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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Oh yeah. I never figured they we homophobic either.

Ivory tower types traditionally aren't bothered. Or at least, as much.

Reconciliation it is!

There may be some slight... carpet bombing in the process, but i will go with the overall theme of transformation and reconciliation, as recommended :)

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How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:29 am 
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So, in today's episode a few little things happen,s a couple stories get told, and someone goes on the warpath.

And it's not who you'd expect :P

Enjoy! :bounce



Rosenberg. Rosenberg.


“Tell me again why this was a good idea?” Willow grumbled to the grey Washington sky.
She groaned and put her hands to her back to stretch it out.


She was pregnant. Very obviously so.
Tara took a moment to massage Willow’s back, getting a sigh of relief.


“Because teleporting isn’t dangerous. But it is very slightly risky this far into a pregnancy. Not much risk at all, but if there’s no reason for hurry, it’s something we can avoid. Like coffee.”


Willow brightened. “I haven’t had a coffee all day. I can have a mocha, right?”


Tara smiled as Willow rubbed her back, returning the favour and clearly buttering her up.
“Yes sweetie, we both can. But remember, it’s only really safe to have two per day. So let’s get good ones ‘kay?”


“Ooo. Expensive mochas. I feel like Buffy.”


“Come on girls. Time for coffee!”


The five disguised Slayers perked up. A Colorado to Washington flight had been hard on cooped up Slayers.
And everyone near them.


Their disguises included a lot of pink. And unicorns.
It was clear the girls were in one mind, when it came to their concepts of ‘looking harmless.’


Willow shook her head. They must look like some crazy home-school cult. At least airport security hadn’t given them a hard time.
Because they were all currently unarmed.
Or at least, unarmed with anything that looked like a weapon. Or was made of steel.
Several of the girls sported wooden or bone chopsticks holding their hair up.
Sharp ones.


And while Buffy was all for training her girls to adapt to unexpected situations, when guarding her favourite witches she took no chances.
So their first order of business was to teleport a magically marked footlocker to their hotel. Until they were properly armed, their body guards were a little twitchy. Though, they were pretty good at hiding it.


“Ooo, swanky!” Chrissie said as their cabs pulled up to the hotel. Seven people needed two cabs. Three when you included the bags.


Willow and Tara got out of the taxi, aided by helpful Slayers.

“Faith made this look so easy,” Willow grumbled.


“Yeah well, Slayer, y’know?” said Chrissy as she helped Willow out of the car. “Also, bonus points for being Faith. She could out stubborn a mountain.”


“And they’re off having an adventure while we are stuck in DC!” Willow snapped.


Tara laid a hand on her arm. “Sweetie?”


Willow’s eye’s glittered. “Sorry Chrissie. Hormones again.”


“And besides, someone needed to talk to the DC coven about joining us, and negotiations with the Witches Council,” Tara said. “And pregnancy and camping out in ruins, do not mix well.”


“So it’s good that you got this job, and not the other,” Chrissy said encouragingly. “Besides, there’s bound to be some nice shops here, it’s the capital!”


“You’re right. Both of you. And I’m a poopy head. Sorry. I just feel like we’re missing out on all the fun. I mean, they are off finding scrolls and spellbooks and reclaiming our homeland. I so want to be there for that. And they took Hope with them!”


“Yeah, but Hope is safe in the middle of like, two hundred Slayers. And Dawn. Along with the rest of the gang. You’re only not there because it would be no fun for you, and because no one wants to risk your babies,” Chrissie said, clearly running interference.


“Did you really want to be without toilets, given how often we both have to run off to them?” Tara said, running through the well-worn conversational groove. “At least here we can get something useful done, and stay in safety and comfort. Plus, look: Architecture!”

Willow sighed. “I know, and you’re right.”

She took a moment to look over the building her father had told her about, after they’d stayed there once.
She had always wanted to see it. And Buffy had booked them a suite there as a way of saying sorry, while they went off on a big adventure with Tara’s old friends.


She smiled, remembering happy times. Her hand strayed to her protruding belly. ‘Happier times still to come,’ she thought.
“My Tate always said it was modelled in the French Beaux-Arts style, but I always though it looked more sort of, Russian, I guess.”


“Well, I think it looks spiffy!” Chrissie said as she lead the way inside.
Her apparent breezy cheerfulness belied her eyes sweeping the area for any threats.


Buffy had sat them all down and had a serious talk about how important Willow and Tara were to everybody, and how much trust the Scoobies were putting in the Stars.
That had had a far greater impact than any amount of bossing about and orders.

And to a girl, the Stars had sworn that they’d all be dead before so much as a chipped nail happened to the beloved witches.
And without any significant weapons and armour they were wound really tight.


Chrissie’s eyes narrowed. “Auntie Willow?” she chirped. “I have a secret to tell you!” she stage whispered.
Willow looked surprised, but leaned forward awkwardly.

“I count eight guys with guns. Bodyguards by the look of them.”
Willow’s eyes widened comically.


Tara put her hand, reassuringly on Willow’s arm. ‘Consider where we are. CEO’s and senators everywhere, sweetie.’


“We’d better check in,” Tara said out loud.


“Uh, this is going to sound slightly odd,” Chrissie said as her eyes locked on something, “But did you two tell anyone we were coming?”


Willow blinked. “Not tell so much, but most of the gang know where we are. Plus it’s on the contact board, in case things go wrong. Why?”


Chrissie pointed at the big sandwich board near the closed conference room door. Rosenberg & Rosenberg.


Willow looked surprised, and glanced down at the paperwork Buffy had given her. “Buffy signed us up as Rosenberg-Giles. Jumping the gun a bit, but I can’t say as I mind-Oh!” her eyes widened. “Oh! Oh Goddess! Oh… Oh poop!”


“Sweetie, what is it?”


“Mom’s a psychologist. Dad’s a neurologist. That’s why they get called to conferences so often, because they often work together. Rosenberg and Rosenberg. That’s them.”


“Uh, so this might sound a bit dumb, but why is that a problem?” Chrissie asked.


Willow and Tara exchanged a glance that spoke volumes.
“Because Willow doesn’t have the best relationship with them.”


“Oh. Right. Did you have a fight?”


Willow sighed. “No. Lets check in, and we can figure out what to do, and I’ll tell you what happened. When we aren’t standing in a foyer.”


Tara lead the way to the desk and spoke to the concierge. “Hello. Rosenberg-Giles party?”


“Welcome to the Willard,” The impeccably dressed young man behind the counter said. “I have your reservation. Do you have ID?”

Tara showed him her new drivers licence.

He nodded politely and handed over a handful of keys. “Here are the keys to your rooms. Everything is set up for you. Did you need help with you baggage?”


“Nope,” Chrissie said. “We got this!” she said, and lead the way to the lifts without even bothering with a baggage trolley.


They hadn’t packed too much, given that Giles had given them carte blanche to buy whatever they needed through council funds.


And Buffy had helped them pack, by not helping.
Willow loved her best friend dearly. But When it came to packing, Buffy was about as organized as a hamster. Or a packrat.
She had a strong tendency to get distracted, usually by talking, or trying on outfits. And then run out of time, panic, and then try and cram everything in. In a hurry. And Slayer strength made for some serious cramming.


So Willow had quietly packed a couple of suitcases the day before, and allocated the packing time to chatting with Buffy, and watching the hilarious last second panic.


Chrissie made sure she was first in the lift, first out of the lift, and first through the door to the suite.
After giving it a thorough going over she pronounced it safe, and the girls could all relax slightly.


Tara unrolled a heavy felt mat, already painted and embroidered with silver thread.
She plopped it down on top of another mat and she and Willow silently joined hands.

One minute of murmured chanting later, a rune scribed chest appeared with a flash, and the Stars brightened noticeably.
Their weapons had arrived.


Though the bottom of the chest had swords and armour, the top of the chest had the Stars signature array of slim-line and disguised weapons.
And over the next minute Willow and Tara were treated to an in-depth look at exactly how many daggers, stakes and brass knuckles small teenage girls could hide about their persons.


Chrissie was particularly proud of her ‘Mister Stake’.
A 2 foot long branch of insanely hard lignum vitae that Xander had got for her, carved into an outrageous ‘Pacific Island’ looking totem. Itwas covered in streamers, bright colours and a soft squishy ball to protect the lethal point.

This particularly lethal version of a stake looked like nothing more that some bit of tourist junk brought back from the islands, and Chrissie carried it everywhere with her.

And after the Stars had picked up their ‘walking around’ weapons and relaxed a bit, Chrissie looked expectantly at Willow.


Willow sighed and rolled her eyes. “There’s nothing terrible, you guys. My parents didn’t beat me or abuse me, we just don’t have a lot to say to each other.”


One of the others, a very dark girl with her afro parted into a cute bun on either side of her crown, looked at Tara.
“They were away a lot, Minnie. So they let her fend for herself.”


“How old?” Minnie asked.


“Since I was twelve,” Willow said.


“What?!” Tara said. “Sweetie, I knew they left you alone a lot, but I had no idea it was… Twelve is too young!”


Willow shrugged helplessly. “Hey, do I look like disagreeing gal? no arguments from me.”


There were tears in Tara’s eyes. “When I think of a little Willow, all sad and alone… it… it makes me-”


“I know,” Willow said understandingly.


“Want to punch someone,” Tara finished.


“I- whoa! That ended in a different place from where I expected,” Willow said.
She sampled the emotions flowing from Tara. Lots of sadness. And righteous indignation. And anger.
“Baby? I think that might have hit a nerve.”


“It did,” Tara said. There were tear tracks down both cheeks, but her eyes were flashing.
And just like that, Willow ‘got’ Faith just a little clearer.
It was a viscerally attractive look. And Willow very rarely got to see Tara angry.


Another piece clicked into place.
Tara got upset, just like everyone else. But she never got angry on her own behalf. It wasn’t that she didn’t get angry. But generally rather than escalate a fight, she removed herself from the situation.


But if you threatened someone else, someone vulnerable, then you brought out her inner Den Mother.

Den Mother Tara was in charge now.


Willow whimpered. Her own emotional stability wasn’t the best. And with the dreaded pregnancy hormones acting up, and boy Faith hadn’t been joking about them, she really wanted to just sit back and watch Tara start a fight.


Tara wiped her face with a tissue. Her face was set in a calm mask. She looked like a queen.
And Willow was worried.
Because this was Tara’s version of ‘Resolve Face.’


And the only way to diffuse a situation like this was to show Tara that going on the warpath was going to hurt someone.
And Willow’s heart just wasn’t in it. And frankly, she couldn’t see a downside that she cared enough about.

“I… I think you should give them a piece of your mind,” Willow said.


“You do?”


Willow nodded. “I think you should find out which room is theirs, and when they’ve finished downstairs, and have no excuses to run off some place, you should show up and tell them exactly how you feel.”


Tara looked thoughtful for a moment. “Is this an attempt to convince me to not make a huge scene in the middle of their presentation?”


“Yep.”


She thought for a moment. “Ok. That’s very sensible.”

She looked at the Stars. “I have a mission for you. Find out which rooms Ira and Sheila Rosenberg are in, and when they are likely to be up.”

Uncertain glances passed back and forth.

“Special Tactics And Recon. This should be a walk in the park for you girls. Right?”


Chrissie looked annoyed. “Sure. But what’s our exit plan? Where do we run to if it all turns to custard?”


“Home.” Tara said simply.


Chrissie shrugged and brightened. “Ok. Now we have that sorted. Let’s do this.”



+++



In the end, they had resorted to the simple approach. The Concierge was admirably, if annoying, dedicated to his post, and never left it for more than five seconds. Which meant that slipping in and reading from the computer was no-go.


In the end, they’d settled on the ‘little lost lamb’ approach.
Abigail had red hair, and looked enough like Willow to pass as a relative.

So she went to the concierge with a story about missing her Bubbeh and she went to the room number, but there were two nice ladies and some girls, but no Bubbeh and no Zayde.
She didn’t look like she was going to cry, but she did look small, lost and trying to be brave about it.


The concierge checked the room number, saw the names ‘Rosenberg-Giles’ and also ‘Rosenberg.’
He rolled his eyes just a little.
“I think I see the problem. Who are your Bubba and Zayde?”


