1. Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls.
"I'm just saying that maybe it should be, at the very least, thoroughly considered."
"Lorelai," Giles sighs, not for the first time. Though, like the previous others, it just gets ignored.
"One day, Rupert Giles, you're going to realize the brilliance that is my plan, and when you do, I will be sitting back, grapes being served by some meaty, rippled man-servant guy, and I just might not be in the mood to acknowledge your, what I'm sure will be, very long, very sincere apologies--"
"Are you perhaps nearing a point yet?"
Lorelai started to frown. "My point got smooshed to pieces by your non-enthusiasm. It's a sad, smooshy point now."
"How terribly disconcerting."
"It was. And still is. Like Rosie O'Donnel joining The View. Or Katie Couric leaving The Today Show. Oh, or that other lady, what's-her-face, the one nobody ever liked, leaving The View and joining The Today Show. It's a disconcerting freak show, complete with a Musical Chairs of who's-who TV talk show hosts, and I'm sad, Giles, so terribly, terribly sad, that you were the smoosher-of-points that started it all."
Giles, somewhat ruffled, began to stand up and collect the scattered research books. "Yes, well--"
"Admit it, it's brilliant," she said, copying his movement. "It's Brilliance on Ice, it's--it's an entire spectrum of brilliance so brilliant, they have yet to think up a word for it. It's brill-tastic."
"Is it now?"
"Yep. It's brill-tastic. And that's what they'll say. 'Why, Cleaver dear, this is brill-tastic'. 'Yes, Joan, I know. Brill-tastic indeed.'"
He stopped his movement, a stack of books in hand. "Remind me, Lorelai, what this..."
"Remind me again what it was."
She straightened proudly. "A high-powered, super-voltage, stake-flinging machine!"
"Of course. How could I forget."
"It whittles its own stakes, it carves it to its pointiest point. It pretty much does everything itself. All you have to do, aside from lavishing it with the necessary amount of tender-lovin'-care, of course, is aim and fire. Whoosh. There goes your perfectly carved stake, straight through the vampire's heart. Simple as that."
"I see. And, of course, this would be battery-operated."
"Well, uh, okay. Or electrically... charged..."
"There are outlets in these supposed graveyards?"
Lorelai faltered. "Some. Probably."
"And you'll, quite obviously, have time to load and reload your weapons."
"Depending on the vampire, and the vampire activity..."
"It'll not run out, I assume?"
"And were there ever an electrical shortage, there'd be a back-up generator?"
"Well, okay, I hadn't thought that far ahead--"
"You're right, it's absolutely brilliant. It's--what was the word you used?"
A pause. Then a feeble, "Brill-tastic."
"Yes, Lorelai. Sounds brill-tastic indeed. And when I explain to your parents how I lost my Slayer because her--her stake-manifesting machine malfunctioned, I'm sure they'll at least appreciate the brill-tasticity involved."
"Mom will," she grumbled. "She'd probably invite you over for a warm cup of tea to decide whether or not there's any money to make off my idea, all the while pretending to mourn the death of her beloved daughter, the only one she ever had."
That got the sigh again. "Lorelai..."
"A'ha! You know it's true."
"Your mother," he says, struggling for the right words, "is a... a wonderful women."
"Oh, God, you have bile in your mouth just from saying that, don't you? I have bile. I have vicarious bile."
"Shoosh! You've smooshed my points and un-brilled my brill-tastic and now there is bile, there's bile in my mouth, and because of you my mother will dance on my grave and steal all my millions--"
2. Dean Winchester, Supernatural.
"Oh, you are so gonna wish you didn't do that," Dean wheezes, wiping the blood away from his wet lip. He's toe-to-toe with a vampire, some ugly ass thing that's about ten belt loops too wide and a couple cinder blocks taller, but if you think he's at a disadvantage, you're out of your ever-lovin' mind.
"See, me," he says, eyes flaring and grin widening, "I don't have any wood allergies. But you? Oh, man," he sympathizes, a chuckle tagging along as he waves his stake side-to-side. "That puts you at a serious disadvantage."
The vampire lunges, stupid ass thing that is, and Dean slides out of the way, grabbing as he does the collar of its tacky leather jacket and pulling it with him in a barrel hold. Coming out of the spin that move puts them in, Dean shoves the vamp to the ground and watches with glee as its head smacks against the very grave from which it'd just crawled from. It's like sweet, sweet just rewards.
"Okay," he continues, pretty damn out of breath. Not that he's out of shape, not by a long shot, but this demon-ass kicking gig is exhausting. "You are one stubborn son-of-a-bitch, you know that?"
The vampire growls and leaps to its feet, quicker than Dean was prepared for. He's knocked flat on his ass by an assaulting fist, one that feels like it's lined with heavy steel armor, and it sends him sprawling to the ground like a sack of dead weight. The next second the vampire crawls on top of him, straddling him just above the waist.
"You know," Dean mutters, looking up into two very yellow, very pissed off eyes. "I don't usually like to take things this far on the first date. Well, alright," he backtracks, and then, with a grunt of effort, he grabs the vampire's legs and sends them into a crocodile roll until he's on top and the vampire's on bottom. "Who am I kidding?" he finishes, ignoring the demon's jerky movements beneath him. "I always take things this far. Just not with someone as friggin' ugly as you." He drops forward an inch and offers up a sweet smile. "No offense."
