Disclaimer: Joss and Rob Thomas own their respective creations. I do not. FOX and Warner Bros. also own. Again, I do not.
Faith carried the second to last box of Buffy's things into her fellow slayer's dorm room. Buffy was right behind her with the last, and Veronica came up the rear, with nothing. While the slayers set the boxes down, she just stood in the doorway, leaning. The brunette looked at her with some annoyance.
"She's your girl," Faith spoke to her, "and ya haven't done jack. Jus' stand there watchin'. The hell?"
"Wouldn't want all that upper body strength going to waste--so sexy." Veronica smiled sweetly, before fanning herself. "But y'know, if 'strain' is a nagging problem? Actually wearing a bra *might* just help lighten that load...random idea. Do with it what you will." Then she pointed at herself. "And, commuter. I don't have to be here for a whoooole 'nother week. She's lucky I even got outta bed and made the drive."
"And boy, is 'lucky' what I feel." Buffy smirked, and then looked at her stuff, deciding she didn't have the energy. Plus, her mom was outside. "I really wanna not drag this out, so I'll unpack later. 'College goodbyes' should be as quick and painless as possible for all involved."
"Itchin' to cut the cord, aren'tcha?" Faith grinned. She followed the girlfriend's out of the room, watching as Veronica slipped her hand into the back pocket of Buffy's jeans with no break in stride. "Damn that was smooth." She commended.
"Like mother-fraking silk." Veronica said of her skill, and then kissed her girlfriend.
No, she still hadn't watched "Battlestar Galactica." But Wallace's RA did, whom they'd met. When he spilled his tea on himself, she learned a new word.
"It's just, delaying an inevitable never turns out well." Buffy responded to Faith as they all walked the floor toward the stairwell. "And I know my mom; she's gonna go through the whole, 'empty nest' thing pretty hard--"
"Uh, Buffy? It's only gonna be half-emp--" Veronica began, but was cut off.
"--so that's why you being there'll be good for her, Faith." Buffy ignored certain facts she didn't want to acknowledge, because if she did, maybe they weren't real. "But you know how wigged she gets when we're patrolling, so...try not to die, okay?"
"Dunno, I was thinkin' I'd follow the trailblazer that came before." Faith smirked. "Dyin' worked out for her just fine. Mean, she looks five-by-five to me."
"But then when you come back," Buffy smirked in return as they came upon Mac's room, "you'll have another girl blowing into town and mooching on your territory."
Mac was sitting outside her room, squeezing her eyes shut and banging her head back against the wall. There was music blaring inside. The trio of females halted upon seeing her.
"Is that Lohan I hear?" Veronica asked Mac with a wide grin. "You wouldn't think so? But her voice? Angelic."
When Mac heard them, she rushed over to join. She didn't care where they were going. "Does anyone have a drill, by any chance? I've always wanted a lobotomy, and now seems like the perfect time."
The now quartet, kept walking, and turned to enter the stairwell.
"Roommate?" Buffy asked. She hadn't met hers yet.
"How'd you guess?" Mac snarkily confirmed. "Those request forms were a joke; they probably just wanted to kill a few trees. Good luck with yours, though." Pause. "Hey, Faith."
"C-Mac." Faith greeted.
"Besides being the Felix to someone's Oscar," Veronica said to Mac with a sympathetic smile, "how you been?"
"Remember Maid Marion's chastity belt from 'Men in Tights'?" Mac inquired rhetorically. "I think I might invest in one of those."
To say she hadn't gotten over her first, sexual experience--you know, with a mass murderer--would be an understatement. If those were the kinds of guys she attracted by being herself, maybe she needed to be somebody else. And if that didn't work, she could follow her friends' example and turn to lesbianism.
They reached the ground floor and started heading for the doors.
"It'll get better." Veronica promised knowingly.
"Knows what she's talkin' about." Faith advised with a wink. "Listen up, and you'll have your own honey's ass to palm. No time at all."
