"So you really used to be a guy?" asked Faith with the beginnings of a teasing grin on her face as they walked through the cemetery.
"Yes, Faith, I used to be a guy," replied Rachel with a sigh.
"So you get a free peep show every time you shower?" said Faith with the teasing grin now in full force.
"I suppose so . . . hey! I resent the implication that I get cheap thrills from seeing myself nude," said Rachel with a complete poker face on.
"Don't you mean resemble?"
"That too, I suppose."
A vampire jumped out from behind a headstone in front of them and was promptly staked by Faith before Rachel had her sword out of its scabbard. "That's five - three to me now, Darth. You getting slow in your old age or something? I thought you Jedi types could feel 'em coming or something anyway."
"Very funny, Faith. And vampires kinda just blend into the background in this town thanks to the hellmouth," said Rachel with a small frown.
"Yeah. I might be able to sense them when I get better at the whole Force thing though. Revan could sense them I think."
"That's cool, I guess. Anyway come on, I want to hear about what else happened on Halloween."
"Well I missed most of it. Revan was too busy slaughtering everything even vaguely demonic to pay much attention to Buffy and Willow," said Rachel. "Not a bad thing really but Willow has most of the really good stories from that night, like when Buffy thought a car was a demon and fainted."
"I'll have to talk to Red about that then," decided Faith. "Sounds like one not to be missed."
"Definitely. Nothing quite as funny as superhero Buffy fainting at the sight of a car for humour."
Another vampire jumped out and this time it was neatly decapitated by Rachel's blade a moment before Faith could stake it.
"And that's one for me. Comeback on the cards, perhaps?"
"Doubt it. Place is pretty much dead now. Looks like you're buying next time we go to that ice cream place."
"Should have known better than to get into a slaying competition with a Slayer. I really should," said Rachel with a pout that disappeared very quickly when she realised what she was doing.
"Your loss, my gain," said Faith with a laugh. "Anyway, so what did Revan get up to on Halloween then? You said something about Dracula."
"Well she pretty much just slaughtered vampires while I was gibbering in fear inside my own head for most of the night. Dracula came later on."
"Such a manly man you were," said Faith sarcastically.
"Hey! I resent that slur against my masculinity," said Rachel. Then she blinked. "Not really an issue these days, is it?"
"Not really," said Faith with a laugh. "You look all woman to me, Darth. Ain't no-one gonna be mistaking you for a man."
"Tell me about it. You have no idea how many detentions I've had for putting jocks in their place when they took liberties."
"Probably as many as I got before I dropped out. Now quit stalling and tell me what happened."
"Well after she's killed half the vampires in Sunnydale she ran into a guy in a red trenchcoat and hat: Alucard, or, as he's better known, from before he was captured and magically bound to the Hellsing family, Dracula."
"I'm guessing this isn't the real Dracula then."
"No. He's way more powerful than any vampire in this dimension could ever dream of being and there's no demon involved. Anyway, they fought - and let me just say that I've never been so damn scared in my whole life - destroying pretty much everything around them in the process - they decided to go and deal with whatever had brought them here when they realised that neither of them could win the battle. Alucard had no answer to a lightsabre and Revan had no answer to someone who can regenerate after having their head cut off.
"Anyway, I don't really want to talk about what they did to Ethan Rayne. It wasn't pleasant and he didn't survive. In the end, he found out why they called him Vlad the Impaler and that was that. Then Alucard broke the spell."
"But Revan didn't want to go?"
"She had nothing to go back to. Her last memory was dying after her apprentice betrayed her and shot her in the back."
"Sounds like fun."
Rachel shrugged. "It was nothing more than she deserved really. Anyway she tried to stay but as strong as she was, she was no match for a god. Janus ripped her out of me quickly enough but she changed me. Made me female, made me stronger, made me Force sensitive. Not a bad trade really."
"Yeah, because having your balls chopped off didn't mess with your head at all, did it?" drawled Faith.
Rachel just shrugged. "Could have been worse. There's always a worse around here."
Rachel walked into the library the next night with a thick book and a thermos of rocket fuel masquerading as coffee in her hands to see Willow flicking through a book of some description and Buffy leaning on the wall looking a bit bored. "How's wolf-boy doing?" she asked, more than a little disgruntled at the amount of sleep she was missing out on because of Oz's little problem.
