What I did This Summer, by Brittany Pierce
"Are you going to hang out at my house again this summer?" Santana asked, smoothing the head Cheerio uniform that lay on her bed.
Brittany shook her head.
"I'm going to camp."
"Why?" asked Santana with distaste. "Camp is dirty and you have to run around."
"I have to," she said. "Mom says it's good for me."
"Whatever," said Santana, checking her nails for imperfections.
Brittany shifted her bag on her shoulder, and continued on her way through the Cleveland airport. Outside the barrier, she caught sight of a familiar redhead.
"Hi Willow!" she called, waving.
"Brittany! Hi!" the redheaded witch gave her a warm hug. "We're so glad you could come back to train with us."
"I told my friends I was at summer camp," Brittany admitted. "I didn't want to say I was at slayer school."
"It must be hard, keeping the fact that you're a slayer from your friends. You know, that you're super strong and heal fast."
"I'm a Cheerio," Brittany said, "They expect me to be above ordinary."
The Summers Academy for Girls was just as Brittany remembered it. The old red brick building had once been a large house, but now its rooms were sectioned off into classrooms and dormitories. A lot of the girls stayed there all year, receiving their education from the smart British guy, Giles. A few, like Brittany, had chosen to stay in their home towns, and receive slayer training only in the summer.
"I hope I don't get blood on my favorite shirt this time," Brittany said with a sigh. "It was really hard to explain to my mom. I had to tell her I got my period and had to use my shirt as a pad."
Her temporary roommate, Anna, blinked.
"I hate it when blood gets on my clothes."
Anna nodded, catching the train of the conversation again.
"It's the vamp dust that sticks to everything. Like, ew, dead vampire in my hair."
"Totally," Brittany agreed. "So when do we start the count?"
"I'm already at two. We went out yesterday."
"Hey, no fair," Brittany pouted. "I had to wait till the last Cheerios competition was over till I got here."
"Just remember," Buffy said. "When they first get out of their graves, vamps are kinda dumb. They have the advantage of faster reflexes, but they have less experience. Now, everybody got a stake?"
All the girls nodded.
"Ok, then," said Buffy. "Scatter. If you need help, scream."
Brittany pulled her favorite stake out of her back pocket. This year she had painted purple and pink flowers on it.
Beside her, another slayer in training, Sarah, stared at her.
"What did you do to your stake?" she whispered.
"I wanted it to look pretty," Brittany defended herself.
"But you're killing things with it."
They were interrupted by a vampire running full tilt at them. Sarah side stepped him, swiping at him with her foot. Brittany put in a few quality punches before the vamp started to gain his footing. He lunged at Sarah, his fangs inches from her neck. Sarah gave him a sharp jab in the stomach, while Brittany circled around and plunging her stake through his heart from his back. She drew it out sharply.
The vampire exploded into a cloud of dust, leaving Sarah and Brittany frantically brushing it off their clothes.
"I like pretty things," Brittany said, continuing their conversation as if nothing had happened.
"The sewers?" Vi complained. "I hate the sewers."
"There's alligators in the sewers," said Brittany.
"That's not true," Rona scoffed.
"I saw it on TV," Brittany argued. "It has to be true."
"The only nasties down here are vampires and demons," replied Mara.
"How is that better than alligator?" Rona demanded.
"Alligators can bite off your leg," replied Brittany.
"So can demons."
Brittany shrugged, conceding the point.
"Besides," continued Vi, "That's only in New York. Why would Cleveland have alligators in the sewers?"
"They can swim," Brittany reminded her. "Like demons. Do you think alligators are demons?"
"I think there could be alligator demons," Mara said.
"We should ask Giles," said Brittany confidently.
There was a rustling in the dark, a squeaking scuffling noise.
"Urh! Rats!" groaned Vi.
"You fight vampires but you're scared of rats?" Mara teased.
Vi made a face.
"Shut up, Mar. Demons are horrible and icky, but rats are downright nasty."
"They can gnaw through skin," said Brittany with conviction.
Brittany sparred lightly with Chao-An, exchanging practice blows to get the angle and placement correct.
