I do not own any of the rights to ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ or ‘The Dresden Files’ and am making no money from this story.Dimensional Shift
“What do you mean you lost Xander!?” Willow shouted into her cell phone, sounding every bit of the fiery red head she had blossomed into.
“And why do they have to call us? It’s not as if there isn’t an army of other
people willing to find him,” Kennedy said into her hands frustrated at the interruption. This was the first vacation that Willow had managed to scrape out in… well…ever. Willow gave her an apologetic look as she moved to sit on the edge of the bed and listened to whoever was calling. Kennedy heaved a sigh and rolled off the bed completely, heading to pack their suitcases because there was no way that Willow wasn’t
going to high tail it back to Cleveland, not when something had happened to her best friend.
“I’ll be there in half an hour,” Willow said hanging up the phone. Let it not be said that Kennedy did not know her girlfriend.
“I guess our vacation’s over,” said Kennedy, shoving clothes back into the suitcases. If she was using a little more force than necessary… well, that was between her and the suitcases.
“I’m sorry, baby,” Willow said, the guilt clearly evident in her furrowed brow. “I’m sure that we’ll be able to take a break after we get Xander back.”
Kennedy sighed. “Yeah,” Willow said rubbing a hand up and down Kennedy’s arm, already knowing that they probably wouldn’t, but that was just life and Kennedy was okay with that. She finished packing as her girlfriend set up the necessary things to transport them back to Cleveland. Willow had explained how the magic of it worked more than once, but Kennedy, and a lot of the council too, had taken to calling it a portkey. Andrew called it a transporter and tended to say things like ‘beam me up’ any time he had to use it.…….
Willow was true to her word. She and Kennedy were back in Cleveland half an hour later.
Despite the combined efforts of a good number of the Watchers and witches, there had been absolutely no progress in finding Xander,. There were a number of ways to open up portals but none of them seemed to be able to connect to the dimension Xander had fallen into. Even the tracking spell that had been made using Xander’s archived blood had failed to locate him.
“This is pointless,” one of the witches said, annoyed with the lack of progress. “According to the wizard boy, the only way to get to the dimension is with that staff!” She was gesturing over to the scrawny teenage boy tied to a chair in the far corner of the room. His red cloak had been taken off at some point, leaving him in a pair of grungy jeans and nearly threadbare Death star t-shirt. He looked like he had fallen asleep again.
“Yes,” Giles said adjusting his glasses, “But as far as we can tell the staff did not have any spells that would allow that, even before it was broken. I don’t believe he has been entirely honest with us.”
Apparently the wizard hadn’t been as out of it as he looked because his eyes shot open
“I told you everything I know! It not my fault your guy broke the staff!” He said angrily his voice only cracking slightly, “That thing’s been in family for like ever and-”He snapped his mouth shut hunching lower in his chair as Giles leveled a glare in his direction that could cut glass.
“The staff may not have had spells that helped create portals, but it did
have spells in it,” Willow said her eyes widening with some sort of realization.
“Have you thought of something Willow?”
“What if the reason that the spell won’t work is because the staff is broken,” she said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Everyone just paused to look at her as if she’d grown another head.
“I’m pretty sure that I’ve already said that, more then once,” The wizard said sarcastically. A few of the others in the room nodded in agreement
“Yes, I think further explanations are necessary, Willow,” Giles said not completely sure what Willow had thought of.
“What if he was able to open the portal to another dimension because that was where the staff originally came from!?” Willow said excitedly. Giles sat still for a moment his brow furrowed in thought.
“…Yes, that… would work,” Giles said sounding both surprised and thrilled.
“Okay, can you explain for the rest of us?” one of the junior watchers asked in an aggravated tone. He probably wasn’t going to last long in the Council if he got this worked up over a couple hours of mostly worthless researching.
“Well, if the staff was indeed created in another dimension then it would mean that the runes and enchantments are also from that dimension,” Willow explained
“So?” another watcher asked, sounding a bit more respectful than the last one.
“The spell that the young man claims
to have used would not work on its own, but if he had magic that came from that dimension it would be fairly easy to open a portal because the magic would naturally form a sort of bridge in order to return to where it originated,” Giles said
“Shouldn’t you still be able to use the staff? I mean even if it’s broken it’s still from the other dimension right?”
“That would be true if the staff were a magical object, but it’s merely a staff that has been enchanted. As a result when the staff was broken so was the enchantment. Any foreign magic that the staff may have contained was released blending with the magic in our dimension.”
