Chapter Five – Cordelia Has A Problem
"Bloody sodding hell," Grace called out as Stevie knocked her to the ground. Those were not words little girls were supposed to use, her Uncle Rupert had told her time and time again. But she just couldn't help herself. Little boys her age could be so dense. Even her mom said that guys were dense. Guess it never went away.
"Grace, you cannot use inappropriate language and call Stevie a name." Great, so Mrs. Kelly caught her again. Over the past week she had busted Grace three times. She definitely needed to get more creative in her language use.
"But Mrs. Kelly, I'm sorry. He pushed me and I just couldn't control myself." She batted her long, dark eyelashes innocently.
"Stevie, you need to watch where you are going next time."
"Sorry," Stevie called out.
Mrs. Kelly just didn't get it. She'd never apologize to Stevie because he was a big ponce. Always knocking her over, hitting her, getting her into trouble.
Now Connor on the other hand was so cool. He would spar with her and not tell her parents. They wanted her to be a little girl. Little girls were for the birds. She wanted to be just like her mom.
Connor got to spar with the slayers all the time since he was their trainer, so why couldn't she? Being a slayer is what she wanted to be when she grew up. Liam told her that she had to be called or something. But with Mom and Dad's blood in her, she couldn't lose.
Since she was one of a kind, they didn't know yet what she would become. Her mom did not want her to follow in her footsteps. Only a few slayers had kids, so only time would tell. And all of them were boys at this point.
She'd let Liam handle the book part while she raised her sword to fight evil.
Off in the distance on a rooftop not far from Grace's school, a man sat with binoculars watching the young girl on the playground. His duty was to watch the girl and make sure no one else harmed her. His employer specifically stated that there would be a time in which the girl would need to be taken into their custody. So he studied her movements, and that of her parents and friends to figure out when the best time would be to take her.
Just as he was putting the binoculars down, his cell phone rang, bringing him out of his calm demeanor. Maybe now he would see some action.
"Yes, I understand. I will perform the job as specified."
With a quick click to end the conversation, the man climbed down from the roof to complete his mission.
Faith stood in the kitchen, trying to figure out for the life of her, what Wesley did with a pot she needed. He was the one that unpacked the kitchen not too long ago. He had everything in its place. Only it wasn't exactly the way she would have done it.
Oh, God, he's domesticated her. She never thought that it would happen. Yeah, she was older and wiser. But she thought she would be slaying for the rest of her life, not taking care of two children and being a wife to Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. That was the furthest from her mind when she had first met him. Strangling him had been the first thought traveling through her brain. Her fist almost connected with his face too many times to count those first couple of months.
Somehow, some way, something happened between the two. She thought that maybe it was some spell that he had performed to get her to love him. She could even pinpoint the moment that she fell in love with him. He would call her crazy, but so what. When he jumped on the back of a demon to save her butt, that was the exact moment she thought, man, he would risk life and limb to save me, not just some slayer. No one had ever done that for her. It took her a while to realize that was what she was feeling. Being around him for twenty-four hours a day for several weeks helped.
Now, she was happy as a clam. She got to do her job, got to have her man, and had the house in the suburbs. So why just now did it scare her down to her toes? Because in the scheme of things, nothing had gone wrong. It should go wrong, but it hadn't. Every time they faced a challenge, somehow they worked it out. She kept thinking that the bottom was going to drop out in time. It never had. Nine years was a hell of a long time for her to be attached to anyone. Now she was attached not only to Wes, but also to two beings that made her almost cry every day she saw them.
Living the dream, living it well, she contemplated. Her fears were ungrounded. Things would always work out in the end. Wes would see to it. She would try her best to see to it.
The doorbell rang, breaking her out of her little depression for an instant. Hormonal surges just sucked big time. Making her way to the door, she paused to peer outside to see who would be knocking on her door at eleven in the morning. She had just gotten up herself, having worked the night before killing some nasty demon down by the lake. It took forever for her skin to get warm again after falling in the frigid water.
