Title: Lesson Learned
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Spoilers: Nothing specific, just general Cordelia-ness of seasons 1 and 2 of Buffy
Summary: Xander recruits Buffy to give Cordelia the 'you need to be more careful from now on' speech.
"So... I've been thinking. Someone needs to give Cordelia the 'you need to be more careful from now on' speech."
"Sure, go ahead," Buffy said with a shrug.
"No. No, see, I meant someone, as in someone else."
Buffy gave Xander a 'look'. "You meant me."
"Yeah, I meant you. Or anyone but me, really."
"She's not my favorite person either, Xander, but she sort of like... fell into our laps. We kind of have to protect her now."
"So go protect her," Xander said, with his 'why are we still talking about this?' expression. "Give her the speech. You're good at speeches."
"You are good at speeches," Willow piped in.
"I am not good at speeches," Buffy said, a little scandalized.
"Okay so maybe not, but you're good at being stubborn and not walking away until you get your point across?" Willow said with a cute little smile. "Xander would strangle her, and I would give up the first time she told me to go away."
"That's true," Buffy said thoughtfully. "But what about Giles?"
"Giles is out with Ms. Calendar."
"So that leaves..."
"You," Willow and Xander said at the same time.
"Cordelia. Cordelia," Buffy called, and when she finally got the cheerleader's attention, she waved her over.
Cordelia rolled her eyes but jogged over to Buffy anyway. "What do you want?"
"Oh, you're welcome for saving your life," Buffy said with a smile, which quickly turned into a no-nonsense expression. "I need to talk to you."
Cordelia rolled her eyes again, and followed Buffy into the empty gym. "What is so important that I'm missing the beginning of practice?"
"You mean you're not perfect? You have to practice like everyone else?" Buffy gasped.
"Hi. This is me, leaving now," Cordelia said with a scoff, rolling her eyes yet again.
"You roll your eyes at me one more time and I swear to God..." Buffy said, her voice growly and threatening, but she didn't finish the sentence. Instead, she calmed herself down and started over. "It is important, Cordelia. You really need to start being more careful."
Cordelia looked around quickly, then leaned in closer to Buffy. "Why? Is there a vampire in here?"
"No, but after everything that's happened lately, don't you think wandering around alone at night is a bad idea?"
"I don't really wander, Buffy. I have places to go."
"So why not take a buddy?"
Now instead of an eye-roll, Cordelia raised her eyebrows. "You want to be my buddy, and like... walk me to my car every night? That's nice and creepy of you and all, but I don't really like you that much."
"Not me!" Buffy yelled, her voice echoing around the gym, sounding harsh when it came back to her own ears. "Not me," she said again more calmly. "Just... someone."
"It doesn't matter who. Just someone. So you're not alone. I mean... let's face it. Alone hasn't worked for you in the past few months, has it? You've been kidnapped how many times? And you don't even look over your shoulder, or think twice about going someplace unsafe. You're just not careful, even though you KNOW what's out there. And you don't even carry protection."
"Why?" Cordelia scoffed, finding Buffy mentally lacking. "In case one of the vampire thingies wants to have sex?"
Buffy's eyes bulged, her hands itching to wrap around Cordelia's throat, but isn't that why SHE was selected to give this heartwarming speech? Because she wouldn't strangle the stupid girl? "Not that kind of protection," she ground out through clenched teeth. "I meant weapons."
"Oh. Well, you might be okay with pointy sticks ripping through your cheap, unrecognizable-labeled bags or whatever, but this is LV. I'm n--"
"What?" Wide doe-eyes turned Buffy's way.
"You're not listening to me. It is DANGEROUS out there, and you need to start acting like you realize that. I might not always be there to rescue you, I might be doing something else, so you need to be careful."
"Why would you be doing something else if I needed rescuing?"
"Oh my God," Buffy said, turning around and taking a deep breath, then counting to three before spinning back to face Cordelia. "You are this close," she said, holding up two fingers about a centimeter apart.
