Sunnydale High staff lounge, a day later; 1:15 p.m.
It was early in the morning, at about five, when the phone rang in the Collins' apartment in Sunnydale. It was a groggy Sarah who got up, and then reached around for the phone on her bedside table; upon finding it, she put the phone to her ear and groggily told the person on the line to call back at another time.
And before the other person could get a word in edgewise, the blonde said, "if this is another telemarketing call, I swear to you that you'll be turned into a toad for a few hours a day until you stop calling me."
However, Sarah opened her eyes wide and got up when she finally recognized the voice of the person on the other voice telling her that she wasn't a telemarketer and that changing them into dung beetles would be far more suitable.
"Of course, turning anyone into dung beetles, or even into toads would be highly unethical."
"Hi, Miss. Harkness," said Sarah sheepishly while she remained in bed and listened to what was being said over the phone, her face stunned at what the older woman from England was telling her about the Kalderesh Curse.
It would be later that day that Sarah would meet up with Giles at the staff lounge while Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Tara were in class. She approached Giles, who was talking to a short, brunette woman before tapping on his shoulder. Sarah then stepped back slightly as Giles placed a hand on the unknown woman's shoulder and then introduced her to the latest addition to the school's Nursing staff.
"Jenny Calendar," said Giles as he placed a hand on the small of Jenny's back while motioning towards Sarah who had her hand outstretched, "This is Sarah Collins."
"Miss Collins," said Jenny as he shook Sarah's hand.
"Please, just call me Sarah," said the blonde as she smiled at Jenny, before glancing at the look that Giles was giving the person who Sarah later learned was one of the school's I.T. teachers. However, there was something more she could sense from the two of them; both Jenny and Giles had feelings for each other.
Sarah could see their aura's playing with each other in harmony.
But Sarah also sensed a hint of jealousy coming from Jenny when she set her eyes on Sarah.
'She thinks that I'm a rival,' thought Sarah to herself before she shook her head and looked at Giles. Sarah then told Giles that she had heard something from their mutual friend in England... and it was that which made Giles nod his head before taking Sarah to one side with Jenney. Once they reached a relatively quiet area, he told Sarah that Jenny too knew about Buffy's 'extracurricular activities', and that she helped out when she could.
"Ah," said Sarah nodding her head at Jenny, "and you're a witch?"
"I guess the proper term is techno-pagan," replied the short haired woman, "I have nowhere that kind of a power, just some charms here and there. How about you?"
"I'm just a nurse," said Sarah as Jenny nodded her head while Giles looked at Sarah wondering why she didn't tell Jenny the truth, but then he quickly figured that the fewer people knew about her and Tara being witches, the better it would be for everyone. Giles then nodded his head at something that Sarah had said later on, that she was aware of the supernatural and that they really did exist, "I know some people in the occult world who told me to be careful since I was moving to Sunnydale with my daughter."
"Your daughter's in this school?" asked Jenny surprised.
"Tara Collins?" said Sarah as Jenny nodded her head in recognition of that name.
"She's in my Computer Studies class," said Jenny as she recalled the blonde haired girl who was sitting next to Xander and Willow earlier that day, "she's made good friends with Willow, Buffy, and Xander from what I could tell."
"Jenny's been away for two days," said Giles, "so I guess she must have just met Tara in the morning class?"
"Yea," said Jenny nodding her head.
"Actually, Rupert," said Sarah as she looked at the Watcher, "could I talk to you, Buffy, and… and…"
"Angel?" asked Giles as Jenny looked up at the man, who was looking at Sarah with an eyebrow raised.
"Yea," said Sarah when she noticed the flare-up in Jenny's aura that translated to the short brown haired computer teacher being worried upon hearing Angel's name; but Sarah wasn't sure why she would need to be worried in the first place. Shaking her head, Sarah told Giles that she needed to talk to him, Buffy, and Angel about what she found.
"What's going on?" whispered Jenny as she leaned in towards Giles.
"Something happened while you were away," said Giles as he looked at Jenny, and then at Sarah, "Sarah brought up a good point about Angel's soul; a certain thing that I hadn't thought about finding out for myself."
"I know you said that Angel has a soul," said Jenny while she thought to herself, 'don't tell me that he suspects something about the curse. He couldn't, could he? How about this Sarah person, she couldn't have found out anything about my clan's curse? Not many people know about the Soul restoration spell so… I suppose in a way it's good if someone reveals something about the curse. Angel and Buffy are too close as it is, and if Angel has his one moment of true happiness… then we have Angelus.'
Sarah again noticed Jenny's aura flashing; it was something that she connected with as being worried. She wondered what Jenny would be worried about that her aura would be going crazy like it was at that moment in time. However, given that she hadn't even told Giles and the others what Miss Harkness told her yet, Sarah thought it best to wait until later to tell Giles what she had seen in Jenny's aura. If at all.
"I suppose that Willow, Xander, and even Tara would like to hear about this as well," said Giles as Sarah switched from looking at Jenny who was looking at the floor with a faraway look in her eyes, to the Watcher.
