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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)vidiconFR1598780,1331571479386,91828 May 115 Jul 14No

Demon in the background and worried cheerleaders

Author’s Note:

I’m going with longer, less frequent updates. It fits my style better I think. So fewer updates until my holiday, when I have a slice of time to catch up on my writing a little.

Thanks everyone for reviewing. Since most of you know that Joyce has provided the Aladdin costumes, people may now vote as to what costumes they are: Prince or street rat, Princess or Slave?

In this chapter there will be ^Jublies^ to indicate Jenny typing.

Chapter 35: The demon in the background and worried cheerleaders

Jenny Calendar was beyond annoyed. She was angry as hell. She had to sing on stage, in front of all the school…with Rupert…a love duet…In those costumes…oh God she was going to die of humiliation…and mostly because Rupert, in his unutterable stupidity had antagonized his White Hat assistants in the battle against evil…And Joyce Summers…she was evil! Pure evil! And Snyder and the School board were evil too! And all because teaching extra computer classes was not ‘social’ enough…Luddites! Jenny huffed.

And the stupid flute music would just not stop! And no one could tell her where it came from. Apparently some stupid kid had hidden tape recorders throughout the school or something…And the annoying thing was that whoever played it showed more musical talent than anyone who’d signed up for the talent show…which was just plain cruel.

And her computer kept going wiggy on her...She gritted her teeth. Now she was starting to think like her pupils…She reached for the off switch to start a hard reset when she noticed a message from Willow_Rosenberg@SunnydaleHigh.

Marc isn’t real.

Jenny sighed and typed a response.

^Willow…you can’t use the school chat for this sort of thing. That’s cyber bullying. It could get you in trouble.^

Marc isn’t real, as in not human, as in demon. Really not real. Tell Buffy, please? See? I’m a good girl!

A link appeared and Jenny blinked, and then clicked the link. A carefully prepared set of facts showing that Marc had appeared only few months previously…no previous schooling, records, medical files, residences…He’d appeared one day out of thin air and sat in class…and everybody had accepted him. It was at the very least, worrisome. It was not like Willow to fabricate lies…and it would be difficult to hack through both her own and Willow’s highly unauthorized protections around the school’s chat system. She worried her lower lip and decided to go to the library. Rupert would be there…

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“Rupert…” Jenny began.

Giles looked up from the group up on stage trying to perform something akin to dance. This was not the ‘Jenny is worried about our performance’ voice, or the ‘Jenny is annoyed with me for denigrating technology in general/her dress sense/computers/more computers/yet more computers’ voice. Nor was it the ‘Jenny is going to kill me for having to wear that stupid costume in front of the entire school voice which was by far the worst so far… This was the ‘Jenny is seriously worried about the fate of the world’ voice she’d used during the Moloch possession of the Internet.

“What is it Jenny?” He was instantly alert.

“I-I got a mail from Willow, and it’s strange…She says Marc, you know, the magician in the Talent show, is a-a demon, not real.”

Giles flipped open his day planner and looked at the class schedules of the Slayerettes he’d written down in there. “Willow’s supposed to be in history…How can she be sending you emails? Or chats?”

“She can’t,” Jenny bit her lip. “But Rupert…what’s Marc’s last name?”

Giles opened his mouth to reply that it was of course… and realized he did not know. “Good Lord…”

“Yeah…Look I don’t know how Willow sent me this, but we need your White hats… And Rupert, if this demon is dangerous, can we really send a couple of kids to do this?” Jenny asked, worriedly.

“I-I think we can. I’ll talk to them during break…” Giles responded.

The Slayerettes were rather annoyed to have their break disturbed by an agitated librarian. Especially Willow, who was getting ready to get to know Dave. And then he dragged them off to the library.

Buffy glared at Giles on behalf of her sister. “This better be important…”

“We think Marc may be a demon,” Gilese rpelied, apologetically.

“Marc? Don’t be ridiculous…I’ve know him for years…” Xander blinked. ”I think…”

Willow looked at Buffy and Amy.

Willow looked confused. “I- Think I’ve known Marc for years…but…I don’t know…”

Amy looked thoughtful. “Either someone is playing with our memories of Marc…or Marc is not real…”

Buffy nodded decisively. “I say we take him and ask him a few questions if he’s for real, we let him go, if he isn’t…” She cracked her knuckles. “Time to play.”

