"Anne..." Part I...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

A little celebration of my Anneverse page opening...

Part I...

Play main theme

Sunnydale, night...

"...Nice dress..." the words resounded faintly in the dank cavern...

Hmmn...Heinrich Nast, Grand Master of the Vampiral stared down at the dying body of his so-called "greatest" opponent, now, naturally, rather easily vanquished...Buffy Anne Summers...

It was a nice dress at that...he eyed her prom gown...And started to turn away...Then hesitated...

Why not?...he thought...Young, fresh, powerful...Likely to even keep some faint air of innocence...Surely a worthier Queen Consort for him than that not-so-cheap slut Darla...

And sure to lead many a foolish human male...And female...including those few in the know who might yet oppose his plans, to destruction or enslavement...

Sounds coming from back down the cavern...Well...

He turned back and bent over her quickly...As she gasped out her last breaths...

***

About 1000 miles away, a tall, red-haired, early thirty-ish waitress eyed the sardonic-looking blonde male who'd been coming on to her for the last twenty minutes...Hanging by the door as she came out with her trays...Eyeing her in return coolly as he slowly burned a cigarette stub down...

"Well...How about it, love?..." he flicked the butt off and straightened up... "They must let you off sometime...?"

She paused by him, frowning...And glanced over at his rather battered-looking car...Where, inside, a frail-looking brunette watched them...Sipping the tea the waitress had brought them earlier with a decorous air...

Yet something strangely at odds with that wan appearance...A look in her eyes that had made the woman shiver a bit when she'd first come over to the pair to take their order an hour or so ago...

"I think your friend might not like me tagging along..." she sourly replied...

"What...? My sis, Dru...?...Not at all..." the blonde smiled... "She loves to meet new people...Especially if her bro likes them..."

Which he definitely does...Ginger...he looked her up and down...She walked off, over to another car and dropped off her order...

As she passed him on her way back inside, he put a hand out to stop her...

"Come on, love...I know the score...A couple of kiddies at home waitin' for Mum...?...A quick kiss beddy-bye, a cuppa alone at the kitchen table looking at the clock, a shower if you can scrape ten minutes, and bed...Then it all starts all over again with the sun...?"

Throw something new into the grind, just one night...he gave a wry grin... "Just one night, girl..." A boy's grin...Which she couldn't help returning...



"I'll get sis off to bed and be back in fifteen...What do you say, Ginger...?" No swagger now, just the look of a boy...Almost innocent, really...

She paused, looking him over...

"Make it thirty...And I can't stay past midnight..." she smiled now, shaking her head... "You're right on the nose about the kids..."

"I've a gift..." he grinned...

***

"Where is she?!..." Xander cried to Buffy's tall, brooding boy in black as he and Angel pushed on down the cavern...

I don't...Angel shook his head...Pausing to concentrate...

"I think the Master is near...That way..." he pointed... And turning, saw Xander's stricken face...

"Buffy's sure to be on his heels...Don't worry...She's..."

"There!..." Xander shoved past him... "Buffy!..." he called...To the figure vanishing down the cavern now... "Buffy!!...Wait!..." he turned to find Angel already hurrying past him...

"We'd better get after her..." Angel called back...

***

"Hey!..." a cry from behind caused Nast to pause a moment, looking back...

"Wait up!..." the fast-moving form of a young woman came up...A young woman in disheveled dress, hair streaked with the muck of the pool he'd dropped her in...He blinked at her, ready to assume defensive mode...A little quick this one?...Might be best to take care...She halted, smiling at him... "Hey, no problem..." she put up a hand...

And assumed demon face...

"Master..." she gave a slight nod...

Ah...He relaxed a bit...But remained watchful...

"We should get moving...Angel and my friend Xander are coming up fast...Be a shame if they should stop you now, after you've come so far..." she eyed him...

He gave a slight frown...Questioning his ability to deal with the likes of Angelus and some mere human fool?...Sounds from behind them...

On the other hand...He was anxious to see the surface...

"Hurry..." she waved him on...He glared a bit...

"Master..." she gave a demure smile...

"You were a rapid transformation, Ms. Summers..."

"Just eager to join up, I guess..." she smiled... "We'd better scoot..." she noted... "I can't be sure what my Watcher may have given them to help..."

"Very well, Buffy...We'll proceed to the surface and seek my followers...And..."



Welcome...he smiled...

"Anne..." she corrected...Sir...

"Buffy is the little idiot soul's name...Not for me..." she grinned...

Anne...Indeed, a better name for his new Queen of the Damned at that....

"Anne, it is then..." Heinrich nodded...

They hurried on, Anne covering the rear with careful glances...Pulling rapidly ahead of their pursuers...

"There..." Nast pointed...The surface at last...

"Now after all these years...And with my Hellmouth waiting for me to tap its power..."

"Just a min..." Anne put up a hand...He looked at her...

"Friends of Buffy's waiting for me?..." he smiled...

"Nah..." she shook her head...It's just...See...

"There's something you probably don't know about me...I mean, my past..."

He stared...Rather a young kid to have a "past"...

"A century ago...I was Cicely Walthrop...Nee Addams?...Ever hear of me?" she smiled...

He blinked...Cicely...Addams?...

"The Greatest of the Slayers?..." he blinked again...A vague cloud of fear starting to cluster...

"And I just can't let my reputation be besmirched...Even by my own dear sire..." she grinned, whipping her stake up and into his chest...

"Sorry...Just the way love goes...Master..." she eyed the ashes settling to the ground...

"Buffy!..." a cry from behind...she whirled, smiling...As Angel and Xander came up...

"Hey, fellas...Got 'im!..." she grinned...But a strange look in her eye...Angel grabbing the anxious Xander back..."No!..."

As she gave them an innocent, somewhat aggrieved stare...Fellas?...

***

An abandoned building's basement, about 1000 miles away...

"Now, then...Ginger...You understand everything?...You'll keep a watch out for us while we rest down here today, right love?..." Spike eyed the now-enthralled Ginger...Who wanly nodded...

"Good girl..." he patted her...

"You aren't giving me a sister, then?..." Dru fretted feebly... "I thought you were giving me a sister..."

"We need someone to watch out for us today, girl...This place isn't as well hidden as our usual..." Spike smiled at her...As she frowned, brushing off his pat...



And you know you're the only girl for me...he embraced her and she relented a bit...

"Besides...The poor lamb's got little ones...She'd go after them, you know...And you wouldn't want her making them suffer, now Dru?...Not little nibbies..."

The little ones will starve without their mummy...Dru noted...Eyeing the wan Ginger...

"That was back in your day, dearest...The people here will look after them...Especially after the police find our Ginger's body in a few days...After we leave tomorrow night..."

Well, then...Dru looked at him...He put up a hand...

"The regular way, love...A quick, painless, snap of the neck...Not our way..."

It's the best way...For the nibbies' sake...he smiled...

"I wouldn't mind a girly or boy to be my dolly..." Dru frowned again...Dru...he chided gently...

"That's how Prague happened...Remember?...When that little father caught you?...The mob?...And we had to hide...?" he eyed her sternly...

And you nearly got us killed crying out from the place...he kindly did not say...Poor thing not even remembering in any case, no need to hurt her by mentioning it...Still a strange thing though...Rather running against nature, really...

But then after all...Drusilla...Never one to follow a natural course...

All...Right...she sulked...

"And our Ginger can have tea with you and Miss Edith before she goes on watch...You'll have tea with our Dru and Miss Edith, won't you, Ginger...?" he smiled at the woman, who nodded blankly...

"Well, then..." a mollified Dru beamed a bit...

Let us have tea...she eagerly pointed to the table, Spike indulgently pulling her plates and cups from a carefully packed box...

***

"Anne..." Part II...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Demon Anne gets her chance...

Part II...

Sunnydale, the Master's would-be tunnel to freedom, night...

Anne regarded her would-be saviors with an feigned expression of puzzled amusement...

At least the puzzlement was feigned...

"Xander?...Angel?...What's the matter?...I got him, guys...The Master's dust and the world's saved..."

Angel shook his head as Xander looked to him...Then at her...

"What?..." she grinned...

"No roses for Buffy the World Savior...?"

She frowned a little as Xander tried to speak...Geesh...She shook her head...

"A little appreciation, boys...Even I don't save all Humanity every day..." she moved towards them...Angel pulled Xander back, covering him...Hey?...she stared...

"Buffy..." Xander finally managed...Yeah?...she looked at him... "What's the big deal?..."

"I'm sorry, Buffy..." Angel sighed... "I should have..."

"Been here to save me...?" she eyed him...Waving a hand...

No problem...Liam...she paused...Staring seriously at him...

"William?..." she asked... "Your full name...? William, right?..."

"No..." he shook his head, watching her... "In Ireland we didn't care much for William as a name...Too Brit for most of us..."

Irish...She repeated to herself in a whisper...Not British...Looking at him strangely...Not him...?

"Buffy...It isn't true...Say it isn't..." Xander began...A tear trickling down...

"Quiet..." she snapped, waving a hand...

"When were you transformed, Angel?...Where?!..."

Tell me...Or...she eyed Xander coldly...

"1794...Ireland..." Angel answered...Watching her as she looked down, biting her lip in a typically Buffy manner...

Excepting the eager way she swallowed the blood that flowed...

"I guess there's no need to ask that of you..." he told her coolly...

"No...No!..." Xander cried...Struggling in Angel's firm grip...

"Guess not..." she grinned up at them... "Sorry, Xander...Guess you two 'heros' screwed this one up big time..." she chuckled...



"But hey, kudos for trying...And after all...We got the main job done, right...?"

Or at least, I did...

Oh...God...Xander covered his face...

"So...How's about a victory kiss for the girl of your fantasies...?" she assumed demon face...

No?...she smiled...Resuming human face... "Well, maybe later..."

"Buffy..." he tried to look at her...

Anne...She politely corrected... "You call me Anne, now..."

So...Soul-boy?...She returned to Angel as Xander covered his face... "Ireland...1794...And Liam, not..." she stopped suddenly...

"Your demon..." a hard, black look in her face, somehow even more terrifying in its human form now..."Who is he?..." she paused, concentrating...What was that name Giles had called him?...

"An..." he began, watching her movements carefully...Fortunately, as she suddenly charged at him, in raging demon face...

"Angelus!..." she screamed...As he shoved Xander back...

What?...Did she and he have a bad date in Hell or something?...he wondered...Dodging desperately...

***

"This is all I've got, girl..." the weary-looking woman sighed...Pressing the money into the tall, somewhat wan...And rather frightened-looking...young girl's hand...

Momma...the girl eyed her mother...

"Take it...And go...And don't look back..."

"Momma...You know...I can't help..."

The woman pulled closer, stroked her daughter's arm...A few blonde-brown hairs from the girl's head floating onto her face...

"Tara...I know...The call has come to you...And you have to follow it, girl...Wherever it leads you..."

"I'm scared, Momma...I'm not ready...You said it would come later, if it came..." Tara cried...Hugging her...The mother wrapping her close...

"I thought it would be so..." the woman sighed... "But it's come and there's no denying it...But, baby...Baby...It'll be all right...It's not a bad thing...Never believe it's a bad thing..."

Go on, now...She released her daughter...

"And honey...Don't call here...And don't write anything where they can see a return address if you're staying there...Write or call my friend, Mrs. Onley...She'll tell me how you are...But don't even give her your address...They'll come for you, if they can, your pa and your brother...And you can't let yourself end up like me..."

Momma...Tara shook her head...

"I can't do this..."



"You are the one called, Tara...Your gran, me, you...We knew it would come for one of us...One day...And now it has come...And you can do it..."

Go on, girl...she smiled wanly...Pointing at the clock...

"Bus will be coming...And so will your pa...Go..."

Tara sighed...But picked up her bags and headed for the door...

"Momma...I don't know where I'm going...Only to go west..."

"You'll know..." the mother said simply... "It will come to you..."

***

A savage Anne slashed at Angel as he twisted away, just barely...She hopped up, kicking him back and he jumped back as she raced at him...Xander watching in horror from the left side of the tunnel...

"Xander!..." Angel called... "Get out of here!...Head for the surface!!...Tell them what's..." he jumped as Anne charged him again...Falling back against the side wall...

Anne reared over him...Resuming human face, Mr. Pointy in hand...Xander grabbed a large rock and hurled at her...Knocking her off balance as Angel rose up and threw her back...

"Not funny, Xander!..." she shrieked at him in a rage... "Bad mistake helping this clown!..."

This...Murderer...she eyed Angel, calming slightly...

"Now..." she calmed a bit further... "Xander...Here I don't go killing you on our first meeting...When I'm damned hungry, by the way...And you go helping a bastard like Angelus?..."

"Is that any way to treat the girl who saved your miserable hide?...And the whole world's...?"

"You..." Xander paused...Then sighed... "Buffy...Cared for him...And that's enough for me..."

Aw...She smiled...That's sweet...

"Pathetic... and imbecilic...Like my counterpart...But sweet..." she grinned...Angel warily moving back toward Xander...

"No wonder you let me die..." she eyed him...But hey, alls well that ends...

"Go, Xander..." Angel hissed...

"Not yet..." Anne frowned...Moving to block the way to the surface...

"Not just yet...Unless you wanna try outrunning me back down the tunnel, kiddo..." she smiled at Xander... "Which would be a very poor choice, I promise you..."

"But..." she waved a hand... "Truce...For the sake of my sweet little moron semi-brother..."

"And 'cause...Now that I think of it... 'Angel-boy' here might be able to answer some questions I got..."

***

Sunnydale High library...Giles' research area...The same night...

Willow looked at Giles, apparently lost in thought...



"Ummn...Giles...?"

"I should take you home, Willow...There's nothing more to be done now..." he sighed...

"Either things have gone well...Or...They haven't..."

"I may as well stay then..." Willow noted...A wan smile...

"If we're screwed...I'll be able to get my Mom and Dad to the head of the fleeing mob...If not...I can try to look as serenely Brit as you when they come in and make victory cocoa for Buf and Xander..."

He sighed again...

"At least we've heard no hideous cries of agonized thousands dying in horror..." she tried... "Not even a hideous peep from one...That's gotta be a good sign..."

He looked at her...His turn to faintly smile...

"Actually...You're quite right...It is promising that we've seen no signs of the Master or his minions rampaging through the streets as yet..."

"And nobody on the line from London..." she pointed out... "Your Council seems to think things are well in hand..."

"The Council would never bother to call unless they felt it would make a significant difference...Transatlantic calls are far too expensive...They're waiting for me to call and charge it to Sunnydale High..."

"Buffy will do it..." Willow nodded firmly... "She'll get him...Prophecy or no prophecy..."

But...she frowned a bit...

"I wish we could check things out..."

"Our duty is to stay...Provide a communications link for Buffy and the others...And keep the Council informed...Once we have something to inform them with..." Giles replied, removing his glasses for the hundred and tenth time in the past hour for a wipe...

On the other hand...he eyed her...

"I could leave things to you and do a quick check..."

Ummn...she stared...Leave...As in...Alone...

Me...And you, she hastily added...

"You can't go out alone, Giles...And I wouldn't know what to do here...If things..." she paused...

A crashing sound from outside...A windowpane above them suddenly broke...Willow looked at Giles...

"You!..." a cry... "Watcher!!..." A howl...

"Where is Our Master!?..."

"They're at it again..." Willow sighed... "Thought they'd given up after the third time at midnight..."

Hey...she grinned...This is a good sign, right?...

"He hasn't popped up yet?...And dawn's not far off..." she looked at Giles hopefully...



"We'll have to wait and see..." he nodded...

"We'll kill you if his rising is prevented!..." Another cry from outside...

Can I?...Willow looked at the Watcher...Who shrugged...Certainly...She turned to a microphone...

"You and whose demon grandmother!?..." she clicked a button on the mike... "Better make tracks, pal...Cause the Slayer's on her way home..."

A few faint sounds as if a very few someones were vamoosing in a hurry from outside...

"Come on out!..." a last faint cry, fading away...

Oh, come on...Willow grinned at Giles...

"Right after sunrise...Just wait right there..." Willow's voice came from the outside speakers...

***

"Anne..." Part III...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part III...

Sunnydale...The Master's unutilized escape tunnel...Nearing dawn...

A somewhat bedraggled Anne now frowning down at her new prom dress...Look at this, willya?...She looked up at her companions...

"Buffy..." Xander looked at her, Angel keeping between them...

"Bastard sob went and ruined my new dress..." she sighed at the puddle stains on her white dress...

"Lucky for you guys, though...Cause if you'd done this..." she eyed them...

"I'm sorry...Buffy..." Xander tried again...

She gave him an annoyed...duh?...stare, head cocked...

"Anne, Xander...My "sis"...Of sorts...Buffy is gone...Which might actually work out for you..." she grinned now...

That is if you're still interested in dating me...A coy look...

"Though you'd best make your move quick...Cause when I find who I'm lookin' for...My dancing days are over..." she sighed...And turned to Angel as Xander stared...

"Which brings me back to you, soul-boy...By the way?...You never did do anything for that poor crazy bitch murderess nun, did you?..."

"Drusilla?...I..." he started...How the hell did she...?

"I didn't think so..."

Angel...Tsk-tsk...That poor kid...She shook her head... "And you call yourself redemption-seeking..."

***

London...The Antiquarian Hall of the Royal Council of Librarians and Library Scientists...

Or the Watchers' Council to those in the know...

In the reception area outside the holiest of holies...The office of the Chairman...Senior Watcher Tristam Reynolds eyed the guardian of the inner sanctum...A mid-fiftyish secretary in a loud print blouse and rather appallingly short mini-skirt...Who held a phone to her ear as he waited...

"All right..." she replaced the phone and returned Reynolds' stare...An impassive...And impassable look on her face replacing the slight, but unmistakable look of interest in the fortyish, slightly greying and all the better for it, Watcher...Consistent winner...Among both male and female members...Of the secretarial staff's "best reasons for being a Slayer" pool...

"Mr Travers will see you..."



Right...Reynolds moved for the door...She raised a formidable-looking walking-stick...In the grip of an even more formidable-looking arm...To block...

In ten minutes...She eyed him firmly...

"Please take a seat, sir..." she pointed with the stick...Yes, she nodded as he eyed the stick, then her...

"The stories are true, sir...It's empowered...A very basic spell...But it would knock you flat...For a lot longer than ten minutes..."

Please...she smiled...Pointing again...Reynolds taking his seat with a grim look...She regarding him with a benevolent, but implacable one...

"You did tell him it was..." he began...

"...Vital and of the highest importance, sir...Yes...You just heard me say so...And he will see you shortly..."

Right...Reynolds glared at the door...If Ripper were here...Between the two of them...

And yet...If Ripper knew...And knew that his oldest friend on the Council...The one man he trusted implicitly....Had gone to Travers first with what he'd just uncovered...Rather than call him immediately and the Council be damned...

Likely there'd only be one left to confront their dear Chairman...

The door opened and a beaming Quentin Travers appeared...A welcoming hand out...

A open-hearted man without a care or a thing to conceal in the world...

Right...

"Tristam...Come in, my friend...Sorry to keep you waiting..." he turned to the secretary... "Magda...Please hold all..."

"Mr. Chairman!!!..." several staffers raced in...Two senior members following...Draxton, the psychic, one of them, Reynolds noted quickly...

Magda glaring silently at the breech in protocol...Stick in hand...

"Sir..." Axton, the other senior member...A former Chairman, himself...Raised an anxious hand... "I apologize for this interruption, but..."

"I understand..." Travers nodded, smoothly sizing up the situation...

"So...Ms. Summers has failed us..." he eyed Draxton...Reynolds staring...

"The Master has risen and is moving to tap the Mouth?..."

No...Draxton shook his head... "Nast is destroyed...But..."

There has been a disaster...Possibly an irreparable one...

The younger staffers began to crowd... "We've lost her..." one began...Travers put up a sharp hand, frowning for silence...Reynolds standing by, off to the side now...Pondering...

If it was what he thought it must be...His business was likely of little importance now...

Or, perhaps...He considered...Even more critical...If She knew...



"The Slayer...?" Travers eyed Draxton, a hair surprised inwardly...Surely nothing new to lose another Slayer, even as promising as this one...If one supposed Ms. Summers to be simply another Slayer...

Worse...Draxton shook his head...

"She's...That is, I believe...She has been..."

"Turned?..." Travers nodded impassively...

"Poor thing..." Magda suddenly spoke...Startling the others...Who stared at her as she shook her head... "Such a brave one..."

Turned...Reynolds thought...And if She knows...If the demon knows...

"Sir...?" he called to Travers...Who glanced at him...Raising a hand...

"Well..." the Chairman sighed... "A serious matter...But let us not forget to show our Slayer the proper respect...And remember that a great victory has been won..." he turned to Magda...Who nodded...And began opening intercom lines...He went to her desk, waiting as she pulled out a microphone...

"Attention..." her voice boomed out over loudspeakers in the building... "All departments stand by for a special announcement..." Sir...she handed over the mike...

"Sir...?" Reynolds pushed forward, the other members eyeing him disapprovingly... "My business with you is still urgent...After..." he eyed the mike...

Yes, yes...Travers nodded... "But we will require a full Council meeting to evaluate the situation regards...Ms. Summers...Your matter must wait a bit yet, my friend..."

"Cicely Addams..." Reynolds looked at the Chairman who blinked slightly... "Will not wait..."

Axton stared at Reynolds...A grim look...As the others continued to look a bit put out with Reynolds' attitude...To pump some minor project of his own...At a moment like this...

So...It's true...Reynolds thought, returning Axton's stare...They all knew, the bastards...It's been passed down all these years...Passed down and kept buried...

All these years the Chairmen have waited and feared this day...When Cicely's ghost would surface at last...

I see...Travers smiled faintly at the Watcher...Yes... "Yes, Tristam...I agree...But first..." he turned to the mike...Pressing...

"This is Chairman Travers...Ladies and gentlemen...It is my duty to inform you...Of both a great victory over the Darkness...And a tragic loss..." he began...

***

Ummn...Ummn...Dru tossed as she lay on some bedding in the basement space of her temporary lair about 1000 miles from Sunnydale, Spike turning over, calling to her "Dru...?" As ...Aaaaaah!!!...she jumped up...Trembling...

"Drusilla...?" Spike eyed her...She looked off at the far wall...Not heeding him as he came to her and tried to calm her...

