Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

By Lasair
For Doyle

The trick steps on the staircase creaked; one from going up, one from going down. The squeak of the bathroom door gave way to the fizzing splish sound of the shower, and a high-pitched curse - Xander's - came from the other end of the landing as something clattered across the floor. A hushed conversation seemed to be going on right outside Buffy's door. She curled up deeper into her bedspread, promising herself that for just one blissful vamp-free night, she could do something about the scary bags-under-the-eyes look. Stranger things had happened.

"What? What's happening?" Buffy jerked up at the knock on her door.

Kennedy slipped in quietly and shut the door behind her. "Buffy, it's okay. No emergency." She paused. "Mind if turn on the light?"

"Actually, yes." If Kennedy wasn't heralding the end of the world, Buffy was going to be as impolite as it took. "I was trying to get some sleep. You know. Before you barged in."

"Hey - " Kennedy held out her hands innocently - "I did knock."

"Loudly. Very designed-to-prevent-sleep. And not for a reason that I've heard yet."

"Sleep, actually." Kennedy walked over and sat down on the bed, swinging her legs up to rest on the covers. "You might have noticed the space shortage we have here. And most of the girls came in kind of a hurry. Without time to pack sleeping bags."

"Might have noticed?" Buffy had also noticed that Kennedy was seriously impinging on Buffy's laze territory. "Half my counselor's salary goes on toilet paper and toothpaste. Yeah, I think you could say I've noticed. And?"

"And I thought, downstairs is full up and noisy and smells kinda ripe, but here - " Kennedy stretched out on the covers. "Here's a big pretty room with one half of a double bed just crying out for somebody to take advantage of it."

Buffy's upright body sat between the moonlit window and Kennedy, casting a shadow across the girl lying next to her. She couldn't make out the expression on Kennedy's face.

She decided she didn't care.

"This is my house. I am the one who took you all in, I am the one who's protecting you, I am the one who's training you, I'm the reason every last one of you is still alive! I'm -"

"Into-every-generation-a-Slayer-is-born-she-alone-will-fight-the-demons," Kennedy recited in a monotone voice, cutting into Buffy's tirade. "Where does it say the Slayer must sleep alone, huh?" She sat up, and Buffy could see the wicked grin curving across her face. "I bet Spike could tell me some stories about that..."

"Get out!" Buffy yelled. "When you kill a Turok-Han, then you can talk to me about who deserves to sleep in this bed." Buffy was aware that she could have phrased that better, but kept right on going. "I have work five days a week and you lot are still snoring away every morning when I leave and I just need some - " Buffy waved helplessly at the bed and its general environs.

"Oh. I'll think about what you said," Kennedy told her. She paused with her hand on the doorknob, and added, "Long and hard." Then she disappeared into the hallway.

Teeth gritted, Buffy went to shut the door after her. But even clasped in the comforting isolation of darkness, she found it hard to sleep after Kennedy left.

3:14, the clock told her. Great. Not only had it been a full forty-two sleepless minutes since Kennedy had left, but now the clock was flashing Big Bad reminders in neon red. Sometimes, Buffy wished she didn't have Slayer powers just so tiredness would be strong enough to pull her down instantly into sleep.

But she did, and it couldn't. Buffy sighed and went down to the kitchen.

"Warm milk?" Kennedy offered. She was sitting at the kitchen island sipping a glass of juice. No scooped out under-eye sacks on her perfect skin, Buffy noted sourly.

"Sure. With just a spoonful of alone-ness." Kennedy gave her an amused grin. "Kennedy, you haven't been here that long. You don't know what it's like to face evil, night after night, year after year. It doesn't go away. The First is behind every single one, and now the First is here, and we have to -"

"Milk. Right." Kennedy poured some into a glass and headed for the microwave. "You definitely don't need caffeine, anyway."

Buffy glared at her. "Kennedy, do you have to keep interrupting me?"

"Well, excuse me for preferring conversations to speeches," Kennedy retorted.


"Yeah. You know - I talk, you talk, we don't have to fight over who gets to be the alpha female..." Kennedy waved her glass of juice for emphasis, and some of it slopped over onto the counter. "Damn. That was the last juice, too."

