Title: Living as Lenore
Author: Luna (aka Luna_del_Cielo on lj)
Fandom: Supernatural/Buffy the Vampire Slayer/
Cast of Characters: Tara/Lenore McLeod, Fergus McLeod/Crowley, Loki/Gabriel, Anya, Castiel, Eli, Dean, Sam, Scoobies
Summary: Willow tried to bring Tara back from the dead…and she did. Unfortunately, it happened to be in a body 340 years in the past.
This story will explore Lenore’s life as a Prophetess, as a vampire, and finally as a woman struggling to figure out who – or rather, what – she is as her life turns full circle when she meets the Scoobies again.
Pairing(s):Anya/Gabriel, Tara/Willow, and inexplicably several others...Spoilers: BTVS S6E19 ‘Seeing Red’, SPN S2E3 ‘Bloodlust’. Spoilers for Crowley's past in S6 “Weekend at Bobby’s” and allusions to Loki's past in S5
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If I did then fewer people would have died in each of those shows :)
"Castee-el", An Angel of the LordLiberton, Scotland
October 16, 1700
Samhain was approaching. With it came the death of yet another season and the end of the year, as her Celtic ancestors had once celebrated. What once had been alive with color and ripe with life was now in the midst of dying. Trees commenced with their annual death and bronzed autumn leaves carpeted the ground. Flowers shriveled, as if to huddle against the coming cold, and eventually returned back to the earth. Crisp winds shepherded the summer warmth away and heralded the coming arrival of old man winter.
In a way, Lenore felt that she was in a similar situation.
The old her, the one who was so much more innocent, was dying. Like the trees, her former self was withering on the branches of her mind and just waiting for the right amount of wind to scatter her across the earth’s floor.
Lenore McLeod was not the same and never would be again.
As much as she longed for her simpler life, it would never be hers again. She was cursed with the knowledge of what was to come. Her mother’s death in an automobile accident, Buffy’s death and resulting resurrection with dark magical ramifications¸ Mrs. Summers’ death, Willow’s fading into magic, all the many apocalypses, and so much more. None of which she could stop.
Worse – imminently worse – she would never find her Willow again.
The blessing of remembering her lover’s caress and voice and personality were most cherished. For years Tara had known that a red-haired woman loved her but she had always yearned to know who. Yet, now Lenore did know who she was…but she would never live long enough to know her. Instead she would spend the rest of her life with the faint memory of Willow’s embrace but she would never be able to hold her in her arms again.
It was cruel.
Why must she have a past life? And if others did as well, why didn’t they remember it? Why must Lenore be cursed so wickedly? There was no sense in this dilemma, to give her a glimpse into what had been and will be without allowing her to make some sort of impact.
Even more frustrating was she was going mad over deciphering – yet again – her tarot reading.
The Queen of Swords had indicated that she would have power, intellect, and freedom; yet there was a darkness that threatened to disrupt everything in her life.
This was easily understood. Lenore was a witch of great power and now with her memories of spells performed in the future her abilities had expanded. However, she did not know what dark force approached her…unless it had to do with a demon.
The Devil had marked a demonic force as her obstacle in life and that it would attempt to enslave her.
As ‘Tara’ she had encountered a wide variety of demons (which had been quite educational since neither she nor Elspeth knew much about demons or vampires). It would be more Dawn-like and less Tara-like to get captured by a demon, but she supposed that could happen.
Death had indicated her past life.
Which was, as her old friends would have stated, ‘hello Captain Obvious.’
Judgment, the card of Gabriel the Archangel, had shown her future and that individuals from her past would appear.
This was the card that confused her. ‘Tara’ had died three-hundred years into the future…how could she ever find her friends again? More importantly, how could she ever see Willow again? This card gave her a false hope that angered her to no end.
Temperance showcased her strengths of bringing balance, having a powerful being to help her battle the demon that threatened her, and that she had the ability to stand in two worlds at once.
Loki had said that her daughter Dawn’s line would bring balance to the world so she could only assume that answered for the Temperance card. After all, she didn’t have an ability to directly bring balance, did she? When it came to who might come to her aid against the demon that threatened her, all she could think of was a vampire slayer. Perhaps the Watcher’s Council Headquarters was nearby? And as for standing in two worlds at once, that made sense since she was very clearly standing in the memories of two lives from two different time periods right now.
And finally her last card in the reading was The Tower, which indicated that chaos and aggressive change, perhaps led by a message from God and brought about by conflicting thoughts and actions.
Once again, she still had no idea what this card meant. And once again, she was frustrated.
Ye gods, she was again regretting her gain of knowledge. Ignorance was indeed bliss.
