Fandoms: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Smallville/Supernatural
Pairings: Chloe/Angel, onesided Chloe/Sam, onesided Buffy/Giles, Cordelia/Dean
Discliamer: Don't own the characters or shows mentioned
Summary: When Chloe's father moved to Sunnydale he planned on forcing Chloe to have a safe, normal life...course, that's gonna be hard now that she's living on a Hellmouth and has some mysterious psychic connection with its mystic energies.
“I just love springtime.” Cordelia Chase announced. She had her arms around her current boyfriend, Mitch, and they and Harmony (her blonde friend) were walking down the halls together.
Chloe, who had the same class, was trailing listlessly behind, casting glances in every direction for her friends, wondering exactly where everyone had disappeared to this morning.
“Me and bright spring fashion!” Cordelia continued on.
“Spring training.” Mitch added.
Cordelia grinned. “Me at the end of school dance.”
“The end of school.” Harmony piped up.
Cordelia giggled. “Definitely. My favorite time of the year. I am, of course, having my dress specially made. Off the rack gives me hives.” She made a face at the thought.
Mitch leaned towards her. “Lemme guess: blue, like your eyes!” He laughed.”
Chloe rolled her eyes.
Cordelia laughed. “My eyes are hazel, Helen Keller.”
“You two will look so amazing together in the May Queen photo.” Harmony gushed.
“Well, I haven’t been elected May Queen yet,” Cordelia grinned. “But you know I’ll look great!”
Chloe rolled her eyes and ignored the self-involved trio in front of her. She lost herself in her thoughts, grinning. Sunnydale gave its students two weeks off for spring break, and Chloe already had her ticket to go to Smallville. The arrangements had already been made and Clark had seemed more excited than her despite the fact that he’d be giving up his bedroom for those days.
After the nightmare situation with Billy Palmer (who was fully recuperated by now thank god) Chloe had decided to make the extra effort to keep into closer contact with Pete and Clark so that they’d never feel the way they had when her nightmare had become real.
As Chloe entered Ms. Miller’s English class, she spied her friends there already seated and talking. They smiled and exchanged waves before she sat down and class started. They were discussing ‘The Merchant of Venice’.
“’If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?’” Ms. Miller looked at the class and put down her book. “Okay, so talk to me, people. How does what Shylock say here about the Jews relate to our discussion about the anger of the outcast in society?”
Cordelia’s hand went up. “Well, how about color me totally self-involved?”
Ms. Miller raised an eyebrow, intrigued. “Care to elaborate?”
“Yeah.” Cordelia nodded. “With Shylock it’s whine, whine, whine, like the whole world is about him. He acts like it’s justice, him getting a pound of Antonio’s flesh.” She made a face. “It’s not justice---it’s yicky.”
“But has Shylock suffered?” Ms. Miller asked. “What’s his place in Venice society?”
“Everyone looked down on him.” Dean announced, ignoring Cordelia completely, though his jaw was clenched angrily.
Chloe had thought that after the nightmare episode those two would come clean about their feelings for each other, but Dean had immediately scoped out another girl, and Cordelia had gotten with Mitch.
And they were pissed with each other because of it.
Cordelia snorted in disgust. “That is such a twinkie defense. Shylock should get over himself. People who think their problems are so huge craze me! Like this time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatizing event of my life and she’s trying to make it about her leg!” She placed her hand to her heart. “Like my pain meant nothing!”
Dean groaned and lowered his forehead to the desk, shaking his head.
Chloe bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing. She doubted Cordelia would see the humor.
“Well, Cordelia’s raised an interesting point here.” Ms. Miller announced as the bell rung. “Which we’ll pursue at a later time.”
The students got up to leave and Cordelia went to the teacher’s desk. “Ms. Miller?”
Ms. Miller smiled at her. “Good observation today, Cordelia. It’s always exciting to know someone’s actually done the reading.”
Dean snorted in disgust and stormed out of the classroom, Sam sending Chloe an ‘I better make sure he doesn’t do something stupid’ look before heading out after him.
“Thanks.” Cordelia beamed at the teacher. “Um, I wanna talk to you about my final paper. I’m real unfocused. I have all these thoughts and I’m pretty sure they all contradict each other.”
The teacher nodded. “Well, I have your outline here, but why don’t you stop by tomorrow after school? We’ll go over it then.”
“That’d be great!” Cordelia smiled brightly. “Thanks a lot!” She hurried out into the hall.
Chloe, surprised that Cordelia actually cared about her grades, shook her head and shared a look with Buffy as they left the classroom.
“So how come you were here so early?” Chloe asked as they walked into the hall, going towards their next class.
“I came by to help Giles put away some new books that came from the Watcher’s Council.” She grinned. “It was boring in itself, but I got to talk a lot with Giles with it just being us two and I think he’s really opening up to me! He smiles a lot more, anyway. And that’s a start, right?”
“Yeah, it is.” Chloe grinned, nodding.
Ever since the Vampire!Buffy incident, and Giles’ reaction to it, Buffy had fallen completely in love with her Watcher. It was entirely too cute to behold.
Cordelia, large box in hand, handed a chocolate to one of the boys while campaigning for May Queen. “Now remember who to vote for for May Queen! As in me!”
The boy smiled at her. “Thanks.”
Seeing Harmony, Cordelia walked over to her. “Hi! Isn’t this the bomb? I’m such the campaign strategist!”
Harmony picked up one of the chocolates and noticed the “C” on the wrapper. “C for Cordelia?”
