"Where are we?" Anya curled her hands into fists, put them on her hips, and pivoted around, frowning at the landscape. "This looks like the Swedish countryside. I particularly dislike the Swedish countryside."
"Don't blame me!" Willow had one hand clapped over her hat as she stared, her eyes wide. "I didn't do it!"
"Who was working magic without locking the door first?" asked Anya.
"That's totally not the point!" exclaimed Willow. She tried to brush back strands of hair that were blowing around in the wind. It wasn't particularly successful.
Anya could have told her it wouldn't have been, but Willow didn't often listen to common sense. She huffed something about Anya being rude and then wandered away, explicitly not taking any advice whatsoever. "Whatever," said Anya. She looked up at the sky, then pointed directly north.
"So...you're saying we should go that way?" asked Willow. "Or we shouldn't go that way?"
"We should go that way." Anya let her arm drop back to her side. "There are Vikings in that direction. We can probably find supplies there. Plus a settlement. If this is the early Dark Ages, which I think it is, the Swedish countryside has a higher-than-usual population of svartalfar, and we'll want to get you inside before sunset."
"Svart-what-far?" asked Willow.
"Dark elves," said Anya. "Not unlike that long-haired man with pointed ears in those movies that Xander likes. Only more with the torture and less with the archery."
"Oh yay," said Willow. She gave up on trying to save her hat, wadding it up in her hand. "Vikings and svar-whatevers." She turned around, looking at Anya. "I'm going to get skewered and pillaged and all because you don't know how to knock!"
Anya rolled her eyes and folded her arms across her chest. "You could have put up a sign." She didn't bother pointing out the locking issue. Again. Willow was notorious for not paying attention to things like facts and common sense. "They have those you know. We sell them at the shop."
Willow glared at her. "Skewered."
"They don't skewer you," Anya said. Willow was missing the point here. "They impale you. Skewering implies eating, and Vikings weren't cannibals."
"They probably were," said Willow sullenly.
"Were not!" exclaimed Anya.
"Were too," said Willow. "Or at least, with our luck, they're cannibals. Heck, they're probably demon Vikings!"
"Probably," admitted Anya. She sighed. "Demon Vikings and svartalfar. Next thing you know, there'll be a Hellmouth in the fjords."
"No pining for those, then," muttered Willow. She paused and looked over, like she was expecting Anya to laugh.
"Well, not for us," said Anya. She looked up at the sky and checked the position of the sun. She missed digital clocks. "But for the demon Vikings and the svartalfar, a Hellmouth in the fjords would be like Disneyland."
Willow frowned at her. "Do you ever watch anything funny?" she asked. "Monty Python? The parrot sketch?"
Anya didn't know why Willow would bring up parrots. They weren't part of the natural environment of Sweden. So she changed the subject.
"Look, we should at least try the settlement. If we see one horn that's not attached to a helmet, we're out of there." Anya smiled. Brightly. It seemed to work on the customers, so maybe it would work on Willow. "A vengeance demon and a witch? Who'd dare?"
Willow looked at her. "We're in the Dark Ages, Anya. Everyone!"
Anya pouted. Willow did that a lot, so she thought she'd maybe try that this time, since the smiling didn't work to cheer Willow up. "You really aren't going to be open-minded about this are you?"
"They'll probably try to burn us at the stake! Hi, I'm lesbian Wicca girl! They weren't exactly friendly to Goddess worshippers or lesbians, and you're an evil ex-vengeance demon that likes to torture men." Willow flung her arms up in the air. "Next thing you know, they'll call us svart-thingies!"
"Svartalfar." Anya started walking north. "I don't see why anyone has anything against svartalfar. They throw great parties."
"I told you so," muttered Willow. She twisted against the ropes, and Anya winced as they chafed against her abraded wrists. "I told you they'd try to burn us at the stake."
"Just start thinking of ways to get us out of here," said Anya. She narrowed her eyes and glared at the mob standing in front of her. Surely there had to be at least one scorned woman milling around with them, just ready and waiting to make a wish.
