Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Many thanks to my beta No_Promises. The wonderful banner is by 3hours.

Dialog taken from Triangle, written by Jane Espenson


Kaledena strides into a seemingly abandoned house.

"Ah, my Dastur, have you found more food for me?"

With a deep bow the man starts speaking, "Yes my Queen. I have procured you food so you may regain your strength and rule as you were meant to rule so many millennia ago. I am humbled to serve as your Dastur, your high priest, I will not fail you. I have worshipped you since I was a child. I knew one day you would return and set to rights this world. Humanity destroys itself, under your will everyone will be at peace. No more hatred or jealousy. No more death, except for what you need to survive. Your meal awaits you."

Kaledena walks into the next room; her Dastur has done a good job. Chained to the wall are 10 humans; runaways, the homeless and criminals. The type of people others rarely miss. Screams can be heard as a bright light fills the house. The Dastur watches from the doorway as the humans he brought are consumed by Kaledena until nothing is left but their bones and clothing.

"Go, find appropriate worshippers and bring them here so that they shall be brought into the fold. The time approaches when I shall take over this form completely. I must be ready. The sacrifices must be in place."

"As you wish."

With a bow the Dastur, formerly a clerk at the local video store clerk named Jacob, leaves to do his Queen's bidding.

Spike hears the solider boy leave the shop after him. Ducking into an alley he waits for the man to pass and starts following him. Spike wouldn't put it past the git to try something to get around the wish. As he follows him, he notices that the boy is acting strange, looking all around. Spike actually has to duck into a store when Finn turns to look behind him. When Finn pulls out a cell phone Spike tries to get close enough to hear the conversation. Spike hides behind a dumpster when the solider stops suddenly, ending his call, in front of an abandoned house.

Watching Riley enter the house, Spike makes his way around looking for an open window or door. At the back of the house is an open kitchen window. He can hear snippets of conversation.

"Finn, report."

"Sir, Buf- the Slayer found a glowing ball near the warehouse district last night."

"Do they know what it is?"

"Not at this time, Sir."

"Anything else to report?"

"Sir, yes, Sir. There is an active vengeance demon in town."

"What the hell is a vengeance demon, Finn?"

"Apparently they grant wishes. Hostile 17 said he made a wish that anyone that hits him will feel the same pain he does when his chip fires."

"And you believe this garbage, Lieutenant. Finn?"

"Sir. I experienced it. I hit Hostile 17 and I felt a deep pain in my head."

"We need more intel, Lieutenant. Find out all you can about this classification of demon. We need to know if they can be of use to us."

"Yes, Sir!"

"Have all the camera's been placed?"

"I placed the last one in the magic box today, Sir. If I may ask, Sir, why now?"

"Why what, Finn?"

"Why are we placing cameras now? I've been sending in regular reports all summer. Is there something going on I should know about, Sir?"

"Nothing you need to be concerned with, Finn. Keep sending in your reports as usual understood? Good, Dismissed."

With a brisk nod, Riley leaves the building and makes his way back to his apartment.

Spike waits until the other solider leaves the building before he walks away. He is torn. He has dirt on Captain Cardboard that would get the overgrown farm boy dumped by Buffy. But that means that the army isn't gone from Sunnyhell after all. The thought of being back in those cages makes him tremble. And that pisses him off, Spike the Slayer of Slayers, afraid of some puny humans.

Spike looks up and realizes he is standing in front of the Slayer's house. Making a quick decision, he turns and makes his way to the Watchers apartment. Hoping his invitation is still good, he opens the door to find Giles sitting at his table with a glowing ball next to him.

"Oi, Rupes. Saw a demon on patrol don't know what kind it was an' couldn't kill the bugger. Managed to wound it, and drag it over to the park. Fancy a walk? Might be you can tell me how to kill it."

"Spike, honestly you can't just come barging into my home when ever you feel like it."

Despite his objection, Giles gets up and grabs his jacket then follows Spike out the door.

"Until you revoke my invite I can, Watcher."

Once the two men arrive at the park, Spike uses his senses to make sure they were alone.

"Okay, Spike, where's this demon?"

"Listen, Rupert, found something out tonight. Farm boy's still on the government dosh."

"What are you going on about?"

"I followed the git when he left the shop. Went and met with his boss in an empty house on Maple; been givin' him regular reports and such. Even been planting cameras, said he put the last one in place at the Magic Box today."

"What?!" cries Giles, aghast. Whipping his glasses off, he starts to polish them. "Spike if you are lying to me I will dust you myself."

"Well first off you can't, remember?" Spike smiles knowing that they can't dust him without suffering agonizing pain for their efforts. "Second, I don't joke about those wankers. I hate 'em; want 'em all dead. Cardboard told 'em about that glow ball the slayer found and about my wish. Now the sods want a vengeance demon of their own."

"Oh, dear lord. When will they learn to leave these things alone?!"

"Don't know. Woulda thought they'd learned their lesson with big, green and ugly, but some people are a bit thick."

"Yes, well, as loathe as I am to agree with you, I do. We need to find a place to have a meeting that doesn't have any cameras."

"Yeah well, don't know where else he mighta placed 'em,'s why I got you outta your flat. I'll go check out a few places. Places the git might not know about. Keep this under your hat for now; don't want to tip 'em off just yet."

