deird1: Buffy and Giles looking at each other (Buffy Giles)
[personal profile] deird1
Here's my Australia fic - written for [livejournal.com profile] still_grrr

Title: Fair Dinkum
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1600

Summary: Buffy finds out about a Slayer from the 1920's.

[A/N - many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] moscow_watcher and [livejournal.com profile] taiba for helping with Slayer names, and to [livejournal.com profile] snickfic, [livejournal.com profile] lavastar, and [livejournal.com profile] stormwreath for the insane conversation which inspired this idea in the first place]


Fair Dinkum

Buffy opened the next book, and began reading the first page.

___________________________


Introducing “Slayers of the Early 20th Century; A Study”:

In order to understand the role of the Vampire Slayer in modern life, it is important to examine the way Slaying as a discipline has changed over time.

This volume explores the lives of Slayers – and their accompanying Watchers – throughout the early part of the twentieth century.*
(* For the role Slayers played in the Second World War, see “The Council in Crisis; A History”, also by this author.)

These tulmultuous decades were marked by…

___________________________


She was bored. Horribly, horribly bored.

There couldn’t be any training ideas more monotonous than this one.

Yeah, okay, so she’d suggested it, but that was because it was cold and rainy, and she was still sore from being kicked in the face yesterday, and the idea of sitting on Giles’ couch drinking coffee and reading had seemed kinda nice. And relaxy.

…but that was before Willow had suggested a Girls Shopping Day.

Willow and Tara were going to come home with new candles and stuff, and Dawn was going to have new clothes, and Anya was going to have new… something… and she would have the same old marvellous destiny to save mankind by spending all of her free time reading about other people who had destinies to save mankind.

Stupid destiny.

She sighed, and ran her eyes down the contents page.

___________________________


Sept3,1912 – Dec7,1914: Cheng Xuĕ (W.Walter Clarke)………………………………………page 37
Dec7,1914 – Feb24,1915: Olga Sergeevna Gromova (W.Ivan Petrovich Nikitin)………page 46
Feb24,1915 – July19,1919: Laura McNeill (W.Daniel Lawson, Alicia Travers)……………page 57
July19,1919 – Apr2,1920: Rose McNeill (W.Alicia Travers)……………………………………page 68
Apr2,1920 – Nov23,1920: Yvonne Atieno Akinyi (W.Kwame Onyango)……………………page 73
Nov23,1920 – Jan11,1922: Katherine Howe (W.Melissa Lim)…………………………………page 77
Jan11,1922 – Jan14,1922: Philippa Cooke (W.Julian Evans)…………………………………page 90
Jan14,1922 – July8,1925: Greta Schliemann (W.Martin Dilthey, Rudolf Drechsler)………page 91
July8,1925 – Oct26,1925: Zhu Yīng (W.Wang Tāo)………………………………………………page 98
Oct26,1925 – Mar17,1927: Gabriela Chiclana (W.Gerardo Monzon)…………………………page 103
Mar17,1927 – Aug5,1932: Sarah Kelly and her Drop Bear Army (W.Matthew Gregson)…page 109
Aug5,1932 – Sep30,1932: Dragana Babić (W.Jadranka Lasić)…………………………………page 131
Sep30,1932 – May11,1934 Jeanne Auteuil (W.Claude Duris)…………………………………page 134

___________________________


Okay. That was weird.

“Giles?”

“Hmm?”

“What’s a drop bear?”

Giles looked up from his notes. “An extremely vicious mammal thought to have possible demonic origins. Why?”

Buffy held up her book. “It says here ‘Sarah Kelly and her Drop Bear Army’.”

“Ah – of course.” Giles nodded, and picked up his pen again.

“So… who is she? And why the drop bears?”

“Doesn’t the book say?”

“Well, yeah, probably…” Buffy looked at him pleadingly. “Couldn’t you just tell me?”

Four years of knowing Giles had made her an expert at getting him to do stuff. It took less than a minute of pleading looks before he relented and sat down in the armchair to explain everything for her.

