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Run This Town

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Summary: Tara embraces "come as you aren't" and lets loose for Halloween. She never could have imagined the consequences. The first Tara YAHF fic that I know of. And I'm pretty sure it's the first pre-S8 Satsu fic.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Wars > Tara-Centered(Moderator)JoeHundredaireFR181053,9611626061,19917 Dec 058 Mar 10No

Chapter Ten

Joe's Note: Just so you know, for those of you who've recommended me, the recommendation system gives you one new rec for each month in which you leave a review for someone's story. Ergo, if you review stories, you get more recs than if you don't - you start with ten and can pick up one rec a month assuming you're an active member, so I have a possible max of 82 reviews at the moment. Just thought you should know… Bushido, Kjara, Rathmun, ShadowWolf, sunrisereader, I'm looking at you here…



November 3:



     At exactly 6:41 AM - having waited precisely twenty minutes past sunrise to decrease the chance of running into anything with fangs on his way - Xander Harris slipped out the backdoor of his house and threw his backpack over one shoulder as he began the trek to school. The deep shadows forced him to move at a slower pace than he cared to lest he end up the breakfast - or would that be dinner - of something lurking in them, but he was, for the first time in recent memory, eager to visit Sunnydale High School.

     Maybe someone there could help him figure out where Buffy and Willow were.

     Halloween had started out normally enough: picking up children for Snyder's forced 'volunteer' program, with Buffy in her moronic noblewoman costume and him in his surplus store army fatigues. Then things had gotten… weird. He vaguely remembered patrolling the town with a mixed group of other boys - and even two girls - from both the Army and Marines, coming out of his… trance, possession, whatever… at dawn while in the warehouse district.

     Making his way to the library, Xander had found it dark and abandoned and so he'd decided to head home for at least a quick nap. Dodging his drunk father, he'd made his way into the kitchen and had - after debating the pros and cons - decided to risk calling both Buffy and Willow's houses. Neither had answered. Stymied once again, he'd retreated to his bedroom and fallen into a restless sleep.

     Sunday, he'd tried the library again but come up empty-handed once more. A quick call to Buffy's house had gotten him stuck on the phone with a concerned Missus Summers for nearly twenty minutes, reassuring her that no, he didn't know where Buffy was but if he found out, he'd call back. And calling Willow had… pausing, Xander blinked. Had he called Willow on Sunday? Crap. No he hadn't. Wow. He sure felt stupid now.

     Finally reaching his destination, Xander paused on the sidewalk and eyed a pair of cars in the sparsely populated parking lot. Giles's old Citroën was one car he was used to seeing at the school this early… but the battered old Toyota next to it was not. Was that what Miss Calendar drove? Maybe she had come in early because of what had happened on Halloween? Except that made no sense. It was over, wasn't it?

     Entering the school, Xander made his way down the halls and to the library doors. Peeking through the small round window in the door, he found the lights on and Giles standing with a strange woman. "…just figured I'd check in on my way to work. I brought a few things for Tara to keep at Willow's house for now: her favorite body wash, some books, a few pieces of jewelry… most of which are no good because she doesn't have ears anymore. Damn. Should have thought of that. Oh well. Anyways, I'll be back after my shift to help the girls research. Maybe they'll find something today and we can get to the actual spell-casting tonight."

     Taking the bag the woman offered to him, Giles peered into it for a moment before looking back up and raising an eyebrow. "Very well. I'll make sure she gets this, although you could have brought it with you when you returned since I doubt they'll be leaving before then."

     "Huh. You may have a point there." The woman scratched the back of her neck before gesturing to the door. "Well, it's here now. And I shouldn't be. See you around five, then?"

     Giles nodded before looking back over his shoulder. "Erm, you did think to make Deirdra bring a meal, correct? I tend not to eat lunch because the infernal microwave in the teacher's lounge makes it impossible to heat anything I bring from home and so I have nothing to share. And if the quite vocal complaints of the students are to be believed, the cafeteria food is rather disgusting and so I'm fairly certain Deirdra wouldn't want anything even if Tara was willing to use her Masquerade to sneak out at lunch."

     From somewhere in the library, a third voice tossed in their two cents. "Got two Lunchables. I'm set."

