Want Take Have: Book 2 So I'm the Slayer, Who Are You
I'm the Slayer. My girlfriend is a vampire. Did I mention Slayers kill vampires? Probably vampires aren't too fond of Slayers either…
Brittana x Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rated M for violence and some smexy times…Snixx is coming…
A/N: Be warned, this is a little like the turn from BtVS S1 to S2...little darker...also, if you were counting on your BtVS knowledge to tell you what's gonna happen next...guess what...jumping the track...big time...hope you like it.
The blonde pulled shut the bathroom door behind her and her long legs stepped unsteadily into the shower. She placed her forehead against the cold tile wall and her fingers moved to twist on the water. A short blast of cold was quickly followed by warm then hot water; the room slowly filled with heat and steam. She let the water rush over her, her blue eyes closed wearily. Before she realized what was happening, hot tears and hot water ran down her face. She heard herself sob and clamped her hand over her mouth shooting a look at the bathroom door. Squeezing her eyes and her mouth shut, she felt her body shake as she attempted to hold back the emotions that had balled themselves tightly, tumultuously, in the pit of her stomach.
There was a small puff of cool air from behind her as the shower door opened and closed. The blonde turned her head and opened her mouth to speak, "S-"
Her words were swallowed by the shorter woman's kiss. The taste of salt caused the brunette to stop, searching the taller woman's face. "It's okay. She's fine." She watched as the blue eyes filled with tears again.
"But what if-," the blonde replied, frowning.
In answer, the brunette stood on her tiptoes and kissed the blonde again. Her fingers tangled and pulled the blonde's fine hair, as if insisting she stay with her here in this moment and not the past or what-if futures. She gently kissed her top lip, her bottom lip, and then pressed with both her lips, deepening the kiss and brushing her tongue against the taller woman's mouth. She pressed forward, both her tongue and her body, stepping between the blonde's long legs.
The blonde whimpered, opening her mouth to the faintly sweet taste of wine on the tongue that grazed the roof of her mouth, causing her to shudder. The kiss, at first deliberate, reassuring, slowly built in tempo until the two of them struggled to pull steamy air into their lungs. The blonde's fingers pressed firmly into the muscled back and ass of the brunette. Her mouth fell open, breath ragged, as the brunette simultaneously raised the blonde's leg, wrapping it around her waist, and hungrily tasted the pale skin of her neck.
The brunette's fingers held back the blonde hair, affording her lips, teeth and tongue better play on the taller woman's neck. Her lips trailed downward, slowly, languishing over each new territory lovingly. The blonde's head rolled back suddenly, knocking against the tile behind her as the brunette's lips attached themselves to her breast. She pulled the brunette into her with the leg around her waist and her eyes fluttered closed. "Shelby," she sighed.
Holly lay propped on pillows in her bed, watching Shelby pile thick wet hair atop her head and secure it with an overtaxed clip. She looked down at her own hands, still red and raw from scrubbing. Her stomach reeled at the flashed vision of Brittany's blood dripping from these same hands only hours before. Although her hands had been rock steady aiming at Santana's heart with her crossbow; although there was no hesitation in acting on her rudimentary first aid knowledge and pressing her hands into Brittany's wounded flesh until they arrived, desperate, at the emergency room; at this moment, clenching her hands into tight fists didn't stop the trembling. She shook her head, trying to dislodge the sights and sounds of the emergency room and the unnatural pallor of Brittany's skin that had made her fear the worst.
Waiting for word from the doctors, Holly had paced. She'd paced and replayed every moment where she could have and should have been able to prevent this. Every time the image of Brittany's broken bloodied body flashed before her eyes she shook it off and made a new promise, to whom she was unsure, to make this right if Brittany could just not die.
When the doctors let them know Brittany was going to recover, instead of relief, Holly felt numb. Tina, Sam, Artie and even Shelby had all sighed and cheered. Holly was ashamed to admit to herself now that her first thought was to contact The Watcher Council. She'd snuck away in search of the sole payphone in the hospital lobby; her hands shaking as she mechanically made her call. Holly half listened as an impeccably unamused London accent droned on about standard operating procedure and assured her a Council-approved doctor would be dispatched and that Brittany would soon be back on patrol. Back on patrol. The words echoed in Holly's head. Brittany had nearly, if not certainly, died and yet she'd soon be back on patrol.
Now, Holly's eyes fell on the brimming overnight bag sitting on the floor at Shelby's feet.
Shelby turned and smiled. "I'm running to the grocery store. Do you need me to pick up anything for here?"
Holly stared at her intently but didn't answer. Shelby cocked her head to the side and crawled across the bed on all fours to sit on Holly's lap.
"Hello, in there?"
"I was just thinking…" Holly answered, studying Shelby's face.
"About…groceries? Or…about Brittany?"
"Both," Holly said pulling Shelby closer to her, their foreheads touching.
"She's going to be okay. Whatever we thought happened…she's going to be okay. We can go by the hospital this afternoon if you want," Shelby offered, tucking a strand of Holly's blonde hair behind her ear. Holly nodded her head and smiled weakly. "So, what are you thinking about groceries?"
