Sorry it's taken so long.

I don't own Buffy or anything you recognize though I'm pretty sure that Medusa, Perseus and the Greek Pantheon are all free domain characters

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Cordelia felt a little torn when she'd finished putting salt down as Willow had ordered. On the one hand, she felt anxiety and anger welling up in her and confusion over the whole debacle. Because, really, what the hell was going on? The brunette was fairly sure that Willow had answers but she figured that talking to the girl who was busy glowing the same color as the salt and preventing whoever it was outside from beating down the door further would be a bad thing. But since when did the Computer Queen glow? And what good was pouring salt going to do?

The head cheerleader dismissed those questions almost immediately since the answer to the former was one she honestly didn't care about and as to the latter. If it was working then who cared about anything else? Besides, pouring salt gave her something to do. It let her calm down a little and it was a mindless enough task that she could listen to the other part. That other part felt removed slightly from the situation, that part was analyzing the mess she was in and felt like she could actually do something. It was that part of her that kept her from running outside right now.

Running outside would be bad, she was certain. No matter how much Willow glowed Cordelia didn't believe for a minute that her light show would keep the demon guy out for long, but running outside into the dark would probably be worse than waiting. Waiting, for now, meant there was time for planning. And she was definitely going to plan. She refused to be a damsel in distress, at least not when there wasn't a cute guy around for her to allow the honor of rescuing her. Or for her to save. Recently Cordelia decided that she would be equal opportunity like that. Of course the reason for this, well, while she didn't really want to consciously admit it, she knew that some Halloween Sunnydale weirdness had stuck to her.

As soon as the unconscious admission appeared, Cordelia firmly pushed it back to the deepest recesses of her mind and concentrated on the part of her that was evaluating and planning. First thing was first, once the salt was finished being poured, and she later questioned Willow about why the girl would have so much salt in her house, she would call for back up.

The salt was poured as Willow had instructed and Cordelia chanced a look at the girl with snakes for hair. She looked even paler than usual and a thin trickle of blood had begun to run from her nose and there was a bloodstain on her clothes around her shoulder. Cordelia pursed her lips in a frown for a brief moment before schooling her face back into the pleasant, non-wrinkle forming, expression that was more common for her and she went for the phone.

Just before she took the phone in hand, Cordelia chanced a glance upwards and hesitated for a moment. But it didn't take long for the Queen of Sunnyhell High to make up her mind.

"Whoever's up there that's not evil," Cordelia began firmly, unwilling to believe otherwise, "you'd better help us get out of here alive."

She waited a beat longer, silently glaring at the ceiling as if to emphasize her order and, when the roof didn't fall in and the demon thing that was trying to get in continued to fail, Cordelia called for more temporal help.

The nurse who answered was super rude and unhelpful in the May Queen's opinion. Like it was so hard to find the only stuffy English guy there? But she managed to extract the promise that they would get an S.O.S. to Giles under pain of the Chase family deciding that certain local, hospital related charities didn't require money as much as other charities. Being a Sunnydale Chase had its perks.

The May Queen ran down the situation. There was a creature or something outside that wanted to kill them. Willow was keeping the thing outside. There was maybe help on the way in the form of the librarian. Cordelia had no illusions that the other girl would be able to hold the creature out for much longer. And the geek girl's glowing was all well and good but Cordelia found it easier to place her trust in a solid barrier.

While Willow chanted, Cordelia made to move furniture in front of all the doors. The couch was too heavy for her to deal with on her own but she could move chairs and other bits and pieces by herself easily enough. Unfortunately, there wasn't much furniture around to be moved and again Cordelia found herself with nothing left to do except hope that whatever the geek girl was doing would hold and that she wouldn't bleed out before help could arrive.

The cheerleader huffed. Sitting around worrying wouldn't help anything and she might start to develop wrinkles!

