Written by Donald E. Fleming II
Story concept by Donald E. Fleming II
Disclaimer: Original Gargoyles characters are the property of Disney and Buena Vistas Studios. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and related characters are the property of Warner Bros. Other Gargoyle characters (Sata, Graeme, Ariana and Nudnik) are the property of The Gargoyle Saga (TGS) writing staff. All characters are being used without permission of their creators. Granted that I am not the first to do a Gargoyles/Buffy crossover, so additional credit goes to Aesop, who did the first one I ever read.
Note: This story is slated to take place during the final season of Gargoyles: TimeDancer, and during the fourth season of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer some time after "This Year’s Girl/Who Are You?" (Two-part return of Faith).May 25th, 2000
Riley and Buffy paused at the door to Giles’ house.
"So, are you up to finishing that patrol tonight?" she asked.
"I guess," he said, touching his side. "We still have to track down Adam."
"I know," Buffy said, wrapping her arms around him. She smiled contentedly as she listened to the sound of his heartbeat. "Maybe after we finally bring him down, we can finally have a normal night together."
"Normal, ha," came a derisive laugh. They looked to the direction of the laugh and saw Spike standing there. "You, the Slayer wanting a little bit of normal in her life. I can’t wait to see that."
"What do you want, Spike?" Buffy asked.
"I got some business with your soldier-boy here," he said. "I want this damned thing out of my head," he continued, tapping his temple. "And I want it out now!"
"So you can go around and start sucking the night life out of Sunnydale," Buffy shot back. "I don’t think so."
Spike took a step towards them, but then looked up as a ball of fire erupted above him. He ducked down, expecting to be consumed, while Buffy shoved Riley out of the way to protect him. She waited for the fireball to put Spike out of her misery, but then saw it dissipate, leaving a pack of unusual creatures behind. They dropped and landed on the vampire. One of them, a dog-like creature, jumped out of the arms of one of the others and began licking Spike’s face. He tried to get up, but couldn’t. He was trapped.
Buffy went into a defensive stance as she considered the new arrivals. It was obviously a family, she thought, but a family of what? One was a brick-red adult male; at least she thought it was a male. It had white hair and a long beak-like mouth and it wore an odd assortment of what looked to be some kind of armor. The other adult was clearly a female. She was jade in color with long dark hair. In addition to the kimono she wore, she had two swords in her belt, one short, the other long. Probably a katana, Buffy thought. Giles’ collection of weapons included one. The two smaller ones were about the same size and were probably their children.
The door opened and Giles came rushing out, followed by Xander, Willow and Anya, who took one look at Spike and giggled slightly.
"Buffy, we heard a disturbance," Giles started. "Are you…" His voice trailed off as he took in the creatures. "My word."
"Would someone kindly get these…whatever they are off of me," Spike bellowed. "Before I do something rash!" His face changed and he snarled at the creature licking his face. This resulted in the female drawing her katana and laying the edge alongside his throat.
"I would advise against that, vampire," she said, with a voice that was both smooth as silk and hard as steel.
Spike looked back over his shoulder. "Please," he added. "I promise I won’t bite."
Anya stepped forward and looked at them. "It’s okay, Sata," she said. "You guys can let him up."
"You know these creatures?" Buffy asked.
"Yeah," Anya replied. "They’re gargoyles."
Introductions went quickly. The adult male was Brooklyn, the jade female was Sata and their children were Ariana and Graeme. The gar-pup didn’t have a name as of yet.
Sata gave Buffy an appraising look. She had known a young girl in Ishimura that had been trained as the Slayer. Her Watcher had seen fit to have part of her training completed under the tutelage of her clan, something that, while not unheard of, was frowned upon by the Watcher’s Council, but nonetheless was a matter of great pride for the Ishimura clan.
"Have we met before?" Brooklyn asked.
"Three hundred years ago in Romania," Anya said. "A small village back in the woods. You probably don’t remember. I’m Anyanka."
"I remember," Sata said. "That problem with that tyrant who was…"
"Jumping on anything that breathed," Anya said.
"Excuse me," Buffy said.
"About three hundred years ago," Anya said. "Before I went to that village where the wizard who achieved Ascension lived, I was summoned to another village that was having problems with a local Baron. It seemed he was trying to sow his wild oats with any female that was attractive, had breasts and a pulse. Made Captain Kirk look like a Trappist monk."
"Trying to ensure an heir, I take it," Giles said.
"Yes," Anya said. "He couldn’t father a kid with his own wife, so he went looking for more fertile grounds."
"Kind of like Henry the Eighth," Willow said.
"But what he didn’t realize was that he was…well, inadequate to say the least."
"He couldn’t…," Willow said shyly. "You know.."
"Oh, he could," Anya said. "But his…" she paused as she considered the males in the room, human and otherwise, Xander in particular. "You know, those were deformed. But he was certain that it had nothing to do with…that."
