Mar 26, 2019 4:06 AM
slayer karen confesses killing vampires to priest!macalaure
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"Sorry," she says, when they're outside. "Slayers are supposed to die young but I don't want to make it easy for anyone. Um, so - I found out about vampires when one of them attacked me a few months ago, but she lost, which was very confusing for both of us, and then a different vampire told me that I was something called a slayer, and - since then I've been trying to learn more about vampires, and about all the other weird stuff that happens around here, but I'm sort of completely unqualified to handle all that alone, and I thought if I got help it might take me longer to. Y'know. Die."

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“You were right to get help. There’s an organization that’s supposed to train and orient slayers, I wonder what went wrong. I haven’t heard particularly inspiring things about them anyway, though, letting them know they missed one wouldn’t be my highest priority unless you’d like me to do that. There are other resources it’ll be easier to get you without the Watcher’s Council considering itself responsible for you. Is your living situation safe right now? Does everyone know not to invite people in?”

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"I think so. I told them not to. My sister doesn't necessarily believe in vampires, per se, but she's not sure they're not real, and she's not the sort of person who ignores easy chances to do things for other people's peace of mind just because she might think they're kind of dumb. And I told my nephew."

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"Okay. I think I want to arrange you a bodyguard and some books and some case studies from cities less complicated than Sunnydale so that you can be safe and get some training while you figure out what you think you ought to be doing. Does that work?"

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"Gosh. Yeah, that'd be amazing."

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"All right. You can come by for the books any time you'd like; I don't know where the bodyguard is right now but I expect he can be here within a week or so. Would you like a hug?"

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"I think so." Hug. "Thanks so much."

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“There’s one other thing. If you find yourself in trouble, you can do - ” this “and I will hear you if we’re in the same city, and can try to help.”

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Woah.

" - you're not a normal human person, are you."

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"I'm not. - I am validly a priest, though, there was no reason to think I shouldn't be but nonetheless I checked whether water I blessed was lethal to vampires before I did any sacraments people relied on."

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"...cool. Well, I'll see you, Father - what's your name again?"

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"Like the archangel." He looks sort of like what you might think an archangel would look like, maybe. "I'm Karen. I'll see you, Father Michael."

She does not, for once in her life, report back to Azalea, nor does she report her findings to Zeke. Her allies are all... very different from each other, and it seems like letting them be made aware that they are all allied with her is the sort of thing that could potentially lead to problems. She does apologize and do the laundry. She's back at the church for Sunday night Mass a few days later, and she hangs around the sanctuary afterwards and waits until it looks like she won't be interrupting anything by asking about the books.

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“Of course!” He hands her a big stack; they are freshly-bound with covers that say things like “an introduction to folklore in the Ottoman Empire” and “excerpted oral tradition in Mesopotamia, 10th century B.C.”. “Vampires,” he says matter-of-factly, pointing to the books one by one, “other demons, institutional actors, case studies from Saskatchewan, Ontario and Cleveland in ascending complexity. Ignore the titles. How are you doing?”

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"Much better now!" she says, packing the books into her backpack - best to keep her hands free if she's walking across town at night. "My sister likes me, I have a new church that comes with excellent new reading material, and nobody at my school has mysteriously died this week. So really about as good as it gets."

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"I'm so glad. Your bodyguard will be in town tomorrow, is there a good place for you to meet him?"

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"I am kind of unclear on the extent to which we are planning to let my sister know that I have a bodyguard, so... here, or I guess school if you want it to be somewhere I'd be going anyway? Also I have no idea what having a bodyguard entails if you are not the president."

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"I trust you to figure out what it makes sense to tell your sister, though if it will help for her to hear it from an adult I am happy to drop by and explain. I want you to have a bodyguard to alert you to threats before they are in range of your hearing, help train you to protect yourself and others, and intervene in fights that look particularly dangerous. Other potential uses might include looking after your loved ones if they're doing something dangerous you can't accompany them on, or if anyone tries to get to you by targeting them, or persuading the Watcher's Council that you're looked-after and do not require a Watcher, assuming you don't want one. - the books will be informative about that."

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"OK. I will not get through all the books tonight, but I'll make a good start. Should I come here tomorrow after school or do you think Sunnydale High is OK? I can't, uh, drive, so going places takes a little bit of time. But I can make it if here's better."

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"He can meet you there. Maybe you can mention that you have a distant cousin in town planning to pick you up for ice cream. - he is in fact very likely to be a distant cousin."

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"I will consider mentioning this," says Karen, because she doesn't want to say that this sounds exactly like the sort of thing that a bad-at-lying fifteen-year-old would come up with if she were trying to hide something bad. Maybe this is the point. People will probably not assume that she's hiding vampires.

"Anything else?"

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"I don't think so. Take care."

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"Thanks! You too."

She wastes no time when she gets home. "AZALEA.”

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“You know, Karen, I truly and genuinely appreciate that I was not tasked with raising one of those teenagers who only communicates with her adults in monosyllables.”

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“ - that’s sincere, right?”

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