15275/Life Is Too Short for Sleep

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Life Is Too Short for Sleep
Date of Scene: 30 June 2023
Location: The Magic Box, Sunnydale
Synopsis: A chat about what's going on with Buffy's noggin and the threat of a Murder of Cupids hangs in the air.
Cast of Characters: Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Phobos

Buffy Summers has posed:
It was Buffy's night to close up at the Magic Box. Which would be happening pretty soon really. Not that she got to go to bed after though. Once she had it all locked up, then she had to go out on patrol. And in the morning, she was supposed to go to a few colleges as she considered enrolling again. Though how she would do full time school on top of work and Slayer duties, she had no idea. But hey, sleep was overrated right?

She was working on dusting the shelves as there weren't actually any customers in the store currently. Moving items back to their proper spots as she went was par for the course. She did have a few books stacked on the round table in the room that needed to be shelved but that would wait until after dusting. It took less time.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow had just got the last two cups of coffee at the cafe - two for one! seeing as the cashier was going to throw the remainder of the pot down the drain. "But I just sold the last of the day's olds! Sorry, Willow, I know you like to get them for you and Buffy. Did you happen to ask when Giles is coming back?" Hopefully? Giles had a very small fan club in Sunnydale. He was available; pretty good looking; ran his own business; and was polite - all plusses for the female crowd.

Willow had taken the coffees, and grinned. "I don't know? Maybe? He didn't saw what he was doing over the pond." This time. "Your guess is as good as mine? See you tomorrow!"

By the time she walked into the Box, the coffees were at that right point to be drunk. Not too hot; not too cold. Just right. "Here you go! I thought I could accompany you for a while? What needs doing still?"
Phobos has posed:

The bell on the door jangled, and there was the slight sound of a scuffing foot. Then there was a voice rising that called out, "I demand some mandrake root, some deadly nightshade, and a box of serpent tears. It's for home defense and my elderly father so I expect a hearty discount."

It would be amusing if Giles was here since there was always a small chance he'd take the request seriously, but he'd have to settle for whomever was actually in attendance as he did not know the Scooby Schedule for dealing with the magic shop.

Which is when he would espy the two young women as he made his entrance. "Oh heya,"

The young Olympian looked much as he did so often, with that hair needing a good combing and those blue jeans a bit scruffy. His sneakers were newish, however, though his brown leather bomber jacket was old. That t-shirt he wore was black and had a curious phrase that said simply, 'My Other Skateboard is a Yacht'. As if that somehow made sense.
Buffy Summers has posed:
Hearing the little bell on the door go off, Buffy turned around to look at whoever was entering. She smiled when she saw that it was Willow and not a customer. Because no one liked customers coming in at the last minute when a store was about to close. She smiled when she saw it was Willow and that she had warm beverages. "Just needing to put up the books," she said as she tucked the duster under her arm as she used the other hand to take the offered cup. She took a cautious sip.

Which is when the door chimed again. Her brows went up as she heard the demand from the young man entering. Then she recognized him. "Hi, Alex. We close in a few minutes but you're welcome to hang after if you want. And do you really need those things or was that just a greeting?"
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
One cup.

Two cups..

But there were three of them now. Willow was mortified. Not only does she *not* have a drink to share with their friend, but without the added mollifier of donuts she was in the worst social conundrum that a Jewish girl could be in: Nothing to offer your guests.


As for the list he presented to them, they were all magic items, but Willow couldn't put her finger on what spell could use all of them. She took a guess, "You're joshing with us, right?"
Phobos has posed:

"Are serpent tears a real thing? I just sorta made that one up." Alexander answers as he rolls on in, his gait a casual at ease thing even as he tilts his head sidelong toward Willow, "Hey Willow."

The smile he gives is open as he settles in at the counter near where they had their drinks. He looks the place over and he gives a nod, "So yes, joshing is happening." A hand lifts as he points toward Buffy, eyes settling on her as he lightly informs her. "Also, that cherub thing earlier. Apparently there is some negative sentiment in his crowd about the crazy dame that disrespected him. I came to give you a heads up."

He looked toward Willow, "Buffy picked a fight with a cupid fella. And now he's talking about bringing his buddies back for revenge. Though probably all talk."
Buffy Summers has posed:
"He was aiming an arrow at people!"