"So how did you get involved," Buffy asked the ex-vengeance demon.
"The village mothers summoned me," she said. "To make sure that any child that was born was his, he had all the girls locked up in his castle. This went on for years. At one point, he even started looking at the females of the local gargoyle clan."
"Excuse me," Xander started. He looked at Sata.
"Like I said," Anya said. "Anything that was female and attractive."
"Is that even possible?" Riley asked. "I mean a human and a gargoyle."
Anya thought for a moment. "If the conditions are right, I guess. It would be easier for a human male and a gargoyle female than the other way around. I mean, I certainly wouldn’t want to try delivering an egg this big." She held out her hands to approximate the size of a gargoyle egg.
"Ouch!" Buffy said.
"So what did happen," Giles asked. "And how did you meet Brooklyn and Sata?’
"About the time I got to the village, they showed up. The locals thought that they were the vengeance demons they’d summoned and told them about what was going on."
"We get that a lot," Brooklyn said. "Especially since we arrived in a ball of fire."
"Just like tonight," Buffy said. "What was that anyway?"
"The Phoenix Gate," Giles said. "If I’m not mistaken."
Brooklyn nodded his head.
"What’s the Phoenix Gate?" Buffy asked.
"It’s a portal," Giles said. "It allows the bearer to travel back and forth through time."
"Oh, then these must be the TimeDancers," Willow chimed in.
Giles looked at her. "Willow, have you been reading the Watcher diaries again?"
"Sorry, Giles," she admitted shyly. "But I was looking for something that could help Oz so that he would come back and I…ah...well..."
"TimeDancers?" Buffy asked.
"Never mind, I’ll explain later," Giles said. "Please continue."
"Anyway," Brooklyn said. "We went to the castle and rescued the girls and the few female gargoyles he had captured. We almost didn’t get out ourselves. When he saw that Sata had kids, he decided to try his luck with her. That was when Anya showed up."
"Believe it or not, he even tried to get me into bed," Anya said. "He thought that maybe having a son that was half-demon would be good for keeping the villagers in line."
"Must have been one desperate fellow," Spike said. "Not to mention brave. And stupid."
"Luckily, everyone made it out of there in time before the real trouble arrived," Anya said.
"What did happen to that guy?" Brooklyn asked. The Phoenix Gate had yanked him, Sata and the kids out of the castle before he had a chance to dismember the baron for trying to take Sata away from him.
"Demona," Anya said, wincing slightly.
"Eeewww," Brooklyn said.
"Who’s Demona," Xander asked.
"A real bad ass as far as gargs go," Spike said. "Not bad looking either, but she’s got a vicious streak in her that’d make Angelus look like a teddy bear."
"I thought gargoyles protect people," Willow said. "At least, that’s what the P.I.T. web-site says."
"They do," Anya said. "Demona just happens to be the exception."
"So what did happen?" Spike asked, very curious. Any situation that involved the immortal gargoyle promised to get very ugly very quickly. "I bet it wasn’t pretty."
"She was scraping him out from underneath her talons for weeks," Anya said.
"Ouch!" Buffy and Xander chorused.
"Way to go, Demona!" Spike cheered.
"Shut up, Spike," Buffy said.
"Hey, if I can’t have myself a little blood and mayhem," Spike protested. "The least you can do is let me hear about it."
"What’s wrong with him?" Ariana asked, holding onto the gar-pup while she sat by Willow. Giles had more than a couple of things that looked extremely breakable, and she didn’t want her pet to wreak havoc in their host’s home.
"He has performance problems," Willow whispered.
"Hey!" Spike protested.
"It’s true," she added smugly.
"I know, but you don’t have to tell the whole bloody world about it! Especially not some little wet-behind-the ear brat…" Spike stopped when he saw the dark look in Sata’s beautiful eyes and her hand drift towards the hilt of her katana. "The hell with this!" he said as he grabbed his coat and headed for the door. "I’m out of here!"
Sata was on her feet quickly and racing to stop him, when Buffy stepped in her path.
"You can not just let him leave!" Sata protested as Spike yanked open the door and left. "He is a…"
"I know," Buffy said. "It’s been taken care of."
"I don’t…" Sata started.
"He’s been neutralized," Riley stated. "Spike has a chip implanted in his skull that causes intense neurological pain if he tries to feed on any living person."
Sata calmed, not slowly but noticeably. She looked over her shoulder to Brooklyn. "Another of the marvels of your world, my love?" she asked.
Brooklyn shrugged. "This is the first I’ve heard of it," he said. He looked at Riley. "Who makes it?"
"I’m afraid that’s classified," Riley responded. "And don’t bother asking Xanatos about it. It’s a secret, even from him."
"How did you…" Brooklyn started. He got up to advance on the human. Buffy stopped him, but she did look at Riley questioningly.