Without warning, Dean finds himself propelled forward, and he lands face down, his hands spread out in front of him. This time it dazes him, enough to let the vampire pin him against the ground again. His eyesight is fuzzy, there's this loud ringing in his ears, and he's only barely aware of the weight on his back that's heading for his jugular.
And then, all of a sudden, there's nothing. The heaviness on top of him disappears. The tickling breath that'd been at his neck is gone. It's eerily quiet, but Dean has the sneaking suspicion he's not alone. It's raining ashes like some kinda volcanic shower storm.
The dust clears, Dean coughs, and through the parting haze he notices two seriously weathered black boots in front of him. As his gaze rises from the scuff mark view, to two legs tightly wrapped by black jeans, to the mother of all trenchcoats, he hears being drawled, "Well, now. What do we have here?" in a lazy British voice, light and amused. "Dru, sweetheart, look what Mr. Sandman's dropped in our laps, all nice and trussed up-like. And here I figured the holidays would be dismal."
"Yes," a woman's voice--British again, if he's catching the accent right--agrees, playfully, that same drawl as the guy's, only more, you know, feminine and psychotic. Dean looks to British Dude's side and, okay, he's got himself a sick little Goth Chick girlfriend. She claps, all excited, bouncing on her heels like a five-year old. "I think maybe the stars knew we were coming. They've set up for a tea party and we're the three guests. Like little maids, all in a row. I wonder, though, how he should feel were we to eat without Daddy here?"
British Dude rolls his eyes. Even from Dean's low, I-might-as-well-be-kissing-dirt angle he can see the guy's jaw tighten. "I'd wager he wouldn't mind, Drusilla."
Dean can only be entertained by the Weird and the Heartbeatless enough before growing bored. Quota filled. "Listen, guys," he says, starting to push up off the ground, chest first, "I hate to break up this enchanting--"
A foot on his back pushes him back down. Hard.
"Now, now," that male British voice drawls again, more cruel and taunting than before. "Not so fast. As much as I'd like to let you go, I'm afraid I can't do that. See, my girl here, she's got a nasty habit of wanting to eat every few hours. Can't quite seem to fill herself up, the poor little pigeon."
The girl's voice filters in, soft and deadly. "Yes," she whispers, like some kinda sweet-nothing.
The steel-toe boot digs into his back, enough to make him wince. "And that's where you come in, mate."
British Dude's words are met with a squeal of delight from his dead girlfriend, and Dean rolls his eyes. "I think we shall have a feast tonight, my Spike. This boy," she purrs, "he's glowing. All bright, and full of sunshine. I can see it... even with my eyes closed."
"Dru, dear, he's lying in a puddle of light from the lamp post."
"Spike," she admonishes, tsk-ing like a kinky school teacher. "Naughty boy." Her voice drops low. "We found ourselves a Slayer."
The air goes thin around Dean. There is a heavy pause.
Then, "A Slayer?" the guy--Spike, dumb ass name--repeats, sounding majorly interested.
"Uh, yeah, hi. That'd be me." Dean tries to lift his head high enough to make eye contact. "Dean Winchester. Vampire Slayer since before I even knew what the hell a vampire was. If you wanna go ahead and remove your foot, that'd be great."
The girl's hand snakes towards Dean, then snaps back. "He burns, like fireworks on the 4th of July."
"Seriously," Dean tries again. "If you and Looney Tunes want to split the playing field and make things fair--"
"Fair?" Spike cuts in. Instead of obliging, he leans down towards Dean, until his mouth hovers near Dean's ear. "Sorry, Slayer, not in my word bank. I prefer... odds. Usually when they're in my favor."
Dean grits his teeth together. Really kind of tired of being intimate with the ground, man. Not to mention, hello, this whole thing is demoralizing on so many levels.
"Fine," he says, though it comes out like a breath of air, "if you want to play it that way."
Dean swings his arm behind him, grabbing onto Spike's leg. Before Spike can do anything about it, like sink them nasty looking fangs into Dean's throat, Dean swipes Spike's leg off of him then rolls to his side, away from the vampire duo. After that, he wastes no time getting to his feet, knowing that he has only seconds to do so before an attack comes.
Instead, though, Spike and Dru stay in place. Dru, in game face, stands coiled tight, prepared to strike, but Spike only laughs.
"That," he says, "was pathetic."
"Yeah, well." Dean shrugs. "Improv was never really my strong suit. To tell you the truth, I prefer the scripted stuff." As proof, he whips out his stake. Good thing he always carries a back-up. Or three. "And, dude, you should see what I can do with a prop."
3. Logan Echolls, Veronica Mars.
If Logan had a dollar for every time Rupert Giles gave him that disappointed-Watcher look, he'd probably be some spoilt rich asshole kid living the high life in some vague California city, setting up bum fights just for the pure hell and allure of it, and living life to its absolute, most pathetic fullest.
As it is, they don't come with a monetary attachment, just that charming little upside-down smile.
There's a sigh that breaks though his thoughts, and when he looks up, there's Disappointed Look number I'd Be Richer Than Bill Gates By Now. "And, of course, you haven't heard a word I said," his Watcher says, more a slow, self-deprecating drawl of words than anything.
Logan pastes on a bright smile, the stake in his hand twirling idly, casually between his fingers. "You know, I'm offended you'd think that."
