Genre: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Word count: 1388
Prompt: Buffy, Willow, a pet
Here you go, Nikki. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for playing along and also thanks to Sparky for her beta and the title!
Buffy Summers and her best friend, Willow Rosenberg sat on a bench in the shade and slowly counted the money they’d collected.
“Well, that sucks,” Buffy muttered as she leaned back and smiled as the wind played with her hair. “That’s all we got?”
“And that’s with my babysitting money added in,” Willow said, then added hastily. “There would have been more, but there was this computer program.”
“It’s your money, Will.” Buffy hugged her friend. “It would have been nice if Cordy had coughed up a bit more.”
“Oh, she’s, “Oooo, I’m too fashion conscious to want to spend money on a guy who’s saved my bacon several times this past year.” There was no love lost between the two. “Whoops, can I say that, me being Jewish and all?”
“I won’t tell anyone. So, what can we buy that’s a great gift, but that costs next to nothing.”
“Well, Giles has next to nothing. Oh, I know, a new tie.”
“Or socks! How about socks? He always wears the argyle ones.”
“I was thinking of something more physical. He’s alone so much of the time.”
“You want to get him…” Willow lowered her voice as she looked around nervously. “… A prostitute? Buffy, I think they cost more than…”
Buffy laughed at that, then sobered. “Willow Rosenberg, your mind! Remove the gutter. I was thinking of a pet.”
“You mean like a turtle or a fish? I think we have enough for a fish. Maybe not the tank, but definitely a fish.”
“How about a puppy?”
“Too much time. I couldn’t see Giles putting the current apocalypse on hold to walk Puppy or to pick up its doody.”
“You’re right. A kitty?”
“Not Giles. Besides, if he found it messing with his charms or stones, that would be bad. It could cause the end of the world without even knowing it.”
Buffy snapped her fingers and laughed. “I have it.”
“Let’s get him a demon!”
“A demon? You mean like Angel? I don’t think that would work. I mean, first off, they’re both guys and they sort of hate each other.”
“No, something small and not too harmful. There has to be something. Do we have any books on demons?”
“Is the Pope Catholic?” Willow rolled her eyes and then they grew round. “I’m sorry. No offense intended.”
“None taken. So, let’s make it a plan to meet back here tomorrow and we’ll try to pick something out.”
“Buffy, you just can’t go to Demons R Us and pick something up.”
“Yeah, but you forget.” She opened her purse to find her compact and smiled down at her stake. “I have connections.”
Buffy stared down at her polished toes in the pair of sandals she’d borrowed from her mom’s closet. Sure she was the Chosen One and would probably not live to see her 18th birthday, but she could still go out styling. “I’m not sure Baby’s Breath is exactly my color,” she said to no one in particular.
“I like Cotton Candy better.” Willow flopped down beside her and hefted a large book onto her lap. “Here you go! Bleaskon’s Guide to Demons is considered to be one of the best demon guides around. I had to wait until Giles went to the little boy’s room before I could sneak it out of the Restricted Section.”
“Look at you, Bad Girl, living a life of crime.” Buffy flipped open the cover and made a face. “Good grief, what is that?”
“Hmm, Asag. It’s said that his very presence make fish boil in rivers.”
“Probably not a good choice.
“Ooo what about Barong?” Willow adjusted the book and read, “He’s a panther like creature in Bali mythology and is the king of spirits, leader of the hosts of good and his only enemy is the demon queen.” She looked at Buffy and together they said, “Cordelia.”
Buffy ruffled through the pages, stopping at the L’s. “She’s pretty. Who’s Lilith?”
“Succubae… sex vampire. Instead of blood, she suck--”
“Got the picture, Will.”
Xander leapt over the back of the bench and settled down beside Buffy. He glanced over at Willow and gave her a half smile before shifting his attention to the book they shared. He whistled. “Great looking chick.”
“Chick is a sexist label. She’s a succubae, Xander.” Willow flipped through a couple more pages. “We’re trying to find something for Giles as a birthday gift. What do you get a Watcher who has nothing?”
“Socks. Men can always use more socks. I go through them like crazy. Wear ‘em, toss ‘em. What a gyp.”
“You can wash them and re-wear them, you know.” Buffy’s eyes didn’t leave the book.
“I know that, but me? Wash socks? Who has the time?”
“Imp!” Willow said, suddenly, snapping her fingers and Xander looked pleased.
“I do like to mess around, Will, but imp is such a sexist label.”
“You goof.” Buffy gave him a playful shove and Xander looked up to her from the ground.
“Gotta watch your strength, Buffster.”
“Sorry, Xander.” She helped him back up on to the bench and looked back at Willow, who continued.
“I mean, why don’t we get Giles an imp? They are relatively harmless, and aren’t likely to destroy the town. He’s a warlock, after all. He should have a familiar.”
“An imp, though?” Buffy was doubtful. “Aren’t they a little, well, you know, impish?”
“Only if you don’t treat them well and I’m sure Giles would. Could your contact find us an imp?”
“I can ask.”
“How is Angel these days?”
Buffy smiled. “Just fine.” She blushed just a little. “He says he has something special to give me on my birthday.”
Xander grinned and waggled his eyebrows. “Yeah, I bet he does.”
Willow blushed at that, too. “Xander!”
Each member of the Scooby gang, as they now referred to themselves sang Happy Birthday in their own key and Giles did his best not to grimace. He wore a brightly colored paper hat that proclaimed him, The Birthday Boy. The library was decorated with paper streamers and balloons
“Well, I must say this is quite unexpected,” he said as the song mercifully ended. He grinned at his young charges and then at the rather-lopsided cake he sat in front of. “This looks delicious. And black frosting. How… festive.”
“Sorry about that,” Buffy murmured. “I was trying for purple, but then I had to stake a vamp halfway through. It still tastes good, though.”
“I’m sure it’s delicious,” Giles said, brightly. “Who wants a slice?”
“Ooo, me!” Xander’s hand shot up. Giles looked at Buffy and Willow who both nodded and Cordelia, whose nod was less enthusiastic.
“So, five pieces, then.”
“Seven, actually,” Buffy corrected, looking over Giles’s shoulder and smiling. “Two of our guests have just arrived. Giles, you have to close your eyes now.” Obligingly, Giles shut his eyes, then grunted at a sudden weight on his lap. “And open.”
Giles grinned and opened his eyes, then nearly fell off the chair in an effort to escape the creature seated upon his lap. It was hairy, with long gangly limbs and a well-warted nose that protruded from its wrinkled face. It squinted at him, then looked back at Angel, who nodded.
“Really?” it croaked, then it saw the cake and its bottom lip trembled.
“My word!” Giles managed to scramble away from it and put a stack of books between him and it.
For its part, the creature didn’t seem to notice or really care. It was fixated upon the cake. Giles looked from Buffy to Angel, the bearer of the gift and then back. “An explanation? Anyone? Please?”
Buffy linked arms with Willow. “It was Will’s idea. We figured that it was time for you to have a companion, but you being a watcher and all, we wanted it to be special.
“Giles, this is Reginald, your imp,” Angel said, with a weak smile. He kept his attention on Buffy, which she appreciated.
Giles chanced a second look. “My…. My… what?”
“An imp or familiar, if you prefer. I’m all yours, Master. Tell me your bidding, but I don’t do windows and I won’t wear an apron,” Reginald said, never taking his eyes off the cake. “Now, you gonna cut that or what?”