The phone rang halfway through Crime Story. Willow glared at it, debating ignoring the phone in favor of watching Jackie Chan beat people up in fascinating and unusual ways. Except that if she didn't answer the darn thing, it would keep ringing.
Grabbing the phone, she didn't quite growl, "What?"
:Calm down, Wills! I’m just trying to make sure everybody's good... am I interrupting something?: Buffy's voice carried over the phone.
"Milkshakes and Jackie Chan movies. No hellmouthy interruptions allowed," Willow could feel herself frowning.
:Ohhh, snuggle time with your honey?: Buffy's voice took on a teasing note.
"Not as much as I'd like, we have company." Willow grumbled. Looking over at David and Faith she explained, "Buffy's on the phone, and I'm not sure why."
:This is important, Willow! Have you had any problems, any sort of demony problems or stalkers lately?: Buffy's voice had a more worried tone.
"Ummm..." Willow blinked, reminding herself that she didn't want to even try to explain the vampire boyfriend and becoming part vampire herself bit to Buffy. "Nobody's been stalking me except for David, and I haven't had any new problems. Oz said there were some weird smells around the Bronze, and Faith's motel burned down..."
:Oh my God! Is she... do you know if she made it out?: Buffy half shrieked over the phone.
Willow winced, unsure if her teeth had slipped into fangs. "She made it out. I don't know what started it, she mentioned seeing vampires while the fire fighters were still at work."
:But you don't know what started it? Can you check?: Buffy's voice was still unhappy and stressed, but softer.
"I can take a look and see if the report's in their system yet, but it might not be," Willow murmured.
:This is just awful... I need to tell Giles...:
Willow blinked as the connection ended. "Weird."
"You told B my motel burned down?" Faith looked at her, sipping at the last of her milkshake. The bits of pecan were rattling in the bottom of the cup.
"Yeah, and she really freaked out. I told her you made it out, and that you'd mentioned the vamps, but..." Willow shrugged. "She said she had to tell Giles right away."
"It made the news, wouldn't he already know?" Faith blinked.
"Did he know that's where you were staying? 'Cause there might be a difference between somewhere burned down and the somewhere a Slayer was living burned down. Unless they didn't know, in which case it's just a weird coincidence, but it sounded like Buffy thought they were looking for something specific, and..."
"Breathe, Willow!" David insisted.
"I doubt he knew, I hadn't exactly advertised," Faith admitted. "I don't think anyone else knew."
"So it was either an accident or an ugly coincidence," David offered.
"And if Giles thinks there's something up, we'll hear from them again. Until then, we have movies!" Willow waved towards the television.
"Likely," Faith agreed. "So, that bit right before the commercials... would that even work?"
"There's a lot of room for that sort of thing to go wrong," David murmured.
"But scenes like that are part of the appeal," Willow grinned.
end part 1.
During the next commercial break, Willow gathered up the empty Styrofoam, both from the milkshakes and the blood, to throw them into the trash. Willow was murmuring a bit about needing to work on the whole magic floaty thing, enough that she would be able to just point and have the trash throw itself away, but if she tried that now things would probably spill all over the floor, and make a terrible nasty mess – melted ice cream and blood, ugghhh…
While she was in the kitchen for that, Faith twisted in her chair to face David. “So, your bloodline has nasty mind control tricks?”
“We’ve got a few nifty tricks. I’ve been teaching Willow that one. She’s off to a good start,” David smiled. “And it’s only nasty if you’re trying. ‘S good for short term illusions, maybe a little you-don’t-see-me, a little nothing wrong here. Memories are harder, and that can go wrong easy.”
“So she was trying something big,” Faith glanced towards the kitchen.
“My girl’s an over-achiever,” David smirked.
Faith looked like she was going to argue, but stopped, shook her head, and pulled one knee up in front of her, leaning her chin on her knee. “I’m adding my vote for Red to stay sun-light friendly for a while. It’s nice to have someone I can hang out with.”
“A new thing for you? You don’t strike me as the nobody around type,” David countered.
“She’s not trying to get me into trouble, not trying to get into my pants, and she wants me to be better at what I do. She believes that I can do better, make more of myself than a pretty girl in or out of tight clothes.” Faith shook her head, “That’s the part that’s new.”
“Hmmm.” David leaned back on the couch, his feet going onto the table. “If I didn’t have Willow, if you weren’t a Slayer… I can see the appeal for getting you out of your clothes.”
“What’s me being a Slayer have to do with it?” Faith arched an eyebrow.
“Slayers can feel vampires, and vampires can feel Slayers. It isn’t a feeling that I’d want in the person in bed with me,” David shrugged. “You feel too much like sunshine.”
“Sunshine? Me? I’m about the least sunshine-like person I know!” Faith blinked.
“Fast, powerful, lethal. Not really good for vampires.” David shrugged, “Nice to look at, but not good to touch.”
“I thought it was a kind of warm itchy feeling myself,” Willow offered, stepping back into the room.
“Sounds like a personal problem,” Faith grinned.
“Feeling of Slayer. My personal’s all in good working order, thanks,” Willow countered.
“Well, then if Slayers feel like sunshine to vampires, how’d B and her vamp ever…” Faith paused, “They did, right? He had his sway to the dark side because they got it on?”
