... And the Pawn Is Crowned
We've been back at headquarters for a couple of hours and my son is continuing his miraculous recovery. In fact he is almost fully healed by now and getting more than a little peeved at Jim's constant mothering... and Buffy is with them, not helping.
Now that I've had a chance to think about it I can understand what happened a little better, in a sense it is obvious and yet I never would have expected it. I should have known what was happening from the moment I first felt my son's weakening life force coursing through the link. What was calling me wasn't his voice or even his thoughts and that should have been enough for me to figure out what was going on... in fact I should have figured it out long before Blair got hurt in the first place, before we took down that Ylnevaeh demon. I should have noticed what was happening from the moment I realized that Dawn was important, when I realized that the link would give Willow access to the Key's power. There's no way that a pre-linguistic link could possibly have done that.
Even though the link was originally meant to be pre-linguistic in nature, somehow --I don't know how-- it got to be more than that, it went deeper than it was supposed to go. It did more than tangle our minds to enable us to communicate over long distances without linguistic restrictions, it tangled our life forces, our vital energies. In a twisted parody of the Immortals' game the link made us one and today we got further proof of that. Under extreme circumstances we can now call on the knowledge and power of the others to some extent... and Methos is one of us.
It was only a few days ago that I was wondering what would happen to this new Council once we were gone and now I've got my answer in the form I least expected it. The Council will survive as long as we do just as I knew it would, only --if what happened today is any indication-- it now seems like our own expiration dates have been reset. If I'm right --if our life forces have truly merged-- then that means that as long as Methos is alive the rest of us will live.
How deep does that connection run? The truth is that I don't know... not exactly. I know that it runs deep enough to allow my son to heal himself by drawing energy from Methos's quickening but I don't know if it would allow me to have a slayer's strength if the circumstances were desperate enough just like I don't know if it means that Spike can now go out into the sun without turning to dust. Those are things I suspect we will discover eventually... there's no hurry, suddenly we have all the time in the world.
Hopefully I will also have plenty of time to worry about semantics later. Even though for the time being I am tempted to describe what binds us as a combined life force --a combined vital energy-- I am all too aware of just how woefully inappropriate both of those terms really are... if they weren't I wouldn't currently be linked to an all too dead vampire.
The thing is that through our lives we've been nothing but pawns in some sort of twisted chess game played by the Powers, a game we couldn't possibly understand. I'd like to believe in the existence of my own free will but that is growing increasingly difficult. It's as if every move, every day of our lives had been carefully planned and executed to bring us to where we now stand. I fathered a son when I was little more than a child myself but I never knew about him and in time my son became a shaman in his own right, something that probably wouldn't have happened had I been in his life. I became the watcher to a slayer that set every tradition on its ear, a slayer who fell in love with two vampires along the way, made friends in spite of her calling and who --with her friends' help-- managed to defeat every single odd that could possibly have been staked against her, up to and including death (again, twice). By some twist of fate I met my son and I established a relationship with him, that relationship eventually brought us to Cascade when Sunnydale was destroyed. Once here we tried to rebuild the Council and against all odds that brought the world's oldest Immortal straight to our door. Over the past eight years or so we have somehow managed to assemble a totally impossible band of misfits --including a green ball of mystical energy and a willingly ensouled vampire-- and I cannot believe that any of it was a mere coincidence. The thing is that in spite of our differences --or perhaps because of them-- we are an effective team and now that we've reached our goal I can finally see where it was that the game was leading us all along.
If I had really taken the time to think about my total lack of free will before today it would almost certainly have bothered me. Yesterday the thought of being nothing but a pawn in someone else's game would have been deeply disturbing but now that has changed. Against all odds my son is still alive and today... today we were crowned..