Deathwishes...Part XXXI...

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

PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly
need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1
and on first to be sure...

Part XXXI...
***

"So...Parker...How's it hanging these days?...You still knocking em up every night?..." Anne
grinned at Parker and his somewhat dim girlfriend, who blinked slightly at the "knocking-up..." She
having pressed the rather nervous Parker to join the newlyweds for a beer...Will, to her faint
surprise, not opposing the request...While the girlfriend, cast a now somewhat less glazed eye at the
handsome blonde guy who seemed a little cool towards his pretty new bride...

Just teasin' my ole lover, sweetie...Anne beamed at the girl...

"How long were we together, Parker?...I kinda forget...Two, three years?..." Anne gave a staring
Parker a puzzled look...

"Or was it hours...? With you, it's hard to remember..."

Will for his part was pleased to see Anne a touch distracted...Having caught sight of potential help,
at least in terms of reaching Willow and Giles...

If he'd just come this way...Yeah...Damn, turning away...Come on, come on your stupid mass of
loose...

"Clem ole fellow!..." He smiled broadly at the dog-eared demon as he passed near...

"Spike!...er William?!..." Clem beamed happily...

Great to see ya, fella...He pounded his back...

"Slayer...How are you?" Clem extended a paw...
Clem...Anne smiled frostily, hastily slipping back towards Parker...

Best to dodge this one...He'd be likely to spot her demon nature, at least...she thought...Stupid
enough to talk about it to the others...

If Will hadn't already gotten word out...

"Little dangerous for you to be here, isn't it?..." she eyed the demon, pasting a slightly warmer,
concerned look on her face...

Course she could always take him aside and kill him...But William would intervene, there'd be hard
words and fighting, and she was sincere about wanting to just hang back and be with him for a
bit...Before things got messy again...

Nah, Clem beamed...Everybody likes me here...They think I'm an actor or something...

Ummn...Circus, actually...he adroitly recovered for the sake of Parker and his girl...Seeing Will's
look...

"Escort me over to the ladies room, hubbie..." Anne smiled at Will, winking at Parker's girl...

Hates to leave my side...she smiled, wryly pointing a thumb at him...

Clem blinked...Hub...? And say what was odd about Slayer...? Hmmn...

William edged past Clem and brushed him slightly as Anne preceded him through the crowd...

Hmmn...Clem looked at Will's napkin in his paw...

"You come here often?..." Parker's girlfriend eyed the tall circus performer in his rather neat
"costume"...Parker having turned to watch Buffy and her "hubbie"?... leave...

***

Unnh...Xander sighed, looking round Will's new crypt...

Not a sign of William or Anne...The unhappily reunited Walthrops must be out on the town,
celebrating their joyless reunion...

No way to contact William safely, even if Anne hadn't swiped his phone earlier she'd never let him
out of her sight...Her dear hubby...

His phone buzzed...

"Xander?..." Willow's voice...

"Were you able to ...?"
Lost them...he cut in...

"They never made it back to the crypt...Unless maybe they're on their way..."

"They're at the Bronze..." Willow began...

The Bronze?...

"Are you tracing them...?"

Nah, Will slipped a note to ole Clem...Willow explained...

"He called us..."

***

Anya eyed the heavily sleeping Dawn carefully though the half open bedroom room...Enthralled, no
doubt about it...

Poor Buffy...she sighed to herself...She'll never forgive herself for this...And with her Slayer's ego...

Poor kid...

Still, if all works out and we can help her...She's got her true love back after a century...

There are worse things...She turned away, closed the door quietly and headed back down to the
living room...Pulling out her phone...

"Willow?..." she spoke into the mouthpiece...

Anya?...

"There's no doubt about it...Dawn is enthralled..." Anya told her sadly...

"Anya..." Giles cut in... "Whatever happens, do not let her leave the house...Use a spell...Knock her
unconscious if you must...But don't let Anne get her hands on her again..."

Ok...

"Giles...?" Anya hesitated... "Buffy...Has taken human blood now...I mean, pure human...Not
demon-human like mine..."

"Yes...And it will make restoring her more difficult...Especially if Anne takes more...But we'll do
all we can to save her...Just keep your eyes on Dawn for now...We'll keep you informed..."

Right...Call me if you need me to try and deal with her...

"All it takes is a wish, you know..." she tried to keep a light tone...

"Thank you, Anya...You're a good friend..." Willow had taken the phone...

And a wonderful human being...

***
"If you knew all the times I've sat here, through the years, looking through Buffy's eyes...Thinking
how neat it would be to have my chance, take control, and join the vamps she was trying to stake oh
so quietly...The look on people's faces seeing us turn from savior to massacrer..." Anne noted rather
wistfully to William at their new seat on the other side of the Bronze from where they met Parker
and Clem earlier...

"Spike would have got such a charge out of me if he coulda brought me out then...Don't you
think?..." she grinned...

And the one time Buffy was transformed for a little while...When she lived a nightmare as a
vampire, I didn't even get my chance then...She never lost control...Unfair, really...she pouted...

"As is this crazy situation...Two of them holding me down, keeping us from full transformation...I
knew the Powers That Be liked to have their little torment games, but geesh..."

Nice music tonight, huh?...she twisted to view the band...

"Anne..." William paused... "You said you wanted your chance to show me you're a part of
Buffy...And Cicely..."

"If anyone would believe that, I would...Just as I know Spike is a part of me..."

She eyed him...

"I accept that...And I love you, Buffy...But, Anne...you have to let Dawn go...And release Buffy and
Cicely...If you really want to have me "think fondly of you..."...Do this for me..."

"Maybe I will, honey...Lets see what happens..." she smiled...

But...Buffy's had human blood now...And the longer she's even part vamp, the harder it will be to
restore her to good ole super-Humanity...she noted...

"If she dies...If her soul leaves and you stay...I will stake you myself..." William replied...

"You can try..." she grinned... "And she's already dead...Three times..."

Bitch sister just won't stay down in that grave...she sighed...

"All for love of you, you know..." she looked at him... "Even when she didn't consciously remember
you..."

He stared at her...

"Thank you..." he nodded to her quietly...

Don't mention it...she turned back to watch the band...
***

Xander watched from his vantage point, carefully hidden from their direct view...For once glad to be
the guy nobody paid much attention to...

Nobody except...Good ole...

"Xander!...Hey, fellah..." Clem patted his shoulder...

"Did the wiccan lady get hold of Spike okay?...They're over there..." he pointed...

"Clem..." Xander grabbed his arm...

"Slayer's smelling real strange...Did she pick up a demon recently...?" Clem asked innocently...

"Ummn...Look, lets just sit down a minute here..." Xander waved him to a table...

***

Deathwishes...Part XXXII...

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

PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly
need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1
and on first to be sure...

Part XXXII...

"In 676..." Willow began...Reading a manuscript carefully as Giles listened...

"Theodosia of Amyra, the Cobbler's daughter, the Chosen One...Was contaminated by a Dark
One...Dying...Her fiend rising from Hell to claim her as its own..."

"Her aide and lover...The scholar Maximian...My, Watchers and Slayers were close in those days..."
she grinned at Giles...

"Used a cleansing ritual to drive her foul demon back to the Gates of Hell...And saved her..."

To carry on God's work until she died of plague in 679...she looked up...

Hmmn...Magics has its limitations...she thought...

"Is the ritual given...?" he eyed her...

Hmmn...she thumbed the pages...Hmm-hmmn, she nodded...

Whoa...That would clean anybody out...she stared at the manuscript...Drano for demons...

"It's...Preety potent, Giles...Could do some damage in there..."

"If it will drive Anne back, we must try..." he told her firmly...The phone rang and he went over...

"Angel...?...Thank you for calling back..."

Finally calling back...Willow thought...Looking over the manuscript...


"No, Angel...Buffy is not "doing better"..." Giles sighed...

Nice to know he still remembers her name...Willow looked up from the ritual instructions...

"No...Spike is not the cause..." the Watcher gave Willow a slightly sour look... "Did you get my last
message...? I thought I was fairly explicit..."

Oh...Busy with the Apocalypse...Yes...Giles nodded...

Oooh...Willow rolled her eyes...Apocalypse by Evil Lawyers...Scary...

"Well...William has his soul back...Yes, that is confirmed, Angel...And we've learned some
surprising things about their joint past..."

Didn't he tell him about Cicely and the marriage thing before when he called about Dru...? Willow
stared over...

Great...I get to be there...she grinned to herself...

"But first, did you check on Drusilla...Is she still in LA...?"
You know, Angel...Willow thought, eyeing Giles...Your most lamented victim...The one you never
seem to find time to release or help in any way...

"Good...That rules her out, probably...What?...Oh, that's very nice, Angel...I hope Connor finds
UCLA an enjoyable experience..." he frowned over to Willow...

Yes...I'll tell Buffy he was accepted...he drummed fingers on his desk...

"Yes...I'm very glad to hear you and he have worked things out, Angel..."

Oh...? Well...That's wonderful that the Apocalypse failed when he took Joseph's book away...You
must be very proud...

"Not even a battle at all, thanks to him, eh?...That's very nice...Always good when an Apocalypse
plan ends without any bloodshed..." he eyed Willow...

Willow stared back...

"No..." Giles gritted his teeth... "Dawn is not dating anyone just now...But I don't think she'd be up
for a date with Connor soon...In fact, right now she's been enthralled by her own sister's demon..."

You do remember that I mentioned Buffy had partially transformed and her demon essence had
taken control...?

"Good..." Giles noted...

"Well...It seems demon Anne has enthralled Dawn and may kill her and take Buffy's body
permanently if we don't drive her out...Soon..."

Bloody stupid...That's what Botty used to call him...Willow thought...Smart girl, our poor Botty...

"Someone is blocking our efforts to repress Anne...Possibly turned the spell we used against
Buffy/Cicely..."

"Buffy...Cicely..." Giles repeated... "Cicely is Buffy's past life name...That's right, Angel..."

Anyway...We may need the ceremony Wolfram-Hart used to resurrect Darla...As I told you in my
last five messages..."

Yes...For Buffy...Giles sighed...Willow rolling her eyes...

"Do you have it or can you get it or can you tell us where we must go to get it?..." he asked
patiently...

Yes...By all means...Put Wesley on...Please...

Please...Willow thought...
"Certainly I can wait...By the way, Angel..." Giles paused... "Did I mention that Cicely and William
were married back in 1880...?"

***

"Hitting it rather hard, aren't you...?" Will eyed Anne as she ordered another round...Boilermakers...

"I don't get out much, honey...Remember?..." she replied...Mildly annoyed...And slightly...Well,
more than slightly...Drunk...