"Dru?..."

"Coming...Coming...for me...Oh..." Dru shook...

A sound of feet on the stairs...

"Is something...wrong...William...?" Ginger wanly called from the staircase...Eyeing them with a blank expression...



"No...Nothing to be concerned about dear heart...Go back and keep a sharp eye out for anyone...Understand?..." She nodded and went up...

"Dru..." he patted her... "Nothing's wrong...No one's coming for you...They're all gone...We're safe..."

We're going to where you'll soon be well...Remember?...

"No...No...It's coming for me...At last...She got away and now..." she gasped with fear...Staring...

"She...?" Spike eyed the shaking figure...In her white nightgown, for a moment, a frightened little girl to be cherished and comforted...But for the harsh look in the back of her eyes...

"The Slayer, Dru?...Is that who you mean...?" he tried...

No, dearest...No...he smiled gently...The Slayer is far away...

"And William is here to kill her for..."

"On the day I died...Came...She hid...Locked herself away..." Dru murmured...

Wouldn't come out and play...Wouldn't speak to me...

"Bad One...Bad Sister...I wanted to play...I invited her..."

Wouldn't come out and play...Like you...she eyed him now...

"You came to watch...William..." she stared... "Put the grip on and held it...Watched the fun..." she grinned wanly...Then managed to pale even more than she'd been before...

"The Bad One wants to kill me!...Send me away...!" she tried to stumble towards the stairs...

"Dru!..." Spike grabbed at her...Pulling her back...Holding her as she tried to tear away...

"No...You..." she clawed at him...

"You are waiting for her...Using my silly boy...Waiting for your Slayer...You...BAD ONE!...SPIKE!...Don't let him!!..."

"Dru?!...Stop this, girl!..." he pushed her back down to the floor, firmly holding her...

"You are fine...We are fine...And you'll be well again...Soon as we get..."

"Sunnydale!...No!!..." she tried to rise again... "They're there...She'll be there..."

"If she's there, I'll kill her for you..." he told her, soothing... "I will, dear heart..." he smiled at her anxious face... "You know I will...Sweet...The Slayer will never..."

Dru stopped struggling, staring into his face...A faint smile...

"You silly boy...You poor silly Willy..." she eyed him, leaning close...A whisper... "You've lost her, William...She's already dead...Again..." she let him go as he stared at her...

But the Other is come for you...she shivered...And the Bad One is coming...For me...

***

"Anne..." Part IV...



Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant nemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part IV...

The cavern tunnel leading to the now dust Master's lair...Just before dawn...

"So...You do know of a William the Bloody...?" Anne eyed Angel, standing now well back of her... Xander still behind him...Trying to deal his way out of mourning mode as he does his best to avoid looking at the thing his beloved Buf has become...

Angel nodded... "They call him 'Spike' for short...He has a way with railroad spikes..."

Yeah... she nodded..."I think...I know..." A harsh grin, vaguely remembering...A news item in the Times a frantic, then shattered Cicely had read after William's...Change and disappearance...Regards the sad fate of poor ole John "Goodman Jack" Henderson, famed London sportsman/gentleman about town and one of Cicely's less tolerable ex-suitors...The one who, one night at the house, having fumed for two hours at little William firmly planted in the favored seat across from the object of his own desire, had fashioned that damned name to hang round his rival's neck after the brief premiere reading of his work she'd insisted William give...

William the Bloody Awful...

Well, it hadn't been his best work Will'd read that night...And he'd been very nervous reading it for the first time in public...Taken by surprise, pressed by her into it...

But, from what little details the Times had given...And the gory accounts several of the less reputable sheets had provided... 'Spike' had taken a full measure of revenge...And then some...

Nice to see my lil' poet had it in him...But then, even then...From what little I picked from Cicely when they...We...Met...And later from her rotting brain...I knew...

She blinked a little, Angel watching, clearly awaiting any chance...Best to focus a little and keep the old guard up...These 'soulful' types like to play hero...

Well, anyway...she eyed him... "Any idea where he is now...?"

"God knows...I don't...I had no desire to keep tabs on him and..." he stopped...

"Drusilla..." Anne finished, nodding...Then cocking her head to give a vicious grin...

"You couldn't be bothered keeping watch over your "most lamented" victim?...Trying to stop her, free her?...What a piece of work you are, Liam..." she smiled... "I see where Angelus got his famous ego from...It's redemption on a world-saving scale with an adoring audience in attendance...And if possible a pretty..." she gave a demure smile... "Female to be won by your heroic deeds..."

"Else your pretty face and that hair are just too precious to risk..." she grinned...

"I've answered your questions, Anne...Now as to your side of the bargain..." he glanced at Xander...



She put a hand... "I'm not done yet...What about that old bitch of yours?...Darla?...She's the one who's been following the Master, right?..." she grinned at him... "Where's she off to...?"

"I haven't the slightest idea..." he shook his head... "Probably waiting for Nast above..."

"That's a shame..." she sighed... "Poor ole Angelus...Just can't keep his girls...Even his mommy ran out on him, huh?..."

"I've told you what I know, Anne...And I'm not Angelus..."

"No?..." she eyed him carefully... "Oh, well...You'll do as his stand-in for me...When I'm ready..." she smiled sweetly...

And turned to Xander...

"Ok, Xander...You can go...But...Tell Giles...And Willow...I want to see them, with you...In the Greenwood Cemetery tomorrow night...And that no one is say anything to my mom just yet..." he stared, she put up a hand... "No, I don't mean that...Giles can go ahead and do his protection thing if he wants at our house...I just don't want her to know...Yet..."

"Not that it would be something you could tell her without a lot of head-scratching..." she grinned... "Unless you all wanna go to jail as suspected murderers of poor, nnocent, mysteriously-vanished-while-out-late-with-her-bizarre-friends, Buffy...That'd be sure to get you guys on the local evening news at least...Especially with our favorite middle-aged high school librarian loser as the made-to-order Brit pervert leader of your group..."

Tell Giles...she turned grimly serious...And make sure all of you are there...

"The Slayer...Or whatever's left of her...Wants a group conference of her little band...Or else I'll be paying each of you and your families a visit...Every night...And eventually, I'll get to see you no matter what little precautions you take..."

Go!...She pointed surfacewards...Assuming demon face...

"Try not to screw this one, too, sweetie..."

"Go on, Xander..." Angel told him... "Get back to them and tell them...I'll try to meet up with you all tomorrow night..."

If he's still with us...Anne added sweetly...

Xander headed out...Facing them as he backed away for a bit, then turned and hurried off...

"Hope he doesn't screw it..." she sighed to her companion, shaking her head... "He's not really cut out for this stuff..."

And now...She eyed him...Angel watching carefully...

"I'm starved...You got blood at your place, right?..."

He blinked at her...Well?...she stared back...

"Oh..hh...You were expecting the 'fight to the death' scene...?" Eh...she waved a hand... "Maybe later...Right now, I'm tired and hungry...And dawn's acoming..."

He looked at her...Considering...

"Hey, I've given you your chance soul-boy...Politely invited myself over to your place...How's about a little responsiveness?...You were interested enough before you let me down tonight..."

For my friends' sake...And the sake of all those 'little people' up there...She waved an arm to indicate....at least...

"All right...If you'll promise..." "To behave?..." she smiled...



"Cross my dead heart and on my mother's still present soul..."

***

London...Watchers' Antiquarian Hall...Office of the Chairman...

About 10:30 am...

Tristam Reynolds, senior Watcher, regarded Chairman Travers who'd listened quietly to his part report, part accusation...And, given the terrible news from California, part evaluation of the potential for disaster...

"Well, Tristam..." Travers smiled suavely... "I am most impressed by your efforts...You must have set a new record for violation of security restrictions in the use of the archives...And found a entirely new level of arm-twisting...Fortunately, you had the good sense to come to me...Rather than spread these unfounded tales and cause needless upset at such a critical time..."

"This has been deliberately kept from Ms. Summers and Mr. Giles, not to mention the full Council, Mr. Chairman...And now, if the Slayer's demon has maintained a connection to her past life self, retained something of Cicely's memories...Which is likely by my understanding of these 'tales'..."

"Are you suggesting, Mr. Reynolds?..." Travers' voice took on a more stern tone... "That I, myself, was involved in this 'deliberate' attempt to conceal information from the Slayer and her Watcher?..." Travers eyed his subordinate carefully...

"If what I've learned is as true as I believe it to be, sir...Every Chairman since Simon Farris has kept the secret..."

"And my role...If your investigations could be accepted at face value...Would have to be rather a large one...Given that you are suggesting I...And the living ex-Chairmen...And perhaps a handful of the Inner Council...Had access to this information...And knew that our lamented Mrs. Walthrop had reincarnated as Miss Summers?..."

Yes...Reynolds stated flatly... "I believe you knew...And concealed the truth..."

"And what would be the point?...Granted, your story would not cast this organization in the best light with our deceased Slayer...But the events you describe took place over 100 years ago...And all the participants are long dead..."

Dead...Tristam nodded...But not buried...

"Your decision...Meaning that of all the Chairmen since that loathsome toad, Farris..." Travers cast a cold eye at Reynolds... "Has placed this organization in jeopardy...If the Slayer's demon knows and chooses to take vengeance on us...Perhaps even on the Potential Slayers..."

"I hardly think Miss Summers' demon will bother with..."

"Cicely Addams-Walthrop came to hate the Slayer...Everything about her, though she did her duty and was the Greatest of them all...And, from what Ripper...Mr. Giles...Has told me, Miss Summers seems to remain in that mold..."

Add to that Mrs. Walthrop's perfectly valid reasons for wanting us dead...And this organization stands in peril...

Not to mention guilty of abetting a hideous crime...Reynolds did not say...Not expecting that such concerns would have much weight with Quentin Travers...

"Yes..." Travers nodded...A faint smile... "I agree that Miss Summers' demon...Armed with this knowledge you claim we possess...Would pose a considerable threat to us..."

Which is why...She will be dealt with...Either by her Watcher, under the normal practice following the turning of a Slayer...Or, should he fail...By our operatives...

"Given what Giles has told me...They'd best be damned good operatives..." Reynolds shook his head...



"They'll get the job done should he fail..." Travers stood...

And if she finds him?...And they unite against us?...

"William the Bloody?...My dear Reynolds...Our friend William is spoken for, as you know...And hardly likely to encounter Ms. Summers...Or Mrs. Walthrop...Or any demon counterpart of the two... with friendly feeling, if they should ever meet..."

"Sir...Miss Summers...Mrs. Walthrop...Deserves more consideration than this...There may be ways...If you would let me go to Ripper...Mr. Giles..."

"Unauthorized, unsanctioned methods, Tristam...I can not let you do that...And I must ask you to confine your remarks on this conversation...And the matter in question...To the task of destroying our new enemy..."

Mrs. Walthrop...And her husband are dead, Tristam...Let them rest...he eyed Reynolds...

"The problem is sir...We prevented them from resting...And now they will have their reckoning with us...Sure as the sun will rise...Unless we help them...Or destroy them..."

And our past efforts with William the Bloody have not been covered in glory...he noted...

"We cannot help them...But we will destroy them and give them peace...And the case of Cicely Addams-Walthrop and her husband will be closed..." Travers was cold and impassive...

Reynolds moved to leave...Travers called to him...

"Tristam...I must ask you to stay on duty...Here in the Hall...Until the crisis is over..."

Reynolds stared back...

"I've need of your advise and support, my friend...I cannot do without them..." the Chairman pressed a buzzer...Yes?...Magda called...

"Mr. Reynolds will be on station here...Please prepare suitable sleeping quarters...And the usual 'assistants'..." Yes, sir...she replied, signing off...

"There's no need to hold me here, sir...I came to you first..."

"Tristam?... 'Hold you?'...I've told you, my friend...You're needed here..." Travers beamed... "After all, Mr. Reynolds...This is the Watchers' Council...And your duty is to watch and observe, not intervene..."

Not intervene...he repeated...

"Yet you'll have Giles... 'intervene'...Rather decisively with Miss Summers..." Reynolds glared...

"His role must needs be a more active one...One which I feel he'll be willing to take on, however reluctantly...So long as he gets no unsubstantiated tales from you which might affect his judgment..."

Magda buzzed and Travers pushed a button which automatically opened the office door...Two large, only half-human, guards had taken up positions just in front...

"Fenton and Creel here will escort you back to your office, Tristam...Please remember they will be on duty just outside...And under no particular orders to avoid any use of force they deem necessary..."

"Anne..." Part V...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part V...

Willow eyed Giles as he stood by the research table...Phone tight in his hands...

"I see..." Giles spoke quietly... "Yes, well...Come as soon as you can...Thank you..." he gently put the phone in its cradle...

"Willow...I think you should go home...I'm sure that Buffy has succeeded and will be home when she can...I must meet with a member of the Council who's just come to town...Give them a brief summary..." he paused...Then, turned and grabbed a few files which he carefully shuffled and tapped into order... "Yes...They're impatient...Can't wait to let me get the Slayer's report...I..."

"You're babbling, Giles..." Willow sighed, eyes filled with tears... "That was Xander, wasn't it?..."

And...Buffy is dead, isn't she?...She rose and came to him...Putting a hand on his arm...

He stared at her... "I...Don't..." he shook his head... "You know, it never occurred to me...I don't know what to tell her mother...What can I say to her...?"

Giles...

Oh...Willow...he sobbed as she embraced him... "I've killed her..."

"Giles...The Master killed her...Not you...You tried to go in her place...It wasn't..."

"I told her it was her duty to Humanity...I sent her out...Willow, she was just a..."

"She was a Slayer...And it was her duty...Giles?...Giles..." she pulled back and stared at him...

"What can we do now?...Is there anything we can do?...Giles?..."

"There's no need...As far as Nast is concerned...The Master is destroyed...She..." he sat down...

"Xander told me...Her demon destroyed him...After Nast killed her..."

"Her...Demon?..." Willow looked at him, sitting beside him... "Is that possible?...Isn't...Wasn't he her whatever...?"

That's our Buf...The oddly proud thought passing quickly...No bowing and scraping vamp lord's bitch she...Alive or dead...

"Anne..." Giles hesitated...The name floating in air a moment...The name Xander says she used, he explained... "Seems to be the independent sort..."

No surprise there...Willow thought...Hmmn...Anne, eh?...And...Whoa?!!...

"Xander?!...Is he...?"



"Alive, apparently...According to him she let him go, stayed with Angel...And told him that she wants us all to meet...Tomorrow..." He rubbed his weary face, eyeing the clock on the wall overhead... "Tonight at Greenwood Cemetery...He's on his way now so we should know for sure about him shortly..."

Greenwood...Trust Buf to pick the nicest graveyard in town...

"I'd better call the Council..." he sighed... "Though you can be sure they already..." His phone rang...

At least they have the decency to call us rather than wait to save a few quid...he noted, picking up...

Buffy...Oh, God...Have mercy on my poor friend's brave soul...Willow shook her head...No...

"Yes...Rupert Giles here...Yes, Mr. Chairman..."

No, damn You, You white-bearded old...Son of a...Well, bastard...To Hell with Your mercy...How could You've let her face all that alone?...And not make a personal appearance ala burning bush, hosts of heavily armed angels and all those other guys...You worthless...

"Yes...I have had the news...She has definitely been turned...But she has...Or rather her counterpart has...Destroyed the Master..."

Hmmn...Angel...God, what was he doing all this time?...Sitting round while...she lowered her head....

"We're awaiting one of our people...He was in contact...Alive, we believe, yes..."

Sittin' round, like me while she died...

"Yes...I will evaluate the new situation and take all appropriate measures...Thank you sir...I will be in as constant communication as events allow...My report will be in within the next two hours..."

Xander...My poor, poor Xander...He must be so...Forgive me, Buf...But please, please let him be safe...

"I understand...Yes...I thank you, sir but of course it was a failure on my part...Well..." he sighed... "Thank you..." he hesitated... "Sir?...Regarding Mrs. Summers..."

Joyce?...Oh, God...What are we gonna...?

"I see...Yes, I'll be happy to send some suggestions and review the Council's scenario...But, sir...I would like to do what I can to provide Mrs. Summers some protection..."

Pro...Tection?...Willow closed her eyes...Rubbed her face...This has to be a nightmare...I hafta wake up...

Protection...From...

"Thank you, sir...I will be as discreet as possible..." Giles hung up...

Wait a minute...Willow eyed him...

"The Chairman has agreed that I may do what I can...Discreetly...To protect Buffy's mother...From..."

"You didn't tell them?...That she wants to meet...?" she stared at him...

In situations like this...he said slowly...And paused, not looking at her...Council policy...Of longtime standing...Is for the Watcher, if still alive and capable of doing so...To destroy the turned Slayer immediately...While she is still rather confused and vulnerable...

"Or failing that, the Council will take whatever action is necessary..."



"But...You're gonna meet with her...?"

"It's not Buffy anymore, Willow...But yes, I do plan to meet with her...I owe her that much, rather than let the Council hunt her down..." he looked at her carefully...She staring back calmly...I understand...her look saying...

"And I'm afraid, according to Xander...You and he must be there as well...For your families' sakes..."

"I'll be there...To help you...For Buf's sake..."

***

Whoa...Anne smirked, looking round, as Angel unlocked the inner door of his building...

Tres seedy and noirish...This look is you...she sneered...

"But lemme ask you something, soul-boy..."

He gave a cool stare...

"What's the deal?...Apart from the high cost of living in good ole CA, I mean?...Do you really believe God or Fate or whoever is gonna care if you take a half-decent place?...I mean, sure...My idiot counterpart was impressed by this kinda nonsense... 'Oooh...Dark mystery guy in his dark, mysterious, rancid...(Do they charge you for this kinda noir stench?...) lair...'...But, c'mon..."

"I live where I'm needed..." he answered shortly... "And I'm not exactly earning the big bucks in my current line..."

"Jest the facts ma'am..." she grinned...Smiling at a nervous-looking, human, fortyish type just entering...Trying to side past them...Hi there...

"I'm not gonna be long with this guy...You lookin' for a date?..." she called as the man dashed for his door...

Geesh...And I woulda given him a discount...she chuckled...Angel holding the inner door for her... "Come on, in...Or stay out..." he eyed her...

Thank you, sir...she nodded, entering regally...He put up a hand...

"Just one thing, Anne...If you want to go and play slut, go right ahead...You're not Buffy and I've seen enough not to let a vamp playing psych-out get to me...But if you're accepting my hospitality and staying in my place for the day...You'll act like a lady...Otherwise you can go see if one of my fellow tenants will take a stranger in..."

"That's noble, boyfriend...I'm touched..." she batted her eyes...As he pulled his keys... "Oh, Angel..." she sniffled, a couple of tears running now...As he watched impassively...Holding his room door open...

"Good, huh?..." she smiled at him, slipping in... "I mean for your average human...Not an implacable dark hero type like you..." Eggh...she shuddered...Looking at the peeling paint, something-gnawed wall holes, the you-don't-expect-me-to-sleep-on-that mattress...

"You know, somebody with a beating heart and some capacity for normal human feeling and compassion...I mean, after a scene like that...My poor Xander would be..." she stopped as he continued to stare impassively...

Ok...She suddenly beamed a warm, almost innocently Buffy smile that for a second...Barely a second...Only the slightest tightening of his hand's grip on the door revealing her triumph...A triumph she fully and contentedly noted...

"I'll behave..."

Oh, God...she put a hand to her mouth, eyes widening...It's morning...I should call my Mom...She is gonna have my head...



"What?..." she stared at him as he glared at her... "Can't a vamp girl wanna spare her mommy's feelings?...I'm not talkin' about going home and sinking 'em in her neck, ya know..."

"I won't let you torment Joyce, Anne..."

"I just wanna tell her I'm...More or less...Ok...Hell, Angel..." she frowned... "You can't want her looking all over town for me today...At least one of the dweebs in this neighborhood who saw us is sure to wanna get his or her picture on the evening news..."

A still colder look...Hmmn...Not bad, she noted...The brood is your look, pal...

"Just let me tell her I'm ok...Out with...Somebody..."

Special...she beamed innocently...Finger to her lips as she cocked her head slightly at him...Biting the finger gently...

"Tell her you're at the high school...Sleeping it off with some of the other kids..." What?...She stared, a little genuine annoyance...Hand on hip glare... "You expect me to tell my Mom I'm too drunk to come home?..."

"...I'll call Willow and Giles first and we'll have them cover for you if she calls back..."

And it sure beats telling her you're too dead to come home...he noted firmly...

She stared back...A hard, coldly vicious look now...But something, in the back of her eyes...She looked down at her dress...

"My prom dress..." she said quietly...Not looking at him...

***

"He can help you, dear..." A voice, velvet-soft with just a hint of malice...A dark-haired beauty in antique dress...

"He's a man of great compassion...And noble heart...He'll be glad to do what he can to comfort you here in this emptiness..."

"No...I..."

"Drusilla...You don't deserve this, child...What have you done to be lost, alone here...?" the woman smiled at her...

"It will hurt him...It will kill him..."

"Now, child... 'It' is going to take him...One way or the other...You can either be by to help the poor man's soul and comfort him...Or..." Halfreck in Cicely form beamed at the soul of her client, trapped in utter emptiness... "And he will be in such torment...So young, so loving..."

"Mercy on me!...God!..."

Halfreck smiled, looking round... Sorry, don't see the fellow...Maybe He's on vacation...

For the last few decades...she grinned...

"Drusilla...Be sensible...The poor boy will need your help...He'll be lost in the void like you...And worse yet...Sent into this horror by the one he thought loved him...The woman who pledged him her heart...And abandoned him..."

"No...Miss...Whoever you are...I cannot...I will not help It...No..."

Halfreck...I've told you that five times, lady...Halfreck frowned... "Though this form I hold is that of poor William's beloved Cicely...The one who is sending him to his doom tonight..."

Doomed...And alone...Eternally...By your own other self, Dru...If you don't help him...



"I will...I will warn him, drive him away..."

"Dru..." A shake of a beautifully-coiffed head... "You can't stop It...You haven't the slightest control over It...And how many prayers have you spent trying?..." Haly sighed...A somewhat tough nut to crack she thought...But rather essential...

"All you can do...Is ease his transition...And comfort him when he enters this bleak void..." she smiled gently... "Call to him...And help him when It takes him...It's all that can be done for the poor man now..."

No...No...Dru shook her head... I can't...I...

