chapter four: veneer of calm
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Teen Titans belongs to DC (although this is the cartoon version of things) and BtVS/Angel belongs to Joss Whedon.
Warnings/Spoilers: Post-Birthmark for Teen Titans and Post-Series for both Buffy and Angel
A/N: This is a Challenge fic (7886: Raven gets some help) for the lovely SongBirdie whom I have always loved talking to (and writing for) in the past. I am writing form memory (and wiki recaps of things) so I apologize if I have a few things a bit off.) Hope you like it!
A/N 2: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading.chapter four: veneer of calm
Willow had felt the tear in the dimensional wall right away.
Not that it had been particularly harsh – this portal into her world seemed neat, precise - rather practiced
actually. But her senses were on alert for any activity of this sort ( ever since she had learned to distinguish what it felt like to her magic anyway
), always tense for the possibility of another like Glory. (Another that might try to tear her family apart; might almost succeed. Years on, they were all still bruised from that encounter, still harshly aware of the mistakes they had made before, during, and after the encounter with the hell-goddess
The portal was especially apparent from the height she was at – not that other planes were higher, perse – but with her soul self being separate from all the other stimulus that made Earth so very alive, viewing the lines of energy was a rather simple task.
And therefore, it was easy to tell when they were unnaturally parted
The two with her had felt it as well. A sorceress who had been alive many hundreds of years ago and a (mostly benign) demon who appeared to be a cousin of sorts to Pyleans. The two had been making such a ruckus in the spiritual plane with their arguments that the Devon Coven had called her to try to sort it out. (Willow was starting to think they had set it all up though. She had been asked to deal with each of them separately on different occasions, and she knew from past experiences like this, that sometimes spirits just got lonely
.) At the “noise” though all conversation stopped, and the three of them stilled, feeling the direction it had come from.
“West,” Leon, the demon murmured, scratching at his teal skin, his burgundy eyes squinting in thought. They all were aware that he meant west from where Willow's body currently was, the place they were currently conversing had no actual physical location.
“I think it's the Council,” Willow said, trying to push down panic – the main Slayer teams would be out on patrol right now. “I can't feel my wards up here,” she hissed in frustration.
“Go,” the sorceress, Jasmine,” said firmly with a gentle hand. “We will see you at another time.” She shared a look with Leon and her lips quirked, “We aren't going anywhere after all.
“Alright,” she said distractedly but then the words registered and Willow paused momentarily, looking back at the two. “And guys, how about next time I just come visit in my dreams? I think the Coven is getting a bit frustrated with you and we don't want one of the new girls trying an exorcism the next time you two make a ruckus just so the three of us can chat.”
Back in her body, she concentrated on her feet - making sure they traveled through the hallways of the Council castle at a swift, but unagitated
, pace. Willow was trying very hard not to simply run to the Library were Andrew had told her their inter-dimensional “visitor” was lying unconscious with Dawn and Faith. She couldn't really allow herself the luxury of doing so though, unless it truly was an attack in progress. It would honestly cause stress to the younger Slayers, who saw her almost as a Mother figure (something about the fact that she Called them, Giles and her thought
) – and those older eyes that she could sense watching her from the rooms she passed (the left over Watchers from the past regime that had a tendency to be a bit twitchy
). She was one of the co-heads of this organization the Scoobies had re-formed after all, and so she projected confidence as much as possible.
Her nose scrunched up at the sudden thought of her father figure (and really friend as well by this point
) though. Giles, she was basically the equivalent of Giles
to these people. (He was currently in Australia with Buffy - having some quality Watcher/Slayer time and checking in on some of the young women who didn't want to stay with them after initial training. In general, they seemed to appreciate the yearly rounds. Internet communication was one thing but face to face really helped make them feel like they weren't alone.
.) And although the authority chafed at times, Willow also felt pride at the new organization (from the ashes of the old) she and the other Scoobies had managed to create for the Slayers.
Keeping a veneer of calm was doubly hard at the moment though, because she was also rather frustrated with Devon Coven at the as well. The wards – her
wards - on their castle (and that never stopped sounding weird
), their home, had been breached. Her friends – her family
– could have possibly been in danger (with their track record it was actually more of a probability
) and they did not
alert her when Andrew had called, saying this, and asking specifically
for her to come right away. She would not have even have been alerted to the breach, maybe for hours
with how Jasmine and Leon could get to talking, if she had not felt the dimensional disturbance, herself, while in the other realm.
The problem was, she knew, that those who had not worked with the Scoobies previously usually did not think the rumors amongst the supernatural community about them were actually true. People did not wish to believe that a group so young had gone up against so much, and become so powerful, in the relatively short amount of time they had.
And it was one of those sorts that had answered the phone when Andrew called. Carla, was a witch who held little power, but took pride in the great history of the Coven – she thought of the Scoobies as upstart children playing
at fighting demons. Any story she heard from the other witches (especially those ladies who actually knew, the ones who had helped her so much during her recovery
) of averted apocalypse she took as just that, a story
– a greatly exaggerated tale.
She had listened to the boy on the phone with disdain. Tapped her pen as he prattled on about some sort of girl appearing - as if that had actually happened
- and debated even writing a note. Eventually she just rolled her eyes and sweetly told him she would pass on the message - never intending to even bring such nonsense up.
Willow shouldn't know all of this - she hadn't been there at the time of the call after all - but all of it was within her mind regardless. She had gotten better at reigning in her simply stupid amount of power over the years, but the more heightened her emotional state, the stronger her magic reacted - and she had been rather....frustrated
upon returning to her body. And her anger, paired with her need for information, caused her magic to seek it out - regardless of where (or within whom) it was held.
And after she received that information...Willow was having a hard time feeling bad about her accidental mental intrusion.
Finally pushing open the Library doors she felt herself relax at the site of the rows of old tomes, the large tables full of books. Faith poked her head out of Dawn's Office, smirking she opened her mouth to make a comment but then her expression changed, "Lookin' pretty pissed, Red."
Willow sighed as she reached the Slayer and they both entered the small but nicely furnished room, "Witch at coven was being...."
?" Dawn offered, not looking up from where she was still steadily typing on her computer.
"I think I should be insulted," Willow murmured in a mock whisper to Faith.
The other woman nodded solemnly, "I think that's what the intent was. But really, it was so on the nose that I actually feel a little embarrassed for little D."
"Shut up," the girl in question pouted, still not looking up from her work but they could tell she was fighting off a grin.
Sharing a smile at the small triumph - no matter how old and competent she was now, keeping Dawn feeling safe while they figured out the intentions of someone who wielded portal magic was one of her priorities. Speaking of...
Willow turned and really looked at the girl for the first time: purple hair, leotard, cape, and all - and then saw her move.
"Faith," she hissed, "her hand."
Looking over the brunette just nodded after they both saw another small twitch. "Yeah, I saw her do that a few times - but she hasn't opened her eyes yet so I figured she must be dream..."
She stopped abruptly when those eyes did open, blinking at the ceiling before dropping down to survey the room.