     "That answers that. So… see you this evening. And for the love of the Goddess, can you try and do something at least halfway educational today, Deirdra? When we fix this, all I'm going to be able to do is claim you were sick. You're going to need to catch up with your classmates." There was no verbal response and the woman turned, rolling her eyes as she headed for the door Xander was standing behind. Quickly, he darted to the side and did his best to flatten himself against the wall as she exited the library and made a quick right, heading back down the hall he'd come from. At least he knew who owned the crappy Camry now…

     After waiting a few seconds to see if there would be any more surprises, Xander opened the library door and slipped inside. Almost immediately, he was greeted by a short - shorter than Buffy, even - figure with red and white skin with blue markings, and some very familiar albeit inhuman features. Before he could say anything, the girl crossed her arms over her chest, scowled, and kicked him in the shin. "Mom's car isn't crappy."

     Xander stared down at her for a moment before hissing and bouncing up and down in place. "First of all, oww. Second of all… I didn't say that." He'd thought it, but hadn't said it. Oh crap. Did that mean..? The girl nodded. Yeah, this was definitely a crap moment. Especially considering some of the places his mind tended to wander to. Definitely not a good idea to spend time around a pint-sized telepath; he'd totally corrupt her and… "Oww!"

     "I'm not short. I'm a normal height for my age, thank you very much." Huffing, the girl turned and stalked off towards the back of the library, where Giles had stuffed the computers the school had forced on him at the beginning of the school year, leaving Xander nursing two bruised shins and wondering what the hell was going on.

     Giles had entered his office while Xander was lurking outside it turned out, and was now busy talking to someone on the phone. Not wanting to be stuck alone with the tiny telepathic Togruta terror - hey, alliteration - Xander turned and was about to retreat to a safer location when the library doors swung open and four more Togruta entered. "Mmm. You know what makes a really good breakfast, Tara?"

     "Hmm. Pudding, Cordelia?"

     "Pudding. And you know what's the best kind of pudding?"

     "Chocolate pudding?"

     "Chocolate pudding." Holding up cups of pudding, the two girls tapped the plastic vessels against each other. The taller of the two, who sounded like and had been addressed as Cordelia but couldn't possibly be her because Cordelia was a hot human cheerleader and not a member of a fictional alien species, looked back over her shoulder and held up the cup. "Hey, Willow. Would you like some pudding?"

     Scowling, a girl with a very familiar face under the red and white paint and montrals and lekku shoved her way between Cordelia and Tara, stomping into the library. "I said I was sorry. It was a dream! It's not my fault my subconscious mind was having a pervy night." She came to an abrupt stop in front of him, letting out a little squeak of surprise. "Xander! You're here! And alive!"

     Xander nodded absently, taking in the very alien façade that still managed to share enough of his oldest friend's face to be recognizable. "Uh, yeah. And you're red."

     "Carnelian." Xander blinked and Willow gestured to herself. "It's not really a red-red, it's a brown-red and technically it's called carnelian. And I'm white and blue too, so if I actually was red, I'd be kinda patriotic, huh?"

     Actually, she did look pretty patriotic because whatever 'carnelian' was, it looked a lot like red to him, but Xander decided not to waste any more time arguing that one. Especially when he wanted to know… "Uh, why are you still in costume, Willow? And hanging out with Cordelia, I think that's Harmony, and… a dominatrix?"

     And she did look like a dominatrix. Not that he'd ever met one in person before or anything, but his father had odd taste in 'literature' and he'd seen a few on Jerry Springer while home sick and able to enjoy the delights of daytime television. Black leather pants, a black leather top that showed off cleavage as good or better than Cordelia at her best… even her boots were leather as best he could tell. All she needed was a whip and the look would be complete.

     Unexpectedly, that set Cordelia off laughing even as the strange new girl flushed a darker shade of red and crossed her arms over her chest. "This is what you get for ignoring the fashionista. I tried to dress you normal. But no. You wanted to keep rocking the leather thing. Told you people would look at you funny."

     "Funny, huh? Is that what we're calling the look you were giving my butt this morning when I climbed into the backseat of your car?" Suddenly it was Cordelia's turn to blush as her companion grinned widely and tapped Cordelia's forehead. "Remember which of us is the best at telepathy. I don't need to have eyes in the back of my head; I can borrow yours."

     Harmony skirted around the group then, making her way into the library. "Ugh. Can we go back to making fun of Willow over her pudding dream? Because no matter what we're going to be in uncomfortable lesbian-related territory, but I really don't need to hear about how my best friend is suddenly into girls, especially with how many times we've slept over each other's house or showered together after practice. Well, that and everything is better with Willow-mocking."

