First Return
Author: Nikki
SUMMARY: Sequel to Willow's Secret. Gorgon returns to visit Jack Giles with his daughter to train as a Watcher.

Part 1

The winter storm rattled the windows of Jack's room, startling him awake with the white flash of lightning arcing across his ceiling. He blinked at the dark then suddenly bright night.

At first he thought he heard incessant thunder, then realised someone was hammering on the front door. He swore beneath his breath and glanced at the clock. Who was knocking at such an ungodly hour? He padded downstairs, hauling his robe about him against the chill. He passed the lamp-lit library and resisted the temptation to growl at Spike. The vampire and Jenny had been spending time together recently.

He hurried to the door, his feet chilled by the flagstone floor. He drew the bolts and opened it into the howling storm. The lashing rain obscured his vision briefly. Two hooded figures stepped over the threshold and Jack slammed the door shut with a shiver.

"Master Giles?"

Jack turned on the hall light and stared at his mysterious visitors.


"Forgive our intrusion at such a late hour. My daughter and I have travelled many leagues to visit thee, Master Giles. My name is Gorgon; I am a friend of thy father and mother."

Jack thrust his hands into the pockets of his robe to mask his astonishment.

"I'm sorry, but they've both passed on. My father died about this time last year. My mother five years before that."

Gorgon slipped his hood down, revealing a full head of snakes hissing and writhing in Jack's direction. The Watcher leapt back in alarm. He stared at his own horrified expression in Gorgon's mirror shades. Then Gorgon's daughter stepped forward and slipped her hood back.

Jack stared at the young woman, her shoulder length bronze curls framed her heart shaped face and set off her luminous green-gold eyes. Jack lost his breath and his heart beat madly in his chest.

"Mum?" He gasped.

Spike and Jenny appeared at the Library door, looking a little dishevelled. "What's up, Watcher?" Spike asked good-naturedly just before he noticed the young woman.

"Shit!" The vampire exclaimed.


Part 2

Willow looked on him; he was her only love. How often had they met, fell in love and parted in past lives? He was beautiful, unscathed by his earthly deeds, cleansed of all evil in this, their own private paradise.

She smiled at his twitching nose as she tickled him with a blade of grass. She trailed the blade down his chest to his navel, twirling it there briefly before her tongue took over the exploration. She felt him tense and his breathing grow faster. Her touch was featherlight and her lips caressed his growing erection. He made a slight movement, a gentle incline of his hips and hissed a long drawn out, "Yessssss".

She curled round his body and took him into her mouth, worshipping him, giving him life in her tender sweet warmth. She felt his warm hand on her shoulder and beheld her lover's eyes filled with smouldering need. She released him with a last lingering kiss, then he took her in his strong arms.

Rupert bestowed silken hot kisses on her throat and licked a fiery trail to her perfect breasts. Willow arched and moaned his name softly, begging him to take her. He smiled, slipping her nipple between his teeth and revelling in the wanton expression of her lust. He wrapped his arms round her waist and shifted her up, turning them on the soft earth.

"Rupert! Pleassse, now?" Willow moaned passionately. She flung her leg over his hip and he held it there and entered her. Both gasped, breaths suspended, one completing the other, gifting each other with the indescribable joy that would always be so.

They rocked gently making love in the forest glade of their earthly home, the summer-perfumed breeze cooling their glistening bodies. They tumbled and turned; fingers and lips interlocking as they came together, igniting the green fuse that kept winter at bay.

"My love, my heart, my Willow," Rupert whispered, his fingers brushing her copper hair from her sweet face.

"My soul, my love, my Rupert," Willow smiled. Rupert kissed her and hugged her close. The willow tree that they lay beneath dappled them in stripy shade, its leaves the colour of sunlit emeralds, the same shade as his love's eyes.


Jack took a large swallow of the brandy handed him by Spike. He glanced again at the man sitting on his sofa; he had removed his glasses and stared at the painting of his parents in the garden. The snakes no longer disturbed him.

