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Better Than The Fantasy

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This story is No. 9 in the series "A Willow in Thorns". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: A story in the future of my WIT-verse. It will mainly deal with the adult children of Willow and Cole.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Charmed > GeneralzillagirlFR1546,535281,58517 Jun 1019 Nov 11No

Chapter Four

Better Than The Fantasy



Disclaimer

I do not own any of the characters of Buffy, Angel, or Charmed.

Summary

Buffy is hurt. Cole and Willow are having issues. And we get a glimpse of Morrigan.

Chapter Four

Willow took a deep cleansing breath. Damn, but it was good to have the whole house to herself. Even if she knew that both Ben and Cole were probably taking action that she wouldn’t wholly approve. But she knew there was nothing she could do about it.

When she was first mated (and married) to her husband, she actually tried to change it. To change him. She thought that some of the behaviors could be controlled, modulated. She learned the hard way that the demon had to have an outlet. Cole wasn’t evil, but he was a demon - with a demon’s needs and desires.

She shuddered as a feeling of needs and desires of her own coursed through her. With every child she had given him, the demonic hormones in her system grew and grew. With every year, her body changed until she too had some of those instincts. They had been hard to deal with in her first pregnancy. Poor Buffy and Giles. She chuckled to herself as she decided to go into the kitchen and make a warm tonic.

They had suffered through those first years with her. She wiped away a tear as she mourned lost friends. Out of the whole Scooby gang, she was the only one left. Oh, she still had Xander to talk to, in a way. But as a white lighter, he couldn’t really count as being alive, could he? Plus he was very busy with all of his charges. He was even supposed to monitor Kieran. Although, Kieran hated it. He was a very independent sort of person, Kieran.

But Buffy and Giles were gone. She especially missed Giles. He had been so important in helping her raise Ben and Buffy. Maybe that’s why Morrigan had gone a different way. Would it have been different with Giles to help her? She shook her head to clear it. She really had bigger problems.

The male hormones in this house were getting too large. She was going to - grudgingly - have to ask Ben to leave. She couldn’t have two males that were in season in her home. It might have been different if Ben had been mated. She thought he was probably in love with Melissa Wyatt, but that didn’t have anything to do with his demonic hormones and that was the problem. Hecuba was nearing her eighth year - and boy could Willow tell. She could feel the hormones and need just oozing out of Cole… Belthazor. He was getting closer and closer to the time. Too close for Ben. If Ben made the wrong move, Cole might really hurt him -- or even kill him. She shook her head violently. No, she would do something before it got that far.

She took a deep breath and reached out to open the pantry. That’s when she felt it. Something magical had brushed up against the house’s wards. It wasn’t like someone was trying to breach them. She turned, cocking her head as if to hear better. No, they were outside.

*Ding Dong Ding* *Ding Dong Ding* The doorbell was ringing insistently. She started to head to the door, thinking. Should she summon her husband? Something told her something serious was about to happen. But in the end she just reached out to open the door.

She gasped at what was on the other side. A very large male - a demon, she was sure - was carrying her daughter - her unconscious and half-naked daughter - in his arms. Tenderly, too. She felt right away he was not a threat.

“Buffy!” She cried as she reached out to her eldest daughter. That was when it hit her. She didn’t know if it was the aura or the smell. Oh, damnation! It was all over him. She craned her head up to look into his face. Into his grey eyes - his aura… Oh, hell - she really didn’t need this. She looked down at Buffy - she was very pale. She looked up again at him. “What did you do to my daughter?!” she demanded.

Back at the Club…

Cole looked down at his son. Sometimes he despaired of this next generation. But, then - of course - there are his daughters. He stared into Ben’s guilty eyes. “And what the hell has happened to your sister?”

