All In A Day’s Work

ALL IN A DAY’S WORK

by Mark Warneke

Characters

BITSY – a waiter with an attitude, always looking down his nose when  addressing KYLE. His eyes should follow KYLE when KYLE is assumed to be onstage, even though the audience never sees KYLE. (It is recommended that the person playing the part of BITSY read a few blog posts on http://thebitchywaiter.blogspot.com to get a feel for the character)

KYLE – never actually seen, KYLE is being trained by BITSY.

Time & Place

The present.

A restaurant, the waiter’s service alley

BITSY: (enters from offstage, stage right, laughing, but stops laughing the moment he faces the audience.) Always laugh when they laugh. Rule number one.

KYLE: Doesn’t that seem kind of phony?

BITSY: Kid, you want tips, you have to learn right now that phony is the only way to get ’em. (points upstage) You know how to make coffee yet? Yeah? Good, make a pot of decaf for me. No, put it in the regular pot.

KYLE: But it’s regular coffee. Doesn’t decaf go in the orange pot?

BITSY: That’s what the customers think. They see you pour from the brown pot, they think it’s regular. They see you pour from the orange, they think it’s decaf. We don’t sell enough of it to waste two whole pots. A customer orders decaf, we pour some from this pot into the orange and serve it to them. No one orders decaf, though, so we won’t have to clean the pot at the end of the night.

KYLE: I’d be a little upset if I ordered regular and got decaf…

BITSY: You don’t tell them it’s decaf. They can’t tell the difference. Now, look, we just got sat.

KYLE: We got sat?

BITSY: Sat. The hostess seated someone at one of our tables. Just follow me and watch what I do, listen to what I say. (walks offstage, stage right) Hey guys! It’s good to see you, my name’s Bitsy, I’m your server tonight. This guy behind me is…um…Kyle. His name’s Kyle. He’s training tonight.

KYLE: Hi.

BITSY: Mhmm… Yeah… You’re right, it is colder than usual for this time of the year, isn’t it? What’s that? Sure, did you want regular or decaf? Regular? Great! And for you, sir? Oh, I’m sorry, Utah state law doesn’t allow us to sell alcohol before noon. How about an Arnold Palmer? Half iced tea, half lemonade. Great! And for an appetizer would you like–  Sure, no problem, we’ll be right back with your drinks! (enters from stage right)

KYLE: Kyle?

BITSY: That’s not your name?

KYLE: My name’s Fernando. I told you that twice already.

BITSY: Right. Fernando. Sorry. Kyle’s the white guy.

KYLE: What?

BITSY: Do me a favor. Look in that fridge under there and grab me that purple kids’ cup. Just set it over there. (points offstage, stage left) Thanks. Can you grab that Arnold Palmer for me? You’re a doll. (Walks off stage, stage left, returns with a small, purple plastic cup that has a lid and straw on it) Ok, now pour a cup of decaf and put a spoon and napkin next to it on your tray, and carry it out. When you hand her the coffee, tell her it’s hot because you just brewed it. She’ll think you made it just for her.

KYLE: Ok. Should I see if any of the other tables need refills?

BITSY: (shrugs, watches KYLE leave, then speaks to audience) I hate training people. I really do. (sips from cup) It’s enough to drive a guy to drink. Which, by the way, I’m doing. Wine. Only way to get through these shifts. (walk towards stage right and looks offstage) See that couple over there? Looks like a nice, happy couple, don’t they?  She has no idea he was in here last night with another woman. Or the night before with another other woman. (nods offstage) That guy over there? The drunk? Baptist preacher. I’m actually surprised to see him here right now. He’s usually here on Thursdays.  Every Thursday night, same booth. Drinks a whole bottle of wine… I think my drink is courtesy of him, actually… oh. A whole bottle of wine and a margarita. Of course, we have to serve food with the alcohol. Utah state law, you know. So he orders chips and salsa. Looks like he had a few before coming in this afternoon, doesn’t it? I feel kind of bad for him. His wife ran off with a deacon. I only know that because my sister’s boyfriend’s mom’s hairdresser likes to gossip.

(sets down drink)

I’ll be right back. Kyle– No, his name’s…Ramon? Anyway, the hooker stopped him and I don’t think he knows the answer to her questions.

(exit stage right)

Oh, hey! It’s good to see you again! I love the hair. What color is that, exactly? Interesting. I saw you talking to Kyle here, so I thought I’d check up on you. The fish? Oh, no. No, it’s tilapia. I’m only telling you that because you’re my best customer. We’re supposed to tell you it’s fresh halibut, but I know you won’t say anything. (fake laugh) You’re so funny! I’ll be back to check on you when your food comes out, ok?

(enter stage right)

She gets on my nerves. Every single day she’s in here with a different wig, and every single day I have to pretend it’s the greatest thing ever. She tips two dollars. No matter how much she spends, I get two dollars. Cheap ass hooker. (looks at audience) No, seriously. Literally. She’s a prostitute. She works the corner outside my apartment. What? Give me a break, I wait tables for a living. We make two-thirteen an hour. You thought I lived uptown? (looks to stage right)

KYLE: Hey, do we have limes?

BITSY: We have lemons.

KYLE: I know that, but this guy wants lime.

BITSY: We have lemons.

KYLE: But he wants– Forget it.

BITSY: (looks back to audience) Where was I? Oh, right. (takes long sip from cup) Let me tell you, waiting tables isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We have to put up with the most ridiculous crap you’ve ever heard. People wanting to sit on the patio after it rains, then complain about it being wet. People order gelato and complain that it’s too frozen. Our prices are too high, the music’s too loud, that other waiter still hasn’t brought the drinks. I mean, really? That other waiter? I’m the only waiter in this place!

(walks back to stage right and looks off stage again)

Ah, it must be twelve o’clock. The bartender just came out with a beer for the preacher. Must really be a bad day if he’s drinking beer. And you see that guy over there? Closet case. (looks at audience) I know that for a fact. One night stand, you know? It’s too bad he’s a  manager here. Too bad for him, I mean. How do you think I get away with drinking on the job?

(looks back offstage)

Oh, look! The hooker just sat down next to the preacher. This should be good. I think she’s– Yep. She’s rubbing his leg under the table. (takes a step back)

KYLE: What do I do with all of these empty glasses?

BITSY: Um, take them to the dishwasher?

KYLE: Do you think it would be ok if I took a break in a minute?

BITSY: I didn’t know you smoke.

KYLE: I don’t.

BITSY: Oh. No break, then. If you smoked, you could take a smoke break, but you don’t, so…

KYLE: (clearly irritated) Whatever.

BITSY: (watches KYLE leave stage left) He’s a touchy one, isn’t he? Kind of cute, too, from this angle.

(walks offstage, stage left, following KYLE)

(silence for almost a full minute)

KYLE: What the heck?! Did you just grab my–

BITSY: Sorry, you had pasta sauce on your pants. I was just wiping it off.

KYLE: Right.

BITSY: You seem kind of uptight. Why don’t you take a break?

KYLE: You said–

BITSY: I lied. Go take a break.

KYLE: Ok, thanks. I’ll be back in ten minutes.

BITSY: Take fifteen.

KYLE: Awesome, thanks!

BITSY: (enters from stage left) Poor kid. I should probably tell him he’s allowed a half hour for lunch.

(walks to stage right and looks offstage)

Look at them. All of them. This really is a thankless job, you know. The preacher’s going to leave me ten dollars and some change, and I’m going to feel sorry for him for the rest of the day. The two dollar hooker, I couldn’t care less about, but she wants to be my best friend. The old couple– Oh, crap. I never did go back for their order. Hold that thought!

(walks offstage)

I’m so sorry, you guys! Kyle had an accident in the back and I was taking care of him. No, he’ll be fine. He just needs to rest. But I was so worried about that poor boy that I forgot you hadn’t ordered yet! I’m really, really sorry about that. I hope you’ll let me buy you dessert after you’re through with your meal. Oh, thank you. Not everyone would be as understanding as you guys are. I appreciate it. Now, let me guess. You look like a steak man, am I right? Medium, I bet. Oh, medium rare. I was close. And you, ma’am? Oh, the pasta is excellent. It’s my favorite dish! Now, when you say extra cheese, do you want that on top of the pasta, or in a dish on the side? On the side, got it. Ok, I’ll get this in and have the kitchen put a rush on it!

(re-enter stage right and walk towards audience)

I’ve got to get this order in real quick. My relief should be here any minute, so I’m going to wait outside for her. If you folks see Kyle… Ricardo? FERNANDO! If you folks see Fernando, tell him I said to go to lunch. (finishes wine and looks at audience)

Thanks for keeping me company.

(a big, fake, grin crosses face)

You guys are the greatest. You really are. Y’all take care and be sure to come back and see us again real soon!

