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Chili Pepper in Hot Chocolate

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Summary: Willow and Spike must find a new home in a future that has returned to the fundamentals of the past. Starts with a Willow-Spike friendship, with pairings and cross TBD later. Has some very dark aspects mixed in, but I’m a sucker for a happy ending!

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > General
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > Action/Adventure > Willow-Centered
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > Drama
(Past Donor)lucidityFR1845,9272392,71625 Jun 0921 Sep 12No

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR15

Prologue

Disclaimer, etc.: This will be a cross, but it will not be with anything huge like Harry Potter or Star Trek. I have a few movies in mind. For now, it’s just BtVS post the show, and Spike is back (vampire with a soul but can still kick butt).



“Guys, thanks for taking the time to meet.”

Willow stood at the head of the small conference table. The main players were gathered: Buffy, Xander, Giles, Dawn, Kennedy, and Spike.

“No problem, Wills!”

They were all in a good mood. It was rare that they were able to take time together, but the past few weeks had been slow on all fronts. They had a whole lot of ‘good guys’ these days.

“This isn’t about a prophecy or anything world ending. But…” Her nervousness began to show as she wrung her hands. “I’ve been thinking.” Her friend’s eyes turned to one another, their worry showing at the implications of the 25 year old redhead in thought-mode.

Willow’s magic had been a pressure on her, a weight that she could never get out from under. The final battle of Sunnydale had shown her that her magic was neither good nor bad, but something that she could sway with her own morality and that concept was surprisingly frightening. When she was 25, she sat the gang down for a talk.

She’d tried to explain it to them, the Scoobies and their extended family, but they didn’t get it. None of them could truly understand what it was like to literally be able to change the world with a thought. Buffy always wanted more strength, Giles talked about the greater good, and Dawn just thought magic was cool. Kennedy and the others looked at her with fear in their eyes whenever she got the least bit upset, but still encouraged her to keep her strength just in case they needed it. They came to her to heal them, which was fine, but then they wanted more strength through amulets. Then they wanted to teleport everywhere. Then they asked her if she couldn’t just have the sun shine for a few minutes some night so the vamps would all ‘poof’. Money, time travel, immortality - Their requests, while all offered with the best of intentions for world-savage, became absurd as they progressed. Still, she could have done it – could have done almost anything. If she thought it was a good idea, she could have found a way to solve any problem. It just didn’t seem very … fair.

Willow likened it to the atomic bomb. “Who can say when the right time to use it is? How can anyone have the right to make that much of a difference? Whenever you destroy, you create something new, and whenever you create, you destroy. When I started learning, I wanted to be useful, helpful, even a hero. But … I never signed up to be a goddess.”

They all made their arguments, but in the end, she had already made her choice. Willow’s nervous pause emphasised her point as she looked each of her friends in the eye before glancing down at her hands. With a deep breath, she straightened her shoulders and donned her resolve-face. “I’ve decided that no one should have this kind of power – this much power. I’m going to the Devon coven and asking them to lock my magic down - ”

She went to the coven and asked that they lock her abilities – to reduce itthem to something a little more saner.”

They tried to talk her out of it, but a Willow decided was an unchangable creature. In the end, she made it clear she was informing them, not asking for their opinion, and she left.

Willow drove herself to the coven and spoke with them at length. They were reluctant to weaken their strongest ally, but she convinced them by reminding them of her post-Tara breakdown. It took days of talking and meditating, but eventually, they agreed. With as little condescension as possible, they even told her they were proud of her. The ceremony was set for the following lunar cycle and preperations were made. Willow’s resolve never once swayed.

Chanting over her boundher joined hands, Willow and the coven bound much of her power.

“With the will of the witch,
Let this rope bind.
With the will of the earth,
Let this rope absorb.
With the will of the elements,
Let this rope burn.”

The rope loosely tied around her wrists swelled, then began to burn with a blue, heatless flame. The spell was very detailed ass they requested she be allowed to keep some of her power. For stronger spells, she would need a partner, for even stronger, she could use a coven or post a request to the high beings, but never again would she be able to simply will something to be done without a spell.

After much deliberation, it had beenwas decided that her power should not be transferred to another, should not be held in storage somewhere, and should in fact be absorbed back into the earth as if she’d died.

“With the will of the witch,
let the bound magics be returned to their origin.
Let these freely given magics be kept from the witch’s grasp
eternally, as long as she lives.”

The spell took over two hours. Willow, the coven, and Giles had gone over the many pages of the witchy version of lawyer speak, being oh-so-careful to cover all of the possibilities. And when it was done, Willow felt the weight of the world lift from her shoulders.

It took her only a few months to learn control of her new level of power. During that time, she spoke on the phone with her old friends, but they still didn’t seem to entirely grasp what she’d done, or why. They tried, and she held nothing against them, but when it came down to returning to them and the life they represented, she decided did not to go back.

Willow decided to move forward. She left the coven and started a new life, . She letting her best job offer decide her new residence.

As soon as Willow picked a time and place, Spike decided to start his new life in the same place. The gang was all for it – someone to look after their favorite redhead. They moved into the apartment on Grant Street in Portland, Maine on a sunny fall morning. It took a week to unpack, and a month for them each to settle into their new jobs. After 6 weeks, they were both very very bored.

Which is why Spike and Willow were drunk and sitting in a bar called “The Wasted” at 10:45 PM on a winter Wednesday.

“Last call.”

“What!?” Spike asked. He and Willow were the only people in the place that weren’t being paid for their time.

The bar tender informed them, “I’m shutting down for the night. Last call.”

“Come on Spike, let’s go.” Willow stood, pulling Spike off his stool.

“Everything in this damned town closes early.” He turned to the bartender. “You close too bloody early.”

“Hey, buddy, there’s no one here. I close when staying open stops being profitable. In fact, I’m thinking of closing all together.”

Which is why, by spring, Willow and Spike owned their own bar.

They had a pretty good time as the years passed. They helped out the Council as needed by phone and had the occasional slayer or witch come to stay with them for a while, but they hardly ever saw the Scoobies. After four years, the gang got together. Another eight years passed before they gathered again. Then, they all came to Maine for Willow’s 45th birthday.

That’s when they noticed it. Willow looked good for her age. In fact, she looked about 25. Still. The following research discovered the most likely cause. It was a single line in the spell used to reduce her powers: “Let these freely given magics be kept from her grasp eternally, as long as she lives.”

Which is why Willow and Spike were the only Scoobies left when it happened.
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