Secure Yourself to Heaven


By: Lori Bush
Disclaimer: The Indigo Girls own and perform "Secure Yourself" beautifully.
Part One

 

secure yourself

As Performed by The Indigo Girls

secure yourself to heaven
hold on tight, the night has come
fasten up your earthly burdens
you have just begun

in the ink of an eye i saw you bleed
through the thunder i could hear you scream
solid to the air i breathe
open-eyed and fast asleep
falling softly as the rain
no footsteps ringing in your ears
ragged down worn to the skin
warrior raging, have no fear

secure yourself to heaven
hold on tight, the night has come
fasten up your earthly burdens
you have just begun

i'm kneeling down with broken prayers
hearts and bones from days of youth
restless with an angel's wing
i dig a grave to bury you
no feet to fall
you need no ground
allowed to glide right through the sun
released from circles guarded tight
now we all are chosen ones

secure yourself to heaven
hold on tight, the night has come
fasten up your earthly burdens
you have just begun

secure yourself to heaven
hold on tight, the night has come
fasten up your earthly burdens
you have just begun

in the ink of an eye i saw you bleed
through the thunder i could hear you scream
solid to the air i breathe
open-eyed and fast asleep
falling softly as the rain
no footsteps ringing in your ears
ragged down worn to the skin
warrior raging, have no fear

secure yourself to heaven
hold on tight, the night has come
fasten up your earthly burdens
you have just begun

secure yourself to heaven
(in the ink of an eye i saw you bleed)
hold on tight, the night has come
(through the thunder i could hear you scream)
fasten up your earthly burdens
(solid to the air i breathe)
you have just begun
(open-eyed and fast asleep)
secure yourself to heaven
(no feet to fall, you need no ground)
hold on tight, the night has come
(allowed to glide right through the sun)
fasten up your earthly burdens
(released from circles guarded tight)
you have just begun
(now we all are chosen ones)
now we all are chosen ones
(secure yourself to heaven)
allowed to glide right through the sun
(hold on tight the night has come)
released from circles guarded tight
(fasten up your earthly burdens)
now we all are chosen ones

words and music amy ray
copyright 1988 godhap music (bmi)

 

@~~`~~~

"So the Big Wigs came back. So now what?" Xander's question echoed the thoughts of the entire group sitting in the Magic Box. He was personally still smarting about being referred to as "the boy" last time. Geez - he was a fully grown man with a job, a girlfriend and an apartment - at least he could get that much credit, even if he had no special powers to speak of. Anya squeezed his hand reassuringly, sensing his attitude.

"We wait, " Giles answered, simply. The Watcher wasn't entirely happy, either. He'd never cared for Travers, even less so after the Cruciamentum debacle. Having him in charge of whatever this latest dog and pony show was, was less than reassuring. He'd thought it was all over when they left before.

"They'd better have come up with a way to protect Dawn," Buffy muttered, threateningly. "Or else I might give them a chance to see a bit more of exactly what a pissed off Slayer is really capable of." She resumed pacing, an activity she'd commenced soon after the Council had once again set up shop, with a smaller group this time, in the Magic Box. At least this time, they waited until after closing time to commandeer the establishment.

"I found them rather amusing," Spike offered, having just returned from a cigarette break outside, the smell of smoke hanging on him. "Made me feel almost scary again," the vampire said somewhat wistfully, "I liked that." He leaned against the doorframe. "So, do we all have to hang around here all night waiting for whatever it is we're waiting for from them?"

Xander glared up at the neutered vampire. "Trust me, Fangless, none of us will miss you if you feel the urge to leave. You're only here because they wanted you to be, not us. We weren't aware your schedule was so pressing." The bleached blonde snorted and opened his mouth a few times, obviously trying and discarding several smart retorts, before finally letting the comment slide with a frown. The whole group settled back into tense silence.

@~~`~~~

"I'm just saying, I don't think we should use the boy. He's too mortal - nowhere near as strong as the others." Quentin Travers was growing tired of having to repeat his argument. But eventually they'd all see he was right.

A strange voice chimed in from behind him. "But how long can the body last without its heart?" At a growl from the team leader, the oddly dressed little man asked, "Going to introduce me to yer friends, Travers?"

"What the hell are *you* doing here?" the Watcher demanded.

The other man shrugged. "My job." He grinned mirthlessly at the rest of the group. "He gets so cranky when he has to share authority."

"I don't like you, Whistler. I've never met a demon I did like."

