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Ill Met by Moonlight

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Summary: crossover with Gargoyles

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Cartoons > GargoyleskarreniaFR1315,618012,07923 Jan 0323 Jan 03No
    Disclaimer: Buffy: the Vampire Slayer is the creation of Joss Whedon and all related characters,

    concepts, events belong to Mutant Enemy Inc.  They are not mine.  I am only borrowing them for

    the story.  They will be returned in tact afterwards.   Takes place sometime near the beginning

    of the current season.  At this point I am not taking into account Xander's relationship with Anya.

    This is my first story featuring characters from this particular show, so bear with me.

    Note: Mostly from Xander's point of view.  EMAIL: karrenia_rune@yahoo.com


    Disclaimer: Gargoyles belong to Disney and Buena Vista Television.  The version of Banshee and

    The Weird Sisters, the concept of the Gathering etc. are from the 2nd season "Hound of Ulster

    episode. Takes place during Goliath's world tour" courtesy of Avalon, via the Phoenix Gate.

 


                                                 "Ill Met by Moonlight"  by Karen


        Xander Harris glanced at his watch for the at least the 21st time then slumped back onto the

        stone niche formed by a pair of stone lions fronting the entrance to the Quadrangle lecture hall.

    Buffy, Willow, and the new girl in his life, Chloe Webb, had disappeared inside it hours ago

    for a presentation on Joseph Campbell's Man and Myth series. Ordinarily he would have

    gone along, whether or not the lecture was open to the general public,  but he had decided he

    had his fill of the paranormal ever since they'd graduated from Sunnydale high school.

    Since Buffy and Willow had become co-eds, they seemed to have less and less time to

    just hang out.


Xander began peeling at section of plaster that had begun crumbling near the stone lion's mane,

and thought about how everyone's life had become so wrapped up in the arcane and the supernatural.


    "There was a time, when all we had to worry about were bad hair days and midterms, then

    hanging out at the  Bronze. You know? ‘Normal’ stuff.  Then Buffy becomes the

    Chosen One, and we were caught up in a maelstrom of mayhem.

    Without much let up, either. Of course,  since Sunnydale sits squarely onto

    of the Hellmouth.....  Hey, look on the bright side, Xander, you made a difference.

    To hell with Cordelia,  anyway. I’m glad she's gone. And speaking of getting rid  of things and

    now that Angel’s out of the picture.  Never did trust him. Never liked him much, either.

    I think everyone has changed in the last several years, and  some of it has been for the better.

    Maybe I just don't like too much change too soon."


    Xander peered upwards, only to see more stone figures protruding from the building's roof.

     They clung to the ledge, carved figures in the form of people, animals, or fantastic beasts.

    He squinted in the bright afternoon sunlight to gain a better view, he couldn't be certain,

  but some of them had wings. It seemed to be poised as if holding onto the building by its claws,

    which established a seamless link between building and creature.  Picking out more details,

    he noted that the creatures had heavy brows, a beaked nose, and bat- like wings.

    The expressions on their faces ranged from somewhat ferocious to almost like they were laughing

    at some silent joke. A joke which was passed on from one figure to the next,

    and on down the row, since they had been arranged in clusters.


    "Okay, guys, what's so laugh out loud, funny up there?" Xander whispered to  the stone figures.


   "Xander, love, the way ye’re staring one might think ye were counting each chisel mark and crack."

    Chloe’s distinctive Irish lilt echoed in his ears and almost made him jump.


    "You startled me." Xander fumbled for his sunglasses. "Did I miss anything?

      What are those things, the ones with wings?" Xander asked, pointing at the roof.


    "They’re gargoyles. Long thought to be elaborate waterspouts. They usually took the form of

elongated fantastic animals. These decorated gutters are often architectural necessities

       turned into ornaments," Chloe replied absently.


    "Did I miss anything?" Xander asked, referring to the presentation.


    "Not really,"  Chloe sighed. "It’s not that important. What you need is a good cup of coffee,

    and then we'll talk."  Chloe brushed a lock of shoulder length red hair away from her

    emerald green eyes, and let her gaze wander to the stone  figures Xander had pointed out.


        "They do tend to follow you about, if you stare at them too long.  I know I’ve been here for just

    a wee bit, but from what I’ve seen and heard around here; ye know what they say?

    Stranger things have happened."


    "Yeah. I mean this being the like ground zero for weirdness.   I guess I was just bored out here.

