The Occupation Evaluation Occurrence
Disclaimer: I don’t own these. Full disclaimer at the bottom of the chapter.
Crossover: In case you haven’t already guessed, the crossover is listed at the bottom of the page too.
She was discouraged. She was way beyond discouraged. She had just gotten turned down for an acting role for the third time this week. Yesterday, she was too buxom for the role. Today she was too flat for the role. Two days ago, she was too average for the role. Why didn’t they just say she sucked and they didn’t want to hire her? No, in Hollywood, you never said that, just in case the actress you treated like crap yesterday suddenly made it big and you needed to have her not trying to destroy you.
And now she was looking for a new job and failing at THAT too. She needed a better job than waitressing. She had an apartment she liked, and she didn’t want to move. Even if there was no one in apartment 5A now and the landlord was threatening to raise all the rents to make up for the loss. She’d been in her nice apartment for five years. Five years with a whopping total of zero actress gigs. Five years learning that she couldn’t get an acting job, and she was dumb, and the other actresses she used to hang with were so stupid that by comparison she was Stephen Hawking. Oh, and now she actually knew who Stephen Hawking was, and she actually knew people who knew Stephen Hawking.
She turned the corner, and finally found the hotel she was looking for… and it was a pile of rubble. Was she cursed? Maybe she’d just lost the ability to locate addresses too. She pulled the car over to the opposite side of the street and got out. There were over a dozen young women standing around, staring at the wreckage and chatting. Two of them were talking to a couple policemen, so she had to wonder if the building just fell down. Maybe one of them could tell her if she was even in the right spot.
As she crossed the road, two more young women turned and headed her off. They weren’t even young women. They were girls. She would have put them both at around fourteen. They were very cute, and dressed in exercise togs, with matching gymbags slung over their shoulders. But they were young. Young and pretty and full of energy. She felt older just looking at them bounce toward her.
“Hi!” That was the perky blonde with the ridiculously expensive Body by Brazil exercise outfit. Oh, she would have killed a couple casting agents for that outfit, although maybe not in that shade of lavender.
“Can we help you?” That was the even perkier brunette with the not quite as expensive Victoria’s Secret Sport exercise outfit in teal.
She glanced again at the piece of paper in her hand. “This is… I mean, it used to be… the Hyperion Hotel?”
The blonde nodded, “Yep!”
The brunette agreed, “Yeah, right up until last night.”
Oh God. If it collapsed last night, how many dead bodies were in there? Why weren’t there firetrucks and ambulances and EMTs and emergency crews all over the area?
The blonde said, “Hey, chill.”
The brunette said, “Don’t faint on us. No one got hurt.”
The blonde grinned, “But someone lost all her Justin Bieber posters!”
She said, “Is that really a loss?”
The blonde said, “He’s cute!”
The brunette said, “He’s so last month.”
The blonde said, “Well you still like Jesse McCartney!”
She couldn’t help giggling at them. Maybe she had missed out on too much plain old ordinary girl-time over the last few years.
The brunette asked, “So how come you’re looking for the hotel?”
She glanced again at the paper in her hand and said, “I was supposed to have an interview for the receptionist job. I guess that’s shot too.”
The brunette said, “Oh! We could use a good receptionist! Super important quiz time. What are we wearing?”
She grinned, “You’re wearing Victoria’s Secret Sport. I love that twist-back tank, and the color looks great on you. She’s wearing Body by Brazil, the Alto racer bra and capris, but she should really go with their raspberry or black, it would be a better color for her.”
She went on, “The woman over there talking to the cop who needs to have her uniform re-fitted is wearing… Oh my God, are those real Dolce and Gabbana heels? I love those! I can’t afford ‘em, but I love ‘em!”
“Okay, you pegged the shoes. What about the rest?”
She looked hard. She wasn’t close enough to make out details, but… “That’s not a D & G outfit, but it’s got an Italian cut to it. What, Versace?”
“Ooh, that’s so close!” the blonde squeaked.
The brunette smiled, “Okay, you totally pass on part one.”
She suddenly remembered Leonard telling her about the tests Sheldon gave him before considering him as a roommate.
The blonde smirked, “Test time, part two! Vampires who sparkle in the sunlight: date, marry, or stake?”
