"Wow, is it just me or do you have the hot British guy following you around?" Santana asked, fanning herself with her hand. "I wouldn't mind a piece of that."
Brittany glanced over her shoulder, where the new exchange student, Colin, was watching her over the edge of his book. He had arrived in Lima a week ago, and promptly showed up at Brittany's door, claiming to be her watcher.
"What are you going to watch me doing?" Brittany asked, cocking her head in confusion.
Colin had blushed right to the roots of his dark brown hair.
"That's not… I'm here to train you to kill vampires," he stuttered. "Nothing else."
"Aren't you a bit young to train me? You're my age," Brittany asked. "I thought you'd be an old man, like Mr. Giles."
Colin puffed out his chest.
"I was trained by Rupert Giles himself. I'm here to oversee your training as a slayer and to help you avert demon-induced apocalypses."
Brittany considered this for a moment.
"We're going to tell people you're my math tutor, ok?"
So here he was, going to her school and pretending to help her in math. Which wasn't always a lie, because she really did need help in math. Apparently, colours did not factor in math problems… who knew?
Colin caught Brittany's eye and got up, coming over to her and Santana.
"Are we still studying after school, Brittany?" he asked in his precise English tones.
Brittany shook her head, her pony tail bouncing behind her.
"Can't. Coach Sylvester says I have to join the Glee Club and be a spy."
"Can't you say no to her?" Colin asked, annoyed. "We have more important things to do. Like…" he glanced at Santana, who was listening intently. "Like your algebra homework," he finished lamely.
Brittany looked blankly at him.
"Say no to Coach?" she said, shaking her head at the impossibility.
"Fine, just… meet me outside the music room after Glee practice, alright?"
"What are you going standing out here?" Rachel demanded suspiciously. "Why are you listening to us? Who do you work for?"
Colin jumped away from the wall, and dropped the heavy demonology book he had been reading.
"I, uh, I'm waiting for Brittany," Colin stuttered. "I'm her maths tutor."
"You're the new exchange student, aren't you?" Mercedes asked over Rachel's shoulder.
"Colin Albright," he introduced himself, fiddling with his glasses.
"Can you sing?" interrupted Kurt, peering through the doorframe behind the two girls.
"Good, because if we don't have twelve people for sectionals, we're disqualified," Kurt seized Colin's arm and dragged him inside the music room. "Bass or tenor?"
Kurt grinned widely.
"Perfect. Hey Mr. Shue! We've got another volunteer."
Brittany spun into a perfect kick, pushing her force out, just as Colin had taught her. The punching bag swung once on its chain, and then the stressed metal snapped, the bag falling with a loud thump to the ground.
"Oops," she said. "Colin? I think I killed the punching bag."
Colin hadn't even looked up. He was sitting with his head in his hands, his homework for once abandoned.
"I can't believe they dragged me into a singing group. A singing group!" he wailed. "I'm a certified watcher with the Watcher's Council. This is humiliating."
"Colllllin," Brittany whined. "I slayed the punching bag and now I've got nothing left to hit!"
Colin glanced up, and saw the pile of leather and stuffing that had once been a punching bag.
"Oh yes. Well, never mind that. We're going to move on to practicing your axe skills anyways."
"We are so going to lose sectionals," Brittany said, between dodges of the vampire she was fighting.
The vampire leered at her.
"Always wanted a taste of a cheerleader," he laughed.
Brittany threw a kick, then swung around to thrust her stake through the vamp's heart. He crumbled away to dust, leaving Brittany standing alone in the parking lot.
"I don't know," said Colin thoughtfully, detaching himself from the shadows of the school. "I think we've got a fair chance. We sounded pretty good today."
"Yeah but Vocal Adrenaline is way better," Brittany reminded him. "They're like the Cheerios of glee clubs."
"Hm," replied Colin. "I wonder if their coach is a singing demon. There's no way they're that good on their own."
Brittany's eyes sparkled.
"Can we find out? Please? He needs to be slayed."
"Slain," corrected Colin absently.
"So, apparently Vocal Adrenaline did have demon influences," said Colin thoughtfully. "I wasn't actually expecting that. I was actually half joking."
"Told you," said Brittany. "Told you the coach was a demon. My demon senses were tingling when they sang."
Colin stopped walking and turned to her in surprise.
"Why didn't you say so before?" he demanded. "We could have stopped that coach from drugging his team with demon energies ages ago!"
"I thought it was tingling cuz they were so good!" Brittany argued. "Sometimes stuff tingles, ok?"
Colin fought a blush.
"Really Brittany! But it's good we stopped them, anyways. Who ever heard of using demon energies to win a competition?"
