Author's Note: I know its late, much apologizings, but I decided to go ahead and finish it. Oz is very difficult to write. I hope it was worth the wait, enjoy.
Daphne relaxed and leaned against Fred's back, after giving one last futile tug at her bonds. "Well this is just peachy!" She exclaimed sarcastically. "Tall, dark, evil, and old actually knows how to tie knots!"
"Now can we go to the witch meeting?" Shaggy, also tied back to back (with Scooby), rhetorically questioned.
"Shhhh!" Velma hissed.
"Witch meeting?" Their captor asked, his voice actually made pleasant by a rich English accent. He strode across the sand covered floor towards them.
"Ri don't know, vwhich vweeting?" Scooby asked, attempting to play dumb.
The man ignored him and knelt down in front of Velma. "Tell me about this witch meeting," he repeated, his voice dropping for a more menacing effect.
"Willow and Tara are holding a meeting with some of the local covens to go over the spell they found to stop you. However, I don't think it will be necessary if this is the best you have to offer. We could just take care of him now Slayer." Velma said with as much contempt as she could muster, silently willing Daphne to play along.
"Slayer!" He jerked back, and looked at Daphne with wide eyes in the dim torch light.
"As if!" Buffy exclaimed from the entry way, illuminated by a multitude of tiny Tinkerbelle lights, courtesy of Willow and Tara. "Aside from some… slight…physical resemblance we're nothing alike. I mean, a purple jumpsuit with a rainbow under one arm? It's not the eighties anymore; can you update the wardrobe a little?"
"Excuse me!" Daphne exclaimed, insulted.
"Can we save the fashion comparison for later?" Velma entreated sarcastically. "Like maybe sometime after we are untied?"
"By all means," Buffy said coolly. She stalked slowly across the sands towards Ethan. Willow and Tara stayed ready, prepared to counter any magic Ethan might attempt, while Anya, Xander, and Riley went to untie Mysteries Inc. Ethan shrank back as Buffy reached for him. Moving at incredible speed, she grabbed his coat lapels and lifted him off the ground.
"What are you planning," Buffy asked causally as she tossed him a couple feet away. Ethan rolled in the sand and levered himself to his feet.
"Bloody hell, woman!" he exclaimed, wiping the blood away from a cut on his lip. "I'm just here to officiate a minor ritual. Though it would be good to drop into town for a few laughs, look up Ripper. The rabbits can bloody well officiate their own sacrifice, if they ever find the missing bugger!"
"I TOLD YOU!" Anya shouted. "I TOLD YOU BUNNIES WERE EVIL!"
"'That rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!'" Tara said in a truly horrible English accent. "Uh," she mumbled weakly when everyone turned to look at her. "It's f-from Monty Python…."
"'Ay, that's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!'" Fred exclaimed. "I love that movie. Why are we talking about killer bunnies?"
"Bunnies, the most devoted of the demonic races are bunnies?" Buffy said, looking at Giles in disbelief.
"Ermh, ah, well…" Giles prevaricated.
"Does this mean we can go home now?" Shaggy asked.
"What about him?" Riley questioned, jerking his thumb at Ethan.
"I can deal with him," Giles said softly. "Perhaps it is best if you all went home, explanations can wait until you've moved to a safer local."
After herding everyone out, promising full explanations from the slayer, Giles crossed the sand to Ethan's side and offered him a hand up.
"Bugger those meddling kids," Ethan grumbled, wincing as he stood. "So, Ripper, can I interest you in a drink? Talk about old times… perhaps rekindle things?"
Velma brought her hand in a tight half-circle in front of her, gesturing as she spoke. "…So rabbits are really demons and tomorrow night they are gathering to perform a fertility ritual, which is what we stumbled on to?" She summarized.
Buffy nodded, ignoring the way Willow, Daphne, and Dawn's lips twitched.
"And the old black-magic guy?" Fred asked.
"He was a friend of Giles when Giles was dark-magic-ticking-time-bomb-destroy-the-world guy," Xander said. "They did spells together. He occasionally shows up to cause some trouble, but he's no match for Giles."
"Anyone worried that we haven't actually stopped the rabbit ritual?" Daphne asked.
"Not really," Buffy said, smirking as she eyed the rabbit hutch, in front of which Anya, holding a giant axe, was standing guard. Although he's got to go to a new home after the date for the ritual has passed. Anya was right and I am not keeping a demon in the house, even if said demon is a rabbit. "Any more questions?"
Velma cleared her throat. "Just one," she said almost meekly. "May I use your phone?"
"Sure," Buffy said, puzzled. She gestured for Velma to follow her.
Velma stared at the phone Buffy had left her alone with before slowly lifting the receiver and punching Patrick's number.
"Hello?" His voice sounded tired.
"Hi Patrick," Velma said anxiously, twisting the coils of the phone cord together into a double helix.
"Velma," he paused awkwardly. "Hey."
Velma took a deep breath. "Why didn't you say anything about Sunnydale? Why didn't you come?" She asked slowly, her voice lilting at the end of her questions.
He was again silent for a moment. "How much do you know?"
Velma drew a sharp breath. "I know about the Vampires, the Slayer, and her friends. I know you went to high school here. I know you knew Willow."
"We dated." Velma pictured his accompanying stoic head nod with that statement, her fingers curling tighter about the phone. "I was part of their Scoobie gang, but I got careless, I got bit… by a werewolf."
"What? But you're not… you don't-"
"Transform? Not anymore. But I did. They locked me up every full moon so I couldn't hurt anyone. But the instincts were… uncontrollable. I met another Were when she was in heat, I cheated on Willow, I couldn't stop myself. I left to find a cure. Traveled around the world until I found it. I'm still a werewolf but I can control the instincts and stop myself from shifting. But by the time I came back…." Velma heard the faint whisper of cloth as he shrugged. "I moved out to Coolsville, started over." Again he paused. "Are you okay with this, with me being part demon?"
"I, I don't know," Velma said. "I mean, yes, I am, I just, why didn't you say anything?"
"I was afraid, if you knew…"
"I would only see your demon half? Patrick, no. You are not evil. I love you."
"…I love you too."
"Are we good?"
She could almost hear his smile. "We're great. Tell me about the trip so far?"
Xander slumped in his chair, snoring faintly. Anya wasn't sure why, but the sound was oddly comforting. She re-adjusted her grip on the axe, her eyes roaming the dark hall of the Summer's home. Behind her, though wire mesh, fiery eyes stared unblinkingly at the silver edge of Anya's blade as the slow second hand continued around the face of the clock.