Rather than dwell on something that could potentially ruin her skin, the head cheerleader decided to poke around the house. She hadn't been to the Rosenberg house since Willow's eighth birthday when Harmony had insisted in lighting the candles for the birthday cake and how somehow managed to instead set alight the puppy that the Rosenbergs had gotten for their daughter. The dog had survived but the Rosenbergs had decided that if Willow had friends like that then she was obviously too immature for a dog and had given the injured and disfigured puppy away. Cordelia wistfully remembered ignoring her friend for a whole month until the bottle blonde claimed she had apologized to the geek girl. Harmony may have been one of her longest lasting followers, but Willow was born and bred in Sunnydale, just like Cordelia herself. Harmony, though she'd been around since kindergarden, was technically an outsider by virtue of having been born in nowhere-ville, Kansas. Though the May Queen didn't like to admit it, Sunnydale natives had to stick together, at least a little.

She made her way the stairs and poked around the house, peeking into the master bedroom and noted that the Rosenburg matriarch was there, still asleep but Mr. Rosenburg was missing. That didn't really raise any flags to the high school girl. She'd seen her dad sneak out at night all the time. She wondered how it was that the older woman actually could sleep with the racket but she caught sight of a familiar bottle on their dresser before she closed the door and continued to look around the house. Her father had her mother use the same sort of sleeping pills that the Rosenbergs apparently used. Mrs. Chase had more than once slept through quite a few things because of those pills.

The cheerleader opened and checked the other few rooms upstairs and noted that Willow had a boy living with her for a while.

"Ick," Cordelia wrinkled her nose at the mess in what had probably been the guest room but was now obviously a teenage boy's room, Xander's judging by the travesties of fashion hanging in the open closet. There were also a few daggers lying around, a crossbow with a few dozen bolts, and a short sword. There was also a shield that was so well polished Cordelia could see herself in it. She paused for a moment and then took one of the daggers before she checked her reflection in the mirror shield. Her make up needed a little fixing, some of her mascara had gotten smudged and her hair was a mess after all that running.

Of course, beauty like hers didn't need that much maintenance. The mirror was also useful in helping her decide which belt and sheath she could borrow until she could commission a better one for her new dagger.

Willow's room was just as she pictured the geek girl's room, except for the fish. Those were a little bit of a surprise. No posters of popular bands or hot guys, if she used make up she didn't keep it anywhere in plain sight, a closet filled with fuzzy, shapeless sweaters and proof that the red head was in true need of a fashion guru, a real one instead of Buffy. Cordelia snorted as she imagined what the great Buffy would try to persuade the shy girl to wear. The May Queen prided herself on being able to dress herself in what best suited her and force it to be fashionable rather than dressing according to what other people thought was fashionable. After all, she was Cordelia Chase and when it came to her own clothes, she was confident that she knew best. She had no doubt that Buffy would just try to get the red head to dress in the blonde's clothes, believing that Willow could just pull off the same style as the Slayer. But, unlike the blonde vampire slayer, Cordelia also knew that not everyone could pull off her look.

Furthermore, Cordelia was of the opinion that not even Buffy could pull off the look she aspired to and if she couldn't pull it off then she shouldn't try to make others follow her example. The brunette girl allowed herself a smirk. She could allow for the fact that Buffy was the one who knew how to punch and kick and get rid of icky things, but just because she could beat someone up didn't mean she was a true leader, especially not a leader in fashion.

The cheerleader paused in her consideration of Willow's wardrobe. There were a lot of fuzzy things, a lot of extremely unfortunate patterns, a great number of hats, and plenty of things that were more suited to a ten year old than a fifteen year old. But not everything was worthless. If it was used in different combinations than what the red head had been using then she might even look presentable.

As she looked around the room she noticed that the window doors had a balcony and Cordelia stepped outside and discovered that she could see the attacker around the corner if she leaned over slightly.

She was surprised to see that it wasn't the creep that she and Willow had escaped from before. It was a new creep, this one even bigger than any of the football players at school and much more obviously nasty than the other guy. He had dark, permed hair of all things and he dressed like he had walked off a page of "Mooks R Us", all dark and greasy and ick. He continued beating against the door, like doing the same thing over and over again was actually going to work. In a creature of lesser will and deliberate fashion consciousness the sound she made would have been called a snort. But Cordelia Chase didn't snort. She simply made a sound of disapproval regarding the monster's actions.

However, the sound seemed to catch the monster's attention. He backed away from the door so he could look up at her and snarl, his one eye gleaming inhumanely in the pale moonlight. Scar tissue and what Cordelia hoped wasn't pus made up the area where another eye should have been. Serious Ick city.

