Summary: *2010 Halloween fic* Because of Ethan's spell, many secrets of Sunnydale High aren't secrets anymore. WARNING: Not real Jenny-friendly.
Warning: I don't know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Timeline: season 2 BtVS 'Halloween'.
A/N: Thought it might be interesting to see how things could have changed with a little prior knowledge.
Thanks to my betas: zigpal, AerynSpeedleCaine and AshDawnSoulmates.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
While he watched Summers sign the volunteer sheet, Snyder sneered in delight at the next part. "In addition, the people on this page must dress as a member of the school staff. The costume shop, 'Ethan's' has articles of clothing from each of the staff members participating. Make sure that you don't damage them, and that they are clean when you return them." And the school would receive a portion of the 'rental' cost, so all was good for the troll of Sunnydale High.
Buffy was still griping about Snyder's stupid rule; she hoped to get an outfit to make Angel swallow his tongue. "Can you believe him?"
Instead of answering the rhetorical question, Xander quickly looked for something of the school's librian. When he didn't find anything, it was his turn to whine, "Aww, why isn't there anything of G-man's here? I could have gone as 'Watcher-man'!"
"I'm guessing that Snyder didn't ask him because he didn't want any of us to dress up as him," Willow hypothesized logically. "Do you see all the stuff of Snyder's here?" she asked with a shudder.
"Not in this or any lifetime! Ooo! I have my teacher picked out!" Buffy declared happily as she read a tag on an outfit.
Willow was noticing there weren't too many females left on the racks. "Who?"
Smiling smugly, Buffy announced, "Miss Calendar."
"Well, that's unfair. You don't even like computers," Willow complained with a pout. Why couldn't she have seen the outfit first? Oh yeah, she was paying too much attention to Xander…again.
"Maybe not," the blonde Slayer conceded, "but I like the teacher."
Willow knew trying to get Buffy to give up the 'costume' would be a lost cause, so she kept digging through the pile. "Ugh. The only other female left is the lunchlady," she announced sadly.
"You could always go as Snyder," Buffy suggested with a smirk. She'd figure out how to make this up to Willow later.
Given the two options, Willow snatched the outfit and – hopefully clean – hairnet before Amy could. "And the lunchlady doesn't seem so bad anymore. Xander? Who'd you get?"
"Our dear, beloved Coach Marin." When the girls just looked at him blankly, Xander tried to jog their memory, "You know, the boys' swim coach?"
Buffy let out a low growl at the reminder of the team. "I swear, if those octopuses don't learn to keep their tentacles to themselves, they'll become calamari."
"I think you mean octopi, Buffster," Xander corrected, feeling pretty good that he knew that.
Grabbing her bag from the shopkeeper, Willow turned around and replied, "Actually, both forms are correct – as well as octopodes."
"Fascinating," Buffy drawled sarcastically, rolling her eyes at the impromptu grammer lesson. "I'm just tired of having to fend off those swim creeps. It's like, just 'cause they're athletes it gives them the right to any female they want."
Day after Halloween…
Despite the fact it was Saturday, the Scoobies were meeting in the Library to research some new books from the Council. When Willow walked in, she called out to the others without looking to see who was there, "Hey, guys? I think maybe we should start bringing our lunches from home."
"Why's that?" Xander asked after he swallowed his bite of jelly donut.
"I think the lunchlady is gonna snap one day and put rat poison in the food. When I heard her thoughts last night, the things going through her mind were very disturbing. Mostly because she thinks we're vermin and need to be exterminated, but also because she thinks Snyder is a…hunk," Willow explained, shuddering uncontrollably as she shared the second part.
Xander looked sadly at his donut as he felt his stomach roll. "Why did you have to tell us that? Now I can't get rid of that mental image!"
Giles and Jenny pushed their food away from them as well. Feeling genuinely bad for screwing up everyone else's appetite, Willow apologized to the group, "Sorry."
"Just for that, I'm gonna give you another bad mental image – courtesy of Coach Marin. He has something going on with Nurse Greenleigh." Xander waited until they pictured the two people in question before he continued ominously, "Strangely enough, that isn't the creepy part, though."
Giles bit back the bile trying to rise in his throat. Thankfully, he enjoyed his breakfast before the children arrived. "It isn't?" he inquired warily. What could possibly be worse than the two couples already mentioned?
Xander shook his head adamantly, "Nope. He has Frankenstein-ish plans to turn the swim team into better swimmers by mixing their DNA with different kinds of fish."
Willow's brow furrowed in confusion and worry, and she asked, "But what would that do to the guys?"
"Don't know, but I don't think he cares. All he cares about is winning," Xander relayed the coach's motivation.
Suddenly realizing the danger she could be in, Jenny asked nervously, "Did you happen to see who went as me?"
"That would me…Janna," Buffy answered coolly as she walked up behind the teacher who was cursing herself for sitting with her back to the doors.
Jumping up and moving out of the Slayer's grasp, the gypsy stated more than inquired, "So you know the truth?"
Giles was torn between concern for the worry on Jenny's face and alarm at the anger in his Slayer's eyes. Before he made his decision, he wanted to know more though. "What are you talking about?"
"Seems our friendly neighborhood technopagan is really a spy sent here to keep an eye on Angel for her family," Buffy informed the others, gripping the chair Jenny just vacated so tightly that it started to crack.
His eyes darting between the two woman, Xander mumbled, "Huh?"