"Groceries are too complicated. We buy groceries for here and groceries for your place…" Holly rubbed the strings of Shelby's fleece hoodie between her fingers. "What if we just buy groceries for here?" Holly asked, meeting Shelby's eyes with her own.
Shelby frowned, "If we just buy groceries for here, what will we…"She paused smiling. "If you're asking me what I think you're asking me, you're going to have to put on your big girl panties and ask outright." Shelby sat back on her heels smiling at Holly.
Holly blushed and took Shelby's hands in hers. "Move in with me. Today, right now."
Shelby smiled, pushing Holly back against the headboard as she leaned forward, kissing her. Holly felt the knot in her chest loosen once more and she breathed in as much of Shelby as she could. Shelby pulled away and bounced off the bed.
"Was that an answer?" Holly called as Shelby headed towards the door of the bedroom and down the stairs.
"I'm thinking!" Shelby called back halfway down the stairs.
Holly frowned as she heard the door close and the click of the lock sliding into place. A car door shut and the subdued sound of an engine turning over drifted up from the street through the open balcony of Holly's bedroom. Holly frowned down at her hands. She hadn't been sure what she was expecting. She thought she could understand the argument behind 'yes' or 'no' equally well. Living with a Watcher in the town sitting atop an active Hellmouth wasn't exactly a romantic comedy.
The phone rang on the nightstand and Holly glared at it sideways. After three rings, the new digital answering machine Shelby had coerced Holly into buying clicked on. Holly's voice on the message sounded conspiratorial: Holla, this is Holly...if this is important, don't leave a message here...thanks...
There was was a pause. "YES! YES! YES! I'll move in with you! On the Hellmouth! On a volcano in Hawaii! On a mountaintop overlooking the Swiss Alps! Yes!YES!"
Holly's eyes welled as she listened to Shelby shouting from the speaker of the machine. She beamed as she wiped away still more tears. With the faintest breath, she whispered "Thank you."
"I could've just kept the hospital issued cane, you know," Brittany said as her mom helped her up the porch steps.
"Are you kidding? That dreary grey thing?" Emma replied, taking a breath on the top step before reaching for the house keys in her pocket. "I decorated that myself just for you. It's festive!" Emma said beaming at Brittany.
Brittany smiled back weakly looking at the red and white striped cane. "If you consider the Pimp of Candyland festive…" Brittany muttered under her breath.
Emma unlocked the door and turned around to face Brittany with a big smile on her face. "Ready?"
"Oh no!" Brittany shook her head, "Tell me you didn't plan a homecoming-"
"SURPRISE!" Streamers and party noisemakers sounded before Brittany could finish her sentence.
Brittany stepped into the hallway and was pelted with confetti from a beaming Sam. Tina leaned in and blew another blast on the party horn in Brittany's ear causing her to flinch. Shelby waved awkwardly from the stairs. Lord Tubbington glared at them all from the top of the stairs and stalked away.
As they stepped into the living room, Brittany saw Artie rolling out from behind a scaled down DJ set-up, the volume turned down so low you could barely hear the music. The room was filled with lavender, pink and baby blue balloons and a large banner across the fireplace that said 'Welcome Home Brittany' in rainbow striped letters.
"You shouldn't have…" Brittany said to herself.
"Are you surprised?!" Emma asked.
"Doesn't it show?" Brittany said a half-hearted smile playing on her face as she limped to the sofa.
"Are the other kids from school coming or…" Emma asked looking at Tina and Sam who tried as subtly as possible to shake their heads 'no'. "Ms. Holliday?" Emma asked expectantly looking at Shelby.
"She's…had some…pressing work…things come up," Shelby frowned as she struggled through the excuse. Brittany frowned looking down at her cane, propped next to her on the couch.
"Pressing library issues?" Tina grinned trying to break the tension, "I thought Gutenberg had pretty much handled all that in the 1400s." Seeing the blank expressions on the faces looking at her, she muttered under her breath, "Do you people even try?"
Artie reached out and stroked her back, whispering "Typography isn't everyone's kink, babe."
"Mom!" Brittany exclaimed from the couch, "what's that smell?"
"The…oh, I may have overdone it a bit with the cleaning…I was worried," Emma replied sitting next to Brittany on the couch.
"My eyes are watering, can we open a window?" Brittany asked, wiping away a tear with her sleeve.
"You get used to it after an hour or two, it's like getting a fresh set of pine-lemony lungs," Artie quipped.
"Without all the hassle of a pesky transplant," Tina joined as Artie moved to open the window behind Brittany.
"Actually, I think it's helping me kick my Sharpie addiction," Sam said, snorting as he open a window on the other side of the couch.
"So, Brittany," Shelby began, "how are you feeling?"
"Icky still," Brittany shrugged.
"Ick is one the leading side effects of a demon attack…I read up on it …WebMD. It's the worst," Artie said, rolling to in front of the couch. Tina sat beside Brittany rubbing her back.