Abigail pointed to the closed conference room doors. “Ira and Shiela. But they’re busy, and I can’t get the key while they’re doing a talk.”

The concierge sighed and swapped the keys.



+++



“Honestly Ira, I don’t know what man was talking about. Since when do we have grandchildren?” came the voice through the door.

The door opened and two people entered the room. A short balding man with reddish hair, and a tall woman with greying hair that was undeniably ginger.


“In about a month. Maybe less,” Tara said.

They closed the door instinctively, and looked up from their lecture notes, shocked.

“Hi mom. Hi dad,” Willow said coolly.


+++

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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


Last edited by Azirahael on Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:03 am 
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Dibs. You're evil for leaving the chapter there. That is all.

P.S. it's Bubbe not Bubba for grandmother. Or Bobeh, Bubbie, or Bubbeh. My ex gave me a "Hebrew to Goyim" book of terms but you can also use: MIT Glossary of Jewish Terms

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Last edited by vampyregurl73 on Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:13 am 
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I hope Den Mother Tara doesn't beat the Rosenbergs too badly...

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:54 pm 
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vampyregurl73 wrote:
Dibs. You're evil for leaving the chapter there. That is all.

P.S. it's Bubbe not Bubba for grandmother. Or Bobeh, Bubbie, or Bubbeh. My ex gave me a "Hebrew to Goyim" book of terms but you can also use: MIT Glossary of Jewish Terms


Yep :)

Yeah, i got it from one of those guides.
Been a long time since i spoke any yiddish, but i always thought it was more 'eh' than 'ah.'
My lot pronounce it more 'ee' so 'bubbie.'

but i was ok with trusting a yiddish website.
http://www.sbjf.org/sbjco/schmaltz/yiddish_phrases.htm

I'll update.

P.S: the concierge is mangling it, so that stays. :)

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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: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:17 am 
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Loved how the Stars are on permanent protect Willow and Tara's baby patrol. Also the subtle implication that implies about the Valkyries being Hope's personal body guards. It also was fun to see five of the tiniest Slayer bodyguards find out what normal bodyguards look like. No doubt that the hotel lobby full of standard issue middle aged white guys wearing suits, glasses, an ear piece and a gun will look different with one or more of Buffy's heavily armed "little girls" hanging around. Can't wait for Tara to give Willow's parents "The Talk."

These epilogue vignettes seem to be moving along at a fast pace. Unless I missed a line about Willow's mystical pregnancy only taking up a few weeks to three months instead of the traditional nine. I'm assuming Tara's crew are here to stay if they are still helping Slayers prevent apocalypses this close to the Tara & Willow's due date.

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:14 pm 
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Citanul wrote:
Loved how the Stars are on permanent protect Willow and Tara's baby patrol. Also the subtle implication that implies about the Valkyries being Hope's personal body guards. It also was fun to see five of the tiniest Slayer bodyguards find out what normal bodyguards look like. No doubt that the hotel lobby full of standard issue middle aged white guys wearing suits, glasses, an ear piece and a gun will look different with one or more of Buffy's heavily armed "little girls" hanging around. Can't wait for Tara to give Willow's parents "The Talk."

These epilogue vignettes seem to be moving along at a fast pace. Unless I missed a line about Willow's mystical pregnancy only taking up a few weeks to three months instead of the traditional nine. I'm assuming Tara's crew are here to stay if they are still helping Slayers prevent apocalypses this close to the Tara & Willow's due date.


The Stars are only temporarily on TWillow patrol.
Buffy just sent the most useful, most trusted people she had.

The Valkyries are the ones you send when everything needs to be smashed.
And they'd stand out too much.

Subtle ain't their bag.

'The Talk' happened.
Did not come out the way i expected.
Possibly because the Rosenparents aren't idiots.
And partly because i read a similar story recently.

I think you'll be surprised :)


Yep, the mini chapters are speeding along. And yes, neither pregnancy is taking very long.
Not as quick as Hope, but around 7 months.
Oh, and although Willow is the one doing the complaining, they are both up the duff.
Tara's not one for complaining, you might have noticed :)

As to Tara's old crew: Eh. No fixed plans. just a happy reunion, and on to other stuff.
I have a wedding to get to!

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How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


My Story: Coming Home


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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:34 pm 
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The Big Reveal



“Willow?!” Ira said.


“Who are all these people?” Sheila said.


“Sheila?” Tara said, politely, with an edge to her tone. “You haven’t seen your daughter in nearly a year. Did you really want that to be the first thing you said to her?”


“Bubbale, you’re pregnant?” Ira said, steering the conversation away from a fight.


Willow smiled a little. “Yeah Aba, I am. So’s Tara. So you’re going to be a grandparent, real soon.”


“And this conversation is to find out whether you get to see your grand children,” Tara said in an uncharacteristically cold tone.

While they had waited, Tara had meditated. And this had refined her anger down to very fine edge.


“You’d keep us from our grandchildren?!” Sheila almost shrieked. “Willow, who is this woman? And who are all these girls?”


“Mom, she’s the love of my life. My soulmate. And the mother of our children. So you’d better be nice to her.”
“She’s doing the talking because she isn’t your daughter.”

Willow shook her head. “And this is what gets me. You’ve met her before. More than once.”


“Be fair Sweetie, they probably think I’m dead.” Tara turned to the Rosenbergs. “I got better.”


“You’re the same Tara?” Ira asked.

Tara nodded.

Ira guided his wife to a couch. “Perhaps you’d better start at the beginning.”


“We dated a couple of years ago,” Willow explained.


“And I died,” Tara said.


“You… died?” Sheila said.


Tara nodded. “I got better. But it took me till earlier this year to get back to this dimension. So we’ve only been back together a few months.” She touched her pregnant belly. “Well maybe a little longer than that. It still seems like yesterday.”


“Dimension?” Sheila asked, looking a little dazed.


“Uh, how much are we telling them,” Chrissie asked.


Willow shrugged. “No reason to keep anything a secret anymore,” Willow said. “An entire country is going to appear in the middle of the pacific ocean by the end of the week. I think people are going to notice that.”


“Willow, you’re not making sense,” Sheila admonished.


“Well, you’re missing part of the data set,” Willow said sarcastically. “the most important part of which is this: Magic is real.”


Sheila frowned, clearly regaining her mental equilibrium. “Darling, you know perfectly well there’s no such thing as magic.”


Willow grinned. Internally, the relaxed, and let some tiny portion of her magical reserve leak into her aura. It was a small trick Tara had showed her. A very basic ‘prove you’re a witch’ trick. Not even really a spell.
But, ‘a tiny portion’ was actually quite a bit for most people.

Externally, Willow held her hands at her side and erupted in silent green-gold flames. Lightning crawled silently along her slender frame, and parts of her seemed almost faceted.

“I actually know quite a few things that you don’t. Baby?”


Tara did the same, and unfurled her wings in a blaze of white fire.
“Human-kind is not alone on this world,” She explained. “And the world is far darker and stranger than anyone imagined.”

She and Willow joined hands, and each aura took on aspects of the other. Tara’s aura gained a trim of green gold flames, Willow’s aura getting a frosting of white.


Willow smirked a little, and spoke her voice ringing with power. “Believe me now?”

Stunned silence followed.


Ira Rosenberg eventually cleared his throat. “Actually yes. Yes I do believe you.”


“Ira?” Sheila said, slightly dazed.


“As a neurologist, even a research based one, if I want to keep up my practice licence, I have to put in a number of hours each year. As you can imagine, I also get calls when my daughter shows up at the emergency room, with a head injury. Willow and her friends have ended up in the ER far more times than even active teenagers should have. And while I was there…” he trailed away.
“I heard stories.” He looked at Willow. “Bites.”


“Vampires,” Willow added.


“Vampires,” he said flatly. “Vampires are real?”


“Yep. Also witches, werewolves, and lots of different types of demons.”


Ira looked thoughtful for a moment. “How does all this stay quiet?”


“We asked the same question,” Willow said. “There are a few things making the oogy stay hidden. First, there aren’t that many of them. People outnumber them by thousands to one. Second, a lot of them have magical abilities, and we think that non-magical folks forget or rationalize magic. Thirdly, Sunnydale was right over the top of a Hellmouth, which radiated all sorts of bad vibes which made it worse. And lastly The town of Sunnydale was built along geomantic lines by an immortal sorcerer to really crank up the ‘someone else’s problem’ effect.”


“It made people careless,” Tara said.


“So, you’re saying there was some form of magical field over the town, focussed on altering everyone’s behaviour?” Ira asked.

Willow nodded.

He and Sheila shot each other a glance.
He cleared his throat. “That… explains a few things.”


Willow blinked in surprise. “It does?”


Ira frowned. “Of course. Sheila brought it to me a while ago.”


“I was working on population studies,” Sheila said. “And I had access to the local population statistics. They were hard to get, and incomplete, but there were far more diagnoses of a wide range of anxiety issues than there should be for a town that size. And it wasn’t all diagnostic incompetence.”

“And this brings us to a more personal matter,” Ira added. “Our recent anxiety issues.”


Willow blinked. “You?”


Ira nodded. “Relatively rapid increase of anxiety levels over a few days or weeks, often characterised by panic attacks. Apparently from what we can tell, triggered by faces, specifically contorted or angry ones.”

He shrugged. “We did a few tests.”


Sheila continued. “And from the limited information we can piece together, it seems to affect many ex-Sunnydale residents.”


“It has all the hallmarks of a sudden removal of anti-anxiety medication, but with no chemical traces, other than elevated endocrine levels,” Ira said.

“And we think it affects people in other ways.” He instinctively reached out for Sheila’s hand. “It’s not normal to leave an eleven year old at home for days on end. Weeks even. It’s not right. Bubbeh, we have done you a great wrong.”
He looked away in shame.

Tara closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She held if for a few seconds and let it go.
She gave Ira and Sheila one last glare and relaxed. “I had worked up a good head of mad. Darn.”


“I’m not saying we don’t deserve it,” Ira admitted. “But it’s likely there were extenuating circumstances.”


“This was our first conference since Sunnydale. Our last few months have been filled with panic attacks, tests, insurance fights and rebuilding our lives,” Sheila said.


“And trying to find you,” Ira added.


“I noticed,” Willow said. It was her turn to look away.
“I have a search engine that scours the internet. I found a number of searches looking for me.”


“Sweetie?” Tara asked.


“Baby, I was debating with myself what to do. But there’s so much other stuff going on. Babies, weddings, more babies, people coming back from the dead, a war, the list goes on.”


Ira started. “A war? How are you involved in war?”


Willow looked sheepish. “Um, we declared war on heaven. Um, we won?”


“Heaven is real?” Sheila asked, incredulous.


“Yep. And it’s as white as you’d expect.”


“How… how do you win a war with heaven? And where was god while all this was going on?”


“Because god wasn’t in heaven. The Goddess was tricked, and locked outside of reality by powerful but lesser beings known as The Powers That Be.”


“The Goddess?” Sheila put in.


“Yep. The Wiccan Mother Goddess. The Abrahamic god looks to be a political invention.”


Ira snorted. “As the young people say: Duh!”


“What!?” Willow said offended. “DUH?! So why did I have to go to Xander’s to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special?”


“Culture,” Ira said. “And Xander looked like he needed company.”


“Darling, we’ve made no secret of the fact that we aren’t observant. Well, besides a few harmless traditions,” Sheila said. “We’re secular jews. Culture. Tradition.”


“But… Bacon!” Willow protested.


Sheila smirked a little. “Going without bacon will do you no harm. And it gives you a nice guilty pleasure to have, that does no harm at all.”


“Well, if you eat your own bodyweight, it might,” Ira said.


“Right. Bacon sandwiches all around,” Willow said with a huff.


“I’ll get room service,” Chrissie said. “Suddenly I’m hungry.”


The other Slayers nodded.

“Can there be cheese?” Willow asked hopefully.

“Willow,” Sheila admonished. “Cheese AND bacon? Hardly healthy.”


Tara’s eyes narrowed.
‘Uh-oh,” Willow thought to herself. ‘den-mother Tara hasn’t quite left the building.’

She put her hand on Tara’s arm. “Baby, don’t forget. Extra hellmouthy influences.”