“No, C for Wilma, little brain!” Cordelia laughed. “Of course C for Cordelia! This way people will associate me with something sweet!”
Buffy snorted. “Will take more than chocolate to do that!”
Cordelia absently continued to the next student, which happened to be Chloe. “Here’s a chocolate to remind you who to vote for!”
Chloe smiled but shook her head. “Uhm, thanks, but no thanks.”
“You sure? They’re Parisian!” Cordelia wriggled the wrapper temptingly.
Despite the fact that Chloe’s group and Cordelia’s group hated each other on sight, there was a small but existing truce between her and the brunette. Even if Cordelia pretended to not remember much of anything that’d happened the night of the Harvest little actions proved that she remembered Chloe saving her life, and she never teased or taunted her like the others.
It was…kinda nice.
“I’m sure.” Chloe nodded. “I’m voting for you anyway so I don’t need the bribe.”
“Thanks!” Cordelia grinned brightly before ignoring Buffy and going over to the next student with her chocolatey bribes.
“You’re voting for her?” Buffy asked in horror. “Really?”
“Why not?” Chloe asked as they continued on their way.
“She’s pure evil?” Buffy ventured a guess.
Chloe laughed. “You do know that she detests you because she thinks you have something for Dean, right?”
“With Winchester?” Buffy made up her nose. “Eeew!”
Chloe grinned. “Well, Cordelia doesn’t think he’s eeww. And the four of us are always spending time together and I’m usually talking more to Sam, so she sees you as going after Dean.”
Buffy shook her head at the thought. “She’s jealous of me.”
Buffy grinned. “She’s jealous of me! There is justice in this world!”
They paused, frowning as they reached the gym and saw the crowd gathering around.
“What happened?” Someone asked someone else.
“Mitch got whaled on!” Someone responded. “I think he’s…”
“Dead?” Principal Snyder snorted, glaring at some students who were congregated around him. “Of course not! What are you, ghouls?” Everyone turned to look when the paramedics opened the doors to the gym and wheeled Mitch out. “There are no dead students here…this week.” He cleared his throat. “Clear back, make room, all of you!”
Buffy moved forwards and grabbed the gurney, stopping it. “Mitch, what happened?”
“I don’t know.” The bloodied, bruised boy that could hardly be recognized as Mitch responded. “I, I heard something. I tried to grab a, a bat…” He guffawed, unable to believe what he was saying. “…that hit me.”
“What hit you?” Chloe narrowed her eyes.
“The bat!” Mitch exclaimed. “By itself! The thing was floating and it knocked me out!”
The paramedics, obviously fearing him delusional, wheeled him away.
Buffy turned to Chloe. “I’d better check out the scene. You go find Giles.” She turned and started towards the locker room.
Snyder zeroed in on her with a sneer. “And where do you think you’re going?” Unlike Principal Flutie, Principal Snyder was rough, mean, suspicious, and completely sure Buffy was going to be the end of Sunnydale High.
The Slayer stopped and faced him, wincing slightly at having forgotten he was there. “Um, Mitch wanted me to get his comb. He, uh, he likes his comb.”
Snyder shook his head in disgust. “I don’t think Mitch needs his comb right now. I think Mitch needs medical attention.”
Chloe bit her bottom lip nervously. Buffy was going to get herself in a detention somehow in the next couple of minutes, she was sure of it.
Snyder took a menacing step towards the Slayer. “And you need to stay away from the crime scene! Always sticking your nose in…”
Chloe sighed before hurrying to Snyder’s side, eyes wide. “Principal Snyder! Is it true that Mitch is gonna sue the school?”
Snyder’s eyes went wide and on her immediately, forgetting all about Buffy. “Sue? Who? Can he really afford to do that?”
Buffy mouthed a ‘thank you’ to Chloe behind Snyder’s back before slipping into the locker room.
Chloe nodded, making her face as innocent as possible, as she kept her attention fully on the tiny, short yet menacing Principal. “You know his dad, Hank Morgan. He’s the most powerful lawyer in Sunnydale.”
“Hold on, this is serious.” Snyder grabbed her arm and began leading her away. “Where did you hear this?”
“Cordelia was talking to Harmony. Said that Hank would probably bring the school down if anything ever happened to his son.” Chloe replied truthfully. She had heard Cordelia say that…weeks ago. “You know everyone calls him ‘the Beast’—Mr. Morgan, I mean.”
Snyder went pale. “No, no, no. That can’t happen.” He patted her shoulder. “Good girl.” And then he took off like lightening after the gurney. “Mr. Morgan!”
Chloe grinned as she watched him run, before shaking her head and going to the library to tell Giles about what had happened. She’d barely had time to fill him in before the bell rung and she headed to her next class. They were all unable to congregate until lunchtime, Giles even sitting next to them at their isolated table.
“’Look’?” Sam frowned, leaning forwards on the table, gaze on Buffy. “That’s all that was written on the locker doors where Mitch was attacked?”
“Look at what?” Dean asked, frowning. “Look at Mitch?”
“Maybe.” Buffy shrugged. “All I know is that it’s a message.”
Dean raised an eyebrow. “And you’re stating the obvious because…?”
Buffy glared at him.
Giles answered. “Monster don’t usually send messages. It’s pretty much crush, kill, and destroy. This was different.” He sighed. “It’s a bit of a puzzle, really. Um, I’ve never actually heard of anyone attacked by a lone baseball bat before.”
Dean suddenly smirked. “Maybe it’s a vampire bat.” Seeing no response to that he made a face. “Oh come on! That was funny!”
