Summary: It's Halloween, and while the girls go
to a party, there's trouble at Giles'...
Disclaimer: Not mine, etc etc. Buffy and Angel
aren't my creations.
Buffy looked up with
unmasked fear at the huge beast before her. "Uh... Giles? This so isn't a great
Giles turned to look at
her and gave her a nervous smile. "You know what to do, Buffy. I assure you
that you won't come to any harm."
Buffy turned her head and gazed down the slopes towards Angel's small flat over
the garage. The sun that banished him to the darkness glanced off the windows
in to her eyes, shielding him from her view, but she knew he was there,
standing watching her. She could feel him, even from here, and the hairs on the
back of her neck rose uncomfortably as she felt him meet her eyes. Ever since
returning from the chalk figure on the hill, Angel had been hiding away more
than ever, and seemed to gently push her away whenever Buffy tried to get close
to him. It had been weeks now, and they were as separate as they had ever been
Buffy shook her head.
"Sorry Giles, what?"
"I asked if you were
A sigh escaped her lips.
"Ready as I'll ever be. Let's face this thing."
Giles cupped his hands
for her to use as a step up. A slayer didn't need it, of course, but Giles
wouldn't be Giles if he wasn't so endearingly proper, and Buffy accepted his
help with a small, quivering smile. With one quick, accurate bound, like a cat
scaling a vertical wall, Buffy had slung her leg over and sat down carefully.
Her neck tingled further as Angel watched her. Giles was smiling.
"How does that feel?"
Buffy looked down at the
long horse's neck in front of her and said, "A surprisingly short cry from
Giles gave her a
reassuring smile and gently moved her leg forward on to the horse's shoulder to
tighten the girth. The animal was a rich bay colour, and out of the two horses,
Giles had considered this one much more suitable for her; Celoso was calm and
straightforward, and he very much doubted the horse would give her trouble.
After seeing how eager Buffy was to get something done, Angel had suggested a
ride in one of his irregular jaunts to the house, and while Giles hated to
admit it, it had been a rather good idea. Once certain that Buffy was secure on
Celoso, Giles turned to his own ride - a slightly larger, dapple-grey Spanish
breed named Windsor - and mounted him. Buffy grinned at him and looked down at
"Giles, where're the
brakes on this thing?"
"In your willpower,
mostly." Giles gave her a kindly smile. "When you're ready, squeeze him on.
Gentle squeezes, Buffy."
Wearing a look of almost
endearing concentration, Buffy tried it, and looked surprised when the horse
moved off. Walking the horses side by side through the long grasses towards the
village, Giles put his reins in to one hand and pointed up in to the thicket of
ferns standing sentry on the hilltop. "Buffy, look. Vulpes vulpes." At
her blank look, he translated, "A red fox."
"Still number one with
the Latin, huh, Giles."
"Among other things."
The small carnivore
picked up the scent of their horses, and, after giving them a fleeting look,
turned and vanished in to the undergrowth. "In Sunnydale we had coyotes. Now
I've got foxes."
"Maybe so, but the fox
is still a fascinating animal, Buffy. It's a rather reclusive hunter that
thrives on nightime."
Huh, Buffy thought. Foxes
aren't the only ones, either.
Sneaky with the Angel
At that moment, Celoso
looked left, and Buffy looked that way as well, interested to see what had
caught his attention. There was a dark blue taxi motoring up towards Giles'
house. Buffy eased back on Celoso.
"Hey Giles. Are we
Giles halted Windsor,
absently patting the grey neck as he replied. "Ah. In a manner of speaking,
"Who?" Speaking with her
foot in her mouth as usual, Buffy rewound quickly and added, "I mean, that is
if it's not classified Giles info."
Her watcher smiled, and
Buffy noted with fondness that the smile reached his benign eyes as usual.
"Perhaps you should see for yourself once we return?"
"That's your way of
saying yes, isn't it."
"Since I know you will go
and find out even if I say that it's private?" Giles smiled once more.
Buffy put it to the back
of her mind and they walked on. Early evening was creeping in over the
landscape and the sun started to sink steadily in to the horizon, leaving a
watercolour wash of orange across the sky. Within an hour or two, it would be
Time for the foxes to
emerge once more.