     Raising her hand, Cordelia made a flicking motion and Harmony let out a little squeal as she clapped a hand against the back of her head. "I'm not into girls, thank you very much. It was more of a professional curiosity. I couldn't believe Tara had managed to pour herself into those puppies and was wondering how she did it. Not that I'm thinking of taking up wearing leather anytime soon, but I do have some jeans from when I was younger than are getting a bit tight…"

     The now-named Tara arched a brow at that. "Is that why you were licking your lips while you were staring? 'Professional curiosity'?"

     "Wait a minute, you said you were seeing through my eyes. How did you know I was licking my lips?"

     "You just told me."

     "…damnit." Cordelia scowled for a moment before perking up and pointing at Tara. "I was licking my lips because I was thinking about breakfast, not your butt."

     "Just keep telling yourself that."

     While Xander was still confused as all hell when it came to a number of things - Cordelia's apparent new telekinetic powers, why they were all in costume still, why his bestest bud was hanging out with two of their arch-nemeses, and what this pervy dream of hers consisted of chief among them - after hearing that exchange, the little brain had pretty much overridden the big brain when it came to control of his body. So when he opened his mouth to offer his thoughts on the matter, only one word emerged.

     "Homina."



     Looking around wildly, Drusilla tried to figure out two things: where she was and why she wasn't being turned to dust by the sun's deadly rays. The former was fairly easy to figure out: an old-fashioned ship, from back when she was alive or perhaps even earlier. Not that she knew how she'd gotten there or why she was there, but at least she knew where she was. Why she wasn't being dusted despite standing in full sunlight, on the other hand, was a complete mystery.

     Continuing her inspection of her surroundings, Drusilla realized she wasn't just on any ship, but a pirate ship. If the Jolly Roger fluttering from the mast wasn't proof enough, the general lack of hygiene and ragged looking crew surely was. There was one exception to that, however: a young girl was skipping across the deck in a low-cut red and black dress that reached barely past mid-thigh, tufts of brown hair peeking out from under a black hat with cat-like ears poking up from the top. As she drew closer, her voice - tinged with a lilting Caribbean accent - reached Drusilla's ears.

     "When the going gets tough and the stomach acids flow, the cold wind of conformity is nipping at your nose. When some trendy new atrocity has brought you to your knees, come with us, we'll sail the Seas of Cheese…" The Seas of Cheese? Drusilla blinked at that. Well that just sounded… odd. And that was coming from someone who'd spent a century and a half pretending to be insane. Fine, maybe three quarters to a century pretending to be insane and the rest of that period actually being insane, but the point stood. The girl came to a stop in front of her and canted her head to one side before pointing at something over Drusilla's shoulder.

     After a moment, she hesitantly looked in the indicated direction but found nothing of importance. Turning back to the girl, Drusilla let out a shriek as she found herself face to face with some sort of unholy human/squid demon hybrid girl in the same outfit, smiling at her with a mouth full of perfect white teeth. "Don't worry. I promise it's not American cheese."


     Bolting upright, Drusilla let out several unneeded pants of breath before collapsing back onto the bed. That would teach her to experiment with the food Spike had left in the freezer right before bed. As soon as she got up that evening, those damnable microwaveable burritos were going straight in the garbage…



     Gwen Ditchik reread the text message on her cell phone again before shrugging and tucking it into her purse. Cordelia and Harmony had both eaten at the same restaurant the night before and had gotten food poisoning together. She was in charge of shepherding the Cordettes for the day at a minimum, possibly tomorrow too. Why Cordelia hadn't called her or at least left a voice mail this morning was beyond her, but whatever. She'd been looking for a way to displace that bimbo Harmony at the top of the pile and maybe if she did a good job today, Cordelia might take notice.

     That thought firmly at the front of her mind, Gwen whistled softly as she wandered off in search of her temporary flock.



     As the 7:40 AM warning bell rang, forcing Xander to offer hasty goodbyes before rushing out of the library and off to his first period class, something occurred to Willow and she winced. "Um, someone please tell me that my memory's starting to go or something, and that one of us told Xander that Buffy's dead now and I'm just not remembering them telling him that very, very important detail about Halloween?"

     Tara blinked and ran her mind back over the conversation she'd just been a part of. Huh. Oops? She shook her head before looking at Harmony, who likewise shook her head, and then to her other side at Cordelia. The cheerleader shook her head too and Tara winced. "Crud. I think we did."

     "Oh well. He'll be back." Harmony shrugged off the looks the others shot her. "Well, it's not like we can chase after him to let him know and even if we could… what? Would you really go 'Hey Xander, by the way, one of your two remaining friends got killed the other night, enjoy algebra!'?"

