Part 7 - Interludes
Prologue 1—Sunnydale, 1997
Entering the Bronze through the back door, Angel paused for a moment in the comfort of the shadows. Thanks to his vampiric senses, he easily made out through the subdued lighting the forms of the young humans dancing and sitting and talking amongst themselves. His lips turning upwards into a slight smile, he remembered what this place was like the last time he was here, thirty years ago almost to the day. He recalled the miniskirt wearing women dancing with men wearing Nehru jackets with chains and beads hanging around their necks, or gaily dressed in outfits that reminded the two hundred plus year old vampire of the Regency bucks that he had encountered in the 1820s and ‘30s.
Now, as then, he was looking for someone—someone special—someone unique. As his eyes searched for this unique individual, his keen hearing picked up through the din a voice that was hauntingly familiar—a voice from thirty years ago…
“Hello salty goodness! Someone call 911 cause that boy’s gonna need oxygen…”
It was her! He then remembered that she told him that she would be here—but she wouldn’t be the person that he knew. She said that she wouldn’t know him—that he probably wouldn’t like her anyway—at least not now. And that she couldn’t tell him any more; that he would figure it all out in the future. Glancing at her through his peripheral vision and sniffing her with his sharp vampiric sense of smell, he understood. The winning smile, dancing eyes, and merry laughter were as he remembered them to be, but the rest of the package was different. She was younger—about Buffy’s age, and her hair, instead of the chin length blonde highlighted hair that he dimly recalled from long ago was long, luxurious, and brown. She was also all human—no trace of demon within her.
Then, he saw her—sitting with her friends, laughing and talking. As he gazed into the lovely blue eyes of the blonde Slayer, all thoughts of thirty years ago disappeared from his mind as he totally ignored his past and future in favor of the present.
Prologue 2—Sunnydale, 1999
“Any luck, Willow?” Oz, the lead guitarist for the rock band "Dingoes Ate My Baby" and recently reunited boyfriend to the red headed high school student currently scanning the microfilm reader, asked as he quietly stood behind his girl, kneading her shoulders with his firm hands.
“Yeah, if you count nothing as luck, then all sorts of luck.” The young computer nerd and beginning witch, closing her eyes, sighed in relief as her boyfriend’s skillful fingers massaged away all the tension. Tilting her head back, she looked up at the soulful eyes of her young musician and smiled warmly. “The Sunnydale Herald only has from 1980 up online, so I’m digging through microfilms.”
“Where are you now?” Oz asked as he continued his massage, now working the young redhead’s upper arms as well as shoulder blades.
“1967.” Willow chuckled. “War protests, bra burnings, and all that stuff,” She added as her laughter proved infectious as witnessed by her boyfriend’s chuckles. Then, she came to a headline in large bold print, ANTI-WAR PROTEST AT UCSD LEAVES ONE DEAD, THREE INJURED, 50 ARRESTED.
“What’s this?” Oz, the headline immediately catching his interest, asked as he stopped his massage and leaned forward in order to read better.
“There was a protest in front of the ROTC building,” Willow paraphrased as she read the text, “They called in the National Guard, and I guess someone got scared or something because they started shooting…” She then scanned to the photo of a young woman with shoulder length hair and wearing a miniskirt kneeling next to a man lying on the ground, looking up plaintively at whoever snapped the picture.
Seeing something familiar in the young woman’s face, the young musician, pointing at the kneeling woman, asked his girlfriend, “Hey Willow…can you zoom in on that woman there?”
“Sure.” The redhead, also sensing something vaguely recognizable in the features of the distraught figure in the photograph, magnified the image, and then, as the face of the woman in question became clearly visible, the couple gasped in surprise as they said in unison, “Cordelia?”
“That woman looks like Cordelia!” Willow said in a hushed voice as she pointed at the crying woman.
“Can’t be.” Oz replied in an equally soft voice. “If that were her, that’d make her…”
“Kinda old…” Willow whispered as she finished her boyfriend’s thoughts.