He immersed his hands in
to the hot water. It didn't matter if it were hot or cold, because he could
never feel the difference. Slowly washing out a glass in his small sink, Angel
wiped the remnants of blood from around its rim and stood it on its head on the
board to drain. His mind not on the task, Angel reached for an already clean
glass and washed it again, tackling imaginary stains. His dark, deep eyes were
on the window through which he could see, in the distance, two horses. A bay
one and a larger, mottled grey one. They were trotting slowly, and the man on
the grey horse was leaning across to the blonde girl, helping show her how to
hold her reins.
Under the thumb and
over the little finger, Buffy.
She's used to holding a
broad sword. Not a horse's reins.
Angel knew he shouldn't,
but in his mind's eye he saw himself on that grey horse in Giles' place. It was
him gently arranging her hands over that tight leather. Him cantering up that
hillside with her, silky manes blowing around them like breezes, hearing her
soft laughter in his ears as she experienced what it was to ride the back of a
horse. Angel had grown up with horses, and he appreciated them. He appreciated
Angel would take her
love. He would take her hate. He would take her pain and set it alight with
nothing but a raw desire. He would give up all centuries of his eternal life,
for an extra minute of hers.
And so he kept his
There was a crunch of
tyres on gravel outside and he heard, somewhere in the vast house, the laughter
of some of the Slayer girls. Grateful for his own privacy up here in his flat,
Angel pulled the plug on the tinted pink water and allowed it to wash away.
Leaning forward on to the edge of the sink, he continued to watch the horses.
They were turning and heading back for the house now. The sun was sinking, and
Angel watched the shadows of the trees chase them downhill.
approaching. One of the girls, maybe, Angel thought. He distanced himself from
them as much as he could, but it wasn't possible to stay away all the time.
Most days he was expected to help train them. Some of them were committed, and some
of them thought the whole thing was just a game. Some of them saw both sides of
the argument. Angel took no sides.
The door swung open, no
knock. Somebody came in to the room. Angel, still with his back to the door,
said without turning around,
The bartender looked up,
nodding a mop of dark hair from his eyes as the vampire dropped heavily on to a
stool. "Usual, Malen?"
Malen nodded, grinning
to show his fangs. "Yeah. O positive, buddy."
The bartender ducked
down, retrieved some fresh human blood from the fridge and put it down on the
bar in front of the vampire. The creature gave an undignified swallow from the
jar, licking a tress of blood from his chin. "So Travis, got any plans for the
Travis looked blank.
"Dude! Night of the
Living! Halloween night!"
"Halloween? I'm not
doing anything. Its not like I'll have any customers that night." Travis
scowled angrily and poked at a dirty glass with his dishcloth. "Yourself?"
"I'm going over to
Whit's place, man. There's some big rave party on, but we've got better plans."
"Yeah. Whit and I are
getting take out." The vampire licked his fangs. "Something fresh."
Travis smiled. "So
where's this party thing taking place?"
"It's all here." The
vampire tapped at the pile of coloured fliers on the bar beside him. "It's
gonna be a freak out, dude."
They talked for another
half hour or so, while demons came and went around them. When Malen had finally
finished his warming blood, like a single guy lingering too long over a warm
beer, he tossed down a few dollars and left the bar. He passed her in the
doorway without a second glance.
Head held high, eyes
scanning the demons for trouble, the Slayer named Laura slipped in to the bar.
She slid from the shadows from where she'd been listening in, and her hand
reached out and picked up a leaflet from the bar as if she were picking up
beans from the store. With one last look around her, she tucked the pink flier
in to the pocket of her jacket and left, as silently and as calmly as she'd
Buffy was hot and
bothered, but in a relatively good mood as she shut the door on Celoso and
crossed the courtyard in to the house. It was cooler in here and she walked
briskly towards the kitchen to get a glass of water. She imagined Giles sitting
in his study and smiled to herself. She really did have a lot to thank him for,
and she felt she could forgive his quirks, as she considered them - such as the
one concerning Angel. Buffy could see from the way Giles looked at Angel that
they didn't get on, and she could tell equally as much that Angel was willing
to conform to that. Angelus was tucked away beneath the surface for now, but he
was never far from Angel's mind. Sometimes, just occasionally, she could see
the demon flicker behind his dark eyes.
