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Lonely Souls

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Waifs and strays". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The second (much longer) installment in the Waifs and Strays AU. Covers season 1. Please READ THE SERIES INTRODUCTION!

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Joyce-Centered(Current Donor)vidiconFR1595738,6431501333353,11928 May 119 Mar 14No

Willowy seductress and anguished librarians

Author’s note:

Some questions for my gentle readers:

1) Is a readers guide (characters, suggested reading order for the stories, family trees) something you would like?

2) If you’ve reviews and not had a response, this is not my intent. I try to answer all reviews, but sometimes the reply gets lost. I do a sweep every few days and try and answer them then.

3) If I make mistakes in spelling or homonyms, homophones heterographs etc, please let me know! After reading my stories through and writing them in the first place they sometimes slip by me.

4) I’m working on the Faith Story right now…please let me now if you want to read that or updates Lonely Souls. If you prefer another story/setting (NCIS or Stargate) that’s fine too, just getting a feel here.

5) If you note inconsistencies or glaring errors (or not so glaring) please let me know.

I’d like to thank everybody who takes time for reading and reviewing this story.

Thanks to ayg and Eureka, the latest to recommend me.

Chapter 34: Willowy seductress and anguished librarians

They were wrangling at the dinner table. The cauliflower with cheese sauce and potatoes with sausage had been eaten and now they were on desert, mixed fruit with yoghurt. Joyce and Simon were amused as the battle of the Play had run on since before the first dish was put on the table and showed no more sign of moving than the Western Front.

“Comedy.” Buffy once again set out her preference.

“Tragedy. It’s easier, no one takes it seriously anyway. Make it Greek or Roman and we’ll even get Wills a couple of extra points of Credit with Dr. Andrews.” Xander pointed out.

“Romance.” Amy put in her five cents, for the third time.

“All romance is tragedy.” Willow was still a bit despondent about her encounter with Moloch.

“Can you get another guy?” Dawn asked around a mouth full of pears and yoghurt. She always ate the pear first.

“Dawn, don’t talk with you mouth full.” Joyce said it absently while looking at her youngest with interest.

The four older teens blinked. “What?”

“Can you get another guy?” Dawn repeated patiently, this time without food in her mouth.

Amy, Xander and Buffy looked at Willow, grinning. Willow looked confused and flushed a little.

“Yeah, shouldn’t be a problem. Why?” Buffy asked.

“MacBeth. Three witches.” She pointed her empty spoon at Buffy Amy and Willow in turn, “and MacBeth.” The spoon moved to Xander. “So all you need is someone to play Banquo. So second guy.”

Joyce smiled. “Why Dawn that’s a wonderful idea!”

The three girls exchanged looks. Then they looked at Xander, calculation in their eyes. “We’ll need to draw lots, see who gets what part…” Buffy started.

“And get the second guy…who do you think we can get?” Willow asked still confused.

“That’ll be no problem Willow…no problem at all.” Amy winked at Buffy. Buffy giggled.

Xander held up his hand. “Don’t I get a vote in this?”

Buffy grinned at her brother. “Of course you do Xand…it’s just…you’re alone…and there’s a clear majority of three of us.”

Xander looked at Simon who raised an eyebrow. “You seriously expect me to get into the middle of this?”

Xander sighed, giving up. “Okay, okay! But no tights.”

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“So…why did Mr. Giles not inform you of the copper knife? Joyce asked after desert had been finished.

“He told me about Hrackesh earlier…I sorta forgot…” Buffy groaned. Three pairs of eyes settled on the Slayer.

“So…Giles told you?” Willow’s voice was cold.

“Yeah…” Buffy confirmed sheepishly.

“And you forgot…” Amy’s was colder still.

“And that meant that I got wet dog remarks all day from Cordelia?” Xander glared.

“When he really only smells like a wet puppy…” Amy teased and Xander glared at her.

“Says you, little Miss ‘smells like burning prairie dog!’”

