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Not a Monkey

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Buffy, Willow, Cordelia, Xander and Angel raced into the library, and came to a dead stop. Well, Willow, Cordelia, Xander and Angel came to a dead (undead?) stop, while Buffy lay in a (yet another) dead faint in Angel’s arms. In front of them, seated on the table, sorting through the card catalogue, was…

“Why is there a monkey on the table?” Cordelia demanded.

Willow stared at Cordelia, aghast, then immediately turned back to the being getting very quickly angry as it dismounted the table. “Not a monkey,” she yelped. “I’m so sorry, but you have to forgive her: she’s just a cheerleader, so what can you expect?”

Rosenberg,” Cordelia hissed, “what the hell are you on about? There is a freaking big monkey in the library, and it probably ate Giles. I want to know-”

“For the love of God,” Willow wailed, “somebody shut her up!”

Xander smirked, holstered his rifle, and bent the brunette over into a passionate kiss. Willow shook her head. “Oh, he’s going to pay for that,” she murmured.

Angel grinned. “Yep.”

Willow turned back to the not-monkey, and heaved a great sigh. “You just had to do it, didn’t you,” she pouted. “You had to go as the Librarian.”

The orang-utan simply huffed in acknowledgement, and turned back to his cards. “Uh, Willow?” Angel prompted. “Who’s the Librarian, and why’s he an ape?”

“The Librarian was a wizard who got in the way of a spell, or something, and was turned into an orang-utan. Which is an ape, like you said, not a monkey,” she added, glaring at a now-upright Cordelia.

Cordelia rolled her eyes. “So it’s not a monkey? Sue me! And you,” she turned on Xander, “are in so much trouble it’s just not funny!”

Willow tuned out Cordelia’s diatribe, and turned back to the Librarian. “What are we supposed to do now? We came here so you could help us.”

“Ook?” the Librarian enquired.

“Well, for one thing,” Willow shrugged, “you’re not really the Librarian, you’re a human named Rupert Giles. For some unknown reason, he dressed up as you, and now he is you. How are we supposed to change back now?”

The Librarian looked down at himself, and shrugged. Then he nodded at Cordelia. “Ook?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Willow grumbled. “Maybe she’s too much of a bitch to turn into a cat.”

A moment of absolute silence followed that remark, broken by Buffy fainting again.

“The hell, Rosenberg?” Cordelia shrieked.

“Well, how else do you explain your not turning into your costume?” Willow demanded tetchily.

“Uh, I got mine at Partytown, while you losers got yours at that new place?” Cordelia proposed with bright sarcasm. And a heaping serve of ‘duh’.

Willow blinked. She turned to the Librarian. “Do you think that might be it?” she asked.

The Librarian considered the group before him, and nodded. “Ook,” he agreed. He then lifted his great hand, and pointed to Angel. “Ook?”

“Oh, I didn’t go in costume,” Angel dismissed. “I’m a vampire, and we’re not really into the whole Halloween thing. It’s a little … passé.”

“Ook,” the Librarian nodded sagely. He then gestured towards the door. “Ook?”

“Oh, the costume store,” Willow nodded. “I’ll take you.”

“Yeah, I’ll just stay here with the nice big weapons,” Cordelia decided. “And Xander and Angel to look after us,” she added, with a pointed glare at the two men. “After all, you have a freaking huge ape to look after you, plus you’re a ghost.”

“Yeah, good idea,” Willow nodded. “Uh, maybe you could put Buffy in Giles’ office – I think he has a couch in there. Oh, and the keys for the weapons cage are in his top drawer.”

The walk over to the costume shop seemed interminable. Willow supposed that, had Giles still been Giles, they would have driven, but the Librarian had taken one look at the Citroen, and simply huffed. So they were walking. Oddly, no one disturbed them on the way over, but then she supposed the freaking huge orang-utan beside her would dissuade most attackers. It was odd to feel so safe, wandering the streets of Sunnydale at night.

They made it, finally, to the costume shop, and went inside. It was dark and quiet, though there was a faint, green light shining from a back room. “Well,” Willow murmured, “here we are.”

“Ook,” the Librarian murmured.

“Well, well, well,” the shop-owner smarmed, “what have we here?”

The Librarian turned ponderously towards the man, and narrowed his eyes. “Ook?” he demanded.

“Oh, for the love of God,” Ethan snorted. “The Librarian?”

“Yes,” Willow smirked. “The Librarian. The big, scary, sentient Librarian. Who used to be Giles, and is going to help me fix your mess.”

“Ook!” the Librarian agreed.

Ethan blinked. “Ah, yes. Well. Um…”

“So how do we fix it?” Willow asked, smiling … well, sweetly would probably not be the right word.

Ethan eyed the Librarian, and tried to remember what he’d read about it. “One moment,” he offered, and ducked into the back room. Willow and the Librarian waited for a moment, then heard a tremendous crash. There was a wave of power, and the Librarian staggered while Willow disappeared.

Giles leaned against a counter as he rode out the wave of disorientation. He shook himself, and looked around. He quickly made his way to the back room to find the remains of some statuary, but his former friend was nowhere to be seen. “Bloody pillock,” he muttered.

He wondered where he could get some bananas.