*Double Jointed*

Thomas had lost all patience for Stacey's advances, why couldn't she see that he just wasn't interested, he had never been and he doubted he ever would be. Everytime he blinked he could see the look on Isabel's face as she had left; hurt, disappointment and jealousy. He had been so tempted to go after her but he knew the exercise would be futile. So, instead he had sat there like the butt-monkey that he was and watched her leave, knowing that she was hurting. He knew exactly what she was going to do, go back, curl up on a couch and listen to that damn combination, Metallica and Sarah McLachlan. He wondered if she hurt as much as he did everytime he saw how easy she was around the other boys.with everyone but him. Maybe it was time to go home, he knew he had to talk to her. It was getting worse and they both knew it, ever since the decision had been made not to act upon what was between then there had been this.barrier. That was the word that Spike had used, Spike hmm I wonder why I never commented on that before, anyway did they all know or was it just Spike? It wasn't as if it was the hardest thing to figure out, the reason however was unbelievable.

"Guys, I think it's time to go."

The rest of the group looked at him and nodded, they stood and grabbed their coats, Thomas said a short goodbye to Stacey, to be polite, and left as quickly as possible. Outside everyone was standing around looking at Ben's car, Thomas realised the problem.

"We aren't all gonna fit." Buffy said with a pout.

Thomas, Ben and Jasmine looked at each other and smiled, this was nothing, they had fit thirteen people in once seven would be easy. Jasmine organised the group in seats and they set of. In the car Xander and Ben were having an argument about which could do funnier looking things, Thomas shut them up saying that once they got back they could show everyone. They both seemed pleased with that and shut up, which pleased Thomas because he could feel a headache coming on and he knew the reason for it too.

Isabel was dealing a round when she heard the car on the long gravel driveway, a few minutes later; the rest of the group walked into the kitchen. Isabel and Thomas exchanged a look and Isabel could tell he was getting a headache, she smiled her best smile for him and moved her concentration to the fight that Ben and Xander were having.

"Mine is definitely funnier."

"No, mine."

"Mine."

"No, mine."

Xander glared at him and began to do the snoopy dance for the group, hoping to prove himself right, by the end he had everyone in stitches except for Ben and Jasmine was trying to suppress the giggles forming in her throat. Xander stopped and Ben moved in front of the group and moved first one leg and then the other behind his head.

"How can you do that?" said Riley cringing.

"My mum was a yoga instructor and started us off young and well there ya go."

"We?"

"Me and my brother Luc, he'll be down soon."

Anya wondered if showing them all how to properly disembowel people would be appropriate, she assumed not since it wasn't really funny, well for her and Spike it was funny, but.

Isabel had an interesting smile on her face and Willow was curious what her funny/weird ability was. Isabel waited until Thomas showed everyone his ability to pop his shoulder blades in and out, before standing up and clearing her throat. She got everyone's attention and said simply, "I'm double jointed." At Xander's look she added, "Here I'll show you."

She cleared a small space and went into a simple handstand, with her palms flat on the floor. Slowly she raised her palms up until they were at right angles to her fingers and she just balanced there.

When Isabel had gone into the handstand, Thomas had instinctively moved closer to her as everyone else had moved away trying to get a better look.

Riley and Willow both cringed and the scene, Riley at the same contortion that had affected him with Ben and Willow simply because it looked gross. Buffy just wondered if she would be able to do that. Slayer strength would handle the pain but she didn't think her fingers bent that way.

Isabel began to let herself down again just as Xander cracked a joke, it broke her concentration and she began to wobble. Thomas immediately grabbed her and held her as she bent her knees over his shoulder. In one fluid motion he brought her to a seated position on his shoulder. She sat there for a moment before sliding down his back.

The group stood in amazement for a few moments before clapping the performance, everyone but Willow and Spike thinking it had been part of the act. Isabel and Thomas bowed going along with it, no one noticing the worried look that Jasmine was giving Isabel.

They gave up the game conceding that Isabel and Thomas's trick was the best, they sat around the campfire, talking and telling stories until the wee hours of the morning.

Everyone went to sleep easily except for Thomas who couldn't get the questions out of his head, he knew everything was okay between himself and Isabel, well as right as could be. However, the thought that he might not have been there tonight terrified him, she may have gotten hurt or worse. He did the only thing he could to stop the thoughts he got out a piece of paper and a pen and began to draw the room around him. He had just finished the picture as Isabel was slowly stirring. She turned to Thomas and washed away his fears with four simple words.

"But you were there."

"I know but."

"Go to sleep, I'm fine."

He slipped into bed and fell asleep easily. Isabel got out of bed and picked his picture up putting it into her bag before going back to sleep.

Back in Sunnydale

The sun was blazing hot overhead as a black car drove past the 'Welcome to Sunnydale' sign. Anyone could see that the car was speeding but no one seemed to care, not even the police officers that the car had passed. As it turned into a quiet residential street it appeared to be getting faster until it slowed in front of a picturesque two-storey house. The driver stepped out of the car and moved up on to the step taking in everything about the yard and the house, as if he was seeing it for the first time. His hand was visibly shaking as he rang the doorbell and his heartbeat raced as it opened. His smile widened at the sight of the woman on the other side of the door, he stepped in and embraced her and then moved back a bit giving her some room. Joyce moved out of the house and into the light not sure if she had seen what she thought she had seen. She had, she was so shocked to see.

* * *

My first cliffhanger was it any good??? Hint hint nudge nudge, I'd like you to hit the blue button, just in case you didn't get the subtlety. Toodles.