Our Slayers, Our Selves
by Andrew Wells, Esq. Into every young woman's life comes a change. Before, she is a shy bud closed against the world. Then, one day, it comes. The bud trembles with life and strength. The miracle happens. A new day dawns as her petals open to greet the rosy-fingered dawn of a new stage in her life. She has become a glorious, vital flower. Naturally, there will be questions.
Among them may be "I can now bench-press a Volvo?"
Weirdest informational hand-outs, ever.
Abby tucked the pamphlet back into the stack on Rupert's desk. The books on the study shelves definitely weren't ordered according to Oprah's top ten picks. Those that weren't in dead--or undead--languages contained the sort of woodcuts that stretched even her taste in the macabre. Andrew Wells'--Esquire, don't forget that--helpful hints on slayerhood, dealing with sudden-onset lycanthropy, and simple recipes for the busy demon hunter was the most normal reading material at hand. A faint snore came from the concealed door, left ajar, in the study's panelling. The sound of an exhausted Watcher Emeritus sleeping off the effect of a worked up Abby in bed drifted down the spiral stairs leading to his room. Post-coital chatting? Not up for it. Although, with the right application of dental floss, Rupert had been up all--
Abby idly wondered if one of the rooms down the hall could fit in a coffin. Rupert's chambers were too cramped.
Getting a little ahead of herself.
The District patrol house was quiet as a tomb, though she might have to rethink that simile these days. More snores betrayed slayers whose alcohol tolerance has met its match in Abby's decision to change "thank you for sex" cases of beer to "thank you for stopping the apocalypse" kegs. Rupert's objections had been drowned out by the collective rush of super-strong feet. Apparently, the motto of Chosen Ones after a successful mission was "We saved the world, let's party!" Abby thoroughly approved. In the parlour, Ziva snored on a couch. A huge bruise marked the left side of her face. A souvenir of some spirited free-sparring with Vi that had slammed her into one of the padded walls. Abby suspected that a certain Israeli ninja would be asking to use the gym here as krav maga practice space; her reaction to the full range of their cutlery collection rivaled the hotter sessions of Tony-and-Ziva Jocasta sex.
Breakfast, apparently, was happening in the kitchen. Tying up her robe, Abby peered inside. An espresso machine gurgled over the refrains of a light opera coming from a radio on the counter. A skillet heated up on the range. One of the slayers chopped up odds and ends on a cutting board while whisking up a bowl of eggs. Dressed in a tank top and drawstring pants, the petite young woman bounced to the music. Blond hair was tied up in a ponytail to keep it out of her eyes. Wait. Blonde, short, and she was closer to Abby's age-- If you looked closely, every movement was graceful and precise. As if power were restrained just beneath the surface of a seemingly harmless woman.
"I should warn you," Buffy Anne Summers said over her shoulder, "my cooking's better. But it's a little like my life: might end in fire and screaming."
"You're--" Abby said, staring at Buffy. "I'm--"
"Abby." Hazel eyes winked at her. "SWORD's full of teenage girls. Slayer World Occult Response Directorate, by the way, and we only avoided SHIELD because the backronym didn't pan out. Nothing travels faster than rumour, unless it's the stomach flu on a fifteen hour flight to Pakistan. That mission? Not the funnest ever. Oh, cool, we may actually have omelets."
"Thanks!" Abby poked at the curdled mass slid onto a plate. "What kind of omelet?"
"The kind you use this on." Buffy pointed at the bottle of Tabasco sauce. "These days, not a girl who holds onto her illusions."
"Mmmmph! Good!" Abby shoveled scrambled eggs into her mouth.
"Guess someone's not for low-fat yogurt," Buffy said with an arched eyebrow. "Say no more. Really, don't, or else I'll have to rip out the word 'stevedore' from the dictionaries again."
Fork paused halfway to lips while Abby had another Moment.
"Dropped by here because, as usual," Buffy continued, "demons ate my luggage--again, really have to chat with TSA on that--and out of long experience every patrol house has a summersized cache of emergency outfits. While I was by the by, I thought we should have a chat."
"Is this where you threaten me with a shovel?" Abby asked. "Rupert warned me about that speech."
"I trust Faith's judgment. Miracle of miracles." Buffy tasted the contents of her espresso cup. "More like you're going to get a visit from the FBI. We're not really formal, although if you talk too much I might send around Vi and Rona in dark glasses to glare at you. The government's got these pesky NDA's you'll have to sign. Don't worry, Doyle and Manetti aren't as bad as they look."
"Tell them to clear it with Director Vance." Abby decided Tabasco sauce was a good idea, after all. "Special Agents not named Fornell who show up suddenly looking for me end up with a testy ex-gunnery sergeant aiming at their kneecaps. My boss Gibbs doesn't want repeats."
"Noted." Buffy placed a card on the table. "Our emergency number for tips or if you ever--and I mean this--ever are in trouble of creature-y kind."
"My work number and email," Abby said, using a nearby pen to scrawl them out on a napkin. "If you need a forensics tech--"
"Who we're gonna call." Buffy pursed her lips thoughtfully. "Which brings up something where I'm gonna take shameless advantage of you. How's your agency feel about interns?"
It was an hour later when Abby realized work called. Loudly. Good thing she had snatched a quick shower before heading to the study. Ziva was already waiting dressed in an outfit borrowed from one of the slayers. Apparently cargo pants were fashion forward for hunting vampires as well as covert assassinations. Giles was still dozing when she dashed upstairs. Clean clothes-- Oh. Heh. At the back of his closet was a certain outfit--cleaned and pressed--as if readied for a repeat of Very Personal Assistant. Well, it was work-appropriate. Also, watching Tony and Tim's collective head explode wider than when she had showed up as Norma Jean would be worthy of a month's appreciative Caf-Pows from an amused Gibbs. She was about to put her hair up in a bun when she reconsidered.
Abby bounced down, pigtails and tweed, to head off to work.