Author's Note: Super long section, today. I'd love to divide it up, but if I do, I wind up with two tiny chapters, and one great big huge one, in the center. So this chapter will just be long.
Xander kept trying to see it. He kept trying to see Seo as the evil, manipulative, deadly person who wanted to kidnap Buffy's sister. He kept trying to see Seo as the kind of person who'd escape from the Doctor's TARDIS, find sanctuary with Buffy, and actually be working against them the whole time.
But… she just didn't seem evil.
"If it's any consolation," Buffy told Xander, "whatever she's planning to do, I don't think she actually wants to do it."
"Look, maybe… maybe we got this wrong," Xander insisted. "Maybe she has nothing to do with the Doctor, and she escaped from someone else. Some… madman… trying to get her to do evil things for him! Maybe she's been brainwashed to…"
"Xander," sighed Buffy, "she was a prisoner onboard the TARDIS. There's only one Time Lord and one TARDIS left in existence. It has to be the Doctor."
"Well, what if… someone stole the TARDIS?" asked Xander. "Someone evil. Who's brainwashed Seo into thinking she's 98 years old and trying to hurt Dawn, when actually…"
"Someone who just so happens to have a perfect understanding of Time Lord biology," said Buffy, "who also just so happens to have a sample of the Doctor's DNA, and my DNA, and has brainwashed all of us here on Earth to make us look like chumps?" Buffy shook her head. "Xander. No one like that exists. The Doctor imprisoned Seo. And whatever his reason is — I'm sure it's a really, really good one."
But it still didn't make sense to Xander. It just didn't mesh with what he knew about Seo. What he felt when he was around her.
"Is it weird that I trust you?" Xander asked her, one day.
Seo glanced up at him, through sad eyes. "No," she said. She reached out towards his left eye — the glass one — but stopped, and pulled back her hand. "You can see me. Even when you're blind, you can still see everything."
Uh-huh. Right. Okay, then.
"So why do you keep trying to get people to think that you're evil?" asked Xander.
"Maybe I am evil," Seo replied, "and I'm trying to warn you."
Xander shook his head. "Yeah, I've fought evil," he said. "Evil people don't usually care if anyone around them gets hurt. You do."
Seo laughed. "I don't care if people get hurt," she said. "I'm a criminal, remember? I'd let this whole planet blow up, if I had a way off it."
"So… go on," Xander said. He gestured at a random person, walking down the street. "If you don't actually care about people — if you really are evil — then kill that guy. I dare you."
Seo looked between the guy, and Xander. Her eyes narrowed, her jaw set. "Stop it," she warned Xander, before turning away, and leaving.
The guy walked off, unharmed. Never even aware his life had been in danger.
Giles, in his bathrobe, filled up the sink with water, and began to shave. Morning routines. Never changing, predictable-as-ever Giles, just going through his morning routine.
"Do you have to shave every day?" came a voice from behind him. "What happens if you don't?"
Giles started so badly, he nearly cut himself. He turned around, to find Seo standing behind him. Slightly to the left of him. Which was… impossible. Because he'd been looking in the mirror, staring at that exact spot! He should have seen her, should have at least noticed she was there! But… she hadn't…
She hadn't shown up in the mirror.
Giles looked back at the mirror. Then blinked. Seo's reflection was there. Just like normal.
"Is it like the tappy thing?" Seo continued. "Because humans always do that tappy thing, all the time, and I don't understand what its biological function is."
"But that… that isn't…" Giles said, looking between Seo and her reflection. One of them had to pop out of existence, at some point. Giles just wasn't sure which. "How did you do that?"
"How did I do what?" asked Seo.
Giles pointed at the mirror. "You… you didn't have a reflection, before!" he said. "When I first saw you. You didn't show up in the glass!"
Seo quirked an eyebrow. "I didn't?" She scrutinized the mirror, curiosity illuminating her face. "Can you see me, now?"
"Well, yes, of course, you're…" Giles stopped. As his brain started working. "Why… didn't you know if you had a reflection? Can't… can't you see yourself?"
"In there?" asked Seo, pointing at the mirror. She shook her head. "Never."
Giles stared at her. "I'm sorry?"
"I can't see my own reflection," Seo explained. "Other people can, I suppose. I can't." She gave a small shrug. "I don't even know what I look like."
"But…" Giles spluttered, "but… how… how could… why wouldn't…?"
Seo's eyes lit up. "Maybe I'm secretly a vampire!" she exclaimed, excitement in her voice. Then the excitement fell. "Except… there aren't vampires, anymore, are there?"
