|How To Win Friends
Author: restive nature PM
BtVSVarious xovers. Cordelia gives Buffy a present for her 17th birthday that keeps going and going, and then coming back for more. And bringing new friends with it. Most entries written for TtH's Ficforall pairings.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Chapters: 4 - Words: 13,575 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 08-13-12 - Published: 05-11-07 - id: 3533857
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: How To Win Friends
Chapter Title: Ungrateful
Author: Restive Nature
Disclaimer: All things Buffy belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Step By Step belongs to CBS.
Rating: PG-13 (at most)
Pairing: Cordy/ Karen Foster (Step By Step)
Series Summary: Cordy presents Buffy with a Seventeenth birthday gift that keeps going and going…
Chapter Summary: Cordy finds a new friend to commiserate with.
Time line: BtVS Season Two, Post series Step By Step
Feedback: Always welcome!
Distribution: Various, ask before taking
A/N: This was written in part for the TtH FfA, pairing Cordy/ Karen Foster.
A/N2: The book discussed on this fiction is a real book. While the book and author are mentioned, none of the contents are included in this fiction.
Cordy couldn't believe it. The last thing she'd expected to find when she'd walked into the only acceptable dress shop in Sunnydale, was the birthday present she'd given to her sort of friend, more like sworn enemy in a way, Buffy Summers. It was bad enough that Buffy had lost it before, only to have it found in Colorado of all places. But twice was really pushing it.
But there it was, sitting on top of a bag, resting on the sweet little divan that the matron of the shop kept for those shopaholics who needed to rest their feet and opine about those modeling clothes about them.
"Well this is just typical," Cordy muttered as she collapsed onto the divan, letting her numerous shopping bags settle on the floor of her feet. She reached for the book, but before she could touch it, a soft, but sharp voice interrupted.
"Excuse me, but what do you think you're doing?"
Cordy glanced up, a haughty expression already in place on her face. "Are those your bags?" she countered and the girl, about her age, with extremely long, dark hair and a slightly elfin face with nice even features and an obviously good moisturizing plan in place, crossed her arms over her chest and jerked her chin forward.
Cordy knew enough of reading people that the bags probably were, but this girl was used to being in control of things. But she didn't know that in this town, it was Queen C that ruled the roost.
"What does it matter to you?" the girl countered Cordy's counter question and instead of allowing it to throw her slightly, Cordy simply pointed at the book.
"While I'm sure those are your purchases, I can say with surety that that book most definitely does not belong to you."
"And how would you know that?" the girl sniffed imperiously. Cordy settled a smirk on her face as she visibly relaxed. She was in control here and the girl before her was starting to realize it.
"Because it just so happens that a few months ago," she explained happily in an icy voice, "that I gave my dear friend Buffy," don't gag on that "that very book on the occasion of her birthday. That same book was stolen," lost, but we won't mention that "and recovered by a chef in Denver, Colorado," see, and Xander said that she never paid attention to their discussions when they didn't pertain to her or fashion or gossip, "who, along with returning the book, left behind a saucy thumb print stain on the front cover!" She finished triumphantly, gesturing to the cover of the book, where there was indeed a smudge across the front. The girls face went from incredulous, to relieved, to amused in just seconds.
"Well that's wonderful," she announced, seating herself on the other side of the bag and holding her hand out. "I'm Karen Foster."
"Cordelia Chase," Cordy returned, though she only shook Karen's hand extremely briefly. "Where did you find the book?"
"In my room," Karen grinned as she played with some imaginary lint on her skirt. "At first I thought it was my sister Dana's. That's exactly the sort of thing she would read. But it wasn't and I asked everyone. But it didn't belong to anyone in the family."
The brief moue of distaste she made as she said that word piqued Cordy's interest and she thawed briefly enough to inquire, "how many people are in your family?"
"A lot," the girl sighed in the manner of the long suffering. "My mother remarried a few years ago and those kids..." She shuddered delicately. "Well, my mother and my step-father decided that we just absolutely had to take a trip to Knott's Berry Farm this year, so here we are. Since we were in Cali, we stopped in to return the book. Although I have no idea how it got in my room."
"Oh, you poor thing," Cordy sympathized in a totally 'fake, but it sounded so real', manner. There were in fact a lot of things to sympathize about. Step family, not ever pleasant from all accounts that Cordy had heard, family vacations and well, Knott's Berry Farm, let's just not shall we?
"And of course, the shopping here?" Karen went on and Cordy found herself nodding along.
"You've found about the only decent dress shop in town," Cordy sighed, glancing around. "What I wouldn't give for a Neiman Marcus!"
"I hear you," Karen agreed. "Though," she broke off and seemed to muse on something for a moment. "Hang on," she announced and quickly stood. Cordy was wondering what on earth had set the girl off. Was she like, ADD or something? But then the girl was rooting through several racks until she had pulled out a few things and Cordy, never one to give up clothes browsing stood and made her way over, ready to offer the benefit of her wisdom.
As Cordy approached, Karen spun on her heel and thrust the clothes at Cordelia. "You have to try these on."
Cordy glanced down at the dress and two pant and shirt sets that the girl had chosen. They were nice and a good quality, judging by the tag price's proclamation. "I suppose," she murmured. It had been so long since she'd had someone to shop with. At least this girl didn't know the ins and outs of gossip that Cordy had to constantly guard against. In fact, a new shopping friend sounded exactly like what she needed. "Although I think I'll need a belt to go with."