"Don't call him that," said Willow reflexively. "And he's fine."
"Right. What are you reading anyway?" she picked the book out of Willow's hands. "Call of the Wild. Joy. Just what I need to make this night complete, class reading to be horribly over-analysed."
"It'll help keep you awake," said Willow defensively. "And it's a good book really. Very wolfy. Seems to soothe the savage beast."
"That would be the sedatives in the food we give him, Willow."
She was rewarded with a steely look for that crack. Oh well. Willow took her by the arm and guided her over to the desk. "Okay. Now, he's had his 2:00 feeding, and, uh, after sunrise, if he forgets where his clothes are, they're on top of the file cabinet in his cage. I put those towels up for privacy."
"Because I've never seen a penis before," drawled Rachel. "How would I ever deal with seeing such a thing?"
Willow just looked at her and blushed. Rachel rolled her eyes. "Come on, Willow. Remember that I was once Xander-shaped."
"Um, okay," said Willow with lots of nervous gesturing. "Well, it's not for you. It's for me, 'cause I'm still getting used to half a Monty."
"I don't want to know. I really don't."
"I wasn't going to tell you," said Willow with a grin that was positively wicked by her standards. Anyway, he's more manageable tonight and on the third night. Tomorrow night, the total full moon, that's when he's a real wolfer." She reached across the table then. "But in case there's trouble... there won't be, but if . . . " She held up the dart rifle and Rachel deftly picked it out of her hands.
"Sleepy time," she said. "Gotcha."
"Thanks again for doing this. I wouldn't have asked, but I have this test."
"It's not a problem just don't be surprised if I'm a little tetchy from lack of sleep tomorrow."
The next morning Giles came rushing into the library, newspaper in hand, almost scaring the half-asleep Rachel witless and nearly getting himself shortened by a foot or so in the process.
?gGiles, it's not polite to scare the half-asleep girl witless, okay?" growled Rachel.
Giles just ignored her and dropped the newspaper onto the table in front of her. Rachel took one look at it and shook her head. "No. Not Oz. He was here all night with me. No way."
?gAre you totally sure that he couldn't have gotten out?"
?gIf he had, he sure as hell wouldn't have came back, would he? And he woke up in the cage this morning same as every other moon night."
Giles grimaced. He obviously wasn't totally reassured by that. "We need to recheck every possible escape avenue."
?gI'm telling you it's a waste of time. I was here all night," replied Rachel trying to remain calm.
At that point they both noticed Willow and Oz walking into the library and Giles put on a very fake looking calm face. "Right. It's good to see you," he said. "Um. No need to panic."
?gJust a thought: poker, not your game," said Oz.
?gWhat's the deal, Giles?" asked Willow.
"Now, uh, bear in mind, uh, most likely, there, there, there is no deal, but um, if, if, if there was a deal, then it, um, would concern murder... last night. A
male student was, was found i-i-in the woods."
?gWhich student?" asked Oz.
?gJeff? He was . . . " Oz looked over at Rachel who remained impassive. "I knew him."
?gI'm afraid he was, he was, um, terribly mauled. Now, uh, much as
I hate to think it, i-i-it could be the handiwork of, of . . . "
"Wolf you, not you you," said a very concerned looking Willow.
"It wasn't you. Not unless you went out, killed him, and came back in the time it took me to take a bathroom break. And there are a million different things in this lovely town that could have mauled him."
"Be that as it may, we must investigate the possibility," said Giles.
Rachel rolled her eyes. "Fine but you're wasting your time.
Giles walked into the cage and a minute later they all heard his voice float out. "The window's open."
Rachel shook her head. "How the bloody hell did that happen? A werewolf wouldn't be able to open a window."
"It must have been open when Oz went into the cage," said an upset sounding Willow.
"It doesn't matter," said Rachel. "There's no way he could have gotten out and done it when I spent most of the night watching him. He wouldn't come back to the cage when he was done would he?"
"It does seem unlikely," said Giles, exiting the cage. "But it's not impossible and we should investigate further.
It was all Rachel could do not to explode in fury. She'd given up how much sleep for this? She knew it wasn't rational and she managed to throttle the anger before it exploded but it took a supreme effort of will to give them a verbal beating.
