Buffy & Angel crew belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. The Stargate people belong to Gekko Productions, Double Secret Productions, MGM/UA, Showtime/Viacom and anyone else I may have forgottenWarnings/Authors Note:
Buffy and Angel to the end of season five and two, respectively, happened as per the shows (except the Gift). For Stargate SG-1, to the Last Stand (mid season five) then it will branch off into a different AU. This story works on the premise that Buffy did not defeat Glory, or stopped her from using the key. It is set two years after The Gift. You’ll understand when you read it.
The setting sun illuminated the constant fires that were burning throughout Colorado Springs. The demons were slow moving, destroying everything in their path before progressing on to the next city or town. It was still hard for Willow to believe how things had turned out. It wasn’t quite the apocalypse she had expected. The end of the world was supposed to be sudden and final. Not long and agonizing like this was.
Though, the words ‘hell on Earth’ certainly had new meaning.
There were only a few places in the world now where humans actually lived. Most had gone underground, other fought wherever they could, while some had given up completely, allowing themselves to become vampires or be killed.
Willow had joined the fighting side, the Marines to be exact. They were the only ones fighting. There were no more warriors of the light left, no champions. Only marines, and her, the last known mystical warrior – at least to them.
The rest had died, fighting for this world.
Buffy was the first to fall, dying fighting Glory. Dawn was the next, after being activated, she bled to death slowly on top of the tower, unable to be reached by any of them. Tara was the third to die, killed by a dragon from a hell dimension. Spike had stayed behind, not bothering to come with the remaining Scooby’s as they fled to the Magic Box. Spike had lost everything he cared about in the world. When the sun rose, he joined Buffy, Dawn, and Tara.
Willow had expected the world to end then and there. Glory had opened the portal and escaped back to her hell dimension, all the while letting in the various creatures that lived there. But it didn’t. Once the portal closed, they were all right. For a while. To this day Willow couldn’t remember how they managed to stay in Sunnydale for six months after Buffy’s death. If Giles, Faith, and Angel hadn’t died, Willow was sure they would have stayed longer.
It was hell. There was no other way to describe what Sunnydale had turned into. There were no humans left, only demons, and monsters. With the help of Angel and his team, they fought as much as they could. They slept through the day and fought at night, desperate to keep the Hellmouth from opening. It was the only reason they stayed. But the death of Giles, Faith, and Angel changed that.
All that had been left was a witch, seer, warriors, ex-watcher, and a former demon. None of them strong enough to fight the demons armies that had begun to rise. So they took drastic measures to ensure the Hellmouth didn’t open.
The spell Wesley had found was incredibly dangerous, but at the time, they had little choice.
In retrospect, it had been their biggest mistake.
They had to close the Hellmouth for good but, in order for them to do that, Willow had to become stronger. It hadn’t been a big deal to her at the time; all she had wanted was to get out of there, away from the pain and death. The spell they had used was to take all the pure magic they had available to them and turn it into energy. Books, crystals, talismans, herbs, orbs…everything of pure magic, was turned into energy, and placed inside of her.
Translation; she stupidly absorbed the magic and it became apart of her. The knowledge, the elements… Everything that magic was, was now inside of her – a part of her.
It didn’t make her Super Willow, or any less afraid – it just made her fight harder. Books that had stored countless amounts of information about dimension, spells, anything imaginable, was inside her mind. She didn’t know EVERYTHING, it didn’t give her access to the Powers That Be or the meaning of life type stuff, but it gave her enough power to not only bind the Hellmouth, but to make it that not even her death would release it.
Only she could, willingly.
THAT had been her mistake. The demon front that was making its way through Colorado Springs, or what used to be Colorado Springs, was searching for her. They wanted her to open the Hellmouth. If she was corrupted, or even made into a vampire, the world would end… well, even more than it was ending.
God, why hadn’t they realised that at the time?
Because they had been too busy trying to stay alive. Once they had left Sunnydale, they went to LA. Fred and Gunn died three days after they arrived, killed by a Miek Demon. Cordelia, Wesley, and Anya died two months later, trying to stop Willow from being kidnapped by a group of vampires.
Then it had been only her and Xander left, for a week, then it was just her.
Willow let the tears fall freely as she thought of her best friend. His death had almost been enough for her to surrender. The physical world was still alive, but her world had ended. She would have died if the Marines hadn’t found her. Graham and Riley to be exact. The two of them were now her best friends, her family, as well as Riley’s wife Sam. The four of them did everything together, slept, ate, fought, and cried.
Over the last year and a quarter Willow had become every bit the marine. She could fight as well as the next soldier, she could fire a weapon. She had even been given an honorary rank of Major.
The men and women she worked with fought to keep the demons from winning completely. It was working, slowly. But there was just one problem…
She was a magnet to all things supernatural. All other warriors of the light were dead, there hadn’t been a sighting of a witch or a Slayer, since Willow left LA. She was the last, which made her the demon’s version of the Holy Grail.
The only solution, the only way the military would really win, would be if she went into hiding. If she went somewhere no other demon could find her.
It was Riley who brought it up, the prospect of going to an alternate reality to keep her hidden from the demons. Willow had thought he was insane at first, but after thinking about it… it was the only option they really had. So she and Sam spent the last month working out what they needed to do and where she should go.
Willow could do it, she still had the knowledge, it was the actual leaving part Willow was having trouble with. She had lost everyone she loved, now they were asking her to leave the last of her family for a different reality.
For them, she would do it. If it meant them living, she’d do anything, even die – which she had suggested on occasion, but the marines had been firm when they said no.
As Riley had told her, just the night before… "It’s either this, or we die protecting you."
Willow took one last look of Colorado from the mountaintop. The town would be lost in a few days, the marines had given up trying to defend it. They were just waiting for her to go before they moved on.
Which was what she was doing now, moving on.
This was it, her time to leave.
Two years to the day her friends had died and the world had changed so much. Two long and painful years of fighting. God, she really didn’t know how she could do this, leave her friends – her family – here to fight without her.
She loved them all so very much.
They were all here with her now; Riley, Graham, Sam, and countless others, watching her this one last time. She turned around for a final look and without a word, they all snapped to attention and saluted her.
She was sobbing when she saluted them back.
She silently prayed to any god that this reality wouldn’t hurt her so much and that no demon, warlock, or vampire came after her.
Willow took a deep breath and closed her eyes.