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In Her Name: Part II. The Loudest Whisper.
it was again. A sudden chill, together with a sense that there was a presence
in the room, even though Rupert Giles knew fully well that there was not. However,
this being Sunnydale and all, and the room being the only barrier between the
world and the hellmouth below it, he came to a halt and surveyed his surroundings.
Nothing. The library stood as silent as the grave, completely devoid of life.
The Watcher sighed and returned to his book. This was the fourth time in
one week, and so far he had been forced to discount each circumstance of its occurrence.
As yet he had not revealed the event to anyone, afraid that it would turn out
to be nothing, or that they would think him crazy. The last time a ghost had come
to Sunnydale, the results had nearly killed the slayer, although she still refused
to tell him the exact circumstances of what had happened to put the two tormented
spirits to rest. That time he had thought the spirit was someone else, until events
had proved otherwise.
At the moment though, Giles was still convinced
that he was imagining things. The sounds could be nothing more than birds or animals,
the traffic from the highways echoing through the wind. He was so used to demons
haunting the room that hid the hellmouth, that he was in danger of becoming paranoid.
He rose from his seat and closed the leather bound volume he was reading.
Picking the book up he headed towards the door, ready for home. Turning the lights
off, he glanced around the darkened room, letting his eyes adjust until they could
distinguish more than just faint shadows. Once more he listened to the deceptive
quiet. Nothing spoke to him. Satisfied that he was imagining, Giles exited the
Alone and unsatisfied, the whispers expressed frustration
at being denied once again. Dissolving into the darkness, they waited quietly
for the next opportunity to make their desires known.
Hoping that this time, they would be answered.
"'And on that tragic day, an era came to its inevitable end.' That's all
there is. Are you ready?"
Buffy turned from her sightseeing of
the graveyard to her best friend. "Hit me."
of the following best expresses the theme of the passage?'" Willow read aloud
from the prep sheet. "'A) Violence breeds violence, B) All things must end,
"B, I'm going with B," Buffy returned, drawing
a circle around the letter on her sheet. "We haven't had a B in forever."
"Buffy, you didn't even let me finish the options," Willow protested.
"I'm trying to help you perfect this. If you just go on random letters without
thinking about it, you could very easily fail, ruining chances of college."
"Gee, thanks," Buffy returned. "That takes the pressure
"This isn't meant to be easy, you know,"
Willow reminded her. "It's a rite of passage."
you're going to ace the test. Me, I'm just hoping for something above average
that won't include a trip to Snyder's office for a lecture on my stupidity."
"Then, please concentrate."
"All right, I will,"
Buffy promised, looking her friend. Suddenly she spotted something creeping up
behind her. "Roll!" She cried, tossing her notebook and answer sheet
off her lap, scrambling to her feet.
Willow looked up from the book.
"What?" She queried, then saw her friend running towards her. Rapidly
she rolled off the gravestone out of the fight scene.
Buffy leapt over
the marble monument, then raised her leg, striking the vampire in the midsection.
Unprepared, he bent double and lost his footing, flying back the way he had previously
crept. She rushed towards him again, grabbing his legs and forcing them upwards,
causing him to roll away from her before she could over power him.
to his feet the vampire tried to punch her, but badly judged his aim. Buffy returned
the favour, only to have her fist blocked by his hand, while the other tried to
take a swing at her face. She clocked the trajectory and ducked, managing to dodge
another attempt to punch her as well. Attempting to aim at kick at his side, he
kept his balance and tried to return the move, but she ducked again, forcing him
into a spin. He came to a stop facing her and tried to punch her face, but Buffy
raised her forearm and blocked the fist. Using the opening before her, Buffy retrieved
her pencil and staked his heart, slaying him.
slayer mused while the ashes fell to the floor, "I broke my No. 2 pencil.
We'll have to do this again sometime," she added hopefully.
All systems tend towards chaos,'" Willow uttered the answer to the last question,
handing her friend another pencil.
Buffy reluctantly picked up her
notebook and answer sheet before assuming her previous perch. "I just know
that us and the undead are the only people in Sunnydale working this late."
