The Torquay Frog Mystery.By Dave Turner.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Buffyverse (created by Joss Whedon) or Fawlty Towers (written by John Cleese and Connie Booth) or Call of Cthulhu (information taken from the RPG, CofC published by Chaosium, based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft). I also do not claim authorship of any scripted words that may appear in this fic. I write these stories for fun not profit.
Crossover: The Buffyverse with Fawlty Towers and Call of Cthulhu.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation; Written in glorious English-English which is different to American English.
Timeline: Set in my ‘Grim up north’ reality. Summer ’04.
Words: Seven chapters of 2500+ words.
Warnings: Femslash, minor bad language and violence.
Summary: They could have gone anywhere for their vacation; San Tropez, Acapulco, The Seychelles. Instead Willow and Kennedy went to Torquay; the sea demons and cultists turned out to be the least of their problems.0=0=0=0Torquay, Devon, England, Summer, 2004.
This was it, two glorious weeks by themselves; no vampires, no monsters and best of all no Buffy Summers. Kennedy smiled; no Buffy and her increasingly erratic behaviour. Buffy was weird (or so Kennedy always thought) but she’d got weirder still after she’d come back from LA to find Dawn and Faith in bed together. Anybody would think she’d never seen a lesbian before.
This would be Willow and Kennedy’s first real vacation together. They could have gone anywhere; San Tropez, Acapulco, The Seychelles. They could have gone elephant riding in India (no, on second thoughts maybe not elephants) or they could have lazed on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean. After all, Kennedy’s father gave her a very
generous salary, so where did they end up? Torquay…in Devon…the so-called ‘English Riviera’.
Even that wouldn’t have been so bad, there were some nice (expensive) hotels right there in Torquay that Kennedy could have booked them into. But, oh no, Willow wanted to experience a ‘real’ British hotel with ‘real’ British people. Well, Kennedy sulked, The Dorchester was a ‘real’ British hotel, it had ‘real’ British people and it also had rooms bigger than their apartment. Okay, so the Dorchester was in London, but London was the ‘in’ place to be; Harrods, Fortnum’s and Masson’s, shopping in the Westend. It had bars and night clubs and enough museums and galleries to keep Willow happy for weeks. But no, they had to go to…Torquay.
The only good thing, as far as Kennedy could see, was she’d been able to try out her birthday present from her father. It was low and fast and just the right shade of candy red, it had real leather upholstery and had she mentioned fast
? She didn’t know what make it was, she didn’t really care, she just knew that it was way coooool
and her Daddy had bought it for her. Kennedy loved her father, she always had, she was a real ‘Daddy’s girl’ and she hated her step-mother with a passion. Everything bad that’d happened in her life was down to her step-mother, or so she kept telling Willow, and one day there would be a reckoning.
They’d started out from Cleveland early that morning and hit the motorway shortly afterwards; Kennedy had kept the speed down to right on the speed limit all the way. Oddly Willow’d had this strange ‘frightened rabbit’ look on her face for the last hundred miles or so and had actually stopped talking for most of the journey. Kennedy hadn’t noticed Willow’s white knuckles, she’d been too busy negotiating the narrow country roads (again at just under the speed limit) to really notice. Anyway they were there now and it was only mid afternoon.
Looking up at the white, square building at the other end of the drive, Kennedy sighed. This certainly wasn’t the Ritz, she sighed again (heavily), oh for the Ritz she thought. However, the Fawlty Towers Hotel was at least set in its own grounds; there were lawns and trees and bushes that separated it from its neighbours. It was two stories high and gave the impression of having once been a large Victorian House.
Looking out through the windscreen, Kennedy caught sight of a sign that pointed the way to the hotel, ‘Flowery Twats’ it said. She frowned, she was sure she’d heard some of the young English slayers use that word and not in a ‘nice’ way. It seemed odd to call a hotel ‘Twat’, ‘Flowery’ or otherwise. She glanced across at Willow who’d let go of the dashboard and seemed to be breathing more normally now they’d stopped. Kennedy’s eyebrows lowered when she noticed the finger marks Willow had left in the leather of the dash’.
“Hey,” Kennedy turned and gave Willow a bright smile, “are you sure this is the right place?” She paused hopefully before adding, “We can always go somewhere else you know?”
“Umm,” Willow searched amongst a pile of brochures taken from the glove compartment; she sorted through them until she found the one she was looking for. “Yeah,” she nodded, “this is the one, see?”
