I always thought my grand-sire was a blonde at heart. I was wrong.
He's not just a blonde. He's the ultimate blonde bimbo, dragon-riding notwithstanding.
This EROTE idea of his is pure idiocy. Just think of it. Ecologically Responsible Organic Transportation Equity. A dragon trade union, my arse.
These bastards had always been insolent. And since they've got a union, they became even more insolent. More than yours truly, actually.
Actually, those first days after the apocalypse when they nested on the Hellmouth were pretty funny. They destroyed the construction site of the new school, much to Nibblet's joy and Harris' indignation. Then Red made some tricky linguistic spell and it turned out dragons are a) more or less intelligent b) pretty lazy c) herbivorous and d) relatively friendly. Naturally, demons and people quickly domesticated them and now use them for transport.
And, of course, the Mighty Poof couldn't stand the exploitation of man's new best friend. When he got back from his adventures to Pylea, a couple of dragons, who migrated to LA, befriended him and sought his advice. And this idiot helped them to create a trade union. Because, you know, other "specific communities", including humans and vampires, have to pay them fairly and respect dragons' traditions and way of life.
Did I mention that the bastards fly and poo simultaneously? I bet they like it - if I could fly I'd... But I digress. The point is that the inhabitants of Sunnyhell tried to respect dragons' ways of life but when one of them demonstrated his tradition right on Sunnyhell's mayor's head, it started to get ugly. Imagine a mayor in dragon poo from head to toes. No wonder people started complaining and even calling to arms.
So the last few weeks Angel sticks around in Sunnyhell as a representative of EROTE trying to find a politically correct solution that would satisfy both dragons and their employers. The solution is still a long way coming. Maybe because this idiot spends all the time lurking under Slayer's window, brooding and all.
I don't know what's up with Buffy.
I mean I understand that it's hard - to sleep through the apocalypse and to wake up in a different world. And - what a world! A world where realities, bleeding into each other, created a perfect location for Hollywood blockbusters, with domesticated dragons, trolls, goblins and fairies, all ready to work as extras for 15 dollars a day plus free meals. Of course, it's tricky to apply human make-up on demon faces when they need a human crowd scene, but Jonathan Levenson says they use progressive technologies.
Jonathan and his two friends work at a film production company. They boast they almost sold a script about three super-villains taking over the world. Jonathan says the apocalypse is the best thing that ever happened to Sunnydale. I don't agree with him, but mostly on principle. After all, there always had been demons in Sunnydale and people got used to dealing with them on a regular basis. Dragons are quite a problem, but I'm sure with Angel here we'll find a peaceful solution.
On the other hand, many film crews arrived here and set up production offices and created a lot of workplaces. Anya was the first to seize the opportunity of capitalist enrichment in a boom town. She created a construction company "Jenkins & Harris" with her as president and Xander as head of production department, and in three months they were rich. Good old Xan. He created a trust fund to send Buffy a tidy sum every month, enough to provide her and Dawn with a normal life. She thinks it's from her father and we don't dissuade her.
Still, she's twitchy and restless and a bit distanced and often speaks in riddles. "Do you think a person can enter the same river twice?" "I can't go through this again". Go though what, I ask? She doesn't reply.
And - what about this one? "Do you think I'm mature enough to be in a real relationship?"
Buffy is the most mature person I know. It's just... sometimes she acts and speaks like 12-year-old.
My life today is so normal it's truly horrible. Who knew apocalypse could be so lame? So much fuss about nothing. I feel so cheated. Of course, I wasn't there but it doesn't count. Spike said all the new races of demons who came through the portal were poofty wankers, whatever it means. The majority of them got their asses kicked by locals. So, a week later they came to Dawn begging her to reopen the portal and let them go back.
And the funniest thing? She did it. Obviously my not-so-little sister with Willow's help found a way to control the portal and open it when she wants. Local demon community bestowed the title of a Gatekeeper on her (she never misses an occasion to remind me about her new status and her new position). Watchers Council immediately appointed Giles as her Watcher, because she declared that she'd accept nobody but Giles or Spike. And Quentin Travers decided that inviting a vampire as a Watcher was "monumentally unacceptable". Ha bloody ha. So Giles is Gatekeeper's Watcher, Spike is Gatekeeper's personal assistant and I'm Gatekeeper's good-for-nothing sister.