"Holly said a doctor will be out to visit you," Shelby replied, "I'm sure he'll have some…suggestions for dealing with…ick."
"Oh, I don't think our insurance covers home visits," Emma said frowning and rearranging the carrots and celery on the untouched platter on the coffee table.
"Well, she said the…uh…school…pays for a few visits for its best students…" Shelby began. Everyone turned to look at her frowning. "Well… the…most promising students…" Still more frowns. "I…think she…pulled a few strings so they'd look in on Brittany," Shelby finished looking down at her hands.
"Thanks, Ms. Corcoran," Brittany shrugged and smiled. "Guys? I hate to be the sole supplier of poop for the party, but…I'm really kinda tired…"
"Okay," Ms. Pierce said, looking worriedly at her daughter. "I guess we don't want to overdo it the first day back. Let's get you up to bed. Tina? Would you mind?" Tina nodded enthusiastically.
"I'll help," Sam said jumping up from the couch.
Artie and Shelby, murmured their well wishes, and good nights and began helping Emma put away the party food and Artie's DJ equipment.
"Sorry to ruin the fun…" Brittany began as she was tucked into her bed.
"My fun wasn't ruined. It was Brittany's World! Party time! Excellent! Schwing!" Sam mimed with a broad grin on his face.
"It was a good time," Tina said smiling weakly. "The time was of the good."
"I just really wanted to get in my own bed and just…" Brittany shrugged, "just…do nothing."
"I can bring your books from school and the homework assignments you missed tomorrow," Tina offered.
"The complete un-ynonym of do nothing…" Brittany sighed.
"You don't want to fall too far behind," Sam said.
"I don't? I was actually hoping to fall completely and un-catch-uppably behind," Brittany replied.
Tina's eyes widened. "I'd never let that happen to you!"
"I'm reexamining our friendship as you speak, O' Great Geek," said Brittany.
"Knock! Knock!" Emma said as she stuck her head into Brittany's bedroom, a tray with a sandwich and a glass of juice on it. "Thought some of your favorite anti-ick food might help."
"Crunchy peanut butter and extra jelly, no crust?" Brittany said genuinely smiling this time.
"And juice- two parts OJ…" Emma started.
"One part grapefruit juice," Brittany sighed. "Gimme!"
"Well, we'll leave you to your PBJ&J," Tina stood and kissed Brittany on the forehead. Sam punched Brittany in the arm. He frowned and mouthed 'ouch', shaking his hand vigorously.
"Bye guys, thanks," Brittany said attentively nibbling on her sandwich as Tina and Sam exited.
"Brittany, now may not be the time to talk about it, but…"
"Mom, can we…save it…for the morning…I'm really beat…punage intended," Brittany said, pushing the tray away to the other side of her bed.
"Morning then," Emma said, retrieving the tray and pausing on her way out of the room to turn off the light. "Sleep tight, Brittany. I'm so glad to have you safe at home."
"Me too," Brittany murmured, turning away from the door and pulling the covers up over herself as Emma gently closed the door behind herself.
"One Spice Girl, two Spice Girls, three Spice Girls, four Spice Girls…" Brittany counted before she threw the covers off, jumped out of bed and bounded to her closet without the slightest indication of a limp. She rummaged around on the floor of the closet before tossing two large wooden stakes and a battle axe onto her bed. She then slid open the top drawer of her dresser pushing aside scarves to retrieve the large silver cross Santana had given her. As she fixed the clasp around her neck she heard a hiss and small clatter outside her window.
Instinctively she reached for the stake on her bed and stalked slowly to the window before yanking back the curtain. Lord Tubbington stood in the open window staring at her.
"Tubbs! Where have you been?" She scooped him up in her arms and leaned slightly out of the window looking both ways before pulling it shut. "You reek of catnip and you're high as Rihanna at 4:23." Brittany walked back to her bed, chastising Tubbington as she pulled the covers up and over both of them; the wooden stakes positioned within reach.
Outside the window, hugging the wood shingled siding of the house, Santana leaned forward, crouching to see through a gap in the curtains. "God, I hate cats," she muttered.
Quinn Fabray tucked a boxing glove under her left arm and ran her fingers through her chin length pink hair. She sighed as she reached into the bag sitting at the foot of the gymnasium bleachers with her now free but still heavily taped up hand. In the middle of the night, with only a single construction site flood light to illuminate a patch of the parquet gym floor, the contents of her gym bag were cast in shadow and she had to feel her way around.
"You said you wanted water" Holly said, bouncing on her toes back into the blue-white light and knocking her two boxing gloved hands against each other.
"I said I wanted a break," Quinn answered over her shoulder. She stood up straight and paused a moment before turning back around to face Holly, a cigarette dangling from her lips. "I'm ready now," she mumbled as shoved her hand back into her glove, the cigarette between her lips dancing. When she stepped back into the light Holly dropped her hands and sighed in disbelief at the site of the cigarette.
"Are you kidding me?" Holly exclaimed. "What the hell?"
