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Janus Doesn't Get To Have All The Fun

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Summary: Janus wasn’t the only god who was watching what was happening in Sunnydale on Halloween night in 1997.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralGreywizardFR1311,7323174,51628 Aug 1228 Aug 12Yes
Disclaimer: They all belong to Joss and ME or James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee. Deal with it. I have.

Time Frame: Takes place during BtVS season two, episode six "Halloween."

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don't know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: None whatsoever.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author's Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author's Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author's Note 3: Response to TTH Challenge #3113.

Author's Note 4: This is story #28 for the 2012 August Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~~~

A location outside the normal space-time continuum
A moment outside time


The goddess named Sekhmet (no relation to the Ra-tet member of the same name, of course) observed Janus' jubilant celebration of his priest's machinations through her enchanted pool with an amused smile on her face.

Witnessing the god of beginnings, transitions, gates, doors, doorways, endings and time as he rather enthusiastically channeled his power through the enchanted bust his worshipper had set up in that makeshift shrine – well, it prompted several lines of thought she'd had at various times in the past, but which she'd lacked the needed power to initiate on her own.

{ Well, given how Janus has always so loudly professed his interest in new beginnings, I can't think of a more ideal time for me to initiate a rebirth of my own, } the ancient Egyptian deity of warfare, healing and the sun mused to herself with a sly smile.

Reaching out with the smallest tendril of her own power, Sekhmet tapped into the divine energy Janus was funneling through the dimensional barriers and into the representation of himself sitting on Ethan Rayne's altar. And then, having gained access to a realm previously unavailable to her, thanks to an insufficient number of worshippers, the goddess focused her attention on two particular individuals she'd noticed earlier.

The young woman she was observing was unquestionably a truly stunning beauty, her long, dark brown tresses tumbling down past her shoulders, and hanging loosely on top of the leather 'catsuit' she was currently wearing. The leonine-goddess grinned to herself for a moment as Sekhmet considered the appropriateness of that description with regard to her own plans for the girl, before she extended a thread of her own power down along the strand of Janus' energy which connected the girl to the bust totem

And then, regardless of the infuriated howling from one of the so-called Powers That Be, the Egyptian deity initiated the modifications she'd decided to gift to the young woman who was going to become her pseudo-avatar on this plane.

The small bracelet which Cordelia Chase had purchased from Ethan Rayne's costume shop, shaped in the form of a prowling lioness, provided Sekhmet with more than adequate justification for her contact, and her magic infected the young woman with the equivalent of what scientists would call a 'retro-virus' – a magical infection which would rapidly rewrite parts of the girl's DNA and incorporate the changes Sekhmet desired to see.

Now the goddess *had* noticed a timeline parallel to this one, several levels 'up' and several more 'off to the side,' approximately ten years ago, where a military-sponsored group had begun experimenting with grafting selected genetic traits from other organisms into human DNA. Speed, strength, heightened and/or additional senses – all of these characteristics, and more, had been assessed and then incorporated into the test subjects by the consortium of scientists responsible for the project's creation and development.

The results had proven to be quite intriguing, Sekhmet admitted to herself, and she had watched the group's experiments proceed with ever-increasing interest, since she realized that she might, eventually, be able to utilize such techniques to create her own custom-grown warriors. The one known as Max might be an interesting addition to this reality… She'd have to think on that. It would take at least three other gods helping to accomplish the transfer; two, if they only copied her. But that would best be put aside, for later consideration.

In any case, taking advantage of Janus' magicks, Sekhmet focused her attention on the dark-haired beauty and projected her thoughts into the girl's mind.

:: Greetings, child, :: Cordelia Chase thought she heard a voice calling to her, at the same time it looked as though some members of the band of ankle-biting brats Snyder had forced her to chaperone began changing into their costumes.

:: Who are you, lady? And what's with the Thundercats costume? ‘Cause you look a little old to be playing dress-up for Halloween to me. And what are you doing inside my head? :: the Queen of Sunnydale High School demanded irritably, a frown creasing her mental representation's forehead as she glared at the lion-headed apparition before her.

:: Wait up; are you involved in the usual craziness that that freakazoid Summers is always mixed up with? :: the cheerleader asked. :: Because if you are, she's probably gonna stomp your ass into the ground, if you try anything on me! ::

:: No, I am not involved in ‘the usual craziness' you refer to; nor do I have any interest in the Slayer, :: Sekhmet laughed, pleased by the mental toughness of the teenager, and now even more determined to incorporate this girl into her plans. :: I am, however, willing to make an offer to you that I think you might be quite interested in. ::

:: Yeah? And that would be what? :: the Sunnydale Queen of Mean demanded suspiciously.