He saw the look in her eye. No secrets, he reminded himself. "The Initiative has been aware of the Manhattan Clan since Xanatos brought the castle over in 1994. But they have been aware of gargoyles as a living species for much longer. Don’t ask me how long, I don’t know." He looked at Brooklyn and Sata. "They considered trying to obtain a live specimen after the gargoyles abandoned the castle, but…"
"You had trouble finding us," Brooklyn said.
"I wasn’t part of the Initiative at that time, but yes, you were hard to locate," Riley said. "I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since Xanatos couldn’t find you either. And then when the Canmore Hunters forced you out of hiding, it sort of became a moot point."
"And that would be because…" Buffy started.
"You haven’t seen the defensive layout of the Eyrie Building, Buffy," Riley said. "I have. You’d have a better chance storming Fort Knox. Say what you might about Xanatos, he sure knows how to design a stronghold."
"Xanatos," Willow said. "That wouldn’t happen to be David Xanatos, head of Xanatos Enterprises?"
"One and the same," Brooklyn said.
"Oh wow," Willow said. "I mean that is so cool. They have the neatest site on the Internet about Castle Wyvern and how he brought it over from Scotland and…"
"Willow, breathe," Buffy said. Willow had a tendency to ramble on, but when she got excited about something, she sometimes forgot to breathe between sentences. "You mentioned defensive layout," she continued, turning her attention back to Riley. "You mean you actually thought about stealing a gargoyle from Xanatos."
"Professor Walsh did," Riley said. "A couple of years ago. But the concept was scrapped as being unfeasible."
"Oh, come on, Riley," Xander said sarcastically. "I’m sure you could have pulled it off if you set your mind to it."
"Not a chance," Riley said. "Not only would we have to get past his own security force before we’d even reach the castle, there are automatic defense systems all up and down the building. Not to mention the Steel Clan."
"Steel Clan?" Buffy asked.
"Robots," Brooklyn said. "Made to look like our leader Goliath." He smiled. "Not much up here in the way of brains," he continued, tapping his head. "But still hard to beat. Unless you can get them pointed at each other."
"I know," Riley said. "Professor Walsh even asked me to evaluate the possibility of incorporating Steel Clan Robots into our teams as capture units. That’s one of the reasons she scrapped the idea of capturing a live gargoyle. She wanted to stay on Xanatos’ good side."
"I’m kinda glad you didn’t," Buffy said, relieved. Vampires she could handle, demons she could handle. She could even handle the occasional rogue Slayer. But a robot, even one that was apparently as dimwitted as a Steel Clan robot? Uh, uh, no thank you! I’ve had my fill of robots, thank you very much!
"So what brings you to Sunnydale?" Giles asked. "I’m assuming the Phoenix Gate didn’t bring you here by chance?"
"Who knows?" Brooklyn said. "It doesn’t tell us where we’re going and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t tell us if we asked. For all we know, we could be here for some time off."
"Time off?" Buffy said in disbelief. "In Sunnydale? The home of the Hellmouth?"
Brooklyn considered this. "I guess there are better vacation spots," he said.
"Yeah," Xander said. "Like Krakatoa. Or Pompeii."
"Or Atlantis," Willow added.
Brooklyn gave Sata a knowing look. "Been there. Done that. You know how it is."
Spike was muttering to himself on his way back to his crypt, so he didn’t see the redhead until he literally walked right into her.
"Hey," he said. "Watch where you’re…"
He didn’t get a chance to finish the sentence. In an instant, the redhead was gone. Or rather, the redheaded human he walked into was gone, and in her place stood a redheaded gargoyle. A gargoyle that was very familiar.
"Demonmmh," he started as Demona quickly covered his mouth and tossed him unceremoniously into the alley. He picked himself out of the trash where he landed and began brushing off the garbage.
"Hello, William," she said, crossing her arms.
"It’s Spike, now," he said, tossing a banana peel her way. It landed on the pavement in front of her foot. She looked down at it disdainfully.
"I hope you’re not expecting me to fall for that old pratfall, are you?" she asked.
"I thought maybe you’d be hungry," Spike said. "I know I am."
"Oh really," Demona said. She brushed her hair away and exposed a healthy amount of neck.
"Oh come off it, Demona," he said. "You know I don’t like the taste of gargoyle. It’s like drinking wet cement." He stuck his tongue out in disgust. "Yuck," he added. "What are you doing here anyway?" he asked.
"Mayor Wilkins stole something from me a long time ago," Demona said. "I mean to get it back. Even if I have to dismember him and the Master to do it."
"You’re a little late for that, love," he said. "Slayer took care of the mayor last year."
This took Demona by surprise. "The Slayer is here," she said. "In Sunnydale?"
"Where else would she be," Spike said. "Yeah, she’s here. And you can scratch the Master of your hit list, too," he added. "Buffy dusted him a while back and took a sledge hammer to his remains."