"Mom, I'm home," Buffy called out as she closed the door behind her.
"Slaying and SATs prep all done in one night. Next thing you know, I'll be
bursting into," she walked into the living room and noticed that her mother
was not alone. "Angel?"
"I invited him over," Joyce
explained while the ensouled vampire stood up to welcome his beloved, settling
for a small chaste smile due to her mother's presence. "I thought it was
time I got to know the most important guy in my daughter's life."
who are you and what have you done with my mother?" Buffy joked, causing
smiles. "I can't say how pleased I am that you've accepted everything about
my life," she added seriously.
"I almost lost you once over
this, Buffy," Joyce returned. "I couldn't bear to lose you again through
my own prejudices."
"Nor I you," Buffy vowed solemnly.
Sheepish at the seriousness of the emotion, she glanced round, noting the hour
through the darkness behind the window. "Angel, you better get home, the
sun will be up soon."
"You're right," Angel agreed,
rising from his seat. He turned to Joyce. "Thank you for inviting me over,
"Thank you for taking care of my daughter,"
Joyce returned. "Buffy, you can see him to the door before you go to bed."
"I hope Mom didn't inquisition you too much," Buffy said as she
saw Angel into the relative privacy of the hall.
"No, she was
very nice," Angel assured her. "I told her of my purely honourable intentions
towards you. She asked me about my past."
"Sounds like you
two had a long chat."
"Don't worry, she doesn't know my darkest
secrets." He leaned towards her. "Only you know them."
smiled at him. "I'm glad she likes you. I'm glad she wants to know the man
I love." She reluctantly opened the door. "I'll see you tomorrow. The
meeting about the thing after school."
"I'll see you then,"
Angel replied before catching her lips with his.
Buffy kept the kiss
short, and saw him out on to the porch and into the darkness of the pre-dawn hours.
Then she returned to the living room.
"You really like him?"
She asked her mother.
"I do, Buffy," Joyce assured her. "It
is such a shame that the demon used to rule him, he's a lovely young man."
"It is," Buffy agreed. "But if he hadn't been sired, I would
never have known him. And I am so glad I do. It's the one thing I thank Darla
for." She reluctantly released a yawn.
"Has Giles asked you
about the voice yet?" Joyce inquired.
"No, not yet. We're
having a Scooby meeting about it tomorrow night," Buffy explained before
"I'll let you get to bed," Joyce said, kissing
"Night, Mom," Buffy returned. "And thanks."
"You're welcome," Joyce replied.
"And then I was being chased by an improperly filled-in answer bubble screaming,
'none of the above!'" Buffy finished dramatically.
Willow replied, properly sympathetic as they descended the outside stairs on the
cloistered courtyard of Sunnydale High the next morning. "I hope that wasn't
one of your prophecy dreams." Her best friend glared at her. "Probably
"Hey, you know, I took it last year," Oz informed
them. "I could help you get ready. There's this whole trick to antonyms,
but this isn't the place."
"Oz is the highest-scoring person
ever to fail to graduate," Willow revealed proudly.
she cute when she's proud?" Buffy aired for consensus.
always cute," Oz replied.
"We could work on it tonight,"
"Work on what tonight?" Xander asked as
he and his girlfriend joined them.
"Oh, God," Cordelia groaned.
"Are we killing something again?"
"Only my carefree
spirit," Buffy replied.
"SAT prep," Oz informed them.
"Oz is helping," Willow added. "He's the highest-scoring..."
"We know," Cordelia interrupted. "We did the impressed thing
"I hate they make us take that thing," Xander
remarked. "It's totally fascist, and personally, I think it, uh, discriminates
against the uninformed."
"Actually, I'm looking forward to
it," his girlfriend revealed. "I do well on standardised tests."
Everyone looked at her in shock.
"What? I can't have
layers?" Cordelia asked, offended
"So, Buffy, study tonight?"
"Yes to studying, no to tonight," Buffy replied.