It wasn't all that long before Buffy entered the library and after a short and oh so very cheerful conversation, Oz stormed off in the closest thing he'd ever manage to a huff when Giles decided that Faith would be watching over him the next night. Rachel found herself being packed off to the morgue with Willow to see if it actually was a werewolf attack.
"Well, isn't this pleasant?" said Rachel laconically as Willow poked and prodded the body with the instruments she'd brought with her. "Nothing quite like breaking into the morgue and playing with the corpses is there?"
Willow handed her the flashlight. "Here. Hold this."
Willow proceeded up investigate the corpse's fingernails while Rachel held the light steady in place where Willow wanted it. As she did so, she idly contemplated the fact that it was probably bad to be so numb to death already at her age. It just couldn't be healthy really. There was nothing she could do about it but it couldn't be good, could it?
Willow was taking samples from under the fingernails now. It was amazing how calm she was really. Willow's normal response to something like this would have been to pass out on the spot, Rachel was sure. "How are you doing this, Wills?" she asked. "That body - pretty barf-worthy."
Willow just ignored her and got on with what she was doing. She placed the body's hand back under the sheet and began to inspect the wounds on its chest. It was pretty impressive really, her professionalism here. "So do you think Oz is in the clear or what?" she asked Willow.
"I'm not sure. I mean, there are a lot of incised wounds, but they could be from anything."
"Well it doesn't look messy enough to be a werewolf attack to me," said Rachel. "And it doesn't look like whatever it was actually ate anything, which doesn't jive with what I know of were-beasts."
Willow started picking at the wounds on the body's chest with tweezers. "I didn't know there were others types of were," she said absently as she worked.
"Werewolves are by far the most common type of were-beast and they're rare enough that Giles didn't even consider the possibility back when we found out what Oz was."
"Oh. Almost done. Lemme just get a few stray hairs from the body. They could be from the attacker."
"Will that be everything then?"
"Yep that's it."
And then Willow promptly fainted, falling back into Rachel's arms. Rachel just rolled her eyes and smiled. Some things really do never change.
School for the next morning proved to be deeply boring. Willow was spending all her time trying to console Oz, and Buffy was spending all her time with Scott and his friends, leaving Rachel to face the horrible pit of boredom that is high school all alone. Fortunately - for her sanity and the health of the irritating creatures that populate Sunnydale High School - she had a free lesson after lunch and had arranged to meet Faith to go dress shopping for homecoming.
Dress shopping. When that's better than what you're doing, you know you're in trouble.
She had been planning on asking the others along but they had been nowhere to be found and she'd left it so late that they'd probably already have their dresses. Actually, knowing Buffy she'd probably had hers picked out for at least six months.
So that was why she was sat in a shop gawking as Faith tried on a series of dresses that would have had her walking bow-legged for the rest of the day if she hadn't had the whole sex-change thing going on. She was sure that Faith was getting some perverse pleasure out of this and to be honest she wasn't exactly complaining.
Okay, seeing Faith in that slinky black number she's got on now . . . definitely no complaining going on here.
"Faith you could make a potato sack look good. That though . . . wow. Just wow."
Faith smirked at her. "I'll go with this one then. Yo, shop dude! I want this one," she hollered. And then she proceeded to flirt outrageously and fluster the poor shop clerk to the point where she got the dress for a fraction for what it should have cost. Quite impressive really.
"Now it's your turn, Darth."
A dozen different dresses later, Faith had selected a red number that seemed a bit on the skimpy side to Rachel. Objectively speaking, it wasn't, but to someone who was still very much of the opinion that jeans and shirt were the one true style of clothing - despite the best efforts of a despairing Buffy - it sure felt it.
When Rachel returned to school with Faith - who had decided to tag along for reasons that Rachel could not comprehend, who would go to school voluntarily? - she found the group sat around in the library. Turned out that the school shrink had been killed by something and it was during the day.
"This creature is especially brutal. I believe the phrase coined by the coroner when describing Mr. Platt was 'pureed'. But he did confirm that Platt was killed shortly before Buffy found him," said Giles, elaborating on what had happened.
"Which means that he was killed during the day," said Faith.
"Yes!" said an elated looking Willow, drawing some rather puzzled looks from the others. "Sorry. I got . . . I've just been . . . it's horrible, horrible."
"So what was it?" asked Rachel. "Some sort of demon? I thought they normally didn't come out in daytime."
