"Damn them and their less-heterosexual-than-thou attitudes!" Willow Rosenberg cursed, dramatically throwing herself down on the bed, "They can't do this to me... it's discrimination... it's... it's gay bashing, that's what it is!"
"Lighten up, Will."
"But Buffy... this is just so unnatural... it's..."
"Polyester," the blonde spat, as though she had a mouthful of sour milk, dropping the uniform on the bed.
The petite redhead rolled over on her back, sighing loudly, "One of the best parts of making detective was knowing that I'd never have to wear that hideous thing again... why can't they get someone else to do it?"
"Come on Will, it's only for one day... you know gay officers working Pride makes everyone more comfortable."
"Everyone who isn't wearing polyester."
"Anyway," Buffy huffed in frustration, "This is Sunnydale, not San Francisco... not exactly what you'd call a bumper crop."
"You'd be surprised...then again so would their wives."
"Think of it as community outreach." Willow pulled a pillow over her face and moaned wretchedly. "And if you don't mind my saying so, you could use a little outreach, Rosenberg," Buffy teased, ducking just as the pillow whizzed past her head. "Seriously, how long has it been? Unless you've been keeping things from me, there hasn't been anyone since Officer McSleaze and that was over a year ago...it's time you got back on the horse, Will." The redhead sat up and glared at her roommate, reaching for another pillow.
"OK... horse... not a good metaphor... forget the whole horse thing... horse bad... this is a horse-free zone," Buffy stammered, "But you know I'm right, it would do you good to blow off some steam, maybe get your mind off the case"
"Buffy, I am an officer of the law... the city of Sunnydale pays me to keep the peace, not to try and pick up girls... and she wasn't sleazy," the blonde raised an eyebrow, "OK, maybe just a little."
"Yeah well... hot young redhead... lesbians as far as the eye can see... the whole uniform thing... I really don't think you'll have to do much in the way of trying... the handcuffs alone oughta get you a few offers." The pillow hit Buffy full in the face before she even saw it coming.
Willow hated to admit it, but Buffy was right, about the case anyway, it was driving her crazy. In the past two months, five women had been found dead in their beds. All had been nude, without a mark on them, save one most disturbing common feature, a grin that would've had to have been turned down several thousand watts to be merely shit-eating. Not a single clue that might lead to the identity of the culprit had been found at any of the crime scenes and the coroner hadn't been able to identify any specific cause of death. The media had dubbed it The Case of the Smiling Corpse, an appellation that Detective Rosenberg found both insipid and apallingly disrespectful. These women had been living, breathing, human beings... they'd had jobs, homes, passions and no doubt loved ones... although none had come forward as of yet, odd that. It infuriated Willow that they were being treated like nothing more than plot points in an episode of Murder, She Wrote. Jessica Fletcher can kiss my ass. One of the first things she'd been taught at the police academy was to never allow herself to become personally involved in a case and she'd been doing very well with the whole distancing herself thing, as Buffy called it, that is until recently. The latest victim had been a lesbian, no one she really knew personally, a friend of a friend of an ex-lover, but still it had really gotten under her skin. She was going to track down this sick sonofabitch if it killed her.
Just now, the only thing killing her was the heat. Why did Pride always have to be held on the hottest day of the year anyway? The soles of her unflatteringly androgynous patent-pleather shoes were sticking to the scorching asphalt with every step, undoubtedly they'd be left with a permanent squeaky. No biggie. If it were up to her, she'd never be wearing them again anyway. Sure there was the whole lesbian/sensible shoes cliche, but there was such a thing as too sensible. Despite the whole tough cop thing, she'd never been what you'd call large with the butch, she was barely small with the butch. Still... heels... walking a beat... really not a good idea.
At the moment, Willow's main concern, apart from grumbling, was finding a spot of shade. If I don't get out of this sun soon, I'll be transformed into Willow Rosenberg, Lobster Woman and shellfish is so not kosher. "If being a detective didn't exempt me from this stupid assignment, then being a redhead certainly should have," she mumbled crankily, "This heat is giving me a headache." Well, either that or those two up on stage... someone has obviously been spending too much time listening to the Indigo Girls.
At last she saw an oasis off in the distance, a kiosk selling water for $5 a bottle... oh sure, take advantage of the queer and dehydrated... and just beyond it a smallish penumbra of shade under a large tree of some sort. Throw in a beautiful woman with a portable air conditioner and I'll be in heaven. After what seemed like hours, but was actually five or ten minutes, Willow found herself standing just inside the periphery of the tree's shade, struggling to get the protective plastic collar off her spring water. Finally, she got the bottle open and chugged down more than half of it in one long pull. The icy liquid running down her parched throat made shivers run up her spine... or maybe not. Suddenly, she couldn't shake the feeling that she was being watched.