They all ignored him, turning to look at Giles for him to continue.
Dean pouted, mumbling how no one had a sense of humor anymore.
“Well,” Giles continued. “Assuming the bat itself is not possessed, there are a few possibilities that bear investigating. Uh, someone with telekinesis, uh, which we all know is the power to move objects at will---.”
“Psychokinesis.” Sam interrupted.
Giles raised an eyebrow at him. “I beg your pardon?”
“Psychokinesis.” Sam looked a little embarrassed. “The books I’ve been reading from Ms. Calendar? They say that telekinesis is the antiquated term, no one uses it anymore. Instead they say psychokinesis.”
Giles eyed Sam for a moment before continuing. “So, so far our options are psychokinesis, an invisible creature, or possibly a poltergeist.”
“A ghost?” Chloe asked, intrigued.
“Yes,” the Watcher nodded. “And a very angry one.”
“Yeah, I’d say!” Buffy nodded. “The locker room was a real scene.”
“If it’s a ghost, then we’re talking about a dead kid.” Sam summarized.
“Yeah.” Dean agreed before turning to his brother. “Why don’t you compile a list of dead or missing kids? It’s probably a good place to start.”
By now everyone was used to Dean giving out good suggestions and didn’t even blink at this.
“And I’ll research all the possibilities,” Giles nodded. “Ghosts included.”
“Do you want some help?” Chloe offered.
Giles smiled. “I was hoping you’d ask. I’ll be needing another set of eyes.”
“And I’m gonna find out what I can about Mitch.” Buffy decided. “This attack wasn’t random. I’m going to have to talk to his friends…” She made a face. “To Cordelia.” She suddenly turned to Dean, eyes wide.
As if reading her mind, Dean quickly turned to Giles, nearly desperately. “And I’ll help you and Chloe research! You did say you needed more eyes, right?”
“Well, yes.” Giles nodded, a little shocked at Dean’s fervent offer.
Obviously the Watcher hadn’t realized that Dean was desperate to do this since the Slayer had been about to make him talk to Cordelia about Mitch.
Chloe took pity on the Slayer. “If you want, I could go with you for the talk to Cordelia part and then hurry back to Giles.”
Buffy lit up immediately. “Yes! Please!”
Finishing her drink, Chloe stood. “Come on, let’s do this. I have free period after lunch so I have some time.”
They searched the school for Cordelia and found on her the balcony, talking to Harmony.
“You weren’t in fifth period.” The blonde was saying.
“I went to the hospital.” Cordelia sighed.
“Oh, right, Mitch.” Harmony nodded. “How is he? Will he be okay?”
“Well, the doctor says he’ll be fine. They’re gonna send him home tomorrow. But…you should have seen him lying there. All black and blue?” Cordelia turned her troubled gaze on the blonde. “How’s he gonna look in our Prom pictures? How am I ever gonna be able toshow them to anyone?”
Buffy snorted, shaking her head. “And just when I thought she’d grown a soul.”
Harmony didn’t look at all surprised by this logic of Cordelia’s. “Well, they can do wonderful things with airbrushes these days.”
“You think?” Cordelia asked, hopeful, as they walked along the balcony towards the stairs. “I just hope they can prop him up long enough to take the picture.”
Buffy shook her head and stormed towards them. “Cordelia, can I talk to you?”
Cordelia stopped and made a face. “Oh great.”
Harmony sneered at Buffy. “Why is she always try…” She screamed as she jerked backwards and started to tumble down the stairs. Buffy, Cordelia, Chloe and other hurried down after her.
Principal Snyder, who’d been patrolling the grounds as always, distrustful of students (as always), saw it too…and hurried towards the fallen girl.
“Harmony!” Cordelia cried as she reached her friend.
“Oh, for heaven sakes!” Principal Snyder appeared. “Clear back, everyone! Give her some air!” He turned to a random student. “You! School nurse, now!”
The student nodded and scrambled to get the nurse.
“Ow!” Harmony cried from here she was sprawled on the ground. “Oh, my ankle! I think it’s broken!”
“What happened?” Buffy asked.
Snyder glared at Buffy. “Hey! Who’s the principal here?” He turned to Harmony. “What happened?”
“She fell!” Cordelia answered. “She, she, we were standing at the top of the stairs and she just fell! All by herself!”
“No!” Harmony shook her head. “I was pushed!”
Buffy frowned, leaning towards Chloe and whispering. “Do you hear that?”
Chloe frowned, listening intently. “No.”
“I’m going to follow it.” Buffy hurried passed the students and bounded up the stairs.
Snyder bent down and touched Harmony’s ankle.
“OW!” She screamed.
“Don’t sue.” He commanded.
Nothing utterly spectacular happened for the rest of the day, and the Slayer’s gang huddled outside of the main entrances as the students left for the day. Chloe noticed two men in black suits watching the students’ activity but she just guessed that after these two events the police had been called in---or maybe the school had hired security guards.
It was about time if you asked her.
“Giles, have you ever touched a ghost?” Buffy asked, obviously remembering the thing she’d chased after. She’d chased the invisible thing to the band room and then there’d been nothing.
“Uh, no.” The Watcher shook his head. “From what I’ve heard, though, having a ghost pass through you is a singular experience. It’s a, it’s a rather cold amorphous feeling. It makes your hair stand on end.”
“You see, that’s my problem.” The Slayer turned to her Watcher. “I touched the thing, but it didn’t go through me. It bumped into me. And it wasn’t cold.”
