Disclaimer: Buffyverse belongs to Joss Whedon and Xenaverse belongs to Robert Tapert

What was it about redheads? Not just any redheads. But redheads that are strong, independent, and brave and willing to kick ass. Redheads that protect others and place their safety before their own; redheads that fight against the darkness, even when it causes them nothing but pain and loss. Why of all the people across all the dimensions was she continually drawn to them? Tara Maclay could not figure it out.

She looked down at the young woman sleeping next to the fire and across from her new friend. So young, so full of life and innocence, though with the path she was starting down, that innocence would not last long. She would see the very worst of the world, the worst of humanity, and the worst of the Powers. She will suffer much on this path she has chosen. She will learn what loss is; loss of family, the loss of a lover, the loss of a child; loss of faith, loss of innocence. She will learn what pain is, pain unlike any she can now begin to imagine. She will learn what it is to be disillusioned with the world, with life and the sorrow involved. She will learn the cost of being a hero.

But on this path she will also learn joy, contentment, acceptance, companionship, a friendship that so few are privileged to experience. Her eyes will be opened to truths that others do not often see. She will see the world and the people in it unlike any so many others of her time. With the stories she writes, she will inspire others to be better than they are. With her actions, she will inspire others to help others. The path ahead of her will be a long one, fraught with danger and sorrows. But it will lead her to her destiny. A destiny fighting for good, to protect those that could not protect themselves.

This young girl sleeping before her reminds her of her lost lover, her beautiful Willow. She too was so young once, so innocent. She too joined her fate to that of a Champion and changed the world with her actions. She too ended up being a person almost unrecognizable from her younger self. How she wishes she could help to prepare her for the journey she was about to embark on. But she could not. For this is what must be, to prepare her. To prepare them both for their destinies as champions for the Powers That Be.

"Sleep well, little Gabrielle, for you will need the rest."