Twists of Fate - (17) Prophecy's Children - Part 1Author's Note/Summary: Dinza and the PTB have a chat about Buffy and the ritual. Angel reacts to everything going on, and he confronts Willow at Buffy's house. The "new Scoobies" spend more time together.
WARNING: Major Character Death, not any of the "new Scoobies".
Note about Collaboration: Athenewolfe had input, ideas, and/or writing for parts of chapters 16 and 17. After that it will be solely written by Tasha. There have been several years in-between when Chapter 15 was posted and the rest of the story. So, not everyone was available anymore to collaborate.
Disclaimer and Distribution notes are listed on the Index page of this story.'Single' quote marks surround thoughts in this story. "Regular" quotes are around spoken words.
Previously: Sounds of bodies smashing into walls, moaning, and cloth tearing hastened Tara to move everyone even further away from the vampires and out onto the porch.
A sniffling Dawn looked over at Xander. She could tell he was still in shock over what he saw. "I'm sorry. She's not normally … Oh God, what happened?"
"Buffy must have heard you call for her," Valerie attempted to explain. "She thought you were in danger. So, she attacked the first thing she saw holding you. I'm just glad it was Spike and not Tara."
"She … She isn't usually like this Xander," Tara hoped that Xander wouldn't run for the nearest stake once he got over his shock.
Xander nodded slowly. He hoped that he never had to see that side of Buffy's new state ever again. It was scary. In a way he felt comforted though to know that Buffy would protect those she loved that strongly. He only hoped that he would be considered in that category for her again soon.
It took 15 minutes before the snarling and crashing sounds lessened. Even then it was another 15 minutes before everything seemed calm and serene back in the house again.
About 45 minutes after the fight started, Buffy's head emerged around the front door frame of the house to talk to the people on the porch. "Um … sorry about that. Spike says it's safe to come back in."
One by one the "new Scoobies" filed in from the porch to the living room. Spike and Buffy sat next to each other on one of the couches. Dawn quickly joined them, hugging Buffy. "I'm so sorry, Buffy. I didn't know Xander was okay. I thought he was …"
"It's all right Dawn. Spike explained it to me." Buffy ran her fingers through Dawn's long brown hair in a soothing motion. "I was really out of it after the attack. All I thought was that you were being attacked, and I couldn't lose you."
Buffy turned to face Xander and Anya who took up half of another couch in her living room. "Spike also told me about you guys. Thanks for the rescue Anya and Xander. We owe you one for that. I didn't think I could believe Cordelia when she said you guys approached her. I'm glad I was wrong."
"No problem, Buffster. I'll admit that even a week ago I would have told someone they were nuts if they said I'd accept all of this." Xander wanted to hug his friend, but he wasn't sure how it would be accepted. "Just when I think I have a handle on it, I get more news. Spike told me about Dawn's origins. Have to say, that blew me away again."
"She's our precious surprise." Buffy hugged Dawn tighter. "That isn't to say that I still don't want to strangle those monks. The whole situation could have gone pear-shaped in so many ways. They should have told at least Spike and I. Maybe we could have protected Dawn better together from the beginning."
(A Dark Cave Somewhere in Sunnydale)
A representative for the PTB, Power That Be, materialized in front of Dinza. The Goddess was only mildly startled, but she continued her ritualistic preparations.
"You will not succeed, Dinza." The female representative stated the PTB position clearly. "She is no longer mortal. So, her mortal memories may not be stolen."
"I was promised a gift when I was called to this plane of existence. A gift is owed, and payment must be made."
The golden white figure sighed. "The Powers That Be acknowledge that right, but you will not receive any payment from Buffy Summers. She is no longer a part of a type you can control. Her memories of Heaven will remain hers."
"She and her Mate were not unaffected by my presence the last time. So, perhaps you are wrong."
"Their incapacitation came more from an overload to all the layers of protection on them. The next time they will not be as severely affected."
"You are merely a messenger. You can't stop me from trying again."
