Chapter 1: Buffy Wakes up Different
***1630 Revello Drive ***
Buffy entered her house, after – thankfully – an uneventful school day.
No deaths, no spells, and no Angelus sending her 'A singing vampire that bursts into flames' cards– only a new Spanish language teacher. But Buffy would take that subject next year. So nothing new for her and that was for the best.
What was not for the best was that Willow missed because of teachers, parents, and unintentionally Xander cockblocking them her conversation with Oz, again – so there was no happy couple. They spent their free time talking about it and eating ice cream and drinking coffee – the comfort food of the Gods at Espresso Pump. Buffy hoped that Willow would have a chance to talk with Oz soon.
"Mom!" Buffy called out as she put her school bag on the sofa.
"In the kitchen, honey!" Buffy followed her mother's voice and found her hovering over the stove, flipping a pancake. There was an aroma of poached red fruit in the air.
"So, pancakes and yum ...poached red fruit …. What's the occasion?" Buffy eyed the plate with suspicion, so what gives?
Why was her mom making her favorite?
"One of your teachers came here today," Joyce said without turning.
Ughhhh. What did Principal Troll cook up about her now? And why would that warrant the reward of foodstuff for her?
"Jan Congeria, your teacher -" Joyce was saying as she ushered Buffy to her seat, putting a plate piled high with pancakes, cooked red fruit, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream before her. Except I don't know him – I think, Buffy thought. This was getting more suspicious by the minute. Maybe even demon-y in nature.
"Was here because your Principal suggested that some selected students might be using drugs."
And here was the trolling troll of a Snyder Troll. She knew her good mood would be ruined by Snyder and perhaps a demon – it would be her kind of bad luck. Double dose of ruinage.
"I don't do drugs," Buffy muttered.
"I know, honey, your teacher also explained … the animosity that Principal Snyder holds toward teens in general and you in particular," Joyce continued haltingly. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"It's no big," she shrugged. "Snyder is a troll to everyone – well with the exception of the rich kids and jocks. They can get away with murder."
"But you were a cheerleader, and you are pretty good in class."
"I also pushed one of the poplar boys away from Amy when they were harassing her." Buffy gave another shrug. "Snyder saw me do it."
If that jock tried that with Amy again, he'd probably end up turned into a cockroach. She was starting to smell herbs and magic around Amy lately. Meaning Amy Maddison was dabbling in magic. She was not the only student that did that though.
"All right – but ..."
"Mom, it's not like he can expel me for it – there are people that would take it to the board. And well, it helps that Cordelia Chase hangs around me sometimes." Yeah, she was using Queen Bitch of SunnyD High as a shield. It was a crabby shield, but it offered some small measure of defense against Snyder. How sad was that – the Slayer of Vampires protected from the Big Bad Snyder by a Head Cheerleader's reputation.
***Night, round 3 a.m. in the morning**
Buffy just snuck back into her room after a patrol. She had patrolled with her two bestest friends– at nightfall – followed by a party at the Bronze with Willow – who still hadn't had the opportunity to tell Oz that she accepted him and liked him, even if he goes all wolf-y for three nights a month and Xander. Then she got her two friends to their homes – if Cordy didn't drive them home and then went home herself, so that her mom saw her when she "went upstairs to sleep".
Where Buffy waited until Joyce herself fell asleep and then went to patrol alone – that was usually from eleventh to the third or fourth hour in the morning. There was no sighting of Angel – or Drusilla. Buffy dusted a couple of vampires and caught ten new risers, fledgling vampires that were digging themselves out of their graves. Quickly changing into her sushi pajamas, she slipped under the covers.
***Morning 7 a.m.***
Buffy was waking up slowly – by a clear chime and... wait!
Something did not feel right. Since when did she have a chiming alarm clock?!
She rubbed her eyes and looked around ... this was NOT her room... It was big, book filled from the ceiling to the floor, and there she was in the middle of a large room on a large bed. A large feather four- poster bed ...four thick mahogany posts from which muslin curtains were hung. She looked at the walls; there were oil paintings of nature hanging up, along with the portrait of her parents. A little away, hidden behind a plush sofa and armchairs with a low table, were posters of Skaters and Dorothy Hamill adorning the walls – mixed in with the oil paintings. There was her memorabilia on ornate shelves that she usually saw in museums. Wooden pedestals with potted plants or vases on them were scattered around the room, and an ivory inlaid cabinet extended into a writing table, with golden decor and with a chair that matched the cabinet.
She rubbed her forehead ...and there ... she froze ... then she took another look at her ... tiny ... pale hands.
"Giles, for sure, needs to see this," she muttered, then her small, tiny hands flew to her mouth ... This was not her voice ... She jumped out of the not-hers-bed to wrench open the doors of the closet that she deduced where a mirror was located – she was right, was her first thought, but the second was – that was not her mirror. Her mirror should have been an ordinary mirror affixed on the inner door of her closet, not an ornate, wide double door polished closet made from some sort of dark wood, with carvings of flowers and leaves all over. It was pretty and looked expensive BUT it was NOT hers!
And clothes! Those were not hers either... they were all so full of frill and lace and all were dresses, no pants anywhere as far as she looked – stockings, yes, of all colors of the rainbow. The same as the dresses, one piece and two piece and all in Lolita style of all flavors from every fabric imaginable. Buffy took a step back and stumbled onto the floor, because she tripped.
