Bewitched, part II
A/N: Disclaimer, author’s notes, etc., are at the beginning of chapter 1; spoilers are through “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”.
He rushed down the hall and caught Buffy and Willow chatting at the stairs. He glanced around to make sure no one was listening, and he asked, “Did you see what Amy did?”
“What?” Buffy asked.
He said, “She put the magical whammy on Mrs. Beakman so she didn’t have to hand in a paper.”
Willow said, “Wow, Xander. You’re really freaked.”
Okay, normally he did his Jerry Lewis imitation every time he said Mrs. Beakman’s name. “Oh Mrs. BEAKMAN! With the krelm and the…” How could you pass up the chance to do a Jerry Lewis voice? But he was totally of the freaked.
Willow said, “Her mom was a pretty powerful witch, and it’s supposed to be matrilineal.” She looked at Buffy and Xander and quickly explained, “Passed down from mother to daughter.”
Buffy said, “Well, her mom was a pretty major psycho, and I’m hoping that
isn’t getting passed down from mother to daughter.”
Xander said, “Maybe I need to go talk to her.”
Willow said, “I think I should go talk to her, because I’ve been friends with her the longest, and she’s been showing me some witchcraft stuff.”
Buffy said, “I think I need to go along as backup so she doesn’t do that mind mojo thing on you too.”
Xander said, “Ooh, good plan. Maybe you could grab a witch to help like…” The angry spark in Buffy’s eyes abruptly reminded him that a certain computer teacher was not welcome in the Scooby Gang anymore.
And then, just to drive the point home a little harder, Giles walked over to talk to Buffy, and Miss Calendar tried to talk to the G-man, who gave her the big brush-off. It was like a Cordelia-level brush-off. Giles took Buffy down the hall toward the library, while Xander just looked at Willow, who looked just as uncomfortable.
Still, Xander stepped over and said, “Miss Calendar, I just wanted to give you a heads-up. Amy Madison’s using magic again. I saw her do a mind mojo on our English teacher. Willow’s gonna have a chat with her with Buffy as backup, but I thought you’d better know too.”
Miss Calendar looked over at Willow, who obviously didn’t know whether to be Miss Calendar’s loyal little apprentice or The Slayer’s loyal little sidekick. She said, “Thank you. I’ll check my protections when I have the chance.”
Then they walked down to the library, where Giles was sweating over the way Angelus tended to use Valentine’s Day as his own personal psychotic festival o’ fun. When Buffy told G-man about Amy’s little venture down Purple Man Lane, Giles was pretty insistent that Willow needed to be extra careful when talking to Amy.
Giles paced back and forth, which was pretty much the Brit equivalent of running around screeching. “You must be extremely careful about this. Even if she’s your friend, she’s dabbling in areas of magic which tend to lead the user down very dark paths. They compromise one’s own sense of right and wrong, bit by bit, so you don’t even realize you’re committing worse and worse acts, until you’ve crossed a line and committed unforgiveable acts. Just look at Ethan Rayne. Just look at me. Some of my best friends from my days when I was your age are now dead. Horribly murdered by a demon. And the best friend I had from that era who is still alive? A man who is now capable of unleashing chaos magic on an entire town of helpless people.”
“Gotcha,” nodded Willow carefully.
Buffy said, “Okay, so after school, Willow brings Amy in here for a little chat. I hide in the stacks just in case. Xander stands guard in the hallway.”
Xander said, “That part’s probably not gonna fly, Buff. If Snyder sees me in the halls, he’ll make a beeline for me. We don’t wanna draw his attention anywhere around here.”
Buffy said, “Okay, revised plan: Xander walks around and leads anyone away from here.”
Xander asked, “Can it involve running away?” Buffy nodded. “Then I think I can do it.”
As soon as the last bell rang, Willow went and found Amy. Xander kept an eye on Amy from a distance, and if Amy tried any funny stuff, she was likely to get a not-a-chakram right in the labonza. He was not letting Amy mess with Willow’s brain.
