The Ecstasy
by Beth C.

And it had been so different in the beginning of that year, with the forest calling to her every night. Nothing else quite mattered but that soft singing coming from the trees, pleading with her to dance among them, to follow the darkness in.

And she listened, she followed their cries since she knew Buffy wouldn't choose her in the end, and she wanted to choose a direction for herself for once in her life

"I don't know why I'm here, I just felt like this is where I should be," she said softly when he came upon her at the door of the cellar.

"You felt like you should be here because you should be here," he smiled down at her, extending a hand for her to come in, "Thank goodness you came to me little girl, you have a place you are supposed to be and a job you are supposed to do."

And he was there, and she chose to stay with him.

But he also chose her and she gave herself to the power he spoke for, the power that had been calling her.

"I am clean Dawn, pure in thought and intention. I know who I am and what I am. I know who to fight for and I know who to fight against. I know what to live for and what to kill for," he paced across the room, "And I know who you are. Do you know who you are?"

"Who am I Father?" she asked, looking at the floor.

She bleeds for it now, she breaths for it, she lives for the First.

It came to her in the vineyard, with inky darkness piercing her chest and flooding into her. It over came her with it's will, and sanguine tears dripped down her cheeks.

"You are evil packed tight in that tiny little dirty body with humanity and felinity tainting every inch of that perfect hell you are," he preached. "You are a silky beautiful glowing green key, the key to an evil, and since you control the evil, you are a perfect evil because you were born to be evil. Your being was made to be evil unlike all of those other fleshy beings thinking they are choosing to be good when they are just fighting the inevitable."

Caleb baptized her in it's name, and all of the evil in the world washed over her in the water blessed by him, and sanctified by it's power. It watched from the corner in her sister's form, and it applauded her as she was reborn as it's child.

"Listen to me Dawn, times are changing, things are shifting, and you've just jumped on the winning team now," he grinned,"Are you ready to except your destiny?"

"I am ready Father," she whispered as she bowed her head once more.

And it was so perfect that night, because she owned the world the second the droplets of water hit her forehead, and no one would ever touch her in ill will again.

The First would protect her, because she was born from it and now she was it's vessel.

Caleb saved her, and now she was chosen.

And now she's staring from the doorway at the work she must do.

Oh, and the beauty of it, the unadulterated fear and glory, the pretty little girl with horror pulsing out in every drop of sweat, in every gasp, in ever nostril flare. It radiates in waves from tears and long blinks.

"Does a slayer ever feel this?" she thought, turning up the corners of her mouth.

Do they feel a life in their hands, and revel in playing with someone else's mortality? Does it make them want to laugh or pray or cheer for this ultimate power that they don't have, but is them? It isn't ownership of the choice, they are death and they hold every single person that walks past them and they make the decision not to do what they were built to do and take their life away.

Do they regret letting them pass, do they regret not choosing to take what is theirs to take?

She wishes she could hold it in her pocket, pull away that glimmer from the little girl's eye and keep it, just for her, to pull out, smile at, and cherish as something she took because she was meant to.

And it is so much more then power.

And it is so much more then life and death, or good versus evil, or anything that people who are afraid to die thinks shapes their lives.

It is everything, and it is everywhere, threading through the world in ways people would never guess. It is pure evil and it trumps everything.

And now she is a time bomb, a surprise, a glorious light that will take over everything, and everyone.

She is an ultimate just like it is.

"Go do our work," he told her softly, kissing her forehead. He arrange this duck in a barrel for her, setting it up and letting her finally have something after Buffy didn't let her have anything that was truly her own.

"Chloe, what are you doing?" Dawn gasped, in that fake shock perfected on Mall Security Guards and Buffy.

The little girl frowned down at her from atop the chair, noose tight around her neck, and there is nothing in Dawn that can feel pity because this is what is supposed to happen, and things are better off without this little girl sniffling her way through life.

"I'm sorry Dawn," she stared with big fawn eyes, "I just don't want this."

"Oh Chloe, I can help you," Dawn approached her slowly, "You can go home, you don't have to be here."

"Do you promise Dawn?" she asked unsure.

Dawn nodded, "I want to help you."

"Okay, I don't know what I was doing." Hope spread across her face for a moment, and Dawn had to hold back a laugh.

"Give me your hand Chloe," and it was that quick, with a sharp pull, and a kick at the chair underneath her.

And it was glorious, and beautiful, and pure, and everything Dawn knew it could be.

She bowed her head in reverence.

"Thy will be done."

From behind her, Buffy clapped


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