She stepped and tripped on her own hair!
That somehow had grown so that her locks almost swept the floor, and her skin was fair, like that of a porcelain doll's. She also gained large, slightly upturned emerald eyes. Or rather, the outer circle was a dark leaf green followed by a circle of luminous emerald and then the darker green, almost black, pupils. She liked the new long and thick lashes though.
"Oh, you are awake Buffy-Anne?!" That was her mother's voice! Oh no.
"Mom?" Before Buffy could register – and hide – her mother entered the not-hers-room. Her mother did not look any different. "Oh, honey, you're not ready yet. I'll help you; you cannot be late to school," and her mom did not react to her altered – and now tiny – appearance. Buffy hummed in thought and put a pipe into her mouth to think on all of this and try to make sense of things with the reconstruction of the fragments of chaos... wait ... what?!
A pipe! She still did not know why she would put a pipe – pretty dainty porcelain thing that was more of an ornament than the real smoking pipe into her mouth. She was not Sherlock Holmes!
"Here you go," Joyce said as she picked her up, as one would a doll, and put her back on the bed beside some frilly and full of lace navy blue skirt printed with white stars and an ivory white chiffon blouse with ruffles and half sleeves that ended with lace. There were also beige knee socks with tiny pink stars. As she dressed, her mother brought her black platform shoes with criss cross straps and two ankle straps and heart shaped buckle decorations. To top off her look, her mother pinned a royal blue lace organza with blue silk flowers and bows, headdress, to the side of her head.
Buffy stared at the mirror – she honestly looked like that old fashioned Victorian Lolita Doll her grandmother owned. Only instead her dress ended at her knees and thankfully not her ankles. Then her mom opened the heavy curtain to a….balcony? Since when did this house have a balcony? Why not. Nothing was right, so why should the Twilight Zone room not have a balcony. She really needed to talk to Giles, like yesterday!
"Oh Buffy-Anne, you forgot your Spanish text." Not wanting to delay with an argument that she was not taking Spanish or any language this year, she put the textbook into her bag without any argument, then she took a look at the kitchen table – her breakfast was weird looking.
"Maman, Qu'est-ce que c'est?" she asked – was that French? She didn't know French; she had never taken any foreign language course! "Mille crêpe, yaourt et chocolat chaud." Translation: layered pancake with custard, yogurt and hot chocolate. Now ... "Maman, how long have I known French or ...?" "Oh," her mom sat next to her with her coffee, "well you passed your language test for German a week ago."
"And at Hermy you had an exchange student from Japan so you to speak Japanese – though you can't read their letters,yet. And you also learned Italian and Greek at Hermy. Then in Preschool you learned French and Latin. When you were bored, you taught yourself how to read Arabic but you don't know how to speak it."
And again what!
Joyce tapped her chin in thought. "You also can speak and write in Occitan and Monégasque."
I don't even know what those words mean! Buffy mentally wailed.
***Sunnydale High Halls***
She wanted the ground to open and swallow her up. Not because nobody payed attention to a 155cm girl and yes she checked – with long flowing gold hair, like those in a freaking fairy picture in a storybook that for some reason didn't get snagged onto anything – holding a small white porcelain pipe with a blue butterfly. She developed a new habit, in her hand and mouth, and marched through the hall dressed in a frilly and lacy goth dress.
"Well hello, Lolly Lolita doll."
And now she had to deal with jock jerks ...that's just great. And why did she just freeze like a damn doll? And why did she feel an urge to hide in a cupboard of all things? And now they were circling her ... the jerks.
"Beat it, guys," she growled; she was so not in the mood.
"It talks," Jackass No.1 said. "I thought you said she was a shy little girl?" that was from Jackass No.2 Moi timide? – didn't she smash this guy into a locker once and flip the other over her shoulder because he grabbed her in gym class.
"She was yesterday; she ran and hid in a janitor's closet," Jackass No.1 said again. She did what? So not!
"And she can hear you," Buffy growled and she so did not run away and hide in a closet. Where do they get that she did such a thing?
"And what will you do about it?" one of the jerks asked arrogantly. Oh it is so on.
***High School Library***
"Giles!" Buffy wailed as she dramatically entered, by pushing open the library doors and walking into her Watcher's domain– of course that was after wrestling and bruising and locking the jerk pack in a nearby closet. They would think twice before trying to bully her again! They were lucky she didn't break their bones. Though, her knuckles hurt more than they should – more than they normally did when she punched someone.
She actually teared up from the pain, but fortunately the pain came and went at the drop of a hat. But when it was there, Buffy felt like her bones had shattered. Thank goodness – what, oh never mind, more weird on top of weird; what difference does it make, just roll with it, Buffy. Despite her size shrinking, a little, and growing her hair to an impossible length, it could be worse, she could have gotten Rapunzel's hairdo.
"Child, wh -who are you?" Giles came toward her, hiding books behind him and turning as he would to the unfamiliar blonde student. Even Giles did not recognize her? No way – but then she did look somewhat different – not just height and hair – she also had a slightly altered voice and shape of her face.
