The Sunnydale Effect was in full force it seemed. The police finished their investigation quickly, and Sunnydale High was open for business the next day. John and Molly were absent of course, though in her case it might wind up being unexcused. Students weren't cut much slack when it came to bereavement.
Ms. Tate was out as well. There was talk that she had turned in her resignation.
Will was back at work though.
The bullet had only grazed Ronnie's skull. Though he was up ant about, it seemed he had rethought his career, and would no longer be working as a security guard. The talk was that his workman's comp benefits would actually allow him plenty of time to finish his novel. He was inspired by the events he'd survived, and decided to add a horror element to the tale. By the time the benefits ran out, he should know if the book would sell or not.
Faith was on the mend, but broodier than ever. Angel was pissed he'd missed a chance to save Buffy. The Scoobies and the Slayer were going about their regular post-horror routine, which served them well.
Giles reported all this to the council, and then got the information he'd been hoping for. Time to pay a visit to the Tates.
“Rupert! Come in.” Keri invited, when she answered the door. She looked tired still, but somehow, lighter at the same time. She ushered him into the living room and invited him to sit.
“What brings you by?” Keri asked. “Checking up?”
“Partly.” Giles admitted. “But I also...well I have some information for you.”
“Is it about how Buffy was able to carry Ronnie to the car or why you have medieval weapons in the library?” Keri asked, smirking.
“Ah, yes. Uhm, about that, I do hope I can rely on your discretion-”
Keri laughed shortly. “Rupert if there's one thing I think you know I can do, it's how to keep a secret.”
Giles smiled slightly. “Yes I imagine that would be the most important aspect of your life for the last two decades.” He took a breath. “Well, suffice to say, that it has fallen on Buffy to deal with, shall we say, things that go bump in the night.”
“What do you mean by 'things that go bump in the night'?”
“Ghosts, Demons, Vampires, and the like.”
“So, the traditional definition then.” Keri shook her head skeptically. “Rupert-”
“Ms. Tate, has it never occurred to you that the things your brother-”
“Michael.” Keri interrupted. “Please don't call him my brother.”
“Very well.” Giles conceded. It was understandable after all. “Michael. Did it never occur to you that the things he's endured, no man could survive? You stabbed him in the throat-”
“I missed the jugular.”
“Then you stabbed him through the eye. Was he missing one tonight?” That one, Keri had no answer to. “Dr. Loomis shot him six times, then burned him alive. Just tonight, Buffy slashed him with a sword, ran him through, and you bludgeoned him over the head with a fire extinguisher, ran him down with a van, and finally crushed him between said van, and a fallen tree.
“Now I am willing to grant that one or two of these he could have shrugged off simply by being 'too crazy to die'. I might even be willing to stretch it to three.”
Keri was far less sure of herself now. “What are you getting at Rupert?”
“That your family line, was cursed.”
That took Keri completely by surprise. “Cursed?”
“It's known as the Curse of Ahroun.” Giles said, and went on to explain the particulars of the curse. Including a detail he had only recently discovered, that the curse was 'triggered' when a member of the family turned 17. “The good news is that with the death of Michael, the curse should be ended.”
“But,” Keri said, confused, “Why would anyone put a curse on my family?”
“Your father, Charles Myers, was a member of an organization of occult scholars. An organization I too am a member of. His particular specialization was religious sects. He wrote his thesis on the evolution of pagan religions from ancient times to today...but, that's neither here nor there.”
“As it happens, the last sect that Mr. Myers investigated before retiring to America, was a particularly distasteful one. Fond of the older, less civilized traditions. In particular, human sacrifice, and putting curses on their enemies.”
“Did he, did my father know about this?” Keri wanted to know. It seemed like the kind of thing you take precautions for in that line of work.
“He did catch on when Michael killed your sister.” Giles said, cleaning his glasses. “He contacted the Council soon after and begged them to find a way to break the curse. The only way, unfortunately is to cut off the head of the bearer.”
“Yes. Mr. Myers could not bear to kill his son, and besides which the boy was out of his reach anyway. It's because of the Curse that you were given up for adoption. Your parents hoped that if you were lost in the sea of red tape, that you would be safe.”
Keri gave another sharp laugh. “Well, that didn't work did it.”
Giles nodded. “I can't think how it was you were adopted by a family in the same town.” Except maybe fate, but he decided not to get into that. “And I suspect the curse forged some sort of bond between you and Michael. Or else he's an extremely good investigator.”
“But we're safe now?” Keri asked. “Now that Michael is dead?”
“Yes. Well, as safe as one can be in Sunnydale. I assure you, Buffy is a very busy girl.”
Keri thought about the high death rate that Sunnydale students and faculty had. “Maybe...maybe John and I should leave.” she said, almost to herself. “Find someplace less...” She couldn't think of the right word.
It didn't matter, Giles understood. “I would say that is a rather good idea.” he nodded. “But in your considerations, I would avoid Cleveland.”