"Come on, Lynn," Matt was saying. "It's no big deal, really. You don't mind, do you?"
His hand reached up to brush a stray piece of hair from her eyes.
"As a matter of fact, yes!" Lynn cried. "I do mind when my boyfriend's uncle is one of my family's worst enemy!"
"Is that any reason to judge me?"
Lynn looked thoughtful. "It depends," she said. "What are you doing with him?"
"We're planning something big against you."
"Oh, well, in that case, everything's just fine," she answered sarcastically. "Get away from me."
"No, Lynn, I love you," he protested as he leaned forward to kiss her.
Lynn reached out with her hand and shoved him away. Or at least, she tried to. Where'd my strength go? she wondered to herself.
"Come on, really, it's no big deal," he said.
"I said, no, Matt, get away!"
"Oh, come now, Evelynn."
She whirled around at the new voice. It was Nicholas. "You don't want to resist," he said. "Not without your strength."
"Come now," he repeated. "It's a propeshy, it's bound to happen. Why not give in?"
"No!" she cried. "Please... don't..."
"No!" Lynn cried as she sat up.
"You don't agree that five divided by five is one?" Mrs. Connely asked, turning to Lynn.
"Huh?" Lynn asked, blinking sleep away from her eyes.
"This problem," the teacher said, motioning to the blackboard. "You disagree with the answer?"
Lynn frowned, scanning the problem for any mistakes that she could point out. No such luck.
"No, Mrs. Connely," she answered. "I'm sorry, my mistake."
The bell rung and all the students immediately started picking up all their books. Lynn stood up and started doing the same. She was almost out of the classroom, when she was called back.
Lynn sighed and turned around to find her teacher sitting at her desk. "Yes, Mrs. Connely?"
Mrs. Connely gestured for her to come over to the desk. With another sigh, Lynn obeyed.
"I'm worried, about you, Evelynn," Mrs. Connely said. "It's not like you to fall asleep in class, and you had a C on your last test. You're an A student. Is something wrong? Would you like me to speak to your mother? Maybe it was something to do with Mr. McKellan."
Lynn shook her head. "No, really, everything's fine," she insisted. "Just some stuff going on in my life that I have to adjust to. I'm sorry, I'll try to do better next time."
"'Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try,'" Mrs. Connely said with a grin. "Sorry, old movie that I love. But seriously, Evelynn. I expect more from you."
Lynn nodded. "Right, I'm sorry."
Mrs.Connely smiled in satisfaction and motioned that Lynn could leave. Lynn returned the smile and hurried out of the classroom. Once outside, she grimaced.
"Hey, what took you so long?" Daniel asked as he caught up with her. "I was waiting for you to come out."
"Hey, Dan," Lynn greeted. "I fell asleep in math class and Mrs. Connely wanted to know what's wrong."
"Ouch," he murmured. "Evelynn Joy Mckellan, 4.0 GPA, straight A student, has fallen asleep in class for the first time in her life. To what do we owe the pleasure?" He put a fist to her mouth, as if a microphone were there.
Lynn giggled. "Oh, come on, it's no big deal..." Her smile quickly left her face and she frowned. "Actually, you're right. I never fall asleep in class." She stopped walking and turned to face Daniel. "I had the same dream again."
Daniel looked mildly surprised. "Exactly the same?" At Lynn's nod, he exhaled. "Do you remember anything important this time around?"
Lynn nodded. "Nicholas said that I didn't have any strength, so I couldn't resist him, and that it was a prophesy bound to happen. And, oh God, Matt was his nephew! I doubt that's literally what's gonna happen, but... oh, Daniel I'm scared all of then sudden."
Daniel put a comforting arm around her. "It'll be okay, Lynn."
"You're sure?" Buffy asked. "Totally, utterly sure? No doubt whatsoever...?"
"No doubts, Mom!" Lynn cried with exasperation. "You're starting to act like Giles. What's up?"
Buffy, Angel, Lynn, Daniel, Jade, Xander, Willow, Giles, and Oz were gathered once again in the library, trying to straighten out their thoughts and figure out what to do.
Buffy sighed. "I had the same dream," she explained. "Although, I obviously wasn't you. I was watching from somewhere around and I couldn't do anything about it. It was like I was stuck in place and couldn't move." She turned to Willow and her friend could tell there was something she wasn't telling but decided to let it go for now. "You dabbled a bit in magic. Do you think there's a spell that can be used to figure this out?"
Willow shrugged. "Maybe," she answered. "Like, something to interpret dreams?"
Buffy looked thoughtful for a moment. "Yeah, I guess," she replied.
"I think we might be able to do better," Angel said suddenly as he stood up and started to pace. "I know there's something important about him I'm supposed remember, I just don't know what..."
He snapped his fingers. "I know. There's something he does, I don't know what, that allows him to feel what other people are feeling and lets him plant emotions and dreams in their heads..."
"That's insane," Giles commented.
"He's had four hundred years to develop his skills, Giles," Angel replied. "That's why he's so dangerous."
Lynn suddenly stood up, knocking her chair unto the floor. "Whoa, hold up a second," she said, her eyes wide as she processed what her father had said. "Plant emotions? As in, I could have mood swings for no apparent reason and accuse innocent people?"
"You think he's using you?" Jade asked her friend.
"Maybe," Lynn answered with a frown. "He said something when I met him at the alley next to the Bronze. Something about how my doubts would take over me and he would be there when they did..."
"He's planting ideas in your head," Buffy said. "Maybe he's even planting those dreams about Matt so that you turn against him."
"But what about you?" Xander spoke up. "You had them, too, remember? And you were getting that feeling, too."
"Well, maybe he's planting them in my head as well."
Giles had left the area where they were talking several minutes before and had gone into the stacks. Now he came back out, holding a book in his hands and reading carefully to himself. Abruptly, he snapped the book shut in anger and took off his glasses to clean them.
"What's wrong?" Willow asked the Watcher.
Giles placed his glasses back on and handed the book to Willow. "It, um, it speaks about the way to do what Angel explained Nicholas does. It's a long and complicated process. Indeed, it is dangerous that someone like, uh, Nicholas has access to these types of magic. It's quite interesting, actually..."
Buffy sensed that Giles was going to get into one of his long explanations and held up a hand. "We're not interested in hearing it," she said.
Giles blinked. "Yes, of course. I imagine his goal is to confuse us until it's too late to do anything about it."
Next to Buffy, Willow gave a low whistle. "Wow," Willow said. "This is tough stuff..."
"Indeed," Giles comfirmed. "Apparently, both Buffy and Lynn are having these emotions. They cannot decipher which ones come from them and which ones come from Nicholas." He shook his head. "There's no way to tell what is real and what is not..."
"We might be jumping to conclusions," Oz said suddenly. "I mean, we don't know for sure that he's doing this."
There was a heavy silence in the room. "Perhaps that is his purpose. To confuse us until we can't think straight," Giles said.
"It's working," Buffy muttered.
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