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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:33 am 
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13. Big Knowledge Woman
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Oh wow, Paul. This story has just begun and we already have Chloe-napping by these strange demons, the slayer and others down, W/T's magic out of commission, a blood and gore-filled house and now Nameless once again coming to their rescue and standing in all his rotted glory in front of them. Oh Paul, you rock. Can't wait to see their reactions and maybe get some explanations.

More soon please.


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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:36 am 
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Well, shit.

Here I was hoping for some hot girl on girl action -- maybe with some wholesome scooby banter and a cute stubborn baby-chloe sidebar...

...and instead I get resurected timothy, gory blown up extraterrestrially demon bad guys, violence and, oh yeah, Chloe is *kidnapped?!!!?

Oh, yeah. The Evil Onion is BACK!

So. Riddle me this Pauly- why does their readings say that Chloe is namelessss? I get that she has the same moms -- but I would think that folks with this level of sophistication would have a different sort of 'marker'. I mean, Timothy is all kinds of dark magic badness -- I'd think that'd leave a soul-sized stain that wouldn't wash out.... and what's with the zombie that talks and stuff. It's not really a zombie, is it? Maaaaan. It's complicated and you are going to torture me with the unknowingness!

ok.

:-D

db

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:57 am 
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:yikes you always do this to me you are a :devilish :p

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:15 pm 
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Okay, creepy! What's Timothy doing back there? Yes, I realize he is also a child... :smash
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+The Nameless is not a child,+ he pointed out irritably, but Krassic could only shrug helplessly.

Lol, the Nameless.
The whole female / male thing had me :rofl
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“You no go nowhere, huumaan.”
Haha, I imagine him kinda looking like Invader Zim. Do you know him?

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 7:10 pm 
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So I suppose our friendly author finally tackles how two women could put together a brand of chromosone they don't have? Their child is predictably female, and yet somehow maybe not? Ultimately. I guess.

Oh genderfiddles! XX, XY, YY... pretty soon you're talking alphabet soup.

I'm soooo confused, which means I'm operating in nominal mode. Also means I'm reading a Darth Pacula story, which is a wonderful experience indeed.

More please! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:25 pm 
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Kittens, I'll reply later ... when I'm not trying to cough up a lung. But meanwhile, the hugely overdue next part.

All disclaimers apply.

Part 5.

Willow was a dead weight in Tara's arms, her flight from consciousness having dropped the redhead back in her lover's arms. But for a change, Tara's thoughts weren't on the woman with whom she shared her life. They were on the twitching, shambolic form of their dead son, who had apparently recently crawled out of his own grave.

Tara couldn't look away from him, couldn't tear her eyes away from the grotesque horror he'd become. All the Scoobies dealt with the dead on a regular basis, but they were typically vampires, and vampires didn't rot. And whatever Timothy was now, he decidedly did.

And that single, unblinking eye, disconcertingly fixed on Willow and herself, was creeping Tara out.

When she finally managed to find her voice, Tara discovered that she had no idea what to say. “You ... I ... but ...”

Something wet and unidentifiable fell from a gaping wound in Timothy's side, hitting the floor with a splot, and Tara gagged. Without a single word of explanation, Timothy lurched around and tottered towards the twitching demon who whose head was still embedded in the wall. As he pulled it free in a small shower of plaster, the demon groaned.

It's still alive, Tara realized with a gasp.

Timothy let his captive sag to their knees before he tore the demon's mask off. It proved reluctant to come off, and when it did, it left the demon's face with a wet, sucking noise. Tara only caught the faintest of glimpses of the demon's face before Timothy moved to block her view, but what she saw of it left a sour taste in her mouth.

She was beyond surprised by what happened next; Timothy bent over and kissed the demon full on the mouth. It wasn't some quick peck though. No, Timothy was kissing the demon as if he trying to consume it whole, one hand clasping either side of his prey's head. The captive demon twitched in his grasp.

A groggy groan came from one side as Xander half roused himself from unconsciousness, and his voice followed soon after as he caught sight of what Timothy was doing. “Why are we watching undead gay porn?” he mumbled in confusion before slipping back under.

The demon's twitching grew more pronounced as each second passed, until it's limbs were drumming against the wall as if it were suffering an epileptic fit. Timothy began to draw his head back, revealing a spiraling funnel of wispy, blinding light linking their mouths together.

As the demon's paroxysms reached their peak, the light began to dim, flickering and pulsing like a heartbeat. As it died away, the demon gave one final prolonged shudder, and as Timothy released it, the demon flopped backwards with the loose-limbed manner possessed only by the dead.

Rearing upright, Timothy threw his head back and sighed lustfully, like a starving man after a good meal. As he spun back around and stalked back over to Tara, there was no more trace of the physical infirmities that had earlier plagued him, but other than that there was no change. His body was still that of a rotting corpse.

“ ... Better,” he rasped in the familiar tone that still haunted Tara's dreams, as he crouched down in front of her. That single remaining eye fixed on her face, virtually nailing her in place.

“Now ... where was I?” mused Timothy, tilting his head to one side.

“You ... you ... you're dead ..” Tara stammered, eyes wide.

“Oh, very well spotted, Tara,” he drawled lazily. “What was it that gave it away? The especially piquant bouquet I've been gifted with? Or perhaps it's the fact that my face is rotting off!” Skeletal fingers twitched, fighting the subconscious desire to curl into fists.

“Be that as it may, mother dearest, but that's not the most urgent query presently niggling at me. No, that august privilege belongs to this particular question; by what act of spectacular idiocy did you think it was a good idea to BRING ... ME ... BACK!

Tara recoiled at the sheer vehemence and venom in his voice, wincing as the back of her head bumped into the wall behind her. To one side, Dawn struggled to rise to her feet, but the aftereffects of the demons device left her exceedingly unbalanced.

“Leave her alone, you ...” Dawn's protest devolved into a yelp as her legs betrayed her and pitched her to the ground.

“Oh look,” Timothy taunted, a tattered shred of decaying flesh falling from his lips. “Someone's spiked the punch. Do us all a favor, Little Miss Whiny, and shut up.” His attention shot right back to Tara. “And you, answer the damnable question!”

Now it was Giles' turn to try. “Timothy, none of us ...” he began, but he was ruthlessly cut off as Timothy rounded viciously on him.

“Shove it, Ripper! You haven't the power to light a candle without a ritual to hold your dainty little hand, so I rather think raising the dead is far beyond you! No. This is them!” Timothy jabbed an accusatory finger in Tara's face “It has to be them! It's always them!”

Tara's mouth opened to deny his accusation, but only a strangled squawk came out as Timothy lunged at her, lipless teeth gnashing inches from her nose. He grabbed her by the forearms, one hand cool and hard, the other clammy and slimy with decay.

“Why couldn't you just let me go? What do I have to do to get you to hate me?!” Timothy paused, mid diatribe. “Or did I succeed too well? Is that it? Did the clever little witches discover what ... this -” he glanced down as his own wasted body, “- means to the subject? Is this living hell my new punishment? Well? Answer me, damn it!”

A gasp slipped from Tara's lips as his hands tightened on her forearms, and a bone talon sliced open her skin. Heads snapping down, Timothy saw a rivulet of blood trickle over his fingers, and recoiled as if stung. He scrabbled backwards on hands and knees until his back slammed into the wall, eyes fixated on Tara's blood as if he was a vampire instead of ... whatever he was.

“Make it stop,” whimpered Timothy, his acerbic bluster giving way to naked self-loathing. “Please Mother, put me back. Kill me.”

Tara's breath caught in her throat, and she had to try several times before she could manage to respond. “Timothy ... we didn't do this to you.” She hesitated briefly. “We can't undo what we didn't do in the first place.”

Her son stared at her, unblinking, for several moments before he bowed his head. “Then I truly am damned, all over again.”

“So be it.” That single terrible eye burned balefully in a face thankfully hidden by shadow and the fall of lank, filthy hair. “So, mother ... what did you do to earn the ire of the Renai?”

Tara blinked. “Who?” she asked blankly.

**********

Krassic of the Renai dropped to one knee, head bowed, before the shining figure of his lord and master. The golden-skilled demon briefly laid a languid hand upon his servant's brow in acknowledgment, and gestured for Krassic to rise.

“Where are your fellows, Krassic?” queried the demon in a deceptively mild voice as he settled back upon his throne.

Krassic's jaw clenched, and he raised up his left forearm to slant across his chest. The sleeve of his robe fell back to reveal the matte black of the greave protecting the lower section of his limb. Emblazoned on this greave were three runes in glowing red, and below this were another two smaller runes in yellow.

“They have fallen, my lord,” admitted Krassic.

The face of Krassic's lord tightened minutely. “They fell in battle? With who? Was it ...?”

“I ... do not know, my lord. Lykonus ordered me to return with our prisoner, so .... I was not there when my brothers fell.”

