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Double digits! Hoot!

Title: Divine Interventions (10/16)
Fandom: Buffy/Angel
Characters: Dawn, Amy, Cordelia, Ethan, Willow, Kennedy, and others.
Rating: The overall fic will include material up to and including NC-17; most scenes are considerably milder, though.
Warnings: Het, femslash, BDSM, noncon, underaged—but none of these as the main focus of the fic.
Warnings for this chapter: Violence.
Timeline/Spoilers: Takes place after “Why We Fight.” Spoilers up to “You’re Welcome.”
Summary: Dawn, Ethan, Amy, and Cordy must all team up to protect Willow from a resurrected enemy and the worshippers of Osiris.
Notes: Special thanks to [ profile] spikdendru for a great beta.

Previous chapter is here.
All chapters are in my memories.

Chapter Ten

The day went quickly—far too quickly. It was as if the world recognized that daylight served as a reprieve and wanted to take even that away from Dawn. She met with Kennedy, Vi, Shannon, and a few other Slayers in Willow and Kennedy’s kitchen, discussing possible tactics for the coming night. She gave the order for them to patrol that night in groups of three. Three was far too low to reduce Slayer casualties, but she needed as many groups as possible to keep Osiris’ demonic army from taking too many innocent lives—especially with the possibility that the vampires may be turning rather than simply killing their victims.

Dawn was still in her war council with the Slayers when Cordelia appeared in the kitchen. “Um, Dawn,” she said. “I think you might want to look outside.”

Dawn turned around, looked out the huge French doors onto the house’s back terrace.

“Oh, my god,” she said. Dozens of young men and women dressed in black and white robes surrounded the house, clearly the priests and priestesses of Osiris. Behind them stood shadowy figures dressed in brown robes which covered their entire bodies, including their faces. Vampires, she supposed. “This is not good.”

“I’d think that’s safe to say,” Cordelia agreed.

“Someone call the other Slayers, put them on full alert,” Dawn ordered as she made her way to the terrace doors, flanked by the six Slayers. “Get Willow, Amy, and the other Wiccans out here, too.” Stepping out onto the terrace, she took a mental note of the enemy forces. There was Rack, standing on the side and clearly no longer dead. No, this was certainly not good.

One of the priestesses, more ornately dressed than the others and quite clearly American, stepped forward. “You have angered the god Osiris with your insolence,” she announced. “Turn over the witch Willow Rosenberg and your lives will be spared.”

It was Kennedy who answered. “It’s daylight,” she said. “Do you really think we can’t tear right through your vampire army?”

The priestess laughed, raising her palm in front of her. “How like a Slayer to think with her stake.” A small fireball formed atop her palm. “We do the will of Osiris. We hold power beyond your comprehension.”

Just in time, Amy and the Wicca group came out onto the terrace. “Oh?” asked Amy. “I can comprehend quite a bit.”

“You are powerful, witch,” the priestess said, the fireball still hovering above her hand. “You and I may indeed be well-matched. But I still have the advantages of numbers.” Each of the priests and priestesses raised his or her right hand, a fireball forming in front of it. In an instant, the flame swirled upward from their hands and, as a huge column of fire, began to descend on the terrace.”

Pare! Hecate de mãe, protege-nos da magia escura de seus inimigos!” Amy cried out as the fire hit an invisible barrier around the house. Dawn watched as the Wicca group stood behind Amy, the crystals they wore around their necks glowing brightly, providing Amy with the power she needed to keep the flame at bay. Dawn could tell just as well that Amy was struggling, and wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long.

Difunda!” a familiar voice called out, and the fire and flame instantly disappeared. “Enough of this,” Willow said, standing tall on the terrace. “If it’s me that Osiris wants, then He can have me. Hesperatio—”

Before Willow could even finish her spell, a beam of blue light hit her solidly in the chest. Dawn watched the high priestess, holding a familiar-looking staff and smiling triumphantly.
When Dawn looked back at Willow, there were two of her. One was glowing slightly, her hair a bright white. The other—

The other was far too familiar: her hair a jet black, her eyes a glowing red. “Free at last, free at last,” she said with a smirk. “Free from Willow, her petty squabbles and morals, her foolish fears. Free at last to embrace true power. Oh good Lord, I’m free at last.” She raised her arm as if reaching for something, but stopped mid-gesture. Dawn watched her tense, as if trying to move and failing.

“You may be more powerful than any of us alone, Willow,” Amy said, the crystal around her neck glowing. “But that’s why Wiccans travel in covens.”

“The Circle is more powerful than the sum of its parts,” Vaughne added. “We share our strengths, focus our—”

“Spare me the touchy-feely crap,” dark-haired Willow said, finally breaking her arm free of the Wicca’s group spell. Dawn noticed that she didn’t try to cast any more spells, though. “I might not be able to destroy you now, but I will bring you down, Amy. You and anybody who tries to stand against me. ¿Entiende?” She turned, looked at the mass of priests, priestesses, and robed vampires who surrounded the house, preventing anyone from leaving. “Flamere.

