Blood Brothers

Author: MH <mh_7[at]>

Dedicated to those who wanted Ethan to feel more pain.

SUMMARY: A few moments in Xander's life

TIME LINE: The last half of Season 2.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own the rights to BtVS.


SPOILERS: 'The Dark Age', 'Surprise', 'Passion', 'Becoming 1&2'

CATEGORY: Action/Adventure/Suspense/Drama/Horror

PAIRING: Giles/Jenny

(Sequel to 'A Return to Old Ways')

Chapter 1

There are moments in a person's life, where the decisions they make will affect them for the rest of their lives.

Either for the better or the worse, you won't know the outcome, until the damage has been done.


6 months ago

The nightmares started two nights ago. Out of nowhere.

A small group of five, gathered around, diving themselves head first into the black arts. Only caring about one thing, the thrill and excitement of their carelessness.

But they couldn't control the demon they had unleashed, and one of them died.

Xander's left arm became sore as soon as the nightmare's started.

Xander shot up and gasped when he woke up from the same nightmare he had for three straight nights in a row.

"Damn," Xander growled, as he rubbed his left forearm, trying as hard as he could to relieve himself from the pain he was in.

Not able to take it any more, Xander turned his lamp on to see what was wrong with his arm. He rolled up the sleeve of his shirt, to reveal ... nothing. But it still hurt like a bitch.

Next, Xander couldn't believe what had happened if he hadn't seen it with his own two eyes. A strange symbol slowly appeared on his arm.

The Mark of ... some stupid ugly demon.

Only one person knew what this meant.

And Xander knew that Giles would help.

For some odd reason Xander had kept the pack of cigarette's he stole from his dad on Halloween. Xand now found himself smoking not long after he woke from the first nightmare. He knew he was gonna have to talk to Giles about it.


Xander stood across the street from Giles' apartment complex as he watched as the Watcher/Librarian slam his front door in Buffy's face.

He didn't have to wait long for Buffy to leave.

Xander made his way to Giles' door and knocked.

Giles yanked the front door open.

"Buffy, I told you to go..." Giles yelled out in anger, but immediately stopped when he saw Xander, "oh, sorry. I thought you were Buffy."

"Giles, I have a problem," Xander announced.

"Come in," Giles answered, wasting no time to help the young man.

Giles waited until they were inside and seated before beginning.

"What's the problem?" Giles asked.

"I've been having nightmares," Xander began, he gave Giles a quick description of what he saw.

"So have I," Giles told Xander, "the group you saw were of myself, Ethan Rayne, and three others. One of us would be put into a deep sleep, while the other four would temporarily summon a demon into the one that was sleeping. It was like getting high on drugs... but with far greater consequences. We were young and stupid."

"Giles," Xander interrupted, "you're not the only one to make mistakes. A lot of people have been young and stupid at some point in their life. Usually when their young and... and stupid."

Giles chuckled at the way Xander tried to lift his spirits.

"Yes," Giles admitted, "I suppose so."

"That's not all," Xander added.

"What else?" Giles asked.

Xander lifted the sleeve of his shirt to uncover his left arm. Giles paled and his jaw dropped at the sight before him.

"Th... tha," Giles stuttered, before regaining his voice,"the Mark of Eyghon. The demon we would summon into our sleeping bodies was called Eyghon. When did it appear?"

"Today, around five in the morning," Xander replied.

Giles then did something he never thought he would ever do. He poured into glass some of the whiskey he was drinking for Xander.

Xander chugged the drink down in one swig as soon as Giles had placed the glass in his hands. Which was a very big mistake, as he got into a coughing fit when he felt the liquor burn its way down his throat.

"I just want to make myself very clear," Giles began, "I will not give you a speech about the evils of alcohol, especially when minors are drinking, since I myself began to drink before I reached the legal age, and giving you a speech would make me a hypocrite. But I will tell you this, what happens tonight will never be talked about in public."

Giles then poured Xander another drink.


Xander woke up the next morning with the mother of all headache's.

There was something he had to do, or was it somewhere he had to go?

Looking at his Tweety watch seemed to kick start his brain.

Willow gave me this watch. Willow liked school. No school today, yippee, today was Saturday. Oh shit, there was supposed to be a tutorial group with Ms. Calendar today. HOLY SHIT, I'm late.

Xander picked himself off of Giles' floor, and ran out the door, slamming it behind him. Running towards school, not caring enough to go home and change from yesterday's clothes.


"Sorry I'm late," Xander mumbled, as he walked by Jenny Calendar's desk, on his way to his computer.

"Don't let it happen again," Jenny replied, "since you will be coming in next weekend as well."

Xander was about to whine, but thought better against it.

"Weren't you wearing those clothes yesterday?" Cordelia asked.

'Oh great,' Xander thought, 'my day is complete.'

But before he could reply, Buffy entered the computer room.

"Hey Buff," Xander called out, "sit down, take a load off. Preferably here, between me and Cordelia."

"Not right now," Buffy replied, as she turned to talk to Ms. Calendar, "I need to talk to you for a second."

"Something wrong?" Jenny asked.

"Is there some crisis," Xander interrupted, "that needs our immediate attention. Possibly somewhere very far from here."

"It's Giles," Buffy answered Jenny's question.

Xander became very nervous all of a sudden. And Buffy noticed it.

"You know something," Buffy turned to Xander, "don't you?"

"No," Xander denied.

"Well, he's alright, isn't he?" Jenny interrupted.

"He wasn't at the hospital last night like we planned," Buffy explained, "and when I went to his place, he was acting very anti-Giles. He was... I think, he was drinking."

"But... tea, right?" Willow asked.

"It wasn't tea he was drinking Willow," Buffy replied.

Buffy turned back to Xander...

"Weren't you wearing that yesterday?" Buffy asked Xander.

'Great,' Xander thought, 'someone else who noticed. Weird, it's usually Willow that notices first.'

"That's what I told him," Cordelia announced.

Buffy got back onto the subject at hand.

"So, none of you guys have noticed anything different lately?" Buffy asked.

"No," Willow replied first.

"Not really," Jenny agreed.

"You haven't seen anything weird?" Buffy questioned.

"No," Cordelia replied, "he seemed perfectly normal yesterday when I saw him talking to the police."

"He talked to the police yesterday and you're barely telling us this?" Buffy fumed.

Xander was thankful that the spotlight was off of Giles for the moment. But he knew it wouldn't last be long.

"What were the police talking to him about?" Jenny asked.

"Oh, wait. I know this one..." Cordelia babbled, "something about... a homicide."

"That's it," Buffy exclaimed, "I'm calling Giles."

Buffy stormed out of the computer room, on her way to the library.

Xander, Jenny, Willow, and Cordelia waited in the computer room for Buffy to return. Five minutes pass, without Buffy returning.

"How long does it take her to make one phone call?" Cordelia asked, "I mean, doesn't she know how to use a freakin' phone?"

Xander chuckled, in his mind he could clearly see Buffy, able to kill vampires, demons, and other evil creatures, but having no clue at all on how to make a phone call.

Willow glared at Xander for laughing at Cordelia's insult at Buffy.

"What?" Xander asked, with a smirk on his face, "it was kinda funny once you really think about it."

"Let's just go check on her," Willow said, before she got up and headed out the door, with Jenny, Xander, and Cordelia right behind.


Xander was the first to enter the library, and so was the first to see Ethan Rayne. His hatred for this man rivaled that of Giles' own hatred against his former friend.

"Don't let him get away," he heard Buffy yell out.

"Oh, bloody hell," Ethan muttered, as he turned around and saw Xander, glaring right at him.

Xander, not wasting time, threw a right hook that knocked the older Englishman off his feet.

He looked up to see Buffy kick a guy into the weapons cage.

Or rather the library's cage, where the school's textbooks were kept during the summer and winter breaks. But Giles used it to keep a few of his weapons on the school grounds, for training and just in case they were ever attacked at school.

His full attention went straight back to Ethan.

"We need to have a little chat Ethan," Xander demanded. He grabbed Ethan by the front of his shirt and started dragging him towards the back of the library, where the References and other books that weren't supposed to be taken out of the library were at, when Buffy stood in his path.

"What do you think you're doing," Buffy asked.

"Stay out of it," Xander yelled, stunning everyone in the library.

They were stunned at the fact that Xander had just yelled at one of his friends. So stunned in fact that Buffy failed to act as Xander continued on his way.

He walked around Buffy, dragging Ethan up the stairs, and into the back room.

"You should have taken Giles' advice," they heard Xander's voice.

Then they heard a crashing noise, as Xander threw Ethan through one of the book shelves.


"Where is he?" Giles asked, as he came into the library.

Just in time to see Xander drag a bloodied and bruised Ethan Rayne out from the back room, and drop him on the library floor unceremoniously.

"Ow," Ethan winced at the pain that lanced through his body.

Giles turned and glared at Xander.

"Why didn't you wait for me?" Giles snarled.

"You took to long," Xander accused.

Giles turned to the dead guy that was locked up.

"It can't be," Giles said, as he recognized the corpse of his dead friend Philip Henry.

"Yes it can," Ethan stated, "hello Ripper."

"I thought I told you to leave town," Giles snarled, Ethan seemed to be the only living person on this planet that was able to fill his heart with hatred.

"You did," Ethan responded, "I didn't. Shop's lease is paid till the end of the month."

"Why did he call him Ripper?" Cordelia asked Xander, without turning away from the two English guys.

Giles grabbed Ethan by the hair from the back of his head and forces him to stand up.

"You should've left when I told you," Giles asserted.

"Ohhhh..." Cordelia whispered, figuring out why the other English guy had called Giles Ripper.

"Giles?" Buffy called out.

"You put these people in danger," Giles accused Ethan, "the people I care about."

"If you cared so much about them, why didn't you leave town?" Ethan shot back, while pushing Giles' arm away, "you've been having the dreams, I know. I have. We both know what's coming."

But before Giles could reply, they were interrupted by Willow.

"Wait a minute," Willow commanded, everybody turned to face her, which would usually make her nervous with all the attention on her, but at the moment she didn't seem to notice, "on Halloween, the costume Xander was wearing when he was possessed, he called himself Ripper."

Willow didn't need to go on as the others got to the obvious conclusion.

"Alexander," the animated corpse of Philip rasped out.

Everyone was stunned when it called out Xander's name. Especially Ethan.

"Your spell worked better than you thought," Xander told Ethan, as he raised the sleeve from his left arm.

Ethan's eyes bulged out in surprise when he saw the mark on Xander's arm.

"What dreams?" Buffy interrupted, "what's going on here? And when did you get a tattoo Xander?"

Before an explanation could be given, Philip broke out of the cage, the door hitting Jenny and knocking her out. Xander quickly moved away, pushing Cordelia with him.

"Jenny!" Giles cried out, as he scrambled to her aid.

Buffy go in the corpse' face, giving it three strong kicks to the its chest. The demon possessed English guy fell to the floor, and immediately got back up, not even remotely affected by Buffy's attack.

But before it could attack, his eyes bulge out, he starts convulsing, then collapsed onto the floor next to Jenny. His body disintegrated into slime, and the whole gang stared in surprise.

"Now, there's something you don't see everyday," Willow commented.

Xander, meanwhile, still was holding onto Cordelia, as a hand accidently slipped down to her leg.

"Wow," Xander chuckled, "Cordelia, I never knew you had such firm legs."

"Thanks," Cordelia chatted, "I work out an hour a week. I do leg curls, mostly, to work on my upper and lower legs."

'Who would have thought that Xander would notice,' Cordelia thought.

That was, until she realized that it was Xander, and he had his arms around her body.

"Get your hands off of me," Cordelia yelled, "loser."

She added that last part, to make sure that everyone in the library heard her. She was starting to have weird feelings for Xander Harris. It started on the little Halloween incident in Buffy's bedroom, when Xander had given her a massage. And she just felt it again, when Xander had wrapped his arms around her, and pushed her away from danger.

"Where's Ethan?" Buffy asked.

Everyone barely seemed to notice that the other English guy was no longer in the library with them. Buffy ran out of the library in search of him.

On the floor, the slime had touched Jenny's hand, but Giles was too busy trying to get her to wake up, and no one saw her hand twitch.

Her eyes slowly open as Jenny regained consciousness, and Giles helped her to sit up.

"Are you alright, Jenny?" Giles asked.

"Ow," Jenny mumbled.

"Careful," Giles whispered.

"Ohhh...," Jenny moaned in pain.

"Can you stand?" Giles asked.

"I think so," Jenny replied.

"This is what happens when you have school on Saturday," Cordelia announced.

Xander seemed to be the only one that heard her, as she saw him give her a small crooked smile, which she had already named his 'Sexy Smile'. Everyone else seemed to ignore her though, which she didn't seem to care, as she stared at his lips.

"Mmmm," Jenny moaned, and felt a little dizzy as Giles helped her up.

"Lean on me," Giles said, as he pulled Jenny closer, "It'll be alright."

She pulled her head back to looked into his eyes, "Promise?"

"I promise," Giles replied.

"I believe you," Jenny said, as she placed her head back on his shoulder.

A flash of yellow glowing light appeared in Jenny's eyes, and as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared. No one saw this happened, as she was facing away from the gang.


Giles stood in front of Jenny, as she leaned against the large table in the middle of the library, still a bit dizzy from the knock on the head. Buffy reentered the library sans Ethan.

"How's your head?" Giles asked Jenny.

"Throbbing," Jenny replied.

"I lost Ethan," Buffy announced, "Giles, what's going on?"

"It's complicated, Buffy," Giles answered, "and quite frankly, it's private."

"I don't care for private," Buffy exclaimed, "I care from dead guys attacking us. I care from you lost weekending in your apartment."

"I wasn't..." Giles paused, "I was just trying to find a solution."

"Giles, share," Buffy asserted, "What is the Mark of Eyghon?"

"Hey!" Giles shouted, "this is not your battle! And as your Watcher, I'm telling you, unequivocally, to stay out of it!"

Buffy was stunned, but she wasn't the only one, at Giles telling her what to do. He had never yelled at her like that before, and Buffy knew that Giles had a secret he was keeping from everyone.

"I have to take Jenny home," Giles said, more to Xander than to the whole group.

"Mmm," Jenny moaned, "thank you."