"Tara's knows that the Coven returned my call, and she knows that we need to talk," said Sarah as she nodded her head at Giles, "but the others are welcome to come if they want to hear what the Coven had to say."
"Seriously," said Jenny, "What's going on?"
"Sarah spoke to someone from the Devon Coven when she heard about Angel's soul and the fact that he called it a curse," said Giles as he looked at Sarah, and the at Jenny, "it seems that they have returned with some news."
"Oh," said Jenny as she looked at Giles and then at Sarah with a surprise n her face, "I've heard about the soul too but I never realized that there could be a downside to it."
"Right," said Sarah as she looked at Jenny, and then at Giles. The blonde woman was wondering about Jenny's aura again, it seemed as if she was relieved about something when Giles mentioned about having asked someone from the Devon coven about Angel's soul while Sarah thought to herself, 'and she's lying about not knowing about any downside to having the soul. Does she know something? Does Rupert? No… I don't sense Rupert lying when he said he regretted not having asked the Coven anything in regards to Angel's soul... he actually regrets it. But Jenny seems almost relieved that I found something... that the Coven found something. Maybe we'll have to wait until tonight.
"I'll see the both of you, Buffy, Angel, and the others tonight then?" asked Sarah as Giles nodded his head.
"I hope that you and Tara would come by early for dinner with me and Jenny," said Giles as Sarah smiled and nodded her head, especially when hearing he had all the materials needed for making the perfect cup of tea.
Giles' Apartment; 8:15 p.m.
It was an hour after dinner that Buffy, Angel, Willow, and Xander arrived at Giles' house… the former two worried about what the Coven may have found out about Angel's curse. Willow had asked Tara earlier that day when the blonde told them about her mother wanting to talk to them about what the Coven found out in regards to Angel's soul, but all the redhead received from Tara was that she'll find out soon enough. Tara had asked Buffy if she wanted Willow and Xander to come down to Giles' apartment since it only concerned her and Angel. However, Buffy told Tara that Willow and Xander would find out anyway, so it was better that they found out what was happening with Angel's soul together.
So it was that Sarah and Tara were seated on the couch in Giles' living room, while Giles and Jenny were seated on an armchair while the others just stood in various places along the edge of the living room; Angel was, of course, standing next to Buffy, who looked worried that Sarah may have been told some horrible secret.
"Now that we're all here," said Sarah as she leaned forward and put her hands together gently while she looked at Angel and Buffy, "Angel, Buffy... I know you love each other very much. I can see it from you, Buffy… I mean it. It's…"
"You can see it?" asked Jenny as she leaned forward while looking at Sarah curiously, "what do you mean you can see it?"
"It's kind of obvious," said Sarah who was very aware that Jenny didn't know who Sarah really was, and the blonde wanted things to remain that way... that's what she told Giles earlier that day in the library when Jenny was taking another class, and that's what Tara told the others... that they didn't know that Sarah was a witch. Sarah told Giles that she had this feeling that Jenny was hiding something and, before Giles could say anything to defend the woman he cared about, Sarah told him that Jenny had her own secrets for a reason and that she wasn't going to pry. Back in Giles' home, Giles had his arm around Jenny's shoulders while Sarah was saying that she had seen this kind of a love before; a younger girl falling in love with an older man, "obviously nothing like this."
"My mom's right, Buffy... Angel," said Tara before looking at Jenny and telling her that she had an ability to read aura's, and she could literally see the love that Buffy had for the vampire. Jenny looked on smiling at Tara before asking a few questions about her aura reading ability while all the while reminding herself that she needed to be careful in front of Tara.
Jenny was afraid that Giles would break up with her if he learned who she really was, and her reason for coming to Sunnydale High. Once she had finished asking Tara questions, Jenny listened in as Tara told Angel that since he was dead, all she got from him was darkness with the white ball of light in the middle, shining through.
"You can see the soul?" asked Jenny as she looked at Tara impressed.
"Yes," said Tara nodding her head at Jenny before looking at Buffy and Angel again, "but that doesn't mean that you don't have the same feelings for Buffy."
"Just some… hey," said Xander as Willow lightly slapped his arm before telling him to let Tara and Sarah finish what they wanted to say.
"Thank you, Tara," said Angel after he glared at Xander, and then looked at the younger blonde, "you're right, I do love her."
"Are you happy?" asked Sarah as she looked at Angel, "Angel, are you happy with Buffy?"
"Yes," said Angel looking at Sarah before he looked at Buffy who grinned while her face turned red, "happiest I've been since I got my soul back."
Tara and Sarah then looked at each other after they glanced at the worry in Jenny's aura while her exterior was projecting calm, and a bit of fascination. However, the both of them didn't see the I.T. teacher looking at Tara and Sarah with worry on her face when they looked away before quickly putting on a facade of calmness. Jeny was hopeful that by remaining as calm as possible, then Tara wouldn't notice anything wrong.
However, Jenny couldn't help feeling the shock that came from what Sarah said next; it was a shock also felt by Buffy, Angel, Willow, and even Tara since she didn't know the details of what the Coven told Sarah.