"Hmm," Demona thought, putting a talon to her lips. "This may be easier than I thought."
"Well, good luck, Demona," he said as he started out of the alley. "I’d help you, but I got problems of my own."
"What sort of problems?" she asked. Ordinarily, she had as little to do with vampires as possible, but Spike had taken care of a Hunter that had caught her just before dawn a long time ago and she meant to pay him back. "Slayer problems? I could take care of her if you like. Although I can’t imagine you not being able to take out one miserable Slayer." She thought for a moment. "Especially one named Buffy."
"No, it’s not that," Spike admitted. "A few months ago, some blokes from something called the Initiative ambushed me and put something in my head." He pointed to his temple. "Now I can’t feed, I can barely fight." He paused for a minute. "Well, I can fight demons, which goes over real swell here. I’m reduced to drinking pig’s blood, for God’s sake! Have you ever tasted pig’s blood? It’s disgusting!"
Demona looked at him with sympathy. By the Dragon, he was pitiful, she thought. "Tell you what, Spike," she said. "You help me get what I’m looking for, and I’ll take care of that little problem of yours."
"Oh, really," Spike said. "What are you going to do, rip it out of my head? Thanks for the offer, Demona, but I’m kind of attached to my head at the moment."
"Not to worry, Spike," Demona said. "I have other resources."
"Like what?" he asked, just as Demona began chanting in Latin.
The illusion spell was finished even as he finished speaking, and then Spike was looking at the attractive human redhead he had bumped into.
"Say hello to Mademoiselle Dominique Destine," she said, raising her arms.
Spike took in the illusion. "Not Nightstone Unlimited Dominique Destine," he said.
Dominique let her arms fall to her side. "One and the same."
Spike let a smile cross his face. "Well, this might just work out after all," he said as he followed her out of the alley.
Meanwhile, a dark figure on the building across the street set down a pair of binoculars and pulled out a cell phone.
Riley was about to ask Brooklyn another question when his cell phone started ringing.
"Excuse me for a minute," he said. He hoped it wasn’t important. He wanted to find out more about the gargoyles. "Finn," he said, answering the call.
"It’s Forrest," he heard the voice on the other end say. "I just spotted something you should be aware of."
"Hostile 17?" Riley asked. "I know. He just left."
"It’s not Hostile 17 I called about," Forrest said. "It’s the Sub T he ran into."
"What kind?" he asked as he pulled out a pad and pen.
"Unknown," Forrest said. "I’ve never seen anything like her."
"Her," Riley said. "A definite female?"
"Oh, most definitely. At least her human form was."
This caught Riley’s interest. A Sub-Terrestrial that was able the change form from human to native was something he hadn’t encountered before. "Better give me the details."
"Well, I was on rooftop patrol when I spotted this redhead I hadn’t seen in town before," Forrest said. "So while I’m watching her, Hostile 17 comes along and bumps right into her."
"Then what happened?"
"Changed?" Riley asked. "How?"
"I’m not sure," Forrest admitted. "It’s like I blinked. One second, she’s human. The next, she’s not."
"What’d she do, Forrest" he asked, looking at the gargoyles chatting with Buffy and the others. "Sprout wings and a tale?" he added jokingly.
There was a moment of silence on the phone. "How’d you know?"
This definitely caught his attention. "Give me a description," he said, all business all of a sudden.
"Human form or Sub T?" Forrest asked.
"Sub T," Riley said.
The mention of a Sub T caught Buffy’s attention. She got up from the sofa and walked over to Riley. "What’s up?" she asked.
Riley held up his hand as he listened to Forrest describe the being he saw. She read from his note pad as he wrote. Six foot tall. Blue skin. Red hair with a golden tiara. Approx. wingspan about fifteen to twenty feet. Long tail. Three toes. Four fingers…It looked like he was describing a gargoyle.
Riley finished writing. "Then what happened?" he asked.
"They talked in the alley for a minute and then left together," Forrest said. "The Sub T was in human form again. Do you want me to follow?"
He thought for a minute. "Negative," he said. "If I’m right, I may have a confirmation on the Sub T’s identity shortly." He hung up the phone.
"Brooklyn," he said, walking over to the gargoyles. "Is this one of yours?"
Brooklyn read the description Forrest had given Riley. "Sounds like Demona," he said. "Where did you get this?"
"One of our patrols spotted Hostile 17…Spike…talking to her," Riley said. "I wasn’t sure if it was a gargoyle since my contact said she changed from a human to a gargoyle when Spike ran into her."
"I thought gargoyles changed to stone," Willow said. "And besides, it’s nighttime. Wouldn’t she be a gargoyle anyway?"
"Demona’s a powerful sorceress," Brooklyn said. "And she changes to a human during the day."
