Look To The Skies
Post-Restless: While the Scoobies relive their worst fears, Buffy fights the First Slayer. She returns to the past to fight true evil.Disclaimer:
BTVS belongs to Joss Whedon and The Mummy belongs to Stephen Sommers and Universal Pictures.Pairings:
Buffy/Ardeth BayAuthor's Notes:
Completely AU after Rick and Evie return to Hamunaptra.
Buffy, Willow and Xander were enjoying a night of doing nothing, watching movies and pigging out. It was the perfect way to unwind after a major showdown. They had used the enjoining spell to defeat Adam and shutdown the Initiative. Several soldiers and most of the scientists had lost their lives in the final battle. They decided to focus on rebonding with one another, ignoring recent events. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't keep their eyes open. Each fell into a dream state filled with their worst nightmares.
Buffy found herself in the desert with the First Slayer, who had Tara standing beside her. The tribal woman wore animal skins with her hair pulled back in dreadlocks. White symbols marked her body and face, standing out against her ebony skin. She bent low, weaving back and forth, as she circled Buffy. Her dark eyes held a feral gleam as she examined her prey. Buffy turned, keeping the strange woman in range, unsure what to expect. Without uttering a word, she returned to the place she started, like she had found the small blonde beneath her.
Tara placed a hand on the First Slayer's shoulder then said, "You are weak. You work with insignificant beings."
"Hey, who are you to say who is or isn't important?" Buffy glared at the hostile woman.
"I'm the beginning, the one from which the power flows. From me, you became who you are. We are meant to be alone. Fight alone, die alone. You do not understand your place in life, your destiny - to kill evil, true evil."
"Hey, I fight evil all the time. I just kicked evil's ass with the help of those insignificant beings. You're the one who doesn't know anything, especially, about me. My friends give me strength."
Tara spoke once more. "You will do as you are meant to."
"Do you people take a course in cryptic? If you have something to say, spit it out; otherwise, I'm going back to my life. The one with friends..." Buffy started to turn around to leave.
She didn't sense the feral woman move toward her, and ended up tackled to the ground pinned down by the Slayer.
"You will listen to me or you will die!"
Her sharp teeth flashed at the small blonde beneath her. Sineya didn't know how to get this daughter to understand her place, her role, her destiny. Frustration grew into a living, breathing animal, trying to burst from her chest.
"You called on me and my line. It awakened another, pure evil. You must lay it to rest or die."
Buffy pushed the large, angry woman off her, leaping to her feet. "We needed your help to kick Adam's ass. Now, you're telling me, I have to do it again, what else is new? If this is the Slayer Dreams Version 2.0, I'll keep the original version. I prefer mine to just confuse and scare me, rather than try to beat the crap out of me. Thanks bunches." She turned once more to walk away.
Tara called after her. "You think you know...who you are...what you are. You have no idea what you will become. Remember, to get home you must follow the rising sun. Look to the skies, daughter."
Buffy looked at the blonde witch, standing beside Sineya, before they simply - disappeared.
"Okay, Buffy, it's time to wake up."
Nothing happened; she stood surrounded by sand. She looked down to find her Yummy Sushi pajamas replaced by a long, dark cape. On further inspection, Buffy found herself dressed in full desert ensemble, right down to knee-high, leather boots, with weapons included: a gun, several knives and a scimitar underneath the robe. Drawing the sharply curved sword, she admired the design on the blade, which brought the matching designs on her hands to her attention. The symbols gave her a bad feeling. It suddenly dawned on her where she had seen them before. They matched the ones decorating the First Slayer's body. Buffy had assumed they were like the war paint Native Americans wore. She wasn't so sure anymore.
The intricately detailed patterns wrapped around her wrists and followed along her knuckles in smaller detail. She closed her fists around the scimitar and saw the marks glow as her skin stretched tightly across her bones. Putting the sword away, she aligned her hands recreating a pattern she didn't understand. She knew the symbols were significant and hoped she could someway to decipher them. Pushing up her sleeves, relief swept over her when she realized the symbols stopped at her hands.
She looked around to see nothing but sand. Tara's words came back to her - follow the sun. She started walking east as her mind played over her dream wondering why the First Slayer chose Tara as her spokesperson.
Tara ran through the streets of Sunnydale, hoping to find Giles at home, and that he could tell her where Buffy and the others were. She should have known better, prepared better, especially after meeting Buffy. Her family tried to warn her how her duty must always come first. Tara had wanted a normal girl's life for just a little while. She realized she had come to Sunnydale because fate had pushed her here.