    You said something about coffee?"  Xander said, brushing a fair amount of dust that clung to

    his long sleeved black polo shirt. He reached up and pulled his red fleece jacket over his head.

    Then tied it around his waist.


        "Aye, I need something cool to wet my whistle. How about you?" Chloe said as she reached

    over to smooth down his mussed hair.


    "Let’s go," Xander smiled, getting to his feet, and with his arm in Chloe’s they headed

    for the nearest cafe.







                                Interlude


            Xander held the door Chloe as they arrived and both were washed over by the slightly

    heavy, yet soothing aroma of freshly brewed coffee and freshly baked bread. It gave the building a

    heavy, slightly drowsy feeling.  Xander checked the place out and finally decided on a

    booth in the far-left corner of the cafe and sat down.


        "What can I get you folks?" the waitress asked, pad of paper and pen in hand.


        "Iced cappuccino, please," Chloe replied.


         "I’ll have the same, and some cherry pie with vanilla ice cream, " Xander said.


        "Regular or Decaf?" she asked.


    "Regular," Xander said.


    "Got it. I’ll be right back with your order," the waitress offered, briskly jotting down the

    items requested with a ballpoint pen, then pivoted on her heel to glide over to the counter.

    Xander wondered what it was about college students that made coffee drinking into a social event.


     "What am I missing? Where it is written that I have to go to college.  All it means it just

    more books,"  Xander muttered, arranging the salt and pepper shakers and the vase holding the

    plastic pink carnations, and rearranging all the packets of fake sweeteners and dairy creamers.


        "Xander, ye’re crushing the wee things, stop fidgeting., Chloe gently chided, as she placed the

    vase of carnations to one side, out of harm’s reach.


        "Okay, okay, but I’m worried about the Buffer, you know, well, it’s not that I’m paranoid

        or anything, but why won’t she tell us anything about what’s going on with that Initiative thing."

 


        "Maybe it’s a co-ed fraternity thing." Chloe muttered, shrugging her slender shoulders

    as the motion caused her red hair to come out the braid, and cascaded down her back like

    liquid flame.  It distracted Xander from his glum thoughts about Buffy.

    "Ye’ve known her for a long time. She’s more than capable of taking care of herself. "


        "Yeah, yeah, I know," Xander waved his free hand casually in the air, as if he could wave away

        his concern.  "But...."


    "Here’s a thought, with the amount of research time ye’ve put for Mr. Giles,  ye could

    always inquire if the university would allow you to audit a few classes instead of

    enrolling as a full time student," Chloe remarked.


        "What?" I was just wondering. Besides I’m happy being a townie," Xander replied.


    "Ah, but ye may find yourself out of the loop every once in a while, Chloe trailed  off as the

    waitress returned with their orders. Chloe looked up and thanked her, who returned the gesture

    with an acknowledging nod.


    "Ye ever think about getting the hell out of Dodge," Chloe suddenly asked after the woman had gone

    to serve other customers.


    "Like what? Leaving Sunnydale?" Xander asked. "Maybe we could take a trip to Ireland

    sometime, tour, meet your folks," Xander quipped.


        "We could go just about anywhere." Chloe muttered dreamily, ignoring the  comment about

        ‘meeting the parents’. "Europe, or New York, or...she trailed off.


                    Later


    "Look, don’t think I’m running out on you, but I kinda have to check in with Willow and Buffy at

    Giles’ in an hour. "  Xander polished off his cherry pie.  He took one last sip of his cappuccino.

    Then he took the straw, whipped up the leftover ice cream into it, and ate both together.


    "Not to worry, Xander. I understand," Chloe replied as she held the mug of coffee cupped

    between her two palms.  She had long ago finished drinking and was now was just breathing

    in the aroma.


    "How about we meet up later at the Bronze, I’ll save the last dance for you.  Promise?"

    Xander whispered conspiratorially, then he leaned over and kissed her on the lips.


    "I promise," Chloe whispered then returned the kiss.


    "Catch you later, then," Xander said all in one breath, and headed towards the exit.







      Meanwhile


        A skiff with a dragon headed prow bumped its nose up against a wooden pier.  The water

        glinted silver from the waxing gibbous moon overhead, as its four passengers tried to keep their

        balance as waves splashed over the skiff's sides.


    Goliath, who'd been rowing all night, leaned his tall frame against the tiller and took a breather.