“So we’re talking about what, an invisible person?” Dean asked.
“A girl.” Buffy nodded. “She laughed.”
Girls frowned. “A girl on campus with the ability to become invisible.” He shook his head. “It must be a fairly heady experience…having that ability.”
“How’d she get it?” Sam asked. “Is she a witch? ‘Cause we know we can fight a witch.”
“Greek myths speak about cloaks of invisibility, but they’re usually for the gods.” Chloe shrugged.
“This girl’s sorta petty for a god.” Buffy shook her head.
“She’s obviously got a grudge.” Sam announced. “But why Harmony?”
“Harmony and Mitch.” Buffy shook her head. “What’s the common denominator?”
Dean paled. “Cordelia.” He turned to Buffy. “We have to find this chick before she hurts her!”
Buffy nodded her agreement. “I know, but first things first.” She turned to Sam. “When you go home, why don’t you pull up that missing kids list? It might help us figure out who the culprit is.”
“Sure.” Sam nodded.
“I’ll help.” Dean announced, grabbing his brother’s arm. “Come on, let’s go!”
They watched as Dean hurriedly dragged his brother away.
Giles shook his head and returned his attention to the girls. “So, I’ll look into ways that you can de-cloak an invisible someone.”
“I’ll help.” Chloe volunteered. Again.
Buffy blinked in surprise. “Isn’t tonight one of your Angel Nights?”
Chloe blushed slightly. “Yeah. But this is more important.” Anyway, the ‘Angel Nights’ had been kinda awkward since ‘The Incident’, so she wasn’t too heartbroken about missing it.
“Okay…” Buffy eyed her oddly before shaking her head and grinning. “I think Cordelia’s gonna be working on her May Queen dress tonight here at the school. Maybe there’ll be some action. Guess I’m gonna start the hunt.”
Giles tilted his head slightly. “How exactly do you propose to hunt someone you can’t see?”
Buffy gave him a curious look. “I hadn’t thought about that.”
He suddenly smirked. “You may have to work on actually listening to people.”
She made a face at him. “Very funny.”
“I thought so.” Giles grinned broadly.
Chloe giggled and shook her head at them.
They continued talking until everyone left, and then they headed inside, Buffy out to patrol the halls stealthily and Chloe and Giles in the library, going over all the invisibility lore that Giles had at his disposal.
It had gotten dark by the time the music started. Chloe had noticed it before on nights when she would be studying with Giles, but now it seemed eerie, the flute sounding melancholy and bewitching.
She often wondered where the music came from.
Getting up, she joined Giles in the stacks. “Found it?” She asked, referring to the book Giles had been looking for for the last twenty minutes.
“Yes.” Giles nodded.
Chloe looked at her and Giles’ reflection in the glass-enclosed bookcase, trying to fix her hair and sighing at the tired bags under her eyes, before turning to go and giving a little cry when she nearly ran into Angel. “What are you doing here?” She quickly looked back at her reflection but didn’t see one for Angel.
So the lore about no reflection is true…
“You were not at your house.” Angel announced, a little accusingly.
“Yeah, about that, something came up.” Chloe smiled apologetically. “And since someone hasn’t given me a phone number or a way to get into contact with him, I couldn’t let you know.”
Giles cleared his throat. “Hello Angel, its good to see you again.”
The vampire nodded, his gaze going to the Watcher standing behind Chloe. “You too Rupert, and under better circumstances then the first time we met.”
Chloe winced. They’d met while she’d been unconscious from an attack from Angel’s sire, Darla. The marks of the bite on her shoulder had disappeared, but Chloe could sometimes feel a stab of pain where they used to be.
Giles nodded. “Chloe, uh, Chloe tells us that you don’t feed from humans anymore.”
Angel’s gaze went to Chloe and then to Giles, nodding once more. “Not for a long while.”
“This is most fascinating.” Giles announced, looking like he’d like nothing better than to sit the vampire down and interview him. But the situation at hand needed their complete attention so he sighed. “Was there anything we could do to help you?”
“I didn’t only come here to make sure Chloe was okay.” Angel admitted, attention now fully on the Watcher. “I know you’ve been researching the Master.”
Giles nodded, frowning. “Yes, the vampire king. I’ve tried to learn as much as I can about him for the day that Buffy must face him.”
Angel’s expression darkened. “Something’s already in motion, something big, but I don’t know what. I think it might have something to do with the Anointed One.”
“Oh, well, we destroyed the Anointed.” Giles shook his head. “So it must be something else.”
“Oh.” Angel nodded after a moment. “You’ve read all the Slayer lore there is, right?”
“I’ve studied all the extant volumes, of course.” The Watcher pushed his glasses higher up the bridge of his nose. “But the, uh, most salient books of Slayer prophecy have been lost. The Tiberius Manifesto, the Permamum Codex…”
Angel looked up at that. “The Codex?”
Giles nodded. “It’s reputed to have contained the most complete prophecies about the Slayer’s role in the end years. Unfortunately the book was lost in the 15th century.”
“Not lost. Misplaced.” Angel smirked. “I can get it.”
Giles exhaled, astounded. “That would be most helpful! Uh, m-my own volumes have…been rather useless of late.”
Angel’s gaze went to the book in Giles’ hand and he raised an eyebrow. “Legends of Vishnu?”
Giles smiled, a bit embarrassed. “There’s an…invisible girl terrorizing the school.”
Angel turned to Chloe immediately, eyes narrowed and intense as his hands went to her shoulders. “Are you okay? Has she come after you?”
