In Dreams . . .
Pairing: Willow/Geoffrey? (Let me know which brother you guys think would be best).
Notes: Inspired by Wic's fic Visionary Kiss.
Notes2: No Willow/Tara relationship. They broke up after Tabula Rasa and stayed that way. And therefore no evil Willow. The Trio was arrested after the events of Seeing Red.
Notes3: Connor wasn't able to succeed in burying Angel in the ocean, though he did try. Gunn and Fred were able to stop him. Cordy is still gone, Wes still shunned.
***Lyrics from the Irish Folk Song, Burning Times. Here's the song in it's entirity.***
In the cool of the evening, they used to gather,
'neath the stars in the meadow circling an old oak tree.
At the times appointed by the seasons of the earth and
the phases of the moon.
In the center, often stood a woman, equal with the others
respected for her word.
One of the many they call the witches, the healers and
the teachers of the wisdom of the Earth.
And the people grew in the knowledge she gave them,
herbs to heal their bodies, smells to make their spirits whole.
Hear them chanting healing incantations, calling for the wise ones
celebrating in dance and song.
Isis, Astarte, Diane, Hegati, Dimitra, Kali, Inarna
There were those who came to power, through domination.
They were bonded in their worship of a dead man on a cross.
They sought control of the common people by demanding allegiance
to the church of Rome.
And the Pope he commenced the inquisition, as war against the women
whose powers they feared.
In this holocaust, in this age of evil, nine million European
women they died.
And a tale is told of those who by the hundreds, holding hands together
chose their deaths in the sea.
While chanting the praises of the Mother Goddess, their refusal of betrayal
women were dying to be free.
Isis, Astarte, Diane, Hegati, Dimitra, Kali, Inarna
Now the Earth is a witch, and we still burn her. Stripping her down
with mining and the poison from our wars.
Still to us the Earth is a healer, a teacher and a mother.
The weaver of a web of light that keeps us all alive.
She gives us the vision to see through the chaos,
she gives us the courage, it is our will to survive!
Isis, Astarte, Diane, Hegati, Dimitra, Kali, Inarna
Part Four-In Dreams . . .
"What else was there?"
Geoffrey growled, rolling his eyes just a bit before turning back to his mother. She had come home not long after she had sent her sons there herself. Apparently she had come to oversee their packing and as his luck would have it, she overheard him telling William about that dream he had had the other night.
And now she refused to leave him alone about it.
"Mother, it's not important," he tried to stress again.
"I'll be the judge of that," she cut him off sternly. "What else was there?"
"Nothing!" he rolled his eyes. "There was sand and blood. And some redhead, but I didn't get a good look at her face. That's all there was. That and the song."
"Song?" William repeated, looking up from his tea to give his brother a strange look. "You never said anything about a song before."
"Well, I don't quite remember it," Geoffrey shrugged, avoiding his mother's curious stare. "I can only remember bits of it. It's vaguely familiar, though I have no idea where I heard it first."
"How did it go?" his mother pressed. Geoffrey sighed, closing his eyes and trying to remember his dream just a bit. A few soft lines came back to him and he softly sang out what he could remember.
"'While chanting the praises of the Mother Goddess, their refusal of betrayal/women were dying to be free./Isis, Astarte, Diane, Hegati, Dimitra, Kali, Inarna.'"
"Isis?" his mother repeated, shooting a worried look over to his younger brother. Geoffrey followed her gaze, seeing William was beginning to look just as concerned as his mother was.
"What?" he demanded, unsure of whether he really wanted to know the answer.
"That list of names at the end," William shook his head. "All goddesses from a variety of cultures. They have the common trait of being mother-like figures, though some are more powerful and some are more destructive. Kali herself is the Hindu goddess of destruction."
"But Kali is also called the destroyer of evil," Geoffrey countered. "So, don't hold that against the lady."
There was a brief pause in which both his mother and brother looked at him with shocked expressions. He rolled his eyes, giving them his customary smirk.
"I do know some things," he reminded them. "I am a bleeding Watcher after all."
"Right," his mother shook herself, giving him one more measuring look before she continued.
"This is grave business Geoffrey," she told him. "Dreams in our families cannot be ignored. Why, it was the dreams of your great-Grandmother Evelyn that led her and her husband straight to the Scorpion King-"
"And look how well that turned out for them," Geoffrey interjected dryly. His mother gave him a sharp glare, poking him once in the chest with her index finger.
"If she hadn't led them there, who would have stopped Imhotep from gaining power over the army of Anubis?" she asked him, eyebrows arched. "The world would have been destroyed long ago Geoffrey."
