Riley stumbled into the faint glow of dawn, still in a daze over the pandemonium that ensued over the last few minutes. He let out a grunt and adjusted Graham's bulk over his shoulder.
Since waking up, everything had been so chaotic and fast. Riley focused on his thoughts, trying to ignore the stiffness in his entire body.
Faith was the Slayer. The one girl in the entire world with super human powers capable of giving everything vampires inflicted on others. And more, apparently, Riley thought wryly, looking at the swaying limbs of his friend. She must have punched him with enough force to break through a wall. It certainly wasn't stopped by a top-of-the-line helmet that cost the taxpayers a few thousand dollars.
Wouldn't Walsh be thrilled to hear about their less-than-adequate equipment?
Hos—Spike was a vampire on the side of good, and despite some hostilities, Buffy and the old Brit seemed to accept him.
And Buffy. Well, she was one confusing girl. Riley hardly noticed the weight of his friend or the pain shooting through his frame. He plodded on, finding his way back to the Lowell House by autopilot.
Buffy wasn't the damsel in distress he'd imagined, but neither was she a super hero like Faith. She knew how to take care of herself and he'd be damned if that didn't make him like her more.
Faith was tired. She'd been up all night with that Initiative fiasco, with the werewolf and all the resulting drama…it was exhausting. It didn't help that she hadn't exactly been getting a full night's sleep for the past week or so. A certain peroxide blonde might have had something to do with that.
The slayer yawned and stretched lazily. She needed a nap ASAP. Smiling sleepily as the rising sun lapped gently at her face, Faith frowned when a familiar itch nudged the back of her mind. "What in the…a vamp?" she whispered. Faith looked at the sun in confusion. "What?!"
She followed the pull, coming to a hill by the old Crawford Mansion. Faith made no noise as she ascended over the ridge. Gripping her stake tightly, Faith peered over the top. She had to squint; the sun was directly behind a cross-legged figure.
She jumped when he spoke. "Slayer. Come to stake me?"
Faith finally recognized him as her mysterious savior from the other night. And she didn't miss the gentle amusement in his voice.
"I thought you were a vamp," she muttered, practically stomping the rest of the way. Not that she was standing next to him, Faith could see his palms rested lightly on his knees and his eyes were closed. She didn't notice a strange green gem ring on one finger, nor the silver claddagh on another, so she had no way of knowing Angel had dug up the Gem of Amara for what he vowed would be his last battle.
His chest rumbled in a noise of acknowledgment, but he said nothing.
Faith crossed her arms and stubbornly refused to initiate the conversation. After a few minutes of complete silence, Faith started to fidget, jealous of this stranger's ability to obtain such complete peace. She had no idea that the feelings running inside Angel were anything but peaceful.
Faith let out an annoyed breath and asked, "So what's your name? If you're going to be setting up shop, I think I ought to know that much."
"Are you ready?"
Faith was startled by his complete non-sequiter. "What?"
Angel opened his eyes and Faith sucked in a breath. Whoever he was, he had the most intense eyes she'd ever seen.
"Are you ready? You know all about the government plot, right?" Angel asked with a small frown. He never did get the details from Doyle.
Faith's eyebrows furrowed. "You mean the Initiative?"
"Names are pointless here," Angel said impatiently. "Either you know about the threat or you don't. Ask Willy for some details. You'll be able to tell the second you see him if he's got something he thinks is worth telling."
Faith nodded mindlessly, surprised that he knew so much about Sunnydale. He did say he'd lived here in the past, but facing proof of his familiarity was still strange.
In one astonishingly fluid movement, he stood up and walked to the opposite edge of the ridge.
He hesitated a moment, clearly wanting to leave in an appropriately mysterious fashion, but something held him back.
"Tell…" he paused, his back facing her. "Tell Giles I'll be watching."
He was about to jump down when Faith blurted, "Wait!"
He stilled all movement.
"I…" Faith wished he'd turn around. It made her feel extremely uncomfortable talking to his back. "Is there a name that goes with the message?"
He seemed to let out a silent sigh of concession. His back was bowed as if he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. In a voice almost too quiet to hear he said, "Angel."
He jumped down and was gone.
Buffy turned around to find Willow stuffing her book and notes into her bag, rushing to catch her. She waited patiently as the redhead scrunched her otherwise pristine notes into her backpack. "Buffy!" Willow called breathlessly, not looking up from her bag.
Struggling to keep a straight face, Buffy waited until Willow was just a few feet away and said, "Yeah?"