Tara nodded slowly and turned to Willow. “Hormones?” she essayed.


Willow nodded. “Definitely. You were going to give them a hard time about not knowing about me liking cheese, right?”

Tara nodded.

“Definitely hormones,” Willow said. she turned to her parents. “Mom, Dad? I’m gonna provisionally forgive you for… Sunnydale,” she said, struggling to find a way to describe a huge an horrible part of her life.
“I dunno exactly how much of that you were responsible for, but you were under the influence of some powerful, long term magic. And you kept coming and going.”

She looked thoughtfully at her father. “Aba? What would be the effects of taking antianxiety medication for a few months, then going cold turkey for a week or two, then starting again. Over and over.”


He shook his head slowly. “Nothing good. You’d never reach an equilibrium. The effects could be almost anything. Except stability.”


“Which is what I think happened to you. It’s probably why you stayed away longer and longer as time went by,” Tara said.


“I just wish you had taken me with you,” Willow said.


“We… We should have. We should have gone away, and never come back,” Ira said.


“Well, if you had, the world probably would have ended,” Willow said. “So it’s probably best that you didn’t.”

She smiled. “How do you feel about an overseas trip?”


“To where?” Sheila asked.


“This is where it gets really fun,” Willow said.

Tara chuckled, relaxing a little.

“So, it turns out that Buffy, is queen of a country that no-one knew existed. The bad guys hid it, along with a load of other stuff. And now the bad guys have been put out to pasture, the stuff they did, well some of it is coming undone. So by the end of the week, the world is gonna be just a tiny bit bigger, as the lost lands of Summer return to the world.”


“Most of the Scoobies are there now, “Tara said. “Literally staking a claim.”


“And we’d be with them, except Buffy trusted us to protect Willow, Tara and the babies,” Chrissie interrupted.


Sheila was too polite to say anything, but her expression held poorly hidden disbelief.

And no wonder. Buffy didn’t look her age, and she was delicately built.
The Stars were the same, and they really were young.
Even the largest among them was still smaller than Buffy.
The pink hair did not help.


Before anyone could even blink, Chrissie was standing in front of them, with a pair of drawn blades.
Even by Slayer standards she was fast. And Buffy had been training the smaller girls to really use their speed.
Her Stars most of all.

And while she definitely did not have Buffy’s years of battlefield experience, the Slayer spirit looked out from her eyes, unabated.
Sheila and Ira were aware on some level that they sat in the presence of ancient power.
Fierce. Protective. And barely restrained.

Even though Chrissie’s aura of ancient might was lacking in glowy special effects, they could sense it on an instinctive level.
On that instinctive level they knew, no threat to Willow and Tara would be tolerated to live, even for the smallest instant.
Psychological defences built up over years of review boards and public speaking were as nothing to the naked threat looking at them now.
It was primal.


“Chrissy, that’s enough,” Tara said softly.

And just like that, the terrible presence was gone, and a small pink girl was standing in front of them, scuffing her foot on the thick carpet.


“I stand… sit, corrected,” Sheila said cautiously, smoothing down the hairs on the back of her neck.
And privately trying not to supplicate, or display any other overtly submissive body language.
Whatever she saw in that little girl’s eyes near demanded it.


“Oy vey,” Ira whispered.


“Slayer,” Willow explained. “Just in case you were about to ask.”


Sheila looked up at Willow. “What is a Slayer?”


“The first children of the Goddess. The last of an ancient lineage. Warrior angels,” Tara said.


“All of the above,” Willow added.


“Like you?” Ira asked, gesturing at Tara’s beautiful wings.

Tara shook her head.


“Tara is unique,” Willow said. “Part Slayer, part other angel. We still aren’t sure.”


“No wings?” Ira asked. “For Slayers I mean.”


“Everyone asks that,” Tara responded. “We don’t know. If Buffy and Faith sprout wings, chances are, the rest of them will, when they’re older.”


“It’s all new territory for us, Aba,” Willow said. “So much of it, we’re making up as we go.”


“We weren’t intending to. But, we changed the world,” Tara said.


“And like I said, the cat’s really going to be out of the bag by this time next week,” Willow said.


“When we’ve taken care of a few things here, we’ll be joining them,” Tara said.


“Is that a good idea, this far into your pregnancy? Both of them?” Sheila said.


Tara smiled. “They are going to be the first children born in Summer, in an age.”


“It’s part of the magic,” Willow explained. “Ancient magic of belonging, of hearth and home. It’s not yours until you bleed for it. Until children are born there.”


“And it seemed… special,” Tara added.


There was a long pause, as everyone thought things over.


“So. How does one get to Summer?” Ira asked.


Willow grinned.


+++

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:32 pm 
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Dibs!

Yay!!!

Well done, Richard!

And the hellmouth having effects on more than just the demons does make sense. I mean for how many decades did "PCP Gangs" cause so much destruction in one town?

More please.

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:22 pm 
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I'm glad that Tara didn't have to go medieval on Ira & Sheila... Yay for explanation on the effects of the Hellmouth... Can't wait for the Land of Summer to appear...

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Oh YEZ,......Oh YEZ!!!! So say we ALL!!!!
I always wondered how Sheila could be SO disconnected,....other than maybe she really was just a bi---??!! But the way you explain the "properties" of the Hellmouth, it all makes sense.
As to these snippets,....keep 'em coming!!!!
Love it!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:59 pm 
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@ Vampyregurl @Zampsa @MotherD Glad you liked it :) and thanks for the input.
sometimes when you don't know which way to go, it helps to get a nudge.

Yeah, while it's possible the the Rosen-parents were just terrible people, people who are THAT terrible, also have other markers that stand out.
Like getting arrested, being evil, a CEO, etc.

And yeah, Sunnydale syndrome did get talked about on the show.
So i figured there had to be a reason people didn't panic and run away.

Hell, if you look at the death toll, based on vampires complaining that they haven't eaten a person in days, and being generous, and unless they are interrupted, a vamp kills for the hell of it, rather than bite and run.
You are looking at a conservative estimate of on dead person, per week, per vampire.
And how many vampires were there in Sunnydale?
That's a small town (by american standards) with a death toll like Mogadishu.

That demands an explanation.

"More please." As you wish :)

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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


Last edited by Azirahael on Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:02 pm 
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Buffy's big Day Out


Buffy slammed hard against the stone blocks of the wall with a clang and a grunt.
“Ow.”


“Wuss.”


Buffy sighed. “You were right. I was wrong.”


“You owe me ten bucks,” Faith said.


“Considering where we are, it might have to be ten gold. Or ten backrubs.”


“True. Now what?”


“Why are you asking me? This was not my idea!”


“Sure it was,” Faith retorted. “I distinctly remember the words ‘adventure’ and ‘big fight’ coming out of your mouth.”


“I was expecting tigers and stuff. Dawn never said anything about a dragon. I wasn’t expecting a dragon!”


Faith looked across at the massive beast extracting itself from the tangled mess of rubble and broken beams.
The damned thing was bigger than an elephant.
Its scales were the matte black of cast iron, and it was edged with a burning red glow.
Heat radiated off it in waves that could be felt clear across the bridge.

Its eyes burned, and it roared, a sound akin to the opening of a blast furnace, as heat poured forth form its open maw.

“Fair point. Plan?”


“We’re trapped on a stone bridge, down a giant oubliette, with a dragon. This side is blocked off by fallen rubble, and so’s the other. Though there might be a way out over there, because it doesn’t look as bad.”


“Look at you, rockin’ the French,” Faith said. “You forgot the fire. Don’t forget the fire.”


“Oh yeah. And thanks to Mister napalm over there, everything below us is on fire. Does that just about cover it?”


“Yep. Now for the plan.”


“I distract the dragon with my clever puns and quips, while you dig a way out for us.”


Faith chuckled. “Like that’s gonna happen.”


“Well, plan B then. Charge and chop it up.”


“If we go together, it’ll fry us both. And I don’t think either of us is that fireproof. Even with shiny new armour, that thing is gonna fry us.”


“Rock paper scissors?” Buffy suggested.


Faith held out her fist.

They shook.


“Ha! Fell for it again!” Faith crowed.
She frowned. “I won. Does that mean I go first, or you do?”


She was talking to herself.
Buffy was sprinting at the dragon.


“Oh you didn’t.” Faith said disbelievingly.
She followed at a dead run that only a Slayer could manage.


“We get out of this, you and me are having words!”



++



Dragons are fearsome creatures.
Revered in myth and legend.
Not just for their physical power, but their magic, and cunning.
Even specimens as feral as this one.


When it finally got free from the wreckage, it saw the small creatures sprinting to attack.


Moving so fast, that it did not have time to take to the air before they attacked. It knew it instinctively.
And they were too far apart to hit with a tightly focussed jet of fire.
So it didn’t try.


++


Faith saw the massive beast look at Buffy with its burning eyes. Then look at her.
Sprinting as fast as they were, even getting across the bridge was going to take precious seconds.

She just hoped that they were fast enough to dodge the jet of fire the dragon was going to put out.
The gleaming red/orange parts of the dragon suddenly blazed golden, and it expelled a massive cloud of fire.
At Buffy.

She just had time to catch Buffy’s last thought ‘Now that’s just cheating-’
Before she was immolated in a cloud of fire so wide, even her reflexes could not avail her.

Buffy was swept off the bridge by a tidal wave of fire.
Engulfed.
Immolated.


Faith leapt over the river of fire and charged the dragon.
She didn’t know if Buffy could possibly survive that. Certainly nothing mortal would. But maybe their weird bulletproof thing would help. And it didn’t matter how messed up they got. As long as they were alive when Tara showed up.
But if she didn’t kill the dragon, it wasn’t going to matter.


And the feelings pouring down their shared link were too confusing and intense to be allowed to distract her.
And so together they had throttled it back.


Like a bullet from a gun, she ran at the massive beast, running almost horizontal in her need to accelerate.

Several meters from the wall of blackened scales that was the dragon, she twisted and kicked sideways, turning her bullet-like speed into a sudden, unexpected upwards leap and tumble.
And with all her built up speed and spin, she lashed out with her axe at full extension.


The dragon was canny, and hadn’t survived the centuries by being stupid.
But it had never encountered anything like this.
It instinctively snapped its head to one side, snakelike.


But Faith wasn’t aiming at its head, and her mighty axe sliced into its neck.
Not through it. Even so mighty a weapon could not cleave all the way through its tree-trunk thickness in one go.
Certainly not when it was armoured, and moving out of the way.


The dragon roared, loud enough that the very walls shook.
In all its life it had never been hurt so badly.


Faith glanced at her axe. It wasn’t glowing.
Not evil.
Neither was an enraged rhino.

Just fucking dangerous.


‘Buffy!’


’Coming. Came the reply.


The fire rose from over the edge of the bridge, building and building, till even the wounded dragon took note.
’Crap.’ Faith thought.
And over the edge rose living flame. A fire so bright that even the fire of the dragon was dimmed.

Buffy.
Triumphant.
Exultant.
Her wings unfurled, buoyed aloft by a pillar of fire.


And her eyes opened, stars amid the fire.


Her voice echoed off the walls. “Now, let me show you true flame.”


Faith gaped. “Whoa.”



++



“It’s all very dramatic, but I wish it would stop now,” Buffy complained, still fussing with her hair. Her flaming hair.


Willow stared at her in disbelief.

They were seated outside in some sort of plaza, with a lot of wide open space.
And overgrown trees.
A good distance from anyone else.


Tara just bounced her favourite niece on her knee.
There wasn’t as much room as there used to be.
Not long to go now.

In the distance, the Rosen-parents were examining some stone carvings and chattering excitedly.
Ira’s amateur archaeology bug had returned with a vengeance.


Hope giggled and reached for Buffy’s flaming hair, completely entranced.
“Buffy, you absorbed an enormous amount of energy. And you are not a spellcaster, so it will have to bleed off naturally, over time.”


The Slayers had seen a lot.
Though, an actual dragon had impressed even them.
And Buffy as an actual angel of fire was making some folks just a little jumpy. And awestruck.
More so than usual.

So they had moved away from the mob, for a little while, and were enjoying the sun on some surprisingly comfortable carven stone benches.
The land of Summer was living up to its name.


