The End The Beginning By Francis



The End, The Beginning

The end came near for everyone, only they knew that. Buffy and Angel and everyone in the gang, knew that it was a close call. Willow knew how things had changed after that. Tara was gone, with Spike because they were meant for each other, both were vampires and it was all Willow's fault.

She'd curse often at herself in the darkness when she was alone. She was always alone now, not even Buffy stayed with her. With Angel's soul restored she would never have time for her, maybe if she had made the move on her early on maybe they would be together. But it was all wishful thinking now.

Before her very eyes the San Francisco skyline drifted from day to night, the moon rose over the waters and she knew that it was meant for her. The night meant that she could live again go among those who never knew how close it came to the end. How painful it was to loss someone by your own doing.

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In another world, in another eye, Cordelia saw the night fall, sitting in her trailer park, waiting for the shoot to resume she knew that somewhere in this old world Xander was finally happy. Anya was good for him and no manner of convincing made him leave her, hey if he could refuse getting it back on with an up and coming movie star you must really be in love.

She contemplated trying to find out where Wesley was maybe he was still single or did that Virginia bitch finally bag him for good. It made her laugh these thoughts, she figured way back when she was in high school that if she finally made it as a star that happiness would follow. So would the hunky models and big movie producers. How wrong was she?

Of the guys she had dated, she only found one worthwhile and lo and behold in the long run he turned out gay. As the doors of the trailers opened, she gathered herself from her own misery and reverted to the bitch mode everyone expected from her.

"Ms. Chase?" the PA called in nervously, not looking in just trying to look at his feet. Cordelia having the reputation of screaming at those who ogled at her.

"What is it?" she shot back.

"The shoot is cancelled for the day, we didn't get the permit to shoot on the Golden Gate Bridge tonight."

"Why the fuck didn't you get it?" Cordy stood up from her couch and slammed the door in the PA's face. She sighed when as the man cursed under his breath and walked away, she was free for the night, it was another night alone.
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The bar was packed, there was no other term to describe it. To say it was overflowing would be an exaggeration, as saying that it full would be an under statement. There was enough room to dance where you stood, dance and feel the next person's body so close. So far.

Willow knew that calling it The Coven was appropriate, with the barely light interiors and the aura of the city's Gothic scene melding like cars in a crash, it was perfect in so many ways. For one it afforded her the money she was supposed to make in the IT business and a place to meet other practitioners of Wicca. Then there was the side that everyone who was someone was here and it meant a steady supply of beautiful women.

After all how do you know if the person you meet shared your own love, do it in a place catered to your taste.

That night she stood by the bar scanning the crowd and savoring the feel of bodies brushing against her. That was all the human contact she would have, all she'd let herself have. Until the time she would find her, whoever the hell she was.

"Will!!" a barfly exclaimed at her, his breath stank of alcohol laced beverages. She simply nodded back acknowledging the gesture and returning to her drink.

"Ms. Rosenberg," the bartender called to her, he was in his early twenties and he reminded her a lot Xander. "The guys at the door said that Cordelia Chase just came in."

The patrons around her looked when the name came up, Cordelia Chase, Hollywood's latest box office darling, was here. At the Coven. Willow's eyes gleamed suddenly, Cordy was here, at last someone she knew enough to talk to.

"Have them tell her to go up to my office," she instructed the young bartender before finishing off her drink and going away.

"Cordelia, Cordelia Chase!" the woman screamed, as she passed by, her bodyguards pushing the adoring fan away. "I love your movies!"

"Fuck off," she whispered under her breath, she was excited at the prospect of seeing Willow again, how long has it been? A year? More?

The crowd parted to let her pass through, it was something Cordy always wanted, indicative of her royalty, lonely royalty. She went through the way alone, up the stairs and down the hall to Willow's room. She hesitated for a second if she should go through with it, how do you reacquaint with someone you barely talked to in your early years together.

But she knew that they had been through some hellhole and it was enough of a bonding for them to talk like old friends. Her knuckles rapped wood slightly and form the other side of the room she heard as a chair creaked and steps coming to her. Then the doors unlocking and it that moment when it opened she saw something she hadn't expected at all, someone that made her jump again.

"Hey, Cordelia. How has it been?" she greeted reaching and enveloping Cordelia in her arms, she pulled her nearer, tighter. The actress hugged back with the same intensity. "Good, very good."

They stood there like that for a moment longer than they should have, but neither wanted to let go. It was as if something they had both lost in the years of being alone had been regained, found in each others arms. Embrace fed them with what they always wanted, always needed, something meant for them.

Each other.

"It's good to see you again," Willow unabashedly on the verge of crying. "You don't know how much I needed to be with someone like you."

In the moment, Cordy said the same how much she needed her, in what way or form she didn't say. How do you tell someone you love her one way and not the other.

