Life’s Little Mysteries
(Unanswered Questions in Sunnydale)
by Aadler
Copyright December 2019


Disclaimer: Characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel: the Series are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Television, the WB, and UPN.

Setting: Buffy, Seasons 1 through 7
Spoilers: basically the entire series


 
– i –

He is swiftest of the Three, closing on the fleeing prey while his comrades follow. The Slayer and the turncoat are quick, too, but each moment brings him nearer.

He snarls as his quarry reach the house’s door, knowing he can’t pierce the barrier … but “Get in!” she cries, “C’mon!”, and he feels the opening the turncoat slides through, catches the rift in the moment before it’s gone, forces his arm inside —

She slams the door against his arm, and now the house itself expels his intrusion. His brethren join him to stand, frustrated, inches from the lost kill.

Almost.

– {S1-07, “Angel”}[1]

 
– ii –

She is speaking to his chosen inamorata. It annoys him. He uses his new eyes to fix her appearance, goes searching.

Her record appears. He notes the basic facts, finds more in other searches, sees with amusement that the school database has her birthdate wrong: not 10-24-80, no, but later.

He sends the data with the terse command: Watch her. It further amuses him that the transferred data conveys even greater falsehood: 05-16-79 now. It seems that even his brief attention to the error has served to magnify the error, forcing it yet further from truth.

Moloch — the Corruptor — approves.

– {S1-08, “I Robot, You Jane”}[2]

 
– iii –

Xander isn’t a stalker; nuh-uh, no. Angel is a stalker, even if he dresses it up as ‘mysterious, brooding protector’. So Xander watches him.

Accident, at first, to see Angel without being seen. But Xander recognizes the logo on the paper bag the vampire carries, stakes out the butcher shop where he gets his blood.

Weeks, then, spent gradually building a loose map of Angel’s path toward ‘home’. Enough time, and Xander will learn where that is.

For what? he doesn’t know. Something with fire-bombs, maybe.

It’s just, sooner or later, knowledge like that is bound to come in handy.

– {S1-12, “Prophecy Girl”}[3]

 
– iv –

“I am a student of prophecies,” the Master says.

Luke nods his obeisance.

“I dislike prophecies,” the Master continues. “Yet I would be foolish to ignore that which threatens me. Better, surely, to learn them, know them, gather means to thwart them.”

“As you will it,” Luke says.

“My future brings destiny. And peril. I have returned from death already; best, I think, to prepare a path by which to do so again, if needed.”

“You command,” Luke intones. “I obey.”

He gestures. Within the blood-splashed orphanage, the acolytes begin the ritual that will make his sire’s bones endure.

– {S2-01, “When She Was Bad”}[4]

 
– v –

He isn’t remotely ready for the Slayer.

Ethan knows obliterating his Mark won’t be enough; he needs a substitute, to attract Eyghon’s vengeance while Ethan himself goes elsewhere. He’s layered himself with spells, ways to reduce a quarry’s strength and magnify his own so he can immobilize the chosen victim for the necessary tattooing.

But the Slayer —?!

He gives ground, speaking glibly, probing her with senses she can’t detect. Yes, it’s working, she’s being weakened without noticing … but there’s so much strength there —!

Sod it, it’ll just have to do.

He waves her ahead with mocking courtesy, strikes from behind.

– {S2-08, “the Dark Age”}[5]

 
– vi –

Willy scrutinizes the wire cage. “Are you kiddin’ me?”

“Unimpressive, true,” Rack agrees. “Part of its effectiveness.”

“I’m not payin’ for junk,” Willy grumbles.

“That give, that rattle, is spell-woven flexibility,” Rack assures him. “It redirects force. Hitting it, shaking it, is like attacking bungee cord. All bend, no break.”

Willy scowls. “Somebody could still get through the back wall.”

“The plasterboard is illusion,” Rack says. “The cage goes all around. You want something you can use as secure storage, without attracting attention, this is it.”

Willy nods grudgingly. “Month’s worth’a free drinks.”

“A year’s worth,” Rack says firmly.

– {S2-09, “What’s My Line?”, Pt 1}[6]

 
– vii –

Richard Wilkins appreciates romance — and murder-suicide is certainly inspiring — but these hauntings threaten to destabilize Hellmouth energies. Enough is enough, gosh darn it.

The song ends in the brand-new library; likewise, the Blue Mage’s spell-gestures. “That’s it, then?” Wilkins says.

A nod. “The spirits now link to the song. With the barriers, they will avoid this space.”

“Perfect.” The song came after the ghosts, but it fits; plus, the spell should actually discourage anyone from the library except those with solid business.

“Our debt is balanced,” the Mage says. “Do not call upon me again.”

Well, alrighty.

– {S2-19, “I Only Have Eyes for You”}[7]

 
– viii –

“What’ve we got?” Riley asks as he rejoins his team in the bushes outside the dorm.

Graham consults the scanner. “Humans of the freshman variety.” He adjusts the readouts; Riley waits, confident in Dr Walsh’s handiwork.

Not her actual work, no, but built to her specifications, melding infrared, sonic, motion sensors, classified ‘extras’: something that will read through walls, isolate a target, and flag a body of the same temp as its surroundings. With that, and the tracker in the chip …

“Bingo!” Graham says. “Got a cold one. Thermal output clockin’ in at exactly … room temperature.”

Okay. Time to move.

– {S4-07, “The Initiative”}[8]

 
– ix –

Spike abandons the motorcycle; no way it’d make it up the canyon, and it was never going to get him where he wanted to go anyhow. Tearing through brush and thorns, he finds the designated space, sees the silver lines hammered into the rock.

Right, then. Rumors were true after all.

He recites incantations, burns powders, sprinkles blood. Takes four tries, but worth it, he’s in no mood for the delay of a plane or boat.

He swore a change. He’ll have it, and he’ll have it now.

A final shouted word, and he dives through the vortex to Africa.

– {S6-20, “Villains”}[9]

 
– x –

Choices.

The board holds many pieces, and the First must balance them for best effect. The Bringers, the mad preacher, false prophecies, other tools (whether collaborators or puppets), the entertaining subornation of the other souled vampire —

All useful. All requiring energy.

Time to decide. Thousands of Turok-han stronger, or one (the first one) much stronger?

Greater strength among many would offer long-term advantage.

The Slayer, though … dealing with the Slayer calls for satisfaction.

Maximum power into the first one, then. Unstoppable, terrifying, morale-shattering. For the others, sheer numbers.

Yes.

In unplumbed depths of darkness, the First Evil laughs.

– {much of Season 7}[10]
 

end
 


[1]How did one of the Three get his arm inside Buffy’s door?
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[2]Why did two different birthdays show for Buffy in S1-08 (along with her classification changing from ‘Sophomore’ to ‘Senior’) when her actual birthday was later shown to be something else entirely?
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[3]How did Xander know where Angel lived?
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[4]Why did the Master leave a skeleton?
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[5]How did Ethan knock Buffy out so easily?
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[6]Why was Angel unable to get out of an ordinary storage cage?
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[7]How could the Flamingos version of “I Only Have Eyes for You” be James’s and Grace’s song, when that recording came out four years after their deaths? (And why was the Library always empty of anybody except Scoobies?)
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[8]How could Spike, at room temperature, show up on infra-red?
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[9]How did Spike get to Africa so quickly?
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[10]Why were the later Turok-han less formidable?
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Questions? Comments? Any feedback is welcome!

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