“Well, when you had your floaty thing, you cast a few spells, and it went away after a day. Maybe I could too?” Buffy offered.


“Goddess no!” Willow protested. “That is the least good idea ever. Sorry Buff, but a complete neophyte, casting a spell, while overloaded on magic, in a city built on magic? In a country that only recently began to exist again?”

She shook her head. “There is no way that won’t go wrong. At best you’ll be stuck like that forever. More likely, you explode and take this whole block with you. Or worse.”


Tara nodded her agreement. “Same as Willow and her hair adventures. It’s best just to let the effects fade naturally.”
She turned to Faith. “In all the excitement, we almost forgot about you. How are you feeling?”


Faith shrugged. It was a lot more expressive than usual, as her tawny wings followed suit.
“Pretty cool. It’s a weird feeling though, suddenly having an extra couple of body parts that weren’t there earlier today.”


Tara quirked a smile. “I understand completely.”


“Well I think they’re wonderful,” Buffy said loyally.


“Thanks babe,” Faith said.
It could almost be said that she preened.

Though that wouldn’t be very Faith-like.
Also, wings put ‘preening’ in a whole new context.


“Any idea what colour yours are going to be? Y’know, when the fire wears off?”


“I’m hoping they come out like yours, except maybe a shade lighter.”


“If our ah… cousins are anything to go by, they generally match your colouring,” Tara said twirling a lock of her shining silver hair.


“Ooo, blonde!”


“Not sure you can dye feathers, B.”


Willow giggled.

“Hey!” Buffy said, glaring. Her annoyed glare was a lot more impressive with fire blazing in her eyes, and hair of fire.


“I’m a natural blonde, I’ll have you know!”


“Currently, you’re more… orange,” Willow replied cheekily.


“Which raises some interesting questions,” Faith said with a smirk.


Tara covered her mouth as she tried to suppress her laughter. Poorly.


Buffy rolled her eyes. It was an interesting effect.


“So Faith, how do you feel about spicy food?” Willow said.


“Willow!”


+++

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:00 pm 
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DIBS again!

LOL, Buffy got her wings! That was a fun little adventure, so how long will the parentals stick around before they get bored or weirded out? Or will there have to be another "Come to Jesus" meeting after the babies are born?

Again I say, more please!

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:49 am 
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness... Big yay for Buffy & Faith getting their wings... Can't wait for more of their adventures...

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:20 am 
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Loved these last two bits. Nice way of having Ira and Sheila slowly realize they are sitting in a room with five or six apex predators acting as their daughter's body guards. It was also funny to see vengeful mama bear Tara get a case of overprotective blue balls as soon as Willow's parents made their apologies.

Also, Winged Fire Buffy! I almost expected a few more extra flamey puns, but it's nice she and Faith finally spread their wings. Dragon slaying should always come with an appropriate level up. I'm guessing the Slayer will have to forgo leather jackets and full backed apparel from now on unless they can retract like Tara. Though I'm wondering what Buffy's wingspan is like. Are her new limbs roughly the size of Goliath's from that old Gargoyles cartoon and she's rocking around twenty feet of flaming bird feathers, or does she have a tiny pair of foot and a half long hummingbird fins trailing off her shoulders? Probably somewhere in between.

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:02 pm 
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vampyregurl73 wrote:
DIBS again!

LOL, Buffy got her wings! That was a fun little adventure, so how long will the parentals stick around before they get bored or weirded out? Or will there have to be another "Come to Jesus" meeting after the babies are born?

Again I say, more please!


Ha! I knew that would happen :P

Originally it was on Sharn, but given the lack of details, i just moved it to Summer, and meshed it a little better.
You'll have to wait a little longer, as i have a baby scene and a wedding to write, which fills the gap between here, and the other 3 chapters i've already written.

My writing style works... poorly. with linear people.

Planning. Start. End. Chapters at random in between.
With a limited ability to force myself to stay on track for a while.

That's why the last part of the main story took me much longer.
I couldn't take a break, and write other chapters for fun :(

As to the Rosen-parents, they are likely to stick around.
A: There's a lot to discover. B: their daughter has a career any parent would be proud of. And gets to be a Lady in a new country. C: Discovering The Truth gave them a whole new world to look into, and a new way to look at the world they knew.

Currently writing birth scenes. And trying to avoid the word 'mucus.' It's not a pretty word.

R

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:51 pm 
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While I wholeheartedly support your restraint when it comes to using the word "mucus", or anything in the mucci family (HA) I am DYING here!!! Let's have an update soon,...please???
No pressure, just a very hearty Noodge!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:28 pm 
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Willow & Tara’s Big Day.


“We’re doing it wrong,” Willow grumbled.

“I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to perch like this,” Tara said as she examined the jungle-bar style birthing rack.
It even had a springy basket thing to catch the baby, just in case.
“And look, wing space,” she said with a smile.

“That’s not what I meant. I meant like, marriage, then babies.”

“Desert, then dinner?” Tara said, getting up from the rack.
“This thing seems like it would really work. I wonder why we don’t do this in the west?”

“Pregnancy as illness? Manly thinking? Don’t get my inner feminist started,” Willow grumbled.

Faith examined the bars, and perched as Tara had done. “Damn. I feel like something’s gonna drop right out. Woulda been nice to have this a while back. Also less fighting. If ya can believe that.”

She stood up. “Don’t feel bad, yeah? All that matters is that you love each other. Marriage is just like getting a stamp.”

Buffy nudged her. “Aww. That’s the sweetest way I’ve ever heard anyone run down marriage.”

“Not that we can really get married,” Faith grumbled.

“We are already married,” Tara said. “Committed to each other, before the Goddess.”
She paused for a moment. “Well, you know what I mean.”

“Besides,” Willow said brightly. “We can get married in some countries.”

“Really?” Faith asked.

“Sure! Hey Buff, how does Summer feel about gay marriage?”

Buffy smiled as the light dawned. “Totally fine. Though I’ll remind you, I have yet to find my crown. Or in fact any crown.”

“Really hoping a tiger didn’t eat it,” Faith said. “Not looking forward to searching inside all of them for it.”

“Why would a tiger eat a crown?” Buffy said. “And why are there so many of them around here?”

“Apex predator. No humans. Lots of buildings to lair in. Lots of smooth stone to sun on, and shade when it gets hot. And to a Slayer, a tiger is about as dangerous as a Labrador,” Willow replied.

”Thinking about making it our national animal, B?”

“Could do worse,” Buffy said.

“Woof!” Willow shouted randomly.

Buffy blinked. “Pretty sure that’s dogs. Tigers are more ‘Grr. Argh!’” She said.
She looked around and saw Willow clutching her belly in pain.

“Wowowowowow… Ouch!” Willow said.

“More braxton-hicks?” Buffy asked.

Willow gasped.

“At least your water hasn’t broken,” Faith said.
She looked down expectantly.
“Huh. Was half expecting you to pop right then.”

Tara rubbed Willow’s back. “Sweetie do you… Ow!”

Faith caught Buffy’s eye. “Both of them? Pretty sure something’s starting.”

“I’ll get the towels.”


++


“When did I become the midwife?” Buffy complained, as she looked under Willow’s skirt.
Handily, her flaming hair illuminated things quite nicely.

“Since you did all that reading,” Dawn said. “And don’t look at me. I might have done my bit with little Hope, but you two are the ones that read all the parenting books. All I did was catch.”

Faith squeezed her shoulder. “You did good. Favourite auntie.”

“Yep.”

Willow and Tara were both laying on their side, facing one another, on nearby couches.
Willow was trying not to hyperventilate, and Tara was talking her through her breathing exercises.

“But I wanna hyperventilate!” Willow complained. “Everything will go all swimmy, and I’ll pass out. I’ll wake up when it’s all over!”

“Pretty sure it doesn’t work like that,” Faith said.

“And you’ll feel bad if you miss- Owowowow,” Tara said.

Willow squealed. “Oh gosh it hurts!”

After a minute or so of whimpering, Willow let out a breath.
“Ohmigod. That hurt so much.”

Tara concentrated, silently casting a spell.
“Baby, you’re ok. Nothing is wrong. This is just your body preparing.”

Willow looked aghast. “Really?!”

“You just got a bit of cramp, Red. You’re not in labour yet. So relax. That’s hours away,” Faith said.

Faith hefted Hope, eliciting a happy coo. “Worth it though.”

Willow whimpered.

++

“Goddamn motherfucker – Argh!” Willow shouted.

“That’s labour,” Faith said evenly.

“Fuck!” Willow said through clenched teeth.

Tara let out a deep cleansing breath.

“Well, your waters are well and truly broken, and there’s no blood,” Buffy said. “So everything seems to be going according to plan.”

“This is normal?!” Willow shrieked.

“Nope. Normal is worse than this. You’ve only been knocked up for 7 months. Looks like ya got a bit of that Slayer mojo going for you. Probably from Snow white.”

“How are you handling this so well?” Willow said, almost accusingly to Tara.

“Practice,” came the simple response.

“Really?” Willow said, disbelieving. “How many babies have you had?”

Tara chuckled, and then winced. “So far, none. But as a healer, you learn that pain and discomfort are just signals. Also some meditation techniques help.”

Faith caught her hidden look. She knew that wasn’t the whole story.

“That and I got quite beat up in Sharn.”

“I did wonder,” Faith said.

“A broken wing, burns and once, walking home from the market with a crossbow bolt sticking out of my shoulder,”
Tara said. “Though this is a really different feeling.”


“What?! You never mentioned that!” Willow shrieked.

Tara sighed. “And that’s why. All in the past sweetie.”

“You really should- Christ on a crutch! Aaaaargh!”

“The mouth on this chick,” Faith said. “Would it help if I let you fire my gun?”

“Can I shoot you?” Willow said through gritted teeth.

“No shooting Faith,” Buffy said, with a glare. It was an impressive glare, being all flamey. Sadly it was wasted, Willow being lost in her pain.

“You sure you can’t fix this?” Faith said to Tara.

Tara concentrated on her breathing, her eyes shut.
“There’s nothing to fix,” she said. “There’s no injury to heal, not even really pain.”

“Excuse me?” Willow said. “There’s a lot of fucking pain!”

“No, there isn’t,” Tara replied. “What you have is massive discomfort. It might be painful, but it’s not actually pain. Pain is a signal that something is wrong. This is right, and I cannot fix it.”

“And relax. You’re about halfway dilated the both of you. So this is not going to be one of those ‘all night and day’ labours you hear about,” Buffy said.

“How long?” Willow said, puffing a slightly sweaty red lock off her face.

“Still not a midwife,” Buffy said.
She lifted her hands in a ‘who knows’ gesture, made all the more dramatic by a pair of flaming wings mirroring her shrug. “Maybe a couple of hours?”

“A couple of hours?” Willow said in disbelief.

“Hey, two hours of labour is pretty damn fast,” Faith said. “I was in labour for ages, and I didn’t even know there was a difference between them and Bill Hicks.”

“Well you were… Aaaargh! Goddamn it! Tara Giles Rosenberg, you are never touching me again!” Willow said snippily, only to be interrupted by another contraction.

“Are you sure she’s ok?” Faith asked Tara quietly. “I’ve never heard Red swear like that before. Like, ever.”

“She’s fine,” Tara said with some assurance. “She’s just sensitive, and suffering some feedback from our link. This is just her way of coping.”

“I’m only forgiving her because she’s all babified and sweaty,” Buffy said, glancing at Hope, held safe in Faith’s arms.

“Hey, not long now,” Faith said cheerfully.

Willow glared.

++

Ninety minutes later:

“Are you sure she’s alright?” Sheila asked.

Xander just raised the eyebrow over his one good eye. “If there was a problem beyond, y’know babies, they’d have said.”

Sheila made to brush past him, But he got very firmly in the way.

“No,” He said flatly.
There was no give in his dark eye at all. None.

“This is a real personal thing. Family only.”
Sheila opened her mouth to say the obvious, but Xander cut her off.
“Willow might have decided to try forgiving you, and that’s great. But I haven’t forgiven you for squat. So unless they ask for you, you go nowhere. Got it?”

She nodded silently.

“Xander!” came the cry from inside the birthing room.

Xander waved over one of the girls, and ducked inside.