Giles shook his head. Still a little too incredulous to speak.
Seo shrugged. "Oh, well," she said. "I wouldn't have made a very good vampire, anyways. I think drinking blood is disgusting."
Giles still couldn't speak.
"Although — I would have liked to be sparkly," said Seo. "Like in Buffy's book. Sparkly Seo. That would have been brilliant!"
"Why don't you have a reflection?" Giles asked.
Seo looked back at the mirror, frowning. "I thought you said I did, now," she replied. "You're the one who can see it. You tell me."
And before Giles had the chance to ask anything else, Seo had slipped out the door.
"Okay, I've got it," said Xander, as he strolled down the street with Willow.
"She's a vampire Time Lord?" Willow guessed.
Xander shook his head. "She's blind."
"Think about it!" said Xander. "She walked into walls, the first day she got here. She ran out in front of traffic. And when she was cooking, she reached for stuff that wasn't even edible. Oh, and she's super-obsessed with the fact I lost my eye." He nodded with certainty. "I'm positive. Seo is blind. And she doesn't want us to know."
"She doesn't act blind," said Willow. "She's been able to see stuff completely fine around me."
"Well, yeah," said Xander, "because she's super duper smart. And, if she's actually Buffy and the Doctor's kid, she's probably got all kinds of other senses we don't know about. But she can't see anything."
Willow shook her head. "Xander, she's not blind," she said. "She can read text. On street signs and in books. She read Buffy's copy of Twilight, remember? And that wasn't written in Brail."
Xander paused. "Oh, yeah."
"And then there was that book of Giles'," said Willow, "with the section about the Seed of Wonder, and Seo had…"
"Okay, okay, I get it!" said Xander. "So she's not blind. Fine! So what's your explanation?"
"Vampire Time Lord," said Willow.
Xander scoffed. "She doesn't drink blood."
"Well maybe that's normal," said Willow. "I don't know what vampire Time Lords drink. Maybe they drink time or something."
Xander still seemed skeptical.
"Face it, Xander," said Willow. "Whatever she is, it's something vampirey. She doesn't show up in the mirror…"
"She does!" Xander insisted. "I've seen her in mirrors. A lot. So have you."
"…she'd never eaten chocolate, before," Willow continued. "She's a horrible cook. She's a serious threat to the world, with hearts of pure evil…"
"For the last time, Seo is not…" Xander started, but was cut off by a group of short, stumpy looking aliens in full battle armor, surrounding them.
Xander and Willow looked at one another, then back at the short battle-armored aliens. Who were pointing very sophisticated-looking guns at them. Both Xander and Willow, in unison, put up their hands.
"Surrender your weapons, humans," snapped one of the aliens.
Or Xander was guessing they were aliens. Despite the fact that he couldn't see under their body-armor. He guessed this based on the fact that usually, when people were threatening him, they wound up either being aliens or demons. And demons didn't tend to carry around guns.
Willow and Xander looked at one another, then grudgingly gave up their weapons.
And… yep. They were definitely aliens. Because they immediately started going through the weapons, seeming a little confused.
"What is the function of this device?" asked one of the aliens, raising up a twisted dagger that Xander had been carrying.
"Well, usually, it stabs demons," said Xander. "Although, occasionally, it can be used to spear olives."
"A primitive device," the alien dismissed, dropping the dagger onto the ground. "Of no strategic importance."
"You tell that to a Hoglindor Demon," Willow muttered.
The alien ignored them. Instead, picking up a bottle of Holy Water from their stack of weapons. "And this?"
"That… melts… vampires," Willow admitted.
Xander gave Willow a pointed glare.
"What?" asked Willow. "Now that I know what Seo really is, I wanted to be safe."
Another stumpy alien marched over to them. "Report."
"One human male," said the first stumpy alien, "and one human female."
"Excellent!" said the first stumpy alien. "Bring them to the General."
They were led off, and… coming from the distance, growing clearer and clearer, Xander could hear a voice. A familiar voice.
"Of course I'm human," said Seo. "I was born on Earth. I'm the humanest human in humansylvania. Now… can you get on with destroying the world, please? I've got other things to do, besides worrying about the fate of some tiny little insignificant planet."
Except… it wasn't Seo's voice the way Xander had heard it before. This time, her voice seemed detached, uninterested — as if she really was just some bored spoiled brat, who didn't care about anyone or anything.
There was silence.