"That close to what?"
"To making me lose my mind. Now promise me you'll start being more careful."
"I'm careful enough, thank you very much. You go out alone at night all the time."
"Cordelia I'm the SLAYER!" Buffy went so far as to stamp her foot, feeling her blood pressure rise. And rise. And rise.
"I don't even know what that MEANS," Cordelia snapped back. "You've never bothered to explain it to me. I'm late. Thanks for the heart to heart, but I can take care of myself."
"I mean it, Cordelia. Be. More. Careful." Or I'll kill you myself, she failed to add.
"Whatevs," Cordelia sniffed, waving dismissively over her shoulder as she exited the gym.
That very night, on her way to the library after slaying a few fiends, who did Buffy see walking across the parking lot by herself? That's right... Cordelia. "You have got to be kidding me," she mumbled to herself, and she quickly hopped the fence, landing in front of the cheerleader.
Cordelia shrieked and jumped backwards, stumbling and almost falling, but managing to stay on her feet. "Buffy you scared me! What gives?" She shrieked again as Buffy did this spinny kicky thing and stabbed a stake into a vampire that had apparently been creeping up behind her. As the vamp turned to dust, she brushed off her skirt - dirt color really did not go with yellow and burgundy - and smiled at Buffy. "Thanks."
When Cordelia reached for her car keys, Buffy grabbed her wrist. "I thought I made myself clear earlier when I told you to be more careful."
"Hello, you're touching me? And I AM being careful. I'm going home. What's more careful than that?"
"You were about to get dead, Cordelia. So I'm gonna say, oh, not that careful!" Buffy hissed. "What if I hadn't walked by just then? You'd be demon food right now!"
"You're way over-reacting, and you're hurting my wrist," Cordelia complained, trying to pull away.
"That's not all I'm gonna hurt," Buffy muttered under her breath, taking Cordelia's purse with her free hand and tossing it carefully onto the ground. She maneuvered the unnerved cheerleader toward the back of her car and pointed at the trunk. "Bend over."
"Uh, so there's this thing called weird, and you're pretty much being the queen of it right now," Cordelia said, looking at Buffy like she was totally and completely nuts.
"Uh, so there's this thing called stupid, and you're pretty much being the princess of THAT right now," Buffy said back. "And I don't intend to let you make it to queen. I can make you bend over if I have to, but you can have one more chance to make it easier on yourself and just do what I told you."
"No seriously, you're weirding me out right now," Cordelia said, and squealed when she found herself forced over the trunk of her car. "Oh my God, do you even know what you're doing right now? My father--"
"Your father isn't here to protect you, is he?" Buffy snapped. "No, that's right, he's not. Just me. Me and that dusted vampire over there, that was totally set on making you his dinner! I can't do my job if I'm always worried about watching your back even when it shouldn't need watching."
Cordelia struggled like hell, but Buffy had her pinned, and she wasn't going anywhere. "What are you going to do?" she asked, angry that she couldn't free herself. "Beat me up, like a big bully?"
"No," Buffy said, grinning from ear to ear as she flipped up Cordy's skirt. She was going to like this part. "Nice spankies. How appropriate," she smirked, but then scolded herself and schooled her features, giving Cordelia a good smack on the ass.
"Ow!" Cordelia yelled, calling Buffy all kinds of horrible names... but she stopped struggling and squirmed instead. "You've gone WAY past weird now, you're on to totally psycho!"
"Totally psycho that I want to keep your blood INside your body?" Buffy asked, frowning as she brought her hand down again.
"Ahh!" Cordy whimpered, putting her free arm behind her back, where Buffy was holding her other one. She wrapped her fingers over top of Buffy's hand and squeezed, closing her eyes. "Nobody goes caveman on me like this!" she protested breathlessly.
"Maybe THEY aren't tired of saving your ass over and over again when it could easily have been avoided if you'd just used some freaking sense," Buffy lectured, flexing her muscles and smacking Cordy repeatedly now, in a rhythm.