    He glanced over at Elisa, sitting in the middle, whose red leather jacket wasn’t enough to keep her

    warm; had her arms wrapped around herself. He felt inclined to wrap his wings around her;

    if it would help.  Bronx flopped down in the rear, whined softly then waggled his fan shaped ears.

    Angela, who’d been absently stroking the garg-dog, chose that moment to look out over the shoreline.


    Beyond the man-made lake, she saw landscaped carpets of green grass and plazas surrounded

    by buildings repeating the same basic design. Given the time,  she only glimpsed a few people

    about, hurrying from one building to the other.   One particular building made her recall her home

    on Avalon, and some of which brought back memories of the last place the skiff had brought them to:

    a place called Flagstaff.  She wondered, not for the first time, if her father,

    Goliath, truly guided the Phoenix Gate, or if it was the other way around.


    Angela gasped then pointed: "Father, " her voice loud in evening stillness,

    "Unless I am mistaken, has Avalon’s magic brought us about in circles. Some of these

    structures look familiar."


    "Okay, where are we now?" Elisa asked in tones that whatever answer she expected,

    she wasn’t going to be happy with it. She stood up, and crossed the small gap between the skiff

    and the pier. Bronx leaped after, yipping happily, and almost knocked her off her feet.

    "Whoa, boy," she smiled, but the need for sleep showed in her eyes.


    "I am uncertain, but it reminds me of Flagstaff, Arizona when we helped your  sister, Beth..."

    Goliath’s  deep, resonant voice trailed off. Elisa’s sister, Beth attended college, and Elisa’s father

    had been called upon to recall old tales from Navajo folklore. All because an old

     enemy of the Manhattan clan had attempted to subvert an Navajo trickster spirit into

    bending to his will. Xanatos had failed, and Coyote had eventually

    aided them, but more for sake of his own amusement then from any altruistic motivation.


        "A college town. You mean we’ve bypassed Manhattan again?" Elisa replied, as she ran a

         hand through the tangled mass of her black hair.


    "My kingdom for a hairbrush and a bath," she sighed.


    "I am afraid so," Goliath replied, referring to missing Manhattan again.  For a minute he fumbled in

    his belt pouch then pulled out the Phoenix Gate. He shook it He tapped with the tip of a claw,

    tracing the grooves worn into its golden surface.


    "I know, Goliath. It’s not your fault. I’m just disappointed is all," Elisa replied.


    "I am sorry, Elisa. As you know, Avalon sends the bearer of the Phoenix  Gate where we

    need to be, not necessarily, where want to go. " Goliath said, as he Angela crossed

    over to the pier, she tied the skiff to a wooden pole.


    "There, now it won't float away.  We still have several hours until dawn, we

    should  check this place out, then  find somewhere out of the way,"


    Elisa heard someone shouting in the distance.


    "I guess that’s our cue, let’s go." Elisa smiled and headed off in the direction the shouts

    had come from.


    Bronx ears pricked up and he bounded off, right on Elisa’s heels. Pausing near a park bench,

    he sat on his haunches, and let off a howl at the moon, then continued to lope after her.

    Angela and Goliath following along in their wake.







        That same evening, Xander half ran, half walked along the streets, searching for  Chloe.

    Ever since she’d failed to show up at the Bronze, he’d become worried.  She hadn’t left word

    with Willow or Buffy, and the messages he’d left on her answering machine at her

    dorm, had never been returned.


    Have become frantic,  and  not wait for Buffy to detour from her nightly patrol.,

    Xander had decided  to conduct his own search.

    I suppose I should be grateful, a lot less vamp activity.


        "Chloe!" "Chloe!" He kept yelling her name for several minutes at stretch, pausing every

    now and again, hoping for a reply. He knew she occasionally went running late in the evening,

    since moonlight did wonders for her skin. But even so, this wasn’t like her.

    He blocked out the noise coming from nearby residences, and cars passing by on the street.


    Even for a Thursday evening, not too much activity in town, which, I suppose is a good thing.

     He made another  circuit of Chloe’s known haunts, and then back tracked his own route, only

    to arrive back at the campus grounds.


   Instead of hearing the echo his own voice, what he heard was a drawn out howling.

    "Note to self: less caffeine intake," he absently thought.


"Okay, Oz isn't in cycle yet, so that can’t be him. So, what’s with the howling?" Xander muttered to himself.