Willow jumped and looked up, pulling her crumpled notes out of her bag in surprise. "Eep! I mean, hi! Um…" she looked at the papers in her hand. "Could you…"
"I'll wait," Buffy said, holding back a smile.
"Good. Thanks." Willow organized her things and zipped up her backpack efficiently. "So, I was thinking about that…" she dropped her voice to just above a whisper. "…spell? If you had time today, maybe we could…go over it with Ms. Calendar or something. Just to make sure we have all the materials and we can get started as soon as possible."
Buffy was surprised. "What about Oz? We're still on Wolf Watch tonight."
"I thought yesterday was the full moon," Willow said. "Oh, but, three days of the month. I forgot. I…I haven't really talked to Oz." She slung her backpack over her shoulder and together they walked out of the classroom.
"You have to talk to him sometime, Willow," Buffy said. She guided them towards the Espresso Pump knowing they could sit down and talk there.
Willow fidgeted nervously, pulling on the hem of her shirt. "I know, but how am I supposed to start that conversation? Just go up to him and say, 'Hey. So, you're a werewolf, what's that like?' I don't think so."
Buffy shrugged. "Well no, that's not what you really want to ask him."
They put their conversation on hold as they entered the Espresso Pump and ordered drinks. Finding a nice, private spot, they threw down their bags and relaxed into overstuffed chairs.
"I don't know what to ask him," Willow admitted, frowning at the small table that separated her from Buffy. "This is big, you know? I mean, all of a sudden, it's like, I guess I don't have to worry about telling my mother he's a musician. Werewolf would probably freak her out a lot more."
Buffy shook her head. "No. But that's not what you really want to ask him," she repeated taking a cautious sip of her mocha.
Willow stared at the small table separating her from Buffy. "I don't know what I want to ask him. There's so much to ask I don't even know where to begin."
Buffy thought back to when she first found out Angel was a vampire. Even then, with all her conflicting emotions, when she was just starting to define herself as the Slayer, not knowing if her…if the guy she was crushing on in a major way was evil or not, she still knew exactly what single question mattered most.
"Yes you do," Buffy said quietly, looking at the pale face of her old friend.
The redhead wouldn't meet her eyes. She stared down at her cup. "Am I going to lose him?" she mumbled. Her eyes flicked to Buffy's face before they darted around the room. "That's terrible, isn't it? I mean, he's going through this really difficult crisis--I mean, he's a werewolf--and all I want to know is how this affects me."
There was a moment of silence as Buffy took another sip. Willow was lost in thought. Finally, Buffy sighed. "Just talk to him about it like any other issue. It won't do any good if you guess what he's thinking. It might lead to, oh, hunting him down with a crossbow and nearly getting shot in the kneecaps," Buffy said with forced cheer.
That startled Willow out of her stupor. She couldn't help the smile on her face. "But you did see him with your mom that one time," she reminded.
Willow recognized the all-too-familiar look on Buffy's face. A bittersweet sadness hovered around her friend much too heavily. "Oh, but…we never got to talking about the spell!" Willow cried, trying to distract Buffy from gloomy thoughts. "We should talk to Ms. Calendar and get supplies as soon as possible."
Faith blinked a few times. Then her brain slowly reconnected with her body. "WHAT?!"
She rushed to the side of the hill, but far below, the courtyard was empty. Angel was nowhere to be found.
"But…" Faith struggled, trying to piece it all together. He was sitting in sunlight! He was right there, with the sitting! And the sun! How…?
Faith tried to calm her mind babbling. She took a deep breath and on the exhale said, "Okay. So. Now what?"
I find out if that guy was telling the truth, Faith reasoned.
So who would know? Giles.
For some reason, she had a feeling Giles would take this news pretty hard. So not Giles, then. Who else? Faith frowned, walking down, her eyes peeled for any sign of Angel. He disappeared off her Slayer sense entirely.
Suddenly it came to her. Willy! She could find out more about what An—he said and find out if he really was who he claimed. Determined to get to the bottom of this, Faith set off towards Willy's.
When she got there, the sun was officially overhead and the residents of Sunnydale were starting their day.
Ignoring the prominent "CLOSED" sign, Faith walked in, happy to see Willy sweeping the floor, his back turned.
"Can't you read? We're—oh. F-Faith. I-it's good to see ya, kid." Willy stuttered in surprise. Remembering something he quickly swept the small pile of dust under the nearest dingy booth. "Hey! I've been meanin' to talk to ya! I got a little information from an 'ol buddy of mine. I learned a little something about some government organization."