Giles woke from a strange dream to hear knocking at the door. He moved to open it, unsure why he felt fear race down his spine. Opening the door, he hid his surprise at seeing Tara standing there.
"Tara, what's the matter? Has something happened to Willow or - Buffy?" Giles' pale green eyes studied the normally shy blonde's face.
"Mr. Giles, where are they? I don't have time to explain, but I have to get to Buffy. NOW!"
"They're at Buffy's house watching movies and, as they say, pigging out. Let me grab my keys and I'll drive you over. You can explain in the car."
Giles noticed Tara moving differently. It was subtle, but not to a trained Watcher. The young woman who hardly spoke when others were around, moved with her back ramrod straight and a distinct air about her. A controlled danger with magic flavoring the air around her.
"Who are you?" Ripper demanded a response and didn't care what he had to do to get it.
"Mr. Giles, I know you want an explanation, but it's urgent we get to Buffy immediately." Tara sighed, seeing his eyes harden further. She shut her eyes and removed her glamour, causing Giles to gasp. There on her face were the delicate markings of her lineage.
"You're a Medjai, but how? They aren't indigenous to this area. I'd heard they joined other tribes or are extinct altogether."
"Mr. Giles, please, we have to hurry."
Tara moved swiftly to the little red car and got in. He rushed to the car suddenly more frightened for Buffy than ever before.
Willow and Xander woke up gasping for air. They looked at each other then started talking.
"Great googly moogly, Willow. I had the wildest dream. There was this man who kept offering me..."
"Cheese," Willow finished for him.
She looked around the living room. The tape they were watching was over, leaving static playing on the TV. Chairs and pillows lay strewn around the room as if someone had struggled on the ground.
"Buffy! Where are you? Was your dream freaky like ours?"
She walked into the kitchen, but didn't find anyone. Mrs. Summers was out of town, so Willow ventured upstairs, only to rush back down when Xander screamed Buffy's name, as someone pounded on the door.
"Buffy, open the door," Giles screamed, uncaring that it was after two in the morning.
Willow opened the door and threw herself into the Watcher's arms. "Giles, thank goodness you're here. Hurry, it's Buffy." She pulled him inside the house, not noticing Tara following him.
Xander had found Buffy's body behind the couch; at first, he thought she was still sleeping, until he couldn't wake her. The only sign of life was her shallow breathing. Giles pushed him aside to perform his own inspection, before turning to stare at Tara. Willow finally noticed her lover, only to gasp and step away. Xander put his arm around his childhood friend, glaring at the blonde witch suspiciously.
"Xander, you and Willow do stand out of the way. Tara isn't going to hurt Buffy or anyone else, she may be the only person who can help."
"What do you mean help? What's wrong with Buffy? Why won't she wake up and why's the tattooed lady the only one who can help?"
"For once Xander, do shut up. Tara, please can you help her?" Giles pleaded with her to help his Slayer.
Tara ignored Willow's reaction, although it broke her heart. She had her duty to attend, hurt feelings and explanations would come later. What was important was to seeing whether she could save Buffy. Tara's lips moved in a prayer enfolded in a spell.
"Let those who watch over your humble servant see, so we may hear, to hear so we may know. Guard us and those who walk the path."
A golden glow leaped from her hands to Buffy, quickly covering the Slayer in an amber light. Tara paled at what she saw - the markings on Buffy's hands and wrists. She carefully picked up the prone hands, folding them into tiny fists and aligning them on Buffy's chest. The light flared higher absorbing straight into the symbols, creating a glow under Buffy's skin.
"Dear lord, Tara does that say what I believe it does? It can't be. It's only a myth. No one has ever found documented truth to the tale."
Giles practically ripped his glasses from his face. His handkerchief appeared as he rubbed furiously at the small lenses. Giles muttered under his breath, pacing in the overcrowded area.
"What is it, Giles? What's happening to Buffy?" Willow begged for an explanation, her eyes wide with fear.
"Mr. Giles, could you move Buffy to her bed; she'll be more comfortable. Once she's settled, I'll explain." Her hands swept from her face to the small body on the floor.
Giles picked Buffy up, carrying her up the stairs, with Willow close on his heels. She threw looks over her shoulder at her, err, lover. Willow couldn't handle the information overload. She chose to concentrate on finding a way to help Buffy. Everything else could wait until my best friend gets better, if she ever gets better. Nope, I'm not going to think about it, I'm pulling a Scarlet. I'll think about it tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe, oh poop, who knows when.
Her feet hurried to catch up to Giles as she did something she hardly ever did. She tried to put her overactive brain on hold.