All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved
Angel was invited in, then the others followed him into the room. Giles spoke quietly with Cordelia for a moment about the strangers. Hearing what had happened, he realized that everyone there probably had some stake in the prophecy.
"Please, please, do be quiet." Giles screamed over the din. "For the sake of expediency, please let's go around the room and each of us will introduce ourselves. And as we all seem to have some stake in this prophecy, don't be shy, this will go along much easier if we're all honest."
Everyone seemed to agree so he began, "I am Rupert Giles, watcher to the active vampire slayer and a chaos mage... retired."
Next was Buffy, she said, "Buffy, Vampire Slayer."
Willow quietly said, "Willow, Witch."
Xander realized it was his turn and thought furiously, "I'm Xander, the guy who gets the doughnuts."
Willow nudged him and whispered at him. Then he added, "And I've been possessed by a hyena."
Willow nudged and whispered again, "And a soldier."
Ares waited a moment to be assured that Xander was done and said, "Ares, God of War. And this is my consort, Joxer God of Peace and Protector of Innocence."
Cupid said, "Cupid, God of Love." and put his arm around Strife, looking directly at Buffy he continued, "And this is my husband Strife, the God of Mischief."
Piper was next, for the sake of time she decided to introduce her group. "I'm Piper, these are my sisters Phoebe and Paige, we are witches..."
"A triumvirate." Giles whispered, yet everyone heard.
"Yes, we are the charmed ones. And this is my husband Leo, he is our white-lighter." She finished in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Angel." Leo said for clarification.
"What?" Angel said from across the room, confused.
"I'm an angel. What did you think I meant." Leo asked, equally confused.
"Leo, his name IS Angel, remember?" Piper said, taking Leo's hand.
"Oh, sorry. Go ahead." Leo said embarrassed.
"Angel, Vampire." Angel said simply.
Leo looked shocked and Angel started to explain when Cordelia cut in. "Don't get him started, he's got a soul, now he's sorry, doesn't bite anymore."
Then she continued, "Cordelia Chase, I'm... his secretary."
"Doyle, I'm a seer for the powers that be and..." he looked at Cordelia and decided that he had to tell her sometime, might as well be now. "A half-Bracken demon."
"If that's everyone, let's get to deciphering some prophecies." Giles said with enthusiasm.
Everyone broke into groups, keeping to the groups they arrived in. Everyone at some point had gotten copies of all three prophecies and they were all trying to decide who was who.
"A moment of your time, please." Giles yelled over the conflicting voices.
The chatter quieted and he asked, "Let's pool our information. Put your ideas out for everyone, and maybe we can figure this out."
Everyone seemed to agree.
"The key of mischief? Has anyone figured out who that is?" He asked hopefully.
Strife shook his head and no one else indicated that they had anything.
"The key of heart?" Giles called out.
"I think its Leo." Cupid said to the room in general.
Giles nodded and made a note.
"Key who fights and stands apart?" Giles said.
"Angel!" said a chorus of voices.
"Why do you think it's me?" Angel asked defensively.
"Puh-leeze, it just screams broodiness, it's you." Cordelia said with finality.
Giles nodded and made another note, then said, "Key of darkness sirens call?"
"I don't think I know what that means." said Phoebe.
"I believe it means someone who summons dark forces or beings?" Giles finished uncertainly.
"Demon magnet." Buffy said triumphantly looking at Xander.
"Of course." Giles said and made a note.
"Key of evil saves us all?" Giles said, obviously not having a clue himself.
A chorus of headshaking proved to him that he wasn't the only one.
"Witch of laughter?" He said to the group in general.
"Paige." "Paige." "Paige." Piper, Phoebe and Leo said simultaneously.
Everyone looked at Paige who blushed. "So I like to have a good time."
"Witch of love?" He said, beginning to tire.
"Piper" Leo said, expecting her sisters to speak up as quickly.
Giles looked to Cupid for confirmation before noting it on his paper.
"Witch who fights to stay above." He asked, looking directly at Phoebe.
She nodded and raised her hand.
"Would you care to explain?" Giles asked, wanting to be sure of the placements.