    The next thing he knew, he was lying flat on his back on the grass, with a rather large dog like

    creature leaning on his chest. Its paws, but only four toes, and claws. In a flash, he connected the

    creature with those he’d seen on the roof of the lecture hall. "What are the odds?"

_____


    "What have you found, boy?" a woman's voice asked. The first had been a rich tenor, the second

    slightly an octave below that. The first: a black woman,  looked ‘normal’ enough. She wore

    denim jeans and a faded, much mended red T-shirt, with a black leather coat over it. Oddly enough,

    she had a .38 caliber pistol in her hip pocket.


    The second woman's skin was almost purple, and  she wore her brown hair in a tight braid.


    The creature on top of him wagged its fan shaped stubby tail and proceeded  to give him a face

    washing by slobbering all over it.


    "Great, just great," Xander groaned, "I look for Chloe and instead I find some creature that

    has a yen for sitting on people, and slowly smothering them to death. What have they been feeding

    this guy, anyway?"


    "I think it’s okay, you can let him up now," the first woman said.


    "Elisa, we cannot be certain of that," the male replied.


    "Trust me on this one, Goliath. Just call it woman's intuition." the woman they'd called Elisa grinned.


    The dog creature whined, but backed off to crouch at Elisa's  feet, who reached down and

    rubbed his spiny head.  "Good boy, Bronx."


    "Bronx?" Xander muttered, patting himself down for injuries, the thing had  been heavy.

    Whose tail wagging achieved new levels in frenzy.


****

        The next thing Xander knew, he was hovering about 5 feet off the ground, in the grip of the large

        male creature.


        He stood almost eight feet high and  looked kinda purple in the moonlight. The cape that draped

        from the thing’s back did not look detachable, and were probably wings.

    <What did Chloe call those things again,? Damn, why can’t I remember? >


    The creature pulled him directly into his line of sight, forcing him to make eye  contact.

    Its eyes blazed white. "Who are you? And what is this place?"


    "No way, Mister. I’m not answering any questions till I find out who you are," Xander countered.


    "I am Goliath, you’ve already ‘met’ Bronx, that is Angela, and Elisa."


    "Fair enough. The name's Xander Harris."


    "Xander?" Elisa wondered, arching an elegant black eyebrow.


    "Great. It’s short for Alexander. Welcome to Sunnydale, hope you survive the  experience, its pretty

      wild here.  Could you put me down? While some  people might enjoy the sensation, it's hard to talk

      and choke at the same time."


    "Very well," Goliath replied, letting go of Xander’s collar.


    Xander rocked back on his heels, to avoid keeling over, and fumbled for bit, trying to regain his balance. <Boy, do I look dumb here> he absently thought..

    "So, what are you guys doing here?" he said aloud.


    "That will be revealed in due course," Goliath replied.


    "Wonderful. Since you don’t seem to have any pressing engagements at the

    moment, would you mind helping me find someone. That’s what I’m doing out

    here, I’m searching for a friend. Her name’s Chloe Webb. She’s gone missing since late this afternoon."


    "We’d be happy too, I’m sort of expert on missing persons," Elisa smiled.

    "What does she look like?"


    "Red-head, green eyes, about 5"6, last seen wearing a faded denims and a black leather jacket

    kinda like yours," Xander replied.


    "If you had something of hers, a scarf, a comb, anything. Bronx could then use  that to lock

    onto her scent. It would make finding her much easier," Angela said.


    "Let me see, " Xander fumbled around in his pockets, and came up with one

    of Buffy’s wooden stakes, no help there, a disc for an e-book that Willow wanted

    him to read, and finally, one of Chloe’s green and white bandannas she’d given

    him on their first date, and book with a dried, and pressed rose.

    "Okay, this might work," Xander said, holding out the bandanna to Angela.


    Angela took the faded piece of fabric, then bent over and waved it around

    in the general vicinity of Bronx’s nose. He sniffed at in, then whined. He looked

    up at her, scuffed his forepaws into the dirt. Then he lifted himself up on to his haunches,

    and let loose with another piercing howl.


    "I think he doesn't know...."  Xander began as he was forced to cover his ears.


    Bronx then went off to the east, and everyone followed along in his wake.


    "What did Chloe say?: ‘Stranger things have happened,’ Yeah, tell me about it,"

    Xander griped, forced to alternately walk and then run in order to keep up with the odd group.

