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 Post subject: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:01 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Hello all. This fic is a little different from the norm. To put it simply there are four storylines running alongside each other and characters from one may not have the same names in all the others. To cut down on confusion I added this note, table of contents and character list to this first post.

Table of Contents:

Act One

Buffyverse:




*******************************

Dark Age Chronicles:




******************************

Marvels:




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Sirens:




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Primers: Character lists for the two more extraneous story lines. Spoilerific. I recommend reading through the first arc first.

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Marvels:
Spoiler:
Primer: Marvels

Willow = Wanda Maximoff = Scarlet Witch

Tara = Carol Danvers = Ms. Marvel

Buffy = Jennifer Walters = She-Hulk

Faith = Faith = X-23

Xander = Pietro Maximoff = Quicksilver

Anya = Jessica Drew = Spider-Woman

Giles = Vision = G.I.L.E.S. = Generated Intuitive Logistics Engine Source = Grumpy Intellectual Librarian Englishman Simulation


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Other Avengers: Plus the actors you may have seen portray them.

Steve Rogers: Captain America #Murica! = Chris Evans.

Tony Stark: Iron Man = Robert Downey Jr.

Bruce Banner: Hulk = Mark “The kids are all right.” Ruffalo

Thor: Thor! = Chris “Oh my god, look at his big strong arms!” Hemsworth = Did you guys see the scene in Thor 2 where he gave himself a sponge bath in the middle of his living room? I mean hot damn! And this is coming from a straight guy. The first time I saw that movie I leaned over to my sister and whispered “This scene is for the ladies.”

Natasha Romanoff: Black Widow = Scarlet Johansson = The typical straight guy equivalent of everything I just said about Chris Hemsworth. Seriously though she is really pretty.

Clint Barton: Hawkeye = Jeremy Renner = For those with more rugged and brooding tastes.

Sam Wilson: Falcon = Anthony “I really liked his debut in Captain America 2” Mackie

James Rupert "Rhodey" Rhodes: War Machine = Terrance Howard and then Don Cheadle when they realized they offered Mr. Howard way too much money for what would be a minor role in a ten to fifty part on going series.

Barbara "Bobbi" Morse: Mockingbird. Think of a blonde, less Russian version of Black Widow. You may recognize the character from Agents of Shield.

Janet Van Dyne: Wasp

Hank Pym: Yellowjacket. The father of Ultron. Was the first Ant-Man but I liked the idea that the current Ant-Man is a thief who hangs out with Iron Fist and Luke Cage. His wiki page also induces headaches. He and Janet went on a second Honey Moon. Not sure when that will end. If I ever pull out Ant-Man I’m pretty sure he’ll look like Paul Rudd.

T’Challa: Black Panther. He's the king of Wakanda and Storm’s husband. They cast Chadwick Boseman for the upcoming films.

X-Men who are also Avengers:

Blue Hank: Hank McCoy = Beast.

Storm: Ororo Munroe

Logan: Wolverine - X-23’s “Father”

X-Men:

School staff / adults of varying ages:


Professor Charles Xavier: The Professor

Logan: Wolverine

Ororo Munroe: Storm

Hank McCoy: Beast

Piotr: Colossus
= Pete/Peter – The youngest of the “adults” at age 20.

Remy LeBeau: Gambit

Rogue

Kurt Wagner: Nightcrawler, no not Jake Gyllenhaal

Forge

Lockheed : Kitty’s tiny purple alien dragon pet/familiar/sidekick.

Students: All in their mid to late teens.

Kitty Pryde: Shadowcat, but I don’t even think anyone ever calls her that. – Just turned 16.

Bobby Drake: Iceman

Sooraya Qadir: Dust

Alisa Tager: Cipher

Clarice Ferguson: Blink

Alex Summers: Havok

Jamie Madrox: Multiple Man


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Sirens:
Spoiler:
Primer: Sirens

Willow = Dr. Harleen Quinzel = Harley Quinn = the blonde/blue eyes

Tara = Dr. Pamela Isley = Poison Ivy = the redhead/green eyes

Xander = Bruce Wayne = Batman

Anya = Selina Kyle = Catwoman

Buffy = Death of the Endless = From Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series and a few of her own trade paperback story arcs.

******************************

League members: With their roster number.

Superman: Zero One - Clark Kent

Batman: Zero Two - Bruce Wyane

Wonder Woman: Zero Three - Diana

Flash: Zero Four -

Aquaman: Zero Five

Martian Manhunter: Zero Six - J’onn
I’m only using his name because typing out Martian Manhunter each and every time is silly.

Hal Jordan – Green Lantern: Zero Seven

Green Arrow: Zero Eight

Black Canary: Zero Nine

Zatara / Dr. Fate: One Zero

Red Tornado: One One

John Stewart – Green Lantern: One Two

The Atom: One Three

Captain Marvel: One Four

Cyborg: One Five

Captain Atom: One Six

Zatanna: One Seven

Catwoman: One Eight

Guy Gardner – Green Lantern: One Nine

Kyle Rayner – Green Lantern: Two Zero


Legion members: . Extra spoilerific.

Vandal Savage -
Lex Luthor -
Ra’s al Ghul -
Joker -
Circe = Amy –
Solomon Grundy -
Killer Frost -
Cheetah -
Deathstroke -
Black Manta -

Klarion… Bum, Bum, Bum… The Witch Boy!
Plus his cat Teekl = Andrew -

Green, Blue, Violet, Red and Yellow Lantern Corps:

Far too numerous to count or list. Don’t worry about it. The only ones getting recurring speaking lines are probably:

Carol Ferris = Leader of the Star Sapphires
Kilowog = Green Lantern Drill Sergeant


******************************



Time and Time Again.

Author: Citanul

Feedback: Be kind, rewind?

Spoilers: Just about all of them. Go watch the show.

Rating: NC-17 I hope.

Pairings: W/T, B/F

Summary: A story of reincarnation and interdimensional travel made possible through the power of love. What misfortunes will our two favorite love birds be able to prevent with the aid of experience from countless past lives.

Author’s Note: This is something of an Easter egg for a much larger project that’ll come about once I get my act together. The prologue takes place in a completely original world with no connection to the “Whedonverse” except for the occasional homage. Don’t worry. I promise this is still a Willow/Tara love story. :wtkiss

Chapter one kicks off near the start of season two.

**********************************

Prologue:

Like all great stories this one begins at the end.

The ancient woman ascended the steps to the offices of Flagstone Enterprises hand in hand with the love of her many lives. They had one bit of wisdom to impart on a friend before old age claimed them and they bid this world farewell. As with all endings there was a great sadness in her heart, but it was tempered by even greater hope for the new beginning that lay just around the corner for both women.

Entering the building and turning down the corridors toward the Botanical Research Lab she turned to her love. “We’re almost there baby. She just needs to know that there’s always hope. Miranda has lost so much but so did we so very long ago. The fist time I lost you it destroyed me, but our friends helped me survive until I could find you again. I’ll always find you baby. Except of course for the times when you find me, but I’m not keeping score! What matters is that we find each other.”

Turning towards her babbling love blue eyes met green. “I know sweetie. We’ll help her. We owe her and the old gang that much.”

A slight smirk spread beneath green eyes. “Well, not the “old” old gang. We haven’t seen their faces in a half dozen worlds.”

The blue eyed elder laughed and gave a soft smile. “No sweetie I suppose not. Goddess, I miss them so much. The friends we made here were amazing, but our first gang will always hold a place in our hearts.”

The babbler returned the smile and said “I have a good feeling that we’ll see them in the next life. First things first though.” Turning as one they both entered the lab.

“Well Miranda I’ve gotta say I love what you’ve done with this place.” The green eyed elder called out.

The “lab”, as it were, was really more of a giant green house. At an arms length from the doors the term lab ceased to apply, and what could only be called a jungle took over. Moving cautiously the two women made their way through dense foliage seeking out their friend. After minutes of tedious exploration they came to a clearing containing a lone form.

They paused upon seeing the green lump before the blue eyed lady let out a sigh. “Miranda, I’ve said it before and I won’t get the chance to say it again. You can’t hide away in here wallowing in grief.”

In a whirl of motion and fury the form stood glaring at them, and with it a shudder went through all the plants in the green house lab that took up several dozen acres of real estate in the corporate headquarters. “And just what the fuck would you know of it Macduff? You haven’t lost what I lost and you haven’t been through half what I’ve had to suffer.”

Both of the silver haired elders looked at the young spitfire. Her crimson hair was cut short in the back. Two red locks framed her emerald face and flowed down to her clavicle. Her skin, two shades lighter than grass in spring, darkened to a deep jade tone with her fury. Macduff caught her love’s eyes and they both burst out laughing under Miranda’s glare.

“Sweetie, believe it or not both of us have been where you are more times than we care for.”

“She’s right Randi. The first time I lost her it just about killed me.” The green eyed elder said as the surrounding foliage began to rustle.

Miranda was incredulous. How could they stand there and tell her either of them knew what it was like to lose the love of your life? The old married couple was standing together right in front of her holding hands. She had watched them moon over each other for decades. They were always together, always wrapped up in each other, always the perfect picture of true love. She, more than most, could recognize what they shared because she shared the same with her lost love. Her Sal.

“Don’t lie to me Lennox! The love of your life is right there at your side. You got to live together, build a life together and grow old together. Sal and I were robbed of that because I’m too much of a freak to die. It’s been almost a hundred years since we met and I haven’t aged a day. I watched her wither away while my youth mocked her every time she looked at me.”

Lennox had had enough. “Damn it Miranda, Sal didn’t care about that! No matter how old she looked all she had to do was gaze into your eyes and she was wonderful. We know what you’re going through because we went through much worse centuries ago!”

Miranda couldn’t believe it. “What do you mean? I’ve been watching you age for decades. You can’t be that old.”

Lennox sighed. “It’s a very long story that begins with who we were long before we had the names Lennox and Macduff. Funny side note, we got those names from Bartleby. The first time he saw us in the shop we were giggling behind a shelf of anti virus software. After finding out I was a computer buff and she got her rocks off to classic literature he gave us those names, all the while laughing to himself about Shakespeare jokes from old Disney cartoons.”

“Sweetie.” Macduff chimed in.

“Oh right, sorry baby, anyway when we first met it was on a world drastically different from this one.”

“Wait you’re both aliens? Why would the Keeper and Bartleby let you in the shop? They went through so much trouble fighting off every alien to pass through the solar system.”

“Honey of course we aren’t aliens. We’re from a parallel dimension.” The woman Miranda had always known as Macduff reassured.

“And on the world we came from we only had two years together before an asshole and a stray bullet took her from me.” Lennox proclaimed trying to take back the conversation as time was still a factor. “I spent the rest of my life suffering and barely holding on for the sake of our other friends. I wasted a few years on some awful relationships before I figured out a way we could be together again. I used magic to…”

“Wait, magic isn’t real.” Miranda interrupted.

“No, not in this world but in our first world it is very real and we were two of the most powerful witches in existence.”

“You were powerful sweetie. I was no where near your league.”

“Baby no, I was an out of control junkie who used my magic like a sledge hammer made of C4. You not only had control and precision, but I would never have gotten past floating pencils without your guidance.” Lennox rebutted. “The point is magic is real in some dimensions. I came up with a spell that made it so when I died most of my essence would move on to the afterlife to hopefully join with her, but a large part of my soul would travel to another dimension where she was still safe and merge my memories and experience with a younger version of me so I could find my soulmate and save her. Once I came to on a new world I found my girl, got her to love me and did another spell to give her all the memories of the version of her from my world.”

“Since then we have lived countless lives together, on many worlds. We’re always finding each other, saving each other, growing old together and moving on to new worlds. We experience the joys of life over and over!” Macduff gushed with a cheery smile.

Miranda sat down stunned. All movement from the surrounding plant life ceased. “I don’t know whether I’m more amazed or horrified. So you just what? Steal the lives your doppelgangers would have lived?”

Macduff’s eyebrows shot up. “Horrified? Randi, no we aren’t stealing anything.”

“It’s not like we’re body snatchers that come along and kill their hosts. We get as normal a childhood as we can. When one of us is threatened she gets memories of past lives and the skills and experience needed to defend herself. Then an urge to find each other hits and once we share a kiss the rest of the knowledge comes pouring in, but we’re still the same person we were before. We just get caught up on past lives.” Lennox rambled.

“Then why do you go by nicknames Bartleby pulled out of his ass? Why have you been using so many pronouns instead of telling me what your real names once were?” Miranda exclaimed.

Lennox let out a mournful sigh. “Because the people we were on this world had no one worth telling our names to until we met Bartleby. Besides, it’s not like we’re some demons walking around in the bodies of the girls who were born in this world. We have the life experiences and emotions from all those past lives, but the souls originally born into these bodies never leave the driver’s seat. What’s really funny is I can’t even recall the name of the first copy of me to cast the dimension spell. We don’t always get the same names or even the same faces from one reincarnation to the next.”

“Wow.” Miranda muttered.

Lennox felt a twinge in her connection to Macduff and knew they had to say what the initially came to say fast. “The point is Randi, that there is always hope. You said yourself you haven’t aged in decades. That means you are uniquely capable of finding ways to bring her back. Whether by cloning, genetic reincarnation or dimensional hop scotch it doesn’t matter. If you really are gonna live forever you’ll find a way to be with her again. You just need to hold onto hope and live a life that’ll make Sal proud.”

All through this last babble the two old women drifted towards the base of a tree. Sitting down they had just enough strength to wrap their arms around each other and turn once more to the young girl with dazzling red hair and striking emerald skin. They both whispered in unison “Goodbye Randi.” before turning to face each other, sharing one last kiss.

And just like that their journey came to an end and yet another beginning.

Miranda sat there in shock, tears rolling down her thin green cheeks. Her mentors were gone for good but they left her with the one thing she needed most. What she lacked ever since the ravages of time, the sting of betrayal and more than enough personal failures to go around had destroyed her once close circle of friends. Friends who made up the first real family Miranda ever had. For the first time in forever she had hope. She just had to pray it lasted forever this time.

**************************************

I know some of the stuff in here may have skirted the rules about "spoiling" Seeing Red and that the names may be a deal breaker for some, but this is all building up to bigger pay offs. Next chapter kicks off firmly in the Buffyverse.

_________________
Time and Time Again


Last edited by Citanul on Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:22 pm, edited 13 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again (6/22/14)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:17 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 7:19 pm
Posts: 384
Topics: 1
Time and Time Again.

Author: Citanul

Feedback: Be kind, rewind?

Spoilers: Just about all of them. Go watch the show.

Rating: NC-17 I hope.

Pairings: W/T, B/F

Disclaimer: You all know I don’t own the rights to characters you’ve seen on TV.

Summary: A story of reincarnation and interdimensional travel made possible through the power of love. What misfortunes will our two favorite love birds be able to prevent with the aid of experience from countless past lives.

Author's Note: Okay, if you're still with me after that prologue thank you. What follows is the first chapter in the main storyline that will take up 50% of the updates. It may be on the short side, but I believe it sets a certain tone.

******************************

Act One


******************************

Chapter 1: Awakening

The sun rose over the small town in the back woods of Alabama. Birds sang. Dew dripped from grass and flowers. It was indeed a grand beginning to a beautiful day.

Yet gazing out upon this idyllic setting brought no hope or vigor to one young woman. No matter how wondrous the joys of life seemed it all tasted like ash in the mouth of one Tara Maclay. She had been up and toiling away hours before the sunrise graced her family’s farm.

Really more like her father’s farm. He and her brother Donnie were never shy about mentioning just who the property belonged to and who should just count themselves lucky to be afforded the privilege of working their fingers to the bone to keep the whole operation running.

‘Operation?’ That thought struck her as she prepared breakfast for the family of four. When had she ever used that word to describe anything? It was a word she normally reserved for the official goings on of people she would never interact with. It belonged alongside the likes of “recon” and “unit.” Substantial words used by “cool monster fighters.”

Like the men she would no doubt have to hide from for the rest of her life. Perhaps men masquerading as college students so no one would notice the military built a multibillion dollar subterranean base under a college.

“Okay, where the hell did that come from?” Tara muttered to herself. For days she had been coming up with the most bizarre stray thoughts. Thoughts she would have been more concerned with if they hadn’t been overshadowed by the wonderful dreams she had every night for the last week. Dreams occupied by a gorgeous redhead who somehow knew exactly how to make every inch of Tara’s form writhe with pleasure.

In truth the overtly sexual dreams of the pleasing redhead were the highlight of her meager existence. Though they always seemed to end with the redhead telling her to head west, or that the time for them to meet was coming almost as fast as she was herself.

Tara had known of her sexuality for years. She had also known that if her father and brother ever found out she could probably expect her suffering to increase tenfold. They would surely force her into “quelling” sessions along with her poor mother.

Ah yes, the family curse. Quelling her demon always seemed to take so much life out of Jennifer Maclay. Hence the reason Tara had been up for hours before dawn. Her mother was just barely recovered from yesterday’s session. While the men folk were still sleeping off the bender they went on immediately after.

Of course none of that changed the fact that breakfast still had to be on the table before daddy dearest came downstairs. It most certainly didn’t lessen the workload Tara would be expected to shoulder all by her lonesome.

All of this went through Tara’s mind just before her father thundered into the kitchen. “Why in tarnation is my breakfast not on the table girl!”

Tara flinched. “I-I-It’s ju-ju-just about r-ready s-s-s-sir. The eggs ju-ju-just n-n-n-need one m-m-more m-minute.” She could tell the man was still inebriated from the previous night. She knew today would only get worse.

“Honey, what’s going on?” Tara’s mother said meekly as she entered the kitchen.

Mr. Maclay roared back. “Your daughter is shirking her chores and has the gall to sass me about it! Well, I’ll tell you woman! This disrespect ends now! Girl, get in the cellar! It’s high time we begin quelling your demon!”

For a moment Tara resigned herself to her mother’s fate. Then something wonderful happened. Tara was suddenly over come with strange and wondrous visions racing through her mind. Just as her brother shambled into the room to see what all the fuss was about a bright light shone forth from Tara’s eyes. Jennifer was shocked while Donnie was merely bewildered. As for Mr. Maclay cold fury set in his face.

“Whatever devilry you’re up to girl it ends now or heaven help me I’ll.”

“No, you won’t.” Tara cut him off. “You won’t be doing anything to me or mom ever again.” With a wave of her hand Tara thrust the man, who gave her nothing her whole life but torment, against the ceiling. As Mr. Maclay’s head contacted the hard surface there was a crack as a puff of plaster and drywall dust came fluttering down. Donnie seemed to finally grasp what was going on and decided to act.

“Alright bitch, you asked for this!” He was able to take one step into the room before he noticed he was hovering in the air. It didn’t last long though as Donnie soon found himself slammed into the refrigerator and overcome with a strange sensation that he figured was a few of his ribs cracking.

Jennifer was scared of what this new development would mean for the whole family. “Tara, Sweetie? It’s okay. You just have to fight the demon. This isn’t what magic is for.”

“Oh, mama.” Tara said with a sigh. “It is so far from okay. It’s time you stopped living down to his expectations and stopped buying his lies.”

“What… what do you mean?” Jennifer was almost too afraid to ask.

“There is no demon lurking in the women of our family.” Tara waved at the man on the ceiling. “It was all a lie that coward up there made up in order to keep you under his thumb.”

“Oh goddess no, that can’t be.” Jennifer squeaked out.

“It’s true mom. Everything he ever did to us was out of malice and spite. Well it ends now.” Tara said not taking her eyes off her mother.

“How, how could he do this? What are we going to do?” At Jennifer’s stunned inquiry Mr. Maclay seemed to get a second wind.

“You’ll do what’s good for you and get me down from here so I can teach that girl some respect!” He roared impotently.

“Mom, I’m leaving. I’m p-packing my things and w-w-walking out that door in the next few minutes.” Tara informed her still shocked mother. “I-I-It’s my hope that y-you’ll come with me.”

“Where will we go? Our lives are here.” Jennifer replied weakly.

“No!” Tara shot back. She couldn’t afford to let her mother waver on this much longer. “His life is here. You haven’t had a life of your own since he came into it and I’ve been barely scraping by as his slave. I won’t say where in front of them but there’s a place out east we’ll go. There’s people there who will be our friends.” ‘East, that was a good lie.’ Tara thought to herself. No way was she mentioning Sunnydale or even California in “his” presence. Let him waste years running up and down the east coast if he tried to hunt them down and drag them back to this hellhole. “More importantly, there’s a special someone there I want you to meet.”

Jennifer looked pensive. “Tara, sweetie what brought this on? How do you know these things and how have you kept him up there this whole time?”

Tara smiled her particular lopsided half smile. She waved her hand and all of her and her mother’s possessions in the house disappeared. Every article of clothing, every picture that held meaning to the two women, every spellbook, herb, crystal, candle and other bit of magic bric-a-brac hidden in the trunks in their attic vanished. Even the trunks themselves along with Jennifer’s wedding dress and grandma’s doll’s eye crystal. Tara had packed up everything they cared about, including a nest egg of stray small bills she had been squirreling away for years, with a wave of her hand. With the “packing” done she turned to her mother and said with a smile.

“Magic.”

Jennifer could only nod her head, numbed by all that had transpired. As the two women turned to leave the house that could never really be called a home Mr. Maclay had one last outburst. “Woman if you know what’s good for you you’ll drag her to the cellar and come help me down! I’m warning you.”

Jennifer only half turned to face him and with a slight smile said “Goodbye Donald. I hope you can learn to move on.” And with that both women walked out of the house for the last time.

Donnie, for once in his life having the good sense to stay down, finally stirred. He had noticed a slight slurring in his father’s voice for the later half of the argument and had the impression his old man might have suffered a concussion when his head hit the ceiling with every intention of continuing through the floor upstairs. Something tugged at the back of his mind. They had missed some detail in the brouhaha. He sniffed the air and upon realizing what was amiss let out a low chuckle that ached his ribs.

His father snarled at his attitude “What the hell do you find so funny, boy!”

With a smile Donnie replied “Well Pa that would be breakfast.” Both men glanced towards the stove Tara had toiled over at their behest for years. The dawning realization was cut short as Mr. Maclay came crashing down to earth.

“Damn it boy, that bitch just shattered my nose! Drive me to the hospital.” Mr. Maclay groaned out.

Donnie, finally getting to his feet, trying not to put pressure on his ribs ambled to the window. “Can’t. It looks like ‘that bitch’ stole the truck.” Donnie was glad his back was to the old man as his smirk would have only made the day that much worse.

“Well call the police damn it. They’ll get what’s coming to them if it’s the last thing I do.”

Donnie shuffled over to the phone, picking it up but then slowly putting it right back down. “Looks like ‘that bitch’ also cut the phone line.” At this point Donnie was starting to feel a tiny glimmer of respect for his door mat of a sister. Of course it wouldn’t last but it did cross his mind. “Stay there dad. I’ll get gauze for your nose and bandages for my ribs.” With that Donnie limped out off towards the bathroom.

Mr. Maclay, having been thoroughly bested, managed to pick himself up off the floor. He spared a glance at the stove top again to see what had incited laughter in their darkest hour only to scowl when he was confronted with yet another dark revelation.

The eggs were well and truly burnt.

******************************

Have I hooked anyone yet? In the next entry we find out where Tara learned to be ruthless. Thanks for reading.

_________________
Time and Time Again


Last edited by Citanul on Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:49 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 7:19 pm
Posts: 384
Topics: 1
Time and Time Again.

Author: Citanul

Feedback: Be kind, rewind?

Spoilers: Just about all of them. Go watch the show.

Rating: NC-17 I hope.

Pairings: W/T, B/F

Disclaimer: You all know I don’t own the rights to characters you’ve seen on TV.

Summary: A story of reincarnation and interdimensional travel made possible through the power of love. What misfortunes will our two favorite love birds be able to prevent with the aid of experience from countless past lives.

Author's Note: Here comes the first entry in one of several story arcs that cover what our two heroines went through in their past lives. Enjoy.

******************************

Dark Age Chronicles: The Warlord and the Librarian

It was a bright and sunny day in the quaint medieval kingdom. Willow Rosenberg was beginning to hate bright and sunny days. A day like this one only a week ago saw her parents dragged from their manor. They were chained and carted off by slavers before most of the servants had any idea what was going on.

In fact the only reason she hadn’t joined them was some stray thought in the back of her mind told her to retreat to the hidden passages and storerooms in the walls of her father’s library as soon as she heard the large number of horses outside.

There she was forced to watch as Warren Mears, a minor baron from across the river that marked the border between kingdoms, declared the Rosenberg manor and great library was annexed by his overlord “Adam the Scarred.”

Old Adam was widely known as a very ugly man. A man whose horrible external visage was only overshadowed by the hideous the beast he was on the inside. Unfortunately he was not much better than the man whose kingdom the Rosenberg Estates actually resided in. No, they could expect no aid from “The Dread Warlord Maclay.”

No, the Dread Lord had no love for Willow’s family and hated the idea of “book learn’n.” Any action he took to “defend” his territory would most likely end with every building burned to the ground and the entire area soaked in the blood of both his enemies and his vassals. It had been a small miracle his forces hadn’t set fire to the library years ago.

Willow had managed to escape the initial raid by Warren and his men. She then abandoned the clothing of a young noblewoman in favor of baggy clothing fit for a much heavier male servant. Cutting off much of her well known red locks and donning a frumpy cap allowed her to blend in to the family’s loyal servants and bide her time. A week later she still had yet to formulate an actual plan to deal with Mears. Then all hoped was dashed in the form of Adam’s arrival early this morning.

Adam the Scarred and a number of his soldiers had shown up and seemed to take great exception to some action of Warren’s that deviated from the original war plan. They had arranged the servants, and the disguised Lady Willow, out in front of the manor and Willow was sure either her home or her vassals would be put to the flame. Perhaps both would meet their end. Hope was in dreadfully short supply.

That was until the bottom of the world fell out. A rumble of thunder could be heard in the distance. Then lightning struck the ground between the Rosenberg Manor’s residents and the despots from the neighboring land. A blinding flash of light overtook the entire estate. As the light receded a figure clad in the blackest plate armor Willow had ever seen stood before them. His hand resting casually on the pommel of a massive greatsword, whose blade was buried in the ground at the imposing figure’s feet. His back to Willow and her servants the figure glared at Adam and Warren from behind a closed visor. Not even a hint of his eyes could be seen but the armored figure still exuded an aura of cold menace and dread. In that moment all hope was finally lost. For the Dread Warlord had come a calling.

Taking a brief moment’s glance confirmed Willows fears. The dozens of men following Adam the Scarred were now surrounded by over a hundred men clad in similar armor to the Dread Lord. The primary distinction being that every man’s face was clearly visible except for the Lord himself. Her focus quickly returned to the warlords once she heard a deep, haunting voice issue forth from the dark armor.

“What has transpired here?” The figure clad in shining black armor said.

Adam’s hand grasped his sword. “Your kingdom will soon fall to me Warlord Maclay.” He declared. Adam’s sword was halfway out of its scabbard when he suddenly found its blade sundered in twain. None had even seen the dark figure move but it was undeniable that he cut not only the sword but the distance between himself and his opponents in half.

“I believe you have me confused with someone. I am not The Dread Warlord Maclay.” The dark figure said calmly. “I despised him, which would be the primary reason I killed him weeks ago.”

“Then who?” Adam was able to stammer before a resounding cry rose up from all of the soldiers loyal to this new player on the kingdoms stage.

“All hail the Witch King!” Roared the dark figure’s army.

Willow had a small glimmer of hope at this new development. Under both Maclay and Adam magic was outlawed. She had to hide what was perhaps her strongest natural talent her entire life. Hence the secret passageways in her father’s library. If this new Lord was openly claiming to have enough magic to be a witch, or at least a leader of witches, and had used some spell to appear on the scene in a flash of lightning along with his army, it meant things would change. Maybe not necessarily for the better but they would at least be different.

The Witch King began again. “Now I believe I asked what transpired here.”

Adam seemed undeterred in his unarmed state. “I am annexing this territory and have claimed this library an affront to my kingdom. Withdraw or I shall.” His words were cut short as in one quick blur of movement he suddenly found himself in pieces as the Witch King’s sword cut him cleanly in two from his groin to the top of his head.

“And just like that Adam the Scarred is no more.” The Witch King mused. “Now, Warren! What transpired here?”

Warren balked at the sight of his slain lord and the sheer amount of gore he found himself covered in. “I-I-I-I was just following orders.”

“Strike one Warren. Now tell me what happened to the owners of this great library.” The Witch King casually admonished.

“Sold!” Warren yelped. “Slavers.”

“Which company?” The dark figure seethed clearly loosing patience for the vile man.

“Southern Claw guild.” Warren squeaked out as the Witch King’s massive blade twitched.

“Strike two.” The ominous lord growled. “Last chance; tell me where their daughter is.”

Warren, showing an abysmal lack of common sense, had the nerve to smirk. “Well, that’s actually a good question. I’ve been looking for her for a week now. I was planning on throwing a little private celebration once I finally found her.”

The Witch King was visibly shaking with rage during this statement. “Strike three.” He murmured as his grestsword sliced through Warren’s arms and legs in a series of quick, decisive blows. Warren, or what was left of the minor baron, lay on the grounds of willow’s family home bleeding and moaning in pain. The Witch King strolled up to his prone form and casually drove his blade through the despot’s head and into the earth beneath.

Upon seeing one of the Witch King’s men approach his lord Willow glanced at the rest of the men present. One glimpse was all it took to see that all the men loyal to Adam and Warren were dead. The Witch King’s men, by contrast, stood completely unscathed.

Returning her attention to the figure clad in gleaming black armor Willow gazed in shock as a conspiracy of ravens suddenly blinked into existence.

The Witch King addressed the unkindness of magical black birds. “Go forth. Scour the kingdom and the lands formerly under that pig Adam’s rule. Find any and all slave caravans. Mark them.” Turning back to the soldier at his side the kingdoms new ruler issued orders. “Station a garrison here. Set patrols to watch the border. Once the ravens report in send out squads to kill the slavers and free all the slaves. Getting the Rosenbergs back unscathed is the top priority. Secondary objectives are the destruction of Southern Claw, and putting down any of Adam’s hold out forces.”

The ravens circling the Witch King took off in all directions with such speed that their departure kicked up a dust storm. The soldier ran off to relay orders to all the men present, while the new warlord strode with confidence towards Willow and her vassals.

“Good people, would I be correct in assuming you all served the Rosenberg family and would willingly do so once more?” The Witch King asked in that same deep, resonant voice, but with so much more kindness than was afforded the two invading despots.

Marcie, one of Willow’s father’s servant girls assigned to the kitchens, spoke up while standing far enough away from Willow to hopefully draw attention away. “Yes milord. We served happily for years and want nothing more than the return of our rightful masters.” The young noblewoman was deeply touched by Marcie’s brave act considering they had no idea how violently this new intruder would react.

The Witch King let out a mournful sigh. “The sad fact of the matter is this location is no longer safe. This region may be consumed by war once our neighbors learn of their lord’s death at my hand. It is my wish to safeguard the treasure of the Rosenberg Library.”

Taking a long hard look at the assembled servants the Witch King’s gaze finally came to rest on Willow. With a few bold steps forward the armored figure stood right in front of the young redhead. One of his gauntleted hands came up to slowly remove the frumpy cap from Willow’s head. He let out a relieved sigh as Willow froze. Resting the raised hand gently against her cheek and taking the young woman’s hands in his other gauntleted palm he asked her in a voice much softer than any she had heard from him thus far. “Lady Willow, I know you have gone through a horrible ordeal. Please, while we search for your parents, have your servants help my men prepare to move the contents of your library and everything of value to your family that those pigs didn’t destroy. W-we can all return to my fortress. Y-Your p-people will have the run of the p-place and I can e-even hire them on at a fair wage. You of course will be my honored guest, and may spend y-your time however you see f-fit. I have a fairly large library collection myself. Though, as I j-just recently took the citadel over i-i-it’s a bit understaffed. It could do with the oversight of a good librarian.”

