The Beanstalk and a whole lot of people and...
The Beanstalk, a whole lot of people, and the not so bad giant
Please note: There is a small time difference between the scenes with the children and the AB cast. They are not occurring simultaneously.
She moved quietly toward the door, making sure not to make a sound. Her companion stood trailed her silently. She reached the door and pouted when she found that she couldn’t reach it with her hands. Nearly giggling, the door silently opened with a burst of her magic. She quietly left the room with her companion. With another burst of power the door shut just as quietly.
Willow turned around and looked at the stuffed lion that dragged after her. “Let’s go see what Uncle is doing.” She told the lion quietly. She feigned her lion questioning her. “Oz is still sleepy.” She explained. Moving down the hall, she was careful to avoid larger holes in the ground and briefly wondered how they got there. She never heard the door open again and a sleepy cub following her, dragging a wolf as large as himself.
Willow was quickly finding herself lost and nearly cried when she gasped. Her eyes lit up and she squealed. She heard someone behind her and turned around to see Oz looking at her with sleepy eyes. “It’s a bean stock!” She told him excitedly.
“I know.” He said looking up. “Think there’s a giant?” He asked.
“Maybe,” Willow chewed on her lion’s ear looking thoughtful for a moment. “Wanna go see? If there’s a giant it could be evil and we should slay it.”
Oz shook his head. Willow pouted. “Please? Buffy’s not here and I wanna slay an evil giant!” She cried softly.
“Jack cut the beanstalk and the giant fell to his death. He’d fall on the circus.”
“We’ll make sure he doesn’t.” She glared at him. “I’m going so tthrrrp!” She said finishing it by sticking out her tongue and blowing enough to make a sound that sounded slightly like a motorboat engine.
Willow set down her lion, petted him once and moved away. “He’s going to get hurt if he comes.” She explained to Oz. Oz took the lion and moved it toward the side. He placed his wolf with the lion and gave it a small pat as a goodbye even though he knew it wouldn’t respond.
Willow smiled at Oz. started to climb up the beanstalk. Oz frowned and followed after her knowing he should get Jason or someone but he didn’t know how soon Willow could get to a giant.
Normally a beanstalk, especially one towering hundreds of feet high, should have been impossible to climb but Willow and Oz had learned the hard way that nothing was impossible. It wasn’t too difficult either with some force pulling them across vast distances as soon as they crossed ten feet, even if Willow didn’t have help from her magic and Oz from his preternatural strength, they made the same distance with every pull.
What Willow and Oz didn’t know was that Jason was trying to find a way and reverse what had happened but he had not the slightest clue what to do. So far no one was answering and he wasn’t exactly sure what exactly had happened either.
Jason dialed the phone again hoping that Richard would pick up. God he hated calling school but this definitely qualified as an emergency. Jason cursed trying to recall all the details that had occurred after he had heard that stupid voice.
Jason turned around only to come face to face with a horrifying visage. What would have been quite an attractive woman stood out scarred and veined in a horrifying sight. He was about to move forward, ready to defend if necessary when he found he couldn’t, he felt petrified in place. If his eyes could widen they would’ve.
Jason’s thoughts swirled. This thing had gotten into the circus and must have seen the kids and him playing, it was the only explanation as to why it had allowed fake beans to become a real beanstalk. Jason’s hear panicked more so. The kids.
Oh God, don’t let anything happen to them! Let them be okay, don’t tell me I’m the only one that sees the damn thing and have someone take Oz and Willow out!
Jason immediately pictured them in his mind. Willow was smiling, her hair in the still sloppy pigtails he made and Oz was dressed in whatever Richard has chosen for the day while looking as stoic as a five year old could.
He saw them as he’d seen them at lunch; Willow was wearing a blue sundress, even though she hadn’t gone outside. Oz was wearing a blue shirt with an emblem of a wolf— a gift from Jean-Claude––that Richard swore he wouldn’t allow for Oz to wear but had been distracted that morning and just gotten he first shirt he came across and blue jeans.
The creature smiled as if sensing his thoughts. Jason would’ve flinched if he could have. The creature rolled its eyes.
“Honestly, don’t give me that look. You people brought it onto yourselves. Do you have any idea how long we’ve waited for someone to say I wish when it applied to our specialties? I mean normally Halfrek handles children but you’re not hurting them and they’re not suffering in any way so she really can’t do anything and all your enemies keep dying or are just so annoying that they bore us away but I owed a favor so here I am!” The creature gave a disgusted look. Jason managed to look quite confused.
