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Crash and Burn

Crash and Burn
By NautiBitz

Info and Author's Notes: See introduction.

"It's the weirdest thing," Cordelia said with a plastered-on smile as she brushed past Buffy. "I could swear loser-guy's car is still out there."

Buffy sighed. Not expecting the tornado that was Cordelia today, she hadn't had a chance to hide his car in the garage after she'd seen his note made of refrigerator magnet letters: STAYING OK. "He's in the guest house."

"Uh-huh," her smile stayed on, "And why are we sheltering the needy?"

"He was drunk, he had to crash. It's no big, Cordelia. Really."

She gasped, hand flying to her mouth. "You didn't--"

Buffy gawked at her, appalled. "No, I didn't!"

"Then you're absolved. For now." She charged through the house, Buffy at her side. "What happened with Parker? When I left you seemed pretty smoochy-smoochy."

"Nothing." She averted her eyes. "We talked some more and, he went home."

"Play-it-cool Buffy. Good for you. Now--" Cordelia hit the back room with its huge picture windows, and forgot what she was going to say.

Because suddenly, both girls were immobilized by the image of Spike in a towel, sitting down at a patio table to read the paper and munch on an apple, oblivious to their presence.

"It's... got a body," Cordelia said, shocked.

Buffy nodded slowly, transfixed. "It really does..."

"A really good body..."


Their heads tilted in unison.

"Everything looks so much better naked," Cordelia sighed.

"It really does..." Buffy agreed.

"All it needs is a tan," Cordelia assessed helpfully, "and an appointment with Fedeleo."


"My colorist."


Mutual deep sighs.

He scratched his chest. "Oh, I love it when guys do that."

Buffy snorted, "'Cause itchiness is such a turn-on."

"It's not the itch, it's the 'here's my ripped pecs, and I get to touch this salty goodness whenever I want. Don't you want that privilege?'"

Buffy took a breath. "Yeah-huh..."

"Whoa, whoa," Cordy started, peeling her eyes away from the spectacle. "Reign it in, Little Miss Carried-Away."

"No," Buffy backpedaled, snapped out of her hot-bod spell. "No, I meant, just in general, not him -- he's, annoying and a jerk. And -- psychotic! Plus, creepily obsessed with someone else."

"And lest we forget, a loser." Cordelia pointed at him lighting a cigarette.

Buffy scoffed, "You were just ogling his pecs!"

"I ogle at Chico the Pool Boy's pecs too -- that doesn't mean I'm gonna elope to Tijuana or wherever and have a million babies with him! God. You know what, honey?" She touched Buffy's forehead.

"What?" she sank back suspiciously.

"I think you're having PTSD."

"A what kind of STD?"

"PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disease. My mom got it after she had me."

"Isn't that post-partum--"

"You've got all the signs. Getting in cars with punk-rock freaks, chatting up granola nerds, helping the pointless... plus your hair is really flat."

Buffy touched her hair.

"I mean, you lost the uppermost prized possession in your life. That's bound to have an effect on your mental state."

Astonished, Buffy looked at her friend as if for the first time. "You know what, Cordy?"


"I just realized I don't want to be like you anymore."

Cordelia patronizingly patted her shoulder. "It'll pass."

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Title illustration by Mike Segawa
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