"Are you now?" Giles drones.
"Careful. With that attitude, I might start thinking I've let you down. I can't have that on my conscious, now can I?"
Giles starts doing that flustered thing he does when he's annoyed, but too British to actually admit that a 17-year old kid with Dennis the Menace looks and equal shenanigan-y antics could get to him. "No," he says, though it's like coffee beans being ground together, they way it sounds and the way he forces it out, "I suppose not."
Logan's smiles grows. "That's the spirit. Now buck up, Rupes, I hear we've got some nasties to catch."
4. Dwight Schrute, The Office.
He's stealthy. He's a ninja of darkness, born for this. Bred for this. Spewed from the Cosmo's especially for this.
Carefully, his eyes never trained on one thing for too long, Dwight slips from the cover of the shadows. Restfield Cemetery, his favorite nighttime office. The undead. Vampires. Clever ploys of evil, always there to test the limit of his spectacular abilities. He doesn't mind. Bring it on is his motto. Gimme what you got. Gimme your best. Or your almost-best, it doesn't matter. He's ready.
He's dressed from head-to-toe in deep, dark Cylon blood-black. He knows that, like the wild animals they are, vampires are attracted to bright colors. Reds and oranges and that vomit-worthy shade of purple Xander Harris would wear. He doesn't care. He doesn't need lures or worms or pieces of dry gluten bread dangling at the tip of his fish-hook.
"C'mon," he mutters to himself, over and over again, pumping himself up.
Giles had mentioned to him before he left Station Tweed that there was a new demon in town, one truly worthy of a Marvel Comics splash cover.
Dwight didn't need details. He never needed details.
He's trained in several martial arts. That helps. He's like a cobra, waiting to strike.
A sense of awareness flashes to his right, and he reacts with quick speed. A fist shoots through the air, his body swivels in a North Easternly direction, but there's nothing there. Still, he looks around. Peers through the dense darkness. Just to be sure.
"Hiya, Sharp Schruter."
Dwight stumbles to his left, only to be met face-to-face with the bane of his entire existence. Xander Harris. First class underachiever. Renowned prankster. Also the most annoying person Dwight knows.
"Go. Home," he orders, no room for disobedience.
"Uhm," Xander says, pausing to give it some serious thought, "no."
"Yes. Go home right now."
"Why, because you're playing?"
"Because I'm working. Hello, Slayer here."
"Ohhhh, right. You're the Slayer."
"That's right. I am. And you," he makes sure to point out, "are not, which means that you shouldn't be here."
Xander looks around. "It's public property."
"That doesn't matter."
"I think it does."
"No, it--look," he says, dropping his voice low, "this is very serious, okay? No, no. Listen to me. Even the most minuscule of distractions could result in a disaster so monstrous, it'd make the Cylon war look like kids play. Red rover, red rover, send--oohh, that's right, there's no one to send over--because I was distracted on duty and EVERYONE DIED."
Moment of tense pause.
Then, "Don't you think that's a tad dramatic?"
Dwight straightens his glasses in self-defense. "It's perfectly plausible."
"Sure thing, Sharp Schruter."
"I told you not to call me that."
"Yeah, alright," Xander says, in a tone that has absolutely no validity. "I'm here on official Watcher duty. Giles wants you to head back to the roosting nest A-SAP."
Dwight looks for signs of dishonesty. A pinched face. Overactive sweat glands. Avoidance of eye contact. But Xander exhibits nothing out of the ordinary, looking like his usual self, so Dwight tucks his stake back into his stake-sheath (the one specifically woven out of ancient leather by a blind nun, baptized by the Queen herself while she was nearly avoiding being gunned down by homicidal mercenaries--or, okay, Dwight's aunt, but whatever. It's still awesome) and takes a few cautious steps forward.
"Did he say what about?"
Xander shrugs. "I'm just the messenger. An underpaid, dashingly handsome, so, so very not-appreciated messenger. I think, though, demons may have been mentioned. An apocalypse. Giles would've sprinted out here and told you himself, but, you know, he's British. Plus he likes to indulge in worldly crisis all by his itty-bitty lonesome."
Dwight's vision blanks over as he stares into the darkness, mind playing through all sorts of apocalyptic probabilities. "Of course..."
"All right." Xander claps his hands together, mock-bowing. "Duty done. Now excuse me while I officially start to panic--in the form of Bronzing, of course."
As Xander turns to go, Dwight pulls himself together. The world... is in his hands. He holds it there. So tenderly. Like a mother deer carefully doting its fawn. And like the hunter that this supposed Apocalypse is, Dwight will protect that fawn with his own life.
5. Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones' Diary.
~~SUNDAY 3 DECEMBER
128 lbs. (v. serious problem), alcohol units 4, cigarettes 3 (major relaxation and comfort after s.time, so not at fault), no. of vampires managed to stake despite problem with non-functional warbly heels 2 (excellent!), total calories 7995
9 a.m. Home. Comfy bed. Argh. Absurd ringing of the phone going off. Not the bloody alarm, which hasn't been set because no one should be squawked at by melted heap of metal and plastic first thing in morning. Phone still ringing. Not going to answer it. Going to fall back asleep, back to that blissful place of delicious Mr. Darcy, right when he dives into the lake.