"And while I'm infinitely glad that it didn't, I still don't see the big deal," he sighed, dropping into a chair beside his brother. Willow gave him a speculative look over the rim of his tea cup.
"The big deal is that you might have had some sort of premonition," William chided him. "You shouldn't ignore it Geoff."
"Listen, I've had plenty of strange dreams involving women," his brother shrugged off. "It's nothing new."
"Geoffrey, stop being so damn flippant about this!" his mother snapped suddenly. Her brown eyes were practically blazing as she glowered down at him.
"You can't just ignore what's going on around you," she told him sternly. "The world is imperiled, and unfortunately for the rest of us, you seemed tied to the way to save it. From this point on, you will observe and record any sort of strange dreams or visions that occur. And you will be helpful to these Americans that are willing to come with you. This that understood?"
"Yes mother," he muttered sourly. "I understand."
"Good," she drew in a deep breath, looking between her sons carefully. She switched the topic finally, tapping her fingernails on the kichen counter. "You do remember how to get there, don't you?"
"Please mother," William rolled his eyes. "We have those damn stories committed to memory. Grandfather certainly told them enough times. We can find it, have no fear."
She sighed again, seating herself across from her children, a grave expression on her face.
"Unfortunately, my dear boy, the only thing I have right now is fear."
They had been sitting in silence for over ten minutes.
Connor shifted once more, sending a dark look across the coffee table to the Slayer and her friends. Why couldn't they stop looking at him like that? It was as if he was some sort of horrific monster they hadn't yet encountered in their lives. The Slayer herself looked about ready to faint.
"Guys?" Angel prodded. That seemed to jar them a bit. The redhead, Willow, actually blinked and then shook her head as if to clear the cobwebs. The Slayer just stared forward, face becoming paler as the seconds ticked by.
"I think I need to sit down," she said weakly. Connor sneered at her.
"You are sitting down."
"Oh," she seemed a bit surprised. "Well then, good for me. I'm a step ahead of the game."
"I really don't think we have time for you guys to freak out about this," Gunn spoke up. "We do have a bit of a situation on our hands. Don't we?"
"Yeah," Willow nodded, eyes never leaving Connor's form. "But you are going to have to give us a moment. I mean, wow."
"I'll second that," came the agreement from the Slayer's little sister, Dawn. "They even glower the same. Look! They're doing it in sync right now."
Connor and Angel exchanged a quick look before turning back to the gathered people.
"Well, I think that Gunn is right," the last mortal spoke up, the man named Xander. He got to his feet, unsurely making his way over to Angel.
"Let me be the first to say-"
"Ow!" Angel roared, jumping to his feet and clutching the back of his head where Xander had walloped him. "What the hell-"
"Hey! You had it coming!" Xander shot back. "Now, magical baby side effects aside, you willingly did the nasty with Darla. And you know full and well what happens when you get a little action. You were willing to risk Angelus coming out to play, and for that, you get a smack."
"I have to agree with him," Buffy spoke up, glaring at her former lover. "That was stupid Angel."
"You know, these guys already yelled at me for it," Angel growled, gesturing to Gunn and Fred behind him. "And Cordy gave me a good hard hit as well. I'm sorry, and can we just leave it at that? We've got bigger problems to face right now."
Buffy opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the shrilling of the phone. The blonde excused herself quickly, heading to the phone while muttering something about a person named Giles.
"How did you know to come anyway?"
This came from Spike, the other vampire in the room. Connor narrowed his eyes, sending the vampire in question a glare. One more demon to put up with, and this one didn't even have a soul. But again, he was not allowed to kill him as he should be killed. He had tried at first, but the Slayer had knocked him down pretty fast. She was a strong creature.
"We got a call from someone named Anya?" Fred ventured to explain. "Now, she seemed pretty worried, and very incoherent. All I could understand was 'dear God no!', which didn't really help matters much."
Willow nodded in understanding.
"She's been calling anybody who'll listen," the redhead mused. "She seems pretty freaked out about something or the other."
"Well, after I got on the phone with her, I was able to pick out a few more words," Angel revealed, sending a dark look Dawn's way. "And those words were: 'Dawn' 'apocalypse' and 'mummies'. Dawnie? Care to explain?"
The young girl gave a frustrated sigh, pouting and folding her arms across her chest as she sank in her seat.
"It's not like I want the world to end," she muttered defensively. "I just thought the pictures were cool."
"And that means?" Gunn prompted. Willow gave him a half smile, slipping an arm around Dawn's shoulder in a comforting manner.
