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Could I Ever Really Hope to Have You?

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“How do we get rid of him?” Xander inquired with a hushed tone. The group was crowded at the circulation desk, gazes perplexed and nervous.

“We try to get rid of him, but he always ends up coming back,” Buffy scowled. “He’s here for hours after school, and Giles always has to chase him out. It’s been two weeks!”

Removing his glasses with a sigh as he rounded about the counter to join the students on the open side, Giles added, “Yes, well, it is rather, as one might say, problematic. We haven’t been able to place our focus wholeheartedly into your training, and now we have a, uh, a…” He paused his speech, brow raising as he turned to look at Willow, “Did you say it was a unicorn?”

“N-No, not a unicorn, per say,” the young witch shrugged as her eyes went wide. “It’s just I, uh, saw this thing. Looked like a horse, you know? But, it had this…other thing…like…some kind of, some kind of pointy stick thing on its head. You know? Kinda similar to a, well, a horn?” Her vocals squeezed out her last word as she winced. To use the word “unicorn” felt so silly, so juvenile to her. However, from her description, it sounded just like a…

“Unicorn,” Giles straightened as he turned his attention back to the mystery among them.

It was a young man, gawky, with dark brown hair curled at the base of his neck, bangs teasing his chin and hiding heterochromatic eyes; the right a pristine blue and the left an odd violet color. He wore charcoal shaded overalls and a black long-sleeved shirt with a crew cut neckline. He wore thick boots that jingled from all of the zippers that decorated them. A red flannel was strewn atop their usual research table, and he wore a checkered dog collar, mostly purple with a hint of blue; perhaps in reference to his eyes? This unknown teen was reading through as many of Giles’s dusty books as he could at an alarming rate with a notebook at his side so he could scribble into it at undiscernible intervals.

“What sort of books has he been looking at, exactly?” Buffy looked to Giles, a bit concerned as to how he would answer.

“Mythology, folklore, demonology, etc.” his eyes met Buffy’s, almost apologetically. “There isn’t a book he hasn’t picked up that we haven’t already touched.”

“And, he writes it all down?” Xander made an appalled face. “He’s not crazy, is he?”

“Maybe he’s a writer?” Willow suggested.

“Well, I-I think the only way to find out for certain, is to ask him,” Giles stated wearily.

Making a face, Buffy replied, “Asking him?” Her eyes hesitantly turned to the teen, still scribbling something frantically into his notebook. “Well, at least, his name. Giles, did you catch his name?”

“Yes, I did, as a matter of fact. I believe it was…Cornelius? He tends to slip in here on his lunch and I approached him once, offering to let him borrow some references, but he refused. Oddly enough.”

“Yes, strange not to take home free books you aren’t expected to ever return anyway,” Xander huffed. “He must be out of his mind.”

Buffy gave her friend a look that immediately silenced him. Turning her attention back to this stranger, she straightened her spine, rolled her shoulders back and puffed out her chest, “Well, then, I guess I’ll have to ask him.”