10:30 a.m. En route to Giles. Phone could not be ignored. Not with its incessant wheezing noise. Of course, on answer, it was Giles.
"Yes," I said, stifling a rather monstrous yawn. Where, by chance, did I last lay my pack of cigarettes? Began a massive search party in their honor, half-listening to Watcher Giles, but mostly concerned for cigarettes whereabouts.
"There's, erm, rather urgent--"
Decided to announce, then and there, the rather obvious. "It's 9:30 in the morning."
Honestly. Do not know what even goes on in that frumpy Watcher head of his, but am sure it's not anything resembling normal kind of logic. Why, he'd probably been up all night, paging and leafing through old dirty textbooks when any normal and reasonably sane bloke of his stature would've been out on the town, possibly indulging in quaint mid-life crisis.
"I am, ah, aware." Awkward. "Never the less--"
"You're aware, are you? Because I find that rather hard to believe, you know, given the fact that I'm being rung up at such an ungodly, ill-timed hour."
Zing! Applause-worthy comeback. Thank you, thank you.
One very frustrated, very heavy sigh breathes through the phone set from his end. Very paternal. "Bridget."
"Right," I announce, mock-salute. "I shall report for duty in oh-one hundred hours."
Yet another weary sigh. "See you soon, Bridget."
Hang up feeling rather pleased with myself, and not at all tired anymore.
2 p.m. Why Giles felt the need to relay the latest demon news in person is beyond me. Typical, run-of-the-mill, I-do-this-every-night business, yet he feels as though I should be awoken at indecent hours and hurried over and very nearly trampled by large public bus just so I can be properly prepared. Proper. Hah. More like improper and absolutely unnecessary.
Am late for lunch with Willow and Xander now! Best friends are not as easily forgivable as robbed sleep.
2:40 p.m. Lounging in the smoky glow of the Bronze. "Cut the G-man some slack."
I stare at Xander, mouth unattractively agape. Surely this is not the same Xander Harris who, on quite a daily and unfaltering basis, has found at least one childish remark to make about frumpy Watcher Rupert Giles since we've been best mates. Reality must've gone and shifted when I wasn't looking. Explains why favorite pair of jeans were suddenly too tight this morning.
"He can't help that he's, you know, all... Giles-y."
Immediately hit Willow with same look. These are not my friends! Body-snatchers, perhaps, which on the cusp of a Hellmouth is not entirely impracticable. Through narrow eyes I try to see if perhaps there are any visible tell-tale signs of this newest exposed theory. Zippers on backs of necks. Flaking plastic flesh molded over robotic frames.
"Oh, stop looking at us like that," Willow admonishes, taking a sip of her Long Island ice tea. She swirls the ice around with her straw. "I wish Tara were here..."
Obligatory change of subject. Am still stuck on their sticking up for Giles, though. Ritual demands that we, as a gang of dubbed Scoobies back while we were still running around in our wee nappies, partake in the necessary amount of Giles-bashery until mood lifts from bad to good. Mood not lifted. If anything, mood officially on strike from lifting.
5:47 p.m. Hurrah! Everything is normal again! Xander made up for fleeting insanity by agreeing that Rupert Giles has noodles for brains, pants seem much looser after traumatic jog from killer dog chase, and am on way to pick out new cute shoes that will not warble!
9 p.m. UGH! UGH UGH UGH! Stupid, stupid vampire. Shoes ruined! Am completely depressed. Things were going reasonably well, all things considered, when out of shadows leapt large, bulky, fashion-disaster of a vampire. Should've retreated because:
a. Stake was knocked loose fairly soon.
b. Vampire was larger and bulkier, therefore could've easily been bitten.
c. Emitted a smell that rivaled stinky cheese.
Stupidly stayed. Uncharming belief that I can handle anything. Stupid. Impromptu use of heeled boots as a weapon proved to be disastrous. Vampire dusted, but heeled boot became heeled boot no more. Stupid. ARGH!
9:04 p.m. Restfield Cemetery. Was going through proper mourning for recently deceased shoes when, out of nowhere, Angel appeared.
"Bridget," he says.
Am immediately on the defense, as this Angel bloke seems particularly vile. What with the way he's always lurking about, hiding in shadows and other what-nots. Nose held high, for am all-powerful Slayer after all, I greet him with annoyance. "Angel."
Shouldn't even have said that much, as vile Angel seemed to take it as an invitation to stay.
"Where're you off to tonight?"
"Oh, you know. Here. There." Am haughty Slayer!
"Any chance I could tag along?"
Honestly! Do not understand the inner-workings of vile Angel. Send out major repellent vibes, and still he stays latched, like some... vile, latching thing that is neither attractive nor amusing. Should tell him this, really, as it's better to know your flaws, but decide against it. Worse than vile Angel is possibility of weepy-vile Angel.
"I'm really rather busy," I say, taking off useless shoes and stomping forward. Do not care of spectacle I must look, tramping through a graveyard in stockings and bare feet.
Vile Angel hurries to follow. "I don't mind."
Could scream, really.
Began to make way home. Vile Angel at side, moping silently, but am ignoring. Will return heeled boots tomorrow morning, it is decided, and will claim malfunction on makers part. Will look appropriately upset and perhaps demand to speak to manager until compensated with another pair, and will not, under any circumstance, wear on patrol.
Also will not speak to Vile Angel ever again. Have decided am mute Slayer.
6. Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother.
Barney is awesome. Xander Harris, leaking his loser vibes all over Barney's mojo, is, true story, not awesome.
Barney bangs a fist on their booth seated table, outraged. "I said 'suit up!' You pantsed up. In the face of a formal and formidable 'suit up!', you went and pantsed up. You pantsed down, and I? Well, I am suit-offended."
But Xander is a lost cause. A man adrift in a sea of casual ware and--oh, god--Hawaiian t-shirts and sports shoes and jeans with holes in them. An unholy union of mismatched material that's offensive on every ocular level.
"Hey," Xander says, flexing a point-to-be-made finger, "you're lucky I pantsed anything, buddy."
Willow, sipping at her straw, wearing a sweater far more offensive than anything in Harris' closet--the frills, people, the yarn and the frills and all the wrongness gathered together in the chest area--says, "True. This is my I'm Glad Xander's Wearing His Pants Today drink."
Barney pins her with a hard, scrutinizing stare. Lesser people have wilted under it. Crumbled. "Uh, yeah. That's your I'm A Lesbian and Everyone Loves A Drunk Girl Who Makes Out with Other Drunk Girls drink. True story. Wrote about it on my blog. Post two-oh-two: The Secret Behind Willow's Excessive Bronze Drinking. Big hit, actually."
Willow gives him the sad-eyes that wield enough guilt-tripping power to render humanity to a buckled knee. But the offense lasts a mere few seconds before she decides, nah, humanity-rendering will go down some other time. Instead she breaks out into a wide grin, nods in a way that makes the flower on her hat (read it again, because yeah, that's what Barney's working with here: terror in accessory form, even though he has lectured against this very disservice) jiggle up and down.
"You're right. I guess I am just blatantly broadcasting my gay intent, aren't I? What with the slurpy sipping and all. Heh. Slurpy. Funny word."
Barney smooths out his tie. "The technical term for what you're doing, I believe, is called 'Willowing up'. To get more gay as the drink pours on. Also, there's a location factor. At the library? Not so gay. The Bronze? I believe you are more gay now than ever. Congratulations."
Just then, Harmony clickity-clacks in high heels up to their table.
"Well, well, well," says Xander, "If it isn't the Big Badless."
"Xander," Willow admonishes. "Don't."
"Too 'challenging the forces of darkness'?"
Her face carries an apology. "Was thinkin' more sorta... lame."
Harmony just gives Xander a hard stare. "Stuff it, loser."
"Ladies, ladies," Barney tuts, sliding out of the booth, "can we not, please? I've got this--" a hiss, "pounding headache, and all that nemesis blather is like glasses on an otherwise hot chick. So not necessary."
Harmony tries to look impressive by standing up taller, but all that really does is make her boobs stand out. What? He's simply looking for the sake of professional gain. He's a Slayer, she's a vampire, hello. Stake to the chest. That's the stitch, people, keep up.
(Also, insert 'vampire layer' joke HERE. Awesome, huh? Yeah.)
"One of these days," she predicts, voice all notched up to whiny levels of foreboding, "I'm so going to kick your ass, Barndork-o!"
Barney waves a hand. "Pffft."
"'Cause guess what? I got my own gang now. And we're evil."
"Oh, gosh, guys, you hear that? A gang! Where'd you learn that, How To Fail At Being A Mortal Enemy.com?" He laughs, for he is awesome, and hangs up a palm. "You-just-got-schooled high-five, c'mon! Slap it!"
Then, lo, off in the distance there's a scream, and although his methods are similar to Batman's (1. stare off into the horizon for three seconds. any less, you seem insensitive. more, now that's just cocky. 2. adorn concerned 'hero of the people' look. 3. stalk off into the night), his are generally more bad ass. That's based on a scale of 'his face' versus 'George Clooney's face'. Things get extra-bad ass on the scale of 'his face' versus 'Christian Bale's face'.
Behind the bar in some poorly lit back alley, there's a scuffle. A young, bewildered, stupid-looking college kid shoved up against the wall, vampire buzzing at his neck like an angry fly. Barney rolls his eyes at the obviousness of it all. One day the universe will realize that he's destined for more than just fisticuffs and sloppy apocalypses. Until then!
Timed for precision, it takes him 18 seconds to get the vampire off the boy, debilitate him with both a sweeping kick to the stomach and a quip, and stake him.
Ashes rain down, and Barney watches, disgusted and annoyed at the mess of it all. Is it too much to ask for a suit that is resistant to vampire dust? Really now. The future is upon us. We are nearing the age of hoverboards. Let's have it happen already.
"Dude," says the kid, wide-eyed with a trembling kind of awe. He pushes off the wall, aww, like a cute little baby deer. Run off now, Bambi. Go find your mother. "Who are you?"
Barney stands tall, tie flapping in the wind, stake brandished.
"I," he says, "am Barney. The... wait for it... Vampire Slayer."
7. Michael Scott, The Office.
If you looked in a dictionary and looked up the word 'Slayer', well. There would not be a definition. Well, not a real one, because technically? No one knows about Slayers and vampires and monsters. Dragons. Things like that. And zombies--which Michael hasn't actually encountered yet, but he's willing to bet it all that they're out there, just waiting to suck a few brains. He's known a few brain-suckers in his time. Probably... zombies.
The point is, if the real definition existed in a dictionary, next to that word would be his face.
