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The Cost of Redemption

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Summary: Willow is given a new chance on life after destroying the world. (R for Lang/Sexual Situations/Violence)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > X-Files, TheTemplarFR18931,1980175,6107 Jun 0325 Sep 03No

Chapter One

To: Enjael - Thanks for my one and only review. You made me feel like a real author! Ya-hoo! It's wonderful to have a fan!

The Cost of Redemption
Chapter One

Willow P.O.V.

“Willow… your shirt.” Tara said while reaching forward with one tentative hand to touch my blouse. I could see the small red circle on her chest, but couldn’t figure out what it was. Then she collapsed at my feet.

“Tara!” I screamed, dropping to the floor next to her body. I heard her breath gurgle within her chest before it went still and her eyes fluttered before closing for the last time. My Tara was gone. The thought kept running through my mind over and over but it wasn’t making any sense. Tara was gone. After everything that we had suffered through both together and apart, she was taken from me in a blink of an eye. Tara was gone. Flashes of memory kept overlaying the sight that I was seeing in reality as I struggled to accept what I was seeing. I could see her as I did the first time at that Wiccan meeting so long ago. I could see her as she looked after Glory had drained her sanity. I could see her when she left me for raping her mind. I could see her as she was when we made up only twelve hours ago. I could see her lying on the floor before me with a spreading pool of blood flowing away from her lifeless body. Tara was dead.

Oh, Goddess, Tara was dead. I could feel the shock turning to anger. The magic began to build at an insane rate, more power than I had ever called on in the past. I could feel it sinking into my skin and merging with my pounding blood. My skin was literally singing with magical tension as the power tried to force itself through my body to explode out into the world around me. Oddly enough, I also felt myself retreat as the power steadily built up. It was like I was watching everything through the lens of a movie rather than experiencing everything first hand. The power and the rage became my entire world. Everything was viewed through the filter of those two seemingly incompatible forces. It was a vicious circle that I didn’t even have the first inkling of breaking. The rage pushed the power higher while the power of the magic flowing through my pounding blood only helped to push my rage even further.

I stood up and walked over to the window to see Buffy lying on her back, bleeding from a wound in her shoulder. A movement to the left side of the yard drew my eyes and I saw Warren running away clutching a handgun in his fist. Almost negligently, I flicked my fingers in his direction to attach a trace of the magic to his aura. No matter where he ran, I would be able to track him down at my leisure. The power kept climbing higher and higher. I think that I was drawing the magic from several sources at once. I could feel the gentle, loving warmth of the Tara’s magic that had invaded my body at the moment of her death. I could feel the power that was drawn from the Earth, both warm and cold at the same time. I could feel the power that I was draining off the various supernatural creatures in the area. I could also feel the power being drawn from someone beyond my comprehension. Something almost… divine… in a strange way. None of this mattered to me. The amount of magic that was coursing through my veins made me feel God-like and all-powerful.

I stretched a hand towards Buffy and watched calmly as the minor bit of magic I cast towards her drew the bullet ever so slowly from her screaming body. If I had been able to feel anything other than the rage, I suppose that I could have withdrawn the offending piece of metal in a less painful manner, but I really didn’t care. I wanted something to torture my enemy with and even in my rage; I couldn’t dig through Tara’s body to retrieve what had taken her life. I floated the spent bullet towards me and watched calmly as the glass parted to allow it through into my waiting hand. I silently marveled over how such a small thing could be so deadly before closing my fingers tightly around it and absorbing it into the skin of my hand. Glancing back at the Slayer lying on the ground, I carefully studied her tears as she clutched weakly at her wound.

At that time, Dawn came running out of the house below me to fall in a broken heap by her sister’s side. Her hands seemed to flutter about, as if trying to make up her mind if she should touch the blonde or not. Would her touch cause more pain? Idly, I asked myself that and couldn’t come up with the answer. Instead, I just watched, my fist still outstretched even as I slowly closed the glass hole that I had opened only seconds before.