A burst of laughter
sounded from the kitchen; assuming the girls were in there, Buffy pushed the
door open. She stopped dead.
"- and she's got this
huge knife," Faith was saying, "and she runs at me with this gigantic blade -"
hearing the door open, the dark-haired Slayer looked towards the doorway, her
hand in the crisp bowl. "B."
Buffy looked slowly from
her to the slayers gathered around the kitchen table, and said coldly, "Hello...
you might have told us you were coming."
Faith popped a crisp in
to her mouth and crunched it. "I did."
"I rang Giles a week
ago, B. Didn't he tell you?"
"No. He didn't tell me."
Buffy cast a glance at the slayers, as if daring them to laugh, and said coolly
to Faith, "Let's go and see him. That is if you can bare to be away from the
girls for a minute."
"Yeah. Whatever." Faith
got up, nodding at the slayers. "Hey, later, girls."
They walked in silence
back towards Giles' study. Buffy was fighting hard to keep a lid on her temper,
which was threatening to bubble over the sides of the pan if she wasn't
careful. Why was Faith always barging in to her life all the time? Why wasn't she
in Cleveland? Not bothering to knock first, Buffy strode in to the study. Giles
was sitting in a swivel chair by the desk, with the cat Aristotle purring on
"Ah, Buffy. Faith, there
Never one to beat about
the bush, Buffy said, "She was coming and you didn't think to tell me?"
"I'm sorry, Buffy, but I
thought you had enough on your plate with the slayers." Giles took off his
glasses and cleaned them absently. "After all, if you don't mind me saying so
you could probably do with Faith's help."
"Is that why she's here
then? To help me?"
Faith, who was perched
on the end of Giles' desk playing with a fancy pen, interrupted, "Actually I
just came to see Angel."
Buffy glared at her.
"Fine. I'll go with you to see him."
"I already saw him,
Buffy." Faith flicked the end of the pen and the lid cracked. She quickly stuck
the pen back in to the desk tidy in the hope that Giles hadn't noticed. Perhaps
due to this, she failed to notice the look of absolute venom that the other
Slayer was giving her. For the moment unable to think of anything to say, Buffy
just stared at her. She imagined Faith and Angel together in that little garage
flat, exchanging touches, laughing together. Had they hugged? Had they done
something more? There was a sharp exploding noise and Buffy felt a stinging
pain in her hand as the glass she'd picked up smashed in her squeezing grasp,
stabbing her palm with glass fragments. Blood dribbled down her hand and
dripped slowly on to the floor.
"Fine." Buffy repeated
softly. "You've seen Angel. You don't appear to be leaving."
"Buffy," Giles cut in,
getting up and nearly catapulting Aristotle on to the floor in the process,
"Faith could be a tremendous asset in helping you keep control of the slayers."
"Yeah, B. I can hang
around for a while if you'll need me. You know, the girls look pretty tight. We
could take them out someplace. It's Halloween, after all."
"Yeah," Buffy snapped,
"And the last time you took the girls out, it went so well."
"Buffy, look, you gotta
treat them like people! They need a break just the way everybody else does.
Back off them a bit, yeah?" Faith felt in her pocket and extracted a crumpled
flier, which she slapped down on Giles' desk. "Laura picked this up in town.
What about it, B?"
"A party?" Buffy said
incredulously. "If it appeals to Laura, it's going to be drink and drugs and
jerks touching up all the girls."
Faith just grinned.
"Then taking the girls is a good move... imagine some guy trying to get off on
Buffy sighed heavily and
looked at Giles, expecting him to back her up. To her surprise, he shrugged
helplessly and said, "Buffy, while it pains me to admit that going partying
might be a Godsend, a night out might do them good. And you, if you don't mind
my saying so."
"Get Giles," Faith said,
leaning back on the desk and tossing her fan of dark hair over one shoulder.
"So, Buffy, we party?"
Buffy sighed. "We
"The new slayer is
"Better than Buffy.
What's her deal?"
"She's not a new slayer
for us," Kennedy reminded them, checking out a mean-looking crossbow. "Vi, Rona
and I already know her."