Gorgon, looked at the painting with longing in his eyes. Their bronze green colour tinged with the pearl of cataract. He felt his serpents' hunger, but he was ancient and weary of the world of men. He would soon be able to look on his friends with unclouded eyes, as soon as he explained the threat his first-born posed.


Spike fidgeted, his fingers itching for a smoke. Jenny's hand on his thigh, both calming and arousing at the same time. He smiled at her and she snuggled closer to his chest. He stared at the unmoving Gorgon on the sofa. His stillness annoyed him.

"Oi! Snake 'ead! You going to say something? Or are you going to ogle the Watcher and Witch all night?"

Gorgon snapped his head in the vampires' direction and snarled. He had no love for vampires; his gaze had no effect on their undead flesh.

Spike smiled glacially "Oooo, dead scary mate!" Jack threw the vampire a cutthroat glare, shutting Spike up instantly.

"Gorgon, can you tell me about how you know my parents?" Jack looked on the man, he knew he must be old; there was only one recorded instance of a Gorgon visitation in the Watcher Archives, twenty-six years ago when his father brought one into the headquarters.

Gorgon smiled wistfully, turning back to the garden painting. "Thy mother granted me a boon, she looked into my eyes and saw my soul. Thy mother and father saved me, I was in despair and they filled me, loved me and gave my child life." He replaced his glasses and continued. "I was supposed to have a son, a warrior of Light. My serpents perverted thy mother's gift. My issue is female. Her name is Laurel, my first born is a three headed medusa and she is here growing in power."

Spike snorted and pointed a pale finger accusingly at the girl sitting silently on the sofa.

"Who's she then? You and Willow did the horizontal mamba?" He smirked.

Gorgon was at the vampire's throat in a second, his serpents erect and hissing, his icy glare matching Spikes.

"Pray, vampire, that you never know the joy of a heartbeat. If you are disrespectful to Mistress Willow again you will feel cold stone in your undead veins!" Gorgon had lifted Spike from his seat; Jenny tried to break his grip as she spied an odd glow emanating from beneath his glasses.

"Father!" Gorgon dropped Spike and stepped back breathing heavily. He sank back on the sofa and his companion asked Jack for some water. The water duly fetched he sat down next to Gorgon and felt an odd sense of belonging.

The girl extended her hand and Jack took it. Gorgon clasped their hands together. "Rose? Behold thy brother. Master Giles? Behold thy sister."

"You're my sister?" Jack asked the silent woman seated next to Gorgon. She nodded. He looked to Gorgon again. "Why? How? ? I mean why have I got a sister? Did mum and Dad know?"

Gorgon sighed and squared his shoulders, tears tracked down his face. "Thy mother allowed me back. Laurel is a year older than Rose. I came back because only the daughter of a Witch and Watcher will vanquish Laurel." Gorgon eased his head back; his serpents fanning out like a demonic halo.

He continued in a voice hushed by reminiscence. "I knelt before Willow in the garden clasping her hand and she gave me the means to defeat Laurel. She sacrificed her health to save the world. Thy father never knew. I fertilised her egg with thy father's seed and incubated the child within my body."

The room was silent; save for the crackling heat from the fireplace, a log fell from its place with a fiery thump and guitar music floated on the air heralding Willow and Rupert's return.


Part 3

Everyone focused on the lilting music and with quietened breath waited for the spirits to appear. The glowing embers of the fire flamed into life and the shades of Willow and Rupert slipped into the room.

"Hello Jack. " Willow enveloped him in a warm ethereal cloud and Jack's childlike smile expressed the joy of seeing his mother again.

"Hello mum, dad..." Rupert took a step forward to greet his son then was sidetracked by Gorgon and his daughter. Jack noticed his fathers' disquiet and moved to introduce them.

The air grew still and cold and the fire died as Ripper regarded Gorgon and the woman at his side. He flashed a look of accusation at Willow, the dragon living in his eyes.

"You betrayed me." Rupert's voice was fire and ice echoing in the cold room. He flinched away from Willow's outstretched hand and locked his gaze on Gorgon, "You had her again, and you caused my wife to turn to stone!" His quiet voice built to a roaring crescendo and suddenly there was no light in the room.

