Chapter Four - Never the One


"Are you sure, Cordelia?" asked Xander with a sigh as he cradled the phone against his shoulder why pouring himself a glass of milk.

"Of course, I'm sure, Xander," she said with a sigh after some repetitive coughing, "Go to the dance with them. Just because I'm sick doesn't mean you can't go."

"But you not going to a school dance seems wrong somehow," He replied placing the carton back into the refrigerator and closing the door.

"Yeah, but Xander not going to a dance won't make a difference, now would it?" retorted Cordelia straightforwardly.

"Well, if you put it that way - " Xander began, but he stopped, "Look, Cordy, just try and get better, huh? I mean, who else am I going to argue with at school, and let's not forget, kiss and make-up with?"

"It's not like I'm Buffy and can just slay this cold!" said Cordelia with a laugh. "Hey, what's up with her and her clothes nowadays anyway? Don't you remember that thing she wore a few days ago? You know that blue thing?"

Xander ignored her comments of Buffy, like he always did and with a sigh he said, "Just get better, huh? And I'll see you as soon as I can."

Before he could hang up, he heard Cordelia's voice say, "Go to the dance, Xander! You don't have to stay home on my account."

When he did hang up, Cordelia sighed, and felt her head throb from her head cold. She not only felt awful, but she knew she looked just as awful. Dropping her head onto her large white pillows, Cordelia couldn't help, but wonder if Xander was going to the dance or staying home? She knew that despite all of what she had said to him to make him go the dance she wanted to think that Xander would do something romantic like stay with her and help her get better. Cordelia shook her head and knew that although Xander could be romantic, he wasn't when it came to her most of the time, and most of time she even wondered if he knew if she was alive.

She yawned and thought that having a nice early nap would help her get better. Still, her thoughts were of Xander and Buffy, and she was so worried about all of that that she fell into a troubling dream. A nightmare for her, but she knew that it was a dream beyond dreams for her boyfriend who was in love with someone else...

...As she walked into the building, she realized that the Bronze was a little more smoke-filled than it had been usually, but considering that the dance was being held there, it wasn't unusual. Oz and his band, "The Dingoes Ate My Baby" played a slow song and Willow, as usual, was gazing at Oz with a dreamy expression. She was now an official groupie, and she didn't mind that she didn't get to dance because her boyfriend was in the band, more or less because she didn't like to dance. Meaning, that she thought that that was a plus in her new relationship.

Cordelia peered at the table, noticing that Willow wasn't alone, and that Xander and Buffy were seated beside her, laughing. She walked towards them, but when she sat down at their table, she was surprised that they didn't even notice her.

"Hey, guys, I came!" Cordelia said in her normal voice, but still no one saw her there.

"Buffy, what do you say to dancing?" asked Xander suddenly, standing up from his seat, and she saw Buffy smile.

"I don't think so, Xander, I - " Buffy began as she shook her head.

"Go on, Buffy, dance with him," Willow said, tearing her eyes away from Oz for a moment to urge her friend to dance with Xander.

The slayer sighed and smiled as she stood up, "Sure, I'd love to dance with you."

"Yes, Buffy, very enthusiastic," said Xander with a chuckle as he and she walked to the dance floor.

Cordelia frowned and scrutinized Buffy's clothing like she always did. That night, she was wearing a sleeveless dress made of a chiffon material of lavender, like Cordelia had seen earlier that day in a fashion magazine. For the first time, Cordelia had no criticism and that scared her, so she turned to give Xander a look, thinking she had to find something wrong with Xander's clothes, she always did. Tonight was no exception; Xander had on all white and stood out in the crowd. Then she realized that it didn't matter that he stood out, he actually looked good!

Noticing that no one knew she was alive, she followed them to the dance floor and was dying to hear their conversation. She resented that they always talked to each other, and it seemed, about everything. Xander went out on vampire patrol with Buffy far too many times than Cordelia would have liked. Next to zero would have been a better preference for her. She stood idly by, close enough to hear them, but far enough so that she didn't feel weird just standing there.

"So, Buffy, do I even get close to being your White Knight of your dreams?" Cordelia heard Xander say to her.

Cordelia remembered hearing Willow tell her about Buffy's dream of the White Knight. Willow had joked that Xander had thought that it was himself before she had even begun explaining.

"Well, he did dance closer," said Buffy with a light smile, and Cordelia's eyes widened in shock as she saw them dance so close that there wasn't even air between them. "Something like this, yes, but something's missing."

"That tramp, she wouldn'tů" said Cordelia under her breath and towards Xander she said, "That two-timing jerk, why I outta - " Despite her angry remarks, Cordelia stood her ground and waited for the scene to unfold.

"You mean, this?" Xander said and then their lips met, slightly hesitant, and then they pulled away and just looked at each other. Their pounding hearts seemed to echo in Cordelia's head and just when she thought their pulses had slowed, they kissed, again, and this time even longer than before.

Cordelia's jaw dropped, she had anticipated it, but she hadn't prepared for it. She was feeling very angry for two reasons. The first, Buffy and Xander, her boyfriend, had kissed each other, not once, but twice. Secondly, Xander had never kissed her like that, ever, and coming to the second reason, she sighed. A wave of depression hit her, as she realized he probably would never kiss her like that, a kiss with such passion that it meant love...

...She sat up right as she heard a knock on her door, and she walked to the door wondering who there. The crazy dream was still clear in her mind when she opened the door. She brushed her hair away from her eyes as she saw who stood in front of her, Xander Harris.

"Xander, what are you doing here? Aren't you going to the dance?" she asked with a surprised tone.

"No, I'm not going to the dance. What kind of an insincere boyfriend do you think I am, Cordy?" he asked with a laugh as he walked into her room, all the while holding a bag of rental tapes and a large bag of popcorn.

"The sweet kind," said Cordelia smiling as she began to look through the various videos that he had rented and decided which one she should complain about.

As they watched the movie, she still didn't feel at ease with the dream she had, although it was just a dream. She couldn't get rid of the mental picture of Xander and Buffy...kissing. Cordelia feared that it would cease to be just a dream, and would soon spill into reality. Sure, Xander was being nice and was lately being romantic and showing major concern over her, but what value did she have in Xander's heart? Was she number two or number three? The possibilities were endless, but eliminating a number out of the possibilities was easy. Cordelia knew that she could never occupy that reserved number in Xander's heart, a soft spot where Buffy would always remain, the number one.