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Heaven out of Hell

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Summary: Veruca the werewolf was a talented singer with her whole life ahead of her. Let's look at things from her and her guardian angel's point of view shall we? Journeyman XO.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Journeyman(Past Donor)KiwikatipoFR1316,3740465426 Dec 0726 Dec 07Yes
I’ll follow you and make a heaven out of hell, and I'll die by your hand which I love so well.
-- William Shakespeare

Title: Heaven out of Hell
Author: Kiwikatipo
Disclaimer: Vercua and Oz and that annoying red headed chick created by Whedon, Dan Vasser from Journeyman created by Kevin Falls. I do not own, please do not sue.
Rating: F13
Timeline: Season 4
Summary: Whorebag and skanky werewolf ho is not how Dan a time traveler from 2007 sees Veruca. He helps her out occasionally because why not?



1999, Sunnydale
When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew. William Shakespeare



The day Veruca first caught sight of her obsession she also was saved by her guardian angel again.

Her morning started off in an ordinary fashion like any other day. Veruca padlocked and chained her bedroom door shut before she set off for the day. Often her roomies let friends crash the night and one asshole once stole a lavender bag out of her bottom dresser drawer where she kept her towels and sheets; the cretin thought it was grass. He paid for doing that.

Pleasant natural scents were important to Veruca because she was a werewolf.

Terrible posture hampered Veruca’s hotness value; she was becoming permanently hunched from practicing singing intensely over the microphone. Wearing tight fitting sexy tops helped distract an audience’s eye from her potential dowager’s hump. She therefore didn’t need some klepto co-ed stealing her chosen with care clothes this morning.

Yet another reason for the padlock on Veruca’s bedroom door located in the three bedroom Californian bungalow on the outskirts of campus.

Rent for the rundown bungalow was cheap, which was why four financially struggling students lived there. Veruca’s widowed mother couldn’t afford to pay for her college attendance. Veruca regretted killing her dad the first month she transformed into a werewolf, but she kept her pain to herself.

The innocent family dog got blamed for Dad’s gory demise and Lyddie the collie’s death in the pound was all Veruca’s fault.

Singing the angst ridden songs written by the lead guitarist in Shy gave Veruca an outlet for her slight remaining grief and remorse over the matter. The rest of the time Veruca got on with life and enjoyed herself. Live fast, die young and leave a pretty corpse was her motto.

Veruca walked out of the bungalow’s front door and spotted a sleeping freshman crashed out on the battered couch standing on the front porch.

“Jonathan?” Veruca shook her room-mate’s snoring cousin. “Wake up, freshie, you’ll miss your morning class.”

“Oh crap, is it morning?” Jonathan Levinson blinked up at her groggily, “Thanks, Veruca.”

“No problemo,” Veruca liked Jonathan, she dug short men. It wasn’t entirely because Jonathan was shy or a bit of a geek that turned her off him as a potential boyfriend but another major reason. According to Craig her roomie, Jonathan once attempted suicide in high school and still went to counseling over it. Really not a turn on.

Although Veruca also attempted suicide during her high school years but in her case it was justified. She wanted to kill herself before she killed someone else as a werewolf, but a mysterious man persuaded the fifteen year old Veruca to live instead. Who knew what she could achieve? Didn’t she have a right to life?

After unchaining her bicycle from the porch railing of her house Veruca pedaled into the main drag of Sunnydale.

A well dressed for a homeless person sat slumped against the wall of a diner, a cup beside him for begging. The scene reminded Veruca of the homeless people she saw all the time back in her home city of San Francisco.

Turning into a side alley Veruca halted her bicycle in front of the bar she worked in part time as a cleaner.

“Hey, Willie,” Veruca sang out to her boss as she wheeled her bicycle inside the dim bar. The demolished furniture in her workplace grabbed her immediate attention. “Bomb go off?”

“I wish, hey watch out for that broken glass with your tyre; The Slayer was in last night roughing my possibly innocent clientele up and altering the interior design of my fine drinking establishment.” Willie stood up gingerly from behind the bar.

