Summary: Willow attempts to rid their world of Caleb. It works...sort of. So who is this strange new man in town who looks exactly like him?
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. All Joss. Thanks, Joss!
A/N: Crossover with Firefly/Serenity
A/N: Setting: In the Buffy-verse, begins after the events in season 7's Empty Places. They've kicked Buffy out and voted Faith as leader. Also, Giles has already sent Spike away on the mission mission, but Andrew didn't go with him. Plus, major spoilers for the movie Serenity. Also a familiarity with the Pylea dimension from Angel's 2nd season is very helpful.Chapter 1
"And you're positive this is going to work?" Giles fretted over her shoulder.
"Uh, well, he-he, not even the tiniest little bit." Willow chanced a peek behind her at Giles and smiled sheepishly.
"Then what's the point," Anya piped in. "I mean, if it's not going to work, then shouldn't we be spending our precious time trying to come up with something that will?"
Faith was getting pretty fed up with all of the ex-demon girl's bitching. "Listen, we've already spent the better part of a day strategizing and theorizing. Magicing is the next logical step, we all agreed this. So either help, or just get the fuck out so Willow can do her thing."
"Geez, fine." Anya slumped back into her corner of the couch and mumbled, "Just saying, is all."
Faith was pacing back and forth across the living room floor. More than a dozen times the thought had crossed her mind that a wrong choice had been made. What did she know about leadership? Is getting rid of Caleb really the first priority, or should they be concentrating on The First? A glance in Xander's direction answered the latter question. The son-a-bitch who did that to the X-Man needed to be deleted from existence. Then they would worry about bringing The First down.
"We're back!" came Andrew's nasally voice from the foyer. "We come bearing all manner of magical goodies." Andrew went to the computer table and emptied out a bag of ingredients liberated from the basement of the defunct Magic Shop. Kennedy followed him through the front door and closed it behind them.
"Including," he continued, picking up one of the items from the messy pile, "this
part from a strange and mystical demon with three sharp claws that were no doubt used to rip and maim innocent young school children as they skipped merrily on their way to grandma's house."
Kennedy came up behind him and slapped him hard upside the back of the head. "That's a chicken's foot, you little freak." She then pulled him into the kitchen by the ear and preceded to berate him for saying such careless things as 'rip' and 'maim' with Xander in the same room.
Xander had been in pretty much a haze since the whole thing happened. First it was shock. Then heavy meds were his salvation. Then the lighter meds kept everything at a safe distance and allowed him to joke like it had happened to someone else. And when Buffy said that they were going back in...well, that was just something that he couldn't get his brain around. He had said something to that affect to her and now she was gone. And Faith was giving the orders. Xander didn't quite know how all that had happened.
Now people were fussing about in the living room. They were bringing him tea and pills, discussing some sort of magics that was supposed to be a revenge or a solution. He wasn't quite sure. But whatever they did...well, it wouldn't get him his eye back. So he didn't really care what was going on.
Willow was now creating a large circle on the floor with some kind of purple powder. He watched with a detachment that no one seemed to notice. His eye itched.
Dawn was crushing something with a mortar and pestle, following an instruction sheet that Willow given her. "Tell me again what this is supposed to do?"
Willow finished her circle and began gathering the rest of the ingredients and placing them in strategic places within the circle. "Well, remember that spell that Tara and I did that made Glory disappear?" Dawn nodded. "This is based on that."
"I don't understand." Anya again. "We're going to make Caleb disappear from where he is and reappear somewhere else? What good is that going to do?"
Willow took some more notes from her spell book. "Not exactly. See, we're gonna make Caleb disappear, but this time I can be a little bit more specific about where I put him."
"So, where did you have in mind?" Dawn asked.
"Well, Fred in LA was telling me about this hell dimension called Pylea. I figured that I would aim for that."
Dawn added more powder to the mortar. "You can send someone to a whole other dimension?"
Anya cocked her head. "Is there shrimp there?"
Later when the lights were dimmed and the potentials were tucked away, Willow, Faith, Giles, Anya, Kennedy and Xander remained in the living room. Willow folded herself cross-legged into her magic circle. She settled in, then held her hand out to Xander.
"Why do I have to be a part of this?" Xander tried to sound irritated. He was trying to do a lot of things these last couple of days. Mostly, though, his eye itched.
"Because, sweetie, we can't get near Caleb to perform the spell, so we have to use the next best thing. He...," Willow's shoulders slumped hard as she struggled for the words, "...had his hand in you," she finally whispered. "We can derive his essence from you."
Xander got up slowly. He hadn't gotten out of his seat on the couch for the last several hours. He stretched briefly and scratched at the tape under his eye that was holding the bandage on. Xander mimicked Willow's position inside the circle. Taking her outstretched hands, he gave her the best smile he could find in his arsenal of facial expressions, then nodded his readiness.