(exits stage left, and a moment later,   a door slams shut offstage)

Author’s note: For the properly formated script, just go to this link- All In A Day’s Work

Dark

DARK

wake.
i wake
this day,
a hard task.
i know i must.
words can’t describe…
i can’t stay in bed for eternity,
no matter how bad the darkness
tries to hold me here and pull me down.
i have him, though, to help me do this thing.
i know he’ll be the first thing my eyes see,
i know his voice will be the first i hear,
and this gives me strength to face my
day…a day that will start strong
and slowly go downhill,
so by the time i go to
bed, that strength
has seeped out.
night is good,
sleep comes,
and for a
little bit
i’m free
again.
free.

why?
must i?
just go on?
each day harder
than the day before,
a little darker, deeper
inside me it lurks and i
really wish i could give in
and let it take me from living
in this world for even one more
day…i hide it well, no one knows
how hard it is to wear this mask and
be who they want me to be. i hate
being that person, but i hate this
person, this shell i am, as well.
so what are my options? do
i go on living, dreaming of
hope, waiting for peace,
knowing it won’t come?
or do i one day just let
it have its way and i
don’t open my eyes
when he comes to
wake me up to
start my day,
just once
more,
just once
more,
just once…

more.

more.

more time,
another day.
it didn’t get me
in my sleep,
so now i
go on
with
no
hope.

i do.
i hope.
i have him.
i have hope.
i have my life,
i have my family,
i have my friends.
so why does it grasp
so tight? it won’t let go
and it just grasps on tighter
until i can’t breathe. that’s why
i take my yellow pill. my best friend.
one pill and my breath returns so that i
can live. so that i can smile and do
what people expect me to do, to be
what people want me to be, to give
what i’m expected to give.
and the night comes back
and with it the pill stops.
the tightness is back.
my chest hurts, but
not like that. not
a medical way,
just a way
i don’t
want
so
i…

sleep.

stop.
i’m there.
it’s that point
where i don’t want
to do this anymore and
i’m ready to not wake to
the sound of his voice, and
i don’t want to see his face when
i wake up. there’s no strength this time.
no light, no hope, no smile, nothing works
anymore. it’s time to end the charade. for the heart
it was a remedy, but it doesn’t work anymore. the heart
knows. the heart hurts. but when what was once light starts
to become a part of the dark, it’s a bad thing. a very bad thing
that i recognize needs to be stopped. i don’t know how to
stop this thing, though. and is it really him? is it just me?
do i do this because i don’t want that light anymore, or
do i do it because it’s true that the light is gone? gone
from my heart, from my…everything. i just don’t know.
how can i get through my day, living day by day,
existing just because it’s what i’m supposed to to,
if now i have to worry about what will happen
to him.
him.
if…

sigh

wake.
no choice.
i can’t end it.
i never would.
that’s not a way out.
i don’t know if there is
a way out, but i know that
isn’t it and that it will just take
what is in me and spread it to people
i love. so i go on living the way i do,
waiting for night to fall just so i can
go back to sleep. close my eyes.
dream. no darkness there.
just a world full of…
something. something
i really want, but i don’t
know what it is. i wish
i knew. i really do.
if i knew, i could
find it out here.
i could live
happy, or
at least
away
from
the…

dark.

wake.
i wake
this day,
a hard task.
i know i must.
words can’t describe…
i can’t stay in bed eternally,
no matter how bad the darkness
tries to hold me here and pull me down.
i have him, though, to help me do this thing.
i know he’ll be the first thing my eyes see,
i know his voice will be the first i hear,
and this gives me strength to face my
day…a day that will start strong
and slowly go downhill,
so by the time i go to
bed, that strength
has seeped out.
night is good,
sleep comes,
and for a
little bit
i’m free
again.
free.

why?
must i?
just go on?

Three In One

Title – Three in One

Summary – Something has started playing. Buffy and
friends meet…Buffy…and friends…and more friends?

Author: (and feedback) – memarkw@yahoo.com

Disclaimer – The following work is based entirely on
characters by Joss Whedon and whomever he has shared the
fortune with. The idea comes from a Star Trek:TNG novel,
Q-Squared by Peter David, and a challenge from Jenn. I
make no profit whatsoever from this and do it only for my
own satisfaction.

Spoilers – Makes references to events of seasons past, but
no major spoilers involved.

Rating – PG

(This is an unfinished story.)
——————————–

Note – I do poke fun at those of us who spend way too much
time in our own little fantasy worlds, putting them on
paper or computer. Absolutely no offense is intended. If
you are offended, you are taking this stuff way too
serious.

——————————————

PROLOGUE
——–
THE EDGE

He stood on the edge. Of course, it wasn’t an edge
that was visible to the human eye. Or any other eye for
that matter. He could see it. Well, naturally he could
see it – that’s why he stood on it. It was an odd sight –
this being in its’ bright red wig, the floopy (yes,floopy,
not floppy. Floppy is a misuse as he would be the first
to tell you) shoes, and a handful of balloons.

I know what you’re thinking. Not thinking, but
visualizing in your minds eye. A clown. A clown standing
on the edge. Mankind tends to think of parallel universes
as a thing of science fiction. Alternate universes that
often end up being written about by second rate fan
fiction writers. You’ve read them. Those people that
work full time, go to school full time, raise kids full
time, and then sit down to write and wonder why they can’t
be published. They see an episode of their favorite show,
don’t like the outcome, and write their own little piece
of fiction to make things right. They call that AU.
That’s not AU. They have no idea.

AU, parallel universe, alternate reality – call it
what you will. In reality, we do not live in a universe.
We live in a multiverse. There was a time when the
multiverse was created. Granted, it was an accident.
That’s a different story, though. When this multiverse
was created, each one had the exact same inhabitants
living an identical life. There came a time when one
version of a man chose something different from that of
his mirror self. From that one action, chaos was created.
Created, yet contained. For millenia of millenia, this
controlled chaos rested on the edge, separating these
realities. Until the clown appeared.

We speak of gods. That is the closest we can come to
understanding what this clown is. He’s not a god – and
yes I just changed tenses, but this god, or The Clown,
enables us to do that – but imagine him as such. He
discovered the chaos. With a twitch of a finger, he was
able to disturb the chaos. A rift of sorts – an anomaly?
– was created. Finding that he could do this brought him
great joy. Thus, it starts.

——————————————

THE GOOD

Buffy Summers sat in front of the computer screen.
She knew that this was a bad idea, but hey, even a slayer
needed love. Not just sex – Spike – but love. This is a
bad idea, she thought. She hit the enter button and
waited.

NO MATCHES WERE FOUND

She couldn’t believe her eyes! This was a personals
site, where were the persons? Hearing the front door
open, she turned off the laptop and jumped up.

Dawn looked happy. That was good. Wait. Yes, that
was good. Had it been Tuesday, it would have been bad.
Tuesday this was not.

“Dawnie? You look chipper. What’s up?”

Dawn stopped her little skip step and looked at her
sister. A guilty look crossed her face. “Oh, nothing.”

“Come on, Dawn. No more secrets, remember?”

The teen sighed. “I have a boyfriend. Look, I know
and I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it to happen, I just turned
the corner and he was there and he told me he was waiting
for me and I asked him why and he said-”

“Dawn! Slow down, breathe. Why do you act like
that’s a bad thing to tell me?”

“Well, you know. You’re a woman and women have
needs. I know you haven’t…well, you know…since Spike
and-”

“Dawn! Again, breathe. First of all, my…um, you
know…is not your concern. Second of all, you shouldn’t
be thinking about you know either.”

Dawn blushed. “Buffy, I’m sixteen. Of course I
think about it! Doesn’t mean I’m going to do it. I know
all the consequences. Don’t worry about it. It’s just
nice to have someone like me.”

The Slayer nodded. “Yeah. I remember those days.”

“You do? I mean, you do! Angel and Riley and…
um… and-”

“Before all-” she made a sweeping gesture with her
arms -“this. I was a normal kid once. Did I ever tell
you about Pike?”

“Spike? Tell me what?”

“Not Spike – Pike. It was when I first found out
about slaying.”

The sisters sat on the couch and Buffy told the story
of her first real boyfriend.

————————————–

THE BAD

The blonde turned quickly and drove the spike through
the chest of the nearest vampire. Before it turned to
dust, she was already on the next creature. A few minutes
later, she packed up the weapons that had been spilt from
her bag and went on her way.

Twenty minutes later, the blonde climbed the steps of
the Cincinatti Inn to her grungy room. When she opened
the door, she sensed him.

“I told you not to come here. If you want to talk to
me, just leave a message. I don’t want to work for you,
with you, under you, against you, or anything else you. I
kill the things, you tell your bosses they’re dead,
remember? Now, leave!”

The scary looking Englishman stood up. “Now, Buffy,
be a good girl. We need to talk.”

“Talk. Quick. You have about 30 seconds before I
kick your ass.”

“You’re free from me.”

She stopped what she was doing and looked at him. A
million questions went through her mind. She asked the
first one that came out. “Huh?”

“Apparently, you’re needed elsewhere. Some little
town in California. Sunnydale. Something about a
hellmouth and a vampire abundance.”

Buffy Summers sighed. From Bad to Worse.

———————————————

THE WORSE

Faith jumped over the thing that was running at her.
Damn Buffy for leaving! There was no way she could keep
up with all these things. She ran. When she managed to
escape, she found a nice dry dumpster and crawled into it.

The Slayer didn’t know how it could be any worse than
this. Two years ago, she had been a happy, pampered teen.
That was before her father’s company started playing with
the supernatural. Before her parents fell victim to the
supernatural. When she met Buffy Summers, she thought
things might get a little better. The story about the
Slayer was fascinating. How she ended up here, Buffy
dying and being resuscitated by Jesse, she herself being
called as a slayer – it all still astounded her at times.
Every day she thought life couldn’t be worse. Every day
she was proven wrong. First, the vampire that used to be
Jesse’s friend had turned Giles into a vampire. Then,
Giles had managed to turn Wesley into a vamp. When that
happened, Buffy ran away.

Faith had no idea where where Buffy was. She would
have liked to kill her, or ar least track her down and
drag her back here to help. If Xander tried to attack her
just one more time, she was going to dust him, regardless
of what Jesse said. Poor Jesse. He probably had it worse
than she did. He’d watched Xander die. He’d watched
Xander turn that red haired girl. He’d watched Xander
kill his parents. If Faith hadn’t showed up when she did,
Xander would have gotten Jesse. As it was, she’d had to
dust the girl Jesse said was called Willow. Apparently,
there were a great many teens being killed. Who could
have ever imagined that years ago this had been a normal
country?

She thought again of her dad. His company had found
that a vampires blood could heal. Forget the nasty little
side effect of having to be a vamp for it to actually do
any healing. She never shared the fact that it was partly
her dad’s doing that the country was over run with the
undead now. The undead population outnumbered the living.
Before the government fell, there had been research to
find out how to stop it. Research that was forever lost.

Jesse said that he knew in his heart that he could
return Xander’s soul to him. It had worked for Buffy’s
old boyfriend – for about two seconds. He had come
looking for Buffy after being bitten, and feeding in
return, by that Chase girl. When he tricked Dawn into
inviting him into the house, Jesse had managed to use the
spell to give the soul back to Angel. Immediately, Angel
knew what he was, what he had done, grabbed a wooden spoon
and drove it into his own heart.

