Disclaimer: I do not own any of these things whether they be from Buffy or from Glee. Please don't sue me. However, any and all original characters in this work of fiction are mine. That's about it.
All forms of feedback are welcome. . .even flames(I've literally been called every name in the book, you'd be hard pressed to offend me at this point).
A/N: Canon Pairings apply for both series, but no focus on relationships in this work. Set post-series for Buffy and mid-season 2 for Glee (right before The Sue Sylvester Shuffle. General Spoilers apply for both series
Now, on with the story. . .
Somewhere Deep in the Heart of Africa
The three of them stood there together, staring as one into the mouth of the cave they were facing. Buffy, Willow, and Xander were giving themselves a minute before entering this most ancient of places.
“It doesn’t look very temple-y,” remarked Buffy.
“Yeah, a little more on the cave-ish side of things.” Xander shifted his gear around a little, going over it one last time to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything.
“Well, all my research and all the folk tales and all the legends point to this one place as the entrance to the temple. I’m sure what we’re looking for is in here,” said Willow.
“I don’t like caves,” said Buffy. “Bad things tend to happen in caves.”
“It doesn’t look entirely bad as far as caves go,” offered Xander. “I mean, it’s not like it’s shaped like a human skull or anything.”
“That is true,” conceded the slayer.
They stood there in silence for a beat.
“Well, are we gonna go?” asked Willow.
Buffy snapped free of her reverie and nodded here head. “Yeah, let’s get this done.”
She started moving forward, the other two following right behind.
Entering the cave, the three of them turned on the head lamps they were wearing and began their journey inward. The interior of the cave system was damp and smelled slightly fetid and musty. Thick tangles of cobwebs seemed to cover almost everything here, large dark things crawling around through some of the fresher-looking webs. Naturally, Willow stayed as close to her companions as possible.
The network of tunnels they were navigating took them downward, further into the Earth. Willow was guiding them by means of an old map they had found that showed the way through. They walked for what felt like a couple of hours before they found any indication that they were indeed on the right path. The passageway they were in ended quite abruptly after rounding a slight bend.
It opened up into what appeared to be a massive cavern, the dimensions of which were beyond even the reach of their lights. Great stalactites and stalagmites reached for the floor or the ceiling respectively. They were utterly massive and kind of spectacular to behold. This place was at least a few miles wide, although it was impossible to know for certain seeing as the other end was invisible from here in the dark.
The cavern’s floor was broken and uneven, with jagged peaks and deep narrow valleys made from massive shattered rocks and stones. In silent awe, the trio slowly stepped out from their place in the tunnel entrance and found themselves on the remains of a flat stone platform. There was one remaining corner with it’s original ninety-degree angle intact to tell them this was man made. Stepping closer to the far edge of the platform confirmed that by showing them the long narrow steps down into the cavern proper. The flight of stairs appeared long and steep from this angle, treacherous to descend if one was careless.
Once more, Buffy led the way, gingerly making her way down step by awkward step. Her shorter stature was definitely a hindrance here. It seemed to take almost as long to descend the stairs as it did the tunnel. This place was just huge! And it all seemed to only get even bigger the further down they went. The ceiling was only visible in some locations where it was low enough to sort of make out.
The stairs they were taking stopped midway down, broken up by a long strip of landing that appeared to extend out from the ground like a bridge before it continued down, curving slowly to the left. The stairs remained suspended in the air like that, being held up by support pillars, all the way down it seemed.
With Buffy still leading the way, they started down this next flight. It was easier going then that first descent, the steeps being only half as tall and at least three times as wide. They made much quicker progress than they were before. In all, it wasn’t much longer before this next flight came to a stop at a wide landing.
Set before the trio at the base of these stairs, they could make out a walkway or maybe a bridge stretching it’s way into the depths of the massive cavern. It was difficult to tell in this murk, but it appeared to just simply stretch on and on for miles.
Xander silently took the lead and stepped down off the stairs and continued forward. Buffy, giving no indication of her opinion of his assumption of the lead position, followed along a step behind. It was Willow who gave serious pause here, her eyes carefully scanning what they could of their surroundings.
She brought a hand up to her mouth and cupped it, whispering an inaudible litany of incantations from a long dead language. Willow extended her hand out, the center of her palm glowing a brilliant gold hue. Craning her neck forward, she pursed her lips and softly blew air across the surface of her upturned palm. As if she were blowing bubbles, orbs of gold light flew out from her hand and spread out quickly in the air. These orbs multiplied and multiplied, lighting the way as they went. In mere seconds, these orbs of light had spread out to the furthest regions of this underground sanctuary.
The trio could now see that several of the stalagmites were in fact whole and complete pillars of rock that no doubt helped keep the roof from collapsing in on them. There was a strange sort of beauty here; this place was majestic and grandiose. It was a perfect place to hide the last secret of the Shadowmen, to house the temple devoted to their simple brilliance and foresight. This was where the answer to their problems would be found, where the second slayer line was kept inactive, just waiting for a time when it would be necessary to activate it. As it happened to be, the time was right now.
With Xander now leading the way down the underground path, they continued on for the temple proper.