"Then the change could have just been an illusion spell being disrupted," Giles said.
"Is Demona capable of that?" Buffy asked.
"Probably that and much more," Anya said. "Remember, Demona’s an immortal. She’s probably learned more spells in the thousand years she’s been alive than I have. Although I am curious about the changing to human during the day routine. Where’d she pick that up?"
"It was a gift," Brooklyn said. "Courtesy of Puck. And believe me, she probably wishes she could return it. Elisa says the change looks extremely painful."
Anya smiled at that. All of Puck’s gifts came with a price.
Riley looked at Brooklyn. "I guess this should be your call, Brooklyn," he said. "She is one of your kind. How should we handle this?"
"I don’t know," Brooklyn said. "But I do know something. If Demona’s in Sunnydale, chances are she’s up to no good."
Demona ran a talon along the crypt and came away with a thick layer of dust. "It could use a woman’s touch," she commented. "Which reminds me, where’s Drusilla?"
That brought up some painful memories for Spike. "Dru ran off with a Chaos demon last year. Said after my run-in with Angel, that I’d lost my edge."
"How is Angelus?" Demona asked. "I hadn’t seen him since Romania."
"Yeah, well, he’s not the same bloodthirsty killer he was back in the good ole’ days," Spike said. "He ran into some gypsies in Romania who restored his soul."
"A shame," Demona said. "I kind of liked him the way he was. Where is he now?"
"In Los Angeles, believe it or not," Spike said. "Helping the hopeless, as Cordelia likes to say."
"Cordelia Chase," Spike said. "One of Buffy’s friends."
"I’ll have to look him up the next time I’m out there," Demona said.
"Which begs the question, why are you here?"
"I need something Mayor Wilkins stole from me back in the 1920’s," Demona said. "A jewel about this big." She made a small circle with her fingers. "It’s called the Jewel of Ragarok."
"Ragarok, huh," Spike said. "Never heard of it."
"It’s ancient," Demona said. "It goes back to a time of the first gargoyle clans in Mesopotamia."
"Is it powerful?" Spike wondered.
"Very powerful," Demona said.
"End of the world powerful?" he continued. "I mean if Mayor Wilkins swiped it from you, then it must be."
"Not quite that powerful," Demona said. "But it is considerable."
"Okay," Spike said. "I’ll help you get your bauble. I got a pretty fair idea where it might be stashed. And then you help me out, agreed?"
"Agreed," Demona said. "I’d better get going."
"You probably won’t get very far," Spike said. "The sun’s about to come up."
"I know," Demona said as the first wave of the transformation hit.
Spike stood there stunned as the gargoyle before him transformed into a human. Her wings and tail receded and her legs and feet changed. Underneath her tiara, her brow ridges disappeared and on her hands, the last talon split into two fingers. And then her color changed. He was so stunned that he didn’t realized that he was gaping at her until she got up.
"That looked extremely uncomfortable," Spike said finally.
"You have no idea," she said.
"I guess you won’t be spending the day then," he said.
"No, I have some other things that need to be taken care of." She turned to leave. "I’ll return shortly before dark. Be ready."
"Of course," he said as she left. When he closed the door to the crypt, he added, "And then you and I are going to have it out, my charming little Slayer."
Buffy touched the stone figures of Brooklyn and his family. "Wow," she said. "I mean, when he told us, I didn’t realize…"
"I guess this is what they mean by getting stoned," Xander said. He raised his hand to rap on Brooklyn head.
"I wouldn’t do that, Xander," Giles said. "You might accidentally damage him."
"Right," Xander said, backing away. "Sorry."
"So what do we do now?" Willow asked. "Wait until night for them to wake up?"
"I would advise against it," Giles said. "If Brooklyn’s right, Demona must have some foul purpose in mind for being in Sunnydale."
"And since she can move around by day," Buffy added. "That means that she has all day to plan." She grabbed her jacket and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?" Giles asked.
"I’m going to have a little one-on-one with Spike," she said. "Anyone want to join in?"
Spike was resting comfortably, thinking about all the things that he was going to do to Buffy, when he felt someone tapping on his forehead. He opened his eyes to find her smiling down at him.
"Wakey, wakey, Spike," she said as she hauled him to his feet.
"What do you want?" he asked, annoyed at being disturbed.
"Information," Buffy said. "About your houseguest."
"You know," Xander said. "Redhead about yea tall." He held up his hand to a point several inches higher than his head. "Goes by the name of Demona."
"She’s not here," he said and instantly regretted it.
"I can see that," Buffy said. "Where is she?"
"How should I know?" Spike said. "She didn’t tell me. Why don’t you have your little cyber-witch surf the Net and check the local motels if your interested."
"Okay, Spike," Buffy said. "One last question. What’s she doing in Sunnydale?"
"You think I’m going to tell you," he said. He realized his mistake an instant before Buffy tossed him across the crypt.