Marc was in class all day which made tracking him easier. After class he was slotted to rehearse for his magic performance at the talent show. The plan was to nab him after that. In the mean time more information was needed. And parents needed to be informed.

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“Meier.” Simon’s voice was absent.

“Simon? Do you know of any kind of demon that makes people think they’re human?”

“Buffy?” Simon asked, rather surprised.

“Yeah.”

“Problem at school?” Simon inquired.

“Guy called Marc. Nobody knows his last name…and we’ve all known him for years, good ol’ Marc, bit of a geek but ok, and he has no known address or anything…” Buffy let her voice trail off.

Simon sniffed. “Amateurish, most demons manage better than that, it might be misdirection.”

“We thought of that. Simon, could you tell mom that we have a second male lead, but we do need to take care of this Marc business?” Buffy breathlessly hurried out.

Simon smiled. “Very well. Do try to keep safe and clean, will you Buffy?”

Buffy grimaced at the phone. “Very funny, haha.”

“Anything else that might be helpful? Anything strange? Anything setting of your instincts?” Simon asked, once more serious.

“Well there’s this guy with a ventriloquist’s dummy. He wiggs me out. I don’t like dummies. Don’t say it. I got enough teasing from the guys,” Buffy warned.

Simon let out a hmm. “A dummy. Hmmm, it rings a bell. Something about magical puppets, a hand puppet show in France run by two witches, but I doubt that’s it. And it doesn’t do to ignore a Slayer’s senses, you have them for a reason. Anyway, I’ll call Worthing and have him draw up a list. See if you can get a hold of the dummy as well as this Marc, and I’ll have Worthing cross reference and call Dr. Giles.”

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The Dummy was missing from the cabinet where he’d been stored and Morgan was frantic about it. The disappearance worried Buffy and Giles even more. Willow was rather taken up by talking to Dave about computers. Xander was worried there would be tights in his future. Amy kept gazing mournfully at Larry, well out of the reach of the athlete’s sensitive nose.

Buffy glared at the scenery where soon she’d be making her first stage appearance since she played fourth shepherd in the Christmas play in kindergarten. After that debacle -Buffy would never admit to knowing that word outside the confines of her mind- she hadn’t ever had a speaking role on stage ever again. At least with the skating she could be silent and ignore everything else…

And where the hell was Marc? He was there a minute ago… She cursed under her breath. At the front of the stage Cordelia was hitting the high point of the song she had settled on, Whitney Houston’s version of Greatest love of all.

“I DEcidEd long AGO, never to walk in ANYone's SHADOWS!“ Cordelia warbled.

Buffy could see Giles and Miss Calendar wince.

Buffy’s Slayer senses kicked in and before anyone else could react she pushed Cordelia out of the way of the falling piece of scenery. “IF I FAIL IF I SUCCEED UFFFFF!!”

Cordelia’s breath was expelled by the impact, mercifully silencing her. The heavy canvas backdrop and the metal bar it hung from thundered down behind her and Buffy. Buffy felt the taller girl stiffen. “Oh God! Harm was right! Someone is trying to kill us!”

Buffy gave her a look. “What did you say?”

“N-Nothing..Nothing… …err…they really should do something about the safety of this place! I mean, first the stupid light, now this? This place is a hazard! My dad is going to sue the pants of this school!” Cordelia snapped.

Buffy looked after the raging brunette as she strode up the aisle between the seats. “Yeah…you’re welcome, Cordelia.”

She looked around. Xander stood at one end of the stage and shook his head…Willow and Dave at the other end, studying the light plan, did the same. Amy at the top of the theatre, allegedly studying her script shrugged a negative. Damn…where was Marc?

Buffy concentrated, reaching out with her senses, like Giles had taught her…felt, stretched her hearing and smell and vision to the utmost…  

She heard a scream and acted instantly. Grabbing up a belaying pin that had been used in holding up the backdrop that had just fallen she ran to the locker rooms, her alerted Slayer senses pinpointing the direction of the noise.

Marc had Emily pressed against a locker, her sweater and bra torn away, bleeding from a wound over her heart. Buffy took him down in a running jump kick and he flew into the lockers opposite. She was on him in a flash, pounding heavily with the belaying pin. Giles and Miss Calendar were right behind her and started offering first aid to Emily.

