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 Two

Tara had her eyes closed. Her third eye was open and seeing. The colors and auras flickered. Bright. Like the blue-green-blue that just left. So bright. Willow walked in, and the red of her hair paled in comparison to the colors of her aura, pinkpinkpink. She stooped to get a book off a low shelf. Pinkpinkpink. So feminine. Dizzy. Her third eyes closed, and the haze of pink was gone. She blinked for a second, getting back to just seeing in only three dimensions.

"How was your meditation?" Willow asked as she straightened up.

"Very refreshing. How's Winifred?"

"She's sleeping."

"That's nice."

Fred sat up. She looked around before she realized that she wasn't in Pylea. No cave or string theory. Fred looked at her hands; she thought she could almost see the blood flow beneath her callous skin. Where was she? All she remembered was sitting down to a kalla berry breakfast, and then purple. Hearing a noise, she fell flat back down on the sofa.

"Winifred? Are you awake?" The noise was a man, an Englishman.

"Hello? How do you know my name?"

The salt and pepper Englishman sat down on a chair. "We were looking for you. I'm sure this is terribly difficult for you. You've been unconscious for two days. Anya assured me this is normal. If you wish, you can phone your parents or you can stay here. Would you like something to eat or drink?"

By the time he was done, Fred had folded up with her head on her knees. "Drink, please," she said quietly.

"Are you hungry?" he asked kindly as he stood up.

"Tacos would be nice."

Tara went to Giles's house after Willow left the room in an invisible haze of pink. She walked inside, greeted by the odor of cooking Mexican food. "Winifred?" she called out.

"Present," Winifred said quietly from the sofa.

Tara walked over to her. "Do you mind if I sit down?" Fred shook her head. "How are you?"

"Fine," Fred said quickly.

Tara raised her eyebrows. "If you want to talk about anything, I'm here."

"As am I," Giles said as he walked into the living room with a plate of taquitos. "I didn't have any tacos. Sorry."

"Taquitos are good. They're like tacos, only thinner, but with no cheese. Kinda like tacos for the dieting and lactose intolerant."

Giles and Tara look at each other. Finally Giles said, "I'm glad you like them."

Tara smiled. Fred sounded a lot like Willow.

"You saved me, didn't you? You took me out of Pylea. I saw you before I passed out," Fred said, no longer trying to disappear into the sweat suit Tara and Willow put her in.

Giles had been studying their interaction silently all the while then asked, "What happened to put you in ... Pylea?"

"I-I don't know. I was reading this book. It was in code and I figured it out next thing I know I'm in Pylea." Fred looked so lost and sad that Tara took her hand. Fred smiled at her.

Giles looked deep in thought when he said, "You must be tired. Do you need anymore rest?"

Fred yawned and said, "I guess so."

Tara smiled and patted Fred's hand. "You sleep. Tomorrow I'll bring Willow over. She helped bring you here, too." Tara stood up and then said her goodbye and left.

"If you need anything just ask," Giles said, getting up from his seat.

Fred nodded and snuggled into the sofa.

Willow was looking through a spell book. Amy had been giving her sad rat eyes lately and Willow was feeling bad about not actively looking for a way to fix her. She had read some promising paragraphs, and was making note of them when Tara walked in. "Hey, what's up? How's Fred?" Willow asked, closing the Joganation codex.

"We're going over there now so you can ask her yourself." Willow stood up and picked up a book off the desk. "What's that?" Tara asked.

Willow looked down on the book in her arms. "It's a physics book. I thought she might want to check it out." Willow grabbed Tara's hand, "C'mon, lets go." Willow and Tara walked out the door.

As they neared Giles' apartment, Willow couldn't help but notice how pretty Tara looked in her long, light blue skirt and light, long sleeved peasant blouse. Tara wore the same sort of things every day, but today, for some reason, she had never looked more beautiful. Willow leaned in closer to Tara. "You know you look beautiful, right?"