“Slayer the bitch who redecorated your face?” Veruca questioned at the sight of Willie’s swollen cheek and puffy mouth.

“Yeah - you’ve been lucky to avoid the she-hyena in the last two years. Man, she has a stupid laugh,” Willie filled in his latest insurance claim form. “I keep telling her about my no killing policy but the blonde psycho keeps destroying my property regardless. Maybe she’s hard of hearing as well as permanently suffering PMS. Watch out for her, she’s probably a fresher at UC Sunnydale.”

“What’s her name?” Veruca took out a broom from a store closet.

“Buffy I believe.”

“You’re shitting me," Veruca smirked as she began sweeping the broken glass off the floor.

An hour and a half later, paid in cash, Veruca wheeled her bicycle down the main street.

A fresh doughnut from the diner would be yummy but blowing the budget.

The homeless man still sat by the diner wall. Veruca smelled fear and terror oozing out of his sweat glands - not booze. The respectable citizens of Sunnydale continued to walk past him, not even bothering to give a second glance at a derelict.

She leaned her bicycle against the diner window in able to squat beside him. There might be a stray demon on the loose that Veruca should take an alternative route to campus to avoid. All info was valuable.

“Hey, you okay, mister?” Veruca nudged him curiously. She noticed six dropped unopened sugar packets beside his coffee cup. "Something scare you?"

“I thought no one would ever stop to help me.” The old man had tears of gratitude in his eyes and could barely speak. “I’m a diabetic, please call an ambulance.”

No skin off Veruca’s nose to take three minutes out of her life to get the old man some medical help. Werewolves weren’t sadistic - it wasn’t like Veruca was a vampire. Stopping to check on the old man had made him hopeful of aid.

She wheeled her bicycle inside the diner, pulling up her low cut faded blouse a little, to unselfconsciously rub at the healing piercing in her navel, exposing the tattoo on her stomach in the process.

“Mind leaving your tricycle outside, kid?” The diner owner asked, hung up about the bicycle bringing dirt inside his pristine eating house.

Veruca narrowed her eyes. “Yeah, I mind. There’s an old guy collapsed outside. Call an ambulance for him.”

The diner’s owner raised his eyebrows persuaded. “Sure,” he reached for the phone on the wall. “No offense, but you don’t look like a Good Samaritan, honey.”

“What am I supposed to look like? A fugly Albanian nun?” Veruca wheeled her bike outside to check on the old man.

Veruca never ran late for her Environmental Studies Class if she could help it - seven minutes later she remounted her bicycle outside the diner, drinking a complimentary coffee from the contrite diner owner with one hand.

A crowd of people were now gathered around the old man, watching an off duty nurse tend to him. Veruca pushed her foot down on her bicycle pedal. Apes were like sheep, baa, baa, baa, they never did anything unless someone else made the first move. Veruca preferred being a werewolf now she had come to terms with it.

Her day at college passed in an ordinary way, she chose ‘coyote migration patterns changing due to freeways being built’ for an assignment, and quietly told some gossiping freshman airheads behind her in a lecture hall (a blonde and a redhead) to shut the hell up. The bimbos realized they were in the wrong lecture room and left apologetically.

She met up with her fellow band members in the cafeteria in the late afternoon and they finally decided upon who their new drummer would be after much pro and con discussion.

It was dark by this stage and Veruca and her friends made their way to the library to photocopy flyers for their band.

And it happened.

Veruca was sure she caught out of the corner of her eye a glimpse of guys in army gear wearing balaclavas and holding rifles, hiding behind the bushes. It must be a hazing stunt for some dick fraternity she decided.

She sensed a presence. She turned her head and saw a short guy with red hair, dressed in clothes that informed the campus world he studied hard in his Casual but Cool major as opposed to striving for As in Jockness or Geekness. He was standing still in the middle of the path twenty feet away from her, staring at her, equally stunned.

Her friends urged her forwards. What was that thrill that passed over her then, what caused that intoxicating prickle of awareness that ran down her spine? Could that guy be a fellow werewolf? Would he be her destiny? Did he hog the covers in bed? Was he into the same kind of music as she was? Did he recycle? Did he shed?