“Who said that?” Amy hissed.

“Larry and Devon and Garret…Sorry Ames…” Xander seemed genuinely apologetic.

“Oh…dammit. Sorry Ms. Summers!” Amy grinned ruefully. “Well there go my chances of a date with Larry.”

“I’m sorry Amy. I fear that the smell will linger for several more days. Hrackesh goo is very…pungent.” Simon said.

Buffy sniffed. “Yeah…didn’t realize until now how much I use smell to hunt”

Joyce gave her a worried look. “Buffy…I’d prefer then that you’d not patrol or be very careful…more careful than usual… Please?”

Buffy looked thoughtful. “I’ll just do the graveyard watch then, that ought to be safe enough…”

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The lair was dark and filled with the smell of minerals and blood. The old vampire known as the Master stood at the lectern reading the great leather bound book. A small boy, dark haired and eyed sat watching him.

“Any revelations in there that might be of use my friend?”

The Master shook his head. “No…none that make any sense. How my Sire thought some of these things were worth writing down…”

“Such as?”

The Master smiled. “Like this:

If what was sundered once and lost

Is found again and Powers unbound

And when the Chosen Dead Rises,

And the sacrifice is slain

And the Anointed rises into the sun

Then the Seer who is the father

Shall escape his bonds

And come to the place between worlds.

The Master tilted his head. “It loses a little in translation of course…Aramaic is far more poetic than English ever will be.”

“Poetic yes…but it does not sound singularly useful. Why don’t we just send a half dozen vampires to kill the Slayer when she leaves that dance club of hers? Or waylay her outside her home, but letting it be done by competent people this time…” The Anointed one suggested.

“I’d agree but it’s just so difficult to get good help these days…” The Master shook his head ruefully.

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Cordelia Chase parked her car outside the Kendall home. The British born Kendalls ran a noted beauty clinic and the house Harmony lived in reflected their considerable income. With the relatively low property prices in Sunnydale, this meant a large white stuccoed refurbished 1920’s villa with subterranean garages and a pool at the back, all set in a spacious garden. Not quite as large as the Chase Estate, but still one of the largest houses in Sunnydale after the Wilkins properties and Banker’s Manor. She clasped the small box of expensive Belgian chocolates and carried it up the steps to the front door and rang the bell. One of the Twins opened the door.

“You rang Miss Chase?” She used an affected British accent.

Cordy gave the girl a look and rolled her eyes. “Very funny Melody, I’m here to see Harm.”

“She’s okay!” Melody was obviously quite relieved by the fact.

“That’s good to hear...but I’d still like to see her.” Cordelia replied dryly.

“Oh, of course, come in!”

Melody let her in and gave shout. “MOM! DAD!! It’s CORDELIA!!!”

Cordelia grinned. The twins had acted this way as long as she could remember, or at least as long as they could walk and talk. And she could have walked around the back and taken the kitchen entrance, but her mother had been on her case about that again, only common people went to the kitchen entrance…

“C’mon, Cordy, she’s been wanting to talk to you.” Melody grabbed Cordelia’s hand and led her up the broad sweeping staircase.

Harmony was lying in bed, covered in a thin duvet and looking glassy eyed. Felicity was sitting by her bed, reading from a Nancy Drew novel.

“Hello Cordy!” Felicity greeted her and then rose, patting Harmony’s hand. “I’ll be back later, or Melody will be. ‘Kay”

Harmony nodded vaguely. “ ’kay…Heya Cordy…”

Cordelia sat by her oldest friend. “Harm, you look awful.”

“Don’t feel so good…” Harmony swallowed as if to repress the urge to vomit.

“What happened?” Cordelia asked, still uncertain.

“Felt like…push…” Harmony said with a thick tongue. “Bu’ no one there…”

Cordelia looked a bit skeptical. “Yeah…you sure you didn’t trip?”

“Yah…Cordy?”

“Yeah Harm?”

