Dark Eye'd Girl

Author: MagnusXXN <MagnusXXN[at]Hotmail.com>

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: BTVS doesn't belong to me, its Joss Wheldon's baby as is Angel. I don't own Charmed or the concept, that's someone else's baby. I just own this story but I don't have any money so sue someone else.

One of Sunnydale's many cemeteries.

A lone girl sat on a gravestone, a red yo-yo in her hand. The lovely blond just played with the yo-yo as if she where sitting in her backyard, or outside her school building.

Not like she was in the middle of a graveyard, the sky above her as black as tar. The only light to be seen was coming from the crescent moon above.

All in all, it was a beautiful night. Not that Buffy Summers was having a ball. Being the slayer sometimes sucked big time.

And sitting on the tombstone waiting for a corpse to rise as a vampire was definitely not her kind of fun. But Giles, her watcher had insisted. So here she was.

"C'mon, Stephan, rise and shine. Those of us among the living have homework to do tonight." The petite blond informed the still grave off handedly.

Not at all caring whether or not the late Stephan Korshak could hear her.

"Hey." A voice calls from behind her.

The young slayer almost jumps out of her skin from fright, her breathing speeds up to an almost gasp from the shock. "Don't do that! It's just....tacky to sneak up on people in graveyards. Make some noise when you walk," she informs him with a mild glare, not at all happy with being snuck up on.

The two hundred and forty one year old vampire just shrugged his shoulders, not caring one way or another about her shock. "I'd heard you were on the hunt."

Stuff like where the resident slayer was, was one of the few things demons kept up with in this town. And despite their shared hatred of Angel, he was still able to get such info.

Still glaring mildly at him, Buffy turned back to the still grave. "Well, I'm supposed to be. But sleeping beauty doesn't seem to wanna help me out."

Damn lazy vampires, she thought to herself.

"When you first wake up, it's all a bit disorienting. But he'll crawl out." The master vampire shook his head slightly, trying to forget the memories of his first night.

Forgetting about her bad mood for the moment, the petite blond turns back to him with an affectionate look. "Its kinda weird, thinking about how you had to go through that."

"It's weird to go through."

He sounded too resigned for Buffy's tastes. Like he had come here to talk about something else, not his past or the slaying.

"So, are you, um, here by yourself?"

The question caught her off guard. She nodded slightly, her green eyes staring at him patiently. "Ya, why?"

For the first time that night, Angel looked a bit flushed. Which is hard for someone 'that' pale. "I just thought you might have someone with you.

Xander maybe."

Ah, Buffy thought inwardly. So that was what he wanted. "Xander, huh?"

He quickly backpedaled, "Or someone."

Doing her best to suppress a smirk, the sixteen-year-old slayer continued to play dumb. "Nope, just little ole me. Why, you jealous?" Not that she needed much more proof.

Chuckling condescendingly, Angel informed her, "Of Xander? Please, he's just a kid." Hated him, well Angel thought that was something all together different.

Pouting, her lower lip pushed out, knowing full well the affect it had on men, Buffy continued. "Why? Because he and I had that little dance?"

Hmmm, just thinking about it did sorta make the blond slayer feel.....all sorts of things.

Finally showing what he thought of 'that' night, the jealous vampire glared at her. "Little Dance? That's making it sound like you two were playing. Looked to me like you were damn near mating on the dance floor."

Bringing up the 'little dance' maybe was not the best idea. Not for Angel's sake anyway, but because Buffy still felt odd about the whole thing.

Xander had felt sooo good against her. Not that she'd let him know that, or her 'boyfriend'.

Batting her eyes just a little to further tease him, Buffy went on, "Don't you think you're being a little unfair? It was just one little dance."

Her lips parted a little, just enough for her small pink tongue to snake out and lick her lower lip.

All of which was driving Angel around the bloody bend with jealousy. "I am NOT jealous," he growled.

"You're 'not' jealous? What, do vampires not get jealous?" Her tone had dropped, now it was icy.

Of course, this being the hellmouth, and with all the weird things that seem to happen, Stephan chose that moment to burst from the ground and attack.

Growling and hissing like a wild animal, he ran towards the slayer. Angel jumped in front of her, blocking the rampaging demon's assault.

"See, whenever we get into a fight you always bring up the vampire thing." He told her while battling the fledgling.

Talking as she fought, Buffy complained. "Well, I didn't come here to fight."

Her left hand thrust out, smacking the young vampire's face with enough force to throw him backwards a few feet. "Oh, well, maybe I did come to fight."

Not ready to give up, Stephan lashed out with his clawed left hand, which Buffy easily deflected. Not expecting it was a fake out and having the newly dead's right hand come around and bash into her face.

This affectively knocked her on her cute little butt and making her lose the grip on her stake.

"Damn it! My stake. I can't find my stake." It was sorta hard to kill a vampire without a stake. They tended to keep coming, or run off.

Neither was really a good idea as far as she was concerned.

"I didn't see a stake." Angel called out to her, still trying to keep the blood thirst vampire at bay. Eighty years of lying on his ass had made him sort of soft. So keeping up with the newly dead was harder then it should have been.

Stephan grabs a shovel from behind a nearby gravestone and clocks Angel across the face. Much like someone would hit a baseball. The leather clad master vampire hit the ground hard.

Before the young demon had time to continue his attack, Buffy jumps over his head and lands a spinning kick to the shovel hitting the monster's chest.

Making him stumble backwards and loosing his grip on his only weapon. The only daughter of Joyce Summer's caught the flying shovel and with one powerful swing, decapitated the young vampire.

Thinking about the conversation they were having as she tried to catch her breath, the young blond turned with an angry glare as her 'boyfriend.'

"He's just a kid? What, so I'm just a kid too, huh?" She demanded.

Staring at her oddly, Angel finally got back to his feet and started walking away. "Whatever. This was just a bad idea, obviously you're not mature enough to have a grown up conversation."

Totally pissed now, Buffy chased after his retreating back. "Why you smug son of a bit.....AHH..." She screams out, falling into an open grave and onto an empty coffin.


"I'm fine, just a bit dirty all of a sudden." The soil was still wet from the rain a few days back. It clung to her skin and clothes in patches.


"So, another vampire has risen tonight." He said to himself while gazing into the empty grave Buffy was now standing in.

Poking her head out and spotting something behind a nearby gravestone, Buffy climbed out. "No, I don't think so." Crawling over to the lone object, the young slayer finally got a good look at what it was.

It was a women's shoe. "No, she didn't crawl out of this grave. She was dragged from it."


A car, driving down the streets of Sunnydale.

"Are you looking forward to staying with your great aunt?" Asked an Asian social worker, not even in her thirties yet and still quite beautiful.

The dark haired girl sitting beside her continued to stare out the window. She was, in a word, breathtaking. All pale skin and dark hair and eyes.

It made her very strikingly enchanting.

"I....I don't know. We've never met. She's not really my aunt; she's my foster parents' aunt." The young woman said; she couldn't have been more then eighteen years old.

The young woman was still reeling from the death of her foster parents, having been with them since she was a little girl.

Not yet legally an adult, she couldn't stay on her own. And if it hadn't been for this long lost great aunt, she'd have bounced around child welfare for another few months.

"She sounded excited over the phone. She really wants to meet you. I think you're all the family she has left. Adopted or otherwise." The social worker said with a pleasant smile.

She was beautiful sitting back in her seat, driving the car. But when she smiled, the word lovely was all that could describe her.

Not that she could smile for long; her young companion was still looking out the car window looking miserable. She couldn't help but feel guilty, not being able to do anything to make the young woman feel better.

The house was just up ahead, the car quickly pulled into the driveway.

And the two women exited, both excited and a little worried about what was to come next.

Slinging her backpack over one shoulder, the young lady nervously pulled her shoulder length long hair behind her ear. A habit that she sometimes employed these days.

Soon after the door opened and an elderly woman appeared from inside the house, her dress old fashioned and plan. "Oh there y'all are.

I'm so happy to see you."

Her accent wasn't Southern California at all, but deep southern. "Come on; give your aunty a hug."

The pale beauty hugged the elderly woman somewhat stiffly, not really used to strangers grabbing her like that. Well, not female strangers anyway.

Her social worker walked in behind her, her briefcase in her left hand & the right stretched out. "Miss Long, I'm Anna Tasha, ehh, we talked on the phone."

Ms. Tasha gave her best smile as she greeted the elderly woman that would be taking care of her young ward.

"Oh, yes, hello." There was something about her voice, something that the girl, Paige, couldn't quite pin down. She sounded....fake. "Hmmm, you didn't seem....Asian over the phone."

Anna blinked a few moments at that. It wasn't overly racist, but the pause, it was like Miss. Long was about to call her something else, but then thought better of it.

Out of no where a small barking dog run over and started barking at Paige & Anna.

"Oh, hush!" The elderly woman said sweetly to her pet. Her short dark hair now very gray, she couldn't have been anything less then in her sixties.

Paige Mathews wandered around the living room, her hands coming up to tug at her shirt. Anna wanted to say something to ease her fears, but Ms. Long interrupted.

"Ohh, I'm sorry. It was most terrible for you, having all these strange people walking about."

The first sounds of something like a smile appeared on Paige's face at hearing that, "Oh, thanks. That's alright, I'll be fine."

"I was talking to my puppy." There was a look on the old woman's face again; she was none too pleased at being misunderstood. "She doesn't like strange people around our house."

The kind hearted social working was beginning to sense that it wasn't Paige that was the 'strange person,' it was her. Anna could swear that Miss.

Long was having a hard time not calling her 'colored'.

But there wasn't anything she could really do about it. The home was safe, even if Paige's caregiver was probably a racist. That alone didn't mean she couldn't take care of her.

Not that she liked it. Her young friend had been through enough, and she didn't want to upset her anymore. "I must be going, but I'll call. Keep in touch to see how things are going."

Anna wished she didn't have to leave. But she had to pick up another three kids and help them make arrangements to move to their new foster houses as well.

Paige was now fully in the living room and gazing at all her aunt's things.

Three large crosses on the living room walls, and half a dozen little plastic Virgin Mary statues above the fireplace.

"Just call before you come over, I might have guests."

The dark haired eighteen-year-old continued to look around, ignoring the talking behind her. "A bible thumper, yeah this is going to be a blast." She grumbled to herself.


She turned back to look at her social worker, "If there's anything you need. Just give me a call, alright?"

"Alright." She wanted to say I'll miss you. She wanted to rush over and hug Ms. Tasha goodbye, but Ms. Long quickly rushed the young Asian woman outside. "She'll be fine. Don't worry."

The same fake sound was in the old woman's voice again.

Anna turned to the pushy old woman, a frown on her face, "Well if you need anything...." Ms. Long didn't quite slam the door in the social worker's face. But it was close enough.

Paige stared at the crosses and other religious knick knacks with a perturbed look on her face. Her smooth pink lips were downcast in a soft frown. "A barrel of fun, yeah."

"Come along; let me show you to your room." Her 'aunt' called out to her. The fake sound in her voice was really beginning to irritate Paige.

"You most be starving, girl."

It was enough to make her wish she hadn't given up drinking.

But her parents had wanted her to. She didn't care if they weren't her biological parents, they were all she had. And the hurt and angry looks her father gave her every time she came into the house drunk was enough to make her quit cold turkey.