“Mama, mama, mama!” squealed Elizabeth as she ran outside to where Lenore was meditating underneath her Willow tree…er, Elspeth’s willow tree she supposed…
Lenore opened her eyes and smiled at the rambunctious four-year old scampering towards her. “Come here, darling,” she said as she held out her arms. She sighed as her daughter fell into her and tightened her hold. For the first two days she had a great deal of trouble remembering certain things about this life – and that included much about her children. Living with the memories of two lives was incredibly difficult and, quite frankly, it had scared her how much she had forgotten about her babies.
“Now, what are you doing out here on your own?” Lenore inquired as she pulled Elizabeth back to inspect her. “Shouldn’t you be with Elspeth?” Her cousin was busy canning apples inside while Lenore rested for the afternoon – she needed a great deal of rest these days.
Elizabeth’s eyes lit up as she let out a joyful giggle. “Cousin Elspeth let in a very nice man and then she went to sleep!”
Instantly Lenore was on alert. “What? Who is he?” she asked fearfully. Was this the demon that the cards had spoken of? Elspeth never would have fallen asleep unless a spell had been cast on her.
Or…was it Loki? She hated to admit it but she had missed him these past ten months. He had been more enjoyable to talk to than most people she knew; besides her coven and Fergus and Molly she had no friends. Even though he had frightened her that night and she had kicked him out, she was now grateful to him for gifting the Forget-Me-Not – regardless of how many times she had second-guessed using it.
Elizabeth’s light blue eyes brightened as they shone with an intellect that Lenore had not witnessed before. She touched her tiny forehead against Lenore’s and whispered so softly that she had to strain her ears to listen. “He’s an angel, mama.”
Lenore let out a short, skeptical laugh. Her daughter could be so odd sometimes. Regardless, before she said another word she picked up Elizabeth and raced inside the house, worried about who could be inside.
Her mind and magic at the ready, she stalked into the home quietly and ordered Elizabeth to go into her room. Then, making her way into the sitting room she first noticed that Elspeth was fast asleep on her sewing chair, Dawn was still in her cradle, and Alexander was…playing tag with the stranger?
Alexander five-year face shined with happiness as jumped from a chair in front of the man, slapped him on the knee, and shouted, “Tag! You’re it!” and then dissolved into giggles as he began running circles around the man. For his part, the stranger’s clear blue eyes were widened in confusion as he observed the running child and his stiff posture indicated that he felt quite uncomfortable.
Lenore was just about to shout at Alexander to get away from the man when Elizabeth ran between her legs and jumped up and down in front of the man and her brother. “I want to play! I want to play! I want to play!” she chanted, her hops accenting each word.
“Elizabeth! Alexander!” Lenore snapped angrily. “Get away from this man!” Her shoulders straightened and she instantly covered her children with magical shields in case this man tried to hurt them.
The man in question turned his luminescent blue eyes upon her and the weight of them took her breath away. Involuntarily she peeked at his essence and was blown away by the purity of it. It reminded her greatly of Loki’s and she wondered if this man was also a pagan god.
“Mama!” Elizabeth whined as her chubby fingers curled around the man’s hand. “Don’t be silly. He’s my friend.”
The man looked at her in surprise at being called her friend, and then a soft look entered his eyes as he smiled slightly.
Then Alexander, not wanting to be outdone by his younger sister, grabbed the stranger’s other hand and gave his mother an almost defying look. “Yeah! I want him to play tag with me!”
Lenore, too worried about this powerful creature in her house to pay her children much heed, whisked them away telekinetically next to Dawn’s cradle on the other side of the room. Her children yelped in surprise and annoyance but she silenced them with a severe look as she crossed her arms. Then she turned her powerful gaze onto the man and spoke in a deep voice that hinted at her power – power that had greatly increased now that she knew of her past life and magics not yet known in this part of the world.
“I will not ask you again, sir. Who are you?”
The man gazed at her with a fathomless expression. Then he spoke in crisp clear tones that hinted at his own reserve of power. “I am Castiel.”
Lenore blinked in surprise. She didn’t remember that name from mythology. What sort of pagan god was he? “Okay…and what exactly are you?” she asked; noticing how her meshed memories of this century and the twentieth had begun changing her way of speech. Hmm. She hoped she didn’t start talking like Buffy – then everyone in her village would think she was addled, or mad.
“I am an Angel of the Lord,” Castiel declared – causing Elizabeth to clap her hands and go, “I told you mama, I told youuuuuuu!”
“A-an a-angel?” she sputtered in surprise. Of course Lenore believed in the Holy Scriptures but for some reason she had never really imagined that angels were real. Then again, if the Hellmouth, vampires, demons, and more were real, she supposed angels could be as well.