    "We’d better find her. In a  place like this... definitely don’t go there, Xander, you may not like

    what you find." he thought to himself.





                Elsewhere


        "Isn’t this exciting Luna? It begins again," Selene gasped breathlessly.


        "We have waited half a millennia, Sister, we can wait a little longer," Luna replied as

        she tugged at her coil of wild of silver hair. She leaned over and gave an experimental tug on

        the woven length of rope that secured the skiff from Avalon to its mooring.


She sniffed at it, at first, all she could find where the scents of woven  hemp material,

    wrinkling her nose at the damp smell of where the fibers had rotted through from

    exposure to salt water. In addition to that were the distinctive scents of three gargoyles and

    one human female. "Avalon’s magic has been at work again, Sisters," Luna said, straightening up.


    "Indeed, the portents have never been more favorable. However, if may be so bold. I wish to

    express a concern. How certain are you, Phoebe, that this is the place where we will find She who

    defied the will of the Lord of Avalon?" the third member of the trio asked, her long hair falling

    down her back. Its raven sheen glistening in the starlight.


        "Calm yourself, Selene," Luna advised.


    "She is stubborn, and may prove difficult to persuade. As these mortals are fond of turns of phrase,

    perhaps it would be proper to use a method I have found quite effective,"  the other woman remarked.


    "Would you mind enlightening the rest of us, Phoebe"? Luna snorted delicately.


    "I believe they call it an intervention," Phoebe smiled, brushing back her blonde hair.


    "Excellent. We were assigned this task, yet the methods we would choose to employ

    were left up to our discretion," Luna smiled, a vague thinning of her lips. "We shall proceed."







        Confrontation


         Xander cursed under his breath when he tripped over the exposed root of a massive oak tree.

        He had privately thought they'd been running in circles as they followed  Bronx who was hot on

        the trail of Chloe.  But he'd kept it to himself, since Elisa had made several guarantees that

        once Bronx had a scent; it wouldn't be long till they found whatever it was he went after.

        Recovering his balance, he bumped his head on an over arching limb.  Angela turned around

        and offered him a hand up  without meaning to, she lost her grip and pointed towards the central

       fountain in the park he'd already searched.  The moon overhead, just barely there, was nothing

        more than a sliver of a crescent with a  ridge of cloud banked against its curving tines.


        Goliath dropped to all fours and growled something that to Xander sounded like the

        rumbling of distant thunder. <This can't be good> he absently thought.


         Shaking his head to clear the fogginess from lack of sleep and running around in the middle of

        the night, he nearly blacked out again, when he saw what had made Angela stand rock still.


        "The Weird Sisters," Goliath growled.


        Hovering above the jetting sprays of water from the fountain, were three women, they had

       their fists clenched on their hips, and their thin lips pursed in identical disapproving frowns.

        They wore long white gowns, and they could have been triplets, except for the color of their

        hair. As he looked closer, they weren't even aware of the new arrivals, for  standing atop.

        a slope that led up the residential areas, Chloe stood defiantly squaring off against them.

        silver bolts of energy bursting like roman candle firecrackers from her fingertips, her hair

        glistening in the moonlight.


        Chloe’s green eyes blinked once, then twice in rapid succession. When she lifted her head

        again the green had been replaced with a red flicker.


            "Sister, if your stubbornness and pride not gotten in the way of your better judgement,

            this 'intervention'' would not have been necessary, but we must need resort to desperate

            measures," Selene said.


"Sister, you overstep your bounds, know this, consider this, had  you been in my place

           would you have complied with the Lord of Avalon's and returned thither?  Mortals believe

            in free will, what matter the Gathering delayed a few more centuries?"  Banshee shrugged.


         "What the hell is going on here. I finally meet a nice girl, and she's got all the classic signs of  being

        some kind of vamp or something?  Would someone please clue me in here,"  Xander demanded,

        but was ignored.  Just then he was forced several paces back as a stray energy bolt ricocheted

        off some sort of invisible force field and would have successfully fried him.  Goliath spread his

        wings and took the brunt of the blast.


        "Uh, thanks, big guy," Xander said.


    "You are welcome," Goliath replied.


    "Xander!," Banshee cried, turning to face him, the red glow replaced by green.

