Part I: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1096503.html
Part II: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1100922.html
Part III: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1104619.html#cutid1
Part IV: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1108537.html
Part V: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1112216.html
Part VI: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1124762.html
Part VII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1134781.html
Part VIII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1139412.html
Part IX: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1146552.html
Part X: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1155478.html
Help! I’d like clever individual titles for these chapters as well – now taking suggestions for 10 and this one!
Luke made a deep growling noise in the back of his throat. “Magnolia, what did I tell you about scaring guests?”
Magnolia made an innocent expression that was ruined by the mischief in her eyes. “Wait until someone else had scared ‘em first?”
“That’s a good start,” he admitted. “Play nice, don’t feed them to any other upperclassmen, and have them back to my office in two hours. Got it.”
“Feed us?” Xander whispered. “Buff, are you…”
Buffy frowned. “Not sure. Things feel hinkey here.”
“Ah, Buffy,” Giles cleared his throat. “Please remember — things here may seem strange in ways that seem familiar. If you are in absolute need of, ah, punching someone, please do come get me before you do anything rash.”
“Got it. No punching without asking the… Librarian first.”
“Oh, ah should introduce you to our librarian. I’m sure she’d like you.” Magnolia’s smile was broad and playful.
“Magnolia,” Luke warned.
“All right, all right. Ah’ll be good. Come on, now, do you want to see the store, the pool, or the arcade first?”
She raised her answers as they all replied at once — with different answers.
“All right, so, we’ll do this in order. Pool is this way, I suppose that means you win, darlin’.” She winked at Xander, who blushed and looked away.
“Would’ve thought you’d had enough of pools,” Willow muttered.
“Hey! I resemble that remark. But, all things considered, I find I like a dip in the water as much as any red-blooded young man…” Xander trailed off to catch up with Magnolia, who was sashaying away. “Hey!”
Buffy had no problem catching up, but trailed a few feet behind to make sure Willow wasn’t getting lost. “Come on, Wills, pay no attention to Xander chasing another demon. I mean, except we probably should pay attention, in case we have to stake someone and why did Giles tell me not to ‘punch’ things? What are we going to run into down here that he had to warn me not once but twice?”
“Well, considering the wards, maybe there’s something down here that’s going to make your … s-girl senses go all wonky,” Willow offered. “And if they already know something’s amiss, maybe they know about… people like, um, like Kendra?” She flailed her hands.
“I don’t like that.” Buffy frowned. “I don’t like being underground to start with, and if I’m underground with a bunch of creepy people who might just know what I can do…” She stopped, because Xander had stopped in the middle of a doorway and was trying to back up, right into them. “Already? Xander, what—”
“D-d-devil,” he muttered, taking another step backwards, dragging Magnolia with him. She, in turn, had an amused smile on her lips and her hand wrapped around Xander’s bicep.
“Come now, that’s no way to talk about Ivette — unless you’ve slept with her.”
“Woah, woah, none of the sleeping with.” Xander put his free hand up in a “stop” gesture. “No matter what anyone’s told you, I’m not the sort of guy to—”
“Oh, come on, Xander, sometimes you are.” Buffy slid between him and the doorway, moving under his upraised arm. “Now what’s this about… oh.” There were a pair of bat wings clearly in her vision; they belonged to someone not wearing anything else, in a tub of people wearing the same thing. “Pardon us…” she slipped right back out, covering her face with her hand. It did nothing to help with the images now seared into her brain. “Was that… Were those…”
“That’s Ivette,” Magnolia purred, “with the wings. And that was Ardell and Anwell with her.” Her voice turned concerned. “That’s nothin’ strange for Addergoole, just some people having fun. The wings don’t bother you, do they?”
“It’s just that,” Buffy blinked a few times. “Okay, sorry, one moment. Wills: black-and-red batlike wings, cute ones, though, not big enough to do much. LIttle devil tail, little horns, same color.”
Willow was flipping through her notebook before Buffy stopped talking. “Skin color?”
“Freckles. White skin.”
Magnolia was looking back and forth between them in bemusement. “Y’all Grigori types or what? No-one else’s ever seen a cy’Linden party and gone ‘what type of wings did she have?’”
“Oh, hey, guys, it’s a party, maybe we should go in.” Xander pivoted and turned towards the door. He made it about half a step before Willow and Buffy grabbed him.
“Xander, Anwell and Ardell were, uh, male. quite male… Oh. Oh, the one had scales on his back, Willow.”
“Nope, nope.” Xander backed off. “Done with scales.”
“…Y’all have an interesting life, don’t you?” Magnolia frowned.
Buffy pointed a glare at her. “You knew they were there, didn’t you? And you wanted to see what we did when we saw — when we saw her wings. And maybe scale-boy’s scales.”
“Well, where did you think I was before I came to show y’all around?” she smirked. “And you should thank me. When you come here, you’ll be a leg up on the rest of ‘em if you’ve already seen it. Most people don’t get a tour.”
“All right.” Buffy paced in front of the pool door. “Wings. The girl had wings. And you were trying to see if we’d freak out.”
“GIles said not to freak, Buffy,” Willow reminded her. “So Giles knows something is going on here.”
“Oh, well, that’s no fun,” Magnolia pouted. “Not even over wings?”
“Not the first winged demon I’ve seen. I mean, usually Xander finds the pretty ones, not me, but that’s about it.” Buffy shrugged. “So you wanted to spook us. Why?”
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