Things Present – Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee
Part 6 - Brave New World
the Buffy look-alike in and out of the car while suspended in that
orangey-substance was a chore, but not quite as difficult as convincing Anya to
take the motorcycle with Spike. Not only
was she concerned about leaving Xander in his "injured condition", but she was
completely unhappy about ending up with what she referred to as "helmet-hair". Eventually, though, she caved and the gang
finally made their ways back to the Summers' house.
we have to buy one!" Anya exclaimed as she trotted through the door. "It felt so...so liberating!"
Willow and Tara were waiting in the living room. During the car ride, Willow
had been able to re-shape the orange material so it only bound the girl's hands
and feet. She now sat completely still on the couch with her hands folded
neatly in her lap. She was staring down
at them in silence.
Anya's giddiness faded as she joined the others in the
"So? What happened?" she asked the group.
"We're not sure, she hasn't said a word," Tara
knelt in front of the bound girl.
"Buffy?" she started quietly, "I mean, no, not Buffy. You're not Buffy." She was a bit
flustered. Tara stepped forward and
placed a calming hand on her lover's shoulder. Maeve was somewhat taken aback
by their show of closeness. She shifted
uncomfortably. Willow continued, "Can you tell us who you are?"
The girl looked up at Willow, but didn't answer.
"We're your friends.
All of us. We won't hurt you, we
"I don't believe you," the girl answered, almost
noticed how rigid the girl's posture was and saw how her eyes occasionally
darted around the room, as if she'd never seen a house like this before. She wanted to comfort the girl, tell her that
everything would be alright - but she wasn't really sure if that was the
truth. Behind the orange restraints,
Tara saw that the girl's hands were clasped so tightly on her lap that her
knuckles were beginning to turn white.
No. No, it's the truth," Willow wasn't sure how to proceed. "Why should we lie
can not deceive me," the girl whispered to Willow. "I know you are not being truthful because
you're protecting a demon."
Willow said, startled. "No, no, we're
not protecting a demon. We don't protect
demons, we fight them."
least the evil ones, not the not-so-evil ones" Anya amended. "We've saved the
world several times," she added proudly.
Willow continued, "We, uh, we help people. That's what we do."
The girl dropped her gaze again.
stood and turned toward the rest of the group hoping for some kind of
"So have you figured out who she is yet?" Spike asked as he
opened the front door and flicked his cigarette out into the night.
At the sound of his voice, the girl on the couch flinched and
momentarily struggled with her confines.
Her eyes narrowed and she flattened her palms against her thighs. Her muscles clenched tighter still (if that
was even possible); she looked like a spring about to uncoil. She watched Spike
with such intensity, one might guess everything else in the room faded to
"No, she won't talk," Willow said. "She thinks we're protecting a demon," she
"Imagine that," Spike said sarcastically.
"What?" Willow asked, somewhat hurt by his
"Are you daft, Will? She thinks you're protecting ME."
Willow's eyes grew wide. How
could she not have realized that! "Oh!"
she exclaimed. "But wait! How did she know? I mean, how did she know that you're a
"Because she's a Slayer," Spike
"Who's a Slayer?" a British voice questioned from the
top of the stairs.
"Giles!" Willow blurted out.
I've slayed a vampire or two in my day, I wouldn't hasten to call myself a
Slayer, no," he answered as he made his way down the stairs - he was drying his
hair with a fluffy white towel.
"No, um, I mean..." Willow stuttered.
God! Buffy!" Giles exclaimed when he saw her bound on the couch. He dropped the towel and ran the rest of the
way into the living room.
Giles, she's uh...she's not Buffy," Willow said as Giles reached for the girl's
girl shrunk from his touch, her gaze still locked on the blond vampire only a
few steps away. Spike was nonchalantly
leaning against the wall watching the exchange.
"What? What happened?" he asked incredulously.
"We're not sure," Tara said.
"She fainted at the club and when she woke up, she
attacked Spike," Willow added.
"Yeah, we were hoping she had finally come to her
senses," Xander teased.
"Har dee har har," Spike mumbled.
and she injured Xander!" Anya appended, glaring accusingly at the girl on the
girl's a Slayer," Spike said, "Pretty good, too. But we can be certain, she's not Buffy."
pulled an armchair across the living room and sat down in front of the petite
"You're a Slayer?" he asked the girl.
She turned her attention to the Watcher in front of
her. "I am."
"What is your name?"
you tell us what happened? How you came to be here?"
The girl shook her head.
my name is Giles," he told her, "It seems you now inhabit the body of my
Slayer, Buffy Summers."
are a Watcher?" Maeve asked, surprised. She spoke
slightly louder this time, loud enough for Xander to hear her.
"Wow, she sounds like Giles!"
Xander exclaimed. "She must be from
"Someone give Harris a cookie,"
I'm Buffy's Watcher," Giles answered.
girl visibly relaxed.
then, why is HE here?" She looked worriedly at Spike.
followed her glance, "He's, uh...he's a friend."
girl nodded slowly. She was taught to
accept what she was told, without question, but, still, she remained wary.
"Willow, unbind her." Giles ordered.
closed her eyes and murmured something in Latin and the orange constraints
dissipated into the air.
"She's a witch?" Maeve asked, her question tinged with
something like awe.
Giles answered. He stood. "I'm sure you
have many questions, Maeve, as do I." He turned to the group, "Let's get her
comfortable so we can find out exactly who she is and how she ended up...here."
was bustle in the Summers' household as people rushed to the kitchen to get
food and drink, and brought chairs in from the dining room. Maeve took that opportunity to inspect her
red leather pants. Tara watched as the
Slayer carefully leaned in to inspect the material more closely, pinching a
piece between her finger and thumb.
Maeve glanced up and noticed Tara's quiet observation. "I've never seen any cloth quite like this,"
she smiled sheepishly. "I-I have never
worn trousers before." She shifted in
Tara smiled comfortingly. "Stay right there, Maeve. I'll be right
left the living room, and in a moment, returned with the large mirror that hung
in the hallway. She set it down on front
of Maeve. "Maeve, meet Buffy Summers,"
touched the reflection uncertainly, then touched her own face. She touched the blond hair that rested on her
shoulder and cocked her head. "Hello
Buffy," she said, mesmerized by her reflection.
Maeve looked at Tara questioningly. "Was Buffy a...a harlot?"
Tara laughed out loud and shook her head. "No, of course not."
came back into the living room with mug of tea and a plate of Twinkies. "I thought you might be hungry or something,"
she said uncertainly.
Maeve didn't reach for the plate, Willow set it and the mug down on the end
table next to her. The gang was in the
process of taking their seats around the room.
Giles returned with a journal and pencil, and sat back down in the
leaned over him and whispered, "Should I call Dawn and tell her what's going
I think we'd better wait `til she returns from Janice's," he answered. Then he turned his attention to the girl
waiting patiently on the couch.
he said, "Let's get started. It is
important that we find out exactly who you are, where you came from and why
while you're at it, Rupert," Spike added, "there's somethin' else you might
like to find out...where the hell is Buffy?"
Continued in Part 7 - High Stakes