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Author's note: The opening scenes are the same as my first attempt at this episode, but after Giles has his Irish tea, there are some extra scenes which I wrote especially to extend the episode, and to prepare the way for the new version of the next episode. There is some dialogue taken from Beer Bad, which will apply to the new version of Wild At Heart. Enjoy.

The one with the scooby meeting.

Rupert Giles took off his glasses and applied a handkerchief to the lenses once more. He had hoped that this ritual motion would somehow calm the scene of perpetual chaos which seemed to taking over the living room of his and his wife's apartment, but unfortunately, this would not be the case. With a sigh he restored the glasses to the resting place upon his face and surveyed the sight before him.

By the armchair, the owner of The Bronze, and the former vengeance demon Anyanka were arguing, over what Giles still had no idea, even though the dispute had been going on ever since they arrived, and showed no signs of reaching a cease fire, let alone a compromise. On the sofa not far from them, but completely oblivious to the fight, were another couple quarrelling- at least Giles presumed Xander and Anya were a couple, after witnessing her concern for him on Halloween -Cordelia and Doyle. This fight Giles could identify the cause of; whether or not the latter could drink the bottle of whiskey a visiting professor had given him.

At the other end of the sofa, sat the musician of the group, completely oblivious to everyone else, strumming out a new composition on his guitar. His girlfriend and resident witch in training, was resting her head against his knees as she focused on the ability to float a wooden stake. And as for the other professor of the group, he was sitting in the other armchair, his arms around the neck of the slayer, in a makeout session that Giles had become convinced was trying to break a world record.

Tonight marked the end of another week on the hellmouth, and the weekly Scooby meeting was- according to his wristwatch -supposed to have started half an hour ago. So far, all that the members of said gang had contributed to the meeting, was to turn up.

Looking to the heavens, Giles took a deep breath and placed the tray of tea he had just made on the low lying table in the eye of the storm of chaos in his living room. Then he stepped back and prepared to strike.

"When you've quite finished," he uttered in his most sternest tone. He blinked, and saw that the scene was unchanged. "WHEN, you've quite FINISHED!"

This time, the effect was instantaneous. The quarrellers ceased their disputes, the musician stopped making music, and the witch looked up, causing the stake to drop to the table with a loud clatter.

"Thank you," Giles remarked gratefully. "Now, could we please conclude things as quickly as possible, Jenny is suffering tonight." He glanced at all of them as they silently nodded in reply, until he came to the armchair, and realised that not all of them had been listening.

Buffy and Angel were still making out. With a sigh Giles walked over to them and coughed loudly near the slayer's ear. With a start they broke apart, blushing furiously.

"Now that I have everyone's attention," Giles began once more, "I repeat, that I would like this meeting to be concluded as quickly as possible, as Jenny is suffering tonight." He paused as another flush of water could be heard from the bathroom, and all looked towards the door with guilty faces as the resident expectant gypsy of the group returned to the second bedroom of the apartment.

"Right," Giles began when everyone had turned back to him, "let's begin. I declare this week's meeting of the Scooby gang in session." He sat down and a sip of tea, hoping its usually soothing effects would quickly kick in. "Anything to report, Buffy?" He turned the slayer.

"Nothing much," Buffy replied, her skin returning to its usual colour. "Just the one vamp requesting dusting this week."

"Really?" Giles mused, without need for confirmation. "Interesting." He paused in thought. "Has the death ratio lessened recently?"

"No, its normal," the slayer answered.

"And no demons? No, of course not," Giles answered for himself, as he remembered that the meeting would have occurred earlier in the week if there had been. "Well this is most unusual."

"Its not that unusual," Anya countered.

"Isn't it?" Giles queried.

"Not at all. Every town has its quiet weeks."

"Anya," Xander began, "this is the hellmouth. A quiet week for us is usually a warning for an upcoming apocalypse."

"Really?" The former vengeance demon sought to confirm. "Well I wish you'd told me sooner, I've just finished unpacking."

"So sorry to cause you delays in getting out of here," Xander sarcastically countered.

And their fight began again.

Giles ran a hand through his hair and glanced at Buffy, his expression silently pleading for assistance. The slayer nodded and reached out with her hand to grip Xander's arm tightly. When the pain registered in her friend's brain, he stopped and guiltily turned back to Giles.

"Has anyone else anything to report?" Giles asked.

There was a blissful moment of silence as the gang glanced at one another and searched their memories concerning the past week. The watcher put a hand to his temples and gently massaged them, hoping to prevent the headache he knew would come tonight.

After a few minutes of thought, all present shook their heads. Nothing else of a supernatural nature had occurred this week.