"Perhaps, and perhaps not," Joyce answered. She was ready to battle with the Goddess if necessary. She defeated her once on Buffy's dream plane. She was strong enough to do it again. "I can deliver the warning that if you attempt contact again, the backlash on you will be tenfold. Do you really want to test your hypothesis?"
Dinza growled. "I will not leave this plane without a precious gift, as I was promised." The Goddess disappeared from her corporeal form. "Magic has consequences," Dinza's voice echoed through the cave as her presence vanished.
Joyce's golden form faded from view. 'Buffy has her own prophecy and destiny to fulfill. She will not be taken from it now.'
(Floating Somewhere Over Sunnydale)
Dinza was not pleased. What right did any being have to limit her reach and power? She grew weary of finding herself at the beck and call of any frivolous being that learned enough about magic to summon her. Usually she was satisfied with her price though. This time she was being denied it.
Dinza let her power and consciousness search her current plane of existence for anyone attached to the red witch's spell. Only two separate pulses were connected with it. She could sense that the new vampire was protected at the moment, and it wasn't just by the PTB. That put Buffy further out of reach.
An evil grin alighted on Dinza's face when she realized that the other connection to the spell was very strong. Somehow the witch had secured the spell and connection to Dinza through a talisman. She could use that connection for her own purposes as well. 'Magic has consequences,' she thought to herself again. 'If I could somehow gain some of this one's power, maybe I won't have to be a slave to other's whims to return to this plane in the future.'
Dinza felt a large surge of power from Willow, and she latched onto it. When the power was being disbursed, it wasn't protected within Willow's magical core. It gave the Goddess an "in" to be able to access it. 'Foolish witch. She will learn not to use magic so frivolously." She started to wean bits of Willow's magical base into her own storage. She would bide her time to work slowly and not tip off the witch to what she was doing. She had a feeling she would have plenty of opportunities to steal greater amounts of power since the witch used her magic frequently.
(1630 Revello Drive)
Angel stumbled towards Revello Drive. He had been holed up in the Crawford mansion for the last 24 hours, with the occasional trip to Willie's Bar for more blood and scotch, trying to determine what actions he should take concerning Buffy.
Angel still couldn't believe that Spike had sired Buffy. He should have staked his Childe after Buffy's funeral while he had the chance. If only he hadn't listened to everyone's protests that they needed him to help watch Dawn and patrol. They refused to listen to him, and now he had to live with the fact that Spike had killed his only love.
Taking the Scotch out from his latest purchases, he took another drink. He couldn't let Buffy to live. 'No, it is just the demon that inhabits her body,' he reminded himself. He would have to stake her himself. It was the right thing to do. With his mind made up, he noticed that he'd finally arrived at his intended destination and strove up to the door.
Angel's fists pounded on the door as his temper simmered just below the surface. He kept dwelling on her friends' inaction over the whole situation. Their negligence caused this. They should have taken better care of Buffy and watched her more carefully. They should have called him if they were having problems with her - and Spike, of course. Now he would have to pay the price for their neglect. He would be forced to stake his love. It was what she would want after all.
After a few minutes of pounding on the front door, a disheveled Willow answered it. His nostrils flared with the overpowering scents that surrounded her: Dark magicks, sex, power and blood. Everything was all interwoven together and laced with anger, desire and something indefinable.
Whatever Willow had been up to, it wasn't something that one normally associated with the powers of good. He could feel his demon struggling to emerge and a surge of desire shot through him. He could hear Angelus whisper to him that if he could corrupt Willow, take her and turn her, their power together would bring this world to its knees.
Shaking off the thoughts of the demon, Angel responded with self-righteous rage. "Willow - What the HELL have you been doing? You smell of sex and magic. While you are here," he raked his eyes up and down her derogatorily, "playing your little games, Buffy has been turned by Spike. We have to save her from this existence."
Willow looked over at Angel, and she practically felt her world realign. The slayer she had resurrected for the good guys team was dead. That was just the tip of the iceberg of their problems though. The watcher was a drunk, Xander a fool, and Tara and Anya - well they had their place, but it wasn't as the core Scooby team. The good guys were no more. They had lost.
