December 1979

I don't own the characters, except Suzanne, Alex, Colette, Jed…well, all the characters before 2000. Send feedback to queenclaire@chickmail.com or cordymuffin@chickmail.com

January 1980

Sixteen-year-old Suzanne Matthews bounced down the steps of Sunnydale High School.

"Hey, Suzy!" Colette Carmichael greeted her. "I've been waiting for ages - where did you get to?"

"Ms Westmore wanted to talk to me," Suzanne explained. "She wants me to go to this, like, course over the summer."

"Like summer school? But you're smart."

"Keep that to yourself, would ya?" Suzanne laughed. "No, it's like this place for, what did she call it, 'gifted teenagers'. Like genius camp."

"Wow. Are you gonna go?" Colette asked.

"No. I mean, I have my reputation to think of!"

"I think you should," Colette said. "I mean, if Ms Westmore thinks you should..."

"She's got some weird idea that I'm super-smart, but she's got to be wrong," Suzanne said.

Colette rolled her eyes. Suzy was smart, if only she'd admit it. She was too caught up in the whole being cool and popular deal to realise she had other talents besides shopping and gossiping. She was really athletic too, and could have been on any of the school teams, but she'd picked, of course, cheerleading. She was head cheerleader, even though she was only a junior. Last year she'd been May Queen, which was practically unheard of for a sophomore. This year she'd made Homecoming Queen and she was hoping to win the May Queen title again, as well as Prom Queen.

"Anyway," Suzanne continued, "you wanna go to that new place that's opened up?"

"You mean the Bronze?" Colette said.

"Yeah. It's meant to be really cool. We should go. Jared Thomas and his friends are going tonight."

"Oh! That reminds me. I heard something about Mindy today in homeroom," Colette said. She knew Suzanne would like to hear what Mindy had been saying about her boyfriend Jared. Suzanne liked Jared and wishing he'd dump Mindy soon so she could make her move.

"What? Tell me!"

"She had a fight with Jared and she thinks they might break up," Colette relayed the information.

Suzanne grinned. "Fantastic. This is fate's way of telling me that I should let Jared know I'm interested." Her confident smile faded and she looked at Colette. "Do you think I have a chance? I mean, really?"

Colette smiled. "God, Suzy, what would the rest of the crowd think if they knew that you actually do get insecure?" Around most people, Suzanne gave off an air of confidence, almost arrogance. Only with Colette could she admit her insecurities.

"Look," Colette said, "you're the prettiest girl in the school. You're popular, you're funny, of course he'll be interested."

"I think I have a spot," Suzanne said gloomily.

Colette's eyes flickered over Suzanne's olive complexion, which was, as always, perfect. "I'm not going to dignify that with a response," she told Suzanne.

***

Suzanne walked quickly through the dark streets of the 'bad side' of Sunnydale. She had the feeling someone was following her, but every time she turned around, there was no one there.

When she reached the Bronze, she saw Colette and some of her other friends already there. Jared and a few of his friends were chatting to them. Suzanne joined the group and, as usual, she was the centre of attention. She talked and joked and laughed and tossed her dark hair around the place. Every so often she'd look at Jared to see if he seemed to be enjoying himself. He was - and paying attention to her. That was good.

"You wanna go dance?" Suzanne suggested to Jared when the band started playing.

"Sure," he grinned.

"So what's going on with you and Mindy, anyway?" she asked as they began to dance.

He shrugged. "We broke up."

Suzanne couldn't help smiling.

***

May 1980

"Hey, what's wrong?" Jared asked as they drove to the Bronze. "You won May Queen - why aren't you happy?"

Suzanne was silent. She and Jared had been going out for the last four months - and recently they'd started sleeping together. It was the latter that was the problem now. She'd taken a pregnancy test that morning.

It had been positive.

She didn't know what to do. She wasn't even sure whether she was going to tell Jared or not.

All she knew was that she was very, very scared.

***

July 1980

Suzanne stared critically at her figure in the mirror. "Do I look two months pregnant?" she wondered.

"No," she decided, "you can't tell."

She brushed her hair out one more time before leaving for the Bronze.