"Shall we try that again?" Buffy asked as she advanced on him.
"Alright, already," he said as Buffy hauled him back to his feet. "She’s looking for something the mayor stole from her a while ago. A jewel. She called it the Jewel of Ragorak or something like that. It came from Mesopotamia, I think she said."
Buffy pretended to dust him off. "Thanks, Spike," she said. "You’ve been a big help."
Riley fell in step behind her and Xander as they came out of the crypt. "So you find out anything?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said. "And it doesn’t sound good."
"He called it the Jewel of Ragorak, Giles," Buffy said.
"It sounds familiar," he said. "Ragorak…Ragorak..."
"Sounds vaguely like Ragnorak, if you ask me," Xander said. "As in End-of-the-World."
"Does it ring any bells?" she asked Anya.
"I’ve met so many demons and deities, it’s hard to keep track of them all," Anya said. "Remember when Gachnar crashed that Halloween party last year? I completely forgot that he was only six inches tall."
"Did Spike say where it originated?" Giles asked.
"Demona told him Mesopotamia," Buffy said.
"Well, that’s a start anyway."
Willow smiled triumphantly at her keyboard. "Okay, I finally tapped into the Hall of Records to see if I can find where Mayor Wilkins may have put it." She scanned down the page until she found a promising entry. "According to this, most of the stuff he acquired during the twenties is in a warehouse down by the waterfront." Then she frowned. "Oh," she said.
"What?" Buffy asked. "What oh?"
"Well, there’s a lot of stuff stored there," Willow said. "And according to this, none of it is organized. There’s also been some break-ins lately, and a few of the things have been stolen. It might not be there anymore."
"But it’s as good a place to start as any," Buffy said. "What are the chances she’ll break-in during the day?"
"There’s good news on that," Willow said. "The security system has been upgraded and extra guards have been hired since the last break-in, so I don’t think Demona will try anything until after dark."
"Good, cause I want to get some sleep so I can be in top form when I face off against her."
"What about us?" Xander asked.
"Xander, I need you and Riley to ask around, see if you can track her down," Buffy said. "But if you find her, don’t confront her. I’m pretty sure Amy doesn’t need any company right now."
Xander shuddered at the thought, but Riley looked confused. "Who’s Amy," he asked.
Xander led him to the door. "I’ll tell you all about her."
Buffy turned to Anya. "I need you and Giles to find out anything you can about what this Jewel of Ragorak is. Willow, once they do, I need you to come up with a spell to either neutralize it or destroy it."
Dominique sat at her computer, tapping into the Hall of Records to find out where Mayor Wilkins had hidden the jewel. She’d be lucky if he hadn’t destroyed it after realizing that he couldn’t use it. It was useful for only one thing, and one thing alone. She thought back to her deal with Spike. If he only knew what this was all about, she thought.
She found a promising entry and examined it.
It was a few minutes to sunset when Buffy woke up and walked into Giles living room. Giles was still pouring over text, trying to figure out what the Jewel was for. Anya had fallen asleep in Xander’s arms, who had returned some time ago. Likewise, Willow was asleep at her computer.
"Anything," Buffy asked.
Giles took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I think I’ve found something, but I’m having difficulty translating it. At first I thought it was Sumerian, but it appears to be another language entirely. I may need Anya’s help in translating it."
Suddenly, the room was filled with a cracking sound. Buffy and Giles turned to see the cracks forming on the surface of the gargoyles and then watched as they awakened. Very quickly, everyone else in the room was awake as well.
"Did we miss it?" Xander asked, looking around.
"No, Xander," Buffy said. "Not yet."
Brooklyn and his family stretched before they took in their surroundings.
"Still here?" he asked.
"Still here," Buffy said. "What do you know about something called the Jewel of Ragorak?"
"Never heard of it," Brooklyn said. He looked at his mate, who likewise gave a no answer. "Is that what Demona is after?"
"We think so," she said. "It looks like Mayor Wilkins stole it from her back in the 1920’s and she wants it back."
"Is there any chance of getting it before her?"
"We think so," Willow said. "We think it’s in a warehouse down by the wharf."
"I need you two to get us in," Buffy said. "And if Demona shows up…"
"Of course, Buffy-chan," Sata said.
"Good." She turned her attention to Giles, who was now being assisted by Anya.
"Anything?" she asked.
"There are mentions of certain rites," Giles said. "But I can’t seem to translate what kind of rites are involved or what they entail. Although there is the mention of a child being involved."
"Keep working on it," she said. She looked around. "Where’s Riley?"
"He said he’d meet us there," Xander said.
"Okay, let’s go."
"You are just full of surprises," Spike said as the last of the guards collapsed from the gas Demona released outside the warehouse.
"It helps to be prepared," Demona said. She studied the alarm panel and punched in a code.