"Shouldn't that wrap things up then, Giles?" Buffy asked, seeing the stress in her watcher's face.

"Its still unusual," Giles replied. "This is the hellmouth after all. Normally it averages about five to ten vampires a week. To have only one...." he trailed off in thought.

The living room slipped into silence again as the watcher remained deep in thought. Buffy silently turned to her boyfriend again, and Angel surrendered to the temptation of kissing her once more. Doyle glanced at Cordelia to see her distracted and took the opportunity to raise the bottle in his hand to his mouth once more, only to be caught as the first drop slid down his throat. Willow raised her stake once more, and Oz returned to scribbling the notes down on the paper before him as he strummed.

By the time Giles came out of his thoughts, Xander and Anya had reverted to their quarrelling, and the living room had turned into chaos once more. Inwardly sighing, he rose from his chair and made his way to down the passageway by the kitchen to check on his wife.

Jenny was lying on the bed, thumbing through one of the ancient volumes which adorned most of the bookshelves in the apartment. She looked up at her husband's entrance.

"How are you doing?" Giles asked her softly, cautiously taking a place on the bed, making sure not to rock it.

"So, so," Jenny replied, reaching out to take his hand. "It'll end soon. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. So I'm searching to see if there's a natural albeit mystical prevention." She smiled at him. "How's it going out there?"

Giles groaned. "I'm beginning to wonder that if this is how surrogate parenting feels, how real fatherhood won't feel worse."

"Well, look at this way; it will be years before our son is a teenager," Jenny reminded him consolingly.

Her husband smiled and kissed her hand. "Our daughter," he corrected.

"Son," Jenny countered, firmly. "I did a reading, remember?"

"Yeah, I'm still not sure we should rely on the supernatural to tell us though."

"Well, its all we have until the scan next week."

"True," Giles conceded, before leaning forward to kiss her lips. "Do you need anything?" he asked when he had reluctantly withdrawn.

"No, I'm fine," Jenny assured him. "You better get back to them. They'll be wondering where you went."

"I don't think there's any possibility of that," Giles remarked. "When I left them, Buffy and Angel were competing in the makeout Olympics, Willow was floating a stake, Oz writing a song, Xander and Anya quarrelling, and Cordelia was trying to wrestle a whiskey bottle from Doyle. I don't think they've even noticed I'm not in the room any more."

"Anything to report?" Jenny asked him.

"No, only one vampire all week apparently. If it had not been marking assignments for all professors this week, I would have assumed that they were too busy 'distracting' each other to worry about staking."

"Low vampire average has become the norm lately," Jenny recalled.

"I know, and there's nothing we can do about that yet," Giles added absently.

"Is Joyce in there?" His wife asked him after a moment.

"No, she's working late at the museum, a new shipment arrived this afternoon and she's got to catalogue it. I'll check in with her later, see if there's any artefact which should be not be sold." He turned to his wife. "Looking for advice?"

"Yeah."

"I'll ask Buffy if she can pass on the message before she and Angel leave," Giles promised, just as the chaos in his living room upped a decibel, causing him to sigh. "I better get back out there."

He turned and exchanged another kiss with his wife before walking back into the living room. Silently he surveyed the scene, noting its similarity to the one he had first encountered when he had returned from making the tea, except a little more chaotic. Stepping forward, he set about to get their attention once more.

Deftly, he took the bottle out of Doyle and Cordelia's wrestling hands and set it down on his writing desk. Then he picked up the floating stake, and unplugged Oz's synthesiser. Then he walked over to Xander and Anya and calmly separated them, before doing the same to Buffy and Angel.

"Right, I declare this meeting of the Scooby gang over," he said when they were all looking at him, albeit sheepishly once more. "You can all go home."

The gang glanced at him, then at each other, then without a word rose up from their seats. Silently they packed up their stuff and made their farewells.

"Sorry Giles," Buffy apologised as she and Angel followed the rest of the gang out into the night. "I'll try to make sure we're all a lot calmer next time."

"I'll hold you to that," Giles said with a smile.

"How's Jenny?" Angel inquired.

"Her nausea seems to have subsided for another night," Giles replied. "Buffy, could you see if your mother has any suggestions?"

"Sure, I'll get her to call you tonight," Buffy promised. "Looking forward to fatherhood?"

"I was, until tonight," Giles said with a smile to show that it was a joke.

"Well, I know you'll be brilliant at it," Buffy said. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," Giles returned, before closing the door upon the night.

The apartment was bathed in silence once more. Giles turned round and smiled as he saw something still standing on his desk. He walked over to it and picked the object up, before heading into kitchen to make himself some 'Irish' tea.


