Chapter 2 – God Save the Bloody Rayne, cause if I ever meet him...
She felt like she was drowning in dry land, the bed trying to engulf her in its softness. It wasn't the greatest bed she slept in her fairly long life, but it was far from being the worse. It was, however, one of the most relaxing sleeps she had in a long time. Jenny was almost going back to sleep when all of her thought processes – sleep-ridden until then – derailed messily, making her jump out of the bed as if she had been electrocuted. Not that it would have been a problem – the electrocution thing anyway – but being close to the edge of the mattress, and having been tangled on the sheets until that point, proved more than enough to make Newton once again be right. She hit the carpeted floor, and luckily her agility, affected by last night's spell, managed to keep her clear of damage of any sort, except maybe her pride.
Jenny stood up after disentangling herself from the sheets, and walked to the full length mirror attached to her room's wall. Well, as far as look went, she was still Jenny Calendar, or Jana Kalderash, of the gypsy clan of the same name, sent over to the Hellmouth to keep an eye on the vampire with a soul named Angel.
And then there was Sparks.
Leader of the Authority.
The Spirit of the Twentieth Century.
Nearly a hundred years old.
Didn't look a day over 20.
Smoke like a chimney – where were her fags anyway?
"Bloody fucking hell!"
And was British.
Her memories – both sets – knew enough about magic to know this was the effect of some bizarre spell. Her own memories, however, didn't know of a spell strong enough to keep the effects for so long. The memories should have faded already, and she still sensed Sparks' own power under her fingertips. Deciding on a small test, she snapped her fingers, not really paying attention to how much power she was using. The small electrical thunderbolt that erupted from her fingers jumped straight to the metallic lamppost to the side of her bed, the current traveling through the thin wire, to her apartment's distribution panel. A second later, she knew she would have to pay someone to redo her apartment's entire wiring. Luckily, both her desktop PC and her laptop were safe, she had the downright annoying habit of disconnecting them from the wall once she finished working.
She took a minute-long shower and got dressed into something comfortable, jeans, some tennis shoes, and the same Union Jack t-shirt she had rented for Halloween. She was out the door and into her car not ten minutes after she had awakened, with a destination in mind.
In another part of the town, a British man – this one's nationality gained by birth, not by a spell – was also awakening from sleep. He was acutely aware that something was different with him, and his memories did not include how he ended up in his own bed. Some sort of magic had been cast, turning people into their costumes, and while Ms. Calendar … Jenny … had given him his all-white three-pieces suit, he had the feeling she had no intention of turning him into…whoever he was last night. Even for a fictional character, his story…his memories, were too choppy, too disjointed to make any sense, and unless whoever had created him either had a very lousy writing ability, or his memories were indeed very fragmented.
He stood up and went to the small kitchen to make a pot of tea, and to try and figure out what the hell had happened. He had just poured his first cup when someone banged on his front door. Giles opened it to a flustered and angry-looking Jenny Calendar.
"Do you have any bloody idea of what the bloody hell happened last night?" she asked, entering the apartment as soon as he cleared the way.
"I don't know," he replied, finally noticing that his own accent seemed less pronounced, while Jenny's was downright noticeable. "It's not that hard to figure we've both been caught in this sp…mess, whatever it was," Giles said, correcting himself at the nick of time.
"If you were going to say 'spell', English, I know what you're talking about. I am…was…whatever, what you'd call a techno-pagan. I know a bit about the weird side of life," she said, patting herself for her pack. "You have a fag?" she asked nervously.
"I didn't know you smoke," he said, going for his bedroom and the only pack he still kept.
"Until the bloody last night I didn't," Jenny muttered. Giles brought back his nearly empty pack of cigarettes, and offered her one. When he patted himself for a lighter, Jenny smirked and lifted her hand, the tip of the cigarette resting in the space between thumb and forefinger. A small arc of electricity traveled between the two digits, lighting it up. Giles' eyes widened in surprise, while she took her first drag.
"So, what do you think happened?" he asked, sitting.
"Someone enchanted our costumes. Why, I have no bloody idea…"
"Well, let's start at the beginning then. Where did you purchase them?"
"New place in town, called Ethan's."
Giles cursed, the temperature in the room had a sudden drop towards near-freezing. The shock of the experience brought him out of his immediate rage, and the freezing cold dissipated as suddenly as it came about. "What the hell was that?" he asked, confused.
"Well, from what I remember from my new memories, you kept the powers of the man you dressed as, Elijah Snow," Jenny said. "So, you didn't keep the memories?" she asked, curiously.