“No extra-dimensional magic. No connection to the other dimension,” Willow said, finishing Giles explanation as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Yes, but that shouldn’t have stopped us from being able to make a connection. We’ve been able to connect to various other dimensions without needing foreign magic to make a bridge,” Giles said tapping his chin ponderously.
“Unless the dimension that Xander fell into has been blocked off. There are hundreds of accounts of people travelling dimensions, but it’s not as if every single dimension has been mapped out and there are also records of dimensions that are impossible to access. It’s not that far of a stretch to say that there’s an unknown dimension that we lost access too at some point.”
“Yes, Qour’Toth springs to mind,” Giles said thoughtfully, “But if there’s truly a block on the dimension Xander has fallen into. I’m afraid that in all probability we won’t be able to open another portal without the staff’s magic, at least… not without resorting to the use extremely dark magic.”
“Well, then we’ll just have to get the staff’s magic back somehow,” Willow said her face the image of determined. She was going to get Xander back. Even if it meant doing something that had never been done before.…….
Xander made a total of five phone calls. The closest he got to connecting to the right person was the pizza place down the road from the school; that number connected to an Italian bistro. He probably used a little too much force when he placed
the phone back in its cradle because it made a faint dinging noise that Xander was fairly sure it wasn’t supposed to make. Mouse seemed to disapprove of Xander’s treatment of the phone, giving him a loud huff from the kitchen.
“Hey, you’d be annoyed too if you had to deal with this thing,” Xander said waving his hand at the phone in aggravation. The dog ducked his head and walked over to the couch, otherwise known as: the comfortable orange monstrosity. Xander was once again struck with how enormously big
Mouse was. The dog’s wolfy grin was level to Xander’s face without having to tilt his head up. Who in their right mind would see this dog and think, ‘Mouse’? Despite the nearness of Mouse’s very large teeth, fangs really, Xander didn’t feel threatened.
“My, what big teeth you have,” Xander said smiling as he held his hand out for the dog to sniff. Mouse gave it a perfunctory sniff before giving it a lick and lowering his head for a pat. Xander was happy to comply, running his hand through black and grey fur and giving the large dog a scratch behind the ear. Mouse’s tail was wagging so hard Xander half expected to be able to hear the air rushing by. Xander continued scratching until Mouse pulled away, spreading out on the floor in front of the couch and rolling so he was belly up. Xander grinned at the puppy dog eyes he was getting, but didn’t move until Mouse gave a small whine.
“Okay, okay, geez, you big baby,” Xander said smiling and leaning down to rub the whining dog’s belly. Mouse’s tail thumped loudly on the floor. Well, at least one of them was having a good day.……
“Even if this works, we still don’t know if we’ll be able to open another portal,” Giles should be used to desperate last chances by now but, truthfully, he would probably never get used to it.
this works,” a witch muttered. She was one of the few, very few, that had stayed. Even after it had became obvious that none of them were actually needed once Willow and Giles had gotten on a roll.
“Well, there’s only one way to find out,” Willow said nervously, but still confident in her abilities. She sat down upon the floor where she had a drawn a circle in white chalk. Candles lined the edges of the circle and a shiny sphere made of quartz was placed in the center between the two broken pieces of the staff. Willow was sitting in a meditative stance, her hands outstretched around the sphere close to the surface but not touching it. She took a deep breath.
“Here goes nothing,” she said and then began chanting.
“Sed Magicam virgam quoque.
hanc audire me et revertentur.
Magicae reditum ad tous domum.
Ubi quondam tenuit revertar ad.”
A green mist started to form around the witch as she repeated the chant, swirling and moving in beautiful patterns. Willow’s chanting grew louder for a moment, and the mist gathered up into a cloud hugging the separate parts of the broken staff. The mist remained there, above the staff, growing brighter for a moment before streaming into the crystal ball with a waving motion of Willows hands. The swirling mist, now within the sphere, flashed once. Willow was slightly out of breath as she stopped her chanting; there was sweat beading on her forehead.
“It worked,” She said breathlessly, a huge grin on her face.
“We have a bridge. Now we must determine who will cross it,” Giles was smiling as well.
Faith had been quick to step forward; doing risky shit was her thing. Kathy had been real quick to volunteer to rescue her watcher, but that was more because she felt guilty for getting Xander into the whole situation. Faith wasn’t all that happy that a baby slayer was coming along for the ride but she could do worse for a partner in crime and Faith figured Kathy should at least get a chance to make up for her screw-up.
