by Adrian Tullberg.
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She sat alone in the musty room, one leg gracefully extended in the air, rolling on the fishnet stocking. It was nearly eight in the evening - nearly time to go to work.
Buffy preferred to dress alone during this time, mentally steeling herself for the possible challenges at hand, the unpredictable events that could arise for this evening's attempt at earning the rent money.
Her mind cast back as she dressed, when she changed from student - to this.
Her college scores were inevitably low, due to her Slaying duties, even with Giles' most diligent tutoring and eloquent attempts at persuading the faculty to go easy on her. She still managed to survive after all this time, the oldest recorded Slayer in history.
Buffy knew that a paying daytime job was necessary for survival, but in this age of downsizing and over-qualification, her prospects were undeniably dim.
It was Xander who first raised the prospect, one night discussing the topic at her mother's house. He revealed a secret fetish for the whole sub-culture - which surprised absolutely no one. While everybody was digesting this possibility, he immediately tackled her, to prove how good she would be at it. Buffy was surprised at this - but immediately fell into the fray, out of a point of pride.
He lasted all of twelve seconds. While he recovered his breath, a still shocked Willow stated that maybe Giles would be better suited at teaching her the finer points of this possible new profession.
When the scholar first heard of it, he hemmed, hawed, and generally stuttered like a machine gun as he tried to persuade her to back out of it. However, Buffy's attempts at demonstrating how her Slaying abilities would be well suited to this new profession eventually broke through his defences and they began the extra tutoring that very night.
It only took a few months for her to prepare, soon leaving Giles spent, gasping and sweating after every training session. Willow would help in these sessions, after getting over her initial misgivings, reasoning that her friend could deal with anything after the Hellmouth.
For a change Xander performed the research, being a wealth of information in this regard. He found the most efficient means and method of entering 'the profession' , as Giles had termed it, since nobody else had an idea of how to go about it.
Buffy reasoned that Xander was her biggest 'fan', while looking for her clothes in her underwear. Her mother was shocked at first at the concept.
"I can't believe you'd do this!"
"C'mon, this is the nineties now! It's a lot safer than it used to be!"
"Oh really, how times have I read in the paper..."
The argument continued in this vein, until she got Giles to present his point of view in this matter. With the combined forces of the two, she eventually agreed, but still voiced her misgivings.
Buffy smoothed out the costume - garish red in colour - and found the black wig and plastic fangs. She immediately thought of Cordelia as she fitted the two items on her head. It was she who suggested that she adopt a new identity when she went out in public, because " - you know, there are people that know that we hung out together in High School, and I don't want people who know me know that I know somebody who - well, is doing what you're going to do. Unless you get really famous or something."
Giles agreed with that statement - if not the tact, blasting a long-winded lecture on tact and diplomacy down the phone for fifteen minutes straight. It was he who suggested the public persona of 'Carmilla', a cold, aloof queen of the night.
The people loved that cold queen, thought Buffy, as she struggled into the dress. Perhaps that was why Cordelia got so many dates, each poor boy thinking that it would be he that could melt her heart.
Buffy looked at herself in the full-length mirror, practicing the haughty look that Giles had taught her from his Oxford years of dating.
Satisfied, she went out into the corridor, high-heeled boots echoing in the empty space.
She walked toward a group of men, all impeccably dressed, still a surprise after what she initially thought of this industry. Still, it was a business, and presentation was always an essential part successful business. And this business was remarkably successful. Even as a relative beginner she was pulling in more money that she thought. Oh there were veterans that were pulling even more than her, but it was only a matter of time before she was part of the big leagues.
Her entourage opened the large metal doors, and she walked out, her walk a mixture of Cordelia's aloofness and a warrior's stride. A large crowd of people cheered and screamed at the sight of her, lights blazing, but she gave them nothing in return - she was a queen, a goddess that had descended from her tower to grace the unworthy with her presence.
Others in this industry used devices of leather, metal plastic - toys, really. Part of 'Carmilla's' image is that she used nothing but her own two hands. Another sign of her superiority. She never demonstrated how much she enjoyed, she craved the type of action that this industry provided. She had developed a taste for these kind of ... public activities, during this year, and quite honestly didn't know that if she could stop it now.
As she headed up to the centre of the vast audiorium, a voice spoke, like the tones of God himself.
'PREEESENTING - IN THE CAGE OF DEATH! - IN THIS WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION SPEC-TAC-ULAR! - THIS NO HOLDS BARRED GRUDGE-FEST! - IS THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT - CAR-MILLL-AAA!"
The die-hard wrestling fans screamed their appreciation. Buffy gave an inner smile.
Time to earn the paycheck.
Inspired by a Rolling Stone cover I saw in poster form recently.
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