Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy nor Alice in Wonderland. They each belong to their respective creators, and I make no profit from writing this story.
Warnings: Character death
Prompt: Willow Rosenberg/The Jabberwocky (2010 Alice) and Nightmares.
AN: Prompt comes from my Buffy/Angel + Alice in Wonderland Prompt Generator. Many more generators can be found at http : / / thebunnybox . bravehost . com (If you don't want to copy and paste you can find the link in my profile under Home of the Crossover Prompt Generators.)
Poem from http :/ / www . jabberwocky . com / carroll / jabber / jabberwocky . html
Willow watched, eyes glued to the top of the tower as the small dots of Buffy and Dawn met. Her eyes squinted past the bright tear in the fabric of the worlds as the Dawn speck began moving back to the end of the tower. "No," she whispered and her hand gripped Tara's fingers tighter, mottling the skin and sending twinges of pain up her arm, but the quiet woman only squeezed back.
Her attention was pulled from the ensuing argument as the portal arched lightening, spitting out a massive, black form. Her breath caught in her throat as the beast's long neck twisted to and fro, nose lifting high to scent the air. The beast glanced below it at the portal containing its body before it seemed to come to a decision. It's neck arched back as it pulled its body upward. Powerful wings cast mighty shadows over those on the ground as they beat hard, pulling the body into the sky. The tail twitched free, crashing into the tower with a horrendous banging noise.
Willow was gripped by terror; it tightened her chest and forced the air from her lungs. It looked like a dragon but something within her told her that was an incorrect assumption. This being was something far worse.
A scream dragged her attention away from hastily fleeing black shape and drew her eyes back to the tower. The scream came from the only speck left at the top of the tower. Another kind of fear pulled at her as her eyes skipped over the closing portal and landed on a pale shape laying crumpled at the bottom of the tower.
"Buffy," Willow whispered in despair, tugging Tara forward as shock set in; all thoughts of dragons and black beasts gone.
BAiW BAiW BAiW BAiW BAiW BAiW BAiW
Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
The words hushed through the blackness of her mind, sending Willow tossing and turning in her bed. Sweat glistened on her face and her brow puckered in something close to pain.
Blackness surrounded her, and Willow knew this was a dream, could almost feel the sheets twisting tighter and tighter around her body where she lay sleeping in bed. Tara had decided to stay at the dorm, studying for an upcoming exam. This left Willow with no one to wake her from this nightmare.
There was a swish of sound in the dark and Willow's heart jumped into her throat as she strained her eyes searching for whatever made the sound. Wherever she was however gave nothing away. She raised her hands to her face and was slightly surprised to be able to see them perfectly. What was this darkness if not true dark?
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The furious Bandersnatch!
There was another rustle of sound, a huff of displaced air. Willow closed her eyes, drawing in a calming breath. This was just a dream; nothing could hurt you in a dream, right?
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
The words came in a hurried rush, still as quiet as ever but more frenzied. It made the terror claw at her chest and Willow raised a hand to feel her heart racing under her frantically rising and falling bosom. It was this that drew her attention to the weight in her other hand. It hadn't been there a moment ago, and she raised that hand as well. There was a sword clutched tightly in her fist. Her thumb slid over twisting silver hilt. The silver gleamed oddly against the dark and her eyes ran up the blade. The blade was dark, eating up the darkness but small circles of silver, no bigger than pennies, shined up the length of the blade.
Long time the manxome foe he sought -
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
Bark bit into her back and Willow twisted sharply around. There was nothing but more darkness behind her but reaching out a hand met the same roughness she had moments ago been resting against. What was this?
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
Through the black before her eyes came another rustle. This sound was followed by an excited murmur that rang through the dark and clutched at her heart. Red specks shone through the dark and it took a moment for Willow to place the shape; they were eyes bobbing through the dark, drawing ever nearer to where she stood. Straining her eyes, Willow could pick up the slight outline of some large shape.
The beast was upon her in the blink of an eye, excited chatter chirping from its mouth. Claws flew through the darkness, and Willow's hands moved instinctively. She clutched the blade tightly between them and swung. The creature screeched in pain, drawing the bleeding hand backwards. It paced before her, and Willow settled into a better stance.
The voices rose up as the creature attacked again; they rose up so loud that she was nearly deafened, claws raking across her arm as she tried to listen to their words.
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
The blade swished through the air and sliced through flesh and bone with a snicking sound. The beast's head fell with a thud at her feet and Willow skittered backward as it rolled towards her.
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
The voices quieted as though they whispered excitedly in her ear.
And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
The darkness eased from around her, and Willow could see that she stood in the crumbling ruins of what might once have been a great castle. The beast's body lay in a broken heap before her, in the spot its head had once rolled nearer to her. Willow's eyes scanned the area around her, following the steps that twisted around the shattered tower she stood upon. The ground below her was bare but for a giant checkered floor and more rubble. Among the bits of stone and rock lay the giant head of the beast.
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.
Willow's eyes widened in horror as she glanced desperately between the body and the detached head. This beast, this Jabberwock, was the same terror inspiring beast that had come through the portal over a month ago.
A laugh rose around her, frantic and mad, ringing in her ears as she was dragged from her sleep.
Willow panted in horror as she sat bolt upright in her bed. Her thoughts turning wildly round and round in her head before she noticed the extra weight beside her. She didn't want to look. A whimper escaped her as the weight heated irritably under her questing fingers. Her eyes clenched tight as her head turned slowly towards the warmth. Slitting them open brought the sight of a blade, the same as in her dream, laid out beside her upon the covers.
Laughter, frantic and mad, escaped her lips as her fingers curled unerringly around the smooth hilt. This felt right, like this blade, this vorpal blade was made just for her hands.
Willow never noticed how like the mad laughter of her dreams she sounded.