Forever, That's The Whole Point

Chapter 48

Chapter 48

Andrew was sitting in a chair, while Willow, Aurelia, Giles, Cassius, and Oz looked on. Willow was holding a large, glowing, orange crystal in front of Andrew. "I don't want to do this anymore. Everyone's staring at me." Andrew whined.

"Just focus on the charm." Willow said. "You have to focus on the charm to pull the memories out."

"Tell us about the Seal." Giles said.

"But it tickles, and I'm all tense. Can't I have a cool, refreshing drink?" Andrew begged.

"No." Aurelia said. "Just talk. You were the first one to uncover the seal and feed it blood. How did you know it was there? How did you know what to do?"

"I-I don't know. Stuff happened. I forget."

"So remember. Look at the charm." Willow said.

Andrew sighed and looked at the charm. He picked up his story where he'd left off. He and his friend Jonathan had gone down to Mexico the week after Warren's funeral. Jonathan's parents had taken pity on Andrew and asked him to come on their vacation. While there, Andrew had been visited by the First.

"I'm gonna go to the bathroom." Jonathan stood up and left the room.

"La cucaracha. La cucaracha. La la la la la." Andrew turned over and saw his dead friend Warren leaning over him.

"Did you get the knife?" Warren asked.

"Oh, Gosh. Gosh, I'm glad to see you."

"Me too. You're looking good."

"Am I? I….probably have pillow creases."

"No, no, it's good. Did you, uh, did you get the knife?"

"Yeah. It wasn't easy. I had to meet this demon guy who sells all kinds of weird weapons and stuff."

"Yeah, show me."

"Well, I didn't buy them, but there were poison arrows and this sort of collapsible sword…."

"Show me the knife!"

"Oh, right." Andrew bent to get a box from under the bed.

"Quick, before the shortcake comes back."

Andrew opened the box and took out the knife. "Oh, it'll be a while. He's got a shy bladder. Jonathan, you ok in there?"

"Don't talk to me. I'm fine." Jonathan called back.

"Pretty knife, except the, uh, the stabbing…. I don't…. I don't think I can do it. Jonathan has been a good friend to me. He said he'll buy me a burro."

"Oh, you can stab him. It's all part of the plan. That boy's blood is a powerful tribute. It's a…. it's a gift to something very big, very important, and ultimately, won't even hurt him. We get a reward. You and me…. and him too."

"We live as gods."

"That's right, man. The trio. Living as gods. There's power in that knife. Drive the words deep into him. It's the only way for us to get our reward."

"Got it. If I kill him with this knife, we live as gods."

"Wait a second." Willow said. "Go back. What was that part again?"

"You mean the gods part?" Andrew asked.

"Not that part. We need to see that knife. There's something there."

"Angel, search his stuff. Find the knife." Aurelia said. Andrew had had his backpack with him when Aurelia had hauled him out of his house.

"What are you looking for?" Cassius asked, rifling through Andrew's bag.

"He said the First said something about words." Willow said. "'Drive the words deep into him.'"

"There was some carving on the blade." Andrew said. "I just thought it was a pattern."

"Found it." Cassius brought the knife to Willow.

"Ok, you're Mr. Demon-Summoner. How are you with demon languages?"

"Whoa, you were right." Andrew said. "It's in Tawarick. It's, uh, like proto-Tawarick. It's really, really old."

"We never knew anything about this seal. Now, we know this knife and this language are connected to it somehow." Aurelia said.

"Andrew, do you speak Tawarick?" Willow asked.

"Yeah, I'm ok with it." Andrew said. "It says, 'The blood which I spill, I consecrate to the oldest evil.'"

"Willow, what are you thinking?" Aurelia asked. "You think you can do something with that?"

"I…. let me work on it." Willow said, examining the knife.

"I think it's got a shot." Willow said as she and Aurelia walked into the living room. Cassius, Cordelia, and Oz were keeping an eye on Andrew.

"Guess what, Andrew." Aurelia announced. "You just won yourself a free vacation to the beautiful downtown Hellmouth."

"So he can do what? Yell at it in its own language?" Cassius asked.

"Maybe." Willow said.

"We have to deal with the Seal right away." Aurelia said. "We already might have to just shut the school down, and I'm not losing any more territory to the First. Besides, it's the only thing we've got."

"The seal responds to this language somehow, or-or the First wouldn't have needed this knife. Andrew knows the language, can really talk to it, maybe give it commands."

"Giles, Angel, let's go." Aurelia ordered.

Cassius, Giles, Andrew, and Aurelia were standing in the hallway of the high school. Aurelia and Cassius had flashlights pointed at the destruction before them. The hall had 55-gallon drums with fires in them. Every foot of wall had been spray-painted with phrases like DIE CHEERLEADERS and MARCHING BAND RULES. Lockers were all hanging open. Debris littered the hallways.

"A riot that almost happened." Aurelia said.

"It seems as if it happened after all." Giles said just before someone threw a glass bottle against a wall, shattering it.

"Looks to me like it's still happening." Cassius said. The place was completely trashed. Kids were running around the school making noise. One ran by carrying a hockey stick. "These kids went nuts, didn't they?"

"Shh, they'll hear you." Aurelia said.