Thank God I was in a coma all the time. Willow had managed to pull me out of the weird place I was, but sometimes I think I'm still there. Because today I live in another majorly weird place where I don't have to worry about anything. Dragon poo doesn't count.
I can't understand why I feel like I'm standing at the edge of a precipice.
Willow thinks it's because I haven’t got used to being normal. She orders Chinese food and makes me watch DVDs and have slumber parties every other night. Can't say it helps. Giles thinks I'm having a guilt trip and reads me long lectures about Slayer duties. I always smile and nod as I mentally strangle him. Spike says I'm just antsy because Angel is skulking about, but Spike is absolutely wrong and I need to kick his insolent vampire ass, and I should have disinvited him long ago – the only thing that stops me is my sister’s stupid crush on him. And when has Spike become an expert on my relationship with Angel?
Damn. I shouldn't think about Angel. And I'm. Not. Thinking. About. Him. I'm thinking about the slaying lesson I'm going to give Dawn in half an hour. It's great she's interested in slaying.
Note to myself: not to show straddling positions to her.
I hate, hate, hate those stupid meetings. Why should The Gatekeeper (i.e. me) preside over their stupid wrangles? I don't give a damn about dragon poo. Or interdimensional anomalies, for that matter.
Damn. Giles says I must think positively. And to thank my lucky stars for surviving Glory’s ritual. They all say it was a kinda miracle that they found me afterwards at the foot of the tower, cut, bleeding, but alive. I don’t remember anything, but I suspect that the miracle’s name is Spike (I found my bloodied panties in his crypt the other day).
But I digress. Ok, let’s try to think positively. I think this whole fuss about EROTE and dragon rights can - and should - be used to my advantage. What? Positive thinking!
So. My big sister is the biggest idiot on Earth. Since her vampire-ex-boyfriend arrived in Sunnydale several weeks ago, waves of frustration emanate from her in every direction. And, worst of all, she suddenly decided that my relationship with Spike is unhealthy and dangerous. "Because a relationship with a vampire can't end well". It's depressing. My big sister who's 20 years old still doesn't know what she wants. I mean, look at her when Angel is around. You can virtually see pink hearts sparkling above their heads.
All they need is a little push. And, since I have to sit through that stupid session tomorrow, I'll force them to approve my pet project: inter-species patrol on the Hellmouth. Angel is our liaison to dragon community, right? He should patrol the Hellmouth on a dragon's back. To ensure the world's peace. And take the Slayer as his partner. And they should patrol all night long because, you know, evil is afoot.
And my sister won't catch me snuggling with Spike.
Well, to tell the truth, Spike totally exasperates me. This bastard treats me as a friend. He only loves women who can kick his ass and I'm not worthy of his vampire sadomasochistic quirks. Heh. Little does he know. Willow teaches me some magic tricks and Buffy gives me some lessons in slaying. Because, you know, The Gatekeeper has to be able to defend herself. In a week or two I'll start making Spike-shaped dents in the walls and he'll finally take me seriously.
Oh, by the way, I should worm out of Buffy if vampires really can purr.
Actually, the results of the latest session of the Hellmouth advisory committee are even more satisfying than The Council could expect. We should be realistic and accept that under current circumstances full control over the portal is impossible. Travers should be grateful we got two more voices in the Hellmouth advisory board.
Luckily, Buffy and Angel were very eager to take part in dragon patrolling. And the committee was so happy with the idea of free advertising of Sunnydale's primary tourist attractions that I - meaning Dawn - was able to impose on them the point about committee membership granted to dragon-riders who patrol the Hellmouth.
I hope these new responsibilities will help Buffy to focus on her work. Recently she behaves strangely: she's absent-minded, erratic and unpredictable. Yesterday she asked me if she looked fat. Today I was subjected to a half-hour rant about the lack of dragon-riding sportswear as well as outrageous Prada, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Fendi and other fashion houses' disinterest in creating clothes and footwear collections for dragon-riders. Anya has immediately picked up her idea and suggested a joint venture with a major Los-Angeles fashion house. She wants to licence EROTE as a brand name and offer royalties to Angel's trade union and him personally, as she plans to make him the face of the first collection. He doesn't know yet. Hopefully he won't kill her when she reveals her plans to him.
