Chapter One Meeting new friends!
disclaimer: I own nothing from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, X-Men, Stargate SG1, Anita Blake, Hellsing, nor Highlander.
Spring, late May.
Willow Rosenberg glanced at her blind spot before easing into the right exit ramp. She could actually see the Toronto Sky Dome through the front windows of her beaten up Ford Escort. The sport center was ablaze with light. The city streets were clean and free of pedestrians at this hour. It was alittle after five in the morning. She was tired from driving most of the last day and night. She was looking forward to finding a motel room and getting some badly needed sleep. She sighed with relief when the sky above began to lighten with the early sunrise. The night would soon be over.
It did not take long for the red head to locate a Holiday Inn. She signed in at the front desk, making plans to be in the city for two days. She got her overnight bag and Laptop computer out of the trunk of her vehicle. She then made her way to the second floor of the hotel, finding her room at the end of the hall. She opened the door using her assigned key. Once she closed the suite door behind her, she murmured a prayer under her breath, sealing the room with her magical wards. No one would be able to enter the room while she slept. She placed her bag and computer at the foot of the bed. She grabbed a nightshirt out of her bag and made her way to the bathroom to take a quick shower. When she was done and clean, she dropped onto the bed and fell into a dreamless sleep.
Six hours later...
Willow woke as she did falling into sleep, quick and alert. Using her fingers to comb the knots out of her hair, she glanced around the interior of the room. One queen sized bed, a TV and stand, a table and chair by the window and a mini-bar. She sat up and reached down the bed for her bag and Laptop computer. It was time to get to work.
It did not take her long to get the information she needed. She had many contacts on the Web. She pushed loose strands of her red hair behind her ear, a nervous gesture she never grew up from. She was so close this time. Her fingers flew back across the computer keyboard. Twenty minutes later she signed off the Web, turned the machine off and sat back against the headboard of the bed. She promised herself she would not get too excited this time. There were too times in the past when she had been close, only to deal with disappointment.
Willow took a deep breath, sitting crossed legged on the bed. She centered herself, and then began to reach out with her magic. She looked for the part of her soul she shared with someone else, a champion, a man lost. "Where are you? Why don't you ever answer me? Oh goddess, please tell me where you are? I miss you...so much! Please!"
She jerked back at the cold contact, shocked out of her mind. She had felt him...and something else! Thank the goddess, he was close. She shut down her mystic search field, not needing unwanted visitors.
The red head jumped out of the bed, closed up her computer, and remade the bed. She needed to get clean, changed, get something to eat, and then arrange for tonight. Her mind was still thinking about the other element she had felt in her mystic search. The presense had been unusual, as if it had only been listening to her as it searched for something else. What it was searching for was unknown to her. The only thing she could be sure of was the presense wasn't searching for her...but what would it do now that it had found her?
The man in question rolled over, arm flung over his eyes, trying to block out the early afternoon sunlight filtering through the Motel windows. He had forgotten to close the blinds the night before. He was tired and slightly aggravated. He really was not in the mode to wake up.
He snapped up from his prone position, sending his pillow off to the side. He snared, searching the room for intruders. No one was there. He closed his dark blue eyes, letting out a sigh of frustration. "What do you want Charles?" he demanded to the presense in his mind. He really, really hated when his wheelchair bound friend did his Jedi Mind trick. It was very discouraging to realize there was no such thing as privacy anymore. He was going to have a long talk with his friend when he got back.
"There is someone nearby you...on a search...I was nearly knocked out cold from the pain and sorrow...there is such power..." came the distinguished voice through their mind bond.
The man on the bed rolled his eyes. It was just his luck. It didn't matter that he was on vacation, if Charles found a bleeding heart, the old man was sure to help, or find assistance elsewhere to offer that help.
"I'm on Holidays, remember?" he stated, jaw tight.
"I'm truly sorry, but the others are elsewhere for the next day or two, and I am unable to contact them at this time. You are the closest to her, in the same city...she's dangerous...and needs help."
"She?" came the hiss...Logan's head snapped up. "Dangerous huh?" His vacation was starting to look up.
A deep chuckle followed through the mind link. "She's not someone for you to battle Logan. She is an innocent...as far as I can determine...besides, she would hurt you. She's looking for someone..."
There was a flash of teeth. "Well, well, maybe I should inform her that her search is over."
"Logan...she was searching out for a part of her own soul...She's a witch. One of the most powerful I have ever felt, and she is a warrior. She is looking for an appointed Champion...someone she feels she must save...almost at the cost of herself. I got the impression she must be protected at all costs, that she will be needed..."
"Needed for what?" the mutant questioned with a frown. He got out of bed, reaching out for a change of clothing. He made his way to the bathroom, looking for a quick shower. "Well, she's needed for what?"
The silence continued over the shared link, then slowly came the reply. "To save the world."
Logan's body came to a stop, his hand held in mid air from the shock. What he had heard had not been the answer he expected to hear. What the hell?
