"Veronica!" I furiously shook her shoulders. Her body laid limp on the ground, crumpled into an awkward position. I felt both Willow and Mac race next to my side, not able to react as quickly as I had. I shot my hand up to her neck to feel for a pulse, but almost immediately I got a glimpse of her chest breathing shallowly. Needing assurance though, I left my hand at her neck.I felt her pulse hammer against her neck, completely opposite and hypocritical of her shallow breathing.
"Ya, Giles," Willow spoke over my shoulder. I quickly glanced back confused. She was already on the phone. "Something happened with Veronica." Of course Giles was the first to call in an emergency.
I muffled out Willow's phone conversation, and regained focus on my hand that still held pressure against her neck. Slowly I glided my hand down the pulsating vein in her throat, and tugged at the sweater that hugged around her neck. Mac squatted on the opposite side of Veronica and lifted her head making the turtle neck slide down easier. Her neck fully exposed, was naked and bruised. It seemed impossible, but the bruising was much worse than when I had looked earlier in the coffee shop. The purple blotches and clouded her neck, while the actual bite looked a little unhealthy. Maybe I wasn't the cause of all this bruising...
"We should get her to the hospital," Mac urged quietly.
"We can't," I interjected. "They wouldn't know what to do with her. Giles is our best bet."
Mac nodded, and gently laid Veronica's head back down on the floor.
"Will, we need to go now." Looking up I saw her glance towards me, and stop her phone conversation mid sentence.
Frantically she nodded.
"Mac, we'll take her car." I stuffed my hand into Veronica's pant pocket, and fished out a pair of keys.
On the couch, Veronica appeared to be peacefully sleeping, while both Xander and Anya, Xander's new girlfriend/ex-vengeance demon, sat on a couch next to her. Great, what better way to horrify Veronica when she wakes up than to have to random people she's never met be watching over her. I trusted Xander to watch her, but not Anya so much.I guess I trust Xander to trust Anya...
Huddled around Giles' bar in his kitchen were Giles and the remaining girls from the dorm. Giles intently scanned through a book with Willow, while Mac wandered aimlessly through a book of her own. I stood their as a reminder to hurry up.
"Ah!" Giles gasped and swiftly pulled his head out of the book. I watched Willow jump in sudden shock, then immediately stare down the words on the page trying to find what Giles had found. "I think I know what this is." Giles continued to read, but this time using his finger to follow along.
I stood in anticipation....waiting....
"Oh!" Willow gasped. "Of course. I read about this somewhere before, I can't believe I didn't even think of it...ugh. Stupid Willow."
"Will you're not stupid." I tried to comfort. "I'm still completely clueless."
"Oh yeah, sorry. Poison!"
"Huh.." I reacted.
"This vampire that bit her used an old poison that was popular in the 17th century." Giles began. "Because vampires don't circulate blood throughout their body, they can't necessarily be poisoned. That is, excluding the case with Angel."
Fear sunk through me, down this trip through memory lane.
"You see, this vampires poisoned it's bite. Those bruisings on her neck are almost identical to that of the corpses in numerous pictures I've seen."
"Corpses?!" Mac yelled before I had a chance to.
"No need to worry, the reversal is simple, and I'm sure I have most of the ingredients here."
"So, why would this vampire try to poison Veronica, why not just kill her?" Willow proposed.
"See that's the genius of it." Giles folded his arms and leaned back against a counter.
In unison I saw both Willow and Mac raise an eyebrow. And could feel the onlooking of Xander and Anya from the couch.
"I think we were right about this new group of vampires, or whoever, thinking that Veronica was you. This poison would not have the same effect on you. It would simply draw from your slayer strength, making you vulnerable, and it would not nearly happen as quickly as with Veronica. By weakening you, they would ultimately be able to kill you."
"So maybe she has magic powers too," I heard Anya chime in. "Maybe this isn't all about you Buffy."
"Anya, not helping," Xander hushed her.
"So I'm guessing," Willow began to hypothesize, "that at the party, a vampire was following her, bit her quickly, not wanting to draw attention, and then ditched. That would explain her being able to walk about for awhile. Plus she hadn't really lost too much blood. She must have blacked out from the poison...or alcohol.."Willow cringed.
"Precisely," Giles throated. "So Willow, I need you to throw together this list as quickly as possible." He handed the book he was holding across the room. Willow immediately buzzed out of the room.
I strolled from the kitchen, and took a seat next to Xander and Anya on the couch. As I sat, I watched Anya's eyes never leave my movements.
"You don't really have good luck with poison and love interests do you?" Anya blurted.
Jaw dropped, I looked to Xander, who seemed to be cowering already. "You told her?"
"Y-ya..." He held his hand up defensively. "It was either that, or I listened to ex-demon stories" Xander continued to cower. "I just kinda outlined what Willow told me, she filled in the conclusions for herself."
"There are no conclusion to fill." I raised my voice.
"Whatever," Anya scoffed. "I was a vengeance demon for over a thousand years, I know a fatal attraction when I see it. Besides, all of those bruises on her neck aren't from poison."
Speechless, I pouted my lip, and left the room. Swiftly I cruised through the small claustrophobic hallway and into the room where Willow was shuffling through a basket of what looked like spices. Strewn across the bed were odd ingredients to the spell, a mayonnaise jar of chunky black leaves, a bundle of pencil sized sticks, and a vast array of what looked like cloves. Willow saw me ogling the ingredients.
"Exactly. Xander I think has gone crazy. She's not always that bad, but I don't think she has a filter from her brain to her mouth."
"More like she doesn't have a filter from the dumpster to her mouth."
"Harsh," Willow responded.
"I know," I almost apologized. "I'm just a little on edge right now."
"I bet. All we have are theories. No proof. No explanations. It's confusing."
"Definitely confusing." I admitted to more than what she said. Quickly I changed subjects. "Maybe Anya's right. Maybe Veronica is something more than we think?"
"I don't think so Buffy. I think we just need to take things at face value. I don't think we're dealing with someone that's more than human."
"Right, cause I already took out the other slayer."
"She got what was comin' to her," Willow accused.
My expression must have given me away, because Willow immediately took back what she said. "Things happen for a reason Buff."
I stood awkwardly in the room, unsure what else to say. Apparently everyone and anyone knew more about me than I did. I was just a pawn. Not an actual chess player. Or maybe I'll settle with a knight.
Night had snuck up and I had decided to do a quick sweep of a few local cemeteries. Giles insured me that Veronica wasn't quite able to wake up yet, even though her system is completely cleared of all poison. Willow tagged along keeping me company, while Xander and Anya had left to do who know's what in Xander's basement. We cut through the old Pioneer cemetery not too far from Giles' place as I packed a few stakes, and Willow toted around her fair share of magic tricks.