Quinn stepped towards Holly, her eyebrow raised in bewilderment. "What? Did I singe my hair again?" Quinn made a futile attempt to examine the ends of her hair with her boxing glove clad hands.
"The cigarette, Quinn!" Holly said raising her voice slightly. "You're smoking during a sparring session."
"Oh," Quinn laughed lightly, "I won't blow smoke in your face or nothing. I'll play fair."
"Put the cigarette out."
"I'm not done yet," Quinn replied.
"This is a school, you can't smoke in here," Holly replied incredulously.
"I ain't enrolled," Quinn shot back.
"You're taking years off your life with each one of those you smoke," Holly replied sternly.
"Way I hear it, there's not exactly a waitlist to get into the Slayer Retirement Home. Hellmouth or ciggie, either way…"
"Quinn! Put the cigarette out!" Holly snapped.
Quinn shrugged and then smiled, "Make me."
"Make me. Knock it out of my mouth." Quinn said her mouth stretching into a grin around the cigarette. "You make me, you win. You can't make me, I win,"
"You're serious?" Holly said, taking a step forward.
Quinn opened her arms wide and exclaimed, "I'm lying, I'm flying." She blew a near perfect smoke ring out of the side of her mouth.
Holly stepped forward and landed a solid punch to Quinn's midsection. The cigarette wavered but didn't fall from Quinn's mouth.
Quinn smiled up at the taller woman. "Don't hold back now, Holly," Quinn said winking.
As the words escaped the shorter woman's mouth, Holly stepped forward again and unleashed a barrage of blows aimed alternately at Quinn's head and midsection. At first, Quinn stepped backwards as she defended against the blows but soon found her footing and deflected the blows with minimal effort. Holly landed a hard blow to the chin which succeeded in bending but not breaking the cigarette. Quinn frowned and delivered an uppercut punch to Holly's chin that sent the taller woman staggering backwards towards the floor. Both women rubbed their chins and eyed each other.
Quinn rolled her eyes and stepped forward. "I'll give you this much, you got a freakin' wicked roundhouse," she said as she extended her hand to Holly, still on the floor.
Holly accepted her hand and stood up. She ran the bottom of her tank top across her lip, somewhat surprised to see it stained with blood afterwards. Running her tongue across laceration on the inside of her lip, she glared at Quinn. "And your uppercut isn't too bad either," she admitted. "Let's go again. This time keep your left up."
Quinn sighed, "Can I finish my cigarette first?"
"See?" Rachel Berry said twirling around, her arms open and a large grin plastered on her face, "Things are looking up!"
Kurt and Sugar stepped tentatively into the room and looked around at what appeared to be an enormous empty concrete box with columns spaced periodically throughout.
"What is this place?" said Sugar, touching the walls.
"Poured concrete floors and walls?" Kurt shrieked. "It's an eco-conscious hipster's wet dream! We can use silk dividers…Oh! Or beaded curtains! Oh my god! Bamboo! I can't wait! What's my budget?"
"Raaachel," Sugar purred, smiling and walking over to Rachel who was leaning against one of the large rectangular pillars spaced throughout the room, "did you have this place built for us? It's a beautiful canvas for Kurt to work his magics on…." They both watched as Kurt marched pacing off measurements and mumbling to himself.
Rachel stood up straight and brushed a bit of light colored dirt off her black sweater, restoring the matching perfection of paired mini-skirt and mini-boots. "No, I did not have this place built for us. On the surface, it would appear to be an abandoned underground parking garage, but in reality, it is just one more example of the change of luck that has befallen us now that The Slayer is gone. Sunnydale is about to be our oyster."
"She means she wants to…shuck it?" Kurt whispered to Sugar as he walked heel toe past her. Sugar chuckled.
"I see your mood is much improved," Rachel said raising an eyebrow at Kurt.
"Being cooped up in that mausoleum wasn't good for any of us," Kurt replied.
"I feel so much more stable now," Sugar exclaimed as she spun in circles around the room.
Kurt stood behind Rachel and again lowered his voice to a whisper, "I'm glad she feels more stable, because she looks about as stable as a skateboard on greased marbles."
"I heeeeaaaar you Kurt Hummel. Don't make me switch the labels on your expensive face cream and your expensive foot cream again…" Sugar said as she waltzed away.
Kurt sneered and turned back to Rachel. "Excellent score, it's the perfect hideout. No skylights, I'm assuming…what's the next part of the plan?"
Rachel's white teeth gleamed beneath the fluorescent lighting. "I have been reading and there are evils still left in the belly of the Hellmouth even Sunnydale has not seen before. Evil so frightening to man that it was scattered to the four corners of the earth for fear of what it could do. We," Rachel said reaching out to put her arms around Kurt and Sugar, "are going to introduce Sunnydale to Acathala and watch him turn the world upside down."
