Things Present – Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee
Part 12 - Hindsight is 20/20
"I found it!" Willow declared and stood abruptly.
"What?" Tara asked, hopeful. "You figured out what happened to Buffy?"
"Not quite," she answered, "but I think I know how to
find her. Let's tell the others!"
grabbed the book she was reading, took Tara's hand and dragged them both down
the stairs to the center of the shop.
not sure Giles will be happy if you're planning on doing a spell," Tara
murmured. But Willow wasn't listening.
Anya! I've found what we need!" she squealed in delight. She struggled to open the book to the page
she was looking at, and pointed.
"Trans-Continuance Locator Spell!
That's how we'll find Buffy."
"English, please?" Xander requested.
"It means I can find Buffy wherever she is in the
space time continuum."
"But what if she's in hell?" Anya asked.
"Or another dimension?" Xander added.
Willow answered proudly. "This spell can
find her anywhere." If she had expected her friends to be instantly excited and
eager to try it out, she was disappointed. They all gave her dubious looks.
pretty potent," Anya said, sounding somewhat unsure. Tara nodded, glad someone
else had voiced her concerns.
but it's not a problem," the redhead assured her cheerfully, as she walked
around the shop picking up vials, chalks and a packet of incense sticks.
picked up a pencil and a pad to record the prices of the objects and substances
taken, but then she put them back with a sigh. "Tell me what components the
spell requires," she said. "Then I can help you find the things you need." She
pointed at the incense Willow was holding. "That's the cheap stuff for the
esoteric fans," the ex-demon explained. "For Buffy, we'd better use the more
expensive incense cones. We don't want the spell to go wrong, do we? At least
not because of inferior ingredients."
we just have that spell NOT go wrong -
for whatever reason?" Xander asked, nervously. Somehow he couldn't help
thinking of spells that had gone freaky in the past.
"Trust me, guys," Willow said. "I know what I'm doing.
It'll be fun."
were weapons scattered all over the hotel lobby. Cordelia was behind the front
desk, delicately flipping through this month's Vogue Magazine, pointedly
ignoring Angel's wacky attempts at getting her to train with him. He was
playing with a sword, fencing with an invisible opponent, and making snide
remarks about how although Cordelia's no longer a princess - she's still a
'royal' pain in the butt...
"Oh no," Cordelia yelped as she leaned on the counter
[An almost full moon
almost obscured by black smoke rising from thousands of chimneys - horse-drawn
carriages - a curved river with fog seeping over the embankment - a dark alley
and a swirl of arms and legs connecting in blows and kicks, a billowy skirt, a
pale face framed by red hair - a familiar face, its bestial eyes glowing with
Angel dropped his blade and rushed to her side, "What
is it? A vision?"
images and sounds, distorted, fragmented. [Darla, in a beautiful robe,
bestial face to the fore, smiling contentedly and licking her bloodstained lips
- a cacophony of screams and insane laughter - a pile of dead bodies in blood
splattered straitjackets - a thin black-haired woman, her face buried in the
neck of a fair haired man, feeding...]
tried to nod, but lost her balance and started to tip backward. She squeezed her eyes shut. "It's you," she gasped. She grabbed his arm for support. "And Buffy!"
almost dropped her, but instead, led her to the couch to sit down. "Ow," she moaned. "You're fighting. But you're not you. And she's not her."
was a bit more moaning, a few "Ow's" and if Angel weren't a vampire, Cordelia's
nails might have caused permanent tissue damage. She was gripping his arm with all her
strength until the worst of the migraine passed.
sighed as she leaned back to rest her head on the back of the couch. The pain was passing. "Just a sec," she said as she rubbed her
took a deep breath and looked up at Angel.
"You were Angelus," she said to him.
Then, "Oh god."
"What? What is it?" he asked nervously.
up with your hair? I mean, I thought this was bad." She gestured offhandedly
toward his gelled spikes. "So glad I
wasn't around back then."
Angel put an unsteady hand to his hair and frowned.
"You were Angelus and you were fighting Buffy."
that can't be. No." He shook his head and stepped away from Cordelia. "No." His voice went up a little on that last `no'.
it's not really Buffy," Cordelia continued, "I mean, I know it's Buffy,
but she doesn't look
like Buffy." She considered for a
moment. "It's weird, but it feels like
this already happened..."
"What does that mean?" Angel interrupted. He was
narrowed her eyes at him, "I wasn't finished.
What I was saying was: it feels like it already happened, but also like
it's going to happen...and...it's just weird.
Almost like past lives or something.
Why would the Powers be showing me past lives?"
"What does Buffy look like?"
hair...thin...pale...pretty. She's wearing an
old Victorian-style dress. Kind of
pretty. Definitely not my style. I'd like to say it's almost like one of Anna Sui's Spring collection or maybe more Julien
Macdonald, House of Givenchy . Oh,
remember the dress that Jodie Foster wore in `Anna and the King'..."
Angel interrupted. His patience was
thinning - so he grabbed a small dagger out of the heap of weapons on the floor
and began to fiddle with it.
yeah. Buffy. Vision. Right. I get the feeling that she's..." Cordy paused and
cocked her head, "In England?"
began pacing back and forth in front of the couch. Cordelia closed her eyes to will the details
of the burning vision back to the surface.
female hand unwrapping a small parcel and finding...]
"And I saw," she paused again. "Oh, cute," she said.
"What, Cordelia?" There was a tinge of irritation
coloring his voice.
little stone angel. It's so cute. A tiny
little cherubic figure - wings and all.
Hand carved, I think."
hurled the dagger he was holding across the room. It buried itself into the wall behind
Cordelia. She eyed him sceptically, "Okay, maybe it wasn't so cute."
per articulus," Willow chanted. She sat
cross-legged on the floor as Xander, Tara and Anya stood by watching
anxiously. The witch's eyes were black
and her hands were glowing softly pink.
"Reperio per tractus." Her voice
was getting stronger, "Reperio Buffy Summers."
Her hands hovered over Buffy's "Mr. Pointy" stake (a personal object was
needed for the spell). It began to rise
above the floor. "Effringo
fenestra!" A small point of light
exploded above the floating stake.
were three sharp bangs on the front door of the shop. The stake fell and the glowing pink lights
abruptly vanished. "Damnit," Willow
raced to the front door. There was a man in a dark suit standing just outside;
he was waving an envelope. Anya glanced back at the small group in the middle
of the shop and theatrically shrugged.
"Let him in, An," Xander said.
opened the door warily, "Hello. We're
closed," she said. "But please feel free to come back tomorrow and purchase
evening Miss, my name is Charlie," he answered, with a distinctly British
accent. He was attractive, with bright
blue eyes and dark hair. He was clean shaven and his nails were spotless and
pink - possibly manicured. "I tried the
Summers' house first, but when you weren't there, this was the next place on
the list." He smiled. "I have something for Mr. Giles."
"Oh?" Anya asked, eyeing the envelope
suspiciously. "Is it a gift?"
"Um, no. Not really," he answered with a small
smile. "Is Mr. Giles here?"
thought I heard the bell," Giles said as he approached the front door. He eyed the open spell book as he passed
Willow and shot her a scornful look.
"Can I help you?" he asked the man in the doorway.
The man smiled kindly and replied, "I have a letter
Continued in Part 13 - Family Business