IT'S ONLY THE TRUTH WHEN YOU TELL IT WITH FORKS
6:42 AM the same day; Some people say:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day...
Buffy peeked around the way and saw the table set with toast and jam and apple slices.
"She must be in the kitchen." She turned to tell Amy.
"Then why are we in the hallway whispering?" She asked Buffy.
"Hm, good question." Buffy admitted.
"Girls? Is that you?" Joyce called from the kitchen.
"Yeah, we're here." Buffy admitted. "I guess it's show time." This said to Amy in a softer voice.
Amy followed along as Buffy went into the kitchen. "Hi, Ms. Summers." Amy greeted.
"Good morning Amy. How are you doing? Did you sleep well?" She asked, getting the coffee pot off the machine and freshening up her cup.
"Oh, um, well..." Amy trailed off, unsure of what to say. "I'm fine." She said, sidestepping the sleep question.
"Do you, would you like some tea?" Joyce asked, clearly a little unsure of herself. "Buffy always drinks tea you see, I don't know where she gets it from." She laughed a little. "Coffee drinkers, on both sides of the family for years."
"Tea would be fine... Thanks." Amy said, Buffy still noticeably quiet.
"Buffy?" Joyce asked.
"Tea's good. Mint would be nice." She commented, looking around the room like she might have just seen it for the first time.
"And you two would like cereal I guess?" Joyce asked.
"I can get that." Buffy offered, going over to the cabinets and showing Amy the selection of cereal.
"I'll take the frosted flakes." Amy said.
"O'kay" Buffy acknowledged, taking out the requested cereal. She handed off bran flakes to her mom and took out a box of Total for herself, and a box of instant oatmeal for herself too. "Oatmeal?" Buffy offered Amy.
"Sure!" Amy agreed happily. She wasn't really noticeably hungry, but she didn't want to miss out on a chance to eat some good food before going back to school, and from there to her mother's food tyranny at home.
"Well it's good to see Buffy finally found someone who likes to eat as much as she does." Joyce said, laughing. "Seriously, I don't know where she puts it all sometimes." She commented from her seat as she watched Buffy fix them all cereal and poor milk. She was always doing this, ever since she got back from being away, she always pitched in in the kitchen or just did things around the house without being asked to. Since she'd come back Joyce had sometimes mused that it was actually more like having a roommate than a daughter, she had gotten so self-sufficient. She wasn't a roommate though, she told herself, she was her teenaged daughter.
Amy laughed a little. "Yeah, she mentioned you said that once. I think it's awesome. I never get to eat like this at home."
"Oh, really? Why not?" Joyce asked.
"My mom... she's, um, kind'a a, um heath freak." Amy equivocated, embarrassed by the truth.
"Ha! She's a freakin' Nazi is what she is." Buffy grumbled. "You should have seen that pathetic lunch she gave Amy the other day. Just this measly little salad and a juice box." Buffy shook her head. "Evil." She said ruefully. "She must be stopped."
"Oh, dear." Joyce said.
"Yeah, she is pretty bad." Amy admitted, going over to give Buffy a hug from behind for being so sweet.
"She doesn't give you enough to eat?" Joyce asked.
"They feed us okay at school, and I use my own money to buy things." Amy explained.
"That's awful." Joyce said, feeling a lot of sympathy for Amy now. What kind of mother wouldn't even give her own daughter enough to eat?
"Yeah, well I found my princess in shining armor yesterday, and she gave me half her ham sandwich and some Reece's cups. So I'm good." She hugged Buffy to her proudly, very happy to be here with her.
Joyce got an indulgent smile on her face looking at her daughter and Amy interacting. The light in Buffy's eyes when she was near Amy, how at ease they were with each other. And after only a day? [How does she do that?] Joyce wondered again, once again a bit in awe of her own daughter's ability to get along and thrive in the world. "You two seem really good for each other." Joyce complemented.
"You think?" Buffy said, pleased by the praise of her new relationship, especially coming from her mom whom she knew wasn't exactly comfortable with the subject.
"Yes, I really do." Joyce said. The microwave went off.
"Oatmeal's done." Buffy went immediately to check on it.
"She has a one track mind for food sometimes." Joyce explained.
"I do not." Buffy commented, all the while diligently preparing the oatmeal to exacting specifications with just the right accompaniments. Chief amongst which was lots of brown sugar.
"Uh huh." Joyce said. "Don't believe her for a second Amy." Joyce said conspiratorially.