Cordelia backed away from the balcony and returned to the house as the creep let out a howl and began to slam against the door with even more enthusiasm than before. She could almost feel the house shutter from the barrage of blows. The cheerleader almost screamed with frustration. There had to be something she could do!

That little part of her that had appeared after Halloween practically screamed as she paced around Willow's room. All she had to do was look up and her eyes alighted on a solution. There, next to the computer, lay another crossbow.

She considered the weapon. She knew the basics of how to load and fire it but she wasn't sure that her aim would be good enough to get rid of the monster outside from the angle on the balcony. She also wasn't entirely confident in the punching power the crossbow would provide since really, loading and shooting was about as far as her knowledge of crossbows went. Yeah, it was great against vamps but vamps were kinda fragile. She'd seen other types of demons in Giles's dusty old books and knew that some of them had natural armor. This guy was a new demony thing. She considered her options and, with a deep breath, Cordelia made her decision.

Running out into the dark, running without a plan and without a direction, would be the stupidest possible action. Sneaking out, however, with a direct goal in mind, well, that might not be quite as stupid.

She took the crossbow and went downstairs. She took a moment to check on Willow and wasn't at all encouraged by what she saw. The girl was bleeding and paler than ever and her snakes hung limply on her head and some of the floor around her was burning. She was so still she looked almost like a statue.

"What sort of shampoo could she use?" Cordelia wondered briefly but then set aside the matter for later. And there would be a later, Cordelia intended to make sure of it. She looked more closely at the burning floor around Willow and smiled. The floor didn't seem to be burning because of Willow's spell. It burned whenever Willow's blood dripped onto it. Something about Willow's blood had apparently become toxic. She quickly pressed the head of each crossbow bolt against the patch over her clothes where the blood oozed, wincing and making faces the whole time because it was definitely icky, but she was pleased when the blood didn't seem inclined to eat through the ammunition immediately.

She moved with almost unnatural silence and stealth as she circled around the house, keeping low and in the shadows while her target raged against the barrier that Willow held. However, she concentrated so hard on not being seen that she completely overlooked the dull figure of a very ordinary looking man who was watching everything from his position across the street. Cordelia only had eyes for her own goal.

She shot him twice, just to be sure, and the creature fell, bloody foam on its lips. Cordelia was almost disappointed with how easy it was and shot it once more for good measure. She was almost tempted to search the creature to see if she could find out anything about it but it was a dead body and she wasn't going anywhere near it for that reason. She made a face and decided that when the librarian arrived, he could have the gross task of searching the body and figuring out why it had attacked her. After all, it was practically his job to do that sort of stuff.

Cordelia didn't turn her back from the corpse as she went for the door to get Willow. The geek girl needed to go to the hospital and the best way would be to use the Rosenburg car, if it was there. Cordelia smirked slightly, she was going to drive!

Her plans were somewhat paused when she discovered that Willow's barrier spell, or whatever, was still in effect and she couldn't get back into the house. Cordelia scowled and turned to pound on the door.

"Willow Rosenburg you let me in right now!" Cordelia demanded shrilly. As she pounded on the door, the man across the door took this as his chance.

While the May Queen was distracted, he crossed the street and went around to the back of the house. Like a vampire who was now gravel in the driveway, this man had a can of gas and a lighter. Unlike the unfortunate vampire, this man was successful as he carefully spread the accelerant and a few other special ingredients around the back of the house. He grinned thinly as he took a step back and tossed the lit lighter onto the pool of accelerant. The flames burst into being, bright tongues of orange and yellow, blue and white and green all raging to eat the house and get the girl inside. Enormous billows of smoke writhed around the flames and managed to snake past the protections of the novice witch. The man waited for a minute longer, ignoring the shouting Cordelia on the other side of the house. He made sure that the smoke at least was entering the house, and then he left, certain his mission was accomplished.

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So Cordelia was very determined that she was already awesome pre-Halloween, but, if you didn't catch the hint, she may have some added awesome

Again, sorry for the long absence! Graduation, weddings (not mine though), new job, broken computer which isn't fixed I'm just learning to work around the breaks until I can afford to fix it, just a lot of things one after the other