She rested her head on his shoulder as he lead her out of the library.

Well, Giles was keeping a secret, but someone already knew what it was.

"Xander, what the hell is the Mark of Eyghon?" Buffy turned to her friend.

"Like Giles said," Xander began, "stay out of what doesn't concern you."

"This does concern me," Buffy claimed, "I'm the Slayer."

"Giles is a big boy," Xander declared, "if he needs our help, he'll ask for it."

Xander stood up, pulling Cordelia with him, as he made his way to the library doors.

"Hey," Cordelia barked, "what the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Trust me when I say, you do not want to stay here," Xander replied.

Cordelia turned to look back at Buffy, and saw the burning frustration in the blonde Slayer's eyes, and decided to take Xander's advice as she left the library with him.

"We have work to do," was the last thing that Xander and Cordy heard Buffy say as they left the library.

Chapter 2

"Thanks for bringing me here," Jenny said, "not quite ready to be home alone just yet."

Giles hands her a drink before sitting down next to her on the couch.

"Jenny," Giles began, "I'm so very sorry about all of this. I... I never meant for you to be involved in, in any of this."

"So I got involved," Jenny replied, "that's what happens when two people get involved."

Giles stared into her eyes, saw how very serious she was in making their relationship work, and smiled. He moved slowly towards her, to show her how much she meant to him, but stopped himself.

"I really am, however, gonna have to get you home," Giles claimed, "it's not, uh... I'm not a very safe person to be around at the moment."

"Nothing's safe in this world, Rupert," Jenny responded, "don't you know that by now?"


"Ah! Aha!" Willow exclaimed in excitement, "it's not Egyptian, it's Etruscan," she walked over to Buffy, book in hand, "mistaken for Egyptian by the design patten, but any fool can see it predates their iconology. Look, the Mark of Eyghon, worn by his initiates. Eyghon, also called the Sleepwalker, can only exist in this reality by possessing an unconscious host. Temporary possession imbues the host with a euphoric feeling of power."

"What about non-temporary?" Buffy asked.

"Unless the proper rituals are observed," Willow continued reading from the book, "the possession is permanent, and Eyghon will be born from within the host."

"I'm guessing not good," Buffy remarked.

"Wait, hey listen," Willow continued, "once called, Eyghon can also take possession of the dead, but its demonic energy soon disintegrates the host, and it must jump to the nearest dead or unconscious person to continue living."

"I still don't get what this has to do with Giles," Buffy argued, "or why Xander won't tell us anything."

"I don't know about Xander or Giles," Willow commented, "but ancient sects used to induce possession for bacchanals and... and orgies."

"Okay. Xander, Giles and orgies in the same sentence?" Buffy barked, "could've lived without that mental image."

Willow agreed with Buffy about Giles. All that wrinkled skin, Willow shivered, with that image. But if Xander ever got himself into orgies, not only would she be furious with him, she would do very bad things to him as well.

"Wait a minute," Buffy thought before continuing, "dead guy's all puddly now."

"Demon's gone," Willow added, "and there was no one dead to jump into."

"No," Buffy agreed, "no one dead. But someone unconscious."

Willow realized what Buffy was thinking. They looked at each other for a moment before running to the phone.


"Xander sit down," Cordelia complained.

Xander turned to face her for a moment, before he continued pacing in her bedroom. She had complained to him that she didn't feel like being alone for the moment.

"No," Xander argued, "there's something that's just buggin' me. Something about Eyghon that I can't seem to remember."

"But weren't you dressed as Giles for Halloween?" Cordelia asked.

"Cordy, I don't have all his memories," Xander explained, "just flashes of a few things he's done in his past."

Xander continued pacing, trying to clear his mind, and concentrate on Eyghon.

"Well, tell me what you DO know about this Eyghon?" Cordelia asked.

Xander thought for a moment, and since there was nothing else better to do, he went along with Cordy's plan.

"Eyghon is also know as the sleepwalker," Xander began to explain, "Giles and his former gang, would put one of their own into a deep sleep. Then they would summon Eyghon into the sleepers body. It gave them a rush, so they kept at it, summoning Eyghon again and again. Until one night, something went wrong, they did the summoning but Eyghon wouldn't let go of the body. They tried to exorcise the demon out, but like I said something went wrong, and the guy died."

Cordelia stared in astonishment. Giles... she never thought that Giles of all people would be capable of doing something this majorly stupid.

"Oh my god, I don't believe I could forget something as simple as this," Xander exclaimed.

"What?" Cordelia asked.

"Eyghon can only enter a body when it's either dead or unconscious," Xander explained.

"So that means the demon's gone," Cordelia replied, "I mean, there was no one dead to jump into. Last head count I made, there was only one dead guy in the library, and he was the one that was possessed, right?"

"Not dead," Xander answered, "unconscious."

Jenny. Shit, Xander would blame this on himself for being so stupid, if he didn't get to Giles on time.

Xander jumped over Cordy's bed to reach her phone.


Jenny Calendar stood in front of the phone by the front door. She silently, but quickly leaned forward, and yanked the phone cord from the wall.

"What was that?" Giles asked.

"What was what?" Jenny responded.

"I thought I heard something," Giles answered.

"I didn't," Jenny replied.

"Here," Giles said, as he handed a cup to her, "drink that, and then I'll drive you home."

Jenny took a sip before replying.

"You could take me home," Jenny began, "or you could take advantage of me in my weakened state."


"Thank you, operator," Buffy spoke into the phone, before hanging up, "there's no answer at Ms. Calendar's, and Giles' phone is out of order. I'm gonna go over there. Willow, keep working on finding more info on Eyghon."


"Damn it," Xander growled.

"What is it?" Cordelia asked.

"Giles' phone is out of order," Xander informed Cordy.

"So?" Cordelia shot back.

"So, that means that Eyghon has taken over Ms. Calendar's body," Xander explained, "and is getting ready to kill Giles, that's if she hasn't killed him already."

"So what do we do?" Cordelia asked.

Xander was a little shocked to hear her willingly help.

"We're going to Giles' place," Xander replied.

He got up off Cordelia's bed, and walked out of her room, with Cordelia following right behind him.


"Jenny, uhh..." Giles stuttered a little, "I'm... I'm very attracted t-to you."

"Good," Jenny purred into Giles' ear.

"But, um," Giles tried to concentrate on what he wanted to say, and not on Jenny's very close proximity, "now really isn't the right time."

"Oh, there's never been a better time," Jenny argued.

She maneuvered Giles over to a chair, before pushing him back, making him sit down, and climbed onto his lap. She pulled him into a hard kiss, but after a while, Giles found the strength to push her away.

"It's not right," Giles interjected, "I would be taking advantage."

"God," Jenny huffed, climbing off of Giles' lap, "you just don't change, do you?"

Giles was a little confused at her sudden change in attitude.

"What?" Giles asked, dumbfounded.

"It's not right," Jenny mocked, "it wouldn't be proper, people might get hurt. You're like a woman, Ripper. You cry at every funeral. You never had the strength for me. You don't deserve me."

Jenny slowly moved closer to Giles, until her face was an inch away from his face.

"But guess what?" she whispered, "you've got me," she continued as she snaked a hand around his neck.

"Under your skin," Jenny finished, as her voice turned deep and raspy.

Jenny grabbed his hair from the back of his head as she lifted him up to his feet. Then kissed him roughly. As she pulled back, Giles noticed her face starting to change, transforming into Eyghon.

"Was it good for you?" she asked Giles, in that same raspy voice.

The demon possessed Jenny Calendar, quickly smashed Giles head on the desk, his head colliding with the phone on top of it.

"Aw, you never had the stomach," she taunted, "but that's okay. 'Cause I'm about to rip it out!"

Jenny yanked him backwards. Giles cried out in pain as his back collides with the bar, making him stumble to the floor.

Before she could continue, Buffy kicked open the front door, kicking Jenny/Eyghon in the jaw, sending her over the couch and onto the floor.

Jenny quickly got up, walked around the couch, keeping her eyes on Buffy.

"Back off," Buffy warned her.

"Three down, three to go," Jenny stated, "be seeing ya."

Jenny ran and dove through a window. Buffy made her decision to check on Giles instead of going after Jenny.

"Are you alright?" Buffy asked Giles.

Before Giles could answer, Xander barrelled through the front door, with Cordelia right behind him.

"Giles," Xander snapped at the Watcher.

Which seemed to pull Giles out of his stunned expression, "oh, Jenny, Oh, God!"

Buffy pushed aside whatever comments she wanted to say to Xander, to concentrate on her Watcher.

"Giles, how do we stop this?" Buffy asked.

"Oh, God," Giles felt a cold shiver run through his body, "What have I done?"

"Talk to me," Buffy ordered, "Giles, you're scaring me."

"I'm sorry," Giles said.

"Don't be sorry," Buffy told her Watcher, "be Giles. C'mon, we fight monsters. This is what we do. They show up, they scare us, I beat 'em up and they go away. This isn't any different."

Xander couldn't believe what Buffy was saying. Jenny's possessed by a demon, but the Slayer sees Jenny as no better than a demon that needs to be killed.

"You're wrong," Xander interrupted, "Ms. Calendar isn't just another monster for you to fight. She's a friend, which is totally different from the vamps and other demons we fight against."

Buffy glared at Xander, she was trying to get Giles to tell her more about Eyghon, so they could stop the possessed computer teacher. But Xander may have slowed that process down quite a bit because of what he said.

"You're right," Giles said, Buffy smirked snidly for winning this fight over Xander, "Xander."

Buffy gaped as she stared at Giles. He was supposed to be taking her side. He was her Watcher not Xander's.

"We need to stop Eyghon," Giles agreed, "without hurting Jenny. Where is Willow?"

Giles turned to Buffy.

"She's at the library," Buffy replied, "looking up info on Eyghon."

Giles thought for a moment, assessing the situation.

"Xander," Giles began, "take Cordelia with you to the library, and help Willow."

Xander nodded, before taking Cordelia's hand, and leaving Giles' apartment.

"So, what do we do?" Cordelia asked, as they walked to her car.

"We do what Giles told us to do," Xander answered, "we go to the library and help Willow with the research."

"How does Ripper inspire such goodness?" a voice called out from behind them.

Xander knew that voice, he hated that voice. He turned around to face the owner of that annoying voice, and was immediately knocked out.

Cordelia didn't even get the chance to scream before she was knocked out cold in the same manner as Xander.

"Probably because he's 'Giles' to you children," Ethan answered his own question, Ethan thought for a moment over how much Ripper had changed, "lucky me."

Ethan took the keys from Cordelia's hand to open the trunk. He dragged Xander over to the car and dumped him into the trunk. He turned back to the cheerleader, deciding if he should take her as well.

"Well," Ethan thought out loud, "it can't hurt to keep Eyghon busy."

He picked her up, and placed her in the trunk, beside Xander.


"I was twenty-one," Giles told Buffy, "studying history at Oxford. And, of course, the occult by night. I hated it."

Buffy listened to what her Watcher was telling her. He had secrets, very dark ones, in his past that she never knew, or thought he was capable of doing.

"The tedious grind of study," Giles continued, "the... overwhelming pressure of my destiny. I dropped out, went to London. I fell in with the worst crowd that would have me. We practiced magicks. Small stuff for pleasure or gain. Then Ethan and I discovered something bigger."

"Eyghon," Buffy came to the obvious conclusion.

"Yes," Giles replied, "one of us would, go into a deep sleep, and the others would, uh, summon him. It was an extraordinary high! God, we were fools."

"You couldn't control it," Buffy claimed.

"One of us," Giles began, "Randall, he lost control. Eyghon took him whole. We tried to exorcise the demon from Randall, but it killed him. No... we killed him. We thought we were free of the demon after that. But now he's back. And one by one, he will kill us all."

"Three down, three to go?" Buffy asked, "does this mean that you and Ethan are the only ones left alive from your old group?"

Giles just nodded in response.

"Then how did Xander get into this mess?" Buffy inquired.

"Unknown consequences from the little Halloween incident caused by Ethan," Giles explained, and taking one look at Buffy's blank stare, he continued with his explanation, "one does not just mess with magic without there being repercussions. And in this case, Xander is the one that has to deal with them. He still remembers some incidents that happened in my past, ones that I wished stayed in my past."

"And the tattoo?" Buffy asked.

"Xander doesn't know exactly how or why it appeared," Giles replied, as he rolled up his sleeve to show Buffy his tattoo, "another unknown consequence. Or maybe Ethan deliberately changed the spell for Xander to keep some of my unpleasant memories. And with the return of Eyghon... Xander told me that the tattoo just appeared some time two nights ago."

"I'm gonna call Willow," Buffy said, "see if Xander and Cordy are there yet."


Xander slowly woke up, his head was still throbbing from where Ethan had slugged him from behind with something that was very hard, probably brass knuckles.

He opened his eyes to find himself in the now emptied costume shop. Just a few feet away from him were Ethan and Cordelia. With Cordy unconscious and tied face down to a stretcher, while Ethan was bending over her, drawing something onto her back.

"Not very original of you," Xander started his small talk with Ethan, "hiding in your old haunts."

"Well," Ethan began his reply, not in the least bit startled or concerned with the young boy being awake, "please forgive my abruptness, but I'm on a very tight schedule."

Cordelia groaned as she became conscious. Her head felt like it had exploded from the inside.

"I am so gonna kill every one of you losers for putting my life in danger," Cordelia said as she struggled with the rope that was binding her hands together underneath the stretcher.

"Don't fret my dear," Ethan replied, "because very soon, Eyghon, will no longer be a problem for me. You two, on the other hand, will still have to worry though."


Giles drove as fast as his old Citrogen could go. With Buffy in the front passenger seat, and Willow in the back seat.

"Are you sure he'll be there?" Giles asked, worried if Xander and Cordelia were still alive.

"Yes I'm sure," Buffy replied, "he'll probably get there before we do by how incredibly slow we're going."

Giles spared a moment to glare at Buffy before returning his concentration on the road.


"Finally, you're awake," Ethan said, "I was beginning to think you were going to miss all the fun."

"What fun?" Cordelia asked, as she tried to glare at Ethan.

"Your initiation," Ethan replied.

"I am so not in the least bit interested in joining your little club," Cordeila spat.