Tara, however, saw Xander's aura erupt in joy.
"I'm sorry, Buffy… Angel," said Sarah as she shook her head, "the two of you have to break up."
"Huh?" asked Buffy with her mouth open while Giles leaned forward and Willow walked over to her best friend. All Angel could do was just stand there concerned as he looked at the facial expression on Sarah's face, and then the look of surprise on Tara's face that indicated to the vampire that she didn't know that her mother was going to drop this bombshell.
"The Kalderash curse," said Sarah as she looked around the room, not stopping when she noticed Jenny's aura flaring up when she mentioned the Kalderesh before she rested her eyes on both Buffy and Angel. The blonde witch then got up and walked towards the shocked Buffy, and Angel who was deep in thought while the two of them held their hands together. Sarah then put her hands on the shoulders of both Angel and Buffy; and then looked at Angel who looked back at her with a sadness in his eyes that Sarah knew couldn't be faked, but she needed to say what she had to say, "the Kalderesh curse is exactly that, a curse. There's fine print that once activated is bad for you, and everyone here. Angel, the curse would be broken. The Coven told me about Angelus."
"Oh," said Angel.
"What do you feel about him, Angel," asked Sarah as Buffy looked at Sarah and asked her to stop.
"Buffy," said Angel as he looked at the blonde after she tried to interrupt Sarah again with tears in her eyes, she was in disbelief about someone she had known for only a few days thought that she knew her, and Angel; and the Slayer said as much to Sarah who could only close her eyes.
"Buffy," said Giles as he looked at his Slayer who immediately regretted what she said.
"Mom's just trying to help, Buffy," said Tara as she stood up and put her hand on Sarah's shoulder.
"But we know that Angelus isn't coming back," said Willow as Buffy just looked on despondent at the thought that she may have to break up with Angel; the one that she loved, the one that she was destined to love.
"He's a monster," said Angel softly as he looked at Sarah who nodded her head, "he… I did a lot of bad things, Mrs. Collins. I murdered a lot of people and ruined a lot of lives. He cannot return, I won't be Angelus again."
"If you stay with Buffy, then the odds that you become Angelus again increases," said Sarah as she looked at Angel, "one moment of pure happiness, Angel. That's all it takes; that's what the Coven found out about the Kalderesh curse."
"I don't understand," said Giles while Buffy held on tight to a resigned Angel; in the meantime, Willow's arm was around Buffy's shoulder comforting her while Xander looked on without any expression on his face. Although Tara's glances at the young man's aura showed how happy he was, and it was something that put off the young blonde witch. She decided to say something later, but for now, she had to be with her mother as she continued to speak while looking at Giles, and t hen at Buffy and Angel, "the curse was meant for Angel to remember everything he did as Angelus. The Kalderesh wanted vengeance for the loss of their favoured daughter, and this was the ultimate form of vengeance. As long as Angel felt the horrors of what he did as Angelus each and every day of his life, his soul would remain and Angelus would never return."
"But one moment of pure happiness…" said Jenny who was amazed that this Coven knew so much about her Clan, "but it could mean anything. And Buffy already said that they're happy together."
"Yea," said Buffy as she snapped her fingers and pointed at Jenny before looking at Sarah and Tara, "we're happy and Angel's still Angel."
"Are there any other details about this happiness? I mean what constitutes pure happiness?" asked Giles as Sarah looked at him and shook her head before saying that the Coven weren't sure.
"Then we can't break up," said Buffy as she looked at Angle, and then at Sarah, "we can't."
"What could it be, Mrs. Collins?" asked Angel as he looked at Sarah, "this pure happiness, what do you think it could be?"
"A date, a kiss, just holding hands," said Sarah as she rubbed the back of her head nervously as she tried to find the guts to say what she wanted to say next, "or even… well, or even sex."
"Eeeww," said Xander shaking his head.
"I know you're not happy with me, Buffy," said Sarah, "but this is something that you need to know... something that especially Angel needs to know since he's aware of what may happen if he loses his soul."
"We can't risk it," said Angel softly as Buffy looked at him in shock.
"Angel?" asked Buffy with tears in her eyes as Sarah took a step back.
"I'm not saying we break up," said Angel as he looked at Buffy, "but Angelus can't be allowed out into the world, Buffy. We... we need to be careful..."
"Can you really be careful?" asked Xander as Angel and Buffy looked at him while Willow and Tara frowned.
"I… I… need some time alone," said Buffy as she rushed out of the room while Sarah told Angel, who was about to go after the blonde Slayer, to give her some time alone. She asked Willow and Tara to go to her while putting a hand on the vampire's shoulder. Sarah asked Angel to take a seat, and that they could talk about what he should think he could do.
"Your help is still vital here, Angel," said Giles, "and Buffy still needs your help in battling threats that she couldn't take on her own."
"Just take a seat, Angel," said Jenny as she stood up and walked towards Sarah, who turned towards the teacher.
"Miss Calendar," said Sarah, "could I have a word with you? In private?"
"Umm…, sure," said Jenny nervously.