Faith watched him carefully. "An old friend? Who? What did he look like?"
Willy started. He tells her about this government bit and she wants to know a source? "I-He's, I can't reveal that. It would hardly inspire a lotta trust in me, but the guy's legit. I-I swear!"
Faith narrowed her eyes, but didn' think he was talking about Angel. He knew better than to keep information like that from them. "Alright, Tell me what you know."
Willy moved behind the bar, casually wiping a glass with a not-so-clean rag. "Hey. Information like this don't come cheap. We're talking top secret, here. It cost me a pretty penny to get my hands on news like this.
Losing her patience, Faith growled and picked Willy up by the collar of his shirt, her tall form easily reaching over the bar. "Listen, Willy. I'm really tied and I don't have any time for your dumb games. Tell me what you know or you'll need to pay for a new face!"
She could practically smell his fear. "Okay! Okay! C'mon Slayer, you know I always help you out in a pinch!" He held his hands up in surrender, leaning back as far as he could.
Faith gave him another jerk, to make sure he knew she was serious, then let him go. Willy let out a loud breath and tugged hi shirt down. "Man, Slayer. Ya didn' thave to choke me. Look at this shirt!" He held out a large rip.
Faith started back, nonplussed.
Unnerved by the look in her eyes and seeing the dark circles under them, Willy got right to the point. "So, these scientist guys have been doing experiments on supernaturals. Demons, vampires—any thin' they can get their hands on. Then they're gonna jigsaw all the pieces together."
Faith's eyes went wide. What the hell? "How far along are they?" she asked seriously.
Willy scratched his neck. "I dunno. My buddy couldn't get too close. That's all I know."
Faith gave him a sidelong look and clenched her fists. She really wanted to hit someone and all the vampires were out for the day. "Are you telling the truth, Willy? Are you sure you're not leaving anything out?"
Willy knew a threat when he heard it. "Yeah! Yeah! I swear! I don't know anythin' else."
Faith relaxed her arm. "Alright." She paused for a moment. "What do you know about Angel?"
"Angel?" Willy looked surprised and like he was secretly trying to figure out how to use this to his advantage. "Oh, yeah! Angel! Me an' him went way back. We were practically brothers! What ya wanna know? Big, dark, broody guy. Liked the O pos."
Big, dark, broody. So far so good.
"What did he look like?"
Willy scratched his chin. "Angel? It's been such a long time. Years."
Faith rolled her eyes. "Willy…"
"Y'know, it's all comin' back to me. Yeah. I'm remembering better now," Willy said nervously. "Angel, yeah. He uh…he had dark hair, dark eyes, pretty big guy. I'm not much for poetry, but he had a kind of dark…ness to him."
Faith thought back to the times she'd seen him. "Does he have kind of spiky hair? Really broad shoulders?"
"Yeah," Willy nodded, still confused about the current line of questioning. "Yeah. I remember somethin' like that. But uh…" Willy hesitated. The tone of his voice snapped Faith back to the present.
Willy fidgeted. "Y'know he's uh…Angel's dead, kid."
Faith got this strange look on her face. "Yeah. So I heard." She shook it off. "Thanks Willy. Always fun."
She left and Willy sagged against the bar. "What was that all about?" he wondered.
Cordelia wrung her hands, staring at Doyle's prone form. She'd spent the last hour dragging him as carefully as she could to his bed, but not once did he stir encouragingly.
"Oh God," Cordelia whispered. "Doyle, I'm so sorry. Please wake up." The former Prom queen had never felt more guilty in her life. All he ever did was tease her in that annoying Irish way of his and what did she go and do? She put him into a coma! The first genuinely nice guy she'd met in this city and she turned him into a vegetable.
At least she'd put him in his own bed. Cordelia paced around the room. Should she maybe call the hospital? It's just she knew neither she nor her Irish roommate could afford it. But she couldn't just stand here, feeling anxious. Maybe…Cordelia bit her nail, then pulled it away, hating the taste of her nail polish. Maybe someone at work? He just got back from a case, he said. Maybe there was someone at work she could call!
Buoyed by her success, Cordelia temporarily forgot she had no idea where Doyle worked. "Something about a PI firm…" she thought out loud. At least she knew that much, but she didn't know the name or the company. Where would Doyle keep an address or phone number?
