The Three Sisters
by Sami

Clouds of silver swirled around three women and a loom. One woman-well, girl really-just out of childhood, carried a spindle.

"It's a gift." The middle-aged woman by the golden loom was taking treads from it. "She will need it."

The last woman was an elder and used the treads the middle-aged women gave her. She wove a golden circle, saying, "The loom is ours to manipulate."

The sunlight came into the library in slanted beams of undiluted golden sunlight. Xander and I were sitting opposite of each other, skimming thick books of demon lore. Over near the card catalog, Buffy was talking to Giles in her usual peppy valley girl way, going over last night's patrol. I looked over at Xander, slightly giggling when Buffy made Giles sigh for the fifth time with her unusual descriptions of demons she came a crossed.

Giles shook his head and said wearily, "Buffy, so I take it was a successful patrol."

Buffy grinned and looked dreamy, "Yeah, Angel was there and we kicked a whole lot of demonic butt."

Xander lost his smile he had shared with me at the mention of Angel's name. Angel was Buffy's boyfriend and Xander was in love with her, but I don't think that was why Xander hated him. Xander seemed to not like gray areas. He was still angry at all vampires over Jesse death. Shrugging, I frowned and went to go get a new book from the stacks. I faintly heard Giles talking to Buffy about Spike and researching him because they had no idea what sort of threat he presented. I got on my tiptoes, stuck out my tongue in concentration and reached for a book. The tips of my fingers just barely touched it, and I really wished that I were taller. Even jumping I just barely got the top of the binding. The book tipped and I deftly, if I do say so myself, caught it before it had begun to fall.

I started to walk back to the big table when something glinting formed over my eyes. I tilted my head and studied it, noticing that it got thicker and golden. I opened her mouth to yell for Giles when it attached I tself to my eyes. I closed my eyes in reflex but the golden just seep in. I had already started screaming by that time. My eyelids were a bright golden light and my eyes burned. I clawed at my face trying to get it off but it was like film. I felt Xander and Buffy trying to help me but I was already gone.

It was like I was flying; I passed buildings, people, everything. The whole world was a blur, and then it stopped. My mind swam, but my head or consciousness or whatever was in two places. I was in a hospital room but I also was in a warm, wet place. Holy cow, I'm watching my own birth! Well, that's a very new side of my mother I never wanted to see. Suddenly, everything went faster but notr. I was living and watching. I saw Xander and I growing up. I had tears in my eyes when I saw Jesse. I saw everything, and then I saw Buffy, the going to be popular girl who didn't mind being seen with me. Things went faster and faster, but some of the things that happened to the me I was watching I didn't go through. I'm in a parallel universe or something, I thought, as I watched/went to college.

"What's wrong with her Giles?" Buffy asked as she carried Willow to the table.

"Yeah, and what's the gold stuff?" Xander asked worriedly following Buffy and helping her comfortably place Willow on the table.

Giles put back on his glasses and peered down on Willow still form. "It's gone."

Buffy narrowed her eyes. "Gone? Giles, how could it be gone?"

Xander looked under the table and around Willow's head. "Where could it go? It's not around her."

Giles leaned closer to Willow's face, feeling her even breath on his chin. He looked at her eyes and saw the faint trace of gold in between her wildly fluttering lashes. "Dear lord, I think in went into her eyes," Giles said, moving away. He looked at Buffy, "Go get Angel. The sun will most likely be down once you get to him." Buffy nodded and ran out. Turning to Xander, he said, "Look in the Cassandrian Codex and try to find anything that matches this this thing." Giles left the library and Xander to find Jenny.

"Buffy, what's wrong?" Angel asked taking her into a hug.

"Something's wrong with Willow," she said, her voice muffled by Angel's shoulder. "She went to get a book in the library and some golden stuff attacked her eyes. She's unconscious and Giles is really worried. She was screaming before she passed out."

Angel frowned as he started to remember something Drusilla had told him. "I think I might know something about what's happening to her." Buffy pulled away from him, her tear streaked face hopeful. "I need to go tell Giles. It's probably means nothing." Buffy nodded. They left the apartment in not a run but a fairly brisk pace.

I was standing next to Buffy, confident and sure of our victory. I had no reason not to be. I was a powerful witch and Buffy was the Slayer. I started to get worried when the demons charged but it was no biggie. Buffy was the oldest slayer, turning thirty, and I had my entire coven with us. The forces met with fire orbs and axes flying. The leader of them all was in the back, leading his troops and giving me the strangest smile. The me that was watching screamed out the living me, "He has demons coming behind you!" The living me couldn't hear what I was saying but she soon found out from Jesse's scream as an axe got him in the back. Yes, the Jesse that managed to survive the master, grow up, and have children with Cordelia, was the first casualty. Both of us shed tears for my brave childhood friend. I didn't have too much time for tears before an arrow went right through me. I doubled over because the pain was intense, but not for long since it did hit my heart.