I don’t know what caused it, but Dawn looked up at me and met my eyes. I silently watched her with an impassive face as she quietly begged for my help. I considered it carefully and decided that it wouldn’t interfere with my revenge. While the power kept building, I opened my hand and shot a stream of magic down onto Buffy’s wound. She arched her back and screamed again, but I could see the wound healing over much faster than anything I had seen before. In other circumstances, this major feat that I had accomplished would have made me giddy. I would have babbled endlessly while my friends would smile gently at me. Tara would have quietly leaned over to place her hand on my arm and quietly remind me to breathe and slow down. But Tara was no more. I turned around to look at her body. There wasn’t anything there but her shell. She was truly gone. A petty murderer that didn’t deserve to live took her from me. Tara might be gone, but she would be revenged.

“It’s time.” I whispered gently as I sent more of the magic down to clean her body and seal her wound. I cleaned and patched her blouse and straightened her hair so that she looked like she was sleeping. Then I lifted her body gently and floated it to the bed. She still looked so beautiful to me, this shell of my love. I could almost imagine her eyes fluttering as she awoke and her smile as she saw me. I would never see that sight again.

“Willow!” A voice from downstairs called for me. I ignored it even as I catalogued the voice: Buffy. She would try to stop me from taking my revenge. For a small, single moment in time, I honestly considered letting her handle it. I could feel the love and the trust that I had held for her fill my heart as tears of grief stung my eyes. It would have been so simple to let the Slayer deal with my problems while I tried to forget everything.

The mirror stopped me. One look was all it took to drive the rage to new heights. My hair was jet black. No, that wasn’t quite accurate. It wasn’t black, it was the absence of light. There was no reflection of the silky looking strands at all. Light just seemed to fall into each individual hair and was unable to escape. The next thing I noticed was my eyes. They, too, were a black so dark as to trap light. I might have stood there for awhile to ponder what that meant, but then I noticed the red splatters across my chest on my white blouse. Blood. Her blood. The very essence that gave her life was sprayed across my bosom where she lay her head last night.

“Willow, are you alright?” Buffy shouted again. I could hear her dashing up the stairs towards our… my… room. This room would never be ours again. Once again, I ignored her as my mind began to plot out different ways to end that bastard’s life as painfully as possible. Each and every plan made my lips curl up into a smile that I watched in the mirror. This smile was unlike anything I had ever seen on my face during my entire life. It was evil and I was glad. I had fought the good fight to keep others safe and all I had asked was for someone to love me. I didn’t think it was too much, so why didn’t I have it?

The door to my room was flung open to reveal Buffy in her blood-stained shirt. “Willow?” She whispered in disbelief as I turned towards her. I hadn’t even noticed that I was floating several inches above the floor. I saw her eyes dart towards the blood on my chest and then over to Tara’s body. She started to go towards the bed when my voice broke the deathly silence.

“She’s dead.” My voice wasn’t very loud, but it was filled with the energy of the cosmos giving it a power that she had never heard of before. She halted in mid-stride as her head whipped around to stare in open-mouthed shock at me.

“Tara’s… gone?” Buffy whispered, her eyes darting back and forth between my black hair and my black pupil less eyes.

“She was murdered, Slayer.” I whispered in a voice that subtly vibrated the very walls of the house and sent a shudder down the blonde’s back. “I will take from them what was taken from her.”

“Don’t do this, Wills.” She told me quietly. “I can’t let you hurt a human.”

“What would you have me do, Slayer?” I hissed angrily. “Would you kill me to save an innocent life? How about an evil one? How far would you go?”

“I… I’d have to stop you, Willow.” She stated calmly.

“Would you avenge me if I were lying beside her?” I asked, pointing to the shell of my love.

“I… I… I’d do the right thing.” She whispered, lowering her saddened eyes towards the floor.