Willow couldn’t help a strange feeling that she should place all her trust in this person. It was a ridiculous feeling as all she had to go on was one violent, blood soaked encounter that only proved he was a better warrior than the monsters that tried to destroy her. What raised more questions was the sudden stutter. Where had that come from? It seemed to surface only once her hat was taken. Then again she looked at her options. This fighter was going to search for her parents and wouldn’t let the despots on the other side of the border stop him. If she said no to him now what were her chances of survival? What of her parents’ chances of being found for that matter? She closed her eyes briefly then looked up at the visor of his helmet.

“Okay, sounds swell. Let’s get packing.” She said with forced cheer.

Willow couldn’t hold back a shocked gasp as the Witch King squealed in delight and wrapped his arms around her tenderly. “Thank you.” He whispered in her ear. Only this time Willow thought for sure the voice she heard was a woman’s.

**************************************

Hours later Willow was once again wrapped in the heavily armored embrace of her would be savior.

It had been a simple matter of loading up all of the books, her family’s possession, the contents of her hidden labs and just about everything that wasn’t nailed down. A soldier who turned out to be a quartermaster stepped forward with a number of empty supply wagons and crates. Just about everything except for the most fragile of relics was moved with simple levitation magicks. The soldiers were even on their best behavior it seemed. Every man addressed Willow and her servants as though they were dignitaries of high import.

What probably helped was the fact that the same quartermaster was in charge of setting up the manor to house and sustain a garrison’s worth of men. No, Willow would not want to be sticking around once they set up shop. Even if she could still masquerade as a servant boy she had no desire to be surrounded by so many men.

Willow had been afforded the opportunity to wash off the soot that made up half her disguise, and don garments befitting minor nobility. She was just finishing up when Marcie knocked informing her that the only rooms left to pack were her chambers. Willow strode through the hidden door and into her inner sanctum, her lab. With a wave of her hand every loose object in the room picked itself up and ambled over to her large trunk. Floor to ceiling shelves that covered every wall in the lab found themselves emptied into the trunk that never seemed to want for lack of storage space. Her workbench and drafting tables even folded themselves up and settled into the large travel accessory.

The trunk once full stood on the curled claw feet at its corners and strode out into the main room of her chambers. There she repeated the hand motion and another trunk found itself being filled with the contents of her private rooms. Once done, it was a simple matter of opening the door as soldiers came to cart away both trunks. What surprised Willow most was how every one of the Witch King’s soldiers addressed her with respect befitting royalty. Dwelling on just what this man really had in store for her resulted in a cold sense of dread setting up shop in her lower abdomen. The kind of shop that sold novelty finger puppets and ceramic unicorns to the fear and anxiety renting a loft in her stomach.

After sending a quick prayer for her wellbeing up to the goddess Willow quickly went outside to be greeted with their mode of transit. What shocked her most was that the Witch King was waiting for her with the largest horse the redhead had ever seen. A truly massive and imposing beast whose midnight black fur shone under the noonday sun. “There were a f-f-few m-mix ups with horses for the w-wagon c-caravan and patrols. S-s-so you’ll be riding back to the castle with me.” He said with far too much cheer in his oddly feminine voice.

Willow blanched and started to back into a pillar adorning the manor’s front porch and entryway. She began to panic and her breathing alternated between a wheeze and a series of hiccups. The owner of the massive warhorse was on her in seconds. “Hey, it’s okay. You’re safe. Nothing bad is going to happen to you as long as I’m here.”

The young librarian was immediately comforted by the gentle embrace of the mysterious armored figure. “I’m sorry. You must think I’m crazy. I had a bad experience with a pony as a child. I almost lost an arm.”

The Witch King was quick to reassure the startled redhead. “Hey, no one thinks you’re crazy. To come through all you have you must be incredibly strong. Please ride with me. I promise safety and fun.”

Willow wasn’t sure how but she felt a sense of calm and relief while the armored man held her in his arms. Her earlier sense of dread was forgotten as she gazed up at the Witch king’s dark helmet. “Okay, but only if you promise to hold me close.”

She could hear the smile in the dark figure’s voice. “Always.”

*****************************

And so it was that their journey across the kingdom began. Willow was certain they used some form of magic to speed things along. One reason was that the massive horse whose back she was perched on seemed to be running at a break neck pace. Yet the ride itself was as smooth as if they were standing still. What was even more telling was the fact that they had passed landmarks Willow knew to be several days journey from her home in a matter of minutes. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when they had reached the Witch King’s stronghold in less than two hours.

What was a surprise was the sheer amount of construction work being done. It was as if the current resident held nothing but contempt for the whole castle. So they had decided to demolish most of the inside while building up and out so that no trace of the original structure could be seen from the surrounding countryside. Which, if what the figure holding Willow in his arms had said about the fate of the castle’s former master was true, was probably the intent of the current owner all along.

Willow’s thoughts were racing as they rode right through the gates and up to the main entrance to the keep. Willow was suddenly pulled back to the events at hand when she felt the armored figure release his grip on her as he dismounted. He then waited patiently for her to slide off the massive horse into his waiting arms. The redheaded bookworm eased towards her would be savior then shrieked as she tumbled gracelessly into the strong arms she couldn’t help but take comfort in.

“I’m usually less of a spaz.” The petite redhead muttered. Somehow she doubted the warlord holding her was convinced.

“Don’t worry about it, My Lady.” Willow didn’t know what threw her off balance more. The fact the Witch King was already carrying her into his castle as if she, and not her father’s library, was his prize all along. Or the fact his specific choice of words held an overtly possessive tone. Or, perhaps most surprising, the fact his deep resonant baritone was completely absent and in its place was the soft, breathy voice of a woman. A voice Willow knew in her heart she could and would happily lose herself in and never look back.

Willow thought she knew what to brace herself for. Clearly she was to be this tyrant’s next conquest. Which made the realization that he carried her, not into his private bed chambers, but instead into the most opulent library she had ever seen all the more shocking. “I’m sorry for rushing this but I just had to get you home. Sweetie, this will all make sense once I get out of this helmet.” Her ‘captor’ said with that beautiful feminine voice.

“What! Why are you doing this?” Willow demanded as the Witch King put her down. Fear already creeping into her voice.

As Willow began casting her eyes around the room for an escape route while trying to ready a magic defense the Witch King slowly removed the helmet. Willow stood transfixed by the vision of beauty before her. Radiant honey blonde hair cascaded over the shoulders of the pitch black armor. Dazzling blue eyes gazed longingly into Willow’s green orbs. An adorable nose set perfectly over plump luscious lips forming a smile that seemed to curve off to one side in a way that made the young redhead’s heart stop. All these qualities came together to form the most gorgeous woman Willow had ever seen.

As they took in the sight of each other thoughts and images swam through the mind of the green eyed girl. “Baby?” she whispered as tears ran down her cheeks.

“It’s me Willow.” The blond reassured her love, a slight tremor in her voice. “It’s Tara. I found you sweetie, and I’m all yours.”

Willow rushed into the arms of her everything. With a light glowing in both their eyes their lips crashed together. Light continued to suffuse the library as the two fractured pieces of the same soul merged.

As the passion of their kiss escalated the visions slowed to a trickle. Knowledge of their past lives was secondary to the fact they were together once more. This savage world, straight out of the works of Chaucer, couldn’t imagine the changes they would bring to it. They had power and knowledge beyond the comprehension of most of the denizens here, but more importantly they had each other, they had love, and they remembered everything.

Willow broke the kiss for a brief moment. “Okay, not to be a buzzkill, but we have to at least invent indoor plumbing and the steam engine before we’re done here.”

Tara smiled back at her gorgeous brainy bookworm. “And about a few hundred other things.” She quipped. “We’ll do it all sweetie. Together we can do anything.”

Willow couldn’t contain her grin. “Together with my knight in shining armor.”

_________________
Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:13 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

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Hmm, so this isn't their first life. Are they incarnatiing from now/2002 into the past? Or a lost high-tehc past into the Middle Ages? Or from today/2002 into a post-apoclayptic Iron Age future? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.................................

I've seen riencarnation plot devices used in so many horror, fantasy, and magic relaist movies and books, usually dislike them but this has shall we say possibilities. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:34 pm 
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DaddyCatALSO:

Sorry for not responding sooner but writing and polishing chapter 2 got away from me and there was a pretty bad power outage.

Quote:
Hmm, so this isn't their first life. Are they incarnatiing from now/2002 into the past? Or a lost high-tehc past into the Middle Ages? Or from today/2002 into a post-apoclayptic Iron Age future?


I was pretty sure I mentioned "other worlds" enough times but I'm new at this. To be very clear and for the record they are not reincarnating across time periods but instead across a finite number of parallel universes in an infinitely diverse multiverse.

So to answer your questions about time frames every entry and chapter I post here takes place in the late 90's to early 00's. The variable is the dimension they take place in. One may be a decade or two ahead of or behind "us" as far as the technology goes. Others may be so primitive that humanity never left the stone age. One may be so advanced it makes cyberpunk look like steampunk. Two I plan to write about are blatant ripoffs of established franchises.

What ties all the different worlds together is Tara & Willow as they go from one to the next spending one lifetime in a world before their "mortal coil" sends them on to the next.

Their first life was the TV show.

I hope that answers everything. I'm afraid if I go on I'll spoil the plot twists and payoffs I have planned.

With that out of the way please enjoy Chapter 2: Reunited.

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Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:12 pm 
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Time and Time Again.

Author: Citanul

Feedback: Be kind, rewind?

Spoilers: Just about all of them. Go watch the show.

Rating: NC-17 I definitely went for it in this chapter so if you can't deal skip the first section and start after the line of ***'s

Pairings: W/T, B/F

Disclaimer: You all know I don’t own the rights to characters you’ve seen on TV.

Summary: A story of reincarnation and interdimensional travel made possible through the power of love. What misfortunes will our two favorite love birds be able to prevent with the aid of experience from countless past lives.

Author’s Note: Okay this is a long one but I'm hopeful future entries and chapters will meet and exceed it's size. Also this is the first love scene I've written. If I've disgraced the art please feel free to tell me. Please enjoy.

******************************

Chapter 2: Reunited

The woman’s breath caught in her throat as the goddess with honey blonde hair worked her divine tongue from her ear lobe, down over her pulse point, to the smooth line of her clavicle and across her chest. Then the woman’s shortness of breath turned into a series of gasps and moans of pure pleasure. The gorgeous blonde started her return trip along the woman’s other side not with her tongue but with her teeth. Lightly nipping all the way across the collar bone, up to the neck, and then ending at the ear. The burst of ecstasy this brought through the woman writhing beneath the curvaceous blonde paled compared to what she had hoped was coming next. For she knew her mystery lover enjoyed nothing more than taking her sweet time, and their evening had just begun.

As dark blonde locks encircled the face of the lithe woman beneath dazzling blue oceans bored down into green pools. “Please” she managed to croak out before her lips were claimed by the lovely vision above. The slender girl luxuriated in sensation as she felt every curve of her new personal goddess press into her petite form. Another moan slipped past her lips and was in turn swallowed by the blonde. It was followed by many more as she felt dexterous fingers run through her own long hair to massage her scalp.

Desperate to reciprocate, her arms struggled against the silken wrappings which bound her hands above her head. Had similar bindings not also constrained her ankles she knew she would have found herself wrapped completely around the blonde woman. So desperate for the friction that she knew would bring this wonderful encounter to far too premature an end.

A new burst of pleasure ran through her entire body like lightning as her love’s wonderful fingers worked down to her shoulders, over the sides of her small breasts, and dragged slowly across the outer reaches of her ribs. Liquid lust pooled in her aching center almost causing her to scream out loud as she felt her partner’s slick curls graze her own already soaked core.

Her hips bucked as she failed to resist the overwhelming urge to grind into the paradise teasing her by moving just out of reach. Their kiss finally broke as the mysterious blonde moved away with a chuckle. All she could do as this woman continued to tease her was whimper in frustration.

“Don’t worry sweetie.” the blonde murmured inches from her bound loves face.

Suddenly, all thought was driven from her mind as the blonde’s fingers grasped her ass, and she found a firm thigh driven into the growing slickness pooling between her trapped legs. As the divine figure above continued to rock back and forth into her core the woman writhing beneath couldn’t hold back her screams of rapture. “Goddess yes! Baby, fuck me! Fuck me! FUCK ME!” She roared as fireworks burst behind her clenched eyes. Spasms rocked every muscle in her body, and as she was left a quivering mess she heard that wonderful voice one more time.

“I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling. Gotta make you understand.”

******************************

Willow Rosenberg awoke with a shout leaping out of bed and landing in a demoralized heap on the floor. The delightful dream that left every inch of her young body humming with frustration, and in desperate need of an ice cold shower, was quickly fading away as her radio alarm blared out “Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down.”

“Damn it!” Shouted the poor redhead slamming her hand down on the alarm until the noise finally stopped. “Who the hell plays Rick Astley at this hour?” She grumbled to the empty room. Taking a moment to gather her senses, Willow recalled she was alone in the house. Normally the sense of loneliness from her parents’ absentee style of child care would have put off her mood until she was able to see her friends later at school. This morning however the solitude afforded the opportunity to do away with the already musky pajamas clinging to her sore thighs.

Gingerly extracting herself from the crumpled tangle of bed sheets Willow stripped her flannel nightwear, grabbed a towel and slowly made her way to the laundry room. With a mournful sigh she loaded the lust scented garments and some other bits of attire into the machine. The overwhelming ache that only moments prior suffused her entire form had diminished to a dull throb nestled firmly between her legs. Once laundry had been taken care of for the time being Willow made her way back to her bathroom. Resting the towel on a hook, she took a long hard look at her devastated form in the mirror.

“Well, if the dreams I’ve had every night since before we ground the Master’s bones to powder left me thinking ‘I’m kinda gay’ then this last dream is a pretty clear sign that ‘I’m a great big lezbo.’ What am I gonna do? How am I gonna tell my friends? How bad will my parents’ take it? How much more crap am I gonna have to take from the Cordettes? Will Buffy be more hurt that I’m gay or that my dream girl has more curves than she ever will? And why the frilly heck am I still talking to myself naked in front of my bathroom mirror?

Fighting back the tears just starting to stream down her already puffy cheeks Willow climbed into the shower stall and let frigid water pound away at her slight frame. Once the ache between her thighs was a distant memory she cut the water off and went back to the mirror she had felt judging her the whole time. “I’m not going to let this ruin me.” Willow said while locking eyes with the ‘resolve face’ on her reflection. “I’m going to live my life the way I see fit, and if they can’t handle it they don’t have to be part of it.” Her tone softened at the thought of her friends turning on her but Willow wouldn’t go back on the promise she had just made herself.

“I don’t have to tell everyone today.” She reassured herself. “I have time to work out their reactions. It’s not like the love of my life is going to walk in on a Scooby meeting and stick her tongue down my throat and her hand down my pants.” At that thought she began to blush from her calves all the way up her frame to her chest and face turning a crimson shade almost as bright as her fiery locks.

“Oh Goddess, I’m in trouble.” She muttered, terrified as her eyes drifted to the sink her hands had clutched at during her entire affirmation.

Realizing she would soon be running late, Willow ran to her room. Quickly dragging underwear up her barely dry legs and donning a bra she couldn’t later recall the color of Willow threw on the first jeans she could find and grabbed one of her fuzzier pastel rainbow colored sweaters, struggling only when the towel wrapping her still wet hair got caught. Slipping into the strappy flat sandals Buffy practically forced her to buy she yanked her back pack from the floor onto her back. Willow barely had time to grab her keys and wallet before speeding out the door of her parents’ house.

Today was off to a rough start.

********************************

Unbeknownst to Willow a familiar girl with honey blonde hair in a motel room across town stirred from slumber at the exact moment she did. Tara Maclay awoke with the widest smile she had ever worn stretching across her face. Today was the day. The gorgeous redhead who had dominated her dreams for weeks would be in the library today. They would meet today. They would be together once again. Everything was falling into place.

Turning over to look at her sleeping mother in the bed next to hers Tara let out a sigh. From the limited memories she had gained Tara and her love had lived a great many lives together. Unfortunately those memories gave her the impression that world’s where her mother lived long enough to meet her redheaded soul mate were few and far between.

Upon leaving the farm she had a horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach the entire truck ride to the bus station two towns over. Once they were on a relatively empty bus Tara cast a minor spell to check her mother’s health. What she found frightened her but she had a strong sense that once she and her love joined they would be able to take care of everything. She had to have hope. This world was shaping up to be one of the better places they had come across in many lifetimes. Everything would work out once she found her other half.

Slowly climbing out of bed and making her way to the bathroom Tara prepared herself for the big day, and the most important meeting of her young life.

****************************

Approaching the school with her mother at her side Tara’s sense of hopeful anticipation was only equaled by the dread she felt coming from the tainted presence of the Hellmouth. Sensing that her mother also felt ill at ease coming to this place the young girl turned to her mother saying “Don’t worry mom. We’re here to help them deal with this awful place.”

“I know what you said before Tara, but dear, why you? Why do they need us at all?” Jennifer Maclay asked her daughter in a pleading tone. “You said they had the Slayer here guarding this place. Isn’t that enough?”

Tara sighed as they moved through the main doors of the school and down the hall she knew in her bones lead to the library. “Mom, we are here because they need so much more than one slayer. The average Slayer isn’t equipped to deal with magic threats any stronger than say a novice dark witch. This Slayer is going to go up against hellgods.” Pausing to notice banners for science fair sign ups Tara forged ahead. “Besides Mom, the love of my life is here risking everything to keep this world safe. I can do no less.”

As they neared the doors to the library a petite blonde came out looking in all directions for someone or something. Tara and her mother stepped aside allowing her to pass. Once she was out of sight around a corner Jennifer placed a hand on her daughter’s arm. “Oh goddess.” She said in a state of awe. “That aura, all that darkness and light swirling around in such a little girl. That was her wasn’t it? The Slayer.”

Tara paused to let the enormity of what her mother was feeling settle in. “Yes mom, that’s her. I knew she looked familiar at first sight but the aura and presence of authority confirms it. She’s the Slayer.”

Jennifer looked pensive then let out the question she had dreaded asking. “Tara, are you sure you and this girl are soulmates? I mean, she just brushed right past us.” At Tara’s perplexed look her mother tried again. “Just what do you know about this girl aside from the fact that she fights demons all night?”

A befuddled look passed over Tara but shortly it turned into gratuitous heartfelt laughter. Bending over to catch her breath Tara looked up at her mother as the laughter subsided. “Oh, owe, Mom that was a good one. When did I give you the impression that I was in love with the Slayer?”

“What? You mean you’re not? Then why all the talk about soulmates and meeting the one? Why are we standing a stones throw away from the Hellmouth if you weren’t after the Slayer?” Jennifer Maclay asked, confusion overcoming what she thought was her firm grip on the matter at hand.

“Don’t worry Mom.” Tara reassured her bewildered mother. “Just trust me, when I meet her you’ll know.” Tara stood and strode confidently towards the library doors.

Looking at the sheer confidence and conviction her daughter now possessed Jennifer couldn’t help but stare in wonder. In a matter of days her daughter had completely transformed from the timid mouse who took every horrible thing life forced on her into a strong, bold and confident young woman who wouldn’t let the Hellmouth and all the forces of darkness vying for it stand in her way. Things had changed so much so fast and it seemed poor Jennifer Maclay was just being dragged along for the ride.

Hurrying after her daughter Jennifer passed into the library but stopped at the sight of a middle aged man in glasses and tweed looking up from a conversation with a dark haired boy around Tara’s age.

“Ahh, Can I be of assistance to either of you ladies?” The older man asked in a polite British accent.

Tara at first looked crestfallen but it soon passed as she put on a bright smile. “Y-yes, I believe you can help me.” The blonde said in as polite a tone as she could muster. “I’m looking for someone, a girl.” She paused. “A very special girl.”

With that statement Tara held their full attention as she and Jennifer moved further into the library. Once they were both past the desk and halfway to the table the two men stood at the dark haired boy seemed to tune in to the subtext of the conversation. “Well.” He said with a start. “As you can see there’s no one like that here. So you might want to start elsewhere. With the looking. Elsewhere.”

“Xander please.” The man who was clearly the school librarian said while adjusting his glasses. “I don’t think we’ll be able to help you. This is a library after all not a social club.” His British accent ever present.

At the mention of his name Tara took a long hard look at the familiar boy with dark hair and brown eyes. “Xander?” Things were starting to fall into place. Memories of other worlds where the young man with the charming grin served as the loyal brother to the close knit, mostly female circle of friends. “You’re name is Xander.” Tara could already tell that if her own brother had been half the man Xander was she might have allowed him to join them as they left that awful farm.

Upon this renewed interest the young man started to falter. “Um? Yes?”

Sensing the tension in the air Jennifer decided to act. “Tara darling, maybe we should go.”

“No.” Tara replied with a firm tone. “Everything is going to be okay Mom. Something must have happened to set them on high alert. I have a hunch, about which evil they are facing, but all we really need to do is wait for the Slayer to get back here then everything will work itself out.”

At the mention of the “S” word the Englishman visibly stiffened. “Now see here, I don’t know what you are on about but I think it would be best for the two of you to leave.”

Before Tara could respond, or try to placate the man’s fears about their intentions for the blonde girl who Tara suspected was his charge, the doors to the library swung open. All eyes turned towards the doors and the three newcomers entering the room.

Blue met green and the whole world melted away.

****************************

Following Buffy back to the library to take care of whatever she meant by “Bat signal.” Willow couldn’t help but feel concerned about Chris Epps. The brief conversation they had over science fair projects seemed to contrast starkly with his attempts to reign in his friend Eric. But then again Eric always was a creep.

“So, Buff, what’s the what?” Willow asked her best friend trying for a jocular tone. Her dreams and series of bathroom revelations that morning still weighed heavily on her.

“Some creepy crawly dug up a dead girl.” Buffy replied in far too casual a tone. “Need you to do your “hacky hacky” thing so I can find it and do my “hacky slashy” thing.”

Willow stopped dead in her tracks. “Oh, wow, eww.”

“I know right. Major grossville.” Buffy said stopping to reassure her brainy best friend.

Looking up to see the library doors down the hall Willow felt a sense that if she didn’t get something off her chest to Buffy now it would be too late. Things might play out all wrong if she didn’t have courage now.

“Buffy before we get to the Scoobyage there’s something I need to tell you.” Willow said while taking the blonde’s arm, guiding her to the nearest girl’s restroom.

“Sure thing Will.” Buffy replied chipper as always.

Once inside Willow did a quick sweep checking all the stalls. Upon finding themselves alone the redhead turned to her friend and began the conversation that might end one of the most important friendships of her life. “Buffy, I’ve been having dreams for the past few weeks.” She started out slow and took notice of the concerned look that crossed the Slayer’s face. “Each is different but they always feature the same girl in the dream with me. No, it isn’t you or Amy or anyone we know, and it especially isn’t Cordelia.” Willow shuddered at the horrific thought of ever looking at the stuck up head cheerleader in that light and had to fight back the sudden gag reflex that nearly overtook her. “No, most definitely no, never Cordelia.”

“Willow relax, stay with me, how bad can these nightmares be?” Buffy said with smile then a frown took hold. “We aren’t talking about Slayer style death and destruction prophecy nightmares are we?”

The redhead looked up in shock at this. “What? No. Buffy, who said anything about nightmares?”

“Will, you dragged me in here to talk about your bad dreams.” The Slayer rebutted.

“No, they’re just dreams. Very specific dreams that I’ve had every night for the past two weeks or so.” Willow said while wondering if this was such a good idea.

“Then why do they worry you so much if they aren’t nightmares?” Buffy responded.

“Because the sex in them is so amazing I wake up on the brink of orgasm in need of a freezing cold shower.” Willow said starting out strong but as the statement dragged on her voice diminished so that Buffy could only hear the end with the aid of her Slayer senses.

“Ohh, sexy dreams. Awesome!” The blonde said with cheer but soon faltered. “But wait. You said the dreams were about you and another girl. Will how does that work?”

The tears Willow had been fighting since that morning started to come freely as her eyes locked onto the tiles of the restroom floor. “I don’t know, it just works. I mean she is so beautiful, with the curves and the honey blonde hair and those eyes. Oh goddess, Buffy she has the most amazing blue eyes. Last night was so intense that I just couldn’t go on pretending anymore. I’m gay. I’m a lesbian. I’m a gay type lesbian. I haven’t met her yet but I just know there is a girl out there waiting for me to find her. Someone who will love me with all their heart just like I love them with all mine. I just.”

The redhead faltered when she realized her friend was just watching her cry and babble without saying a word. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done this. I-I just… Buffy please don’t hate me.” Willow whispered with a sob.

Hearing the tone of condemnation the redhead had for herself in that last plea snapped Buffy out of the stupor she had been in since she started to visualize how it could “just work” and what that might entail. Quickly stepping forward and taking the sobbing girl in her arms Buffy tried to reassure her best friend.

“Hey, Willow, come on. It’s okay. You haven’t done anything wrong, and I could never hate you.” Buffy whispered into the red hair covering her friend’s ear. “I’m just a little surprised, but I’ll get over it I promise. Okay? You’re still the best friend I’ve ever had, and if that means I get to be your wingwoman and cruise lesbian nightclubs with you hunting for strange then that’s just a sacrifice I’ll have to make.”

Willow couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of Buffy’s description of what her dating life would be like from now on. “Thanks Buff, but the closest thing this town has to a lesbian nightclub is that one bartender at the Bronze who can’t take her eyes off of your ass every time you walk by. I doubt I’ll have much luck finding “strange” there.”

“Well at least someone with a pulse appreciates all the work I put into looking this hot.” The Slayer said, smiling all throughout her retort.

“Sure Buffy.” Willow replied. “You’re the hottest BFF slash sister I’ll ever have.”

Buffy let out a deep laugh at that endearment. “Which makes me glad that I look nothing like that oddly specific description of your sex machine of a dream girl.” The blonde let her grip on the slight redhead loosen. “Why don’t you splash some water on your eyes before we head into the library.”

Turning to the row of sinks Willow let out a sigh then her head shot up. “Oh goddess, I was babbling so bad there that I gave you a full description of her before I even came out didn’t I?”

“Yup, pretty much.” The Slayer said calmly. “It’s probably better this way. If I’m patrolling and come across any curvy, honey blonde, blue eyed damsels in distress I can swoop in, save them and steer them your way. Say, what’s the best way to ask a girl with a bite wound on her neck if she’s into genius redheads?” She asked with a sarcastic smirk as Willow continued to wash up.

As they exited the restroom a thought crossed Willow’s mind. “Buffy, how do you think the others will take it?”

“Hmm, that’s easy.” Buffy said with a smile. “Xander will be surprised and then he’ll be way too interested. Giles will be stuffy and British at first but he’ll always be supportive.”

As Buffy finished this statement Cordelia came up to them. “Supportive of what? I’m not going to have to come in this weekend to fight evil am I?” The dark haired cheerleader asked in her usual dismissive tone.

“Private conversation Cordy.” Buffy answered before turning back to Willow. “Now Cordelia is something of a mystery. She’ll either surprise us all by being incredibly nice about it or outdo herself in the vicious bitch department.”

“I’m standing right here Slayer.” Cordelia huffed.

Willow sighed. “Let’s just get on with the Scooby meeting and stop these grave robbers.” She said as they all entered the library.

Once inside the three girls came to a halt upon finding two strange women by the table arguing with Giles and Xander. The younger of the two turned around and her eyes locked on Willow. “Sweetie?” She said with a quiet breath.

Willow couldn’t believe it. “Baby?” The hacker cried out. It couldn’t be. There she was. The woman of Willow’s dreams standing there in the flesh. Every curvy, delicious, honey blonde inch of gorgeous flesh. ‘Stop thinking about her flesh!’ Willow chastised herself. Before her mind could work itself into another pointless babble she took a step forward. Then another.

Tara couldn’t stop herself from taking matching steps towards her girl. ‘My girl. My love. My heart and soul. My entire world.’ She couldn’t keep the joy from overwhelming her heart.

As the two young women approached one another the other five people in the room had to shield their eyes as a blinding light enveloped the two reunited lovers. As the light began to fade temporary blindness was replaced with outright shock as the onlookers were greeted with the sight of the redhead and blonde wrapped in each other’s arms while their tongues engaged in an age old dance.

Giles, being the first to recover from the glare, removed his glasses for a good polish and gave his standard reply. “Oh dear lord.” Having retained a great deal of experience regarding matters of magic from his recklessly misspent youth he knew that manifestations of pure light on the scale they just witnessed often accompanied great powers.

Xander may have said it best with his simple “Huh?”

By contrast Cordelia just let her mouth hang open as she stared at the two young women in the middle of the room.

Buffy took a close look at the glowing girl her best friend held in her arms. Her eyes grew wide with the dawning realization that this mystery woman was a curvy, honey blonde with blue eyes. “Well that took less time than I thought it would.” How could Willow’s dream girl be standing here before them? After what seemed an eternity of watching them kiss, but could really only have been a minute or so, Buffy finally broached the subject on everyone’s mind. “Will? Willow, buddy when you’re ready to come up for air I’m sure the rest of the class would like to get caught up on the deets.”

Willow sighed as Tara slowly broke the kiss and they gazed into each other’s eyes once more. “Your name is Willow? That’s beautiful, I love it.” Tara whispered into the redhead’s cheek.

“And I love you baby.” The hacker replied resting her forehead against the blonde’s.

As the quiet murmurs of “I love you.” continued Jennifer felt a need to speak up. “Tara, sweetie? Don’t you think we should introduce ourselves?”

Willow perked up at that statement. “Tara. My girl’s name is Tara. Perfect.”

With the knowledge of both their names the last of their memories from past lives fell into place. Sorting themselves according to how closely the worlds the memories came from resembled the dimension in which they currently resided.

As the two lovers once again fell into a deep lasting kiss Giles finally set out for answers. “Yes introductions, of course.” He said in far too chipper a cadence for his accent. I am Rupert Giles and as you may deduce I’m the school librarian, among other things.”

Waving his hand at his young Slayer the watcher forged ahead. “This is Buffy Summers, one of my more active students.” Gesturing to the young man he continued. “Here is Xander Harris who aids us in many different efforts, and the other young lady over there is Cordelia Chase who on occasion lends her opinions. Often to our peril.”

As Giles called out names Buffy cautiously moved around the two love birds whose very public light show had faded down to a glimmer of the blinding flare it once was. “And the red haired tramp, currently sticking her tongue down what I can only presume is your daughter’s throat, is our resident computer wiz Willow Rosenberg.” The Slayer added in all too casual a tone.

Jennifer knew they had left out some details and decided to err on the side of caution. “My name is Jennifer Maclay and this is my daughter Tara. I’m not exactly sure what is going on but Tara started acting strange a few days ago and decided we should come out here.” She paused to consider the mood in the room, and then turned to her daughter with a slightly accusing tone. “She kept saying her love was here and I had to meet her.”

As the course of the conversation changed Willow perked up. “What? Tara, baby your Mom is here too?” She asked the blonde in her arms. “Oh goddess, how bad was he in this dimension? He didn’t hurt you did he?”

“Hush sweetie, no he couldn’t hurt me.” The blonde witch reassured. “He’ll never hurt me again. You saw to that countless lifetimes ago, remember?”

The redhead visible relaxed. “Right, our spell, of course. I’m just being silly and letting my worry girl run loose.” Smiling once more she held her love at arms length. “Introduce me to your mom.”

“My pleasure.” Tara whispered before turning and guiding the hacker across the room. “Mom this is my soulmate, Willow Rosenberg. Willow this is my mother Jennifer Maclay.”

As the older woman looked into the girl’s green eyes the redhead reached out and enveloped her prospective mother in law in a warm hug. “Thank you. Thank you so much. You’ll never know how important your daughter is to me. She’s the air I breathe, the light that guides my journey. She’s my everything.”

“Willow.” Giles had stood there polishing his glasses at the declarations of love but felt something amiss. “Perhaps your new friends would like to step outside while we discuss certain matters?”