Tara looked over at Willow and blushed. Willow stopped Tara and caressed her cheek. Tara kissed her lightly and, when she pulled back, she said, "We'd better start walking." Willow nodded. As they walked she couldn't help but feel sad. Not knowing why, all she did was squeeze Tara's hand.

Giles was talking with Fred about Pylea when Tara and Willow walked in. When Giles greeted them, he didn't notice the puzzled look on Fred's face when she saw Tara and Willow holding hands, but he did see the sad look she wore right after it. Thinking it was because of his questioning, he reprimanded himself.

Willow waved at Fred. "Hi, I got you something." She handed Fred the physics book.

Fred looked at the book. "Thanks, that's very sweet of you. Um, I have to make conversation huh? I haven't actually talked to someone, like meet-and-greet, in a very long time, and this is all a lot of pressure."

Willow looked at Tara, "Hey no pressure. You don't have to talk. I just wanted to see how you're doing. I could talk or not. Tara could-or Giles! He's English, so he's good at polite conversations."

Fred looked up at Willow and smiled. "It's ok. You talk like me. I've been talking like this for a long time back. So, you like physics?"

Willow nodded and took a chair. Tara sat next to Fred and Giles sat in the other chair. "No, I took it senior year but I never liked math much."

Fred nodded. "I didn't like physics much until I went to one of Professor Siedel's lectures. I was going to be a history major, but after that I switched to physics."

Buffy walked into the Magic Box and called out, "Giles, what's the what with Winifred?" Giles looked up from a dog-eared copy of The Hound of Baskerville. "She's quite well, better than what you would expect from being where she was for so long."

Willow, from behind the shelves said, "I think we should keep, you know, talking to her. Tara, Giles, and I talked to her for a while till she clamed up. We talked long enough for her to tell us her nickname, Fred."

Giles, after marking his place and putting the book down, got up. "Yes, I think that is exactly what we should keep on doing."

Buffy nodded. "So, do we take her to the Bronze or something?"

Willow and Buffy looked at Giles. "Buffy, I don't think that would be wise." Giles continued, "Fred is in a fragile state. I think, just for a bit, we keep having her meet the … er, gang, in ones. Just so we don't scare her. She's an incredibly smart woman, but she's been put through hell. We must be careful around her."

"Ok. So Willow, you want to go Bronzing?"

Willow frowned and hugged the books to her chest tighter. "Working on Amy."

Buffy frowned. "Ok. So, Giles, any baddies out and about?"

Chapter Two

It took her a while, but Tara finally persuaded Fred to come outside Giles' house. She needs to do this, Tara told herself. Letting her hide in Giles' house isn't going to help her. Dawn was coming over to the Summers', all part of Willow, Riley and Giles' plan. Riley being a psychology major was such a help with Fred.

Fred, chatting, didn't notice Dawn walk in. "Hey, Fred. I'm Dawn."

Fred jumps a bit at the sound of Dawn's voice. "Oh, hi. You're new. I haven't seen you before." Fred looked at me before continuing, "I didn't know that there was going to be someone new."

Dawn, wide-eyed, asked, "Do you want me to go?"

Fred spun around. "No! You're just so new and unexpected. Well, not so unexpected. It's way past 7-3-0." I wasn't even going to try to figure out what that meant, even if it sounded familiar.

Dawn furrowed her brow. "You mean 7:30?"

Instead of answering, Fred asked, "You like chess? Willow said you were good."

Willow was looking through a spell book when it finally hit her. Willow girl, she thought, you have to be an idiot for not knowing this. She stood up like a rocket and practically stumbled to a low bookshelf. Willow got into a kneeling position and ran a finger over the book spines till, when getting to a dirty-looking dark green one, she pulled it out. She flipped through the pages at a furious pace, almost ripping one in her haste. Willow just hoped she wouldn't rip a page.

