getting off
Once the memory
spell went wacky, I was really in the driver's seat
for a bit, I'm sure
that I was. Of course, I didn't remember anything that happened before my sixteenth birthday, which kinda took
fun out of it. Still
I cherish that memory, of actually being able to
interact with the
others as me. Who'd a thunk Fred for a little stoner chick, huh? And Wesley... as endearing as always as a
watcher. Gunn had already been through so much even
when he was that
young, that's kinda sad in a way. But you could also see how noble and brave he was, starting to shine through
And then there's my
Angel-boy before he was a vampire, a rebellious
little Irish kid who
wanted nothing more than to get even with his dad. (Wasn't that hilarious when he couldn't get his Irish
back??) And as for
me... well, I just wish I hadn't turned back into
popularity princess, that's all I'm saying. And poor Lorne, tied up yet again.
I don't think the
spell had done anything to disrupt HER control over
me. She had let me
gain back control, knowing that I couldn't blab her secret, and was watching me. Watching my reactions, my
mannerisms, so she
could imitate be better thereafter. As soon as she had any reason to, she took the driver's seat again. Which
was when Connor
showed up again, surprise, surprise. (I admit that I was
scared, but even as
a teenager a line like "... and you're getting a big
reward" was so not me. But she had her own reasons for teasing Connor, as we all know.)
Then the spell was
over, with that blob of horrible-tasting something
on our tongue, and I
remembered everything. (Teenaged me had been starting to freak out at having Multiple Personality
was so not a cool
disease,) but then I remembered how I had been
And at that instant,
all of those mental locks on my memories that
were trying to keep
Demon babe out of my personals flew open. Master key city. Mistress of all she surveyed. After a second to
make sure that
it was all accounted for, she sent a telepathic message to her
Beast telling him to
begin the journey to the surface, and then went into her fake 'traumatized by my memories' routine.
I guess while I'm
here, I'll give *my* answer to Angel's question.
Were we in love?
(Her answer was just one more attempt to tug at Angel's heartstrings and throw him off balance.) But as for
me... I'm really
not sure. I really thought I was at the time, but maybe it was
just the situation.
What I do know is that I'm not going to be able to find out unless I can get rid of this fiend queen and
spend some time
with Angel, just me, for real, and him. And I'm not gonna be
able to do that if I
don't live through this.
here, kinda get the feeling we don't have a lot of time
for a detailed trip down memory lane. She brought Connor to the spot he was born on purpose, of course. She must have already
instructed the Beast
that that was to be its point of emergence. Why,
I'm not sure, unless
it was just to make Connor feel bad, that the demon's rampages WERE his fault. Actually, that's not
sounding like a bad
theory. And back they ran to his place for some awkwardness.
Don't make me go
I really don't know
what she had against Wolfram and Hart, or if she
knew that Connor and
Wesley would be there when the Beast attacked. The 'hear what's going through her head' routine only goes so
She did have a quick
meeting with Beastie Boy on her way over to the
Hyperion - she has
this teleportation routine that makes clandestine meetings
like that quite a bit easier. Told him where he was supposed to
go, and what he was supposed to do, right down to killing the little girl and taking her energy.
You should have
heard me after the guys got zapped back from the
little girls' room.
(Oops, shouldn't call it that I guess... the white room, yeah, that was it.) "The answer is among
you." I was practically
shouting that it was me, of course, the only one who
could hear was demon
me. First they thought it meant Connor, then they thought it meant Angelus. Sometimes cryptic isn't what
it's cut out
to be. (Of course, I have no idea if the little girl really DID
mean demon me. I
just know that's the true answer.)
Yes, she did spike
Angel's blood at Gwen's apartment and kill Manny.
(She'd given the
beast instructions telepathically as to where to find the three other totems a little bit after Wolfram and
Hart went down.)
And yes, she did strip my body down to the buff to avoid blood
ritual itself was a new kind of freaky. The beast
couldn't do that
complicated magical ritual by itself. Demon-bitch used some kind of freaky spell to twin herself, part of her
keeping me on
autopilot while another part, I could kinda feel it,
was guiding the
Beast through the ritual, and through the fight. (Oh, and yes, she had the Beast do the spell at Connor's place so
the gang would
distrust him more, telepathic instructions, again. And yes, she
faked the visions of
Angelus and the Beast's meeting - the meeting was real enough, she had researched it, but the visions were
She could see into
Angel's fantasy when the mystic guy was depriving
him of his soul.