Together the two of them made their way upstairs.

And Paige got the first good look at her new room. The walls were a soft blue, and everything was neat and in order. The petite, yet well endowed young woman smiled around at her room.

Her room, there was something about those two words that took away a little of the pain from her parents' death.

It didn't erase it, but it did ease the pain just a bit.

A warm feeling spread through her just looking around at her new place, she could ignore all the crosses and religious stuff in here too. It didn't matter all that much.

She unpacked her things and laid them across her bed. Then she turned around and went downstairs, her stomach was a little rumbly.


Earlier the next day, before day break.

"Paige, rise and shine." The voice of Miss. Long cut through Paige's clouded mind as she opened her eyes to find that it was still night, or close enough to it.

Squinting against the light from the hallway, and the obnoxious sound of her foster great-aunt's voice, the beautiful dark haired girl stirred in her bed.

"Time to get up dear, you have a full day ahead of you. Up, up, up."

The fakeness in the old woman's voice was still there Paige could only guess, but she was sure it was an accurate one, that the smile Miss. Long was wearing was just as fake.

"But Auntie, the sun hasn't even come up yet." The pale, yet gorgeous young girl tried to argue. Not really having gotten much sleep the night before.

"Oh, I know dear. But its time to get up, no sense sleeping the day away."

The sweetness in the old woman's voice was fake too, but Paige wanted to believe it was real. Wanted to believe that the woman she'd called Auntie, that she'd be living with, was really that sweet.

That she was loved. And no longer alone.

The southern woman took her leave, and let Paige get dressed on her own. It took her a few minutes to get the sleep out of her eyes and get dressed before she could reach her Great-aunt downstairs in the kitchen.

It was at this moment that she discovered just how little clothes she really had. Just the shirt she was wearing, underclothes, and a new pair of tight black pants.

"Auntie?" She tried to keep the embarrassment out of her voice. "I....I don't have any clothes to wear to school today. So I was wondering if you could, give me some money to go shopping?"

She wasn't used to this, having to ask for money just to get clothes.

But after her parents had died, the young woman just couldn't force herself to go back into the house they'd all lived together in. So, all her stuff was left behind.

"Money?" The fakeness in the old woman's voice wasn't there this time, but a new voice was. A shocked sound, a slightly pompous sound.

As if the very idea that she would have to part with any money just to dress her great-niece was outrageous.

"Just take something out of the closet. There's some clothes that your mom used to wear. Just throw that on." The way Miss. Long said it brokered no argument.

And Paige subconsciously pushed back a lock of her dark hair behind her left ear.

It was bad enough having to ask for money, it made her feel like shit being turned down so easily. Like she was nothing. And second hand clothes from twenty years ago was good enough.

"I can't just throw that stuff on. It smells like mothballs, and I'll look like some homeless person at school."

Turning around with a heated glare, the old woman made it clear how very much she disliked being talked back too. "Be grateful for the gifts God gave you. You could be on the streets right now, but for the grace of God I allow you to stay here."

The full figured teenager got the picture, but Miss. Long wasn't finished.

"This is 'my' home, and you will wear whatever I tell you to wear." The way she said 'my' home made it pretty clear that Paige was just a second rate citizen as far as the old woman thought.

"Now sit down and eat your breakfast, you will be going to school today."

The old woman used her cane to slap the side of Paige's shoulder. Not enough to bruise, but enough to get her point across.

Swallowing her pride, the young lady did as she was told. Sat down at the breakfast table and ate the slop her 'dear' old great-aunt put in front of her.


Sunnydale High School Library. The next day.

Xander & Buffy made their way through the halls of Sunnydale High to arrive in the Library, where they see Mr. Giles, Buffy's watcher having a heated discussion with a chair.

"What I'm trying to say is, a...a proposal, ummm......and I don't want to seem indecorous, but this is a ah......a social engagement, that is to say, it's really a date." He fumbles with the words like a love struck schoolboy.

The two teens just watch on with mild looks of humor and shock on their faces.

"Well, it's just… Oh, you idiot!" Giles finally explodes more to himself then the innocent chair that got caught in his cross hairs.

The dark haired young man just chuckles to himself; and the young slayer smirks good naturedly at her watcher. "Wow...." The sound of her voice causes the older man to just straighten up.

He turns to the two laughing teens with a flustered and embarrassed look.

"G-man, we had no idea you had such strong feelings when it comes to your furniture," Xander jokes, and is rewarded by Buffy's laughter and a deep scowl from Giles.

"I was.....well, the thing is I was just working on my......" He's lost on how to explain it any further, and in his nervousness knocks over the books from on top of the main library's desk.

Which does nothing to relieve his ever growing embarrassment.

"Your pickup lines, huh?" The blond slayer teases. It's not everyday she gets to see her normally boring watcher all disorganized and shaky, so she was going to milk it for all its worth.

Hiding his blush behind the books he begins picking up, Giles surrenders to their mocking. "Well..., as a matter of fact, yes."

Deciding to put her two cents in, Buffy went on to say, "Well, if you don't mind a little help, lets leave off the whole 'idiot' part.

Being called an idiot tends to discourage the dating vibe."

"Hmmm, it actually kinda turns me on." The sincerity in Xander's voice was enough for the young slayer to give her friend a double take.

"I fear you," She deadpanned.

Then the petite blond turned away from him with a smile, shaking her head in quiet laughter as she walked. "And Giles, you might want to lose the ten dollar words like 'amenable' and 'indecorous'. Talk like an American not like you're in some stuffy Britdom....."

"Stuffy Britdom?"

Not allowing his sarcasm to deter her, the chosen one continued, "Whatever. Just say something like, 'Hey I wanna date you, maybe you want to date me, so lets date.'"

She gestured around her with her arms, trying to......get the concept across to him.

Giles, in that dry humor of his answered, "Why thank you, Cyrano."

Which was met by a displeased glare from Buffy and a chuckle from Xander.

A smile curled around the young slayer's lips, even though she tried to fight it off. But her watcher's humor was often so out of place that it was funny as hell.

"I'm not finished. Then you ask, 'how do you feel about Mexican?'"

"About Mexicans?" The English man asked, not understanding where this was going.

The dark haired teen watching on could barely contain a witty remark over that one, but did his best. After all, he had better things to do. Like watching Buffy talk.

"Mexican. As in food. You take her out for food, and then you pay. Simple and direct." And with a self-serving smile the petite blond sat down at the library table. Her point, she hoped and been made.

And it did finally dawn on the stuffy Brit. "Oh, right. Yes, that does sound about right."

Xander, having been quiet long enough and no longer being able to watch Buffy's mouth without her noticing decided to interject his own thoughts.

"So this chair lady, it is our very on computer teacher, right?"

Caught off guard by that, the watcher fumbled for an answer. "Um, wha... what makes you think that?" He'd hoped he wasn't 'that' transparent.

Taking a seat next to his slayer pal, Xander in his most cheesy Inspector Holmes voice he went on. "Simple deduction my good fellow, simple deduction. Ms. Calendar is Sunnydale's hottest teacher. She already knows that deep dark secret of yours, hanging out with high school students and trying to make them buy your goods."

Buffy almost chocked on laughter as he said that. Giles glared over his glasses.

"And she is the only woman we've ever actually seen speak to you." The two teens shared a look as the librarian looked down at them annoyed. "So add all that up, and it sorta spells 'duh'."

"Now is it time to have a chat about the birds & bees? Maybe with a Ken and Barbie to showcase the process." The only son of Tony Harris said, a little half smile adoring his lips and he teased.

Giles, finally having had enough of his love life being dissected by two sixteen year old teenagers put his foot down. "Suddenly, I think this isn't any of your business." He turns to make his way up to the stacks and away from the infuriating teens.

Never one to let someone else have the last word, the young man called out to him. "Because you know, that whole thing about babies in cabbage patches, now that is just a blatant lie."

The older gentleman did all he could to not throw a book at the smartass teen, and ignoring the fact that Buffy was now laughing so freely.

That and shyly checking Xander out.

Which Giles simply ignored, because the thought of those two breeding sent a cold shiver down his spine. And it'd be just his luck that those kids would come to this school, just to poke fun at his clothes and call him G-man.

Quickly getting past the disturbing breeding thoughts and his embarrassing date talk, he turned to the topic of slaying from the night before.

"So, did things go cleanly last night? Did our pesky vampire show up on time?"

"More or less. Angel and I took care of it."

"Angel." From the tone in his voice, Xander was none to pleased to find out that a certain leather clad vampire was keeping the young slayer company in dark cemeteries.

Buffy's eyes switched over to her Xander-shaped friend, her thoughts going back to the night before. And lack of sunlight aside, Xander and Angel were down right eerie. They sounded that much alike.

It was no wonder she found herself attracted to the both of them.

"There's something odd, though. We found an empty grave. Or more down to the point, I fell into an empty grave." Which would be haunting the young girl's dreams for weeks.

Interested, Giles questioned. "Another vampire?"

"No." She shook her head, her short blond hair flapping softly around her head. "No, this body didn't decide to leave. It was dug up and taken away."

This was really starting to peak his interest; something new and exciting to research. "Grave robbing? That's something we haven't seen before.


The wigged out look Buffy sent him was none too subtle. "I know you meant to say gross and disgusting." Body theft was just a new kind of sick, and she knew deep down Giles thought so too. Really deep down.

Sensing his mistake, the Englishman tried to cover it up. "Yes, yes, of course. Very bad, must be stopped. Damn them."

His sincerity was lost somewhere after 'very bad,' but before 'damn them'. All in all, for about two seconds it sounded like he was truthfully disturbed.

Smirking, Xander stood up and walked over to their flustered Watcher.

"So, why would anyone want to start digging up graves?"

Buffy took this time to smirk for herself, and watched her friend's backside as he walked over and took a seat on the library table.

Once again proving that slayer or not, a sixteen year old girl is still just a ball of hormones.

"Well, uh, I'll have to consult my books. But, uh, it would be most helpful if we knew who the body belonged too."

"Meredith Todd. Ringing any bells?" The only daughter of Joyce Summers asked her friend. "No." He answered easily. Not recalling the name.

"She died not too long ago. She was around our age." The petite blond probed further.

"Sorry, Buff, drawing a blank here." The dark haired young man informed her, trying his hardest not to be enthralled by that cute little pout of hers.

Something that was dangerously beginning to fill his daydreams. Giles, agitated at being forgotten as the two teens flirted while talking about a stolen body stepped forward to put a stop to it. But not too obvious, as to not get between the abstract mating rituals of teens today.

"Why don't we ask Willow to, start up....." He pointed with mild disgust towards a nearby computer, "That thing and check the, uh, web for Ms.



Sign-ups for the Science fair.

Paige made her way through the busy hallways of Sunnydale High, doing her best to keep out of most everyone's way. And ignoring the looks she was getting because of the horrible dress she was forced into.

As Cordelia might say, it looked like she'd seen the softer side of Sears. "Home room, home room." She mutters to herself, trying to find room 201. Which Mr. Snyder had said would be her home room for the rest of the year.Out of nowhere Harmony Kendall, one of Cordy's sheep and resident spawn of Satan accidentally bumps into her. Which knocks Paige's books out of her hands.

"Excuse me! Watch where you're going, loser," The sneering blond says, not caring that it was 'her' fault.

