25 th October - Buffy POV
I was awoken early by the sound of the doorbell ringing and quickly jumped out of bed, my reflexes taking over and getting me into a position to fight before I even fully woke up.
As I fully came to, my mum called up the stairs that a large parcel had arrived for me and to come down and get it in from outside. At the mention of it being a large package, a small smile took over my mouth, 'this year, this year' I thought 'I will finally get Willow to try something new'. I walked down stairs and recovered the package from the doorway and hauled it up my room, admittedly it was heavy but nothing much for me, 'its good to be me' I thought.
Having gotten the package back to my room, I proceeded to unpack the contents of the cardboard crate. First out were the leg stilts, then the body suit and gloves, then the head and then finally I upended the crate, tipping out assorted trappings of the costume like the clothes to go over the suit and the bits of armour to go over those. This just had to be the ultimate costume to be a great surprise to Willow and hopefully get her to try something totally not like her this Halloween.
The person I had asked to make the costume had done a excellent job of things. The black and white fur of the body looked very realistic, as did the fur of the head. The mane of hair at the back of the head waved in the breeze coming in through the window as a picked it up to look it over.
I had to agree with what the vendor had said about the eyes, they did look realistic and almost appeared to follow you as you looked at them from different perspectives. As I carried the head over to my bed to put it down, the sun came out from behind a cloud and caught the hair, making it shimmer as the light caught the pink highlights in the blond of the mane.
Having put down the head, I went over and picked up the stilts and carried them over to the chair to try them on. My first few steps on them was a bit unsteady but soon I was moving just as easily as normal, even jumping a bit, carefully though, as the stilts made me a good bit taller than normal.
Having looked everything over, I carefully stowed it away in my wardrobe and then flattened the shipping box and carried it out of the house and binned it.
29th October - Buffy POV
- just after school -
-Ethan's costume shop-
Willow, Xanda and I had been out looking for costume shops. Well, Willow and Xanda needed costumes, I had mine at home. I was still rather ticked at Snider, as I had been planning to ease Willow into using a more 'not her' costume in private first, before going out. Maybe to the Bronze later, when Willow was more comfortable with her costume but now I would have to work extra hard at coaxing her to come out in the costume, for the whole chaperoning kids round the houses thing.
As I had been thinking over exactly how I would try to help Willow out, we had reached the costume store that several other students had been talking about, after a sizeable number of them had been 'volunteered' by Snider and told "costumes are mandatory".
As we entered the store and Willow and Xander went of in search of costumes, I, having already got a costume, waited by the entrance and looked over the decorations on a table accidentally setting off a cackling pumpkin which I hurriedly turned off and put back on the display table.
Moments later Willow came back with a bag containing her costume. Even though I had already got her a costume, I did not want her to be wigged by it so early and so asked her what she had gotten.
As I suspected she would, she had gone for a costume she could hide behind, as she put it "a time honoured classic". In reality, just a basic sheet ghost costume. As we were having a discussion about about her costume and the points of what she could do without any consequences, Xander turned up with another paper store bag containing his 'costume' which turned out to only be a toy rifle. When I made a comment that a prop did not equate to a costume, he mentioned that he already had the rest of his costume at home, so I wasn't the only one to have planned ahead at least a little, though the '$2 costume king' comment was funny.
As I turned toward Willow to suggest that we should get going back home now, I noticed a ball gown costume and drifted over to look at it, It looked so much like the dress Willow and I had seen the 'noble' woman wearing in the Watcher's diary that we had 'borrowed'.
As I looked it over, the shop owner came out of the back room and took the gown off the display dummy it had been on and showed me how I would look in it, in a conveniently placed mirror. Having seen how it looked draped over me, he made the comment "meet the hidden princess. I think we've found a match, don't you?", to which I commented that I could not afford such a costume, as I had already bought mine for this year. Not to be put off though, he asked me what era the style of my costume would fall in and given the style of the clothes and armour pieces I had specified for my costume, I stated that it would probably fall in the same era as the gown.
With that said, he made the comment that he had just the thing and ,that for me, he felt compelled to give it to me for free. Soon he returned with an impressive looking circlet, which he reverently presented to me, stating that he was sure that this would bring an air of nobility to my costume. Seeing how impressive it looked, I argued that I could not possibly take it for free, so in the end I wound up playing him $6 for it, 'there goes my snack money for the rest of the week', I thought as I handed over the money.
29th October - Spike POV
- night time-
I was looking over the video that one of my vampires had brought to me, 'this slayer's a resourceful one' I thought, you just had to look at her fighting style to see that, I mean a pumpkin sign used as a stake.
As I continued to look at the video, Dru came in babbling in that cute, if rather demented, way she does about her stuffed bear needing her tea. Then in a moment of semi-clarity she asked if I still loved her, even the parts I can't see. To which I responded that of course I do and that's why I'm looking for a way to kill the slayer, so she could have the run of the town to get strong again.
That was when she made the strange comment about things switching and changing. That voice shift, though slight, brought my full attention to Dru. I could tell she had had a vision, I could practically hear the echos of prophecy in her voice.
"when is this change happening" I asked
"two days, two days, two days" she all but sang
"two days Dru, that's Halloween. Nothing happens on Halloween" I stated
"someone's come to change that, darkness and light, it comes, it comes. it makes her weaker, it makes her stronger, it sharpens her mind, it dulls her mind. the beast , the beast of light and darkness, it rises. You must take her before the change becomes her. You must take her before she becomes the change" she spoke, her eyes clouding white and her voice taking on an almost ethereal quality before she collapsed against me, out cold.
Well that did it, now I would have to take this slayer before she became more powerful. I had never seen such a powerful vision that it left echoes like that in Dru before.
29th October - Ethan POV
- night time-
'so that was a slayer' I mused as I prepared the spell of change 'that one is powerful and no mistake, only a fool would not think so after being exposed to her aura of power even for a short time'.
I knew the slayer was in this town but I never thought I would actually get the chance to cast my spell on her too, 'this should cause even more chaos than I had originally planned' I thought, It was a good job I had made some 'extra strength' marked articles to give to those of the more mystically compatible nature but with her being a slayer, I was not sure that even with the additional, admittedly rushed, layer of casting on it, that the circlet would have enough power to hold out the night, even with the power of Janus fuelling the spell.
'so much for a lighter evening tomorrow' I thought, the spell would have to be reinforced with another ceremony before the activation spell was to be cast.
