Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this short piece of fan fiction are the property of the respective owners. Buffy and all related characters belong to Joss, 20th Century Fox and whoever else is part shareholder of that alliance. A certain mysterious guest and all characters related to his universe are the property of Walt Disney Studios, which by admitting to probably spoils the surprise. Oh well. The author makes no claims otherwise, not his, never was his, and so on and so forth.
Buffy stood with a puzzled expression on her face, it was not one of horror, or even one of nausea and disgust. She was just trying to wrap her brain around what her eyes were showing her, she was so busy staring at the object of her confusion she could barely hear the gangly youth who had served her or the woman in the white uniform attempting to talk to her.
Earlier that day, while visiting Paris after the Sunnydale Collapse, Willow had suggested that they experience the fine foods of France. Unfortunately her first two choices were not available, one had been closed due to health code violations and the other had been far too overcrowded to even think of allowing them in without a reservation.
So, feeling discouraged, Willow had led them off to the third choice on her list. A recent addition that had just opened up and was booming with business, for some odd reason it was also not on any lists for eating establishments anywhere. And now Buffy could see why.
“Is something the matter young lady?” The rich deep baritone finally snapped Buffy out of her stunned silence.
Turning around she found herself face to face with a very thin, pale man who almost could have passed for a vampire, if it weren’t for the healthy complexion in his cheeks. Shaking her head she smiled. “Nah, I just wanted to come back here and compliment the cook, I just wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary.”
“Ah, I see.” Smiling the man placed a hand just inches away from Buffy’s shoulder. “Then allow me to introduce you to the chef.”
Buffy grinned broadly and allowed him to direct her over to the counter where the chef happened to be standing heart still beating a mile a minute. “Thanks for the great meal,” she told him holding out her hand.
The chef grasped her finger and let out a modest sounding squeak.
Buffy chortled as she shook hands with the tiny rat. “Just out of curiosity though, how do you guys keep the health inspectors out of here?”
“Funnily enough we don’t seem to have any problems,” the waiter admitted with a shrug.
“They heard some kind of horror story from the last health inspector who tried closing us down.” The woman stood challengingly nearby her hands on her hips.
Buffy smirked. “Well if you ever do have issues, just call this number.” Passing a calling card to the young red head she shot him a wink. “With talent like this, the little guy definitely doesn’t need to be stressed out by anybody.” Frowning slightly she shot the rat another glance. “I wonder… Nah, it wouldn’t make any kind of sense.” So saying this she turned and left the kitchen without another word.
“What just happened?” Linguini asked after the woman left.
“Apparently not all Americans are uncultured swines,” Ego observed with a delighted twinkle in his eye.
“Americans, they are unpredictable and crazy,” Collette muttered. “Now, let’s get back to work! This food won’t cook itself.”
Remy finally snapped out of his nervous state and moved to wash his paws after touching the woman. He had sensed something, after all he was a rat he could sense things humans couldn’t, he’d also smelled a lot of ash and decay surrounding the woman. It disturbed him a bit more than being found out by yet another human. Still he did have a job to do, so many other customers to serve.
“So, did you see the cook?” Willow asked as Buffy rejoined the group at the table.
“Oh yeah, I saw him.”
Dawn shook her head. “Well, was he cute or what?”
Buffy laughed. “Only if you happened to be into interspecies dating.”
“You mean, the guy who cooked that breathtaking meal is a demon?” Dawn stared disbelievingly at her sister.
Buffy wiped a tear of mirth from her eye after bursting out laughing. “Not exactly. More like how Amy used to be before she had that operation.”
Willow’s face turned a little green.
Buffy stared at her two traveling companions. “What?”
Dawn sighed and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Are you sure you’re totally over what happened to you that one time in high school?”
Buffy shot her sister a glare. “Oh come on! Don’t tell me you’re going to discriminate against somebody just because he’s a different species!” she accused.
Willow shuddered. “But, Buffy… What about diseases?” Quickly standing up she looked around for the public washroom. “I think I’m going to…”
Buffy watched as Willow ran off. “Typical. She suggests a great place to eat, where we experience heaven on a plate, and as soon as she finds out who the chef is she get’s sick.”
Dawn shook her head. “No, I think it’s just her years of reading up on subjects nobody else ever really cared about. Are we sure this is a real rat and not an Amy rat?”
Buffy nodded. “No magic when I shook his paw.”
“You can sense magic now?” Dawn wondered suspiciously.
“Not all types, but I’m more than familiar with that particular spell. My slayer sense didn’t tingle.” With a wicked grin she reached for her purse to pay for the meal. “So, are we going to tell Faith where she can find the best cuisine in Paris?”
Dawn shot her sister an incredulous look. “And risk her knifing the chef when she found out? Hell no, I want to come back here.”
Giggling a little this time Buffy made her way to the cashier along with her sister, Willow met them along the way rubbing her stomach.
“No fair, I liked that meal,” she complained.
“Then next time try not to worry about it,” Buffy insisted as she paid for her meal.
Willow nodded with a determined expression. “Think we should introduce the chef to Amy?”
Buffy shook her head. “Now you’re just being cruel to the little guy. No one deserves that.”
And so the three women from America left La Ratatouille heading back to their hotel for the night, each of them determined to come back to experience a feast for the pallet like none of them had experienced before.The End
Author's Post-Note: This it what happens when you've had a bit of an odd idea stuck in your head the past few weeks. This story has been on my computer at least seven or more days, and I finally got around to posting it. Enjoy.