The characters in this story, and it's subsequent chapters, do not in any fashion belong to me, no matter how much I desire them to be so.
Dawn Summers always slept fitfully these days. That was the way she had slept ever since the night Buffy had died. Even after Buffy’s resurrection, and the destruction of the Hellmouth, sleep never again came easy to her. Ever since Willow had done the spell to find the endangered potential in Sunnydale, she’d been feeling even more.....wonky. Her attention wavered in her classes and she felt sleepy half-way through the day.
And she felt....things. She knew what Buffy was doing any time she wondered about it. She knew how Xander, who was at least a quarter ways around the world from her, was doing on his search for the Slayers in Africa. And she could feel every time Willow tapped into the Earth’s magic.
She couldn’t tell anyone, of course she couldn’t. They all wanted her to be the normal one, even though being the normal one in this line of business could get you killed. And being the normal one had sucked. Being told it was too dangerous for her, that she could hurt herself, get herself killed. They hadn’t even thought about offering her some sort of combat training. And so she was relegated to the books.
Which was probably the worst thing they could have done. Because books were the keepers of the knowledge. And knowledge is power.
And so it came to be, that in Rome, a year after the fall of Sunnydale, in an attempt to either stop or at least control these things that were happening to her, that Dawn Summers finished reading her book on advanced meditation, and settled herself on her bed in a relaxed pose.
She looked within, and found infinity. Time, space, gone were the limits that existed to mortals. In the mortal world, power flowed from her glowing body, uncomprehensionable to those who lived on the earthly plane.
She saw the future, the end of everything. She saw the past, the beginning. She saw the demons, the dinosaurs, the evolution of mankind. She watched as Empires rose and fell, as cities were built and as they burnt. She watched as species evolved all around the universe, as they advanced, as they made mistakes and made devices to try and correct those mistakes. She watched the destruction of worlds, the exodus of a dying race.
She watched, and knew that with the faintest thought, she could change things. Erase demons from the world. Prevent the Dark Ages. And then she followed the timelines of those realities. No, she would make no changes. All that had come to pass, was that which should come to pass.
She looked within, and found herself. The Key. Quite possibly the ultimate power in the universe, next to God, whom she now knew existed, without a doubt. After all, God was her creator. She was the Key. How could the Scooby Gang have thought that night was the only night she’d have power, that opening portals at a specific time with her blood was the only thing she could do? All around the universe, in congruent realities, mere atoms of her power were being used to power portals to other worlds.
She looked within, and looked without. The multi-verse was a metaphysical marble in her metaphysical palm. How easily she could crush this fledgling creation. She was a god in a world without faith.
That thought brought her back to earth, to the physical world in which she, Dawn Summers, had a body, and the body was currently in Rome.
She sat up suddenly, a faint gasp escaping her mouth. She was Dawn Summers, she had a sister named Buffy, had once had a crush on a boy called Xander. She was not just the Key, the closest thing to God the universe could ever come to know. She had humanity. She had a conscience.
Dawn Summers had evolved, and she had become Aurora. Not just one, or the other, but both. And her time here had come to an end. She knew without looking that her appearance had changed. Green and silver streaks appearing in her hair, her eyes a shimmering emerald green.
Aurora looked around her. She looked at the pictures of a family who would never remember her, and committed them to memory. They might not remember her, but she would never forget them. Everything in her room disappeared into a subspace pocket she created with barely a thought. Everything around the world that was even vaguely hers went in next. The friendship bracelets she had made at the Scooby’s one year Hellmouth destruction party. Letters and postcards sent to various New Council members around the world.
And so it came to be, that Aurora appeared before Illyria, God King of the Primordium. And Illyria bowed before the one she knew had infinite more power than her, even when she had been in her true form.
So it came to pass that the fate of Winifred Burkle’s soul came to be known to Illyria. In her resurrection, the soul had been consumed by her, and existed within her. The soul was energy, and that energy had become part of her in her rebirth. So she was both Illyria and Fred.