"I know just the one," Karen pronounced, already holding it up and Cordy's bemused smile widened into a huge grin. The start of a beautiful friendship!
"And it's not like we're best friends," Cordy complained as Karen fluttered around her making a few adjustment to the lay of the clothes Cordy was currently modeling. Even she had to admit, Foster had quite the flair for dressing others. Cordy now had several weeks of excellent ideas that were sure to make a splash at Sunnydale High that would have the rest of the girls scrambling to emulate in her wake. "But you'd think that she would be grateful enough that she wouldn't keep losing something that I bought for her out of the goodness of my heart. And Xander, oh my God! Every time I mention it, it's all, but Buffy has more important things to think about and it's not her fault that it just disappeared."
"Sounds like he wants to be more than friends," Karen frowned, quite pleased to have someone new to talk to, to dress. After all, Dana and Al were just hopeless. And the boys...ew! Don't even get her started on them.
"Mmm," Cordy agreed quietly. "He thought he did, but Buffy would never go for it. She's more into the tall, dark and broody sort of salty goodness."
"Salty goodness?" Karen repeated, her ear perking up at the new catchy little phrase. She'd have to remember that one.
"Yep," Cordy nodded and then once Karen stopped fussing, started back to the changing room for the next piece de resistance! "Tall, older, sinfully handsome, goes by just the name Angel. But then again, likes books and dark alleys."
Karen giggled in response and waited for Cordy to return. They'd had so much fun in the last hour in, as Cordy had put it, the only acceptable shop in town. But then she caught sight of a familiar car pulling up to the curb outside the shop and her spirits fell just a little. Cordy returned just as her mother and step father entered the shop, obviously looking for her.
"But still," Cordy was about to go on, but Karen's mother calling for her attention forestalled her. She quieted and turned, a pleasant smile on her face.
"Sorry," Karen breathed out, "looks like it's time for me to go."
"Of course," Cordy sighed. Just typical that the parents would show up to put a damper on her fun. They were quiet until the older couple reached them, serious, disapproving looks on their faces.
"Karen Foster, I thought you were going to return that book to that girl," the woman scolded softly. Karen opened her mouth to respond, but Cordy quickly nudged her in the side with her elbow.
"That would have been a problem ma'am," Cordy interrupted in the politest, reserved for adults voice that she could muster. "Buffy isn't home right now. She and her mother are out of town. I told Karen that when we ran into each other." The women turned her full attention to Cordelia, her eyes questioning.
"Oh?" she asked, definitely suspicious. Cordy expedited that by holding out her hand.
"I'm Cordelia Chase," she introduced herself again. "I go to school with Buffy and I'm the one that gave her the book."
"Oh, goodness, all right," the woman smiled and shook Cordy's hand. "I'm Carol Lambert. This is my husband Frank. Well, thank you for helping my daughter."
"It was sooo not a problem," Cordy grinned. "She has excellent taste in clothes," she praised magnanimously and then swept her gaze over the woman. "I see it must run in the family," she flattered, though the outfit the woman put together was not one she would have chosen for herself. It still suited the older blond.
"Thank you," Mrs. Lambert preened, but her husband clearing her throat, brought her back to the situation at hand. "Well, we should probably get going then. Although..."
"Can I give the book to you to give back to Buffy?" Karen asked quickly, seeing the dilemma as well.
"Of course," Cordy pffed, waving her hand. "Just as long as you give me your number. I so want to hear your take on the new Ferragamo line coming out."
Karen's face brightened and her mother thoughtfully provided her with a pen from her purse. They all, but Cordelia, searched for some paper in their pockets to write upon, but came up empty.
"Just a sec," she murmured as she reached for the book that was still sitting atop, forgotten until now, on Karen's purchases. She brought the book back and flipped open the front cover.
Mrs. Lambert glanced up, a little alarmed looking. "Are you sure. Won't this Buffy girl mind?"
Cordy shook her head. "It's okay, as long as you don't mind her having your number. I'm sure she'll want to call and thank Karen for bringing it back. Especially since it's so far out of your way to Knott's Berry. Ooh, family vacation, sounds like fun!"
"Carol, just let Karen sign it so we can get going," Mr. Lambert finally spoke up, glancing out the window. "Otherwise the rest of the kids might decide to check up on us and then we'll never get out of here!"
"Oh, all right, if you're sure," Mrs. Lambert worried, but Karen was already signing her name and printing out her number, while her step-father reminded her to include the area code. She snapped the book shut when she was done and held it out to Cordy. Then with another grin and a quick whispered instruction as to how to wear the scarf she'd laid out for the outfit, the trio left the store, Karen's purchases well in hand. Cordy had the brief glimpse of a minivan crammed full with arguing teens and gave a self satisfied sniff.
She waved goodbye to Karen, tossed the book to the divan beside her bag and then turned away to test the girl's eye as she artfully arranged the scarf. She tilted her head, deciding in just seconds that scarves could possibly make a huge comeback come Monday morning.
Well, her father always told her if she complained about something, that the grass was always greener on the other side. And after seeing what Karen had to contend with, what with not only ungrateful friends and family, who didn't appreciate her unique talents, well...
Cordy was definitely the greener side of these pastures, wasn't she?