Part 7: To Kill Her Is To Love Her
"For the promise of a tryst like this, you could keep me here forever." -Ian Nottingham
"IĎd kiss you but people might talk." -Richie Ryan
"IĎm thinking of you. Okay, IĎm done." -Cordelia Chase
It had been a few days after they had found the talisman that Anya, after her argument with Xander had vanished, despite the search effort there was no sign of her. Xander was uneasy and restless as he mostly paced, instead of researching. Tara had disappeared after lunch, she had yet to call or return. Willow was beginning to get caught up in Xanderís agitation. It was late that afternoon when the delivery guy again made his presence known.
"Wow," he smiled. "You guys are really dedicated to researching the occult." he glanced around the room. "I have a package here for Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg, sign here please." he handed the clipboard to Buffy and the package to Willow.
"Me?" Willow looked over at Buffy, "Iím not expecting anything."
"Iím guessing its from our mysterious admirer." Buffy smiled at Willow. "Will, I donít want to sound greedy or anything, but if this is dangerous I donít want you to-"
"Iím sure that itís not," Willow smiled pulling off the plain brown paper wrapping. "Everything else has been harmless." Willow trailed off as she saw that the pristine white box was red on the bottom. The red blood was fresh, still oozing out the pours of the box.
"This is not going to be pretty." Dawn whispered to Gabriel.
"Yeah, blood tends to be a bad omen." he whispered back.
"Thereís a note on the wrapper," Sarah stooped down to pick it up. "To the pretty red headed witch, soon you will fulfill my daughterís shoes. Once you see whatís in my pack, your red hair will be black." Sarah eyed the paper for a signature. "This one is no exception, no signature."
"Some one thought red ink would be appreciated." Owsyn looked over Sarahís shoulder.
"Its blood." Shea and Spike spoke up simultaneously.
"Whoís?" Xander asked. "It could be Anyaís." looking at the bloody box.
"Its Taraís!" Willow screamed. "Its her ring!"
"Iím guessing not," Buffy cradled Willowís weeping form in her arms. "Iíd say that we need to find out admirer and put an end to this."
"I agree." Giles took the box from Buffy seeing TaraĎs finger with the ring still on it. "Who could do such a monstrous thing?" he looked up at the rest of the faces.
"I know." Shealti stepped up. "Its her, sheís here."
"Who?" Buffy asked.>
"Kealti," Shea looked over at Willowís tear filled eyes. "Iím sorry Willow, I thought that she would leave that between us."
"Your sure?" Methos looked at her.
"Yeah," Shea nodded. "I saw her leaving after our fight with the Jhe."
The pure tears slid down her face, Willow couldnít believe it. Shea knew someone who would do such a monstrous thing. Shea knew who it was, that they were here and that she could stop them and had not. The rage that filled her small form, began from her toe to the top of her head, as it rose her clothes became black, her green eyes became inky depths without end, and her red hair became black as night. Her fists at her side clenched and drawing blood from her palms.
"You could have stopped this." Willow pointed at Shea who pushed back to the back wall of the shop.
"Willow, its not her-" Buffy was sent crashing up against the ceiling.
"Stop it Will," Xander pleaded with her before she sent him glued to the ground.
"Willow, please donít do this," Giles was sent flying backwards through the shop window.
"Methos do something!" Richie shouted before Willow sent him to join Giles out in the street.
Willow was too far gone to hear the voices of her friends, pleading with her to stop this, her attention went back to Shea who had disappeared, the black lather duster was still stuck to the back wall of the Magic Box, high near the ceiling the shape of her arms and out line of her bosom still shaped the leather.
Willow found herself glued to the floor like Xander, Shea towering over. "Quite powerful for someone your age."
It was mere seconds before Willow was behind Shealti and ready to strike. The Ancient had formed a binding aura around the young witch like a large glass jar over her Willow was not able to do anything except shout and curse Shea. Willow began focusing all her anger toward getting out of the binding aura. Buffy fell from the ceiling, Spike slid to a stop and caught the slayer just as she was about to hit the ground. Richie and Giles emerged through the front door. Shea helped Xander off the floor.
"Wow," Dawn straightened her long brown hair after the whirlwind that followed Willowís power surge. "I didnít think Willow could be like that."
"Nice going Old Witch," Methos dusted himself off. "Now how long will this last?" he eyed the faint blue aura that was now surrounding Willowís angry from.
"As long as I need it to." Shea narrowed her eyes at Willow. "Youíve met your match poppet, draw all that you want from Hecate." she spoke to the young witch. "Iíve earned my powers, I draw from no one for my magic."
"My god," Giles eyed the aura, he looked at Shealti "Iíve never seen anyone but a coven do that."
"Owsyn, when is the Eve of Dahgi?" Shea asked.
"In two days, and we have nothing to go on." she looked around. "Except the name that you gave us, Kealti." the female watcher sat down at the laptop. "Gabriel, Iím about to break every Watcher code know to exist, hack into the Watcher database in London. "See what you can find out on Kealti. Giles break out codices, see what you can find on Dahgi, I have a feeling that Kealtiís not acting alone on this."
"The guy that the dayís named after?" Buffy asked. "I thought that he was some fabled Greek War hero."
"Try Ancient Persian vampire." Shealti looked over at Giles "Heís defiantly Persian or Indian.
"Hinduism is the oldest religion on the planet, do you have any idea how long that will take?" Giles asked.
"Start with Kali the goddess of Death and Destruction, her consort is a God named Dahgisumna, the blood god, also known as Shiva."
"That would explain their closeness." Methos muttered. "Shea, you do have a plan for facing down Kealti and Dahgi, donít you?"
"Iíve always got a plan." Shea smirked. "I just donít let everyone in on it."
Buffy knew the feral smile that Shea wore, she had worn it many times, the last time was with Adam. There was something old and very cold about the smile that Shea wore. This smile hid a long tradition of hate. Hate could get you killed.
The Summers home was protected, a spell to prevent vampires from entering. That would not stop him. He opened the door, and walked in, fortunately for them the girl they had killed had a key, but he needed no key. Waking into the warm home was simple enough, he saw the photographs on the wall. So did Kali, particularly the mother of the Slayer, for a moment Kali became the woman in the picture. Just as easily as she had assumed the form, her own appearance returned.
"Stopping to play Kali?" he smiled warmly at her.
"Of course." she returned the smile. "Dahgi, what do you plan to do about the Weilder?"
"I need to do nothing," Dahgi smile graced his light caramel skin. "That will be taken care of, you need not worry. Leave the plans to me." he continued up the stairs. "There have been two vampires with souls in this home." he stopped at Buffyís room. "One which still is by the side of the Slayer, I will use him as well to get to the Slayer."
"What of our daughter?" Kealti looked over at him.
"You will be the deliverer of her death, attack the Greek, Iolaus. He is nearest and dearest to her. If that does not succeed then go after the Babaloyian, Methos. First we will dispose of the humans that willingly surround them. If the humans are so willing to die for their friends, then they shall suffer for their friends grave mistakes. No child of mine turns on me leaves my house, alive. She has enjoyed freedom far too long slaying my descendants." his features darkened, eyes cold and emotionless. "She will pay, die a thousand deaths."