Pig tailed, vintage dress wearing, Donna, one of the guitarists in Shy, tapped Veruca on her shoulder, “Do you wanna come to the movies with me and Craig afterwards, half price night, Tarantino?”

“No, wanna get my Environ-Science assignment out of the way.” Veruca gritted her teeth, “Gotta keep up my stunning academic record of scraping through every single subject I take.”

The Edna Mae Wilkins memorial grant that paid for SUC college tuition Veruca won two years ago didn’t seem as strict as it should have been in finding top scholars.

Perhaps, Veruca reflected as she found a deserted alcove in the library to study in after saying good-bye to her friends in the photocopying room of the library, because the grant aimed to encourage immigration of the young and tasty for demons to feed on.

Veruca took off her favorite and only coat and sat down behind the desk, getting her pen and paper out of her bag.

Veruca needed to complete this semester to finish a diploma in Ecological Conservation. Then she could start saving the planet from the ravages the apes made on its eco-systems or become a rock star or do both. The whole beautiful big blue marble was twenty year old werewolf Veruca’s oyster for the taking.

Veruca opened her text book. There could at least be more colored photographs, boring, boring. On further thought Veruca didn’t want Shy to become over famous because only sell outs became popular with the masses. That guy was out there on the campus. Was there like a synopsis of this text book’s chapter she could just copy verbatim? The guy could come into the library at any moment if he was on campus.

“Veruca? Thank God, I’ve been hunting high and low for you all night.” A tall fair-haired man in his late thirties stood behind her interrupting her study and musings about the other werewolf. The man’s suit was crumpled, he needed a shave.

“Dan Vasser?” Veruca stared at him in dread. “Oh no. My life in danger again?”

“‘Fraid so, but I’m not sure what happens to you, only that you go missing presumed dead after you leave the library tonight, never make it home.” Dan Vasser looked at the back of Veruca’s neck in surprise. “You got another tattoo? How many have you got now?”

“Six.” Veruca scrambled to put her coat back on. “And you still haven’t aged a day since you stopped me and my skateboard running in front of a cable car when I was nine. Why is that, Dan?”

“You were such a sweet little girl.” Dan avoided her question and helped her on with her coat.

“Are you immortal?” Veruca stuffed her belongings back in her bag.

“I’ve actually aged a week since I saved you when you were nine. As I said after I stopped you jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, I’m very new to this helping people lark, I never received an instruction manual and I don’t want to go into things.” Dan looked around the library nervously in case a serial killer might leap out from behind a shelf. “I’ll drive you home in my car.”

“You have a car?” Veruca queried, as the pair hurried down the main stairs of the library together.

Dan peered anxiously through the glass doors of the library entrance in case a pride of escaped lions from a zoo lurked outside. “No, I’m borrowing your room-mate’s. Okay, I kind of stole this vehicle.”

The coast was clear, Dan opened the library door.

Dan smiled warmly down at his protégée, “How’s the singing going, I heard today you formed a band recently?”

“Yeah, Shy, we’re doing okay. Could be better, got a new drummer. Have to see how he plays out.” Veruca walked outside with Dan to where he parked his car. “Guy wasn’t a suspect in my disappearance was he?”

The bushes rustled by the library entrance and then were still.



Veruca stepped out on stage and readied herself to sing before the microphone, she hadn’t been involved with setting up because she had been arguing with the Bronze manager about money out the back.

The presence was back, the electrifying feeling. In the front of the table section of the Bronze, the guy - the male werewolf, sat at a table with a slender red headed girl beside him. The girl was all over him like a mother hen. His girlfriend, he had an ape girlfriend.

That sucked.

Applause greeted the turning on of the spotlights.

Shy had quite a following in Sunnydale and Veruca could barely see a thing with the lights shining in her eyes. But she knew where he was, she could sense him and she couldn’t stop looking in his direction as she sang through the set.

This did not go unnoticed by Donna after Shy’s performance ended.

“Veruca, glance around the whole audience, babe, not gaze in one spot like Bambi caught in headlights, we’re performers remember? Not store mannequins.”

“Blow me, Donna, I feel weird.” Veruca explained, helping pack the equipment up.