"Hey! No bad mouthing me to my girlfriend." Buffy scolded her mom. "Here you go Amy." Buffy proudly presented the oatmeal to Amy, who took a test spoonful in her mouth. "Well?"
Amy hummed with pleasure. "That's it, you are just way too good to be true." Amy shook her head.
"So you like it?" She asked hopefully.
"So much so, I seriously would marry you if you proposed right now." Amy pledged, taking another hungry scoop of the oatmeal and savoring it.
"Well, I think we should hold off on the wedding for a while." Joyce said. "But it is pretty amazing, isn't it?"
"You've tasted it?" Amy asked.
"Oh, yes. Her oatmeal is legendary." Joyce praised. "She's a savant with making anything that doesn't actually involve cooking." She explained.
"It's a gift." Buffy accepted the comment. "And microwaves count as cooking." She clarified in her own defense.
"If you say so." Joyce replied.
"The food gets warm, doesn't it? That's cooking." Buffy argued logically.
"I'm with her. It's definitely cooking." Amy put in, taking another bite of oatmeal.
"See? Amy believes me." Buffy hugged her, and kissed the part of her chin close to her ear before going over and picking up her cereal bowl and carrying it along to the dining room table.
Joyce picked up her cereal and coffee too and went out into the dining room, almost saddened to have that moment of... happiness, she guessed, halted. It had been like time had just skipped a beat back there, and made it almost like a family in her house again. Not what she would have thought of as a family at any time before of course, but she'd come to accept her daughter pretty well by now... Now it just seemed, normal to her somehow. And seeing her daughter so happy, laughing and joking with her in the kitchen, having them feel comfortable enough around her to do that... It was quite something. Still, she had to remember to not let Buffy avoid telling her about why Gwen was here, about anything she could coax her daughter to tell her. Buffy wasn't very a good liar. Not at all. But when she wanted to avoid a subject? Well, it was like cooking without a stove, she had skills.
Buffy hurried back into the kitchen for some glasses of water for them and then set down and started eating. It was like a strange silence had fallen over them now.
"So...I think we have some things we need to talk about, don't we?" Joyce broke the silence.
Buffy stopped eating and sighed, putting down her spoon and looking over at her mom. "What do you want to know?" She asked.
"Gwen. Why is she here. What happened to you three last night, Buffy?" Joyce asked plaintively.
"...That's not... easy to answer. You might not want to know." Buffy warned. "I don't know the details of what's going on that got her here myself." She admitted. "I haven't had a good chance to ask her yet.... But I'm sure whatever it is, there's a good explanation for it." She assured her mother.
"Uh huh." Joyce said, tempted to say something else that wasn't very kind, but catching herself in time. "What do you know?"
"I know she helped me save someone's life tonight. I know she's saved a lot of people's lives since before I even knew her." Buffy spoke with conviction in defense of Gwen. "I know she's a good person, mom."
Joyce didn't quite know how to react to that.
Buffy pinched the bridge of her nose. "Look, I'm sorry..." She knew she maybe overreacted again. "I guess, I should start from the beginning?" She asked.
Joyce was unsure, she glanced over at Amy before looking back at her daughter. "I think that would be best." She said in agreement.
"O'kay, well, uh, and this is going to sound more then a little strange. But it really all started ten days after A.J. and I... after we broke up. I woke up from this truly bizarre and scary dream, and things just felt different. I didn't know what it was until I went out running. It was a Saturday, and I... I just wanted to. Well, you remember how I was then."
Joyce nodded yes, although it was plain to see she had no clue where this was all going. Amy on the other hand was listening intently, and clearly trying to lend her nonverbal support to her girlfriend too.
"Are you sure you want to know this?" Buffy hedged. "You won't like it, and... you'll probably wish I hadn't told you. But I will tell you this time... if you ask me to." She offered, meeting her mother's gaze with clear eyes.
Joyce was a little taken aback by that look, and something told her, her daughter was being serious. "You're my daughter Buffy, I want to know the truth. Whatever that is, whatever it is, we'll handle it. I'll still be here for you." She was getting even more worried now. What had her daughter been keeping from her? Whatever it was though... she'd already made up her mind, she'd do whatever it took. She wouldn't drive her daughter away from her again. "Tell me the truth." Joyce said with determination of her own. "What happened?"
