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Part 39


Uusual disclaimers in Part 1. We're back to the past for a spell folks. I admit to having too much fun writing this now once I figured out what to do with it. But be assured that eventually things will get back to normal, but not for a while.

For those who tuned into this in the middle--This takes place 5th season roughly around "Into the Woods" Buffy and Spike have gotten together after B found out Riley had been cheating on her with the female vampires. Dru shows up looking for Spike and finds out he's with the nasty slayer. Dru runs into Riley and turns him and they leave for LA until he's strong enough to face B&S. The Scoobies warn Angel's group about D&R and find out that Faith has been released with a new Watcher and the LA bunch is trying to find Angel who is trying to find Darla and Dru. Meanwhile Joyce is about ready to go home from the hospital, Dawn finds out she's the 'Key" Glory is looking for. Spike finds out that Buffy hasn't gone through the Blood ceremony that all slayers take after they are called and offers to go through it with her which will alter it somewhat. During the final preparations of the ceremony Buffy gets pulled into the past, and switches bodies with another slayer, Elizabeth, who used to be William's finacee, while Lizzy finds herself in Buffy's in the presnt. Buffy pops in right when she's about to meet William's family. In the original time line that will be the last he sees of her and in his depression he will run into Cecily, then Dru. Buffy meets Lizzy's watcher and tells him everything. He does believe her. Buffy goes ahead with Lizzy's ceremony in hopes it will help switch her back. It doesn't, and she and the Watcher go to the Watcher's Council for help. The Council believes her too, but instead of helping her go back they are determine to keep her so she will get rid of Angelus and his group because they don't believe Angel and Spike are needed in the future. They are deliberately altering the timestream for their own purposes.

Part 39

September 27, 1879

        Buffy awoke to the sounds of girlish laughter, and talking outside her door in the hallway. She looked towards the big bay window, and saw that it was just barely dawn outside through the white muslin curtains. Since there were no clocks in her room she didn´t have a clue as to what time it was except it was too damned early in her opinion to get up. Slow awareness came to her where she was: in a room in the Watcher´s Council´s headquarters. Inwardly she groaned that she was stuck in time, and among people she really didn´t trust. And she was all very much alone and she missed Spike and her family terribly.

        She hadn´t been able to go to sleep for quite a while last night. Her thoughts had been racing like mad trying to figure out what she could do to get out of this mess, and how not to really screw up everyone´s history. Worrying about Spike, missing him, her family, and her friends had occupied a lot of her thinking. If she hadn´t decided to do the stupid Bloody Ceremony she´d have never got into this mess. She really didn´t need this unexpected adventure into the past when she had very serious problems to deal with in her own time with Glory. With her here it meant that Dawn didn´t have any real protection except from Spike as she seriously doubted that Elizabeth was going to be much help. The girl may have her body, but not her experience, or mental training to make it work effectively for her.

        Last night Buffy had started her new journal to blow off all the steam she was feeling building up. When she was through writing she had carefully hidden it, she hoped. She had gotten used to letting all the things she couldn´t talk about to anyone into her diary even before she had become a slayer, that she had missed doing that since she was here trapped in this time. She at least wanted to get some of the experiences of the almost week that had gone by down on paper before she forgot them. There was even a slim chance that somehow what she wrote now would make it´s way into Giles´ hands in her time, and might be the key to reversing all of this. She had started with her recollections of preparing for the ceremony in her time, going into mediate with the crystal, the strange dream sequence with her, and the ‘not´ Spike and ‘not´ William either entity who had been her guide. Then had come the weird disorientation she had felt as she stepped across the threshold of the dream workout room to come to awareness in Elizabeth´s body with Spike´s human self, William. She remembered her awareness had been caught by the odd engagement ring whose center crystal matched that of the larger one she had been holding, but it wasn´t until she came back from the Blood Ceremony, and talked with Mr. MacAlastair that the possible connection between the two clicked.

        Buffy also wrote down about meeting William´s family, and things that happened like her impressions of some of the people she had met being familiar, or reminding her of her friends. She also wrote down about some of the things his sisters had told about William as a child. And how much she had liked his strong willed, modern thinking for the time mother. How much he had made her laugh, and smile as he kidded around with his family. How warm hearted, and loving he really was to her, and everyone. Also how easily he blushed too. Watching him she recognized gestures, expressions, mannerisms that reminded her so much of Spike it almost brought tears to her eyes. It began to make her wonder how much Spike must had retained of his human self that the two really weren´t that different.

