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There And Back Again The Horsemen's Tale

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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Horsemen". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Cordelia makes a different wish in season three and lands Willow and Xander in a new world, with a few changes. last two chapters added

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Willow-CenteredangrymonkeyFR18820,614337886,53321 Sep 0525 Oct 05Yes
CoA Winner

Birth of The Horsemen

Thanks again to Rognik for editing.

Once again I Own nothing

Note: since I have to cover 5400 years of history I’m going to be using dairy entries for a while. If you think I'm going to fast or not going in depth enough with the characters tell me.
If you have any tips for what happens in sunnydale I'd love to hear them.

Sunnydale, present.

Oz looked at his girlfriend concerned. She seemed very confused. He slowly reached out to her in a reassuring way. “Are you okay, Willow?”

Upon hearing her name, Willow’s eyes widened in shock. The next thing Oz knew, he was on the floor struggling to breathe after getting hit in the solar plexus by a red headed blur. She then ran out of the library, scooping up the sword on her way out.

~How can they know that name? Only one person knows me by that,~ she wondered as she ran past confused students. Suddenly, she felt a familiar presence. “Speak of the devil,” she muttered under her breath. Finishing in a louder voice, she cried out, “Run!”

Xander, who had relaxed somewhat after his initial shock, smirked at the open mouthed Snyder. He was about make some sarcastic crack when he felt her familiar quickening and heard her tell him to run. Without a second’s hesitation, he turned and followed her out of the school, leaving a confused and angry principle.

Seven hours later, an exhausted Giles was at the door to his flat. This had been a thoroughly exhausting day. After Willow had disappeared, he had to deal with an irate Cordelia, who was insisting Buffy go slay some demon that she said had attacked her in the Quad. At the same time, he had to keep Oz form going looking for Willow before he could get medical attention for a now cracked rib. Not to mention the fact that he also had to deal with the enraged Snyder, who was trying to find Xander.

The only reason he was home now was that he had some books on Possession here that weren’t at the library. The door swung open, and he froze. The entire living room was packed with thousands upon thousands of books, scrolls, and parchments. Noticing a small, battered notebook on the top of the nearest pile, he opened it and began to read...


Willow’s diary first entry:

Dear Giles,
If you are reading this, then I am dead. I used a spell from the Corant Grimoire, which tied these diaries to my life so that if I die, they will be sent to my next of kin. I know we aren’t related, but you’re sort of like a dad to the gang. Besides, my own family won’t believe a word I’m writing.

It has been 189 days since Xander and I appeared in this world. I have no idea why or how we got here, but I think I know when and where here is. We seem to be in the exact same place you are, at least geographically. That is to say on the western coast of what should be the U.S.A. We don’t know if it’s the same dimension or not. We also know that we are very far in the past. We can tell since none of the natives that we have talked to have ever even heard of white people. They are all amazed by the color of my hair.

I don’t want you to worry about us, though. We’re now living with a group of Yatak Indians. We found them after we decided it was unlikely you were going to find a way to bring us home. We have both picked up enough of the language to get by even though Xander’s upset that his puns and jokes don’t make sense in Yatak. Learning to live in this time has been difficult for me. The amount of work required simply to survive is exhausting. This is why it took me so long to figure this diary spell out. Xander, however, has been thriving. I think he was born in the wrong time; he is already being taken out hunting with some of the younger members of the tribe, and is starting to be a very good shot with a bow and arrow. When were out in the woods exploring, he is more relaxed than I have seen him in years.

Xander talked to me about trying to build a forge after he found what he thinks are silver ingots while out hunting with the others. He has also been quizzing me on how one can make iron. I don’t think he appreciates just how hard it will be make metal tools from nothing, but every time I bring this up, he says, “We have time for a few long term projects.”

I should probably mention that Xander thinks we’re immortal. You see, we seem to have developed some trouble staying dead or injured. I’m not sure if we are going to age normally or not, it’s too soon to tell, but Xander keeps arguing that Wolverine lived well beyond a century because of his healing factor. He was so proud of his argument that I couldn’t point out that the X-Men aren’t real. I’ll tell you more about our change some other time. I’ll also mention that we haven’t told our new tribe about this or my magic abilities; we aren’t too sure how they will react.

