You and Me and The Devil Makes Three
This chapter contains a violent scene of attempted rape. If you are in any way offended by, or have been traumatized by such things, I strongly advise you to skip this chapter. You can pick up at the next chapter and easily deduce what has happened so far.
Unfortunately, I do not own the rights to any of the fandoms or universes used in this text. BTVS belongs to Joss and other adjacent gods of television, and Doctor Who belongs to the incredibly talented people at BBC (I think). I mean seriously: America has the best movies, and Great Britain has the best television series.
A special thanks to all those who have reviewed my first chapter, and for your positive comments towards that end.
And I owe the most thanks to akat, my superbeta. Without her, this chapter would really, really suck.
And on with the story. . .
She had survived, if only barely. But it had been worth it. For imbued within her was the power of fifty-six gods and goddesses, though it was only a reserve of their actual strength. More than enough to get the message through, they had assured her. She could practically feel the power crackling at the back of her eyes and on the tips of her fingers. It felt like she was holding back a tidal wave with a blanket. If she even tapped into the powers of the gods for more than a simple locator spell, she knew she would be consumed by it.
As it was, when she had looked in the mirror in the Women's Restroom at the library, all she could see of her eyes were black pools of dark energy. She noticed that she felt different too, like she wasn't just seeing
herself in the mirror, she could feel
herself in the 'Tween
realm. Her hair had turned black, her skin pale, and prominent veins were standing out, engorged with the blackness of the power flowing through them. It scared her more than she would like to admit. It reminded her too much of the "good times," the darkness that had fallen over her with the death of the one she loved the most.
She'd had to change her appearance, of course. The glamour was worth the constant power drain (which was not really a drain now, since she had almost limitless reserves), as it prevented passers-by on the street from staring at her because she'd gone uber-goth. She'd rather not have any confrontations with anybody, seeing as she was so full of power that one look at a guy would probably disintegrate him. No, it was best to keep a low profile.
She'd made it back to her hotel without incident. After about five minutes of standing in her door, staring off into space, she closed it and put up a barrier. Shucking her clothes to the floor, she headed to the bathroom and stepped into the shower. She stood under the hot spray for hours, trying to wash the deeds of the past few months off of her skin. However, no amount of scrubbing could do away with the abominations she'd accomplished in order to call this mysterious Being who could supposedly save not just the world, but the entire universe.
After finally giving up on washing off the sins of her past, she stepped out of the shower. The sight that greeted her as she stepped out onto the wet bathroom tile caused her to slip, hitting her head on the edge of the toilet as she fell.
The last thing she saw before the world turned red, and then dark, was Tara.
"Willow, honey, wake up."
The pain in her head was all-consuming, a throbbing she'd never before felt. What had happened?
Willow struggled to regain some sort of cohesion in her thoughts, but they seemed sluggish at best. Where was she? She was laying on something hard and very, very cold. And she was wet. She tried opening her eyes with little success; her left eye didn't want to respond, and it seemed like her other eye was crusted over with something sticky. Why was she lying here, and what was wrong with her?"Willow. You gotta wake up, or you're gonna miss it. It's so wonderful!"
There was that voice again, that impossible voice. Where was it coming from?"Willow? Are you gonna lay there on the bathroom floor all day, naked as sin, or are you gonna come see this? It's all so beautiful!"
Then it hit her: She was lying on the bathroom floor. Why? Because she'd been getting out of the shower when she'd seen. . . something impossible. And so she'd slipped and fell, and obviously had hit her head on something. That explained why she couldn't see, and why her head felt all sticky. There was no way she'd seen her,
unless. . .
"F-f-f-first," she moaned, the pain from talking almost causing her to pass out again. She felt a pair of hands grab her arms and gently pull her into a sitting position.
"Sweetie, you don't look so good. Want me to kiss it and make it better?" It was definately the sweet voice of Tara, but what she said next proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was not her. "Or should I lick it and make it better?" came that sinister overcast that Willow knew so well.
"How--how--?" she tried to whisper.
Suddenly she felt gentle fingers touching her face. "Oh, sweetie, you know better than to ask that." The thing that was pretending to be Tara used her fingers to wrench open the crusted-over lid of her good eye.