“Relax Giles.” The hacker admonished while turning towards her mentor. “They are both natural born witches with a gift for aura reading. They could tell there was a slayer and a hellmouth in the room before they even entered the building.”

At this statement both Giles and Jennifer stiffened and looked at one another. “All the more reason to figure out if this is some kind of spell.” The old Englishman warned.

Xander chose that moment to recover from the earlier shock and add more to the conversation than his earlier “Huh?” or “Whoa.” “A spell? Like a love spell? So would that explain the kissing and the light show?”

“Guys!” Willow called out in a firm tone. “This is no love spell. I’m gay. Tara is my soulmate. We are together. From now on where one of us goes the other goes. If you all just sit down we’ll give you the Cliffsnotes.”

Buffy couldn’t help but let her Slayer caution creep up. “Will this seems awfully convenient.” She said while trying to not outright accuse the two new blondes of anything. “I mean you just told me you’ve been having dreams for weeks and now this girl who fits you bill just shows up?”

“I was having the dreams also.” Tara chimed in as everyone sat around the table looking at the two young women who even now held one arm around the other’s waist and clasped their other hands together as if ready to start a waltz. “They are a side effect of the spell we cast a very long time ago. They call us to each other, give us memories of past lives, and just enough knowledge to get out of any danger one of us might face before we find the other.”

“Wait, Will, you’ve faced huge danger all last year and just last week you were almost a human sacrifice.” Buffy couldn’t help but ask.

“Correct but having a Slayer in shouting distance tends to make the spell effect hold back to see what happens.” The redhead told the stunned audience. “It may have seemed like I was in great danger dozens of times but you being you proved more than enough protection.

“Anyway the short version is that we just recovered memories from lives other versions of us lived in parallel dimensions. Tara and I are now both incredibly powerful witches. Probably the most powerful in the whole world.”

At this frightening revelation Giles glared directly at Willow. “Willow the forces you are reffering to so casually are extremely dangerous. Someone with no prior experience with magic shouldn’t be able to do the things you just rattled off and that display when you two first met shouldn’t have been possible from two people so young.”

Willow rolled her eyes. “Giles we both have a tremendous amount of experience with magic. Which brings us to the long version.” She began. “A very long time ago in a dimension far far away,” She said with a wink at Xander. “Something terrible happened. A few years into Buffy’s career as the most successful Slayer in history one of her least powerful and most annoying enemies walked into her back yard with a loaded gun.” A collective gasp rose from each person at the table.

“I know right. Gasp indeed.” The redhead added. “I won’t go into details since we are going to change all the details and prevent that day from repeating, but someone was lost and someone else spent a lifetime suffering for that loss. At the end of her life she took all the magical power she could muster and sent part of her soul to another dimension where she could live her life with her lost love one more time. They reunited and lived a few more years but it wasn’t by much. Luckily they rewrote the spell to make it so each time the couple passed away they would reincarnate in a new dimension and be given various clues to help guide them and find each other every time. Once found they’d get the memories of all their past lives and be able to set things right on each world. You just witnessed the finding phase of the spell. Next comes the using what we now recall to make our lives infinitely better phase.”

Giles, still a bit skeptical, couldn’t refrain from asking. “How do we know this isn’t some elaborate demonic possession and that both the girl’s standing before us are still the ones we cared for?”

“Tara you did act drastically different when we left home. Almost like another person was in control.” Jennifer added.

“Mom that was mostly because I was dying without her as well as the spell giving me everything I needed to get the both of us out of the awful house.” Tara rebutted. “Do you really think daddy dearest would have let us go without a fight?”

Buffy couldn’t hold the question back anymore. “What is she talking about? Willow what are they running from?”

Willow let a smirk cross her face. “We have now come to the point in the conversation where I blurt out everyone’s deepest darkest secrets. Secrets which I have no way of knowing up to this point, but will one day learn from each of you.”

Turning to Xander she let out soft chuckle. “Xand, you and I have known each other forever. We have no secrets. So I’ll just say yellow crayon story and Aqua Man underpants story. Please don’t give me reason to elaborate.”

Xander suddenly thought back to the first time he had met a very young, very timid Willow. Then he recalled an incident later that first school year they shared together. Looking at the faces around the table he suddenly exclaimed “I approve of Willow’s new relationship and see no reason to question the two lovely women who are sure to be a vital part of our evil fighting team.” Looking back to Willow and Tara he let out a soft “I’ll be good.”

Willow smiled as she patted him on the arm before turning to Buffy. “Buffy you spent two weeks in an asylum when you saw your first vamp and tried to talk to your parents about it.”

Buffy looked at the redhead with shock. Pain and betrayal flooded her eyes. “How can you… Will? Why would you just?” She paused looking around at the faces of the people she came to rely on. “I’m not crazy.”

“No Buffy, you’re not. Your parents just reacted horribly to something you went through that they wouldn’t even try to understand.” Willow said as she went around the table to place her hands on Buffy’s shoulders. “You are among friends here who love you and would never send you to a place like that. The only reason you told me about that awful place is because you were poisoned by a demon. Its venom made you slip in and out of reality. Hallucinating a world where none of us were real and you never left the asylum.”

A single tear rolled down the Slayer’s cheek. “I’m never going back there.”

“You’ll never have to.” The redhead whispered in her friend’s ear. “Besides, that is nothing compared to the stories I could tell of Giles’ “misspent youth” as he puts it.”

Giles couldn’t help the look of fear spread over his face. “Oh dear lord.”

“Oh dear lord is right.” Willow agreed. “I’ll just stick to the bullet points so we save time. Ethan Rayne, Ripper, Eyhgon the Sleepwalker, Ethan Rayne a few more times, Pink Floyd, The Who, and Cruciamentum. Bee Tee Dubs, Buffy won’t be going through the Cruciamentum.”

Giles couldn’t help the shock of everything she just laid bare. From his greatest shame to his oldest pickup line. ‘I was a founding member of Pink Floyd.’ indeed. The young girl before him had just about shouted his darkest secrets from the rooftops. With resignation her took hold of his glasses and began to polish them once again.

“I believe you have made your point Willow.” He said with a weary sigh.

Buffy couldn’t hold back her curiosity. “What’s a crucial mentos and why don’t I get one?”

Tara, having followed Willow around the table so she could wrap her arms around the lithe redhead’s midsection from behind, let out a bark of laughter.

Giles resigned himself to the confession he had been dreading since meeting his charge. “The Cruciamentum, dear girl, is an ancient rite of passage and a cruel, idiotic act of sheer barbaric ineptitude preformed by the Watchers Council. On or near the Slayer’s eighteenth birthday her Watcher, that would be me.” He said to the Maclays. “Drugs the Slayer in secret with a cocktail of muscle relaxants and depressants designed to strip away her powers as a Slayer.”

Yet another gasp arose from those seated. Tara and Willow only added “It gets worse.”

“Yes, quite.” Giles replied weakly. “The now helpless girl is then placed, unarmed, in a confined space with a deranged, half starved vampire.”

Buffy couldn’t hold back the feelings of betrayal anymore. “How the hell could you even think of doing that to me?” She screamed half ready to storm out of the library if not for Willow and Tara placing reassuring hands on her shoulders.

“In his defense sweetie they fire him right after every time.” Tara said in a clam soothing voice.

“Buffy, something like sixty percent to eighty percent of the versions of Giles we have come across in all dimensions outright refuse to drug you and perform the test.” Willow told her in just as calming a tone. “The ones who go through with it always try to back out by telling you about it before the final run. Of course by then it’s too late.”

“What do you mean too late?” Giles begged.

“The vampire the Council brings in for the test always escapes. It murders and turns every watcher in town except for Giles and Travers. Then it kidnaps Joyce. Every. Single. Time.” Willow intoned. “Buffy just about always beats the test and saves her mom though.”

“Well thank god for small miracles.” Buffy said allowing sarcasm to drip from her every word.

“Every time you come up to the Cruciamentum Giles gets fired and they send a new watcher in his place.” Willow went on. “Unfortunately he’s an inexperienced ponce and a bit of a Nancy boy.”

“S-so, due to those and many other s-shortcomings, w-w-we decided that going forward Buffy and any Slayer who doesn’t care for the Council’s rules will fall under our protection.” Tara said casually.

“How do you plan on besting the Council and just where are these other Slayers going to come from?” Giles asked in wonder.

“When Buffy faced the Master months ago she died just long enough for a new girl to be called. She lives in Jamaica, and her existence opens up some options with certain spells.” The redhead remarked.

Xander having felt some detail gnaw at the back of his mind finally jumped into the fray. “Wait, how come you guys know all this stuff but earlier you acted like you didn’t know each other’s names?”

Willow perked up at this. “Great question Xand. Basically names don’t carry over in the majority of the memory transfer. On many worlds our names are drastically different.”

“Th-there w-were even a few where I was the r-redhead and Willow was the blonde.” Tara chimed in. “Different worlds, different lives, different names.”

“I guess that makes as much sense as anything else today.” The young man relented. “Did Tara and her mom have some deep dark secret they wanted to share to even the playing field?” He asked in a voice that led everyone to believe he was joking.

The young blonde wasted no time in divulging of herself to the group. Trust had to be gained fast for them to let her even start half of what they needed to accomplish. “My father is a lying abusive sociopath who raised me to believe that the magic in the women of my family was the Devil’s work. The centerpiece of the lie was that I and my mother have demon in us. Once I turn twenty it is supposed to surface and make me go on a killing spree. The only way to suppress it is with back breaking manual labor and terrifyingly high levels of domestic abuse.”

As another awkward silence fell over the room Willow wrapped her arms around her girl to express all her love and support. “Never again! If he even steps one foot in this town I’ll have Buffy break his legs.”

“I’ll probably do it to.” Buffy confirmed for her new blonde friend. “I may not be allowed to slay him if he’s run of the mill human but pulling crap like that puts maiming back on the table.” The Slayer added in what she hoped was a humorous enough tone to lighten the mood.

Giles being at a loss for words just muttered. “Oh dear lord.”

Xander couldn’t believe she actually answered his question. Let alone the extent to which her deepest darkest secret dwarfed his. “I’m sorry Tara, I shouldn’t have asked. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay Xander.” The blonde reassured. “You guys needed to know about the demon l-l-lie incase h-he ever shows up and tries to forcibly drag us back to h-his farm. Besides, M-mom and I are still in shock about being forced to live a lie for so many years.”

Buffy looked over at Cordelia. She couldn’t help the feeling that her quiet demeanor during this entire exchange was hiding something. “You’re being awful quiet over there Cordy. Care to chime in?”

The head cheerleader’s head shot up looking at the Slayer before turning to lock gazes with the two young witches. “I don’t understand most of this and frankly I don’t want to.” She said as a frown crept over Willow’s face. “That being said you should know that growing up I only had one family member who cared about me. The best childhood memories I have are with my great aunt and her “roommate” from college that never left her side.”

With a renewed smile Cordelia looked right at the redhead. “There are a bunch of reasons why you and I don’t get along Rosenberg. The gender of the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with isn’t one of them.”

Stunned silence reigned over the library for what seemed an eternity. Willow reached into her pocket, pulled out her wallet and withdrew a single dollar. While handing it to Tara she cracked a slight smile. “Thank you for that Cordy. That’s probably the nicest thing you have ever said to me.”

Buffy looked perplexed. “What’s the what with the dollar?”

Willow beamed at that question. “Standing wager. Tara and I place bets periodically on who will say something completely new and unexpected that their previous doppelgangers never told us before. That is the very first time any version of Cordelia Chase has ever shared such an important personal memory.”

Cordy smirked at that revelation. “Don’t get used to it.”

Buffy still had a confused look on her face. “So you guys don’t know everything that’s going to happen before it’s going to happen?”

With a smile Tara tried to reassure the girl she hoped would soon learn to trust her. “No Buffy, were not gods. We don’t see every detail of the future two w-w-weeks ahead of time and while we probably could read the minds of everyone in the building we n-never would do s-s-something so ‘invasive’.”

“Tara’s is right Buffy.” Willow said jumping back into the conversation. “Even when it looks like we know everything that is going to happen that just means we saw similar stuff happen over and over again. For instance you brought me back here because something dug of a dead girl’s corpse. Now I could search the net for recent deaths of young women and find a report of three girls dying in a car crash. Or I could jump to the most common culprit and tell you that Chris Epps and his creepy sidekick Eric have taken to grave robbing because they need the parts. See Chris’ family has fallen apart since his brother Daryl died. So he went and brought his brother back as a big ugly Frankenstein style monster. Monster Daryl is lonely so he is making them build him a lady monster. If they have dug up those three girls then they have probably already dumped the leftover parts in the dumpster behind the old science building. Now the worst part is they need a head and are soon going to realize that brains break down too fast for their purposes. So Daryl will decide they should just take Cordelia’s head while she’s alive.”

At the conclusion of this fairly epic babble a deafening silence fell over the room. No one could believe what the redhead had just told them. The sheer morbid horror of the atrocities listed brought tears to Jennifer’s eyes.

Perhaps the most startled person in the room was Cordelia. “They brought back Daryl and are going to kill me so I can be part of his sex toy?” She exclaimed with shock, outrage and not a small amount of terror.

Rounding the table to stop any potential panic attack Willow and Tara were quick to reassure the frightened women. “It’s going to be okay Cordelia.” The hacker affirmed. “Buffy is going to stop them and we are all going to make sure you live to shake pompoms another day.”

“Right, okay people we have a mad scientist to stop, and a monster to find and slay!” Buffy announced as her Slayer side took over the conversation and started issuing orders to those assembled. Once everyone knew their roles they began to disperse. Buffy still having some lingering worry approached her redheaded friend. “Will, is everything really okay? You just seem so different since you found your girl.”

“Oh, Buffy.” Willow said calmly to reassure her stalwart friend. “I’m so much more than ‘Okay’. I have my everything back. Sure things are going to change around here but I promise it’s all for the best. Our main goals have always included ensuring you live long enough that your grandkids have fond memories of playing with you.”

That thought struck the Slayer like a Mack truck. ‘Grandchildren.’ No Slayer had every lived long enough to meet such descendants. As far as she knew none had ever even had kids. “I don’t know what to say. You just look like you’ve changed so much I was worried.”

“I have changed Buff, but I promise I’m still the girl who cried in your arms in the bathroom less than an hour ago. Still best friends and sisters. That will never change.” Willow confirmed with a soft smile. “What has changed is all the fears and doubts that once held me back are gone. They can’t touch me anymore. In their place is certainty, knowledge, and love. There’s so much Tara and I have to do, and so much of it involves your struggle against evil that we can’t do it without you.”

Buffy couldn’t believe the confidence coming off her friend. ‘This must be how she felt around me all this time.’ The Slayer thought to herself. “I’m with you Will. Always. Tara too, though I need to get to know your girl better.”

Willow smiled at that. “After we take down Young Frankenstein there are some things we need to discuss with your Mom. Tara’s Mom too.” She paused for a moment. “You aren’t going to like this but we also need to have a talk about you relationship with Angel.” With that ominous statement Willow left to guide the Maclay women who had instantly become the center of her world to the school’s office. A new student needed enrolled.

Buffy stood there watching her friend exit the library with the two blondes. The talk of grandchildren and relationships came out of nowhere, or so she thought. But there would be time for all that later. For now the Slayer had monsters to fight.

******************************

Many strange things happened in Sunnydale over the next few days. Parts from three different girls were found in a dumpster on school grounds. The high school won a football game for once. Oddly enough someone had set fire to the old abandoned science lab during the game. No suspects were ever charged but the remains of two bodies, one male and one female were recovered from the site. Neither could be identified and the female remains were so badly burnt that ‘her’ head was never found.

A day later software engineer and many times over multimillionaire David Nabbit flew into town on his company’s private jet. Someone in Sunnydale had apparently set up a meeting with the young tech tycoon from LA and he was seen entering one of the nicer hotels in town with his security and financial advisors. Two hours later he was seen leaving the hotel. His financial advisor had a worried expression, but David’s face held what could only be described as unhinged glee.

Returning to board his jet one of the airport’s staff asked if he had any luck on his business trip. With a smile the wealthy young man held up a small cd case that looked to contain around a dozen discs. “Best twenty million I ever spent. Those girls are gonna change the world with their programs and the stuff I just bought will allow me to ruin my competition.” With that shocking statement his team boarded the plane leaving confused terminal staff behind.

Perhaps the strangest occurrence took place later that very night. No one is sure what happened but one witness says they saw a large number of fireflies surround the Mayor’s office late at night before disappearing. The next morning the daytime office staff arrived to find the building abandoned. There was no trace of any of the regular night staff the mayor kept on hand. Even more perplexing were the number of small ash piles all over the building. Every single room and hallway had at least one and some had up to half a dozen. When police personnel examined the premises they discovered the sub basement held a layer of ash across its entire floor no less than three inches thick. The deepest section seemed to be atop an old sewer access grate that was welded shut from the outside. It was as if someone would be expected to escape into the sewers and whoever had orchestrated this had went down there to make sure that hatch would never open again.

All of this paled in comparison to the gruesome sight awaiting investigators in the room that had once been the Mayor’s personal workspace. Upon entering the room detectives found what remained of the man himself sitting at his desk. Across from his desk a cabinet was torn from the wall revealing a hidden compartment filled with occult paraphernalia. Oddly enough every thing that had once clearly been stored in that hidden space was smashed to pieces and strewn around the room.

Returning attention to the Mayor’s desk the police found it covered with his own blood and a light sprinkling of PCP. Sitting in the large office chair behind the desk was the body of the Mayor Richard Wilkins the Third, also covered in PCP. His face still held a look of utter confusion. His head was tilted back in a grim fashion that revealed to all what had killed him. The man’s entire throat had been ripped out of his neck.

Crime scene units didn’t have to look far to find the missing flesh. It was sitting right there for all to see. Skewered atop a barbeque fork still standing upright, clutched in the dead man’s right hand.

The official report stated he suffered a Barbecue related accident while being attacked by one of the many local PCP gangs.

_________________
Time and Time Again


Last edited by Citanul on Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:41 pm 
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Well this definitely has many possibilities. The walking trunk made me think of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett - I wonder if Willow's magical trunk would defend itself as strongly as the Luggage. The advantage to moving across dimensions/worlds is the sky is definitely the limit. I am curious to see how this develops as you move forward. These first few chapters introduced the concept of moving life to life across the dimensions and gave some small insight into each. Will you be going back to the worlds established so far to tell a story within them or will you be creating more worlds? With the girls being so powerful with the depth of memories and knowledge they hold how will you work to build plot/tension into the future stories?
I look forward to seeing what you do with this.

Okay editing to include my thoughts on the latest post - OMG you Rick Rolled Willow out of a sexy dream! That actually made me laugh out loud.
-H.

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Sometimes it feels like we are running headlong through the woods on a dark cloudy night from monsters we can't see towards a destination we don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:47 pm 
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Thank you for the feedback loislane1. I believe you hit the nail on the head a few times. I intend to develop in depth stories for four worlds. The odd numbered posts after the prologue will all be numbered chapters in the Buffyverse story you've seen. Aside from the Dark Age Chronicles story line there will be in depth entries for two other worlds yet to be revealed.

Sometimes the girls may seem overpowered but tension doesn't always go away just because the main character throws the hardest punch.

Lastly, thank you. I was worried I would be tarred and feathered for putting in a Rick Roll so many years after the trend became maddeningly annoying.

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Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:09 am 
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I love this story so far! I really can't wait to see where you take it, and I hope you won't abandon it. Loved the big reunion chappy, and all the reveals and reactions. Also loved the pcp bbq mayor death! Roflmao! Can't wait for the next update!


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:47 pm 
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Thanks for the encouraging feedback Mysticrain. I would have responded earlier but I've been dealing with pc crashes.

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Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again 7/9/14
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:12 pm 
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Time and Time Again.

Author: Citanul

Feedback: Be kind, rewind?

Spoilers: Just about all of them. Go watch the show.

Rating: NC-17

Pairings: W/T, B/F

Disclaimer: You all know I don’t own the rights to characters you’ve seen on TV.

Summary: A story of reincarnation and interdimensional travel made possible through the power of love. What misfortunes will our two favorite love birds be able to prevent with the aid of experience from countless past lives.

Author’s Note: Okay so some stuff happened. I finished up the entry I was going to post. It was saved properly. I was proofreading and playing around with phrasing when the screen on my laptop turned into a static filled mess. Long story but my laptop's video card died. It's in the shop and I'm hopeful that the second card can just be swapped around but if not I'll have them just recover the data. Data which has all my story notes and the first entry for the third storyline world in this series. So instead of missing an update I wrote the first entry for the fourth storyline world I had planned with my sister's laptop.

Now for the story related note. This entry contains minor spoilers for one chapter in the middle of one of the later books in the Hitchhiker's guide series. It's not a big secret but the characters here mention the book's characters meeting someone at a party.

What could be a much bigger problem is that this entry may be the point where this series goes completely off the rails. I would just like everyone to know that this isn't coming completely out of the blue. I did run the basic premise by the moderator who green lit the prologue. I may have pushed the line here but I want everyone to know at it's heart this is still a love story about the two characters this site is dedicated to.


******************************

Marvels: When Wanda met Carol

Standing at the base of the now world famous skyscraper the blonde, former air force major gathered her thoughts. It had been a year since she set foot in this city. A year since she faced her former team members. A year since her scuffle with a skinwalker’s pet leech changed both of their lives forever.

The blonde ground the palms of her hands into her eyes and groaned. Even the briefest stroll down memory lane brought old wounds right back to the surface. She wasn’t ready for this. She might never be ready for this. Six months in a coma. Three months of physical therapy. Two months of counseling. One month of hiding from the world. It wasn’t enough.

If she had her way she would have spent another few months coming to terms with what had been done to her. At the very least she would have spent a few weeks focusing on the dreams.

Odd dreams that plagued and pleasured her weary soul. Dreams staring a delectable crimson haired goddess. Dreams that brought her to the heights of ecstasy. Dreams that quickly became the highlight of her day during her long recovery. What confused her most about the dreams was her hair. Why she would dream about having honey blonde hair instead of her regular blonde perplexed her.

With so much of her mind still strained by trauma the pleasurable flights of her subconscious mind’s fancy were a luxury she could ill afford. She needed to get her life back together.

So here she was. About to volunteer for field work in the most dangerous field on the entire planet. The absolute highest stakes. The deadliest of threats. The fate of the entire world resting on the shoulders of a small handful of people. People who held more than their share of trauma, baggage, and dysfunction.

They were so desperate to get one of their heavy hitters back in the game. As if the billionaire, the monster, the god and the soldier couldn’t handle just about everything. Let alone the handful of spies, the archer, and the score of other minor powers the team employed.

Everyone said she needed this to get her life back on track. To heal. To move on. The team needed her. The nation needed her. The world needed her. They all needed so much. They all expected her to come in and fix everything.

Yet here she was. Standing outside. Paralyzed by ghosts of nightmares past and dreams of never were. Old fears and phantom pains keeping her from doing what she and just about everyone else knew needed to be done. She couldn’t stay here all day. Standing on this busy Manhattan sidewalk any longer wasn’t the answer. Running away wasn’t the answer. Hiding wasn’t the answer. Wallowing in dreams of her mystery redhead wasn’t the answer.

Taking a deep breath the woman girded herself for what lay ahead. This would not be a good day. “Well let’s get this donkey show on the road.” The blonde said to herself.

With all hesitation cleared from her mind Carol Danvers strode forth. The doors of Stark Tower parted before her as she took the first steps on her next journey.

******************************

Sitting on a crate in a run down warehouse nestled within one of New York’s most run down boroughs a distraught redhead was babbling away. “What if someone finds out about the plan? What if the plan falls apart? What if we get caught and sent to a secret prison in another dimension? What if Thanos, Galactus, Annihilus and a few other otherworldly horrors attack while the Avengers are busy with us? What if this makes the government stop funding regular military expenditures and start to exclusively finance the mass production of sentinels?”

As the neurotic redhead went into full panic mode a silver haired blur came to a stop at her side. “Sis! Jeez, you need to relax and go with the flow. Nothing bad is going to happen.” The speedster paused. “Well nothing bad is going to happen to us specifically.”

“Pietro, Wanda!” A shout called out for the siblings. A moment later a figure decked in red and purple stormed into the open room and stared directly in their direction. “We’re moving out. You know your duties. Get into position.”

“Sure thing dad.” Pietro said with a salute. “Come on Sis. Time to get going.”

Wanda sighed as her family and her father’s henchmen prepared for yet another skirmish in the ridiculous race war her father seemed dead set on inciting. No one cared about her objections. No one cared that her dreams had been overtaken by a certain blonde. No one cared that she disagreed with this crusade at the most fundamental level.

Like every day of her life for the last year she felt backed into a corner. Where could she go? What could she do with her life when she left. As far as the world was concerned she was just another follower of the most feared international terrorist on the planet. Nothing more than another zealot for a cause that seemed to accomplish nothing more than putting people in the ground.

This would not be a good day. With a world weary sigh the redhead muttered to herself. “Well let’s get this donkey show on the road.” Standing up from the discarded crates Wanda Maximoff set out for midtown Manhattan.

******************************

As she stepped out of the elevator onto the penthouse level of Stark Tower Carol was blindsided by two outstretched arms. She was suddenly thankful for the dozens of hours spent in flight simulators, and even more thankful for the many hundreds of hours spent in the cockpit.

“Carol! Oh my god! You’re back! I missed you so much.” Jennifer Walters cried out as her emerald arms lifted Carol into the air and spun her around the lobby.

“Jen! Sweetie!” The blonde couldn’t help but feel happy to see her old friend even as she was manhandled by said friend. “It’s good to see you too, but can you put me back down?”

“Oh god I’m so sorry.” The large green woman suddenly stopped spinning. She set her friend down and almost immediately began to shrink. Her hair shifted from green to blonde as her jade complexion took on a more mundane tanned tone. Her iridescent green eyes shifted to an expressive hazel. Aside from the color change the most dramatic effect was to Jennifer’s body shape. She shifted from an over muscled near seven foot tall frame to a slender five foot four inches. “Sometimes I forget my own strength.”

“It’s okay sweetie.” The retired air force major said. “I missed you too. How have you been.”

“Phfft.” The petite blonde let out dismissively. “Nothing worth telling to tell. Went to space a few times. Still a lawyer. Trying to keep the boys in line.”

“And the girl’s?” Carol asked.

“Ha!” The short blonde burst out. “Jessica and Janet seem to be in a ‘who can rack up the most love triangles’ competition. Keeping track of Natasha and Bobbi has always been beyond me. Honestly the revolving door and the constant costume swaps around here make giving you a full update very confusing now that I think about it.”

“Sounds about right.” The trained pilot remarked. “So I haven’t really missed all that much?”

“Nope.” The bubbly blonde replied. “What’s the what with using the elevators?” Jennifer asked knowing full well that Carol could fly to the moon and back under her own power in the blink of an eye.

“Figured my s-showing up on the r-roof out of the blue wouldn’t go over so well after the last year.” The curvy blonde ventured with a nervous smile.

“Nonsense. Carol you are always welcome here.” A chipper male voice came out from behind the two friends.

Turning to greet her old colleague Carol smiled at the man she once trusted. “Thanks for that Tony.” She said. “It’s good to feel welcomed.”

“Of course you’re welcomed here.” A blonde man said coming up behind the billionaire who shared his name with the building. “It’s great to see you again Carol.”

“Thanks Steve.” She said to the other soldier with a welcoming nod.

“Come on, let’s get the rest of the team caught up on the good news.” Jennifer begged with a bounce in her step.

Nodding along with the small blonde’s cheer both men followed Carol and Jennifer into the main living and meeting space of the headquarters that made up the top several floors of Stark Tower. The home of the Avengers.

“Hey everyone guess who’s back!” She-Hulk cried out as the quartet entered he open chamber.

“Oh god Carol!” A woman with jet black hair cried out. “You’re finally back!” She proclaimed while leaping across the room to hug her friend. “You have no idea what I’ve had to put up with without you. Tony keeps threatening to buy me bunnies!”

Carol couldn’t help the slight giggle. “I missed you too Jessica.”

The rest of the team members present made sure to tell Carol how much she had been missed as well as how good it was to have her back. Bruce, Thor, Janet, Bobbi, Natasha and Clint all greeted the wayward blonde with open arms. A young man dressed as a bird introduced himself as Sam and expressed how good it was to “finally meet the legend.”

Apparently Rhodey, both Hanks, T’Challa, T’Challa’s new wife, and a guy from her and Blue Hank’s other team were in Wakanda dealing with a vibranium crisis but would be back by the week’s end.

As they were about to start grilling her on how she was doing over the previous year the alarms sounded. There was an attack just around the corner. Some group of costumed thugs was tearing up the very block their building was on.

“Avengers Assemble!” Steve cried out donning his mask with the distinctive ‘A’ on the forehead.

And just like that Ms. Marvel was an active duty Avenger again. Quickly donning her skin tight black suit with the lightning bolt across her ample chest, and the ‘stylish yet affordable’ red sash Jennifer convinced her should adorn her waist, Carol went to work.

******************************

Wanda had been given a specific order. Magneto wanted her to watch for the Avenger’s heavy hitters. When one of them showed up her job was to use her powers to neutralize them so the rest of his ground forces could get the device in place.

After all “The Scarlet Witch” could do anything. If only they knew how little she understood her powers they wouldn’t assume such things. Sighing heavily for what had to be the hundredth time that day she looked up and saw an earth shatteringly beautiful sight. A goddess had come to grace the Earth with her presence. As the Blonde haired beauty soared ever closer to Wanda the redhead was able take in the breathtaking view of her delightfully tight costume. The coy yet sexy domino mask. The lighting bolt across her entrancingly ample chest bisecting the shining black expanse covering her torso. The crimson sash teasingly wrapping perfectly curvy hips. Eyes like deep sapphire oceans. The thigh high boots that gave the slender red haired girl all kinds of naughty ideas.

As the goddess flooded all of her thoughts and senses wonderful new thoughts and details of lives she couldn’t before fathom fell into place. As she resolved to make this gorgeous blonde the center of her life she began to glow with a blinding white light.

******************************

Ms. Marvel was in rare form. Even though she was returning from a year long sabbatical she was still the first person on the scene. She knew she could do this. That was right up until the moment she looked down and saw the sight that changed her entire world.

There she was. The most beautiful creature the goddess had ever given form to. Adorned in tight red leather from chest to toes. Her corset enhancing the cleavage formed by her petite breasts. A stylized red head piece holding long flowing crimson locks out of her face. The most bedazzling green eyes Carol had ever seen.

Ms. Marvel couldn’t help but fly right for the woman in red. For the first time since she had absorbed alien energies and gained her powers the glow that emanated from every inch of her form was not prelude to an attack.

As the two soulmates finally came into contact their arms stretched out and enfolded one another. Their lips crashed together in a sensual dance which neither woman realized they had been missing every day of their lives. With the passion of their kiss rising Carol couldn’t help herself as she lifted them up into the sky. They hung in the air between skyscrapers, high over the streets of New York city, glowing like a second sun.

As their very public light show began to fade the rest of Carol’s team showed up. They witnessed the bright lights from the distance but were stunned to learn the source.

Wanda’s team would have fallen into complete disarray if they had been doing anything besides openly gawking the boss’s daughter round first base and ready herself to steal second.

As the two teams realized a confrontation was being ignored they began to square off. Sensing that their audience was going to lash out any second the redhead broke their kiss. “One sec baby, take us over towards that machine.”

“Wanda! What the hell do you think you’re doing with that enemy?” Magneto roared.

The Scarlet Witch turned in her love’s embrace and as the blonde’s arms wrapped securely around her waist she held out an arm of her own. “Squirrels!” She yelled as her gesture unleashed a wave of crimson energy engulfing the device that was the center of her father’s master plan.

Static sparked through the air around the machine. A creaking was heard as metal warped but soon faded as that same metal turned to flesh and fur. The doomsday device was no more and in its place was a chittering, squeaking mass of small furry rodents with big bushy tails. They quickly tumbled over each other as they scattered in all directions and faded into the melting pot of New York’s busy city streets.