"So you keep telling
us." Laura slipped on a pair of high heels and cast a glance over the two new
slayers sitting quietly in a corner. "So you two, you trained with Faith in
"Yeah," ventured one of
the girls. She was small but very pretty, with wavy black hair and a rather
Goth look to her. She wore all black, complete with dark blue makeup and a
spiky collar, and she had a ring piercing through her lower lip. "I'm Nadine,
and this is Calisto - Cali - She's from Spain." She indicated Faith's other
slayer; an equally small, meek-looking girl with short blonde hair and big
"Hola," said Cali shyly. "Me
encanta su casa."
Laura stared at Nadine.
"What'd she say?"
"I've no idea."
"Does she speak
"A little. Just don't
ask her how old she is, she'll start describing her pet cat to you."
"You've got a cat?"
Kennedy asked Cali, trying to make conversation.
"Yes," said the girl,
with some difficulty. "He is... he is... blanco."
"He's white," Nadine
said brightly. "Faith figured that already."
Right on cue, Faith
entered the kitchen where the girls were gathered. She'd been here a day now
and Buffy had agreed to tolerate her presence, on what Faith suspected was a
there-are-bigger-things-at-stake pact. Such as taking these bored, twenty-one
vampire slayers to a Halloween party.
"Hey ladies, you ready
"Sure." Kennedy put down
her crossbow. "Should we take stakes or something?"
"I shouldn't bother.
Vamps shy away from Halloween. Suckers," Faith said, without a trace of irony.
"This is gonna be trippin'." She herself was dressed to party, in tight jeans,
boots and a low-cut sleeveless black top that showed off the tattoo snaring
about her upper arm. If she was a little underdressed for late October, she
didn't seem to care. "Buffy's waiting outside, come on."
The girls all crowded
outside, chatting and laughing amongst themselves. Faith went to join Buffy and
they started the walk towards the village. The blonde slayer was not dressed to
party; she wore jeans and a thick jumper thing and she had barely bothered with
her hair. Refusing to allow her spirits to be dampened by Buffy's expression,
which was more like a hurricane cloud than a rain shower, Faith questioned,
"Not feeling the party, B? Come on, it'll be great!"
Buffy gave a wan smile.
"I guess I haven't had much luck with parties before. Especially the Halloween
"And you're worried about
Buffy looked quickly at
her. She had no worries about the girls hearing their conversation; they were
clomping along and talking so loudly that an elephant could have crept up
behind them. "Oh... no... I mean, he'll probably welcome the peace and quiet. The
stealth gang back there can get kind of tiresome."
"Yeah. Still, now they
can let their hair down for a while."
They walked on towards
the party, through the quietly dark Wessex streets. Trailing behind the main
group, Calisto announced, "¿dónde estamos?"
Giles had finally
ventured from his study. Ah, the much underestimated luxury of having one's
home to oneself. Well. With one exception, of course. Giles paused in the
kitchen as he heard Angel pass by, on a walk around the house as was Giles. So
he assumed, anyway. Deciding not to bother himself with the concerns of the
vampire, Giles took a drink of water and ate some apple before leaving the
kitchen, taking care to switch off the light, and walking to his bedroom. There
he shut the door and clicked the light switch.
"Damn electrics," Giles
muttered. He went to try the bedside lamp, stumbling in the dark, and
thankfully that came on. He sank on to the bed.
The light turned itself
Giles was reaching for
the cord on the lamp when it came on again by itself, only to start flickering,
on and off. Giles stared at it, his hand frozen in midair. If it wasn't enough
with Buffy and the slayers, now he had a cranky lamp on his hands. He did the
only thing he could think of, and reached down and pulled out the plug. The
light died instantly.
Calmed, Giles got up
again and headed for the door: no point sitting in darkness. No doubt the
wiring was faulty or something.
He had just opened the
door, when the unplugged lamp came on again.
Rachel Stevens blared
out of the loudspeakers across the packed hall. Lights flashed and shimmered
off the walls, making stars and patterns on the wood panelling, while hundreds
of people danced or lounged in the sofas along the walls, chatting, kissing or
drinking, or a combination of the three. Buffy had completely lost track off
all her slayers, and didn't have a clue where any of them were; they were in
this huge crowd somewhere. With a sigh, Buffy sipped her bland orange juice and
stood on her own against the buffet table, feeling lonely.