Despite the danger lurking out their, we casually strolled at a comfortable pace. My slayer sense kept me more alert than anyone, or anything could possibly imagine. So I was allowed a little slack when it came to midnight strolls through 19th century graveyards. This had actually been the same graveyard I'd caught Veronica in way before I knew her. I'd spotted her peering into an empty grave, that no less than fifteen minutes prior had been more than inhabited. If I started clue hunting anywhere, this place was my best bet, and who better to bring than my trusty Nancy Drew witchy Willow.
We'd ended up having to pinch through a set of steel wrought iron bars near the entrance. I'm guessing the little city of Sunnydale didn't appreciate stolen historic ancient dead bodies. They welded and dead bolted the main entrance shut. But of course that stopped absolutely nobody dangerous. The entire Pioneer Cemetery was encased by the same black fence, that happened to be in remarkably good condition for it's age. It stood a little taller than myself, and even though it was pointless in keeping intruders out, it definitely wasn't helpful in a quick get away.
We followed an uprooted stone pathway surrounded and swallowed by nearby hanging trees, making us occasionally have to dodge a stray branch, or pick our feet up to step up the uneven cement.
"It definitely wouldn't hurt to have a gardener set loose in here," Willow complained as she slapped a set of loose leafs away from her face.
"Sorry Will," I sympathized. "You can head home if you want?"
"No," she grumbled. "I'm fine."
We continued through the trees that only allowed hints of light through from the crescent moon. Sporadically splotching the up heaved pavement with bursts of moonlight. We finished stumbling through the forest, and finally stopped in front of the grave Veronica had been peering in, more than two months ago. Still empty.
The tombstone stood at the head of the open grave. It's color made it almost appear to be steal, but I knew better than that. The stone grew mold up the left side and stopped just before the top. A thick stone cross sat on top, framed by a half broken circle connecting the the head of the cross to it's left arm. The writing on the tomb was faint and eroded. Willow pulled out a small flashlight from her pocket and examined the tomb carefully.
Hic Exspecto Sir Pell Minterone
"I can only make out a few words, most of this is far too eroded," Willow squinted closer to the tomb and kneeled on her knees.
"It's not even English," I accused.
"Latin," Willow shot me an of course look.
"Well, can you get anything useful from it?"
Willow stood up and brushed off her knees, "Zombie!" She pointed behind me.
Quickly I whipped around and yanked out the stake from my jacket. A slow moving mass was dragging itself through the trees across the cemetery. It looked almost lost. From this distance it was hard to categorize it as a zombie, but it sure wasn't human. The monster was moving through the trees toward the fence.
"What the hell?" I reacted and slowly started moving toward it.
"Wait Buffy, maybe it's a trap." Willow ran up to catch pace with me.
"I don't think so..."
"Well," Willow stopped. I stopped moving forward too. "What do we do with it?" She cringed at the monster that still slowly but surely made it's way toward the gate. "It's kinda creepy."
"Ya." I glanced at her.
"G-go kick it's head off or something..." Willow stuttered and gently pushed me forward.
"You!" I said slowly stumbling forward. "I mean, go set it on fire with your witchy magic stuff."
*~*~~*~* 5 mins later
A hollow decayed head laid ten feet from the decaying body of a middle aged girthy man. He looked half mummified and half zombified. His skin, that was still attached, shown a pale green color, and his eyes were missing. The body was completely clothed by a worn, very very old suit. Both Willow and I stood above it, trying to decide our next move.
"Now what?" Willow said as her stare never left the mummified head.
"I did my part, you're turn."
She didn't respond and we both stood their examining the body and it's head. A soft buzzing screamed from my back pocket and I saw Willow jump out of the corner of my eye. Annoyed, I yanked my phone out and flipped it open.
Buffy, Veronica is asking for you and Willow. And I think she might have some very very interesting information.
"Okay. Well, so do I. We'll be back in a flash." I hung up the phone and me and Willow quickly left the cemetary. Through the fence, through the streets and up to Giles house.
Veronica sat perched up on the couch holding a white tea cup close to her lips. Giles stood in the kitchen over a teapot, waiting for it to whistle. Willow hastily pushed into the kitchen and began describing the tombstone, and the monster zombie to Giles. I collected myself and took a seat on the opposite cushion from Veronica.
She sat with her legs tucked underneath her, and a blanket drawn across her body. Her eyes looked glossy and tired, and faint bags were formed beneath them. She acknowledged me as I sat, lifting the corner of her mouth into a smile. Familiarity and comfort relaxed me. Veronica was more like me than I thought. She had to deal with more than the average undead population.
"How are you feeling?" I asked leaning slightly towards her.
She softly shrugged her shoulders as she took a sip from the ceramic cup. Unfolding her legs, she stretched out and placed the cup on the coffee table in front of us. "Like someone's out to get me."
"I know the feeling."
I watched her lift a hand and carefully reach for my ear. Just before she touched I felt her grab something from my hair, and pull it out. Pinched in her fingers she held a small chunk of what looked like zombie flesh.
She must have gotten the hint from my face, because she immediately dropped it one the floor. "Please don't tell me what that was," she gagged.
"Sorry." I mouthed, as we watched Giles make his way from the kitchen to the couch opposite us holding a thick book.
"Sir Pell, was an old warlock in his time," Giles immediately began. Willow trailed in and took a seat on the couch with me and Veronica. I scooted and squished to the middle of the love seat resting my thigh on Veronica's. "H-he was famous for the curses he put on people."
"Yay," Willow sarcastically punched a fist in the air. I saw Veronica crook her head back.
"Yes.." Giles paused. "You see, he was famous for altering perception. Making things appear as they are not. Or more specifically, making things appear how they shouldn't. First with this vampire cult mistaking the slayer's identity, then with Veronica's hallucination from the poison, and now the zombie in the cemetery." My heart sunk as I realized what Giles had said. Hallucinations were never comforting, and Veronica was handling things fairly well. "Pell was known for is odd visions though, he never went the traditional route when it came to killing people. So now that he's dead, I can only imagine his endless possibilities." Giles removed his glasses and massaged the bridge of his nose. "Buffy I am very concerned for your well being. Pell had an obsession for attacking slayers."
I felt pressure on the lower half of my back nearest Veronica. She had placed the back of her hand just below where my last rib would stop. Gently she brushed the back of her hand against my torso and flipped her hand over to drag her finger tips back across. I felt goosebumps prickle throughout my body.