Heroes and villains alike were stunned into silence. “This ends now.” Scarlet Witch intoned.

Visibly dripping with rage, Magneto called to his forces. “Full withdraw.” Using his powers of magnetism he prevented the Avengers from pursuing his men as they beat a hasty retreat.

Only one remained behind with Wanda. “Sis?” Quicksilver hesitated. “What’s going on?”

“I’m done Pietro.” Wanda told her brother in a resigned tone. “Done with father’s lies. Done with his orders. Done with his race war bullshit.” She regarded the silver haired man and her expression softened. “I love you but I can’t take that crap anymore.”

“Okay.” Pietro reassured. “You always were the brains in the family. Whatever you think we should do I’ll back.” At this his expression grew hesitant. “So um… who’s your girl there?”

“The other half of my soul.” The redhead responded.

“H-hello, I’m Carol Danvers.” The blonde submitted.

Luxuriating in the arms of her love Wanda smiled. “I’m Wanda Maximoff and this is my brother Pietro.”

As the two women floated there in front of the young man the sound of footsteps and thruster drowned out the conversation. Looking up they found themselves surrounded by Carol’s teammates. “Ms. Marvel what’s going on here?” Iron Man’s voice issued forth from his suit’s speaker system.

“I believe I just recruited two new teammates.” The blonde answered. “And one of ‘em just single handedly stopped whatever plot her father hatched.”

“Hi guys.” Wanda chimed in with a wave to the gathered crowd. “I’m Wanda and this is my brother Pietro.”

“Howdy.” The silver haired man stated cheerfully. “So is there a dental plan? Some sort of profit sharing? Or should I keep up my day job that can be performed by any well trained border collie?”

“That’s it.” Called the befuddled billionaire. “We’re all going back to the tower to find out what’s going on.”

“That’s great.” Pietro beamed. “Cuz I know Jack about squat. Let’s go from there.” With that Quicksilver disappeared in a blur that headed straight for Stark Tower.

Carol smiled at the turn of events. Her doubts from an hour ago completely replaced by overwhelming love and affection for the woman she held in her strong arms. “Sounds like a plan. Come on sweetie lets take the scenic route.” The former pilot said as she carried the redhead high into the sky.

“I love you so much baby.” Wanda replied as she once again wriggled around to face her love while still clasped tightly in the blonde’s arms. “You take me to the nicest places.” She whispered as her gaze took in the amazing view of the city from half a mile straight up.

As they departed the rest of the avengers took in the sight of the new lovebirds. “Well that happened.” Bruce let out with a sigh.

“Verily.” Thor agreed. “Tony, Steve what do you make of those two?” The ancient Norse god enquired.

“My scans didn’t pick up any tech more interesting than the redhead’s corset so I really have no idea what to think.” Iron Man offered to the group. “Personally they might be trouble but so are just about all of us.”

“Agreed.” Captain America threw in. “Let’s here them out before we do anything hasty.”

“Are you guys crazy?” Jennifer nearly shouted. The shock of what she had just witnessed was clear to any who looked upon her emerald features. “Did you not see Carol sticking her tongue down that Wanda chic’s throat?”

“Oh they saw alright.” Jessica answered thankful that her Spider-Woman mask prevented the others from noticing just how much she was checking out Pietro’s ass during the short standoff. “Men! I tell you they’re all the same. Wave the prospect of lesbians doing stuff in front of them and their brains all go to mush.”

As Natasha and Bobbi laughed at the befuddled looks on all their male teammates faces Clint finally spoke up. “To be fair those prospects were doing fairly distracting stuff when we got here.”

The team made their way back to the tower and only a few were surprised to see the silver haired speedster sprawled out on one of their couches.

“Hi guys.” Pietro said nonchalantly. “I let myself in, hope that’s okay. Anyone hungry? I know this great takeout place in Philly.”

“Maybe later.” Steve said cautiously. “First lets start with who you are and what you were just a part of.”

The silver haired man sighed. “Okay.” Standing up with a blur of motion he crossed the room faster than anyone expected. “My name is Pietro Maximoff, most people call me Quicksilver, and I honestly don’t know what Magneto’s plan was with that device. He may be my old man but he plays his cards pretty close to the chest.”

Jennifer walked up to the man and loomed over him. “What did that woman do to Ms. Marvel? Where are they?”

“Frankly you guys know as much as I do about what is going on.” He said with a smirk. “I’ve always known Wanda didn’t care for the fellas, but I’ve hardly ever seen her date and I’ve never seen her move into a relationship this fast.” Pietro let out a low chuckle. “She’s the type to go on one or two dates and break things off when the other girl goes in for a kiss.”

“That, is not quite the impression we got from meeting her.” Tony said with reluctance.

“I know.” Pietro replied. “It’s actually really surprising. As far as I know that was the first time they met.”

“You’re not answering the important question.” Jennifer said while looming a little more aggressively. “Where the hell are they?”

“I have a pretty good idea what’s taking them so long.” Pietro said with a slight grin. “See, Wanda always loved the movie Superman. Not for any of the characters mind you but for the date in the clouds scene.” His grin grew as he glanced over at the men in the room blessed with the gift of flight. “I’m sure some of you fellas know a few gals who like that sort of thing.”

Tony, Thor, and Sam all shared a brief glance then began a thorough inspection of the floor tiles. Jennifer at first looked confused then her eyes grew wide. “Oh.” She said with a whisper.

“So they’ll get here when Carol is good and ready.” Natasha smirked.

“Pretty much.” Pietro affirmed.

“Good for her.” Natasha laughed out with an upbeat air. “That girl needed to get her play on.”

“Isn’t that the truth.” Jessica agreed for the first time taking her eyes off Quicksilver’s body.

“So you were saying something about takeout Pietro?” Bruce said trying to relieve tension in the room.

“Yeah there’s this great sandwich shop in Philly.” He said pulling out a slim phone. “I’ll call ahead, order it, do a few laps around the planet and pick it up in no time.” A questioning look arose on his face. “Do you guys have any food allergies I should know about or a petty cash account for this sort of thing?” He asked.

As Jennifer finally shifted back to her petite blonde form she took a seat. While still sporting a confused look she answered. “Carol is allergic to shrimp.”

“Hmm, good to know. Wanda has never been that much of a seafood fan.” Another grin spread across his face. “You know, aside from the occasional pearl diving expedition.”

A third of the team stared at him in shock for a moment but then everyone’s attention was drawn to Jessica as a long fit a laughter burst from her doubled over form.

“Oh, owe, pearl divers, that’s a good one.” Spider-Woman wheezed between laughs.

“Jess, you have a filthy mind.” Sam said with a chuckle. “So we’re sending the new guy on a food run while we wait for the lovebirds to get back?” An odd look crossed the face of the man wearing mechanical wings. “Wow it feels odd not to be the new guy anymore.”

“Sounds good enough to me.” Steve confirmed.

“Verily.” Thor cheered.

“Let me show you where we keep the card to pay off the munchies Hulk puts away.” Tony said as he led the silver haired man out of the room.

Watching their exit Jennifer Walters let out a sigh. She couldn’t help but worry about the startling new developments in the life of her friend.

******************************

High in the clouds over the city that never sleeps two women held each other in a passionate embrace. The redhead’s legs wrapped completely around the blondes hips. The blonde’s hands firmly holding the redhead close to her by the lower back and ass. Their lips merged as one, tongues waging a battle for supremacy that neither woman ever wanted to end.

As their fervent need to reconnect became satisfied the kiss slowed and turned to a gentle brushing of lips. With a sigh Wanda leaned back to gaze into the blue eyes of the woman who held her heart for all time. “Baby, I missed you so much. I always miss you so much. I love you. I can’t believe I went so many years without saying that to you.”

“I know sweetie.” The blonde reassured. “I can’t believe how much we’ve been through this time before finding each other.”

“Carol, I don’t want to ruin anything for you here.” Wanda said with a nervous edge in her voice. “If my presence causes you any trouble with the team…” She paused. “I just want you to know I’ll always love you no matter what.”

“Sweetie? No! Absolutely not! I’m yours. Always. If they can’t deal then they don’t get to be a part of our life.” Ms. Marvel stated with firm conviction.

“We should probably get back and explain things to them.” Scarlet Witch said meekly. “Don’t want their first impression of me to be the evil magic dyke that whisked you away.”

“They won’t th-th-think that.” Carol said. “They’re good people. Once they get to know you they’ll love you.” A smile crossed her lips. “Not as much as me of course.”

Wanda laughed. “Thank you for that. You always know just what to say to make everything better.” A slight smile popped up. “How do you do that again?”

Carol smiled in that particular way that always made her redheaded lover melt. “Magic.”

******************************

Descending from the clouds towards the tower Carol and Wanda were greeted with uproarious laughter as they neared the open balcony that lead into the main living space of the lavish penthouse headquarters.

Upon landing with featherlike grace the two lovers heard the tail end of a story that seemed to have everyone bursting with laughter. “So then the idiot flips the table over and screams ‘Kill all humans!’ and the bar looks like it’s about to explode with violence. That is until the table flips itself back up and knocks his ass to the ground. It slaps him across the face once and we all hear Wanda yell out “Goddess damn it Dominic! I’ve been trying to get that waitress’s number for the last hour. Do I come to where you work and slap the dicks out of your mouth? Specifically Toad’s dick in your mouth. No I don’t!”

Laughter erupted from the assembled heroes. Over half of them were in tears. They were all gathered around the large dining table. A wide assortment of sandwiches, hoagies and grinders were strewn about the surface and everyone looked like they had been enjoying the tale Pietro spun of his sister’s dating exploits.

“I can’t believe you told them that story. I’m not normally like that it’s just that Avalanche had been getting on my nerves starting the same fight in every single bar we got to, and to be fair the table hadn’t done anything to him.” The redhead pleaded to the room of people she had wanted to give a good impression to.

At her nervous babble half the room began a new round of laughter. “Oh god, Pietro was right she does do that babble thing every time she’s nervous.” Jessica practically shrieked with cheer.

“Hey I like that babble thing.” Carol defended her love. “I love your cute babble sweetie.” She continued by nuzzling her nose into crimson locks as she draped one arm over a pale, lightly freckled shoulder.

“Thanks baby.” Wanda sighed into the blonde’s caress.

“Hey, Sis I didn’t mean anything by it. I just figured if we gave them a few embarrassing stories we might get the fitting in done with faster.” Pietro defended himself. “Besides I told them your call sign and a few of the more nervous ones jumped to the conclusion this whole love at first sight thing was a spell.”

“I didn’t jump to any conclusions.” Jennifer almost yelled. “I just asked you to explain what you meant by witch.”

“I asked if she was a good witch or a bad witch.” Natasha giggled.

“I asked if she had winged monkeys wearing fezzes.” Jessica chortled.

“I asked if she grants wishes.” Sam smirked. “Do you grant wishes?”

“I asked if she would let me borrow her broom.” Bruce chimed in.

“I asked if she wanted to go to Salem this October on a double date.” Tony grinned.

“I asked if she knew a good tailor that sold pointy hats.” Bobbi smiled.

“I asked if she needed swimming lessons.” Steve sighed.

“I asked if she owned a cauldron or just rented one.” Clint laughed.

“I asked if she could say her own name backwards.” Thor cheered.

“I asked if she knew a sleep spell that worked better than Ambien.” Janet squeaked.

Carol stood there shocked for a moment. “Okay guys that’s enough picking on my girlfriend for now.”

“Come, join us.” Steve offered. “You can put to rest all our misconceptions while you two eat.”

Wanda glanced at the table again. “Pietro did you go to the hoagie place in Philadelphia?”

“Yup, I got all your favorites and I think enough that everyone else found something they like.” Quicksilver said with a grin.

“Baby you have to try this one grinder. It’s so good.” Wanda told Carol.

As the two lovers joined the assembly at the table and began to feast a calm descended over the group. It was as if missing pieces had been found and returned to their rightful place. As they all finished eating Jennifer looked to the newest woman at the table.

“So Wanda tell us about yourself.” She ventured. “I mean you brother told us some stuff but most of it was in dirty limerick form.”

“Yeah he does that from time to time.” The redhead smirked. “I think it’s a cry for help.”

“And to think I slaved over a lukewarm cell phone for you.” Pietro joked, sighing with an exasperated flourish.

“So anyway, we were pretty much normal children. Moved around a few times. Our powers developed as teenagers and we kind of had to move around a lot more after that. He has super speed as you all can tell. Mine is a little more complicated.” Wanda explained.

“Magic?” Thor asked.

“Nope, not my natural powers anyway. Let’s see.” She paused. “Okay so the technical term would be ‘Reality Alteration through Statistical Probability Manipulation’. The thing is when I say that most people just look at me funny. Kinda like how some of you are now. So instead of a long winded science lecture I’m just going to say I work like the Infinite Improbability Drive from ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams.”
About two thirds of the team looked at her with a smile. Tony had the widest grin. Thor and Steve looked lost at a reference they both missed completely.

“I always loved that book.” Bruce said.

Realization hit Carol. “Oh Thor, Steve you guys never had the chance to read it.” She got up and for the first time since meeting separated herself from the redhead who visibly shivered at the loss. She ran to one of the bookshelves on the far wall and grabbed two copies that Tony, Bruce and a few other team members always liked to have on hand.

“Oh Thor you’ll love it. In one of the later books in the series they go to a huge party that spans decades and the main characters meet you there.” Wanda added.

“What? I make an appearance, really?” The Norse deity asked.

“Yep.” Carol answered returning to the table with books for her two friends who had missed out on various cultural touchstones.

Jennifer couldn’t hold back her question anymore. “So how do you explain today? What happened out there and how do you know each other?”

“Oh that’s simple.” Wanda remarked. “That was all actual magic.”

A hush fell across the room.

“See, Carol and I are soulmates in every sense of the word.” The redhead continued. “It’s this whole complicated past lives parallel dimensions thing but the gist of it is that we are in love, we have lived many lives together on many worlds and now that we found each other we got most of the memories of all that back.”

“You said other dimensions.” Tony began to venture. “What about the dimensions you leave behind?”

A smile spread across both their lips. Wanda responded to Tony’s inquiry. “A cartoon character once answered that best. “What about the dimension where Hitler cures cancer? The answer is “Don’t think about it!”

Steve thought about that for a long moment. “Carol you seem to be okay with all this. It’s just that a few hours ago you were still dealing with all the stuff that happened to you over the last year. You can see how any sudden change might get us worried, right?”

“Guys I understand that you are worried and I’m th-thankful that you care.” Carol said with a smile as she moved around the table to wrap her arms around the redhead. “But I love this woman with all my heart. If I s-seem like I’ve changed suddenly well I have. I now have memories of hundreds upon hundreds of ha-happy lives with her. I also remember a skanky hellgod sticking her fingers in my head to drain my sanity and leave me a gibbering m-mental patient. I recall that she is the one who stole my sanity back and restored me. So you could say I have newfound perspective.”

No one knew how to respond to that. The enormity of what had happened as a result of their first kiss was unfathomable to just about everyone in the room. Steve had an idea. that might reveal something useful about the couple.

“So you now have all these extra memories.” Steve said cautiously. “Do you guys have any new skill sets we should know about?”

“Well we’ve met in college during a bunch of different lifetimes.” Carol recalled wistfully. “So all together I would say we have doctorates in a dozen different academic and scientific fields.” Ms. Marvel looked around the table at her friends. “Plus there are some other tricks we now recall.” She closed her eyes and began muttering in Sumerian. A faint light covered her hands then coalesced into a floating orb that rose from her hands and began to orbit above her head. “In many past lives we were both fairly powerful witches.”

No one knew how to respond to the minor demonstration of newfound personal power.

The redhead shot up from her seat. “Oh, just had a great idea, Tony is that pc over there wired into your network?” Wanda asked. As Tony nodded yes she turned to her brother. “Pietro how many times have you ever seen me touch a computer?”

“Never. Not even once.” He said with a grin. “I honestly don’t know if you even understand what a computer is.”

“Ha ha.” She laughed sarcastically as she went over to the pc mounted on the wall. “Watch this.”

Her hands went up to the keyboard and danced across the keys so fast only a few in the room could keep up. Only one or two in the room could keep track of her finger movements and the various windows and programs that flashed across the screen. After ten minutes she looked up as her fingers slowed their dance and her eyes met with the billionaire who designed the systems she just dove into.

“Tony, come have a look.” Wanda said with a smirk.

The man came over to stand beside her at the terminal. Looking at a diagnostic program she ran at the end of her show he at first didn’t believe what he was seeing. As realization dawned on him his eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped slightly.

“How did you?” He began to question the redhead as he marveled at her work.

Steve had a mischievous grin on his face. “What’s the matter Stark? Did the new gal break your toy?”

“The new gal just reprogramed the entire system. Everything is running at one hundred and fifty percent output, around two dozen security weak points have been found and fixed and Jarvis is running forty two percent faster and with eighty percent less strain on other systems.” Tony answered dumbstruck. “Even if Richards, Pym and myself had worked a week straight I don’t think we could have done what she just did in under ten minutes.”

“Nifty.” The world war two era soldier was impressed. Not many people could render Tony speechless by tinkering with his technology. “The look on your face gets her my vote.”

Burce nodded. “If the only thing these siblings could do was run at mach 20 and turn doomsday devices into armies of rodents I’d say hire them to round out our squad power sets. All the other benefits make it a no brainer.”

“I want to keep them!” Jessica practically shouted.

A round of agreement swept the room. Each Avenger present expressed a heartfelt welcome. Towards the end of the night the group members who lived elsewhere in the city started to depart. Each had some encouragement to give the two new members.

Jessica seemed to take an extended amount of time to wish Pietro a proper good night.

One of the last to say good night was Jennifer. The She-Hulk had kept an eye on her friend the entire evening. As the lawyer was getting ready to head back to her room in the tower she turned and quickly wrapped Carol in a warm hug. “I’m so glad you found someone. You deserve to be happy, and she seems like a great gal.”

Letting go of the blonde who had been her friend for so long Jennifer turned her attention to the redhead they had just met. “I want to get to know you so much better than I do now. Thank you for making my friend so unbelievably happy, but if you hurt her I’ll beat you to death with a shovel.” With that the petite blonde jogged to her own quarters.

With a shocked look on both their faces Carol reached into her pocket and pulled out a dollar. Handing it to Wanda she let out a low chuckle. “I never expected to hear the Slayer give you the shovel speech to protect me.” The blonde said.

“I know.” The redhead said shocked. “Even when she’s a completely different person she’s still incredibly loyal to the family she chooses for herself.”

With that the couple retreated to the room Carol once spent so many lonely nights in. Not anymore. They had found each other and were just beginning on the first steps of their newest life long journey together. Slowly disrobing before one another the couple came together in a tender embrace.

They spent the rest of the night reconnecting.

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Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:49 pm 
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3. Flaming O

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Good update. I hope your computer situation gets worked out okay. You've done a good job portraying the gang. Even though they are different on the outside, you've written their personalities so well that it's easy to still see them as the scoobies. It's also easier to accept because this story has multiple realities, and most are with the original scoobs. Keep up the good work. I'll be looking forward to the next update.


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:33 pm 
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So I heard the announcement that Thor is now a woman in the comic books and thought of this latest update. Now there is a fun image - Tara as Thor. I don't think you went of the rails, I think you are having a heck of a lot of fun playing with all the various scenarios and I'm having a lot of fun reading these. The joy of AU and fanfic is getting to play with the characters. So I am all in on following this story line and curious to see what happens and how you develop this story.
-H.

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Sometimes it feels like we are running headlong through the woods on a dark cloudy night from monsters we can't see towards a destination we don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Greetings all. Great news. My laptop just needed a simple part switched out and the chapters I have on its drive should be available soon.

Mysticrain: Thank you for the words of encouragement. It is appreciated and I'm looking forward to some of the upcoming twists I've written.

Loislane1: I agree, of the Buffy characters Tara would be the most interesting as Thor and probably the only one that could be deemed "worthy" by the hammer. I have to say the whole 'Thor has a secret identity where he is less Thor.' aspect of the comics seemed unnecessary to me.

I mean Superman has a secret identity to keep kent farm off the map and so he could get out of paying child support in some of the worse 'golden age' stories. Even then his smarter villains probably know but don't say anything to keep him busy as a reporter 5 to 8 hours a day. Better still they don't attack because it's not like he's going to be less invulnerable.

Thor doesn't have parents sitting around a farm somewhere to worry about, and as soon as he proves himself worthy of his powers he really has no incentive to not be Thor all the time.

I can't tell if Marvel is trying too hard of not hard enough with making Thor a woman. In actual Norse mythology Loki gets gender swaps quite often and even uses his fancy new uterus to give birth to a few kids. So there is precedent in canon for this.

I just hope they handle it better than DC did when they made a big deal about one of the primary justice leaguers being gay. They went on for weeks about this Earth shifting reveal and when it came time to pull the trigger they chose the Green Lantern from the backup universe. No one cares about the sex life of old man lantern from the 1940's. Now if they had picked Hal Jordan for the task it would have actually been a brave move.

At the very least it would have put an interesting spin on fact one of Hal's longest running villains is his on again off again girlfriend.

But back to the topic at hand. Yes I am having a lot of fun playing with these characters. Thanks for the support.

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Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:16 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Time and Time Again.

Author: Citanul

Feedback: Be kind, rewind?

Spoilers: Just about all of them. Go watch the show.

Rating: NC-17

Pairings: W/T, B/F

Disclaimer: You all know I don’t own the rights to characters you’ve seen on TV.

Summary: A story of reincarnation and interdimensional travel made possible through the power of love. What misfortunes will our two favorite love birds be able to prevent with the aid of experience from countless past lives.

Author’s Note: Okay so to everyone who is still with me after our stroll through the Marvelverse thank you. I know splitting up the updates into four different story lines is causing what feels like a very slow start on all of them but they are each going places.

******************************

Chapter 3: 1632 Rovello Drive

It had been two days since she watched Daryl and his headless bride go up in flames and Buffy still couldn’t get the sight out of her mind and the smell out of her hair. The Slayer had been fighting the forces of darkness for over two years and all she had to show for her trouble was a long trail of tattered, shredded and blood soaked designer apparel. She had even given her life for the cause once already.

Yet here she was. Sitting in the worm’s office. Listening to the little troll rant about how much of a criminal she was. One small solace was the fact that some other poor girl had been dragged into the principle’s wrath as well. Though going by Sheila’s attitude the list of trespasses he levied at her feet were a point of pride.

“Thursday is parent teacher night.” Snyder stated with a gloat. “Your parents, assuming you have any, will meet your teachers, assuming you have any left. I’ve decided to put the two of you in charge of this event. You have three days to prepare the refreshments, make the banners and transform the school lounge into a habitable place for adults. This will incur my good will and may affect what I tell your parents when I meet them, are we clear?” The napoleonic school official asked with menace.

“I’m clear.” The Slayer replied. “Don’t you feel clear?” She asked her clearly unimpressed decoration partner. “We’re very clear.”

“Good, because you mess up this time and your parents will be coming to clean out your lockers.” Snyder promised.

As Buffy and Sheila made their way out of the school the Slayer tried to get some game plan out of her conscripted coconspirator.

It was to no avail.

The rebellious girl saw a man who could only be described as skeezy. Without a second thought Sheila ran off to stick her tongue down his throat.

On the bright side Buffy was quickly joined by her closest friends. “Snyder’s got you guys making party favors huh?” Xander queried.

“His two worst students. That’s what my mom sees when she looks at me. A Sheila.” The Slayer said with a tone of defeat.

“Well Sheila’s definitely intense.” The dark haired boy affirmed. “That guy with her, that’s the guy she can bring home to mother.”

“She was already smoking in fifth grade.” Willow stated. “Once, I was lookout for her.”

“You’re bad to the bone.” Xander deadpanned.

“Yeah she is!” Tara said with glee as she wrapped her arms around the lithe redhead and pulled her girl in for a deep sensual kiss.

Xander stood there on the busy walkway watching his oldest friend make out with his newest. The young man barely had the presence of mind to pick his jaw up off the ground. “I had a few more lines about Sheila and sharp objects for the bit we were doing but my brain suddenly went on vacation.” He said to the Slayer.

“I was going to wallow in the unfairness of it all what with my Slayer duties.” The petite blonde replied to the still gawking boy. “But with the two love birds about to come up for air anytime now I’m cautiously optimistic that someone will have an idea to brighten my day.”

The redhead seemed to recall their audience and pulled away from the blonde whose arms were still wrapped around her waist. Turning to face the Slayer Willow leaned back into her love and the blonde rested her chin on Willow’s shoulder. “Don’t worry Buff.” The hacker assured. “We’ll help with the decorations and all that right after we get Tara and her mom moved into their new house.”

“You guys found a place already?” The Slayer’s interest was peaked. Real estate was always cheap in Sunnydale, for fairly obvious reasons, but to have found a place so fast must have taken considerable effort.

It had only been six days since Tara and Jennifer first walked into the Library. Six days since they cemented themselves in the lives of the Slayer’s family. Cemented so well that for a while Buffy assumed the two women would just move in with Willow. If nothing else it would have been fun to see just how long it took the Rosenbergs to even become aware of their new housemates.

“Found and renovated.” Tara beamed. “We just have to move our stuff in and we’re set.”

“Define renovated.” The Slayer asked skeptically.

“Well we had some of the extra rooms downstairs turned into one big training room for Slayer stuff.” The redhead admitted. “Oh, and there’s a jacuzzi in the back for when you need to soak after a rough patrol.”

Those details shocked Buffy. To think that she barely knew this girl and yet the new blonde in her life had gone and added some of the most expensive luxuries to her new home just for her girlfriend’s friend’s convenience. “Tara, I… you did all that for me? Really?”

“No Buffy.” The witch replied with a smile. “We did it for you.” A beat passed and the blonde holding the redhead couldn’t help but grin. “Well a little for us too.”

Willow smirked at her girl’s implication. “We have to go but we’ll call you both over in a little bit okay.”

“Okay.” The Slayer said still completely thrown. She waved as the two lovebirds ran off hand in hand. Turning to Xander she placed a hand over his arm in a comforting gesture. “I know. They make a lovely couple, but seriously stop drooling over them every single time they kiss or else someone is going to take a curse to the groin.”

“I can’t help it!” Xander whined in a voice two octaves too high. “Really, I don’t even know I’m doing it. I mean here I am, trying to date women for several years now with only a mildly decent batting average, then Willow comes along and on her first attempt hits it out of the park.” Xander gestured wildly at the whole situation. “I mean how do I top the “Oh don’t worry. We’re just magically bonded soulmates whose life together stretches across all of time and space.” pickup line?” The young man sulked as the wind left his sails.

“It’s okay Xand.” Buffy said in as soothing a voice as she could. “It’s just going to take getting used to. Granted, I was a little thrown when Will came out to me all of ten minutes before meeting Tara but we need to be supportive of them both. I mean I don’t even know the girl and she built me a training room in her mom’s new house. She’s practically a saint.” The Slayer admonished.

“I know.” The dark haired young man relented. “I’m happy that Willow is so unbelievably happy. It’s just confusing seeing them so publicly displaying the affection when last week she was the shyest person in town.”

The Slayer smiled at how true that statement was. “Come on lets go see what my mom is up to before we go visit their new love nest.”

Continuing to make their way towards Rovello Drive the duo made smalltalk about minor events of the day. As Buffy’s home came into view they noticed a number of trucks leaving the neighborhood. As they entered the Summers residence Joyce came out of the kitchen.

“Buffy, oh hello Xander.” The mature blonde greeted the pair with a smile. “Did you see the new neighbors? Several trucks have been next door the last few days and they just left.”

Xander let a wide smile cover his face. “Hey Buff, wouldn’t it be funny if…” He asked.

“You don’t think…” She said but quickly cut herself off.

“I made them a casserole, come help me say hello.” Joyce continued in an upbeat tone.

The trio made their way out of the Summers house at 1630 Rovello Drive and walked to the house right next door at 1632 Rovello Drive. As they came to the front door Joyce reached out and rang the bell. She was beyond surprised when it opened to reveal a very familiar redhead.

“Oh wow you guys are just in time. Come in.” Willow said with cheer in her voice and a bounce in her step. “Guys, they’re here.” She called out to the house as Xander and the two Summers women came inside.

As Tara and her mother rounded the corner Willow walked up to Tara and enfolded the blonde in her arms. “Joyce I’d like you to meet Tara Maclay and her mother Jennifer. Guys this is Buffy’s mom Joyce Summers.” The hacker proclaimed.

The Slayer’s mother stood there in mild shock at the turn of events. Noticing the way her daughter’s brainy friend held the newest young lady to move into the neighborhood she quickly deduced their relationship was the kind she had grown more than used to during her time as an art gallery owner in Los Angeles. To find out one of her daughter’s young friends was gay was no surprise to her. That it hadn’t happened before was a minor curiosity. No, what truly shocked Joyce was the way this new turn of events seemed to completely do away with the shell the Willow had worn since long before Joyce had ever met the young redhead.

Turning to greet the other adult in the room Joyce smiled. “So, what brings you ladies to Sunnydale?”

Jennifer Maclay was unsure how much her daughter’s friends had wanted to tell Joyce. It seemed the Slayer’s mother was left in the dark regarding the supernatural. Choosing to err on the side of caution Jennifer went with the simplest of truths. “My marriage fell apart. We needed a change.”

Joyce took that in and smiled. “Mine too. You picked a great town for fresh start hunting. Isn’t that right Buffy?”

“Yeah Mom.” The Slayer responded with a smirk, thankful for Jennifer’s discretion. “Say Tara, why don’t you and Will show us the renovations while our moms get to know each other?”

“That is a great idea Buffy.” Tara replied. “Sweetie, lets get the tour out of the way.”

The four youngsters filed out of the foyer and down a hallway. As they left Joyce turned back to Jennifer and asked the first question that came to her mind. “So, how did you and your daughter meet Willow?”

A nervous smile spread over the elder Maclay woman’s face. This would not be easy.

******************************

As the quartet retreated down the hallway they went through a large set of double doors. The Slayer’s jaw hit the floor so hard it might have left marks. They stood in the most opulent dojo she had ever seen. Skylights dominated the ceiling allowing natural light to flood the room. The walls were decked in panels evoking an Asian aesthetic Buffy swore she had seen in many of her Slayer dreams. Runes and symbols adorned just about every vertical surface. Weapon racks covered one wall, while a pommel horse stood off to the side. The floor at the center of the room was laid out with a large sparing ring. A stack of floor mats as high as Buffy’s shoulders sat neatly in one corner, and in the opposite corner a sizable punching bag was suspended from the ceiling.

Tears swam in Buffy’s eyes. “Will, Tara you guys…” She choked up for a moment. “Thank you so much.”

“You deserve it and so much more Buffy.” Willow affirmed.

“Not to be a downer but how did you guys afford all this?” Xander chimed in.

“Willow s-sold some computer programs to a fortune five hundred CEO.” Tara said meekly.

“Willow, did you buy this whole house?” Buffy asked as pieces to a minor puzzle fell into place.

“Yes.” The hacker confirmed. “I sold some minor software to David Nabbit to get the seed money for our plans.”

“Plans?” Xander squeaked out. “There are plans now? I thought the plan was for you gals to make out during gym class.”

“Xander!” Willow yelped. “Of course that’s not the plan!”

Tara gave her love a wry look while Buffy just rolled her eyes at the couple. Willow noticed both gestures and felt like she had been caught in a lie. “Okay, well, just maybe that is part of the plan, but that isn’t the whole plan, but that does happen.” She stumbled over her own explanation as her three friends looked at her with smiles.

With a smirk Tara leaned in and kissed her love’s temple. “Sweetie, we’re just teasing, don’t worry.”

“No fair.” She declared. “You guys can’t gang up on me when I panic.”

“Even when it nets you a kiss from your woman?” The Slayer quipped.

“Well, alright.” Willow conceded. “Maybe then it’s okay.”

Laughter resounded through the training room.

******************************

“They’re certainly getting along.” Joyce remarked as she and Jennifer sat in the kitchen.

“Yes.” Jennifer agreed. “It’s so good to see Tara finally happy and making friends with a group of such fine young people.”

