As everyone began settling in, Piper started cooking dinner for
everyone. It was difficult, Giles had limited supplies, and there were
many people. They didn’t all like the same thing, which made for some
arguments when Piper finally told all of them she was making spaghetti
and meatballs. If anyone didn’t like it, they could make something
for themselves. The groceries were about to run out, but she was
making do; however, they'd have to go grocery shopping here soon.
The room situation was even worse. Giles had a nice place, true, but
he did not have a nice place for about 20 different people. There were
people crowded in the bedrooms, pillows and blankets sprawled out
everywhere, and absolutely no room to breathe. They were all seriously
considering relocating, but for the moment, according to Leo, the
Powers that Be wanted them to stay there, for they already had the
protection spell with them, it was safer that way.
Cordelia was asleep- it was her way of escaping the chaos around her.
It had been a long drive down, and she was wore out. She was sick of
everyone arguing and just wanted to relax. Rather than going to her
bedroom which she shared with 5 other girls, she slept on the living
room floor. Luckily, she was a heavy sleeper, and the noise about her
did not bother her one bit. She snuggled against her pillow and blanket
on the hard floor, finally drifting off.
Now, as she slept, she drifted off into her dream-like state. There
she encountered a new face, someone she didn't even recognize. She
wondered if this was another one of her Academy Award winning dreams,
where someone she didn’t know handed her the Oscar. It didn’t cross
her mind to wonder why she was thinking so much in her dreams.
"Hello Cordelia," Deraina whispered to her softly. She was finally
able to get in touch with her. She thought Cordelia would never go to
sleep. Deraina looked casually around the dream, which she had set up
herself. It was dark, kind of gloomy, and hazy. There were no immediate
threats around, so that'd hopefully keep her from getting too scared.
She wanted the mood to be set absolutely right- Cordelia was to be
afraid of her, but not too fearful.
"Who are you?" Cordelia looked bewildered. "Where am I? What's going
on?" This was obviously not the Academy Awards, and Cordelia was ready
to switch dreams. Who was this woman that was talking to her? She
wasn’t anyone that Cordelia knew.
Deraina walked towards her slowly. "You're having a dream. But do not
doubt the reality of this- it's all very real. And I can prove it."
She picked up a knife of hers, quickly took Cordelia’s hand before she
had time to protest and it, enough to draw blood, but not enough to do
any severe damage.
Cordelia pulled her hand away. "What the hell do you think you're
doing! Don't attack me! I'm waking up now!" She tried to wake up by
pinching herself, but unfortunately, it didn't work. This was very
different than any of her other dreams. For one thing, she felt very
Deraina smiled calmly at the brunette. "You can't wake up, I have
enough pull on you. Now be a good girl, sit down and we'll chat, then
I'll let you wake up." This wasn't that difficult, why couldn't
Cordelia just cooperate for once in her life.
Cordelia glared at her and backed up a few steps, looking for a door
or some place out. "How about you let me go, and your death will be
quick," she threatened. She knew once she told Angel all about this,
he'd go and kick her ass.
Deraina chuckled. "You can't lay a finger on me." Her eyes hardened,
and she looked more menacing. "Now sit." Cordelia sat reluctantly at
the chair that had appeared by them. But only because her feet were
hurting, not because she was afraid of this person. She looked up at
Deraina and wondered what she had gotten herself into. She didn't know
what Deraina was, she looked human and all, but it could be a cover.
It had to be, of course, it was the dream thing- no human could do
this. She was unnaturally beautiful, no human could look like that.
She had long dark hair, dark eyes and creamy skin. She was tall, and
had a nice body to go with it. But yet, there was something almost
demonic about her. She wasn’t human. Who the hell was this woman?
Cordelia hated her already.
Deraina smiled, enjoying the other girls confusion. She pulled up
another chair from out of thin air and sat across from Cordelia.
Deraina was ready for this. She had waited a long time for this war.
"I am Deraina. And I've come to recruit you to my side."
Liz sat in a guest bedroom, talking to Maria and Alex about their new
deal, with the housing, the war, and everything else.
"I don't see why I have to share a bedroom with like 5 other guys,"
complained Alex. "Wait, make that strangers!" He, Xander, Angel,
Wesley, and Michael were all sharing a room, and it was not fun. There
was only one bed, which Xander immediately claimed, and the other four
had worked at trying to get their own little spot on the floor.
