Disclaimer: Read the Prologue. I own nothing, but my admiration for BTVS writers and G.G.K.
Kimberly looked at the ring on her finger. She watched as the blazing fire of the Baelrath faded to a flicker of flame within the stone. Something felt off. She was a seer, but not omnipotent. She felt an uneasy stirring in the depths of her mind. I don't know what's wrong, but there is something odd here. Something unfinished
She sighed. Perhaps it was simply the task ahead. Kimberly Ford never asked to have her life hijacked. She never dreamt of the painful gift of power and knowledge that Ysanne forced upon her. None of her misgivings mattered. She knew if Fionavar fell to the Darkness, all worlds would be lost to the Dark as well.
Reflections and ripples through time and space. If Fionavar, the first world, were to fall victim to the Unraveller—he would conquer every other realm eventually. No matter how heavy the burden she could not fail. She stood on Glastonbury Tor and prepared to call the Warrior. The ancient curse cannot lie uncalled. He slaughtered the innocents and the babies died. No matter how young or afraid he was, the curse was laid. No peace, no reprieve. The Warrior answered to the name of sorrow and he bent to her will. The Warstone's fire flared again. Kim suddenly felt the presence of her four friends. If they are here, who was sent?
She had no time to ponder the mystery as the burning wild magic pulled her, her friends and the Warrior, back to Fionavar. It was time to fight.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Xander looked around and whistled softly, “Hey, guys? I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.” He shuddered as the chilly sensation of being ripped from his world began to abate. Bright torchlight revealed a carpeted stone floor and a massive tapestry covering one wall. Warmth emanated from the fire in the fireplace. Xander watched as Giles turned about in confusion and sank into one of the two chairs in the room. “Giles, you okay?” His question hung unanswered. “Yo, G-man we need you with us, 'cause I have so got a serious case of the wiggins.”
Giles sat in the chair, took his glasses off, squeezed above the bridge of his nose and said irritably, “Xander, do stop blathering. Clearly we've been transported somewhere, quite possibly somewhen. However, we are in dire need of further information.” He glanced at Buffy then Willow. Giles started to speak, stopped abruptly, took a deep breath and spoke again, “Willow ... did you perhaps, ah, possibly...well...”
He never finished the statement. Willow flushed and looked down. “No!” She could hear her voice rising in panic. “No, no, no! No spells, no conjuring, no incantations, no recitations, no invocations, no enchantments, no thaumaturgy, no voodoo, no charms, no magic of any kind.” She looked at Giles, Buffy and Xander, pleading for them to believe in her. “Giles, I've been really, really good. I promise. I mean, okay, so maybe I have to be contained every time I start thinking about what happened, or Sunnydale, or what I did, or what I might do, or T..t...t... But I've been contained. I promise, really. I ...” Willow stopped as Buffy lightly grabbed her shoulders.
“Easy, Wil, breathe” Buffy soothed. “Let's just slow down the babble fest. It's all right. We'll figure this out. No one is blaming you.” She looked around at the others. “Right? Besides, roaring fire, torchlight, looks pretty comfy. All we need now is a studly do-right in armor, ” Buffy paused as a young boy burst in, clumsily wielding a sword much too large for him. “Um, not exactly what I pictured.”
The boy shakily held the sword toward the four travelers and cried out, “Declare yourselves! Lest you forfeit your very lives.” His voice broke on forfeit. Under a helmet several sizes too large, his eye darted nervously to each of the four strangers to his castle. They were dressed oddly, yet the unusual clothing seemed familiar. He knew he was outnumbered, but he waited for a response. Hopefully, the watch had heard his challenge.
Buffy smiled at the ridiculous picture in front of her. This kid couldn't be more than thirteen or fourteen. He could barely hold the sword up, much less steady. She started to saunter towards the boy, when Giles caught her eye and gave a brief shake of his head. “Buffy,” her name was a warning. She stopped. Giles slowly stood up from the chair, gave his glasses a quick once over and put them back on. “Yes, well, greetings. We mean you no harm.” Giles held out his hands to show he had no weapons and gestured to the others to do the same. Giles floundered, briefly unsure of what to say.
Xander looked over at Giles and the armed boy, a slight smile played on his lips as he spoke up. “Giles? How about, take us to your leader?” He ducked his head to hide his glee at being able to use that
The boy looked startled and confused. After a moment of indecision, he backed out of the doorway. The door swung closed as left. The rattle and click of a lock turning confirmed that Buffy, Giles, Xander and Willow were now locked in the unfamiliar room.
Buffy exploded, “Take us to your leader?” She looked at Xander and Giles in amazement. “That's it? That was the best you could come up with? We are so screwed.”
“Yes well, while it may not have been the best choice,” Giles shot a stern look toward the unrepentant Xander. Then he shook his head ruefully. “It may not matter. Good Lord, Buffy, the boy was clearly terrified. We had to say something. Despite Xander's rather unfortunate word choice he may have the right idea. We do need to talk to someone in authority in order to determine where we are, how we got here and how we get back home.”
“Uh-huh, and when in-charge guy is all fangy and evil? Then what? Dawn's home alone. I need to get back to her.” Buffy waited for Giles to answer. Instead Xander had an answer for her.
“That's easy, Buff,” he said. “You slay, we help. You break us out of the castle, we help. Then we go home, you take care of little miss Dawnie and we all get to live unhappily ever after. Scooby gang's all here, what could possibly go wrong?” Xander watched the blood drain from faces of Buffy, Giles and Willow. Yep, that'll get things going.
“Xander,” they exclaimed in unison. Now things had
to go wrong.