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Title: Correct Pronunciation: An Object Lesson
Author: VelvetMouse
Fandom/Characters: BtVS; all scoobies
Word Count: 497
Warnings: none
Summary: Humans aren't the only ones who sometimes botch a spell.
Notes: Written for the [ profile] sbomg Mini Challenge 01

"Uh-oh." The small voice came from the vicinity of the red-headed witch, and everyone's heads snapped towards Willow.

"Uh-oh?" Buffy asked.

"Uh-oh what, Wil?" Xander prompted when Willow remained silent for too long. "Uh-oh apocalypse? Uh-oh I broke a nail? Uh-oh they're out of jelly doughnuts? Give us something to go on here."

"No. No. Did I say uh-oh? No, no uh-oh's here," Willow said. "I'm- I'm probably not even reading it right."

"Well, let me see, perhaps I can help you," Giles said moving towards her side of the table.

"No!" Willow shouted clutching the book to her chest. "Can't let you see!"

Giles looked at her oddly. "Willow," he said gently, "that is a book from my own collection. I assure you, I've seen it before." But Willow was shaking her head back and forth frantically.

"Wil? You're starting to freak me out here," Buffy said.

"No, no. No freaking out. I just - I just gotta go see Anya." And with that surprising statement, Willow scampered towards the front of the shop.

The remaining researchers looked at each other in concern. Willow, voluntarily going to talk to Anya? Something was definitely wrong.

Then they heard Willow's faint voice floating back to them. "Anya, you can read Etruscan, right?"


Twenty minutes later, Buffy was staring at Willow like she had grown a second head.

"Wait wait wait. Back up. Let me get this straight. Because some pack-rat demon - "

"Pak'real," three voices corrected in chorus.

" - whatever. Because it was a dimwit and mispronounced some of the words of its spell, instead of obliterating me and Giles, it married us?"

"A slight oversimplification, but correct in the main, yes," Giles agreed.

"So. . . " Buffy asked, drawing out the word, "why do we care? I mean, I don't really plan on visiting its dimension, so who cares? Aren't there, like, jurisdiction issues or something?"

Anya's hand shot up in the air. "Oo! Oo! Can I answer that one?"

Giles sighed heavily and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Please."

Anya turned to Buffy with a bright smile on her face. "Because for most demons, marriage isn't really about legalities or religion. It's not so much a on-paper-y thing as it is a soul-bind-y thing."

Xander ducked the stream of soda that spit out of Buffy's mouth.

"Soul-bind-y? As in, my Watcher and I are now soul bound? What does that even mean?"

"It could mean any number of different things," Giles said, taking on his lecturing tone. "Anything from a general awareness of each other, to telepathy, to a complete inability to - ah - be with - ah - anyone else in a - um -" He trailed off. "Bugger," he swore under his breath. Buffy was looking at him in horror.

"Look on the bright side, Buff," Xander piped up helpfully. "At least it's a guy you already know."

Buffy merely buried her head in her hands and whimpered.


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