Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Legend. Buffy belongs to Whedon, and Legend and related characters belong to MCA Universal. No money made.
A/N: I love Legend. I've loved it from the first time I saw it. So, when the art group I sometimes do manips for put up a pairing for one of their weekly contests that contained a Legend character, how could I refuse? This fic was inspired by the manip I did for that very contest, and if you want to see the fic with the art, visit my LJ at patriciatepes dot livejournal dot com (remove spaces, replace "dot"s with actual periods). Please enjoy!
When you pissed off the Goddess, you knew it. A good indication of pissing her off is trying to do a simple scrying spell only to end up unconscious before waking in the middle of a dense forest. The message was simple: You've done something wrong. Now you have a lesson to learn. So, Willow dusted off the blue jeans she wore, and adjusted the jewel-toned yellow jacket on her shoulders, and directed her comment skyward.
"Message receive. I won't scry again. Promise," she shouted.
That would greatly hinder some of the things she did to aid Buffy when dealing with the new slayers and all that, but if scrying was what the Goddess wanted Willow to stop doing, then she was going to get her way.
"Hello?" Willow called into the trees ahead of her.
Patches of warm yellow sun dotted the ground before her, and there seemed to be a very vivid life to this forest, though no animals could be seen. Willow shook her head.
"Goddess, I humbly beg your forgiveness. Please, just tell me what I've done wrong."
A rustling in the foliage to her right caused her to turn. Gently pushing its way through the trees was a large, white unicorn. It whinnied at her, and turned its head, as if to indicate a presence standing behind. Willow leaned to her left. It wasn't everyday she ran into unicorns, seeing as they tend to be quite rare, but something told her that this beautiful beast was just the tip of the iceberg.
"The Goddess bids me welcome you, Sorceress Willow," a tiny man, no bigger than a child said as he walked before the unicorn. "I am a child of this forest. I am called Gump."
There was a Forrest Gump joke there, Willow was sure of it. But she let it pass as she took in the very limited dressings the man wore—nothing but a loin cloth and a satchel about his shoulders. His ears were pointed, very pointed, and Willow had to fight the urge to note how adorable this little creature was. Suddenly, a little yellow ball of light flitted before his eyes. He smiled at it.
"Welcome our guest, Oona," he said.
A quick flash of light later, and the spot of light was replaced by a woman as tall as Willow—if not a tad taller—with wispy yellow hair, tan clothes that were rather jagged in design, and large transparent wings.
"So, a fairy, an elf, a unicorn, and a witch all meet in the forest," Willow muttered. "If this isn't the setting for a bad joke, then I don't know what is."
Gump frowned. "The time for joking is over. You've angered our Goddess. This is not to be taken lightly."
Willow shook her head. "I don't understand. Where am I? What did I do to anger her?"
Oona tilted her head up at Willow as the fairy crouched low to the ground. "You've done much to please her in the past, but your blatant usage of the gifts she has bestowed upon you without proper tribute cannot be left unchecked. She wishes you to learn that the powers you have are a privilege, not a right."
Willow bit gently at her lip. When was the last time that she gave thanks to the Goddess? Let's see… if today was Monday, then it would have to be… Oh, crap.
"I take it a simple 'I'm sorry' isn't going to work, is it?"
Gump shook his head. Then, he pointed at Oona. "The Goddess has appointed you a guide. A loyal worshipper of her power to teach you respect. I must remain with the unicorn, but Oona will guide you to him."
"Guided to a guide? Okay… fine. But I am really, really sorry."
Gump grinned as Oona reverted to her light form. "Then let it be shown in your studies."
Willow hadn't liked the sound of that, and boy was she right. Oona had led her deeper into the forest until they reached a cliff that overlooked a lake. Standing on the very edge of the lake, dressed in thin, green clothes that barely reached to his thighs was a man. He was crouched low, his face upturned. Long, chocolate locks fell to his shoulders, swept back from his eyes. Oona addressed him as Jack, told Willow that he was to be her guide, and then left.
That was roughly a week ago.
Now Willow was ankle deep in mucky water, listening—apparently—to the spirits within. She wasn't one to question the existence and importance of such spiritual creatures… but she had been this way for three hours. She really couldn't feel her feet anymore. Jack, meanwhile, was sitting atop a boulder that was so large that it rose well above the water's surface.
"You must be careful not to disturb them," Jack noted. "Be a friend to them, and they shall be a friend to you."
She was standing in the middle of their home. She was pretty sure she had disturbed them. But a Goddess was not someone you wanted angry at you, so she held her ground, calling out to the spirits around her. She spoke of them, talking of the cleanliness of the waters in the forest and how they would like to keep it that way. Willow was questionable about the particular stream she was standing in, but she didn't let the spirits know that.
"Enough. They are pleased," Jack said, beckoning her out of the water.
Finally! Willow trekked her way to dry land, Jack only having to take a single leap to reach it. Willow shook the excess water from her feet as best she could, rolling down her jeans' legs. Then, she promptly plopped down onto the ground to slip her shoes back on.
"Next, you will gain an appreciation of the gifts of the plants."
This led to another three hours going off the names and benefits of every plant they spotted. Most of which Willow already knew. Jack was impressed. Finally, he pointed to a bushel of flowers.
"This one is particularly sacred to the Goddess. The burning of it is particularly aromatic."
Willow did not recognize the dainty, yellow flowers. "Why are they sacred?"
"Because it is said that she comes to our plane every season to plant them herself, a sign that she is still among us."
Willow nodded. "Okay."
She leaned forward, pulling a handful of the flowers from the ground. Jack arched a brow.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
She shushed him. She conjured fire and lit the bundle. Instantly, curling, sweet smelling smoke emerged, and Willow began to chant, closing her eyes. She gave thanks for her powers, thanks for the Goddess, and thanks for anything she could think of to be thankful for. When she looked again, she was kneeling in her own room in the Scottish castle the slayers now used as their own.
"Home sweet home," she smiled.
Suddenly, like she was hit by a truck, she was flung backwards as a voice more powerful than her own spoke to her, directly to her mind.
"I will forgive you this easily once, Willow. But be faithful in your thanks. Next time, it shan't be that easy."
When it was over, she had a pounding headache. Message received. She would be very careful in giving thanks. She had gotten off easy this time. And, just to be sure, Willow gathered her supplies. Never hurt to give thanks twice, after all.