alixtii: Dawn Summers, w/ books and candles. Image from when Michelle hosted that ghost show. Text: "Dawn Summers / High Watcher. (Dawn)
[personal profile] alixtii
A very, very happy birthday to [ profile] wisdomeagle. I was thinking of her when I began work on the Core 4 scenes of this fic, so for her birthday I thought I'd go back and actually, you know, finish it. It was originally supposed to be my fic for [ profile] worldstage_fic; yeah, [ profile] inlovewithnight, I kinda missed the suggested posting date.

Anyway, happy bithday Ari!

Title: After the Ball
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Willow/Kennedy; Core Four friendship
Warning: Alcohol Use. Lots and lots of alcohol use. Including use by minors. And everyone. This is a fic about drinking.
Timeline: Post-“Chosen.”
Summary: Every year, the Watchers have their annual gala. Afterwards, it's the Slayers' turn to party.

"I have seen drunkards do more than this in sport"
--William Shakespeare, King Lear

Giles-Summers Residence, Bath, England—Summer 2006

“Now, this is my idea of a party," Faith said.

Kennedy laughed to herself. The night before had been the annual Watcher's Gala, and Faith had been visibly uncomfortable amidst the formal setting. Although she looked absolutely stunning in the flaming red evening gown she had worn, Kennedy had to admit that the slayer looked much more natural tonight, as she stood with a bottle of Jack in her hand on Dawn and Giles' back lawn.

Once the watchers (and a few select Slayers, almost all Sunnydale veterans) had had their night, it was the Slayers' turn to party. They had traveled to the Watcher's Cemetery in Richmond that morning, where they spent some time at the various slayers' graves. Kennedy had said a prayer in front of the towering new sunnydale cenotaph, wishing rest and peaceful rest to the comrades who had perished just a few years ago. All but the most recently found slayers had lost sisters-in-arms, and the group had stayed for almost an hour, giving their respects to the dead.

It was more than somewhat crowded, several hundred slayers gathered in the rather small cemetary. Although it was growing rather quickly—the council had to buy more land just to keep up with the many new graves that needed to be erected each year. Apocalypse season had just ended, and once again had taken with it many fine young girls, taken down in the prime of their lives.

So now it was time to get drunk and to forget it all: the pain, the loss, the scars both literal and metaphorical. Faith seemed to be taking to it with as much abandon as anyone; there didn't seem to be a sober slayer on the grounds.

"Do you think its really a good idea be giving beer to the young ones?" Kennedy asked, gesturing towaeds a group of already-slightly-intoxicated slayers, some only fourteen- or fifteen-years-old. She wasn't sure what the drinking age in the UK was—sixteen? eighteen?—but was pretty sure they fell under it.

Faith shrugged. "I kinda think they earned it," she said. “I mean, if they're old enough to hold the fate of the world in their hands every few months, I think they can get drunk one night out of the year."

Kennedy nodded, unable to disagree. Just none of her charges had better consider any underage drinking once they got back to Brazil.

"Enjoying yourself?" an instantly recognizable voice asked. Kennedy turned to see her girlfriend.

"You're not supposed to be," Kennedy mock complained. "It's slayer-only.”

"Oh?" asked Willow. "Then what is Dawn doing over there?"

"Getting totally smashed, looks like," Faith observed.

Kennedy looked over. Dawn, along with a number of slayers her own age, seemed to be playing some type of drinking game on one of the many folding tables that had been set up. While Dawn was clearly very intoxicated, it still seemed that Dawn seemed quite proficient in whatever game they were playing, holding her own against her Slayer adversaries.

"That's different. It's Dawn's house, technically." The "technically" part was that while in theory Dawn and Giles shared the house, Dawn spent much of her time at Cambridge University in Cambridge, where she had just finished her freshman year.

"Then where’s Giles?" Willow asked. "I don't see him anywhere."

"I think he and Xander took refuge inside somewhere from the hundreds of girls on his back lawn," Kennedy answered. She looked around. "Buffy must have joined them; I don't see her here. You should go join them."

Willow smiled. “Trying to get rid of me?”

Kennedy put on a look of mock-innocence. “Of course not,” she said sweetly.

Laughing, Willow shook her head. “Well, have fun, dear.”

* * * * *

“They’re expecting you in the Granger Room, miss,” the housekeeper said as Willow entered the mansion. Willow smiled and made her way to the Granger Room. Inside were Buffy, Xander, and Giles, all gathered around a bottle of fine Scotch.

“So there we were, in the middle of St. Peter’s Basilica, surrounded by vamps,” Buffy was saying. “And we kept on, you know fighting, but there were only a couple of us and a lot of them. When all of a sudden, there’s this blaze of light. An entire order of nuns enters, armed with torches and crosses and I’m talking gallons of holy water. You should have seen the looks on those vampires faces.” Everyone laughed.

Giles noticed Willow. “Willow, come in,” he said.

Xander nodded. “Buffy was just regaling us with some of her Slaying-in-Italy stories.” No one mentioned the engagement ring on Buffy’s left hand, Willow noticed.

“You’ve had a good tales about Africa yourself, Xander,” Buffy responded politely. “Come on, Willow. Tell us about Brazil.”

Willow sat down next to her friends as Giles poured her some scotch. “Did I ever tell you guys about that one time Kennedy went after a Shumac’n demon?”

* * * * *

“Shouldn’t somebody be checking on the Slayers?” Xander asked.

Giles shrugged. “Dawn’s out there.”

“She’s also completely tanked by now,” Willow pointed out.

“Faith can hold her liquor,” Xander said. “She’ll take charge if anything goes wrong.”

“We’re entrusting the safety of hundreds of young Slayers, upon whom the fate of the world periodically depends, with Faith?” Buffy joked. “Things have certainly changed.”

“And yet things remain the same,” Giles said. “Nine years ago, there we were, one Watcher and three kids, with no clue as to what the hell we were doing. And here we are a decade later, and you’re no longer children—”

“—but we still have no clue what we’re doing,” Xander finished for him. “Cheers.” He lifted his scotch glass. “To playing it by ear.”

The others raised their glasses to his toast. “It got us this far,” Buffy said.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-11-03 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Don't have time to read at the moment, but definitely bookmarked- and please go ahead and link it at the [ profile] worldstage_fic community! There are no deadlines. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2005-11-04 12:01 am (UTC)
wisdomeagle: Original Cindy and Max from Dark Angel getting in each other's personal space (Default)
From: [personal profile] wisdomeagle
Thank you darling.


Date: 2012-07-24 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't have any real good reply to this, other than: When I finished rdneiag Cat Valente's 'Orphan's Tales' books, the two comments that I felt were most apt towards my feelings of them were 1) They were awesome; and 2) They made me want to write something just like them.So I did. But then, I've always written -- I'm not sure how one would encourage non-writers to start.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-11-06 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Another neat little snippet. I liked the comment about Apocalypse Season.


(no subject)

Date: 2005-11-06 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just have this vision of apocalypses breaking out all over the globe every May and June.


(no subject)

Date: 2005-11-06 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

In one of my original fiction universes Oxford is remarkably quiet in terms of demonic activity between June and October. Either that or people notice less when tourists go missing rather than students and dons.


(no subject)

Date: 2007-11-11 03:17 pm (UTC)
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (converse)
From: [personal profile] lokifan
Awesome ending. I love it when it's just the four of them together, as was.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-11-12 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

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