Buffy had saved numerous people during her years as the Vampire Slayer. Many she’d never seen again, and even more depressingly, many she’d seen again who obviously and ridiculously ignored her. Unlike Willow and Xander those years before (followed by Cordelia and Oz and Tara and too many to name), most people refused to accept reality.
But now, a week after she’d arrived in Cleveland and a day after saving a young woman from a rather nasty Krisalk demon, Buffy stared into the young woman’s dark brown eyes as she stood in front of her, handing her a business card. “I don’t know how,” the brunette smiled, studying Buffy from under her eyelashes, “I could, honestly, be any help to you, but if I can…” She pressed the card into Buffy’s hands, fingers cold and warm and soft and vibrating with as much energy as her voice did, “Please don’t hesitate to call me.” The woman’s smile brightened. “I also do parties and special occasions.”
Rachel Barbra Berry, the card read. Raising her eyes, Buffy smiled back at her. At least two inches shorter than her, Rachel still managed to give off energy far bigger than her physical body should have provided. “Okay,” she shrugged, slipping the card into her pocket, “Sure.”
Rachel brightened even more, what seemed to be curls of smugness lifting the corners of her lips even higher. “Perfect,” she nodded, raising her arms.
Not sure what to expect, Buffy’s eyebrows rose. Was she… Was she approaching Willow territory?
“I’m going to hug you now.”
Oh! “Sure,” Buffy repeated, shrugging, “I don’t mi – ” Rachel’s hug was tight and just as energetic as her aura, thankful even as a small tremor moved through her body, “ – nd.”
“Thank you.” Rachel’s eyes dipped as she stepped back, her face smoothly taken over by another bright smile. Hand lingering on Buffy’s arm, she stepped back, waving at her as she just as quickly wished her goodbye and walked around the corner.
Taking her card out of her pocket and bringing it up to her face, Buffy read over it again. Rachel Barbra Berry. “Maybe,” Buffy smiled, shrugging, turning back to her original trajectory in the opposite direction Rachel had gone, “Cleveland’ll be good for me after all. Hellmouth notwithstanding.”