author's notes: This story was never intended to extend past this first short vignette of Sara. Once I agreed to write "just one more section" it quickly got completely out of hand and the whole story insisted on being told.

It is based predominantly on an AU first season in which the Great Rewind has not and will not take place. Elements have been drawn, however, from both seasons, the comic books, the novels, and my own compulsive filling in of the blanks between them all.

I have eschewed all original characters, most especially Mary-Sue's, opting instead to submit as my intrusion in the world of the Witchblade my imposition of certain guidelines governing Mythology in these characters' lives.

disclaimer: Any resemblance to characters or concepts copyrighted by Top Cow, Michael Turner, TNT, Mythic Films, or Warner Brothers is more than slightly coincidental. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. All parties mentioned above should consider themselves flattered.

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Setanta

She knows that the Witchblade draws him. She knows because for the past month whenever she wakes in the middle of the night she finds him there. She steps on him once, curled as he is on the floor beside her bed. It occurs to her only after he flees that he seems as startled to find himself there as she does.

After that first night she is careful to check before she swings her feet over the side of her bed. She shouts at him the second night too. And the third. On the fourth night she stays awake to shout at him as he climbs through the window. She is puzzled to see that his dark eyes are blank and he does not seem to hear her. The Witchblade winks at her mischievously and she knows then that this is not his fault. She has waited for him on the sofa and so it is there that he curls at her feet. She steps over him in exasperation and goes back to bed. But she doesn't rouse him. In the morning he is gone.

On the fifth night she neither waits up nor shouts when she wakes. She peers over the edge of the mattress and is not surprised to find him there on the floor. He looks so innocent, she thinks, though she knows he is not. He looks peaceful, but she wonders at the raw marks on his wrists. She watches him sleep for a long time and makes faces at the silent Asian ghost when he smirks. When her alarm clock goes off she opens her eyes, surprised that she has slept. She is not surprised to find her floor unoccupied.

Sometime in the next week she begins pushing a pillow off her bed before she goes to sleep. No reason, she tells herself. Same for the extra blanket that she kicks off in the middle of the night. When she settles the blanket over his shoulders she sometimes has to brush a lock of hair away from his face. Sometimes she is too sleepy to move again and leaves her fingers tangled there, his face warm against the palm of her hand. When morning comes the blanket is always neatly folded beneath the pillow.

She still sees him during the day too. He is never far away. Occasionally she manages to catch his gaze and hold it for a moment. Her rookie partner sees half of this exchange once or twice and asks why she is smiling. She shakes her head and tells him he's imagining things. She ignores the smirking ghost too.

She hasn't seen his boss in a few weeks, not since this began. Somehow she doesn't think that he will be as amused by the situation as her dead partner is. It worries her that she is concerned about hiding this from him.

She is beginning to remember more and more about the Witchblade. With it, she is remembering more about him as well. When she sleeps with his cheek beneath her hand he is with her in the dreams. She calls him by different names, though he always remains constant. Always loyal, always fierce, and always there.

She is beginning to wish for a few memories of her own, not supplied by the Witchblade in visions and dreams. She decides that there are things she does not want to know only secondhand, things she would like to learn for herself. When he comes through the window there is no pillow on the floor. It doesn't take much to steer him away from the spot beside her bed.

She knows that he will be startled when he first awakens, until he realizes that she, not the Witchblade, has orchestrated his position. Or perhaps that will scare him more, she muses wryly. Still, he seems at ease where he is, adjusting unconsciously to a position he hasn't slept in for more than a century. His feet hang over the end of the mattress, as they have done in every lifetime that she can now remember. It's the only way his head will rest against her shoulder when she refuses to move higher in the bed. His arm is heavy across her waist, possessive and protective, and strangely she doesn't mind.

She knows from a myriad of memories that if they start out this way, by morning they will be reversed. He will be on his back and her head will nestle in the hollow of his shoulder. She knows also that he will be lying diagonally so that his feet no longer hang off the bed. He will kick if he has to. She remembers many lifetimes of bruised shins and punches his shoulder at the memory. Even in sleep his snort sounds amused. He burrows further under the covers and sighs contentedly. She smiles at the strange domestic familiarity of it all.

His deep, steady breathing is lulling. His warmth is a comfort. Knowing that this time he will still be there when she wakes in the morning, she allows herself to slide into sleep as well.