Hi everyone, I’m Confused Muse, and I’ll be your stewardess for today :)
Title: Ill Met By Moonlight
Author: Confused Muse
Rating: NC17 (eventually)
Pairings: Very temporary Buffy/Riley. You’ll understand why.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but a twisted imagination.
Summary: William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” transposed into the Buffyverse. A list of which BtVS character is playing which part will be posted at the end of the fic. Set somewhen in season 4, no Adam yet, and for dramatic reasons, Jenny Calendar is still alive and well.
Act 1, Scene 1
“Only four more days until the wedding,” Rupert Giles smiled into the face of his beloved. “I can hardly wait. Remind me why we had to leave it so long?”
Jenny Calendar playfully poked her fiancé in the ribs.
“Oh, come on, Rupert. There’s still so much to do, the time will fly by. And you know perfectly well we had to pick an auspicious alignment for the ceremony – we need all the help we can get, living on the Hellmouth.”
“Yes, I’m fully aware of the reasons. It just seems so far away,” he grumbled, reaching for the telephone to confirm arrangements for the reception while Jenny gazed at him with love shining in her dark eyes. That task complete, he turned and took one of her graceful hands in both of his, marvelling at the joy this woman had brought into his battle torn life.
“I realise it’s been a rough ride, Jenny, and I’m sorry. If I could have spared you any of the pain, I would have, and I hope you believe me. I really want our day to be the start of something happier, the beginning of a more positive time for both of us,” he professed earnestly, willing her to read his heart; his efforts were immediately rewarded with a dazzling smile and her lips against his forehead. The next four days were going to be torture, he was sure of it.
“I’d better get to the Magic Shop, and let you get on with your day. Have you any specific plans?” He stood, reluctantly drawing away from her.
“Uh-huh. Final fitting for the dress is this afternoon, and I need to see the florist one last time,” she explained, watching Giles’ eyes glaze over when he imagined her wedding gown and smirking. He wasn’t going to know what hit him.
The Watcher was unpacking the last of the morning’s delivery when the bell over the door rang frantically, heralding the entrance of four rather harried individuals.
“Mr Giles, I must insist that you speak with my daughter immediately!” Demanded a tall middle-aged man.
“I’m sorry, do I know you?” Giles straightened, frowning as he took in the man’s possessive grasp of Tara’s arm along with Xander and Willow’s troubled and angry expressions.
“I’m Kyle Maclay, Tara’s father. And this ungrateful wretch is refusing to do as she’s told. I’ve given this young man permission to date my daughter, but she’s insisting she won’t have a normal relationship with him, that she wants this… twisted thing with this girl!” The man exclaimed, turning to the red head next to him who was reaching to reassure Tara.
”Leave her be! You’ve corrupted her with all this talk of magick and the spells the two of you have been doing. Mr Giles, I understand you have some influence over these young people. Please, will you try to talk some sense into Tara?”
Giles removed his glasses and took up a soft cloth, taking in the scene before him as he gathered his thoughts.
“Tara?” He asked softly. “What have you to say on the matter? Your father has a point, having brought you up and paying for college. Xander’s not a bad young man, he’s caring and considerate,” he reasoned. Tara glanced between her two suitors, her expression softening with longing as her eyes fell upon Willow.
“Willow’s my world,” Tara murmured adoringly, making Giles cough.
“I know Willow’s very special, but your father’s the one who raised you, clothed and fed you, and paid for your education and living costs. Xander would be a better choice – this affair of yours may just be a phase.”
“It’s not a phase. I wish Dad could see what I see,” Tara protested, looking at the floor.
“Can you not understand your father’s concerns?” Giles struggled to make the young woman listen to reason. Mr Maclay was quite within his rights to take Tara far from Sunnydale if she refused to comply.
“Please, Mr Giles. Be honest with me. If I don’t agree to give up Willow for Xander, what will happen to me?” The blonde’s eyes were luminous with hopeless tears as she pleaded her case.