"I'm Buffy! Get with the program, something happened and..." she told her Watcher, who immediately took a closer look after her outburst.
Then with 'Dear God, Buffy,' he started to clean his glasses with a force that Buffy was surprised that the lenses were still in one piece.
"Buffy! THIS is all your fault!" said a long legged girl with maroon red eyed – large luminous eyes that seemed to take up most of her face, and she did not look ugly. She looked cute, like a little bunny rabbit with her dark-blonde hair in two long tails on each side of her head, held up with two black ribbons. She wore a black, sleeveless top and black bicycle shorts with a red belt and awesome metal shoes and arm guards. Getting into Buffy's face, pointing at her furiously, and while Buffy did not recognize her voice, she recognized her mannerisms – this was definitely Cordelia Chase – an altered Cordy. With her was a dog that looked like a cross between a fox and a cat.
"Who are you, Sailor Moon?" Buffy asked smirking and putting the pipe in her mouth again. This was becoming amusing.
"I'm Cordelia, what are you smoking?"
"You don't look like Cordy, and I don't smoke – this is an accessory made from the finest China porcelain," she waved, saying the word 'accessory' with emphasis, then she nodded at the fox-doggy that sat down by Cordelia.
"Who is the cutey?" Blue eyes on the reddish-brown furred face blinked at her.
"I'm Adsila!" the fox-dog said in a female voice. Buffy blinked once, twice...okay, still not the weirdest thing today.
"And she talks," Buffy stated, her face and voice deadpan. Then she looked at Cordelia, her eyebrow climbing into her hairline.
"Cute friend you have there," Buffy said to Cordelia, who for a moment was taken aback. Then she answered. "My mother said that a man – Jan Congeria brought her for me." Adsila sat down, curling her tail over her front paws and cocking her head to the right, listening. Now that was a familiar name, that she heard from her mother the day before this happened. "Was he, by perchance, a teacher?"
"Mother didn't say. But our housekeeper said that he was from the Electric Company."
"And your parents just accepted the cutie?" Buffy asked next – she could almost see what caused the change.
"Children!" Giles exclaimed exasperated. "Can you explain, why and how this happened? What did you do last night?"
But before either Buffy or Cordelia could answer,
"I'm a Terminator!"
The library door opened with a bang, and a slightly taller than herself boy – with braided blond hair, one lock sticking out on top like an antenna ran in, waving his hands – followed by an equally blonde but taller and busty and curvaceous woman in a blue suit and a big black and white dog at her heal. Buffy blinked; it was a Shiba Inu breed. Since when did somebody she knew own a dog. Now apparently.
"Calm down, Xander," the taller blonde trailing behind him tried to calm … Xander, then this was, almost certainly, Willow.
"I can't calm down, Wills – don't you see I have robotic arm!" He waved said robotic arm at his companion, who sighed in exasperation. Yep, Willow and Xander. Willow was now a busty blonde with brown eyes – instead of red hair and green eyes. And previously brown eyed, brown haired, Xander was equally changed with a darker shade of blond hair and amber eyes, and a metallic arm and by the way he walked up and down-- leg.
"You are not – you just have a robotic arm and leg and ..." Buffy intervened, wanting to calm down the panicked-- now blond Xander.
"LEGGG!!!!!!!!!!" Xander grabbed his hair and pulled.
Yeah she probably should not have mentioned that he had a mechanical leg as well, because judging by his reaction, he was unaware of his leg being metallic.
"How did you know Mr. Calm has a robotic leg?" Cordelia asked as she threw a book at Xander's head to shut him up.
"M-Miss Chase!" Giles exclaimed as he went to ... and passed Xander, who was sitting on the floor nursing a welt throbbing on his head, to pick up the book Cordelia used to calm down her boyfriend. "The way he walked was slightly tilted, so ..." "Ahh," Cordelia nodded.
"Guys!" Buffy called.
"Huh, who are you?"
"She is Buffy, dumbass – you know Miss-Slays-a-lot," Cordelia said. Then she turned to Giles. "Better think of a way to solve this. I do not fancy missing cheerleader practice … and I want my chest back!"
"Oh yeah, Cordy, you are flat as a board now."
"Don't call me Cordy, little miss softer side of Sears."
"Children!!!" Giles yelled, but Buffy paid him no mind as she browsed the bookshelves that held dictionaries … She knew that the word Congeria was vaguely familiar – not just that it was mentioned before all this happened, but it was familiar and it sounded Latin somehow.
Spotting the Latin/English dictionary, Buffy tried to reach the book and (grumbled) when she failed to even brush the bottom – by a good foot. Reaching for it yet again, while standing on her tippy toes, Buffy's fingers brushed the bottom of the shelf the book was on. It was mocking her. Buffy growled threats under her breath, gazing threateningly upward. She begun to hop, trying to reach it that way. She almost grabbed it – and almost toppled the entire shelf on her head, if not for a hand that reached above and removed the dictionary from the shelf.
"Thanks," she grumbled as she turned, expecting either Xander or Willow or even Giles. But no...
"Hello, Buffy," the blond said – spiky blond, like porcupine hair– ohh!
"Oz," she stated. He was the only one that was unaccounted for, and he followed the pattern of waking up blonde.
"You are blond."
Master of statements: Daniel Osbourne.
