: I don’t own Glee. That’s Ryan Murphy.
Emma Pilsbury had a secret. Well, to be honest, she had many secrets. But upon seeing Quinn Fabray enter William McKinley High School looking unusually disheveled and getting a garbled, grunted growl instead of a chipper if slightly sarcastic hello in return of her greeting, Emma knew that one of her secrets was about to come to light.
She followed Quinn down the hallway until the girl made a sharp turn into the auditorium, where the other Glee clubbers were waiting to begin the next round of practicing for their Regional debut. And as the girl darted inhumanly quick with a knife drawn towards an unsuspecting Will Schuester, Emma pulled out an amulet that she always carried with her and chucked it at the girl. Emma had never been a sports savant but she’d been promised that the amulet would be drawn to the most evil being in the room. Watching it sink into the tender skin at the base of Quinn’s neck, watching as the girl stilled, then fell, thankfully onto her side and not her pregnancy-rounded belly, Emma was, for once, grateful that her past was full of the weird and frightening.
The Glee kids and Will stared from the downed girl to her. Puck and Finn suddenly moved towards the girl and Emma said quickly yet sternly. “Don’t. She’s possessed.”
Puck automatically stepped back and Emma suddenly remembered that there was a healthy Jewish tradition revolving around possession.
“But-,” Finn said, face scrunched up in confusion and God bless his simple little mind because Emma knew that it was about to be blown with too much information.
“You guys are lucky,” she said as she pulled out what looked like and oddly shaped cell phone. She fiddled with it, both trying to remember how to make it work and to escape prying eyes. “Your school is pretty normal. Sure, you’ve got bullies and self-absorbed teachers. But none of them have ever been eaten. You’ve never tripped over a dead body. You don’t have missing persons and obituaries pages in your yearbooks. You don’t have to see, first hand, what nightmares come to life look like.” She looked down at Quinn’s restless, harshly breathing form and said quietly, “Well, you didn’t
She finally found the proper button and pushed it before anyone could ask her questions or try to have her committed.
The device floated up half a foot from her hand and a disembodied voice echoed out, “Emma Pilsbury?”
“Yes?” she said. It wasn’t a voice she recognized but that didn’t matter. Someone had answered.
Pixels seemed to form around the device until it could barely be seen, buried around the heart region of a semi-solid boy with long hair. Artie was maybe making a hysterically muttered comment about Star Trek but Emma wasn’t really paying attention.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. She pointed to Quinn behind him and he turned, looking, then moved towards the downed girl. The other students murmured in alarm, backing up a bit, but the boy ignored them, squatting beside Quinn and looking at the amulet pressed into her neck. He nodded. “Possession. Somebody’ll be by soon to help.”
As the boy stood and walked back within her range, she said, “The girl’s pregnant.”
His face was solemn as he nodded. “The first team available, I promise.”
Then the pixels flickered and the device would have clattered to the ground if she hadn’t caught it.
Everyone was silent as they stared and, God, Emma hated the attention.
“She’s really possessed,” Finn said tentatively, then collapsed into the chair behind him. He looked like circuits were shorting out all over his little brain and Emma winced lightly because he hadn’t been the brightest boy to begin with.
A shimmering green doorway appeared at the end of the room and a boy walked out, two bags over each shoulder, jeans ripped at the knee, and brown hair flopped over brilliant blue eyes. He scanned the room, then twisted and called, “Hey, Xan? They’ve got a table.”
“Awesome,” Xander said and his was a slightly familiar face when he stepped into the auditorium. The eyepatch was new but the smile was the same and Emma grinned in reflex, especially when he pulled her into a tight hug. She managed, with a lot of effort, to quell the urge to reach for her antibacterial gel. He pulled away from her and tugged a lock of her hair as he said, eyebrows wiggling, “It’s a lot easier to burn a table than a floor.”
He stepped around her, around Quinn, and pulled out a knife as he approached the table.
She snickered as she suddenly remembered his penchant for starting fires. “It wouldn’t be the first building you’ve burned down.”
He grinned cheekily at her as he continued to carve. “Technically, I blew the first two up but there were still fires, so I guess that counts.”
