It was Willow who first had the idea. After dragging Buffy and Faith to a local pride parade and seeing all the schools that were marching, Willow got it into her head that their school should march in the next year’s parade.
“So, you want a bunch of Slayers, also known as demon magnets, to march in a parade in broad daylight?” Buffy asked on the way home, as Willow was explaining the idea.
“We haven’t had an apocalypse here in two years,” Willow said, “and I’ll work some extra protection spells, too.”
“I’m in,” Faith said from the backseat. “Come on, B, that was fun.”
“I don’t know,” Buffy said. “We have a year to work it out, I guess.”
It went out of their minds for a few months-- there was a near-apocalypse in France that Buffy and Faith got called to, and then Willow was off looking for some rare ingredient, and then the school year proper started up again, and there was no time to think about things like Pride. It wasn’t until February, then, that Willow brought it up again.
“I really think we should march,” she said. “It means a lot to younger kids, you know? They feel accepted.”
“They don’t feel accepted by the two oldest Slayers being married to each other?” Buffy asked.
“Come on, B,” Faith said. “It’s a tough world out there.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Buffy said. “I don’t know. We should ask the girls.”
In this case, “asking the girls” meant putting a flyer up on the wall: Would you like to march in this year’s Pride? it asked. Let Buffy or Faith know!
The response they got was impressive. It seemed like half the older Slayers in the school wanted to march. Buffy and Faith were inundated with emails:
I’ve never been to Pride before… my parents would never have let me.
I’m so glad you two are so open about your relationship! I would never have realized I’m bi if not for that.
I feel so alone as a trans Slayer sometimes. I would love to find a community.
Please, please, please let me march! I just realized I like girls and I really want to march in this parade.
“We have to do this,” Buffy said, reading the last one over Faith’s shoulder.
“That’s what I’ve been saying, B,” Faith said.
“I just-- I didn’t realize it was so important to people,” Buffy said. “I mean, when I was this age, I guess I was just worried about other things. These girls are so lucky.”
“We’d better start looking for a banner,” Faith said.
Buffy registered them for the parade, and Willow organized a group of artists to make a banner and other signs-- “Don’t make say anything about being a Slayer,” she reminded them, “unless it’s an aggressive ‘girl power’ type of thing.” Faith did her part by getting some of the girls to put together an impressive collection of spray-painted T shirts and flags for people to wear while walking. By June, they were well and truly prepared, and their biggest problem was finding transportation enough to get everyone to the parade.
“We can make a few trips in our car,” Buffy said. “And Willow, you have a car, and I bet Xander would let me borrow his.”
“You’re not driving, B,” Faith said.
Buffy rolled her eyes, but this was a long-standing argument that she was never going to win.
“Fine,” she said.
“It’s times like this when I miss that old Sunnydale school bus,” Willow said.
“We could get a school bus,” Faith said, a grin appearing on her face.
“Do they even have school buses in England?” Buffy asked.
“Jesus, B, you’ve been living here for how long?” Faith paused. “Maybe a van. Two vans. How many people are marching?”
“We might need the bus,” Willow admitted. “Who else can drive?”
In the end, after recruiting Xander, Kennedy, and a few other older Slayers, they figured out transportation, and all that remained was the parade itself.
“I’m still not sure about this,” Buffy said to Faith the night before. “I’ve never been one to… parade.”
“Maybe now’s the time to start,” Faith said. “What’s wrong with a parade?”
“I don’t know,” Buffy said. “Standing in front of everybody, being, like, the face of the gay Slayers? I don’t know if I’m up for that.”
“Buffy,” Faith said. “We’re married. We literally run a Slayer gym class together. If you didn’t want to be the face of the gay Slayers, you should have backed out a long time ago.”
Buffy laughed a little.
“Yeah, it’s silly, I guess,” she admitted. “It’s just-- even after so many years, I still feel weird about being bi.”
“That’s what Pride is for. You march, you wave a flag around, and suddenly you realize that it’s nothing to feel weird about. I’ve been feeling weird about being gay for the last thirty years, and that doesn’t stop me.”
Buffy kissed Faith, smiling slowly.
“Thanks,” she said. “You always know how to make a girl feel better.”
“That’s why you married me,” Faith said, grinning.
And then it was the day of the parade. It was beautiful and sunny, and the transportation all worked out perfectly. The girls pushed Buffy and Faith (Faith in her favorite “DYKE” T shirt, Buffy in one that she had screen printed for the occasion which read, “I think my wife is a lesbian”) to the front of the group, right behind the banner, and Willow stood right next to them, wearing her “reading leads to witchcraft and lesbianism” shirt, and behind them was a group of about thirty girls (and Andrew, who never really went away).
They started marching, and people were cheering them on on either side, and Buffy turned to Faith and said, “You were right. I’m glad we’re here.”
“Told you so,” Willow said from the other side.
Marching there in the parade, with all the Slayers of the future behind them, really did feel like a victory.