Things Present – Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee
Part 24 - With Plans Like These...
Anya and Tara arrived home from the hospital a few hours before the rest of the
house would begin to stir. The bags
under the women's eyes could hold a couple of T-shirts, a pair of pants and an
elephant or two. Anya went straight
upstairs to hunt for an empty mattress.
Willow, bypassing Angel and Cordelia who were currently passed out on
the couch, followed Tara into the
kitchen where Giles was snoring at the table.
Tara began arranging the pancake fixings.
"I'll just make some breakfast for the gang and then we can go to bed,"
pouted. "Why not let them sleep and we can make breakfast later. Or maybe lunch," she grinned.
"How bout brunch?" Tara suggested.
"Whatever. As long as it means we get to sleep now."
"Okay," Tara agreed quietly. She took Willow's hand and they headed for
glanced into Dawn's room as she passed and found the teen sound asleep in her
bed, with her overprotective blonde babysitter sleeping on the floor beside
her. She wandered down toward Buffy's
room where she found Maeve, in the Slayer's bed, staring at the ceiling. "You're awake?" she asked from the doorway.
Anya. Please, come in." She smiled. "I
am glad to see you are back from the hospital."
Anya wandered into Buffy's room and sat down on the
side of her bed.
"How do you feel?" Maeve asked.
she answered. "I can't stop worrying about Xander. I know what those asylums
were like. You wouldn't believe how many women got locked up in madhouses for
no good reason. I often wreaked vengeance in their name. And now Xander is in
one of those horrible places and I don't know if I'll ever see him again." She would have cried, but there was nothing
left in her. "I'm scared, Maeve!"
know," Maeve cooed, as she sat up and pulled Anya's head into a gentle
hug. The ex-demon allowed the nurturing
and curled herself up into the Slayer's embrace where, in moments, she fell
"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Spike chirped into the Watcher's
ear. Giles woke with a start.
time is it?" he mumbled as he reached spastically around the table in search of
eleven, Rupert," Spike answered. "Chop
chop," he said as he produced the Watcher's glasses with a practiced smirk.
yes. Thank you, Spike," Giles murmured, irritation evident, as he donned his
eyewear. "Is everyone else already awake?"
am," Dawn answered from somewhere behind the refrigerator door. "Angel and Cordelia are, too." She pulled out
the orange juice and took a glass from the cupboard. "Maeve and Anya are still asleep and I saw
Tara and Willow in mom's bed before we came down." She poured herself a cup and
set it down on the table across from Giles.
"They must've gotten back sometime this morning."
I didn't hear them come in," Cordelia said as she walked into the kitchen,
looking immaculate after a quick detour to the bathroom. Angel was two steps
"Was hoping you were still asleep, William," Angel
the witches didn't yank the curtains open when they came in," Spike snickered.
"Such a beautiful day and all."
was still in front of the fridge when she asked, "Anybody else want anything?"
She glanced around the kitchen. "Spike,
do you want a mug?"
"Sure Niblet, thanks."
"Why do I think you're not talking about coffee? ,"
I'm not." Dawn smiled slyly as she tore open the packet of blood. "Come on, Angel," she said, grinning happily,
"I know that you're vampires. I KNOW you drink blood. Like any of this is
news." She rolled her eyes as she poured the 0 Negative into a mug and put it
in the microwave. "Pulllease."
Cordelia chuckled. "Well, at least she's a good
"First things first," Giles said as he paced the
length of the dining room table.
was near noon and everyone was finally awake, showered and ready to dive into
whatever plan the Watcher had concocted.
Tara had made brunch. Everyone was snacking on pancakes in the dining
room...well, everyone except Angel. Willow and Tara sat close together. The red
head still looked extremely haggard. Her
eyes were red and her lids looked extra-heavy.
Even her movements seemed slower than usual. Dawn and Cordelia were
playing `hostess'...refilling coffee mugs and clearing emptied dishes. Spike was wiping up what was left of the
syrup on his plate with his last heart-shaped pancake.
and I found what we think is the right spell to use in order to re-open the
portal. In essence, we should be able to use that same link in order for the
Slayers to return to their corresponding bodies. It will be tricky."
"You don't say," Spike muttered sarcastically.
have to get the timing just right.
