Chapter 8: Sleepless in Indleshire

Famina was pacing, flipping through another diary. "And this: 'August 28, 2007, Angela has been acting weird lately. I think it has something to do with Lola, that new Slayer.' Think that might be important?"

Aingael was flipping. "I don't know. Keep going."

Famina kept reading. "Well, there's nothing the next day, they must have been too busy. But…" She stopped pacing and her eyes widened. "Hey! Listen to this: 'August 30, 2007'…'Buffy and Angel finally had a kid. But guess what happened?'…"

Back at the STP building…

Angela was pacing. "This is awful. This is horrible. This is the worst possible thing that could've happened!"

"Angie, it's not that bad!" Connor snapped.

"Two of the worst Gales came back to kill us and now know that we have kids they can use as ransom notes and probably also that Buffy, the most powerful Slayer of the past century at least, isn't a Slayer anymore!"

Connor thought about that. "OK, it is that bad."

Audrey sighed and left the room to go stand in the hall.

Willow noticed this and followed her. She stopped her in the hall, making sure all the doors to the building's sound-proofed rooms were closed so that the conversation could be private. "What's wrong?"

Audrey looked at Willow. "Remind me again why we've never told them that I'm a Witch?"

"Because you're not like most Witches, like me or Tara. And if after 7 years of not saying anything to the others, we still haven't figured out how exactly your powers have worked, there's no telling how the others will freak out when they find out about your little demon-Witch…thing powers."

"Great, so now I'm a 'demon-Witch…thing.'"

Willow sighed. "We'll tell them when we need to. But right now is not the time."

Audrey nodded, understanding. "Got a point there."

"Let's just at least wait until things calm down a bit."

Audrey considered and finally consented, going back into the conference room.

Willow followed.

Angela was still ranting. "…and if they're here, there's no telling who else might be here! I mean, like we pointed out, Cassie was the Witch. And yet Darkana and Isabella were able to breach our barriers. AND kill a record number of Slayers! I'm telling you, any more and WE'RE DOOMED!" She said that last part grabbing onto Xander's T-shirt and shaking him like crazy.

Xander grabbed her by the shoulders to calm her down. "ANGIE! When was the last time you had something to drink?"

"About two hours ago, why?"

"Because you're acting like either it was B-positive or it had caffeine in it."

Willow sighed. "I know the drill. A-neg to calm her down." She went over to the fridge.

With the Dark Circle…

Louisa finished flipping through another one of the diaries and tossed it aside. Then she felt what Willow was up to and smiled. "Give me a sec, guys." She closed her eyes and focused.

Back at the STP building…

Willow finished getting out a container of blood from the fridge. Suddenly, Louisa's spell came over her. She reached into her bag and pulled out a vial of liquid, pouring it into the blood. She put the vial back into her bag and the spell faded.

Back with the Dark Circle…

Louisa broke the spell. "I think I just dealt with one of our problems." She looked around. "Seriously, where'd the First go?"

Cassie sighed. "Don't know, but I think it's time to wake up someone else on our list."

"Uh oh," said William, "Everyone hide! Run!" He pulled Drusilla off.

Back at the STP building…

Angela grabbed the container of blood from Willow.

Suddenly, Evelyn was sniffing the air. Her eyes widened. "Don't drink that!" She grabbed Angela, making her spill some of the blood on her arm.

Before Angela could ask Evelyn what was wrong, she quickly put the blood on the table and grabbed her arm. It was burning. She sniffed the blood. "Holy water?"

Willow looked at her in confusion. "What—But—That—"

Buffy looked at her. "Will, you're the only one that got near that thing."

"Yeah, but I didn't—it was—the only holy water I have is the spare vial I keep in my bag for emergencies and it's—" She pulled it out. "—empty. Uh oh. This doesn't look good."

Buffy stood there, her arms crossed.

Willow looked at her in return. "I swear I don't know how that happened."

Angela got up and glared at her. "Then explain how the only holy water in the room—which just so happened to be in your bag—ended up almost killing me. Er, re-killing me."

Tara sighed. "Look, Will, I'm sorry to point it out, but I've been sensing some weird and dark magicks brewing inside you ever since the other night when you got attacked. For all we know, the evil in you is still trying to pop out."

Willow had nothing to say to that. If Tara sensed the dark magicks inside her…then maybe that was true.