        After dinner they all had a lively evening with an impromptu family concert with William surprising her that he could not only play the violin, but also the piano very well, and had a fantastic singing voice as did several of his sisters. She hadn´t had so much fun in ages. Reluctantly, as it started getting late Buffy finally she had to say her goodbyes. Strangely she felt right at home with his family and they seemed to like her as well. He was so happy that everyone had gotten along so well and were happy she was going to be part of the family. Except that sentiment almost broke her heart because she knew that in the very short future neither she, or Elizabeth would be a part of it. She begged tiredness when he asked her what was wrong and they left.

        Then there was the ride back to ‘her´ parents house, and how her quietness had bothered him, and she had sort of lied, and told him it was because of the stress of meeting everyone, worrying about her classes, and students and he let up. But she could also tell he hadn´t bought her explaination at all, and he had thought he had done something wrong to upset her since she wasn´t acting like herself. Even as a human William could see through her just like Spike could, and that unnerved Buffy even more. Even their good bye was strained because she knew from the real Elizabeth what was going to happened next, and she really hated doing it to him which was going to be vanishing out of his life. When she did that it would set in motion his eventual running into Dru, and becoming a vampire. She had been so close to spilling the truth to him right then and there, but he would have thought her crazy, and she couldn´t afford to mess with the timeline. But even at that point it was altering, and she didn´t know it. So she had kept silent, and hated herself for it.

         Their kiss at ‘her´ door blew her away because it was so much like kissing Spike except for the human warmth, and the tenderness masking his controlled passion. William had a vulnerability, an innocence that Spike didn´t. But the fire was still there, wanting to get out, and devour her, but his love, and respect of her along with his very proper manners prevented him. Human, or vampire he could kiss. Even as a human he had awaken deep feelings in her, making her want him, and to let him have his way with her very willingly. Which then made her feel even more guilty for thinking such thoughts of wanting to really get to know man he had been because she was in love with Spike, and this had been William who was a different person, in a different time altogether. They weren´t the same, and yet they were in so many ways which confused her even further. And if the Council had its way they were going to throw the two of them together so William wouldn´t have the chance to become Spike.

        Maybe her mistake was opening her mouth to John Hyde? She wasn´t sure anymore. She just couldn´t go on pretending that she was someone else when she knew that the Council could fix this problem. Except they were now telling her that they couldn´t, and she was stuck here permanently. She was sure they did have the means to switch her, and Elizabeth, but they weren´t going to. They sought to use her to kill Angelus, and his group because of her experience in slaying, and because of her future connections to the vampires, especially the romantic ties which she knew disturbed them. To the Council she was just a tool to them, a weapon in their ages long fight against darkness, a mindless robot, replaceable, disposable, with another one ready to step into her shoes when she was killed. She was not a person with feelings, wants, or needs. She knew all of this from bitter experience over the years. Except it wasn´t going to work the way they wanted, Buffy wasn´t going to allow herself to be used by them. Somehow she´d make sure of that. If need be she´d forge an alliance with the vampires just so Angel could fulfill his destiny. The problem though was William, because he wasn´t a vampire yet, and the Council was determined now not to let that happen. She was afraid too if she did get to know him that she might not let it happen either. She was really hating all of this because she was becoming less, and less sure what she needed to do.

        Buffy´s thoughts were interrupted when she heard a hesitant knock on her door. "Buffy, are you up?" asked one of the girls. Becky, Buffy thought trying to get the girls sorted out in her mind.

        "Yes, I´m up," she said throwing back the covers, and going over, and opening the door.

        "Morning," Becky smiled. "Did you sleep all right?" Becky asked, taking in Buffy tired appearance.

        "Not really. Too much on my mind, I guess. Is everyone this cheery in the mornings?´ she asked looking down the hall at all the bouncy girls.

        "Unfortunately, yes. I take it you´re not used to so many people?" Becky asked.

        "I got out of it. When I was in college, and staying in the dorms, it was like this in the mornings with people trying to get to classes. But I had to move out about two months into my second year because my Mom got sick, and I had to take care of my sister while Mom was in the hospital," Buffy explained.

        "Sorry about your mother. But your Watcher allowed you to live at home with your family, and go to regular school?: Becky asked surprised. "No one gets to do that."

        "My Watcher was pretty cool about such stuff, and helped us too. Even with Mom being sick I still did all my slayer stuff, and managed to have a social life too. Many an evening Giles would come over to my house, and watch my sister so I could go out on patrol, or go see my mom, or friends. But I know talking to the other slayers I got to meet they didn´t get to at all."

