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Summary: After the battle in the Hellmouth three of the Scoobies wake up to discover that they have somehow stumbled into Middle-Earth

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Lord of the Rings > General > Theme: FellowshipElysianFR18415,1160106,2982 Mar 044 Jun 04No

The World is Changed

E ama prestan . . .

“The world is changed . . .”

Ama an mu’in . . .

“I feel it in the water . . .”

Ama an hu’ii . . .

“I feel it in the earth . . .”

Ham’asta ai du’in . . .

“I smell it in the air . . .

“Much that once was . . . is lost.”

An army, stretching into the distance, faces carved from hate. Inhuman. In numbers like the stars.

Small villages made up of thatched houses burn in a raging firestorm.

Woman and children scream.

Blood soaks into the earth.

A gold ring laying in an open hand. Red hieroglyphs along the outer edge of the ring slowly fading. The plain gold ring glitters.

The fingers of the hand slowly close around it.

A horizon, lifeless and desolate. A sea of stagnant swamp turning to jagged terrain of razor sharp rock. A mountain, rising in the distance, sheathed in smoke, dust, and ash. Everything is empty, as if the very air is a poisonous fume. The world is blurred with a shimmering skein of heat.

A tower. Black. It stands over everything.

The air above the distant horizon behind the tower was strained red like blood.

At the top of the tower was giant unblinking eye, wreathed in sheets of flame.

Buffy gasped, drawing in a quick, terrified breath as the last bits of the dream washed over her. Her eyes snapped open.

She lay in a small clearing in a forest of ancient trees, shafts of sunlight slanting down through the branches. She and Spike were entangled in each-other’s arms. She lay there for a moment, content, a faint smile crafted her expression. She reached up hesitantly with a small hand and softly brushed at some of his curling hair with her fingertips.

Buffy looked around and her smile faded. She carefully extracted herself from Spike’s arms and stood up. She looked around. The forest was bright, green, healthy. She heard the noises of wildlife in the distance . . . nothing else.

“What the hell!” Buffy turned in circles in the middle of the grass, confusion washing across her face.

She stopped turning.

About thirty or forty feet from Spike the form of a girl lay motionless in the thigh high grass. Slender form. Long straight brown hair.

Buffy ran over and kneeled beside the girl. “Dawn!” Buffy grabbed her shoulder and shook her slightly. “Dawn!” Buffy checked the girl over quickly. There were many bruises, but there didn’t seem to be any major trauma that she could see. Buffy exhaled a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank god!”

Buffy closed her eyes and said a silent prayer.

* * * * * * *

Buffy was sitting on a rock a short while later, holding her scythe across her lap. The crimson and chrome weapon shined bright in the sun. Nervous and uneasy, she was trying to keep an eye on the trees when she heard a faint sound. She turned around and saw that Spike seemed to be waking up. She watched him crinkle his brow and look around curiously, “Where are we?”

Sitting on her rock, Buffy raised an eyebrow, “That seems to be the question of the day.”

“How’d we bloody get here?”

Buffy met the vampire’s eye and shrugged.

Spike got to his feet and slowly turn around. He looked down at himself, saw the play of the light across his pale skin, “And . . . why am I not on fire?”

Buffy smiled faintly, “All good questions.”

Spike’s eyes widened when he saw the body in the grass. “Dawn!”

Spike had already taken a few steps before Buffy stepped in the way and stopped him. She smiled at him kindly. “She’s okay. She’s breathing. I think she’s just still sleeping.”

Spike closed his eyes and took a deep, unnecessary breath. He couldn’t help the tremors of fear that still wracked his frame. Buffy’s small hand comfortingly rubbed his shoulder. He smiled at her awkwardly.

Spike’s nostrils flared just the tiniest bit, “The air . . . it smells strange.”

Buffy frowned at him. “I don’t smell anything gross.”

“I didn’t say it smelled bad. Just . . . strange,” Spike responded quietly. He looked off into the trees. “Different.” He looked back at Buffy. “What the hell happened?”

“I don’t know,” answered Buffy tiredly. “Why we’re here. Where this is. I just don’t know. What’s the last thing you remember?”

Spike inhaled softly, “We’d just gone down through the seal. We were down in the Hellmouth fighting the army of the First. Kicking some major ass if I must say,” Spike said smiling. He looked at Buffy a little sharper suddenly, “I felt something. Something going through me. It stung. I felt like I was . . .”

Buffy nodded. “You killed all the vampires. I remember that.” Buffy looked at their surroundings curiously. “I just don’t get why we woke up here.”

