Characters/Relationships: Xin Rong/Kennedy
Summary: Kennedy wishes her uptight partner would learn to relax a little.Word count: 709
Notes: Written for femslash_minis, for carlyinrome, who wanted the pairing, Kennedy speaking Spanish, lilac, and a city street.
As they patrolled the Avenida Hidalgo, Kennedy considered the problem of her new partner. It wasn’t that she was one of the Slayers reincarnated by Willow and Tara’s slayer activation spell. She did her fair share of the dirty work of slaying without a word of protest. As long as Xin Rong could handle the work, Kennedy didn’t care about catching reincarnation cooties, or whatever it was that skeeved other people out.
But Xin Rong seemed to live for nothing more than Slaying, which was a bit concerning. She didn’t want to dance and rarely drank. She didn’t seem interested in the crazy Mexican soap operas. Her personality by itself wasn’t the problem. Kennedy liked tightly-wound, emotionally unexpressive women. All that repressed energy had to go somewhere, and they were often great in bed. Unfortunately the hints about Kennedy’s big comfy bed went entirely unnoticed. Kennedy had even tried the old jealousy ploy, by shamelessly flirting with one of the baristas in front of her partner. Xin Rong didn’t seem to care. And if that repressed energy didn’t get some kind of outlet, things could get explodey, in a bad way.
Sudden movement to her left jolted Kennedy out of her thoughts. Xin Rong had spotted something and was sprinting towards the beach. Kennedy followed, her boots slapping into the wet sand.
Something huge and black was twisting in the water. As Kennedy grew closer, she could make out scales and fins--it was a sea serpent, holding something in its jaws.
Xin Rong raced out to the serpent, sword drawn. She hacked at its neck until it dropped whatever it was holding. Kennedy ran up to see what it was.
It was a badly-mangled mermaid. She reeked of seaweed and mud. Kennedy grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. She called out, “Wake up!” When that got no response, she called out “Despertarse!” (No reason to think a mermaid in Mexico would speak English, after all.) Then she saw the marks on the mermaid’s neck and the bulging eyes. Dead by strangulation.
Since there wasn’t anything she could do for the mermaid, she looked to see if her partner needed any help.
Xin Rong was swinging hard with her sword, cutting into the serpent’s neck. After a few moments of sawing, its head came off. The body continued to flail, and Xin Rong kept hacking at the body, bits of scale and flesh flying everywhere.
“Hey,” Kennedy said, after the serpent’s body stopped moving. “It’s extra-dead. You don’t wanna break your sword. It’s almost as pretty as you are.”
Xin Rong dropped the sword, kicked the serpent’s head, and let out a wail of pure agony.
Kennedy led her back home, practically daring someone to say something. A few people stared at Xin Rong’s gore-stained clothes. Good thing serpent blood was green, or Kennedy might have had some explaining to do.
After a few shots of Brazilian rum, Kennedy asked, “So what’s the story back there?”
Xin Rong unfastened her braid, letting her hair fall over her shoulders. “I loved a mermaid once. Her name was Mingzhu. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Her scales were lilac, and her eyes had a dozen shades of gold and brown in them.”
“So a dead mermaid will send you into berzerker mode. Ok. No big deal.”
Xin Rong kept talking as if Kennedy hadn’t said anything. “I asked her if she’d live with me, as a human, like some of the legends I’d heard. She just laughed and said no. That she loved being a mermaid too much.” Xin Rong downed her shot of rum, then took a swig straight from the bottle. “Then I found out that she was the mermaid in all of the legends. She just didn’t love me the way she’d loved others.”
“Wow, that blows. I’m sorry.” Kennedy had no idea where this was going, but this was the most that Xin Rong had said about herself, ever. No way was she gonna try to shut down this conversation.
“I was in a daze for weeks after I found out. And my Slaying suffered for it. People died.” She grabbed a cloth and started cleaning her sword. “That’s why I’m so serious about Slaying now. If I let my guard down--”
“--I’ll be there to pick up your slack,” Kennedy interrupted. “That’s the best part of there being, literally, thousands of us. If you and I miss something, Caridad and Lilia or one of the other teams will get it for us. We can relax sometimes. We can even go on vacation and let someone else handle things for a while.”
She took the sword and cloth from Xin Rong and put them back on the table.
Xin Rong crossed her arms over her chest, her shoulders still hunched up to her ears.
“C’mon, relax!” Kennedy wheedled. “You’ll be a better Slayer if you take a break sometimes.”
Xin Rong glanced at her sword. “I don’t know how. This place is so new and different. Everything I used to do for fun is gone.”
“I’ve got a few ideas,” Kennedy said, running her hand along Xin Rong’s jawline.
Xin Rong shook her head. “I can’t. I can’t love again.”
Kennedy smiled. “Who said anything about love?”
She tilted Xin Rong’s chin up for a kiss. “This isn’t a one-way trip to Relationshipville. This is just a vacation.”