What the hell is that? Buffy thought dubiously,
poking at a bowl of some weird creamy sauce. Some cute boy swept past, grabbed
a piece of celery and dipped it in the white sauce on his way past. None the
wiser, Buffy took a sausage roll and started looking for the girls.
"Put it down!" Laura
screamed, getting way too hyper as Nadine waved a bottle of beer, the contents
streaming out of the top and down all over her hand. "Ewwwww! That's sooo
"Drink it!" Vi was
shouting. Nadine screwed up her nose and took a gulp. The surrounding girls
screeched as if she'd patted a tarantula. Nadine passed the overflowing alcohol
around their little gaggle of slayers. Laura was already swaying slightly on
her four-inch heels. Somehow some vodka was suddenly introduced as well.
Regardless to the fact that it was unwise to mix drinks, the girls carried on
drinking and dancing, getting more and more crazy as their soberness deserted
Across the hall, the
rest of the slayers were dancing, leaping around extravagantly, showing off to
their recently accumulated male audience. These girls were not exactly with it
either, and as a guy staggered in to them Sarah swung and gave him a hard roundhouse
kick in the chest. It was only because Sarah was drunk that her power wasn't in
it, and the man merely staggered before seizing her and grabbing her to him in
a menacing sort of way. A second later Kennedy and Rona had seized the
boisterous Sarah and pulled her away.
"Back off her," Kennedy
barked, rather irrationally. The guy scowled, but turned and walked off in to
the thronging crowd.
"Faith was right," Sarah
gasped, her eyes gleaming, nodding towards where Faith was throwing herself
around in a circle of smirking lads, wildly tossing her hair about. "This party
is totally tripping!"
Angel slowly trailed his
hand along the shiny kitchen counters. He was pleased. Pleased to be able to
walk the house without the girls giggling in his wake, and pleased to be able
to walk the night, where the sun did not reach him. He stood in the window for
a minute, the way a human might bask in morning sunlight, and then moved on.
Examining the kitchen, Angel opened the knife drawer and had a good look before
sliding it closed. He wandered around a bit more, then opened the dishwasher,
not realising what it was.
Two huge black
tarantulas scurried out.
Caught off guard, Angel
leaped back. Why on earth were there spiders in Giles' dishwasher? They weren't
exactly British natives. Angel watched curiously as the huge animals crawled up
the legs of the kitchen table. Then, with the lightning strike of a predator,
Angel seized a giant cookery book and banged it down on top of the spiders. He
slowly lifted it and peered at the underside of the book.
As Buffy would say, ewww.
Thinking that he should
go seek out Giles about the strange encounter, Angel left the kitchen. As he
walked down the dark corridors, he distinctly heard a voice whisper gently in the
He slowed down.
"Angel... where are
Ahead of him in the
corridor, something whipped from one doorway in to another, so fast that he
couldn't see what it was. "Hello?" Angel called softly. The light above his
head flickered slightly, buzzing.
"Angel... I can't see
you... Angel... Angel..."
Angel felt his unbeating
heart clench inside his chest. "Buffy?"
"Angel... help me...
still in the corridor now, the vampire strained all his senses. Something was
seriously wrong with this house. A floorboard creaked behind him. Angel whisked
around and grabbed the throat of-
"Giles!" Angel quickly
released him. "I'm so sorry -"
Giles coughed, rubbing
his throat. "Quite all right-" he said hoarsely. "I was actually on my way to
find you - something strange is happening -"
"I know. There were
tropical spiders in the kitchen, and I keep hearing someone talk to me. It
sounds like..." Angel lowered his eyes. "It sounds like Buffy. I also saw
"Like Buffy?" Giles
echoed, looking alarmed. "This doesn't make any sense. This house is not
A chill wind blew along
the sealed corridor, lifting their clothes slightly. "Sure about that?" Angel
asked quietly. "There's something here, and whatever it is, it's pissed off."