"I take it you had this system installed yourself," Spike said.
"If Mayor Wilkins had known I had access to this warehouse, he would have thrown a fit," Demona smiled. Once the alarm was deactivated, she opened the door and walked inside.
"So how come you waited until now to get this trinket of yours?" he asked.
"I never needed it until now," she said, allowing her eyes to adjust to the gloom. She immediately realized the enormity of the task ahead of her. She hadn’t realized that the Mayor had accumulated so many magical artifacts.
"Oh, great," Spike said. "This’ll take all bloody night."
"Then we’d better get searching," Demona said.
"Right, before Buffy and her Scooby Doo bunch shows up."
"What?" Demona hissed. "You told her?"
"You think I’m stupid," Spike said. "Of course I didn’t tell her. But she knows you’re here. And what you’re after."
"How could she have found out?" She started hurrying down an aisle, looking for the jewel.
"Who knows?" Spike said. "Maybe that bloody TimeDancer of yours told her."
Demona stopped in her tracks. "Brooklyn is here, too?" she said, spinning to face him.
"Yeah, him and his whole family," Spike said. "Not to mention that little mutt of theirs. Almost broke my back when they fell on me last night."
"Blast," Demona said. "He could ruin everything!"
Brooklyn and Sata deposited Xander and Buffy on the roof of the warehouse. Brooklyn quickly glanced over the edge of the roof. "Looks like Demona’s already here," he said. He jumped off the roof and landed on the ground. Quickly, he turned over one of the unconscious guards and checked for signs of life. It was Riley. He found a pulse, strong and steady. He’d been knocked out.
Sata quickly joined him with Buffy while Graeme brought down Xander.
"How is he?" Buffy asked.
"He’s okay," Brooklyn said. He found a canister nearby and looked at it. "Looks like she gassed them. They could be out for a couple of hours."
"We’d better find her," Buffy said. "Before she has a chance to find that jewel of hers."
"No, that doesn’t work either," Giles said. He had found an actual text dealing with the Jewel of Ragorak, but the translation still eluded him. He got up to get some coffee while Anya began examining the text.
"Wait a minute," she said. "I think I recognize this."
This got Giles’ attention. "You can translate it."
"I think so," she said. "It looks like a variant of…" She paused. "Well, no wonder you couldn’t translate it. It’s not Sumerian, it’s Gargoyle!"
"It’s what," Giles said, while Willow listened on.
"Gargoyle. It’s one of their original written languages," Anya said. "Just like humans developed each written language differently, gargoyles developed their own variants."
"Can you translate it?" Willow asked.
"I think so. I haven’t seen this particular variant in a long time." She grabbed a sheet of paper and began writing. After a minute, she finished and studied her handiwork. She frowned. "That can’t be right," she said. She grabbed a fresh sheet and began writing again, this time more slowly than before. She finished and compared the two translations. They were identical.
Giles took the newer sheet and read it. "Oh dear," he said. "We’d better find Buffy."
"Why?" Willow asked. "What’s wrong?"
"I think we may have all jumped to conclusions about Demona’s intentions."
Willow took the translation from Giles’ hand and read it. "Oh. OH!"
Demona found the jewel just as Buffy found her. She pounced on the gargoyle and snatched it from her hand.
"Thank you," she said, getting up and sprinting down the aisle. Demona snarled as she took off after the Slayer.
"Wretched human," she said. "Give that back!" She barreled past Spike, who could do nothing but watch.
"Oh great," he said. "What next?"
"Hey, Spike," Xander called out. "Heads up."
Spike looked up just in time to see several large boxes falling towards him.
"Oh, bloody hell!"
Giles, Willow and Anya pulled up just in time to hear a loud CRASH come from inside the warehouse.
"I hope we’re not too late," Giles said.
Demona was catching up quickly, Buffy realized, so she did the only thing she could think of. She tossed it in the air. Demona came up short as she watched the jewel tumble in the air. She held out her hands to catch it, but Brooklyn, who’d seen Buffy toss it, intercepted the jewel.
"Brooklyn, no!" Demona screamed as Brooklyn perched on a high shelf.
"You think I’m going to let you endanger the world again!" he said to her.
"That’s not what this is all about!" Demona pleaded.
Buffy chose that moment to tackle her again, and this time she wasn’t going to let up. She threw a punch that connected with Demona’s jaw. Demona snarled and kicked the Slayer off of her. Buffy quickly got back to her feet as Demona rose to hers. She was not going to let this Buffy keep her from what was hers.
Spike came up snarling. "All right, I’ve had it!" he shouted. He lunged at Xander as he dropped to the floor and received a shot to the jaw from Sata, not to mention a sudden searing pain in the head. He took a swing at her, but she blocked his blow and followed up with one of her own. He was quickly subdued.