In the pitch-blackness Spike found and gathered Willow up. She wept as he followed her gaze to where snow fell and lightning reigned in the summer garden. He looked up to the mystified Jack. "Your Dad's pissed off, mate!"


Wesley Wyndham-Pryce polished his glasses and jumped at the sudden crack of thunder as the storm raged over the "Big House." It hardly ever rained over there. He glanced over at the abomination in the cell at the far end of the Council's dungeon. Seb fawned over it, handing it scraps of cloth to make a nest and laughing as the multiple arms of the beast fought over where to place them.

"Why do you do that?" Wesley questioned. "It isn't going to mate with anyone!" He turned back to the window and shivered suddenly, it was as if someone passed by his shoulder.

Seb turned his young face toward his old mentor, "My father was murdered by one of these... Rupert Giles stood by as he turned to stone! " His diamond hard voice jangled in Wesley's ears. "She's going to help me, " he reached out and stroked the auburn braid on the triheaded creature. " I'm going to mate with her -"

Wesley spun round in shock, the storm died down. "You're insane! You can't unleash creatures like that on the world! "

"Watch me..." His protégé chuckled. "Wesley?"

Wesley halted at the dungeon's threshold, "Yes?"

"You go and warn them, old man," Seb smiled at the creature's semi human head, it looked almost intelligent. "Tell them, something evil this way hastens."

Wesley made good his exit swallowing the bile that fizzled in his throat. He strode through the demon detectors on the first floor, past the hall of mirrors and hurried to his chamber. He ripped off his tweed "uniform" and threw it across the room. He dragged out the battered leather holdall that all Watchers were issued with in the field and packed it with weapons and his personal belongings. He hoisted it to his shoulder and then, casually tossing his "Kings shilling" on to the plate in the hall, he left the Council headquarters-- forever.


Spike straightened the paintings on their easels in the secret room. He stared at the painting of Gorgon.

"I saw his eyes once, he tricked me."

Spike leapt back in the darkness clutching his chest. " Bloody Hell, Watcher! A warning would be nice!"

Rupert chuckled. "Spike, I think I overreacted. "

"Yeah? You think? Christ Rupert! Red loves you! You are going to have to have wild make -up sex with her for this one, mate! "

Rupert smiled. "That I can live with! Spike, can you bring the others up? We'll need the whole team. " He then slipped through the door of the secret room and walked to where Willow sat weeping on the sofa. He held out his arms to her. "Wife" He murmured.

Willow got up and ran into his arms, "Husband" she sighed.

As they embraced, the dragon slept in the gently lapping flames of the fire.

Rupert pressed soft kisses over his lovers' face and throat murmuring that he loved her and that he'd never show her the dragon again. At last, when there came an awkward cough from the sofa, he realised that Jack still waited to introduce them to their daughter.

"Yes sorry Jack, " His father smiled gazing on Gorgon's companion. His heart froze in his chest. "Look Willow, we have a beautiful girl! " Tears slid down his face as he reached out to stroke her silken cheek.

"Dad, this is Rose. Gorgon asked mum if he could take her because she needs to slay her...."

"Sister." His father completed. "I've seen her, in the Council's dungeon. "

Rupert tore his eyes from the vision of loveliness before him, and hugged Willow close, "she looks so much like you..."

Rose searched the room, desperate for a sight of her "true" parents. "Father? I don't see them. "

Rupert and Willow stepped in front of the fire and held hands. Jack pointed Rose in the right direction. Slowly the golden glow of the embers in the fire filled in the outlined shape of her parents and she stepped towards them.

"We tried so long, to have you Rose. " Willow struggled with her words; She looked over to where Gorgon stood. "Thank you!"


The paintings were displayed in the living room and one by one, their friends emerged. Buffy and Ethan came from the painting hand in hand smiling and chatting; Oz stepped nimbly from the canvas with a guitar in each hand.