Maria snorted. "Please, you have it easy." Guys didn’t have all the
necessities, such as make up, hair supplies, clothes, and shoes that
girls needed to have. The room she was sharing was already full. She
looked at Liz. "Think about what our bathroom situation is going to be
like in the morning.." Maria regretted saying that, she didn't want to
think about that- it was going to be horrible.
"Oh no," groaned Liz, trying to push the topic from her mind. "But- we
did vote to stay here, so I guess we shouldn't be complaining." She
wondered if Maria felt bad voting against Michael. She hadn't really
talked about it much.
"No no no. I voted to stay and fight the good fight or whatever. I did
not vote to share a room with about 20 different people!" Maria
exclaimed. Of course Liz would go the noble route, and try to see a
good side. "I mean, couldn't we separate, have us go to a hotel or
Liz shrugged. "Apparently the 'Powers that Be' want us all to stay
together, and train or something. Giles said we'd talk about
relocating later." Hopefully it would be sooner, rather than later.
Alex sighed, looking out the door from the room. "This is just too
much you know?"
Cordelia laughed in the face of the demon. "You want me join your
side. Are you out of your mind?" This had to be a dream, no one in
their right mind would try to get Cordelia to go evil, because they
knew she wouldn't. She was quite content on her side, thank you very
Deraina looked down at her, amused. Not many had the guts to turn her
down, and no one had ever laughed about it. Or said she was out of her
mind. This was a different girl indeed, this seer.
"It's not so strange- many want the seers. What I'm offering to you
however, will outdo whatever 'team' you're on right now." Deraina went
into her bribe mode, it would get anyone. And the seer would
definitely fall for it- she had been spoiled as a girl, and she could
be spoiled now, if she’d just let Deraina do it.
Cordelia met her eyes evenly, not looking the least bit afraid. "So
what are you offering me?" Not that it mattered, Cordelia just wanted
something else to laugh about. She could tell Angel and Wesley later,
they'd enjoy the tale.
Deraina laughed, though not breaking eye contact with Cordelia. "The
Michael sat on the kitchen counter, brooding over the day's events. He
didn't want to be here, and now he was stuck in a room full of- freaky
people. Or witches, vampires, ex-demons, whatever they were. He
sighed, wondering what he had done to deserve all of this.
Faith sauntered in, jumping on the counter sitting next to him. "Why
so down Mikey?" As long as she was here, she may as well have a bit of
fun. She scooted closer to him, wondering if he had a girlfriend or
Michael looked away, feeling uncomfortable with her closeness. "No
reason," he muttered, opting not to tell her not to call him Mikey.
Faith continued talking, despite his subtle brush off. "I'm going to
patrol tonight." She rested her hand on his thigh. "Patrolling usually
leaves me......" She smiled and squeezed his thigh.
Michael jumped off the counter after the contact. "I'm with Maria," he
blushed, not used to having someone come on to him like that. There's
no reason why they shouldn't, but Michael was always the
Faith smiled, so he did have a girlfriend. "Hey that's cool. Your
loss, but cool." She hopped off the counter and left the room smiling.
That had been fun. It'd been a while since she could toy with a guy's
mind like that, considering she had been in a women's prison. She had
a lot of time to make up for.
Cordy sighed insincerely, not impressed by Deraina’s offer of the
world at all. "Tempting, the world is, but no. I'm stationed here with
Angel. Now, let me go." What did it take to get through this Deraina's
head that she wasn't interested in whatever she was offering.
Deraina's eyes flashed angrily. "What are you afraid of Cordelia?" Now
she could try the cowardice approach.
Cordelia rolled her eyes. "The whole going against my friends part,
especially when I know who's going to win this whole war thing."
Cordelia smirked proudly, knowing her friends would kick this person's
ass. She'd never come up against them, and now with all these new
people, Cordelia was confident that they were going to be doing some
major victory laps.
Deraina smirked; the seer was almost innocent, like a child who
believed that the good guys always win and the bad guys always lose.
"It hasn't been recorded or prophesied yet. The outcome is unknown,
even to them." She could sense Cordelia's confidence in her team, it
was sort of sweet, if you looked at it from another perspective.
Cordelia shrugged, Deraina’s words going in one ear and out the other.
"Well I know. So good luck working all by your self. Now send me back."
She crossed her arms and glared at Deraina. She has had enough dealing
with her games.
Deraina let out an evil laugh, different than before. Before, she had
been almost jovial- now she was frightening. "Fine then." Cordelia
heard lightning in the distance, and wondered how it could storm in a
dream. Suddenly she was struck, but it didn’t hurt. She woke up
Angel heard her scream and rushed over to her, his eyes scanning her
for any injury. "Cordelia! What happened to you!" Her knelt next to
her bruised body, and her hand was bleeding. How could this happen to
his best friend? "Are you okay?"