Still, that didn’t deter Jesse. He was convinced he
could help Xander. They’d been “Buds” their entire life.
Faith knew it could never happen the way Jesse wanted it,
but she could let the thing live as long as Jesse was by
her side.

It wasn’t fair. Life was wrong. It shouldn’t be
this way. She felt a tear fall. She quickly brushed it
away and climbed out of her hiding spot. Heading for the
abandoned house that the Summers had used to live in, she
thought about how life could have been if her dad hadn’t
tried to play God.

——————————-

THE EDGE

The Clown laughed. He reached out and plucked at the
chaos. To his delight, a small hole appeared. Oh, the
joy! He could see the realities start to mingle. This
was going to be great!

———————————————

THE EDGE

The Clown was having fun. Seeing the Chaos leak was
the most fun it’d had in a long time. He had managed to
rip Chaos. Watching the result, he put his fingers in and
pulled it open a little more.

———————————————–

THE GOOD

Xander knocked on the door again. He knew Buffy was
home. He could hear her in there talking. He was about
to knock on the window, as he looked in, and stopped cold.
It looked like the place had been trashed. It was dark.
He saw movement. A closer look revealed-

He stopped and backed up. No freaking way! He wiped
his eyes, shook his head and looked again. There was
nothing but Buffy and Dawn sitting on the sofa. Nothing
was out of place.

“Ok. There’s a simple explanation for what I just
saw. I have no idea what in the hell it is, but I’m sure
there is one.”

Thinking he had just seen Jesse in Buffy’s house
really rattled his nerves.

———————————————–

THE BAD

Buffy climbed the steps of the house. The man who
called himself Giles had told her she could stay here.
Apparently, she had really pissed off that red haired
vampire. She hadn’t done anything to her, but the vampire
was pissed. Giles and Buffy had been talking when the
vampire walked into the room. Giles was instantly on his
feet.

“Relax, Englishman. I’m not here to fight. I heard
there was a slay-”

She stopped when she saw Buffy. “You.”

Before Buffy could reply, the vampire – Giles said
her name was Willow – changed into her game face.

“You sent me back here. You couldn’t leave it
alone.”

Buffy looked from Willow to Giles, then back to
Willow. “I don’t know who in the hell you are. Now, you
know I’m the Slayer, and I know you’re a vampire. Two
plus two still equals four, so I guess that means I’m
supposed to dust you.”

Giles held Buffy back.

“I’ll see you again, Slayer. Pretend all you want,
but you’re going to pay. I could have had a lot of fun
with Red.”

Buffy tried again to go after the vampire, but Giles
wouldn’t let go.

“What the hell’s wrong with you? I came here to kill
those things!”

“I know. There’s some history with that one. She-
she used to be a friend.”

“Used to be. Now she’s a vamp and vamps die. What
part of that don’t you get?”

“No. That one doesn’t die yet. She’s as close to
civil as we get with them here. Occasionally, we’re able
to get some information from her. It would seem that in
some other world, we didn’t kill her and she feels she has
to repay that. A vampire with morals. Of sorts. Odd.”

“Huh? Another world? Like a soap opera? Because
that’s what it sounds like to me. A make believe story.”

“I know. I know. As long as she’s of use, we’ll let
her live.”

“If you say so. But I’m telling you, if she looks at
me funny, she goes.”

Giles nodded. “Understood.”

Now, standing in the doorway of the house, she
wondered if she had done the right thing by coming here.
She knew it was bad, but not this bad. She turned the
corner into what used to be a living room and saw a
teenager sitting on a couch.

“Oh. I’m sorry. Someone told me-”

The girl was gone. So was the couch.

———————————————–

THE GOOD

“BUFFY!”

The elder Summers ran into the room. “Dawnie?
What’s wrong?”

The teen was about to tell Buffy what she thought
she’d seen. When she had looked up, she’d seen Buffy
in the door. A very blonde Buffy. With scars. And not
knowing Dawn. Apologizing. Thinking about it, Dawn knew
how odd it sounded and figured it must be because she was
tired – she was seeing things.

“Nothing.”

Just then, there was a knock at the door. Dawn
looked out the window to find Xander standing there.

“I just wanted to let you know Xander’s here.”

————————————————-

THE WORSE

Jesse was reading one of the books he’d found in the
library of the old school building. He never did
understand why Mr. Giles had kept these books, but they
did come in handy quite often. In the middle of a spell
to ward off counter-spells, he felt something. It was
something strong. He looked around, not sure why he felt
so uncomfortable. He felt as though he was being watched.
He felt like Xander was near. Just as quickly as the
feeling had come over him, it left.

“What’s the what?”

Jesse looked over at Faith, who had been sleeping in
one of the chairs they’d scavaged.

“Nothing.”

“Thinking of him again, aren’t you?”

“No,” he lied.

“J, come on. Don’t lie to me. You were. What’s
up?”

“It’s hard Faith. It’s so hard. You don’t know. I
can talk about it to you till I’m blue in the face, but I
can’t make you understand. I know to you he’s just a
vampire waiting to be dusted, but to me he was blood. He
was my soul mate. I know that sounds really gay, y’know?
And it wasn’t like that, but we were more than friends.
We knew each others thoughts, we sensed each other.
That’s what being together every day of your life does, I
guess. Y’know? No. You don’t know.”

His voice broke.

“It’s hard Faith, I miss him every freaking day and
it hurts. I know in my heart we have to kill him. He’s
one of the more powerful ones out there, turning people
everyday. And it kills me to think about it.”

The Slayer stood up and walked over to him. She sat
on his lap and put her arms around him.

“I know, baby. You’re right. I can’t understand it.
I’ve never had any kind of friends, much less a friend
like that. But I can see how much it hurts you, and that
hurts me. I won’t dust him. Not until you tell me it’s
time.”

“I feel like he’s watching me sometimes.”

“Jess, he probably is watching you. It wouldn’t
surprise me if he was across the street waiting for you to
come out unprepared. He can’t wait to turn you.”

“If that happens-”

“I will.”

“You will what?”

They both jumped when they heard the third voice.

Xander was standing there watching them.

——————————————–

THE GOOD

Buffy and Dawn looked at Xander, just standing there.
He seemed to be in a daze. Then he spoke.

“You will what?”

Buffy touched Xander on the shoulder. “Xander?”

He jerked, as though he had been shocked. “What?”

Buffy sighed. “You just asked if I will what? What
what?”

“What?”

“Yeah. What?”

“Wait. What did I say?”

“You said ‘You will what?’.”

“Oh. I think I was day dreaming. I could have sworn
I just saw Jesse sitting there with Faith in his lap. She
told him she would do something. I guess I was talking to
her, not you.”

“Oh.”

“I’m tired guys. That’s why I came over. I wanted
to tell you I wasn’t up to going out with you guys
tonight.”

Dawn went to him and took his hand. “Xander, come
on. You’ve been like this since Anya left. You have to
get back to normal.”

He snorted. “Normal? In Sunnydale? The place where
one second you and your best bud are laughing and the next
he’s a vampire? The place where a guy leaves his demon
bride at the altar because the monster his dad was is
worse than the monster that his fiancee was? The place
where the ex-bride-to-be kills twelve guys and then brings
them back before she walks away forever? Oh, ok. I’ll
get back to normal.”

Before either girl could say anything, he turned and
walked out. Dawn made a move to stop him, but Buffy held
her back.

“Dawn, let him go. He needs time for himself. He’s
hurting. There’s nothing we can do for him right now.”

Dawn sighed. She knew her sister was right, but it
didn’t make it better.

——————————————

THE EDGE

This was fun. What happens if the hole gets a little
bigger?
——————————————-

THE BAD

Giles felt it. He didn’t know how or why, but he
knew something wasn’t right. He’d given thought to
Willow’s claims of visiting another dimension. He sighed.
He couldn’t stop thinking of her as Willow. She would
have to die sometime, but until he was able to get past
her being Willow, it wasn’t going to happen.

He had a feeling. Almost like knowing you were late
for something without actually knowing what time it was.

———————————————

THE WORSE

As quick as they they were surprised, Xander was
gone.

“Did you-”

“Yeah, he wasn’t-”

“No, he was-”

“Alive.”

—————————————-

THE BAD

Giles went to the library. No one used the school
anymore, and most of his books were useless. Still, it
brought him some peace. This was where he felt closest to
Jenny.

He heard a noise and was about to investigate when
the doors swung open, almost as if in slow motion.

His heart missed a beat when he saw who it was.

It was Wesley. A vampire Wesley. His first thought
was that Angel hadn’t told him that Wesley had left, nor
that he was now a vampire. His second thought was that he
himself should not be standing behind Wesley in full
vampire face.

————————————————–

THE GOOD

“It’s not good you know. No good at all. Might be
good for you, it might, but it’s not good. Stop it.”

He stood up straight. “Bloody, bleeding nutter.
That’s what I am you know.”

“I know, I know. Nutters. We’re nutters. This is
bad. Bad, bad clown.”

“Bad clown. When I stop talking to myself, I’ll tell
the Slayer.”

“Tell the Slayer we will.”

He stopped moving and look straight into nothing. He
could see it.

“You’re a bad, bad clown you are. The Slayer won’t
like it. The Witch won’t like it.”

——————————————–

THE EDGE

The Clown paused. Had the insane vampire actually
been talking to him? To the Clown? It wasn’t possible.
Pish posh, no time for such matters. The game was just
starting. Pulling on one of the realities, he chuckled as
more of it spilled out.

———————————————

THE GOOD
THE BAD
THE WORSE

Spike screamed. It hurt.
Spike screamed. It hurt.
Spike giggled. “No, they won’t be pleased at all.”

——————————–

THE BAD

Giles blinked. Why did people always blink when they
couldn’t believe what they were seeing? He blinked again.
Mind you, this all happened in a fraction of a second.
He had almost no time to duck before the vampire Wesley
was over the counter. He managed to throw Price off
balance. Unfortunately, concentrating on Wesley left
Giles open for attack from…Giles.