I would like you to give Oz a message for me, if he is still around that is. Tell him that I will always care about him, but that after eight months, I think it is time for me to accept that it is unlikely I’m ever going to get home. Nothing has happened between me and Xander yet, but he has made it pretty obvious that he wants something to.

Send by love to Buffy , Mrs. Summers, and Angel.


P.S. I’m trying to set up a diary for Xander so you can hear from him.

H-V 3465 BC

Willow carefully put the diary on the ground in front of her. She had just filled the last page, and it was time to work the spell. Sending a silent prayer to the Earth, she closed her eyes, and focused her mind on what she had to do. When she opened them, the diary was gone.

Confident that the spell had worked, she crawled over to where her husband was sleeping. Xander grunted, but didn’t wake as she curled up next to him. At first, they had decided on this arrangement to keep some of the more eager members of the tribe from going after Willow. However, some time over the past two years, their “pretend” marriage had changed into a real one.

Xander was now one of the best hunters in the tribe as well as skilled tool maker; she was well on her way to becoming a skilled medicine women. Their knowledge of twentieth century technology as well as their natural ability to improvise had helped them greatly in their chosen specialties.


Xander’s diary
year2, day 68

Hey G-man,

Willow finally convinced me to start a journal in case I die. Morbid, I know, but in return, I convinced her to let me teach her how to shoot a bow and arrow. I want her to know how to defend herself.

There is one thing I want you to know if I never see you again. It’s that you were more of a father to me than Tony Harris ever was, and I wouldn’t be the man I am today without you.

Enough of that serious stuff, though. I feel like I should tell you what’s up with me. I have been busy learning to hunt and track animals. This has come to me more naturally than anything I have ever done in my life. I think it has something to do with the hyena in me.

Other than that, I’ve been taking care of Wills. She’s my wife now (don’t look so surprised Giles). Sometimes worry that I might one day turn into my father. I once brought this up with Willow; she looked me in the eye, said “You never will”, kissed me, and smacked me on the arm, saying, “I don’t want you to think that again mister.” That ended that discussion.

I have also started some metal working. At the moment, it’s mostly melting silver ingots together, then banging them into shapes like bowls or very crude knives. One day, I’m hoping to get into iron and steel work, but that won’t be for a while. On the plus side, I think I found a deposit of hematite. Willow says that if I can find a way of purifying it, I can get iron.

Send my love to Buffy and her mom and tell Cordelia I’m sorry for hurting her. Also tell Oz that I will try to treat Willow as good as he would have.

P.S. I am now almost certain we are Immortal, neither of us have aged a day since we got here.


Willow’s Journal
89th day of the 7th year

Hi Giles,

Xander and I got driven out of the tribe to day. It’s my fault. I was practicing conjuring fire in our tent while he was off in the hills getting another load of ore for a blacksmithing experiment. In any case, I lost control and the fire consumed our home. I have never felt anything that painful. When I revived, Xander was there just staring at me with a mixture of relief, happiness, and anger. He helped me clean off what had been my charred skin while the rest of the tribe watched nervously. Since the fire had incinerated my hair, I was now bald.

When I had finished cleaning up, the leader and medicine women approached us. Without meeting either of our eyes, they told us that spirits such as ourselves should live with their own kind and for us to please leave.

So we gathered up our stuff had headed over to the camp Xander had set up in the hills for his metal works.

The whole way there Xander didn’t say a word. Then when we arrived at the camp he turned to and said in as cold a voice I have ever heard from him, “You are not going to be that reckless with magic EVER again. You are extremely lucky you don’t stay dead.”

I almost started crying at this. When Xander saw this, his face softened and he pulled me into a hug, whispering, “Please don’t scare me like that again, Wills.” At this point, I cried.


Xander’s Journal
6th day of the 29th year

I finally got usable iron!!!!
I have been able to cast a hammer and a crude anvil. Next up steel!!!
I can’t wait to try folded steel I read about when I was a kid.


Xander’s Journal
98th day of the 49th year

Giles for the first time we met someone like us. We both wish we hadn’t.