Marc stopped struggling but did not seem dead. Buffy hauled him up and looked around, her eyes alighting on a set of old jump ropes. She twisted them together and used them to tie the demon up. A couple of old, discarded gym socks, probably Cordelia’s by the colour and expense, sufficed to stuff his mouth. The fact they had not been washed was a bonus in her mind.

Willow was already on the phone. “Dad? It’s Willow. Buffy’s just downed a guy and we’ve got a girl wounded here… No we’re alright...okay…see you in…DAD!! DRIVE CAREFULLY!!”  She glared at the phone. “See you in five…the man has no sense of self preservation…” She muttered to herself angrily.

Buffy giggled and pounded Marc a few more times for good measure.

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Giles leaned back in his chair, sighing. He’d just come of the phone with Dr. Worthing. In a three hour phone conversation interspersed with walks to cupboards and reference books they’d crossed off three dozen demonic species and come to the conclusion that only the Seven Brothers or the Brotherhood of seven, whatever translation you used, qualified…which meant, according to Worthing, that the Dummy was likely a cursed demon hunter called Sid Kofferman, and he’d suggested putting out a bottle of cheap whisky and furniture wax. Giles wasn’t quite sure if that was supposed to be a serious suggestion or a bad joke.

Emily had been taken to the hospital after the school nurse and Simon had both had a look at her. The struggling Marc had been deposited in the trunk of the Volvo. Buffy, who’d taken a liking to the belaying pin, had thumped him enthusiastically until he stopped moving.

Rupert Giles sat in his office in the library. Buffy and the others were at home, being drilled in the thespian arts by Ms. Summers…

Jenny and he had pleaded again to be released from their love duet but the teens had been icy when they’d tried to wiggle out of singing ‘A whole new world’ and replacing it with something more palatable like the National Anthem or Land of hope and Glory…  It was going to be ruddy humiliating….And the teens didn’t even know about the costumes…He shrugged and got out his bottle of emergency whisky and started calling out for the dummy. It was worth a try after all…

“Mr. Kofferman? I’m Rupert Giles of the Watchers’ Council…I think we need to talk…”

The small form of the puppet dropped out of the ceiling with an agility that belied its wood and cloth form.

“Yeah…I figure we do…”

Giles nodded. “I was told you might enjoy a bit of whisky? Perhaps with a drop of wax?”

The dummy blinked, twice. “Yeah…who told you that?”

“Dr Earnest Worthing, after some research in the Meier family library-”

The Dummy was on Giles in seconds. “You work for Meier?!”

“No! I’m a Watcher, and I think you may have the wrong Meier in mind. The current one is Simon XV, though he’ll probably clobber you if you all him that to his face.”

It seemed impossible for a dummy to relax but Sid managed. “So the old one is dead. Sorry ‘bout attacking you, been out of the mystical loop for a bit.”

Giles nodded and straightened his tie. “Quite alright, he was not a nice man from what I’ve heard.”

“So I saw you got the demon…” Sid asked, rather hesitantly.

Giles nodded “Yes, and as far as we can tell you’re the only one that can really kill it. But we were wondering if you might not like a night of relaxation first...”

The puppet gave him a look. “Yeah…that might be nice…”

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A light was burning in the library at Hooghwater Manor. Giles looked around in some astonishment. Several dozen leather bound tomes were taking up space in the huge bookcases and half a dozen huge crates stood on the floor. Carpet had been laid in several corridors and a very functional Slayer Gym had been finished in the basement. The one thing that bothered him about it was the small plaque next to it calling it Nikki’s Dream Room…

He wondered if Nikki Wood would have lived longer if the Council had allowed Simon Meier to bring his full wealth in to support her… He needed to call Bernard, the man would be a mine of information for an Active Watcher. No doubt Simon could find out his number…

“Beats me why a man who doesn’t drink has such fine liquor,” Sid stated, slugging back a shot glass of Bourbon on furniture wax.

Giles’ attention was drawn to the present. “I believe Sid, that Dr. Meier’s father laid it down.” Giles answered, looking at the deep amber liquid in his glass.

“Bastard did something right then…” Sid held out his glass for more.

“Sun’s coming up.”

“So it is…Ripper.” Sid had discovered Giles’ old nickname after the departure of what he scoffingly called the ‘Blue Button squad’.

“Yeah, Sid?”

“Let’s kill the bastard at dawn… Give my body to Morgan, he’ll want it…and…tell him I’ll miss him and see him on the other side,” Sid finished, a slight choke in his voice.