Cordelia looked around the bedroom, seeing nothing but dirty laundry and…more dirty laundry. Cordelia wrinkled her nose. What a pig! Focusing on the problem at hand, she contemplated Doyle for a second. He didn't seem like the type to keep an address book.
"More like a list of people you owe money to," Cordelia snorted. She was back to pacing the room. "What about…a business card? Cordelia grasped at the idea and went through his end table. Nothing but aspirin and half empty liquor bottles. Shutting the small drawer in exasperation, Cordelia sat down heavily on the bed, next to Doyle.
Absently, she rested a hand on his chest. The shirt underneath her palm rose and fell in a soothing rhythm, reminding her that he was at least alive. She found herself rubbing small circles on the coarse material, to calm her nerves as much as help him.
"Oh, Doyle," she mumbled, tears forming in her eyes. "I didn't mean for this to happen. I swear! I just…" she stopped talking as her long fingers encountered stiff resistance. Looking over, she half expected Doyle to give her a silly grin and laugh at her concern, but he was still unconscious. What her fingers had found instead was a small rectangle of card stock in his shirt pocket. Hope leapt up in her throat. A business card!
Carefully, she maneuvered the card out of his pocket and flipped it over to read. "Allen Francis Doyle. Detective. Angel Investigations. 310…" Cordelia gasped and ran to the phone, dialing the numbers on the card.
Nervously listening to the dial tone, she noticed writing on the back, in a messy, honest script that must have been Doyle's. "Messenger for the Powers That Be…" she said quietly. She jumped when a girl with a Texan accent answered the phone. "Angel Investigations. I'm sorry, but the office is closed right no—"
Cordelia didn't wait for the girl to hang up on her. "Listen, this is an emergency. I'm Cordelia Chase, Doyle's roommate, and I—there was an accident and he's lying in a coma and I need you to help him!"
Silence on the other end. "What happened? Is he…are you at his apartment right now?" the girl asked, concern and panic in her voice.
"Yes, we're at our—I mean, his…our…the apartment. He's not bleeding or anything, I just think…maybe he had too much to drink and I was yelling at him and I—he hit his head and I carried him to his room and put in on his bed, but he hasn't moved or woken up and I didn't know who to call! So I found his business card an—"
A clipped British accent interrupted her tirade. "Alright, Miss…whispering….Chase. My name is Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, one of Doyle's colleagues. You say you're at his apartment?"
Cordelia took a deep breath. "Yes."
"Alright," Wesley said in a calm voice. "The office is a little…chaotic at the moment, so it will be just me stopping by. I'm no doctor, but I'll see what I can do."
Cordelia nodded. "Thank you. Y-you don't have to hurry or anything. It's not like he'll be going anywhere." She laughed humorlessly. "And like I said. There's no b-blood. He just…hit his head."
Deep chuckling from the other line. "Don't worry, there's not much that can get through Irish's thick skull," a deeper male voice said. It occurred to Cordelia that she was on speaker phone.
"Ignore him. I'm leaving right now," Wesley said.
"Yeah," the other voice cut in. "He looks like an uppity British in need of a shave."
"Hey, I like it…"
The voices got fainter and then there was the tell tale click. They'd hung up. Now all she had to do was wait.
She walked back to Doyle's room and sighed.
Scant seconds after Wesley knocked, a beautiful brunette with an unmistakably worried face pulled it open. "Wes, right? Come on, he's in his room."
She practically pushed him into the apartment and slammed the door shut. Rushing past him, the girl was already sitting next to Doyle when Wesley walked in.
"…and when he fell I didn't know if I should call the hospital, but neither of us has a lot of money and I didn't know if Angel Investigations has some sort of insurance policy or something so I called you when I found his business card." Cordelia babbled nervously, watching anxiously as Wesley bent over Doyle. He checked his friend's pulse and took note of his faintly bluish skin.
Wesley worked for long, silent minutes and Cordelia had to stop herself from talking or pacing. She hated this! She hated feeling so guilty and worried.
"It's just like him to go and pass out from a little tap on the head," Cordelia thought out loud, determined to place all the guilt on Doyle. "Who knows what he was drinking or eating or not eating when he was gone! I could probably catch something just by sitting next to him," she said, sounding and feeling more like her usual uncaring self.
Wesley looked over the oblivious woman who talked to herself. It would figure that Doyle would get himself a roommate like…what was her name again?
Well, now that he'd seen Doyle's condition for himself, he was convinced a forced change into his demonic half would flush whatever toxin were floating around his bloodstream.