I know, wow, right?
"--And now, unsurprisingly, you're paying me no attention," Giles sighs, rubbing the creases in his forehead, and Michael lets out his own huff of annoyance.
Giles is like the most annoying person on the whole planet, which sucks, because he's his Watcher. It's not like he can get rid of him, or trade him in. He's stuck with him. Just, stuck. And who could he complain about this to? Giles? Double negative. It wouldn't make sense.
"That's because you were boring me with your big, boring speeches," Michael tells him, loud. "Beep, beep, beep. What's that? Hey. Did you hear that? Did anybody hear that? I think it was--What is that noise? Is that my... boring radar?"
Giles has reached the point where he's removed his glasses, which means there's about to be some kind of horrible lecture. The people who assigned Giles to Michael must've assigned wrong, because a Watcher, probably, should be someone that is inspiring. Someone that makes getting up every morning to be, essentially, a Superhero, fun. Michael Scott is the human equivalent of a Superhero and instead of getting a good side kick, or a good Mr. Miagi, he gets Rupert Giles. Who is Satan, but with glasses and a tweed coat.
"I hardly think you have some internal radar that instantiates boredom," Giles drones, unamused, though he is (bonus) semi-offended. "As it is, I have my own internalized radar. It detects one's inability to properly focus so that they can learn their duties as a Slayer. I imagine it'd make a sound now."
Here's a shocker: Giles is a bachelor. What a surprise! The soul-sucker can't manage to find a girlfriend stupid enough to go out with him.
Putting his glasses back on, Giles picks up the book he'd been reading from. Some ancient tome that has all sorts of words in it that automatically make Michael's mind drift to more entertaining things. Like his idea of mass marketing the idea of a 'Vampire Slayer' that Giles had, of course, outright ruled against because he was repressed and boring. What's so wrong with Vampire Slayer pencil erasers? And lunch boxes? And Vampire Slayer costumes? Then everyone could be just like Michael. They could take on his Michael Scott Vampire Slayer Cause For Humanity Reach For Your Dreams Because They're Out There complex, but for fake, not for real.
Michael picks up his World's Best Vampire Slayer mug and takes a thirsty sip. He bought that for himself. Well, ten of them. There was a good deal on buying bulk at the online shop he ordered it from. Custom-made.
Giles clears his throat.
"Fine, fine, fine," Michael sighs, straightening. "Hit me with it, Watch-dog. Give me your worst. Hit me!"
Once Giles starts talking though, Michael zones off and ignores him.
How cool does this sound: Michael Scarn: Threat Level Twilight?
It's about those vampires from that RPattz movie. With the wolf, and the vampires, and that West Side Story baseball game. And how Michael Scarn defeats them all using his wiles, smarts, and a bazooka gun loaned from the President. Plus the FBI. Well--no. Or, maybe. That part's still in the negotiation stage. But definitely the Michael Scarn character beats up Edward and Jacob, and then dazzles Bella with his sense of humor and improv skills.
The age difference is a little weird, because the Michael Scarn character is based loosely on Michael himself, but Michael figures: babies having babies. That's what they say, and they must say it for a reason, so.
8. Sue Sylvester, Glee.
Here I am, on the cusp of an Apocalypse, and I find myself feeling listless. Ran into Spike on patrol tonight. If there's anything in this world that I am by instinct against, Journal, it's a man with hair his color. The punishing shade of society's combined sins. What does it mean? Is there more to it than a slight on my vision? Is it the ugly stench of flaccidity that makes it so revolting?
I've begun to realize that I am fighting a useless and misogynistic battle against Rupert Giles. It burns, Journal. It's a burning in my stomach lining. He's a house of cards that needs to be blown over, like a gust of wind overturning a life boat of Mexican smugglers trying to steal their way into this country. Illegal drugs and burritos and small children, all overboard, salting the ocean with their tears and failure. He's a wild card, Journal, and I wouldn't put it past him to sabotage me. Jealousy. That's what taints the cord between us, what feeds this gnawing feeling in my gut that he is conspiring against me.
Journal, I am young, I am spry. I've got the bone mass of a well-muscled four year-old bodybuilding prodigy. I don't get listless. I don't get anything that has the word 'less' in it. That's the difference between me and Rupert Giles. And yet, here I am, apathetic. An emotion only compounded by the fact that ADIDAS stopped making the polyester, shape-hugging track suits I love so much. If we are a country unwilling to force lesser countries into advocating child labor, what are we good for? What is the fight about?
Slayed a vampire today. I barely felt the burn of satisfaction that usually washes over me like waves corroding the dense coastline of one of those third world America's, and without that burn, I'm a fraud in my own bronzed skin. It's a pill I refuse to swallow, Journal. A pill I'd like to regurgitate onto the pressed collar of Rupert Giles' coat.
Another day, Journal.
9. Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation.
"My biggest fight right now," Leslie says to the cameras, rearranging the holy water on her desk (as a slayer, she insists she be treated the same way you would treat anyone else. Just, she can save your life. So naturally her desk should be the biggest. It's also why the cameras are there. The slayer thing.) "--isn't vampires, or demons, or some Apocalypse looming in the horizon that has the whole town glued to CNN, worried and scared and wondering where I am. No. Literally, my biggest fight right now is the Watcher's Council."