She leaves the dark haired girl kneeling on the floor picking up her books and papers. Xander walks down the hall, and seeing that someone's in need of help comes over.

"Hey." He ventures with a smile, before squatting down and helping pick up her things.

"Thanks." Her dark eyes brighten when she sees him. 'He's cute,' she thinks to herself. And kind, since no one else seemed to be in a hurry to help her.

"Can I have you?" The words were out of his mouth before he could even think, let along slap his head and say deja-vu. "I mean, uh, can I help you?"

Blushing at his remark, she nods and stands with her books now safely tucked within her arms. "Yes, to the former, the first....well we'll just have to see." Her voice is very low now, flirty.

And now it's his turn to blush. Which, as far as she's concerned makes him look even cuter.

"So what room are you looking for?" The dark haired sixteen year old leans over and reads her transcript. "Oh, room 201, that's just a few doors down."

The two of them walk together down the hall, towards said class. The only problem along the way is an annoying guy taking pictures, and seemingly very interested in getting a picture of Paige's head.


The Library.

The entire Scooby gang is present, including Cordelia, who isn't all too happy at being part of the happy little gang.

"This won't take long. I have to be the only girl around who has coroner's office bookmark on her computer." The red haired teenager informed her friends as she sat down in front of a computer.

Buffy and Xander sat next to her, waiting patiently for the screen to come up.

"Ya, well sorry to interrupt the international convention of freaks, but I need Willow to help me with my science fair project." The tall brunette girl informed them.

More conversationally, then coldly. Something it seemed, Ms. Chase was working on. Not taking her eyes of the screen, Willow answered, "Its a fruit."

Tearing up a little, the cheerleader sighed softly before saying, "I would've asked Chris to help me, but that would have just stirred up to many old memories of Daryl." She sobbed, you know in the fake way bad actresses do.

Utterly ignoring the older girl, the petite red head spoke excited, "I've found it! Meredith Todd died in a car accident last week."

Put out that she's not getting any sympathy, and not really caring about this Meredith Todd, Cordy continued. "But I've worked through my pain."

She spoke as if it took a great deal of inner strength to get over it.

Of course no one was paying her any mind.

The blond haired slayer interjected, "How was her neck? Were their any bite marks?" If there were, then it might just be another vampire & not grave robbing.

Willow just shook her head, "Fine, well except that it was broken. But no teeth marks." Giles getting the 'but' of the conversation walked up quickly, a book in his left hand.

"Hello?!? Can we deal with 'my' pain?" Cordelia said frustrated.

Off handedly, and without any real feeling, Giles patted her on the shoulder, "There, there." Before be continues up the stairs and to his book stocks.

Leaving the well-built young girl to glare after him.

"It says that Meredith Todd, and two of her fellow classmates were in the car together, and died instantly when it crashed. They were all from Fondren High, coming back from a big game." The badly dressed, yet very cute young red head informed her friends.

Finally having more then enough information to come to her conclusion, the chosen one spoke up. "You realize what this means?"

"That Fondren might actually beat Sunnydale in the cross-town body count competition this year?" Xander's joke was in bad taste, but it still defused some of the angst in the room.

"She wasn't killed by vampires. Someone dug her up, and stole the corpse."

"Eck!!!" Thoroughly disgusted, Cordelia said, "Why is it that the world corpse is brought into every conversation? Don't you people ever look for missing puppies?"

Suppressing a chuckle at her comment, Xander asked the question that was on the front of his mind. "So someone's stealing bodies, why?"

Giles, now finished with a good bit of his research put in his two cents. "Uh, yes, here it is," he said to himself looking at one of his many books.

"Demons who eat the flesh of the dead to absorb their souls. Or it could be, uh, a voodoo practitioner."

"You mean, like making a zombie?" A sickened look passed over Willow's face.

Playing with the dead was just nasty.

"Um, more like a cadre of them. Most voodoo priests would require more than one." The watcher explained, while rubbing between his eyes. A headache was beginning to set in. Too much reading in dark rooms.

Totally in command mode now, Buffy began to rally the troops. "So, we should check in on the two other girls graves. If their there we go with demon, with them gone, voodoo priest."

Shaking his head at the thought, if amused, Xander said, "So we're digging up graves tonight? Well, its better then cleaning my room."

More excited then anyone needs to be when talking about digging up dead bodies, Willow spoke with enthusiasm. "Field trip! Yah." She then turns to Buffy with a interested expression. "You going to call Angel?"

"I don't think so." The firm and shapely slayer was still a bit pissed off at him for the night before.

But hearing the news that the rival for Buffy's affections wasn't going, Xander was all of a sudden chipper. "Ya, why bother dead boy?"

The interested expression on the young red head had turned sour & worried.

"Angel and I have been, umm..." She trailed off, not really wanting to go into it with Xander so close. It was one thing to be thinking completely impure thoughts about her friend, it was another to talk about the current boyfriend with him.

"Never mind. What Angel doesn't know, won't hurt him." This time the young slayers eyes were on her dark haired friend. And she was rewarded with one of his famous half smiles of his.

"So, everything's set then? We do this around nine-ish? BYO shovel?" The two hormonal teenagers continued to look at one another, something Willow had noticed and was none to pleased about.

Her good mood diminished, but not totally gone the only daughter of the Rosenberg's volunteered food. "Alright, I'll bring some food. Who else likes those little powdered doughnuts?"

Knowing full well that they were Xander's favorite.

"Me!" Giles was the only one who didn't sigh dreamily at how cute the dark haired young man sounded when he said that. For which the Englishman was whole-heartedly thankful.


"Darn, " She snaps her fingers in faux disappointment, "sorry, but I have cheerleading practice tonight. Shucks, if only I had known we'd be digging up dead people tonight, God knows I would have canceled."

Ya, when hell froze over and Michael Jackson became president, the dark haired teen thought sarcastically.

Not willing to let her smart-ass comment go without one of his own, Xander spoke, "That's alright, we understand. But if the army of zombies shows up, give us a page before they eat your brains."

Huffing in disgust, terror, and morbid curiosity, Cordelia Chase quickly left the library.



"Only in movies do zombies eat the brains of their victims." The watcher explained.

"Yeah, I knew that. But did you 'see' the look on her face? Priceless."

Willow & Buffy just smiled at their friends twisted sense of humor.


Sunnydale High Lunch room.

"He's a cutie, huh?"

The sound of someone talking to her caught Paige off guard. So far, Sunnydale hadn't really been a very open place. Full of bitchy cheerleaders and dip-shit jocks.

The pale beauty turned around to see who it was talking to her; which turned out to be a biker girl, with a tight black t-shirt & a leather mini skirt.


"Xander, duh. He might be a total geek, but he has a pretty mouth." The statement was so openly obscene that Paige couldn't help but laugh.

"Ya, I noticed it." Which was true, well, she'd thought he had gorgeous smile. But come to think of it, his mouth was awfully pretty. And he seemed to have a long tongue....

She let 'that' thought roll around in her mind for a little bit.

"Too bad he's off the market. I wouldn't mind given him a roll one day.


I'm Sheila."

"Paige." They shook hands before taking a seat at one of the many empty lunch tables. Most everyone else was gathered around the 'cool' table.

Or trying to get as close as possible. Losers.

"So who's his girlfriend?" And please don't let it be that bitch Harmony, Paige hoped inwardly.

But the biker chick just shook her head in denial, "No girlfriend. But he's always hanging around with these three girls. Willow, who's a total mouse but she's been in love with him since preschool, Cordelia, the former queen of the high school, who has been seen checking out his ass more then once."

"And the other?"

"Oh, Buffy. She got booted from her old school for, like, burning the place down. Wicked awesome if you ask me." They ate as they talked.

Three-day-old meatloaf, yummy.

"So he's a player, huh?" Which he really didn't seem to be to her, but she hadn't really talked to him all that much. He'd just helped her with her books, and showed her the homeroom she couldn't find.

But with lines like, can I have you? Ya, maybe he was a player.

"Nah, hell I can't even remember him ever having a girl friend. But look around this place the jocks are all dicks. A third of this place is nerds and all they talk about his Star Wars." Sheila said with mild disgust.

"But Xander, geeky as he can be, he's a sweet peace of ass."

Paige almost choked on her milk with that comment, and prayed that milk didn't come out of her noise. That'd just be the perfect end to this messed up day.

"The term tact and you aren't on specking terms, huh?" She joked, but never the less was having a good time. If nothing else at least she'd made one friend.

"Who has time for tact? So, where you from?"

"San Francisco. Just moved down here to live with my great aunt."

The sound of some of the 'cool' kids picking on one of the less cool kids could be heard all the way across the lunch room.

This school was such a hellhole.

"So why haven't you made a play for him? You obviously want him in a bad way." The dark haired new student asked trying to figure Sheila out.

Biker chicks weren't shy about their feelings, it was very want, take, and have with them. Paige just wondered why she hadn't taken Xander into one of the bathroom stalls and made a man out of him.

Sheila just let out a frustrated sigh, "Buffy, she's like a total dog.

She gets Uber territorial when anyone even looks at him."

"Hmmm." Paige hummed as she thought. It would be nice to have a guy hanging with her and Sheila. And if the hooks this Buffy chick had in Xander could be removed, he might be so 'fun' to have around.

"So, uh, what are you doing later?" The two girls then began planning out their afternoon after school. Sheila was going to show Paige around town.


Sunnydale Mall.

Once school was let out, Sheila had given Paige a ride on her new motorcycle. Or, rather, the loser who she was allowing to screw her new bike.

It was a cool ride, even if meat pile was a shriveled little poser.

Once at the mall, like most girls they headed straight to the cloths.

And three hours later, hadn't moved yet. Paige might not have any money, but she was 'not' about to wear that shit her aunt left her.

Paige had taken over one of the mirrors in the store and had camped out in front of it, trying on lots of different cloths. That, and smirking at the guys who kept checking her out.

"Still got it." She muttered self-assured of herself.

"Nice look." Sheila called out when she made her way over to her new friend. The leather-clad chick was impressed at Paige's new look.

The cloths she'd been wearing in school were shitty at best, and smelled rank. But now, the pale skinned brunette was dressed in a tight low cut black shirt, and a short skirt. Not as short as Shelia, but who could claim that had one that shirt?

You could practically see Sheila's thong whenever she sat down. Not that the leather wearing biker babe gave a damn. Nah, if anything she enjoyed all the attention.

"So, you ready to ditch the place? I'm already spent. Check this out."

Sheila looked around to make sure no one else was looking, then pulled her skirt up to show off her new underwear, a black G-string with a smiley face guy flipping the bird right in the middle. Paige couldn't help but chuckle.

"You are truly nasty." There was no malice to the statement, just admiration. "Ya, lets get out of here. I've got to get back home before night fall."


Later that night at one of the many cemeteries.

"I can't believe what an asshole Angel was being. He was acting all jealous, but he wasn't man enough to admit it." Buffy Summers informed her red haired friend.

While of course, Giles and Xander dug the actual grave. Shovels in hand, they were making a hole.

"Jealous of what?" Willow asked as she handed another doughnut to her slayer pal. Gals do the cooking and eating, and it was left up to the men folk to dig up the corpse. Ya, that's fair.

A little smirk appeared on the petite blonds face as she turned to get a better look at Xander's backside as he worked vigorously in the dirt.

"Of Xander."