Sheila eyed the girl.
Dark wavy hair, tied back with a dark purple bandana, pale skin, black armour and carrying a hammer that wouldn’t have looked out of place on an 80’s action movie.
The girl smirked.

++

“Er you sure you need me for this?” Xander said. “Feeling a bit out of place in this room o’ womanly stuff.”

“We are way past embarrassment here Xander,” Willow said.
She and Tara were both squatting on the racks, sweaty and red-faced. Though, as a basic nod towards modesty, there was a towel hanging on the bars that concealed the most embarrassing parts.

“Quick, before the next one hits.”

“Uh, what do you need me to do,” he said, eyeing the towel with outright horror.

“Come here and hold my hand!”

Xander almost melted with relief. “Oh. Yeah, I can do that!”

He scurried around and took Willow’s hand. Her other was clenched around the bar between the racks, her fingers interlocked with Tara’s.

He took Willow’s hand just as the next contraction hit. She slammed his hand down on the bar and gripped tight.
“Whoa! That’s some grip Will!”

“Gyaaaaah!”

“Well, she’s stopped swearing,” Faith said. “I take that as a good sign.”

Buffy lifted the towel. “Ooo! Stuff is happening. Probably a good idea to start pushing now.”

Dawn looked under the towel in front of Tara. “Ditto.”

“Are you ready to meet your nieces Xander?”

“I sure am,” he said, as bravely as he could. “Do you have names picked out?”

“Sophie… and… Jesse,” Willow grunted out between breaths.

“Which one is which?” He asked, clearly trying to lighten the mood.

Willow gasped for breath. “The dark one is Jesse!”

“Gnnnnrrrgh!” she said, bearing down.

And with a distinct splup! sound, Jesse and Sophie were born into the world.

Dawn and Buffy made a start cleaning the girls off.

“Don’t relax just yet, there’s still the afterbirth to come,” Anya said.

Xander looked up from a panting and triumphant Willow, to see his beautiful Anya holding Tara’s hand, smiling radiantly.

“Ugh!” Tara said.

“And there we go,” Anya said brightly. “That’s about the easiest birth I have ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot!”

“Let’s get you down from there,” Xander said. “Don’t wanna get cramps after all that.”

“Trust me, at this stage I doubt I’d even notice,” Willow said tiredly.

Buffy wiped her clean with wipes and towels, and nodded to Xander.
Dawn did the same with her ‘mother.’

He helped her off the bars, and lead her to the couch beds, as Faith all-but carried Tara.

They pushed the two beds together, and Tara and Willow nestled.
And mere moments later, their daughters were handed to them, mostly clean, and snug in some fluffy towels, and mostly clean.

The Scoobies gave them some space, and got started on the cleanup.

“Merciful Goddess,” Willow whispered tiredly. “Look what we did.”

Tara’s tired smile was positively beatific. “Look what we did. We’re mommies Willow. We’re really mommies.”

“I just… even now, after all that, it seems so unreal,” Willow said.

“And all those trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night weren’t enough to make it real?” Tara teased.

Willow’s lips quirked up in a tired smile. “Now it’s gonna be midnight feedings and nappy changes.”

“It’ll be real soon enough,” Tara said.

“The first children born in Summer, in an age,” Willow said fondly.

“Our new country. That sounds so strange,” Tara said.

“And the Slayers chasing away tigers wasn’t?” Willow asked.

Before they could get further sidetracked, Jesse (or Sophie) made small squawks.

“I think they want feeding,” Tara said.

“I wonder if they are going to keep up that whole ‘syncronized’ bit?” Willow said.

“The first twins born from different mothers too.”

“So many firsts,” Willow said tiredly, as she fumbled with her top.

“Let me sweetie,” Tara said as she undid Willow’s top.

She gently ran her fingers across Willow’s rosy pink nipple until it stood at a peak, and then moved Sophie (or Jesse) into position.
Willow blinked in surprise. “Wow. Faith was right. That is a very odd feeling. Let me do you.”

Willow returned the favour, smirking as Tara’s darker nipple stood to attention. “Gosh, look at that.”

Tara smirked back. “You are incorrigible.”

Willow moved Jesse (or Sophie) into position and smiled as she latched on.

“We should introduce them to the gang, before we fall asleep,” Tara said.

She looked down. “That is an odd feeling. But very earthy. I like it.”

“Is it me, or do our daughters look a lot alike?” Willow asked.

“They do. Though that could be because they were just born. Strawberry blonde I would guess,” she said, stroking her daughter’s wispy, and still slightly damp hair.

“Well, I said the darker one was going to be Jesse. And right now, they both look kinda the same. How about we call this one Jesse, and your one Sophie?”

Tara smiled.

“Hey guys?” Willow called tiredly. “We’re about to fall asleep here. So come on over and meet the newest Scoobies.”

The Scoobies gathered round their newest family members, Xander dragging Giles in from the other room.

“Hey everyone. Say hello to Sophie, and Jesse,” Willow said, indicating which child was which with a nod.

“Well, we did say we were going to call our first child Jesse,” Xander said. “Looks like you beat me to it.”

“And this one is Sophie. Named after my grams,” Tara said. She frowned, and looked up. “Who will be up there somewhere. We’ll have to find her and introduce her.”

“And all the others,” Buffy said. “Oh, our lives are so untidy.”

“Hey Grampa Giles. Say hello to the newest members of the clan,” Faith said, nudging Giles.

He caught Tara’s eyes, and she nodded with a tired smile. He reached down, and Sophie instinctively grabbed one of his fingers.

He was speechless. And his pale green eyes glittered.

Silently, Buffy gave him a tight hug.
He stood there in frozen tableu.
A being who was arguably a dark god, frozen in awe.

“Hello Sophie,” he said eventually, his voice roughened with emotion. “Welcome to the world.”

“We have so much to show you,” Buffy said, still holding Giles tight.

“Don’t forget Jesse,” Willow said, tired but proud.

Giles smiled as he looked up. “Perish the thought.”

+++

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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


Last edited by Azirahael on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:06 am 
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Location: Kaskinen, Finland. Citizen of Kitopia
Yay for excellent update-y goodness... Big lol for Willow drugging her herself accidentally.... Kinda wanted to see Buffy & Co teleporting to middle of UN Security Council meeting and declaring that the new continent that just appeared is hers and any kind of adventurism by other nations would lead to ass kicking...

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:37 am 
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Hi Zampsa!

As you wish:

Four weddings, no funeral.


“No Faith. Nobody’s going to be naked at this wedding,” Buffy said, mock sternly. “I don’t care if they did it on Star Trek.”


Faith made a face. “Aww, c’mon B! It’s a whole new country, and we get to make the rules. Let’s have some fun new, ancient traditions.”


“That only sounds fun. What happens when somebody who really needs to keep their clothes on, goes to get married?”


Faith shrugged, kicking her heels.
She made for an incongruous sight, perched on a conveniently placed carven chest, as Hope crawled around on the bed.
That wasn’t so odd.

The odd part came from her glamorous makeup, stunning blue dress, and zip-up combat boots.
Spoiler:
Image
Image by Hannah-Alexander used without permission. No profit is being made.


Buffy was similarly dressed, though her dress was a white number raided from a royal wardrobe, with delicate gold accents.
And she was wearing matching shoes.
Spoiler:
Image
Image by Hannah-Alexander used without permission. No profit is being made.



Whoever these people were, they were they were definitely Buffy’s relatives.
She’d just about fainted when she saw all the pretty shoes.

And now the pair were in one of the rooms in the ‘royal suite’ or whatever it was officially called.
One quick going over with Dawn’s wands hade made the place clean and in decent repair.
A cheap repair spell could only do so much against the ravages of centuries, but it had helped quite a lot.

Though Dawn had literally run through the room, in an attempt to clean and repair as much stuff as possible before the spell ran out.


“Then we have a laugh. Win-win,” Faith said.


“Mom. Giles.” Buffy simply stated.


Faith looked thoughtful. “Yeah ok. You got a point. I mean they look good. But damn, that would be some awkward ceremony.”


“Yep. Also Queen, remember?” Buffy said with a smirk. “And there can be as much nakedness as you like, after the ceremony.


“O’ course, after today, I get to be queenie, as well,” Faith said.
She smirked back. “There could be a palace revolt. Civil war. Messy stuff.”


“Giles is looking through the books to see how the other queens of Summer handled it. But there’s no ‘all you need to know to be queen’ handbook. Which sucks.”


“We can’t just ask ‘em?” Faith said, pointing at the ceiling.


Buffy shook her head. “Not really. It’s been like, thousands of years for them. Most of them have been.. er, ‘On a higher plane’ for so long they can’t even remember this stuff. And they don’t want to wreck our fun. So other than ‘watch out for tigers’ and ‘don’t pull this lever,’ they’ve left us to it. Heck, they didn’t even mention the dragon,” Buffy complained. “Dragons! My eyes still get all flamey when I get stressed!”


She finished checking her makeup in the huge mirror, fluffed her hair just a little, smoothed her wings and turned to Faith.
“How do I look?”


Faith smiled. A lot. “Good enough to eat.”


Buffy quirked a smile. “Later. After the wedding, remember?”
She looked down. “I know we are setting new trends here, but is that going to be the new fashion of Summer? Slinky gowns, and combat boots?”


“Naw. Just really comfy. Plus you never know when you have to fight.”
She held up some nice shoes that went with the dress. “Got shoes. Comfortable ones even,” She said with a smirk. Again.
“I’ll put ‘em on just before the wedding.”
She tapped her feet against the polished marble floor. “I’ll keep these on, just in case I need to kick someone’s ass.”


Buffy raised an eyebrow. “In a ballgown? With a baby?”


Faith smirked. “You know you wanna see that.”


“I kinda do.”
Buffy gave herself a once over in the mirror. “Looks good. Let’s go see how the other two are getting on.”


“Panic. There will be panic.”


“You think so?”


Faith nodded. “Red getting married? Yep. Just one o’ the reasons I suggested that the old ‘bride doesn’t see the bride before the wedding’ tradition was stupid. Red’s gonna need Glinda to keep her calm.”


Buffy scooped up little Hope from the bed. The bed might be a little fusty, but Hope found it fascinating for some reason, and kept grabbing tiny handfuls of the bedding, to examine with a puzzled expression.

“Come on Hope. Let’s go see if auntie Willow is having a spazz.”


++


“Looking good cuz!” Faith said to Tara.


Tara smoothed down her slinky sky-blue dress, and flirted her wings. “Really?”
Spoiler:
Image
Image by Hannah-Alexander used without permission. No profit is being made.




“Yep. Totally.”

“Uh, what’s up with Will?” Buffy asked.

Willow was sitting on the bed, wearing a lovely green satin dress, and some huge local flower in her hair. She was staring with a dazed smile off into the distance.
Spoiler:
Image
Image by Hannah-Alexander used without permission. No profit is being made.



“She looks drugged,” Faith said.


Tara sighed. “More or less, yes.”


Two sets of eyes widened in shock.

“Really?” Buffy said in disbelief.


“Didn’t think you had it in you Blondie,” Faith said. “I mean, I figured she’d be running around panicking, but jeez.”


Tara looked a little put out. “I’d never drug Willow like that. It was meant to be a strong cup of chamomile tea, with a pinch of valerian, for calmness.”


“And?” Buffy said.


“And Willow put way to much valerian in there. I’m thinking a big lump fell in. I’ve had that happen with spices if you don’t shake it up before you sprinkle.”


“And you can’t just-” Faith wiggled her fingers in the universal ‘magic’ gesture.


Tara shook her head. “No… Well, yes, but that would make it worse. Sudden removal of a sedative from your system? That’s going to be even worse on your wedding day than this is.”


“How long?” Buffy sighed, ever practical.


“An hour or two. The effects will last a good few hours, but the worst of it will pass quite quickly.”


Buffy chuckled. “Oh Willow,” she said in an amused tone.


“Only in our family,” Faith said. “Just lucky we didn’t bother with a hen’s night. We’d have ended up looking for our car on the roof or some shit.”


“You can go ahead and have your wedding if you like. We’ll do ours later,” Tara said a little sadly.


“Oh hell no,” Faith said. “We ain’t doing that, right, B?”