"Well, er…um…Miss…I think—"
Wesley fumbled, embarrassed. "Ah, yes. Of course. Cordelia, I think he'll be alright. I'll just make a call to the team to see if there's...that is, if we have…insurance." Already he had a list of books for the team to check. "I'm sure we'll have him up and stumbling in no time at all. I'll just go out to make a quick phone call."
"Really? He'll be alright?" Cordelia asked, feeling relieved despite her shaky belief that all this was caused by Doyle himself.
Wesley smiled kindly. "Yes. I believe so, anyway. But I need to make this call."
He left to talk on in the living room. Now that she was assured of Doyle's condition, she could focus on other things. She watched Wesley as he paced in the living room. With an expert eye, Cordelia decided Wesley was pretty hot.
He had that sexy librarian thing going for him. And she'd always been a sucker for foreign guys with smooth accents. Wesley's clipped, studied British accent was a definite turn on.
Yet, even while she was thinking all this, she found herself looking at a less handsome, more endearing rogue lying unconscious on his bed.
Faith's heart was racing and it had nothing to do with the breakneck speed she was running towards UC Sunnydale.
Angel was alive! And judging by the sunrise this morning, he was either human or…well she didn't know what, but that wasn't the point! Giles was the brains; he could figure all that stuff out. And right now, she really, really needed to tell Buffy.
Panting at the edge of campus, Faith tried to remember where Buffy might be. Hundreds of students milled around, annoying her with their cheery smiles and generally looking well-rested.
"Argh! Buffy, where the hell are you?!" she whispered furiously, scanning the throngs of students, hoping Buffy might be hidden somewhere in their ranks.
Faith whirled around and almost groaned when she found Riley Finn standing nervously behind her. Terrific. Just what her day needed.
"Riley," she greeted unenthusiastically. Giles' warning to be nice floated unbidden to her weary mind.
"I, uh," Riley looked around nervously. "I didn't know you went to school here."
Faith didn't laugh, but couldn't help sneering. "I don't. I'm looking for Buffy."
Riley immediately seemed more interested. "Oh! She's in class right now, but it gets out in thirty minutes if you want to wait. I can take you there if you want."
Faith couldn't believe her luck. Finally! She got a break. "Oh! Yeah. Um. Thanks, Riley."
He grinned a very dopey grin. "No problem. "
The blonde led her on campus. Faith snuck a look at him and smiled wickedly. "So, Finn. How exactly did you know B was in class? You're her TA, right? Shouldn't you be in class, too?"
Riley ducked his head in embarrassment. "Well yeah, but, I mean, that is, she's not in psych right now…"
Faith sniggered to herself. Too bad. Now that Angel's back, you haven't got a shot in the world, Fish Boy.
They walked into one of the many buildings, the narrow hallway making Faith feel even more claustrophobic than when she was surrounded by half the students of UC Sunnydale. It took a moment for her to realize Riley was still blustering.
"…distant, but I just have to give her time. She seems pretty withdrawn from school in general," he said.
"Uh huh." Faith was bored and starting to feel dizzy from all the turns they'd been taking. At least there weren't any students pushing her against the dingy white walls. "What class did you say B was in?"
Riley stopped and in one motion stuck her with a needle.
Faith looked at her arm in disbelief. "You son of a…of…" Her eyes rolled back as she fell into a dead faint.
Riley dragged her a few feet to the lab's secret entrance. He pulled out a walkie-talkie. "It's Agent Finn. I need Walsh, now."
A moment later, static came over the speaker. Riley struggled to move Faith and still keep his grip on the walkie-talkie. "What is it, Agent Finn? I am in the middle of some threshold tests." Her irritation was obvious.
Riley swallowed hard. "Sorry, ma'am, but I've managed to subdue and capture the Slayer."
There was complete radio silence for a few seconds. When Walsh came back online, her excitement was palpable. "Where is she?"
Riley cleared his throat. "Only a few meters from the lab's Rolfe entrance. I wasn't sure how long she would be out, so I thought I would alert you ahead of time."
"Excellent work, Agent Finn. Bring her to Lab 2. It will be prepped by the time you get there."
Riley barked a quick affirmative, and pocketed the receiver.
Down in the labs, Walsh allowed herself a cold smile. The Slayer. "Perfect."
Frantic footsteps rang down the hallway and Buffy wanted to scream in frustration. Since going to the library to meet Ms. Calendar, there had been interruption after interruption. Soon after arriving, Oz came in, wanting to talk to Giles, but ended up talking to Willow for a few hours instead.