"Lemme have a lil' fun...Geesh..." the loveamylife is turned to a crashin' soulful bore...she stared
round...Ah, now there's a fun-lookin' guy...

"Hey...!" she called over... "Wanna make out with a demon from Hell...? Ina human body?...Super-
chuman..." she proudly noted...

Well...Maybe half-human...But preety super...

Stupor-human if she keeps this up...Will thought...

"I wont killya...If yer nice to me..." she called to the rather good-looking...Tall, she noted to Will
cattily, drunkenly cattily...young man...A few people eyeing her now...

Oh, that Summers girl...Several recognized her...Up to her usual thing...They turned back to their
drinks or partners or both...

The young fellow looked at William then turned away...

"Hey?!..." Anne called... "You gay or what?..."

Anne...Will hissed...

"Nobody loves ole Annie..." she shook her head sadly... "Evil ole Annie...Just doin' what comes
naturally..."

But they all love...Buf...fy...she ground the name out...Shaking her head sarcastically...

Miss...A waiter came over...

Xander and Clem watching from their hiding spot...Back behind some pillars...

Fresh out of Hell...Clem noted to his companion...A little early for alcohol...

"It's alright...My wife isn't used to alcohol...I'll be taking her home...Now..." Will smiled at
him...He nodded...

Anne waved the man off with a hand as he returned to the bar...
"I should just kill everybody in da place...And I could..." she noted to William... "But I made my
hubby a promise..." she noted solemnly... "And we demons keep our word...Right, Spike?..." she
eyed him...

"You tried to kill us...But you never lied to us...Right...?"

No...He never did...William nodded...

"Time to go, girl..." he rose...

Ok...she sighed...Illiam..she stared at him...Illiam she giggled...

Must be getting on, girl...he urged her...

Liam...she gasped suddenly, hand to mouth...Jesus...No wonder we thought...And he had a soul,
too...

Just stuffed inside stead of hanging round...she noted to Will...

You mean?...He stared at her...You...Buffy and Cicely?...Thought Angel was...

We were lookin' for you right from the start, honey...Sub...ronchiously...she shook her head...

"Liam...William...Can you beat that...? Well, what's ina name?...Huh?" she asked him...

Well...he took her arm...We should discuss this part back...Home...Ok?...

Sure...she nodded, but stopped, pulled back a bit, and looked up at him... Say...

"You know I'm part of Buffy...Dontcha...?"

" 'Cause I am...And of...Cicely..." she affected a drunken British accent on the "Cicely..."...Raising
her nose in the air a bit...

I know...Will nodded...

"And you love 'em?...Both of 'em...?" she asked...Staring at him...

Yes...he offered an arm which she woozily took...

"So..." she eyed him as they walked slowly towards the door... A bit less glassy...

"You must love me...A lil' bit...?"

We love Spike...Even they do...The others...A lil' bit...she noted...hopefully...he realized...

"Yes..." he stared back at her...A little kindness in his voice for the first time...
"I must love you a little too..."

Then...she paused...Looking round the place with a regal, if drunken air...

I'll spare 'em...Tonight...

"For you, William..."

And I ain't even gotta chip...she pointed out...

"Thanks, Anne..." he nodded... "But we should go..."

Yeah...Crypt sweet crypt...she giggled...

"Watch that bastard, girlie...!" she called as she caught sight of Parker with his girlfriend...As they
headed to the door...

Xander and Clem quietly following, staying to the back of the room...

Not that it seemed likely she'd notice them just right now...Even if they fell down in front of her...

***

Deathwishes...Part XXXIII...

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

PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly
need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1
and on first to be sure...

Part XXXIII...

He's handling himself pretty well, considering what must be his abject terror...Amy thought, eyeing
Warren as he sat with her on the sofa in her apartment watching TV...

Only his constant channel flipping revealing his anxiety...Natural enough, after all...
Since Anne told us last night that Willow was back in Sunnydale...

This could almost be any normal at home date...she thought involuntarily...

Excepting of course we're a mad science nerd and suicidally depressed witch plotting how to destroy
another, more powerful witch and company...Take over a town and access its hell-spawned
power...And handle negotiations with our "partner"...A mad killer demon in a super human body...

"So...Thanks for dinner...It was great..." he paused in his surfing...Catching her by surprise...

She couldn't help a shy smile...

"Thanks..."

"Well.." he halted at the Sci-Fi channel... "Nothing's on til eight..."

Any new ideas regards Willow...? he asked her...Only a slight catch in his voice...Though she saw
the haunted look in his eyes...

A slight protectiveness crept into her voice...Reassurance...Without her awareness...

"As long as none of them know you're still alive...There's no reason they'd be looking for you...And
only a slight chance they'd trace my blocking their exorcism to me...But I think Anne was
right...Our only chance would be to catch Willow off-guard..."

Catching Rosenberg "off-guard"...he sighed at that one...

"Difficult...Even if she doesn't know Anne's running the show now..." he noted ruefully...

And I can't believe our maniac "ally" is gonna be able to play poor sweet Buffy, trapped in that
nasty half-vamp body, for long...The demon will out, whatever she says about "waiting for our
chance"...

Or worse, Anne might yet lose out to the soul sisters...

"You might be right..." Amy noted...

Hmmn...Maybe...Maybe now's the time to suggest we rethink the whole thing...she thought...And
go...While we still can...

Anne just doesn't seem that reliable a partner...

She eyed Warren...If he'd just accept it...Take what he's won and leave the table...With me...I might
even be able to bargain for our lives with Willow in exchange for helping Buffy...From a safe
distance...

Wait...Warren paused...
"Maybe we're going about this the wrong way..."

***
Well?..Anything?....Willow asked for the fourth time in ten minutes...Hovering about Giles as he
reviewed the material Wesley had emailed...

Giles sighed up at her...Sorry, she smiled wanly...You know...

"It's all right..." he shook his head...

"This procedure would at best be a drastic last-ditch effort...We'd have to literally kill Buffy in
hopes of restoring her...And we'd lack the kind of control the Wolfram-Hart senior partners could
exert over Darla's demon...Anne might win the race for the resurrected body as well..."

And there's no guarantee Buffy could be resurrected yet again...he gave a wry smile...

The Powers That Be have to set some limits on such things...

"So...Back to the ole drawing board..." Willow nodded...

Willow...Giles eyed her...

"You know that even if we can drive Anne out...Buffy is well on her way to full transformation...We
may not be able to reverse that..."

"Are you prepared to leave her trapped, possibly forever, in that...Like Angel and William...?" he
paused...

"She told us she didn't want to die, Giles...No matter what...She wants to stay with Will...and us...As
long as we get Anne out of her way, your Slayer is ready to keep on fighting...As long as it takes..."

There's no deathwish in her this year...she smiled at him...

He nodded...

Or in me...she thought, staring at him...

***
The effects of the Bronze's boilermakers had faded to a considerable extent by the time William had
gotten Anne back to the safety of the dear crypt...Though she continued to sing a tune she'd taken up
since they'd set out for..."home"...

"Hey there...You...Wida stars in your eyes..." she warbled...As they entered, William giving a polite
but cold, "after you"...

Not anxious for another sticking in the back, thank you...he noted...She glared...

That was just cruel neCicely...she giggled...Two human lifeforces fightin' me inside, you guys
against me out here...Had to have some bargainin' power, honey...

"Luv neva made a foola you..." she continued as she walked in, stumbling just a bit...

He quietly eyed her as they sat down on separate slabs...

I used to be too wise...she looked at him...A trace of genuine sorrow in her eyes, he realized...

Well...she eyed him...Dawn's not dead yet...And if yer nice to me...she paused...A coy look...

"You're not dead yet...That's as "nice" as I can do right now..." he noted coldly...

She sighed...Lifting her legs up onto the slab and folding them under her as she sat...

"Weren't you ready to do anything?...All those lost years?...Even help Spike kill...To stay here on
miserable ole Earth...For Cicely...And Buffy?..." she looked at him quickly, glanced round the
crypt...Then back at his startled...And slightly shamed face...

"See...Will...I do know you pretty well..." she looked away...

Spike didn't come forth out of nothing...

"Anymore than I did..."

"I didn't...I don't...Want or wish to kill..." he rose from his slab...

But you didn't want Spike to be destroyed...she noted...Not until you'd found your Cicely...And you
had your secret hates...Mind, I'm not saying you got his pleasure out of the kills...Just that you did
what you could to keep him from stumbling into somebody's stake...

"Can't hide your dark side from your own demon, Will...Or your wife's..."

He stared at the ground, quietly...

"I had to find her...You, Cicely...Somehow I knew I couldn't go until I did..." he paced a bit, Anne
watching...

As long as I stayed round Spike...Nothing was decided...It might still not be true...You might still
care...You might come for me...But if I'd let go...And you weren't waiting for me...

"Always the romantic..." Anne smiled...With a trace of sympathy...

"So are we, Will..."

He paused...

"Are you trying to say that Buffy..."

"She was ready enough to attack Anya...That wasn't me running things then..." Anne cocked her
head at him...

You humans...she giggled a little...So pretentious...So ready to deny us...And all we are is a part of
you...The dirty little secret part...

"So...How's about a little you and me...Babe...?" she stretched out on the slab...Spreading her hair
out...

"Show me there's still a demon in there..." she turned on her side, giving him a fiercely narrow-eyed
look...And showed a distorted but still mostly human face...Only the fangs a truly demonic feature...

She's still hanging on...William thought...They're still with me...

He eyed her...Without a word...

"Oh...You'd like it put a leetle less demonly, right?" she grinned...Resuming fully human face...

I would like to be fucked now, sweetheart...Please?...she batted her eyes at him...

"Take me, my little Victorian husband...I'm ready to lie back and think of England..."

"The gentleman politely declines..." William eyed her...

"As his wife might object..."

She sat up hurriedly...A dark look on her face...

And yet, definitely some hurt there...he noted...

"I am your wife...And there's common consensus on this among us, or would be if the others were
free to speak out...Even Cicely's dying for her Will, I assure you..." Anne finished with a British
accent...

Besides...she looked at him narrowly...

"Buffy screwed Spike, without a thought of the violation she was doing to you..." Anne smiled
coldly at him...

"She thought...At the time...William was long gone..." he replied...

Really...Anne smiled again...Did she...?

He looked at her...

"Why do you think Cicely came back in this body, Will?...Do you think she tried every Slayer who
came after 1880?"

No....she shook her head...Though we would've if we'd had to...But...Practical girl, that we are...she
beamed...

He stared...She'd got his attention now, she noted with a grin...

"We were very careful in our targeting of the right moment for rebirth...See, you don't get many
chances...And what with the need to grow to adulthood, the difficulty in recovering the lost
memories...It ain't a very efficient way to go about linking up with your loved ones...But it was all
we had...After Cicely couldn't find you in Heaven...And I couldn't feel you in Hell...And we knew
you, the soul, were still stuck on Earth...Clinging on to Spike...Trying to find us there..."