"Buff..you okay," I heard Willow in my ear. Shocked, I realized both Giles and Willow were staring at me. Immediately Veronica pulled her hand back.
"Yeah, just thinking." I said smiling at both of them to relieve their curiosity. Giles continued with his speach. I felt a hand reach for me again, but gradually drop down, delicately brushing the structure of my hip bone.
I heard shuffling from behind me, but I kept my eyes shut. Mostly because my brain isn't quite sure where I am, and even if I knew where I was, I definitely don't want to see crazy dark hole Buffy again. I heard an unfamiliar woman's voice from the kitchen. I couldn't quite comprehend the words, but she sounded almost robotic in her dialogue and had a strange evenness to the way she spoke. I inhaled a deep breath and tried to relax and focus.
"Yes, Giles. We are going to go now to do things you don't want to hear."
"Anya please.." a male voice tried to control her.
"What I didn't say anything." She let out a exaggerated sigh. "Fine." She whined. "I won't speak of the truth, because apparently people enjoy white lies." I could feel her sarcasm from Giles' couch. Well I'm assuming that's where I am. I'm starting to become a little less groggy and a little more intrigued. Hey maybe they'll say something they normally wouldn't say around me...whoever these people are.
"Yes Anya," a British Giles responded. "For some reason we humans avoid uncomfortable truths. I can't imagine why."
"Anya we should go." The second male spoke. "It's not customary to share intimate details with friends."
"Oh, but he's not our friend."
"Okay, we're leaving Giles. Enjoy you're girl watching..I-I mean that in a non-creepy way." The man pleaded.
"Yes, please leave." Giles spoke.
"Okay, goodbye Giles." The girl said. "Have fun watching Buffy's girlfriend."
A door hastily opened and closed. Footsteps moved across the floor and I heard Giles fumbling through the kitchen. So maybe not the exact thing I wanted to overhear. I guess I should probably wake up. I opened my eyes to a blinding lamp. The dark green shade should have been dim, but my eyes screamed from the sudden brightness. The front of my head, just behind my eyes, thudded like a ticking clock. I blinked a few times trying to wash the haze from my eyes, but that only helped a little.
In my struggle to focus, Giles must have noticed and made his way to sit on the couch opposite me. He set a white porcilin tea cup in front of me, and sat waiting for me to say something. I tried not to look at him, hoping to keep my scary demon hallucinations down to a minimum.
"What happened?" I scuffed out through my throat. I reached for the white cup, thankful for Giles' generosity.
"I believe you were poisoned by the vampire that bit you."
"Thank god," I whispered taking a sip of tea. My stomach immediately turned and I felt the food that I hadn't eaten start to crawl up. I quickly set the cup down and reached a hand to cover my mouth. My body lurched as I painfully dry heaved. Instead of the usual stomach acid taste I expected in my mouth, I tasted a hint of cloves and black licorice.
"Gross." I breathed heavily and cautiously let my hand down. "Sorry." I said, remembering its not polite to puke in front of people.
"No, it's quite alright. That antidote must not be all too appealing. I remember it smelling like..." he stopped himself immediately and shifted uncomfortably. "Mac left awhile ago, her family was looking for her," he tried to change the subject. We sat for a few minutes without conversation.
"Well I guess it could be worse." I tucked my legs underneath me and scooted myself toward the corner of my couch.
"What do you mean?" Giles spoke intrigued.
"Well, it's kinda scary when the people you trust start playing horror movies with your eyes."
"I'm not following," Giles leaned in front the other couch.
"One minute I'm with the girls, and the next they're acting weird. Staring at me. Shooting across the room. Sucking me through black holes. You know, the usual scary monster stuff."
"You were hallucinating?" Giles seemed to conclude. Without waiting for my answer, he shot up and frantically moved to a small bookshelf across the room.
I watched him fumble for a second then I spoke again, "I sure hope it wasn't real. Or you've got an evil slayer on your hands."
Giles paused for a moment, "Yes, that wouldn't be good...again."
Again. Buffy has done crazy stuff before? Or is he referring to the slayer Buffy had momentarily mentioned earlier when she was mummy wrapping my hands months ago? I'll have to remember to ask Willow. For some reason, she tends not to get so hurt over these kinds of subjects.
"Oh dear Lord," Giles mumbled to himself. I craned my neck to see him rushing to his phone. He dialed a number, and spoke to I'm assuming Buffy. After a brief, frantic, conversation, he hung up the phone and went back to his book.
"It's okay. I didn't really want to know."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I-Its just...Well you see. I think we have a problem. I think it's best to wait for Buffy and Willow to get back before I explain. But hopefully it's nothing to worry about."
After Buffy and Willow arrive 10 mins later.
Buffy had come in and sat by me on the couch. I was taken aback by her concern. But after knowing Buffy for awhile, I'm not at all surprised. We have a unique connection. I trust her completely. After a few minutes Giles and Willow joined us in the living room. Sitting on the couch Willow squished Buffy closer to me. As Giles rambled on with his explanation, I felt my heart start quicken. He was talking about unusual behavior, and altered perceptions. Is this what I was feeling?
I chanced a look at Buffy and saw concern flooding her face. At this moment I empathized. I knew she must be thinking the same thing. Is our crazy charades and confusing implications not even real? Is that going to confuse things even more?
I reached my hand and stroked her back. Comfort is the only think I can offer. I felt her body tense, but within seconds relax.
"Buff...you okay." Willow interrupted.
Startled I tugged my hand back and pinched it between my thighs, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible.
"Yeah, just thinking." She said after a moments pause.
"Well, our best plan of action is to research what we can tonight," Giles continued. "It's going to be difficult to deal with Pell, but I don't think it's impossible."
I cautiously moved my hand towards Buffy again. This time I tried to be a little more careful. Instead of placing my hand so high, I gently traced down until I was grazing her hip. This time she didn't stiffen, and I almost felt her body shift towards me.
"Oh research party it is," Willow perked up. "Should we invite Xander and Anya back."
"No," Giles hastily responded. "That won't be necessary." He stood up and again I pulled my hand back to myself. "I think a quick call to the council is necessary."
"But Giles, I think you were fired." Willow said.
"Yes..thank you for reminding me. I still have a few contacts in cases of emergencies." On that note he shuffled off down the hallway and into a room.
"Men," Willow interrupted the silence. "Always overreacting." She stood up. "Actually guys, I do have a source myself. I was supposed to stop by her dorm...I mean meet up with her tonight, but all this crazyness happened." Willow swayed awkwardly awaiting a response. "Okay, well, off I go." She bee-lined for the front door and paused before she opened it. "Be safe guys."
