Things Present – Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee
Part 8 - Demons are a Girl's Best Friend
was sound asleep, leaning back awkwardly in a dining room chair. His head was rolled back over his shoulder,
his mouth agape...he was breathing rather loudly. Willow had dozed off three quarters of the
way through the tome she was reading, her face pressed against page 326. Tara's head rested directly on the table, her
breathing slow and regular. Spike was pacing back and forth between the kitchen
and the dining room. Anya was fixing
another cup of coffee for Giles.
Giles. Bloodshot eyes fought to remain
open behind crooked glasses. His elbow
was on the table supporting the hand that his head was now resting on.
sat in the chair beside him, an assortment of crumb-filled plates fanned out in
front of her. She was nibbling on a
jelly-smeared cracker, her fingers stained orange from the Cheese-Puffs she had
gobbled up earlier. "I love American
food," she had said after she had finally succumbed to the call of the
Twinkies. After that, there was no
stopping her. There was so much to see,
so much to learn, so much to eat. This
was new and exciting. She had never felt
this kind of autonomy before and she was taking full advantage. Sure, she was somewhat concerned about what
was happening to her - but she had been unconscious for who knows how long...and
now she was getting a taste of a life that appeared much more unrestrained than
the one she had left. She was eager to
explore this new liberty...but still extremely
uncomfortable in the red leather pants.
was almost four in the morning, and after explaining her life story (and
cleaning out the pantry), Maeve was still fully awake. Giles had scribbled over
30 pages worth of notes into his journal throughout the evening regarding
Maeve's life and duties as a Slayer...hoping desperately for some hint as to why
she's here. However, after pages of notes and a few odd comments from Anya - You
must have ruined so many beautiful dresses fighting vampires...How awful! -
he was still nowhere closer to determining the cause of this mystery - or how
to reverse it. He was growing more and
more concerned with every passing minute.
And he was exhausted.
Mr. Giles," the girl said as she desperately searched for a napkin to wipe the
jelly from her fingers. "May I ask some questions, too?"
removed his glasses and squeezed the bridge of his nose. "Maeve, we need to rest. We must get up early and continue our
research. You have to understand my
concern for Buffy."
Maeve nodded solemnly.
"Yes," she murmured and hung her head shamefully.
Anya returned to the dining room with a steaming mug.
"Thank you, Anya, but I actually think it's time we
get some sleep."
Spike exclaimed as he walked back into the dining room, "But you haven't
figured out where Buffy is and how we're supposed to get her back."
Spike, I realize that," Giles replied crossly, "But we must sleep. We're doing Buffy no good if we can't focus
our concentration on the task at hand."
rubbed the back of his neck and grimaced. As much as
he hated to admit it, the Watcher had a point. The Scoobies probably needed
their beauty sleep. He, on the other hand, was unable to find proper rest, so
he pulled the book from underneath Willow's face. *Bollocks, research just ain't my bag.*
thing tomorrow I'll contact the Council and try to get a copy of Willoughby's
Journal faxed to me," Giles told the anxious vampire. "Maybe Maeve's Watcher recorded something
that will shed some light on what's going on here."
silently agreed, took an empty chair, tossed his feet up on the dining room
table and opened the book on his lap.
"Come on, Mave, I'll take you up to Buffy's room,"
Maeve smiled her appreciation with orange tainted
if you can't sleep," Anya added in a conspirational tone, "perhaps Buffy's
diary will answer some of your questions. I can help you look for it."
recalled, with a surprising sentimentality, her initial return to the world of
humanity after over 1000 years of demonhood.
She was able to draw many parallels to Maeve's current condition. It was definitely a shock to the senses, to
her emotions. The adjustment was still
occurring - 3 years later. *Sometimes I
still fudge on the subtleties of the human condition,* she thought. Besides
the fact, Anya had actually been around in Maeve's time. She remembered the oppression. Truth be told, the sexual repression during
that time sent a lot of business her way.
It was nice to be there to help Maeve adjust to this new place and
time. *Actually, I think I might just have to give that girl a few suggestions
to take back home with her.* Anya
Willow woke with a start to a ringing phone. "Hello?"
raised her head at the sound of her sweetheart's voice.
hi Dawn," she said into the receiver.
yeah, sure, you can go to the mall with Janice," she said.
uh, in the shower," she explained, "but I'll let her know."
Okay, you can stay there for dinner, too."
knitted her brows in disapproval. She
mouthed, "Are you gonna tell her?"
Willow shook her head in the negative.
call us later," Willow said.
understood that Willow didn't want Dawn to worry...but still, "Don't you think
you should've told Dawn what's going on?"
until we know more," she answered. "Besides, if we can figure this out before
she gets home, she'll never even have to know."
10AM, the gang returned to their prospective places in the dining room after a
fairly unpleasant few hours of sleep.
Anya and Maeve were just coming downstairs.
wanted a long skirt, something conservative.
But Buffy doesn't seem to own a shred of traditionalist clothing," Anya
told the group. "Wait, that's
wrong. She has plenty of shreds of
clothing. It's the whole pieces that are
missing. I told her that she was better
off in pants anyway. She's not happy
"But I am happy that they are not red," Maeve added
She was wearing a pair of blue sweat pants and a small
plain gray T-shirt.
"Would you like some breakfast?" Tara asked.
no thank you. I think I've already eaten
enough to last a year," she answered quietly.
worry," Anya said, not without affection, "you're a Slayer. You'll work off all those calories in no
time. We can't afford to have a fat
Slayer, you know."
"Anya!" Xander chastised.
We can't. I mean, how well would a fat
Slayer fight.... or run for that matter.
Not very well, I would guess. A
vampire would eventually catch her. And
boy, would he eat well for a week or two..."
Giles interrupted. "I think it's best if
we take our research to the Magic Box.
I've already contacted the Council.
They will, hopefully, be faxing the journal to the shop in a few hours."
idea," Willow said, "I've been wanting to take a look at a few of the books
can show Maeve the training room," Xander suggested. "Maybe she can get in a bit of exercise. Hone her Slayer-skills. Enjoy her new
body. I know I've always enjoyed it."
not in the physical sense," he amended quickly, "I mean, I got physical...just
not with Buffy." Xander was
flustered. "Well, maybe with Buffy, but
just not in real life."
"Exercise. Good plan," Anya interrupted. "She should definitely practice using Buffy's
get too comfortable in it," the vampire warned as he stalked into the room,
duster swirling around his legs. He
glared at the girl in Buffy's body with a hint of possessiveness.
"It doesn't belong to you."
Continued in Part 9 - Upstairs, Downstairs