“I know the feeling.” The art dealer replied. “I was so worried about Buffy falling in with a bad crowd when we moved here that her bringing Willow home felt like a godsend.”

“You didn’t like Xander when she brought him around?” The witch asked though she suspected she already knew the answer.

“At first I just thought he was you typical teenage boy.” Joyce stated. “I used to stay up at night worried he’d get one of the girls pregnant.”

“But not anymore?” Jennifer prodded.

“No, not at all. Not for a long time.” the Slayer’s mother affirmed. “I learned pretty quickly that even though he wants more my daughter isn’t going to let sex ruin her friendships with him or with Willow.”

The witch let out a chuckle at the gallery owner’s remark. “I knew there was a reason I liked her. Tara always needed a friend like your daughter.”

“So, what made you decide on this neighborhood?” Joyce asked.

“Oh, Willow suggested it.” Jennifer answered quickly. “When they introduced me to your daughter it was a simple enough decision. It’s always good to have someone like her close by.” She said with a smile.

That statement put Joyce on high alert. “What do you mean by someone like her?” Joyce asked in what she hoped was a neutral enough tone.

“Someone who can take care of herself. Someone brave and resourceful who thinks of others in a crisis.” The witch intoned.

A smile crept over Joyce’s face. “I don’t know about that.”

Jennifer just smiled back. “Don’t sell your girl short Joyce. I did that not too long ago and Tara proved me wrong in the best way possible.”

The Slayer’s mother sat there thinking about all that had happened in the recent years and came to the conclusion that something important had slipped her notice.

“Tell me Joyce.” The witch went on in a tone that implied a great secret was about to be revealed. “Have you ever heard the story of ‘The Daughters of Sineya’?”

******************************

As the four youngsters exited the training room the two witches led the group towards an oddly inconspicuous door. “This is something I’m really proud of.” Willow said to the three people she trusted most.

Upon entering the door adjacent to the lavish training room Buffy and Xander both stared in awe. The room was just as large as the training room, and just like the previous room skylights bathed every surface in sunlight.

One wall had a wide array of computer monitors clustered around a desk with multiple machines wired together and three large screens that all appeared to be running complex simulations. At the desk was a large comfortable looking office chair.

Along the opposite wall was a massive glass cabinet containing shelves filled with jars of neatly labeled herbs, animal parts, and a great many other odds and ends that were obviously magic spell components. In front of the ‘supplies’ cabinet was a large island bar with built in sink at one end, and an array of tools including multiple mortar and pestles of varying sizes, beakers, bunsen burners, cutting boards and a block holding a large set of knives.

Covering every inch of wall space that didn’t have cabinets or screens adorning them were massive floor to ceiling book shelves. Roughly one eighth of the shelf space was taken up by various occult books.

In the center of the room, surrounded by a dozen chairs, stood a table twice as wide and one and a half times the length of the one they had all gotten used to toiling away at in the school library. This would obviously be their new command center.

Again the Slayer was at a loss for words. Xander couldn’t resist the terrible joke dancing on the tip of his tongue. “Well they say go big or go home but I doubt they intended you do both at the same time.”

Buffy still at a loss asked her friends the burning question. “How did you fit all this in here? I always thought this house was the same basic shape as mine.”

“I know right.” Willow answered with mild surprise. “It turns out this house looked the same from the front but had around double the square footage. We breezed right by the living room out front. It looks just like yours but we took out a few feet off the back to add to the training room.”

“Plus there are six bedrooms upstairs.” Tara chimed in. “Wait till you see the backyard.” She added with a smile.

Again the group moved out into the hallway and came to an archway which opened up to reveal the extravagant kitchen. A sturdy door at the back of the room turned out to be the main exit to the back yard. Moving outside the four friends were greeted by the sight of a wide assortment of plants growing in all manner of places. There were rows of various vegetables planted off to one side. As well as archways and partial sections of fence which supported dense vines and ivy. Pots holding various herbs and spices hung from every structure. It was a truly magnificent garden.

Once again the two young witches led their friends onward. They followed a stone pathway that curved around various bits of foliage and led them to a jacuzzi just large enough that the Slayer thought she could swim laps in it.

Not too far from the amazing hot tub was a glass enclosure. It looked to be a small green house. Along the edge of every glass pane was a series of intricate runes and sigils. A tiny cross could be seen in the spaces between each distinct set of symbols. Inside was a tall bush the likes of which Buffy had never seen. It towered over the petite blonde but just barely matched Xander’s hight. What really stood out were the leaves. Thick veins of deep blue ran across every leaf. They shone in the California sun like sapphire gemstones.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a plant like this.” Buffy said out loud.

Willow and Tara gave each other significant looks. “That’s because it’s only indigenous to a very specific area of rain forest on the other side of the planet.” The hacker admitted. “We had to use magic to bring it here and keep the conditions around it just to it’s liking.”

“It’s pretty and all.” The Slayer said. “But why all the fuss?”

“It’s medicinal qualities make it worth the effort.” Tara said as a tear rolled down her cheek.

******************************

“What is that tea you’re drinking Jennifer?” Joyce asked as they sat in the dining room at the front of the house.

“Oh, this?” The elder Maclay asked with a nervous tick. “It’s from a special plant Tara and Willow found out about. I take a leaf from the bush in the garden and boil it fresh in a teapot.” She looked around as if they ventured into restricted territory. “I need to drink at least 4 cups a day.”

Joyce couldn’t keep her lips from curling into a wry smile. “What does it do? Make you feel young again?” She asked with a light laugh.

Jennifer sighed sadly. “It’s a little more complicated than that.”

********************************

“What do you mean our moms are dying?” The Slayer practically shouted. “Tara my mom is fine. She’s perfectly healthy. Isn’t she?” Looking around frantically Buffy set her eyes on Willow. “What aren’t you telling me?”

“Buffy, listen it’s no where near as bad with your mom as it is with Tara’s.” The redhead tried to reassure her friend. “We looked at her aura just now when you came over. She’s fine, for now. She won’t start to show symptoms for a while.”

“How long?” The Slayer asked with cold steel in her voice.

“Buffy don’t do this to yourself.” The hacker pleaded.

“Tell me how long I have before I loose my mother.” The Slayer said with no room for argument.

“Three and a half years.” Tara said flatly. “Give or take. She most often seems to take a sharp turn halfway through your sophomore year of college.” The witch said while looking at the other blonde. “But those are averages from other dimensions. This world might be ahead of the curve.”

The wind left the slim blonde’s sails. “That can’t be. Please god that can’t happen. I can’t loose her.” Buffy eyes darted all over the garden seeking something to focus on. “Magic!” She yelled. “You can cure her with magic.”

“I-I-I’m sorry B-buffy, but n-no.” Tara said with grim determination. “Using m-magic that way is w-w-wrong and only makes the person you want to help s-suffer unimaginable agony. Th-that’s why we’re using the plants.”

“Plants? The bush! It has the cure?” The Slayer looked at the odd shrub with renewed hope.

“It has the treatment.” Willow corrected. “We don’t have a cure yet but with the money we have now we’ll start a company that will research a cure.” The Slayer stared at her redheaded friend as tears swam in both girl’s eyes. “Until then Jennifer and your mom need to drink the tea brewed from the leaves of this plant.”

“We’re lucky.” Tara said as she rested her hands on the shoulders of the chosen one. “My mom doesn’t normally live long enough to see Sunnydale.”

Buffy’s head snapped up at that admission. “Oh god, Tara, I’m so sorry.” She said as tears rolled down her face. “You guys already talked to your mom and she’s dealing with it?”

“There was crying and denial at first.” Willow supplied. “But she’s known her health was on a downward slope for a while now.” The redhead paused as she put on her famous resolve face. “We’re not losing either of them. We are going to have them in our lives for many years to come. Where magic can’t help us science will.”

Xander stepped up to the trio of crying, hugging girls. “We’ll get through this Buffy. Whatever you need we’ll get through this together.”

“This is what you meant by having a talk with my mom.” Buffy asked after they had all held each other in silence for a few minutes. “I have to tell her I’m the slayer to explain why she is on tea brewed from an unknown plant.”

“We are going to tell her about magic when we head back inside the house.” Willow said.

“The choice to tell your mom about the Slayer is yours and yours alone.” Tara added. “We will be there to help explain if you want us but when you tell her is up to you Buffy.”

A moment passed and the Slayer prepared herself for the one fight she never wanted to face. “Okay lets go talk to the moms.” Buffy said with all the cheer of a funeral dirge.

The quartet made there way back to the house and into the kitchen. Once inside they found Joyce and Jennifer teary eyed and holding hands.

“Mom.” Buffy said. “Can we go to the living room? There’s some things we have to talk about.”

Joyce looked concerned. “Sure honey. Should we go home and give the Maclays some privacy?”

“Some of these things involve them mom.” The Slayer said with a sigh as the group made their way to the living room of the large house.

Once they were all seated Willow decided to get basics out of the way. “So Mrs. Summers in case you couldn’t tell, I’m gay. I’m with Tara. We’re in love. You’ve been so good to me I just wanted you to know.”

“Willow relax.” Joyce admonished. “I get it. I don’t like you any less for who you love and I’m not going to do something insane like forbidding my daughter from spending time with you.” The art dealer let out a smile. “And what did I say about you kids calling me Joyce? Tara that includes you.”

“Thank you Mrs… Joyce.” Tara said catching herself halfway. “W-we had a good f-feeling about your reaction.”

“There is something more we need to tell you about and it is going to be harder to take.” Willow continued. “Tara, her mother and myself are witches.” The hacker said in one quick breathe.

“I’m sorry, witches?” Joyce asked dumbfounded.

“Yep.” The redhead replied. “Magic spell casting witches.”

Turning to her daughter Joyce asked in a slightly condescending voice. “Buffy dear did you put them up to this?”

In a tight voice the Slayer responded. “Mom, please just try to keep an open mind and hear them out.”

“It’s true dear.” Jennifer added. “Magic is real. It’s been a part of me all my life.”

Tara and Willow began to chant in Sumerian. A group of small points of light one might easily mistake for fireflies took form and circled the duo. Joyce was speechless.

A minute passed and the girls let the flight of fairy lights fade to memories. “Joyce, we needed to tell you this because we care about you and we need you to understand some things.” Willow stated. “Magic, vampires, werewolves and a bunch of other stuff from myth and legend are all real.”

Joyce seemed to focus on one word. “Vampires?” She said looking at her daughter.

“Yes dear, vampires are real.” Jennifer stated calmly.

“Mom, please let them get to the important part before we freak out okay?” Buffy begged.

“We needed to tell you about magic because we needed to explain Jennifer’s treatment.” The hacker continued. “See..”

“Um, guys?” Xander spoke up. “If this is getting into private doctor patient stuff should I wait outside?”

“Mom, are you okay with Xander staying inside for this discussion?” Tara asked her mother.

“Yes dear.” Jennifer replied with a smile. “He seems like such a nice boy.”

“Joyce,” Willow stated, trying to steer the conversation. “There is a plant in the back yard. It is from a rainforest half the world away. Jennifer has to drink tea brewed with its leaves several times a day or her condition will deteriorate fast.” She paused for a moment. “We would like you to start taking the same tea at least a few times a day.”

“What?” Joyce didn’t know how to respond. “But I’m not. I feel fine. Buffy what’s going on here?”

“Mom, please.” The Slayer groveled. “Just trust them. Okay? For me?”

“Joyce.” The redhead had to make this good. “Part of the whole witches in love thing is we know some things most people don’t. Some things from past lives.” No way was Joyce going to understand the parallel dimension aspect. “In those lives we came across a plant no one today knows about and were able to summon it to the back yard of this house. It doesn’t have FDA approval but it is keeping Jennifer alive as we speak.” She paused again. “If you began a regimen now it would prevent the condition we believe will one day affect you. At least for a few decades.”

“You think I’m sick?” Joyce asked startled.

“We know you will be sick one day.” Willow countered. “Please Joyce, trust us on this.”

Joyce turned to her new friend. “You told me about the tea because they told you I would need it as well?”

Jennifer nodded. “Yes Joyce. You asked but the reason I told you everything was to ease you into this.”

“And you told me the myth of ‘Sineya’s Daughters’ to ease me into the magic discussion?” Joyce asked with a tired note.

At the mention of the first Slayer’s name both Willow and Tara turned to Jennifer shocked. “Mom, you told her about that too?” Tara asked terrified her mother had just outed her friend.

“Only the story. I didn’t say anything to give away current events.” Jennifer admitted.

“Who is Sineya?” Xander asked while Buffy held a nervous yet curious pose.

“The first Slayer.” Tara murmured as the slim blonde’s eyes widened.

“It’s not a myth or legend Joyce.” Willow said as she prepared the speech she crafted to counter Giles’. “Vampires and Demons are very real. They once ruled this world but most left or were cast out. When humanity arose the monsters fed on them. To fight the darkness a group of shadowmen, magic users steeped in darkness, took a young girl deep underground and chained her to the Earth. They then forced demonic energies into the girl. They put demon in her. She gained strength, speed, agility, heightened senses, fast healing and prophetic nightmares.”

Looking to see that Joyce was still with her Willow forged ahead. “When she died another girl was chosen. That girl gained all the power the first had. Then when she died defending humanity yet another girl was called. That has happened countless times. Into every generation one girl out of many is chosen to be the Slayer for the rest of her life.”

“What does this girl do?” Joyce asked as pieces of a very simple puzzle began to fall into place.

“I go out just about every night and I hunt monsters. I track them or pretend to be helpless bait to lure them out and I slay them. The more I slay the longer people in this town get to live.” Buffy said in a soft voice barely above a whisper.

Silence reigned over the newly renovated living room.

Joyce was at a loss. How could this happen? How could something that sounded so crazy be true? How could her daughter be facing these things without her finding out? How could children be expected to face the things they were explaining to her?

“So you’re telling me that monsters are real and my daughter is the one who has to fight them until they kill her.” Joyce said in a dull tone.

“Pretty much.” Xander answered.

“And she has to face this all alone.” Joyce asked with a touch of irritation.

“No, not alone.” Willow rebutted. “Not since she met us.”

“But why her? Why any of you?” The single mother couldn’t take much more. “Buffy have you tried not being a Slayer?”

“Yeah mom, I tried. I quit and everything.” Buffy replied. “It didn’t go over so well.”

“What happened?” Joyce was on the edge of her seat.

“I died.” The Slayer whispered. “I was destined to die at the hands of a really old vamp. I told them I quit. It didn’t matter. I still ended up in his lair. He beat me and left me to drown in a puddle. I died and Xander brought me back with CPR.”

As the story went on the Slayer’s mother grew more and more upset. Learning of what the boy had done for her daughter cast him in a new light but as far as Joyce was concerned none of it should have happened in the first place. “And no one helps you face any of this?”

“Giles, the school librarian.” Buffy said. “He helps. He’s part of this group that trains Slayers whenever they get chosen. He’s my second watcher.”

“Second?” Joyce wasn’t sure she wanted to know.

“Merrick, my watcher in LA.” She said. “He died the first time I tried to stop being the Slayer.”

“Buffy.” Joyce said clearly distraught. “There has to be a way out of this. I don’t want you going out all hours of the night risking your life.”

“I know mom.” Buffy pleaded. “If there was any way I could have a normal life I would but I can’t.”

“There has to be a way to stop this.” Joyce said.

“It doesn’t stop. It never stops.” Buffy shot back on the edge of tears. “Do you know how lonely it is? How dangerous? I would love to spend my nights watching TV, or gossiping about boys or maybe girls, or god even studying!” Tears began to fall down the young blonde’s cheeks. “But I have to save the world. Again!”

Joyce was shocked. All she could do was reach over and wrap her arms around her shaking daughter. She began to ask again if they could find a way out of this nightmare but was cut short as the doorbell rang.

Willow looked at her watch. “Ah good they’re here.” She and Tara went to answer the door and the four people left in the living room couldn’t help but hear an overtly cheerful voice greet them.

“Ms. Rosenberg, Ms. Maclay so very good to meet you.” They heard a woman say. “On behalf of my company I would just like to thank you for choosing us for your personal defense needs.”

“So good to meet you as well.” Willow said as she stepped aside to allow the woman room to pass.

Stepping inside she took a look around. “My what a lovely home.”

“Thank you.” Tara replied. “We’re just settling in. Please come this way.”

The group waiting in the living room were surprised to see Willow and Tara followed by a tall blonde woman with striking features. She wore her hair in a tight bun and her navy blue business suit and skirt displayed her figure quite well while never failing to portray an aura of professionalism and seriousness. Noticing the confused looks from her friends Willow introduced the newcomer. “This is Ms. Prescott. She represents a specialty tailor. She needs measurements from the four of us. Buffy you’re first.”

As Willow escorted Buffy and Ms. Prescott to the training room the others looked at Tara. “It’s a surprise. Don’t worry it’s all for the best.”

*****************************

“Now her suit should take priority over the others. She needs at least two of them and if you can put a rush on the first one it would be appreciated.” Willow told Ms. Prescott as they were returning to the group. “Xander you’re up, then Tara.”

As Xander left the room the others gave Willow and Tara questioning looks. “Guys it’s okay. This is just one small thing we are doing to make sure Buffy is safe while she goes on patrol.” The redhead proclaimed.

“Willow, what exactly are you doing.” Joyce asked. “Who is that woman?”

“Trust me it will all make sense in a few days when we get the first one they make.” Willow answered.

A few minutes later Xander returned and Tara went in for her turn. Shortly after that she and Prescott returned to the living room. Willow wrote a check and handed the woman a file. “Here is the first half we agreed on, and the chemical composition and instructions for making the polymer. Remember we want the final product light enough to conceal under clothing.”

“Of course Ms. Rosenberg. You were very specific about your needs in the e-mail. I have no doubt my team can deliver a final product to your liking. I’ll have updates for you by the week’s end and I’d just like to thank you once again for bringing your business to us.” With that the woman left the newly refurbished home.

“Willow, how much did you just drop on whatever this surprise is?” The Slayer asked getting slightly nervous about her friends newfound finances.

“Don’t worry. We’re still not even half way through the second million.” Willow replied nonchalantly. “Once we get our company up and running we’ll make it all back a thousand times over.”

Joyce’s head shot up. “What do you mean second million? What company?”

“Willow sold some software to a billionaire. She’s been cagey on just how much she got, but it paid for this house.” Buffy told her mother.

“Twenty million.” Tara said nervously.

Xander choked on the breath he was half way through taking. Jennifer looked particularly nervous. Joyce was once again at a complete loss.

“Twenty million?” Buffy asked. “Twenty? Million? As in a two followed by seven zero’s?”

“Well closer to eighteen point six now.” The redhead replied guiltily. “Guys this doesn’t have to change things. We’re still friends right?”

“Willster this changes everything.” Xander answered. “Okay well mostly it just changes the fact that you’re paying for doughnut and pizza runs from now on.” The young man joked with a wide grin.

“Yeah Will.” Buffy agreed. “If I stopped hanging with you now it’d be real hard to get you to pay off my student loans in a few years.”

“Thanks guys.” Willow said before a grin came over her face. “But Tara and I have already reserved two seats on our board of directors for you.”

“She’s right.” Tara affirmed as she took a seat by the redhead and enfolded the slim girl in her arms. “She called CEO. I have dibs on COO.”

“Awesome.” Xander said with a grin. “So, what does this company do?”

“Designs software and innovative gadgets, invent new sources of clean energy, revolutionize the internet, fund groups of independent demon hunters, hostile takeovers of law firms and companies run by extra dimensional demon triumvirates.” Willow rattled off. “You know, basic world domination stuff.”

A smile overtook the Slayer’s face. “I want to be vice president of pretty shoes and dresses.”

“I call Corporate Banana.” Xander cheered.

The four teens burst out in fits of laughter. Jennifer and Joyce shared a meaningful look and for the first time in hours a genuinely happy smile spread across the face of the Slayer’s mother.

******************************

That night a number of Sunnydale’s nocturnal population held court in one of the industrial district’s many abandoned factories. The topic of discussion as always was the death of the Slayer.

“This weekend, the night of St. Vigeous, our power shall be at its peak.” A boastful vampire droned on. “When I kill her it’ll be the greatest event since the crucifixion, and I should know. I was there.”

“You were there.” A mysterious platinum blonde vampire scoffed with a chuckle. “Please. If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there it would have been like Woodstock.”

“I ought to rip your throat out.” The braggart countered.

“I was actually at Woodstock.” The newest arrival continued. “That was a weird gig. I fed off a flower person and I spent the next six hours watching my hand move.” The first vampire ran up behind the blonde only to be knocked flat on his back. “So who do you kill for fun around here?”

The childlike anointed one was curious. “Who are you?”

“Spike.” The leather coat clad Billie Idol lookalike said. “You’re that anointed guy. I read about you.”

Another vampire approached him growling only to be laughed at. “You’ve got Slayer problems. That’s a bad piece of luck. Do you know what I find works real good with Slayers?” Spike asked. “Killing them.”

“Can you?” The baby faced monster asked.

“A lot faster than Nancy Boy over there. Yeah I did a couple Slayers in my time, I don’t like to brag.” He paused to laugh. “Who am I kidding? I love to brag. There was this one Slayer during the Boxer Rebellion and…” He stopped sensing his mate wandering into the factory behind him. “Drusilla.” Spike said as he turned to face her. “You shouldn’t be walking around.”

The dark haired vampire looked around the room in a daze. “Look at all the people. Are these nice people?”

“We’re gettin’ along.” Spike replied.

“Do they know the stars are coming to their party?” She asked.

“The what now?” One of the anointed one’s cronies asked.

“The stars.” She said with a languid haze. “They’ve come to earth for a party but they don’t care for the jam and tea the missus has set out.” Turning to the child sized vampire Drusilla rubbed her forefingers against each other in a chastising fashion. “It makes them very cross.”

“She’s right you know. We don’t care for the jam and tea options here.” A new voice sounded out from above.

Looking up the vampires spotted a tiny point of light hovering around a broken window. “What the bloody hell?” Spike let out as the window was suddenly filled with the tiny balls of light as they flooded into the old building and surrounded the vampires. Laughter echoed throughout the building as the strange lights danced to and fro.

“Spike.” Drusilla cried reaching for her mate. “They burn Spike. They scream. Don’t let them get me darling.”

“Yes dear William, don’t let us touch you precious Dru.” The dancing lights mocked in a cheerful British lilt. “You never know what dreadful things might happen.”

William the Bloody clutched his sire to his chest as the screaming began. One by one the lights flew into vampire after vampire burying themselves in the center of each undead heart. As they pierced one shriveled organ after another the vampires burst into flames one by one until the anointed one and his few remaining followers were naught but dust in the wind.

When the room was clear of all vampires save for the two who still clung to each other the lights began to widen their flight pattern. They tight circle the vampires were once trapped in opened up to a circle that merely cut off all hope of a escape.

“Well look what the cat drug in.” One light said in a distinctly southern drawl.

“William the Bloody, and Drusilla.” Another said in the stereotypical voice of the schoolmarm.

“Oh to taste their ashes this very night would be a delight mine brethren.” Said another point of light in what was the worst Arnold Schwarzenegger impression ever, of all time.

“Yes.” Said the British light. “But the Mistress was very clear. Her plans for these two involve far more pain and suffering than a simple dusting would accomplish.” With that ominous declaration of intent the lights withdrew.

Spike had no idea what was going on in this town but if some nasty with enough power to do what he just saw had plans for he and Dru then they would just pile into the DeSoto and head for another hellmouth.

As they passed the now leaving Sunnydale sign Spike had no idea his car had taken on a long range tracking device. He just wanted to be done with this place and heal his dark beauty.

******************************

Back at 1632 Rovello drive one of the side monitors in the study displaying a map of the continent shifted to show a map of the state and one bright red dot as it traveled.

“I think that scared them off for now baby.” Willow said to her love.

“Do you think it’s wise to just let them go?” Tara asked.

“I honestly don’t know.” The redhead sighed. “There are some things both of them might be crucial for. If we kill them now it might save Buffy some grief but take away important options down the road. Once we get LA set up just the way we like it we might trick them into returning. For now let’s just get Buffy ready for her role as a leader and not just another lone warrior.”

“I agree sweetie.” Tara whispered while nuzzling the redheads ear.

“I love you baby.” Willow sighed while she luxuriated in the arms of her soulmate.

The nuzzling drew to a close and Tara pulled away just enough to take in the sight of her redhead. So knew no matter what her new memories revealed neither of them wanted to rush what would be the most important moment of their life so far.

“Let’s get some sleep sweetie.” Tara whispered. “Tomorrow is a big day.”

A smile crept over the redheads face. “I’ll go change and meet you in our room.” Willow kissed Tara tenderly before pulling away and grabbing a small bag of clothes she brought from her parents house. The now even more depressingly empty house couldn’t truly be called a home.

Tara watched as her heart skipped out of the study and off towards one of the many bathrooms in the impressively large home they had designed to accommodate the first decade or so of their life together.

Heading upstairs, she wished her mother a good night and went to the bedroom picked as hers, but was really theirs, to change into her favored evening ware. Boxers and a spaghetti strap tank top. Moments after she was changed and settling for the night her bouncy love skipped into their room and flounced on their bed.

“I love you baby.” Willow intoned as she pulled covers up around them.

“I love you too sweetie.” Tara promised as she wrapped her arms around the lithe girl who held her world.

As they lay in each others arms the promise of what lay before them sparked hope in their soul. Sleep soon claimed the couple and pleasant dreams of the life they could have eased troubled minds.

******************************

The next day was off to an uneventful start. Buffy prepared decorations for the upcoming parent teacher night. She even told her mom about the event ahead of time. The day after the massive revelations in their neighbors living room the Summers women sat in their own living room for a chat.

“Mom just remember.” The Slayer pleaded. “The things Snyder is going to say about me have explanations. I don’t want to overburden you with every horror story I have but please keep in mind I’m doing my best here.”

“I know Buffy, I’m actually more interested in the chat I’m going to have with your librarian.” Joyce smirked.

“Please go easy on Giles mom.” Buffy said in a defeated tone. “He is actually so much nicer than what I’m told just about every other watcher out there is like. The fact most of them are nuts who isolate their Slayer’s from all human contact is probably one of the main reasons he is going along with Willow’s plan to remove me from the council’s radar.”

“I know you care for him sweetie.” Joyce replied. “But I don’t care for the fact he has had this whole secret relationship with you.”

A look of utter revulsion swept the Slayer’s face at the implications of the word relationship. As she was about to protest her mother’s phrasing she caught sight of the very same librarian out their front window. He made his way up the stairs of their porch and rang the bell.

“Ah good.” Joyce smiled. “That must be him. I wanted to get this all out in the open quickly.”

Standing up she hastily went to the door. “Mr. Giles so good to see you.” She said opening the door wide enough to allow passage.

“Ms. Summers it is alway a pleasure.” The bespectacled brit said with a genuine smile as he stepped over the threshold and followed his charge’s mother into the living room.

As they sat down Joyce cut to the chase. “Mr. Giles I know everything.” She said. “Everything you’ve been hiding from me about my daughter. I want to know what you think justifies keeping this from me and why I should let you continue to put her life in danger.”

Giles looked absolutely shocked and for a moment glanced at Buffy.

“Mom, please ease up.” The young woman sighed. “None of this is his fault.”

Realizing the cat was finally out of the bag Giles let out a sigh of defeat. “Ms. Summers no matter what you may think of me I just want you to know that working with your daughter has been the single greatest honor of my life.” A slight smile graced the librarians face as he polished his glasses.

“As far as keeping secrets from you goes the only mention of you in the file I was handed when briefed on this mission said that when Buffy talked to you about vampires her father had her committed to an asylum.” Giles stated flatly. “I had no intention of putting Buffy through that again when her life is hard enough already, and no intention of forcing her to do something in her personal life that she was clearly not ready for.”

“But you feel okay with forcing her to fight monsters every night?” Joyce asked with a raised voice.

“Ms. Summers I am not one of the ancient mystical forces that made your daughter the chosen one.” He rebutted. “I am not her first watcher, who neglected to inform you at all before he died at the hands of a monster he didn’t properly prepare Buffy to fight. Nor am I forcing her to do anything the spirit of the Slayer within her wouldn’t already compel her to do.”

Giles looked at Joyce and tried to convey his own anguish at the unfairness of the world they inhabited. “I am merely the man who trains her in various fighting styles, acquires weapons she has a tendency to burn through, teaches her about her powers and various dangers that specific demons might pose such as poison, infection or mental trickery, and spends all his free time reading ancient texts to try deciphering the most dangerous threats she might face on any given day.” Giles finished with a weary sigh.

Joyce sat there trying to wrap her mind around all the details the watcher had just laid bare for her. She had been looking for a target to express her maternal outrage on and it seemed this man who cared for her daughter without her even knowing it had the same issues with the nightmare Buffy was forced into facing.

Joyce realized she had apparently been wrong to cast blame on the tweed clad man. Something he said however caught her attention. “What exactly do you mean by spirit of the slayer within her?”

“Ah, Buffy exactly how much was Joyce told about what it means to be the Slayer?” Giles asked with his normal tone reserved for educational lectures.

“We were having another discussion about magic with Will and the Maclays and mom said that Tara’s mom had told her the tale of Sineya’s Daughters.” Buffy recalled. “Willow then explained exactly how they made the first slayer and how a new one is called when the last one dies.”

“Willow knows how the first Slayer was created?” Giles asked in shock. That may have been one of the greatest mysteries the council had ever struggled to uncover.

“Yeah.” Buffy said with a far away look. “It was vile. What they did to her was wrong on so many levels.”

“Oh dear lord.” The englishman gasped and once more began to polish his glasses.

Turning to face Joyce, Giles sighed. “The Slayer has a great deal of natural instinct regarding how she handles her calling. This is due to the spirit of the Slayer that dwells within the chosen one. That and dreams often detailing lives of past Slayers give the girl an edge when facing unknown adversaries. Many have described sensing a need to hunt periodically. Avoiding this need has detrimental psychological effects on the Slayer. Things like lack of focus, symptoms similar to cabin fever and aggressively predatory behaviors have been noted in the past.”

Joyce was unsure how to process everything that had been uncovered since the day before. “It’s been made clear to me that no matter how much I don’t like this situation blaming you won’t help Buffy.” The single mother replied. “Is there anything else I should know about?”

“When she turns 18 the watchers council will most likely try to put her through a cruel rite of passage with a deranged vampire.” Giles informed the horrified woman. “Willow has told me she has a plan to end that particular tradition. I have no idea what to think of her recent changes but I do hope she at least succeeds on that point.”

A smile spread over Joyce’s face. “On that note we should get going. We’ve all been invited to diner with Jennifer and Tara.”

Buffy shared her mother’s smile. “Giles you are not going to believe what Tara and Willow have done.”

Giles’ face held a perplexed look as he was guided out of the Summers residence and next door. “Buffy what do your neighbors have to, oh dear lord. Willow got the Maclays to move here didn’t she?” He asked as dawning realization struck him.

“Yep.” The Slayer replied. “She’s apparently setting herself up as an internet billionaire and buying her girl’s mom a McMansion was step one.”

“Willow bought this house?” The confused brit was more than shocked.

“Oh yeah. Buffy grinned. “Just wait till you see the additions they put in.”

As they stood before their neighbor’s door Joyce brought her hand up and rang the bell. The door opened to reveal a smiling Jennifer Maclay. “Oh how good to see you all here. The girls and Xander were just settling into the study.”

They quickly made their way to the study. Upon entering Giles and Joyce stood stunned at the sight of the lavish, well appointed, command center. “Oh dear lord.” The man whispered.

“Hey guys!” Xander called out cheerfully. “Look who finally found Slayer Central.”

“Giles!” Willow cheered. “What do you think of the new digs?”

“Yes, well you have certainly outdone yourself Willow.” The librarian said with a hint of amusement and not too little pride at what one of his students had been able to build on such short notice.

“See guys.” The Slayer chimed in. “I told you he’d love it. Just wait till you see the training room.”

