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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-CenteredangrymonkeyFR18820,614337886,55421 Sep 0525 Oct 05Yes
CoA Winner


Sunnydale library

“Hey, Willow. What kind of high school library has a cage, occult section, and small armory of medieval weapons?” Xander asked over his shoulder while going through some moves with a broadsword.

Willow didn’t answer. She was staring at a school photo on the computer. She had been looking for the teen that had recognized her. Instead, she found a picture of Xander. True, this one’s smile seemed less feral then her Xander, but there was no question they were the same person.

Xander came up behind her and looked at the screen. “Hun, if you think that’s weird, check out the name on the office door,” he said, pointing to the door in question. On it was written, “Librarian: Rupert Giles.”

“You don’t really think it could be our Giles, it’s absurd,” Willow said with conviction.

“Why? We’ve been sending him our journals for as long as we can remember. I assume we had a reason for it. And you said yourself that the man you saw when you appeared here seemed to know you. Maybe this is where we came from. It certainly explains how we had steel while man was still in the Bronze or Stone Age,” Xander concluded smugly.

Willow looked like she was about to contradict him, but couldn’t find a flaw in his arguments. “Fine, we’ll come back in tomorrow and talk to him. I doubt he’ll want us to wake him at 2 a.m. In the mean time, I want to find out as much as possible about us.” Willow went back to the screen while Xander picked the lock to the office and started to riffle through Giles things.

Ten minutes later, Giles, Angel, and Oz came into the library. They froze when they saw Willow at the computer. She looked at Giles and said, “Rupert Giles?”

Giles looked at the woman now wearing a forest green tank top and jeans, and had to swallow a lump in his throat. “Hello, Casvienne,” he responded coldly while slowly drawing a pistol from the back of his pants.

From the side, Xander said calmly, “Wouldn’t do that if I were you, Giles.” All three Scoobies started; standing in the office door was Xander casually holding a large handgun trained on Giles. Angel seemed the most disconcerted; he hadn’t even heard the boy’s heartbeat.

“I guess that answers the question if he got our diaries,” Willow commented casually to Xander. “How far into them did you get?”

“Far enough,” Giles replied tersely.

“The Horsemen, then,” Willow sighed. “That was a long time ago, Giles. I would like to think we have mellowed in those years.”

Oz, getting worried about the direction of the conversation, stepped in front of Giles’ gun. “I won’t let you hurt her, Giles. Why don’t we all just put down our guns and talk?”

Knowing the guns were far more dangerous to himself and Oz than Xander and Willow, he slowly put his back in the waist of his pants. Xander’s seemed to disappear into his clothes. He then walked over to a chair next to Willow and collapsed next into it, casually putting an arm around his wife. Oz let out a barely audible growl, the wolf rising possessively to the surface. In response, Xander raised an eyebrow, growled back and shifted closer to Willow. She seemed to be unaware of this display and asked, “So, Giles, who exactly are we?”

Giles stared at them for a few seconds, then started talking. He couldn’t seem to hold the words back. “You used to be Willow Rosenberg and Alexander Harris. I got to know you when you decided to befriended my Slayer...”

He had just finished telling about the Judge and Angelus when Buffy and Cordelia came in. Seeing that everyone was talking, she assumed that everything was back to normal and went over to sit next to Willow and Xander, who were quite close together. “What’s the what, we still trying to undo the wish?”

“Explaining how we all fit into their lives,” Oz said somewhat resentfully.

“Are they like amnesiacs or what?” Cordelia asked impatiently. She did not like being woken this early in the morning.

Giles took off his glasses and began to polish them. “It seems that Willow and Xander don’t remember us because they spent so long in the alternate dimension.”

“You guys really don’t remember me?” Buffy asked, hurt.

Willow looked at her somewhat apologetically, “Sorry. You guys all just seem vaguely familiar.”

“Wait a second. I wished that you and Xander would get sick of each other. But here you are all cozy together. Shouldn’t you two be trying to tear each others throats out or something.” Cordelia shot out accusingly. The non-immortal scoobies and Angel looked at her, unable to believe her lack of tact.

After a few seconds of total silence, Xander grinned. “I like you. And we did go through a period of estrangement back when we were Pestilence and War. Took a long time to get our shit together. Even now, we split up every century or two for about a decade just so we don’t kill each other.”

“Oh,” Cordelia said, somewhat in shock at the amount of time that had passed for the two.

Before she could ask another question, Giles stepped in front of her protectively. Even though it wouldn’t stop Willow or Xander for long, he figured he might slow them down enough to let Cordelia escape. From what he had read, he wouldn’t be surprised if the immortals would try and exact vengeance on the teen, now that they knew it was her who had sent them to the other world.

Xander realized what Giles was doing and smiled. He then spoke without sarcasm, “That is very brave, Giles, but you don’t have to worry about her. Why would Willow or I be angry with someone who made it possible for us to live extremely long and... interesting lives?”

If Giles was surprised by the answer, he didn’t show it. Instead, he shot back in an icy tone, “Why would I be surprised by anything either of you are capable of?”

No one moved. Finally, Buffy asked, “What the hell are you people talking about? I know you freaked Giles out, but I mean he’s British. It could have been kinky sex. It couldn’t have been that bad. Right?”

Giles cleared his throat and said to Willow, “I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the horsemen.”

“The short version is that about 4000 years ago four of our kind teamed up and over the next millennium killed hundreds of thousands of people for fun and profit.” Willow looked tired as she said this.

Buffy paled. Then stood up quickly and backed away from the two ancient immortals. Shaking her head, she said, “That’s not funny, Willow. You shouldn’t joke about things like that. Tell me what really happened.” Her voice held a note of pleading

“I wish we were lying, Buff,” Xander said with an uncharacteristically earnest face, unconsciously using her old nickname.

Buffy just stared at the two in shock. Finally, she turned to them and said in her calm, I’m-the-Slayer-Do-What-I-Say voice, “Get out.” Willow just stared at her for second, then as one she and Xander left.

On the way out, Xander popped into Giles office and came out carrying a bottle of scotch. “I’ll owe you, G-man.” Giles ignored him.

After they had left, Buffy turned to Giles, and said in the same voice, “How do we reverse the wish?”


“I just wish they were stuck together long enough to get sick of each other.”

As Cordelia paused for breath, Anyanka attempted to revert to her demon face and said “done!”.... Nothing happened.


Rupert Giles returned home that night, tired from dealing with the angst of a Slayer and the tension between Oz, Willow and Xander. As he was about collapse into bed, he saw a letter on the pillow addressed to him. Curious, he picked it up and opened it. The letter was written in beautiful calligraphy.

Dear Giles,
If you are reading this, it means you reversed what was done. I would like to say we are in a better place, but knowing our track record that is far from likely. Neither of us blame you for what happened. We know you did it to save a version of us.

We think the only reason either of us came back was that the spell keeping us in the other world was designed to end when the dates caught up. I doubt the demon that sent us there thought we would survive that long. You were a good teacher and we couldn’t have asked for a better father.

In any case we both had a good run. We took a tour of the local cemeteries to blow off some steam and had some fun with the local nightlife. To be honest, we were both expecting more. You actually made them sound impressive when you told us about them.

Remember: live, grow stronger, and fight another day,

Willow and Xander

P.S. Tell your Willow that hyenas make better pets than dogs.

Read the sequel, comming soon.

The End

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