Spike strides into his crypt in a good mood. That bloody pillock Finn was about to get the boot, he was sure of it. Soon as the slayer finds out her boyfriend is spying on her he'll be gone. His good mood ends abruptly with one screeching phrase.

"Blondie Bear where have you been?"

"Harmony this isn't working."

"What? I love you, Blondie-Bear."

"Yeah well, the feelings not mutual."

"You don't treat me nice."

"Harm, who was supposed to watch the doc? You that's who. I want you gone tonight and don't come back. Leave town."

"I'm leaving but not because you said so."

Harmony starts packing her belongings sniffling the whole time.

Spike sighs with relief when the blonde finally goes. If she called him Blondie Bear one more time he was going to rip her head off.

Buffy is getting frustrated. Every time she tries to talk to Giles about the car accident the other night he shuts her up. Three days had gone by and she still hasn't had a chance to tell him. Things have gotten even weirder. First there was the bunny incident and then last night she had a totally wig worthy experience after her patrol with Riley ended.

The day after the car accident Tara, Willow and Anya were in the Magic Box. The two witches were looking up spells to help Buffy with patrol.

"Hellebore, one of my favorites," Tara smiles as she hands the vial to Willow.

"It's powerful stuff. I tried to de-rat Amy but it didn't work. I think I might have made her smarter though, she keeps giving me these looks like she's planning something."

"What are you two doing?" asks Anya as she approaches the women.

"We're going to try out a few spells," Willow answers.

"There's this spell where you create light and we thought what if you could make simulated sunlight?" Tara explains as she measures a few herbs.

"Yeah so then, if Buffy finds a whole nest of vamps she can just go, Presto!" Willow replies eagerly.

"That's swell, but you can't use this stuff. Giles left me in charge today."

"How are my favorite girls today?" Xander asks as he walks in the shop on his lunch break.

"Xander, Willow's stealing!"

"Right, the broad daylight in front of everyone burglar. Xander, tell her I'm just doing a spell to help Buffy," Willow says as she starts mixing ingredients.

Xander nods as he starts to back up not wanting to get in between a fight with his best friend and his girl friend.

"Xander, Giles left me in charge today. Willow is using merchandize and not paying for it. That's stealing!"

"Hey, hey Judge Xander requesting a recess here."

Tara's timid voice speaks up for the first time since the argument started, "You really shouldn't pull him into this."

"I'm with Tara. I really don't want to be pulled into this."

"What I'm doing is a good thing. And if it doesn't work Giles and Buffy don't ever need to know about it." Willow is talking while crushing herbs with a mortar and pestle. Placing them on the counter she takes a pinch of the concoction and sprinkles it on the cash register. A puff of pink smoke appears; when the smoke clears the register is gone. "Oops."

"Oops?! Get it back! What did you do to the money?!" Anya yells as she runs to the counter her hands passing through the space that used to hold the register.

"I'll fix it! Recursat!"

Another pink puff and the register reappears looking slightly worse than before. The receipt paper is hanging from the machine with scorch marks on it. There are faint puffs of smoke coming from the cash drawer.

"The money! Did you hurt the money? She endangered the money!" Anya looks at Xander as she gets the drawer open to check on the cash in the machine.

"Of course that's what she cares about." Willow begins to imitate Anya, "I like money better than people. People can so rarely be exchanged for goods and or services."

Hurt and upset Anya turns to Xander, "She's pretending to be me! I don't sound like that. Do I?"

"Um, I think you guys have some stuff you need to work out. I'm just going to go. Um, yeah, I have a class to get to," excuses Tara as she makes her escape, not even sure if they heard her over their yelling.

"Can you believe how she is acting?" the red head asks her best friend.

"You know what? I'm tired of being in the middle. I'm not going to let you pull me into this," Xander states as he walks into the training room and slams the door.

Willow looks around the shop for Tara.

"Great look what you did! You ran off Tara and Xander!"

"Me?"

Both women look at each other then flounce away. Anya goes back to the counter to fix the register and Willow goes back to the table to continue working on the spell.

The two work in silence for a few minutes, Anya straightening the merchandize behind the counter and Willow measuring ingredients. The silence was broken when Willow starts to put the spell ingredients into the cauldron. After she places each herb into the bubbling cauldron, Anya mutters the price and writes it down.

"Fleabane"

"Fifteen Cents"

"Salamander eyes"

"Ten bucks for twelve. Bargain."

"Bindweed."

"Ooh that's a pricey one."

Willow could take it no more.

"Would you stop that? It's very distracting!"

"Fine, make your little ball of sunshine. I'll be quiet," the shopkeeper replies moodily.

"Good, because this spell is very sensitive. Once I begin any non-ritual word can disrupt it." Willow closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. Speaking softly Willow begins to chant, "Spirits of light, I invoke thee. Let the gloom of darkness part before you."

Anya's voice interrupts Willow's concentration. "Is this part of the spell? Bara bara himble gemination. Himble abri, abri voyon?"

The ex-vengeance demon starts reading out of a book that had been left open on the counter.

"Are you trying to screw this up?" Willow screeches at the blond.

Neither girl notices Xander's entrance in to the main part of the shop. Nor did they notice the bright yellow light swirling over the cauldron. A loud boom finally catches their attention.

"Look what you did! Now I have to start over!"

Anya's scream cuts off Willow's rant. Willow looks over to see a rabbit chasing the ex-vengeance demon.