That reminded Veronica to remove her hand as they walked outside. Her dad and Joyce were out there. He wanted to make the ride with his daughter, he said to check the gas usage, to see how much commuting was going to cost her in refills. He felt bad that he couldn't afford to help out more. She told him not to worry about it, that she'd manage the expenses, but he insisted on coming.
"Remember," Buffy spoke to Faith again, "if you need help with *anything*, call. I know you're 'Miss One-Woman Army' and everything--"
"A regular 'Ripley,' as it were." Veronica interjected.
"Or 'Tank Girl.'" Mac contributed, and they all looked her. "I can't be the only one who saw that movie."
"...but I'll have your back." Buffy finished.
Faith nodded, smiling in thanks of the offer. "I got your number." She gestured widely at the campus surroundings. "But just soak up the 'college life' for now, B. Me and Giles--soon as I get the guy out of his bachelor pad--are gonna clean up."
"Um, are *parents* supposed to soak up the life?" Mac wondered, her eyes growing wide.
Joyce's Jeep was parked out in front of the residence hall, because they'd been unloading. Now the trunk was shut, and Buffy's mother and Veronica's father were kissing against it. The foursome froze. Buffy and Veronica shook their heads slowly but constantly.
"No." Buffy uttered.
"*No.*" Veronica emphasized even further.
"No, no, *no*."
It was all Faith could do not to roll on the ground with laughter. "I don't think your mom's gonna be worryin' about the nest too much."
"Who's Greg and who's Marsha?" Mac asked curiously, grinning.
That earned her a high-five from Faith.
"Do you feel ill? I feel ill." Veronica questioned her girlfriend.
Buffy nodded. "That's one word."
They used to be friends. A long time ago. Then became girlfriends. Then lovers. And now? Now, a banjo was playing somewhere, signaling the disturbing possibility of becoming something else.
At a little after two A.M., in a bit of a role reversal, Veronica was waiting up for her father when he tried to enter the apartment quietly. It had been dark inside, but as soon as he shut the door, she switched on the light. Startled him.
"Gah." He tried to look stern, but couldn't manage it just then. "Honey, how...? Wh-why aren't you in bed? It's too...um, something."
"How? I direct all props to Juan Valdez." His daughter credited. "Why? C'mon, are we really gonna waste time playing that game?" She "tsk-ed," shaking her head in disapproval. "That conversation you've been dodging all day? We're having it now."
Keith considered an excuse, but just sighed, sitting in the chair. "What do you wanna know?"
"Your post-marriage criteria for selecting 'the ladies' seems like a good place to start." She said to him. "My guidance counselor, my best friend's mom, and most recently, my girlfriend's mom." Deep breath. "Don't get me wrong--each one's a mench. Push came to shove, I might even describe 'em as on par with peaches and cream. Especially Mrs. Summers. I can see how come, and she's lucky to have you; *but*, if you'll rewind a couple seconds...she's my *girlfriend's* mom. Need I spell out our looming fears and concerns?"
"What? Becoming a 'Daughter of the Soil' doesn't appeal? Ask me, the lifestyle gets a bad rap." Keith grinned tiredly, and Veronica was not finding the humor. Nosiree-bob. "You know how much it pains me to hurt your ego, but who I choose to date has nothing to do with you, Veronica. Yes, the women I've met have tended to be part of your life somehow, but that's only because I'm a loving, dedicated, model father. Who spends a majority of his time trying to be involved in that life." He was self-congratulatory. "I know we have a mug somewhere that sums up all my qualities pretty nicely."
"And it does so without exaggeration." Smiling, she still rolled her eyes. "Fine. What you're selling? I'll buy it. Now if you would kindly address the fears and concerns, we'll be done here."