"Oh," said Seo, with a little bit of a smirk in her voice, "so you aren't destroying the world."
"Silence, human!" commanded an alien.
"Because… not like I care," Seo continued, "but you did say you were going to."
"And then you found out I was human, and suddenly, you don't actually—"
Willow and Xander turned a corner, to discover Seo surrounded by the squatty aliens in full body armor. She looked disheveled, her hair a mess, her eyes a little sunken, and there were burns along her skin and across her clothing. It looked… kind of like… she'd been electrocuted.
The aliens nearest her had taken off their helmets, and were pointing guns at her. Xander thought they looked a lot like potato men.
The potato man nearest Seo had a long crack across the front of his body armor. Every so often, it sparked with electricity.
Which, Xander was guessing, had something to do with Seo's new electrified look.
"You are stronger than our data on the females of this planet," the potato man nearest Seo said. "Explain this anomaly."
"Oh, big guys, thinking you know all about humans, huh?" said Seo. She sounded mildly disgusted by the pettiness of the whole thing. Her face looking proud, as if she were above all of this. Superior. "Maybe your data is wrong. You thought of that?"
"You are saying that every human is exactly like—?" the potato man started.
"I'll tell you what I'm saying," Seo cut in, sharply, "if you'll let me get a word in! Mr. Self-Obsessed!"
"What I'm saying," Seo explained, a little quieter, "is that there's no point in destroying the world. You're fighting this war against the… rugrats..."
"Right, those guys," Seo agreed. "And Earth's got six billion super-strong, electricity resistant people, just waiting to be your secret weapon. So, instead of destroying the world, why don't you just enslave everyone else on this planet, and use them?"
The potato man seemed to be thinking this over.
"General!" shouted the potato-guy guarding Willow and Xander. He saluted. "As commanded. One human female. And one human male."
Seo's eyes fell on Willow and Xander. Xander expected to see some reaction from her, but… there was nothing. Nothing at all. As if she were so far above them, it didn't matter.
"Excellent!" said the General, turning to Willow and Xander. "Then we shall test their resistance to electrical current, and see if their readings are comparable to the other human female's."
The potato men marched towards Willow and Xander, with advanced looking somethings in hand. Xander looked over at Willow, elbowing her.
"Magic-time, Will," he muttered. "Come on."
"Magic isn't working!" Willow hissed back. "We must be near a ghost-shift."
Damn. Well, on the bright side, the ghost shifts were about to be the least of their problems. On the not-so-bright side, they were about to become burnt cinders.
"No, wait!" Seo shouted. "I… lied. I'm not…" She paused, looking at Willow and Xander, a hint of fear in her eyes. "I'm not human," she confessed.
The potato men suddenly lost interest in Willow and Xander, focusing their attention back on Seo.
"Identify your species," the General commanded.
Seo rolled her eyes. "Like you care!" she said. "Look, shorty, all you need to know is I'm way above these stupid little human creatures. I shouldn't even be here, at all. But I'm looking for something. And I wound up at the wrong place and time, so I can't find what I need."
"What you need is of no importance to—" the General began.
"Oh, shut up," said Seo, rolling her eyes. "We're talking about my problems, here! Trust the midget to have the world's biggest ego."
"You think your problems are—"
"Obviously, yes," Seo cut in. She gave a sly smile, then added, in a whisper, "And… anyways. Think about it this way. What if my objective could help you, too? What if what I'm looking for could wipe out your… Roman enemies—"
"Rutan enemies," the General corrected.
"—and give you the advantage?" said Seo. "We could work together, you and me. Easy. All you have to do is get me to America. I find what I'm looking for, use your military force to capture it, then share the benefits with you. I get what I want, you get what you want. Everyone's happy."
The General considered. "You have come here to locate… the objective, then?"
Seo winked. "Couldn't resist. And, before you ask — yes. I do know where it is. Only one you'll find who does."
"If you know of the objective's location," said the General, "you will be able to tell us of its function."
Seo looked mildly amused. "Oh, you don't know?"
The General hesitated. "I wish to know… if you know."
"Well, let's just say," said Seo, a little quieter, "that, using my objective in the right way, you could open up a portal to anywhere, anywhen. Any dimension. Any time period. Any universe." She raised an eyebrow. "Interested?"
Willow surged forwards, to strike out at Seo, but one of the potato men yanked her back. Willow struggled, her eyes dark and biting, fixed on Seo. "You lying, murdering…"
"The humans are of no further importance," the General dismissed. "Kill them."