31th October - Willow POV
- 2:40 PM -
The costume Buffy had gotten for me was, well, rather as she had put it, wild. Upon arriving at Buffy's house after school had ended, Buffy had ushered me upstairs and into the room just across the hall from her's and pressed a new costume bag into my hands before deftly plucking the ghost costume from my backpack and disappearing into her room with the parting comment "give it a chance, you have it in you to wear it, I just know it" and a smile that suggested that she still had a big surprise up her sleeve.
Knowing that Buffy would just cajole me more if I did not give it a try, I reluctantly set about getting changed into the costume.
-3:00- - Buffy POV
'now should be long enough for her to have gotten changed' I thought. "come on out of there Willow, you can't hide in there all night and besides, I need your help with some of my costume". After about a minute Willow responded by peeking round the door of the room she was in and saying "Ok but promise you won't laugh", to which I responded "I promise, now come on I need to have this costume all on by the time Xander gets here at 3:30".
This finally got her to come out and over into my room, where she promptly made a dash for the ghost costume I had hung over the back of a chair right where she would see it as she entered the room, just as I had expected her to do. Quickly I pushed off from the wall where I had been leaning and reached over her shoulder and plucked it from her hands, before dropping it back on the seat in front of her. This caused her to jump backward unstably with surprise and fall against me where I caught her in a bear hug to stop her falling over.
Now not being in danger of falling over, she looked down at my costume clad arms, then over into the mirror to look at me, then she promptly jumped again in surprise at seeing my costume, she then pulled out of my arms and gently punched me on the arm. This had me grinning like the cat that got the cream.
"I just knew you had a surprise waiting the moment you had that grin on your face when you handed me this outfit" she said indicating what she was currently wearing, "so what's it a costume of ?"
"this" I said, indicating the parts of the costume I was wearing and the bits still laid out on my bed, " is Nox, the shadow Sergal. Now come on, I need some help with getting the clothes and accessories on over this bit".
Exactly as I had planned this distracted Willow from how her costume looked, as she helped me don the rest of my costume. By 3:25 we were done when Willow, having seen the head of my costume, made the comment "how are people going to know its you in there". This I had planned for, as I responded "have a look in that folder on the bed".
Within moments she had opened the folder and tipped the contents out onto the bed. In the folder were three double-size military dog tag style pendants with names on one side and an engraved image of a winged dire wolf howling at the moon on the other. Willow picked hers up and examined it closely before putting it on and then running over and hugging me exclaiming how cool it looked.
"well there's your answer for the ID" I said smiling, "I asked the art department teacher at school to make them the day that Snider recruited us for this event. Figured they would go with any of our costumes". So saying, I picked up mine and dropped it over my neck so it hung name side out, then put on the costume head and with Willow's help smoothed out and tucked in the fur, so it blended in to the rest of the costume.
Willow then helped set the circlet atop my head. Just as we got it positioned and secured, the door bell rang, "that'll be Xander" I said, before grabbing up his tag pendant and heading out of the room, casting a look to my left shoulder as I left the room saying "I can't wait for the boys to go non-verbal when they see you"
-3:30- Xander POV
I had gotten to Buffy's place on time, an amazing thing in and of itself, as I usually wound up a few minutes late for most things and rang the doorbell.
As Buffy opened the door, I stepped through and started into my mini speech I had thought up "private Harris reporting for..." I trailed off seeing Buffy's costume. Now I knew why she said she could not possibly afford the gown costume as well.
Her costume must have cost her months worth of allowance money and most likely some money from her mum too. Quickly I came up with a new line "Buffy, Lady of Buffdem, princess of Buffonia. I am in awe" to which she curtseyed, how she did that in that costume I have no idea but she did, and responded "why thank you kind sir, but wait til you see …", she cut off mid sentence as Willow descended the stairs dressed in the ghost costume I had seen her get but with a dog tag style pendant hanging round her neck, showing a engraving of a winged wolf, "... casper" Buffy finished her sentence, then looked over at me stating "oh that reminds me, I got one of these pendants for you as well. Figured it would go well with the military style dog tags" and handed me the remaining pendant that she had been clutching in her paw-like hand.
Then she looked between both of us and said "I initially thought of those pendants for this evening but then had the idea that, given the amount of times we have fought off evil together, we should have something that helps unite us as a team. So I got them made to last, even got one for Giles; not sure if he'd ever wear it though" she giggled slightly at that, then finished "but come on now we have to be at the school soon to pick up our groups for the evening"
- 4:00 PM - Snider POV
"Ah there you are. This is your group Miss Summers. No need to speak to them, the last thing they need is your influence. Just make sure you bring them back on time" I stated, before turning to head up the stairs and assign the next group to one of the other 'volunteers'. As I walked up the steps I thought 'with any luck she won't be able to speak clearly in that costume'. Just as I reached the top of the first flight of stairs I heard her say "Hi" to the kids, so as to reinforce my message to her I turned and stated "ah ah" then gestured for her to keep quiet, 'just my luck' I thought as I continued up the stairs, 'she just had to get a costume with a moveable jaw and here was me hoping it would keep her quiet all evening'
- 4:00 PM Willow POV
I had just left Buffy and Xander to go to my assigned meeting point when I bumped into Oz, nearly causing my pendant to flip over. Having apologised for bumping into him, I made for the toilets so that I could shift my pendant under my ghost costume without being seen in my 'other costume'. that done I headed off to pick up my group and set out to lead them round the neighbourhood.
- 4:05 PM - Buffy POV
Having made sure Snider was gone, I crouched back down and asked the kids their names, whilst checking them off on the form on the clipboard I had been given. That done I stood back up and lead them out of the building, handing in my clipboard on the way out.
- 5:46 PM - Buffy POV
Having just checked the small LED time display mounted inside the my costume's head, I knew we had just enough time to visit one last house before heading back. So knowing, I told the kids we had time to hit one more house before we headed back. As the kids ran up to the house I waited by the gate for them to return. When they had returned, I crouched down to ask them what they had gotten this time, to which they responded by pulling tooth brushes out of their treat bags. This made me smirk a little (not that anyone could see that though), as I made the joking comment "she must be stopped" then standing back up I stated "come on time to …..." I paused as a wave of cold feeling energy washed down my body from my head and then passed out, as a rush of searing hot energy flooded up my arms and legs before coalescing over where I knew my pendant to be, then tearing out of my back. Just as I fell to the ground and my vision faded I saw the kids running off screaming.