"What?!" Buffy blurted and turned to face her.
"You know what I mean. Just don't do anything I wouldn't do...maybe not the best choice of words." Willow flashed an uncomfortable smile.
"What are you talking about?" Buffy questioned as she eyed Willow.
"Best to keep my foot in my mouth. I'll be back shortly." Willow rushed out the door and was gone in a flash.
Buffy turned forward on the couch again, but didn't shift away from me. "Willow can be weird sometimes." She sheepishly concluded.
"I guess everyone can be."
We sat for awhile, not awkwardly, but just in silence. I got the impression that Buffy wasn't much of a research gal, and I definitely had no idea where to look for anything.
"I'm confused," Buffy blurted.
"Us...I mean we...I mean your intentions..my intentions...I'm not saying this right." She turned her body to face me. "I just don't know if I can trust anything."
"You can't trust me?" I attacked. "I don't think I've done anything that would leave room for distrust. You're the one who brought this crazy life upon me. Who mysteriously pops up just in the nick of time." I ranted. "I'm the one who should be worried. I'm the one getting hurt."
"You don't think I'm getting hurt?"
"No." I spoke and immediately regretted it.
"Just because I don't bruise doesn't mean...." She paused and looked away from me.
I sat there staring at her. Waiting for her to continue, but knowing she wouldn't. I had to take action. I had to do something. Without much more thought, I perched myself up with my arm and swung a leg over Buffy's lap. I sat straddling the blonde. I felt horror wash over my face, and knew she would see the same thing. I couldn't believe myself. Giles' words crashed through my mind. Altering perception. Appearance......Obsession.
Buffy sat confused and unsure what to do. I tightened my legs, and clamped Buffy's lap in between my thighs. She sat, unmoving, but not resisting. Maybe I should get off...
Instinctively I leaned forward and guided Buffy's head back into the couch, until I could feel her forehead resting just below my ear. My chest was pressed tightly against hers, and I could feel her heart hammering. I felt her move, and unexpectedly her lips form in the crook of my neck. Gently she nursed and softly kissed my collarbone, gradually tracing upward until she was opposite the side of my bite wound. Helpless, I shifted down and moved back against her leg. I let a soft moan be heard, but kept in controlled.
Or at least I thought I was in control. Buffy, swung me off her lap, and back on the couch. Anxiously, she crawled on top of me and straddled my center, keeping her lips inches from mine. Her gentleness, but strong rough nature left me out of control. I clasped my hands behind her head and yanked her to me, gently biting her bottom lip, and following up by kissing it softly.
My hand moved away from her neck and my palms pressed hard against her sides. I forcefully moved them downward over her ribs, and stopping just above her pants. My fingers barely tucked underneath her jeans, and my thumb threaded around her laced underwear. My fingers outlined her bikini line, as she deepened her kiss.
A door creaked open, and in an instant I pulled my hands from her pants, and she jumped to the opposite side of the couch. Frenzied, I sat up and tried my best to straighten my shirt. I saw Buffy force and jam her fingers into her jeans, probably trying to tuck in anything I might have left exposed. Giles eventually walked into the room, with his nose stuffed into a book. He paused in front of us, without looking up.
"If you guys aren't going to do anything, you should really get some rest."
Veronica had fallen asleep a few hours ago, but I couldn't shut my brain up. I'd rather sit up and pretend to understand the book I was reading than to attempt to relax. Besides, Willow was supposed to show up any minute and that would keep me a little more preoccupied. The entire night I'd sat a safe distance away from Veronica and even Giles. Didn't say a word, and only half-heartidly acknowledged Giles' lectures. He had continued hypothesizing about possible bad guys, or reasons for Pell, or who knows what. All I know is that, whether it be Pell's spell, or even some of my own feelings, I again can't believe my actions. And there is no way in hell I'm going to try explaining what happened with me and Veronica to Giles. That will only lead to blushing and embarrassment.
Willow opened the door and immediately a burst of light blinded me. Squinting from the blinding white reflection off of the page I was reading, I plopped the book shut and set it down on the couch beside me. I watched Willow frame an apologetic glance and then quietly set her computer and bag down as she acknowledged that Veronica was sleeping. It was now or never.
In an impulse I shot up from the couch and quietly, but hastily, made my way towards Willow. Bug eyed, she waited for an explanation to my sudden approach.
"Can I talk to you?"
"Of course," she whispered hesitantly. "What about?"
"Outside," I nodded toward the front door.
Willow shot another glance at Veronica on the couch, and then caught my eye with concern. Loyally though, she walked ahead of me and out the front door.
Stepping out, I pulled the door shut behind me keeping the door handle turned. With a soft click after the door shut into it's frame, I released the handle and let out a soft sigh. Reflections from all surfaces blurred my vision as I tried to adjust to the jurassic environment change. Willow continued walking a few paces away from the house and I dragged behind her.
We stepped into the shade from a hanging tree and I kept eye contact with the pavement. I folded my arms trying to hold myself together, unsure whether I'd fall to pieces from confusion or humiliation.
Finally Willow broke the silence. "What's up Buff? Are you okay?" She peeked her head into my line of vision and interrupted my daze.
I looked up and could feel my eyes start to drown. I didn't feel like crying, but I knew my body had betrayed me. A fat tear slowly traced it's way down my cheek and I had to use any strength I had left to keep myself from completely breaking down. I'm not really sure why I'm upset in the first place. Over something so silly. Maybe even somethings I have no control over.
Willow grabbed my shoulder and gave me a comforting squeeze. Thank goodness for her not digging, because if she asked if I was okay one more time, I wouldn't be able to hold it together. I waited until I could trust my voice.
"I'm sorry. I'm just being over dramatic. Everything is just so confusing. I don't know what's real, what's not."
"Did something happen last night?" Willow asked. I knew she still didn't get my point. I'll have to still beat around the bush.
"No...I mean yes." I stuttered. "It's this whole new bad guy thing. I think."
"Well if it helps I found some things out last night too." Willow bubbled trying to bring up my mood. "This Pell guy can only play with the mind. Not physical." Her smile turned upside down. "Actually...I'm not sure if that helps. But we're dealing with mind tricks. He can't actually physically hurt us."
"There's something new." I mumbled.
"Yeah. And his tricks tend to exaggerate reality. So, that zombie thing..way over exaggerated." She perked up again.
I stood their awkwardly, knowing she was waiting for me to say something.
"What happened last night...did you see something?"
"More like did something...." I barely voiced.