"We've got to discuss the thing, remember? Giles hasn't mentioned hearing
voices once, and we might need to plan a new strategy."
won't take all night, will it?" Cordelia asked. "I mean why don't we
just tell him?"
"Oh, yeah, we'll say; 'Hi, Giles, have you
been hearing voices lately?'"" Buffy finished sarcastically. "I
know his response will be that look of his wondering if I've gone mad."
"It's only been a week since Angel returned, Buffy," Willow reminded
her. "I'm sure these things take time."
Buffy conceded. "We also need to find the incantation that's meant to bring
her body back. Angel said that the valet who oversaw the trial told him that it
was in the same book which told us about the Trial."
is Angel?" Willow asked.
"Healed, and talking to my Mom,
which is both brilliant and freakily weird at the same time." Buffy paused.
"I can't believe how cool she's being about all of this. When she first found
out, she refused to believe any of it."
"Giles had a talk
with her while we patrolled," Willow explained. "I don't know what he
said, but one evening she was really bitter, blaming him, and then the next time
she was all understanding and everything. Made me wish he could to talk to my
"Giles the parent counsellor," Buffy mused,
"we could put an ad in the paper." A bell rang, causing her to glance
at her wristwatch. "Speaking of which I'd better get to the Library. He's
going on about new training ideas. I swear ever since Whistler mentioned the new
big evil coming he's turned paranoid on my readiness."
it good to be prepared?" Xander asked.
"Yeah, but there's preparation and then there's brain freeze, which is what Giles seems to be experiencing whenever he tells me his next training idea."
"Now, stand still and let me put this on you," Giles remarked as he
wrapped the blindfold around her head.
"Ow!" Buffy cried
when his knotting yanked a bit of her hair.
"Why do I put up with this?" Buffy mused aloud.
"Because it is your destiny," Giles reminded her, walking around
to face her. He handed her a large rubber ball.
just doing this to take funny pictures of me," Buffy decided as she held
the spherical object.
"I'm doing it to test your awareness of
an opponent's location during a fight in total darkness," Giles explained.
"Now, wait five seconds and then throw the ball at me." Silently he
backed away from her position towards the cage.
"You ran out of
new training ideas about a week ago, huh?" Buffy queried. "Okay. Five,
four, three, two, one." She turned, facing the doorway into her watcher's
office. Behind her Giles smiled, thinking she was about to be disappointed in
her attempts to prove the stupidity of his training techniques.
threw the ball. It hit the wall above the reception counter, rebounding due to
the strength of the impact.
"It's not that simple, is it?"
Giles asked her, only for the ball to suddenly hit his head. "Ow. Ahem. Yes,
well, very good."
"Thanks!" Buffy uttered, grinning
as she took off the blindfold. "Anything else?"
I don't think so. And you probably have SATs to prep for."
do," Buffy agreed, watching him walk to table and retrieve a book. "Giles,
can I ask you something?"
"Of course, what?" He queried.
"Have you been hearing anything odd lately?"
do you mean?" He asked her, puzzled.
"Oh, you know, anything
out of the ordinary."
"No," he pretended. "Why
do you ask?"
"Oh, no reason," Buffy retrieved her books
and school bag. "I better get to class." She exited the library.
Giles watched her go, staring at the doors as they closed behind her, wondering
why she had asked him that question.
Around him the library suddenly
seemed filled with those strange intelligible whispers once more. The voices seemed
to be emanating from everything, the bookcases in the stacks above ground, his
deserted office, the powerless computer, the locked filing cabinets. Even the
weapons hidden in the cage seemed to trying to tell him something.
stood still, trying to focus on the noise, only for the room to revert to his
previous natural silence once more. Frustrated, Giles walked into his office,
intent on conducting some research into the matter, his suspicions suddenly aroused.
Midnight. Candles were the only source of light in the darkened Library of Sunnydale High. Around the centre table six members of the Scooby gang sat, having agreed to gather here at the appointed time to discuss the current situation. Despite attempting their level best to hear out for the voice of the late Miss Jennifer Calendar, several days had passed by since Angel's return from Los Angeles, and nothing had spoken to them.