"We were so close to the end," Cordy whispered, kissing her on the cheeks, in her mouth the taste of drawn tears. "I want to begin again, start a new life."

Will pulled away from her just enough so they could see each other eye to eye, and she saw that she was crying to. How she loved this feeling, crying with someone you know understands you, someone you could stare right in the eye without fear and hesitation, because you know she loves you. "I love you," she said in a careful, measured tone.

"I love you too," Cordelia answered before leaning to her, tilting her head to a side and closing her eyes. She knew that after this everything was going to change, and the electricity she felt when Will kissed her back. When her tongue slipped in between the flesh of the mouth to meet Willow's, her mind told her that she had found it, home.

At least the beginnings of one.

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She knew that this was going to change everything. In a moment she had changed the very core of everything in her life, her career, her future, most specially her image and to Cordelia Chase image was everything. The second their lips met it had begun something that was bound not only by the flesh and the soul but by the scars, the scars all their years with Buffy created.

There was the long scar along Willows back, something she wanted to ask the origins but could bring herself to. She also had scars there was the in her stomach, that time when she fell to that protruding metal bar, when she ran away from the sight of Xander and Willow kissing. And now as she kissed Willow on the mouth she wondered whether she was upset because Xander was kissing Willow instead of her or because Willow was kissing Xander and not her.

Cordy let all these thought slip away as Will gently caressed the side of her face, the warmth in her in her mouth that of Will’s tongue sparring hers. They remained in the doorway in full view of anyone who would make the effort of climbing up to the office of the Coven and look for Miss Rosenberg.

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Willow pulled away from her breathless licking her lips and tasting Cordelia again by herself, it had been a long time since she found anyone who she liked to be with. In fact she hadn’t been with anyone since that night when she begged Spike to turn Tara into one of his own, undead. It was a decision done in the flash of a second, desperation made you do things that in lucidity you would never do, like turn your girlfriend into a vampire.

Why she did it she had no idea, only that she wanted her to live, for her. Never did she imagine that Tara would change like all people who become vampires do, and when she ditched her and ran off with Spike she was devastated in so many ways that she felt she should have let her go. Which would be more easy to take, she would never find out and she had no plan of knowing.

Cordelia smiled at her and she knew that she had found herself again, that the fire extinguished so many years ago was finally back. She was ready to love again and this time she vowed she would do everything for this goddess that descended upon her.

“I don’t know what to say?” Will confessed as she leaned close and rested her brow on Cordy’s. “Do I ask you out again or will you come back?”

“What do you think, Will?”

“I think that you should stay here with me,” she answered fearlessly. They were amazing together and she knew that Cordelia knew that.

“Sorry, can’t do that sweetie. I have work to do,” Cordelia sighed.

“You can ditch them, you’re like a superstar now.”

“Then they’ll suspect that I’m seeing someone. And the press will be all over this.”

Will blinked for a few moments before collecting herself, “So you don’t want people to find out that you’re with another girl is that it?”

“God, no Will. It’s not that it’s just that I can’t take the risk with my career still starting.”

“You don’t want to be Ellen-ed?”

“Yes, but if they ever ask me I won’t deny it. I can’t deny this,” she said as she kissed her again before leaving for work.

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“Miss Chase,” the PA called into her trailer, slowly opening the door when no one answered. He peered in and saw that no one was there. This was the third night in a row that she had been out all night, and though it was not his business he suspected like everyone on the set that the great bitch was sleeping with someone. After making sure that no one was there he climbed down and locked the door behind him, sighing that no one had screamed at him.

Just yet.

"What are you doing inside my trailer?" the voice made him shiver, wanted to make him cry. He wondered how he ended up this way working for this bitch that she wished would drop on shit on her face.

He'd love to see that, see how she likes it. "What are you doing?"

"I was checking on you Miss Chase" he tried to stand tall and proud. "Director's orders."

"Well, get out of my way freak," Cordy screamed as she pushed him aside almost toppling him over. She hated doing that, but it was her image and for a star like her image was everything.

"I'll get back at you," the PA muttered under his breath before leaving the thought and the trailer behind. the day was young a lot more bitchery was coming. He could just feel it.

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Cordelia knew it was inevitable, the world would find out about her and Willow, in the age of fast information and tabloid journalism, a star like her had no right to live a private life. At least anything remotely resembling one, which meant that she should live a life close to everyone else’s, heterosexual and miserable.

She was with her when she found, in bed together, Will was getting frisky after a few drinks, she always did. The television was on though they had no plan of watching it, it seemed the idea of having a television set in front of bed was only for the single person, straight or gay. Some old movie was on then the entertainment news and then there were the pictures of them together, not together as persons but together as lovers, the anchor said something about blurring a few areas for their privacy, which only meant that they had the little decency of not showing their private parts. Which they would do if they could.