Walking down the dark streets again, she was sure something was behind her. She wished she had her own car. She'd passed her driving test, and for her seventeenth birthday in February she'd hoped her parents would give her a car. But, as usual, they hadn't been able to afford it.

No one could call the Matthews poor, but they weren't exactly well-off, and in a town where a great deal of the people were well-off, it was hard.

Suddenly a figure jumped out from the shadows. It seemed to be a human, except his face was disfigured somehow...and he had unusually pointy teeth.

He grabbed her and attempted to bite her. Suzanne struggled free and fought with him.

"Use this!" she heard someone call, and from out of nowhere a wooden stake flew in her direction. She caught it, and not knowing what she was doing but going by instinct alone, thrust it into the heart of the man who had attacked her.

He crumbled away into dust.

Suzanne was trembling when a man in a tweed suit in his late twenties walked out of the darkness. He had a British accent, she realised, as he began to speak.

"In every generation, there is the Slayer. One girl, in all the world, who has the might and power to fight the vampires..."

***

"So, let me get this straight," Suzanne said. "Vampires are real. And I - I have to kill them?"

"That's right," the man nodded.

"And where do you fit into all this?" she wanted to know.

"I am your Watcher. I train you and prepare you for whatever is to come."

"And do you have a name?"

"Oh. Yes. Alex Webster."

"Suzanne Matthews, nice to meet you. Now, Alex, we have a slight problem. I may be your Slayer, as you say, but I'm pregnant. Now, why do I think that this is not an ideal solution?"

"Oh dear," he frowned.

"So you're going to have to find yourself another slayer."

"Impossible. The only way another slayer is activated is when the current one dies. Somehow, you will have to manage."

Suzanne looked at him in horror.

"It is your duty," he said.

"I don't want to be a slayer! I'm only seventeen years old! I just want to have a normal life and be popular and have friends!"

"It is your duty," he repeated, "and your destiny."

***

It took a while for her to realise that slaying was what she had to do, and what she was born to do.

It was hard keeping it from her friends, but somehow she managed. Now that it was summer, most of them were spending their vacation somewhere exotic, anyway.

"So, tell me, Alex," she said one night as they walked around the town, "why here? I mean, there must be vampires all over the world, right? So, why am I here?"

"Strangely enough, Sunnydale seems to attract vampires and other demons, more so than any other place in the world. The Watchers Council have a few theories."

"Like what?"

"That this town is on a Hellmouth," Alex said.

"Say what?" Suzanne looked at him incredulously.

"A convergence of evil forces," he clarified.

"Ah," Suzanne said. "Interesting."

"It's only a theory, of course. But over the years, Sunnydale has drawn itself to the attention of the council. Very strange things happen here."

"Tell me about it," Suzanne sighed. Once she'd learnt about all the evil that lurked in Sunnydale, a lot of the things that happened made sense. Like all the people who just disappeared, all the mysterious deaths. And yet the population of Sunnydale had shut its eyes to everything.

"This is the first time a Slayer has been in Sunnydale, which seems to imply that something big is about to happen," Alex said.

"Big? Like what?" Suzanne was curious.

Alex shrugged. "I'm not sure. Maybe you'll have to stop the end of the world, or something."

"The scary thing is I know you're not kidding," Suzanne said.

A vampire jumped out from the bushes, and Suzanne's hand shot out and staked him.

"Well done," Alex said. "You're getting better all the time."

Suzanne smiled. "I just hope I'll be able to handle whatever is going to happen. I wish we had more information."

***

August 1980

"The demon Meralas wants to open the Hellmouth," Suzanne repeated.

Alex nodded. "It appears so. According to this prophecy, anyway." He tapped the page he'd been reading.

"And the prophecies can't ever...you know...be wrong?" Suzanne asked hopefully.

Alex shook his head. "This volume" - he indicated the cover of the book, 'The Jetisu Prophecies'-"has proven to be one of the most accurate sources of information for Watchers in the past."

"Wonderful," Suzanne sighed. "So, how do I stop this Meralas?"

"In order to open the Hellmouth, he needs to sacrifice..." Alex trailed off.

"What? What is it?" Suzanne asked. She looked over his shoulder and read the passage.