"Then poor William must suffer alone, I suppose..." Haly shook her head...

What a pity...And when you could comfort each other...

"No!...NO!..." she screamed...

"Miss?..." Tara woke with a start...Staring up at the elderly bus driver...

"We're in St. Louis, miss...Sorry to wake you but you seemed a bit uncomfortable lying that way...Thought you might care to use the facilities..."

Thanks...she sighed...Smiling feebly...

***

"Anne..." Part VI...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part VI...

The Sunnydale High library...Early morning...

"Xander!..." Willow raced for the weary, stricken-looking boy as he stood in the doorway facing Giles...An expression including, but beyond, sadness and shame...

"Wait, Willow!!..." Giles cried, sternly...Cross in right hand, reaching into a cabinet with the other...As Willow stopped shortly for the briefest of pauses, eyeing Xander carefully, and ran into his arms...

"You're ok...You're ok...Thank God..." she looked up at him...Ummn...You are...Ok, right?...

"Willow!..." Giles pulled up a crossbow...

"I'm alive...Buffy..." Xander swallowed, nodding at her as he embraced her...Oh, Wil...

"Damn the two of you!!..." Giles came to them, a voice neither had ever heard, Xander staring up at his raging face... "How the hell am I to deal with this situation with fools like..." he stopped...Staring back at Xander's face...Willow turning to look at the Watcher now, still holding Xander tightly...



"It's alright...I love you, baby...It's alright..." she breathed...He pulled back slightly...Searching her face...Looking over to Giles again...Who lowered his crossbow to the table beside him and rubbing his forehead with the newly freed hand... "Forgive me, Willow...Xander...I don't mean...Please..." he sighed... "Can you tell us the situation, Xander?..."

"It was too...I couldn't...I..." Xander began...And buried his face in Willow's arm...She looking at Giles carefully, a mother defending her young...If you say one accusing word...her look saying...

"No, Xander...You couldn't have helped her...None of us could..." Giles told him gently, coming to them... "But I must be sure that you're alright...Please, Willow..." he eyed her and she released him, Giles handing him the cross...

"Better give me the water treatment too..." Xander smiled wanly...Clutching the cross in a tight fist...

"I've never been all that religious..."

***

"Would you mind...?" Anne eyed Angel as she held the blood packet he'd given her in her hands...Her lips a bit moist...A hunger in her eyes...He stared...

"I'd appreciate a little privacy for my first time..." she explained... "Slobbering blood and plasma down still somehow doesn't seem a natural thing to me...Holdover from Buffy, I guess..."

Though I'm rarin' to try it...she grinned...Kinda like sex...All that mess, you know...Sounds so disgusting in some ways...

"But I'm rarin' to try that too...If you'd be..."

"I'm not leaving the room...Go over there if you like, turn around, and do what you need to do..." he pointed... "You'll get used to it soon enough..."

Already used to doin' it myself...she grinned...But you've been featuring in a starring role...Sexwise I mean...

He glared...

"Why just the other night...Buffy was so..."

"Enough...I told you I'd send you out if you kept this kind of thing up, Anne..."

"But, honey...I'm trying to share my...Our...Deepest desires..." Anne put on a winsome look... "I thought we could talk about anything...Our feelings...My...Needs..."

He stood up...

"You really were born in the eighteenth century, weren't you?..." she grinned... Ok...She went to the far edge of his bed and turned her back to him...

She really was a bit...he realized suddenly...As she hesitated...

My poor Buffy...He scraped the thought from his mind...No...

"What do I do...?" she called... Staring down at the packet...So yummy-looking...And yet...So...Eeggh...

"Bring out your fangs, sink them in, and drink...It'll come to you instinctively..." he told her...

Yeah...she continued to hesitate...Staring...

"Or..." he paused... "I could get you a pair of scissors and a glass to pour it in..."



Please...she turned back, a genuine smile...

"This really is my first time...Ever..." she explained...Thanks...As he got up for the scissors...Pulling them from the drawer of a battered lamp table...And grabbing a glass on the table...

He brought them over and sat back down in his chair across the room...

She cut the bag open and poured...Wish you had a microwave...she noted...

"It never comes out well nuked..." he shook his head...

"Here goes...Down the hellhole..." she lifted the glass and gulped...Whoa...Not bad...she noted...

In a disgustin' kinda way...she shook her head...

"Could I have another?..."

He got up again...Over to the small fridge...

"So...We can talk about anything...?" he looked at her as he brought the packet over...

"And do it, too..." she beamed coyly...Thanks...She took the packet...

"Sorry...Horny young virgin vamp here..." she grinned at him as he backed over to his chair...

"What did you want to discuss, Liam?... 'Fraid I can't bring you up very much on the goings-on in Hell these days...I don't remember more than vague impressions...Ummn..." she poured and gulped down the second bag's contents...Tasty...

And yet, still disgusting...

"Why the interest in William the Bloody, Anne...?" he asked...

"A direct question from my brooding host...Nice..." she smiled...Stretching back on the bed...

"Young, beautiful, horny...Virginal...And oh, so willing...C'mon, Liam...How can you say no to this...?" she teased...

"Well?..." he eyed her...

"He's important to me...And to my counterpart..." she paused...

"Buffy?...How'd Buffy know...?" he halted...She eyed him with a smile...

"You've know him...Before..." he looked at her..."You're a reincarnate, aren't you...?"

I...Was...she grinned...

"Cicely Addams-Walthrop...Very pleased to meet you, Mr. Angel...Or do you use a different last name...?"

His phone rang...

***



Sunnydale High, the library...Early morning...

"Hey, Ms. Summers..." Willow chirped into the phone on the research table... "This is Willow Rosenberg...Just...What?...Ummn, yeah I've been with Buffy...She's really sorry about...Ummn..." she looked at Xander who nodded gently...You can do this, Wil... "Well, she's not here right now...She and some of the guys went to get some things for breakfast..."

"Yeah...I guess my mom must be...What?...Oh, ummn...Sunnydale High...We decided to sleep...er stay over...It was...What?..."

"Hello?...Angel...?" Giles spoke into his desk phone... "This is Rupert Giles...Is... 'Anne' there with you...?...I see..."

"Yeah...It was irresponsible, Mrs. Summers...I'm really sorry...What?...Well, ummn...Not anything alcoholic..."

I'll have Buffy call you asap...she finished hastily...

"I understand the demon would like us to meet with it..." Giles noted to his phone... "No, I...I prefer not to speak with it just now...Tell her...It...I am willing to meet...But alone..."

Giles...Xander called to him... "No way are you going alone..." Giles put up a hand...

"Don't..." Willow paused...Oh, God...Turning to look at Xander...Who took the hand she reached out to him... "...don't worry, Ms. Summers...Bye..."

And put her head in her hands as Xander stroked her hair...Don't...Worry...she repeated...Don't...worry...I told her...

"Wil...Wil...It's alright..."

"I see..." Giles paused, looking over at Willow, Xander holding her gently... "Do I have its promise that no harm will come to the others and their families?...Very well...Tell it we'll come, 8:00pm, the Hauser mausoleum at Greenwood...But only so long as I feel the situation is safe for the others..."

"Tell it Willow has spoken to Mrs. Summers...For the moment she believes Buffy is staying with friends here at the high school...Tell it that if it tries to contact Mrs. Summers, without your or our supervision...Good, thank you...What?...Who?...Yes, I know the name...She was a Slayer in the last century...Angel, I...I must go now..."

"Tell it...I loved her and beg her forgiveness...And Angel, thank you for your help...Destroy it if any opportunity arises..." he put down the phone...Staring into the emptiness...

"And...It's true...There's no need to worry...Nothing can hurt her little girl now..." Willow grabbed desperately at Xander, sobbing...

Cicely Addams...Walthrop...Giles blinked a bit as he sat...Dear God, no wonder she was so adept...

Oh, my poor girl...he closed his eyes...My poor, poor girl...

***

"You haven't told me much..." Angel eyed Anne...Stretched out on his mattress, looking through a magazine he'd managed to find... "If you want our help..."

"Didn't say that, boyfriend..." she looked up briefly... "And I've told you enough for now..."

"Only that you claim to have been Cicely Addams-Walthrop, a Slayer in a past life...And knew William the Bloody as a human..."

"One of my counterparts was Cicely...Before she tried this vale of tears again as Buffy Summers..." Anne corrected... "But I am myself, alone...The part that never wussed out...And armed with the two greatest Slayers' fighting skills and tactical memories, so watch out..."

"And you...Cicely...Knew my counterpart as well?..."



Oh...Yeah...she looked up again...Eyeing him coldly...

"We knew Angelus...Sire of Drusilla..."

And you knew Cicely...At least by rep...she smiled...

"I'm not Angelus..." he began...

"Please...He was made from you, Liam...He's your id as I am Buffy and Cicely's..."

And if you concentrate...You'll remember me...

"I've memories of Ms. Addams...She was a famous Slayer, maybe the greatest..." he nodded... "Even Angelus was wary of her..."

"The Greatest..." she replied, curtly... "At least until Buffy came along...Though the poor kid got caught early and off her stride...And your counterpart was more than 'wary' of her..."

She peered at the window shades...It's getting towards sunset, she noted...

"I don't know what you've got up your sleeve..." he eyed her...She looked at him and her sleeveless dress with a comic frown...Up my what, you dope?..."But whatever you may think of them...Buffy's friends aren't likely to listen to what you've got to say, Anne..." Angel noted...

She sighed... "That would be a mistake on their part...For them...And you, soul-boy...Especially when I'm so willin' to parley..."

But lets see if maybe I can persuade the mighty Xander and the awesome Willow to stay their fearsome stakes...she grinned...For love of whatever's left of their poor beloved Buf...

"I think you'll find Rupert Giles...And me...A little less comic..." he stared coldly...

Oooh...she laughed... "Is that a challenge, soul-boy?...And here I am tryin' to be polite and reasonable and avoid massive bloodshed..."

Well...We'll see how it goes...she put up a calming hand as he briefly tensed...But I appreciate the nice words 'bout my Watcher...she smiled...

"He probably will give me a bit of trouble at that...But maybe he'll be willing to hear me out...Anyway, sun's gone down...Shall we go and meet my mourners?..."

He got up...Eyeing her warily...She rose to follow him...

"Eggh..." she paused, rolling her tongue round under her lips... "You got a spare toothbrush?...I forgot I got blood all over my teeth...No need to forego the oral hygienics...And freak my poor guys out any more than I hafta..."

Bathroom...he pointed...Thanks...she beamed, turning...

"Ya know...Guess I probably should have a little more in my corner at that..." she nodded as he now turned for the front door...She suddenly grabbed and slammed a chair over his head and he went down...

"You didn't really think I'd come to a meeting like this with you on their side as well...And me with not so much as a single bargainin' chip?..." she chuckled at his unconscious body...

"Not that they're likely to care all that much bout you...But at least you won't be bothering me and Willow will probably feel sorry for you...Though I really did wanna brush these pearly whites..." she tapped her front teeth...



"Now les' see what you got on hand here for keepin' your guests all tied up..."

***

Greenwood Cemetery...A large mausoleum in the northern, older section...Just 8:02pm...

"They're takin' their time..." Anne groused at Angel who glared at her from the corner where she'd tossed him, still unconscious and well-trussed in ropes and torn sheets a short time ago...

"Maybe they've decided against it...And that you ain't worth the trouble of checkin' on..." she sneered... "But that's gonna cost em...If they don't..." she paused, catching sight of...

"There're my guys..." she beamed... "Nice ta know you have friends who care enough to come out like this, isn't it, soul-boy?"

Hey, Giles!...she called, waving from the doorway...Giles, Xander, and Willow cautiously moved towards her, all heavily armed...

"Thanks for coming...Angel is back there and dust if you try anything..." she jerked a thumb back...

And grinned as the group took up a stand in front of the crypt...All three staring grimly at her...Xander and Willow with crossbows in hand...Tres professional, fellas...she smiled...

"Hey?..." she put on a mock pout... "Isn't anybody wearin' black?..."

***

"Sorry to do this to you, ole girl..." Spike shook his head at Ginger as she sat quietly beside him in the Spikemobile...Dru asleep in back, thanks to a dozen extra strength Unisoms...He sighed, looking round at the walls of the garage they and the car had been sitting in for over an hour now...

The mechanic buried in the engine now pulled his head up and came over to the window... "Quite a car...Where'd you pick it up...?"

"Had it for years, mate...Gift of an ole and loving friend...So what's the damage?..."

"Not too bad...Water pump's shot...And your fan belt's about to go...Only problem's that we don't carry either in stock for this baby..." he fondly patted the car...

"Right...So...?" Spike stared at the moronic lout...His life spared only by his obvious appreciation for a true classic...

"We can have them in sometime tomorrow, I think...Two days at the outside..."

"Lovely...Well..." the vampire shrugged... "Go to it, lad...Just give me a few to find a place for the ladies to bed down..."

"Econolodge down the street..." the mechanic suggested... "Clean and cheap..."

"And run by your brother/dad/cousin, no doubt..." Spike grinned... "My uncle..." the boy grinned back...

"Always the way...Well, if you'd not mind letting your unc know he's got a few late arrivals..."

The mechanic nodded and headed for the phone...

Spike turned to his companion ..."Ginger, love...I'm sorry...I'd honestly meant to finish you the painless way tonight, and leave your body where they'd find you quick...But...Given the car and the way Dru's been actin'...Hope you understand love...Don't mean to keep your family in suspense with false hopes..."

She looked at him wanly...Nodding faintly...



"It's just I think we'll be needin' a daytime bodyguard for a bit yet...And there's no need to attract too much attention till we get to Hellmouthland..."

"I just want to help...William..." she told him quietly...

"That's my pet..." he smiled...And looking back to the sleeping Dru, sighed...

"Well...Give us a hand with my poor lamb, girl...And lets hope our innkeeper is the tolerant, not too many questions type...I doubt we'd find another mechanic open now..."

Ummn...he paused...Ginger halting in opening the door...

"And I'm sorry about having to use your plastic again, girl...I don't think they'll charge your family once your body's found though...The boy there will remember us with you and it'll just be a case of poor dating choice..." she nodded..

Really appreciate it, love...he patted her again...

***

"Anne..." Part VII...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part VII...



Sunnydale, Greenwood Cemetery, night...About 8:10...

"We've come as you asked..." Giles eyed Anne who instinctively now straightened a bit and brushed at her hair...Still a bit messed despite attempts with a brush at Angel's...

Willow watching her suddenly had to look away...For a second...

"...Anne..." Anne politely finished for him as he stared coldly at her...

"What do you want?..."

"A 'thanks lots, Anne'...For solving your little problem with the Master might be nice for starters..." she noted...Pouting slightly...And looking down at her dress...Hmmn...she eyed a couple of stains...

She turned to Willow... "Wil, could you get me some spot remover after our meetin' here's over?...You could drop it by Angel's later...Ok?..."

Mom's gonna kill me when she sees this...she sighed...Willow frowning now...

Ooops...she grinned...Guess 'kill' isn't quite...

"Enough..." Giles raised a hand... "You aren't Buffy and this playacting gets you nowhere...What do you want from us?..."

"Tough talk from the Watcher who failed his charge..." she glared at him... "But then, I've been betrayed by Watchers before..."

An arrow whizzed by her head...Whoa!?...She jumped to the side...Staring at Willow who eyed her grimly...

Geesh...Willow?...she blinked...

"Just letting you know we're not quite as soft and psychoutable as you may think..." Willow gave a cold smile... "Sorry if you didn't get the point..."

"Got it, great...Thanks, girlfriend, I'll remember to be on my toes from now on..." Anne nodded... "And the next time you do that, you lose one loved one...Got me...?"

"If I do it again...I won't miss..."

"Gi...les...Willow's bein' mean ta me..." Anne whined, grinning at him...Another pout... "Tell her to play nice...I didn't go and send dead Xander with my message...She could at least be courteous..."

"Perhaps we should leave then..." Giles told her coldly...

"Aw...Don't go...I'll be good..." she put up a hand... "Really...For the sake of Xander and Willow's families...And the Council, Watcher...Don't..."

Sides, what I gotta to say...You may wanna hear...Cause, guys...I have got such a deal pour vous...

"What do you want...?"

"William Soames Walthrop...My husband...Or rather my counterparts' and mine...Better known to you...Watcher, perhaps as William the Bloody..." she stated in a matter-of-fact, clipped way...

Was that a British accent?...Willow hissed to Xander...Who was busying blinking...Husband?...

"Yeah, Xander..." Anne nodded to him... "Husband...You can breathe now...Fraid you were a hundred years too late...And a little too geeky, sweetie..."

Though if you had seen my William back then...It would be a close call on the geekiness, I gotta admit...she noted...

***

Inside the mausoleum, Angel continued to try to break or loosen his bonds...He eyed the reasonably sharp corner of a slab set in the center of the room and struggled to stand...No good...He started trying to roll over...

"This the way you satisfy yourself now, Angelus...?" a voice cooed from a now clearly improperly secured door in the rear...

He looked up to see Darla leering at him...She put a finger to her lips... "Not a lot of noise, there darling..." she smiled...

Less you want the new addition to our world to celebrate her 'death-day' by ripping us apart...Literally...

***

"William the Bloody?...Your 'husband'...?" Giles stared at Anne...

"Technically...Cicely's husband..." she shrugged...But I am Cicely in part...

Cicely?...Xander stared at Willow who shrugged...

"And you want us to help you find him?..."

"Who better than one of those who arranged his death..." Anne smiled benevolently...Willow blinking...

Well...she put up a hand...A spiritual descendant, hopefully innocent, of those bastards...

"Though I suspect some of your Council are a bit less clueless about me and William than you, old boy..." she grinned...

"I know very little about Cicely Addams-Walthrop..." Giles replied coolly... "The records only say that she was Slayer briefly in the late 1870s..."

"I what?..." Anne glared... "Briefly?!...I was the longest-lived Slayer ever...And the best...Goddamn...What the hell do your records say about me...Ummn, Cicely...?"

Close your jaw, Xander...she eyed him briefly...You'll get the low down from our Giles soon enough...

"I've told you...There's very little in the files that I have access to...And nothing to connect Cicely with William the Bloody except..." he paused...

Ye...ah?...Anne eyed him...



"Except...That they may both have come from England...And died approximately around the same time..." he stared...

"Got that right..." she smiled...then frowned... "But someone's been monkeying round with my glorious career history...Probably my bastard of a Watcher, Farris..."

"Simon Farris?..." Giles looked at her sharply...

"Well...We...Cics and I...Like to refer to him as the m-fing sob who murdered our husband and us...But yeah...Simon Farris...You do know him, huh?..."

Just like the Council to keep that creep's records intact...she smiled at Willow...

"Whatever happened to the ole sob...?"

"He became Chairman for several years...Not exactly our most glorious reign...And was murdered..."

"Really..." she beamed... "By William?...Oh, I hope...Or some lucky Slayer's relative's...?"

"By a man named Foxcroft...In reven..."

"By Henry?!..." she stared... "Hot damn!...Thanks, Giles, that makes my death-day...Good ole Henry..."

My...Well, Cicely's cousin...she explained to Willow...

"Lots like you, Xander..." she glanced at him quickly... "A noble soul..." Xander staring back...

"William is gonna be so psyched when I tell him...After I explain everything and if he doesn't kill me first..."

Henry was his best friend back then...Introduced us...she noted to Willow...Who stared...As much floored by Anne's eager and sincere desire to share with her "girlfriend" as anything she was telling...

"God...That is so great...Really, thanks Giles..." she smiled happily...

Kill you first...? Willow thought...

Ok...Well...Anne waved her hands a bit...Now you know who I want...

"Here's the deal..."

***

"Anne..." Part VIII...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part VIII...

Greenwood Cemetery, Sunnydale...8:15 pm...



"Let me understand you...Anne..." Giles stared at the vampiress...

"You say that you are willing to continue acting as Slayer for the Hellmouth?...Destroying your own kind?...At least until the new Slayer arrives..."

"And in return, we are to determine the present whereabouts of William the Bloody...And, if possible, arrange for his coming to Sunnydale...Intact...?"

She nodded benevolently...

"And provide me with a steady blood supply..." she noted... "Less ya want me to take a few of the ones I save from my 'own kind'..." she smiled...

"It shouldn't be all that tough, really...The Council is keeping tabs on my Willy, I'm sure..."she grinned... "And I think...Sooner or later...He'll be coming here...Seeking me...In some way...Just as I'm seeking him..."

"I'd call it a damned fine deal..." she eyed each of them... "Plus...I'll stay with Angel the soul-boy...He...And you, if you like, can Patrol with me...So you'll know where I am at all times..."

It's either that...Friends...she beamed... "Or I start chowing down on you and yours..."

Though, far as Xander is concerned...she grinned...That would probably lead to an improvement in his life...He stared at her...Poor abused baby...she smiled gently at him... "You should call the cops, Willow...Your boy is taking some preety hard beatings..."

Willow blinked, staring at him...He gulped slightly...Oh, my God?...she blinked...Xander...?

"And we should place our trust in you...Because?..." Giles eyed her...

"Cause you have...Or can get...Info I want and can help me...And...Cause you have no alternative...Less you really believe you can take me down..." she smiled...

"I might be able to get you information...I cannot guarantee anything regarding William the Bloody's 'intact' arrival here..." Giles told her coolly...

William the Bloody...Willow eyed Xander...Does not sound good...

"I won't be expecting miracles, Giles..." Anne smiled... "God knows after the way you clowns let me die the other night...Just get me what you can...Keep the Council off my back as long as possible...And don't go gunning for William yourself...And you'll find me still one bang-up Slayer...Ah, step to the side, Xander, please..." she politely asked...Waving a hand to one side...

He moved...Whoa...She zipped a stake past him which smashed with a thud into a large female vamp who'd been creeping in slowly...

"See..." she beamed as he and Willow stared at the dust cloud...

"What about...Mrs. Summers?..." Giles had not taken his eyes off her...

"Mommy?...Oh...Yeah..." she nodded...A grateful, Buffy beam... "Nice of you to be concerned for her, Giles..."

"Well...I suppose you guys would object to me taking her, right?..." she eyed them each politely...

"So...I'll leave it to you...I called her from Angel's this afternoon by the way...I think you'll be able to work with the opening I've given you...Just fill me in on how it goes and I'll be happy to do what I can to ease my poor ole mom's sufferings..."

