Chapter 8: LALA
"Are you serious?!" The blonde could do little to hold back her shock as the brunette knocked her onto the bed and covered her mouth.
"You guys okay in there?" yelled from the living room.
"Yeah, Buffy. I was just telling Spence about last fourth of July."
"Don’t believe a thing she says, Spence." Laughed the older blonde.
"Okay!" Spencer spoke back once she yanked Dawn’s hand off her mouth. "Why didn’t you tell me you knew Ashley was the Slayer we were coming to see?"
"Well," Dawn started as she got off of Spencer and the bed to shut the bedroom door, "last summer Faith stayed with us for a few weeks to help with this group of demons that were attacking a lot of the new Slayers. Anyway, when Faith left there was like this insane tension between her and Buffy. They weren’t even speaking to each other. So around eight months ago Vi calls me all excited asking me why I ddin’t say anything about getting assigned a Slayer."
"So you knew before Buffy said anything." The slightly younger cousin asked.
"Kind of," Dawn continued, "See, Vi overheard Faith and Robin discussing this Slayer, and she heard Faith say my name but I hadn’t talked to Faith since she left. I asked Vi about the girl and she told me she was a senior, what she looked like and what not, and I promised as soon as they called me and told me, or Buffy said something, I’d call her. Well, I never got the call, and seniors are assigned their Watchers in April."
"Then how are we finding out about this now?" Spencer asked with confusion shown all over her face.
"I don’t know." The brunette answered while lying down on the bed. "When Buffy told me we were coming to Slayer Central for a Slayer that she knew nothing about, I called Vi and she told me Ashley was still at the school but she didn’t know anything else. So I figured it was going to be her, but I wasn’t really sure."
"Did you say anything to Buffy?" The blonde asked while looking over at her cousin.
"Are you kidding me?" Dawn replied sarcastically, "If Buffy knew Faith had this girl in mind for me this whole time and didn’t say a word to her, all hell would break loose."
"Like that’s never happened before." Laughed Spencer.
"Why, I don’t know what you’re insinuating?" Dawn laughed while throwing a pillow at her cousin’s head.
"Oh it’s on, Key girl."
"You guys ready to go?" Standing at the door the oldest of the three stood in an authoritive stance. "Well?" In the blink of an eye, pillows attacked the blonde Slayer and giggles erupted.
"ASHLEY!" It was days like this that the brunette was joyful for her Slayer reflexes and strength. As soon as she walked out of Slayer Central she instantly had a person leap upon her. Instead of throwing the person off, Ashley wrapped her arm tighter and closed her eyes, just taking in the moment.
"Does no one want to say hi to me?" Opening her eyes for a moment, Ashley saw her long time best friend Aiden standing next to many suitcases.
"No." The Slayer said in a teasing tone while continuing to hug the girl that was clinging to her.
"Excuse me?" Realizing the strong tone was not a reply from her best friend but held a feminine quality, Ashley once again looked up but this time saw an amused Buffy standing near her.
"Oh, Buffy." Ashley exclaimed, pushing the body that was holding her away. "Hi." Feeling embarrassed, Ashley looked behind Buffy to find the other Summers girl was also amused, but the young blonde with them had on an expression Ashley was dying to read, but couldn’t.
"Hello Ashley," Buffy replied, "Friends?"
"Family," Ashley stated, but instead of looking at Buffy she was more so focused on the other blonde, "This is my sister Kyla and my best friend Aiden. Since I haven’t seen them since Christmas and I wasn’t around last summer, Faith said they could visit this summer."
"I see," The head Slayer exclaimed in a thoughtful way, "Well, it's nice to meet you both, I’m Buffy Summers."
"Wow," The brunette girl that was just clutching Ashley said, "Aren’t you like in charge of everything?" Ashley's sister asked.
"Something like that." The blonde Slayer replied with a smile. "Anyway this is my sister Dawn," Buffy motioned to the taller brunette next to her, "And our cousin Spencer." When Spencer stepped forward both Kyla and Aiden gave the blonde girl a once-over, and shot knowing winks at the brunette Slayer they had come to visit. "It was nice meeting you both, but you must excuse us, we’re meeting up with someone for lunch." As the three walked into the school, Ashley and Spencer locked gazes and shared sweet smiles. When their gaze broke, Ashley looked back at her sister and best friend and found them staring at the backside of the head Slayer's sister.
"No!" Ashley exclaimed, causing both visitors to turn toward her. "Not her. Not here. You both need to keep it in your pants." As soon as the words left her mouth all three broke into laughter. "Seriously though, don’t do anything that will fuck me over." Seeing the dirty wheels of her sister's mind turn, Ashley knew it was a lost cause.