* * * * * * *

Buffy swung the scythe in a wide arc, sending vampires tumbling into the abyss.

The red-headed slayer Vi slammed the butt of her one of her knifes across a vampire’s gut so it curled up upon itself, then she stabbed down through its back and into its spine with the other.

Dawn slammed her tomahawk down on top of one vampire’s skull, her other hand with another tomahawk, slicing across the flesh of its throat. A waterfall of blood burst out and ran down the vampire’s chest. The last blow slammed down on the back of its neck. The vamp crumbled into dust.

Dawn and Vi shared a brief grin before wading back into combat.

Spike stumbled, “Buffy!

Some kind of energy crackled around Spike and exploded upward through the top of the cavern, blasting open everything in its way in a cloud of shattered stone. Sunlight slammed back down, pinning him stiffly in place.

Buffy looked up just as the light exploded outward through the amulet from Spike’s chest in a stream that blew across the entire cavern. The streamers of white light rolled over hordes of prehistoric vampires like a tsunami, incinerating each of them it touched in all of an instant.

Spike!” Buffy’s eyes widened. Absolute horror fell across her face.

The energy began to tear the cavern apart. Pieces of the ceiling tumbled down from above like bombs. The battle suddenly turned into a slaughter as the Slayers turned on the few vampires that remained with a vengeance.

The earth quaked violently beneath their feet.

Faith’s eyes widened, “Everybody out! Now!

Faith stood there and watched as the Slayers fell back and scrambled up the stairs. A vampire tried running up the stairs and Faith slaughtered it. Faith looked up from the falling ashes and down into the cavern. “Buffy! Dawn! Come on!

Faith finally retreated up the stairs.

Buffy and Spike intertwined their fingers, looking deep into each-other’s eyes. A flicker of flame burst from their intertwined hands.

Dawn looked over at Buffy and Spike as she started to move toward the stairs. “Let’s go!” she yelled at the pair, stopping short as one of the few remaining vampires stepped into her path.

With a dauntless face the girl brought a tomahawk around in a swift chop. The vamp blocked it with the flat of a sword and then swung back at her hard. Dawn was brave, but she was no Slayer. She brought her other tomahawk up to block. The strength of the blow jarred her shoulder in its socket in a sharp, blinding pain. Dawn stumbled slightly backwards, falling into the beam of light. There was a sudden blinding flash. Every last remaining vampire in the cavern, including the one that had faced her, fell to the earth in a rain of dust.

Buffy, Dawn and Spike were nowhere to be seen.

* * * * * * *

Dawn groaned, raised a hand to her forehead. “Ow!” She shook her head disorientedly. The world was moving in circles around her head. She blinked at the images of Spike and Buffy before they came into focus. “What hit me? Did you kill it?”

Buffy sighed, “I don’t know, Dawnie.”

Dawn sat up carefully. She looked around her and a perplexed expression suddenly crossed her face, “Where are we?”

“We don’t know.”

“Are we dead?”

Buffy smiled, “No.”

“I guess you’d know wouldn’t you. Any good news?”

“You’ve still got me and Spike, and, oh . . .” Buffy turned and reached behind her. A moment later she held up a pair of tomahawks. “I found your pretty little axes.”

Dawn grinned. Reached out a greedy hand, “Cool! Gimme.” Dawn’s eyes suddenly darted over Buffy’s shoulder. Her eyes got real big and the perplexed expression returned, “Um, Spike . . . why aren’t you on fire?”

* * * * * * *

Buffy, Spike, and Dawn wandered through the forest. Sunlight broke through the canopy of trees here and there, luminous slanted shafts glowing in the dimness. The air was rich and heavy with the smell of mulch and a faint hint of some exotic spice.

Buffy looked at her sister and smiled faintly, “So you’re saying we’re wherever we are ‘cause you’re a klutz!?”

Dawn’s eyes widened with the accusation. “Hey!”

Spike looked around slightly wide-eyed. A faint and rare smile crafted his face, “It doesn’t seem like that bad a place considering.”

“So far,” Buffy qualified pessimistically as she hopped over a log that was in her way.

“Face it,” Spike said with the barest hint of bitterness. “It could have been worse. We could have ended up in Los Angeles.”

Buffy gave him a hurt look that he didn’t seem to notice and lowered her eyes, ashamed. She was unnaturally quiet for a while afterwards as an oblivious Spike and Dawn exchanged good-natured banter.

* * * * * * *

Awhile later they came across a dirt road. It meandered through the forest to the left and right of them.

Spike grinned, “Well, at least we know we’re not alone.”

“I wish that was comforting,” Buffy said.