And so it came to be that Illyria cried a crystal tear, which Aurora captured, and in it placed the powers of the God King. The pendent was placed around the neck of Illyria, and Illyria knew how it was to have both her powers restored, and to feel the soul within her. No more tears were shed, but she felt everything all the more deeply. Her grief, her sorrow, her anger. Aurora, greater in supremacy than the Powers That Be, proclaimed Illyria a champion.
Only Illyria, Champion of the Light, with her powers to traverse time and space, would remembered Aurora when she left. As she did.
Around the world, everything changed. With no Dawn Summers, there had been no Key. With no Key, there had been no way for the Hell Goddess Glorificus to return home. Without the death of Buffy Summers, there had been no cause for her resurrection, no need for Willow to delve into the deeper, darker side of magic. Willow had become addicted to magic, but had been able to control her addiction with the help of Tara. Xander and Anya had not gotten married the first time around, but had decided to give it another go a year later, which did eventually succeed in a marriage. Tara was not shot by Warren thus Willow had not flayed Warren and tried to end the world. There had been no available chance for the First Evil to return to the world, to wage its war. Sunnydale did not fall, the Council did not explode. Bringers were not killing potentials around the world. Spike had not burnt into ash saving the world.
Connor had still been born to Darla, whom has sacrificed herself for her unborn son. Sah’Jian had still opened the portal to Quor’toth, where the hunter had taken Angel’s son. Connor had still returned to kill his biological father, had still dropped him in the ocean. Cordelia had still ascended, and then descended, with the Goddess Jasmine controlling her actions so she could still be born. The destruction of free will and world peace was stopped. Angel Investigations had indeed joined Wolfram and Hart, in a plot to take it down from the inside.
Illyria had still been reborn in Fred, but now knew everything that had happened in the unchanged world. The pendent had formed around her neck when her exo-armour had grown. She was not the harsh God King whom had first appeared, proclaiming the inhabitants of the world ‘muck beneath her feet’. She was not the harsh God King whom had tried to resurrect her armies to bring her wrath to the Earth. She was Illyria, and she was Fred, and she was both. She knew hate, and anger, and love, and despair. She had a soul, and she was a Champion of the Light. She still killed the mortal whom had made her resurrection happen though, his name inconsequential. She loved her Wesley, and would stand by his side for everything.
At the final battle, Angel Investigations had still stood against the Black Thorn Circle, with dragons flying overhead and eighty foot tall demons crushing cars. The Scooby Gang, with the additions of Spike, Jonathan, and Andrew had appeared. Empowered magically, and with reinforcements, the tide turned against the Circle. And in this battle, the light was triumphant.
The appearance of demons around the city of Los Angeles was one however, that no-one could forget. Nor could the cameras in the chopper that had been filming the live broadcast of a traffic blockage. Within twenty-four hours, even those who lived in the most remote places had heard of the proven existence of demons, and those who fought them.
The recognition that none of them had wanted suddenly burst into their faces. Instant fame was pushed onto their hands. But the world now knew. Stockpiling not seen since the war occurred, until it became evident that the world had not changed, only the way they viewed it. People still went to work everything, spent their money, and the world still turned.
She watched as both Spike and Angel had their Shanshu, alright she more than just watched. If the Powers That Be wouldn’t make sure that their Champions were rewarded, then she, who was significantly higher up the food chain, would make certain they were. Love flowered for all the members of the Scooby Gang and Angel Investigations. It grew and prospered, and so did their children, and their children’s children. She watched the world become safe, as dangerous demons left well alone now that their existence was a global fact. She watched a world grow, and flourish, as they took to the stars.
And Aurora watched, years, eons passing. At first it was exciting; she knew everything, could see everything. And then it grew boring. She knew everything, could see everything. She watched the world, when she wanted to be a part of it.
And so it came to pass that she decided to resume a somewhat mortal form in a randomly picked universe, on a randomly picked planet in a randomly picked galaxy. It was however, the Creator’s will, that she appear in front of a group of people, whose jaws dropped at seeing a glowing green woman suddenly appear in front of them.
“What the hell?!”
Never let it be said the Creator is without a sense of humour.