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Fic! Line of Scrimmage - World, Mostly Turning
Even in the darkness, every colour can be found
Fic! Line of Scrimmage
Well, sort of. More like Fic Lite.

In the Writing Ensembles panel at WriterCon, we were assigned one of two exercises. I like writing dialogue, so I wrote a bit of nonsense during the time of the panel and then finished it on the flight home. (Writing with a pen, even. Who knew I could still do that??) And since it's the only thing I've managed to write since last January, here she be. Also--yay!--I get to use this nifty icon by eyesthatslay.

::smooches:: to sunnyd_lite for the beta and the improved Xanderspeak.

Title: Line of Scrimmage
Setting: BtVS, Season 2ish
Word count: 1,148
Rating: G for goop.
Warning: This is really quite silly and not a little pointless.
Disclaimer: Joss likes fanfic. He said so.

“I say we pop it.”

“We can’t do that, Buffy.” Xander gestured towards the item in question on the library table. “It's a football, not a pimple, and it’s the last one the team has left. And there’s still a full second half left to play.”

“And the bad there is…?”

Cordelia rolled her eyes. “The bad there is that we were saving our best cheer for the second half and we haven’t even done the pyramid yet. No one gets to leave until they’ve seen our pyramid!”

Giles rubbed his forehead tiredly. “The importance of performing your cheerleading pyramid cannot be understated, of course, but we’ve already witnessed a series of disasters with the other balls, we have several players on the way to hospital with broken limbs and concussions… clearly, we must do something.”

Unmoved, Cordelia crossed her arms and huffed in exasperation. She nudged Xander forward with her elbow.

“…Er, Cordelia’s right. Um, why is Cordelia right?” Ignoring Willow’s irritated look, he racked his brains. “Think, think, think… Oh, I know! This is the championship game and there are scouts in the audience—scholarships are being decided. We can’t deny Sunnydale’s finest musclebrains the chance to go to college, can we? The game must go on!”

Cordelia gave him a brilliant smile. Giles merely sighed. “No one’s going to perform well with a ball that leaps out of their arms like a greased pig or… or that explodes into flame in mid-air or…”

“The one that shot straight up over the endzone and burst into fireworks was pretty cool.” Oz grinned at Willow.

“Yes, well, be that as it may, the one that hurtled downfield like a cannonball and nearly decapitated Coach Harrold was somewhat less amusing. We can’t just return this last ball to the team without first determining if it’s safe to do so.”

There was a moment of silence while they gazed at the potentially offensive object and the few charred scraps that remained of its brethren.

“It looks kinda peaceful now, don’t you think?” Willow asked, edging behind Oz as she spoke.

Buffy blew a bubble with her gum and snapped it, making everyone jump. “Oops, sorry,” she said sheepishly. “Um, what would make footballs go crazy anyway?”

“Well, all of the players who’ve been hurt are on our team, so I’d say that someone from Grant put a whammy on them.”

Giles looked at Cordelia in surprise. “That’s a very good point, Cordelia. I think you’re quite probably right.”

“Well, duh.”

“Oh, I know! Miss Calendar showed me a spell that detects magical auras. I could try it out—it’ll tell us if the ball is cursed and I can compare its aura to the pieces that are left from the others.” Willow’s fearful demeanour disappeared with the prospect of trying out her newly acquired knowledge.

“Excellent suggestion, Willow. We’ll help you gather the necessary ingredients.”

Ten minutes later, all the preparations had been made. Willow sat at the head of the table studying a spellbook. Just as she reached for the singed piece of leather closest to her, Oz grabbed her arm and pointed. The lone intact football was vibrating. Xander stepped forwards to shield Cordelia as the tremors grew larger. A moment later, the ball began rocking back and forth, its pointed ends nearly touching the table’s surface.

Suddenly, the leather split open and a scaly creature resembling a cross between an iguana and a miniature stegosaurus leapt out. It gazed at the group with beady black eyes, then opened its mouth and spat a stream of viscous green liquid at Willow. Oz pushed her chair over and dove on top of her. The green goo spattered over the table, bubbling and sizzling as it turned the varnish black. Cordelia shrieked and fled up the stairs to the stacks, while Xander hurled the bunch of herbs that he’d been holding at the monster. The creature caught them in its mouth, swallowed them whole, grew a little, and then directed a larger spurt of goo at him. Xander dodged the foul-smelling stream, flung himself to the floor, and joined Willow and Oz under the table. “Note to self,” he said, looking around for a better weapon, “Don’t feed the animals.”