(Cut to Leslie arguing with Quentin Travers:
"Ms. Knope, I am not going to advocate a global SPS system," he is adamant, stuffing a handkerchief in his fancy dress coat pocket while they walk along. They glide quickly and easily past the Translations Department, which is good. Leslie had a weird, existential life crisis in the form of an uncharacteristic one-night stand with a man in there. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. Just thinking his name gives her hot flashes and dry mouth, even though it's been three years.
The sexy times, people, were quite sexy, if you know what I mean. I think you do.
Back in the non-scandalous real world, she says, "And frankly, Mr. Travers--can I express myself frankly?"
"By all means."
"Frankly, sir. I think you're making a really crappy choice."
"Do you? Why is that so unsurprising," he muses on a sigh.
"The SPS," she says, then explains to the cameras with a salespitch-worthy smile, "the Slayer Positioning System," and feels as always a swell of pride at the mention of it because, everyone, it's an amazing system, it's life-changing, your whole world will be blown open, "should be instituted in home's across the world. And cars. And cellphones. And those microchips they put inside animals, but only if it's as humane as they say it is because I don't want unjust pain for the sake of a really good cause. The SPS is a really good cause."
They stop walking (stopped in front of the water fountain near the South Wing entrance and, dammit. She once shared an awkward conversation post-coital with Wesley there. The memories are a'flow today.) and Quentin gives her his full attention.
"Let's say I amuse the idea. The mere fraction of possibility."
Which might as well be This idea, Leslie, it's the best anyone's ever had! Green-lighted, baby! because it's what she hears.
Victorious, she pumps her fist. "Awesome! Tell your friends," she notifies the cameras, "SPS system. 2010. We're going global!"
Some noisy, stuffy British noises, and then a forceful, pointed, "Hypothetical, Ms. Knope."
"I know that," she covers. Not going to lie. Her dreams deflate a little. "Psssssh. Theoretical selling was what you just saw. That's what that was. A taste--no, a flavor of my totally theoretical but still artistically valid infomercial."
"Your dream is to market this idea in the vile form of an infomercial?"
"My real marketing plans are much broader. Larry King, Anderson Cooper. That scale. But I also don't want to alienate people, so I'm going to branch out to everyone. Fox News, Chinese Oprah, infomercials. Those giant TVs in Times Square. Everything."
"Perhaps it's because the idea seems so preposterous to me, but explain again what the benefits of an SPS system would be. I seem to have forgotten, or rather, misplaced them. We are preparing to fight a Hell God, you know."
And her face glows with joy. "Well, basically, it's emergency-based. You know how Batman has that bat signal?"
Quentin lets out a low, loose breath, starts walking again. "Ms. Knope, I don't have to remind you you're referencing fiction, do I?"
"Yeah, well, open up your stodgy British eyes! I'm sorry, that was offensive. But the real world sucks!" He shoots her a chastising glance. "Stinks. It's a giant, reeking world out there right now, like a garbage can of pain and suffering and evil, only there's no odor-locking Hefty bags to keep things fresh."
"So, boom, people have the SPS in their house. Or their car. Or anywhere," she says, "that's the beauty of this system! Like, okay, let's say there's an emergency."
"What kind of emergency? Cat in the tree, Ms. Knope?"
"Ha, ha. No. Like, grrrr! Vampires and demons and trolls. I'm talking non-localized attacks, outside the perimeter of Pawnee. How would I know? Unless," she smiles, "someone had an SPS system!"
"That will, what? Broadcast a silhouette of a vampire upon the night sky, I presume?"
They've reached his office. He gives a tense smile to Andrew, his secretary, then unlocks his door.
"Ms. Knope, while commendable, ultimately, I'm afraid, your idea is unfeasible. I'm sorry. My answer remains unchanged."
He shuts the door after him, in her face.)
To the camera, serious-faced and still at her desk: "I'm pitching for a SPS system and literally, I am not giving up until grandmas everywhere can feel secure at night knowing they bought my product. Or kids or at-risk teens. Anyone. It's a cause I will back up my whole life, if I have to."
Her smile comes back, big.
"Leslie Knope," she ten-fours out. "Vampire Slayer."
10. Troy Barnes and Abed Nadir, Community.
Abed stands watch while Troy sits on top of a mausoleum, stake twirling between his fingers. It's a slow evening.
"Know who I dreamed I was last night? Batman."
"It was, 'cause I was me, but I was him, and 'cause I had on the cape and everything. Then I woke up and it made me think about how we don't have capes. Abed, how come we don't have capes?"
"Wind resistance, I think. It'd slow us down."
"Not if we ran fast, like twice as fast."
"We should get capes."
Troy pushes off the mausoleum, lands beside Abed. "What about masks?"
"'Cause then we'd look like Superheroes."
"Aren't we already Superheroes? Except if we were, I would've been bitten by a spider and you'd come from Krypton."
"So ask yourself this: how come we don't have a cape then? Or a mask?"
Abed shrugs. "Too commercialized."
"I think that means something bad, but I'm okay with it."
There's a passing moment of silence, broken only by the sound of wind rubbing tree branches together. And then:
"We should have our own theme song, too."
"What kind? Instrumental, like MASH, or lyrical, like Charles in Charge or Who's The Boss or any Nick At Nite show, basically?"
"I don't know," Troy says, thinking it over. "I just want a theme song that covers what we do."