Willow nodded back. "Okay. Xander, I want you to concentrate on Caleb." Xander flinched, all expression draining from his face. "I just need a picture of him in your head. He doesn't have to be doing anything. Just an image, okay?"
Xander closed his eye. He tried to figure out how to focus his mind. He saw dark eyes. Heard familiar words. Then his left eye saw the very last thing it would ever see. He jerked his hands out of Willow's.
Anya rushed to the circle, squatted behind Xander and held onto his shoulders. "Xander, baby. Willow says this will send him away. Then you won't have to ever think about him again."
Xander turned to glare at his ex. "Sure, An. You're right. Once he's gone, there will be nothing left to ever remind me of the crazy preacher man." But he wasn't sure she got the sarcasm. He shrugged Anya away, turned back to Willow, and grabbed her hands. "I'm ready. Let's do this."
He closed his eye again and concentrated. Saw the eyes. Saw the hand, the thumb. Looked passed that and saw the eyes again. Dark eyes, touch of blue. Dark brown hair. Slightly wide nose. Thin upper lip. Xander searched for more. A good picture came into his mind. He was looking at Caleb again. He nodded at Willow.
"Here we go.Dea of Lux lucis, Phasmatis of Atrum
Ego dico super vos, partum a porta
Permoveo orbis terrarum, orbis universum
Reperio statua in mens of plagatus
Tendo radix, fold vicis...
Powder in the mortar floated upward to encircle Willow and Xander. An blue light emanated from the witch as her head was thrown back, black eyes unfocused toward the ceiling.
"...Ex universum, ut orbis terrarum, ut Pylea
Transporto him continuo.
Willow's blue light exploded into the room.
Caleb was watching his Bringers whittle the earth away. He could see the wooden end of his weapon sticking out through the rock. That's right. His weapon. Didn't matter what some ancient text in the back room of some misguided mission said. He will wield it. He will eliminate her, and the weapon will be his.
The blond dead girl walked up from behind him and stood by his side. "I was hoping you'd bring me some better news."
"And I wish I had some."
"Is this going to do anything, or is all of his just to make the Bringers sweat?" She tilted her head in that way that girls do. "Do the Bringers sweat?"
"Actually I think they pant. Like dogs. And I don't know if this is going to do any good, but we have to try everything."
"You realize what will happen if the Slayer and her girls get it, don't you?" **(see footnote)
Caleb could handle this kind of back talk from his savior, but it was irking him that it was coming in the guise of just another dirty girl. He turned his head toward her to rebut, then the world went blue.
Captain Malcolm Reynolds set his sawed-off model 2-E .22 bolt action rifle back down on the table. He relaxed in the dining room chair and admired his collection of clean and shiny weapons. Mal's eyes narrowed when it registered with him that he had set the rifle, the largest of his guns, down to his far right. And that the Vektor 6" Nomad .22, his small ankle piece, was resting to his far left. He flashed back to a conversation he had with Inara about six months before and groaned. Well, I've just set a proper table setting, haven't I?
He also allowed a slight smirk to spread across his face. He was glad that Inara was back on Serenity. Couldn't help it. He may have lost Book and Wash, but he got Inara back.
The captain felt a chill run up his spine. He had felt this way before. Usually when the girl was peeking at him from around a corner. He turned toward the door of the kitchen area. "Hey, little River. Where you hiding?"
Then the world went blue.
When the color was normal again, he was in a forest. Daytime and sunny. The dead girl was gone.
"Um, okay. What is this?" Caleb squared his shoulders. "A test? I thought we were past this."
He squinted his eyes at the sky, blinked, and tried to figure out what two suns would have to do with this test.
A man approached him. "Well, what do we have here? Who do you belong to, cow?"
Caleb turned toward the man, dressed as a farmer of some kind, yet clearly a demon. "Hello, friend. Are you my guide in this place?"
"Hush up," the farmer threw a surprising strong rope around Caleb, immobilizing his arms.
"Watch it, old man. You must be mistaken with the rules. Release me now, and I won't rip your spine out through your throat."
"You dare threaten your better?" The farmer withdrew a rod from his waist belt and clipped the preacher over the head.
Caleb's world went black.
When the color was normal again, Mal was in the street. Instinct brought his hand to his holster, only to discover that both his gun and his holster were missing. Of course. Wasn't he just sitting at the dining table, cleaning his guns? Wasn't he just on his ship? Wasn't he just in space?
This was a street. Concrete like a central planet. Primitive architecture like the borders. No hustle and bustle. Quiet. Night. And that's a...coffee house? Okay.
"Huh."To be continued...
** Footnote: String of dialog "borrowed" directly from the end of "Touched," ep 7.20.
Please, feed the author.