Harmony picked at her blanket. “Does someone want to kill me? Or you?”

“I don’t know Harm. But I’ll look out for you…always,” Cordelia assured her friend.

“Always…” Harm extended her little pinky and Cordelia hers.

“Deputy…” Harm grinned and Cordelia groaned.

“Oh stop that, you juvenile delinquent! That was sooo not a good day…”

“You looked cute in the antler hat…” Harmony sniggered and then put a hand to her head. “Ow…head hurts…”

“Yeah, well, you’ve got a concussion. So I’ll leave. I’ve brought you some Belgian chocolates, but don’t pig out!” Cordelia warned.

“Thanks…Want one?”

“Nah, I need to fit in my dress for the Talent show…But don’t forget the Twerps,” Cordelia teased.

“Twins…” Harmony scowled. She was incredibly protective of her little sisters.

“You gonna tell me what’s wrong with them?” Cordelia ignored the glare.

Harmony shook her head miserably. “Can’t…Promised…”

“Oh Harm…” Harmony never ever broke a promise to her sisters either.

Cordelia leaned forward and kissed her platinum blonde friend’s forehead. “Rest…get better soon. It’s just not the same at school without you…”

“Y’okay…Cordy? Be careful...Was pushed. ‘M sure ’ff it…”

Cordelia left, her face thoughtful, as Harmony quickly slipped into a concussed sleep. She nodded at the equally blonde twins and left through the kitchen, to say goodbye to her friend’s parents.

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Willow looked in surprise at the tiny burgundy top and the short white skirt and ballet shoes Buffy and Amy had chosen for her to wear to school the next day. The sheer red stockings did not help at all to set her mind at rest.

“W-why do I have to wear this? It’ll be cold…”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “It’s not that cold Wills…actually it’s pretty darn hot for the time of year. And so will you be, wearing that.”

“But Buffy! C-cleavage and leggage and…and stomachage!” Willow was getting desperate.

Amy crossed her arms. “Look Will, we need you to look…”

“Like a tramp?” Joyce’s dry voice came from the door. “Where did you get that skirt anyway?”

“Your closet.” Amy and Buffy chorused unthinkingly.

Joyce took a step closer to the bed. “Oh…it’s the one that shrunk in the wash…not the point, its not Willow’s style, and I dare say that she will be more…effective in your scheme if she is comfortable.” She sat on the bed. “So what’s the young man’s name?”

She looked at Willow inquisitively and her middle daughter stood gaping like a fish. “Y-young m-man?”

Joyce gave Buffy and Amy a look. “She doesn’t know?”

Buffy shrugged. “Everybody else does…Dave.”

Willow looked astonished. “Dave?! B-but he’s cute! And smart a-and cute! And…oooohhh…” She turned on Buffy. “You told him I like cheese!” She pointed an accusing finger.

Buffy grinned. “Yup. And he’s still giving you roses…so I’d say you’ve got yourself a winner Lil’ sis! Romance and food both…oh, and let’s not forget the poetry…He’s done Burns and Shakespeare and Kirby so far right? I think the first one was all his…”

Willow blushed. “B-but…”

Joyce looked at the clothes again, hiding her amusement at her daughter’s obliviousness. “Let’s see what Willow would pick, and go from there.”

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Rupert Giles looked up from his reading at the sound of the doorbell. He rather self-consciously checked his clothes and went to the door. It might be Jenny after all…He hadn’t been able to reach his friends yet…well if he was completely honest he was a touch worried to do so.

He opened the door and slightly deflated. “Oh…it’s you.”

“Well thank you Dr. Giles for that warm welcome…who were you expecting?”

“N-No one…I merely…”

“Yes?” Simon smirked.

“N-Never mind,” Giles stammered, embarrassed.

“May I come in?” Simon asked, politely.

Giles stepped aside but did not utter an invitation, Simon nodded approvingly.

“Well now…Dr. Giles…there are many things we must discuss.”

