Title- The Prize
Disclaimer- I almost literally own nothing, not to mention BtVS, Highlander or any other series that may appear within this story.
Rating- PG-13 for now.
Pairing- None as of now
Summary- Willow's life just got complicated. Really freaking complicated.
Spoilers- Through the end of BtVS. As for Highlander, it's not even certain that any of the characters from the series will be making an appearance. Hell, they may not even exist in this particular incarnation of the Highlander universe. Or maybe they will. I'm quite partial to Amanda.
The Prize: Chapter One
*Willow, we've got a problem,* said Buffy almost as soon as Willow had picked up the telephone.
Wearily, Willow asked,*Another apocolypse?* She'd eventually managed to catch a couple hours of sleep the night before, after the unexplained manifestation of her powers had finally subsided. It left the witch with bloodshot eyes and a less than sunny disposition.
A minute or so went by while Buffy passed on the information that had been relayed to her by concerned Slayers from across the globe. They'd lost their powers, if only temporarily, but it was unnerving in the extreme. Could they trust their powers? What if they were in a life or death situation and they failed again? Was Willow's spell wearing off?
Willow listened, keeping her thoughts to herself. While it could be a freakish coincidence, she almost immediately came to the conclusion that her accident of the night before and the short-lived 'irregularities' in her magic that followed almost certainly played a part in the difficulties the Slayers had faced.
Instead of confiding this to her friend, Willow chose to further investigate. Later, if she discovered any definite explanation, Willow would share it with the others, but for now, the best she could offer would be unsettling guesses thrown together in her own sleep deprived mind.
After terminating the connection with the Slayer, Willow slumped back into her chair. She slowly massaged her temples, anticipating the headache that would soon follow the spell she was mentally readying herself to cast.
It'd been over two years since the battle with the First. The Spell, her masterpiece, a work of spellcraft that Willow took the greatest pride in, was no short-lived working of arcane or divine energies. A permanent reordering of the universe, the spell was fed a small but impressive bit of energy from all dimensions accessible from Earth, both Infernal and Celestial. Tied into the Scythe by Willow's own considerable power, the vast energies were focussed, refined by the ancient artifact. What emerged was a transmitter of a sort, broadcasting to all capable of receiving the signal. So long as the Scythe existed, it would continue to empower the new Slayers and any that would follow, and since the Scythe was quite literally indestructible...
The immediate answer that came to mind was that the Earth had been momentarily cut off from the rest of reality. Such an event would most certainly block the flow of energy the Scythe needed to keep all the Slayers up and running. Nevermind that Willow doubted any being beyond the Creator of reality could manage such a feat, she was certain that the backlash would have destroyed the Earth.
Well, there was no use delaying any longer. Words of power and humming energy soon filled the room as Willow's mind delved into the ether between dimensions.
It was nearby. Whatever IT was. In his three centuries of life, Jacob had never felt so strongly compelled to seek out another of his kind. Now, he could actually feel his quickening being drawn towards some unknown destination. It was as if his body was merely along for the ride.
There, somewhere nearby, another immortal. He felt the pull, but it was laughible in comparison to the force that now occupied his mind, but it gave him cause for concern. Jacob was not so stupid to believe that no others of his kind would be drawn here as he had been.
The roar of a motorcycle signalled the arrival of the other immortal.
Eye contact. Words were not needed. Swords were drawn.
Willow's eyes snapped open and she bolted upright. As expected, pain lanced through her overtaxed mind, but it faded with surprising alacrity. Something had interrupted her information hunting session. The disturbance was pretty close and fairly powerful or it wouldn't have been enough to draw the witch's attention back to the physical world.
Sighing in resignation, Willow grumbled her way over to the closet, pulled on her coat, and hurried out the door. This time, she was careful to avoid anything remotely resembling a wheeled toy on her trek downstairs.
It wasn't everyday that you saw a pair of sword wielding madmen trying their best to behead one another. Take into account that it was broad daylight and you end up with quite a spectacle, complete with a sizable crowd of onlookers.
It was this scene that greeted Willow as she made her way a short distance into the park. Throughout the brief walk, she'd experienced a growing sense of unease accompanied by an ever more persistant and annoying buzz that seemed to have taken up residence an inch or so behind her eyes. Spaced every few seconds was a sharp electrical crackle that went unseen and unheard, but nevertheless felt as it crawled up her spine.
This needed to be stopped before someone was hurt or killed. As it turned out, Willow was uniquely qualified to do just that, and she could even do it without drawing undue attention to herself. Maybe a sleep spell?
The gathered crowd gasped in horror and Willow winced as the leatherclad swordsman cleaved his opponent's head from his body. She was a bit too late.
And then the real show got started.