Chapter One: California Girl
Set during Season Six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
and Season One of Supernatural
All characters and concepts belong to their respective owners/creators. No copyright infringement intended.
******Chapter One: California Girl
Buffy Summers peered out of the foggy windows of the Greyhound bus at the light snow swirling down from the ominous clouds overhead. Weather like this was foreign to her – snowfall wasn’t a regular occurrence in her balmy hometown of Sunnydale, California. She knew the heated bus had lulled her into a false sense of security, and the second she stepped off the bus she would feel the wrath of the late autumn of Colorado.
“Central Aspen!” called the driver from the front. The bus eased to a stop, the opening doors allowing a flood of frosty wind to flow through the bus. Buffy pulled on her beanie, stood up and, ignoring the stiffness in her legs, made her way out.
She wrapped her arms around herself as the driver wrenched her bag from the luggage compartment in the side of the bus.
“Californian?” the driver asked.
Buffy nodded. “Born and bred. I swear this degree of cold is not natural.”
The driver chuckled. “It’s only November. You wait until January, you won’t know what hit you.”
“I’ll take your word for it.”
“Well, have a good vacation.”
She watched the bus pull away before turning around and scanning the busy street for the coffee shop Xander had told her to wait in. She spotted it across the street, with a huge cup of steaming coffee painted on the window.
“Welcome to Carole’s Coffee House!” a plump woman appeared the second Buffy entered. The bell tinkled behind her as the door shut. “You must be freezing sweetheart, I can tell from that California tan that you’re not used to the nippy weather!”
Buffy raised her eyebrows. Do I have “L.A. bimbo” tattooed to my forehead?
“Um, yeah,” she said. “I’m actually just here to wait for my friend, so ... I’ll just get a mineral water please.”
“Don’t be silly!” the woman smiled widely. “You look like you could use a big cup of coffee to warm you up!”
Buffy felt her mouth water at the idea of something warm. This woman had the gift of the gab.
“Sure,” Buffy replied. “But make it a mocha. The only way I can drink coffee is when it doesn’t taste like it.”
She pulled off her beanie and collapsed in a booth. The coffee shop was warm, and Buffy found herself in a better mood once she had a hot drink cupped in her hands. She studied the posters littering the walls – Ski Aspen, Hiking For Everyone, White Water Rafting Adventures!
None of which appealed to her. Full-time slaying and working at a fast food joint had left Buffy exhausted over the past months. She was looking forward to two weeks of uninterrupted “me” time, with plenty of trashy magazines and watching movies in her pyjamas.
A part of her mind slipped from her comfortable daydream and back to Sunnydale. What kind of evil might be brewing when she wasn’t there to keep it in check? A biker gang of demons wreaking havoc, poltergeists, a Hellgod bent on opening a portal to a demon dimension maybe? Apocalypse? Was it irresponsible of her to leave her post for that long?
She bit her lip. Surely she deserved a short break as much as anyone. Perhaps more. How often did your average white-collar worker risk their life to save the world?
Movement out of the corner of her eye broke her thoughts. A young man sat down in a booth opposite Buffy. Another young man was already sitting there, sipping a cup of coffee and perusing the local newspaper.
“Anything?” the first man said.
“Apart from an opinion piece on the evils of reality television, nothing,” replied the second man. “Which doesn’t mean there won’t be.”
“Maybe ... maybe you mistook it for something more than it is. I told you to stay away from those crappy horror movies.” He looked around and caught Buffy’s eye. She looked away, embarrassed. She hadn’t realised she was being so obvious about eavesdropping.
She turned her head back around. The man was still staring at her. She held his gaze, as if challenging him to call her on it. He grinned haughtily, then stood up and made his way over to Buffy. The second man watched, stunned.
“Hey, how you doing?” he said, is voice dripping with self-confidence. “Do I have something in my teeth?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Well, I guessed from the way you were staring at me, I must have food caught in my teeth or something.”
Buffy stifled a laugh. How conceited could you get? Despite what everyone in this town seemed to think, Buffy wasn’t an airhead Californian, and she knew when someone was chatting her up.
“Sorry, I thought you were someone else,” Buffy said with a fake smile. “I was watching Cops
last night, and I swear the guy they were chasing down the highway looked just like you.”
The second man laughed. The first man’s smile faded. Clearly he wasn’t used to being put in his place by pretty young girls.
“Ignore him,” the second man said to Buffy. “It’s time someone beat him down on the hunt.”
“I’ll just have to be the one that got away.”
The first man had regained his footing. “What, you think I was trying to come onto you? I seem to recall you were staring at us.”
“It was your mention of that article about reality television. Pure evil. It will be downfall of Western society.”
His face softened. “Look, can we start again? I’m Dean, Dean Winchester. That slacker is my brother Sam.”
Buffy shook his extended hand. “Buffy Summers.”
“You look lonely there by yourself.”
“Is that an invitation?”
“Are you accepting it?”
Buffy paused for a second, then picked up her things and made her way over to the other table. Ten minutes chatting with these guys couldn’t hurt.
“So where are you from, Buffy?” Sam asked politely. No prizes for guessing which brother inherited the courteous gene.
“California,” Buffy replied.
“L.A.” Dean said knowingly.
“No,” said Buffy touchily. “Well, actually, I used to live there. Then we moved. Ever heard of Sunnydale?”
“Sunnydale,” Dean repeated. “Yeah, I know the name.” His brow remained creased in thought.
“What about you guys?”
“Kansas originally,” said Sam. “But we move around a lot. Dean and I are kind of on a road trip at the moment.”
“Nice,” Buffy said. “So why Aspen?”
“Everyone knows this is a party town,” Dean interjected, flashing his self-confident smile again. “Hottest social scene in Colorado. Plan on doing much clubbing while you’re here, Buffy?”
“A world of no,” Buffy said. “This vacation is strictly R&R. No clubs. Lots of early nights, sleeping in and calorific desserts.”
“That’s a shame,” said Dean as he leaned back. “I heard that Shooters bar is not to be missed.”
Buffy’s phone began to vibrate in her pocket. She opened it up, reading the message from her friend Xander.
“That’s my ride,” she said, standing and picking up her bag.
Sam stood politely. “It was really nice to meet you, Buffy,” he said sincerely.
“Yeah, you guys too,” she replied. “Chain your tires when it gets icy. Is that what they do? I think I saw that on The Great Outdoors
Sam chuckled. “I guess in a town with a name like Sunnydale, tire-chaining doesn’t happen too often?”
“Only every time it doesn’t snow,” she said with a grin. She looked at Dean.
“Enjoy your vacation,” said Dean, giving her a nod and a hint of a smirk.