AUTHOR'S NOTE This is the second and final chapter to "I Understand." I miss Cordelia terribly on Angel. My favorite season remains season one because I love Doyle and really liked the dynamic between him and Cordy. Plus I'm a B/A shipper and C/A just feels wrong. Anyway, hope you enjoy!
DISCLAIMER I don't own Buffy characters or Angel characters. They all belong to Joss Whedon but soon we won't even have Angel to watch! *wails* Stupid WB.
A lot of people would say that that was the old me, but damn, this sucks!
You know, for someone who lived my life, you'd think that I'd have given some thought to dying at some point in my life, but no. Cordy didn't get that far in her life planning. And dammit, being dead sucks!
Plus, I got gypped! I didn't get to go out in a blaze of hellfire like Buffy or sacrifice myself to save the helpless like Doyle or even get vamped like Harmony and so many other people in high school. I didn't even die a normal death like Buffy's mom! I got some bizarre-o combination of both. I get possessed by some unspeakably evil creature, then fall into a coma and miss out on all the action and die.
At least the Powers granted me that one last day. It gave me closure, you know? Not that I was ever that big on closure, but hey. Good a time as any to start right before you DIE!
I'm still dealing.
But you know what the weirdest thing is? I'm still here. I'm watching my own funeral. That's weird. It's like I'm floating above them all.
It's a night funeral of course. Angel wouldn't have had it any other way. And Spike too apparently. Angel's crying. I haven't seen him cry since Connor.
Ouch. Thinking about Connor still hurts. I wish things could have been different between us. Between everything. But I don't regret it…well, except for the unstoppable demon that ended up killing me part.
Wesley and Gunn are standing with Fred. I think they're all crying too. Damn, looking at Wesley brings up a whole other set of memories. High school. The Ascension. The whole senior class banding together to fight the Mayor. Harmony died that night.
Oh yeah, Harmony's there too. Who knew we'd still be friends even after she died? But I, above all, should know that vampires are people too.
Lorne and Spike are standing apart from everyone else. Seeing Spike hurt but in a different way. Even though I'm dead, I can still feel the pain of that pipe stabbing me through the stomach. And it was all Spike's fault! And Willow's, of course. And Xander's.
Oh God. Xander. I feel ghostly tears on my ghostly cheeks. Xander's here and he's crying. And behind him comes Buffy. And Willow. And that freaky little sister of hers and even Faith.
The gang's all here. All here to give Cordy a big send-off into the beyond. God, Buffy's crying. I can't deal with seeing Buffy cry over me. I can't deal with this.
And I can't deal with the way Buffy and Angel don't look at each other. Angel knows about Spike and Buffy must know about me. I spent all of sophomore year of high school trying to take Angel away from her and now that I finally did in a way, I'd do anything to give him back. I wish things could be the way they were before. Before Angel and I fell for each other and before things got so confused and before Buffy died and before my life got turned upside down.
Giles is just standing there quietly. I can't tell what he's thinking, but I never could. But he's not the only other one in the cemetery.
You know what? Now that I think about it, this is all really morbid! People watching my dead body get buried under six feet of dirt? What genius came up with this idea?
There's someone else. I can see him, though no one else can. He's hiding himself so they won't talk to him. He hasn't talked to them in years.
From God knows where, even Oz came back for my funeral.
He and I went through a lot together I guess. Finding Willow and Xander kissing hurt him just as deeply as it hurt me, albeit not physically. And when he showed up in LA that one time with the Gem of Amara, it was like old times hanging out with him.
There goes my body. They're throwing dirt on it. Don't do that! My hair will get gross. My hair was never gross – not a single day in my life. I can't let them do it!
"There's nothing you can do."
I sniff and can't help but cry. I never knew ghosts could cry. Vaguely, I remember that time when a pair of ghosts took over Sunnydale High. It was when Angel was bad. Buffy and Angel were possessed and it's a miracle that they didn't kill each other that night. "I hate this," is all I can say.
"I know, Princess."
I turn to see the man I'd been waiting for. Ever since I died, I knew he'd be here to guide me after. "Hey Doyle."
He comes and puts an arm over my shoulders. "It will get easier."
I don't believe him. "Look. Even Oz is here."
I turn to him. "I don't want to be dead," I say, my lip trembling and tears falling.
He kisses me on the forehead. "It's not so bad." He grins. "Besides, you've always got me for company!" He winks.
I laugh. I'd forgotten what his brogue sounded like. "In your dreams," I tease half-heartedly.
"This is the land of dreams, Princess."
He beckons me to follow. I hesitate, looking back down on my friends.
First there was Xander. I really did love him. And then Wesley, who would have been fun had he not been quite so bad a kisser. And Angel. Dear Angel who never forgot about everyone else for a single second.
Buffy who always looked out for me, even when I was a primo bitch. Willow who I learned to respect. Oz who traveled halfway around the world to say good-bye. Giles. He always kept me in line with everyone else. Fred, Gunn, and Lorne who had been with Angel Investigations for a long time. Angel. Wesley. Xander.
"Good-bye guys," I say. "Give 'em hell."
Doyle takes my hand. "You know it's time, Princess. Come on."
I smile at him, the half-demon in his bad clothes and cute Irish accent. I don't look back.
They'll be fine on their own. And when it's their time, I'll be waiting for them.