Winter was across the room. She looked at Willow, oddly, as if she knew that wasn't the case but that something awful was going down.

Willow sighed. "Fine. You know what? If that's it, then I guess it's not safe for any of us if I stay here." She left.

Xander got up and started to follow her. "Will—"

Too late. Willow had already left.

All the while, Winter kept her gaze following the Witch, even as she was leaving the building through the exit on the other side of the wall. Something's not right here…

Anya then opened the door and stormed down the hall. Buffy followed her before the door could even close. Buffy stormed down the hall in the other direction…and once no one was looking, turned into Fred. She looked back in the direction of Anya. "I see the plan's already working." She smirked. It was the First! It'd never left the building!

Back with the Dark Circle…

Tameeka looked through the wall at Cassie. As soon as she saw Cassie reaching the end of the spell, she came back through the wall, went back into human form, and opened the door for Cassie to fly through. She flew through the wall. Tameeka sighed. "I really thought that would work this time so we wouldn't have to fix anything."

Cassie got up and looked to see who she'd raised. There were the Trio, Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew. "OK, this I'm beginning to question already."

Darla sighed. "We're a team now, OK? And the team is eventually gonna need a techie, a spell-caster, and a demon-caller. Plus, one of them has a duplicate with the Slay-runts."

"True," said Glory, "But they are still human. And nerds. Both of which are incredibly ANNOYING!"

Melody sighed. "She's got a point. They still got their souls." She looked into the room at the Trio.

Warren looked around. "Looks like someone brought us back."

"Cool!" said Jonathan, "We're like Yoda! Nothing can defeat us!"

"Whoa, don't you think Yoda is going too far?" asked Andrew, "After all, 'when 900 years old, not as good you will look.'"

"True."

Melody groaned and rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I really can't put up with that. I cannot condone nerd-dom of that level in this building, especially with souls like theirs."

Aingael smirked. "I can solve that problem right now." She Vamped and waltzed into the room, slamming the door shut behind her.

Back at the STP building…

Autumn sighed. "I can't believe Willow would be the one to go bad."

Anthony nodded. "I know. I always thought it'd be Mom."

Anya glared at him. "Hey!"

Buffy walked into the room (the real Buffy). "Where's—"

"Look, something happened to Willow," said Angela before Buffy could say anything, "And I'm telling you, guys, she's not right in the head."

Winter shook her head. "No. No…Tara…are you sure you were sensing the dark magicks right?"

Tara sighed. "We all wanna believe that we're misreading the situation with Willow. But I'm telling you, there were dark magicks in her."

Winter looked at her. "You don't get it. I've been sensing stuff my whole life just out of the magic in my blood from my parents being half-Ghost. And I'm telling you, the dark magicks inside Willow weren't there naturally. They weren't hers."

Evelyn considered this. "You know…now that I think about it…her heartbeat was normal and her soul was still intact. It was her mind that had been fractured."

"What kind of magic could do that?" asked Angela.

Angel got it. "That Sibyl you killed." Angela looked at her brother. "She could've done something like this no problem. She's back. She did something."

Angela sighed. "Well, I guess it would make sense considering how Darkana and Isabella were able to come back."

"And how do you expect us to fight off such a powerful Sibyl?" asked Illyria.

Gunn got it. "Fight fire with fire." Everyone looked at him. "Find ourselves another Sibyl and convince her to help us."

Wesley sighed. "Look, it's a good idea, Gunn, but…there are no Sibyls alive today. Louisa was the last one recorded to ever be born and she was born immortal back in 1689."

"Actually…" said Anya, "…I thought it was weird…it wasn't making any sense, but maybe it can help."

"What?" asked Fred.

Anya ran over to the weapons trunk in the corner, opened it, opened a secret hatch in the side, and pulled out an amulet with a black star-shaped charm on it. "It's a Sibyl tracker. Louisa was the last one to be born and there weren't many before her for 240 years. But back in the 1400's, WHOO! They were big. So D'Hoffryn gave all his demons these little amulets to help us spot them. They vibrate when a Sibyl is within 150 feet. And when a Sibyl touches it, it burns the mark on them. And, best of all, after the mark's on there, it absolutely cannot come off, so it would be impossible for them to hide their magic from that day forth. If we can use this to find our little gifted girl, then we've got ourselves a one-track way to defeating our newly-reawakened enemies."