Your wife searched Heaven, Hell, and Earth for you, Walthrop...she grinned...

"Not bad for a "Bloody Awful Poet"..."

And I was part of that targeting effort...The one who could most easily follow Spike and
Drusilla...And know when there'd be a chance...A slight chance...

"Then the other Slayers...Weren't..."

"No...You didn't kill me, Will...Heck, I'm the Greatest Slayer of All Time, twice over...You're the
one who was in danger of being killed, little poet...If not for me, pressing Buffy to keep our hot little
vampire alive, you might've been..." she sneered...

But there was something behind that sneer, he realized...She was actually trying to be...

"I was worried about the Slayers...It would have been much harder for me...If they had
been...You..." he nodded to her...

"We wouldn't've minded being killed by Spike...If we'd failed..." she hastily finished...Not looking
at him now...

"Thank you...For helping, Anne..." he told her quietly...

"I had a stake..." she shook her head...Then stared back at him...

"You're mine, too..."

***
Deathwishes...Part XXXIV...

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

PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly
need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1
and on first to be sure...

***


At the Summers' Anya carefully eyed the heavily sleeping Dawn from the barely cracked open door
of her bedroom...

At least a little bit more natural sounding now...She quietly closed the door and tip-toed downstairs...

Her cell phone buzzed...

"Hi...How's she doing...?" Xander asked...

"Bout the same...But no worse...Is everything all right?...Are you still watching Anne and Will...?"

"Clem and I are outside Will's new crypt..." he replied...Nothing dangerous seems to be going down
as yet...

"Anything new from Willow and Giles?..." he asked...

Haven't heard a thing for a while...she paused...

"Don't take any chances, Alexander...Please..."

She got the better of me...and William...Already once...And you're a lot more breakable...

"No offense intended..." she finished...

"I'll be ok..."

"This isn't Willow raging with grief, Xander...Don't expect Anne to go for your Man of Love
bit...It's a different situation..."

"It isn't Love I'll use with Anne..." he grimly noted... "But I will be careful...And we do need
someone to keep a watch on her besides Will..."
Yeah...she sighed...

"An...Thank you...For still caring...After all that's..."

"Don't get any ideas, Mr. Harris..." she interrupted hastily...

I'm not as selfless as I was when I first worked for D'Hoffryn...she paused...

"I expect a full return on the caring thing..."

"You got it..." he smiled into the phone... "Gotta go, have Willow call me whenever...Clem says hi
and to watch Miss Dawny like a hawk..."

I think Buffy may have to speak to Dawn about him when all this is over...he grinned over at his
partner...Clem blushing a bit...

"Ok...Will do, Clem...Bye, bye...Iloveyou..." she finished hurriedly, shutting off the phone...

The phone buzzed...she grinned...Opening it...

"Was that for Clem...Or me?..."

"Don't let Buffy's maniac demon kill you and you'll find out..." she replied...And closed the
phone...

***

I dunno...Amy eyed Warren...

"Come out in the open...?...Let them know you're alive and we're involved...?...That's your
strategy?..." Amy eyed Warren as he paced in her living room...

This sounds like the sort of scheme he'd've tried last year...Before he learned the hard way...Geesh,
not even crazy Anne had offered this approach...Watch and wait for the moment to catch Willow off
her stride having been her general suggestion in their brief meeting...

"She's gonna find us out...And come for us...Sooner or later..." Warren replied... "This way, we
control the when and the where...And we have Anne as back-up..."

And we don't have to give the whole game away...Just throw her enough rope to let her hang
herself...Or let us hang her...Like the good ole days, back in Salem...

Amy frowned at him...And don't I know how quick Puritan Mears would've handed me over back
then...

"Warren...I can't fight her...Not on equal terms...I wouldn't stand a chance...Much as I appreciate
your confidence in me..."
And as for Anne...She'd throw us to Willow in a minute...she paused...

"You've said there's not much more you can do to drive the soul sisters out of our partner..."
Warren noted... "If we sit around here, waiting for Willow to drive Anne back...When Buffy must
know now, from her insane counterpart, who's behind this...We're dead..."

This way...We have a chance to catch her...If we're careful...And whatever else Anne's up to, she
wants Willow out of her way...She'll help us...Up to a point...

"It's the only chance we have to win it all..." the former Fearless Leader of the Trio took an air of
resuming his post...

"And I say we take it...Besides...I'm the one who'll be putting his head up..."

And I thought I was the suicidal one...Amy thought...

***

Back at the Box, Giles and Willow had decided on a rather dangerous course of action...But the only
one open to them for the moment...

To try and reach the soul(s) trapped within Anne...And perhaps, learn who was behind the assault
that had led to Buffy's partial transformation and had blocked their attempt to drive Anne out...

But it held risks...That Anne might easily sense their efforts and take action, using Dawn
perhaps...That the soul(s) hold on Buffy's body might be still further weakened...And that who- or
whatever had assisted Anne might learn of Willow's communication attempts and attack while she
was in a preoccupied trance state...

But it was that...Or try the "Drano for demons" elixir which, as Willow noted, was as likely to kill
as cure...

***

In the crypt, William contemplated what Anne had told him...As his fair lady achieved a rather
remarkable decibel level in her snoring on the central slab...Out cold almost as soon as she'd laid her
head back down after another request for the immediate restoration of intimate relations with
her...Or at least her human counterpart's...Past life hubby...

Cicely searching for me...All those years...

Through Earth, Heaven, Hell, and finally, as Buffy, Earth again...

My God...What a little sot...A cowardly little sot...Cicely'd been back then...He glared at
her...Peacefully Buffy as she slept...Sn......Ork!!...she trumpeted, a little drool running...Charming...

Actually just the same as she was in the crypt last year...And I thought it was a side effect of Death,
those snores...Hmmn...Did Cicely used to snore like that?...I think I remember her drooling...

God...Not to tell me right off about the Slayer thing when she married me...All this time
wasted...Just because she was afraid of losing me, then of getting me killed...

Way to go, sweetheart...he thought...Just see how your little plan worked out...

Though my fighting skills have been considerably improved, I must admit...Courtesy my dear
counterpart, Spike...I can fight with her now, help her...Not be an utter millstone to her...

Dear God...He paused, a smile dawning...

They all love me...All three of them love me...he caught himself...The joy briefly flooding him in
spite of everything...

Worth waiting a century to hear?...Factoring in the incredible torment of those horrible years with
Spike running things...?

Definitely...he grinned at her...

Poor Annie...he thought for a moment...

No...He raised a hand...No...She's counting on that...It's exactly what she expected...Hell, Spike
would do it that way were our roles reversed again, with a little more Billy Idol bad-boy posing
perhaps...

Well, no...Not quite fair to my counterpart...The playing on natural sympathy is really more
Angelus' style...Like when he got poor Dru to let him into her convent...

Still...I believe she loves me...Why not...I know Spike loves Buffy still and always...I am Spike after
all...Every bit as much as I am William...Even if he's run back to Hell, he's still a part of me...

"God...Let us manage this easily...Don't force us to hurt her too much...For Christsake...For Christ's
sake...Be a decent sort for this once, you miserable white-bearded bastard..."

Have a little mercy on my poor wife's darker self, God...You created her, after all...

All three of her...My personal Trinity...

No offense, Lord...But I'll take my Buffy-Cicely-Anne over you, your boy, and that dove spirit
anyday...


And I was afraid she'd abandoned me...he shook his head...

Thank God for British pluck...Both hers and mine...

An Earth-shattering snore...!...Whoa!...he blinked over at her slab...She lay on her side...Mumbling a
little, then silent...

Hmmn...Must remember to get her some of those nose strip things...

And I ought to find her a blanket...

Plenty back where she had me tied up and covered with them...

His phone buzzed...He eyed it, then her...Nothing...Then back to it...Opening it carefully...Backing
away to a corner...

"William?..." Giles asked...

"Giles...?"

"Anne?..."

Apparently...Asleep...But I would avoid any major strategy conferences just right now with her
around...he noted in a whisper...

"Asleep?...That's excellent..." Giles, at the Box, turned to Willow, giving her a gentle nod...

"You can try now, Willow..."

***
"Xander...?" Clem quietly nudged him, back from a quick coffee run...

Thanks...he nodded, taking a cup...

"Slayer and Spike still in there?..." Clem eyed the crypt entrance as he sat down behind a large
monument...

Yeah...All's quiet on the crypt front...For now...Xander rubbed his eyes and took a swallow...

"Any word on Miss Dawny...?" Clearly Clem's main focus, Xander noted...

"An says she's still quiet and sleeping..." he smiled kindly at the demon...

"Say, Clem..." he paused... "Thanks for helping us...I want you to know we appreciate it..."

Especially Buffy and Dawn...


"But...Can I ask you a question?..." he eyed him...Clem looked back...Hmmn?...

"How come you're with us...?...No offense...But you're a demon..."
"Dawny and Slayer've always been nice to me..." Clem shook his head... "I don't like to see them
go the evil way...Changing..."

Not all of us go the evil way, you know...he smiled at his companion...

"You were human once, right?..." Xander stared at him...

"Long time ago..." he nodded... "But I wasn't anybody special...It was no great loss..."

"How...?"

"I used to be a clown...One day I scared a little boy at his birthday party...I was in my clown suit and
he got scared...Choked..." Clem sighed...

His mother wanted vengeance and well...You see the rest...

Ummn...Xander blinked...

"It wasn't...?"

Hmmn?...Oh...Nah...That other one...Halfreck?...She did it...What I deserved, I guess...I should've
been more careful with the little ones...

"Anyway...It's not so bad...I got to see the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries..." Clem smiled...

And I always seem to make friends wherever I wind up...

"It's not the demonic outside that matters, after all...It's whether there's a soul or a monster inside...I
was lucky enough to keep the most important part...Not like those poor vamps..." he shook his
head...

They can't help what they do, you know...And it's worse with somebody like Spike...His soul
hangin' round like that, having to watch it all...Poor guy...And now to see Slayer like that...

He sighed...

"It's easier when they're all demon...They don't suffer..."

He smiled wanly at Xander...

"Guess my pov's a leetle different from yours...But I don't like to see anyone hurt...In pain..."

I've been thinking a lot of things over myself recently...Xander noted...

"Regards vamps and demons as well as humans..."

I can't say I don't want to see vamps destroyed and people safe...he paused...
But I wish...There was a way...A better way than Slaying...

Clem nodded...Still, he noted...

"They really do want to die, Xander...Well...Their souls want peace at least...Slayer does give em
that..."