After the meeting, Willow and Oz returned to the Bronze, the latter going to fetch drinks whilst the former found an empty table. Xander and Anya had followed them, Xander because he needed to make sure the bar manager he had hired was working out, and Anya because she was still quarrelling with Xander over something, the nature of which Willow was puzzled about. Another thing she was also puzzled about was Oz' absence from Psych that morning. For a while now he had been more stoic than usual if such a thing was possible, choosing to spend time strumming his guitar or rehearsing at the Bronze. Willow felt neglected, and confused, concerned that their relationship was frizzling out. Her old inner demons were haunting her; intelligence verses coolness. There were divisions in college between these groups, she discovered, and she feared that while Oz managed to bridge the divide on a regular basis, she was not so fortunately talented, her abilities belonging to the more occult elements of college life.

"Hey," Oz greeted her with at that moment, as he set two drinks down before them. "You got a table."

"I had to kill a man," Willow uttered jokingly.

"Well, it's a really good table," Oz complimented in kind. He sat down next to her, his eyes on the stage where the club's musical act for the night was warming up.

"I copied out my notes for Psych since you were so elsewhere this morning," Willow remarked, hoping to gain his attention.

"Thanks," Oz answered, but in a distracted tone.

"It's really pretty simple stuff," Willow continued. "You know, just...." she trailed off as she sensed a lack of interest. "What's the matter?"

Oz shrugged. "I dunno. I feel it's nothing."

Lights abruptly lit up the lead vocalist on the stage, who put the microphone to her mouth and began to sing. The words held a haunting melody to them, strangely hypnotic, calling everyone who was in the nightclub to listen.

Willow glanced at her companion, who was similarly entranced. Turning to the stage, she took a proper look at the singer, puzzled as to why everyone, particularly her boyfriend, were attracted to what she was carolling. The vocalist appeared to stare back at their table, or rather the man sitting at it who was staring at her.

This observation did not endear the song or the artist behind it to her, and Willow tried to wrestle Oz's attention away from the stage. "We could go back to your place. I could make you soup."

"No," Oz replied. "That's okay I'm fine. Thanks."

"Do you know her?" Willow asked him.

"Veruca?" Oz replied, answering indirectly that he knew enough of her to know her name, if nothing else. "No. I know their drummer. He's cool. I've never heard them play."

"Oh," Willow murmured, inwardly wondering if that was really why Oz was so fascinated by the artist's song. It was hard to deny that she and Veruca were not radically different from each other, and that Veruca held more interests with Oz, music the most obvious and important one. She had thought their activities over the summer with the slayerettes would deepen the relationship between her and Oz, as he became more involved in helping the slayer with the potential problems she would face on campus. Before he was a member of the group because she was, his skills unknown and therefore not required. During their final year of high school and the following summer his talents had become known to the group, and as a result he had become more involved, but now Willow was worried that this involvement had not strengthened the ties between them as much as she had hoped it would. She began to worry that the only thing keeping Oz with her was the calm acceptance of his werewolf state three nights a month. If he found someone else who did not fear that side of him, she could lose him altogether.

 


Buffy and Angel returned to the Mansion on Crawford street, their need for each other sobered somewhat by Giles' concern over Jenny and their general behaviour during the meeting, along with that of their friends. After their wedding in the summer the two newly employed professors of mythology and computer sciences at Sunnydale UCA settled into married life happily, deciding to start a family despite the dangers from the hellmouth, and the occasional adolescent troubles they faced from the slayer and her friends. Now her watcher- for despite their decision to quit the Council over their refusal to cure Angel when he was shot by Faith, Buffy still viewed him as such, -was trying to balance his commitments to her, his students and the prospect of fatherhood. She could see why he was stressed out tonight, and they had not exactly helped.

"Do you think we ought to lessen the weekly meetings?" Buffy asked Angel as they walked inside the mansion into the double height living area.

"Might be wise," Angel agreed. "At least until Jenny is over her evening sickness. There is little point in a meeting when there are no new demons or vampires stalking the hellmouth."

"True," Buffy agreed. "I still have my nightly patrols which warn us of anything coming, as does Xander's side job."

"I think that's what he and Anya were fighting about this evening," Angel remarked from his seat beside her on the sofas.

"His job? I didn't realise they were seriously involved already," Buffy commented. "She's only been demon-less three weeks."

"I heard her asking him where he went most nights," Angel explained.

"Oh," Buffy uttered. "I thought you were preoccupied with my lips."

