By Sherry UniDagger Jones
A Buffy The Vampire Slayer Fan Fiction
Disclaimer: Buffy is trademarked and is owned by Joss etc No infringement was intended. The Buffy characters are not mine, but the story itself is along with whatever characters I create to embellish the story. It should go without saying that this story will contain violence (we are talking about vampires and slaying) and also has a homosexual relationship. Which SHOULDNT have to be mentioned since it doesnt really matter whether or not a relationship is hetro or homo, but because there are still small-minded silly people in the world todaythere you have it. As with anything, you are responsible for what you view. Read it or dont, for those who read itI hope you enjoy it. J
Warning: This story is free of any men bearing cheese slices, however, there may be instances of free roaming bunnies.
Part One: An Evening In The Desert
The sun set behind the mountains in a blaze of purple and orange hues as a soft warm breeze stretched out across the sand. A lizard slipped into its burrow with one last look around, but it did not see the blonde sitting behind a cropping of rocks. She sat with her eyes closed, not seeing the sunset, one hand twirling a small piece of wood, sharpened on one end. She sighed deeply as she got that feeling again. It was time to go to work. She stood up as the last sliver of sunlight disappeared.
Staring at the cave, Buffy began to walk towards it when she heard a gasp and froze. Tara, who had been sitting with Willow a few yards back had begun walking towards the cave mumbling something under her breath. Willow whispered her name again, but Tara did not respond. "You were supposed to wait!" Buffy hissed. She trotted over to Tara to stop her, and when Tara didnt respond to Buffys voice, Buffy reached to place a hand on Taras arm. Before Buffy could touch her a field seemed to surround Tara, that sent a jolt of electricity out at Buffy, flinging her backwards.
Willow raced to Buffys side. "A-are you all right?" "Yeah, what happened? Wheres she going?" Buffy stood up, watching Taras advance. Before Willow could answer, Buffy cried at a warning and turned to fight a vampire that had decided to take advantage of their distraction. Willow ducked out of the way, looked to be sure her friend was all right, then raced to catch her lover who was just entering the cave.
The vampire managed to get a lucky shot in, catching the slayer on the chin. Buffy regained her balance, kicking him in the stomach, then swiping his legs out from under him with her own. As he went down, she dropped to her knees plunging the stake through his heart. As he vaporized, Buffy looked around for Willow and Tara. Willow was almost to the cave entrance as Buffy ran towards her as fast as she could. Suddenly there was a bright light that seemed to explode from the cave and move outward. Willow heard a cry from Tara and stepped into the cave in time to see her struggling with two demons. Before she could cast a spell the light exploded, rippling out like a planetary ring. Willow and Buffy were both thrown backwards, but Willow was still inside the ring.
When she could move again, Buffy stood rubbing her head. She finally saw where Willow lay and tried to make her way over to her friend, but upon reaching the border of the light, she was unable to go through it, although this time, it did not harm her. "Willow." She called out. She put her hands against the invisible barrier and tried pushing. "Willow!"
Willow moaned, sitting up slowly as dizziness griped her. "Willow!" Willow looked towards the voice, noticing Buffy and remembering what happened. "Tara! They took Tara!" She stood up shakily and walked towards Buffy. "Willow, I cant get through thisthing." Willow looked around, placing a hand where she could sense the barrier..her hand went through and touched Buffys.
"I think its like a gateway to their realm or something. Buffy, I dont know how to bring you through. I have to find Tara!" Willow looked towards the cave again.
"I have to go."
"Alright, but be careful. Ill go get Giles and see if he knows anything about thisrealm thing and then Ill be back here. Please be careful."
Willow smiled what she hoped was a reassuring smile, her fear for Tara nearly stopping her heart. "You know me, Im the essence of carefulness. Well be back." With that, Willow turned and trotted past the cave, where shed caught a glimpse of the attackers leaving before she blacked out.
Buffy watched her until she disappeared, then raced back to where her car was parked. "Giles will know what to do.theyll be ok." She thought to herself. As she opened her car door a pair of fangs went for her neck. Drawing a stake from her belt, she plunged it into the monsters heart without even looking at him. "Not now." She muttered and jumped into the car.