"You wanna play for real, pretty girl?" asked a voice on the sidelines.
Both girls looked up. Leaning against the training room wall was a dark haired woman dressed in leather pants and a bright red, tight-fitting tank top.
"You're the girl from Lima, right?" she asked, as Chao-An nodded once to Brittany and left the room. "From right here in our very own state of Ohio?"
"Yeah," Brittany said.
"Right. You're one of the summer-slayers. Exchange kids. I'm Faith, by the way."
Brittany's eyes widened. She'd heard the stories.
"I'm pleased and scared to meet you," she said.
"I like your technique. I kinda want to see what you can really do. Care to spar with me?"
"Are you going to kill me?" Brittany asked. "Cuz I heard you tried to kill Buffy."
"I dunno," Faith said, beginning to circle the younger slayer as a tigress circles her prey. "You gunna be faster than B was?"
Faith threw a punch, and Brittany dodged.
"You got reflexes, girl!" Faith admired.
"I'm a cheerleader," Brittany explained. "My squad has won fifteen titles. If I'm not fast, I'm off the team."
"Plus natural slayer strength? You must be unstoppable, Barbie."
Brittany threw two punches, both of which glanced off Faith's shoulders.
"Brittany," she corrected.
"What I said."
She grabbed Brittany's arm, forcing the blond down into the mat.
Brittany bucked up, throwing her fist into Faith's face, and twisting out of her grasp. But Faith was too fast for her. Like lightning, Faith had Brittany back down on the mat, pinning her there with her own weight. Faith leaned over her, and grinning.
"Gotcha, Barbie," she said.
"But why would a care bear be a demon?" asked Amanda, hugging her rainbow coloured bear close.
"Think about it," said Brittany. "They have special powers."
"And they're multi-coloured," Pryia jumped in.
"Are demons multi-coloured?" asked Anna.
"They can be," said Vi.
"Care bears are not demons!" Amanda's voice rose an octave. "Buffy, care bears aren't demons, are they?"
Buffy just rolled her eyes.
"The sewers again? But we were on sewer duty last week," groaned Kennedy.
Giles glared at them.
"Nobody enjoys it," he said sternly. "We all have to take our turn. Kennedy, you take Anna, Vi, Michelle, and Brittany. Check in every hour."
"G-man!" called Xander. "Can you come look at this?"
"I asked you not to call me that, Xander," Giles said, annoyed. He wandered over to where Xander was standing.
Brittany leaned over to Anna.
"I think Mr. Giles might be evil," she whispered.
Anna looked surprised.
"All the villains in movies are British."
"Watch out for the tentacles!" Kennedy shrieked.
Brittany dropped down to the ground, the tentacle grazing her shoulder and leaving a stinging wound there.
"Cut off its head!" Michelle shrieked. "Quick, before it respawns!"
"This is not video games!" Anna bawled at her, swinging her sword around.
Michelle grinned, grasping to tentacles and tying them together.
"We're slayers! We live video games!" she yelled above the din.
"On three!" Kennedy yelled.
It was just like a Cheerio formation. As a unit, they moved in on the demon, trapping it. It lashed out with its tentacles, but it didn't have many left.
Anna was the one to make the fatal blow. As she punctured the demon's body, spurts of slime gushed forth, covering all five girls in a sticky, luminescent goo that smelled revolting.
"I hate the sewers!" wailed Vi.
"Is it really time to go already?" Brittany asked. Where had the time gone? A whole summer had slipped through her fingers in a haze of slaying and lessons and laughter with her fellow slayers.
"You'll be back next summer, won't you?" Anna asked.
"Of course. Killing things is way more fun than summer camp."
"What did you do in the summer while you didn't have Cheerios and Glee to occupy your time?"
Brittany blinked at the camera shoved in her face. It was that weird Jewish kid, Jacob Ben Israel. She considered his question for a moment, wondering how much truth to put into her answer. Finally, she settled on something that was close.
"People think I went on vacation, but actually I spent all summer lost in the sewers."
Which was mostly true.