Willow and Aurelia were chatting as they walked along the sidewalk outside Sunnydale High School. Xander jumped up behind them. "Well, good morning, ladies. And what did you two do last night?"
"We had kind of a 'pajama party sleepover with weapons' thing." Willow said.
"Oh. And I don't suppose either of you had the presence of mind to locate a camera to capture the moment."
"I have to go. I have a class to teach in about five minutes, and I have to arrive early to glare disapprovingly at the stragglers." Willow spotted Jenny walking in. "Oh, darn. She's here. Five hours of lesson planning yesterday down the drain…."
"You know what? I'll see you in class." Aurelia said, leaving Xander and Willow behind as she went to catch up to Jenny. "Hey."
"Hi." Jenny said. "Uh, is there something that…. Did you want something?"
"I know you feel badly about what happened, and I just wanted to say…."
"He misses you. He doesn't say anything, but I know he does. And I don't want him to be lonely. I don't want anyone to."
"Aurelia, you know that if I have a chance to make this up…."
"Let's just leave it be, please. I don't want to fight. Besides, when I was Mya, my mother and father hated it when two people in the clan were quarreling. And we're both still a part of that clan to an extent. I can't forgive you for not telling me sooner, but I will at least be civil to you. I have to get to class." Aurelia walked away. She found Giles in the student lounge talking with a couple of students while searching through his briefcase for some flyers. "I put it here somewhere. Oh, yes, yes. That's it." He handed the flyers to the students. "Could you, um, hang those up? Thank you. Aurelia! So, uh, so how was your night?"
"Sleepless. No human fatalities at least."
Cordelia came up to them as Giles said, "I-I found a ritual to revoke the invitation to vampires."
"Oh, thank goodness. I actually had to talk my grandmother into switching cars with me last night." Cordelia said.
"Um, the-the-the, uh, the ritual's fairly basic, actually. It's just the recitation of a few rhyming couplets, burning of, uh, moss herbs, sprinkling of holy water…."
Aurelia nodded. "All stuff I have in my house."
"Hanging of crosses…."
"We'll do Willow's house first…."
"Uh, what about my car?" Cordelia said.
Aurelia sighed. "We will do Cordelia's car first and then do Willow's house and then my house last."
Aurelia watched as Willow nailed a cross next to her French doors and pulled the curtain over to hide it. "I'm gonna have a hard time explaining this to my dad." Willow said.
"Will it really bother him?" Aurelia asked.
"Ira Rosenberg's only daughter nailing crucifixes to her bedroom wall? I have to go over to Xander's house just to watch 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' every year."
"I see your point."
"Although it is worthwhile to see him do the Snoopy Dance."
"Willow," Cordelia turned to face them. "Are you aware that there are no fish in your aquarium?" Willow frowned and whined a bit.
"You know, Cordelia, we've already done your car." Aurelia said. "You may call it a night if you want."
"Right. Thanks. And you know I'd do the same for you if you had a social life." Cordelia picked her coat up from Willow's bed and saw a blank envelope there. "Oh. This must be for you." She handed the envelope to Willow.
Willow gave Aurelia a worried glance and opened it. When she saw what was in it, she handed it to Aurelia. "It's for you."
Aurelia unfolded the paper and saw a pencil sketch of her mother sleeping.
Joyce drove her Jeep into her driveway and saw Angel standing on her front lawn. She pulled to a stop and turned off the engine as he approached her open car window. "Mrs. Summers, I need to talk to you." Angel said.
Joyce got out with a bag of groceries. "You're Angel."
"Did Buffy tell you about us?"
"She told me she wants you to leave her alone."
"I-I can't. I can't do that."
"You're scaring her."
"You have to help me. Joyce…. I need, I need to be with her. Y-you can convince her. You have to convince her."
"Look, I'm telling you to leave her alone."
"You have to talk to her for me, Joyce. Tell her I need her."
"Please, look, I-I just wanna get inside, ok?" She let go of her bag with one hand and rummaged in her purse for her keys, but she couldn't keep her grip on the bag and it fell. Several oranges rolled out and around.
Angel righted the bag and scrambled to pick a few of the oranges up. "You don't understand, Joyce. I'll die without Buffy. She'll die without me."
"Are you threatening her?"
