: Left to the DarknessAuthor
: Supernatural, BtVSCharacters
: Willow & the YEDChallenge
Written for Slaying the Supernatural
weekly challenge #10 Manip Based StoriesPrompt Willow and the YED
: All things SPN belong to Eric Kripke, et al. All things Buffy belong to Joss Whedon,
Willow could feel the hopelessness welling up inside her again. Like a wave slamming onto the beach. Sometimes, she was surprised to find herself upright after the impact of it hit. Everyone was gone. Cleveland was long in ruins and she alone had survived the empty years. She’d tried to keep the despair at bay but sometimes it was as if she’d fallen into a black hole and could no longer see the sun. Alone
The list of dead friends was endless: Kennedy, Buffy, Xander, Giles... her mind shut down when ever she tried to name them all. She wanted to die; to join them; to be in that beautiful place that Buffy had described. It had been five years and still the grief would not abate. Ultimately, she had given in to it; let it consume her. Her soul was black. Her heart was a dead. What was left for her?
Admittedly, She had tried to move on but no new friends or lovers could replace the ones she’d lost. She desperately wanted the familiar back. She longed for someone who understood her. Someone who would help her finish out this sad miserable existence. She refused to be alone any more.
There was only one person who’d ever really understood her. Buffy and the gang were like family but Tara had been her soul mate. Everything had turned gray after her death. Tara loved her; would have still have loved her, if that bullet hadn’t robbed her of life.
Willow had finally acknowledged that the hole Tara left behind would never be filled. Everything bad in her life had started after Tara died. She had done terrible things when Tara had died. Terrible, wonderful things
, Willow smiled at the memory of the power. Her friends had stopped her that day but they were gone now. No one was left to drown out the roar of power in her ears.
There had been no closure with Tara. No final farewell. Just a never-ending series of might have been scenarios running on an endless loop in Willow’s mind. They might have gotten married. They might have had a child. They might have traveled the world together. They might have loved each other forever. Tara would make this life worth living again.
Willow stood at the crossroads. She knew the consequences of the action she was about to take. She also knew that she no longer cared. For once, she was going to be selfish. Tara would comfort her, care for her and fill the hole festering in her soul.
She was peripherally aware that the blackness in her heart was clouding her judgment; making it difficult to distinguish between right and wrong. But, what she kept coming back to was one simple truth. She had been good and Tara had been taken. Now, she would be bad and Tara would return.
She knelt and buried the small container at the center of the crossroads. She stood and waited. She turned around and around looking for the Demon. “Oh, come on. I know I did the spell correctly.” At the last word, she turned and nearly collided with a man. She jumped back letting out a small squeal.
“So, sorry but as you can see you did do the spell correctly. It just took a while to overcome our disbelief that you might actually be calling for us. Everyone else thought it was a trap but I have always been too curious for my own good.”
Willow studied him. He was a tallish, middle aged man. But then, his eyes blinked yellow. “You really are a demon,” she said with mild surprise.
“Oh, that’s right; you’re used to the horns, the tail and the bad skin conditions. Sorry to disappoint. Those of us who make deals with humans try to look normal. It tends to keep them from running off before we can complete the transaction.”
“I want to make a deal.” She stated simply.
“Pardon my disbelief but what could I possibly do for one of the most powerful white witches alive today?” The demon circled her like a panther stalking its prey.
Willow did not look at the demon instead she stared into the distance and presented her deal. “I want you to resurrect Tara Maclay just as she was before she was shot. In exchange, I will give you my soul in 20 years.”
“Twenty years. That’s a little greedy don’t you think. Especially, since your girlfriend has been gone almost 15 years. That’s not an easy resurrection.”
Willow caught the demons eyes with hers. They flashed black as she reminded him, “I have power worth waiting for.”
She could see the demon falter as he stopped to evaluate her offer. Her soul might make this demon powerful. Willow refused to think about her abilities falling under demon control. All she cared about was Tara. Once Tara was back everything would be right again. Together they could fix the world and her soul.
“I don’t have the authority to make such a lopsided deal. It’s really not our style to grant so many happy years to a petitioner. We do have a reputation to maintain.”
“Really, then send someone who can make this deal because you are obviously very shortsighted.” Willows eye flashed black again and then the anger was rolling off her. “I don’t have time for incompetent underlings.”
“True, I am a simple demon. My brother was the ambitious one.” The demon sighed at the memory. “Got himself shot by a magical weapon and sent straight into oblivion. Me, I like my job. I am not one to collect power like so many of my kind. I get great satisfaction out of a job well done. I give the people what they want and then rip it all away. Ah, the simple joys of an eternity in hell.”
His brief reminder of a future in hell made Willow flinch. For a moment her mind cleared and her moral compass asserted itself. “Maybe, I am making a mistake." She stared at her shoes trying to still the dissonance inside her.
“So easily dissuaded from what you want. I’m not surprised.” The demon came to lay a hand tenderly on her shoulder. “I can understand if you really don’t wish to see Tara again. She really was a mousy little thing. I am sure you could do better. So, I’ll just run along."
Instantly, Willow’s anger was flaring white hot as she shrugged off his hand. "Don’t you even say her name. Don’t you dare mock her. You aren’t even fit to breath the same air as her, Hell Spawn." She was screaming at him by the time the last words had passed her lips.
The demon backed off. They stood there staring at each other. Then, the demon nodded as if she had confirmed something for him. "I’ll tell you what because I like you, I’m going to be a little generous. I am going to take your offer.”
Willow blinked and cocked her head, mentally reviewing all that passed between them. “What’s the catch?” She had not expected complete capitulation from the demon.
“No catch. It’s my deal to make and as I said, I like you. But this is a limited time offer and it’s going fast.” She wouldn’t be alone
. Her mind shouted. She was sure it would be easy to find a way out of the deal. She’d seen it done before. That was why she had chosen this method of resurrection for Tara.
“Going once.” He paused. She wouldn’t be alone
. The mantra kept repeating. Intuitively, she knew she couldn’t trust this demon but ultimately she didn’t care. He’d give her what she wanted; what she needed to be whole again.
“Going twice.” He had stepped forward to whisper in her ear and she shuddered.She wouldn’t be alone
. The voice continued looping through her mind; growing louder and more insistent. Her power could still be hers to control. She knew how to manipulate the dark forces. She would be no one’s pawn. She could sweep away the loneliness and have 20 years with Tara.
“Going three...” When their eyes met, he stopped the count down.
Willow nodded her acceptance of the deal. She offered her hand. The demon reached out to clasp it in his and pulled her close sealing the deal with a kiss.
Willow pushed him away and swiped her arm across her mouth. “I didn’t consent to being abused.”
“Actually, you did. Tara should be here momentarily. So, I really should be going but we’ll see each other again soon.”
“Not for 20 years right?”
“Twenty years is the blink of an eye in hell. Then, with you by my side, I will be able to finish what my brother so foolishly mishandled. Together, we will make hell on earth. I look forward to it my dear.”
“Wait, I thought you said I could keep my power; that you weren’t ambitious.”
He looked at her with a smile that never reached his eyes. “When the time comes, I promise you, you will give it to me willingly.” And he was gone.
Willow collapsed sobbing “What have I done?”
“Willow?” The shy, comforting voice she hadn’t heard in 15 years penetrated the fog of her despair.
Willow looked up. She was not alone and 20 years was a long time.