Buffy nodded seriously. “Nope. Also there’s the continuum thingy to think about.”


Tara raised an eyebrow. “I’m sure Dawn was kidding about the spacetime continuum being destroyed. Well, pretty sure”


“I’m not so sure. If Dawn was at our double wedding, and it never happened, she might get a really bad headache,” Buffy said. “Or the planet might explode. I don’t want the planet to explode. It’s where I keep all my nice shoes!”


Faith snorted in amusement from the bed, where she was playing with as she put it: the strawberry twins.
“Totally ruined my first anniversary gift. No point getting more shoes, when you have an entire palace of handmade shoes for tiny Slayer feet to raid.”


“There’s no such thing as too many shoes,” Buffy said, as if explaining santa to a toddler.


“B, you have enough shoes to open a shop. Even Imelda Marcos thinks you have too many shoes.”


Buffy sniffed. “Not. Possible.”


Faith poked out her tongue. Buffy just laughed.

“Fresh air?” Faith said, when she and Buffy had finished making faces at each other.


“It might help a little,” Tara said.


Buffy switched hips with Hope, and gently hauled Willow to her feet. “C’mon sleepy head. Time for walkies.”

Buffy hooked her arm through Willow’s, and Tara took her other hand.


“’S alright. I’ll look after these two cuties for a bit. You look after the big cutie.”
Faith easily scooped up the twins, and carried one on either side. Tara shot her a grateful look.


“Also, we need to let folks know things are a tiny bit delayed.”


++


As the four women stepped out into the warm sunlit courtyard all activity stopped.

After a few seconds, one of the Slayers whistled long and low.

Tara brushed down the front of her dress self consciously.
The healing spell she had cast on Willow and herself had done its work well.

But she was still self-conscious. And sporting a big baby tummy had not been conducive to running. And especially not rock climbing. Though she still got a good deal of flying in, and that helped.
She would not have thought a wolf-whistle would have been her first choice for a pick-me-up.

But, oddly enough, it helped.
And she smiled shyly.


Willow smiled back happily, if more than a little dazedly.

Faith just game them the finger. Awkwardly, as her arms were full of babies.
Though it didn’t stop her from posing in the sun, for their admirers.


Their ancestors had some amazing styles.
And had come up with super lightweight materials that flowed beautifully, and breathed almost like they weren’t there.
And no one had any idea what they were made of.
Very shear.


Which was necessary in the almost Greek climate.
The jungles were sweltering, but the city itself got a good breeze from the sea, and was a lot drier.
And tall. So many tall towers.


“Man. Really wishing we’d brought a baby stroller right about now,” Faith grumbled.


“Well, I was thinking more jungly and ruin-y,” Buffy said as they climbed the long sweeping staircase to the raised walkway. “I didn’t think a baby stroller, even out good one would be up to it.”


Faith gestured with her chin at the jungle outside the walls. “Jungle.” She flicked her hair back at the city. “Ruins. Kinda. Still would be handy.”


After a few minutes, Willow giggled sleepily at a big brightly coloured butterfly that fluttered past.
“Y’know,” Buffy said, “That’s an improvement. I think the fresh air is helping.”


“Hey Will,” Buffy said.


“Whee!” Willow said dreamily, wiggling her fingers in an imitation of the butterfly.


“I wonder how long we’re going to have to walk before she comes round?” Faith said.


++

The answer was: about ninety minutes.
And Faith was unbearably smug about her boots.


Because though well made, and comfortable, the dress shoes the others were wearing were not made for taking long walks in.
And so when Willow had shown signs of waking up, they had turned around and walked back.


Tara pointed out that Willow was likely to fall over in about an hour, as her body dealt with the valerian.
So they had a narrow timeframe to do the wedding.


When they got back, they found a surprise waiting for them.
And all the guardians were standing around in stunned awe.


Joyce and Giles were present, and done up to the nines.
Giles in a tux that looked like a million bucks, and Joyce in a cream and gold dress that complemented her wonderfully, and somewhat matched her daughter’s dress.

Jesse was present in a white suit, along with Jenny Calender in a red dress, Anya and Xander in white and Cordelia, also in a flowing cream dress that showed her tan wonderfully.
Rhiannon O’Liathain was at the forefront, wearing a flowing dress of sky blue and smiling radiantly. Her eyes only for her first and only daughter, on this special day.
Dawn and Heather were still in their adventuring gear, minus the black body suits. It was just too warm in the jungles, so they were looking very Amazonian. Lots of bare skin, black armour and weapons.

But that wasn’t what had the Guardians of the flame, and the Slayers in awe, no matter how well dressed, or respected they were.


No, what had that effect were the other two women.
One in a red dress all the colours of fire, with hair to match.
And a dark haired woman that many thought looked like Joyce.
Wearing a dress as many shades of green as the jungle outside the walls.
Brighid, and The Mother.


“Hello darling,” Joyce said, greeting her eldest with a hug.


“Hey mom,” Buffy replied. “Kinda surprised to see you all.”


“You didn’t think I’d miss your wedding, did you?”


Faith snorted. Buffy elbowed her. “Sometimes I forget that you can orb wherever you want to go.”


“It is handy,” Joyce said.


Buffy looked at The Goddess. “I am really wanting to curtsey or something right now.”


The Goddess laughed brightly. “If it makes you feel better, go ahead. But I don’t actually want you to. A hug will probably do.”


“Check. No curtsey,” Buffy said. She gave the Goddess a one armed hug, Hope tucked into in her other arm. The Goddess tickled little Hope, and received a happy giggle in return.


“Kids are kinda your thing huh?”


“Well, I did birth the universe. So, yes,” she said. “And Dawn painted it in pretty colours.”


“Hey, I like stars!” Dawn replied.


“A lot, apparently,” Willow said. “There’s like a trillion galaxies with like a hundred billion stars. Each. That’s a lot of stars,” she said a little unsteadily.


“Well, the walking seems to have helped. Welcome back Will,” Buffy said. “Are you ok to get married, or do you want to postpone it till tomorrow?”


Willow shook her head slowly. “No. We get married today. I feel really weird, but I don’t want to wait.” She frowned. “What happened? I feel woozy. And kinda out of it.”


Tara squeezed her arm. “I think that really strong cup of chamomile with a dash of valerian, turned out to be a really strong cup of valerian, with a dash of chamomile.”


“Oh,” Willow said. “Lumps?”


Tara nodded. “I think so. This is why you shake powdered stuff, remember?”


“Ooo. Really regretting it now,” Willow said.
Her expression firmed. “Let’s do this.”


“Sweetie, are you sure?” Tara asked softly.


Willow nodded, her expression melting. “I’m sure. I might have to use my resolve face to get through, but I want to marry you, more than anything. Not because I need to, or for some legal reason, however that works in the first brand new country in a couple of centuries, but because I want to be married to you. Even if it’s not ideal right this second. Do you get it at all?”


Tara nodded. “I get it. Let’s go get married.”


She turned to Buffy and Faith. “You ready?”


Faith unzipped her boots, peeled off her socks, and slipped on her gorgeous blue shoes. “Let’s do this.”


While they had been talking, everyone had lined up to act as an honour guard.
Lines of armed warrior women in green and black drew their weapons, and raised them in silent salute.
Spoiler:
Image
Image by Hannah-Alexander used without permission. No profit is being made.


Music
Heather and Jules started playing their guitar and flute respectively, doing the famous alternative to the wedding march, Canon in D minor.

Giles and Joyce stood side by side, their elbows cocked out to be held.
Willow and Buffy joined Joyce, and Faith and Tara joined Giles as the music played.


All the girls smiled radiantly, and with just a hint of amazed disbelief.
Buffy breathed out, almost a sigh. “Ohmigod. I’m getting married. I’m actually getting married.”


“Hell yeah,” Faith murmured back as they walked, six abreast, down the else of drawn swords into the main hall.
Whether it was a throne room, meeting hall or dining hall was unclear, but for now it was the only convenient place big enough to fit everyone. But it sure looked impressive.


As they walked down the aisle to the dais, Buffy glanced over at her best friend, who looked almost giddy. Idly she wondered what she’d be like right now, if she wasn’t half doped down on witchy tranquillisers.

Tara just looked... Buffy wasn’t sure what the word was. Something combining ‘serene’ with ‘bursting with joy.’ Beatific maybe.

And she herself could barely keep the amazed grin off her face.
And she didn’t even have to ask how Faith felt.
There weren’t words for how Faith felt. But happy, oh yes.

Also just a tiny bit terrified.
Well, so was she.


Faith nudged her. “Don’t worry. If it wasn’t scary, it wouldn’t matter. And it does matter.”


All six of them stood on the dais, facing the two goddesses, and Dawn, fresh from patrol.
Complete with weapons and armour, looking very Amazonian. It suited her.

“Dearly beloved,” the Goddess said in warm tones.
And such was the warmth of her voice, that everyone in the hall felt cherished and loved.
“We are gathered here today, for many reasons. To reclaim a homeland. For adventure. For growth. For learning about the past. For establishing a future. And for love. Always love.”


“And with that in mind, our couples have opted for a semi traditional handfasting and marriage.” The corner of the Goddess’ mouth quirked up a little. “I imagine we are well past the getting to know you stage.”
All four women smiled, smirked or nodded.


Rhiannon stepped up with a pair of soft, sky-blue cords. “Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East and the element of Air, for openness and breath, communication of the heart, and purity of the mind and body.”

She tied one cord in a figure eight around the joined hands of Willow, and Tara, her eyes shining. And again, around Buffy and Faith.

“From the east you receive the gift of a new beginning with the rising of each Sun, and the understanding
that each day is a new opportunity for growth.”


Giles stepped out slightly, and with a gesture, flame burned in his hand, elongating and forming into two deep red cords.
“Showoff,” Buffy murmured with a smile.

His eyes twinkling, Giles recited his part.
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South and the element of fire, for energy, passion, creativity and the warmth of a loving home.”
And he tied first Buffy and Faith, then Willow and Tara in the traditional knot.
“From the fire within you generate light, which you will share with one another in even the darkest of times.”


Not to be out done, Dawn stepped forward, and drew from herself brilliant green light, forming it into cords of green so deep and intense it defied al description.
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West, the element of water, for your capacity to feel emotion.”

She tied the hands of her mothers in the traditional knot, a tear running down one cheek as she did so.

And then tied her sisters’ just as intensely.
She sniffled a little.
“In marriage you offer absolute trust to one another, and vow to keep your hearts open in sorrow as well as joy.”


Joyce stepped up with a pair of rich black cords. “I got this from a shop,” she murmured, getting a chuckle.
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North, the element of earth, which provides sustenance, fertility and security.”

She tied her daughters’ hands in a figure eight, and moved over to do Willow and Tara.

“The earth will feed and enrich you, and help you to build a stable home to which you may always return.”


Then the Goddess spoke.
“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.”

“These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as you build your future together.”

“These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.”

“These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.”

“These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.”

“These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will join your family as one.”

“These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, support and encouragement to pursue your dreams, and comfort you through difficult times.”

“And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”


The Goddess looked at them each in turn. “I ask for no vows, no declarations of commitment. Each of you has shown that commitment in deeds, far deeper than any vow could ever be. Instead, I will simply ask you to look at your beloved, and ask you, Is this the woman you wish to spend your life, and much of the hereafter with?”


“Yes!” Buffy said proudly.

“Always,” Faith said.

“Until time ends,” Tara said.

“And about five minutes longer,” Willow added.


“Then I pronounce you married!” she said jubilantly. “And if anyone objects, they will have me to deal with.”



“You may ki- oh never mind,” she said.

They had started without her.

A huge cheer rang through the halls, such as had not been heard in an age.

More Music


+++

_________________
“All I feel is sunlight. All I hear is music.” Willow
How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


My Story: Coming Home


Last edited by Azirahael on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:01 pm 
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I'm glad that there wasn't too much property damage due to their unconventional entry... Big yay for declaring outright that all oppressed are welcome to Summer and Slayers get citizenship... I'm guessing Saudi royal family soon would be "slightly" smaller...

