*g* Hope it isn't too bad.
< BUFFY SUMMERS (wearing a painfully pink skirt/sweater ensemble, circa Season 3) enters an ABANDONED WAREHOUSE of the usual Season 2-esqe variety. All is DARK and FOREBODING.
LIGHTS come on, revealing a STAGE that looks suspiciously like the one from the Bronze. In fact, if one didn't know better, one might almost suspect that the entire scene had been moved to the Bronze and away from the ABANDONED WAREHOUSE of the opening shot.
But, we know that that would never happen.
On the STAGE are four very familiar girls, set up in a band-like pattern. FAITH sits at the DRUMS. CORDELIA is armed with an ACOUSTIC GUITAR. TARA and ANYA stand at MICROPHONES, as though they might break out into song at any moment.
At the sight of this, BUFFY gets noticibly nervous. This is understandable, due to the fact that CORDELIA is only scant feet from a MICROPHONE.
Responding to some hidden cue, CORDELIA breaks into a rather cheesy guitar intro. All signs point to EASY LISTENING AM music. >
Buffy: What the fu-
< BUFFY COUGHS several times, interrupting her use of a VERY NAUGHTY WORD. She attempts to REPEAT HERSELF, but the TV-14 CENSORS ensure that the VERY NAUGHTY WORD is garbled and unintelligible. >
The Girl Band: (sung) Did you ever have to make up your mind? // Pick up on one and leave the other behind // It's not often easy, and not often kind // Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Buffy: I'm smelling a setup.
< Stepping from a CONVENIENT SHADOW, ANGEL enters the room, with a SOULFUL LOOK in his eyes to show everyone that he is most definitely of the cuddly care-bear with fangs variety these days. He is wearing BLACK (think back to any season he has ever appeared in). >
Buffy: (breathy voice) Angel...?
Angel: Buffy. (soulful pause) I love you. I've always loved you -- you are my soulmate. In all the years that I have walked this world, you are the only person who I have ever loved. I know that I'm not worthy, and that you deserve so much better, but I can't deny my own feelings any longer. (long pause, during which Buffy cannot speak due to utter shock) Oh, come on! Look at me, I'm gorgeous! I came back from Hell for you! I'm soulful, I'm angsty, I read stupid French books with a brooding look on my face! I can be a bad boy while at the same time still being caring, responsible, and noble! You can't get much better than me!
Buffy: Angel, I-
< Abruptly interrupting her sentence, RILEY FINN walks through the FRONT DOOR, with a CARING and RESPONSIBLE look on his face. He is wearing COMMANDO DUDS (Season 4). >
Buffy: (breathy, but rather confused) Riley..?
Riley: Buffy, (adorably unsure gaze) I love you. I've never met anyone who has made me feel the way that you do, and I don't want to ever wake up again without you by my side. (long pause, where Buffy glances from one man to another with a shellshocked look on her face) Oh, come on! I'm the perfect guy for you! I'm a sweet, good 'ole boy from Iowa! I gave up my entire career for you, and changed the whole way I look at the world! I'm caring, I'm supportive, I'm a psych grad! I can be the nice guy who you can feel safe in loving, plus we can have sex! I'm the best choice for you!
Buffy: Riley... Angel... I...
The Girl Band: (sung) Did you ever have to finally decide? // Say 'yes' to one, and let the other one writhe // There's so many changes, and tears you must hide // Did you ever have to finally decide? //
< Before she can properly complete a thought, SCOTT HOPE enters. He is dressed in typical MALE HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENT GARB (of Season 3). >
Buffy: (shocked) Scott? But... but...
Scott: Buffy, I love you. (loving gaze of a Buster Keaten fan) I didn't realize it before, when I was a fool and dumped you. It is only know that I know what a treasure you are, even though I still have no idea why you were constantly running off and giving me very little attention. (the poignant pause of a recurring character who never really caught on) Oh, come on! I'm pretty cute! I used words like 'mosey'! Even Faith thought that I was a fairly good-looking little muffin! I gave you a claddagh ring as a casual present! I'm great!
< Without even a PAUSE to get Buffy's ATTEMPT AT A COMMENT, OWEN enters, a fairly vacant expression on his face. He is dressed in MALE HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENT GARB (circa Season 1) >
Buffy: (completely floored) Owen?