He rubbed his face, attempting to keep himself conscious for a little while longer. "Joyce and I started talking those couple days she stayed with us while Buffy was...graduating. She congratulated me on my authoring, we complained about our children, and both said how it was a shame we had to miss seeing each other at Christmas because of your jury duty and the theft of the Echolls tapes." Pause. "There was something there, but we decided to wait till the stuff with Woody was over, to see where it might go. And then Kendall dropped that case in my lap the day you left for New York--"
"Yeah, still waiting to hear the details on that one." She interrupted.
His expression said she wouldn't, and then he continued as if she hadn't spoken. "--so that got in the way for a while. As soon as it wasn't, she invited me to come see her gallery, we had lunch, and since then, things've...progressed.
"But neither of us wants a second marriage. That was the first thing said when we decided to go steady." He smirked, hoped to assuage those fears. She was embarrassed for him that he still used the word "steady." "It crossed my mind with Alicia, but I just can't do it again."
"That's the standard response of all divorcees. Initially. Till the 'religious guilt' seeps in. Then before you can say 'joint income,' there's rice, and a limo dangling soup cans off its bumper." Veronica apparently wasn't assuaged.
"Well, as of this, early, *early* hour, it's not even being entertained as a possibility." That was all he could say. "We're enjoying ourselves. Nobody wants anybody else's relationship to become complicated if it doesn't have to be." He pushed off his thighs and stood up, going to kiss the top of her head. "Now, your papa's gotta go give this baby face some pillow time."
"I'm glad you're both enjoying yourselves, Dad." His daughter said to him as he retreated into the hallway. She could tell how lonely Mrs. Summers was, and if she had to pick anyone for her, it would be her father. "Just keep the 'enjoyment,'" She said it in a "nudge, nudge, wink wink" kind of way, "out of wedlock, that's all I ask."
She heard his laughter as he shut his bedroom door.
In her dorm room, still without roommate, Buffy lay in bed with her cell phone.
She was texting:
-u cant snoop enough on me-
-u havent heard ANYTHING theyve talked about???-
-so dont believe that-
The responses she got back were:
-i wanna go 2 sleep!-
The slayer was very disappointed in her younger sibling. She was right--the nest might as well be empty. What good was she? Then after several seconds, Dawn wrote:
-mom gave faith your room-
-night sis ;)-
That afternoon in the reception area of "Mars Investigations," Veronica and Buffy found themselves enjoying the leather couch while horizontally giving and receiving "CPR." But the fun kind. Buffy had come to get her girlfriend so they could go to lunch, then walk around Neptune's fanciest shops tailing the kleptomaniacs and looking at stuff they couldn't afford--Veronica was amused by the criminal element.
However, as you could probably guess, they became otherwise occupied.
"We pick the wrong places to get 'happy.'" Buffy said below her girlfriend during a necessary recharge.
"There's never a *wrong* place," Veronica argued, "just places that're ideal, and places that're *less* than ideal. This?" She looked around the office. "'Less than' category."
Buffy smirked. "I stand corrected." She continued to try and make her point, however. "Anyway, the *problem* with 'less than' places? Is when we're ready and wanting to hit the peak of 'happy,' there's always an enormous 'STOP' sign made outta chastity belts. Blocking." She said, frustratingly. "Why do we do this?"
The detective laughed. "Because raw talent should be constantly refined, molded, and improved upon, is why." Her grin was cocky. "Otherwise it's just a sad waste of an already, oh so natural skill."
"You make it so not worth it to argue." Buffy grinned with her.
"What can I say? Blessed with a gift." Veronica moved to kneel over and straddle her girlfriend. "So does this help the problem, or...?"
It was time for Buffy to take control here, to humble her smart ass girlfriend just a smidge. She smiled. "Aren't we supposed to be eating right now? We should go."
The next thing Veronica knew, she was yelping, off the couch, and flung over Buffy's shoulder. She fought a smile and accepted her fate. "My bag?" Buffy walked over to the chair where the bag was, grabbed it, and handed it to her. "Thanks."
"Don't mention it."
"So what's your first class next week?" Veronica wondered as the super-strong blonde turned around for the door.
"Calculus. 'Bout you?" Buffy started to walk.