Putting her finger at the page, she stood up and walked to Amy's cage. Opening up the hatch and picking the rat up from her nest of wood shavings wasn't easy one handed. Willow patted Amy's head and whispered, "Figured it out, Amy. Figured it out." She set the black rat on the bed and opened the book back up. Willow was sort of ticked at her self for ruffling a few pages. She chanted a short verse in a low voice, and a naked Amy appeared in the now vacant rat's place. "Willow?"

Dawn got out her chess set, and she and Fred started a game. Tara mostly watched their game and listened to them talk. She had never felt so happy. The only things that were missing were two people.

She was knocked out of her reflection by Dawn's voice. "Where's Willow?"

"Huh?" Then after that eloquent little speech, Tara continued, "Oh, she's back at the dorm working on de-ratting Amy." She had always wondered what Amy would be like and now, most likely, with Willow working on it full steam, she would know.

Dawn nodded. "Oh, is she close to getting Amy back?" Fred made her move, looking like the picture of deliberation. Dawn smirked and moved a bishop. "Check mate."

Fred looked down at all the pieces, and then back at Dawn. "Well, I guess you did sink my battleship."

Dawn smiled a full watt Summers' smile, the glow of the street lamps making her hair look streaky. Tara started to say that she and Fred should be going when Spike thundered in, but only made it to the word Fred. She and Dawn jumped, while Fred shrunk back into the sofa. Damn it, he's scaring her and we only just got her out, Tara thought. He might be a soulless demon but you would think after more that a century of life he'd learns some manners.

"Where's your big sis?" Spike asked Dawn.

Is it wrong to think that Dawn shouldn't be so friendly around him? Tara asked herself.

"Who's he? Is he expected?" Fred asked in a quiet voice.

Tara shook my head and inwardly cursed him more when Dawn said, "She out on patrol."

Spike looked at Fred, "Who's the bird?"

Tara noticed that Spike started to look at Fred in a weird way, an interested weird way. That has to be stopped, she thought. I don't know why, but Spike shouldn't be around Fred. "Well, she's not here so you can leave," Tara said, surprising everyone, including herself, with her tone of voice.

Spike put his hands up in a mock plea of surrender. "Just curious, Witch."

Dawn looked at me and just said, "That's Fred. She's new. And Buffy will kick your butt for being here."

Spike nodded, still looking at Fred, and then with a swish of his leather duster, he was gone. Tara faintly heard him say something but couldn't make out the words.

After Willow had gotten Amy some clothes and food ("Not cheese!"), they talked. Willow thought it was so cool to be able to talk to Amy again. It took her back to when Xander, Jesse, and she were a trio, and Amy was her best girl friend. Even if it still sort of hurt to talk about Jesse, she tried to keep any kind of pain off her face. Amy and Willow were in the middle of a discussion about the proper casting of the sacred circle when Tara walked in. Willow smiled brightly and said, "Tara, meet Amy."

Amy twitched her nose in a cute, rat-like fashion and said, "Hello."

"A-am I-I in the middle of something?"

Willow looked down at how close she and Amy were, and jumped off the bed. "No! It's not that! This is Amy. You know, the rat?" Oh 'the rat', Willow thought. Geez, Willow. Good job, Miss Sensitivity. Something else tugged at her mind; Tara automatically thought the worst if she saw Willow near another girl.

Tara nodded and looked embarrassed. "Oh. Sorry. Hi, Amy. How's it going?"

Amy got up off the bed. "It's OK. I'm not a rat anymore, which is nice. Willow, I need to go see my Dad. Nice meeting you, Tara." With that said, Amy walked out.

Willow shrugged at Tara's unspoken question of what was going on with Amy. Tara had a weird look on her face seeing Amy leave. Willow asked herself, 'What the hell is up with that?'

Amy walked down a dark alleyway. Her hands were in her borrowed pants pockets, and her head was down. Following a trail, she didn't really notice her surroundings. A gang of vampires treaded out of the darkness. Foolish vampires, thinking they can take me on, Amy thought.