"You are shorter."
Now that was a loaded question, wasn't it?
"Magic, I think – no, I have a suspicion of who is responsible. But I need confirmation," Buffy said. "If I said Jan Congeria, …." Buffy trailed off suggestively and with raised eyebrow.
"A teacher with that name was in our house yesterday," Oz supplied, blue eyes intense on her– what was his original color … it was pewter! Now, it was cobalt blue. But then again, she had previously blue eyes – like a Barbie. Now she had green eyes – with three rings: pupil was an olive green, and the iris was two colors, the circle that enveloped the pupil was a moss green and then there was a lighter emerald green on the outskirts.
"Ahh," she opened the dictionary under C and searched then snapped it closed.
"Found it?" Oz asked.
"Yes." It also confirmed a theory she had.
"It is not good. And Giles won't be happy."
Then she turned to the bickering trio … well Willow and Cordelia were sniping at each other. Xander was inching away from … milk? Where did Giles get milk? And why was Xander shying away from it? Giles was trying to calm Willow and Cordelia down – he wasn't succeeding since they were inches apart, actually growling at each other. While their new pets were sitting side by side and watching the bickering like a good tennis match. As much as it was amusing to her – Buffy had to share what she found and get further confirmation now that she had a 99% confirmed theory of who had done this to them.
"Oi – blondies!" she called out as she held up the Latin-English dictionary. "Did some guy come to your home yesterday?"
"Jan Congeria," Xander said.
"Man, what is with you and milk?" Oz asked, "You've been avoiding it all day."
"I don't like to drink milk, all right! I don't wanna!"
"Xander that is not for you," Giles said pinching the bridge of his nose. "It's for my neighbors cat."
"Ahh, OK then."
Buffy shrugged at Xander, then turned to Willow. "Jan Congeria was apparently at my house talking to father," Willow said. "And this is Aleshanee. Dad said that the same man brought her to our house before I woke up." She pointed at the Shiba Inu, who was sniffing at Adsila.
"Right," Buffy drawled. "One, I think this is permanent. And done by Giles' buddy Ethan Rayne."
"WHAT?!" that came from all of them – well Oz didn't say anything.
"How is it Ethan?" Giles asked.
"This is not permanent! FIX IT!"
"Oh knock it off, Cordy, you might be flat as a board ..." Xander started.
"I am not flat!" Cordelia screeched.
"And I am not short!"
"Nobody called you short! Buffy is short, you idiot, not you!"
While those two went into another round of arguments, Willow and Giles turned their attention to Buffy and the still silent Oz.
"Buffy, what did you mean by permanent?" Willow asked, frowning in thought, her sienna brown eyes sharp. "And how is Ethan involved in all of this?"
Buffy bit slightly on her pipe. "I'll explain. The name Jan is short for Janus and Congeria is Latin for Chaos. Also this is somewhat similar to the spell he did on Halloween. Only far more potent and not to mention targeted." Buffy waved her hand. "Nobody sees the changes but us. And you Giles," then she shrugged, "but I haven't met any other that is aware of the magic and what we do or Angel, I haven't seen him ether."
Which was très bon, since with one hit, she would be in agony long enough for her ex to kill her, or worse capture her. Now that would be very mauvais jour for her, a very bad day.
At this, the door to the library swung open and Jenny Calendar walked in, her eyes darted around, looking for something, when her eyes met the group, she faltered – her eyes flew toward Giles for a moment. Before the change, Giles and Miss Calendar were tiptoeing around each other. But they did start to repair fences. Buffy didn't mind even then. Still, she probably would not trust the Computer Science Teacher … she could have warned them … but she hadn't, and chose her family over 'mostly' strangers … but then again, Giles trusted her with Buffy's life. He told Jenny that Buffy was The Slayer – literally putting Buffy's life in Miss Calendar's hands. Miss Calendar could have warned them that there was something wrong - the possibility of Angelus' return. She didn't need to reveal that she was part of the gypsy tribe that cursed Angelus with his soul. It might still happen as it did, but it might not. They will never know now. But Miss Calendar and Giles would not have this strain on their relationship and distrust going on.
"Rupert, can I ..."
"Miss Calendar." Buffy stepped closer, cutting across the computer science teacher's words. "Do you notice something different about all of us?" she pointed at Scoobies and herself for emphasis.
"No,... I should..."
"Jenny, wait please," Giles said while he gently touched Miss Calendar's elbow, then he adjusted his glasses, suddenly flustered as Jenny turned back and faced him
"Oh for the love of," Cordelia exploded. "Miss Calendar lied and chose the kooky gypsy clan over us, which resulted in Miss-Slays-a-lot's psycho boyfriend to lose his soul. Get over it! Spank your inner Mopped, but get over it. We have bigger problems than one more blood sucker in Sunnydale."
"What is going on?" Miss Calendar looked from one person to the next, her onyx eyes intent. She looked determined to help – well c'était bien.
"Well, it is like this -" Giles said while focusing on his maybe again girlfriend.
THEY HAD TO EXPLAIN IT TEN TIMES.
Dix fois! Enfer bleu!