"Please…. Why is she doing this to me?"
"I'm calling the police now." Joyce forgot about the grocery bag and went to the door. She fumbled with her keys, trying to find the right one.
Angel came up next to her as she finally got the key in the door. "I haven't been able to sleep since the night we made love." Joyce looked up at him in surprise. "I need her. I know you understand."
"Just leave us alone." Joyce got the door open and rushed in.
He tried to follow, but came up against an invisible barrier. Aurelia and Willow came down the stairs as Willow read a Latin verse from a book. Aurelia walked up to Angelus, staying within the boundaries of the threshold, and smiled up at her enemy. "Sorry, Liam. I changed the locks." She slammed the door in his shocked face.
Aurelia sat on her bed listening to her mother as she scolded her. Joyce was pacing in front of her as Aurelia said, "That stuff with the Latin and the herbs…. he's very superstitious."
"Oh." Joyce said.
"We just thought if…."
"Was he the first? No, wait. I don't wanna know. I don't think I want to."
Aurelia sighed and hid the smile that came to her face. "Yeah. He was the first. My only."
"He's older than you."
"Too old, Buffy. And he's obviously not very stable. I really wish…. I just thought you would show more judgment."
"He wasn't like this before."
"Are you in love with him?"
Aurelia thought carefully on that question. "With the man he was before, yes."
"Were you careful?"
"Mom, this is no time…."
"Don't 'Mom' me, Buffy. You don't get to get out of this. You had sex with a boy you didn't even see fit to tell me you were dating."
"I made a mistake."
"Yeah, well, don't just say that to shut me up, because I think you really did."
"I know that! I-I can't tell you everything."
"How about anything? Buffy, you can shut me out of your life, I am pretty much used to that. But don't expect me to ever stop caring about you, because it's never gonna happen. I love you more than anything in the world." Aurelia started to cry and a sob burst through her lips. "Oh, Buffy…." Joyce pulled her daughter to her. "I know it's hard, but you'll get through this. You're so strong. You can't let him get to you like this."
"I know. I wasn't crying because of him."
"What's wrong, sweetie?"
"I'm so very lucky to have a mother like you. I've never…. Thank you."
"For being my mother." Aurelia hugged Joyce tightly, remembering her strength before she crushed her mother.
Aurelia came down the stairs and found Willow waiting for her. Willow hugged her tightly when she saw Aurelia's tear stained face. "Is everything ok?"
"Yes. It's fine. I just…. Got a little emotional." Aurelia smiled bravely.
"Was she very mad?" Willow asked as they headed into the kitchen to get drinks.
"Yes, but that's not why I got so emotional."
"I've never really been close to my mothers. None of them have acted very…. Motherly towards me. Well, except my mother when I was Mya. But I didn't have long to bond with her after I turned 13. It was only a year later when…." Aurelia waved her hand and followed Willow into the dining room. "My mother now…. Joyce…. She's wonderful."
"I've always thought so."
The telephone rang and Aurelia reached over to answer it. "Hello. Giles, hello! We did the spell. It worked. What?" Willow watched Aurelia's face fall. She lowered the phone from her ear and nearly dropped it.
Willow took the phone from Aurelia. "Giles? What? No! No!" Willow began to cry uncontrollably. "Noooo!" Joyce came into the dining room when she heard the crying and held Willow.
Aurelia looked off into space, then finally lowered her head onto her knees. Angelus had killed Jenny. Then he'd left her body in Giles' bed for him to find. He was going after the ones Aurelia loved. He was trying to cut her off from them now. It made Aurelia angrier than she'd ever been in all her lives.
Aurelia, Xander, Cordelia, and Willow walked up to Giles' apartment door. Xander pushed the door open where a piece of yellow crime scene tape was stretched across the doorway. "Hello? Giles?" He called before ducking under the tape and walking in. Aurelia, Willow, and Cordelia followed. Xander went over to the desk and looked around. "I guess Giles had a big night planned tonight."
Aurelia picked up a sketch of Jenny lying dead in Giles' bed. "Giles didn't set this up. Angelus did. This is the wrapping for the gift." She headed upstairs
"Oh, man. Poor Giles."
Willow found the nearly empty weapons chest. "Look, all his weapons are gone."