Eyes that seemed wrought from pure gold slid past Krassic to where the two Lessers stood, one of them awkwardly cradling Chloe's unconscious body. An eyebrow like a silver filament inched upwards on a smooth, high, golden forehead.

“A ... prisoner? I dispatch you to bring me the Nameless, and you bring me a human child of the wrong gender? Might I imagine that there is an especially inventive tale behind this event?”

“Sire, all of our magics tell us that this child is the Nameless,” replied Krassic. “There are some inexplicable inconsistencies ... beyond the obvious, that is, but there can be no mistake.”

The golden demon smiled in sad, gentle amusement. “You say that because you do not know the depths of deception and trickery of which the Nameless is capable. This is but another ruse to weaken your numbers and leave your brothers vulnerable to attack.”

“That cannot be, sire,” Krassic argued. “I had the Lessers cross the rift with the prisoner first, and took a second reading before I departed the human world. Our spells are specifically crafted to recognize the Nameless' presence, and while he might be capable of evading some, even the Nameless could fool them all. At best, all he could do is mask his exact position.”

“And once this child was beyond the event horizon of the rift ...” began the golden demon.

“There was no trace of the Nameless,” finished Krassic. “The only way he could avoid it completely ... would be if he were dead!”

The golden demon rose from his throne and swept majestically towards where Chloe was being held by the Lesser. Looking down at her cherubic face, he gently traced one long finger along her jawline.

“What is your secret, little one?” he whispered. “What is your link to the man that ruined my world?”

**********

“The Renai?” repeated Giles. “They are, I assume, our uninvited guests? I'm not familiar with the species.” He sounded vaguely disappointed in himself.

A mocking grin that was all yellowed teeth and no lips formed in the darkness shrouding Timothy's head. “They aren't a species, Ripper. The Renai are a warrior society; the military elite of Hyriault.”

“Hyriault?” Dawn interjected snidely. “You mean that place you went to get all evil and vein-y? The home of Asshole U?”

“That's not the way I would have put it ... but yes,” drawled Timothy. “Maybe you should visit, Dawn. With a bit of practice, I'm sure that you could hone your abilities until you could split a man's skull at fifty paces with a single whine!”

“I do not whine!” Dawn indignantly snapped.

“She whined,” taunted Timothy.

“Stop it!” Tara shouted, her voice shrill with panic. “Just ... stop it!” She focused her eyes intently on Timothy's face, silently grateful for the shadows that conceal his ravaged features. “Tell me, where did they take my daughter?!”

Timothy blinked, cocked his head to one side, and pointed. “She's right there.”

Tara's head turned so fast she risked self-induced whiplash. “Not Katie! Chloe!”

“Who?” Timothy replied blankly.

“Chloe! Our daughter! Our natural daughter!”

An eyebrow like a scraggly scrap of fur slid upwards on the corrupted flesh of Timothy's face. “You had another kid? How long have I been in the ground?”

It was Tara's turn to blink in confusion now, until she realized the problem. Timothy was unaware that he ... that his other self was a girl. Something must have shown on Tara's face, for Timothy's jaw dropped. “Are you trying to tell me I'm a girl?!”

“What's wrong with being a girl!” interrupted Dawn, her tone belligerent, as if she were purposefully trying to pick a fight. Timothy half turned, no-doubt a cutting reply on his lips, but Tara cut them both off.

“Stop it!” she ordered, fear and anger battling for control of her voice. “Timothy ... please. Help us. Help me. Do you know where my daughter is?”

“No,” grunted Timothy without ceremony, blunt and merciless as the fall of a hammer, and Tara's heart fell with that single word. “But I bet I can find her.” He lurched upright. “Those that are still asleep ... wake their asses up. We might need the bodies.”

Tara looked down at Willow, still passed out in her arms. “Ummm ... how?”

Timothy rolled his one good eye, limped over to the table on which all the food had been laid out on, and returned carrying a bowl full of punch. Tara eyed him nervously, and was about to ask what he was planning ... when he upended the bowl right on top of Willow's head, soaking both women. The redhead reared upright, spluttering and indignant, dripping with punch, and with small chunks of fruit in her hair.

Then she noticed Timothy lurking above her like a creature out of a nightmare, and gave a little shriek.

“Up at at 'em, mother dearest,” Timothy rasped, his permanently toothy grin even wider than usual. “The game is afoot.”

**********

By the time they arrived at the park, Timothy's grin was still present, but only by virtue of the fact that without lips he was unable to scowl. On one side of his face, the tattered fragments of his leathery skin and corrupted flesh had been roughly torn away, leaving bone to gleam in the moonlight.

The culprit of this impromptu plastic surgery was still trying to clean the last traces of decaying tissue from her fist ... without much success, a fact that Timothy seemed to take a perverse kind of pleasure in. Buffy had proven surprisingly stubborn to wake, but when she had, it had been to find Timothy looming over her, shouting insults. Her reaction had been understandably violent.

“I wake up with a zombie standing over me, and I'm gonna hit it,” she muttered beneath her breath, sullenly. “It's what I do; it's my raisin entree!”

Willow opened her mouth to correct Buffy, but Tara beat her to the punch. “That's raison d'être, Buffy,” she noted softly. “But it's okay, Buffy. Nobody blames you.” Timothy snorted contemptuously, but Willow fixed her partner with a proud grin.

“Check out my girl, all with the big brain!” she crowed, bringing a blush to Tara's cheeks. “I didn't know you spoke French!”

“I don't, but ...”

At the head of their little column, Timothy abruptly jerked to a halt and spun around. Finding herself on the verge of a head-on collision, Willow recoiled and nearly fell.

“Since I'm somewhat hard-pressed to see how the ability to speak French is pertinent information in our current endevour, do you think we might perhaps focus on that task at hand?” he snidely hissed. “Or have you decided your daughter's rescue is not worth the full weight of your attention?”

“Hey!” protested Xander, poking Timothy in the chest with a rigid index finger. “Don't you get all uppity ...” His voice trailed off in disgust as his finger sank into Timothy's flesh up to the first knuckle.

Looking down, Timothy crooked an eyebrow and stared steadily at Xander. For his part, all Xander seemed capable of doing was making tiny grunting noises in the back of his throat. “Were you planning on keeping that there?” drawled Timothy.

With a full-body shudder, Xander sprang backwards, flailing wildly with his offending arm as if he remove the tactile memory of Timothy's rotten flesh by virtue of frenzied movement alone. Except for Anya, the rest of the Scoobies drew back; none of them wanted to chance coming into contact with Xander's contaminated finger.

Anya however, leaned forward to take a closer look at the wound in Timothy's chest. “You know, you really should be a lot drier after being dead for two years,” she pointed out, turning to Xander. “What did it feel like?”

Her earnest question earned her a series of peculiar looks from the other Scoobies, and Anya shifted uncomfortably beneath their gaze. “What?”

With a long suffering sigh, Timothy turned his back and stalked away, the rest of the Scoobies scurrying to catch up. It was a simple task, for Timothy stopped again only a handful of steps later.

“What now?” Buffy grumbled suspiciously. “Is there a pebble in your shoe?”

“If by that you mean that we're here, then yes.”

“What?” blurted Willow, “We're here? How do you know? Where's Chloe?”

Rolling his eyes, Timothy looked down. Following his gaze, Willow found a broad patch of scorched grass in the shape of an oval with a perfectly flat base. “Oh.”

“The portal to Hyriault did that?” asked Tara, aghast.

“No,” Timothy replied. “The ambient heat from Hyriault did that. This portal has no physical influence upon the world. It is simply ... a doorway.”

“Then where is it?” urged Willow. “And more importantly, where's my daughter!”

“The answer to both these questions is the one and the same,” came Timothy's answer. “Gone.”

Tara whispered a desperate denial. “No ...”

Timothy shrugged, as if none of this meant a damn thing to him. “Congratulations, mothers. Your only child is lost and alone. In Hell itself.”

To be continued.

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:39 am 
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Dibs! And might I say, so totally awesome! Every chapter of this story just leaves me more and more interested. I love your writing style, and every statement has the kind of dark humour that I enjoy so much. Timothy is so damn snarky, which is understandable considering his current state, you have Dawn, Xander, Buffy, and Anya to a tee, and Willow and Tara are just so well written.

Quote:
Willow opened her mouth to correct Buffy, but Tara beat her to the punch. “That's raison d'être, Buffy,” she noted softly. “But it's okay, Buffy. Nobody blames you.” Timothy snorted contemptuously, but Willow fixed her partner with a proud grin.

“Check out my girl, all with the big brain!” she crowed, bringing a blush to Tara's cheeks. “I didn't know you spoke French!”

“I don't, but ...”


It made me smile to see them so in love even in the face of this new danger. Timothy rocks my socks off, and I can't wait to see what you have in store for this story. And if I might say, I think this is even better than the first. Awesome.

