What's my Line?
A/N: Updated in a bout of Christmas Cheer! I wish I could say that this fic will be updated regularly, but I can’t honestly make that promise. The next chapter will be up when it’s up and I can’t get it done any sooner.
A/N 2: The plan is for ‘Ted’ to come next followed by ‘Surprise’ and ‘Passion’.
CHAPTER 9: WHAT’S MY LINE?
Angel squirmed uncomfortably under the little girl’s attention. She’d been firing questions ever since she heard him climb through Buffy’s window a half hour ago. He’d have to be stealthier in future.
“So do you, like, eat demon blood as well? And don’t you ever feel bad about those poor little pigs whose gunk you’re drinking? It’s kinda gross don’t you think?”
Buffy froze. Oh no, not again. She slung her bag through her bedroom window announcing her return from patrol. “What are you doing?”
“We were just talking, jeez Buffy, paranoid much?”
“No, talking with you is bad. It’s exactly what I was afraid of. Out.”
“Huh, no way, and you can’t make me.”
“Wanna bet? Slayer over here, remember?”
Dawn smirked. “You won’t hurt me. Mom would kill you. That’s if she doesn’t kill you when she finds out that you left me all alone at night while she was away.”
Buffy shrieked in irritation. “I have a frigging sacred duty to rid the world of evil! Besides, Angel was here.”
“Oh yeah, I’m sure it would be a great comfort to our mother when I’m dead and you say- ‘its okay mom, I left my pet vampire with her’. That’ll make it all better.”
“You know what, screw it.” Buffy started towards Dawn as she tutted over her language.
Dawn kicked the air wildly as she was unceremoniously turfed out the room and into the hallway. “Hey what are you- oof! Buffy! I’ll tell Mom!”
“There, much better.” Buffy smiled at the uncomfortable vampire. “What’s up?”
“Err aren’t you worried she’ll tell your mom?”
“I don’t think she will really. So did you just stop by for some quality time with mister Gordo?”
Outside the door, Dawn gave up on trying to eavesdrop through two inches of solid pine and stomped into her own room, slamming the door as loudly as she possibly could.
“Buffy? I’m home! Hellooo?” Dawn slung her bag into the corner by the door and sighed in agitation. “Not again. Mom’s gonna be sooo mad!”
A lot of kids would love being left home alone, but it really just made her nervous. She didn’t know a great deal about Buffy’s ‘other life’ as she was always chucked out the room when they started to discuss something interesting but what she did know scared her, especially when there was no Buffy or Mom around to protect her from whatever was going ‘bump’ that particular night.
She awoke the next day to banging on the door and shouting. Someone, or something, was trying to get in! Dawn ran into Buffy’s room. It was empty- Buffy wouldn’t have just left without waking her to let her know where she was going. But that would mean that Buffy hadn’t come home. Something had happened to her!
Someone was coming up the stairs. “Buffy?” An unthreatening male voice called.
Thank God. “Xander?”
“Heya Dawnmeister. Where’s big sis?”
“S-She’s not here. What’s happened to her?” There was a slight crack in her voice. She couldn’t be dead could she?
Xander put his arm around the younger girl awkwardly. “Hey she’ll be fine. She’s got all those neat super powers and stuff. She’s probably just hiding out somewhere.”
“She wouldn’t have left me. Something horrible’ has happened, I know it.” She flung her arms around Xander’s waist.
“Hey, hey. None of that, she’ll be fine- you’ll see. Cordy’s downstairs, do you wanna go see her?”
O-Okay.” She sniffed.
“Great. I’m just gonna phone Giles…there’s a phone in Buffy’s room, right?”
“Yeah. Go ahead.” She said before heading downstairs where Cordelia was talking to a man in a suit.
“Do you have anything in raisin? I know you wouldn’t think so, but I’m both a winter and a summer.”
“Hi Cordy, who’s this?”
“Cosmetics salesman. Hey, you could do with a little blush. Do you have anything that would look good on her?”