- 5:45 PM - Willow POV
Having just checked my watch, I noticed that it was getting time to head back. This would be the last house I decided, as I watched the kids ring the bell of the house.
As the old lady that lived in the house opened the door whilst clutching a treat bucket, the lead kid pulled his mask down. Then they chorused "trick or treat" as they had done at every house we had been to before this one. At this the lady stated "aw aren't you just cute", then she looked into the bucket she had brought with her and her face fell as she stated "oh dear I'm all out".
No sooner had the last word left her mouth than I felt a chill spread from my costume into my body, as I suddenly found it impossible to breathe. This caused me to stagger back and collapse, clawing at my costume. Just as I thought I would pass out from lack of air, a vast surge of energy seemed to flow out of me from somewhere just above my heart and coalesce into the pendant lying against my chest, before surging through every centimetre of my skin. It then rushed into my head, then my eyes, knocking me out with shock. Just as my vision clouded to black, I saw two of the kids take on the aspect of their costumes; in essence becoming mini demons.
- 5:40 PM - Ethan POV
I was coming to the end of the final charging of the transformation spell as the clock hit 5:43. 'Soon, soon', I thought, now all I had to do was cast the release spell and enjoy the chaos.
Carefully, I blew out the red candles used in the charging ceremony and put them out of the way in the sink in the back room where I was performing the spells, before taking a small drink of water. 'after all, it would be a shame to mess up the casting for the sake of a parched mouth' I thought.
Having taken a two minute break, I carefully set out the black candles at the requisite points around the effigy of Janus. Sitting down, I took the blood ampule between my hands and crushed it before anointing my self with the blood and beginning my spell. If all went well the spell should take two minutes before all the charged spell energy would course out of the effigy and cause the change to take place.
Having just completed the release spell, I reverently set the effigy back on the table and leaned back haughtily stating "show time" before smirking at the thought of the chaos I had just wrought.
As I got up to leave, I saw the effigy of Janus vibrate, then sparks of magic momentarily flared around it before everything went calm again. "Blast" I muttered "some one just had to go wearing something with another enchantment on it along with their costume" I groused. 'well I guess that's what I get for doing this near a hellmouth' I thought, as I turned to leave again.
Just as I cleared the room, a flash of red energy flooded the room behind me, knocking me forward with its blast wave.
As I collapsed to the floor I thought 'dammit, that had to be some sort of bad combination of spells mixing', then as my vision faded 'how could I be so careless, that slayer had a sense of magic clinging to her, how could I not have thought to take other enchantments into consideration, especially considering what some people may have done to protect a slayer'.
- 5:50 PM - Xander POV
'Drat' I thought, those kids were tricky ones. They had given me the slip five minutes ago and now I had to find them. "why me" I groused, "why did it have to be ….", I cut off my rant as a cold feeling spread up my arms from where I was holding the toy rifle. I did the only thing I could by trying to drop the rifle but found my hands not obeying my commands.
As the cold intensified and then flooded out into my body, I felt a flash of heat flow from the pendant, Buffy had given me, and into my now cold body causing a maelstrom of cold and heat within me, that knocked me to the floor. As I passed out I felt the fiery energy push its way into my eyes and fingers and lodge there firmly.
- 5:50 PM - Hidden workroom at Sunnydale high school
In the corner of the room, four blue crystals held in a delicate looking web of silvery filaments started to glow brightly before shattering into dust.
At the other end of the bench supporting the frame that held the silver webbing, sat a computer connected to a box, into which several thicker threads from the web like mesh were connected. On its screen showed a message in a, blinking, red framed window. That message was 'Warning, spell limiter medium overloaded. Over limit spell surge detected. Caution suspected interlinking effect detected '.
- 5:48 PM - Giles POV
Having looked at the pendant that Buffy had given to me earlier that day. I sat down with a book about mythical wolves in front of me on the desk, then on a whim I wrapped the chain of the pendant around my wrist turning it into a sort of bracelet, before examining the wolf on the reverse side of the pendant. Having fixed an image of the wolf in my mind, I cracked open the book and lent back holding the book, settling in for an evening of reading.
As I just finished leafing through the first few pages of the book, I felt a warm sensation flow up my right arm from where the pendant was hanging. Quickly, I dropped the book back on the table and made to remove the pendant from my arm but before I had chance, a vast surge of power flowed from it and knocked me back into my seat, sending it sliding back several meters into the wall behind me. As I tried to recover from that, I felt a secondary flow of power trace a pattern on my back before re-coalescing into a nova of power, then rushing through my head and out of my eyes before knocking me out cold
- 6:02 PM - Willow POV
As I came to and stood up, two things struck me, first was the slight glowing of the pendant around my neck, second was the fact that I was no longer wearing my ghost costume. Then I looked down and a third realisation hit me like a sledge hammer causing me to examine, if rather redundantly, "A ghost, oh god I'm a real ghost". 'Ok Willow, calm down' I thought 'you're still alive, sort of anyway', it was at that point that heard sounds of gunfire. "oh no, Xander" I exclaimed before running off toward the sound, with no regard for the current state of my attire.
- 6:00PM - Xander POV
As I came to, I noticed what was going on around me and instantly catalogued the area I was in as a combat zone. That was all too clear, people running around screaming whilst being chased by strange looking creatures. Having stood up, I checked my weapon's ammo. Satisfied that I was not going to run out any time soon, I made my way toward where people were running from, figuring if there was a hot zone in this combat area that was where I should be, fighting to keep the biggest threat from the civilians.
As I made my way up the road, two creatures jumped out toward me, from behind a tree. This of course gave me ample reason to open fire, but having only just recovered from whatever knocked me out, I only managed to spray the tree next to them with bullets, rather than the creatures themselves. By the time I had my aim back under control, the creatures had run off, obviously scared by the thought of being shot, that or the loud noise had scared them off.
- 5:55 PM - Buffy POV
As I came to I sniffed the air, the smells were strange, as I stood up and looked around everything looked so strange to me, this was definitely some strange town.
Carefully I brushed down my half skirt, before shaking the bits of grass off my leggings, then brushing them off my arms and with a few well placed swipes of my arm clearing the last few clinging bits of grass from my mane. 'this may be a strange town' I reasoned 'but that's no reason for me to to look like a street urchin'.