Sata pulled the katana from its sheath and placed the tip against Spike’s throat. "I have faced only a few vampires in my life," she said. "And you are by far the most pathetic one I have ever faced. I would end your existence if only to end your suffering."
"Don’t do me any favors," Spike said. "I used to be as evil as they come. And I’ve killed more Slayers than you’ll ever know."
"Yeah, well," Xander said. "Like you said. "Used to". As in past tense."
"Shut up, Harris," Spike said. "Before I let Sata here do me in and poof all over you."
"Xander, Sata," Willow called out.
"Willow, you’re here!" Xander said as he spotted her, Giles and Anya. "Did you guys find out what the jewel is for?"
"Yes," Giles said. "And we have to find Buffy before she does something rash." Giles took off towards the sound of fighting.
"Why am I suddenly worried?" Xander said.
Demona was breathing hard, trying to get her wind back. This Slayer was definitely a worthy opponent. She had fought against the Hunters, English knights, Vikings, even Goliath and none of them had the endurance of this small girl. Demona was certain that she should have been easy to defeat, especially with a name like Buffy, but Buffy had surprised her. She shouldn’t have been surprised. Spike had yet to kill her, and he had killed two previous Slayers. Either she was every bit as good as Demona thought she was or she was just plain lucky.
Right now, they were at a standoff.
"Getting tired, Demona?" she asked.
"Not in the least," she replied. Demona listened intently. Somewhere along the line, she had lost sight of Brooklyn, but she could sense him sneaking up on her, ready to pounce.
Buffy’s eyes shifted and Demona caught the movement. She pivoted to throw Brooklyn towards Buffy, but it wasn’t Brooklyn. It was Nudnik. The gar-beast hit her square in the chest and knocked her over. From out of the shadows, Brooklyn and the twins rushed out to pin her before she could get up again. As Demona realized how close Brooklyn was, she made a grab for the jewel, but he quickly tossed it back to Buffy.
Buffy set the jewel on a crate and found a hammer. "Let’s see if this will work after I smash it."
Demona’s "NO!" was almost drowned out by Willow’s.
"Buffy, no!" Willow ran forward and scooped up the jewel as Giles grabbed Buffy by the wrist. "Buffy, wait!" he said.
"Giles," she said as she relaxed. "Did you find out what the jewel is for?"
"Yes, we did," he said. "It’s part of...um," he trailed off as he looked at Demona, pinned down by Brooklyn and his children. "A gargoyle fertility ritual."
"What!" came a surprised shout from most of the individuals in the warehouse.
"Apparently, Ragarok is the Mesopotamian gargoyle god of fertility," he said. "The jewel is part of their rites to ensure...male potency."
Buffy began unconsciously rubbing her hand on her slacks. I actually touched that thing, she thought, disgusted.
"Wait a minute," Spike said as he pulled away from Xander and Sata. "You mean I got my butt kicked over a gargoyle sexual aid?"
"It certainly looks that way, Spike," Giles said.
"Oh, that bites!" He pushed his way past his former captors and left.
Demona looked over her shoulder at Brooklyn. "Can I get up now?" she asked.
Brooklyn helped her to her feet. "Sorry, Demona. I didn’t know."
"It’s not your fault, Brooklyn," she said. "Well, in a way, it is. You never told us about this. If you had, this could have been avoided."
"I don’t get it," Willow said. "Why do you need this thing anyway? I mean why should you worry about having kids if you’re immortal."
"It’s not for me," Demona said. "It’s an anniversary gift for Angela and Broadway"
"Who?" Buffy asked.
"My daughter and her mate," she said. "It’s their anniversary next Thursday."
"No wonder they had so many kids," Brooklyn said. Demona gave him a glance before turning her attention to Willow. She held out her hand. "If you please."
"Oh sure," Willow said. She walked over and handed the jewel to Demona.
"Thank you," Demona said before turning her attention to Brooklyn. "And not one word of this to Angela. Breathe a word of this to either her or Broadway and I will remove your male potency!"
Both Brooklyn and Xander winced at the threat. "Ouch!" they said.
"Do not worry, Demona-chan," Sata said. "I will ensure his silence."
Brooklyn felt the familiar tugging of the Phoenix Gate. "Looks like it’s time to go," he said. His family gathered around him as the flames encircled them and they were gone.
Demona looked around. "Where did Spike go?" she asked.
"I think he left," Buffy said. "Why?"
"I told him I’d help get that thing out of his head," she said.
"No offense, Demona," Xander said. "But are you out of your mind?"
"He helped me out," Demona said. "And I said I’d help him."
"Actually, we’d prefer to keep him just the way he is," Buffy said.
The gargoyle thought for a moment. "I think I’d like to keep him this way too," she said, smiling.
Spike was halfway to his crypt when a sudden realization crossed his mind. "Oh, hell," he said. He turned and ran back the way he’d came."Demona!"