"Intro to Criminology."
Buffy shook her head as she pushed open the door. "That's kinda predictable."
"Maybe, but I play to my strengths." Veronica watched the office door get farther away as her girlfriend carried her down the hall. "Lunch is gonna get lost before I ever eat it."
"Isn't gonna work; better just deal." Buffy reached the elevator and pushed the button. "'Sides, all upchucking will happen behind me, so, as incentive to drop? Not the greatest."
"Who said, 'drop'? I dunno where you inferred that from, but it wasn't these lips." Veronica told her confidently. "And if I ever get exposed to gamma rays, the tables are gonna turn. Oh yes."
Buffy sighed at her. "'Gamma rays'? You can be so ignorant sometimes."
When the elevator doors opened, Keith and Joyce were inside. "Hi, Dad, Mrs. Summers."
The adults stepped out, looking equal parts amused and perplexed.
Buffy was stunned as she finally put the girl down. "How'd you...?"
Veronica tapped the side of her nose. "The 'smell to impress' cologne--previous record had it wafting from three states away." Then she slapped the slayer's rear in playful vengeance. "Meet you in the car." She got in the elevator and went down.
"I'll just print the directions, then we'll go." Keith said to Joyce, and headed towards the office.
Leaving mother and daughter in the hallway.
"Where ya goin'?" Buffy inquired of her matriarch.
"Oh, um, 'B.T.O.' concert. Starts at 6, but it's a long drive to the fairgrounds where they're playing, *and* we wanna get there early." Joyce's daughter was not computing. "Yes, they were before your time."
Buffy nodded in acceptance, and smiled a little. "Wanna stake out some prime, blanket-laying real-estate, huh?"
There was a weird undercurrent of déjà vu present.
"We might." Her mother smiled rather blushingly. "Wh-what are you girls doing today?"
"Lunch, about an hour of shopping where there's wishing we could buy things...then I have no idea. But it really doesn't matter what we do, y'know?" Buffy said, and saw that she did know. "He's a *big* step up from Ted."
That got them laughing. When it tapered, tension dissipated, Joyce spoke. "I'm sorry we didn't talk yesterday."
"I wasn't ready to either." Her daughter washed away any bad feelings that might've been there. "Veronica's much more comfy with cornering parental figures than I am. She told me what her dad said."
"And Keith told me what you were worried about." Joyce revealed as well. "We're on the same page, sweetheart. Completely." Beat. "So other than that...how do you feel about us?"
"Well, I'd say Mr. Mars puts Dad to shame...if he didn't already put himself there without any help." Came Buffy's somewhat bitter answer.
"Buffy..." Her mother frowned. "You shouldn't talk that way about your father."
The slayer closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and then opened them again. "Shouldn't be talking about him at all...but, saw a tangent, couldn't resist." She went to hug her mother. "Picked a great guy, Mom. And you deserve not to be lonely."
Smile. "Thank you."
"'Course, now I'm probably gonna see you a hundred times more often than I did in high school, which is kind of not the norm for when away at college, and might lead to the occasional awkwardness...but in the overall? It's a tiny issue." Buffy ended their hug. "There's one that isn't so tiny, though. S'the opposite of. Which means it's pretty important. Also personal."
Joyce couldn't think of what it might be. "What is it?"
"You gave Faith my *room*?"
"What's your roommate's name again?" Veronica asked her girlfriend when they walked into Buffy's dorm room later that afternoon.
"Uh, Janelle Cramer, I think."
Veronica cocked her head to the side. "Funny--not what I pictured."
Buffy concurred. "Yeah, wasn't expecting her to look so...'Willow-y.' I mean, the resemblance..."
That's because she was Willow. She was there with Mac, decorating the side of the room Buffy hadn't claimed. Seeing that Buffy had arrived, the redhead went to hug her in greeting. Mac didn't make a move to acknowledge anyone; she sat at the desk, absorbed in whatever she was doing on Willow's laptop. Hearst's campus was fully wireless.
