Title: Mersh Author: Sami Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rating: PG-13 Characters: Buffy, Cordy (Cordy/Buffy subtext)
Summary: Cordy slays a boring essay and Buffy has a stoned epiphany.
Notes: Set directly after the events in the third season episode, Homecoming. Drug use. Lesbianism. Ageism. Written for Kiz. I hope you don't mind that its mostly subtext and banter with a hint of a Buffy character study.

Buffy kicked her feet out in front of her as she sat on the couch, knocking the table up, and wincing as it hit the ground with a thud. Looking around, she saw Larry and Amy look up at her from behind a newspaper Larry was holding. Buffy sunk further into the cushions and wrapped her arms tighter around her own copy of the newspaper, frowning. She was the Slayer, she fought the big baddies and yet she still had to write boring essays for senile teachers? With a sigh, she opened up the newspaper and started to read.

⌠You!■ Cordy pointed at Buffy. Her long brown hair was pulled into a high ponytail and her make up was natural. She was dressed Cordy Casual with only a plain blue sundress and brown flip flops on. Trust Cordy to be picture perfect even after the Homecoming Limo Ride of Doom.
Buffy lowered the newspaper and said, ⌠Me?■

⌠Where's Willow?■ Cordy pulled out a newspaper from her leather messenger bag. She held up the book and pursed her lips, frowning. ⌠This paper is going to make me go Shannen Doherty on someone and the Sunnydale Press is not helping.■

⌠You care that much?■ Buffy folded her hands on her lap and smirked.

⌠I get good grades for your information, delinquent. So, where is she?■

⌠She's unavailable. I already tried to get Willow-y help on this dilemma, but it was a no go. Her mom dragged her to this conference in L.A... You're in Mrs. Randall's class before lunch, right?■

⌠Yes, I have the old hag. I honestly don't understand what she wants us to do.■ Cordy sat down next to Buffy on the couch and leaned her chin on her hand. ⌠Why are her assignments so wishy-washy and simple in a way that is not?■

⌠Okay, Cordy, I'm going to make with the crazy, but...■ Buffy wrinkled her nose and frowned before continuing. ⌠Want to work on this at the Bronze with me? I have no idea how I'm going to plump up this essay.■ She lifted up the newspaper. ⌠The front page is about a church dog show.■

Buffy slapped her head against her crossed arms as she leaned more on the table. Her shoulders slumped. The essay had been getting no easier because she could only fluff up her analysis of her assigned article so much before it burst. How much was an article about gardening tulips going to reveal about the spirit of Sunnydale?

⌠You look too much like how I feel. Perk up.■ Cordy kicked Buffy under the table. She sipped from a large purple mug.

⌠This makes me way too nostalgic for Homecoming when we only had a spatula to defend ourselves with.■ The blond rested her chin on her arms. Boredom and frustration seemed to fill her being.

⌠Oh, yeah, great times. I love it when the only thing between me and some freaky yellow demon is cook ware.■ Cordy rolled her eyes. ⌠Have you written a personal story in there or something? I bumped up my word count by throwing in a cheerleading story.■

⌠Your article is about a dog that visit nursing homes.■

⌠Okay, the old people are happy when Sniffles visits them and I'm happy when I'm cheerleading at a game.■ She gestured wide and grinned big. ⌠Connection.■

⌠Great idea. Sucks that you're using cheerleading I have so many cheer stories that I could tie-in with flowers.■ Buffy shrugged. ⌠When I was like six, I cheered at my first game and my dad brought me flowers. They were likes daisies or something, but I can totally change that to tulips for a completely subtle yet moving story about what tulips mean to me and...■ Buffy furrowed her brow. ⌠How does this connect to Sunnydale?■

Cordy frowned and leaned back in her chair, her eyes narrow and brow furrowed. Her eyes lit up and she slapped her hands on the table, grinning big. ⌠Because, our experiences determine how we see Sunnydale and then we could tie our stories to how Sunnydale makes us feel.■ Pressing harder on the table, she bit her lip as her eyes darted here and there as she thought. ⌠Mrs. Randall is a nut about this town, remember...■ She mumbled.

⌠Go on, Cordy, think!■ Buffy whispered.

⌠And, Sunnydale is such a good town because it reminds us of such good times and has brought us such good times.■ The brunette raised a pointed finger and cackled. ⌠That is why I am a magnificent bitch.■ She bowed her head with a sigh.

