Things Present – Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee
Part 5 - Tea for Two
Willoughby looked at Maeve, the Slayer he had sworn to protect and guide, and
saw a monster. Oh dear Lord, what have I done? Maeve stood in the
hallway studying herself in the mirror as if seeing herself for the first time.
Except that it wasn't her. Maeve would never ever have used that kind of
obscene language. Whatever entity had invaded the Slayer's helpless body surely
originated from a plane of hell or a demon dimension.
kind of horror have I unleashed upon this world. And what happened to Maeve's
tried to collect his thoughts. He had to prevent the creature from leaving the
house and he had to capture it somehow, and then he would have to ask the
Council for their help. This was not the time to consider his own future or the
way the Council would frown upon his unsanctioned use of magic.
watched the possessed girl, mentally going through spells and other means of
subduing her, when she turned around to look at him.
her hands on her hips she glared at him.
I take it this isn't a fancy bit of plastic surgery but more in the line of
soul transplant, right? Did you do this?"
gestured at herself, scowling.
of what the girl is saying doesn't make any sense. And what kind of accent is
was aware that whoever was behind those angry eyes was stuck in a body way
stronger than his. A Slayer's body. It might be better not to provoke the
dangerous creature unnecessarily.
sorry, it was not my intention to summon you here against your will. If you
wish I will endeavour to send you back to whatever hell or dimension you came
to hell, just the Hellmouth. As in Sunnydale, California? It's not hell, but sometimes it sure feels
that way. And make it quick, a friend was just about to ask me to dance with
not a demon, you're American!" he exclaimed. Now that explains a lot.
Americans were a rude and uncivilized bunch. But Willoughby was surprised that
they allowed their women to talk and behave like that. Then it struck him. *How
did she know I'm a Watcher?*
name is Edward Willoughby, at your service," he said, relying - in times of
crisis - on that which held civilization together: good manners. He gave her a
crisp bow. "I am, indeed, a Watcher. How did you know?"
Buffy. I guess you heard about me."
*Is that a name?* He cleared his throat. "I am awfully sorry, but I am
afraid I am not familiar with that name. Perhaps a surname..."
Buffy Summers. Does `the Slayer' ring a bell?" She sighed at his obvious
confusion. "I only saved the world
from apocalypse, um.." she counted on her fingers, "6 or 7
was that?" he asked. *Oh my God, she's a ghost, or a spirit! I summoned a
dead Slayer from the grave!*
let's see, I killed the Master in 1997, one year later there was the Judge,
then Acathla, after that I stopped an Ascension and in 2001 I fought a
2001?" he interrupted. "That's impossible!" He was about to say some more, when
a door opened and Louisa Willoughby rushed into the hallway, her skirts
thought I heard voices... Maeve! you're up. Oh, I am so glad. We had already
given up hope. But you can't walk around like that, you'll catch a cold.
Edward, where are her morning gown and her slippers?"
a radiant smile she floated elegantly towards Buffy and embraced and kissed her
without ruffling a single crease of her expensive dress, lightly touching her
cheeks to the girl's, barely making contact. There was a surprised look on
Maeve's face - well, it was her face, even if someone else was currently residing
behind it - but the girl didn't move. She just gave him a questioning look.
Did she really say 2001? Oh dear.*
my dear, I was just about to tell you about Maeve's recovery. But you mustn't
expect too much of her, she is quite frail from her long coma, and a bit...
caught the furious look of the girl but then she caught on and gave him an
almost imperceptible nod. "Maeve, my dear, please come back inside. Louisa is
right, you must be careful."
will send for the doctor," Mrs. Willoughby said. "And I will have Mary bring
some tea and biscuits." She swept out majestically.
gestured to the girl to come back into the office, and reluctantly, she
house, your clothes," she wrinkled her nose, "MY clothes, and these
lamps and horse-drawn carriages? It all feels so wrong... Where am I? No, more importantly, WHEN am I?"
is the 5th June 1880." Willoughby replied, holding up a burgundy red
gown for her to slip into. The girl mechanically allowed herself to be dressed.
"And you are in my house, in London, near Kensington."
I won't be born for another...um... ninety-eight, no wait...a hundred and um...
for a really long time." She grimaced very un-ladylike and Willoughby flinched. "Oh no... that means
Giles isn't even born yet...I think."
Watcher. A great guy, I mean, really. In a very English sort of way, but
great." She gestured at his crammed bookshelves. "I'm sure you two would get
along really well, you know, like a
house on fire."
motioned for her to sit down in his armchair and put a blanket over her. The
girl looked relieved to be able to sit down.
Buffy Summers," he said to her earnestly, "the lady you just saw is Mrs.
Willoughby, my wife. Whatever you do or say, don't mention the Council or the
fact that you are a Slayer. Or, for that matter, the year 2001."
girl looked at him, eyes widened in surprise. "You mean, she doesn't know
you're a Watcher?" She shook her head. "Jeez, you Watchers really are a breed
apart. What does she think you do all day? And, oh God, what could she possibly
think your relationship with ME is? Ew!"
flinched indignantly. "I am your, well Maeve's, legal guardian. I am also her
private tutor. A private foundation is paying towards your... her education."
both remained silent while the maid arrived with a silver tray. Mary curtsied.
"Good morning, Miss McKenna, cook sends you some scones," she stammered shyly,
"and everybody told me to tell you that we're happy to have you back, Miss."
you Mary. That'll be all," he dismissed her.
curtsied again and hurried from the room.
The Watcher poured the tea and handed the Slayer a
She took a tentative sip. "So, Willoughby, what do I
then, Mister Willoughby," she said. "When are you going to start sending me
Continued in Part 6 - Brave New World