Vamp Giles grabbed his counterpart by the neck and
threw him across the room. He blinked. Why did people
always blink when they couldn’t believe what they were
seeing? He blinked again. The man he had just thrown
across the room had disappeared. He wasn’t missing. He
had literally disappeared. One instant he was in mid-air,
the next instant he hasn’t in mid-air anymore. He wasn’t
anywhere anymore.

———————————
THE WORSE

Giles fell to the ground. Once he got his bearings,
he realized he wasn’t in Oz anymore. Rubbish. This
wasn’t the time to be silly. He realized he wasn’t in his
library anymore. He could see that he was near the high
school, but something was wrong. There were usually a few
vampires in sight at this hour of night, but this was
insane. They were everywhere. Almost as if they belonged
there with no worries of being slayed. He was ready to
run when he realized that not only weren’t they bothering
him, they were avoiding him.

Of course! He had just been attacked by…himself.
That version of Giles had to come from somewhere. However
the other Giles had ended up in his library, he had ended
up in the homeworld of the other Giles! He immediately
thought of the demon that he had thwarted years ago. A
vengeance demon had been playing with alternate realities.
What Willow had been saying made sense now. If they ever
found a way to return Willow to their side, he would be
tempted to kiss her. For now though, he needed to find
Buffy. Assuming there was a Buffy here.
—————————————-

THE GOOD

Xander missed Jesse. He was tired of acting like
nothing bothered him. He wanted Jesse back. He wanted
Anya back. He wanted them now!

He staggered. Woooaaahhh. Dizzy much? He closed
his eyes and put his hands on his knees.

—————————————
THE WORSE

Xander opened his eyes. He shouldn’t have stormed
out of the house like that. He turned around and headed
back.

—————————————-
THE BAD

“Well.”

Wesley stood up and looked at Rupert. “Well? Well,
what?”

“Somehow, I think we’ve ended up a different realm of
reality.”

“Good lord. Realm of reality? Rupert, you have to
quit talking like a damned scholar! You’re a vampire.
Talk like a vampire.”

“Now listen here. Just because you seem to have lost
all sense of decorum when you joined us doesn’t mean we
all have to do so. We are in a different realm of
reality.”

“Yes? Well.”

“Precisely.”
——————————————–
THE GOOD

Willow walked in without knocking. She was glad
things were more like normal now. She didn’t like things
being all tense and stuff.

Dawn hurried in. “Xander? Oh. Hi Willow.”

“Uh, hi?”

“Sorry. Xander was here and he got upset and left.
Buffy went out to talk to him and she can’t find him. I
was hoping you were him.”

“Ahhh. Nope just innocent little me.”

“Yeah. What’s up?”

“Up? Just came to say hi. Oh. Hi Faith. What are
you doing here?”

Dawn spun on her heel. There was no one behind her.
“Willow, I’m not Faith.”

“Dawn! Go to your room. Lock the door, sit on your
bed and don’t open it until I come tell you it’s ok to
come out. Don’t open the door for anyone but me.”

“What? Are you ok? Go to my room?”

“Dawn, do what I said. Don’t argue with me. I’ll
explain later!”

“Good grief. Go to my room, lock the door, and don’t
tell come out until you tell me to? Want to give me a
safe word so I know it’s really you?”

“Yeah. Lamp post.”

“Willow, I was joking. I’m not going to my-” She
saw the look in Willow’s eyes. “I mean, I’m going. Make
it quick, ok?”

“As quick as I can, but Dawnie, no matter how long it
takes, you have to swear not to open the door until I give
you the word!”

“Ok, ok, I promise, but it better be good.”

Waiting until she heard the door lock behind Dawn
upstairs, she looked around the house. She’d better tell
Buffy what she thought was happening. She went to the
door and opened it.

“Hi, Red. You’re sexier than I remember. Give me a
hug.”

“Back off. I need your help.” Willow ran down the
porch steps, Vampire Willow two steps behind her.

—————————————-
THE WORSE

Xander opened the door to the house and knew it
wasn’t right. For one thing, Faith was in the room. She
wasn’t happy. She was telling someone that she swore she
had just seen Willow, normal Willow, in the house. Xander
stepped around the corner to ask Buffy what was going on.
He didn’t ask the question for two reasons.

One, it wasn’t Buffy in the room.

Two, Jesse had him by the throat with a large metal
cross between them, pushing him backwards.

———————————————-

THE EDGE

The Clown paused. For a fleeting instant, he
experienced dread. He shrugged and started playing with
Chaos again.

——————————————-

THE BAD
THE WORSE

“Oh, I know, I know. It’s not good. I know, I
know.” Far below the remains of the school, Spike rocked
back and forth.

——————————————–

THE GOOD

Willow and Willow found Spike in the basement of the
high school. She knew Buffy had told Spike to find
another place to hide, but she didn’t have time to
question him about it.

“You can feel it, can’t you Spike?”

“Ah, it’s the Reds. I can feel it.” He giggled.
“I’m not the only one.”

Vamp Willow grabbed Spike by his collar. “Are you
nuts everywhere? Come on sexy, get a grip. Red here
thinks we need your help.”

Willow sighed. “Let him go.”

Vamp Willow let go of Spike. “Now what? You’re a
powerful one. Is that what I would have been if he hadn’t
turned me?”

“Look, I don’t know what might have been. I need to
know what’s going on where you came from.”

“What do you mean? I’m single, looking-”

“Stop it! Something is happening and we have to stop
it! I need to know what’s causing it!”

Spike giggled. “It’s Chaos.”

“Yes, I know Spike. I need to find out what’s
causing the chaos.”

“No luv, Chaos.”

She sighed and turned back to her other self.
“Please. Has anything unusual happened in your Sunnydale
lately?”

“No. Unless you mean the Clown.”

Spike screamed in pain. “No, I didn’t tell them!
Make it stop!”

Willow ran to Spike. She gently put her hands on his
face. “Spike? Spike, look at me. It’s going to be ok.”

“Tell me. Please, please tell me it’s going to be
ok.”

“It is Spike, it is.”

He pulled free. “No! Tell me! All of me!”

Willow looked into his eyes. “Spike. Can you talk
to yourself? Those of you in other places? Spike? I
need you. We all need you. Please, talk to me.”

Before he passed out, he groaned.

—————————————

THE WORSE

Xander pushed the other man off of him. He had a
little help. Faith had grabbed Jesse and was pulling him
back.

“Jesse, stop! That’s not him!”

“Don’t tell me it’s not him! I know it’s him!”

“No, it’s not. He can’t get in here. He wasn’t
invited.”

Xander gathered himself. Invited? Like a vamp?
“You think I’m a vampire? Jesse? You’re a vampire!
Only…Except you’re holding that cross! What’s going
on?”

Jesse looked down at the cross he was holding. He
held it out to Xander, who took it and held it to his
chest.

“Xander?”

“Yeah. It’s me. It’s me. And you’re you?”

“Yeah. Why wouldn’t I be me? I’m not the one that
got bit, y’know?”

“Oh my God. Jesse. I missed you.” Xander took a
step back. “This is wrong! You’re dead! And you-” he
pointed at Faith, “-you’re in prison.”

Faith stepped next to Jesse, who had tears streaming
down his face. “Look, something isn’t right here. I’ll
give you that. But whatever it is, it got you guys back
together. I’m not in prison, which you can explain later,
Jesse’s not dead, you’re not dead. Now get over the manly
macho guy thing and hug already. We can figure this out
later.”

That was all it took. Not knowing who hugged first,
the two men fell into an embrace that no one could have
broken. Both were crying and they held on to each other
as though their life depended on it.

Which, none of them realized yet, could very well be
the case.
—————————————–

THE EDGE

The Clown didn’t like the way things were turning.
He had been controlling the Chaos, and now he didn’t have
the control anymore. All he could do now was stand back
and wait and watch.

——————
THE BAD

Buffy shook her head. She really needed sleep. She was
seeing things. She was just about to head up the stairs
to find a bed when there was a knock at the door. She
opened it and was surprised to see Giles and another man
standing there.

“Giles? What’s up? I thought you were going to do more
of that research.”

The man looked startled to see her. He quickly composed
himself. “Yes, well, something…came up. Can we come
in?”

“I was just going to get some sleep. Is it important?
And who’s that?” she asked, gesturing with her chin to
vamp Pryce.”

“Hmm? Oh, this is Wesley Windham Pryce. Never met him, I
suppose. Just the same. Can we come in?”

“Is it important?”

Buffy heard a growl. She realized it had come from the
man called Pryce. She stepped back when she noticed a
ridge appear on his brow. She immediately slammed the
door.

“What the hell is going on around here?” She sat on the
bottom step of the stairs. Hearing footsteps, she looked
up. For a moment she felt dizzy. Shaking it off, she
stood. She didn’t know how, or from where, but there were
people in the house. The hadn’t seen her yet. Across the
room, two men were hugging and crying and a dark haired
woman had her hand on their shoulders.
—————————————————
THE EDGE

The clown reached out and grabbed some Chaos. With all
his might, he squeezed.

—————————————————-
THE WORSE

Xander felt dizzy again. As much as he wanted to believe
he was standing here holding Jesse, he knew it had to be a
dream. He knew if he opened his eyes after the dizziness
passed, he would be back in Buffy’s house without Jesse
here. Without Faith here. He opened his eyes.

Not only were Jesse and Faith still here, Buffy was
sitting on the stairs watching them.
—————————————————-
THE BAD

Now they noticed her.
—————————————————-
THE WORSE

Giles put his hands on his knees. He was dizzy. When it
had passed, he stood up. This was all wrong. He knew he
was home again -home as in his own reality- but at the
same time he wasn’t.
—————————————————-
THE BAD
THE WORSE

Vamp Giles grabbed his head. Pryce did the same. They
knew they were back where they came from, but they also
knew they weren’t.
—————————————————–
THE GOOD

Spike awoke sith a start and screamed.

Willow and Willow held on to him as he started to thrash.
When he didn’t calm, Willow muttered under her breath.

“Peace be still.”

Instantly, Spike stopped moving. “Now that’s a handy
spell, Red.”

“Spike! What’s happening?”

“Talk to us, Blondie.”

Spike looked from one Willow to the other. “I’ve heard
about you. The vamp. The bloody dyke.”