"Oh my God," she gasped, and sank into a chair.

"Suzanne, we'll stop him," Alex assured her. "We can't let him succeed."

"He needs to sacrifice my baby," she said shakily. "The child of a slayer."

"It's going to be all right," Alex soothed.

"Is this, like, a sign, telling me I should have an abortion, or something?" she continued. "Because I don't want to do that. I can't." She began to sob. "I can't kill my baby, I can't!"

"Shh, shh, it's OK, it's OK," Alex murmured as he took her in his arms and rocked her.

***

They were patrolling the next night when a thought suddenly came to Suzanne.

"It's not exactly the norm for slayers to have kids, right?" she asked Alex.

"Right," he nodded. "In fact, there's no record of any slayer having a child before."

"So that's why Meralas can open the Hellmouth once my baby is born. But I was called as a slayer to stop it, right? So how..." Suzanne trailed off, and then shrugged. "Forget it. It's too complicated for me!"

A group of demons appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and Suzanne fought them expertly until it was taken care of.

"So," Alex said, "have you decided what to do after the baby's born?"

"I think the answer's obvious, isn't it," Suzanne sighed. "I can't look after a kid and be a slayer. I don't want to put my baby in danger. So I guess the only option is adoption."

"Have you told Jared yet?"

"He's still away," Suzanne replied. "And I haven't told my mom or dad yet, either. I'm putting it off. And I don't know what I'll do about school, either. The baby's due in February. I guess I haven't figured out whether I can face up to all the gossip that'll be flying around the school."

"I think you'll cope," Alex said.

Suzanne laughed. "You have too much faith in me."

"You're a stronger person than you think."

***

September 1980

"So, how was your summer?" Colette asked Suzanne. They hadn't seen each other since school ended. Colette had been in the south of France with her family.

"OK," Suzanne said. "Interesting." That didn't even begin to describe it, she thought. Battling various demons as well as the usual vampires, not to mention learning of that prophecy.

"Did you see Jared at all?"

"No. He was away."

"So...any new man in your life?"

"A friend," Suzanne replied, thinking of her Watcher.

"And is that all he is?" Colette grinned.

"Yes," Suzanne said.

"Is he cute?"

"I guess."

"Want to introduce me to him?" Colette laughed.

Suzanne rolled her eyes.

***

"I don't know, it's like, they all seem so superficial and self-centred," Suzanne sighed.

She was training with Alex. At the moment, he was assisting her with hand-to-hand combat.

"It's natural you'd feel that way," Alex replied, as he dodged a blow.

"I guess so." Her foot shot out and he fell to the floor.

"You're aware of all the dark forces at work in the world," he explained as she offered a hand to help him up. "Of course that's going to change your priorities."

"Even things with Jared are different," she continued.

"How so?"

"He seems...I don't know...well, like, I can't have a serious conversation with him. He's hopeless at listening. And he's so insensitive. If only he could be more like -"

"Like..." Alex prompted.

She smiled. "I was going to say more like you," she said, feeling inexplicably shy. "I don't know, I guess it's just, spending so much time with you this summer -"

Alex smiled.

"Let's get back to training," Suzanne suggested.

***

December 1980

Suzanne had finally told her parents she was pregnant. She couldn't hide it any longer. The huge bump kind of gave it away, she thought with a smile. They'd been angry, sad, shocked, and then she'd told them she planned to give the baby up for adoption.

She'd arranged it all already. Her cousin Rachel worked for one of Sunnydale's richest families, the Chases. The wife had had three miscarriages in the last two years and had been told it was unlikely she'd ever have children. However, she wanted one badly. It was Rachel's opinion that she wanted something to fill the empty days when she was alone in the house. The husband was something of a workaholic.

Suzanne had spoken to Mr and Mrs Chase and the arrangements had been made for them to adopt her baby once it had been born.

She was now on her way to patrol with Alex. Usually he accompanied her when she patrolled. At first she had needed guidance, then he had come to offer company, and now that she was seven months pregnant she needed help in her slaying duties.

He was waiting for her outside Restfield Cemetery. He led her to a fresh grave. The name on the headstone was 'Marcia White'.