“Yes,” Castiel nodded with a small movement as he gestured towards her children. “Your daughter has the Sight and recognized me. Some humans have that ability and can witness my true form.” He frowned. “I had thought you were capable of that as well, Lenore McLeod.”
“She has the…Sight?” she whispered as she glanced at Elizabeth. Were her children destined to have magical abilities as she did? Lenore was unsure how she felt about that – she wanted to simple, happy life for them.
“Three is a powerful number, Lenore. Your children have been blessed,” Castiel nodded. His expression remained stoic and Lenore couldn’t help but feel very confused about this peculiar creature.
Lenore nodded. “So when I see your aura, I am seeing your…?”
“Ri-ight,” she nodded. “So that’s why I’m supposed to believe that you are an angel and not a pagan god?”
Castiel’s eyebrows furrowed – the first time since their conversation began that he looked surprised. “Why would you think such a thing? Pagans are creatures of darkness and their aura should express itself as such.”
Lenore opened her mouth to speak before she remembered Loki’s words. Just do me a favor and never mention to anyone what my aura looks like – and don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about because you almost spilled the beans in the church – or that I healed Dawn tonight. Do that, and I will cancel your debt.
Hmm. Something mysterious was afoot. Perhaps Loki was not who he pretended to be? Nonetheless, she could not mention it to this strange Castiel angel, lest she anger Loki and nullify her debt.
“I, well, I could tell that you were powerful and few creatures on this earth have that much power,” she explained to him; keeping her eyes downcast as she did so that Castiel would not see the lie in her eyes.
“Mama, I’m bored,” Alexander suddenly whined. “Can’t Castiel play with us now? Castiel, will you play tag with Lizzie and me?”
Castiel looked taken aback. “I know not what this ‘tag’ is.”
“Oh!” Alexander said in surprise. “Don’t you play tag up in ‘eaven? It’s really fun, see first someone’s ‘It’ – that’s you – and then they have to chase everyone. The first person they tap is then ‘It’ and it’s their turn to chase everyone and the person who gets to ‘ome wins! It’s super really fun and me and Lizzie are so bored because no one else will play with us—” he explained excitedly before his sister cut him off.
“—Because our daddy was a bad man that did things for the Devil,” Elizabeth finished sadly.
“Oh, Lizzie,” Lenore sighed sorrowfully. While the villagers ‘knew’ that Lenore and the others had been just innocent victims and not witches, unfortunately the other village children rejected Elizabeth and Alexander for their father’s ‘deal’ with the devil. Ignoring the strange angel who was staring at her children as if he were looking for something, she pulled Elizabeth into her arms as her daughter began to cry.
“Everyone’s s-so m-mean to us,” Elizabeth whimpered as tears began rolling down her cherub-like cheeks.
Lenore closed her eyes and rocked her daughter back and forth as she stood near her other children. Dammit, she loathed Connor O’Neil and the very memory of him.
“May I?” she heard Castiel speak. Looking up, she saw him extend his arms out as if he wanted to hold Elizabeth. Lenore gauged him carefully but she realized that it was silly to fear an angel. After all, they were from heaven.
Carefully she put the crying child into Castiel’s arms and watched as he pulled the girl close to his chest. With a gentle finger he forced Elizabeth to look at him and then he captured her grey eyes with his own piercing blue ones. For a minute they just stared at one another while Lenore stood, tensed, off to the side. Finally Elizabeth ceased crying and Castiel set her on the floor, where she quickly scampered to take hold of Alexander’s hand.
“What ‘appened, Lizzie?” Alexander asked in concern, although she could see by the way that he glanced at Castiel that her son was also feeling quite jealous as well.
Elizabeth giggled and spoke in a hushed – yet loud enough for Lenore to hear – whisper. “Castee-el said that we shouldn’t worry about the other village chil’ren because Fre’rick O’Malley still wets his bed and Jenny McCormick is gonn grow up with big teeth!” she laughed and Alexander started snickering.
“Now, come on. Castee-el said that he and mama had to talk alone. Let’s go,” Elizabeth ordered as she tugged her older brother out of the room.
Perplexed, yet amused, by the recent events, Lenore crossed her arms and leaned against the doorway. “Are angels allowed to tell secrets about bed wetting to other children?” she inquired with a raised brow.
His eyes darted around, as if he felt guilty. “I, ah, just cannot bare to watch children cry. Especially the females. It-it makes me nervous.”
Lenore stifled a laugh. A nervous angel? This was amusing. “So you like kids?”
