Chapter 10: August 30, 2013 – Phoebe

Chapter Summary: **The 'Love Interest' Part of the 2013 LiveJournal's Twisted Shorts FaD** series. Who knew that a 'doomed romance' competition could end like this?

Timeline: post-series for BtVS; post-season 4 for Charmed.

Challenge: for the livejournal 2013 August Fic-a-Day Challenge.

Warning: femslash, but nothing graphic.

A/N: For the last entry in this collection, I decided to make a reviewer and beta happy. Thanks for all the encouragement and ideas; sorry if I didn't get to your choices.

Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.

Bar in San Francisco (not P3)

Not happy to be back in California where he was, Buffy quickly dealt with the Slayer House problem, did a quick patrol with the newbie and dropped her off at the house so she could hit a bar or two.

There were few things in the world that could drive Buffy to drink, but these days Angel topped that list. He was the undisputed king of the mixed signals! One minute he's declaring his undying – literal, in his case – love for her; the next he's saying they can't be together for one reason or another. Over and freaking over for more than seven years now.

Each time she took the chance to let him back in, he ripped her heart to pieces. She was starting to wonder who was more evil: Angel or Angelus.

Case in point, he flew to Rome with Spike because he heard that she was involved with the Immortal – a lie that Andrew got smacked for – and wanted to rescue her…and possibly declare his love again.

She thought that was very romantic, so when she finished her business with the Immortal, she flew to LA to tell Angel she was finished baking. What does she find when she gets there? Angel making out with some werewolf chick.

Not that she had anything against most werewolves, and Nina seemed like a decent one, but he was dating Nina when he came to Rome! What the hell kind of game was he playing?

"Guy trouble?" a voice asked from her right. She turned to find a pretty brunette a few years older than her looking back. "I recognize the look…mostly from my mirror in the morning."

Buffy reached out with her Slayer senses – which were enhanced with Willow's activation spell so now she could sense magick as well as demons – and felt the 'taste' of magick from the woman. She couldn't tell if the woman was good or bad, and so decided to play along for a while until she got a better idea. "I bet mine is worse than yours," she challenged.

Phoebe almost snorted her drink at that. This woman actually thought she could have worse guy trouble than Cole? "You're on. We'll each say something about our guys and whoever has the better complaint gets a free drink, courtesy of the loser. My name's Phoebe, by the way."

"Buffy…I'll go first," Buffy said, trying to think of complaints that didn't mention Slayers or vampires. "Mine took off during the night after the first time we had sex…my first time ever."

Phoebe appeared stumped. Without mentioning magick, she couldn't think of a sexual issue she had with Cole. After a few more seconds of silence, she gave up and said, "Okay, you win that one. My first time with him was wonderful." She held up a hand for the bartender and ordered them a couple shots of flavored vodka. "My turn. Mine is a lawyer."

Buffy smirked, "My runs a law firm."

Damn! Phoebe was sort of regretting the competition now. She knew her ex was worse than Buffy's but without being able to mention the supernatural, it was impossible to prove. "Oh! He's tried to kill my sisters dozens of times!"

Coughing at the startled look on the bartender's face, Buffy lowered her voice a little and suggested, "Maybe we should take our competition to a more private table?"

Phoebe's face flushed when she realized what she just declared loudly in a bar, almost cheerfully sounding. "Maybe."

Once they found a quiet-ish table, Buffy answered, "Mine killed one friend and tortured another."

"God!" Phoebe exclaimed. Maybe this woman did have worse tasted than she did.

Before they could continue, Buffy felt several vampires across the bar about to leave with their meals for the night. She could probably defeat them on her own, but not without risking the life of one of the potential victims. "Crap! Listen, I need to take a risk and trust you with something. I can feel you're a witch; my question is are you good or evil?"

Phoebe's eyes widened in shock. "What?" She immediately reached out with her empathy and attempted to read Buffy's emotions. She sensed anger, concern, the tiniest amount of fear, and attraction? Whoa! That was unexpected.

"There's a bunch of vampires over there about to make snacks of some people and I need help to stop them. Will you help me or them?" Buffy persisted.

"You protect the innocent?" Phoebe couldn't help but ask. Oh god, Piper and Paige would kill her for taking a chance like this, but if Buffy was being honest – which she was almost sure she was – then she had to help. "Of course I'll help you. Do you know which one is the queen?"

"Huh? I don't know what you're talking about with the queen thing, but it takes a stake through the heart, decapitation or fire…unless you happen to have some holy water on you," Buffy checked.