And keep you weirdo pervs out of jail...For now...she chuckled...



"But...If that arrangement doesn't suit..." she smiled beatifically at Giles... "Until my boy gets here...I could be open to others...Say a little Lolita-style coupling, old man?..."

A hard leering grin... " 'Cause if ya really want me, Giles...I could see my way..."

I actually do gotta fondness for Brits...

"If you say one word more along these lines, demon..." Giles eyed her coldly...

"Just messin' with your head, ole boy..." she chuckled, putting up a hand... "I'll be a good lil' girl I promise...Father..." she smiled...Watching the slight drain of what color was left in his ashen face...

"What about Angel?..." he asked her...His voice strong, surprising her...She gave an admiring nod...Very Brit, Rupert...Stiff-upper and all that... "How do we know he's still...?"

"I'm fine, Giles..." Angel called over, coming round from a corner of the mausoleum, Anne staring...How the...?

"Unique talents..." he noted to her startled face...

"Guess so, soul-boy..." she nodded, recovering... "Well...In any case, Giles...As you see our friend suspended twixt Heaven and Hell is still with us..."

"Do we have a deal?...At least until you get your new Slayer in...Or my feller shows...?" she eyed him...

"Angel?..." Giles looked at him... "Can you keep her with you?..."

"How could he not?...Pass up seeing this every mornin'?..." she grinned, spinning round lightly for a turn...Too fast, Xander sadly thought...Relaxing his grip on the crossbow a notch...

"She can stay with me..." he nodded...

"Aw...What a guy..." she chuckled... "Isn't he just dreamy, Wil?..." she looked at Willow...

"Thanks, Angel..." Willow nodded...

"Well...Time to Patrol...Cause a good Slayer's work is never done...Even after death..." Anne grinned... "You guys up for a lil' rock-and-roll?..."

Maybe we could hit the Bronze after?...Xander?...

"Willow?...I could tell ya the whole incredible story of my past life and tragic romance...?"

"We'll Patrol..." Willow nodded... "But lets hold on the Bronze tonight..."

Really...?...Anne sighed...Well, maybe my fill-in, stop-gap soul-boy here will take me later on...She smiled at Angel...

"Well...Demons and vamps to dust...Shall we get with it?..." she eyed them...Offering a hand to Angel to help her over some boards...

"One last thing, Anne..." Willow called to her coldly as they set out, following ... "I will call the Council myself and tell them it's a matter of world-saving importance that they hunt this 'William the Bloody' down if you ever again speak to Giles the way you just did...I mean it...Remember that we're not kiddin' either..." she told her grimly... "And that we'll put up with only so much crap from you..."

Whoa...Tres butch...Anne grinned...

"Sure you ain't gay, Willow?...I'm getting all these 'butch' vibes from you now..."



***

Sunnydale High Library...9:30 pm...

Patrol had broken up early...Things being quiet...Giles expressing his willingness to accept Anne's eagerness for the job for the moment...And she off under Angel's eye to do some 'research' of her own at Sunnydale Public Library...

Research, eh?...Whoa...She does possess some features not found in our Buf girl...Willow thought...

Xander headed home...A gentle hug and kiss from Willow...And a whispered plea for more info...Sometime, when he could deal...About this "beating" thing...

She looked up as the library door opened to reveal an angry-looking Joyce Summers...Giles hastening over...

"Hey..." Willow beamed, a trifle vapidly... "How are ya, Ms..."

"Where's my daughter?..." Joyce cut her off...Fixing on Giles...

"Mrs. Summers..." Giles sighed... "I wish I could..."

"You don't know?...Fine, then...Willow..." she turned to Willow who attempted to maintain a cheery grin...

"Where is Buffy?...And that..." she paused, waving a hand...

Ummn...Willow blinked...

"That...Angel...Where are they?..." Joyce stared at her...

"Angel, Ms. Summ...?"

"She called me this afternoon and said she was leaving with him...That she was..." Joyce gripped the back of the empty chair in front of her, closing her eyes...

"That they were...Eloping..."

E...? Willow blinked...

"She said...You would fill in the rest..." she glared...

"So...?...What's to fill in?...Besides explaining the lies you told me this morning..."

Giles attempted to intervene, Joyce waving him off...Don't, Mr. Giles...

"Is she pregnant?..." Joyce stared at Willow... "She all but said she was..."

"Well, you little...?" she grabbed her, shaking her... "Where are they?!.."

"Mrs. Summers...Joyce..." Giles put a hand on her arm...Which Joyce shook off, turning in rage at him now...

"If you had anything to do with this...Mr. Summers and I'll have you up on charges so fast..."

"Buffy is pregnant, Joyce..." Giles told her softly... "And despite my asking her to stay and talk things out with you or someone here at the school...She's left...With that fellow Angel..."

Joyce stared at him, trembling...Willow stared at him...

"And you knew this...And let her go?...Didn't even bother to call me?..."



"She only left a short time ago...Just within the hour..." he eyed her...

"I planned to call you but you arrived before..."

Uh-huh...Joyce nodded grimly... "Sure you did..."

"Ummn...He's telling the truth, Ms. Summers..." Willow spoke up...

"I'm sorry...Buffy only told me this morning...And I promised not to say anything while she thought things over..." she eyed Giles... "I thought she was gonna go home and talk to you first, but..."

"Liars!!..." Joyce shrieked... "You're both lying to me!...Where is she?!...If you don't tell me where she is, I'm calling the police!..."

The phone rang...Giles picked it up... Yes?...Yes...he sighed...

"Your mother is here, Buffy..." Joyce turned, startled...

"Joyce..." he eyed her...And handed it over...

"Buffy?...Where are you?...What?..."

Get me out of here, Giles...Willow hissed, staring up at him...Now...Please...

He led her out of the library to the hallway as Joyce's voice surged and dropped...

"Where is she?.." Willow eyed him as they stood by the closed door in the empty hallway...

"Just outside...A pay phone...She and Angel saw Joyce pulling in and guessed she'd best give us a little..." he stopped...Blinking at her...Oh...

Oh, God...Giles...Willow stared at him... "Don't...Don't do this to me, now...I can't bear it..."

Please...she begged...Not now...

Yes...he put a hand to his head...Right...

"Well..." he sighed, shaking himself slightly... "Hopefully she'll catch on to our version and back us up..."

Better a pregnant teen bride on the run...Then...he paused...

"It was a kind lie, Giles...Not a lie at all, really..." Willow eyed him...

Yes...Well...he sighed again... And stared at her, smiling faintly now...

"Thank you for a fine performance, Miss Rosenberg..."

"Think I should try for the school play?...Might be nice to see if I can knock Harmony out of her yearly lead..." she smiled back, a wan look...

Joyce opened the door and they stared at her...A dull, heavy look in her eyes...

"Well...I guess..." she began...Staring at them blankly...

"May I take you home, Mrs. Summers...?" Giles asked her quietly...

Hmmn?...she blinked at him... "Uh...No, my car's just outside..."



Willow?...she eyed her.. "I probably should take you home...Your mother's worried about you too..."

Ummn...Yeah...Willow nodded... "I guess I should get home...Thanks...Just let me get my stuff..."

Sure...Joyce nodded...Sure...I'll wait...

Willow went in...

"Do you...?" Joyce stared at Giles...Who looked at her kindly... "Do you know this?...This Angel?..."

"Only slightly, Mrs. Summers...I believe he's a college student from LA..."

"An actor, she said..." Joyce nodded... "She wouldn't say where they were going but I suppose LA..."

"I'm...Sorry...Joyce..." he patted her gently... "Truly..."

"Is he?... Will he?..." she stared at him...

"I don't know much about him...But I think he is not a violent or dangerous boy...From the little I did see of them together...He seemed to care for her..."

She nodded... "Thank you..." And turned as Willow emerged with a book-bag...

"All set..." Willow smiled gently...

"See you later, Mr. Giles..." she called as Joyce started walking out...Turning back to stare at him...

Thank you, Willow...he mouthed...

***

"Anne..." Part IX...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part IX...



Sunnydale Public Library...10:30 pm...

"You know..." Anne solemnly shook her head at Angel as she turned on the computer on the desk in front of her... "Oddly enough this is my first real criminal act...Trespassing in a public library after hours..."

"It'll be real enough if we get caught in here...And I still don't understand why you couldn't have done this at Giles'..."

"Geesh..." she glared... "I go to all this trouble for an intimate rendevous with my soul-boy and that's your response?..." Shaking her head at him, then frowning at the still blank screen...What the hell's up with this crappy...You have to turn the monitor on as well, he noted...Oh, yeah...she clicked it on...

"Anyway...I prefer it this way...Don't want Giles to have immediate access to everything I'm up to..." she grinned at him as he glanced at the screen, then her...

"You'll keep anything vital you see here tonight under that head of pointy hair, right?..." she asked, an innocent, winsome look...Say...? she paused as she typed a few search terms and clicked...

"If ya don't mind telling...Since we're gonna be roomies for a bit yet...How the heck did you get out of my stuff and find a back door over at the crypt so quick?...I can get you breaking the ropes but..."

"Like I said...Hidden talents..." a noncommital look, arms folded, as he continued to eye the screen...

"Oooh..." she winced... "Keeping secrets from me already?...Gee, boyfriend..." a pouting head shake... "The Brood is bad enough...But I sense trouble ahead for us..."

Maybe we should rethink our 'elopement'...I know my mom would be pleased...she noted...Ah...She beamed at the screen...There we are...Mmmn, my William has grown quite a rep over this last century, I see... Les' see...

"William The Bloody-Legendary Tales... 'Spike'-William The Bloody: Does he exist?...William The Bloody sighted in Paris...(Hmmn?...nope, 1989...she sighed)... 'Spike' Fathered My Baby!...?..." She eyed the baby photo with drawn in blonde 'Calvin' hair and cartoon fangs...(Uh-huh...Very funny...I think I'll need to get that clown's address...she muttered grimly, marking the site down for future reference...) "...www.We Love William The Bloody.com...(Might have something, but in any case I'll be needing their home address as well...she noted...)...How to Kill That Annoying Slayer-A How To Guide by William The Bloody...(Whoa, she clicked...Damn, just another...Soon to be dead...jokester kid...Gotta be some young Watcher or Observer candidates fooling around on their off-hours, ya think?...she shook her head at him, clicking back...)...The Strange Case of William Soames Walthrop aka William The Bloody...(Damn, 1992...)...Spike and Dru-Together For...?!!" she gave a sudden howl, slipping into demon face...Startling the quietly watching Angel..

"Drusilla!..." she raged, glaring up at him... "Your creation, you son of a vamped bitch!..." she rose...Then as quickly calmed as he took up a flexible defensive crouch..

"Sorry...Past events catching up with me..." she waved a hand...Resuming Buffy-face...

But I am gonna settle with you, lover boy...And your bitch of a 'daughter'...Soon...she did not say as she sat back down, smiling at him again as he resumed his former watchful stance...

Hmmn...She eyed the results list again... "Nikki the Vampire Slayer-Second Slayer victim of William the Bloody-aka 'Spike'...(Two?...oooh, she cooed...That's my guy...A definite must-read, later......she grinned at Angel...Who stared...Except that I'd make it 'bagged' three Slayers...in a manner of speakin'...she chuckled...Oh, yeah...she beamed at him...Though it was human William who landed Cicely...)...Hmmn... My wild night's romp with William the Bloody?..." she frowned...(Oh-h, gay romantic fiction...Well, I still will have to try and pay a call...she eyed Angel...Can't let mine own true be used as someone's sex toy even in their dreams...she noted solemnly...That's only for me...)...Secret Annals of the Royal Council of Librarians and Library Scientists?...Volume 15...William the Bloody- career and activities 1880-1996?...Obtained and published by Andrew X and Jonathan L.X...?...(I think I hit paydirt...she grinned at her companion...)..."

"Lessee...Confidential...For the eyes of the Chairman and Tier One Inner Council members only...This material to be viewed only under security level five conditions..."

Oh...Yeah...This oughta do it...

"Well..." she grinned... "Whatdaya know?...Hey, soul-boy..." she turned to Angel, waving him closer...

Take a gander at me in 1880...she pointed to the screen where a serenely beautiful brunette in 1880s gown and parasol gazed out at the world...

"Cicely Addams...?" Angel eyed the image...

Me...she nodded...Well, my original counterpart...Anne touched the screen lightly...



"That was taken I think in February, 1880...About a month before he died....Seven months before I died..."

Angel stared at her...

"Did you think I was lyin' soul-man?..." she went on through the record...Ah...

"There's my boy..." she traced the outline of the features of the shy, solemn-looking young man staring at them...William, she whispered...

"After a hundred plus odd years...I'm here for you, baby...Not the others, the human weaklings..." she sneered... "Me...The one who saw you first...Loved you first..."

Ooops...she sheepishly smiled up at Angel... "Guess that's not exactly whata guy wants ta hear from his date...Sorry...But I was up front with you from transformation, right?..."

She scrolled on through the page...Pausing...Hmmn...So...She nodded to Angel...

"Look at that..." she pointed to the screen...A carefully worded memorandum now in view...Referring to certain events involving one Cicely Anne Addams Walthrop and her husband...Husband?...Angel stared...William Soames Walthrop...

She read through the rather detailed account...As he carefully moved closer to see...

"Pretty much what I knew or guessed..." she sighed... "My old Watcher Farris and the Council used D'Hoffryn's demon bitch to trick me...Well, that fool Cicely anyhow...The bastards..."

Well...The Council and I are definitely due to get better acquainted...Later...she glowered at the screen...

Angel trying to read what he could to bring to Giles later...She looked up at him as he bumped her arm trying to look across the desk...

"Here..." she moved slightly... "Don't let a little thing like common courtesy stop you..."

"D'Hoffryn?..." he read and looked at her... "The vengeance demon lord?..."

The one and the same...she nodded...Though why he was willing to get involved here...I'm not sure...

"But I'll know...Before I kill him..." she beamed...

***



The cavern chamber formerly home to the now defunct Master...About 11pm...

A fuming Colin, Anointed One and heir to the Master's remaining realm...Such as it was...Angrily stalked the aisles of the abandoned church where his beloved former lord and mentor had until the other night held unquestioned sway...

"I don't believe it!..." he yelled at several of his minions in immediate range... "WE WON!!...The Slayer was dead, the way to the surface open!...The Hellmouth waiting for our Master to tap its power!..."

"And her demon kills him!...One of our own!...Her very own sire..." his upper lip trembles slightly...

Geesh...How could she?...he thinks, fighting back tears...She seemed like such a nice girl the other night...

Shocking...One sighs, nodding in sympathy...

What is the younger generation coming to these days?...

"It's not right..." their diminutive leader shook his head... He pauses by one rather nervous minion..."Is it right?..." he eyes him...

"No, sir...Absolutely not...I..." Colin stakes him... "Damned straight!...And that's for letting it happen!..."

"You all failed our Lord!...You worthless bunch of..." Several minutes of steadily more abusive continued ranting, accompanied by an occasional random staking as he paces...

"Bastards!...Morons...#$%#)^!!!...#$%@#!!!!..."

Geesh, quite a mouth on that kid...one female in the far rear notes...

Shouldn't we be trying to rebuild our ranks?...Rather than cuttin' 'em down further...A male ponders silently, watching Colin rage on...But hey, he is the Anointed One...

Maybe it's a "selective breeding" kinda thing?...His Gift helpin' him weed out the potential bad seeds...

Sid?...Why the hell are we letting this punk kid push us around like this?...one of the larger minions hissed quietly to his companion...

"Because..." Colin appeared in front of him suddenly...Having shoved his way through the ranks in record time...

"I'm the one with the birthright...And the power..." he glared, waving for the two nearest to grab the traitor...Sid?...the large vamp looked at his buddy as he squirmed in his and the other's grip...

Sorry, Les...He's the Master's chosen one...Sid shrugged...He and the other looked at Colin expectantly...

Never hurts to get in a little practice with a stake...Gross as killing one of our own that way might seem...

"Wait..." Colin eyed Les...Hmmn... "Not just yet..." he waved at Sid who lowered his stake...

"I'm gonna give you a chance to redeem yourself, pal..." the 'boy' gave the nervously blinking Les an angelic smile... "By making the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good..."

What?...Les stared... "But I'm a vampire...We don't sacrifice for anything good..."

What a clod...No wonder our Master was so overburdened by responsibility that he made a fatal mistake...Till I showed who else could he delegate authority to?...Colin frowned... "Our people's greater good, you dimwit..."

Oh...

"Sidney, Roy, Alix, and you Slim...Take him over to Angel's place, well secured...See that the Slayer's bitch of a demon and that traitor Angel get a good look at him...When they come to investigate why a vampire's been left out for the Slayer or her friends...Destroy them..."

Of course...he sighed at them... "I know you'll screw this one...But at least Les here will be properly punished and we might get a shot at them..."

Go...And if any of you survive...Try to get something useful out of your encounter...He waved at them in dismissal...Muttering as he went back to continue haranguing the others...

"The Slayer's demon is staying with Angelus?..." Sid looks at Alix as the four carry the now handcuffed and bound poor Les on his way to the surface...

"Yeah..." Les chimes in as they pause by the entrance...Roy stepping out cautiously to scan for any danger... "On my last surveillance, her counterpart and he were getting to be hot stuff...Guess the demon is still interested..." he shakes his head...



Interested?...In a souled vampire?...Disgusting...Alix shakes her head...

Ok...Roy calls as he returns...All's clear...

"Don't suppose you guys could see your way clear to letting me help you kill them?..." Les tries as they begin to drag him up... "I've been on observation duty on her human self a while ya know..."

"Les..." Sid eyes him sternly... "I've always told ya to mind your big mouth, you know...Now you gotta pay the price..."

Yeah, yeah...he sighs...

***

An Econolodge bedroom...About midnight...

"You aren't going to leave the poor Dru alone?..." Dru eyed Spike as he prepared her bed...Moving Ginger gently to a chair...

"Not at all, lamb...I had to take separate rooms for me and you ladies...It wouldn't have been proper and you saw our host...He wasn't too sure about us as it was...But I'll be staying with you after I take a stroll and see what's available on the menu in another part of town..."

She nodded...Fidgeting a bit...

"Still the bad visions, love?..." he asked kindly, pausing...She waved a hand...Don't wants us to think about it...Please...she noted...Looking round the room...Where's Miss Edith?...Ah...She picked up the doll...Calming a bit as she held her...

"Spike...?" she eyed him...Love?...he smiled at her...

"Why are you taking me to her?...Do you want me dead?..." she asked him carefully...He stared...

Dru?...

"Does he wants me gone?...Your little one, clinging round?..."

"Dru...I'm doing this to make you well...Now, don't be foolish and work yourself up...It's time to rest a bit...Ginger will keep a watch-out, right Ginger?..." the enthralled waitress wanly nodded...

"Don't go out...Lets leave Spike..." Dru grabbed at his arm... "Lets go back home to England...I'll gets better there, I promise..."

"Dru...We've been through this before...I've read the manuscripts and consulted the demon ...more or less...doctors...The Hellmouth's energy is what you need..."

She let go of him and dropped exhausted onto the bed... "He wants me dead...He feels her..." she moaned...She stared up at his concerned face as he sat down beside her...Dru, he sighed...

"I didn't know she was pregnant, William..." she looked him in the eye...A nearly rational, pleading stare... "I didn't..."

He blinked at her...Pregnant?...

"Dru?...Who's preggers?...Who are you talking about?..."

Please...she breathed...Looking up from where she now lay on the bed... "Please don't let her hurt ole Dru...Please, William, sir...You're a kind gentleman...That's why I chose you...You won't let her kill me...Not poor ole Dru..."

"Dru...No one is going to hurt you...But who is it you're talking about?..."



She smiled wanly, shaking her head... "He is clever...He won't show his head yet...Just pushing you along towards Hell...Be kind to me, sir...Please...I didn't know..." she turned over and fell silent...Sleeping in a moment...

He shook his head...My poor Dru...

"Keep a close eye on her, will you girl?..." he asked Ginger with a gentle smile...She nodding...

***

"Anne..." Part X...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part X...

Sunnydale High Library...11pm...

"May I please speak with Councilor Reynolds?...What?..." Giles paused, phone to his ear...The sound of a door opening to the front of the room causing him to look up and see, standing in the doorway...A rather grim-looking Jenny Calendar...

Though as always...Even with that hard frown...A rather...looking Jenny Calendar...

"I see..." he waved Jenny to a chair...She went over but remained standing...Arms folded...

"When will he be out of conference?...Indeed?...Well, please tell him that I called and would like him to contact me at the first opportunity...Thank you..." he put down the phone...

"It seems the Council is in something of an uproar these days..." he looked at Jenny's stern face...

"You didn't call me...When it was over..." she said, accusingly... "You didn't talk to me all day..."

And what the hell is up with Buffy and her mother?...she frowned..."You know that Joyce Summers has been calling the school office all day...Was here twice today...Asking about Angel as well..."

She was just here again...And left...Giles nodded...

"Rupert, all last night I waited to hear from you...At the prom, at my place...Not one word...And where the hell is Buffy?...Obviously the world was not destroyed last night...Or is the Master taking his time?..."

He shook his head...

"Nast is dead...Or destroyed is the better term I suppose...Though just right now I haven't any more sympathy for his miserable human soul than that foul carcass that used his name...But he's gone... Buffy has done her duty and saved us all..."

Ok...she nodded... "So...We're all safe...The Master's gone...So, where's the joy?...Or at least the polite afterbattle discussion of events?...What are you holding back?..."

"You know..." Giles pulled out a thick book from his desk, not looking at her... "I think I'd like to try bringing him back...Nast, I mean...His fucking miserable little soul...In that foul body...We have the ashes available, after all...Yes..Bring his human self back, show him what he became...What bottomless stinking sink of depravity lay somewhere in the depths of him...And then, as slowly as possible..." Giles...? she stared... "Torture him to death..."

"Then bring the demon back...This time in a helplessly weak human body...And do the same all over again...Yes...That's what I'd like to do..."

Oh, my God...she stared, shaking her head..."But he's dead...You said..."

"Yes, he's destroyed...I said that...And Buffy destroyed him...After..."