Xander was sitting at the table praying to any deity that would listen to make that gold shit not fatal or anything. Xander was interrupted from his religious devotions when Willow sat up and screamed. Xander jumped up and brought her into a hug, smoothing her hair and murmuring comforting words. He managed to stop her screaming, but not her crying. Giles and Jenny ran down the stairs and rushed to Willow. "Oh, god, Oh god, Jesse. Buffy, everyone." Willow said almost incoherently crying and holding on to Xander. She looked over at Jenny, "Oh goddess, Ms. Calendar. Your alive."


Rupert Giles' Watcher Diary

December 2, 1997

We have been researching what the golden substance was that got in contact with Willow. (Note: Angel told us how a long time ago Drusilla, who is a seer, had told him that the visions first came to her in a golden light). It seems to make her suffer from either delusions or visions. She says they are her lives from alternative universes and tells us about the monsters that in those 'other universes' we come across. I've taken her aside and told her not to tell us of any personal relationships or anything of the sort. With her help, we've stopped Spike and Drusilla, and made sure that Angel and Buffy know the risks of their relationship. Willow has, curiously, told Angel to go to LA and find a drunken Irish half-demon. I guess Angel has something there and she wants him to get there quick. The bad thing about these visions is that they have begun to take a toll on her relationships and schoolwork. They apparently can happen at anytime and she's taken to carrying a notebook around to copy what happens down. Once, they happened in class, and it was a very unhappy life she saw and she woke up crying. She's only had them for a week now and, even if they did save Jenny, I'm not sure if they are a blessing or a curse.


Willow Rosenberg's Private Diary

January 4, 1998

The library was quieter than usual today. Well, what would have been usual before I started getting visions. I know I sound horrible, even if I'm saving lives. I'm just not sure If I can take them anymore. They've gotten worse. It's like I'm exploring the many horrible ways my life can end up like. I still tell everyone roughly what went on in them if there's anything new. Most of the time there isn't. Sometimes I don't say anything if the life had nothing to do with Sunnydale and the sort of problems here. I keep in contact with Angel and tell him about what could happen next and I think he's grateful and happy I'm telling him this, even if I'm taking Doyle's job away. I like the emails I get from Angel and occasionally I get one from Doyle, cause us seers have to stick together. I think Buffy and Xander and everyone else are freaked out by what's happening. I would be too I guess if someone was all Madame fortuneteller on me. Jenny thinks that I might be channeling these other lives. I wish she could find a way to make them all stop. Sometimes the lives are so similar and then one decision - BAM! - makes everything all different. I never knew that people's actions, decisions (well, I knew, but kinda semi-vaguely) especially ours, could make such a difference. It's mind blowing. I feel like I have to tread lightly in case I step on a bug and destroy some future species. I guess that this whole thing has changed me and I think that everyone realizes that. Well everyone but my parents their oblivious as usual.


It was late at the library. We were all burning the midnight oil. I had just got back from patrol. I was pleased because I wasn't covered in slime, which is like some sort of record because I had been slime-free for a week. I was all 'yay me, I got semi-spotless clothes.' We were after some information on this big demon guy, but he wasn't really a biggie. We just didn't know if we cut off his head, he wouldn't grow a new one. So, the atmosphere in the library was light and easy with laughter and Giles giving everyone the old hairy eyeball. But it wasn't the old light and easy because everyone was thinking that Willow would do her vision thing. She hadn't had one in awhile, so I hope that they are over and she won't have to go through them again. She didn't tell us much about them other than the stuff we should know or didn't know already.

Even if Willow didn't tell me about them, I could tell they weren't very nice. I saw her after a particularly bad one, and I guess that Angel wasn't a good guy in it because she freaked out when she saw him and tried to hide behind me. Uh oh, Giles is giving me a look, so I need to go back to reading. Xander gave me a grin knowing that we're in the same dozing-off-when-were-suppose-to-be-researching boat. Xander pushed his book over and pointed to a particularly odd demon and whispered something obscene about his horns. Then Willow let out this little whimper. She slumped over, but in a minute it was done. She popped her head back up and looked around wide-eyed. She was obviously freaked out and ran from the room. I jumped up to follow her, but Giles held me back.