"You forgot this Rupert, " Oz chided. " Thought we could jam when the gang got here... Oh, new gang." Oz's gaze took in Rose and Gorgon. "Hi, I'm Oz... Buffy and the reformed master of Chaos, Ethan over there... "

Rupert made everyone visible to human eyes and the living room was suddenly crowded with ghosts, demons, humans and mage's all talking at once catching up on news.

Gorgon bowed his head in Ethan's direction. "Master, I have yet to complete my task" He slipped his hand beneath his robe and gave a small velvet box to Buffy. The faded lettering on the box read "Sebastian's"

"Happy Birthday Buffy!" Giles' voice drifted over to the Slayer as she opened the lid and saw "the seal" charm, his last gift to her, the one he withheld because he thought it would bring her death.

Soft spirit fingers plucked the charm from its foam cushion and Giles helped her to put in on her bracelet, because her eyes were filled with tears.

"Thank you Giles. I thought you'd forgotten..." She sniffed.

"Never forget you Buffy, the best Slayer a Watcher could wish for!"

Gorgon smiled and closed the box on the dull charm, its power now jangled and radiated in harmony with its fellows on the Slayers' wrist.

"My task is now complete, am I released from thy bond?"

Ethan smiled. "Yes, my good and noble servant, thou art released."

Gorgon sank into the sofa and sighed. "It was a long task. Watching over thee and guiding thee to this moment, it has been at times rewarding and terrifying. I need to rest."


Willow slipped out and joined the Slayer, who was making tea in the kitchen.

"You and Spike, do you like him Jenny? " Willow rescued the cup from the tray, and smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, Rupert and I should wear bells." She giggled.

The Slayer smiled, "I guess I'm just not used to ghosts! Spike and I well, we work well together. Does that seem odd?"

"No, no it doesn't. In fact Buffy worked with Angel for a very long time. " She looked at the Slayer and noticed how in the last year she'd matured and lost her innocent edge. She shouldn't have been surprised, Slaying did that to you.

"Tea's ready! " Jenny called as she set the tray on the table. The humans, Rose, Jack, Jenny and Spike took up one sofa whilst Rupert, Ethan, Oz, Willow and Buffy arranged themselves on the other.

Everyone chatted as before, waiting for their visitor and the apocalypse of the week. It was almost like old times.

Jack swallowed rather more tea than he wanted when the knock at the door came. He glanced at his father who nodded slightly.

It had begun...


Part 4

Wesley looked back over his shoulder and wrapped his overcoat more tightly round his body. It was dark and cold as he trudged along the winding country road towards the Big House. His mind whirled with the impossibilities of Sebastian's scheme; he couldn't possibly be thinking about populating the world with snake headed demons!


Wesley thought back to the hour that he had found the creature in a ruin near the compound. He had thought it to be a normal girl although downtrodden and in need of a bath. Her eyes held him bewitched as he pulled her from a rotting tree—then the other two creatures followed and broke the enchantment. He had named them Laurel, after the tree he dragged them from

The creature had three bodies joined at the hip in a circle. Two bodies of human flesh and one covered in snake-scales. The snake-skinned triplet had long red hair and reptilian eyes. The second body joined in the circle was blind with a head of snakes that hissed and writhed constantly; the third had neither snakes nor hair and regarded all who came near with intelligent human eyes. She among her sisters had a human soul but was dumb having been born with a forked tongue and bereft of vocal chords.

This unholy triad were dependent on an unusual symbiotic relationship. The snake-headed triplet killed; turned living flesh to stone, for the snake-skinned triplet who had the power of speech; the fork-tongued triplet was an observer and reluctant participant in the evil scheme of her sister and Sebastian.


The sound of a car approaching roused Wesley from his maudlin thoughts. He stood by the side of the road shielding his eyes in the glare of the headlights.

"Hey! What are you doing in the middle of the road? " A female American voice called from the E-type Jaguar. Wesley approached the driver's side resting his palms reverently on the sill.