“Hey!”

“Sorry, Red. No offense. Not to you anyway.”

“Spike, just tell us what’s happening. You’re there,
aren’t you?”

“There? I suppose I am. Odd, isn’t it? I can feel
myself there and there. I know I’m here, but I know I’m
there. If I wasn’t nutters before, I will be when this is
over – if we’re still around.”

“What’s this Spike? Please. Quit wasting time and tell
me.”

“Why, Red, haven’t you figured it out? No, I suppose you
haven’t. You haven’t seen a certain vengeance demon since
this started, have you?”

“A veng- Anya? Anya did this?”

“I think so.”

Willow grabbed the hand of her vampire counterpart and
looked up. “Vengeance without power.”

When she looked back at Spike, she saw Anya standing
behind him. Only it wasn’t the Anya she knew. It wasn’t
the Anya she had come to love like a sister. It was an
Anya of another reality and she had a dagger in hand.
Before Willow could move, Anyanka plunged the dagger
through Spike’s heart from behind.

Before he turned to dust, Spike whispered to her. “You
can undo it, Red.” With a smile like she had never seen
from him, Spike’s turned to dust and fell to the floor.

She looked at Anyanka, who was moving forward with the
dagger. “Hold.”

The vengeance demon froze in place. Willow took the
dagger from Anyanka and drove it into the heart of the
demon. When the Anyanka she never knew fell to the
ground, Willow again took the vamp’s hand and looked
skyward. “Vengeance without power.”

This time nothing happened.

“Um, Red? The last time you said that, we got that
monster. How do you know it won’t happen again?”

Anya appeared in front of them – n Anya with vampire
fangs. Willow used the same dagger and forced it into the
unsuspecting demon’s heart.

“I don’t. I’ll kill everyone of them until I get the one
I’m looking for.”
——————————————
THE BAD
THE WORSE

Faith made a move towards Buffy.

Xander grabbed her. “That’s not Buffy. Look at her.”

Faith did. It looked like Buffy, but there was no sense
of determination. There was a scar on the girl’s face.
Yet, she knew this was her peer. “Buffy? My God, what’s
happened to you? Where did you go? What are you doing
here?”

Buffy stood up. “Do I know you? I know that’s Xander. I
don’t know who that is,” she pointed to Jesse,”but I want
to know now, and I want to know how you got into my
house.”

Jesse turned. “Chaos.”
—————————————-
THE BAD
THE WORSE

Spike cried.
Spike screamed.
—————————————-
THE GOOD

Willow looked at the second corpse. She had meant it.
She would kill every Anya she summoned until she got the
one she was looking for. This would be made right.

—————————
THE EDGE

The Clown uttered a sound he had never had need for.
Frustration. They weren’t supposed to understand it, yet
some of them did. Let them understand this – he reached
into the holes and pulled them apart with all his might.
A roar so loud it hurt Its’ ears as it resounded
throughout the multiverse. He felt the Edge shaking. He
reached out to balance himself. For the first time ever,
he felt concern over something he had done.

—————————-
THE GOOD
THE BAD
THE WORSE

Willow and her vamp counterpart fell to the ground just as
another appeared, ready to fight.

Vamp Giles and Wesley fell the ground holding their heads.

Rupert Giles fell to the ground.

Dawn layed on her bed and held on as she felt the earth
move.

Spike laughed.

Spike cried.

Buffy reached out and held on to Jesse and Xander as Faith
stumbled backwards and fell to the ground.

Buffy fell to the ground.

Rupert Giles, Jesse, and Willow each looked up and
whispered. “Chaos.”
———————————–

CHAOS

Rupert Giles looked at the old building that used to house
his library. He wasn’t sure what he was seeing. It was
in ruins, but at the same time, he could see it standing
in complete form. It looked like someone had taken a
“before” picture and laid it over a more pronounced
“after” picture to make the contrast obvious. He walked
toward the structure, hoping to find answers. If his
hunch was correct, they were facing Chaos. He wasn’t sure
exactly what it was, but he remembered having read about
it once. He had to find that book.

Dawn closed her eyes and tried to sleep.

Buffy ran back towards her house. She wanted to find
Xander, but she had to be sure Willow and Dawn were
alright. As she approached her home, she stopped short.
It wasn’t right. It was still her house, but it was
blurry – almost like a double exposure. One was a dirty,
worn out house. The other was her house. She walked
slowly to the front door and pushed it open.

Willow tried to push the demon that was Anyanka away from
her, but she had been taken by surprise. It looked like
this was one fight she was going to lose. She tried to
speak a word, but the demon was crushing her vocal cords.
As she started to fade away, regretting having ever
started this, Anya went limp. She let go of her grip and
fell to the side, away from Willow. Willow looked up to
see Vamp Willow holding the dagger she herself had used
earlier.

“Thanks. We need to get to the library.”

————————————
THE EDGE

It spoke. “No.”
————————————
CHAOS

Willow spoke. “As we once met, let’s meet once more.”

Vamp Willow looked at her. “I felt that. What did you do
to me?”

“I called anyone who could and would help us. The library
has to be the one place we would all know. We can’t fix
this on our own. We need help.”

—–

Buffy shook her head. Jesse and Xander both took a step
towards the door. Faith was about to ask Buffy if she was
ok when she felt it. She needed to get to the school
library. She wasn’t sure why, and the place was a pile of
rubble, but she knew she needed to be there. Before she
could speak, the door pushed open. Buffy stepped in. The
Buffy she knew.

—–

Buffy felt faint. It was too much for her mind to handle.
There was Xander. And Jesse. And Faith. And herself.
Only herself didn’t look very good. She had that scar.
The hair – well, even when she spent all night slaying,
she made sure her hair was neat.

“Xander? What’s going on? I have to get to the library,
but tell me on the way.”
—–

CHAOS

Rupert Giles looked at the old building that used to house
his library. He wasn’t sure what he was seeing. It was
in ruins, but at the same time, he could see it standing
in complete form. It looked like someone had taken a
“before” picture and laid it over a more pronounced
“after” picture to make the contrast obvious. He walked
toward the structure, hoping to find answers. If his
hunch was correct, they were facing Chaos. He wasn’t sure
exactly what it was, but he remembered having read about
it once. He had to find that book.

Dawn closed her eyes and tried to sleep.

Buffy ran back towards her house. She wanted to find
Xander, but she had to be sure Willow and Dawn were
alright. As she approached her home, she stopped short.
It wasn’t right. It was still her house, but it was
blurry – almost like a double exposure. One was a dirty,
worn out house. The other was her house. She walked
slowly to the front door and pushed it open.

Willow tried to push the demon that was Anyanka away from
her, but she had been taken by surprise. It looked like
this was one fight she was going to lose. She tried to
speak a word, but the demon was crushing her vocal cords.
As she started to fade away, regretting having ever
started this, Anya went limp. She let go of her grip and
fell to the side, away from Willow. Willow looked up to
see Vamp Willow holding the dagger she herself had used
earlier.

“Thanks. We need to get to the library.”

————————————
THE EDGE

It spoke. “No.”
————————————
CHAOS

Willow spoke. “As we once met, let’s meet once more.”

Vamp Willow looked at her. “I felt that. What did you do
to me?”

“I called anyone who could and would help us. The library
has to be the one place we would all know. We can’t fix
this on our own. We need help.”

—–

Buffy shook her head. Jesse and Xander both took a step
towards the door. Faith was about to ask Buffy if she was
ok when she felt it. She needed to get to the school
library. She wasn’t sure why, and the place was a pile of
rubble, but she knew she needed to be there. Before she
could speak, the door pushed open. Buffy stepped in. The
Buffy she knew.

—–

Buffy felt faint. It was too much for her mind to handle.
There was Xander. And Jesse. And Faith. And herself.
Only herself didn’t look very good. She had that scar.
The hair – well, even when she spent all night slaying,
she made sure her hair was neat.

“Xander? What’s going on? I have to get to the library,
but tell me on the way.”

—–

At the school, the group was growing larger. Two Buffys, two Willows, Xander, Jesse, Faith, Giles, and approaching them were three more vampires. Giles, Wesley, and Xander. Vamp Xander looked hungrily at Jesse.

“Hey big boy, how’s about a little nibble?”

Faith stepped forward. “Try it.”

Willow shook her head and spoke. “Friends and foe unite, troubles vanish in the night.”

The vampire that was Xander made a lunge for Faith and stopped midair. He seemed to realize that he couldn’t harm these people. “Ok. Ok. I can wait.”

Willow walked to the front of the group.

“Jesse! It’s good to see you. Ok, people. This is Chaos.”

Xander looked around. “Tell me about it.”

“No. Chaos. Our worlds don’t exist any more. Somehow we’ve merged and become one. We’re coexisting. And as good as it is to see some of you again, this is a bad thing. We’ve merged, but reality is deteriorating. It’s being eaten away. I think everyone of us here wants one of the others dead, but right now, we’ll all die unless we work together. There’s a book-”

“In the library. Yes, Realities of Cosmic Theories.” Giles removed his glasses and cleaned them before putting them back on his face. I was actually on my way here to look for it. I don’t know if we can find it in there, though.”

“We’ll find it.” The two Buffy’s looked at each other, having spoken together.

——

“I forbid it,” said the Clown. He reached out for the hole, but this time he wasn’t able to feel it. He couldn’t touch it.

—–

“That’s why I felt like my brain was being pulled out of my head?”

Vamp Willow stood up straight. She turned to Price. “Damn, I thought you were a smart one. The must have breeded you bad over here. Yes. Y-E-S. That’s why.”

The vampire version of Giles called out. “I have it.”

Again, the group came together.

Willow held out her hand. “Let me see.”

“I don’t think so. In fact, I think I’d rather hold onto it.”

“Foes undone, it’s one for one.”

Willow turned and stared at the vampire counterpart.

“What’s wrong, Red? Did you really think I wouldn’t get involved in the arts after seeing what you could do in your world? We-” She gestured to the other three vampires in the group, who were standing behind all the others “- like it this way. It seems to work in our favor.”