Part Two: A History Lesson
Willow crept through the woods, tracking Taras essence. She was still alive, so there was hope. She had left the desert a couple hours ago but it seemed like days. She swallowed hard as she picked her way through vines and undergrowth, questions racing unanswered through her mind. Why had they taken Tara? Who were they? What did they have planned for her? Was it random? This last question didnt sit right with her. There was something about the demons..a memory tugged at her but she couldnt pin it down.
Hours later, as the sun began to rise, Willow exited the woods into a large valley with a town in it. It was almost like stepping back into time, the way a village might look from the 10th century. Buildings were made from stones and wood, the road down the middle was unpaved. Willow crept closer and hid behind some boxes at the side of one of the buildings. She peered around the corner as a loud commotion drew customers and shop keepers into the street.
Tara came running out of a building, demons pouring out behind her. She threw some lightening balls at her captors, causing them to scatter. Willow jumped up as a demon appeared on the other side of Tara. Willow gaped as she recognized Taras father. Tara whirled around and froze when she saw him. He backhanded her, knocking her to the street. "Fools," he yelled. "I told you to put the araki on her." Tara fought as several demons pinned her down and another walked up carrying something which he began to bind the young witch with. Willow bit her lip, not sure what to do.
"Father, why?" Taras voice demanded, anger and pain straining it. "I told you, things happen to the women of this family. This is for the best." He looked to the demon holding her leash, "I suggest you keep a better handle on your merchandise this time, Valtor." With that warning he turned and stepped away, waving his hand he opened a portal and stepped in, disappearing.
"By the gods! Hes sold her??" Willow refused to look at the contraption holding her soulmate. It seemed to be a belt with shackles for the wrist, and a piece that went around the neck. She watched in frustration as Valtor took the leash. They would pay for this. She took a step forward, her lips forming a spell when suddenly she was jerked backwards, a hand across her mouth. A cold dagger was placed at her throat as a voice whispered into her ear, "Speak not, witch. You are in no danger from us unless you give us away. Your true love can not be saved just now."
Slowly the dagger and hand were moved away, but Willow remained frozen against the wall. "I said keep her quiet, not scare her to death." A womans voice scolded softly. Willow looked towards the voice and almost fainted, recognizing her from Taras photo album. "You.youre..but you cant be you"
The older woman chuckled, "Ah but I can. Yes, I am Taras grandmother. Dont worry, we will free her." "B-b-but how?" "All will be explained later, first we must leave here." With that she walked away motioning for the others to follow. There were three other demons with Amilia, Taras grandmother. Willow followed them, to in shock to do anything else.
When they arrived at Amilias hideout, orders were issued and carried out quickly. A fire was started and Willow was given a large flask of water, and soon some food to eat. While Willow rested and restored her strength, Amilia sat next to her, explaining how it was she came to be there.
"I suppose I should start with my presumed death. Our family has dealt with demons for a long time. What you may not realize is that not all demons look likewell.demons. Many are very humanoid. My great-great-grandmother, Lorlei, fell in love with and married one such demon. The rest of her family blacklisted her. But she refused to leave him. When their children were born, the relatives were certain theyd be evil, and they sent someone to kill them. Loreleis husband saw them, and killed them, saving the children but taking a fatal blow. Since then, our descendants have been watched carefully from the Maclay side. And any girl who appeared to powerfulwas.sold to a demon who could control her. Some, I believe, truly believed we were evil. But many, like Taras father, know the truth, and in fact have powers themselves..directly from their demon blood. Greed is his motive. I never did trust him. He too was part demon, but the demon blood was even older than ours."
"Most of the girls sold, died. Some were used to harshly and died from wounds or spells gone wrong, but many of them just couldnt or wouldnt survive as a slave and gave up the will to live. But some of us escaped. Stories were told to younger children to keep them in line. To make them afraid of who they werebelieving they were evil. Taras mother was taken when she refused to be controled by Alden any longer. She tried to leave with Tara, but Alden found out. Tara was there when her mother died, trying to protect her. She doesnt remember that. They put a forget spell on her. The rulers here are corrupt on many levels, but their time of tyranny is drawing to a close. Slavery is but one reason why or rebellion was formed."
They sat in silence for several moments. Finally Willow asked, "How do we get Tara? And how did you know she was my soulmate?" The older Macluy smiled. "You can always see true love, its like a beacon in the night, child. As for Taras rescue, we will attack in the morning but you will need rest first. And you must know how to fight them. " "Cant I just cast spells? " "They have placed an araki on her, it is a magical leash that connects the slave to the master. The slave cannot work any magic without the approval of the master, and it can never be used against the master."
