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Title: The Wrath of Angelus and The Search for Tara
Authors: TexanZeppo256 (Ryan) and ambersagoddess/gayforamber (Rei)
Rating: PG to R, depending on the post
Pairings: W/T primarily; B/F, X/A, others.
Spoilers:: BtVS: none; it’s completely AU. Star Trek: This takes place during the year 2285 (ca. stardates 8130 - 8210)
Distribution: Extra Flamey, The Mystic Muse, Near Her Always, Fanfiction.net, and any other place that’ll have us.
Feedback: Constructive criticisms are quite welcome and even desired: This is the longest fic that Rei has ever attempted and my first fic of any notable length as well, so any suggestions on how we might improve our writing style and characterizations will be greatly appreciated and accepted with an open mind. You can send both of us feedback, critiques and/or reviews at our jointly owned email address texanzeppo257@yahoo.com. Rei says!!!- and of course, here, on the board. :P
Disclaimers: The characters represented in this story are either borrowed from or inspired by the syndicated TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which belongs to Joss Whedon, the Mutant Enemy co., the UPN, FOX and WB television networks, etc. The plot line and settings described in this story are either borrowed from or inspired by the feature films “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock”, which belong to Paramount Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended in any way and any illegal distribution of this story is not endorsed by the authors.
Acknowledgements::
(Ryan): I would like to thank the following people profusely and from the bottom of my heart: Gene Roddenberry, without whom there would be no Star Trek. Harve Bennett, the man who almost single-handedly ensured the existence of the third Star Trek movie and the continuation of the Star Trek saga. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo Montalban, Christopher Lloyd, as well of the rest of the cast of both “Wrath of Khan” and “Search for Spock”, for their powerful acting which greatly inspired me and Rei to write this story. Amber Benson and Allyson Hannigan, for their beautiful portrayal as of one of the most loving and beloved lesbian couples in all of television. Kathryn Forrister from Different Colored Pens, whose style and quality of writing has greatly influenced my own and given me something to aim for. StarTrek.com, for their invaluable research material regarding the Star Trek universe. And last but certainly not least, Rei, my muse and co-author for this fic, for her endless patience with my annoying and unpredictable self and for her boundless enthusiasm for what was once just a crazy idea bouncing around in my head.
(Rei): I don't want to worry about being one of those people who end up forgeting everyone when they say their thanks, but since Ryan went a head on a huge professional rant, I feel I must. Amber and Aly, of course. Katie, for being there. All my many Kitten siblings. And Ryan, because, dispite his slowness and the fact that his life outside the kitten board exists, he's a pretty nice guy. :P Then my muse, Dara, (no, that's not a female Ryan, sorry dude, you just don't do it for me) for wearing tight pants for the past 2 weeks, thus upping my creativity...and horniness... Well, that's it, hope I didn't forget anyone, if I did, sucks for them yah? :P
Summary: The cast of BtVS replaces the crew of the legendary USS Enterprise -- most notably Willow Rosenburg as Admiral James T. Kirk and Tara Maclay as Captain Spock -- and experience an awesome and emotional journey of vengeance, betrayal, sacrifice, and above all, love. Based on the motion pictures “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock”

***

Authors’ Notes (Contains background information that will be either alluded to or discussed by characters within the fic; READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRESION)::
(Ryan):
When Rei and I watched “Wrath of Khan” together, we agreed that the film relied far too heavily on a theme of age that we felt was inappropriate for Willow and Tara’s relationship dynamics. As a result, in replacing Willow Rosenburg with James Kirk, I revamped the Kirk and Spock’s timelines so that instead of being in their mid 50’s when the fic/film takes place, Willow and Tara are now in their mid 30’s. Also, to accommodate the presence of Dr. David Marcus, Kirk’s son, I decided that Willow had met and fallen for Oz sometime during her early tenure at Star Fleet Academy, and that Willow had given birth to their child, Dawn, who replaces David. As a result, Dawn is roughly 19 when this fic takes place, an age old enough to have the maturity and intellect required of a scientist as befits the character that Dawn replaces. However, the Enterprise, in keeping with Fleet Admiral Morrow’s comment on the aging vessel in “Search for Spock”, is roughly 20 years old in the fic as well as the movies.
(Rei): Uhhhh, me? Uhhhh, what he said!