“The right thing?” I screamed, shattering the glass in the window with the power of my voice alone. “The right thing would have been to kill them when you had the chance! The right thing would have been for you not to fuck vampires! The right thing would have been for you to be grateful to be alive!”

“I was in Heaven!” She screamed back at me, clenching her fists at her side even as she glared daggers towards me.

“We thought you were in Hell!” I roared back, the power that was spinning off of me out of control bringing the mighty Slayer to her knees. Deciding to end this mockery of a conversation between friends, I exerted a little force and sent her flying backwards towards the wall where she was held in place spread-eagled. I could see by her eyes that she was dazed with the sheer amount of power that I was wielding and my heart felt a sense of righteousness when I saw the fear start to seep into them.

She opened her mouth to say something, but a negligent flick of my fingers forced her mouth shut no matter how hard she tried to open it. A brief spurt of laughter escaped my body before I managed to clamp down on it so that I wouldn’t loose control. Satisfied that she wasn’t going anywhere, I pondered what to do as I strutted towards her captive body.

“You look kind of cute like that, Buffy.” I whispered gently. “All helpless like.” I watched her carefully for a moment before leaning in to kiss her on her cheek. I let loose another chuckle as I forced my fingers into her hair and jerked her head to the side, exposing her delicate neck to me. I let my lips nibble down her jaw line until I was placed directly over her vein and then I began to suck. Not her skin, though. I sucked the very magic that made her a Slayer from her body.

It was delicious. It was intoxicating. It was everything I always imagined it to be. I could now understand why vampires were in such a worked up state to taste the blood of a Slayer. Even with my own magic causing my skin to tingle, this was beyond ecstasy. I could feel my fingers and toes tingling in pleasure. I could feel my nipples crinkle in delightful agony. I could feel myself getting awesomely wet between my legs. Every sex cell in my body thrummed in pleasure while the continuing flow of her magic into me only promised more heavenly delight as I continued to suck voraciously. I just couldn’t get enough. I didn’t want to get enough. I wanted this to go on forever, never stopping.

The downside to all this was that I couldn’t hear her screaming in agony as the ecstasy caused my magic laden blood to pound in my ears. I didn’t hear the scream from behind me as Dawn panicked and attacked my back. I think that the power of the Slayer was infusing with my body, because her ineffective punches and kicks didn’t even phase me. All I could concentrate on was the sheer amount of pleasure I was experiencing. It was like one orgasm after another, never ending, never stopping, and each one more powerful than the last.

I don’t know how long it took to drain Buffy of her power, but I was disappointed when she finally went dry. Becoming aware of the pounding on my back, I lashed out with a back fist and sent the annoying brat hurtling across the room only to come to a stop in a broken heap along the far wall. Turning my attention back to the Slayer… the ex-Slayer, I grinned at her whimpers of agony.

“For years, I’ve had to listen to you whine about how you wanted to be normal.” I whispered in my best seductive tone of voice. “Now you have the chance. You’re normal now, Buffy. Just like I was when we first met.” Her eyelids fluttered open and I could read the shock, betrayal, and fear within her blue orbs. I smiled gently at her as I raised a finger to idly trace different patterns across her breasts.

“Pl… please.” She whimpered, trying to move her body away from my finger. It was impossible, of course, but I didn’t mind.

“I thought that you had to feel something, Buffy.” I whispered, releasing my handhold on her hair and letting her head fall forward limply. “That’s what you told us about Spike, remember? You just wanted to feel?” I chuckled as I ran my now free hand up her legs to cup her sex even as I skimmed my fingers across her nipples. I know that she didn’t feel any excitement from my caress, but those nipples tightened just the same. Pretending that I didn’t see the revulsion in her eyes before they turned away from me, I leaned forward again and licked her cheek while simultaneously running a finger up the crease in her sex through her skimpy, satin panties and gently pinching her hardened nipple. “You liked it when Spike took the choice away from you, didn’t you? You liked it when he raped you after your patrol, and you wanted more. I could take you right now and there’s nothing you could do about it.” I hissed at her, the anger rising once again.