She groaned when she saw who was standing at the door. Why oh why did she have to be home. Wes was so much better at dealing with the woman at the door.
"Open the damn door, Faith. I saw you peek out."
Faith made a fist and punched into her hand to take out a little aggression. Not that the gesture made her feel any better.
Wrenching the door open, Faith glared at her visitor. "What?" she shouted.
"You don't have to yell. How are you, Faith?" Cordelia asked, looking around outside, like she was expecting someone to pop out after her.
"Fine. What do you want?"
"Can I come in, for God's sake? Rude much?"
Typical Cordelia, Faith thought.
"Not rude, Cor. Just wonderin' what you're doing on my doorstep. Come on in."
Faith waved the taller woman in, pointing to the couch in the living room.
"Nice house, by the way. Very domesticated."
Faith growled a little at Cordelia's assessment. Just because she was domesticated didn't mean she liked people calling her that.
"Now, why are you here? Where's Angel?"
Cordelia immediately broke down in tears.
"He's not dust, is he?"
"No, no. Sometimes I wish he were. Damn, stupid vampire. He's such a jerk."
Oh, great, Faith thought. The two had a fight, and now Cordelia had run to Wes. Only Faith was the only one home. Wes had already gone to work.
"I'll just give Wes a call. Maybe he can help."
"Maybe. I don't know any more. This is all just so confusing," Cordelia said through her tears.
"Angel, confusing? Why on earth would you think that?" Faith asked her sarcastically.
That she had learned from her husband. Angel could be so dense sometimes, especially when it came to women. And he was one of the most confusing creatures on the planet. One moment, you think you know him, the next he's totally different. Sweet one moment, deadly the other. At least she could figure out Cordelia. Maybe it was a woman thing.
"I just hate him. We never should have had Willow fix that Gypsy spell. He could have suffered for an eternity, but no. Now he can be all happy."
"What'd he do? Forget your birthday or something?" Faith asked.
Not that she really wanted to know what the dumbass did to Cordelia, but if it got her out of the house sooner, then that was better.
"No. The dumbass got me pregnant. Can you believe that?"
Faith's mind raced a mile a minute. No wonder Cordelia ran to Wes. This was not supposed to happen yet again. For one dead vampire, he sure was producing offspring, which he wasn't supposed to do, ever.
"I know, I know. Not possible. But it happened. And now, I don't know what to do," Cordelia cried.
Cordelia leaned over to lay her head on Faith's shoulders. Faith wanted to pull away. Cordy had never acted like that with Faith. She needed to call Wes and get him home in a hurry before Cordy tried to hug her or something like that. Too much touching.
"I can't believe I'm crying my eyes out to you, of all people."
Now that was better, Faith thought. Sarcastic Cordelia she could deal with.
"Me either," Faith mumbled. "Let's call Wes."
"I just, the last time, he messed up. And I don't want him to mess up again. I thought about going to Giles, but then I didn't."
Faith was glad that Giles would be visiting them in a couple of days. Then Wes and Giles could put their heads together and figure out how in hell this happened again. Well, she knew how it happened, but the why was the question.
Cordelia still hung on to Faith's arm, sniffling as the tide of tears slowed.
"Let go, Cordy. I'll go call Wes."
Faith pulled hard to get her arm out of Cordelia's grasp. The woman immediately fell over in a heap on the sofa.
"Wait right there, OK? Don't go anywhere."
Faith ran for the kitchen, fumbling the phone as she dialed Wes's number. He was going to freak, she knew. Yeah, the last time this happened, he screwed up some prophecy about Connor. Maybe he could redeem himself and figure this all out. Of course, if there were a prophecy, Faith would know about it. Unless Wes wasn't sharing. She just hoped that he hadn't reverted to the old, no sharing Wes. Then they would have to have words.
Only she dialed the number wrong the first time. Punching the button to hang up, she had her finger poised over the talk button to start redialing again when the thing rang in her hands.
"Hello? Yes, this is she. I'll be right there."
