Forever, That's The Whole Point

Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Aurelia smiled as she walked with Willow. The red head had taken a liking to her and was constantly asking questions about everything Aurelia had seen. "I can't believe you were friends with Queen Elizabeth!"

Aurelia laughed. "She was an interesting woman."

"I can imagine!"

"She was a lot like her mother."

"You knew Anne Boleyn? How?"

"I was only fifteen when I knew Elizabeth and she was in the prime of her reign. Cassius and I died in 1548 and were reincarnated only a few years later. But we knew King Henry and all six of his wives."

"Was Anne innocent or were all those charges true?"

Aurelia scoffed. "Of course she was innocent. It was Henry's incompetence that killed her. She was young and vibrant and full of life. He was so impotent with old age and he was so unhealthy in his habits, no wonder poor Anne couldn't give him the son he desired."

"What about Jane Seymour? She got a son."

"Pure luck. But it killed her in the end. Those poor women. They were pushed on that slob of a king."

Willow shook her head. "Wow. This is so exciting. Can I talk to you about something?"

Aurelia smiled. "I thought we already were."

"This is a different something. It doesn't have anything to do with history."

"Ok."

"Well, you must know a lot about men and all…. I mean, you're so old!" Willow slapped her hand over her mouth. "I mean…. Not old, but…."

Aurelia laughed. "I understand what you're saying. Go on."

"Well, I want Oz to make a move."

"Have you told him this?"

"No! Oh my gosh, no!"

"You need to talk to him."

"Ok, well…. See, we were sitting in his van and I asked if he wanted to make out and he said yes, but he wouldn't."

"He wouldn't?"

"He said he was gonna wait until I was ready, but…. I'm ready. Honest. I'm good to go here."

"I think that it's nice that he's not just being an animal about this. Most men would be all over you."

"It is nice. He's great. We have a lot of fun. But I want smoochies!"

Aurelia looked over at Willow. "Have you dropped any hints to him to let him know how you feel?"

"I've dropped anvils."

Aurelia smiled. "Do not worry, Willow. He will come around. What man could resist your wily charms?"

"At last count, all of them. Maybe more."

"Well, most men know nothing when it comes to love. They're completely stumped when a woman knows what she wants. I say that they all get failing grades in Willow."

"But I want Oz to get an 'A', and, oh, one of those gold stars."

Aurelia touched Willow's shoulder. "He will. You just need to give it time."

"Well, he better hurry. I don't want to be the only girl in school without a real boyfriend." Aurelia looked down sadly and Willow realized her insensitivity. "Oh, I'm such an idiot. I'm sorry. I-I shouldn't even be talking about…. Do you want me to go away?"

"Oh, no. I wish you wouldn't."

"How are you holding up anyway?"

"I'm…. holding up, as you say. It is not the first lifetime without him."

"But you did have him."

"It does not help, though, that I'm the one that killed…." Aurelia shook her head and put on a bright smile. "You know what? I think that I would…. Hold up…. A lot better if you, Xander, and I could do something fun tonight. I quite like this place called The Bronze."

Willow smiled brightly. "Great. I'll give Xander a call. What's his number? Oh, yeah, 1-800-I'm-Dating-A-Skanky-Ho."

Aurelia smiled. "You cannot help who you fall in love with, Willow."

"I'm just saying: Xander and Cordelia? I mean, what does he see in her anyway?"

Aurelia shrugged. "She is quite a domineering girl, isn't she?"

"Darn tootin!"

Aurelia laughed. "I love your speech, Willow. It's refreshing."

"You know, it's always a shock to remember that you're not Buffy anymore."

"I am Buffy. I've just got new memories along with all the old ones. It's only been a week or so. I'm slowly adjusting. This century is just so…. New…. And quite overwhelming at times."

"I can't even imagine how you must feel. I mean, when you were alive last time, seventeen was grown up!"

Aurelia nodded. "Yes. It is…. Totally different."

At school the next morning, Aurelia, Willow, Xander, Cordelia, Giles, and Oz were all out in the parking lot. A beast had attacked the car that Cordelia and Xander had been making out in the night before. Aurelia inspected the hole in the roof and said, "And you are most sure that it was a werewolf?"