“Mr. Giles?” Tara spoke up. “We may n-need some help from sources you probably have better ties with when we start filling up the shelves.”

A wide uncompromising smile spread across the watcher’s face. “I don’t believe that will be a problem.” Giles assured his newest student.

As the group went from warm greetings around the study to an excited display of the training room by the overjoyed Slayer a sense of family few of them had ever experienced before settled in. Willow and Tara smiled as most of their closest loved ones sat around the dinner table. Their family was almost complete.

******************************

By the time Thursday had come around Willow and Tara had assuaged Giles’ concerns about the night of St. Vigeous. The patrols Buffy went on that week offered next to no action. The vampire population of the hellmouth had suffered severe reductions in the past week.

When the night finally came for Joyce Summers to meet her daughter’s principal she had been warned by both Mr. Giles and Ms. Calendar as to how little the man’s opinion of Buffy was actually worth. The meeting lasted only moments.

“Mr. Snyder before you start what I’m sure is a well rehearsed diatribe you have been looking forward to let me explain some realities to you.” Joyce told the troll in a firm voice.

“I am aware of all the horrible things you are going to accuse my daughter of. I am also aware of all the horrible things about this school you don’t have the spine to tell me.” She said with a smirk. “I know that this school you run is a death trap. I know that the actions my daughter takes keep the rivers of blood that should be filling these halls down to a manageable ankle deep stream. I know that without my daughter’s tireless work you will suffer the same fate as your predecessor.” Joyce paused to let that sink in.

“Lastly I know that if you keep antagonizing her and her friends she won’t lift a finger to save you when your time comes.” A smile spread across her face. “I honestly can’t blame her for that. After all she faces so many hardships already that she really can’t be expected to go out of her way for every single person.” With that Joyce left the startled school administrator and returned to her daughter who had been serving punch the entire night.

Buffy looked up to see her mother stroll across the school lounge with a smile. “How’d it go mom?”

“It was actually really fun.” Joyce replied. “The look on his face when he realized I wasn’t about to just take his word was priceless.” She said with a laugh. “Why don’t we get the others and head home sweetie.”

The Slayer couldn’t hold back the smile on her face. She found Tara and Willow with Jennifer and Xander. The group set off for the school parking lot.

On the way they were surprised to see Sheila had actually shown up for the school function. What was even more surprising was the witches in the group taking one look at the girl and realizing she was now undead.

All in all it was a short fight given that the fledgling vampire was newly risen and no doubt starving. The speed with which the Slayer dispatched her foe served as an excellent display of the young girl’s skill and a rather dramatic demonstration for Joyce.

“I may be mistaken,” Xander said with a grin. “But I think that might be the first dusting for a few of you ladies.”

“That girl.” Joyce could hardly believe the sight. “She’s just gone.”

“Not a girl Joyce.” Said Willow. “Vampire. As Giles would say “You’re not looking at your friend when you see a vampire. You’re looking at the thing that killed them.”

“That was my first vampire too sweetie.” Jennifer said with a slight tremor.

“Kinda hard to tell with me.” Tara said as she put an arm over Willow’s shoulder. “In person this lifetime I think that was my first, but I have memories of so many that it really doesn’t count.”

“Do I have to watch out for my job security?” Buffy teased.

Willow smirked. “Just wait till we get our muscle memory caught up with our episodic memory. You aren’t the only one who’s going to use that new training room Buff.”

Buffy laughed. “Once you guys get with the Witch Fu I’ll probably start dragging you along on more patrols.” The Slayer glanced towards her still startled mother. “Mom I know seeing that can be shocking but she was a threat. Had I not stopped her many people would have died.”

Joyce finally looked away from the spot the vampire used to occupy and towards her daughter. “I understand Buffy. I’m terrified but I understand. Let’s just go home.”

With that the group got in the cars awaiting them in the parking lot. Buffy and Joyce dropped Xander off at his parent’s house. Willow, Tara and Jennifer got into the car their seed money had acquired. As Jennifer drove the blue four door hatchback back to their new home she looked at her girls snuggled close in the back seat.

The woman was shocked at how much the redhead had done for her so far. The young bookworm had stopped at nothing to make sure Jennifer understood what Tara already knew beyond a shadow of a doubt. That they were family. Willow loved her daughter. The redhead loved Jennifer as well for no other reason beyond the simple fact that Tara loved her mother.

In the days since they moved into their house Willow had moved the vast majority of her possessions into the house the three now lived in and into the room the young couple shared. Part of Jennifer felt like she should object to how fast their relationship was progressing. A much more realistic part knew they belonged together. She knew she couldn’t keep them apart even if she wanted to. The fact that her prospective daughter in law was the single nicest person to ever enter Jennifer’s life probably helped as well. As they approach 1632 Rovello Drive hope for a brighter future blossomed in her heart.

For the first time in her adult life Jennifer had a loving home.

_________________
Time and Time Again


Last edited by Citanul on Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:52 pm 
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Cool update. I like how you're showing that even with all their knowledge from previous lives, they don't have a cure yet for Jennifer and Joyce.

I'm glad it's an easy fix for your comp, and you didn't lose any of the story you have so far. Some people, if they lost parts of their stories, get discouraged and don't finish them.

I love that we get basically four stories in one, and that every other update returns to sunnydale s2 reality. I love stories where Tara comes to Sunnydale during earlier seasons. I just don't know any s2 stories that are complete. lol

Can't wait for your next update! Now I remember why I don't usually like to read WIP stories, I'm too impatient for the next update! lol

Keep up the good work.


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:14 pm 
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Mysticrain as always thanks for the support. I too am relieved the entry I wrote will be easily retrieved.

One of my favorite W&T season 2 stories is called Wave. I haven't seen it on this site but it is on fanfiction.net

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6147463/1/Wave Written by 9kodama. It seems finished or at least the author wrapped up things so that it ended on good terms.

Sorry for the slow tease but I know writers block is going to hit me at some point. So I'm trying to build up a backlog of entries and keep to a fairly regular weekly schedule.

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Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:09 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Location: Beyond the orbit of Mars and accelerating...
I love this story!

I like the alternating format, letting you have some crazy stuff interspersed with the main story.

And i like the main story. The 'what would smart people do with Buffy's world' theme is great.
And oh, Willow and Tara, meeting time after time. Joy!
I think that's some of the best parts of a good W/T story.

but two of the best bits for me:
Aquaman underpants and “I want to be vice president of pretty shoes and dresses.”

Magic!

Definitely putting this on my MUST WATCH! list.

I look forward to more :flower

R :bounce

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“All I feel is sunlight. All I hear is music.” Willow
How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


My Story: Coming Home


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:44 pm 
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That is one of my fav w/t fics too. I still hold out hope that the author might one day come back and write some more for both wave and twoth.


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:57 pm 
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This story is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I enjoy the whole premise so far. You're dealing with the multiple storylines very well, each feels plausible and you don't have any continuity problems that can sometimes be an issue.

Keep up the good work.

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Heather aka vampyregurl73
"Dry Heat""Penny Arcade" "Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:05 am 
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Hello all.

Vampyregurl73 and Azirahael welcome to the party and thank you for the kind words and support.

While I can't claim authorship of Xander's Aquaman underpants story I will say that Buffy's job title is one of my finer spur of the moment ideas.

While I enjoy a good love at first sight story as much as the next person I'm fairly certain this next installment will be the last as it is the fourth and "final" world/storyline being introduced.

Please enjoy.

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Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:13 am 
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Time and Time Again.

Author: Citanul

Feedback: Be kind, rewind?

Spoilers: Just about all of them. Go watch the show.

Rating: NC-17

Pairings: W/T, B/F

Disclaimer: You all know I don’t own the rights to characters you’ve seen on TV.

Summary: A story of reincarnation and interdimensional travel made possible through the power of love. What misfortunes will our two favorite love birds be able to prevent with the aid of experience from countless past lives.

Author’s Note: Good news to report. I got my laptop back, fixed earlier this week. No data was lost and I can finally bring you the first entry from the storyline I wrote immediately after writing chapter 2. This one may look similar to Marvels from a premise or gimmick standpoint but I'm fairly certain I set a very different tone.


******************************

Sirens: Scheduled Meetings

It was another dreary overcast day in the city that seemed to have nothing but dreary overcast days. The only birdsong in the air was the occasional piercing shriek of crows. Yet another fine day thought the young doctor as she entered the Asylum.

The lithe young blonde was the ‘new kid’ to both the city and its infamous madhouse. Only months out of her residency and the eager psychiatrist had already garnered a coveted position at the prestigious institution. Anyone would feel great pride at gaining such a position.

At least that is what Dr. Harleen Quinzel thought when she started at Arkham Asylum a week ago. Truth be told she was already beginning to see why this place had given out positions to such young talent. As well as why it had such an abysmally high turnover rate.

The fact of the matter was that Arkham wasn’t a place where sane, respectable psychiatrists went to rehabilitate the cognitively impaired. It was a dumping ground for the ever mysterious Batman to lock up the worst of his rogues gallery. No one coming here got better. None of the doctors would ever get notoriety for “cracking” a particular case.

Best case scenario for the Doctors here was to put in the time and transfer out. Worst case was a tie between a slow painful death and being trick by one of the more devious patients into giving them a clean bill of health only to be ostracized by the professional psychology community when the nutcase eventually went on another killing spree before their poor S.O.B. doctor could sign his first book deal.

All these thoughts meandered through Dr. Quinzel’s mind as she shuffled along with the rest of her colleagues into the routine morning meeting. Being one of the youngest mental health professionals in the facility left her at the bottom of the asylum’s pissing pole of “respectable” doctors. Even among the staff Arkham was no place to make friends.

What seemed to draw the most surprise from Harleen was the occasional doctor who took to the facility with grim determination. The psychiatrists who came to Arkham “for the long haul” as it were.

One such man took a seat right beside her at the conference table. The other doctors began to quiet down as the warden and the chief of doctors began the meeting. The portly older man sitting beside her had a distinctive round nose, thick curly brown hair engaged in a fully underway retreat from his brow, and the thickest set of bifocals Harleen had ever seen. Yes, Dr. Steve Brule had come to Arkham as a young man full of piss and vinegar. Nowadays he had a perpetual look of bewilderment on his face and a brash manner that made many question if he was due for admittance to the facility as a patient rather than a staffer.

Harleen noticed the warden had finished his usual speech and departed leaving the head physician in charge of his colleagues. “Okay everyone, it looks like Batman was busy this weekend. Both Joker and Poison Ivy were brought in over the last few days and the doctors who were assigned to them have transferred out.” He said with a grim monotone as he taped two headshots to the white board.

No one in the room took notice as the eyes of a lithe, young, blonde doctor glowed with mysterious inner light as she gazed at one of the pictures.

Memories of another blonde with gorgeous curves and a lithe young redhead who she couldn’t help but identify with danced through Harleen’s mind. Staring at the picture of the green redhead on the board she knew things would never be the same again. Oh Goddess was she excited for that.

An Idea formed in Dr. Quinzel’s mind. “I’ll take Poison Ivy.” She proclaimed to the room as the subdued and demoralized doctors continued to fight off sleep as the meeting progressed.

The head doctor looked at her with a confused expression. “I had actually planned on giving you the Joker case Dr. Quinzel.” The man rebuffed. “Most new staff would jump at the chance for such a high profile case. Frankly I was intending on giving Ms. Isley’s case to Dr. Brule.”

Harleen stared at the man open mouthed. “Doctor with all due respect I’m not here for fame or as some stepping stone for my career. I’m here for the work itself.” She almost smiled as she told the egregious lie. “Besides, there are a number of reasons why Dr. Brule would be better suited to the Joker case. Ms. Isley has a history of using various toxins and pheromones to seduce men.”

At this Dr. Brule perked up. “I’m sure I could handle it, I also might not mind taking one for the team.” He finished his statement with a suggestive tone that left no one questioning his meaning.

“Dr. Brule!” Harleen began before softening her tone. “Steven didn’t you say you had allergies to pollen and poison oak and several other plants?”

The man obliviously nodded not catching her meaning at all. “Sure I do. Why, this one time I went camping, I accidentally set up my latrine by the wrong patch of leafy undergrowth. By the end of the weekend my entire body was covered in this huge rash.”

The head doctor was starting to get the picture his young colleague had painted for the room. Several of the other doctors had started snickering along at the obvious joke Steve was clearly missing. Harleen sighed at the realization she would have to spell it out louder for the poor deluded man. “Dr. Brule, there is a reason she chose Poison Ivy as her supervillain name. I’m pretty sure if you spent any time counseling her you would breakout in even bigger rashes.”

The balding doctor paused for a moment as his colleagues watched the first signs of comprehension and understanding play across his face. It had been years since they saw anything like it from the man.

The chief of doctors had a slight smile on his lips as he took in the sight of his youngest colleague with newfound respect. “Well put Dr. Quinzel. You take the Pamela Isley case” he said handing her a folder containing the patient’s complete history. Or what he thought was a complete history but Harleen knew to be a woefully incomplete account of only the last few years. “Dr. Brule you take the Joker case.”

Dr. Brule looked up at this and replied with his usual detached bravado. “Sure thing boss.”

As the flow of the meeting shifted back to mundane routine Harleen took the opportunity to study the file before her. She had done it. She had positioned herself in a unique position to get the love of her many lives out of this madhouse. Thankfully the file indicated it was fairly early in the criminal career of Poison Ivy. She wasn’t a mass murderer, or a world renowned sociopath. She had only racked up some minor violations for civil disobedience and ecological sabotage of various industries, organizations and individuals who had less than sparkling reputation themselves.

This could work. With a clean bill of health from an Arkham Asylum doctor she could get a fresh start. They could get a fresh start. They would be together again.

Memorizing the file took no time at all. It did however leave an uneasy feeling in the lithe blonde. She couldn’t shake the feeling that in several past lives she had a brother who would know so much more about this world than she did. As she left the meeting with the other doctors and began her journey to the office she maintained for private sessions she couldn’t help but feel that if only she had listened more to that goofball who loved her like a sister she would know some secret about this world and its inhabitants that would save her so much grief.

Sitting at her desk a thought struck her. She had always hated the name Harleen. Her friends, the very few she had once upon a time anyway, had always used a nickname she could stand when addressing her.

As Harleen sat in her office a soft glow emanated from her body. Ruminating over the slow trickle of memories coming to her, the first of many decisions she had to make was forming in her conscious mind.

Maybe it was time for another change.

******************************

Poison Ivy was having a truly terrible week. It all started with those dreams. Dreams that made her question the goals she had. Made her question the methods she employed to defend the earth. Dreams of her honey blonde hair flowing gracefully over the shoulders and breasts of the lithe, spritely young redhead writhing beneath her.

“Okay, why the hell am I dreaming of myself in a hair color I’ve never even though about sporting?” The emerald skinned redhead asked herself as she sat alone in the isolation cell. “It all used to be so simple. Stop corporate tyranny, stop wasteful human greed, save the world.” She said to the stone walls. “So why am I spending so much time pondering a life I’m never going to have with a girl I’m never going to meet? Why am I suddenly questioning the value I used to place on human life? More importantly why the hell did I let Batman capture me and drag me all the way here when I could have escaped his clutches a dozen times over?”

She stopped her tirade at the walls of her cell as she heard the unmistakable laughter from further down the cell block. That damn clown was at it again. He took every opportunity available to grate on the nerves of every living creature within range of his obnoxious voice. The very idea that she was being subjected to the same treatment as that vile sociopath infuriated her to no end. To lump her crusade in with the pointless killing sprees that damn clown went on was an insult for which she would not soon forgive the bat.

As the abrasive cackles faded in the distance her cell was returned to a state of quiet peace that allowed her to concentrate. Talking to herself in an insane asylum was far too clichéd for her sense of pride to go on with the pointless questions. She was here. There was no changing that for the time being. She had allowed the bat to catch her and bring her here. She felt a pull to something in this facility. A pull that rivaled and, if she actually examined it, she would find eclipsed her connection to the ‘Green’.

Ah, the ‘Green’. Her spiritual and psychic link to every living plant on the planet. Though it took her a great deal of effort to focus the link to gain any amount of information or achieve any effect the link was always there. Giving her comfort, support and a sense of purpose. Renewing her focus on the ‘Green’ she felt a flood of encouragement and pride flow into her mind. Whatever the source of this pull was the ‘Green’ was in favor of her finding it.

Something important was about to happen. For the second time the life of Dr. Pamela Isley was going to change irrevocably. She could not imagine a change as drastic as the results of her former mentor and colleague injecting her with the toxins and chemicals that imbued her with superpowers. The initial betrayal which transformed her into a human plant hybrid.

Her life was about to change and she was beginning to suspect she had no control over the matter. Ivy sat in her cell trying to get a feel for any plants nearby. She was having no luck whatsoever as a knocking sound dragged her from her reverie. The cell doors slowly opened and two large orderlies stood there trying to anticipate her next move. “Your doctor has scheduled a session Isley.” The slightly older of the two men said in a gruff no nonsense tone. “Don’t try anything funny.”

She sighed as she stood and slowly approached the two men who did absolutely nothing for her mood. Would it kill them to acknowledge the simple fact that she had doctorates in botany and biochemistry? “Sure.” She said in an obviously false upbeat tone. “Sounds like fun. Can’t wait to meet the good doctor.”

The men gave her a small amount of space as they escorted her out of the cell block and towards the offices of the many psychiatric personnel. Why the doctor had specifically instructed them to not manhandle this particular patient was a mystery to them but they weren’t paid to ask question. So long as ‘Little Miss Green Thumbs’ didn’t try anything they could indulge the young doc.

After passing a security checkpoint they moved down a hallway lined with office doors, each adorned with a plaque denoting the doctor residing within. The orderlies accompanying Ivy stopped at a door with the name Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel emblazoned on its sign.

The younger of the two men knocked then opened the door announcing Ivy’s arrival. A feminine voice called them in. “Come in, come in. Please have a seat. Gentlemen, I believe we have everything in hand. If you could give us some privacy we’ll get this first session underway.”

Ivy sat in the chair placed before the desk. As the two men left the room she noticed the only thing on the desk was a file with her picture clipped to the outside. The figure behind the desk was seated and turned so that the large high back chair completely concealed her from view.

“Well Dr. Isley it is a pleasure to finally meet you.” The lovely feminine voice caressed Ivy’s heart in a way she never before felt. No other human had caused anything close to that effect on her in years. “As you can tell by the sign on the door I’m Dr. Quinzel.” She said with an upbeat tone.

Before Ivy could respond to the doctor’s odd mannerisms the chair spun around revealing a petite blonde with dazzling blue eyes and a captivating smile. “But you can call me Harley baby.”

Light filled the room as the sight of the bright, bubbly young doctor filled Ivy’s heart with joy. Visions of bliss filled lifetimes swam in the green woman’s mind as the dreams she’d been having and the drastic doubts she now had about her crusade suddenly made sense. “Sweetie?” Ivy whispered as tears of joy swam in her eyes.

The lithe blonde gazed at her curvaceous emerald skinned love. “It’s me baby.” She reassured. “I found you. Or maybe you found me. What matters is we’re united. So much has to be done, but we’ll handle it together. You and me baby, we’ll find a way always and.” She paused her babble. “Oh goddess, I just want to kiss you so badly right now.”

Tears began to pour from green eyes down emerald cheeks. “I’m s-s-so s-sorry sweetie. I’m a poisonous m-m-monster.” For the first time since her unwilling change she regretted the toxic effect she had on other humans.

“Hey!” The young psychiatrist yelled. “Don’t talk like that. No one gets to badmouth my girl in front of me and get away with it.” The blonde held the redhead’s gaze with a fierce look. “You are a genius botanist and biochemist. You can make a permanent antidote for me in your sleep. We just need to get you out of this nuthouse and into a decent lab.” The plant woman starred in wonder at the conviction and drive in the lithe doctor’s voice.

“I love you sweetie and I want nothing more than to be with you but I can’t have you throw your life away breaking me out of here.” Ivy said with a mournful sigh.

“Don’t be so melodramatic doofus.” Harley rebutted with a smile. “No one said anything about a breakout. I’m going to get you out of here the right way and then we can both get a fresh start, together.”

“But I’m a widely known criminal.” The chlorophyll enriched woman countered. “I’ve been caught committing countless acts eco terrorism and I’ve fought and almost killed Batman a dozen times.”

“And now you’ve been committed to an asylum for the criminally insane and assigned to a respected psychiatrist who knows just how you need to act to get a clean bill of health and an early release.” The blonde doctor smiled as comprehension dawned on the face of the redheaded doctor.

“What do I need to do sweetie?” The plant woman asked with renewed hope.

Harley beamed with joy as the glow from both their bodies finally diminished. “Next to nothing really.” She reassured her emerald love. “Just behave like you have in other worlds. Treat other people with respect, show compassion, don’t give the guards or inmates an opportunity to say you started a fight or some other lie they might pull out of their ass.”

The plant woman laughed at that list. “Oh is that all?” She said with a smirk. Every single item on the list Ivy’s love had given would have been an insurmountable task a month ago.

“I know you can do this baby.” Harley affirmed. “The staff here is so dense they’ll buy just about any success story so long as they don’t see a knife at anyone’s throat. Just play nice in the sandbox, well nice by the standards of this sandbox, and I’ll get you out of here. I can fast track the process after reporting an unexpectedly successful first session and have you free and clear in a few short weeks. A month tops.”

Ivy couldn’t help but smile at her love’s gleeful babble. “Goddess, I can’t believe I survived so many years without you in my life.”

“I know how you feel love.” The slender doctor assured her curvaceous love. “We still have about an hour baby. I want to hear all about your life on this world. I can’t imagine you had to put up with that bullshit lie about demon ancestry here as well!” Harley exclaimed with a cheery smile.

“Not fair doctor.” Ivy proclaimed. “I want to hear everything about you just as badly.”

“Fair enough, doctor.” The psychiatrist said to the biochemist she loved with all her heart.

******************************

In a padded room on the other side of the compound the Joker was having second thoughts about his plan of getting into the mind of his latest shrink.

“And that was the fifth time I found out one of my girlfriends was a long lost cousin!” Exclaimed Dr. Steve Brule. “But it would not be the last!”

A sigh escaped the clowns lips as the severity of his situation sank in.

******************************

After being escorted back to her cell Ivy found herself overcome with delight. Already planning how best to display the good behavior her newfound memories made seem like second nature to her. Once she proved she was no longer a public menace her life would indeed start anew. She and Harley would go places, do things neither of them had ever dared dream possible before finding one another. She fell asleep that night while contemplating formulas for the serum she would make into a gift for her bubbly blonde love.

The special additives she was thinking of including would give her girl benefits far greater than simple poison immunity.

******************************

On her way home from work Harley stopped by a sizeable electronics store. She had been saving up in the hopes of taking the special dream vacation. A chance to get away from it all. Perhaps meet that special someone to run off with. Having already met that special someone and hatched a plot to run off in the coming weeks it became apparent that her meager funds would simply not do.

No if they were to get away from it all it would require a payout the likes of which she could never hope to receive at Arkham.

Stepping up to the shelves of laptops, tablets, and books both net and power she started to sift through machines that had what she needed and those that were all flash and next to no functionality.

A clerk, upon seeing a lovely blonde slip of a girl peruse the merchandise, approached her. “Hello miss. Is there anything in particular you may be looking for?” He asked with a smile.

Giving the young man an almost dismissive look Harley answered him. “Tell me are these the fastest processors you have in stock or do I need to special order something?”

Ah good, this customer knew more than the average porn enthusiast or coinsure of pictures of kittens in rain boots. “No these floor models would not have the highest end specs we offer. May I ask what your system needs may be?”

Harley wasted no time in listing the needs her plans would garner. “Graphics and real time simulation rendering, program coding and satellite interfacing for deep wilderness field work.” A thought struck her. “Oh, I’ll also need to hook the machine up to various types of lab equipment to tests ongoing biochemistry experiments.”

The store employee looked at her stunned. “Okay you definitely want one of the higher end models.” He said as he led her over to a nearby display. “These have the latest processors available, the most RAM we carry and high end graphics cards that take strain off the CPU and make the images on screen really pop. They also come with all the different types of ports you’ll most likely come across and we sell kits with a small satellite unlink dish that works with just about every system we sell. Do you think you’ll need a high end wifi adapter as well?”

The psychiatrist thought it over. “Maybe but it’s not a top priority if it conflicts with the rest of the system specs.”

He smiled again at her approach his questions. “Okay then you’ll definitely want one of these three units. It really comes down to screen size and form factor.”

Glancing over the three he pointed out she dismissed the giant of the group and skipped right over the smallest to rest her eyes on the middle one with a 15 inch screen and slightly curved edges. “Does this one come in green?”

“Actually you’re in luck.” The boy replied. “We just got a shipment in with full color options and the highest specs.”

“Good.” Harley said. “Now tell me about you external storage drives.”

******************************

Some 15 minutes later Harley had the satellite kit, a one terabyte drive the size of her palm, a small stack of software discs that would get her work off to a good start and her lovely new green laptop. She had even been able to pick a shade that matched Ivy’s perfect eyes. The clerk rang up the total and she sighed as it came out to just about all of her nest egg.

“So I was wondering if I could get your info.” The young man said with a nervous edge. “My roommate is throwing a party this weekend and I’d love for you to stop by miss?”

“Dr. Quinzel.” Harley responded coolly. “And unfortunately for your friend’s party I am very happily married. Besides my wife is the jealous type.” She said with a smile as she gathered her purchases and left the salesman in a stunned daze.”

Depositing her bags in the trunk Harley quickly drove back to the third story walk up apartment the size of a shoebox that she used to call home. Home now had a new meaning in her soul and that definition was Ivy.

Wasting no time in setting up her new purchase Harley quickly wiped the laptops drive clean and rebooted the BIOS to calibrate the preferences she had grown fond of centuries ago. Once that initial configuration was done she set about installing the new operating system and programs she purchased.

Leaving the several hours long loading process for the morning and possibly next workday Harley readied herself for bed. Once tucked in she quickly fell asleep to images of Ivy dancing through her mind.

******************************

Morning came to Gotham city and its infamous asylum. One woman was up and awaiting the sunrise with bated breathe. The verdant young lass had positioned herself so that as the beam of sunlight from her cell’s tiny window moved across the room she could soak up as much of it as possible.

This had become her morning routine over the past week as she worked hard to give the facilities staff the impression that she was reforming with haste. The almost twice daily sessions with her lovely doctor surely made the effort all that much easier. Today however held new challenges. Harley had said her programming efforts were coming to a head. The blonde had scheduled a meeting this morning with representatives from Wayne Enterprises to show off the demo versions of the software she had toiled over in all her spare time.

The more than tidy sum she could easily demand for the cutting edge software would serve them well in their new life together. To think they could get a fresh start and entry into a new income bracket all in one step.

All these thoughts sped through Ivy’s mind as she heard the all too familiar knock and click as the door to her cell opened. A new orderly stood outside waiting for her to respond to his intrusion. “Isley, come on. You’ve been approved for yard time.”

Her eyes shot open. “What? Yard time?” This was certainly unexpected. It was obviously a trap of some sort.

“Yeah I can’t quite believe it too. Some of the more sadistic guards are probably trying to give you just enough rope to hang yourself with.” He replied casually. “Still, it’s nice sunny yard time. Even our more pasty inmates like yard time and they don’t even have chlorophyll.”

So that was their game. She despised the no win scenario tests this afternoon would no doubt prove to be. “Well lets get this trial by fire underway then.”

“That’s the spirit.” Her naïve escort replied with a chuckle.

Today was going to be far too interesting.

******************************

Harley sat in the lobby on one of the higher floors in the Wayne Enterprises building. She had requested a meeting with Lucius Fox days ago. The blonde had claimed to represent a new startup company that had revolutionary software he and his computer analysts would no doubt want a peek at.

Expecting the matter to take weeks to resolve itself, Harley was downright shocked to hear they had set a meeting for her within the week. What surprised her even more was the sight of the distinguished older gentleman of African descent who approached her.

“Ms. Quinzel is it?” Lucius Fox himself had come to retrieve her. She really expected to be handed off by five different secretaries before she actually met the man.

“Dr. Quinzel actually.” She responded politely.

“Of course, my apologies.” The man conceded. “Please, right this way. We’re eager to see what you’ve got for us.”

Harley smiled as she followed the man down a grand hallway to a large and ornate doorway. So far so good she thought.

The blonde psychiatrist was stunned into silence when the doors opened and the man himself stood before her. “Ah, Dr. Quinzel, so good to meet you.” Bruce Wayne said in a cheerful voice that Harley couldn’t help but suspect was an act.

“It is certainly a surprise and a pleasure to be meeting you as well Mr. Wayne.” She replied with just as bright false cheer. “I had expected a meeting with only a few tech experts and perhaps Mr. Fox to make an appearance at the end.”

“Nonsense.” Wayne rebutted with a smile. “What’s the point of owning a gigantic intimidating company if you can’t meet new people by surprising them at meetings?” His grin spoke worlds about how he viewed his duties as… CEO? President? Owner? Whatever his title his name was on the building and the checkbook. She would have to wow him as well as Fox.

“Oh, of course. One must find joy in the little things after all.” She agreed wholeheartedly. “So let me set up the display and we can begin going over the programs that will net you your next several billion dollars.” She said, going over to a podium by a large screen at the end of a long table. Harley pulled her laptop from her bag and plugged it into the adapter she noticed ran to the projector on the table.

With a bit of shock Mr. Wayne returned to the conversation with his cheery façade. “Wonderful. I always enjoy surprises that increase my net worth by a quarter.” Lucius let out a small chuckle at this, and Harley began showing them how the handful of programs she had written would revolutionize the way they did business.

******************************

An hour later Harley had wrapped up her presentation and given both men, and a string of tech experts Lucius called in halfway through, ample time to play with the interactive demo she set up. They seemed outright baffled by the complexity of the programs. Several of the young men called in said they had never seen anything like it before. Another said the designs were a decade ahead of what they had and at least twice that ahead of the local competition. Star Labs and Lexcorp might have something close to one or two of the programs but nothing near the comprehensive suite the young psychiatrist had presented.

Mr. Wayne had sat stunned by what he was shown for most of the meeting. He had looked into the woman’s background and nothing indicated the level of programming expertise that had befuddled his smartest analysts.

“Dr. Quinzel, forgive me but this all seems too good to be true. Why are you coming to me with this now?” Bruce asked hoping he hadn’t overplayed his hand.

“Money.” Harley replied flatly. “I’m getting married soon and my fiancé and I both want a fresh start and a new life together. The best versions of that new life that I could imagine all started with twenty million of your dollars.”

Bruce Wayne sat there eyes wide. Lucius gasped at the number but appreciated the tremendous leap forward this software could provide the company and indeed all of Gotham.

Several of the tech experts still in the room began muttering amongst themselves animatedly. The most senior of them finally spoke up. “Boss it’s a great deal. She is low balling the value of what she’s offering us.” He paused. “Dr. Quinzel could probably get two or three times that amount from Lexcorp.”

That simple statement of fact almost made poor Lucius fall out of his chair. Bruce simply frowned at the revelation. Soft laughter cut through the silence in the conference room at the top of Wayne Enterprises’ power structure. As it grew louder the young woman it emanated from began to cry and almost doubled over.

“Oh, owe, wow that was a good one. I needed that after the week I’ve had.” Harley said as the chuckles subsided. “Right, like I’m dumb enough to give that snake Luthor an opportunity to stick a knife in my back. No thank you. I’d much rather take your cash and not have to look over my shoulder in broad daylight.” The blonde paused as that statement knocked loose part of a memory she felt was imperative to the situation at hand.

Bruce Wayne noticed the odd wording and the immediate pause. Something was going on here and the only way to figure it out was to play along. “Sounds like we have a deal. I’m wondering, Dr. Quinzel in the future, once you’ve settled into your new life of course, would you care to bring any other product you may have to sell to our attention?”

“Oh, Mr. Wayne there are so many products I could sell you down the road.” Harley said with a smile. “But letting the cat out of the bag now would be telling.”

At that odd tease Bruce let out a small chuckle. It struck the blonde as the first genuine glimpse behind his businessman façade she had seen all day, and yet another stray memory fought to fall into place.

