DISCLAIMER: I own none of these characters. Many other people have a holding though, none more so than dear Joss Whedon.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: After watching this episode for the first time I had a desire to make something more of it. My interpretations of Cordy might not be fully accurate since this was my first crack at a Buffy one-shot. Hope it isn't too bad.
SPOILERS: 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight' from Series One and anything before that episode is fair.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

What's the Problem
By CharmedLassie

The FBI guys left and Buffy turned to Cordelia still tied to the chair. The cut on the brunette's face was squeezing out a steady stream of blood that was snaking down her cheek. Buffy carefully wiped it away with her finger. 'That anaesthetic worn off yet?'

Cordelia shook her head. 'This is crazy.'

'Oh, I don't know,' Buffy answered, setting to work on untying the bonds. 'You get pretty used to it.'

'I didn't set out to hurt her or anything.'

'You did.'

'How was I supposed to know?'

Buffy freed the hand and moved over to the other one. 'All you were saying about being alone, imagine it a hundred times over.'

'Maybe it's like that sometimes,' Cordelia said quietly.

'What?' Buffy stopped her tugging and looked up.

Cordy smiled ruefully. 'You know Mr Giles said I'd never been in the library?'


'Well, I have. A few times. For study, of course.'

'Oh, of course.'

'And no one saw me,' she went on. 'Not one person.'

Quickly, so she didn't have to look in Cordelia's eyes, Buffy finished untying the hand and moved round the back of the wooden chair to work on the neck band. 'Maybe they just thought they were seeing things, you know? Cordelia Chase in the library, can't be true.'

'You think?'

'Cordelia, you've got people queuing up to talk to you. Don't be stupid.'

'Yeah, but look at you!'

'Gee, do we have to?'

'Buffy, you're... you're happy.'

'Oh, well, I...' She trailed off. 'Am I?'

'You've got friends. Real friends. What have I got? Lapdogs.'

'Hey, they're useful!' Buffy tried a bit of mood-lightening. 'I could do with some of those myself. Damn, this is tight,' she added, twiddling the clasp of the neck bond.

'Tell me about it,' Cordy answered. 'But what's the secret?'

'To real friends? I dunno, share stuff.'

'Like make-up?' The voice was hopeful.

'No! Personal stuff.' She suddenly had a flashback to the previous morning. 'You know, I was watching Willow and Xander the other day. They like each other cause they know each other inside out. That's what you need.'

'You can meet these people through the Internet, right?'

She stifled a laugh as her fingers brushed the back of Cordelia's neck. 'Think it has to be a little more personal than that.'

A pause, then; 'Like you.'

'Whoa. You don't like me, remember?'

'Cordelia Chase doesn't. Plain Cordelia might.'

'You're anything but plain.' Buffy tried side-stepping the uncomfortable issue.

'Seriously, Buffy.' Cordy tried turning then found she couldn't. 'We could be friends, right?'

'It's not as simple as that.'

'Why not?'

Buffy swallowed as her hands again touched the bare neck. The darkness of The Bronze combined with the growing sickness in her stomach was making her head swirl. 'Sorry, I can't get this off.'


'Cordelia, I can't be your friend, okay?'

The figure seemed to slump. 'You're only friends with the real down and outs, is that it? Do I have to become like Willow Rosenberg?'

'Hey! Don't go all catty on me, alright? All I saying is we're different people. You're Cordelia and I'm... Buffy.'

'What's the problem?'

'Cordelia! Buffy!'

'Still not seeing it.'

Finally the clasp broke in her sweating fingers. 'Jeez, that was tough.'

Free, Cordelia twisted, looking her straight in the eyes till Buffy ducked her head. 'Come on, Buffy. Tell me!'

Her hands were so close to the brunette's head, if she hadn't known better she'd have sworn they were worming their way closer. As she was resolving to back straight off she glanced up and found Cordelia still looking. Her eyes were questioning, the blood on her face was again trickling. On instinct Buffy used her finger to sweep it away once more, this time letting it rest there.

Cordy's lips looked so inviting even without the make-up she usually wouldn't be seen dead without. Buffy felt her own lips and she leaned forward over the wood planting a soft kiss on the wound. Then she turned her attention to the lips, slowly and carefully.

A moment later, as she pulled away, Buffy looked down. 'I guess that's why.'

Cordelia's hand sneaked around the chair, lifting up her chin. 'Seriously. What's the problem?'

The End

Return to BtVS Fiction

Return to Main Page