"Hi, roomie!" Willow said with a smile. "I woulda been here yesterday, I *so* wanted to be, except my parents' conference ran longer than it was supposed to because one of the speakers' daughters was skiing and broke her leg--told you it was in Colorado, didn't I? So we had to get a new flight that got laid over in Salt Lake City and a bunch of really nice, not-crazy Mormons gave me pamphlets at the airport, but thank goodness we made it in last night even though I know I completely missed all the cool flyers about tons of cool, new, 'collegiate' stuff to do...which makes me grouchy. So how are you?" End babble, and back to breathing.
Veronica's eyebrows rose, and even used to it as she was by now, she remained in awe. "I still say that shouldn't be humanly possible."
Willow was still a little flustered. "Hey, Veronica."
"Hey, Willow." The detective returned, before collapsing onto her girlfriend's bed. "Faking it leaves you just as spent as the real thing."
Willow's eyes bugged.
"'Fake shopping,' Will." Buffy smirked at her girlfriend, and then asked the redhead, "So, um, was there name-changing in Colorado?"
"Huh?" It took Willow a second to catch on. "Oh...nope. Still me. Mac found out that Janelle got into the Theta Betas early."
"And Mac came by this info...how?" Veronica queried with amused suspicion. "Informant on the street? Blackmail? Plain, dumb luck? Threatening to quote-unquote, 'ugly up her mug'? Or was it obtained with more finesse? Technologically, say?"
"It's already in the grave; I plan ahead." Mac stonewalled, speaking to the computer screen. "But whatever I did, it was with full approval from a silent partner."
"A-anyway," Willow stuttered, giving herself away, "her older sister was a member before she graduated, so Janelle's staying in the sorority house now. And I asked to switch dorms. To be with my friend who is you." Her new smile was hesitant. "It's okay, right? Should I have asked first? I should've asked first, shouldn't I?"
"No, it's great--now I don't hafta break in somebody new." The slayer said, pleased. "Not to mention having all those other, 'friend rooming' advantages."
"Like knowing that magic, decibel level your CDs can hit before the bell rings for the cat-fight." Veronica spoke one of those advantages.
This got Mac to turn around. "That a fantasy of yours?"
Veronica did her best, fake laugh. "If I could move, I'd come over there and *thoroughly* frak you up."
"Sure you don't wanna run it past Buffy before you just go frakking around with other people?" Mac grinned.
"I don't hear any opposition." Veronica responded, waiting a few moments for it. "Healthy experimentation is a cornerstone of our relationship. She loves to watch me frak. Anytime, anyplace."
"K, that word needs to hiatus for a while." Buffy believed, and was a little taken aback when Willow was grinning too. "No, something changed--who are you and what've you done with Willow?"
"She has a boyfriend who lives off-campus...and sometimes, uh, in the mornings? They wake up together. Wh-whenever they can." That was about as "blue" as Willow ever got, but she explained herself just fine. "There's nothing wrong with 'sexy talk.'"
Mac frowned some as the conversation moved on, and faced the computer again.
"Testify." Veronica championed, raising her fist into the air briefly, prior to letting it flop back down to the mattress.
Buffy ignored her girlfriend's utterance. "How's Oz dealing with the 'full moon' sitch?"
"He built a cage in the basement." Willow told her. "Don't worry, Buffy."
Eyebrows arched. "And the rest of the band didn't see strange?"
"They know about Oz being wolf-y." The hacker answered. "Once he promised the money for the cage wasn't coming out of the house budget, and that they didn't hafta help, Devon just went back to playing his 360." She sighed. "Boys."
She resumed decorating then, going to hang up the "Dingoes" poster, while Buffy sat at the edge of her girlfriend-occupied bed. She removed her shoes, removed Veronica's boots (for which Veronica was audibly grateful), and then lay down on the bed beside. She snuggled up close from behind.
Willow and Mac--who was looking again--"aww-ed" at the sight.