We were in our camp, butchering a deer we had traded for some steel arrow heads from a group of nomads when we felt the buzz. A man who looked like he hadn’t bathed in years ran out of the bushes. Before I could react, he had stabbed me in the gut then ran for Willow. Using Voice (a power she had recently been developing) she yelled, “STOP.” The filthy man complied with a confused look on face.

This gave me enough time to stab him in the back with the knife I had been using to work on the deer. The wound in my stomach was already closing and as he fell to the ground, he said in very bad Yatak, “only one.”

He was clearly immortal like us, so we didn’t know what to do. Since we didn’t want him to wake up any time soon, we decided to dismember him like The Judge. Willow was halfway through his leg bone by the time I severed his neck.

At this point all hell broke loose.

The sun disappeared from the sky and a mist started to rise from the body. As it rose into the air, lightning started to play over the ground, hitting me, Willow and anything in the region that conducted electricity. The mist seemed to hesitate as to where it wanted to go, then split in two and pored into our bodies. As it did so, we saw the man’s entire life flash before our eyes. We watched him grow up, learn to hunt, and die. We saw him take his first head, meet a man who explained that our kind had to hunt each other and take each others’ heads until there was only one. We saw him kill immortal after immortal over hundreds of years, hacking their heads from their bodies with a crude stone knife.

This was the most amazing experience I have ever had. It was extremely painful, but at the same time was like the best sex of my life.

When the storm dissipated, I realized I was holding onto Willow for dear life.


Willows’s Journal
99th day of the 49th year

Hey Giles,

Ever since yesterday’s excitement, I have been meditating, going through the memories of Creyen (the man we killed). I have found I can also access the memories of the people he killed if I really focus. Any farther back than that and it gets fuzzy. Maybe with more practice, I’ll be able to get farther.

Yesterday after we were able to get up, Xander disappeared inside the forge and started working on something. When I asked what it was, he said it was a surprise and for me to be patient. I guess we each have to burn off this energy in our own way.

I think I’m going to try to teach him to meditate. It could be useful for him to be able to access these memories.


Willows’s Journal
27th day of the 51st year


Xander finally showed me what he has been working on in his spare time for the past year and a half. They were swords! He says we need to learn to use them if we want to be able defend ourselves from other headhunters.

I tried to tell him I could just use magic but he insisted. I’m not upset though, I used this as an excuse to make him learn to meditate (smirk).

So tomorrow, we start to learn how to use our scimitar-like swords to chop each other’s head off.


Xander’s Journal
347th day of the 96th year

You’ll never guess what, Giles. Willow’s magic lessons are finally starting to pay off. Despite the fact that I can’t levitate or conjure to save my life, yesterday I was able to do something even Willow can’t do. I was able to talk to an animal! True, it’s not as exciting as floating above the trees, like Willow seems to enjoy doing these days, but I think it’s really useful. Besides, Willow says I may one day be able to move beyond squirrels to some slightly larger animals.

As for Willow’s sword work, she is becoming pretty deadly. However, she still has trouble staying focused enough to use magic in a fight. Sometimes when I watch her go through her forms to warm up, I’m reminded of Buffy. It saddens me to say that, despite the fact that our memory is nearly photographic, the details of our life before becoming immortal are getting fuzzy.


Sunnydale 1999

Giles put down the book constructed from hand made paper, and rubbed his tired eyes. He had been browsing Willow’s and Xander’s journals for the past two hours. He was about to pick up another one when he heard a knock on the door. As soon as he opened it, an upset slayer and a worried Oz burst in, dragging an unwilling Cordelia behind them.

“Giles, listen to what Cordy said to the dem-” Buffy trailed off when she saw the room full of books, then continued, “Get tired of keeping them at the library, Giles.?”

“Well err... these appear to be Willow’s and Xander’s journals,” the watcher stuttered out. The only reaction he got from the teens were blank stares. So he continued, “It seems that they were sent to another world for a considerable period of time. They also seem to have been turned into some form of immortals.”