The billionaire signaled for Lucius to begin a wire transfer for the amount the psychiatrist specified and the psychiatrist pulled out a case with a stack of discs, and a slip of paper. “The account number for the transfer in written here.” She said as she pulled up her account balance with her own laptop. Upon seeing the obscene amount of money in the offshore account she just setup the night before a sigh escaped her lips. “The password to unlock the full programs on those discs is ‘green eyed girl’.”

As she began to pack up her equipment she smiled at her new business associates. “This has been a genuine pleasure gentlemen. Sometime after my honeymoon I may give you another call.” A smirk crossed her lips. “Though I expect if you do the right thing and cripple Luthor with the new edge I just sold you the resulting increase in your stock may make my asking price go up.”

With that ominous statement Harley Quinn waltzed out of Wayne Enterprises headquarters. As the tech boys went about unlocking and backing up the new programs Bruce and Lucius shared a concerned look.

“I want those programs gone over with a fine tooth comb before they are added to our network.” The vigilante said to his coconspirator.

“Of course.” Lucius said. “Where do you think a psychiatrist at Arkham with no programming history dug up the skills to write software that baffled the sharpest minds in my tech department?”

“I don’t know.” Bruce replied in the deeper voice he used for his “nightlife.” “But I’m going to find out. If this is some trick by one of her patients I may need to do something about this ‘fiancé’ of hers.”

******************************

Having found herself a nice sunny corner of the yard Poison Ivy sat down to take in her surroundings. There was only sparse vegetation in the area but some was better than none she thought, while focusing on her connection to the plants around her.

The day so far had been only mildly eventful. The only person to approach her was a patient with a shiny new shiv. What Zsasz was doing out of solitary was anyone’s guess but all Ivy had to do to rectify the situation was hit him with a burst of pheromones and order him to go wave the sharp implement in his hands around the yard where all the orderlies could see him. After putting up no struggle to keep the ugly, improvised blade the serial killer was taken back to an isolated cell block where they kept the Joker and all the truly monstrous nuts.

A few orderlies looked at her for all of a second but the higher ups told them to get back to guarding the sickos and leave the plant bitch alone.

Oh the indignities Ivy had to shoulder to be free. It would soon all be worth it.

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Time and Time Again


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:45 am 
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cool update. I like how willow's trying to remember things Xander had told her about Comics. It's gonna take me a bit to get used to willow and tara's hair and eye color being reversed. lol I guess I'm a bit weird. Please don't take that as a criticism of your story, it's not. I absolutely love this story. But like I said before, it helps and is more important that they still have their personalities. I really don't like fics where they look like themselves, but don't have their personalities and quirks.
Keep up the good work.

Can't wait for the next update!


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:29 pm 
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Mysticrain thanks again for the encouragement. One of the funny/disturbing things about comics is no woman in the real world has the one body type all women in comics have. Scarlett Johansson is on the high end of gorgeous but she doesn't have Natasha Romanoff's bust and wait line. No one does. As a result one of the things I've been trying to convey is that they still look pretty much like Willow and Tara.

For instance I've been trying to describe Wanda as Alyson Hannigan in a red corset and Carol as Amber Benson only blonder and with more muscle tone. Likewise Harley is Willow with blonde hair and Ivy is redheaded Tara in green face.

She-Hulk looks like She-Hulk but when she stops looking like She-Hulk she looks like Sarah Michell Gellar. Likewise for the Xander and Anya stand-ins.

At least that's the way I've been picturing it in my head. Most of the other Avengers characters can easily be assumed to look like they did in the movie. You know, because Joss Whedon directed the third highest grossing movie of all time.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:17 pm 
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Well you've done a good job of conveying what's in your head, because that's how I'm picturing it too.

Also, I know pretty much nothing about the avengers. If it's possible, could you post a list of their names, both in and out of costume please? I mean like she hawk is Jennifer, and so forth.


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:47 pm 
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Mysticrain that 's a great idea. I'm getting most of this from the Joss Whedon movie and a few cartoons. I had several wiki pages open while writing the first Marvels chapter.

Characters I'm playing around with the most.

Wanda Maximoff: Scarlet Witch = Willow

Carol Danvers: Ms. Marvel = Tara

Jennifer Walters: She-Hulk = Buffy when she isn't 7 feet tall and green.

Jessica Drew: Spider-Woman = Anya with long black hair. The first of 4 or 5 different Spider-Women. I won't be going into detail on the others as the main Spider-Woman wiki page gave me a headache.

Pietro Maximoff: Quicksilver = Xander with white hair.

**********
Characters from the movies that seemed worth adding for periodic appearances.

Steve Rogers: Captain America #Murica!

Tony Stark: Iron Man

Bruce Banner: Hulk

Thor: Thor! There is no time after Act 4 of Thor 1 where he is less Thor.

Natasha Romanoff: Black Widow

Clint Barton: Hawkeye

Sam Wilson: Falcon I really liked his debut in Captain America 2

James Rupert "Rhodey" Rhodes: War Machine

**********
Characters mentioned and added to round out ever changing teams.

Janet Van Dyne: Wasp

Barbara "Bobbi" Morse: Mockingbird. Think of a blonde, less Russian version of Black Widow. She's also the lantern I'll hang whenever I need to explain why Clint isn't there. Oh wait. Should I not have mentioned that?

Hank Pym: Yellowjacket. Was the first Ant-Man but I liked the idea that the current Ant-Man is a thief who hangs out with Iron Fist and Luke Cage. His wiki page also induces headaches.

Blue Hank: Hank McCoy = Beast. Yes he's from the X-men but he also shows up in Avengers books often.

T’Challa: Black Panther. He's the king of Wakanda.

T’Challa’s new wife: Ororo Munroe = Storm

And a guy from her and Blue Hank’s other team: I won't say who now but he'll come in soon and he's connected to an as yet unmentioned character who will show up soon.

As yet unmentioned character who will show up soon: Now we're just getting into spoiler territory but they'll be a stand-in for a Buffyverse character.

Skinwalker: Raven Darkhölme = Mystique

Skinwalker's pet leech: Rogue

Let's be clear. Only a fraction of these characters will pop up in any given entry.

A guy who puts out a lot of net videos did an in depth study of Ms.Marvel awhile back. They may be worth a look.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... ake-Part-1

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... ake-Part-2

He did one on She-Hulk as well.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... lk-Shaming

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:15 am 
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So, this has the potential to be interesting.

I don't know if it's just me, but i keep seeing Batman as Xander :P

So who's Buffy in this one?
Is Faith there too?

Also, i've noticed with the hair colour swap, how hard it is for me to keep them straight in my head (so to speak) when i don't have 'the red-head' and 'the blonde' comments to help me out.

Time to hone my reading skills.

Anyway, i look forward to more. :bounce

R

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How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:49 am 
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awesome! Thank you. This'll help a lot. Also thanks for providing the links. You've gone above and beyond. It's appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:28 pm 
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Azirahael you asked several great questions. Unfortunately some of the answers count as spoilers. Not everyone from the Buffyverse will show up in each story and those who do may have drastically varying roles from one world to the next. Rest assured that when they do pop up you'll be able to tell who is who.

As to the hair color swap I agree it can be disorienting. Moving forward I'm sure I'll use the other descriptors for the pair like 'Hacker' or just constantly reference the fact that Tara is spending that life in "Green Face."

With that addressed here's the next Chapter.

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 Post subject: Re: Time and Time Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:32 pm 
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Time and Time Again.

Author: Citanul

Feedback: Be kind, rewind?

Spoilers: Just about all of them. Go watch the show.

Rating: NC-17

Pairings: W/T, B/F

Disclaimer: You all know I don’t own the rights to characters you’ve seen on TV.

Summary: A story of reincarnation and interdimensional travel made possible through the power of love. What misfortunes will our two favorite love birds be able to prevent with the aid of experience from countless past lives.

Author’s Note: We have come to the Incan Mummy Girl episode. Though I suspect many of you will soon notice I diverged from that plot line quickly.


******************************

Chapter 4: LA

Professor Gerhardt stood in the exhibit hall of the Sunnydale Museum. Bringing the now famous Incan Mummy Princess to the small California town had proven to be the attention grabbing milestone her career at UC Sunnydale needed. Her star at the small university was rising and the success of this tour would surly take her places that made the last years worth of strife well worth it.

Looking to the dais where the mummy and her sarcophagus currently resided the professor was surprised to see two fairly young women standing over the mummy. The local high schools wouldn’t be taking field trips to her exhibit for another week. As Gerhardt approached the young girls with red and honey blonde hair she thought she distinctly heard chanting in an obscure ancient language. Maybe Sumerian. She had never taken to the linguistics aspect of her profession. When she took the first step up the dais to join the pair of girls the chanting stopped.

The Blonde turned to her companion and addressed her just loud enough for the professor to hear clearly. “Isn’t this such a great exhibit sweetie? I’ve learned so much but something seems off about this layout.”

“I know what you mean baby.” The redhead said. “I’m trying to figure out what it, oh wait I figured it out. They’ve gone to all this trouble to display the mummy for all to see, and they did a lovely job, but for some reason they didn’t put in a plexiglass cover incase anyone clumsy trips and falls in with the exhibit.” She finished with a series of frantic hand gestures.

“Oh I see what you mean.” The blonde replied with a smile. “That intricately designed plate looks especially fragile. Why if some high school student on a field trip were to break it I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of the woman who set this whole thing up.”

As the duo finished their inspection of the mummy and departed Professor Gerhardt couldn’t hold back her shock. Two children had just taken one look at the highlight of her career and pointed out the one thing she forgot that could have almost ended her career.

Without a moment to spare she found a gang of museum workers and had them bring out a display case glass for the sarcophagus. Within the hour it was affixed to the stone coffin and her career safety was assured.

She owed someone a great favor for looking out for her.

******************************

As Tara and Willow left the museum they took one look at each other and laughed. “Sweetie you make a wonderful actress.” Tara beamed.

“Not half as good as you baby.” Willow rebutted. “Now that Rodney and Xander are safe from the Ancient Incan SuccuBitch we should get ready to move ahead with our plans. Fallback site B isn’t going to set up itself.”

Tara grinned wildly at her girl. “I love when you talk shop you cool monster fighter you.”

“Just wait till I get you home and go over logistics and protracted operational support in my underwear.” The redhead whispered as she smirked and waggled her eyebrows in a mischievous fashion.

Tara couldn’t hold back the lust in her eyes as she pulled Willow into a deep sensual kiss. The next phase of their plans was off to a wonderful start.

******************************

Charles Gunn stood before the entrance to Jenoff’s casino. His sister had talked him out of coming here for two years. Not anymore. He needed this in order to keep his people safe. To keep moving forward with the mission. To keep the vamps from wiping them out. So here he was. About to walk freely into a demon’s casino and bargain away the future he didn’t have. Taking one last breath Gunn reached for the door handle and entered the demon’s den.

What he saw shook him to his core.

The bodies of demons were strewn about the place haphazardly. Humans huddled in fear beneath the more sturdy looking roulette and poker tables. A giant wheel of fortune style disc had come off its stand and was rolling across the main floor of the casino.

Off to one side a vampire was locked in a struggle with three muscle bound demons from the casino’s security staff. The young gang member noticed a white guy about his own age and an older man with glasses were squaring off against one of the tusked security demons.

Even more strange was the fact that the vast majority of demons were being dispatched by one girl. A petite blonde who moved with a grace and ferocity the young man had never seen before. She was surrounded by demons on all sides both living and dead, and she was more than holding her own. Her longsword danced through the air with a whisper and cleaved through demons with ease.

Perhaps the oddest thing he saw, and indeed had ever seen was in the center of the room. Jenoff, the demonic proprietor of this casino was suspended in the air as if an invisible hand was lifting him, by the throat, eight feet off the ground. Beneath him stood two women who looked to be the same age as the blonde warrior and the other young man in the room. A honey blonde with more curves than the warrior woman, and a slim redhead who had a finger waving back and forth at the suspended demon with an almost infectious grin on her face.

“Now Jenoff I wouldn’t normally drag this out but your refusal to cooperate is making me very cross.” The redhead mocked the choking demon. “For using the Akashic Records to further such base and vile purposes you are going to die. If you tell me what I want it’ll be quick.”

“You’ll get nothing from me witch.” The choking demon let out with a gasp.

“Now see, you think because you can regenerate you can live through just about anything, and normally that may be the case.” The thin redhead waved another hand as she walked in a slow circle around her floating victim. As the hand came up one of Jenoff’s arms twisted at a ninety degree angle in a way that shouldn’t have been possible. The snapping sound from the bones in his forearm proved it was at the very least unwise.

“Damn.” Gunn whispered, causing the blonde and redhead to look across the room at him.

“Looks like time is up Sweetie.” The blonde said with a sigh.

“I know baby.” The red head said to her companion. “Looks like you got off lucky Jenoff. Now that the guest of honor has arrived we no longer need your assistance. I’ll be sure to put your ill gotten gains to good use.” With a slight grin both women in the center of the room started up a slow chant. As their voices rose flames consumed the body of the suspended demon. Jenoff the soul sucker was no more.

With the immolation of their employer the rest of the demons present and many humans made a mad dash for the exits. Before Gunn could join them a firm hand was placed on his shoulder. Turning he saw the old man in tweed and glasses and the young guy with dark hair standing at his sides.

“Stick around for this next bit.” The young man said with a grin. “From what Willow said about your group’s situation I’m sure it will be worth your time.”

The warrior and the vampire came up to the three men with smiles. “Is this the guy Will and Tara said needed a hand?” The petite blonde asked with cheer. “I was so not looking forward to looking through every rundown warehouse and factory in LA trying to find the one group who can put up a fight against the undead.”

“Yes Buffy, this is the guy.” The red haired girl said as she and the honey blonde strolled hand in hand across the carnage. “You’re Charles Gunn right.” She said more than asked.

“If I answer wrong are you gonna set my ass on fire or just feed me to the vamp over there?” He rebutted with a scowl.

“Yup this is him.” Willow sighed. “Listen Gunn we’re going to help you. Believe it or not we are all in the same business.” As the scowl deepened she added. “We’re just a little better equipped than your gang is right now but that can change.”

As that statement sunk in his demeanor changed. Gunn had come here willing to bargain away his soul for a weapon. Could this group really be much worse than a soul sucking demon?

At that moment the blonde holding the redheads hand spoke up. “Um, g-guys sh-shouldn’t we get what we came here for before anyone reports anything?”

Willow’s smile brightened. “Tara is right. Angel search Jenoff’s office for safes. Buffy, Tara and I will try to look for anything magic he might have been storing souls in. Guys look for any computers or artifacts we don’t want to just leave here for some baddie to find. Gunn if you wouldn’t mind helping please look around for a cart of something. We have to empty the contents of the casino’s vault or money room and fewer trips would be great.”

With that the group dispersed. Gunn looked around confused for a moment but went to the employee service areas to find something that fit the redhead’s bill. He found an empty food serving table in the kitchens and began wheeling it out to the area he had seen the girls head towards.

As her turned the corner to enter what had to be the casino’s main offices and pit boss command center Gunn heard a loud squeal of delight. “Found it! Buffy smash that crystal orb.” Willow called out.

Gunn watched as the petite blonde went up to the ornate object, turned to her friends and yelled. “Buffy smash!”

The magic doodad went flying and shattered as it hit the far wall. Once it lay in shards wisps of multicolored mist poured out and up disappearing into the ceiling. As the last wisp of soul energy seeped out the shards turned to dust.

The warrior Gunn had marveled at turned towards her friends and cocked her head to the side in a confused fashion. “Buffy smash good?” She asked while holding back a grin.

“Yes you big goof.” Willow replied with an exasperated sigh as Tara giggled. “Buffy smash real good.”

“Great! What’s next on the agenda?” The Slayer inquired.

“We load up all the cash and every bit of precious in this hole and head back to Gunn’s place.” Willow said in a matter of fact tone.

“Once we explain ourselves to his t-team we take them with us to kill the demon nesting in the abandoned h-hotel and make them our offer.” Tara elaborated.

“Good to know.” Buffy replied. Glancing up to see Gunn standing by the entrance staring at them she smiled. “Will that be enough information about us to get an introduction to your crew or do you still have doubts?” She asked the young man.

“So long as you don’t bring the cops or demons down on our heads we’re cool.” Gunn said while still expecting the other shoe to drop.

“Bad news Willster, no computers but we did find a ledger.” Xander said as he walked up behind the LA native.

“No problem.” Willow assured. “Let’s clean out the money room and clear out before anymore guests drop in.” She and Tara moved towards a large door at the rear of the control room and began to chant. As the spell came to an end the door handles began to smoke. They popped off, falling to the floor with a clang. The door opened to reveal shelves filled with bundles of bills and a table in the center of the small room covered in gems. “Jackpot! Guys start filling up Duffle bags. Baby make sure none of those gems are cursed or filled with trolls. I’ll go check on Angel.”

“How often do you guys find rocks with trolls inside?” Gunn asked genuinely surprised.

“Not often.” Tara replied. “But it happens enough to check beforehand.”

As the redheaded witch breezed by the confused young man she stopped and turned to face him. “Gunn don’t worry. At least half of this is going to your crew when they agree to our offer.” She smiled and went on to the owner’s office leaving behind the befuddled young man.

“Hey Chuck, come help me load up that cart you brought with those big plastic wrapped money cubes along the back wall.” Xander said with another grin. “This may not be the hills but we shouldn’t push our luck.”

Snapping back into action Gunn wheeled the cart to the back shelves and went to work.

******************************

Willow walked into the main office and up to the brooding vampire who held an ear up to a wall safe set behind a portrait of dogs playing poker. “What’s the what Angel?”

“Almost,” The vampire replied while straining his hearing as a click sounded through the room. “There!” He said, opening the door to reveal the contents of the safe. The bottom half held more than a few gold bricks while the top contained some stacks of large bills and a scepter like object.

“Whoa there big guy.” Willow said as the strange rod came into view. “Back away slowly.” She whispered. Reaching out with her senses the young witch immediately identified the object as some sort of energy focusing tool.

The problem was it had been used by a soul sucker for so long that it was of no use to them. Angel marveled at the young girl he had only known for about a year. She held up one hand and began another chant the vampire recognized as Gaelic. As light swirled around her the scepter turned to dust before his eyes.

“Wow, Willow that is some serious power you’ve built up.” The vampire with a soul whistled. “At first I couldn’t believe what Buffy was telling me about you and Tara but seeing it up close I’ve gotta say I’m impressed.” He grew circumspect. “And you said it wasn’t dark magic or some kind of possession?”

“No Angel, the darkest magic I would willingly cast is the gypsy curse used to ensoul vamps.” She winked as the vampire suffering that very curse flinched. “As to possession, I’m filled with the memories and spirits of countless alternate versions of me from other dimensions. So yes. I am very much possessed by myself if that counts. Plus I know stuff I shouldn’t. Like Penn, Drusilla, Spike and Sam Lawson”

Angel was stunned that the Slayer’s mousy redheaded friend knew that list of names from throughout his past. “Sounds like a long story you’re tired of telling.” A thought struck the man. “So I can assume we’ve had this conversation before?”

“Word for word.” Willow said cheerily as she loaded cash into a bag. “The good news is you always catch on quick and drop it.”

“I can’t imagine.” Angel said with a grin. The vampire quickly went about loading the heavy gold into a tough canvas sack he then slung over a shoulder. “So that kid and his homeless friends really fight any vamps that hit their neighborhood?”

“Yup.” Willow answered. “They’ll make a pretty good fighting force with a little training and the proper guidance.” She remarked as they left the office and returned to their friends in the now empty money room.

“Good news!” Xander called as the red witch and the soul cursed vampire entered the room. “No trolls and a backpack full of precious gemstones. How’d things go in the office?”

“Cursed wand in the wall safe.” Willow responded cheerily. “Broke it with a Celtic chant and filled our backpack with solid gold bars.”

Angel held the bag he carried open for all to see. Buffy and the two boys had never seen an actual gold brick before. Giles had seen some once from a distance while on a council mission. Needless to say the many one kilogram bars were a sight to behold.

“Will?” Buffy ventured. “How much is that worth?”

“Hmm.” The redhead thought for a moment. “Let’s see, each bar is one kilogram. One kilogram is worth about forty two thousand and eight hundred. There are fifty Kilograms in the bag Angel is holding, just over one hundred and ten pounds. So around two point one four million. Give or take market fluctuations.”

“So, a lot then?” Xander quipped.

“Sweetie you know how much I love your math talk but we really should be going.” Tara chimed in.

“Right, no time to loose.” The redhead snapped to action. “Everything's loaded?” Buffy and Giles gave nods of affirmation. “Good let’s hit the road.”

The group exited the now thoroughly looted building still filled with dead demons. They all climbed into the large cargo van Gunn had helped load down with the booty. As they pulled away from the casino and towards a main road Gunn took a moment to study this new group that had so completely changed the outcome of his night. These were certainly the strangest white people he had ever come across.

******************************

Alonna was worried sick. Her brother had gone off to some demon run cesspit to literally make a deal with the devil. She had tried to argue him out of it for so long and tonight was apparently the night the well ran dry. He was gone and she had no idea if he was ever coming back.

Heading up to the street level door of their newest hideout she passed by Jason and Poe on the way in with freshly stolen goods. They wouldn’t last the night but every little bit helped.

As she neared the exit she saw Chain and Rondell arguing over what to do next. Things were looking bad without Charles to give them clear leadership. “What are you two fighting about now?” Alonna asked them in a far too chipper tone.

“We’re not fighting.” Rondell protested. “We just think he should have been back by now.”

“He said he was getting wheels.” Chain added. “What kind of wheels are worth going to all this trouble for if they can’t move fast enough for him to be back by now?”

“No wheels are worth what he’s going to give up.” Alonna said firmly. “But there’s no talking him out of it.”

As she was about to head back inside a huge bus pulled up right in front of them. The doors opened and her brother stepped out and came face to face with the trio who had worried over his whereabouts.

“Sup y’all.” He said with a smile.

“Don’t you sup y’all me.” Alonna practically shouted. “Where have you been and what the hell is that thing supposed to do for us?”

“Easy girl.” Her brother protested. “I went to Jenoff’s but things there were going a little differently than what I had planned.”

As he was trying to ease his sister’s nerves Alonna couldn’t help but notice the three white girls standing behind him. “Charles! What the hell? You sold your soul to a demon for a tour bus and three white women?” She shouted.

At this outburst all three girls behind Gunn just about doubled over with laughter. “Oh goddess that’s funny.” The redhead wheezed into the hair of the taller blonde who was in tears.

“He wishes we were on the menu at that ratty casino.” The shorter of the two blondes said between chuckles. “Seriously though we have a demon to kill. Round up your crew Gunn and get everyone to pack their things and load into the bus. You won’t be coming back to this rats nest once we clear out your new headquarters.”

Both Rondell and Chain had matching looks of complete confusion on their faces. “What the hell is she talking about Gunn?” Rondell said.

“What demon?” Chain added.

Gunn had a slight smile. He couldn’t wait to share the new plan with his people. “Just do what the lady said. The long version comes after kicking some demon ass, short version is we’ve now got corporate sponsorship.”

******************************

Once the thirty or so homeless kids had their few meager possessions packed onto the Greyhound and were seated Alonna took note of the old man sitting at the driver’s seat. He had glasses, a tweed blazer and while he didn’t act like some rich snob he did have an accent and an air of authority that set him apart from the young people who had shown up with Charles. The three girls were in deep conversation at the front of the bus and her brother seemed to be in on the party. ‘Just what is going on?’ She thought.

Turning towards his crew Gunn and the smaller blonde stood up. “Okay listen up people.” He said. “This is Buffy. She’s calling the shots on this op.”

“Gunn, what the hell?” Chain protested. “Who are these people?”

“I’m Buffy Summers.” The blonde spoke up. “And I’m the Slayer.”

******************************

As Buffy gave the young crowd the standard explanation for what being a Slayer entailed Giles started up the bus and drove towards the hotel where they had left Xander, Angel and the van full of money.

This gave Willow and Tara the opportunity to prepare the spells that would soon need casting to face the paranoia demon. The connection between the two young lovers had never been stronger. Yet this fight would be the most taxing series of spells they had done yet. If not for the assistance of the rest of the Scooby gang they would never have approached a Thesulac in this way.

The fact remained however. They had something to prove. This street gang needed to see the forces they would be facing beyond simple vampire nests. They needed to be shown what truly terrifying power looked like. How else would they understand the gravity of the proposal Willow and Tara would put before them?

As Giles pulled the bus up in front of the old abandoned Hyperion Hotel the girls came out of the focusing trance they had been in the entire trip. Buffy and Gunn got the crew off the bus and made sure everyone knew their roles in the coming fight. What they left out was the fact most of those roles were that of spectator. Buffy, Willow, Tara and to a lesser extent Angel would be doing the heavy lifting. Xander, Giles and Gunn would be by the rest of the on looking crew to ensure the demon was penned in. Yes they were in for a show this night.

As the large fighting force entered the old hotel many of them could hear whispers in the dark. Giles called them to attention. “Ignore the voices. It’s just the demon trying to break us before we even face it.”

"Aradia, Goddess of the lost, the path is murky, the woods are dense, darkness pervades, I beseech thee, bring the light.” Willow chanted. “Fiat Lux!”

Light filled the dark hotel lobby and allowed the teams to move into position. The Thesulac’s whispers grew more fervent but to no avail. The Scoobies were a trained team by this point, and even the weakest of Gunn’s crew was used to facing down more than their share of horrors.

Giles spread the bag of prepared powders across the area they wanted the demon to manifest in and as one the witches began their chant.

“We call the forth, Thesulac of the Netherworld. We command you, leave our minds and join us on this the physical plane.” Raising the Orb of Ramjarin Tara and Willow continued. “We invoke thee by the power of the orb of priests of Ramjarin. What was once in our thoughts, be now in our midst.”

As the light in the orb grew to a blinding crescendo the air in the middle of the lobby thickened into shifting veils of light. As the deepest veil grew brighter and began to break through to the surface a scream could be heard throughout the chamber.

The sound of thunder and screams echoed as the last veil shattered. There before the assembled demon hunters was the Thesulac demon fully manifested in the physical world.

“I don’t remember ordering takeout, but I like what ya brung me. Not as delectable as the last one perhaps, but full of tasty paranoia just the same.” Looking around the demon took in the sight of all the delicious humans in his feeding grounds. “The large numbers especially make up for the slim pikin’s on a few of ‘em.”

Angel stepped forth. “You had your last meal here a long time ago. You should have gotten out when you had the chance.”

“Got out?” The demon scoffed. “Now why would I want to do that? When the room service in this hotel is still excellent. Has been for fifty years.” A confused look came over Angel’s face as the demon leaned in close to gloat. “Paranoia here is like fine wine.”

“It gets better with age.” The vampire finished. “You’re still feeding.”

“Gunn!” Buffy called.

Raising his crossbow Gunn called out to his crew. “Fire!”

No less than fifteen crossbow bolts and arrows found themselves lodged in the towering demon. Half his tentacles were pinned to different surfaces around the Thesulac. Buffy flew into the fray. Her blade connecting with the demon’s body with frightening precision.

As Angel closed the distance to aid the Slayer Tara and Willow began another chant. “Thespia we call upon thee. Bind our foe. Thicken!”

The movements of the demon slowed to less than a crawl. Buffy took the opening to bury her sword in its chest. The blade went in all the way to the hilt as she and Angel drew back from the fight.

Still moving the demon looked like it was readying another go. That is until the witches ended their last chant of the battle.

Willow and Tara raised the hands that had been connected the entire time. As their outstretched arms pointed at the demon they shouted out in unison. “Lords of the sky and upper realms hear our plea. Strike!”

A pillar of light encircled both woman as a beam of lightning arced out and consumed the hideous fiend. His screams pounded in the ears of those present as his form was engulfed in light and destroyed.

Nothing was left of the Thesulac as the light faded and the two witches slumped to the floor back to back. Angel began his lonely walk up the stairs.

“Where’s he going?” Xander asked.

“He h-has to say goodbye. T-tell that poor woman she can rest now.” Tara breathed out.

“Giles, the after party.” Willow whispered to her mentor.

“Yes dear girl.” He replied as he took his phone out and made the call.

******************************

Twenty minutes later thirty large pizzas had been delivered and everyone was enjoying themselves heartily. Alonna and Buffy seemed to be in deep conversation, and Gunn had introduced Xander to just about all of his people. The mere mortals of the ever expanding group were sharing favorite dust stories. A Coroner had come by and taken the body of Judy Kovacs from room 214. Angel had written up a goodbye note for the old woman so they wouldn’t file her as a Jane Doe and Giles gave them instructions to follow so that Willow could pay for her service.

“It always helps to have an adult on hand to talk to the cops or doctors when things turn out screwy.” Buffy told Alonna. “Of course being able to run away really fast helps too.”

Alonna couldn’t help but laugh. “Says the girl with superpowers.” As her laughter subsided she looked over at Willow and Tara. “So have they always been that powerful?”

Buffy sighed at the change in topic. “Since the day they met. I’ve know Will for over a year now, but Tara only joined our group in the last few weeks.” Looking back at the young African American girl Buffy smiled. “Ever since the moment they met their powers have grown, while they themselves have truly blossomed. Seeing them so in love gives me hope. You know?”

“I get that.” Alonna replied.

As the conversations in the room began to taper off Tara and Willow rose and walked to the center of the room. Clasping hands they intoned in unison. “Goddess, we invoke your will. Cleanse this place and allow it to heal.” Light flowed around them and suddenly everyone in the building could feel the air lighten. An evil presence had been cleansed from the place they had won.

The duo walked back over to the center of the room and sat down wearily on the circular couch. “Okay there’s only one more spell to cast but it’s doozy and we’ll have to prep for it.” The redhead said to the assembled demon hunters.

“If e-eveyone could gather round, there are some things w-we need to discuss.” Tara announced as she and Willow clung to each other.

As the crew of young homeless teens gathered around the two witches they all grew quiet. No one was sure about what was going to happen next. Alonna had felt a connection the Slayer right away but that didn’t help ease the sense that they were planning something.

“So.” Willow began slowly. “I bet you’re all wondering what’s going on. Well we have an offer to make you all. Earlier tonight we killed Jenoff and ransacked his casino. That’s where we met Gunn. We then looted the place and now there is a van in this buildings parking structure with a few million dollars in it. Some of that is going to all of you.”

As the group of disenfranchised youth stood there shocked Giles pulled out a file and some papers. He then crossed over to the Gunn siblings and handed them a pen.

“Charles, Alonna if you would be so kind please sign here.” He asked in his polite British accent.

The brother and sister looked at each other then Gunn took the pen and signed his name. Alonna followed right behind with her signature.

“Good.” Willow said. “As of midnight tonight Tara and I are the legal owners of the Hyperion Hotel. This place belongs to us. That form you just signed makes the two of you co owners. As soon as it’s filed with our realtor the four of us officially own this hotel.”

Gunn was shocked. Alonna was just as surprised but still waited for the other shoe to drop.

“Your group could one day be a great force for good.” Tara told them. “But there are some things you’re going to need to learn.”

“Our group operates out of Sunnydale.” Willow went on. “It is the hellmouth. That means it has less than a twentieth of the population of LA and five times as many vamps and demons. Thus we have the Slayer stationed there.” She gestured to Buffy who waved at the assembled teens. “We just got the finances to fund a wide scale anti demon offensive but we don’t have the manpower to patrol a second city, especially one this size. You have manpower but no finances. That pizza party may have been the first full meal some of you have had in awhile.” She paused to let them all understand she was aware of their situation.

“This hotel is now your base of operations.” Willow said. “Buffy please remove your shirt.”

This statement stunned the entire group who looked back and forth between the witch and the Slayer. Buffy complied easily but put on a good show of being put out. “Okay if you say so Will, but just this once. Don’t want to show off too much of the goods.”

Shock turned to puzzlement as the Slayer removed her shirt and revealed a second covering beneath it. She wore what looked like a full body wet suit covered in plates and ridges. Denser plated sections protected vital parts of the young girl’s anatomy.