"…so I tossed her on her ass. It was the first and last time Vi ever made me help out in one of her classes."
"Buffy, are you okay?" Snapping out of her thoughts, the oldest Slayer realized the whole table was looking in her direction. "Um yeah. Sorry, I guess I just drifted for a second."
"That’s okay Buff," Rona smiled her way, things between them had relaxed now that they barely saw each other. "I have to get going anyway. It was great catching up, and nice meeting you, Spencer." Giving Dawn a hug and waving in Buffy’s direction, the senior Slayer was off.
"Wow, I can’t believe it’s already 4pm, it feels like we just got here." Dawn said while stretching in her seat. "Hey there is Ashley and her crew." When the blondes turned to see the group Dawn was talking about, they found the group looking right back at them.
"Well, if you guys want to go talk to them, then go have fun. I told Robin I was going to stop by around five and I wanted to walk around for a bit anyway. Just make sure to meet me by the front in about two hours." Buffy said while standing up.
"Are you serious Buffy?" Dawn asked skeptical.
"Yeah. You guys have been great sitting in classes all day and talking to different girls about training and studying. I told you it wouldn’t be all work, now go play." Seeing the giddy looks of the younger girls made Buffy smile, "I’ll see you two later."
"Behave," Ashley told her sister and Aiden when she saw Dawn and her blonde goddess leave Buffy and walk toward her table. "Hi ladies, it’s nice to see you both again so soon." The overly polite words and tone caused the two people sitting with Ashley to laugh quietly. Watching a nervous Ashley was a rare and wonderful treat.
"Hey." Both girls said when they stood next to the table. "We saw you guys come in and decided to come by since Buffy had a meeting to go to and could no longer entertain us." Dawn spoke since Spencer seemed to become a mute.
"I can entertain you." Kyla said while looking directly at Dawn. "I mean, why don’t you both have a seat, I am sure we can entertain you both." Even though the invitation seemed friendly enough, the look Kyla was giving Dawn was beyond friendly. When the girls sat down, Spencer next to Ashley and Dawn next to Kyla; a comfortable silence enveloped the group.
"So, are you two gay or do I have a shot?" Instantly all four girls whipped their heads in Aiden’s direction, and after a second of silence, laughter erupted.
Ecstasy is normally what Buffy would be feeling in this moment. This time the roles were reversed and she was the one watching. Standing in the game room looking out into the field, Buffy watched Faith. Even though Faith was off on her own Area Watch with no one around, she was still doing it in broad day light. Buffy knew it was a message. She knew Faith wanted her to watch.
Slowly a sense of fire was spreading throughout her body, but the blonde was unable to tell if it was lust or anger. Lately it was always hard for her to separate both feelings whenever she was around Faith. Faith knew this, and that’s probably why she was out there on display for all to see, but Buffy knew it was meant for her alone.
"Ah Buffy, there you are." Coming beside her was Robin Wood, and just like when Faith had been watching the blonde earlier, she didn’t turn her head from the window. "I guess you Slayers really love this view." He said, remembering when he was standing with the brunette Slayer.
"It’s a great view." Buffy said, still not glancing his way. Realizing the blonde was staring at something specific, he squinted and saw what he thought was the brunette.
"Is that Faith?" He asked, only receiving a nod to answer his question "What’s she doing?" He asked knowing this question would actually have to have a verbal answer.
"Tai chi." Buffy spoke with her gaze still locked on the other Slayer.
"I didn’t even know she knew the form. I wonder why she never chose to teach that class when we were picking instructors."
"It’s ours only."
"What?" Robin asked because he was unsure if he heard correctly. How could it be theirs and why was her tone so possessive? Realizing the blonde had no intention of answering his question, he looked back out to see the figure he assumed to be Faith walking into the school. He then realized the blonde Slayer was also making her leave and heading for the door.
"Oh Buffy?" He called out causing her to turn back. "Here is the Davies file you asked for." With no words spoken, the blonde took the folder and left.
Chapter 9: I’ll Never Tell
"So maybe we could all get together later and hang out or something?" Even though the question was asked to the group, it was quite obvious who the brunette was speaking to. Rolling her eyes at her sister's open flirting, Ashley decided to ignore Kyla, and her sad attempts to capture Dawn’s attention, and focus her interest on the beautiful blue-eyed blonde. Smiling at the object of her affection, the brunette Slayer figured she’d help herself and her sister by re-asking the question that was spoken mere seconds ago.
"I’m not too busy tomorrow, how about you guys?" Tossing a smirk in her sister’s direction, the Davies siblings made brief eye contact and turned back toward the hot cousins. Keeping their focus on the two cousins, the siblings managed to ignore Aiden when he stated that he was also free tomorrow. Having a conversation with their eyes, the cousins looked at each other for a few seconds and then back at the group.