~Sara

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:48 am 
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Wow and EWW. Your description of Timothy is just well...gross. He may be rotting away, but he's still his same old lovable self. Glad to see he is trying to help find Chloe, even though the ending doesn't sound too promising. I'm sure you'll take care of that for us though, won't you Paul? Can't leave poor little Chloe in a place like that too long, please??

I was thrilled to see this updated, but please don't leave us hanging here for too long.

Wimpy

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:25 am 
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ahh!... Timothy's back... how is that possible if Chloe is Timothy?

Poor Chloe... she's been taken :( and corpse-y Tim is just...well... disgusting. ) but Willow and Tara maintained their senses and didn't seem to panic too much.... I didn't really expect that.

Now that they've found the porthole I'm wondering how they're going to get the baby back--if they're going to go physically and get her or if they're going to send Timothy alone to get her... :paranoid

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:45 am 
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Pauly Pants!

You are the master of gory discgusting detail. *shiver* Timothy is gross!

So they kidnapped Chloe to a hell dimension because of mistaken identity... only they don't know what the connection is to Nameless (Willow & Tara!!!) Which can only mean trouble (of course it does, you evil onion, you).

OK but I am confused about the resurection and the demon kiss - did the deamons resurect Nameless or was it Chloe? If it was Chloe, how'd she know to do it? And what was the deal with the undead porn? Was Timothy getting energy from the demon?

Ah. Who am I kidding! You're not going to tell me a blasted thing!!!

I am glad to see this story back!

yipee!

db

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:47 pm 
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Ahhh, update! I've become one with updatey goodness. I'm basking in Paul's literary light. :)

Timothy the walking undead son cracks me up. He has just the right amount of sarcasm.

I've been anticipating this story about as much as I do the current crop of Buffy comics. For those trapped in denial, that's two more past evil season six. These updates are way better, though, cause they have a real, breathing and breathlessly lovely Willow and Tara couple in them.

"You-Need-the-Pain-Wheldon" doesn't know the story opportunities he's missing.


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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 30th April)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:44 am 
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Quote:
All the Scoobies dealt with the dead on a regular basis, but they were typically vampires, and vampires didn't rot. And whatever Timothy was now, he decidedly did.

Yuck!
Quote:
“I do not whine!” Dawn indignantly snapped.
#
Hehe…I always have trouble deciding if Riley was the worst character ever or Dawn.
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“It's what I do; it's my raisin entree!”
Dead on.

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 7th June)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:50 pm 
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Okay, so there's been a little bit longer than I would have liked between updates, what with various minor ailments and a general lack of 'get up and go' on my part. Apologies.

-----

wimpy0729 - Explanations? You want explanations? From me? :lol Optimism, I like that! :devil :p

-----

db -
Quote:
Well, shit.

Here I was hoping for some hot girl on girl action -- maybe with some wholesome scooby banter and a cute stubborn baby-chloe sidebar...

...and instead I get resurected timothy, gory blown up extraterrestrially demon bad guys, violence and, oh yeah, Chloe is *kidnapped?!!!?

Oh, yeah. The Evil Onion is BACK!


Back, and then gone again ... sorry about that.

Why did the Renai mistake Chloe for Nameless with their tracker thingamabob? Well, yes, on a certain level, they are the same person, if you ignore the whole gender issue. As for 'Dark magic soul-stain', these are demons we're talking about. Pretty much everyone from Hyriault would have the same sort of stain, so why bother even looking for it. They were tracking his soul, more or less, that indefinable spark that makes us alive. And that's similar enough between Timothy and Chloe that they were confused.

As for the zombie ... well, that's already been answered, hasn't it. :p

-----

Dianneswillowtree - A devil? Moi? You're gonna make me blush! :grin

-----

WillowRulez - What's Timothy doing back? Why being the cat amongst the pigeons once again, I'd imagine. :p

:lol The whole 'The Nameless' thing is due to it being a title as well as a name to the denizens of Hyriault.

Invader Zim? Nope, can't say I have heard of him ... or her ... or it. Substitute whichever is suitable. :grin

-----

Roger Doger -
Quote:
So I suppose our friendly author finally tackles how two women could put together a brand of chromosone they don't have? Their child is predictably female, and yet somehow maybe not? Ultimately. I guess.


Bah! I sneer at the laws of nature, and scoff at the scientifically impossible! :p

Ta, mate.

-----

tazraven - Dark humor, huh? Well, that sounds accurate. Thanks Sara!

-----

wimpy0729 - Timothy, gross? Just because he's a walking decayed corpse? Honestly, some people! :p

Quote:
Glad to see he is trying to help find Chloe, even though the ending doesn't sound too promising. I'm sure you'll take care of that for us though, won't you Paul? Can't leave poor little Chloe in a place like that too long, please??


Would I do that? :devil

Quote:
I was thrilled to see this updated, but please don't leave us hanging here for too long.


Err ... yeah ...

-----

Emms - How can both Timothy and Chloe exist, since they're sort of the same person? My advice? Don't think too much about it, you'll go crosseyed. That's the time travel paradox for ya ...

Quote:
Now that they've found the porthole I'm wondering how they're going to get the baby back--if they're going to go physically and get her or if they're going to send Timothy alone to get her...


Would you trust him on his lonesome to save your only daughter?

-----

db -
Quote:
OK but I am confused about the resurection and the demon kiss - did the deamons resurect Nameless or was it Chloe? If it was Chloe, how'd she know to do it? And what was the deal with the undead porn? Was Timothy getting energy from the demon?

Ah. Who am I kidding! You're not going to tell me a blasted thing!!!


Hah! Just for that, I'll give you answers! How'da like them apples! :p

Okay, the demon kiss was Timothy's way of stealing life force to bolster his connection to his own decayed corpse. Before it, he found speaking difficult, and he possessed the usual zombie co-ordination for the most part. It's similiar to what he did to the attempted rapist in 'At Any Cost' after he was burnt. It didn't heal him all the way because ... well, he is dead after all.

As for his resurrection in the first place ... well, that will be explained. :grin

-----

Roger Doger - I have literay light? Cool! That should cut down on the electicity bill ! :p Thanks mate!

-----

WillowRulez -
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Hehe…I always have trouble deciding if Riley was the worst character ever or Dawn.


Ohh, they both had their moments ... good and bad.

And on a trivial note, you would not believe how long I had to look to find the episode where Spike made that raison d'être comment ...

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 7th June)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:54 pm 
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Part 6.

“Open it!” Willow ordered, her tone brooking no argument. Her eyes were flared open in panic, irises dilated in the darkness. “Open the portal again!”

Timothy turned his wasted features to face his mother, what little expression his decaying facial muscles remained capable of unreadable. “No.”

Sagging at the waist, Willow took the word like a punch to the gut, her mouth dropping open in shock. Tara's reaction was much the same, but Buffy took another tack. Shoulders set as if ready to throw a veritable plethora of punches, the Slayer stomped right up into Timothy's personal space, her face a thundercloud.

Leaning forward, she poked Timothy in the chest, recoiling as she got close enough to smell his rotten flesh. “What do you mean, no?” Buffy snapped. “No, you can't, or no, you won't?”

“I can open a portal to Hyriault, certainly ... but it won't do anyone any good.”

“Not if you don't hurry!” blurted Tara. “They're taking Chloe farther away with every passing minute! Please Timothy ... help us.”

“You don't understand ...”

“No, you don't understand!” Xander bellowed, surprising everyone. “Chloe's one of us! She's family! And we'll do whatever it takes to look after one of our own!”

“Chloe is family?” repeated Timothy, bitterly. “So am I, but that didn't stop you killing me.”

Buffy scowled. “That's what this is about? You're holding a grudge because we killed you? You wanted us too!”

“This is not about me ...”

“Hah!”

Lunging forward in a blur of movement, Timothy grabbed Buffy by the throat and clapped his other hand over Buffy's mouth. “For once in your life, Summers, shut up and listen!” he snarled. “The portal that the Renai came through wasn't just dimensional, it was temporal.”

The look on Buffy's face above Timothy's hand didn't seem impressed by this revelation, and her eyes clearly implied a 'so what' attitude. But a slowly dawning expression of dismay was blooming on Giles', Willow's, and Tara's faces.

“I knew at least one of these Renai, and they lived in Hyriault at the same time as me .... sixteen years in the future. And since time passes differently in Hyriault than it does here, that equates to roughly a hundred and fifty years. Your precious Chloe is not just lost in Hell, ... she's lost in time as well.”

Silence descended, thick and depressing. Released from Timothy's grasp, Buffy staggered backwards, automatically wiping her mouth, her hands bunching into fists with impotent fury. Tears were welling in both Tara and Willow's eyes as they folded together in a futile search for comfort.

