Title: Dash To Pele
Summary: Dawn has a plan; it doesn't go over too well.
"You told me these things were fucking peaceful!" Faith yelled as she dodged a fireball.
The flames burned brighter than any star in the moonless sky and tinted the beach orange. The Lavic demons that they were supposed to be trading scrolls with had turned a tad ugly. Specifically they grew from large red frogs in baggy crimson robes to massive, muscular, upright-walking toads with purple Mohawks. The four demons were belching fire as they appeared to be river-dancing around Faith. Her only advantage seemed to be that the demons were a head taller and she didn't need to duck until they started aiming.
Dawn frantically flipped through a spell book as she answered, "I thought these were! I mean, they were so cute in the book."
Faith yelped as her black tank top turned into a belly shirt as another fireball barely touched her when it flew passed, burning the shirt and leaving blisters behind. She tried again to sever something from the nearest demon but failed. They moved fast and the step-dancing blocked her moves.
"Yeah, the fire-breathing volcano frogs; totally peaceful makes a lot of goddamn sense." Faith bent backwards, letting one hand touch the ground, when a flame zipped by too close as she said, "Find the spell or quit fucking with the book and help me!"
She kicked up and launched herself feet first at the smallest frog toad. Her axe flew in a glittering arch to land in the demon's head when her feet hit its stomach, the momentum sending it crashing to the ground.
"I'm trying to! I'm not Willow or Kennedy."
"I can tell," Faith said to Dawn before she shrieked when a stray fireball skimmed her elbow. She pulled the axe out of the dead demon's skull and grinned even with the pain of her burn. She spun around and crouched as she swung the weapon toward another Lavic's legs. The demon hopped and she had to roll back into the circle, or rather triangle, of demons.
"I hate this damn sand and those damn rocks. Fuck! Is that glass?" Faith said looking at the scratches that the volcanic rocks made on her bare legs and the sand that covered her bleeding and blistering wound. "Oh, God, it's like burning red beans and rice on my arm! Fuck!"
"We're in Hawaii outside of a volcano, Faith. There's going to be sand," Dawn said before she blushed red. "Sorry, I think I found it."
Faith slid between a demon's dancing legs and had jumped up, throwing the axe in its back when she said, "Just do it."
Dawn raised one arm high as she juggled the heavy book in the other. The waves crashing along with Faith's frequent cursing and fighting almost drowned out the words. "Goddess Pele, protector of the islands, hear my cries. Shelter my warrior and guide her to victory. Stop the demons in their path, Pele, these worthless ones besmirch your name. Lead this Slayer to defend your honor! Please, hear me! Hear me!" She stiffened before falling to the ground, her dress tangling up in her legs.
The invocation's effect was instantaneous but less than spectacular; the demons' fire breath shrunk so fireballs turned into fire marbles. There were only two demons left and as they high-stepped faster and spit out fire with more desperation. Faith kicked the one on the left into its fellow. They landed in a heap, the once baggy robes now tight in their toad form constricting their movement along with their still kicking legs. She cleanly decapitated one and was about to make whale bait out of the other when it kicked, knocking her to the ground. She yelled as she fell, trying to scurry out of the way of its legs while dragging the axe. She lurched to her knees and raised the weapon, then brought it down, swift silver curve, into its wiggling torso.
"Faith, are you OK?" Dawn asked as she shuffled through the sand along side the Slayer. The other woman was quiet as she walked toward the ocean. Dawn snuck a peek at the burn wound on Faith's arm, "Is that glass?" She got no reply as she moved closer to the ocean which smelled like burned Faith and decaying vegetation while looking like grape soda. Her face looked caught between nausea and worry when she stopped as the waves licked at her silver toe ring. Faith kept walking out into the water, a grimace was the only sign she noticed the salty water or the sea weed hitting her many abrasions.
"Shouldn't we take you to a hospital?" Dawn asked. "Faith? You're starting to scare me."
"Remember those specials on sea otters that we watched on that nature channel?"
"Yeah, Willow loved those."
Faith frowned looking up at the moon before continuing, "Well, what did the otters do when they were injured?"
Dawn's eyes widened, "Seek a trained and licensed medical professional." She ran into the water yelling, "Fish use the ocean as a POTTY," as the dark slayer dunked under the water. "What the hell?"
Faith jumped up a minute later screeching, "Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Christ, that hurt like a son of bitch!"
"Why? Otters are related to beavers, which eat their own crap! They aren't the animals to emulate."