"So, I blast the master and free Tara from it."
"No, anything you do to the master while he is holding the leash will affect the slave 20 times. If youre not careful, you could kill her."
Willow sat mulling over this news. She had to come up with a way to get the demon away from Tara. "Maybe I can just pull them away from each other." "When you send the spell, he will sense it, and force Tara to protect him. If she doesnt do as she is commandedshe will be punished."
"But if we are there saving her, he cant punish her. Right? Right?"
"The araki will punish her..immediately. Your attack must be swift and perfect. You will get one chance only in saving her."
"No pressure then" Willow sighed. "I can make them float.take away the gravity causing them to spin."
The women continued planning for a couple more hours. After Willow had fallen asleep, Amilia watched over her, praying that Willows plan would work. She had spent years in an araki, and she felt for her granddaughter. Tara would survive imprisonment no better than her mother would have. Quiet, caring women, they had also been strongly independent and free-willed. A tear rolled down her cheek as she thought of the pain her family had suffered over the generations. Things would be put rightsoon. She had a strong feeling that Willow and Tara, together, might well be the ones to do it.
**** **** **** ****
Tara gasped as her body trembled, the pain from the araki receeding. "Now, slave" Valtor toned, "will you do as I command? Lift that vase and move it to the other table." "N-no. I wont do anything" Tara screamed as the araki emmitted another bolt of electricity through her body. This time, she did not try to attack her captor, she had learned her lesson the first time. Sobbing, she begged him to stop. She would find a way to escape, but this was getting her no where. The pain ceased as quickly as it started. She gulped in air, then looked at the vase. Slowly the vase lifted and made its way shakily to the table. It caught on the edge and fell on its side.
Exhausted, Tara waited for the pain, certain that she would be chastised for the vase not being placed perfectly. The demon patted her on the head, "Good enough for now, you are learning. Next time, you will do it perfectly, wont you?" Tara bit back a response, and muttered only "Yes." "Good. You may have some water now." Another slave approached with a goblet and allowed Tara to drink. The cool water felt good on her parched throat. She tried to make eye contact with the woman holding her cup, but she would not look at Tara. When Tara had emptied the goblet, the woman moved back to her place.
"Now we will try the vase again." Valtor stated, moving the vase back to the first table. Tara sighed, this was going to be along night.
Part Three: Gravity? What Gravity?
The small group slipped through the shadows towards a large estate on the outskirts of town. Willow sported a dagger in her belt, given to her by Amelia. Despite the cool morning, Willow was sweating, fears crept into her mind but she kept pushing them back. She had to stay focused for Tara. "Im coming, baby." She whispered.
Amilia whispered some commands and the group split in two; three of the demons went upstairs with Willow while the others continued on the main floor. "Have faith, Willow" Amilia whispered as they parted. Willow nodded, and crept up the stairs, her heart beating double time. The rebels lead the witch to a huge door. "Be quick." One reminded her, just before they burst through, Willow at their heels. Without pausing, Willow cast her spell. Valtor was taken by surprise as he was flung into the air and began spinning. His shock caused him to drop the leash connected to Taras araki. Willow quickly sent several fireballs at the spinning demon, then rushed over to Tara. The rebels stood under Valtor, waiting for the gravity spell to dissipate. As it did, they grabbed the demon and plunged their daggers into him.
Willow caught Tara in her arms, easing her return to the ground. Tara sobbed as she and Willow held each other. "Im here, baby. Im here." Willow told her with a soft kiss. "HeI couldnt.." Tara tried to talk but couldnt. Willow took the araki off of Tara, then pulled a soft robe out of a bag, placing it over Taras head. "We have to hurry, Love." Tara shook her head and tried to compose herself. She looked then, at the rebels, then to Willow. "How?" "Well explain as soon as we are out."
"We must go." One of the rebels hissed.