Willow showed Kennedy the picture on the front of a brochure, Kennedy cursed deep inside, damn it, was there no escape? Putting the car back into gear she drove up to the hotel and parked on the little car-park at the front of the building. Switching off the engine she sat for a moment with her hands on the steering wheel staring out through windscreen.
I could start up and be outta here in seconds, she thought, we could go to a proper hotel and…and… No, Kennedy shook her head sadly, that would upset Willow and she didn’t want that, not now, not here; she’d lost too much over the last couple of years to risk losing Willow. No, she’d deal and try to enjoy herself; really it was no worse than some of the places they’d stayed in while on missions. Compared to some of the places they’d stopped at in South America this was luxury. But…that was work; this was supposed to be fun.
The sound of Willow’s door opening broke Kennedy out of her black mood; plastering a happy expression on her face she climbed out of the car. Looking over the top of the vehicle at Willow she told heself, the first cockroach I see we’re outta here! Walking around to the front of the car she opened the trunk (or boot as they called it here). Lifting out their suitcases, Kennedy put them down on the gravel of the car-park and looked around; no eager porters rushed to carry their bags. In fact you could be forgiven for thinking the hotel was deserted.
“Do you want a hand with those?” Willow walked over to help Kennedy with their luggage.
“No,” Kennedy smiled trying not to sound too put upon; she started to collect the suitcases together, “no I’m fine, you know, slayer strength and all.”
Fussing around Kennedy, Willow picked up one small suitcase and led the way towards the front door, while Kennedy followed on behind like some strange two legged beast of burden.0=0=0=0
Walking into the lobby, Willow looked around and smiled. This didn’t look too bad; it was clean, a little ‘frumpy’ maybe but it was clean…yes, she nodded to herself, very clean. Willow frowned to herself; maybe she should have let Kennedy choose the hotel after all. No! No, this would be fine, she’d wanted to sample a simple British hotel and this certainly looked…simple…and clean.
Looking to her left she saw a double door marked ‘Dining Room’. Great, she smiled; they have a proper dining room. To her right was a door marked ‘Bar’ and they had a bar too, not that she drank a lot. Kennedy liked an occasional glass of wine but she wasn’t what you might call a heavy drinker; unlike Buffy. Willow walked a little further into the lobby as a tall, thin man appeared from below the level of the reception desk, he was dialling a number on an old fashioned looking phone.
“Hi,” Willow smiled as she stepped up to the counter, “you have a room for…”
“Your *name*,” asked the man crossly “please, could I have your name?”
“Rosenberg?” Willow replied timidly, in the background Kennedy crashed through the doors carrying their cases.
“One second please,” someone had obviously answered the phone at the other end. “Hello?” the man almost shouted down the phone, “Ah, yes Mr O'Reilly, well it's perfectly simple. When I asked you to build me a wall I was rather hoping that instead of just dumping the bricks in a pile you might have found time to cement them together... you know, one on top of another, in the traditional fashion.”
The man on the phone looked at Willow testily and pointed to the registration book, “Could you fill it in, please?” He tapped the page with an impatient finger. “Oh, splendid!” again the man spoke into the phone while Willow wrote her name, “Ah, yes, but ‘when’, Mr O'Reilly?”
“‘Both’ names, please,” the man, whom Willow assumed must be the manager, looked from Willow to where Kennedy stood forlornly amongst their pile of luggage. “Yes,” sighed the manager tiredly, “I should have guessed, Mr. O'Reilly, that and the potato famine I suppose...”
“Sorry?” Willow was a little confused about what was being said to whom.
“Would you put ‘both’ your names, please?” once more the manager tapped the book before speaking into the phone again, “Well, will you give me a date?”
“Er, what date do you want?” Willow was really confused now.
“What?” the manager looked at Willow, “Look its really quite simple,” he said into the phone, “just give me a date.”
“How about the fourth of July?” This was the first date that had sprung into Willow’s mind.
There was a long silent pause as the manager looked from Willow to the phone then over at Kennedy who was still standing amongst the luggage and then back at Willow.
“Go away!” The manager slammed down the phone and Willow was still unsure whether she should go away or whether he’d been talking to whoever was on the other end of the line.
“Umm…” began Willow, only to be cut off in mid ‘umm’ by the manager.
“Good afternoon,” the manager smiled insincerely, “I’m Mr Fawlty, I own and try to run this living hell, and you are…” he spun the register around and read the names, “Miss Rosenberg and Miss Scarpone.” Once again he paused and looked at Willow and Kennedy, “I see,” he said under his breath, “I’m not having any of that sort of thing here.”