Before Willow could answer, they heard a moan. Everyone turned to see Vamp Xander with his teeth in Jesse’s neck. Just as quickly, he pulled Jesse up and made him drink. Then he dropped him to the ground.

Faith leapt. “You dead bastard!”

In an instant, the dead were in battle with the undead. The battle went on and on. One blow for another, no one giving up, no one falling. Trading a kick for a punch. In the turmoil, no one noticed Jesse raise from the ground.

He saw undead Giles losing quickly to dead Giles. He moved to assist and hopefully feed.

Faith jumped over the hunched down Buffy. As she landed and tapped Wesley on the back, Buffy stood up and staked the vampire. Across the room, the other Buffy motioned to Willow that they had one less to worry about.

Jesse noticed them and started in their direction instead. He never saw Faith coming. As the stake drove through his heart, he turned his head to look at her. He saw a tear and heard her voice before he turned to dust.

“I’m sorry. I promised. I love you J.” With the fight raging around her, she fell to the ground and cried. “I’m sorry, I wish I could change it all.”

She heard an unfamiliar voice. She looked up to see a demon standing in front of her.

“Tell me what you wish. Just say it and it’s yours.”

—–

The Clown looked. Maybe this wasn’t bad after all.

——-

CHAOS

Willow heard the voice and turned her head. She saw Faith
about to say something to the vengeance demon. “Faith!
Don’t say a word!”

Faith, still in tears, didn’t know why, but she heeded
Willow’s warning and kept her mouth shut.

Anyanka turned and looked at Willow. “I think not, Witch.
Another time.”

Willow gestured towards the sky with both hands. She felt
an energy surging through her. She heard voices in her
head. *your shirt you’re a goddess softer side of sears
rank arrogant amateur you can undo it red what are we
going to do now Buffy osiris hear me bored now*

She whispered. “Chaos stilled.” Around her everything
froze in place and time. Everything. She saw one of the
Giles suspended midair, the result of a powerful blow.
Jesse’s ashes had begun to drift away and were stopped.
Nothing moved. She walked to the demon who had caused it
all.

“Anyanka bound, speak.”

The thing came to life but was unable to move. She looked
at Willow. “You. I should have known. Will you really
seek a vengeance against me for fulfilling your wish?”

“What wish?”

Anyanka looked closer at Willow. “You really don’t know.”

“No, I really don’t.”

“For the one all powerful, you really aren’t that bright.”

The description startled Willow. The one all powerful.
She didn’t let it show. “The one all powerful, as you
like to call me, is about to wipe you out of existence. I
want this crap undone.”

“Oh, so sorry. You don’t have that kind of power. You
had your wish.”

“Stop saying that! I never wished for this.”

“Maybe you didn’t, but another you did and I’m surprised
you don’t see it.”

Willow closed her eyes. She couldn’t sense anything. She
tried harder. She saw a clown for just a moment but the
image faded. Trying again, she concentrated on the image
she had seen and it became clear. What kind of world
existed where she would ever wish this on anyone?

“I want it undone.”

“And you don’t have a wish coming.”

Willow turned towards Faith and made a brushing gesture
with her hand. Faith turned towards the two of them.
“Willow?”

“Faith, listen carefully. Don’t say anything except what
I tell you to say. Do you understand?”

Faith nodded.

“Look this…thing… in the eye and tell it that you wish
that I was face to face with The Clown.”

Faith opened her mouth to question Willow. There was so
much she could wish for. All she wanted was Jesse back.
But she understood that this was important. She knew that
Willow could make this all right, put things the way they
were. The thing was, there was something she needed to
have changed. Something small. She looked at the demon.

“I wish that Willow and I were face to face with The
Clown.”

Both women gripped their heads and fell to their knees.
When they were able to stand, they saw in front of them a
rift of sorts – an anomaly? And standing beside the
anomaly was a Clown. It opened its’ mouth to protest, but
Willow stopped it with a wave of her hand.

Anyanka vanished.

Willow looked at Faith. “I can’t do that.”

“You don’t know-”

“I do know, and I can’t. It will alter my reality.”

“Willow, it’s the only way I’ll let this happen. Deny me
and you’ve wronged me. In my heart, that would be a wrong
worth some big vengeance. I don’t like this mess and I
don’t like my life. I’m willing to go back to my life
though. but only if you do this. Otherwise, I’ll make it
worse.”

The witch sighed. “Ok. Fine.” She walked towards The
Clown until they were nose to nose and waved her hand
again.

The Clown was startled. This creature dared confront
him?! It would teach it a thing or two. It tried to will
her away, but was unable to do so. Again, for the second
time in his existence, it felt dread.

“You can NOT do this to me. You are nothing. I am-”

“You’re a clown.”

“I am-”

“Shut up.”

The Clown shut up.

“I don’t know why or how, but with all the power I’ve ever
had, or will ever have, I can do things. I can control
you here and now. I can erase YOUR existence. You will
never have existed. Do you understand.”

It did and nodded to show so.

“But – and this is the part I don’t understand, nor do I
really need to – But, for some reason, I can’t fix this
mess. I can’t undo what you’ve done. Neither could the
vengeance demon. I could feel it. You can, and I want it
undone.”

“No.” It reached out and with all his might, tore the
rift as large as it would tear.

Willow closed her eyes and saw people – millions and
millions of people – dying, merging into the same
existence, killing each other. She did the first thing
her body told her to do. She did what Glory had done to
Tara. She put her hands in The Clown’s head. The Clown
shrieked in agony. It had never experienced pain of any
sort and here this mere mortal was with her physical body,
intruding on it’s existence, its’ being!

Willow leaned forward the little more that she could until
she was lip to lip with The Clown. She started to
whisper.

A tear fell from an eye of The Clown. It nodded.

==============================================

THE WORSE
THE BAD
THE GOOD

Dawn was sitting on her bed when she felt it and she fell
backwards. She wanted to open her door and run from the
house! She could hear people crying, people screaming,
buildings falling. Then it stopped.

=================================================

CHAOS

The Clown was alone once more. Maybe it had been alone
the whole time. It snapped its’ fingers and the rift
sealed itself. It felt a dull ache in its’ head and
wondered what could ever have caused that?

=================================================

To be continued…

The Scooby Gang

Title: The Scooby Gang

Summary: The Scooby Gang meets Mystery Inc

Author: Mark

Spoilers: None

Disclaimers: I don’t own any of them, I make no profit
from this, and I can only dream that the owners read this
and think “Hey, he’s good, let’s hire him.”

===========================================

The Slayer was just sitting in the easy chair when
Willow walked in. The look on her face said the she was
not happy.

“Hey Buffy, what’s wrong?”

“God, Willow, what’s right?”

“Um, two plus two still equals four.”

Buffy groaned.

“Sorry, bad joke. Really, what’s wrong?”

Buffy stood up and walked to the window. Opening the
drapes, she said “I’ve never told you about my cousin,
have I?”

“No. I didn’t know you had a cousin.”

“That’s because I can’t stand her. She’s an idiot. A
moron. Stupid. Clumsy. She’s always in distress. God,
why do they have to come here?”

“They?”

“She’s bringing her friends. Why here? They’re all
pains in the ass. Well, one of them is ok, but the
others…”

“Come on, it can’t be that bad.”

“People are always comparing us. Everyone thinks we
look alike. It’s like that show my mom watches on Nick At
Night. The one with the twin cousins? We don’t look
alike. Hey! Maybe we can go visit Cordy and Angel!”

“Um, no. They went to Australia on vacation,
remember?”

“Crap. Well, I guess I have to face her then. I so
don’t want to be here.”

“I can help with that. Let’s go to the Magic Box.
Xander wants to show us his new dog.”

“New dog? I thought Xander was allergic to dogs.”

“Not that I know of. Why would you think that?”

“I don’t know. I’ve been here, what, seven years and
no one has ever owned a dog or cat. I figured someone
must be allergic. I just assumed it was Xander. I don’t
know why. Speaking of dogs, my cousin and her friends
have one. Just want I need, some huge dog running around
my house.”

“They’re staying here?”

“Yeah. I love her mom. Aunt Darlene asked me if they
could stay here. I guess my cousin told her they had some
mystery to solve in Sunnydale and, naturally, Darlene
called me.”

“Ahh. Sounds like there’s no way out for you. You
coming with me?”

“I guess. I should leave a note, though. I hate to be
rude.”

“You do? Since when?”

Buffy left a note explaining where she was and how to
get there. The two girls walked to the Magic Box. When
they walked in, the rest of the small group was already
there.

“Dawn? I thought you were at Cheryl’s.”

“I was. They wanted to go party, and me, being the
responsible teen that I am, told them I couldn’t go. It
IS Tuesday, after all.”

“Tuesday?”

“Uh huh. Remember – ‘Dawn’s in trouble? Must be
Tuesday.'”

“Oh. Who told?”

Anya came from around the counter. “Told? I didn’t
know it was a secret. I mean, last Tuesday she locked
herself out of the house. The Tuesday before that her
little friend’s car broke down. The Tuesday before that
she was bitten by that Hroksher demon. The Tues-”

“Ok, thanks Anya.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Hey Willow, Buffy.” Xander came out of the training
room with a great dane following.

“Wow,” was all the Buffy could say.

Willow walked over and scratched the big dog behind the
ears. “He’s beautiful.”

“Bitch.”

Everyone turned and looked at Anya. “Bitch. It’s not
a he, it’s a she. A female dog, a bitch. Good grief.”

Buffy looked back at Xander. “What’s her name?’

“Roxy. She just looks like a Roxy. She’s great, watch
this.” He held his hand in the air and snapped twice.
The dog turned in circles twice and sat down. Xander gave
a two tone whistle through his teeth and the dog jumped
into the air, then played dead. “Watch this, this is my
favorite.” He walked around the counter, stood next to
Dawn, and asked Anya to take the dog into the training
room. When they were out of site, Xander said “Ghost!”
Without warning, the dog bound from the training room,
lept the counter, and knocked Dawn down. She
ceremoniously sat on top of Dawn while Xander laughed.

While the group was laughing and talking about what a
great friend Xander had found, they were interrupted by a
masculine voice.