"Too late," Ethan said, "I already voted you in. Y'know, I hope you're not taking this personally. Because if we had enough time to get to know each other, I know I would have liked you. But the thing is, I like myself a whole lot more. If you think of it karmically, this is really big for your soul."

Xander stayed quite throughout the entire exchange, trying as hard as he could to free himself of the handcuffs that Ethan chained him down to the chair with.

Ethan continued talking with Cordelia, as she struggled with the rope.

"You know, taking my place with the demon," Ethan said, "giving so that others may live."

"Will I blow that whole karma thing if I feed you to that demon bitch?" Cordelia asked.

"Sweet child," Ethan murmured, "now, hold still while I put on the finishing touches."


"Are you sure they're in there?" Buffy asked for the hundredth time.

"For the last time Buffy, yes I'm sure they are in there," Giles answered.

"How can you be absolutely sure?" Buffy challenged her Watcher.

"Because I know Ethan Rayne better than you do," Giles replied.


"Hmm," Ethan looked at the finished design he had tattooed onto Cordeila's back, "I think I missed my calling as an artist."

"This is the biggest mistake you'll ever make for the rest of pathetic life loser," Cordelia threatened.

"I highly doubt that young lady," Ethan assured her, "since this will get Eyghon off my scent."

Ethan picked up a bottle of sulfuric acid and poured it onto his tattoo. Xander and Cordelia both wince as Ethan burned the tattoo off his arm, as Ethan himself grunted from the pain the acid was causing him.

Cordelia found the tip of a screw that was sticking out the bottom of the stretcher she was on. She began to drag the rope against the screw, slowly cutting into the rope.


Giles was caught by surprise by a waking nightmare, while he was crouched behind his car, across the street from the empty costume shop. He saw visions of the Mark of Eyghon as well as his dead friends, possessed by the demon. It finally came to an end with Xander and Cordelia both bearing the demon's mark.

"Oh! Ethan... no. No," Giles gasped.

"What's wrong Giles?" Buffy asked.


Ethan began wrapping his arm in a bandage, while Xander and Cordelia looked on.

"Well," Ethan said, "I hate to mutilate and run, butt..."

Ethan was interrupted with the sound of the front door opening.

Jenny entered the shop, the demon Eyghon was well on his way in transforming and mutating her body into his image.

"It's your time," Jenny/Eyghon growled out in a deep voice.

Eyghon sniffed the air in front of Ethan a few times. Eyghon could no longer smell his mark on the old Englishman. The demon turned towards Cordelia, as she furiously worked at the bounds on her wrists.


"We have to go in right now," Giles said, as he saw Jenny enter the costume shop.

The old Watcher stood up and ran across the street, not waiting for Buffy or Willow to follow him.


Xander was able to unlock a cuff around one of his wrists, and jumped towards Cordelia, and pulled her safely away from Eyghon before the demon attacked.

A moment later, Cordelia finally cut through the ropes that were holding her to the small table, and stood up next to Xander. Which was, not very comforting to her, on the opposite side of the stretcher from Eyghon.

Before Eyghon had the chance to pounce on his prey. Giles barged through the front doors.

"Eyghon," Giles screamed, "take me."

"What the hell do you think you're doing, Giles?" Xander asked.

Eyghon turned to face a much closer prey... Rupert Giles.

"Xander, take Cordelia and get out of here," Giles ordered the young man.

Buffy came barreling through the doors, and right into Eyghon's outstretched arm, sending her flying across the room.

Eyghon, not giving Buffy a second thought, concentrated itself on Giles once more.

But Xander didn't give it a chance to kill the stuffy old Brit, as he hooked his arms underneath Jenny/Eyghon's and around to the back of its neck, in a tight hold that left her/it helpless.

"You take Cordy and run," Xander took his chance at ordering the older man.

But it failed, as the English Librarian refused to leave his charges to deal with the mess he created decades ago.

Angel ran in, followed by Willow, just in time to see Eyghon throw Xander off of it. The two-hundred-and-twenty-odd year old vampire grabbed a hold of her, and pulls her away from the others, before he took a hold of her neck and starts to choke her.

"He's gonna kill her," Xander yelled, when he saw Deadboy choking Ms. Calendar.

"No Xander," Giles yelled back, holding Xander back from attacking Angel, "Willow came up with a plan to get the demon out of Jenny. And believe me, if he does kill her, he will most definitely be next."

Xander stood back, trusting only in Giles' word, but stood at ready to dust the vamp if he did kill the possessed computer teacher.

Angel continued choking Jenny, until finally Eyghon jump out of Jenny, and right into Angel himself.

Jenny, meanwhile, changed back to her normal self. The Visage of Eyghon melted away from her entire body.

"Jenny," Giles gasped as he dropped down of his hands and knees next to her.

Angel's face twisted and changes into Eyghon as the demon tried to fight its way out. A few moments later, Angel's face again morphes into that of Eyghon. It had gained the upper hand, before it slipped away and Angel's face shifted back to normal. There was another moment's struggle before the demon inside Angel threw Eyghon out. And without a host body Eyghon quickly crumbled into a pile of ashes.

"Huh," Xander huffed, "the demon panicked, so it jumped into the nearest dead person."

"I put it in danger," Angel said.

"And it jumped," Willow chimed in.

"I've had a demon inside me for a couple hundred years just waitin' for a good fight," Angel said.

"Winner and still champion," Buffy exclaimed.

She turned to her friends, to see that only Willow was still paying attention to her conversation with Angel.

Chapter 3

4 months ago

Xander sat on his bed, in the dark, smoking a cigarette. Tomorrow is the birthday of someone he should consider a friend.


But lately all they've been doing was argue.

Giles' been doing a little better with Jenny. After the whole Eyghon incident, Jenny had been trying to keep some distance from herself and Giles. But lately she has been able to forgive Giles more with every passing day.

Now he had trouble trying to figure out what the hell he was thinking making out with Cordelia. Was it going to turn into a relationship kinda thing, or is this just a hormone filled phase thing.

It all happened when Spike hired, the Order of Taraka, assassins to kill Buffy. Xander and Cordy went to Buffy's house on Giles' orders to find her. Cordy let a salesman into the house while Xander had gone upstairs to Buffy's room. Bug guy tried to kill them, but he and Cordy were able to lock themselves in the basement, before he could.

And in that basement was where they had first kissed each other.

Something pulled them together, maybe it was the possibility of dying, but it was something that Xander didn't want to happen again and at the same time didn't want it to stop either.

"I gotta stop smoking," Xander said to himself.

Xander turned to his clock. Almost midnight. He put out the cigarette and laid down to try to get some sleep before going to school tomorrow.


Jenny Calendar walked into her classroom holding an arm full of papers and her coffee mug. She set down her mug and the papers on he desk and began to go through them.

Behind her a man in a dark suit and hat approached her.

"Jenny Calendar," the man said.

Jenny spun around to face the man. She stared at him in surprise. Her Uncle Enyos.

"You startled me," Jenny said.

"You look well," Enyos said as he stepped up to her desk.

"Yes, I'm fine," Jenny assured, she moved around her desk, "I know I haven't written as much lately. I've been busy."

"I cannot imagine what is so important to make you ignore the responsibility to your people," Enyos said.

"Well, I've been working and..." Jenny began.

"The elder woman has been reading signs," Enyos interrupted, "something is different."

"Nothing has changed," Jenny tried to reassure her uncle, "the curse still holds."

"The elder woman is never wrong," Enyos affirmed, "she says his pain is lessening. She can feel it."

"There is..." Jenny mumbled.

"There is what?" Enyos asked.

"A girl," Jenny admitted.

"What?" Enyos exhaled in disgust, "how could you let this happen?"

"I promise you," Jenny vowed, "Angel still suffers. And he makes amends for his evil. He even saved my life."

"So you just forget that he destroyed the most beloved daughter of your tribe?!" Enyos accused his niece, "that he KILLED every man, woman, and child that touched her life?! Vengeance demands that his pain be eternal as ours is! If this... this girl gives him one minute of happiness, it is one minute to much!"

"I'm sorry," Jenny said, ashamed, "I thought..."

"You thought what?" Enyos asked, "you thought you are Jenny Calendar now?! You are Janna, of the Kalderash people! A Gypsy."

"I know... Uncle," Jenny said, "I know."

"Then prove it," Enyos hissed, "your time for watching is past. The girl and him, it ends now! Do what you must to take her from him!"

"I will see to it," Jenny promised.


Xander and Willow could here Buffy and Giles talking in the library as the neared to doors to go in. But Buffy became quite as soon as she saw Xander enter the room. The tension between the two had started on Halloween. After the spell wore off, Xander had changed, and in Buffy's opinion it was for the worse.

"Hey Giles," Xander greeted the librarian.

Everyone noticed how he chose to ignore Buffy.

"Xander," Giles returned a simple greeting.

Willow, on the other hand, was very happy.

"It's Happy Birthday Buffy," Willow shrieked.

Willow saw the sad look on the Slayers face as she just ducked her head and pulled some hair behind her ears.

"Not Happy Birthday Buffy?" Willow asked.

"It's just that part of the nightmare that Buffy had the other night actually transpired," Giles explained.

"Which means Drusilla might still be alive," Buffy added, "Giles, in my dream, I couldn't stop her. She blindsided me. Angel was gone before I knew what happened."

"Even if she is alive, we can still protect Angel," Giles said.

'You maybe,' Xander thought, 'I'd rather let that crazy bitch have him.'

"Dreams aren't prophecies, Buffy," Giles explained, "You dreamt that the Master had risen, but you stopped it from happening."

"Actually," Xander began, "it did happen. Buffy was the one that had let him get free of his underground prison."

"But if it wasn't for Angel," Buffy said, "I'd still be dead."

"No," Xander argued, "if it weren't for me, you'd still be dead. I was the one who had to threaten Angel to take me down to the Master's layer, and I was the one who gave you CPR, not Dead Boy."

"First, don't ever call *Angel* that NAME again," Buffy spat, "and second, stop being jealous of Angel for being better at everything than you."

"You know what?" Xander glared at Buffy, "I don't have to take this crap from you. I'm leaving."

Xander span around, and walked out of the library.

"Good riddance," Buffy yelled.

"Buffy, you were a bit harsh on Xander," Giles said.

"Whatever," Buffy quickly got back to the subject of Angel, "We're one step ahead of Drusilla, but I wanna stay that way."

"Fine," Giles answered, "I'll read up on Drusilla and see if she has any particular patterns. Meet me here at 7:00 so we can map out a strategy."

"What am I supposed to do until then?" Buffy asked.

"What do you think Buffy?" Giles imparted.

"What?" Buffy asked, as Giles retreated into his office.

"Go to classes, do your homework, have supper?" Willow pointed out.

"Right," Buffy got the clues, "Be *that* Buffy."

Both Willow and Buffy got up from the table and headed out of the library.


Buffy came back to the school a little late from the appointed time Giles had given her. She was making her way down a hall that lead to the library, when Jenny Calendar saw her.

"Buffy," Jenny said.

Buffy span around, clearly startled by Jenny.

"Oh, my God," Buffy gasped, "I didn't see you there."

"Sorry," Jenny halfheartedly apologized, "um, Giles wanted me to tell you that there's been a change of plans. He wants to meet you someplace near his house 'cause he had to run home to get a book or something."

"'Cause heaven knows there aren't enough books in the library," Buffy said, sarcastically.

"Uh, he's..." Jenny stumbled, "very thorough."

"Oh," Buffy tried to apologize as quick as she could, "which is not to bag. It's kind of manly in an obsessive-compulsive kind of way, don't you think?"

"Um, you know, my car's here," Jenny said, "why don't I drive you?"

"Okay," Buffy replied.

Buffy began her walk to the parking lot. Jenny watched her go for a few seconds before she followed.


Jenny slowly moved her Volkswagon Beetle down an alley just outside the Bronze. Buffy quitely sat in the passenger seat looking outside.

"Are we goin' to the Bronze?" Buffy asked.

"I'm not sure," Jenny answered, "Giles gave me an address. I'm just following his directions."

Buffy saw some movement in the shadows as Jenny rounded a corner.

"This looks funky," Buffy said, "stop for a sec."

They saw a truck parked in a loading area. A man jumped off the truck bed while another walks across the loading dock.

"No, Buffy," Jenny said, "maybe you shouldn't."

"Sorry," Buffy apologized, "sacred duty, yada yada yada."

Buffy got out of the car and went to investigate.

Jenny sighed. Things were not going her way tonight.

"What's this?" Jenny leaned her head on her hand as she saw something that was loaded on the truck bed.

"Every time I see you, you're stealing something," Buffy said, as she saw Dalton, a vampire from two nights ago, "you really should speak with someone about this klepto issue."


Angel peeked out from behind a pillar and looked around the Bronze. Giles had rented the nightclub for the evening, for Buffy's surprise party.

"Where is she?" Angel asked.

The others peeked out from behind the pool table and look up at him.

"Shhh," Willow shushed the vampire, "I think I hear her coming."

They heard a fight going on from outside. The gang looked towards one of the windows just as Buffy and a vampire came crashing through and hit the floor hard. Everyone got up to look. Buffy scrambled to her feet and kicked the vamp as he came at her. He stumbled back and the others came closer to watch the fight. Buffy grabbed a drumstick from the drum set that was on stage, span around with it, thrusted it into the vamp's chest and pulled it back out.

The vamp exploded into ashes, as Oz watched in astonishment.

"Surprise!" Cordelia yelled as she jumped from behind the pool table with her arms raised high.

The others just look at her.

"That pretty much sums it up," Oz commented.

Buffy hopped down from the stage. Angel walked over to her, while Cordelia lowered her arms.

"Buffy, are you okay?" Angel asked.

"What happened?" Giles asked, walking up to Buffy.

"Uh, there were these vamps out..." Buffy began, before she started looking around the club, "what's going on?"

"Oh, um..." Giles stuttered, "a surprise party."

"Happy Birthday," Cordelia chimed in.

"You guys did all this for me?" Buffy said, as she faced Angel, "that's so sweet."

"You sure you're okay?" Angel asked.

"Yes," Buffy assured Angel, "I'm fine."

"Are you okay?" Willow asked Oz.

"Yeah," Oz replied, still staring at the same spot where Buffy had killed the vamp, "hey, did everybody see that guy just turn to dust?"

