Zodiacal Light

With Nerissa and her Guardians defeated for now and the Heart of Earth safe, there was no real reason for the rest of the Guardians and Regents to stay at the Hales'—not to mention that Cornelia would probably be in trouble for trying to shirk off her babysitting duties. The fastest way home was to fly, of course, so Will pulled out the Heart and promised to wait for Taranee's telepathic signal for them to power down. The only near-problem with that was that Matt had decided to escort Will, in Regent form.

Will wasn't mad at Matt, per se, but she was confused. While Matt/Shagon, Huggles/Khor, and Napoleon had really saved their necks back there, she still wasn't sure how she was supposed to feel about her boyfriend's Regent form. She'd fought Shagon for so long, thinking that he was holding Matt hostage, so finding out that he really was Matt under a spell had been a little hard to deal with once she got over the overwhelming relief that he was okay. Now, seeing him willingly return to that form…

"Well, we're here," she declared once they reached the roof of the apartment building. No one was around, and the shadows safely hid them from anyone who might see a fairy and an angel with a tail flying around. But when she looked over at Matt, she saw him hovering upside down. She raised an eyebrow. "What are you doing?"

"What? No Spider-Man kiss?" he teased. The mask gave his voice a metallic ring, but there was no sign of the mocking hatred that Shagon had always spoken to her with. That, at least, was a comfort.

"Sorry, Matt," she answered with a smirk, "but it's kind of hard to kiss you when you've got that mask over your lips."

"Fair enough," he agreed, shifting back to human form and flipping onto his feet as he fell. "Nice to see I can do that without falling flat on my face." Mr. Huggles raced from his hands to his shoulder, where he curled his tail around Matt's neck like a scarf. "Say, Will?"

"Yeah?"

"Are you upset that I can morph into Shagon now?"

She landed next to him and took a breath. This wasn't exactly going to be easy. "Not…upset, exactly, just…" She sighed. "I don't know. I mean, it's great that you've got Regent powers and you, Huggles, and Napoleon can keep Nerissa from getting Lillian's power, but it was just weird seeing Shagon and Khor again and knowing it was you and Huggles this time. Plus you really scared me with your act there."

Matt had the decency to turn slightly red at this. "Okay, I deserved that. But, Will, it wasn't a picnic for me either. One minute, Lillian gives us her power, and the next I'm running from the room trying to keep her from seeing me transform. And I think I gave Cornelia a heart attack when I started talking and it was Shagon's voice we all heard out of my mouth."

Will gave him a look of sympathy. "Hearing your demon's voice out of your own mouth? Yeah, I see how that would have freaked you out."

"Yeah, but I think it's for the best," he decided. "Nerissa specifically picked me to be her slave boy so she could get to you. At first, I was completely under her control, but after a while, I started to pull away." He stared toward the horizon, where light was just beginning to creep, and continued, "My personality split. Shagon had control of most of my mind and body, but every so often, the 'real me' could break through—like when I gave you that hint by singing. Finally, I realized that I could break free of Nerissa's magic, and I destroyed Shagon."

"I'm sensing a 'but' here," Will said.

"Yep," Matt answered. "But when I did and when Nerissa took her magic back, she must have left some kind of failsafe in there. Everything I knew about her plans, I lost. Even now, I feel like there's something important I need to tell all of you about her Guardians, but I just can't remember it. Anything I could have been useful for, I'm not."

"So being a Regent gives you a purpose," she realized. "And at the same time, you get to make up for everything Nerissa made you do, and in Shagon's body to boot."

"Yeah," he replied. "I figure by the time Lillian's old enough to control her powers, I'll finally be at peace with myself." Then, with a glance at the dormouse on his shoulder, he added, "Huggles too. He stayed with me through everything, so we both need to work this out. Although I don't think there's enough therapy in the world to get rid of the mental image of Nerissa flirting with me."

"No kidding!" Will agreed. "What was with that 'dearheart' thing anyway?"

"Got me," he answered. "I don't think I want to know. I guess she figured if she was going to take the Heart of Kandrakar from you, she might as well take everything else from you…and I'd better stop there because I'm going to have so many nightmares about that."

"Yeah, same here," Will affirmed.

"At least now, I can be right there with you when you fight and not be in your way," Matt said.

"Yeah," Will agreed, kissing him. "I like that."

The sun rose, but neither of them noticed. Finally, with two flashes of light, Will reverted to normal and Matt changed to Regent form and headed home. Rather than head back in right away, Will watched him fly off, finally thinking that she could start to get used to this.

I don't own W.I.T.C.H. This piece has been bouncing around in my head for some time, ever since I first saw "U is for United"—I figured there was a story behind Matt feeling comfortable becoming Shagon again, and I thought it was a shame that we never saw much resolution on Will's side, aside from the throwaway line about him worrying her with the "old habits" line. Plus I never understood why Matt didn't just tell Hay Lin that the Yan Lin on Nerissa's side was an altermere—I figured Nerissa had to have done something to keep him from spilling the beans.