She snickered at the intensity on the girl’s face. Despite what she thought they might want her to say, she told them, “Stake.”
“Justify your answer.”
This was turning out to be more like being back in her apartment than she had expected. She smiled wider and said, “There are lots of vampire myths, from all over the world, but sparkling in the sunlight isn’t one of them. And that whole creepy stalker in your bedroom while you’re asleep thing? Not romantic. They eat people. And they outlive people. Wanting to date a person? That would be like me wanting to have a long-term romance with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Fudge Brownie ice cream. After the wrapper’s been peeled off. It’d last about thirty seconds after I got it home.”
The brunette looked at the blonde and said, “Best answer yet.”
The blonde said, “Okay, you should get the final tests from the boss.”
She noticed they didn’t call anyone over. They just stood there like they didn’t have to. The petite blonde in the gorgeous to-die-for Gabbanas suddenly interrupted the police officers and walked over.
Oh my God, that top really was Versace! And those pants were Italian cut, but not Versace or D & G, but the little blonde totally pulled off the look. The blonde put out her hand and smiled, “Buffy. The two rude things who never told you their names are Tasha and Randi.”
She shook Buffy’s hand. Wow, that girl worked out! She smiled, “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Penny. And I forgot to tell them my name too, because of the whole collapsed building thing. Are you sure no one got hurt?”
Buffy smiled, “Everyone’s fine. We only had a dozen girls keeping the place intact for us, and only three of them were in the building when… stuff happened. And some people…” She stopped and glared at Tasha and Randi. “…hadn’t bothered to move out of their apartment yet like they had been asked to, so they didn’t lose anything.”
Tasha objected, “Hey! I loaned a really gorgeous cranberry sweater to Molly, and it’s gone now.”
Buffy went on, “So that’s why I’m out here. You would have interviewed with Lorraine, but she’s busy dealing with the totally un-fun details when something like this happens in downtown L.A. But I really need a receptionist now, because we’re going to be re-directing phone calls and services as soon as Lorraine has office space for us to use while we decide what to do about the Hyperion. And we’re going to have to find a place for me to stay, plus Lorraine and seven of the girls. And Tasha and Randi and some of the other high schoolers are doing home school, but Miri and Tia have college classes to deal with.”
She asked, “Which college?”
Buffy said, “Well, Miri’s a sophomore at Cal Tech, and Tia’s a frosh at USC.”
She had a sudden brainstorm. “I know an apartment in the area that’s available. It’s pretty close to both places. But it’s on the fifth floor, and the elevator doesn’t work.”
“Not a problem for us,” Buffy said confidently.
“And the guys in the apartment underneath are the reason the apartment’s vacant.”
Buffy asked, “What? Meth lab? Rock band?”
Penny admitted, “Extreme nerdiness and nerd behaviors.”
Buffy burst into a huge grin. She turned her head and said, “Miri? Tia? Get over here.”
Penny spotted two girls who had to be a hundred feet away. They suddenly turned to face Buffy and ran over. “What’s the what?”
Buffy did the introductions. “Miri? Tia? This is Penny. She knows an apartment that’s for rent in the Pasadena area.” She turned back to Penny. “Where?”
“2311 N. Los Robles, Pasadena. Apartment 5A.”
Buffy said, “Fifth floor, no elevator. And the apartment underneath is full of Andrews.”
Both girls burst out laughing.
Buffy explained, “We’re used to massive geekery. Andrew is a Star Wars and Star Trek fanatic, and he knows everything there is to know about sci fi and fantasy.”
She explained, “It’s not that they’re nerds. Sheldon is pretty much the smartest person on the planet-”
“Doubt it,” Buffy interrupted confidently.
“-and he never lets you forget it. Plus, he’s got a host of weird behaviors. Leonard’s more normal, but only by comparison. They’re both physicists at Cal Tech. And their friends Howard and Raj are too. Well, Howard’s up on the International Space Station now.”
Miri said, “Whoa! That’s so cool!”
Buffy said, “This sounds pretty promising, but you haven’t passed the final interview test yet.”
Penny’s heart sank. She knew things had been going too well. “Okay. Hit me with it.”
Buffy asked, “What’s the three weirdest things you’ve ever seen?”
“You mean, besides the guys in apartment 4A?”