Oh, God, what had happened to Grace? With Cordelia's problems forgotten, Faith ran out of the kitchen to find her shoes.
"Hey, where are you going?" Cordelia asked from the sofa.
"Something's wrong with Grace. I have to go to the school."
Faith's face must have been full of worry, because Cordelia immediately sprang up from the sofa, following Faith out the door.
"I'm coming with. No one messes with my Gracie."
Faith really didn't care if Cordelia tagged along. Might be good to have company, to help calm her. Because if anything happened to Grace, Faith might need someone to calm her.
Grace made her way to the bathroom after not wanting to do the math that the teacher had just given her. At least if she went to the bathroom, she'd stall having to complete it and she could take it home. Then Dad would have to help her. She hated math with a passion. Or that's what her mom had said one day, whatever it meant. And she liked it when Dad helped with homework. He was so patient with her, unlike Mom.
Coming out of the bathroom after washing her hands for the fifth time, Grace knew it was time to go back and face the music. She had fifteen minutes before art. Not enough time to finish the math sheet, but just enough time to fake trying to do some of it.
As she walked out, she noticed a man sitting on one of the school lunch tables near the bathroom. He looked like one of those guys that her dad sometimes worked with in England. Only she didn't know this guy. Don't talk to strangers, her parents had said to her over and over. Only they had met so many people from living so many places, that sometimes she couldn't remember strangers from friends.
"Grace?" the man called.
He knew her name. That was weird. Grace didn't speak to him, but kept moving towards her classroom door.
"Grace, could I speak with you a moment?"
Not in this lifetime, she thought. So she hurried over to the door. But she wasn't able to open it since it was locked. Someone must have locked it from the other side. She'd have to go around to the other door. Not looking back, she made her way through the corridor to the other door. Only the guy on the bench followed her.
Now that was stupid, she thought. I should have just knocked on the door loudly.
"Grace, I'm here about your mother," the man called.
That made Grace turn around to look at him. Liam thought it was dumb that Grace always worried about their mom. That she could take care of herself. Her mom never worried, so why should she. Her dad often said that she had inherited that trait from him. He was the biggest worrywart around. She was glad she shared something with him, other than the blue eyes. Her dad was her favorite. No one could help her like her dad. No one, not even her mom.
Grace still didn't respond.
"Your mother has been injured. If you just come with me, we'll go see her."
Grace's eyes widened. This was how a bad guy stole children. She had known about this from the adults in her life and from a lesson in school. This guy was full of it.
"No," Grace said as she turned to run to the other door.
The man caught up with her, grabbing her arm forcefully.
"Let go," Grace yelled.
"I don't think you understand."
Grace kicked him in the shin, making him yelp in pain. Then she kicked the other leg, getting another satisfying grunt. Then the man pulled out some kind of weapon, and raised it her way. Grace backed away from him, not knowing whether she should run or just scream. Her heart was beating fiercely and she balled her small hands up in fists, wanting to fight her way out of this. But it looked like he had a gun, so she didn't know if the guy would hurt her.
Grace watched as the guy pulled the trigger of the weapon. In slow motion, the dart that came towards her scared her out of her wits. Only her reaction wasn't anything she had experienced before. Putting up her hand, a bright light escaped, making the dart veer away from her and into the wall beside her. The guy's eyes widened in surprise. That gave Grace the opportunity to scream the loudest scream she had ever given in her life.
Next: A look at the slayer training facility. Giles arrives from England. Wesley freaks out when he finds out Cordelia's predicament.
Author notes: Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I've updated this. I really had major writer's block. Serves me right for starting this so long ago, then typing it in, and then going, help, help. I know this chapter is short, but it's an update. I'll keep trying to do this. So don't expect it to be perfect (this is a really quick and dirty update). I really want to finish this because I really like the characters. So bear with me. I'll get the groove back on, and it'll come naturally. Thanks to all who have reviewed. It's been so long, I haven't gone back to check e-mails. But new people still keep finding this and reading. That is so great of all of you. So I hope you enjoyed this. Keep reading and reviewing!