"I needed to clean it somehow," she said. Dawn threw her hands up before using one to grab a hold of her skirt and walk back to dry land. Faith forced a grin when she caught up with the other girl. "That was pretty stupid, huh?"
"I was going to baby you but if you're well enough to play otter, then I guess I won't need to hold your hand when I break out the peroxide."
"Yeah, the stuff that bubbles and stings."
Faith sucked in a dramatic breath. "Damn, throw in Wesley's patronizing attitude and Giles' Buffy-love and you'd be the best Watcher ever."
"How much time have you been spending with Xander?"
"I guess too much," Faith said as she lifted up her elbow and studied it.
"Why didn't he want to come to Hawaii with us?"
Faith laughed before flinching when she hit her arm against her side. "He told me, and this is, like, word for fucking word; after the plane ride over the Atlantic, he isn't going to cross an ocean until Asia and Alaska get their land bridge back, then he will ride pigs that fly into the sun which no doubt have already consumed Mercury and Venus."
"Did he go to the planetarium with Giles again?" Dawn asked, stopping to shake excess sand from the hem of her skirt and sandals. "Or did he get Willow going on about astronomy?"
Faith frowned and looked away toward the parking lot as they moved on. "That must be it."
"You probably ought to call him and describe the Honolulu nightlife. I mean you and Kennedy have club-crawled all over the place. Did you guys really go to Bingo Night at the senior center? Anyway, thank God that Shark Week and the chess tournament were on or we would have been bored."
"Oh, yeah, that was accident… Chess? On TV?" Faith cleared her throat, "And you watched it?"
"The Ocho is addicting. You got to watch the 'almost sports.'" She straightened her sundress after she stumbled. "Slayer and Watcher relations aren't fair. I mean you get a wound that would have me crying all the way to the hospital and you're already healing while I can't even walk through sand without tripping." Dawn laughed.
"One of the perks of being me."
"Do you know who Kennedy is dating?"
"Dating? What part of left field did that come out of?"
"Isn't that why Willow left? Kennedy started liking someone else? I figure she found some local at the beach." Dawn was moving ahead with her sandals slapping the ground as she spoke. "Isn't it horrible? Willow loses Tara and finally when she loves again, she gets cheated on. She seemed so sad when she called from Amsterdam. I like Kennedy, but you got to let go of one branch before swinging on another. Wow, I'm sounding like Xander, too. Wait, no, Uncle Rory."
"Really, wow, that's bad. I didn't think she was that deep with Kennedy, but anyway." Faith paused before catching up. "How was your date with that Japanese guy?"
"Hoshi? It was pretty good, but nothing special; Mexican food after a movie."
"No, that sounds special. What are you looking for?"
Dawn laughed, doubling up, letting the ends of her hair touch the sand. "My requests are simple; fabulous trip to exotic places where I'll feel the wind in my hair as we drive to a romantic dinner among Greek ruins and, of course, afterwards, candy." She said, watching Faith. "But really, my date with Hoshi would have been perfect, but I'm not into him."
"Thank God, we parked the car on the beach."
"I was useless," Dawn said frowning as she stirred the oatmeal inside the bowl and watched the brown sugar make swirls over the slightly undercooked oats.
Kennedy nodded. "Isn't that a great view; white sand, blue water, sky just going on and on and all in the backyard? Once we get out of our pajamas we ought to go running."
"My spell hardly did anything. I just stood there shaking in my sandals as Faith fought for her life."
"Did we even get those scrolls?"
"This was supposed to be the trip to bring me and Faith together. We were going to take walks on moonlit beaches, but no, I got her hurt because I hopped on a chance to go to Hawaii."
"Well, you two did get to be on a moonlit beach," Kennedy said as she pulled the peel off an orange.
"You're just saying that because you don't understand. You and Faith get to be Slayer sisters. You're always together. I never get a second of her time and when I do, I mess it all up."
"Do you know oatmeal is supposed to be puffier?"
"Why are you being so calm? Are you even listening?"
"How am I supposed to act? You're trying to have a jealous little girl fight and I'm not buying. Remember I am the brat here. I was listening; you had tried to impress Faith by being Faux Willow and it backfired. This is supposed to be your time to seduce my girlfriend."
Dawn blinked and her mouth hung before she said, "Girlfriend?"
"Faith suspected your crush and didn't want to hurt you." Kennedy sighed, "How about we discuss the food."
"Sure, um, my oatmeal is great."
"Yes, this orange is just full of vitamin C."