Essentially, when the portal opens, there should be just enough power
for Spike to go through, just as Xander did."
"Will he end up naked too?" Dawn asked, giggling.
eyes turned to Spike with varying degree of interest. Maeve found herself
looks like the reason Xander lost his clothes and stuff is because the time
period won't allow for things that have yet to be invented. Something to do
with a temporal signature on a molecular level," Angel clarified. "It's not like the portal automatically
strips you naked, Dawn." He smiled at Buffy's sister.
"So if I could get a hold of some 19th
century digs," Spike asked.
"Then you should be okay, yes," Angel finished.
I have a pocket watch for you," Giles mentioned. "It's at the shop, we'll be
sure to get it for you before we perform the ritual."
"Goody," Spike chuckled. "I get to hold a real
a family heirloom," Giles continued. "But it works and keeps time properly, so
you should be able to keep track of how long you've been there."
shook his head. *How can they possibly
trust him with something so important?* he wondered. *Lives are at stake.*
if he forgets to keep track and isn't ready when we reopen the portal," Angel
asked, his skepticism obvious.
"Then we have a problem," Giles answered simply.
Spike didn't look the least bit perturbed by his
we can set up an alternative time to perform the spell in the event that Spike
cannot make it to the first portal," Maeve suggested.
"Yes, brilliant," Giles answered. He scribbled
something onto his notepad.
are you going to get Spike's new...old clothes?" Dawn asked. "Not like you can just stop off at the mall."
"You could try the wax museum," Cordelia offered.
"Sunnydale has a wax museum?" Dawn asked.
Dawnie," Willow answered. "Sunnydale has everything...an airport, a mall, a magic
shop, a river, a couple of high schools...we even have our very own hellmouth."
certainly can't go shopping myself," Spike said. "Not in this lovely weather. Maybe you could
go swipe something from the museum for me, ey, Li'l Bit?"
"Sure," Dawn smiled, giddy.
way," Tara said. "You will not be stealing for Spike. O-or anyone else for that
matter. Stealing is bad."
"Oh, come on," Dawn snickered. "It's for a good
"M-maybe we can ask to borrow some clothes," Tara
"Not bloody likely," Spike said.
"Well, someone's got to go," Angel said.
will go," Maeve offered, even though the thought of breaking the law caused a
knot in her stomach.
go, too," Anya said. "I want my Xander back."
She looked much better this morning.
"Me too," Willow said. "I can magic the locks open."
"No," Tara said. "You need to rest. I'll go."
"No buts, I'll go."
"How come it's okay for you to steal, but not okay for
me? I want to go."
it is not okay to steal," Giles told her. "And you will not go because we do
not want to put you in danger."
Poor little Dawn. She's too young to help out. She can't take care of herself."
The teenager rolled her eyes. "Look, if
it'll make you feel any better, we can leave money for whatever we take." She
folded her arms across her chest defiantly.
"You are not going and that is final," Giles state
mumbled something incoherent under her breath and then stormed up the stairs to
her room. A moment later, there was the
sound of a slamming door.
that's settled then. Anya, Tara and Maeve will go to the wax museum," Giles
of that high collar nonsense. God, those were uncomfortable. Don't want a
cravat either. They're too hard to
tie. Get me some good stuff. Ya know,
dark waistcoat, dark jacket...like Jack the Ripper," Spike interrupted.
"That's an upbeat and pleasant thought," Cordelia
"Oooh, and a cool hat," Spike added.
"You'll never change," Angel said, shaking his head.
you're out, Angel, Cordelia, Spike and I will plan the timing of the ritual and
set up all of the details."
about me?" Willow asked. "I want to help." She caught Tara's warning glance and
added hastily: "Not in an exhausting spell-cast-y way, obviously, but,
hey, even without the magic I have a
brain you can pick, not literally of course, and I'm still good with the books
"There will be plenty of work for everyone," Giles
can't believe they're gonna steal from a museum," Angel said with a shake of
"Yeah, I'm utterly shocked," Spike grinned.
note that I do not condone theft," Giles said, slightly amused. "We will return
the clothing to the museum when Spike returns."
"If he returns," Cordelia amended.