Yeah...

"Maybe..." Clem paused... "Maybe just lettin' them know you care...That you don't hate
'em...You're just tryin' to help 'em..."

They were all people once...Some of them, preety nice people...

"She loves him..." Xander eyed the crypt... "That's why she's still here...Not gone off to hide from
Willow and Giles...Even though she must know they'll get her in the end...She's a monster...But
she's ready to die, demonwise at least...Just to be with him for a little while..."

Well...Strong hell-demon, that lady...Clem frowned...And the Slayer's body...I wouldn't take odds
against her just yet...Or sit back and let her finish with Miss Dawny...

Xander nodded ruefully...Still...

"Spike was the same way...He knew how it would end if he stayed in Sunnydale, near her...He knew
exactly what he was doing when he went to Africa, I'm sure of it..." Xander sighed...

He gave it all up for her...Gave up and handed things back over to William...Just to make her
happy...

Nobody loves like a counterpart demon from Hell...Clem smiled...When they manage to love
someone...It has to be the real thing...

Xander shook his head...So strange when you think about it...Monsters from Hell...Who can love
enough to die for their beloved...Condemn themselves back to Hell for all Eternity...

Could I even begin to approach that kind of love?...Me, who gave up on poor An so easily...

"Do you think...?...Does Spike..." he began...

"Does he know Buffy loves him too?..." Clem nodded... "Sure...He's part of William, Xander...So
he must know, even from Hell..."

I'm glad...Xander nodded...

***

Deathwishes...Part XXXV...
Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1
and on first to be sure...

***

Part XXXV...
        
In the back training room of the Magic Box...

The blood-curdling scream that now merged from the entranced Willow's lips might well have unnerved most men...But Giles had expected something of that sort...Buffy's soul being hardly likely to be enjoying its helplessly repressed condition...Not to mention Cicely...

He calmly monitored the wiccan while checking to see that his tape recorder was getting her cries and comments...Anne would probably be interrupting the link quickly and anything they could get from the trapped souls was likely to be in fragments...

Willow trembled, staring at nothing... "William!...William, forgive me!!..." she screamed...

I love you...We love you...Dual voices, perhaps more, forcing their way up...

"I didn't...William...We didn't kill her...!"

Please...Please...she gasped...

"Buffy?..." he called to her gently... Buffy?...

"Can you hear me?..."

Willow stared at him...Blankly...

"We didn't kill her...Tell him..."

Yes...Giles nodded...
"Dawn will be alright..."

She stared at him...Blinking...

"I...We told Henry...Amelia...Amelia is her name...After Will's sister..."

Yes...he nodded again...I understand...

"Amelia is your daughter's name...?"

Amelia...she repeated...Then a distortion...

"Giles...!...Don't..." she gasped...

"Buffy?!...Or is it you, Willow?..."

William...Must...He must...she forced the words out...

"Buffy?...How can we help you?...Who is helping Anne?..." Giles grabbed Willow firmly...

Forgive us...she sighed...Forgive...me...

She paused, opening her eyes wide...Willow?...Giles stared at her...

"I'm sorry I'm so weak...Giles..." she replied in a faint voice... "But I can't...Not yet..."

"Buffy?..."

Her face distorted again...A series of moans, cries, with clear words interspersed...

A dark, grim look...

"Enough, guys...You've had your fun..." a sneer...

"Anne?..." Giles eyed her...

"Break this link...Now...Or I will...The hard way..." she replied...

"NOW!!...Giles!..." she screamed at him, trying to rise...He stared back at her calmly...

She grinned at him... "Sorry..."

"Please break this link, Giles...Before I make Willow smash her head in pieces against the floor..."

Now...she smiled...I've asked politely...And you've gotten all you're gonna get from the others...

"Very well..." Giles nodded...He rose and backing carefully, eyes on the watching Willow, grabbed an urn on the table...And poured the ashes within, out onto the table...

"Thanks, Giles..." she smiled at him...And fell back, collapsing back in her chair...

"Giles...?" Willow stared, sitting up...

"Anne decided to put an end to our little session..." Giles looked at her, a strange look in his eyes...

"Did you get anything?...A name...?"

"Possibly...We'll have to study the tapes, and we'll try hypnosis..."

"But...?" There was more, she realized...

"We have learned something, Willow..." he paused...

"Buffy...And Cicely...Are not fighting Anne..."

What?...Willow stared at him...

"They may be trying to restrain her...But they are not trying to drive her out...Not yet anyway..."

"But...Giles...?...Is it something to do with the transformation?...Are they surrendering?...Letting go...?"

No, I don't believe so...he shook his head...

"They...All three...Are working together..."

***

"Cowards die a thousand deaths...The valiant taste of death but once..." Warren repeated to himself...Over and over...Amy glancing at him occasionally as she drove...

There was no point in "coming out", so to speak, quietly...However, noting that Julius Caesar gets stabbed shortly after making that remark, it perhaps behooved one to keep the valor within sensible limits...

Which was why, Amy having confirmed that Willow and her unique aura were safely at the Magic Box, he'd chosen to pay his first social call in months on his former and sole paying customer...Anne having kindly contributed the address of the cemetery and the approximate location of William's new crypt during the course of their first business meeting...

And with dawn now well underway...Even if Anne failed to restrain Spike, even perhaps encouraged his efforts to deal with his dear ole botmaker, a quick sprint outdoors should avoid any unpleasant consequences...Or the need for Amy to show her hand...Yet...

"Are you sure about this, Warren?...Why don't we just send a videotape?...You could hold up today's newspaper..." Amy kindly suggested...

He looked at her...No sarcasm in her voice, even a sincerely concerned expression on her face as she quickly turned back to the road...

She cares...He thought, sadly all too briefly, in wonder...

"They wouldn't believe it unless one of them sees and senses me in the flesh...And Spike's the best candidate for reading me as human...Not another bot...Sides, Anne's there...And he can't come out after me in daylight..."

As long as you're sure Willow is on the other side of Sunnydale...I'll be fine...he concluded...With a reasonable show of bravado...

"Anne..." she shook her head... "I wouldn't place a lot of faith in her, Warren...She's got her own agenda and we're utterly dispensable to her...Well...At least I'll be in range in case you get into trouble..."

She pulled over...And got out with him...

"Just don't let him see you...You're our ace in the hole..." Warren sternly noted to her as they entered the cemetery by a unlocked side gate...

Ah...she grinned...I get it now...

"Just want them to think you did it all on your lonesome, eh..." she smiled gently...

He started a slight frown...Which turned to astonishment as she kissed him on the cheek...

"Take care, Warren...Watch out for any late-returning vamps...And don't be afraid to scream loud if you need me...I'm not particularly impressed by the strong, silent type..." she left him, staring, as she moved off towards the cover of a monument midway between the rear crypts and the side gate...

***
"Ahhhh!!!!!...."

Anya turned to run up the stairs of the Summers' home, hearing Dawn's shriek...

Oh, hell...What am I doing?...I've been doing things human much too long...she teleported...

"Dawn...?" she stared at the girl tossing and turning on the bed...Still in deep thrall, she realized...

"William!...Forgive me!!..." Dawn cried...

"Buffy!...Buffy!?...No!..."

Dawn...Anya stroked her arm...Oh...she trembled...Watching the girl...

I remember...This...I remember...My mother doing this...

When I was Aud...So long ago...She sat gently down on the edge of the bed...

Oh...Mother...Father...How could I have forgotten?...

"Buffy?!...No..." Dawn pleaded, tossing again...

"Mother...Please..."

Anya stared at her...Buffy...Anne had told Xander...

"William!...Forgive me!!!..." Dawn screamed... "Amelia!...I'm...Sorry!!..."

"Oh, God...Father!...Father!..." she quieted down as Anya stroked her helplessly...

"Father?...It's alright now...Mother and I will help you..." she murmured...

You're home now...Father...

"It's alright, Mother...I understand...We've brought him home at last..." she slipped back into a quiet sleep...Less of a thrall Anya noted thankfully...

She sat watching Dawn...Gotta go call Giles...she realized...

But...First...

"Momma...Pappa...Forgive me...And thank you...Thank you for sending Xander and my friends to save me..." she prayed silently...

She got up and turned back a moment...

"I'll tell them, Dawn...I'll tell...Your Mother you understand...And your Father...That you're glad he's home at last..." she whispered...

***

William eyed Anne as she lay on her slab...Tossing a bit now...

No...she moaned...

No...Not yet...Giles...Listen...

They're reaching her...he thought...

"Buffy...?" he called to her...

"Damn you!...Leave us be...!..." she cried suddenly...In a British accent...

"Cicely!?..." he called to her...

"Hey..." she opened her eyes at him...

Guess what?...she grinned...

"Willow's trying to reach the soul sisters...Your idea...By any chance?..." she smiled...Then her eyes rolled up...She shook...

"I'm sorry I'm so weak...Giles..." she replied in a faint voice... "But I can't...Not yet..."

"Buffy?..." William came over to her...Taking her hand...

Her face distorted again...A series of moans, cries, with clear words interspersed...

A dark, grim look...

"Enough, guys...You've had your fun...Break this link...Now...Or I will...The hard way...NOW!!...Giles!..." she screamed...

"Buffy!!!..." William shook her...

"Hey...!..." she pulled loose, staring at him...

"Enough already...Willow's broken the link...And a good thing for her, too..." Anne shook her head...

"Cause this party ends when I say so..." she frowned...

"I mean...After all..." she glowered...

"If I gotta do all the dirty work...As usual..."

"What do you mean?..." he eyed her...

Eh...she waved...

"A demon counterpart's lot in life...Like Spike with you...Though he got his own way...For a whole century plus..."

Life's really not fair, you know Will?...she smiled at him, a little sadly...

"Yeah..." she nodded as he stared at her silently... "Nobody knows better than you, my darling..."

***

Deathwishes...Part XXXVI...

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



PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1 and on first to be sure...

***

Part XXXVI...

Clem nudged Xander as they waited in the low bushes near William's new crypt...Someone coming...He gave a cautious point towards the side fence...Xander peering though the breaking dawn mists...

Jesus Christ...he breathed...

Really?...Clem stared...

Well, actually...Just...Warren Mears...Xander shook his head...

Bout as far from Christ as you might reasonably wanta get...Excluding the supernatural types, of course...

Warren Mears...Alive?...Xander sighed...

Well, not much doubt as to who was responsible now...

Oh...Willow...Thank God...he thought...Closing his eyes...

Providing You do help us get Anne to vamoose, of course...

Thank God...he repeated, murmuring aloud...

"Xander?...Is he a friend of yours?..." Clem hissed, watching his surveillance partner...

"Nah..." Xander shook his head... "But right now, in some ways..."