“I’m fine, and no, she hasn’t come after me.” Chloe smiled up at him, blushing slightly at his intense worry about her. Even if he’d been acting odd around her lately, his reactions tonight made her wonder if it was because what’d happened between them that night had shaken him up more—and made him feel more—than he wanted to admit (to both her and himself).
Angel continued to look down into her eyes before clearing his throat and looking away, pulling his hands from her shoulders. “I’ll see you tomorrow night then.”
“No you won’t.” Chloe shook her head. “Tomorrow night’s a Jenny Calendar night, remember?”
Angel frowned slightly.
Giles cleared his throat. “I am sure Ms. Calendar wouldn’t mind one night without your company, Chloe. It is imperative that you learn self defense.” He turned to Angel. “Thank you very much for taking time to teach her, by the way.”
Angel smiled at Giles and nodded.
Chloe looked from one to the other.
What exactly was going on here?
Had Giles just given his consent to this? (Whatever this was?)
“Jenny’s not going to be happy.” Chloe warned.
“Miss Calendar displeased?” Giles grinned brightly. “How utterly devastating.” And with that he began to hum contentedly as he headed out of the stacks to continue researching, waiting on Buffy to return from her patrol.
Alone in the dark stacks, Chloe and Angel both cleared their throats and lowered their gazes, yet none made a move to leave.
“So…” Chloe broke the silence, gaze on her shoes. “Are you done avoiding touching me like I have the plague?”
“Chloe…” Angel sighed. “What happened the other night…”
“Was amazing.” She gathered up her courage to look up at him through her lashes.
“It was dangerous.” Angel forced his gaze on her as well, and it was hungry. “I’m a vampire, Chloe. And yet you seem to forget that, you seem to think that I’m a normal teenaged boy!”
Chloe shook her had, chuckling darkly. “Are you kidding me? Angel, you had your demon face on part of the time. Believe me, I neverforget that you’re a vampire.” She blushed. “I don’t like you despite it, it’s---it’s actually one of the things I like about you---as crazy as that may be.”
Angel went still, eyes flickering golden and before he closed them and took in a deep, unnecessary breath. “I could kill you in bloodlust, Chloe. And you’re foolhardy! You provoke me on purpose!”
She bit her lip, having to agree with that. “But you didn’t kill me, Angel. You didn’t even hurt me.” She took in a deep breath and took a step towards him.
He gulped and took a step back. “I left bruises on your skin for weeks.”
Chloe blushed. “I liked them.”
A whimper escaped his lips. “Chloe…” His eyes were flickering like crazy. “I’m trying to protect you!”
“I know.” She stepped on her tiptoes, still not meeting him face to face due to his height, but at least bringing their faces closer.
“Giles!” Buffy’s voice could be heard, the shock causing them to jerk apart. “Cordelia and her posse just left. This was a total waste of my time!”
Angel cleared his throat. “I should go.” He turned and left.
Chloe watched him leave and sighed.
The next day Cordelia was declared May Queen by almost unanimous votes.
Outside, listening to Cordelia give her acceptance speech (she would be crowned that night at the Bronze), the group of four decided that even though nothing had happened the night before Cordelia was still somehow the key in this.
Sam had shown Buffy the dead and missing students list. He’d even pulled up their classes, activities, medical records, and Buffy had looked over them while Chloe frowned, noticing the same two men in black suits loitering on the campus, looking around.
She had been about to comment on it when Buffy had waved the file of a girl named Marcie Ross, she was the latest to have gone missing, and had disappeared six months ago. Neither Sam nor Dean remembered ever having seen the girl before.
Marcie’s only activity had been band, and she’d played the flute. Buffy had announced that since she’d lost the invisible girl in the band room, and heard a flute playing the night before while she was on patrol, Marcie seemed like their best option.
The bell had rung and Buffy decided to ditch geometry to check out of the band room. Afterwards, when school had ended, they’d congregated at the library, listening to Buffy tell them about what she’d discovered while snooping around.
“A nest?” Giles frowned.
The Slayer nodded. “In the ceiling above the band room. It looked like she’d been there for months. It’s where I found this.” She opened a yearbook and put in on the table for everyone to see.
Sam made a face as he read what was written there. “’Have a nice summer’ ‘Have a nice summer’…Gees. This girl had no friends at all.”
Giles raised an eyebrow at them in confusion. “Uh, once again I teeter at the precipice of the generation gap.”
Buffy decided to explain. “’Have a nice summer’ is what you write when you have nothing to say.”
“It’s like the kiss of social death.” Dean agreed.
Buffy turned to him and Sam. “You guys didn’t know Marcie Ross?”
Sam shook his head. “Never met her. Why?”
“Because you both wrote it too.” She pointed to Dean’s signature.
Dean leaned over to get a better look, eyes narrowed. “’Have a nice…’ Yeesh!”
“Where’s mine?” Sam asked, and then winced when Buffy pointed to his. “Okay, I feel really bad right now.”
“You guys really don’t remember her?” Chloe asked, surprised.
Dean shook his head. “No, I probably didn’t see her except to sign the book. I mean, this is a big school.”
Sam frowned, looking over the printouts. “Dean. We each had four classes with her last year.”
“What?” Dean snatched the printouts from his brother and looked them over. “That’s impossible.”
“So no one noticed her, and now she’s invisible.” Chloe blinked, leaning back against her seat. “The irony.”
Dean frowned, looking up from the printouts. “What? You’re saying she turned invisible just because no one noticed her?”
