"What does that mean?" Dawn asked fearfully. "What's going to happen to Buffy?"
"She's been taken to a neutral realm, where the Powers and their counterparts are going to help do something with... whatever the kid's become, or is becoming."
"And...and then?" Dawn's voice trembled.
"Then we're going to have to move her." He told her, a little regretfully. The construct that was the Key to Dimensions was the only other one of the group that they'd watched over. Although she had been made to be a temporary construct only, the Slayer's sacrifice had given her a chance to live a full, human life, and the Powers were loathe to take that away from her, since so much had already been taken. In less than a month, the girl had lost all the family that she'd had. The Powers had already arranged for a relative, one that could protect the Key should the need ever arise again, to discover Joyce's death. The girl would probably be receiving the call any day now. "The Balance has been made dangerously unstable by her resurrection, and to leave her here would open the way from someone really, really bad to gain a foothold."
"Can I go with her?" Dawn immediately asked, jumping to her feet, ready to dash up the stairs to pack a bag or something.
"Sorry, kiddo." Whistler shook his head. "Although you are now a living, breathing person, and made of Buffy's blood, your physical body was created from the fabric of this dimension. If we moved you, you'd revert back to pure energy. We're getting you off the Hellmouth, though. The Slayer gave her life so that you could live yours. Now, it's time for you to go live it. Never forget what she said to you."
Dawn fell back into the couch next to Willow, tears streaming down her cheeks in mini rivers, but so choked up that she couldn't get out a sound. For the first time in his eternal servitude, Whistler wished he wasn't the Messenger. These were all good kids, trying to do their best in this fight that they've stumbled into, instead of turning their backs and hiding their heads in the sand like so many in this world, and they just kept getting hit with hammer blow after hammer blow.
Tara abandoned her position on Willow's side to move to Dawn's, putting her arms around the distraught teenager. Willow did the same, even though she was still crying herself. She was tempted, so tempted, to make the same request Dawn had, but she knew that she couldn't. First off, she very much doubted that Buffy would be able to forgive her in her right mind, much less in whatever mind she was in now. Secondly, she could never leave Tara, or Xander, or Dawn. 'That's it,'
she thought to herself, 'I'll take care of Dawn. I'll make sure that nothing ever, ever happens to her. That's what Buffy would have wanted.'
She looked over Dawn's head at Tara, who was murmuring comforting words of comfort to their charge. 'Maybe it's time we got off the Hellmouth too.'
Xander stared at the cluster of girls on the couch across from him. The emotions shifting rapidly across the redhead's face was so clear to him that he could practically read Willow's mind. She was planning on leaving. Leaving the Hellmouth, and leaving him. He didn't know what he was going to do when that happened, but he knew that he wouldn't try to stop her. Every time he'd tried to order the world to his satisfaction, things got screwed up. He lied to Buffy, giving her the motivation to finally kill Angelus, but then she ran away. He had sex with a Slayer, unfortunately not Buffy, and she'd nearly choked him to death. He'd screwed up in some major way with every woman in his life, because he wanted to make his cake the way he wanted it, and eat it too. He glanced over at Anya. Despite her crude, and often times brutal, bluntness, he loved her, like he'd never loved any of the others. He knew that she loved him too. Maybe it was time for him to start ordering his own life, instead of trying to order the world around him.
Anya remained silent. Even though she was no longer a demon herself, she knew enough to recognize which demons should be avoided at all possible costs, and whatever Buffy Summers was becoming definitely fell into that category. She was getting tired of all of these stressful situations. They were making her old before her time. She wondered if they could talk Xander off the Hellmouth. She knew enough about her boyfriend to know that his decision would depend on Willow, since he would never leave her here, in constant danger, where he couldn't at least try to protect her.
~~~ BtVS ~~ X-Men ~~~
"The girl is stirring." The Hart unexpectedly announced.
"What?!?" The Wolf whirled around in shock. "That is not possible. We have placed her into stasis. With all of our combined power, even she should not be able to breach it."
"That may be so," the Hart looked at him blandly, "but nevertheless, the girl is
stirring. She is not awake as of yet, but she is aware."
"We should have anticipated this." The Eagle mused. "This one has never reacted as she should. We have no true idea how the absorbed dark magic and energy from the Hellmouth and various essences has empowered the Slayer or the essence. We must make a decision on how this is to handled and carry it out before she fully awakens."
"Separation is no longer an option." The Lion stated. "Yet, we cannot leave them as they currently are. Sooner or later, the demon essence will succeed in it's bid for control, and then there may be no way to stop it again. Our Champions barely managed to defeat it the first time."
"You should not have taken our warrior in the first place!" The Ram snarled.
"And you have not taken warriors that belonged to us and used them for your purposes?" The Bear threw back at him. "You have even gone so far as to steal away our Champions when you could get away with it, even though that is against The Rules. Do not attempt to cry foul now."
It was true. Over the ages, both sides had broken that particular decree. Unsurprising, since neither side had ever intended to abide by it when it was established. There were Unbreakable Rules laid down, but that definitely wasn't one of them.
"This is all irrelevant." The Wolf growled. "The demon cannot be allowed control, especially of this particular host that has already proven herself against us. Their combined abilities and memories would prove catastrophic to both sides."
"Agreed." The Lion said. "The Gar'Nahor-Koros were becoming too powerful in their own rights, which is why we agreed to allow the humans the knowledge to defeat and banish them. If this essence manages to gain control of the Slayer entity and the Host, there is no telling what it would do with all of the combined knowledge, abilities and especially the ingenuity of this particular Host."
"If separation is not possible, what options do we have?" The Hart asked.
"Merge them into one being." The Bear offered. "But do so in a way that leaves our Champion in the forefront." He quickly continued when it looked as though the Ram would argue that particular choice. "Not the Slayer entity, but the Host. She cannot remain in any dimension where the Great Balance will be affected, and there is no purpose, even for you, to leaving the demon to create a havoc that you cannot take advantage of."
The Partners looked at one another. There was perhaps merit to what their counterparts were suggesting. Outside of their purview, they did not care which presence4 'ruled' the body.
"Very well," the Wolf said, "we are in agreement."
"How shall we go about this?" The Hart asked.
The answer that he got was one that none of them expected.
"Well, you could start," a soft, yet frigidly cold voice spoke from the girl that had fully awakened without them being aware of it, "by asking me what I want to do."