Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or products named in this
story and make no profit from it.
Summary: A mysterious carnival appears on the outskirts of Sunnydale.
Despite the sudden disappearance of townspeople and pets, Xander is
intrigued and wants a closer look. What he gets is more than he could
This story is based on a suggested story idea from the lovely Mystic Oblivion.
As always, thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for the banners that put the perfect
visual to my words.
The school day dragged on like a church sermon on a sunny day. None of
the four friends were chatty, cheerful or sociable and none paid any mind that
the others were the same. They were simply there. Present and accounted
for on the Principal's attendance log as they each waited for the last bell of
the day to signal their release.
All were swamped and swimming in their own thoughts.
Breaking the monotony, Buffy was unexpectedly summoned from her science
class to the office of the head Librarian. It was the reprieve she had been praying
for. What she saw when she entered was nothing she could have expected.
Buffy clutched her books to her chest and scowled at the suddenly chirpy redhead.
"Willow? What are you doing here? I mean, yeah, school library, lots of books
and all but....."
"Oh, you mean because this is your territory? Because he's your Watcher?
Because you are the Slayer?"
Buffy's books hit the floor along with her jaw.
Before she had the chance to screech, Giles stepped from his office and glanced
up from the volume he was referencing to notice her arrival.
"Oh, Good, you're here. I have some stunning news, Buffy, it seems that your
friend here is becoming quite the skilled Wicca. I have given her several tests
this afternoon and am pleased to find that her abilities and natural talent are
extraordinary. I have explained our situation to her and I think she can be
invaluable to our cause."
"You have explained our WHAT?"
In her excitement, Willow failed to notice that her friend was not exactly
taking her ticket and welcoming her aboard.
"Wow! This is just super keen! Giles is going to help me. We are going to
work all afternoon getting me established on a program. So, you're the Slayer,
huh? Kinda makes sense. We all sort of wondered why you were kind of
weird. Giles has books and ingredients and everything. This is SO great!"
Buffys line of sight ping ponged between her traitorous Watcher and her interloper,
"This afternoon? Giles, you and I were supposed to go to the you know where to
look for the you know what."
She then spun around to face Willow.
"Who thinks I'm weird?"
Giles had already sat down beside Willow and was quickly flipping through
chapter after chapter on the history of demon spells. Willow was fascinated.
Without looking up, Giles waved a hand in Buffys' direction.
"Oh, yes, the carnival. I did some further checking and have found that the
Master vampire with the human name of Liam now goes by Angelus. The carnival is
operated by him, his childe, a female vampire called Drusilla and an odious
vampire of questionable heritage called William the Bloody. I believe tomorrow
is soon enough for us to...........?
Giles looked up, but found he was talking to empty air. Buffy was gone. With a
disgusted tisk of the tongue and a resolve to speak to her again about her flightiness
then Giles returned to his promising new student.
Buffy raced from the building. She didn't care that there was still 30 minutes
before the dismissal bell rang. What she needed could not wait. Her brain
had hit maximum capacity of 'Oh Fuck" and she had to go.
'Angel. Angelus. I just can't be.'
The thoughts of denial spun in her head but each time her hand drifted up to
the turtleneck sweater she wore, she knew it was true. The slightest brush of her
fingertips over the bite marks sent waves of hot needy desire rushing through
her body. It caused her heart to pound and her thong panties to stick to her
crotch with the juices of anticipation. It also sent an overpowering rush
of want for the man who put those wounds there.
She knew he was a vampire, but he was different. Giles wouldn't understand.
Angel had said he loved her. They had been intimate and their shared passion
would override any differences they had.
By this time, Buffy realized her thoughts had been so all consuming that her
feet had taken her in a different direction. She lived nearly a mile from where
she now found herself, but her gate never slowed or faltered. Her heeled boots
hit 10th street and she moved toward Kutters' Field with determination.
She knew she had hours till sunset. She had two sharp wooden stakes and a vial of
holy water in her book bag and a burning need for some answers in her heart.
'It can't be Angel.' She told herself. 'And even if it is, so what? Giles has no
proof that he has done anything. Larry probably just ran off. He always was a
Suddenly, she stopped. She crouched at the edge of the field and, using her
enhanced senses, surveyed the area. The carnival was dead. No rides were
moving and no game or food booths were open. There were no delicious,
enticing smells or lively musical sounds.
Edging closer, she again took cover behind a huge maple and she watched. The
grounds seemed nearly deserted. She counted five, maybe six human carnies
patrolling around the grounds, scaring off any curious kids and no doubt protecting
their sleeping masters.
Buffy carefully worked her way around the perimeter, unseen. She knew the
trailer of the carnival's owner, Liam, was the big one with the boarded up windows
in the back of the lot.
With stealth and the utmost caution, Buffy slipped from the cover of the woods
up to the rear of the line of the trailers. At the last second, she ducked behind one
of the food carts and dropped down. There was a guard. A huge mountain of a
human stationed outside Liam's trailer. A sentinel reading a National Enquirer.
With lightning speed, Buffy rushed him. Raising a small, powerful fist, she cracked
him on the back of the head, knocking him to the ground, unconscious. She then
jerked the trailer door, breaking the lock and she ran inside before anyone could
raise an alarm.
The interior of the trailer was dark, dimmed by the heavy covering on all the
windows. She could see that she was standing in a small kitchen/living area.
There was a narrow hallway in front of her ending in a closed door. Silently,
she took a step forward and reached for the knob. She wished she had taken
a stake out. The feel of the wood in her hand gave her courage.
The door handle was cold in her palm. Gently, she started to turn it. Before
she could, she was startled when a voice from within called to her.
"Come in, Buffy. We have been waiting for you."