"Dawn found a book full of hieroglyphics in the basement of the Magic Shop," she explained. "Along with it were some pages of
translations. She read what the first three were, and now we've got a situation developing that is not of the good."
"You read from an ancient book in its ancient language?" Angel shook his head. "Dawn, you know better!"
"Yeah," Xander chimed in. "It's the same reason why Giles doesn't let us speak Latin in front of his books. You just don't know what you're really reading."
"I already said I was sorry," the girl pouted. "What more do you want?"
"How about for the world not to end?" Spike needled her. She deflated even more, sending the demon a dark look.
"Don't like you anymore," she sulked. Spike rolled his eyes, taking something out of his pocket and tossing it Angel's way. Connor looked at the strange box in his father's hand, interested in spite of himself. Angel became very quiet, looking at the tiny box in some confusion. Almost immediately he reached out with a finger, pressing down on something on the lid. The box snapped open so suddenly it made Fred jump.
Connor frowned, looking closely at the ridges just revealed.
"How did you do that?" Dawn demanded suddenly. "It took me forever to find that damn catch!"
"And Spike just as long as Angel," Xander muttered, shooting Willow a worried look. "This is getting to be a bit freaksome."
"Do you recognize it?" Spike asked Angel, unmindful of the conversation going on around him. "I think I kind of remember, but not enough of it. I've seen it before."
"So have I," Angel murmured, his brow furrowed in concentration. "But I can't seem to remember where from exactly."
"Well, that's less than helpful," Gunn sighed, switching his gaze from Angel to Spike. "This isn't something from your past is it? You know, something involving that crazy brunette vampire? The one who's totally off her rocker?"
"Dru," Spike murmured, as if remembering about the vampiress suddenly. "It's entirely possible . . ."
" . . . But we can't remember," Angel finished for him, calmly folding the ridges up and restoring the box to its usual form. "But that's not the real question here. How did this stuff get into the Magic Shop? No way Giles would just leave all this stuff lying about, waiting for someone to stumble upon. He's not that stupid."
"That's what I was thinking," Willow nodded. "Giles wouldn't leave such a powerful, and priceless, artifact just lying around in the shop's basement. Why didn't he just take it back to the Council when he left?"
"Because he must have only had the box and the translations," Xander finished for her. "And the book got there . . . how?"
"Someone's been setting us up," Spike answered, his gaze dark as he looked upon the ancient book on the coffee table. "But the real question is why? Why not just take the box and do it yourself? It's not like any of us knew that it was there, we wouldn't have missed it."
"Because they wanted one of you guys to do the spell for them," Angel sighed, eyes flooding with understanding. "There's a reason why they wanted one of you guys to do it."
"But why Dawn?" Xander asked.
"Yeah," Dawn agreed, straigtening in her seat with a curious expression on her face. "Why me?"
"Maybe they didn't want it to be you," Spike offered helpfully.
"Then who was supposed to do it?" Dawn returned. Both vampires fell silent, gazes going across the room to land on Willow. The redhead started when she noticed their attention, a bit of indignation passing over her features.
"Hey now! This is not my fault!" she insisted. "I gave up magic."
"But you're still very strong," Angel reminded her. "You've always been amazingly strong at magic. You restored my soul without any proper training-"
"That was a fluke!" Willow protested.
"You took down Glory," Xander offered.
"Buffy helped a lot with that," she insisted with a roll of her eyes.
"You brought Buffy back from the dead," Dawn countered. The redhead faltered, reluctantly accepting that with a nod of her head.
"Got me there," she muttered. "But I wouldn't have done it. I'm off magic now."
"Maybe whoever sent the book didn't know that," Fred offered meekly. Connor snorted, drawing everyone's attention his way.
"They knew," he told them with certainity. "But I'm willing to bet they thought that book would be enough of a temptation for you to go back to magic. But the girl found it first."
"The girl has a name," Dawn snapped peevishly, sending him a glare. "It's Dawn. Learn it buster."
"Children," Xander smiled indulgently. "Let's not squabble. I would hate to send you to the corner. And yes, I'm talking to you too, Deadboy Clone."
Connor sneered again, about to contest that claim when the Slayer wandered back into the room. Her face was even paler then when his father had explained his existence. She looked up, concern written all over her features.
"Buffy, what's wrong?" Willow asked, getting to her feet. Buffy
managed a weak smile for her friends, looking over the room carefully. She cleared her throat, a picture of nervousness before she spoke.
"Who wants to go to Egypt?"