“Like something catching weird?” Keith the new drummer backed away from her. “I knew I shoulda got a flu shot this winter.”

“Get a brain transplant instead, your beat was off in the second song.” Veruca helped carry the drum kit off the stage.

“We rehearsed it that way.” Keith protested.

“No we didn’t.” Everyone else chorused.

All was forgiven once the instruments were finally loaded into Keith’s security alarmed van.

“Beer?”

“Beer.”

Sitting at a table back in the Bronze, drinking down a bitter icy brew, Veruca could feel him approach. She instantly looked up. Why play games?

“Guys, this is a good bud of mine.” Keith draped his arm around his friend’s shoulders.

Lucky Keith.

“Hi, I’m Oz, I’m lead guitarist for the Dingoes.” He couldn’t take his eyes off her. He was going pink behind the ears. What was the deal with that?

He was so close, she could touch him if she outstretched her hand. And she wanted to, she wanted to so much.

“Veruca, I’m in plumbing.” God, was her thumping heart as loud to him as it was to her?

“And this is Willow.”

“Groupie,” Veruca made her tone playful. What the hell was that verging on a geek chick doing with a healthy male werewolf? Oz should be with Veruca, he should be with Veruca.

Willow was looking offended, Oz was looking entranced. His expression changed to mild disapproval on Willow’s behalf.

“Veruca’s jealous; she wants groupies but gets stalkers.” Keith cut in.

Veruca waved at the anxious-to-please Jonathan coming towards her group with a tray laden with more drinks. “Here’s one now, he’s useful however.”

Oh look, that was the wrong thing to say too.

Willow’s mouth screwed up into fresh offense, relaxing into a welcoming smile as Jonathan reached the table.

“Hey Jonathan, haven’t seen you around campus much.” Willow launched into animated conversation with Jonathan, the whole time watching Oz and Veruca like an insecure hawk.

“You guys getting ripped off by the manager here?” Oz placed his drink down on the table and Veruca’s hand brushed against his.

Oz jerked his hand back as if he had been stung by a wasp. He stared so hard into Veruca’s eyes with desire for her radiating in pheromone waves off him, Veruca thought she’d catch alight from the heat of them.

“Yeah, but where else can you play in this town outside campus?” Veruca wanted to scream with frustration. How did you bring up you were both werewolves in front of your ape band members, your lycanthrope love interest’s not so plain-jane girlfriend, and the dweeb who had a crush on you?



A full moon tonight saw Veruca making her normal trek through the woods near campus before dusk.

She found the perfect deserted spot to transform into a werewolf when she first arrived in Sunnydale, she wasn’t a danger to anyone and she could roam free, as free as the grass grew, as free as the wind blew, free to follow her…

Shit!

Boy Scouts of America? What the hell was a group of uniformed adolescents and their dweeb scarf wearing leaders doing camping in her fricking wilderness?

Holy crap. Veruca started running in the opposite direction from her potential prey's tents and campfire as fast as she could.

Pine branches brushed her face as she raced through the woods. An unlucky deer hunter had been eaten by her last year. Oopsie. That could be written off as part of the natural selection process. But killing twenty apes at once? It went against all her ethics as a conservationist.

The sun sank below the horizon and the moon rose.

Scents and shadows overwhelmed Veruca as she loped ecstatically through the woods. She could smell him, her mate in the distance.



“We could raid a laundry room in a dorm.” Veruca suggested as they reached the outskirts of campus.

“Yeah,” Oz wouldn’t meet her eyes.

Oz wasn’t very communicative this morning.

It was a ridiculous situation to be in, trudging naked through the woods together for the past half hour. Very uncool. Not something to crack a smile over or see the funny side of if you were Oz apparently.

The guy had been hanging around her all the time the past two weeks, so why so silent now?

Not that Oz would speak to her about anything but music when he did sit in on Shy’s rehearsals and performances, but he would look at her. She would stare at him staring at her. He wanted her, as much as she wanted him. And the intensity of their mutual desire frightened him.

Desire never frightened Veruca, she was very in touch with her earthy sexuality.