Picking a direction, I moved off trying to find the edge of the town and maybe a decent, upstanding man, who would help guide me back to my residence. After all it would only be proper for people to help a noble lady.
- 6:05 PM - Willow POV
Finally I had found Xander and just as I had suspected, he too had been affected by his costume. Quickly I called out to him "Xander is me, Willow", to which he responded "I don't know any Willow".
This had me concerned about how far his costume could have changed him. Thus thinking, I said "come on Xander this is no time for jokes", to which he stated "what the hell's going on here".
Even though that practically confirmed my suspicions on how far things had gone, I questioned "you don't know me ?", to which he responded "lady I suggest you find cover and get inside somewhere". He then proceeded to walk toward me, at which point I said "no wait", but by then it was already too late and he had walked straight through me. This obviously shocked him causing him to respond, "just what the heck are you".
I could see this situation spiralling out of control and so I did the only thing I could, had to take charge. With a bit of luck, his military aspect would respond well to orders of an ally, so I stated "I'm on your side I swear, as to what I am, well something crazy is happening. I was dressed as a ghost, for Halloween and now I'm a real ghost and you went as a soldier and now, well now I guess you're a real soldier". To which he stated "you expect me to believe all that" but I could see realisation dawning in his eyes, as he lowered his rifle a little. Just at that point I heard a snarl coming from behind me and turned around to see what was happening.
A costume victim, now in full demon aspect, was loping out from behind a set of trees bordering the road we were on. This caused Xander to bring his gun up again and point it straight at the creature. 'ok this is getting out of hand again' I thought before quickly putting myself between him and the creature and all but yelling "no guns that's an order, that's still just a kid in there". Having just started to pull the trigger as I interrupted him, he still discharged one round from the gun but fortunately it went wide and embedded itself the road. However the loud noise scared off the creature and caused Xander to fully return his attention to me and state "step out of the way". To which, in the most commanding voice I could muster, I reaffirmed my command by stating "NO, no guns that's an order", this fortunately caused him to back down and at that point stated "now all we have to do is find Buffy ..." I trailed off.
As if summoned by her name, I spotted Buffy walking down the other side of the road from me, behind Xander. Something looked different about her then I placed it fully, the change, her costume. She had become a real version of her costume, but even then something was off. As I continued to looked at her, my attention was drawn to a shimmering about the circlet she had perched on her head. Almost invisible tendrils of energy seemed to weave from the band of the circlet into her head. However regardless of this, we had found Buffy and so I called out to her whilst running through Xander to get to her more quickly.
As I approached her and called out her name again, she came out of her seeming trance and looked at me before stating "who?" and then her eyes went wide in fear and she backed up to the tree behind her and then cowered in fear. Quickly I turned around to see what was wrong, only to find Xander pointing his gun at her. "Stop that" I yelled at him before calming slightly and stating, "remember what I said about the guns, she's our friend". "what, so you're a ghost and she's a Werewolf and somehow we're all friends" he stated coldly, 'blast this is getting out of hand yet again' I thought. "remember what I said about the costumes Xander!, and she's not a Werewolf, she went as a Sergal" I snapped, then having a flash of inspiration I turned back to Buffy and said "Nox are you ok", to which she blinked and then stated in a rather posh tone "I don't know what you are talking about, I don't recognise you and I certainly don't recognise the names you called me and I don't like it here, its all so strange", by that point she was practically hyperventilating and then just at the most inopportune time, the creature from before returned snarling all the way but this time it had brought a friend as well.
The sudden noise caused Xander to turn to the creatures and level his gun at them, stating "we've got a situation here" and before I could utter a word, he opened fire but not directly at the creatures but rather the ground near their feet, causing them to run away once more. Turning around once more, I noticed that Buffy had passed out and with a sigh of exasperation said "how are we going to get through this without The Slayer". This caused Xander to state "Slayer, what's a Slayer". With a grown of resignation, I stated "well this is fun. She is Buffy The Slayer, the Chosen One, and it looks like not only has she not got any memories of herself but not even any of the memories from her costume's back story either".
Xander looked down the street toward where some more screams could be heard and stated "we'd better get inside before we come across …" he was cut off as a car went past at speed and an sort of scream like howl was heard from behind me. Buffy had regained consciousness and was pointing a paw-like hand at where the car had just gone by, before getting her voice somewhat under control and all but screeching "a demon, a demon".
"well that tears it", grumped Xander "now we really do need to get off the streets ASAP. Every monster for miles around will have head that screech. Willow you seem to know this town, where's the nearest place we can take cover".
Thinking for a moment, I decided Buffy's house would be nearest and so stated "come on we can go to our friend's house, its the closest". With that said, I started leading Xander and Buffy down the streets to Buffy's home.
- 6:10 PM - Xander POV
I carefully followed Willow along the streets and paths to the house she had selected, she seemed to be moving far too recklessly for my tastes, not checking round corners before going round them etc, 'well she is a ghost' the more pragmatic side of me thought 'guess being all un-touchable has gone to her head'.
Soon, we had reached the house and Willow told me where the spare door key was kept. Retrieving it from its hiding place, I unlocked the door and opened it, before quickly sweeping the room for enemies and stating "all clear", then motioning for the girls to enter.
As soon as Buffy had cleared the door, I shut it and peered through the blinds on the window in it, to check and see if we had been followed.
Satisfied we were clear from behind, I moved down the hall to check the front door was secure. just as I reached the room where the front door was located, I heard several loud bangs on it and made to open it but before I could lay a hand on the door handle, Willow jumped forward all but yelling "No stop". To which I responded "It could be a civilian" with an exasperated sounding huff, she bruskly responded "it could also be a mini demon". This stayed my hand, as I looked out of window bordering the door. Upon checking, I found nothing to be there and so stepped back from the door.
No sooner had I turned from the door, than I heard a high pitched scream of fear. "Dam it" I growled out, before opening the door and going out to see who was screaming. My question as to who was screaming became immediately apparent, a woman in a cat costume was running as fast as she could away from a hulking dog/gorilla hybrid. As rapidly as I could, I made my way toward her and her pursuer; firing a few rounds in the creature's direction, I grabbed the woman and rushed her back into the house before securing the front door and then pushing a chest of draws in front of it to block it shut.
As I turned around from the door, I noted that the woman's costume was ripped all down the left arm and blood was seeping out of several claw marks on her arm. Thinking quickly, I ran up the stairs of the house and looked for the bathroom. Within moments, I had retrieved a first aid kit and returned downstairs.
