"My legs are falling asleep," Gina complained as she sat on the curb, hidden by an old sedan. Lisa and Oz glanced at her, each nodding their sympathy as they shifted on their own uncomfortably concrete seats.

"Do you think we can go back now? It's been almost ten minutes," Gina said.

"Yeah, I suppose so," Oz said. "I don't think Giles could handle a conversation for more than ten minutes." He stood up and brushed his pants off and looked around to where Giles and Laura were standing. He quickly sat back down again. Gina and Lisa looked at him curiously.

"Well? Are they done talking?"

"Um. Yes," Oz said, considering his words. Lisa glanced at him quizzically.

"So we can…go, then," she said. Oz looked at her and quickly shook his head.

"No, that would definitely not be a good idea." He stared at Lisa, willing her to understand. "They are…busy right now." Finally, comprehension dawned.

"Ohhhh. Good lord."

"Yeah."

Gina looked from Lisa to Oz, confusion written on her face. "What the heck is going on?" she complained. "Somebody explain!" Lisa turned to Gina and cocked her head slightly.

"Giles and Laura are kissing, Gina," she said after a beat.

"Oh," Gina said. She wrinkled her nose. "Ew. Can he still do that?"

"Apparently," Oz said, rubbing his eyes. "And in several different languages, no less." Oz made a disgusted little face. "Disturbing."

***

They broke apart after a moment, suddenly uncertain and shy. Giles glanced at the girl he still held in his arms and sighed.

"I think perhaps I just made things a lot more difficult for us," he reflected after a pause. "Terribly sorry about that."

Laura looked up at him, question in her eyes. "Do you think it was the right thing to do?"

Giles pondered for a moment. "Yes. I'm rather sure it was, actually."

She smiled. "So you wanted to do it."

"Silly question," Giles smiled tentatively. "If I didn't want to do it, I wouldn't have done it. Think logically, dear."

"Beginning to," Laura said, a small secret smile on her face as she straightened his coat collar. "I think you just made things easier for us." Giles looked at her quizzically.

"How so?" he asked, intrigued. Laura didn't reply, just smiled. She suddenly grabbed his coat collar and roughly pulled him close to her, still smiling.

"Trust me," she said. And she kissed him again.

The green light that suddenly burst like a laser between their two bodies went unnoticed by Lisa, Gina and Oz, twenty feet away. Giles didn't notice the green glow surrounding him and his red-haired companion, nor did he notice the fact that his feet had left the ground entirely and that they were hovering two feet in the air. All the Watcher knew was the slight chill of her skin and the faint smell of her watermelon shampoo and how beautifully her hair sifted through his fingers. And he felt the uncertainty and pain of losing her suddenly melt away, replaced by a euphoric and calm unwavering purpose.

He pulled away from her slightly and the green glow vanished. Giles, his feet firmly grounded, smiled happily down at Laura, his hand tracing her cheek gently as his eyes remained faraway. "I think I've found a solution to our problem," he said to her simply. Laura gave him a calm and assured smile.

"Really?" she asked, leaning on his shoulder lightly.

"Oh, indeed," Giles replied, still smiling somewhat vacantly. "It only takes me fifteen minutes to pack, you know."

Laura nodded and took his hand, intertwining their fingers. "I'm glad to see you're finally thinking logically, Giles." She looked up at him and smiled. "We should go."

"Certainly, dear. Would you mind calling me 'Rupert' from now on, though?" he asked as they began to walk over to the others. "I think we've effectually destroyed the formality of our relationship."

Laura grinned. "All right. Though I warn you now, I may end up giving you another nickname. You don't have any childhood ones I could tease you with, do you?"

Giles glanced at her quickly. "We'll save that topic for later discussion," he said quickly. Laura laughed lightly and squeezed his hand. "Come on," he said, walking briskly, keeping his hold on her hand. One step behind him, Laura smiled triumphantly as she muffled a gleeful giggle.

And Giles's eyes shone green in the moonlight.

***

Buffy stalked down the street, stake in hand. Willow, Xander and Angel followed closely behind, giving each other worried glances every now and then.

"So…what's the plan, Buff?" Xander asked, making sure he was well out of staking range.

"Find those bitches, maim them, and then kill them," Buffy said levelly, still maintaining her drill sergeant gait. "And get Oz and Giles back," she added after a pause.

"I like that part," Willow piped up. Xander and Angel glanced at her. "What? Hi, he's my boyfriend! I should be allowed to show some partiality here," she said defensively. Xander and Angel exchanged a glance.

"Good plan," Xander said after a moment. "I especially like the maiming. You're good with the maiming, aren't you, Buff?" he asked.

"She should be. She's had a lot of practice," Angel said, walking beside her. Buffy glanced at him quickly. "You shouldn't let your emotions get the better of you, Buffy. These girls aren't to be messed with."

"Don't plan on messing with them. Just plan on killing them," Buffy said.

"I know, but…they have powers, Buffy. And they're kinda immortal," Angel said quietly. Behind him, Willow and Xander quickened their pace slightly to eavesdrop. "I don't want you to go and get your head blown off because someone bruised your ego," he said.

Buffy glared at him. "I think I can handle myself, thanks," she said icily. "And how do you know so much about these girls, anyway?"

Angel coughed. "We've met before," he said.

Xander jumped in between the two "Wait! I know that 'We've met before' line. That's the line you use on your…ohhh. Dude!" he said, raising his hand in an attempt to gain a high-five from Angel. He only succeeded in gaining glares from both Angel and Buffy. "…Yeah. And I'm going to…slink away now and pretend I never said anything. As usual," Xander said. He punched Angel lightly on the shoulder and walked back over to Willow. An icy chill descended over the couple.

"So," Buffy began. "Get around with the immortal whores, do ya?" She glared at him. Angel rolled his eyes and sighed.

"It wasn't me, it was Angelus," he began, "and Lisa's not a whore."

