Gift From The Past
Room 214 .
The moon filters through the panes of glass and mingles with the light from the small bedside lamp. Soft strains of music fill the air. Two bodies intertwine on top of the small bed. Their hands roam freely over the planes of their partners back, as their lips and tongue dance and attempt to devour each other. They are lost on a trip of pleasure and passion. Riley pulls back from her mouth panting heavy.
Riley: We're not expecting anyone, are we?
She leans in to his neck trailing her hot lips over his sensitive skin.
Buffy: Willow said she was going to be at the science library all night.
She draws his flesh between her lips.
He moans and pulls her closer. His mind lost in the feeling her small mouth is evoking.
Riley: Is that right?
Riley draws her lips back to his. He slips his hand up the back of Buffy's shirt and begins to lift it. She quiver as the cool air caresses her back and then he falls forward on the bed. He leaps up and looks around the deserted room. He is alone. Panic consumes his features as he takes a quick inventory of the diminutive space before flinging open the door. He stops before he bowls over the red head arriving at the doorway.
Willow: What is wrong?
Riley darts his eyes around the room. Willow looks past him at the empty room.
Willow: Gone? What is gone?
He looks back at the empty bed.
Riley: Buffy. She just poof. Gone.
He saunters back to the bed and drops to his knees beside it. Willow enters and looks at the rumpled linens and back at him. She touches his shoulder.
Willow: What did you fight about?
He looks up into her face and trying to make sense of the facts answers slowly.
Riley: We didn’t fight. We were kissing and then she just disappeared. Right into thin air.
He swallows hard and looks into her face.
Riley: Is this some type of slayer skill? Can she just leave like that?
Willow shakes her head and meets his panic with her own. Her eyes dart around the room.
Willow: Got to get Giles. Stay here.
She flees down the hall.
Riley stares at the spot where he last saw his girlfriend. His mind still not able to grasp the accuracy of his memories. That is where he is still sitting as Willow, Giles, Xander, and Anya fill the room. They all looks down at the distraught male on the floor.
Giles: And who are you?
Willow: Giles, this is Riley Finn. He is Buffy’s boyfriend.
Giles pauses at this information but quickly recovers to continue.
Giles: Do you know where she went? How she left?
Riley rises to his feet and looks at the five of them. Using his military training he pulls himself together.
Riley: She was laying on the bed and we were kissing and then she was just gone. Just gone.
Willow touches his shoulder.
Willow: We will find her.
She turns to Giles.
Willow: It has to have been a spell.
Giles: Willow, please tell me you are not to blame again.
She blanches at his accusation and quickly defends herself.
A damp, dirty alley.
Buffy looks around in fear. She has no idea where she is or how she got here. She hears voices and ducks behind a nearby crate. She watches the two male figures pass by on the sunlit street. She creeps forward and stares at the cobblestone street and shrinks back as a horse drawn wagon passes. Her fear level escalates to near panic. She slips back behind the crate to contemplate her situation.
He pours another cup of tea as he watches the others hunched over the various books. His eyes fall on the blonde that Willow brought with her. He fights back the panic consuming him.
He darts his eyes at her.
Giles: Yes, Willow.
Willow: I think I….well actually Tara has an idea. We can…well we can do a location spell. It might work.
Giles: Willow, that requires channeling some powers I don’t think you are ready for.
Willow: Maybe not alone but with Tara, I think we can do it.
Giles: Tara? I see I did not realize. Tara, how long have you been practicing.
Tara: M.m..my w..w..who…ole l..l..life.
Willow: Her mom was a wicca and her grandmother.
Giles looks a bit pensive.
Willow: We can do this Giles. We have to.
After a number of hours, Buffy continues to watch the street activity. Her eyes follow the movements of the two women and young girl exciting the nearby shop. One appears to be a servant.
Lady: Anna, we need to hurry.
Anna: Yes mistress.
She scurries and loads the packages in the back and climbs up into the buggy.
Girl: Mama, do you think Papa and Liam will love my new dress?
Lady: Yes Kathy, I believe they will both be quiet taken with you.