"Maybe there's more than one kind of vampire," Phoebe murmured almost to herself. "Alright, we'll go with staking, then. Where are they?"

Buffy pointed to a closing door. "Heading to the alley."

They practically ran across the bar to catch up with the vampires. Once the fighting began and the victims ran away, Buffy kept one eye on the baddies and one on Phoebe. She was a pretty good fighter for a non-Slayer. She clearly was no stranger to fighting, even if she was a little clumsy on the slaying part.

As the dust settled from the last vampire, Buffy asked, "Do you want to head back in or find some place even more private to talk about what just happened?"

"The second thing," Phoebe managed to say. Now the sense of attraction from Buffy was almost becoming a neon sign to her empathy. "I can't think of a way to ask this without sounding insulting, but what are you?"

Buffy chuckled, remembering all the times when she quipped something snarky to that question. "I'm human, but enhanced to fight demons and especially vampires. Have you ever heard of the Slayer?"

Phoebe shook her head. "Doesn't sound familiar, and we just looked up vampires not too long ago because somebody I cared about was turning into one."

"What? What do you mean by that? In my experience, once you've been turned, you'll become one within like 24-72 hours," Buffy explained.

"Maybe it's the different vampires thing again," Phoebe theorized. "As long as we killed the queen before my friend made her first kill, she'd turn back into a human."

"Sounds like there's some missing info in our research records," Buffy complained. "That's not good. Where are we going, anyway?"

"My sister's club; she has a private section that we can talk in," Phoebe said. Plus she wouldn't mind getting her sisters and Leo's input on Buffy.


Feeling a little playful now, Buffy suggested they change the terms of their competition. She figured that the truly horrible stuff would be coming out now that they both knew that the other person knew about the supernatural. "Instead of drinks, let's say the loser has to give one piece of information about their lives…within reason."

"Now you're going down!" Phoebe predicted, startled when Buffy blushed. Then she realized how that might have sounded and quickly stuttered, "Cole was sent to spy on us for his evil boss."

"Okay, you win. Angel originally came to help me, not hurt me," Buffy allowed. "I've been a Slayer since I was 15 years old. Angel was a vampire with a soul."

"Cole was a half-demon," Phoebe replied. "Tie?" Buffy nodded and she said, "Umm, I faked vanquishing him from my sisters because I was in love with him."

"I hid the fact that he was back from hell from my friends for the same reason, plus I felt guilty for sending him there," Buffy added sadly.

Phoebe thought for a moment, then said, "I think yours is slightly worse than mine, but not by a lot. My sisters and I were born witches but didn't have our powers unbound until about 4 years ago. Cole tried to turn me evil with a demonic baby."

"Yeah, you win that one. The only baby Angel had was with his evil ex-girlfriend, the vampire who sired him," Buffy conceded. "I've died twice."

They kept going back and forth for an hour or so until Phoebe said, "Cole was once the Source of All Evil, Ruler of the Underworld," she clarified when Buffy looked confused.

"Huh, Angel's law firm is evil's lawyers…literally. They make it easier for demons to spread their evil without getting in trouble with humans. They also take on the worst of the worst human criminals, too."

"He made me his dark queen," Phoebe countered.

"He tried to suck the world into hell," Buffy shot back.

"I've had to vanquish him a couple times for real," Phoebe said.

"You win. I've only had to slay Angel once. But it was the non-evil version I had to slay because his evil side was gone when I had to choose between him and the world," Buffy answered. "I'd like to see what it's like to kiss you."

"Cole was evil when we vanquished him," Phoebe admitted. She wasn't sure she could take killing Cole when he wasn't evil. "I wouldn't mind finding out either."

At the bar

"How much has Phoebe had to drink?" Paige asked as she watched her sister kiss the woman she introduced as a vampire Slayer.

Piper wasn't looking in that direction, so she didn't see the same thing. "Nothing while she was here, but I don't know about earlier. She wasn't happy about Cole when she went out. Why?" She turned around and saw her sister sucking Buffy's face off, metaphorically-speaking. "Oh my god!"

"They look good together, don't they?" Leo remarked.

"Perv!" Paige exclaimed while Piper smacked his arm.

"You're sleeping on the couch tonight, mister," Piper said with a glare.

Poor Leo didn't understand why they were so angry with him. He just liked the relaxed way Phoebe acted around Buffy, and if Buffy was truly a Slayer, it was a good thing for the sisters because she was a Champion as well, at least according to the Elders when he orbed up there for information earlier.

A/N: Today's going to be hell at work, so I thought I'd try to get this out quickly. Hope you like it.