Giles’ legs and the base of the floor lamp from his office flashed by on Xander’s left; the sounds of a shattering light bulb and the clangy whap of a metal rod striking wood followed an instant later. Xander heard the skittering of the creature’s nails on the table, the squish of slime meeting tweed, and a set of uniquely British oaths. There were a couple of softer thumps and then Giles yelled “Cordelia, no! Those books are priceless… and it’s using them as food!” The skitters became scratches—Xander could hear the creature’s nails digging into the table over his head and the tail that swung briefly into view was larger than it had been seconds before.

The creak of metal hinges told Xander that Buffy had unlocked and opened the weapons cage. It gave him an idea, and he crawled through the forest of chair legs towards the end of the table as quickly as he could. “Giles!” he shouted, “Drive it down this way!”

The lamp smacked into the wood again and the sound of the creature’s feet moved towards him.

“One more—back it right up.” There was another, louder crash as the lamp hit the table and Giles simultaneously lost his footing in the slime on the carpet and fell to the floor, bringing several chairs down with him. As the creature scrabbled backwards, Xander lunged and grabbed the end of its tail. He yanked as hard as he could and swung it towards the floor. Pulling himself out from under the table with his free hand, he hollered “Buffy—door!”, tightened his grasp, and arced the creature over his head towards the library entrance. There was a flashing glint of metal and then a solid chunk as the axe Buffy had thrown pinned the creature to the wall. It jerked once and then was still.

Xander stood up slowly, mindful not to touch any of the puddles of goo sizzling gently on the carpet and chairs around him. Giles pulled himself upright and sagged against the table, holding the broken lamp in one hand and his shattered glasses in the other. There were scorch marks on his jacket and one of his pant legs had been completely eaten away.

Xander heard a wail of dismay from behind him. He turned to see Buffy fingering a bald patch on the side of her head and staring despondently at a large and smoking clump of hair in her hand.

“It’s gonna take months for this to grow back,” she moaned. She looked up and glared at him. “I told you we should have popped it.”


12 comments or Leave a comment
liz_marcs From: liz_marcs Date: September 22nd, 2006 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)
BWAH! This is hilarious! So Old Skool Scooby that it hurts.
desoto_hia873 From: desoto_hia873 Date: September 22nd, 2006 01:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee--thanks! I didn't actually expect anyone to read it through, to tell the truth. sunnyd_lite gets credit for the pimple line. I wish I'd thought of it!
sunnyd_lite From: sunnyd_lite Date: September 22nd, 2006 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)
You posted it!! Go you!

For a dialogue piece this The skitters became scratches—Xander could hear the creature’s nails digging into the table over his head and the tail that swung briefly into view was larger than it had been seconds before. is an amazing bit of show don't tell description! Perfect voices too!
desoto_hia873 From: desoto_hia873 Date: September 22nd, 2006 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
To be honest, I'm surprised anyone read it. I guess the bit about the pimple was a good hook. :-) Great idea!
missmurchison From: missmurchison Date: September 22nd, 2006 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Love it! And not just because you managed to write fanfic about problems with balls and keep the rating at G:)

desoto_hia873 From: desoto_hia873 Date: September 22nd, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! My problem is usually the other way around--I'm terrible at writing smut. Reading it is no problem, but writing it makes me blush. I'm so Victorian. :-)
petzipellepingo From: petzipellepingo Date: September 22nd, 2006 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, young and foolish Scoobies. Those were the days...
desoto_hia873 From: desoto_hia873 Date: September 22nd, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
S3 is still my favourite season. I can't resist me some Old Skool. :-)
partri65 From: partri65 Date: September 22nd, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee! A classic high school dilemma! Lots of fun.
desoto_hia873 From: desoto_hia873 Date: September 22nd, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I miss those good times in the library. :-)
timeofchange From: timeofchange Date: September 22nd, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is a classic. I love it.
desoto_hia873 From: desoto_hia873 Date: September 22nd, 2006 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Deep, it isn't, but it was fun to write.
12 comments or Leave a comment