Oh, Willow thought finally understanding why Angel would be throwing a hissy fit. "'Cause of how you did that sexy dance with him." Another sugary morsel goes into her mouth, never to be seen again.

"Am I ever going to live that down?" As fun as it was, and believe you me, Buffy enjoyed the hell out of it. It was just that the chosen one wasn't too happy about the whole school finding out about it the next day and branding her a slut, all over one little dance.

"Sorry, but no." And another doughnut bites the dust. Rosenberg was really putting them away. And for a girl of 104 pounds, she had some room to hide them.

Shaking her head annoyed, Buffy continued. "Anyway, he was being all moody. And I didn't appreciate his attitude."

"Love makes you do the wacky." The sixteen year old informed her blond friend with a joyful smile. "That's the truth." The only daughter of Joyce Summers said in agreement.

"You know, this might go a lot faster if you ladies picked up a shovel, too. Equal rights my ass." Xander called from in the grave, sweat glistening on his brow.

"Here, here." Giles coughed, practically sweating to death.

Licking her tongue out to moisten her lips, also hoping to distract Xander as she spoke, Buffy explained why she wouldn't help. "Sorry, but I'm an old fashioned gal. Momma always taught me, digging up dead folks is men's work. We just have the babies."

For once, the dark haired young man wasn't enspelled by her slayers pink tongue and pouting lips. He was just too damn tired. All he could muster was a glare before going back to work.

Turning back to Willow, Buffy inquired about Cordelia's earlier complaints about 'her inner pain.' "What was her riff about painful memories.

Who's this Daryl?"

Always the fountain of information, the young red head let her friend in on the 411. "Daryl Epps. Chris's older brother. He was a big football star. He used to run...well...with the ball a lot?"

Her interest peeked now, the slayer forged on. "Was he a hottie?" "Big time. All the girls were crazy about him."

"And he broke Cordy's heart? Thus proving that she actually has one."

Only a little scorn was visible on the young girls face as she said that.

Still not to happy with the brunette.

Always one to poke fun at Cordelia Chase, but this just wasn't the time. "He died. He fell rock climbing." Which, as far as Willow was concerned was up their with being eaten by vampires as one of the worst ways to croak.

"Man, that's a shitty deal. Poor Chris."

The sounds of shovel and dirt could be heard just behind their conversation.

Not that either girl was paying them much mind. They'd made their point, do your duty men, dig.

"Ya, really. And ever since then, Chris has been real withdrawn and quiet.

Sorta living off in his own little world in his head. I hear their mom wont even leave the house anymore." Very depressing.

But they were brought out of such morbid thoughts by the sound of shovel striking casket.

"I think we're here." Giles called out to them, tired and ready to get home and get into nice bath. The smell of graveyard and dirt would stain his cloths, though. They'd have to be burned, but only after a well-deserved bath.

The girls made their way over to the large hole and peered down.

"Um, by the way, are we hoping to find a body, or be body free?"

Willow asked, not real clear on what it was they were looking for now.

Far too tired for his usual verbal sparring, Xander just spoke truthfully.

"Personally, I'm hopping to find the missing body of Jimmy Hoffa." Ok, so maybe one more joke.

"Hmm, uh, a body would point towards the demon who eats human flesh, and no body would further the idea of an army of zombies. Flip a coin for your choice, really." Giles told them still out of wind.

"Right, "The watcher indicated towards the casket. "Go on."

The look on the older mans face wasn't cowardly, but it was about what you'd expect. That 'I'm too British to open the caskets of dead people.' I'm sure you know the look.

"Sissy." Was Xander's only reply before he leaned over and opened it up. All eyes were on the box.


It was after dark before Paige got home. No fault of Sheila's, really.

It was just that traffic can be a bitch, even in a small time like Sunnydale.

The dark haired teenager quietly made her way through the front door and into the darkened house, hoping her great aunt was fast asleep.

Subconsciously she once again pulled her shoulder length dark locks behind her ears as she walked.

"Where have you been?" The angry voice of Miss. Long cut through the quiet of the house. And Paige could see from the look on her aunts face, that there was no chance of her getting away with this little transgression.

The shrill sound of her aunt's dog was also getting on her nerves. As if the creature knew it was safe hiding behind its masters leg, so it could make as much racket as it liked.

"Answer me!" The gray haired old women stomped her cane against the floor threateningly. "Where have you been?!?" She was getting angrier and angrier.

"I was just, um, with a friend." She answered meekly.


"Just a girl from school I met." A little more fire in her voice now that she was defending Sheila. It wasn't her fault, and there was no reason for her aunt to attack her only friend.

"Oh? A girl you met at school? And do her parents let her roam wildly at all hours of the night?" The old woman was foaming now. How dare this child speck back to her was her main thought.

Shaking her head in astonishment, Paige defended herself. "But its only 6:30."

"Don't you dare talk be to me you ungrateful little tramp! I told you to be here before nightfall, and that was an hour ago!" The bible thumping old women spat. "You have chores to do, not gallivanting with some girl."

This was just getting to out of control. And the pale skinned beauty looked nervously around her.

"I'm sorry, I just lost tract of time." She knew it wasn't her fault, but what else could she do? This was the only home she had now that her parents were dead.

The old woman's sneer melted away to show a bright smile. And with a kindhearted chuckled Miss. Long gestured for her grand niece to come closer.

"Oh, well. These things happen, and you did lose track of the time."

Hopeful that everything was over, Paige walked towards her aunt as she continued to talk. "I remember what it was like, being young and at a new school."

The teenager's whole being seemed to brighten up now. This wasn't so bad, she thought to herself. Maybe her aunt was just a little strict, but kindly too.

Such thoughts ended as soon as she was in grabbing distance with Miss.

Long, who right hand stretched out and grabbed the younger girls arm tight.

Tight enough to leave bruises.

"But if you expect to continue living in 'my' house, you'll do as 'I' say." All the pleasantness that was there before was gone again, the sneer was firmly back in place as if it had never left.

"You will treat me with the proper respect you harlot. And when I say be here before nightfall, you best do as I say!" She was shacking Paige now, painfully.

Bruises would be seen clearly now, she was sure of it. One of the dry backs of being so fair-skinned.

"Damnit let me go. You're hurting me!" In all the years she'd lived with her foster parents, through all the fights and arguments they had never laid a hand on her. Never!

The only response she was given was an open hand slapping against her face, and it Miss. Long hadn't still been holding her left arm Paige might have fallen back from the force of it.

"Don't you dare use that fail langue in my house! You stupid, dirty mouthed tramp!" The cruel old woman was now pulling her grandniece down the hall against the teens will.

Finally at her bedroom, Miss. Long forcefully pushed the bruised and battered teen into her bedroom.

"Now you sit in there, and you think about your actions. And how you should show proper respect to your elders." Before the young girl could speck, the door was slammed closed.

So load that Paige flinched with its impact, her head still reeling from the force of the hand against the left side of her face. She could even taste the blood now from her busted lip.

And there she sat the entire night.


The Library, after their little grave robbing fieldtrip.

"So, both coffins were empty. Sorta pointing to the army of zombies, doesn't it?" Xander's voice could be heard clearly as he spoke with his friends on their way through the double doors and into the library.

"Is it an army if you only have three? Seems to be an undead Pep Squad," Willow commented as she walked.

The three friends turn to see someone standing near the main table in the middle of the library. Angel stood there watching him, a pompous look passing over his face. Cordelia clung to his left arm frightfully.

"Maybes it's a zombie honor guard." Buffy's voice trails off at the sight before her.

"Your back." The two hundred and forty five year old master vampire commented to his girlfriend, bit his eyes were clearly on the dark haired boy beside her.

"Angel." The slayer nodded.

"Xander." The vampire growled.

"Angel." The teen smirked.

All the while Willow & Giles watched the exchange like a ping pong game, there heads turning back and forward, back and forward as the verbal match continued.

"I thought you said you were taking the night off." Accusation was clear in the undead man's voice as he stared at his 'girlfriend'.

But Buffy quickly tried to defuse the situation, "I was, I mean I did, but something important came up." The petite blond rambled a bit.

"Cordelia told me the truth." The dark haired cheerleader wasn't clinging frightened anymore, she was holding the vampires arm like they were going steady.

Xander couldn't help but chuckle, "Most be a new experience for her." Buffy just turned away, not at all happy with her 'boyfriends' actions.

He was purposely using the other girls crush on him, to hurt her. That was just low.

Willow & Giles just continued to watch the whole exchange, filling awfully awkward but unable to do anything about it. That is, until the Englishman spoke up.

"Um, well, as long as your here, perhaps you could help us with her research." The older man intervened, having enough of this whole sorted love triangle. Or square if you add Cordelia into the mix.

Willow on the other hand was sorta disappointed. You didn't get this kind of action off daytime soaps.

Swallowing her pride, the chosen one shared a glance with Xander before specking. "We were investigating the disappearance of a handful of dead girl's bodies."

With a self-serving smirk, Angel put in his two cents. "I know, we find some of them."

The only daughter of the Chase's continued to hold the dead mans arm, smirking openly now at her blond rival. Not that Buffy was paying her much mind at the moment.

"Some of them? As in two out of three?"

"I mean like some of them. Like bits and peaces." Of course this wasn't anything truly disturbing to the vampire, but everyone else with a pulse shuddered at the mental visual.

Shell shocked a little, Cordelia actually spoke truthfully. "It was just horrible! Angel saved me from an arm that was trying to get fresh." She just shook her head at the memories, "Why does these things keep happening to me, I mean, I'm a good person."

"Bullshit." Xander said in a cough, insisted a smile from Willow, and a hateful glare from Cordelia herself.

Buffy on the other hand was thinking about the case. Things just weren't adding up. If it wasn't a demon eating flesh, and it wasn't someone making an army of zombies, what was it?

"There goes out zombie theory." The cute red head said almost sadly. The walking dead might spook her out, but she still would have liked to have seen a real zombie.

"There goes all our theories, really." Giles said frustrated.

"I just don't get it." Most everyone's eyes turned to the lovely Ms. Summers as she spoke. "Why the hell would someone go to all the trouble of digging up three dead girls, only to go all hatchet man on them, then throw them all away."

It just didn't add up to her. "It just makes no since what so ever. I mean, there has to be easier hobbies."

Finally dragging his head from up his ass, Angel put in some helpful information. "What I saw didn't add up to three whole girls. It seemed to me, that they kept some parts. An arm or maybe two, a torso, and the like."

"Could this get any more gross? Why keep parts?"

Willow piped up now, an idea forming in her mind. "Oh! They probably kept the extra parts to eat!"

"Well that's one question answered." Xander said, looking a little pale now.

Talk of eating dead peoples parts was starting to get to him now. Thank god, he didn't eat dinner before this little meeting.

"But why throw them away at a school? I, um, mean, there are plenty of other places one could dispose of human remains in the five miles it took it get from the cemetery to here." Giles wondered aloud.

So why go to all the trouble to being them here? He just couldn't see the connection. Luckily, the slayer had a valid reason in mind.

"Maybe it was, oh I don't know, a student?"

"Oh, um, yes." The Englishmen sounded a little embraced now. That did seem like a very likely reason, one that he hadn't been able to see sooner.

Finally feeling his age.

Disbelieving, Angel tried to blow some holes in that idea. "This wasn't some amateurs work. Who ever made those cuts and incisions really knew what they were doing." Sorta reminded him of Jack the Rippers work way back when.