Willow nodded to the demon and wrapped her arm around Tara, helping her up. Together the group slunk back down the hall to the stairs. As they neared the door, someone screamed "Intruders" and the sound of guards could be heard running towards them. The band raced out the front door and down the street. Several arrows whizzed past the departing group. Willow yelled to one of the men, "Take her." "No!" Tara protested, but was whisked away as Willow turned to face the oncoming guards. She spoke the words of magic, and a huge wall of flame appeared between them. Willow turned to flee but was suddenly outflanked by more guards. She sent a few fireballs before a huge net was dropped on her.
The second the net dropped around her, Willow gasped as she could no longer feel the source of her power. She tried a spell, but nothing happened. A demon rushed her then, hitting her and knocking her down, entangling her even more in the net. "I claim her. She is mine." He told the group. Just then another demon, who looked much like the first, strode up and pushed him backwards. "It was my net.the slave is mine!" They began to fight, punching and yelling, even casting some spells that did more damage to the surrounding buildings than each other.
A flash appeared and a huge demon stepped out. "Enough!" He commanded. Everyone fell silent, even the fighters. "You boys are to rule together, it is time you learned to share. You will have joint ownership of the human. That means you are both responsible for her training. Tar, you will have her the first day, then Nlar." With that he disappeared. Grumbling, Nlar left, pushing past the group of guards. Tar looked at his prize and smiled evilly. Grasping a piece of the net, he jerked Willow to her feet. "Its training time, slave."
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"Willow!" Tara gasped as she looked back and saw the net land on Willow. The demon held his grip on her, pulling her back into the shadows. "I wont leave her." "Theres nothing you can do right now. Do not let her sacrifice be in vain." Tara froze, recognizing the voice, but knowing it was impossible. Slowly she turned to face Amilia. "G-grand-mother?"
Amelia took Tara into her arms. "Yes, child. It is a long story, but you will soon know everything." "But Willow.Grandmother.it was horrible..we cant let them keep her. They" "Shh, child. She knew the dangers, but do not think that we will not rescue her. She is strong, Tara. She will not give in easily."
"Thats what Im afraid of, Grandmother."
Amilia made sure no one was close enough to sense them, then teleported them into the woods, where they continued to their campsite on foot. Several women were given the duty of washing Tara and placing salves on her wounds. The bruises would heal with time. As Tara drank some broth, her Grandmother began to tell her the truth about their family, among other things.
It was night time when Amilia finished, and Tara tried to accept all that she had learned. Her thoughts kept turning to Willow in the hands of those demons. Even worse, in the hands of Tor and Nlar. She had heard stories of them before, but none had been as bad as the ones her grandmother had told her this night. She pulled a blanket around her shoulders and walked off into the forest to be alone.
**** **** **** ****
"NO!" Tor screamed in rage, backhanding Willow. Willow cowered on the ground as Tor rampaged around the room throwing things. Finally, Tor stood still, fuming. "You will obey me, witch." "Ill die first." "That can be arranged." He advanced on Willow with a snarl. "Master TorI might point out that she is not wholly yours, and killing the slave would bring the High One down on you."
Tor stopped and howled, kicking a table over, then paced over to the balcony and stared into the dark. Willow tentatively placed a hand to her swollen lip, a few drops of blood trickled down. She fought back the tears, determined not to let them see her break. "At least Tara is safe now." She thought, trying to comfort herself. The thought of her beloved strengthened her. She thought of some spells she could use on her captor. She had learned as quickly as Tara, not to try casting while she was bound by the araki, but she would have her chance. One day, she would have a chance and she would be ready. "If I can not kill her, I can still make her wish for death."
Willow swallowed hard as Tor advanced on her. He grabbed her, forcing her to her feet, then shoved her towards the bed, ripping her shirt. Willow rolled as she landed trying to get away. With a growl, the demon pounced on her shoving her down again. Just then there was a loud knock on the door and it opened. Nlar stood there with a grin. "Your time is up, hand her over."
Tor cursed and sent a bolt at his brother but it went wide. "Now, now. We dont want to disobey the High Ones orders do we?" Nlar mocked. He strode in and shoved Tor from Willow, grabbing her leash. "Ill show you how its done, brother." He laughed and headed to the door, dragging a shaking Willow behind him. Tor cursed him as the door shut behind them. "One day, brother, your blood will be mine for the taking."
Part Four: A Goddesss Gift
Tara huddled under a large tree and wept. Her soul ached at the thought of losing Willow, or what she might be going through. She kept asking herself how shed let this happen. "Its all my fault. I should have gone home with father when he came for me." She thought forlornly to herself. Her body was wracked with sobs.