He's the one person on Earth I'm most happy to see alive...

***

"You gotta be mistaken, Giles..." Willow shook her head at the thought...Buffy...And Cicely...?

Working with Anne?...

"I admit...They're not trying very hard to reach out...If at all..." Willow frowned...

But...



"Buffy told me she was not ready to fight Anne, Willow...And there can only be one reason for that..."

But, Giles?...Co-operate?...With Anne, her killer demon?...And after what she did to Dawn...?

"Her counterpart, Willow...Part of her...Just as Spike is part of William...Her dark side personified..."

And we have no certainty that it was Anne alone who attacked Dawn...he paused...

"Giles...?" Willow stared...

"Buffy was willing to attack, possibly kill, Anya earlier..." he eyed her...

And keeping Dawn in thrall is a strong check on our efforts...

"Rupert...If what Anne and Will told Xander is true...Dawn is her..."

"And William is the husband she's come back...Several times...To find and save..." Giles gave her a hard look...

"Buffy...Cicely...And their counterpart...Don't intend to fail this time...No matter what it takes..."

Even if they must risk their own child's spirit...

"I can't...I won't believe Buffy would do that, Rupert...Kill her own daughter?..."

Kill, no...Not kill...But risk...Yes...Giles sighed...

"Buffy would take that risk...For William..."

But why?...

"The key, Willow, may be in whatever impressions your mind retained when they and you were linked...We must try and recover those impressions at once..."

But...Giles looked across the room...

"The reason may be very simple...Will wanted to die...Kill the remains of Spike in him...And pushed her away when she tried to help him as Buffy before...That changed only when he thought she needed him..."

"She's letting Anne stay...She and Cicely...Because she's afraid William will...Leave?...If she's doesn't need him to help her fight Anne off...?" Willow looked at him...

"She tried driving him off to what she thought was safety a century ago...And failed..." the Watcher noted...

Now...She's trying it the other way...Keeping him close, ostensibly to save her...And is ready to do anything to keep him...Prove to him she's always loved him...

"There is another group at work here..." Willow pointed out... "The folks, whoever they are, who set her up...And who've been blocking our tries to drive Anne out..."

"The three...Aspects...Of our Buffy are doubtless concerned with them as well...And the arrangement the souls have reached with Anne may in part be regarding them...But I do not think they or Anne are Buffy's main concern..."

"But...We need to learn all that we can...If you agree, my dear..." Willow nodding quietly as he rose and headed into the main part of the shop...

Willow was thoughtful a moment as Giles went to gather the implements for a hypnosis session...



"Giles...?" she looked up at him as he returned...

"Are you suggesting...That if we push Anne too hard, too fast...?"

Buffy will help her...Deal with us?...

"Our Buffy...Cicely...Anne...The Mrs. Walthrop..." Giles hesitated... "Is a woman who was betrayed by those she trusted and by her own notions of service to Humanity...And who loved enough to transcend death to rescue her beloved..."

If she finds she must eliminate a few friends standing in her way to save her husband...That may be a price even her human selves are willing to consider...

****

Mears or whatever, whoever he was...Xander noted to Clem as they watched him...Human, Clem hissed back...No doubt about that scent...Had reached the entrance to William's new place...And was nervously glancing round...

"Should we...?" Clem eyed his partner...

"Wait..." Xander patted him... "We need to find out what's up here...Why and how Mears is involved...He seems to be in a hurry to talk to Will and Anne, so let him...Will'll let us know what Mears spills asap..."

"But...What about William?...If the evil one in Slayer helps this one?...If they're workin' together...?"

"Will can deal with Warren Mears...And I doubt Anne is a very loyal partner...Outside of her marriage..."

She won't let William be hurt, I'm sure of it now...Xander shook his head...

"In fact..." he sighed... "I'd better be ready to help save Warren from William...And her...Whether they're "partners" or no..."

He's a sad one...That's for sure...Clem nodded...

"Mears?..." Xander stared... "He's a maniac...Pathetic, maybe..."

Ah, Xander...Clem shook his head... "Sorry, but you got it all wrong...It's that short human lifespan cramping your perspective..."

Hmmn...?

"That poor fellow is almost doomed...And doesn't even know it...Refuses to see it..."

"He's a killer, Clem...And a vicious bastard to boot..."

"Yeah...But, Xander...Think...The vamps and demons, the evil ones I mean..."Clem grinned... "You guys kill...Their souls don't suffer...They're free, long safe in Heaven...Forever...Just a moment's pain and...Safe..."

And the demon essences...Where they're not soul-merged like me...And your Miss Anyanka...

"Anya..." Xander corrected hastily, but firmly...

Sure...Anya...Clem nodded kindly...

"Those creatures are just doing as well as they can...Almost all instinct and they don't suffer...Much...Except for the moment when Slayer lets 'em have it..." he grinned...

But a guy like that...A soul cursed by its own nature...Sinking down forever...No one even putting out a hand to help...



"Mears...Has only himself to blame..." Xander began...

I know, I know...Clem waved a hand...But...It's still a sad thing to see...

"It's the saddest thing in this world...Or any other..." he noted solemnly...

***

"Hey..." Warren waved a nervous hand at a startled William and a somewhat surprised Anne as he entered the main section of the crypt...

How's it hanging, guys?...

He stood, watching both of them, a smirking smile plastered on his face...

Warren....Mears?...Will looked at him...

"No bots wanted today, Warren..." Anne grinned at him...Lifting her head from her slab to view him...

"Mears...?" William rose from his slab...

"Yeah...Guess we three have something in common, eh guys?...All members of the back-from-the-grave society...?" Warren nervously grinned...William moving on him...

You...Bastard...You...William eyed him...Then Anne...

"You...You're the one..."

"Don't come any closer, Spike..." Mears pulled up a device from his pocket... "I just came to talk...And I brought some protection, of course..."

"Don't kill him...Again...Just yet, William..." Anne called...Smiling at Warren...

The chip'd give you a headache, honey...Besides...

"He's my partner and benefactor...And sadly, for the mo...I need his help..."

I wouldn't want to have to fight you over him...she grinned at the now hesitating William...

***

Deathwishes...Part XXXVII...

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

PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1 and on first to be sure...

***



Part XXXVII...

Though the startle he'd given ole Spike on entering the crypt was quite pleasant, Mears was a bit miffed to find such a low intensity reaction overall to his reappearance among the living...

But then, William and Anne...Wrong audience to impress with a resurrection under any circumstances...And Anne was already in on his lil' secret, after all...

And, vainglorious as demonic counterparts are, Anne was naturally quick to sense the blow to Warren's vanity...Hey, outwitted the Slayer and the most powerful Wiccan the world has ever seen...Ya know...? After all...She herself was feeling a tad underappreciated...Hey, holding off her double-lobed Buffy-Cicely soul, Willow and Giles, William the Bloody?..On her lonesome...?

Well, perhaps with the aid of a short-term truce as far as the soul sisters went...Still...Better than any of Buffy's previous opponents, she'd say...

So she could appreciate the wound...And set about to happily exploit it...

"Sorry William isn't more impressed by your little stunt, Warren..." she grinned... "But he's seen the resurrection thing done right...Complete with my dirty, bloodied hands after I crawled up out of my coffin...Eh, hon...?" she turned back to William...

A strange, sudden change in her features as she looked back at him...Blinking...Her sarcastic smile suddenly becoming a sad and haggard look..

"When...He...Took care of me...Patched my hands...And told me..." she stared...Eyes starting to fill...William looking intently back at her...Buffy?...

Warren staring as well, puzzled...What the hell's with our Killer Queen?...

"Buffy...?" Will called, sensing a chance...Anne put up a hand...Shaking her head as if to clear it...

Not...Yet...Not yet...she murmured...We can't...We haven't...

"Cicely!..." William tried again...Moving to her...

"No...NOT YET!..." Anne cried...Glaring at him...

"Not yet, you...coward...Gutless...bitches..." she whispered furiously, turning from him, putting her hands to her face... "Leave it to me!...Not now..."

Cicely?...Warren looked at William now...

Oh...Right...Amy's reincarnate...The other soul in Buffy...Our little troublemaker...

"Please..." her voice was harsh, but pleading... "Not yet..."

"Buffy, Buffy...Listen to me, girl..." Will pulled her hands away gently...

She paused, pulled a hand free and rubbed her cheek slightly, and smiled...Yeah...

"That one brought a few back...Got the Buffy in me going...For a mo..."

Just a mo...she eyed Will...Who watched her carefully...

"Sorry honey, lil' debate in here for a mo...As you guessed..." she eyed him...

I won...she grinned...He moved back, watching her, glancing over at Mears...



"Well..." she turned back to Warren...Holding his spot near the entrance...Device resembling a TV remote in hand...Clenched tightly...

"Like I was saying before my soul so rudely tried to interrupt...A shame William can't show a little more shock and awe at your rising from the grave, Mears...But been there, done that..."

And you weren't even really dead...she smiled... "See, Will...Our Warren continues to make use of all..."

"Back, Spike!..." Warren called hastily, noticing William moving to take advantage of his focus on Anne...

He pressed a button on his remote and the vampire collapsed, hands to his head, groaning...

"William!..." Anne cried out...Racing over...

And giving Mears a hideous, terrifying look...All the more terrifying, it being Buffy's sweet, human face minus any physical contributions Anne might have provided...

Warren backed away, nervously...But went for the bravado...

"He's fine...Just a little mild shock, courtesy the chip frequency I got from him last year...And ...You can't hurt me, Anne...Remember what we told you..."

"Warren...Try that again...And I will show you how I defeated an invincible goddess..." she gave him a sweet smile as she helped William back to his feet...

"I find ways, Mears...And I doubt even your Amy would be able to hold me down long..."

Will looked up woozily but intently, at her...Amy?...Yeah, she grinned back...Relaxing as he seemed to be recovering...

"Warren here finally has a new girlfriend..."

Andrew will be crushed, ya know Mears...she smirked...

"But...Maybe I could do him a favor...If you try that thing again, I mean..." she nodded at the remote...

"Anne...We have a deal..." Warren stared at her...

"Deed we do..." she grinned...Helping Will to a seat on the nearest slab... "If you can deliver..."

"But..." she looked at Mears... "Strange, speaking of lil' Amy...Where is our second-string Wiccan?...Outside, waiting for her little man?...Or hangin' round, invisible or something?..."

She gave a slight, intense glare at her "partner"...If you try that "for me to know and you to..." crap, Mearsy...

"She's not here..." Will noted quietly, shaking his head...

"Oh...?" Anne eyed Warren...Who merely stared back...

"Well...You never bothered to include your partner in our talk before...Seemed to me at the time you hadn't intended to..."