“So, how sure are you that this will actually work and me and the kid won’t get stranded in Neverland?” Faith asked as Willow handed her an amulet that was roughly the size of her palm. It looked like it was made of some kind of hammered out metal. There were a number of symbols etched onto its surface, but Faith didn’t really recognize any of them. She’d never been very good with the whole research thing.
“The magical theory is sound. That amulet will allow you to track Xander easily and the residual magic from this dimension in it means that you should be able to open up a portal back to us without any problem,” Willow was sounding a bit too bubbly with her success for the slayer’s tastes.
“Yeah, the word I clued in on that was ‘should’. So it’s not a hundred percent?” Faith said thoughtfully, glancing over towards Kathy before shrugging, “That’s good enough for me. Just talk me though using this thing, Red, and we’ll be set.”
Willow set about talking her though tracking Xander as well as creating the return portal and Faith had to admit it did seem really simple despite the overcomplicated wording that Willow tended to use. Willow made sure that both Faith and Kathy knew how to use the amulet before finally picking up the globe to open up the portal to Xander. It tore open like a hole in thin air
“Wish us luck,” Faith said fixing the straps of her backpack and hefting a short sword. Kathy took a deep breath as she looked into the portal, tightening her grip on her own short sword following Faith as she stepped forward towards the portal which sputtered and blinked out when she got within an arms length of it.
“What’s the deal Red? You run out of Mojo?”
“What- no- what? That wasn’t supposed to happen,” Willow babbled, giving the globe a shake as if to shake the foreign magic out.
“Yeah, this looks like it’s going to take awhile,” Faith said to Kathy, “Lets get some food, I’m feeling like some hot wings. You?”
“Uh… hot wings are good?” Kathy said unsure of what was happening, but just rolled with it and followed the dark slayer out of the room. She could hear Willow and Giles start up with magical theories and suddenly she was very glad to be following Faith out of the room.……
“Why won’t it work?” Willow growled, frustrated with the latest failed attempt at opening the portal. It wasn’t so much that they failed to open up a portal, it was more the fact that the portal snapped shut whenever anyone got close to it.
“How, did Xander even manage to fall through the blasted thing if it closes whenever someone gets near it?” Giles asked, just as frustrated as Willow was. He looked over to the boy still tied to the chair with a frown, everyone else had left by this point to catch up on much needed sleep.
“Hey, don’t look at me!, I never tried to go through it. I had no idea where it went, I’m not stupid
,” The kid said sarcastically.
“Well, there is some evidence to the contrary,” Giles said, “How close did you get to the portal?”
The wizard shrugged as much as he was able from his place tied up in the chair, “Close enough to look through it.”
“So, closer than we’ve have managed to get?”
“I don’t know, maybe?” He wasn’t really sure he liked where this might be going.
“Well, it can’t hurt to give it another try…” Giles said, untying the teenage wizard as Willow prepared to open up another portal.
“Wait,” the wizard said warily as he rubbed his wrists, “You’re not actually going to make me walk through
“No, we just need to see if you can get close to the portal without it closing,” Willow said as a hole was ripped into thin air once more. Matt was still looking uneasy, even as he stepped closer to the portal, stopping barely an arms length away. It wasn’t closing like it had all of the other times.
“Reach out your hand towards it,” Giles prompted.
?” the kid asked incredulously, “I’m wanting to say no to that. So, NO I’m not going to do that.”
“Look…,” Giles paused for a second as he drew up a blank, “What is
. How is it that no one-“
“Look, Matt,” Willow said interrupting him, “we’re not asking you to jump through it, just reach your hand out.”
The teen huffed, but reached out a hand anyway, skimming it over the surface of the portal.
“No, not particularly,” Giles said with a deep sigh, “Now we must figure out why it stays open for you and, apparently Xander.”……….
Xander was running a hand through the grey fur on Mouse’s side when Dresden reappeared, coming back up from the sub-basement. Both Xander and Mouse turned as the trap door swung open and the tall wizard hoisted himself out of it.
“I’m hoping you got more information from your sub-basement contacts than I did with my phone calls,” Xander said with fake cheer, “Half the people I connected to yelled at me, apparently calling people after midnight is considered rude.”
“I would have never guessed,” Dresden said wryly
“Though, I did get a very nice sounding Italian Bistro,” Xander said thoughtfully as he continued to run his fingers through Mouse’s fur, “How did your foray into the sub-basement go?”
