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Three Lions
By Lesley

Part 2. Three Lions.

Look at them. Sitting there together on the sofa in matching England football shirts. The red ones, as they both claim they're luckier than the white. Course that means hours of debate on English football history, the relative merits of Bobby Moore versus Rio Ferdinand, then onto Pele versus Beckham. Then Man U versus Chelsea and whose foreign players are more 'crap'. If we're really lucky there's a decision by the referee they disagree on, and then we get hours on the off-side rule. Is it a y chromosome thing? Or an English thing, coz the women here seem almost as bad. Giles offered to get me an England shirt. I said no. We went to three shops to find a USA one. I didn't know we were in it. I don't care. I'm not gonna wear it.

Eyes fixed on the clock, nails getting with the chewy. Looking at them what would an outsider see? Father and son? Older and younger brother? Two mates, just sitting watching the 'footy' together? Or the watcher that's stolen my power and a creature that's killed his way round the globe? Or if you include me, how does that change the picture? Looking at the three of us would anyone see three killers? Or would they see sweet, innocent, crayon breaking Willow, the benevolent father figure, and a loveable bad boy with a heart of gold - guv. See, being here, I'm picking up the "lingo".

I'd think about the philosophical aspects, if I weren't so tired.

I'm tired all the time. The Prozac helps me function during the day and Giles gives me something else at night so I sleep. I'm not trusted to have custody of those pills. It doesn't help. I see her in dreams. But I can't be with her even there. All I see is her blood spraying me. I hear the rip as I did that to Warren. I taste Rack as I withered him. The screams fill my head.

I know Giles is sad and disappointed I'm not improving. We actually get let out of this pretty little jail to see the psychiatrist in Harley St. He's Giles cousin, so knows all about demons and witches, and treats burnt out watchers so we aren't anything that special. Except his depression and anxiety scores are going down and mine aren't. That's just wrong. I always come top in tests. It's not fair. He gets trusted with the pencils now. I'm not even allowed to fill in the forms with different coloured pens. How am I supposed to come top when I'm not allowed the right tools?

Look at them. They set the alarm clock for 6 in the morning so they could have, "A right proper build up to the Nigeria match, pet." Giles and Spike in the kitchen cooking a, "Full English", "try some Willow"- just how wrong is that? I can feel my arteries harden looking at it. I get offered a bacon butty instead. What's a butty? Why can't they call it a sandwich like everyone else? And hello! Still Jewish! Bacon bad - if tasty. Trying to end the world doesn't change that! I get offered fried eggs instead. They remind me of Tara and me talking in the dorm after Joyce died, and they tasted like ashes. Everything does.

Seeing what I have of London is strange. Unlike in the movies I can't see Big Ben or the Tower of London, either here or on the way to the shrink. I haven't seen one bowler hat. There are red mail boxes and buses. But the buses mostly seem to be cursed as always late by the football shirt wearing people waiting for them. The only umbrellas seem to be giant golfy things, wielded as weapons by small women on the way to the supermarket, who could take eyes out faster than an expellimus oculli spell.

The supermarket was strange. Spike and me had to go with Giles - not allowed to be on our own. Though teachers pet here looks like he's on his way there. It's not fair. I'm teachers pet. Willow Rosenberg favourite pupil of teachers all my life. Brains girl; that's me. If I'm not, what am I?

But the supermarket wasn't what I expected at all. Oh yes, I expected Giles and Spike filling trolleys with gritty biscuits, mouldy cheese, Marmite and Branston Pickle. What's a branston? Science nerd here - and I never heard of a branston. I always thought English people all looked like Giles or Wesley. I didn't expect to hear so many languages or see so many black, brown and mixed people. Suppose all the forced watching of England's footballing triumphs and tragedies they've inflicted on me should have made me realise. But trying to block out all this football stuff.

It's not really possible. They get up to watch the Saudi Arabia matches. Why?

I got to watch soap operas one evening, rather than the highlights of matches we'd already seen. English soap operas are very different. Not that I understood much of what was said on Eastenders or Brookside. Not that I watch soap operas normally. Shelia Rosenberg's daughter wouldn't dream of something like that - unless as part of an academic study. Not this girl. The only time I ever saw any was when Spike came over that summer to babysit Miss Whiner. But the boys switched over to MTV's top 20 football anthems anyway. If I have to hear 'Three Lions' again I'm gonna kill somebody. I enjoyed killing after all. Some pleasure would be better than none. But I can't feel any pleasure at the moment. So why bother.

I do them wrong. We do get some Fast Show re-runs some nights. I can't laugh though. Laughter died with my shining girl. They laugh. This shouldn't be allowed.

The only positive side of being force fed football is some gorgeous players take their shirts off. Some have great abs. Some need hair cuts. Some are just yummy. But hey! Gay Now! So not enjoying that. Not enjoying anything.

If Spike takes his shirt off, at the end of this match. and runs round the house, like the players do, I'm gonna kill him. Even if he has nice abs. He took my best friend. Best friend huh! But she's mine. I raised her. He didn't! It was my power. And he slept with my real best friends' demon. Not that I ever liked her. Xander's mine. But he slept with her and must suffer. Why didn't he want to sleep with me? What's wrong with me? What's the point?

Full time.

Spike and Giles are going "Yesssssssssss, we're through!!!!!!!" and both have their fists in the air. The picture changes to the Argentina match and both are cheering on Sweden with shouts of, "Sven, Sven, Sven, Sven". There's loud arggghhhhssssss, phews, and at the end of the match both are jumping up and down in glee at Argentina going out, and England and Sweden going through.

It's odd how their allegiances go though. Yesterday we got a great treat to mark Spike's (of course) great progress in dealing with soul insertion related depression. We got to go to the pub - to watch the Ireland match. Yep, yesterday the boys were supporting Ireland. Apparently the British Isles has 5 international teams. And they wonder why I don't understand stuff. But yesterday we got to support Ireland. Most of the Irish team sounded about as Irish as Angel does. It's strange.

But it meant I got to see an English pub. We had to sit at the bar so with the press of people I wouldn't be able escape daddy. The weather was as bad as in the movies, so a big umbrella meant Spike could come with. But being at the bar was odd. We had to pass back pints to people in the crowd that couldn't reach the bar. One man I passed one to said he was from Albania and he only had half a thumb. But he was supporting England and Ireland. I was actually allowed half a shandy to mark the occasion. Didn't work.

But England has gone through to the next round. Spike and Giles are chanting, "Ingerlund, Ingerlund, In-ger-lund". Over, and over, and over again. I always thought this country's name was England. Thought I was good at maps and stuff. Must have been wrong. Great! Now they've moved back to, "Three lions on my shirt" again.

Saturday is gonna be hell - but my life is. So what's new?


Continued in Part 3. Hasn't Stopped Me Dreaming


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