"They normally don't, which makes this all the more puzzling. Our task now is to determine what sort of killer we are dealing with. Clearly, we're looking for a depraved, sadistic animal.
"Present," said Oz from behind the group. Willow was out of her seat and by Oz's side in the blink of an eye. " Hey, I may be a cold-blooded jelly doughnut, but my timing is impeccable."
"But you aren't! I-i-it's-it's a kill-in-the-day monster! A hundred percent for sure," said a smiling Willow.
Oz even smiled at that. "Okay," he said.
"Uh, I wish we had time to celebrate properly. However, we have two victims: Jeff Orkin and, uh, now Platt. Uh, maybe there's something they had in common," said Giles.
"Missing organs?" asked Faith.
"Besides that," said an exasperated Giles.
"Debbie," said Oz, causing Giles to turn and look at him questioningly. "Well, victim number one, Jeff. He was in jazz band with us. They used to horse around."
"They were screwing?" asked Faith bluntly getting some less than pleasant looks.
"I don't think so, but he hid her music comp book once."
"And we know that Debbie knew Platt. I mean, she was seeing him and way vocal about not having love for the guy," weighed in Buffy.
"Add this and stir. I just saw Debbie a minute ago sporting a nasty black eye," said Oz.
"That guy - Pete I think his name is - gives me a wiggins too," said Rachel. "No idea what's up there exactly but there's something not quite right, I think." The others gave her a look at that. "Hey, I didn't want to say anything till I knew for sure something was wrong."
"We should find them both immediately," said Giles as he and Buffy grabbed their coats.
"Well, Debbie was in the quad a minute ago," said Oz.
"All right. We'll split up. Um, Faith, you and I team. Willow, stick with Buffy. Rachel you can work alone," said Giles. Willow gave Oz a saddened look as they all filed out.
"And I'll just lock myself in the cage," Rachel heard Oz say as she left too.
Her search proved to be difficult. Pete did have a different feeling to a normal person but not quite different enough for her to get a real lock on, not with the hellmouth obscuring everything. Bloody Dark Side. In the end she decided to just head back to the library and see if the others had managed to find anything because she wasn't getting anywhere.
The sight that greeted her when she entered the library was enough to make her mind just go blank for a moment.
"What the Hell?" she muttered to herself. "Is that moron really trying to punch out a werewolf?" She watched a moment more. "I don't believe it. Does the good guy gig include saving people from their own stupidity? This is real Darwin Award material right here."
Oz bit down into the idiot's arm as Rachel contemplated the idiot's complete lack of any survival instincts and his scream made her wince. That definitely sounded painful. She supposed she should step in and help but who was she to stop an idiot from acting out his desires and becoming werewolf fodder? If he was so eager to die then have at it. Considering that he'd killed at least twice, and killed brutally for no real reason, her sympathy was very, very limited.
The library doors burst open and the gang made a great deal of noise as they all came barging in. Rachel just couldn't drag her eyes away from what was in front of her. It was like when people go past a car-wreck and can't take their eyes off it, so horrible that you just have to watch. She heard Giles tell Buffy to get the dart gun and her affirmative response.
And then. "Pete, watch out," from an unfamiliar female voice before a sharp stabbing pain radiated from her backside. An incredulous look confirmed that she had indeed been shot up the arse with a tranquilliser dart loaded up with enough drugs to put a werewolf down.
"Oh! Sorry! Said Buffy.
"Bloody typical," said Rachel before the world went black around her.
Rachel slowly awoke to one humdinger of a hangover. It was times like this that she really, really missed being male, she thought groggily. At least then she'd have had more body mass to soak this crap up, maybe even had enough time to pull a Jedi trick and at least weaken the sedatives.
"I think she's waking up," she heard Faith say. Was that Faith? She didn't quite have the energy to turn her head and see. Much easier to just stay as she was and stare at the ceiling.
"Ow," she said quietly. "Anyone got an aspirin?"
"That would be an exceedingly bad idea," said a reassuringly familiar English voice. "Not with the drugs already in your system."
"Don't care," said Rachel. "This is like having a hangover without the fun drunken bit before."
"And like a hangover you'll just have to wait it out," said Giles reproachfully. "And I don't think I want to know how you know what a hangover feels like."
"Girl's just been having some fun, Jeeves," said Faith. "Can't hold that against her."