"Good evening, I'm looking for the residence of Mr.Jack Giles, am I near? Could you give me a lift? "

"Whatdya think Xander? Do we give him a lift to Giles'?" Cordelia looked at her passenger with a glimmer of a smile about her lips…

"There's not much room, Cordy, but yeah, c'mon. What's your name by the way? " Xander squashed his gear into the corner of the rear seat and moved the box he carried on his lap into the foot well.

"Thank you, I'm Wesley Wyndham-Pryce," he shook their hands as he folded his body into the car. A stake fell at Xander's feet and Wesley stared open mouthed desperately thinking of a reason for it to be there…he was a Scout leader and carried it as kindling?

Xander retrieved it and smiled, "You dropped your stake Watcher."

Wesley looked from one to the other and slowly realisation dawned. The Journals of Rupert Giles, often referred to the group who aided his Slayer, the Slayeretttes, or Scooby's.

"Do I have the pleasure of travelling with "the Scooby's"?" Wes swallowed doing his best not to look too awed.

Cordelia and Xander exchanged happy grins and in unison uttered, "Fame at last!"


Cordelia, Wesley and Xander still carrying his box, arrived at Jack's house in a parcel, like last time. Cordelia lightly gripped Xander's hand as he glanced at his box, a stray tear dropped on the lid, as Jack flung the door open.

"Xander! " Jack smiled, despite the gravity of the situation, " Cordelia! Stunning as usual," He kissed her in greeting. She blushed and wondered at his charm and poise. He was so like Giles. He searched the eyes of the remaining visitor, extended his hand and then clasping Wesley's he brought him into the hall.

"We've been expecting you Mr.Wyndham-Pryce." Jack took his coat from him and tried to ignore the man's astonishment as "William the Bloody" came from the kitchen sipping blood from his mug, Jenny, the present Slayer followed on behind with a plate of donuts…

"Jenny?" Cordelia shrieked and battled past the bewildered Watcher, soon both women were talking "nineteen to the dozen."

Xander walked slowly into the living room following the sound of joyful laughter. Rupert saw Xander and sensing that something was wrong, he crossed the room. Xander's eyes brimmed with tears as he held his box before him…

The room hushed as he said one word before his tears finally fell. "Anya."

Rupert gazed at the box now in his hands and opened the lid. A cold bronze urn gleamed softly in the firelight. He shot a shocked look at Willow and she hugged Xander, her life long friend wept on her shoulder. Rupert placed Anya's ashes on the mantle and then enfolded his wife and Xander in his healing embrace.


Wesley sat timidly on the corner seat of one of the sofas. He'd been introduced to the dead Scooby gang. No problem… Buffy, the Vampire Slayer? Piece of cake! The vampire Spike, William the Bloody, who owned the house that Jack lived in, was a little more difficult to comprehend. Then there was Gorgon and he had freaked!

Gorgon sat across the way from Wesley and he could see his own anxiety reflected in the mirror shades the monster wore. Everyone sat about the room, supping tea, reading books, and eating donuts, looking nonchalant. But Wesley knew that beyond the tranquillity of the scene each person in this room had a mind like a steel trap. His reflection smiled.

"What amuses thee, Watcher? " Gorgon's quiet cultured voice caught Wesley off guard.

"It's…" Wesley gestured to encompass the room and its populace, "them, they're a well oiled machine. The council had no idea how to replicate this until Jack came on the scene. It's wonderful!"

Jenny slipped from Spike's lap as he leapt up and started to pace, Buffy exchanged glances with Giles. Something was up with the vampire.

"Spill, Spike! " Buffy still didn't like him much.

"Why are you all just laying about? I don't remember this much research when we were back in Sunnydale! Why can't I go over there and bung the blokes balls in a blender? That'd put paid to this mating lark pretty damn quick!"