“If this is about the Hrackesh, I swear I told Buffy-” Giles hurried to say.

Simon cut him off with a grin. “I know, I know. But Joyce is till going to have a word with the two of you…”

Giles winced.

Simon continued, but with a very small smirk on his face. “She did not appreciate your actions, Dr. Giles…even if you and I know that the Hrackesh was supremely unlikely to harm Buffy, but I do hope that you’ll never send Buffy out again without specific instructions?”

Giles nodded. “Yes…I’ll make certain she knows the weaknesses of every demon she faces minutes before meeting it, considering her inability to memorize simple facts.”

Simon nodded. “Dr. Giles, there are some things you need to know about Buffy. But if you reveal them to members of the Council, there will be grave trouble …”

Giles glared. “What exactly have I done to earn your distrust, sir?”

“Nothing…yet…but then Buffy has not yet reached her eighteenth birthday,” Simon said calmly. “If before that time you’ve not realized that Buffy is not a weapon to be forged but a girl to be helped…you will find yourself in trouble…but what I just said was not a warning or a threat…I think…I hope you will agree with my assessment after we’ve spoken.”

Giles nodded, taken aback that the other man knew about the Cruciamentum. “I see…can I offer you some tea then?”

“Yes, I would appreciate that,” Simon nodded his acceptance.

“Orange pekoe?” Giles suggested.

“Just lovely.”

Giles busied himself in the kitchen while Simon studied the personal book collection of the Watcher. ”A goodly collection…I assume that the important works are at the library? The Pergamom Codex? The Tiberius Manifesto?”

“W-well of course not…there hasn’t been an extant copy of either since the early nineteenth century…” Giles apologized for the lacunae in his library.

“WHAT?!” Simon turned around aghast. “Haven’t you people ever heard of copying? Bloody hell, Giles! You’re supposed to guide these girls, not send them to their deaths uninformed!”

“Well of course if you just happen to have a copy or two lying around I’d be delighted to consult them…” Giles spoke sarcastically. “Oh and why don’t you throw in Isidore’s Extractus de Bestiarium Demonicae or heavens yes, the original complete version, Res Demonicae, and of course The Compendium of the Annals of the Wizards…”

“I’ll have copies made and have them sent over as soon as possible. What the hell have you people been doing with your libraries?” Simon interrupted the sarcastic diatribe.

“What? You…you have them? But they’ve been lost! Some of them for centuries…Six of my classmates alone died trying to get a single folio of the Compendium…” Giles spluttered.

“All that and none of you considered you might be on the wrong track? That you might not be the ones intended to lead the Chosen one anymore?” Simon asked incredulously.

Giles took off his glasses and started to polish them.“Oh…I see your point…That’s indeed something to think about…”

Simon nodded. “Yes, but it’s not the reason I’m here. Dr. Giles, the last few weeks there have been certain…revelations about Buffy’s lineage.”

Giles smiled. “You’re making it sound as if she’s a witch of an old family. No known Slayer has ever been an active magic user.”

“Jehanne de Domrémy was,” Simon disagreed.

“Oh, of course. Yes, I see…Yes…well…I’ve not seen Buffy use magic…” Giles countered.

Simon nodded. “And you might never…but she is of the Lineage of Johnson of the House of Warren.”

“Bloody hell” Giles sank down on the couch, staring at the older man.

“Her cousins might become the Charmed Ones if they choose to have their powers activated…” Simon added, rather morosely.

“Good Lord…” Giles polishing almost rubbed the lenses out of his glasses. “So her mother?”

“Is a Warren witch yes,” Simon confirmed.  “Through her own mother. And Joyce’s Power is Mother, if that means anything to you…?”

“A little…dear lord…A Witch…This may change things…I don’t even know where to look for half the books we’ll need…” Giles looked around helplessly.

Simon waved a hand. “I’ll take care of that, or at least my people will.”

“Oh…good…I don’t think I ought to buy those on the Council account…” Giles smiled wryly.