"Oh, yes, let's defend the whore to the girlfriend. Always a good plan," Buffy said icily.

"Let it go. She left me for a musician anyway," Angel said. He frowned a bit at the memory. "Stupid Franz, taking all the girls--should have bitten him when I had the chance," he mumbled. Buffy shot him a look. Angel fell silent. Buffy sighed.

"So how do I get Giles and Oz back from these girls?" she asked humorlessly. She turned to Angel and stopped walking. "Come on, you're the expert."

"Well…"

***

Lisa, Gina and Oz all stood as they heard footsteps approaching.

"So what's the plan, Giles?" Oz asked as soon as the other two joined them, trying to avoid eye contact with the older man.

"I'm going with them," Giles said simply. Lisa and Gina grinned and winked at Laura, who winked back from her post behind Giles. Oz looked at him in shock.

"Y-you are?" he asked uncertainly. He walked over to the Watcher and bent his head conspiratorially toward him. "Do you think that's such a good idea, Giles? I mean, leaving Buffy? She's going to take this pretty hard. And we've still got that thing with the mayor to deal with and--"

"Buffy doesn't need me anymore," Giles said mechanically. "I am not her Watcher and do not have any ties to Sunnydale and am not appreciated and crave mature conversation with mature adults," he continued, much in the manner of a Stepford wife. Oz took a step back from the older man and stared at him in alarm.

"Giles? You okay?" he asked uncertainly. Giles smiled beatifically down at the younger man and nodded. It was then that Oz noticed the green tinge to the Watcher's eyes.

"Giles? You wearing contacts?" Oz asked, puzzled. He squinted at the light green blaze within the Watcher's gaze. Suddenly his eyes widened. "Oh. Oh God."

"What's the matter, Oz?" Lisa asked, suddenly right behind him. Oz turned around to face her.

"You…you?" he stumbled over his words, retreating slowly to the hotel entrance, his eyes fearful. Lisa smiled slightly as she continued walking toward him.

"Me?" she laughed lightly. "What on earth did I do?"

Oz glared at her. "You stay away from me. And Willow."

"Mm, too late," Lisa grinned, still advancing on him. "We didn't hurt her. Much. She's holding you back, Oz. She's not letting you realize your full potential," she said, her expression growing more serious. "She wants you to stay here and be her little pet." Lisa suddenly appeared immediately in front of Oz, who stumbled. She reached out and grabbed his collar, holding him by it as she continued. "We can make you famous, Oz. Famous and rich and loved. Don't you want that?" she asked softly. Oz stared at her, speechless. Lisa smiled. "Sure you do. Now, sit tight--this won't hurt at all." Oz recoiled and cried out, shouting a warning to the Willow he loved before everything exploded in a haze of green and warmth and light.

***

"..a punk rocker, Shee-eena is…a punk rocker…hmm-mm-mm a punk rocker no-o-o-o-ow," a slightly flat voice sang along to the radio in the old car. Ten fingers with sloppily-painted black nail polish drummed forcefully on the steering wheel along with the bass. The driver groaned as the song ended and another came on, a weepy version of "All By Myself."

"Bloody chick songs," the same voice drawled, in a bored posh accent. The driver reached over to the passenger's seat and flipped open a box, revealing half a dozen slightly-mangled doughnuts. He grabbed one and shoved it into his mouth whole. A cloud of powdered sugar snowed down upon his black leather duster and the man grinned into the rearview mirror, revealing a row of purpled teeth.

"I do love raspberries," he said to himself, accelerating the car slightly as the music crescendoed. He remained silent for a moment; the car filled up with the sentimental chords and began spilling them out of the open windows. As the car drove off toward L.A., one could barely hear a sniff come from the driver's side and a slightly-warbling voice begin to sing along with the music.

"…Don't wanna be…all by myyyy-self…anymoooooore…"

***

Oz and Lisa sat in the front seat of the old convertible, their fingertips lightly touching as Lisa drove madly for L.A. Behind them, Giles and Laura continued their experiment to see just how little space they could put between themselves while still retaining separate bodies. Gina stared at them all disgustedly and returned to gazing at the swiftly-passing landscape. Laura hummed almost inaudibly as she ran her fingers along the arm-seam of Giles's shirt.

The car shook slightly. And then it lurched forward. Lisa cursed as she took her foot off the accelerator.

"What's the matter? Did we run someone over?" Laura asked absentmindedly.

"No," Oz said from the front, peering over the hood of the car to see what was happening.

"Pity," Gina drawled. "Been hours since something amusing happened."

"I'll have to disagree with you there," Giles told her, smiling at Laura. Gina rolled her eyes.

"Could you two maybe stop campaigning for Sickening Romantic Couple of the Year?" she asked petulantly. Laura narrowed her eyes at Gina. "It's disgusting, Laura. Quit it."

"Terribly sorry, really. Your disgust couldn't perhaps be attributed to the fact that the only action you saw all weekend was a door slamming in your face, could it?"

"Oh, now that was just hurtful." Gina slumped into her seat.

"Perhaps you two would like to shut the hell up so I can figure out what's wrong with the car," Lisa suddenly snapped from the driver's seat. Gina and Laura looked up to see faint emissions of smoke coming from underneath the hood of the car.

"Well. That's not normal car behavior, is it?" Giles asked. Everyone glared at him. "I'm a librarian," he said defensively. "I deal in books. Not cars."

"Amazing that you never picked up a book about cars," Lisa grumbled.

"Cars aren't Giles's thing, Lisa," Laura said calmly.

"Oh, certainly. Any knowledge that would ever be useful isn't part of his repertoire," Lisa snapped, glancing worriedly at the front of the car.

"I beg your pardon!" Giles exclaimed mildly from the backseat.

