AN: hey so the plot bunnies co-cospired with my muse to hold me hostage till i agreed to start this new fic idea. So to appease them here is the start of "reward of the re-lit candle." its a charmed/tuck everlasting crossover. this will be movie verse for tuck and for charmed it will be after the end of season 8. the idea being that winnie does not drink from the spring. but upon her death in 1999 (as stated on the headstone at the end of the movie) winnie is given the chance to become a whitelighter. is mentored by leo and becomes close friends wih the hallewells. Special thanks go to Silverwings1986 for giving me the insperation for this fic. and To KJ for letting me pick her brain on whitelighter details and the ideas that inspired. Oh, and fear not, i am still working on my other stories. with that said on with the show!
disclaimer: I own nothing so don't bug me!
early spring 1999:
As I lie here in bed, surrounded by my family, struggling to breath, I Know the end is soon. I see so many dear faces stained with tears, and I know I'll never regreat my choice. Reguardless of my sacrafice of ever being his, what I got in return was more than worth it. I smile at them all around me. And then close my eyes, for what I know with as much certiancy as anything else I ever felt, for what I know will be the last time.
It gets suddenly very bright. even with my eyes closed I can tell I am no longer in the same place. I open my eyes to see a bright white circular room filled with what I guess is daylight. The light makes the walls of the room practically glow. Seated all around me were men and women of different ages dressed in golden robes. They were all stareing at me.
Finally one stood up and said, "Welcome to the hall of elders Winnifred Foster Jackson."
I looked around the room at all the many faces that filled the room. So was this to be my judgement?
The man who was still sttanding up in front of me went on to say, "I know you are confused at the moment, but you are here right now because we want to offer you a gift."
"And what would that be sir?" I ask in such an unsure tone it must have clearly displayed everything i was feeling at the moment. That is if my face didn't do that already.
" A choice." he answered warmly.
The look on my face must have clearly said that I had no idea what he was talking about. Because before I even managed to get the question out
he started to explain.
"We are offering you nothing less than what you have already earned..." he was cut off as a women from across the room stood up and started to speak.
"Sometimes it is the smallest acts of kindness that bring about the greatest works of good. And can sometimes out weigh a large action or scarafice. Yet you have had both in your lifetime. To be so young and to sacrafice love for the greater good. Followed by a lifetime of small and not so small acts. that in turn lead to many great things. You Winnifred have had a significant hand in bringing a great deal of good into this world. More than you realize, or may ever truly know."
"That is enough Sandra." he stated. and the woman named sandra noded her head and sat down.
"As I was saying, you have earned the chance to continue to help people in a most uniquie way." he said.
"What does that mean exactly sir?" I ask.
"You have the chance to join a select group of people, who like you spent their lives helping people, who have been given a second life so to speak, so that they can continue to do so." he responded.
To say I was shocked was a vast understatment, even dumbfounded didn't seem to fit the prescise way I was feeling at the moment. after a few moments I managed to ask, "What do you call this group?"
"They are called whitelighters." he answered.
I let this all think in, and after a moment a question suddenly stood out in my mind. "What exactly do you mean by a second life?" I asked, as i felt the tiniest spark of some emotion I couldn't quite indetify at the moment starting to stir within me.
The man smiled warmly and then answered, "Since your current life on earth has indeed reached its natrual end, we say second life, for you would become a being of good magic with the abillity to travel between here and earth. And as long as you were in our service you would not age, or be prone to any illness. eternal in almost all aspects except one. You would be vulnerable to a darklighter's arrow. The poision of said arrrow being the only thing that can cause death to a whitelighter. But if either by choice or by senture you are relieved of the powers of a whitelighter you will revert to mortal form to live a mortal life. So in short, since there is still the posiblity of death, it is still in a general sense of the word life."
Upon hearing him say the word eternal the tiny spark surged into a larger, stronger flame of an emotion I now reconised as hope! As the image of jessie suddenly popped into my mind. And even though it been 85 years since I last seen him I knew at once I still felt the same for him. That was the one thing neither time or the course of events in my life could not diminish. if anything it had only grown with time. And the aspect of being alive in some form long enough to eventually find or at least cross paths with him again was enough to make me want to accept their offer. I couldn't help but smiling at that thought.
"May I be permited to speak again Zola?" asked the same woman as she stood up again.
Zola noded his head to answer her request. but instead of adressing winnie her coments were directed to the man she had just spoken to.
"Anonymity is an important tool of a whitelighter. For as well know as the subject became in recent years, up untill the end, if she chooses to join us can she ever really have that?" she asked.