"Did you hurt someone? Buffy don't blame yourself-"
"No Will," I cut her off. "Something happened with Veronica again and.... I don't think it caused pain..." I said and quickly stared past Willow at a neighboring car.
"Oh," Willow acknowledge. "Oohh." She said again finally understanding.
I could feel my cheeks scolding and a thousand frogs try to lodge themselves into my throat.
Before Willow could get out her next sentence, the door behind us flung open and Giles poked his head out. "Ah, there you are. Willow, I need you to look something up for me. A death certificate and obituary online." He squinted and then looked at me. "Buffy take Veronica with you to the old pioneer cemetery you were at last night. There's something their I need you to retrieve, and I think it's best to keep Veronica under your guardian." Giles poked his head back in the door, but left it open for us.
"That shouldn't be awkward at all," Willow pursed her lips into a half smile, causing me to smile back. "Don't worry about it Buffy."
Later that afternoon at the cemetery
Veronica trailed behind me so that a casual observer wouldn't think we were walking together. Mid afternoon pedestrian traffic in Sunnydale might be the least populated location on Earth. Sure there was your occasional house mom, or old lady shopping for gardening supplies, but nothing too hazardous. So her inability to walk next to me irked me a little.
We were just passing the Magic Box and I saw a familiar face through the window. Willow was fondling through a shelf of what looked like glass jars filled with weird miniature animals. Through the window and bottled glasses I could see another distorted person by her side, but couldn't figure out who. Nonchalantly I turned to Veronica and nodded toward Willow.
She rolled her eyes, "Do you need permission?" She ticked.
Bitch, I wanted to say, but refrained. Last thing I need is a runaway look alike me, tattle telling about our little game we played last night. Well, she probably wouldn't say anything... and besides, she made the first move.
"No." I said, calmly. I walked inside the Magic Box door and half expected her too follow. But she didn't.
The bell chirped above me and the owner waved a cordial hand as I made my way over to Willow and the girl that was standing by her. They both noticed me walk up. Willow welcomed with an animated smile, while the other girl seemed to nervously ease her way to hide behind Willow.
"Hey Willow," I more than eagerly introduced myself. Anything to avoid my awkward saunter through town with she devil. "And hi Willow's friend?" I questioned.
She just smiled apprehensively.
"Oh hey," Willow quickly blurted. "What are you doing? I thought you were with Veronica? Did you just get back?"
"Twenty questions Willow..." I plainly responded.
"Oh sorry." She seemed to catch herself. "This is Tara," she said acknowledging the dirty blonde haired girl standing next to her. The girl wore a simple skirt and blouse and seemed like an average everyday nice, shy, girl.
"Hi." Tara softly greeted me.
"Buffy." I said.
She simply smiled.
Before we had time to get into lumbering conversation, Tara pointed a hesitant finger out the window behind me. Slowly I turned, confused, to see nothing. Just an empty street and bright mid afternoon sunlight baking the streets of Sunnydale.
"A g-girl," she stumbled out. "Someone just picked her up in a old car. That g-girl you were talking to outside."
"Veronica?" Willow directed toward me.
Quickly I jogged to the front door and banged the bell as I heaved it open and barged through the frame. Willow and Tara side-kicked behind me following me out. I made it to the sidewalk and glanced down both directions to see absolutely no cars.
"Great," I grumbled and turned back to Tara. "Did you see who she went with?"
"I don't think it was voluntary," Tara explained. "They kinda yanked her in. I think they might have been vampires," she casually said and turned to Willow.
Willow told her about vampires? Who is this girl? Does she know about me? No time for that now, I need to find out where Veronica went. "Let's split up. You guys head up that way, I'll go this way," and I took off in a dead sprint.
I woke up to a quiet abandoned couch. I guess I didn't really expect anything. I shut my eyes again, in hopes to get a little more than the few hours of sleep I knew I got. All night was spent reading demon books, and keeping my mind on track. Spent focusing on research, and shutting up the constant reply of my scandalous scene with Buffy. Defeated, I flung the thin blanket off of my lap and sat up rubbing my eyes feverishly.
"Oh good morning Veronica, I didn't expect you to be up." Giles greeted, surprisingly alert and awake.
"It's the least I can do," I witted. "Where's Buffy?" I nonchalantly slipped in.
"I think I heard her and Willow go outside," he gestured toward the front door. "I'll get them, we have a lot to do." He made his way to the door and poked his head out.
By heart started racing, and I felt my hands become clammy. Buffy was telling Willow. I couldn't face Willow. I initiated the attack last night, so I'm sure Buffy is blaming me. Quickly I jumped from the couch and fluttered down the hallway, bee lining it for the bathroom. I slipped into the small bathroom and quietly but quickly shut the door behind me. No less than two minutes later, I heard a soft double knock on the door.
My heart bubbled, beating on heavy terrified beat. "Occupado." I responded, and immediately cringed at my stupidity. Of course the bathroom is occupied, or they wouldn't have knocked.
"It's me." Buffy hushed through the door. Instinctively I curled my body into itself. I'd only half undressed for my shower. Cautiously and guarded I pulled the door open, but only a few inches. I crammed my face into the small space between the door and the frame to see Buffy a bit puffy eyed and restricted. "Giles needs us to head out quickly."
"Oh, okay." I condoled. I waited a second pausing in an attempt to decipher her mood. "What's wrong?"
"Can I talk to you?" She said.
"Uh..ya well, I mean yeah...hold on." I politely clicked the door shut in her face and pulled my remaining clothes off. I crossed the small bathroom space and stepped into the shower pulling the curtain as tight as possible. "Okay." I called after turning the shower on.
I heard the door softly open, then shut. "Willow kind of implied that we should avoid being awkward about this." Buffy said from the far corner of the bathroom.
"Well I'm glad we decided to have this conversation while I take a naked shower." I retorted trying to lighten the mood.
"I just figured, well.. better sooner than later." She stuttered out.
"I didn't mean..."
"-No," she interrupted me. "I know, I'm just apologizing I guess. I'm not sure really. I don't know what to do in this situation."
"Mostly, I think we should figure out this whole spell problem." I gurgled out as began rinsing my hair, in a lame attempt to accept her apology.
"Right...problem." I could feel her blushing from across the room. The door clicked open, then shut again. I waited to make sure she had left, then poked my head from behind the curtain to see an empty, but steamy bathroom.
Another knock at the door caught me off guard. Did anybody in this little circle respect the privacy of a shower. "Yes?" I questioned as I pulled my head back and plopped a blob of man smelling shampoo on my hair. Great...I'll smell like a British man.
