I don't own the Buffyverse which belongs to Josh and ME. I don't own the Jeeves and Wooster series, which belongs to the estate of the late, great Sir Pelham Greville Wodehouse.
The character of Sonnenblume is from the comic book TALES OF THE SLAYER. I suspect that the Watcher in this story is related to one in litmouse's FATHER GOOSE.
Two postings in two days... I'm just clearing out stories I've been dithering over for months. That doesn't mean I'm going to go on and finish the ones I've been dithering over for years though....
If I have learned one thing in this life (apart from the knowledge of Scripture that won me such high laurels at my preparatory school) it is that you can’t ever be certain, even on the happiest of days, whence and in what form some frightful disaster is about to strike. The sun may be shining, the birds may be singing and all about you may be full of joy and the promise of better things to come. But somewhere, you know not where, trouble is waiting for you. It may come in the form of over-enthusiastic Boy Scouts: it may come as old friends who have landed in the soup and want you to pull them out (nine times out of ten, let me tell you, they will pull you in with them). It may come as otherwise attractive young women whose penchant for keeping Scottie dogs, believing that the stars are God’s daisy chain or trying to remould you into another, finer person cause all their beauty to be as trash in the eyes of the discerning bachelor. It may come, most terribly, in the form of Aunts.
But come it certainly will. Some people may allow this fact to depress them and give them a lacklustre attitude to life. That, however, is not the habit of yours truly, Bertram Wilberforce Wooster. I have always felt, since the days when my old dad told me of the deeds that earlier Woosters wrought on the battlefields of Crecy and on crusade against the payanim, that a positive attitude is what you should cultivate. It may not stop the disasters from piling up on you, but it does allow you to carpe that old diem, as I believe the expression is, in the gaps between afflictions.
Now on the occasion that I’m about to relate to you, it was not out of a blue, sunny sky that doom first appeared. It was night-time and if memory serves it was a particularly fine, moonlit, spring night. I had just rolled out of the Drones club in the wee, small hours of the morning, where we had dined rather well and drunk rather deep, at a bachelor party for old Ooffy Prosser. I was feeling more than a little wistful, since so many of my boyhood chums were deciding to tie the knot and if there was one person I had expected never to find a woman willing to hitch up with him, it was old Oofy: his magnificent collection of pimples being one barrier and his noted unwillingness to part with ready cash being another. However, an otherwise apparently sane girl called Myrtle had accepted his invitation to share the rest of his life and the Drones had rolled out the red carpet. We poured him into a taxi at about one thirty in the morning and by the time everyone else had found transport I was alone on the steps of the club and beneath a spring moon there was not a single other living soul in sight.
I was, it must be admitted, slightly merry but not sozzled: let that be firmly fixed in your minds because what I’m about to tell you may seem a little strange. I started to walk back to my flat (that’s not the strange part: just wait a moment) the night being pleasant, the exercise being just what my doctors ordered and the distance being minimal.
I took a stroll down along Dover Street and from then on I sort of let my fancy lead me in the general direction of home. It may be that I got confused between left and right somewhere or mistook a landmark in the dark. However it may be, I’m not too clear where exactly I was when I became aware that I was being followed. It was off the main roads, in a rather complex set of back streets.
Now, you (and many of my female relatives) may think it remarkable that B. Wooster Esq., having taken a load of drink aboard, could be aware of anything more complex than putting one foot in front of another. However, you (and they) would be wrong. I have never been a Boy Scout, but I have been taken hunting by various of my male relatives and friends and have learned a bit of woodcraft in my time. (The encounter did take place in W1 or at least in general proximity to W1 but the principles are the same.)
And for another thing I think that the bunch of pug-uglies who had battened onto my tail actually wanted me to know they were after me. Trying to cause me to panic and run, you see? They didn’t know the icy calm that time has bred into the Wooster heart. I immediately started to look around and see if I could figure the quickest route to where a policeman would be patrolling.
Well, I can’t have been too subtle about it because all of a sudden, one of the coves who I would have sworn was twenty yards behind me a moment before was right in front of me, blocking my path.