"Well, I'm not turning us into rats," announced Willow. She stomped her foot, and the kindling they were standing on shifted. "What was Amy Madison thinking, anyway?"
"'That being small and fuzzy was preferable to being burned alive?" asked Anya. She shrugged. "Look, if I were going to just abandon you to ravening mobs, I'd have done it by now, but I won't. Giles would glare at me."
"That's such a comfort," said Willow. She frowned. "Do you think a torrential downpour would get us out of this?"
"It'd stop them from lighting us on fire, at least." Anya stared up at the sky and blinked. "But it's very bright out." She glared back down at the mob. "Far too bright for a burning. You should let us go."
"Oh yes, that's gonna work," muttered Willow. She hit her head against the stake they were tied to. "Just tell them to let us go. Of course they'll listen to you. They've been so helpful up until now!"
"Well, they did! That nice man caught you before you could fall," said Anya.
"I was trying to escape, dummy!" Willow pulled again on the ropes. "I wasn't falling, and he didn't catch me. He tackled me."
"I knew that," said Anya quickly. She frowned. "I was hoping he'd forgotten."
"I don't think he did," said Willow. She stomped her foot and glared as one of the mob walked forward holding a torch. "That's it! I'm not holding back any more! It's dark curses and evil hexing going on from here on out!"
"I'd find that much more convincing if you weren't using the same voice as at the pet store!" snapped Anya.
"I mean it!" Willow shook her head. "No more Ms. Nice Wiccan!"
Anya rolled her eyes. "This is going to end badly. There will be misery." Worse yet, it would be misery that she didn't cause. There was something inherently wrong about that.
"Shut up," said Willow. "I'm trying to get us out of this." She took a deep breath, and it wasn't as if Anya didn't know what a witch looked like when she was getting ready to channel her power.
"If it's anything like how you got us into it-- " So her temper got the better of her? So what?
"You didn't knock!" snapped Willow. Anya felt Willow's concentration snap. Along with her temper. "You're supposed to knock when the door is closed!" She closed her eyes and chanted something in Latin, which had never been Anya's best language anyway.
"You were supposed to lock--" Anya never had been good at keeping quiet during spells. It was way more fun to interrupt them. Of course, that was when she'd been a vengeance demon and could teleport away instantly.
Something fell on her head.
"Ouch!" Anya yelped as tiny little claws dug into her hair. She shook her head and only succeeded in having something tiny, fuzzy, and warm cling to her hair and flop over to hit her on the nose before it tumbled down her shirt with a squeak. "What was that?"
Willow was staring at Anya with wide eyes and a sheepish look. "Not what I ordered," she said.
"I should hope not!" Anya stared as a hamster scurried beneath over her shoe. "How do you expect a plague of hamsters help us get out of this?"
"Not just hamsters," said Willow. She winced as something larger and fuzzier hit Anya on the head.
For her part, Anya thought her shriek of horror was quite appropriate.
When they fell through time - and space - onto the floor of the Magic Box, Anya bruised her tailbone. Willow sprained her wrist.
Also, they were covered in hamsters and bunnies. Bunnies. Anya had no idea before now just how pernicious Willow's magic was. She wasn't particularly pleased that Giles was trying, in a very dignified British kind of way, to hold back his laughter. Which was kind of handsome, not that she'd tell him. Or anyone else. Ever. Even if he did come over to help her up and brush the bunnies off her. Bunnies!
She was even less pleased that Willow had picked one up and was cuddling it close, and petting it, and whispering in its scary little bunny ears. Anya shuddered in horror when she heard Willow telling it that it was going to have a pretty cage right next to Amy Madison's hamster wheel.
When Giles had gotten all the bunnies off Anya, he asked what happened.
Anya and Willow had looked at each other, and shook their heads. He wasn't going to get the story out of them. It was too embarrassing.
Besides, then she'd have to mention that she'd seen Hallie in the crowd, waving cheerfully and giving her a thumbs-up. She'd also have to tell them that she was pretty sure the mob had been caused by one of her first vengeance curses. Anya was perfectly happy just keeping that to herself.