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:12 pm 
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Excellent update, as usual. I know you said you wanted to minimize "mucus" and all things related to it,..but are you going to go back and give us a birth scene?? I want to hear about how the 'strawberry twins' came into the New World of Summer.
Speaking of which,........(Summer), haven't we all just wanted to bit** slap our elected rep's and tell 'em to just "deal with it"????!!!!
Again I say, excellent writing and keep it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:05 pm 
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MotherD wrote:
Excellent update, as usual. I know you said you wanted to minimize "mucus" and all things related to it,..but are you going to go back and give us a birth scene?? I want to hear about how the 'strawberry twins' came into the New World of Summer.
Speaking of which,........(Summer), haven't we all just wanted to bit** slap our elected rep's and tell 'em to just "deal with it"????!!!!
Again I say, excellent writing and keep it up.



Ooops!

missed a chapter.

Just rearranged things.
Go back and have a look.

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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: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:06 pm 
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The Scoobies Come Out of the Closet. It’s a big-ass closet.


The President looked over the paperwork on the podium in front of him.
The first order of business was listed as ‘Introduction and recognition of The Sovereign country of Summer (formerly known as MU) and status of land claims.’

This had been sitting on the agenda for the last three days, and had resisted all attempts to remove it.
The agenda was planned months in advance, and could not be changed at this late date, short of the outbreak of war.

So, this time period had been scheduled to discuss electronic security.
Privately, he’d asked his aide about Mu, and had got told it was something like Atlantis.
Some student hacker or intern was obviously having a joke at their expense.

They wouldn’t be laughing when Interpol caught up with them.


He rose, to call to order the 57th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
And as the voices quietened slightly, out of a vague sense of politeness, he became aware of a vibration running through the ground.
An earthquake? Here?
Switzerland was earthquake prone, but Geneva itself was not.


A faint sound on the edge of hearing built to audibility as an almost crystalline singing sound.
Before he could say anything, at one side of the massive hall, a huge blue flame exploded into existence.
In seconds it circled a twenty foot area, crisscrossed with lines.


And with a final flare of light, a table appeared, surrounded by outlandishly dressed figures.
Polished silver and gold was present in abundance, along with a distinct winged motif.


“Oh. Sorry about the carpet,” one red-headed woman said. She was clad in a flowing green gown of an elegant cut. “Is it expensive?”


“You should totally send us the bill for that,” said a small blonde woman clad in polished plate and mail, edged with gold. She wore a gold tiara amidst her golden hair.


“My bad.”


“Security!” a horse and frightened voice called, as the house uproared.


“Allow me,” a tall and distinguished man said. He was dressed in a very sharp suit, beneath some cermonial robes of state.
He stepped forward and took off his glasses, giving the rushing gendarmes a dark stare.

“BOO!” he said.
The gendarmes panicked and ran.
“That should keep them out of our hair for a while at least,” he said mildly.


“Look you meatheads,” said a dark-haired woman in silver and gold armour. “If we wanted to cause a fight, would we have brought our daughters?” as she said this, she shifted the bundle she was carrying significantly. The bundle cooed quietly.
The president also became aware of a white haired woman carrying another two bundles.


“We have been trying to get in contact with you for some time,” the red-headed woman said. “But all my emails keep getting spammed or automated ‘thank you for applying’ messages.”
She shot him a dirty look.


Eventually the uproar died down, helped by the lack of any hostile moves by the newcomers.

“How- how did you get in here,” he said hoarsely.


“Magic,” the red-head said simply. “Giles? Wanna do your thing?”


The distinguished (And apparently terrifying) older gentleman stepped forward slightly and spoke in a voice that penetrated the enormous hall, despite the lack of any visible microphone.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, lords and ladies. Ambassadors, I present to you Queen Buffy Summers of the Land of Summer, and Queen Faith Summers-O’liathain, her wife and champion. I also present myself, Lord Rupert Giles, chief magistrate, and her ladyship, Joyce Summers, the Queen Mother.” He said as he gestured politely to each named and well-dressed person.

“And at this juncture, I would also like to present Xander Harris and Lady Anya Harris, ambassadors plenipotentiary for the Queendom.”

A dark haired man with an eyepatch waved, as did the blonde woman next to him.

“We are here today to be formally recognised as a sovereign state and a political entity,” he said in a ringing clear voice.
“I think that will do for starters,” he said in a much more normal tone.


“This is preposterous!” someone shouted. “Where is this ridiculous country!”


“Here!” the red-head shouted and gestured with a laser pointer to the middle of the Pacific ocean, lighting up the area with a bright red dot.


“It’s about the size of Australia. And the dateline goes right through it,” she said apologetically.


“Ridiculous!” The Argentine ambassador shouted.


The tall man gestured with both hands in the universal ‘simmer down’ motion. Incredibly, the massive assembly did quieten down.


“Um, yeah. It is a little bit,” the redhead said. “The world was edited, and Mu/Summer was removed. We’ve just recently put it back. Which is why we’re here.”


“So um, can we be a country?”


The assembly exploded with noise.



+++



Faith looked around, seriously pissed. “Right. That’s enough. B? Wanna hold onto Hope for a sec?”


Buffy smirked slightly. “There’s some subtext there. Are you going to do your ‘warlady’ bit?”


“Yeah. I get that we literally dropped out of nowhere on these guys, but it’s been an hour. So fuck ‘em.”


“Got anything specific in mind?”


“Eh, I figured I’d steal your Goddess speech. Hold onto your tiara, princess.”


“Hey, that’s Queen I’ll have you know!” Buffy protested, as she took little Hope from Faith.


Faith stood, and grabbed her mighty axe.
She moved to the middle of the isle and slammed down the butt of her mighty axe.
A deep boom shook the building.
Twice more the mighty blade rose and fell until total silence reigned.


“Listen up yo! We came here to try and do things the right way, even though there’s no real way to do that. We want to be part of the family of nations and stand alongside you.”

She looked around the huge chamber. “We want that. But what you gotta understand, we do exist. We do have a country. It is ours, and we will defend it. Yeah, a whole fucking land appeared outta nowhere, and there ain’t no rules for shit like that. But it happened, so suck it up!”

Her gaze darkened. “Now here’s where it gets a bit different.”

“Ya might have noticed that I’m a chick, with a wife. A Queen even.”
She looked and smiled adoringly at Buffy “Though she’ll always be a princess to me.”

She looked back at the assembled ambassadors, and functionaries, her gaze taking on a flinty hard cast.
“We’re gay, and we’re married. Deal with it.”

Her burning eyes pinned the Saudi ambassador. “You. You and yours got a lot to answer for.”


“What-“


“I’m not finished!” Faith roared. “Women are property in your part of the world! Can’t vote, can’t drive, worth half as much legally, an’ all that shit!”

“Well that shit ends right fucking now!” she shouted.


The ambassador sputtered. “You cannot simply-”


“Yes I fucking can!” Faith shouted back. “As the Warlady of the Queendom of Summer, I am telling you this: our borders are open to all women from all countries, and all refugees from oppressive states like your shithole. Anyone wants a new life, and they’ve got it with us!”

“But wait, there’s more,” she growled. “Any Slayer is hereby granted citizenship and sovereign rights in Summer. And if they want to leave, we’ll arrange transportation for them.”

“Any attempt to block them, stop them, or imprison them, we will treat as an act of war!”

She lowered her voice the an almost growl. “And when I say war, I don’t mean we’ll fight the poor slobs who’s lives you don’t care about. I mean, we’ll start with the people responsible, and work our way down until the fighting stops.”

Her dark stare drilled into the Saudi ambassador’s eyes. “And you know we can.”


“Who are you to threaten-” he said, getting redder in the face until Faith cut him off.


“Who am I? Buddy, I was hoping you’d say that.”


She grinned.
It wasn’t a nice grin.
It was the sort of grin that swimmers in tropical waters feared.

“You want to know who I am? I am Faith Summers-O’Liathan, Slayer. Mother. I am the right hand of vengeance. I am the Lady of War for the land of Summer. I am death incarnate, and if you cross me, I will be the last living thing that you will ever see.”

Faith’s eyes stared burning fury. “The Goddess sent me.”

And with that the ground shook with unmistakable threat.

“She’s. Not. Happy.”


Silence reigned.


“It’s a brave new world,” she said in the silence. “And all ya gotta do to live in it, is not be an asshole. You get to choose whether that happens because you’re all mature an’ shit, or because you’re terrified of what will happen if you’re not.”

“Either way, it’s happening. Deal with it.”


+++

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How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:19 pm 
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Well done, Richard! I love these little vignettes. I would like to see one about Willow and Tara's kids since we didn't really haven't yet. I love "Warrior Faith", very fitting and I like how you write the interactions between her, Buffy and the baby. She's fierce and it's awesome.

More please!

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:04 pm 
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vampyregurl73 wrote:
Well done, Richard! I love these little vignettes. I would like to see one about Willow and Tara's kids since we didn't really haven't yet. I love "Warrior Faith", very fitting and I like how you write the interactions between her, Buffy and the baby. She's fierce and it's awesome.

More please!


As you wish.

Note: i had thought about doing a bit on the three girls, but a born slayer and two witch twins? Growing up as Willow and Tara's daughters? And Buffy and Faith? With the entire world changing in the background?

That's a full length novel right there. I couldn't do it justice. so i avoided it entirely, sorry.


Willow’s Big Day
Music
Many years and adventures later…


“I think it’s just inconsiderate to make us wait like this,” Anya said.


Willow glared from her bed. “Hey, this is a big deal, ok?”


“Pfft. No it’s not.”


“Is too!”


“Once upon a time maybe. Not anymore.”


Willow glared. It was an impressive glare, one that had been refined over the many years of being the Supreme Sorceress of the Summer Lands.

And like every glare directed at Anya, it had no effect whatsoever.

Willow huffed, and blew a stray white hair from her face.
“It’s my party and I’ll die if I want to.”


Anya raised a perfect eyebrow. “Clearly you’ve been working on that for a while,” she said acerbically.


Willow shrugged her thin shoulders. “Twenty years, give or take.”


“The party doesn’t start until later,” Anya said, not unkindly.


Willow looked down at her hand, and stretched it out, admiring the details.
It was a nice hand, she thought.
Tara certainly thought so.

The skin was somewhat wrinkled, but far smoother than someone her age would have sported in the past.
Healing magic was a wonderful thing.
Healing magic, as evidenced by the bold orange rune painted on the back of her hand


Sixty years.

Sixty years they had been married.

Sixty years of joy and love. And the occasional war.
They had changed the world forever.
Broken open the veil between the living and the dead.
Ended war.
Ended hunger.

Finally sorted out the middle east.
That was one of the wars.

Restored the earth, though that work was still ongoing.


With the magic and medicine available today, she could by rights live another hundred years.
But she didn’t want to.

There was more to it than simple vanity, or aches and pains.
She missed her friends

She was eighty four years old, and she missed her friends.


Anya was practically unique, in that she was still able to relate to the mortal plane, even after many decades.

But the others had drifted away.
Try as they might, they grew up. And they grew away.


More and more their concerns revolved around higher dimensions, energies and goings-on that a four dimensional being could not grasp, even someone as clever as Willow.
Jesse had drifted away first.
He had died first, and thus had had longer to grow into his new life.

Then Joyce, mother to all the Scoobies.
As much as she’d wanted to stay with her family, she had grown into a leadership role on a number of other planes. These days she was almost a minor deity.


Buffy and Faith had gone unexpectedly.
Though even with their strengths, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
A building had collapsed, as Faith and Buffy were staging an impromptu rescue.
And a building falling on Faith, would not have stopped her. Not a mature slayer.
Had the building’s gas heating system not also exploded.


Stone-faced, Buffy had lead the few survivors to safety, handed the Scythe solemnly to Willow, and simply collapsed at Willow’s feet. Dead.
A day later they had both reappeared, to reassure everyone that they were ok.
Well, ok from the point of view of being dead,


Dawn.
The terrible Trio had had many years of adventures. World famous even.
But in the end, after almost two decades of world-savage and next-gen Scooby-age, even Dawn had been unable to confine herself to the four dimensions inhabited by earth and her inhabitants, and she had ended up joining the Scoobies in their extra-dimensional adventures.
There were some things only the Key could do. And she was the Key.
Though she touched base as often as she could.


