Chapter Eight - No Turning Back

Cordelia peered into the classroom and noticed that her science teacher, Mr. Barb, had left, but there was still one more person left in the room. She recognized him and realized that he was one of the college students that she had seen at a party once. It was on that day that she and Buffy were almost sacrificed to that huge ugly giant worm or whatever it was. He hadn't been one of the fraternity brothers, but as she noted his Armani ensemble, she could see that he was definitely of the well-off kind. He looked up at her when he heard the door creak loudly and saw her eyes scanning the classroom, and scanning him. His frosted blue eyes met hers and his charming smile made Cordelia blush.

"Yes, how may I help you?" he asked, his smile becoming even more refine by each passing second.

"Um, I was looking for Mr. Barb, but I guess he isn't here," said Cordelia with a hesitant smile.

"No, but he'll be back shortly. He just stepped out to run an errand, so please come in," he said with a welcoming motion.

"Oh, okay," said Cordelia as she walked in and sat down on a desk near him.

'The name's Colin, Colin Williams, how do you do?" he asked extending his hand to shake hers.

"Fine, thank you," she said, as she too, extended his hand, "My name's Cordelia."

"Cordelia, hmm. A very pretty name for an even more beautiful young woman," complimented Colin with a smile. "I'm going to be Mr. Barb's teacher's aide for this semester. It's part of my pre-teacher experience."

"Oh, really? You want to be a teacher?" she asked thinking that that had to be the most hardest and least paying jobs in the world. "That's gotta be pretty tough work, and well, Armani suits aren't that easy to come by on that type of salary."

"You noticed the Armani, huh? One of the many advantages of being pampered and stuffed for all my 19 years," said Colin. "And I guess it's because of all of that indulgence that I wanted to give back to society and do something for the good of mankind, and not just for myself. You are right though, it is a pretty tough job."

The door to the classroom opened up quickly and shut just as promptly. They turned to see Xander walking into the room and Mr. Barb had walked in before him. Xander noticed how closely Colin and Cordelia were standing next to each other, but he was silent. Cordelia eyed her boyfriend and felt uneasy that his usually blatant attitude was noticeably absent.

"Cordelia, I see you've met Colin," said Mr. Barb with a smile as he sat down at his desk. "Now, I hear you and Xander wanted to ask me more about the project I just assigned you..."

After Xander and Cordelia had left Mr. Barb's room, they had begun to walk home. The sun was on its way to setting and both walked in silence, which anyone could vouch was very odd. Ever since that spell, their relationship hadn't quite returned to normal. She didn't suspect that Xander remembered anything, and Xander wasn't about to tell her he knew everything. That lack of trust or information had caused things to be a little rocky between them, but Xander hoped that everything would turn out for the better, soon.

"Well, Xander, I guess I'll see you tomorrow," said Cordelia, giving him a kiss on the cheek once they were at her house.

"Yeah, tomorrow,' Xander said with a trying smile, and as he noticed that it was getting dark, and thought that the creatures of the night were probably stirring in their coffins.

He walked to his house, which was only a few blocks away, considering the small size of Sunnydale, the rich and the average were in one section. He heard the crickets stop chirping once he walked up the porch steps to his house, and he had uneasy feeling. As he nervously reached for his keys, he dropped them, but before he could pick them up, someone already had.

"Hello, Xander," said a voice in the dark, "Nice night, isn't it?"

"Yeah," he said glancing into the shadows as he recognized the voice instantly, "A very nice night, considering that I have a vampire on my front porch. What do you want, Angel?"

"It's not Angel, Xander, it's Angelus," he said as he stepped out from the shadows. "Angel's gone, remember? Now, you've only got Angelus to fight."

"What are you talking about?" Xander asked looking at Angel with cold eyes. "I've never fought Angel, and I've hit you, but as it seems, that's not considered fighting, especially if it didn't hurt."

"On the contrary, Xander, I seem to recall that you weren't very happy when our precious Slayer chose Angel over you," said Angelus with an evil grin. "I mean, Angel knew what you were thinking, and so do I."

"And what's that, Angelus?" asked Xander stiffly.

"That the slayer would rather be with someone she was born to kill than to be you," said Angelus as he continuously threw and caught Xander's keys.

"Well, Angelus, you're wrong," replied Xander eyeing the keys that fell and rose, "I didn't think like that. Buffy made her choice, and it was Angel. It was her choice to make and hers alone. It didn't make me love her any less and my opinion of Angel didn't change. Sure, I admit, I never liked Angel, but there's one thing I've realized now that you've arrived."

"What's that?" asked Angelus with a smirk, who couldn't' believe how sappy Xander sounded.

"That I hate you," said Xander calmly.

"Ditto," said a familiar voice, which caused Xander and Angelus to turn to see Buffy.

"Buffy, it's nice of you to join the party," said Angelus, "But you weren't invited."