The potato men all pulled out weapons, aiming them at Willow and Xander. Xander flinched, reaching into his pocket and fumbling with his phone, frantically texting Buffy for help. And hoping she'd get the text in time. But kind… of… doubting it.
Seo cleared her throat. "Hurt them in any way, and the deal's off."
"Hold your fire," the General commanded. He turned back to Seo. "What is special about these humans?"
"Those two?" asked Seo. "Nothing. Tiny, insignificant little creatures. Dumb as a rock. But I like them. And their friend, Buffy, too. I don't want them harmed. I thought, after my mission was complete, I'd take them home and keep them as pets."
Willow looked like she was ready to punch Seo in the nose. "I'm so going to kill her," she growled.
Astoundingly enough, Seo didn't seem to mind Willow's murderous rage. In fact, Seo began to walk, slowly, her hands still in the air, towards Willow and Xander.
"I'll collaborate with you," said Seo, "but I'm not going anywhere without my pets."
The General grumbled, but then turned to his men.
"Teleport the female and her pets to the ship," the General instructed the others. "I wish to hear more about this… portal."
The potato men surrounding them saluted, then broke out into a chant that sounded a little like, "Sontar-Ha!" Whatever that meant.
There was a wobbly motion in the air around them, and then…
A weight crashed into Xander's stomach, doubling him up and throwing him onto the ground. He lay there, on the sidewalk, staring at the blue sky, trying to catch his breath.
Hang on. Blue sky? Not space-ship ceiling?
Xander sat up, a little confused, to find, there, just in front of him, was… no potato men. No guns and alien things. Just… Seo. Standing, a short ways away from them, a look of relief on her face.
"Sorry," said Seo, with a cringe. "I needed to shove you and Willow out of the way of the teleport beam."
Willow, beside Xander, got up. Walked over. And smacked Seo across the face.
"Ow!" said Seo, flinching backwards, hand holding her face. "What was that for?"
"You already know," Willow snapped. "And if my magic was working, you'd get a lot worse."
"They were going to destroy the world," Seo retorted. "I was trying to give them a reason not to."
"And your 'mission'?" Willow said. "Your 'objective'? Your great big universe destroying portal that you were going to create? That whole humans are inferior thing you kept saying? You've been playing us all as chumps this whole time, and I..."
The sound of a highly sophisticated gun barrel charging cut them off in their tracks. Xander looked up, to find that the potato man with the cracked armor — the General — was still there. And still pointing a gun at them.
Seo's eyes went wide. They flicked over to the crack in the armor, and her mouth made an "O".
"Your teleport was hooked into your armor," she realized. "And I… punched it out."
"How did you evade our teleportation technology?" the General demanded. "The humans were out of range — you were not. How did you manage to stay behind, when the beam should have transported you?"
Seo winced. Glancing around her. Looking for someone. Expecting someone. But finding no one.
(Looking for Buffy, Xander guessed.)
"Explain!" the General demanded.
"Maybe your teleport was at fault!" Seo snapped. "I was trying to get to America. Do you really think I'd have purposely stopped your teleport from getting me to a space ship that could fly me there?"
"Your human pets have betrayed your real intentions," said the General. "You do not wish to help us in our war against the Rutans. Your actual mission is to seize the objective for yourself and destroy the universe."
"No!" said Seo. "I—"
"Look, just shoot her, already," Willow interrupted. "Do us all a favor."
"Will!" Xander protested.
But Willow's mind had clearly been made up. Seo had confessed, herself, that she wasn't human — which meant they had enough jurisdiction to kill her. Seo had said that the only reason she was here was for Dawn. She had said enough to show them that she knew what Dawn could do. And that was enough for Willow to condemn her.
Seo shoved Willow and Xander out of the way, rolling across the ground and then running for her life. The potato man caught up with her, quickly, cornering her against a brick wall.
He raised up his gun, aiming at Seo. She turned her head to the side, and squeezed her eyes shut. Holding her breath.
The gun gave an empty click in his hands. And then went dead.
The General frowned. He tried again — with no success. Then lowered the gun, his brow furrowed, as he examined it.
"Auto-targeting mechanism," Seo breathed, opening her eyes. She sounded relieved.
The General snapped his head up to her. "You have sabotaged the auto-targeting mechanism in my weapon!" he accused. "You are an enemy of the Great Sontaran—"
"I'm all the way over here," said Seo. "I never even got close to your… gun… thing. How could I have sabotaged it?"