"You should," Lisa muttered. "Damn it!" she shouted as the car lurched in the street. "Hold on, I'm pulling over," she announced, both hands clamped firmly on the steering wheel. The maligned car wobbled to a stop just twenty feet from the "Leaving Sunnydale" sign. Lisa and Oz both jumped out of the car and raced to the front of the car. Oz propped open the hood and coughed as a giant smoke-cloud hit him in the face.

"Wow," he spluttered. "Well, hate to tell you guys this, but we're not going anywhere for a while."

"Why?" the three girls shouted. "No, we have to get out of Sunnydale! Can't you just, like give it some gas or something?" Laura asked Oz. He gave her a sidelong glance and decided not to respond.

"There's no oil. None," he said incredulously. "Did you guys get behind on your Jiffy Lube appointments?" he asked the girls. Lisa took a look at the car's innards in disbelief.

"No. I checked the oil every two weeks. Didn't miss it once. What the hell?" she cried, banging the side of the car. Oz frowned at the car and then squinted at the complicated mess of tubes and wires.

"Wait. There's something…" He peered into a small crevice. "Well, that explains it. Something poked a hole in there. See?" he pointed to the small hole as Lisa squinted beside him.

"Oh," she said. She straightened up and bit her lip, concentrating hard. Oz took another look at the small puncture wound the car was suffering from.

"I can't figure out what could get to it from there, though," Oz said, wiping his hands on his pants.

"Not what," Lisa said after a moment's silence. "Who." She scowled and walked over to Gina and Laura. She grabbed them both by an arm and dragged them over near the sign, leaving Oz and Giles to look at the smoking car in wonder. "He did it," she said, her voice low.

"Who?"

"Xander. I told you he'd stay loyal to them! Damn it, why does nobody listen to me? He's killed our car and we're stuck out here with two completely useless males and how the hell are we going to get out now?" Lisa fumed, kicking the "Leaving Sunnydale" sign. Laura bit her thumbnail and scowled.

"Not good. I swear if I ever see that idiot I'll tear his eyebrows off," Laura said angrily..

"Maybe if you'd have flirted with him more instead of being Frigid Ice Bitch we wouldn't be in this situation," Gina said nastily, hiding behind Laura. Lisa glared at both of them.

"Maybe if you'd have settled for Disneyland instead of the Hellmouth for a minibreak we wouldn't be in this situation," Lisa countered.

"Maybe if you two would shut up we could figure a way out of this situation," Laura said. "We could always…you know," Laura said, pointing to her shoulders.

"Ugh. Let's make that Plan B."

"Yeah, do you know how heavy they'd be?"

"All right, all right."

***

"So where exactly are we headed?" Willow asked.

"Outskirts of town. I saw the girls at their little 'show' and then they booked it shortly after," Angel said abruptly. "Good thing Xander managed some sabotage or else we might not have never known where Giles and Oz went."

"Oz!" Willow said unhappily, pulling on Buffy's sleeve.

"You saw the show?" Xander asked Angel.

"Yeah."

"Oh," Xander said. "…What were they wearing?"

"Xander!" Buffy and Willow yelled in unison. Xander raised his hands defensively.

"What? It's so we can identify them, guys."

"No need for that," Angel said suddenly as they walked down the street.

"Why?"

Angel pointed ahead of them, and the others turned their heads to see, off in the distance, a familiar car on the side of the road with figures standing around it.

***

"Should we call a tow truck or a cab or something?" Oz asked as the girls rejoined him and Giles.

"Not enough time for that. We need to leave now," Lisa said. "Is there any way we can patch this up until we get to L.A.?"

"I don't think so. This isn't the stick-a-piece-of-gum-in-it sort of damage," Oz said.

"I remember reading something about…um…trans-missives in a magazine once," Giles said helpfully. Laura rested a hand on his arm lightly and he stopped.

"I have a van. We could go back into town and get it," Oz told them. The girls pondered the idea, but Laura shook her head.

"No, I think we should just call a cab. We have enough money to get to L.A. in one, and we can have someone from the agency come and get our stuff," she said contemplatively. The others nodded in agreement. "Does anyone have a cell phone?" she asked.

"You can borrow mine," an unpleasantly familiar voice came from about twenty feet in the distance. The three girls and their two male companions turned to see Buffy and her gang advancing on them swiftly. Buffy smiled nastily at Laura as she walked up to her. "But there's a three-minute no-Watcher local-calls-only limit," she finished. The two girls glared at each other for a moment until Buffy suddenly punched Laura in the face.

Laura smiled, unhurt and unfazed. "Ooh. That was fun. Do it again," she said calmly. Then she punched back.

Buffy flew back into Xander, who promptly fell to the ground. She struggled to her feet. "…Ow!" she said, put out. "You hurt me, you stupid…really really old slut!" She kicked Laura hard in the shins; Laura fell onto one knee. She glared at the Slayer. Giles stepped forward as Laura fell to the ground, but Lisa stayed him and walked over to help her comrade

"God, you mortal girls get stupider every generation," Lisa said as she helped Laura up. Buffy turned to face her, the look of loathing on her face deepening.

"Are you Lisa?"

"Yes. And?"

"You know Angel."

Lisa smirked. "In a sense, yes."

Buffy snarled and hurled herself at the girl, clawing and kicking and punching. Lisa fended her off rather well, and Gina suddenly jumped into the battle as she grabbed the Slayer by the hair and held her unmoving for a moment. Angel suddenly appeared and threw Gina into the middle of the road and away from Buffy, and Xander suddenly ran over to Laura, threw her on the ground, and attempted to pin her arms.

"Et tu Brute?" she asked, smiling as she and Xander struggled for the upper hand.

"Yeah. That's me," Xander smirked. "Nice outfit," he said, just as Giles whacked him in the head with a tree branch. The older man reached down and helped her up.

"Thanks, man. Could have taken him by myself, though," Laura said as she dusted herself off.

"Oh, certainly. I'll just sit over here by the car, shall I?" Giles asked. Laura nodded.

"I think that would be wise," she said as she launched herself onto a scarily vamped-out Angel attempting to break Lisa's legs.

