Disclaimer: all things BtVS were created by the Great Whedon, though I'm not sure if he still holds sole copyrights to it. The crossover is likewise owned by not-me. Wonder how many people will recognize it...Voice
My voice had not been heard in the world for eons beyond the telling.
My rest had likewise been mostly undisturbed, with few exceptions - mostly along the lines of when one of my Daughters would brush up again death and be pulled back, either by magic or some other method. Then I would actually get glimpses of the world that had taken form since I laid down my burden.
But this Daughter...oh for a body of my own again so I could turn her over my knee and tan her hide!
Short, even a little more than is normal for my Daughters. After all, the smaller you seem, the bigger the surprise when you punch them and they find themselves seven to ten running strides away.
She even uses artificial coloring to alter her hair - though a wonderful tactic for disguise, she seems to do it simply to color her hair.
And I must grant that she did have reason for the spell - and I did note with a little amusement that her witch-friend has hair rather like I did when I walked the lands, but what it did!
I was pulled from my rest, and only the skills and abilities I had gathered so long ago kept my knowledge from seeping over to the three who joined forces with my Daughter. My voice, though...
The man-made demon-thing had shivered the moment my Daughter spoke after the joining. Likely it never realized that here, once more given flesh even if only for a moment, was the one who named herself "Sineya."
And when it was done, I took two images - the one of a witch that my Daughter knew in this life. The other was one of my early Daughters.
I did so because I could already see the danger my pale Daughter was in. Whether she realized it or not, so was beginning to cut herself off from her friends. I needed to get her to try to strengthen those bonds, as the gifts the Earth Mother had given me so long ago whispered of a challenge so great that without support my Daughter would fail before she even started.
And oh! It was all I could do to keep from dancing and cheering as she stood up against what the very beginning of her line and declared herself!
I remained rather more closely tied to her over the next few years, and even had the opportunity to do some one-on-one training with her, that she even sort-of remembered over the next few years.
Although I think she took the lessons on being the leader of an army a little too much to heart...
Finding the ancient Scythe, embued long ago with a shard of power like that which gave my Daughters the strength they needed, was both a blessing and a curse. The power it could grant was needed against the army of ancient demons that had been amassed by the First.
That the little red-head managed to permanently empower all those who might have inherited the powers was not in my plans.
There is a reason why no-one, not even those newcomers calling themselves the Powers That Be know which will be the next Daughter.
I am the chooser. I weigh the souls and minds of those who might be, and I choose which one will
be, and there are many that I reject forever as unsuitable.
And that is what has led to this - my now many Daughters, divided on not two, or even three, but four sides.
My pale Daughter and her darker Sister are, surprisingly enough to those who have known them over the years, united on one side.
The others have their various motivations, and they are all reasons that would have disqualified them had I been able to refuse them the power not five years before. As it is, I am limited to making the change gradually; weeding out the unsuitable as time passes and praying that the Earth Mother grants me enough Daughters to prevent this from happening again.
Unfortunately, it looks like I will not have the chance.
Time freezes before me as the bright entity that had so long ago brought me the Earth Mother's words. And the choices that I had to make from the knowledge I gained that day.
Buffy gritted her teeth. What was supposed to be a simple meeting on assignments and apocalypse updates had degenerated somehow to a many-sided war of words.
The winner would, presumably, be the undisputed leader of the Slayers.
Until it all happened again.
Buffy clenched her fists. She wasn't going to let it happen once. Once
was all it took to lose it all - the world, the war against the dark things that would enslave all life...everything that she had suffered for - died for! - would be devastated.
So when all color seemed to leach from her surroundings and two figures - one a human-seeming female, the other some weird person - appeared, she was momentarily caught off her guard.
"Yo, B, who's the old lady?"
Buffy whipped her head around to see Faith looking just as confused. "And why is nobody else noticing...hell, moving!" the darker Slayer muttered.
"Peace, Children of the Line," said the weird person. He...she...well, it really, wasn't like anything either Slayer had seen before. Wearing a cloak that made spring leaves look dull, and with hair and eyes of an impossible shade, it wasn't clearly male - too delicate - or female - too strong.
The woman was a far different matter. Her hair was a rather unassuming shade of red, and her build was nothing that would ever get her into the movies. The only thing really odd were her eyes - too violet to be blue, and too blue to be violet. She also snorted when the weird person spoke and nudged her way gently forward. Some unspoken communication flowed between her and the weird person, who nodded slightly and stepped back, leaving her to look at the Slayers.
The redhead smirked. "Well, seeing as how we've never been formally introduced, just call me Sineya."
Buffy's mind rather promptly blew a few circuits. She'd scored rather well on her SAT's, and while she never really had a problem with the odd pronunciations of demon species and the like, it was funnier to make Giles try to rub his glasses out when she mangled them.
That her Watcher likely knew exactly what she was doing she never really dwelt on - it made her happy to fluster him, him happy to be of some service in helping her stay connected to the world, and if they came right out and said it, they'd lose that special bit of their friendship.
