Buffy: the Invitation (an Addergoole Crossover), Part XVI

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
Part XI: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1164418.html
Part XII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1173922.html
Part XIII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1178885.html
Part XIV: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1182860.html
Part XV: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1186127.html

They all turned to look as the angry voice came twisting down the hall.

“Oh, shit,” Xander whispered. Willow thought he might agree with her. The woman coming towards them looked – well, she looked formidable. Tall, willowy, dark-haired- “Beautiful,” Xander whispered. Willow thought she might agree. And clearly furious.

“Magnolia cy’Linden, what exactly do you think you’re doing?”

The smell of flowers in the air grew overpowering. Magnolia took a step forward, putting herself between the visitors and the oncoming storm – not noticing or discounting that Buffy had already stepped in front of Willow and Xander. “This is not exactly a normal situation, Professor Valerian.”

“Turn. It. Off.” The woman – Professor Valerian? She did not look sleepy or calming – bit the words off, and, suddenly, the smell of flowers vanished. “Mask up.”

“But Professor-“

“Now.”

And, just like that, Magnolia looked like an ordinary – luscious, beautiful, but ordinary – woman again. “They’re not exactly ignorant of the whole thing, Professor. But the problem is, they’re all on the dark end of their non-ignorance.”

“Magnolia, you’re not making any sense, and yet, at the same time, you’re making things worse.”

“What she means,” Buffy offered, in the bright voice that meant that she was ready to kill something, “is that we know about the things that go bump in the night. Heck, some people – well, not people, more like creatures – think I am the thing that goes bump in the night. And some of them don’t think anymore, because I bumped into them. In the night. That’s how it works, right, Will?”

“Close enough.” Willow turned her attention on the woman. “So, we encountered – Buffy and Xander encountered – someone here who may or may not be a demon, and we got into comparative, ah, demonology. Because you see – oh, Giles is going to kill me.”

“That’s all right,” Buffy interjected. “I might put him in traction first, so he’ll have trouble killing you. Unless he clubs you with his casts. Is that a thing?”

“Not for normal people, Buff,” Xander interjected, “but, then again…”

“I’m sorry,” the woman, Valerian, cut in, not sounding sorry at all, “you were saying?”

“Oh!” Willow cleared her throat. “We fight demons. Professionally? Well, nobody gets paid. But as a very dedicated hobby. Buffy, Willow, and I. We live in Sunnydale, not sure if you’ve heard of it? But it’s very full of the demony sorts of people. And a gate to, ah, well, Hell. And so we’re not, what did Magnolia say? We’re not in the dark, but the stuff we know is very dark. I don’t know anyone else with a kitty tail. And I’m dating a werewolf.”

“Say that again?”

“I don’t know anyone with a kitty tail?”

“Not that part.” The woman was clearly getting annoyed; her letters grew more and more crisp.

“Oh. Um, I’m dating a werewolf? But he’s quite nice and he only bites people on the full moon and when he’s feeling bitey, well, we lock him in a cage, but it’s a very nice cage and mostly he locks himself in and-“

“Will. The lady is turning green.”

The lady was, indeed, turning green, and her hair was curling with vines. “Have you seen anything like this before?”

“oh! I read about that in a book once. A dryad. they’re said to be very vengeful and be willing to take a very long time to.. oh. Oh, ma’am, nice lady, we didn’t upset you, did we? Only you asked, and then we explained, and–“

“Miss. Miss,” Professor Valerian repeated, cutting Willow off. “What’s your name?”

“Willow, ma’am. Willow Rosenberg.”

“Willow, mmm? You’ve read about dryads?”

“Well, yes, we were looking for something to fight this monster, it was turning everything into, well, it was growing vines everywhere, and a dryad was the first thing I found, and I thought… but anyway, it turned out to be a Tegjiogi demon, not a dryad, but by that time I’d read up on dryads and even found this neat spell and—”

“Will.” Xander hugged her. “It’s okay. You answered the question.”

“I talk too much when I’m nervous,” Willow explained to the woman, from the protection of Xander’s arms.

“I hadn’t guessed,” she answered dryly. “All right, Magnolia. You’re right, they had prior knowledge, in direct contradiction to the agreement. It’s not your fault. But we’re going to have to cut the tour short before things get more complicated.”

“Well, now, about that,” Magnolia began slowly. “See, the blonde one just snuck off while her friend was talking, an’ she’d been saying something about staking a vampire?”

“Dysmas,” Professor Valerian hissed it out. “He can take care of himself.”

Next: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1210168.html

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