As soon as it seemed as though they were about to answer, Dawn’s cell phone started to ring and the girl’s focus change to that. Letting out an annoyed sigh they didn’t know they were holding, Ashley and Kyla gave each other looks of aggravation.
"It’s Buffy." The taller brunette said, as she turned her back on the girls and Aiden to speak with her sister.
"So what do you guys have planned for the rest of the day?" Spencer asked while waiting on Dawn to rejoin them.
"Nothing exciting," Kyla answered since Ashley seemed to become a mute whenever the blonde came within twenty feet. "Ash here is going to show us around town."
"That’s cool." Spencer nodding along with an awkward smile, clearly she was uncomfortable around the trio when her cousin was not at her side.
"Yeah she’s here. Okay, I'll tell her. See you in a few, bye." Was the only part of the conversation everyone heard as Dawn rejoined them all.
"So what did Buffy want?" The younger cousin inquired.
"She just wanted to let us know that she was ready to go, and that we were going to be on our own again for a bit tomorrow." Excitement instantly showed up on the Davies girls faces.
"I guess that means you guys are able to hang out with us?" Staring at Dawn with a big smile on her face, Kyla’s eagerness would normally make Ashley laugh but she was too busy waiting for the blonde’s response.
"Actually," Dawn cut in before Spencer could answer, "Ashley, you are busy tomorrow. Buffy wanted me to tell you that she scheduled you to meet with her tomorrow afternoon." Though appearing calm and relaxed on the outside, the brunette Slayer was having a mini freak-out on the inside. "Well I guess we will see you all tomorrow, bye guys." After a few exchanges of goodbyes, the cousins took their leave and the trio was once again alone.
"I hate to see them go, but I love to watch them walk away." Even though Kyla laughed at Aiden’s comment, she did give him a good whack upside the head. Looking at her sister to see if she was going to get in a whack, she saw fear in the Slayer's eyes. "Ash, what’s wrong?"
"I am so fucked."
"You’re not fucked, stop saying that." Faith said as she got off of her chair, and walked around her desk to stand in front of Ashley. "We are going to work this out together, okay? Buffy is all about building girls up, not tearing them down."
"I know that, but my file-" Ashley started to say, but stopped.
"Your file is perfectly fine. Seriously, do you think Wood and I would have jumped through all of these hoops just to fuck it all up by putting everything in your file? The only thing in there you're going to have to explain is why you are here." The older Slayer said with a smile, trying to lift the spirit of the younger girl.
"So why am I here?" The younger brunette asked stubbornly, she was perfectly fine with being in a foul mood.
"You were having serious doubts about whether you truly wanted to be a Slayer, it’s partly true." Faith said as if it made things easier.
"Yeah, it was true like a year ago." Countered the stubborn Slayer
"What do you want me to do, Ash?" Faith said while bending down to make eye contact with the younger Slayer. "I wish I could fix this for you."
"I wish you could fix it so it had never happened." Whispered the young girl. Seeing Ashley so upset, Faith sat in the chair beside her and wrapped an arm around her. Having been there herself, Faith knew there was nothing she could say that would make it better, all she knew was that time would eventually make things easier. For now, this was just something Ashley was going to have to deal with.
Uncomfortable, that’s how she felt and that’s how the other girl seemed as well. Usually when she met with girls, the atmosphere was a lot easier and Buffy tended to know what cards the other person was holding. This time things were different. Instead of an open environment, Buffy felt like she was being bluffed out of a hand she was in control of. Another thing Buffy realized is that she needed to stop listening to Poker Face or she’d be stuck in analogies forever. Smiling at the thought, the blonde Slayer tried to put herself at ease.
"I know this sucks for you, but I promise, I'm not here to attack you." Receiving a nod from the younger girl she continued on. "Us meeting is just a formality, I just want to get to know you and to understand the situation." Waiting for the girl to respond, the two sat in silence. As talkative a Buffy was, this silence was a lot more comfortable for her than the normally quiet brunette. After about a minute or so the Slayer in charge realized she wasn’t going to get anything out of the girl across from her without a little motivation.
"So I finally got a hold of your file and it says you have been questioning becoming a Slayer." Once again all she received was a nod, however she had paused quite a few seconds before nodding. "It says that you are staying the summer to help you think over the life of a Slayer; decide if that's what you really want."
"Um yeah, I mean yes. Slaying, um, it can be stressful and it’s, uh, hard to, um, have a real life." The nervous movements and sentence pauses caused the older Slayer to pay close attention to the girl in front of her.
