Happy New Year! Ok that's about the last cheerful thing you're going to read in this chapter. I still don't own BTVS or Star Wars. This story is complete, unless I think up something else. Sort of the way all my stories are. Thanks for all the reviews and recs, let me know what you think.
When he saw the news story of the miracle Jane Doe recovering in a Los Angeles hospital from extensive burns, Giles knew it was Buffy and he had to get her out of there before someone noticed just how miraculous her recovery really was. If she exposed them, the Council would not hesitate to kill her. Already there was talk of hunting her down. It would take a lot of convincing to keep them away now. Three months gone, and suddenly she appears burned and in a coma. He didn’t know what to make of it, but after a quick phone call from Joyce, Buffy was transferred to Sunnydale General for further treatment, and the news story was quietly forgotten.
It wasn’t until her eyes opened a week later, that he knew for sure something was really wrong. He suspected something was different when he first saw her, but it was hard to tell with her in a medically induced coma. She looked so very small and weak it was hard to imagine what could be different, but the new scars, the very long hair, much longer than could be grown in three months, was making him nervous, but when her eyes opened and she saw him sitting by her bed and her body began to convulse in sobs, he began to panic.
It didn’t make sense. They assumed she ran away, she’d even packed a bag, but now he was worried that maybe something more insidious was at work. Perhaps the empty closet and note was a ruse by one of Angel’s vampires. If that were the case, where was she for the last three months? What kind of hell dimension or torture was she subject to? She said only one word those first few days, like a prayer, a mantra, Anakin. After the initial cries of despair, agonizing to hear, she only wept and stared, refusing to speak to anyone. This continued until the doctors discussed aborting her child. Then she simply disappeared from the hospital and didn’t return to her mother’s house for a week.
She was different, there was no doubt about it. As her watcher, I knew it wasn’t simply a change of mind, or location. He could feel her, projecting some kind of energy that felt alien to him. It floated around her like lightning bugs. Her aura was different, and not only because of the pregnancy. Physically she was changed, but it was difficult to describe. It took him a while to realize that she now appeared several years older. Her baby fat was gone, and the softness present in her smile when first met her was gone. In the haze of happiness at having her back, he missed what was now so obvious. Yes, she was much older, perhaps several years, but she wouldn’t speak of it.
She walked around the house like a zombie for the first month, and when Joyce finally got her back into school, she roamed the hallways of Sunnydale high hardly better than she was at home. He attempted to get her back into training, but when it became clear that she was so far advanced that he could teach her nothing, Giles kept their training to meditation sessions and tried to pry information out of her, but she remained silent. The only clues they had to go by were her sometimes very vocal dreams. Anakin, and Luke and Leia were repeated as she cried, and sometimes terrified screams woke him and Joyce up as she thrashed and struggled.
He moved in to help care for her after he brought her home from LA, and as his relationship with Joyce progressed he never left. It might have gone on for a long time, this pattern of behaviour if Faith hadn’t shown up. Faith took over active slayer duty, until one night Buffy disappeared from her room, and didn’t return until early in the morning with a nervous Faith.
“Buffy, Faith, did you patrol together? Splendid!” He asked hopefully as Buffy marched up stairs more animated than he’d seen her in months. He thought perhaps Faith’s arrival might break through whatever was keeping her from communicating with her friends and family, but until tonight he hadn’t seen anything that might indicate his hope had merit.
“If you call her slaughtering all the demons in Sunnydale a nice patrol, then yeah, it was freakin fantastic.”
“What do you mean?” He asked her nervously.
“I mean exactly what I said G. Kakistos was attacking at my hotel, B showed up, and fucking sliced through him with some wicked laser sword, and then went on a demon killing rampage. Seriously, I can’t sense any demons at all. She even killed the mayer! The only thing I could do was follow her and dump the bodies in the sewer as we went. I heard she was good, but she was moving around like the demons were standing still. At least a hundred are dead, but I stopped counting two hours ago.”
“Anything else?” He gulped.
“Well there was that moment I thought she was flying. What the fuck is going on G?!”
“I’m sorry Faith, I don’t know.”
“I’m glad she’s on our side.” Faith said. “And hey, when do I get the cool laser sword?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“She means my light sabre.” Buffy said quietly from the stairs as she came into view. Pushing a button, she activated it to show him. “It was a gift, from my husband.” She whispered and closed her eyes as she tried to remain in control.
“Husband?” He asked. He knew he had to be careful or she’d close up again, but the fact that she was talking at all was enough to make him think she might be ready.
“Anakin.” She said as pain rolled across her features.
“Buffy, how long were you gone?” He asked, knowing this might clear up a lot of his questions.
“A little over three years.” She turned off the sword and attempted to tell them, him and Faith, everything that happened to her. It was the sword that actually made it believable, and her apparent abilities. He might have thought her crazy if not for the evidence, and it seemed that he was right in his guess. The new scars, her angular features, and womanly physique was all evidence of the life she lived in the other dimension.