Giles nodded and sat on the car's hood. He looked up at the sky. "Oh, look. There's Orion…"

The battle raged for several minutes, until everyone was on the ground, panting or unconscious. Everyone, that is, except for Willow and Oz, who had somehow managed to remain out of the fight. Willow peered curiously at Oz, who gave her a curious glance and then went back to staring impassively at the scene before him.

"Oz?" she asked tentatively. Oz looked at her in surprise.

"Yeah?"

Willow smiled, relief on her face. "Oh, good. You know me." Oz snorted.

"Of course I know you. You're Willow and we used to go out until you tried to hinder my journey to fame and fortune and I broke up with you," Oz said robotically, his arms crossed as he watched the others struggle to their feet with interest.

Willow's face fell. "You…you think that? But I thought we had worked all this out and--"

"Well, yeah. I mean, you wanted me to always stay in Sunnydale and be your little lapdog," Oz interrupted, shrugging. Willow approached him slowly. Oz didn't move, just continued to gaze at her indifferently. Willow reached out to grab his arm, but when her fingertips touched his skin, green sparks suddenly shocked them.

"Ow!" they both exclaimed in unison. They looked at each other. Oz laughed. "That was weird," he said; and then he began to survey the others again. Willow looked as if she might cry.

"Oz?" she asked again, her voice quavering. Oz looked up at her again, this time frustrated. Willow squinted and raised an eyebrow, leaning in close to look at Oz's eyes. He backed away in nervous alarm.

"What…what are you doing?" he asked, walking away from her. Willow's eyes suddenly widened in understanding.

"Oz, you're under a spell. They brainwashed you," she said, pointing to Laura, Gina and Lisa. Oz looked at them, and then back at Willow. He laughed again.

"They're my friends," he told Willow, looking at her as if she were crazy. "You tried to brainwash me." Willow shook her head, frowning.

"No, Oz, they're not your friends. They're…evil girls and they dress all skanky and--"

"Hey!" Lisa, Gina and Laura shouted at the same time. They shot Willow a look. Willow didn't seem to notice, nor did she notice that everyone had stopped fighting and was forming a small circle around her and Oz.

"Oz, give me your hand," Willow said, holding hers out. Oz looked at her hand and then back at her.

"Are you crazy? We'll get shocked again."

"No we won't. I know how to make the spell stop. Oz, you have to believe me," Willow said, frustrated. "You've only known them, like, a day. You've known me for more than a year. Trust me, Oz," she pleaded. Oz looked at her quizzically, and then looked over her shoulder to the three girls. They all shook their heads slowly. Lisa walked up to him, standing beside him. Oz glanced at her, as if for support in trying to make the delusional Willow understand.

"You and Willow were a couple. And then she cheated on you. Remember the pain?" Lisa asked quietly. Willow looked at her, her eyes filled with tears and hatred. "We've never hurt you like that, Oz," Lisa continued.

"No! No, Oz, it wasn't like that, we worked it out! You have to trust me, Oz, you have to remember. Give me your hand," she pleaded.

"Come on, Oz. Let's go," Lisa said, holding her hand out. "Let's get out of here." Oz glanced at Lisa for a moment, and then at Willow. He stood silent for a moment, and then glanced back at Lisa and nodded.

"All right. Let's go."

Willow emitted a small wail of frustration and pain. "No! No, Oz, you can't leave, it's not real, it's the spell! You know me!" Lisa began to walk away and Oz began to turn away from her, still looking at Willow quizzically. "Oz, I love you," she said softly, crying silently. Oz stared at her for a moment, intense concentration on his face.

"You love me," Oz said, nodding. "Yeah. You love me. Willow," he said, turning to face her. "Willow loves me. I know that." Lisa turned around ten feet away, her eyes growing wide as Oz reached for Willow's hand.

"Oz? What are you doing?" she asked, walking over again. "Come on, let's--"

She was cut off as Oz suddenly grabbed Willow's hand. A burst of light illuminated the street and its passengers, turning Willow and Oz almost transparent with its brilliance. Lisa's eyes widened even more and she grabbed Oz's other hand, trying to combat whatever spell Willow was attempting. The white light was suddenly tinged green.

Laura, Gina, Xander, Angel and Giles all looked on in astonishment as the light became greener and then whiter with the force of the two girls' powers. Laura began to run over to break the spell, but Angel caught her, holding her still as they watched Willow and Lisa battle. Xander got the hint and slammed a dumbfounded Gina to the ground enthusiastically.

"Giles! Giles, help them!" Laura suddenly shouted as she attempted to break free from Angel's grasp. Giles, shaken out of his amazement, nodded and jogged purposefully over to the three illuminated figures. Buffy stirred and jumped to her feet, ready to make a run for Giles before he destroyed the spell. Angel caught her as well, holding her by the waist as she kicked and struggled.

"Ssh, Buffy. Willow knows what she's doing," he said quietly. Buffy stopped struggling.

Giles approached Willow cautiously, hovering just out of the light. He finally got up the courage to tap her on the shoulder. "Um, hello? Could you--" Willow suddenly grabbed Giles's wrist with an inhuman strength. Giles gaped at her for a moment and attempted to release her hold. "Um, if you could possibly…Quite a firm grip you have there…" Giles stammered as he attempted to release himself. His eyes widened as he watched the white light creep over him. "Uh…you seem to be…contagious, if we could just let me go…oh dear…"

Willow began to speak softly, forcefully, as the light became more and more intense. The remaining few not involved saw Lisa's usually-confident expression turn to one of vague fear as the light gradually lost its green tinge. Angel, Xander, Gina, Laura and Buffy looked on in amazement, squinting their eyes as the light became brighter and brighter.

Laura whimpered. Gina, her eyes wide in astonishment, said very quietly "Oh. My. God."

And then everything exploded.