***

A Final Note to the Readers: Although the story is based on two movies which are readily available on VHS or DVD at a Blockbuster video store near you, please keep in mind that an alarmingly large number of people have never seen either movie. As such, please refrain from mentioning events from either film that have yet to be described or interpreted in the fic in your public reviews. Thank you for your courtesy. Rei says!!! Unlike what Ryan made me do :P I can't make you go watch the movies, but it'd be helpful! Helped me out quite a bit :P

******

The Wrath of Angelus and The Search for Tara

Act 1, Chapter 1


***

As the turbo lift doors closed in front of her, sealing her inside the transport tube, it finally struck her what she was about to do.

Yes, she had intellectually processed the orders as they came to her over the comm-link, and yes, she had been mentally preparing herself for carrying out those orders, but it hadn't really hit home until just then, inside the motionless pod, silent but for the muted thrumming sound of the decks rushing past the lift -- or the lift passing the decks, everything being relative, equal and all that other stuff -- and the faint hum of electronics, what it was that she was about to do.

She, Ro Kennedy, a mere Ensign and second year cadet in Star Fleet Academy, was about to meet a living legend face to face.

In about two minutes -- depending on the amount time left until the pod reached its destination and the distance from the turbo lift doors to those of the Admiral's quarters -- she was going to actually talk to a person that she had read about in one of her many, insanely long history books. What was more was the fact that she was going to meet somebody that she had actually liked reading about.

She audibly giggled at that thought, the noise ringing rather loudly in her ears given the relative silence in the lift.

Yes she had read about several of the 'greats', but Ro found their stories and histories to be mostly… well, "boring" wasn't quite the correct description, but she realized that it was as apt a description as any, given the fact that she had fallen asleep more than once while reading the self-indulgent historians gush relentlessly over this great battle hero or that exploratory pioneer.

It was only as she heard the muted thrumming surrounding her decrease in pitch and volume, indicating the deceleration of the turbo lift, that she realized that it wasn't so much of a fact that she was bored by those supposedly great historical figures as it was the fact that she couldn't relate to most of them.

Ro had never felt any sort of understanding with all of those other people, who all seemed to drift their way into the history books, much like the air that was now drifting into the open turbo lift behind her. Few of the people that the pretentious professors loved to discuss endlessly were actually recognized because of the fire that was burning in their veins, the blazing heat that coursed through their blood and drove them onward towards stratospheric heights, the fervor that she herself felt every day.

She knew that the legend she was about to meet also felt that undilutible flame flowing through her body. There was not a single doubt in Ro's mind that the Admiral in question also felt that wild and restless panther of energy and drive within her. There simply was no logical way by which she couldn't. It was impossible to achieve the rank of Admiral at age 30 without constantly feeling the predator within, always sharing its lust for the next kill.

It simply could not be done.

The Admiral was an inspiration, a shining example of what a kindred spirit such as herself could accomplish with that much drive and motivation.

She was sure that the Admiral would recognize the gleam in her eye that distinguished herself from the rest of the cannon fodder surrounding her. She was sure that the Admiral would realize the potential that Ro herself felt, and, if nothing else, acknowledge her as one of the family -- so to speak. She was sure that…

…That the Admiral would not want to have some grinning idiot show up on her door step and badger her with lengthy and pointless laudations.

She shook the beaming smile from her face, set her expression to a more neutral tone, carefully readjusted her posture to one that was more relaxed than most of her other freshman peers, yet firm enough to show respect to the superior officer, and mentally readied herself for a meeting with her equal as she neared the faux-wooden door of the Admiral's quarters.

Stopping just to the side of the entrance, Ro took a final deep breath before pressing the door chime.

A few seconds later the door slid open and Ro quirked an eyebrow at the refined sound of a saxophone's plaintive wailing accompanied with some non-descript, deep bass instruments coming from within the room.

Ok, so she wasn't expecting the Admiral to be listening to jazz music, but that wasn't such a bad thing was it? Lots of people listen to jazz. Heck, even Ro listened to some jazz music every once in a while. Granted, the only jazz that she'd heard for the past several years was always at one of the local dance clubs in San Francisco, an invariably fast paced and lively beat with a full band playing to a thrumming crowd of dancers which more often than not found Ro at its center.