“Oh, come on,” replied Dawn. “Anyone who made a nice road like this for us can’t be all bad.”

Buffy looked at her sister and raised an eyebrow.

“Okay,” Dawn backpedaled, raising her hands in mock surrender. “I’ll admit that was strained logic but still . . . I mean, what else are we gonna do. We can’t exactly wander around in the woods for the rest of our lives.”

Spike chuckled, “The girl does have a point.”

“Anyway,” added Dawn. “I’m sick of pricker bushes pricking me in the ass. Way I see it, a road, with its noticeable lack of pricker bushes and anything prick related, is much better. With the exception of Spike, of course.”

Spike frowned at the girl defensively as he finally sorted through what she just said, “Hey! I think you just insulted me, Bitlet.”

Dawn grinned, “Possibly.”

Buffy smiled. “So which way, Sacajawea? I leave the choice up to you.”

“So you can blame me later on if I make the wrong choice, huh?!”

Buffy’s smile turned into a grin, “Of course.”

Dawn sighed theatrically and gave Spike a You see what I have to put up with look. Spike gave her a commiserating half smile and a shrug. Dawn sighed again and pointed down the road, “That way.”

Walking down the road ahead of Buffy and Spike, Dawn suddenly turned to face them. For the moment she was walking backwards. “By the way, it’s also possible I was being rude and referring to unmentionable parts of you that my sister used to play with.” Dawn grinned at the two of them impishly, and giggled at their sudden scandalized expressions.

She chose to go right.

* * * * * * *

“Buffy,” Spike asked softly. “You feel that?”

“Yeah,” said Buffy. “I feel it.”

Dawn hugged herself, “I suddenly feel cold.”

“Dawn,” Buffy looked over her shoulder, commanding, “get behind me and stay there.”
Buffy gripped her scythe tightly in her small hands.

Spike unsheathed his sword as they came around a bend in the road.

There was a black horse in the middle of the road. Its eyes were wild and terrifying. Saliva dripped from its mouth. What Buffy assumed was the rider was near the side of the road. The rider, creature, whatever it was, (evil, something in her head screamed at the top of its lungs) was standing over a group of four small children scattered along the side of the road.

Merry . . . help!

Buffy saw it bending over . It was reaching for one of the children. It’s hands, where they extended out of the robes, were clad in articulated gauntlets, individually crafted flakes of metal overlapping its fingers and wrists like scales. It scrambled forward, clawing greedily at the child who was inching backwards, trying to get away.

Frodo!” screamed one of the children fearfully.

Buffy watched as one of the children ran to the aid of his friend and was batted away remorselessly with a casual motion of one of the creature’s arms. The small body flew backwards and landed awkwardly in the middle of the road.


Buffy began jogging forward. “Dawn, stay here!”

The creature seemed to sense the approaching threat. It turned away from the child to face her, drawing its sword from a scabbard. Buffy had the barest glimpse of the child looking at her with desperately hopeful eyes.

The creature raised its eyes to her from beneath the hood of its cloak. Buffy couldn’t see any hint of a face from within the shadows of the cloak, but she could feel it’s gaze on her. She suddenly felt cold. She felt as if every horrible memory she ever had was coming back to her all at once, seizing her in an irrepressible wave despair and terror. Her mother dead upon the couch. Tara’s corpse upon the floor. Wide, lifeless eyes full of accusation. Xander’s eye flowing from its socket with a pop and a rush of arterial blood. The certainty that she would be forced to kill Angel . . . Dawn . . . a grief stricken Willow, in her pledge to safeguard the world. She knew, in that moment, that she would never be happy again. It would never end. The weight of responsibility just piled up upon her in an untenable burden. The quest would take her life. She couldn’t help but be crushed beneath the weight of it.

Trembling visibly, Buffy raised the scythe in front of her body like a sword.

She watched as the black rider raised its sword.

They stood facing each-other.

The small girl and the large robed figure that towered over her with a sword.

It struck at her mercilessly. The weapons crashed together. Buffy barely held against its tremendous strength. Her hands tingled with a hint of numbness.

The black rider moved with an economy of movement that terrified Buffy. The Slayer found herself on the defensive, being pushed back further and further as the creature relentlessly advanced on her. She blocked the lightning fast sword swipes with the scythe hoping for an opening but only finding its sword relentlessly striking in at her. The creature moved with a fluid grace Buffy only dreamed of. Buffy turned to block a sword strike with the blade of the scythe, continued the turn into a spinning heel kick that never connected.

The creature’s own flying jump kick, nearly hidden beneath the long flowing black robes, launched her back through the air into a tree. Buffy dropped the scythe and fell at the foot of the tree. She lay there motionless.