The General processed this, but seemed to be having a very hard time figuring out how this could all make sense. "Then… then you have…"
"Or maybe," Seo said, her voice dropping down to be very low, very threatening, "there's a reason I know where the objective is located."
The General seemed confused. For a second. Then backed away, a few steps, instinctively.
"Yeah," said Seo. "Now you're starting to understand. Now you're starting to work out who and what I really am. What I could do to you. With just the flick of my wrist." She walked towards him, her brown eyes blazing. Her voice lowering a hair, growing menacing. Threatening. "Do you know how easily I could kill you? Do you know how many ways I've thought up to destroy you and every other shrimpy, self-centered little potato man you've taken along?" In a whisper. "I could snuff you out. Like that. And you'd never even know what hit you."
The General pointed his gun right in Seo's face. "You are now a prisoner of the Great Sontaran—"
Seo twisted the gun out of his hand, and snapped it in half across her knee. Then tossed the pieces over her shoulder. "Yes, I do know where the objective is," Seo told him, in a very soft voice. "And you're not laying a single grubby little finger on her. You know why? Because the objective's mine. Her fate in my hands. And, in the end, it's up to me what happens to—"
The potato man groaned. Then fell forward, flat on his face. Revealing… Buffy, standing behind him. A mallet in her hand.
"I got Xander's text," Buffy informed them.
Seo stared at the potato man. Then at Buffy. Then at the potato man.
"How did you do that?!" Seo cried. "I cracked his armor, and he still didn't go down!"
"He's a Sontaran," Buffy replied, lowering the mallet. "Hit a Sontaran in the back of the neck, and they pass out. That's UNIT Invasions 101 for you." She glanced over at Xander and Willow. "You guys okay?"
Xander was just gaping at Seo. A little breathless. Realizing… Seo didn't have the first idea how to kill that thing. Her whole speech had been a bluff.
A pretty scary bluff.
Willow advanced on Seo, again, anger in her eyes. "She was trying to trade Dawn's life for the world!" Willow shouted. "She's here on a mission to create another great big universe destroying portal, and—"
Buffy sighed. "Will," she said, wearily. "Drop it. Seriously."
"But that whole speech about how she could snuff that Sontaran out like a candle, like she was some great big, terrible—"
"Willow," said Buffy. "Seo gave that speech because she noticed me coming up from behind. If she was attacking it from the front, she's obviously got no idea how to take down a Sontaran. Let her go."
Seo looked almost offended. "I thought up several different ways to destroy—"
"She isn't just some innocent kid!" Willow cut in. "She's evil, Buffy! Just look at her! She's evil, and she wants to kill your sister!"
"Seo isn't doing anything to Dawn while I'm around," Buffy countered. "And, besides. If she was only here for Dawn, she'd be on that Sontaran space ship, right now, heading for Cleveland."
"She tried!" said Willow. "The teleporter didn't work on her." She glanced down, then pointed at Seo — who was crouched beside the Sontaran General, fiddling with some wires in his cracked armor. "See?! She's trying to get the teleporter to work! Take her onto the ship!"
The Sontaran General faded in a shimmer of blue light, then vanished.
Seo stood up. "I just used the faulty teleporter to send him and his ship somewhere really far away," Seo replied. She shrugged. "They won't be back on Earth for a long time." She tilted her head. "Well, I say long. More like… five years. Well, I say five years. More like… two. At most, two years. Okay, one year and…"
"Seo," Buffy warned. "Stop. Now."
Willow glared at Seo, her entire body shaking with rage. She stalked up to the girl, her eyes boring into her. "Who are you?" she demanded. "What are you? What are you up to?"
Seo gave Willow a very serious stare. "Okay, you got me," she said. She pointed to her own face. "This is a mask. I'm actually a blue-skinned alien named Gorgax the Destroyer, and I want to conquer the Earth so I can get every single person on this planet to do the Macarena at exactly the same time, and get into the Guinness Book of Intergalactic Records."
"No, you're not!" Willow shouted.
"Willow," Buffy warned. "Seo. Stop."
"Or maybe," Seo continued, "I'm an evil criminal mastermind who wants to perform mass hypnosis so Americans will finally adopt the metric system. Or maybe I'm the brains behind Windows Vista! That's pretty evil. Or maybe..."
Willow looked like she was three words away from strangling Seo with her bare hands.
Buffy stepped in between them. She turned to Willow. "It's just Seo-speak," she said. "She's trying to get a rise out of you."
"It's working," Willow gritted.