“But you've traveled in time before!” blurted Dawn, her voice sounding unusually loud in the silence. “You can do it again!”

“Yes, but I did it by killing you, and likely everyone else on the planet. Are you volunteering for a second round?” Dawn scowled, gulped and shook her head simultaneously.

Raising her head from Tara's shoulder, Tara fixed Timothy with a beseeching stare. “There has to be something we can do. Please, Timothy! She's our daughter ...”

Timothy visibly flinched, hanging his head so that his ruined face was hidden behind a fall of his lank, stringy hair. As he stood there, motionless, shoulders hunched and fists clenched, the Scoobies stared at him with a variety of expressions; hope, anger, suspicion and grief were all represented on their faces.

His head finally swung up, that single eye burning like a miniature star in his face. “There might be something ....”

Willow clutched at that statement like a drowning woman at a life ring. “What?! We'll do anything!”

“It won't be you who does anything, it will be me. I need to need to think, I need to plan ...”

“Like hell you do!” Buffy grated. “You need to get your evil genius groove on, stat! Get our Chloe back!”

Directing a withering stare at Buffy, Timothy shook his head in disgust. “Wars are not won by charging in blind, Slayer.”

“It's worked fine for me in the past,” argued Buffy, more for the sake of arguing than for any other reason.

“Which makes you lucky, not competent!” he snapped back, venom virtually dripping from his voice.

“Stop it!” Willow shrilly barked, her voice breaking with stress. “Just stop it, the both of you!”

Buffy drew back, looking abashed and ashamed of her behavior. It was hard to make out any kind of emotion on what remained of Timothy's face, but he at least held his tongue.

“Can you do it?” asked Willow, regarding Timothy with brittle self-control. “Can you give me back my ...” she looked sideways at Tara before continuing, “our baby?”

“Perhaps,” Timothy replied, shrugging. “But it will require me to do what I do best.”

“Kill a whole bunch'a people?” suggested Dawn, wide-eyed.

Timothy paused, then made a gesture that was half wry shrug, half nod of agreement. “What I do second best then ... chase legends.”

**********

The Scoobies formed a sullen and anxious train behind Timothy as he stalked back into Willow and Tara's house through the back door. He was visible only in silhouette, and Tara felt a chill run down her spine at the sight of his awkward, but obsessively purposeful stride; that hitching, stiff-legged stalk that Tara would forever associate with the depredations of Nameless.

Shouldering the door open, Timothy vanished inside, and the Scoobies followed behind at a short distance, hoping to avoid the horrid stench of decay that clung to him like a second shadow. Xander was grumbling beneath his breath at what he saw as Timothy's procrastination, and the scowl on Buffy's face left no doubt that she sided with his opinion.

“What are we doing back here?” complained Xander as he entered the kitchen to find Timothy rummaging through a kitchen drawer. “Are you searching for the legendary soup spoon thingy?”

“Too big,” Timothy absently grunted, ignoring Xander's sarcastic tone. Crowing in triumph, he held up a teaspoon. “This is what I was looking for.”

“Why were you looking for ...” began Dawn, but her voice cut off when she gagged as Timothy plunged the teaspoon into the socket of his blind eye. A moment's worth of manipulation, and something like a shriveled grape popped out to bounce on the floor. As Willow had to leap backwards to avoid the errant eyeball touching her foot, Tara had to put one hand over her mouth to keep her gorge down.

“Better. That's been bugging me for ...” Timothy noticed that all of the Scoobies were staring at him in open-mouthed shock. “What?”

“That was surprisingly easy,” Anya noted thoughtfully, the only Scooby who seemed capable of more than retching noises at the moment. “Eyes usually take a bit more effort to extract. Have you done that before?”

“Dug one of my own eyes out with a teaspoon?” replied Timothy nonchalantly. “Nope, that was a first. This other eye was all someone else's doing ... well, something anyway. But yeah, eyes can be tricky little buggers.”

Anya's face seemed to light up, and it looked as if she were about to launch into what would no doubt be a disturbing reminiscence, but Xander interrupted by stepping between the two.

“Ahn, don't you remember that you don't like him? He broke your arm, remember?!”

“Hey, yeah!” Anya shot a suddenly venomous glare at Timothy, who blew her a sardonic kiss in reply. “Jerk.”

“Good lord, man! Aren't you disfigured enough already?” asked Giles.

“No, I just needed one more missing body part to have the complete set,” Timothy shot back sarcastically. “What I am,” he explained, “is blind on one side. Lame, I can deal with. Where I'm going, blind will get me killed.”

“Where we're going,” Willow corrected.

“No.”

“Yes!” insisted Willow.

Timothy's hand convulsed, pulping the teaspoon he was still holding like a piece of soft fruit. “No,” he growled.

“What, you think we're going to trust you to rescue Chloe on your own?” scoffed Buffy incredulously. “Seriously, as if! She'd probably come back as your apprentice, all skankerific and evil.”

“After all the effort I put into trying to keep you two,” Timothy waved at Willow and Tara, “safe, you want me to just up and drag you both into a hell dimension on what may well be a fool's errand?!”

Affixing Timothy with a steely gaze, Tara's expression left no doubt as to her determination. “We go with you, or we follow behind. Either way, Timothy, we are going.”

In silence, he studied his mothers with that single unblinking eye, recognizing both Willow's resolve-face and Tara's more subtle expression of serene defiance. “I won't be able to dissuade you, will I?” There was a bark of bitter laughter. “What am I saying? Of course I can't change your mind! I inherited both your stubborn streaks after all; I should know better.”

“Yeah!” crowed Xander. “You really should know better! We're all going!”

“No.”

Xander's face purpled, and his mouth opened, no doubt on the verge of unleashing another angry diatribe. But Timothy cut Xander off before he could even start.

“You would be worse than useless, Harris. You would be a millstone about our necks, and by day's end ... you would all be corpses.”

“You can't know that!” Dawn protested defiantly.

“I know Hyriault. Intimately. And it is not a place where human beings thrive.”

“Hah!” cried Dawn, convinced she'd seen the flaw in Timothy's argument. “You thrived! And you're taking Tara and Willow with you!”

“They have magic, and even though their offensive skills are seriously lacking, their baseline potential will gain them some measure of ... slack, for lack of a better word, with Hyriault's denizens. Whereas all of you lack the power to so much as light a candle.”

“So what!” Xander challenged, face screwed up pugnaciously. “We can fight, we can ...”

“You speak none of the languages,” snapped Timothy. “You know none of the customs. You don't even know how to survive the environment alone, where the air is hot enough to bake you alive, where fire falls from the sky like rain. None of you could even feed yourselves without inadvertently eating something that would liquefy your internal organs!”

“That's what we have you for, to be our tour guide to the seventh level of Hell!” Dawn shot back. “You can tell us what to do, you can tell us how to act, but we are not letting Willow and Tara go with you alone!”

“They aren't going alone, you insipid little brat!” Timothy snarled, flinging the ruined teaspoon to one side with so much force that it embedded itself in the wall.

“Well, you don't count!” Xander shouted, clenching his fists.

“I'm not talking about me, you pompous, self-righteous twat!”

“Oh, so it's some of your demon pals then, huh?” declared Xander sarcastically. “ That's so much better!”

“Not demons ... family,” Timothy countered. It was hard to tell with his face in the condition that it was, but judging by the faint twitches in the shriveled corners of his lipless mouth he was smirking.

“But ... we're your only family,” Willow muttered, exchanging a confused glance with Tara.

“And we're already going,” continued Tara, with a pointed look at her son.

“So who are you talking about?” asked Buffy suspiciously.

Timothy's face twitched again. “Later,” he replied mysteriously, apparently taking a perverse kind of joy in being obtuse. Spinning on his heel, Timothy started to limp towards the basement door.

Starting after him, Xander bellowed belligerently. “Hey, where the hell ...”

“What's going on?” interrupted a quiet voice, and all the Scoobies spun around to find Katie peering groggily at them, one small hand knuckling at a shadowed eye socket. “Where'd you guys go? Who's that?”

Tara and Willow immediately exchanged horrified expressions, the same self-recriminating thoughts running through both women's thoughts. We forgot Katie! All of us! We were so worried about Chloe that we just left her here all alone! What's wrong with us?!

The guilty train of thought both Willow and Tara were riding might have continued further if Timothy hadn't turned around, conveniently standing in a spill of light that revealed the ruined mess of his face in its full, stomach-churning glory.

Understandably, Katie screamed at the top of her lungs.

“Oh, shut up,” Timothy growled, flicking his fingers in a complex gesture. A whisper of light shot into Katie's mouth, and her scream was instantly cut off despite her mouth continuing to move. Clutching at her throat, Katie's eyes bulged in panic, flicking back and forth between her adoptive mothers in silent entreatment.