Buffy looked away a moment, and then spoke. "Well... Like I said, I went running... I got to jogging along, and it was really easy. Like I didn't even have to try at it. So, after a while, I just decided to try going faster. Mom, I ran a lot faster. Like fast as a car fast. It was so freaky." Buffy continued her story. "I...
"Wait, wait just a minute. Buffy..." This was so out of left field, why was her daughter saying this? Did she really think she was this dense? "What is this. You ran as fast as a car?" Was all this some sick kind of practical joke? Why would Buffy do this? "I know I must seem gullible to you or something, but you can't really expect me to believe this?? Come on Buffy, if you don't want to tell me the truth..." Joyce was understandably upset, frustrated, and getting more than a little mad at her daughter.
"It is the truth." Amy broke in.
"Amy..." Joyce looked at the girl. "Look, I'm not going to listen to this. I..." Joyce fell silent as she saw Amy pick up her fork and jab it as hard as she could into her hand. Joyce let loose a scream of disbelieving fright at what she naturally thought was this seemingly sane and normal seeming girl just stabbing herself right in front of her. Instead, Amy's stabbing hand just slid down the fork's handle as it impacted her skin and Amy held the fork and the undamaged hand she'd stabbed out for Joyce to see that there wasn't any blood.
"You can try it yourself if you think it's a trick." Amy said confidently, offering Joyce the fork.
"I don't... I..." Joyce looked from Amy's hand to the fork again in bewilderment. "How?" She asked.
Buffy looked at Amy, a little amazed by her quick thinking and creative solution. "Well, you see..." She looked back to her mother trying to get the words together again.
"Gwen gave me an invincibility bracelet last night." Amy said, proudly holding the golden band on her arm up for inspection. "As long as I wear it, nothing hurts me." She looked from Buffy to Buffy's baffled mother. "A vampire even tried to bite me and everything..." Her voice kind of just trailed off and she felt kind of embarrassed saying things like this that she knew were so... out there.
"A vampire..." Joyce said, rather at a loss.
"Yeah, um, funny thing about that... I'm kind of a... demon hunter, or, well, they call what I do being a Slayer in fact." Buffy admitted. "It's a whole destiny thing, I am the chosen one." She said it kind of mockishly, because, really, the whole thing did kind of deserve to be mocked, both for how cliché it sounded and for the mess it made out of her life sometimes. And the impending and increasingly ambiguous date with Darla/death, not to forget that.
"And... Gwen, she...?" Joyce asked.
"Lighting power." Amy added helpfully. "It's really cool."
"Uh... huh..." Joyce found herself rubbing the bridge of her nose much the way her daughter tended to do sometimes. All of this was clearly nuts after all, but then, what about the fork?
7:10 AM the same day; once upon a
time there was high school and a house,
and between the two? Walking.
"That went pretty well." Amy smiled as she walked out of Buffy's house with her hands behind her back, carrying her school bag that way.
Buffy was a couple paces ahead of her and turned to look back at her, her hands in her pockets and a contemplative look on her face. "I guess so..." She hesitantly agreed. "But, I think it hasn't really sunk in yet. So..."
"So she could freak out while we're at school and be waiting at home for you with the people in the long white coats who have the big nets that are more for people than butterflies, is that what you're saying Anne?" Amy questioned with a smile on her face as she slung her book bag over her shoulder and fell into step beside her girlfriend headed to the sidewalk.
Buffy looked over at Amy with a dubiously questioning look on her face. "That's just silly." She said. "As if butterfly nets are really going to be any kind of a threat, even if they are people sized." Buffy made light. [Still, it's definitely of the good we had time to walk instead of her driving us... space was definitely needed.] "...Hey, you called me Anne just now?" She noticed belatedly.
Amy chuckled a little. "I thought I'd try it out to see how it sounded." She informed her.
"How was it?" Buffy asked with some wry amusement, kind of liking hearing someone call her by that name again.
"Mm, I don't know... I think I kind'a like that name for you... but I like 'Buffy' a lot too. Why did Gwen start calling you that, anyway?" Amy asked curiously.
"Middle name." Buffy explained.
"Oh, that makes sense." Amy seemed to be thinking about something.
"What's your middle name?" Buffy asked curiously.
"Lauren. But I'm not sure I want that to be my nickname if that's what you're thinking." Amy hastened to qualify.
"Why not? Lauren's a good name." Buffy asked.
"Do you really think I look like my name's Lauren?" Amy questioned, not really being able to picture it.