"A vaild point Sandra. But If we possibly change the age of her appearance I think it should prevent that problem." he answered.
He then turned to her and asked, "Is there any perticular age you care to return to?"
Winnie smiled as she thought about getting to be 17 forever just like the boy she loved. but the realized after some quick thought that an age over the legal age limit would be better for dealing with the world when need be. the number 18 came quickly to mind. It just cleared the limit and yet if she found him he still be able to reconize her by sight.
And with that decided she took a deep breath and spoke her answer, "I would like to be 18 sir. For at that age I think I run the least risk of being reconised."
"A wise choice." The man answered.
A thought suddenly struck her that sent a chill thru her, and promted her to speak before she could think better of it and lose her nerve.
"Sir may I be permited to make a request before I render my decision?"
All eyes in the room where suddenly on her. She felt chills run up and down her back in the quite that suddenly filled the massive room.
After a very long moment of silence, the man finally spoke in a tone that seemed rather curious, "Please enlighten us with your request."
She Took a deep breath as if to steady herself and collect her courage, then spoke, "My request is quite simple really. As you have mentioned earlier the scarafice I made at such a young age for the greater good. Well then you must also know why I made such a choice for that family, and how they are not quite normal as far as most humans go."
She was interupted by the woman who said, "Yes we know all about that family, and how thru no fault of their own they lost their mortatilty."
Winnie noded and then continued, "Well, it is because of that family and what I learned from them, that lead me to be able to stand before you today. For the time I spent with them was like a gift, and that inspired me to pay foward such good fortuine to others. To enrich lives as mine had been. and that inspiration and their memory carried me thru out my life. So what I ask is simply this, that if I accept your offer and I don't let it interfere with my duties, you allow me to look for the love I had to let go all those years ago, and to have the chance I never got to be with him, when and if I find him?"
As soon as the words left my mouth the room erupted into the rumble of the reactions of all those seated in the room. My request no matter how elequently stated caused quite the uproar! most of the room was in arguement over my words.
They debated my request for the longest time. it was hard to say how long exactly cause there was no way to mesure time where I was. All I could do is stand there and wait as I hoped with all my heart that they agree. If it wasn't for the fact that I was already dead I think the tention from the suspense of waiting so long would have killed me! But finallly after what seemed like a lifetime, the room seemed to reach its decision.
The man from before stood before me as he did before and stated, " We have debated long and hard on your request. which has been as uniquie as your sitchuation. and finally come to the majority conclusion that if you agree to accept our offer, we will grant your request. As long as you can prove that you can put your duties first."
I smiled brightly, even though I felt like jumping up and down for joy!
"Well then I most gladly and whole heartedly accept your offer." I stated happily.
"Very good then. All you need to do then is just take my hand to make it final." he said as he held his right hand out, as if i was supposed to shake it. As I grasped his hand I suddenly felt an intense burst of warmth flood thru me as I suddenly felt lighter then ever before. My head spun for a moment. and then he let go of my hand and it all stopped abruptly. I looked down at my hand and then the other totally shocked. The wrinkles, the age spots, the almost traslucent saggy condittion of my skin that came with my advanced age gone! replaced with the youthful glow of healthy supple skin. I was truly 18 again. at lest in appearance anyway. A new life lay ahead of me, along with the chance of finally getting my chance to be with my first love. All I got to do now is find him.
early summer 2002:
As I drove down the main street of town my heart started to race faster then the bike i was currently riding. I was finallly going to have her back in my life and my arms. I keep thinking about the last time I saw her. And knew that I still felt the same way, if not more so, about her as when I told her that I would love her tilll the day I died. before long I was pulling up in front of the old house. The one that used to be hers. In fact I was surprised that it still was there.
I parked the bike across the street and a few feet passed it so not to be to suspious. As I walked into the woods just beyond the house, checking to make sure I wasn't being watched first, I traveled thru the all too familar paths. It was good to know that no matter how the rest of the world changed, somethings still remained the same and untouched. My mind filled with all of the plans and dreams I been having for so long about what we do with our eternity together. With each turn in the path I traveled my antisapation grew. I smiled as I reached the final bend in the path, beyond these few trees would be the spring where we first met. As I pushed the final few branches of the way and entered the clearing, the sight that met my eyes shattered both my world and my heart! There under the tree bareing my family's mark was not the spring but a headstone.
She was gone. she didn't drink, she didn't wait for me. For three years she been gone from this world. Why did I wait so long? Now i'm too late. As grief and regret and sorrow merged into this massive wave of pain greater than anything I have ever known sweep thru me, knocking me to my knees. And there I stayed for the longest time, morning all that I had lost.