Spike’s eyes yellowed suddenly. His brow turned ridged. The vampire let out a primal scream.

His sword in his hand, the enraged vampire stepped up to the Black Rider and took a hard swing with the entire weight of his emotions behind it. The rider parried effortlessly. Spike stuck, again and again. The rider fended him off easily, like they were nothing but the clumsy blows of a small child.

Spike stepped back a few steps to take stock of the situation. The children were off to his right. Dawn was safe for the moment a distance up the road to his left. There was a tree almost directly behind him.

Spike took another step away from the rider, back against the tree, jumped and stepped off the tree back in his opponent’s direction. His flying kick caught the black rider just beneath its arm as it was bringing its sword around in a swing at him. The kick knocked the creature off balance for a moment, disrupting the sweep of the sword and saving Spike’s life. Spike brought his own sword around at it but the creature was already turning and raising its own sword to block, its loose robes flowing gracefully around it like water.

The creature dropped low, the motion disguised for a brief moment in the looseness of its robes. It knocked his legs out from under him with a low sweeping kick. Spike landed hard upon the ground. He dropped his sword and the rider kicked it away.

Spike’s demon face melted away and he sadly looked up at the cloaked creature standing over him. Felt the coldness of its attention. He was defeated. Spike knew then, more surely than he’d ever known, that he’d never be any good. He remembered the feeling of a skull crushing beneath the heal of his boot. The sound of the crunch. The taste of blood pouring into his mouth in a warm salty flow, full of fear and innocence and of the entire purpose that forever eluded him on the brink of comprehension. Thousands of faces that had cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Thousands more drawn by grief.

Spike saw the rider raising it’s sword for the blow that would send his dust scattering with the wind. Spike’s eyes caught a flash of sunlight off the chrome blade of the scythe as it arced down into the black rider’s spine. It screamed, a loud piercing noise that tore painfully at everyone’s ears.

Something exploded outward. Spike had the fleeting image of a man, his face turned ugly with hatred and cruelty. Eyes heartless, merciless and cold. The faint, fleeting image, like a wisp of white smoke, seemed to disappear into the trees as if with the wind. The robes collapsed into a black heap of cloth on the road.

Behind where the black rider had once been stood Buffy. She was wide eyed, trembling. Terror played about in her eyes. She held the scythe limply in one hand at her side. It slipped from her fingers and fell to the earth.

Spike stood up. He walked cautiously around the pile of black cloth and wrapped his arms around her. Buffy buried her face in his shirt and clung to him desperately, for the moment without any reservation.

None of them noticed the abandoned horse disappear around the next bend of the road.

One of the children went to the other that still lay where he had cowered from the rider on the side of the road. “Frodo, are you hurt?”

The other looked up at him blankly before finally shaking his head. His fingers clutched desperately at the breast of his tunic. He visibly swallowed and looked directly in his friend’s eyes. “I’m fine, Sam. I’m alright.”

Still enclosed in Spike’s protective embrace as she watched the interaction at the side of the road Buffy blinked. Not children, Buffy realized suddenly. They seemed as old as she was. Just . . . smaller.

Buffy felt a gentle hand touch her shoulder. She looked and saw a visibly frightened Dawn standing beside her and looking at her with wide eyes. “You okay?”

Buffy nodded at her sister’s question slowly, never bothering to extract herself from Spike’s arms. It only showed Dawn how shaken her sister really was.

Frodo looked off to the side, “Merry? Pippin?”

What was that thing?” asked a still terrified Pippin.

“That black rider was looking for something,” said Merry. “Or someone.” He turned an inquiring glance on one of the other small people, “Frodo?”

Frodo looked between each of the other three hobbits and the man and the two women who had for the moment rescued them. He spoke seriously, “We have to leave the Shire. Sam and I must get to Bree,”

Buffy and Spike shared a look. Spike nodded to her silently. Buffy looked down at Frodo seriously, “We’re coming with you.”

“Right,” agreed Pippin. “We’re all coming with you.”

“Bucklebury ferry,” Merry suggested quickly. “This way. Quickly!

* * * * * * *

Night had fallen.

The four hobbits, the man, and the two girls moved silently between the trees in the forest, each of them like wraiths moving between the shadows of the dark.

Frodo stopped beside a large tree, leaned around it and peered into the near distance.

“Anything?” asked Merry softly.

Frodo shook his head, “Nothing.”

Dawn asked , “What are we doing?” as she came up behind Frodo and crouched there. She held one of her tomahawks in her hand as she leaned against the tree.

