Where do we go from here?
Dawn oof'd out slightly, more because she thought there should be an impact, than from any real impact as the spheres of energy sank into her chest and disappeared. She looked up at the Goddess with wide eyes, not sure if she felt horror or excitement.
There was a subtle smile from Artemis as she felt all eyes upon her, "No Key, you are not the recipient of those spheres. You are simply the guardian until you bear the ones that will fulfill the promise inherent in those gifts. Twins will be given to you, from birth their gifts will be active." There was a long pause and a flash of a smile, "Consider yourself forewarned."
With that they were gone. The Teen Titans had arrived to hear the last of it, and everyone stood around looking at everyone else. The street outside the school was devastated, and Xander sat in the middle of it, holding a young red headed woman, and another blonde lay next to him. Superman injured, and everyone else looking a bit dazed.
Finally Garth spoke, "So, um... did we miss the party?"
Xander started laughing first, and soon everyone except Batman and Superman were laughing too, though Superman was at least smiling. "Pat could you get everyone inside, we have a dance scheduled, I'll deal with ... this." He paused looking at Willow and Buffy.
Slowly most of the slayers, and the Teen Titans drifted inside while Faith and Dawn went to Buffy's side, while Batman, Superman, Dianna, and Zatanna approached Xander. "I guess I forgot to mention my friends were a bit on the powerful side huh?"
Batman's voice was dry, "That was powerful? I don't think I've seen anyone put out that much magical energy before, ever. And that includes Doctor Fate. And you might have mentioned the insane part as well."
"Well in my defense, I didn't know she was going insane when I left, I...." he shrugged a bit, "I thought they were both being bitches. If I had known what Willow was doing, well let's just say you and I would probably never have met."
Only Superman and Faith heard Batman's muttered "that I should be so lucky."
Faith and Dawn were both looking around at the superheroes, their eyes even wider, "Um... Xan... is this who I think it is? I mean freaking Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman?" Faith's voice was cracking a bit, "And Buffy attacked Batman?!"
"Yep, meet the JLA, JLA, this is Dawn Summers, Buffy's sister and Faith Lehane one of the two original slayers before the one in my lap woke them all up."
Batman's eyes narrowed, "They know what you know?"
Xander paused for a second thinking, "About you, probably, you are really popular back home what with the movies and all, the rest of you." He shrugged for a moment looking at Faith and Dawn, "How much did you read the comic books."
Faith and Dawn both just shook their heads still watching the heroes with huge eyes, Faith replying slowly, "Not at all, just the movies and the TV shows."
"Well basically the general knowledge about you three, probably the rest about what any here would know, the names you operate under."
Batman snarled under his breath, "You Harris are rapidly becoming more trouble than you are worth. Get this dealt with and get them out of here before they have a chance to talk to anyone!"
With that he was gone, leaving a bemused Superman and Wonder Woman standing there. "It is still hard for me to believe I am that popular in your world that they would make movies of me."
Faith blinked, "Dude, they made lots of movies about you, and cool TV series too."
"I've got them if you want to watch them, one of them a certain reporter should find amusing." Xander offered, standing with Willow in his arms.
Dawn and Faith grinned and said together "The Adventures of Lois and Clark! Dean Cain was just too cute."
Superman actually blushed, then cringed a little, "I am going to assume it is safe to leave now? I need to get this wound tended to, it hurts." With that he was gone, leaving Faith and Dawn fighting to not squeal like fangirls, because really, SUPERMAN!!!
Diana laughed, "He is a little too use to not dealing with pain sometimes I think. What are you going to do with her Xander?" Nodding at the unconscious Willow.
"I don't know, she is not my Willow anymore, just a young woman who has anything ahead of her, but no ties to anyone. Suggestions, anyone?"
There was a long moment of quiet then Diana spoke again, "I could actually use an assistant at the Embassy, someone without ties that can be used against them, and she could come to Paradise Island with me. That way, maybe she could heal and have a life."
The gratitude that filled Xander, Dawn, and Faith's faces was enough to make her blush. "Diana I would owe you so big if you did that. She was always brilliant, but very insecure because of her parents. I suspect the knowledge of how things work is still there, just what made her Willow is gone, would you, I couldn't ever pay you back for this."
Suddenly self conscious she shrugged, "She in many ways is perfect, blessed by the goddess so Mother will have a hard time rejecting her, no one to leverage against me, and smart as well as female. If she is as smart as you say, hopefully she will be running everything for me." It was a wicked grin, as she lifted Willow from Xander's arms. "What do we tell her?"