Sharing the vampire's views, Giles chuckled, "Yes, right. What student here of all places, would be that well versed in physiology?" This was, after all, a public school.

Scoffing a little, Willow ventured. "Well, I know of at least five people, not counting me, who would be able to pull something like this off."

Giles once again looked embarrassed.

"So, Wills, fess up and tell us your sorted tell of after hours body theft. Promise to never do it again, and we can all sleep soundly tonight."

Xander joked, but was only greeted with silence and stonily faces.

Gesturing around to everyone he continued, "You'll all laugh, mark my words. You will." Now he sounded like a B-grade movie villain.

"Willow, can you look up these guys locker numbers and addresses? So we can do some checking?" The beautiful young slayer asked her friend only to be interrupted by Cordelia.

"No! I have to go home now! I need a bath, and maybe a valium."

A humorous, and fake look of disappointment passed over Xander's face at her words. "Oh, you need to go? That's too bad, well, bye-bye.

Don't write. Ever."

Finally a smile passed over Buffy face. When in doubt, insult Cordy. It always brings a smile to even the crankiest of slayers.

Not at all derailed by the dark haired young mans words, the beautiful and well-built cheerleader went on with her plan. "I can't go home alone, I'm still fragile."

Both Buffy & Xander coughed the words 'bullshit' out this time.

But the seeming cheerleader wasn't done. She turned to Angel with a very,

lost in the woods look, before asking. "Can you take me?"

Of course, not even Angel had been expecting this to go down when he'd used the brunette to make Buffy jealous. And from the open mouth look of misery on his face, it was clear to everyone he 'really' didn't want to go anywhere.

Not that the chosen one was wiling to let me off that easily. She just glared, annoyed at the whole thing.

Cordy, not being one to be turned down didn't give the vampire long enough

to do just that, she just latched onto his arm ever tighter and started pulling him towards the double doors. "Great, lets go. I'll drive."

When alive Angel, or more importantly, Liam had been a right bastard and a lazy bloke. But he couldn't just turn down being a young girls escort.

It would be just...rude.

He just prayed Buffy and the others would take pity on him and find some reason for him to stay and help with the research.

But none came, and he was pulled through the main library doors and down the hall, a helpless look on his brooding face the whole time.

Once he was gone, Xander put in one last jab at his foe. "Now look at that, and I'd always thought of him as a one women vampire." The words were to hurt Angel, but also to get under Buffy's skin.

Which it succeeded in doing.

It seemed, despite most people's doubts that, Alexander Harris was far more devious then people gave him credit for.


Chris Epp's home.

A lone mother sits in front of a television, a video being played over and over again in front of her. Her deceased son's face smiling back at her from the screen, being cheered on by hundreds of bystanders.

The younger son, not an football like his older brother, but quit smart in his on right, comes into the room and stands near his mother.

"Uh, I'm going to go out for a little while, alright mom?"

Like every other time he said anything to her, silence was the only reply given. She just continued to smoke her cigarette and watch the video.

Not knowing, or maybe not even caring what effect she was having on her remaining son.

Defeated, Chris turns away from the all to failure scene and walks to the basement door never looking back.

Even as the door slams behind him, his mother doesn't stir, doesn't even seem to notice. She just continues to watch the cheers and hoots on the video, and the laughing face of his dead child.

Her favorite part comes up and she turns up to volume to hear it. "Dar-yl! Dar-yl! Dar-yl! Dar-yl! Dar-yl!" Once over, she rewinds the home movie and starts it all over again.

And the rest is silence.



The creepy boy from the day before, the one taking all the pictures stands in the middle of Chris's basement, his friend working on the mismatched and stitched together corpse of those three dead girls.

All in all it looks like a bad Frankenstein movie monster, made real.

But missing a head at the moment.

Ignoring Chris, Eric continues singing his song and developing the pictures from the day before. "I guess you'll say, What can make me feel this way, My girl......"

Finally letting the pictures still in the clear liquid, waiting to be finished, Eric walks over to the stitched up body. "And how's my baby this evening?" His opening leering at the cold dead female flesh now.

"She's not your baby." The mad scientist that was Chris Epps growled out, not taking his eyes off his...masterpiece.

"If we don't finish soon, she's not going to be anyone's baby."

Checking his watch and seeing that the minute is up, and that the pictures are done, Eric goes over and starts putting them up.

Frustrated at being questioned yet again, the red haired lunatic spoke out.

"I'm almost there."

A perverse smile adores Eric face as with one hand he displays his pictures, and with the other he touches himself through his jeans.

"So am I." He grunted out, his hand quickening its work.

Four pictures now hang from a makeshift close line, Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Cordelia Chase, and last but not least Paige Mathews.


It took Paige a lot longer to get ready this morning, not just having to go through the shitty cloths left for her to wear, but to do her best trying to cover up the bruised side of her face and her spit lip.

The black and blue handprint on her arm was easier to hide, just using black arm warmers to cover those up.

Unlike the night before, the dark haired beauty wasn't flinching at every sound. Not backing down and cowering like she did before. No, hell no, Paige's mind growled.

She was taking a page out of her earlier years, and instead of being pushed around and made to feel like shit. She was going to do what came natural.

She was gonna cause some trouble.

The plan brown dress that her great-aunt forced her to wear, the one that smelled like rancid mothballs, was disgraded as soon as she was far enough from the house.

Underneath was a tight black t-shirt was that practically a bra, her black arm warmers, and a leather miniskirt that she'd stolen from the mall the day before.

All in all, she was looking 'good'.

And as soon as Paige was in school, the reactions she'd gotten just the day before had totally changed.

Those sleazy jokes that had ignored her, or mocked her were struck dumb now by how very hot she was. And in turn, they were being ignored or sneered at by her.

And all those bitchy cheerleaders, or 'popular' girls were glaring with deep envy at her now. Wishes they had such fine skin, or such a well-stacked body.

"Damn girl! Where'd you find that?" Smiling, Paige turned to find Sheila checking out her new look.

"Oh? These old thing?" The dark haired beauty struck a pose, "Just something I find in the closet." Laughing together, the two girls made there way down the halls of Sunnydale.

Catching both leers, and glares from students and teachers from their matching sex appeal.


"Any signs of are two suspects?" Xander asked from his place next to Willow, sitting on the top of one of the schools few balconies.

The night before the Scooby gang had tracked down the leads Willow had come up with. About who could be skilled enough to start mixing and matching body parts to make a person.

Chris & Eric were at the top of their very short list.

"Not yet." The blond haired slayer said with a sign, a little wigged at all of this. Making new people out of old dead people was just gross to her on so many levels.

She turned to spot a pack of nerds ogling a hot girl that walked by and wondered, why couldn't those two losers be like all the other freaks? Why take it to such a disturbing new place.

"Its just creepy. Why would anyone want to make a girl?" She told her friends with a shudder.

"You mean, when the world or at least 50% of it anyway, is already made up of girls? The things we do for love." The dark haired young man shrugged.

After all the weird stuff he'd seen on the glorious Hellmouth, this just didn't seem all that outrageous. Sick and twisted, yes. But not unbelievable.

"Love has nothing to do with this." Buffy informed her friend, believing full heartedly in her words.

What those two freaks were filling wasn't love, it was so far from it one couldn't see the other from a distance.

"Maybe, maybe not. But I will tell you something, people don't fall in love with what's right in front of them." His dark eyes were locked onto the slayer's green.

And not even Willow was unaware of the subtext going on here. "This thing with them, its like a dream. A twisted one, but still a dream. Something unattainable, something they know they can't have, but are even more attractive for those same reasons."

The pretty red haired teen looks heart broken the more Xander goes on.

Knowing full well that it's not her he's talking about. It's not her that he longs for.

And she can't help but send a sharp glare at Buffy. Who's looking away in embarrassment, not knowing how this conversation had been turned around to 'them'?

"And for Eric, the unattainable is everyone. Well, everyone who's alive anyway." Willow says as she hops from her place next to Xander and starts walking down the near by stairs.

Buffy following next to her, glad to have find a way to retreat from the previous conversation. The blond might be having dirty thoughts about her Xander-shaped friend, but she was with Angel. And that wasn't going to change.

Which left the only son of Tony Harris behind, his words being ignored now.

"Well, Eric seems sick enough to go through with this, but Chris? He always seemed like a nice enough guy, quiet, but not a closet body thief."

Having no other choice, Xander hops from his place and walks behind his two friends.

"Uh, I dunno. After his brother died, Chris went thought the whole dark period. Talking about death, and loss a lot. Maybe he thinks he can take death on head first."

The only male Scooby doesn't put anything into the conversation, his mind are own other things now.

Something turns in the slayers stomach, "But they can't really do it, right? Piecing someone together from the scraps of others, and making it live.

They can't, right?"

She might take on vampires, but Buffy was in no hurry to go one on one with Frankenstein's monster.

"Well, if it is, my science project on UV rays and there effect on fruit flies is definitely coming in second this year." And she'd worked so hard on that.

Spotting Giles over the head of his female friends, Xander spoke up, "Specking of love.... there's our resident dreamboat, waiting on his lady love."

Buffy smiles at his little joke at seeing her watcher standing in the middle of the hall, no doubt waiting on Miss. Calender.

Willow on the other hand didn't get it, "What does love have to do with bring dead tissue back to life?"

Slightly pouting at being misconstrued, "Do I deconstruct your segues? Naww!" Now its the pretty red heads turn to pout, but for other reasons.

Like having her crush unhappy with her.

Letting Xander bless Willow out, Buffy quickly made her way behind her love sick watcher, "Hey."

To distracted to really come up with anything better to say, the Englishman nods once at the gathering of teenagers behind him, "Oh, yes. I didn't see your come up." And then he was back to Jenny gazing.

On topic for once, the young chosen one tries to inquire about their suspects. "Any sign of our Doctor strange wanna-bes?"

This time he didn't even turn around before saying, "Hm? Oh, yes. Corpses, evil afoot. Yes, most do something about that." Once done babbling his nonsense, he continued to wait for the lovely computer teacher.

Suddenly very nervous, Giles does his best not to panic as Miss. Calender starts walking towards him. "Yes, good. Hmmm."

Buffy, taking pity on him reminds him of what they talked about the day before. "Just remember, I wanna date you, maybe you wanna date me.

Ask about her hobbies."

Willow and Xander quietly laugh behind their backs. Their bad moods forgotten as Giles shakes like a wet kitten in fright of a girl in front of them.

"Hmm, hobbies?"

Wow, Buffy thinks to herself, I didn't have this much trouble when I first started dating at 13. How old is Giles, like 50?

"She's a Techno Pagan, G-man." The dark haired teen calls out after he was done with his little fit of giggles. "Ask her into you office to bless your...mouse." Inciting further laughs from Willow and now Buffy, they start to make their way down the halls.

"Remember, no name calling." Was Buffy's last retort before leaving. Smiling beautifully, the petite red head pats the older gentleman on the arm before running to catch up with her escaping friend.

Finally out of his stupor, Giles really doesn't want them to go. "Uh? No! Don't go."

But the girls are already gone, but not Xander. Who, the watcher grabs tightly and begs with his eyes not to abandon him at this venture.

Like a small boy on his first day of school, hoping mommy can come with him.