Unnh...He put a hand to his forehead...And looked up at her.... "Sorry, light in here is terrible...DAMN THEM!!!..." he screamed suddenly, throwing the book in his hands on the floor...She backing away in shock... "The least these cheap bastards could do is provide these children with a little proper light before they die!!..." Giles...she stared at him...As he looked at her, trembling...

"Oh, Giles...Giles, I'm so sorry...Why didn't you call me?..." she came over to him...

" 'I'm only sixteen...I don't want to die...' That's what she said..." he shook his head... "But I told her it was her duty and like a dutiful...She went out and she...Unnh...Uh..." he put a hand to his mouth, closing his eyes...

Giles, Giles...she hugged him... "She went because she knew she had to...You tried to stop her...She couldn't let others die..." He pulled out of her embrace and paced...

"We could have found a way...The damned Council could have gotten off its collective ass and tried to help her!...Miserable, cowardly...!" his rage halted abruptly and he sat on the desk, staring, lost...Finally sobbing in her arms as she came and held him close...

***

"C'mon...Just half an hour..." Anne eyed Angel as they made their way back through the streets of downtown Sunnydale towards his building... "I promise to behave..."

No...He replied curtly...

"Geesh...All I'm askin's a few minutes of your time and maybe to spend, what?...Twenty bucks on your date?...Your world-saving date, I might add...C'mon..."

"I'm not taking you to the Bronze, Anne...We're going home..."

"I Wanna Go Out!!..." she yelled at him suddenly...Noting the presence of several bystanders... "Damn you, you never take me anywhere...I got half a mind to go home and see my Mom!...You..."

He'll be hitting me, next, for sure...she sighed over to one of the bystanders...A young man who frowned at an Angel who indeed looked ready to strike her... "Just like last night..." she added, glaring at her companion...

"I should've known better than to hang with him...Mom always warned about these brooding types..."

"Stop it, Anne..." Angel reached for her as she pulled away...

"Don't you touch me, you creep!..." she moved into the group on the sidewalk...Several clustering protectively about...An outraged look on her face...

"Enough of this nonsense, Anne...Lets go...Now!..."

"Don't you tell me what to do, you...Who the hell do you think you are?!...God..." she sighed to a couple of those now standing by her... "Talk about an eighteenth century mentality..."

"We're going home...Now, Anne..." Angel told her coldly...As several female and male members of the swelling group on the sidewalk glared at him...

"I'm going to the Bronze...And calling my mom...I've had enough of your bullying..." she replied...A precise, calm air...

"That's probably the best thing to do..." a sympathetic young woman nodded...

"Anne...Stop it...And come over here..." Angel moved towards her...She stepped back among her new defenders, a frightened look on her face...He's terrible when he gets like this...she noted to a middle-aged gentleman...



"Hey, pal..." the dark-haired young man who'd frowned at him came forward to gallantly protect the abused damsel... "I think the lady wants you to..." Angel moved him aside with a quiet sweep of his hand...Hey!!...And stepped into the crowd, reaching for her...

"Stop that!...Hey!...Leave her alone!..." several shouted...Help!...Anne shouted...He's after me!...

"Somebody call a cop!..."

"You leave her alone!..." the gallant young fellow grabbed at Angel from behind...As Anne watched from the back of the crowd now focused on the brooding young ruffian, clearly a dangerous fellow of violent temper...A sly little smile on her face as she looked at Angel...

Unnh...!...The young gentleman went sailing across the street...But the rest of the crowd now presented Angel with a serious problem...Too many to avoid doing serious harm if he tried to stay...He backed off a bit...Several cautiously confronting him as others looked to the poor girl...Anne again in pathetic victim mode...

A police siren...Great...Angel sighed...The one time the Sunnydale PD makes an appearance in less than twenty minutes...He slipped back and moved off, up the street...Anne, comforted by her new friends, watching him...

"He's not really so bad..." she sighed to the sympathetic young woman... "Just very...Troubled, I think..."

"I think you're better off staying away from him..." the woman noted... Yeah, Anne nodded...Turning to see her gallant defender come up... "Say, thanks..." she smiled at him..."You ok?...He didn't hurt ya?..."

"Fine..." he nodded...Two policemen now coming up...The crowd thinning a bit and parting to let them through...

Oh, great...The Summers' kid...One sighed...

"I'm fine officer..." she smiled at the first to reach her... "Just shoulda been more careful with that Internet dating..."

He seemed like such a nice guy at first...she sighed...I guess I thought that brooding thing was romantic...she shrugged sheepishly...But then he started getting all aggressive and macho...

"I don't think he really means any harm though...He's only hit me once or twice when he was really upset..." she noted...

"That miserable..." the middle-aged gentleman shook his head...

"You wanna file a complaint?...Miss Summers, right?..." the officer who'd recognized her asked in a weary voice...

"No...ooo...I don't wanna get him in trouble..." she shook her head... "I'll just try and keep away from him until he gets some help..."

Right...The officer folded his notepad...You try and do that...Call us if he bothers you...The cops moved off...

"I'd throw him in the clink for a few years...That's the kind of help that clown needs..." another lady glared up the street to where Angel had disappeared in the dark...

"You're sure you're ok?..." Anne eyed her new hero...

"Just sorry I couldn't have got a decent crack at that bastard..." the young man shook his head... "You gonna be ok?...Ummn..."

"Anne Summers..." she beamed, hastily glancing round for old acquaintances or perhaps, classmates...Nope...

"Parker..." Parker smiled... "Did you say you were making for the Bronze?..."

Hmm-hmmn...she nodded... "Gonna call Mom from there and let her know I'm ok...She'll be so relieved..." she hung her head slightly...The sidewalk crowd steadily thinning out now...



She warned me about him...Guess it's 'I tole you so' for the next month or two...

"I'm headed for there...My car's in the lot...I could give you a ride home later..."

"God, that would be great...I really could use a few minutes to unwind after this evening..." she smiled... "And avoid a Mom ride home..." she bit her lip a bit, sheepishly grinning as he smiled back...

Thanks...Parker...she beamed...Offering a arm...

Sucking down the blood from her slightly bleeding lip as he turned to check up the street once last time...

***

"Anne..." Part XI...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part XI...



In an alley just off Angel's home street...Sid, Alix, and Roy...Three of Anointed One Colin's finest...And sacrificial lamb Les, now securely tied to a just uprooted metal fence pole, awaited Angel and Anne's return...

"Fellas..." Les eyed his excomrades... "We can't just sit in this alley all night with me like this...Somebody's gonna come along and..."

"Hey!...What are you people doing with that poor man?"...A sarcastically-smiling Darla came into view at the end of the alley...Hey, Lester...How you hanging?...she chuckled...

"Whose bright idea was this?...The Annoying One's?..."

Darla...Sid frowned...Even poor Les from his uncomfortable post being properly shocked... "You're talking about the Master's Anointed One..."

"Please..." Darla waved a hand... "I didn't mind serving the Master...My own sire...But I'll be undamned if I'll sacrifice my existence to serve that little brat..."

Oh...Alix rolled her eyes...Darla always was such an unorthodox type...How the Master ever tolerated her blasphemy...

"So...You clowns are waiting for Summers' demon and Angelus to show?...And you're supposed to toss ole Les here to 'em...?...Then try a good ole fashioned ambush?..." she laughed... "Lord Colin must need to thin the herd..."

"Fine...Why don't you go and find some worthless flashy mate to latch on to?...Again..." Sid sneered at her as she glared... "We have devoted service to render our Lord...And the Master's memory to avenge..."

Maybe that Europunk grandnephew of Dracula's is looking for a new tramp to keep him cold at night...Alix chimed in...

Darla snarled...Demon-face...Then calmed...



"Fine way to treat someone who's ready to save your miserable existences..." she glared... "C'mon... Do any of you morons really think you're gonna take Angelus and Summers' demon?...After what she did to the Master?...Huh...?" she eyed them...

"Well...Lemme ask you..." Darla grinned... "Do you guys want my help and a chance to score points with the Lord High Annoying One?...Or do you want to spend the night here trying to explain to every passerby why you've got Les here tied up like me in my 1790's corset..." By the way, Alix, she eyed her fellow vampiress, then poor Les... "At times like these you should thank the demon gods you were born in the early twentieth century...When I remember what I went through back then in those whalebone strait-jackets..."

"So...What 'help' are you offering?..." Sidney stared at her... "Besides letting your old mate know we're here..."

"I'm gonna help you take out our Master's killer...If you do like I say..."

Uh-huh...Roy, a slightly tubby middle-aged former trucker, eyed her... "Out of your Undead undying devotion, I suppose?...You having been chief Tramp and all..."

"In return for what, Darla...?" Sid asked...As Darla gave a quick snap at Roy who dropped back... Watch your mouth, lard-boy...she snarled...Turning back to Sidney...

"You leave Angelus to me...He wants her as dust as we do, for his own perverse souly reasons...And he'll help us if you leave things in my hands..."

"Colin wanted us to take out Angel too..." Alix noted...Darla giving her a contemptuous stare...Right...

"I think...Somehow...He'd be willing to accept proof of Buffy Summers' demon's demise as sufficient devotion for one evening..." she noted...

"But...If you clods think you can handle the two of them...I'm happy to leave you to it...I'll just let Angelus know he should maintain a temporary alliance with the bitch until they grind you four to powder..."

Be happy to report your unfortunate demise to his Brattiness...I'm sure he'll appreciate your moronic self-sacrifice...

Ummn...The three unfettered vamps looked at her...

Well...she eyed them... "We have a deal...Or no?..."

Sid eyed Alix and Roy...Who returned his stare...

"Sounds like a plan to me..." Les noted from his post...

***

"Thanks..." Anne beamed sweetly as Parker set the soft drink he'd just fetched down by her...She looking away from the Bronze stage where a reasonably nice band was gearing up...

"Uh-boy..." he sighed as, in the midst of sitting he caught sight of Angel now making his way through the crowd...She turning to see...Hmmn...

"Just keep down and don't let him see us..." she suggested... "He tires easily in pursuit..."

"Yeah?..." He gave a quick glance as did she...Awful big guy, that one...He pulled down as low to table as possible...So far so good thanks to the crowd...

"Say, Anne?..." he eyed her... "Hmmn?..." she smiled...Still keeping head down herself...

"I'm sure I've seen you at Sunnydale High?...But isn't your name...?"

"Nickname...I hate it..." she waved a hand... "Soooo 80's, 'thirtysomething'...ya know?..."

"Anne..." Xander stared at her coldly...Xander...Harris?...Parker raised himself up a bit in his seat...

"Hey, Xander...My throwaway guy..." she grinned to Parker... "I'm trying to build up his self-esteem by letting him hang around every so often...Or I was till that Angel just swept me off..."

Though it's been a job...she eyed him...Have a seat...she waved him to a chair...He moved over, but remained standing...

"Angel call you, Xander?...Or you just get lonesome for me...?"

"Giles, after Angel called him..." Ah...she nodded...

"You made him a promise, Anne...You said you'd stay put with Angel..."

"I never said I'll be chained to him 24/7, Xander...Just that I'd stay at his place...While I sort things out...Issues at home..." she turned to Parker quickly... "Xander likes to play big brother...I tolerate it..."

To a point...she eyed him...As he stared back...

"Harris..." Parker rose to his feet... "I think Anne and I have things pretty well in hand here..."

"Yeah..." Anne nodded... "Parker's been hard at it...Gone to all the trouble of spiking my drink and everything..." she grinned at him as he blinked, taking a small sip...Hmmn...A mild hypnotic I'd say, she smiled... "Next step, a little sympathy and soulful conversation...Another spiked coke...And meaningless sex, here we come..."

Gotta give the boy credit, she gave a sweet smile... "Fast moves for a sophomore..."

Ummn...

"You have somewhere to go...Right now..." Xander gave him a hard stare...Parker made a feeble attempt at a stand as Anne watched coolly...But turning slightly saw Angel bearing down on them...

"I'll catch ya later, Anne...See ya..." he got up hastily...Angel standing by and quietly staring as he hurried off...Leaving a faint Hihowareya?...in his wake...

"Call me..." she cooed after him... "I love your drink mixes...Gotta get your recipe..."

"Hey, boyfriend...Pull up a chair..." she smiled at Angel...He quietly pulled a chair and sat...

"Aw, c'mon fellas..." she eyed the two... "I didn't even kill the schmuck...yet...And my overall human body count is still firmly at zero..."

Be fair...I kept my end up tonight, Slayerwise...And alls I wants for now is ta hear a little music, have a couple of non-alcoholic drinks, and maybe...A dance or two with my favorite, temporary, stand-in fellas?...she noted...Not a lot to ask...huh?...Xander?...

"I missed out on the prom...Geesh..."

****

"You're not seriously planning to let this... 'Anne'...Just wander round the Hellmouth, playing at being Buffy...Until...What was his name?...Shows...?" Jenny stared at Giles...

William the Bloody...he replied...Shaking his head...

"No, I have no intention of letting her demon roam free...Whether it means to keep its pledge or no..."



But...There are many lives at stake here...Xander's and Willow's families as well as our own at the very least...She's no fool...And she knows me and the others as well if not better than Buffy did...I'll have to handle this situation very carefully...Like a true Watcher...he bitterly noted...

"I can't even let her be buried in peace..."he looked up at her... "Can't even allow poor Joyce that much comfort...I haven't just killed her..."

"Giles..." Jenny sighed...

But I will bring her peace...I swear it on my miserable, comfortable existence...he gave her a hard look...

As soon as time and opportunity allow...

"And I should learn more about this William of hers...Her 'husband' she called him...Not her vampiral mate...Her husband...From a previous life...Cicely Addams' life in fact..."

"Cicely Addams?..."

"A Slayer from the last century...Whose records, Anne claims, were deliberately altered in the Council archives..."

"Then...Buffy Summers..."

"May have been a reincarnate, yes..." he nodded... "Though I would not be inclined to put any faith in Anne's statements just yet..."

"Giles...I've heard of Cicely Addams..." she looked at him... "Whatever the Council's records say...She was a great Slayer...At least by the sources I've access to..."

I see...He looked at the volumes on his desk...Hundreds of years of painstakingly accumulated information on every conceivable...And many inconceivable...Form of underdweller...

Now...Fit for the wastebin...Useless...

"I want whatever you have, Jenny...As soon as you can get it for me..." she nodded...Pausing...

Useless trash...Unless...He pulled a book down from the pile and cracked it open...W...Wiccan...Willat Confederacy...Willia the Mad...Willic the...Damn...

"Stuff's at my place, Rupert..." she eyed him...

Fine, fine...he nodded...Trying to concentrate...William the Bloody...English vampire, active over the last hundred...Wait...

"I could fix dinner...I'm sure you haven't eaten all day..."

Yes, yes...he got up...What was it she said?...Cicely...

"Walthrop..." Yes...

"Giles...?" God, I could name at least seven male...And guess at three or four female...Teachers in this school who'd fall on their knees in gratitude to God if I ever...

"Her name...She said her name was Cicely Walthrop, nee Addams..." he hurried over to a shelf of books, pulled one out...A small volume...

"Walthrop...Cicely..." he looked at her... "The stupid bastards practically expunged Cicely Addams and Cicely Addams-Walthrop from the records...But they utterly forgot to erase Cicely Walthrop..."



"Mrs. Cicely Anne Addams Walthrop...Born in London, 1857, died 1880...Widow of William Soames...Died in childbirth...Defeated the Sutoni in 1870 at the age of thirteen...Destroyed the Golden Horn of Ham in 1876 to prevent the escape of the First Evil from Hell...Massacred the five hundred strong tribe of the mad Rev. Almond, who sought the establishment of Hell on Earth in 1877...Etc, etc..."

Censured in 1880...And relieved from service on the order of her Watcher, Simon Farris...Owing to her violation of Council instructions...Her secret marriage...And her disappearance, following...He looked at her...

"The transformation of her husband..."

"... 'Relieved from service'?..." Jenny blinked... "I thought Slayers were..."

"They are..." Giles nodded... "It is a lifetime calling...And an involuntary one..."

"But...She died in childbirth..."

"The Council may have gotten lucky...But with Mr. Simon Farris on hand, I hardly think luck had much to do with it...In any case...They would have eventually dealt with her in such a situation..."

"Rupert...?"

After all...We are the self-appointed Guardians of Humanity...And...

"There is always another Slayer..." he eyed her...As she stared back...

"You mentioned...Something about dinner, I believe...?" he gave a faint smile...

***

"Anne..." Part XII...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part XII...

London, Antiquarian Hall home of the Watchers' Council...Early morning...

"Sir...?" Fenton, a large half-human, half-demon bearing a striking resemblance to Bigfoot, politely but squarely blocked Councilor Tristam Reynolds' attempt to exit the research library where unable to sleep he'd been finishing several rather minor assignments set him by Chairman Travers... "I must remind you Creel and I have orders to guard your person and prevent your attempting to leave or contact any one besides the Chairman by all means necessary..." he nodded to his shorter partner, Creel...A nearly-human-in-appearance, excepting the large gill sacs, half-Morte demon...Who nodded back...Indeed, sir...

"Surely I have leave to move about the building...Use the facilities...?" Reynolds eyed his 'guardians'...

"Of course, sir...But you must inform us of all your intended movements beforehand...The Chairman was most particular that you be accounted for at all times..." Fenton explained...

Most particular...Creel echoed...



"Sorry...But I have completed these for the Chairman..." Reynolds waved a small stack of freshly printed pages... "And I do require use of the facilities..."

"Certainly, sir...If you will follow me...Creel?..." the large demon eyed his colleague...Who checked and pronounced the hallway clear, then took up a position behind Reynolds as the senior Watcher emerged from the library room...

"Hope you understand, Mr. Reynolds, sir...Orders are orders..."

Indeed, sir...Creel noted from behind as the trio proceeded down the hallway...

"Yes, certainly..." Reynolds sighed... "Though I'd say this is a bit much...Wouldn't you...?"

"Hardly our place to say so, sir..." Fenton shook his head...Hardly, sir...Creel echoed... "Ah, here we are, sir..." The demon opened the mens' room door...Good, all clear...

"We must accompany you, sir...No offense intended and none taken, I hope, sir..." A polite, if toothy smile...

No, no...Reynolds shrugged, waving a hand...

Creel?...Fenton motioned his partner in after Reynolds...

The door opened again a moment later, to let in Axton, the former Chairman...A tall man of iron-grey hair...Stern appearance...He nodded to the demons and Reynolds briefly...

"Reynolds, Fenton...Creel..."

"Chairman Axton, sir...A very good mor..." Fenton gave a slight bow...Creel striking him with an unusually powerful stun weapon from behind as Reynolds stared, startled...

"Good work, Creel..." Axton nodded, eyeing Reynolds... "Here now, Reynolds...We've no time...Take this..." he handed the Watcher a large orb...As Creel dragged his partner into a closed stall...

"Mr. Chairman...?" Reynolds blinked...

"This organization faces imminent destruction, Tristam...Of our own making, of course...But...I cannot stand by and do nothing while Travers drags us down...Now there's no time and Creel and I have taken a great risk to help you...You must use that orb's stored energy to teleport to Sunnydale...Contact Rupert Giles and see that Cicely Addams' demon is either placated...Or destroyed..."

"But Mr. Travers has arranged..."

"Travers is a fool...He undervalued the Slayer and underestimates her demon...The 'force' he's sent to deal with her is utterly inadequate...She will destroy them, then us...With, perhaps, considerable justification...But more importantly, he's placed the new and potential Slayers at risk...Unless we give her what she wants...Or destroy her..."

Or both...Axton eyed him coldly...Creel standing by at the door...

"But...If she unites with William the Bloody...?" Sorry, sir...Creel blocked the door to a would-be user... "Earnest apologies...Council security matter..." the demon called...

"If we assist that union...Re-union...She may relent and for his sake, choose to focus on survival...In any case, she will refrain from immediate action against us if she is convinced we...Some of us...Are willing to assist her...And that may allow you, Giles, and the new Slayer enough time...If you can reach him in time..."

"Best to be off, sir..." Creel noted...



"Yes, go Tristam...Now...Before my theft is noted and traced...And when you get to Sunnydale...Trust no one but Rupert Giles...And be wary of him until you're sure he believes your story...And Reynolds..." Axton hesitated...

"Tell it...Tell whatever is left of Ms. Addams if you have the chance...That I am ashamed...For all of us..."

***

Downtown Sunnydale...Very early morning, about 2 am...

"So, guys..." Anne beamed at her escorts...Sipping at the coffee Xander had obtained for her from an all-night gas station/convenience store... "Who's up for a lil' late night killin'...?"

"It's time we headed home, Anne..."Angel told her coldly... "We've indulged you enough for one evening..."

"Geesh...Some would-be world saver you are, Liam..." she sneered... "Poopin' out now when you've got all day to rest and all those little people in danger...C'mon Alexander..." she turned to Xander, now stifling a yawn... "Going home can't be so pleasant an experience for you that ya wouldn't mind hanging a lil' longer with the girl of your nightmares...?" she chuckled... "Think of what this does for your rep at school...C'mon?...Please..."

She really was sincere, somewhere under the sarcasm, he realized...She really didn't want to call it a night...Angel keeping between them...Watching her quietly as they walked...

"Don't see why we couldn't've called Willow..." she went on, frowning...

"I don't think Willow wants to hang with you just now, Anne..." he eyed her... "And I prefer not to see her anywhere near you..."

A dark look... "I don't appreciate that, Xander...Nobody's dead yet...And I deserve better from the miserable jerks I've..."

"The jerks Buffy saved, not you..." he replied... "And nobody's said we're not grateful...But I'd be as big a fool as you think I am to let Willow endanger herself any more than she already is..."

"I never said you were a fool, Alexander..." she paused, staring at him, across Angel... "An inept geek, maybe...But then I've always had a thing for inept geeks...I married one..."

Inept geeks with noble souls, that is...she corrected...A winning smile...

"C'mon, for the safety of good ole Sunnydale...And sos you can report to my dear ole Giles that I'm keepin' my pledge...Just a lil' rock 'em, sock 'em...?"

I don't want go back to my funeral bier at Angel's just yet...she noted...He sighed...Angel?...

A frowning Angel shook his head...Our chaperone is vexed, Anne grinned at Xander...But reluctantly agreed...

"Only the Hopewell, Anne...It's on the way to my place anyway..."

"Hopewell?...Geesh...Nobody rises in that ole dump...Nowadays..."