"Well, look what we found," one of the vampires said, lisping slightly with his fangs.

"Isn't it funny how them humans just wander about, falling into our laps?" another said, with obvious glee.

Amy, with all of her supposed fragility gone, asked, "So to you boys, would witches count as human?"

There was some shuffling and glancing about in the vampires' ranks. They certainly didn't want to take on a witch, even if she looked tasty. They were smart, but not smart enough to run away now. The vampire who spoke first said in a shaky voice, "No, ma'am."

Amy smiled a thin-lipped, cruel smile. "You boys were going to try to hurt me, weren't you?"

The lead vamp shook his head, and the rest followed suit and said things like, "No," and, "Not at all," and, "Just seeing to your safety."

She thought their groveling was funny. Amy nodded, smile still on her face. "That's what I thought. Now you all can go." They turned to leave when, suddenly, a black mist enveloped them. They screamed but in sunnydale, like space, no one can hear you scream. Amy had her eyes closed, and her face was calm and serene. Then a figure in a long dark cloak was standing beside her with a hand on her shoulder.

Fred sat on a beach. She could feel the coarse sand underneath the thin blue blanket. The waves rolled in, and the horses of Poseidon reared and frolicked. She had never felt so peaceful. All her cares had disappeared. She wasn't in Pylea, and she had friends. It was difficult at first talking to people, Fred thought, but the more she did it, the easier it was. Dawn was nice, and so was Willow. Buffy was somewhat strange, like Anya and Xander. Giles a very father-like to her and to the rest of the others. It was nice on the beach; the only thing that would make it better was Tara, Fred reflected. She felt a hand on her own, and looked over. Tara. Fred smiled at Tara and Tara smiled back.

The vampires Harmony and Spike were walking through Restfield Cemetery when The Slayer, Buffy, flipped a vampire over a tombstone and staked him at their feet. In a cloud of dust, she jumped up. "Harmony, how's it going?"

Harmony looked over at Spike, giving him a scared puppy dog look. Spike looked right back at her, a cold expression on his face, and shrugged. Harmony took another look at the now smirking Buffy in fighting stance, and fled. Spike looked back at Buffy. "Slayer, what do want?"

Buffy was still in her battle stance when she flippantly replied, "A versace dress for free. or just information on these little troll-like demons. Gray, lumpy-have you seen or heard of them?"

Spike thought for a moment. "There's quite a few things that go bump in the night that fit that description."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "If you hear of anything, tell me." With that said, she walked off into the night. Spike looked after her with a wistful look on his face. Neither of them noticed anyone in the gloom.

"Torllocs," Giles said suddenly, causing Anya, who had been engrossed in their accounts, to jump a bit.

"What? if it hasn't anything to do with the shop, or with money, or with demon's attacking the store this very minute, don't talk about when i'm working. This is very delicate, what I'm doing. The entire future of my money is at stake!"

Goodness, doesn't that girl care about anything besides sex and money? Giles thought. He gave her a disapproving look. "Fine, Anya. Go back to the books then." Giles walked back to the shelves muttering about former vengeance demons-turned-capitalists.

Torllocs: Big, smelly, and a lovely shade of pink. Cursed by their gods for their arrogance, they were forced to live between worlds. They look for any opportunity to escape their purgatory prison. Now they were in Sunnydale. Buffy remembered almost all that Giles had told her about them, but she still had a feeling that she had forgotten something. Buffy raised her sword, its silver color seeming almost ethereal in the moonlight.

Bringing it down on one of the pack of Torllocs pink heads, Buffy remembered what she had forgotten. Their heads were their most armored parts. Pain rippled up her arm. Forgetting about it for a second, she kicked the Torlloc in its chest. He fell back on old Mrs. Jenkins' decorative tombstone (complete with stone kittens). It was sad that she could tell which tombstones are whose and what is on them, Buffy thought. I guess that's just another special treat in the life of a Slayer.