Taking pity on him, the young man stays put right beside the librarian, as Jenny Calender walks up to the pair.

"Good morning Rupert, Xander." Her dark shoulder length locks sway around her shoulders as she greets the two men, then she continues on her way to class.

"Uh, Ms Calender?" Giles calls out as he tries to catch up with her with Xander loyally walks behind him.

Smiling, her dark eyes lighting up with some inner mirth, Miss Calender specks as she walks. "Jenny, please. When people say Ms. Calender, I turn around and look for my father."

Chuckling at the joke, Xander watches from the sidelines at the two of them.

Not expecting to have the lovely computer teacher turn to him with that open smile of ours. Only too happy to at least have one person to shares her sense of humor.

"Jenny, then. Yes."

The three of them make their way down the halls, Jenny forcefully but soft like a rain storm as she walks, almost gliding, Giles, nervous and giddy all at the same time and Xander patiently lending moral support to the older man.

"Uh, Jenny, what I want to say..."


"Hm, uh, would it seem, uh, not indecorous, but...." He trails off, now lost for words. "What I mean to say is..." But he's still unable to say it.


Xander's not sure, but for some reason he thinks he knows why Jenny's gorgeous dark eyes are so bright right now. She knows what Giles is trying to ask her, and is simply, patiently, waiting fro him to ask.

"Well, uh...ummm." The words are fumbling out of his mouth now freely.

"Uh, um...I mean...."

Mercifully, Jenny stops him before he starts cursing him and calling passing students idiots, "Rupert. I really have to go. The lab wont set up its self."

She's not being dismissive, just in a hurry now. Not really expecting it to take 'this' long for him to come out and ask her to dinner.

Knowing that his chance is almost up, and not believing he'll be able to regain to courage to ask her out again, Giles makes on last attempt.

"What I'm proposing is, huh..."

His cut off by the sound of the first bell, which means that its class time.

"Ahh! Sorry Rupert, but I have to go." The dark haired techno pagan hurriedly runs down the ahll towards her class. Knowing full well if she's not there, the kids will start looking up porn.

Student and librarian stand out in the halls as Jenny makes it to her door, and quickly enters.

"Fool!" Giles growls to himself. Not wishing to stick around for further humiliation, he starts to turn and leave. Xander pats him on the shoulder affectionately, leaning his support once again.

But before either of them could leave, the computer door opens again and Miss. Calendar's head pops out. "Hey, if it's really all that important, why don't you tell me at the game."

For a few moments he stood there not comprehending, before it finally stuck him what night tonight was. "Game? Oh! Yes, the football game. You'll be there?"

Smiling freely now that he has a second chance, he just waited for her to continue.

"Well yeah, why is that so surprising?"

"NO!, uh, I-I-I-I-I-I..." He was again fumbling with his words, until that is, Xander unceremoniously slapped him across the back. "I just assumed that you, uh, spent your nights surfing that web for spells, and reading tea leafs."

Smiling at Xander and Giles's easy with one another, Jenny answered. "On most nights, maybe. But not game night. I'll see you there, right?"

"Oh! Yes, of course. I, uh, never miss it." He lied as easily as he could.None to subtle, Jenny took over the conversation and where it was going.

"Great. So we should just go there together. I'll pick you up after school, and if your hungry we could stop by somewhere for a bite to eat. You like Mexican?"

The enthralled look on Giles face could have made a grown man cry from embarrassment, but he didn't feel that. And Xander wasn't going to tell anyone.

He nodded, hopeful now.

"Wonderful. So, whatever it is that you need to tell me, tell me then.


"Okay! Tonight, then. I'll see you there."

Shaking her head with a grin, Jenny walked back into her class. Leaving the two men to themselves.

Turning to Xander, Giles grinned brightly. "That went well. Yes." The Englishman didn't wait for a reply before walking back towards the library with a skip in his step.

Xander just stood their laughing behind him.


English class.

"Ms. Kendal, would you please pass out tonight's homework assignments, please?"

A graying English teacher called out to the blond cheerleader, who knowing that she'd get extra credit for it jumped up and started passing out the work with gusto.

When the vapid blond got to the last to desk, Paige and Sheila, that's when the bitch really started showing in her.

Harmony all but slapped the leather clad biker chick in the face with the assignment, and dropped Paige's in the middle of the ale, for enough away that she'd have to get up to get it.

But Paige wasn't going to put of with that shit. Not today, not after what she had to go through last night. And without any further prompting, she slunk her right foot out and took Harmony's feet out from under her.

"Ahhhhhhh" The ditzy girl screamed out before getting a face full of floor.Cordelia, never one to let anyone get away with anything, called out to the downed blond. "Wow, Harm, when'd you become such a klutzy loser?"

The whole class burst into laughs at that, and Paige continued to punish her downed enemy. "Oops."

Sheila was openly cackling at Harmony's pained face from the floor. The teacher, like many others in the school just kept on writing out work on the board.

Soon the second bell would go off and all the students were excused from this class, to there next.

The two dark haired outcasts walked together, unaffected by any glares or lustful looks they might get from their fellow students.

"So, am I going to see you tonight?" The biker babe asked as they walked.

"I don't think so, I have a lot of things to do tonight. And I'm still catching shit for coming home late." And for that alone, Paige might just go out. Just to piss the old women off.

"So how long have you been going here?"

Sheila just shook her head in silent agony, "Years. This place just sucks. And excluding the meat candy we were talking about yesterday, there's not a decent guy in the whole place."

This brought a laugh out of Paige. It'd take her a while to get used to how open her friend was, and how down right vulgar. But she liked it never the less.

"Meat candy? And I thought you and Xander hadn't down anything..." She trailed off, waiting for a story.

"Oh, we went to swim class together last year. And believe you me, that boys trunks were 'full'!" This insight ends another giggle from Paige at the mental visual.

"Hey, loser!" The two girls turned around to see Harmony making her way through the hall full of students, murder clear in her eyes. "Out of my way, freaks." She pushed anyone and everyone out of the way to get by.

"Piss off, Harm." They never lost stride as they walked.

Not used to someone so freely ignoring her, the angry cheerleader took it to the next level and slammed both her hands against Paige's back, knocking her onto the floor were everyone would now laugh at 'her.'

"You better watch yourself, trailer trash." Sheila swung her fist towards the annoying blond, only to have her jump back towards the nearest open class room.

"Don't cross me, trailer trash. You, or your little dyke." The leather clad biker chick was all but fuming at the cheerleader. But to no avail, as Harmony just laughed at the two of them before sitting down in front of a teacher.

Knowing full well she was safe from their wraith.


An empty classroom.

Willow just didn't get it. She kept reading over all the biology information that Chris had, but she still just didn't get it. "It makes no sense.

How could Chris do it? Arresting the cell deterioration is hard enough, but..."

Seeing that his friend's head was about to go 'pop', Xander interjected with a joke. At least for a few minutes it'd amuse his Willow.

"Hello. I've seemed to have lost my head." The dark haired young man said in a high-pitched voice, as he shook a plastic manikins head in front of him.

It was a lot funnier in his head than it was in real life.

Never the less, the pretty fair skinned red head did her best to not laugh as the head talked to her. "Maybe an electrical current combined with an adrenaline boost."

Yes, she thought is slow astonishment. Yes, that could work.

"For the love of all the is holy and good, tell me about my legs. I can't feel my legs." Seriously, the disembodied head in Xander's hands was really starting to freak Willow out.

Buffy walked in behind Willow, her mood sour. "I've been checking around, and neither Chris or Eric were seen in school today."

"That's no accident. They most be together somewhere with their little creation." A cold shiver went down Xander's spin just thinking about what that freak Eric could be up to right now.

"They might have already finished."

Growling in frustration, the chosen one spat angrily. "Damnit! What if it worked? What if that girl find herself awake surrounded by those two twisted bastards?"

It wasn't her norm to curse so, but this whole thing was putting Buffy in a bad mood. It was all just too sick.

"Poor girls, actually." The teenager tried to lighten the mood with a joke, but to no avail. Everyone was tense, and it seemed they'd be staying that way.

"What could be going through her mind right now?"

"More importantly, what are they...doing to her right now." Willow had ideas, as did Buffy & Xander. And the more they thought about it, the more they all wanted to vomit.

Taking off his jacket as he walked into the room, Giles put their fears to ease. "I don't think they'll be doing anything right now. I just got off the phone with one of the press people a little while ago. And all three heads were find in the dumpster."

So that poor girl, or uh, girls were safe for the moment. Unless that is, Eric was such a degenerate that a headless body was 'still' a turn-on.

"And there was only three girls." Buffy saw where this was going. She could hold off the more twisted thoughts for a little while longer.


Willow cringed just thinking about all of this. "So, they don't have the whole deal done yet." Some good news.

"So, what? Those heads weren't good enough? They looked pretty enough in the picture." Buffy and Willow turned to Xander with an odd expression on their faces. "Huh, I guess I'm not as picky as Chris and Eric."

Giles nodded towards the dark haired teen, seeing the younger mans point. It seemed more then slightly odd that they'd throw away three perfectly good heads.

"From what I gathered from the police, I'd say that they're just a head short of completing their masterpiece."

"A head?" Willow said softly. It seemed awfully obvious what those two creeps had planned. If they were so willing to throw away those heads, then they most have another one in mind.


Chris's basement.

"The body is perfect. And if we cut the head off tonight, we'll be ready to finish her by the morning." Eric said with a perverse glint in his eyes.

Not at all put out at the thought of murdering an innocent girl and stealing her head. But who'd really expecting otherwise? If he was looking forward to sex with a corpse.

Daryl Epps walks out of the shadows, his skin a sickly pale greenish blue, his face crisscrossed with stitches and open wounds.

Chris's first experiment, his brother that was now returned from the dead, but not how he was before; his body was covered in stitches, or metal pins and bars keeping the bones that were broken in the fall together, After all, dead people didn't heal from broken bones.

"You said you'd take care of me Chris. That first night when you brought me back." The huge dead man gripped his little brother's shoulders affectionately. "I need her, Chris. I can't be alone."

His lips were bloodless and the same putrid color as the rest of his body.

His fingers were blackened at the ends, too long without blood they'd started to rot.

"Please, don't ask me to do this." Chris begged. The thought of murdering someone was further then he really wanted to go with all this. "I can't...I can't kill anyone."

Disgusted by his brother's weakness, Daryl pushes his Chris back away from him and started to pace back and forth around the small basement.

Chris might be squeamish, but Eric wasn't. "I keep trying to explain it too him. If you take a life, then replace it with another, then everything's still square." His fingers were entangled in front of him, like a B-grade movie villain.

But that wasn't his intentions.

Daryl had made it clear that he wouldn't put up with the little pervert touching himself in his presence. And when a 6'4 corpse tells you something, you do it.

"You could go out, maybe...let people see you." Chris tried one last ditch effort to stop this.

"NO!" The large dead man shouted, ashamed. He couldn't go out, let people see him like he was now. Let his mother seem him like this, it was out of the question.

Eric continued to watch from the sidelines, rubbing his crotch against the top of the desk he was sitting at. He couldn't get the thought of his creation out of his mind. Oh, the things they would do together.

"I can't go out there, Chris. You're the smart one, you always were. Please, little brother, your all I have. Your the only one who can help me."

The dead man implored softly. Softer then you'd expect from a makeshift zombie.Defeated, the red haired scientist did the only think he could. He nodded.

