Big Hand for the Little Slayer
Post-The Gift: Buffy learns the truth about the Powers when she jumps in Dawn's place. She proceeds to drive them crazy until they decide to send her to watch over someone about to come into a vast amount of power. Where? A small town in Massachusetts called Ipswich.Disclaimer:
BTVS belongs to Joss Whedon and The Covenant belongs to J. S. Cardone and Sony Pictures.Pairings:
This story is an AU that does try not to stray too far from the original story. I do try to keep the heart of the story, while allowing Buffy to add her own unique flavor. This story is fast paced in keeping with the movie.Special Notes:
To Amanda for adding in those wonderful little commas where they should go and where I never seem to put them. You always make my stories better babe.
Buffy looked around, and saw nothing but wispy clouds. This wasn't what she had expected when she jumped through Glory's portal. She'd hoped for Heaven, although she was ready for another Hell dimension. If this was Heaven, it certainly didn't live up to its reputation.
"Hello," she called out, hoping that someone would answer. She nearly jumped out of her skin when a booming voice did exactly that.
"Why are you here, Slayer? The Key was to return to its place. You were not part of our plans."
The words seemed to come at her from all sides, practically knocking her off her feet. She felt anger rush through her, heating her blood until she felt it burning her from the inside out. "Your plan? You planned to kill my sister. What kind of angels are you?"
The clouds parted, revealing a group of beings sitting on elaborate thrones. They glared at Buffy, and she returned it with equal measure. She stomped forward, anger echoing with each step she took. Stopping when she stood close enough to make out their faces, she saw four - creatures, was the only word that came to mind. Each one was a different color - brown, white, red and blue. Their faces were classically beautiful, resembling Greek statues, but they had huge, fathomless holes for eyes, which gave them a soulless appearance. Upon each one's head, rather than hair, elements quivered with life; long grasses wavered on the brown creature's head, billowing clouds created a halo for the white one, living flames surrounded the red head, while water flowed from a beautiful blue face.
"What are you guys, a scary Crayola box?" She frowned at them, trying to figure out who they were and where, the heck, had she landed this time.
"Silence!" They spoke simultaneously. Their voices blared loudly, forcing her to hold her hands over her ears. "You will show us respect. We are the Powers and we guide the destiny for all warriors such as you. Your arrogance led you to our domain. The Key should have returned to us, its keepers. Your interference has ruined plans that took many years to devise. The Key would have been returned to its proper place, if you hadn't interfered."
Buffy tilted her head to the side as she watched these omnipotent creatures, taking in their words, then threw back her head and laughed. The Powers sat there, stunned. This lower being, this Slayer, had not only ruined their carefully crafted plans, but here she stood before them laughing. They turned to look at each other, unsure what to do with her. There was no way to send her back. It would tear a hole in her world's reality. They were simply stuck with her.
"You're the big cheeses that decided to put 'your' key into a sister, so that I'd protect it from Glory. But, and that's a big but in case you missed it, you expected me to just let her sacrifice herself, after you made her from me. No wonder Slayers die young, with you guys running the show. I bet you're the ones that decided that we shouldn't have friends and that stuffy men dressed in tweed should tell us what to do." She crossed her arms, not caring that they could zap her into infinity. She had had it with people screwing with her life. These Starburst wannabes had messed with her family, even if they had created Dawn from a green, glowy blob of energy. When they used Summers blood then filled her mind full of memories, they had blown it big time.
The Air Power bellowed, "Remove her from our presence."
A blue-skinned man and woman appeared from thin air, wearing white Grecian robes with elaborate golden sandals that matched their hair. Except for their gender, they were identical. Before Buffy knew what was happening, they each grabbed an arm and disappeared. She pulled away, stepping back to take in her surroundings and the twins.
"Okay, who are you and where am I at?"
The male looked down his nose at her as if she were a bug that needed smashing. She took a step forward, ready to wipe the smug look right off his blue face. His female counterpart quickly interceded by putting herself between them and smiling softly at the small Slayer.