“Yeah.” The guitarist said, agreeing with his girlfriend. Then, a slight smile crossing his face, he exclaimed, “I think I know…she’s a relative…right?”
“Uh Huh.” The computer expert shook her head definitely. “Cordelia’s family doesn’t come from here…her mom and dad came here just before she was born—not like my dad or Xander’s…” Then, reading further, the young redhead gasped once again as she pointed out a paragraph, before whispering in amazement and disbelief, barely able to get the words out, “It says here that her name is…C…C…Cordelia…Chase…and that she’s an…” The youthful witch then gulped as she looked into the eyes of her boyfriend, “…assistant librarian at…Sunnydale High??? Here???”
“One way to find out.” Oz declared, his voice reflecting his usual quiet confidence, as he went to the bookcase and took out a book. “1967 yearbook.” He explained as he saw his girlfriend’s questioning expression. Setting the book down, he thumbed through the pages until he found it—a black and white picture of that same woman standing before an older version of the familiar circulation desk, wearing a miniskirt and white thigh high go-go boots. Then, seeing the name, the young couple looked at each other in disbelief as they said in unison, “Assistant Librarian—Cordelia Chase.”
“Oh…my…God…” Willow gasped as her hand went to her mouth. “Can’t be—can it? I mean…it’s her?! My Dad…he used to tell me that there was a woman who used to be the assistant librarian when he went to school here and that she was always really nice to him, but that she left at the end of the semester and never came back cause she was involved in some protest movements and other stuff.” The young redhead shook her head in disbelief, “I never got a chance to look at his yearbook or anything like that because he lost it sometime when he was in college and he just forgot her name…”
“Cordelia…nice to your dad?” Oz said in disbelief as he cracked an ironic grin.
“Yeah…impossible.” Willow agreed sarcastically, a note of bitterness in her voice towards the young woman who had been such a thorn in her side for so long.
“So…what do we do?” The guitarist asked as he gazed once again at the picture of his fellow classmate who apparently was also the assistant librarian in 1967.
“I think we need to tell Giles.” Willow said in a soft voice as she stood up.
As the couple entered the office of the librarian and Watcher, he looked up from the massive tome that he was currently engrossed in. “Willow? Oz? Have you found something of interest?”
“You could say that.” Willow sighed as she handed the Englishman the photocopy of the newspaper article and the 1967 yearbook, opened to the page with Cordelia's photo.
“I see…” The librarian said in a low voice as he took off his glasses and cleaned them. Then, after taking a book out of a locked desk drawer, he went to his office door, and, after closing it and locking it, motioned for the young couple standing in front of his desk to sit down. “Although I was hoping that you wouldn’t come upon this, I knew that the odds were that someone would sooner or later. Thankfully…” He sighed in relief. “The two of you were the ones to have found out about this first. I shudder to think what would have happened had Xander been the one.” ‘Or Buffy…’ He left unsaid. Looking down at his two comrades in the coming struggle, he admonished. “I cannot stress this to you two enough. Anything…and I do mean anything…that you see, hear, or read regarding this matter must stay strictly amongst us for reasons that shall soon be made abundantly clear to you.”
“Ok, Giles.” Willow, a look of bemusement on her face, agreed as her boyfriend also nodded his head, indicating his acceptance of the terms set by the Watcher.
“We’ll keep it quiet, Giles.”
Nodding his head in grateful acknowledgment, The English Watcher, after sitting down, handed the book that he had just taken to the young redhead sitting across from him.
Taking the book and opening it to the first page, the bookish young woman read aloud, “Watcher’s Journal of Edmund R. Giles—1967.”
As the shy redhead looked up in inquiry, Giles nodded his head. “My father.” Then, glancing at the book, he said softly, “Continue.”
“February, 12, 1967. I received a most interesting phone call today from a young woman saying that she came from the town of Sunnydale in the United States. Her name is…” The shy redhead then paused momentarily, her face reflecting her disbelief. Then, seeing the librarian nod his head, she continued in a hushed tone, “Cordelia Chase…”