But it looked like Amy was okay with stuff, because she smiled and walked with Willow down to the library for chat time. Xander just strolled down the hallway a way behind them and then kept going right past the library doors. He walked down nearly to the end of the hall before he casually leaned against the wall and looked for problems.
Nope, everyone was making for the exits. Even the teachers. He wondered how many Sunnydale students were sensitive enough to feel the evil of the Hellmouth under the school and just wanted to get away as fast as possible, even if they didn’t know why they were rushing to get away. Or maybe they were just hurrying to get away from Snyder.
He did his best casual stroll back down the hallway, looking for any potential problems. He went past the library again, and when he peeped in through the windows, Amy was chatting away and looked like she was being Wendy the Good Little Witch.
Xander walked all the way to the stairwell before stopping and getting a drink at the water fountain. He looked around to see if the coast was clear…
He twitched, and maybe even spazzed out. He hadn’t heard Oz coming up behind him. He put a fake smile on his face and said, “Hey Oz, I hear your band’s got a big gig at the Bronze tonight.”
Oz just shrugged. “Been meaning to talk to you about something else.”
Xander said, “Go ahead. I’m all about the something else.”
Oz asked, “Have you seen or heard anything about a girl who was dressed as Xena for Halloween?”
Oh crap. He sort-of-lied, “The only Xena I heard about was a guy.”
Oz inhaled deeply. He said, “You’re lying.”
Xander asked, “Is this part of the werewolf thing?”
Oz nodded. Great, a wolfy lie detector with smell-o-vision. Xander just said, “Well, I’ll be sure to shower more often when I’m around you.”
Oz said, “I don’t know why you and Willow won’t tell me, but I’ll find out.” He turned and walked off.
Xander watched Oz walk down the hallway and disappear around a corner. He quietly muttered, “Please don’t find out, please don’t find out, please don’t find out.” He didn’t think he could stand it if people outside the Scoobies found out. It was bad enough having a huge chunk of the school now thinking he was a fag. As it was, he figured he was pretty close to getting burned at the stake by the school gaybashers. Being ‘that fruit who likes to dress up as Xena’ would be even worse. He was managing to survive the Sunnydale nightlife, but he wasn’t sure he could survive being targeted by the school jocks and gaybashers.
By the time he got back to the library, Amy and Willow were standing in the doorway happily chatting about the dance at the Bronze in a few hours.
He waited until Amy was long gone, and then he followed Willow back into the library. Buffy slipped silently out of the stacks and joined them at the library table.
Giles came out of his office and stood uncomfortably by the table. He asked Willow, “Do you believe her?”
Willow nodded quickly. “Oh sure! I mean, I can totally see her freaking about not having her paper done and doing something stupid out of one of her mom’s books.”
Buffy said, “Well, she did cop to it and promise not to do it anymore.”
Xander said, “If she went with the apologizing instead of the mind-mooshing, when she thought she had Willow all alone in here, that’s gotta be a good sign, right?”
Giles said, “I do hope so. We have quite enough threats facing us as we speak. I have no interest in acquiring more if it is unnecessary.”
Willow said, “Maybe we should be more ‘inclusive’. I mean, without Miss Calendar around to help us with the techno-paganism, we could use a helpful witch. After all, she’s already helping us with Oz every month, and she already knows about the Slayer. The only thing we haven’t told her about is Xander’s Xena-ness. Oh, and the Watchers Council. And the Scourge of Europe. And maybe a couple other little things.”
Giles winced and said, “That is a valid point, but I… The Slayer is supposed to work alone, not have a throng of witnesses.”
Buffy snarked, “And that’s worked so well. I’d way rather have Amy on the Light Side of the Force-”
“Instead of being Darth Madison?” Xander added. He did a couple seconds of heavy breathing and then, in his best Darth Vader voice, said, “Luke, I am your mother. I mean, your daughter. Or maybe both.”
Willow elbowed him and said, “That’s not funny. Poor Amy!”
“Too soon?” he smiled.