They were all thrown back ten feet by the impact. As soon as Laura and Gina managed to get to their feet and away from the others, they ran over to Lisa, Xander, Willow and Giles, who all lay crumpled on the pavement. Gina shook Lisa vehemently, muttering curses as she tried to figure out what to do. Laura ran to Giles and hovered over him, placing a finger on his wrist to see what the extent of the damage was. Giles's eyes suddenly flew open.

"Oh," he said, surprised. He sat up and looked around. "What am I doing on the ground? Hello, Laura," he said absentmindedly. "When did Buffy and the rest get here?"

Laura stared at him blankly. "Rupert?"

Giles looked at her, slightly astonished. "When did you find out my first name?" he asked her. Laura sighed and bowed her head. "Did I miss something?" he wondered, frustrated, his voice echoing clearly.

"She had you under a spell, Giles," Buffy said, raising to her feet. She stood and faced them, her face resolute. "She's not human. She and her friends were going to take you to L.A. with them." Giles gazed at Buffy in amazement and chuckled.

"Now really, Buffy, that's enough."

"It's true, Giles," Angel said, standing beside Buffy. "They enchanted you. They're sirens," he explained determinedly. "It's what they do." Giles shook his head slightly and glanced at Laura, who avoided his gaze.

"Ridiculous," Giles said. "Sirens are mythological creatures. They'd have to be centuries… millennia old."

"They are. I met Lisa in 1809," Angel said, glaring at her. He was interrupted as Oz suddenly sat up.

"Willow?" he asked incredulously. "When did you get here?" he asked the girl next to him, helping her up gently. Willow looked at him in amazement and then threw her arms around his neck and burst into tears.

"I knew you'd remember, I just knew…" she sobbed. Oz glanced at the others in confusion, before awkwardly patting her on the back. Lisa and Gina huddled together away from the others. Laura retained her post by Giles. Giles looked on at the events, confusion written on his face. He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.

"This is all very puzzling," he said suddenly. "Would you mind summarizing, please?"

"Laura, Lisa and Gina are immortal man-eaters who had both you and Oz under their spell and they were about to take you to L.A. and make you their love slaves until we, um…rescued…you…" Xander said, contemplating the facts. "And this is a good thing, right?" he asked Buffy.

"Shut up, Xander," she said quickly. He glared at her.

"Again with the 'shut ups'," he replied sarcastically.

Giles looked at him quizzically. "That's absolutely ludicrous. They're just harmless witches, they'd never put a spell on me," he said, turning to face Laura. "Would you, dear?" Laura bit her lip and dug one Mary Jane into the gravel. Giles raised his eyebrows. "You…didn't, did you? You wouldn't put a spell on me?"

Laura looked around nervously. "It was the only way you'd come," she said softly. Giles stared at her, astonishment and dismay beginning to show themselves on his face.

"So…you did put a spell on me? All this is true?" he asked her, grabbing her arms and making her face him.

"Oh, and they killed those college students," Buffy said impartially.

Giles stared at her, and then at Laura. "You…kill people?"

"We didn't mean to," Laura said dejectedly.

Angel's eyes narrowed. "Like hell you didn't. Giles, these three have been responsible for more deaths than me, Darla, Drusilla and Spike put together. They enthrall and abandon humans, leaving them with nothing if they leave anything of them to start with."

Giles sat back down on the ground. Laura remained standing, tears shining in her eyes. "It wasn't like that with you," she said. "I just wanted you to come with me."

"Who are you going to believe, Giles?" Buffy asked the older man quietly.

Giles shook his head and remained still for a moment, processing the information, wrestling with the new influx of inner turmoil. The only sound was a sniff from Laura. He raised his head suddenly and glared at Laura. "You wanted me to come only so you could have fun toying with a stodgy old man's emotions, correct?" he snapped, rising to his feet and walking away from her.

Laura looked as if she had been slapped. "No! No, it's not like that. Rupert, I love you, I--"

"Giles," he said, scowling at her. "My name is Giles. And don't pretend anymore; it's not fun for you now that I know the truth. You lied to me. And put spells on me. And killed innocent people. Forgive me if I don't quite believe you when you say you're reformed."

"But Rupert--" she said, walking after him. Giles suddenly whirled around and caught her arm. Laura emitted a small cry of pain.

"My. Name. Is. Giles," he said, throwing her to the ground and beginning to walk back toward town. "Don't bother remembering it."

Laura half-sat, half-sprawled there on the road for a moment, watching him walk away. A silent moment passed. She suddenly hammered the ground with her fist. "Damn it!" she cried, wiping the tears running down her face with her coat sleeve. "Damn it damn it damn it!" she cried again, vehemently, stomping her feet on the pavement.

"I'll say," Buffy said, walking toward the fallen redhead. "Sucks to be you," she grinned as she kicked Laura forcefully in the ribs.

Lisa and Gina rushed over to the group, only to be intercepted by Xander and Angel as the fight began anew.

"You tried to seduce and destroy my Watcher. Not good," Buffy said, kicking Laura again. "And then you hit me on the head. Really not helping your cause. And then you tied me up," she said, assuming her fighting stance as Laura dragged herself to her feet. Buffy whirled around to punch an advancing Lisa just as she was about to strike. "And you slept with my boyfriend," she told Lisa's prone figure. She turned back to Laura. "Yeah, I'd say you're all toast."

Laura didn't respond, just glared at the Slayer behind a ragged curtain of unkempt red curls. She suddenly attacked the blonde, throwing her to the ground and punching her repeatedly.

"I…loved…him," she sobbed, punctuating every word with another jab. Buffy threw her off and jumped to her feet.

"No you didn't. You don't know what it is to love. You were just mildly entertained by him," Buffy said. Laura paused and considered.

"Yeah, you're probably right," she said as she dealt Buffy a swift kick to the knee.