Buffy watches as the little girl smiles happily. The buggy pulls away.
Candles illuminate the room. Tara and Willow sit facing each other, holding hands. Xander, Anya, and Giles watch from the dark kitchen. The young women begin chanting and soon the candles grow brighter and go out.
His voice cut off my Giles hand. Their eyes search the dark.
Willow: You can turn on the lights.
Giles flips on the switch and enters the living room.
Willow: Yes and no.
Xander: What do you mean? Did you find her or not.
Willow: Partly. She is in this dimension but she is just not in this time flux.
Xander: Come again.
Tara: Sh..sh..she is on e..eer..earth. J..ust n..not n..n..ow.
Giles: She is in another time? When?
Willow: We couldn’t tell. We could feel her but not quite.
Anya: Well this is no help.
Giles: Well actually it is.
Xander: How do figure?
Giles: Because at least we know she is not in some hell dimension being tortured and we know she is alive.
Xander: Oh so this is good.
Willow: Very good. We just have to figure where in the past she is.
Tara: Or f..future.
Buffy watches the nearby shop as a young man pauses outside. Immediately a young woman exits and he helps her lock the door. She hears them talk as they walk way.
Man: How be ye day?
Woman: Lovely. Mrs. O’Hara and her wee lass came and picked up their gowns.
Man: Was she pleased?
Woman: They both seemed quite taken.
They move far enough that Buffy can no longer hear them. Her heart pounds hard in her chest as she refuses to believe what she is thinking. She waits as the final rays of sun slip away and darts across the street and moves around to the back of the wooden structure. She looks for a back door but finds none. She glances at the lone window adorning the back wall. She hauls a large barrel from the adjoining building and places it under the opening. Climbing up, she shoves the sash hard and hears the sound of the latch giving away. She shimmies into the opening and moves through the dark space. The moon flows in giving an eerie appearance to the cluttered space. Buffy creeps forward and looks at the various dresses and bolts of material. She begins looking through the garments.
She stops and stares at the medium green gown. She pulls it up and holds it to her chest. She looks around for undergarments. She balks at the knee length undergarments and stockings. Grabbing the dress and a hooped petticoat, she moves to the back of the shop and strips down. She slowly dresses and her mind moves back to the last time she donned a dress like this. Dressed she moves around the space. She glances at the row of soft leather slippers and after much searching found a pair she could fit.
Buffy: These women must have feet the size a little girl.
She suddenly notices a tray of glistening stones. She looks in and examines the combs and pins. She picks one with small green stones and stands in front of the mirror piling her hair up as she had seen the women on the street. She turns and looks at her vision and nods.
Buffy: Okay, now what?
She sits down on the nearby chair in front of the small desk. She notices the small bound journal and flips it open. She struggle to read the odd script but finally discerns what she thinks is a date.
Buffy: January 19, 1750. Well I know when it is. Now if I only knew where.
She begins digging through the other pages on the desk. She flips through a small handful of what appear to be bills or receipts until her eyes land on one. She drops the papers as if they are suddenly afire. She sits shaking her head and then picks up the offense page.
Buffy: O’Hara Imports.
Her hand shakes as she grips the small receipt. She gradually raises from the chair and propels herself to the door. She glances at the abandoned street and slips out the front door and onto the cobblestones. She glances left and right in confusion.
Buffy: Okay, which way.
She glances at the slip and stains to read the address.
Buffy: Duck? Dack? Dock! The docks. Okay which way are the docks
She tries to think. Noticing the slow incline of the street she begins moving down the slope.
Buffy: The water would be lower. Uh, I think.
She moves slowly, ducking into alleys at each new sound. She finally reaches the waterfront and begins roaming the area. Just as she begins to become frustrated, she sees it. The weathered sign hangs from the small awning over the door. She stares at it and then at the dark windows. Buffy sighs and leans against the wall. Her hands grip at her skirt keeping it from flouncing precariously. She stands and hears her stomach growl.
Buffy: This is great.