        "I sure didn´t. I´ve been here since I was eight when the Watchers came, and got me. I haven´t seen my parents, or brothers since. You were very lucky, Buffy," she said with a sad tone to her voice, a little envious of her. Then Becky caught herself to tell Buffy, "But, I came to tell you that breakfast is in about twenty minutes, and if you don´t get there early you miss out on the good stuff like eggs, and bacon, and end up with cold porridge. And if you want a shower you´d better hurry too before all the hot water is gone."

        "Thanks for the warnings. So we have showers? Great. I need one," Buffy said brightening. "I´ll grab my stuff, and go to it," she added.

        "Good, when you get finished I take you down with Freda, and some of the other older girls."

        "Okay, see you in a little while," Buffy told her as Becky wandered off, and Buffy went back in her room to find clothes to wear.

        Buffy took a quick shower, leaving off washing her long hair, and quickly got dressed, really hating all the layers of clothes she had to deal with everyday now. She managed to plait her long hair in one long braid and then pin it into a bun using the old fashioned combs, and hairpins she found on her dresser in a pretty rose painted porcelain box. There was no makeup to put on which was still bothering her. She was feeling very naked without any, but no one else was wearing any so she guessed it was okay. She found a pair of boots with sturdy heels that weren´t too bad to walk, and move in, and had just finished putting them on when Becky came back for her.

        "You are a fast dresser. I´m impressed," she smiled at Buffy taking in her neat, simple dark brown skirt, and white blouse, and interestingly fixed hair.

        "Learned to be. When you´re a slayer you´re on call twenty-four hours a day I found out. Still trying to get used to all these layers of clothes, and having to wear long skirts all the time," Buffy said standing up.

        "You don´t wear long skirts?" Becky asked incredulous. "You show your legs?"

        "Yeah, and then some," Buffy grinned back at the girl´s shock. "Any more I hardly wear skirts at all, unless it´s a special occasion, or something. Clothes are very different in the future. I wear lots of pants, and jeans for slaying. I used to wear skirts, but that got rather embarrassing when I did high kicks, and moves. Though it kind of stunned the guy vamps long enough to stake them." She smiled, and the other girl turned red when she realized what she meant.

        "Ohh, that´s terrible. But I guess it would work," she giggled, her face almost matching her hair.

        Buffy grinned innocently. "It did for me. Though when I started going out with Riley, and partnering with Spike I started dressing a little more conservative. Especially after Spike made some comments about the show I was giving the group of vampires we were fighting, and Riley overheard it. I couldn´t look either one of them in the face for a week after that," Buffy told her remembering Spike´s rather raunchy comments about her black lace almost knickers as he called her thong panties that had earned him a punch in the nose from her, and an almost staking from Riley..

        "You are so different from any slayer I have ever heard about," Becky told her, shaking her head.

        "Giles, my Watcher back home used to say the same thing too. So, we were going down for breakfast?" Buffy asked.

        "I almost forgot. We´d better hurry," she said leading Buffy out the door, and down the hall to meet up with the other older girls who were waiting for them.

        The girls went down two floors, and down one of the wide corridors. Half way down was a set of wide double doors that they went through into a large, bright oak paneled dining room. Breakfast was cafeteria style where one grabbed a tray, plates, and silverware, and picked out what they wanted to eat. Since she had only had two real meals since she had come back in time Buffy was hungry. She grabbed up eggs, some pieces of ham, and thick toast. The only juices she could see were apple, and grape. There was tea, but no coffee. She wasn´t sure about the milk which looked rather odd to her with its bits of butterfat floating on top of it. She followed Becky, and the other older girls to a large table near the windows along one wall, and sat down.

        "You must be hungry," Millicent, the brunette from last night commented eyeing Buffy´s tray.

        "Ravenous. I really haven´t had too much of a chance to eat in the last couple of days. This makes my third meal since I got here, I think a week ago. Four of those days I was going through the slayer test. Then I slept a whole day afterwards. I had a meal with my Watcher before we came here last night, and some cookies before I went to sleep," Buffy told them digging in.

        "I still find it hard to believe that you are from the future like you said," Freda said, as she ate her more modest helpings of food at a slower, more lady like pace.

