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Cogita Ante Salis-Look before you leap.

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Back in the SPQR.". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Willow accidentally transports herself back to Egypt at the time of Anthony and Cleopatra. Can she survive long enough to carve out a new life for herself? Xover with Season 2, ‘ROME’.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Rome(Recent Donor)DaveTurnerFR151134,03845014,73428 Jun 1016 Jul 10Yes

The Prologue.

Cogita Ante Salis.
Look before you leap.
By Dave Turner.

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy) or ‘ROME’ (HBO/BBC). I write these stories for fun not profit. The snatches of scripts from both BtVS and ROME that I’ve used/stolen weren’t written by me either.

Crossover: BtVS Season four with Season two ‘ROME’.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar; Written in glorious English-English. Roman and English idioms are used throughout this fic.

Timeline: For BtVS, Season Four episode; 4:9, ‘Something Blue’. Spoilers for Episodes 2:9 and 2:10 of ‘ROME’. Book Two of the Back in the SPQR series.

Words: Quite a lot.

Warnings: First chapters include scenes of gang rape. Earthy language and violence.

Summary: Willow accidentally transports herself back to Egypt at the time of Anthony and Cleopatra. Can she survive long enough to carve out a new life for herself? Xover with Season 2, ‘ROME’.


A/N1; The Prologue and Chapters One and Two are basically non-xover; Lucius Vorenus turns up in Chapter Three.

A/N2: This is not an essay on the late Roman Republic; the timeline is taken very much from the TV series. I’ve also altered Roman society a bit here and there to make the plotline fit. This is a fanfic story not an academic work.


Book Two.

Cogita Ante Salis.


The Prologue.

Tuesday, 30th November 1999.

For a midweek evening The Bronze was really buzzing; a band played and the dance floor was filled with happy young people working off the frustrations of the day by dancing ‘til they dropped. At a table a little distance from the dance floor Anya, Xander and Buffy sat gossiping and sharing a friendly non-alcoholic drink.

“Geez, you mean Oz just sent for his stuff and didn't even call her?” Xander shook his head sadly, “that’s pretty harsh.”

“I only wish I had my powers back,” sipping her drink Anya glanced at her boyfriend, “I'd liquefy his entrails for her.”

“That's sweet.” Xander smiled at Anya indulgently before looking out over the dance floor, “god, poor Will. No wonder she's…” Xander’s eyes grew wider seeing Willow on the dance floor, “…having a wonderful time.”

The three friends turned to watch as Willow danced happily about the floor with another young woman.

“Wow,” Buffy gave a low whistle, “way to re-bound.”

“I believe that's the dance of a brave little toaster,” announced Xander proudly.*

Seeing her friends Willow exchanged a few words with the girl she’d been dancing with before going over to join her ‘best-buds’; she smiled happily as she approached.

“Hey, guys!” if Willow had grinned any harder her head would have split in two, “C'mon! This music's great!” Willow performed a little jig as if to prove her point.

“It's nice to see you brought your boogie shoes tonight, Will,” Xander cast Anya and Buffy a worried look.

“Yeah,” gasped Willow giddily, “I-I know I've been sort of a party-poop lately, so I said to myself, ‘Self!’ I said, ‘It's time to shake and shimmy it off’."

“Sounds like a good policy,” Buffy’s words belied her true feelings; she’d never seen her friend act like this before.

“Yeah! And it works, too. You know, I figure, in the grand scheme of things, we're all just…” Willow bent to pick up her jacket from where it was lying under the table, a beer bottle slipped from her pocket and rolled across the floor spilling beer as it went.

“Drunk..?” Buffy asked frowning; Willow laughed and picked up the bottle.

“Drunk?” swaying slightly Willow held on tightly to the beer bottle, “I mean, that's such a-a strong word…kind of a guttural Anglo-Saxon word…drunk.”

“Will,” sighed Xander sadly, “not loving the drowning of the sorrows.”

“Not drowning…wading. A-a-and…see?” Willow pointed at the bottle, “Light. No big.”

“No big?” A hint of disbelief crept into Buffy’s voice, “Anyone remember when Buffy had the fun beer-fest and went one-million years B.C.?”

“Sadly without the fuzzy bikini…” Xander sighed wistfully.

“Off topic, Xander.” Anya gave her boyfriend a warning look.

“Right, topic now,” Xander walked around the table to where Willow swayed gently in the breeze, “Will, how about you give me that beer?”

“No!” Willow held the bottle out of Xander’s reach, “Why should I? I've got pain, here…”she thumped her chest over her heart, “big-time legitimate pain.”

Reaching for the bottle Xander explained that they all had ‘pain’.

“Oh, like what?” Willow retreated unsteadily from Xander’s grasp, “‘Oh, poor me…I live in a basement.’ Yeah, that's dire.”

Offended Xander shook his head and went back to the table where he sat down next to Anya who she put a supportive hand on his shoulder. Buffy, however, jumped down from her seat and grabbed Willow firmly by the arm; she wrenched the bottle from the red-head’s hand.

“Okay, you know what?” Buffy was starting to get annoyed now, “That's it…I'm taking you home.”

“No,” Willow tried to break Buffy’s grip but failed, “I don't want to.”

“Well, you'll thank me when you still have a friend in the morning.”

All of a sudden Willow gave up the struggle; she looked miserably around the table at her friends. “I just can't stand feeling this way; I want it to be over.”

“It will,” Buffy placed her arm around Willow’s shoulder, “I promise, but it's gonna take time.”

“Well, that's not good enough,” still more than a little drunk Willow allowed herself to be guided towards the door.

“I know…it's just how it is…you have to go through the pain.” Buffy waved goodnight to Xander and Anya as she and Willow headed out onto the street.

“Well, isn't there someway I can just make it go away?” asked Willow plaintively, “Just ‘cause I say so? Can't I just make it go ‘poof'?”


Later that night, back at their dorm, Buffy lay fast asleep as Willow crept out of bed and opened the trunk that contained her magic supplies. Quietly she selected a few objects and a rather large leather bound book. On tip-toe she headed for the door, her heart jumped as the door squeaked loudly as she pulled it open. Looking nervously back at Buffy’s bed she saw her friend stir fitfully in her sleep; Willow stepped out into the corridor.

Closing the door quietly behind her Willow ran stealthily along the corridor to the women’s washroom. Not bothering to switch on the light she hurriedly searched through her hastily collected paraphernalia. Taking a marker pen she quickly drew a circle on the floor and then placed a dozen red candles around herself as she sat in the centre of the circle. Next she placed an incense censer, and a bowl on the floor in front of where she sat. Sitting cross-legged in the centre of the circle she held a goblet of wine in one hand and her spell book in the other. After reading the instructions she placed three small bowls containing herbs next to the other objects. Finally she settled herself to begin the spell.

“Harken all ye elements,” Willow read aloud from her spell book by the light of the candles, “I summon thee now.” She dripped some wine into the empty bowl before adding some of the herbs. “Control the outside, control within. Land and sea, fire and wind. Out of my passions, a web be spun. From this eve forth, let my will be done. So mote it be!”

Pouring the rest of the wine into the bowl a flicker of electricity connected her to the candles. The flames suddenly flared high to illuminate the room. Just for a moment Willow looked fearfully about thinking that she may have gone too far with this spell, but slowly the candles subsided and eventually went out leaving her in total darkness. Breathing a sigh of relief she climbed to her feet and felt gritty sand between her toes.

“That’s odd,” she whispered as a light came on behind her; she turned and saw the sun rise over the desert.


*: This sorta suggests that Willow is a Cylon!
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