"Night standing around."
"You sound like Batman," Troy marvels.
"Do I? Cool. Cool, cool."
It's a very slow evening.
11. Miranda Hart, Miranda.
Stake! And jab! And lunge! Pause for breath. And resume. Banter! And surprise twist out of the way, spinning, spinning, and quick full-body launch, and, oh! Avoid the teeth, careful there. Oh my, is that Edward Cullen! Oh hello, what sculpted abs you have. And the sparkling, ohhhh, how you dazzle--
"MIRANDA," Giles blares, very loud, very rude, glasses in hand not on face which, fyi, reeks of disappointment.
Miranda, who was, by all admittance, lost in a particularly swoony daydream about a thrusty sort of vampire, startles into awareness, nearly toppling out of her chair. Gravity complications are quickly controlled, however, and she clears her throat, giving him a look that implies she is all ears and has been for some time.
"Yes, yes, of course, Giles, absolutely, I agree on every single point. No, I do, you're very convincing. Well, good enough, then, let's continue this later, shall we?" As she's pushing to her feet (stealthy, agile! cat-like, a witness might say!) Giles props his glasses back on his face, which makes him look all the more sterner.
"Sit, Miranda," he commands, so she does. Miranda, in fact, drops like a sack of potatoes back onto her chair, limp and obedient.
Giles continues, "Did you hear a single word I said, or was I once again supplying a muffled soundtrack to one of your... your... god help me, fevered fantasies?" And that comes out like a pulled tooth, all cringing and sour-faced and such.
"What. Me? Fantasies? No! Noooo." (YES.) "No, no, I was just... intently listening. Yes, that's what I was doing. I was focused on your every... word. Spellbound. So."
Giles' eyes grow narrower, more skeptical, but eventually he sighs and decides to drop it. Purely as punishment and in no way related to her extracurricular vampire slaying activities -- her being the vampire slayer and all, as well as a successful owner of a joke slash gift shop, where they are currently situated for evil-averting reasons -- he pushes her way a large, dusty, ancient-looking tome.
"Oh, look at that. Fun," she manages, entirely joyless.
"It's not meant to be fun," he says right back, bordering on lecturing. "It's meant to prepare you for the--"
"Thrusty evil vampires of the world, yes, Giles, I do know that." Honestly. Watchers.
Giles stares, and hesitates, and then he says, "I'm sorry, did you say... thrusty?"
So that part was out loud, then.
No, no, that's wonderful. Not at all weird or indicative of any current Edward Cullen affections! "Thrusty, of course, in the staking area," she attempts, miming just that. "You know, to the heart. Thrust through the heart." And then, this being a downward spiral and all, she starts singing Bon Jovi. "And you're to blame. You give looove. A bad name!"
Nothing on Giles part. Nothing. Not a single response.
"I play my part, and you play your game. You give loooove--"
"Stop… whatever it is you are doing."
"Right, yes. So, there you go. Thrusting explained, eloquently as ever. " There's an attempt to curtsy on her part, since it feels like a posh enough moment, but since she is sitting it comes out looking suppressed and manic.
Giles sighs. "Elegant."
Just then, the shop door jangles open, and in strides Miranda's mother.
"What ghastly, foul weather we're experiencing," she complains straight away, brushing herself off as if some stray weather has been carried in with her. "Miranda, are we in another one of your Apocalypses?"
And off go Giles' glasses.
Miranda exhales loudly. "No, mother, we are not in any Apocalypse."
"Are you sure? Because on the way in, I saw this group of women, a gaggle really, all juddering towards a frozen yogurt stand! I thought it might be evil-related, the way they swarmed. Oh, Mr. Giles! Hello. Hello, hello!"
Giles starts to stammer, as is his customary reaction to Miranda's mother. Something about the way she is either constantly smothering him or attempting to pair him and Miranda up. Massive cringe! "Ah, hello. Yes. Hello there, Mrs. Hart--"
"Please, this young thing?" she says, sliding a hand suggestively (WINCE!) down her body. "I've told you dozens of times now, Rupert, call me Penny! Or Ms. Jackson, if you're nasty." She gasps, then, scandalized by her own self. "Kidding! Kidding, kidding. Such fun!"
Loads of silence.
Miranda flips open the tome, which seems more interesting now that her mother is here. A good deflection, as it were. "No time for chat. Sorry to say, we are severely focused on saving the world. Any distraction at all will have cataclysmic repercussions. Consequences."
"Just wanted to pop in and say hello to my only daughter," Penny defends right away, though she does dutifully back towards the exit. "Also, a reminder: your father and I are very much looking forward to our scheduled dinner -- should you feel inspired to invite along a man, by all means, do so, hmmmmm Giles?" Not subtle. Not subtle! "However, as Wednesday is also our naughty nurse night, do arrive on time, otherwise I won't be held responsible for whatever saucy engagements you may barge in on."
"Inappropriate!" Miranda shrieks. Giles, as well, is staring at the floor, as if he is willing himself both invisible and deaf.
"Yes, well. Have fun tonight slaying your, what I call, vampires. Toodles!" With that, the bells jingle once more, signaling her exit.
"They are vampires," Miranda marvels right away to Giles, who looks just as flustered by the encounter. "That's not just what she calls them, they are literally vampires."
Giles clears his throat, and gets them back on track.