She wanted to help him. She knew what he was going through, she had been there herself and if he faced up to the fact he was a wolf wearing human guise not the other way around it made life so simple and enjoyable.

Oz made it hard not to be bitterly hurt by him when he flounced off like a born again virgin from the dorm laundry room, leaving Veruca alone wearing someone else’s ill fitting black undies. Why was Oz rejecting Veruca after coming onto her in a nonverbal manner for the last fourteen days?

With Oz everything needed to be read by his actions because he didn’t say much unless it was about music or to make an occasional quip.

His actions were to not spend time with his ape girlfriend in the evenings, and skip classes by day - so he could spend more time with Veruca.

The tortured tormented guy was confused but Oz would see soon, he would realize the truth - there could be no one else for him but her. She could make all his pain ease and bring him joy. Why was he putting them both through needless agony?

Veruca poured her misery and hope into her singing at Shy’s rehearsal at the Bronze at lunchtime. Her band members complimented her on her stellar rendition of their latest ‘slash your wrists’ ballad the instant they finished rehearsing.

On her return home she received a phone call from Oz late that afternoon to meet him in a crypt in the Sunnydale cemetery. How Goth.

Thank god, Oz must have dumped his ape girlfriend finally. Why else did he want to meet Veruca knowing they would inevitably have sex once more?

The guy left his summons to his hamster cage late; it looked like making love would be literally doggie style again instead of face to face in human form.



Veruca walked up the stairs from the crypt with her head held high, in a white hot rage. She’d never give Oz the satisfaction of behaving in front of him like weeping Willow did.

Leave,” that’s what Oz shouted at her, as if what they shared the past two nights meant nothing to him, like she meant nothing to him. And he hadn’t broken up with Willow yesterday it appeared. Daniel Osbourne wanted to keep going out with his goodie-two-shoes ape girlfriend and screw Veruca on the side. Have his cake and eat it. Bastard.

No, Oz wasn’t a bastard for being still in love with his immature ape girlfriend and wanting not to hurt her. Willow was emotionally smarter than Veruca first thought, Willow (in spite of being good looking) clearly chose to dress like an asexual little kid half the time to arouse Oz’s protective instincts. Veruca was certain Willow wasn’t as good in bed as her. Not that sexual prowess mattered because Oz didn’t want to find this out about Veruca right now. Maybe he never would, and then what was Veruca going to do?

Confused, hurt, angry Veruca, barefoot and naked apart from her coat, walked in the chill morning rays shining down on Sunnydale Cemetery.

Was she a natural victim like Willow the ape seemed or pretended to be? No, Veruca was not.

Amazing, that’s what she was, what all female werewolves were. Veruca was an amazing talented individual with a true lust for life. And she recycled religiously! Veruca was the one who deserved Oz not the babyish irritating Willow.

Veruca sat down on a tombstone and weighed through her options in this screwed situation. Why was she a walk in role in someone else’s soap opera, when she should be the leading lady?



The sound of running footsteps on the pavement came closer and closer behind her.

“Veruca, this is not the way to a laundrymat.” Dan caught up after her panting.

Veruca re-juggled the pile of her dirty clothes she carried and slowed down to allow to catch his breath her guardian angel. Or was he?

“Are you a demon?” Veruca kept striding towards the woods. It made sense.

“No, I’m human. I’m sorry you’re a werewolf.” Dan stumbled over the words.

“I’m not.” Veruca swung around to face him. “You don’t understand, Dan, there’s this guy and he needs me, he doesn’t realize it yet, we have friggin’ everything in common even apart from big eyes and big teeth every full moon. And there’s an obstacle to us being together forever that I’m in the process of removing - a red-headed parasitic vine. I’m not gonna kill her just scare her. Maybe maim her, but not bite her - then she’d be real competition. I’m doing this to help him.”

“Veruca, are you high?” Dan was frowning at her puzzled.

“No, I always get a little strung out on full moon days.” Veruca stopped walking and explained her motivations to Dan. “You don’t get it. The chick’s a witch; one of my room mates goes to the same Wiccan meetings as her. God knows what that nerd’s planning to do to me. I’m carrying out a preemptive strike before she starts sticking a wax doll of me and maybe him as well, through with pins. I don’t think cry baby will have the balls, but it’s a risk factor.”




