Title: Carmen the Vampire Slayer – I Know What You Did Last Cheer Camp

Author: Panda

Feedback: panda_brighton@hotmail.com

Fandom: Popular

Pairing: n/a

Rating: PG 13

Disclaimers: Everything good belongs to someone else.  Popular characters belong to Ryan Murray etc and the Buffyverse belongs to Joss Whedon etc.    I own nothing and I make no profit from playing with the characters and ideas.

Author’s notes:  This story is set a little before my story ‘Carmen the Vampire Slayer – How It All Began’ and expands on an incident that is mentioned in that story.

Nicole Julian frowned in frustration at her reflection in the mirror.  The new hair product was not behaving as specified on the label and there was no way Nic was going to hit the clubs without looking perfect.  Perfect enough that every man in the place would fall at her feet.

“Oh Nic hon, you look fabulous!” Mary Cherry gushed sycophantically.

“Mary Cherry, are you blind?” Nicole spat the words out “I look like that freak April Tuna!”

As Mary Cherry goggled at her in that vacant-eyed way that she used when she didn’t understand - or didn’t want to understand – Nicole picked up her hair brush and turned back to the mirror:

“Go and see if Brooke is ready yet” she commanded.

It had seemed like a good idea at the time, to force the Glamazons to attend a weekend long ‘Cheer Camp’.   Mary Cherry had been easily manipulated into getting her mother to pay for everything.  So that instead of staying in that flea pit leisure facility where the weekend was being held the Kennedy High cheer squad was camped in a near by hotel, and it was camping as Nicole had discovered on check in – she was being forced to share a room with Mary Cherry.


“I’ll share with Carm.”

Brooke had spoken as soon as she had grasped the situation before Nicole had even had a chance to open her mouth.  Carmen had looked both stunned and grateful and nodded dumbly.

“I guess that means it you and me!” Mary Cherry had bellowed happily.

Well, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, Nicole had reminded herself.  And in terms of wealth Mary Cherry was a threat, the Cherry millions somewhat outstripping the Julian ones, and it suited Nicole to let Mary Cherry think that they were best friends.  Brooke, who had known Nicole since grade school, needed more careful handling.  And this camp would have been fun too if it hadn’t turned out that there were a few too many losers in the other squads and that none of them had routines worth stealing.  So to relieve the boredom Nicole had decided to go clubbing instead of sitting around the fire and toasting low fat marshmallows and telling ghost stories or what ever other twinky activity was planned for that evening.  Nicole turned back to her hair.  It still might be possible to turn diaster into triumphant.


“I really don’t mind” Carmen was saying to Brooke, forcing herself to sound enthusiastic “I mean clubbing yay!”

Brooke looked at her and wondered what it would take for Carmen to realise that she would rather spend time getting to know her fellow Glamazon better than going to yet another club with Nicole and Mary Cherry.  There she had to pretend to be interested in the dancing and the guys, and sure the dancing part was acceptable but the rest not so much.

“Really Carm, I would rather hang here with you.  There’s going to be a camp fire and ghost stories and everything.  I can go clubbing with Nic whenever but a camp fire usually doesn’t feature in my Saturday night entertainment.”  Brooke flashed her best smile at Carmen and felt pleased when the other girl blushed slightly and merely nodded.  Pull yourself together Carmen told herself, all she did was smile at you. And she wants to spend time with me, Carmen reminded herself.  Say something don’t sit there like an idiot.

“Well, there are going to be marshmallows…” Carmen began, only to be interrupted by the door of their room being flung open.


“Brooke, sugar, wait until you see what Nic has done to her hair!” Mary Cherry announced as if Brooke were ten metres away instead of one “She looks just like…”

“Mary Cherry don’t you know how to knock?” Brooke asked calmly.

“….Gwyneth does in that movie she did before the latest one, you know the one where…” Mary Cherry continued as if Brooke hadn’t even spoken.

Brooke glanced at Carmen and rolled her eyes.  There was little point in trying to stop the Texan when she was in full flow.  Carmen grinned back and slid further back on her bed knowing that this could take a while.

“…anyway, Brookie, Nic was wondering what was keeping you?” Mary Cherry eventually got around to the point of her visit.  “She wants you to hurry up and she won’t choose her dress for the evening until she knows what colour you are intending to wear.  I, of course am going for my trade mark…”

“I’m not coming.”

“I’m sorry I must have misheard you” Mary Cherry’s selective hearing kicked in “Did you just say that…”

“I’m not coming, Mary Cherry.” Brooke repeated.


 “But, hon, you have to come…” Mary Cherry let her mouth run on auto pilot for a while, explaining why Brooke had to come.

Somewhere at the back of Mary Cherry’s mind she knew that this was a good thing.  This would make Nicole mad with Brooke and any rift between the two queens of Kennedy High could be exploited by herself.  If push came to shove – and with Nicole that was always an actual possibility - and one of them should topple the other then she, Mary Cherry, would move that much closer to the top of the popularity pole.  And Mary Cherry didn’t much care which queen’s coat tails she hung on to.  Yes Nicole had more money and was better at scheming but Brooke had more glamour.