"Thank you!" Daryl pulled his little brother into a tight hug, pulling him clear off the ground and into the air. A joyous smile played across his rotting teeth.

He then turned to Eric, who for his own sake had stopped playing with himself.

"Show me the pictures." He ordered.

"With pleasure." The degenerate pulled out his stack of pictures from the day before and placed them face up in front of the dead man, for inspection.

It only took Daryl moments to make up his mind. "This one." He points out.Chuckling darkly to himself, Eric picks up the picture and start cutting off the head. "Wonder chose, just wonderful." Seconds later, the picture of Paige's head is chopped off.

"My girl, Talkin bout my girl, My girl." He continues to sing as he leers down at the picture, his mind on other things, and his filthy hands sliding underneath the table and out of Daryl's watchful eyes.


The walk home didn't really bother Paige. She was starting to get used to it, besides Sunnydale wasn't that large. And no one was going to get tired from walking a few blocks.

What was a problem was the asshole joke that was harassing her at the moment.

And it would have to be the moment she decided to redress before getting to her aunts house. She couldn't very well walk into the house wearing different cloths then the ones she left in.

That bitch of an old women would throw a cow. Or a cane. And Paige was in no mood to get beaten over something so stupid. She was still bruised from the night before, and the attack from Harmony.

"Need a hand?" Larry said with a leer.

It wasn't everyday he caught a half naked girl so near his house.

Unless he'd forced her into it.

"No, thanks you. I've been able to dress myself since I was two."

The fair skinned beauty shot back, her leg arm coming up to block his view from her bra.

"Come on, don't be like that. We could be friends."

She really didn't like the way he said 'friends.' But he wouldn't try and rape her in the middle of the street, he might be a jock, but he wasn't 'that' stupid.

"Don't make a fuss, sweetly. My house is just across the street." Real fear was starting to grip her now. She couldn't let this digress into a fistfight.

Kick ass girl of the 21's century she might be, but Larry was almost a full foot taller then her and at least a hundred pounds heavier.

He started to walk closer to her, invading her personal space in a big way. The look in his eyes told her everything she needed to know, despite his actions.

"Your a queer!"

You could have knocked him over with a feather at the very moment.

It looked as if those three little words had knocked the air right out of his sails.

"I'm not! Wha, uh, who have you been talking to?!?"

Finally she was free to get dressed without his fake little looks, because obvious rape wasn't bloody likely. "I'm from San Francisco, gay-dar built in."

A defeated look now replaced Larry's fake sexually depraved look. "You wont, you know, tell anyone, right?"

Paige just walked around him, never answering. She'd let him stew, see how he liked being scared like that. Having his control over things taken away.

He might not have really been willing to rape her, but the fear she'd felt was real enough. And he would suffer for that.


The Library.

Sitting behind one of the only computers in the library, Willow read through one of her bookmarked pages. Trying to discover anything information that would be helpful.

"I've went through all the obits, nothing. No one died that would make a likely candidate." Explained the petite red head.

"These guys are awfully picky for guys who already had three heads in start with." Xander just didn't understand why they wouldn't use one of those.


Finally things made since to not just Xander, but Giles as well. Who was wondering why they'd throw the heads away as well.

"Of course, formaldehyde. Yes, yes, that makes perfect sense. Formaldehyde accelerates decay in brain cells." That why the heads they had were useless.

"Exactly. After two or three days they're pretty much worthless." Willow was now seeing things the way Xander had. "There going to need one fresh, very fresh." Something akin to dread was showing on her face.

Buffy had caught up with the present train of thought, "Just how fresh are we talking about?"

"Like right off the shoulders, fresh. Buffy, you don't think Chris would..." She couldn't say it. They'd been friends for years, even after his brother had died and he'd gone all quiet.

"I think that anyone who cuts dead girls into little pieces in his spare time, and ogles them is capable of anything. We need to end this 'now'!"

Before those freaks could finish their work.

"Agreed." Giles put in.

"Alright, fine." She gestures to Xander & Willow. "You guys go to Eric's place, and me and Giles will head to Chris's. Then we'll meet up."

"I can't. I'm supposed to be headed to the big game right about now."

The watcher explained, not letting his slayer in on the fact that it was a date, and not a school ordered operation.

Buffy just nodded and turned back to the others. "That's alright, we can take care of this.

Wishing to go on to his date, but not being able to simply leave, Giles spoke up. "Yes, thank you. But shouldn't I do something...?" He wouldn't simply bail on them.

Taking pity on her watcher, the gorgeous blond worked something out.

"Alright, fine. Lets all meet up there, okay?"

"Yes, good." Then he was gone.

"Buffy?" Willow called out to her friend, trying to stop her from doing anything permanent to her red haired friend. "Don't be too rough on Chris, he's not a demon."

"No. He's just a deviant." She turned and left, Xander & Willow on her heels.


Sunnydale football field.

Paige hadn't planned on going to see the football team play. Watching guys toss around a hog skin and tackle each other wasn't really her idea of fun.

Her idea of fun was staying out as late as possible, and pissing the royal bitch of an aunt off.

"Paige, come on. I wanna see if Xander's here." Sheila called out to her friend as they walked. With a snort of laughter Paige called out to her as they came near the bleachers. "I'll be there in a sec, I'm going for water."

Sheila really had it bad for that boy, Paige thought to herself. Not that she didn't see why - he was a hottie. Not that she'd gotten a good enough look yet.

Hearing someone behind her, she turned around to fine Chris Epps watching her. She jumped backwards with a start.

"Jesus! What the hell are you doing snooping around here?" Her breath came out in fast huffs; her heart was beating so fast. All in all, she was 'not' amused.

Chris continued to look at her, almost sadly.

Which did nothing for her nerves, since he looked like an escaped crazy man in his white lab coat. Back away Paige asked, "Dude, come any closer and I'll scream."

But she didn't get the chance. Eric leaped out and pulled a white bag over her head, blocking her view of everything as she was pulled away shouting for help.


Buffy saw him before he could make his way out of the school. "Chris?"

She called out to him.

"Come on out, I know what your planning on doing." There was no reply.

"You and Eric stole those bodies from the graveyard. I don't care about that, you haven't hurt anyone, just come on out."

Sighing to himself, the red haired mad man stepped out and into the young slayer's line of sight, but still no specking.

Trying to calm him down until she's in grabbing distance, the petite blond spoke softly, doing her best to sooth him. "I understand what your feeling.

I know what its like to lose someone you care about."

Over the years she'd lost enough people to know exactly what the other teen way feeling. Not that she agreed, or sympathized in the least. She just wanted to stop him before he did something worse.

"But what your doing is wrong. You have to stop this."

Looking at the floor as he spoke, almost as if the tiles enthralled him he said quietly. "I have to do this for him. So he won't be alone anymore."

Misunderstanding what he means, Buffy specks up. "Who, Eric? What he needs is a good dose of shock therapy," And a good ass kicking, all of which she was more then willing to give to him.

"He always too careful of me. Always looking out for me. And now he's all by himself." Chris kept on going, looking anywhere but at Buffy and her accusing stair.

"Mom loved him, everyone loved him. Not I have to do this for him. To make it right."

The horror of it finally dawned on her as he continued. "Oh god, Chris.

What have you done?" But somehow deep down, she already knew the answer.

It wasn't Frankenstein they were making. It was his bride.


Out in the stocks, watching the game.

Jenny & Giles made their way through the shouting and hungry students as they walked towards their seats. Miss. Calender was walking freely, dressed in a tight white top.

Giles was next to her, popcorn, Sunnydale flags, and soft drinks were in his hands. She'd packed him up like a little horse.

"There's just something about football that does it for me." There was something akin to lust in her voice as she spoke. "Its not as graceful as basketball, or as ordered as baseball. At its best, its men tackling each other."

"Yes, quit rugged." He informed her with no small amount of sarcasm.

Jenny turned to him then, "And what's that supposed to mean?"

"Sorry, its just..." He couldn't help but laugh a little as he thought about it. "America is such a clearly violent country, happy fighting and maiming one another, but a simple game of rugby is too much for them."

Which was all 'football' really was. A softer, and if you wanted, weaker version of rugby.

They finally made it to their seats and could sit down and enjoy the game.

"Great first date strategy, Rupert. Dissing my country's national pass time." She told him with a mild glare, more playful then angry.

Still laughing, "I thought baseball was your national pass time." Then it sunk in what she'd said. "And did you say, da … date?" He stuttered only a little this time.

Grabbing her coke, Jenny took a seep and smirked at her companion. "Notice that, huh?"

But there moment was interrupted by Willow and Xander's arrival. "Hey Giles, Miss. Calender." The pretty red head called out to them as she and her partner arrived.

"Hi guys, what's the what?" Not for the first time, Jenny wondered if she'd been in Sunnydale too long. She was picking up the local speech.

"Nothing at Eric's."

"Well, not nothing. Just not any missing girl parts, just some computer stuff and a collection of pornography so diverse that I think I may have nightmares." Xander finished.

"Has Buffy gotten back yet?"

Seeing that it was unlikely that the kids were about to leave anytime soon, Giles took it upon himself to try and get them both to let them continue their date in peace.

"Uh, no, not yet. Hmm, maybe you should, uh, wait nearer the field for her. Maybe you'll find something there." But his words were ignored as they two teens just sat down in front of them and started watching the game.

Not at all put out by the fact that he hadn't paid for anything, Xander reached up and grabbed Giles's popcorn before turning back to share with Willow. "So, what's the score?"

Giles could only sit there and glare at the back of the dark haired young mans head. Jenny just took it in stride; after all, Xander had been there when Rupert tried to ask her out. Why wouldn't Xander be there for the actual date?


Unbeknownst to everyone else, Daryl Epps was underneath the bleachers watching the game. A look of longing was clear on his disfigured face.

The memories of when he had a pulse struck him hard, when he had a future and a life of his own.

Now he was stuck looking on from the outside, trapped and unable to go out into the light. Knowing full well what everyone would think if they saw him now.

This freak show he'd become.

But all that was about to change. Eric had his bride locked up, and ready to harvest her head. Then they two of them could be together forever.

They could keep one another company in the darkness that was now his life.

Nothing was going to get in the way of his dreams now.



Old Science Lab at the school.

Paige lay strapped down, and blindfolded on an old gurney. Eric was finishing cleaning up the tools he'd use to detach her head and reattach it onto the new body.

Daryl was now there, peering underneath the second gurney where a body was covered up by a white sheet.

"God Damnit, let me go your freaks!! Let me go right now, or so help my Christ I'll scream!" The pale skinned beauty spat out at her captors, beyond fear now. She was just pissed.

Pissed, but being ignored by both men. Eric was still too busy working to pay her much mind, knowing full well he'd get to pay her as much attention later as he liked.

And Daryl was still looking underneath the sheet at his soon to be wife.

"Wow, she's beautiful." And the sick then, he meant it. Discolored and headless, she was his dream girl.

"NO!" Eric finally noticed what the other man was doing, and called out to him with some jealousy. Before he remembered that the other man could probably rip him to pieces.

"Its not proper for the groom to peek at his bride before the wedding, right?" The dead man glared at the smaller geek for a moment before walking over to Paige, who was still cursing them both.