"The truth, a choice was made, and she was given the gift of a clean start. The chance to begin again and have a life without the dangers of this one. It was that or death. Tell her, let her decide. If she ever really wants to know or you can't convince her that ignorance is bliss... you know where I am." He took a deep breath, "Thank you Diana." With a sad smile Xander leaned down and kissed Willow's forehead, "Good bye my friend, I will always love you."
With that Diana left too, holding the person once known as Willow in her arms. Faith picked up Buffy easily, "So let's go lay Buffy down, I think we have more talking to do? And, apparently you have a dance?"
Xander nodded, "Yeah, come on we can put her in my bed." They traipsed into a house full of people who had been peeking out windows, and curiosity was writ clearly on everyone's face. "Yes people JLA was here, yes we had a fight, yes we won, and now in true .... Slayer fashion, we get to party. Go, food is there, music is there, celebrate life. I'll be there shortly."
A ragged cheer rose up from his girls, and the guests looked at him appraisingly, but slowly everyone drifted to the gym, but Lamont, Pat, Zatanna, Faith and Dawn. They followed into Xander's room where Faith laid Buffy down, who murmured a little, but stayed deeply asleep.
"Exciting afternoon huh guys?" Xander quipped with a wan smile.
Pat looked at him for a long moment, then hugged him tight, "You did good, we'll talk later." She pulled back and grabbed Lamont's arm, "Come on, we have teenagers to chaperone." Ignoring his mock groan as she pulled him out of the room.
Xander sat down in a chair as the other three did too, "I swear if I didn't have to leave this room and go dance with about twenty girls, I would so be having a drink right now." This comment was met by fervent agreement as they looked at each other.
Zatanna broke the silence, "I kind of feel responsible, I didn't think to look for anything being wrong when I grabbed Xander, I am sorry."
Faith shrugged "Not your fault, Red got a little sideways on the mojo, and none of us saw, so she kept getting worse and worse, problem is drugs tend to be obvious, magic addiction, not so much, especially as she kept making sure no one would remember anything that would have given us a clue."
Zatanna nodded, "I guess, so how are you going to explain this to your sister, and twins? Congrats?"
Dawn started laughing, "Well I might be having twins, which is freaky enough, but they won't be soon, I haven't had sex in well... ever... so unless they are an immaculate conception, they are a long way off. I think I am just holding it until I do have kids. Oh well I guess I don't have to worry about if I am fertile or not." A soft chuckle swept the room, "As to the other... selfishness I guess. I can't let her go again, and if she was the slayer with a year missing nothing would have ever convinced her as to what really happened. This way, she has the life she always really wanted, and she will remember and KNOW what happened, I'll have to explain where Willow is and what happened. But eventually I think she will forgive her. Either way it won't matter, as we will be in our reality, so she will just have to deal."
Xander nodded, "What about you Faith?"
A bitter laugh, "Well when I showed up, I was thinking about asking if I could stay, didn't have any reason to go back, but now. Well I'm the only called one anymore, and those girls are going to need someone to keep them in line and lead from the front, and I guess that is me. " A sad laugh, "Guess I'm not second best anymore."
Xander jumped up moving over to Faith and pulled her into a rough hug, "Faith you were never second best, ever! You were just you, not better or worse than Buffy, just different. You paid for any mistakes you made a long time ago. Just go back and remember what it felt like to be on the outside."
Faith hugged him back hard, burying her face in his chest for a long moment, then pulled back. "Thank Xan... I know you are staying here, and I think it is the right thing to do, but boy explaining all this to Giles and Robin is not going to be fun."
Xander laughed, "Nope probably not. But let's worry about that tomorrow. Tonight we have a party to go to." He pulled a blanket over Buffy, then grabbed some clothes to change into, then paused for a second, "Za, would you mind horribly whipping up something to dance in for my two guests, I don't think Pat has anything that would fit them." Before dashing into the bathroom.
Zatanna laughed, she had thought they would all die earlier, and her she was being asked to make some party clothes for two guests. She would never understand this man. With a shake of her head she looked at Faith and Dawn, "Would you like some more.... festive clothes?"
Both of the girls nodded enthusiastically, and Zatanna thought for a moment, looking down at her own disheveled and damaged clothing. Some of those bolts she had need to dive away from. She thought for a long moment then took a breath and spoke.
"Ylgnidrocca riah elyts dna pu ekam ylppa ,seidob roiretxe ruo hserfer dna naelc dna ,referp dluow ew tahw ot sa annataZ dna ,nwaD ,htiaF rof gnihtolc etairporppa ytrap naelc etaerc."