Willow screamed in pain as her eye was forced open, and then screamed even louder at the visage she saw before her; for there, crouching at eye-level with her, was the love of her life. Who had died four years ago. And she was beautiful. Except for the eyes. For in those eyes was the purest hatred, the most palpable rage and malice she had ever seen.
"You can't. . ." she started, gulping hard at the pain in her throat and bracing herself against the pain pulsating in her head. "You can't be the First. We defeated you."
She was so lightheaded from the effort of talking that she almost didn't catch the First's next words. "And I'm also noncorporeal, aren't I?" The slap that came hardly registered, nor did the fact that she passed out and was shaken awake by the form of her former lover. "Don't think you know everything about me, you stupid fucking whore! I am as old as Time, and I span across galaxies like you could not imagine. I hold the secrets of the universe to my bosom, and I burn with the First Lie!"
Though she was delirious from the pain and the earth-shattering revelations spewing forth from the mouth she once loved and kissed, Willow laughed. Or at least, giggled, as she was unable to do anything more than open her lips just slightly. "And what was that?" she mumbled, her voice rasping with blood. "That you're a good lay?"
The look in Tara/The First's eyes scared the shit out of her. With a sickening grin that twisted her beautiful face out of proportion, she crowed, "Why don't we find out?"
As Tara/The First started ripping the shower curtain away from her limp form, Willow withdrew within herself to escape the horrors of what she knew was to come. There, she found it. The Spark. The Spark was the power the gods had given her, the source of the power flowing through her. The power she'd masked with her glamour.
Up until that moment Willow had forgotten about the gift the gods had given her. She looked at it, that dark light burning at the heart of her soul. The taint that threatened to overcome the barriers she'd put up against its deluge, to drown her. But she didn't care anymore. She just wanted her to stop. She wanted Tara to stop. She wanted the First to stop. So she let go.
Tara/The First saw her grin and knew what it meant. It braced itself for what it knew was coming, but still its form was almost destroyed by the blast that came from the witch's mouth. The next thing it knew was that it was lying on the floor and Willow was standing over it, her bare foot placed firmly upon its chest. "Any last words before I make you my bitch?" she asked calmly, staring down at her dead lover with eyes of Unlight.
Tara/The First could only grin. "It's about time you manned up. I mean, damn, I was starting to think my dick was bigger than yours."
Willow cocked her head to the side and considered this. "And yet you were wrong. Why are you fucking
with me? You must know I have the Spark within me. Are you trying
to commit suicide by uberwitch?"
Tara/The First only grinned wider. "My, my. You get a dozen so-called 'gods' to sit up and play fetch, and you suddenly think you can kill
the very essence
of evil? You've got even bigger cojones than I thought."
Willow was starting to get bored with this. And a bored Willow usually equaled a dead body. Juicing her foot with enough power to kick through the concrete under the tile of the bathroom floor, she stomped down into Tara/The First's chest. Or at least where it had been.
She could sense it behind her, and she whirled around, sending a wave-pulse of dark energy at it. Tara/The First caught the energy in its hand and blew on it like one would a candle, snuffing it out. "Now come on, sweetie. You can do better than that. Oh, why don't you flay me alive, like you did that Warren fucker who killed me?"
That last part stopped Willow cold, even as she considered doing just that. "What is it that you need that is worth risking the wrath of the gods?"
"Ooh, now she's a god,
ladies and gentlemen," Tara/The First laughed. "What do you think you could do to me, huh? Zap me out of this plane of existence? How long do you think that would last?"
Willow was really
starting to get pissed. "I don't know. Why don't we see if we can find out?" she said, throwing out her hands.
"Wait!" Tara/The First screamed, throwing up its arms to ward off any attacks.
"I had to test you, to see if you were ready. To see if you could do it," it said, in that soft, lovely voice Willow used to love so much.
she practically screamed, frustrated and angry and sad and. . . and. . . She wasn't even sure she would ever be able to gauge the full range of emotions that she was feeling at that exact moment in time.
"Well," said the First of All Evil, "I need your help."
Reviews are the nectar of the gods. No, really! Ask them!
Also, akat is the best beta anyone could ask for. However, I do need a beta who knows Doctor Who canon, and who can catch me before I slip, because I know it's coming.