the pearl


1. WMST 290: Introduction To Women's Studies

If they had been roommates, it would've been a cliche.

Jenny hadn't spent a semester researching the various genres of modern video pornography without realizing how easily her relationship with Lil could be skewed into stock plotline. It was the stuff of a pornographer's wet dream — "College Lesbos Of California." The quiet girl and the tough girl, both with mysterious pasts, both with the aspiration for more, tossed into the sea of burgeoning liberation that was college life — where anyone could major in Experimentation, with a minor in Drugs, Sex, or Religion.

Jenny would joke, but Lil wouldn't ever laugh.


2. COMM 426: Communication, Culture, And The Body

Jenny and Lil met in Intro to Women's Studies. Jenny had a tendency to wear black t-shirts and a beat-up black leather jacket, and Lil had a tendency to wear all-encompassing sweatshirts. Lil would be sitting in front of the classroom fifteen minutes early, carefully reviewing her notes, and Jenny would stroll in just before class began, her heavy workboots clunking on the floor.

Jenny was doing Women's Studies and Computer Science, and Lil was doing English and pre-Law. They were both scholarship students, both desperate to be something, and both with that tight gleam of need in their eyes.


3. ENLS 483: Race, Class, And Gender

For the first six weeks that they considered themselves 'friends', Jenny made it her mission to bring Lil 'out of her shell'.

And for the first five weeks, Lil resisted. No matter how many bars or clubs or concerts Jenny dragged her to, no matter how many nights spent in smeared black eyeliner and smudged lipstick, no matter how many cheap beers Jenny plonked before her, no matter what happened, Lil would always say that she preferred to sit in her dormroom and read a book.

Jenny didn't believe her until she discovered Lil's books involved ancient and powerful magics.


4. WMST 390: Research In The History Of The Higher Education Of Women

They chanted spells and lit candles and presented themselves to the forces around them, Lil blushing as she removed her sweatshirt and Jenny smirking as she shucked off her jeans. They stood in Jenny's dorm room, incense burning and music swirling, energy crackling around them as they continued learning the ancient rites.

They paused, both of them breathing heavily, standing nude in the middle of the room, the candlelight flicking shadows over their bodies and the incense swirling around them.

Jenny looked at Lil, her brown eyes all black in the half light, then pulled her closely for a kiss.


5. HISU 649: Sexuality And The Advent Of Modern American Culture

Jenny and Lil could spend all weekend in bed, reading and talking and making love, alternating between dorm rooms as their roommates muttered something about intruders and spent the night at the library. They could sit on opposite ends of the bed and study, occasionally looking up at each other and smiling. They could spend hours just kissing, slow wet soft kisses that seemed forever.

Jenny discovered that Lil had a ticklish spot on the small of her back and Lil discovered that Jenny would do anything after getting a backrub. And both of them discovered that they were happy.


6. SOCI 104: Gender And Society

They also occasionally talked about their past. Jenny would whisper tales of her people, who had traveled across Europe before coming to America, who had seen demons and vampires and angels in the long nights on the road. She described her uncle, who raised her from when she was a baby, who fought against evil and sang old songs of beautiful Romany princesses and their unfortunate endings.

Lil would listen, sigh, and mumble about her near-perfect Midwestern upbringing — the big house, the still-married parents, the family dog, the weekend picnics, and her father coming into her bedroom every other night.


7. POLA 426: Race, Sex, And Power

Jenny wanted knowledge, and would read anything she could lay her hands on. She skimmed through Lil's scholarship contract one lazy afternoon, writing down words she didn't fully understand and making plans to check them in a legal dictionary later.

Lil wanted power, and suspected that Jenny was throwing more away than Lil could easily find in her suburban 'Peyton Place'-esque homelife. When she found the hand-written diary in Jenny's room, with its lurid tale of a gypsy princess and vampire cursed with a soul, she slipped it into her backpack, making plans to xerox several copies of it later.


8. PHIL 653: Philosophy And Gender

They never really broke up — not in the tears and recriminations way. No broken dishes, no screaming matches, nothing remotely dramatic. They just spent more time apart as the months increased, more time studying, less time in bed, more time among friends, and less time together.

When their final semester rolled around, they barely saw each other, occasionally meeting for drinks and semi-passionless nostalgic sex. Jenny was staying on over the summer for her teaching credentials, and Lilah had an internship with the law firm that provided her scholarship, then law school.

They didn't break up, but it ended anyway.


9. COMM 462: Women, Development, Communication

Jenny became a high school teacher, and spent her years reading old books and studying new technologies. She'd wander around the US during the summers, heading to festivals and conferences, circles and summonings. She hung out with tribal leaders, with priestesses, with bikers and seemingly stuffy English librarians.

Lil — now Lilah — went to law school, then joined the firm, then slowly worked her way up the corporate food chain. She met many of the same people Jenny met, always in a professional aspect, of course. The copies of the diary she borrowed from Jenny's room were considered quite the asset.


10. 4LAW 512: Feminist Legal Theories

Lilah Morgan, the newest member of the Special Projects division, always read the reports from Sunnydale. When Angelus emerged, she specifically requested updates from Files & Records, and they would arrive each Monday on her desk.

When she got the report about the death of high school computer teacher — a full police report with photographs and statements, she spent an hour re-reading the report, her face steely-cool. She went to three meetings, a lunch, and five appointments the rest of the day, and was professional, courteous, and the type of person Wolfram & Hart looked for in a potential leader.


11. WMST 250: Women And Leadership

At home, a package sat on Lilah's doorstep. She opened it slowly, not wanting to see what lay underneath, then bit her lip when she saw the much-abused, much-loved leather jacket that she remembered. She carefully pulled it on, her hands shaking only slightly when she caught the faint scent of the woman who used to wear it. She sobbed — just once — before she could control herself.

She quickly took off the jacket, set it on a chair, then poured herself a glass of wine. She raised the glass to the jacket in a tribute, then drank it down straight.

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at