It was fine. Of course it was fine. Faith had slayer things to do. Slayer things that involved hanging around with Mr. I-Like-to-Follow-Faith-Around-With-My-Really-Big-Forehead-and-Since-I-Have-a-Soul-That's-Okay Vampire. Her spending time with me could wait. The pizza, the popcorn, the movies, the bong - especially the bong, and crazy time in front of the tv could wait. She had important things to do. Like saving the world from unspeakable demons. So what if there was some spending time with her very own personal stalker demon on the side right?
Okay, so maybe it wasn't fine. I mean, it wasn't like I could say she couldn't go do her slayer things just because I wanted to spend some time with my best friend. You know, just like on Valentine's Day. If I didn't like that stupid day at the time I really didn't like it now. It's the day that makes Xander ask me to do a love spell for him and then gets me in all kinds of trouble. That's exactly how it happened. He asked me to do the spell. I was just... being a good friend.
After I'd gotten the movies from Faith, I got in my car and just drove away. Her and Angel could do the saving the world thing and I could ... spend time watching bad action movies with me and my bong? Yeah, no. That idea was about as exciting as refiling all of the papers in Mr. Pryce's office like we had to do earlier tonight. No, tonight I could find my own fun without Faith. Of course I could. Last time I almost got eaten by some vampire, but that wasn't gonna happen again. And if it did maybe I'd see Charles and he'd do that rescue thing again.
I was still kinda hungry though. And thirsty. The pizza and popcorn idea was out the window, but the Bronze was on the way home, maybe I could find something to do there. Though hopefully I wouldn't run into Xander. Or Cordelia.
Parking the car outside, I got out and headed inside. It was a typical night with people standing around and out on the dance floor, so after getting a coke and some peanuts I just made my way over to a table and sat down. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. I really didn't see hardly anybody that I knew and at least at home I could be alone by myself. When I was about halfway through my bowl of peanuts, I nearly just got up to go home to watch those movies, but stopped when someone walked up and sat next to me.
"Hey, mind if I sit here?"
Smiling a little, I shrugged. "Sure, go ahead." Once she sat down, I offered my bowl of peanuts to see if she'd want some. She looked about my age, but I couldn't remember ever seeing her before now.
"Thanks," she said and dipped her hand in the bowl. "This place is so crazy. I heard some people at school talking about it being the best hang-out place in town though so I thought I'd check it out."
"Yeah, probably the only place to do that in town."
"I'm Laurie, by the way. You go to Sunnydale High right? I think I've seen you around. I'm new in town, so I don't know very many people."
I nodded. "Yeah. And I'm Fred. Well, Winifred, but you can call me Fred."
We sat there for a while and actually fell into easy conversation. There was something about Laurie that made her easy to talk to. Wasn't the same as talking with Faith, but once we got to talking I actually forgot about the whole 'everything is fine' and Faith leaving me and our girl's night out to go off with Angel thing. After a while, she mentioned something about how I looked lonely when she first walked up, and it all just spilled out I guess. Well, not the part about Faith being a slayer and Angel being a vampire since she'd probably call me crazy. No, Faith was in a band with Angel and he'd just snatched her away for an extra practice. Faith was the drummer and Angel was the cheesy lead singer who thought everyone was in love with him.
"It's not like I don't like Angel or anything, but he's just always around you know? Especially at night. Faith already has plenty of band time with him and Mr-.. Wesley, but then Angel decides that isn't enough and there's just this really important song that they have to work on and it can't wait."
"Fred, don't you wish there was something you could do to keep Angel from asking Faith to practice all the time?"
I shrugged and sipped a little more from my coke. "I don't know, maybe sometimes I guess. I mean, he's alright." After all, there was that one time that he saved all of our lives in the library and killed Darla. "I just.. can't there be like a set limit of time for practices? Give me a schedule or something so I won't keep getting stuck at home alone watching movies or end up here by myself. I mean, not that I'm by myself now. You're here and I'm having a good time and oh crap all I've been doing is talk about Faith and Angel this whole time." I made a face, trying to say I was sorry, but she waved me off.
"No, don't worry about it. I'm just glad to have someone to talk to. It's good that you're getting all this out in the open. Makes you feel a little better doesn't it?"
Couldn't help but smile at that a little. I did feel a little better actually. Should I? Probably not, but eh it wasn't like Faith was here to see me feeling better about all this. She was out who knows where with Angel doing who knows what. Sipping my coke again, I looked sheepishly at Laurie. "I probably shouldn't say this because it's not fair to either of them, but sometimes I think it'd be nice if Faith wasn't so wrapped up in Angel or in.. her band. Okay, maybe sometimes I just wish that Angel had never come to Sunnydale." There, I said it.
Then Laurie got a smile on her face and just looked at me kinda weird. Her face changed. Not like a vampire's face changing, but still it changed. "Done."
Suddenly, the room disappeared and I was standing outside in the dark on the street by myself. It was done? What was done? Looking down at myself I noticed I wasn't wearing the same clothes I had been earlier. No, now I was wearing... huh. Hearing some voices, I looked up to see a couple hurrying down the opposite side of the street. Tilting my head slightly to the side, I felt a strange yet completely natural sense of hunger and want, no need. Licking my lips, I scraped my tongue over my teeth and felt fangs.
Fangs. Hunger. A wicked smile crept on my lips and I realized what was happening. I remembered two lives. This new, fresh one and the other that I'd just come from moments ago. Don't know how it happened, but I was already liking this one. A lot. Stepping out of the shadows, I watched the couple from across the street a moment longer before sprinting over catching them by surprise. Silly toys. I'd eat the nutcracker now and bring the dolly home. Mmm yes. For Xander. He'd love a present. Maybe Faith would like a taste too if she was there.
Fresh, new skin and already I liked this so much more than the other. I bet Faith liked me better in this skin too. And if she didn't she could show me what she liked best.