Buffy kind of shrugged a little. "Seems o'kay to me." She pondered. "...I'll try'n think of something else for a nickname though if you don't like it."
Amy smiled. "Really?"
"Mm-hm, unless you don't want me to, I mean."
Amy considered it. "No, it's o'kay... And I guess it'd be o'kay if you called me Lauren sometimes, if you want to I mean."
Buffy smiled and looked up to the sky. "Laurie maybe?"
Amy laughed. "I'll leave it up to you."
"Anything I want?" Buffy looked over at Amy in mild surprise.
"Sure... Wait. I should probably reserve veto power, in case of an emergency shouldn't I?" She questioned.
"I would, if I were you. I get weird ideas sometimes, you know. Like, I could call you Romeo... you know, if I can't find you some time. It's just how my mind works." She explained.
"If you can't find... oh, I get it." Amy found herself giggling a little bit. "Would that make you Juliet then?" Amy asked pensively.
"As long as we both get to live, you can call me a Capulet or a Montague and I wouldn't mind at all." Buffy said with a kind of happy-go-lucky air about her.
Amy laughed. "And here I thought you and Shakespeare didn't get along."
"They played the movie in school my freshman year back at Hemery." Buffy explained. "I so wish I'd had you to study with back then, A.J. was worse than me at that stuff and none of our other friends really got it either."
Amy looked down at the sidewalk in front of her as they walked. "I wish I knew you back then too." She said, thinking of how different her life might have been if she and Buffy's first girlfriend had had each other's lives. "I still can't believe you were a cheerleader though." Amy looked ahead of her again.
"My mom might still have the outfit in a box somewhere, if you really want proof..." Buffy offered innocently.
Amy looked over to her in question and abruptly burst out laughing.
Buffy laughed to. "What? Come on, it was a serious offer." She said smiling. "I might even be able to remember some of the cheers."
"I think I'd find that more frightening than sexy to be honest." Amy admitted with a little chagrin.
"You think so?"
"Honestly, yeah... Regular you is who I'd pick any day I think." Amy said softly.
"...That is so sweet, Amy." Buffy said reaching over and taking Amy's hand in hers and squeezing it gently.
Amy smiled back, looking over so their eyes met. "I do want to though, with you? If your mom hadn't come in, I would have wanted to keep going... I... I really want to keep going... with you. You know, in a bed?" She bumped Buffy's shoulder a little, not able to look in Buffy's direction so much because she was feeling a little awkward putting herself out there so much, but also feeling weirdly secure with Buffy holding her hand like she was.
"..Yeah... I... me to. Really me to." Buffy admitted, feeling just a little embarrassed, but only just a little. "I had a dream you know... we were on a beach in Hawaii, we talked about it there. You in the dream talked about it with me in the dream I mean. But... You should know... we just should talk about some stuff first o'kay?
"What kind of stuff?" Amy asked.
Buffy looked up into the sky. "Like I might be killed soon." She admitted. "My dreams..."
Amy stopped walking and Buffy did too. "Dreams?" She asked quietly, the tone of Buffy's voice telling her this was a serious thing for her.
"I have dreams, about the future some times. All Slayers have had them." Buffy explained. "Since right before we left to move here, my dreams have been telling me someone's going to kill me."
Amy was quiet. "Who?"
"I think it was that blonde vampire... from the cave? I'd never met her before, but when I saw her, I was like 'that's her, that's the girl who kills me'... Her name's Darla. I don't know how I know that, but I do..."
Amy was quiet. She really wasn't sure what to do or what to make of this. Inside, she felt like she was going a little insane actually, but the feeling didn't stay that long. She was standing close to Buffy, they had eye contact, and Buffy took her other hand up too.
"I don't plan on letting it happen though." She assured her with as much confidence as she had to offer. "It's not for sure. My dreams don't always happen in real life like it happens in the dreams. I can change it, if I do the right things... I'm sorry, I, I should have told you... I just, well, I've never dreamed about dying before, and the dreams feel so real sometimes..." She trailed off. "It's not really that easy to face it, I wish it was but it's just not... I mean, I know logically I could die anytime when I fight like I do, but actually living through it, in my dreams, it's different..."
Amy let out a shaky breath and impulsively hugged her girlfriend.
"Amy..." Buffy returned the hug and closed her eyes, not able to keep from noticing how very good it felt to hold another person and be held back. She didn't think she really realized just how much she'd missed that with Gwen until just this moment.
