Characters: Cordelia, Anya, mentions Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, and The Master.
Word Count: 780
Spoilers: The Wish
Summary: Cordelia hadn’t meant it seriously, it was just an idle wish…
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge #151: Wish at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own BTVS, or the characters. They belong to Joss Whedon.
Catching Xander and Willow kissing had broken something deep inside Cordelia, and the way her former friends treated her in the aftermath just made it worse. She was being shunned and taunted, made an object of ridicule by people who used to look up to her with such admiration, people who used to want nothing more than to be her friend, part of her little clique. But now it was like she was nobody, an outsider who didn’t belong anywhere, and her heart ached even worse than the wound in her side. She’d never been so alone and it wasn’t a pleasant feeling.
‘I used to be important, respected, the most popular girl in school. All the boys wanted to date me, and all the girls wanted to be like me,’ she thought. ‘Now thanks to Xander Harris I’ve got nothing.’ The bitterness and the sense of injustice that welled up inside her made her want to cry; it was so unfair! But no way was she going to let on to anyone how miserable she was, she wouldn’t give her ex and his friends the satisfaction. She was Cordelia Chase and she was going to hold her head up high if it killed her. She’d show everyone!
Hurt in ways she never had been in all her seventeen years, Cordelia automatically looked for someone to blame. There was Xander of course, and Willow, but neither of them had even been worthy of a passing glance until they’d started hanging out with Buffy. Being friends with the Slayer made even losers appear marginally cooler than they really were.
The new girl, Anya, seemed to think Cordelia should want revenge of some kind against Xander, and maybe a part of her did, but his betrayal had only been the final blow. Now Cordelia thought about it, most of the blame for all the bad stuff that had happened over the last few years lay with Buffy; ultimately it had all been the Slayer’s fault.
“I wish Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale.” Cordelia didn’t mean it literally, she was just lashing out; no one ever says something like that and really means it. But just at that moment it seemed as though Buffy’s arrival had been the start of everything that had gone wrong in Cordelia’s life. She couldn’t help thinking how much better things might have been if Buffy and her mom had just gone somewhere, anywhere, else.
What a difference a wish can make.
In the blink of an eye, everything around Cordelia changed. Anya was gone, so were most of the other kids, and the school quad was almost empty apart from litter and fallen leaves blown across the ground by errant puffs of wind. An eerie sense of abandonment hung over the place. The few people scurrying past her were dressed in drab, dark clothing. That was weird, but Cordelia could shrug it off, because when she stepped inside she found herself once again taking her rightful place as the most popular girl in school, her friends flocking around her, eager to share the latest gossip. Of Buffy, Xander, and Willow, there was no sign.
It should have been perfect, her wish made reality; instead, it turned out to be the worst kind of nightmare. Without the Slayer there to prevent it, a powerful vampire, the Master, had risen and taken control of the town. In an attempt to protect themselves, the people of Sunnydale had imposed a curfew. Nobody went out after dark, it just wasn’t safe, but even so people were getting picked off every night, killed or turned, and only a handful of the locals were trying to fight back, for all the good it did anyone. They were too few, too poorly equipped, and as ordinary humans, simply not strong enough.
They were brave though, risking their own lives to save Cordelia from certain death at the hands of Willow and Xander, both now vampires. Taken to the dubious safety of the school library, she tried to tell her rescuers, or more accurately to tell Giles who seemed to be their leader, that this awful reality was her fault, brought about by a stupid wish. She didn’t know if he believed her but even if he did, could what she’d done be fixed, the wish reversed? Or was it already too late to set things back the way they should be? As Xander and Willow drained her of blood, her final thought was that she’d probably never know. She’d doomed herself along with her friends, her family, and the rest of her hometown.
All because of a simple, childish wish taken seriously.