Shelby pulled a bottle of carmenere from the shelf, smiling as she thought about surprising Holly with fresh pasta for putanesca, garlic bread, cassata cake for dessert, and now, a great bottle of red wine to top it all off. As Shelby handed her credit card and the bottle of wine to the clerk, her cell phone vibrated in her pocket. Shelby glanced at the caller ID and grabbed both the bottle of wine and receipt before stepping outside the wineshop to answer the phone.
"Hi, Uncle Enyo," Shelby said as she placed the bottle of wine in the passenger's seat and pulled the car door shut behind her.
"Simza," a voice croaked on the other end of the line, "you haven't called in a month."
"There...there hasn't been anything to report. I'm keeping an eye on Santana, she-"
"Santana? Snixx. It's name is Snixx. Tell me you haven't been taken in by the human face of that monster!"
"I haven't- I just..." Shelby started.
"You were honored to carry out a sacred mission; to ensure that Snixx suffers for all known eternity for what she has done to our people. I can't imagine what you'd find important enough to make you forget what that animal has done!"
"I know, Uncle," Shelby said, pressing her head against the back of her seat and pinching the bridge of her nose.
"Don't start believing you're Shelby Corcoran of Sunnydale. You are Simza Kaldardash of the Romani people. The Romani blood runs in your veins. The same Romani blood that Snixx made flood through the streets of our village."
"Yes, Uncle," Shelby sighed. She glanced at the groceries she'd bought for dinner sitting in the backseat of her car.
"Snixx tried to wipe your entire bloodline from the face of the earth, for the sake of amusement..."
"Uncle!" Shelby interrupted, "I know. I know the things San- Snixx has done. I'm watching her. She still suffers. The vampire with a soul still walks the earth bearing the curse, suffering the pain of every person she ever harmed."
"And if she ever stops suffering for even one moment..." Uncle Enyo continued.
"She won't stop suffering," Shelby replied.
"Good. Good, Simza." The voice on the other line paused as if speaking to someone else in the room. "Your Aunt Lyuba misses you. She wishes you'd come visit more..."
"I- I- will soon. I promise."
"Dza devlesa. God go with you, too," Shelby repeated as she hung up.
"So then I'm thinking: stay and fight two vamps with nothing but my bare ass and a towel or use the towel to zip line outta there and give the folks in Harvard Square a freebie," Quinn said loudly as she, Tina, Sam, Artie, and Holly noisily entered the library.
"You chose to fight, right? Naked?" Sam said grinning broadly.
"Hangin' and swingin'!" Quinn replied. "I'm here to tell ya a wet towel snap smarts the undead just the same as the living."
"But that didn't kill them did it?" Artie asked.
"Maybe just the sight of her naked," Sam whispered. "I'd burst into flames…"
"Nah, I busted up the bedframe and did them old school," Quinn answered. "And the funny thing is after all that I realized I had no money to pay for the room so I ziplined outta there anyway."
"Naked?" Sam and Artie asked at the same time.
Quinn laughed and walked into the book cage on the far wall of the library to start putting away the weapons they'd taken on patrol. Artie rolled to the table in the center of the room next to a seated Sam, while Tina and Ms. Holliday leaned against the high checkout counter.
"I wonder if Brittany has any naked slaying stories," Sam said. Tina nodded at Artie and Artie landed a blow to the back of Sam's head.
"You wonder if I have naked what?" All heads turned towards the office doorway as Brittany stepped out holding her cane and rubbing her neck.
"Brittany!" Tina exclaimed looking nervous. She walked quickly to stand next to Brittany. Sam and Artie both waved and smiled.
"Hi guys," Brittany said smiling.
"What are you doing here?" Holly said.
"Fine and you?" Brittany said frowning back at Holly.
"Sorry, how are you?" Holly cast a look at Quinn who was kneeling with her back towards them in the book cage.
"I'm good. I thought I'd come by and borrow a book," Brittany fumbled. Everyone frowned. "What? I like to tempt fate with papercuts every once in a while just like the rest of you."
At that moment, Quinn turned and walked out of the book cage. "Oh, Sam, you'll like this one. This one time I was down to my skivvies and up to my shoulders in this thick disgusting…"
"Who are you?" Brittany said blinking at Quinn.
"Who are you?" Quinn said laughing.
"I asked you first," Brittany replied.
"So we're playing by grade school rules?" Quinn said taking a step forward, her expression blank. The room was quiet. After a beat, Quinn grinned. "Ah! I gotcha! Of course I know who you are! You're Brittany Pierce." Quinn strode forward and bear hugged a startled Brittany. Quinn let go of Brittany and hopped up on the table in the center of the room.
"Okaaaay. So we've established who I am, but your nametag still says 'Hello, I'm'," Brittany said looking at Tina, Holly and lastly Quinn.
"Oh," Quinn said sitting up straight, "I just assumed Holly…"
"Holly?" Brittany asked incredulously looking at Holly. "How long does it take to get on a first name basis?"
"Brittany," Holly said taking a step towards Brittany. "This is Quinn Fabray. She's-"
"She's a Slayer just like you, Britt," Sam jumped in. "She went out on patrol with us. You should've seen her. And she's got wild stories to tell…the one with you and the skivvies sounds interesting…"
"She went on patrol?" Brittany said, looking at Tina who nodded meekly. "And you went, Hollz?"