Its not your fault, Little One
The words were spoken softely and in her mind. Tara looked around frightened but saw no one. She could feel the presence of a very strong power. Do not be afraid Tara.
Slowly, a beautiful woman materialized before her, a hand reached slowly to her wet cheeks. Do not be afraid. She repeated. "Who"
I am Vahna.
Tara gasped. "V-vahna? The.god..the goddess Vahna?"
Vahna smiled and nodded. I know how much you are suffering. I have come to help you rescue your soulmate. I can not do much, as there are stronger gods here than I, and they would control the two of you if they could.
"Why? What did we do?"
Nothing but be born, Child. You two are very special. When you combine your powers, you are a force to be reckoned with. Those that oppose Good, want you destroyedor turned if possible. They would control your power.
"Grandmother said something about a family curse. Am I why our family was cursed?"
Your birth was prophesied.
"So, that would be a yes?"
Vahna said nothing, but closed her eyes and took a deep breath. We tried to prevent the curse, but all we managed to do was to change it. Instead of your line being wiped out completely, you family was taken to another realm, your powers weakened, and the truth about your lineage hidden. But the time has come for you to take back your rightful place.
"What place is that?"
Why, the seat of power, of course. Your ancestors were the Great Diviners. Rulers of this realm. They were loved by nearly all their people, but there were those who chose the Dark.
Tara stared at Vahna as if she had just claimed to have seen Elvis step out of spaceship and ask for directions for the nearest Walmart. "Did I fall and hit my head?" Vahna smiled. I know it is a lot to take in all at once. Let us for now, deal with saving Willow. Yes? Tara nodded her head. Vahna opened bag at her side and rummaged around, withdrawing 4 darts, the size and weight of throwing daggers. These are laced with the oil of the Petarian Root. You know what that is, right?
"Yes, its poisonous and can only be harvested on a full moon in the heart of winter." Tara recited, staring at the weapons. Thats correct. You must use these on Tor and Nlar. It will poison them, and no magic can stop the daggers, nor cure the poison. Tara looked concerned. "I have to.killthem?"
Do you not want to? Trust me, when you get there, you will have no qualms about killing them.
Tara snapped her head up to stare into the Goddesss eyes. "What do you mean?"
Tor and Nlar are not known for treating their slaves well, Tara. You will have no hesitation in using them, and use them you must. They must be destroyed. Vahna stood up, looking down at Tara. Take them. Use them or dont, it is your choice. I must go now but we will meet again, young Tara. You and Willow have a destiny. Vahna placed the darts in Taras hands then disappeared. Carefully, Tara wrapped the darts in some leaves and placed them in her pocket. Realizing dawn was only a few hours away, she headed back to camp.
She did not tell her grandmother about the visit from the goddess. Instead she drank some water and prepared to leave while the others were yet sleeping. She had decided it would be best if she went alone. She crept out quietly unaware of her grandmothers watching eyes. Through the woods, towards the village she traveled at a fair pace. She had already seen the map where both houses of the Twin Sons were marked. She would go to Tors first. Her hand drifted to the bulge in her pocket, and she felt somewhat comforted.
Part Five: Darts, Its Not Just A Sport
Willow was lead stumbling to Nlars house. It had been hours since shed had food or sleep. It was still dark out, and Willow cast a look at the stars as they walked. Tara was out there somewhere. She wished she could be in Taras arms right then. "Wonder if Buffy ever found out how to enter this realm. " She thought to herself. "Heh, wonder if a stake would work on these things."
The demon led Willow into a large house and down into a dungeon where she was chained to the wall. "Well, slave. Now its time to learn the real meaning of fear." Willow said nothing. Nlar stepped closer to her. "There are many ways to teach a slave. Magic is but one. And not near as fun as doing things yourself." Willow gulped nervously, not liking the thoughts his words conjured.
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It was early afternoon when Tara reached a crest overlooking the town. She watched the people moving about, then made her way down. Keeping to the alleys she made her way to Tors home. Taking a deep breath she walked to a side door and entered. No one stopped her. She stood in a dark hallway; she could hear people moving about the house. Seeking Tors essence, she slowly made her way upstairs having to hide several times as servants went about their business. When she reached the door, she said a silent prayer, pulled a dart from her pocket and pulled the leaves from it.