"She's going to rise tonight," he explained.

"No problem," Suzanne shrugged, grasping her stake. Suddenly she felt something. "Aagh!"

"What? What is it?" Alex asked, alarmed.

"Just the baby kicking," Suzanne realised, a smile spreading across her face. "That's never happened before."

Alex smiled. "Maybe the baby can't wait to get out."

"It's kicking again!" Suzanne said in delight. She pulled Alex's hand to her stomach. "Here, feel it!"

"That's amazing," he said as he felt the movement.

"I know," Suzanne shook her head in amazement. Then she forced herself to concentrate to the matter at hand as the vampire began to rise from the grave. She staked her before the vampire had a chance to get to her feet.

"Now we'd better check around town," Suzanne said.

As they walked, Alex asked, "How are things going at school?"

"I'm still being treated like an outcast," she responded. "Rumours are flying. Jared is denying everything and won't accept any responsibility. If you ask me, he's still bitter I dumped him. And even Colette is avoiding me."

"You must feel very lonely."

"I felt very lonely when I was surrounded by people," she sighed. "A lot of the time, even when my friends were around, I've felt alone. Anyway," she said brightly, "I'm not lonely. I've got you."

Without warning a group of vampires began attacking them. Suzanne fought as best she could, but she was outnumbered. Alex staked as many as possible, but it was difficult.

Two of them grabbed Suzanne and she fought blindly, struggling until she was free and then killing them both. The lone remaining vampire hurried off, disappearing into the shadows.

Alex lay on the ground. She could tell from his neck wound that he'd been bitten - but how much blood had the vampire taken? He was still alive.

She called an ambulance and waited anxiously.

"Don't die," she murmured to an unconscious Alex. "Please don't die. I love you, I love you, don't die."

***

She had been in the waiting room for what seemed like hours, when in fact only minutes had gone by.

One of the doctors approached her.

"Is he going to be OK?" she asked anxiously.

"He's had severe blood loss and head trauma, but yes, we do think he's going to be all right."

Suzanne sighed with relief. "Can I go in to see him?"

"It's probably best you don't go in yet. He's groggy from the medication. I'll come and tell you when he's ready to see you, how about that?"

"Thank you," Suzanne said sincerely.

***

"Hey," she said when she was finally allowed in to see him. She ran a finger down the side of his face. "Don't do that to me again, OK? I was worried."

"I'll try," he smiled weakly.

"I managed to get all the vampires except one - he ran off," she told him.

"Well done," he said.

"So...are you feeling OK?"

"I've been better," he said ruefully.

She tried to smile, but instead she found tears in her eyes. "I was so scared," she whispered. "Scared of losing you."

"You didn't, though. I'm fine."

"And you know, that made me realise something. Alex, I love you." There, Suzanne thought. She'd finally said it. She'd finally admitted it to herself. Now, she waited for his response, and hoped he felt the same way. Hoped that their close relationship could become romantic.

Her heart soared when she heard his reply. "I love you too, Suzanne."

***

February 1981

Suzanne was lying against the pillows, exhausted, holding her newborn baby, when Alex came in.

"How are you?" he asked, kissing her.

"I'm OK," she smiled. "It's a girl. I have a daughter."

"Are you sure you want to go through with the adoption?"

"I'm signing the papers later. The Chases are coming tomorrow to pick her up."

"That's not what I asked."

"I have to do it, Alex. She'll be safe with the Chases. She'll never be safe with me. Meralas will come and take her, or some other demon will. I love her, but I have to do this." Suzanne swallowed the lump in her throat. "Do you want to hold her?"

Alex took the sleeping infant in his arms. "She's beautiful. Just like her mother. She's going to take after you, you know. I can tell. Someday this little baby is going to be as strong and caring as her mother."

Suzanne rolled her eyes. "Yeah. Right. Whatever."

"Not to mention as sarcastic," muttered Alex.

Suzanne raised an eyebrow.

***

Suzanne left the hospital the next day. The Chases had taken her baby home, and everything had been signed, sealed and delivered. She no longer had any legal rights to her child.

It hurt. A lot. She couldn't even turn to Alex and share how she was feeling. He understood that she needed some time alone.