“Yes, that would not be wise,” Simon agreed. Then he sighed. “And then there’s the supporting cast,Catherine Madison was possessed by the spirit of Pulchritudia Black… Amy’s House McGonagall by the way…The Channeling side of the Family.”

Giles almost dropped his glasses. “Dear lord…Our Lady of Darkness…”

Simon nodded grimly. “Yes…And Willow is descended from House Warren and House Death both, as is her mother.”

“D-Death? Are you sure? I thought they were extinct…” Giles nearly pushed one of the lenses out of the frame of his glasses again.

“Rumours of our death have been greatly exaggerated.” Simon nodded at the whistling tea kettle. “Shall we have some tea?”

Giles swallowed heavily but rose to make tea. “Oh dear…errr…can I say I’m dreadfully sorry for the harm brought to your family by the organization I represent…”

“Yes…and considering what you’ve just heard?” Simon tilted his head in question.

“The Council will never find out from me,” Giles promptly assured him. “You’ll really provide me with all those books?” He added hopefully.

Simon grinned. “Of course…Giles…Rupert…you are Buffy’s Watcher…if there is any mystical bond left between the Watchers’s and the Slayers I don’t want to get in the way. So I do want you to have the finest references available, but I do hope you realize I’ll expect you to do your utmost to keep her safe…”

“I understand…would it be allowed to make copies?” Giles asked eagerly.

“I…I need to think about that…if the Watchers lost so much…I feel there must be a reason,” Simon looked thoughtful and hesitant.

“Hmmm. Again…you may have a point.” Giles returned from the kitchen with the full tea pot, setting it down to steep. He took out two delicate porcelain cups with saucers and looked at Simon.

Simon smiled. “Just a touch of lemon, if you have it. And of course I’ll provide you with such references concerning Buffy’s new…connections as I posses.”

“Indeed? What did you have in mind?” Giles went to the kitchen to cut two fresh slices of lemon and get the squeezer.

The Book of Warrener, The Halliwell Manuscript, The Unexpurgated Wallington Diaries, The Cruxis. And the Book of Death of course,” Simon listed.

Giles’ hands shook with repressed excitement. “Oh…how wonderful…”

“Yes…just kindly remember that all those families have had very bad experiences with the Watchers…and the Focus Users…So please make certain they do not fall into wrong hands…” Simon warned lightly.

“Oh…of course…You have my word,” Giles stammered.

“That will be sufficient, thank you,” Simon accepted the vow.

 “Dr. Meier…Simon?” Giles awkwardly asked..

“Yes?” Simon sipped at his tea.

Giles put his glasses on the table and took a sip of his won tea. “There is one more thing…when I was a young man I dabbled in the black arts…”

Simon merely raised an eyebrow. “Yes? I fear that very few young adepts don’t at least try…I know I did.” He looked bleak at the memory.

“We…friends of mine and I…we summoned a demon,” Giles admitted.

Simon took a sip of tea. “Not the wisest of things…why did you do it?”

“Well...aside from the fact I was an idiot…” Giles began.

Simon waved a hand. “We’ll take that as a given.” He said airily.

Giles glared but continued. “We wanted wealth…power…and...the thrill…”

Simon shook his head, but his reproof seemed mild. “I see…well you wouldn’t be the first…what did you summon?”

Giles winced. “Not what. Who.”

Simon groaned. “Oh something…Who and how?”

“Eyghon the Sleepwalker…with a spell from the Black Grimoire of Agostinos of Compostella,” Giles answered while looking at the surface of his tea.

Simon gave him an incredulous look. “You call that dabbling? You were Watcher trained…and you took a spell from that book?”

Giles fidgeted and blushed. “Yes well…I was rebelling…I did say…”

Simon shook his head in amazement. “I see…and now?”

“Well…Jen…Miss Calendar found out…She contacted a friend of hers…who says we, the Circle who summoned him, those of us who are left…can do something called a ritual of disavowal?” Giles asked hopefully.