:: I want you to be my representative on the mortal plane, :: Sekhmet informed her. :: To act as the commander and adjutant-general of the army I want you to build for me. ::

:: Uh-huh. And what, precisely, would I get out of this? :: Cordelia immediately inquired, her naturally distrustful nature coming to the fore as soon as it appeared that negotiations were involved.

The next several moments were spent in back-and-forth, give-and-take discussions of the various requests, demands and compromises offered by each of the participants, until an accord was finally reached. And not that Cordelia Chase could be ‘bought' – Heaven forbid! – but she nonetheless eventually *consented* to help create, and then take command of, a corps of warrior-priestesses dedicated to reviving Sekhmet's worship among the generally agnostic and unconvinced religious laity which comprised humanity.

Even as she was negotiating with Cordelia, Sekhmet had turned her attention to the other member of the night's revelers who'd caught her eye – a young man who'd chosen to dress as his current fantasy gaming character.

Jonathan Levinson had chosen to take advantage of Principal Snyder's rather autocratic decree requiring the majority of students to escort groups of elementary students around the local neighborhoods to justify why he had spent so much time at the costume shop. Jonathan had, in fact, taken great pains to ensure that his costume was as authentic as possible, within the confines of his budget and the rather sketchy amount of information given him by Andrew Wells, his dungeon master, regarding what clothing was either permitted or required for Harakhti, a cleric of Sekhmet, the Egyptian warrior-goddess.

Following the information he'd gleaned from both the library and various online sources, Jonathan had attired himself in a plain white skirt (or more properly, a shendyt), a plain white sleeved tunic and a blue and gold nemes (a striped head cloth), while his khopesh hung from the golden belt cinched around his waist and he carried his metal-shod staff in his left hand.

Jonathan had only been escorting his assigned group of kids along their established route for a short while when he suddenly felt lightheaded and, he thought, began hallucinating.

:: Hail and well-met, Harakhti, :: Jonathan thought he heard someone call to him, at the same time the essence of a devoted cleric of Sekhmet took over his mind and body.

Feeling somewhat dazed, deep inside his own mental landscape, Jonathan blinked uncertainly as he saw a lion-headed woman wearing a long red linen gown suddenly appear in front of him.

:: Uh, who are you? :: Jonathan asked, at the same the urge to drop to his knees and offer proper respect to his goddess made him sway unsteadily, and nearly fall flat on his face, to the asphalt.

:: The part of you who is Harakhti already knows who I am, child, :: Levinson heard the lion-headed woman gently correct him, and Jonathan reflexively nodded his head as the knowledge his character's alter ego had learned through long years of study, training and devotion came to the fore.

:: Because of an enchantment cast by a chaos mage this night, I am able to contact those who truly believe in me – one such as you, my most loyal and devoted cleric, :: the high school nerd heard the vision before him say.

:: And while I can only stay a brief time, child, I *can* offer you the opportunity to truly become my high priest on this plane, much as you have done in other worlds your peers would consider, hmm, *alternate realities*, :: Sekhmet informed the mesmerized teen.

:: I would offer you the opportunity to become, here in your own world, the man whose memories and skills you have only glimpsed thus far, :: the goddess continued her recruitment spiel.

It took only a moment of negotiation (far less than the discussion she was simultaneously holding with Cordelia Chase) for terms acceptable to them both to be reached, and Sekhmet then established a bond with her newest high priest, linking Jonathan to her in a nigh-unbreakable connection through which she could supply her cleric with power. Power which would allow him to perform the magicks and miracles that would be needed to re-establish and strengthen the devotion and worship Sekhmet required, if she was to regain the power she'd lost over the past several millennia.

Sensing a barely noticeable shift in the power being supplied to the Janus bust, Sekhmet chose to withdraw before any of the other deities might notice her presence here.

After all, she'd succeeded in both of her gambits tonight, so there was really nothing more to gain from remaining around here any longer.

Sekhmet admitted to herself that she'd have been completely satisfied if only one or the other of her offers had been accepted; so having gained *two* rather zealous followers in just a single night – and having gained them in a place such as this! – was truly a triumph to be savored!

Not to mention that listening to the enraged screams of frustration from Jasmine, the Ascended who'd had the gall to proclaim herself a goddess, as that now-impotent hag saw her plans to take over that particular plane shatter and dissipate into ethereal wisps, made her own success taste all the sweeter.

FIN

The End

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