As I arrived at the bottom of the stairs, I heard the woman state "that's nice Willow and you went mad when?" to which Willow responded "a lot's going on right now Cordelia". "no kidding I just got attacked by JoJo the dog faced boy out there. If it hadn't been for Xander I would be dog chow by now. Its bad enough as it is just look at my arm" yelled Cordelia, to which Willow snapped back "well at least you are still you". Just as I spotted them in the lounge, Cordelia made to slap Willow for the last comment she made, only for her hand to go right through her. This unbalanced Cordelia and caused her to stumble and fall to the floor emitting a screech as her damaged arm collided with the ground.
"OK that's enough ladies" I snapped at them, before helping Cordelia into a chair and bandaging her arm. As I was bandaging her arm, she made a rather loud complaint that 'Party Town' would not give her her deposit for the costume back and would most likely charge her the rest of the cost of the costume as well.
Thinking of how cold she would be in that costume, especially now one of its arms was gone, I took off my jacket and draped it over her shoulders to keep her warm.
- 6:15 PM - Buffy POV
I was looking around the building that Willow had claimed was my home. As I passed a table in a hallway, I noticed another of the, strangely life-like, portraits that hung on some walls, this one was in a white frame with a stand attached to it. The girl in the image looked like she would be the same age as me, even her hair and stance seemed strangely familiar to me. As I put the picture frame back down, I saw another portrait, this one unframed, it showed a picture of me and the other two people I had met earlier, all standing in the hallway I had just passed though.
In the picture, I had my arms around their shoulders and all of us looked happy to be there. This unnerved me, how could this be right, this had to be some spell, yes this was all some sorcerer's doing. I belonged in my mansion safe away from all this, as I pondered this I heard shouting from the front room of the house, curious as to what was going on, I made my way through the hallway with the stairs and turned left into the room.
In the middle of the the room, Xander was tending to another woman's arm. Clearly another person he had rescued from the creatures outside, seeing this my prior apprehension about him faded once more. It was clear to see that he was a knight of some kind, he even carried his coat of arms emblazoned directly into the flesh of his arm. This I decided, showed his loyalty to the cause of good.
Just as I entered the room I heard Willow finish her sentence "... and make sure to keep Buffy safe while I go for help". So saying she turned and spotted me "ah there you are, we were getting worried about you. Just wait in there with the others and stay safe" she said to me before focusing on something I could not see, then orienting herself in its direction. With a look of determination on her face, she ran at full speed straight through a wall, seeing this my eyes went wide. She had to be a brave one, even under the curse we had all fallen to, she not only kept her head but actively used the curse to her advantage. Those two where, I decided, far braver that I could ever be.
Dropping the portrait I had picked up earlier, I slumped down against the wall near the door. As I sat there, Xander ordered the woman he had helped, to go and check that all the windows upstairs were shut and locked up securely. Having done so, he started to barricade the window of the room with tables and chairs.
- 6:25 PM - Xander POV
Having secured the room as best I could, I went over to see how Buffy was doing. As I made my way over to her, I spotted a polaroid picture on the floor in front of her, I picked it up and looked at it. As I saw who was in it, what Willow had said before she left, was brought home to me with force. "Willow must have been right" I said, "we must have some kind of amnesia".
I sat down in front of Buffy and placing a hand on top of hers, I asked "are you ok?". To which she responded in a quiet mumble, "no no, this is all so wrong here. The sorcerer doing this must be clouding all our minds". "I don't know about it being some sorcerer" I stated "but I will protect you, OK" before helping her to her feet.
Just as I had stood back up, I heard the back door open then close again, before I saw Buffy stiffen against the wall she was leaning on and then she sniffed the air and her eyes went wide. Taking this as a cue that something was up, I quickly grabbed up my rifle and leveled it at the doorway. Just then, a man walked through the door and then seeing the gun leveled at him he put his hands up and stated "OK what's going on here. Xander and where did you get that gun". Almost immediately upon completion of that sentence, Cordelia came down the stairs stating "OK its all locked up up there... Oh hello Angel".
Quickly she ran over to him and said "thank goodness you're here, this night has been crazy". Then looking in my direction, she motioned for me to put down the rifle whilst saying "Look Xander, he's not a threat, he's here to help", before looking back at the man now identified as Angel and said "Sorry about that, they can't remember who they are and lodes of other people have turned into monsters. It's this whole big thing" before pausing and then saying "by the way how are you"
- 6:35 PM - Angel POV
As we entered the kitchen, I noticed that the back door was open. Stating "I didn't leave that open", I motioned for Buffy to stay back. Noting my worried look, she backed into an alcove near the door to the basement. Silently I made my way over to the door and closed it before peering out of the window to check if anything was out there.
Just as I turned back to face Buffy, the door behind her opened and a rather ostentatiously dressed vampire came out of it and made a grab for her. Apparently sensing that this was about to happen, Buffy made a strange strangled yelp noise and promptly bolted out of the door, snapping the lock in the process. "Dam it" I yelled "Buffy come back" then in a rage I kicked the vampire back into the basement and locked the door, before tipping the cabinet opposite it over to jam the door shut.
That done, I ran to the front of the house to tell the others what had happened. Upon hearing what I had to say, Cordelia made the comment "its Buffy we're talking about here, she'll be fine" to which I snapped back "that's my point Buffy would be fine, but with her being whoever she is now, however, she's in trouble. Now come on we need to find her"
That done, we left the house to begin our search for her. I took point, my heightened sense of smell helping me to follow her trail, while Xander brought up the rear, keeping an eye out for trouble.
-6:36 PM - Buffy POV
Having seen and more importantly smelt what a vampire was, like ran from the house my earlier fears about what Angel was confirmed. Maybe that sorcerer's mind clouding was worse for the other people, how could they not smell the scent of death on him, how could they trust him like that but then on the other hand, he had attacked that other vampire. Could it be possible that the sorcerer was clouding his mind too. Disregarding such thoughts, I did the only logical thing I could do. I ran in search of a place to hide, I knew from folk tales that vampires would burn up in daylight, now all I had to do was find a place to hide until the dawn broke.
As I ran, the scenery changed from houses, to massive storage sheds. Hoping against hope that some watchman had been too lazy to lock up, I tore down a side street containing a massive enclosed wagon with no horses to pull it. Maybe it was moved with a kind of sorcery, like that 'car' thing before, for how could any team of horses pull such a contrivance.