     Shockingly enough… Harmony was right. On both fronts. Tara eyed the girl suspiciously. Was she more in touch with her Halloween persona than she was aware of? Because according to Cordelia, 'Harmony' and 'right' weren't words that went together often. Not to mention the statement showed a level of basic empathy and compassion that the formerly blonde girl had been missing before Halloween…

     Shaking her head, Tara pulled herself from her thoughts. "Alright, let's have breakfast and then get back to work researching." Willow took that as a sign to remove her backpack, opening it and pulling out two tinfoil-wrapped packages that smelled deliciously meaty. Including, if Tara wasn't mistaken… "Bacon? Or is that ham?"

     "Erm, both. I went to the grocery store last night after nightfall, because I figured with all four of us staying for at least a while, we'd need more food. And… it smelled so good. I couldn't help it." Handing one to Harmony, Willow opened the other to reveal a bagel sandwich that contained an egg, a piece of cheese, a thick slice of ham, and some bacon slices poking out the sides. As she brought the sandwich up to her mouth, she paused at the look Tara was giving her. "What? You and Cordelia had your breakfast already. Pudding is very tasty, remember?"

     Tara and Cordelia shared a look. Damn. Foiled by their own wittiness.



     "I want chicken, I want burgers, Becca, Becca, please deliver…" Pausing in the doorway of the library, Rebecca frowned and tilted her head to one side. "Huh. That sounded a lot better in my head. Was pretty sure nobody wanted liver; thought burgers would sound close enough but… nope. Oh well." Holding up two bags and a cardboard drink caddy, she grinned widely. "Who wants dinner?"

     Shaking her head at her mother's antics, Tara raised her hand halfway before pausing. "What is it?"

     "Food."

     "What kind of food?"

     "Edible food." At her daughter's dirty look, Rebecca took pity on them and offered up a real answer. "Taco Bell. I grabbed three Grande Meals and a bunch of sodas. I figure if you're still hungry after thirty tacos, you can find your own food." Deirdra came rushing out of the back as a reddish blur, the chair screeching against the tile floor as she threw herself into it and waited eagerly for dinner. Tara, Willow, and Harmony followed her example, albeit in a bit more dignified fashion. Cordelia brought up the rear, a disgusted look on her face. "What's the matter, princess? If the free food isn't good enough for you, you can always… oh wait, you can't go out and get your own."

     Scowling at the rebuke, Cordelia took a seat next to Tara and gingerly unwrapped the taco that was passed to her, staring at it like it might bite her. "Don't they sell like, taco salads or something?" Tara let out a little snort of laughter and Cordelia turned on her. "What? If it wasn't healthy, they couldn't call it a salad, could they?"

     Tara debated correcting Cordelia's misconceptions but decided against it. "Hey, Mama? Can you take over for a bit tonight so the rest of us can duck out and patrol the town?"

     "I guess, but why… oh, the dead Slayer. Right. Sorry, forgot about her." There was a soft growl from the corner and Rebecca looked over at where Xander was sitting in the corner, half in shadow as he stared off into space. "What's with him?"

     Wincing, Willow paused in her almost squirrel-like nibbling on the end of a soft taco and looked over at her sole remaining non-Pack friend. "He, uh, didn't forget. I mean, we told him about Buffy and he's been like that ever since. I can understand why, though. Up until Buffy arrived, this boy Jesse and I were his only friends. Jesse got turned and Xander had to stake him. That left him with Buffy and me. Now Buffy's gone too, I'm… complicated, and it's not like he has something else to keep busy with like I do."

     Complicated was an understatement. The 'hey cool' of seeing aliens from his favorite movies brought to life hadn't lasted long, especially when he'd found out that Willow wasn't actively freaking out any more about being stuck in that form. That, for some reason, had freaked him out and caused Cordelia to bark at Willow to shut him up, which had set off a new round of problems when his 'bestest bud' had been willing to listen to Cordelia and do so. Things had spiraled further downward upon the revelation of the Pack's structuring and it had taken Harmony's casual announcement of Buffy being dead to bring the boy's ramblings to a stop. Now he was off on his own and, despite wanting to let Willow go and try and salvage her friendship, Tara knew she couldn't because the Pack needed Willow too and that came first. Xander would still be there to comfort after they reversed the spell.

     "Deirdra should come." Tara was ripped from her thoughts as everyone turned to stare at Harmony, who squirmed in her seat. "I mean, if Tara's okay with it. I mean, how else is she going to learn a decent shiak strike? We don't have dummies or training droids, and I know I don't want to have a hole poked in me even if it is for educational reasons."