So when this woman indentified herself as the First Slayer, Buffy's mind promptly crashed.
Faith's response was rather unprintable but boiled down to a request for clarification.
"She's the First Slayer," Buffy muttered. "But she can't be because look! No face paint! Or nightmare-hair, or bad teeth! The First Slayer was a cave-girl who didn't understand basic hygiene!"
Sineya grimaced. "She was my great-great-granddaughter, and she lived like that because her father was an unglorified piece of shit who kicked her out, saying that there was no way a big strong man like him could possibly have whelped something so useless as a female. Two guesses what his tribe really wanted, and the first one doesn't count."
Faith's eyes narrowed. "Then why use her image? That's the First Evil's stick, no?"
Sineya quirked a single brow. "And a bathed woman who cared for her hair was so common back then? Demons were on the rise, my dark Daughter, and few spared what little time they had to keeping clean. Rather, being clean usually led the demons right to you - you tasted a darn sight better when they were stripping the flesh from your bones."
"Ok," Buffy finally managed, dragging her brain back into gear. "So why the big reveal now?"
Sineya sighed as she looked over the divided Slayers. "Because, my pale one, if I didn't, there would be a far worse killing than my old nemesis managed just a short season ago. You need something that none of my Daughters can speak against."
Faith had pulled back a little at the "dark" comment, but relaxed a very little when B was called "pale." It's a comment on our coloring, not our souls,
she told herself firmly. Still, there wasn't no thing called the "free lunch" in life - there was always a tradeoff.
"So what's the catch?" B asked, beating Faith by a hair. Well, at least she's thinking,
Sineya's face went grim. "You'll have a life expectancy rather in excess of what you would otherwise. Simply put, you'll stop aging in a few years at most, and then you'll just keep on living." She tilted her head to the side. "Unless something kills you, but that's a nightly hazard anyway."
Immortality. Or near enough as made no never mind. Buffy knew it wasn't what she wanted, but the last time she'd put her wants ahead of the world had been the night Merrick had died. The few times she'd come close to that in the years that followed she'd always pulled back and gotten right back into the fray.
"So, what does B get?" Buffy frowned at Faith. Hadn't they finally got over the whole one-up-manship that had plagued them when they'd first met? But Faith merely glanced at her Slayer sister. "It's the truth, B. When it comes to something like this, you're the one to go to. I'll never stop pushing to better myself, but it'd be a poor person that I'm trying to become to backslide and try to fight over who gets what the old bat's offering. And isn't fighting over stuff like that what this-" and here Faith waved at the frozen room "-is turning into?"
Sineya smiled faintly as Buffy sighed. "Acutally I'm giving to both of you." Two sets of eyes locked with hers in surprise. "And there's no extra strength, or speed, or anything like that."
"So..." prodded Faith, still trying to process that the First Slayer was going to split what she had to give between the Queen Slayer and the Boston pinch-hitter.
"Your voices will change a little. When you speak, it will be with my voice unlying yours. Buffy saw what happened when she faced Adam - she was speaking with my voice there, and that thing knew it was going to die."
Buffy and Faith looked at each other. Then turned back to Sineya and made their choice.
I slip back into the twilight of my rest as my Daughters' meeting resumes. The startled scrabbling and shocked faces of the ones I would never have chosed I will carry with me for a long time.
My voice will be heard for a long time to come - when the day comes that my thrice Chosen Daughters pass from the Mother's embrace to the rewards that await them, I will choose new ones to guide and maintain that presence.
I drift back to the place I have formed to pass the ages. The great brindle-furred wolf that has been my companion since not long after I left behind the name Anghara Kaligsdaughter glares up at me.
"You could have taken me along," she mutters, amber eyes accusing.
"It didn't take me that long, now did it, Grimya?"
"No, I suppose not. Now, if you're quite done, scratch my head."
The woman who had taken the name Sineya laughed and pounced her friend, who promptly switched from imperious majesty to overgrown pup and wrestled easily back and forth for a moment before stilling.
"What?" Grimya asked quietly, draping her head on Sineya's lap.
"He was there." There was only one who she would ever refer to that way.
"Did he know? Who he used to be?"
"No, though something stirred when my Daughters first spoke with my voice. I'm not sure I should have done that after all - it might just be the thing to spark the Final Battle."
Grimya stretched up and rubbed her furred muzzle into Sineya's neck. "Only time will tell. Now get some rest, I can tell you're tired."
Buffy and Faith stood alone on the balcony outside the blonde's room. Many changes had occurred. The threatened rebellion was quelled, but one of the opposing camp's main supporters had been oddly subdued instantly when they had spoken up.
They didn't speak to each other aloud, just in case, but there was something wrong with Fenran Smytheson's reaction that had set them on their guard.
He would bear watching.
Postnote: an idea that I've played with for some time now, though it didn't come out as well as I'd have liked. Posting it anyway to see what people think.
Comments and constructive criticism are welcomed and encouraged. Flames? No thanks, don't have a fireplace.