“Nine ninety-nine, tax included.” The man said monotonously.
“You said that already. Do you have anything in the berry family?”
“Are there more ladies in the house?” The man said.
Dawn watched in horror as a worm crawled out from under his hairline and down his neck. “Err Cordy!”
“Sssh. Oh, no, they’re not home. You know, nothing personal, but maybe you should look into selling dictionaries, or... some...”
Another mealworm crawled out of his sleeve and onto his hand.
Xander jumped the last couple of stairs and came up behind Cordelia. “Hey, what’s up?”
“Um, he’s a salesman, and he was just leaving, right? Uh, okay! Buh-bye! Thank you!” She said panicked.
Xander grabbed him by the arm to guide him out. “Okay, Mary Kay, time to...” A third worm crawled into his ear. “Time to run!”
He broke into a run grabbing Dawn and Cordelia with him as the salesman transformed into a mass of mealworms that started crawling after them. They ducked into the basement and slammed the door behind them.
Dawn sighed in relief, until she realized that the worms were still coming under the door. She screamed and ran to the other side of the basement as Xander and Cordelia stomped on them
“Dawn! Find something to cover the crack under the door!”
Dawn rummaged through the shelves behind her. ”Here!” she tossed him a roll of duct tape, not daring to go any closer to the door.
“Cover me!” He handed Cordelia a broom as he covered the crack under the door.
Dawn watched in awe as Xander haphazardly stuck down the tape. “You saved us!” She said breathily.
Cordelia rolled her eyes. “Yeah, by trapping us in the only room with only one exit. Nice going smart-ass.”
Xander glared at her as Dawn continued to look on wide eyed.
Xander’s eyes followed Cordelia as she paced up and down. “Could you sit down, or change your pattern or something? You’re making me queasy.”
“You’re just sitting there. You should be thinking up a plan.”
“I have a plan. We wait. Buffy saves us.”
“If she’s not dead.” Dawn added.
“Buffy doesn’t die- if she dies then they’ll be no one to make my life a demony hell anymore. What I’m worried about is us. How will she even know where to find us?”
“Cordelia, this is Buffy’s house. Odds are she’ll find us.”
“Well, what if she doesn’t? What am I supposed to do? Just waste away down here with you and baby-Buffy? No thank you!”
“Hey!” ‘Baby-Buffy’ was quite possibly her least favorite nickname.
Xander jumped up. “What are you doing?”
“Going to see if he’s gone!”
“That’s brilliant! What if he isn’t?”
“We’re gonna die.” Dawn said quietly.
Cordelia carried on yelling at Xander, totally ignoring Dawn. “Oh, right! You think we should just slack here and hope that somebody else decides to be a hero? Sorry, forgot I was stranded with a LOSER!”
“And yet I never forgot that I’m stuck with the numb-brain that let Mr. Mutant in the house in the FIRST PLACE!”
“HE LOOKED NORMAL!”
“What, is he supposed to have an arrow with the word ’assassin’ over his head?! All it took was the prospect of a free makeover, and you licked his hand like a big, dumb dog!”
“We’re definitely gonna die.” Dawn muttered as she went to investigate the shelves in the basement, looking for anything that might help. She dimly heard Cordy and Xander keep on arguing in the background.
All she could find was a couple of water pistols, but every little helps right? She turned back to Xander and Cordelia. They’d stopped arguing and were staring at each other in shock. Was it her imagination or were they out of breath?
“I found these.” She offered.
Xander snapped out of his trance. “We need to get outta here. Come on Dawn.”
“Mm-hm!” Cordelia nodded in agreement.
She rushes up the stairs with Xander right behind them. At the top, Dawn paused but continued right on when Xander smiled reassuringly. Xander ripped the tape from the bottom of the door.
“There aren’t any worms.” Dawn said relieved.
Cordelia looked out into the hall. “He’s gone.”
“We’re clear.” Xander whispered as he peeked into the dining room before making a dash for the front door with Dawn right behind him.
