The Dark Years
Chapter One: Suspicions
Disclaimer: I do not own anything. The only characters that actually are my own, are Faith, Melinda, and Grace. Well, there are others, but those are the three main characters. I am only borrowing characters from the geniuses, Joss Whedon and Constance M. Burge. I promise to return them after I’m through….
Author’s notes: This is the Fourth, and hopefully final part of the ABC crossover series, starting with The End of the World, and the Beginning of the Rest of her Life, the Rest of her Life, and The Next Generation.
But if you’ve stumbled on here, and you haven’t read the other three, do not fret. While I would hope you’d read the other three, here is a quick summery of what’s happened so far:
The End of the World: The Scoobies are worrying about the First, Cordelia gets a pecular vision, and the Charmed Ones are having demon problems. With a little help, and a whole lot of luck, Willow,
Angel and Cordelia end up in San Francisco at the same time. And that’s when these three groups join teams.
They get ready, and defeat the first, helping each other with their own problems. A certain prophecy comes true, and after a long road of recovery, two people get married. And have a
The Rest of her Life: The gangs are all good friends, and Buffy’s daughter and Piper’s son are best of friends before they’re out of diapers. But as Joyce and Wyatt grow older, Joyce finds herself attracted to her best friend, and a student in England finds a
Joyce and Wyatt start dating, and soon are married. But this isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning.
The Next Generation: Wyatt and Joyce are married, and they finish college, and get jobs. Usual adult things. But they also want kids. So when Wyatt finds out that Joyce is pregnant, things
couldn’t be better! Except the Elders won’t let him tell her. And he now also knows information about his or her birth that he can’t share with anyone. With this secret between them, the happy couple grows apart.
The day comes, and the babies are born, in a most catastrophic way. But Joyce and Wyatt are still at odds with each other. Do they have time to reconcile?
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Wyatt waited for her to come home from patrolling. He tried to seem nonchalant, watching TV, making her a snack, reading the Book of Shadows, and writing an entry on hellmouths and slayers, but by midnight, he forwent trying to look like he wasn’t waiting, and began to pace. She had said she’d just be gone an hour.
Sometime during the night he fell asleep on the couch.
“So she didn’t come home last night?” all three women had heard the girls crying the next morning. Paige rocked Faith, Phoebe had Melinda, and Piper soothed Grace.
“That’s what it looks like. He’s down sleeping on the couch.” Leo handed each woman a warm bottle, a worried expression on his face. “Can you handle things here? I’d better go look for her.”
“Would you take Jason with you? He feels left out when family stuff happens.” Phoebe told him.
“Sure. I’ll be back later.
“What should we do about Wyatt?” Paige asked.
“Leave him for now. Hopefully Leo can find her before he wakes up.” Piper said.
“Does anyone else have a bad feeling about this?” Phoebe voiced everyone’s concerns.
~ * ~
“Welcome to the Dark Ages,” she said, as she turned from the vision of the three sisters. She looked at the unconscious woman hanging in space, and smiled. Nothing would ruin her plans this time.
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AND HERE’S THE REAL STORY:
“We’re off to school!” the oldest cried, as her two sisters shouldered their bags.
“Bye Aunt Piper, bye Aunt Paige, Bye Aunt Phoebe!”
“Do you have your lunches?”
The middle girl sighed. “Lunches.” She murmured, and the three brown paper bags fell into her arms. “Yes Aunt Piper!”
“Don’t use magick for household chores!”
“Sorry Uncle Leo!”
“We really have to go now, or we’ll be late!” the youngest called.
“Have fun!” the five adults called.
“We will! We always do!” they walked up the steps to the first landing. “Show us now what’s always been.” They recited, and the door appeared in the wall. The door opened and they stepped through. The door closed behind them.
A woman with long brown hair came down the stairs with a laundry basket full of laundry. She looked happy enough, going about her daily chores, but there was a deep sadness that could be found in all of the eyes of the adults she lived with.
“They never clean up after themselves.” She sighed, seeing the door still in the wall. “Hide from us now what always will be.” The door disappeared and she continued on her way down cellar.
~ * ~
“Guys, it’s getting worse.” Grace told her sisters at lunch, “I don’t know if I can take it anymore.” She was close to tears
“Grace, it’s like this every year. You always pull through it’s no different. You can do this.” Faith said, peeling her orange.
