Five By Five By Five By...
Buffy yawned. It was another deliciously slow day. Ever since Dawn had gone off to college she'd had the whole house to herself, and with a steady Council paycheck and Giles and Kennedy running the day-to-day stuff, she was pretty much on sabbatical. She spent a lot of time in her suburban Cleveland home waiting for boredom to kick in, but so far it hadn't. It felt great to not have to be responsible for once, to do whatever she wanted to do – or not do – with her time. She was thinking about maybe taking a walk or calling Willow up for coffee when suddenly there was a knock on the door.
She opened and was surprised to find the other senior Slayer standing there, a duffel bag over her shoulder. “Faith? Aren't you supposed to be in Boston?”
“Yeah, long story. Apparently there was too much noise or something, and then there was complaints, and then there was an eviction, and then... lowdown is, we're moving in with you.”
Buffy blinked. ”Wha... moving? In? Moving in how? And WE? Who's we?”
”Oh, right, you've never met the girls, have you?” Faith casually strutted inside, forcing Buffy to step out of the way. Then Faith casually strutted inside. Then Faith casually strutted inside. Wait a minute. Did I just think that three times?
Buffy closed her eyes, shook her head and looked up again as the door shut. Faith looked back at her with an amused grin. Then Faith looked back at her with an amused grin. Then Faith looked back at her with an amused grin. Then the Faith in the middle spoke up.
”B, this is Hope and Charity.”
Buffy stared at the three women in front of her. Same hair, same lips, same eyes, same attitude, same tight leather pants... same everything
. She honestly couldn't tell them apart. “So you're...”
“Sisters, yep. I guess because...” Faith, Hope and Charity shouted in unison, obviously having done this routine before. “...THERE'S JUST TOO MUCH OF US FOR ONE PERSON TO HANDLE!” They laughed and high-fived each other before dropping their identical duffel bags in the hall with a loud crash.
“So, B, where do you want us to store our weapons? We got a few hours until patrol, right?”
“Well, um... Charity? I guess you could... wait a minute, 'our' weapons? You're ALL Slayers?”
”But... how... when...”
Faith sighed. ”Told ya guys, B still
thinks she's the only One. Hope, you wanna fill her in?”
”Sure thing. See, B -”
”Stop CALLING me that!”
”OK, jeez, don't have a heart attack. Anyway,” Hope continued, rolling her eyes at her sisters, ”I got called when you died after jumping off that tower, obviously. And then Charity here, well, remember that time you got shot and flatlined for like five seconds?”
”That one doesn't COUNT!”
”That's what we keep telling her – OW!” Hope rubbed her upper arm where Charity had punched her.
Buffy whimpered. “So... please tell me you're not evil, at least?”
“Well, sometimes. But not anymore. And why is that, girls?”
The three sisters struck a pose and belted out in three part harmony:“Because it's...”
Having established this, they obviously considered the pleasantries over with and proceeded to make themselves at home. Faith got into the fridge and started pigging out on everything Buffy had been saving for dinner, Hope broke open the liquor cabinet and took a healthy swig from every bottle, and Charity disappeared upstairs where she could be heard going through the closets. Buffy stood where she was, trying to wrap her head around this. Eventually she drummed up the courage to sneak into her own living room.
“I'm Hope.” The brunette grimaced as she put the cap back on a bottle. “What the hell is this shit? It tastes like fucking toothpaste.”
“It's crème de menthe, and it's very... never mind. How long did you say you were staying?”
“Uh, guys?” Charity came back into the living room. “There's not nearly enough beds here. B, cough up your credit card, we're raiding IKEA.”
“IKEA? Big cheap furniture store?”
“No, I mean...” Cheap Swedish furniture in MY house? No way.
“I'm sorry, but this is all too much. I want you OUT of my...” Buffy threw open the door and froze on the front porch, her jaw just about falling off its hinges and rolling down the street. Gathered on her front lawn were about two dozen little girls, all between one and five years old, all brunettes, all dressed in black denim jackets and leather pants (or, in some cases, leather diapers). When they saw her, they all put on smiles that were just a little too arrogant and greeted her in unison.