Everyone jumped in surprise when Giles suddenly hit the table. “Of course!” He got and headed towards a bookshelf. “I’ve been investigating the mystical causes of invisibility when I should have looked a the quantum mechanical!” Hearing the silence he turned and noticed their blank expressions. “Physics.”
Buffy blinked. “I think I speak for everyone here when I say, huh?”
Giles grabbed a book. “It’s a rudimentary concept that reality is shaped…even created…by our perception.”
Chloe was beginning to understand. “And with the Hellmouth below us sending out mystical energy…”
Sam finished, having understood as well. “We saw Marcie as invisible, so she became invisible.” His eyes widened in horror. “This isn’t a great power she has that she can control. It’s something that we did to her.”
Dean snorted. “No wonder she’s pissed.”
“But what does she want?” Sam asked.
“Just what we thought.” Buffy announced. “Cordelia.” She turned the yearbook to the boys to show them the marked up picture of Cordelia.
At that moment the library doors swung open and Cordelia surprised everyone by entering. “I knew you’d be here!” She hurried to the table, pale, shaky. “Dean, I know you and I don’t get along, with you being such a manwhorish idiot and hanging out with these totalrejects…”
Buffy shook her head, unable to believe this.
“Ooo!” Cordelia trudged on, exhaling. “Well, anyway, despite all of that I know you’re a decent human being deep down inside…”
“Gee, thanks.” Dean snorted.
“…And I genuinely like Chloe!” Cordelia hurried on.
Dean just glared at her. “Is this going somewhere?”
“Somebody is after me!” Cordelia exclaimed. “They just tried to kill Ms. Miller! She was helping me with my homework. And Mitch? My boyfriend. And Harmony? My friend! This is all about me! Me, me, me!”
“Wow.” Sam snorted. “For once she’s right.”
Cordelia ignored that.
Dean raised an eyebrow at his ex. “So you’ve come to me for help.”
The brunette nodded. “Because you are always around when all this weird stuff is happening, and I know you’re very strong,” she turned to Buffy. “And I’ve seen you with all these different weapons…I…I was kinda hoping you were in a gang.”
“I don’t believe this.” Buffy shook her head.
“Please!” Cordelia’s voice broke. “I don’t have anyone else to turn to!”
Dean’s anger broke in the face of her desperation. He sighed. “You better sit down then.”
Chloe pulled out the seat next to her.
“Thank you.” Cordelia whispered, sitting down.
“You know, I…I don’t recall ever seeing you here before.” Giles announced.
“Oh, no.” Cordelia shook her head, politely. “I have a life.”
“Okay.” Buffy exhaled. “Cordelia, your attacker is an invisible girl.”
“Who is really, really angry at you,” Dean added somewhat tensely. “Which I…can’t imagine personally, but it…takes all kinds, y’know?”
“Invisible girl, okay.” Cordelia nodded, taking this all in with relative ease. “How can we get rid of her?”
“Well, it’s not that simple, it’s a person, it’s…” Buffy showed her the yearbook. “It’s this person. Now, do you have any idea why she’d be so…”
“Oh, God!” Cordelia exclaimed, pulling the yearbook closer. “Is she really wearing Laura Ashley?”
The group sighed, seeing why the girl would feel so homicidal.
“I’ve never seen this girl in my life.” Cordelia finally decided, pushing the yearbook back to Buffy.
“You say that she tried to kill Ms. Miller. Can you give us more detail than that?” Giles asked, listening as Cordelia told them of how she’d gone to the classroom and found her teacher with a plastic bag tied over her head. Cordelia had managed to get it off in time, and then chalk had floated on its own and written a word on the board. “So we know have two messages from Marcie: Look and Listen.”
“Messages we just don’t get.” Sam sighed.
Chloe frowned. “It sounds as if she’s just trying to get someone to finally notice her. She’s sick of not being heard or seen. And I really don’t blame her for feeling that way, though her methods are more than questionable.”
“From what she did to Cordelia’s picture, I would say that she’s wigged on the whole May Queen thing.” Buffy spoke up. “Maybe she’s gonna do something about it.”
“Maybe we could stop the coronation tonight?” Sam asked. “Keep Cordelia away from the Bronze?”
“Nothing is keeping me from the Bronze tonight!” Cordelia exclaimed.
Dean growled and shook his head in annoyance. “Can we just revel in your fabulous lack of priorities?”
She pouted at him. “If I’m not crowned tonight then, then Marcie’s won! And that would be bad! She’s evil, okay? Way eviler than me.”
“Cordelia’s got a point.” Buffy announced.
“See? Even she’s with me on this.” The brunette declared victoriously.
“Anyway, continuing the normal May Queen activities may be the best way to draw Marcie out.” Buffy grinned. “We can use Cordelia as bait.”
“Great!” Cordelia grinned and then frowned, turning to Buffy. “Bait?”
Everyone ignored her, although Dean looked a little uncomfortable with the plan.
“Chloe, Sam, you’ll help me begin our research anew while Dean and Buffy keep an eye on Cordelia.” Giles announced, agreeing with Buffy’s plan. “Unless we find a way to cure Marcie’s invisibility, then Buffy will be…”
“A sitting duck.” Buffy finished.
Giles sent her a worried look.
They all got up to do their tasks.
Buffy turned to Cordelia. “C’mon.”
The brunette hesitated. “Why can’t Chloe come with us? I like Chloe.” She told Giles. “You keep Buffy.”
Buffy groaned and rolled her eyes. “Chloe and Sam are smarter than us, Dean and I handle the physical better.”