“I see you’ve been booked into room twenty-one,” Fawlty announced with false jollity, “I’m sorry to say that room’s being redecorated. So, I’ll put you into two singles…” again he spoke quietly, “at opposite ends of the building.”
Just as Kennedy was about to grab Willow and the luggage prior to heading for a more welcoming hotel. An energetic, petite woman in precariously high heels appeared from what was obviously a back office. She wore a tight skirt suit in a vivid shade of blue and sported a tower of permed and back-combed hair.
“What are you talking about, Basil?” the woman pushed in front of ‘Basil’ and smiled welcomingly at the two Americans, “Twenty-one’s not being redecorated…”
“Yes it is!” Basil blurted out.
“No it isn’t,” smiled the woman as she turned to get the keys for the room.
“But…” Basil tried to get a word in edgeways but was cut off once more by his wife.
“I’m afraid my husband must have got confused,” she handed the keys to Willow before giving Basil a sharp look, “now help these ladies with their luggage.”
“Yes dear, of course…” replied Basil more than a little cowed by his wife who swept back into the office, “…my little puff adder,” he added quietly. “MANUEL!” Basil yelled at the top of his voice, then at a more normal volume he explained, “Manuel will show you to your room…if you're lucky. We have a Spanish porter at the moment,” continued Basil conversationally, “he's from Barcelona. It'd be quicker to train an ape!”
“Que?” A short dark haired man in a white steward’s jacket appeared hesitantly from the direction of the dinning room.
“Ah! Manuel,” Fawlty greeted the man with an air of resignation, “Take these ladies and their bags to room twenty-one.”
“Que?” repeated Manuel as Fawlty walked over to stand in front of him.
“Stupidissimo!” Muttered Fawlty who then clipped Manuel around the back of his head, “Continental cretin!”
“OW!” Manuel complained rubbing the back of his head.
Frowning, Kennedy stepped forward; this was no way to treat the staff, obviously this Fawlty character was a total bully. Catching Manuel’s attention with a quiet cough, Kennedy directed a stream of rapid fire Spanish at the little man. Manuel’s face light up like the sun had just come out. Picking up the bags he led them up the stairs towards room twenty-one while at the same time giving them a running litany of Basil Fawlty’s crimes against humanity and Spanish waiters in particular.
“Wow,” gasped Willow once they’d been shown into their room and Kennedy had tipped Manuel, “that was impressive, where’d you learn to speak Spanish like that?”
“Home,” Kennedy moved across the room and opened the door into the en suite bathroom, her lip curled in disgust, “all the staff were Mexican so you had to speak Spanish to get anything done.” Kennedy walked over to the window and looked out, “My stepmother never quite worked out how things were supposed to work, she just yelled at them in English and complained when nothing got done…didn’t you order a sea view?”
“What? Sorry,” Willow blinked at the sudden change in subject, “Umm yes.”
“Then where is it?” Kennedy asked as Willow walked over to join her, “Apparently I have a strong Mexican accent and sound a little like Speedy Gonzales.”
Determined not to be confused again, Willow looked out the window; Kennedy was right there did seem to be a complete lack of sea-view. Just as she was about to turn away and telephone Fawlty something caught her eye.
“There!” Willow pointed, “The sea!”
“Where?” Kennedy squinted out the window she couldn’t see the sea anywhere.
“Right there,” Willow pointed harder, “between that roof and the tree.”
Following Willow’s pointing finger, Kennedy caught sight of sunlight glinting on water. Sure enough there was a small triangle of sea; if it hadn’t been for Willow pointing it out and her own enhanced slayer eyesight she’d have completely missed it.
“You don’t like it, do you?” Willow sat down on the bed and looked up at her girlfriend, “The hotel I mean.”
Turning and looking down at the sad looking little witch, Kennedy sighed; no she didn’t like it, the room was too small, the bathroom didn’t have a shower, just a bath and to make matters worse it looked as if it would hardly fit one person let alone two. Willow had so wanted this to work, for it to be something of an adventure, a sort of learning adventure; Kennedy knew that Willow’s happiness would stand or fall on what she said next.
“Anywhere with you in it,” Kennedy sat on the bed next to Willow and took her hand, “is just perfect by me.”
Resting her head against Kennedy’s shoulder, Willow looked up into her girlfriend’s eyes. “How do you do that?” She asked.
“Do what?” Kennedy put her arm around Willow.
“You always totally know the right thing to say,” Willow sighed contentedly.
“Must be some sort of slayer ability,” Kennedy joked, “before I changed I was always such a self-involved, pushy, obnoxious bitch!”0=0=0=0