Title: KARA'S SECRET
Characters: OC slayer Kara, Buffybot, Dana, Tara, Giles
Warnings: rampant silliness
Disclaimer: All characters, except the OC slayer Kara, watcher Richard and watcher trainee Jason, belong to Joss and co.
Summary: Post Chosen: The slayer Kara faces the New Year with something missing from her life -- a male something. Unfortunately, she's in an entire building full of interruptions such as robots, dead witches, and suspicious fathers.
(Note: Yes, this stars an original character, but give it a chance! Some of your favorites put in appearances. This story was originally published on fanfiction.net at the end of December last year; I thought I'd post it again in honor of the holidays, because it's got a nice New Year's feel to it -- and because we could always use a little fun this time of year.)
Thanks to jillyh2009, otherwise known as my daughter, otherwise known as the original model for Kara, who didn’t appear overly mortified when I showed her this story.
My name is Kara Philips, and I’ve decided to start keeping a diary because my life has gotten really interesting lately. (And also because my dad gave me a diary for Christmas.)
There was finding out that I was a slayer, of course, which happened during a martial arts match in which I totally kicked ass. I’ll get back to that.
Then there was getting attacked by vampires and big green demons, and fighting dead slayers, and getting slimed last month by an Angorrah Demon, which – ew. There was having a ghost become my watcher, and having a robot as one of my best friends, and having a roommate who’s – well, I’ll reserve a whole entry later on to explain Dana. Oh, and moving from rural Indiana to Chicago. The truth is, I hate Chicago. It’s like there’s no outdoors here. But my dad got to move here with me – it turns out he was a potential watcher, which is kind of hard to explain. A lot of the slayers only get to see their family on holidays, so I shouldn’t complain.
Besides, the really interesting thing doesn’t involve any of this. Now, this is a secret, diary, so I hope you don’t mind that you’ll be hidden at the back of my locker in the gym when I’m not writing in you. It’s the only locked place I’ve got. I’ve been so busy training, and fighting evil, and catching up on my math homework, that I totally spaced on the fact that I was about to turn sixteen.
And … well, as the saying goes, sweet sixteen and never been kissed.
I’d sit there while everyone talked about all the hot guys they knew, and all the dates they went on, and all I could do was keep quiet. Rona got kissed when she was fourteen. Vi was fifteen. Kennedy kisses girls, which still counts, although I’d rather not think about it. Faith – don’t get me started. And I have it on good authority that Buffy was my age when she lost her virginity! Speaking of which, the whole reason Buffybot got built was for stuff like that.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not ready to go that far. But it’s embarrassing, never having even been kissed by a guy. So, I decided that before the end of the year, I was going to get that kiss.
This presented a problem. I’m in a place that’s a lot like a girl’s school, and the only time I leave is for field trips, which is another way to say missions. We have to focus during missions, because of the whole kill or be killed thing. Believe me, there’s no time to cruise for guys. So I’m left with the males who live here, on the fourteenth and fifteenth floors of the building. Maybe there are hot guys on the other floors, but we never go there – I don’t even know what businesses we share the building with.
The men here consist of, first of all, my dad, and Giles, who’s old enough to be my dad; Robin, who’s still heavily into his relationship with Faith – and nobody would want to take on Faith --
By the way, the Robin and Faith thing has gone the distance and then some. Willow averaged out the bets in the pool, and says according to the average they should have broken up six months ago. I don’t think anybody’s more surprised than they are.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Xander’s cool, but he’s like, six or seven years older than me. I suppose that won’t seem like such a big deal when I’m older, but right now it does.
Then there’s Andrew. There’s another pool going over whether Andrew likes girls at all, but even if he does – ick.
Clem’s a guy, I think. But he’s a demon, and it would be kind of like kissing a bald puppy, and I don’t think it would count, anyway.
That leaves Jason. Jason is only a year older than me, he’s got blonde hair and blue eyes, and muscles (he works out), and a really nice butt, and it helps that he’s a nice guy, too. But the thing is, we’ve got a history. In fact, he’s the guy whose butt I kicked the moment I got my slayer powers.