“No, no, no, no, no, no.” She whimpered piteously, causing me to throw my head back and laugh even as I let go of her and stepped back. I released her from her magical bondage and laughed again as she collapsed on the floor before me.

“You’re lucky I’m not like that evil bastard, Buffy.” I calmly told her, folding my arms under my breasts. “If you would have come to us in the beginning, we could have fixed everything. Instead, you hid what was wrong, just like always. Because of you not killing those three sacks of shit, Tara is now dead. I’m holding you responsible for everything that happened.” I paused for a moment to see her looking at me as if I were a complete stranger. I chuckled again at her antics and felt that evil smile creeping onto my face.

I turned to go when I heard her whisper behind me. “Why?” I slowly faced her and could see the questions darting across her lips, but weren’t spoken.

“Why what?” I asked curiously. “Why am I going to kill those three pricks? Why did I drain your magic? What?”

“What happened to you?” She whimpered, dropping her eyes to the floor. She reminded me of a puppy that had beat half to death.

“She was my everything, Buffy. The reason I got up in the morning. The reason that I wanted to be a better person.” I told her gently. “Those bastard’s took her from me and they’re going to pay for it.”

“Can’t I stop you from doing this?” She flicked her eyes up to meet mine for a second before lowering her face down again.

“What can you do for me, Buffy? What can you possibly give me to make up for my loss?” I quietly inquired.

She slowly raised her face until she was looking me in the eye once again. She nervously licked her lips before speaking in a voice that was so small and quiet I almost missed what she said. “Me.”

“You?” I asked, curious as to where she was going with this.

“I’ll… I’ll do anything.” She whispered past a sob that was lodged in her throat. She closed her eyes, but kept her face towards me. I wonder how much courage that actually took.

I was honestly surprised at her offer. “Anything, Buffy?” I asked. “Would you lick me until I came all over your pretty face? Would you let me rub my pussy all over those little titties of yours? Where would you stop?”

“Please, Willow.” She whimpered, as she turned slightly green. She turned her face away from me before she spoke again. “Just don’t kill them.”

“Buffy, do you realize what you’re doing?” I asked with a soft chuckle. “You’re willing to whore yourself out to me so that I won’t kill some murdering scum. Is that what you want to be?”

She shook her head for a second before looking at me again. “I’m begging you not to do it, Willow.”

“You have your normal life now, Buffy. Live it and be well.” I told her with a smile. “I have some enemies to kill.” Without another word, I turned and left, gently closing the door to the room behind me. I wouldn’t return to this house and I really didn’t plan on living much longer anyway. I would get my revenge before deciding anything else.

Hecate P.O.V.

We watched her as she tracked down the killer of her lover. She caught him in the forest and strung him up between two trees under the light of the full moon. I wanted desperately to close my eyes, but it was my fault for her being capable of doing what she was doing. I should have watched over her better than I did, but I failed.

“You’ve been a very naughty boy, Warren.” She giggled as she paced back and forth in front of him.

“You… you can’t hurt me.” He declared loudly, his eyes rolling wildly. “You’re the hero. You have to lock me up in jail until the next time we face each other. I’m your archenemy!” He finished in a defiant shout.

She was staring at him in disbelief. I know how she felt. He caused all of this damage because he believed that he was living a comic book fantasy. Apparently, she felt the same way as I. “Are you insane?” She hissed at him, moving so close that her black eyes were only inches from his own eyes.

He actually had the gall to laugh. “I was only doing my job as an evil villain!”

Without a word, his clothes were stripped from him. I could feel her rage peaking as she decided on what to do first. “You killed the woman I love more than anything else in the world because you want to be an super-villain?” She hissed angrily. I could feel her magic reach out and he began to scream as a fingernail was slowly drawn from his skin. She didn’t pull it cleanly, though. The child was wiggling it back and forth to cause the maximum amount of pain as she drew it from his flesh.