“Well, your father could remove you from college and Sunnydale, which would mean you’d have very little hope for a future career. He might also insist you continue to live with him and the rest of your family. In the worst case scenario, he might even decide to have you committed. Tara, I beg you, is your love for Willow worth that?” Giles tried to frighten the girl into obeying her father.
Instead, Tara threw her shoulders back and swept the hair from her face.
“So mote it be. I will not, under any circumstances, accept dating Xander,” she declared. The boy’s frustrated look crashed into one of abject misery at the blonde’s announcement, his hopes and dreams for them as a couple withering stillborn. Giles sighed once more, raising his hands in a conciliatory gesture as he realised the range of negative emotions sweeping through the quartet. Willow was horrified, Tara’s father was frustrated and angry, and poor Xander looked as though his heart had shattered in his chest.
“Why don’t you take some time to think about it, Tara? I really don’t want to deal with this before the wedding, and I think we all need some time to calm down. Why don’t we talk about this after Sunday, and see if we can reach a compromise?” The Watcher suggested, and Xander reached to stroke a lock of Tara’s hair.
“Please, Tara. Please give us a chance? Willow, why can’t you just back off?” The lovestruck man begged, causing Willow’s green eyes to darken with determination.
“You’re so well in with her Dad, Xander, why don’t you just take him instead? You’d make a great couple!” she retorted. Mr Maclay rounded on the girl once again, shaking his finger in her face.
“You selfish girl! Yes, I want Tara to be with Xander, and so help me god, she will be with him.”
Willow bit back on the flare of power that curled through her, praying to the goddess for patience.
“Why, Mr Maclay? I’m smarter than Xander, I come from a good family, I’m not into drinking, drugs or anything illegal, and Tara and I are happy. We’re in love. Why can’t we be together? Besides, Xander’s been making moon eyes at Anya. He took her to Prom and she’s been stalking him ever since,” the witch crossed her arms with finality, resolve writ on her delicate features. Mr Maclay’s jaw twitched, and he’d just taken a breath to tell Willow exactly why she wasn’t good enough for his daughter when Giles interrupted.
“Oh for god’s sake! Gentlemen, why don’t you come with me so we can discuss this in more depth. Tara, I suggest you spend your time thinking very carefully about the consequences of your decision. I’m sure that somewhere in all this I’ll be able to prepare for my upcoming marriage,” he rolled his eyes wryly, leading the two men to the table as Tara and Willow slipped out of the shop.
“Oh sweetie, don’t cry!” Willow brushed Tara’s cheek with her fingertips, giving her a hesitant smile.
“Why shouldn’t I cry? My father’s going to take me away from you,” the blonde witch sobbed, burying her face in her lover’s shoulder.
“Shhh! Hey now, love’s not always easy, baby. We’ve just got to try and figure this out, okay?” Willow struggled to stay strong, choking back the tears that gathered at the back of her throat.
“What give him the right to choose for me? It’s not fair!” Tara sniffled, clutching to the other girl.
“Remember in English Lit., with all those epic romances and tales of thwarted love? We’re just like that…hero and heroine against the odds…or well, heroine and heroine,” Willow joked, trying to make Tara smile.
The blonde pulled back, finding Willow’s eyes and wiping her own with the back of her hand.
“Yeah, I guess so,” she timidly smiled. “We’ll just have to ride it out so we can get our happy ending then, huh?”
“I like the sound of that. Happy ending, I mean,” Willow breathed. Her brow crinkled, an idea teasing the corners of her mind.
“Tara… why don’t we go to the grove, you know, where we went a couple of months ago? We could do a handfasting. They wouldn’t be able to separate us then,” she bit her lip, wondering if she was moving too fast, startled by the sensation of Tara’s soft gentle lips pressing chastely against hers.
“Oh, Willow, yes! I tell you what, why don’t you go ahead and set everything up, and I’ll grab some things from the dorm. Meet you there as soon as I can get away?”
