the pearl

The New Guitarist

Well, you know how Oz left, right? Just took off without saying a word. He might have said something about how he needed to "find himself," but, dude, you can find yourself here in Sunnydale. Uncle Joe down near the docks supplied with everything I needed to find myself — a few tabs of acid and a Grateful Dead album. Found myself. There.

But, no, he needed to go on a fuckin' road trip or something. Which, okay, sure, go ahead, but did you have to do this right before we got our record deal, Oz? You're missing out on the goods!

So here we were, Dingoes Ate My Baby, the best damn band in Sunnydale and about to hit it big, but we had no guitarist. And do you have any idea how hard it is to find a guitarist in this town? If they aren't in their own bands, they end up DEAD before you can even have a practice session. But we needed a guitarist, and the ads went up around town.

Most of them were shit. And, dude, we're a shit band, but come on. Even we had standards. So we sat there, bored out of our skulls, and I was wondering why I just didn't pick up guitar, 'cause I bet I could do it, and then this one dude came over.

He was wearing like this scarf thing over his face, like he was in that fucking weird New Wave band...with the hats...Oz made me listen to them. And he handed me a note, tellin' me that he was mute. I shrugged, and he started playing.

And he was good. Better than Oz, even, not that I'd tell Oz that, 'cause, dude, Oz was my friend. But this guy was really goddamned good. And, okay, he was mute, and that would mean he couldn't do backup vocals, but Steve could do a respectable job, and hell, Oz didn't speak. Much. So what was the difference?

We had to get rid of the name, though. Jono was just And, okay, I know that I'm not one to talk, being Devon, and fuck knows Oz and I played around a bit when we got stoned. In fact, one night we were on acid and listening to Bowie and fuck....that was fabulous.

But we changed him to Jon, let him keep his scarf, and got him started on the songs. And yeah, we were good. Even the record label was impressed, and god knows the only way to get them to be impressed is to suck cock, and I wasn't about to suck theirs.

But Jon' that would be fun. Not that I would, of course, unless he wanted me to, and since Oz never thought of it unless he was really high, and Jon was straight-edge, I doubted it'd ever happen. How the fuck do you seduce a guy if he won't get high with you?

But I suppose I couldn't bitch. We were hitting it big, and groupies were climbing out of the woodwork. I got laid every damn night, and whatever I wanted, I could get it. Jon got a groupie whenever he wanted, only occasionally going for one, and always choosing these little busty blonde things that looked barely legal and deeply stupid, but I heard that after a few realized he'd never take off his scarf, they just stopped clinging to him, despite how cute he was.

So we're goin' along well, playing our gigs, promoting a record, and one night, we're playing at the Bronze. We got out late, trying to avoid the groupies, or, at least, letting Steve and Mike have first picks. It pretty much worked, except that there were these weird people in the back of the alley. I didn't notice them, 'cause I was hits of acid, I think, and they were just starting to hit, and those trails were nice.

But Jon noticed them. And he tensed, pushing me towards the wall as the guys — I think their faces were fucked up. Or the acid was hitting hard. But then, like, um, Jon was standing there, facing them, and I knew they were gonna fight, but I couldn't do anything. Jon stared at them, and then, slowly, he pulled down his scarf.

I don't know what the fuck I saw. I must've been really tripping, 'cause Jon was made of fire. It was orange and yellow and I could feel it on my face. He didn't have a face or a chest, just this fire, and it shot out to the other guys and burned them up into little pieces of ash. I don't know what the fuck happened. I couldn't figure it out, but it was awfully pretty — these trails of flame all over the place, coming from this tall guy just standing there.

And then it was all gone. Jon was standing there, his scarf over his face, staring at the piles of ash. "Fuuuuuuuuuck..." I whispered, snapping him out of his daze. He comes over to me, stroking my face.

((You okay?)) and he's not saying it — he's beaming it right into my fucking brain and Jesus, how is he doing that? What the hell is he?

I should be scared, but right now, I'm still seeing the trails of flame around him, and I pull him next to me, rubbing myself against him, hip to hip, thigh trapped between thighs. "You're so...pretty..." I whisper, tracing the vague lines underneath his scarf before moving in to kiss the fabric. It doesn't taste sweaty, or like cloth, but like the lightest, softest skin, like a baby's cheek. And underneath, there's warmth, like a warm mug of coffee, wrapping your gloved hands around that source of heat. I can't feel his lips, I can't feel his jaw, but I pull him close as I kiss the scarf.

And I can feel him relax against me. And it feels good.

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