“Sarah Kelly is the only known Australian Slayer.”

“Wait – ‘only known’? There are unknown Slayers?”

“Certainly. Sometimes the Slayer will be killed before being located by the Council. There has been some speculation that the Slayer may have been an Australian during the 1563-to-1572 Gap – but that’s unlikely.”

Buffy frowned. “Why unlikely? Is Australia full of anti-Slayer vibes, or something?”

“Yes, actually.” Giles smiled, and clarified, “Not ‘anti-Slayer’. But rather ‘anti-demon’. The entire continent was enchanted by its first settlers to be hostile to vampires and demons. They can go there, but they don’t like it.”

“Really?”

“That’s why they have so many poisonous animals. And, of course, the drop bears.”

“Yeah – about that.” Buffy raised an eyebrow. “Drop bears?”

“Well, they have some similarities to a standard koala bear.”

“Cute, cuddly, looks good on postcards?”

“Nocturnal; bad-tempered; capable of ripping someone’s face to shreds with a single paw,” Giles said mildly.

Buffy blinked. “Okay. Getting less cute.”

“Unlike the koala bear, however… Well, let me put it this way: the average koala will not drop on top of you from a height of sixty feet, knock you to the ground, and try to gnaw off your head.”

“And Sarah Kelly fought an entire army of them?” Buffy picked up the book again, and began trying to find the right page. “That’s kinda cool.”

“Er, no, actually Sarah Kelly trained an entire army of them.” He paused for effect, and then added, “She kept them as pets.”

Buffy stared at him.

Giles smiled.

Buffy began frantically riffling through pages again.

___________________________


Sarah spat out a mouthful of blood, and pushed herself up to a sitting position.

A man laughed, behind her. “Did you really think you could stop me that easily? Brave little Slayer standing up to Lord Melchon? So very stupid.”

He kicked her again, and she sprawled forward, landing facefirst in a patch of very spiky weeds. She sat up, and glared at him.

“You foolish girl. You wasted so much time trying to protect your precious little orphans from me – and then you led me right to them! The trees can’t hide them for long.”
Melchon looked triumphantly at her, and began the classic evil laughter …but stopped short – Sarah was smiling.

“I led you right to them?”

“What?”

There was a muffled
THUD a little further into the bush.

“I led you right to them.” She grinned. “Too bloody right, I did. The whole country to choose from, the kids hidden at the back of Bourke, we just happen to end up here too, and you don’t even stop to think it’s maybe a bit iffy?”

“You absolute
child, you really think-”

“Tell you what, Melchon.” She struggled to her feet, and looked him straight in the eye. “You want the kids, you can go ahead and take them. You just gotta get through the trees.”

Another
THUD – this one slightly closer.

Sarah was smiling again.

Melchon laughed at her. “You silly girl. You think you can trick me, or throw me off course? Even now, my legions are retrieving the-”

He was interrupted by the sound of screams, somewhere through the trees – screams that were suddenly cut short.

Sarah tilted her head on one side. “Sorry, what were you saying?” she asked, mildly.

Melchon paused, uncertain. “That… What…”

“That?” She shrugged. “Sounded like one of your mighty legions getting walloped by, uh, one of
mine.”

“Your
what?”

“My legions. One of your demons for hire just came up against one of Australia’s finest. I’d offer my sympathies, but frankly, I was barracking for the drop bear.”

He looked at her, horrified. “No!” he snarled. “I am
Melchon, denizen of the Greater Night! I cannot be defeated!”

Sarah watched him curiously. “You really are rather up yourself, aren’t you, mate?” she observed.

For a moment it looked as if Melchon was going to leap at her and start tearing her to pieces – but then he stepped back, glaring. “We will meet again,
Slayer,” he spat. “Oh yes, once I have destroyed everything you hold dear, everything you have ever loved, yes, we will meet again.” And that said, he swept away down the hill.

