Warning: Characters discuss the tragic ending of a movie. Rated M™© for adult word choices beyond my usual habit.
Categories: Ship, Femslash, Angst, Action, Romance, Fluff, Fic-Within-Fic
Pairings: W/K (Kenlow), with mentions of Paulie/Tory from the movie.
Characters: Willow (primary), Kennedy, mentions of Paulie and Tory from the movie.
Spoilers: Spoilers for the movie Lost and Delirious. Vaguely spoilerish for the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with one specific reference from The Killer in Me and a callback to Crush so vague that you'll miss it.
Summary: A snapshot of Willow and Kennedy in Brazil, dealing with vampires and then taking time out for a movie. Set post season seven, comicverse irrelevant either way, respects canon as described in season five of Angel.
A/N: I saw a fanvid -- Cry Me A River by Charmax -- that forced me to drive clear across the city to buy a dvd, which resulted in these characters discussing the movie in my head. I found that a tad distracting, so I needed to get it out of my head. If you've seen the movie Lost and Delirious you'll get why I had to write this; if not, well, you can follow the fic well enough, but you might not care all that much. I've propped it all up with a bit of plot that I intend to recycle in the future, from a different angle. If you haven't seen the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then why are you reading this fic? Get over to amazon and make with the unboxing, stat!
Credits: Partial, yet extremely helpful, beta by Anne Rose.
Disclaimer: The Buffyverse, where vampire slayers stand against the forces of darkness, belongs to the great and powerful Joss. Lost and Delirious belongs to Lion's Gate Entertainment.
Santos, São Paulo, Brazil. October 25, 2003
Kennedy led the way down the dark hallway, sword at the ready. The scant light available reflected off the steel blade. Apart from that, the slayer faded to near-invisibility in the darkness.
Willow followed, clutching a cross in one hand, a couple of stakes in her back pocket. She always felt uneasy here, and not the kind of uneasy she got from patrolling in a regular cemetery. It felt like the evil was extra-concentrated here.
Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica in Santos was a skyscraper for the dead. The world's tallest, and Willow found that statistic a relief, because somebody building an even bigger one somewhere? So not a happy thought. This one was trouble enough, thank you very much.
For one thing, an indoor cemetery meant fighting vampires in narrow passages, and secondly, it meant an unusual number of vamp hijinks in the daytime. Both of these factoids led to an upping of the danger-factor for the slayer, and the slayer assigned to Brazil was Kennedy. Willow definitely stood against bigger danger where her girlfriend was concerned.
Willow had spent weeks finding a way to compensate for the cemetery's lack of sunlight during the day. She had tweaked her instant ball of sunshine spell so it could work with the building's lighting system. When the lights came on for visiting hours tomorrow, presto, dusty vampires. Artificial suns had short lifespans, but once word got around, it would keep the local vampires from snacking on mourners between nightly patrols.
Vampires holed up in crypts and basements during the daylight -- definitely preferable to vampires gathering en masse in a big structure like Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica. That's when apocalypse plans started brewing. Apocalypses, in Willow's experience? Never fun.
If they could just reach the main breaker without --
The vampire sprang from hiding and went right for Kennedy.
Willow barely had time to scold herself for the reckless thought that no doubt had brought on this attack, because almost immediately a second enemy joined the fray. Willow held up the cross, her pulse pounding as she tried to hold the vampire's attention long enough to work a little magic. She floated one of the stakes from her back pocket, and plunged it into the unsuspecting vampire from behind.
It exploded into dust.
Not the flashiest move, but it got the job done, and her more powerful spells were too dangerous with the closeness of the walls. She turned to Kennedy, now engaged in hand-to-hand, her sword knocked to the ground. She squashed the urge to float the sword, knowing that Kennedy knew exactly where it had fallen, and would plan her moves accordingly. Moving it could trip her up.
She hated this part. Watching. She'd read enough watcher diaries to know that it didn't take an apocalypse to kill a slayer. Far more died in fights just like this, battles that felt commonplace in the life of a slayer, and despite Kennedy's talent and dedicated training, Willow couldn't help the but hold her breath, just the slightest bit, until Kennedy dove for the sword, leapt to her feet, and swept the vampire's head from his body.
Kennedy grinned. "The circuit breaker's right through here. Let's do this thing."
Willow curled up beside Kennedy and pushed the play button. After a long night of vampire slayage, she needed her snuggles. She was all about the fighting evil, but sometimes she just needed a healthy dose of the woman she loved actually being safe, however temporarily, and a little something normal, like a good dvd and a nice hot cup of tea.