See, Jason and I grew up together. He spent a lot of time at my house when we were kids, because his dad’s kind of a psycho, and my dad’s normal, more or less. He ended up in Chicago with us because we got attacked by vampires in his dad’s coffee shop, then Jason got thrown through a wall at my house, and Jason’s dad didn’t think a concussion made up for trashing the shop and then leaving it empty in the middle of business hours, and … it was a whole big thing.
The point is, his dad kicked him out of the house, so Jason came with us and became our special weapons expert. Did I mention that Jason’s dad is a survivalist gun nut who used to make Jason assemble machine guns blindfolded?
So Jason is here, and I’m here, and he’s fine, and to be honest with you, I’ve thought about kissing him since sixth grade. He seemed unreachable back then, because he was on the football and the basketball teams, and I never bothered even trying out for cheerleader. Not that I don’t still have competition – there are hundreds of slayers, and a lot of them live here full time. But he hasn’t been dating any of them as far as I know – I think he’s a little overwhelmed by how much he’s outnumbered.
Next step was getting him alone. Did I mention the hundreds of slayers?
Fast forward a few days to New Year’s Eve, when I saw my chance. Everybody started gathering in the gym early, because Andrew and Clem had made this big dinner, and then there were snacks and games and music, and a TV set up to watch New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and all that stuff. So by six o’clock most of us were there in the gym.
But Jason doesn’t like crowds, and he’s not much of a partier, so I knew he’d wander in kind of late. I also knew where I was most likely to find him before then.
So I put my plan into effect, starting with dressing up in my best outfit. It was a black pleated skirt and a purple backless top, and gold hoop earrings, and these really cool shoes I’d talked my dad into getting me. Earlier in the day I talked Bottie into doing my hair: curls, wavy bangs, that kind of thing. I couldn’t do anything about my braces, but I’ve heard all the rumors about kissing with braces on were just, well, rumors.
Then I went hunting.
Sure enough, Jason was in the armory, but he wasn’t alone – I should have known better than to think it would be that easy. He was sitting among the storage cabinets with some kind of big honkin’ gun across his lap, and Giles was sitting in another chair, and they were in the middle of a big argument.
“That kind of weapon would be useless in the hands of a non-expert,” Jason was insisting. “Worse than useless.” I knew instantly he wasn’t talking about the big honkin’ gun, although I doubt if a non-expert would even know how to point it.
“Against a long range weapon, perhaps,” Giles retorted. “But even a minimally trained warrior should be able to acquit himself well against blades and other hand weapons.”
Jason shook his head. “But you have to connect to be effective. A trained swordsman can get inside your defenses without taking a hit, and then you’d be screwed.”
Looking frustrated, Giles threw his hands into the air. “Jason, it’s a bloody lightsaber. It can cut through anything. William Wallace himself wouldn’t take a chance that he could make a hit before his sword was melted.”
Suddenly realizing he had an audience, Jason turned to me. “Kara, don’t you think an untrained fighter with a lightsaber would be just as likely to cut his own leg off as take out an opponent?”
“The only question I have about lightsabers is why, when you turn them on, the light doesn’t just keep on going, like a flashlight? Then you could just aim it at the bad guys and shoot them.”
Jason looked at me like I was crazy. Not quite the look I was hoping for tonight.
Hoping to keep this from escalating into questions of why the Empire never learned to equip its armor with tracks (I’ve been through this with Jason before), I poked a thumb over my shoulder. “Mr. Giles, you might want to head toward the gym. Faith is trying to talk everyone into pairing off for midnight kisses.”
Giles gave me a blank stare for a moment. Then he thought about it, and the blood drained from his face. “Dear Lord.” He vaulted from his chair and hurried out, letting the heavy steel door swing shut behind him.
Well, that had been easier than I’d expected. Pretending to look around the large room, I did a little pirouette, letting the skirt flare out a little. Then I took the chair Giles had just vacated, which put me right in front of Jason. And yes, I’d shaved my legs for this.