“Humph, you have no idea what I’m talking about do you? Ugh! Talk to those children, they’ll probably ruin everything again. Tell them I send my regards to Anya.” The creature growled, Jason was still confused and more than concerned about the children.
“I’m a djinn.” It stated proudly. Jason was still confused.
“Y’know, Djinn, cousin of the Vengeance slash Justice Demon? Nothing? Ugh, okay, how about jinn or jinni? Not genie by the way.” The djinn put up its hands as Jason just stared blankly. “Okay, think genie, except I grant wishes but usually to play more tricks. While the vengeance demons usually bites you less subtly in the ass.” Jason stared. “Did I break you?” It asked managing too looked concerned rather than frightening.
“Didn’t mean to do that, I’ve only been doing this for a bit, less than a decade really. Crap, my boss is going to kill me if I broke you.” It walked around and Jason found he could move the more he could move. If she could only get a bit closer… Jason growled and grabbed her by the neck before slamming her into the wall. “Eep, you’re not broken.” She looked relieved until he started growling.
“This isn’t my fault! I owned a debt to Halfrek who owed a debt to Nanscrok! Nancy was called in to see if any of you did anything and then she made Hallie come in and then she made me do it! I just granted the wish, totally fixable actually!” She babbled as she dissipated into smoke. Jason cursed as he couldn’t actually grasp any of her and vanished.
At least he had some explanation he thought even though he was so very confused.
He shook his head and rang once more. Finally, someone was picking up!
Willow was the first to break through the layer of clouds and smiled. Her small arms managed to pull herself through and she didn’t need to help Oz. Willow gasped as she saw the clouds around her, as they were so pretty! She nearly ran off but remembered not to go alone by herself.
On some level, Willow knew it should be impossible to have passed all that expanse of stalk and that she should not be able to walk on the clouds but her mind couldn’t quite process her knowledge. She was very intrigued though and noted it away; a part of her keeping it with the information that was locked away in the expanse of her mind. The other part of her, the Scooby part, noted any good hiding places, potential weapons, ingredients, and places where demons could sneak up from, unfortunately, her mind only became conscious of this.
Oz managed to pull himself off, strength not really helping since he didn’t have the right leverage. He shook his head; Richard was not going to be happy. He went to Willow and looked around, nothing but clouds and cloud like plants, except they were green and solid.
The ground beneath their bare feet was soft but solid, unlike a nice patch of grass in spring. The sky was clouded but the sun shined warmly that warmed them over, even though they should have been freezing at the altitude. The area was clear and not foggy, as one would expect. The terrain looked like a clearing scattered with a few bushes but a few trees that managed to house a few bird like creatures that were staring at them curiously.
“Where should we search first?” Willow prompted.
“Over there?” Oz suggested while he pointed left of himself, unsure, but smells were coming from that direction that didn’t seem so unpleasant. It smelled like cinnamon apple, cakes, peaches, brownies, and coffee.
Willow sniffed, she hardly detected a smell but what she did whiff enticed her.
She nodded. “Okay.”
Oz took Willow’s hand and they started off in the general direction. The bird like creatures started to chirp. A tune reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz flowed from the birds. Willow stopped, “Isn’t that a bit creepy?”
Oz paused. “A bit.”
“I wanna sing now.” Oz chose to remain silent but continued walking as Willow began to sing as she followed after him.
“We’re off to see the Wizard the wonderful wizard of Oz!” Oz began to hum and the birds sang in time. All in all, it was very 1950’s like and frank to say, very Hellmouthy. It was too wholesome; it was bound to go wrong.
Oz pause as a rather tall, imposing figure over shadowed them. Willow stopped singing and gaped.
“Santa?” Oz gave Willow The Look and shook his head.
“Hello,” Oz greeted unsure of what to do.
The figure bent down before them, a beautiful, tall, mocha skinned woman came into view. The woman smiled a kind, toothy grin reminiscent of toothpaste commercials. A few strands of her long chestnut hair escaped a rather flimsy ponytail. Her hazel eyes were round, soft, and lay under finely shaped eyebrows. A long, proud nose shadowed her wide mouth. She was taller than any human could ever hope to be and still look very proportional, her body not giving any impression of distortion, or even too long limbs. She bent down, designer jeans and red blouse clinging to her hourglass figure.
“Hello dearies, now what might you be?” Her voice was strong and laced with what sounded like a mix of an Irish and Australian accent.
Willow smiled and went forward. “I’m Willow!” She extended her small hand. The woman took it and shook it gently. She looked over to Oz.
“Oz.” He extended his hand and the woman took it too.