Seo poked her head around Buffy. "You're the one who thinks I'm an evil alien trying to destroy the world!" she told Willow. "I'm just telling you what you want to hear."
"Seo, are you planning anything having to do with the destruction of the world?" Xander asked, before Willow had a chance to do anything.
Seo reflected. "I don't think so," she admitted. "Why? Do you think I should?"
"No," Xander said.
Seo grinned. "Oh, good! Because it'd be really annoying to have to teach another planet how to do the Macarena."
Willow glared at Seo, rage still building.
"You can't go all executey on me," Seo insisted. She pointed at Buffy. "I'm her prisoner. Remember? That means she's the only one who gets to kill me!"
Buffy grabbed Seo by the arm, looking thoroughly frustrated. "Seo," she said. "Shut up. And… Willow." Turning to Willow. "Cool it. Seriously."
"But she's some powerful alien Big Bad!" said Willow. "She said so! A wanted criminal. And she knows that…"
"I know," Buffy cut in. "Just… she's not going to do anything bad while I'm around. Okay? Obviously, there's something else going on that she's not telling us about. So let me figure that out, first, and then we can deal with this Dawn thing." And dragged Seo off.
Xander came up to Willow, hands in pockets. "Yep," he said, watching as Buffy lectured Seo in a stern voice, dragging her down the street and out of sight. "Buffy's definitely not Seo's mom. No doubt about it. There's no kind of mother-daughter bond going on over there."
Willow spun around to face Xander. "What?"
"Will, look at them," Xander said, pointing into the distance. "It's obvious what's going on. Seo's Buffy's kid. Despite what Buffy says, they've got a bond between them. They can both feel it."
"Seo's jealous," Xander said. "She's come back in time, hoping to be mommy's favorite. And now she's got to compete with Dawn." He shrugged. "She isn't here to kill Dawn. She's just trying to get Buffy's attention."
"She's a monster," Willow insisted. "A brainwashing, human-murdering, world-selling-out…"
Xander shook his head. "Jealous," he insisted, following Buffy.
Buffy was walking with Seo, a few days later. Keeping an eye on her.
Buffy knew that whatever Seo wanted, whatever Seo really was, it had something to do with Dawn. Or at least, Buffy thought that was pretty likely. But she also remembered — what Seo had said, when Buffy confronted her about deleting Dawn from everything.
Do you think I want to do this?
Whatever was going on, whatever Seo was up to, whatever she was planning — it wasn't by choice. She felt she had to. Something else was going on, here. Something more complicated. And Buffy needed to figure out what that was.
And what it had to do with the ghosts.
Seo, as usual, was chattering away about something-or-other, without caring if Buffy was listening to her. Which was good, because Buffy wasn't.
Buffy had another reason she'd brought Seo out at this time.
In an instant, the air around them shimmered, and the ghosts faded into view. The ghosts that were appearing, more and more frequently, as the days went by. Ghost shift.
Seo stopped in her tracks. Her entire body tense, as she looked at the ghosts.
"Okay, Seo," said Buffy, crossing her arms. "Game's up. What do you know?"
Seo spun around to face Buffy. "What?"
"The ghosts," Buffy explained. "Every time you see them, you react. Just like now. And I want to know why."
"I don't know!" said Seo. "Why do you do that automatic shuddery thing, every time anyone brings up political stuff?"
Buffy wanted to hit her head on something. "This isn't about me, Seo!" she said. "You know something about the Ghost Shifts. That's obvious. They started when you showed up."
Seo didn't answer. Her eyes fixed on the ghost nearest Buffy.
The ghost paused, as if eyeing the two of them with interest. Then it advanced towards Buffy, slowly. Curiously.
Seo grabbed Buffy by the arm and yanked her away. "Don't touch it."
"Why?" asked Buffy. "What would happen if I did?"
Seo said nothing.
"I don't think you want me dead," Buffy said. "So… here's your chance. Keep me alive. Tell me what you know, or I'll go right up to that ghost, and stick my hand through it."
Seo's grip tightened on Buffy's arm. But she said nothing.
"Seo…" Buffy warned.
"That's… not a ghost," Seo confessed. "I don't know what it is, but… it's not a ghost."
Buffy sighed. Rolled her eyes, and jerked her hand out of Seo's grip. The ghosts weren't ghosts. Thank you, Seo, for stating the obvious.
"It isn't!" Seo insisted. "Really! I'm telling the truth!"
"Yeah," said Buffy, with a sigh, leading Seo back to Giles'. "Way ahead of you, Seo."