“You’d better, missy,” the redhead mock scowled at her. “Uh-oh, careful. Here comes Anya,” she added as the ex-demon stalked up to the couple, misery etched in harsh lines on her face.
“Hey Anya. I like the new hair,” Tara, buoyed with the excitement of Willow’s plan, adopted a bouncy air.
“Oh yeah, great,” the former demon spat sarcastically. “Now, if I could just get an extreme makeover to look like, say, you, everything’d be fine. Xander doesn’t want me, he wants you. I don’t understand the fascination, I really don’t. Show me what you did to make him love you, Tara. I have to know, it’s driving me crazy!” Anya lunged for the curvy blonde, only to be brought up short at a muttered word from Willow.
“Let me go, dammit!” The newly blonde girl fought against the magical bonds Willow had hastily erected, her face contorted in rage.
“I don’t want Xander, Anya. I keep telling him that,” Tara told their friend.
”Maybe I should try telling him I don’t want him as well, then! That seems to work for you as a pick-up line,” she sneered.
“I can’t say it any clearer. He knows I love Willow, he knows I’m not interested in guys, and he knows I want him to leave me alone, but nothing seems to get through to him,” the frustrated witch wrung her hands in despair.
“I wish I had that problem,” Anya huffed. The two lovers exchanged a knowing look, and at Willow’s slight nod, Tara stepped forward to lay a hand on Anya’s arm.
“Anya, can you keep a secret? Willow and I are going to do a handfasting ceremony tonight, at midnight. We’re going out to the grove by Breakers’ Woods – you know, where we all went for a picnic a few months ago, and well, that will be that. Xander won’t be able to chase me any more. I’ll be bound to Willow. Trust me when I say he’ll be all yours,” she explained, pitching her voice low in case her father was still around. Moving away from a sullen and pouting Anya, Tara kissed Willow swiftly on the cheek, catching her in a brief hug.
“I’d better get going. I’ll meet you later.”
“Yeah, I’ll go and get some things from my room, and set up at the clearing. Don’t take too long?” Willow’s voice rose uncertainly, a goofy grin settling on her lips as Tara blushed in response. As they headed off in separate directions, a crafty glint stole into Anya’s eyes.
‘Where does she get off treating me like that? I’ve loved Xander forever. We went to Prom. We dated. He said we were a couple. Then he saw Tara and suddenly I’m dropped like a hot potato? Hmmm. If I tell Xander that she and Willow are running off tonight, maybe he’ll be so grateful he’ll buy me pretty things and love me again. I’d better go with him, though, make sure I’m on hand to give him lots of orgasm comfort when he finds them,” she smiled, clapping her hands together. Oh, this was such a good plan!
Scene II – The Initiative
Professor Maggie Walsh looked at Agent Finn critically.
“Have you gathered your squad?” She asked.
“Yes ma’am. All present and ready for briefing, as ordered,” he confirmed, standing to attention.
“All right,” she approved, casting an eye over the group Riley had assembled.
“Gentlemen,” she raised her voice, gratified when each man focussed on her. “We’ve received reports of a particularly violent sub-terrestrial on the outskirts of town. Your task is to track it, identify it, and capture it. You’ll leave as soon as this briefing is concluded, go out into the area, and get to work. I want this thing in custody by dawn. Now, Agent Finn will go over what we know about the creature. Agent Finn,” Maggie prompted before taking a seat. Riley cleared his throat, reading from the very small sheet he held.
“Visual reports on the subject are patchy and contradictory. In some reports it’s over seven feet tall, and in others it’s barely three and a half feet. So far it’s restrained itself to extensive property damage – cars, houses, gardens – and killing a variety of household pets, leaving the bodies in plain sight. It’s not afraid of people, and leaves little or no traceable scent. We’re going to have to do this the old fashioned way. Keep your eyes open; maintain radio communication at all times. If something so much as twitches out there, I want to know about it. Questions?” Riley paused for a moment, nodding his head once when he was met with silence.
“Move out,” he ordered, grabbing his gear from Forrest and heading for the jeep.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/31274.html