“That,” Willow told the now curious crew. “Is state of the art body armor. It’s a series of polymer plates over a Kevlar weave. Designed light enough to conceal under her normal clothes. Yet strong enough to stop most small arms fire, knives, the average demon claw and many other things. It costs around three hundred thousand dollars, and each of us is wearing one.”

“We’re willing to supply you with vehicles, weapons and similar armor.” Tara said as her mate’s statement was met with blank and confused stares. “Also food, medical supplies, and just about everything you need to live here comfortably.”

Something finally sparked in Gunn’s mind. It was too good to be true. “What’s the catch?” He asked.

“There are some rules each of you will have to follow.” Willow said with her best resolve face. “Obviously no drugs or anything illegal that isn’t part of the mission. We can’t have petty crimes jeopardize what we’re doing. No more stealing to survive. You will each be compensated for whatever part you play in this. Whether you fight in the field or stay here and support from base. Everyone eats, gets clean clothing and a comfortable bed.”

Smiles spread across the faces of the no longer homeless kids. Willow saw this and went on to the hard part. “Those who can are going back to school. Those who can’t are going to earn G.E.D.’s.” The smiles vanished from half the faces. “The only way this works is if this place counts as a youth center slash halfway home on paper. Then it becomes a huge humanitarian tax write off and we can spend as much money as we want on it without the cops wondering if you guys are going to start world war three. That means education for all. We will provide tutors and anything else you guys need but you are all learning at least a trade skill if not earning a college degree.”

“That sounds fair when you put it like that.” Alonna stated.

“There’s more.” Tara replied.

“Right.” Willow said. “Tara and I own a company. A startup tech firm that will be selling all sorts of goods to fortune five hundreds all over. Once you get a diploma or G.E.D. we can put you on the company’s official payroll. We’re thinking of calling it the special projects division. Anyway once you are officially our employee you get the special retirement package. We’re going to take the majority of the money we took from Jenoff’s and invest it in a number of places. Once any one of you has been fighting here for ten years we’ll give you a cut of the interest earned. Five million each sound good? More than enough to start fresh somewhere or bankroll dreams you guys might have.”

The smiles were back as all of Gunn’s crew couldn’t believe the offer being made.

“Lastly there are some things you’’ll have to understand.” Willow said still serious. “There are demons that make the Thesulac we just killed look like a saint. There are also demons out there, especially in a city this size, who are absolutely harmless. They are fully integrated into human society and go their whole lives without spilling a drop of human blood. Furthermore there are demons who go out of their way to serve the forces of good. The powers that be have many such demons positioned all over this city. They serve the greater good by guarding locations and objects of power and keeping such things out of the reach of the forces of evil.” She paused to let that sink in.

“Under no circumstances are you to slay any of those demons.” Willow said in the harshest voice they had heard from her yet. “There are a few demons we’re going to contact and have you guys work with on a regular basis. They are all good men trying to do right by the world.”

Rondell chose that moment to speak up. “So what, you just expect us to trust some demon with our lives?”

“I expect you to fight evil and protect innocent lives!” Willow shot back. “Regardless of the race of the innocents in question. When a group of evil demons runs through town trying to exterminate half breeds I expect you to save the half breeds. When some otherwise peaceful demons go crazy for no reason I expect you to find the reason. Half the time it’s some new drug we need off the streets. When a group of evil rich humans open an underground demon fighting ring I expect you to shut it down and free the demons being tortured and imprisoned. When a demon shows up protecting a pregnant woman whose unborn child is some chosen one I expect you to protect the child, the mother and the demon.”

The LA residents had no clue how to respond to that. Tara took the opportunity to try a softer approach. “There are countless different types of demons. Many are unspeakably evil, but just as many are completely harmless and just trying to go about living their lives in peace. They come to towns like LA because they can blend in and hide from anyone who might be hunting them. They want the same things we all want.”

Willow took Tara’s hand and spoke to the group. “There are a few demons you will have to trust completely for the mission to work. One of them is a total pacifist who will never fight in the field but will provide information and guidance that I can already tell all of you need severely. Another one we have in mind is a bit stronger and more than willing to fight other demons but he’s not half the fighter Gunn is. He’s also half human and in need of friends.”

“That’s all fine.” Gunn said. “We can work with the occasional demon who knows how to behave.” He paused and looked at Angel. “Vampires are another story though.”

“Angel is a special case.” Willow said with a chuckle. “He’s cursed. About a hundred years ago he ate the wrong gypsy princess. They cursed him with a human soul.”

Confusion swept through the crowd. “So he’s good then?” Alonna asked.

“No.” Willow said. “He is mopey and brooding, but as long as the curse remains intact he fights evil and tries to be a good man. Which is why he is going to be stationed here with you.”

“What!” Buffy screamed.

Angel looked up puzzled. “Willow.”

“You two follow me.” The redhead said as she got up and walked to the office behind the front desk. The Slayer and the cursed vampire followed her.

“That’s going to be a messy conversation.” Tara said. “Because of the s-specific conditions behind the curse Angel should not be with our group in Sunnydale.”

“So why don’t you dust him?” Chain challenged. “It’s not like you don’t have the power.”

A smile spread over Tara’s face. “Because he has a destiny. If we dusted him s-some power will just go and bring him right back to use as a pawn or w-weapon against us.”

******************************

Closing the door behind him Angel turned to Buffy and Willow.

“We’re not fighting about this Buffy.” The witch told the Slayer. “This is something you both have to do or else things turn out bad for all of us.”

“So you’re just going to force us to break up?” Buffy asked with ice in her voice.

“Buffy if you two sleep together you’ll break the curse and Angelus goes on a killing spree.” Willow said flatly. “For the time being you can’t be together.”

“That’s how the curse gets broken?” Angel asked.

“It’s more complicated with the whole true happiness aspect but yes.” The redhead told her friends. “There is a chance though.”

“What chance?” Buffy said with tears in her eyes. She couldn’t believe this was happening.

“There is a prophecy.” Willow began slowly. “It mentions the vampire with a soul. That being will play a pivotal role in the apocalypse. Afterwards he will Shanshu.”

“What does that mean?” Angel pleaded.

“It’s an old term from a dead language.” The witch replied. “It means to live and die. It means the vampire will get to live until he dies.”

“How?” Buffy didn’t understand.

“It means after a long hard journey and many apocalypses prevented the vampire with a soul gets to be human.” Willow told them. “If Angel stays in Sunnydale he loses his soul and that chance. Angel has to stay here and take marching orders from the powers that be. I’m sorry Buffy but if you truly love him you can’t be together for now. You’ll have to be apart for a time.” With that Willow walked to the door and slipped out shutting it behind her.

“I don’t believe this.” Buffy said.

“I can’t become a killer again Buffy.” Angel said with a mournful sigh. “What kind of future can I give you if I’m the monster you’re sworn to fight?” He looked up into Hazel eyes.

“So what?” She demanded. “This is it? You’re just leaving me.”

“Maybe if I become human again I can be the man you deserve.” The vampire pleaded.

As the Slayer dealt with the shocking news, and the breakup she always knew was coming, she made a decision. She would no longer let so called higher powers call the shots in her war. She would fight the good fight according to her will and show no mercy to any force that stood in her way or tried to pull her strings.

******************************

As Willow left the office she noticed the LA crew was still gathered around Tara. Walking up to the group she heard the arguing.

“So you’re leaving the vampire here as a babysitter and expecting us to work with demons?” Chain obviously had problems with this plan.

“You can’t ask us to trust monsters.” Apparently so did Rondell.

“We can and we are.” Willow said causing the entire group to turn and look at her. “This is the deal. The way you fight this war is too short sighted, and it’ll get all of you killed. We are going to give you everything you could ever need to fight and win while keeping casualties on your end as low as possible. Your end of the bargain is getting educated and treating the peaceful demons in this world the same way you would treat peaceful humans.”

“Okay we get that.” Gunn said while gesturing for Chain and Rondell to stand down. “The part some of us have a beef with is the you leaving us with a blood sucking fiend part.”

Willow sighed. “I get that, but Angel has saved my life many times. He has dedicated himself to the mission. Having a fighter as strong as him with your team keeps you alive.”

“What about breaking the curse?” Alonna asked. “You seemed concerned about it breaking in Sunnydale. What if that happens here?”

A smile crept across both witches faces. “It can’t happen here for the foreseeable future. The curse is very specific. He will have his human soul so he can suffer the guilt of his monstrous actions. Once he experiences a moment of perfect true happiness his soul is taken from him. The one person who could make him perfectly happy right now lives in Sunnydale. So he stays here in LA with you guys.”

“What if someone here makes him happy?” Gunn asked.

“Don’t worry about that. No one here is his type.” Willow reassured them. “He’s got a thing for petite blondes he can spend weeks obsessing over.”

Realization swept the LA crew. As if on cue they turned to see the Slayer exit the hotel office. Buffy took one look at the group and turned to walk out the door to the open courtyard. Willow went over to Xander and whispered a request in his ear. He looked at her and nodded once before heading off towards the hotel garage. Willow watched him go. Hoping this was the right thing to say she turned towards the group she wanted to help and be helped by so badly.

“I get it.” Willow stated simply. “You have trust issues. You don’t like demons and vamps. Some of you might have some issues with witches. I get it. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are demons out there who will lay down their lives to save yours. There are many out there who would never harm another living being. They need protection from the world enders and the people eaters just as badly as any human. That’s the deal. Help the helpless regardless of race. Abide by that and I’ll make sure each of you retires with more than enough opportunities and resources to find happiness. All it takes on your end is doing what you’ve been doing only better equipped and with one vampire fighting at your side. A vampire that has only drained the blood of pigs and rats for the last few decades.”

As the redhead said ‘rats’ Xander strolled in the room holding a large cube wrapped in a blanket. He set it down between Gunn and Willow and went to stand at her side. The hacker reached down and removed the sheet to reveal one of the cubes from the casino containing one million dollars.

“If the deal as offered is too much to ask then take this and the bus you rode over here in and go.” Willow whispered. “We don’t need to draft anyone who doesn’t believe in our mission.”

Gunn looked at her for a long moment. “Even with the vampire here we’ll still be in charge on our end? He won’t micromanage or send half my people to their deaths?”

“You, Alonna and Angel will be in charge of things here.” Willow said with a glimmer of hope. “The demons mentioned earlier will provide information on what major threats pop up. They have powers that help with that. Once they get a vision of evil afoot you will take action against said evil. You have experience on these streets and Angel has over two hundred years of experience that you will need to face tougher enemies.”

Gunn looked to his sister who only nodded ‘yes’ trying to tell him to take the deal. Even Rondell and Chain seemed to be satisfied with the setup the witch had just laid out. “Okay.” Charles said. “We’re in, we want to do more in this fight and the vamp might take some getting used to but we’ll work on it.”

Willow let out a relieved sigh. “Thank the goddess.” Looking around at the tired faces she recalled the extremely late hour. “It’s almost dawn. Why don’t we see about getting some of this place habitable. Put this cube in the office under the desk. In the morning all of you should each take a thousand or so and go buy new clothing, personal items, books, maybe a video game console or two and some games. I’ll make a call and get food, computers, and other necessities shipped in.”

Angel spoke up for the first time. “I’ll check the fuses and the boiler room. Try to get power and water running while everyone gets some sleep.” He turned and left the grand lobby.

Gunn watched him go before turning to his people. “Okay you guys heard the lady. Pick one of the larger rooms and let’s clean it enough to be camped out in for the night.”

“I’ll pass out name tags and markers tomorrow.” Willow said. “You guys can go through and stake out the rooms you want for the long term then. Eventually you’re gonna want all the rooms cleaned and habitable. Never know when someone you save needs a safe house for a few days.” With that she and Tara went out the courtyard door to check on the Slayer.

Gunn watched the two lovers exit the lobby. He couldn’t believe how drastically things had changed. With what they were offering he could move his operation beyond fending off vampire attacks in one small corner of a neighborhood. They could protect most of the city.

As hope for this new turn of events bloomed in his heart two of his boys walked up behind him.

“Hey Gunn.” Joey said. “James and I were talking it over. What do you think my chances are if I asked that redhead out?”

As the words left the young man’s mouth several people in the room had immediate and drastic reactions. Xander and Giles, who were discussing something with Rondell and Chain, both stopped speaking. They turned to look at Joey for all of five seconds before bursting into fits of laughter. Alonna merely slapped her palm against her forehead, and held on as her head shook slowly back and forth.

Gunn couldn’t believe anyone in his crew could be that blind. “Okay, first most of us can tell you’re not her type. Second, she’s taken by someone who I wouldn’t cross if I valued my manhood. Lastly she’s now technically our boss. We got a good thing going on here so far. Don’t ruin it by thinking with your dick.”

******************************

The witches entered the courtyard and found the Slayer they both cared for pacing back and forth.

“If you guys are gonna tell me I’m also allergic to chocolate please just kill me now.” Buffy said in a guarded tone. “I don’t think I can take anymore life altering news right now.”

“Aside from Tara and shrimp we have no food allergies to tell Buff.” Willow assured.

“That’s funny.” Buffy chuckled. “One of the most powerful witches on the planet is allergic to shrimp. Guess I should carry an EpiPen.”

“Buffy are y-you okay?” Tara asked. “I know the news about Angel’s curse is bad.”

“What’s wrong with me?” The Slayer asked them. “You’ve both been around enough to spot defective people so tell me what my problem is. I shouldn’t be like this. I’m the Slayer damn it! I shouldn’t feel like I’m dying just because a relationship everyone said couldn’t work ended.”

Willow felt her friend’s pain. “Buffy.”

“No!” The Slayer fired back. “Don’t Buffy me! You don’t get to spring heartbreaking news on me and act like it wasn’t some part of your master plan. Willow you can’t wave the love of your life in front of me and then tell me I’m not allowed to have mine.”

“Angel isn’t the love of your life Buffy.” Willow said calmly. “Near as we can tell you haven’t met them yet.”

“Then why does it feel like my world is over? I can’t breathe Will.” Buffy said through tears.

“Oh Buff.” The hacker said as she took the Slayer into her arms. “You just have terrible taste in men is all.”

A laugh broke through the tears. “Thanks Will, you know just how to stroke my ego. How many times are you and Tara going to breakup my relationships?”

“There are some guys we need to steer you away from in college.” Tara said.

“One of them seduces you, fucks you, then dumps you because he only cares about one night stands.” Willow told her shocked friend. “The other seems like a nice normal guy but ends up being in some dumb government program. He acts like he loves you but can’t handle the fact you’re stronger than him and he leaves breaking your heart.”

“Am I really that bad with relationships? Do I really only date guys who will either hurt me or end up trying to kill me?” The Slayer couldn’t believe it.

“Yes.” Tara said shyly.

“And we haven’t even mentioned the post college hate fucking nightmare you went through with an abusive ass.” Willow added.

“Other versions of me really went through all that?” Buffy was crying again. “Oh god you guys must think I’m an idiot.”

“No Buffy.” Tara affirmed. “We love you. You just need help when it comes to this one aspect of your life.”

“And the few times you actually went through the hate fucking it’s because you were going through really messed up stuff that other people put you through.” Willow assured. “Besides it’s not like you’re alone. Xander goes through just as bad relationships as you.”

“But not you Willow.” Buffy rebutted in a cold voice.

“Yes I did.” The hacker told her friend. “My first life I went through my share of bad partners. Let’s not forget the internet demon robot. Then this school year I would have started dating a guitarist who turned out to be a werewolf. He ended up cheating on me with another wolf then left to find himself.”

“Oh, wow that’s horrible Will.” Buffy said.

“But then I met Tara for the first time, and after I stopped treating her like some dirty secret and came out to you guys my life was complete.” Willow said before growing withdrawn. “Then I lost her and tried to destroy the world.”

“Sweetie that wasn’t all your fault.” Tara tried to reassure her love.

“It happened and I let it happen.” Willow said with resolute determination. “I became a monster Buffy couldn’t slay and the only reason I didn’t go through with it was Xander risking his life to talk me down.”

Buffy had no idea how to respond to that. She fought her best friend and lost. This was something they couldn’t let happen again.

“After that I tried moving on and ended up in a few meaningless relationships with women who I either couldn’t love or weren’t worth my time.” Willow sighed.

“It couldn’t have been that bad Wills.” Buffy tried to be reassuring even though all this was overwhelming.

“Buffy one of those women was a thirty foot snake with boobs from another dimension.” The hacker deadpanned.

“Oh.” The Slayer let out in a whisper. “But that won’t happen since Tara and you are all big with the knowledge and the witchy womanly ways of witch fu. Right?”

A smile spread over both witches faces. “Right.” Willow replied. “Which is also why we are going to help you get through all of this heartbreaking life stuff. Buffy you deserve so much more than the handful of idiots we’ve seen you with over the years. Granted Angel was the best of a lackluster lot but you can’t risk your vagina turning him into a mass murderer again. You deserve better.”

“But one day he’ll be human right?” Buffy asked.

“Maybe sweetie.” Tara said. “Maybe by th-then you both w-will have moved on. Maybe another vampire will get a s-s-soul and the prophecy isn’t about him at all.”

“Right.” Willow agreed. “The point is you can’t waste your life waiting on him to become half the man you deserve. You need to let him go and maybe one day he might turn things around or maybe you will both end up in happier more stable relationships than the one you could have if you were together.”

“You guys will help me steer clear of the assholes, right?” The Slayer asked in an almost childlike tone.

“Always.” Both women intoned.

******************************

The next morning held surprises aplenty for the LA crew. The formerly homeless teens awoke from the room they had cleared out and stored their few meager possessions. The first surprise was a well dressed business woman waiting for them in the lobby.

“Ah. Hello there.” The business formal blonde said brightly. “I am Ms. Prescott. Which of you are Alonna and Charles?”

Gunn stiffened at the question. “Why do you need to know?”

“Oh, sorry.” The woman said. “I assumed Ms. Rosenberg told you. I’m to take measurements for Alonna and Charles, then take measurements from everyone else, and then ask Charles to indicate which person’s suits take priority when my company processes your order.”

“What suits?” Chain asked.

“Why body armor of course.” Prescott replied before a puzzled look came over her face. “I’m sorry, I was under the impression Ms. Summers had shown you the product we made for her. I’m in the correct place right? There isn’t another Hyperion Hotel just around the corner with another group of disenfranchised looking youth expecting me to take their measurements for a multimillion dollar merchandise order, is there?”

Sudden realization hit Gunn. “Sorry yes, I’m Charles Gunn and this is my sister Alonna. So much has changed in the last few hours the armor thing slipped our minds.”

The smile was back on Prescott’s face. “That’s quite alright Mr. Gunn. If you and your sister could show me to a private enough area I can start taking measurements for each of you in turn.” She said.

Gunn and Alonna went with the woman to one of the smaller rooms the group had started to clear the night before. The process took next to no time and as Gunn returned to the crew he told them to start clearing spaces while one of them at a time went to Prescott’s room. Once everyone was done they could take some of that money from the cube in the office and go stock up on the things Willow had said. Mostly new clothing and entertainment for downtime. Setting out to find the Sunnydale crew the young man quickly came to the office.

“Charles you’re here, good.” Willow said as he entered the room. Were just getting some planning stuff out of the way. How did your group like the new sleeping arrangements?”

“We slept great. This is the nicest abandoned building we ever crashed in.” Gunn replied with a smile.

“Remember you and your sister own this building with us now.” Tara said.

“Thanks for that, but could we get a little warning next time you have a well dressed white woman waiting for us to wake up?” Gunn asked. “Some of my boys thought social services was here to drag them home.”

Willow looked up shocked. “Oh, I’m sorry about that Gunn. I didn’t think Prescott would be a problem. We just needed to get her task out of the way so we can get you up and running.”

“It’s cool Red.” Gunn dismissed his new benefactor’s fears. “So what’s the plan for today? I told my crew to start cleaning and once the last is done with Prescott I thought heading out to buy the new clothes and entertainment you mentioned would be good for morale.”

Willow beamed. “That is an excellent idea. Angel got the power and water running last night. Last I heard he and Buffy were in the boiler room checking to make sure the whole water system doesn’t need replaced. Giles and Xander will be spending most of the day handling cargo trucks that come by to drop off your new supplies. You may want to hang back with them to make sure things are to your liking.” A nervous look crossed the redheads face as she turned to Tara. “We had something we needed to discuss with Alonna.”

As Willow was finishing that statement the young woman herself walked into the office. “What did you guys need me for?” Alonna asked, nervous she had done something to sour this great new setup they had offered her brother.

After the two witches looked at each other for confirmation they turned to the girl. “We have an offer you may want to take Alonna.” Willow said. “Gunn could you give us a minute.”

He looked back and forth between his sister and the two women who had stormed in and turned their world upside down. “Whatever you want to make my sister do I have a right to be here to look out for her.”

“No, you don’t.” Willow told the man plainly. “This decision is hers and hers alone to make. Whether she decides yes or no we will abide by her decision and never bring it up again unless she wants us to. This has to be her choice and no one, not even you, gets to tell her what to do about it.”

Gunn didn’t know how to take that. He stammered looking back and forth between his sister and the witches.

“It’s okay Charles.” Alonna told him. “They haven’t done anything to hurt us and it’s obvious they are never going to ask me for a three way.”

Gunn and Willow gasped as Tara giggled at the very idea. “You’re sister’s cute and all but we’re more than happy with our relationship as is just the two of us.” Tara told the flabbergasted young man.

“Okay, I’ll go but don’t think you can just act like she owes you just because of all you’ve done.” Gunn said as he left the room.

As the door closed Willow turned to look directly at Alonna. “So tell us what you think of Buffy.”

******************************

The day progressed rapidly. Gunn, Xander and Giles signed for and received large shipments of computers, food, medical supplies, linens, furniture and about a dozen other things needed to inhabit or run a hotel the size of the Hyperion. Angel had gotten the plumbing heating and other crucial building systems up and running. Gunn’s people worked tirelessly cleaning the first floor of their new headquarters until Prescott had finished and left. They then took several thousand dollars and bought all the little creature comforts that had been denied them for years.

When they returned to stake out who had which rooms they found Alonna right where they had left her. Sitting in the center of a five point star in a circle made of salt, with the witches chanting tirelessly and the Slayer pacing a circle around the proceedings.

The four young women had begun whatever ritual this was hours ago and the only difference now was the audience. Gunn, Giles, Xander and Angel had all taken up spots on various couches in the lobby. None save the three women in the circle knew what was going on and all Buffy had been told was to let no one ruin things by breaking the circle or interrupting the chants.

Ah yes, the chanting. It had gone on for hours in several different languages. At first quiet but now the blonde and the redhead had grown in volume so that their voices could easily be heard throughout the hotel’s lobby. Whatever this was it was big.

Buffy locked eyes with the returning group, and with a fierce predatory look held one finger up to her lips. If they wanted to make noise they were welcome to do so elsewhere. This spell casting thing, being a previously unheard of occurrence in their lives up until they came here last night, had them all curious. They each chose to stay for the show and took up seats all around the room. Each person careful not to make a sound until the experienced parties gave a sign things had ended.

Before too long the spell kicked into high gear. “Goddess we implore you!” Willow and Tara called out at the top of their lungs. “In your name, by your power, for the honor of all the guardians that came before! Make this child your vessel! Make this girl your champion! Make this woman the hero of the people!”

Light filled the chamber as a blinding pillar of radiant energy enveloped the circle and the Slayer guarding it dropped to her knees.

“Make this potential the Slayer!” The witches screamed out.

The pillar of light oscillated as a wind picked up and buffeted the audience the ritual had gathered. As the omnipresent glare subsided the onlookers slowly opened their eyes. What they saw shocked them. Alonna Gunn was glowing with a bright white light that seemed to emit from every pore of her skin. Even more miraculous was the fact that she floated seven feet in the air. The light began to fade to a glimmer and she slowly descended to the ground.

“Oh dear lord.” Giles said, shocked as the final words of the spell and the world of implications they held ran through his mind. “They couldn’t have.”

Xander and just about all the other young people n the building were as a loss. “G man what did they do?”

“It’s not possible.” The librarian muttered. “How could this happen?”

Gunn couldn’t take it anymore. “Tell me what they did to my sister old man!”

A thin smile crept slowly across the watcher’s face. “They unlocked her potential.”

“What the hell does that mean?” Gunn couldn’t believe he had trusted these nuts with his crew’s wellbeing.

“Charles, they made me strong.” Alonna said as she left the circle. “I can feel it. Oh god Buffy, is this how you feel all the time?”

“Most of the time yeah.” The Slayer said to her new counterpart. “But it feels stronger since you popped up on my radar. Willow why are my senses stronger?”

“The ritual.” Willow wheezed as she kept her eyes clenched shut. “Takes a willing potential out of the Slayer line of succession and makes her a full fledged Slayer. It also forges a link with other Slayers that we noticed happens when multiple slayers spend time together. Basically your evil radar is linked to Alonna’s in a pseudo hive mind. You can sense other Slayers near by and if they are Slayers we made then the Slayer senses are amplified for everyone. Baby what color is my hair?” She asked still afraid to open her eyes.

“Open your eyes sweetie.” Tara said. “It’s your normal beautiful red except for one white streak and that is slowly fading away.”

Willow’s eyes popped open and locked with her lover. A nervous smile spread over her features. “I’m sorry for being such a coward. I just don’t want you to ever have to see me like that.”

“And your eyes are my absolute favorite shade of green sweetie.” Tara said to her love. “We got over your darkness centuries ago Will. You don’t have to hide from me every time we play with the Slayer line. Don’t ever call yourself a coward. You’re the bravest person I know.”

Willow couldn’t help the joy her love’s words ignited in her heart. “I love you baby.” The redhead said as she leaned forward against her honey blonde love and drew her into a slow tender kiss.

As Willow and Tara were reassuring each other Alonna was taking her new strength for a stroll. “Chain, Rondell, Joey come at me with some weapons.”

“Go easy on them Alonna, boys are so fragile.” Buffy said as she, Giles and Angel watched the show.

The three young men each held a sword and came at the girl with no idea what they were in for. The fight was over in moments as Alonna disarmed and tossed the three young men around like dolls.

Pulling two longsword out of a duffle bag they brought from Sunnydale Angel tossed one casually to the new Slayer. Alonna snatched it out of the air without even looking and immediately squared off against the vampire. The two adversaries took in the sight of one another for a long moment then closed.

The swords sliced through the air with a grace and precision few had ever witnessed. The fight transitioned into a dance that Alonna shouldn’t have been able to keep pace with. Yet, as they went through the motions it became clear the young woman was more than capable as she quickly took the lead.

Before anyone could tell it was coming Alonna moved inside of the vampire’s swing, knocked the sword out of his hand and brought her blade up against his throat. Angel looked at the situation he was in and laughed.

“Oh this is great.” Angel chuckled. “I was really worried there when Willow said I was staying here. I thought I was gonna have to watch as this mission she keeps talking about picked you off one by one.”

“What’s so funny then fangs?” Gunn said.

“Now that there’s a Slayer on the team the survival rate for the rest of you just increased ten fold.” The vampire said with a smile. “We might actually be able to win this one.”

“Okay this changes things.” Buffy said as the tension in the room eased. “I don’t know how long we’re staying in LA but Giles, Angel and I should work with Alonna and see where her training needs to be focused. Gunn you should take Xander and your crew and get the rest of this hotel set up for business.”

“I’ll contact the council.” Giles said.

“No!” Willow called. “Giles trust us on this. We’ll contact the council soon and tell them which watcher to station here.”

Buffy looked over at her exhausted friends on the floor. “That spell took everything you two had.” Turning to the crowd the blonde Slayer gave out one last assignment. “Alonna and I will carry them upstairs and put them to bed.”

Everyone headed off to follow the orders given and finish the tasks assigned. Gunn couldn’t believe his baby sister was now the strongest warrior on the team. He watched Alonna reach down to envelope Tara in her arms and then lift the curvy blonde into the air like she weighed nothing at all. As Buffy did the same with Willow the Slayers shared a smile and gently carried the two witches still holding each others hand up the stairs.

Everything had changed.

******************************

Allen Francis Doyle stood before the abandoned warehouse. He had searched all day and night for any signs of Lucas, the other Brachen demons, or the Scourge. The visions of blood and carnage would not leave his mind. Whoever or whatever had sent them was definitely proving a point about his duty to help others. If he found the poor clan of demon half breeds had been slain he would never forgive himself. This was the very last place he could think to look for what might be his very distant relatives corpses. Taking one last breath Doyle reached for the door handle and entered the warehouse.

What he saw shook him to his core.

The bodies of demons were strewn about the place haphazardly. Brachen demons huddled in fear behind cages and torture devices. A giant wheel used to suspend victims being interrogated had come off its stand and was rolling across the main floor of the improvised Scourge base.

Off to one side a vampire was locked in a struggle with three muscle bound demons wearing Scourge uniforms. The half demon noticed an older man wearing glasses and tweed was in the middle of a large group of teenagers engaging the Scourge demons and protecting the weakened Brachen demons.

Even more strange was the fact that the vast majority of demons were being dispatched by two girls. A petite blonde who moved with a grace and ferocity the former teacher had never seen before, and a young ebony skinned girl whose movements may not have been as precise but were more than up to the task. They were surrounded by demons on all sides both living and dead, and were more than holding their own. Longswords danced through the air with a whisper and cleaved through demons with ease.

Perhaps the oddest thing he saw, and indeed had ever seen was in the center of the room. The Scourge demon wearing what looked like the highest ranking uniform was suspended in the air as if an invisible hand was lifting him, by the throat, eight feet off the ground. Beneath him stood two women who looked to be the same age as the two warrior women and the other young men in the room. A honey blonde with more curves than the warriors, and a slim redhead who had a finger waving back and forth at the suspended demon with an almost infectious grin on her face.

“Now Tiernan I wouldn’t normally drag this out but your refusal to cooperate is making me very cross.” The redhead mocked the choking demon. “For being a racist pig and trying to commit genocide you are going to die. If you tell me what I want it’ll be quick.”

“You’ll get nothing from me witch.” The choking demon let out with a gasp.

“Now see, you think because you’re a pure blood you can live through just about anything, and normally that may be the case.” The thin redhead waved another hand as she walked in a slow circle around her floating victim. As the hand came up one of Tiernan’s arms twisted at a ninety degree angle in a way that shouldn’t have been possible. The snapping sound from the bones in his forearm proved it was at the very least unwise.

“Well that’s something you don’t see everyday.” Doyle whispered, causing the blonde and redhead to look across the room at him.

“Looks like time is up Sweetie.” The blonde said with a sigh.

“I know baby.” The red head said to her companion. “Looks like you got off lucky Tiernan. Now that the guest of honor has arrived we no longer need your assistance. I’ll be sure to put the information I gather on the Scourge here to good use.” With a slight grin both women in the center of the room started up a slow chant. As their voices rose flames consumed the body of the suspended demon. Tiernan, Colonel of the Scourge was no more.

With the immolation of their commanding officer the morale of the Scourge was broken. Doyle witnessed many demons dying at the hands of the two female warriors that formed a whirling cyclone of death at the heart of the warehouse. The group of young men protecting the Brachen demons more than held their own against the few remaining pure bloods. Before Doyle could jump into the fray the old man in tweed and glasses and a young guy with dark hair were standing at his sides.

“Stick around for this next bit.” The young man said with a grin. “I’m sure what Willow says will be worth your time.”

Doyle stood there shocked as another young man with ebony skin and a shaved head came up to the group. “Is this the guy?” He asked.

“Yes Gunn, this is the guy.” The red haired girl said as she and the honey blonde strolled hand in hand across the carnage. “You’re Doyle right.” She said more than asked.

Doyle looked around at the gathering crowd of humans and couldn’t help but feel like he was under a microscope. At the very least they had saved the Brachen demons from the Scourge. “Sure, why not.” He replied to the spritely redhead.

Willow beamed. “Listen Doyle we’re going to help you. Believe it or not we are all in the same business.”

_________________
Time and Time Again


Last edited by Citanul on Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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