     The girl had a point. Tara looked at her mama, who just rolled her eyes. "Fine. Maybe if you give her some decent exercise, she'll actually sleep again. But I expect her to come back with just as many pints of blood as she leaves with."

     Perking up, Deirdra looked around excitedly. "Yay! I'm… wait, where am I going?"

     "Vampire slaying."

     "Cool!"



     Hand tapping the steering wheel to the beat of the radio, Drusilla eyed the approaching - and newly rebuilt - 'Welcome to Sunnydale' sign before grinning wickedly and twisting the wheel to the right. The car bucked a bit at her abuse but she'd seen it perform the feat once before and so she kept the nose pointed right at her target, letting out a loud laugh as the DeSoto Fireflite plowed through the wooden sign. It'd probably leave a few scratches, but those would be taken care of when she went back to Los Angeles in a few days to get the windows replaced with necro-tempered glass and the car itself repainted blood red.

     All in all, her first trip out had been a rousing success. She hadn't hit anything apart from the sign all day, and had managed to get all her shopping done save for the computer, which had turned out to be far more complicated than she'd initially thought. Her mind was still spinning with all the information she'd absorbed… a half-dozen different companies made them, falling into two main categories, and then there were things called 'operating systems' to take into consideration along with whether she wanted a 'desktop' that would remain in the house or a 'laptop' she could take anywhere. By the time she'd assimilated all the information and made a decision, the one store she could find that sold her computer of choice was closed for the night, but that was okay. A trip to the Los Angeles Apple Store, along with another trip to the book store for a few more of those informative For Dummies books would keep her busy while in the City of Angels. Oh, and visiting Lorne at Caritas and her coffee not-a-date with Marie…

     Drusilla still wasn't quite sure how she'd ended up wandering into that one. After raiding Borders for a selection of basic knowledge books from their For Dummies section - which, while she wasn't fond of being called a 'dummy', were incredibly useful given her situation - and a dozen of CDs for the Discman she'd found while cleaning the house, she'd waited patiently in the check out line like a good little human. Most humans didn't steal everything, she'd reminded herself, and they certainly didn't slaughter the obnoxious teenage girl in front of them for talking too loudly into her cell phone - and yay for her, she knew the right name now. Finally, she'd gotten to the front of the line, only to pause at the sight of her cashier.

     It was the singing pirate cat hat girl from her dream. Just without the pirate outfit. Or the hat. Or the song about cheese. Or the turning into a demon. But it was definitely her.

     Attempting to draw the girl into a conversation had backfired on her, the cashier matching her question for question and leaving Drusilla scrambling to keep her side of the conversation going, lest she lose her opportunity to talk to the girl. Thankfully, all her time fooling Spike and the others had transformed her into a marvelous actress with a gift for improvisation and she'd quickly woven a tale that had the girl eating out of the palm of her hand.

     Her new name, which she'd be certain to remember when she bought an identity through the underground and began acquiring things like her own cell phone and a job, was Drusilla La Belle. She was a recently relocated native of Lac La Belle, Michigan, a tiny former mining town she'd spent a bit of time visiting during one of her infrequent splits from Spike. She was supposedly the daughter of a backwoods trail guide, who hadn't left the area much up until she decided to take her life savings and her dead grandfather's old '59 DeSoto, making her way to Los Angeles in hopes of fulfilling dreams of stardom, which neatly took care of why she was so out of touch with the modern world. And all of her clothes were handmade, taken from what she saw the girls who visited town wear, which accounted for her slightly off fashion sense and the presence of Fashion for Dummies and Style on a Shoestring: Develop Your Cents of Style and Look Like a Million without Spending a Fortune in her pile of books.

     Their conversation had been derailed then by Marie's manager, who was less than impressed with her employee taking ten minutes to ring up twenty-odd items. The girl had blushed and quickly finished things up, Drusilla paying for her purchases with a trio of hundred dollar bills from the large stash of money Spike had kept on hand for… she still wasn't sure. On the back of her receipt, Marie had scribbled an address and a time… a place she had coffee after work every day to unwind. With the vague promise of meeting 'in a few days', Drusilla had taken it and her books and left, not realizing until she was sitting behind the steering wheel of the DeSoto that she'd not only been around humans without trying to eat them, she'd talked to one and even had plans to do so again.