"Oh! You should've seen Holly," Quinn answered. "Those vamps never knew what hit 'em." Holly smiled sheepishly.
Brittany's mouth moved but no words came out. She looked again to Tina and then Holly before limping back into the office. Tina moved to follow her but Holly placed a hand on her shoulder. "This is my fault," Holly said quietly and then entered the office behind Brittany.
"So," Quinn said, "there was this one other time I found myself in the all together fighting vamps…"
"It's surprising yet intriguing how often that happens," Artie said as he and Sam leaned in to listen.
"I find clothes kinda restricting, you know?" Quinn said.
"Do you feel restricted now?" Sam asked. "I mean, we'd be bad hosts if our guests weren't comfortable…"
Tina inched backwards towards the office slowly until her ear touched the door.
"I didn't realize there was a return policy on Slayers. You don't like your slightly damaged Malibu Slayer and you can trade her in on brand new pink Punk Slayer at no extra cost. You could've waited for the ink to dry," Brittany said as she paced back and forth across the small office with her cane.
"What ink?" Holly asked, confused.
"The point," Brittany snapped, "is that you didn't even have the courtesy to tell me you'd replaced me?"
"Brittany," Holly said rubbing her forehead and taking a deep breath, "She's not a replacement."
"Then what is she doing here? If I knew being 'The One' meant of Two, I would've tagged out of the ring a long time ago, Hollz."
"You are The One," Holly answered.
"So who is she?"
"She was also The One, for a brief moment," Holly said looking at Brittany intently.
Brittany frowned and looked out the office window at Quinn standing on the table and gesturing wildly as Sam and Artie looked up at her cheering and clapping.
"I don't…" Brittany began.
"You died, Brittany," Holly said slowly. "We didn't get to you fast enough and…we lost you…apparently long enough for the next Slayer to be called…Quinn."
"Apparently." Holly turned away from Brittany to turn on the electric kettle on her desk. "This is unprecedented- there's never been two Slayers-"
"Alive at the same time," Brittany interrupted.
Holly looked down at her hands. "Y-yes."
"I guess the other Slayers had the courtesy to stay dead, huh?" Brittany said, sitting down on the couch.
"Brittany, that's not what-" Holly began.
"So what happens now?"
"Council is trying to decide."
"I see. So no loyalty at all. I die a little and now…Quinn. So she's the new and improved. The reason you couldn't come to my homecoming."
"I'm sorry about that. I needed to get her up to speed…"Holly started weakly.
"It's okay. Your first Slayer did the ultimate facepalm. Best to just start over," Brittany said as she brushed past Holly to walk back out into the library.
"Brittany?" Tina asked, perplexed by how difficult it was to catch up to Brittany who was limping quickly towards the library door.
"Hey, B? Wanna grab a brew or something? When do we head out? I'm ready!"Quinn called out to Brittany.
Brittany paused to look back at Quinn. "My leg's not healed yet," she said before pushing her way out of the library door.
"Brittany!" Tina called. "Wait!"
Brittany slowed and turned to face Tina so abruptly they collided. Despite the cane, Brittany caught Tina and herself preventing them from tumbling to the floor.
"Thanks, you…seem pretty agile for a chick with a cane," Tina said, straightening her corduroy jumper.
"I was feeling better…but now I kind feel…why didn't you tell me?" Brittany asked.
"Well, we all thought finding out you died was kinda major and maybe we should wait until you were feeling 100% or 150% before we-"
"Told me I'd been replaced," Brittany offered.
"No way! There's only one Brittany 'Sunnydale Slayer' Pierce!" Tina punched Brittany's arm and winced. "Ms. Holliday is taking it really hard."
"She's taking it hard? I died and then walk in on you all partying it up with Miss Pink and Improved!"
"It's not like that. I think Ms. Holliday blames herself for what happened and is being extra hardcore about Quinn," Tina offered.
"So now she has her perfect and willing student?" asked Brittany.
"It's not like that Brittany. We all wish we could've prevented what happened. Besides, Quinn really idolizes you. She's been asking tons of questions about you."
"Yeah, maybe you should come back in and meet her. Talk to her," Tina said smiling.
"No. I'm kinda tired and I don't wanna be the drama queen who cries 'wolf' you know?"
"Yeah, okay. Well, maybe tomorrow I can come by?" Tina asked, leaning in for a hug.
"Yeah," Brittany smiled as she hugged the shorter girl. "That would be great."
"Okay, I'll be there with bells on. Or maybe not bells, I know Lord Tubbington hates bells…" said Tina. The girls waved and started walking in opposite directions.
"Oh, Tina," Brittany stopped and turned back. "I really was looking for a book. I just got overwhelmed in there…there were just so many books...I took a nap instead."
"The overachiever's motto," Tina rubbed Brittany's shoulder sympathetically. "Which book were you looking for?"
