“When you’re strange, dum da doo-doo, no-one remembers your name. When you’re strange, dum da doo-doo, faces come out of the rain.”
B glares at me for like the ninth time since the song started thirty seconds ago. Nine glares in thirty seconds, it’s not bad. Not good enough to break her record of eleven, but I figure by the end of this vacation she’ll have broken the record several times over.
“Faith.” She makes one word mean a thousand things. Nine hundred and ninety-nine of them bad. “Your singing is bad enough, but do you have to hum the instrumental? You’re dum-do-da-da’s are driving me mad!”
“It’s actually dum da doo-doo.” I correct. She glares again. I sink down in my seat, shut up, and wonder for the thousandth time in an hour what the fuck I’m doing here.
God bless the Watchers Council is all I can say. Bless ‘em, cos it’s thanks to them that B and I are on an all expenses paid trip to the murder capital of the world. Or at least that’s what the welcome sign reads on the back, I note as we pass it. Obviously these guys haven’t been to Sunnydale, that has to be the Murder Capital of the World, but this is a close second.
According to the Brits, this is not a Hellmouth, but it does have a rather (rather – their word, not mine) overgrown population of nasties. By my logic, while not a Hellmouth, it’s more of a HellEar, or maybe a HellNostril. Some sort of orifice that’s not quite as potent as a mouth, but has potential to flare up. Like an ear infection.
Ok, I’m weirding out myself right now. I must have cabin fever. Too much time with B in the van.
Yeah, right. Time with B was the only reason I’m here. The Watchers Council put their heads together and decided that us Slayers shouldn’t be based in just one place. So now we’re doing our first tour. I’m hoping to meet groupies, sign pictures of myself and have people applauding for more.
What we’ll probably do is kill the nasty, and haul ass to the next demon-central. At least we’re getting paid. Yep, me, B, and Giles dragged the Watchers Council into the twenty-first century kicking and screaming. Giles used that I’m too British to lose my temper, but for you I might make an exception face, and used phrases like ‘life and death situations’, and when that didn’t work, asked what would become of the world if the Slayers retired? We avoid evil and live to the grand old age of ninety. No new slayers for quite awhile.
The Brit Brigade put their heads together, checked on the net for minimum wage, and offered an extra two cents an hour above it.
We took it, it’s not like we could get a better offer, I mean, there isn’t a Slayers Union.
“Faith!” B snaps at me again.
“You’re humming. Complete with instrumentals. Again.”
“It’s cos I’m bored, girlfriend. I need some action.” I put just enough stress on the last word to make B’s eyes bug a little. And I know she hates me referring to her as ‘girlfriend’. It gives her a case of hettyness. A hetty is a majorly uptight heterosexual. Hettyness is what majorly uptight heterosexuals get when faced with someone a little more open to suggestion.
B glares at me, and I roll my eyes. “Are we there yet? My ass has gone numb.”
Another flinch at my vulgarity. “A couple more minutes. Think you can last that long without any more singing?”
“You need to get laid.” I mutter.
I meet her eyes and smile. She’s already regretting the way she phrased that. “Wish you would. Unfortunately, I have a pulse. I’m not your type.”
“Bite me, Faith.”
Man, she’s just asking for it. “Again B, what’s with the identity confusion? I’m Faith, your sister slayer. Not Angel. A good way to remember that is to check out the differences. I don’t think Angel would look this good in a push-up bra, and wouldn’t he be bursting into flames right about now?”
“Faith, go back to your singing.” She gives me a glare that could have reduced Angelus to dust. I give her my big silly grin and hunt for a new tune to sing.
Go get arrested. I think, but don’t actually say it aloud. We’ve just checked into our room and thanks to a cock up in the booking we’re sharing, not just a room, but a bed. And there’s no other rooms available for another two days.
Faith’s walking around grinning like this is the biggest and best laugh of her life. I’m temped to slap that silly smile off her face, but I keep that idea in check for the moment. Last time Faith and I went head to head we trashed a church, before that, it was her apartment, and before that it was Angel’s mansion and countless other times and places, not to mention the damage we did to each other.
“‘Misses Summers’.” She laughs, quoting the register. “It’s fate, B.”
“Yeah, fate that wherever I go with you, it’s a nightmare.”
She’s not walking now, she’s dancing to a tune only she can here. “C’mon B, find the fun a little. Pretend it’s a slumber party, bet you’ve shared a bed with Red, haven’t you, then again… isn’t she gay now?”
“No, she’s not ‘gay now’. You don’t become gay.” I snap at her.
“Oh, yeah. Forgot you were the big lesbo expert.” She tips me a wink and keeps on dancing. “So,” she says conversationally. “Do you think Red was into you before she found Tara, or even before Oz?”
“Faith! Willow is my best friend…” I tail off as I see her grin, and wonder why I rise to the bait every single time.
“Ok, B. I can see this is hard on you, so I’ll let you have the first shower.”
“Thanks – Hey! We agreed if I drove I could shower first.” I really hate her at times.
“So what? We agreed. Didn’t mean I was gonna stick to it. Go, before I change my mind.”
I head quickly to the tiny bathroom, glad to put a wall between myself and my ‘sister Slayer’ as she calls herself. I can think of other names to call her. I don’t know how much longer I can take her company. At this rate I could be the first Slayer to kill another Slayer.
I wish at least there were some more Scoobies around, they would dilute the Faithness around me. But no, Tara and Willow, and Anya and Xander had a joint wedding a month ago, and are still on their respective honeymoons.
My little Dawnie met Oz at the weddings, and is being a roadie for him and his new band, before going to England for Watcher Training. I guess that’s the Slayer version of a year out before uni. I think she’s got the hots for him, and I would worry, but she’s sixteen now, and who am I to give out love advice? At least he’s not a vampire with a curse on his soul.
Giles finally got an invite to one of those retreats that he’s been jonesing for, and disappeared roughly at the speed of light.
Spike is officially AWOL. Haven’t seen nor heard from him for two months, although there was a rumour in a watcher chat-room – did you know they’ve got a website? – that he was cutting a bloody swath through Texas. Or a dusty swath. What I mean is, he’s on our side, he just needed some alone time to do it.
God, you know life has kicked you in the… shins when you miss Spike.
THUD. THUD. “How long are you gonna be in there, B?”
“A couple more minutes, F.” I respond.
“Ok, but don’t be leaving your short and curlies in the tub!”
At times I could cheerfully throttle that girl.