“I’m Wisteria Caoinlean.” She looked around. “Where are your parents?”
“Somewhere. Home. I don’t know where home is.” She said frowning but then brightened. “But we’re being taken care of though!” Oz nodded in agreement.
“How did you get here?” She asked curiously, she had not seen any human in decades.
“Up a beanstalk.” Oz stated.
“Uhuh, we got up here ‘cause there could’ve been a giant, and we came up here to slay it.” Wisteria’s eyes widened.
“Why would you want to kill one of my brethren or myself?” She did not understand, and knew she was missing something but was willing to not become angered at such small children.
“You’re a giant?” Willow asked. Wisteria nodded. Willow looked her over; Wisteria could not have been smaller than 7’6 but rather than looking frightening she looked like a an oddly tall woman. “Oh, but you’re not evil! We came up here in case there was an evil, child eating giant.”
“We didn’t want them eating us too.” Oz stated calmly.
Wisteria shook her head and clucked her tongue. “I do not know what stories you have heard but I think we should have a long talk. Would you children like to come in for a rest? I can assure you that I do not eat children and that I’m more interested in having some cake and coffee. It has been a while since I’ve hosted to human children but I think I have adequate chairs.”
Both children nodded. Wisteria smiled.
Anita looked about the scene; there was a small magical residue but nothing that should’ve left this behind. She felt rather angry; whatever had done this had gone away and from Jason’s description, there wasn’t much they could’ve done about it anyways.
She looked over at Richard. The alpha was not looking any panicked but Anita could see and feel his worry. He was holding Oz’s wolf in his hands, and Anita was thankful that Jean-Claude had gotten somehow gotten some sort of custody papers drawn for them, even if they were highly illegal but they’d hold in a court of law.
The circus was littered with police and Richard was only allowed since he had custody of Oz. No one asked why two young children were underground with a bunch of preternatural creatures aloud but they knew that it would be asked soon. Sunset was approaching and Anita did not want to be the one to break the news to Asher and Jean-Claude. They had gotten attached to the girl in less than a week and Anita knew something was wrong with that as well but it wasn’t the time and place to contemplate the unnatural attachment.
Richard looked up next at her, Jason was being questioned and Tammy was inspecting Willow’s lion.
“Blake,” She called. Anita walked over. “Do you feel this?” Anita examined the lion and didn’t find anything unusual other than Willow’s magic.
“Not in particular.”
“There’s a signature.” Tammy pointed out as if she doubted Anita’s abilities at the moment.
“I know; it’s Willow’s, the little girl who owns the lion.” Anita explained, feeling less patient with the witch.
“Oh, there isn’t much of it though aside from this lion. There’s a small trace of magic but not much left.” Tammy helped cement Anita’s earlier observation. Anita nodded and moved closer to the beanstalk hoping something would give them a clue.
She took her and placed it on the beanstalk, the shock she received was enough to have her shriek. She shook her arm; it went numb. Everyone turned and stared at her, officers with their guns drawn with Richard and Jason tense. “I think I know where they went.”
She tried to touch the beanstalk again; it didn’t shock her this time. Her arm felt like it was being pricked with a thousand needles and before Anita could continue, she flew up ten feet. She grabbed a limb and refused to let go. “I’m pretty sure about that.” She yelled down.
Anita looked down, not feeling any magic or force pulling her up. “Crap, I think we have to go up.” Anita paled when she realized just how tall the thing was. What if the children fell?
Richard nearly growled loudly, he was going to kill anything that hurt the children if they weren’t safe. He looked at the poor stuffed wolf in his arms and nearly snarled. He was going to get Oz back regardless of anything. Oz was his!
He looked as the officers tried to usher him away and nearly through them off. He turned around and stormed off, heading for the exit but intending to go to a few certain vampires as soon as they woke.
Wisteria looked as the too small children happily ate her pastries in the sun filled yellow room. All three of them were sitting by a stove, the smell of cookies rising through the air, around a pine wood table and chairs. She smiled; it had been a while since she’d seen any children. She nearly jumped up when the little redhead looked like she was about to fall; human children were so small.
Willow smiled up at her with a mouth full of gingerbread. Wisteria wrinkled her nose. “Don’t do that, Willow. It’s not polite.” She chastised. Willow swallowed and reached for a cup as large intended for tea but now looked like a novelty teacup than anything compared to them. There was juice in the cup and Wisteria noted that neither had trouble balancing them. “I’m sorry! But it’s very good!” She chirped.
The little boy, Oz, nodded next to her. He ate much slower and calmly than Willow but still with a child’s enthusiasm.