"The one about Snixx. Do you think you could get it for me?"
"Sure," Tina smiled. "Always glad to support your literary excursions."
"Thanks, Tina. See you tomorrow?"
"You know it, Slayer," Tina moved to punch Brittany in the arm again but stopped short.
Kurt paused making tick marks along the wall of the parking structure that he, Rachel and Sugar now called home. The cement floors had tape of various colors running in all directions, a testament to Kurt's intention to transform it into the sort of metropolitan studio apartment of which both the living and the dead would be envious. He glanced over at the pink lined square that encompassed Sugar's claimed room. She had on earphones and was dancing and singing along tunelessly to whichever equally tuneless human boy band had recently made her squeal the loudest. He smiled.
In the farthest corner of the parking lot, a small dark shadow made erratic movements as it seemed to tread a small patch of the concrete floor. Kurt frowned as he approached. As he got closer, the shuffle-click of Rachel's heels on the floor became distinct. At the end of every dozen steps, Rachel's trademark calf length duster trailed out behind her as the result of an abrupt change in direction.
"I come to you to propose a venture that will change the course of history on this planet forever," Rachel mumbled to herself as she paced. "The name Acathala has struck fear in humans since before recorded time. Only once have humans united for any single purpose- the banishment of Acathala. They feared him so much that they dismembered and mutilated him into seven pieces, scattered to the four points of the compass for fear he-"
Kurt coughed, disturbing Rachel's trance-like recitation. She glared at him.
"What?" Rachel demanded.
"Just…scattering seven body parts to the four corners of the compass…" Kurt shrugged.
"Well what would you say?" Rachel said, looking up at Kurt.
"Maybe 'the edges of the seven seas'?" Kurt offered.
"Perfect!" Rachel exclaimed grinning broadly and looking upwards as if reading the corrected text in her head.
"I know you're nervous about this meeting with The Master," Kurt said putting his arm around Rachel, who bristled at first but relaxed more as he spoke. "But try to relax. It's a fantastic proposal. Who could resist turning the world upside down so that dark rules the day and the day walkers are the ones banished underground?"
"It is a brilliant plan," Rachel said grinning. "And if I can convince The Master to lend me some of his minions to gather the seven pieces of Acthala, quickly, before a new Slayer arrives to mettle…"
"We'll be living the high life," Kurt smiled.
"Exactly. The mansions on hilltops will be ours and the crypts and dungeons and-"
"Abandoned parking structures…" Kurt added.
"I thought you liked it here?" Rachel asked, looking slightly hurt.
"Oh, I…I do…it's just…spray tan and fluorescent lighting wears quickly…"
Rachel sighed, "You get used to it, Kurt. But the longing to roam unhindered never dies." They both paused wistfully. "But, if The Master agrees, all that will change and once again, hell will reclaim its rightful reign of the surface."
A standard issue business phone rang quietly a few feet away from them. Rachel jumped and clasped Kurt's hands. Kurt grinned at her encouragingly, pushed her gently towards the phone and gestured 'thumbs up'. Rachel winked, cleared her throat and picked up the phone. Kurt turned on his heels to pick up where he'd left off measuring the room. Over his shoulder he heard Rachel's voice.
"Master, first, please let me say I am greatly honored that you have found the time in what I imagine is an immensely busy schedule to-" Rachel paused. "Am I…am I on speakerphone?"
"Good night, Mom," Brittany said as she took a few steps down the hallway before remembering she wasn't using her cane. She smirked, rationalizing that her mother's door was closed and that no one could see her. She placed the cane on the back of her neck and draped her arms over it on either side of her. She exaggerated her stride, leaning purposefully side to side as she walked down the hallway towards her room. Brittany took a step into her room, wincing as her arms and the cane banged into the doorsill. She chuckled to herself and instead of putting the cane down, turned sideways and crab walked into her room.
Throwing her cane in the corner behind the door, she leaned against her dresser, squinting as she pulled at her face in the mirror. An almost imperceptible noise tickled her ears. Using the mirror to see behind her, she quickly located Lord Tubbington curled in a ball on one of the pillows on her bed. Her eyes settled on the open window. Taking a deep breath, she smiled and approached the window.
"I guess I need to thug it out a little more if vampires think I'm Melissa Etheridge now," Brittany said aloud.
"Think you're who?" said Santana, taking a graceful step directly in front of the window and kneeling on the roof.
"Don't you like 90s music?" Brittany asked, smiling despite herself at Santana.
"1890s or 1990s?" Santana answered.
"Ugh, you had to remind me of that!" Brittany exclaimed, pulling a chair from the corner of her room and plopping down into it. "Exactly how old are you?"
"To be honest," said Santana, "I lost track after my bicentennial."
"Oh, I can relate. The whole world changes when you realize you're attracted to the football players and the cheerleaders," Brittany chuckled.
"Bri-," Santana began.
"Why did you do it?" Brittany asked, her face transformed to deadly seriousness.
"Sleep with girls?" Santana asked unsure of where the conversation was going.