Castiel glanced at her with his forehead wrinkled, yet again, in confusion. “Kids? You mean young goats?”
Lenore laughed – she realized that she had regressed (or was that progressed?) into her twentieth-century speech). “I meant children. You like children?”
“Oh course,” he said while giving her the look like she was the dumbest person on the planet – quite like Loki in that way. “They are one of my Father’s greatest gifts to the world.”
“Speaking of which…why are you here? Doesn’t an angel have much more important things to do?”
“You are my charge. I will be watching over you.”
Lenore blinked. “Right. And why would that be again?” Then she remembered the Temperance card that promised to help her against the darkness that faced her…and the image on that card was one of an angel. Was Castiel the answer to that aspect of her tarot reading?
“You have remembered your past life, correct?”
“Yes…” she replied. “What does that have anything to do with it?”
“You have knowledge of great future battles against the forces of darkness. You, Lenore McLeod, are a Prophetess of the Lord.”
“…HUH?” she managed to get out of her gaping jaws and befuddled expression.
Once again, Castiel was looking at her like he had really been expecting her to be smarter than this. “You are a Prophetess of the Lord,” he repeated slowly.
Lenore’s hand went up to starve off further words by him. “Whoa. Wait a moment. Castiel, was it? Listen, I’m sorry but I’m not a Prophetess. Besides,” her voice lowered, “you all do know that I’m a witch, right?”
Castiel cocked his head to the side as if he were trying to understand her better. “You do not engage in demonic worship or sacrifices, do you?”
Her forehead wrinkled as she tried to understand him. “Well, no – of course not. I do not engage in wickedness or black magic.”
“Then you are a good witch,” he nodded. “Both as Tara Maclay and as Lenore McLeod you have worked for the side of light – and most especially in your past life. Then you were a warrior against evil.”
“Oh, no. Nooo,” she shook her head. “I wasn’t a warrior. Buffy was, and Willow. But not me. I just helped.”
Castiel fixed her with an unblinking stare. “You were a warrior – and such sacrifices do not go unnoticed. Regardless of the minor deities that you perform your incantations to, you are still known as a Christian woman, Lenore. You have been Blessed to be brought into this life so that you may write of the future and properly warn the warriors of light against the forces of darkness.”
Lenore sat down. “B-but, aren’t there already prophecies about stuff like that? I mean, there was the one about the Master killing the slayer, and the Key, and that one that Willow told me about regarding Angel’s Shanshu prophecy…” she trailed off in confusion.
“Not yet, but there will be,” Castiel stated with a significant look in her direction.
“Oh,” she said in a small voice. “So…I’m the one that writes those prophecies?”
“Why me?” she finally asked after a moment of silence.
“Each Prophet of the Lord learns of events in their own way. For many it is visions but for you, it is your previous life’s experience. The Last Guardian of the Hellmouth is an important figure in the battle against evil and she will need to know of what is to come in order to mold her and keep her safe for the final battle. You have been appointed with this duty, Lenore McLeod.”
Lenore put her head into her hands – this was all quite a bit to take in. She was a Prophetess? Of the Lord?
Then again, hadn’t she been angry earlier about having this curse of knowledge and not being able to do anything about it? Well, she supposed now she could do something about it.
But there was still one more thing…
“Alright”, she said as she looked up into Castiel’s bottomless blue eyes. “But I have one question – if I am to write these prophecies that will take time away from the tailor shop. Tell me sir, how am I supposed to provide for my family?”
Castiel’s gaze softened. “Have faith, my child.”
Then, accompanied by the sound of fluttering wings, he was gone.
November 27, 1700
Over a month had passed since Castiel had come into her life. She had not seen the angel since then but a part of her sensed that he was always near. Her life had changed slightly due to her revelation since then. Lenore no longed worked in the shop with Fergus – who was none too pleased but she had waved it off as being too weak from her illness that had made her comatose to work for a long while. Then she spent her days with the children and her nights writing prophecies.
That was still a bit odd to get used to – that she wrote prophecies. However, it made her feel good that she could help her friends…even if she never would see Willow again.
Of course she had told Elspeth about Castiel since her cousin was her mentor in all things. Elspeth had not been as greatly surprised as Lenore that angels existed – to her it made sense that the forces of good needed warriors of their own. However, Elspeth had been none to pleased that the angel had knocked her out in the process.
It was late afternoon and winter had arrived with a ferocity. Lenore shivered underneath her thin coat as she made her way to the tailor shop in order to drop off some porridge for her mother – Margaret McLeod’s health had been steadily weakening since Angus had died and now a watery cough invaded her lungs. Lenore was greatly worried about her mother and feared her death. While on one hand she logically understood that all creatures who lived must one day die, on the other – as a daughter – she could not imagine her mother dying...again.