"Leave her out of this for now..." Warren waved a hand... "I'm the one you deal with..."

"Hmmn..." Anne smiled at him... "Whatdya think, honey?..." she eyed Will... "Is he backstabbing her, true to form...Or actually trying to..." she paused...

"Why, Warren Mears..." she blinked at him...



"You came in here without her...?...Without using her to come and check things out for you first...?"

William...She smiled over...

"Our boy here's in love, I think...Within his limited abilities, I mean..."

Mears stared at her...

"God knows poor Amy must be...To let you meet me alone...Course, I'm sure you'd still be willing to sell her out...If I made the price right, eh Mearsy?..." Anne grinned...

***

"Xander?..." Clem eyed him as they stood crouched in the bushes near William's new crypt...

"Could ya move over to the side a little...I'm pickin' up a scent..."

Xander blinked...And moved...Ummn...

"Sorry..."

Nah...Clem waved a paw...Not you...

"There's somebody else...Human...Around...Not the one who went into William's..."

"Can you tell where...?" Xander looked round...

Manfully suppressing the bizarre urge to say 'Go get him, boy...'...

Not sure...Clem sniffed...

Somewhere...Over there...he pointed....To a group of tall mausoleums...

The group where Amy waited, concealed as best she could be...

Nervously watching the entrance to William's crypt as well...But unaware of those now seeking her...

***

William pulled himself to a sitting position on the slab Anne had helped him to...Fiercely glaring at the waiting Mears...Anne standing, rather protectively, Warren noted, beside him...

So...I was right...Mears gloated to himself...Even Anne...

I got my ace in the hole...Dear ole Spike's chip...Whatever she may threaten to do, she'll deal for his sake...

But can't hurt to strengthen my hand a leetle further...

"Amy's surveying the situation, Anne...And will deal if either of you try anything..."

"You bastard!..." William startled the others, rising...

"You and that bitch of a ratted witch murdered my wife!!...Let her into her!!!..." he eyed Anne...

"Wait, Will!..." Anne cried...A genuine plea in her voice...She grabbing at him and pulling him down...

"Don't Warren!..." she turned to Mears...Who held his finger over the remote button...



"Please...William...You'll just get hurt...Leave this to me...Please..." she anxiously told him...Holding beside her on the slab...

Warren nervously held his place, watching in fascination...Whoa!?...Wait a minute?!...

"Wife?..." he looked at them...

"Yeah..." Will sighed...Nodding at Anne...Ok...For now...

"Meet the Missus...Mrs. Cicely Addams Walthrop, that is..."

Nah, Will...Anne eyed Warren coolly...

"Mearsy would not want to meet Cicely right now...Believe me..."

***

"All right, Anya...Thank you...We'll let you know if we learn anything more here..." Giles hung up his phone...Willow looking at him as she sat at the research table, ready for her hypnotherapy session...

"Dawn ok, still?..."

"Yes..." Giles nodded... "Anya believes she's sleeping more normally now...But..."

It seems some doors have opened in her mind as well...he paused...

Giles...? Willow stared...

"She referred to Buffy and William...In her sleep...As her parents, or so Anya says...Said she understood why her "Mother" had done...What she did..."

"Then it's true?...She is their daughter's spirit...?"

"Perhaps...Unless Anne has something elaborate in mind...But it would seem..."

"She did it..." Willow smiled...

"Cicely...She arranged it, Giles...I'd bet money on it...She reincarnated and when the monks made Dawn from Buffy, she somehow, someway...Got the PTBs to let their little girl be born at last..."

And now...her face darkened...Some lil' bastard of an enemy...At least some of them human, no less...Are trying to tear it all up...Just when Cicely's nearly won...

"God, Rupert...Stay be me...Cause I swear...If I catch these guys alone..."

"You'll restrain them and if they surrender, turn them over to the Council...Or the police if there's a charge that can be pressed"...Giles firmly eyed her...

And you'll do that...Because you have family and friends who love and need you...A life worth keeping intact...Unlike our pathetic opponents...Whoever they are...Whose deathwishes must surely be quite strong...

He stared at her for a long moment...Her own harsh look softening into a wry smile...

"Yeah..." Willow sheepishly nodded... "That's what I'll do..."

Thanks, Rupert...she gave him a warm smile...But...Hey?...

"... "If they surrender"...What if they don't "surrender"...?"



"Then you and I...And hopefully Xander, William, and Anya...Will have the extreme pleasure of ripping them to pieces..." Giles smiled thinly...

***

"Well...Warren...? What did you drop by for, anyway?..." Anne looked at him from the slab where she held William gently...

Seems a bit of a violation of our lil' agreement, you're showing yourself...And it makes for a big drop in your value to me, now that William knows about you and Amy, I gotta tell you...

"Just wanted to let you know Amy was moving things along regards ole Willow..." Mears took in the touching scene...Heroic human-souled vamp and loving half-transformed demon-controlled wife tending and protecting him...

What a riot...Not quite what Amy'd hoped for when she'd first suggested this lil' scheme, he suspected...

But then, who'd believe even Buffy's demon could be madly in love with this Billy Idol knock-off?

What the hell's Blondie here got, anyway?...

Still, not necessarily the worst possible thing to have a hold like this on Anne...

"You came here...Risked being exposed...Just to tell me Amy's "moving things along"...?" Anne regarded Warren...

"I might have some more to say...Alone..." Warren eyed her...

"You picked the wrong time of day, Mearsy...Will can't scoot out for a stroll just right now with the sun up...And in case you didn't know, vampire hearing is supersensitive...Sending him to the ground level probably wouldn't help..."

No...Will spoke up...It would not...

"I would imagine Mearsy has something more permanent in mind, love..." he eyed Mears...

"Not if he wants to go on living...And I would include shocking William unconscious in that, Warren..." Anne glared at him...

"Moi?..." Warren shook his head... "The things people get to believing about evil leaders like me..."

You'd think we were capable of anything...

"No, lady...I just want us to take a little stroll outside...You're only a half-vamp, and I spy a perfectly good umbrella over there...And when we're out of Mr. Blonde's super earshot...I'll fill you in completely..."

Naturally, after we remove or disable any cell phones or other communication devices...

"I'd never want to spoil a story of true love..." he concluded...Smirking...

"Unless of course...You've decided ole Spikey is disposable...?"

Anne cocked her head at him...Frowning...Still...

"All right..." she nodded... "We'll take a stroll..."

She got up...Turning to William...

"I already ripped out the one phone and I have the only cell phone here now...Just try to rest a little, Will...No point in getting burned trying to follow us, ok?..." A smile, but a sincere plea in her voice...

"Leave it to the Missus, Walthrop..." she patted his hand..."It will come out for the best...For us..."



He stared at her...

"Not much I can do...For now..." he looked over at Warren who waited rather patiently for the Warren Mears he'd known...

"I will kill you, Mears...When I get the chance..." he told him coldly... "Rat girl as well..."

"Lets go..." Anne came over to Warren, picking up the umbrella...

"Anne...?" Will called suddenly...

"I'm trusting you on this..."

She grinned to Warren...

"Some people...Love just turns their heads..."

"I'm still a demon, William..." she called back... "And you should know...Just as I told you...Demons try to win it all...They just can't help it..."

But she stared at him...Intently...For just a second...Then turned and followed Mears out...

Promising...? he thought...Hoped...

***

"Oh God!!!...What have I done!!?..." Willow cried out in a British-accented voice...As Giles watched carefully, tape recorder rolling...

"BASTARDS!!!...MURDERERS!!!...They told me he would be safe!!!...." she screamed, sobbing at the end...

"WILLIAM!!!..."

"Cicely..." Giles called out to her, gently...

"We need your help to save William..."

"They killed him...It killed him..." Willow sobbed...

I killed him...she stared out at nothing...Tears running...

"No, not killed...Not just killed..." she shook her head...

"William...Forgive me...Forgive me..."

"Mrs. Walthrop...We need your help..." Giles tried again...

"You...? You are one of them..." Willow stared at him...

"Watcher!...Murderer..." she rose slightly...

"Buffy knows me, Cicely..." Giles told her firmly... "So you know me..."

"Giles..." she stared at him...And sat again...

"Father..." she breathed... "Father..."

Help me, Papa...I...



"Cicely...Buffy...We are trying to help you...But you must tell us...The truth..." Giles paused...

"Why are you letting Anne stay?...Why are you all working together?..."

"I couldn't save him, Papa...He rose too soon...I was ill...He rose..." Willow murmured...

"I'm having a baby, Father...You can't annul that..." she continued...

"He hates me...He thinks I...Betrayed him..." she stared at Giles...

I couldn't save her either...I failed him again...

"Will doesn't hate you, Cicely...Buffy...He loves you...He needs you..." Giles replied firmly...

"He stayed...Here...Behind...Waiting for me...Oh, my poor darling!...He stayed here, watching it all...He couldn't...Control it..."

"Father, he couldn't...It wasn't his fault..."

"No...No, Cicely...It was not his fault...No one can control their demon once released...And that is why...You and Buffy must help us drive Anne out..." Giles took Willow's hand...

"I nearly killed him...Giles..." Willow's voice changed...

"I didn't see him...Didn't even try to help him..."

"Buffy...?" Giles looked at her...

"He told me about that night...He fought his way out from Spike...And still I didn't see...I didn't do anything..."

"I loved him...But I didn't lift a finger for him..."

"Buffy...There was no way you could have..." he began...

"The Slayer!..." she turned harsh...

"The Slayer can't take a chance...The Slayer...Can't...Love...Unselfishly..."

"Buffy..." Giles tried again...

"I want the Slayer to die...In me..." she said simply... "I want to be...Like my Will..."

A fool for love...

"Like...Anne..." she smiled at Giles...

"Anne is a fool for love...Free..."

Help us, Father...she stared at him...And sighed...

"I'm so sorry, Amelia..." she passed out...

***

Deathwishes...Part XXXVIII...

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



PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1 and on first to be sure...

***

Part XXXVIII...

The Magic Box...

So...Willow eyed Giles as they sat at the main research table...She having just heard the replay of her conversation while under hypnosis...

"Buffy dropped us quite an info packet while we were linked...".

"Yes...Quite deliberately too, I'm sure..." Giles nodded...

She wanted us to understand the situation...And to be warned...

"Giles...What could she...Buffy...Hope to accomplish this way?...Letting Anne have a free rein...?"

"A free rein..." he repeated... "She said that Anne was free...And that she wanted the Slayer in her to die..."

"She also called you her father..." Willow grinned a little... "Don't think you can take all of what I said too literally..."

"Her father...Cicely's father..." Giles interrupted her quietly... "Was Sir Richard Addams..."

My ancestor...On my mother's side I believe...

"Giles...?"