 


         "Ware! They interlopers are not welcome!" Luna shouted.  She spun around in midair, and flung

        an arm out perpendicular to the ground, ready to unleash some devastating energy blast, but

        whatever would have happened was cut short, as Bronx sprung towards her and knocked her

        sprawling to the ground.


    "Wretched mongrel, " Luna muttered, snapping her fingers and Bronx went hurtling through the air.


    "That's what I'd like to know, too."  Elisa shrugged out of her leather jacket and tied it around

    her waist.


        "Banshee, the bean sidhe, woman of the fairies as she was called in the old tongue of Ireland.

        I had thought after  the defeat you suffered at our hands with the help of the boy..."

        Goliath shouted to be heard over the arguing.


            "The Banshee?  Come on, Goliath, you've gotta be putting me on, I mean, those, uh,

            ladies, haveta to have under some kind of spell, right?" Xander protested.


        "Goliath, I remember you, I'll thank you, name me not, the boy in whose mortal shell dwells

        the soul of Eire's greatest hero," Chloe shouted.


    "If not for the great Beast," raising a sharp nailed hand,  she gestured towards Bronx,

    " the boy would have lived and died a mortal never realizing his true destiny as

    Cuchlain, the Hound of Ulster."


            "Okay, right about now, I wish Giles was here to give the pertinent mythological play-by-play,"

            Xander muttered to Elisa, who stood beside him.


            "Who's Giles?"  Elisa whispered back, confused, wondering what bizarre impulse guided the

               Phoenix Gate.  After everything they'd been through, she wished, just once, they could

                order the magical artifact to take them directly back to Manhattan without any

                detours along the way.


        "It is not we whose reach has exceeded our grasp, dear Banshee, it is you.  For you have

        meddled in affairs that are none of your concern, i.e.: the fortunes of Eire,  and sought

        to prevent the return of the Ireland's greatest hero, Cuchulain from returning.

        You failed.  The gargoyles saw to that," Phoebe said.


             "Or have you forgotten," Angela countered.


            "Nay, I have not.  The sting of defeat however bitter, I have long since put behind me.

        Was it fate or by design that brought you hither?" Banshee turned to face the gargoyles.


        "In our last encounter,  I told you the truth when I said that were sent here by Avalon's magic,

        but we have no agenda from anyone called Oberon," Goliath replied.


        "We never even met the guy," Elisa added.


        "What matters that they are here, dear sister, " Luna interrupted. "Consider this, the Greeks had

       a word for it, hubris, pride, and you Banshee, dear, are guilty of it, not only in defying the will of

        Lord Oberon, but of preventing it;   merely to hold onto what little dominion you had left."


        "I will not go back, and despite your best attempts, you cannot make me leave!

         I like it here," Banshee replied.

        "The Gathering only comes around every 500 years, it can wait a little longer."


                "Yeah, "Elisa said, glancing around the park, "Just like that old peat bog, who'd

                want to leave all this?"


               "What means your presence here," Phoebe asked.


                "Enough!  My voice can seduce or memorize, or bring pain beyond imagining. I will not be

                taken by force!  For when the Banshee keens, humans die!"  With that her mouth opened as

                wide as it would go, and a deafening screech issued forth which repeated itself

                over and over.


                The Weird Sisters fluttered to the ground like swans diving into a lake, and

                after staggering for a moment to regain their balance, they whipped their arms up,

                the speed of the motion causing their sleeves to roll up to reveal milky white skin,

                and delicate shoulders. The fabric of their white dresses white as opal. They began

                chanting in what sounded like Latin, and when they finished Chloe/Banshee brought her

                  hands to her mouth trying to remove a metal wire mesh gag. Banshee frantically tugged

                 at the gag,  but it was made of iron, which caused blood to spurt from her fingers.


            "Ready to listen to our proposition now, Sister?" Luna smirked.


        Banshee nodded her head, unable to speak with the iron gag over her mouth.


        "We have been watching you, biding our time, and as you  know, this was originally about

           the Gathering.  But that is no longer pertinent.  What matters, is your fascination with these

        mortals," Luna snorted, and gestured to the small crowd of observers.

 


        "As I mentioned, mortals call it an intervention;  when someone  is a danger to themselves

        or others, and for one reason or another refuses to confront it. Thus, our mission.  You have a choice, Sister, return with us to Avalon, and remain a Child of Avalon,  or...."  Selene said.


        "Or, rescind your powers, if you truly love 'humans',

        Luna wrinkled her nose in distaste, as if at some foul odor,  and remain among them."


