Disclaimer: BtVS is owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Wonder Woman is owned by DC Comics. I own nothing.
Giles watched as his Slayer pounded on the focus mitts that her friend Xander was holding. Buffy was punching so fast that the blows sounded like a drum roll. Across the room Willow was tapping away at the computer, hacking into the County morgue records for any suspicious deaths that had happened. Giles was willing to admit that Miss Rosenberg’s skills with the ‘Dread Machine’ did come in useful, allowing his slayer to know which fresh grave contained a vampire waiting to rise.
“I think that’s enough for now Buffy.” He said and Buffy stepped back.
Opposite her Xander took off the mitts and shook his hands. “Wow Buffy you must have eaten your Wheaties this morning.” The teenager commented as he flexed his hands.
Buffy just grinned at her friend. The last few days she had been feeling a bit down, what with Ford coming into town only to betray her and Angel going behind her back to check up on him. But this morning when she woke up her mom had made her her favourite breakfast, a three cheese omelette and when she got to school she found out that Mrs Carmichael, her history teacher had called in sick so Buffy now had an extra day to finish her report on the Industrial Revolution and even better she found out that her favourite shoe store would be having a clearance sale in a few days and that pair of boots that she wanted would be marked down.
Quickly she doffed the gloves she’d been wearing and looked to her Watcher. “So Giles, what was so important that you got me to skip class to let Angel know that you needed him to be here?” She asked as she scooped up one of the bottles of water that were sitting on the table.
“Unfortunately Buffy I’m not entirely sure. Jen… I mean Miss Calendar requested that Angel be here this evening but she didn’t tell exactly why.” Giles admitted and looked out one of the windows at the setting sun.
Buffy was about to ask another question when she heard the sound of a shoe scuffing on the floorboards and Angel appeared from the shadows at the back of the library.
“Hello everyone.” He said evenly though he did give Buffy a small smile. The Slayer started to return the smile till she remembered she was still a little miffed with the vampire, though she privately thought it was sweet that Angel could be jealous of one of her old friends from Hemry High and since Ford had tried to sell her out to Spike she knew that Angel had been right not to trust him. Of course she’d wait a few days before she told him that all was forgiven, a girl had to ensure that her boyfriend was well broken in.
“Ah Angel, thank you for coming so promptly.” Giles said in a cool tone, despite the aid that the vampire had given his Slayer and the obvious care that Angel had for Buffy Giles still didn’t completely trust him. “I trust that you had no problems getting here this evening?”
“Yes Giles, I was able to use the sewers and tunnel system to avoid sunlight.” Angel said taking a seat. “What is so important that you asked me to be here before sundown?”
“Miss Calendar has asked that you be here tonight.” Buffy explained, taking a seat opposite the vampire. “We’re just waiting on her.”
The sound of approaching footsteps drew everyone’s attention to the doors of the library. The doors swung open to reveal Miss Calendar with an older man wearing a broad brimmed hat beside her.
Stepping into the library Jenny gave Giles a wan smile and looked at the gathered demon hunters.
“Thank you all for coming.” She said. “Everyone I would like you to meet my uncle, Enyos Kalderash, Patriarch of the Kalderash clan.”
Enyos stepped forward and regarded the group coolly as Jenny continued the introductions.
“Uncle, this is Doctor Rupert Giles of The Watchers Council.”
Buffy’s eyes widened in surprise and she mouthed ‘Doctor?” to Willow who also looked shocked.
“The Slayer, Buffy Summers and her friends Willow Rosenberg and Alexander Harris.” Jenny paused and gestured to where Angel was standing in the shadows, ensuring that he stayed out of the last rays of the setting sun. “And Angel.”
Enyos ignored the Scoobies apart from a small nod towards Giles and stalked over to where Angel stood.
“My niece tells me you have questions about your curse?” He said in his accented English. Angel nodded and seeing the hatred burning in the man’s eyes was suddenly reminded of another night when he had faced a Patriarch of the Gypsy clans, the night he had been cursed.