Tara spun around, her face fixed in a rare fury. “TIMOTHY ROSENBERG! Give your sister's voice back, this instant!”

Blinking, Timothy leaned backwards, momentarily off put by Tara's uncharacteristic rage, before shrugging. “On your own head be it, Mother,” he grudgingly replied, gesturing again.

Katie's voice came back in a rush of questions, each one coming so swiftly on the heels of its predecessor that they all blended together into an indecipherable cacophony. As much as she would have liked to taken the time to answer her questions, Tara felt that Katie would be better off getting some proper rest, and the guilt she was feeling left no room for argument.

A squeeze of the hand and a silent nod in Katie's direction put Willow on the job, and she led the youngster out by the hand, who was protesting loudly at the injustice of it all. As soon as she could hear their footsteps on the stairs, Tara began wringing her hands.

“I can't believe I just left her here alone,” she muttered. “I ... I can't ... we all just forgot about her!” The remaining Scoobies looked rather shamefaced at Tara's words.

“I didn't,” remarked Timothy calmly, and Tara stared at him incredulously.

“Then why didn't you say something!”

The decayed muscles in Timothy's face twitched again. “Because I don't care,” he replied, turning on his heel and lurching away. “Get some rest, Mother. We start work in the morning.”

To be continued ...

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 1st Sep)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:35 pm 
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So, Timothy says he doesn't care, huh? Methinks he's lying to himself, just to keep his emotions at a distance.

Anyway, glad to see more updateage! Tis an intriguing mystery you're spinning Paul, and doing so with your usual superb skill.


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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 1st Sep)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 10:49 am 
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And on a trivial note, you would not believe how long I had to look to find the episode where Spike made that raison d'être comment ...

Really? So you dont have the scripts as pdf-files?
Quote:
Raising her head from Tara's shoulder, Tara fixed Timothy with a beseeching stare. “There has to be something we can do. Please, Timothy! She's our daughter ...”

I think it would be smarter to treat him more like family... for their sake.
Quote:
Directing a withering stare at Buffy, Timothy shook his head in disgust. “Wars are not won by charging in blind, Slayer.”
“It's worked fine for me in the past,” argued Buffy, more for the sake of arguing than for any other reason.
“Which makes you lucky, not competent!” he snapped back, venom virtually dripping from his voice.

Enough said :smash
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“So who are you talking about?” asked Buffy suspiciously.

I'm intrigued! More soon?

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 1st Sep)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:36 am 
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Oh man, another amazing update, still leaving us with even more questions. Maybe it's just me being dense, but I'm still trying to figure out why Timothy spooned out his bad eye. Was that going to make his good eye work better? And now you're also leaving us wondering WTF he's talking about when he says he has "family" there.

I'm still shuddering when I think of poor little Chloe stuck in not only a hell dimension, but a time traveling one as well. Oh man, is she gonna come back when she's like 18, and we've missed out on all her fun growing up years? And, worst of all, is she gonna come back looking like Timothy since she/he/it share the same life-force thingy? Makes me super shuddery.

Again, great job, Paul. Can't wait for more!

Wimpy

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 1st Sep)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:25 pm 
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Ha! I love this story :) And the previous one (my apologies I can't remember the title). If you delight in grossing your readers out you have definitely succeeded on several occasions in both stories. You are incredibly descriptive and I like the demons other worlds you create.

The dialogue is witty and so real. I love zombie boy and the way you write about his movements, his stench, and everyone looking horrified and/or gagging at the sight of him. Xander's finger sinking into his chest was awesome - I could totally picture the look on his face. And Anya just being all matter of fact about the difficulty of digging an eyeball out of your head and wondering aloud if he'd practice :) Too much fun!

Of course Tara's my fave getting all mama bear. Oh! and when she yells at Timothy to give his sister her voice back 'this instant'! She just fell right into the land of mom cliche's there didn't she?!

Anyways, thanks for the great story and please keep writing. I enjoy your style very much!

Shiraz


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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 1st Sep)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:08 am 
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Paul. Oh god. I know I promised you feedback like a week ago... I promise I'll get to it, buddy...just been really crazy. But you know.

xoxo
Emms

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 1st Sep)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:20 pm 
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Kittens, sorry for the delay. I just seem to be having trouble getting into the writing grove ... .

Anyhoo, I'll post replies later; I just wanted to get this update now rather than later.

All Disclaimers apply ... you all know the drill.

Part 7.

Despite Timothy's advice to get some rest, most of the Scoobies found it a hard task to accomplish. Willow and Tara in particular were too worried about their daughter to think about sleep, at least until sheer exhaustion saw them drift off in each others arms.

Worry wasn't the only thing keeping people up though. Suspicion played its part as well. When Buffy finally laid down on a couch for a couple of hours worth of sleep, she did so with an axe by her side. Xander took it one step further, camping out in a chair outside the cellar door. And it wasn't fear of another demon attack that was guiding Xander's actions. It was a deep and abiding distrust of Timothy.

The sun was perhaps half an hour in the sky when the basement door silently opened, and a shrouded figure emerged to find Xander balanced precariously on his chair, leaned against the wall and snoring prodigiously.

The figure's head tilted to one side beneath a cowl of deepest black as it regarded Xander's somnolent figure. Then, with slowl, deliberate intent, they reached out with one leg, hooked their foot around the nearest leg of Xander's chair, and tugged.

Xander hit the floor with a high-pitched yelp, and bounced back to his feet like a ricocheting bullet. In his haste, all he make out of his attacker was a shadowed face, wearing the same kind of mask as the Renai, so his reaction was understandable. He threw a punch.

His punch connected solidly on the other figure's jaw, but Xander's expression of mild surprise only lasted as long as it took the pain to transmit to his brain; the mask his attacker wore was a lot harder than it looked. Xander wasn't about to let that stop him though, so he threw a second punch.

This one didn't connect; Xander's opponent caught his arm by the wrist and wrenched it to one side, before shoving him against the wall.

“Having fun yet, Harris?” rasped a familiar voice, and Xander swore reflexively as he pushed himself off the wall.

“Timothy?” gasped Xander, his heart pounding dangerously fast in his chest. “What are you doing wearing that thing? You just about made me jump out of my skin!”

“Well ... that would have been entertaining,” Timothy drawled. “Mind your head,” he added nonchalantly, stepping to the left and dragging Xander with him. The axe head that buried itself in the wall would have split Xander's head if Timothy hadn't yanked him out of the way. A less than manly whimper escaped Xander's lips before he could help himself, but he quickly rallied and shoved Timothy away from him.

“Jeez, Buff!” he muttered breathlessly. “Watch where you're swinging that thing, will ya?”

Blushing in embarrassment at nearly decapitating her friend by accident, Buffy wrenched her axe out of the wall. “My bad, Xand,” she apologized, directing a dark look at Timothy. “I thought someone was attacking you.”

“Well, to be fair, I kinda was,” admitted Timothy, shrugging.

“What are you doing in that get-up anyway?” Buffy asked suspiciously. “Develop a sudden urge to get your bondage on?”

The 'get-up' Buffy referred to was a floor-length duster made of a material so dark that it seemed to consume the light in Timothy's immediate area. A hood of the same material shrouded his head and neck, leaving his masked face the only thing visible. Beneath that, he wore a figure hugging one-piece garment of black leather.

“Oh, I'm sorry. Would you prefer that I go back to having my face uncovered?”

“Nononono ...” replied Xander immediately. “Bondage guy is a vast improvement over the walking dead.” His nose wrinkled slightly as he realized something. “You aren't smelling so stinky anymore ...”

“Hey, if you had a spell to reduce your stench, why didn't you use it last night?” Buffy indignantly demanded.

“It's not a spell,” replied Timothy, holding his duster open to reveal a number of pine tree shaped air fresheners concealed about his person. “Now, who fancies a spot of breakfast?”

**********

No-one took Timothy up on his offer of breakfast; whether that was due to a lack of trust or a lack of appetite, he didn't seem inclined to ask. By the time the rest of the Scoobies had gathered in the dining room, all they were interested in was Timothy's plan ... the growl of Xander's stomach notwithstanding.

As they filed into the dining room, all of the Scoobies instinctively gathered on the opposite side of the room to Timothy, giving rise to a telling scene. One side of the room was crowded, and while more subdued than usual, given the circumstances, they were still fairly lively, as only people who are completely comfortable in each other's company can be. They were a family, if not by blood then by intent.

And on the other side of the room stood Timothy, alone, silent and unmoving, a silent sentinel baring witness to their bond.

Willow and Tara sat together, directly across from their time-swept son, hand in hand, seeking both comfort and strength through physical contact. Katie was ensconced to their right, for no amount of cajoling, pleading or flat-out ordering had been sufficient to keep her away.