        "I am, really. I come from the year two thousand, and in about six weeks it´ll be two thousand, and one. They only reason I am not wiggin´ out too much is that I know about this time period from people I know, and from books and stuff. And this is the second time I´ve had someone switch bodies with me. The last time was with another slayer from my time, name of Faith. It wasn´t fun because Faith, and I didn´t get along, because she had gone evil, joined up with Mayor who was trying to open the gates of Hell, and she tried to kill my friends. We had big showdown, and I put her into a coma for eight months, then stopped the Mayor. When she woke up she wanted revenge. The mayor left her this magical thingy, and she used it to switch our bodies," Buffy told her wide eyed audience.

        "Are you worried about the same thing happening again? That this Elizabeth might do all kinds of things in your body" Freda asked.

        "A little, but I´m also not there to see what Elizabeth is doing like I was when Faith did it. This time I´m pretty sure everyone has figured out that she´s not me. Faith knew all my friends, and family fairly well. She was able to fool them into believing she was me, even my boyfriend, Riley. He couldn´t tell that Faith was using my body. But Spike, and Willow did. Willow was the one to figure out how to switch us back because she´s a witch."

        "So what happened to the other slayer after you switched back?" Becky asked, fascinated.

        "She ran off to LA, and caused a lot of trouble there before I caught up with her, and convinced her to turn herself in because she had killed a man. She´s in jail now until she serves her time. But even if she does get out I´ll never trust her," Buffy said sadly. "So after we eat what´s up next?" she asked changing the subject. "What do you guys do?"

        "Guys?" Millicent asked offended looking at Buffy for being called a boy..

        "Sorry, my bad. That´s what we call a bunch of people whether they´re girls, or boys that hang out together," Buffy explained embarrassed. "I probably do talk kind of weird."

        "Strange, yes. But it does make it easier to believe your story, Buffy," Becky assured her. "Usually after breakfast we go to our studies according to what our personal schedules are. That can be weapons, or physical training, working in the library doing research for the watchers, or council members, regular school work—it just depends on what our watchers have planned. The younger girls, under eleven years old spend most of their time in school. Those of us that are older get to do more varied things. Are you going to be keeping the same watcher?" she asked.

        "I don´t know. I think Mr. MacAlastair has other plans for me. He was saying something about evaluations of my abilities. I hate tests because I get all flustered, and nervous," Buffy told her truthfully.

        While she was talking, Mr. Foxworth who had escorted her, and Mr. Hyde in looked in the dining room, and saw her, relieved he didn´t have look all over the place for her. He then headed in her direction. Since she was talking, Buffy didn´t even notice him come up.

        "There you are Miss Summers. I see you found the dining room. If you are through here Mr. MacAlastair is waiting for you in the Grand Hall," he informed her briskly, and she startled in surprise.

        She looked back at him a little nervous because he had snuck up on her, and his appearance meant she had to go jump through slayer test hoops for the Council which made her more anxious. "I guess I´m done. Do I need to do anything with my tray?´ she asked, not sure about the rules yet.

        "It will be taken care of," he assured her as she got up.

        "Guess I´ll see everyone later," Buffy told the other girls.

        "Good luck," Becky wished her, and Buffy nodded back with a tight smile before following Mr. Foxworth out of the hall.

        As they passed people in the hallways Buffy was amazed at how busy a place the Council headquarters were. Giles had never really said too much about it, and she had never really asked either. There was a heavy air of antiquity, and contained magicks about the building. She felt very small, and unimportant, even though she knew that all this wouldn´t exist if it weren´t for slayers, and the battles they had had to wage. Even though she was the Chosen One, these people controlled her, and how she used her abilities. She never had liked the idea of this group having power over her. If she could manage it she wasn´t going to allow them to have that power either.

        Mr. MacAlastair, and the other people she had seen last night plus some additions sat around the large round table, and were engaged in various discussions when she came in through a side door into the room. She noted that even Mrs. Bennett was among the group.

        MacAlastair noticed her arrival, and welcomed her warmly. "Ahh, Miss Summers, I see that Foxworth found you. Have you had breakfast?" he asked since she was unsure where she had been taken care of, or not that morning.

        "Yeah, I was just finishing up. Some of the older girls, and I went down together. It was really good by the way," she replied.

        "Good. We shall endeavor to make sure you are properly cared for. Since last night we have been trying to figure out what tests to put you through. Like I told you ,we usually don´t get to observe a girl with such vast experience as you have. You have fought some very amazing battles, and shown a remarkable inventiveness when faced with extreme odds. There have only been five other slayers to have come close to your record. So we feel very honored by having you here," he told her, and she saw answering nods, and smiles around the room, which really didn´t make her feel any better.