But that upbeat music was a far cry from this lilting, slow paced, almost mournful melody, and it took the Ensign greatly by surprise.

What she'd heard about the Admiral hadn't suggested an overly eccentric personality, but then again she hadn't heard much, if anything, in regards to the Admiral's tastes in music.

Ok, so maybe the Admiral was in a melancholy mood this evening. So what? It didn't mean that the Admiral was one to overly indulge in emotional flights of fancy or had let the sterling ambition that had made her shine brighter than any other officer in Star Fleet's history become tarnished with -- and the Ensign outwardly blanched at this thought -- emotional baggage.

However, as Ro turned from her position beside the entrance and into the doorway proper to get her first glimpse of the Admiral's quarters, her previously unfounded fears instantly turned into full fledged worries and were quickly escalating into a full blown panic.

The Admiral's quarters were so… homey.

Antique book shelves -- filled with score upon score of honest-to-goodness books, no less -- covered most of the open wall space of the low ceiling living room, which opened up to her right while a wall, also lined with book cases brimming with actual books, blocked her view to the left.

A diagonally fitted fire place nested between the walls separating the room from the hall way from which Ro had just come and the next room over was currently in use: A small roaring fire licked away at some small logs of wood and provided for most of the illumination in the room. The Ensign took a whiff of the air, laced with the faint scent of charred pine, and gathered that the fire itself was, in fact, real, and not a hologram.

On the walls to either side of the hearth hung dozens of pictures of varying sizes, while on the hearth proper, clearly illuminated and completely isolated from its neighboring picture frames, hung a rather large water color painting of an angelic, flame-haired woman, completely nude save for a rose-colored sheet which covered most of her body -- but not nearly enough to be considered even remotely decent -- reclining on a couch and apparently asleep.

A rather large dog, its withered frame and gray, matted hair belying its age, lying on top of a large, frayed throw rug which covered the soft, fine carpet barely a meter from the fireplace opened his eyes, slightly clouded by cataracts, and barely lifted his head up at the Ensign's entrance, but then dropped it back down and let his eye lids droop shut again.

A plush black leather couch, covered by a loosely-draped and rose-colored silken sheet, which looked suspiciously familiar, lay further recessed from the fireplace, perpendicular to the walls and at a 45 degree angle from the hearth. Flanking the couch on either side were small tables, the glass-backed and wood-bottomed shelves underneath the tops of the tables were also filled to the brim with books of all shapes, colors and sizes, while the tops of the stands had at least two picture frames on both of the darkly-stained wood covers.

On the wall opposite from Ro and adjacent to the fireplace, a small wet bar stood barely a meter from the junction between the hearth and the wall into which it was recessed. Illuminated by shielded, light-yellow lighting were several wine glasses and a small selection of various wine and liquor bottles on racks above the small white counter top, as well as a small replicator, further recessed into the wall and level with the counter top.

In the far right corner of the room, furthest from the fireplace and squeezed in where a book case probably should have been, sat a small, yet ornately carved mahogany wood desk cluttered with papers and another picture frame as well.

As Ro moved further into the room and let the door automatically slide shut behind her, she could barely see a large window overlooking the darkened San Francisco bay beyond the book case-lined wall to her left.

The Admiral herself was sitting in a chocolate-brown leather reclining chair, her feet tucked underneath her torso with a discarded book lying in her lap, her head leaned back against the head cushion of the recliner, her long auburn hair splayed tucked into a pony tail and lying on the Admiral's side, and her eyes closed, apparently engrossed in listening to the somber jazz tune still playing.

Ro looked upon the Admiral, the soft orange light illuminating the Admiral's porcelain skin and giving it an ethereal glow, and just barely avoided gasping at the beauty that she saw. Instead, she quietly cleared her throat and tentatively asked, "Admiral Rosenburg?"

The Admiral's brow furrowed slightly as she quietly admonished Ro, "Shh… listen."

The young Ensign stood still, not uttering another word, and listened again to the haunting melody that seemed to caress the Admiral to a world far, far away from any that Ro could even begin to imagine.

Ro had never cared for this type of music, had never felt the need to, and as such felt extremely and royally bored. So, rather than listening to the music that clashed garishly with the eagerness that pulsated in her heart, she instead occupied herself with the happy task of engraving into her mind the beauty of the Admiral's elfin features.

