“Xander!” Buffy looked anxiously down into her friend’s face. Was he looking at her a little differently?
Not important. Stay on topic. Crisis. Deal with crisis. Buffy was good at dealing with crisises.
Xander seemed unaware of any crisis. He was staring straight at her chest.
It was an effort not to sigh.
“Yes, you’ve never been all that into boys, have you?” Kendra said. She was standing on the other side of Xander, a little distance away. “Always found an excuse to back away from the living ones.” She raised an eyebrow. “Real girls, on the other hand…”
“Yes,” Xander mumbled. He was no longer looking at Buffy. He didn’t seem to notice Kendra. He was looking over Buffy’s shoulder, at the empty air. “Faith, strip tease, right!”
“Wrong!” Buffy snapped, wondering for a brief moment if Xander was in league with Kendra. Why did he have to bring up Faith stripping? Now, she was stuck with the image. The worst thing was it wasn’t exactly unpleasant.
“Yes, wrong!” Cordelia said, glaring right back at Buffy. She didn’t seem to notice Kendra, any more than anyone else did. “What happened to you, Xander?” Her attention had turned to her boyfriend on the floor. It was so easy to forget Xander was Cordelia’s boyfriend. “You’re even clumsier than usual.”
“Well, let’s face it,” Harmony said with a smirk, which included Buffy, as well as Cordelia in its contempt. “He’s had a lot to deal with, hasn’t he?”
“She knows.” Kendra raised her eyebrows and nodding at Harmony.
“What exactly is that supposed to mean?” Cordelia and Buffy demanded at the same moment, before Cordelia stared at her with some measure of suprised disgust.
The feeling was mutual. Being in synch with Cordelia was something Buffy had never aspired to be. Not that she didn’t have bigger problems.
“Aww, isn’t that cute?” Harmony giggled, achieving a high pitch guaranteed to torture vampires with sensitive hearing. Or anyone else. “You’re finishing each other’s sentences!”
All of the Cordettes laughed, looking down their nose at Buffy and Cordelia.
Wait a minute, were they thinking what Buffy thought they might be?
She and Cordelia were an item?! Cordelia?!
“Right problem, wrong girl.” Kendra crossed her arms in front of her chest. “You’re lucky they can’t see the dirty thoughts you’re thinking right now.”
“I am not!” Buffy and Xander cried at the exact same moment.
He gazed at her with shifty eyes which wouldn’t quite meet hers.
“Who’s talking to you, lamebrain?” Harmony wrinkled her mouth as if she’d just bitten into a lemon.
Actually Buffy was wondering the same thing.
“You think because you’re Cordelia’s bread, you can speak to me as if we were equals?” Harmony looked down her nose at Xander.
“Beard,” one of the Cordettes muttered to Harmony. “The word is ‘beard’.”
“That’s what I said.” Harmony pouted at her minion, thwarted in attempted superiority. “What do you think I am, stupid?”
“Yes,” Buffy said with Xander, Cordelia, and even Harmony’s follower chiming in.
“Fine!” Harmony tossed her head, pouting all the more. “I’d rather be stupid than a dyke!”
Harmony sashayed away for grand effect, all the little Barbie wannabes following in her trail, shooting Buffy and Cordelia the stink eye while they did.
“What?” Cordelia, slow on the uptake as ever, finally figured out what her former minion was smirking over. “What are you talking about?”
“Are you going to tell her?” Kendra never turned her gaze away from Buffy. “Or any of your friends? They already know so many of your secrets.” She lifted an eyebrow. “Or does this one stay between Slayers?”
Buffy dropped her attention to her shoes, not wanting to look at anybody.