“So what’s it like being a giant?” Oz asked suddenly. Wisteria gave a thoughtful pause both trying to find a way to convey her experiences to five and three year old while not trying to confuse them.
“It’s like being human really. I went to school and everything like you do. I’m short for my kind actually. We live longer than you do but we don’t have as many babies. Nothing really, it’s much like being a human we can even visit except we have to shrink to go to the human world. We have many of the-”
“Shrink?” Oz interrupted.
Wisteria smiled. “It’s a spell, and very easy to do with a good spell caster. Do not trust every one you meet though, just like there are bad humans, there are bad giants.”
Willow’s eyes widened. “Will they grind my bones to make their bread? Make jelly from my eyes and make tacos from my ‘gans?” Wisteria turned green. Oz looked startled by the comment and paled but joined.
“Willow, I don’t think,” Wisteria began but was cut off.
“Or make pudding from our blood?” Wisteria looked ready to pass out.
“I would hope not.” Wisteria squeaked. “How do you know about things like this?” She asked worried.
“TV.” Willow answered brightly. Oz shook his head.
“You’re not suppose to watch TV when Uncle Jason isn’t there.” Oz retorted in a matter of faculty voice.
“You do it too! When we’re suppose to be asleep. Wake me up at times.” She grumbled back. Willow rubbed her eyes.
Wisteria frowned. “I don’t think you’re watching the right kind of television. Are you tired Willow?” She looked at Oz; the werewolf shook his head.
“No.” The little witch protested. She tried to change the subject. “Oh! You could come visit us! I’m a witch and could pro’ly do the spell to make you normal sized!”
Wisteria nearly fell from her chair. “You’re a witch?” This was insane; the child should barely be coming into her powers given her age. She looked at Oz, the werewolf shrugged. Willow yawned. Wisteria clucked her tongue rather loudly. She went towards Willow and picked her up.
“Witch or not young lady, you’re sleepy! Come on, I’ll take you for a nap. Oz, will you stay there or do you want to with us?” She was ready to help him out of the chair when Oz pushed himself off. Oz landed quickly but the giant was on him in a matter of seconds. “Are you okay? Why did you jump?”
Oz rose and smiled. “I’m okay. I’m not hurt. I could do that, I’m a werewolf.” Oz stated matter of faculty.
“O-okay.” The giant said leading Oz into a large and cheery living room. There were two red couches along the white wall with a television in front of it a few feet away. Willow could not take in a few details but was nodding off at Wisteria’s shoulder. The giant was careful as she opened the door and set the child on the bed, careful to wrap her in the large bed. Willow was asleep in seconds.
Wisteria turned around and looked at Oz. She ushered him out of the room and left the door ajar for Willow should she wake. “What would you like to do, Oz?” She asked in a curious tone.
Oz looked at the giant woman who now looked to be his caretaker and frowned. “I should be getting back but Willow is sleeping. I can’t leave without Willow.”
Wisteria nodded understanding the boy’s logic. “Okay,” She picked him up and set him down on one of the red couches and sat next to him. “Tell me about your um, you said guardians right?”
Oz nodded. “Daddy’s a werewolf but no one is suppose to know about it or about me being…” Oz began. Wisteria smiled as the boy started his tale wondering how she was going to get the children home when the door bell rang. Oz paused, Wisteria's eyes widened. She'd forgotten about her company.
She took a deep breath and summarized her feelings. "Fuck."
Oz's voice piped. "You're in trouble," Oz nodded sagely. "you cursed."
“Okay people, let’s get this clear. There may or may not be a giant up there if the initial report was right. The creatures twisted Jack and the Beanstalk; remember the giant may not be aware of our presence as well. Let’s try to keep it that way.” Dolph growled. The small group of officers that included Anita, and Asher (to his anger, but Asher wouldn’t back down) made affirming calls and noises. Richard looked on wishing that he could join but could not think of a legitimate reason. Jean-Claude was at his side, refusing to leave in case the creature returned.
Jean-Claude looked nonchalant while Richard bordered brooding but looked more frustrated than anything else. In reality, Richard was upset, worried, angered, and frustrated beyond belief. Jean-Claude was unhappy about the situation but played it as another threat to one of his own and the city. He played the cooperative vampire but wished that he had just let Asher gone ahead without them there but Anita had vetoed that suggestion by making it damn obvious that Asher, as strong as he was, couldn’t possibly take on a group of giants, if the tale was to be believed alone.
“La Petite et Le Petit Loup, will be fine.” Jean-Claude said calmly and surely. Jean-Claude, somehow, was certain of it.