They both paused, stunned into silence and the reality of all this creeping in, Cordy was out and she didn’t want to be. Willow knew that to be true, that even with all the promises, that when push came to shove image was more important to Cordelia.

“Shit!” she exclaimed standing up and letting the sheets glide off her body revealing her top half. “God! Oh my God!” hiding her face with her hands, her voice unmistakably one of fear and shame. “No!”

Willow sat up wrapping her arms around her enveloping her with the warmth only she needed, hers. “Hush, Cordy. Calm down,” she whispered like the secret you want no one to hear. “It’s alright, I’m here.”

“Please just leave me alone,” Cordy told her in between sobs, when she removed the hands covering her face, Will saw the face of someone she knew a long time ago and it made her worry. It was her face when everyone found out about her and Tara, the face of someone who knew what she wanted but was afraid of taking it by the hand, no matter what everyone else felt.

“Don’t push me away Cordelia not now,” Willow begged somewhat, she was calm but her voice carried everything the fear that this was going to end this very instance. “You need me now more than anything.”

Instead of saying something back, Cordy simply got off the bed, fixing her hair with her fingers and picking up her things, she was still sobbing and on the bed Will watched her. What else could she do? She was leaving and she could do nothing, like she could do nothing when Tara left her, she still had the scar from that fight, long and deep on her back.

“Don’t push me away now,” she begged again.

She didn’t listen and simply left her in silence.

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two weeks earlier….

Willow watched in awe as she left, the grace and beauty of the simplest movement was not lost with her. She knew that she loved her and that nothing was going to change that, but she was afraid of Cordelia, she was after all a big star and big stars like her were always about the image they project.

This was one image Cordy didn’t want. Gay.

She knew that it was sad that some people, okay, most people couldn’t get it, accept it, and that people like Cordy still had to live in that so called closet. But it was no reason to for them not to be together.

They had to act very discretely; meeting at either the Coven or Willow’s place, when they went out they would do so separately and meet at a preset location. There they would eat like they were to classmates who haven’t seen each other in years or businesswomen, which they are, Will in the bar and club business and Cordy in show business, meeting to discuss some wayward plans of merging.

“Tonight?” she asked as Cordy peeked in again.

“Yeah,” Cordy nodded, mouthing something that Willow knew to be an ‘I love you’. The door closed again this time for good, Willow stretched in her bed before finally curling. Her knees almost touching her chin, she sighed then proceeded to giggle all by her lonesome, she was crazy in love with that woman. Never in a million years did she think of them being a couple now there was no doubt about it.

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The PA saw them come into the trailer, that bitch Cordelia and her visitor, he saw that Cordelia was worried and that made him wonder, who the hell was this redhead. He knew immediately when he crept close and peered to the window, the sight made him shiver. They were kissing, they were lovers, the bitch was a dyke, he thought.

As slowly as he came close he tiptoed away, heading for his things for that camera he knew someday he would use to ruin that bitch. He never knew it would come this soon,

He was sweating, his hands were cold he was going to do this finally. Ruin the fucking bitch and get her due.

He came back more cautious than ever, camera in hand and the sweet taste of vengeance in his mouth, he blindly pointed and shot, using up the memory on the digital camera.

This was his come-uppance and he was glad.

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She was still in bed, still and immobile since Cordelia walked out, in her mind Willow ran over the idea of walking after her. Not letting her give up on herself and them, but she knew it would be futile, they would fight and argue about it in the hallway, the neighbors would come out of their pitiful little apartments and watch them and she still she would leave.

All she could do know was cry and laugh alternately, mull over the possibility of finally going straight or get turned into a vampire. Then she heard as the hinges on the door creaked, startled she sat up and saw the figure in the doorway.

“Cordelia?”

She did not answer, instead simply walking towards the bed sitting beside her and holding her tight, Will could tell that she had been crying, her eyes had that puffy bags beneath them. “I’m sorry.”

“Hush…”, she said to her, a finger against Cordelia’s lips. I know.”

She smiled and took the finger of her lips, leaned close to Willow and kissing her on the mouth. In that instance she slipped the ring on her finger, then clasped it tight as Willow pulled away and looked at her. “Willow, I need you.”

“Are you asking me,” she paused and felt as her tear ducts began to well up.

“Yes, I am.”

“How about your career?”

“I don’t care anymore, if they love me, they’ll watch me no matter what”, Cordelia sighed and grinned.

“You’re so damn idealistic.”

Cordelia kissed her again and knew that this was something she could not deny. Something she wanted and needed. She loved Willow more than anything else, more than any crummy career. They pulled back breathless and laughed.

“What do we do about the picture?” Will asked her. ”How do we deal with it?”

“Screw it! I want you and screw it.”

The end

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