"I was," Angel replied with a smile which proved contagious. "There was also that brief moment when you were talking to Giles before we left. I caught the tail end of their argument on the way out. He has a talent for picking the unattainable doesn't he?"

Buffy frowned. "How do you mean?"

"Well, first you, then the most popular girl in school, now a former vengeance demon," Angel cited.

"Well, he never actually had me, but I see what you mean," Buffy replied. "I hope it works out for him this time."

"Me too," Angel replied, causing Buffy to smile at him. "What?"

"It's just nice to see that the two of you have overcome your dislike of each other," she explained.

"That dislike was born out of jealousy," Angel reminded her. "We wanted your heart. Now, he's accepted that you and I love each other, he's moved on to becoming my friend rather than my enemy. It is still weird sometimes, I'll admit."

Buffy manoeuvred herself on to his lap, causing his hands to wrap themselves around her, caressing her back through her clothes. "Enough talking," she murmured, her tone reminiscent on the time when they had spent the night making out as opposed to hunting the Texan vampire siblings as they promised Giles. That night was over a year ago, when he was unknowingly crippled by a happiness clause in his curse, and they had no knowledge of the dreadful summer which was to come when they achieved that perfect moment. Now time had passed, his curse was rendered unbreakable, and half of his humanity had been received in return for how much he had done to save the world. And they kisses could lead to places beyond, without the fear that his soul would be lost.

Angel slid his hands to the fastenings of her clothes as their mouths opened to let their tongues engage in the traditional duel of foreplay. Buffy arched her back as he reversed the zip of her skirt, before shifting her hips in an sinuous dance over him, her hands moving from the fastenings of his shirt to the metal clasp of his trousers. He groaned when her hands slipped inside to stroke and caress, and returned the favour by letting his explore the expanse of soft skin underneath her top. Tenderly he slid them up her sides until they reached her bra, which he deftly unclasped before gliding his fingers underneath the confines to caress her now unrestrained breasts. Her nipples hardened under his touch, while sinuous dance intensified, until he was forced to seek satisfaction. Abruptly he stripped her of shirt and bra, tossing the garments to the floor, then his hands glided down her waist until they reached her skirt, whereupon he moved them to the place where her thighs rested upon him, seeking to remove her pants. Obligingly Buffy slowed her dance, raising her butt so he glide the garment down her body, until she had to stand up and toss the pants away with a flick of her foot. Reluctantly they tore their lips from each other before she rose to briefly tower above him, smiling as the evidence of his desire strained towards her, then all thought was forgotten as he pulled her back down and swiftly entered her.


"Where is our relationship going?" Anya asked Xander as they left the Bronze.

Xander abruptly halted in shock. "Our what? Our who?"

"Relationship," Anya repeated. "What kind do we have. And what is it progressing toward?"

"I ... Uh ... We have a relationship? Is this what our fight was about during the meeting?" Xander felt at loss.

"Yeah," Anya replied. "And yes, we have a relationship. We went to the party at Alpha Delta House."

"Yeah," Xander conceded. "On our one and only date. And the whole, you used to be a man killing demon thing. Which to be fair, is as much my issue as it is yours."

"I can't stop thinking about you," Anya admitted. "Sometimes in my dreams, you're all naked."

"Really," Xander mused, trying appear cool. "You know if I'm in the checkout line at the Wal-Mart I've had the same one."

"So I can assume a standing Friday night date and a mutual recognition as the Alpha Delta party night as our dating anniversary," Anya remarked. "I mean there are some parts of that night I would like to forget, but we were on a date."

"Anya," Xander turned to her. "Slow down there. In fact, come to a screeching halt. See these things kind of have to develop on their own."

His companion frowned. "Okay. How?"

Now it was his turn to display some confusion. "I don't know. I just - happens."

Anya nodded before continuing to reveal her line of thought. "So, as you obviously don't want a relationship with me and I can't get you out of my mind, I think the only solution is sexual intercourse."

Xander halted in the midst of his walking again. "What?"

"Sexual intercourse," Anya replied. "We have intercourse, at point the matter is brought to a conclusion with both parties satisfied and able to move on with their separate lives and interests. To sum up, I think it's a workable plan."

"So, the crux of this plan is?" Xander sought to confirm.

Anya rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Sexual intercourse. I've said it like a dozen times."

"Uh, huh," Xander exhaled. "Just working through a little hysterical deafness here."

"I think it's the secret to getting you out of my mind," his companion continued. "Putting you behind me. Behind me figuratively. I'm thinking face to face for the actual event itself."