I'm linked to the whole big evil thing, now...she explained to a puzzled Xander...There's a little instinctive info you find available on rebirth and I can sense its presence even faster than Buffy...Like with you and that bastard dad of yours...she reached to pat him and he moved away...

"Sorry..." she pulled her hand back...A crestfallen look that almost made him...And Angel, he sensed...

No...For Buffy's sake...No...

"It's alright...Just please don't do that again..." he told her quietly...



"I didn't ask for this, Xander..." she noted... "You don't have to hurt me, you know..."

"Stop it, Anne..." Angel looked her in the face... "Or I will...I'm tired of the playacting..."

Yeah?...she smiled... "Well then...Tell me, Angelus...How come an innocent human soul like yours needs to seek redemption?...You were murdered by a vampiress, that Darla, right?..."

"Liam like being the 'Dark Prince of Death' a lil'more than he shoulda?..."

***

"Hello, love..." Spike eyed the short brunette...Standing for her bus, alone...In nurse's uniform...Hey, she smiled back...

Hmmn...Either she's one of us...Or this is a rather pleasantly safe little town...he thought...Nope...Happy meal...

Well, may as well get a little night's fun out of this...He took a position near her...

"What time's the next bus?...I've just moved to town..."

"The R16 or the 22?..." "The 22..." he smiled...

"I think about fifteen..." Ah...

"You don't mind being out here alone at night?...Can't say as I'd let a girl of mine come out here at night alone..."

"My car's on the blink...I don't mind..."

Mine too...he nodded... "But surely your boyfriend...Husband...Or somebody...Isn't crazy about you traveling this way...at this time of night..."

"Haven't got 'somebody'...Currently...Living close by...Who'd care..." she shook her head...

But I make out ok...And I can look out for myself...she gave him a firm look...

"That's good..." he nodded... "Self-defense classes and all that?..."

"Why...William?..." she stared...A British accent coming into her voice...

"Didn't you know I was a Slayer?..." she smiled gently at him...

He blinked at her...She was simply standing in the partly enclosed stop shelter, peeping out for...Ah...

"Anything wrong?..." she eyed him...Her voice, a standard midwestern... "Here's my bus...See ya..." she went over to the bus...

He watched the bus move off...Ummn...

Definitely not a matter to discuss right now with poor ole Dru...

***

"Anne..." Part XIII...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html



Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part XIII...

An alley near Angel's building...3:40 am...

Hmmn...Darla shifted her weight to her right leg, eyeing her companions, now increased to five by the return of scout Slim from her post at Angel's building's door...This is not the fun, if occasionally existence-threatening evening I was hopin' for when I freed Angel and cut our deal...Where the heaven are those two?...

Zzzz...Poor Les, still bound to his pole, snored...At least someone getting a little pleasure out of this night, she noted...Bastard...Whacking the pole to wake him... "Sorry, I tripped..." she smiled sweetly...

If I didn't know better...And I do, since I never told my dear boy when and where we'd meet up again, not quite trusting him even with that louse-ridden soul of his...I might suspect Angel of crossing me...she frowned...And it's just possible he came up with some noble, soully excuse for cutting his own deal and warned her to keep out of any potential harms'...

"I see someone coming...Our kind, I think..." Slim, a lovely brunette, well-suited to her vamp name...Taken only ten years ago and therefore the best of the group for the job of watching at Angel's as least likely known to him...Noted...

"Step sounds like..." Roy began...Tensing as he strained to hear...

"Angelus..." Darla nodded...Rather relieved...Action at last...

God, he still shuffles along like a bog-trotting Irish...No matter how many times I told him to pick up his feet like a gentleman when he walked...

Like all my efforts with him...Wasted...she sighed...Well, that's what I get for trying to make a silk purse out of a...

"The Slayer's demon is with him..." Alix hissed back from where she'd moved to up at the front of the alley... "Get ready...They'll be here..." she turned back to face a grinning Anne...

"Right now, kiddo..." she staked the vampiress... "Hey, Dar...How's it hanging?...Hiya..." she nodded to poor Les on his pole...

"Sorry I couldn't get Angelus over faster...He's a slow mover..." she noted to Darla while slashing at Roy who fell back, but not quite fast enough...

"Guess he'll have to check in with you in Hell later..." she kicked Sidney and Slim back as they tried a charge...See, Les called from his pole...Ya coulda had me with ya to help...And moved on Darla who leapt back, while kicking at her pursuer, and turning in mid-leap, grabbed onto a second floor window frame of the building on the nearer side of the alley...To find Anne beside her, likewise holding onto the frame... "Nice one, girlfriend..." she grinned...

Angel raced up...Having been startled to be left in mid-...if curt...conversation by a suddenly alert Anne...

"This your little idea, Liam?..." Anne called to him...Turning back to slash at Darla with one hand while holding onto her part of the window frame...As the other two survivors raced off...Les attempting to sadly shake his well-trussed head at the fiasco...

Darla gave a desperate, all-or-nothing lunge from her window frame and managed to clamber up and over the fence on the other side of the alley between said alley and the large building on that side...She raced off...Anne frowning a bit as she briefly pondered the joys of the hunt, eyeing the fence...

Well...Other matters...Beginning with...She narrowly eyed Angel as he stood at the side fence likewise briefly contemplating his options...



Possible betrayal...Not that it would make much difference in the eventual outcome of her plans for the Brooding souled counterpart of Angelus... Still, a deal is a deal...And this was comin' very close to an intolerable form of deal-breaking...

"You set me up...With Darla?.." she glared...Poor Les an embarrassed witness to the scene...Kinda sad considering how close he'd noted them getting during the course of his past surveillance of them before Ms. Summers', increasingly for their kind, unfortunate demise...

"No...But she was the one who untied me back at the crypt..." he stared back at her...

"And suggested you keep me off balance until or if she and hers got a shot at me?..."

"Something like that...Though she chose not to fill me in regards details..." he nodded... "But nothing you didn't already expect..."

Mmmn...she nodded in turn... "Well, a boy's best friend..." she smiled...

She's been telling us the truth...Not to mention, given the speed and strength she just displayed, playing with us...Angel thought, as, with another friendly smile, she suggested they continue on their way...Been a long night and dawn not being that far off...

Some part of her really was William's wife...And she plans to make it really hurt...When she's good and ready...for all of us...The three who took him away...And not just us...he realized...Everyone and anyone involved...

If I were that Lord D'Hoffryn or a clued-in member of the Watchers' Council I'd be a mite concerned...

"Ummn... 'Cuse me...Slayer?...Angelus?..." Les called politely...

***

London...Morning...

"Mr. Axton..." Chairman Travers sighed at the grim-faced ex-Chairman now seated before him, along with his partner-in-treason, Creel...Under heavy guard... "You're surely aware of the gravity of the charges you and Mr. Creel face..."

I need not remind you, sir...That we are currently under martial law here...And that even your position as a retired Chairman will not protect you in this circumstance...

"You are a fool, Travers..."Axton replied quietly... "I am trying to prevent your folly from destroying this organization..."

"I see..." Quentin smiled thinly... "And allowing our dear Mr. Reynolds to persuade Rupert Giles to assist the demon counterpart of our tragically lost Slayer is your 'sensible' answer to this crisis..."

"Ms. Summers is the reincarnation of Cicely Addams, our greatest Slayer...Her demon will have access to the strength and power of the Slayers as well as her own vampiral nature...More importantly..." Axton paused...

"She has good reason to want us all dead...And to terminate the Slayer line..."

"And preventing her destruction...And assisting her in her search for William the Bloody...Will endear us to her so much that she will forget and forgive?.."

"She has the strength and ability to destroy us, Travers...If we offer her help in finding her husband, she may possibly relent...Or at least we will gain the time we need to prepare to battle her..."

"I have already taken the necessary measures, my friend..." Quentin gave an airy wave... "Ms. Summers...Or if you prefer Ms. Addams or Mrs. Walthrop...Will be dealt with...Soon..."

"Your 'measures', with all due respect...Mr. Chairman...Will fail against her...She is not an ordinary vampire...Nor even an ordinary Slayer..."



"I am aware that she is potentially quite powerful...And a serious danger...I assure you, I have not underestimated her..."

"A team of assassins...Backed by a few strong demons...Won't stop her, Quentin...Listen to me...I studied the case of Mrs. Walthrop for many years...Half-expecting with each new girl that I would be the one to have to confront her, if only as the next Slayer...And try to put right what Farris put so terribly wrong..."

"Farris was an ambitious fool, I grant you, sir..." Travers nodded... "But he prevented his Slayer from abandoning her Duty...If for less than honorable motives, perhaps...And in the war for the protection of Humanity it is required that the Slayer, each Slayer...No matter how successful or long-lived...Fulfill her proper destiny...Or die trying..."

There can be no tolerance for a Slayer who would abandon her calling...Or any member of this organization who betrays it...he eyed the two...

"You little coward, Travers..." Axton sneered... "You can stand there, mouthing pieties about Duty, after letting that poor girl go alone and unassisted to her death...And now you'd blame her for seeking retribution against the descendants of those who conspired to worse than kill her poor husband and herself...We, who knew the truth...At least in the Inner Council...Knew she had come back and could have helped her while she lived..."

"There is always another Slayer..." Travers replied coldly... "There always has been...Always will be...And none is allowed to forego her fate..."

Ms. Summers' loss is unfortunate...As was Ms. Addams...But we will continue on in our war...Humanity will continue, protected by our Slayers...Under our unseen guidance...

"And we will see that Ms. Summers' demon is put to rest...And that of Mr. Walthrop...So you see, my friend...In the end...We will give the Walthrops what they no doubt most want..."

"As for you, the Inner Council will decide your fates at the earliest opportunity...I shall, of course, urge clemency based on your past records of service..."

***

Sunnydale...4:00 am...The Master's...Now Colin's old lair...

"Another failure!..." Colin shrieked at his minions... "This isn't just another defeat...This is now way over the line into humiliation...Isn't it, Slim?..." he lifted the battered body of poor Slim...Mercifully as unconscious as a vampire could be...

" 'yeah, Colin...'..." the Anointed One moved her jaw, demonstrating his remarkable ventriloquism skills...A hobby from his human days... "... 'this is way humiliating...And somebody...Along with me...Has gotta pay for it...'..." He threw her against a long wood spear held by a minion...

Sir...Sidney paused... "If we keep decimating our ranks ourselves..."

"Sid..." Colin staked him... "I'm way past decimation...I'd say I'm into..." he turned to the newly and miraculously to his own mind, returned Lester... "Les...What would you say in terms of numbers?...Quartermation?..."

Well, he sighed, tossing his stake...At least we've cleared some of the dead wood...

"Les...I gotta say your survival abilities have impressed me...So I'm gonna let you head out and see if you can raise me up a new army of somewhat less miserable minions to refill our ranks...If the former Slayer isn't already out harvesting what cream of the crop there is in this Ba'al-...And Master-forsaken town..."

Really?...Les beamed...Working out to being a rather happy night for him at least...

Say?...Colin looked round the room...

"Where's Darla?...I haven't seen her in hours..."



What's with her?...he looked at the others...Lip trembling a bit now...

"Doesn't she like me?..."

***

Sunnydale...4:00am...Outside Angel's building...

"So what about getting Willow to bring over a few curtains later today..?" Anne suggested, only half-mockingly as she and Angel approached his building... "The place sure couldn't get any worse lookin'..." Hmmn...She halted...Staring...

"Either somebody lost his key...Or you got a visitor, soul-boy..." she smiled... "Don't tell me you and Gilesy arranged another ambush thing for me?...Council boys, this time?"

"No one I'm expecting..." Angel shook his head... "Are they human?..."

"Stinkin' of it...But no one I recognize..." she nodded... "So, you don't mind if I rip his or her head off?..."

"You made a promise to Giles, Anne...And this one may be totally innocent..."

"Nobody's 'totally innocent' in this world, Liam..." she grinned... "But ok, for dear ole Giles' sake I'll forbear until we check them out...But if they're trouble..."

After you, boyfriend...she waved him on...

"Hello...?" Angel gave the rather lost-looking young woman standing on his steps a friendly smile...Anne following behind...Both cautiously watching the potential threat/dinner entree...And embarrassedly smoothing her rather wrinkled dress...Now a bit worse for several days' continuous wear, though she'd managed to purchase a little spot remover earlier...

Gotta see if my roomie or Giles'd lend me enough for a new outfit tonight...

Or else...

"Are you locked out, miss?..." he continued...The girl staring at him...Tall, brown-blonde...Odd, he thought...I almost think I've...

"Angelus?..." Tara whispered...Stepping back...

***

"Anne..." Part XIV...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...



Part XIV...

Sunnydale, 7am...

"Yes?..." Sheila Rosenberg stared at the tall, distinguished-looking man on the Rosenberg doorstep...He smiled politely... "I'm truly sorry to disturb you at this hour, ma'am...My name is Reynolds, Tristam Reynolds...I believe I am looking for your daughter, Miss Willow Rosenberg?...Is she available?..."

"Honey?..." Ira Rosenberg, late forties, slightly balding and a hair over optimal weight for his size, came to the door... "This gentleman wants to see Willow..." "Oh?...Can we help you?..." he eyed the man...Look of a possible teacher about him...Uh-oh...

"Are you from her school?..." Sheila asked, the same thought having occurred to her...Especially what with the mysterious flight of that bizarre Buffy Summers after the prom the other night...It hadn't taken the Rosenbergs' joint training in psychology to see that Willow was trying to conceal something...

"No, Mrs. Rosenberg...I'm actually from England...But I've been told that your daughter is a friend of a friend of mine whom I'm currently trying to locate..."

Mom?...Willow came to the door...

"Willow...This is..."

"Tristam Reynolds, miss...From England...I'm a member of the Royal Council of Librarians and Library Scientists...Like your friend, Mr. Rupert Giles..." he eyed Willow carefully...Who blinked...

"Oh, right...Mr. Giles...You know Mr. Giles, Mom...Our new librarian, the ex-museum curator from England?..."

"Yes...Well...I've been trying to find Rupert but he seems to be away from his apartment and not at the school just yet...I was told by someone at the school a few minutes ago that you know him well and I was wondering if you might know of any friends of his he might be visiting with...It's quite urgent that I reach him as soon as possible..."

Know him what...? Sheila narrowly eyed the Englishman, then Willow...Who gave an innocent smile back...

"Afraid I don't know Mr. Giles outside the library...He's very Br...Ummn...Closed-mouthed about his private life..."

"School starts in an hour...And Willow needs to finish her breakfast...Can't this wait?..." Sheila frowned...

"Certainly, miss...Sorry to have troubled you...It's just...A very urgent matter..." he stared at the rapidly blinking Willow...Now shifting to a rapid-fire wink...Hmmn...

Either what they say about young American girls...Especially those here in California...is true...Or...

"Well..." he waved a hand, beaming... "I should have waited for the school to open this morning...I'll head back there...Again, I apologize for troubling you...Good day..." he headed off...

Hmmn...Mrs. Rosenberg watched the Watcher leave...Heading off down the avenue...A little strange, she noted to Ira...Coming by this early in the morning...

"Well..." Willow gave a nervous grin... "The English are like that...Early to bed and rising and all..."

He probably hasn't adjusted from the time difference?...she suggested...

"What?...He just got off the plane and came here?..."

"He said it was an urgent thingy, Ma...And maybe he came over from his hotel..."

"Still sounds a little weird to me...Willow, I don't think I want you hanging around the library and that Mr. Giles for the next few days...Not until we know more about what happened to the Summers girl..."



"Ma...Buffy called her mom, told her she was pregnant and going off with that Angel guy...Mr. Giles and his library aren't involved..."

My mom does not want me hanging around a library?...she thought...That was the one place she'd let me hang...

"All the same...I'd rather you kept away from him...Especially while his friend's in town...You got me?..." Sheila gave a stern glare...

Gotcha, Ma...Willow nodded...Ummn...Say... "Is it ok if I leave early?...I want to stop by poor Ms. Summers and see how she's doing...If that's ok....?"

"That's nice of you, honey...It's ok...Ira?...You can drive Willow over to Joyce Summers', right?..."

Sure...Ira nodded...Damn...Willow fumed...Still, if I can slip away from Dad once we get there and find this guy...Maybe I can call Xander and have him link up with him...Sorta like Spymaster Willow sending her operative to make contact with Mr. Bond of MI-5...Xander does have that easygoing-on-the-surface-but-underneath, CIA look to him at times...

"I just gotta get some things and make one call..."

Xander...I still haven't gotten round to asking about that 'beating' thing...she sighed to herself...I gotta try and speak to him about that...In between all the other stuff with Buffy being all dead and sardonically evil, yet still in wanna-be Slayer mode, this William the Bloody husband thing, the usual same old-same old vamps on the prowl, and now this English Watcher guy (if he really is one)...

I wonder where the heck Giles is, anyway?...

***

"Ms. Calendar..." Giles rolled over on her bed to face her beautiful face, hair tossed round...

"I fear we may have violated several school ordinances this morning..."

"When off school property, Rupert..." she grinned back to his gently smiling face... "Do as the general student population does..."

Just with a little more experience...she noted...

"Thank you..." he nodded... "I appr..."

I meant...Me...she grinned...Pulling him close...

"Not that I have all that much experience..." she hastily added...Of course not...he smiled...

"Just the right amount, I'd say..." he gallantly added...His face clouding a bit as he looked out at the morning sun...The sun his poor Buffy would never see again...

***

Angel's apartment, 7am...

It's getting a bit embarrassing...he thought...Staring at the ropes holding him...How easily Anne gets the better of me...Ohh...He winced as he moved his head slightly, feeling a throbbing where she'd slammed his skull with the back of a stake shortly after their mysterious visitor had shown up on his doorstep...

Said mysterious visitor, still human for the moment, likewise trussed up and tied to the same frame of the bed he was...Looking nervously round the room as Anne bustled about, making tea...Just suddenly feeling all Britishy...She'd grinned...



"You guys take lemon or cream with your tea?..." They stared at her... Ummn...Lemon, please...Tara noted... "Angelus?...Sorry, no offense..." Anne grinned..."Angel?...Lemon or cream?..." Cream...Thanks...he eyed her...

"Sorry about my unusual way of enforcing hospitality...Tara, right?..." Tara nodded, cautiously...Still trembling after her very-near-death experience when Anne had decided to take pre-emptive action with the newcomer, clubbing Angel and hastily dragging them both inside... "But I'm a bit on edge what with the dying, transforming, constantly being betrayed by friends and acquaintances..." Anne briefly smiled at Angel... "And not knowing who the hell you were...I hope you understand..."

As for Angelus here...she grinned... "I think he's aware how much I enjoy these little chances to give him an insight into my true feelings for him..."

And I hope you also understand that... 'I'm not sure why I'm here'...Doesn't really do it for me right now...And that I'll require a better answer than that after we have tea...she smiled pleasantly at Tara now...

"Anne...The poor kid obviously doesn't..."

"She knew to look you up, soul-boy...Knew your ole name and was...Wisely...Afraid of you...Just a shame she wasn't as on her toes regards me..."

"But lets do this right, folks..." she beamed... "Though I'm sorry to say the only edibles we got here are these stale cookies...Angel, we gotta do some shopping tonight..."

***

An isolated spot in the Mohave Desert, 7am...

An attractive woman, in her early thirties, coolly elegant in khaki and dark glasses, beside her car, eyed a newly arrived, rather less elegant young man, looking a bit ridiculous in fact, in his desert gear...

"Mr. Wyndham-Price...?" she eyed him... "Yes..." he gave a cautious stare... "Mrs. Gwendolyn Post?..." he asked...She nodded...

"Our contacts should be here shortly..." Hmmn...he nodded...A questioning look...

"Shouldn't we exchange our credentials before discussing the operation?..." he suggested...

"Mr. Wyndham-Price..." Mrs. Post sighed... "Not only have we met once at the Council...Who else would be out here at this hour in this god-and-even-to-a-large-extent demon-forsaken place?..."

I think we can afford to dispense with the formalities...

A mound of sand rose in front of them...Taking more or less humanoid form...

"And our contact is not one to be kept waiting..." she noted as they stared at the demon...Another now rising up as well...

"Yooou are froom the Council of the Watchars...?" the first demon asked...Burning red eyes now visible in the still forming face...Features taking shape from the sand...

"Yes..." Wesley began... "And may I say on behalf of the Council..."

"Wheeerrree isss our first payment, Watcharsss...?" the demon cut him off...

"Here..." Gwendolyn pulled back a tarpaulin covering a large box she'd unloaded just before Wes' arrival...

The Xantha eggs you and your friends requested...she smiled...Wesley and the now three demons looking at the rather ordinary looking eggs...



"First payment as you demanded..." the demons clustered round the eggs...Now in increasingly human form...

Perrrfectt...Healttthy and welll...the first demon noted to his companions as he examined the eggs, holding several to the light...

"And more rewards await you..." Mrs. Post smiled... "If you can do as our leader has asked..."

"To kiiill Sssslayersss isss not ssssooo hard...But to kill the demmmonn of a SSSlayer...Thisss SSSlayer...The sssecond coomming of the CCCCiccccely..." the first eyed her...Staring up and down quite closely... "Not ssso sssimple...SSShe hasss two lifetimesss in her...Very mighty...Very clever..."

"It will cost your Council..." the demon smiled...Now to Wesley's startled surprise an exact replica of Mrs. Post...Including the voice...Startled and somewhat embarrassed surprise...She now being an exact naked replica...

"I see your friend is not fully aware of our people's abilities..." the now female demon smiled...The others still holding their vaguely, if sandy, humanoid appearance...

"Mr. Wyndham-Price is not as experienced as I in these matters...I say, would you mind putting this on?..." Gwendolyn handed her twin a sweater and slacks... "You're welcome to use my form but you'll need to dress to operate in Sunnydale..."

"A rather pleasant form..." the demon smiled back... "But let my friends show your companion a taste of why your Council has chosen to call on us...Frige?..." she turned to the second demon... "Show the handsome..." she beamed at Wes, shaking out her sweater to put on... "Young Watcher here how we will deal with this terrible menace to Humanity and our own kind..."

Frige rose two feet higher, its arms taking the form of giant pincer claws...A huge horny skull with large teeth...

"But if the demonic Slayer can deal with such a creature...We can adapt to offer her other opponents...Hafraf?..." The third demon shifted into the form of a huge lizard...And to Wes' discomfiture suddenly belched a stream of fire from its mouth...