“But three months is a long time, Faith, with all of that depression!” Grace had always been the sensitive one, so it had been no surprise, when they had gotten their powers back that she had been the empathic one. She could heal, like Uncle Leo, and she had visions, like Aunt Phoebe.
“Has anyone ever wondered why they’re so depressed?” Melinda asked, eating her banana. She looked innocent enough, with her blue eyes and light blond hair, the hair they all shared, but she was the one that always got them in trouble, coming up with schemes. “It’s not just the Halliwells, it’s Grams and Grampy too. Even Aunt Willow, and all the other England Gang. Giles, Oz, Dawn, Ron, Ash, Annie, William. Then it’s Uncle Spike, Andrea and Amanda. Something big happened. They’re keeping something from us.”
“Like what?” Faith, ever the practical one asked.
“When they look at us, like during Christmas, and birthdays, all I sense is pity. Do you think it has something to do with Mom and Dad?” The three girls knew that they were never to talk of their parents around the adults. It had different effects on all of them, but all were unwanted. The general response from Grammy Summers and their aunts was to start crying. Grams and Aunt Piper would leave the room in tears, and lock themselves in the bathroom. Grampa and Uncle Leo would get teary eyed and have
to go check on something. Their other uncles, and Grampy’s friends would clear their throats, cough, and shuffle from side to side.
“I bet we could get Uncle Spike to tell us.” Melinda said, “And have you noticed that half these people aren’t even related to us? Aunt Piper and uncle Leo are Daddy’s parents. So why don’t we call them Gram and Grampa?”
“Do you really think he’d tell us?” The bell rang, signaling the end of lunch, and the end of their conversation. They all went off to their classes, each having different powers and different strengths.
~ * ~
“Good night girls. Sleep tight.” Aunt Piper said, turning off the light. They waited until she went downstairs, before turning on their bedside lamps
Faith, who had minimal control over time, meaning she could freeze things, and she was learning to blow them up as well, froze both of her sister’s beds. The only glitch with freezing was she
couldn’t freeze a witch. The two sets of blankets would be frozen for about an hour, and nobody would now the difference if they just peeked their heads in. Her two younger sisters orbed out of their beds, and Grace got into hers, and she froze hers as well. Now they were set to go.
Melinda looked at her sister’s handy work and smiled. No one would know they were gone.
They took a hold of each other’s hands, and orbed to Uncle Spike’s apartment.
“What in the blazes are you three doing out of the manor? It’s not safe and you know it!” He glared at the three thirteen year olds.
“We have some very important questions for you.” Faith, being the oldest, and self proclaimed leader told him.
“Why me?” He asked suspiciously. He knew these three well, and they were generally up to something.
“Because no one else will give us the answers.” Sweet little Grace looked up at him with her huge brown eyes.
“Oh, alright, but make it snappy, your grandmother’ll have my head if she finds out.”
“Why is everyone so depressed this time of year? Every March, April and May. And we all feel it, whether we’re empathic or not.” Faith said matter of factly.
“It was 13 years ago, March 1st, when you three, your mum, and your dad moved into the manor, to live with your Grandparents. March 2nd, the story goes, your mum went out patrolling-“
“She was a slayer,” Melinda interrupted.
“Right. She never came back. Leo, Paige, Sam, and your dad spent March, and April, searching the globe, looking for her. Leo even got some other whitelighters to help. They never even found a trail. Sometime in May, your dad went up there, for good. He couldn’t handle living without your mum.”
“Why is this the first we’ve heard of this? It’s our parents, we deserve to know these things!” Ever sensitive Grace was about to cry.
“No one talks about them anymore. The silence is what broke your Gram and Grampa Summers apart. Me and Andrea are just barely together these days, and Amanda and her steady boyfriend broke up.
He wanted her to move on, get over losing her sister, and move to New York with him, but none of them have ever moved on. Andrea cries at night, at least when I can get her to stay over here. Your Grand mum’s the same.”
“I-is she dead?”
“No one knows. Piper’s tried again and again to summon her spirit, but it won’t work. And Grams and Patty, your great and great-great grand mums can’t find her on the Ghost Roads, but there are thousands of Heavenly and Hell-like dimensions out there. They’ve asked the previous slayers to help, but no one’s found anything. No one knows.”
“Thank you, Uncle Spike,” Grace hugged him, “for being straight with us.” The other two came over and hugged him as well. “We have to get back, before they find out.”
“Sleep tight, half Pints.” He watched as the three girls orbed back home.
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