But now the teacher was finally helping them to find out what happened and where they'd go from here. Jenny Calendar was not a practicing witch – she was however a member of the Romani people – and more importantly, she was Janna of Clan Kalderash. So she had a hand in curses, and most important for them, Cleromancy – she was now bent over the the selection of bones, stones, and shells she had cast to read them.
And just as a bad omen, Principal Snyder walked in. "Right, little miscreations, stop loitering. You have short..." he started to say.
"DON'T CALL ME SHORT!" Xander roared, and there was lightning and suddenly the swinging doors transformed into a palm and slapped Snyder like one would slap a fly – or a mosquito. Xander stared at the unconscious body. "Did I do that?"
Oz nodded. "Yes."
Xander walked to the body and poked it with a stick. "Why the heck did I do that?"
"Well, that does it then. Somebody will have to patrol instead of me."
Cordelia whirled at her. "Wait – why. You are the Slayer; it's your job!"
"I don't get paid – so not a job," Buffy said pointedly.
"She can not patrol," Oz supplied matter of fact.
"I u - understand that changes are distracting," Giles said, while cleaning his glasses – again, "but you are still The Slayer."
"She is sensitive to pain," Oz said, "she was having trouble with the human bullies, and if she is sent out, she will die."
That was blunt, also true …
"It's true – when I – ouch Giles!" he flicked her forehead – which part of 'she was sensitive to pain' did Giles not understand!
"What is wrong with you. That wasn't cool, man," Oz chided Giles.
"That hurt?" Giles asked incredulously.
"Yes!" She was rubbing her forehead "It felt like you'd slapped me!"
"I'm terribly sorry."
"She cannot go on patrol Rupert – she'll get killed." That was from Miss Calendar. Wait just a moment …
"Miss Calendar, how did Angel lose his soul … or is my new liability ...well new?"
"He felt accepted and loved by you … that was the true reason."
"He felt loved, trusted, and accepted by me – and he and I shared an intimate moment," Buffy said matter of fact.
"Oh, well … about that, I umm, made a program that translates lost Romani language..."
"You are looking for a Soul Restoration Spell?"
"Miss Calendar, stay with Giles and do not go out after nightfall," Buffy said.
"That is all right; no one knows that I'm from Kalderash tribe and"
"Miss Calendar, Drusilla is a seer; she might already have had a vision that you are able to do the restoration spell."
"That is OK – I'll take the patrol." Xander raised his hand from his place on the floor, where he was poking the unconscious principal.
Giles clucked his tongue. "Xander, it is not your duty to...."
"Neither is it Buffy's. She died once so technically she is done with that duty," Willow said matter of fact. "Besides, the way you use this word is incorrect. Duty implies choice – Buffy had none. She did not chose to be a slayer; she is not bound by oath to use her powers."
Buffy nodded. "C'est correct."
"Buffy – since when do you speak French?" Giles asked in wonder.
"Since I woke up this morning …. and I also speak German,Italian, and Japanese. Oh and Greek – also apparently Occitan and Monégasque, whatever that is."
Buffy came into the empty classroom, well empty besides the Spanish language teacher.
"Miss Greenaway, here is note from the Librarian – explaining my absence." She handed the note to the teacher. Yeh she forced Giles to write her a slip, because well – in roundabout way, this was it was his fault for her being in this mess.
Oz walked Buffy home. While Willow, Xander, and Cordelia took patrol, much to Cordelia's bitching. But when she stepped into the living room, there her mother sat and across from her was Ethan Rayne, smiling politely.
"Buffy-Anne, dear this is Monsieur Jan Congeria and look" She picked up the pet carrier and inside was a green eyed, fog grey puppy "his name is Halona – it means 'good fortune.'"
1st of 5
Chapter 2: Grey Fur, Green Eyes
After math of previews day events; A little puppy is rescued and Buffy bonds with two furry balls of fur.
Oz gains the annoying habit of appearing in the others peoples rooms without warning. And has lost naming privileges. And BAU Star Team has discovered Elle's whereabouts.
AN: Regarding Theresa Klusmeyer, that in canon died, because she was chased of by Oz-werewolf and then killed by Angelus, she was held up in class and then Elle drove her home.
***Buffy's Room – Next day***
Buffy woke for a second time in her new room or, more accurately, rooms – she had three: a bedroom with a balcony, then a spacious living room containing bookshelves, a gramophone – the plush sofas, settees, a writing desk with commode – all the furniture was Victorian style. At the corner of the living room was a small kitchenette, where there were teacups, coffee cups, and small dessert plates on the boards protected by glass, along with boxes of tea leaves, a box of different flavored coffees, and there was also a small refrigerator, where cakes and soft drinks were located. Anything that could be served to visitors who called on her.
The third room was a large bathroom, again all done in a Victorian style... a grand room containing a large marble slipper bathtub the size of normal sized person, with a silver shower, and then enclosed and hidden from sight was a toilet. On the opposite side there was a large mirror suspended over a vanity table with a chair. The closet was full of fluffy towels and fluffy bathrobes, not to mention lotions, soaps and shampoos, and boxes of toothpaste. Above, there were two baroque chandeliers hanging, giving off much light when night fell and when the huge window would be useless. Anyway, the second morning was a bit better off than the first; she however decided to take a bit of time to think things through for a bit, which for some reason was in the form of a list. Offhand she hoped that Xander would not be too obnoxious about the strange similarity between Sherlock Holmes and her new mannerisms. Or at least he’d be too preoccupied with his own changes to make many wisecracks. Yesterday she came home to see Ethan Rayne, of all people, having tea with her mother. The snort that escaped her made an ash silver wolf cub look up and then jump on her bed.
