Watcher in the Shadows

By

Tracey Claybon

Usual disclaimers apply - I don't own them though I wish that I did.
They are Marc Silvestri's, Top Cow/Image's and TNT's.

This Witchblade story is a slight departure from the norm for me. Normally, I write Ian, or very occasionally Sara. That's what this story was going to be, originally. This time, though, Lazar reached out, grabbed my muse by the shoulders, and had her write this :-)

There is going to be a prequel to this, set right when Elisabeth Bronte was betrayed by Irons. . .

And, yes, I intentionally spelled Elisabeth's name the way I did in the story, if only because I thought it more traditionally British in appearance, and, of course to distinguish her from the Queen of England.

I am figuring this for an AU of sorts (but hope I'm right g)

This is a combination of TV and Comic "reality" - the comic portions are alluded to in Witchblade Family Ties (Witchblade 19-21 and The Darkness 9-10) and Witchblade 49.

Lazar is speaking right after the events in the season finale, right after the time rewind.

-=-=-=-

I watch you put the keys in the ignition of your partner's car and convince him to drive away.

I see the confusion on Nottingham's face as he sees you walk away from the Rialto, and also from the setup that Irons - oh, I might as well call him what he TRULY is - the Iron Dragon - set up to test you and the Witchblade and bend the web of fate to his own ends, and ultimately the destruction of all of you in one form or another.

I see the confusion in the face of your other yet-undiscovered knight, Jake McCarty, who was reporting to his TRUE superiors as you and Danny drive away from the Rialto. After a moment, he too leaves, knowing that to act without support here is to die.

And, I smile to myself, knowing that now, perhaps, things will happen as they should have all along. I am also smiling because of my part in all of this, and that I succeeded in MY task here.

All of your life - all of your lives - I've watched over - and out for - you, Sara.

I took you from your parents so long ago when I realized that you were the next Witchblade wielder, and hid you in plain sight so that those who would have used you to the wrong ends couldn't locate you and warp you to their own ends.

I grieved when I could not retrieve young Nottingham - the original person and the current version of him, who protects you in the shadows, now - before the Dragon of Iron got to him, in the modern time and in Germany 60 years ago. I could not save the original Nottingham, who guarded Elisabeth Bronte's back during the second World War - the Iron Dragon had him murdered and stole his remains away; I did not know what had become of those remains until I met the first new version of him as a child about 20 years ago.

When I knew the young Ian existed again, molded and conformed to the Dragon's specifications, I did what I could to limit the damage the Dragon caused, arranging to be Ian's teacher and friend, at least in his dreams, to tell him of his true purpose and reason for existence. I also tried to ensure that the young knight kept his honor as much as was possible in service to the Iron Dragon, and ensured that in this new reality, Ian may yet break free of his evil master's control.

Like any "created man" - clone - he remembers some things that the original knew. I'm not sure that the Dragon is aware of how much this version of Nottingham remembers of what he once was.

I *know* that there is MUCH the Dragon is not aware of that Nottingham is now capable of - and he is far more enhanced than Irons is aware of.

There are so many lies that the young knight has been told are truths - the biggest of which is that he is related to Elisabeth Bronte as a son. He is of the bloodline of the Witchblade, yes - but NOT decocted from _her_ DNA. He is a true child of the original, in more ways than he realizes. And, he has been with the Witchblade and wielder throughout its existence, from the beginning - like I have.

When the Witchblade called you to its service, I was there to observe and to watch, and when the time was right, to give you the information you truly needed in order to have things unfold the way they should have before the Iron Dragon's manipulations warped the web of fate and time.

I could not stop the original tampering with events that the Iron Dragon instigated, but I could work within those limits to bring about the bonding with the Witchblade you had to have in order to have a chance against the Iron Dragon, and many other dangers you have NO knowledge of and have not yet faced - but that you will soon have to face. I will aid you with the knowledge you need later on - but, first, you must have a short time to sort things out. I will watch and make sure that your time is not meddled with, so that you and the Witchblade can form an unhampered bond together, without the dragon's interference this time.

But, now, you do not have to face the coming dangers all alone. Gabriel Bowman, Joe Siri, Jake McCartey (or is he McCarthy - that is one thing that is not clear even to me yet in this reality. . . but, I digress.*), the returned Conchobar, Danny Woo - on either side of the Veil of Life; and perhaps, even Ian Nottingham - will aid you now, without fail. Your Knights are all in place, to guard your back and side from assassins, thieves and intrigues - both those of Irons and of others still unseen as yet.

And, so will I, to the end of life and powers.

Because, the Witchblade isn't necessarily about dealing death, though she can and will do this to protect wielder, self and knights; she is the lamb of the seven items of power** in our world, and she is as much about sanctity, protection and preservation of life as destruction in defense of children, companions and kin.

I am probably not supposed to interfere - or, maybe I am - the Witchblade certainly does not disapprove of my helping to set things right.

That is not usually my function in the Web of Fate - usually I observe, as those like me usually do. But, perhaps it is now time for those of my kind to choose our sides in the Great Game that is being played out before our eyes that includes the seven sibling objects of power. Personally, I choose to aid the ordinary humans, that are as I once was, so very long ago. . .

Maybe, that is why I chose to aid Sara Pezzini - in the end, I believe that she will choose the side of the common good and the Light, and ultimately, I think that is why the Witchblade chose her, and why her knights - especially young Nottingham - would give all in order to protect her.

As they have, so many lifetimes in synchronization, over, and over. And, they will - not just because of eternal service to the Witchblade - but, because of HER. As I have, and will, until the Witchblade fulfills its end purpose, whatever it may be.

In this time, I am called Lazar, which is as close as one gets to my original name from so long ago - Lazarus. Before, I was Taliesin, Math ap Mathonwy, Merlin, and so many others, often not allowed to do much more than whisper encouragements to the Bladewielders, in thoughts and dreams, in much the same way as I do now for young Nottingham. I will soon help him more directly and actively, for that will be necessary for him to both break free from the Dragon's control and also to fulfill his role to the Witchblade and its Wielder.

And, unlike the last two times I walked away and chose non-interference - in France, in the 1500s when the wielder was Jeanne d'Arc, and at Camlann - what modern scholars call Camelot - I will not fail this Bladewielder Sara, her Knights - or the Witchblade - again.

This time, I have chosen. The way I should have, all along.

I choose, willingly, to aid the Light. And, I will *not* walk away from my duties to the Witchblade and her Wielder.

-FIN-

* Jake is named McCarthy in the comic.

** Reference is made to seven objects of power in the universe of the Witchblade in #49. Three are known - the Witchblade, the Angelus, and the Darkness. All seven are needed to cause the Apocalypse.