So, like, one minute I’m totally about to graduate high school- even if that freak Buffy has some weird, Monster High-type initiation plan first- and I’m all ready to go, diploma and boyfriend and everything. Dave’s a pretty cool guy- he lets me date him on weekends as long as I don’t tell anyone or acknowledge him in school. And sometimes we’ll…do stuff together. It’s, like, I’m finally able to be myself around him, y’know?
Anyway, I pop out of this strange mass of rubble the next minute, and all I can think about is how I’m missing time with Dave. And also what happened to the school, but I’m not so worried about that. Weird things are always happening at Sunnydale High, and I’ve learned that it’s best not to wonder about it and just get on with your life, because there’s always a school dance coming up to distract from all the mysterious deaths, right?
So I flip my hair- just like Cordy does; she won’t let me do it when she’s around, but I practice in front of my mirror whenever I have a chance- and head home to grab a new outfit, something that says “slutty” without saying “lame.” The streets are empty and I’m really hungry, but I’m used to that. I’ve been on an all-liquid diet for a few months now, and I think I can keep it up for a long time more. So I manage to focus on my way home and ignore the hunger.
And then the weirdest thing happens. I get to my house, open the door…and then I can’t get in. It’s like there’s this invisible wall right in front of me keeping me away, and no matter how many times I bang at it, it won’t let me past it. I shout for my parents, but then I see that the car is missing from the driveway and realize that they’re not around. They must have left for my big graduation celebration trip without me.
I wrinkle my nose at the unfairness of it all and head back out toward Aphrodesia’s place. No one’s home there, either, so I leave to the Bronze to find her there. I can always count on my friends being there, even when they don’t tell me beforehand.
I get really, really hungry outside the Bronze. Something inside of the club smells really good, and for the first time since I started this diet, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to resist. And when I walk in, the first thing I see is Dave, dancing with another girl. It makes me mad. It makes me hungry.
He spots me, too, and makes a mad dash out the back exit. I follow him, growling a little. Huh. I’ve never growled before, but it sounds kinda sexy. “You like that?” I ask him.
He lets out a whimper, his eyes wide and terrified as he’s backed against the wall. “Ha-Harmony? Oh, god, please!”
“Hi,” I say, and then I can’t control myself. He smells so delicious, and I’m desperate for something to eat, no I nuzzle his neck a little and then sink my fangs into it.
I finish drinking all Dave’s blood and let him drop to the floor, touching my teeth. Whoa. Those are, like, way too long. Daddy didn’t pay a dentist and an orthodontist so I could look like an overgrown bunny. And also…
…Did I just eat Dave?
I head to the Bronze’s bathrooms to check out the damage to my teeth, noting with surprise the way that the crowd seems to clear a path for me. I like it. It makes me feel special and kind of cool to see everyone notice me, but I’m still a little self-conscious about the teeth, so I duck my head and move really quickly.
When I get to the bathroom, there’s another girl there using the mirror, so I eat her, too, before I check out the new look. I’m starting to feel full, and I lose my appetite altogether when I realize that there’s nothing in the mirror.
“Oh, god,” I moan. “I’m a freak!”
“No, you dozy bint,” slurs the guy next to me. I ran out of the Bronze a while ago and ended up in a freak bar on the bad side of town when I bumped into this guy. He’s totally sex on legs, even if he does drink a lot, and he’s also totally out of it. I’ve been telling him about the night I’m having, and he’s occasionally listening, which is pretty nice for a guy I don’t know. “You’re a vampire.”
I laugh. “Vampires aren’t real.”
He turns bleary eyes to me. “Where’s your sire?”
I shrug. “What’s a sire?” And when he explains it to me, I’m sort of mad that mine never showed. How was I supposed to figure out who I am now on my own?
But then he says, “My sire’s gone, too,” all dejected, and I realize that he needs someone just as much as I do. So when he gets so drunk that he’s making out with the bottle, I grab him and make out with him instead.
Next thing I know, we’re in a cave somewhere and he’s rocking on top of me, moaning something about Godzilla. No…Druzilla. I’m not sure. But his eyes are soft and unfocused, and there’s something tender about the way he makes love to me.
Even he does keep calling me Godzilla, which is kind of offensive if you’re not a freak. If you are one, though…I guess it’s as good as it gets, right?
And when he curls up next to me and kisses me softly on the lips, I know that I’m in love.
We wake up together the next afternoon, and he starts, staring at me with confused eyes. “Who the bloody fuck are you?”
I smile brightly. “I’m your new girlfriend!” I chirp, but I’m a little worried. This won’t be the first time some guy changes his mind in the morning, and now that I’m a freak, I don’t know if I’ll be able to find anyone else who’s into them. I got lucky my first night out. I don’t know if I’ll get lucky again, or where I’ll go, or who’ll take me in…
But he squints at me for a while, then shrugs. “Yeah, okay.”
I beam at him, and only then do I realize that I don’t even know his name. So I ask him, and he says “Spike.”
“I’m Harmony,” I tell him. Spike doesn’t suit him at all. Well, maybe he’s dressed like a bad boy, but he was so cuddly the night before that I can’t think of him as a “Spike.” He’s just a big teddy bear. I giggle. Or a Blondie Bear…
“What is it?” he asks warily, and he’s already beginning to look like he’s made a big mistake. I don’t let it bother me.
“Nothing, Blondie Bear,” I say airily, picking up the outfit I wore to graduation with distaste.
His mouth falls open. “B-B-Blondie Bear?” he sputters, outraged.
I peck him on the cheek. “What do we do now?” I wonder. What can freaks do during the day, when people can see them and be all disgusted?
He glares at me for a moment and moves on, explaining something about a gem and a slayer. He’s kind of fixating on this slayer thing, and I think he’s talking about Buffy at some point, too. Figures. I always knew that she was a freak.
I say so, and he says “Harm…” in a low, warning voice. I like it. I like having a nickname, and feeling like I belong. Feeling like I’m loved.
My Blondie Bear is the boss, and he’s fun in a kinky kind of way, which I’m finding that I enjoy. Must be the freak in me. And even though he’s mad a lot, I always know how to distract him, and he’s usually okay with it. Having a real boyfriend is everything I’ve always wanted.
Well, almost everything.