I don't own the characters. Well, most of them. This is the (short) sequel to "The Secret of the First Sunnydale Slayer". Send feedback email@example.com.
Sitting alone in the Espresso Pump, Cordelia Chase stared at the photo that Alex Webster had given her. In it, an exhausted young woman smiled, her baby daughter in her arms.
"Mom," she sighed. The woman was Suzanne Matthews. She'd been barely eighteen when the photo had been taken.
"I thought you should have this," Alex had said to her as he handed it over. "I know I've given you other photos of her, but this is the only one of the two of you together."
"She's so beautiful," Cordelia had murmured. "She looks so happy."
"She was. She really loved you. Giving you up for adoption was the hardest thing she'd ever had to do."
"You really loved her, didn't you?" Cordelia had asked, scrutinising him.
He'd nodded. "I don't think I've ever gotten over her," he admitted. "Suzanne was special. There was no one like her in the world. But…I think you take after her. There's so much of her in you."
Cordelia's reverie was broken by the sound of a familiar voice. "Cordelia?"
"Hi. What brings you to Sunnydale?" Buffy enquired. "Mind if I sit down?"
"No, it's fine." Cordelia debated whether or not to tell her. "Family, I guess."
"Visiting your parents," Buffy nodded.
"It's a little more complicated than that." Cordelia showed her the photo.
"Cor, is this you?" Buffy asked, pointing to Suzanne.
Cordelia smiled. "No. It's my mother."
"Your - mother? This doesn't look anything like -"
"My real mother," Cordelia said quietly.
Buffy raised her eyebrows. "That's why you're here. She's Suzanne, isn't she?"
"Did Giles tell you?"
"Not exactly. He asked me had I seen you around. He also said you'd borrowed one of the Watcher's diaries. I went snooping, and found out which one. I didn't know what was going on. I thought you'd be back in LA right now."
Cordelia shook her head. "Me too. But Suzanne's Watcher came to Sunnydale for her anniversary. So he was telling me about her."
Buffy looked at her sympathetically. "Have you been talking to your parents? You know…the Chases?"
Cordelia nodded. "I still can't believe they've been lying to me all my life. But I'm dealing, you know? I kind of understand why they did it. But things aren't really going to be the same between us after this."
"You're back," Angel observed the following day as Cordelia showed up for work.
She nodded. "Ready to fight evil. Right to rid the streets of LA from the monsters that lurk there. Also ready for some coffee." She looked at him hopefully.
"You're in luck. I made some." He handed her a cup of coffee. "Did you sort out things in Sunnydale?"
"Sort of," she sighed, sitting down. He sat next to her.
"What happened?" he asked.
"Well, my birth certificate was right," she said. "My parents are Suzanne Matthews and Jared Thomas. I was adopted."
"Are you OK?"
"I guess. I don't know. It's so weird. Everything's been turned upside down."
"Are you going to try and find your real parents?"
"They're dead," she said softly.
He closed his eyes momentarily. Could things get worse for her? he wondered. More than anything he wished that Cordelia didn't have to cope with this.
"Jared - my father - he died a few years ago," she continued. "Probably vampires, I don't know."
"Cordelia, I'm so sorry."
"I think Jared was kind of the superficial type," Cordelia mused. "I suppose I got his genes. My mom - she was special, you know? Really great, really strong." She had tears in her eyes. "I wish I could've known her."
Angel put his arm around her and she drew closer to him as she continued. "Suzanne Matthews was a slayer. When she was called, she was pregnant with me. But she did her duty. She fought. And then when I was born, she gave me up for adoption. Because she knew I'd never be safe with her. She wanted what was best for me. A couple of months later, she died."
"How did you find all this out?"
"Her Watcher. He was….and still is….in love with her. He told me a lot about her, about what she was like."
"And…how do you feel about this? It's gotta be weird, huh?"
"Oh yeah. I feel - I feel like I've let her down. Like I should try to be as strong and dedicated as she was. OK, I know she didn't exactly have a choice, but - God! She gave up her life to be the slayer. It's something worthwhile, you know? Compared to her I feel like a superficial bimbo."
"Hey," Angel said, gently turning her so that she was facing him. "You're not superficial. Maybe you were in high school, but that's behind you. You're doing what your mother did - helping to fight off evil. She didn't ask to be the slayer. You didn't ask to be Vision Girl. But you are. And you don't complain - well, not that often - or moan, you just do it. And for that I really admire you."
"Really?" Cordelia sniffed, and then laughed. "Look at me, I'm getting all weepy."
"And, like your mother, there is a Watcher seriously in love with you. Well, ex-Watcher."
"Angel, that had better be a joke. Wesley's not…is he?"
"Cordelia," Angel spoke in a serious tone, "would I ever lie to you?"
He feigned hurt. "I can't believe you said that."
She looked at him, eyebrows raised. "Come on. Do we have evil to fight or what?" She opened her purse and took out the photo of her and Suzanne, and propped it up on her desk against a notepad. "I believe my mother would be very happy to see me driving a stake through the heart of a vampire. Not you, though, obviously."
"It's the middle of the day," Angel reminded her.
"In that case, I have serious magazine-reading to do," Cordelia said. She picked up on his look. "What?"
"Whatever happened to your plans of taking after your mother?" he wanted to know.
"That's for night-time. I was thinking day could be the time for taking after my father's side of the family - oh, fine, I'll do the filing." She got up and prepared to file in her usual disastrous style.
"You look just like her."
"Thank you," she nodded, and smiled.