Characters: Dawn, Buffybot, Dana, Kara, mention of Tara
Warnings: totally unnecessary nudity.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss and co.
Summary: Post Chosen: The gang returns from a mission that went horribly wrong, only to learn something worse happened while they were away. 773 words
This was the result of a challenge by sl_podcast, who listed a series of first lines and challenged writers to turn one of them into stories. I got props for using not one, but four of the lines in the same story! The original first line meme can be found here:
(Note: This takes place in my "Four Friends" universe, in which two questionable magical spells, one intended to repair Dana's shattered mind, led to the resurrection of the Buffybot and the secret return of Tara to a more or less living body.)
Buffybot had a bright smile on her face, and seemed completely unmindful of the awful stench that had driven everyone else from the hotel pool’s shower room.
Three girls -- two slayers and a watcher trainee -- stood side by side in the shower, trying to wash off a yellowish green gunk which, during the trip back to their Detroit hotel, had worked its way into every conceivable opening in their clothing.
“What do you think?” Dawn snarled. Beside her, Dana wore a deep frown as she scrubbed a layer of skin from her torso. Worse, it had attached itself to their hair and apparently had some kind of static electric charge. Kara kept rubbing soap into her scalp and smooshing her hair down, only to have it jump back up again with a crackling noise.
“This so sucks.” Dawn had the worst of it – her long, straight hair now stood straight out, brushed the ceiling, and threatened to impale anyone who came close to her.
They’d had to walk seventeen blocks – taxi drivers actually sped up to avoid them. If it wasn’t for the science fiction convention downtown, they’d surely have been detained by the police.
“You wanted to come on the mission,” Kara reminded her.
Buffybot remembered her human double once saying that “Careful what you wish for” never occurred to Dawn. Possibly that was changing.
How could she lighten the mood? “Your hair is stupid,” the Buffybot smiled.
Three pairs of eyes speared her with glares. No, Bottie concluded, it wasn’t funny. “Sorry. Maybe I can help.”
“You could have helped by being there,” Kara grumbled, as Bottie stepped into the shower with them. The robot figured wet clothes were a small price to pay, considering her own hair remained clean and shiny – if now damp.
“We were getting ready to head out when Tara got an e-mail,” Bottie explained, as she experimentally touched Dawn’s hair. Ouch – sharp. “It was from Riley Finn -- who as you all know is bloody stupid -- to Willow. He found Tara’s gravestone in the debris they’re excavating from Sunnydale, and asked if we wanted it as a memorial.”
The other three froze, except for Dawn’s hair, which slowly lowered into a more natural position as Bottie absorbed some of the mystical static that imbued it. “How did Tara get the e-mail?” Kara asked.
Bottie moved her hands to Kara’s frizzy brown afro, and after a moment her locks began to fall into place. “Willow forwarded it to Giles, but to his watcher’s e-mail address instead of his private one.”
“Oh!” Dawn put a hand to her mouth, but immediately pulled it away – her palms were still stained with the demon gunk. “It automatically copied to all the other watchers – including Tara.”
“We thought you had them bottled up in the old factory.” Bottie approached Dana slowly – touching her without plenty of warning sometimes triggered a defensive reaction – but the slayer pushed her head forward like a cat waiting to be petted, so Bottie went ahead with her antistatic repair job. “That’s right. Poor Tara – she started crying, so I stayed with her; we didn’t know you were going to move in without us. I left her sleeping in the room when I got your message.”
“We didn’t move in,” Dawn told her dryly, “they caught sight of us and came out.”
“We need to work on our stealth,” Kara added.
Dana ducked her head under the shower, coming out looking like the girl from The Grudge. “But … ghosts can’t cry.”
“Tara’s more than a ghost.” Kara reached for a towel. “Come on – she needs us.”
The others quickly began to dry off, but Bottie stopped them before they could dress. “Um … your hair looks fine now, but …”
Dawn sighed. “Let me guess – we stink?”
Bottie nodded, happy that she didn’t have to say it herself. “Let’s all stop at the gift shop and buy Tara some perfume!”