"Let her go," he said, and kinda pushed me back in my seat. I looked to Xander and he was looking at the door Willow just ran out of. I joined Xander in the whole watching the door business. A minute passed until Willow walked shakily back into the room. Her clothes were looking rumpled and hastily put on, not how they were before. Giles, looking concerned, rushed to her and led her to her seat. Looking at her face, I knew why Giles was so concerned. Willow had this haunted look to her eyes.

"Why you run out of here?" I asked, as soft and delicately as possible.

Willow looked down and put her arms around herself and mumbled, "I was checking for something."

Xander leaned over and tried to take her hand but she pulled it out of his grasp. He looked hurt and confused as he leaned back into his chair.

"What were you checking for?" Giles asked from somewhere above and behind me.

Willow looked up at him and said in a clear, quiet voice, "Scars."


Angel was walking ahead of me with an air of determination to him. "Why do ya want to see the oracles?" I asked following him down the stairs.

"I want to know what is with Willow's visions," he said without looking back.

I stopped right beside him. "Angel, man, she's a seer. We tend to have visions." I felt real sorry for the poor girl; visions aren't any fun. But at least hers don't come with excruciating pain.

"Doyle, her visions aren't like yours. They aren't like anyone's."

"I know. She writes me and tells me about them." I shook my head. "But there's nothing you can do. They were given to her." Though I'd rather keep my visions instead of her kind. I can only take a few seconds of vision, not a lifetime.

Angel looked at me all grim and broody. "Can you do the ritual? I need to know why she has them."

Shaking my head another time I got to work, and pretty soon a doorway full of light appeared and Angel walked on in. I shaded my eyes and silently wished him good luck.


The brightness made me squint for a second until I got used to it. A pair of golden, blue veined, toga-wearing people appeared. There was a male and a female. Their shocking blue eyes bore into my dark ones. "Have you a sacrifice?" I thought for a second about what I had on my person. I ripped off my watch and tossed it to her. "Why do you wish our council?" The male snapped.

"A friend of mine, Willow Rosenberg was given visions. Why her? Why was she chosen?"

The female stepped in front of the male, her toga swirling around her ankles. "She was chosen by an older higher powerShe is close to the Slayer and the Slayer is the tool of the Watchers."

I furrow my brow, thinking. "So your saying that Willow's visions is a gift to Buffy and the Watcher's council?"

She nodded. "And the girl will be rewarded for bearing the gift. In exchange for a shorter lifespan and visions, she will be able to join our ranks when the time comes."

My mind went over her words and stopped at the words shorter lifespan. "What do you mean shorter lifespan?"

The male spoke up. "Humans weren't made to house visions unless they were born with them."

"How short a lifespan?" I growled unintentionally. The thought that Willow dieing before her time made me furious.

The female raised an eyebrow, likely because of my tone. But she didn't speak; it was the male who answered. "Most likely two years at most."

Willow has had the vision for over six months now. She only has a year and a half left! "How can she get rid of them?" I asked, hoping for a way. The golden pair looked angry that I had even asked such a question.

Yet again, the male snapped, "She can't 'get rid' of them!"

"You are done here lower being. Leave now." The female said in a firm voice.

I didn't need another hint and I walked out of there. Doyle's questions greeted me about what happened but I couldn't make them out.


Rupert was just sitting there in his favorite chair, listening to Pink Floyd, with a bottle of scotch in his hand. I had never seen him like this; so lost, so sad, and kind of drunk. I walked over to his chair; he didn't even look up.

"Rupert," I said in my softest voice. He looked up at my words and I was shocked over the sadness and pain in his eyes. "What's wrong?"

He didn't even slur when he answered me, and I was a little reminded of his Ripper college days. "Jenny, I talked to Angel." He shook his head as if to clear it. "He contacted the oracles, higher powers of sorts." I nodded to show I understand and didn't need translations. "They told him that Willow's visions are gifts for Buffy and the Council. Only that this 'gift' only lasts for two years at most."

I was somewhat confused; Willow would have them for only a little more time. But I could understand from a Watcher's and scholar's point of view that the visions were interesting and so on. "So Willow won't have them anymore. That's a good thing." He looked me in the eye and told me exactly why the visions weren't a good thing.


Rupert Giles' Watcher Diary

May 14, 1998

We have been researching a demon tribe that has been seen recently around the woods. They seem not to be dangerous and only eat clover and bark. I have Buffy and the rest of the 'Scoobies' researching it. I myself have been researching visions and Seers. I have found out that death isn't the only thing that visions cause in human Seers. They all so bring insanity, and not just to humans. Willow took the news of her immediate death quite well. I haven't told any of the others except Jenny. I'm afraid that Willow is looking more and more forward to death. From what she tells me, and doesn't tell me, the visions have gotten worse and worse. She only tells us things that we need to know and what the council needs to know. Everything else she bottles up. I've tried to get her to tell me about the lives she sees but she just pats my hand and says she doesn't want to talk about them.