“You won’t have to wait long, will you?” Giles commiserated.

Sid looked at the chandelier. “No…No we won’t. Ripper…This was fun…It’s been a long time since I last had fun…it’s a good way to go.”

Rupert nodded. “Yes…sometimes it’s good to just relax a bit…”

Sid chuckled. “Like with your Little Gypsy lass…she got a build, she has…”

“Gypsy?” Giles blinked.

“Your young lady…your lovely assistant?” Sid’s chuckle was now positively indecent.

Giles shook his head. “Jenny? Jenny’s not a Gypsy.”

“She isn’t? Damn…maybe it’s a good thing that this is the last of the Seven…I’m losing my touch I could’ve sworn she was… Ah well…Bottoms up! And Drinks too!”

Giles did not know how a puppet managed to leer but Sid managed it.

Giles thoughtfully swallowed a sip of whisky. He wasn’t drunk -it wouldn’t do- but he was a bit tipsy. And school would start in just a few hours. But it had been worth it, for the three of them to bid goodbye to the old demon hunter. Simon and Patrick had left earlier, since they had to be alert early in the morning. Giles admitted he could actually nap in his office most of the day if things were normal.

“I have to agree though…she is built…” *Maybe a bit more tipsy than I thought.*

Sid nodded. “And you like her and she likes you. Does she know about…” He gestured at himself and the library.

“Yes,” Giles confirmed.

“Then I suggest you get a move on, that’s a rare thing, a woman who knows and still loves you. Does she know about Buffy? And who calls their kid Buffy anyway…” Sid muttered.

“No, no, she doesn’t…and, yes…I think I will get a move on…” Giles smiled,

“See that you do. Life’s to short to mess about, or you get permanent wood, just not in the mornings,” Sid looked down and sighed.

Giles sighed. Sid was ok, but sixty odd years as a puppet had given him an eternally horny look on life.

“Thanks Sid.”

“Anytime Ripper…Lets go see if Bchenka still has that demon bottled up…I feel like I could take a little rest…for eternity.

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Joyce Summers sighed as her children, and she tentatively included Amy in that list, were mucking about in the ballroom of Hooghwater Huis. Joyce had complained about lack of room in the garage and Simon had absentmindedly called Miller and the Estate manager had provided her with the keys and Joyce had spent an awed hour walking through the place. Simon had told her he owned it…but she’d failed to realize how huge it really was. The kids, having been there before, were less in awe.

A huge cauldron had been dragged up from the wash house by Buffy, who insisted that if it had to be done it had to be done properly.

To Joyce’s amusement Willow was quite the little tyrant on stage, insisting they all rehearse rigorously. If she was going out on stage, if she was going to go down as a failure, laughed at and scorned; it would not be from lack of practice. Her disgusting wig and horrid clothes helped get her into character. And so she wanted full dress rehearsals as often as possible.

Willow screeched, starting the scene again. “When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain?”

Buffy intoned after her. “When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's lost and won.”

Amy came in as third witch. “That will be ere the set of sun.”

Joyce nodded approvingly. After their initial hesitation and trepidation the girls had all thrown themselves into the play. They wore the costumes with verve and Joyce had skilfully applied the makeup to show what they would look like. They’d balked at the costumes at first but had quickly agreed to wear them when Joyce had pointed out the dress store next to the costume shop had some interesting items on sale.

Simon had found that infinitely amusing. He accused her of missing the excitement of the stage. And she admitted she did a little. She also admitted she wanted to know what he was going to make her dress up as for Halloween. He’d not even dropped a hint and by now she was getting really nervous. 

The three witches finished the first scene and started the second. And all three girls spoke the final lines that should have prompted Xander’s and Dave’s entry from the Ladies’ Drawing room.

“The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about:
Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace! the charm's wound up.”

There was no Xander. There was no Dave.

“Xander!” Willow called out

“No!” Xander replied.

“Oh c’mon Xand, you look fine,” Buffy’s face was perfectly straight but Amy and Willow kept stifling giggles.

“I’m not coming out! I look ridiculous,” Xander countered.

“We all look ridiculous Xand, we’re acting. Now get out here before I’ve got to come and get you!” Willow threatened.

“No!” Xander defied her.

“Xander!” Buffy tried to convince her older brother.

“I refuse! You all got to pick your own costumes, and you picked mine…Well I REFUSE!!!” There was a mix of anger and embarrassment in Xander’s voice.