Simon looked blank. “Ritual of disavowal…err…well there’s nothing about it in the Family journals…but then most of my ancestors have been more of the smiting variety than the forgiving…As far as humans are concerned at any rate.”

Giles snorted. “Ah yes…free will…and if of your own free will evil you commit…”

“We bring down the hammer…of course with my father’s track record so far…I’d say family wise we should up about the whole holier than thou bit for a while…” Simon remarked cynically.

“You’re taking this remarkably calmly…” Giles voice was intrigued.”

Simon shrugged. “I’ve seen worse…and you’re telling me this before anything happened to threaten my children…that’s a point in your favour. Are you marked?”

After a short pause Giles reluctantly nodded.“Yes…”

Simon sipped his tea again. “Well…it wouldn’t even take a ritual then I think…but I don’t know what it actually entails, so…but at any rate, merely removing the mark would work.”

“R-removing?” Giles’ hand instinctively went to the place where the tattoo was.

“Surgically…or other wise. My grandfather did once cut off a Mark of Phrestor the Destroyer,” Simon smiled.

“But that covers the whole right arm! And part of the shoulder and oh….” Giles swallowed and took a sip of tea, to stop the cup from clattering on the saucer.

“Yes…Granddad really took the smiting business seriously.” Simon looked at his watch. “Well Rupert…I think we’ve reached an understanding…”

Giles rose. “Yes…we have. I promise I’ll faithfully care for Buffy, for Buffy’s sake, not the Council.”

Simon smiled. “Good…very good…Oh…by the way…If you ever have time…there are some tomes in the family library that need transcribing and translating. If you’re interested… You’ll be paid of course.”

Giles grinned. “Well now…that would be nice…”

Simon reached into his pocket and took out a small business card. “And here’s the address of the garage I take my car to. I’d advise you to have yours revised. Sometimes you need to get somewhere just a little bit faster than at a snail’s pace.”

Giles glared. “It’s a classic!”

“It’s a 1963 Citroën DS, yes…and it needs work.” Simon replied. He firmly handed Giles the address. “It’s a shame to let it exist in the half life misery it currently is in.”

Giles smiled, ruefully. “Well…yes…but neither the Council nor the School pays that well…”

Simon hemmed. “You read Aramaic? Sumerian?”

Giles blinked. “Yes?”

“I’ll have Worthing send the first tomes out for you to translate…and take the cost out of your pay,” Simon grinned. “Have a good evening Dr. Giles…and Joyce will come to visit you tomorrow…”

Giles gulped. After ushering his visitor out he sat on the couch. He shivered. He was about to feel the vengeance of Joyce Summers, Mother Witch…and that was not something he was looking forward to.”

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Willow was wearing a dress, a green dress with pleats, belted in white and with a hemline just below her knees and a square, modest neckline lined with lace and green suede shoes with white ankle socks.

Her hair was in a single French braid twined with green and white ribbon, courtesy of mom’s skill at hairdressing. Buffy was getting better, but Dawn just wouldn’t sit still long enough for practice. Buffy and Amy admitted that it looked good. Very good. They discreetly followed her through the corridors of the school and watched the reactions. People were noticing Willow who never noticed Willow before.

Dave was going through his locker when he heard her voice. “H-hey Dave…”

Dave stiffened and turned around. And his mouth fell open. He managed to close, swallowed heavily and gargled forth a reply. “Willow…”

“Dave…you’ve been leaving me the cheese and flowers, haven’t you?”

Dave flushed. “Yeah…I’m sorry…I-I’ll stop if it embarrasses you…”

Willow shook her head. “Oh no…I love it…But…Dave…I need your help…” She pouted prettily, making large doe eyes, like Buffy and Amy had taught her. She thought she looked like an idiot, but they assured her it would work.