Everyone just turned to look at her.
me! Trust issues aside, you do remember Spike's less than impressive
success rate of late, don't you?" she griped. "Not that I'm superstitious or
anything, but he seems kinda jinxed since he came to Sunnydale. Hello? How
often did he fail to kill Buffy? Not that I'm complaining. But what makes you
think he'll succeed at anything else he tries?"
"Hey!" Spike exclaimed indignantly.
ignored his interruption. "For all we know he could end up god knows where and
god knows when."
just a risk we have to take," Giles said decisively. If he shared Cordelia's
misgivings he was good at hiding it.
not that easy to get rid of," Spike added with a scowl.
"Now, that I readily believe," Cordelia said.
"Shall we go now?" Maeve asked, trying to change the
Tara nodded. She kissed Willow's cheek before the
three girls headed for the door.
"Be careful," Giles told them.
girls walked out into the sunshine as Spike called after them, "And I don't
ladies, shall we go shopping?" Anya asked her escorts as they arrived in front
of the old and peeling building. She was suddenly feeling giddy with the
thought of doing something illegal.
"I-I've never stolen anything before," Tara murmured.
worry," Anya encouraged her. "It's not really stealing if we're going to return
it. And besides, we're doing this for Xander."
"Yeah, I guess," Tara answered, unconvinced.
was concerned about Anya's attitude toward something as serious as breaking the
law. *I guess when you deal with demons
and hellbeasts on a regular basis, the threat of jail time just doesn't invoke
much fear. Besides, I'm sure Anyanka's done way worse that lift a new outfit or
"Is there a plan?" Maeve asked.
"Let's just pick out what we want first," Anya said.
"Then we can plan."
"I just don't
know," Tara said as they wandered in through the front door.
"Oh stop being so negative," Anya chastised. "It'll be
fun! We'll bond over petty theft."
was a plain brown welcome desk sitting in the center of the small lobby of the
museum. On the phone, behind the desk,
sat a twenty-something woman with glasses and a bad perm. She was chewing on the back of a pen as she
chatted up the person on the other end of the line.
Anya and Maeve stood quietly waiting for the "receptionist" to greet them. Anya
wondered silently why it seemed so many companies chose the most rude and
obnoxious employees they could find to be greeters. *I'm always pleasant to Magic Box customers.*
so Billy told her she was getting to fat," the woman droned. "And that's when I
said..." She finally looked up at her visitors and said into the phone, "You know
what? Hold on just a second." She cocked
her head at her visitors as if this was the first time anyone had ever stepped
foot into the museum during her term as receptionist . Perhaps it was. "Can I help you?" she asked.
hi," Anya said. "We're just here to look around at your merchandise. We won't
be taking anything, just looking."
yea," Tara interrupted. "I have a history thesis I'm writing. I-I'm here to do
lady with the bad hair didn't seem to care in the least. "Five bucks
each." She was still holding the
receiver a few inches from her head.
Tara reached into her backpack to get the fifteen
dollars. She handed over the cash.
the woman said and nodded her head toward the double doors behind her before
she returned her full attention to the Billy-issue.
wandered through the swinging doors into a world that was cold, dark and
eerie. Shiny, sweating wax statues
glared at them through glass eyes. Anya
was dizzy with excitement. "This is
going to be so easy," she said as she skittered past the velvet ropes onto the
nearest display - an odd arrangement of the Three Stooges in jailhouse
uniforms. "There's no one even
here." She pulled on the waistband of
Curly's pants and peeked in. "Not anatomically correct," she grinned. "If you were curious."
blushed. She affected a shocked expression but the corners of her mouth were
it, Anya," Tara whispered. The red
velvet ropes made her uncomfortable.
"Let's just find what we need and get out of here."
I'm the victim here," Anya said with a pout. "It's my Xander who's got himself
trapped so if my cheering up takes the form of groping wax figurines, well then
so be it." She stepped back over the rope and onto the main path of the museum.
looked around with a combination of awe and amusement. "I have only ever been to one museum like
this before, in London. But these sculptures look so...so real!" She leaned over
a rope to get a closer look. "I want to...I want to touch one."
"Go ahead, Maeve," Anya suggested. "Who's gonna stop
Continued in Part 25 - ...Who Needs Enemies?