Part Two: March 19, 2008, New Glenbury, PA

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Harris woke up screaming and looked at each other.

“Did you just have,” they both started, then laughed uneasily. “This can’t be a coincidence,” he said.

“No. Think we ought to call our little redheaded friend?”

Xander paused. “Yes. Dreams about vampires, and Angel, and Slaying, after seven years — well, once is a coincidence, twice is enemy action. And we’ve had them three times over the last two weeks,” he shuddered.

“You botched the quote.” Cordelia Harris got up and stretched. After seven years of marriage, Xander Harris still liked what he saw.

“What’s this, Miss I-don’t-have-time-for-English-Class-I-need-to-practice-my-cheerleading?”

“Rrrhh!” She growled in mock anger. References to their old enmity at Sunnydale were the most likely to get under her skin, and he knew it. Suddenly she jumped on top of him and whispered in his ear, “Closet?” Wherever they went, it was still their favorite place to make love.

“Cordy!” He laughed. “Maybe later. Right now, we have a Willow to call.”

“We have time now, stupid. It’s only 4:30 am there, remember? Hello?” She knocked on his head. “Time zones — get a clue!”

He looked at her seriously. Then, rolling over on top of her, he said, “Five minutes,” as he got up and walked into the bathroom.

*               *               *

The phone rang in the Sunnydale Library. John Truman picked it up.

“Sunnydale High School Library, how may I help you?”

“Yes. Is Willow Rosenberg there?” The student looked up and saw Ms. Rosenberg intensely studying one of the odd collection of books she kept behind locked glass in her office.

“Um, she’s busy right now, take a message?”

“Tell her it’s Xander. She’ll talk to me.”

“Okay,” John said dubiously. He walked over to where the librarian was hunched over a book and said, “Ms. Rosenberg? There’s a call for you. Says it’s — Xander?”

Ms. Rosenberg suddenly looked up, said, “Xander?” excitedly, and ran into her office. John blinked. Ms. Rosenberg was good to work for, but extremely odd. He took a look at the book she was studying. On the cover was a single engraved word, “VAMPYR.” He shivered and went back to shelving books.

In the office Willow Rosenberg picked up the phone.


“Hey, there, Will. How’s Sunnydale’s favorite Watcher doing with her new student?”

“Not so new anymore. Emily’s been Slaying for a year now. What’s up?”

“Why does something have to be up? Can’t I just call to talk to my bestest friend in all the world?”

In spite of herself, Willow giggled. Xander Harris was a mature young man, with an excellent career, but every time the two of them talked it was like they were still sixteen.

“We talk every other night anyway. You’re calling me at work, something’s up. What is it?” She had a flash of insight. “Oh, shit — don’t tell me you’ve been having dreams. Please don’t tell me that.”

She heard him shrug on the other end. “Okay,” She heard the phone being transferred, and suddenly she was talking to Cordelia. “Willow, we’ve been having dreams.” Willow laughed.

“What’s so funny?” asked Cordy, somewhat snappishly. Willow smiled again. All the progress Cordelia had made, and deep down she still hated having people laugh at her.

“Nothing, Cordy. Private joke. Now, what about these dreams?”

“We’ve had them three times in the last eight days. They’re the same each time. The three of us and Emily standing in a room. It’s familiar, yet oddly very strange. Then someone steps into the light and we both scream and wake up.” In the background Xander said, “You’re a font of detail,” followed by a muffled thump.

“I’ve been having the exact same dream, Cordy. So has Emily.” She grimaced. “It’s a prophecy, all right. Damn! So far Emily hasn’t had to face any. Just assorted minions of Elsza’s.”

“Yeah, have you seen her yet?”

“Nope. The new Master just stays in the shadows.” She sighed. “You’d all better come to Sunnydale. I’ve got some research to do, so I’ll see you when you get here.” She hung up and cursed creatively, then reached for the phone system.

“Emily Harding, please come to the library,” the announcement came over the loudspeaker. “Emily Harding —”

On the other end of the phone, Cordelia sighed and turned to her husband. “So, hon, you up for a trip to Sunnydale?”

“It’s a prophecy, isn’t it?” he asked. Cordelia nodded. “Well, shit.”

“I’ll call the travel agency, you take care of the business.” Cordy’s wealth and Xander’s expertise had given him a well-known science fiction specialty store. (Science fiction only, no horror allowed.) It ran practically by itself these days, but still, if the owner would be out of touch for an indefinite length of time, certain instructions had to be given. Cordelia had no trouble taking off at all; her next “After a Fashion” column wasn’t due for two weeks. It was her second annual “Worst of the Year,” and already they were deriding her as the next Mr. Blackwell.

Cordelia realized she was putting off thinking about Sunnydale. Neither of them had been back since Oz’s funeral five years previously. They talked to Willow three or four times a week, but that was about it. And, apart from occasional brief discussions about her protégé and her duties as a Watcher, they rarely discussed anything about Sunnydale.

And they never mentioned Buffy.

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