"I didn't know I had to RSVP, but since I'm here, do you mind?" asked Buffy glancing at the keys in Angelus' hand.

"I don't know, Buffy, I'm kind of partial to these keys," said Angelus glancing at the glinting metal in his hand.

Buffy smiled at his joke before she kicked him in the stomach, causing him to fall and drop the keys. Angelus groaned as he tried to stand up, but Buffy kicked him again and tossed the keys to Xander. Xander fiddled with the keys and was able to open the door.

"Buffy, come on," said Xander hurriedly, and Buffy turned to look at Xander, giving him the expression that she wasn't going to runaway from a good fight, but when she turned to look at Angelus, he was gone.

"Wimp," muttered Buffy under her breath as she reluctantly walked into the Harris' house.

"Buffy, better to be a wimp than to be dead," said Xander jokingly as he closed the door behind her. "I speak from experience."

"That Angelus makes me so mad, I can't believe that he was ever Angel," said Buffy with a sigh.

"But Buffy, he was never Angel. I mean granted they look alike and have that whole vampire soul and no soul bond thing going on, but even Angelus makes out that they're two different people," pointed out Xander as he and Buffy sat down on the couch and he turned on the television set.

"I'm sick and tired of Angelus, let's not talk about him, anymore, okay?" asked Buffy glancing at Xander.

"Sure, Buffy," said Xander and he turned back to channel surfing, and then disgustingly turned it off. "There is nothing to watch, tonight! What are we going to do?"

"Well, we have two options," said Buffy, "One we could stay home and be responsible, young adults by beginning our science project for Mr. Barb or two, we could slack off and hang at the Bronze."

"The Bronze it is," said Xander standing up abruptly.

Buffy and Xander walked into the Bronze, which was its usually crowded self. They found Oz and Willow sitting in their usual table and decided to interrupt the cute lovebirds.

"Hi," said Buffy smiling at Oz and Willow, "What's up?"

"I thought you had patrol tonight, Buffy," said Willow, her eyes widened with urgency as she looked at Buffy and darted to the dance floor.

"Oh, really?" said Buffy, who looked at the dance floor in the corner of her eye, and once she saw what Willow had showed her, she was in a mad rush to get Xander out of there. "I guess I forgot. Xander, come on, we don't want to interrupt Willow and Oz's date."

"Willow, I am shocked at you for forgetting our patrol schedules. Tonight, Giles is taking over shift with Cordelia," said Xander, and then his mouth opened a little once he saw noticed the couple in the center of the dance floor, who were none other than, Colin and Cordelia. They were dancing rather close and tight and Xander held his composure as he continued, "Or not."

He stood watching them intently as they danced. They were dancing so closely that they were almost one whole, instead of two. It bothered Xander that they were dancing like that because he had never danced like that with Cordy before and there she was dancing like that with a practical stranger. But that didn't even compare to what happen to next that made Xander officially stunned and steamed. Colin, who was a five inches taller than Cordelia when she was in heels, bent his head down and kissed a very surprised dance partner. Of course, this very surprised dance partner didn't seem as if she wanted the kiss to end, and it lingered even when the music stopped.

Xander made sure that he was going to meet with Cordelia when she came from the dance floor. Colin separated with Cordelia and went to get them drinks and Xander walked towards a surprised Cordelia. She was taken back by his appearance there.

"Xander, what are you doing here?" asked Cordelia with wide eyes.

"I'd like to ask you the same question," he said.

"Let's sit down, we have to talk," she said as she and Xander sat down at a table a few feet away from where their friends sat.

"Who was that guy, anyway? That Colin guy?" asked Xander glancing at Colin who had kept his distance once he saw Xander.

"He's Mr. Barb's teacher's aide," said Cordelia with a smile, "He's really nice and sweet and smart."

"Everything, I'm not, right?" said Xander with a sigh.

"No, you're all that and more, but this thing between us isn't working out, and you know the reason why," she asked as she quickly glanced at the staring eyes of Oz, Willow, and who else, Buffy.

"No, Cordy, I don't know what you're talking about," said Xander, "Enlighten me."

"How do you expect us to be a couple if you are in love with Buffy? I mean, don't get me wrong Xander, I like you, but you don't like me, at least not that strongly," said Cordelia thinking of all the conflicts Buffy had caused in their relationship.

"Cordelia, you're coming off as if Buffy is the main factor of our problems," said Xander. "I'm with you, so I'm not about to go and try to woo her, or whatever you want to call it. I'm not like that, I know what commitment is, but apparently you don't."

"What?" she asked in amazement.

"You heard me, Cordelia, whatever that was, whatever we had, it was good for awhile," said Xander bitterly. "But I would never have pulled that kind of a stunt even if Buffy were my soul mate okay? Not like you have. It was good. Up until now, it was good, but now, it's gone." Xander stood up and walked away, and although he had done this countless of times to so many other things, he meant it this time. He wasn't going to turn back, especially since there wasn't anything important there to go back to.