Title:Innupta Serenus : A Fredful Affair

Author: Sami

Email: Zgirlaz11@aol.com

Summary: The Scoobies bring Fred to Sunnydale from Pylea in season five.

Chapter One

"10 men, 10 minds," - Japanese Proverb

Tara sat crossed legged in the middle of a white cord outlined circle. Her face was calm and serene as her mind traveled the ether. The atmosphere in the dorm room was distinctly magical, with white candles on every available space, and incense wafting in the air. Her body was relaxed and still, while her mind was drawn to a blinking light. Tara thought for a second, and then figuratively dived into the entrancing light. Passing a myriad of colors and emotions, she found herself in a cave. Mathematic equations covered the walls. Tara had a feeling that even Willow would have some trouble figuring them out. The numbers and letters were scrawled together. Some were clear and precise, but others were, frankly, demented looking. Tara was interrupted from her ponderings when an extremely slim person walked in. Looking at the women's thin, neglected form made her heartsick. The young woman's brown hair was unkempt, and she was dressed only in rags. Tara, true to her nature, wanted to take care of her. Feeling the link to her body being tugged, Tara returned, mentally promising that poor girl that she would be back.

Tara could feel Willow sitting on the bed. She yawned while getting to her feet. "Willow, hi." she said in a sleepy, dreamy voice.

Willow smiled that gorgeous smile of hers, "How was the ether?"

"Colorful," Tara replied.

"So, do you want to go bronzing?" Willow asked hopefully.

Tara just noticed that Willow was in her Bronzing gear, a dark blue skirt and a white peasant blouse. Willow's excitement was infectious. "Sure."

Willow watched Tara out of the corner of her eye as she danced with Xander. Tara was sitting alone at a table with Anya. She knew that Tara wasn't telling her something, and she was doing a bad job at hiding it. She stopped dancing (or dodging Xander limbs). "Hey, do you mind if I take a break? I'll send Anya over." Xander shrugged, as he had apparently found his groove. He could have been dancing with a naked Riley and not even have noticed. Willow passed through the crowd, working her way to Tara, avoiding this guy who accidentally spilled his beer. She tapped Anya on the shoulder. "Xander wants you to go over and shake your groove thing with him."

Anya shrugged. "Remember Tara, toys are fun and increase enjoyment!"

Tara blushed and mumbled something like 'ok, got it.' She smiled mischievously taking the recently vacated seat, "What was she saying about toys?" Tara shook her head, still blushing. "So, Tara…" She decided to just be blunt. "Why have you been so distant-y?" Tara looked down at the table and had a serious look on her face. Oh she's going to dump me, Willow thought wildly for a second.

"I saw something, someone when I was meditating. I'd had been seeing this light … well it's not a light, it's like this bright color ether-thing, and I'm explaining this all wrong."

Relieved, Willow gestured for her to go on. "No, I get it. This is interesting."

"Ok, I've been seeing the light for awhile. I haven't tried to go in to it because there are a bunch of lights like that. But this one stayed in my head, and I just kept thinking about it. I just went for it today." She then recounted everything that she had seen. ("She was so skinny!" and "There were complex math problems everywhere.")

Willow furrowed her brow. "Do you think she needs to be rescued?"

Buffy then practically skipped to them with Riley in tow. "Who needs to be rescued?"

Willow opened her mouth when Tara blurted out, "N-no one, well just this girl in our old Wicca group. She has potential, you know."

Buffy nodded solemnly. "Good for you guys. You go save that damsel from bake sales and Llewellyn books."

Willow, shocked not only by Tara's outburst, but also by what Buffy had said, asked, "Buffy, you know about Llewellyn books?"

Buffy rolled her eyes, "They're the books with the little moons on 'em."

Seeing Willow's shocked face she added, "I do, on occasion, listen to you."

Tara was taking off her jacket when the dreaded question came. Tara turned around, the sparkles on her shirt glittering. "Why didn't you want Buffy to know about the girl?" Willow asked, as she flopped down on the bed.

Tara sat down next to her, her back rigid. "I don't know if Buffy could help in this situation. I have no idea where this girl is, and how do we know if I'm not just imagining her?"

Willow sat up, put her arms around Tara, and put her chin on Tara's shoulder. "If you need help with this mystery girl in the research department, I'm here. We can have to have a research slumber party and have are own investigation."

Tara smiled a little, but then turned serious. "So you won't tell your friends?"

Willow furrowed her brow. "Sure whatever you want."

Willow skimmed through yet another book of demonic lore. Her eyes were watering and the words had long since blurred together. She leaned back in her chair and blinked a few times to clear her eyes. After her eyes had returned to their right vision, she looked over at Tara. Remarkably, the other girl was still going strong on the whole research thing. "Tara, I'm still with you a hundred percent, but don't you think we should get the gang in on the act?"