Cordelia’s eyes darkened as her she jerked an angered glare at her. “Oh I’m sure you do.”
Chloe wondered if she was the only one who realized just how jealous Cordelia Chase was of Buffy.
“Cor, down.” Dean warned.
Cordelia looked at him with a pout before folding her arms over her chest, doing as asked. “I have to try on my dress.”
“What color is it?” Chloe asked, distracting Cordelia from her jealousy.
Cordelia’s eyes twinkled and she smiled at the thought. “Crème. It’s divine!” She shared a smile with Chloe before frowning. “It’s creepy to think that this Marcie girl has been at this for months. Spying on us. Learning our most guarded secrets.” She shivered. “So, are you all really saying that she’s invisible because she’s so unpopular?”
Sam nodded. “That about sums it up.”
Cordelia exhaled. “Bummer for her. It’s awful to feel that lonely.”
Buffy snorted. “So you’ve read something that about the feeling?”
“Hey!” The fire returned to Cordelia’s hazel eyes as she rounded on Buffy, fists clenched. “You think I’m never lonely because I’m so cute and popular? I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone!”
Dean was silent, face emotionless, as he watched her intently.
Cordelia didn’t notice, angry gaze on a shocked Buffy. “It’s not like any of them really know me. I—I don’t even know if they like me half of the time! Sometimes---when I talk---everyone’s so busy agreeing with me, they don’t hear a word I say.”
Chloe knew she wasn’t the only one taken back at the hurt and slight loneliness in Cordelia’s voice as she said this.
Buffy frowned, confused. “Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at being popular?”
Cordelia looked away, shaking her head. “It beats being all by yourself.”
Dean looked kicked. He took a step towards her.
Obviously embarrassed at her passionate show of emotion, Cordelia pushed passed him and stormed out of the library.
Dean looked after her before hurrying out as well, a contemplative Buffy by his side.
The three remaining sighed before going to work, pouring over the countless books, before suddenly she heard the eerie music playing once again.
They all listened for a moment and looked as one in the direction of the music.
“Come on.” Giles led the way as they hurried out of the library, following the music. Chloe hugged herself, behind the two men, looking around her at the shadows of the school as they followed the sound of the flute to the basement.
She hated basements.
Standing by the stairs of the basement they stopped and listened for the next direction to take. Sam motioned towards a pair of heavy metal doors, indicating that that was where the sound was coming from.
He walked towards the door and entered, Giles hurrying after him and Chloe following at a more cautious pace into the boiler room.
“Marcie?” Giles called. “We know what happened to you. Please, can we talk to you?”
Sam followed the sound of the flute over to a shelf where he found a tape recorder playing. His eyes widened. “It’s a trap.”
The sound of running caused Chloe to turn in time to see the door slamming shut on her. She hurried towards them and tried to open the doors, but they were locked from the outside.
Sam reached her side, pushing against the doors but they wouldn’t budge.
“Let us out Marcie!” He ordered.
“Shhh.” Giles raised his hand, looking around them.
Chloe’s eyes widened as she heard the soft hissing in the air.
Following the sound, Giles found the main gas valve. It was open and hissing, gas pouring into the room. “It’s gas.” He whispered, checking the furnace. “She’s snuffed out the pilot light! The gas in on full!” He looked around at the two teenagers by the doors. “I can’t find the shutoff valve.”
Sam noticed something broken on the floor and picked it up. “Found it.”
Giles’ face fell. “Dear god.”
“We need to open these doors!” Chloe threw herself against them, not even getting them to budge.
She was beginning to taste the gas in the air. It was bitter.
Sam’s gaze was searching the boiler room frantically before he spotted a bar and grabbed it, about to swing it at the door like a ram.
“No!” Giles stopped him in time. “One spark and you’ll take the whole building with us!”
Sam put the bar down gently.
Chloe whipped out her cellular and tried to call but realized that she had no reception down there. “No signal.”
The men shared worried looks.
Chloe began to feel a little dizzy, bringing her sleeve to her mouth to try and minimized her lung’s intake of gas, the Watcher and Sam doing the same.
Giles turned to the gas valve and tried his best to turn it off with his bare hands. He had some success, minimizing somewhat the amount of gas funneling into the room, but they were still locked in and it would kill them in minutes if they didn’t find a way to get out.
Chloe coughed, feeling the world twirling around her and she leaned heavily against the wall, pressing her sleeve as hard against her nose and mouth as she could while still breathing.
Giles took off his jacket and wrapped it around the pole Sam had found to prevent sparks.
Her vision blurred and danced as Chloe felt herself sliding down the wall to the ground.
“One!” Giles coughed out, voice weak. “Two! Three!”
Sam and Giles then rammed the door with the bar. It made a deep, loud boom, but other than that it didn’t even make a dent in the door.
“Again!” Giles ordered.
Another loud boom seemed to reverberate around Chloe.
The door still wouldn’t budge.
They tried for a third time but both were too weak by then, dropping the bar they collapsed to the floor.
Sam crawled over to where Chloe was barely staying awake.
Their using their force had caused them to inhale more gas than Chloe, and before Sam reached her he collapsed, unconscious on the floor.
The gas continued to hiss victoriously.
Giles crawled to the door and began to weakly slap against it, not giving up.
Just as Chloe’s vision was beginning to darken, Chloe saw the door suddenly open and Giles fell through. He was dragged out by a shadowy blur, and then the blur hurried into the room, bending down in front of her, picking her up and throwing her over a strong shoulder before grabbing the back of Sam’s shirt and dragging him behind.