Since Katie was the least conflicted in her feelings about Timothy, it wasn't surprising that she was the first to speak. “You've got two eyes again,” she pointed out with the guileless lack of subtlety particular to children. The Scoobies started, none of them having noticed that there were now two cerulean supernova's burning in Timothy's eye sockets.

“What, did you think I dug my own eye out just for kicks?” was his sarcastic rejoinder.

In the background, largely unnoticed, Katie blanched, muttering “You dug out your own eye?”

“Um ... I actually thought you might have done it just to gross us out,” replied Willow. Pausing, she briefly glanced at Anya. “Well ... most of us, anyway.”

“Well ...” he drawled, “maybe just a little bit. Like I said, blind on one side will get me killed, so I made myself another eye.”

“Not to nitpick,” Giles dryly interjected, adjusting the lay of his glasses across his nose, “but aren't you technically dead already?”

“Says the man who deals professionally with vampires,” Timothy shot back. “And, forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't they technically dead as well?”

“What's your point?” replied Giles, unperturbed.

Timothy snickered, the sound incongruous with the constantly stern expression his mask left him with. “Since when have I needed a point for a snide comment?”

“If you two are quite finished, can we maybe discuss how we're getting my daughter back?” demanded Tara, her voice tight with stress.

Shrugging, Timothy reached inside his duster and placed an item on the dining room table; a plain featureless orb of polished steel. The Scoobies stared at his discovery, singularly unimpressed. Buffy crooked a single eyebrow.

“Oh. Yay. You found your magical bouncy ball of death. We're saved ... or doomed. Whichever.”

“Afraid not. My magical bouncy ball of death is red ... and made of rubber. This particular little toy is what brought the Renai down upon you.”

“What is it?” Willow hesitantly asked, eying the sphere with new respect.

“This, mother dearest, is a Chtok Ruus.” The Scoobies regarded Timothy with a distinct lack of comprehension. “Literally translated ... Cradle of Resurrection.”

“Resur ...” Dawn began, before the light of realization bloomed in her eyes, and she jabbed her index finger accusingly at him. “Aha! It is all your fault!”

“Yes, I triggered the Cradle, and resurrected myself,” Timothy admitted in a tidal wave of sarcasm. “Despite the fact that I was stone-cold dead, and as such incapable of any action or thought whatsoever. A rotting corpse, and yet I can still manage to ruin your perfect little lives ... how's that for dedication!”

Dawn subsided with a hangdog expression, her sister wrapping one arm around her shoulders. Buffy directed a glare of displeasure at Timothy. “Fine,” she said, biting the word off as if she wished it was Timothy's head. “Then where'd it come from, Mr Magic Eight-ball?”

“I made it.”

Xander leapt up from his perch on the end of a sideboard, face alight with self-righteous triumph. But even as he was opening his mouth to declare his accusation, Timothy jabbed a bone talon in his direction like the tip of a sword. “Don't even think about it, Harris.”

Giles cleared his throat. “Then might we correctly assume that this ... Cradle of Resurrection was stored in the basement here?”

Timothy clapped his hands together and gave Giles a mocking little bow. “Give the man a prize! Hole in one, Ripper.”

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Giles frowned. “I do wish you would stop calling me that.”

“I know,” Timothy replied, and while his face was hidden by the mask that concealed his ravaged features, an insolent smirk was audible in his rasping voice. “Which, no doubt, is why I continue to do it. But never mind that ... judging by the amount of dust, almost no-one's been down there in at least a year.” He directed a disapproving glare at Willow and Tara. “I bequeathed my collection to you for a reason, mothers.”

“Thanks, but I think we can make do without your mother lode of dark magic,” Willow shot back defiantly. “I've had more than enough contact with that, thank you very much.”

“Wait ...” interjected Tara. “You said almost 'almost no-one' ... we keep that door locked, and no-one's been down there since Giles finished cataloging it.”

“And yet ... the door was unlocked when I tried it, and the dust bore two recent sets of tracks. One of which was undoubtedly made by the pitter patter of tiny feet.”

Willow blinked in shock. “Wait ... what ... you mean Chloe?!! You're actually trying to blame a two year old?”

“At this point, the assignation of blame is utterly pointless. And besides, she's the only person capable of activating the Cradle in the first place. It was locked to my biometric signature, or at least the magical equivalent thereof. It would appear that Chloe's is sufficiently similar to mine to fool this damnable thing.”

In a fit of pique, Timothy snatched up the Cradle and hurled it at a far wall, where it embedded itself with a small shower of plaster. Fidgeting, Timothy ducked his head briefly and muttered, “Sorry.”

“But ... how did Chloe even get down there?” Tara fretted. “We keep that door locked at all times!”

By Tara's side, Katie mumbled something intelligible as she slumped in her seat, and Tara turned to her foster daughter with a deep sense of foreboding.

“Katie?” she queried softly, but with an undercurrent of urgency.

Katie sighed, and spoke again, legibly this time. “She got down there yesterday, while I was watching her.” Refusing to look up at either of the women who had taken her into their lives, as though afraid of what she might see, Katie began to speak even faster. “I don't know what happened! I looked away for a second, and when I turned back, Chloe was gone! I ... I found her in the basement ... playing with that thing.” A trembling arm pointed at where the Cradle of Resurrection was embedded in the wall.

Regardless of what Katie might have feared Willow and Tara's response was going to be, it proved unfounded, for both women enfolded the girl in their arms, murmuring words of understanding and love as Katie started to softly weep. The tender scene tugged at the heartstrings of virtually everybody who witnessed it.

Timothy however, hawked up a gob of bloody spittle and spat it into an empty breakfast glass. “Do you think you could wait to play happy families until after we put your family back together?” he snarled, and Tara thought, surprisingly, that she detected a hint of envy in the warlock's voice. She must have been the only one though, for everyone else gave him dirty looks.

“Fine,” snapped Buffy. “So ... what, Chloe accidentally triggers this thing, which brings you back in all your stinky glory. Where do these 'Renai' losers come in?”

“They must have developed some way to track my mystical energy signature, and the resurrection spell triggered by the Cradle was enough for them to trace it to here and now.”

“Wait ...” began Willow, frowning in thought. “If they had a way to track your magic, why now? If they're coming from the future anyway? Why didn't they turn up while you were ...” Her voice trailed off weakly.

“While I was still alive, you mean?” finished Timothy wryly. “A man with as many enemies as I have tends to develop a certain level of paranoia, so I was cloaking myself. From you two, mostly, but also from everyone else.”

“And all this exposition helps us get Chloe back how, exactly?” asked Buffy doubtfully.

“It doesn't, exactly,” admitted Timothy. “But it's useful intelligence, regardless. We know they can track me now.”

“So ... you're going to do some big spell to lure them into a trap?” Xander eagerly hypothesized, but Timothy shook his head.

“Pointless. Even if they didn't come in numbers sufficient to overwhelm us, they would hardly bring Chloe with them.”

“But ...” Willow began, but Timothy cut her off, predicting her suggestion.

“And they wouldn't leave us with a way to follow them back either, even if we killed every last one of them.”

“So what's your cunning plan then?” Anya impatiently demanded.

Timothy shrugged. “We go to Hyriault.”

“But ... you said that was pointless!” blurted Dawn. “What about that whole 150 year thing you were going on about? What are you gonna do, cryogenically freeze us?”

“No,” replied Timothy, chuckling. “We're going to steal the Key of Rahmon.”

“The key of whoosit? What's that?” asked Xander. “And why would we want to help you steal it?”

“The key of Rahmon is what I originally went to Hyriault for in the first place. It's a device that allows the user to manipulate the time stream, and travel through both time and space.”

“So ... it's a demon Tardis!” Xander exclaimed.

“If that analogy works for you ... then yes. We get that ...”

“And we can travel to the Hyriault of the future and save Chloe!” finished Willow excitedly. “So what are we waiting for?!”

The blazing hue of Timothy's artificial eyes brightened. “Well, for one thing ... I think it's time I started recruiting.” And with a faint pop of displaced air, he vanished.

Buffy scowled. “I really hate it when he does that ...”

To be continued ....

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 20th Nov)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:32 am 
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Yay! An update from Paul! Ooh, and dibs. I know I've told you before that I love your dialogue, but I can't help it. It's so dark and sardonic. It makes me smile, and that's very important. You write everyone so well. I can honestly hear them speaking.

As for the story, a Holy Crap is pretty close to what I want to say. Timothy is being his usual awesome self, and by awesome I mean making fun of and grossing out everyone in the room. The scoobies are just trying to help, and Willow and Tara are cute as hell. I can't wait for the next one, but I certainly hope you won't keep me, I mean us, waiting quite as long. Great chapter.

~Sara

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 20th Nov)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:53 am 
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Hey Paul,

Thanks for the update! I'm almost late for work but couldn't 'put this one down'. Love how you write Timothy...he's so petulant, sarcastic, and gross. Sigh. Reminds me of my days as a high school teacher. I do miss those kids!