"Uh, well, uh... sort of," Willow stammered to come up with a suitable lie.

"Vampires are real," Cordelia said from beside them, "a lot of them live in Sunnydale. Willow will fill you in."

"I know it's hard to accept at first," Willow babbled.

"Actually, it explains a *lot*," Oz replied.

Buffy looked around the club.

"Where's Xander?" Buffy asked.

"He chose not to attend the party," Giles replied.

Buffy was hurt, but hide it from the others to see.

Jenny came into the Bronze carrying a heavy box.

"Hey, can somebody give me a hand here?" Jenny pleaded.

Angel and Giles took the box from her and placed it on one of the tables.

"Those creeps left this behind," Jenny said, as they all stared at the box.

"What is it?" Buffy asked.

"I have no idea," Giles replied, "can, can it be opened?"

"Yeah," Buffy answered, "This looks like a release right here."

Buffy worked the latch and opened the box. Inside they saw an arm covered in armor. Buffy looked over at Giles in disgust. Suddenly the arm jumped up, grabbing Buffy by her throat and began choking her.

Angel dashed forward and tried to pull the arm off of Buffy. Between the two of them they were able to get it off, Angel stuffs it back into the box while Buffy stepped back and tried to catch her breath. Giles slammed the lid shut.

"Good heavens," Giles gasped, "Buffy, are you all right?"

"Man, that thing had major grip," Buffy rasped, as she massaged her throat.

"What was that?" Willow asked.

"It looked like an arm," Oz replied.

Which earned a smirk from Giles, that no one saw.

"It can't be," Angel muttered, "She wouldn't."

"Angel?" Buffy whispered.

"It's a legend," Angel began to explain, "way before my time... of a demon brought forth to rid the Earth of the plague of humanity... separate the righteous from the wicked... and to burn the righteous down. They call him the Judge."

"The Judge? This is he?" Giles asked.

"Not all of him," Angel replied.

"Um, still needing backstory here," Buffy said, as she raised an arm.

"Um..." Giles thought for a moment, "he... he couldn't be killed, yes? Um, a-an army was sent against him. Most of them died... but, uh, finally they were able to dismember him, but, uh... not kill him."

"The pieces were scattered," Angel continued where Giles left off, "buried in every corner of the Earth."

"So all these parts are being brought here," Jenny said.

"By Drusilla," Buffy said, "the vamps outside were Spike's men."

"She's just crazy enough to do it," Angel informed.

"Do what, reassemble the Judge?" Willow asked.

"And bring forth Armageddon," Angel announced.

"Is anybody else gonna have cake?" Cordelia asked, as she went to the pool table.

"We need to get this out of town," Giles advised.

Jenny found her opening to separate the Slayer and Vampire.

"Angel," Jenny said.

"What?" Buffy asked. Hoping that Jenny wasn't going to send Angel away with the arm.

"You have to do it," Jenny said, "you're the only one that can protect this thing."

"What about me?" Buffy asked.

"What, you're just gonna skip town for a few months?" Jenny retorted.

"MONTHS?" Buffy barked out.

"She's right," Angel replied, "I gotta get this to the remotest region possible."

"But that's not months," Buffy whined.

"I gotta catch a cargo ship to Asia, maybe trek to Nepal..." Angel trailed off.

If gave away too much information, Spike and Dru would be able to get the info from them, and find the arm again.

"You know, those newfangled flying machines really are much safer than they used to be," Buffy informed.

"I can't fly. There's no sure way to guard against the daylight," Angel explained, "I-I... I don't like this any more than you do, Buffy. But there's no other choice."

"When?" Buffy asked.

"Tonight," Angel replied, "as soon as possible."

"But it's my birthday," Buffy argued.

"I'll drive you to the docks," Jenny said.


Buffy and Angel make their way to a ship. Angel carrying the box on his shoulder. They walk arm in arm. Buffy leans into him, and he kisses her on the head. When they reach the gangplank Angel sets the box down. They take a few steps away from the box.

"I should go the rest of the way alone," Angel said.

"Okay," Buffy murmured.

"But I'll be back, I will," Angel promised.

"When?" Buffy asked, "six months, a year? You don't know how long it's gonna take or if we'll even..."

Buffy trailed off as she looked down.

"Hey..." Angel whispered, he raised her chin, "if we'll even what?"

Angel could see the tears in her eyes.

"Well, if you haven't noticed, someone pretty much always wants us dead," Buffy replied.

"Don't say that," Angel uttered, "we'll be fine."

"We don't know that," Buffy argued.

"We can't know, Buffy," Angel replied, "nobody can. That's just the deal."

Angel reached into his pocket.

"I have something for you," Angel said, "for your birthday. I... I was gonna give it to you earlier, but..."

Angel showed her a ring with an intricate design.

"It's beautiful," Buffy whispered.

"My people," Angel began, "before I was changed, they exchanged this as a sign of devotion. It's a claddagh ring. The hands represent friendship, the crown represents loyalty... and the heart... well, you know... wear it with the heart pointing towards you. It means you belong to somebody. Like this."

He shows her his own ring on his finger. She touches his hand, leans over and kisses the ring.

"Put it on," Angel said.

Angel took the ring from her and slipped it onto her finger.

"I don't wanna do this," Buffy cried.

"Me either," Angel replied.

"So don't go," Buffy argued.

They kiss. She put her arms around him. After several kisses they stop and look at each other.

"Angel: Buffy... I..."

Two vampires suddenly jumped at them from some cargo netting. One pulled Buffy off of Angel and threw her away. The other began to fight with Angel. Buffy rolled to her feet. The vampire threw a punch at her, but missed. She grabbed him and started pummeling his gut. Angel flipped the other one over onto his back. He got back up, and Angel swung at him three times, but he blocks all of them. Angel's next punch lands on the vampire's face. Buffy ducked a swing, jumps up onto the dock railing and kicks her vamp in the chest with both feet, sending him staggering back into the gangplank. She gave chase and grabbed him by the back of his shirt and hair. He growled. Dalton dropped out of the cargo netting, ran over to the box, grabbed it and started running.

"Angel!" Buffy yelled, "the box!"

Angel ducked a roundhouse kick, grabbing the vampire's arm and flipped him over onto his back. Angel ran after Dalton and tackled him to the deck. Buffy's attacker shook free of her and shoved her into a stack of crates. He followed up with a roundhouse kick, but she ducked it and he hit the crates. She made a grab for him, but he punched her in the face. Angel, ready to punch Dalton, got distracted when the vampire he was fighting before grabbed the box and made a run for it. Buffy's opponent grabbed her by the jacket and roared as he swung her around, over the railing and into the water. Angel saw her go flying.

"Buffy!" Angel screamed.

Angel jumped over the railing and into the water after her.


Giles was researching the Judge. He looked up from his books.

"They should be back by now," Giles said.

"Maybe Buffy needed a few minutes to pull herself together," Willow vocalized, "poor Buffy, on her birthday and everything."

"Yeah, sad, whatever," Xander replied, not even bothering from looking away from the book he was reading.

Willow was a little hurt from Xander's rude reply. Buffy's in pain, and all they could do was argue with each other.

"Buffy..." Willow saw Buffy enter the library.

Xander looked up for a moment, before returning to the book.

"What happened?" Giles asked, standing up and walking over to Buffy.

"Dru's guys ambushed us," Buffy confessed, "they got the box."

"Where's Jenny?" Giles asked.

"Uh, she took Angel to get clothing," Buffy replied, "I, I had some here."

Xander quirked an eyebrow at Buffy, before returning his attention back to the book in his hands.

"And you needed clothes because..." Giles trailed off.

"We got wet," Buffy answered, "Giles, what do we know?"

"The more I study the Judge, the less I like him.," Giles commented, "his touch can literally burn the humanity out of you. A true creature of evil can survive the process. No human ever has.

"What's the problem?" Xander asked, "we send Cordy to fight this guy, and we go for pizza."

Buffy ignored Xander's comment.

"Can this guy be stopped?" Buffy asked, "without an army?"

"Um," Giles paused before reading from the book he had, "'no weapon forged can kill him.' Not very encouraging. If we could only stop them from assembling him."

"We need to find his weak spots," Buffy said, "and we need to figure out where they'd be keeping him."

"This could take time," Giles advised.

"Better do a round robin," Willow suggested, "Xander, you go first."

"Good call," Buffy said.

Xander headed for the phone. But it rang before he had a chance to make his call.

"Round robin?" Giles asked.

"It's when everybody calls everybody else's mom and tells them they're staying at everyone's house," Willow replied.

"Thus freeing us up for world savage," Buffy added.

"And all-night keggers," Willow said, with a smile on her face.

She got looks from Buffy and Giles.

"What, only Xander gets to make dumb jokes?" Willow asked.

Xander hung up the phone before heading towards the doors to the library.

"Where do you think you're going?" Buffy asked, when she saw Xander leaving the library.

"Out," Xander replied, before leaving the library, with Buffy glaring at his retreating back.


"Why in the hell did you bring Dawn here, Xander?" Buffy yelled.

"Your mom call, Buffy," Xander yelled back, "she said you were supposed to take care of Dawn while she was working. And when she found out that Dawn was at home by herself, she called over here to yell at you. When I answered, she asked me if I would watch her until she got home. That's why I brought her here."

Buffy gave Xander her 'death glare', as he walked away from her and sat down at the table, next to her little sister Dawn.


The research was still going. Books were littered across the table and floor.

"Tsk," Xander vented, "I think I read this already."

Giles walked out into the main room.

"Angel? Any luck?" Giles asked.

Angel came down out of the stacks. Giles saw Buffy asleep in his office and holds up his hand to silence Angel. He follows Giles' gaze into the office.

They see Buffy with her head down on the desk. He waves for Angel to follow him.

"Seems Buffy needed some rest," Giles whispered.

"Yeah," Angel replied, "she hasn't been sleeping well. Tossing and turning."

Everyone turned to look at him.

"She told me," Angel explained, "because of her dreams?"

They all go back to their tasks.


Buffy walks into Spike's warehouse, looking at the party decorations. All around, candles on tall sticks, have burned way down. She goes to the table and walks around it. On the other side she sees Jenny walking the other way. She's confused about that, but gets distracted by several boxes sitting on the floor and goes over to them.

"Now, now," a female voice said from behind her.

Buffy span around to see Drusilla on the upper level holding Angel in front of her.

"Hands off my presents," Dru warned Buffy.

She put a sharp blade to Angel's neck.

"No!" Buffy screamed.


Buffy wakes from her nightmare with a start.

"Angel!" Buffy called out.

"Buffy," Angel said, "it's okay."

Buffy turned to him.

"I'm here," Angel uttered.

Buffy hugged him close.

"I'm right here," Angel whispered to her.


Drusilla looked up at the Judge.

"Goll..." Drusilla whispered, in total amazement.

The Judge stepped out of his box, with a little difficulty in keeping his balance. He pointed at Drusilla.

"You!" the Judge called out.

Spike rolled over to him in Dru's defense.

"Ho, ho, ho," Spike began, "what's that, mate?"

"You two stink of humanity," the Judge growled, "you share affection and jealousy."

"Yeah. What of it?" Spike asked, "do I have to remind you that we're the ones who brought you here?"

"Would you like a party favor?" Dru asked, offering one of the other vamps as food, with a big smile on her face.

The Judge looked at the party guests. His gaze settled on Dalton.

"This one is full of feeling," the Judge said, "he reads, bring him to me."

Another vampire grabbed Dalton to keep him from running away.

"What's with the bringing?" Spike inquired, "I thought you could just zap people."

"My full strength will return in time," the Judge admitted, "until then... I need contact."

The Judge stepped over to Dalton.

"No. No! NO!" Dalton screamed.

The Judge put his hand on Dalton's chest, and he began to smoke. Drusilla watched excitedly. The Judge's hand burned into Dalton, who quickly combusted, disappearing in a flash of flame and smoke.

"Do it again! Do it again!" Drusilla cheered as she clapped her hands.

She smiled down at Spike. The Judge smiled as he felt his power begin to return.


Buffy came striding out of the cage, with Angel following her out. Giles looked down at them from the stacks.

"Buffy, what's happening?" Giles asked.

"She had another dream," Angel replied.

"I think I know where Spike and Drusilla are," Buffy added.

Giles came down the stairs, walking towards them.

"That's very good, however, you, you do need a plan. I-I know you're concerned, Buffy, but you can't just go off half-cocked."

"I have a plan," Buffy said, "Angel and I go to the factory and do recon, figure out how far they've gotten assembling the Judge. You guys check any places the boxes could be coming into town. Shipping yards, airports, anything. We need to stop them from getting all the boxes in one place."

"Yes. Yes, well, um," Giles stammered, "actually, that's quite a good plan."

"This thing is nasty," Buffy said, "and it's real, Giles. We can't wait for it to come get us."

"Right," Giles responded.

Buffy grabbed her bag, and she and Angel made tracks for the door.


Buffy and Angel sneaked quietly along the upper level. They look down at the party going on below. They walk to the railing.

"I saw this," Buffy whispered, "the party."

They see the Judge walk into view flanked by Spike with Drusilla. The Judge stopped, sensing something.

"What?" Spike asked, "what is it?"

The Judge looked around, then up at Buffy and Angel, and growled.

"We gotta get outta here," Angel said.

They try to make a run for it, but several vamps head them off on both sides. They get captured, and taken down to face the Judge.

Buffy and Angel are brought before Spike, Drusilla and the Judge.

"Well, well," Spike announced, "look what we have here. Crashers."

"I'm sure our invitations just got lost in the mail," Buffy retorted.

"It's delicious," Dru uttered, licking her fingers, then she spoke to Angel, "I only dreamed you'd come."

Then she growled in his face.

Angel tried to struggle free.

"Leave her alone," Angel yelled at Spike and Dru.

"Yeah, that'll work," Spike said, sarcastically, "now say 'pretty please'."

"The girl," the Judge ordered.

"Chilling, isn't it?" Dru whispered, "she's so full of good intention."

Angel broke away from the vamps that were holding him and got between the Judge and Buffy.

"Take me!" Angel offered.

"No!" Buffy yelled.

"Take me instead of her!" Angel pleaded.

Spike raised his hand and got their attention.

"Uh, you're not clear on the concept, pal," Spike stated, "there is no instead. Just first and second."