"Aurelia, they're all the way down…." Giles started, but some kid hiding around a corner jumped out and hit him in the head with a fire extinguisher. Before he could do more damage, Aurelia pulled him away from Giles. Andrew hid as the kids attacked. One kid grabbed Aurelia and carried her off, while another hit Cassius over the back with a locker door.

"Cassius!" Aurelia cried.

"The kids are getting stronger." Cassius called as he fought to get Aurelia back from the kids. Aurelia managed to get out of their grips and tripped one boy, while Giles picked up the locker door to knock another boy down. Cassius started punching one of the boys.

"Cassius!" Aurelia said. He turned to look at her. "Don't kill them. They're just students."

"I know that." Cassius punched the boy again, knocking him to the ground.

Aurelia walked further down the hall and found the basement entry door. "Ok, Cassius, Giles. I need you guys to stay here to hold our line of retreat."

"So, I'll be staying here with these men, helping out that holding the line thing." Andrew said. Aurelia frowned and grabbed Andrew's arm. "I'll be with Buffy." As they made their was down the stairs, Andrew started talking like a cheesy horror movie narrator. "We make our way down the stairs carefully, alert for any danger."

"Stop it."

"I was just…."

"I don't care what you were just doing. I don't care about a murderer. Period."

"We just keep tossing that word around, but that's not really what happened."

"You stabbed Jonathan to death. What were you trying to do? Scratch his back from the front?"

"It was confusing. Jonathan and I were digging, but Warren was there, and only I could see him…. We got into a fight on the Seal! I was confused! I'm a man trapped by circumstances into paying for a crime I didn't even…." Aurelia mumbled to herself. "What?"

"I thought you would say that. I saw the seal possess Giles like that earlier today."

"Yes. Yes. See…. I was possessed when I killed Jonathan! I was a white eyed, not myself, confused, not-really-for-real killer."

"You just completely changed your entire story."

"Did not."

"You did too."

"Did…. uh, hey, here we are."

Aurelia heard chanting from the room with the Seal in it. "There's someone in there. We're going in. Just be prepared. The Seal could have done anything to them. Go." She shoved him in ahead of her and found five kids chanting. They were now Bringers, complete with the self-mutilation of the eyes. They all turned to face Aurelia. "Great." The kids attacked and Aurelia was forced to fight off the new Bringers in the basement.

Andrew ducked into the corner to hide and began rambling like a narrator again. "She's like a woman fighting for more than life. She fights like fighting is her life. It's like the air she breathes, and she knows she will win because there is no alternative."

Aurelia knocked out the last Bringer. "It's your turn, Andrew." She pulled out the knife and walked toward him.

He walked away from her and around the Seal. "So, you figure, what? I, uh…. I stand on the seal, and hold the knife, and command it to stop glowing in Tawarick?" Aurelia and Andrew were on opposite sides of the seal walking in circles as she tried to approach Andrew and he tried to maintain his distance.

"Or we could do this?" Aurelia suggested.


"Doesn't really make sense, does it? Bringing you here to talk to it. This thing doesn't understand words, it understands blood."

"Blood opens it. You don't want to open it. Opening it would be bad."

"Yeah, Willow did a little research. Turns out, the blood of the person that awoke it…. You…. different kind of deal. It reverses the whole thing."

"So, how much blood…. are you gonna…."

"I don't know. Maybe not enough to kill you."

"So, this is my redemption? I buy back my bruised soul with the blood of my heart. But-but not enough to kill…."

Aurelia was suddenly standing right in front of him, pointing the knife at him. "Stop! Stop telling stories. Life isn't a story."

"Sorry. Sorry."

"Shut up. You make everything into a story so no one's responsible for anything because they're just following a script."

"Please don't kill me. Warren said Jonathan would be ok. I trusted him, and I lost my friend."

"You didn't lose him. You murdered him."

"I know, but you don't need to kill me. You said we could all get through this."

"I made it up. I'm making it all up. What kind of hero does that make me?"

"No, you're doing great. Really. Kudos."

"Yeah? Well, I don't like having to give a bunch of speeches about how we're all gonna live, because we won't. This isn't some story where good triumphs because good triumphs. Good people are going to die! Girls. Maybe me. Probably you. Probably right now."

"Don't! Please! Don't, please!"

Aurelia pushed him toward the seal and he leaned over it. She held the back of his jacket so he didn't fall and pointed the knife at him. "When your blood pours out, it might save the world. What do you think about that? Does it buy it all back? Are you redeemed?"

"No." Andrew started crying.

"Why not?"

"Because I killed him. Because I listened to Warren, and I pretended I thought it was him, but I knew…. I knew it wasn't. And I killed Jonathan. And now you're gonna kill me. And I'm scared, and I'm going to die. And this…. this is what Jonathan felt." As Andrew's tears flowed, a tear droplet fell from his face onto the seal below. It immediately stopped glowing. Aurelia let Andrew go and he fell to the ground. "It stopped."

"It didn't want blood. It wanted tears." Aurelia said, putting the knife down.


"I'm sorry, I had to…."

"You…. you weren't really going to stab me, were you?"

"I wasn't going to stab you."

"What if the tears didn't work?"

Aurelia didn't answer him. She just turned and walked out of the room.

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