Can't wait for the... 'road trip'?!

Shiraz


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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 20th Nov)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:01 am 
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Wow, Paul! Two updates from you on the same day, what a treat!

Well, at least it seems they have concocted a plan and things are moving along. Still loving disgusting Timothy. I kind of wonder where he gets his lovely manners from. Okay, now I hope he hurries back so we can get this show on the road and rescue Chloe before she's old and gray in some other time warp place.

Great job again.


Wimpy

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 20th Nov)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:07 am 
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I'm so happy that you updated!
Quote:
“It's not a spell,” replied Timothy, holding his duster open to reveal a number of pine tree shaped air fresheners concealed about his person.

Funny idea!
Poor Katie. But good that nobody blamed her.#
Can't wait for their trip to Hyriault!

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 20th Nov)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:08 pm 
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Hey! Paul-y Pants!

An update! I love it! Yay!

Timothy is such a complicated guy.

*Sigh*

I think I am starting to feel bad for him… I mean he clearly is not that fond of himself (nobody else seems to be fond of him either)… but, I dunno, I guess I think he really needs redemption. You know?

You know what I hope? I hope that he really can get the key-a-ma-jig and save Chloe. I think that might be a really redeeming thing to do. Now. If we could get him to quit pissing people off on purpose and phleming loogies into drinking glasses we might just be able to get him semi presentable in public.

Quote:
“What are you doing in that get-up anyway?” Buffy asked suspiciously. “Develop a sudden urge to get your bondage on?”


Maybe not.

Or, you know, maybe he can smooch a few more demons (when they get to demon land). Can he undo the rotting by doing the undead-porn-regeneration thing he likes to do?



Great update Pauly!


db

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 20th Nov)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:58 pm 
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G'day Kittens!

Hmmm ... given the speed that I'm writing lately, maybe I should rename myself Darth Sloth ... :p Especially since I'm replying to comments made all the way back in August last year. I hang my head in shame.

------

Roger Doger -
Quote:
So, Timothy says he doesn't care, huh? Methinks he's lying to himself, just to keep his emotions at a distance.


What? You doubt the veracity of Timothy's claims? Hasn't he already proved how trustworthy he is ... oh yeah. Good point. :D

Ta mate.

-----

WillowRulez - No, tis true. I have to rely on my memory to dredge up snippets of dialoge from the show. Which is just an excuse to watch episodes over and over. :D

You're right, it probably would be smarter to appeal to their familiar bonds with Timothy, if they had any. Intellectually, they know he's their son, but emotionally it's a different story.

-----

wimpy0729 - The reason Timothy removed his eye was so that he could replace it with a working one. Having a blind side in a fight is never good.

Quote:
I'm still shuddering when I think of poor little Chloe stuck in not only a hell dimension, but a time traveling one as well. Oh man, is she gonna come back when she's like 18, and we've missed out on all her fun growing up years? And, worst of all, is she gonna come back looking like Timothy since she/he/it share the same life-force thingy? Makes me super shuddery.


Ahh, now that would be telling. :devil

-----

shiraz - G'day Shiraz! Delight in grossing out my readers? Moi? :devil

Quote:
Oh! and when she yells at Timothy to give his sister her voice back 'this instant'! She just fell right into the land of mom cliche's there didn't she?!


Well, they did become cliches for a reason. :D

Thanks!

-----

Emms - Hmmm ... you're late with feedback, and I'm late with updates. Let's procrastinate together, shall we? :D

-----

tazraven - G'day Sara!

Quote:
You write everyone so well. I can honestly hear them speaking.


High praise indeed. Thank you. Sorry that this latest update has taken so long ... hmmm, I'm sounding like a broken record, aren't I.

-----

shiraz - Petulant, sarcastic and gross ... yep, sounds like Timothy. In many ways, he never grew up past the rebellious teenager phase. You were a high school teacher, huh. So was my Dad! Before he retired, anyway.

-----

wimpy0729 - Where did Timothy learn his manners? Well, you can bet it wasn't from Willow ... and civilized graces he might have once had were lost in Hyriault a long time ago. Don't worry, they're going to getting on the road before two long ... they just have to do a spot of recruiting first.

-----

WillowRulez - Yep, car air fresheners. Why use magic when you don't have to, right? :p

-----

db G'day Deeb! Oh my, yes. There are few people Timothy hates as much as he hates himself. You're right, he does need redemption ... but the problem is that he doesn't believe he can ever have it.

Quote:
If we could get him to quit pissing people off on purpose and phleming loogies into drinking glasses we might just be able to get him semi presentable in public.


Hey, hey, hey! Slow it down a bit, will ya! :p

Quote:
Can he undo the rotting by doing the undead-porn-regeneration thing he likes to do?


'Fraid not. That was just him draining life force to strengthen himself. The zombie thing is here to stay ... for now, at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 20th Nov)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:59 pm 
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Part 8.

The bar lay on the outskirts of a small provincial town on the coast of Thailand. While other similar towns made a living from the occasional Western tourist, this particular collection of ramshackle hovels had no such luck. The only road into town went no further, and rather than a pristine sandy beach, all it could boast was a tangled mess of mangroves and swamps.

The building that housed the bar itself was little more than an glorified shack. Walls and roof alike were built from sheets of corrugated iron that were rusting badly in the humidity, giving the building the appearance of a diseased animal. The inside was little better.

At that moment, there were few patrons; most of the locals were out working, leaving just a handful of barflies, one exceedingly bored-looking bartender ... and the stranger. He was a white man, this stranger, and though heavily tanned by the sun that was more than enough to make him stand out. A shock of spiky, dark blue hair didn't help in that respect either. He was clad in a pair of faded shorts, and a sweat stained t-shirt, with a tangle of charms and talismans hanging from cords around his neck.

The trio of locals, unemployed and habitual troublemakers one and all, were staring sullenly at the stranger where he sat alone, nursing a drink. Drink and the heat, combined with the general misery of a life spent in poverty, had stirred all three drunks into a viperous state of low-key hostility. Hostility that at that moment was focused entirely on the stranger.

For the past few minutes, they had been trading angry mutters between sips of cheap beer, building up their limited courage for a confrontation. Finally, egged on by his fellows, one of the drunks lurched abruptly to his feet and staggered over to the stranger's table.

Coming to abrupt stop when his hips hit the lip of the table, the drunk slapped the palms of both hands down and leaned over, breathing a mouthful of noxious fumes in the other man's face.

“What you doing here, white boy!” demanded the drunk in broken English, which, by the sound of it, was entirely learned from watching twenty year old rap videos.

The stranger didn't look up, didn't show any particular sign of reaction. “Just passing through,” he replied mildly. “Once I've finished my drink, I'll be on my way.”

“We don't your kind here!” continued the drunk, either ignoring the other man's statement, or so intoxicated that it hadn't penetrated the haze of alcohol fumes that surrounded him.

“Yep,” the stranger acknowledged. “Got that.”

In the drunk's liquor-fueled befuddlement, not to mention his relative unfamiliarity with the English language, the stranger's words metamorphosed into a unforgivable insult. Lurching forward like a clutch-hopping car, he made a grab for the stranger, missed, and snagged the fabric of his shirt on the second try.

“What you say to me, white boy?!”

The drunk yelped as his feet were abruptly kicked out from under him, and his chin slammed into the surface of the table. When he tried to rise back to his feet, a black gloved hand grabbed him by the hair and hammered his face into the table again, once, twice, three times. By the time he was flung backwards, discarded like a rag doll, blood was freely flowing down the drunk's face from a mangled nose, and his eyes were rolled back in unconsciousness.

As the drunk's compatriots rose to their feet in shock and anger, Timothy Rosenberg turned to face them, flickers of electricity sparking and twisting about his bone claw. Beneath his hood, Timothy's head cocked to one side as he studied the two Thai men, savoring the sudden expressions of fear on their faces.

“Fuck off, or die,” came his lazy threat. Whether or not they understood English became moot, for they definitely understood Timothy's tone. Understandably, they fled in short order, leaving their friend to his fate. The bartender ducked out of sight.

Timothy turned back to the stranger, who was regarding him with a single raised eyebrow. “Bit much, don't you think?” he essayed.

“Excessive violence is a vice of mine, I'm afraid,” replied Timothy with a shrug. A flick of the warlock's hand saw an empty chair drag itself over to the stranger's table, and Timothy sat down opposite him. “It's been a while, dog-boy.”

“Dog-boy? Original ...” replied the stranger, deadpan. “Do I know you?”

Beneath his mask, Timothy grinned ... or as much as he was able to without lips. “No,” he admitted. “But I know you ...” He waved his bone hand idly in the air. “ It's a whole thing ... it'd take too long to explain.”