Willow felt her power roll over her skin. It felt almost warm, slightly tingly, and very comforting like home. Even as she felt the power, she couldn't help but notice Angel's reaction. She couldn't stand the way he was looking at her. It seemed like a mix of a disgusted, but aroused, glare. It was a revelation to her.
The good guys always lost, and those who succeeded did so by using people with power, people like her. How many years had she stayed by the Slayer, assisting her with planning and magic? The slayer was brute force alone. If it hadn't been for her, heck even for Xander, the slayer would have died years ago. Yet, here was another so-called Champion. He needed her help, but he was self-righteous about it at the same time.
Just as Tara and Buffy had turned against her, so would Angel. He would use her power to assist him and discard her when he was done. Willow could practically hear his thoughts. His dismissive tone said it all. He might want her help, but her power scared him. Therefore, he would try to tell her it that it was wrong.
As Willow stood there looking at him, her rage started to simmer, and she found herself digging even deeper into the darker magic. She wouldn't be anyone's whipping girl anymore. Her eyes flashed black as she embraced the magic she had only really toyed with before. She muttered only one word that would change several people's lives at once, "Incinerate."
Angel or Angelus, whichever moniker you chose to use for the vampire, was no more.
(Spike and Buffy's Home)
Xander and Anya were catching up Spike, Buffy and Dawn on everything else happening in Sunnydale the last few days. Buffy was worried that Giles had disappeared, but Anya swore that she heard him talking on the phone about getting Faith out of jail.
"Like we need another loose cannon in the mix." Buffy rolled her eyes. "What is Giles thinking?"
"I don't think he is thinking clearly, Buffy," Anya piped in. "Giles seems to be drinking more than the first year you went to Sunny U. I don't know if he just can't handle everything or if he's regressing. I even thought I heard him yelling about returning to England."
"As much as I don't want to see Buffy lose a father figure that might be the best plan all around." Spike continued on when Buffy gasped, "If he won't accept you, love, it might be easier if he is across the pond instead."
Buffy nodded sadly. She hoped it wouldn't come to that. If Xander could come around, shouldn't Giles be easier to convince? She voiced those thoughts out loud. "Right?"
"We'll see, love. We'll see."
As the group continued to talk and catch up, Spike and Buffy jumped up off the couch and snarled. Their snarls turned into a pained whimper as they shared a look at one another.
Buffy and Spike felt the loss of their family member at the same time. Their faces shifted into game face, and both of them felt their demons mourn for the loss of Angelus.
The rage was too much for both of them. They needed to find out who had taken out the elder vampire. They both felt a dark presence around Angel seconds before the link was gone. That wasn't how it felt to Spike either time that Darla was dusted. This was something different happening.
"Angelus is gone." Spike had calmed down enough to verbalize his needs in English again instead of demonic growls. "Something wasn't right about it. Think you can get your people to find out how he died?" He directed his comment to Valerie.
Valerie nodded. "I'll head out to the porch to call the office. Maybe someone there knows …" She was interrupted by her phone going off. As soon as she answered the call, her faced turned ashen.
(1630 Revello Drive)
Willow smiled as she stood over the small pile of dust. One simple word from her, and Angel was no more. She could feel the power dancing under her skin. She couldn't believe she had wasted all those years toeing some good guy imaginary line. They had wanted her meek and obedient. Now, everything had changed. It was time for everyone to realize that there was a new big bad in Sunnydale. She would rule this town.
With a twist of her wrist the remnants of the dust disappeared, and Willow contemplated what she should do next. Obviously she would have to deal with the Spike and Buffy thing. On one hand, having a master vamp and his Childe at her beck and call would be lovely. All she had to do was figure out a way to make them obey her. Perhaps she could use the threat of a soul or even the threat of a quick disintegration to get them to toe the line.
Having Buffy turned actually made things easier for Willow. Spike could be easily controlled utilizing his desire for the slayer. Since Buffy was a vamp, it didn't matter to Willow if she dusted her or not. Buffy was dead, and with it so was their old life and friendship.