"Jenny Calendar is really Janna Kalderash of the same tribe of Romany gypsies that cursed Angel with his soul." The Slayer's voice turned arctic cold as she went on, "Apparently they were worried he wasn't suffering enough, so they sent Janna here to make sure that he didn't get too happy or content with his unlife."
"Why would she do that?" Willow asked helplessly. She was torn too. On the one hand, she really liked the computer teacher, but on the other, Buffy was her best friend.
Jenny felt her heart sink. She really was growing fond of Rupert – and the kids. "Because the curse has a loophole; if it is broken, Angelus is released. It was price we paid in order to make him suffer for killing our sister," she explained with more calm than she felt.
Since nobody else was going to ask the obvious question, Xander figured he would, forgetting that Buffy already alluded to it, "So what is this loophole?"
Seeing that Buffy was going to make her tell them, Jenny answered, "I don't know the specifics; just that it has something to do with him not suffering enough for his crimes. Considering that my uncle especially wants me to keep him away from Buffy makes me think it has something to do with love."
Willow's brow furrowed again. "But I'm confused…Angelus was the demon who committed those crimes; why would his human soul have to pay for something that was done in his body?" she asked.
"Because Angelus is caged at the moment, and that torments him," Jenny said with a touch of venom in her voice. Despite Angel's usefulness, Janna still felt the absolute hatred for Angelus that her family did.
Xander shook his head after thinking about it for a couple minutes, "I don't know. I think I could come up with a better curse than that. And hopefully one that wouldn't have such a horrible loophole in it."
Pulling Jenny away from the others a little, Giles demanded, "You have put us all in considerable danger by not telling us about this sooner. I have to ask, if this hadn't happened, would you have told us before it was too late?"
"My first duty has to be to my family," she answered truthfully, even though she knew it could end things between them.
"Ouch. Don't think that's what G-man wanted to hear," Xander whispered to the girls.
Willow whispered back, "Can't say I'm happy about it either."
Grabbing their arms, Buffy got her best friends to follow her out of the library. "Let's let Giles deal with Miss Calendar. I've got to figure out what this means for me and Angel."
"To be safe, shouldn't he go away? I mean, if he's getting too happy being around you?" Xander suggested, trying to hide the glee in his voice at the thought of getting rid of the vampire.
Apparently he didn't do that great a job of it because Willow jabbed him in the stomach. "Xander! How can you say something like that to Buffy?"
Even though she wanted to hit him as well, Buffy shook her head, "No…unfortunately he's right – as much as I hate to admit it. But it should be Angel's decision. Who wants to come with me to tell him?" she asked hopefully.
Xander backed away from the puppy eyes, holding his hands out to defend himself from the look. "I think I'm gonna say no to this one. I don't think Deadboy will be thrilled to see me when you tell him he has to go."
"Gee, I can't understand why," Willow replied sarcastically. "I'll go with you, Buffy. Give you both some emotional support," she added pointedly in Xander's direction.
After the girls finished telling him the news, Angel sighed. "I thought there was something familiar about Jenny. I must have subconsciously recognized that she was a gypsy – despite her outward appearances."
Willow squeezed his hand in comfort and inquired gently, "So what are you going to do?"
Smiling gratefully at the redhead, Angel sat back in his chair to contemplate his options. "I don't know. On one hand, Whistler told me to help Buffy; that she would be my path to redemption," he started.
"Gee, how romantic," Buffy interjected from the other side of the room. Knowing the danger being near him posed, she refused to get within touching distance of him.
"Sorry. I didn't mean it like that," Angel reassured her. It may have began that way, but it didn't take long for his feelings to evolve. Feelings that now were a major problem. Realizing that, he knew what he had to do. "Unfortunately, if being here means there's even the slightest chance that Angelus could be freed…I don't think I should take that risk."
Conveniently allowing herself to forget Jenny's memories of the stories told about Angelus, Buffy pleaded, "Is he really that much worse than other vampires?"
"He wasn't called the 'Scourge of Europe' for nothing. What's worse, as much as I care for you – that's how much he would make you suffer," he felt obligated to warn her.
Hating herself for having to bring this up, Willow still felt the need to add, "Not to mention the idea that either he'd kill you or you'd have to kill him."
"Yeah," Buffy sighed in resignation. "Merrick didn't trust me to be strong enough to kill him and he had only been my Watcher for a couple months. To kill somebody I really cared about…" she trailed off before saying too much.
"I couldn't ask you to do that." Angel sighed deeply. "So I guess that means I should leave Sunnydale. Don't worry, I won't go too far, though. If you ever need my help, you know that I'll do whatever I can to help you," he vowed.
Since she managed to bring up one sore subject without bloodshed, Willow decided to risk it a second time. "Do you want us to tell Miss Calendar that you're leaving? I know we aren't exactly happy with her right now, but if she's supposed to make sure Angelus doesn't come out, maybe it's a good thing she knows where you are?"
Even though she felt like slapping the woman silly, Buffy agreed with her best friend's logic, "Willow's right."
"I suppose. Alright, you can tell her I'm headed to Los Angeles." When they looked at him inquisitively, Angel explained, "There's enough supernatural activity there that I should be able to keep busy for a long time."
Buffy decided to risk it and gave him a goodbye hug, feeling her heart break a little as she did so. "Take care of yourself, Angel. I kinda like the world with you in it," she quipped softly.
"Same goes for you two," Angel answered from between the two girls sandwiching him. "Xander, not so much. Just kidding." He held up his hands to keep from getting hit by either of them, and continued seriously, "He saved your life, so he's okay in my book. And Giles is a good man; remember that."
A/N: Hopefully this didn't come off too bashy of Jenny.