"Don't say that too loud," Brittany warned. "Coach Sylvester will hear, and then make the Cheerios take some." She swallowed a giggle.
Colin smiled in return.
"She is rather insane. I had her checked out though. She's not a demon. She's pure human, she's just insane."
"So do you think we have a chance of beating Vocal Adrenaline now?" Brittany asked, twirling her stake absently between her fingers. She had painted it with purple and pink flowers in art class the other day. Colin had refused to comment on how pretty it was.
"I don't know," Colin admitted. "Even without the magicks, they're still pretty good. Maybe better than we are."
"Then I guess we'd better stop slaying and start singing," said Brittany.
"That was pathetic! I've seen better routines from a gang of trained monkeys at the circus!" shrieked Sue Sylvester through her megaphone as the last pyrotechnics display sparked out. "Do it again, and this time, actually try."
The assembled Cheerios groaned, and climbed off one another to go back to their starting positions.
"I think I've bruised a bone," Santana complained, brushing dirt off her red and white Cheerio uniform.
"We both know broken bones are no excuse," Quinn said, staring straight ahead with a look of absolute concentration on her face. "You ready for the catch, Brit?"
But Brittany wasn't paying attention to her friends. There was a tingling in the back of her mind. And that either meant she was hungry, or that demons were near. She glanced over at Ms. Sylvester, who was still screaming at the marching band.
"I have to go to the bathroom," she announced. "Think Coach will notice, if I hurry?"
Santana stared at her in disbelief.
"Did you drink a whole slushie cup again? I told you not to, after what happened last time. You know you have a bladder the size of a pea and if we have to toss you… it won't be pretty."
The tingling was getting closer, and more than one of them. Brittany nodded at Santana.
"Yeah, I drank a whole slushie again."
Quinn was examining her immaculate nails.
"Well you'd better hustle or Ms. Sylvester will be down on all of us."
Brittany took off at a run, headed for the change rooms. As soon as she was out of sight of the football field, she changed direction, towards the abandoned parking lot. Cheerio practice had gone overtime tonight in preparation for an upcoming competition, and the school was all but empty.
As she neared the parking lot, the tingly feeling got stronger. There were two moderate sized demons digging a hole right in the middle of the pavement, with another, larger demon holding a frightened student in each huge, clawed hand.
"Hey!" Brittany called, readying her stance. "Don't you know it's dangerous to play in the street?"
The demons turned to her. The large one holding the captives licked his lips in anticipation.
"Oh look. More guests. Boys?"
The two digger demons dropped their shovels and rushed at her.
Brittany reached into her pompom and withdrew the knife she kept hidden there. As the first demons came at her, claws drawn, she sidestepped him, grabbing him by the neck and wheeling him around so that the second demon's horns plunged straight into him, spattering Brittany with black demon blood. Throwing aside her demon shield, Brittany clutched her knife, ready for the second demon to attack.
The demon shook his fellow's intestines off his horns, his eyes red with bloodlust.
"You're going down, pretty cheerleader."
"Don't you know where you are? This is McKinley High. I'm not just a cheerleader, I'm a Cheerio. And you're making me miss practice."
She blocked the demon's swipe, and swung around, delivering a roundhouse kick to the back of the head. The demon staggered, stunned by the impact. In his moment of disorientation, Brittany swept his feet out from under him, then brought her knife down to pierce his heart.
The demon gave a gurgling sigh, and then died.
Brittany jumped to her feet, ready to face the final demon.
"Slayer," the huge monster hissed, sounding delighted. "So glad you could join our little coming out party."
"Only earthworms had better be coming out of that hole," Brittany said surveying first the gaping hole in the pavement, and then the terrified captives.
The demon let them go, and the two students took off running.
"I was going to use these pathetic drones as a sacrifice," the demon admitted. "But the blood of a slayer will do just as well to open a hellmouth. Better, in fact."
"Blah blah blah, you're an evil genius. Can we get on with the fighting now please? I'm missing practice."
"As you wish," said the demon. He took a deep breath, and blew a column of flame at Brittany. She dove out of the way just in time to avoid a singeing. A quick roll, and she was back on her feet. But without her weapon. Looking around, she realized that she'd dropped it to avoid the fireball, and now the demon was between it and her.
"Never let go of your weapon," she muttered angrily to herself as she remembered one of Colin's rules that he repeated over and over to her.
"What are you going to do now, slayer?" the demon chortled, advancing on her.
Brittany's mind whirled. What could she do? She was without a weapon, and the demon was coming closer to her every second. In adversity, Glee club and Julie Andrews had taught her to sing.