"Forgive my brother, Slayer, he does not understand the great sacrifice you made for your world. We are the Oracles, seers for the Powers. Champions come to us for guidance." An elegant hand swept outward to encompass a seemingly endless room. "This is the archive."
Buffy tilted her head up, but found no ceiling above her; for that matter, she was still walking on clouds. She walked further into the archive. Large shelves containing books and other strange objects created a maze of walkways that ended in small, comfy alcoves. Her curiosity got the better of her and she forgot her anger and bewilderment as she continued down the maze.
A soft smile graced her lips when she inhaled, breathing in the familiar scent of ancient books. She pulled a slender volume off a shelf and scanned it. A strange language that she had never seen before filled the page. What freaked her out was that she could read it. She had barely passed high school French, and that had been with Willow's help. This place got weirder with each passing minute. Sliding the book back into its place, she stared at the object that lay on the adjacent shelf. She put her hands in her pockets to keep them to herself as she stared at what looked like, well, a gold crown. What self-respecting woman, Slayer or not, could resist playing princess? She glanced around to see if her blue bodyguards were nearby. Ensuring that the coast was clear, she gave into temptation. The gold felt warm to the touch as she slipped on the round circlet.
A window opened inside her mind. The knowledge that Giles had tried to instill in her for years flooded into her brain. It was as if the knowledge was there waiting for her to let it inside. She walked over and shakily sat down on a small settee. Glancing over, she saw a round crystal that was about the size of a baby's fist. No sooner had she thought that it looked interesting than the object in question floated across the open space, landing in her lap. "Whoa!" She jerked the crown off her head and sat it on the couch beside her.
"It was King Atlas' crown. The Atlantians learned how to use their entire mind, with the proper focal point," the female Oracle explained as she appeared in the chair across from Buffy.
She rubbed her forehead, wrinkling her brow. "How come my mind is still doing the whole busy bee thing? I took off the honking crown already."
Bell-like laughter chimed from the Oracle's blue throat. "You're very amusing, for a champion."
"Gee thanks, you're a barrel of laughs, too. Exactly what is it that you do around here when you aren't guiding warriors?" She saw a sadness fill the other woman's eyes, and wondered what she had said wrong.
The female Oracle stood up, placing her hands behind her, then she slowly started pacing. Choosing her words carefully, she finally answered, "We once lived on your Earth, accessing other worlds through portals. The Powers wanted us to help a particular champion remain on his path. His enemy killed us and they brought us here as punishment. They felt that we should have prevented what happened."
"What about me? Am I being punished? Can't they just send me back?"
The golden head gave a negative shake. "No, your return would cause an imbalance in your world. I don't know what they have planned for you. Perhaps, they will send you to another world." She watched the hope enter Buffy's eyes, and quickly added. "If it happened, it would be on their terms, young Slayer. Do not fool yourself into thinking that the Powers wouldn't expect you to return." She watched a strange emotion that she couldn't define play over Buffy's face.
The Powers cringed as they heard another crash from the archive. They turned to stare at one another in desperation. The Slayer was destroying their beautiful home. If they didn't get rid of her soon, there wouldn't be any treasures left. She had shattered the Crystal Skull and broken Poseidon's Trident, and then she released Zeus' thunderbolts, burning the priceless books from the Libraries of Alexandria and Atlantis, and that was within the first few days, relatively speaking of course, since time moved differently within the upper regions.
"What are we to do with this Slayer? She is destroying the archive. If she remains, we won't have any treasures left," the Fire Power spoke with a flame-laden voice.
"An eldest Son of Ipswich will soon come into his power," the Water Power said.
"The lost line threatens the balance. He hungers for revenge and will use this time to obtain power that isn't rightfully his," the Earth Power supplied.
A heavy silence reigned in the Powers' chamber as well-satisfied smiles crossed their otherworldly faces. They sent their will toward their servants. The Oracles appeared and respectfully bowed their golden heads as they waited to hear what their masters wanted.