Each night she patrolled Sunnydale alone. There was surprisingly little vampire activity, which disappointed her. She felt like she wanted to fight.

So when, a week after she'd been let out of the hospital, a demon that she recognised as Meralas appeared, she was ready to fight.

She threw herself into the battle. Meralas was strong, but Suzanne fought hard, using every ounce of her strength to battle this demon. Her rage fuelled her. Her rage - over being the slayer, over not being able to keep her daughter because it was too dangerous. As Meralas grew tired, Suzanne's anger continued to burn, and it was this that kept her going, until, finally, she succeeded in killing him.

Alex stepped out of the darkness. Suzanne looked at him for a moment. "I killed him," she finally said.

"I know. I saw you."

"I was so angry - so angry at everything, I guess. I didn't realise how mad I was at being the Chosen One. I thought I'd accepted it, but I didn't. And now? I finally have. Even though it means I can never be with my daughter, I've accepted it."

She fell into his arms and sobbed for a while. Then she seemed to calm herself, and together they walked in the darkness.

***

At that moment, elsewhere in Sunnydale, the Chases' guests were oohing and aahing over their new baby girl.

"Have you decided on a name for her yet?" one of them asked.

Melissa Chase responded, "Yes. We're going to call her Cordelia."

June 2000

"There's something wrong with this," Cordelia Chase said, puzzled, examining the piece of paper in her hand.

"What is that?" Angel asked, indicating the paper.

"My birth certificate!" she exclaimed. She'd needed it for her new agent, but her parents hadn't been able to find it, so she'd got a copy from the registrar.

Angel examined it.

"You see!" she said. "It's all wrong! It says my mother is Suzanne Matthews, and my father is Jared Thomas - I've never even heard of these people!"

"You should talk to your parents about this," Angel said.

"I will!" Cordelia said. Then she asked quietly, "Do you think it's just a mistake or..."

"I don't know," he said truthfully.

She bit her lip, worried.

***

Both Angel and Wesley had offered to accompany her as she returned to Sunnydale to visit her parents, but she had declined. Cordelia knew this was something she had to do on her own. Besides, they were needed in LA, to help the helpless and keep on fighting the good fight.

Funny, she mused, how a year ago she wouldn't have cared about all the helpless people that were out there. The old Cordelia Chase had been concerned with only one thing - her own success.

The new Cordelia Chase had learnt not to act like a spoiled brat and how to cope on her own. She was determined to help people. After sensing all the pain, the fear, the terror that was out there, she HAD to.

Arriving in Sunnydale, she made her way to the relatively small house that the Chases lived in. Relative to, of course, their former mansion. She had to admit that she missed that house. Not just because it had been spacious and luxurious, but because it had been home. She'd lived there for eighteen years. And neither her apartment in LA or her parents' house in Sunnydale really felt like home.

She knocked on the front door, her heart pounding.

Her mom answered. "Cordelia!" she exclaimed, surprised to see her daughter. "What are you doing here?"

"I think we need to talk," Cordelia said. "Can I come in?"

"Sure, of course," her mom said.

"Is Dad here? I need to talk to him, too," Cordelia asked, glancing around. Nothing much had changed since she had left. It was still the same old depressing, plain house.

"He's at a business meeting," Melissa Chase responded.

"Figures," Cordelia said. She sat down on the sofa and opened her bag. She held a copy of her birth certificate up in the air. "Care to explain this, Mom?"

Her mom sank down onto the sofa beside her and took the certificate, her hands shaking. "Cordy, honey, where did you get this?"

"I needed a copy for my new agent, remember?" Cordelia said. "You, apparently, couldn't find it, so I had to get one from the registrar's office. And that's hardly the point. You lied to me, Mom. You've been lying to me my whole life and I demand an explanation!"

"I'm sorry," Melissa couldn't even look at her daughter. "God, Cordy, I'm so sorry."

"I'm waiting for that explanation, Mom," Cordelia said harshly. "Actually, I guess I can't call you that, can I? You're not my mother."

Melissa burst into tears. Cordelia watched her, feeling frozen. When Melissa had calmed down, Cordelia asked again, "Please, tell me what happened."