"Just need to grab somethin?" I heard Willow ease as she pushed the door open. Maybe I should have locked it.
A cupboard opened, and I heard clattered shuffling. "So," she began. "If you need someone to talk to, someone who might be in the same boat, I'm hear and open eared." Willow suggested. Suddenly I felt that maybe there wasn't something she was looking for...just an excuse to talk. Why did everyone need to talk to me?
"Okay," is all I could muster. Wait!? Same boat...what kind of boat. "By boat you mean...the boat of friendship you share with Buffy?" I blurted.
Shocked, I yanked the curtain to reveal my sud foamy head and see Willow looking at me with a raised eyebrow. "...You and Buffy....?"
"No...no no no." She said. "Big no." She smiled, and I sighed a unexpected sigh of relief.
"Oh." I tried to end the conversation afraid that Willow recognized my sigh. I shut the curtain again and went back to my shower. "Okay."
"Okay," she said, and left.
Could she possibly walk any faster? Probably not, and I don't think I'll try running to keep up with her. The least she could do is keep pace with me. It's not like I have slayer walking speed. I have normal, Nancy Drew, walking speed. Besides, I'd rather not look like a love sick puppy following her crush. I'd rather look like a deadbeat puppy being dragged by her owner.
Since being in Sunnydale these past few months, I haven't spent much time in town. It's not really much of a town to look at, but the shops are kind of cool. There's even a Magic Shop. A shop at which Buffy is now stopped and staring into it's window. I catch up a few feet behind her, and stop to see her friend inside. Buffy looks at me apprehensively, waiting for me to make a move. Why me? Willow isn't my friend, and magic isn't my game. Now if this were a detective shop and Sherlock were inside, I'd be all over those goodies.
"Do you need my permission?" I snapped without much thought.
The last thing I expected was to see hurt momentarily wash over her face. These past few blocks of try to ditch the Veronica had me fooled on her intentions. "No." She flatly responds and wisps into the Magic Box, leaving me stranded on the sidewalk.
"Wow," I say aloud to myself. "Don't worry about me. I'll just play by myself."
"Now that'd be fun to watch," I heard a bottomless looming voice call from the alleyway.
"Hello?" I voiced strongly, but hid my alarm.
"Now aren't you a sight for sore eyes pet," the man spoke again. This time I noticed a British accent.
Wearily I eased my way to the side of the Magic Box to peer down the ally. Silhouetted against the brick, in the shade, was a man. I couldn't make any features out on his face because the blinding contrast of the sun and shade.
"Don't worry," he menaced, "daddy can't play rough anymore, but that doesn't mean I can't watch..."
Before I had time to comprehend anything he said, an arm grabbed me from behind. Clamping to my arm with more strength than I thought possible somebody yanked me off balance and began dragging me backward. I felt a ledge strike the back of my calves, and was suddenly dropped onto the floor of a large van who's seats had been removed. The door was hefted shut by the same arm that drug me.
I felt a deafening pound to my temple and then saw nothing.
My eyes strobed as I came in and out of consciousness. I knew I was in trouble, but my body refused to do anything but lay limp. With ease, I felt someone carry me across a dark empty space. I could almost make out the echoes of a conversation.
With more ease and care than I expected I felt my body set down and rest on cold bare smooth ground. Hands pulled at all four of my appendages and spread them tight away from each other. Cuffs constricted around my ankles and wrists, tight enough to begin slowly cutting off my circulation. My mind kept whispering telling me to wake up, telling me something was wrong, but my body didn't listen. I couldn't make my eyes open.
"Wake up slayer!" The same British man hissed at me. I could feel his breath heat my face.
Lukewarm water splashed, and gushed over my face, drowning my nose and burning my eyes. This sudden unexpected trigger seemed to alert me enough and fully wake me up. The dark room slowly faded into sight as my eyes adjusted. I seemed to be in an old abandoned, yet clean warehouse. Rafters above devoured the ceiling, and a hint of light only faintly illuminated from a far off window.
I felt my body let out a harsh grunt as I tried to pull my arms and legs back toward my body, and couldn't do so.
"Try all you like," the man spoke, "but without your slayer strength I might as well used cloth to tie you down."
I ran until I felt like my heart was exploding gasoline and someone had lit a match in my lungs. My breaths were so heavy and harsh that I could barely hear myself think. Sure I have slayer strength and the whole shebang, but even I was pushing my limit. The never-changing blinding sun and draining heat didn't help my condition either.
I slowed into a sloppy walk and looked in either direction to see barren streets. Tara's vague directions had lead me back to Giles' house thank goodness, because I was out of ideas. Usually running after the bad guy gives results, but I can't do anything if I didn't see the bad guy. I felt my heart hammer relentlessly and realized that it wasn't all because of the draining heat, but I was scared. I'd felt this before when Giles' had run off to try to kill Angel and even when I found out Miss Calendar was dead. I know something is wrong, and I know I have little, if no, time to do something about it.
I ran up the walk way and burst through Giles' front door. Why doesn't he ever lock it?
"Giles!" I screamed.
"Giles?" I yelled a little quieter, but no less panicked.
"What?" I heard a soft British response from a back room. I heard Giles swing a door open and pound down the hallway, until he was standing the the living room with me. "Something wrong?"
"Someone took Veronica," I barely gasped out. "W-we have to find her."
He took a step toward me, but paused. "Who took her?"
"Uh..I'm not sure." I breathed. "Tara said-"
"Tara?" He interrupted.
"Yeah, she's Willow's friend. I think. I don't know. That's not the point. We need to find Veronica." I forced.
"Well," he paused. "Let's think this through."
"Giles!" I yelled in a tantrum, "We don't have time. We need to go now."
"Buffy," he tried to calm me. "Think about it. We don't know who took her, we don't know where she is, and the one person who you said saw something is..where?"
I paused..."I think she ran in the opposite direction."
I saw Giles attempt to hide a faint laugh. "Sorry," he apologized for he abrupt response. "I'll call Willow, get her over here, and we'll go from there. There's no use in us running around like-"
"Like chickens with our heads cut off," I finished for him.
"Uh..precisely." He squinted at me and then rushed over to his phone.
Later that evening
I sat and waited, useless as usual. Useless until it came to face pounding that is. Willow had come back over, and her and Tara were attempting a not-so-successful locator spell. A small map of Sunnydale was spread open on the floor, while both Willow and her witch friend sat around it waving stinky herbs and mumbling. If I didn't know any better, this scene would look a little intimate to say the least.
Dusk was on it's way, and I'd lose my advantage if we didn't hurry and get a lead on Veronica.