The wolf had the exact same colored eyes that she did. "Hello girl," Buffy greeted her wolf, "Mr. Rayne said that your name is Halona," which meant good fortune. Granted, Ethan thought Halona was a boy wolf-y, but Buffy discovered that the pup was actually female and not male.
On the other hand, it was frustrating being polite to the chaos mage, but her new 'Gifts' sort of derailed that death sentence that being chosen as the Slayer came with in tiny print, that she managed to ignore less and less. Buffy decided that when she stood in her living room entrance that she at least owed Ethan Rayne a little bit of slack. Just a bit, so she was polite to the guy, something that came surprisingly easy to her; she chalked this oddity in with the rest of the changes, like Snyder being nice to her. Now, that, nearly gave her a heart attack – never mind the fortune that was in her name at the bank. Snyder being nice was far odder. A sudden realization struck her, so suddenly that she bolted from her bed and ran, in her muslin and lace nightgown, to her personal phone and dialed Willow's number.
"Willow!" Buffy greeted when her friend answered the phone, "can you, when you have time, check everyone’s backgrounds in the Mayor’s office, as far back as you can?"
"Certainly but, why do I have to?" Willow asked and then added "You are home; right, and you will wait for somebody to pick you up, yes."
It was not a question; it was a statement, and she swallowed down the annoyance that chafed her at her weakness. "Yes, Oz is picking me up, and then we are going straight to school," then she answered the question Willow asked. "The thought struck me. There is a lot of denial going on, but even in LA with the same type of denial of the supernatural, there were police investigating, while here when kids die or eat a school principal, there is only short article in school newspaper, but no mention of police. There should be a lot more attention from the police or the Mayor office; Mayor Wilkins should have done more."
"You’re right," Willow muttered, and Buffy could hear the clicking of the keyboard. Willow was on her computer, typing away. "As a politician, he should have done more, and the entire thing feels like a setup … why didn't we see this before?! It’s so obvious."
Buffy nodded, even though she knew that Willow could not see her. "I'm sending Ethan Rayne a fruit basket with a little thank you note."
"Don't tell Giles that," came Willow's amused voice over the line, then the former redhead uttered a curse word that made Buffy raise her eyebrows. "I found some pictures, and I'm printing the relevant facts. I think the Mayor is a demon; I'm seeing a picture of him taken in 1899. He was the mayor that founded Sunnydale."
"Hey, Willow, I have a question: could we use that spirit board and my link to the Slayer line to see if there are any Slayers in the vicinity?"
"In theory we could, but I need to consult with Giles. He might have information in the books."
"Phone Miss Calendar as well, she will intercede if Giles will be averse to using magic."
"Oh, yes, he is skittish with that, kinda like a cured …" Willow trailed off and then, "oh, that’s so not a nice thought."
Buffy could see what Willow was thinking, the comparison Willow was about to make between a cured drug user, or a better analogy, an alcohol addict, and how Giles reacted to magic.
"No, it’s not," Buffy hummed, "but it explains much."
There was a soft exclamation on the other side of the phone line. "There is a picture of the mayor’s wedding day in 1903," Willow said over the phone, "He was called Bill Wilkins, son of William Wilkins, who was the son of one Mayor B.T. Wilkins – the same guy by the way, … apparently the Mayor has been the Mayor of Sunnydale for a long time, with only a couple of breaks where he didn't run for office." Well that settled it, didn't it?
The Mayor was as old as this town – it was also highly probable that -
"Willow," Buffy had said, "is it possible that he was the one who founded the town?"
A beat of silence, then, "Perhaps, yes, it is a high possibility. I'll have to do more research ..." Willow trailed off as she typed something.
"Cover for it as some sort of history assignment," Buffy suggested then frowned, remembering that older information was probably in an archive somewhere and not on the internet, so either papers or microfilms. "You'll probably have to find old newspapers, and perhaps that is something Giles could help with. The Hellmouth is probably the reason why this town was built in the first place." It was too big to be a mere coincidence.
Willow hummed in thought and then, "Yes, some things are probably located in the old archive at the Townhall," she agreed.
"Don't go alone, please," Buffy cautioned her friend. After all, she was in no position to physically help out thanks to her body’s inability to deal with physical pain anymore.
"I'll go with her." There was a new voice behind her, and the only reason why she did not throw the phone in his face was, because he dodged, actually he just disappeared and reappeared - and the phone hit a wall and a picture of a French landscape. Which fell down and the glass shattered.
"Geez, Oz, you almost gave me a heart attack!" Buffy frowned, "wait didn't you go home? How did you get in and behind me?"
Then she noticed a furry small dog in his hands. It had black fur on its face, the rest of its body was cream colored, and was very fluffy and cute, like a bonbon.
Oz looked a bit sheepish, "There is a bit of a story for all those questions."