Joyce sighed. “Xander…”

“They’re tights Mom! I. Won’t. Do. it!” His voice was iron hard.

“Xander!” Willow whined.

“No.”

Joyce pressed the balls of her thumbs into her eyes.  “C’mon Xander…it can’t be that bad…”  *Then again…* She removed her hands. She glared at the three girls. “What did you do?”

Buffy squirmed. “Errr…”

Willow ducked behind her wig, Amy shuffled her feet.

Joyce cleared her throat. “Xander…how bad is it?”

“They’re pink tights…” Xander whined.

Joyce crossed her arms at the three girls who were now sniggering. She very carefully did not laugh. She did not howl with mirth. She did not snigger. She was quite proud of that.

“Very well. Xander, put on your jeans and I’ll ask Simon to take you and buy something appropriate for MacBeth to wear. Dave, are you ready?”

Dave’s hesitant voice rang out. “Errr…can we make that two sets of clothing Ms. Summers? I know I agreed to this…but…raspberry?”

Willow turned to glare at Amy and Buffy who tried to look innocent. The sniggers ruined it. “Hey! No picking on Dave! He’s doing us a favour.”

Joyce’s raised her eyebrows and sighed. “Just put on jeans as well Dave, I’m sure Simon can take both of you shopping for chain mail later…”

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Cordelia Chase was worried. And it was not something that happened to her often. She walked into the Kendall’s kitchen, rather surprised to see Mrs Kendall there, after all the woman did run the dental side of the beauty clinic.

“Mrs. Kendall?”

“Hello Cordelia. Come to see the sick?”

“Yeah…ummm…”

“Don’t worry, you can go right up, the twins aren’t there…would you like some juice? And do you mind bringing some to Meeny?”

She used the diminutive for her daughter that no one else, not even her sisters, was allowed to use. Cordelia sighed. She was lucky if her mother called her by anything less than her full name, the woman only spoke to her when she’d done something wrong it seemed. Sometimes she wished she could move in with the Kendalls…they might be absent a lot, but they did care about their children other than as walking tax deductions.

”Yes please,” Cordelia answered the juice question, knowing that Mrs. Kendall knew she meant carrying some up to Harmony as well.

Mrs Kendal handed her a tray with two glasses and a jar of fresh juice. “Cordelia…did anything…happen? Meeny’s been worried…”

Cordelia shrugged. “Meh…some problems in the theatre…falling scenery, you get that with a lot of kids who don’t know what they’re doing.”

“Ah…ok…well if that is all…” Mrs. Kendall looked doubtful but did not inquire further.

Cordelia nodded and grinned as Mrs Kendall put two coconut macaroons on the tray as well. Macaroons were Harmony’s favourite.  “Thanks Mrs Kendall.”

“You’re welcome Cordy. I just hope she can keep it down,” Mrs. Kendall replied, worriedly.

Cordelia nodded and carried the tray up. She opened the door with her elbow and pushed it with her shoulder. Harmony was dozing but woke up immediately.

“Hey,” she greeted Cordelia.

“Hey yourself…you don’t look too bad…”

“I still feel sick,” Harmony complained.

“Yeah…Concussions will do that. Your mom wants you to eat something…hence macaroons!” Cordelia presented the confections.

Harmony perked up, but only a little. “Nice…so how was school?”

“Real weird. Let me tell you about it…”

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The memorial service of Sidney Uriah Kofferman was attended by a small, select group in the park of Hooghwater Huis. Morgan Shay attended, as did the Slayer and her family, Dr Rupert Giles and Miss Jenny Calendar.

It was a bittersweet ceremony, but at least Sid had the last laugh. The demon had been held in the basement at Hooghwater while Sid had a last night of drinking whisky mixed with furniture wax, together with Rupert Giles, Patrick Madison and Simon Meier, though the latter two had only drunk water and tea. Rupert felt a little wistful about it. The old Dummy demon hunter had been surprisingly good company.

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Aphrodisia Evans was in the girls’ locker room when what later would be called the ‘incident’ occurred. Standing under the shower, trying to touch as little of the walls, floor or anything else in the tiled room as possible Aphrodisia let the warm water run over her, washing away the sweat of her dance training. All the other girls had left already but Aphrodisia hated communal showering. She might be the last student in the school, even… She might not like PE, but the dance sessions were fun. She hoped that Emily would be alright…the girl was not part of the inner circle…but she was a friend…yeah...she’d go and visit Emily later. Suddenly the hot water turned off and only a spray of cold struck her. 