        "Thanks I guess," she said politely. "But one thing though. I may be me upstairs, but this is Elizabeth´s body, and unless I am mistaken she has never had to do any workouts, and her muscles aren´t trained. I guess I´ll have to see how much of what I do is mental, and how much physical," she told him, and he looked back at her first shocked, and then with understanding.

        "I hadn´t taken those factors into consideration, young lady, but you do have a point. Would you like to workout, and test your muscles before you give us a demonstration, so we can have a fair assessment of your abilities?" he asked wanting to make this as fair as possible for her.

        "Yeah, that might be a good idea, sir," she replied glad that he was quick to catch on.

        "Foxworth!" he called and the red haired young man came up to their side expectantly. "Would you show Miss Summers to out gymnasium, and show her where the other girls change?" MacAlastair asked him, and the man nodded. "We will join you in a hour. Will that give you enough time to see for yourself what you can do?"

        Buffy nodded yes in reply. "It should be."

        "Good," the older man said.

        "This way Miss Summers," Mr. Foxworth told her, and she followed the red haired man out of the hall.

        When they were on their way Buffy asked him, "Out of curiosity, what do you do around here? Are you one of the Watchers in training, or what?"

        He smiled. "Sort of. I´m Mr. MacAlastair´s private secretary. My job is to help him in any way I can. But I am qualified as a full Watcher after completing all my field work, and studies," he explained.

        Buffy digested this. "Sorry to be so nosy, I just kind of wondered. Mr. Giles, my Watcher back home, didn´t talk too much about Watcher training, or any of this, so being here, and seeing it all very interesting to me. So this place is set up like a big school? I got that impression from talking to the other girls, and Mrs. Bennett. When I trained it was just me, and Giles, and occasionally Xander would try to work out with me, but the only ones physically that could do without too much damage were Angel, and Spike. Over the years they taught me some moves too," Buffy told them as they entered the large ground floor gym.

        "Well, this is the gym," he told her as he opened a set of double doors and they walked into what was definitely a very large, and well equipped gym.

        "Nice," she commented looking around at the various familiar looking pieces of equipment like vaulting horses, rings, punching bags, ropes, and parallel bars. At least some things hadn´t changed that much over the years.

        "Over there through that door are the dressing rooms. There should be some ladies gym clothes that the trainees use for you to change into unless you´d rather stay in what you are wearing?" he inquired uncomfortably, his face beginning to flush.

        She smiled that men got so easily embarrassed in these times around women. "No, I´d rather not. It´s hard enough to walk in these outfits let alone fight in them. I´ll check out the clothes, and see if they are any better. Are you staying?" she asked.

        He shook his head anxious to leave. "No, I have to get back. If you wish to practice with any weapons, there are an assortment of different kinds in that cabinet against the wall. If you need anything just ring," he told her pointing to a bell cord by the door they had come through. "If that will be all?" he asked.

        "I´ll be cool," she said, he frowned and then caught on she meant she would be all right, and then he left quickly out the door.

        She wasn´t sure what his problem was yet unless it was because she was older than the girls he was used to dealing with here, and was attracted to her, and didn´t want to be. In fact he was acting kind of like Riley used to act when he was TA for Professor Walsh, and was debating asking her out. If that was the case that was not good at all. She did not need to get involved with anyone while she was in this time period. Not even with William if he showed up somehow. She already knew the Council was going to try, and involve him in this mess more than he already was, and that was bad, very bad if that happened. She had to stay focused, and try to figure out how to get back with, or without anyone´s help. Until then she would play along with the Council, and try not to get too involved in this time period, and its people—sure--right! She had already blown that, and she wasn´t sure how to repair the ever increasing damage her presence was doing.

        With a heavy sigh, Buffy walked across the room to where Foxworth had told her she could change. What she found were tan colored, long baggy, shapeless garments like coveralls that buttoned up the front, and that tied at the ankles. They seemed to be in various sizes to fit the different girls she had seen. She wrinkled her nose in distaste at the unflattering thing. The one problem she saw with wearing these to workout in was if the girls got used to such freedom of movement that when they had to wear regular clothes they wouldn´t know how to move. Knowing that the Council members would be down in a hour, Buffy stripped down, and put on one of the coveralls. Once dressed, she went out, and went through her usual range of exercises pleased that Elizabeth´s body was more flexible than she had thought it was going to be. Her reflexes, and strength were just like they had always been. She was doing a one handed handstand when she heard clapping from behind her, and opened her eyes to see Mr. MacAlastair, and the members of the Council watching her in awe.

