Fill In the Blanks
None of them had been expecting the creature who walked through the door. She looked mostly human though her eyes were a shade of yellow not found in nature. And she had brilliant orange scales going from her wrists to her elbows in a strange diamond pattern. Other than that, she looked perfectly normal. And sort of reminded everyone of Illyria.
She stood there waiting patiently for them to take it all in.
"Alright...I'm sorry, what's your name?" Angel asked in aggravation as he searched in vain to find the name printed on one of the papers he had in his hands.
"In your dimension it's pronounced 'Jewbilo-cera-caso-phera-lee'. But so far everyone I've met seems to think it would be clever to shorten it to.."
"Jubilee," Spike answered with a laugh.
Everyone looked at him with surprise that he knew of the name. Comic book reading vampires seemed an unlikely possibility, especially vampires with reputations like Spike's. Then again, he did
"What?" he asked.
"I prefer Cera," the girl told them after a roll of her glowing eyes. "C-E-R-A," she spelled it out as Angel made a note of it.
A wave of pain hit Wesley. If he hadn't been sitting already, it would have knocked him off his feet. 'Sara' even if the girl had spelled it differently was a painful reminder of Wesley's greatest lost. Fred. He had read to her in her final moments. At her request, he had recited the story of a girl named Sara Crewe, the story of a little princess.
That pain was not lost on Cera.
Gunn, who had missed the moment entirely, along with the rest of them, got straight to the point.
"First thing's first. Are you now, or have you ever been evil?"
Once again all eyes were on the creature-girl before them. Her answer was not one that any of them had been expecting.
"Not intentionally," she told Gunn with a half-smile.
"What does that mean?" he asked looking slightly confused but cautious.
"What? You've never had your body hijacked by something or someone that made you do things you wouldn't normally do?"
All eyes fell to the floor as each of them remembered their own hijackings. Billy Blim's touch that made them hate women, The First taking over Spike to build a vampire army, Angel's geriatric body jumper who had tried to bone Fred and Lilah, and Lorne's sleep removal making him make strange and very wrong things happen among his friends. Everyone looked a little sheepish. Everyone but Wesley who was remembering a very different and far more recent encounter. Body hijacked. Soul burned away. Fred. And a former god-king was permanently wearing her face. Illyria.
The girl watched them, knowing the encounters that they recounted to themselves. Her eyes rested on Wesley and she felt his pain again. As clearly as if it were her own. In a way it was. She hated to bring back the memories that she knew would cause such pain but she had to. It was necessary.
When she could stand no more of it, the girl sighed and looked to Angel once more.
"Look, I heard you need someone for your Practical Sciences department. I'm kinda good at that stuff.." she told him with a shrug as she ignored the waves of pain that poured off of all of them.
Wesley's head shot up at the thought of Fred's department.
"Angel, I think that maybe it's a tad too soon to be thinking about hiring someone for that position. I can continue to run the lab for now..." Wesley's pain was clear to everyone now as he subtly told Angel that he wasn't ready for someone to replace Fred yet.
"Alright, Wes,"Angel gently agreed.
"Angel-cakes," Lorne felt the need to speak up. "Look, I know it's going to be hard to have someone new in the lab but with everything else that's going on, I think it would be easier if we didn't have to worry about doing more work than we can safely handle."
Lorne, always the voice of reason. Angel looked torn, but he couldn't deny Lorne's login. He looked to Wesley who gave a small nod of consent and then turned his attentions back to the girl.
"Alright, Cera. We're gonna need you to sing."