"Second Chance"

Written by Mark Moore

Author's note: This originated as an idea that I had for "Shadow Over Hellmouth", my Buffy the Vampire Slayer complete-series rewrite fic. Once I decided Harmony would no longer be vamped, this alternate ending to "Disharmony" no longer fit, so I'm writing it as an Angel one-shot. I wrote this story on Thursday, March 30, 2023, from 6:50 PM to 7:09 PM and from 7:22 PM to 9:12 PM. Enjoy!

The following story is copyright © 2023 by Mark Moore.

Harmony tossed Cordelia face-down to the floor. She rolled Cordelia over onto her back and found herself with a loaded crossbow at her throat. Harmony laughed.

"What's so funny?" Cordelia asked.

"Your crossbow. You got it aimed at my throat. You can be so stupid. That won't kill me."

"No, that'll just hurt like hell." Cordelia sat up and, with her left hand, pointed a second crossbow at her heart. "This one will kill you."

Harmony backed away from Cordelia as she got up, crossbow aimed at Harmony's heart.

"Okay. You're angry. And I don't blame you. I just, you know...and it's nothing personal. I'm evil. We're still friends, right?" Harmony asked, panting.

Cordelia tightened her finger on the trigger, and Harmony squeezed her eyes shut. Cordelia slowly lowered her crossbow, and Harmony hesitantly opened her eyes.

"We're still friends, right?" Harmony asked in a small voice.

"No, Harmony. We're not friends." Cordelia stared into Harmony's eyes. "Not at the moment. But maybe we could be...someday."

"Really?" Harmony asked, surprised.

"You were told to stick with me, and I would be your guide. That isn't just a temp gig. It would take time and effort on your part for you to regain my trust...and my friendship, but I'm willing to work at it, if you are. Are you?" Cordelia asked her.

Harmony nodded, starting to tear up. "Yeah."

Cordelia nodded. "Then let's go home."

Angel walked up behind Cordelia, ax still in hand.

Cordelia didn't look at him. "Don't say anything. Not a word."

Harmony turned and walked up the stairs.

Cordelia followed her. "Just drive us home. But stop at your place first. My new roommate requires a supply of blood."

Cordelia unlocked and opened the door to her apartment. "Dennis, lights."

The lights turned on.

Cordelia walked into the apartment, followed by Harmony. Harmony closed and locked the door.

Cordelia looked at Harmony. "Go sit at the kitchen table."

Harmony walked into the kitchen.

Cordelia went and tossed her purse onto the couch. "Hey, Dennis?" she asked quietly. "Harmony's gonna be staying with us...for the foreseeable future. I don't know if I'm making the right decision, so I need you to look out for me, okay? But please don't kill her unless you absolutely have to. She...means something to me."

Cordelia walked into the kitchen. Harmony was sitting at the table.

Cordelia walked over to the fridge. "Do you want something to drink?"

Harmony looked at Cordelia timidly. "Um...what do you have?"

Cordelia opened the fridge and tossed the bags of blood inside. "Cola, root beer, water, and some beer from Doyle."


Cordelia got two bottles of Guinness out of the fridge and closed it. She picked up a bottle opener off the counter and sat to Harmony's left at the table. She set the bottles down and opened them.

"Why are you doing this?" Harmony asked.

Cordelia set the bottle opener down. "If you have to ask that, you don't know me."

Harmony was hurt. "Well, I like to think I knew the old you. Of course, that was before I died and you moved."

"We drifted apart long before that, Harm." Cordelia took a sip of beer.

"Yeah..." Harmony took a sip of beer. "I'm sorry, again, about how I ostriched you."

"Your problem, Harmony, is you're a copycat, a lemming, a follower. You're easily impressionable."

Harmony frowned. "Am not."

Cordelia gave her a look of disbelief.

"Okay, yeah, maybe a little."

"You need to learn to stand up for yourself and not fall back into your old habits, like you did with Spike."

Harmony was stung.

"Despite what Angel and Wesley say, I think you can be reformed, but you have to do the heavy lifting yourself, and, above all, you must want to change."

Harmony thought about that. "I've already failed you once. What if I can't change?"

"Well, we'll see, won't we?" Cordelia asked. She took a few gulps of beer.

Harmony looked down at her bottle, worried.

"What do I mean to you?" Cordelia asked her.

Harmony looked at her. "What? You're...You're my best friend."

Cordelia frowned. "Yet you were perfectly willing to sacrifice me an hour ago. As I said, we're not friends. What do I mean to you?"

Harmony thought about it. "You're my teacher,"

"What would you do if you found me dead one day?" Cordelia asked her.

Harmony was surprised. "I'd - I'd be sad, of course."

"For how long?"

"Uh, forever?" Harmony guessed.

"You sure you wouldn't just sink your teeth into my corpse and drain me dry?" Cordelia asked.

Harmony was shocked. "God, no!"

"Why not?" Cordelia asked. "My blood would no longer be of any use to me. Show some damn initiative."

"I..." Harmony was confused. "I won't cross that line: drinking from a dead person. It's too icky, even for me."

"What if we run out of pig's blood? You get a craving, and I'm asleep."

"I-I wouldn't."

"Why not?"

"Because I couldn't live with myself."

"Oh, I'm sure you could. Try again."

Harmony thought for a moment. "Because it's not smart."

Cordelia tipped the mouth of her bottle toward her. "Bingo." She chugged the rest of her beer and set her bottle down. "'Turn two. The rest is food.' That's not smart. It's stupid and short-sighted. Say you vamps follow it through to its conclusion. Then what? If all that's left on this planet are vampires, what the fuck are you gonna do for food?"

"Oh, shit, I never even thought of that." Harmony gulped the rest of her beer and set her bottle down. She started thinking. "Maybe there's another way." She suddenly started getting a craving. "Blood."

"What about it?"

"I need some."

Cordelia stood up, walked over to the fridge, opened it, and took out a bag of blood. She closed the fridge and started searching for a pair of scissors.

Harmony vamped out. "I'll do it."

Cordelia tossed the bag onto the table and sat down. Harmony picked up the bag and bit into it, puncturing it. She drank greedily, satiating her bloodlust and quenching her lewd thirst. The bag was drained within seconds.

Harmony burped and dropped the bag on the table. "Thanks."

Cordelia made a face, grossed out. "No problem."

Harmony licked her lips clean with her tongue. "Y'know...this stuff's not bad at all. I think we could market it to all vampkind."

Cordelia smiled at her. "I'll leave the details to you, but...I'll be by your side."

Harmony reverted to her human face and smiled back at her.

The End