A/N: Heys! My first non-oneshot. I'm committing to finishing it...we'll see how that goes! I've got a couple chapters in progress and no idea where I'm going from there...hehe...*cough* I will post when I have something to post. If you review, you foster motivation for me to work on it more. (hint hint review!) I don't own buffyverse, of course, just the weird sibling peoples and whoever else I create for fun.
The cell guard nervously walked through the door to the barred box of a room he had patrolled for the last three centuries. Considering its occupant had been around for the past seventeen millennia, he was still considered green at his job, but he knew well enough by now what common sense entailed. Required to wake up the apparent sixteen year old girl, he considered his options. He knew better than to directly touch her - she was well known for her feistiness - but he still had to jostle her to consciousness as she was no light sleeper. He gently shook the mattress pad she lay on, hoping he had balanced his choices wisely.
After a tense moment, the girl turned, stretched, and eyed him briefly. She turned away once again, only to hop to her feet and instant later. When he didn't immediately stand up after her, she spoke irritably, "Well…are we going or not?" At his mixture of shock and fright, she sighed and continued, "I have served barely any of my idiotic sentence and considering my temper, I highly doubt I'm getting out on good behavior. Logically, something is wanted of me by your boss. Assuming you did not wake me to receive his company here, we will be going elsewhere. So, shall we?" The girl appeared almost bored as she spoke, rolling her eyes at what she deemed obvious and doing nothing to hide her exasperation. She seemed the epitome of the teenage girl. Her authority spoke of something else.
The guard jumped to his feet, attempting to resume control of the situation. He ran through protocol in his mind, trying to remember what he was supposed to do. Then he saw the cuffs on his belt; "Your hands, please." She looked at him with sneering disdain before she appeared to change her mind, a small smile gracing her lips. She held them out willingly. He had just finished fumbling and cuffing her wrists securely when he looked back up into her eyes and gulped. Her smile had evolved into a full-fledged smirk, sending chills all the way down his spine. Looking back down at her wrists, he realized she was holding out the previously locked cuffs to him in her very much uncuffed hands.
"Thanks, but I won't be needing those." Her smirk widened as the guard shakily retrieved the cuffs from her extended hand and returned them to his belt. He had known they would do nothing to restrain her, but they were protocol. He hoped his boss wouldn't blame him when she walked freely into his chambers.
He decided they should be on their way rather than further extend their meeting. He muttered just audibly "Let's be going miss. My lord is waiting." She chuckled lightly behind him but he could hear her follow him as he exited the cell. After closing the door behind them, he had her walk in front of him up the stairs to the base floor. He directed her to the right, down a long, wide passage with great windows that looked down upon clouds. The view always awed him, but his charge seemed to continue on without notice, so he did his best to keep pace. They turned left towards the end, heading up a closed, spiraling stair, then passed two doors before coming to a large, oaken one. He opened it nervously and led her directly ahead to the door across. It was a double door made of polished cherry, trimmed with bright brass hinges and knobs. He knocked once.
An impatient, aged man's voice sounded "Let her in, Dietrich. You may leave." After watching the girl pass through the doors, the guard scurried back to his post, glad to be rid of the prisoner, even momentarily.
Back upstairs, in a study of sorts, the man that had dismissed the guard looked his visitor up and down warily. He had not seen his elder sister in a great long time and did not relish her presence now. He did, however, pity her. When he had imprisoned her, though she had not been a vision of beauty despite her immortal youth, she was at least well-kept. Now she looked worn and taut. While she was lucky that her hair did not naturally grow past her shoulder blades and thus did not now trail along the ground, it was raggedy and unkempt. Her clothes were old and worn, though well patched. She went shoeless, but that, he supposed, was no great surprise; she had never covered her feet before. To his mild relief, however, she seemed physically fit. Her muscles were as developed as ever, her stomach flat, her stance firm. She did not appear, in that sense, worse for wear. He intoned wearily "How are you, Lindsay?"
"Do save me the chitchat, little brother-" he flinched "-and tell me what it is you want. I was having a particularly good dream of meadows and wildflowers that I do so wish to return to for the next decade or so." She said this with only the slightest tint of sarcasm, but such restraint did not show in her stance; she looked ready to lunge for his throat. He sighed again and rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"Lindsay-" he started, but at her glare, "sister, do forgive me. Please sit." She made no move towards the chair at which he gestured, so he continued. "I'm afraid I have…run into a problem that I can not seem to fix." The girl's eyes narrowed.
"What have you done, brother?" Her voice was sharp, but almost scared. She knew that any trouble he admitted to would be critical.
"It is…regarding the Earthly dimension…" He mumbled.
"What about that dimension!" Her voice rose an octave or so from its usual tenor.
Sucking in a deep breath, he quickly spurted out, "One of the Powers that Be has fallen from grace to insanity and entered that dimension as a being named The First. You know our rules; we can not retrieve one of our own from another dimension once fallen from our ranks. But the havoc he has created…we can not reverse it. No matter what we try to do, the soul mates are separated-" SMACK! At the mention of the soul mates, his sister had sprung and hit him. For once, he did not attempt to defend himself. For all that he hated her superiority at times, she was at this moment undeniably in the right.
Her voice shook as badly as her body once she spoke. "You, dear brother," her voice was laced with fury, "imprisoned me 17,493 years ago as I chose the safety of those two soul mates over one of the innumerable lives of one of your precious Powers that Be, and now you have come to tell me that one of your beings has betrayed you to endanger them again. And you wish me fix the problem! HOW DARE YOU!"
When she had been faced years ago with the decision between the angel's life and the soul mates' well-being, she had knowingly chosen 100,000 years of imprisonment with the safety of the soul mates. Her brother had, in fact, encouraged her decision, only imprisoning her as it was his duty, not his will. She had entered her cell with his promise to protect the soul mates she had sent to the Earthly dimension. True, she had been mad at him for imprisoning her regardless of her foreknowledge of it, but she had settled with the knowledge that the soul mates were in good hands. That the promise had not been upheld, that he had, in fact, as good as betrayed her in her mind, left her enraged.
She glared at him in silence. He refused to meet her gaze, lowering his head in shame. "Well," she sighed, unclenching her fists, "at least you have not been so stupid as to not ask for help. Tell me the original situation that did not hold your interference. I need not hear all the details of your failures; that would only make me angrier. Just tell me what happened the first time." The man, once again, sighed in relief. Despite having let down his older sister yet again, she would help him. He skipped over the countless lives the soul mates had lived in peace and loving proximity, and started with the life where it had all gone wrong.
"They were born," he started, "as Willow Rosenberg and Tara Maclay."