I watched passively as she ripped out all his nails, on both hands and feet, all the while talking casually to him. I don’t know if he heard her or not through his constant screams, but the child was a master of torture. I shuddered to think where she had learned of her craft, because nothing came to mind when I reviewed her life. I turned my face away when she started to flay his penis bit by bit. His screams were quieter now, his throat now raw from the sheer intensity of his yells.

I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder and opened my eyes to see Ares looking intently at my face. “I can handle this if you want to go.” He whispered to me.

I smiled in response and shook my head. “It’s my responsibility.” I turned back to the child and watched as she flayed his entire body. She was using magic to keep him conscious and alive, clearly enjoying every moment of his agony. I could feel the tears coursing down my cheeks as I hung my head in shame. I was a guardian that had failed her duty. I had given her too much power and was now seeing the results.

“Bored now.” She sang out, grinning like a maniac as the boy stared at her. Without another word, fire blazed up to consume his body in an inferno of heat and sound. Even here, she was not kind. She used her magic to keep him alive as the fire consumed him from the feet up. His throat was so raw that his screams of terror and pain were no louder than whimpers. When the body was nothing but ash, the child laughed out loud.

“Well, that was fun. What should I do next?” She pondered out loud, pacing back and forth. “Who else can I share this game with?” She whispered quietly before coming to a dead stop and smiling evilly. “Rack!” The child threw her head back and cackled into the night before whispering the words to a teleport spell and disappearing from the clearing.

“Are you sure that you can handle this?” Ares asked gently, pulling my unresisting body into his for a hug of comfort and support.

I nodded even as I buried my face into his shoulder and wept freely. I cried for several moments before I could control myself enough to whisper, “I have to.” He sighed and patted me on the back to show his support. Without another word, we teleported to where the dark wizard Rack had set up his dealership.

Thankfully, we arrived too late to see him tortured. Instead, we found the child pressing her hands to her hand in pain and the former wizard lying on the ground, completely drained of magic.

“The pain. The anger. The fear. It’s all too much.” She whimpered loudly, shifting back and forth on her feet with a dull gleam in her black eyes. “Everyone in the world is suffering. No one is happy. The fear. It’s all around.” She started to pace back and forth, her hands flying about as she argued with an unforeseen opponent. “It needs to end. The world is suffering. Nothing makes sense. It needs to end. It needs to end like my Tara.” She whispered out loud.

I turned to bury my face into my brother’s shoulder again as the child droned on in the background. I knew where this would end up, and I didn’t really want to see this happen. Not again.

“She’s done here.” Ares whispered to me and I turned just in time to see her teleport out. Once again we followed her. This time we went to the Magic Shop, a small store that sold various magical accessories. And again, I turned my face away. I thought I was strong enough to watch, but I wasn’t. This wasn’t something a guardian should have to face on a regular basis.

Where did I go wrong? I had looked into her soul and seen the pureness that resided there. I saw the way she fought the forces of evil and gave her a boost in power to help. It should have been so simple. What caused her to abuse the magic in the first place? Was it something that I could have prevented? Was she corrupted in the beginning and I simply failed to notice? These thoughts and many others would be on my mind for centuries to come, I was sure.

Ares tapped me on the shoulder and I looked around to see the utter devastation throughout the small store. Rupert Giles, the man she considered a father, was lying on the floor, utterly drained of his borrowed talent. The books that were once proudly displayed were now nothing but old pieces of paper. The knowledge that was in them was completely absorbed by the child. The shelves and display cases were in complete shambles from the magical battle that had just occurred.

“It’s time.” My brother told me softly. He smiled gently to show encouragement and I sighed in return. It was time to face my responsibility.

Willow P.O.V.

I had to end the pain. It was pounding on my mind and I couldn’t escape it. The pain of everyone in the world was screaming for me to do something, and I could think of only one thing: end it all. I teleported away from the Magic Shop onto a lonely hill and started to draw even more power from the Earth to supplement what I had already stolen. I needed as much as possible before raising the temple that I knew was buried here. If I did this correctly, all the pain in the world would be gone.