Buffy quickly slammed the door shut, hyperventilating. When she turned to the three sisters again, the proud look on their faces confirmed her worst fears. “Those are all yours...?”
“Yup. Ain't they adorable?”
“But there's... h-hundreds of them!”
“22, for the record,” Faith beamed.
Charity nodded. “Seven each, plus... uh… whose is Chastity again?”
“She's yours, isn't she?”
“No, I'm pretty sure she's Hope's.”
“Really? I could never keep track of her...” They noticed Buffy staring at them, panicking. Faith laughed. “It's an Irish thing, don't ask. Speaking of, how's the booze situation coming?”
“Useless,” Hope scoffed. “Nothing here but girly stuff, white wine and... oh fuck.” She opened the door and yelled outside. “AVARICE! Stop that! Give Temperance her doll back or I'll have Wrath kick your ass again!” One of the little girls grudgingly returned a Barbie to one of the other little girls as a third little girl loomed threateningly behind them (as much as it's possible for a four-year-old to loom while teetering on a pair of high heels).
Hope closed the door. “So, shopping trip. What do we need? Beds, JD... oh, and food, and clothes, and...”
Charity nodded. “Right. Sorry about your credit limit, B.”
“Yeah. We can take your car, right B?” Faith opened the door again. “KIDS! Get in here!”
“FIVE BY FIVE!” The kids poured through the door and proceeded to playfully wreck the house in a way that only a horde of children with perpetual sugar highs, loud voices and possibly Slayer strength can do.
“Ow! Watch it, weirdo!”
“Oooops! Sorry about that, B!”
“MOOOM! Vanity stole my eyeshadow again!”
“Humility, you fucking snitch.”
“Oooops! Sorry about that, B!”
“MOOOM! Gluttony needs changing!”
“B, where do you keep your AC/DC records?”
“Oooops! Sorry about that, B!”
Buffy stood paralyzed, watching as the cute little rugrats cutely tore her once-quiet home to cute little bits. She grabbed Faith – or whoever the nearest of the sisters was – by her jacket and hissed. “Get-them-out-of-my-house. NOW.”
The dark Slayer looked at her patiently. “B, we're responsible parents. We can't leave the kids to run wild while we go shopping for furniture. They would wreck the whole block.”
“No, you don't get it. There'll be no shopping for anything, no sleepovers and...” Something broke with a loud crash in the living room and one of the little girls walked by, whistling and trying to look as if she had nothing at all to do with it. ”...and NO kids.” Buffy tried to inject some threat into her voice, but it came out more as desperation. “I'm Buffy. I can't do this. I'm not supposed to be all responsible, I'm not ready to...”
“Well, that's tough shit, B. We're here, and we're staying. You're stuck with us for life, deal with it.”
Buffy sat up straight in bed, panting. As she looked around her, she slowly came to realize that she'd been dreaming. Yup. It was all just a dream, nothing more. There was no Mongolian horde of children and no weird triplets, she was right here in her bedroom with...
“Zzz... Mmmmmf... whassatime?” Faith woke up beside her and reached out for the alarm clock. “5.05 AM?! B, chrissakes, I told you; only way I'm letting you drag me to the altar is if I at least get to sleep in. Wedding's not for twelve hours, go back to fucking sleep.”
Buffy shook her head before lying back down. “Sorry. Weird dream.”
“I don't think so.” Buffy thought about it and smiled ever so slightly. “Not a bad one, anyway. Guess I'm just... nervous.”
“Don't worry,” Faith growled affectionately. “Your ass is mine now, Summers, and I ain't letting you go. You're stuck with me for life.” Faith threw her arm around her and went back to sleep. Buffy lay awake for a while until her feet warmed up again, then she yawned and fell asleep in Faith's arms.