"Well, let's see, um, six feet tall, claws, a big old snout in the middle of his face like a wolf." Xander said. "Um, yeah, I'm sticking with my first guess."

"Seems wise." Oz said.

"Oh, oh, and then there was that little thing where it tried to bite us."

"It was so awful." Cordelia said, putting her head on Xander's shoulder.

Xander put his arm around her. "I know."

"Daddy just had this car detailed."

Giles walked up behind Aurelia with a newspaper. She turned to him and said, "So what's the word?" She and Willow had to giggle at the language again. Buffy had said it so naturally, but Aurelia was still used to proper English, so it always sounded awkward.

Giles found himself chuckling slightly as well. "Well, it seems there were a, a number of other attacks by a wild dog around town." He handed a newspaper to Aurelia. "Several animal carcasses were found mutilated."

"You mean, like bunnies and stuff?" Willow asked. "No, don't tell me."

"Oh, don't worry." Oz said. "I mean, they might not look it, but bunnies can really take care of themselves."

"Yeah."

"Yeah."

"Yes, uh, um, fortunately, no people were injured." Giles said, taking the paper back.

Aurelia nodded. "That is a most fortunate change."

"Well, for now. But my guess is that this werewolf will be back at next month's full moon."

"What about tonight's full moon?" Willow asked.

"Pardon?"

"Well, last night was the night before the full moon, traditionally known as…. 'the night before the full moon.'"

"Meaning the accepted legend that werewolves only prowl during a full moon might be erroneous."

"Or it could be a crock." Cordelia said.

"Unless the werewolf was using last year's almanac." Xander said.

"No. Werewolves come out the night before, the night of, and the night after the full moon." Aurelia said. "When I was twelve years old as Mya, my family encountered a werewolf. It turned out that the wolf was a gypsy from another clan. He told my parents all about it."

"Really?" Giles asked. "That's fascinating."

"Was that sarcasm?"

"No."

"I don't think Giles knows sarcasm." Xander said.

Aurelia laughed slightly. "Well, if you would like, I will help you with your research. You have a tendency to run to your books at this time. No?"

Giles nodded. "Yes. And the help would be most appreciated."

Later that afternoon, everyone was convened in the library. Giles was standing in front of the table demonstrating the phases of the moon using a large earth globe with a smaller moon globe attached by a bar. "And, uh, while there's absolutely no scientific explanation for lunar effect on the human psyche, uh, the phases of the moon, uh, do seem to exert a great deal of psychological influence. And th-the full moon is, is, seems to bring out our darkest qualities."

"And yet, ironically, uh, led to the invention of the moon pie." Xander said.

Aurelia giggled and Giles shot her a warning glare before continuing. "Yes, the moon pie. Anyway…. Y-you see, uh, the-the werewolf, uh, is such a, a potent e-e-extreme representation of our inborn animalistic traits that it e-emerges for three full consecutive nights: the full moon and, uh, the two nights surrounding it."

"Quite the party animal."

"Quite. And it, uh, acts on-on pure instinct. No conscience, uh, uh, predatory and, and aggressive."

"In so many other words, your typical male." Aurelia said.

"On behalf of my gender: hey." Xander said.

"Yes, let's not jump to any conclusions." Giles said.

"I did not jump." Aurelia defended. "I am merely stating an observation. Most men can be boiled down to that simplistic description."

"The point is that our wolfman could also be a-a-a wolfwoman, or-or anyone who was bitten by a werewolf."

"So then I'm guessing your standard silver bullets are in order here?" Xander asked.

"No. No bullets." Aurelia said.

"Why?" Willow asked.

"Because you have to remember that no matter who this werewolf is, it is still a human being who is probably unaware of his or her condition. So tonight, we will bring this werewolf back alive."

"I agree." Giles said.

"Thank you." Aurelia looked around the table. "So, a werewolf tends to love areas of…. Passion. The heat and scent created by human bodies in the act of making love…. Or even…. making out…. Seems to attract them."

"Where should we start looking?" Giles asked. He and Aurelia looked at Willow, Xander, and Oz.