The Council is delighted with the visions and with Willow. I admit she writes down every minute detail we might need. She's saved the Council's bums many times already. I believe they are naming a wing in the main library after her. But she hasn't told them everything. Just some of the things she has told me that are for my ears only make me hate the council. The one time she actually told me almost everything in her visions, I was disgusted at myself. I couldn't believe what I did in the name of goodness. After that she never told me anything that detailed again. Willow now seems older than her years. I'm glad she is now able to balance visions, friends, and school. I have been trying to help her control the visions. They come to her when the line between consciousness and unconsciousness is thin. She tries to keep busy and, from what I've been noticing, tries not to sleep.


Screams hit my ears and I sat up. It wasn't until I was sitting up that I realized that the screaming was coming from Willow. I shook and hugged her in turns. I cooed in her ear and rubbed her back as the screams subsided into sobs. I was for once grateful that this was Sunnydale and people aren't even fazed by screams coming from next door. Willow opened up her eyes, big and moist, only slightly red from crying. "Xander," she said in an awed whisper and then proceeded to kiss me full on the mouth. It wasn't a romantic passion-filled kiss, it was an 'oh-thank-god-you're-alive' kiss. She flung her arms around me and kissed my neck and told me 'never to leave her like that again.'

"You can't be another Jesse, I need you," she whispered, as I rocked her back and forth. "I love you, Xander." My eyes flew open. "Your my best friend." I sighed a sigh of relief because Willow couldn't love me like that. She's like my sister. I continued to hold her until the sobs stopped.

I pulled her away and asked, "What happened?" Her eyes blinked out tears and I could feel my heart breaking. I never could stand seeing Willow cry; it was like it physically hurt me.

"I saw you, Buffy, Giles, Jenny, Oz, and Cordelia being tortured. It was horrible! Oh god, it was horrible." She pulled me to her and leaned her head on my shoulders. "Goddess, I don't think I could ever see Angel again after seeing that." I closed my eyes and tried not to cry myself. My Willow was going through a lifetime of hell. I rubbed her back and whispered comforting nonsense as she fell back asleep. I couldn't sleep after hearing what she had to endure. I watched the sun come up and make light lines on her cheek.


The pain hit me all at once. I was blinded and deafened as the red light flared around me. I had to keep the circle up. Tara, Buffy, Dawn, and James were relying on me. If this didn't work, then they would die. I saw myself struggle and sweat in the forest. The dark leafy green contrasted with the bright red that entombed me. I wanted to scream out to myself when I saw Amy coming. But after seeing so many of these, I knew that it wouldn't do a damn thing. I just had to watch as she cowardly, killed me while my back was turned. My back exploded in more pain than I had ever thought possible. It's part of the spell; you can't give up now. I noticed how pretty grass looked when tinted red. Then darkness and my universe came to me.


Willow woke up with a start, obviously coming back from one of her visions by the confused and scared look she had on her face. She looked around like she was hoping nobody noticed. She looked horrible, not her usual 'I had my mother dress me and I wear no makeup' horrible, but 'I'm being tormented and killed in my head' horrible. She had dark circles under her eyes and a paler than a snowman complexion. We aren't best friends by any stretch of the imagination, but after hearing Xander practically cry about what's she's going through, I think I should do something. I don't know what; what can you do for the chick who's going insane? Give her a straight jacket? 'Hey here's a straight jacket that's totally your color. It will bring out the haunted look in your eyes.' I could probably tell people off for picking on her. That should do it. Yep, Cordy girl, you're practically a saint.


Willow Rosenberg's Private Diary

September 4, 1999

I'm so proud of Buffy. She's all college girl and is doing well in her classes. She taking Psychology and totally hit it off with her T.A. Xander isn't going to college, but I've been hinting to him about jobs as a carpenter or construction worker. He's going to be good at it, and will be doing that sooner or later. So, I was thinking how about sooner? My parents are still upset over me taking a year off before college, but I don't see the point in wasting their money. Diary, I have got a confession: I haven't been writing too much or just writing about things that don't really matter. I've been doing that because of those damn visions.