It was the night everything changed. Although not as quickly as he hoped, Buffy began slowly returning some of the light that was gone from their world. She taught Faith about the Force, and when her daughter was born, Dawn Anakin Summers, something else fell into place. Dawn was not a replacement for her siblings, or father, but she gave Buffy a small piece of her other life to hold onto.
Buffy’s abilities with the Force continued to grow. Her main power seemed to be in the creation of it, and the more she created, the more she was capable of using and distributing. Giles, though sensitive to it, could not wield it. Neither Willow nor any of his other contacts in the supernatural community knew of it, or could harness it. It was a power unique to Buffy and at least Dawn and Faith, though he suspected they would not find others until this power became more prevalent in this dimension. He would like to be able to ask the Council, or even Jenny, but neither was possible now. The Council was already seething that he didn’t perform the Cruciamentum on what they thought was her eighteenth birthday. He tried to remind them that technically, Faith was the slayer now, and if, and that was a big if, they insisted on performing that bloody antiquated barbaric ritual, Buffy would have no part in it.
He learned early on that it was not an all-powerful gift. Except for the ability to create this force power, it was more an enhancement of the slayer powers she already used, and with Faith it was different. She had to harness it, to use it, and found it most useful in healing, but Buffy had it with her every movement. It clung to her, and the more she created the more swirled around her and Dawn, and the more was available for Faith to use.
Two years later the Initiative Project was shut down, mostly because Buffy and Faith killed the demons before they could collect enough for the experiments, and when Buffy discovered what they were attempting to do, she and Faith followed the commandos everywhere, killing any demon they tried to capture. It was made clear on more than one occasion that if they persisted, Buffy would take drastic measure and after a particularly ingenious and might I say flashy display of her talents, they finally got the message and left town.
I think I wanted to believe that she was coping, and she was, but not as well as we hoped. Sleep was difficult. She woke up screaming every night, and it worsened after the initiative left, something was happening, something terrible and she wouldn’t or couldn’t tell us. If the timelines remained stable, one month in our time, is equal to one year in the other dimension. The twins would be twenty five years old now, and the only consolation was her apparently vivid dreams of their development.
Then on that fateful day, early in the morning, before dawn, disaster struck. The house began to shake, and Buffy let out a wail so agonizing, we thought something must have happened to Dawn, but after a quick check, Joyce rushed the screaming girl out of house. I approached Buffy’s room dodging debris as I stumbled through hall to her bedroom. The windows were shattering, and the foundation crumbling. I could actually feel her pain vibrating through the house, sonic waves of anguish and torment.
When I got to her room, she was hyperventilating on the floor, vibrating, not in the manner of a fit, but her whole being seemed to fluctuate, expanding and shrinking, sucking in the energy around her and exhaling it out with every breath but it was more than that. It was as if her body was being pulled apart and snapping back together. Car alarms blazed in the distance, screams were heard, the whole town was waking up as Buffy’s torment joined with the power of the hellmouth. The front door banged open and Faith appeared seconds later. She reached for Buffy, but was thrown back into the wall.
“What the fuck G?”
“I don’t know! She screamed and then the whole bloody house began to shake.”
“Whatever it is, the whole town is being affected, we have to calm her down now!” Faith said.
“What do you feel?” I asked, hoping beyond hope that this was something Faith could help him with. His phone was ringing nonstop, the house continued to shake, and panicked Sunnydale residents could be heard rushing to their cars. In a normal earthquake situation people didn’t act like that. He knew because most of the earthquakes he’d lived through were almost ignored by the seasoned residents of California or they simply stood in a door way and waited it out, but now they seemed to be taking the tremors seriously, and as if on instinct getting out of town. Even Joyce had the urge to leave, but she remained in her car waiting for Rupert, Buffy and Faith to join her before she’d leave.
Opening herself up, Faith tried to understand what Buffy was feeling, but she crumpled back to the floor. “Oh my god G, he’s dead, Anakin is dead!”
I admit, I froze. Faith was yelling, almost in her own grief, trying to close herself off from what Buffy was feeling, and I stopped. I can’t claim to understand the connection she shared with the boy, but it was beyond love. There was always something more to it, and we all knew that. It was tied to her power, tied to the Force, and the energy of the universe. They didn’t talk about it, but they all knew that something happened to Buffy somewhere between Acathla’s portal backlash, and her being found in that other dimension. Being able to create this Force business was something that only a god could do. No amount of power that he knew of could even create the magic on earth except a god, and Buffy was creating this Force energy with little effort. Creation was the business of a God with a capital G, and if Buffy was to be believed, Anakin was as close to a god as she was now. Born without a father, like something out of the New Testament of the Christian holy texts, he was sure to be some kind of higher being at least. It was no wonder they connected. This would never be simply an extension of teenage heartbreak, this was the death of a god and now they were potentially separated forever. The ramifications could be catastrophic, and I had no idea how to stop it.