The second question was what to do about Tara and Dawn. Obviously Willow couldn't let Tara leave her. She needed her by her side. All she had to do was determine how Tara was being shielded from her magic and break it. Dawn was a brat, but she needed to force her to return as well.
Everyone was always so caring and concerned about the girl. Therefore, if she controlled Dawn, she should be able to get everyone else to fall in line. A sudden thought came to her and she smiled viscously. 'Maybe it is time to explore whether or not there is any residual Key energy. If I could channel that energy there would be no greater witch on the planet.'
The power seemed to shiver around her, settling like a thick cloak, as she headed upstairs to where she had left Amy in bed. She never noticed that her eyes and hair had permanently turned black or the fear in the other witches eyes when she crawled into bed. She ran her hand up Amy's body before she dipped her head to steal a forceful kiss. It was good to be queen.
(A Hotel on the Outskirts of Sunnydale)
Cordy screamed in pain and dropped to her knees. The vision was overwhelming in intensity, as if the Powers That Be were angry and lashing out at the all those who were connected to them. Tears streaked down her face, not only due to the physical pain of the vision, but the emotional pain which accompanied it. All her hopes, and her dreams were shattered by the visions that pounded in her head.
Angel was dead. He was dusted by a Willow she no longer recognized. She didn't know the entire back story available, but this was beyond what she would even have considered possible - but the vision …
Cordelia knew by the ache in her heart that this vision wasn't something she could help thwart. It was something that had already past, and there was nothing she could do about it. Her heart ached, and before she could stand back up she was assaulted with another vision.
This vision showed Buffy and Spike facing Willow, Amy and something else she couldn't quite make out. It seemed like a blurry unfocused shadow. The three of them were fighting the two vampires. As the shadow and magic hit them the vamped two were faltering. She saw Buffy dust and Spike throw himself on the witches in a furious retribution. The last thing she saw was his pain before the vision ended.
Cordy felt that her world was ending: first Angel, then Buffy and Spike. What was she going to do? What was Connor to do? This couldn't be happening. As she began to lose consciousness from the intensity of the migraine she felt a cool breeze, almost a caress, as one name seemed to echo through her mind. "Faith." Maybe Faith could save them this time.
(Spike and Buffy's Home)
Valerie's end of the phone conversation consisted of several "Are you sure?" and "Oh my gosh", followed by "This is not good" before she ended the call.
Xander, Anya, Dawn, Tara, Buffy and Spike all sat stock still waiting for Valerie to get off the phone. Buffy and Spike stared at each other as their supernatural hearing picked up both ends of the conversation.
Buffy sighed, hung her head, and started to cry. Spike tried his best to console his Mate. He knew she was crying as much from the loss of her friend's goodness as she was for the loss of her first love.
"My operatives confirmed that Angelus is dust. I had several operatives watching Cordelia Chase, Angelus, and Willow Rosenberg. All four of them were at Buffy's former residence when Angelus was incinerated by a spell from Willow. I'm so sorry for your losses."
Valerie was smart enough to know that even if reconciliation wasn't possible between everyone here, Angelus was family to Buffy and Spike. He was Spike's Sire and Buffy's Grand-Sire. Blood was everything to vampires.
Cold fury welled up in Buffy and Spike's hearts. Even as an enemy, Angelus would have been theirs to discipline or theirs to destroy. It was the nature of vampiric families. As demons, Angel should have faced justice from his peers. As a fellow champion for the side of good, it was the Powers That Be who should have decided Angel's fate. They'd brought him back from Hell once already. He was obviously the key to something important. Was he simply needed to fulfill the prophecy for his son's birth, or was there something more that was being left unfulfilled now?
The rage inside Spike and Buffy was too much. Like one they turned and stalked to the front door, leaving a slightly confused group of people in their living room. Just as they reached the outer door from the front porch to the front yard, a bright light engulfed the room to block the way out.
"Not yet." The soft feminine voice said. "You need to stay protected here for now."
Dawn, having heard a voice she never thought she would again, ran out onto the porch. She nearly cried at the site before her. "Mommy …"
(To Be Continued)