As I ran along side it wondering this, I tripped and fell over a pile of boxes that had been dumped by the side of the wagon. Upon getting back up, I heard a voice from the shadows say "pretty pretty", before a obvious brigand stepped out of the shadows and prowled toward me. His face bore a large scar and an eye patch. He then proceeded to laugh at my fear and in doing so showed his teeth, they were all discoloured and at badly angled.
As I backed up from him, I noticed the large cutlass at his side; this was no normal brigand, it was a pirate but where had he come from. I had seen no ports so far in my journey through this town. Banishing such aimless thoughts from my mind, I backed up away from him again, just as he was about to reach for me for a second time, I heard a great shout and Xander came running down the street before slamming the pirate with his shoulder, knocking him back from me. They then proceeded to fight each other, until Xander knocked the pirate into a stack of boxes, which then collapsed almost completely burying the pirate.
As the fight drew to a close, I heard two people running up the street from behind me. Then I caught their scents, one was Cordelia, the other that vampire Angel. Knowing this I quickly pushed back into the shadows between the front and back parts of the wagon, as far as I could only to quickly discover that that was not very far at all. In fear, I clung onto one of the many handles on the wagon, practically crushing it in the process.
- 6:20 PM - Willow POV
As I ran through the wall of Buffy's house, I focused on where Giles could be. As I did so, I felt my pendant lift slightly off my chest. Wondering what was going on, I looked down to find the pendant glowing with a soft azure light and floating perfectly horizontal. As continued to look at it, the engraving of the wolf seemed to come alive and before I knew what had happened a small, ghostly, azure, winged wolf was floating in front of me gently flapping its wings. As I watched on it barked at me, then turned and flew a few meters from me before looking back and barking at me again.
Could this be some sort of wayfinder spell I wondered, as I followed the flying wolf toward the school. Whatever the case, there was a sense of rightness to following it. So silent as the ghosts we appeared to be, we made a beeline for the school, not caring if that meant we had to run through walls to get there faster. We just had to get to Giles, he would know what to do about all this.
Reaching the school, we ran toward the library, taking shortcuts through classrooms, walls and windows as we ran. Soon enough we ran through a wall and came out into the library, only to find Giles sitting in a chair with a rather thoughtful look on his face.
It was then that I felt a slight pressure on my shoulder, turning my head to see what was there, I noticed the small wolf had alighted there, before it licked my ear and emitted a happy sounding yip before jumping off again and flying back at me and disappearing into the pendant, in a muted flash of azure light.
Hearing the yip, Giles looked up and promptly jumped out of his seat in surprise, knocking the books from his lap. As was his way though, he rapidly got his surprise under control and recovered his books from the floor, before putting them on a table. As he did so, I noticed the pendant that Buffy had said she had given him, hanging loosely from his wrist.
- 6:28 PM - Giles POV
I was theorising about what had caused the surge of energy that had knocked me out earlier on. Resting in my lap, were two books, the one on mystical wolves from earlier in the evening. The other, on magic pendants and protection spells. The energy I had felt, despite it having knocked me out with its sheer quantity, had felt 'good' and protective in some way, almost as if it was trying to strengthen me against something but had gotten the levels of power wrong for some reason. That and there was nothing in the library, to the best of my knowledge, that could have warranted a protection spell of that type going off in the first place.
As I continued to ponder the meaning of what had happened, I heard a yip like a young dog would make. This caused me to look up and to my surprise see a ghostly small wolf fly directly at Willow, before disappearing into the pendant that hung around her neck, a pendant that looked almost the same as the one currently hanging from my wrist. This and the fact I had not heard the library door open to facilitate her entering the room, caused me to jump in surprise, thus dislodging the books and causing them to fall to the floor, from where I promptly recovered them and set them on a nearby table.
Turning to Willow, I asked her if she was ok and what had happened. To this she responded that lots of people, herself included had become a real life version of what costume they were wearing, hence her being a ghost and being able to run through walls to get to the library.
I then asked her what Xander and Buffy had gone as, to which she responded that Xander had gone as a soldier and Buffy a Sergal. To which I questioned what a Sergal was and after a comment to the effect of 'how could I possibly not know what one was', she proceeded to explain to me exactly what one was in vast detail.
To break her out of her description, I asked her what she had gone as, to which she responded 'I'm a ghost, I already told you that' to which I asked her 'the ghost of what, exactly?'. Suddenly getting rather self conscious about her outfit, she wrapped her arms around her stomach and responded 'well this is nothing. You should have seen Cordelia, she was wearing a unitard with cat things, like ears and stuff' to which I responded 'good grief, she became an actual feline'.
This caused Willow to look taken aback for a moment, before she responded 'no, she was just Cordelia but in a cat costume... wait a minute Party Town, she said she got her outfit at Party Town'. Seeing where she was going with this, I asked her where Xander and Buffy had gotten there costumes from, to which she responded that they already had them then paused for a moment before saying "hold on they both got props from the shop I got my costume from. Xander got a toy rifle and Buffy a nobel's circlet", to which I prompted her to tell me what the shop they had gotten their things from was, to which she responded "a new place called Ethan's Costume Shop". At the mention of that name, my blood ran cold with fury, Quickly I asked Willow to lead me to where the shop was.
- 6:55 PM - Codelia POV
As Angel and I ran down the street, Xander had gone down, we heard the creaking of metal as if someone was bending or crushing something. Redoubling our pace, we came into view of Xander, as he knocked a pirate back into a stack of cardboard crates, which promptly fell over knocking the pirate out.
Then we saw Buffy, she was cowering part way in between the cab and trailer of the lorry that was parked next to the warehouse. It now also became apparent that she was also the cause of the crunching metal sound. She had literally crushed one of the handles on the trailer with nought but one hand and was crouched there shaking in fear, whilst staring over my shoulder.
Seeing her so scared, I asked "Come on Buffy, what's wrong?", to which she raised her other hand and pointed it shakily behind me at Angel, then in a quavering voice said "h.. he's he's a vampire" before tightening her grip on the handle in her other hand causing it to creak once more under the pressure she was exerting on it, 'glad that's not my arm' I thought in passing.
Seeing that she now looked even more scared, as Angel and I had moved closer. I said to Angel "she's got this thing where she thinks …., never mind", before looking Buffy straight in the eyes and saying in as reassuring a voice I could muster "look he's a good vampire, he would never hurt us or you, he's here to protect us".