Ben cringed at the accusation in his father’s voice. He loved his father - he was proud of his father - but lately things were getting very tense. It was getting to be he couldn’t be around him. He wanted things to be different. It won’t, you fool. Not unless you have a sex change. He took a deep breath and tried to focus on his father’s aura. He had to focus on Buffy. They needed to get her back. And she’s been hurt. “I’m sorry, father. I tried. But I made some mistakes. But I know who he is. I remember him from classes with The Alchemist… except he’s a lot larger now.”

He stepped over to his son and squatted next to him. His legs were twisted at odd angles. “Can you change? You shouldn’t be in that form here in public. Did anyone see you?”

Ben tried to focus. He hurt. He hurt a lot and that had always impacted his concentration. No matter how old he got, generating his human form seemed to take some effort. He looked up into his father’s eyes. “I’ll try, father. But Buffy is hurt. She hit her head I think.”

Cole’s heart went cold. Not her. He loved all his daughters. And he tried not to have favorites. But there was something about her. A cold rage burned him as he thought of her hurt. He felt his son’s eyes on him. And something else. Fear? Did his son actually fear him? The demon within thrilled at the fear, but Cole’s heart softened a little. He should have realized what kind of impact he could have. This was a bad time. He was unsure of Ben. Ben was a demon as well - but he was also very naïve about that part of his life. All of his children really were. No that was wrong, not all his children.

The Underworld

The demon shifted uncomfortably in his leathers as he watched the sacrifice be prepared. Unlike many sacrifices, at least this one wasn’t hysterical. It was whimpering and slightly annoying, but it wouldn’t disrupt the chants and prayers, thankfully. Old Felicitas was officiating this time. He was quite possibly the most aggravating and annoying dark priest ever produced by the Underworld. But that wasn’t his interest. That wasn’t what brought him here, hiding in the darkness of the alcove, cloaking the shadows around him. It annoyed him. He was skulking and spying like a juvenile imp in the first throes of puberty. What had gotten into him?

A flash of red caught his attention. Waves of heat raced through his body. He shifted again as he felt the tightness in his leathers. Yes. She was what had brought him here. It was driving him mad. It was completely inappropriate. She was too young. She was sixteen and still in the insanity that is a demoness’ first season. It was well known that a mating could not be ensured with a less than mature demoness. It just wouldn’t work. The heat pulsed again and he couldn’t repress a snarl.

The demoness turned to look in his direction. He cloaked the shadows around him tighter. He did not wish to attract her attention. Not yet. He couldn’t risk that her father would become alerted to his attraction. He would have to have a plan if… or when… he moved on her. Her father - not to mention mother - could not be taken on lightly. He examined her. She was beautiful even if it was only her human form. He yearned to see her demonic form. He ached to see it. To see the curve of her tail. He shifted again at the thought of it.

He shook his head. This wasn’t helping. He just couldn’t keep this up. Someone would notice something. And he couldn’t underestimate the female. With her family background, he could not afford to. But he couldn’t turn away. Besides, he needed to know. She had more human blood than demon blood. Would she be able to go through with the sacrifice? He knew what he had heard. That she had a killer instinct. That she was evil. But he still had his doubts. And he did not want to tie himself to someone with a soul.

Morrigan turned back when she felt the priest focusing on her. He wasn’t impatient. Not Felicitas. It was very hard to believe that he was evil. He was just always so cheerful and in a good humor. And, to add to that, he looked like he should be in some superficial boy band. She just hoped he didn’t get the giggles tonight. She wanted to get this just right. She knew everyone thought she would hesitate. She bristled as she turned her attention to the sacrifice.

Her eyes darkened as she looked at the sacrifice. She was a young girl, probably about the same age as Morrigan. Hope flared in her eyes as she looked at Morrigan. She probably thought that she might be spared. Surely this teenager could mean her no harm. But she didn’t know her. She smiled grimly at her and looked up.

Back at the club…

Cole took a deep breath and hauled his son up. The rage flared as he heard the sound of pain expel from his son’s lips and he took a deep breath. He was only a boy. A boy that didn’t know how to be a demon really. He centered himself and reminded himself that there were more important issues, really. He braced Ben against the wall and took a step back, hoping that the boy wouldn’t just fall back down. The demon was in there somewhere. He was hoping that the pain would wake it up a little. At least enough to start the healing process.