Each of the brown-robed figures exploded in a burst of fire, leaving only the humans. “Let her go,” the high priestess ordered, and a column opened up in front of Willow as the priests and priestesses stepped aside to let her pass. The dark-haired witch made her way through and away.
After, she was gone, the Order of Osiris began to disperse, the high priestess sending one last triumphant smile towards Dawn and Amy. “This should be interesting,” she said.

Soon, Dawn, Amy, the Slayers, the Wiccans, and a white-haired Willow were left alone on the terrace. Cordelia, Beth and Ethan were there too, apparently having exited the house at some point late in the shouting match.

“What do we do now?” Cordelia asked, pacing the terrace in agitation.

“Somebody call the Council, tell them that Willow’s gone dark,” Dawn ordered as she pulled her own cell phone out.

“What will you be doing?”

“Calling the only people who can do anything about it.”

* * * * *

Amy watched as Dawn pulled out her cell phone and began pushing buttons. “Hello, I’d like to speak to Miss Hartness, please,” the girl said and then, after a pause, “It’s happened.” She closed her phone and returned it to her hip. “They’re on their way,” she informed the group.

“Who?” asked Amy. She didn’t like not being in the know.

That moment, a hiss sounded and a flash of light formed into two figures: a middle-aged, matronly woman and a younger child, a girl maybe fourteen or fifteen years old.

White Willow’s face lit up with excitement. “Althanea! I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Thank God you are,” Dawn said, breaking into the conversation. “You can see what happened.”

Althanea nodded, eying up the white-haired Willow. “I teleported in the moment I heard you had called. This is my niece, Kelsenia Hartness.” Kelsenia smiled, embarrassed for a moment as there was a beat of silence, then Althanea turned toward Beth. “Don’t even think about it,” she warned him.

He smiled in mock innocence.

“It looked they used the Staff of Toth to divide her,” Dawn explained. “They must have recreated it from the ashes of Sunnydale, same as the Urn of Osiris.”

“The Laws of Making,” Althanea agreed. “Anything that can be unmade can be made again. The only Osirian with that type of power is Alexia, their high priestess.”

“I think we’ve met,” Dawn said. “When Xander was split, Willow was able to put him back pretty easily. Do you think we could?”

Althanea shook her head. “In a normal case, the natural state is to be together and the spell would be doing all the work of keeping them apart. All that would be necessary would be to break the spell. But the dark Willow wants to be separated, and is going to fight against any attempt to reintegrate her.”

“So what do we do?” asked Dawn. “Last time . . . well, you know what happened last time.”

“We should be relatively safe for now,” Althanea answered. “The real danger is if Willow gains any more power. She’s powerful now, but it’d require an increase in power to reach truly apocalyptic levels.”

“She’ll go to Rack first,” said Dawn. “That’s where she got her power boost the last time.”

Althanea nodded, her face grave. “He’s gained powerful allies in the meantime,” she pointed out. “For the moment, the fact may actually be in our favor.”

“And what do we do?”

“It’s a bad situation,” Althanea said.

Well, duh, Amy thought.

Althanea cried out to the sky. “Mother!”

Amy was reminded of reruns of Bewitched, with Elizabeth Montgomery yelling to an empty room and having Agnes Moorehead appear.

Yes, my daughter? a Voice answered. Amy recognized it: it was the same Voice which had come to her the year before, urging her to cast the penance malediction.

“I’d have to say this is not one of Your finest moments, Mother.”

Now Amy called Hecate “mother,” but when Althanea did so it was with an even deeper familiarity. She realized with surprised that while she was always speaking metaphorically, the elder witch was not; Althanea was the literal daughter of the Goddess.

The fact was somewhat awe-inspiring.

You say that as if this were somehow My fault, Althanea, Hecate said. Can I control what Osiris chooses to do? Can I interfere in the free will of a human being?

“You couldn’t come up with a better response than sending a bunch of kids to Brazil and letting them split Willow in two? I thought you were protecting the girl.”

There is only so much I can do. The rest is in the hands of those around you.

Althanea shook her head. “One day, You’re going to cut it too close, and it’ll be Your fault that the world ends.”

Perhaps. Now you must focus on making sure that day isn’t today.

“Easier said than done,” Dawn muttered, answering for Amy the question of whether the non-Wiccans present could hear Hecate’s Voice.

I will help you once I can, my children. Pray it will not be too late. Until then, My hands are tied and you must go on by yourselves. Good luck, all of you.

“Good luck?” asked Ethan, a macabre smile on his face. “When the gods are wishing us luck, we know it’s bad.”

* * * * *

There was nothing to do, they finally agreed, but to hurry up and wait. Without a way to re-integrate Willow—and without knowing where the dark Willow even was—there was nothing they could do but prepare for the night’s patrols and see how things unfolded.