She turns to head back toward the town when she hears a noise. She ducks into the nearby alley and watches as the door of the building opens. She watches the older man close and lock the door. She shrinks into the shadows as he moves closer. She bits her lip and her eyes fill with tears as she looks at the eyes. She has no doubt who he is. She watches him move down the street before trailing him quietly.
A sharp knocking at the door causes everyone to jump and look up from their research. Giles glances at the others and reaches for a sword. Xander grabs an axe and moves behind them. Giles swings the door open and exposes the bulking from of Riley.
Riley: Mr. Giles.
Giles: Riley, come in.
Riley enters and looks around the room at the others.
Willow: Riley has something happened?
Riley: No. I was hoping you had some information.
He runs his hand roughly through his hair.
Willow: Not really. We do know she is alive and in this dimension.
Riley: This dimension?
Willow: She is not in a demon or hell dimension. We know she is on earth, we just don’t know where and when.
Riley: When? What the hell are you saying?
Willow: Riley, please sit down.
He paces a moment then drops into a nearby chair. His hands again run through his hair.
The young man turns his blue eyes to the older gentleman.
Giles: What we know is Buffy has been somehow teleported to another time and most likely another location. We are just not sure how and of course where.
Riley: This is insane. Yes, I know there are creatures that don’t belong here. But you are talking time travel. Can this be possible?
Willow: Can and is. We are trying to figure out how it happened. Would you like to help?
Willow: Research. We are looking for ways to send someone through time and then we can figure out how to get her back.
Riley: Is that what all the books are for?
Willow: Yes and I am checking the internet.
Riley reaches for his cell phone.
Riley: I know a faster way.
Willow grabs his hand.
Willow: Who are you calling?
Riley: Professor Walsh. She can check the initiative computer.
Willow: She can’t know about this. No one can know.
Willow: If you get her to look, you can not mention any of us or Buffy.
Riley: Professor Walsh knows she is the Slayer. Buffy told me I could tell her.
Riley: But she does not know about you folks or about her disappearing. I only told her what Buffy agreed to.
Willow lifts her hand and he begins dialing.
Buffy trails the man to his house. She watches him enter the front door and she slips around to the back. She wonders why she is doing this but she can not think of what else to do. She enters the backyard and notices the backdoor is wide open. As she moves close she feels the waves of heat exit the door. She quickly realizes why the door is open. She stays in the shadows and watches the activity inside. She gasp as she recognizes the servant from earlier. She stares at Anna as she moves efficiently around the space. Her mouth waters at the site of the food pile on the trays. Her stomach again growls.
She is so intent on the food she does not see the second body enter the room until she hears the voice. Stabs of jealously flood her as she watches him flirt.
Anna: Master Liam. Can I be of service?
Liam: I not be sure I should be answering that.
Mrs. O’Hara: Liam, please stop bothering Anna. Your father is home and you best be sitting at the table.
He smiles and turns and saunters out.
Mrs. O’Hara: You best not be encouraging him.
Anna: No mistress.
Mrs. O’Hara: You be best to remember your place.
Anna: Yes mistress.
Mrs. O’Hara: You can bring in the food.
She turns and leaves. Buffy watches as Anna takes a deep breath and picks up two large trays and follows the others. Buffy glances about and darts in grabbing two rolls and a large piece of cheese before returning to the garden. She shoves one roll in her mouth in two bites and moves toward an open window. As she completes her stolen bounty, she listens to the forks and knives clatter against the china. She is disquieted by the lack of conversation. She waits patiently until the meal is over. She hears footsteps thump away from the room.
Mrs. O’Hara: Liam, you be staying home tonight I pray.
Liam: Sorry, Mama. I be leaving.
Mrs. O’Hara: Your father will be quite upset at your absence. You need be staying for the reading.
Liam: I be know those scriptures Mama. I not be needing to hear them again.
Mrs. O’Hara: If you be knowing them, you need be following them.
Liam: I be fine, mama. Now you and Kathy best be joining him before he ires.