"Help," Brittany asked, staring at Santana. "Why did you try and help me? Save my mom?" Brittany asked.
"Don't you know the answer to that?" Santana said looking down at her hands.
"I really don't," Brittany replied. "You're a vampire. I'm the Slayer. It's like Topanga dating Lance Bass. It looks really hot but…it's not going to work out."
"I didn't have a choice did I?"
"Didn't you? I'm sure you're not going to win your bid for homecoming vamp now, turning your back on your friends- Rachel, Kurt and the one who loves animal prints."
"I couldn't stand there and not help you. You think I wanted to be the vampire who fell in love with a Slayer?"
"I don't know what else to call it, Brittany. When I see you, when I'm near you, it's not that cute feeling of butterflies in your stomach, it's the whole damn zoo exploding in there," said Santana.
Brittany held Santana's gaze for a moment and then they both broke into laughter.
"Sorry," Santana said. "Leather pants always make me kinda broody and emo." Santana pulled at the black leather hugging her thigh.
Brittany shrugged. "It's okay, now that Vampires Diaries is on hiatus, I don't get my vampire angst fix so easy."
Santana chuckled and stood up, turning to go.
"But I know what you mean. Zoopalooza inside. That's how I feel, too," Brittany said, standing up and leaning into the window sill.
"So what do we do about it?" Santana said squatting again in front of the window, her face inches from Brittany's.
"Just go with it…" Brittany said, closing her eyes and leaning forward a little, her lips upturned to Santana. After pause and not feeling Santana's lips against her own she opened her eyes blushing. "Okaaaaay, I know I'm sometimes not good with subtle but that was about as blatant an invitation as you're likely to get…"
"Brittany," Santana said, as she tapped her finger on an invisible barrier in Brittany's window sill. "I can't come in. Any part of me. Unless you invite me."
Brittany moved her hand directly opposite Santana's as if she could feel the barrier to the vampire's entry with her own hands.
"Oh," Brittany said, blushing an even darker shade of red. "I'm not ready to-"
"It's okay," Santana said, standing to leave once more. "I just wanted to talk to you, and…I did" Without turning to look behind her, Santana jumped gracefully off the roof landing quietly on the grass below. She waved her fingers in goodbye.
"Maybe, next time,"Brittany whispered.
"So there's going to be a next time?" Santana stage whispered.
"If you keep wearing those leather pants, there will be," Brittany smirked to herself as she enjoyed watching Santana walk away.
Tina lit another candle on her nightstand so she could better read the handwritten text in the decaying leather bound book on her lap. She squinted, running her finger down a list of ingredients and nodding her head after looking at the corresponding components arranged around her on her bed. A bucket of ice sat between her legs.
"I think that's everything I need. Now to just pronounce it all correctly and I'll change these pesky ice cubes into fire," Tina said aloud as she picked up the neatly printed index cards and began to read over them. She was careful not to say the words out loud until she was ready.
The doorbell to the Cohen-Chang house rang and Ms. Cohen answered the door, a cellphone pressed to her ear.
"Yes?," she said to the blonde cheerleader with a ponytail and a neckbrace. She placed a hand over the phone as she paused her conversation.
"Hi, I'm Celeste. Is-" the girl began.
"Tina's upstairs. Second door on the right. Close the door behind you please," Ms. Cohen said returning to her conversation and walking away.
Celeste looked up the staircase and then back for any sign of Ms. Cohen. Finding none, she shrugged and climbed the stairs. Pausing outside the door, Celeste noticed light flickering from inside and what sounded like Tina's voice. She knocked once softly and then turned the knob to enter.
"Kio estis varma malvarma. Kio estis la fajro glacio. Kio estis tio estinteco..."
"Tina?" Celeste asked.
"Celeste" Tina said and held up a hand before she continued, "estis fromaĝo manĝanto knabino!" Tina exclaimed. "Wait, I don't think-," Tina gasped and shielded her eyes to the flash of light and puff of smoke that suddenly engulfed the room. She flapped her arms in front of her trying to wave away the smoke and was saddened to see the ice bucket still sitting full of ice between her legs.
"Well, something happened. You don't get flames and smoke when you whiffle the spell," Tina chuckled looking back towards the door where Celeste had been standing.
"Celeste?" Tina said looking around her room. She climbed off the bed and walked towards the door. She stopped when her foot kicked a pile of clothes laying on the floor between her bed and the door. Tina leaned down to look at the clothes but a sudden movement within the pile made her scream and jump backwards onto her bed.
Breathing hard, Tina grabbed a ruler from the edge of her desk and hanging onto her headboard with one arm, reached towards the pile of clothes with the ruler. Grabbing a corner of what was definitely a cheerleader uniform, Tina flicked the garment backwards and screamed when a large black rat disentangled itself from the clothes and stood upright on its hind limbs.
Tina's eyes widened. "Celeste?!"
A/N: thank you for being patient...hope it'll be worth the wait. Let me hear from you.
Big thank you to my beta Ms. Atomic for always finding the time and always pretending to be amused.