“We need you Dawn, and I know it’s a big moment for you, and bottom line is, even if you see ‘em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments.”
Dawn looked up at him, her eyes were red from crying.
“No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does,” Jason paused, “So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts.”
Jason could see hope dawning in Dawn’s eyes, “That’s when you find out who you are.”
Jason looked deep into Dawn’s eyes, “Who are you, Dawn? Who are you?”
“The person who can help you?” Dawn said with doubt still in her eyes and voice.
“You know the answer, you know it with all your soul.”
“I am The Key.”
“You have the power inside you,” Jason said looking at her, “You can use that power, to help us, to help existence.”
“But I don’t know how.”
“No, and we don’t have the time to teach you, we’re going to need help.”
“The Watchers Council?” came a voice from the doorway.
Dawn recognised it instantly, “Buffy?”
“Yeah, Spike, the one downstairs, filled me in,” Buffy said walking into the room.
“No, we cannot trust the Watchers, they are corrupt to their core,” Jason said with distain.
“How do you know that? Spike told me you were from another dimension,”
“The Watchers are something that like the Unholy Triumvirate span all the dimensions.”
“The Unholy Triumvirate?” Buffy looked confused.
“The Wolf, the Ram and the Hart.” Jason answered cryptically.
“Wolf, Ram and Hart? Sounds like a law firm.” Dawn said in a joking tone.
“They are,” Buffy said with a frown, “Angel’s got problems with them in LA.”
“They’re here?” Jason said in an astonished tone.
“Yes, okay, so if we can’t get help from the Watchers, then who can we go to?” Buffy asked sitting down on Dawn’s bed.
“There’s only one group of people I can think of that could help us.”
“Who?” Buffy and Dawn asked at the same time.
“The Druidic Hierarchy.”
“Druids?” Dawn asked in amazement.
“Yes, in England, we’ll have to take the Ghost Roads.”
“No! We can’t take Dawn in there,” Buffy exclaimed.
“We have no choice.” Jason said as he stood up and walked towards the door, “Coming?”
“Yeah,” Dawn said happily, she practically bounced off the bed and towards the door.
“I’m coming too,” Buffy said as she followed them.
“England?” Spike asked.
“Yes, and we have to go now.” Jason said as he began chanting and waving his hands in the air.
Within seconds a whirling portal opened in front of him.
“What about Dru?” Dawn asked.
“Xander’s going to look after her,” Spike said.
Willow was sitting on a suitcase in an exterior doorway of a manor nestled in the English countryside, talking to Giles who had walked up the interior hallway toward her and leant with one arm on the doorjamb over her head. They both look out at the countryside.
“The taxi’s here,” Giles told her.
“And in keeping with a quaint old British tradition, you would now be expected to get into it.”
“I don’t know if I can. Giles,” Willow said, “I’m not done here.”
Giles walked around to talk to her face-to-face, he leaned on the opposite doorjamb, “That’s your fear talking.”
“Yes, and my fear’s a big, obnoxious blabbermouth. You’re the one that keeps telling me to trust my instincts.”
“True,” Giles nodded.
“So, shouldn’t we be listening?” Willow asked, “I don’t want to go back home just so I can screw up again. I Why don’t I stay? Not forever. Just long enough to, I don’t know, make my fear shut up a little, maybe?”
The taxi honked. Giles stepped outside and waved to acknowledge it. He turned to face Willow again.
“It’s possible, but… Try to be very specific. What exactly are you afraid of?”
“Well, for starters,” Willow began, “How ’bout the hellmouth’s getting all rumbly again. And now I know it’s got teeth. And are those literal teeth, ’cause I don’t know if I can handle it. And what if I can handle it? Does that mean I have to be a bigger, badder badass than the source of all badness? And what if I give up all this control stuff and I go all veiny and homicidal again? And what if-”
“They won’t take you back?” Giles finished for her.
“Willow, we could spend another two years here training and practicing and learning to hone your powers and still there’d be no way of knowing for sure that the friends you left behind you are still your friends.”
“Well, sure. I mean, if you put it that way, duh.”
“I’d love to offer you some guarantee that you’d be welcomed back to Sunnydale with open arms, but I can’t.” Giles told her, “You may not be wanted, but you will be needed.”
“That all you got?”
“For the moment, yes.”
“OK. I guess I’d better…” Willow stood up.
Giles picked up her suitcase and opened an umbrella, “Trust yourself, and the others might follow.”
They walked out towards the taxi.
They were half way there when suddenly a crackling portal opened in front of them and out of it came barrelling four figures.
“Well, that was a helluva ride,” came a cockney voice that Willow and Giles knew all too well.
“Spike?” Willow asked.
“Hey red,” Spike said as he helped the brunette figure up.
Willow saw who it was almost instantly, “Dawn?”
Giles was helping the blonde figure up, “Buffy?”
“Yeah, we’re on a field trip,” Dawn said happily.
“We need the help of the Druidic Hierarchy,” the fourth figure said.
“Giles, Willow, this is Jason, she’s from another dimension,” Buffy said.
Willow suddenly noticed something, “Hey! Why isn’t Spike on fire?”
“Oh, sunscreen, very good stuff,” Spike said with a smile.
“One thing I don’t get, Jason, you had the portal directed towards the Druidic Hierarchy right?” Buffy asked.
“Yes, I did, I take it this is not them?”
“No, it isn’t, so why are we here?”
“The only thing that could have caused this to happen would be a huge concentration of magick.”
Giles, Buffy and Dawn all looked at Willow.
Willow looked each of them squarely in the face, “Me.”