Owen: Buffy, I love you. (vacant gaze of an morbid person) I know we went on one date in sophomore year, and that it didn't really go along in the manner of typical dates, but I thought that we really had a connection. Of death, and stuff like that. (pause, during which Owen reads the teleprompter) Oh, come on! Look at me! I'm broody, yet I have a pulse! I'm blonde! I read Emily Dickinson! Poems about death, loneliness, and bees! You can't top me!
The Girl Band: (sung) Sometimes there's one with big blue eyes, cute as a bunny // With hair down to here, and plenty of money // And just when you think, he's that one in the world // Your heart gets stolen by some mousy little boy //
< BUFFY is shooting NASTY GLANCES at THE GIRL BAND, but before she can possibly act on them, a CAR with the windows blacked out CRASHES through one wall of the BUILDING. The driver's door OPENS, and out STEPS SPIKE. He has a typically BAD-ASS look on his face, and is dressed in his one and only outfit (Billy Idol/Sid Viscous/black jeans) >
Buffy: (irritated) BUFFY.
Spike: Right, whatever. Buffy, I love you. (cheerfully homicidal gaze) I mean, sure, we've had our differences, with me wanting to rip out your spleen and dance the mambo on your grave, but we can move past that. (pause, during which he lights a cigarette) Oh, come on! I'm the Big Bad! I'm sodding mean! It's not like I run around all day *helping* people like the Ponce or Commando Boy. I use Clairol often, and I have an interest in soap-operas as well as decapitation! I... ah, screw this. Just pick me!
Buffy: Oh, man.... (looking at the circle of men around her)
< Walking in through the GAPING HOLE that SPIKE'S CAR left, XANDER enters, with the look of the EVERYMAN UNDERDOG on his face. He is wearing a PIZZA DELIVERY OUTFIT (See Season 4, the time of emasculation). >
Buffy: (still confused) Xander?
Xander: Buffy, I love you. (honest and humorous look) Sure, at first it was just a crush, and you blew me off more times than I can even count, but this is love. You might've been a little too occupied by Broody-Boy to notice, but you have always held my heart in your tiny, lotioned hands. (pause, while he eats a Twinkie) Oh, come on! I'm cute, I'm dependable, and I've got a truly impressive sense of humor! Just tell me that you love me, and maybe wardrobe will finally bury the hatchet! For the love of God, please pick me!
< BUFFY has gotten over the worst of her shock, and sits on the edge of the stage. The BAND plays on. >
The Girl Band: (sung) And you know you'd better make up your mind // Pick up on one and leave the other behind // It's not often easy, and not often kind // Did you ever have to make up your mind? //
Buffy: (muttered) Yeah, yeah, I'm getting the idea already...
< A HEAVENLY LIGHT appears overhead, and a FIGURE DESCENDS from the RAFTERS. It is DOYLE, with a charming and roguish look on his (unprickly) face, he joins the group of suitors who have formed a SEMI-CIRCLE around BUFFY. He is dressed in a leather jacket over a bowling shirt in typical CUTE SEMI-DRUNK GUY fashion (see Season 1 of A:ts). >
Buffy: You look kinda familiar...
Doyle: We met once, very briefly. Buffy, I love you. (charmingly insecure look) Now, we met for only the briefest of moments in Angel's office, but since then I found myself in love with you. My love for you caused the Powers That Be to send me back to earth, since even they can show mercy in cases such as these. (a pause, during which he glances down and realizes that the PTP sent him back with his fly unzipped) Pardon me. Anyway, just listen to me Irish accent! It's *way* better than Angel's, and I have a right sense of humor and a slight penchant for liqueur. Without a doubt, I am the guy for you.
Buffy: Listen, guys, I think that it's really great that you decided to surprise me like this, but-
< While she comes very close to finishing that sentence, it proves a false hope. PARKER ABRAHMS enters through the back door, a misleadingly attentive look on his face. He is dressed in SNAZZY CASUAL CLOTHES, (Season 4, the early days) which would look really good on Xander, come to think of it. >
Buffy: Listen, you have a lot of nerve-
Parker: Buffy, I love you. (puppy-dog look) I know, I talked you into my bed by misleading you into thinking that I might want a serious relationship based on actual feelings, and then shattered your confidence in the male half of the species once again by blowing you off and moving onto other women. And that later I spoke coarsely of you to fellow men. But.... (a pause, while he looks for some redeeming quality that he possesses) I'm really cute, and I gave you zip-lock bags one time.