A sense of joy filled me as I let loose with more magical power than I had ever tapped into before. It was almost euphoric in a way, but it didn’t matter in the long run. I had to stop the pain from throbbing through my skull. Just as I was about to release the power downwards to raise the temple, something happened.

“STOP!” A really loud voice thundered over me. I turned in surprise to see a woman with long black hair strolling towards me. I suppose it’s strange to notice her hair before anything else, but it was the only normal thing about her. She had to have stood over twelve feet tall. The power that was radiating off of her body was enough to put what I was currently wielding to shame. I stood in awe as she came ever closer.

“You will not do this, child.” She said gently as she stopped only three feet away from me. I had to tilt my head back just to see her chin.

“Why should I?” I asked, wrapping my arms around my chest and glaring in defiance.

She smiled sadly at me for a moment before waving her hand and whispering, “Remember.”

And I did. I remembered killing every man, woman, child, insect, fish, snake, bird, and mammal in the world. I remembered the utter devastation my soul underwent when I had finished my awful deed. I remembered almost raping my best friend. I remembered killing Warren, Jonathon, Andrew, and Rack. I remembered draining Giles and seriously hurting Anya. I remembered everything. And it was hell.

The next thing I knew, the woman was cuddling me as I wept furiously. All the pain and anger crashed together and met in a violent symphony at my heart. Tara was gone and I had shamed her forever with my actions. I had done things that I had killed creatures in the past for doing.

“Hey! Who the hell are you?” A male voice yelled out angrily. I looked up to see Xander wielding a knife and watching closely. Instead of answering, I turned my face away in shame. I was a bad Willow.

“Willow?” He asked gently, edging closer to me by the sound of his voice.

“I… I… I’ve been bad, Xander.” I started to sob once again. I just couldn’t bear to see the disappointment in his eyes.

“Hush, child.” The woman spoke gently. “You were stopped in time.”

“I… I was still going to do it!” I wailed, not looking up even as I felt her hands start to rub my back. “And I did do it the other time!”

“Yes, you did.” She agreed calmly. “But I stopped this from happening again.”

I stopped crying for a moment and leant back so that I could see her eyes. I was surprised to find her sitting on the ground with little me sitting on her lap. “Why?” I whispered, hoping to make sense of this mess.

“Because you are my responsibility.” She said after closing her eyes with her own pain. “It is my fault that you had this power to begin with.”

“Um… excuse me, but who are you?” Xander mumbled, clearly confused over everything. I felt his hand rest gently on my shoulder and I felt a little bit better. Not much, but just a little bit.

She opened her five-inch eyes and smiled gently down on us. “My name is Hecate.”

Hecate? “Oh! The Goddess!” I sputtered in shock.

“Wills?” Xander whispered, sounding shocked himself.

“I suppose that you could call me a goddess.” She smiled gently and turned her face up to look at the sky. “I seem awfully powerful to you, but I serve the One.”

“The One? The One what?” Xander questioned her. Don’t get me wrong. I love the man like a brother, but he can be a bit dense sometimes.

“The One true God. The Creator.” She answered him, not paying attention to his rudeness.

“You’re the Goddess I pray to for my powers.” I whispered, my eyes as wide as they could possibly get.

“You have my apologies for that, child.” Her face turned grave as she lowered her face to stare at me. “I had thought that you could handle the extra power. It was my responsibility to judge you and only give you the amount of magic that you could control. I never dreamed that you would fall so far.”

I felt tears sting my eyes once again as I hung my face in shame. “I’m sorry.” I whimpered, feeling that everything’s now complete. I had failed everybody, even my Goddess.

“No, child.” She chuckled softly. “Power corrupts. This is my responsibility, not yours.”

“So, you just suck the power out of her, and that’s it?” Xander asked from behind me.