Luckily, it seemed like their most urgent issues were resolved. Oz seemed almost cheery as he was locked up and Willow was bubblier than ever. But now, when they were finally able to sit down and really discuss what they needed and how this spell was going to work, someone with a crisis heading down the hall.
Stomping over to the double doors of the library, Buffy threw them open. "What?" she snapped.
If Spike, standing outside the library about to storm in, was surprised by the warm welcome, he didn't show it. "Is Faith here?"
Buffy stared dumbly. "What?"
Spike looked like he wanted to throttle her. "Faith! Is she here?" he growled.
Slowly, Buffy said, "No…"
To her surprise, Spike growled fought to control his vampiric ridges. "Bloody HELL!"
Buffy didn't move, surprised by the force of Spike's emotions. "What's going on?"
Spike snarled, his blue eyes glowing gold for a moment. "I don't know! I've been lookin' round all of Sunnyhell for her, but she's disappeared from the bloody planet!" Spike kicked the linoleum floor ferociously.
Buffy was starting to worry, but tried to keep calm. "Were you supposed to meet her?"
Spike shook his head. "No, but…I can't find her anywhere, Buffy. Something's wrong."
Buffy looked back at Willow and Jenny who were watching with rapt interest and a little fear. She sighed and turned back to Spike. "Alright, let's go." She let the doors swing shut and they walked briskly into the night. "Do you know where she might be?"
Spike shook his head, feeling helpless and hating it. "Not a clue. I checked her place, an' anywhere she's likely t'go."
"Great." Buffy muttered. "Alright." She walked faster and with purpose.
"Oi! Where you off to?" Spike jogged to catch up, hope rising in his chest.
"My house. I need to call Giles."
Spike pointed the way they came. "Well, the closest phone…"
"That's Willow's house. I can't expect her to invite you in," Buffy explained.
"Don't trust me, Slayer?" Spike sneered.
Buffy laughed. "I'm inviting you into my house, aren't I?"
"If you wanted me all to yourself, you should have just said so," Spike leered.
Buffy made a face. "Don't make me sick. What does Faith see in you?"
A dark shadow passed over Spike's face. "Beats me. Ask her when you see her."
Buffy walked faster.
Buffy banged the phone back in its cradle. "Ugh! Giles doesn't know where she is either!"
Spike paced frantically, on the verge of panic. "This is great! Fucking fantastic. How could she just disappear like that? And how can the Slayer and her faithful pets not have some way of finding her? I scoured all over this bloody town for a decent hole to hide and you wankers found me every time!"
"That was different!" Buffy objected.
Spike ignored her. "But now, when it really matters, you're useless, the lot of you!"
Frustrated, Buffy jumped up and yelled, "That was different! And it's not like we've got the who's who list of secret hiding places! It took us ages to decide on using an empty warehouse last night! And—" Buffy stopped abruptly. "Willow," she whispered.
"Eh? What's Red got to do with any 'o this? We need to find Faith. Tall. Brunette. A little on the kinky side…" Spike reminded.
Buffy shook her head. "No, I mean, Willow found us. She…she probably did some kind of spell!" Buffy looked at Spike, hope shining in her eyes.
Spike tried unsuccessfully to mask his excitement. "Well? What are you waiting for—ring 'er!"
Buffy leapt to the phone and dialed Willow's number. Even after all these years, she still remembered it and she was infinitely grateful at the moment.
No one picked up.
Buffy was on the verge of swearing and throwing the phone, when she remembered Willow was at the library with Jenny, waiting for her to come back so they could start the spell.
"What, what?!" Spike asked, frantic.
Buffy didn't look at him, too embarrassed to face his teasing. "Nothing."
She dialed the library.
Buffy breathed a sigh of relief. "Jenny, it's Buffy. I need to talk to Willow."
Phew. For some reason that was a beast to type up. Of course, that would be a lot easier if people started REVIEWing. No, really, I would like to thank the people who did review last chapter, and the two hundred and a half or so who read this far. Hee, it makes me feel all popular and important-like. I hope you're enjoying the story and I really want to get this done. It would be a small kind of accomplishment, but in a really big way.
And just for the record, the current state of affairs is KILLING ME. It's probably worse for me, too because I have no one to blame but myself for all the NOT Buffy Angel happiness that's going on here. Anyway. Please, please, please if at all possible reivew. It would really help the process and my general level of happy.