David shuddered, “Not just any Slayer, but blondie? Gahhh….”
“He wasn’t impressed,” Willow translated, her thumb pointing at David.
“Seriously, how did they…?” Faith looked from Willow to David and back to Willow.
“I think Angel’s a masochist,” Willow offered. “He’s made a few comments that make it sound like a lot of vamps are into the whole sado-masochism kind of thing, at least in his family.”
“Do I want to know if you know…” Faith blinked.
David arched an eyebrow and looked at Willow.
Turning a brilliant red, Willow tried to hide her face behind a pillow, muttering, “I told you – the internet’s for porn! I learned… I learned things that I never knew I didn’t want to know until it was too late. What has been seen can not be unseen. There is no brain bleach. Internet capable computer and no adult supervision. Do I need to say anything else? Can we just drop that whole thing?”
“And you’re supposed to be the quiet, shy good girl,” Faith chuckled. “Did you really mean it about the demon-porn on the Watcher computers?”
“Demon-porn?” David blinked. “There’s… on the internet? In the Watcher’s computers? Whaaaa?”
“Yes, it’s out there. A lot of it gets passed off as mythology-based, or inspired by some of those weird Japanese animated things with the naughty tentacles, but… you can tell what’s photo-shopped or bad make-up and what isn’t. And at least a third of that stuff was already on their computers before I’d ever even heard of Watchers.” Willow folded her arms, and sighed. “I still want brain bleach.”
“Considering some of the demons that I’ve seen,’ Faith paused and shuddered. “I don’t think I want to see.”
“Really naughty tentacles?’ David whispered. “I don’t know if I’m intrigued or disturbed.”
“Pick disturbed. There were… tentacles. Too many tentacles. It was really, really freaky, and the more you looked the worse it seems to get. Imagine Cthulu, Blue-thulu, and a pair of cheerleaders having theirselves an orgy, and you may come close to the levels of just not right.” Willow shuddered, and repeated, “I really want brain bleach.”
“Blue-thulu? You know what, I don’t think I want to know after all,” Faith made a face. “I’m starting to want brain bleach just from trying to figure out how that would work.”
“Chaos demons? Polgara? Marraecholith?” emerged in a small voice from David.
“Extra slimy yep, yep, and eeew yep,” Willow nodded. “I told you, whatever it is, there’s porn of it.”
“I will never doubt you on matters of awful things on the internet again,” David promised, looking queasy.
Faith just nodded.
“Good. ‘Cause next time I’ll make you look at pictures,” Willow threatened.
End part 2.
“So, why was B lookin’ for me anyhow? If you had to tell her that the motel burned down, then she wasn’t calling to see if I was still five by five. What did she want anyhow?” Faith leaned back in her chair.
“She didn’t say,” Willow paused, “But she did sound like Giles was right there, so… they were probably… at the library.”
“The same library where you left the other one out cold on the floor?” David asked.
“Bet they found him?” Faith let one hand fall over her eyes. “And if he told them anything…”
“We’re doomed,” Willow whimpered.
David hugged Willow, “I’m here for you, and I won’t let anyone take you away. They can’t get you, I won’t let them. Faith won’t let them. You aren’t helpless either.”
Faith moved her hand and nodded, “Damn straight. We won’t stand for anyone getting rid of you. Neither would Oz, even if Fang over there doesn’t like my wolf.”
“Wait,” David frowned, “You said you pushed at his mind. He might not remember what happened.”
“So we might not be doomed yet,” Willow breathed.
“You have three, maybe four months ‘till you graduate. Make plans to get out of this place as soon as,” Faith paused. “Oz and the band are planning on heading to LA. I’m going there too.”
“Sounds like a plan,” David smirked. “The sooner we can leave this hellhole the better.”
“Hellmouth, not hellhole,” Willow muttered.
David shrugged, “I still want out as soon as we can manage. Probably have Angel leave too, unless he’s an even bigger masochist than we thought.”
“Let’s not go back there,” Faith warned.
“I can do computer work, a lot of it from home or wherever I want as long as I’ve got the internet. It’s even something I should still be able to do when I’m not sunlight friendly,” Willow offered.
“When?” Faith gave a suspicious look at David.
“Well, since it seems to be that the only ways not to wind up a full vampire sometime in the future involve me dying even more completely, or David getting killed but not me… I figure it’s probably going to happen sometime. I’m in no hurry, but it’d be dumb not to have a few plans ready,” Willow countered.
“Try to make it later rather than sooner,” Faith demanded.
“My own mother isn’t even that worried about my continued breathing and pulse,” Willow blinked, and then sighed, “Which is pretty sad, really.”
“She can jump into the ocean, you don’t need her.” Faith scowled at the television.
“Let’s try to stay calm about why blondie was calling. We don’t know that they know anything about your involvement,” David suggested.
“And panicking always makes them wonder what you’re hiding,” Faith agreed.
“ohhhh,” Willow moaned, “I suck at keeping secrets.”
“Just leave them convinced your hiding a secret boyfriend, and they won’t look further,” Faith suggested.
Willow considered that for a few moments before admitting, “I don’t have any better ideas.”
Somehow the Jackie Chan movies weren’t quite as relaxing after that.
End part 3.
End Eyes 18: Panicked Eyes.