The stranger glanced at the bone, wire and metal structure of Timothy's right hand. “I think you need to ease off on the diet. And use more deodorant ... beneath that pine smell, you stink like you've been dead for a week.”

“It's more like two years ...” Timothy snickered briefly. “But down to business ... a mutual acquaintance of ours requires your assistance.”

“Who's that?”

“Let's find out, shall we Mr Osbourne?”

Without waiting for a response, Timothy reached out and grabbed the other man's hand, and before Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne could make so much as a single sound of protest, they both disappeared.

**********

“ ... know if we can trust him,” Buffy was saying as Timothy and Oz reappeared in the living room of the Maclay-Rosenberg home. Her voice was coming from the dining room, but she and the other Scoobies remained out of sight. “Timothy's always had his own agenda, you guys know that.”

Willow's voice came next. “His agenda has always been protecting Tara and I!”

“An admirable goal, to be sure,” agreed Giles. “But at what cost? To be honest, we only know the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Timothy, and what he's willing to do.”

“Will, he's said it himself,” insisted Xander, “He's destroyed the world, he's murdered, stolen, lied ... the list goes on!”

Recognizing their voices, Oz turned to Timothy with a quizzical expression, no doubt wondering who his old friends were talking about. For his part, Timothy held a finger to his lips in a silent request for silence, a light of mischief somehow twinkling in the crystalline surfaces of his artificial eyes. He crept towards the dining room in an exaggerated, cartoonist pantomime of stealth, and Oz trailed behind with a mildly bemused expression.

But beneath his casual exterior, Oz was prepared for violence; he didn't know who this capering harlequin was, or what his connection to the Scoobies was ... but if he had sinister intentions in mind, Oz meant to be ready.

“I don't care what he's done in the past, so long as he helps me get my daughter back!” insisted Willow.

Oz's eyes widened slightly. Willow has a kid?!

Ahead of him, Timothy was sidling along the wall towards the arch that lead into the dining room, acting more like a playful child than an adult trying to be stealthy. If Oz was honest with himself, it was actually kind of creepy, and he got the impression that it was all an act.

Timothy's head cocked as he stared at Oz, abruptly serious, and the werewolf felt a chill run up and down his spine. Oz had the sneaking suspicion that this masked figure, whoever he was, somehow knew exactly what he was thinking.

“Isn't it always fascinating what people say about you when you're not there?” Timothy said loudly, and it wasn't until he stepped around the corner into sight of the Scoobies that Oz realized that Timothy wasn't speaking to him.

“Timothy!” exclaimed Willow, answering Oz's unasked question ... and raising a whole lot more. Why are Will and the gang hanging with someone, who by their own admission, is a murderer?

“What's the matter, Timmy?” taunted Xander with a expression of mock dismay. “Didja little A-Team shtick not work out?”

“Call me Timmy one more time, and we'll find out how well you work without a spleen, Harris,” Timothy replied bluntly, before whistling as though for a dog. “Heel, boy ....”

Again with the dog jokes ... this is gonna get old fast, thought Oz to himself. His face however, retained its stoic mien as he obediently walked forward. But it wasn't obedience that made him do so.

As the Scoobies came into view, he saw all the familiar faces, relatively unchanged; Giles looked a bit older, and Xander a bit heavier, but Oz could still see the people with whom he'd risked his life, night after night for more than two years. But it was the last person to come into view that Oz wanted to see, needed to see ... dreaded to see.

Willow.

“Oz?” Willow said his name softly, surprised, the single word escaping from her lips as though she had been punched in the gut.

“Oz ...” the blonde woman standing hand in hand beside Willow repeated even softer. She looked nervous, and for a second it looked like she was going to release Willow's hand and step further away from her. But Willow's hand tightened on Tara's, and that urge apparently faded.

Oz didn't know what he'd expected to feel. He'd loved Willow once, he still did, in a way, but ... it wasn't the same. The love he felt for Willow was tinged with a sense of regret, of what was, of what might have been ... and what would never be again. Because Willow wasn't his anymore. She was Tara's.

But he had to say something, so ... “Hey.”

Willow's expression of shock faded, and her lips quirked in a little smile. “This isn't Istanbul, you know.”

“And you're not old and blue-haired,” added Oz, straight faced.

Willow's smile grew into an outright grin. “But you've got the blue-haired part down pat.”

Oz shrugged, and Willow suddenly started forward, arms spread to give him a spontaneous hug. But she stumbled to a halt a few steps shy of him.

“Um ... you aren't gonna wolf out on me, are you?” she blurted, her eyes wide and a little worried. “Cuz I probably ...” Willow glanced back at Tara.

“Smell like Tara? Yeah, you do, actually.” Willow and Tara both blushed, and Xander's attempt at a wolf whistle was only prevented by Anya elbowing him in the ribs. “But it's okay, I'm not gonna wolf out over it.”

Assured, Willow finished her maneuver and hugged Oz warmly. “I've missed you.”

“Well, I am missable,” agreed Oz, quickly hugging Willow back before releasing her. He'd noticed that Tara seemed uncomfortable, and since he was most likely responsible for that, Oz didn't want to prolong the experience. Trying to eat Tara that one time was bad enough ...

“I never apologized to you for that, did I,” said Oz aloud as the thought occurred to him.

Tara blinked, a little surprised that Oz was addressing her personally. “Umm .... apologized for what?”

“Trying to eat you the first time we met.”

“Umm ... that's okay,” Tara replied weakly, unsure of how to respond. “I ... er ... well, I get why though.”

“Doesn't make it right though,” countered Oz , with a smile to show that he appreciated the sentiment. “So ... sorry.”

“Thank you?” Tara chuckled nervously. “I'm sorry, I don't really know how I should respond to this.”

Oz nodded sagely. “Hallmark should make a card, definitely.” He turned his attention back to Willow. “So ... I hear you've got a kid.”

Now it was Willow's turn to nod. “I ... we ...” she reached back to take Tara's hand, “... have two actually.” As she spoke, Oz noticed a certain tightness to her face, and Tara's as well. Both womens eyes were slightly red, as though they'd been crying recently. Something was wrong, he realized, and it involved their children.

Meanwhile, in the background, Timothy cleared his throat pointedly.

“Um ... three, I guess,” Willow corrected herself awkwardly.

Turning to look at Timothy, Oz shrugged, raising an eyebrow ironically. “They grow up so fast, don't they?”

“It's ... complicated,” admitted Tara.

Tilting his head slightly, Oz stopped to think for a moment. “Time travel?” he asked.

“Hole in one!” crowed Timothy snidely. “Give the boy a prize!”

“Is he always like this?” Oz asked Willow, jerking a thumb in Timothy's direction.

“Trust me, this is a good day,” said Buffy, taking it upon herself to answer for Willow.

“Yeah,” Timothy drawled sarcastically. “I'm on my best behavior, otherwise the big mean ol' slayer'll kill me again.”

Again? thought Oz as Buffy scowled. What the hell's been going on here?

“I get the feeling that the story behind all this wouldn't be a short one,” Oz said, aloud this time. “So how about we save it for later, and you just skip to why I just got teleported here from Thailand?”

“Um ....” began Willow, and Oz suddenly realized that his presence here hadn't been her idea. Judging by the expressions on the rest of the Scoobies' faces, it hadn't been theirs either.

It was Timothy's voice that spoke, a cold and harsh rasp. “Willow's precious daughter has been kidnapped and dragged into a demon dimension. We're going in after her ... and you are coming with us.”

“Huh,” replied Oz. “Kidnapped. Demon dimension. Well ... I see it's still business as usual here on the Hellmouth.” He shrugged. “Count me in.”

To be continued ...

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 19th Jan)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:31 pm 
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Aww, I like Oz. I did on the show, too until...well, he cheated and Tara came. he was good for Wills, but Tara was way better. Duh.

I'm glad you've brought him here! I have no idea why, and suppose I won't for some time, so I think I'll just sit back and enjoy where you'll take us next.

Timothy may be one mother of a douchebag, but he's snarky. And I like it.

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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 19th Jan)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:51 pm 
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Hey, glad to see you back! And hopefully getting closer to get poor little Chloe back.

Wow, Timothy needs Oz, huh? Sure didn't see that coming, but I'm anxious to see why he needs the blue-haired dog boy. lol The "heel boy" cracked me up. Gotta love Timothy's wit.

More soon please, cause that means Chloe will get home sooner (I hope).


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 Post subject: Re: Sins of the Children (Updated 19th Jan)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:17 pm 
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Ohooo, Oz! Always liked him on the show and usually dislike it when he is being portrayed as an evil guy. So thanks for refraining from that :p
Quote:
The love he felt for Willow was tinged with a sense of regret, of what was, of what might have been ... and what would never be again.

Well put.
Quote:
“Um ... three, I guess,” Willow corrected herself awkwardly.

This is almost a cute moment :pinky
ETA: Edited cuz I am stupid...

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