Hecate shook her head sadly. “Once the power is granted, it cannot be taken away.”

“I won’t let you kill her.” He declared boldly, even though I couldn’t think of a way for him to stop her. She felt more powerful than Glory ever had.

“I’m not here to destroy her.” Hecate assured him with a chuckle.

“Then what’s to be done with me?” I whispered, searching her face for the answer. I wasn’t expecting what I got though.

“You are to be taken to another reality where your power will be much harder to recharge.” She told me with a small smile.

I felt the tears well up again. “I have to leave everyone behind?” I whimpered, burying my face back into her leather tunic.

“To stay here is to be destroyed by the other guardians.” She told me.

“Will it be one of the Hell dimensions?” Xander asked harshly. “If so, you’re better off destroying her!” He almost snarled.

“No, it will be another reality.” She shot a stern look at him and I saw him pale. “It will be much like this one, but different.”

“Oh.” I said, not really knowing what to say. My mind just couldn’t wrap itself around the concept. I wouldn’t ever see Buffy or Dawn again, but I’m pretty sure that they don’t want to see me anyway. Anya couldn’t care less about me. But I would never see my Xander shaped friend ever again. That hurt. That hurt a lot.

“I need to search for just the right reality.” Hecate said softly. “Open your mind to me, child.” I closed my eyes and felt her entire my mind. Her presence was… indescribable. Joy and calm and divinity all wrapped up together. Her very essence kept me calm and feeling loved while she slowly and methodically searched my memories for something that would keep me grounded. I could almost feel her explaining what she was doing as she searched high and low for the perfect solution. Out of the infinite number of possibilities existing in the entire universe, she was searching for a particular character, fiction or real, that would guide me and control me to prevent this from ever happening again.

With a sigh, I felt her withdraw from my mind and shake her head. “Nothing. Perhaps another would hold such a place of safety, but your mind does not.” She sighed sadly.

“Try mine.” Xander declared softly, shuffling forward to stand next to me.

“Why do you do this?” Hecate asked quietly, her eyes searching his face.

“I’ll do anything for the people I love.” He stated simply, meeting her gaze with one that could have been chiseled from marble. I’ve never felt more prouder of him than at that moment.

“Very well.” She closed her eyes and was perfectly still for several minutes. When she opened her eyes, she was smiling. “I have it. A person for you to be safe with.”

“If I may, could you tell me who her guide will be?” Xander asked quietly, now staring at the Goddess with the same awe that I used.

She shot him a wicked grin that had me worried for a second. “Her name is Dana Scully.”

Xander lost it. He started laughing so hard that he collapsed in a giggling heap on the ground. “Oh, I wish I could see the meeting between her and Mulder!” He finally gasped out.

“Um, Xander? Who’s Dana and Mulder?” I asked curiously.

“Can I watch her when it’s on?” He asked Hecate, completely ignoring me for the moment.

She shook her huge head slowly, turning serious. “Even though the reality exists, it will not be connected to this one. It will be slightly different, through time or even adventures. These same people won’t be quite the same as the ones you know from television.”

“I’m going to be on a television show?” I asked incredulously. That couldn’t be right.

“No, Wills.” Xander sighed, turning to look at me. “That reality matches up to this reality’s show called the X-Files. The two main characters, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder are agents with the FBI.”

“Perhaps you shouldn’t tell her too much.” The Goddess warned gently. “Let her make up her own mind about things as she goes through her new life.”

“What changes will I have to go through?” I asked, starting to get curious despite myself.

“You will be bonded to this woman.” Hecate informed us in a solemn tone.

“Um, what’s that mean, exactly?” Xander asked, shooting me a knowing look that completely bewildered me.

“Dana Scully will have the power to completely cut off your own, child.” She told us.

“Oh. That’s good. Right?” I asked hesitantly. It wasn’t something I was comfortable with, but it would have to do.

“Are you ready to get started?” Hecate asked gently.

I nodded my head in response and everything changed.
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