Opening the shop door she rushed inside and had to use a good deal of strength to push the door closed – the wind was dreadful today. Fortunately for her, the fireplace was blazing and she let out a happy sigh as she stood in front of it. “Mmm, yes,” she murmured softly as she rubbed her hands close to the fire.
A throat cleared behind her and Lenore jumped up to see Fergus smirking at her from his kneeling position as he stood next to Mr. Williams, the town butcher, who was standing on a stool and getting a pair of pants fit. The latter was staring at her as if he was suddenly very regretful that he was no longer a young man anymore.
“Oh! Er, hello,” she greeted sheepishly as she straightened herself.
“Len, perhaps you should go upstairs and see mother. I’m afraid if you stay here any longer Mr. Williams’ heart may finally give out,” he suggested in a humorous tone.
“Um, right. She bent her head hastily in their direction. “Lovely seeing you, Mr. Williams!”
“Y-you too, dear,” he choked out.
After Lenore fed her mother – who thankfully was at least well enough to eat – she watched her as she fell asleep. The porridge that she had made also carried a healing potion and she prayed that it would work its will on her mother. Currently her life was too unstable – between an angel saying that he would protect her, the cards saying a demon was after her, being a mother, and writing about her past life that was actually in the future – and Lenore needed her mama right now.
“She asleep?” Fergus’ voice asked from the doorway.
“Yes,” Lenore replied as she quietly snuck out of the room and closed the door. “She finished her meal so I hope that means she’s getting better.”
They began walking down to the empty shop. “Did you fix a potion for her?”
Lenore gave him a sharp look – they had never spoken of magic before. “Why would I do that?”
Fergus rolled his eyes and snorted. “Hush Len, I’m no fool. It wasn’t too hard to figure out years ago that Elspeth was tutoring you – likely hoping that you would turn out better than I.”
“Ah, I see,” Lenore said as she wrung her hands nervously. “Are you mad that I never told you?”
He leaned against the wall and looked into her eyes. “Honestly? Sure, I was a bit buggered at first but I know how our cousin can be when it comes to secrecy about the craft. But now I’m hoping that one of you can create something to help ma.”
Lenore shrugged. “There’s a few healing potions that I know of and we’ve been feeding them to her, but it’s still hard to say if it is working.”
He nodded and made a humming noise.
“Fergus!” called Molly from the kitchen. “Is that Lennie that I hear?”
Lennie – ugh, something even worse than Len. She enjoyed Molly, she really did, but she took too much enjoyment in treating Lenore like the little sister that she had never had.
Fergus smirked – he loved annoying Lenore even more than his wife did. “Yes, she’s in the shop.”
A frazzled-looking Molly with her black curls bouncing around her shoulders, walked in wearing a flour-covered apron. “‘Ello there, Lenore. You stayin’ for supper?”
“Sorry, I’ve got to get back. I just wanted to check in on ma,” Lenore shook her head.
“Ah, such a shame,” her sister-in-law frowned.
Things had been *much* better between her brother and his wife since Gavin had run off to work in Edinburgh and Fergus had his ‘incident’, but she knew that Molly preferred a group of people rather than Fergus’ alone. Her brother was much the same way. With Gavin gone he did not have the source of his animosity around to constantly remind him that his son may not be his son and thus he was much nicer to Molly – although it was clear that he still did not love the woman, nor she love him.
The bells sounded and a cold blast of air indicated that the shop had a new arrival. Fergus painted on his best ‘salesman face’ and greeted the hopeful customer. “Good day to you, sir, and welcome to McLeod and Sons Fine Clothing. What can I be doin’ you for?”
The man, well-dressed in all black, noticeably sniffed as she surveyed the humble shop with its two rows of clothing and yards of fabric laying out. “My name is George Hartford and I am the solicitor for the estate of Lord Cornelius O’Connor, Baron of Summerford. I am here to speak to the widow of the Baron’s eldest nephew, Connor O’Neil. A Ms. Lenore O’Neil?”
Fergus’ eyebrows shifted in surprise as he gave Lenore an incredulous look. “Lenore is my sister, sir, and she’s right here.”
Mr. Hartford gave her a scrutinizing look before he nodded in her direction. “Greetings, Ms. O’Neil. Do you have a place where we could speak privately?”
Lenore nodded, rather dumbly, and led the solicitor into the back room of the store. She couldn’t help but wonder…what on earth would this man want with her?
Ah, the introduction of yet another fun Supernatural character! What joy :)
Thanks to everyone for reading!
Reviews are immensely appreciated :D