Chapter Twenty - Binding

Tara watched as the bubble burst, then Willow’s hand shot up and her palm pointed at Kellan. A bolt of lightning shot from her palm and hit a disoriented Kellan directly in the chest. He flew back, slamming into the cave wall behind him.

“Willow!” she cried, but Willow didn’t react. She stepped forward and pointed both palms at Kellan

“You want darkness?” she asked him coldly. “I’ll give you darkness.” Kellan’s eyes widened as he began to float into the air, powered by Willow’s magic. Once he was raised a sufficient height, she let him drop, and he crumpled to the ground.

“What has been blinded, now shall see, Let this chant end trickery!” Willow spoke quickly, and suddenly, Kellan began to shrivel. His hair, once a light brown, began to fade to snow white. His skin loosened, wrinkles appearing all over. Age spots appeared over his arms and hands, and he shrunk a few inches. The group looked at him in awe.

“He’s…old,” Buffy said, raising an eyebrow.

“No!!” Kellan screamed, looking at his arthritically clawed hands in horror, then looking wildly around the cave for an escape. “No! You weren’t supposed to…you were supposed to help me!” he wailed.

“What can I say?” Willow said, her voice still cold and distant. “I’m a rebel.”

“You know, Luv,” Spike suddenly piped up, smirking at Faith. “I’m feeling a little antsy.”

“Me too, Spike. What say we take the old man out and teach him some manners?”

“I knew there was a reason I loved you.”

“And don’t you forget it,” she told him, raising an eyebrow. They turned on Kellan, grinning. He jumped up and began to run from the cave in terror.

He didn’t get very far, though. Amy put up a hand, and he was suddenly rooted to the spot, unable to escape. “We’ll deal with him later,” she explained. Buffy nodded, then turned to Willow, who was now embracing Tara tightly.

“Are you okay, Honey?” Tara asked her, looking deeply into her eyes. Willow took a deep breath and nodded.

“I’m fine.”

“Will?” Buffy said. “You’d better find the binding spell now, before something else happens.”

“Right,” she said, moving over to the book. She looked at the cover, and noticed that there was a small indentation on it. She shrugged and placed her thumb in it, finding that it was the exact size of her finger, and when she removed her hand, her thumbprint glowed in the old leather. Suddenly, the book’s cover flew open, and she began to thumb through the pages.

“Here it is!” she cried triumphantly.

“You’ve found it?” Giles asked, stepping forward.

“Yeah. It looks fairly simple. ‘The Binding of the Souls.’ I don’t even need any ingredients. Just a Power Circle.”

“More teamwork?” Gunn asked.

“Yeah. Okay. I need Buffy, Faith, Dawn and Angel to stand in a small square, holding hands.” The four of them looked at each other dubiously. Then moved to do as Willow instructed. “And everyone else, you need to stand in a circle around them. Um…Amy. Hi.”

“Hi,” Amy said.

“Right. Um, Amy, stand in the North position. Tara, in the West. I’ll be the East, and Giles, can you be the South?”

“Right,” Giles answered. Gunn, Cordelia, Wesley, Anya, Xander and Spike completed the circle.

“Okay. Everyone join hands and concentrate on my words.” They did as they were told.

“Spirits of the Outer Realms, I call on Thee. Since their birth, these souls have been free. Lost for years, the Four are found. Take their essence, make them bound. Let them be bound.” Willow’s voice rose as she repeated herself over and over, until a great wind was blowing through the cave, whipping the group’s hair and clothing around wildly.

Suddenly, the group surrounding Buffy, Faith, Dawn and Angel were thrown back, and bright lights began to burst forth from the chests of the four still standing. Each was a different color. Buffy’s was yellow, Angel’s purple, Faith’s red, and Dawn’s light blue. They rose up and formed one large ball of white light, which grew brighter and brighter. Suddenly, the ball exploded in a shower of white sparks, sending the four flying in opposite directions. The entire group looked around in amazement, everyone sitting sprawled on the floor of the cave.

“Intense,” Faith finally said, rubbing at her chest. Spike moved forward to her.

“You all right, Luv?”

“Well, I landed on my ass. Wanna kiss it?” she griped at him, and he just smiled back at her happily, and leaned forward to kiss her.

Willow blinked. She’d done it. It was over.

“Good job, Will,” Tara said, moving to her side, touching her arm lightly.

“Yeah!” cried Xander. “Way to go Willow! You saved the world!”

“I-I did? I guess I did, didn’t I? W-well, yay me,” she said faintly.

“We beat the bad guy, did the spell, saved the world. We deserve cookies,” Buffy said, standing up. She pulled Dawn up, then Angel. They all looked around.

“So,” Willow said, looking at Amy. “When did you get here?”