"However...As I'm sure your council knows all too well..." the female demon grinned... "Sometimes the most dangerous opponents are those you do not fear..." she raised a hand from which suddenly a large, narrow spike emerged, dripping with some dangerous-looking...And smelling...Definitely an acid, Wes noted...Substance..

"Excellent..." Mrs. Post nodded... "I think we can speak for our Chairman in saying we are quite pleased with your abilities...Now if you can accomplish your task and give our poor ex-Slayer peace...You will find our Council most generous...And of course we will provide all the support to you our personnel in the area can..."

"We will need transportation..." the female eyed the Watchers' vehicles...Hmmn... "Very nice Land Rover you have there..."...she smiled...

"Yours, of course..." Mrs. Post smiled... Give her the keys, Wesley...she eyed him...

Hmmn...It would have to be my first company car they like...he sighed inwardly...Well, thank God I didn't have to use my own...

"Thanks..." the female beamed... "Course, we could walk, burrow, or fly...But driving is such a rare experience for us...Do you have the information we requested?..." she turned back to Gwendolyn who pulled out several photographs...

"Those the Slayer trusted most in her second life..." the Watcher nodded... "Her mother, her Watcher, two friends who seem to have come to mean a great deal to her...And..."

Such a little life...Wes eyed the pictures sadly...And yet, far more than most of these poor girls ever get...And her second, though even shorter, life to boot...

And now we use the creatures she battled against in our name to destroy what's left of her...Poor recompense for Humanity's greatest protector twice over, he sighed...The second demon now took Joyce Summer's form...The third, Xander's...

"Her husband...William..." Mrs. Post tapped a photo of William the Bloody, smirkingly posing in his Slayer's coat...



Taken only shortly after he'd acquired that coat...A copy mockingly mailed to the Council to celebrate his triumph...

"William the Bloody..." the Joyce demon smiled at the photo... "I had dinner with him once...He was quite a charmer..."

Pity he didn't go for asexual types...I sensed a kinship...she noted...Of course my taking his vampiral mother/lover's form did annoy him when he found me out...

Really wish we'd thought to bring more clothes...Wes thought...

"Of course..." Gwendolyn eyed her twin and the others... "You do realize the creature now in the Slayer's form will not be swayed for long, if at all, by past memories of affection for these people..."

"We won't need long..." the Xander demon smiled...

"Well then...If you would please follow us into Los Angeles...We have a headquarters building there where we can make plans to coordinate our efforts..." Mrs. Post eyed Wesley, who moved to her car...And get you all some clothes...Wes did not say...

"Not too fast, please, miss..." her demon twin called... "I haven't driven one of these in a while..."

"Ms. Post?..." Wes eyed her as she pulled her door closed and started the engine... "What was so important to them about those Xantha eggs that they'd risk fighting Ms. Summers?...Are they medicinal?...A delicacy?..."

"Their kind have trouble reproducing...They require durable donor eggs from a compatible species..."

***

"Anne..." Part XV...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part XV...



In Angel's apartment...Morning...

A trembling Tara, well bound by rope to Angel's bedframe, accepted Anne's proffered cup...Sorry about the lack of good china...Anne gave the even more securely bound Angel a sour look... "Eighteenth century soul-boy still thinks Styrofoam is really keen..." But caught him giving their mysterious guest a sharp and careful look...

"You've sensed something in her too, eh soul-man?..." she nodded... "But whatever it is...She's definitely not the new Slayer...Fortunately for her..."

I don't deal with competition very well...

"She could be a potential Slayer...Not activated yet..." Angel noted... "You're still tapping Slayer strength somehow, obviously..." Thanks, nice of ya to notice, Anne smiled, nodding... "Maybe she's blocked off by that...Anne, if there's anything left of Buffy or your earlier self in you, consider the consequences if you're blocking the Slayer line from transferring normally..." he eyed her...

She blinked at him, grinning... "God, I am good..." she chuckled, cocking her head to one side... "Angelus, you really think I would give a damn about a consideration like that?...Except to consider it a positive benefit of my vamphood?...I am truly touched, ex-boyfriend..."

"But I'm afraid the fact that I'm willing to play Slayer for a while and keep to my deal with Gilesy hasn't got a thing to do with my inherent nobility and deep regard for my old calling..."

"It's all for William the Bloody..." he nodded... "The one you seek..."

Tara blinked...William?...She got hold of herself and steadied the cup...Sorry...she noted as Anne looked at her... "Hard to hold this one-handed..."

Really?...They grow 'em clumsy back where you come from, kiddo?...the vampiress eyed her... "I oughta introduce you to my best bro, Xander L. Harris...You'd be made for each other..."

"Speaking of which...Tara...You-all hail from what ridiculous-sounding suburb of Bug Tussle...?"

Ummn...she looked at Anne, then desperately at Angel who gave her a kind stare...Which to his surprise...And slight embarrassed shame, seemed to bother her more than Anne's hard look...

"I don't think I should tell you, miss..." Anne...Anne smiled... "My family lives there...I don't want them..."

A slightly haughty look..."Kid?...Do I look like the sort to go off to hillbilly-land to kill a few Jeds and Elly-Maes?..."

Yes...Tara eyed her firmly...Surprising her a little...Yes, you do...If you wanted to...

Hmmn...Spirit...Anne grinned at Angel, then pouted back at Tara... "I hate spirit in my hangers-on...It clashes with my own perky, upbeat nature...That's why Buffy always chose to let dweebs cluster round her...Excellent contrast..."

For example...she indicated Angel...

"I won't tell you to anything that might hurt my family..." Tara shook her head...

"Well, then...New girlfriend...The trick from your end is not to make me want to hurt them, right?..." a cold smile as she sat beside her...

"Don't Anne..." Angel told her sternly... "You're not experienced enough...You won't put her in thrall, you'll kill her...And she'll be useless to you..."

"I don't know bout that, soul-boy..." she smiled at Tara... "I always wanted a sis...And frankly Angelus...Much as your brooding sulk appealed to my easily overwhelmed, hypersexed slut counterpart...I've always wanted to try the distaff side..."

"Tara...What can you tell us?..." Angel tried...As Anne stroked her hair... "You came here looking for me...Why?...Are you a potential Slayer?..."

"I told you...Please?...Don't..." she eyed Anne, trying to pull away from her stroke...Anne glared but put her hand down... "I don't know why I came here...I was called...Back home, Momma said...One of us...The Maclauy women...Would be called one day...That the calling lived in us, passed down for years..."

"The lure of Hollywood for backwoods types..." Anne sneered... "You came here to be 'discovered' maybe...?"

"I know where Hollywood is, ma'am..." Tara frowned back... "And I'd stand a better chance breaking into indie films back home...I came to Sunnydale because I was meant to..."

"Sounds like a variation on the ole Slayer crap to me...And I oughta know..." Anne frowned... "Unless she's an agent of the Council..."



"But the new Slayer would have a Watcher...Some knowledge of her destiny..." Angel pointed out...

"Unless my untimely demise screwed the system up..."

"If so...She could be telling the truth...Giles might be able to say..."

Mmmn...Anne pondered... And nodded... "He might..." she started to rise...Then suddenly, viciously darted at Tara, deftly pulling head back and sinking fangs...Ahhh!...the girl gasped...Angel struggling to pull free...

"But I prefer not to give good ole Giles something else to use against me..." Anne smiled up from where she now knelt by Tara...The girl's head cradled against her chest...Blood now smeared on the vampiress' lips...Yummy...she noted...

"Besides...I don't take kindly to aspersions cast upon my vampiral abilities...Any more than I liked my talents being questioned when I was her Slayerness...Either time..." she shook the nearly unconscious Tara a bit...The girl moaning...Angel closed his eyes a moment...

"Tara?...You hear me?..." Yesss...A faint whisper...

"Who are you?...Why are you here?...Tell Annie everything, girlfriend..."

"William..." Tara breathed...Opening her eyes...No!...She tore at a startled Anne with one hand and started to stand, lifting the bedframe and Angel a bit...Anne, fallen back, assumed demon face and snarled...Angel, his legs now out from the previous position tucked under him, kicked out and hurled Anne back...Tara pulled at the somewhat looser ropes holding her and freed her other hand...

"Engae...Demonstro..." she chanted...A wave of energy knocking a now furious Anne back...

"Damnit!...A witch!...God, I hate witches!..." she fumed, hoping up and ready to charge...

"Retea...Demonstro..." Another energy wave knocked her back against the wall...Unconscious...

"That's nearly all I got...We better get out..." Tara began...Pulling at Angel's ropes...Cautrea...she eyed the ropes around his hands...Concentrating...The ropes smoked and snapped at a hard pull from him...

"You better have more than that, bitch!..." Anne rose, furious...Though still a hair stunned...

"Go, Tara!..." Angel cried, grabbing at Anne's ankle and pulling her down as she hurried forward...Tara backed for the door and raced out...

"You!..." Anne slammed a hand across her roomie's face... As Tara zipped for the front door and the daylight now streaming into the outer hallway through that all-glass door...Anne reaching the apartment door and halting just outside in the hallway at the edge of the farthest-reaching sunbeams...As Tara ran out the building door and down the street in the morning sun...

"Angelus...!" Anne whirled back...A hideous look on her demonic face...Which immediately reverted...She stepping inside as he eyed her...And grinning, burst into laughter...

"Beautiful, souly-man..." she bent over and kissed him on the head... "Couldn't have had it done better if I'd hired Angelus out of Hell...Thanks..." she eyed his face... "No bruises...Hope I didn't muss your beloved hair too much..."



He stared at her... "You wanted her to get away..."

"Well...Not till your mentioning William made her shake like a leaf...I wasn't sure till then...And I thought she'd need more help, not knowing about the witch thing... Too bad for you and your heroic ego, really...I was all set to let you get a whack at me while I drained her...Course her standing up to my little suckfest kinda cinched it..."

You still don't know?...she eyed him, smiling... "Angelus?...Your senses are getting flabby...But then I guess I do have the advantage...Being the Slayer twice over and all as well as a vamp...Then too I have more interest in her...You never having given a damn about her and her sufferings...Even with that miserable soul of yours..."

Drusilla...he gasped...

Dear ole Dru...she nodded... "Couldn't you still feel the energy in her?...That gift of hers always stood out like a sore thumb...Her main attraction for you and the whole reason the Council made her my primary focus back in 1880...No wonder one of herselves harnessed it for witchcraft..."

Guess you must be feeling preety dumb, not to mention inadequate, broodo?...All those years when ya could've had her working the magics for you and your lil' pride...Hell, Angelus coulda been top dog of the underworld...Provided your Dru'd been able to focus and use her talents properly...

"But...You let her go..."

"The dim little human soul of my husband's killer?...Sure...Why not?...She seems like a nice kid, when minus her demon side...And you of all people know I'm a big person with an even bigger heart..." she smiled...

Especially when she's clearly here seeking what I'm seeking...William...And, if left to her own, might find him even faster than I can...

"And with her blood and scent in my little vamp data bank...I should be able to track her just fine later on..." she beamed...

"Why would Dru's soul care about..." he paused...Ohhh...

Yeah...Anne gave him a hard stare... "Guess some of us care about the consequences of their demons' actions, broodo...Even when it doesn't involve saving the world with lots of eyewitnesses and potential rewards..."

He looked at her, silent...As she looked round...Ah...She grabbed a cup...

"Well, since there's nothing much else to do before I go Slaying and Dru-tracking tonight...How's bout another cup of tea?...It's funny..." she paused... "I never liked the stuff even as Cicely...But I can't seem to get enough of it now...Must be nostalgia or somethin', ya think?..."

***

Sunnydale...Outside the Summers' home...Early morning...

"Ok dad..." Willow kissed her father... "I'll head straight to school after I speak to Ms. Summers...See ya tonight..." Hmmn...she paused... "Well, better yet...This afternoon...Before sunset...You'll be home before sunset to say hi to your lil' girl, right?..."

"I'm always home before sunset, Willow..." Ira stared at her... "Is something wrong about sunset?...Are you having more nightmares?..."

Yeah...she nodded hastily...Nightmares about all kinds of things...So I really need you and Mom home after sunset...For a while...Please...? He nodded...A bit...

"Great, bye dad..." she kissed him and closed the door, waving as he drove off...

Phew...She turned...But paused as she looked at the Summers' home...I really should go say...Something...

"Miss Rosenberg?..." a low voice from the side...The same handsome old guy from her doorstep...Brit without doubt...

"Mr. Reynolds?...You knew I'd come here, first?..."



"My files from Mr. Giles describe you as compassionate, loving, and devoted, miss...I expected you'd head for poor Mrs. Summers..." he nodded...

"And you are a Watcher?..."

"Yes...But a Watcher in no little disgrace just right now...I violated a number of solemn oaths and rules to come here and speak with you and Rupert...Regarding your poor Ms. Summers...The deceased Ms. Summers..." he explained to her uncertain look as she eyed the house again...

We should go...Now...Before we're spotted...he noted...She nodded and they started walking...My car is just over...He saw her set, firm face...

"Sorry...We don't get into strangers' and not many unstrangers' cars here in Sunnydale..."

Even...And especially...Those of guys who look like the better James Bonds...she did not say, eyeing him...

Ummn...

"I must meet with Rupert...Mr. Giles...As soon as possible...Before others from the Council do...Many lives may be resting on this, miss...The future of the Council..."

"The Council's future..." Willow eyed him coldly, halting... "Where was your Council when Buffy died?...What 'future' does she have now?...I mean besides a short, sharp stick of wood in her chest..."

"A very dark and terrible future here as a Tormentor and Destroyer of Humanity...Or perhaps a joyous, blessed one with her loved ones in Heaven...If you'll help me..."

Heaven?...Loved ones?... Willow stared...Sounds like the stick option to me...

***

"Anne..." Part XVI...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material... www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part XVI...

Sunnydale High...8:15...

Willow did her womanful best to repress any signs of shock or surprise at seeing Giles emerge with Ms. Calendar from her car as she and Reynolds waited, watching just inside the school building's main door...

Under no such constraints, Giles displayed considerable surprise, though to Willow's relief, great pleasure, at seeing Tristam waiting by her side... "Tristam Reynolds?...My God, Tristam..." Shocking both Jenny and Willow by embracing his fellow Watcher...Then hastily pulling them down the corridor to the library which he unlocked...

"Tristam...Did the Council send you?..." he looked at Reynolds who shook his head... "No, Ripper...And when they learn where I've gone...You can be sure all hell will break loose...At least for me..."



Ripper...? Willow blinked at Jenny...

***

"Dru..." Spike sighed...Grabbing car keys from her trembling hand through the broken window he'd just smashed in of the rather nice Caddy she'd selected... "You can't..." he whirled to confront the now vamped young mechanic she'd just transformed who, already tossed back once when he'd tried to join his siress in the car she'd chosen, was attempting an all-or-nothing charge...

Dodging to let the rather clumsy newborn slam into the car door, Spike broke off a piece of wood crate and rammed as the boy picked himself up and turned...

"...Drive a car, love..." William returned to his conversational thread...Pity, he sighed at the boy's ashes...A tragedy to lose such a craftsman...Well, unlikely his demon would've been up to his mark or even interested in continuing his trade...He returned to the shaken Dru...Whose brief attempt at flight in, naturally, the prettiest set of wheels on hand had ended rather abruptly when she'd tried to flee alone on William's sudden arrival...Fortunate that he'd gotten up to send their daylight guard, Ginger out for some things before turning in or he might've been too late, he noted...

After all, at the very least, it was insane to try driving a car as open to light as the Caddy'd been...He pointed out gently...Helping her from the car, after forcing the twisted door open...Even with the tarp she'd thrown round herself to make it over from the motel...

"Wants to go home...Spike..." she looked at him nervously...Trembling from fear, not so much the shock of the crash, he now realized... "Not to the Slayer's place...The Bad One's there...I don't want to go...Please..."

Nothing like abject fear to bring out rational sentences in my Dru, he noted to himself...

"Love...If the Slayer's there, I'll deal with her...And the Bad One, whoever that is...Never fear, pet...Has William ever let his Dru down?..."

Unlike vice-versa he as always kindly refrained from saying...Stroking her gently as he led her to the Spikemobile...Thankfully finished late the night before...

"I'll get well at home, Spike...Don't give Dru to them..." she grabbed at him, eyes rolling in real terror now... "William, sir...I didn't know, I swear!...I thought you wanted it, you told ole Dru, you know you did...Please...Ole Dru can't help what she does!...Please, sir...Don't hurt me!...Let me go!..." Eyeing him wildly...She struggled in demon face now...But was too weak to throw him off...

"Enough Dru...We are going...Now...No one is going to hurt you...And you'll be well...Very soon..." he pulled her into the car, forcing her in...Handing her Miss Edith, which he'd thoughtfully grabbed from the Caddy... "It will be fine, love...I promise..."

"They're waiting for me...Your Slayer's Old One and the Bad One...And poor Dru will die..." she sighed, calming now...Staring at him, resigned... "I'm sorry about the baby, sir...Truly..."

He stared at her a moment and started the car...A bit shaken himself... "Well..." he tried to sound cheerful... "First stop to settle our bill and see if our friend has come back with the smokes and things and then we'll head for the open road...Try to rest a bit, little one..." he told her... "It'll all look better after you've had some beauty sleep, eh?..."

***



Sunnydale High...Morning...

"The New Slayer is our best hope of course..." Giles sighed to the others, Xander now having joined Willow, Ms. Calendar, and Tristam Reynolds in the library... "The Council confirmed that she has been activated...They've informed her Watcher of the situation and he's surely despatched her by now...She should arrive soon..."

"If the Council allows it..." Reynolds was thoughtful... "They may have reasons for keeping her elsewhere until Ms. Sum..."

"That thing...!" "IT...is...not...!" Both Xander and Giles stood...Both equally in rage...Giles calming first...

"Sorry, please...But it's not Buffy Summers we are dealing with here...Nor Cicely Walthrop if the demon's claim and your information are both true and correct..." Xander...He turned to the boy gently... "Mr. Reynolds didn't mean anything..." Xander nodded, swallowed a bit, and sat...Willow patting him...

"I do apologize...Forgive me...But, as I was saying...The Council may try to delay the new Slayer's coming until this creature has been disposed of...By their own people..."

"Great..." Xander noted coldly... "Bout time the Council did its bit for the Slayer...Did anyone there happen to realize it's too late and Buffy is dead...?"

Oh, right...he nodded... "Their precious asses may be on the line now...If what Anne told us is true...?...No wonder they're finally ready to give it their all..."

"You're quite right Mr. Harris..." Reynolds nodded... "We are indeed concerned...With reason...For our 'precious asses'....What...'Anne'...Whatever she is...Told you, is true...She...Or rather her soul, was Cicely Anne Addams Walthrop one hundred and seventeen years ago...Greatest and longest-lived of our Slayer line...The only Slayer...We know of..." Reynolds paused, eyeing Giles...Who'd no doubt heard the same rumors of other rebellious Slayers dealt with by the Council in centuries past... "To ever try to leave her calling to live a normal life...Just as her reincarnated self, your Buffy, did..."

"Buffy never abandoned Slaying...She died as a Slayer..." Willow hastily and a tad angrily put in...

"No offense intended, Miss Rosenberg..." Reynolds eyed her and the others' equally set faces... "I simply meant that she inherited her earlier self's desire to live like other women and not simply await her fate...Had she lived, I've no doubt she would've carved a career as great as she did in the nineteenth century...And perhaps tried to transcend it...As Cicely did..."

"What about this William guy?...Will the Bloody Spike or whatever?..." Xander asked... "Her...Whatever Anne called him..."

"She called him her husband..." Giles noted quietly... "Yes...I should expect she would..." Reynolds nodded... "He was..."

"And he died...As she claimed?...At your hands...?" Jenny cut in...

"We...The Council...Played a major role in his death and transformation...The Watcher at the time, Simon Farris, arranged a conspiracy...The Chairman and Council accepted and condoned his actions..."

"I see..." Giles stared at the wall... "And now, she is back...The darkest side of the Greatest Slayer...And planning...? What?..."

"I don't know..." Tristam sighed... "But we can assume she means to take vengeance on all those who destroyed her and her family...And..."

"How you know that?..." Willow frowned... "She said she wanted William...She's left us alone so far...Maybe..."

"Maybe...Willow..." Giles said gently...Eyeing Jenny... "But this is not Buffy we're dealing with...And the creature feeding off her and Cicely's anger and hate is not likely to be content merely with finding her lost mate..."

"Why should we care if she wants to tear the Council apart?..." Xander broke in... "Hell, right now I'd be glad to help her...They let her die now after killing her before?...Never told her a thing of what they knew...What you knew..." he stared at Reynolds...

"I've only learnt this recently, Mr. Harris..." Tristam shook his head... "And I've come because of what I've learned...To do what I can..."

"To save your Council and your Slayers...That's why you're here..." Xander got up, pacing... "I say...We let them take on Anne themselves...Lets see how they do...And if and when they're dead...Then we take of Anne and this William..."

"We aren't likely to be able to deal with either of them by ourselves, Xander..." Giles noted quietly... "Anne's spared us so far, but unless we get very lucky with a crossbow or trap of some sort...She'd have little trouble getting us out of her way when she's ready..."

"That...Frankly...Does puzzle me..." Tristam hesitated... "Why she is taking her time with you?...She must know...And I do think you all are being modest about your abilities...That you are potentially her most dangerous adversaries...If your knowledge of her can be utilized...."

"Utilized by the Council, you mean?..." Jenny looked at him...

"By them...Or perhaps...By us..."

"She knows we won't kill her...So long as she doesn't harm anyone..." Willow shook her head... "All she has to do is kill a few demons who'd probably be rivals anyway and we'll leave her be...Maybe even..." she eyed Giles... "Maybe even warn her...when the Council comes...Giles...She's playing us..."

Perhaps...he nodded... "But that doesn't mean we have to play her or the Council's game either..."

The library door rattled...And a key was inserted...Giles eyeing the others...

"Sounds very Machiavellian..." Principle Snyder beamed, entering... "So you have some dealings with the Town Council, Mr. Giles?...You and your little gang of delinquents...Two of whom I see are late for their first classes?..."

"Yes...Ummn...Sorry, sir...It was my fault...I've been encouraging young Xander and Ms. Rosenberg to take an interest in local politics...Ms. Calendar and I...We felt it might be an excellent after-school project..."