"When we were at the archives in England, I did a little checking...I knew my family had Addams' relations in past generations but I hadn't realized the family links were quite that strong..."

You're related to Cicely Addams?...Willow stared...

"The connection is there..." he nodded...

There's even a little resemblance...Though I've never had any experience to suggest Sir Richard has resurfaced in me...It's quite possible that Cicely recognizes that family connection...

"... "I want the Slayer in me to die..."..." Willow repeated...

"Does she want to die, Giles...? Is she trying...?..."

No...he replied firmly... Buffy does not want to die...That is not the issue here...

Willow looked at the far wall...Uncertain...



"Willow...I believe you were the one who told me she requested we help her and Will out with plane tickets for Africa if our efforts failed..." he smiled at her... "She has no intention of dying...Or of failing...This time..."

But...It makes sense...Buffy has always feared, resented...Hated...the Slayer in her...However proud of her prowess and conscious of her duty she has been as well...And clearly, Cicely hoped to escape the Slayer's usual lonely existence and early death by marrying William and fleeing with him...

"And now the Slayer has kept her from seeing William in Spike until it was almost too late...In fact it was too late, she had failed...Except, thanks to you..." he smiled... "She was given another chance..."

"Me...And William..." Willow noted... "And herself, I'm sure..."

Yes...he sighed...

"Oh, Willow...I've misjudged this situation so badly...I should have realized when Buffy died...And Spike showed us the kind of human feeling he was capable of...I could have found William's soul for her, helped them..."

"I'm the super-witch, Rupert...Even I didn't catch on to William's presence..." she eyed him kindly... "And if we'd tried too soon...Before he was strong enough...Spike might have killed us...Or her..."

Perhaps...he nodded...

"Giles...If she doesn't want to die..."

"After what's happened....And perhaps even before...She's come to believe that the Slayer in her cannot help William...Or at least, that he will not accept the Slayer's help...So she's turned to that part of her that doesn't care about duty or family or anything else but William..."

Anne...Willow looked at him...

"Anne...Who would sacrifice anyone...Even her own daughter...Even her own existence...To save him and bring him home..."

The fool for love who moved Cicely Addams to abandon Duty a century ago...And Buffy to risk loving the vampire minstrel who'd sung his love song for her even by her grave...And, more than likely, kept Buffy from destroying Spike all these years...

"And who would deal with those newly surfaced enemies who again want to separate and destroy them...Whether they are human or not..."

Even if some of them are friends and family...Giles smiled wanly at Willow...

***

Nice place...Anne noted to Mears as they walked up the central row of tombstones under the shade of various large trees in William's latest resting place...Keeping her umbrella carefully over her head...

"I'd say we're far enough from mine own true..." she noted, halting by a large memorial to a fallen WWI hero...

"What's up, Mearsy?..." she eyed him...

And, again...Where's your partner?...I don't think I like the implications of her not being around...It suggests a lack of trust on your part...she gave him a sweet smile...

"I prefer not to have Amy involved in negotiations just right now...But she's around, in case you decide to pull something, Anne..."

"Just far enough away not to hear you sell her out?..." Anne grinned... "Yet close enough to save your miserable ass if I've decided to dispense with your services?..."



"You always were a clever little shumuck, Warren...No wonder you came off better than most of my...Our...opponents..."

He glared, she shrugged...Hey, little man...Demon Slayer counterpart here...Treating you with considerable self-restraint, I'd say...

"You want polite, go see my well-mannered Wiccan friend...I know she'd sure like to see you..." she grinned...

Unless you'd like to speak with Buffy...Or Cicely...

"They have a few issues to work out with your internal organs, too..."

"You said we still have a deal...You want our help?...Or no?..." Warren replied tersely...

"I'm here...Waitin' on ya..." she smiled..."Just thought somebody oughta speak up for poor ole Amy...Show a little interest in the poor kid's existence...And future..."

"Amy is my business...Lets focus on the matter at hand...Willow..."

Anne gave a politely attentive look...I'm all attention...she told him...

"First...Did things work out on your little visit home?..."

Well enough...she nodded...

"I put Dawn in thrall...She'll do as I say...And William...And probably the others as well...knows it..."

Excellent, he nodded in turn...Then...Next step...

"I want you to see that Spike gets word to Willow that I'm out and about..." he eyed her...

She blinked...You what?...

"Oh..." she smiled... "Warren?...A good ole-fashioned ambush?...Is that it?...Not bad, but I dunno...Willow and Giles are the cautious types..."

By the way, Mears...she paused...A stern look...

"My husband's name is William S. Walthrop and he prefers to be called by his name...Spike is his counterpart...Please try to keep that straight..."

It might be technically accurate to call you "Dickless Homicidal Sniveling Schmuck-boy" in front of Amy...she noted...But, you know...Common courtesy and all...

"Anyway..." she waved a hand... Enough with the social pleasantries... "I arrange for Will to slip out or get his hands on a phone...He gets Willow to come a chargin' to see her favorite nerd genius...And...?"

"And...We're ready for her...And we remove the last obstacle to your keeping that Slayer bod...And completing your transformation..."

Actually...Anne smiled...I'm kinda getting to like this halfway state...Nice to be able to zip out in daylight for a bit...

"Whatever..." Warren shook his head... "That's up to you...But we get Willow off all our backs...Your 'sisters' off to Heavenly bliss..."

And Sunnydale at our feet...

"And I'm supposed to believe you and Amy are gonna pull this off?...Take Willow on...And not end up flambee?..."



"We managed right enough regards Buffy and you..."

She smiled at him, breaking off a tree leaf and twisting it in her hand...

"That you did...Well...How are you...Or Amy...Gonna do it?..."

"Willow hears about my miraculous resurrection...She comes in here "a chargin'"...Like you said..." Mears nodded... "Amy throws up enough smoke and mirrors to keep her tied down here a while..."

Meanwhile...We...You and I...Go round her flank and seize her HQ...

"What you say?..." Anne stared...

"That magic shop...The Box...We go in...With our number one hostage, your sis...And we set up housekeeping..."

According to Amy...From what she overheard in her rat days and since...There's enough high-powered magics in there to counterbalance Willow's natural ability...

"At least when she's not running on supercharge..." he smiled... "Then, while she's still off-balance, running round after Amy's little show...We get word to her where we really are and she plows right on in..."

Into you...And us...

"And if she goes for the "supercharge..."? Even I can't handle her at full power, Mearsy..."Anne frowned...

"Sweet Willow?...Coming to save Buffy and Dawn from the fiendish, but incompetent and easily defleshed nerdy Warren Mears?...Please..."

Willow always underestimated me...He smiled coldly...All of you did...She will again...And this time...It will cost her...

"Even more than the love of her life..." Anne finished, smiling coldly back...

"Oh, Warren..." she grinned, shaking her head... "You know, we...Buffy, Cicely, me...Always did believe humans made the best villains..."

Deathwishes...Part XXXIX...

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

PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...Very early S7...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1 and on first to be sure...

***

Part XXXIX...

Far down a row of tombstones from William's crypt in the early dawn, Anne and Warren continued their discussion under the shade of some large trees...Anne carefully keeping her umbrella overhead...

Not that she was in danger of flaming out in her half-transformed state...Just, don't tan well these days...she noted to Mears...

While close to Will's resting place...Where he recovered from the shocking Warren had given him via his knowledge of the chip's frequency...Clem and Xander lay concealed behind bushes...

Fortunately, the same spell Amy...Herself concealed in a mausoleum off away up another row, watching Anne and her partner...Had used to try and mask her presence from Anne was giving them some protection from Anne's heightened senses as well...

In addition, the discussion by the two leading members of the new "Trio" had become rather intense and distracting...

Anne having suggested they consider...The future...

Should their little scheme succeed in destroying Willow and leaving the rest helpless...

"I gotta be frank, Mearsy...I don't like Amy...She's always lacked gratitude..."

I mean...she pouted...I saved her from her mom...Well, we...the soul sisters and me...did, anyway...

"And here she is...Helping to murder me...From Buffy's pov, at least..."

"Amy is crucial here...Are you trying to pull somethin', Anne?" Warren glared...

"Always, partner..." she grinned...

Better get used to it...If you wanta play with me...

"But admit it, Mears...You were speaking for yourself the other night...Not for your partnership...And it's gotta grate on ya, being so dependent on a woman..." she smiled sweetly...

"Like I'm crazy enough to cut off my right arm?..." Mears sneered...

"I'm talking...After the battle, kiddo...I know well as you we need her for the Big Red One..."



But...Later...I got the impression you might prefer a trade-up...

"And, nasty a murderous bitch as Amy is..." Anne smiled... "She strikes me as not quite the type who'd enjoy letting me have a free hand in town...Or you..."

You like being tied to Mummy's apron strings, Mears...? she eyed him...Well...

I did think the other night you had potential...Matewise...she looked him over...When you seemed ready to dump her...But...she sighed...

"Now you wanna go and change that...?...Well, Mearsy...There's not a lotta room in the boat, if you know what I mean...Someone's got to be dropped overboard..."

"Why not...William...?" he glared at her...

Non-negotiable...she smiled...

I deal with my husband, thanks...

"You expect me to give Amy up...My witch...And take my chances with you...?"

"You've got a fair amount of magics skills...Can't be too shy of ole Amy's..." Anne noted...

"C'mon...Warren...You were never one to be tied down...You scared of her or what...?"

"You think I'm nuts enough to toss the strongest card in my deck...?" he eyed her narrowly...

What are you up to, Anne?...Trying to split Amy and me up?...Makin' her the same deal...

She grinned..."Not quite the same deal, Mearsy...Afraid I'm not "gay, now"...Though in a pinch I could be flexible..."

But...Yeah, I'll be makin' this offer to dear old rat-girl if you continue your obstinate refusal...

"Maybe she'll show a few brains and take me up on it...God knows in some ways I'd prefer a nice, suicidally-depressed kid like her for a partner as opposed to a preening little geek like you..."

Especially when she's the one with the real power...Anne gave another sweet smile...

"But don't worry...I imagine she'll want to keep you for a pet...Maybe in a human-sized cage...And, in the interests of a partnership, I'd probably go along...If she lets me play with you, too..."

Unless, of course...She chooses to go for the practical herself...And drop the most "dead-weight" member of the team...

Still...

"I do prefer dealing with guys...It's gotta be the slut in me..." she grinned...But suddenly turned her head back towards William's...Hey?...

"What?..." Mears eyed her...She put up a hand...

"We got visitors...Unless it's your girl..." she looked down the row of tombstones...

"Lets go see..." she got up...Holding her pace down to let Mears keep up...

He followed nervously...Can't be Amy, she was headed the other way...he reflected...

