Disclaimer: I neither own, nor make any profit from, BTVS or Highlander.
It was a dark and stormy night – isn’t that how all the best tales start? Well, this was just another dark and stormy Seacouver night, keeping all the usual customers at home. There was me in the bar and an old drunk who’d been nursing the same whiskey for the last hour. I’d finished the newspaper, polished the bar, and was contemplating picking up the guitar for a little recreation when the door slammed inwards. A vision in leather stood in the doorway, dripping incongruously on the floor.
“Hey. Mind looking after this for a sec?” The girl in question shrugged a backpack to the floor, and took my silence as assent. She was gone out the door again before I’d moved than a few feet.
“Sure, No problem,” I grumbled as I made my way over to the door. About to shut it, I saw her perform one of the most balletic leaps I’d seen in a while to tackle a guy roughly the size of a football player – an overweight football player. With a bit of kicking, she had him on the ground, and stuck a bit of kindling through his heart. As he turned to dust, I realized what I was seeing here. An honest-to-god vampire slayer.
I must admit that my mouth hung open for a while as she walked back to the bar, wiping the dust off her clothes.
“Thanks, mate.” She stumped past me into the bar. “Don’t worry – it was just a trick of the light or something.” I shut the door behind her, wondering what she was doing here.
Vampire slayer? Surely you’ve heard of them. Got their own bunch of Watchers – guess there’s only so many good names for long term peeping toms out there. Name pretty much sums it up, although they do tend to take on most types of other demons too.
Anyway, so she wanders up to the bar, looking as if she owns the place, and asks for a beer. Then she shoots the old drunk a look, and says something along the lines of “take a hike”. This was when I realized that it was no coincidence that had blown this five foot six vision of perfection through my door. I let the old guy out, and lock up behind him.
“Beer, you said?” as I went to get one for myself. Trying to be all nonchalant like.
“Nice cold one. Thirsty work, y’know.” And she gives me this sideways glance that would probably have made me kneel down and beg if she’d asked. You think that Amanda is hot – she ain’t got nothing on this chick. And I’m all like, what line of work are you in, miss.
“Joe Dawson, right?” She asks straight out, and then sinks the majority of the bottle. “Rupert Giles sent me to give you a package. And judging by the welcoming committee, you’re familiar with the nature of my business.” And then she pulls out this grubby box which is wrapped in – I swear to God – brown paper and string.
“Does Giles normally waste you girls on messenger duty?” Cause I’m not coming out and saying that I know she’s a Slayer – still playing it cool.
“With some packages. For some people.” And she strips off her jacket, and she is wearing this soaked top that just… clings. In all the right places, and some very wrong ones too. “Shit – I’m soaked through. Got a towel I could use?” And she’s got no shame.
“May I have the pleasure of your acquaintance, before we proceed to any towel sharing activities?” says I, Joe the idiot. And she just looks at me for like thirty seconds and I’m not afraid to admit I was the first to back down, and I grab a towel from the emergency care pack.
“Faith. I’m trying this whole single name thing.” She digs out what must be the sorriest pack of cigarettes out of a back pocket. “And no smokes either. Fuck.” Got to admire a woman who knows how to swear like that.
The package? Right, I’m just getting there. Now, Giles, as he prefers to be known, is a British librarian type who I just thought was really into his older texts for the longest time. We used to go out on the town together when I was in London. Excellent local guide type. Anyway, we’re out this night, bit the worse for wear, and we’re staggering back to my hotel, when we get jumped by what I thought were winos. Until their faces start changing – bumpy foreheads, huge fangs. Vampires, right. So Giles pulls this cross out of his pocket and waves it about to repel them. We keep walking backwards and hit the main street, so they split. It took a lot more whiskey to get him to tell me about vampires. The rest, I put together from my own reading.
But, Giles used Methos – as Adam Pierson – for a pile of translation, all those really obscure dialects of Sumerian and Ammonite that the usual librarian has urgent need for. And when Adam went off the radar, it turned out that he had handed Giles my name as a contact for translations. Let’s just say that that the first few phone calls were slightly stilted.
Anyway, Giles didn’t pass much to Methos through me, which is just as well, considering the profile we want to keep. But here he was sending me something, using no less than a Slayer as courier. So I ask her, “What’s this all about?” and she just keeps on toweling, and says “Giles said to get it to you as soon as, and get the reply back quick. It’s probably just the usual life and death stuff.” She’s almost as casual as you guys. The package contains a pile of pictures of what looks like stone tablets, which make no sense to me. I go to make the call to Methos, who says he’ll be a few days getting into town, and when I come back, she’s helped herself to another beer and a pack of cigarettes from behind the bar. I get the place set to rights, and advise her that it could be a few days before the package is dealt with.
“Guess I better stay with you then. How’s your couch?” She picks up the backpack. “I could do with a shower…”
And that would be why there’s a brunette in the bathtub, Mac. I’m sure she didn’t see anything much as you barged in there. I just didn’t have time to warn you, old pal.