Ben groaned again as his father stepped back. He felt hurt. And not just because of the pain in his legs. More because of the look of disgust in his father’s eyes. He was pretty sure that was the demon, but he really wasn’t sure. Then he felt the demon straining to fight, to strike out. He tamped down on it, he didn’t need that right now. After all, it should know it was their father…

“Stop it, Ben!” Cole hissed angrily. They were still at the club, he didn’t need any interruptions at this point. But he was so frustrated. They had been so worried about not letting their children be evil, he hadn’t realized that there would be a price. “You need the demon. It will help you heal. Now, do you have any idea where this demon took your sister? Or who he was?”

Ben was confused. He was supposed to let the demon out? But his father asked him to maintain the human form. How was he supposed to… He felt the demon strain again and he snarled. His father smiled coolly at him. But the disgust was gone. He took a deep breath. “I don’t know where they went. But I don’t think it was to the Underworld. I’m pretty sure I know who he was. I think I’ve met him. I think he lives on the surface with his mother. He’s a half-breed.”

Cole looked up at this. So few half-breeds live to adulthood. The weak ones were weeded out fairly quickly. He should know. They had tried to do it to him. But he had been raised down There. If this one hadn’t been… Still it shouldn’t be too hard to track him. He narrowed his eyes. “His mother is a witch or a mortal?”

“I… I think she’s a witch. If he’s who I think he is”

“Who?”

“Lord Corin’s son.”

Cole started at this. This could be awkward. Corin, for some reason, had only been able to produce one male offspring. He’d had scores of daughters, the Underworld and the Surface (probably) was bursting with them. But he’d had only the one son. And, as he recalled, it was by a witch - a dark witch. He didn’t know had powerful she was, but one had to be careful. He was going to have to be merciful - but not too merciful. Corin needed his son. And so did the Underworld. He looked back at his son. “Let’s go home. We need your mother’s help. One more thing.”

Ben tried shifting on his legs. They still hurt but he thought they were healing. He looked into his father’s eyes. He smiled. His father’s mind was turning. He could see that. It always made him feel better when he realized that his father was making plans. Things always worked out better when he was planning and scheming.

Willow…

She felt the darkness rising up within her. She forced a cap on it and looked at the demon holding her daughter with ebony eyes.

Rack forced himself not to step back. He was not afraid… Really he wasn’t. He’d seen his gran’s eyes go like that. Still he was intimidated. But she had a right to be angry. He looked down at Selene. She still hadn’t stirred. Not a bit. It was really getting to make him frantic. He could hardly concentrate. Between Willow’s mother and the demon inside him, he could hardly think at all. He swallowed and took a deep breath.

“I… I couldn’t think where to take her. I… I thought maybe you could help.” He tried smiling weakly at her. “May… maybe I should have taken her to the Attendant?”

Willow let out a breath that she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. She stepped back and opened the door wide. “Bring her in. Let’s have a look at her.”

Rack walked carefully over the threshold into the home. He tried not to look around. But he was curious. He had always wondered what kind of home she was living in. He never realized that it was so… normal. Human. There were items that had magical uses. That had magical residue. Candles, crystals, silver…

Oh, no. Not now. His vision blurred and faded and then shifted. Backwards. Forwards. Sideways. Things blurred and then sharpened. And, just as his senses were narrowing onto a target, it stopped.

“What the hell just happened?” She was in front of him. Enraged. And changed. What the--- He had never seen this in his mother or even his gran? Her hair was jet black and her veins were spidery and blue against a chalk-white skin. This time he did back up. She moved forward, reaching out with hands that had nails like talons. He backed up again, only to sense a shimmering from behind him. He saw the witch hesitate. He took the only chance he had and shimmered.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Better Than The Fantasy" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 19 Nov 11.

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