"You finished the juice?" Buffy wailed. Er, said sternly, she corrected herself as she sat down. Whining wasn't very leaderlike.

"Somebody has to have the last glass," Kennedy pointed out. "I just prefer if it's me."

"So you got up at 3:14 for it."

Kennedy wrinkled up her forehead. "Damn. That was precise. And actually, I was up late hoping you'd come down." The microwave pinged.

Buffy wavered between accepting the warm milk and essaying a scornful refusal. She went with ignoring it. "You're not a slayer. Probably, you'll never be a Slayer. You can't expect to be a useful fighter if you don't sleep."

"Hey, I was trying to sleep earlier, wasn't I?" Buffy didn't respond. "Of course, we probably would have ended up... talking... but anyway. You know, I take back that thing I said about fighting over who gets to be the alpha female," Kennedy added. "You obviously don't think there's a question about it."

"Uh?" Buffy managed. This Potential was throwing her off balance far too many times tonight. She didn't like it. "I'm in charge. You know it. And -"

"You see, there doesn't have to be just one alpha female," Kennedy interjected. "Look at ABBA."

Buffy felt she was about ready to concede the title of Alpha Female of Non Sequiturs to Kennedy.

"You know? The letters of the band were the first letters of all their names - the boys were betas, the girls alphas."

"But one of the girls was called Frida," Buffy objected, before devoutly wishing she could take the sentence back and regain some semblance of cool.

Kennedy shook her head. "Uh-uh. Frida was short for Anni-Frid." Despite having just lost all cool, she managed to look remarkably self-possessed as she licked up the last drops of orange juice. "Alpha females, beta males. My parents played their records a lot when I was at an impressionable age."

"I always kinda liked Dancing Queen," Buffy confessed.

"See?" Kennedy said. "We've got plenty in common. No need for you to leave me to sleep on the cold, hard floor, is there?" She drew her lips into such an outrageously overdone pout that Buffy almost laughed.

Buffy leaned back on her chair and looked at Kennedy. She saw a cocky, overindulged mouthy girl with a mettle to rival the best of them. Trouble. A girl who wouldn't pipe down and accept orders without questioning them. Nothing she hadn't known about her before, really. But was Kennedy really so much of a threat to her authority that Buffy couldn't let her share the bed for one night?

"Oh, come on then," Buffy said tiredly. "I'm sick of your whining."

"Excellent." Kennedy jumped up and held her hands out to Buffy. "Coming?"

Buffy stood, deliberately avoiding Kennedy's hand. She preceded Kennedy out the kitchen and up the staircase, acutely aware of the girl's footsteps behind her. Was Kennedy laughing at her? Were half the girls? She had to keep her authority, no matter what. If the girls didn't see her as their unquestioned leader, they were lost. The whole world was lost.

At the landing, Buffy felt a tap on her shoulder and paused before turning to face Kennedy. The Potential was slightly taller than her; she'd never noticed that before. She focused on Kennedy's shadowed cheekbones, Kennedy's set jaw, as Kennedy reached out to smooth her messy bed-hair behind her ears.

"How about if, just for one night, you didn't have to be the uber-super-alpha female?" Kennedy suggested in a voice slower and softer than Buffy had ever heard from her. She laid a finger across Buffy's lips as Buffy tried to talk. "Ssh. Nobody has to know. I won't tell."

The sound of dozens of people sleeping filled her ears as Buffy let her lips shudder against Kennedy's, eyelids closing as the open brown eyes of the other girl's came closer. Kennedy's hands stroked down her hair to play across her shoulders, and Buffy felt herself be pressed gently against the wall as their bodies moved to become more closely aligned. Kennedy's breasts were an unexpected softness, taut underneath her thin tank top. Kennedy's fingers ran down the contours of Buffy's left ear, making Buffy catch her breath mid-kiss, and Kennedy spread out her hand under the edge of Buffy's pyjama top to touch the warm, eager skin underneath and Buffy yelped and pushed Kennedy away from her.

"Stop!" Buffy whispered, breathing heavily. "We need to -"

"Take it inside, yeah." Looking as unruffled as ever, Kennedy took hold of Buffy's hand and nudged the bedroom door open with her foot. "I think we can manage that."

Nobody ever needs to know, Buffy thought as she followed her in. Just so long as I do.