***

Sadly, before very long, the music began to fade off into nothingness, and Willow sighed despondently.

She really liked that song… dang it.

It really was a very pretty song. Okay, yeah, it was a little depressing, and she wouldn’t have even bothered listening to it 15 years ago, but… things had changed since then.

Before she let herself launch into a full-blown recollection of the past, Willow pressed a button on the PADD resting on the arm rest of her dad’s easy chair, ceasing the next song in the program from playing, and opened her eyes to look at the evil woman who was taking her away from her beloved jazz-time.

The girl standing before her – and she was a girl, not a woman – was a medium height brunette with strong, angular facial features and dark eyes. The diminutive rank insignia on the girl’s shoulder told Willow that she was still just a cadet, and Willow’s brow furrowed slightly in confusion: She hadn’t been expecting for any rookies to drop by. If she had then she would’ve scheduled it so that her jazz-time wasn’t interrupted. “May I help you Ensign?”

The girl stiffened slightly as she introduced herself, “Ensign Ro Kennedy, tactical officer for training command crew 2276, ma’am.” She paused, then smiled slightly as she added, “I’m here to accompany you to the simulation this evening.”

Oh… right, the simulation. Willow sighed inwardly as she remembered the sour fact that she had been “volunteered” into taking on this role as teacher for this class. She bit back the irony, not for the first and certainly not for the last time, of the fact that she had been reduced to teaching children.

It wasn’t that she hated teaching people, that wasn’t it at all. She looked back on her few previous experiences in teaching students with a warm appreciation, actually.

What made her loath to perform her current duties was that her fondness for her few recollections of herself as a teacher paled darkly in comparison to the sheer bliss that she felt when she recalled the numerous memories of the Enterprise. Memories of herself as Captain of a star ship and the heavens as her play ground. Memories of that crazy, yet loveable crew that she grew so close to. Memories of a shy, blonde-haired goddess that changed her life…

She mentally kicked herself out of her reprieve. That was the past, things had changed since then, and she needed to stay in the present… to help teach some naive, wet-behind-the-ears trainees how to operate a computer console.

Well, most of them were really naive. But Amy… she had potential.

When Willow had first met the young Captain-in-training, shortly after “accepting” her new – and hopefully temporary – duty as a tutor in the art of command, she had thought that the junior grade Lieutenant was little else other than a fairly bright girl with lots of drive. But the more lessons that she taught the girl, the more she began to see signs, just little glimpses here and there, of herself back when she was still in the Academy. Eventually, Willow came to realize that she had found in Amy a protйgй, someone who could reach as high and accomplish as much as she had, but without having to make the same mistakes that Willow still deeply regretted.

But what if that was what her mistake had been? Reaching too high? Playing the sad role of Icarus in her own personal tragedy.

…Or was that Prometheus?

No, Prometheus was the guy who brought the god-fire to the mortals; Icarus was the guy with the wax wings that melted.

Before Willow could properly recall her old studies in ancient Terran mythology, however, a discrete cough from the dark-haired Ensign standing before her snapped her back to her current reality. Blushing furiously, she unfurled her legs from underneath her, stood up from the synthetic leather of the chair – which thankfully had all the comfort of real leather without the mess of a dead cow, ‘cause that was just, well… eww – and spoke somewhat penitently while retrieving her uniform jacket from the couch, “Sorry about that, its just that sometimes my mind wanders to strange places that don’t make a lot of sense to many other people but it does to me when something happens that I don’t expect, like you showing up out of the blue, and I start thinking and thinking and the next thing you know, boom! Fifteen minutes have passed by and I’ve thought about a lot of strange but kinda interesting things but I’m right back where I started…”

Willow faltered off as she silently chastised herself for going into babble mode, a dreaded curse that she never could seem to get rid of, and slipped the jacket over her shoulders and began fastening it, when suddenly her brow furrowed, and she thought out loud while facing the cadet, “Wait a second… why did you show up out of the blue? I didn’t schedule a meeting with any of the cadets from twenty-two sixty-seven before the simulation.”

The Ensign before her, who, Willow noticed, had been smiling in mirth at her, faltered slightly as she hesitatingly answered, “I was instructed to accompany you just a few minutes ago, ma’am.”