"Because…" Ethan mildly complained from where he leaned against the mantelpiece " That would be rude…"

Wesley, who had crossed his legs at Spike's remark, uncrossed them and decided to join the conversation. Although he had never had an active Slayer, he felt that this was something he could comment on. "Laurel, the serpents spawn is held captive in the Council's dungeon, she is divided into three separate beings, each dependant on the other for survival. Rose, " he pointed to the redhead on the sofa, "is the only one who can Slay her. I say she needs help, Spike is immune to the ossifying glare of the Gorgon sisters, but to gain entry he needs help, they've had a hall of mirrors installed. He can't get past that but Jenny can get in and so can Jack. I will be your guide. We only need a few minutes to slay her. "

Rupert smiled. "What do you propose? "

"Gorgon, Rose, Jack, Jenny, Spike and I go into the compound to slay Laurel and Henri Sebastian. " Wesley hesitated, "Are you familiar with the film 'Ghost'?"

Buffy smiled. "Ooooh goody! Does this mean I get to kick butt again?"


Part 5

She clutched her blanket to her breast, it was the last thing he had given her and the only kindness the humans had shown her. Her body ached from being in one place for too long, but she dared not move. Her sisters would be angry.

She craned her neck to the iron grid at the base of the ancient stonewall; the floor was damp, mildewed flagstones here, but she didn't mind. She could hear the sound of Angel's leather boots scuffling on the stones. She lifted her hand and tapped on the grid.

The pacing stopped and long fingers reached through the holes and yanked out the ironwork. It had taken months of hard work to free the grid from its fixings and then she was rewarded by an uninterrupted view of his face.


Angel smiled at the sound of tapping. He stopped pacing his cell, stepped up on his footstool and opened the grid between the two cells. He knew she was a demon of some kind, but one with the face of an angel. He reached through the 5' by 9' gap in the stonework and stroked her face. She was cold despite the blanket he'd passed to her. He studied her face trying to figure out whom she reminded him of.

"Well, princess. What would you like to hear tonight? " He whispered. It was their custom to while away the hours reciting poetry.

His silent companion shrugged and then smiled as Angel started on his favourites. Her eyes gleamed with quiet joy. Just listening to his lilting soft voice made the nighttime and the horror of her existence bearable. She was almost asleep when she heard the grid slide back into place and his whispered farewell.

"It's morning, darling. Have to go. Sleep tight my angel."

Her lips curled in her sleep and her tongue slipped out between them kissing the air, caressed by his voice. Goodnight.


Henri Sebastian tossed the coin in the air. With each toss, his anger grew. Wesley had gone. Only his "Shilling" remained. Much as he hated the snivelling senile Watcher, he knew that he needed him. Laurel was getting harder to control.

How the Hell did one mate with a Medusa anyway? He tossed the coin again, cursing as it hit the rug in his room. He bent to pick it up and then noticed something odd. It was double-headed; Wesley had handed in a fake!

That meant that Wesley had gone to warn the Slayer and her Watcher, Giles the younger. Henri grinned. He changed his habit with the coin; now he passed it over and under his nimble fingers. They would try to assassinate Laurel and he would be waiting for them.


Angel followed the Under-Secretary into the conference room. He smiled as he glanced round the frieze of the room. He sensed Giles' handiwork here; the mage still left an echo even after these many years. The long table seated three Senior Watchers all eyeing him carefully.

Angel took his ease in the Gothic Oak chair opposite and the Watchers were undone. In one gesture, Angelus had them feeling as though they were in the presence of the Irish Kings.

"Gentlemen, why have you brought me here? And shown me such gracious hospitality? " Angel's cutting sarcasm was wasted on these dullards.

"We wanted to ask you to help us with a small problem." The gaunt man in the centre looked to his fellows either side and they nodded. "It's in the cell adjoining yours. One of our senior Watchers found it in the grounds and brought it in. We can't destroy it. It's killed all its guards and laughed afterwards. One of our Junior Watchers is enthralled and wants to"

"Mate with it? " Angel questioned. He leaned forward in his "throne" making a steeple of his fingers. "You don't want that do you? Or do you? The Council has always interfered with everything. Buffy and Giles had no end of strife with you!" He sighed and leaned back in the chair. "I'd think better if I had a pint or two..." He smiled gently, showing his fangs just slightly so his hosts would get the gist.

They scurried away scraping their chairs.