< BUFFY has stopped looking CONFUSED, and is now just looking ANNOYED at any and all of the guys. Almost frantically, the BAND enters another verse. >
The Girl Band: (sung) Sometimes you really dig a boy the moment you kiss him // And then you get distracted by his older brother // Then in walks their father, to take you in line // Saying, 'better go home, girl, and make up your mind.' //
< OZ and JONOTHON enter at the same time through a SIDE-DOOR. They consider each other, then go together. OZ's expression is PLACID. JONOTHON's expression is somewhat FRAZZLED. Both are in TEE-SHIRTS and JEANS. (Season 4) >
Jonothon: Buffy, I love you.
Oz: Same here.
Jonothon: I realize that I might not be the first guy you think of romantically, but it really is true. I love you and... stuff... (pause, while he looks to Oz for support)
Jonothon: As for what I can offer.... well... I have this really great moped...
Oz: Van. Bass guitar. Animal crackers.
Jonothon: Yeah... so, um, pick.. us?
Buffy: *eyes narrowing dangerously* I think I know what game you're playing...
< The various MEN exchange horrified GLANCES with the BAND. Immediately, a large LIMO tears in through the hole in the wall. Even as it screeches to a halt, LINDSAY - the lawyer, GRAHAM - the commando, and GUNN - the vigilante, tumble out the door in a clown-car effect. All are looking gorgeous in typical Season 4/Ats 1 manner, though a trifle out of breath. One look at Buffy, however, and they swallow their declarations of TRUE LOVE. >
Buffy: (seriously pissed) I *know* what game you're playing!
< The MEN CRINGE as she completes a sentence. Several open their mouths to try and interrupt her, but one LOOK is enough to shut them up. >
Buffy: I don't need this CRAP! I don't need some guy to define me, and I CAN go for more than one episode without pining after some guy, or having some guy pine after me!
< There is a brief PAUSE as the shock of the statement rolls around the silent room. Then, FAITH puts down her drumsticks and JUMPS off the stage to land next to BUFFY. >
Faith: B, I lo-
Buffy: Oh, for crying out loud! That didn't mean that I was hoping for a WOMAN to pine after! This is not negotiable!
< A slight HICCUPING sound is heard, and then an OVERWORKED YET HANDSOME BUSINESSMAN walks in. He is DISHEVELED in a GORGEOUS way. (circa 1997)
Jerry McGuire: You...complete...me...
< Before he can complete that speech, BUFFY PUNCHES him, knocking the man OUT FOR THE COUNT. >
Buffy: Are you done? Have you GOTTEN THE *FUCKING* MESSAGE?
< Stalking over to the STAGE, BUFFY kicks out the amp hookup, cutting off the BAND. She pops in a CD, which immediately begins BLARING. The beat is hard and driving, and everyone except for BUFFY covers their ears in self-defense.>
CD: I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd
You're gonna hear my voice
when I shout it out loud
It's my life
It's now or never
And I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live without a lie
It's my life
< With a DEFIANT LOOK, BUFFY tears off her pink skirt/sweater, revealing a pair of leather pants and a comfortable top (circa "Bad Girls"). As the music continues, she puts on a pair of dark sunglasses just as a driverless red CONVERTIBLE pulls into the building through the previous hole. It maneuvers easily around the various other parked vehicles, and pulls up next to BUFFY. Not even glancing behind her at the throngs of MEN, who are desperately calling out their LOVE, BUFFY jumps into the DRIVER'S SEAT of the car, and DRIVES OFF. Clouds of dust form in her wake, but the last lyrics of the SONG can still be heard. >
CD: My heart is like an open highway
I think it's time we did it my way
It's my life
End notes: Buffy has never spent more than one episode without various angsting, loving, pining, or even just being pined after by the various Lads Of Buffydom. Unlike some, I really do like the character of Buffy. In fact, she's my favorite of the entire extended gang.
Anyway, when I heard Bon Jovi's song "It's My Life", it just seemed perfect for her. Tailor-made. So I downloaded it off of Napster and listened to it for a while, hoping that I could use it in a fic. After a few days, nothing was clicking, so I shrugged and moved on. Then, today, I downloaded the other song that shows up in the story, the one with the long title and annoying lyrics. Listened to it, then listened to Bon Jovi.
Got an idea. Ran with it.
What you just read is the result, for better or worse. Though to get a good idea of just what kind of mental space I was in when I wrote it, listen to the songs listed, starting with the annoying one, and switching over to the Bon Jovi at the appropriate time in the script.