Rachel had built up the will to move her head now thought she still didn't have much feeling in most of her body - though she did feel decidedly off somehow - and the glare Faith was getting from Giles was truly legendary. "Not to interrupt or anything but what happened after I got knocked out?"
Oh that couldn't be good. Anything that had Giles making with the glasses polishing could not be good. "Well after you were knocked out both Oz and the boy, Pete, made a run for it. Faith and Willow went after Oz and tranquillised him while Buffy went after Pete and dealt with him."
"Doesn't sound so bad," said Rachel. "Bad guy's apprehended and all is well again, right?"
"Not quite, I'm afraid. The girl, Debbie, was killed before Buffy could catch Pete and Buffy was unable to take the boy alive."
"Well, that's bad. She was an idiot but she didn't deserve to die. Pete, though . . . he got what he deserved."
"I'm inclined to agree on both accounts. However, there is something else," said Giles. He paused for a moment, visibly gathering himself. Rachel felt the tension coiling in her stomach. Whatever this was, it was bad. "Oz bit someone before he fled the library."
"Oh God. Who?"
Giles just looked at her, his gaze full of sympathy.
"No . . . "
She closed her eyes and slipped into a meditative state. She had to verify this for herself. And she saw it. In her aura, it was there. A writhing mass of primitive instincts and power, slowly growing and merging with the rest of her. For now it seemed to have paused, blocked by the energies left over from the Hyena possession, but she knew instinctively that would not last for long.
And now she knew why Faith and Giles were here and not Buffy or Willow. Buffy was guilt, plain and simple. She would be blaming herself, believing that she should have been able to protect her from this. And Willow . . . Willow wouldn't be able to face her right now. Willow would probably be taking this harder than she was. She'd never been able to deal with it when Willow got hurt and it worked the other way around too - and this was way beyond a busted arm or nose on the playground.
"Christ. I can feel it now. It's merging with what's left over from the Hyena right as we speak."
Giles was almost polishing through his lenses by the time she'd finished speaking.
"That doesn't sound good," said Faith. "From what you told me, the Hyena is major bad mojo."
"It caught me unprepared and defenceless last time. It would not be able to control me again even at full strength. This remnant is nothing. A slightly stronger sense of smell and sharper vision that I didn't even notice till I did some reading up on animal possession is all that it left behind."
"Be that as it may, we need to approach this situation with caution," said a reproachful Giles. "I've never heard of a were merging with a primal, even a weak remnant of a primal, and there's no way to determine how it will end."
"Oh joy," said Rachel weakly. This was all too much. First she got emasculated by some bloody chaos mage and now she was a werewolf? She was only dragged out of her dark thoughts when Giles put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
"We will help you through this, Rachel," he said. "Whatever happens, you won't be alone in this."
"Damn right," weighed in Faith. "You're my bud and I ain't letting you go that easy."
"And I know without a shadow of a doubt that you couldn't get rid of Buffy and Willow even if you tried."
Rachel smiled weakly. "Thanks, guys. I think I needed to hear that." She took a deep breath. "Right now though . . . I think I need to be alone. I need to meditate. Yeah, I need to meditate. That'll help."
She levered herself out of the couch, and, despite the large bit that had been taken out of her left thigh, she limped to her bedroom, determinedly maintaining a calm facade all the way. Once she had firmly closed the door behind her, she laid down on her bed and cried silent tears.
The expression of guilt on Oz's face when she met the group in the library the next day was terrible to behold. His usual inexpressiveness was gone today, overwhelmed by the guilt he must have been feeling at what the wolf had done the last night.
"It wasn't your fault, Oz," she said quietly as she limped over and sat down at the table with the rest of the group. "The people to blame for this are dead now."
Oz nodded in acknowledgement but she knew that it would take time to alleviate the guilt he felt no matter what she said. Looking around, the others didn't look a whole lot better. Willow's eyes were full of unshed tears and Buffy had a look of guilt on her face almost equal to that on Oz's. Giles was more restrained but it didn't take a Jedi to realise that he felt some guilt too now that she was thinking straight. Or at least closer to straight than she'd been before. The fact that she could smell the emotions on them was just the icing on the cake.
"It wasn't any of your fault," she said firmly but still quietly. "There was nothing any of you could have done to prevent this. Nothing at all. I made a choice to expose myself to this sort of risk when I decided to follow Buffy down into the sewers when she went for Jesse."