They're horrible. Simply and positively horrible, bordering on physical pain. I close my eyes and I see Xander getting tortured by Angel. In my dreams, I see myself as a vampire, killing my friends. I can hardly make a decision without thinking that the consequence of it will kill someone. It's like I'm paralyzed. I really wanted to go out with Oz but I saw how he would leave me and I didn't want the hurt that come with it. I met Tara, but I'm keeping her at arms' length. I want to be more with her than just a friend but I don't want her to feel the hurt I did when she died. I'm only eighteen years old and I'm going to die this year. Well, if I don't go insane first.


I was panicking. Xander, my Xander, had been missing for a week. I knew he shouldn't have gone to the Bronze, not after that string of murders. Now, wherever he was, he might be dead in a ditch! He'd never know that his parents had been brutally murdered the night before. The watching me sort of knew what was going to happen. I had seen for a bit the Sunnydale without Buffy. I might just be in it. The doorbell rang and the living younger me ran to the front door hoping it was Xander. It was a miracle, the watching me thought bitterly; it's Xander come to kill my parents and me. Yea.

Xander leaned on the doorframe looking hot as hell. "Will, can I come in?"

"Sure, Xander come in," the naive living me said, gesturing inside

"I have been worried sick, where have you been?" He smirked and walked insid e.

Willow threw the glass vial on the ground. The glass shattered and a pink glow surround her. "Let there be light," she said with some pride, as one of the spells she saw in her visions work.

"Good job, Willow," Jenny said warmly, but with the twinge of sadness that she and Giles had in their voices when ever they spoke to her. Buffy and Xander gave her looks whenever they noticed that twinge; I just shrug. I don't want them to feel bad for me before I go. She and Jenny worked on a protection spell for Buffy. Chanting and concentrating hard, they didn't notice the vampires till one of them pounced on Willow. The blue mist that surrounded Buffy fell down when Jenny rushed over to help Willow. She was getting punched repeatedly in the temple. By the time Buffy staked the vamp, Willow was already unconscious.

"Xander's holding Willow's hand and whispering stuff to her," the young blonde women said, clearly in pain over her friend's injury.

"Mr. Giles," Jordan Noble said, walking up to the older British man. "You're the guardian of Ms. Rosenberg?" He nodded and the pretty brunette clutched his arm. "I'm Doctor Noble and I'm afraid I have bad news."

Both women's faces crumpled in sadness and Mr. Giles didn't looks so good either. "Yes, is she going to be alright?" The Englishmen asked.

"There's a large possibility that Ms. Rosenberg will never wake up. We will do another CAT scan for more information, but I personally doubt that we'll find anything new."

The blonde with tears running down her face walked to Ms. Rosenberg's room. I watched her leave. "It looks like when she was attacked by the gang on PCP; the blood vessel that had been supplying her brain has a blood clot. It's still able to function, but not at the rate it would need to wake her up." He went on more about the patient. As I turned to go, I wondered how it had gotten so that death and sadness didn't even affect me.

"Giles, man, what he say? Will she be alright?" Xander was crying. I've never seen him cry. Willow's never going to get up; she's just going to sleep. While we're slaying or researching, she's going to sleep. She's going to sleep through Giles and Jenny's wedding. My college graduation if I make it that far. She'll be sleeping. If I die, she won't know; she'll be sleeping. No prince charming is going to wake this damsel. She'll always be sleeping until she dies. Could I have been faster? Could Jenny have done more? Uses a spell or something? I only just make Giles out. Hey, I was wrong, Willow won't be sleeping for Giles's wedding or my graduation. She'll be dead.

The visions passed before me in dizzying speed, yet seemed to go so slow. I was stuck in one huge vision marathon. I lived and died, horribly and pleasantly. I took my last breath and my first many times. Too bad the horrible pain-filled lives outnumber the nice ones. So, this is what Cordelia felt when that golden mask dude got to her. I've lost track of the lives. I've lost track of the days. I never thought I'd ever mean this, but I really want to die.

The three women gathered around their loom. The middle aged one gently took the knot off the loom. The youth just as gently pulled a golden strand free of the weave. Handing it to the crone, she stepped back. The crone with scissors in hand raised the stand up. A snip of the scissors later the golden strand faded. "Our gift needs her rest, she has served her purpose."

Willow opened her eyes and sucked in a deep breath. Jesse was standing over her, holding a hand out for her. Taking his hand, she got out of bed. They walked toward a ball of light. The girl looked back at the body on the bed. The boy shook his head, "Don't worry, you don't need that anymore."

"Where are we going?" she asked, as they walked hand in hand into the light.

"Somewhere nice. You're going to like it here." The pair smiled at each other and faded with the light.


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