Melissa took a deep breath and began. "Twenty years ago, I was miserable. I'd been married to your father - um, Daniel, for five years. At first things were great. He wanted me to have everything I ever wanted. Unfortunately, that meant he spent almost all his time working. I was so lonely. I thought that if I had a baby, I'd have something to live for again. And I got pregnant - and had a miscarriage. I had two more, and then the doctors told me I wouldn't be able to have children."

Cordelia nodded. "So you decided to adopt a baby."

"One of the maids we had at the time, Rachel, knew how depressed I was. She came to me one day and told me that her seventeen-year-old cousin was pregnant and wanted to give the baby up for adoption. We arranged it all very quietly. Only a few people knew."

"And why did it never enter your mind to tell me all of this?" Cordelia wanted to know. Her voice was trembling but she refused to let herself cry.

"It was easier this way," Melissa sighed. "To me, you were my daughter. I could almost pretend I'd given birth to you. As long as you didn't know, then I didn't have to face up to it. I'm so sorry, honey."

Cordelia was quiet for a while. Finally, she spoke up. "Do you know anything else about Suzanne Matthews?"

Melissa shook her head. "She went to Sunnydale High School. Her family didn't have much money. That's about it."

Cordelia nodded. "OK. I'm going to go to the library. I'll come see you again before I leave."

***

Cordelia was hoping against hope that they'd have old Sunnydale High yearbooks at Sunnydale's town library. And when she arrived, she found she was in luck. Her heart was pounding as she walked towards the shelf of them. She took down the yearbook from 1977. There was no mention of Suzanne Matthews. In the 1978 one, however, she found her.

Suzanne Matthews, a freshman, had made a name for herself as the most talented cheerleader on the JV squad. Cordelia stared at the picture and she felt like she was looking at herself. The resemblance was amazing.

She flipped through the yearbook from 1979. Suzanne had been a sophomore then. She'd made it onto the varsity squad, had been a princess at Homecoming, and had won May Queen.

Gosh, this sounds familiar, Cordelia thought. In fact, it was practically identical to what she'd done in her sophomore year.

In the 1980 yearbook she found a picture of someone who she hadn't been able to find before. A new student, but one who had quickly become popular. Jared Thomas. Her father.

This year Suzanne had been head cheerleader and had won Homecoming Queen and May Queen. She and Jared had won "Best Couple".

The 1981 yearbook was the one from Suzanne's senior year. This had been the year Cordelia was born. Cordelia noted that Suzanne hadn't won any titles this year, or been on the cheerleading squad. She looked at Suzanne's picture and read the "Memories" section under it. It was mostly mentions of her friends and her parents, but the last sentence intrigued Cordelia.

"Alex, thanks for Watching," she read it aloud. "Watching," Cordelia repeated. Somehow she knew instinctively that this meant in a Watcher-way. Which meant...Suzanne Matthews had been a slayer.

***

As she walked to Giles' house, it occurred to her that her mother had to be dead, otherwise other slayers wouldn't have been able to be called. It saddened her that she would never get to know her mother in person.

"Cordelia," Giles greeted her, obviously surprised to see her.

"Hi," she smiled. "Can I come in? I need some help."

***

She told Giles the entire story, after which he confirmed that Suzanne Matthews had, in fact, been a slayer.

"I have the diaries of her Watcher, Alex Webster," Giles informed Cordelia. "I've only glanced at them, but it appears to be a quite interesting case. Reading between the lines, it seems he was in love with her."

"Really?" Cordelia said, interested.

Giles nodded. "I'll go get the diaries for you now."

"Thank you," she said when he returned with them. "I'd better get started on these. See you."

"Goodbye," he said as she left.

***

Cordelia opened the first page and began to read.

10 July 1980

Today I met the new slayer. As expected, Suzanne does not wish to be the slayer, but in time she will understand that it is her destiny. There is another problem, though. She is pregnant. For the moment I do not anticipate this being a problem; however, in the months to come we could have difficulties. I have contacted the Council regarding this matter but there is nothing they can do. I am hoping that Suzanne will manage to cope with this. I am sure she is strong enough to do so.