Carefully holding the cup of soothing herbal tea so it wouldn’t spill, Dan re-entered Veruca’s bedroom.

Veruca sat Red-Indian style on her double bed talking on the telephone, an alarmed expression crossed her face as she listened to Oz.

Dan passed her a cup of steaming chamomile tea.

“Must rock for her to have a strong shoulder to cry on,” Veruca took hold of the cup from Dan with one hand as she continued to talk to Oz on the telephone. “I said, I’m fine. It’s not your grief where I go tonight if you haven’t broken up with her yet. Good bye.”

Veruca put the phone down, a scheming expression on her face. “Her best friend is the friggin’ slayer.”

“What’s a slayer?” Dan inquired calmly.

“Some girl with supernatural steroid enhanced strength who gets off on killing demons for a hobby,” Veruca deposited the unwanted cup of tea down on her bedside table, “So much for your brilliant idea for me to take half a bottle of tranquilizers and stay in my room tonight. Buffy might find me here and take me out in my furry drugged sleep.”

“Who’s Buffy, the girlfriend?” Dan was clearly having trouble keeping up with the ins and outs of Veruca’s crap awful love life at present.

“The slayer,” Veruca flung herself backwards on her bed, she covered her hands with her eyes. Think Veruca, think. How best to survive this SNAFU? How reasonable about stuff could someone named ‘Buffy’ be? How open minded?

Veruca wanted Oz so much she could die. He was 'thinking'. Thinking? What the hell was there to think about? He belonged with Veruca.

“The demon slayer’s called Buffy?” Dan slumped on the bed beside Veruca. The action did not alarm her. Dan always wore a wedding ring but more importantly never acted interested in Veruca in a sexual way. “Anyway, this guy - Oz called you to check you were okay, maybe he’s not the utter jerk-off he sounds.”

“He’s confused.” Veruca took her hands off her eyes to defend her potential mate for life. “Oz wants to be with me, he’s just having trouble admitting it to himself.”

Leaning over Veruca, Dan picked up a small statue of a laughing Buddha that doubled as an incense holder from her bedside table to admire it. He asked the statue a question possibly burning on his mind all day. “Why are women stupid?”

“Why are guys?” Veruca placed her head on her palm as she sprawled on the bed beside Dan. Drowsiness overwhelmed her due to two night’s lack of sleep and the warmth of her bed and her room. Her eyelids closed shut and she dozed off before she could hear Dan’s no doubt insightful reply.

Opening her eyes again an hour later she found her bedroom gloomy in twilight shadows.

“I was going to wake you up myself it’s nearly dusk,” Dan offered her the tranquilizer tablets he brought with him from wherever he came from. Her bedroom was gloomy in twilight shadows.

Taking the tablets from him, palming them not swallowing, Veruca picked up the cold cup of herbal tea. “How come you’re still here? This is the longest you’ve ever stuck round.”

“Not sure. Are you still thinking about hurting this muso stud’s poor girlfriend?” Dan put his face near hers, returning her defiant and unrepentant gaze with a reproachful glint in his eyes, “Oh Veruca.”

“He needs to be with me.” Veruca began to get the buzzed spaced out feeling approaching her change. She wanted to rip out Willow’s entrails in a bloody pile but not Dan’s, or her roomies, or even the semi-permanent uninvited house guest Jonathan Levinson whom she could virtually guarantee would be watching the television in the living room at present.

If Oz could frigging listen to Veruca tomorrow she could explain how it was possible to direct and channel your energy as a werewolf so he didn’t hurt the apes he liked accidentally. It was being stuck in a cage when a werewolf should be roaming free that caused over aggression.

She gulped down the tranquilizers, chasing them down with cold tea. “Oz can love me back, Dan.” She pulled off her pants and socks, no point destroying them. “He has to love me, back.” She pulled off her sweater and blouse over her head in one tight tangled buttoned mess.