They were all becoming a little despondent, having hoped so much to be able to accomplish this thing for Jenny and Giles.
Just after Angel and Buffy had cowed the First into going away, they had gathered in the Library to read the curse which Miss Calendar had carefully spent many hours researching until she had everything on the original spell her ancestors had used to curse the Scourge of Europe.
Touched by the thoroughness the gypsy had put into it to make the incantation free from conditions or torture, the slayerettes had all decided that they had to try and see if Whistler had managed to arrange the possibility of her coming back from the dead.
A few hours of research, and they had found
a volume detailing a series of tests called the Trial, which could be undertaken
to restore a life. Angel had duly travelled to the location and succeeded in passing
all three tests. Now, he relayed once more the words the valet had said to him
after he finished the Trial to the rest of the slayerettes.
you sure that's what he said?" Willow tentatively asked.
he definitely said she would appear by voice," Angel affirmed.
what I don't understand," Cordelia remarked. "Wouldn't we have heard
her speak by now?"
"Unless she only speaks to Giles,"
Oz pointed out.
The Slayer groaned. "And Giles of course would
discount it until it happens for like the nth time and even then I doubt if he'll
"Tell you what?"
The gang, including
Angel, whose vampiric senses usually would have picked up on the arrival of someone
else, jumped and turned to face a suspicious, concerned and slightly angry Watcher
glaring at them, waiting for an explanation.
The slayer cast her gaze
round the group and got a quick silent vote for the telling of the contingency
plan Cordelia had aired earlier that day. Slowly she stood up and spoke. "We
were wondering if anything weird had happened to you recently."
what?" Giles asked, remembering her previous query earlier that day.
Buffy nervously met his glare. "Hearing noises. Strange whispery voices
that you can't explain away as echoes of the night or day."
time he decided to answer her honestly. "As a matter of fact, yes. Why?"
"Remember when Whistler told you that he could speak to the Powers
That Be about Miss Calendar? Well, after Angel and I sent the First away, he wanted
to have a look at the curse she had altered to make it clause free. We all read
it and decided that we had to try and see if we could repay Miss Calendar. So
we did a little research and found a way."
Shocked, Giles grabbed
the nearest empty chair and sat down heavily. Even when the demon had mentioned
to him, while they were at the hospital seeing Willow, about there being a chance
of Jenny coming back, he had not allowed himself to hope, convinced that Whistler
had just said the words to allay his anger. Now being informed that it was indeed
possible, he still found himself struggling to accept such good fortune. "How?"
He eventually asked, cautiously, almost afraid to know.
Buffy sat back
down and carefully explained the research sessions, the finding of the reference
to the Trial, how only the form that had caused her death could undertake it.
Angel then continued her tale, telling Giles how he had travelled to Los Angeles
and undertaken the three gruesome and deadly tests which the Trial demanded of
him, and finally the message of the valet concerning how Miss Calendar would return
first by voice, requiring an incantation to constitute her body as well.
Giles absorbed all of it, pushing away the questions about details to the
back of his mind for later. He was fascinated and shocked and humbled by how much
Angel had felt he was to blame for a death which his demon caused, and what he
had gone through in order to make amends, not just to him, but to Jenny as well.
But full knowledge could wait until later. Right now he needed to know only one
thing. "Where is this incantation?"
Buffy handed him the
leather bound volume she had opened before her. "It requires a few things
to set up, but after that all you have to do is the say the words." She paused
and then added in a rush, "look, I know we didn't inform you that we wanted
to do this and that we should have done, but we wanted to surprise you and we
weren't even sure that it would all succeed so we didn't want to give you false
hopes. The only question now is, do you want her to come back?"
Giles was already asking himself that question even before Buffy had uttered the words. His mind drifted far away from them and began to reflect over all that had happened since the night Angel had lost his soul. The slayer, a girl he had come to regard almost as a daughter, had grown up so fast that night. When her friends had neglected to follow her, she had distanced herself from them, the distance increasing when she had to send Angel to hell in order to save the world. Giles understood all too well now why she had felt that she had to run away. He could imagine all too well the arguments that would have occurred if she never had.
