Chapter 11 The Big Plan
“Need you ask!”
“Jeez, Blinkracht is such a big baby when things don’t go his way,” Eriddny said in disgust. “He knows I was only hanging out with him until you got here, but he’s all hands and feet and groping.”
Dawn pushed back her hood and tried to look as if boys groping her was something that happened all the time. “I know. Human boys are just the same. They only have one thing on their mind.”
Dawn nodded gloomily. “I hate her. She’s complaining that I’m not working hard enough at school and that I don’t do enough chores round the house. Willow and Tara - I told you about them? - they don’t do half what I do. Well, Tara does, I suppose. She cooks when Buffy is out and boy, is she forever out! I know she’s hanging with Spike, who used to be my friend, remember? I think they’re doing - it!”
“Is that what happens when your fur grows? You have to, you know, have sex?” Dawn thought that Blinkracht was a hulking idiot of a demon and she was secretly glad that there was no hard and fast rule of when she had to sleep with a boy. Although just to annoy Buffy, she was determined to do it as soon as she found someone to do it with!
Eriddny’s face, weirdly centred where humans had their waists, looked gloomy. The heavy black Goth make-up round her three eyes stood out against the white base she’d plastered over her cheeks to make her look paler. “Yup. Fur comes in and then it’s all nest building and mating and raising brats. Girl Lynfras never get a chance to travel or fight or have any fun once fur’s in. My mom can’t understand why I’m not over-joyed at the thought. She wants me to build a nest right next to hers and Dad’s! Can you imagine how embarrassing that would be?”
Dawn had a vivid memory of the eight foot tall Lynfra who was Eriddny’s mom. There was no way she wanted to meet up with her again, ever. “Well, I don’t have to build a nest, but I’ll never get a chance to go anywhere different or have any excitement until I’m twenty-one and far too old to enjoy myself. Buffy said tonight that I’m grounded for two weeks!” Dawn blurted out. “And I bet she’ll find a reason to ground me again once that time’s up. She’s so mean.”
Dawn coughed as the smoke caught at the back of her throat and surreptitiously, she pinched out the cigarette. It was beginning to make her feel nauseous. “Too right. I just climbed out of the window and down a tree. She can’t tell me what to do. She’s only my sister, not my mother! I hate her. We were going to have such fun together when she came back from the dead. She said we’d do things, go places. But it was all lies. All she wants to do is patrol and have sex with Spike!”
“Wish we could get away from moms and sisters and everyone,” Eriddny said bitterly. “I’d love to go to Los Angeles, wouldn’t you? I bet they’ve got great shops and loads of clubs playing really hot music.”
“Oh yes. It would be amazing. Buffy’s been loads of times, of course, but she never takes me. One of her old boyfriend’s lives there but she never talks about him.”
“My mom and dad are just plain weird about me going anywhere on my own. They say it’s dangerous. How can that be true? Have you seen the length my claws have grown?”
The nails on the fingers of each arm flashed out into four inch purple claws - or they would have been purple except Eriddny had painted them a tasteful black. Dawn admired them: she had to admit that her friend would surely never be in any danger from anything with those weapons ready to strike at any time.
Suddenly an idea sneaked into her head. “Hey, why don’t we go to Los Angeles anyway?”
Eriddny looked up, all her eyes suddenly bright. “You mean run away?”
Dawn tossed back her hair. “No, not actually run away, because that’s childish and would make everyone unhappy. We are not children: we’re nearly grown up. We can go on a short visit to Los Angeles if we want to. We can leave notes and everything. Say we’ll be back in a few days time, then no one will worry or need to follow us. Not that I reckon Buffy would worry about me, anyway. She’ll probably be glad to have me out of the way for a few days so she can concentrate on Spike.”
Eriddny jumped to her feet, the chains decorating her black leather jeans jangling. “Yes! Why not? It would be fun, but....” she hesitated. ....“How would we get there? I can’t get on a bus. People would freak out.”
There was a silence and then Dawn laughed. “Spike told me a story once about how him and a lady friend of his had to escape from a town called Prague a long, long time ago. I don’t think his friend was very well, anyway, she couldn’t travel far without collapsing so they hid in the back of a truck, under some boxes and went right across Europe that way.”
Eriddny grinned. “We can do that! There’s loads of trucks coming into the mall every evening with goods for the shops. They drive out empty, back to Los Angeles. I bet we can hitch a lift with one of those and no one will know.”
“Tomorrow, then. Meet here at midnight and bring food and something to drink.”
“OK.” Dawn reached out to hug the Lynfra girl, then remembered she mustn’t because Lynfa’s got sick when humans touched their skin. “Promise you won’t tell anyone.”
“Promise! You, too.”
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