Sarah watched him go – and up in the trees, two dozen pairs of glowing red eyes watched him too.

“We’ll see about that,” she murmured. Then she glanced upwards, and with a slight smile, calmly said, “Fluffy…
fetch.”
___________________________


“I dunno, Giles. It sounds a bit over the top. Are you sure her Watcher wasn’t embellishing stuff?”

“Well, it’s possible he was exaggerating about the Boomerang of Truth, but by all accounts the rest is historically accurate.”

“So she really…” Buffy turned the page, and read aloud: “…used vegemite to ward off vampires?”

“Yes, vampires – and everyone else, as it happens.” Giles grimaced. “Dreadful stuff.”

“So, what, they just don’t like the smell?”

“Oddly enough, it seems to have the same warding properties as garlic, despite being chemically dissimilar. There are theories that Cyril P. Callister was a warlock who…”

Buffy grinned. “Cyril P. Callister? Seriously?”

“He created the recipe.”

“Yeah, but Cyril?”

“It is a name, Buffy.”

“Okay.” She cleared her throat, and tried to look attentive. “Continue.”

“Callister adapted Marmite into a garlic substitute, so that people would have a simple and inexpensive way to guard against vampires – and even managed to convince a company to mass-produce it. Extremely helpful, especially once the Great Infestation of Mepunga broke out.”

“Mepunga?”

“Yes – it seems a group of vampires decided to expand their operations, and managed to turn half the town before Sarah Kelly could stop them. By the time she arrived, practically every second household was trying to burn down all the others.” He smiled, suddenly, and added, “Most un-neighbourly behaviour, which is ironic, given that this is Australia…”

Buffy wrinkled her forehead.

Giles blushed slightly. “Er, sorry. Silly joke. It’s just that, with Australian television… You know…”

“Giles, here is everything I know about Australia: kangaroos, spiders, very very hot, and they’re running the Olympics. Oh, and the guy with the big knife,” Buffy pointed out. “High school doesn’t really get you up to obscure-joke standard on other countries.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Well, in that case, you’d better finish reading that chapter. It has quite a few interesting sidebars about Australia as a continent.”

“Do I have to?”

Giles looked at her pointedly, and Buffy, grumbling, returned to her book.








Cyril P. Callister really did invent Vegemite. He then lived happily ever after.

Australia hosted the Olympic Games in the year 2000. It was a thrilling event, and fun for the whole family.

Neighbours is a long-running Australian soap opera, that is extremely popular in Britain. It features frequent pregnancy scares, amnesia, and seemingly dead characters coming back to life very poignantly.

Drop Bears are real. Don’t let Wikipedia tell you otherwise.









Now with commentary.


Date: 2013-01-18 03:56 pm (UTC)
dragonyphoenix: Francine from Strangers in Paradise (Francine)
From: [personal profile] dragonyphoenix
The Boomerang of Truth? Awesome! ;-)

Excellent story.

Date: 2013-01-19 05:07 pm (UTC)
zanthinegirl: (Destiny Spuffy)
From: [personal profile] zanthinegirl
Very cute! Though I tend to agree with Giles about the vegimite. ::shudders::
Edited Date: 2013-01-19 05:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-03-09 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stars-inthe-sky.livejournal.com
I read this years and years ago when I first discovered Buffy, and then someone mentioned drop bears today, and you're the only reason I've ever heard of them. So I had to come say thank you!

Here from buffyversetop5

Date: 2014-11-02 02:05 am (UTC)
yourlibrarian: Angel and Lindsey (Default)
From: [personal profile] yourlibrarian
“So she really…” Buffy turned the page, and read aloud: “…used vegemite to ward off vampires?”

“Yes, vampires – and everyone else, as it happens.” Giles grimaced. “Dreadful stuff.”


Hee!

Date: 2016-10-27 03:34 pm (UTC)
stars_inthe_sky: (Laugh)
From: [personal profile] stars_inthe_sky
This is still one of my all-time favorite BtVS fics. It's just such a gorram delight.

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