Buffy's voice was a little more strident than necessary as she waved a hand at the door, as though the cupid in question was right there to be motioned to. "I am not to blame for that one. I didn't stake him." A disdainful sniff. "I just caught him and reached out to you for help. Since y'know flying babies in diapers with bows and arrows seemed like a Cupid thing. Thus Greek. Thus. You."

It all made perfect sense when one was Buffy Summers. Thankfully those present were likely used to her. "As for serpent tears, I wouldn't be surprised. Though never heard of it myself." She glanced to Willow for some sort of verification on that.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
That was new!

Since Buffy had the closing of the shop pretty much handled, Willow boosted herself up onto the counter, and swung her feet. "This Buffy, not the old Buffy right?" Aie-aie-aie this was difficult. "We should have a name for your weirdness, so that we can talk about it a lot more simply than the way we have been doing so."

At least Willow was confused half the time old Buffy was talked about. "Besides, if we are going to get to the bottom of this, putting a label on it will keep -- "

She stopped. "It was Cupid? You had a problem with Cupid? Did you not realize.. ugh.. Of course you didn't. You saw his arrows. Saw that he was shooting them off. And decided to stick up for the little people. As usual." Willow had to laugh. Mind you, this wasn't Cupid's time to shine - so he had some blame to take.

All the while she tries to run over her lists of unusual magical items.. "I think there might have been something about them in Chinese lore?" But without her former roommate she would have to look it up to be certain.
Phobos has posed:

Alexander spreads his hands helplessly, "I am but the messenger." He informs the two young women, smiling a little. "Though I suppose I shouldn't say that too loud in case my uncle might get grumpy I'm harshing his groove." He does not seem too perturbed about the lack of a coffee for him so does naught to exacerbate Willow's displeasure at being unable to provide.

Then toward the redhead he replies, "To be fair it was 'a' Cupid, or one of his little helpers? But yah he's talking about coming back here with his posse or some such." Alexander twists his lips into a wry smile as he looks back toward Buffy. "I figured I'd give you a heads up. Didn't wanna just text since I know Nat reads my phone and she'd think I was speaking in code or something and having an affair with Buffy. 'Watch out for Cupid's arrows,' she'd think would be something like... 'thanks for the lovely evening.'"

But then he seems to key in on a little of what Willow was saying, "But this was fairly recent, before the craziness." Which is what Alex calls most anything that's weird.
Buffy Summers has posed:
"This Buffy. After the memory loss, Alexander and I caught back up because It texted him asking him to come by. Caught a little baby thing with a diaper on and a bow and arrow that cursed like a sailor. Talked like he smoked about three packs a day too," Buffy added.

Then she glanced over to Alexander. "I already apologized. Or thought I did. I can again. But if he and his murder of cherubs show up to try to cause me problems, I won't be so nice next time. And on another note, your girlfriend reads your phone? Trust issues? You should watch out for that." Because she is such an expert on healthy relationships.

Then she looks over at Willow and gives a little shrug as she finishes up the dusting. The duster is stowed behind the counter. Then she hefts the stack of books from the table and stars putting them back where they belonged. "We can call the times I don't remember the Blank Times Buffy. Since I have no idea what is or isn't from those moments in the past."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Certainly. He would have lots of Cupids. Sort of at Christmas the parents always said that there were so many 'helpers' to help Santa Claus with Christmas. Which, as a Jewish kid, being raised Jewish (until she turned pagan), she'd had less troubles taking the lore then her Christian friends.

Maybe /that's/ why she had no problem with the supernatural. That or her magic. Because there were some things that the only way she could wrap her head around them was magic. If magic was real, then they were as well. Easy! (Not! But to Willow it was.)

"Should we be prepared? Or can I bake cookies? Or something?" Willow's number one 'make everything else be better' was chocolate chip cookies.
Phobos has posed:

Alexander's lip twists up a little, "I have discharged my duty, anything else he does is on him. And you. I have no care which way it goes." That said he leans back and rests his arms on the counter, looking over the room with a thoughtful tilt to his head. He takes a deep breath and then murmurs, "Could call her, 'Bad Decisions Buffy.'"

He looks over at Willow as if for support, "Bad Choices Buffy? Beer Goggles Buffy?" His brow furrows, "Nah that doesn't work."