At that point, Willow ran down the street from the other end, yelling for us to get out of here. I soon spotted why, chasing her were a pack of monsters of all types. Seeing this, Angel stepped forward and ripped the mangled handle from the trailer before picking Buffy up, handle still clutched in her hand, in his arms and yelled for us to get moving and find an open warehouse. Before long we found one and Xander began barricading the door shut, behind us, with barrels and pallets, whilst Angel carried Buffy over to a pile of pallets before coaxing her into sitting on them and letting go of the remains of the handle, that she had continued to mangle as she was carried. Seeing the state of the twisted piece of metal Angel recovered from her, I was even more grateful that she had been clinging to the handle, not to me.
- 6:50 PM - Willow POV
We had reached the shop in record time, especially as we had only left the school at 6:43 PM. As we looked into the shop, we found it only lit by a scattering of display stand lights and yet, still the door was unlocked as Giles had just proved by pushing it open.
Carefully we entered, keeping an eye out for anything suspicions. As we got to the back of the shop, I noticed a green glow coming from the back room. Curious as to what was causing it, I crept closer, until I could see that the glow was coming from the eyes of a statue head standing on a low table in the middle of the room. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that Giles had caught up with me, so keeping my voice down to a whisper I asked him what it was. To which he answered that it was a bust of Janus, a mythical Roman god that symbolised transition and opposites going on he listed some examples such as man/woman, light/dark, only for someone to chip in from the shadows of the room, "smooth and crunchy. No wait, that's peanut butter" so saying the proprietor of the store stepped out of the shadows.
Seeing the man, Giles gained a cold edge to his voice and told me to get out of here now. I was about to argue the point, by saying as a ghost nothing could touch me and hence I would be ok, when I saw the look in his eyes, he looked positively worried and furious at the same time. Seeing that look, I lingered only long enough for him to say "go on, get out of here now and go help the others". Quickly I ran out of the shop as fast as I could, in search of my friends.
Having already run two blocks toward where Buffy's house was, I came to the realisation that they may no longer be there. Hoping that what had happened before was not just a one time thing, I focused on wanting to know where my friends where and sure enough the ghostly wolf rose once more from the pendant and with but one backward glance proceeded to lead me off toward the warehouse district. As we ran, we picked up several small followings of creatures that we repeatedly had to ditch by running through walls or buildings so they could not follow us. In the end it was an exercise in futility though, as soon as we ditched one lot, we would soon pick up another group.
As I ran through the streets, I heard Xander shouting something and so redoubled my pace toward them, cutting through some of the buildings in an effort to gain me some time to warn them of the impending arrival of the creatures that had followed me.
- 7:04 PM - Spike POV
We had finally found where the slayer and her pals had gone to ground. The only problem?, they'd gone and barricaded themselves inside a warehouse. Although, that would only keep us out for so long. Interestingly, several of the adult, costume-created creatures I had gathered into my group, were actually stronger than some real demons I had seen in the past. This I used to my advantage, by having them work on tearing down the barricade. 'Soon' I thought 'soon I'll have the slayer right where I want her and all her buddies will be caught up in the dilemma of wanting to get free from their captors but not wanting to hurt the people behind each of the creatures.
Several minutes had past since the others had started to attack the barricade and I was just about to tell them to hurry up, when the largest member of the group, by chance, slammed into some critical part of the barricade and it all fell asunder.
Signalling for the others to enter, I watched in satisfaction as they quickly overpowered Buffy's friends and held them captive, just as I had instructed them to. Now fully entering the warehouse, I looked to the right only to see a werewolf like creature dressed in regal yet practical clothing, that was cowering at the sight of the creatures I had brought with me.
Moving closer toward her, I fully picked up her scent. There was no doubt about it, that really was Buffy despite her appearance.
Smiling and thus fully showing my fangs, I said "frightened, lost, little pup. I love it", before jumping forward, knocking her down and pinning her to the pallets she had been sitting on. Catching hold of the circlet and some of her mane, I said "I may get a mouth full of fur for my troubles, but I'll finally be rid of you slayer". Dragging her partly up off the pallet, I was just about to sink my fangs into her exposed neck, when I heard several loud thumping noises behind me followed by Willow yelling "now that guy you can shoot". Hurrying I pulled Buffy closer to my waiting fangs, only for the circlet atop her head to suddenly come loose and cause me to stumble back a few steps. At the same time I head Xander exclaim "what the …." before I heard the sound of kids crying. Seconds later the circlet I had pulled off Buffy's head, shattered into hundred of fragments; then I heard a quiet growling sound "oh he …" I managed to get out before a paw-like hand shot out and backhanded me into a pillar.
Suddenly, the force that had been keeping me from controlling my body, dissipated and I once more had freedom of action. The first action I took, was to backhand Spike away from me and my friends, what surprised me was the growl that escaped my mouth at the same time.
Quickly standing, I put myself between Spike and everyone else in order to protect them from him. 'I won't have him attacking my pack or those cubs' I thought, before jumping forward and swiping him across the chest.
This action, to my surprise, sent him flying into a stack of crates, before struggling to his feet and running off griping about how 'that ruddy slayer wrecked his favourite jacket'. Listening carefully, I made sure Spike was really gone, before turning back to the others and carefully padding over to them.
Xander looked over to me a expression of confusion apparent on his face. Carefully, I reached out and placed a hand on his shoulder, before asking "what's wrong Xander, Spike is gone and I don't think he'll be coming back any time soon". To which he responded "err Buff can we go and talk over there" he pointed to the other side of the warehouse, before turning to Cordelia and saying "best get the kids back their parents must be worried sick".
As soon Xander and I were out of earshot of the kids, he said "umm Buffy I don't quite know how to put this but well .. err that is to say". Sitting down on a pile of crates, I motioned for him to sit down next to me, before gently putting an arm around his shoulders and saying "come on what's wrong Xander? You've got me worried, no one's gotten bitten by a vampire have they?"
He shook his head and then looked me straight in the eyes before saying "Buff I don't know how to do this so I'm just going to say it plainly ….. you're still … still …" he petered off.
By this time, the adrenalin of the fight had worn off and I had begun to notice things were off; for a start, I could actually feel the draughts in the warehouse flowing across my face and upper arms. As an experiment, I lifted my hand and lightly pulled on the fur on my upper arm, yelping in surprise when I actually felt it.