"Purely orthopedic." Veronica said with an eye-roll. "Need the lumbar support, and this is cost-effective." In retaliation for the ass-slap of earlier, Buffy then went for a pinch. "There're moments I find myself wondering why the hell my affection runs as deep as it does...and I'm experiencing one of 'em right now."
"Hey," Buffy said suddenly, while just doing it again, "we should all go to the 'Freshman Mixer' tonight."
"Ooh, yeah." Willow agreed, looking to Mac for the third vote of "Yay." Mac, however, not only 'Nay'-ed, but silently and expressively tried to remind her of something, gesturing at the computer. Willow remembered and her vote quickly changed. "Ooh, can't. Sorry. Busy. You go."
"You're not reprogramming missile, launch codes, are ya?" Veronica checked, to which both girls flatly replied, "No." "You convinced?" She asked Buffy. "I don't think I'm convinced."
"I don't get involved unless the world's ending." Buffy was apathetic. "If they just wanna take it over, that's their business. And she's right; we can still go."
Veronica sighed deeply. "Sometimes it's like you don't know me at all." She rolled over so they were facing each other. "Have I ever been known to attend *any* social function organized by the Establishment?"
"You're not known for attending social functions, period." Buffy broadened.
This time Veronica sighed in relief. "Thought I'd lost you for a second there."
"Which is why you should." Buffy continued. "Said you wanted to start fresh. No new enemies, no more automatically thinking everyone's shifty..."
"And the most efficient way to accomplish that goal is through planned and calculated avoidance." Veronica assuredly put forth. "They don't bother me, I don't bother them, and we all keep on truckin', happy as we ever were."
"Remember that talk we had last summer about ruts and falling into?"
"Last summer? Anything past the 'three month' mark is, at best, dimly vague." Veronica evaded, and then tried her pout to combat Buffy's stern look. "If they don't have to go, why do I have to?"
'"Cause of your deep affection for me?" Buffy grinningly suggested.
"Okay, there *is* a limit on the number of times you can cash that card." Veronica grumbled, but caved. "Consider this favor as a gift from me to you, until some day I will ask you for a favor in return." She did her best "Godfather." "And if at this soiree le shat should happen to mingle with le fan, I want it on record that preventative measures were tried, and shot down."
"Witnessed." Willow piped up.
Mac raised her hand. "Also witnessed."
Veronica smooched her girlfriend in lieu of a handshake--because, why not?--then sat up, shaking her head at how agreeable she'd become. "Do I even need to bother asking Wallace if *he's* attending? When 'school spirit' infected that boy, it rooted in like a Redwood. I'd kill it, but their symbiosis has become too powerful."
"He was here earlier." Mac said.
Willow was regretful. "And I told him about Devon having a 360."
"So probably not." Mac finished answering. "Don't underestimate the power of being able to see 500 million polygons produced every second...and then getting to frag them." Buffy glared at her. "I said, '*frag*.'"
While the redhead huffed. "Boys."
"Faith, wake up." Dawn urged worriedly, running into what was once her sister's room when she heard the brunette slayer having a nightmare. The girl jolted awake. "Are you okay?" Sitting up, Faith tried to shake it off. "What were you dreaming about? Did you fight Dementors on patrol or something? They're wicked scary."
Faith grinned, hoping to hide the fear until it passed, "*I'm* the only scary thing out there, Dusk," Dawn rolled her eyes, "you know that." She winked, trying to show she was fine. "I dreamt big sis laid into me for givin' 'Sherlock Tinkerbell' a wrong eye."
In truth, she dreamt about that man she killed--the vivid actions during and after--and his lifeless eyes that stared at nothing. Just as she did every night. But even she knew there were some things you didn't tell a 13-year-old who you were entrusted with watching. Her guilt and post-traumatic stress had no place here.
Dawn giggled. "Why? You could totally kick both their butts. At the same time." She boasted on her behalf, sitting next to her on the bed.
