by Yahtzee

The characters herein are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and Fox Studios. They are used without permission, expectation of profit or intent of infringement. This story contains some adult language and descriptions of violence; those who are squeamish or underage must use their best judgment. The story is set during the fourth season of BTVS, between the episodes "Doomed" and "A New Man," which I identify as the Christmas break of Buffy's freshman year, and refers to various events before that point. For ATS, this episode falls almost immediately after "Hero." I welcome any and all comments; send praise or flames to

Thanks go to Shoshanna, who had a brilliant idea and was kind enough to let me use it, to Jessica, who provided a wealth of inspiration along the way, to the magnificent beta-reading team of Tara, Amanda, Amy, Ruth and Lacy, and to Rodney, who realized what Giles forgot to do on Christmas Day. Also, this fic was conceived (entirely) and written (just barely) before the season five episode "Real Me" aired. It represents my best efforts to explain some of the character development of Season Four.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six

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