Five other kids had filtered through the shimmering doorway before it disappeared, including the boy that had answered her call, and a leggy brunette in a ridiculously short pleated skirt snorted. “Xan, if we go six months without you burning something
, we know the next explosion’s going to be stellar.”
Xander stabbed his knife in her direction and all the Glee clubbers winced, at the sharp objects or the cavalier attitude, Emma couldn’t guess, and he said, “That time in Morocco was not
The kids snickered and Emma had maybe forgotten what it was like to deal with teenagers that literally fought for their lives every day. The whole reason she’d become a guidance counselor was because of her own experiences of watching children fall into the dark.
But that girl, there was something- “Summers,” Emma blurted and the girl turned wide blue eyes on her.
She smirked, a jade little twist of her pretty lips before she shrugged and nodded. “Yeah, I’m Buffy’s little sister. You can call me Dawn, though.”
Xander finished his carving and a boy of Latino descent helped him position it in a particular way that didn’t make any sense to Emma but seemed to matter a great deal to him. The first boy, with the blue eyes, gently fastened the amulet’s chain around Quinn’s neck, then easily lifted the girl’s body, despite how far along she was. He placed her gently in the circle of carvings, careful not to let her head bang into the table.
As the carvings started to glow a soft golden and Quinn’s breathing eased, Dawn tapped the tip of a knife against her lips, frowning. Suddenly, she said, “We need to wake her up.”
“Why?” Will asked, the first thing he’d said since this had all begun. But Quinn was a Glee kid and that made her his
“We need to place protections around the baby,” Dawn said solemnly, waving the knife a little. The kids around her didn’t seem disturbed or surprised by that, just instinctively ducked or shifted so that she didn’t draw blood. “It’ll keep whatever’s possessing her from reaching the baby but there’s no guarantee that it won’t hurt her as well as the demon or ghost or…whatever. So we need her permission.”
“What happens if you don’t…?” Finn said, obviously unsure or unwilling to talk magic. Nobody else probably noticed the sad little look Rachel shot him before she shuffled slightly away. The last embers of that romance were going to ash, apparently, because despite her betrayals, he obviously still cared for Quinn a great deal.
“It’s harder to dispossess two people than one,” Dawn shrugged. “It’s going to hurt either way. But if we don’t, she could miscarry or the baby could come out possessed. It’ll hurt her
less if we don’t but the baby…”
Puck made a distressed sound and obviously wanted to make them do it but Emma knew that these kids had an odd sense of morals and they wouldn’t do anything without Quinn’s express permission. They might stab you over a pop tart but the use of magic was only for the willing.
“What do you need to wake her up?” Will asked quietly, hesitantly.
Dawn pushed her long fall of brown hair out of her face and shrugged. “The waking up’s not really the big deal. It’s the being awake while we do the spell work.”
Everybody looked confused until a pale girl dress in black rolled her eyes and snapped, “She’s telling anybody with a weak constitution to get out. Because we’re gonna soundproof and lock down this room until we’re done and if you can’t handle it, you’ll have no way out.”
It was harsh but warranted and everyone shuffled but nobody left, not even when Will told them it would be okay.
“Fine,” Dawn shrugged and she, the Latino boy, and the pale faced goth girl scrambled around the room, marking the walls with chalk.
The boy that’d appeared from her device watched them for a moment, then shrugged, walking over to the petite blond girl that hadn’t said anything, had just been sitting on the floor mixing things from various jars and vials into a bowl as she hummed aimlessly. She was honestly a little creepy.
“Cassie?” he said, squatting beside her.
The way her hand drifted up and awkwardly landed on his face, the way he treated her like she was spun glass, the way the others stepped around her instead of telling her to move made something click and Emma turned to Xander, who’d drifted up beside her, and blurted quietly, “She’s blind.”
“Who, Cass?” he said, startled, then shrugged. “Well-There was-And she-Cassie’s a long story.”
“Prophets have a penchant for being blind,” the blue-eyed boys said as he came to stand beside her. He nodded to her and she saw a wildness in his eyes that was a little frightening. “And Cassie’s one of the most powerful prophets we have.”
Emma swallowed. “That doesn’t seem like a long story.”
“Connor,” Xander said in warning.