        "Goliath, that isn't much of a choice.  What do you think she will do?" Elisa whispered.


            "I can not be sure, if Banshee is at all like Puck, she will not go quietly," Goliath replied.


         Banshee bowed her head, causing her red hair to fall over her eyes, and crossed her

        arms over her chest.  Luna snapped her fingers and the iron mesh vanished. "Your answer."


        "Okay, they've won, I don't see why they have to be so smug about it," Xander said.


        "I accept your proposition," Banshee replied. "I will remain here."


        "You have made your choice, sister, and now you must live with it," Selene said,

          as she linked arms with the other two women and began chanting in Latin, rattling

            off something that rhymed, then using the tips of the fingers of their right hands,

            they shot off a white glow sphere directly at Banshee.  She was enveloped in it for

            a few heart stopping seconds, and when it cleared,  Chloe had taken her place,

            dressed in the same ripped denim jeans and silk shirt she had on she'd worn during

            their date at the coffee shop.  She smiled, then collapsed in heap.  Xander glanced

            around at the others, seeing that no one else was going to do it, he rushed over

            and wrapped her in his red fleece jacket.  "Is it over?" he whispered.

            Chloe lifted her head and shared with him the same brilliant smile he'd fallen in love with

            when he'd first met her  "My old life is over, my new one is just beginning.".


            "I can handle that," he returned her brilliant smile.


        "And now we too, must return to our journey," Goliath added.

 







        Conclusion


          Xander lounged comfortably on couch in his basement den, and contemplated his next move

            on the game board he and Chloe had set up after she'd crashed for the night.  Chloe had left

            around 9am for her first class.


             It wasn't helping that Buffy, restless after a night spent patrolling, and coming up empty,

            peered over his shoulder, and made comments about strategy and maneuvers. Since she

            hadn't made any remarks about his choice of women, he wasn't going to ask her about

            Riley or the Initiative, since she'd also hadn't managed to get close enough to find any

           more about it, than it was some kind of military outfit. She had also managed to drag Giles

            and Willow out of bed and brought them over to his place.


            "I've heard of legends of the Banshee, but I thought it was  just a spirit that keened

            when someone was about to die," Willow said, she sat down on the opposite side

            of the board, seeing an gambit, she picked up the black castle and moved diagonally

               along the marble surface.  Xander groaned as she took out his rook.  Xander frowned

            and moved his white queen a few paces and put the king in check.


            "Told you so," Buffy grinned.


            "You did not, so there," Xander grinned.

 


        ""However,  I've managed to dig up some material which indicates that the Banshee once took

          upon herself the pain of an entire family, the despair and suffering and condensed them

           into a single cry of lament. She forecast deaths but also births. In modern times, the

            Banshee is feared but no longer respected," Giles said.


        "In other words she lost her reputation as a prophetess and guardian, now she's

        more a messenger of death, "Willow replied.


    "There's one thing I don't understand," Xander interrupted, "Don't look at me like that,

     aware of the raised eyebrows he got from Buffy,


        "Why did Chloe come to Sunnydale?" Buffy asked.


        "It's gonna sound kinda of corny, but I think that she really wanted to start over,

           atone for her 'wicked' past," Xander replied.


        "Kinda like turning over a 'new leaf'," Buffy interrupted, putting thought into action

        she overturned the chess board, causing the black and white pieces to go flying

         in all different directions.  Xander glared at her, and "Why did you have to go and

        do that, I was actually winning here."


        "And these gargoyles?" Giles asked, rocking too far forward in his chair, and toppled

        over.  Grinning, he stood up and dusted himself off,  his interest in an apparently

heretofore-unmonitored race of humanoids that all his years with the Watchers had

        never run across grabbing his attention.


        "Chloe wouldn't fill me in on the details, but somehow,  they've encountered one

           another before, and she got her butt kicked. Which made her realize that it

            may harder to be good, as opposed to 'evil', but in order to come full circle,

            she just needed an extra push, an incentive."  Xander smiled.


                " Indeed. What happens now?" Giles asked.


            "Don't know.  We kinda agreed to take things one day at a time."

            "Don't you people have somewhere to be?" Xander said, as Willow helped

            him pick up the scattered chess pieces and reset the board.







 

The End?

You have reached the end of "Ill Met by Moonlight" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 23 Jan 03.

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