"Tara," I groaned and I craned my neck up from the armchair of the sofa. "What did you say these guys looked like again. Any recognizable symbols, or what nots?"
"Uh...well no." She whispered and turned away from her spell. "They kinda looked vampirey...I-I guess..."
"Groan." I said and sat up.
"S-sorry." She stuttered and turned her head toward the ground.
"No," I said, immediately regretting my impatience. "Not you, I'm just frustrated...with me." I snapped.
I looked up to see a sympathetic Willow, and confused Tara. Too much attention...I need to get out of here. "I'm gonn---HOLY CRAP!" I yelled. "How could I be soooo stupid." I leaped up from my seat, and rushed over to Giles' weapon trunk.
"Not following Buff.." Willow spoke.
"That warehouse...the one I had raced those vampires from to get Veronica. I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner."
"You think they have her?" Willow caught on and stood up from the floor.
"They have too. They're the ones who thought she was me. It makes sense." I pulled out a few stakes, and a small fighting axe. "You tell Giles and try to catch up."
Without waiting for a response, I turned to the door and flew through it. As I ran, each pace took up almost an entire concrete slab, and with the setting sun, I felt much cooler than before. I dodged a few parked cars along the road, and jumped a nearby fence into a cemetery. I felt my boots slap against the uneven ground, and felt my strength keep me from rolling an ankle. Just across the cemetery I could begin to make out the form of the warehouse. In the fainting daytime I could see the faded red letters peeling from the front of the warehouse and the abandoned gravel lot. Ap..l.s is what it read.
Almost there...then what? I hadn't given much thought to that...but I'm assuming my usual barge and attack routine would do the trick. Fight first, ask questions later. I was nearing a rote iron fence and without breaking a step placed a palm on a bar, pulled myself and swung up and over the fence. I landed with a soft thud, and slowed my immeasurable sprint, into a fast paced walk. Vampires may be stupid, but they still have good hearing.
Quick survey of the area. No cars, no people, limited sunlight, broken glass with gravel below my feet, and a brown stained window stretching around the second floor of the warehouse. Perfect. Could I have possibly been handed a better advantage. All I have to do is figure a way to open the window, and at least I'll have some space to work with. That is if I can get in and out in the next twenty minutes.
I slowed my walk into a creep and peeked into a window on the front door of the warehouse. Barren and completely empty...except for shadows moving off to the right. Still no proof that Veronica is here though. Either I'm here to save her in the nick of time, or I'm at the completely wrong place. There has to be a back door.
I made my way around to the back side of the warehouse, and to my surprise several doors were spread out evenly across the wall. Each looked like it hadn't been opened in centuries and had black tape covering the windows. In the middle of the collage of doors was a huge garage loading door, that had been left slightly reeled open. Only about a foot of open space between the bottom of the door, and the ground. It's like the vampires are asking for trouble.
I got down to the ground breathing in the dusty gravel and silently squeezed between the open space. I felt cool cement against my hands as I pulled my body the rest of the way through. Waiting for my eyes to adjust to the high contrast lighting difference I pulled my axe out and listened. As object faded into view, I noticed a hanging ladder that led up to rafters that spread completely across the roof. Holding the rafters up were pulleys and heavy chains.
A familiar British voice echoed around me. I couldn't understand the words, but I knew that voice. I reached up to the nearby ladder and scaled the twenty feet of pegs and stepped onto the caged rafter floor. Following the voice, I wound myself through the rafters and began approaching a second and much larger room. I looked first to the walls, in search of the window. And there it was. Spray painted brown, in splotches, and leaving the room with little to no light.
I heard the voice again, and this time I knew exactly who it was.
"Little little darling, don't play games with me. It's no fun if you pretend." Spike hissed.
Immediately I looked to the floor ahead of me. Chained, and squirming was Veronica laying on the floor. Just above her Spike was hovering.
"I told my friends to leave. I didn't figure you much for an audience. Besides wouldn't want them gettin jealous now would we?" He spoke again, almost to himself. "No, no, slayer I want you to myself." Without showing a sign of movement, Spike had moved from hovering above her to straddling and sitting above her. "Don't play like you don't enjoy it."
My reaction was to leap from the rafters and beat him down like the little British crumpet he was, but my instincts told me to gain the advantage. If I gave myself away now, I couldn't both unchain Veronica and fight off Spike. I looked up to a nearby section of rafters just inches away from the window. If I cut the rope holding the section I was on, and the section by the window together I could cause the window to break open. But not only would the other rafter swing and fall, but mine would fall. I'll just have to hope the sunlight gives me enough time to get back up and get to Veronica.
I lifted my axe and with one swift swing cut the first rope holding together the rafters. A loud creak screamed throughout the building. There's no going back. Looking down I caught a surprised Spike starring in my direction. I swung at the second rope and felt my stomach rise to my chest as I dropped and swung with the rafter. Two seconds of free falling, the ropes on the opposite side of my rafter abruptly caught and a shock wave was sent through my knees as the buckled and I tumbled from the rafter hitting the ground hard. I didn't hear my rafter hit, but heard a loud crash of glass as my plan worked. The other rafter had broken the window and sent a wave of blinding sunlight into the warehouse.
I looked behind me to see my rafter hanging from its ropes. I shakily pushed myself up and marched straight for Veronica. Along with the eerie creaking of the swinging rafter, I heard Spike swearing as he ran in the opposite direction.
"Thank God," I heard Veronica moan as she lifted her head to look at me. "Do you always wait to the last second?"
"It adds for a climatic event." I responded as I crouched down beside her. "Geez, this is it.... Rusty chains. That's all Spike expects from me." I grabbed the chain holding her legs apart and snapped it like a toothpick. "You should have been able to break these.." I teased.
"Hello...I don't have super strength. Besides I have a mortal head wound." As if on cue, she coughed and I caught a glance of her healing bite.
I snapped the second set of chains, and helped her sit up. "Can you walk?" I asked
"Yeah." She stood up with more grace than I expected, leaving me crouched on the floor.
As I pushed myself up, my knees gave way and I stumbled back down.
"Can you walk?" She asked helping me up by my arm.
"Sure. Might have shattered my kneecaps from that fall, but no prob."
"I don't think so."
"No...it's part of the slayer package. Pain without proof." As I said it, I knew I meant it in more than one way and Veronica caught on too.
Before I had time to explain myself Spike yelled from a distance. "What the hell is going on?! I'll find you again Buffy! Next time I won't be so kind with the pleasantries."
At that, me and Veronica made our way to the front door of the warehouse. And of course, just outside Giles and Willow were pulling up in a car.