A small shrug is given. Then he looks toward Willow and answers, "I honestly think it's mostly talk. But if they show up doubt it'll take much to shoo them off again. Though... maybe be a little wary about starting any relationships for a bit. If that's like, in the offing."
Buffy Summers has posed:
"Not looking to get into any relationships so I'll be hyper aware. I wonder if I just upset one of them in the past. Would that explain the whole..." She waved a hand again vaguely and didn't explain the rest of that. She didn't want to think of herself as a a bad decision person. Even if she didn't remember the choices she'd made. Though she knew of some of them at least, having learned it in the months since she'd lost her memory.

She nodded to Willow. "If you baked cookies, I'm sure that would appease any murder of cupids." That term amused her and she wasn't going to let it go now. It was fitting, if they came at her en masse to get even for a mistake.

"I'll stick with Blank Slate. It's a bit nicer. Although maybe if I could get the memories back, I'd understand better. Know why I made choices I made." A glance to them both, lingering on Willow a moment since she was hurt the most in that lost time. Then back to work finishing up shelving the books.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Oh. Willow quickly turned to Buffy, and worries at her lower lip. "You don't think I would be in that group just because I'm your friend?" Figures! Just when her social life was kinda going in the right direction for the first time in a long while. Not that she actually was dating..yet.

"I can make some on the weekends. It's my turn at the Watchtower, and I like to bring some with me." She pauses, and offers Alex, "I can whip you up a batch too. It's easy. Three batches are just as easy as one, but for time."

"Blank Slate? That sounds right. Seeing as you don't have /any/ memories past the beginning of university. Speaking of, did you tell Alex what we found out? About your memories?"
Phobos has posed:

Alexander's expression shifted slightly as he murmured, "Sorry, those were kinda mean names." The young Olympian does seem a touch... distant, though his manner is as it so often is. He nodded again as toward the idea of cookies, however, when Buffy reinforces that course of action, he smiles. "Cookies could help, sure. And that would be lovely."

Then there is mention of them having discovered something about those prior issues. "Oh did you guys figure something out?" He says as he tilts his head between them, looking toward each in turn.

"Is it something actionable you think?" Since they had no course of action before.
Buffy Summers has posed:
"If they are chocolate chip, even better. She makes the best chocolate chip cookies on the planet. I don't know if she uses magic or something but they are amazing!" Buffy gushes about her friend's prowess in the baking department.

Though she then shakes her head at mention of what they figured out. "Not really. Haven't had much of a chance to talk with Alexander since then. It was just the other day." Because it wasn't that far back. Not that long ago. A week? Two? Everything sort of ran together for her.

"Nothing actionable yet. We're just trying to piece things together, figure out exactly why my memories are gone from that time frame."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"We have almost pinpointed when the shift happened to Buffy. I was asking her about a gift that I made her for Yule. And everytime she thought about it, she skipped almost the whole university years. Settling on the year before we left Sunnydale. It was weird."

It still was weird.

Willow finished her coffee, and gave a sad little sigh. "What I really miss about being in Gotham is the round the clock living." Unlike here, in Sunnydale, where at 9pm was the latest that businesses were open - even the coffee shops. After that? It was time to go home and be with your families. (With some exceptions, of course!)
Phobos has posed:

"Trauma-induced amnesia?" Alexander looks sidelong toward Buffy, but then he nods as she offers a little more insight. Then when Willow picks up the thread of conversation he meets her gaze and listens, "Hnh." Is all he says at first about the mention of that border between past and present Buffy.

"If there's a... trigger event or a specific event then it sounds like some sort of spell or ripple or something. But..." He looks back to Willow. "I'm far from an expert."

Then she mentions missing Gotham he crinkles his nose a little. "Gotham is so dour though. I mean I like the people. Or some of them at least." He looks thoughtful for a moment. Smiles slightly, then shakes his head. "Still, sounds like a niche. Clearly you should open like a twenty-four hour bakery."
Buffy Summers has posed:
"I think Willow is destined for far greater things," Buffy says with a soft laugh. "I mean, unless she wants to open a bakery? I know I'd be there daily spending all my hard earned money."

Though Buffy then sobers and gives a shake of her head. "I don't know. To me there isn't a break in my memories. I can't tell where things might've gone wonky. It's more just trying to figure it out." She makes a little face. "Moments like this I kind of wish I journaled. Or kept a diary. Cause then I could see where things stopped making sense."