Buffy said, “Look Giles, it’s not like I’m of the trusting here, but if we brought her into the group, we could at least keep an eye on her.”
“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” Giles checked.
“Is that what Cordelia’s doing?” Xander wondered snidely.
Willow said, “She’d have to have friends first for that to work.”
“Ooh, Willow makes with the burn!” Buffy cheered.
Willow smiled self-consciously at having said something naughty and also getting praised for it. Sometimes Xander wondered just what the heck was wrong with her parents. He knew what was wrong with his folks. And there was nothing wrong with Buffy’s mom that an exposure to the supernatural wouldn’t solve.
Okay, that wasn’t really true. Buffy’s mom seemed to be impervious to the whole ‘things that go bump in the night’ deal. Buffy had fought vamps and burned up a whole gymnasium full of them back in Los Angeles, and Buffy’s mom was oblivious. ‘Oh, Buffy’s just acting out and making with the crazy talk!’ Doh! Then Darla bit Joyce and just about drained her, and it was ‘barbeque fork accident’ time, even though they didn’t even have a barbeque fork! Vamps invaded the school on Parent-Teacher Night and Joyce hit William the Bloody in the head with a fireaxe, and it was ‘gangs on PCP’ time. Xander wondered if even his folks could be that oblivious.
At least the evening at the Bronze went great. Willow was so thrilled with her present that she sat in his lap and kissed him until she realized that Little Richard and His Two Backup Singers were trying hard to rip their way out of his jeans. Then she got an embarrassed look on her face and scrambled off his lap to sit beside him instead. And she got him to put the necklace on her right away.
So there was lots of Willow-kissing and lots of Willow-dancing, and even lots of Willow-snuggling after he walked her home. The only downside was every time he looked over at the band, Oz was looking his way and glaring. Was that guy not ever going to drop it? Well, if the worst thing that happened was Oz still being cheesed off at him, he could live with it.
Spike sat in the back of the RV and just listened. Ever since the Slayer turned The Judge into fragments and nearly roasted Angelus in the process, things had been a lot better. Angelus wasn’t swaggering around being Mister Studly. No, with those burns on his face and torso, he was closer to Mister Grilled Steak. Now, most of the time Angelus was malingering and getting Dru to pay attention to him that way.
But Spike was still in a wheelchair, while Angelus was just walking around with a few scars and burns. And the poof was still hitting on Spike’s girl, even if Dru had that special link to Angelus.
But Dru was insisting that they had to return to Sunnydale. “We have to, daddy! If we don’t hurry, the stars say they’ll turn from blue and white to pink, and the kitten will be no more! Miss Edith says we can’t have tea and cake if we ruin the party.”
Angelus growled, “Dru, be a love… and shut the hell up!”
Spike said, “Dru, why don’t you come back here and tell me all about it?”
She jumped to her feet and danced down the RV toward him. She spun and spun, and finally stopped to stare at the ceiling. She sounded confused as she asked, “Spike, why do those stars all have cake and they’re not sharing? Naughty, naughty stars, all in a row!”
The twit at the wheel said, “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to slow down. There’s been an accident or something on the freeway ahead of us.”
Angelus grumpily said, “Whatever. As long as we’re in Sunnydale before dawn.”
Amy put down her book when the doorbell rang. She was still kicking herself over the whole mess with Mrs. Beakman. Using her magic for something like that was stupid. Getting caught at it was even stupider.
She opened the door, and was surprised to see Oz. She smiled, “Well, this is unusual. I wasn’t expecting you until the full moon.”
He said, “Blackmail is such an ugly word.”
“I didn’t say anything about blackmail,” Amy said in confusion.
He stepped in and told her, “But I was about to blackmail you, so I thought I’d get it out of the way first. Harris and Rosenberg won’t tell me where that girl who was Xena is.”
Amy said, “Maybe she asked them not to tell you.”
He insisted, “You’re going to do a spell for me, or I’ll tell Willow and her friends about all the other spells you’ve been doing.”