She raised her blade again and brought it down hard and fast on its chest. Buffy might have killed it, but it still had the last laugh. When her sword made contact, it exploded. She closed her eyes just in time. Then she wiped her face off with her clean hand. "One down, and more to go. Hey guys, these things explode when you poke 'em." Buffy just had one thing on her mind, and that was how gross this crap was. Xander had a look of revulsion on his face at the thought of wearing a bright pink demon slime suit like the one she was now sporting.

Fred was at Mr. Giles' house alone. He and the rest of the Scoobies (as they liked to be called) were at the cemetery. She sat on Mr. Giles' sofa and was reading one of his Sherlock Holmes books. He was a fan of the series, and was delighted to find out that Fred enjoyed them too. She was at the last sentence of a page, when she heard someone knock on the door. She put a bookmark on the page and put the book down. Standing up, Fred cautiously walked across the ranch house to the wooden front door. Looking through door's window she asked, "Who's there?"


She was relived and opened the door; it was one of Dawn's friends, a Scooby. "Hi, aren't you all supposed to be at the cemetery?" Fred asked, moving aside to let him in.

Spike smiled at her and walked in. "Yeah, but the gang seemed to be fine by themselves. I came to check on you."

Fred smiled. She still wasn't so used to having people care about her. "Really? That's sweet." She thought for a second. "You don't think that Mr. Giles would be angry at me having you in?"

Spike shook his head. "Ol' Rupert's like a father to me."

She gestured over to the living room. "Do you want to sit?"

Spike walked toward the sofa. "That's kind of you."

He sat down on the soft cream-colored sofa with her. He picked up the book Fred was reading off the coffee table. "Sherlock Holmes," Spike said dramatically. "Now that man was smart. I love his books, but only the ones written by Doyle."

Fred nodded, feeling the same way. "So you're a big Holmes fan?"

Spike raised an eyebrow, "Am I a Holmes fan? Girl, I've been reading the books since before you were born. I sent Doyle death threats when he killed off Sherlock. I wasn't happy with how he brought the bloke back, but what can you do?"

He sent him death threats? Fred pushed that thought out of her mind as a joke. Their conversation ranged from Sherlock Holmes to pudding. They were so engaged in their talk, that they didn't notice when Giles came home splattered pink. "Spike," Giles said in a cold, dangerous voice.

Fred looked up and her smiled faded. "Mr. Giles, how did your patrol go?"

She followed Mr. Giles' line of sight to Spike. "Oh, it's not ok to let Spike in?"

Giles shook his head slowly. "Spike, leave."

Spike grinned devilishly and kissed her on the cheek before walking out. Before he left he said, "Watcher, I do believe pink is your color."

A week had gone by, and Giles had done what only Tara had managed: gotten Fred outside. Giles felt that helping in the Magic Box might help her get used to strangers. It works in theory, she thought as she looked for Fred. Fred had been mainly hiding out in the back room.

Tara's shoes made a slapping sound against the hard training room floor. "Fred? Fred? Where are you?" She looked around the room, not spotting Fred anywhere. She didn't see Willow and Amy walk in, but she felt them. Tara turned around. Willow looked wonderful in her velvety looking pink dress. It was almost medieval. Amy, on the other hand, looked the total opposite, wearing her black pants and tight v-neck long sleeved shirt. She didn't know why, but something about Amy bothered her. Whenever she saw Amy, she thought of Kimono and Betrayal. It was weird.

She hardly heard Willow ask what was wrong because of the blood pounding in her ears. "Huh? Oh, Fred. I can't find her," Tara said more shortly than she meant too. Willow looked at her in a strange way, but nodded.

Amy smiled at her. "Me and Wills can help you." Amy turned to Willow and asked if she minded.

Tara never resorted to physical violence or got angry enough to resort to it. She learned her lesson from what happened to Beth; but Amy, without any reason or provocation, had Tara wanting to beat her senseless. Instead, Tara smiled and said, "Ok, that would be nice."