"It has been decided that the Slayer is to go to another dimension where the balance is in jeopardy." The male Oracle practically danced in place. His sister's expression filled with worry, unsure whether the Power would punish her for delivering bad news. "Why are you still here? Go and retrieve the troublesome girl so that we may tell her what is expected from her," the Air Power demanded.
The female knew that she had no choice but to speak. "Forgive me, but I'm not sure that she will do what you want."
Wind blasted the room, flames licked the air, the ground shook and water started to rise as the Powers' anger filled the space. It bore down on the Oracles. A united echoing voice boomed out their rage. "We are the Powers. She is a warrior and will do what we require of her. We created each world's warriors to ensure that the balance remained intact; they do not get to choose whether or not to obey."
"Sister, what are you talking about? The lower being will happily do the Powers bidding. She is a Slayer; after all; that is what they are bred for," the male Oracle explained to his twin, wondering why she was trying to upset the Powers.
Slender, blue shoulders sagged, as if they carried the weight of the world. "This Slayer is different. She proved that when she sacrificed herself for the Key. I've spent time with her, listened to her. I have even, though I find it strange, come to admire her."
"Admire her? She's a lower being, even though she has landed here. That doesn't change what she is, sister," the male Oracle said snobbishly.
"Doesn't it, brother? She has lived longer than any other Slayer on record by always doing the unexpected at every turn. The first day here she tried on Atlas' crown, and since then has wandered the length and breadth of the archive while peering through the Stygian Eye."
Using her entire mind and with the Stygian Eye's help, she found the archive's hidden resources. She had uncovered the Powers' secrets. They weren't the benevolent overseers that provided for their champions. Before the beginning of time, the Powers utilized an almost gleeful manipulation as they drove their champions to perform accordingly. The Slayer had learned that they enjoyed watching their champion's failures as much as their successes. They used the standard line about balance, but a champion's choice still came down to free will. The Powers played at a huge game, and Buffy had decided to draw up a hand.
She had learned that the archive was a repository for the 'trophies' awarded from the small bets between themselves. Knowing that she didn't want to spend an eternity here, and that returning home wasn't an option, she set out to force the Powers to ask her to leave. What better way to force their hands than to destroy their pretty, little treasures, accidentally of course.
Shooting the Golden Apple of Eris with Shiva Dhanush, she then splintered Shiva's bow into a thousand pieces. She sprinkled pixie dust over countless books, sending them floating into the ether. The last remaining bowl of ambrosia, the food of the gods, fell, dripping down onto Freyja's Falcon Cloak. The sticky substance soaked into the delicate feathers and started eating them. That was only the beginning. She continued working her way through the treasure trove of Greek, Norse, Celtic, Hindu, Japanese and Chinese supernatural relics, not to mention the untold number of books and scrolls that she had burned, shot, sliced, diced or floated. Poor Giles; he would have a coronary if he ever found out, but there wasn't much chance of that.
Buffy frowned as her thoughts turned dark. She hefted Mjolnir, Thor's hammer, placing her weight on her back foot and started to spin. She was about to throw it at her newest target, the Yata No Kagami, the sacred mirror of Japan. The Oracles appeared mid-spin, grabbing her arms and disappearing with her, saving the mirror, and the hammer, as well. They reappeared before the Powers. Buffy crossed her arms, with Thor's hammer still in her hands, resembling an angry Valkyrie as she scowled at her 'hosts'. The Oracles stepped back, hoping to stay out of the line of fire.
"You wanted something?" she asked in a bored tone.
The Powers stared in shock at this small champion who continued to do the unexpected. Where was the respect that was their due, or even the healthy fear that a lower being should have for them?
"Is that Mjolnir in your hands?"
"Yeah, is that all you wanted to know? The Doublemint Twins didn't have to do the whole port key thing for that. You know, if you guys ever got off your collective asses and walked around, you might learn a few things." She smiled smugly when their living hair showed that she had made a direct hit.
"You are to go below and watch over someone. There is one that wishes to harm him when he comes into his powers on his.."
She fought to keep her footing, but she didn't say another word. Let the negotiations begin; this was one battle that she had no intentions of losing.