The fight raged on. Angel was being double-teamed as Gina maintained a death grip on his neck and Lisa punched everywhere she possibly could. Xander suddenly appeared with the same tree branch Giles had used on him before and catapulted Gina off Angel's back and into the brush on the other side of the road. Xander ran after her, leaving Angel with Lisa and a new surge of adrenalin.

"You look all dangerous when you're fangy like that," Lisa told Angel as she had him in a headlock. A moment later, after Angel had successfully flipped her over onto the pavement, he responded. "I'm sure it's quite a turn-on."

"Oh, indeed."

Giles was fifty feet away and counting, ignoring the shouts and cries behind him.

Xander, Angel and Buffy continued fighting. Willow and Oz stood away from the fighting, trying to recoup from the energy sapped by Willow's spell. Gina had emerged from the brush with another tree branch and so for a few minutes she and Xander engaged in a farcical fencing match. The three sirens were slowly being maneuvered into a trap against their car. Laura, Lisa and Gina all exchanged glances as they realized they were stuck. Buffy, smiling, approached them, stake in hand.

"Check," she said, twirling the stake in her fingers. "You know, for girls who have been alive since fashion began, none of it has seemed to rub off on you," she smirked, confidently assuming a battle stance.

Laura, Lisa and Gina shot daggers at her. Gina was the one who spoke.

"You've taken our men, you've broken up our band, you've destroyed our car, you've completely messed up my hair, you've tried to kill us, and now you're mocking our fashion sense?" she shouted, standing tall and dangerous. "A girl has a breaking point! We've put up with a lot from you," she shouted, her voice crescendoing with every syllable, "but questioning our ability to dress is the last straw!" she screamed, her face paling with fury. Buffy, Xander and Angel all backed away slightly as the three girls began to glow, each of them screaming until suddenly wings burst from their shoulderblades. They all gasped as they watched the facial features of the girls, once so pleasing, elongate slightly until they looked like birds. Suddenly the glow vanished, and the three girls opened their large eyes, fixing them on the others.

"Now those were some freeky-deeky special effects right there," Xander said, gawking at the three "chicks."

Laura, Lisa and Gina ruffled their wings slightly, watching as the moonlight absorbed and reflected into them. Suddenly Gina rose from the ground, hovering ten feet above the others. Lisa followed suit, moving slowly through the air, testing them as one would water in a swimming pool. Laura remained on the ground, still maintaining eye contact with the three. She walked up to Buffy, standing nose to nose with her.

"I don't like you," she said calmly, her voice an ethereal echo, stirring every blade of grass around them. "You are meddlesome and immature," she then turned to Angel, "and you are moody and depressing," she turned to Xander and frowned, "you are far too hormonal," and then she turned to Willow, "and you are far more devious than you pretend." Laura allowed a small smile of approval to cross her face as she raised a complimentary eyebrow at the other redhead. Willow stared at her incredulously. Laura then turned back to Buffy. "We will not kill you," she said condescendingly. Angel's shoulders sagged with relief. Buffy, however, remained unfazed. Laura smiled, a predatory crocodile grin. "But that's only because you'll die. And soon."

She walked through their group, passing Willow, Xander and Buffy without touching them but turning to Angel and whispering something in his ear. Angel's eyes grew wide in fear. When Laura was ten feet away, she suddenly beat her wings and hovered twenty feet in the air above them, creating lazy figure eights in the night sky.

"What did she say to you, Angel?" Buffy asked, tugging on the man's shirt. Angel glanced at her, shaking his head slightly.

"Nothing important, Buffy. Don't worry about it." Angel said calmly, ignoring the three faintly-glowing figures hovering around them. He concealed the fear in his still heart well as he heard Laura's short prophecy replay over and over inside his head.

You'll be the one to kill her…

For a moment, the three friends stood silently in the deserted road.

"She said we wouldn't kill you," a chipper voice came from not far behind them. They turned around quickly to see a happily-smiling Gina advancing on Buffy. "Didn't say anything about messing you up a bit, did she?" she grinned, tearing a branch off a nearby tree. She suddenly flew toward the Slayer, brandishing her new weapon.

Buffy rolled her eyes and threw her stake at the advancing siren. Gina, already in full take-off mode, did a spectacular backwards roll through the air as the stake hit her full force. She fell into the bushes on the side of the road. Twenty feet above them, Laura and Lisa watched the spectacle with detached interest.

"Good shot, Slayer," Lisa called down to Buffy.

"Come on down and let's see if I can recreate it for you," Buffy said, brandishing another stake. Lisa chuckled and shook her head. Gina dragged herself to her feet, her right wing bloodied and mangled. She reached up to touch it and began crying noisily.

"Ha, pay up," Laura said to Lisa twenty feet above. "Told you she couldn't last a fight without crying."

"Damn," Lisa muttered, handing Laura a few bills.

"Oh, man!" Gina shrieked as she tried to move her injured wing. "Owowowowww! Shit! That hurt, you stupid bitch!" She sunk into a sitting position on the pavement, still crying loudly. Buffy, Angel and Xander all began to walk toward the fallen girl. Willow and Oz began to walk toward town.

"I knew you'd remember," Willow told him as they walked away.

"Yeah. Seriously, Will, you think I'd just forget you?" Oz laughed. "Even under a spell? Give me some credit." Willow smiled and hugged him.

"I love you, Oz."

Oh, how sweet. It makes me want to heave. Oz stopped for a moment as he heard Lisa's voice inside his head. He frowned and shook his head. Willow looked at him concernedly.

"Oz? You okay?" The voice mimicked her. Oz? You okay? Are you sure? Because you haven't told me I'm pretty or said that you loved me in the past ten seconds and…

Oz scowled. Get out of my head, Lisa.

Oh, but it's such fun.

Leave me alone. Your spell didn't work.

I'd say it did.

I'm still with Willow, aren't I?

Mhmm. She's still cheating on you, you know.

Oz stared at Willow in shock. Willow, fear in her eyes, asked again, "You okay?"

How do you know?