“Boy, my wife would kill me if she knew I was in the same room as you doing this.” Dan had stood back up off the bed and turned his back the second Veruca unfastened the top clasp of her pants.

“Because you have to kill to show you love.” Veruca unclipped her bra with her head hung down. The tranquilizers were hurting her empty stomach. Her lengthening nails ripped at her cotton thong as she tugged it off. “Get out of the room, Dan.”

She looked up. “Dan?”

Dan had vanished and her bedroom remained double bolted from the inside.

Veruca uttered one chemically drugged “yip” as she changed into a werewolf. She shredded her quilt with her claws as she transformed, crashing out into a deep chemically induced sleep.



Waking up after being drugged was never pleasant. It was like still being half asleep.

Thank god, it was Saturday morning. Veruca sneezed feathers from the ruins of her quilt. Looked like she’d need to buy new bedding, damn.

Pulling a nineteen-forties kimono on from her closet, she next stumbled in zombie mode out into the kitchen to brew coffee.

Jonathan had already made coffee for the whole house. The eager to please guy was excellent value.

Veruca sat curled up in an armchair and tried sleepily to focus on life as everyone else in the living room watched cartoons.

A knock on the front door brought an unexpected visitor.

Willow’s best friend Buffy had dropped by.

“Veruca, right? I’m Buffy, we need to talk.” Was the blonde co-ed’s first statement once over the threshold of Veruca’s house.

“I love the pink head-scarf. Very Amish.” Veruca finished the rest of her coffee as slowly and rudely as she could make every sip.

“A private word?” Buffy appeared mega pissed off but not at the head scarf remark or the passive agressive coffee drinking.

“Hey, Buffy, I didn’t know you knew these guys.” Jonathan called over from where he was rinsing glasses in the sink.

“I don’t. Jonathan, come and join me and Wills next time you see us having lunch on campus, huh? Don’t be a stranger. Willow needs friends right now.” Buffy smiled at Jonathan before she turned a disapproving expression back to Veruca.

“You two enjoy your little reunion, don’t let me stop you.” This was Veruca’s house and The Slayer could just wait for a few minutes until Veruca felt, well, ape again. “I’m having a shower, you can talk to me after.”

Finished in the bathroom, Veruca led Buffy into her feather strewn bedroom.

“Have you been sacrificing chickens?” Buffy clearly had a prejudged impression of Veruca.

“Yeah, I slit the goats’ throats tomorrow. What do you want?” Veruca leaned against her windowsill and picked at some peeling paint on the wooden frame. It was hardly like Buffy could kill her in a house full of witnesses.

“Oz told you I was The Slayer and I’m peed off about it. You blab to anyone - you’re dead. You also need to be confined every full moon.” Buffy informed Veruca coldly. “It’s wrong and large with selfish dumbness for you to be free range and a danger to others.”

“I can refrain from handing out flyers listing your dorm address to the demon community of Sunnydale. Confine myself? No way. Who’ve I harmed?” Veruca had disposed of the body of the hunter extremely carefully, she couldn’t see how Buffy would ever find out. “I don’t do cages and I normally don’t do drugs - sleeping pills anyhow, so my monthly trip to the great outdoors is kind of a necessity for me.”

“If I catch hold of you all loose and pelty I’m gonna have to kill you, Veruca. Is that the risk you’re prepared to take?” Buffy seemed none too keen at the prospect but resigned.

The Slayer was a reasonable chick. Who would have ever guessed? Maybe Veruca had prejudged Buffy?

“Guess it is.” Seeing how Sunnydale crawled with evil vampires, why would Buffy bother to go hiking through the woods next month seeking out ‘minding her own business’ Veruca? “Hey, how did you know where I live anyway?” This had been bothering Veruca as she showered earlier.

“Phone book,” Buffy prepared to depart but clearly was going to have the last word. “And on a personal level after how you wrecked the relationship of my best friend? I'm not big on liking you. Your type is just plain skanky bad news.”

“My type?” Veruca sniggered, what the hell was ‘her type’? Excellent - Oz and Willow’s relationship was wrecked? Wait a minute… “I’m not in the phone book, my housemate’s name is on the phone account.”