There was a warm buzz in the air, and a feeling of warm damp air covered their skins, and then it was gone, with different clothing in its place, and the three of them looked at each other and smiled.
Xander stepped out of the bathroom, wearing black jeans, lace up knee high boots, a dark green tank top, and a loose white shirt over it. He stopped jaw slightly open as he looked at the three women standing in his room.
Zatanna looked ready to dance the night away with her hair up in a braided ponytail, slim leggings, and a long silky shirt of emerald green that hit her mid thigh, with comfortable shoes. Dawn was dressed in low pumps, and a simple sleeveless royal blue dress of some slinky knit that stopped at her knees. Her hair was pulled up and the makeup was simple but compelling. Faith was the jaw dropper, knee high boots, short mini skirt, blood red leather bustier that exposed a belly button ring, her makeup was the dark and sultry look she had preferred with her hair loose and long, cascading down her back.
"Wow.... all I can say ladies, is how did I get so lucky?" Xander offered Zatanna and Dawn his arms, and winked at Faith, "If you can save me a dance, but I owe the first one to someone else."
"Any time Xan, you know I love to grind with you." Her voice low and sultry and pure original Faith. Zatanna blinked a bit at this, but Xander and Dawn just laughed as they exited the room, and she filed this bit of information away, watching and thinking about the women in Xander's life.
The four of them walked into the gym, to a room full of people gathered in little groups to the sides, the Titans on one side, the slayers in another, and they the other random guests just looking awkward as people sipped drinks, and played with the food provided. Xander sighed and disengaged from the two women, "Sorry ladies, looks like I need to explain how life works." With purpose in his stride he headed over to the DJ, who looked relieved and gladly gave him the mic, as the music died. Xander looked at everyone shaking his head mock sadly, "Guys, we are here to have dance and enjoy ourselves. We aren't celebrating a victory, we aren't even celebrating the school, we are celebrating living, and the fact that we have another day. This isn't rocket science, get out there and have fun." With that he handed it back to the DJ and walked directly to Barbara.
"I do believe you owe me a dance Ms Gordon."
Barbara blinked and fought back a smile, "Actually I think you owe me one."
"Ah... my mistake." The music was a fast rock, and he wheeled her out to the middle, "Now I did warn you, but come on, have fun." With that Xander started to dance in normal Xander fashion, which is to say with all the elegance of someone having an epileptic fit while on their feet. Barbara blinked, started to laugh, and then joined in on the fun. Just because you can't move your legs, doesn't mean you can't dance, and Barbara did, laughter ringing out above the music as Xander spun her chair, laughing with her.
Faith had seen something very yummy in the form of Kon-el and stalked towards her prey, who blanched a bit as he tried to stammer out an excuse, which did no good, as before he knew what had happened, he was on the floor with a woman who was using him as a stripper pool. Much to his surprise and Cassie S's chagrin, he started to have fun. Faith was no holds barred, and she could pull a response from a stone.
Dawn headed towards green boy, she really didn't know who he was, but even entering the room he could barely stand still, wanting to dance so badly, she didn't even say anything just pulled him to the floor and they started to dance. Garth's smile lit up the room, most people shied away from his exuberant personality, Dawn just matched it, and her laughter joined Barbara's.
The younger slayers saw them, and started to drift out to the floor, Lauren grabbing Kid Flash and pulling him on to the floor with her. Soon most of the room was there on the floor, dancing, changing partners, and basically enjoying living. Tim Drake was dancing with Cassie, their moves almost looking like a fight, both of them so fluid and smooth, but it was good to see Cassie loosening up a bit.
Zatanna was standing watching the joy and life fill the room when she felt a hand touch her shoulder, Dick Grayson was standing there in jeans and a nice shirt. "So I hear I missed all the fun?"
She was quiet for a long moment then smiled up at him, "Nope, in fact I think you showed up for the most important part." With that she pulled him onto the dance floor with her, and in moments their laughter joined the rest.
Author Note: Lots of people were close, but no one thought of children, so I hope you enjoy where the power will go.
On more annoying news, I hate to say it but real life has derailed my plans. I did have a lot more planned, but my spouse was laid off a week ago, and that has raised stress and scramble level and reduced that thing called "creative energy". I have one more chapter I will finish, but I won't be pulling out all the slayer stories like I had planned. Hopefully I will find time down the road to add, but after the next chapter I will be "closing" this story again. Lets hope for a muse, energy, and a continued mortgage payment ~grins~ one more to go, I will try and make it memorable.