"Don't die." Amy said simply. "I couldn't stand it..."
"...Then, then I won't." Buffy said. "I promise, I won't die. And... You believe me, right? About not dying."
"I want to kill her myself." Amy said, something desolately cold in her voice.
"Darla, I want to kill her. I swear, if I can, I'll kill her for you. She can't even hurt me, right?" Amy stepped back and looked in Buffy's eyes.
Buffy's eyes were confused but soft, and Amy kissed her. Buffy gasped at how demanding it was. She moaned a little and felt her heart start to beat faster in her chest.
"Wow..." Buffy breathed. "Do that any time you want, please..." She smiled a little wryly.
"O'kay." Amy said, a little embarrassed.
Buffy fell against her shoulder and rested her head there. "We don't really know that much about each other, do we?" She asked softly.
"...I guess not." Amy admitted, biting her lower lip a little and holding Buffy closer. She saw some people looking at them from by a car in the driveway of one of the houses close by but decided she really didn't care even a little any more. Feeling that way didn't make her feel brave though really, it, she guessed it must just not all seem really real to her yet. But it was real though, she knew it was.
"You still want to have sex with me?" Buffy asked.
"Duh." Amy said, with a little smile.
"Even if it might be a little because I think I might die and I'm kind of desperate to feel alive or something?" She told her in a nervous sort of harsh honesty. Buffy felt Amy tense against her. "It's not the main reason, I really don't think it is, but... it might be part of it. I won't lie. I really think I am in love with you, I wouldn't lie about... I wouldn't say that unless I believed it. But I also... I probably wouldn't have... and you know, after Gwen and everything, I... I think a part of me just wanted to be close to someone again. You know, make a connection? A real one. Even now, I really want to... to be close, physically, emotionally... I think I could be a little needy. I don't know, I'm a little messed up I think." She admitted with a little stark self reflection. "I just..." She looked back up into Amy's eyes and didn't know quite what else to say.
"Anne... Buffy, um..." She still didn't feel like it was really real, but in a way she did. It was like, maybe the rest of her life before Buffy, that had been the dream, and she'd just woken up or something?
"Yeah?" Buffy said softly, tilting her head and touching Amy's face lightly with a little trepidation.
"You'll still want to be... with me, after, right? After you don't die?" Amy asked, sounding kind of shaky and trembling just a little. "I don't care about any of the other stuff. Just tell me that, please just..."
Buffy cut her off with a gentle, lingering kiss. "Amy, yes, alright? Yes. I want to try at least. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, or even tonight, but I think... it's really good with us, right?" She asked. "I think it is." She continued. "I think we... I think we could be really good together." She told her.
Amy responded by giving Buffy a quick kiss that was more of a peck than a real kiss. She smiled. "You are such a cool girlfriend." She said. "It's... I mean, you just said all that stuff to me, I'd... I don't think I could have said something like that if it was me." She admitted, thinking of all the things about her own life she hadn't told the other girl yet. "But... I think, I think we're really good together too. It's like, when I'm with you.... it's like I'm really alive. For the first time, like, ever... I feel a little like I might be going insane sometimes, but..." She kind of lost her place in her mind and sort of skipped a track. "Hey, wait a minute... if you knew about ...Why'd you even come here then? I mean, the dreams..."
"...My destiny." Buffy said. "Aslan said I had to come. That I was needed here." She looked up at the sky a little.
"...Your cat?" Amy asked blankly.
"She's not really." Buffy explained looking over at Amy again. "Come on, we'll be late for school. I'll tell you more about it on the way."
"...o'kay." Amy said, taking Buffy's hand up in hers in a kind of possessive way and starting to walk with her again in the direction of the school. [So, talking cats now... And we're sure my name's not Alice, right?] Amy wondered to herself, in a Disney sort of way - not that any of this was really at all Disney of course, more like 20th Century Fox.
"So, if your cat's not really a cat, what is she? A rabbit maybe?" Amy asked.
"Mongoose." Buffy said reflectively.
"Lie." Amy contradicted.
"Caught me." Buffy smiled. "It's a cool story, actually. See there was this warlock, had these really creepy eyes... made you want to poke them." Her nose scrunched up a little.
"Did you?" Amy asked.
"Just the once; it was kind of funny, but also gross..."
to be continued in part fourteen...
THE LIBRARIAN IS A SPY (TRUE STORY)
see you next time!