Giles.
One day, he had simply put his affairs in order, and disappeared, no longer able to tolerate life with less and less Joyce in it.
Apparently, there had been a change of leadership in one of the hell dimensions at around that point.
He had reappeared, three days later.
And sheepishly explained that he had conquered Glory’s original hell dimension.
He still dropped in from time to time, but he like Jesse and Joyce and Xander, had moved on to scarcely understandable concerns.


Xander.
He had hung on longer than anyone.

Slow learner he’d said.
More human than most, Willow had insisted.
But as strong as their link was, even he had slowly lost contact.

More and more of his time was taken by things that were beyond their realm, beyond the mortal plane.
He’d moved on from building things with wood, to building bridges with other worlds, and even other realities.
And Willow had been proud to help him.
Though, as time went by, he’d gone further and further afield, and Willow couldn’t follow.

A pang shot through her, as she allowed herself to dwell on her oldest friend.

Tara squeezed her hand reassuringly.
Tara.
She looked at the wonderful woman that held her soul.
And she smiled back with radiant love.


She hadn’t aged a day in the whole sixty years they’d been married.
And in another relationship, that might have been a problem.

But every time Tara looked at her, she could feel how much she loved her.
And out of her various ageless and immortal friends, she wore her wrinkles proudly.
As Xander did his eyepatch. Still, to this day.


She wondered if she should put more time into meditating, or reviewing her life.
But no. She’d done enough of that.
And it was one of the reasons they’d banned the kids.

Death was no longer what it had been.
And in coming generations, things would be different.

Heck they already were.
Some of the younger people, diagnosed with the rare few ailments that were resistant to both magic, and modern medicine, simply shrugged, and threw a ‘graduation’ party.

That’s what they called it now. Graduation.


But Willow was still of an age to think that children and grandchildren should not see their parents die.
And had put her foot down.

She sighed.
Tara squeezed her hand again.


It was time to go.
“Is it weird to say I’m nervous?” she muttered.


“Yes,” Anya replied promptly.


“Not at all sweetie,” Tara said softly. “Even if it’s not the end it used to be, it’s still a big change. It’s normal to be nervous.”
Tara kissed her hand. “You were nervous at our wedding, remember?”

She smiled back at her love.
“I remember drugging myself into near unconsciousness. Barely.”

Together they merged their energies, as they had countless times before.
Even now, simply touching Tara’s spirit simply awed her.
So many years, and it had never once become ordinary.

Down they looked together, looking deep inside Willow.
Past the glowing lines of power that were her links to the magic of the earth, deeper and deeper, until at long last, they came to a knot.

The knot that bound her soul to her body.

And Willow could see, the line reaching out from her soul to Tara’s.
And the line reaching from the knot as well.

‘Where you go, I go,’ Tara said silently.

Before Willow could even formulate the question, Tara responded.
‘I miss our family too, Willow.’

She looked at the gorgeous glow that was the soul of her love.
And saw nothing but love and acceptance.

‘You’re right. It’s time to go.’

‘Sweetie, look.’


Willow focussed her attention on the knot.
Which was coming unravelled as they looked.
‘Um, wasn’t I supposed to do that?’


‘It’s time sweetie.’


‘I guess. I guess my subconscious is in more of a hurry than the rest of me.’


‘Relax sweetie. It will all be over soon.’

‘Promise?’

‘I promise both safety and fun.’

‘Heehee.’

‘And at least we found out that horses aren’t so bad.’

‘While I was still alive even!’

‘Whoa! I think it’s…’






In the room, Willow settled slightly.
And Tara slowly floated away as sparks of light.






Willow blinked at the light.

“Oh! Swimmy!”

She became aware that she was floating in a warm pool.

Fingers touched her hand, and she became aware that Tara was still holding her.


“Surprise!” Called a number of voices.


She sat up.

“Hey you guys!”


“You didn’t think we’d miss your big day, did you?” Xander said.


“Welcome, my dear,” Joyce said.


“Indeed. Welcome Willow,” Giles added.


“Baby?”


Tara sat up. “I’m here sweetie.”


She looked puzzled. “I thought I would feel more different.”


“Hey, no aches and pains!” Willow said.


“And your hair is all red again,” Xander said.


“Neat!”

She stood, and helped Tara up. Water sluiced off them, leaving them dry. “Oh that’s nice.”


“What do we do now?” Tara asked.


“Anything we want,” Buffy said, smiling radiantly.


Faith smirked. “Word.”



+++

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How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:46 am 
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness... Yay for Willow's trip to the other side...

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:11 am 
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zampsa19752001 wrote:
Yay for excellent update-y goodness... Yay for Willow's trip to the other side...


Not done yet :)

The next one is set a little bit later in the day. so to speak :P
some time has passed...

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 Post subject: Re: Coming home part 2 - And The Stars Shall Fall
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:59 pm 
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Well, i had the last 4 chapters done up and ready to go, and was waiting for Vampyregurl to say 'more!'

But that never happened.
So: new chapter.



<Code Zulu. Zulu. Zulu. Timestamp Omega Ultima>
<Soulstat translation protocol 16>
Music


In the absolute, uttermost black, a faint light shone.

No light had shone here in a long time.
Eons.
Millions of years.


There were no stars. Nothing disturbed the suffocating blackness of the void

The light swelled.

It grew to a blue-white radiance that hadn’t been seen in vast epochs of geologic time.


And slowly resolved itself into a form.
Slowly, as if unsure of the shape it should take.


Limbs formed. Pale hair. Pale skin.
Until at last, the faintly luminous form of a woman stood there.
Naked against the airless void.


She touched the cold dark rock with her bare feet.
Her expression seemed surprised at the sensation.

And then she had seem surprised at the expression.
It was an interesting moment.


A questing thought penetrated the darkness.

And a reassuring response returned.

Slowly, a second light grew from a small spark, into a green-gold blaze.
If a blazing orb could somehow look puzzled, this one managed it.
‘You’re… physical?’ Said the orb.


The pale woman nodded. ‘It seemed right somehow. Familiar.’


‘Yeah. There’s something about this place.’

Slowly, as if feeling her way, the green-gold light formed into a similar pale form.


The first form smiled. ‘You have red… hair.’


‘I do? Oh. Neat!’

She looked around at the darkness. Eyes were useless in the suffocating blackness, but other senses needed no mere photons.


Jagged cinder-dark rock. A few piles of coarse, rough sand. No light. No energies of note. No temperature far enough above absolute zero to matter.

And yet, there was something familiar about this dark and jagged place.


She cast out with her senses, examining the roughly circular depression in the tired and ancient rock.

There. The faintest of traces of dimensional energy.

It triggered something inside her, and great, almost glacial vaults opened.

‘Merciful Goddess! Is this… is this Earth?!’


The pale form nodded. It seemed right somehow. ‘I think so. I was just drawn to this place. I wasn’t sure why. So I came to find out.’


The red haired woman searched through the vaults in her mind. ‘I remember. We moved it here when the sun died.’


‘So much energy we spent.’


‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.’


She looked at the pale form of her <Untranslatable 1>.

There was no way to measure the time they had been together.
The galactic rotation standard had failed when the galaxy ran down.
And the supernova standard had ended, when they’d run out of stars large enough to go supernova.

And even now, even in this primitive form, her beauty shone forth.


‘Baby?’


‘Sweetie?’


‘That’s what I used to call you. When we were small. Before we <Untranslatable 2> or even <Untranslatable 3>.’


‘Wow. We were small.’

She dredged through the vaults of her memory. Vaults ancient beyond reckoning. Foundations of her being.

‘Willow. Your name was Willow.’


‘Wow. Those are some old old memories.’


‘This is where it all began.’


Willow nodded. ‘Earth.’
She frowned. ‘Tara. Your name was Tara.’


‘Smaller. This was Sunnydale.’


‘I’m sure it was Tara.’


Tara smiled. ‘Last time you made that joke, there were still stars.’


‘So you’re saying I’m due then?’


Tara laughed. It was a strange but pleasant feeling. ‘Yes. You’re due.’


Willow reached down and touched the cold, dark stone.
‘I remember. We stopped the continental subduction. Just to preserve this place.’

She stood up. ‘Sometimes I forget how long it’s been.’


‘Are you saying I’m old?’ Tara said with a smirk.


‘Yep!’ Willow sent back cheekily. ‘Hey, you look great for someone who’s <Untranslatable 4>!’


Tara thought for a moment, calculating mass and energy. Also cake.

‘Do you have any idea how many candles we’d need?’


‘Baby, if we had that many candles, we wouldn’t need stars.’


She smiled sadly. ‘I miss the stars.’


Tara floated over and gave her a hug.
‘Me too.’
She smiled brightly.
‘Not long now.’


Tara nuzzled into the hug. ‘The others are going to be wondering where we are.’


As if summoned, they became aware of a questing thought.
Several questing thoughts.

And sparks of light started to form.


Darkness and lightning formed into the shape of a tall man, with a blonde woman at his side.


Brightly coloured light faded to reveal a one-eyed man, with another blonde companion.


And two blazing gold lights faded to show two fiery winged women standing side by side.


‘I note we are all physical,’ the tall figure said. ‘And embodied.’

Information passed between them all in a silent pulse.


‘Fascinating. This was your idea, it seems,’ he said to Willow.


‘Yep. I left a trigger in my memory vaults a long time ago.’


‘Giles. My name was Giles,’ he said. ‘These are very old memories.’


‘I feel so small,’ The smallest woman said. ‘I feel… Buffy!’


Willow smirked. ‘Some things never change. Even when we <Untranslatable 5> you still have a very strange interpretation of language.’


‘Why are we here… Willow?’ Anya said.


‘To say goodbye,’ Tara said.
‘This is where it all began, so long ago. This was our first home. Earth. Sunnydale. Humanity. This is where [i]webegan.’[/i]


‘It’s our history,’ Willow continued. ‘Where we began our long journey together. Where we were born.’


‘Earth,’ Joyce said. ‘I have not heard that name in a long time.’


‘More than that, this is Sunnydale. Preserved through the ages. First by the residual power of the Hellmouth, and then by us.’


‘So much energy there was then,’ Joyce replied. ‘Such a feat would be impossible now.’


She crouched down and picked up a handful of cold coarse sand.
‘Home.’


‘Where it all began,’ Giles said.


‘Did you ever think it would be this long?’ Faith said.


He shook his head. ‘No. But don’t forget how small we were then. We can scarcely comprehend what it was like to be so tiny, so compressed.’


‘Even with our memories, it’s hard to fathom those thoughts,’ Xander said.


‘We thought we were mortal. That after <Untranslatable 6> everything just ended,’ Tara said.


‘We really should have known better,’ Buffy said. ‘I <Untranslatable 6> more than once.’


‘That’s my daughter. Never doing what everyone else is doing,’ Joyce said.

Her expression changed.
‘It’s time. They need us.’



One by one, their forms faded down to a spark, which then vanished.

Leaving only Willow and Tara. Embodied.
Alone.
In a dark so vast, it was beyond comprehension.


‘Time to go, baby,’ Willow said.


Tara nodded silently in the crushing darkness.

‘Goodbye Sunnydale. Goodbye earth. We will remember you.’


And with that, the last two people left earth, one last time.


+++


‘Welcome back!’ the Key said.

The vast green light filled the plane from end to end.
The cinders of whole galaxies were mere invisible specks against that all-consuming blaze.


‘Well, we didn’t want to miss this,’ The being formerly known as Willow said.

Tara’s other senses took in the vast form of the Key.
Still in the echoes of her ancient memories, she was awed again of the sheer scale the power involved.


All the souls orbited around her, a vast stream. Every soul from every world, every time.
Innumerable. Sheer rivers of light, thousands of lightyears wide.
Each mighty river, one of thousands more.
And yet, from that incalculable host, a mere few stood out.

Family.

They re-joined those souls, those beings that were of such unimaginable familiarity, a concept known only as <Untranslatable 7>.
A closeness so perfect, so inexpressible that there were no other gradations between <Untranslatable 7> and unity.
Perfect oneness.

Rare even among a host so vast.


‘We are ready,’ the vast host said, speaking as one.


‘Would you do the honours?’ the Key said.



And as one, the family once known as the Scoobies, defenders of the earth, of all life, spoke.


‘Let there be light.’


And it was so.


+++

_________________
“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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