A little frown as she picked up her coffee and took a bit draw on it. "We've looked at spells and researched and nothing has panned out so far."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"It wouldn't fly here." Willow explains to Alex. "One of the things about here, and the Hellmouth, is, the utter normalcy of this place. I mean, I guess not quite as bad as I'm complaining, but pretty close to it. We don't want to deal with Gothamesque all the time, nor do the vampires and such want to deal with it either."

She nods at Buffy. "At least it's beyond my level? To leave you as you are, and yet to erase your memories? I wouldn't know how to begin. It's like they tried to turn you into a younger version of you - which doesn't make sense. Or else they wanted your body, but didn't want your memories interfering. But why did they stop when they did? It doesn't make any sense either."

"That's as far as I have gotten, and I have more questions than answers."
Phobos has posed:

"Could be something as simple as an annoyed powered entity, jealous of some sort of situation or wanting to make changes to improve their own." Alexander rubs the back of his neck thoughtfully, and of course his thoughts wander down that path considering the number of very powerful petty beings he knows.

"Though my nature leads me more to suspect some form of planning or preparation. Something malicious." An almost apologetic smile is given toward Buffy, since this is her life they're talking about. He scritches a finger along the curve of his jaw and then shakes his head.

"In any case, I trust your people to handle it and protect you as needed." Alex gives a nod toward Willow, indicating curiously enough that he expects her to protect Buffy.
Buffy Summers has posed:
Buffy's expression shifts, showing she's thinking hard on something as she sips her coffee. Then she voices it to see if it makes more sense outloud. "I remember Gotham. Moving to the apartment there. I remember some of college. But like early? Maybe first year?" She shakes her head again and lets out a frustrated little sigh.

She nodded at the conjecture offered by Alexander. "Could be. But if they needed me out of the way, why just wipe my memory of the last couple of years? Unless something in those couple of years would clue me in to how to stop them? Or remember fighting them even?"

A tilt of the head. "I mean I can see why not killing me. Cause it would activate another Slayer. Although, Faith is already around so maybe they don't realize killing me wouldn't matter in the line? Or...would another activate cause I'm dead? Or does the line now follow Faith? I really wish they'd left a manual or something behind."

Though she does nod at what Alexander said, smiling at Willow. "Yeah, she's always got my back. I'm lucky."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Do you think that you ticked off something godlike, Buffy?"

Something about that scenario bothers Willow - but at this moment she can't put her finger on it. "How could they be aware of you, and not Faith? It's more likely that Faith isn't a problem. I mean, she is - but she isn't. Do you know what I mean?"

As for the lack of memories Willow has an idea. "It's like you were put at point A, and every time you were /aware/ of this missing time, your awareness is put back to point A without any memory of the interim. It's sort of erasing on an old tape. Sometimes there are bits and pieces of the original tape underneath the latest version. When you were Blank Slate Buffy it doesn't have to reset. You can't get those bits and pieces, but you can sometimes lift off the new stuff and sometimes there is enough to figure what it once was."

Okay, Willow is mishmashing computers, and rewriting code onto an old CD, and as well, a bit of crime shows to form what she is saying. (Which maybe something only Willow can follow. Ooops? She's trying!)
Phobos has posed:
"If anyone could tick off the godlike..." Alexander says as he grins sidelong at Buffy, though he leaves the conclusion to those words unuttered.

"Alright, so while I drove all this way, I expect to be taken out somewhere and wined and dined." Alex pushes away from the counter. "See if you can wrangle up anymore of the teen gang and maybe we can do something fun. Or crazy. Either/or really, I'm up for anything."

As the youthful Olympian says that he starts to head towards the door, "Unless you guys already have something going on and need help, I could do that too. Whatever is fine."

As he says that he strolls over toward the front door and takes a glance out the window, head tilting slightly.
Buffy Summers has posed:
Buffy shakes her head at Willow's question only to hear the smart comment from Alexander. And thus he earns a very mature sticking out of the tongue from the blonde. Though she then focuses on the thoughts from Willow again. "Not sure that I follow all that." And she goes behind the counter, quickly putting the contents from the till into the safe.

"Let's get out of here. I do need to patrol," she tells Alexander. "But I can meet up with you all after and we can order pizza. Because we do have a 24-hour pizza delivery service now!"

Yes, Sunnydale is becoming a real city.