“Is it? Odd much?” Buffy swept loftily out of Veruca’s room.

Jesus on a stick! Had Oz’s nerd girlfriend been hacking into Veruca’s personal records at College to find her address? Veruca had heard from Jonathan, Willow was a computer wiz.

Techno-pagans were never to be underestimated. Veruca still wanted Willow dead but she would have to think the chick’s murder through more carefully. Not go into the plan in a rage with guns half cocked.

An essay to finish on environmental law changes beckoned, but maybe Veruca could untraceably poison Willow if she needed to, and Buffy? Did Veruca have any book on local poisonous plants in her bookshelves?

Time flew by when researching something one was genuinely motivated in learning as opposed to studying dry set course work by professors.

It was early evening when Oz called her to see if Veruca was free to talk in person.

“Talk? Just talk? ‘Kay, if that’s how you’re playing it.” Veruca stretched with sensual languor on her bed whilst talking on the phone. She could feel him close. “Are you driving near by in your van? I can sense you.”

“Or you have good-eyesight and hearing and have already spotted me parking outside your house.” Oz replied in a prosaic tone.

His footsteps made light crunching sounds on the gravel as Oz made his way up the front path to her house. She could hear his light joking tone to her housemate.

She opened her bedroom door before he knocked.

“Willow and I are on a break. I love her not you, Veruca.” Oz looked like hell, signs of stress, guilt and worry written all over his stubbled face. “I’m going to try and make it work with her if she'll forgive me.”

“Gee, thanks for making my evening and coming around in person to tell me this, Oz.” Veruca cocked her head to one side in full seduction mode. You couldn’t lie to other werewolves. Waves of desire for her were pheromonically pouring off him again. “Not say waiting until tomorrow and telling me in public in a bar or a coffee house, but putting yourself out to risk being where there is you, me, and a double bed. Cut the crap and look at where you’ve ended up.”

With relieved surrender to his inner demon Oz grabbed Veruca with savage force, to begin kissing her in an aggressive embrace.

“I knew you wanted me, Oz.” Veruca chuckled with elation as Oz picked her up roughly. “It’s all gonna work out now. It’s all gonna be fine.”



San Francisco, 2007 They do not love that do not show their love.
William Shakespeare



In a two storey nineteenth century wooden frame house a good man lived.

Dan Vasser, journalist, family man and time traveler kissed good night his young son on the forehead as he tucked Zack into bed.

“Night, bud,” Dan switched off the light in the bedroom. He hurried to joined his wife downstairs for some quality adult time and to talk something over with her that bothered him this evening.

“You get the dry cleaning yesterday?” His wife Katie checked with him as she sewed on name tags to their son’s new school clothes.

“Yeah, I put your blue suit in the hall closet.” Dan sat down on the arm of her couch and stroked her hair fondly. “I found out something troubling today, right before I left the Register. Veruca - that girl I keep being sent back to help?”

“Yes, but she can’t be a werewolf, Dan. I believe you time travel. I don’t believe werewolves exist and if they do?” Katie - twenty-first century high achiever and television reporter, shook her head. “I don’t want to know. Really, I don’t. What went wrong with Verushka or whatever?”

“The kid still gets reported missing, only this time with her boyfriend Daniel Osbourne. They both were reported missing in March 2000, walked out of a fraternity party their bands were both playing at on a Friday night - never been seen hide nor hair of since.” Dan rubbed his chin.

“So did any good come of it?” Katie snipped a stray thread from her sewing with a pair of scissors. “Um, benefit concert from their bands, missing person’s law brought in or something? Isn’t that what normally happens when one of the people you follow die?”

Dan rested his cheek on his wife’s smooth hair. “No, nothing I could see. I might not be finished with Veruca, yet.”

“I’m becoming an expert in covering for you when you disappear into thin air.” Katie put her sewing down. “And I’ve missed you. So seeing you’re here now…”

With relieved relinquishment of his concern Dan held Katie gently, to begin kissing her in a loving embrace. He was home with his family which meant everything was fine.



AN:It looks like the network that makes it is cancelling Journeyman. Why? Why? I love that programme.

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