Chapter 6Disclaimer: See previous chapters.
As abruptly as it had begun, the process had ended: one moment the corridor seemed to be full of something not quite tangible, the next moment it was all gone. “What has happened?” she muttered, not quite sure about it. “What did you do?”
“Magic,” Willow muttered, looking anything but pleased with herself, “and not the kind of magic that Giles would’ve approved, either.”
“Willow, it had to be done,” Buffy said sternly. “The woman in there makes Drusilla look lucid, albeit on a good day – and her friend has bigger teeth.”
“You’re overestimating the cat,” Helen spoke up for the first time since Willow began to throw spells, “it’s not how big your teeth are, it’s how you use them. Speaking of use – what have you done?”
“I? I cast a geas on the woman, and tied it to her, see?” Willow pointed to one of Jenny’s wrists that now bore a bracelet-like tattoo. “In other words, she’s in charge – um, what is your name, we sort of missed it.”
“It’s Jenny, Jenny Lewis,” the latter said, somewhat wryly, “and what do you mean, I’m charge.”
“Just tell the other lady to do something,” Willow explained helpfully, “and she’ll do it.”
“I won’t!” Valerie snapped.
“You will!” Jenny snapped back – the crazy park ranger was getting on everybody’s nerves by this time.
“I will?” Valerie blinked, looking rather saner and less obnoxious than she did before. “I will. Why? What did you do to me?”
“Put you under a geas,” Lester explained helpfully.
“Yeah,” Willow said, clearly unhappy with the success of her solution, “it’s just temporary – I can take it off, you just need to go and get therapy or something-“
“Never!” Valerie almost roared herself, so loud was her cry.
“...Okay then,” Buffy finally spoke after it became evident that Valerie won’t. “Helen, thank you for real for bringing this to our notice, we will really need to talk to Giles about her – Willow is right, the geas is a temporary solution at best. That said, there’s nothing else the two of us can do at the spur of the moment, so we should go now.”
“Certainly,” Helen nodded serenely. “Bye, Stephen. Ms. Lewis, you’re going to be living a more interesting life – I’ll probably keep an eye on you. Lester... good-luck with your knighthood.” She pulled out a rectangular-shaped device, pressed upon it a sequel of buttons, and then she and the two young women vanished in an apparent time anomaly.
Before Lester or anyone else could respond, Connor Temple burst on the scene, looking rather worried about something – or rather, someone. Abby Maitland.* * *
“I don’t believe it – and the day is not over yet, it seems,” Lester muttered some time later as he looked over the paperwork from the medical wing regarding the sudden and speedy recovery of one Abby Maitland: after being heavily mauled by a heavy sabre-tooth cat, the young woman was now recovered quickly, to great rejoicing of all of her co-workers.
Or – almost of them. Curiously, but Connor Temple seemed to be more worried about his not-quite-girlfriend’s speedy recovery, than he was about her being bed-ridden.
“Shaggy, why are you being more worried about Daphne currently, rather than less?” he asked the young man directly. “Shouldn’t you be happy instead?”
“I would, but, there’s something that you should now first, something weird,” Connor confessed.
As the younger man began to tell the tale about his other not-quite-girlfriend’s weird behaviour, Lester felt a headache coming on. The entire Valerie Irwin situation may have looked “resolved” in a manner of speaking, but they clearly weren’t out of the mystical woods just yet.The end of “Are you ready to be strong?”