Buffy wasn't going. Even Giles agreed. No one thought it was a good idea. She'd proved that in the fight against Eris.
Into Joyce Summers mind.
'C-ko' seemed quite cooperative, but they weren't taking any chances. She was sitting under the mini-Cerebro, which had been re-built, yet again. They could bring Joyce forward, but there was a continued fight against the other three personalities. Only C-ko could dominate the rest, and she always pushed Joyce into the background. It'd taken Glory and the parasite Eris, working together, to dominate before.
At least the local reality seemed stable. People had their own minds, with background memories of who they'd been at Halloween, more or less clear. In combat, those tended to surge to the foreground, but, if you're about to die you grab any weapon you can to defend yourself. Willow said that they could install mental switches, so people could turn on or off passive, or active, use of any Halloween powers.
Illyana, Magik, seemed to be trying really hard to hold on to her changed self. She explained her real self, Tara Maclay, wasn't at all sure how she'd suddenly come to be in Sunnydale. Though, she remembered visiting 'Ethans' and buying a 'Magik' costume. Between them they thought someone was meddling, probably trying to disrupt the Scoobies. And, Tara, was really shy - being Illyana helped manage things.
Dawn seemed to have locked-down the Hellmouth Engine. She explained that, as Willow suggested, she added a few passwords, not just verbal ones, that she wasn't going to tell anyone. Willow and Warren explained they couldn't see any good reason to adjust it, but, they weren't going to lower it down out of sight, and restore the library floor.
Among other things, it was keeping Snyder away.
Giles was mostly watching. He wasn't happy, but, things seemed well in hand. They'd promised they were going to repair the library. Apparently they 'had the technology'.
Was his attraction to Joyce Summers a one-off thing? Caused by magic? He'd been hit by one of the 'chaos rays', from the apple, during the fight. The only change he could detect was he seemed no longer infatuated.
Something to think about in future.
What would the Council say about this mess? He thought he still had a Slayer, but, did she still need him? If Sunnydale, the Hellmouth, was now safe, or at least safer, would they try and assign them somewhere else?
What would Quentin Travers do when squirrels ran up his trouser legs?
A number of people were surprised that Giles had such an evil laugh.
They were checking their casualties. All the remains of the fight had disappeared. A lot of people were thanking the person with the 'Nagisa' for that.
Amy'd apparently gone as 'Nagisa', with an 'Iczer 1' doll, for Halloween. She was now apparently totally in love with her doll. The doll, looking like a full-sized space elf, said she remembered being a tragic space-alien warrior, but no other life. She was quite happy to “have a Nagisa”.
Aura was now Iron Man, in gender as well as costume. This hadn't affected her memories, and, she was a bit concerned at what her, his, parents would say. Maybe her plans for setting-up a high tech company would help? And, there was always becoming 'Auran Stark'.
Cordelia Chase... She'd become twins. Identical, as far as anyone could tell. They were currently over in a corner, trying to out-snark each other. Bets were being made as to whether there'd be a twinicide within a week, or a terrible new force had come to Sunnydale.
Andrew was devastated. Tucker had pulled out his, his!, first-edition, still unboxed, Boba Fett figure, and used it to block one of the chaos rays. Apparently he'd been carrying it around in case he needed blackmail.
It'd come to life, and joined Jonathon's army. Andrew'd swore terrible revenge on Tucker, and they were currently playing a 'Magic The Gathering' death-match. With real mini demons in play.
Larry could now apparently change gender at will. Well, nearly. All he needed was cold and hot water... From somewhere he seemed to have acquired a really bad-tempered small, female, black piglet. No one admitted to knowing who it was. Though, someone whispered the name 'Ford'.
All in all, everyone, well, most people, agreed they'd got off lightly.
It was a bit of a blur, but they'd defeated all the challenges inside Joyce's mind. Of course, Buffy was there - she claimed she'd “sneaked in the back door”. Angel was just generally bemused.
Eris was looking shaky, staring at her golden apple, as if it'd betrayed her. Glory was battered, but still in the game. C-ko was nowhere to be seen.
Until she cleared her throat.
Everyone looked up. And Up. Then, they looked down. The slightly rough, pinkish surface, with the odd rise and valley, that they'd been fighting on? Was the left palm of C-ko.
She was the centre one of three immense figures, one with red, and one with blueish, hair. Reaching down with chopsticks in her right hand, she picked up Glory.
“Hmm. Tastes like dragon.”
“You're supposed to say, 'tastes like chicken'”, remarked the red-haired one.
“Spicy.” She coughed, and briefly breathed-out fire.
“Don't talk back to 'Mother', 'Maiden', or I'll comment on your love-life.”
“Ha! What about yours? 'Crone'.”
“It's 'Wise Woman'...”
Divine bickering ensued. Eris sneaked off.
“Give me a dollar.”
The strangely-dressed man had been introduced to Giles as 'Whistler'.
“Just give me a dollar.”
Reluctantly, Giles pulled out his wallet. It was empty.
Joyce handed him a dollar. “A loan. Pay me back the next time we have coffee.”
Money changed hands. Papers were pushed into his hand. Whistler disappeared.
Giles studied them for a few moments. Then sat down, abruptly.
“I think you might want to read this.”
He looked around at the assembled horde.
“This is the deeds to this universe.”
Please don't expect this to be 'finished', on a realistic time-scale, though I'll try and avoid month(or year)-long cliff hangers. [grin]
Huh? Oh, look! It is finished! [grin]
I guess I should put these links here...