"To what?" he nearly shouted back.
"I've only got conscious impressions." Charles answered. "Thankfully I was using Cerebro on my search or I would not have gotten anything about her beyound the fact she is female. There was something about the "Powers that Be"; but who they are is a mystery. They have plans for the girl to protect the Earth. I do not believe this girl is aware of what is in her future. At this moment she is out there looking for a lost part of her soul, an Angel..."
Logan was not looking forward to the day, but; "Not our Angel?" he asked, thinking about the X-Men's Warren, a mutant named for his white wings.
"No, not Warren." came the thoughtful reply. "It's something, or better yet someone else. The girl at the time of my search was experiencing too many emotions. Trust, love, hunger, pain and despair. Whatever, or whomever she is looking for, it might not want to be found. She has been searching for a very long time. She is growing desperate."
"Long searches are not a good thing to undergo." Logan said. He understood fully. He was still trying to recover his lost memory. He knew the feelings of pain and despair very well. It did seem like this girl needed their help. "Charles, did you get a description of her?"
Suddenly Logan's mind was flooded with an image of a slight built, almost out worldly looking young woman. Her shoulder length hair was bright red, shining like the color of blood in the glare of the sun. Her green colored eyes sparkled like the finest gems, set in a face with sharp, classical high cheekbones. Her lips were thin on top, but were lush with hidden laughter. She looked like a little fairy pixie, but untold power rolled off her being, outlining her body with a light green glow. She seemed so familiar, somehow. By god, she was beautiful. Her presense astonded him. He had the impulsive need to protect her.
"What is her name?" he thought softly to his friend.
Again there was a long pause on the other side of the link. "Willow Rosenberg." Charles could sense the predatorily stillness in his friend, so he cautioned. "She needs help Logan. You don't..."
"Willow." the younger man breathed...testing the name on his tongue. He sent his thoughts back through the link. "Don't worry old man. I won't hurt her. I will find her and give her some help. She'll be like the little sister I don't remember having."
"Logan..." the professor thought back in warning.
"Forget it Charles!" came the snarl. "The girl looks like she can take care of herself. You're the one sending me to her. I will not hurt her...like I said, don't worry. I stand by and wait until she gets the help she needs, and when she finds this Angel of her's...but after that.."
"Alright." his friend replied. "Just be careful."
The mutant smirked and his chest rumbled with his laughter. "Oh, I'll be careful old man; when am I not?"
Back at the Holiday Inn...
Completely unaware that she was under discussion at the moment, Willow left her hotel suite. She made her way quickly downstairs to the Restaurant. She hoped they served a late lunch. She was hungry, having missed breakfast. She wore a brown colored jeans and a dark blue t-shirt. Her ID and money were in the back pockets of her pants. She came armed with only one weapon. A thick, sharp stake, hidden in her tight, flat footed black boots, which reached half way up to her knees. The weapon was within easy reach.
She also possessed a long Rapier Sword, that she usually kept hidden on her person with her shield magic. The sword for now was stored up in her room upstairs. She had no need for the Rapier until she left the hotel later that night.
Once she was done with her lunch (thank the goddess they served all day!) she went back upstairs to her suite. She checked her e-mail and her contacts once more. She did find some useful information. Hours later, having finished with her correspondance, she changed out of her jeans and exchanged them for a pair of black leather pants. She touched up her make-up, tied her hair up ontop of her head, and put her boots back on. She did have an image to keep up. It wouldn't do for the demon population to stop fearing her.
She pulled her sword out of her bag, along with her stakes. She placed the stakes inside her boots, and placed the sword at her back for easy access. Again she hid her weapons with her Shield magic. Once done with her preperation, she made her way downstairs and out of the hotel.
The air outside was crisp and sharp. It was dusk, the sun just hanging over the horzion. Her contacts had supplied her with a destination. Stepping past the building, she raised her hand up in the air to hail a taxi cab.
There was a tiny smile on her face as she got into the cab. She looked at the driver of the vehicle, but caught something out of the corner of her eye. There was someone staring at her, from a short distance away. She reached out with her magic. Her face fell with surprise when she encountered a mind block. She could sense no malice directed towards her from the stranger, so she dismissed him. She had bigger fish to fry this night. She turned back to the cabby driver and said, "The Dark Pit. Please take me there."
Near the Hotel...
Logan watched as the taxi cab pulled away from the curb and drove down the street. The sight of the woman had been a shock. She was indeed real! Cute as a button too! This girl was unlike anyone he had meet before...but she felt familiar somehow. Was she someone from his past?
He had been waiting hours in the street alley. Once he had known of her location (via Charles) he had rushed over and stayed hidden for most of the afternoon. Once the red head had stepped out of the Hotel, he had dragged the scent of her into his lungs, so he would know her anywhere, at anyplace. With his acute hearing, he knew now where Willow was heading. He moved forward and hailed a cab of his own.
He grinned, teeth flashing with glee. "The Dark Pit huh? My, this girl is full of surprises!"