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I Cannot Win!


Cordelia floated. Well, lately, floating was pretty much all she did, at least physically, if there even was a physical in this dimension. Surrounded by sky, the glow ranged from white to gold, especially bright in the spot where she floated. Every so often, a shot of pale pink colored things up, but mostly it was just the same disgustingly heavenly whites and golds. Of course, Cordy wasn't actually paying attention to any of this at the moment. She was busy being distracted by the things going on down on Earth. Such as Angelus taking a bite out of Faith.

"Ouch," muttered Cordelia. There was sympathy in that tone, despite the fact that she never really got on with Faith. Of course, that probably had to do more with the fact that Faith was evil during most of their aquaintance, but hey, no longer evil, and that bite just plain looked painful. "You're gonna get it now, Angelus. Yeah, that's right, I saw the needle." She paused and sighed. "Well, I see everything, so what else is new?" And now Angelus was wobbling and falling over, Wes and Faith exchanged words, and then the Slayer fell over, and Cordy's apparent sympathy for her disappeared. "Great. Kicked his ass, right. Uh-huh. And your own. Wonderful. You people couldn't come up with a better plan?"

A rather disgusted silence filled the glowy void for a while, and the sky-suspended woman watched while Wesley called in Gunn and transported Angelus and Faith back to the hotel. She crossed her arms, silently determining to sulk for a while. Or at least until things got interesting again. It didn't take long to start eliciting verbal responses from her. "Okay, Lorne. 'Aaaah, it's Angelus!' Yeesh. Obvious much?" She shook her head, watching the scurry to get the vampire down to the basement. "Very good. Lots of chains. And locks. Hey, and while you're at it, how about NOT letting that evil, skanky not-me unlock the cage door again, huh?" Cordy paused and blinked, realizing that she'd been slowly raising her voice to a shout, which was pretty pointless, since they couldn't actually hear her. And lately she'd been harboring some serious doubts as to whether those so-called Powers That Be were even paying attention to her at all. However, a bark of laughter couldn't be helped as Connor and Gunn took a flying leap backwards at Angelus's twitch. "Ooo, all jumpy are we? Good! You should be, after all the rampagey goodness of days past." A glance over towards the group with Faith elicited another chuckle, though this one was tinged with a bit more respect. "Whoa, Lorne. Way to grow a backbone. Who knew?"

It was sheer, morbid curiosity, though, that led her gaze to follow Connor to his visit to the Cordy-thing-that-was-not-her. (She had several private nicknames for that creature, ranging from simply 'the HellBitch' to as florid as 'that evil squicky thing that looks creepily like me but isn't, and why can't you people grow a brain and figure it out already!'.) "Yeah. Coma. Pulled that one before. Uh-huh, and how do you know that? That's right! You copied MY memories, you psycho squicky creepette! Oh, and hey, better to stick him with Faith than the not-me me. That'd be a lot less likely to pretzel my poor, innocent brain!" Cordelia's eyebrows raised at the rising violence level. "What the....hey! What the hell is she? Hello! Sanctuary spell!" Her lip curled in disgust, and she shook her head. "Special. Riiiiight. She probably rode the short bus to school, which hey, bus-riding is even more proof that she isn't me! Uh-huh. Crazy pregnant lady who again, I reiterate, isn't ME! Connor, you are a complete and utter moron."

"Damnit!" The exclamation rang out across the endless void. Even if she hadn't been able to pick up on the weird mystical vibes coming from the drug, it would've been hard to ignore the synchronicity between Angelus and Faith's coma states. "I know there's something going on in their heads. Sure, I'm all mystical and glowy, but I can't get into their brains to see the really interesting stuff." She let out a theatrical sigh as she turned her attention away from the annoying things she couldn't see to the action in the main lobby....

The theatrics continued with a hearty groan. "Oh, come on, Connor. Of course it's possible to re-ensoul Angel! Geez, people, is Fred the the only one of you with half a brain anymore?" Chuckling a bit to herself, she mutters, "Three....two.....one......Willow! Of course, she'd have been there ten minutes sooner if she hadn't spaced out and taken the wrong danged exit. But ever since the whole 'I'm gonna destroy the world' thing it's all with the drama...." Whatever she was going to say next was cut off by a choke of laughter. "Handsome....yet androgynous......genetic sneer?" She dissolved into a fit of outright laughter for a few moments before finally recovering herself. "Oh, God, I needed that." Wesley was now into his questioning of Willow's timely arrival, eliciting an eyeroll from Cordelia. "Uh-huh. Duh, Wes. Not like you should have thought to call her yourself.......oh, wait! That's right, Watcher-boy, you should have!"

Of course, being all up on the 'gay now' part of Willow's life, Cordy couldn't help but raise a curious eyebrow. "Uhhh, Fred? Are you even aware that she's digging you in the not-so-platonic way? But hey, why take my wor- O, YEAH!" Eyes flashing with excitement, she leaned forward in anticipation. "Yeah, Willow! Go talk to the not-me! FINALLY, somebody who'll see through the HellBitch!" Poor, poor Cordelia. If ever there were proof that knowledge of the future just wasn't part of the Higher Being package, this was it. "Uhh.....Willow? Hello? See how lumpy those covers are? And, hey, knife! Big, nasty knife! Oh, hell, she's clueless." A wordless screech of frustration rang out through Floatyville. "Okay, Willow, while your excited cluelessness may have been a good thing as to the avoiding of the knife, could you at least have noticed the thunk of the knife hitting the door?"