"And if you go first," Dru began, "you don't get to watch the Slayer die."

Angel's captors pull him back again. The Judge reached for Buffy. Angel looked up and around for a way out of this. Drusilla wrapped her arms around Spike and smiled. Angel caught sight of the chains holding up Spike's video monitors. Then he saw Buffy getting ready to defend herself.

"Don't touch him!" Angel yelled to Buffy.

Buffy kicked the Judge in the chest and knocked him back. Angel shook off his captors and lunged for the chains. The Judge came to a stop beneath the monitors, and Angel released them. They came crashing to the floor on top of the Judge, hard enough to knock a hole in the floor. Buffy struggled free as well, and ran to Angel. She saw the hole in the floor.

"This way," Buffy said.

They go to the hole, and Buffy jumped down into the sewers below.

Buffy rolled away from the hole, and Angel dropped down behind her. They get to their feet and start down the tunnels.

Drusilla gave orders to the other vamps to pursue Buffy and Angel.

Two vamps gave chase.

Buffy and Angel pulled a door closed behind them as their two pursuers drop through the hole and start after them. They heard their pursuers walk past their door and down the tunnel. Buffy opened the door and checked to see if the coast was clear. Seeing no one she stepped over to a nearby ladder and started climbing up.

Buffy lifted the manhole cover up, pushed it aside and quickly climbed out into the pouring rain. Angel followed right behind.

"Come on," Angel said, "we need to get inside."


Angel opened the door to his small apartment, and they walked in. He turned on the lights. Buffy closed the door behind them. Angel took off his heavy coat and laid it aside. Buffy, on the other hand, was soaked through to her skin without a coat or jacket.

"You're shaking like a leaf," Angel stated.

"Cold," Buffy stuttered.

"Let me get you something," Angel said.

He got a few things from his armoire and handed them to her.

"Put these on," Angel told her, "get under the covers, just to warm up."

Buffy walked over to his bed and sat down. She looked up at him.

Angel got the hint she was quitely giving him and faced away to give her privacy.

"Sorry," Angel apologized.

Buffy took off her top shirt and winced in pain.

"What?" Angel asked.

"Oh, um..." Buffy sputtered, "it's okay. I just have a cut or something."

"Can I..." Angel tried to ask, "lemme see."

Buffy clutched her shirt to her chest.

"Okay," Buffy whispered.

Angel turned around and sat down on the bed behind her. He gently touched her back and looked at the cut.

"It's already closed," Angel said, "you're fine."

Buffy leaned back into him and cuddled her face to his. He put his arms around her.

"You almost went away today," Buffy whispered.

"We both did," Angel replied.

Buffy began to cry.

"Angel..." Buffy sobbed, "I feel like I lost you... You're right, though. We can't be sure of anything."

"Shhh. I..." Angel trailed off.

She turned around to look at him.

"You what?" Buffy asked.

"I love you," Angel admitted, "I try not to, but I can't stop."

"Me, me, too," Buffy replied, "I can't either."

They start to kiss. But after a moment Angel breaks off.

"Buffy, maybe we shouldn't..." Angel said.

"Don't," Buffy whispered "just kiss me."


Angel and Buffy were both asleep in bed. Outside lightning striked, and Angel woke with a start and gasped for air as he sat up.

"Ahh!" Angel groaned.

He got up from the bed and ran off.

Angel got dressed and crashed through the door into the rain. He stumbled over some trash cans and fell to the pavement. He cried out in pain and fear.

"Buffy," Angel gasped.

In the apartment Buffy stirred slightly but kept sleeping.

"Buffyyyyy!" Angel gave one final yell.

Chapter 4

The Judge knelt in a corner facing a bunch of storage racks. Spike wheeled himself about twenty feet from him. He pushed himself a few feet closer and then turned around.

"I'm not happy, pet," Spike complained, "Angel and the Slayer are still alive. They know where we are, they know about the Judge. We should be vacating."

Drusilla walked up to him and took his hand.

"Nonsense," Drusilla replied, "they'll not disturb us here. My Angel's too smart to face the Judge again."

Spike glanced over his shoulder.

"What's Big Blue up to anyway?" Spike asked, "he just sits there."

"I am preparing," the Judge answered.

Spike rolled his eyes at the Judge, turned and wheeled over to him.

"Yeah," Spike retorted, "it's interesting to me that 'preparing' looks a great bit like sitting on your ass. When do we destroy the world already?"

"My strength grows," the Judge informed, "and with every life I take it will increase further."

"So let's take some," Spike growled, "I'm bored."

Drusilla started moaning.

"Dru?" Spike called out.

Drusilla collapsed to the floor and began to crying.

"Angel..." Drusilla moaned.

"Dru?" Spike called out again, before rolling to her, "what is it? Dru!"

"Darling..." Spike said, "do you see something?"

Her crying gave way to an evil smile.


Xander walked into the library. Giles looked up at him.

"Well," Xander began, "the bus depot was a total washout. And may I say what a lovely place to spend the night. What a vibrant cross-section of Americana."

Jenny and Willow looked at him with concern. Cordelia, who was sitting on the counter, also looked worried.

"No vampires transporting boxes?" Giles asked.

"No," Xander replied, "but a four-hundred-pound wino offered to wash Dawn's hair. I had to take Dawn home. I doubt Mrs. Summers would ever let me baby sit Dawn any more if she ever found out I took Dawn to the bus depot last night. What's up? Where's Buffy?"

"She never checked in," Willow replied.

"If the bus depot is as empty as the... docks and the airport..." Giles imparted.

"Do you think this Judge guy's already been assembled?" Xander asked.

"Yes," Giles answered.

"Okay, we gotta find 'em," Xander stated, "um, we gotta go to that place, that, uh, that factory. That's where they're holed up, right? Let's go."

"And do what?" Cordelia asked, "besides be afraid and die."

"Well, nobody's asking you to go, Cordy," Xander shot back.

"Cordelia has a point," Giles interrupted, "now, i-i-if Buffy and Angel were, were... harmed, then we don't stand to fare much better."

"Yeah?" Xander spat, "well then, what should we do, huh? Just sit on our asses while this thing goes around killing people and gettin' stronger, or waste more precious time on research that has been oh so helpful?"

"Xander," Jenny tried to interrupt.

"No," Xander snarled, "Giles, you gave us a speech about the danger our lives would be in if we helped you and Buffy, when we had found out she was the Slayer..."

Just then Buffy entered into the library.

"Buffy," Willow shouted.

"Where's Angel?" Jenny asked.

"He didn't check in with you guys?" Buffy countered.

"No," Giles replied.

"What happened?" Cordelia asked.

"The Judge, i-is he..." Giles inquired.

"No assembly required," Buffy replied, "he's active."

"Oh, damn it," Giles whispered.

"He nearly killed us," Buffy announced, "Angel got us out."

"Why didn't you call?" Giles asked, "we, we, we thought..."

"Well, we, we had to hide," Buffy informed, "uh, we got stuck in the sewer tunnels, and with the hiding, we just split up... Uh, no one's heard from him?"

"I'm sure he'll come by," Willow assured.

"Yeah," Buffy agreed, "I'm, I'm sure you're right."

"Buffy," Giles interrupted, "the Judge, we, we must stop him."

"I know," Buffy replied.

"What can you tell us?" Giles asked.

"Not much," Buffy answered, "I, um... I kicked him. It was just like a sudden fever. If he'd got his hands on me..."

"In time, he won't need to," Giles informed, "the stronger he gets, he'll be able to reduce us to charcoal with a look."

"Also, not the prettiest man in town," Buffy remarked.

"I better continue researching," Giles responded, "must look for a weak spot. The rest of you should get to your classes."

"Yeah, I better go, too," Jenny said, "I'll, uh, go on the 'Net and search for anything on the Judge."

"Thank you," Giles replied.

"After classes I'll come back and help you research," Xander said.

"Yeah, you might find something useful if it's in an 'I Can Read' book," Cordelia retorted.

Xander glared at her.


Drusilla was laid out on her back on the big table when Spike wheeled himself around to her. She looked up at the ceiling blissfully.

"Are we feeling better, then?" Spike asked.

"I'm naming all the stars," Drusilla sighed.

"You can't see the stars, love," Spike replied, "that's the ceiling. Also, it's day."

"I can see them," Drusilla said, "but I've named them all the same name. And there's terrible confusion."

"Did you see any further?" Spike asked, "do you know what happens to Angel?"

Angel appeared at the side door.

"Well," Angel cleared his throat, "he moves to New York and tries to fulfill that Broadway dream. It's tough sledding, but one day he's working in the chorus when the big star twists her ankle."

"You don't give up, do you?" Spike growled.

"As long as there's injustice in the world," Angel quoted, "as long as scum like you is walking... well, rolling the streets... I'll be around. Look over your shoulder. I'll be there."

"Uh, yeah," Spike replied, "Angel, um... look over *your* shoulder."

Angel turned around, and the Judge put his hand on Angel's chest.

"Hurts, doesn't it?" Spike asked.

"Well, you know, it kinda itches a little," Angel replied.

"Don't just stand there," Spike ordered, "burn him."

"Gee, maybe he's broken," Angel uttered.

"What the hell is going on?" Spike yelled.

Drusilla realizes what this meant.

"This one..." the Judge replied, "cannot be burnt. He is clean."

"Clean?" Spike questioned, "you mean, he's..."

"There's no humanity in him," the Judge stated.

The Judge turned away and left.

"I couldn't have said it better myself," Angelus replied.

"Angel," Drusilla whispered.

"Yeah, baby," Angelus answered, "I'm back."

"Is it really true?" Spike asked.

"It's really true," Angelus admitted, he walked around the large table in the room.

"You've come home," Drusilla said.

"No more of this 'I've got a soul' crap?" Spike asked.

"What can I say, hmm?" Angelus replied, he stroked a match on the table and lit a cigarette, "I was going through a phase."

"This is great," Spike announced, "this is so great!"

Drusilla got on top of the table and started waving her arms.

"Everything in my head is singing," Drusilla babbled, "we're family again. We'll feed. And we'll play."

"I've got to tell you," Spike said, "it made me sick to my stomach seeing you being the Slayer's lap dog."

Angelus growled and grabbed Spike by his shirt. Then he kissed him on the forehead and stepped back. Spike busted up laughing. Angelus and Drusilla join in.

"How did this happen?" Drusilla asked.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," Angelus replied.

"Oh, who cares?" Spike said, "what matters is now he's back! Now it's four against one, which are the kind of odds I like to play."

"Psst," Drusilla whispered, "we're going to destroy the world. Want to come?"

"Yeah," Angelus answered, "destroying the world. Great. I'm really more interested in the Slayer."

"Well," Spike began, "she's *in* the world, so that should work out."

"Give me tonight, hmm?" Angelus asked.

"What do you mean?" Spike questioned.

"Lay low for a night," Angelus answered, "I guarantee you by the time you go public she won't be anything resembling a threat."

"You've really got a yen to hurt this girl," Spike said, "haven't you?"

"She made me feel like a human being," Angelus replied, "that's not the kind of thing you just forgive."


Cordelia walked by the counter looking through a book. Xander is lying on top of the counter, also studying a book. Dawn was sitting at the table looking as bored as usual. Giles is in his office reading through yet another book. Willow is on the phone with Buffy.

"Ok," Willow spoke into the phone with Buffy, "no, no, he didn't, but I'm sure he'll... Well, Buffy, he probably has some plan, and he's trying to protect you. Well, I-I don't know what. I'm not in on the plan. It's his plan. No. Don't even say that! Angel is not dead."

Xander still couldn't believe how long Buffy could go on for hours just talking about Dead Boy.

"Yeah," Willow said, "of course we'll be here. Okay, bye."

"What's the word?" Xander asked.

"She's checked every place she can think of," Willow answered, "she even beat up Willy the snitch a couple of times. Angel's vanished."

Giles stood in the doorway to his office.

"But he does do that on occasion, no?" Giles asked.

"Oh, yeah," Willow replied, "but she's extra wigged this time. I guess 'cause of her dreams. God, what if something really happened to him?"

"Is she gonna join us here?" Giles asked.

"Yeah," Willow answered, "she's just stopping at home first."

Xander slammed his book shut and jumped off of the counter.

"Nada," Xander said.

He headed for the stacks with book in hand. Xander found Cordelia on his way to return the book to its place on the shelves."

"Did you find anything?" Xander asked as he puts the book on the shelf.

"This book mentions the Judge," Cordelia replied, "but nothing useful. Big, scary, no weapon forged can stop him, took an army to take him down. Blah, blah, blah."

"We need some insight," Xander said, "a weak spot."

"Well," Cordelia began, "we're not gonna find it here."

She shelved her book as Xander came over to her. Cordelia turned to face him.

"Sorry I snapped at you before," Xander apologized.

"Well, I'm reeling from that new experience," Cordelia said, sarcastically.

"I was crazed," Xander explained, "I wasn't thinking."

"I know," Cordelia replied, "you were too busy rushing off to die for your beloved Buffy. You'd never die for me."

"Well, if you haven't noticed lately," Xander began, "I've been more in the mood to kill Buffy than to die for her. Does that get me any points?"

"Maybe," Cordelia replied.

"Come on," Xander begged, "can't we just kiss and make up?"

"I don't wanna make up," Cordelia replied, "but I'm okay with the other part."

Xander smiled and drew in to kiss her. Cordelia giggled and had a big smile on her face when they pulled apart. They both turned to see Willow standing behind them, completely confused and upset.

"Willow, uh..." Xander stammered.

Willow ran off not wanting to stay there a moment longer. Xander ran after her.

"We were just..." Xander tried to explain, "Willow! Willow!"

Willow ran out of the library, and into the hall. With Xander right behind her.

"Willow," Xander begged, "come on!"

Willow stopped running and confronted him, shaking her finger.

"I knew it," Willow admitted, "I knew it! Well, not 'knew it' in the sense of having the slightest idea, but I knew there was something I didn't know. You two were fighting way too much. It's not natural!"

"I know it's weird..." Xander began.

"Weird?" Willow interrupted, "it's against all laws of God and Man! It's Cordelia! Remember? The, the 'We Hate Cordelia' club, of which you are the treasurer."