Cordelia went to follow the other two, but the moment she stepped into the hall worms starting falling on her from the ceiling. She screamed, running out the door. “Xander, oh my God! Get them off of me!”
“Here!” Dawn started spraying her with the water pistol and Xander ran for the hose.
Cordelia spun around in the water, trying to brush the worms off. “Get ’em off of me! Oh, my God, get ’em off me!” She screamed.
“Okay, okay, let’s get outta here! Xander, let’s go!” Xander kept spraying her, much to Dawn’s amusement. “Xander! Let’s go!”
The trio jumped into the car and they were off in a screech of tires.
“Why are we going to the library?” Dawn asked as she was hurried down Sunnydale High’s hallways.
“Giles is there.” Was Xander’s explanation.
“He’ll know what to do.” Xander said certainly.
When they walked in the library a girl whom Dawn didn’t know stepped in front of them.
“Buffy! You’re alive!” Dawn leapt forward to her sister. “Mom’s gonna kill you.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Whatever, Dawn.”
“Who sponsored career day today? The British Soccer Fan Association?” Xander quipped.
“We had a, a rather violent visit from the Order of Taraka.” Giles said as he sat down at the table.
“You wanna talk Order of Taraka? We just met the king freak of the... Hello.” He smiled at the new girl, who looked at the floor under the attention.
“Oh, forgive me. Uh, Xander, Cordelia, this is Kendra. Uh, i-it’s rather complicated, but she’s also a Slayer.”
“Hi. Nice to meet you.” Cordelia said whilst smoothing over her hair.
Dawn scrunched up her nose in confusion. “I thought you were the slayer? As in the-one-and-only, look-at-me-I’m-so-special slayer?”
Xander nodded in agreement. “I knew this ’I’m the only one, I’m the only one’ thing was just an attention-getter.”
Buffy hopped off the desk. “Just say hello, Xander. Dawnie, come.”
Dawn rolled her eyes, but followed her older sister anyway. “Dawnie come, sit. Dawn roll over! I’m not a dog you know.”
“I know Dawn.” Buffy said absent mindedly. “Look, I have lots and lots of work to do.”
“I could help!” The young girl said eagerly.
“No!” She softened at her sister’s expression. “Look, this is really important. Angel could be in trouble so I would really appreciate if you could just sit really quietly over there while we figure out what to do, please.”
Dawn sighed. She never got to do anything fun. “Okay.”
“Xander, un, this assassin you encountered, what did he look like?”
“Totally gross!” Dawn injected, but no one paid her any attention as Cordelia screamed and threw one of the worms down on the table.
“Uhh! Ohmigod, I’m showering!” She said as she ran from the library.
Xander held back a smirk and pointed at the wriggling worm. “Like that.”
“You and bug people, Xander. What’s up with that?”
Dawn glared at her sister. Why did she always have to be so mean? Especially to Xander and after he practically saved her life and everything!
Dawn sat on the table, swinging her legs so that they tapped against the table. Buffy was grinding her teeth next to her and she knew it. Some might say that it isn’t wise to purposely piss off a slayer, but Dawn didn’t care. She’d only wanted to help, even if it was only by looking at dusty old books, but no she was too young and delicate.
And what was the deal with this Angel guy? Wasn’t he meant to be super strong? And if he’s Drusilla’s sire or whatever, shouldn’t he be stronger than her? And yet, despite the super strength, he managed to get himself kidnapped for some ritual in a church that could get everyone killed. Of course Buffy wasn’t worried about that. It was all Angel, Angel, Angel. Pathetic.
“Angel? But our priority is to stop Drusilla!” Kendra protested.
At least someone has their priorities straight!
“Angel’s our friend! Except that I don’t like him.” Xander said.
‘You know,’ Dawn thought, ‘Xander’s right. Angel might be a stupid vampire, but he’s our stupid vampire. Well, Buffy’s stupid vampire technically, because Xander and I don’t like him. We have so much in common!’