Briefly turning her attention away in a desperate attempt to find something less annoying to watch, Cordy hazarded a glance at Faith. "Lorne.....oh, for crying out loud. Could you get any sappier? I mean, yeah, you're a softie, but give it a rest already!" In the back of her mind, it did occur that she was probably just letting her frustration get the better of her, and that it was probably a good thing that there wasn't anybody nearby on whom to unleash. But it would sure feel good to get her hands on the Ersatz Cordy. "Oh, look at that. Trying to get through to Angelus? Give it up, creepette, he's locked down solid. And you know, I kinda prefer the ass-cramming of the soul...." A slight wince crossed her face as she took in the syntax of that statement. "Wow. I have been lacking in interactive conversation for way too long."

"OK, could we maybe get most everybody into one room? This constant channel surfing is starting to give me a headache," she muttered, suffering through Wes and Will's magicspeak. "Ugh. Fetal pigs? Can I just say.....ew? And Willow, you are so not with the pep talk." Another click of the figurative remote brought her attention back to Lorne and Faith. "She's really dying, isn't she?" came the speculative murmur. "Crap. I mean, not like we ever got along, but I've seen the stuff happening in Sunnydale. They need Faith."

On these sober thoughts, Cordelia divided her attention between the spell preparations and SquickyCordy. But being in a position where she could do nothing but observe, her emotional reactions were all she had to keep her company, so they tended to change at the drop of a hat. Hence came the onset of a flash of her old cheerleading enthusiasm. "Oh, so you're doing your Voice of Doom again, are you?" she smirked down at her doppleganger. "Yeah, talking into your little red crystal. Take that! You're way out of your league, now! Gooooo Willow!" An attempt to leap into the air met with a peculiar bout of flailing around in her pretty, floaty prison, followed by an automatic, furtive glance to make sure nobody had seen her looking ridiculous. Which was followed again by a slightly embarassed, "Oh, yeah. Right. Nobody here to see me look stupid."

Connor's grave muttering from down below caught Cordy's attention again. "'Evil's here'? Evil's been there, you idiot! And you boinked it! And.....now you're sneaking away from the group to go check and make sure the evil's okay." However, the sight of his timely distraction of the not-Cordy lifted her spirits right back up. "I'll be damned. Connor does something right! Granted, by accident....."

A swift aside to Fred had to be made. "Icky? Gee, you really think so?" she quipped sarcastically. "At least somebody besides myself has noticed that."

But from there, the woman below wearing Cordelia's face seized her attention. "Oh, Connor. You're not only being remarkably stupid about this, you are so totally whipped!" At least she had enough solidity to rub the bridge of her nose, she thought as she watched the interaction with a growing sensation of unease. "Oh, no. No, no, no! Connor, you can't! Willow's almost finished, you can't kill Angelus now, you just can't! Damnit!" Her cry echoed through the glowing landscape, but as always failed to reach the ears she so desperately wished could hear her. "Why don't you people listen to me! Gunn won't last three seconds against Connor, and not one of the rest of you is going to stop him! Goddamn you STOP HIM!" Her throat tightened, a tear slid down her face, as all she could do was watch helplessly as Connor walked purposefully to the basement, knocked Gunn unconscious in one swift blow. And then.....

Faith leaped into action, taking off at a run, and making a beeline for the basement.

"What the hell?" Cordy stared in shock, slack-jawed, as the supposedly near-death Slayer intercepted Connor in the basement and proceeded to systematically kick the crap out of him. "Well....uhh.....okay. Didn't see that one coming." Her astonishment. however, wasn't enough to prevent a sigh of profound relief. "Yeah, Lorne. She's alive. Again with the obvious."

Cordelia sagged from emotional exhaustion, or at least sagged as much as floating around in a higher dimension would allow one to do so. She watched the good-byes with a sort of tired impassiveness that was broken only briefly by Willow. "Next time they resurrect Angelus," a soft snicker accompanied that statement. "Thank you, Willow! Although why you should even have had to remind them is so totally beyond me."

Just as she thought the worst was over, the fates had one more underhanded shot to throw Cordy's way as her evil doppleganger descended the staircase into the Fang Gang's midst. "Oh, no. Oh, God. That outfit. That is so not mine! When the hell did she find time to go shopping at Slut Mommas R Us? I mean, with the fringe, and the freaking exposed pregnant midriff!" Her ire mounting, Cordelia gesticulated wildly at the scene below. "Great. That's just great! First my memories, then my reputation, and now my fashion sense? I cannot win!"

"Hey! You! Powers That Be but don't freaking do anything! I've had it!" she shouted wildly. "Get me the hell out of here! NOW! I'm sick of this, this doing nothing and watching everybody I care about getting screwed over by Psycho Slut! What is the matter with you people!" Her howls to the void were met with nothing but silence. "Skip," came the low growl from her throat. "This is all his fault. Hey, Skip! D'you hear me? I swear, I ever get my hands on that thick, demony neck of yours, I'm gonna squeeze until your horns pop off!"


©2003 Kaymyth