"I understand," Buffy began, "I was one-of-a-kind for a long time. It really is a hard choice to make, and I feel for you girls all the time. Faith and I, we didn’t decide anything in this situation, it was decided for us. You girls, you get your powers, you feel a part of something, but sometimes it can be too much. I can see why Faith let you have your family come visit."
"Yeah, I miss them and worry about what’s going on when I’m not there." For Ashley that was the easiest thing she was able to say for the whole conversation since it was actually the truth.
"Families are important. I can honestly say without the people around me I wouldn’t be here, they helped me to survive." Pausing to let her words sink in, Buffy could see that Ashley was thinking about what she said.
"I’m scared I can’t protect them." The young Slayer whispered.
"There is always going to be some vampire, some big bad that is going to try to mess with our lives, but you’re not alone Ashley. If being a Slayer is what you want to do, then know there are girls all around the world that will have your back. Also in the few moments I saw you with your family, and I saw how they looked at you, I know that no matter what you decide that they will be there for you as well." Seeing the girl before her finally relax, brought another natural smile to the older Slayer’s face. "At the end of the day it’s your life and we will support anything you decide. As for this little talk, I think I got everything I need." Moving to push her chair back, Buffy stopped when she heard a little laugh come from the brunette.
"I guess I made you feel better about me being put with your sister." Smiling at the older blonde, Ashley saw a confused and curious look cross over Buffy’s face.
"Do you think Dawn is the only reason I'm here?" Once Ashley nodded, Buffy continued. "Ashley, I’m sure you have taken all of your history courses. I'm sure you've heard about past Slayers, myself, Faith, and Sunnydale."
"Mostly you." Ashley interrupted with a smile
"Probably too much about me." Buffy laughed. "See, when Sunnydale was destroyed, we really had no idea what to do. The only thing we could think about was to get these girls home so they could rest, and to take it from there. Back in high school, when I was called, I always wished thing could have been different, and we knew then that was what we had to do. Within a day, plans were made to go back to England to rebuild the council; only this time we would be in charge and we’d do everything the way it should have been done." Listening to Buffy speak made Ashley feel like she was right there with her in those first few days.
"Tapping into their funds, and rebuilding the new headquarters went really smoothly. We all figured in a matter of time the building would be up and then we'd get the girls and really give evil a run for its money. Tell me Ashley, where is Slayer Headquarters?" Seeing the frustration on the brunette’s face made the head Slayer want to snicker.
"I don’t remember any mention of one."
"There isn’t one." Buffy said and relief spread through the younger girl. "A month into the project, Kennedy and I were on patrol and we heard a lot of yelling. Running over to see what was going on, we saw this girl being attack by some vampires. Even though it was clear she needed our help it was also clear this girl was a Slayer. Quickly we dusted our fanged opponents and started talking to the girl we just saved. After an hour of talking we took her back to our place to try and help her understand more. "
"When she left us I knew we needed to change direction. This girl’s life wasn’t going to be saved by a bunch of people in some headquarters, what she needed, what every new active needed, was an education. They needed to know what was out there and how to protect themselves as well as the people in their lives. England became the first of many schools and the girl we saved that night, Jordan, is now the new head Slayer in charge of it. If we would have created that Slayer Central today it wouldn’t be about the girls, it would be about me and my people and how we run the show, but we changed the game."
"With these schools I am putting the future on you all and taking away this view that it’s all about me and my Scooby’s. Now we all work together, it’s all abut communication and going forward together and that’s why I am here. Sure you are being assigned to Dawn, but a lot of it is how all of it went down, no communication. The controls we have set up are for everyone, because you’re not alone Ashley, you have a big extended family that will always be there for you."
Standing up from her seat Buffy walked over to Ashley and gave her a big hug. "I know you’ll make us all proud." Giving her a nice pat on the back she turned from the brunette and walked out of the room.
Following right behind her the younger Slayer suddenly felt sadness and regret overwhelm her as she thought about her conversation with the blonde. Hearing her name, Ashley looked up to see her sister coming down the hall toward her with Faith by her side and Aiden following. Within the blink of an eye she looked around to see Buffy speaking with Dawn and Spencer while junior Slayers started coming out of their classes. Shooting an apologetic glance in Faith’s direction, Ashley walked over to Buffy.
"Hey Buffy?" She asked interrupting the blonde’s conversation
"Are you okay, Ashley?" The head Slayer asked when she saw the apprehensive look on the young girl’s face.
"I lied; my doubts aren’t why I am here. My doubt were caused by the reason I am stuck here over the summer, I almost killed someone." Unable to look up, Ashley stared holes into the floor. When a hand was placed on her back, Ashley felt Buffy move closer to her side.
"Come on," Buffy whispered, "I guess we aren’t done talking." With that said, the two walked back into the room they had just came out.