27 July

Suzanne's skills are improving rapidly. I am constantly amazed at her strength and agility. This has to be a good thing. I have a feeling that something is going to happen here, and that only she can stop it.

15 August

Some days ago I uncovered a disturbing prophecy in 'The Jetisu Prophecies'. It concerns the demon Meralas. According to the prophecy, he will open the Hellmouth by sacrificing the child of a slayer. I hated having to tell Suzanne, but it was necessary. She is considering giving her baby up for adoption, so that the child can be safe. She also expressed her concerns to me about being able to face up to the reaction of her friends and the other students at school when she has her baby. I am worried for her, but I know she's strong enough to handle it.

29 September

Suzanne's training is going well. I must admit that it has become the high point of my day. I enjoy her company a lot and she has become a valued friend.

14 December

I have just come out of hospital after being injured while patrolling with Suzanne. Although I was actually bitten by a vampire, he stopped in time and I am fine now. One thing that this has done has brought Suzanne and I even closer together, and that is something I'll always be grateful for.

19 February 1981

Today Suzanne had a beautiful baby girl. She still intends to give the child up for adoption. It seems like the only option. Life with a slayer is no place for a child. She would be at constant risk.

20 February

The Chases have taken Suzanne's baby home, and Suzanne has said she needs some time alone. She seems depressed but she doesn't want to talk to me about it. I wish I could help her. I feel so powerless.

27 February

Suzanne killed Meralas. I watched from the shadows. She was so angry that it scared me for a moment. She is still coping with a lot. However I'm glad that we are talking again. I hope I can help her.

2 March

Suzanne and I have decided that after she finishes her senior year we are going to move away together. There appears to be no matters of great importance here, and it is obviously troubling for her to live in the same town as her daughter but not be able to be near her. Today we saw Mrs Chase with the baby and Suzanne was terribly upset. She's still very troubled and I can't stand seeing her like this anymore.

15 September

It has been exactly two months since Suzanne was killed by a demon and only now can I write it down. It still hurts, though. She fought hard and she was strong up to the end. She was prepared for this. I was not.

Cordelia closed the book, a huge lump in her throat. "You knew this was coming, why are you so upset?" she demanded of herself.

But Suzanne's story had touched her. Her mother had given up her baby even though it hurt her, just so she could be safe. She'd fought the ongoing battle against evil and had stopped the Hellmouth from opening.

Nice going, Mom, Cordelia half-smiled to herself. Then she realised the date - June 15 - and decided to walk down to Sunnydale Cemetery. She had no idea where her mother was buried or if she had been buried at all, but it was a good place to start.

As she entered the graveyard, she was filled with a longing to learn more about this wonderful person who had given birth to her, and she wished that Alex Webster had written more.

Then again, she thought, the official Watchers Diary was hardly the place to express the love that he had for her. Alex had loved Suzanne, she was sure of it.

These Watchers can't help falling for us, Mom, she thought, keeping in mind her brief relationship with Wesley.

She looked around the cemetery, wondering where to begin looking, when she saw a tall man in his forties standing alone at a grave. Somehow she knew it was him.

She joined him and stared at the name on the headstone in front of him. SUZANNE MATTHEWS.

"Alex Webster?" she asked.

He turned to her, and for him it was like seeing Suzanne again, as if the last two decades slipped away.

"Yes," he nodded. "And you must be Miss Chase."

Cordelia nodded. "Call me Cordelia."

"So you've discovered the truth, then," Alex said, and she knew he wasn't just talking about finding out she was adopted.

"I know she was my mother. And the slayer. She gave me up for adoption because she knew I wouldn't be safe with her. You were her Watcher. And the love of her life."

"I know the whole concept of slayers must be hard to comprehend..." he began.

"Obviously you have no idea who you're talking to," Cordelia said. "This town is on the Hellmouth. I went to school with the slayer. I now work in LA for a vampire with a soul. I've seen more than my share of evil stuff."

"Well, then, what else is there to discuss?" he smiled.

She looked up at him hopefully. "Suzanne. There's still so much I want to know."

"Where shall I begin?" he said thoughtfully, as they walked out of the cemetery together.