"It's Halloween," Giles
said distractedly. "Traditionally, ghosts and demons lie low on this night."
"There's always an
exception to the rule," Angel replied.
"I suggest we try to
contact Buffy," Giles mused. "Did she take a phone on her?" Not waiting for a
response, he added, "I dare say she might have a phone." He started walking
towards his study. Angel followed, still instinctively straining all his senses
to try and pick up on what was going wrong. As Giles pushed open the door to
his study, Aristotle charged out and disappeared down the corridor, his tail
like a fox's. They quickly saw why.
Everything had been
moved. Angel, his eyes picking out the shapes in the dark, saw that the chairs
were on top of the desk, the lamp was on top of the chairs, Giles' carefully
arranged papers and notes scattered all over the floor.
"Dear Lord -" Giles just
stood there in the doorway. "My study - "
Angel walked past him in
to the room and looked around. He wasn't easily ruffled by spooks, but the
Buffy thing had creeped him out slightly. Giles slowly followed him in to the
room, looking around. "The phone. Where's my phone?"
"I don't think something
wants us calling Buffy," Angel said, making a not-too-irrational conclusion.
Giles nodded, trying to
pull himself together. "We may be able to put a protection spell on the
building, just temporarily, to ward the thing away."
"Most likely. A
poltergeist can come from anywhere, and it's often just a manifestation from
the mind. But, since we appear to have a distinctly violent spirit, a spell
would be a good idea."
"What do you need?"
"Just some candles, and
a spell book. The book is entitled Magio Blanco."
Angel just nodded in
acknowledgement and started bending to search through the bookshelves. Giles
opened a cupboard to find candles, knocking in to things. There was little
purpose in turning the light on, as the poltergeist seemed intent on turning
off every light they turned on. After a moment, Giles straightened up with a
small "ah ha" of triumph and placed six small pale candles on the edge of his
desk. As another slight breeze blew through the room, as if perhaps the spirit
was waiting to see what they were doing, Angel located the heavy spell book and
handed it to Giles.
"We need to make a basic
circle on the floor," Giles instructed, "And light the candles - I need a
Working on the logic
that there should be a candle lighter accompanying the candles, Angel made his
way across the littered floor to the cupboard and found a small, heavy, rather
high-quality plated lighter. As Giles placed the candles in a circle and
started trying to find the incantation in his book, the tall vampire crouched
down and carefully lit the candles. Outside the open doorway in the hallway, a
light flickered again. This spook really likes his light shows. Angel
straightened up. "Giles, you ready?"
Giles was about to reply
when a heavy bust statue of Beethoven shot off a shelf and flung itself at him.
Within a split second of seeing the thing fly Angel had leaped forward in front
of Giles and caught the object in both hands. Behind him, Giles exhaled.
"Thank you," he said
gruffly. "If you could perhaps - keep an eye out for other airborne articles
while I complete the spell." He stepped in to the centre of the candle sphere,
and while the vampire patrolled the edge Giles chanted softly,
"Demon di spirito!
Siete permesso con ciò
Ora andate ora!
Demon di spirito!"
There was a blinding
white flash - during which both ex-Watcher and vampire quickly twisted away,
covering their eyes - which suddenly subsided, and the room went still and
quiet. Outside in the hallway, the flickering light came on and stayed on.
"It appears to have
worked," Giles observed, climbing out of the circle and placing down the heavy
spell book. "It's likely that the spirit will move on of its own accord. It
could just have been a stray, ah, section of paranormal activity. There's a lot
of it loose on Halloween, because demons and vampires are so dormant."
Angel nodded, only half
listening; his main concern was to ensure that Buffy was alright. Maybe this
paranormal thing had affected her too, and she did have quite a bad track
record when it came to special events.
The girls were all
Buffy wasn't thinking
straight herself as she walked out in to the cold night air. Behind her, the
girls and Faith left the hall as well, following her out in to the darkness.
Some of them could hardly walk. Buffy was furious, both with Faith for
suggesting this and herself for being so stupid as to allow them to get in to
this state. They were her responsibility, and she'd failed. She'd failed them
and Giles. She walked ahead of the rest of the group, distancing herself from
them, just wanting to get home.
"Yo, Buffy, what's up?"