Buffy shot a glare at Cordelia, then told Giles about the careless wish that had been made. Cordelia started to sputter when Buffy proceeded to call her a tactless cow. Before she could say anything, their bickering was interrupted by a very angry werewolf, “Both of you, shut up! We need to find a way to help Willow!”

Everyone was shocked by sudden outburst from the usually calm man. Giles was the first to recover, “Yes, good idea. I would suggest you three continue searching for Willow and Xander while I go through their journals to see if we can find something of use.” The three teens nodded; they were more than happy to let Giles do the research. Giles, on the other hand, couldn’t bring himself to tell them that the people who had come back were very different from the ones that had left. That and that Oz’s girlfriend was now married to someone else.

So Giles tiredly sat down with another diary and started reading.


Willow’s journal
27th day of the 289th year

Dear Giles,

Today marks the 150th anniversary of our journey. It seems like it was only yesterday that we packed up our supplies and decided to travel the continent. Sometimes we’re alone, sometimes we travel with groups of nomads, and sometimes with herds or packs of animals that Xander calls.

Yesterday, we ran into one of our kind. He shot me with an arrow from fifty feet, but when he came to take my head, Xander killed him. I don’t think he expected two of us to be working together. I have often wondered if other Immortal’s share quickenings like we do. So far we haven’t found any.

To be perfectly honest, I am getting worried. We kill an average of one immortal a year, and sometimes I feel like my head is getting crowded. I have to try and find a way of fixing this before I lose myself in the voices.

By the way Xander is still as restless as the day we left. We can’t stay in one place for more than a year before he gets antsy. I think having to kill people to survive is straining him more than he lets on.


Xander’s Journal
27th day of the 289th year

Willow almost died yesterday! All because of a stupid arrow! It is a good thing that our swords beat anything that these primitive savages can throw at us. If I lost her, I don’t know what I would do.

I think it’s a good idea to learn how to dodge and catch arrows. I’ll talk to Willow about it tomorrow.


Xander’s Journal
1st day of the 400th year

Giles, for the past 400 years, we have been sending you these journals. Yet I find that I cannot picture your face in my mind any more. In any case, Willow and I decided that we have spent enough time in North and South America. Therefore, tomorrow we are heading north where we will try to cross into what will one day be Russia. It is our hope we will be able to find some slightly more developed civilizations. We would both like to settle down for a while.

I sometimes wonder if you ever had children of your own. Willow and I gave up centuries ago. Still, on big anniversaries, I can’t help but regret what might have been.


Willow’s Journal
319th day of the 745th year

(Authors Note: Harapan is an ancient civilization that was situated near Pakistan)

I don’t know what I’m going to do, Giles. The plan should of worked. We were just trying to stop an evil man, like when we were kids.

Now I can’t even look at my reflection.


Harapan empire, 2722 B.C.

“Come on, Casvienne (Willow’s current identity). These people are suffering under Garren. All we have to do is sneak into his fortress, kill him, make it look like it was one of his underlings, and in the ensuing power struggle, one of the neighboring countries can invade and presto! No more psycho war lord.” Xander finished with a shrug.

Willow looked at him and said with exasperation, “You know it’s not going to be that easy, Kronos. It never is.”

“You worry too much, old friend,” he said cheerfully, slinging an arm around her shoulder.

The plan was going well until they made it to Garren’s inner chambers. Xander was about to run him through with his lieutenant’s sword when a small child entered the chamber. Before he could do anything, the young boy screamed, “What are you doing to my father?”

Willow, who hadn’t noticed the child, spun around and shot a bolt of lightning in the direction of the voice, killing the child instantly. This roused the father who Xander promptly killed. He then ran across the room where Willow was standing in shock. “We have to get out of here now,” he hissed. Willow dimly nodded, then they proceeded to disappear into the night.

When they got back to their current home, Willow started packing hurriedly, hoping to leave the city as fast as possible. Xander tried to calm her down, but she was hysterical. After Xander’s third attempt to pull her into a hug, she mentally pushed him across the room and screamed, “I’m leaving now! I can’t stay here. If you want to, fine! Go party with your happy, newly liberated friends!!!!”