Buffy shrugged carelessly. “You can count them… if you absolutely have to.”
She had a feeling that there was a lot more riding on the question than anyone was telling her. It was like the trick questions that Sheldon asked people. None of them had that look that Sheldon had when he was about to show you once again that he was a zillion times smarter than you, but they were all waiting for… something.
She stopped and thought. “Okay, there’s a club over on La Cienega. It’s a dance club on Friday and Saturday nights, but it’s a Goth club on Mondays and Tuesdays, and no one’s allowed in on Wednesdays and Thursdays. They have this HUGE bouncer out front, so you know there’s a party going on, but the only guys I’ve ever seen going in there on Wednesdays and Thursdays looked like they were auditioning for a part in the next Hellboy movie.”
Buffy said, “Okay, that’s one.”
Randi asked, “Is that the place I think it is?”
Tasha said, “Hush.”
She said, “There’s this casting director for grade Z movies. Mister Alejandros. No first name because we’re not worthy, I guess. And he’s slimy. Like actual slime, pretty much. I couldn’t bring myself to shake his hand. I mean, I got out of his office as fast as I could. He just had this vibe. He creeped me out like nobody’s business. I mean, I’ve been out in the middle of the night on dark L.A. streets, and I haven’t been as creeped out as I was just talking to this guy in an office in the middle of the day, with fifty other girls in the next room.”
Buffy turned to Tia. “We’ll check that guy out, just in case.” She turned back to Penny. “Okay. Number three?”
Penny asked, “Umm, are you sure I can’t use Sheldon?”
Buffy asked, “One of your nerds?”
Buffy asked, “Does he do anything that isn’t super-nerdy or super-neurotic or super-obnoxious?”
“Umm… no. Not really.”
Buffy shook her head. “Nope. Let’s assume Sheldon doesn’t count.”
Penny muttered under her breath, “All he DOES is count.” Several of the girls snickered. She looked around at them. She’d suspected they were all wearing some kind of communication system, but that wouldn’t explain how they all heard her just now.
Buffy said, “Yeah, we all have insanely good hearing. Makes apartment living hard on some of us. A bunch of guys whose idea of wild living is sitting around playing video games? Major bonus for us.”
Penny decided to risk it. “My first year in L.A. This girl I knew who was trying to break into acting, like me. Trisha. Not too discriminating about what parts she got, or what she did to get the parts, or who she did to get the parts. She turned up dead one morning. I had to ID the body. It was bad. I mean, my brother’s a meth addict, and I’ve seen the druggies who hang around him, so I’ve seen bad. But she was so pale! She looked like she didn’t have a drop of blood left in her. And she had these two… little holes in her neck. And bruising around the holes, like a bite. The cop who showed me the body was seriously freaked. And then…” She gulped. “Three nights later, Trisha knocked on my door. She was dead and buried, but there she was. She looked fabulous. Better than she ever had before. Except she was still that dead-body pale. And there was… The holes in her neck weren’t there anymore. And she wanted me to invite her in. She wouldn’t explain what happened unless I invited her in. I… I slammed the door in her face and went and hid in my bed under the covers for the rest of the night. She never came back. After a couple weeks, I convinced myself it was all a dream and she hadn’t been there.”
She looked around. Every single girl was paying rapt attention to her story. And every one of them believed her. She whispered tensely, “That was real, wasn’t it? And all of you know it, right?”
Buffy said, “You saw a vampire. A real, live – well, not live anymore – vampire. If you had stepped out of your apartment or invited her in, you would have died a horrible death, and maybe every person in your building would have ended up being at risk.”
“That’s what I was afraid was true,” she admitted.
Buffy said, “You are hired. You are SO hired.”
Penny carefully asked, “So just what kind of reception job is this?”
Buffy put her hand around Penny’s forearm and said, “Let me explain. The world is older than you know, and contrary to legend, it didn’t start out as a paradise…”
Disclaimer: I own neither “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” nor “The Big Bang Theory”. I would love to own either. Both. But no such luck.
Crossover: Buffyverse and The Big Bang Theory. As if you hadn’t already guessed.
Spoilers: Three years after Buffy season 7, not compliant with any comics. Set in between seasons 5 and 6 of the Big Bang Theory (and written before season 6), so this will probably not be compliant with some details of season 6.