A girl knows these things. She doesn't deserve you. She won't be yours forever.

Liar. I don't believe you.

Suit yourself. Just trying to help a friend.

Oz waited for another remark. After a few minutes' silence, he turned to Willow and smiled faintly. "I'm fine," he told her. "Let's go home." Willow smiled and grabbed his hand and together they began walking.

Yards away, Gina sprawled on the side of the road, in the beginning stages of a tantrum. "Damn it all, I just wanted to come and have some fun at the Hellmouth. 'The premier spot for immortals and demons this side of Prague' my ass, I should have killed that travel agent when I had the chance," she said, breaking the hefty branch into pieces and throwing them into the road. "And now I've lost my drumsticks, had a door slammed in my face, been maimed by a decidedly unintelligent mortal, and I've been the fifth wheel for an entire weekend!" she wailed, wiping her eyes with her sleeve. She looked up at the three surrounding her. "Do you know how humiliating that is? Do you? I mean…Laura had Giles, which, yeah, questionable taste," Gina was cut off as Laura threw a shoe at her from her vantage point above, "but still, it's somebody. And Oz was all over Lisa just because she can play a damn guitar and who did that leave Gina with? Nobody! I was even," she began, bursting into a fresh wave of tears, "I was even shot down by William, who god knows needs some action with that half-cracked little vamp of his shagging every demon in L.A., I was shot down by a stupid bad-poetry-writing do-it-yourself-dye-job Billy Idol wannabe that's not even two centuries old—"

Gina's tirade was cut short as an old black car whizzed past them, blaring its horn as it passed in a wave of cigarette smoke and Diana Ross. Gina sat at attention, staring at the car before she suddenly screamed "SPIKE!"

She got quickly to her feet, shoved through the group around her and began to run after the car, shrieking at the top of her lungs, "Spike! Spike, wait! It's Gina! Pleeeeeeeease!" She waited a moment, and sensing the car wouldn't stop, stomped her feet on the pavement and began to cry and curse all over again.

***

He looked in the rearview mirror and turned the radio down as he heard a scream. Chuckling a bit as he saw the familiar girl run into the middle of the road, he prepared to throw the car into third until what may have once been a conscience stirred and hit him over the head. The driver snarled.

"Oh, bloody hell."

***

One hundred feet away from the groundlings, the black car suddenly screeched into a 180-degree turn and revved its engine. Gina left off crying and twenty feet above, Lisa and Laura began to laugh and clap for the car's driver. Gina shrieked with happiness and began to jump up and down with glee as she raced toward the car.

The car sped toward them; Buffy, Angel and Xander scurried to get out of its way as the driver swung to miss Gina, grabbed her by the waist, hastily deposited her in the backseat, and completed another 180-degree turn and sped down the street.

Buffy, Angel and Xander all walked out onto the street hesitantly as they watched the car screech off into the distance. Above them, Lisa and Laura began to fly north in the same direction as the car carrying their friend. The three on the ground stared at the flying creatures until they were glowing specks in the distance.

"That…um…hmm," Xander began. Buffy and Angel looked at him curiously. "I can't think of anything to say," he told them, his eyes wide with discovery.

"And just when you think you've seen everything Sunnydale can show you," Buffy said, "it gives you Speechless Xander," she ended, slapping Xander on the back as she and Angel began to walk home.

Xander winced at his sore back and trotted off behind them.

***

She took the ring off of her ring index finger, twirling it in her hands as she skimmed over treetops and houses and power lines. It was cold in her palm, silver glinting in the moonlight as it passed from hand to hand. Lisa glanced at her curiously.

"You knew this would happen," she told the girl next to her.

"I know," Laura said, still twirling the ring. "Didn't want to believe it, though."

"Mortal behavior," Lisa scoffed. "I'm heartily disappointed."

"So am I."

Lisa smirked and looked over at her friend. "Oh, go and give it back to him, you stupid whore. You know you want to. And make it a presentation to remember," she grinned, shoving the girl slightly. Laura glanced at her and grinned back.

"Right," she said, as she zoomed into the opposite direction, toward Sunnydale.

***

The black car zoomed toward L.A. at breakneck speed, its two passengers sitting in stony silence side by side.

"Thank you for picking me up," Gina said as she attempted to pick twigs out of her wings. Spike glanced over at her and rolled his overbright eyes. Gina glanced at him curiously as he quickly rubbed his eyes with one hand.

"Couldn't very well leave you to the Slayer to be plucked like a Thanksgiving turkey, could I?" he asked sarcastically. "Always lose your head in a fight, how many times have I told you that?"

"I know," Gina said, slouching in her seat. She glanced at the radio as "I Will Survive" came on, and then glanced very pointedly at Spike. He shrugged.

"Sometimes they play Pistols."

"Of course."

"Wanna doughnut? Raspberry," he said, tossing the box at her. She shook her head and placed it in the floor. "I like raspberry. Nice and red and stainy. Gets all over you," he said, beginning to ramble. Gina stared at him curiously. "Yeah. And you can eat as many as you want and they'll never make you sick…or make you think you've done something wrong or yell at you for no good reason or not show up for dinner or…" Spike suddenly burst into tears, pounding the steering wheel as he continued, "or forget your anniversary or not come home at night…"

Gina touched his sleeve. "William?" she asked, concerned.

He turned and looked at her. "Dru doesn't love me anymore," he said weakly. "She's going to leave me, Gina," he moaned. "What am I gonna do without her?"

Gina smiled and patted his head gently. "Don't worry, love. We'll think of something," she said as she stretched her wings, extending the left across the front bench and into a sort of pillow for them both.

***

Giles walked swiftly, staring down at his shoes as he made his way back home. He knew he was close, he could see the urban token trees in front yards growing in abundance. He tried not to think of anything that had happened, he would wait until he got home, he would wait until he was in private and until there were things to throw.