"Let me GO!" Cordelia screamed frantically, renewing her struggles, trying desperately to get away from Buffy. She was... scared, actually. Scared because it hurt, and scared because she couldn't get away, and scared because she liked that she couldn't get away. At least she didn't like that it hurt. But... liking anything about this was scary.
"Why, so you can go out and get yourself killed?" Buffy asked, tugging Cordelia's spankies down around her knees and then laying on the punishment over her underwear.
Cordelia gasped, shocked into submission for a few precious seconds, and then dug her fingernails into Buffy's hand, turning her head to try to bite the bitch on the arm. Her cheeks were flushed with embarrassment, and she couldn't reach anything to bite, and for the first time that evening, she really felt helpless. Why did that make her so wet? She prayed Buffy wouldn't notice. And it hurt. It hurt so much more without her shorts on. She didn't think Buffy was ever going to stop. And there was nothing she could do about it. She... she was Cordelia! She could talk her way out of anything! There had to be something. "How much money do you want?" she blurted out before she could think of a better tactic.
Buffy's eyes went wide. "What?" she asked, yanking down Cordelia's underwear and putting enough slayer strength into the spanking to make the girl cry out with almost every smack. But not enough slayer strength to break bones.
"I mean, I meant something else!" Cordelia shouted, tears streaming down her face, her ass completely on fire, and getting worse with every spank. "Please," she finally asked, defeated. "Stop, please."
"What?" Buffy asked. "Can't hear you." She wasn't quite ready to let Cordy off the hook just yet.
When it didn't stop, Cordelia's tears turned to strangled sobs, and she really thought she would have done ANYthing to get away. "Please!" she cried, her hold on Buffy's hand going from angry to desperate and needy. "I'm sorry, I am, I'm really really sorry!"
"Sorry for what?" Buffy asked, wondering if the girl even knew what she was apologizing for.
"Not being careful!" Cordy wailed.
"Does that mean you'll start being careful?"
"Yes!" Cordelia promised, her words slightly muffled due to her tears and rapid, shallow breaths, but she did promise. "I'll take a buddy with me ev-everywhere, just stop, please..."
Buffy kind of couldn't believe she'd gotten Cordelia to cry, but she didn't dwell on it. She stopped spanking and started gently rubbing instead. "I don't have time to babysit you and save the world too," she lectured just a bit more as she released the crying girl's pinned arm. To her amazement, Cordy didn't move. So, for lack of any other ideas, she just kept rubbing. She'd pretty much thought Cordelia would be up and scrambling for her car keys the second she was let go. She hadn't planned past that. "You can stop crying now. It's over."
Something rude and snappy never even formed on the tip of her tongue this time. Not after what had just happened. "I c-- it hurts," she said miserably. And they were both quiet for a long time. Finally she stopped crying and got herself together, and it became awkward that Buffy was touching her bare ass. She wanted... well, strangely enough, she didn't want to give up that affection, even though it got more awkward with each passing second. "I didn't mean to take up so much of your time," she said after a minute of debating whether to break the silence. "I know I'm selfish, but I didn't realize what my selfishness was doing to you." She laughed a little, then. "I guess that's what being selfish is, huh."
"Part of it, yes," Buffy said, continuing to be amazed. She wound down the rubbing until her hand was resting motionless on Cordelia's backside, and then removed it altogether. "You can fix your clothes now."
Cordy was afraid to pull up her shorts and underwear, but NOT pulling them up would be worse, so she squeezed her eyes shut and tugged them up as carefully as she could, relieved when it was over and she was properly dressed.
Buffy picked up the girl's purse and handed it to her, then watched as Cordelia got into her car. Before she could close the door, though, Buffy grabbed it and grinned at her. "Oh, and Cordy? Don't think I didn't know."
"Didn't know what?"
"I'm the slayer, honey. Slayer senses. I could smell you." And with that she shut the door, leaving a blushing Cordelia to sort herself out before she drove home.