Chapter 1: 2 years AS
I make no claims to anything that belongs to Kripke or Whedon.Timeline:
Consistent with BtVS through “Chosen”, with SPN through “Crossroad Blues”; AU after that. (Yes, I am aware of Season 8; no, I have not read it nor do I plan to.)Warnings:
Mentions of rape and incest.
Between London and New York
Two Years A.S. (after Sunnydale)
Willow woke in the night, somewhere over the Atlantic; moonlight trickled through the open window next to Alex’s seat. She reached over the twins to close it.
Alex’s eyes were open, but they stared blankly ahead, a side effect of the spells necessary to keep him calm. The airline staff had believed her story of autism, and gone out of their way to help her with them. She had all the paperwork—Buffy had readily signed it—but she had merely claimed them as her nephews, their mother dead in an accident and she the designated guardian, taking them back to the States.
Giles would follow them. She had no doubts of that. Hence the mundane airplane ride, bought with perfectly mundane credit cards—along with the decoy tickets, to Paris, Lisbon, Moscow, Cairo, and Singapore. They would spend the week in New York, letting the sheer presence of millions of other minds erode their psychic trail while she prepared for the intense magics of time-shifting and began erasing the boys’ memories. Then the shift, then
the trip to California and then—Then I find someone to take them in. If anybody out there will.
Her contacts here—the ones who weren’t on Giles’ side—had a few leads, but nothing solid yet. Lady Missouri, who oddly enough lived in Kansas, had some ideas for her, but there were still loose ends to be tied up.
She felt Alex straining at the magic that bound him, and drew on the power of the sea to strengthen the spell-net. If Giles had just consented to leave Liam alone, to leave Buffy that solace, neither Willow nor Buffy would have fought him over Alex. Not after what had happened.Blood, Liam screaming, flames that danced in the shapes of people—
He would have beaten Liam to death if Willow hadn’t sensed the spikes in the local magics. When Buffy had interfered, he had attacked her, trying to pin her to the ceiling with a knife of power. Flames had erupted from the walls, burning with such an intense, unnatural heat that nothing in the room had survived. The whole house would have gone up if Willow hadn’t managed to fling up a shield in time.
She had bound Alex’s power. Had hoped it was a fluke, a child’s emotional loss of control, that sending Liam to spend a few nights elsewhere and giving Alex some undivided maternal attention would calm him down.
Three days later, he had attacked Buffy with a knife. It was a mundane enough attack—except that the knife was a mystical weapon, enchanted to prevent accidental injuries, and Alex had lovingly told her everything he planned to do to her with that knife. It might have worked, if his mother wasn’t also a Slayer, wasn’t the Primary. If they hadn’t known the Healer.
And that was when they’d realized, for the first time, what the plan had been.
The demon that had taken the form of Hank Summers had done its research—but not enough. Not even the Council had ever put it together, because so few Slayers survived to bear children, because a few had borne daughters before
the power came to them. The demon’s plan to sire a demon daughter with Slayer powers had failed because of simple biology. A Slayer’s body was hostile to sperm that bore an X chromosome. No Slayer, once she took her power, could have a daughter.
She looked at the boy sitting beside her—the boy who looked almost ten, but was barely nine months old; the sleepy, pure-hearted side effect of that damned demon’s plotting. “What is it, little man?”
“She had to stay in London, sweetie. She’ll come later.” Forgive me the lie, Liam. Forgive me everything.
“Is she mad at me?”
“Oh, no, of course not.” She undid Liam’s seatbelt and pulled him into a hug. “It’s just—it’s dangerous, is all.”
“It’s because of Alex, isn’t it?”
Just like his mother. Perfectly ordinary, with flashes of brilliant insight. “Yes.”
“Why couldn’t I stay?”Because Giles wanted to kill you.
Giles had taken everything in stride, even being an honorary grandfather…until Alex’s true nature became apparent. Then….
At some level, Ripper still existed, tucked away someplace where Giles could access him when the situation called for utter ruthlessness. Ripper had smothered Ben to vanquish Glory. Ripper would have no problem smothering two more crises, even if they wore the shapes of small boys. Even if he loved them. Look what he’d done to Dawn.
“It’s dangerous for both of you in London right now.” She stroked his hair. “We’ve got a good place for you to go. Safe. Nothing will find you.”
“But what about Mommy and Priss and you?”
“We’ll be all right.” Not even Giles would take on the Primary. And there were damn few witches capable
of taking on Willow if she put her mind to something, not since she worked the spell to make all Potentials into Slayers. Children, though, children were fragile, even supernatural ones. Alex had unbelievable powers, but they weren’t controlled, and he still had to sleep. Liam didn’t have that much. No protection at all.At all….
“Here, little man.” She shifted his weight in her lap so that she could undo the necklace she was wearing. “This is a talisman. You remember what those are?”
“Right. It’ll protect you.” She fastened it around his neck. “And it will connect you to me and your mommy.”
“Forever?” he asked.
Willow’s composure nearly cracked. “Forever,” she whispered. “Now sleep, little man. Sleep for me.” She touched his mind with a spare tendril of magic, and he dozed off. “Forgive us,” she whispered into his hair. “It’s the only thing we can think to do.”