"Hey," a female voice suddenly echoed in front of him. Giles stopped and lifted his head slightly and saw a winged Laura standing there, her facial features not birdlike but as they once were. He didn't say anything and resumed walking. Laura floated beside him, her faint glow illuminating his path home. Giles tried not to think of painful symbolism that could accompany this observation. She was a murderer, she put spells on him and harmed those he cared about.

"I realize you'll never ever want to talk to or about me again," Laura began, her voice low. "But I want you to understand that I do what I do because it is my calling. I kill people. It's part of the job. Your Slayer could say the same thing." Giles shot her a look.

"Buffy does not kill innocent people," Giles snapped, quickening his pace a little.

"That's right, she kills vampires and demons whose crimes are doing what comes naturally to them. Quite a heroine," Laura said sarcastically. They both glanced at each other. "Anyway, I didn't come to get into an argument about ethics. Just wanted you to know that I wasn't going to turn you into some brainless love slave, however fun it might have been. And I wanted to give this back," she said, handing him his ring. Giles glanced at her and took it quickly. Laura sighed.

"Thank you," Giles said slowly, "for giving it back."

"No problem. Don't have much use for jewelry anyway," Laura shrugged. She floated over to stand in front of him, blocking his way. "I don't have much use for human emotion either," she said, forcing him to meet her gaze. "But now I can say I have more respect for it."

She reached a pale hand and touched his hair hesitantly. And she smiled. "Damn sexy in green," she said quietly, and then she flew away.

Giles stood there in the street for a moment, watching her fade into the distance. He then closed his hand over the ring and continued his journey back home.

***

They had been walking for ten minutes before another car came down the road. Buffy, Angel and Xander all stopped, wondering if the driver of the other car had come back for some revenge. The car approached them and slowed to a stop. Angel walked over to the driver's side window, apprehension in his eyes as the window rolled down.

"Hello, all! Need a lift?" Wesley asked as he poked his head out of the window. Buffy and Xander rolled their eyes as Angel looked to them for help. He looked back down at the bespectacled man and shrugged.

"Sure. Going into town?" he asked.

"Where else?" Wesley said, unlocking the doors. "Oh. Do I need to do a spell or something or can I just invite you?" he asked Angel awkwardly. Angel gave him a condescending glance.

"I think a generic 'come in' would be fine," he said flatly.

"Well, come in, then! My, what a coincidence that we saw you all here, we were just coming back from a little field trip to—"

"We?" Angel asked curiously. He bent his head slightly to see into the car. "Oh. Hello, Cordelia."

The girl shot him a look. "Hey. What are you guys doing out in the middle of no…oh, wait, look who I'm talking to," she sniped.

Angel motioned for Buffy and Xander to climb in and they squished into the backseat of Wesley's tiny car.

"Seat belts, everyone!" Wesley said chipperly. He didn't notice the four glares from the other passengers. Cordelia turned to face the three new passengers in the backseat after they began moving again.

"I just want you all to know that I really didn't want to stop for you and that I asked Wesley to run over Xander," she said.

"Thanks, Cordelia," Buffy said distractedly, looking out the window at the night sky.

"So, everything go smoothly with Patrol tonight, Buffy?" Wesley asked as he drove toward town.

"Yeah," Buffy said, "Not much happened."

Wesley nodded and tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. "…Did you all enjoy your show?" he asked in an attempt to be subtle.

"Yeah, yeah, it was good," Xander said quietly. Cordelia frowned.

"I wish I could have made it, those poor girls, not knowing a soul in town, I could have shown them around—" Wesley began, but Buffy interrupted him.

"They looked like they could take care of themselves."

"Ah. Well, yes, you're right. Maybe they'll come back again," Wesley comforted himself with the thought and began humming the 1812 Overture. Buffy, Xander and Angel exchanged glances and slouched in their seats.

***

The next day

"Man, those chicks were hot. That should have tipped us off right away," Xander said, shaking his finger at the world in general. "No girls in Sunnydale are that hot. Present company excepted, of course," he amended his statement as Willow and Buffy gave him cold stares. They all sat around the Summers kitchen table, watching Giles clean the dishes from breakfast. He hadn't said much since the hour he'd been there. Buffy, Willow, Xander and Oz had all decided earlier that morning not to ask him too many questions.

"I didn't think they were all that cute," Buffy said firmly. "They had weird noses."

"Weird as in 'perfectly formed,'" Xander said, staring at Buffy in disbelief. "Buffy, those girls were—"

Buffy silenced him with a glare and a quick glance at Giles, who had been drying the same plate for five minutes. Xander cleared his throat and sat down.

"Those girls were manipulative murderers, Xander," Giles said calmly after a moment. "Their beauty is not worth your admiration."

"That's why you admired them only for their musical talent, right, Giles?" Oz grinned, looking up from his bowl of soggy cereal. "Yep. He was having none of that manipulative beauty played on him, that's for sure. He wasn't enjoying kissing rocker chicks for their looks, no, it was their ability to sight-read music." Oz and Giles exchanged a glance. Oz grinned. Willow hit him lightly and Giles went back to drying the plate.

"It was the spell," he said simply. Buffy made a face as she imagined Giles and L…well, Giles and anyone.

"Why does it always have to be a spell?" Xander asked suddenly. "Why can't anyone just do something stupid for the sake of doing something stupid?"

"One of the perks of living on the Hellmouth, I suppose," Buffy said. "You always have an excuse."

"Buffy, where does your mother store the dishwashing detergent?" Giles said as he threw the empty container into the dustbin.

"Um…pantry, second shelf," Buffy said, going to turn on the television. They began to watch a cartoon, another Roadrunner episode.

"Er…Buffy?" Giles asked suddenly from the kitchen. Sensing urgency in his voice, Buffy and the others rushed over to the pantry door.

There, stacked five-deep on each shelf, were boxes and boxes of dish detergent. They all stared at the boxes for a moment, frozen in their places, the cartoon music blaring in the background.

"Um…Mom?