As a sense of realisation settled in the pit of my stomach, I gathered Xander into a hug and said quietly, "you don't have to say any more. I think I've got a fairly good idea of what you were going to say anyway". Standing, I glanced over at where all the others were milling around and said "come on we need to get the kids back to the school and find Willow", then dropping my voice to a whisper I said "look we can pass my appearance off as my costume for now and anyway Giles will be back at the school and he'll know what to do"
- 7:30 PM - Giles POV
Having just gotten back from dealing with Ethan's spell and destroying any other spell casting paraphernalia I had found at the shop, I had just returned to the library, to put away the books I had left out, when the library doors opened admitting Angel followed closely by Willow, Buffy and Xander.
From the look on there faces I could tell instantly that something was wrong and when Buffy made her way over to one of the chairs and slumped down in it, emitting a sigh, I knew it was going to be something awkward or bad.
Walking over, I sat down opposite her and asked her what was wrong, to which she responded by burying her head in her hands and choking out "this, this is what's wrong" before a lone tear rolled out of the corner of her eye and left a silvery trail down the fur of her costume's muzzle.
This momentarily surprised me, before I realised what had gone wrong, that wasn't her costume I was seeing, it was her. Silently cursing Ethan for all the trouble he had caused, I got up and walked round the table to try and comfort her. Resting a hand on her shoulder I said "I'll find a way to fix this Buffy I promise", then looking over at the others, I gestured for them to come and comfort her, whilst I looked for my texts on transformations.
- 8:00 PM - Jenny POV
Having just received a call from Giles, I was on my way to the school library. 'I never thought he'd ever be stumped on a mystical problem' I mused, as I parked my car in the, now near deserted, car park and made my way into the school.
Upon entering the library, I saw Giles, Xander and Willow frantically pawing through stacks of large leather bound books on the table. Hearing the door open, Giles looked up and said "ah good you're here, I was hoping you could help widen the search for answers to Buffy's magic induced problem". Looking over to the left, I saw Buffy sitting on the steps leading up into part of the library, with Angel stroking her back and quietly whispering to her, in an effort to calm her.
I looked over at Giles with a questioning expression on my face, to which he responded by getting up and guiding me into his office, where he explained all about what had happened and then asked me if I could help him find out about more about the more non-mystically marked side of her costume, in case there were any clues as to how to reverse the transformation there.
Having completed his description of what had happened, we returned to the table where the others were still looking through the books. I moved over and took a seat at the end of the table near Willow, before and quietly questioning her on the details of Buffy's costume. After getting an idea of things, I set to searching the web using the one computer remaining in the library.
As I was looking into possible effects that could be caused by magic like Ethan had cast, interacting with fictional magical objects, Willow finished a book and glanced up at the screen before letting out a small gasp. Pointing at the image on the screen, she exclaimed that the ornate bracers depicted there, looked just like Buffy's only that the gems set into her's were black as obsidian not white like was seen there.
Curious about that, I looked at the article associated with them and though fictional, it described them as a powerful item that would allow the bearer to change form at will as long as they remained in place and held a sufficient charge of luna energy within their moonstones; However, if either of those conditions were not met, the person using them would return to their base form.
That was when what Willow had said fully came home to me, the gems could they be black because they were depleted of energy, 'no' I thought 'its only a fictional thing' but then I paused 'but what if it became fully real with her just like her change'. Making sure the others had gone back to reading their books, I quietly got up and made my way over toward where Buffy was sitting currently hugging Angel with her head resting on one of his shoulders.
As I was making my way over, the moon came out from behind a cloud and moon light shone in through the skylight bathing the whole seen in its silvery glow, as I continued to watch on the light glinted off the black stones in her bracers and slowly they started to gain a silvery sheen to them, before progressively shifting in colour from black to murky gray, then to white before taking on a opearlescent glow.
As the second gem in the bracers followed the first, a gentle glowing bluey-gold light shimmered over Buffy's fur and clothes, before blossoming out into a pair of white gold wings. Suddenly she floated up into the air, causing Angel to let go of her as she drifted into the center of the room, right under the skylight and fully into the path of the moon's light.
Silently, we all watched as Buffy floated there seemingly in a trance, as the remaining gems filled with light and to took on a opearlescent glow, all of a sudden Buffy enfolded her wings around herself, cocooning her herself in a glowing feathery vail; then in a flash of energy the feathers blew out around her and disintegrated into a shower of glowing dust before vanishing.
As the light that surrounded her faded, she sank back to the ground now looking human, even her clothes had change size with her and still fit her perfectly.
Just as her feet touched the ground, her eyes snapped open still holding a faint glow of moonlight, she then blinked and said in an almost ethereal, echoing double voice "now I understand, the truth of my power and its price", before slowly collapsing into the arms of Angel, who had moved to catch her when he saw her become unbalanced.
As Angel carried her over to one of the more comfortable chairs, I noticed that her hair was more pale than before and now carried faint pink highlights, as her other form had had in its mane. Carefully angel lowered her into the chair, as her head lolled back against the headrest her mouth opened slightly, showing slightly sharper and longer canines than she had had before.
At Angel's gentle coaxing, she finally regained consciousness and as her eyes fluttered open, I saw she had gained a narrow bands of yellow around her pupil and iris. Now that she was awake again, everyone else hurried over to her, exclaiming how happy they were that the problem had been solved. After a few moments Giles beckoned me over to himself and asked what I had done; to which I responded that this had not been my doing and that moonlight had been the true key to the problem.
Suddenly looking in our direction, Buffy said "thats not quite true, the 'problem' is not fixed, nor can it ever be, how I appeared before is my true body now, this" she indicated how she looked now with a sweep of her arm "is but an alternate form, powered by these" she finished raising the bracelet like bracers that had somehow shrunk to exactly match her arms.
"but it will last right", asked a worried sounding Willow, hearing the tone of her voice Buffy leaned forward and patted her on the shoulder, before saying "not indefinitely no. The bands need to absorb moonlight once per month to maintain this form and during that time they need to be left exposed to the light for several hours in there full form".
Then looking imploringly at Giles, she said "during that time, I too will have to be in my true form. Is it possible that during those nights, I could stay here so that no one sees me and gets panicked?".
Giles nodded almost immediately and said "yes, I think that's for the best. I see no problem with it and we could use some of the time for training and strategy planning". With all that decided, Giles and I stayed behind to put away the books, while the others all drifted off to their respective homes, apart from Angel who left with Buffy.