Actually, we both could, and I think she could change things in it, just a little. She was laughing and
laughing at the
part where Angel killed the beast, brought back the sun, and had
a moment of perfect
happiness with me. Said maybe it would have been worth it to do that for real. I just screamed at her.
I've thought a lot
about what she wanted, what was real in her plans
and what was just a
fake-out meant to confuse us. This body growing inside of me, I'm sure that was something she wanted. Angelus
her... I'm pretty sure she wanted that too, she was furious when
Willow brought him
back and Faith kept Connor from killing Angel. The rain of fire and blotting out the sun, I'm pretty sure those
tactics, and maybe items on her 'evil deeds to
accomplish before I
turn 3000' list. Nothing really important in and of themselves.
Moving on... yes,
she killed the priestesses who had banished the
Beast before... that
was easy. She already knew where the interrogation
of Angelus for the Beast's weaknesses would lead, and
she knew Angelus was
a stubborn enough cuss that it would take him a while to cough up the dirt. A little teleportation whizz-bang
and a surprise
attack with something heavy and sharp... family massacre.
(She would have sent
the beast up against them, but he's not big with the surprise and vulnerable to their magic, of course.) It's
tell if she was more
upset and pleased that Angelus was able to
deduce the existence
of herself as a higher power giving the Beast orders. Probably pleased. That was why she wanted him, his
evil brain more
than his physical strength.
Yes, she stole
Angel's soul, faked the vision, put a clouding spell
on Lorne so that she
could manipulate his empathic sense whenever it pleased
her to do so, let Angelus out, and killed Lilah. She hadn't been anticipating that Wesley would call in Faith, or that
would be so stubborn
as to slay the Beast while it was focusing on
its victory over the
Slayer. And she hadn't anticipated that Willow would come with a strategy to counter her capture of Angel's
soul and restore
But by that point
I'm not sure if she cared. My body was pregnant,
and that really was
her greatest priority. At first I expected the same things out of the baby as you... some horrible demon
that SHE would
be able to command to rule the world.
It took a little bit
of an intuitive leap to grasp the 'giving birth
to herself' bit. At
first I was actually happy that I would be rid of her control, of her voice inside my brain. That's when she
the bit about how
the birth would kill me, suck my life force out.
And how even if I
were to survive, I still wouldn't have my free will back, because I'd be at the mercy of her powers.
I could feel her
pouring her essence from my body into the vessel
that was growing
inside me, weakening her control over me. Making her get careless. And Angel finally clued in. I really hoped that
he and the
gang would make the trap tight when they caught her in the
looked good, except that they'd forgotten to plan for Connor. That's nearly always a mistake. Down he
superheroic action, totally getting the best of Angel, and
dragging evil-me out
of there, while she scoffed at the white hats.
Just when I thought
things couldn't be any worse... blood sacrifice
plan, to keep this
bitch safe during the transition to her new body of course. Yes, I saw Darla too. Why she was there, I don't
Darla's been an
exception to too many rules. When Wolfram and Hart
brought her back she
was in a human body and had a soul... was that her human soul, the same way Angel's is his human soul?? Or
had they taken
Darla's vampire essence and made it human too?? And when Dru re-
made her... was she
a new vampire, the same vampire as she had once been, or something completely different??
All I know is, yes,
she made a selfless sacrifice to bring Connor
back into the world,
and she was back, trying to convince him to do the right thing. Of the evil things that I'll never be able
to forget my
evil alter-ego doing, making Connor turn away from Darla has to
be... well, in the
top five at least.
But know it's done.
The sacrifice has been performed, (Connor, how
COULD you,) and he
smears his bloody palm across our tummy, completing
the ritual. Angel has charged in, fighting with Connor...
oh, god, this hurts.
And yes, I know what he's here for.
I don't want to die.
But if I have to die, I want it to be like that,
things, sacrificing me for the greater good. Actually,
I would do it myself if I could, like Darla did, and spare
him the torment. But
I can't even move my pinky finger by myself. So It'll have to be him.
And he's here,
standing at my side. "I'm sorry." I forgive you,
Angel, really I do.
I know how it has to be. Just do it already.
Then one huge
push... and a burst of magic that turns my ordeal from
a birthing into
something completely different. The blast knocks Angel across the room, and Connor too. I can feel the energy
drained out of my
body as SHE manifests for the first time in her own
body, the body she's
put us all through so much torment to fashion.
I can feel oblivion
closing in on me, and it tastes like skunk. I
wanted to die.
But not like this.