"My ex-husband was an arch-demon and tried everything to make me live in the underworld with him." she said with pain in her voice.
"You divorced an arch-demon?" Giles asked in amazement, never having heard of it being done.
"Actually, I vanquished him," At the blank looks she whispered, "killed."
"Oh." was all Giles said before making his note.
"Witch who longs to find her own." Giles said looking at Willow.
"Yeah, it sounds like me, but I still wanna know, my own what?" she said petulantly.
Giles noted and finally said, "Witch who dreams the dreams unknown?"
"It sounds like a seer to me, but Doyle isn't a witch... are you? I mean, it's not like you would HIDE something from me, now is it?" she asked with anger in her voice.
"No, no witch, the half-demon thing was my big secret." he said, trying to give her a convincing smile.
She wasn't buying it.
Mrak, Dru and Spike were walking through the streets of Sunnydale. There wasn't another being in sight. Mrak had convinced Spike to follow along without complaint. Spike rubbed his jaw absently, still feeling the aftereffects of Mrak's convincing.
"Town's no bleedin fun without the happy-meals walking around." Spike said to no one in particular.
"We need to join the others, it's coming soon." Dru said and began walking faster.
It wasn't until they were on the block that Spike realized where she was leading them.
There was a knock on the door. Since he was closest and Giles probably couldn't hear it over the voices, Leo went to answer the door. When he opened it he found himself looking straight into the chest of something, he looked up to see that it wasn't something human. The antlers dripping goo was a good clue. "You gonna let us in? We're supposed to close a door or sumthin."
"Mister Giles! Some... thing is at the door for you." Leo called, not wanting to have to fight this thing.
Giles came to the door, followed by most of the people in the house. "Merciful Gods!" he exclaimed. "Nah, were back here." could be heard from Strife in the background.
"Excuse me, can I help you?" Giles asked the big... thing, trying to be polite.
"I hope so, we came from South America to close a damned door. Are you gonna let us in or what?" Mrak asked irritably.
"Yes, of course, do come in." Giles said, his manners finally asserting themselves.
"Make that thing go away!" Spike said from outside, shielding his eyes and pointing at Leo.
"It burns! It burns!" Drucilla whimpered. Mrak was immediately at her side.
"Leo, would you please go to the other side of the room. Vampires are susceptible to holy objects... er... you get the idea." Giles said as Leo made his way to the other side of the room.
"You're here to help close the door? Why?" Giles asked Spike, not trusting him for a moment.
"These two kidnapped me, tied me up and brought me here, you might want to ask them." Spike said waspishly.
"Come inside and we'll talk." Giles said.
The room fell silent as the two vampires and the chaos demon walked into the house. Giles flinched when he saw the mucous dripping from the demon's antlers. He just knew he wouldn't be able to get it out of his carpet.
"That's him!" Said Strife as soon as Spike walked in the room.
"What's him?" Spike asked with big guilty eyes.
"That's the key of mischief." Strife declared.
"Very well, that makes sense." Giles said, elbowing his way through the crowd back to the table where he left his notebook.
"And Drucilla would be the witch who dreams the dreams unknown." Giles said absently as he wrote.
"And you are?" Giles asked the chaos demon politely.
"Mrak." he said shortly.
Giles decided to just accept that Mrak was the 'key of evil who can save us all', without provoking him by asking.
"Witches! Do we need any supplies to perform the ritual?" Giles asked in as loud a speaking voice as he could manage.
"We need the words, all of us to say the words." Drucilla said to him, unusually sane.
"Which words, we have three different versions of the prophecy." Giles said irritated.
She walked over and took the notebook from him and started to write. When he made a move to look over her shoulder, Mrak took a step forward and Giles knew he was just fine not knowing until she was done.
Leo and the gods all felt a shudder and realized as one what was happening.
"We have to go now. Giles, you know where the door is?" Ares asked.
Ares looked into Giles mind and saw the location. He sent the information to the other gods, then to Leo and Paige.
Ares looked around the room and said, "Everyone who can transport, grab a mortal and let's get moving. The thing could open any minute."
And each divinity took hold of someone and flashed out of the house. It took a few trips, but within minutes the house was empty and blessedly silent.