     Maybe it wouldn't be so hard…

     Hopefully her sire's head was harder. Peering through the scratched up black paint that covered the inside of the windshield, protecting the driver from incineration during the day, Drusilla watched as a very familiar man in a long black coat stepped off the sidewalk and drew a sword. It glinted in the light of her car's headlights as he hefted it with one hand, the other outstretched as he gestured for her to stop. And he held that pose… right up until he was sent flying up and over the top of the car as she hit him. Slamming on the brakes, she debated backing over him but decided that would be a little too mean, putting the car in park and hopping out. Making her way over to where he was lying on the pavement writhing in pain, Drusilla let out a soft hiss and stared down at him. "Ooh. Ouch. That looked like it hurt, Angel…"

     Angel groaned, rolling onto his back and glaring up at her as best he could while trying to deal with the agony that came with being hit by a car going fifty-five in a thirty zone. "Her Watcher had me come by to see if I could find any clues he'd missed. I smelled you on her, Drusilla. I know what you did. And if you think I'm going to let you walk away from…"

     "Not to be rude, but I do believe you'll have to. Well, walk and then drive away. I don't think you'll be going anywhere anytime soon, lovey." Drusilla grinned, tapping Angel's cheek with the toe of her shoe and then pulling her foot back when he snapped at it. "Now now, there's no reason to be completely uncivilized, is there?" He just growled again at that but before she could continue tormenting him, a strange noise caught her attention. Holding up one hand, she turned away and headed for the nearby cemetery. "Hold that thought, Angel. I'll be right back."

     Carefully making her way towards where the noise was coming from, Drusilla circled around behind a crypt and then leapt up onto the roof to get a better vantage point. As she scanned the graveyard, her mind went back to what Angel had said. She had killed the Slayer? But… wasn't the Slayer a blonde? And supposed to feel like a Slayer? Then movement caught her attention, and she shoved that aside for later contemplation.

     One of Spike's minions was racing through the graveyard like the hounds of hell were after him. And maybe that was an accurate assessment, Drusilla realized a moment later, when she caught sight of a reddish… thing… chasing after him. Then she got a better look and realized it was some sort of red-skinned humanoid in black clothes, albeit one capable of running on all fours as well as upright. Then the predator caught its prey and Drusilla launched herself from her perch, sneaking closer so she could watch the takedown.

     In the end, the vampire's death was simultaneously spectacular and simple. Just as they caught up with the vampire, the red-skinned being rose up onto two legs and skidded a stop, making a jerking motion that yanked the vampire's legs out from under him. Another wave of their hand, and the vampire rose from the ground before flying backwards, only to be impaled on a glowing beam of white light that erupted from a metal cylinder in the figure's hand. The beam pierced clean through the heart of the vampire and he screamed briefly before dusting, leaving the… girl, Drusilla now saw, panting softly but with a large grin on her face. "I did it."

     "Finally." Drusilla let out a low growl as four more figures melted out of the shadows; she hadn't even heard them approaching. Whoever these demons were, they were definitely something to be wary of. While three hung back a pace or two, a female in a black leather outfit approached the girl and rubbed her between the two white and blue horns that topped her head. "It only took what, four tries?"

     The girl scowled and batted at the older one's hand. "I was close every time, even if my aim was a little off."

     Raising a hand, her… mother, sister, mentor, or maybe even just friend, Drusilla wasn't sure… ticked off points on her fingers. "Stomach, lung, lung again…" The others giggled at that, their voices marking them as either female or at least female sounding for Drusilla. "Hopefully you'll do better than one in four in the long run. Maybe you just need more lessons with Harmony. What do you think, Harmony? More Shii-Cho velocities for Deirdra tomorrow after school?"

     As the young girl and one of the older girls from the group that had hung back both began to sputter, and Drusilla tried to figure out how creatures like these could possibly attend school, the original speaker suddenly stiffened and reached down to pluck her own metal cylinder from her belt. "I think Deirdra's hunting caught the locals' attention." A blade of lavender light erupted from the hilt, bathing the area in soft purple light. "Well, Willow, I did promise you some vampire killing…"

     "Vone, tvo, thvee! Thvee dead vampires! Mwa ha ha!" That earned the one the leader had addressed as 'Willow' odd looks, and the slim girl ducked her head before pulling out twin weapons of her own and adding dual beams of blue light to the lavender and white already lighting the cemetery. "Can we pretend I just said something cooler and go kill some vampires?"

     The last two girls pulled out weapons with green blades and, turning away from Drusilla, the group raced off into the night in the direction from whence it'd come.

     After the barest moment's hesitation, Drusilla followed.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Run This Town" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 8 Mar 10.

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