Cordelia decided to go after Willow and Xander, to explain to Willow what was going on between them, 'cause who knew what Xander was telling his best friend. But when she got to the door, Cordelia stopped, listening in on their conversation instead.

"Look, I was gonna tell you," Xander claimed.

"Gee, what stopped you?" Willow asked, "could it be shame?"

"Listen to me," Xander asserted himself, "I know it's weird, especially since me and Cordy hate each other so much. But for the first time since last year, I'm not hanging off of Buffy's every word, and trying my hardest to get her to notice me as more than a friend."

"But I'm..." Willow began.

"Willow," Xander began, "as crazy as it sounds, I'm starting to feel something for Cordy. She makes me... I don't know, uh... happy I guess. And the arguing, I don't know if we're arguing as much as we used to or less or more, but whenever we're alone together we don't even think about anything else. And if you can't be happy that I finally found someone that isn't trying to kill me in the literal sense, then it ain't my problem to deal with."

Xander turned and walked back into the library, not knowing Cordelia had just heard his speech to Willow, leaving Willow just standing there to consider his words.


Enyos loved his niece very much. But there were some things that she just did not comprehend.

"You know what it is, this thing vengeance?" Enyos asked.

"Uncle," Jenny began, "I have served you. I have been faithful. I need to know..."

"To the modern man vengeance is a verb," Enyos interrupted, "an idea. Payback. One thing for another. Like commerce. Not with us. Vengeance is a living thing. It passes through generations. It commands. It kills."

"You told me to watch Angel," Jenny said, "you told me to keep him from the Slayer. I tried. But there are other factors. There are terrible things happening here that we cannot control."

"We control nothing," Enyos stated, "we are not wizards, Janna. We merely play our part."

"Angel could be of help to us," Jenny advised, "I mean, he may be the only chance we have to stop the Judge."

"It is too late for that," Enyos announced.

"Why?" Jenny asked.

"The curse," Enyos answered, "Angel is meant to suffer, not to live as human. One moment of true happiness, of contentment, one moment where the soul that we restored no longer plagues his thoughts, and that soul is taken from him."

"Then, if somehow," Jenny muttered, "if... if it's happened... then Angelus is back."

"I hoped to stop it," Enyos admitted, "but I realize now it was arranged to be so."

"Buffy loves him," Jenny stated.

"And now she will have to kill him," Enyos returned.

"Unless he kills her first," Jenny added, "Uncle, this is insanity! People are going to die."

"Yes," Enyos replied, "it is not justice we serve. It is vengeance."

Jenny huffed before she grabbed her coat and bag.

"You are a fool," Jenny barked, "We're all fools."

Enyos watched as his niece, Janna Kalderash, left and shook his head.


Xander came out of the bathroom to see Cordelia standing out in the hall waiting for him.

"Cordy," Xander greeted.

"Hey," Cordelia returned.

"So, have y'all found anything in the last, uh..." Xander paused to look at his watch, "three minutes I've been gone? Where do we stand with the Judge?"

"On a pile of really old and boring books that say exactly the same thing," Cordelia replied.

"No weapon forged?" Xander quoted.

"Took an army," Cordelia continued.

"Yeah," Xander retorted, "where's an army when you need one?"

Xander paused for a moment, deep in thought.

"Whoa, whoa," Xander began to babble, "I... I think I'm having a thought. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's a thought. Now I think I'm having a plan."

The lights suddenly go out.

"Now I think I'm having a wiggins," Xander lost track of his thoughts, due to his sudden sense of fear.

"What's going on?" Cordelia asked.

"Let's get to the library," Xander replied.

"Cordelia," Angelus called out, "Xander."

They both turned to look.

"Angel," Xander returned.

"Thank God you're okay," Cordelia said, "Buffy just wouldn't shut up about what kind of danger you were probably in."

"What's up with the lights?" Angelus asked, changing subjects.

"I don't know," Xander replied, "listen, I think I have an idea..."

"Forget about that now," Angelus interrupted, "I... I got something to show you."

"Show us?" Cordelia asked.

"Yeah," Angelus answered, "Xander, go get the others."

"Okay," Xander said, as he started running.

"And Cordelia," Angelus said, "come here."

Cordelia slowly started walking toward him.

"What is it, Angel?" Cordelia asked.

"It's amazing," Angelus claimed.

Xander was running for the library, he suddenly stopped and turned around, sensing something was different about Angel.

Jenny appeared in the hall opposite Angelus holding up a cross.

"Cordelia, get away from him," Jenny barked.

"What?" Cordelia asked.

"Walk to me," Jenny replied.

"What are you talking about?" Cordelia asked, "it's Ang..."

Angelus snuck up behind her and grabbed her by the throat. Cordelia let out a frightened yelp. Xander came running through the door from the

other hall.

"Don't do that," Xander growled.

"Oh, I think I do that," Angelus replied.

"Angel..." Cordelia begged.

"He's not Angel anymore," Jenny announced, "are you?"

"Wrong," Angelus replied, "I *am* Angel. At last!"

"Oh, my God," Xander whispered.

"I got a message for Buffy," Angelus said.

Buffy appeared behind him.

"Why don't you give it to me yourself?" Buffy asked.

Angelus spun around, still holding Cordelia, to face her.

"Well," Angelus began, "it's not really the kind of message you tell. It sort of involves finding the bodies of all your friends."

He tightened his grip on Cordelia even more as she let out another pained yelp.

"This can't be you," Buffy exclaimed.

"Gee," Angelus replied sarcastically, "we already covered that subject."

"Angel," Buffy begged, "there must be some part of you inside that still remembers who you are."

"Dream on, schoolgirl," Angelus countered.

Xander took the cross from Jenny's hand as he started toward Angelus.

"Your boyfriend's dead," Angelus hissed, "you're all gonna join him."

"Leave Cordelia alone," Buffy said, "and deal with me."

"But she's so hot," Angelus replied as he slapped her on the ass, "and helpless."

Xander slowly got closer.

"Really a turn-on," Angelus continued.

Xander shoved the cross into Angelus' face from behind. He reeled back from the pain and dropped Cordelia. She cried out as she fell backwards into Xander, and they collapsed against the wall. Angelus turned to Jenny, who saw the scorched flesh in the shape of a cross on his right cheek, and warded her off with a hand as he started to back down the hall.

"You'll pay for that, Harris," Angelus growled.

"You ain't so pretty any more, are you Deadboy?" Xander retorted.

When Angelus reached Buffy he grabbed her by the shoulders. She gasped in fright.

"Things are about to get *very* interesting," Angelus whispered into her ear.

He kissed her, then shoved her into the wall, and backed out the door. Cordelia and Xander were standing up again.

"Buffy, you okay?" Jenny asked.

Buffy just stared at the door.

"Buffy," Jenny tried again.


Giles always paced whenever he was nervous or excited. Xander stood with Dawn right beside him, while Willow and Cordelia sat at the table. Jenny leaned against the shelves behind them.

"And we're absolutely certain that, that Angel has reverted to his former self?" Giles asked.

"Yeah," Xander replied, "uh, we're all certain. Anyone not feeling certain here?"

"He came here to kill us?" Willow asked.

"What are we gonna do?" Cordelia asked, completely ignoring Willow.

"I'm leaning towards blind panic myself," Giles answered.

"Rupert," Jenny said, "don't talk like that. The kids."

"I'm sorry," Giles apologized, "it's just that things are bad enough with the Judge here. Angel crossing over to the other side... I-I-I wasn't prepared for that."

"None of us were," Jenny replied.

Willow noticed Buffy sitting at the table on the other side from her. She was looking down trying to avoid everyone around her. Willow got up and walked up to her.

"Are you okay?" Willow asked.

Buffy just shook her head.

"Is there anything I can do?" Willow asked.

Buffy shook her head again.

"I should've known," Buffy said, "when I saw him at the house, he was different. The things he said..."

"What things?" Giles interrupted.

"It's private," Buffy stated.

"But you didn't know he had turned bad?" Jenny asked.

Buffy again just shook her head in response.

"If only we knew how it happened," Giles said.

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked.

"Well," Giles began, "something set it off. Some, some, uh, event must've triggered his transformation. Well, if anyone would know, Buffy, it-it should be you."

"I don't," Buffy replied.

"Well, did anything happen last night that, that might..." Giles was interrupted before he could finish asking his question.

"Giles, please," Buffy begged, "I can't."

"Buffy," Giles pleaded, "I'm sorry, but we can't afford to..."

"Giles," Buffy interrupted, "drop it."

"This is great," Cordelia huffed, "there's an unkillable demon in town, Angel's joined his team, the Slayer is a basket case... I'd say we've hit bottom."

"Dawn and I have a plan," Xander announced.

"Oh, no," Cordelia retorted, "here's a lower place."

Buffy had had enough of this.

"Cordelia, shut it," Buffy barked, "and Xander, save your breath, I don't want to hear your half-assed plan."

"I don't know what's up with Angel," Xander said, "but Dawn and I think we may have a way to deal with this Judge guy."

"Dawn is twelve-years-old Xander," Buffy replied, "what the hell does she know?"

Dawn's face turned red from both embarrassment and rage.

"Screw you Buffy," Dawn yelled before running out of the library.

Xander glared at the Slayer with cold eyes.

"Way to go Slayer," Xander said.

He started running after Dawn to make sure she didn't get hurt or killed.


Buffy entered her room and gently closed the door behind her. She sniffed as she unbuttoned her coat. She looked up and right at her cross necklace that Angel had given her the year before when she had first meet him. She looked back down at the ring on her hand that was a present from Angel for her birthday. She bursted into tears as she took the ring off of her hand. Buffy got into bed, clutching the ring, and crying uncontrollably. She fell asleep curled up in a ball with the claddagh ring in hand.


Buffy was lying in bed with Angel as they caressed each other. Buffy ran her hand down his back over his tattoo. They both have on their rings. Angel kissed her gently on the neck. Buffy held him with her ringed hand. She kissed his fingers. They moved under the sheets. He kissed her lips tenderly.

"I love you," Angel whispered.

She opened her eyes and for an instant saw him in his game face.

Buffy then found herself at a funeral in bright daylight. Angel walked up to the grave, then he looked up at her, his face bathed in sunlight.

"You have to know what to see," Angel said.

She stared at him, not really understanding what he was trying to say, and then back down at the grave. Buffy looked over at the other people that were attending the funeral and saw Jenny lifting the veil from her face.


Buffy woke with a start, eyes open wide. She suddenly realized Jenny had something to do with this.


Buffy marched straight into Ms. Calendar's classroom. There were students sitting at the computers, but Buffy didn't seem to care. Jenny and Giles saw her come in and smiled in greeting.

"Oh, Buffy," Giles greeted.

Buffy walked right past Giles and straight to Jenny. She put her hand around Jenny's throat and shoved her back onto her desk.

"Buffy," Giles snapped, trying to pull her off of Jenny.

"What do you know?!" Buffy asked.

"Should I get the principal?" a student asked.

"No," Giles said, "I-I-I'll deal with this. Y-y-you're, you're all dismissed!"

The students immediately left the room.

Buffy let go and stepped back.

"Did you do it?" Buffy asked, "did you change him?"

"For God's sake," Giles barked, "calm down!"

"Did you know this was gonna happen?" Buffy asked.

"You can't go around accusing everybody..." Giles began.

"I didn't know..." Jenny interrupted, "exactly. I was told... Oh, God. I was sent here to watch you. They told me to keep you and Angel apart. They never told me what would happen."

Giles was surprised and confused at this revelation.

"Jenny," Giles said.

"I'm sorry, Rupert," Jenny apologized, "Angel was supposed to pay for what he did to my people."

"And me?" Buffy asked, "what was I supposed to be paying for?"

"I didn't know what would happen until after," Jenny admitted, "I swear I would've told you."

"So it was me," Buffy said, "I did it."

"I think so," Jenny replied, "I mean, if you..."

"I don't understand," Giles interrupted.

"The curse," Jenny replied, "if Angel achieved true happiness, even just a moment of... He would lose his soul."

"W-w-w-h-h-how do you know you were responsible f-for..." Giles stuttered.

Buffy gave him a look, that Giles knew immediately what she was talking about. He took off his glasses and started wiping them.

"Oh," Giles said.

"If there is anything that..." Jenny offered.

"Curse him again," Buffy demanded.

"No," Jenny replied, "I-I can't. I mean, those magicks are long lost even to my people."

"You did it once," Buffy said, "it might not be too late to save him."

"It can't be done," Jenny repeated, "I can't help you."

"Then take me to someone who can," Buffy ordered.


Cut to Enyos was smoking on his pipe in his hotel when he heard the door open.

"I knew she would bring you," Enyos said, "I suppose you want answers."

"Not really," Angelus said, as he came into Enyos' view.

Enyos' face was filled with terror as he got up and faced Angelus.

"But thanks for the offer," Angelus imparted.


Jenny, Buffy and Giles entered Enyos' hotel room.

"Oh, my God," Jenny gasped at what she was.

She rushed to her uncle, when she saw him laid out on the bed, dead and covered with blood. Buffy looked up at the wall behind him. A message was written there in blood: WAS IT GOOD FOR YOU TOO.

"He's doing this deliberately, Buffy," Giles said, "he's trying to make it harder for you."

"He's only making it easier," Buffy replied, "I know what I have to do."

"What?" Giles asked.

"Kill him," Buffy answered.


Angelus came down the metal spiral staircase. The Judge slowly walked over to Spike.

"I am ready," the Judge said.

"About time," Spike replied.

Drusilla sat on his lap and kissed him. The Judge walked off in disgust.

"Have fun," Spike said.

"Too bad you can't come with, huh?" Angelus replied, "I'll be thinkin' of you."

"I won't be in this chair forever," Spike returned.

Angelus took Drusilla's hand and they start out after the Judge.

"What happens if your girlfriend shows up?" Spike asked.

"I'm gonna give her a kiss," Angelus replied, then he turned to the Judge, "don't you look spiffy!"

"Spiffy?" the Judge repeated.


Weapons were laid about the library, as Buffy pulled out more from the cage. Giles just stared at her as if she had grew a second head. The rest of the gang looked on as if she had just lost it.

"Buffy," Giles began, "this is insane."

"Well, it's the only plan we've got," Buffy replied.