Buffy listens as his footsteps move to the kitchen. She turns amongst the trees and see him exit the kitchen door. She follows him as he heads toward the town. She stops as he enters a building. Examining the building, she finds no windows. She jumps back into the shadows as another young man approaches. She stands watching as a number of young men enter and exit the heavy door. A couple of the men are accompanied by women but most are alone. She sits brushing her sweating hands over her skirt as she tries to decide what to do. This trekking all over is not getting her back home. She glances at the door once more and turns to leave. As she moves away she hears a familiar laugh. She turns around to see him bounding down the steps and around the building. She quickly follows but is stopped by the sight of him leaning casually against the building urinating on a small bush. She blushes at the sight. She turns to leave and kicks a loose stone.
She freezes and holds her breath. Her mind races as she prays he does not come to investigate. Her mind shuts down completely as she first hears and then feels his approach. Her whole body stiffens is fear.
Liam: So I’d be wondering, what be you doing in an alley?
Buffy: I uh…uh
Liam: Might you be looking for a wee bit of company to while away the hours?
She just stares at him.
Liam: Are you alright?
Buffy nods and her eyes begin to water.
Liam: Milady, I did not mean to cause you concern.
Buffy: No. Sorry. I just….
Liam: What would it be?
Buffy: You remind me of someone.
Liam: Then he be handsome lad, I imagine.
Buffy smiles at his pride and looks into his deep brown eyes.
Buffy: We was very handsome.
Liam: Was? The sadness in you eyes meaning he has passed?
Buffy: No. Just he left me.
Liam: Then he be a fool.
Buffy: He thought I needed something else. He felt he wasn’t good enough.
Liam: Well then he may be right. A lady as pretty as yourself could have the choice of any man.
She looks down sadly.
Buffy: Any one but him.
Liam: So how come you are alone in a dark alley?
Buffy had thought all day of a story and had decided to use one she had read in a Watcher’s diary for his charge.
Buffy: My father wanted me to marry and I refused and I left.
Liam: Ah, a runaway bride.
Buffy: There is no way I was going to marry him. Not while my heart belongs to another.
Liam: The one who possesses my face?
Liam: Well a lady should not be alone here. Someone might not be as kind as myself. Might I escort you to your home.
Buffy shakes her head.
Buffy: I have no home. I have nothing.
Liam: Where have you been sleeping?
Buffy: Wherever I find.
He stands and crosses his arms over his chest and leans back observing her.
Liam: A fine lady like you sleep wherever is not acceptable.
Buffy: It is not your concern.
She turns to leave and he gently grips her arm.
Liam: My father might not believe I be a gentleman but I will not leave a lady alone and distressed. Come with me.
Liam: I will get you room for the night.
Buffy looks at the man she loves and nods slowly. He leads her to nearby building.
Liam: The proprietor will not take a single lady as yourself. You need be stay here.
She nods and waits in the dark. Moments later her motions her in and they slip up the quiet stairs. He opens the door and she enters the dark sparse room. She stares at the bed and swallows. Liam glances at her and she forces a smile. Her skin tingles at his proximity.
Liam: I not be forcing myself on ye if that is ye concern.
Buffy: No. I trust you.
Liam laughs: Now that be new. Not many would say that they trust Master Liam. Namely the ladies.
Buffy: Well I do. I can feel your soul. You have a good soul.
Liam stares at her.
Liam: Would ye be telling me father that? He believes I be damned for eternity for my wonton ways.
Buffy smiles knowing he is not wrong.
Liam: I best be taking your leave my lady.
He reaches for the door.
Buffy: No! Please don’t.
He pauses and cocks his head.
Buffy: I don’t want to be alone. I am tired of being alone.
Liam: You be wanting me to stay with ye?
Buffy nods and blushes as she looks into his eyes.
Liam: If I be staying I may lose thy trust, my lady.
Buffy: I want you to stay.
Liam smiles and moves closer to her.
Liam: Are you inviting me to your bed?
Buffy: I am.
Liam: I would be a fool to deny a lady.
She reaches up and touches his cheek. He lowers his mouth to hers and kisses her. He feels her lips open and plunges his hot tongue into her inviting mouth.