Outside of the door Sam was dropped, and Chloe softly lowered to the ground, before the blur rushed into the room again.
The sound of hissing stopped.
Chloe gasped at the clean oxygen, her lungs begging for it, while Giles crawled over to Sam and shook him conscious.
Suddenly the blur was in front of her again, kneeling next to her, worried hands skimming her face. “Chloe? Chloe!”
Being pulled into strong arms, Chloe felt safe and secure. She breathed in easier, looking up a the shadowed face and forcing her vision to focus, a small, weak smile tilting her lips as she recognized the terrified face staring down into hers. “Angel.”
The vampire cradled her in his arms, seeming unwilling to let her go. “I need to take you to the hospital…”
“No…” She shook her head, burying her face in his clothes, tired but happy. “Somehow I knew you’d come.” He was trembling as he held her.
“What happened?” Sam groaned, sitting up, holding his hand to his head. “Not that I’m not happy you’re here, but why exactly did you come? How did you know where were here?”
“I didn’t.” Angel might have answered Sam, but his gaze was solely on Chloe. “I brought the Codex.” He motioned with his chin to a book discarded on the ground. “I came through the basement, smelt the gas…smelt Chloe.”
“T-thank you.” Giles announced weakly as he stood on his shaky legs, helping Sam up as well before picking up the Codex. “We---we have to go help Buffy and Dean. Marcie---the invisible girl---trapped us in here so that it could be easier for her to get to Cordelia.”
“I’m taking Chloe to the hospital.” Angel announced.
“No.” Chloe protested. “I’m fine. Sam and Giles inhaled more than I did and they’re standing.”
“I don’t care how much they inhaled.” Angel snapped.
Chloe finally looked up at him, glaring. “Angel, put me down.”
His hold on her tightened defiantly.
“Put. Me. Down.”
Eyes flickering with his anger, Angel put her down and then stormed away towards the sewers that obviously connected with the basement.
Chloe watched him go sadly before turning to the others. “Come on, we have to find Buffy, Dean and Cordelia.”
In the end they still didn’t make it on time and had to hear the story from Buffy and Dean during Cordelia’s coronation at the Bronze later that night.
Apparently Marcie had knocked out both Dean and Buffy by sneaking up on them and injecting some sort of drug into them (they didn’t want to even know where she’d gotten it from) and they’d awoken tied up in the Bronze. There Marcie had revealed that she intended on slashing up Cordelia’s face beyond recognition as revenge.
Thankfully, Buffy had managed to get free and attack the invisible girl, and Dean had freed himself and Cordelia as well, before helping Buffy.
In the end the two had joined forces and managed to kick some invisible butt when two F.B.I. agents (who identified themselves as agents Doyle and Minetti) stormed into the place guns a-blazing.
Apparently they’d already known of the situation and had been scoping the school for days trying to find Marcie. In the end they’d taken her into custody where they’d assured Buffy and Dean that she would be ‘rehabilitated’.
After the crowning, Cordelia found the small group and smiled, straightening the crown on her head and holding the bouquet of flowers close to her heart. “Hi.”
“Hey.” Chloe smiled, feeling completely recovered and strong again.
The others nodded.
Dean cleared his throat. “You, uh, you look pretty.”
Cordelia gave him a tender smile. “Thanks.” She then ducked her gaze and smiled at her shoes before looking up at them again. “I wanted to thank you all, for everything. You really helped me out---you saved my life, and you didn’t have to. So, thank you.”
With that she fixed her crown once more and left, going towards where a bruised Mitch was waiting on her.
Dean watched her go longingly.
Sam sighed and clapped his brother on his back.
“Let’s go home.” Buffy sighed, not in the mood to party. “It’s been a long day.”
“Amen.” Giles nodded as they all turned and walked to where his car was parked.
Sitting on the floor of her balcony, Chloe leaned back against the railing, hugging her knees to her chest as she gazed up at the stars shining above. She knew that it wasn’t exactly safe to be doing this, but she had a stake next to her, and a bottle of holy water on the other side, so she wasn’t exactly vulnerable.
There was the sound of a twig breaking beneath the balcony and then the swish of air, and Angel vaulted over the railing, landing firmly on his feet.
Chloe’s eyes widened in surprise as she hurried to her feet. “Angel.” She hadn’t expected to see him. Not after the fight they’d had earlier.
“You could have died today.” He growled.
“Yes, I could have.” Chloe agreed slowly, wondering what he was getting at. “I could die every day. We live on a Hellmouth; I work with the Slayer. It’s not exactly the safest job out there.”
“You could have died today.” Angel repeated, his intensity growing as he stalked towards her.
Chloe backed up into the railing, eyes wide and on his face, not scared but surprised by his intensity. “Angel?” Her voice was a whisper as his hand cupped her face, raising her face upwards.
“I’m a vampire.” He told her, gaze dark.
“I know.” She whispered, breathless.
“I tried to protect you.” Angel whispered, lowering his face to hers, hesitating a breath away from touching, giving her a last minute to change her mind.
Chloe didn’t answer, she just closed her eyes and pushed up from her toes, bringing their lips together as her arms went around his neck and whimpering in pleasure when his arms went around her waist and pulled her flush against him, kissing her in hungrily, desperately.
Digging her fingers into his hair, Chloe let out a gasp of air when Angel turned and backed her into the wall a little harshly, but she didn’t care. She just chuckled breathlessly into the kiss and arched against him.