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Trouble In Bath

Lost Files

 

Author: Becks

Notes: This is an alternative version of Story four, White Magic.

 

*

 

Giles flipped slowly through the newspaper clippings. He’d been gathering them for weeks now; pile after pile of print adorned his already cluttered desk. Curled like a luxuriant fur scarf around his neck, Aristotle wound around the back of his chair and rubbed a cold nose on the Englishman’s neck.

 

Rain was humming against the windows of his study and it was getting darker by the minute. Suspecting that a thunderstorm was going to put in an appearance, Giles reached across to turn on the desk lamp, and sat for a moment re-reading the most recent paper clipping under the soft yellow glow. It was getting more regular. Far too regular for comfort, in fact.

 

The door swung open and Buffy walked in. She looked tired and irritable, and Giles knew that it was the strain of looking after the slayers that was getting to her. The girls simply would not stay in line, and as far as they were concerned, Buffy was just a supply teacher. Giles glanced up again as behind her, Angel slid discreetly in to the room as well, shutting the door with a gentle snap, and went to stand sentry in the darkened corner.

 

“What you got, Giles?” Buffy asked, pushing a strand of blonde hair behind her ear.

 

“Ah. A kind of mission, you could call it. I dare say you could both do with an activity to keep you busy?”

 

“Depends what it is. If it gets us away from the other girls for a while, sure.”

 

“Yes, yes. This is something the two of you can handle.” Giles leaned forward to get away from Aristotle’s distracting nudges, and handed the topmost clipping to the vampire slayer. “In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been following reports of a disturbance at the spa in Bath. Bath’s not too far from here. As you know, I have a flat there, in fact.”

 

“Disturbance? What kind of a disturbance?”

 

Angel said quietly, “Poltergeist?”

 

“I’m not exactly sure, to be frank.” Giles took off his glasses and wiped them absently on his jacket. “The place has been practically deserted. Nobody dares enter the building anymore.”

 

“Someone must have seen this thing,” Buffy replied, pacing the study. “What are we dealing with here, Giles? A demon, a ghost, what?”

 

“Either a poltergeist,” Giles suggested, glancing at Angel for a moment, “Or a demon. As to which it is, I’m not quite sure.

 

“According to the papers, it started about a fortnight ago. A couple were bathing when they started hearing strange noises. Clanking pipes, slamming doors, that sort of thing. It sounds like poltergeist activity, but ghosts generally involve moving as well. There’s been no word of things flying around.”

 

“So, demon?” Buffy rubbed her temple as she attempted to get her head around the mystery. “Has anyone been hurt?”

 

“Unfortunately, yes. A young man was drowned in the water two days ago. It seems that something was holding him under the water.”

 

“Poltergeists don’t kill people, right? Demon?”

 

“So it would appear.” Perplexed, Giles stroked Aristotle, and was rewarded by the cat hurling himself at the back of Giles’ head.

 

“Okay, so, Angel, we should go in and sort this out, “ Buffy commanded, taking control as usual. “Giles, where exactly are we headed?”

 

“I can drive you down, Buffy. I need to visit my flat, in fact, anyway. And the girls, being teenagers, won’t be up for at least another five hours.”

 

Buffy smiled. “Okay. Let’s go.”

 

It was so dark outside by now that Angel could make it in to the car without bursting in to flames, and they set off for Bath without incident. Angel sat squashed in the back, staring out the window while Buffy sat up front with Giles. Giles was explaining their course of action. Angel, not really listening, watched the rain flood down the windows, and gave an inward sigh as the car sped across the countryside.

 

Upon reaching Bath, and parking close to the famous spa, Giles extracted his best broadswords from the back and handed them to Buffy and Angel.

 

“Now, be careful. This thing, whatever it may be, is immensely dangerous.”

 

“Oh, you know me, Giles,” Buffy gave him a small smile. “Careful careful… man the Giles mobile while we’re gone?”

 

“Of course.”

 

“Come on, Angel.”

 

The slayer and the vampire turned and approached the spa. It was open so they walked inside. There was a guy sitting behind the desk, looking lonely and scared, and when he saw their swords he jumped up.

 

“It’s all right. We’re not going to hurt anyone,” Buffy said quickly, putting the sword down. “We’re here about the disturbances?”

 

“You can’t be thinking of going down there,” the man whimpered, pointing at the steps, “It’s suicide down there. I didn’t want to be here but the thing doesn’t come up here – at least, it hasn’t yet – I told the boss it was mad to be here, it’s not like anyone will want to spa with a monster, but he said –“

 

“Do you know what it is?” Buffy cut him off hastily. “Have you seen it?”

 

Slowly, the young man nodded. “It’s a mutant…” he whispered, shaking. “It’s horrible. It came after me – I just managed to slam the door on it –“

 

“All right. We’re going to get rid of it. What’s your name?”

 

“Ripla,” he muttered. “James Ripla.”

 

“Okay, James. Just stay up here. We’ll be back soon.”

 

With that, Buffy retrieved her sword and marched determinedly down the stairs, Angel beside her.

 

“This is no place for him to be,” Angel commented.

 

“True. Whatever this thing is, it’s gonna be bad, Angel. He was scared witless.”

 

The tall vampire nodded. There was a locked door at the bottom of the steps and as they approached it, something slammed in to it from the other side and the whole door rattled. Buffy instinctively grabbed Angel’s hand.

 

“Uh… Buffy…”

 

“What?” Buffy looked down, then quickly pulled her hand away. Annoyed with herself, she strode forward with renewed confidence. “Let’s just get this finished, Angel. Let’s face this thing and kicks it’s evil ass.”

 

Together, she and Angel seized the lock on the door and pulled. It cracked away from the door. They stood there waiting as the door opened.

 

And as the door slowly swung open, something massive loomed from the darkness.

 

They were facing a gigantic rubber duck.

 

Buffy stifled a giggle. “Did you bring any bread, Angel?”

 

~

 

 

Notes: This was an April Fools story. Yes, it’s a joke  :p

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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