Nasty looking sort, but well dressed. I rather fancied I recognised the tailor he used.
I didn’t fluster. I just said rather pointedly, “Good evening,” very cool and made to go off in another direction. And blow me if his two companions weren’t right before me as I made to go that way, the same rather disturbing smiles on their faces as well.
There are smiles that you wouldn’t wish on your own worst enemy or in my case on my Aunt Agatha. I had thought that the smile that ferocious menace to civilization gave me when she tried to hitch me up to some ghastly female of her choice was the worst smile I had ever seen. But these johnnies had that beat. There was something about their smiles that said ‘We’ve got a very nasty surprise for you, young Bertram, and there’s nothing you can do about it’.
I will confess that something like a chill ran up my spine but I just said, “Pardon me” with as much froideur as I could muster and made as if to move past them.
They laughed then. They laughed in my face and the cove who was behind me suddenly grabbed my arms and pushed my elbows together behind my back in a most painful manner.
I don’t quite recall what I said then. I may have just given a loud yelp or shouted “Gerroff!” One cannot be the perfect gentleman when one’s arms are pinned painfully behind one even if one has been to Eton. (Where such actions are normally reserved for the field of sport.) Whatever it was that came to my lips, it died in my throat as the faces of the two chappies in front of me suddenly changed.
You’ll think me bonkers, but their foreheads crinkled like paper being folded and their teeth suddenly grew to three times the length and became distinctly pointed. Oh, and their eyes turned yellow.
Well, at that point my mouth was so dry and my mind in such a state that all that came out of me was a sort of ‘eeep’ sound which is not what one wants when trying to attract the attention of nearby police officers. They rushed at me and I could feel their breath either side of my neck, horridly hot and smelling as if they had never been introduced to the regular use of a toothbrush.
Then… Well, I’m not entirely clear what happened then. But my impression was that the first thing was that my arms were released from the painful and dashed strong grip that had been holding them. I heard a sort of croak and a sort of rustling sound behind me and one of the two chappies who were bringing their impressive dentition up to my neck suddenly broke off and looked over my shoulder. His yellow eyes grew even bigger and he said something I didn’t quite catch. Sounded foreign.
He then pushed me to one side, right into a nearby brick wall, which caught me something of a cropper on the right side of my head and I was out of it for a few moments. When I came to myself I turned towards the sound of fighting that had started while I was dizzy.
There were just two people in the fight. One of them was one of the pug-uglies with the teeth. There was no sign of his two companions but the air in the alley had become very dusty for some reason and my eyes started watering as a cloud of grit hit me.
The person opposing him was even more remarkable than he was. It was a young woman, dressed in working men’s clothing but with long, full blonde hair. She was a stunner as well, no more than nineteen, if I am any judge of female pulchritude and fit for the chorus of any West End musical or the harem of any shah or pasha of an active and amorous nature.
However she had a rather fierce and very grim expression on her face which seemed to indicate that she was one of those girls full of serious purpose and determined to do great deeds, a sort that I always find rather wearing no matter how much oomph and espiéglerie (if that’s the word I want) they may display.
Also, I should mention at this time, she was carrying a sword in her right hand and a small, sharpened piece of wood in the other.
The two of them were going at it hammer and tongs. She was taking ferocious swipes at him with her sword and he was ducking under it and whacking her fearsome blows on her ribs. She went down, striking the tarmac hard.
Naturally, being the descendant of generations of British gentlemen and always desirous to be a preux chevalier myself, this was something I could not abide. Careless of the danger, I stepped forward and remonstrated with the chap.
”I say, look here,” was all I managed to utter. As I did so he turned to look at me for just a moment. And in that moment she rolled up from the supine position his blow had sent her into and with one swing of her sword, chopped the toothy chap’s head off.
And the shocking thing, the really shocking thing is that there was no spurting blood, no head rolling in the gutters in the manner of the French Revolution. Both body and head suddenly turned a grey-black colour and crumbled into dust, leaving (as I have heard Jeeves remark) not a wrack behind.
I am not ashamed to say that at that moment, having been sorely tried, I fainted.