What none of them knew was that the First was outside the room, disguised as one of the dead Slayers and listening through the cracked-open door to the entire conversation.

"And once Louisa's down, her spell should break and Willow should go back to normal."

Xander then noticed that the door was cracked open. "Man, Buff, didn't you shut this thing the whole way?" He went and shut it completely. "Anyone could've heard her talking."

The Slayer/The First outside the door groaned and walked off. "Gotta warn the others. But I can't leave the barriers without getting fried." The First sighed. "Oh, well. What are the odds that they're actually gonna find the Sibyl? Or that there even is one and that the amulet is malfunctioning after all these years? And even if there is a Sibyl here, they'll have to search the entire 150-foot radius for her. And either way, Famina or Louisa will have felt it already. Got nothing to worry about." The First walked off.

That night…

The gang walked onto the roof of a building a few blocks down.

Cordelia groaned. "We've already searched half of Indleshire and we've still got nothing!"

Anya held up the Sibyl tracker by the chain. "I'm telling you, the Sibyl's nearby. This thing has been vibrating on the same out-of-control frequency since I took it out of its trunk. You know what? It's like the Sibyl is within 50 feet of us and has been following us since we left the building."

They didn't realize that someone was down the road, watching the whole thing with binoculars from the roof of a building. The person looked down and saw a Vampire walking into the building the gang was on top of and then heading up towards the gang. The person smiled in anticipation.

Irene had been listening to everything through the link. Suddenly, she blinked. She heard something else. She closed her eyes and concentrated. Suddenly, she could hear everything. It was like her ears opened up to everything for the first time in 15 years. She opened her eyes and kept listening. She heard someone or something breathing down the road. She looked but couldn't see anything. Then she looked down and could see the shadow of a Vampire on a windowsill. "Uh…I don't think the Sibyl is the only thing that's been following us."

Anya handed Fred the chain of the amulet/Sibyl-tracker and went to see what Irene was talking about. Sure enough, there was a Vampire getting closer.

Angela looked at the door to the roof that they'd come through. She sighed. "Sometimes it's just too easy." She opened the door and the Vampire who'd been trying to ram it down flew through the doorway…and into Fred, knocking them both down. Angela quickly whipped out a stake and dusted the Vamp.

Fred got up…and quickly realized what was missing. "The amulet!" She looked over the edge. Sure enough, she'd dropped it. There was no telling where it was now. "We've gotta go back down!"

Wesley stopped her. "We don't have enough time to go all the way back down the stairs! There's no telling who might grab it in the time it would take!"

Wren heard this. She instantly knew what she had to do. She ran at the edge and jumped off.

Fred saw this. "WREN!" She looked over the edge to grab her…and within the next instant, a giant bird flew up. Fred kept looking over the edge. Wren was nowhere in sight. Then it hit her. She looked at the bird. The bird had the amulet in its talons! The bird was Wren! "OK, didn't see that coming!"

Bird Wren flew through the air and landed on the roof of the building across the alley from the gang. The bird shrunk, lost its feathers, lost its beak, and traded its wings and talons for hands and feet. Sure enough, Wren was standing there. A shape-shifter. She held up the amulet in her hands. "I got it!"

Anya sighed with relief.

That's when a Vampire jumped at Wren. Wren instantly started trying to fight him off.

"What's with all the Vampires?" asked Tara, "It's like someone sent them here."

Angela then realized…Darkana, Isabella, and Louisa weren't the only ones that had been reawakened.

Wren finally got tired of fighting the Vamp. She needed both hands to do it without a stake. She instantly went to the edge of the roof and held up the amulet. "Win! Catch!" She threw the amulet across the alley.

Winter leaned over the edge of the roof and grabbed it before it could fall. She turned to face the rest of the gang while Wren kicked the Vamp back long enough to jump over the edge and go back into bird form long enough to rejoin the gang. Winter held up the amulet to reveal that she was holding it not by the chain but by the charm. "I got it!" Suddenly, her hand began to shimmer with a red light and burn. She instantly dropped the amulet. Then she realized what had happened. She held up her hand…to reveal to everyone that the charm had burned the star mark on her palm. She was the Sibyl they were looking for!

Fred blinked. "OK, that I really didn't see coming."

Down the road, the someone watching them put down the binoculars to reveal themselves as Famina. "Well, that's an unexpected twist." She smirked and walked off to tell the rest of the Dark Circle.