The slayer didn't know the reason Buffy's sister had taken a shine to her, but because the girl had, she tried to be worthy of it. She put her arm around Dawn's shoulders and whispered, "Bet I could. But we don't need to go spreadin' it. 'Cause then I gotta back up the tellin' with a show, and after they stumble their way back from next week," Dawn grinned, "they're gonna plug me with both barrels. Then reload and do it again."
Dawn was skeptical. "Like how?"
"Most part, for a blonde, Veronica's decent. Haven't known her long as you, but I learned wicked quick that she can hold her own. With about damn anyone, too. You dish it out, she takes it, and before ya blink, she's breakin' the dish over your head--I respect that." Faith explained Veronica in a narrow but honest nutshell. "'Cept, you can only push a person so far, know what I mean? And if you scr...uh, mess with Tink? Your life ain't ever the same again. Upside-down'n'inside-out."
"Overreact much? Geez." The young Summers didn't understand Veronica. But Veronica didn't understand kids, so it somehow worked out. "How's anybody like her?"
Faith smirked and advised, "Could ask your sister."
"Nah, I just read her diary." Dawn said mischeviously, which got Faith laughing. "Well, I sorta can't anymore; she took it with her." Then she made a face. "But she's like *soooo* in love. She wrote all this majorly lame stuff."
"Kept perusin' though, didn't ya?" Faith saw through her like a freshly-wiped window.
Dawn's attempt at a not-envious reason didn't fly. "O-only to see if it got lamer." She wanted to leave this topic. "So, um, my mom's sleeping over at Mr. Mars', right?"
After wondering if they'd progressed beyond sleeping yet, Faith answered, "Yeah. She'll be back in the morning. Drive woulda been too long after the concert."
"Do you think they had fun?"
"No question." Faith nodded, and then ventured, "You okay with her and--?"
"Everybody always asks me that!" Dawn burst out, interrupting. When she saw it made Faith jump, she was sheepish, and calmed down. "She smiles all the time now...it's nice."
"Know what I think?" Faith's grin was back. "Think somebody wants a boy that's all hers."
Dawn, gaping, shoved her. "Shut up! I do not!"
"Oh. Girl then, yeah?"
"Oh my god!" Dawn tackled her elder friend.
She didn't even *want* to know what Buffy and *her* girl were doing right then.
Which was probably a good thing. Handcuffs were involved. Sadly, in the "penal" way. They sat side-by-side in lockup at the courthouse. Long story short, let's just say she felt she had to "mix it up" at the mixer. Veronica was glaring daggers at the female who got on her bad side, and when that female flipped her off?
Buffy had to hold her back. With force. "Do you wanna give Lamb more ammo? Hafta start ignoring, Marsipan. If not for your criminal record, then for mine."
Veronica let herself be sat back down. "You know, a lesser person would be saying 'I told you so.'" She said, still looking at her foe out of the corner of her eye. "I'm callin' in that favor."
Buffy shook her head. "I'm not breaking any of her bones."
"I was gonna make you 'Hulk Smash' us a way outta the joint, but that's better." Veronica saw that as a more than reasonable alternative. "Do that."
Veronica pouted again, bending her pinky. "Not even one, little phalange? Make it worth your while." Her words were full of promises.
An annoyed Buffy was past that already. "'*Hulk Smash*'?" She shook her head in wonderment. "It's college, right? Because when Cliff posts our bail, we're doing 'Slayer 101,' ASAP. I mean it. I'm sick of the stereotyping."
Momentary quiet was succeeded by Veronica posing:
"If he doesn't, where're you putting your, 'Talk To My Bitch' tat?"
Buffy smirked, and then looked over at their nemesis, coming to a decision. "*Stay*." Then she got up to go to the opposing bench.
Veronica leaned her head back against the cell wall, and sighed contentedly. She'd picked the right relationship to invest in--just kept paying out dividends. It was going to make for a pleasant, first semester, no doubt.