Willow’s eyebrow arched as she heard this, and she inquired further, “Instructed by whom, Ensign?”

The Ensign, though her facial features expressed a hint of confusion, answered in a remarkably neutral tone, “Fleet Admiral Rosenburg, ma’am.”

The other eyebrow immediately shot heavenward, and her voice took on a suspicious tone. “Really?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Willow looked back down at her uniform jacket, securing a button, as she asked in a tone that demanded an explicit answer, “And did the Admiral say why she wanted you to accompany me?”

The Ensign, in a tone that almost comically resembled that of a rather bored professor reading from a book, recited “The Admiral stated that it would benefit your experience as a member of the educational faculty to fraternize with cadets aside from those who are directly under your tutelage, as prudence would dictate.”

She looked back up at the girl, a slight smirk on her freckled face, and asked wryly, “Are you sure that’s all that she said?”

The Cadet hesitated for a second before answering slowly; “The Admiral may have mentioned something about ‘not getting any younger…’ ”

Willow froze in place, her hands hovering over one last button, and her eyes bulging out of her sockets.

She wouldn’t.

She wouldn’t even dare.

It was at that moment that Willow allowed herself to look at the cadet from a more aesthetic viewpoint, noticed the fine skin, the generous uniform-hugged curves, and the pleasing size of the cadet’s… features. Willow closed her eyes and let out a groan of embarrassment and frustration.

She had.

That insane mother of hers had set her up with this girl.

“Are you alright, ma’am?” The girl in question asked with some concern.

Closing her eyes and taking in a deep, calming breath, Willow regained her composure and replied casually, “Yes, I’m fine, thank you.”

The Ensign looked at her warily, but seemed to accept the answer and asked, “Are you ready, ma’am?”

A quick look at her uniform, with all the buttons fastened and everything else in place, she nodded yes, and strode towards the doorway. She stopped just short of the portal, looked at her beloved dog from his semi-permanent perch in front of the fireplace, and said to him, “Be good while I’m away, Jet.” Jet lifted his head and whined a little in response before setting his furry head back down going back to sleep. Willow smiled fondly at her pet for a moment, and then, straightening her posture and assuming the proper air of authority and smugness as befitted an Admiral, walked out of her quarters with an ardent stride, the young Ensign in tow behind her.

As she walked towards the turbo lift she idly mused about the fact that Jet had effectively become her best friend in the past few years. Not that it was a bad thing or anything: Jet was certainly a find as far as pets went. He was well behaved, if somewhat lazy, very affectionate and loyal for his age, and always a sucker for having his ears rubbed.

It was just the fact that he was the only one waiting for her to come home that struck the redhead as... less than ideal. Especially when she remembered what the ideal was… or rather had been.

When they reached the lift doors, and she punched the call button for the next pod, the Ensign next to her carefully asked, “Permission to speak candidly, Admiral?”

Willow glanced at the brunette and replied with a hint of curiosity in her voice, “Granted.”

The Ensign seemed to fluster just a little bit as she spoke; “I find it a great honor to be in your presence, ma’am. I mean…” She winced visibly and muttered something under her breath, as though she was berating herself for something, and then continued speaking, phrasing her words carefully, “I have often heard of your exploits, both from my peers and my superiors, to such an extent that you have become almost tantamount to legend, ma’am. I find it… humbling to accompany someone of your stature.”

Willow chuckled lightly at this. “A legend, eh?”

“Yes ma’am.”

The doors finally opened, and as both Willow and the cadet stepped into the transport tube, Willow spoke to the girl beside her, “Let me ask you something, Ensign. Which do you find more legendary: My exploits before I became an Admiral, or after?”

Willow watched the girl’s brow furrow in thought for a moment as the doors closed and the lift began to ferry them towards the simulators before she answered hesitatingly, “Though both are extraordinary in and of themselves… I would have to say that I find your promotion to the rank and accomplishments as an Admiral more inspiring.”

Willow spoke softly, “Well, at least that makes one of us.”

Neither of them said another word for the rest of the trip, letting the soft hum of electronics and the distant thrumming of the passing decks fill the roaring silence.

******
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The authors own nothing. Joss, UPN, WB, etc. own Buffy, the show, the characters, the places, and the backstory. The authors own any original plots.