Tara opened the door just enough to allow herself in, closing it softly behind her. Tor was sleeping in the bed across the room. Silently, she moved towards him. Raising the dart in her hand she prepared to strike. "What am I doing?" She questioned herself silently. "I cant kill in cold blood.." She looked at the dart in her hand, then down at the floor. Her eyes fell on a huge piece of material that was unmistakably from Willows shirt. Emitting a growl worthy of a certain warrior princess, she plunged the dart into Tors side. Tor howled, startled awake. Seeing Tara he tried to lunge at her but the poison was already taking affect.
"How dare you!" He growled, trying to grab her. "You wont get away with this." "I beg to differ. I think Im very much going to get away with it. Times are changing, your tyranny will not last much longer. You will be pay for what youve done to Willow and my family. All of you will pay." Tara hissed at him.
Tor began gasping for breath. Throwing the last of his strength together he tried to lunge for but managed only to fall on his face, dead. Tara breathed a sigh of a relief, then reminded herself it was not yet over. She now had to make her way to Nlars. "Im coming Willow." She swore as she made her way out of the house. She raced down the alley, hiding whenever she heard a sound, not knowing when her luck would run out.
***Meanwhile, back at the ranch. *****
"Im sorry Buffy, but if we dont know what realm it was, theres really no way of telling how to get there, or if it is even possible." Giles was telling her. "Then what do I do, Giles? How do we save Willow and Tara? We cant just wright them off!"
"Maybe theyll be okay. I mean, they are witches right? Theyll just blow up anyone who tries to stop them, and then come home." Anya said hopefully.
Xander looked at Anya and smiled slightly. "Maybe. Willow has gotten a lot stronger and more controlled. Maybe this is their battle, Buffy."
The group sat around the table, each lost in their thoughts of concern for their missing friends. "I cant just sit here. Im going back." Buffy announced.
"Back?" Giles asked. "To the desert cave, where I lost them. When they return, Im going to be there." Xander and Anya looked at each other, then stood up. "Were coming with you." Xander stated. "We can have like a picnic or something." Anya added, grinning. Buffy raised an eyebrow. "Um, yeah. I guess they might be hungry when they get back. Lets go."
"Buffy" Giles started, then changed his mind. "Be careful. Call me ifwhenthey get back."
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"You look a little tired." Nlar told her, rubbing his chin with one hand. Thinking it might be wise to remain silent, Willow found herself unable to stop from saying, "Yes, I supposed I could use a rest, but then that might be a bit more hospitable than this realm can manage." Shutup Willow. She thought to herself. Why why dont I just stay quiet!?
Nlar smirked, "I see my worthless brother has not taught you to control your tongue." He motioned to some servants who hefted some large buckets and dowsed Willow with cold water, soaking her to the skin. Willow gasped at the sudden coldness, her body shivering. "Y-yes, th-thats much better than rest."
Picking up a whip from a nearby table, Nlar walked slowly up to Willow. Willow tried to shake her wet hair from her eyes to watch him. "Y-you know your brother wants you dead." Willow tried for distraction. "Hmph. Of course, but it doesnt matter. He will be dead before long anyway, and this realm will be mine, as it should be." "I-I could always spy on him for you. I-it would be n-n-no trouble, really."
"I have spies."
"You wouldnt be trying to distract me, would you."
Willow laughed nervously, "Of course not."
Nlar ran the whip lightly over Willows side, watching her try to hide the fear. He loved this part even more than the actual beatings. Watching a slave break was a treasure he'd never give up. He stepped away and raised his arm. Willow cringed, waiting and wondering if she'd survive. Oh Tara. She thought, biting back the tears. Suddenly Nlar cried out and grabed at his back, pulling away a silver dart. He looked behind him and saw Tara, eyes blazing as she stepped forward and sent an air spell at him, knocking him into the wall. Willow jerked her head up, and seeing Tara, the tears escaped easily down her cheek.
The demon growled and stood up, his knees shaking as the poison ripped through his body. He began to cast a spell, but instead of hurling it at Tara, and turned towards Willow, letting the balls of energy free as his body slumped to the ground. "NO!" Tara screamed, trying to summon a barrier. Before Tara could send the spell, Willow was surrounded by a bright light; the balls of energy bounced off, ricocheting and hitting the back wall.