There was no sign at all that Jason had noticed anything out of the ordinary. “Did you see this?” He gestured down at the aforementioned big honkin’ gun.
I nodded. Of course I’d noticed it, since I’d been plotting how to get him to put it away ever since walking in. “It’s a big honkin’ gun.”
“It’s a Browning Automatic Rifle.” He waited expectantly, grinning like a madman.
“I kind of prefer the rocket launcher you used in Michigan last summer. Big boom.”
He looked disappointed, and I couldn’t figure out why. “Kara, this B.A.R. is half a century old, and in mint condition! The Watcher’s Council updated the inventory every now and then, but never got rid of the older weapons. This is a classic.”
Oh – that concept I could understand. “Like – Astronaut Barbie in mint condition.”
“Well, yeah. Except you couldn’t load up Astronaut Barbie and use her to fill that Angorrah Demon full of holes before it got without mucus squirting range.”
“Oh! In that case, I want a B.R.A. for my birthday.”
He grinned, and his gaze briefly swept my outfit. “It’s B.A.R.”
Oops. Realizing what I had spelled, I blushed and looked away. We sat in silence for a moment, and not a comfortable silence, either.
Then the door burst open, making us both jump. Dana vaulted in, looking panicked. “Kara! I’ve been looking for you.”
“What’s wrong?” With Dana, it’s kind of hard to tell whether something bad is happening, or whether the voices are talking to her again, or whether it’s something really minor that’s set her off.
“I don’t really have to kiss somebody at midnight, do I?”
Oops. I hadn’t planned to say anything to Giles about Faith’s whole kissing plan, which I’d assumed was a joke, but it looked like it was a good thing I had. Forcing a kiss on Dana would be like playing catch with nitroglycerin.
“If I do have to,” Dana continued, “I’d rather kiss you.”
I glanced at a dumbfounded looking Jason, then back at Dana. Then I realized Dana was looking at me. Then I blushed again.
“I mean …” Her hands kind of fluttered, and she blushed, too. “I just mean if I have to kiss somebody … not that you’re not kissable, because I’m sure …” Suddenly Dana gave Jason a closer look, then turned back to me. “Or Bottie. I could kiss Bottie. Cause, she’s a robot.”
The big honkin’ gun started to fall, and Jason grabbed at it. He turned to put it into a locker, pretending we weren’t there.
“You don’t have to kiss anyone, Dana,” I told my friend. “Faith’s not really serious.”
“Okay.” With a sigh of relief, she turned back to the door, then glanced back at me. “But if I do, it’ll be Bottie.”
Jason finished locking the gun back up and turned back to me as the door closed. “Wow.”
“Yeah, I know all about you guys and your lesbian fantasies.” It just came out before I could stop it.
Jason’s face turned beet red. “Hey! I didn’t –“
“The crazy slayer and the sexbot.” I snapped my fingers at him. “Go take a cold shower!”
I don’t know why I got mad. Maybe because I’d done all that dressing up that he didn’t even notice, and Dana was still dressed in her gray sweats from her afternoon workout. Of course, I hadn’t volunteered to make out with a robot that was built to fulfill a vampire’s sex fantasies.
“Seriously, Kara, I wasn’t thinking anything like that. Besides, you’re better looking than Dana or Buffybot.”
Okay, that helped. “Really?”
“Yeah.” He gestured at my outfit. “You, um, clean up real nice.”
Full of nervous energy, I stood up and smoothed my skirt out – which put me about three feet from him. “You really think so?” I turned my face up toward his.
“Yeah,” Jason murmured. He leaned toward me.
Tara walked through the wall right beside us.
“Gah!” Jason yelled, stumbling backward. He tripped over the B.A.R. locker, then all of him but his legs disappeared behind it. He was wearing Reebocks.
“Oh!” Hurrying over, Tara helped him to his feet. “I’m sorry. There was something I needed to get done before the party, and –“ She stopped, and looked from Jason to me. I’m pretty sure I’d yelled something incoherent, too, but I’d managed to stay on my feet.
