Angel noticed the sky getting lighter in the east, meaning it was about time for him to head in as the sun was going to rise soon. He paused as he realized that he didn't have to go home, he could watch the sun rise if he wished. For the first time in centuries he could watch a sunrise!
He almost felt like dancing! Centuries of being banished to the dark, unable to walk in the light of day had been undone. He could walk in daylight like a normal man once more and possibly even attend a church service. He chuckles quietly to himself as he pictured the look on Spike's face if he brandished a cross at him.
It felt like a weight was lifting from him, a millstone that had been around his neck for most of his existence was gone… He felt a lightness in his chest that made him close his eyes and take a deep breath, only to frown and slip into an alley as he heard a familiar pair of people approach.
"Bah, Bah, I say!" Xander declared melodramatically, as he passed by, holding Buffy's hand, swinging it idly back and forth.
"No, seriously," the slayer told him, "we have got to change your diet, I am almost positive that tasting sweet is a sign of diabetes."
"It's also the sign of someone who eats a lot of chicken and pineapple," he argued.
"Do you eat a lot of chicken and pineapple?" Buffy asked, surprised.
"Chicken is cheap and easy to bake, not requiring a lot of attention," Xander replied with a shrug, "and my parents have some weird idea that pineapple protects the liver or something." He shrugged. "Long story short, I eat pineapple chicken at least three times a week."
"Oh," Buffy said. "How do you know chicken and pineapple does that?"
"Read it in an article," Xander reluctantly admitted.
"Oh an article…" Buffy teased as they vanished around a corner.
Angel stepped out of the alley. "Well, that killed the mood," he said with a sigh, before shaking it off. "I'm still going to see it," he said firmly, turning and heading for the beach.
Just After Sunrise
Angel enjoyed the feel of sunlight on his skin as he walked through the silent streets of Sunnydale, wondering if he should head home or stop somewhere for some coffee. While coffee wouldn't nourish him it just felt like something he should do. He felt… human.
He spun around, searching for Willow, and spotted her running down the center of the street being followed by a small number of wild animals, though she was quickly outpacing them. Frankly he was a little surprised by how fast she was moving.
He watched as the animals slowed to a stop and gave up on chasing the red haired girl. They seemed almost embarrassed and looked around for witnesses before spotting him and scattering into nearby alleys.
"Did a racoon just flip me off?" Angel asked himself before shaking his head. "I think it's time to turn in; I've had enough humaning for the day."
"Okay, now how should we do this?" Buffy asked with an evil grin as they approached the school.
Willow was too busy giggling to answer, though she did try and speak several times but couldn't stop giggling to speak.
Xander just grinned and shook his head. "I'd suggest trying to keep a straight face, but… I don't think any of us are going to be able to do that. I say we just lay it all out for him. He may even find it funny."
"I'm not sure about that," Buffy said, shaking her head. "Pretty sure the Watchers' Council surgically removed his sense of humor if he ever had one."
Xander shrugged. "He was friends with Ethan, he had to have had a sense of humor at some point." He slid an arm around Willow who was taking slow deep breaths and was really red in the face to make sure she didn't fall down.
"True," Buffy said thoughtfully. "I mean it is really hard to think of a way to make this situation funnier."
Willow started giggling again and Xander simply swept her up in his arms.
"Exactly. The only way we could make this funnier would require props and the drama kids are currently trying to adapt Hamlet into a silent comedy," Xander said with a shrug.
"Silent comedy?" Buffy asked, frowning as she tried to work out how that would work and opening the door so Xander could carry Willow into the school. A few of the students glanced over, surprised at seeing one student carrying another, but as nothing exciting seemed to be happening quickly returned their attention to their own tasks.
"Mimes," Xander replied thoughtfully. "Not the strangest thing they've ever done. Personally, I blame the Hellmouth."
"You seem pretty unbothered by it," Buffy noted as she opened the door to the library for the two. "Don't you have a clown phobia?"
"Yes, yes I do, but Mimes aren't clowns and they are French," Xander explained, causing Giles and Miss Calendar to look up from their tea.
"And since they are French, they aren't scary," Buffy said with a nod.
"No," Xander said, shaking his head and setting Willow on a chair, who reluctantly released him, "Mimes are not clowns at all, they have practically nothing in common and the French are very scary."
"French scary?" Buffy asked in disbelief. "Didn't they roll over against the Germans, which pretty much cemented their reputation as non-scary?"
"No," Xander said firmly, "what they did was realize they couldn't face the German Warmachine head on, and since the Germans were making a pretty fair attempt at world domination that should have been obvious to everyone. So, they surrendered and then, while suffering under German rule, they weakened and eventually killed them. If you are ever in a position where the French surrender to you, I'd suggest you start running."
"Giles?" Buffy asked, knowing her Watcher would know if Xander was just messing with her.
"It's true," Giles assured her. "The French were instrumental in the defeat of the Nazi Party. Of course, being English I am required by custom to make disparaging remarks about them just as they are required to make similar remarks about the English, but trust me it is mainly done in good humor." He looked at them over the top of his glasses, a trace of a smirk on his lips. "You'd have to be either ignorant or American to mistake our good natured rivalry for anything other than cultural humor."
"Hey!" the three teens protested, as Miss Calendar muffled a laugh in her cup of tea.
"May I ask what brought you to ask such a question this early in the morning?" Giles requested.
"The Drama Kids are trying to make Hamlet using Mimes or something," Buffy said, waving it off as unimportant.
Giles and Miss Calendar stiffened and exchanged concerned looks, their expressions shifting as they had a silent conversation.
"They're doing that telepathy thing," Buffy complained. "Use words," she ordered the two.
"Altering Hamlet in such a way is simply one small step from suddenly putting on The King in Yellow," Giles explained.