“…so you see, it just won’t be the same without you.” 

Carmen watched Brooke as Mary Cherry finished her speech.  Of course Brooke would change her mind.  Nicole was her best friend after all and going to a club was way more exciting than a campfire.  Well maybe not the kind of club that Nicole would choose but dancing and people that one wanted to dance with and dancing…Carmen felt her mind slid into a fantasy of dancing at a club with…


“Huh?” Carmen started at the intrusion.

“Brooke…” Mary Cherry whined again.

“Look, I’ll tell her myself.”

Brooke got up off the bed she was sitting on and headed out of the room, trailed by Mary Cherry.  After waiting for a second Carmen followed.


“I look good enough to eat!” Nicole declared, pouting her lips sexily at herself.

Somehow, thanks to years of watching her stylist, Nicole had managed to turn her hair into something that she wasn’t completely embarrassed to be seen in public with.  And at least I look better than Mary Cherry, Nicole thought to herself.  Exactly why Mary Cherry made herself look like a drag queen whenever they went clubbing was beyond Nicole, but she put up with it because it meant that she only had Brooke to compete with in the beauty department.  And Brooke was beautiful, Nicole admitted to herself, perhaps not quite as beautiful as me but on a good day maybe almost as beautiful.  Nicole turned back to her bed where she had narrowed her outfit choice down to two.  Once she saw what Brooke was wearing then…

“We have been abandoned!” Mary Cherry dramatically wailed, throwing the door of their room open.

“Jesus Christ!” Nicole dropped the dress she was holding “What the hell?  Now look what you’ve made me do!”

Nicole quickly retrieved her dress smoothing at the invisible wrinkles.

“I think what Mary Cherry is trying to tell you is that I’m taking a raincheck Nic.” Brooke paused in the doorway “Great dress, by the way.”

“Well it will be once it’s dry-cleaned” Nicole snapped tossing what appeared to Carmen to be a spotless, creaseless dress on the floor.  “Thanks Mary Cherry!”

“You’re welcome, hon!”


“You don’t really mean that you want to stay here?” Nicole asked in consternation “You have seen what they have planned for this evening?”

“Look Nic, I’m not in the mood for dancing tonight.” Brooke easily explained.

“And you are in the mood for wood smoke in your clothes and stories that wouldn’t scare a first grader?” Nicole shot back.

“Really Nicole, I’m not going” Brooke repeated more firmly, turning to go “Come on, Carm.”

“You’d rather hang out with…”

“Have a nice evening Nic.” Brooke called over her shoulder as she grabbed Carmen on the way back towards their room “Don’t drink too much.  We’re starting at 9 in the morning.”

“What are you grinning about?” Nicole demanded to Mary Cherry, reaching for the second dress “Here, help me with this zip!”


The club was packed and the doorman had hardly even glanced at their fake ids.  Well, he had hesitated over Mary Cherry’s for a second but Nicole had given him a smile and a twenty and he had waved them on.  Now they were well on the way to having a good time and Nicole wasn’t even missing Brooke.  A couple of hotties had brought them several drinks and now the four of them were tearing up the dance floor.  At least Nicole and her man were and Mary Cherry’s man was trying to but was handicapped by Mary Cherry and her attempts at dancing.

“You know…you know what your problem is Mary Cherry?”  Nicole yelled at her friend over the music “Your problem, well one of your many problems, is that you can’t dance.”

Nicole slid her body down that of her partner, Brad or something, and let him pull her closer.  Glancing up at his face Nicole noticed that he looked oddly pale.  Must be the lightening in here, she thought.  Brad grinned at her and slid his hands down over her hips.

“She isn’t so bad” he whispered into Nicole’s ear as Mary Cherry bumped into them, forcing Nicole to tighten her grip on Brad’s body.

“Maybe not” she murmured back as Brad’s hands slipped lower and squeezed harder.

Brad looked over the top of Nicole’s head at his friend Pete and nodded at the door.  Pete grinned and managed to capture Mary Cherry’s flaying arms and pulled her closer.

“You want to get out of here, baby?” Pete spoke in Mary Cherry’s ear as he held the Texan hard against himself.


Before Mary Cherry had a chance to answer he was pulling her gently after Brad and Nicole as they threaded their way through the dancers.  The foursome reached the doorway and slid out into the cool night air.

“Now what exactly do you fellas have in mind?” Mary Cherry asked shivering slightly at the change of temperature.

“I know a great club” Brad smiled at Nicole “Much more intimate.”

Why the hell not, Nicole thought glancing at her friend, you only live once.

“Sure, lead the way.” Nic said as she reached for his cool hand again.

Nicole glanced at Mary Cherry again and missed the quick glint of fang in the look Brad flashed at Pete over the tops of their heads.

“There’s a short cut through here” Pete said, leading the way towards an alley.


How It All Began


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