The Elements
by Beth C.

I. Earth

The ground vibrates beneath her.

It shakes, sings, and cries for just her, as she spreads her roots throughout the world.

Each girl that awakens is a root, a new sensation, a new flood of power into her.

She wouldn't need Rack anymore, because each new slayer sends a rush of emotion through her, and that emotion gives her new strength.

She's their mother, she's their goddess, she 's their everything. They give her purpose, and she gives them life.

Willow's new balance is Old Willow, with Veiny Willow, with whatever she is becoming now. She has no name for herself anymore as she looks in the mirror and sees the pure white hairs threading their way through the red.

But they have names for her, exalted beautiful names that roll off of foreign tongues with awe and idolatry.

They watch her approach, and they know her, and they know who she is to them.

"Anann?" the Irish girl asked softly, as grasped Willow's hand.

The young catholic girl from Italy dropped to her knees at what she thought was a vision.

The Japanese girl broke down into tears when she thought Amaterasu had approached.

The council sends Willow to get them, despite their fear over her power over them. She is the only one they follow. She is their sun, shining the first beams of light into their life.

The Earth bends to Willow now and her flowers bloom brighter then the death that surrounds them in the small cemetery where she buries her fallen daughters.


II. Air

Once, Dawn was pure energy, formless and emanating power. She filled the world with vibrating, beautiful green light.

Now she's solid, but she is still floating through the air.

So few years really alive, she moves down streets, her feet barely touching the ground.

The city is so full, lights glittering all around her, and she's the brightest of them all. She sees how the men look at her. Little girl in the big city, ripe for the picking, ready to be corrupted by by the night.

But she is different and she can feel it in the air around her,.

She's radiating something, crackling with something old and ancient she hasn' t felt for years. Something she hasn't felt since she wasn't Dawn, but she was something nameless and perfect.

Xander sees it, she knows he does. He's always seen her, and in the middle of Las Vegas, with all the pretty people and pretty things surrounding them, she knows he's only looking at her.

When he grabs her hand, bringing her slowly back to earth, the air sparks in green that she's pretty sure only she can see.

But when he kisses her hard with all the colors surrounding them, Dawn's not as sure.

Maybe he can feel the air around her. Maybe he can see her slowly seeping into it, the light inside her coming back out.

Or maybe he's just reminding her.

She's not just air anymore.


III. Fire

She moves and it's fire, fire underwater. She speaks of it's flame.

But in her path she can only see ashes. There's only death and destruction, and everything that she once loved burned to black.

She doesn't like to dance anymore, it reminds her of old times and old ways. But she still finds herself in some darkened room pushed together with other bodies burning anyone who gets close enough to touch her.

Robin dances with her sometimes, but usually he just wakes up to an empty bed and finds her some awful dive. He looks at her with blurry eyes, holds his hand out, and she takes it following him back to bed.

She is still burning in her sleep, everything raging inside.

It's all so close, shimmery and distant like the air above hot summer asphalt. She reaches out at the distorted wishes and dreams, but they are still too far away. Robin smiles, and she can feel all her soft edges singe.

In the snow of a Boston winter, she told the other kids that she was so special because she didn't need to wear a jacket. She skipped over the icy pavement with just her threadbare cardigan on.

They didn't need to know that her mom didn't have the money to buy her jacket.

Then in the middle of Toronto, stalking a demon, Robin slipped his coat over her shivering arms. She could only smile, feeling cold for the first time since she was a child.

Robin smiled back at her, rubbing the warmth back into her arms.

"You treat me too good," she grinned.

Palm to palm he grabbed her hand, and he didn't get burned.

"You deserve it."

For the first time in years, she could believe it.


IV. Water

Crossing oceans, putting water and distance between all of those lost in the hole left in Sunnydale. The translucence of the Caribbean's aqua shores, the clear streams in Scandinavia, and the salty beauty of the Dead Sea.

But she couldn't run forever, still needed back in America, at a new home in Massachusetts, crying herself a sea of tears to block the memory of California. She still doesn't have enough tears in her to cry for everyone she's lost.

But when she clutches her stomach, feeling the life moving inside her, she only can cry for the happiness of everything that she gained in those months since her old life was destroyed.

As she looks over the grand expanse of the Atlantic, she knows that the Pacific was always wrong for her.

She likes the dark blues and grays that she sees off the shore. She likes how it chills her whenever she swims in it. She likes the crash of waves during the first northeasters of the season.

Her house is set apart from the Slayer compound, and she can entertain herself all day with the water it sits on. Then when it rains she can dance in the water, thanking Willow for the small gifts she can give now.

The baby kicks as he approaches to dance with her in the puddles, and cry the tears that need to be hidden in the raindrops.

He embraces her, kissing her softly with slick skin against slick skin.

"The baby likes the rain too," she grins, looking up.

Giles smiles down at her softly, and she melts into his arms.


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