The girls on the screen had it easy. No chosen gig for them. Just a nice safe boarding school nestled in the woods somewhere back east. Kennedy had gone to one like it, and Willow found herself briefly distracted by the thought of Kennedy in one of those cute little pleated skirts. But the movie quickly pulled her back into its world, so full of love and life and heartbreaking teenage pain.
It was beautiful. At least until the ending made her cry out in horror and no small bit of outrage. "Why didn't anyone stop her? She didn't have to die!"
"She didn't die," Kennedy said with conviction. "They just didn't show the ever after."
"The ever after?"
Kennedy smiled and nodded. "The ever after. That's the part they never show, because it's too complicated for a movie."
"So what really happened?" Willow settled back down so Kennedy could play with her hair. Kennedy always played with her hair when she told a story. "Did Tori stop her?"
"No," Kennedy said. "That would have been too easy, and they could have shown it. But that would have been wrong, because then Tori's confession would always be tainted. So Tori didn't have time, just like we saw, and Paulie followed the raptor off the roof."
"But -- "
"It's okay though," Kennedy said. "Because she lived."
"Could she fly?" Willow asked, grinning.
"No," Kennedy said. "Then it would be sci-fi. See, she jumped, but the way she fell saved her. She got hurt, though, and that's why they didn't have time to tell us about it. Because she had to have surgery, and physical therapy, and she even had to learn to walk again."
"Well that's not a very happy ever after." Willow pouted.
"But it is," Kennedy said. "Because Paulie learned that she could be strong without Tori."
Now Willow really pouted. "But she loved her so much, don't they get back together?"
"Of course they do," Kennedy said. "But not right away. They both have lessons to learn first. Plus she stabbed that guy in the leg, so there might be consequences from that."
"She doesn't go to jail?"
"Of course not," Kennedy said. "She just gets probation or something. Obviously she wasn't in her right mind, if she jumped off a roof right afterwards. The judge will be lenient."
"Can't Tori talk him out of pressing charges?"
"What, and be beholden to him? No, I don't think that would be right. I think Paulie just gets probation, but she doesn't care because she's tough, and she's still learning how to walk again anyway."
"And she goes through that all alone?"
"No, see, at first she's so out of it that she doesn't even know she's alone. But Ms. Vaughn comes to visit her every day, and then one day she brings Mary Brave with her."
Willow smiled. "Yeah, she'd be there for her. But what about Tori?"
"Tori needs to tell her mother to fuck off."
Kennedy shrugged. "It's true. She can't grow until she does it."
"You're probably right. But does it have to be so either-or? She didn't even try to make her family understand."
"She can try," Kennedy said. "Maybe she should try. But she'd better be prepared to tell them all where to go, or she's just going to cave in again. She cares way too much about what they think, and if she can't move past that, then Paulie's better off without her."
"Paulie didn't think so," Willow said.
"And that's the part where Paulie has some growing to do. It's not healthy to be that needy. That she could forgive it all, that she could love that deeply -- it's beautiful, but they couldn't go on like that and have a healthy relationship. She needs to respect herself, too."
"When did you get so wise?" Willow asked.
Kennedy smiled. "When I fell in love with you."
Willow grinned and stretched up for a kiss. For a few minutes, they let the movie slip from their minds. "But they do get back together, right? Paulie and Tori?"
"Of course they do," Kennedy said. "They're in love." She unwound herself from the couch and stood, taking Willow's hand to tug her up as well. "And when people are in love, certain things are inevitable."
"Yeah." Willow stepped forward for another kiss. "Speaking of inevitable . . . "
"We should get to some of those things, shouldn't we?" Kennedy slid her hands around Willow's waist, her fingers brushing bare skin along the bottom of the short tank top. "Things that require unrestrained moaning."
"And screaming with joy."
"Oh yeah. Definitely screaming."
Willow settled down in front of her computer the next morning, and hacked into the security camera feed from Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica. The obits lay open beside her, and unless her instincts were way off, this particular burial would serve as the perfect test for her ball of sunshine.
She watched the basement access door with particular attention, tensing in anticipation when it finally swung open. Two vampires strolled right in like they owned the place, and for a moment Willow thought her spell had gone kerfloopy, but then the smoke began to rise, and one vampire burst into flames while his friend fled back through the basement access door, cursing in Portuguese and slapping his smoldering arm.
"Perfect." Willow grinned. "Not only did it work, but one survived to spread the word."
"Of course it worked perfectly." Kennedy handed her a cup of coffee. "After all, this is our ever after."
This transformative work constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Buffy the Vampire Slayer™©, Angel™© the Series and related properties exist as Registered Trademarks of Mutant Enemy. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, November 2007.