Author's Notes: OOC Harmony drabble. Written because I like giving near-static characters personality. Italics from 'Disharmony' and 'Shells'.

Air Pockets

(An Angel Fic)

She'd always known her life would end after high school. She didn't have a death wish, she wasn't suicidal, but, somehow, Harmony had always known she would die at eighteen.

This never bothered her, she never wanted to grow up, anyway. She liked living the high life on daddy's plastic. Why would she want to change? Growing up required rules, responsibilities, and - ugh - a job. She didn't want that.

Her grades were shot, all C's and D's and F's. She wasn't going anywhere. She'd bombed the SATs and the best she could hope for was Sunnydale U. That didn't matter. For her, school was never about grades. School was about boys and prom and fashionable clothes. She had no plans for her future, all she had was cheerleading practice.

So, in a way, death was a blessing.

Except it wasn't.

She was vamped on Graduation. She rose the next night alone and scared. She ran to her parents. She hadn't wanted to kill them; she'd only wanted to talk. They would protect her, they would make everything alright.

Except they didn't

They were dead by morning.

Harmony didn't care. She was a vampire, this was what vampires did. She was evil.

Except she wasn't.

She tried to be. She really did. She even hooked up with a guy named Spike. He was the Big Bad in Sunnydale; at least that was what he'd called himself. Harmony had always thought him more pathetic than anything else. Plus, he treated her like shit. She should have left him. She did, eventually, but she stayed with him longer than she should have. It wasn't right. She was Harmony Kendall. She walked over men, not the other way around.

Harmony remembered high school. She was beautiful, powerful, rich. She was the elite. Boys lined up to date her. Girls wanted to be her. She owned the school. She was happy. She fit.

As a vampire, not so much.

Thinking about it, she stayed with Spike for so long because she thought he would make it right. He would show her where she belonged, teach her how to be evil. He would make her fit.

Except he didn't.

So she left.

She ran to L.A., to Cordy, to the girl who had comforted her after Michael Thomas had broken up with her for that ugly Mary Alice. Cordy had been her best friend in high school and Harmony had thought that, somehow, seeing her would make everything okay again.

Cordelia had changed. She was still Cordy, but there had been something different about her. She was - Harmony didn't know exactly, but she wasn't the same girl she'd been in Sunnydale.

She talked a lot about her job and, for some reason, air pockets.

"I had these air pockets inside of me, and the work I'm doing, uh, we're doing, it's-it's like the pockets keep getting filled and I'm becoming me and..."

Harmony had laughed just then. Cordelia had joined in, claiming she'd been having too much to drink.

Air pockets, how lame was that?

Lately, Harmony had been thinking a lot about what that meant, even more so since Fred had died. It had been Gunn's fault. He had signed the form that had allowed Illyria's sarcophagus to come into Wolfram Hart and infect Fred. Harmony remembered asking Gunn why he'd done it. He had said a lot, but she remembered one line more than the others:

"Because I don't know where I fit. Because I never did."

She had put her hand on his shoulder. She didn't know where she fit either. She hadn't known since she'd been alive.

She thought back to Spike. He had called her lots of things when they were dating, none of them flattering. Twit, stupid, bint, bitch, the list went on. He'd told her she was shallow more than once. Harmony had been called that a lot when she'd been alive. She knew she'd always been shallow.

Vampires didn't change. They couldn't, she'd read that in a self-help book. Only people could change.

She remembered Cordelia. Cordy hadn't been a vampire. She hadn't stay the same after Graduation. Cordy had changed. She had been different in the end. Less self-centered and more - people-oriented? Was that the right word? She couldn't remember. She had always sucked at English.

Harmony was too shallow to be good or evil. She lacked the depth to be either one.

She was depthless.

She was empty.

She was nothing.

Harmony wondered what would have happened to her had she lived. Would she have been like Cordy? Happy and forever talking about air pockets and filled-up space? Would she have grown into a whole person? Would she have known where she fit?

Would she have become Cordelia?

Did she want to be?

Of course she didn't. Cordelia was dead. She wasn't - well not in the dust sense of the word. Harmony had a job now working as Angel's secretary. She had an apartment and clothes and unicorn figurines. What more did she want?

She wanted to feel her heart beat. She wanted to kiss a hot boy and feel it thump with excitement. She wanted to be popular again. She wanted to know where she fit. She wanted to fill up the air pockets inside of her and know, for once, what it felt like to be somebody. She wanted - well, lots of things, but, more than anything, she wanted to go back to a time where everything made sense and nobody could push her around.

More than anything, Harmony wanted to be alive.