“Eeee!!!” Aphrodisia glared and tried to find whoever had turned of the hot water. Seeing no one she merely grunted, turned of the water and walked to her towel, starting to dry her hair. Wrapping another towel around her she went into the locker room. She stood before her open locker as she towelled herself of when she felt something catapult her forward, into the locker. Her hanging clothes fell around her and she bumped her head, first on the metal shelf and then on the back of the big locker. Slightly dazed she felt her arms being cruelly twisted behind her back and…oh God…handcuffs!

Aphrodisia kicked back and heard a slight grunt as she felt resistance but not enough to have scored a full hit. The handcuffs clicked closed. Aprhodisia struggled but couldn’t dislodge her attacker. A small cold hand shoved a pair of gymsocks in her mouth. Her own, clean, thank god. She waited tensely for what she knew would come next…she felt the tears starting…She hadn’t even gone to second base yet…and here…now…

She was shoved roughly into the locker, feeling the cold metal of the door against her back. She heard the spin of the combination lock. A soft tinkling laugh filled the locker room. And that was how she was found, naked, shivering and crying, several hours later, after her parents had called her in missing.

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“Didja hear about Aphrodisia? She was attacked in the locker room yesterday…they locked her up too!”

Cordelia Chase listened to the gossip with a worried face. Aphrodisia was on the outskirts of the Cordettes mostly…but she was a part of her circle. So far there had been two quite serious attempts on her and one on Harmony…all three had come way to close for comfort. She shook herself. It had to be a couple of pranksters…Why would anyone want to kill them? Sure, they were cool and all, but not worth killing. Kidnapping, yes, killing, no.

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Ginger Curtis walked along the corridor avoiding the area that was being painted when she was struck by a large bucket of paint on her shoulder. She cried out, but the scream only lasted a moment, until another bucket was emptied over her, covering her from head to toe with the sticky yellow paint used to give the hallways of Sunnydale High just that touch of home. There was a soft tinkle of laughter as Ginger started to cry underneath the bucket, rivulets of paint mixing with her tears.

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“Didja hear about Ginger? Someone dropped a paint can on her shoulder and it broke her clavicle! And the paint is so bad; she had to cut her hair off!”

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“Do you think it’s something supernatural?” Buffy asked worriedly.

“I don’t know…I mean…considering everybody they pick on? There’s more than a few seniors who’d love to take a little vengeance on the Cordettes…and almost all of the juniors…” Willow answered. She didn’t add that she felt a little vengeful herself sometimes.

Buffy shook her head, still worried. “This could be bad Wills, I mean, that bucket, it was like five gallons. I don’t like Ginger, but I’d like it even less to find her with her brains splattered on the wall…”

Willow winced. “Yeah…there is that…errr. I don’t know Buffy. I mean they’re popular girls…but nobody really likes them… If you get me?”

“Yeah…been there…done that…Right…Do you think we ought to tell mom?” Buffy looked her question at her sister.

Willow picked at her lip. “Probably yeah. I just hope they don’t decide to send in the BeeGee’s…I mean them parking outside the school is bad enough…coming in with us? So much not of the cool…”

Buffy giggled. “BeeGee’s? Where did that one come from?”

Willow grinned. “Xander made it up…and Hurst made him do twenty push ups…”

“Ah…best not use it too much then Wills…” Buffy warned.

Willow nodded. “Fair point. Only where they can’t hear us…”

Buffy giggled.

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Emily Djiemanowicz  sighed as he lay on her back in her bed at home. She should be practicing for the talent show with her girls…she knew something had happened to Aphrodisia…She heard footsteps on the stairs. And then a knock.

“C’min!”

Her mother entered, looking amused. “You’ve got guests…”

Emily looked confused. “I do?”

“Yeah, a Buffy Summers, her little sister Dawn and a large envelope of photographs of Mikhail Baryshnikov…”

Emily brightened up considerably. Her afternoon was looking a lot better already…

End note:

As you can see, Marc got nowhere…all his victims lived! Trust me, this will not always be the case. These were special circumstances.

Cordelia and Harmony are possibly OOC. This is because as far as I know Miss Kendall had no little sisters in the series and having them mellowed her considerably. And here she and Cordelia are real friends.
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