“Did I hear someone say ghost?”

The slayer and her friends turned to see a tall blonde
man wearing a white sweater, red ascot, and blue bell
bottoms standing in the door. Behind him, there were
other people trying to get in.

“Fred, move!” He was jostled aside and three more
people walked in, followed by a dog. Another great dane.
The dog promptly walked to Roxy and started sniffing at
her. The small girl that had pushed Fred aside walked
over to Willow and introduced herself.

“Hi, I’m Velma.” She pointed to the scraggly looking
fellow standing next to Fred. “That’s Shaggy.”

By this time everyone had fallen deafly quiet. Velma’s
introduction had fallen on deaf ears. They were staring
at the young woman wearing the purple blouse and skirt.
They were staring at Buffy. Only she was wearing a long
red wig. Then they heard the real Buffy talking.

“Hi, cousin. Welcome to Sunnydale. Now, please, get
Scooby’s nose out of Roxy’s ass.

———————-

Having recovered from the shock of meeting the famous
Mystery Inc, Buffy’s Scoobies bombarded her with questions
about the REAL Scooby Gang.

“Why didn’t you tell us?”

“Do you think Scooby would play stud wth Roxy?”

“Do you think we can go to jail for using their name?
I mean, I never could figure out why you started calling
us the Scoobies.”

“That Shaggy’s cute. Think he would go out with me?”

The questions stopped and everyone looked at Anya.

“What? I just asked.”

Shaggy, trying not to listen to his growling stomach,
spoke up. “Like, yeah man, er, chick, I’d go out with
you. Can you, like, take me somewhere to eat? And fast?”

“Reah, fast!”

Everyone ignored Shaggy and his canine friend.

Buffy walked over to Daphne. “Well, Red-”

“Ahem!”

Buffy turned back to Willow. “Sorry, Wil. Childhood
nickname and stuff.” She turned back to Daphne. “Care to
tell me why you’re here and how long you guys are
staying?”

Right then, Dawn walked in. She ran up to Shaggy and
gave him a hug before kneeling down and throwing her arms
around Scooby.

“Ri Rawn!”

“Scooby! I missed you guys! What’re you doing here?
How long are you staying? Is that your girlfriend?”

“Ri rissed you. Rolving a rystery. Ril it’s rolved.
Ro, rever reen her refore.”

Anya raised her hand. “I never could understand that
dog. What did he just say?”

Buffy sighed. She hated this. “He just answered the
questions that my favorite cousin here doesn’t seem to
have the anseers to. He missed Dawn, they’re solving a
mystery, they’ll be here until they solve it, and no, he’s
never seen Roxy refo-before.”

“Oh. Of course, he did.”

Velma stepped in between Daphne and her look-alike
cousing. “Buffy, she would have told you what you wanted
to know if Scooby hadn’t answered first. I know you don’t
like us, but we had to come. Would you not slay just
because someone didn’t like you? Jenkies! Get over it
already! It happened eight years ago.”

Fred cleared his throat. “Seven years, nine months,
one week, and three days ago.”

Now everyone turned to stare at Fred.

“What? Where is it written that Velma is the smart
one? Who says she has to have ALL the answers?”

Buffy held out a hand, palm out, as if to say talk to
the hand. “Whatever. Look, all I want to know is how
long you’re staying. I need to make sure there are enough
bed sheets and food for all of us.”

“Rall of rus?”

“Yes, Scooby, all of you.”

Anya butted in again. “Um, am I the only one that
finds it odd that this dog can talk? I’ve always been a
little creeped out by it.”

“Hey, An, why don’t you take Roxy for a walk?”

“Xander, are you trying to get rid of me?”

“Emphatically yes!”

“Ran I rum?”

“What did he say?”

Buffy sighed again. Scooby wasn’t bad, but everytime
she saw him, she ended up translaitng for someone. “He
wants to know if he can go with you and Roxy.”

“Oh. I guess. But no butt sniffing.”

“Rokay.”

“Hey! I understood that one!”

On their way out the door, Anya turned back. “Shaggy?
Would you care to come? We can stop for a bite. Besides,
I need someone to tell me what he’s saying,” she said,
pointing at the super sleuth dog.

When the foursome were out of site, Buffy turned back
to Velma.

“I’ll get over it when I’m good and ready. It’s her I
don’t like, not you, not blondie here, and definitely not
Shag and Scoob. Just Daphne.”

“Look, Buffy,” Daphne said, “I told you I was sorry. I
really don’t know what else to do or say. We used to be
such good friends. Please forgive me already.”

The slayer was moved for just a moment as she remember
when she and her cousin had spent so much time together,
confusing people with their looks. Then she hardened her
resolve. “Forgive? Maybe, but I can’t forget it. I’m
sorry. I’ll talk to you guys later. I need to go buy
something for supper.”

With that, she stormed out the front door.

Xander and Dawn looked at each other. Xander opened
his mouth to ask a question, but Dawn answered him before
he could ask. “I don’t know. She never told me. They
won’t tell me either,” she said, nodding her head in the
direction of Fred, Velma, and Daphne.

She walked over to her cousin and hugged her. “I love
you, Daphne. She does, too. She’ll come around.”

Xander asked his question, in spite of Dawn’s answer.
“Why is she so mad?”

Fred offered up his opinion. “Well, Xander is it?
It’s n ot our place to say. I think that’s part of the
problem. Buffy doesn’t want anyone else to know. She has
to be willing to talk about it before she can settle it.”

“Oh, I see.” Pause. “No, I don’t, but that’s ok. I’m
used to it.”

Before anyone could respond, a cold chill ran through
the room. An eerie voice resonated through the building.
“Leave now. This is your only warning!”

———————————————

Before anyone could respond, a cold chill ran through
the room. An eerie voice resonated through the building.
“Leave now. This is your only warning!”

The young people all turned as one to look at the
source of the voice.

“What?” asked Spike. “I just fixed that bloody air
conditioner. May have fixed it too well. Can’t turn it
off. It’s going to get cold in here, so if you can’t take
the chill, get out. Can’t say I never warned you.”

Xander stepped up to the blond vamp and grabbed the
megaphone out of his hands. “Spike! What the hell are
you doing with this?”

“Found it behind some boxes up there,” he answered,
pointing to the loft area. “Whoa! Nice look, Slayer.”
He was the only one who didn’t know he was talking to
Buffy’s look alike cousin.

“Excuse me?” Daphne looked behind herself to see if
Buffy had returned.

It dawned on Spike that it wasn’t his secret mate that
he was talking to. “Bloody hell! You- you’re Daphne!
a-and Velma! And Fred? Fred! The real bleeding Scooby
gang! I watch your show all the time. Where’s Scooby?
And Shaggy for that matter?”

“Spike, shut up. You’re acting like some silly
teenager.”

Spike whirled around to face Dawn. “Dawn, it’s Mystery
Inc! We have real life celebrities here.” He stopped for
a second, as though he just realized something. “Hey…”

Everyone watched as he grabbed a handful of Daphne’s
hair and pulled. The moment it caused her pain, Spike let
go and grabbed his own head. “Christ! I was just
checking! It’s not like I was going to feed on her.”

Daphne reached up to smooth down her hair. “It’s
alright, I guess. I’ve never been molested by a vampire.”

The vampire of topic grinned. “I can show you
molesting. Might be fun.”

Fred stepped between the two. “No thank you, sir. She
doesn’t need to be molested by you. I mean, she doesn’t
need to be molested by anybody. I don’t think molest is
the word we should be using. I think…um…”

“Fondled,” Velma said.

“Fondled,” Fred confirmed.

Xander cleared his throat. “No molesting, no fondling,
no groping, no nothing. Look guys, it’s time to close up.
I’ve got everything put away. You ready to go ?”

“We’re ready. Dawn, you can ride up front and show us
how to get to your house.”

Dawn was out the door before anyone could say boo.
Minutes later, the van was full. Anya, Shaggy, Scooby,
and Roxy had returned just as Xander locked the shop door
behind him.

At the Summer’s house, Dawn showed everyone where they
would be sleeping. Daphne and Velma were getting settled
into Willow’s room when Buffy walked in.

“Buffy, are you sure Willow doesn’t mind us sleeping in
here?”

“It’s ok, Velma. She can sleep with me while you’re
here. Listen, I want to tell you guys I’m sorry. I
shouldn’t have blown up like that earlier. It’s not your
fault, Daphne, that they picked you instead of me. I
really wanted to be part of Mystery, Inc. They could only
choose one. You look more like the original Daphne. I
could’ve colored my hair to look like that, but red just
isn’t my color. Anyway, I’m over it. I think. So, if
you guys want to fill me in on why you’re here, we can
give you some help.”

Velma spoke before Daphne could open her mouth.
“Buffy, can you do us a favor? We don’t want the world to
know that she’s not the first Daphne. How would it look
if everyone knew that we lost Daphne to one of those
spooks we always run into?”

“Oh. Makes sense. I guess.”

“We were lucky to run into you and your cousin when we
did. Jenkies, the resemblance between you guys and Daphne
One was incredible. I don’t know what we would have done
if we hadn’t met you. How could we have explained how we
lost her? Thank goodness we bumped into you when we did.”

Daphne, or Daphne Two (we’ll just call her Daphne to
avoid confusion), gave Buffy a hug. “I’m glad you aren’t
mad at me anymore.”

Buffy returned the embrace. “Me, too. So, tell me why
you guys are here.”

“I can answer that.”

The female trio turned to see Fred enter.

“We got an invitation to visit the Ancient Master
Journals before they went public with them. When we got
to the museum in Pasadena, the Journals were gone and Mr
Rendrop was missing.”

“Who’s Mr Rendrop?” the slayer asked.

“He’s the caretaker of the books,” Daphne offered.

Fred continued. “We did some investigating and
discovered that Sunnydale was the last place he was seen.”

“Ok. So, we need to find Mr Rendrop?”

“That’s about it.”

“Can it wait until tomorrow morning? It’s getting
late, and you really don’t want to be roaming around here
at night.”

“Oh, it’s ok. We aren’t afraid of the dark.”

“Um, neither are the vampires.”

