See the Turtle of enormous girth....
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Buffy. I don't own anything you can recognize as belonging to the Master, aka Stephen King. I'll put them back when I'm done, please don't sue me for posting bad ficlets with OC's in them. lol *thought* "Actual speech"
..."Live for me."....
Beyond, Todash, out in the darkness stirred a turtle. Not just any turtle, but a turtle whose vast size was only eclipsed by it's age.
Which was considerable, since the turtle in question had been blamed for the creation of the universe.
He felt the touch of another somewhere in the multiverse. An old another. An entity that hadn't been seen, at least by him, in what had to be centuries. The turtle, Maturin, had thought that the Key had gone to sleep. He himself enjoyed the occasional thirty or hundred thousand year nap. Maturin's immense head slowly emerged from his shell. Almost instantly a small white-blue flame lit in the darkness in response. It danced, merrily, like a candle flame, lighting up their little corner in the spaces between. Maturin sent a kind thought toward it, pleased to see his old friend and servant. The flame grew, spreading out into a ribbon shape, flowing and twisting in random patterns.
*Hello, my friend,* he thought towards it. The flame's response was to dart toward Maturin, whirling about his head. Maturin chuckled, sensing the joy at seeing him awake. It had no actual name. It was referred to as The Nameless Voice, or the Voice of the Turtle, by some. The Manni folk called it The Unfound Door. On one level of the Tower, it was called the White Lady, a spirit of the sea. Maturin called it friend. It had aided him for practically eons now. It could take any form that was required, from a clever mouse to a random pedestrian that stops a boy from stepping out into traffic. Out in the darkness of todash, it always appeared as a white-blue flame.
*I think your cousin is awake*
The flame stopped its dance, halting in midair before reforming into a pulsing ball. A single, questioning thought of *Key* was sent in return.
*Yes. But the tear was closed.*
*Idiots. Did you see where?*
Maturin opened his mind to Nameless, letting it follow the threads back. It was much better at tracking than he was. *One of the lower levels of the Tower.* *Yes,* it replied, *not far away from the Keystone World but high enough to be interesting. Not one of the worlds that have caught the Crimson King's eye...pardon the pun.*
*What of this...Slayer, though? What do you think the Key is to her?*
He could feel the Nameless tracking the threads back, seething at the improper use of its kin's power. Maturin thought that its light dimmed slightly, watching as a young woman sacrificed herself to seal the rip in the realities. He wondered why it stirred a thought of *Poor Susan* so quiet he almost didn't hear it.
*Why is it always children,* it thought, re-shaping into a lazy figure eight, looping in the dark. Maturin waited, patient as always, while a dear friend thought about doing something dangerous.
*Will they let me in, or make it so I have to be invoked?*
*I am unsure. The Powers that Be in that reality are rather controlling. You may have to wait until you are summoned. Perhaps it is just a matter of...right place, right time?*
The white-blue turned a little more silver as it slowed, as if its careful consideration was weighing it down. It was drifting through somewhens, looking for the best place to insert itself in the threads woven by the Fates. Then it stopped, suddenly, a musical laugh ringing out as the flame's color brightened again, whirling even faster.
*You must have an idea, old friend.*
*Chaos does owe me a favor. He'll be more than happy once he figures out this'll probably tweak a few noses. That Halloween dust up would likely be the best time. If I nip back to Mejis I can probably sneak away with one of Susan's reap-day dresses. Then, seeing as how that Ethan fellow will be calling upon Janus, I'll be able to work myself into the spell. Give the boy a blue chambray shirt and a pair of revolvers. The big ones with sandalwood grips. Since I'll be powering the spell I can make sure they'll remember Roland and Susan. And it's not that hard to drop a small ivory turtle on the sidewalk...where anyone can find it...*
*I was wondering how long it would take you to figure it out.*
*Oh hush. Go back to sleep.*
*And if you find the Key?*
There was no response to that. The flame merely hung there, motionless. After a moment of heavy silence it spoke again, it's words careful and quiet. *I don't know. The boy and the girl remind me of...them. And the witch needs something. Guidance. Something. I just...*
*...The Tower still stands, the Wheel still turns. This time will be different. I won't let it end like that. Not this time.*
A ringing filled the darkness, like the chime of a giant bronze bell. The flame faded from sight as Nameless left to begin its task. Maturin's great head once again withdrew into his shell with a kind thought sent out to his servant. It would be hard for Nameless to play within the rules set by that level's own guardians. The being may try to seem the devil-may-care sort, but Maturin knew it had a soft spot for children. It was why they'd always got along as well as they did.