Dawn stepped out of her taxi onto Willow and Kennedy’s front lawn, having thus returned from the motel that had been acting as a makeshift Slayer barracks to talk to the various Slayers and inspect the troops. It had been quite the awe-inspiring experience to see the hundreds of girls, of every ethnicity and nationality imaginable, gathered in front of her.

“It’s my sister who’s really the speechmaker,” Dawn had said to them. That had gotten a few chuckles from the Sunnydale veterans. “But I wanted to say a few things to you all before you went out tonight. You are Slayers. Chosen ones. Born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil—can I assume you’ve all heard this speech?”

There was some more light laughter. Tensions were running high, and humor was in short supply.

“The point is, this is what it all comes down to. There are vampires out there—thousands of them. Come nightfall, they are going to come out. It’s your job to fight them, make sure that they don’t harm innocent people. This is what you were Chosen for.

“I can’t say that I envy you your calling. Not that I never wished I had super strength, extra agility, or the ability to reknit a broken bone in a day or two. When you grow up the little sister of a superhero, you learn to be jealous real fast. But people are going to die tonight, and chances are it won’t be me. If I die, I’ll be doing it with everyone else when the world ends.

“Many of you are used to fighting alongside maybe one or two other Slayers. Those types of tactics aren’t going to work against this threat. This is the first time in the history of the world that this many Slayers have been gathered in the same place.” Of course, only a year before that many Slayers didn’t even exist. “Even though you will be divided into groups of three, each group needs to coordinate its movements with the others. We are going to have to present a unified front against this threat, or else it is going to eat us alive. Literally.”

No laughter there. Good. It wasn’t a joke.

“What I need from you are tactics. Cooperation. Communication. You are the Chosen Ones, the sisterhood of Slayers. You share a bond deeper than most of you know. If you work together, there is no vampire, no demon, no god that can stay in your way. This I know.

“Not even the battle against the First back in Sunnydale was quite of this scale. We have a lot more Slayers; they have more vampires. More importantly, this battle is above ground, which means innocent people are at risk. While our primarily mission is to guard against dark Willow, protect the whole Willow, and end this apocalypse once and for all, the protection of civilians is an integral secondary objective. You are Slayers in order to protect the human race. Tonight, you’ll get the chance.”

Then she had turned away and left, knowing as she did she was leaving some of them to their deaths. She had learned from her sister that the longer the speech, the less effective it usually turned out being. The last thing she wanted to be right now was General Buffy, Part Deux.

Now, Dawn entered the house, passing Kennedy sitting in the parlor. “Where’s Willow?” she asked the Slayer.

“Which?” Kennedy asked, not even looking up from the book she was reading. The Art of War by Sun Tzu.


“She’s meditating in the rock garden,” the Slayer answered, finally lifting her gaze to make eye contact with Dawn, “convening with the essence of the universe. Whoever stole my girlfriend and replaced her with Mahatma Gandhi? Is definitely going to get the chance to apologize to my fist.”

“It’s still Willow.”


“Or part of her,” Dawn clarified. “The Osirians used the Staff of Toth to divide her into two distinct parts: scary veiny Willow and hippie love-fest Willow. Scary Willow wants to destroy the world or at least enslave it to her will, while hippie Willow wants to sit in a rock garden meditating. They’re both parts of the real Willow.”

The look of determination on Kennedy’s face was one that Dawn knew well from seeing it on Buffy’s. It was one that usually preceded a Slayer picking up a sword and going off to kill something. “Well, I want both parts of my girlfriend back. And in the same body.”

“So do we all,” answered Dawn. After all, if Willow were to—no, who were they kidding, when she did—find a power source, they would all be sorry.

Kennedy glanced down at her book again, then closed it and set it aside. “How long do we continue to consider reintegration a viable option?”

She couldn’t possibly be asking what Dawn thought she was. Could she? “You don’t mean—”

“Willow lived in constant fear of what she might do if she loss control,” Kennedy answered, not flinching. “I won’t let that happen. Even if it means, even if—” Kennedy didn’t finish, but Dawn knew what the Slayer meant. Even if it meant killing Willow.

“We’ll reintegrate her,” Dawn promised, knowing as she said it that her reassurances were relatively empty.

“But when the moment comes that that’s no longer an option?” Kennedy asked. “Will we be able to do what we need to do?”

Confused, Dawn looked at the Slayer. “Will we—?” Suddenly, Dawn understood. Willow must have had made Kennedy promise to kill her if she ever went dark. Kennedy was afraid that when the time came, she wouldn’t be able to keep her promise to her lover.

Dawn prayed the Slayer would never have to find out if that was true.

TBC. . . .here

(no subject)

Date: 2005-09-17 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awesome chapter...Can't wait for the next one!

(no subject)

Date: 2005-09-17 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! What will Dark!Willow do now? (And you have no idea how difficult it was to keep from calling her that in the narration.)

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