"I thought it was 'The King was Naked," Buffy said with a frown, "and he just thought his clothes were invisible till some kid pointed out he was flashing the kingdom."
"That's a classic fable," Giles replied. "The King in Yellow is a play that when performed… well, let's just say it's best if we nip it in the bud."
"I'll take care of it," Miss Calendar said confidently.
"I don't know, the Drama Kids are pretty hard to shift when they get an idea in their heads," Willow warned her. "Earlier this year they spent an entire week talking in Iambic pentameter everywhere they went to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday."
The computer teacher smirked. "All I have to do is point out they all have the same amount of lines regardless of the number of scenes they are in and the idea will fall apart on its own."
"Oh," Willow said, eyes lighting up, "yeah that'll do it. I remember the argument over the use of contractions they had in the quad last week and how it counted in… the counting of words spoken."
"Exactly," she agreed, "ego is a powerful motivator." She turned back to Giles as she got to her feet. "See you later, English," Miss Calendar flirted as she left.
"Yes, um, you too," he stammered out a smile on his face. After a couple of seconds he noticed the looks on the kids' faces and his eyes narrowed. "And what mischief has brought you three here now?"
Buffy's grin turned evil. "We need to you to do your Watcher thing with all the Disney movies."
Giles looked thoughtful for a moment and nodded. "I'll check to make sure I have the latest update on the council's research on the subject. Truthfully, I should have realized it would be needed after the events of Halloween." He raised an eyebrow when he saw the three were just staring at him and leaned forward looking at them over the tops of his glasses. "Disney movies are based on tales and fables that involve the supernatural, did you not think the council would study their work in detail?"
The three teens glanced at one another uncomfortably for a few seconds before Buffy spoke up, "No, we weren't even sure you'd watched anything made in the last twenty years, so making you study all the Disney movies was going to be hilarious."
Giles chuckled and shook his head. "Just because I'm not fond of the tripe that passes for modern media these days, does not mean I am unaware of it."
"But are you aware that it takes three raccoons to run a vacuum cleaner?" she asked brightly.
"Pardon?" he asked.
"I ended up singing along with The Little Mermaid this morning and wild animals decided to help me clean my house," Willow explained.
"That… I have no response to that," Giles said. "When you say wild animals…"
"Raccoons, an armadillo, a couple of mice, some cats," Willow listed off, "all local animals."
Giles nodded. "That's a relief, if you were summoning animals from a great distance it could affect the local ecology adversely. Local animals lured in and charmed from within vocal range, while interesting, isn't something to be excessively concerned about."
"Yes, but it does show we may have powers we don't know about," Buffy argued. "Disney princesses have had all sorts of powers and we need to see if there are any more lurking about."
"If they are keyed to singing or other such activities such research will require your presence," Giles pointed out. "We'll have to rent some place where you can sing and dance, possibly use a spinning wheel."
"Oh," Buffy said, "didn't think of that."
"What if she fingers a prick?!" Willow exclaimed, before realizing what she said. "Opposite!" she exclaimed wide eyed. "I meant the opposite!"
"Pricks her finger," Giles said with a nod. "Then True Love's Kiss will wake her, which, since you both will be on hand, should not be a problem."
"We can figure it out over lunch, we gotta get to class," Xander said.
"I'll see what I can come up with," Giles promised.
As the three were departing Xander turned to Willow, "Wouldn't that have meant Buffy would have fallen asleep on me the second day we were in Narnia?"
Willow did the mature thing and smacked him in the shoulder. "Opposite!"
Giles just sighed. "I'm surrounded by children."
Harmony smiled brightly as she saw her three new friends waiting in the hall for the teacher to arrive and class to start. Seeing Willow leave the other two to use the bathroom, her smile widened and she slipped away from the crowd to follow her.
Buffy's head snapped to the side, attracting Xander's attention, and the two watched as Harmony stalked, there really was no other word for it, after Willow. "Maybe I should…" she began, but Xander laid a hand on her arm.
"We already knew this was coming from the Slayer dream, as long as no penguins are involved she'll be fine," he reminded her. "Tell the teacher Willow is having female issues and after twenty minutes, ask to use the bathroom so you can send her to class. I'll spell you fifteen minutes after that."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Or I could simply interrupt her now."
"And how well did that work in the shower room?" he said bluntly.
Buffy winced. "Okay, good point. Fine, we'll go with your plan. Do you think Willow can last a full twenty minutes on her own?"
"Yeah, I think all three of us together hyped Harmony up, so one-on-one we should be fine," Xander said, trying to sound confident.
"Fine," Buffy agreed, "but how do we cover for Harmony being absent?"
"Relax, I'll cover it," Cordelia said quietly, startling the pair and getting a smirk out of her. "Harmony has had to take enough breaks that teachers are used to me calling 'present' for her," she explained.
"We need to work on our situational awareness," Buffy complained, recalling Giles lecturing her on the subject.
"Or at least put bells on the more attractive girls," Xander suggested. Realizing the two girls were now staring at him in confusion, he shrugged. "Sorry, no idea where my brain was at and it certainly has nothing to do with you guys being just dressed in bells because I want someone to say they'll 'be there with bells on' and mean it at least once in my life."
"I can follow that random thought process," Buffy said, pleased she was beginning to understand how his mind worked, "and to punish you… you get to retrieve Willow after fifteen minutes and I'll get you twenty-five minutes later."
"Can he last that long on his own?" Cordelia asked doubtfully.
"We'll soon see, won't we?" Buffy teased.
"I feel like I should complain… but not really," Xander said in confusion as the bell rang and Buffy guided him into the classroom.
"That's just your hormones messing with you, you'll be fine," Buffy assured him, forcing herself not to laugh as they took their seats.
Typing by: Abyssal Angel & Mist-0f-Shadows