Author: Selena Taiki
"Are you sure?" Giles asked.
"Quite sure," Miss Kitty answered for herself, ignoring Trevor's look of incredulity with ease.
"You talk," Trevor exclaimed, his voice cracking with excited disbelief on the final syllable. Tara winced in sympathy for him.
Slowly Miss Kitty turned her head, the look on her face plainly said, ĎAnd?'
"So do you."
"But you're a cat!"
As Miss Kitty glared at Trevor disdainfully, Tara hurried change the subject back to the problem at hand. "What do we do now?" she asked.
"Obviously just draining the tradition from these two won't solve anything; what we need to do now is figure out how to twist the tale so that it comes out in some more desirable fashion." Giles paused for a moment, his forehead crinkled in thought. "Clearly Miss Kitty has to defeat to Ogre, and whatever assets the beast has acquired will revert to Trevor. The question will be how to mange this so that the holdings are minimal and Trevor can still marry Miss... Amelia was it?" At Trevor's nod Giles continued. "Miss Amelia given that she and he are both of common birth and that sort of union does not feature in many Tales." The last bit he said apologetically.
"W-what if..." Tara began, loosing her nerve and looking down with a blush. She missed having her hair down since Anya's styling kept it from falling forward to obscure her face. She felt over exposed.
"Yes Tara?" Giles asked, looking at her expectantly, his eyes warmly urging her to go on.
"What if we h-had the O-ogre kidnap her?" Tara asked tentatively. "T-then M-miss Kitty could h-help Trevor rescue her." As rescuer, the Tradition would guarantee that Trevor and Amelia would fall in love, if they hadn't been already, and marry. Furthermore, animal guides were an already well established Traditional role, and would not require more of Miss Kitty then that she give aid during the quest.
Giles smiled. "Brilliant! An elegant twisting of Tradition. Crafting a spell to get the Ogre to kidnap her might be tricky, though."
"Offer her up as a sacrifice," Miss Kitty suggested. "To get the Ogre to leave people alone. Have the village hold a lottery. The tradition will compel Adam to accept her."
"Wait!" Trevor said desperately. "I don't want Amelia to be sacrificed to the Ogre."
"We won't let anything happen to her," Giles promised firmly.
It took a while to calm Trevor down and convince him that Amelia would be safe in the Ogre's hands until he could rescue her. Miss Kitty amused herself by chasing shadows, occasionally throwing in a well timed sarcastic comment which only served to increase Trevor's unease. Finally, though, he agreed to their plan.
Giles fixed Trevor sternly with a gaze, drawing himself up and radiating authority. "I need your word," he said slowly. "That you shall do exactly what we, that being Tara, Myself, or Miss Kitty, tell you to do. This will be dangerous, we are trying to force the Tradition onto a slightly different path and one wrong word from you could shift it back again."
"I promise," the lad said gravely.
Giles nodded. "I would feel safer," he mused. "If Miss Kitty had some backup available in case something goes wrong. I think we need to pay a visit to Buffy."