The remaining members of the Scooby Gang had grown up over that summer, the nights of slayage combined with the despair of their friend's disappearance had taken their toll. Added to this was the confrontation they had with Joyce in his apartment, causing an eventual brokered agreement that they needed to wait for their friend to return and be accepting and understanding if she did, knowing that she had lost the love of her life and probably blamed herself for not knowing that his curse had a clause.
Then Buffy had returned, her visible sadness convincing them into researching
for a way to bring back Angel too, not realising until the slayer experienced
another dream that revealed she the key quite literally in her hand. Seeing Angel's
whole being traumatised so deeply by his time in hell, had made Willow, Cordelia,
Oz and Xander realise the difference between the vampire and the soul which resided
in the immortal man. To understand and learn to accept him in a way they never
had before. It seemed that the terrible breach which the demon had created between
all after Buffy's seventeenth birthday was perhaps required, so they could start
their relationships afresh with stronger foundations.
And now he was being presented with a chance to begin his relationship afresh with Miss Calendar. Assuming she wanted to of course. Giles could not bring her back for purely selfish reasons, he was too good a man for that. He recalled the final time he had seen her, before arriving back at his apartment and discovering Angelus' cruel note death scene. She had stayed late after school, working hard at the computer; translating the curse as he realised now. She had asked him if she could visit him, to talk about it.
For the first time since Eyghon she had seemed happy to see him, as
if she was ready to let him into her heart again. To have that possibility presented
to him then swept away by the harsh, torture Angelus arranged for him was heart
breaking. Since then he had tried to move on, tried to accept that only his memories
were left, but found it impossible. Like Buffy, he had realised that he had found
and lost the love of his life. And now he was given the chance to have her back,
just as Buffy had with Angel. Like her, he could only think of one thing to say.
"When do we start?" He asked.
Buffy smiled and stood
from her seat, causing the others to rise as well. Without another word she, Willow
and Cordelia parted to fetch the materials required, while Xander, Oz and Angel
moved the chairs away from the table, creating the necessary space they needed
for the ritual.
Giles watched them working, then turned his eyes to book, reading the words of incantation, while his heart finally began to hope.
"Not dead, nor not of the living," Willow slowly and solemnly recited.
"Spirits of the interregnum we call."
Two hours later they
had found the spell, its opening words bringing back a lot of memories concerning
the last time they had attempted to restore a soul.
once lost shall be found. Bring forth breath and resoreth this corporeal vessel
as to that state it once was."
The table that usually covered
the hexagon above the hellmouth had been moved and in its place were a series
of candles laid out in the shape of a six pointed star.
forth the spirit of Jennifer Calendar, otherwise known Janna, daughter of the
Kalderash people and return it whole to the corporeal vessel from whence it parted."
In the middle lay a dress, sprayed with magic powder, the clothing a guide
for the body that would form if the spell was successful.
the river of life course through her veins once more. Give what has voice, flesh
and blood. Give soul, give body, give heart, give life."
that had been surrounding the room ever since the discovery of the spell grew
louder and more intense. A swirling mist appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. Spooked,
the Scooby gang watched the smoke warily until it settled over the dress and started
to form a shape. Slowly but surely the sleeping figure of Jenny Calendar appeared
The slayer glanced at Giles and then at the others who
instantly received and understood her silent message. Without a word they got
up and exited the room, leaving the Watcher to wake his sleeping beauty.
refrained from fairy tale tradition and woke her with a gentle touch on her shoulder.
Still the moment could not have been more romantic.
"I was wondering
how long it would take," Jenny began with a smile, causing him to laugh as
he helped her up.
"But how?" He eventually asked, still
amazed and mystified by the entire event.
"I don't remember much
of it," Jenny confessed. "Only Angelus and then being able to talk to
you and see you, but you not being able to see me, or understand what I was trying
to tell you." she glanced round the room. "I assume I've been gone awhile.