The light barrier around Willow dissipated, leaving both girls stunned momentarily. Hurry. Vahna's voice spoke to Tara. Tara raced over to Willow and began freeing her from the chains and the araki. "Tara" Willow wept and fell in her arms. "We have to hurry, they will have found Tor by now." Tara told her softly. Willow quickly put on the clothes that Tara handed her. The two girls, hand in hand, made their way to the door.
"Witches" Nlar gasped. Tara turned around to see the demon trying to crawl after them. "Stay here." Tara told Willow, dropping her hand and advancing on the being who dared touch her lover. With a flick of her hand, the dart she'd thrown at him rose from the floor and went to her hand. She kicked him over and pushed the tip of the dart against his throat.
"The High Onewill.."he rasped, trying to swallow. "will die as easily as you and your brother have." Tara promised him. "If I could make you die slower, I would. But I have no time for you now." With that she pushed the dart into him, then stood up. Willow watched her, wide-eyed. They became aware of angry voices coming down the corridors. Tara threw a spell to block the door. "Baby? Can you teleport us?"
"I-I dont know." Tara took Willows hand and said, "Then together. We can do this. Do you remember Grandmothers camp..where it was?" Willow nodded and together the two combined their powers and teleported to the campsite. Well, three feet above the campsite. The two fell to the ground. Catching their breaths, Tara looked at Willow who shrugged. "Was close." The two girls stared at each other a moment, then fell into each others arms, finally able to release their fear and anger through tears.
Amilia and the other rebels, relieved at their return, stayed back giving the girls their space. Amilia had received a vision from Vahna, the Twin Sons were dead, and though it was but one battle in a long war, the rebels had won a large victory thanks to Tara and Willow.
Part 6: Yall Come Back Now, Ya'hear?
The next few days, Willow and Tara spent recovering from their experience and spending time with Amilia.
"Im glad I got to see you Grandmother, even though the circumstances were less than choice." Tara said hugging the older woman. "And you, Dear. You know how to find me, so next time you come straight away.no matter what danger you are in."
Tara looked into her grandmothers eyes suspiciously, but Amilia just smiled. "Now, run along you twoIm sure your friends over there are quite anxious." She said as she hugged Willow. The two girls headed towards the realm border where they could see the rest of the Scooby-gang waiting for them. "And Willow," Amelia hollered after them, "dont forget what we talked about."
Willow waved back to let her know shed heard Amelia then turned back, catching Taras quizzical glance. With a shy smile, she just shrugged, noting Taras frown with a grin. Together they steped through the barreir into their own world and were encircled by there friends. Questions flew at them but both Tara and Willow waved them off. "Later, well tell you what we can. Were just glad to be back." Tara told them. "Hey, is that a picnic basket?" Willow asked.
"Sure is." Xander answered.
"With food?" Willow asked hungrily.
"I knew a picnic would be a good idea." Anya smiled proudly, heading over to get her friends some dinner.
The Scooby gang sat down and ate. In between bites, Willow asked Buffy how long theyd been there. "About 6 hours I suppose. I came back a few hours after you left."
"Thats all?" Willow asked, stunned.
"Of course," Tara stated, "I should have guessed thered be a time difference between realms."
"What do you mean? How long do you thinkor.how long were you there?" Buffy inquired.
"Almost 3 weeks." Willow answered, looking into the astonished faces of her friends.
"Wow." Buffy understated, with nods of agreement from the others.
Buffy looked into the distance, noting the sun was beginning to descend. Only a few hours till it was time to hunt again. She smiled slightly as she watched her best friend, Willow, snuggle sleepily on Taras shoulder. She would insist on taking them home before the rest of them went after the baddies. She knew them well enough to know that despite their weariness theyd probably insist on patrolling anyway. They would tell them what happened when they were ready. She was just thankful that they had both returnedalive and well.
Tara smiled at Buffy, "Guess itll be getting time to start patrolling soon huh?"
Buffy smiled, "Yep, I suppose we should head home."
The gang gathered up their stuff and headed towards Buffys car. Tara looked back towards the cave and shuddered, then got into the back followed by Willow. Willow put her head on Taras shoulder and promptly feel asleep, unaware of the car ride, her lover lost in thought, nor of the menacing eyes that watched the car disappear into the distance.