punch_kicker15: (Anya)
[personal profile] punch_kicker15
Title: Inner Demon
Author: punch_kicker15
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Relationships: Anya/Cordelia
Summary: AU BtVS Season 4/AtS Season 1: Anya and Cordelia connect on the set of a cheesy science fiction show filmed in Vancouver.
Word count: 893
Notes: Written for femslash_minis, for brutti_ma_buoni, who wanted the pairing, post-Graduation AU setting, triumphant, and "a little demon in her"

Anya set down the bowls of curry, and adjusted the labels--Vegetarian, Vegan, Nut-free, and Soy-Free. Lulach said the actors could get very upset if they ate something they didn’t want to.

“Hey, do I know you from somewhere?”

Anya turned, a slight moment of panic that it was a former wisher with regrets or worse. And it was, sort of. Her hair was slightly shorter and lighter than Anya remembered, but the face was immediately recognizable. “Cordelia Chase,” she said.

“The one and only. Weren’t you Xander’s demon prom date?”

“Yes.” And then, remembering Lulach’s advice--humans don’t just converse to exchange information; they also want to exchange inane pleasantries-- she added, “I’m glad you weren’t maimed or killed in the Ascension.”

“Well, duh. It takes a lot more than a giant snake wannabe to take me out.” Cordelia tilted her head. “So why are you here?”

“Because Alien Hunter Squad hired a new catering service, and I work for them,” Anya answered.

“Is it a demon catering service?”  Her voice lowered slightly. “Is there something oogy in the butter chicken?”

“No!” But there had been two questions. “But also yes, sort of.”

Cordelia snorted. “Well, thanks, that clears things right up.”

It took a moment to parse that as sarcasm. “If you don’t want two different answers, don’t ask two different questions at the same time. Lulach cooks the food, and she’s a demon. But she’s cooking strictly human food. The butter chicken is completely demon-free.”

“Good to know.” Cordelia grabbed a plateful of naan and butter chicken. “Hey, after I finish shooting the flying saucer scene, do you want to go out and get some drinks?”

***
“How’d you wind up in the catering business?” Cordy asked, in between sips of her whiskey smash.

“Lulach’s an old flame. I ran into her on the way out of Sunnydale.”

Cordelia raised her eyebrows; Anya wasn’t sure what that meant, so she added, “We aren’t having sex any more. She doesn’t find humans attractive.” That rejection had been rather distressing, since Anya liked to think that under the human exterior, there was still a little demon in her. “Anyway, her human taste tester was killed in vampire attack on The Bronze, so she offered me a job.”

“You’re lucky to have a friend.” Cordelia downed the rest of her drink and shook the glass gently to signal for another drink. “I never thought being an actress would be so . . . lonely. The other actors are such snobs, because I’m the only one who doesn’t have any other TV experience. The writers are mad at me because I wanna have a scene where I kill an alien, and they don’t like pushback from their actors. Except for Sharon, because she’s sleeping with the head writer. And the crew is just plain standoffish. I heard that it was hard to make friends in Vancouver. I figured that was just whining from losers who couldn’t make a friend if their life depended on it. But the Vancouver Freeze is real.”

Anya downed her beer and murmured, “Yeah,” in what she hoped was a sympathetic tone. Then, “So do you want to have sex?”

Cordelia choked on her drink. “What?”

“We’ve imbibed alcohol together and shared personal anecdotes. Aren’t those preliminary activities for sexual intercourse?”

“Well, sometimes, but--” she closed her eyes, took in a breath, and said, “Oh, what the hell. I’ll try anything once.”

***
Anya tried a bite of falafel. Nothing burned her tongue or her throat on the way down, so she gave Lulach a thumbs up.

Across the set, Cordelia was talking to a dark-haired man. Anya couldn’t hear the words, but she could hear the agitation in her voice. This vexed her. Cordelia had been cheerful this morning, which was a good sign that the sex last night had been mutually satisfactory. It wouldn’t do to have some jerk here ruin the mood and the possibility of a repeat performance.

As she drew closer, she picked up the end of Cordelia’s tirade. “Sharon’s killed three dozen aliens, and Zack gets to kill an alien in this episode, and he’s supposed to be the hapless comic relief! Why can’t I ever get to kill an alien?”

The man looked familiar. “Jay Burnham. Your wife is Sonia Burnham.”

He gave her a contemptuous stare. “Uh, do I know you?”

“I know your wife. And she knows you’re sleeping with Sharon, and about all of your LA girlfriends, and all of your New York girlfriends. She wanted to wish a horrible fate on you, but she never had the guts.” It had been one of Anyanka’s most frustrating experiences--beaten out not by a fellow vengeance demon, but on the human belief in “forgiveness.”

“She--she said she forgave me. Why are you bringing this up?”

Cordelia didn’t miss a beat. “She might know everything and forgive you, but does Sharon know about all the other girls? Would she be as forgiving?”

Anya watched the beads of sweat form on his suddenly-pale skin, and could almost taste the fear. She said, “I think we might forget about it, if Cordelia could kill a few aliens now and then.”

He nodded, and Cordelia flashed a triumphant grin.

Anya smiled back. It was good to know that there was still a little of the demon left in her.
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