Indeed...Snyder eyed him, then the others, coldly...Landing last on Reynolds... "Pardon me...Do I know you?...And if I don't, why are you on school grounds?..."

"This is Tristam Reynolds, sir...Mr. Reynolds, Principle Snyder...Mr. Reynolds is an associate of mine from England, a fellow curator at the British Museum...Just visiting and offered to assist me in updating some of the library's collection on British and Early American history..."

Oh...Snyder stared... "Without my being informed?..."

"My apologies, sir...My visit was, of necessity, rather off the cuff..." Reynolds suavely replied... "I only have a day or two in town and simply thought I could lend my friend Giles here a hand...If you've no objections, of course..."

"I never object to free assistance...So long as it remains subject to my approval..." Snyder looked over at Xander, then Willow...Both now moving doorward...

"I'd recommend you two slink a bit more speedily if you're going to make what's left of first session..." he turned back to Giles... "Very well, Mr. Giles...By all means update our collection...I'd like a full record of it by the end of the week, with any deficiencies noted...Thanks for your assistance, Mr. Reynolds...We'll put it under the category of furthering good international relations...Ms. Rosenberg?..." he whirled on Willow...

"I trust your friend Buffy Summers' miserable example of how to fail at life in general will be taken to heart...And that your sudden interest in the real world will be a harbinger of other good things to come?..."

"Oh, yeah..." Willow nodded hastily... "A real harbinger...Ummn..."

Good...Snyder nodded coldly... "I know it's a wasted effort with you, Harris...Just try not to drag Ms. Rosenberg down with you, please...She actually may have some hope of a successful life yet..."

Why, Harris?...He smiled at Xander's cold stare... "Is that a spark of life I'm seeing behind those vacant eyes?...Dare I hope I may yet have the chance to cause you to regret the day you ever entered my school?..."



In any case, it's an improvement...he leered...And turning on them, paused...Chuckling...

"Politics...And you?..." he shook his head at the group, smiling cynically...And left...Giles closing the doors after him...

Charming fellow...Reynolds noted... "I helped my last Slayer kill a Roft demon who must've been his identical twin just a few years back...Only a bit more pleasant as to disposition..."

"Well, Xander, you and...Xander, much as I would like to assist you in eviscerating Mr. Snyder at some date in the future..." Xander blinked... "Xander, you and Willow should get to class...Tristam, Ms. Calendar, and I will discuss the situation and see if we can come up with possible courses of action regarding the Council, our dear Anne, and this William of hers..."

"Giles?..." Willow cut in, a bit anxious... "What about Angel?...He's in danger with her, right?..."

"Angelus?..." Reynolds eyed Giles..."I've read your reports...It's really true, then...?" Yes, indeed...Giles nodded...Angelus does have a soul...

"Will...Angel's a big vamp..." Xander noted as he pulled her along to the door... "He'll deal just fine..."

"Get us out of class if you hear anything?..." Willow looked over at Giles, he nodding back... "I'm sure I or Ms. Calendar can conjure up some desperate bibliographic or computational emergency if necessary..." O...k...

"Xander...?" Cordelia reached at him as he and Willow started down the hallway...A contented smirk... "Is it true about Buffy finally giving into her inner slut?..."

"Cordelia?...Has any other guy ever offered to smash your face in?..." he brushed past, Willow following...

Gee...she thought, grabbing her books tight as Xander urged maximum hallway speed...

That's the nicest thing Snyder's ever said to me...

***

Sunnydale outskirts...Evening...

En route to Patrol of Greenwood Cemetery, Sunnydale's prime real estate for the Undead...Anne was enjoying her favorite sport with Angel...One that for her, unlike her human counterparts, even beat sex and bloody-fighting-to-the-death...As they discussed the sudden turn of events...In particular the sudden almost certain appearance of poor Dru's re-embodied soul upon the scene...

He was clearly and understandably upset over his Drusie's return...But surely given the natural innocence of any soul taken?...Like his own...she noted, a kindly smile on her face...But a harsh light in the back of her eyes as she looked at him...

A trace of the demon he was profoundly grateful to spy...She was good, one had to give her that...No question...

One could only pray she was telling the truth about her rather limited goals...Even if those included, as he expected, his own eventual execution and the destruction of all involved in the death of William the Bloody's human counterpart...Else the world was likely in greater danger than ever it had been with the Master...

"C'mon Angel...Buffy was kinda considering counseling/therapy for a career before our untimely demise...And who else is gonna understand your situation half as well as I do...?"

There's more at work here than post-demon guilt...You know as well as I do that the soul bears no responsibility for the crimes of the demon...It's not Angelus' crimes you're doing all this posturing over...

"You were a bad boy, weren't you...Liam?...What, did you kill some poor Brit bastard back in ole Eire?...Get some cutie pregnant and leave her and the kiddies to starve?...Or...?" she eyed him...Ah...A hard, bright gleam in her eyes...



"It was after, wasn't it?...After you got back that charming, brooding little soul of yours?..." she gave a slight head shake... "You did a bad thing, huh?...What was it, Angel?...You can tell me...Your deceased ex-girlfriend is here for you, babe..." she smiled...He stared, past her she suddenly realized...

"Buffy Summers?..." she turned to see a small woman, about thirty, staring at them...

Oh, God...Anne sighed... "Friend of my mom's from the museum..." she noted to Angel...And was on her in an instant...

"Buffy!..." Angel cried...Starting over...

"BACK OFF!..." she hissed viciously, looking up from where she'd just sunk her fangs into the collapsed girl's neck...

"Anne...If you don't let her go...All deals are off..."

"What?...I told Giles if he kept his end up I wouldn't kill humans...I never said I wouldn't feed on a few and put them in thrall..." she noted...Holding the feebly whimpering woman...

"She's not dead...See..." Anne trembled a bit...A rosy ecstacy on her bloodsmeared, human face... "Though...I gotta say...I can see why our kind love this sort of thing...The fear, pulsing...The life force flowing into ya...Lord, if I didn't have the strong will of a nineteenth century Victorian backing me up along with this Summers kid..." she eyed the woman's neck again...

"But I'm just making sure she doesn't tell anyone, especially my mom, about seeing me...I'm not gonna have her running round town, setting Mom to thinking I'm hanging here in town, getting her hopes up that it's all some kinda Buffy teen-angst and that things will be fine in a coupla days..."

Here...She shoved the now nearly unconscious woman to him...He caught her and gently set her down on the ground...She came beside her...Kneeling down...

"Hey, lady...Marie, right?...Listen to me, honey...You want to forget everything that happened just now, don't you?...You just had a little accident and passed out...And most important of all, you never saw a hair of Buffy Summers or this brooding goon here..."

Understand, Marie?...Cause you feel pain, sick if you try to remember anything more, right?...Like this...Anne eyed her intently...Concentrating...

Marie gave a moan...

"That's right...Only it'll be a lot worse if you try to remember...Ok, Marie?...You go to sleep now and call the cops or at least go see the doc when you wake up...Tell 'em you hit your neck on that fence over there and cut it...That's what happened...There's a good girl...Night-nite..."

Ok...She got up and faced Angel...

"I only did what I had to do...Don't get all noble dark protector of the innocent with me, Liam..." he looked back at the now sleeping Marie...

"Ok, hero..." she grinned, pointing... "There's a pay phone...Call 911 and tell 'em about the poor kid...I'll wait on ya..." He paused as she gave him a...Well?...stare and then went to the phone...

"I don't think we best stay by...She'll be ok..." she pulled at him as he hung up...They moved quickly down the street...Then slowed to a normal pace as they turned the corner onto the road to the cemetery grounds...

"So here you are, Angelus...At the center of mystic evil, helping the Slayer battle evil...or rather Evil with a capital E...And not all that well for somebody who's been souled for..." she paused...

Oh... She wagged a finger at him...Grinning now... "Now I get it...That's the secret sin, isn't it?...You didn't take up your mantle the day you got the ole soul back, did you?..."



He gave her a hard stare...

"You tried to maintain the ole Angelus style...Even with soul, for a while?...Liam?...Tsk-tsk...You liked killing the innocent that much?...Or was it just an Irish boy hating to break his poor ole vamp mum's heart?..."

"I never killed after..." he paused...

"But you tried?...Didn't you?...Tried to rejoin the old gang?...Then you found it was as much a trip to save the little buggers as kill 'em, eh?...I understand...I know the feeling, much as it might surprise you..."

He shook his head...

"I've had better than you play this game with me, Anne...I do what I do to help because I know I must..."

So noble...she grinned...Then frowned... "But how come Drusilla the vamp is still kicking?...And you didn't come with me...Buffy...That time when Darla took Xander's friend Jesse...You weren't so concerned with 'helping' then.."

"I guess I've grown since meeting you, Buffy..." he eyed her...Winning a brief smile from her that for a second nearly shattered him...

"That's why I liked you, Liam...There is a lot of my William in you...That's what he would say..." she was thoughtful... "Somewhere, buried in here...Some part of me thought, maybe..." she paused... "If any vampire had a soul..."

"You thought...I...?" Spike...A soul?...She must be kidding, insane...Or...

"I haven't made a final decision yet, you know..." she looked at him briefly, moving on hastily... "Regarding your punishment...I might be content to leave you just as you are...Killing you wouldn't cause you all that much pain, much as your demon'd whine regards losing any chance of return to Earth...I may decide you'll suffer enough just as you are..."

It's the soul, he thought suddenly...She's not talking about Spike...She's in love with his soul...Not Spike...My God...She's in love with a human soul...

Poor thing...But how can she think?...William, whoever he was, must be long gone...Unless...

It would be just like Spike to try and copy me...

"I see...Should I say 'thanks'?...For keeping an open mind on destroying me...?"

"Depends on your pov...But I always appreciate gratitude..." she smiled... And turned to continue...

Anne...he looked at her...

"I want you...Or at least your counterparts to know...I am sorry about what happened to your family...And my role in it...Whatever you decide to do to me..."

Truly noble, sir...she cocked her head at him...My William himself couldn't have done better...If my Cicely memories of him hold true...

"Yeah..." she smiled wanly at him as he stared... "That was me being nice...Liam..."

***

"Anne..." Part XVII...



Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Anneverse.html

You might want to take a gander at the Cicelyverse page to get a handle on the Cicely Addams material...www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary-In an alternate corner of the Buffyverse, and an alternate end of season 1... Anne gets her chance...

Part XVII...

Sunnydale...Giles' apartment...11:15 pm...

Following an enjoyably violent...But as yet violence still limited to demons...Patrol, Anne had surprised Angel by agreeing to a temporary separation...In exchange for a couple of hours at the Bronze with her...Willow blinking at the notion... 'best buds'...Xander and Willow...Each as well protected as possible by concealed crosses, holy water flasks, pocketed stakes, and as Anne had pointed out to an uncertain Angel...The large crowd of the clueless...

A grim Reynolds sat stiffly on the sofa watching the infamous Angel as he discussed the current situation with Giles...Still not quite used to trusting vampires, he'd nodded to Angel's earlier question...Jenny seated in a chair next to Giles...

"Giles...In two days she's developed abilities I can't begin to compete with...Not just speed and strength...She was able to sense Darla and the others waiting for us long before we got anywhere near them...I won't have a chance against her and she knows it...She's playing with me...All of us...Until William...And Dru come..."

When she has him...And our old pride collected together...I think we're likely to see some serious mayhem...he sighed...Giles nodding...

"Obviously she has little fear of us now to let you wander about freely, even for this limited time...She must know you'd try to get in touch with me...Though she may feel she'll get more information by letting us communicate..."

"Is there any word yet on what the Council is up to?..." Angel cast a slow glance at Reynolds who returned his stare...

"Chairman Travers continues to assure me I and my...God help us... 'crack team'..." Giles gave a wan smile... "...have his utter confidence and support...And that help is on the way...Though he refuses to divulge details as yet...I do know that the new Slayer should arrive shortly..."

"She won't be up to dealing with Anne..." Angel shook his head... "In fact we'd better take steps to protect her until you and Mr. Reynolds can get her some support and maybe some specialized training..."

"Specialized?..." Jenny stared... "How...Specialized...?..."

"I knew Buffy and all her methods of attack and defense..." Giles explained carefully... "Some of them I taught her...That information may be of use to the new Slayer..."

"Meaning of use in killing...?"

"Destroying...The monster using Buffy's body and skills..." Giles was harsh and Jenny looked away for a moment...

"I'm still inclined to think that our best course of action for now is to keep her convinced we are willing to help her in her search for William...And willing to assist her in keeping him safe until she can persuade him to leave with her for some relatively safe haven..." Reynolds noted...

"William the Bloody is also a monster...I oughta know, I helped raise him..." Angel sighed... "If he and Anne unite...There may be no stopping them..."

"What about the girl you mentioned..." Giles eyed him... "This 'Tara Maclauy'?...Who Anne claimed to sense to be Drusilla's human soul reborn?..."



"I can't help you much there, Giles..." he sighed... "We only made contact for a few minutes and it was not the best of situations for information exchange..."

"Why would Drusilla's soul come to Sunnydale...And seek you?..." Reynolds stared at him...

"You mean...Besides seeking me with a crossbow, right?..." Angel grinned sheepishly... "I honestly don't know...But something's caused her to come now...Perhaps William's approach...Perhaps Anne's coming..."

"We need to find her...Quickly...Before Anne or some other underdweller does..." Giles noted...

"That might best be left to Willow and Xander..." Angel suggested... "They have the daylight capability and knowledge of this town...It shouldn't take strength...She seemed quite harmless as a person, rather sweet in fact..."

"Just like your Dru, eh?..." Reynolds looked at him...Yeah, Angel nodded coldly... "Just like my Dru...Once..."

Well...The vampire rose... "If there's nothing else for now Giles, I'd like to get to the Bronze and make sure the others are all right...Anne will probably continue to keep her word for now and they're probably as safe there in the crowd as anywhere but their homes...Still..."

"Yes, by all means Angel..." the Watcher nodded... "And Angel...Thanks...For all your efforts...We do appreciate them...And the risks you're taking letting Anne stay near you..."

"I want what you all want, Giles..." he nodded... "Buffy at peace and this...Thing...Using her body...Gone...But...It won't be easy...She's the most powerful of our kind by far I've ever seen...And for all her current restraint...A monster who can and will kill us all without the slightest hesitation..."

***

The Bronze...11:20 pm...

"Guys!...Cover me!...Quick!..." Anne pointed nervously as Xander turned to see Cordelia pass near...Fortunately not deigning to even scornfully glance their way as yet...Phew...Anne gave Willow a grin...Close one...

"You two better move closer together and a little further from me...I'll try to squooch down...Xander, can you move just a coupla inches?...That should block my chair off the hall...Great, thanks...Last thing my Mom needs is to hear I'm back in town, right?..." she eyed Willow, smiling...

Yeah...Willow nodded coolly...Sipping at her drink...

"Course if you'd stay with Angel and not insist on hanging round Buffy's ole haunts..." she noted...

"I am Buffy...Willow..." Anne gave her a hard stare... "Don't forget it...I spring from her and her earlier selves...Everything I am comes from her, hard as that may be for you to accept..."

"Her earlier selves?..." Willow looked at her... "I thought there was only you and...Buffy and that...Cicely?...There were others...?"

"One man lives many lives in his time, Wil..." Anne grinned... Yeah, there were others...she nodded... "Most just fragments, only Cicely is the one strong and recent enough to have left the decisive imprint...But there were others..."

"Though I...Their demon...Am myself, always...Whatever I gain from them...I am myself, alone..."

Xander eyed Willow...Who stared at Anne...

"It's the same for you guys...There's more of you two than you can imagine..." she grinned at them... "No wonder I saw something more in both of you...There really is..."



"But, hey...We came to party...Within sane boundaries..." she grinned at Xander's stern stare...

"Lets remember we've cause to celebrate guys...The wicked ole Master at last is dead!..." she chuckled...

C'mon guys, lighten up...Her pouting look quite genuine, Willow had to admit... "I saved the world and I haven't killed you all yet...I call that cause for you to celebrate..."

***

300 miles from Sunnydale...

A totally absorbed Nomadtkirkjr...Or as he had to endure in his more mundane existence...Dave Bowrud...Eyed the screen of his computer station at Joe's Internet Shack...God, not again...He sighed at the message...Yet another hapless wretch calling on his vast storehouse of occult and sci-fi knowledge...Interrupting his steady expansion of the same...

And look...He glared at the subject heading...Oh gee, another request regarding the...ooooh...so mysterious William the Bloody, legendary Brit vampire...He eyed the few lines...

"I'm looking for information on William the Bloody...Word of Net says he may be moving your way...In any case, a friend of a friend in your area referred me to you...Said you had a lot of occult info on hand..." Gee...Lucky me...

"I'd like to get anything I can, even rumors, on where he might be or have been recently..." Uh-huh...And maybe I should send you Dracula's and Barnabas Collins' addresses while I'm at it...

"Hope you can help me...I live in Sunnydale, CA so I'd be glad to send you any info on the doins here I can if you're interested...Thanks a lot. Anne..." And the address line, AnnieBufCicely@aol.com..." Aw...Another fan of Slick and Dead Blonde Will...

A girl, naturally (Maybe, he grinned to himself)...Another one surfing, read up on the tales of the famed Spike...oooh, so charmingly daaark and mysterious...Guy shoulda guest-starred on 'Dark Shadows'...And now she wants to pick through Nomadtkirkjr's treasure trove of facts painstakingly garnered in his precious free time to see if...Oooooooh...this 'Spike' might really be real...

Right...Moron...And little Sunnydale, over in California, really is the center of mystic evil in the world...With a Xena-like 'Slayer' guarding the 'hellmouth' from all the baddies...Uh-huh...And the old dickhead sleepin' in the crate down in the alley off Henn St. really is Adolf Hitler, preserved no doubt by all the rotgut booze he belts...

First that 'Willow' and her dumb questions about demons and demon killers in dummies last month, now this...

Geesh, if they gotta ask these moronic questions about legends, why not ask about that Angelus guy?...Now there was a real villain...And hero, according to the tales about the soul curse and all...

I mean if you gonna moon over a legend, why go for a little blonde guy who's supposed to be...Ooooh...Pure evil...?

He considered an appropriate reply to the dimwit...One which took into account the wasting of his valuable time...Something a little more...Entertaining...Than the instinctive 'try losing some weight and getting a life' that came to mind...

"My God..." a friendly voice interrupted his meditations as an intruding finger tapped his screen... "Is that an email requesting info on William the Bloody?..."

"Sorry, mate...Didn't mean to bring you out of your coma so fast..."

"Hey...?..." nomadkirkjr blinked first at the sardonically smiling short blonde man in black duster standing by his computer...Funny, I've seen him somewhere..."Whats your probl...?" Then at the two corpses sitting by theirs...Ummn...He stared round the place...Where is...Everybody?...Ummn...

Were those Joe's feet sticking out from behind the shop counter up there?...



"Fraid it's your problem, mate..." the man grinned, nodding offhandedly at the dead... "But maybe I can help you with the lady's..." he peered at the screen where nomadkirkjr had started a follow-up reply to his first brilliantly scathing note...Hmmn...

Ahh...he sighed, then frowned at the boy... "What is it with you people today, anyway?...The lady sends you a polite request for a little info on a famous person like me and this is your reply?... 'AnnieBufCicely@aol.com took a very strange green crayon and mumbling incoherently, wrote...' Have you ever met this girl?...As in for real, I mean?..."

Ummn...Nomadkirkjr shook his head slightly, staring...No...Spike glared...

Sir...

"Well lad, this is not the way you say hello on corresponding with a lady for the first time...Whether she's thirteen or eighty-three...Or even a man...At least not under civilized conditions...Christ, what a century...Would I barge into your space and rip your head from your neck without introducing myself?... 'Hello, I'm Spike, better known to some as William the Bloody and you're what's for dinner...' Well...Ok..." he waved a hand... "Maybe if my mate Dru was very hungry and I was in a rush, I might cut to the chase...Literally...But not if I was sitting in a comfy chair, with cuppa, typing away at leisure..." he shook his head... "Hell, kid at least I really was raised by demons...What's your parents' excuse?..."

Hmmn...He looked at the inmail box... "She's already replied to your first...Too late to make amends, mate...Looks bad for you, I'd say..." he eyed nomadtkirkjr coldly...Clicking to open the reply...Whoa...He blinked, a grin spreading...Now there is a girl with spirit...And the politeness to make a personal introduction rather than using some impersonal generator...

See what a difference the personal touch makes, son?...he noted happily...They both reading...

"AnnieBufCicely@aol.com ripped off her ex-lover's dick, sewed it on, and using it pissed out the following reply to you, on your soon-to-be-dying mother's back, you soon-to-be-dead-son-of-the-said-bitch!..."

Well...So long as you've already transgressed...May as well give the girl a little thrill...he grinned...

"Why don't you go to the mens room and begin giving thanks to the Almighty that I've a full belly and aren't all that familiar with these things?..." eyeing the boy coolly till he took the hint and got out of his chair... "Thanks, lad..Mind you keep an ear open in case I need your assist...You don't want me coming to you..." nomadkirkjr nodded slightly, racing for the restroom...

"My dear Miss AnnieBufCicely...A charming name by the way, girl....Afraid your former correspondent has had to vacate due to tummy trouble. However, by the oddest stroke of luck, my being just in town for the evening, you have William the Bloody in the sexually smoldering flesh at your service. Oops forgot my Internet mannerisms...One is supposed to offer some kind of bizarrely rude intro, I believe..."

"Though even I would find it hard to top your last effort, girl...Suppose I just answer any questions about my charming and lethal self you might have..." he clicked to send...Hmmn...

"Lad?!..." Yeah!?... " 'Bout how long does the reply thing usually take...?" Depends on when and what they're writin'!... "Right..." he tapped the keys, waiting...Ooops...Glancing at the shop's front, he noted several new customers approaching the main door...Ah, well...

"Later, friend!...By the way, son, I recommend you tell the police you were in the bathroom the whole time after the blonde maniac strolled in, seeming quite normal!..." he paused in rising from the chair... "If the lass writes you back, tell her I was the real thing, give her my best, and sorry to have missed her!...Though perhaps...Her livin' in Sunnydale...Some night..."

Yeah, ok...A feeble return... "Ummn...Mr. Bloody...Nice to have...Ummn..."

***

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