Giles sat her down and told her. About his discovery
of her, the aftermath, and everything else that had followed, embellishing nothing
and revealing all, no matter had harrowing it might be. Jenny deserved to know
as much as he did, so she understood everything, and so they could perhaps begin
again with stronger foundations.
When he came to the discovery of a
chance to bring her back and the events of the trial, which he had managed to
draw out from Angel during a moment alone while the others prepared the Library
for the ritual, Jenny expressed horror and shock at how much Angel had endured
to bring her back to life because of his demon self that had put her to death.
"And they all agreed to this?" She queried.
as far as I can gather," Giles replied. "From what Angel told me, Buffy
had some very strong objections as to why she couldn't go in his place. She only
backed down after he had reasoned with her to see the dangers in going."
"It still seems a gruesome thing to undertake just to bring me back,"
Giles nodded. "But this was the only way. The
important thing is that it was successful and Angel survived."
shall have to thank him," Jenny smiled.
"He wants to thank
you as well, for making his soul permanent." Giles paused. "I realise
now that was what you wanted to speak to me about."
just that," Jenny admitted, causing him to look at her hopefully. "Rupert,
I was so stupid before. I sent you away for doing something which I was just as
guilty of, and mine was even worse than Eyghon. If I had been able to come to
you that night, not only would I have told you that I had found a way to restore
Angel's soul, but I would have asked you for another chance at seeing if us could
work. And now that I have this second chance, I'm still asking you."
"My answer is the same as it would have been then," Giles replied.
She stretched upwards and kissed him, and he joyfully
returned it, wrapping his arms around her waist. Passionately they expressed all
the emotions which they had been missing since her death, and the bliss they both
felt at her return from that grave.
"I just realised," Jenny
said when she broke from him to breathe, "how am I gonna live? I was declared
"Well, Buffy told me that they had an idea
about that too," Giles replied. "But I think that can wait until tomorrow,
Jenny smiled at him. "I think so," she agreed before leading him out of the Library and into the world.
At the mansion on Crawford Street, Buffy was musing over the importance of her
boyfriend's survival through the Trial as she sat in the arms of her beloved,
leaning upon his chest in quiet contentment. Both had retired to the house after
the spell, forgoing the usual patrol in favour of the chance to relax, while the
slayerettes had separated for sleep. These were moments, Buffy felt, to be the
best time, when nothing was required of them but the company of each other. She
never felt more safe than when she was in his arms, fuelled by the knowledge that
she did not have to be anyone else but herself. Not the slayer, not the student,
not the rebellious daughter, just Buffy.
Angel bent his head and kissed
her hair, causing her to look at him with a smile. "You really ought to get
some sleep, Buffy," he began, however reluctantly, for he did not wish to
lose her company, despite the hour. "You haven't slept at all tonight."
He waited for her to reply, pleased despite himself when he received a sigh of
annoyance and objection. "You can stay here if you want."
turned her eyes towards him. "I can?"
Angel simply lifted her up in reply. As she laughed in surprise, he carried her to the bedroom on the first floor, laying her down amongst the silk sheets. He waited until she was asleep before leaving, even though he was loathed to part from her. For a few moments he stayed reflecting- or rather brooding -on the past months since his resurrection.
So much of what had happened surprised him, particularly the rather rapid acceptance of his presence in the gang once more. He had expected a mild and discreet distrust and suspicion from all of them, instead he received calm acceptance, despite all the things his demon had done.
His beloved in particular understood things in a far more mature way than most her age, slayer or no. For Angel himself her view was difficult to accept, for he still felt that most of Angelus' crimes were his fault, influenced by his memories and resentments which he had believed in during his dissolute life as the eldest son of an Irish Squire.
After all, it had been his choice to go down that alley and if he were confronted
with such a decision again, he would still make the same choice, this time with
the knowledge that it would lead him to the love of his life as a consolation
for all the horrors it had to offer before that.
Suddenly, as if she had heard his thoughts, Buffy woke. "No brooding," she ordered sleepily before closing her eyes again, leaving Angel to laugh as he finally left her in search of a good book in order to obey her last command.
To Be Continued In