***

"Can you make out what they're saying...?" Xander hissed to Clem...Who shook his head...

"Just a few snatches...But they're planning somethin'..." the demon whispered back...

"If we could just get closer..."

"I wouldn't try that..." Amy appeared in front of them...

Hi, Xander...she smiled...

"You guys on a stake-out or something...?" she asked innocently...

Cause there's a vicious demon down that way...Not to mention, William the Bloody in there...she pointed at the crypt...

"Thanks..." Xander stared at her... "We know..."

What are you doin' here, Amy...? Are you in on this...?

"Xander?...I'm trying to help you out here...Interrupting my practice and all...God, you people...Can't even be nice to you..." she sulked a bit...

"I'm asking again, Amy...Are you in on this with Mears?..." he looked at her firmly...

A witch, one who could block Willow's spell...he realized...And shook his head...

"Amy...God...How could you do this?...You helped him murder Buffy?...The girl who saved your life..."

The girl who killed my mom?...Who threw me out when I needed help?...Amy glared...

"Don't try it, pal..." she eyed Clem who'd begun to advance...The one who hurt Miss Dawny...And Slayer...

"Amy..." Xander eyed her coldly... "From now on...You're not human as far I'm concerned...And if you don't help us restore Buffy...Maybe I can't do it...But Willow will kill you..."

Probably...Amy smiled, nodding...

"But she feel a little of what I've felt before she does..."

Amy...Xander sighed...

"You were a friend once...We cared about you...I liked you...You were a good person..."

"You were the only one, Xander..." Amy stared at him...He blinked...

"The only one who spoke to me...In the cage, I mean...Like I was a person...Not a toy..."

Buffy didn't even speak to me...Willow...And her bitch...Treated me like a pet...

"I knew you were still there, Amy...If the others didn't take the time, ya gotta remember...Things weren't easy then..."

"I'd regret hurting you, Xander..." she sighed... "But...I'm not gonna stop...It's too late now..."

"Hey, guys...Xander...Clem...Hi..." Anne called...As she and Warren came up from their row...Warren panting a bit, in spite of Anne's restrained pace...

What's up...? she smiled...A stakeout?...



***

In the crypt, William searched carefully...Maybe she'd left something...Intentionally or inadvertently...

Nothing...Guess she'd meant what she said about communication devices...

Hmmn...He eyed the ripped out phone...If only our boy Harris were handy...

Still, no reason not to give it a go...And I have had to try a little wiring in my previous homes...

Not like there's a lot of danger of fatal electrical shock here...He began hunting for tools...Trying to twist the remnants of the broken wires straight...

She promised me...It'd be all right...She meant it, I know...

But how I can trust her?...What her pov would mean by "all turning out right" is not exactly...

Well...Patience and perseverance, Walthrop...Something of a family motto now, considering the past century and all...

Anne...Don't let me down, please...

***

"So...I'm afraid Dawn and Buffy will both be staying home today..." Anya spoke into the phone...Eyeing the still-sleeping Dawn...A heavy sleep, but not quite the deep thrall she'd been in last night...

And no signs of teeth-sharpening...Very likely Anne hadn't started a transformation...Maybe, in her current halfway state...She couldn't...

"Thanks..." she told the principal at the other end brightly... "I'll tell them...Hmmn?...Oh..."

Anya Jenkins...Buffy's...Ummn...

Cousin...

"Just thought I'd better come over last night...They both sounded so terrible on the phone..." she explained... "So I'll be watching them today..."

"But I'm sure Buffy will be back on the job in a day or two..." she added hastily...

***

William's crypt...

Anne smilingly led Xander and Clem into Will's crypt as Warren and Amy followed, watching carefully...

"Will?...We got guests!..." Anne called...

He came up from the lower level...Staring at the new arrivals...

"Bloody nice work, Harris..." he frowned at Xander...

"Clem...Thanks for trying..." he eyed the demon, who nodded...A little sheepishly...

What were they doin' here?...Warren hissed to his partner...

"Trying to find us, I imagine..." Amy whispered back...



"So...Whatda we do with 'em now...?" he eyed her, still hissing...

"Warren?...William and I can hear every feeble word you're sputtering...So you may as well speak up..." Anne looked back at him...

And, for the moment...Nothing's gonna happen to my friends here...she beamed at Xander and Clem...

Unless they get needlessly and uselessly heroic...she eyed them...

"They know about Amy..." Warren began...

"So does William...Now..." Anne glared at him... "And if you're thinking any little harmful thoughts in that wee little scheming brain...Forget em..."

For now...she repeated...Smiling at the new arrivals...

"We can use a few extra hostages in any case...Particularly when we try out your little plan..." she noted to Mears...

"Amelia..." she began...William and Xander eyeing her...Clem looking puzzled...

"Dawn, I mean...May not be enough..."

In any case, a few more disposable hostages in reserve can't hurt...

***

Deathwishes...Part XL...

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

PG-13/Borderline R

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: S7 tale...William's back, seeking help from his favorite Slayer-girl...Who may shortly need a little help herself...

Another Cicelyverse tale...

Written partly pre-Lessons, so no major spoilers that I know of but you may want to see episode 7.1 and on first to be sure...

***

Part XL...

***

To Mears' slight surprise it was Anne who suggested the next move which he'd been contemplating...Even knowing who he was dealing with, he hadn't expected she'd be willing to go this far...

All the demons he'd ever encountered cared rather well for their offspring...

"You and Amy should go and pick up Dawn at the house, Warren..." Anne stared at him, ignoring William's sharp look...Followed by equally sharp ones from Clem and Xander...

"It's time to collect all our chips and have them in hand...She'll come with you, I'll see to that..."



"Willow may be there..." Amy looked at their rather unreliable partner...

"Willow's with Giles trying to find a weapon against me..." Anne shook her head... "At best they've got Anya with her, maybe no one..."

"Anya...?" Amy frowned... "Your vengeance demon...?"

She glared over to Mears... "This is a trap, Warren...I can't fight a vengeance demon and she knows it..."

Anne tensed... "Hey!!..." she growled, her face showing the fangs and slight marks allowed by her half-transformed state... "Not very partnerly, lady...I don't like that lack of trust you're suggesting..."

They eyed each other...Amy carefully considering defensive spells...

"Ladies..." Warren tried the beaming "all for the team" approach... "We have a common enemy to deal with..."

Yeah...Anne calmed, reverting back... "So we do...But as for Anya/Anyanka...You're wrong...She's almost helpless without someone to activate her powers by wish...Though she's quite hard to kill...And her top priority is sure to be defending Dawny from all serious harm..."

You can handle her...

"Thanks for believing in us..." Amy gave a coldly sour look...But...

"Mearsy...?" Anne beamed at him... "Who's running this show...You or rat-lady?...You know about vengeance demons right...?...Wish-activated or no?..."

So...They say...Mears gave her a noncommital look...

"If someone is watching my sis...Say Anya...The three of you, Dawn included, oughta be able to deal...One...or two new hostages..."

And Amy can deal with any little protections the fellas may have put up around her...

"If this little scheme of yours is gonna work, we need Dawn..." Anne insisted...Turning to return William's cold glare...Raising her head at him...

"Sorry, honey...With luck, she'll come through just dandy..." she noted quietly...Anne...he hissed...

"I am what I am, William..." she replied... "If Amelia...Dawn...gets hurt...Clem can kill me later..." she grinned, smiling at the large demon's harsh glare...Equally matched by Xander's...

"Lady's got a point..." Warren noted...Eyeing Amy...

We need little Miss Summers...If only as a little insurance policy...

"She'll be ready and waiting for you when you get there..." Anne nodded...Eyeing them both....

***

"Well...?" Amy stared at Warren as they emerged from the crypt...Anne having wished them a good outcome...

Xander coldly threatening...If anything happened to Dawn...Maybe not him...But Willow...Or Buffy, later...he'd eyed Anne...A threat Clem had backed with equal coldness...

William watching them without a word...Simply an icy look that Spike would have envied...



"We go to the Summers...Collect lil' Dawny and alert our partner..." he replied...

"And if it's a set-up?"

"Anne needs us...For now..." Warren shook his head...

"I don't think this..." she began...He cutting her off...

"We do this my way!...I put my precious neck on the line, remember that!..."

"Your way...?" she paused... "Isn't this Annie's way?...Don't be a fool, Warren..." she stared at his glaring face...And sighed...

"I'm trying to help you, Mearsy..." she smiled at him wanly... "Don't be in such a rush to throw the only person on your side away..."

Lets go...she shrugged...

**

Inside the crypt, Anne was pensive...Looking at the others...Clem and Xander tied and chained to the large ring on a side wall plaque...

William sitting on the far right...Chained as well...At Warren's insistence...

"Anne..." Xander called to her...

"Yeah...?" she looked at him coldly...

"You know how this will end..." he paused... "You can either make it easy for yourself...Or hard..."

She came over and smiled at him a bit...Showing what she could of her demon...Fangs anyway...Hey, cutie...

"We used to fantasize about you, big bro...You know that...?" she grinned and knelt close to him...Clem watching her coldly as he sat next to Xander...

"Not much, but every once in a while..." she chuckled... "Why just last week..."

"Flattered..." Xander eyed her coolly... "You'll have to do better than that, lady..."

"Hey, just being nice here...big bro...You know, Alexander..." she paused...And put a hand out to stroke his chest...

"William's been turning me down...And I sure could use some...Comfort...You interested?..." he tried to pull back...

"No?...Hey!..." he jerked back, glaring as she reached for his face... "Not very nice, Xander...When I'm ready to tell you some of Buffy's darkest secrets...?"

You'd do well not to get me pissed, sweetie...she glared...And waved at Clem...

"I want you...Alive...For the moment...But your pal doesn't have any value as a chip...So if you don't want me to snap his floppy-eared neck...?...Be polite..."

"I don't hate you, Buffy..." Xander suddenly stared at her... "I don't want you to ever think that..."

"Sure seemed like it earlier when you tried to kill us, Xander..." she grinned back... "But thanks...Buf's glad to hear it..."

You should hate her, though...Sometimes...Anne eyed him carefully...



"There are times she deserves to be hated...Like everyone else..."

"No one deserves to be hated, Anne...Not even you...Only pitied..." he looked at her...

"The Man of Love..." she grinned at him...But there was something...Grateful...In her eyes...

"No hate...Even for Warren?..." she stared at him...

"I said no one deserves it...I didn't say I had the strength not to..." he stared back... "But yeah, he's to be pitied...Like you..."

"What a fool you are Xander Harris..." she grinned, shaking her head... "A fool for love with a capital F..."

She got up... "Anya's lucky..." her last brief comment as she rose and went to William...

***

Read more
Go Back to Cicelyverse page