⌠Wow! That is perfect. Bravo.■ The slayer clapped, grinning. A coffee grinder switched on and off in the distance.

⌠Okay, this is brought on because of torture by Mrs. Randall.■ Cordy frowned. ⌠You know, I think I have a perfume that called something really similar. Anyway, I'm completely worn out and this is the result.■

⌠Whats the result?■

The brunette leaned over on her elbow and smirked. ⌠I know you're the guardian of light and all, but I have a joint and some daiquiris left over from that little voting rally I had and I figure that once we are done with this that we can smoke that and watch Shakespeare in Love.■

⌠I wonder what sort of stuff that Michelle and Holly gave out at their parties.■

⌠I hope its crack and I hope they get addicted. Ugh.■ Cordy stuck out her tongue.

⌠What!?■ Buffy laughed. ⌠That's really horrible.■

⌠I'm not a good loser.■ Cordy tossed her hair and shrugged. ⌠I'm hardly even a gracious winner.■

⌠Anyway, you mean hag,■ Buffy said, ignoring Cordy flipping the bird as the brunette went through her purse. ⌠I think that is a great idea.■ Angel's face rose in her mind and she tried to push it away. ⌠Carpe diem.■

It had been a few daiquiris and one joint which landed Cordy and Buffy into the hot tub in the brunette's backyard. Buffy sunk into the tub letting the jets roll up her spine. The steam made her more lightheaded, but she didn't care because knots she didn't know existed were loosing up. Cordy's brown hair stuck up in the back; her eyes were slits. When she came up, Buffy smiled at the brunette, as she shook her hair.

⌠This was a good idea.■ Buffy pushed her hair back. A breeze rattled the leaves in the trees.
Cordy nodded. Her limbs were ghostly in the water; the dim lights created shifting shadows on the bottom of the tub. ⌠Damn straight.■

⌠I haven't had fun in forever.■ The slayer started to count on her finger. ⌠Thanks to Slayerfest. Vampires. Crazy Voodoo masks. Etcetera. Etcetera.■

⌠Thats Sunnydale for you.■ Cordy giggled. Water droplets ran down her tan cheeks.

The wind died down and the steam rose about Buffy's face. She closed her eyes and she still saw Cordy's bright smile. This night reminded her so much of Hemery High. As they were smoking and giggling over how Gywneth made the most fake looking man, she realized that if she hadn't been the Slayer than this would have been her life. The marijuana cocoon on her mind didn't protect her from the deep thinky thoughts that bombarded her head and they only grew bigger and more uncomfortable. Buffy just wanted life to be simple again.

⌠Are you faded already?■ Cordy grinned. There was no Queen C in her expression; there was only stoned happiness. ⌠I would have figured that your super slayer abilities would have extended to daiquiris and mersh.■

Buffy did the time warp or something because her mind couldn't leave that moment because she realized that, after everything she had been through during the last two years, life was always going to be fights with monsters and walks through cemeteries. Buffy just wanted simple. She didn't want this knowledge. When she looked at Cordy, she saw a bitter awareness in her friend's eyes that Buffy had seen in her own when she first started killing vampires. All her friends had that look in their eyes, Buffy realized. Neither them or Cordy should be fighting vampires or dealing with scary German assassins; they should be worried about the latest Sunnydale High drama.

Buffy used to be Cordy. Bubbly. Shallow. Happy. But, Cordy wasn't the same Cordy.

She wanted to get that old naivetИ back. She wanted to reach over and kiss the brunette so she could soak up the sun filled life that radiated from her. She wanted to run her hands down a body toned by cheering-- not life and death struggles with evil. She wanted to hold Cordy and keep her safe so they could whisper about boys and gossip forever in peace.

Cordy raised her eyebrow and smirked. ⌠I understand now. You're one of those people who turn into complete introvert philosophers, huh? Thank God, I'm not one of those thinking types.■ Buffy's eyes widened and she started to laugh, great belly filling shrieks, which shook her body. Tears stung at her eyes, but she sniffed and kept laughing as she brushed them away. She couldn't breath.

The brunette only smirked more.

Buffy gulped down deep breaths. Her body stilled, her cheeks hurt, and she crying, but she was happy. Cordy was strong. She could take care of herself. So, could Willow and Xander. Hell, for that matter, so could she. Buffy was firmly in the here and the now. The water was hot, the weed had been good, and she was hanging with Queen C. Buffy was just going to relax and enjoy life again.

Though, she did wonder why she wanted to kiss Cordy in the first place.