Almost as an afterthought I realized that each tremor, each vibration of her body coincided with the shaking going on in and outside the house. His brain needed to catalogue something, needed order and reason, needed to be a watcher, or he’d never save his slayer. He’d panic like the rest of the city and rush down to Joyce and pull Faith out of the house, but he couldn’t do that. Buffy was his slayer, and he needed to think. She let out another wail, and I stumbled. Not only could I feel the power of her pain, but now the grief was echoing around the room, and out the windows. Faith was crying and with no hope, I sent up a prayer to any god that might be listening. It was our last hope.
Ten minutes later, and several more attempts to get Buffy out of the house that was now dangerously close to collapsing, a portal opened up and two figures stepped into the room. Faith tried to stand and defend Buffy, but she crumpled to the ground again as another wave of power rushed her. The portal closed, and the two figures advanced on Buffy surprisingly unharmed by the rush of power flooding the room. They began whispering to her in that language he only heard when Buffy slept, or was very angry. Haltingly, almost maddeningly slowly, the tremors began to lessen.
They picked Buffy up and gently set her on the bed, continuing to talk softly to her as she wept. He could hear the strain and crash as houses and buildings began to fall around 1630 Revello Drive. “We need to leave now!” I yelled, and pointed to the door, as the newcomers looked at him questioningly. I picked up Faith, and pulled her to her feet as the other two grabbed Buffy and followed us out the door. Climbing into the jeep, Joyce sped off like a maniac through the collapsing town. There were people running in any direction from Buffy’s house, but most people seemed to be gone already. The town wasn’t all that big, and after the first big shakes, whatever the people of Sunnydale told themselves to ignore the supernatural element on a day to day basis, must be suspended, because as they neared the edge of town, cars were seen forgoing the road all together in their panic to get away from the Hellmouth. The drove into the desert following the road not caring where they were going, just so that they were going away from the catastrophe behind them. When it comes to turning a blind eye, the people of Sunnydale were capable of a lot, but even they would panic if a God began destroying their town in grief.
It took several days to find Xander, Willow, and Anya, but they were all alive and staying in the Hyperion. I should have thought of that to begin with, but we were having a difficult time keeping Buffy calm. Her children, as we soon recognized, were the only thing that kept her from further destroying the earth. Although I suspected that her power would be less destructive now that we were away from the hellmouth that was effectively closed for business if my contacts were to be believed.
Buffy came around after a little more than two weeks passed. Well, came around isn’t quite right, but she stopped the pattern of crying, sleeping, and sending out aftershocks when she was worked up enough. Faith, Joyce and Dawn, were safely tucked away at the Hyperion while I stayed with Luke and Leia attempting to calm their mother in an old caravan in the desert. We could not communicate, which made things difficult, but we managed to work together with a common goal until Buffy began to translate.
The twins were pretty shocked to see their mother only two years older than when she left, and technically they were older than she was. Dawn was another shock they didn’t know to hope for, but as Buffy began to explain Joyce and Dawn, Faith, Giles and the Scooby’s to the twins, they wanted to meet everyone properly, and Joyce drove first Dawn out, and as Buffy began to improve Faith and the Scooby’s took their turn as well.
After the Watcher’s Council transferred funds to help me with my duties as watcher to support Faith, I rented a large house outside of L.A. Faith spent a lot of time with Angel in the city working off her slayer energy, and killing demons, and things began to settle down. I watched Buffy interact with her children, who seemed to have the ability to portal back at any time to their own world, but had no desire to rush back. Another month went by before they left with a promise to return in a month, if it was at all possible, and Buffy almost lost it again.
I was sitting with her, while she slept, when she began to cry. I was beyond the point of asking her what is the matter or asking what I could do, and let her weep, but something was different this time. “Giles?”
“I don’t know if I can keep doing this.”
I didn’t answer. What could I say to that?
“When he, when he died, all the Force, the magic that held us together, even across dimensions was pulled out of me, but my body is a conduit for the Force. It creates and wields it, and it was attempting to pull it back, protect itself. I would have been pulled apart otherwise. I think I even pulled his energy to our dimension.” She whispered the last bit with a shiver.
I let the silence be my answer.
“Giles.” She began to cry again. “I feel like I’m dying.”
Alarmed he asked, “Do you mean the energy isn’t stable anymore?”
“No, not the Force, not the power, me. I don’t know how to live without him. I hope, I always hoped I might find a portal back, but now all I have is this constant pulse, his heartbeat, my heartbeat constant, but me, the part of me that’s just Buffy feels like the world is ending. I’ll never hold his hand again, or hear his voice, or.” She broke off in a sob, breathing hard and closing her eyes attempting to hold onto her control.
Backpedalling a little he asked, “Are you saying that you absorbed his,” he paused unsure how to phrase it, “Force energy?”
“Yes, he’s here with me, in a way, but not in all the other ways. I knew what was happening. All those nights I dreamed of his devastation, of the mess he made in my absence, the people he killed but I always thought I could get back to him, someday, I thought I could save him.”
Unsure if he should be worried about the energy upload or not, he did the only thing he could, he held her hand, and pulled her into a hug while she cried. This was not the God grieving; this was the young girl, losing her first love, and he was her father comforting his daughter wishing there was something he could threaten or kill, something he could do to make her feel better, but all he could do was hold her as she cried.