“Nibblet,” Spike said, coming up beside the girl and looking at her seriously. “I suggest you be quiet for now.”

Dawn looked at Spike with wide terrified eyes. Her fingers tightened on the handle of her tomahawk. She finally nodded.

A loud, piercing sound cried out it the near distance, tearing open the silence like a weapon.

Buffy’s dark eyes widened with fear, “Oh my god . . . there’s more of them!”

Spike reached out to Buffy and silently intertwined his fingers with hers. Buffy looked at him and then down at their hands. Their eyes met and she gave him a small, hesitant smile in the dark.

Merry motioned the procession ahead silently.

They moved quietly, near single file through the dark for long minutes.

A black rider on a horse leapt out in front of them from behind the tree. The hobbits stopped dead in their tracks. Frodo and Pippin screamed. Buffy’s heart jumped in her chest. Spike soundlessly brought out his sword and sliced mercilessly across the horse’s forelegs, spilling the horse and rider to the ground.

“This way,” said Merry, running off quickly, giving the horse a wide berth. Everyone ran off after him quickly, not pausing to spare the spilled rider and the injured horse even a glance.

Buffy, Spike and Dawn almost effortlessly vaulted over a short ranch fence they came upon when they passed the trees. Sam, Merry and Pippin climbed over after them. The open expanse of the Brandywine River was before them. They saw the ferry tied up at dock about a hundred feet off to the left. They ran flat out and reached it in moments.

Clear the ropes,” cried Merry.

Buffy and Dawn quickly struggled to untie the mooring lies that held the tiny raft to the dock.

Bloody buggerin’ fuck,” Spike cursed as he struggled with one of the lines and had trouble with the knot.

A small figure rounded a corner at the top of a small rise in the near distance. He was running down the middle of the road toward the ferry.

Pippin cried out, “Frodo!”

Run, Frodo!” screamed Sam and Merry.

A black rider on a horse was right behind him, a living shadow in the moonlight, bearing down. The loose robes the rider wore fluttered in the wind, altered in their flow faintly with the motion of the horse.

Spike hacked and cut the final rope that tied the ferry to the dock with his sword.

Hand over hand, Merry tugged on the rope that spanned the river and the ferry eased away from the end of the dock.

Jump, Frodo!

Frodo covered the distance at a sprint, down the length of the dock, placed a final step and took a flying leap . . .

The hobbit nearly fell short of the ferry. He landed on the edge and certainly would have fallen in had Spike and Dawn not grabbed him and pulled him the rest of the way onto the ferry.

The black rider’s horse had stopped just short of the end of the dock. Silently, the horse and rider turned and galloped back up the incline, long black robes flowing loose behind. A few moments later both horse and rider had disappeared.

“How far to the nearest place they could cross?” asked Buffy from where she lay beside a tired Frodo in the middle of the raft.

“Brandywine bridge,” answered Merry as he struggled with the ropes that would guide and carry the ferry across the river. “Twenty miles.”

Disclaimer: I think everyone knows that I own neither Buffy or Lord of the Rings. Just so it's clear.

Author's note: Between this and my other Buffy fics, "Corrupted by Degree", and "Endlessly..." I've spread myself pretty thin but I couldn't help it. This idea just wouldn't go away. The next chapter of "Corrupted by Degree" will be out sometime soon. "Endlessly..." will be a little longer coming but it will come. I've read a few BtVS/LotR crossovers lately. There's some cool ones out there but most of them seem to be Buffy/Legolas. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I couldn't help but wish to to do it with my favorite couple and my three favorite characters on BtVS. This here's the start of my whack at it.

I changed the Ringwraiths just slightly to accomidate Buffy and Spike. I wanted them to be able to fight it, and yet I also hope you can still see why it still scares the shit out of them like hardly anything has before. Anything that can frighten Buffy is one scary fucker, but still, she fights through in spite of it. Go Buffy!

To anyone who's wondering why Dawn was down in the Hellmouth just assume that all of the BtVS characters were down there. I just didn't show them all, focusing only on the one's I needed. To be honest I didn't really see the need for them to split up just in case some of the vamps escaped. Why not just bring everyone down and defend the stairway so they don't escape in the first place {shrug} Whatever!

This fic will focus primarily on Buffy & Spike and the way they witness events in Middle-Earth. Not to say that you won't see other characters but it will be Buffy & Spike-centric.

The title of the fic comes from the lyrics of a Sarah McLachlan song. i don't know the name of it off the top of my head but it was the one that was playing at the end of Becoming pt. 2 after Buffy killed Angel

Everyone please review. I'd love to know what you think.
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