"Haaloo," it was Willow's voice and she sounded frantic, "Buffy, are you there!? What’s going on? Buffy!" Buffy went to the phone and picked it up. "I'm here." "What happened?!" Willow demanded, "Are you all right? Are you hurt? What’s going on?" were her rapidly fired questions.
Oh boy, well Buffy would just have to answer in order. "Oz happened. I'm fine. No. I'm about to find out."
"Oh OK, I'll hang up now. Call me as soon as Oz leaves, all right?"
With that, Buffy put the phone back in the proper place.
"So what happened?"
"Long story," Oz replied deadpan.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Then make it shorter."
"I can give the cliff notes."
"Just shortened is fine and make it simple."
"A bit, yes." Oz nodded, "All right, after I left from here, I joined with Cordelia and Xander on their patrol. Xander has a familiar by the way; you will probably meet him tomorrow as I think Xander'll bring him to school."
Now all of them had … no wait, "Do you have something – a familiar?"
"Yes, but I'll introduce you to my summons later."
Summons? As in plural? Interesting, Buffy thought. "What can you summon?"
"A chameleon. I already met a few; one of them likes me very much; it said that I reminded him of his last summoner. "
"Chameleon?" Buffy asked.
After a pause Oz continued. "Yes, some are as big as a museum."
All right, that answered one question and created an interesting comparison. Cordelia's Adsila could speak but was native to this dimension, changing to what she thought was the same magic as Cordelia and Willow's Aleshanee was just a normal, albeit slightly more intelligent, dog. Then there was Buffy's she-wolf, who with her fur color and eyes and intelligence was definitely not native to this dimension, but Halona did not speak. Yet Oz's summons not only spoke but had memories of other places.
"Regardless," Oz continued, "when I joined in patrol, and just as we completed our round at the Restfield cemetery, this little one bolted through the bushes followed by Drusilla."
Oz lifted the puppy up – it was young, Buffy could see, however it was one of the small breeds, specifically either a Havanese, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, or Lowchen, or a mix of either of those, by the looks of the dog.
"This is Miss Mittens," saying that, Oz put the little dog on her lap, and she secured the little fur ball. The silver gray she-wolf cub nosed at the soft balled curled in her lap, who yipped and then nosed Halona right back.
"Drusilla called her Miss Sunshine, but I think that Miss Mittens LaFluff of Fluffy is better. So what do you think?"
"I think you’ve lost your naming privileges," Buffy muttered under her breath, drawing a 'What?' from Oz. Buffy shook her head. "Nothing, I just think that it’s too long of a name for a simple puppy to remember … how about Mitty?"
"Mm," Oz nodded as the dog licked her face. And when Buffy lowered Mitty to the floor, the newly named Mitty joined the gray wolf. "Mitty it is," he agreed, "and that was pretty much it. We concluded the patrol, and I went home, with Mitty, then I got a call from Xander – he was panicking again, this time about dragons waking up from statues." Oz paused there for a bit, "I was worried and so I wanted to get there as fast as I could and then I was standing before the door to Xander’s room."
"What? How did you?"
"At the time I hadn’t cared; I just entered his room, and he was still on the phone, yelling about where was I?" Oz's mouth twitched into an amused grin, he even chuckled … Buffy never saw Oz do either before. "He squeaked like a baby toy when I made a sound, and then another voice started to laugh ..."
"Xander's familiar?" Buffy guessed.
"A little Chinese red dragon, he is not much taller than Mitty if he stands on his hind legs. His name is Mushu and he was living – sleeping for century or two as a brass statue. Xander was using him as a paperweight when he used his new powers and Mushu awoke."
"So he is native."
It was not a question. But Oz nodded anyway, and then he actually snickered. "I think Mushu and Xander will get along just fine; they both started to complain about my lack of reaction to Mushu's presence." Then he grew serious, "as of my new ability to teleport..." He walked toward her dresser, picking up a ornate silver hand mirror, and brought it to Buffy. "Here, look at the reflection, right above your left shoulder blade."
Buffy did as he asked of her and maneuvered the mirror so that she could see the skin on her shoulder, and there were tiny writings of some sort of characters; she narrowed her eyes at the reflection. "This is some sort of formula," she muttered, "and while I can read Kanji, this, I have no idea what it's supposed to mean." She put the hand mirror away.
"I figured," Oz started to say when she looked at him, "that I unknowingly put that on you when I simultaneously taped you on the shoulder while thinking of a way to get to you fast if there was danger." Then he paused to collect his thoughts. "As for the meaning, I think it's a homing beacon; there is one that's subtly different on Xander's doorframe."
"So, that's how you can distinguish between the different destinations. How do you do that?" "You know, I don't have a clue yet."
***Same day -Elle Greenaway House***
She slowly dressed in her black slacks and white button shirt, thinking of things in the past – and the choices she had made, and contrary to what Hotch believed, at the time she left the BAU was not just because she did not feel safe … or just that she had no faith in her team to protect her or just because she lost it and shot a man. It was all of that and more; besides, when she flatlined after Fisher King shot her, and she met her dad, and she actually talked with her deceased father. Talk about a near death experience. When she woke in the hospital after her surgery, she was disoriented. She could practically taste various emotions and sensations in the air: pain, fear, terror, joy, happiness, and elation; also there was a heavy cloud that made her feel sleepy and feel a wet kind of loneliness and .... Those were not her own sensations, she soon found out. While she was gone, she had developed some sort of sense, or an empathy, which contributed to her marching outside and confront that serial rapist. She could almost taste what he wanted. So she reacted and confronted him, but with that rush to stop him – to stop that dark, heavy, looming force – she ruined the case. She corrected her rash action the only way she knew how to. She stopped William Lee from raping any more women, permanently. Soon after that she could no longer cope with her ability – so she left the BAU and FBI. The rest was, as they say, history. By Elle taking this teaching position, it was a way to give herself time to heal and control that strange ability; it however proved to be an invaluable help with teaching and helping her students.