Cordelia groaned as she tried to sit up. "Despite the tremendous
amount of pain, yeah I'm great." She fell back, the pain in traveling
through her whole body. Angel picked her up, and helped her to the
couch, where she laid down. Angel went to get some first aid to help
her out from her wounds. He wondered how she could possibly be
affected by that, she had been laying there asleep. No one had come
in to hurt her, they simply couldn’t.
As Angel was getting the first aid kit, Giles walked in to see what
was going on. "Cordelia! What happened!" He ran over to the couch by
her, shocked by her appearance. He feared that she was the first
victim of war.
Cordelia groaned. "I was struck by lightning. In my sleep." Now that
she said it out loud, she knew how crazy it sounded. She wouldn’t have
believed it herself had she not felt the pain that was now visible to
her. Angel returned with the first aid and tended to her hand wound.
Giles pulled up a chair next to her. "Now Cordelia, I know you're in
pain, but could you try to tell me what happened? Who did this to you?"
"Ow!" Cordelia exclaimed as Angel used the peroxide to kill the germs
on her hand. "That hurts Angel!" She turned back to Giles, who was
always business first, health later. "Um- it was some woman- she said
her name was Deraina."
"Deraina.." Giles racked through his brain trying to see if he could
place her. "Was she a demon, human, what?"
Cordelia frowned, trying to remember. Things had gotten a bit fuzzy
since her dream. "She looked human, that I remember, but I got an
inhuman-like vibe from her. She was trying to recruit me to her team."
Giles was writing all of this on his notepad. "Did she say why? Your
visions?" He knew that the seeing power was priceless, it was very
popular among the demonic world. Especially if they came from the
powers that be.
"Yeah, I think that was it. I don't know Giles, Deraina kind of
freaked me out. But I told her no way on the whole recruitment." Angel
smiled sweetly at her, happy that she said no. Of course she would,
Angel trusted her with his life.
Anya looked up from the television. "You encountered Deraina?" All
eyes turned to her in disbelief.
"You've heard of her?" Max questioned. He wondered how Anya could've,
when he'd never heard of any person of the sort. It looked like even
Giles didn't know who Cordy was talking about.
"Pssyeah! I am 1000 years old, duh," Anya smiled. "She was pretty
cool, we had a drink together once." She smiled at the memory, then
looked at everyone around her. They were still watching her, waiting
for her to say something. "What?! I was a demon back then, I could
hang out with many different kinds of people! We weren't prejudiced
that way." Anya finished with, feeling indignant.
"I was actually wondering if you could explain more about Deraina,"
Giles stated calmly, hoping Anya could tell them something that would
help in the future.
"Oh," said Anya, thinking back to what she knew about Deraina. She
paused for a second before saying, "Well, let me think. She's not
really evil, if you're worried about that. She'll remain neutral,
unless someone really pisses her off."
"But look what she did to Cordelia! You can't say she's good by that!"
Wesley exclaimed, surprised by what Anya thought of her. How could
Anya sit there and say she wasn't evil!
"Child's play," Anya grinned, her mind slipping again into an act of
vengeance she played against this man. A woman had wished that every
time her husband got an erection, or even just a little aroused, while
looking at another woman, he'd be struck by lightning. From what Anya
heard, it had been a lot.
"Tell that to my lightning struck body," muttered Cordelia. She hated
it when she was the victim of some demon's fun and games, which was
why she was against vengeance demons.
Willow stood up suddenly, having enough of Cordelia's pain. Maybe she
could do something constructive for the group. "I'm going to see if I
can decipher any of the book- Tara want to help me?" Tara nodded and
the two of them left the room and went to the book.
"While you two do that, I'm going to research more on this Deraina
character," Wesley stood up and walked over to the bookcase, picking
out a book to study. "If she does prove to be a threat, we'll need to
know more about her."
Faith stood up. "I'll be outside training- Angel want to join?" She
watched the dark haired vampire, hoping that he would. He was one of
the few people who didn’t hate her and actually understood her. He
could also take her punches- she would never have to hold back.
He looked at Cordy, his eyes full of concern. "You'll be okay?"
Cordy rolled her eyes; she didn’t need a baby-sitter. She doubted
she’d go back to sleep though "I'm fine, go kick and punch each other.
Better you than someone she could really hurt."