Once he was alone Angel stared out of the window. The sweet face he'd seen through the grating couldn't be evil! It was impossible! It was possible that a Watcher would want to mate with her. He sighed, yes indeed!

The door opened and his blood was delivered to him on a silver platter, at body temperature. Angel supped and raised a surprised brow. "Human..." The butler bowed out of the room.


Gorgon gazed at his daughter and the young Watcher. He knew that now his task was completed he was not long for this world. It had taken a hundred years for him to reach maturity. Mage Rayne found him and told him about Master Giles and Mistress Willow. His tender heart responded to their sad tale and pledged his lifelong fealty.

As his sight had faded, his serpents moulted from his head daily giving him back his human visage. Without his serpents' symbiotic relationship, he faced the prospect of starving to death.

He drank plain water from the cup his daughter handed him. They were going to slay the serpents' spawn tonight. The Watcher passed his hands over the cauldron mixing and imbibing the spell. Gorgon stepped forward and breathed in the acrid smoke; and then it was Spikes turn.

Gorgon and the vampire exchanged venomous looks. "Just don't moult over me Grandpa!"

Gorgon smiled. "I wonder if my serpents have an affect on a bewitched vampire?"

Jenny took a pace toward Gorgon. Rose blocked her. Jack and Willow regarded the two women each defending the love of their lives.

"Jenny, back off. Nearly time to leave." He glanced at his father's ghost and at last understood how he was able to carve the name of his Slayer in the frieze of the conference room. "Dad?"

Giles breathed the smoke and held the power in his mind; he would hold and control all the transformations. Someone called him and he turned his dragon eyed gaze to his son.

"Jack, it's time..." He shifted his eyes to his Slayer and called her forth. "Buffy. Hold my hand and step back as they step forward. It will take a moment to acclimatise yourself. Don't worry they won't be harmed. They'll be enhanced by our knowledge and power."

Buffy took her Watcher's hand and smiled at Willow, hunching her shoulders slightly in excitement. Jack and Jenny did the same and stepped into the ghostly forms in front of them. Their bodies shivered, their joined hands tightening as they gasped aloud and closed their eyes, the room darkened and chilled.

Wesley, Willow, Xander and Oz studied the newly joined Watcher and Slayer. Slowly their hands uncurled and they opened their eyes. The Slayer smiled brightly tears coming to her eyes, Jack turned to his Slayer and Giles' voice added depth to his own. "You ok Buffy? " The Slayer nodded and gazed round the room; she wiped tears from her eyes and felt a sudden jolt in her loins as she watched an athletic blond man approach her.

The bewitched Spike kissed her and she felt her knees weaken; his lips had the illusion of warmth. She stopped his wandering hands. "Careful Spike, remember whose soul you're mauling!"

"Just saying welcome back, Slayer. Y'think I'm dead 'ard? I was sorry you died Buffy. Angel, Willow, and I made Mary Sebastian suffer for it! I'll not come near you again whilst you're in Jenny." Spike turned away dejectedly; only Willow saw the pain in his eyes.

"It really is time to go now..." Wesley glanced at his watch nervously.

Giles looked at him suspiciously. "Wesley? I can guide them there's no need for you to come with us" Giles watched as Wesley dithered and finally told them the truth.

"He'll be waiting for you! " He sat down heavily on the sofa and held his head in his hands. "He wants revenge for you killing his father. He's completely mad y'know..."

Jack's tight lipped smile held no humour only malice. Willow shivered; it was a look that she thought she would never see on her son's face.

"Henri Sebastian, is the one who wants to mate with the creature, correct?" Giles paused while Wesley nodded. "Only those pure of heart and free of evil intent can mate with a Medusa, Wesley, and then only those who can look upon them without turning to stone. Who do we know here who's done that?"

Giles finished gently and watched as Wesley realised he had looked on the creature and became flustered. "But I didn't realise...I mean she's beautiful I always thought... The legends say..." His voice faltered and Willow drifted over to him smiling gently. "That's what I thought too."

Giles went over to the sofa and kissed his wife goodbye. "Don't worry, I'll keep him safe." Willow smiled. "I know."



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