"Ah, right," Xander uttered, searching for the right words. "It's just we hardly know each other. I mean I like you. And you have a certain directness that I admire. But sexual interc- what you're talking about, well -and I'm actually turning into a woman as I say this -but it's about expressing something. And accepting consequences."

"Oh, I have condoms," she informed him readily. "Some are black."

"That's... that's very considerate," Xander allowed, as the image of them together started to conquer his more rational thought processes.

"I like you," Anya confessed. "You're funny, and you're nicely shaped. And frankly, it's ludicrous to have these interlocking bodies and not... interlock."

"So where do you suggest this takes place?" Xander asked her.

"I thought your place," Anya replied. "My landlady believes I am an innocent and would prefer me to remain that way."

"Okay," Xander agreed before leading the way.


"So, I'm over you now," Anya decided as she rose from the bed after the event.

Xander's arms halted mid-journey in a quest to embrace her. "Um, Ok."

To his surprise she turned on him with a glare. "Okay?!"

"Yeah..." he answered slowly, inwardly wondering if he had just unwitting unleashed her desire for vengeance once more.

"How is that okay?" Anya asked him.

He sat up before her. "I was trying to accept your wishes, be considerate."

"Oh," Anya exhaled, her anger dropping. "My wishes are that this continues."

Xander looked at her surprised. "Really?"

"Yes," she confirmed. "I thought interlocking would help me get you out of my mind, but actually it has only worsened matters."

"So you think we need to interlock more?" He asked her.

Anya smiled. "Yes."

"Okay then," Xander decided before pulling her into his arms to interlock some more.

 


The next morning, Buffy spent the morning with her angel before the couple parted on the campus for their separate classes of the day. On her way she met up with her best friend, who seemed preoccupied and sad, a stark contrast from herself.

"Will, what's wrong?" she asked her.

" 'My name's Veruca,'" Willow mimicked mockingly. "'I'm in a band. I'm Oz, I'm in a band too. Oh, and this is Willow. Oh, how fun and creepy. Groovy.' Buffy, have you heard of this Veruca chick? Dresses like Faith, voice like an albatross."

"Can't say that I have," Buffy replied. "Was last night really that bad?"

"No, just Oz seemed fascinated with her. Wouldn't take his eyes off the stage."

"Have you asked him about her?" Buffy inquired.

"Yeah, he says that he's never met her."

"Well why don't you tell him how you feel?" Buffy suggested.

"It won't come off as me sounding pathetic?" Willow queried.

"Oz is a guy, Will," Buffy reminded her. "Granted, he's more reserved than most of them, but he's still like them. He probably hasn't noticed how much attention he's paying. I think if you tell him, it'll soon change."

"I'll try," Willow decided. "Meet for lunch?"

Buffy nodded as the bell rang for first class. "See you then."


"Is my drinking really that much of a problem for you?" Doyle asked his companion as they ate their lunch together in his lecture room.

"No," Cordelia replied. "I just worry that you use it as Bracken medication and for when you have your visions."

"Well, I do," he admitted. "But that's obvious."

"And I think you have a dependency on it which could prove dangerous," she added.

"My demon half can handle it, Delia," Doyle assured her.

"How do you know that?" Cordelia asked him. "Have you researched into the dual aspect of your heritage?"

"No. Have you?" He countered.

"No," she replied. "But I've seen the affects of alcohol abuse every time I spent the night at Xander's place. And I don't want it with you. I care too much about you for that."

He smiled, touched at her care. "I promise that I'll try and lessen my intake."

"Oh, you'll do more than try," she remarked, before leaning forward to kiss him.

"I don't suppose that display was a demonstration of a reward system which you had in mind for this promise?" he asked her.

"It might be," Cordelia mused. "If you fulfil your promise."

Doyle smiled. "This could prove an interesting arrangement."

"I'm glad you think so," she replied.

She kissed him again, deepening the embrace and lengthening the touch of their mouths until they were oblivious to any outside sounds; the distant echo of chattering students, professors, animals, demons for whom sunlight was not a potential injury. Oblivious to the more immediate sounds outside the deserted lecture room, footsteps producing vibrations along the floor as they wandered the halls of the campus building, some walking pass without so much as a glance, others occasionally pausing briefly to witness one of the scandals on campus before attending to their more important concerns. Oblivious to the person who stopped and pushed the doors opens, entering the lecture room and calling out to them in order to make her presence known.

"You two planning on joining the rest of us?" Buffy asked with a grin.

Reluctantly Cordelia and Doyle parted to glare halfheartedly at the slayer, before gathering their stuff together, rising from their chairs and following their leader and friend out into the glorious sunshine.

The End.
To Be Continued In

A Full Moon Rose High.