Liz stood there and watched as everyone seemed to be going off to
research or train- and she didn't want to know what Xander and Anya
left the room to go do. She whispered to Maria, who was watching TV
with Michael. "I feel like we should be doing something."
"Yeah, sure, whatever- no way! They can't do that!" Maria exclaimed to
the TV. Liz shook her head. Apparently Maria wasn’t listening to her.
She walked over to Giles. "Mr. Giles is there anything you need me to
He smiled and said, "Call me Giles. Everyone else does. And you can-"
his voice broke off as the doorbell rang. "Who could that be?" He
frowned, imagining the possibilities. Everyone had arrived, hadn't
they? Then- who was there? It wasn't like he had gotten visitors, and
it couldn't be Buffy. Besides she wouldn't knock.
Willow interrupted his thoughts. "I'll get it," she said cheerfully as
she walked over to the door.
"Be careful!" Giles called out too late, for Willow had already opened
the door to reveal some girl he had never seen before.
Willow bit her lip. "Um- hi." She wondered what this girl was doing
here, maybe she was selling something? It didn’t cross her mind that
this could be someone evil.
Deraina smiled inwardly at the girl's confusion, as she tried to read
into her memories. Aha- there. This would be too easy. She slid her
frightened face on as she said, "You have to help me- some guy- he
tried to kill me!"
Willow frowned as she looked into the distance behind Deraina. "I
don't see anyone- who do you think is after you?" Ix-nay on the
selling, which was too bad, because that would be so much easier to
Deraina shook her head. "I don't know- I think I lost him. He's short,
he had reddish hair, pretty normal guy- like. But something made him
mad- and he transformed! Into this werewolf-like thing! You don't
think I'm crazy do you? I know what I saw!"
Willow's jaw dropped. Was this girl referring to Oz? But it took a lot
for Oz to change, he wouldn't get mad over just something? Would he?
What was going on? Was Oz still on the loose as a wolf? Willow rubbed
her forehead as a headache formed. "Hold on, I'll try and straighten
this out. Wait here, I'll be out in a sec." Willow went to find
"Willow? Where are you going?" Giles asked when he saw Willow with his
tranquilizer. He hoped Tara hadn't made her mad or something.
Willow sighed. "Something's wrong with Oz- I need to go find him."
Giles looked shocked at the mention of Oz, last he had heard he left
town again. What could be possibly be doing back?
"Do you need some assistance?"
"No, no, I think it'll be all right." Willow walked toward the door.
She didn't want Oz to get anymore hurt than he had to. It was best if
everyone just thought that everything was okay. Besides, he hated it
when people saw him as the wolf. "Ok, sorry about that. I'm ready."
She hoped the girl wouldn't get freaked out about the fact she had a
Deraina smiled as Willow walked out of the door, and pulled it shut.
With extraordinary quickness, she grabbed Willow and knocked the
tranquilizer out of her hands. Before Willow had time to register what
was going on, let alone scream, Deraina's hand covered her mouth and
led her over behind a tree.
"We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way," Deraina
whispered in her ear. "Now, why don't you be a doll and tell me all
about your team. And don't even think about screaming, you'll be dead
before your friends even hear you." Deraina slowly removed her hand
from Willow's mouth, waiting for the scream. When it didn't come,
Deraina smiled. "Good girl. Now tell me everything you know." Deraina
needed the information, and she didn't feel like looking it up. She
needed to know what was going to be dealt with, the strengths and
weaknesses. What sort of powers they had, etc.
Willow shook her head vehemently. She wished she could scream, her
throat muscles were clamped and ready, but no sound would come out.
Her legs refused to move, it was as if they turned to jelly. Her whole
body disobeyed every command her brain sent out, and she was scared.
Deraina sighed. "Figures you'd want to do this the hard way." No one
ever cooperated anymore. She somehow was able to transform some weird
looking knife into her hand. Willow's eyes widen, but she kept her
mouth shut. She couldn't betray her friends. "One last chance to make
this easy.." She shook her head as Willow said nothing.
"Fine then, don't say I didn't warn you." With supernatural strength,
she pushed Willow to the ground, so that she was laying on her
stomach. She ripped Willow's shirt so that her bare shoulder blade was
exposed. She got down and straddled Willow, holding her down as she
took her knife, and gently cut the skin. Willow struggled with all her
energy to break free, but Deraina would just press harder against her.
Willow whimpered in pain and silently apologized to Tara as Deraina
carved a symbol onto her shoulder blade. Deraina smiled as she admired
her work. "You will now be my eyes and ears in your world," she said
as she knocked Willow out. "And it has begun."
End Part 3