"If the Judge is stronger by now," Giles tried to explain, "he won't need to touch you to kill you. All he has to do is reach out with his senses to kill the people around him."

"Then let's just hope he isn't stronger then," Buffy said, "Giles, we go to the factory first, but they might not be there. They're on the offensive. We need to figure out where they'd go."

"Fine," Giles surrendered, "but I still don't agree with your plan of attack."

Jenny appeared at the office doorway.

"Do you, uh..." Jenny stuttered, "is there something I can do?"

"Get out," Buffy ordered.

"I-I just want to help," Jenny replied.

Giles looked away before responding.

"She just said get out," Giles said.

Buffy looked up at Giles. He looked sadly down at his desk. Jenny turned around and left without saying another word.

Xander grabbed a hold of Cordelia's hand and walked out of the library, with Dawn following right behind them. They found Jenny in her classroom.

"Ms. Calendar," Xander called out, "we're gonna need your help."

"Xander, not now," Jenny replied.

"Hey, if you want Giles to forgive you," Xander said, "you have to show him that you helped stop the Judge."

Jenny thought for a moment before answering.

"Alright," Jenny replied, "what do I have to do."

"We're going to make two quick pit stops before we go find the Judge. First we make a stop at Cordy's place, so you two can put on something trashy..." xander paused, looking at what Cordelia and Jenny were wearing, ""

"Are you gonna fill us in on your plan?" Jenny asked.

"No," Xander said as he turned to Dawn.

"Why not?" Cordelia asked.

"Cause if we tell you," Dawn said, "you won't do it."


"So what exactly are we doing here?" Cordelia asked as Jenny stopped at the army base that was set up just outside of the Sunnydale city limits.

"We're here to collect a package," Dawn replied.

"Everybody out," Xander said, "let's go."

All four got out of the car, and crouched down near the fence. Xander starts cutting the links with a pair of bolt cutters while Dawn, Cordelia and Jenny stood guard.

Cordelia, Jenny, and Dawn squeezed through the fence as Xander moved further down to make another entrance.

"The security here really is a joke," Dawn stated, "I should, uh, report it."

"Who am I supposed to be again?" Cordelia asked.

"You're supposed to be a girl," Dawn replied, "think you can handle it?"

Cordelia was about to slap Dawn, but decided against it. They sneaked along the side of the building and looked out from behind some crates. The coast looked clear, so they continued and hide behind a truck. Dawn peeked out from behind the truck, and to find the way clear. She motioned for Cordelia and Jenny to continue on to the door of the supply building as she hid. They did what she said and went for the door, they almost reached the door knob when they were discovered by a soldier on guard duty.

"Halt," a soldier yelled.

Cordelia jumped, getting closer to Jenny.

"Identify yourself right the hell now," the soldier ordered.

'Cordelia's too afraid to say anything,' Jenny thought as she felt Cordelia's trembling hands rap around one of her arms, 'Xander did tell us to wing it. Might as well give it my best shot.'

Jenny twisted around so that her body was facing Cordelia.

"Me and my girlfriend here were trying to find a private spot," Jenny purred as she lightly caressed one of Cordelia's arm, "to have hot... sweaty... sex. Would you like to keep us company? And to make sure no one else gets a free show?"

The soldier was drooling by the time Jenny had finished. The only response they got was a nod of his head.

"Hey, Dumb Ass," a voice called out from behind the soldier.

The soldier wiped around, raising his weapon, but had no time to react when he was hit with a right hook to the jaw.

Xander followed with a head butt, but howled in pain when he made contact with the helmet.

"Son of a bitch," Xander growled.

Xander wrestled with the soldier over his weapon for awhile, before gaining the upper hand, and yanking the assault rifle away from the soldier's grip. Xander pulled back fast and slammed the butt of the gun into the soldier's face, knocking him down and out.

"Dammit that hurt," Xander complained as he rubbed his forehead.

"That's what you get," Dawn replied, stepping out from behind a truck, "now hurry up and get inside so we can get the package we came here to get."

Xander led the way into the armory, followed by Jenny and Cordelia, with Dawn entering last.

"You know what you're doing, Dawn?" Xander asked.

"Yeah," Dawn replied.

"What are you two talking about?" Cordelia asked.

"Remember what happened on Halloween?" Dawn asked, Cordelia nodded her head, "and that I was dressed up as a soldier?"

Again Cordelia just nodded her head.

"Well," Dawn began, "I still remember all of it. I know procedure, ordnance, access codes, everything. I know the whole layout for this base, and I'm pretty sure I can put together an M-16 in 57 seconds."

"Well, I'm sort of impressed and disturbed," Cordelia replied, "but let's just find the thing and get out of here."

"Okay," Xander said as he started looking around.

"So, how long is this gonna take?" Cordelia asked as she hopped onto a crate and sat.

"Nice," Xander whispered.

He looked around, making sure no one was paying him any attention, before stuffing two 9mm Berretta's and several boxes of ammo into his pockets.

"Here it is," Dawn announced.

They all made their way over to her to help carry out what they had came here for.


Spike's warehouse was deserted by the time Buffy, Giles, Willow and Oz arrived.

"I knew it," Buffy claimed.

Giles looked around the warehouse.

"We haven't a bead on where they would go?" Giles asked.

Buffy exhaled before replying.

"I don't know," Buffy admitted, "uh... somewhere crowded, I guess. I mean, the Judge needs bodies, right?"

"The Bronze?" Willow announced.

"Closed," Oz responded.

"There's not a lot of choices in Sunnydale," Buffy said, "it's not like people are gonna line up to get massacred."

"Uh, guys?" Oz spoke up, "if I were gonna line up, I know where I'd go."


The people at the Sunnydale Mall were going through the normal routine's they did everyday. Those with kids usually took them to school in the morning before heading off to work.

Most of them complained. Usually about hating their job, and wishing they could find a better paying one.

But all of them knew not to talk about the dark secrets this small town had. Trying as hard as they could not to think about the strange deaths that occurred every night. And hoping they aren't the next victim.

The double doors at one end of the mall were pushed open to reveal the Judge, Angelus, and Drusilla walking in, being flanked by their troops. They closed the doors behind them.

A man is walked up the stairs, who didn't even pay attention to the strangely dressed group, thinking they were actors who were publicizing a new movie that was coming out.

The Judge reached out with his hand, as an arc of energy emanated from it, to the man. The man froze, a look of surprise crossed his face, before he combusted, disappearing in a puff of flame and smoke.

"Lock the exits, boys," Angelus ordered.

The vampires hurried down the stairs to do Angelus' bidding.

Angelus turned to the Judge.

"It's all yours," Angelus announced.

The Judge smiled.


Another pair of doors flew open as Buffy, Willow, Oz, and Giles strode out, carrying enough weapons to supply a small army.

"Everybody keep back," Buffy ordered, "damage control only. Take out any lesser vamps if you can. I'll handle the Smurf."

The Judge stepped forward. He stood in front of Angelus and Drusilla before unleashing his power. The Judge extended his arms, and blood red energy arced out through the people in the surrounding area. Angelus and Drusilla stood silently, enjoy the show.

Suddenly a crossbow bolt hit the Judge in the chest and broke his concentration. The arcs of energy disappeared, and the people stood dazed. The Judge grabbed a hold of the bolt and pulled it out from his chest.

"Who dares?" the Judge bellowed.

Angelus and Drusilla looked to where the arrow was shot from and found Willow, Oz, Giles, and Buffy. The Slayer was standing on top, of a booth holding the crossbow.

"Think I got his attention," Buffy said.

"You're a fool," the Judge yelled.


"No weapon forged can stop me," the Judge proclaimed.

Xander, Dawn, Jenny, and Cordelia stood by the railing a floor above the Judge. The Scooby Gang's back were facing them, so they had no idea that they were even there.

"Target practice?" Xander asked.

"Sure," Dawn replied.

They each pulled out a gun they were hiding. Xander was surprised that Dawn was able to steal a gun without him noticing.

"When did you take that?" Xander asked.

"Same time you took yours," Dawn answered.

Xander smirked at her before turning back to the Judge.

"One shot each," Xander said, "the one who has better aim gets paid."

Dawn didn't even bother to answer as they squeezed their triggers at the same time. All hell broke loose as the people in the mall started a stampede.

The Judge though, only flinched, as the two bullets hit him in the chest. The Scooby Gang all ducked for cover. Both good and bad guys looked up to see them.

"I won," Dawn announced.

"Damn," Xander hissed, "how much?"

"Hundred bucks," Dawn replied.

"Hundred bucks?" Xander barked, "that's a rip off."

"Hey, I have to pay back my mom for having to buy a new front door," Dawn said, "although, she did cut off Buffy's and my allowance for an entire month to pay for the new one."

"A door that you destroyed," Xander argued.

"Hey guys," Jenny interrupted, "demon first, argue later."

"Fine," Xander griped, "we'll talk later."

He bent down to open a crate, and pulled out a weapon. Standing back up, Xander raised the antitank rocket launcher to his shoulder.

By this time everyone had run as far away from the three battling groups as they could.

Xander powered on the rocket launcher.

Angelus and Drusilla exchanged a look.

Xander set his sights and opened the trigger guard.

Jenny, Cordelia, and Dawn crouched down and covered their ears. The Scooby Gang, a floor under them, saw this and took cover as well.

Angelus and Drusilla began to run.

Xander took aim.

The Judge just stared.

Angelus and Drusilla leapt over the stair railing.

"What's that do?" the Judge questioned.

Xander pulled the trigger and the rocket flew straight into the Judge's chest as Angelus and Drusilla jumped over the railing. The Judge disappeared in an explosion of flame and smoke.

Angelus and Drusilla hit the floor below. Bits of the charred Judge fell all around them. Xander looked up from the rocket launcher's sights and over at them in satisfaction. An almost insane smirk gracing his face. Angelus got up and ran off. Drusilla freaked out and ran the other way.

Xander set the rocket launcher down, pulling out both Berretta's as he jumped over the railing. He landed on a refreshment stand, bending his legs to absorb the impact, and rolled off. Xander had only one thing in mind, that was to kill Angelus, as he aimed at the retreating figure and started pulling the triggers of his guns.

He wounded Angelus, but was unable to finish him off when he was tackled to the ground by an enraged Slayer.

Xander quickly rolled onto his back and pointed the guns at Buffy. Buffy backed off at seeing this.

"Asshole," Buffy yelled.

Buffy put Xander out of her mind at the moment as she gave chase after Angelus.

"Do you think he's dead?" Willow asked.

"We can't be sure," Giles replied, "let's pick up the pieces and keep them separated."

"So, this is the sidekick's job, huh?" Oz asked, not liking the idea of picking up body parts.


The smoke, from the still burning Judge, reached the sprinklers and set them off throughout the entire mall.

Buffy ran into a side hall where she last saw Angelus. The sprinklers getting her completely soaked. But she couldn't see Angelus anywhere.

Suddenly he came at her and hit her from behind.

"You know what the worst part was, huh?" Angelus asked, "it was the fact that Xander was the one that stopped us, not you."

Angelus saw the rage that was building up inside the Slayer, and took advantage of the situation.

"Oooh, a competitive Slayer, aren't we?" Angelus taunted, "you can't stand to be outclassed by someone who's below you, can you? You always have to be the one to save the day. It was bad enough that I had to pretend that I loved you. If I'd known how easily you'd give it up, I wouldn't have even bothered."

Buffy stood up.

"That doesn't work anymore," Buffy replied, "you're not Angel."

"You'd like to think that, wouldn't you?" Angelus asked, "it doesn't matter. The important thing is you made me the man I am today."

Buffy kicked him in the face. But he blocked her next swing and returned with his own punches. He grabbed her and swung her around to throw her, but she was able to regain her balance. He kicked her in the face and knocked her back down to the floor.


Willow bent down to pick up a piece of the Judge's armor, she was soaked to the skin by the sprinklers. Oz on the other hand, had found an actual body part.

"Uh... arm," Oz called out.

He didn't even dare to go near it without help, seeing as the arm had tried to choke Buffy to death during her surprise birthday party.


Angelus grabbed Buffy as she tried to get up and heaved her over onto her back again. She rolled around to her feet and came back at him. She swung, but he blocked and followed with a quick jab. Angelus swung with a backhand punch and she hit the floor again.

"Not quittin' on me already, are ya?" Angelus taunted, "come on, Buffy. You know you want it, huh?"

Buffy leapt up and kicked him in the face. She then kneed him in the chin and then delivered a series of punches to his gut. She ended with a punch to his face.

Angelus lunged at her, completely unfazed by attack. She grabbed his wounded arm and shoved his head into a display case. He crashed through the glass, but immediately straightened back up, breaking the top pane and the frame of the case as well. Buffy kicked him in the face and again in the chest, and he staggered backward into a potted tree. Buffy pulled out a stake and stood ready to finish the job. Angelus straightened up and faced her. But Buffy didn't move, instead she lowered the stake and just stared at him.

"You can't do it," Angelus said, "you can't kill me."

Buffy kicked him hard in the crotch.

Angelus grabbed his groin and moaned in pain, as he collapsed to his knees.

Buffy turned her back on him and walked away.

"Give me time," Buffy said over her shoulder.


Giles pulled up at the Summers home in his ancient car to drop off both Buffy and Dawn. He looked over at Buffy and shut off the engine.

"It's not over," Giles said, "I-I-I suppose you know that. He'll come after you, particularly. His profile, uh, well, he... he's likely to strike out at the things that made him the most human."

"You must be so disappointed in me," Buffy replied.

"No," Giles disagreed, "no, no, I'm not."

"But this is all my fault," Buffy said.

"No," Giles responded, "I don't believe it is. Do you want me to wag my finger at you and tell you that you acted rashly? You did. A-and I can. I know that you loved him. And... he... has proven more than once that he loved you. You couldn't have known what would happen. The coming months a-are gonna, are gonna be hard... I, I suspect on all of us, but... if it's guilt you're looking for, Buffy, I'm, I'm not your man. All you will get from me is, is my support. And my respect."

Buffy smiled at him through her tears.

"And I must add," Giles continued as he turned to Dawn, "that I was somewhat surprised by your actions Dawn."

"Why's that?" Dawn asked.

"I would never have suspected a twelve-year-old to come up with such an ingenious plan against the Judge," Giles replied, "it took an army, hundreds of years ago, to stop him. Now it only took a twelve-year-old..."