“It’s okay,” Jason told her, as he brushed himself off. “I’m the one who left that locker in the middle of the room, anyway. No harm done.”
“Oh, good.” Her gaze traveled between the two of us again, and she hesitated. “Um, have either of you seen Kennedy?”
“Why, are you going to slime her?” It was the same joke Jason made whenever Tara went in search of Kennedy or Willow. For some reason, he still thought it was funny.
“I haven’t decided,” Tara told him with a smile. For some reason, she kept on humoring him.
“Kennedy went on a snack run with Andrew,” Jason said. “Something about wanting to try some kind of flowering onion thing.”
“Oh, thanks. Um, I’ll leave you alone now. But don’t forget, dinner starts soon!” Turning, Tara walked back through the same wall.
Jason frowned. “I wonder why she’s always looking for Kennedy? I mean, Tara’s the ghost of Willow’s girlfriend, and Kennedy is Willow’s present girlfriend. Shouldn’t Tara be trying scare Kennedy’s to death, and shouldn’t Kennedy be calling an exorcist?
“Tara’s too decent for that,” I murmured. I’d been busy trying to remember what was on the other side of that wall, and imagining somebody over there yelling and throwing things when Tara appeared, although the armory walls were too thick to hear if it happened. While I was working that through in my mind, I realized Jason was staring at me.
“What?” Had I been smiling? Had he seen my braces?
“Nothing. I just … you look really pretty today, Kara.”
I did? “I do?” I knew those shoes were worth the money!
“Yeah. Um, the outfit, and, you know, your hair, and stuff.” He reached out, brushing his hand against my hair. I began feeling flushed and dizzy, which probably had something to do with the fact that I’d stopped breathing.
“Are you okay?” Jason asked, looking concerned.
“I will be in a second,” I whispered.
He leaned in, focusing on my mouth …
The door slammed open.
“Damn it,” I yelled, “doesn’t anybody know how to knock?”
Buffybot stood in the doorway, staring at me. “On the armory door?”
“Yes!” I was so frustrated I actually stamped my foot. “It’s just – common courtesy!”
She looked hurt, which made me feel bad. I know she’s supposed to be just a robot, but if her emotions are programmed, it’s a doggone good program. “I’m sorry, Bottie.” I glanced back at Jason, who was looking like my reaction had frightened him a little. “It’s just that … we were about to …”
I turned back to Bottie, but she had company. Standing in the door behind her was Richard Philips, former school teacher, writer, and watcher, otherwise known as my dad.
“About to what?” he asked, making Bottie jump.
Behind me, I heard Jason gulp.
“Go to the party,” I said, while desperately trying to figure out why being interrupted in the act of leaving would bother me.
Bottie turned to my Dad, looking exasperated. “Dana claims Kara told her that she had to kiss me!”
Dad’s eyebrow rose. “Who kiss you?”
Dad’s eyebrow stayed up. “My daughter’s making you kiss a robot?”
“Faith did it,” I tried to explain.
“Faith kissed Bottie?”
I let out a grunt of frustration. “Faith started the rumor that everyone had to pair up to kiss at the stroke of midnight, and Dana said if she had to kiss anyone it would be Bottie, and I tried to explain to Dana that it wasn’t true, but apparently she got mixed up, and she’d rather kiss a robot than a man.”
Behind me, I heard Jason make a strange, choking noise.
My dad considered the whole thing for a long moment, then crossed his arms. “Who do I get to kiss?”
“Because I kind of had my heart set on –“
“I don’t want to hear it!” To demonstrate, I stuck my fingers in my ears. “Go to the party!”
“Fine.” Dad put a hand on Bottie’s shoulder to steer her into the hallway. “We’d better go tell Dana it’s a false alarm.” He glanced back at Jason and me, and his eyes narrowed. “It’s time for you two to come to the party, too.”
Before the door closed, I heard Bottie say, “So, who did you want to kiss, Mr. Philips?”
