A/N It would be pointless to go through all of the different ways I tried to end this story, suffice it to say that there were a lot of attempts, but none of them seemed to fit; until now. I would like to take this last time to thank all of the people that have read, reviewed and enjoyed my story, your praise means a lot to me. It goes without saying that I have no proprietary rights to BTVS or the works of HP Lovecraft, yet for some reason I'm supposed to say it. Anyway, the story is now complete and I hope you like the way I ended it.
I'd expect that right now you're torn between being relieved and being angry; just a suggestion but I'd stick with angry if I were you. It'll save time when you've finished this letter. Oh, before I really get started could you pull Aunt Willow back from Def Con 1 as well as T'mara's clan; I imagine things are a bit strained at the moment. Now, I imagine you're asking yourself 'Why did they leave and mail a letter rather than leave a note?'. Well the answer is real simple; as cliché as it sounds, by the time you get this it'll be too late to stop us. And before you and T'veron freak out, we're not eloping or anything like that. Actually we're doing something a lot more bone-headed than that; we've gone to look for Mom and Dad. Before you start ranting; I'm doing this because I KNOW that Dad is alive and T'mara is here because she loves me and wouldn't let me go alone. Now as to how I know Dad is alive even though Aunt Willow couldn't locate him, well I tried to claim the chair and failed. Now I remember what you and Mom and Aunt Willow all said about going near that thing but I figured that since it imparts the knowledge from all the previous holders then there might be something in Dad's memories that would tell me what happened; so I tried to claim it. But I couldn't, and let me tell you that was a shock, but I researched a bit and found that there can only be one claimant at any time, so it's Dad's chair until he dies and no one else's. So I knew that Dad was alive somewhere and if Dad was alive then it was a safe bet that Mom was too because I couldn't see either one of them allowing themselves to survive the loss of the other. The problem I had was where they could be and as you know; all I found was dead ends. That is up until a year ago. I was looking through Mom's desk for something when apparently I tripped a hidden panel. I heard a click and suddenly there was a drawer where there hadn't been one before. Well I opened it up and there was a box in there, a very ornate wooden box. Well I pulled it out and gave it a check with all the diagnostic spells I knew and then checked it for more conventional booby traps and when it came up clean, I opened it. Inside was an elaborate silver key and the spots for two others that weren't there. I had no idea what the key opened or anything else about it at the time so I ignored it for a while. I did a little research when I had the time but it wasn't exactly on my front burner. Then, about two months ago, I showed the key to T'mara. She got kinda strange when she saw it and left soon afterwards, it was clear to me that it had triggered a memory in her. The next day she told me about a legend that is passed around in the demon clans of the 'Gate of the Silver Keys'. According to their legends, it is a dimensional gate that doesn't lead to a specific place, but rather that place in the multiverse where we most want to be. For example, you might stand in front and choose to go to a dimension where Dad married you and not Mom, then when you opened the gate, that was where you would be. It isn't clear what happens if you die in the alternate dimension, some versions have you wake up outside the gate again, others have you appear on your original plane of existence and still others say that if you die there then you die in actuality. The problem was, we knew what we were looking for, but we had no idea where it was, the legends didn't say. So it was back to research mode for quite some time. Long story short, we found some references that told us that the gate exists in what we normally think of as our dream state. To get there you had to put yourself into another level, a deeper level of dreaming than we usually achieve. Kind of like the concept of 'effective dreaming' that was in that story 'Lathe of Heaven'; once you achieve that level, you can find the gate. We believe that is why Aunt Willow can't locate Mom and Dad, because the plane they are on is not just dependent on an alternate universe, but also on a different state of mind. After finding this out we tried to achieve this dreaming level, it wasn't easy but after a while it happened; first to T'mara and then to me. We achieved the necessary dream state and after a bit of exploring, found the gate. It's beautiful Aunt Dawn, I'd try to describe it but somehow words just don't do it justice. T'mara tried to sketch it out for you, hopefully it gives you some idea of how it appears. So now that we can get there, we're going to go through tomorrow. I know you don't want me doing this, but I really believe it's something I need to do. And I know it's a long shot, but the family has had longer shots pay off in the past. The last thing I'll say is 'don't worry' we'll be back. How do I know? I know because there are just too many darned prophecies about me that haven't occurred yet and since I've got to be here to fulfill them, it is only logical that I will come back to do so. So I won't say goodbye, but rather 'see ya later'
Dawn Summers glanced at the letter again; it had been six months since she'd received it. At first she had blamed T'mara for leading Jesse off on a wild goose chase but conversations with both Willow and T'veron (T'mara's father) had convinced her that no one was really to blame or everyone was, take your pick. Actually it was saying something that she could now look at the letter without bursting into tears; maybe she was finally growing up. In the midst of her thoughts, Dawn glanced at the clock and noticed that she was meeting Oz in ten minutes for lunch. She got up and made it as far as the door when the phone rang. She paused for a moment, then leaned over her desk and checked the caller ID. Seeing the number she did a classic double take, and then emitting a squeal that didn't seem right coming out of a fortysomething year old woman, she picked up the phone and started babbling.