"A twelve-year-old who was possessed by a soldier on Halloween," Dawn interrupted.

"Yes, yes," Giles said, "we mustn't forget about that."

Chapter 5

3 months ago

Buffy, and Willow sat at a table in the Bronze. But neither one seemed to want to talk.

Angelus appeared out of no where, standing beyond the tables, near the base of the stairs. He watched them as they sat by themselves. How pitiful.

'Passion,' Angelus thought, 'it lies in all of us. Sleeping... ...waiting... And though unwanted... unbidden... it will stir...

He began to move around the room, all the while keeping his stare on Buffy.

' its jaws, and howl.'


Xander was laying in his bed thinking of Cordelia, she had dumped him on Valentine's Day, making him the laughing stock of the school the very next day. So he did the dirtiest thing he could think of to get back at her.


Xander blackmailed Amy to cast a love spell on Cordelia, which he would truthfully admit was not his finest moment, but for some reason the spell misfired. It affected every woman in Sunnydale, except Cordelia.

He knew something went wrong when Cordelia had pushed him away, and Buffy had tried to come on to him.

Jenny had come on to him, and she just didn't want to keep her hands to herself.

So he left, on Giles' orders, to go home and lock himself in his room. Or he would have, if he hadn't seen Cordelia being attacked by the Cordette's. Xander ran over to her, picked Cordelia up from the floor, and carried her away from her former friends.

They had gone over to Buffy's house, thinking that it was the closest and safest place to be. But then Mrs. Summers had made a pass at him as well.

Angelus came by to kill Buffy, but settled to kill Xander. Drusilla of all people had stopped him. Saying she would let Angelus hurt a hair on his head. And for some reason she kept calling him 'kitten'.

Cordelia and Xander locked themselves in the Summers' basement when the rest of the Sunnydale female population had found them.

But Giles was able to get Amy to reverse the love spell before anyone was seriously hurt.


"Don't forget," Jenny said to her computer science class, "I need your sample spreadsheets by the end of the week."

The bell rang, and she walks around behind her desk.

"Oh," Jenny continued, "and I want both a paper printout and a copy on disk. Thank you."

She looked down at her desk for a second, then back up and reached her arm out to get Willow's attention before she left.

"Willow," Jenny called out.

Willow approached her desk.

"Yes?" Willow replied.

"Um, I might be a little late tomorrow," Jenny said, "do you think you could cover my class till I show?"

Willow smiled brightly at the thought of being put in charge.

"Really?" Willow asked, "me? Teach the class? Sure!"

"Cool," Jenny replied.

Willow was suddenly worried.

"Oh, wait," Willow said, "w-what if they don't recognize my authority? What if they try to convince me that you always let them leave class early? What if there's a fire drill? What if there's a fire?"

Jenny reassuringly replied to the redhead.

"Willow," Jenny began, "you're gonna be fine. And I'll try not to be too late, okay?"

Willow calmed down.

"Okay," Willow said, "good. Earlier is good. Will I have the power to assign detention? Or make 'em run laps?"

Buffy and Giles appeared at the door.

"Hey, Will," Buffy greeted her best friend.

Both Jenny and Willow looked over at her.

"Hi, Buffy," Jenny said, "Rupert."

Giles looked down at the floor.

"Willow," Buffy said, ignoring Jenny, "I thought I might take in a class. Figured I could use someone who knows where they are."

Willow glanced over at Jenny before she started to walk out of the classroom with Buffy.

"Sorry," Willow apologized to Buffy, "I have to talk to her. She's a teacher, and teachers are to be respected, even if they're only filling in until the real teacher shows up, because otherwise chaos could ensue."

Giles let the girls go, and stepped into the classroom, with his hands in his pockets.

"How have you been?" Jenny asked.

"Uh, not so good, actually," Giles answered, "uh, since Angel lost his soul, he's regained his sense of whimsy."

"Well," Jenny tried to keep the conversation going, "that sounds bad."

"He's been in Buffy's bedroom," Giles announced, "I-I-I need to drum up a spell to, uh, keep him out of the house."

Jenny reached down to her desk and picked up an old book.

"This might help," Jenny said, handing the book to Giles, "I've been doing a little reading since Angel changed. I don't think you have that one."

"Thank you," Giles replied as he leafed through it.

"So, how's Buffy doing?" Jenny asked.

Giles closed the book.

"How do you think?" Giles responded.

"I know you feel betrayed," Jenny said.

"Yes," Giles replied, "well, that's one of the unpleasant side effects of betrayal."

Jenny looked down at her desk.

"Rupert, I was raised by the people that Angel hurt the most," Jenny explained, she looked up at Giles and continued, "my duty to them was the first thing I was ever taught. I didn't come here to hurt anyone, a-and I lied to you because I thought it was the right thing to do. I... I didn't know what would happen. I didn't know I was gonna fall in love with you."

She paused for a moment before looking back up at Giles. They exchanged a meaningful look, but then she looked away again.

"Oh, God," Jenny said, "is it too late to take that back?"

"Do you want to?" Giles asked.

Jenny looked at him.

"I just wanna be right with you," Jenny replied, "I don't expect more. I just want so badly to make all this up to you."

"I understand," Giles said, "but I'm not the one you need to make it up to."

She looked at him, understanding. He gave her a little smile.

"Thank you for the book," Giles said.

He turned and walked out of the room.

Jenny just watched him go.

Xander was hiding in the back of the room, and saw what Jenny had said to Giles. He knew that Giles felt betrayed by the information on Angel that Jenny had kept from them. And that it would take some time before Giles admitted to the feelings he had for Jenny.

But the problem with Giles was that no matter how smart he was, having a degree from some college in England, he could be really stupid sometimes.


Buffy, Dawn, Joyce were having dinner. At least Dawn and Joyce were, Buffy was just picking at her food. Joyce put down her fork, folded her hands and leaned forward on the table toward her older daughter.

"Okay," Joyce said, "what's wrong?"

"It's nothing," Buffy lied.

"Come on," Joyce said, "you can tell me anything. I've read all the parenting books. You cannot surprise me."

Buffy put down her fork, put her hands in her lap, and looked over at her mother.

"Do you remember that guy Angel?" Buffy asked.

"Angel, the, um..." Joyce thought for a moment before placing a face to the familiar face, the college boy who was tutoring you in history?"

"Right," Buffy replied, "uh, he... I-I... Oh, God. Um... We're sort of dating, *were* dating, um, going through a serious off-again phase right now."

Joyce just smiled, thinking that Buffy had a simple problem that she, as a mother, could help her daughter with. Dawn, on the other hand, knew exactly what Buffy was talking about.

"Don't tell me," Joyce said, "he's changed. He's not the same guy you fell for?"

Buffy just smiled nervously.

"In a nutshell," Buffy replied, then she lost her smile, "a-anyway, um... since he changed, he's been kinda following me around. He's having

trouble letting go."

Joyce was now concerned that Buffy had a guy that was stalking her.

"Buffy," Joyce began, "has he done anything..."

"No," Buffy replied, "no, it's not like that. He's just been hanging around... a lot. Just sending me notes, that kind of thing. I just don't wanna see him right now. I mean, if he shows up, I'll talk to him. Just... don't invite him in."


"I agree with Giles," Willow said into her cordless phone, "you need to just try and not let him get to you. Angel's only doing this to try to get you to do something stupid. I swear, men can be such jerks sometimes. Dead or alive."

Willow walked over goes to her new aquarium.


"I just hope Giles can find a keep-out spell soon," Buffy said.

She was sitting on her bed, also in pajamas, talking into her phone.

"I know I'll sleep easier when I can... sleep easier," Buffy finished off kind of lamely.


Willow began sprinkling fish food into her tank.

"I'm sure he will," Willow replied, "he's like book-man. Until then, try and keep happy thoughts and..."

Willow trailed off as she saw something on her bed.


"And what?" Buffy asked.


"Willow?" Buffy called out.

Willow didn't pay attention to what Buffy was saying. She held the phone between her cheek and shoulder and reached down for a blank envelope on her bed.

"Willow?" Buffy tried again, but Willow still didn't answer.

Willow turned back toward her aquarium, but only saw a large fishless tank. She opened the envelope to find a string. She pulled on it, and out come her fish, strung together one after the other. Willow lost her grip on her phone and it fell to the floor.


Buffy and Willow were sitting on the Slayer's bed. Behind them was a string of garlic cloves hanging on the wall. Willow, with a stake in her hand, that she had been fidgeting with nervously while looking around.

"Thanks for having me over, Buffy," Willow said, "especially on a school night and all."

"No problem," Buffy replied, "hey, sorry about your fish."

"Oh, it's okay," Willow said, "we hadn't really had time to bond yet. Although for the first time I'm glad my parents didn't let me have a puppy."

"It's so weird," Buffy began, "every time something like this happens, my first instinct is still to run to Angel. I can't believe it's the same person. He's completely different from the guy that I knew."

"Well, sort of, except..." Willow trailed off.

"Except what?" Buffy asked.

"You're still the only thing he thinks about," Willow answered.

Buffy looked down at her hands.


Spike was in his wheelchair in the foreground at the head of the table. Drusilla came in behind him, holding a puppy behind her back.

"I brought something for you," Drusilla said, bringing out the whining puppy from behind her back, "poor thing. She's an orphan."

Dru walked up to Spike.

"Her owner died..."

She smiled at him.

"without a fight. Do you like her?"

Spike looked up at her.

"Hmm?" Dru asked.

She reached her hand into his jacket and rubbed his chest.

"I brought her especially for you..."

Dru pulled at his jacket.

"to cheer you up."

She raised the puppy into the air.

"And I've named her..."

Drusilla looked straight at the puppy.

"Sunshine," the insane vampiress said, sweetly.

She offered the puppy to Spike.

"Open wide," Dru continued.

But Spike looked away.

"Come on, love," Drusilla begged, "you need to eat something to keep your strength up. Now..."

She started waving the puppy around.

"Open up for mummy."

"I won't have you feeding me like a child, Dru," Spike whined, wheeling his chair around the table.

Angelus came in.

"Why not?" Angelus asked, "she already bathes you, carries you around and changes you like a child."

"Why, Angel. Where have you been?" Drusilla asked, "the sun is almost up, and it can be so hurtful. We were worried."

"No, we weren't," Spike retorted.

"You must forgive Spike," Drusilla apologized, "he's just a bit testy tonight. Doesn't get out much anymore."

"Well," Angelus said, "maybe next time I'll bring you with me, Spike. Might be handy to have you around if I ever need a really good parking space.

"Have you forgotten that you're a bloody guest in my bloody home?" Spike asked.

Angelus stepped closer to Spike.

"And as a guest," Angelus said, leaning in, "if there's anything I can do for you... Any... responsibility I can assume while you're spinning your wheels..."

Angelus looked over at Drusilla.

"Anything I'm not already doing, that is."

Spike shoved Angelus away angrily.

"That's enough," Spike yelled.

Angelus smiled widely and laughed.

"Aww," Drusilla sighed.

She leaned down to Spike, gave him a peck on the cheek and put the puppy in his lap. He held the puppy as she stepped away and walked around the table.

"You two boys... fightin' over me and all," Drusilla said.

She stopped between two chairs.

"Makes a girl feel..." Drusilla trailed off.

Suddenly she looked up and moaned loudly in pain. Angelus looked concerned for what was happening to his childe.

"Dru, what is it, pet?" Spike asked.

Drusilla was bent over in pain, breathing hard.

"The air," Drusilla said, "it worries. Someone... an old enemy is seeking help..."

Angelus looked at Spike, before returning his attention to Drusilla.

" to destroy our happy home. Ohhhh..."


Jenny walked around the railing in front of the shop and took the steps down to the entrance. She came in the door and looked around. The shopkeeper looked up from his work.

"Welcome," the shopkeeper greeted with a Rumanian accent, "how may I serve you today?"


"Love potion?" the shopkeeper offered, "perhaps a voodoo doll for that unfaithful..."

"I need an Orb of Thesulah," Jenny interrupted.

"Oh, you're in the trade," the shopkeeper said, dropping the accent, "sorry about the spiel, but around Valentine's Day, I get a lot of tourists shopping for love potions and mystical revenge of past lovers. Sad fact is, Ouija boards and rabbits' feet, that's what pay the rent around here. So how did you hear about us?"

Jenny checked out a few of the items on the shelves.

"My Uncle Enyos told me about you," Jenny replied.

"So you're Janna, then," the shopkeeper said, "sorry to hear about your uncle."

"Thank you," Jenny returned.

Shopkeeper came back from the back room with a round wooden box.

"He was a good customer," the shopkeeper said, "well, no, there you go."

He set the box down and opened it.

"One Thesulan Orb," the shopkeeper announced, "spirit vault for the rituals of the undead."

Jenny reached into her purse as the shopkeeper kept talking.

"I don't get many calls for those lately."

She pulled out her wallet.

"Sold a couple as new age paperweights last year."

Jenny handed him a credit card.

"Yeah," the shopkeeper said, "I just love those new-agers, boy. They helped to..."

He imprinted the card.

" ...send my youngest to college."

And filled in the form.

"By the way," the shopkeeper began, "you do know that the transliteration annals for the ritual of the undead were lost."

He handed her the form and a pen.

"Without the annals, the surviving text is gibberish," he explained.

"And without a translated text," Jenny interrupted, "the Orbs of Thesulah are pretty much useless. Yeah, I know."

She signed the form and handed him his copy.

"Well," the he said, "I only mention it because I have a strict policy of no refunds.

He put the lid back on the box.

"It's okay," Jenny replied, "I'm working on a computer program to translate the Rumanian liturgy to English based on a random sampling of the text."

"Yecchh," the shopkeeper grimaced, "I don't like computers. They give me the willies."

"Well, thank you," Jenny said, taking the box.

"You're welcome," he replied.

Jenny took the lid off of the box as she slowly walked toward the door.

"By the way," he called out, Jenny turned to look back, "not that it's any of my business, really, but, uh, what are you planning on conjuring up? If you can decipher the text?"

"A present for a friend of mine," Jenny said, lifting the Orb up to her eye level.

"Really?" he asked, "what are you gonna give him?"

She looked into the Orb as it began to glow.

"His soul," Jenny replied.