Fred laughed. “You believe in vampires?”

Spike walked in just about that point. “You don’t
believe in vampires, mate? With all the monsters and
ghouls you run into, you don’t believe in vampires?”

“No. It always turns out that the spooks we find are
really just the so called bad guy trying to get rich
quick.”

Spike smiled. “Try this on, then.”

Mystery, Inc gasped as Spike’s face transformed into
his demonic persona and back again.

Daphne reached out and touched Spike’s face. “Wow,
cool. So there are vampires!”

Fred went weak in the knees. “I guess that means
monsters are real, too.”

Buffy just sighed. “Dinner’ll be ready in a few
minutes. I’ll meet you guys downstairs.”

When she entered her bedroom, Willow was waiting.
“Buffy? Can I ask you a question?”

“Yeah.”

“I was walking by my room. I wasn’t eavesdropping,
really, but I heard something you guys said. What
happened to the first Daphne? The real Daphne?”

“Don’t ask Willow. Don’t ask.”

Back in Willow’s bedroom, three members of Mystery, Inc
were talking to Spike.

“You were all talking about me being a vampire earlier.
Remember? Daphne said ‘I’ve never been molested by a
vampire before.'”

“Well, yeah,” Fred explained, “but we just never
thought you were a REAL vampire. We run into gothic types
who call themselves vampires and all other sorts who call
themselves vampires. Even met one once who actually tried
to bite my neck. But I never thought there were REAL
vampires, the monster type.”

“You have now, Sunshine, you have now. Don’t worry
though, the bleeding US government has seen to it that I
can’t hurt anyone anymore.”

Spike explained his chip while in the other room, Buffy
continued to fend off Willow’s questions…

——————————————-

The next morning, around the breakfast table, Buffy
explained to the famous Mystery, Inc that she had called
Giles the previous evening before going to sleep. When
she was done talking, she had to explain just who Giles
was. While the real Scooby Gang knew Buffy slayed, they
weren’t aware of how exactly slaying was done or how a
slayer lived.

“So, he should be calling sometime today to let me
know if he was able to track down this Mister Rendrop or
the Ancient Master Journals.”

Willow swallowed her bite of cold cereal and spoke
up. “Buffy, I think I’ll call him instead of waiting for
him to call us. I need to ask him a question about the
Pr’toniua Q’lan.”

Everyone looked at her like she was crazy.

“Um, it’s a book. I need to ask him about a book.”

Buffy smiled at her friend. “Sure, go ahead.”

As Willow picked up the phone, Buffy stopped her.
“You have to call his cell phone. He’s not home. He’s
out running around the world on errands for the Council.”

While Willow dialed, Buffy did more explaining,
telling her cousin and friends about the Council.

Willow hung up the phone a few seconds later.
“That’s odd. The message said the number was
unreachable.”

Buffy shrugged it off. “Oh well, we’ll just wait.”

“Raiting frine ry re.”

Shaggy talked around a mouthful of food. “Waiting’s
fine by me, too, Scoob. Like, I can wait all day.”

Velma put her plate in the sink and started washing
the dishes that were sitting in it. “We don’t have to
wait. We can follow up the few leads we have instead of
sitting around all day.”

Everyone finished their breakfast. Once everybody
was showered and dressed, they all climbed into the
Mystery Machine, the Slayer close behind. She turned to
Willow and Dawn. “You guys have Fred’s cell number,
right? Call as soon as you hear from Giles.”

Just then, Xander and Roxy walked up. For those of
you who don’t remember, Roxy is Xander’s new great dane.
He spent a lot of money on her and Anya was none too
pleased. Scooby, however, was quite taken with the
canine. After a bit of discussion, the young Harris and
his faithful friend – Roxy, not Anya – climbed into the
van with the others.

Roughly twenty minutes later, the vehicle stopped in
front of an old warehouse.

“Wouldn’t you know it,” Shaggy commented as they
opened the side door to get out, “we always end up in some
sort of warehouse.”

“Ror shrip.”

Shaggy reached down and scratched Scooby behind the
ears. “Yeah, old buddy. Good thing for us, there’s no
ships around here.”

They all entered the building. After working their
way around a few crates, they heard the warehouse door
slam shut.

In seconds, they were surrounded by vampires. Buffy
pushed everyone but Xander behind some crates. In no time
at all, she and her faithful friend – Xander, not Roxy –
had dusted all the undead. The others climbed out from
behind the crate in time to notice a shadowy figure
running from the corner.

Buffy sprang into action, grabbing the figure and
knocking it to the ground. Everyone gasped as they saw
just who it was that the Slayer had just captured.

“Daphne!”

“What?” the redhead asked from behind them.

“Not you! Daphne one! What are you doing here?
What is this all about?”

Buffy let the fallen girl up. Both dusted themselves
off. The original Daphne started talking.

“I didn’t have anything to do with…with…
vampires?” She started to swoon. Fred stepped close and
held her up.

“Where have you been,” asked Velma.

“I don’t know. I remember running after you guys,
turning a corner, running into something, and waking up
somewhere else. I don’t know where I was. All this time,
I’ve been living in some building. I don’t know who had
me. They made sure I was fed, clothed, taken care of, but
I never saw them. There were other girls there, but they
came and went. I was the only one that stayed
permanently.”

“You don’t remember anything about them?”

“No. I think I was in England or someplace. The
girls talked with that accent they have. Occasionally, I
would hear men talking, but never saw them. They had that
accent, too. And everyone was always talking about
training or fighting. They talked about vampires, but I
thought it was a joke…until I saw what I just saw.”

“How did you get here?”

“I don’t know. I went to bed one night. I woke up
in one of these boxes,” she said, pointing to the crates.
“There was a hammer in the box with me. I just got out a
few minutes ago, when I heard you guys come in. I hid
because I didn’t know who you were at first.” When she
finished speaking, she threw herself into Fred’s arms. “I
missed you guys so much!”

Buffy tapped Daphne One on the shoulder. The girl
turned and saw Buffy and Daphne Two for the first time up
close.

“You replaced me?”

“Well, how would it look? The famous Mystery Inc
loses a member to a ghost? We couldn’t have that,”
offered Fred.

Daphne One pulled away from him. She turned and
walked away from the group.

“Daphne?”

“What,” came from the girl next to Buffy.

“Not you, the other Daphne. Where are you going?”

“Away from here. Apparently I wasn’t that important
to you. I always thought you would come looking for me.
But no, you just replaced me!”

“Are you going to let her go?” Xander stepped in
front of Fred as he spoke. “She’s been gone for how long?
You have to make her know she is important to you guys.”

“Actually,” interrupted Velma, “she wasn’t so
important. She was always getting captured. That’s why
we finally just replaced her. She was always a bit vain.
The new Daphne is just better.”

Original Daphne proved the point by turning back to
the group and calling out to them. “Does anyone have a
mirror? My hair, not to mention my clothes, must be a
mess!”

Buffy sighed. “We need to find out what’s going on.
Where she was, how she ended up back here,in Sunnydale of
all places, now, when you guys were here.”

Velma reached down and started scratching Roxy
behind the ears. “I can answer that.” Everyone gasped as
she grabbed Roxy’s neck and started pulling the skin over
the dog’s ears. The gasps from two of the group
intensified when the mask was pulled away to show who was
in the dog costume.

Someone sputtered. “That’s…that’s…”

————————————————-

Velma reached down and started scratching Roxy behind
the ears. “I can answer that.” Everyone gasped as she
grabbed Roxy’s neck and started pulling the skin over the
dog’s ears. The gasps from two of the group intensified
when the mask was pulled away to show who was in the dog
costume.

Someone sputtered. “That’s…that’s…”

Buffy was the first to spit it out. “GILES!!!”

“What?” the Englishman asked.

“Wh-what are you doing? You’re the big bad behind
all of this? Bringing Mystery Inc to Sunnydale?
Abducting Daphne…the other Daphne? You’d better start
explaining!”

Giles used a costumed paw/hand and removed his
glasses. He reached behind himself and grabbed the tail
to the costume and used it to clean his glasses.

“You see, when I was assigned as your slayer, I did
some studying. I found out what a stubborn, strong headed
person you were and decided I didn’t want to be your
Watcher. It’s not something that I had the option of
declining, though. I found out that you were a big fan of
the real Scooby Gang. I noticed a resemblance between you
and Daphne…er, the other Daphne. I thought that if-if I
was able to remove her, that you might be able to join
them, denying your Slayer heritage. Imagine my utter
dismay when I found out you had an identical cousin.”

The cousins both exclaimed “We are not identical!”

Everyone else present just hemmed and hawed.

Giles continued. “I tried to clue you in to her
whereabouts once I got to know you better. Why do you
think I suggested to you in secret that the Scooby Gang
might be a good nickname? Anyway, I grew quite fond of
you. Came to love you, actually. As far as Daphne…the
other Daphne… is concerned, she isn’t remembering
everything accurately. She was well taken care of. She
loved being there, waited on hand and foot. We tried to
get her to leave more than once. Finally, we had to throw
her in a crate and ship her off. The Council wasn’t going
to let me dedicate anymore of my pay to her keeping.
That’s why I sent her here. I wanted her to run into
Mystery Inc and be reunited. And I would have gotten away
with it, too, if it wasn’t for you damned kids!”

The entire group gasped in shock.

Giles groaned. “Give me a break! This isn’t a
children’s cartoon! People swear everyday! Get over it!
I said damn, and damn I meant!”

“Well,” Xander asked, “what do we do with the G-man?”

Fred told everyone that he thought the police should
be called, naturally.

It was Daphne…er, the other…the original Daphne
who decided. “Guys, no harm, really. I did have a good
time. I didn’t have to work and I was catered to. I only
said it was so horrible because I didn’t want you to know
that I didn’t try to get away. Just let him go.”

In the end, that’s how it was. Giles was released
and went back to England. Daphne…the other Daphne…the
original Daphne went with him, having grown accustomed to
English cuisine. Daphne…Buffy’s cousin, stayed with
Mystery Inc. Our good old group of slayerettes went on
and did what they do.

Xander never got back the large amount of money he
paid for Roxy.