"I have…fragments of a past history, but they're too convoluted to make any sense. Who was this…Snow?" Giles asked, while taking a sip of his tea, which he promptly spat. "Damn, it's gotten cold."
Jenny snickered. "Seems like you kept more than just the abilities, your accent seemed to have diminished."
"And your…character was British, I take it," Giles remarked.
"Yes, she was. Can we return to the bloody conversation?"
"Sure. I know exactly what happened, now. Ethan Rayne did," the Watcher said, rage reflected in his eyes.
"The shop's owner?"
"Yes, he's an old…friend," he said the last part with disgust. "From my teenage years, and while the stupid things I did made me rethink the rest of my life, his made him only want to do more. He's a Chaos worshipper, and something like that is exactly his flavor."
He stood up. "Now, why did you pick those clothes?"
"No mystery there. I thought the Union Jack t-shirt would make you smile, as it did before everything happened, and also thought that you would look very spiffy on a three-piece white suit, as you did. Besides, I've never even heard of the characters before," she pointed out.
"Who would have?" he asked, but in the same moment, he got his answer, and so did Jenny.
Before they could go any further, the front door literally blew up on them, and Jenny reacted accordingly to her newfound instincts, a blast of electricity blowing whoever it was on the other side.
"JENNY," Giles reacted, running to see who could have been. The young woman looked mortified for a second, before running right after him. The blast had been enough to incinerate a human, but they found a nearly naked Cordelia Chase, hanging on to burnt pieces of clothes.
"Cordelia?" Giles asked, seeing the tears running down her cheeks.
She ignored Giles for a moment and turned to Jenny. "Do that again, please?" she begged between sobs.
A few minutes later, Giles had managed to put the door - the remainders of it – back in place, it was enough to give them some privacy, but it would need to be replaced as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Ms. Calendar was attempting to calm down a frantic Cordelia. Giles had very little knowledge about the girl, but he knew enough to see that her current behavior was not her usual. A borrowed shirt of his, plus an old short was enough to give back her modesty, and it appeared that Jenny had made her stop crying, at least. He sat on a chair to a side, close to the girl currently curled up in his couch.
"Now, Ms. Chase, what happened?" he asked softly.
"You tell me. Aren't you the expert on weird?" she asked, enraged.
"You…might be right, Ms. Chase, but I need some information to be able to help. What happened?"
"I can't FEEL, Giles," she screamed.
"Feel? Feel what?" Jenny asked, curiously.
"ANYTHING! I CAN'T FEEL A DAMN THING!" she screamed, and went back to sobbing, hugging her knees. Giles and Jenny traded glances, and a spark of something lighted up in the man's eyes.
"Cordelia, last night. Who you dressed up as?" he
She stopped crying for a moment. "I don't know. Partytown had nothing to my taste, so I went to that place with a weird name, what is it?"
"Ethan's," Giles and Jenny said.
The stunning brunette lifted her head. "How do you know? Anyway, he also had nothing great, but I needed something to use, so I picked a one-piece black leather bodysuit and a mask. I remember walking out of my house for Halloween, and waking up this morning."
"This bodysuit, does it have red highlights?" he asked, fearing the answer.
"Yes, why?" Cordelia replied, while Jenny looked to him.
Giles sighed. "Jakita."
"It's jacket," Cordelia replied automatically.
"No, you dressed up as an ally of my…character. A woman named Jakita Wagner," he said.
"I…remember this name. How? Who is she?"
"I don't know exactly. My memories of my characters are…choppy at best. I remember some of her more, er, striking characteristics, that's why I figured out who you are…were…is," Giles explained somewhat.
"So? Why can't I feel a damn thing? Except for Ms. Calendar thunderbolt – and what the hell was that anyway – I don't feel anything else. Even that seemed like a tickle. If I wasn't seeing my clothes now, I could be naked and wouldn't know," the young woman said.
"Jakita is powerful, as for how much, I don't know. For a fact, I know that she has superhuman strength and speed, and she's nearly invulnerable. Although she never mentioned anything about lack of feeling, she did mention that she was often 'bored'. That could be why."
"What can you do?" Cordelia asked.
"We were starting to talk about it, Ms. Chase. If you can stay and help shed whatever information you might have on the subject, maybe we can find a solution."
"With Chaos, Ms. Chase, everything is about 'maybes'," Giles said, and Cordelia's hope was shattered a bit more.