“Better than your phones,” Dresden said walking over to where Xander was seated.
“Because that’s such a hard thing to be,” Xander said rolling his eye, “I think the only thing that could have made the calls worse is if someone managed to stab me through the phone. Which, now that I think about it probably isn’t as impossible as I would like.”
Harry just looked at him for a moment before relaying what Bob had told him, “Turns out being from another dimension isn’t as impossible as I thought, but-“
“There’s always a but,” Xander interjected.
“If you really are from another dimension then the walls of reality could be breaking down.”
“Well, I am
from another dimension. So what does that mean, as far as planning goes?”
“Well, I need to make a few phone calls, but I think that those can wait until the morning,” Harry looked over to the small clock that was ticking away on one of the bookshelves, it was already past 2 am, “Well… later in the morning.”
“Seriously? You just told me that reality could be breaking, but it’s okay to wait until tomorrow to make a few phone calls?!” Xander asked incredulously, “I mean I’m a pretty laid back guy, but this is sounding kind of end-of-the-world-y to me.”
“Yeah, but it’s more of a slow moving glacier than a flash flood and I need some sleep before I deal with this and trust me you will want all the energy you have if you have any hope of dealing with the White Council. Their first response usually involves a beheading.”
“Well, that sounds like fun,” Xander said sarcastically before looking around the room and then down at the couch, “Got any extra blankets?”
“I do; I have extra pillows even,” Harry said with a small smile.……
“So, it’s not going to close this time?” Faith asked with a raised eyebrow.
“We believe that we can trick the portal into letting both you and Kathy through… if Matt goes with you,” Willow said.
“Matt?” Faith asked, “Who the hell’s Matt?” Willow gave a wild gesture over to the wizard Faith had pinned to a wall not so long ago.
“Oh come on! Please tell me that this is a joke. You can’t expect me to take that kid with us! He’s the reason we’re in this mess in the first place!” Kathy said, angrily throwing up her hands. Matt took several stumbling steps back from the angry slayer to stand behind the chair he had previously been tied to.
“It wasn’t my
fault he tripped and I really hadn’t done anything wrong…yet… And I didn’t want to go with you either,” He said defensively and pointing over towards Willow from his spot behind the chair, “It’s all their idea.”
“So, why does he have to go with us?” Faith asked, “It’ll be more dangerous if we have to watch out for him too.”
“Well, there’s nothing we can do about that, I’m afraid,” Giles said taking off his glasses to clean them again. It was surprising he hadn’t rubbed the way through the lenses yet. “It appears that the portal only allows things that are from that dimension through. Matt here appears to be a descendant of someone who came from that dimension, most likely the same person who created the staff.”
“Xander must have someone from that dimension in his family tree,” Willow said, “because that’s the only explanation we can come up with why he could get through the portal, even if it was by accident.”
“Man, Xander has the worst luck,” Faith said with a small laugh, because really, what were the odds of falling through a portal that only people descended from some unreachable dimension could get through? Only Xander… Faith took a deep breath and crossed her arms, “Okay fine, but we don’t need him to get back right? Cause if he does a double cross, I’m going to take him down.”
“Hey!” Matt said in protest.
“Uh, no you don’t necessarily need
him to get back, Faith, but…” Giles said doing his best not to sound uneasy.
“What? All he’s got to do is not stab me in the back, other wise I got his back. I don’t kill people who don’t try to kill me first,” said Faith, her arms crossed, the ‘anymore’ was implied.
“I know you don’t Faith,”
“Okay… so, are we doing this?” Kathy asked looking from Faith to Matt and then over to Giles. Willow went over how to use the amulet one more time before reopening the portal. As the three of them walked their way to the portal, both Faith and Kathy holding onto Matt’s shoulder so they would be able get through.
“Don’t say I never did anything for you, Xander,”Faith muttered and stepped through. And then all three of them were gone. The portal was closing.
“Do you think they’ll get him back?”
“I have no doubt of it Willow,” Giles said placing a comforting hand on the worried witch’s shoulder hoping he hadn’t just lied. …….
AN: Latin Chant - Magic of this staff hear me and return. Magic return to your home. Return to where you once were held.
Faith’s comment about neverland was a reference to peter pan not to the nevernever.
I always thought that people who say that their stories just start writing themselves we’re totally full of it, but it turns out it’s not total B.S. I just can’t seem to stop this story from getting away from me. I swear it’s like trying to walk a huge freaking dog that likes to tug on the leash.