Mostly to calm herself against her imminent death, Brittany took a deep breath and began to hum.
The demon stopped in his tracks, wincing in pain.
"What is that awful noise?" he demanded.
Brittany took a step forward, breaking from her hum into one of the Glee songs.
"Don't stop believing," she sang. "Hold on to that feeling."
The demon had his clawed hands pressed over his ears now.
"No! Stop that infernal noise!" he demanded. He dropped to his knees and howled in pain.
"Some will win and some will lose, some were born to sing the blues. Oh the story never ends it goes on and on and on and on," sang out Brittany, her voice getting louder with each note as she advanced on the cowering demon.
"Noooooo!" wailed the demon. The pressure was too much for him, and his head exploded, showering Brittany in demon guts. She held up her pompoms to shield her face, but it didn't do much good.
Brittany glanced down at her blood- and gore- spattered Cheerios uniform.
"Great," she muttered. "That's going to take forever to wash out."
Colin looked up from his books as Brittany walked into the room.
"You're back early. How was Cheerio practice?" he asked, pushing his glasses further up his nose.
Brittany dropped her gore-covered pompoms onto the floor and collapsed into a chair.
"I don't want to talk about it," she said.
"So, is Colin your boyfriend or what?" Santana demanded.
"Colin? You know, hot British nerd you have following you around all day. Are you two together or what? Come on, I'm your best friend. Dish a little!"
Brittany wrinkled her nose.
"Go out with Colin? Ew. That's weird."
"Cuz I've got me a liking to him," continued Santana. "But I didn't want to step on your toes if you were already tapping that."
Brittany shook her head.
"Nope. All your, Tana."
Santana sat down on the edge of Brittany's bed.
"Brit, what's gotten into you?" she asked, her voice softening. "I hardly see you any more, except at practices. Midterms are way past, but you keep studying. I thought it was this Colin guy, but if it's not, then what is it?"
Brittany considered this problem for a moment.
"Ok," she admitted. "He's my boyfriend. I didn't want to tell anyone because he's a nerd."
Santana looked hurt.
"I'm your best friend, Brit, and you couldn't tell me? Even when I asked right out? What's happened to you? You hang out with nerds, you skip Cheerio practice, and the other day I found a knife in your backpack. It's like I hardly know you any more, Brit."
"I had to tell them you were my boyfriend."
Colin's head shot up from the book he was bent over.
Brittany sat down beside him, flicking idly through one of the demonology books he had spread over the table.
"I had to. Santana started asking why we hang out so much. Nobody hangs out with their math tutor that much. So I told them we were dating."
"But that's not even a little bit true!" Colin stuttered.
"It's not like we actually have to date," she reminded him. "Besides, now that Quinn's pregnant, nobody will care about us."
"Oh yes. I heard that around the school. Is she really dropping out of the Cheerios?"
"Has to," said Brittany. "What if the stork comes while we're at a competition? There'd be no place for it to land."
"Er, stork, Brittany?" Colin asked.
"You know. The stork," Brittany shook her head in amusement. "Don't you know how babies are born?"
Colin looked at her blankly for a moment, then awkwardly patted her arm.
"I'm very glad we're only pretending to date," he said to her.
"You didn't have to come with me to Chicago, I can go by myself," Brittany reminded Colin.
Colin shook his head.
"It's my duty as your watcher to deliver you safely to the Summers Academy for the summer," he said. "Ergo, I am personally seeing that you're passed on to Willow Rosenburg."
"I thought Eggos were for breakfast," said Brittany. "It's lunch time."
Colin just patted her arm with a resigned sigh.
"Come on," he said. "The baggage claim is this way."
They collected their bags and hurried to the arrivals gate, where sure enough, a worried looking redhead was waiting for them. Willow broke into a wide grin when she saw them.
"Brittany!" she called, rushing to the slayer and giving her a hug. "How are you? How was your year?"
"It was great!" Brittany said. "We lost at Regionals, but we still get to be a club next year."
"Er, that's great," said Willow. She glanced at Colin.
"Well, she's still alive and the world didn't end," Colin summed up.
"Giles will want to brief you, and then you're on holiday for the next two months."
Colin gave a huge sigh of relief. The idea of a holiday was heavenly.
"Don't forget to report to the Watcher's School in two hours," Willow instructed, handing him his key card.
Colin nodded, then glanced at Brittany.
"Goodbye, Brittany," he said, holding his hand out for a formal handshake.
Brittany flung herself at Colin, wrapping her arms around him and nearly squeezing the life of out of him.
"Bye! See you in September!" she said.
The look of mixed resignation and horror on Colin's face made Willow burst out into giggles.