Xander looked at her like he had been slapped; she had never threatened to leave him before. The shock was quickly replaced with anger, “Do you really think I wanted this to happen?” he yelled.

At this, Willow seemed to cave in on herself. She curled up in a ball on the floor and chocked out, “His eyes...sob...they looked so surprised...” These were the last coherent words she formed before dissolving into sobs.

Xander’s anger quickly dissolved at the sight of his wife in so much pain. He cautiously approached her, and when she didn’t resist, he pulled her into his lap and rocked her like a small child.

They left their home of 30 years the next day. Willow didn’t cry about the boy again, and other than the note to Giles neither mentioned it after that.

From here, their approach to traveling began to change. It wasn’t about seeing the world and watching civilization evolve anymore. They no longer tried to get along with their own kind. They even started to antagonize the ones they did meet. Once they started a fight, they would stop at nothing until their opponent was dead. As a result, many mortals were treated to spectacular battles and amazing light shows.

As their one-thousandth birthdays approached, the number of heads they took had increased to two or three a year. One look into the eyes of either of these two companions would instantly dispel any thought that they were only the seventeen years they appeared. The once happy and perky slayerettes now looked exhausted. They bounced around from civilization to civilization, trying to find a purpose.

Shortly into their eleventh century they, found one.


Willow’s Journal
1113th year Egypt

Hello Giles,
Today we met three immortals. We introduced ourselves as Casvienne and Kronos. One of the three stepped forward and stated pompously, “I am Darvol of the eastern desert. (Still not sure what the title meant and I have his quickening).” He didn’t introduce his slaves.

So Xander with his usual charm responded by making a rude pun about Darvol’s name (it doesn’t really translate into English but it involved a camel sleeping with Darvol’s father).

Darvol took offence to this and yelled to the six foot nine giant behind him , “Silas! Bring me my sword.” The hulk complied and the now armed Darvol turned back to Xander and shouted, “Prepare to die, child!” All this time, the second slave watched with quiet, calculating eyes.

Xander’s face hardened for a second at the insult, then relaxed. “I’d really love to but it’s not my turn.” At this, I stepped in between them sword drawn.

Darvol’s eyes widened in surprise, but he answered calmly, “Who am I to complain if you value the life of your whore so little?”

In response, I attacked. This took the oaf by surprise, who turned out to be surprisingly good on his feet. He quickly recovered and pushed me back into a defensive stance. I quickly revaluated the situation; this man was a much better swordsman than me. He was attacking so quickly, I was unable to focus enough to use my magic. This left me with one option: cheat.

I purposely lost my balance by over-committing to a thrust to his stomach. He quickly brought his sword down in the hopes of easily disarming me by hitting the hilt. Instead of trying to hold onto my weapon, I dropped it. This confused him long enough for me to gather my energy and set him on fire. From there it was easy to take his head.

Even though Xander and I have this strange ability to share quickenings, it never hits the secondary recipient as hard as the one who actually takes the head. So he guarded me while I took the brunt of the storm.

Darvol was a lot older than we had thought; he was close to 1500 years. This was the first time in a long time that either Xander or I had faced someone older than us and the quickening was exhilarating. From his memories, I gathered that he had the giant as a slave for almost 60 years. The other man, Methos, had been owned for much longer, almost 700 years. Darvol had bought him then given him his first death.

When the storm dissipated, Silas, who was obviously not the brains of the group, asked, “What do we do now, Methos?”

“I suppose we beg for our lives,” Methos drawled in response while looking Xander and myself in the eyes.

I think both Xander and I saw the potential in these men. Years as a slave had given Methos a patience that neither of us possessed. As for Silas, well it never hurts to have a giant on your side. Yes I think they should balance us out nicely.


Xander’s Journal
1120th year Egypt

Methos asked Willow and I about our age today. I didn’t lie. I told him that Casvienne and Kronos were just over 400 years old. There are some things we keep from them even if they are like family.

It’s funny. Riding with them has filled a void that I didn’t even know I had. They are my brothers, and I would ride into hell itself with them and Willow by my side.


When I finnished this chapter I realised that one or two heads a century really adds up, oh well at the time it seemed like a reasonable number.
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