Connor smirked. “Well, she was also dead for awhile, then a ghost, then there was a little hoo-doo and now she’s corporeal but a little crazy.”
“And blind,” Xander cut in. “She wasn’t blind before.”
“Hoo-doo,” Connor said again with a negligent shrug.
Emma got that same feeling she always got when people started talking about magic, like her brain was suddenly too big for the inside of her skull and something was going to have to explode to make room.
“Right. Hoo-doo,” she repeated weakly.
Then Dawn and the other two that seemed to be her cohorts woke Quinn and she babble, “Please,” and, “Help me,” and, “My baby,” and somewhere in there, Dawn must have heard the permission she needed because the chanting rose up as Quinn’s belly was bared and a pinprick of blood was drawn from the tight mound and Emma turned away as soul shattering screaming started.
Her eyes landed on Cassie, still calmly humming, making a mockery of music, and it became too much. Chanting and humming and screaming and humming and chanting and, oh God, Emma hated
Then it was all over but the weeping, Quinn weakly sagging between Dawn and the goth girl, who murmured soothing things. That was the thing about these kinds of kids. They were two-fold. They could be hard, jaded, frightening, then turn right around and be soothing, sweet, gentle.
Cassie stood, still humming, picked up her bowl, and wandered towards Quinn. And Quinn, despite her recent trials with magic, didn’t appear afraid, not even when Cassie once again bared her belly, dipped her hands into the shifting liquid in the bowl, then pressed her palms around the mound of belly protecting Quinn’s baby from the world. When she pulled away, there were glowing handprints that pulsed gently.
“To protect her until her birth,” Cassie said, her voice the light tinkling of wind chimes and slightly more frightening because of it. “But remember, Quinn Fabray, blessed, gifted daughters are always sought. Make your decisions wisely.”
Then she wandered away, humming aimlessly again.
“Well,” Xander said, then seemed to run out of steam.
And Emma gave a short laugh because she was glad she wasn’t the only one that the weird got to sometimes.
She hugged him again, not even all that worried about germs. She was going to need the longest shower of her life
to wash this day away, anyway.
“I’m glad you came,” she murmured as his kids finished packing away their things.
He pulled back and cupped her cheeks, face serious. “You were one of mine, Emma. We stood together on Graduation Day and you were of my caste, not Cordelia’s.” He pulled back and passed her a little box from his pocket. “Another amulet and a different communicator. Some people said they had trouble with the buttons on the last model. Although, you know, they were alive to complain, so I’m not sure what the big deal was.”
She opened the box and laughed a little at the bit ON button. “Thank you.”
“Any time,” he shrugged, even as his kids started up their doorway home. “Call if you need anything.” He glanced at Quinn, who was being fawned over by pretty much everyone. “Anything
And then he was gone. Of course, as soon as everyone moved away from the table, it caught on fire.
Quinn counted her baby girl’s fingers, then her toes, and finally kissed the top of her bald head. Puck had already stormed out and Emma could understand that this would be emotionally difficult for the teenage boy. His shove into adulthood had been more difficult than most teenagers, especially since he’d begun slightly emotionally stunted.
Quinn breathed deep the scent of her daughter, then opened wounded eyes and nodded. Emma stepped forward and took the baby. She walked carefully out into the hall where the heroes of her high school years, no older than her in body but ancient, comparatively, in spirit, stood waiting.
Willow Rosenberg stood straight and tall, jittering a little in her excitement. She was no longer just the shy, nerdy girl Emma remembered.
Buffy Summers stood calm and elegant as always, although the cloak of weariness was new.
And Xander Harris opened his arms as he had always done and accepted someone else’s burdens and the joy that she would eventually bring.
Emma stepped back and cleared her tight throat, tears trying to force their way free. “She just wants to know what you’re going to name her.”
“Jana Bibiana,” Xander said, fascinated by the fingers wrapped around his pinky. He looked at her and shrugged with a sheepish smile. “A little old with a little new.”
And Emma knew right then that this was the right decision for everyone, no matter how much it hurt. Because the one thing that Quinn wanted most for her baby girl was a father that would love her no matter what and that was the Xander Harris Emma had always known.Author’s Note:
My first Glee crossover! I wibbled on the title, so let me know if you think it fits.