"I should have been able to protect you," said Buffy. "It's my job! What good am I if I can't even protect my friends?"
"I've told you this before, Buffy: you're not perfect and no-one expects you to be able to save everyone. I just happened to be one of the unlucky few who you couldn't save this time. Not your fault."
"She's right, Buffy. There's nothing you could have done," said Giles. "Now we just have to deal with the consequences."
Willow hadn't said a word but the tears that had built up in her eyes when she'd seen Rachel come limping in had started to leak out down her face and her lip was trembling dangerously. Rachel lifted herself out of her chair and rounded the table to near Willow, who was out of her chair and clinging to Rachel in a flash as the tears overwhelmed her and poured out. "It'll be alright, Wills," she whispered in her ear. "It always is in the end."
A lie, but a comforting one. There was no 'alright in the end' with lycanthropy. There was no cure, no end to the condition, short of death, and she was not going to go that route.
Eventually Willow's tears dried up and they separated and went back to their seats. "It's not the end of the world really," said Rachel as she sat back down again. "Oz here's a werewolf and he's OK except for the full moon. Just lock me up somewhere those nights and I'll be fine."
"Well we already have a cage and stuff," said Buffy.
Giles coughed. "That won't work, Buffy," he said with a faint smile.
"Why not?" asked Buffy with a small pout.
"You lock up a male werewolf with a female werewolf and they'll make little werewolves," said Rachel. "I don't think any of us want that. I sure as hell don't want to be popping out puppies anytime soon."
Willow blushed. "Darn tooting!"
"Anyway I'm not sure that cage will hold me," said Rachel. "My wolf is shaping up to be a lot stronger than Oz's and that cage has trouble with him at times."
"What do you mean?" asked Giles.
"I can, for lack of a better word, feel the wolves inside Oz and I. His is pretty strong for one that's only about a year old but mine is strong period. Remember the Hyena pack? I was a lot stronger than the others for some reason and the same thing's happened here. If you want to get technical, I suppose I'm an Alpha Wolf and Oz is a Beta."
"There must be something about your personality that makes these things take more strongly with you," said Giles absently. "I'll have to research it." The others couldn't but grin. Typical Giles! "Anyway, we'll need to look into making arrangements to restrain you for the next full moon. Perhaps a crypt in one of the local cemeteries could be modified."
"Well that sounds like fun," said Rachel in a bitingly sarcastic tone of voice. "More time in cemeteries, goody!"
"How's this going to work with the Jedi thing?" asked Oz.
Now that was something that she hadn't thought of. "I'm not sure. I don't think the wolf will be able to use the Force when it takes over. I hope not anyway. The wolf's all instinct and the Force wouldn't be part of those instincts."
"What do you mean you're an Alpha and Oz is a Beta?" asked Buffy abruptly cutting in.
"Before Rachel makes her first transformation it won't mean anything. Afterwards Oz may feel somewhat subservient towards her. The information available on werewolf pack dynamics is rather limited," said Giles.
"If it's like Hyena, then he'll be very subservient to me unless he wants to challenge me. I don't know if we'll be as much of a slave to it as we were with the Hyena stuff though. Oz is way more in control then any of the Hyena-people were."
"I thought you didn't remember the Hyena possession," said Willow accusingly.
"I lied," said Rachel simply. "I didn't want to remember it and I certainly didn't want to talk about it. Ever."
"How far along is the transformation?" asked Giles.
"The senses are starting to kick in," said Rachel. "Possibly not the best thing to have in a place full of teenagers, I have to say. I wish the healing would hurry up and start. Walking around with a great big bloody chunk bitten out of my thigh is not my idea of fun."
"What's the what with the transformation anyway?" asked Buffy.
"Enhanced senses and healing are the obvious side-effects of becoming a werewolf," said Giles. "She'll also have to deal with the primal instincts of the wolf at all times once her first transformation has been completed. The remnants of the Hyena may make those instincts stronger than they would normally be, I believe."
"It's just one big bundle of joy all round really," said Rachel.
"What I don't get is why Oz went straight for Rachel," said Buffy. "If anyone, I'd have expected him to bite Willow."
"Same reason the Hyena spirit went straight to me, I suppose," said Rachel. "I must make a good animal."