"But I thought he kept his weapons at the library." Cordelia said.
"No, those are his, uh, everyday weapons." Xander said. "These were his good weapons. The ones he, uh, breaks out when company comes to visit."
"So he's not here." Willow said.
"Well, then where is he?" Cordelia asked.
Aurelia came back downstairs and stopped on the corner landing. "He'll go to wherever Angelus is."
"That means the factory, right?" Willow asked.
"So Giles is gonna try to kill Angel then?" Cordelia asked.
"Well, it's about time somebody did." Xander said.
"Xander!" Willow cried.
"I'm sorry, but let's not forget that I hated Angel long before you guys jumped on the bandwagon. So I think I deserve a little something for not saying 'I told you so' long before now. And if Giles wants to go after the, uh, fiend that murdered his girlfriend, I say, 'Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!'"
"You're right." Aurelia said.
"There's only one thing wrong with Giles' revenge scenario."
"And what's that?"
"It's going to get him killed."
"Oh god." Willow said.
"Angelus is not some regular vampire. He never was. Giles will be blinded by rage and Angelus will use that to his advantage." Aurelia dashed out of the apartment, heading for the warehouse where Spike, Drusilla, and Angelus were.
By the time she reached the warehouse, the place was on fire. She found an entrance clear of fire and rushed in. Angelus had Giles by the throat, lifting him off of his feet. "All right. You've had your fun." Angelus said. "But you know what it's time for now?"
Aurelia kicked Angelus in the back by and he dropped Giles to the floor. She pulled Angelus back and slammed him into the spiral staircase. "My fun." She growled as she kicked him in the face and shoved him onto the floor.
Out of the corner of her eye, Aurelia saw Drusilla quickly wheel Spike away. Aurelia kicked Angelus in the face again as he tried to get up and then lunged at him. He grabbed her, flipped her over, and tried to get away up the stairs. Aurelia got back to her feet fast with Giles' dropped baseball bat in hand and pushed it between the stair railings to trip Angelus. He fell and she grabbed one of his legs. He kicked out at her with it and knocked her off of him and onto the floor.
Angelus scrambled up the stairs and Aurelia got up quickly. She saw a stack of crates, ran up it to the catwalk above, and met Angelus there. He swung at her, but she ducked and kicked him in the back of the knee, making him collapse onto the railing. She grabbed a loop of rope, threw it around his neck, and yanked him back and forth between the railings several times, releasing all the anger and hurt he'd bestowed upon her lifetime after lifetime. She kicked him in the chest, making him stagger back and fall onto his back. He got up fast, but she grabbed onto a pipe above her head and swung with both feet into his chest again, making him fly back into a barrel and some ducting.
Aurelia smiled as she waited on the catwalk for him to come at her again, ready to fight. He charged and she took him and diverted him past her and onto the catwalk grating, where he landed with his head against one of the vertical railing bars. She kicked his face and followed up with several punches and another kick. He started to laugh as she grabbed him by the coat and banged his head into the railing a couple of times.
"Are you gonna let your old man burn just to take your anger out on me?"
Aurelia looked down and saw the flames getting higher and closer to Giles. Angelus took advantage of the distraction and grabbed her legs, lifted her, and threw her over the railing. She managed to control her fall and landed on her feet near Giles. Angelus took off down the catwalk and out of the building. Aurelia grabbed Giles and got him to his feet, supporting him as they made their way from the building. They both came out coughing from the smoke.
Giles pushed her away from him. "Why did you come here? This wasn't your fight!"
Aurelia rolled her eyes and punched him in the jaw. He spun and fell to the pavement. "Are you trying to get yourself killed?" She asked, emotions flooding her system. She began to cry and crouched down to hug him tightly. He cried and hugged her back. "You can't leave me. I can't do this alone."
Aurelia stared at Jenny's gravestone as Giles knelt down and laid flowers on her grave. He looked at her name on the headstone for a moment before standing back up. "In my years as…. Watcher…." He said. "I've buried…. too many people. But Jenny was the first I've loved."
"I'm sorry." Aurelia said. "I'm sorry I couldn't kill him for you…. for her…. when I had the chance. I can't let the fear of the past haunt me anymore. I have the power to stop him now and I will. No matter what, I will."