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The Facts of Buffy
Part One: Introductions
It was an ordinary day, just an ordinary day. Jo just kept telling herself that and maybe, just maybe, through repetition, it could become true. Because right now things were very, very far from ordinary.
Mrs. G was having one of her typically understated fits of hysterics. "I CANNOT believe FOR ONE MINUTE that there are VAMPIRES running around campus!" The way every other word was spoken with a rising shriek was giving Jo a headache. "YOU," she cried, her voice now a banshee wail as she pointed at Natalie, "are making this up, for some, some REASON."
Natalie got her stereotypical affronted look on her face, "ME? Why would I make something like this up?"
"Well," Tootie said, "You have made up some pretty incredible stories before."
Natalie looked for a second like she was going to protest again, and then she shrugged her shoulders in a 'what can you do' gesture. "I admit I HAVE stretched the truth on the occasion," she conceded before yelling, "BUT I'M NOT NOW. We were ATTACKED by VAMPIRES on our way home from the dance."
"Again with the shrieking," Jo hollered at them all, finally losing her patience. "Look, Mrs. G, I know Natalie can get a little carried away, but we were attacked on our way home, and those guys looked pretty weird for Bates boys."
"Then it was a prank, a joke, a very mean, unfunny, stupid joke."
Jo frowned, not wanting to set off another round of hysterics, but it was important that Mrs. G understood the gravity of the situation, because the old woman looked for all the world like she was about to march out there and give those vampires a stern talking-to, which she rather doubted would work. But the red-headed dietician was heading for the door and she had to do something .
Until a blonde girl came bursting through the door, startling Mrs. Garrett as she forced her back into the center of the cafeteria. "Stay back from the doors!" The blonde was not Blair, who they had expected home at any time; this blonde girl was thinner and shorter, but dressed in enough pinks and pastels to almost convey the fashion sense of the socialite.
They all stood and gaped at her as she took a quick assessment of all the doors and windows, grimacing in dismay as she noticed all the entry points. "It's like you want people to just come in from all directions, all willy-nilly. And what kind of a direction is willy-nilly anyway?" She muttered to herself, paying no real attention to the people in the room with her.
"Uh, who are you?" Unsurprisingly, Tootie was the first one to recover her voice.
A thumping on the door behind the blonde saved her from answering. "We have to get someplace to hide."
The sound of glass breaking in the kitchen broke Jo out of her stupor. "This way," she gestured toward the back stairs. "Mrs. Garrett's room."
She started to lead the way just as the door shattered behind the blonde. "Run," she yelled, but it was a fraction too late as a delicate hand with clawlike fingernails caught Tootie across the face.
Tootie's hand came away from her cheek red with blood, and she glared at the girl who was delicately licking blood off of her fingertip and smiling. "Hey, you," Tootie cried as she charged the thing that had slashed her. Unfortunately, her perkiness was no match for superhuman strength and reflexes, and the vampire had her in a heartbeat, Natalie, Jo, and the strange new girl all started forward to rescue her, but the abrupt end to Tootie's scream and the arrival of three more of the vampire's pals prompted a high-pitched "GIRLS!" from Mrs. Garrett and a hasty retreat, all except for Natalie, who seemed determined to rush forward to her death.
Jo and the new girl had to physically drag her up the stairs.
They barricaded the door to Mrs. Garrett's room with a dresser, pausing for a second to catch their breath. Mrs. G, Jo noticed, looked as pale as the monsters they had left downstairs, and Natalie kept stuttering over Tootie's name until she found her voice. "We left Tootie. Downstairs. We left Tootie."
The strange girl, a teenager, a high school student, but no one Jo had ever seen on campus, whirled away from her guard on the door and confronted the editor of the school newspaper. "You couldn't have helped her. The only thing you could have done downstairs was die with her."
Natalie crossed her arms across her chest and glared. "Well, maybe I should have. It's what best friends do."
"No, they don't. They live and mourn their friends who have died, but they don't run willy-nilly into danger and die." Her eyebrows and mouth scrunched up into a pout. "There's that word again." Her eyes darted around the room. "Have you got a dictionary in here?"
Jo put herself between the two girls. "Ah, I don't think now is a good time for cross-referencing."
The strange girl muttered something under her breath that sounded something like "Don't tell that to Giles. He thinks anytime is a good time for cross-referencing."
Jo rolled her eyes before prompting the other girl, "And you are ?"
Jo's exasperated groan filled the room as she stomped as far away from the blonde as possible in the small room. "I knew it, you're a friend of Blair's."
"What? Who? No, I'm not."
"Oh please, only Blair has friends with names like Buffy and Mitzy and Ditzy." Jo turned back to the other girl. "Is this some kind of country club prank? Are you and Blair in on it with those Bates guys? Did you get Tootie to play along?"
"Jo, I really don't think " Mrs. Garrett had gotten over her paralysis and moved to mediate between the two girls.
"It's okay, Mrs. G, I got this."
The mocking grin on the other girl's face said 'oh, you do, do you' over Mrs. Garrett's shoulder, and Jo resolved right then and there to pummel the girl at some future, unspecified date. Little did Blair's annoying friend know she was messing with the former leader of the Diablos.
The blonde girl looked exasperated. "Look, I'm a not a friend of Blair's, I'm a, a, here to help with these guys."
"Are they vampires?" Mrs. Garrett asked, her voice rising at the end of her question.
Buffy ignored her, knowing it would take too long to explain and that the older woman really didn't want a truthful answer anyway. They never did. "I need weapons," she stated.
Jo perked up; this was starting to get interesting. "Weapons? What kind?"
"Wooden stakes or holy water, preferably, but anything hard or sharp will do."
"I got a couple of switchblades and a motorcycle chain over in my room."
"Jo, where did you get switchblades?" Mrs. Garret asked, ignoring their imminent danger to give the Bronx native a baleful glare.
"I got switchblades," Jo replied. "But " "I got switchblades, Mrs. G."
"That'll do," Buffy said, inserting herself back into the conversation, "Where's your room?"
"Down the hall."
Buffy frowned, mentally calculating the distance and odds, before swinging around and putting her foot through Mrs. Garrett's straight-backed desk chair.
"Sorry, but we need stakes." She swung back around, handing Jo and Natalie each a broken leg of the chair. "Now here's what we'll do. I'll "
"Hey, wait a minute, who put you in charge?"
The blonde pulled herself to her full height and glared at the taller girl. "Nobody. I just AM in charge."
Jo stepped up so she was nose-to-nose with the blonde and gave her her best stare down. "I cannot take orders from someone named 'Buffy'."
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