Silence. Blissful silence, for a moment, then uncomfortable silence. I looked over my shoulder, to where Jason was fidgeting against the far wall. The moment had, most definitely, been broken.
“Well …” he said.
“Well …” I said.
“We should, uh, go to the party.”
“Yeah.” I tried not to let the disappointment show in my voice, but Jason, looking concerned, took a step forward.
“It’s not that I don’t want to – you know –“
“What?” I asked, my heart racing.
“Um, spend time with you. Alone. I mean.”
“It’s just … the armory isn’t usually Grand Central freakin’ Station. Maybe somebody’s trying to tell us this isn’t the right time.”
“Yeah.” As we turned toward the door, Jason draped his arm over my shoulder, and I let the warmth soak into me. Okay, so it wasn’t a first kiss, but it was the beginning of possibilities. We walked into the hallway, arm in arm.
Until we realized we weren’t alone. Jason’s arm flailed away from me, and we separated as if rocket propelled.
There was a small group at the far end of the hallway, near the entrance to the gym. We glanced at each other, then walked closer, wondering what they were up to.
Bottie stood in the middle of the hallway with her feet planted apart, and her hands laced together to form a stirrup. Tara stood in that stirrup so she could reach the ceiling, while my Dad balanced her with a hand on her waist. Dana stood a short distance away, looking curious.
“What are you up to?” I asked, while also wondering why Tara couldn’t just float up to the ceiling by herself. After all, if she could walk through walls …
Tara took her hands away and dropped easily to the floor. She’d left a green plant hanging from the ceiling.
“What --?” I didn’t go on, because I’d figured it out for myself.
“It’s mistletoe!” Bottie explained anyway. “A holiday tradition!”
Jason, who had stopped short, made a gurgling noise. He doesn’t usually make that many incoherent noises, but I figured he was under a lot of pressure.
“If you’re standing under it,” Dad explained, “You’re supposed to kiss.” He looked up as if just realizing he was standing under it, then leaned over and pointedly kissed Bottie on the forehead.
“Oh! Thank you!” Bottie turned and kissed Tara on the cheek. Dad turned to expose his cheek to Tara’s lips. But Tara, with a twinkle in her eye, used a hand to turn him back toward her, and kissed him squarely on the lips. He smiled, looking dazed.
Bottie looked over at Dana, but Dana had backed up about a dozen steps, and shook her head violently.
“So, that’s how it works,” Tara said. “Now, we have to go to the gym, and I think everybody else is there. So, the hallway will be empty for, oh, ten minutes?”
My Dad cleared his throat. “Five minutes. Someone will almost certainly be coming by if they haven’t heard from you two in -- five minutes.” He examined his watch, gave Jason a glare, then turned to walk into the gym.
“Time’s wasting.” Tara steered Bottie toward the door. Beating them there, Dana opened it, letting the sound of celebration out. “It’s a new year coming … with all sorts of new possibilities.”
Tara winked at me, then let the door close behind them.
After a moment, I stepped forward until I was directly under the mistletoe. Then I turned, to find Jason frozen in place. “Seriously, when Dad said five minutes I’m pretty sure he meant five minutes.”
Jason licked his lips, but didn’t move. “I can’t.”
You gotta be kidding. “Why not?”
“He’ll know. I’ll have to face him.”
“He already knows. Now get your butt over here and lay one on me.” I’m not usually that forward, but hey – five minutes.
Finally, Jason stepped forward, walking as if in a trance, and stopped right in front of me. “Kara, I …”
I forced myself to take a breath, and willed my heart to slow. “Yes?”
“I’m glad. I always wanted my first kiss to be with you.”
His first --?
He cupped my face with his hands, and we both leaned toward each other. His lips were warm, and moist, and after a moment of experimentation we just kind of melted into each other. It was … nice. Okay, it was great.
We were still pretty much in the same position five minutes later, when someone – I’d imagine you can guess who – banged on the gym door. But that’s okay. As first kisses go, it was a pretty darn fine one, and the next one, at midnight, was even better.
As for the future … well, there’s a year of possibilities to come.