Buffy turned to Kendra. “Look, you’ve got your priorities, and I’ve got mine. Right now they mesh. So, are you gonna help me, or are you gonna get out of my way?”
Kendra considered it. “I’m with you.”
“Good. ’Cause I’ve had it. Spike is going down. You can attack me, you can send assassins after me, that’s fine. But nobody messes with my boyfriend!”
“Can I help?”
Giles nearly dropped his book as his slayer’s younger sister jumped out in front of him.
“I’m alright thank you Dawn. Uh, Buffy said that she would rather you not get involved.”
“I’m the slayers sister, you can’t get more involved.” Dawn whined. “Do you always do what Buffy tells you?”
“Actually yes.” He said with a bit of a dopey smile.
That threw her for six. “Well… take a walk on the wild side for once!”
“I uh, actually I agree with Buffy. There are some rather frightening demons within these pages and I would hate for one of them to be the cause of your nightmares.”
By the time Dawn had figured out what he’d actually said, Giles had already moved on to talk to Willow.
Giles read the webpage over her shoulder, taking out a roll of mints and starting to unwrap them. “There are forty-three churches in Sunnydale? That seems a little excessive.”
“It’s the extra evil vibe from the Hellmouth. Makes people pray harder.” Willow replied, smiling her thanks as she took one of his mints.
“Well, check and see if any of them are closed or abandoned. Xander, have you found anything?”
Xander looked up from his books as Giles came over. “Yeah, yeah, we got monsters; we got demons; but no bug dude or police lady.”
“I could help!” Dawn piped up, but she was ignored as Giles gave Xander the book he’d been looking at.
“Well, you should have better luck with this one. There’s a whole section devoted to the Order of Taraka.”
“What am I invisible?” Dawn huffed, getting no answer. “Of course I am. I might as well not exist for all the attention everyone pays me!”
Xander looked up from where he was flipping through the pages of his book “Oh, here we go! I am the bug man, coo coo ka choo. Okay. Okay. He can only be killed when he’s in his disassembled state. Disassembled. That means when he’s broken down into his little buggy parts.”
Cordelia glared at him. “I know what it means, dorkhead.”
“Dorkhead! You slash me with your words!”
Giles rubbed his eyes. Willow raised her eyebrows at them.
“So what now?” Dawn asked.
“I have another book in my office that may be of some use.”
“On it!” Xander offered, jumping up and heading into the office. He returned a moment later. “The new chick’s really weird.”
Giles open the book and went to a page from memory. “Here it is.”
“We’re going to check out Willie’s. He knows something and he will tell us what it is.” Buffy said as she and Kendra came back into the main library. “Dawn-“
“I know, I know. Stay here.”
“So Kendra’s gone?” Dawn asked, reaching for another handful of crisps.
“Yep. Put her on a plane this morning.”
“She was weird.”
Buffy shrugged. “She was just…dedicated.”
“So dedicated that she’s leaving the hellmouth?”
“In my capable hands.”
Dawn snorted. “Whatever.”
“Hey! I’m a great slayer!”
“Yeah, if you can tear yourself away from Angel long enough to kill the bad guys.”
“Again, hey! And I’d like to see you do better.”
“Well duh! I’m eleven and I don’t have any superpowers. I’d be killed in a week! But you don’t have any excuses.”
Buffy’s eyes glinted dangerously. “You could die sooner than that.”
“Oh yeah, pick on a poor defenseless little kid. That takes guts.”
Buffy’s eyes continued sparkling as she picked up the pillow off her bed and threw it at her sister.
“Hey!” Dawn retaliated with a cushion of her own and it escalated into a full blown pillow fight.
Within seconds Buffy, slayer of vampires, and her sister were both covered in white feathers. If only the demons could see her now, with feathers sticking out of her hair in all directions, they’d see how scary she really was.
As long as you don’t mess with her boyfriend.
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I’ll try and get the next chapter up in the next month or so. Please review, if there’s anyone out there still reading- me thinks I need the inspiration!