Buffy and Amy stifled giggles as Dave almost visibly straightened at this call upon his masculine strength. “A-anything…”

Willow took a small step towards him. “Well you see…Buffy, Amy Xander and me…we’ve got to put on a bit for the talent show…because we skipped afternoon class Monday… and we need another male actor…”

Dave shrugged. “Okay. What’re you putting on?”

Willow blinked. “Y-you’re not freaked out?” *Okay…this is way easier than I thought it would be…*

“Naah, I’ve been in lots of plays…I just sort of gave up ‘cause I never went beyond first sheep and stuff.” He shrugged. “Never was popular enough.”

Willow giggled. “Thanks! Ummm…we’re doing MacBeth…so you won’t mind being Banquo? Just a few scenes…”

“We read it in English. It’ll be fine. No prob,” Dave assured her.

Willow smiled at him brightly. “Okay! Thanks Dave! See you in class? Comp Sci right?”

Dave smiled back diffidently. “Umm… Yeah…Willow…can I walk you to your locker…and ummm…then to class?”

Willow gave him a radiant smile. “Sure! C’mon!”

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Jenny Calendar mounted the steps to the school and into the cool hallways ready for another fine day of teaching and torture. She shuddered. *There has to be someway in which I can convince Cordelia to not compete…* When she passed the Library she saw Rupert wave at her to come in and after hesitating for a second, did so. 

Rupert looked worried. “Good morning, Miss Calendar…”

Jenny rolled her eyes at his continued need for unnecessary decorum. “Jenny…it’s Jenny, Rupert…now what’s wrong?”

Giles winced. “There’s trouble…”

Jenny eyed him worriedly. “Eyghon?”

“No…No…Ms. Summers is less than amused that we sent her children out to fight a demon with insufficient instruction…even if I did tell Buffy about the Hrackesh’s weakness…I wasn’t clear on it…so…errr…she will be by today…and since errr…well…she…errr…” Giles took off his glasses and studied them intently while he was polishing them, avoiding Jenny’s gaze.

Jenny looked at him suspiciously. “English…are you telling me that I’m going to get tarred with the same brush?”

Giles sighed. “I-I do very much fear so…yes…”

“Oh…isn’t that just plain dandy…well you can tell her that it was all your idea!” Jenny growled.

“Can he now?” Joyce Summers voice was dry and calm.

Jenny and Rupert spun round to face her.

Joyce stood just in front of the library doors, carrying two large bags. “Well, well…if it isn’t the responsible adults…”

Rupert and Jenny winced.

“My children tell me you will be performing in the Talent Show…” Joyce drawled.

Giles swallowed. “Err…yes…that is to say, we, Miss Calendar and I…”

“A very nice duet for two people falling in love…” Joyce continued.

Jenny nodded.  “Yes, but…”

“So I thought wouldn’t it be nice if they had appropriate costumes?” Joyce held up the bags, plainly marked The Costume Lounge.

Jenny started to shiver. “Y-You wouldn’t! Not in front of the entire school!”

Joyce gave her a cold look. “You unnecessarily put my babies at risk…I consider this a very mild punishment…I could call my mother…She favours plagues of boils…”

Jenny swallowed. *Oh Goddess! She’s a witch!*  “I-ah…” Her shoulders dropped in defeat. “I’ll wear it…”

 “Very good…This one’s yours.” She thrust a bag at Jenny who accepted it as if it was full of snakes. The other she gave to Giles.

 

“I greatly look forward to seeing you perform! Have a good day!” She left the library, whistling softly. Jenny recognized it as A whole new world.

Giles looked at the bag. “Err…Jenny…what exactly is so terrible about these costumes?”

“Just…take it into your office and look at it Rupert…” Jenny scurried out of the library.

Giles sighed and carried the bag into his office. About two minutes later there was an anguished scream. “Oh no! NOOOOOO!!!!!!”

End Note:

I hope this satisfies the craving for punishment of Giles and Jenny, the knowledge that it will happen at least…And what’s in those boxes…
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