Another week of torturous classes. Well, I guess they weren't really that bad. I'd made it half way through the week so far, and hadn't had any encounters with demons, so I'd say that's a bonus. I'm guessing Buffy took Spike a little off guard this past weekend when she rescued me. Which to him must have looked like herself, rescuing herself...So far this whole vampire slayer, Pell, demons and Buffy thing is much to confusing for me.
"Hey Veronica," Wallace said, sitting down with me. "Long time no see. Whatchya been up too?" I'd been sitting outside the dorms on a park bench trying to get an outline started for my criminology project. I've found that soaking up sunlight only bring positive things.
"Oh you know...crazy girl stuff." I said. I definitely didn't want Wallace involved with what's been happening. It's bad enough Mac already knows.
"Sounds juicy." Wallace smiled. Immediately I knew what he was talking about. I hadn't exactly spoke to him about the public display of me and Buffy incident, but I know he was dying to hear about it. But like a good friend, he didn't dry to pry it from my cold, guilty fingers. "You know, anything you want to key me in on, I'm all ears."
"Nice try Wallace."
"Fine, I'll just ask Buffy." He smirked in an attempt to get to me. But I knew better than anyone that he would get less from her than me. "Don't roll your eyes at me Nancy Drew. I have detective skills myself."
"Pretty good detective skills ya got there. Just listenin to gossip. I'm sure everybody knows the same things that you know."
"Does everyone know about that blonde guy someone saw you with at the party?" Wallace tried to goat me.
"Wow, I wasn't with Dick. He just kept appearing." Which was the truth. Dick did have a way of being in the middle of all the craziness. Then again, so did I.
"Not him. Some dude with bleached hair, and this long coat."
My heart dropped into my stomach. How come I didn't know about this. "Who said what?!" I almost yelled and dropped my pencil to my notebook.
"Now I got your attention. So there is something goin on." Wallace only kept his smirk for half a second and realized I was serious. "I don't know. Remember I wasn't invited."
"No, who said this to you?"
"My roommate, Piz. He said some dude was necking you in the hallway. He definitely seemed jealous."
"I have to go." I said abruptly and calmly.
I stood up after shoving my books into my bag, and Wallace grabbed my arm. "Hey I'm sorry. I was just joking. I thought you already knew, or didn't care anymore."
"No, it's fine." I said trying to reassure him. "I just have to talk to someone."
"Alright. But if you need some ass kicking done, you know who to call?" He smiled and I smiled back at him. But I know exactly who I'd call for this kind of ass kicking, and Wallace isn't exactly qualified for the job.
"I'll give you a call later." And I turned and headed toward a nearby building.
It looked like classes were getting out by the flood of students coming from the front doors. I swung my bag over my shoulder and began to cut across the lawn. I have about ten minutes to catch Willow before she makes it to her next class.
I took long steps, not wanting to run, but making it more of a power walk. Within five minutes, I was across the grass, up the steps, and into the same building with the library. Oh crap. I totally forgot I had work tonight. That won't be creepy at all. Big empty library, stacks and stacks of empty aisles, and little ol' me standing with a card catalouge.
"Hey Ronnie, what's the rush?" I heard someone say, after I'd bumped into a shoulder.
I turned down the hall, planning on giving an apology, but saw Dick Casablancas staring in my direction. I quickly turned back around and kept on marching through the students before he could say something stupid. Or embarrass me. Or draw too much attention towards me.
There she was. Willow was walking into a classroom, carrying a pile of books. "Willow," I yelled trying to get her attention. And it worked. She looked first in the wrong direction, and then toward me. After a smile of surprise, she gave a short little wave while trying to keep a hold of her books. "Hey," I said, closing the gap between us.
We stood in the doorway of the classroom. "What's up?" Willow asked.
"I think I found out something. Well, I'm not sure how helpful it could be, but it's definitely something we didn't know before?"
"Yeah," she said, urging me to continue.
"I think Spike was at that party." I watched her face change in confusion. "I mean, someone said they saw him. With me. Before Buffy."
"What'd ya do before Buffy," I heard a completely different voice interrupt us. Turning me head slightly clockwise I watched Buffy stop next to us. "Uh..I mean...well. You know what I mean." Her face turn a faint shade of pink, and I quickly looked back toward Willow, before mine did the same. Of course Willow kind of new what was going on, but I'm sure she doesn't know the details of what's happened.
"Yeah..who'd I do..I mean what happened?" I word vomited.
Willow made eye contact with me, then looked to Buffy. I swear I saw her hide a smile, but she said, "Sounds like Spike was at that party a few weekends ago."
"I think he's the one who bit me," I jumped in. "Someone said they some a blonde person necking me." I looked to Willow to see a look that screamed we-already-know-that. "I mean, not Buffy," I whispered.
"So Spike's the one with the poison?" Willow concluded. "Good to know. Maybe we can call the Magic Box and see if they sell things to make something like that. Narrow it down to what kind of poison was used."
"I thought I was already un-poisoned?" I said.
"You are," Willow assured me and shifted the weight of books in her arms. "Giles just said that sometimes these things have after effects and-" She stopped mid sentence.
"How come nobody told me about this?" I almost yelled. A passing student looked in our direction, but continued. "Because I'm pretty sure I'm the one who got bit."
"We, uh, just didn't want to worry you with the unsure," Willow pleaded.
"If I knew there were side effects to the bite, I would have been looking into it. Not moping around like I've humiliated myself." I regretted saying that in front of Buffy, but I had to get my point across.
I didn't look at Buffy, but heard neither girl respond.
"Well, I have work to do," and I pushed past Willow, brushing her shoulder.
"Veronica." I heard my voice called. It was Buffy. I almost turned around, but my storming rage wouldn't have the same effect. But who am I kidding. I took a short glance behind me before I turned the corner to see Buffy looking in my direction.
After passing a few hallways, assuring a safe distance between me and the two secret keepers, I pulled out my phone.
One ring. Two rings.."Hello," Mac said on the other line.
"Hey it's Veronica."
"Oh, hey, what's up?" She said groggily.
"Have you been looking into the side effects thing for my bite?" I asked plainly. I expected to hear no what the hell are you talking about?
"Of course, Willow has me researching it."
I fought back the urge to hang up the phone. "And you didn't feel obligated to tell me?"
"It was just me and Willow looking into it?" She defended herself. "We were just looking into it...just incase. I didn't want to worry you over something that might not even be true."
I took a calming breath in. I guess they weren't really out of line. Now I felt bad for storming out...and kind of bratty. "Ok Mac, well just let me know if you find anything."
"See you later," and I hung up the phone.
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