"Let me go you shit heads! Do you hear me, let me the fuck go!" That was the mild names she called them, the others could blister a demons ears.

"Paige?" Daryl said dumbly as he looked down at her. He then takes off the blindfold for her to see him.

All her courage disappeared like a light bulb blinking out. That's when she started screaming at the top of her lungs for help, and the police, and for drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.

Because her mind had to have broken down, because she was seeing dead people talk to her.

Eric popped in next to them, "Scream your pretty little head off. No one can hear you here." He gloated.

Taking the little freaks advice, Paige kept the screaming up. Not willing to shut up now that she knew she was surrounded by monsters.

But Eric soon had enough of that, the screaming was really starting to get on his nerves. He grabbed a near by metal pan and threatened her with it.

"Alright, enough."

She shut up now, wanting to continue but in no mood to have her face bashed in by the little bastard in front of her and his metal pot.

Eric turned back to Daryl, "We're ready."

"Ready? Ready for what? Get the hell away from me, your crazy little shit!"

He paid her no mind as he spoke, a twisted little smile playing at his lips.

"Your going to feel a little pinch around the neck, but it won't hurt all that long." He walked around her to be nearer his creation, his baby.

"Soon you'll do what every teenager should, die young and stay pretty."

Paige turned and got a good look at what was underneath the white sheet. A nude female body, cut, stabled, and stitched together like an old rag doll.

The hell with the pot, she'd scream if she wanted too.


Gazing under the sheet now, Daryl explains his plan to the frightened and disgusted Paige.

"Once your like me, you wont go out anymore. You wont be able to run away. And we can keep each other company, as we hide from the world."

"Please! Someone, please help me!!!"

Eric cleans his blade over a high fire, until its nice and bright red.

"This should do just fine." He bends over Paige and points the hot tip towards her throat.

"Help me! Please, help!!!!"

But the lab door being knocked off its hinges interrupts him, Buffy runs in after the door falls to the floor. Seeing her and what she did to the door, Eric throws the knife at her, not expecting the small blond to catch it in midair.

But once she has the knife, like the coward he is, Eric turns tall and runs away.

"Help me, please help me!?!" Paige screamed towards the petite blonde who'd knocked the door down and came in.

"Daryl, stop this! Chris sent me to stop you. What your doing is wrong."

The blond haired slayer informed him as she made her way into the lab room.

"My brother wouldn't do that! My brother loves me." He growls out, the very thought that his brother would betray him driving him even more over the edge.

"Help me, they're insane!" Paige yelled from the gurney.

"Its alright, I'm here to help you." Buffy soothed to scared girl, hoping to calm her down as much as she could.

"No! I still need her." The greenish skinned dead man shouts before turned around to grab one of Eric tools, which so happens to be a meat cleaver.

"I'm not through yet!" He raises the cleaver into the air; ready to strike and take her head clean off. But he wasn't expecting Buffy to move so fast.

Because in a flash she had him by the arm and was wrenching the cleaver from his hands, before she lands a solid punch to his twisted face.

Jumping over the gurney to continue the fight, Buffy tries to backhand the zombie across the face again, but Daryl's reach was larger then hers, and his punch knocks her back a few meters.

Which is long enough for him to grab the smaller girl, and with all his strength slam her face first into Eric's instrument tray.

And with an easy super humanly powerful strength, he throws the slayer clean over Paige's body, and she lands in a heap on the stone floor on the other side.

"You can't stop this!" He shouts before knocking Paige's gurney out of his way so that he can get to the downed chosen one.

But he wasn't paying attention to where he threw her, and the gurney knocks over a gallon of gas near the open flame Eric was using to clean his knife.

The fire quickly catches the gas and the room soon beginning to be covered in a shower of flames.

Seeing the spreading fire, Eric makes a beeline towards the open door.

But before he can reach freedom, Daryl grabs him and lifts him a full two feet into the air. "Let go! I have to get out of here."

"NO! You have to help me." The dead man shouts.

"No, let me go!" And the walking corpse does just that, throwing him head first across the room and into the far wall. Where he lands hard, and doesn't get up.

Buffy's up and about now, running towards Daryl and easily passing by his football crutch. Faking a right, she uses her left foot to kick the dead mans leg from out from under him. He collapsed with a pain filled yelp.

But the slayer doesn't let it end there, she begins kicking him in the ribs while he's done. Then moves up and delivers a face kick to his face, whish surprisingly he shakes off before jumping to his feet.

Despite his greater reach, the blond seems to jump out of the paths of his first two punches, before she kicks him in the chest, knocking him back a few steps.

That's when Xander arrives through the front door, Chris having been sent to get him and the others for help.


"Go help her!" She points towards Paige, who is once again screaming her head off.

He does as he's told and jumps over the growing fire to get to her; Buffy & Daryl square off for another fistfight.

"Xander?" Its a toss up on who was more surprised, Paige at being rescued by her handsome crush, or Xander who hadn't really expected to see her again.

"Help me out of these." She nodded towards the restraints holding her down.Ignoring the fight between the slayer and zombie, all the while the flames kept on growing and spreading out around them.

Using all his un-natural strength, Daryl flips Buffy over into spin in the air. Where she lands on her back, hard enough to daze and confuse her.

The dark haired young man sees that he doesn't have time cut her free from the restrains, Xander pushes the gurney forward and the top of them roll across the room to the open door, where the others are finally showing up.

Willow & Giles grab Eric's downed body, and pull him out into the fresh night air; Xander and Paige are next. Rolling right out the lab doors and safety.

Buffy was still down from the previous attack, and now Daryl stands over her, a desk in his hands high above his head ready to deliver the killing blow.


It's Chris who screams, and its Chris who takes up all of his brother attention now. "Don't."

It takes him a few moments to realize what he was about to do, but when Daryl does he drops the desk and steps away from the injured slayer.

But before anyone else can say anything, the dead man spots his bride in the flames burning. And without fear of death, the runs into the roaring fire and grabs her up into his arms.

"She's mine! Mine!" He shouts over the fire, and his own burning flesh.

"Daryl!" Chris calls out, trying to stop him. But Buffy refuses to let him follow his brother into the flames. And he's forced to watch the re-animated figure of his brother roast before his eyes.



Buffy stands a little in front of Chris, who's sitting on a fire truck.

"When he woke up the first time...after I brought him back, he said I shouldn't have done it. But I was just, trying to.... you know, look out for him. Like he would have done for me." The defeated scientist says sadly.

Understanding now a little more, the petite slayer pats him on the shoulder, as if trying in her own way to make him hurt, just a little less.

"I saw the fire. I knew you'd be here, is everyone ok?" Out of the blue Angel showed up behind them. Looking worriedly at his girlfriend.

"Yeah. everyone's alright." She tells him with a nod.


Across the street, Giles walks over to Jenny and hands were a put of coffee.

"I'm sorry about all of these." The watcher informs her sadly, thinking their date was a total horror. She just shrugs before answering him.

"Its ok. But as a rule, don't do something sooo exciting on the first date, that it'll be impossible to top on the second date." A soft smile adores her lips as she specks.

Not letting what she said fully sick into his mind, the Englishman tries to explain his way out of this disaster. "As hard as it seems to be, but this night would actually qualify as a slow night."

But soon after her words sink in. "Uh, did you, uh, say second date?"

He wonders aloud a little flustered.

"Notice that, huh?" Jenny says with a laugh. And seeing that she's not joking, Giles face splits into a glorious smile. The whole time he's thinking, what a marvelous women.


Near the ambulances, Willow & Xander are making there way through the crowds. Its only the two of them, though Paige was unharmed she was still rushed to the hospital.

But not before praising Xander like he was the second coming for saving her.

"Well, I guess this is just the last nail in the coffin. Everyone but us is paired off." He says with a slight scowl on his face as he walks. "The walking dead get dates, librarians get dates." He says bitterly.

Willow is unmarried by the fire, but Xander is covered in soot and his cloths are burned around the edges.

"Ever think that the world is designed to exclude us? As if the worlds made to go on, just not with us?" He asks while he walks. Burnt and tired, and just a little bit depressed.

Willow was now turned looking at him, nodding in agreement with his words.

"All the time."

"Yes, so why do you think that is? Just doesn't seem fair." Fool that he is, misses the fact that Willow has been clearly hitting on him the entire time

they made it out of the fire.

Oh well, that's to be concluded another night.


One of Sunnydale's many graveyards.

Buffy and Angel walk side-by-side, out for a stroll rather then looking for vampires and the other forces of darkness.

"The whole thing was just disturbing. Even if he did it for his brother."

Buffy said as they walked. Her mind still very much on Chris Epps and his former brother Daryl.

Who had been total incinerated in the fire, and Chris was going to one of Sunnydale's better mental health hospitals. Which was getting off lucky.

Eric didn't make it, his neck had broke from the throw Daryl had given him.Angel just shrugged in his, 'I'm to cool to give a shit' attitude of his.

One of the few things that really pissed Buffy off about him. At least Xander didn't have that.

"I think he took it a little bit too far." There was almost a sound of laughter in the vampire's voice. Not from being amused at the death and mayhem, but the thought that Frankenstein was a real life creation, even if for only a little while. It had been one of Liam's favorite books.

"Love makes you do the wacky." It was true when Willow said it a few days back, and the beautiful slayer was even more sure now that it was solid, whether it was romantic love, or love of family and friends.

"Huh?" He didn't demand, pre-se, but Angel made it clear he wanted that explained further. His mind was still on Xander, and how that little punk was trying for his girl.

"Nothing, it just makes you do crazy stuff." She wasn't putting any subtext into it, not like her dark haired friend had. But of course Angel's mind was on other things.

"Oh, yes. Crazy stuff, like a two hundred plus master vampire being jealous of a sixteen-year-old high school student. Stuff like that?" It wasn't really an apology for his behavior, but Buffy was sure it was all she was going from him.

"Finally fessing up, huh?"

Begrudgingly, Angel nodded. "I've been thinking about it. And it does bother me a little, 'he' brothers me." It was childish not to call Xander by his name, but even hundreds of years old vampires could be a little childish.

"I don't love Xander." Maybe I have more then a little lust for him, Buffy thought to herself. But that was all, her heart didn't flutter when he walked into a room like it did for Angel.

Though, she didn't get a little fluttering a bit further down, but that was all. Crushes came and went, but love was forever.

"Ya, maybe. But he's in your life, he's there for you when I can't be."

And oh, how he wanted to smash that boys face in for that. The knowledge that a kid was beating him at something as simple as affection from his girlfriend.

"He walks your to class, makes you laugh with his jokes, gives you a shoulder to lean on." Angel went on, "He watches you while you're in a sunlight." Something no matter how much he wanted, the vampire could never give her that.

But all of this was making Buffy's mind spin a little, just thinking about it all.

Xander was there for her in ways Angel would never be able too. And maybe, just maybe it was more then passing lust or a simply crush.

Not that she'd ever admit to that.

"Direct sunlight is overrated." The young chosen one joked, trying to get her mind off her friend and back onto her boyfriend.

Angel looked to the sky, knowing his time was drawing to an end. "The sun will be up soon, I have too go."

Dismissed, Buffy just shook her head a little. "Ya, I should be going too. Class tomorrow." But she wasn't ready to be pushed aside so easily.

Without a fight. "I can walk you to your place?"

He gives a subtle nod before lending her his hand. And they depart into the darkness.

The End