story title: Why Kate Beckinsale Should Stay Out of Dark Alleys
pairing: buffy/veronica mars
setting: season three, post-"helpless" (BtVS), season two, "ain't no magic mountain high enough " (VM)
Disclaimer: joss, fox, darkhorse. BtVS is theirs. rob, warner bros. VM is theirs. I profit not at all. I write just for my own, personal enjoyment.
“Whatcha doin’ there, Mac-y?” Veronica inquired as she walked up to the Slushie Booth, seeing Mac sitting inside while Cassidy fought with the machine.
“Keepin’ Beaver company,” answered the hacker with a broad smile.
“That sounds fun.” She was happy for her friend, who was now apparently part of a couple.
One of the many couples milling about Neptune High’s transformed, outdoor cafeteria. She was part of a couple, too. But today she was just one. Usually that didn’t bother her, going it solo, adrift in a sea of high school hormones. Which she had to navigate to recover a stolen cashbox and clear her name. At least she knew how to do that--she did so daily.
Mac smiled impossibly broader. “That’s ‘cause it is.”
Then she kind of looked past the detective, her smile becoming a grin.
Veronica didn’t get a chance to turn. A hand grabbed her in the rear...by her belt buckle. When she smiled, her tongue pressed behind her teeth. No one else would dare, not even Dick.
“Better be who I hope you are. I’ve got ‘Sexual Harassment Panda’ on speed dial.” On that note, she felt the grip loosen, so she turned. And frowned. “You’re not Kate Beckinsale.”
“That’s a bad thing since why? My face would be all swollen and bruising and...’Michael Jackson’-nosed,” Buffy responded to that, grumbling. “From the constant self-punching. Forever.”
“And ever?” Veronica asked in child-like wonderment, followed by an audible and visible wince. “Swear it wasn’t premeditated. ‘Keira Knightley’? *Right* there. On the tip of my--”
She edited herself just as her girlfriend’s arms crossed. “And coming in at #4 on the list of phrases not to use when you’ve decided the ‘L Word’ might be onto something...”
“So how,” Buffy said, her own smile near to Veronica’s and forgiving of the tongue-slip, “open is your closet?”
Veronica pulled apart the sides of the green jacket she wore, and said low, “Off the hinges--I let it all hang out.” Beat. “Didn’t think you were gonna make it.”
“If my mom asks, I showed three hours later than now. ‘Cause I attended all classes.” The slayer’s grin didn’t seem all that guilty. “And training’s out till I’m full-strength.”
“You’re committing truancy? For me?” Veronica put her “scheming” face on. “Why wasn’t I told that I held this kind of power?”
“You and power and knowing you have equals ‘scary.’” Buffy didn’t beat around the bush on that one. “Did that need saying? Nuh-uh.”
Veronica’s response was to hide her mouth behind her hands--pressed together in a prayer position--letting her eyes sparkle with mischief, and the brows above them rise.
“Uh, besides how she nukes the self-esteem of teenage girls across America who’ve got reflections,” Mac piped up from inside the booth, “why else would you hate...”
Veronica turned back around, rapidly gesturing for her to desist.
“...Kate Beckinsale?” Mac finished her question anyway.
“Movies. Three. Two where she’s reflection-less.” Buffy was ready to go off. “Van Helsing,” She counted off on her fingers, “Underworld, Underworld: De-Evolution. They were just...and she...I mean, *one*, fine. I forgave. But *three*? Do your homework!”
There was a vein in her forehead that looked ready to burst, and she looked like she was trying not to strangle the air. She had so much hate she couldn’t even get it out.
“Isn’t just me, either. One night, for an hour, this vam--“
Veronica cleared her throat loudly to try to stop the tirade before it exposed things that should stay hidden. “She gets it.”
“I do?” Mac asked, confused, and she was fixed with a pointed stare. Oh, of course. “I do.”
Cassidy didn’t. “You do?”
His girlfriend nodded. “I do.”
“Come back to me, Jennifer Walters.” Veronica’s arms made like they were pulling back the air.
To this, Cassidy grinned, and Mac was again confused. “You got that?”
“She-Hulk,” he shrugged, and went back to trying to fix the machine. “I think the machine broke.”
“The ice is jammed. Just break it up with a screwdriver,” advised Veronica, having mastered the art during her shift at the booth.
Buffy’s eyebrow quirked. “There’s earning of alcohol with Pirate Points now?”
“The tool, honey.” Veronica then flashed tongue at her. “Not that Student Council hasn’t tried.”
“Great,” Cassidy said, annoyed. “I just lent it to Jackie.”
Veronica’s mind was instantly back on the case. The girl was also a suspected, cashbox thief, as she was the now-reviled daughter of Terrance Cook, who might have blown up the bus.
“Jackie asked to borrow a screwdriver? Did you see where she went?”
He looked around. “She was just--“
“Buffy Summers.” Principal Van Clemmons had joined them all suddenly, curtailing the search. “I seem to remember expelling you from Neptune High.”
“That was a ‘forever’ thing?” The expellee asked, in her best “innocent” voice.
Still liked him better than Snyder.
Veronica added, spotting Jackie heading into the school, “And ‘ever’ thing?”
“I have money.” Buffy pulled out her wallet and showed it off. “To spend. Here.”
The detective grabbed her girlfriend’s hand and pulled her along towards the bathroom. “Long as she’s with me, she won’t even burn a Dura-Flame log, Mr. C!”
“No,” protested Buffy. “I hafta buy a Pep-Squad Pie then do something where Madison’s face’s involved. I’ve been waiting. Years.”
“All in good time,” Veronica assured her. “Don’t you wanna see my office?”