That night, Aurelia and Giles were searching the make out spot where all the teenagers gathered in a secluded area of the park. The moon was full and several cars were parked there. Giles walked by some of the cars holding his flashlight out in front of him. Aurelia walked over and met up with him.

"Anything yet?" Giles asked.

"Yes. You will not believe what I saw. Brittany Podell was making out with Owen Stadeel, but he is supposed to be with Barrett Williams. If she were to find…." Aurelia noticed that Giles was staring at her incredulously. "Sorry. Willow's been helping me get back into the life of a seventeen year old girl in high school. The drama of it all is a little bit addictive. There's been no sign of the werewolf. What about you?"

"Uh, the same. I thought we might, uh…. I thought we might knock on a few windows, uh, ask if anyone has seen anything yet." Aurelia chuckled at him. "What?"

"Giles, no one has seen anything."

"Oh, yes. No, of-of-of course not, no. Yes." Giles looked down and walked off to continue looking.

Aurelia stared after him a moment and then headed off into the bushes herself. She scanned around with her flashlight as she walked into a small clearing. Suddenly she heard a noise like a latch releasing and yelped as she found herself being pulled up into a net trap. Below her, a hunter walked out of the bushes and pointed his scoped, double-barreled flintlock up at her and pulled back the hammer.

"Gotcha!" He said. He walked up to her and took a closer look at what he'd caught. "What the hell?"

"Giles! Giles!" Aurelia called out.

Giles came running. "Hey!" He saw the hunter with his gun and held his arms up.

"Hands are good right about there." The hunter said.

"Who are you?" Aurelia demanded. "What are you doing? Let me down."

"The name's Cain. I'm the one with the gun, which means I'm the one who gets to do the interviewing."

"I said let me down."

Cain exhaled and lowered the flintlock, leaning it against a boulder. He pulled out his buck-knife and cut the rope holding up the net. It fell and Aurelia hit the ground fairly hard.

Giles reached down to untangle the net. "You alright?"

"Yes. Thank you." Aurelia stood up.

Cain saw Aurelia clearly now and said, "Gotta say, I'm impressed."

Aurelia turned cold eyes on him. "Excuse me?"

"Well, it's good to get the fruit while it's fresh."

"You'd be most wise to take that back."

"Hey, what a man and a girl do in lovers' lane at night is nobody's busi…."

Aurelia made a move towards Cain, but Giles held her back. "You are most repulsive, sir. It is not what you think. We are hunting werewolves." Cain laughed.

"It's funny thinking about you two catching one. This guy looks like he's auditioning to be a librarian, and, you, well, you're a girl."

"I assure you she's quite capable." Giles said.

"Uh-huh. Lemme ask you something, sweetheart. Exactly how many of these animals have you taken out?"

"I do not 'take out' any werewolves. They're human." Aurelia said.

"I tore a tooth from the mouth of every werewolf that I killed." Cain held out his necklace. "This next one will bring the total to an even dozen."

"You've just killed them?"

"Well, see, that's the thing. Their pelts fetch a pretty penny in Sri Lanka, and it's a little hard to skin 'em when they're alive."

Aurelia was appalled. "You hunt werewolves for sport?"

"No, no, I'm in it purely for the money."

"It does not bother you that a werewolf is a person twenty-eight days out of the month?"

"That's why I only hunt 'em the other three. I'd really love to stay and chat, but I'm on a tight schedule. Any idea where else the boys and girls like to get together around here?"

"Why?"

"They're suckers for that whole sexual heat thing. Sense it miles away."

"I know that."

"Do you now?"

"I assure you, I know more than you've ever conceived."

"Yeah, sure. Well, since this little doggie ain't here, I guess he found another place."

"Well, I apologize for the inconvenience." Aurelia said sarcastically. "I wish I could help you."

"But you don't know squat? Gee, what a surprise." Cain turned and left.

Aurelia turned and headed back towards the car. "Where are we going?" Giles asked, running to catch up with her.

"I think I know where to look for the werewolf." She said. "We just have to make it there before that overbearing cod piece does."

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