Tara looked up from her book. "What do you mean?"

"I mean we've looked through all our books, and we looked at some of the books at the magic shop. We have proof now that the girl you saw is real. So, now I think we need some more help."

Tara looked down on her book. "So you think they'll believe me?"

Willow put down her book. "Of course they will." She walked over and sat down next to Tara. Willow played with Tara's hair for a second before continuing. "Why wouldn't they? We have proof, lots of proof, tons of lots of proof. The proof is just about oozing out of our ears."

Tara relaxed against Willow, smiling. "Oozing. Well, when you put it that way."

Willow fiddled with her hands as she told the Scoobies about Tara's ether experience, and about their research. "I went on the net and found the girl Tara saw. Her name is Winifred Burkle, and she went missing around five years ago," Willow said, looking somewhat uncomfortable.

"We think she was pulled into another dimension," Tara said quickly. "And by the looks of the place, it wasn't a happy dimension."

"Do you know how to get her out of there?" Buffy asked.

Willow reached for Tara's hand. "We know how to get her out of there, Sort of. The spell we're using needs her specific place."

"And that's where we come in," Riley said from his post at Buffy's side.

Giles took off his glasses and proceed to wipe them on his shirt. "How can you know that she wants to leave?" Giles asked.

Tara said, "I went back a few times to find that out and I've heard her talk while she's writing those math equations. It sounds like she is trying to find an answer with science on why she is there and how to get out."

"Are you going to use the spell that I used when I was trying to get my necklace back?" Anya asked, as she played footsie with Xander.

Tara nodded. "We thought that one would be the best."

"So, are we saving her?" Willow asked hopefully.

"Tara, are you sure you know what you're doing?" Giles asked, after everyone had been situated and researching.

"Y-yeah-yes. I know that she wants to get out of there. She is basically going insane. Between all of us, I know we can get her back."

"Well, if you're sure-"

"Ooo-ooo-ooo! I found it!" Anya exclaimed, as Xander and Willow crowded around her. "I've heard of this spell before. I used it back in the 1770s. There was this tailor's wife who had…" Seeing their impatient faces, she started again, "This story has a point! Anyway, she had wanted her husband to go to a world full of lizard people. He was scared of lizards, I think. I used this spell to find that world using giant lizard people as the thing to find."

Willow stood up straighter. "So it's like a search engine, except on the ether?"

Anya nodded. "You can adjust it so that you can find very specific things. I know I found it in the Sarahian volumes. I just don't know which one."

Giles picked up the spell book and looked over the directions. "These ingredients are easy to find, except maybe the Geoffro Berry essence, but that can be shipped over night."

"So do you want me and Willow to start preparing?" Tara asked.

Giles nodded without looking up from the book. "Yes, it will take around a day for the James Stalks and Caffrey to boil down together. We will have to purify our auras, and that will take some time. I'll place the order for the berries, and you two start with the other ingredients."

Willow and Tara nodded before they left together with the book. Giles walked behind the counter and started to go through some binders.

Xander looked at the rest of his friends. "So, other non-magical people, we Bronzin'?"

Willow swept the area where their sacred circle was going to be passing. Tara was over by the wall, stirring or checking on all the potions and ingredients on the long table. Giles was speaking to Buffy about something by the door. Willow, with broom in hand walked over to Tara. "How is everything going?" she asked as she propped the broom against the wall.

"Oh, I have the potions and things ready. You finished with the sweeping?" Willow nodded. "Mr. Giles, we're ready over here," Tara said, picking up a small bowl of a brown liquid.

"Ah, well then, you girls should start setting up the ritual. Buffy, could you and Riley pick up some food? It has to be something light."

Willow grabbed five candles; three purple, and two black. Tara started painting a large yellow circle on the floor of the Magic Box's back room. Giles set out a purple berry every few feet on the sticky yellow paste. Tara gave Willow a small smile as she passed the other witch, who was putting out the candles.

Giles wiped his hands on a rag as he said, "Willow, start raising energy, will you?" Tara stretch out her back when she was finished with the circle and then joined Willow raising energy. Giles picked up a bell and the one of the Sarahian volumes. He strode toward the north side of the circle and began to chant. At the end of the first verse, he rang the bell. Yellow light burst forth from the circle's outline. Giles's chanting had reached a fevered pitch, and both Willow and Tara's faces had broken out into sweat. Giles's bell rang out with a deafening bang and then all was quiet. The yellow light turned into purple flames. Just as suddenly as the purple flames appeared, they disappeared leaving a scared brunette in their place.

"Where am I?"