Buffy scowled as Faith
caught up with her. "What's up is that they're drunk! I can't trust you with
Faith laughed. "You're
not blaming this on me Buffy, you had just as much responsibility as me in
there, if not more! Jeez, talk about passing the buck, B."
Buffy walked on in stony
As soon as they returned
to Giles' residence, the girls flocked around the sleepy Windsor and Celoso
while Buffy and Faith headed for Giles' study. Giles and Angel were in there,
and the room looked as if a small bomb had hit it. Buffy stopped in the
"What the hell...?"
"Ah, Buffy." Looking
flustered, Giles made his way across the paper-strewn carpet to the two slayers.
"We had a little bother with a poltergeist."
Faith asked, "I thought
poltergeists had to be exorcised, you did all that while we were gone?"
"No, a simple protection
spell was enough to ward it away." Giles took off as his glasses as he launched
in to Explanation Mode. "On Halloween, there's a lot of, uh, excess paranormal
power in the air because of the lack of activity from demons. Demons lie
dormant, but the Hellmouth is still fully active, of course. A little of this
power probably ended up here and caused something representing a poltergeist to
appear. It's gone midnight - no longer Halloween - so we should be all right."
"I miss having a
business for this stuff," Angel reflected quietly. "Things were so much
"Actually, it's funny you
should mention that," Giles replied, beaming. "I was becoming rather tired of
seeing you two moping about, so I've made a little arrangement for the both of
you." Still smiling kindly, he reached in to his pocket, took out a flier, and
handed it to Buffy, who unfolded it slowly and read it. Eyes widening, she
raised her head to regard Giles.
Giles - what -"
"I had an Agency set up,
dealing with the Paranormal," Giles explained gently. "Perhaps it might keep
you out of trouble?"
Buffy stared at him for
a moment, then looked at Angel. The vampire gave her a rare smile. "I think it
might," he said, speaking for the both of them.
"Very good. You can use
my study when necessary. When it's less like a bombsite, that is. I should start
getting this mess cleaned up."
"Would you like some
help?" Angel asked politely, but Giles shook his head.
"That won't be
necessary, thank you."
"We should really check
up on the girls too," Faith added, looking meaningfully at Buffy.
"You guys go ahead,
okay? I'll be there in a minute," Buffy responded. Faith and Angel left, and
Buffy, left alone with Giles, turned to her ex-watcher.
"Giles - listen -"
"If you're going to
thank me, Buffy, there's no need. It's quite all right."
"Giles, I screwed up
earlier. The girls - they're all...drunk. I totally messed up."
"So you think you
shouldn't have extra responsibility?"
"Buffy, keeping track of
twenty-one feisty young girls isn't easy, and I realise that Faith doesn't help
matters much. If it's any consolation, she's going to be staying in a flat
further in town, so she won't be here all the time. And I'm not going to heap
my disappointment on to you because I know that I can't do any better job than
you already are." Giles gave her a very kindly smile. "You've done it once
before, and I know you have it in you to bring these girls through. They look
up to you, Buffy. And so do I."
Buffy tried to smile
back, the corners of her mouth quivering slightly as she looked up at him.
"Thank you... for everything."
"Once again... it's quite
all right. You'd better run along now and see that the girls are turning in."
"Okay." Buffy backed
towards the door. "'Night."
"Good night, Buffy."
Giles listened until
Buffy had left the room, shutting the door behind her, before taking his chair
down from his desk and sitting on it. Turning slowly on the swivel chair,
fingers steepled under his chin, Giles sank deep in to contemplation.
poltergeist activity, here where they usually stay... it was all very convenient.
Could it be that the girls had some involvement in the strange happenings...?
Giles sighed at himself
and looked at the time. It was getting late, and he was jumping to ludicrous
conclusions. The girls weren't magic and couldn't perform spells on the house;
they weren't anywhere near the building at the time of the occurrences.
Go to bed, old man,
Giles scowled himself, getting up from his chair. Stop thinking so much.
He walked tiredly across
his study and left the room to head for bed.
He switched off the
light on his way out.
When introducing herself
to the girls Cali says "hello... I love your house" and on the way to the party,
she asks, "Where are we?"