“Why now?” Enyos demanded. “Why after nearly a century are you suddenly concerned about your punishment?”
“Hey don’t talk to Angel like that!” Buffy exploded, not liking the way Enyos was ignoring her. “He’s a good man and he’s trying to atone for what he did in the past!”
Enyos turned to regard the Slayer. “He is a vampire child and that is something that you should never forget. This … ‘creature’ was not cursed to find redemption but as punishment for the foul crimes he committed.” He turned his attention back to Angel.
“The night after you killed our most favoured daughter my grandfather confronted you and told you about the just punishment that was placed on you. Is your memory so far gone after a century that you can no longer remember?” He spat.
Angel nodded slowly. He did remember that night and also what happened afterwards. How Darla, Drusilla and Spike and captured the children of the Kalderash and held them to ransom to force the Gypsies to remove the curse. And how it might have succeeded if Spike hadn’t decided to feast on the hostages before Darla could force the clan patriarch of the time return Angelus.
“Yes I do remember.” Angel said softly.
“Do you monster?” Enyos snapped with venom in his voice. “The wise women of our tribe say that the curse is weakening. That you no longer feel guilt for the crimes that you committed.”
For a moment there was silence in the library until Angel lifted his gaze to look directly into the Kalderash Elder’s eyes.
“Yes I do remember. I remember everything. Every person that Angelus killed and the pleasure he got when he indulged in torture of his victims. If I live for another century I will always remember and I will always feel shame and guilt for it!” He declared.
Enyos regarded the vampire for a moment before slowly nodding. “Ensure that you do creature.”
With that Enyos looked around the room and addressed the Slayer and her friends. “And all of you are to watch the vampire as well. If the curse is broken it will be you who will have to deal with the demon.”
With that Enyos Kalderash stalked out of the library without a backward glance.
Willow waited till the doors of the library swung close and the sounds of the Gypsy’s footsteps faded. “Miss Calendar I don’t think I like your uncle. He’s a bit of a poopyhead.”
As soon as she said that Xander guffawed with laughter which got Buffy giggling as well. Only Jenny, Giles and Angel restrained their mirth though Giles felt a smile start on his face.
“I think that you should go out and patrol Buffy.” He said, looking out the window and seeing that the sun had finally set. “You know where you should concentrate tonight?”
The Slayer nodded. “Yes Giles you gave me the list of where the latest vampires will rise tonight.” She looked over towards Angel. “Are you joining me tonight?” She asked.
Angel shook his head. “No Buffy, not tonight.” He said, getting to his feet. “There is a lot I need to think about.” He paused. “I talk to you soon.” With that he walked out of the library.
Buffy, Willow and Xander quickly collected the tools that would be needed for tonight’s patrol, stakes, crucifixes and bottles of holy water and left the library as well, Xander saying that once they had finished the patrol they should head to The Bronze.
Alone in the library Giles looked at the computer teacher who he was starting to admit to himself had captured his heart. “Your uncle didn’t just come here to tell you about the curse did he?” He asked.
“No Rupert he didn’t.” Jenny paused and took a deep breath. “He also came to inform me that I must present myself before the tribe’s Wise Women on the winter solstice.”
Giles blinked at that, knowing that that day of the year was very important to those who could wield magic in any of its forms. “Do you think they know what happened to you on Halloween?”
Jenny nodded. “That I no longer consider myself part of the Kalderash clan? Several of the clan’s wise women are seers. They would have known that I had left the Kalderash almost as soon as it happened. But if they realise that I’m now an Amazon, blessed by Artemis herself? I don’t know.”
Giles looked at the woman. “If you wish I’ll escort you so you won’t have to face your tribe on your own.” He offered.
Jenny sadly shook her head. “I’m sorry Rupert but I can’t let you do that. Even though I’m no longer a gypsy I must still abide by Tribal Law and that means no outsiders can be present when I meet with the Wise Women.” She paused. “Besides you have your own duty here in Sunnydale with Buffy.”