Diversions & Digressions | fanfiction by mara

The Most Destructive Emotion

The Most Destructive Emotion

by Mara

Summary: Sometimes Vicki just doesn’t understand people. Especially Coreen.

Story Notes:
For Wiliqueen’s fandom_stocking. Written a bit hastily to meet the comm deadline, so I hope it’s okay 🙂

Continuity: Just after “Deep Dark”

Vicki wasn’t entirely sure why she was sitting in her office bright and early the morning after…well, the morning after the night before. But she was. Probably force of habit, even though she couldn’t imagine how she could work with visions of Asteroth occupying Coreen and Henry and Mike leaving going through her head.

She turned on her computer and did a few routine chores, sending out a bill, doing a few desultory searches for that missing husband case she’d worked on and off for weeks now. It was hard to keep her mind focused on anything for more than a moment. After a while, she found herself staring at the screen, idly poking at the Internet to see what happened.

The sound of the locked office door opening jolted her out of her reverie. Only a few people had keys to that door, so who–

Coreen looked like death warmed over, but considering that she *always* looked like death warmed over and spent a lot of money achieving that effect, it was hard to tell how she really was. “Hi,” Coreen said hesitantly.

“Hi. What are you doing here?”

That got a ghost of a smile. “I work here, remember?”

It wasn’t often that Vicki found herself speechless, but she leaned back in her chair and honestly couldn’t figure out what to say. How could Coreen…why would she…?

Coreen was puttering around the outside office, and Vicki could hear her turning on the computer, clearing some papers off her desk, and bumping into the filing cabinet corner for the eight millionth time.

“I’m going for coffee,” Coreen called through the open doorway. “Your usual?”

“No,” Vicki said, finding her tongue.

“Hot chocolate,” Coreen suggested, appearing in the doorway. “Lots of sugar. Good for shock. And chocolate’s always good.”

“No, I mean, you don’t need to get me anything.” Vicki stood slowly. “You don’t need to be here.”

“What? Just because we don’t have work right now? Not the first time. Besides, I need to file about a zillion files and books and defrag my computer.”

“You shouldn’t be here because it’s dangerous, damn it.” Her face was warm, blood pumping.

Coreen shrugged. “I’ve already been possessed by a demon and had my heart removed. It can’t get that much worse, can it?”


“Nope.” She grinned at Vicki. “It’s a little late to get overprotective.”

“I’ve nearly gotten you killed a dozen times. I got you involved in *black magic* and endangered your soul, for fuck’s sake. Take a hint and *go*!”

Coreen rolled her eyes. “Uh-huh. A little guilt goes a long way. Look, I knew what I was doing when we saved Henry and you didn’t exactly invite Asteroth in.”

“That’s not–”

“Mike and Henry are both gone, aren’t they?”

Vicki took a step back, sitting down abruptly in the chair.

Sighing, Coreen came into Vicki’s office and sat on the couch. “That’s what I was afraid of.”

Vicki managed a laugh. “What *you* were afraid of?”

“True.” Coreen sat there for a long moment, just looking at her. “Look, if they’ve both taken off, well, I don’t think it’s for good, but that’s not the point.”

“What is the point?”

“That if they’ve both run away, you’re going to need me even more.”

Vicki shook her head slowly. “You’re crazy, you know that?”

“Yeah, I know.” Coreen grinned. “Let’s be crazy together, okay? Who needs those nasty old men around anyway?”

Slowly, Vicki felt herself smile. “Yeah, who needs ’em?”

Okay, it wasn’t going to be that easy, Vicki knew. But hey, it was a start.


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