Ring Around the Scoobies
Title: Ring Around the Scoobies
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rated: R (for language and graphic detail)
Pairing: None – General.
Genre: BtVS/The Ring Crossover.
Disclaimer: All copyrights remain firmly in the hands of their copyright holders. I own none of these characters, only the meager plot that ties the two worlds together.
Distribution: Exclusive to the Moonlit Paths family of websites.
Author’s Note: I have only seen the American version of the film “The Ring”, so please take that into account when reading this fic. I have no desire to know what errors I may make in regards to the book(s) or Japanese film(s). I am obtaining a great deal of information from the site: http://ringworld.somrux.com/ .
Notes2: This fic takes place sometime after the gang graduates from high school. This means that Willow and Oz are still together. Buffy and Riley have NOT gotten together yet. This also means there is no Dawn. Sorry, it just works better this way.
Notes3: My damn muses wouldn’t let me go until I at least started this fic. Let it be said ahead of time that I have NO IDEA how this will end. It could end in character death for all I know at this point. Something about me hates the idea of Willow and Buffy being able to defeat Samara. So. . . be forewarned before you even delve into this, that the ending may not be pretty. Or it could be awesome. No way of knowing until we reach the end of the trip.
Feedback: Is appreciated. Flamers, keep it to yourself. You do no one any good with your harshness or abrasive styles.
Giles looked up, giving the briefest of smiles to Buffy and Willow as they pushed open the door of his townhouse, briefly flooding the small space with the light of the afternoon sun. School was out for the afternoon, then. Well, good. There was research to be done; rumors of a creature down by the docks had reached him through the usual channels. All he needed now was for those with younger, sharper eyes to look through the books and track down what it was using the description he had been given. It could wait a few minutes, though; they deserved a chance to wind down and relax before diving right into the musty old books. Even he had been young once. He turned back to the book on his lap, eyes quickly scanning for the place he had left off on when they had entered his home.
“I don’t care what you say, Wills, there’s no such thing. It’s silly, really.” Buffy laughed, tossing her book bag onto the couch. She strolled into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator and grabbing a bottle of water.
“Why not? We’ve already had a demon that took over a computer – remember Moloch? Of all the things we’ve seen and never questioned - why is this so hard to believe?”
“Because its silly?” The Slayer tossed back with a grin. “Like an urban legend or something made up to scare stupid, gullible kids.”
“Buff, five girls from our school are dead. And you think its silly?”
“People die in Sunnydale all the time, Wills. This isn’t any more silly or not-silly than all of those people dying, either.”
Giles heard the red head sigh and stifled a smile of his own. He had no idea what they were talking about, but if Buffy didn’t think it was serious, it probably wasn’t. The Slayer was usually the first to leap to action if she believed something was wrong in the town, whether or not charging right in was the appropriate thing to do. He would defer this to her better judgment just this once.
“Two of them died of fright, Buffy. That’s saying something. They just died. Heart stopped. Right there in their bedrooms.”
“And one slit her wrists in the bathtub and another threw herself off the top of the UC Sunnydale Gymnasium.”
“And the fifth. . .?” Willow prompted.
“I’ll admit that the fifth is sorta freaky, you know. Puddle of water and no other visible signs of anything. I still say we’re looking for a demon on that one.”
“What about the two girls that died of fright, Buffy? They died at the same time. All of them. All five.”
“Same demon?” The blonde grinned.
“Buffy – their skin and faces were all fucked up. Like they’d been under water for a long period of time. Bloated, rotting. I’ve read the coroner’s reports – it wasn’t pretty. There’s pictures – do you wanna see?”
“So – a water demon, then. That would account for the fifth girl, the one that died in her home. And, hey, major linkage to the girl that slit her wrists in the bathtub. See – there’s water all around. And, no, I don’t wanna see the grody pictures.”
Giles frowned, something whirling in the back of his brain; like a memory that had been tossed to the back so long ago that it was no longer a part of his conscious knowledge. Something to do with water. With hearts stopping. Death by fright and corpses that looked far too old for the amount of time they had actually been dead.
“So you don’t believe what the other cheerleaders are saying? About the tape?”
He froze then, finger poised at the top of his book, ready to turn the page.
“It’s silly, Willow. A tape that kills anyone that watches it? I mean. . . who would believe that?”
“The five dead girls would.” Willow whispered fiercely. “I don’t think this is something that we should just blow off.”
Giles scarcely heard her, though. He was already going back, those memories that he had been groping for only moments before flooding to the surface, a torrential flow of information that brought a tremble to his hands. He licked his lips, slowly shutting the book.
“Did they mention how long it took for them to die, by any chance?”
When he turned around it was to see Willow smiling triumphantly, and Buffy looking at him with thinly veiled shock.
“See, Buffy. Giles believes me.” She bounced back and forth on her feet. “They said seven days, Giles. They watched the tape, and then the phone rang –“
“And a little girl’s voice told them they had seven days.” Giles finished for her. He could feel the coldness of true terror creeping through his limbs. Buffy’s eyes grew wide and she nodded.
“You’ve heard of this tape-thing before?” The Slayer asked. It was as if she could sense the mood of the room had changed from light hearted joking to terror, because she sat down, face serious. She put a hand on his arm, searching his face for answers that he had yet to give.
Giles nodded, pulling his handkerchief from his pocket to wipe the sweat that had suddenly appeared on his brow. His heart was fluttering rapidly in his chest, and for the first time in his life he had no true idea of what to do next. He could remember that day so clearly now, years before when he had sat in a chair and watched the grainy black and white film, horrified not only by the images that were upon it, but by the meaning behind them, and what would happen to him for watching it if he didn’t perpetuate the cycle.
“More than that, Buffy. I’ve seen it.”