She had a couple promising students: Jonathan Levinson, he was a shy teen who was proficient with computers and some Latin, and then there was Theresa Klusmeyer. Elle met the young teen on the day she started to teach and drove her home – Elle had no intention of letting the quickly anxious teenager walk home at night when there was some sort of wild animal running around though there were no more victims of attack since that night. Elle supposed that park rangers took care of it. Next was Holly Charles, an intelligent young lady – who somewhat reminded Elle of Jason Gideon, if he was a female teen, and then there were two other students that reminded Elle of her team – Buffyanne Summers reminded her of a love child between JJ and Reid, while Willow Danielle Rosenberg reminded her of a strange, and frankly unsettling, combination of Hotch and Penelope. Lastly there was Blayne Moll, while he had some talent, he had a habbit of bragging and sometimes threatened his clasmates by using his father who was some sort of hotshot lawyer in LA. They were gems that were a pleasure to teach; others were just average and bad, but she had no intention of giving up on them.
Elle was here to teach them, and teach them she would.
"... after a certain incident with that event I became a vegan. Mi color favorito es amarillo y después de cierto incidente con ese evento me convertí en vegano."
Poor Heidi, Buffy thought as she watched her classmate, Heidi only just returned from the hospital, being one of the students who was possessed by hyenas at the trip to the zoo. Heidi also seemed to avoid anyone that was present at the incident, including Lance Lincoln, who was not possessed at all, and Xander. Not that Buffy saw any of the others, the rumor was that Kyle was still in the hospital, Tor Hauer and his family moved to Florida, and as for Rhonda Kelly – she was around and a bit of a better person since Buffy saw her defend Jonathan Levinson from some jocks that were bullying him. She also seemed to give her odd looks … perhaps Buffy should speak with her; it was not like she didn't have time. It might also be good to open more eyes to the evil that goes bump in Sunnydale.
Speaking of animals, it was interesting, Buffy thought, that Professor Greenaway reminded her of a well fed, sleepy cat. Lidded brown eyes gave Miss Greenaway a sleepy look, dark and long hair surrounding her cat like face …
"Señorita Summers?" said teacher called her; they were doing first English and then Spanish introductions. Buffy stood up, like so many students before her, and delivered an introduction, like her predecessor Heidi Barrie did.
"I'm Buffy Summers; I live at Revello Drive," she deliberately omitted the house number, no need to give an easier way to find her, "my favorite colors are blue and green, and my favorite food is pancakes. I'm wearing a blue and white dress, with a blue blouse, and a navy blue jacket. I have an ash gray dog named Halona and a small cream colored lapdog named Mitty."
Even if it was, in actuality, a type of a wolf that was not native to this dimension and the other dog was a foundling that escaped, according to Oz, from Drusilla who had called the dog Miss Sunshine. Smart dog.
"Soy Buffy Summers; vivo en Revello Drive. Mis colores favoritos son azul y verde y mi comida favorita es los panqueques. Llevo un vestido azul y blanco, con una blusa azul, y una chaqueta azul marino. Tengo un perro gris ceniza llamado Halona y un perro de color crema pequeño llamado Mitty."
***Airspace, somewhere above California***
The BAU team was in the air. Emily Prentiss and Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner were going over the files with Special Agents Dave Rossi and Jennifer JJ Jareau. Dr. Reid was sitting and going through Sunnydale newspapers
"What is it, Spence?" JJ asked when she saw Dr Reid flip the newspapers, his eyes going up, down, and sideways as he read the articles with lightning speed.
"It makes no sense," Dr. Spencer Reid muttered as he went through the newspaper articles. "There is too many deaths for such a small town. It has the same number of fatalities as LA or New York or Chicago. Mostly teens – look, there are almost daily obituary reports in the School newspaper."
"Kid. That is impossible." Derek Morgan up looked from his seat.
"Au contraire my chocolate..." the voice of computer analyst Penelope Garcia sounded through the plane, drawing attention from the other agents
"What do you have for us, Hot Mama?" Derek asked.
"Lots of freaky with a side helping of weird," Garcia replied, "you know that there are lots of deaths right, well there are also some weird 'accidents,'" she air quoted, "lots of people die via a grill fork or from a dog attack."
Hotch looked from his files, "Garcia, look more closely at the faculty of Sunnydale High, see if there are any priors.
"Just a second, Crime Fighters, I will crack this baby like an egg." Something pinked and then Garcia made a happy squeaky sound … "Oh OH!"
"What is it?"
"She’s here, as part of the faculty."
"Elle!" Garcia exclaimed, "She applied for a Spanish language teacher job at Sunnydale High."