        "That was most impressive, Miss Summers. You are very good indeed," he complimented her as she sprang down to land lightly on her bare feet.

        "How long have you been there?" she asked picking up a towel to wipe her face.

        "Awhile. You were so absorbed in what you were doing we just quietly watched. I see you have incorporated some of the eastern methods into your skills."

        "A little here, and there. They´re real popular in my time. Lot of people workout this way. Since most jobs aren´t so physical anymore, people do exercise for fun. Though before I became a slayer I wasn´t into sports, or doing all this stuff so Giles had to teach me."

        "He has done a remarkable job I will say. Have you tried out any of the weapons yet?" he asked.

        "No, I was going to."

        "Would you might if I have Philip here work out with you? He´s our sword master." He explained as a dark haired man with a handle bar mustache in a pullover black sweater, and pants came forward.

        "Sure," she smiled as he went over, and got two slim rapiers from the cabinet, and tossed her one which she caught easily.

        "On guard," he said taking a stance then engaging her. Within minutes she had him down, surprising them all by her speed, and skills.

        "Amazing," MacAlastair commented pleased. "How are you with axes, and pikes?"

        "Bring them on, " she smiled as the sword master took an axe for himself, and threw her a pike. It took half the time to bring Philip down than it had with the swords.

        "Okay, let us see you against several opponents at once," he warned as three young men in the crowd came forward with swords, and axes charging her. She had them all knocked out in minutes.

        "Very, very impressive, Miss Summers," he applauded her as did the others. "Tonight, we will have you do a patrol of the grounds, so we can see you in action against your actual opponents. But there is no doubt to your physical capabilities. You can go on, and get dressed now, and then meet us back in the Grand Hall," he told her, and he and the other members of the Council left talking excitedly among themselves.

        When they left Buffy went back to the dressing rooms, showered quickly, and dressed. Foxworth was there waiting on her when she emerged. "I saw your display, Miss Summers. I say, I wouldn´t want to get on your bad side. Very nice work," he told her meaning every word as his gray eyes appraised her slim form appreciatively.

        Buffy blushed at the compliment. "It really wasn´t that much. So they are going to have me fight the real thing tonight?" she asked.

        "I believe that is the plan. Since you have demonstrated without a doubt that you can fight. The only fair assessment of how well will be against actual ‘real´ opponents. This won´t be a problem will it?" he asked as they left the gym together.

        "Nope, none at all. I wouldn´t mind seeing a little real action. Are we going back to the Grand Hall?" she asked noticing that they were veering off down another corridor than the one by which that had come.

        "No, Mr. MacAlastair wants you to meet with Miss Penrose, Mr. Davis, Mr. Swanson, and Mr. Abby to discuss some of the creatures you have fought, and how you defeated them by yourself, and with your group. It´s all very informal, and no pressure, I assure you," he told as he lead her into a large sitting room with comfortable chairs and a couch.

        The four people he had mentioned looked up as they entered. Miss Penrose was stiff looking in her dark plain dress, very tall, thin, and her dark hair in a neat bun on top. Her narrow, plain face did have a pleasant warm smile to offset her severe looks. Mr. Davis was short, round, with a shoulder length mass of white unruly hair, and a large bristling mustache that rose up to sharp points on either side of his generous mouth. Mr. Swanson reminded Buffy of a blonde Viking of old except dressed in tweeds. While Mr. Abby was small, and dark with intense slanting, dark eyes, and sharp features wearing black robes and a matching turban.. He was the only one of the four that unnerved her.

        "Gentlemen, Miss Penrose, this is Miss Summers. I will leave her in your hands. Do you wish for me to have lunch brought before I go?" Foxworth asked them.

        "No, if we get hungry, we´ll holler, same as usual," Mt. Davis said, surprising Buffy that he was evidently an American from the West from his accent.

        "Very well, then I will take off. I´ll see you all later," he said with a bow, and closed the door behind him leaving Buffy with them.

        "Have a seat, Miss Summers," Miss Penrose told her pointing out the sofa. "We are really interested in your adventures. Especially since we got glimpses of so many through the Eye of the Oracles. Though we must admit we were lacking context in which to properly understand them, so if you can illuminate us we would be most appreciative," she explained.

        "So where do you want me to start?" Buffy asked, sinking back into the couch wanting to be elsewhere, anywhere but where she was, her apprehension and panic growing as she looked around at the serious faces surrounding her.

End Part 39





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