Life on the Hellmouth has always been weird and showbiz-Sunnydale-style is 11 on the 10-point scale of weirdness.
Thank God Dawn finally overcame her unhealthy Spike crush. She has started taking lessons of self-defence. She learns magic. She’s becoming a responsible person. I can only hope that Buffy will follow in her little sister's footsteps.
Our first patrol starts in five minutes and I can't face her.
No, I mean I can - when we're surrounded by other people and the next apocalypse is imminent and we have to focus on something other than us. But facing her there, on a dragon back, in the air, between heaven and earth... God, even thinking about it makes my head spin.
Spike leers every time he sees me. Of course, the bastard can smell her arousal. I wish I could forget about protocol and throw a punch on the insolent nose of Gatekeeper's assistant. The bastard would laugh, of course, but at least I'll shake off a bit of my frustration. I can't believe I could restrain myself when this moron told me that the small cavity between dragon's wings could be very cosy if one spreads a comforter and puts a couple of pillows there. And soar into the great blue yonder under the aegis of EROTE, he said.
If I could blush, I'd be blushing like a virgin. Son of a bitch. I should have knocked him senseless.
Dawn smirks every time anybody mentions Buffy. Does she really smirk like Spike or I imagine?
I have the impression that everybody - Giles, Willow, Harris and his business-like wife - they all look at me and grin. Everybody except Buffy.
She looks away and fidgets silently and her scent drives me crazy. Especially now, when she marches towards me, and her shy smile illuminates the whole world around us. I can't take my eyes off her as she is climbing onto the dragon's back and is making herself comfortable on the comforter and pillows in the small cavity between the dragon's wings.
Yes, I have put them there. After all, Spike says that perfect happiness and dragon poop are mutually exclusive. And I think that just once in my unlife I may agree with him.
Forget about action extravaganzas, I say to Warren and Jonathan. We're struggling film-makers, nobody will give us as much as 100 million dollars to make a blockbuster about three super-villains. We must grab the opportunity to raise 10 millions to shoot a supernatural romance as long as "Jenkins & Harris" is ready to take part in financing and executive-producing. When our first little movie takes the box-office by storm, we’ll be able to do whatever we want.
I don't give a damn that Warren is unhappy with company CEO Anya Jenkins Harris' condition to hire her as a production consultant. I also doubt she knows anything about the supernatural (she's your typical corporate shark), but she has good ideas. Take, for example, her suggestion to hire a stunt team of Buffy Summers and her hunky beau in leather trousers for dragon-riding sequences. Brilliant. Besides, we can't afford real movie stars and this guy may easily become the next teen-pin-up-du-jour. Of course his public image needs a lot of work, since he's a vampire, and he totally should change his hairdresser. But in any case he and his girlfriend can work as stuntmen and stunt coordinators in the dragon-riding sequences.
I heard rumours they even manage to have sex on the top of the dragon's back, although Warren says it's just another urban legend. But he always looks excited when he descends from our observation post in the attic.
I've already started a script about a blonde girl and a dark-haired vampire, but I'm afraid Warren will beat me to it. I've sent my pitch to Mr. Spielberg, but he hasn't replied yet. Obviously my Internet connection is demonically possessed.
Today I'm having a rendezvous with a source who promised to tell me a lot of interesting vampire tales. Very beautiful blonde woman. Very beautiful and very pregnant. Yesterday Warren went to talk to her and today his phone is dead. I bet this cheat switched it off and is already writing. But no way Mr. Spielberg will make a deal with him. Warren has poor taste - I mean, what to expect from a guy whose favourite Bond is Connery.
My script will be much better.
I can't wait till I meet this woman. I'm so eager to hear her stories. Last draft saved 10.03.2001 at 13.13
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Summary: What if Willow couldn't bring Buffy back from her catatonic state in The Weight of the World? What if Buffy slept through a regularly scheduled apocalypse?
Timeline: Alternate season 6 of BtVS, inspired by season 6 of AtS, in which Angel frequently rides a dragon (although the events of AtS are irrelevant to this story).
Acknowledgements: Gigantic thanks to my wonderful beta scribesds, and to Chrisleeoctaves for organizing the event!