The demon's face darkened. "Ya don't have to like me. Ya *do* have to work with me, and I'm not telling ya anything ya don't already know." Rather than admit defeat, Travers simply turned away angrily. Whistler addressed the remaining members of the Council. "I work for the Home Team - The Powers That Be. My job is to keep things even, so to speak. They ain't too happy about how things are going with Glory, and they know what's needed to stop her, just like yous guys do. But Hot Shot here wants to leave out an important part of the equation."

"The boy is too fragile. He'd be the weak link," Travers growled, his back still turned. "Another would be better in his place."

"Who? The ex-demon? She's only still learning about love - and I'll remind ya, everything she has learned about it, she learned from him. The blonde witch? She has almost no connection with the other two, and she appears to be all but scared of her own shadow. The *vampire*? Be real!" Whistler spun the Watcher around and bored his gaze into the other man's eyes. "He's already done it once. He IS the Heart. There's no one else. Only he can complete the Unity. Unless ya really don't *want* the good guys to win this one." Off Travers' snarl, Whistler raised his hands. "Hey! It was a legitimate question."

The bespectacled female Watcher rose, looking at the others. "I think the choice is clear." She turned to their nominal leader. "Why don't you summon them?"

@~~`~~~
>

Every eye was on the door when Quentin Travers emerged. He stood uncomfortably before them, eyes on the floor. "We need to see the Slayer, the Watcher, the redheaded Witch, and," he looked up into Xander's eyes, "you."

The other three rose quickly, but Xander bent over Anya's shoulder. "At least he didn't call me 'boy' again," he murmured into her ear.

Travers looked back. "You coming, boy?" The young man growled and followed.

~**~

"Whistler," Buffy said in surprise, seeing the demon standing to the side.

"Heya, kiddo. Big things happening here - ya know how I hate to miss the fun." She gave him a nervous grin, and he returned a thumbs-up. Then Quentin Travers began to speak, and she focused her attention on him.

"You are all aware of the danger of the being known as Glory, and what could happen if she gets her hands on the Key. A prophecy has been found, and there appears to be only one way to defeat a being of such power."

"And we must defeat her or the world will end - we know this part, we've heard it bunches of times. Could you cut to the chase?" Buffy had saved the world before, but never from a god, and never in order to protect her little sister - a sister she only recently realized she'd never *had* to protect before. It didn't matter to her anymore how Dawn had come into her life - she loved her, and wasn't going to let anything happen to her. She still hadn't forgotten the treatment this group had handed to her on their last, far too recent, visit.

Since Quentin appeared to be perfectly happy to stand and scowl at the girl, the female Watcher picked up where he left off. "The prophecy tells of a being known as 'Unity' that can defeat this threat. Unity has great strength - physical, intellectual, spiritual and emotional. The Unity can stand where all others would surely fall."

"Great!" Xander smiled nervously. "So how do we call this 'all-powerful' critter?"

"Unity already exists," the woman answered with a small smile. "The Unity has been evoked before, and is ready to be called up again."

"These people took clarity lessons from Angel," Buffy complained. She addressed the Council. "He exists, and needs to be called. He's done this kind of thing before. Does anyone but me wonder why we're standing here discussing this instead of ringing this guy's cell phone?"

Travers scowled more deeply. "They are children, and not appropriate for the task. I thought only the mere mortal would be a problem, but now I doubt the wisdom of this whole idea."

Xander protested. "Mere mortal? I think, I think - there's something about that that smacks of an insult, and when I figure out exactly what it is, I'm going to be really offended!" Willow patted him comfortingly.

"The Unity," Giles mused, as if something had just surfaced in his overcrowded brain. "There are references to the Unity in the apocryphal tales of the Great Flood, and some during the French Revolution and World War II."

"The Unity's only invoked in times of great crisis, when humankind could possibly be wiped out," Whistler offered helpfully. "The Big Guy has a soft spot for the human race, it seems. He was the first to invoke the Unity, but of course, He would be. He sorta created it."

"And it consists of a gathering of angels, according to some sources," Giles went on.

"As a rule," the balance demon added.

"The Big Guy? He?" Willow stammered, shaken to the core.

"Don't worry, sweetie - He's not offended by the whole gender thing. Ya can go on calling Him Goddess - He's cool with it."

"Whistler," Travers bit out, "Shut up."

One of the previously silent male Watchers stood and went to the group. "Join hands," he ordered. About to protest, Giles looked into the dark serious eyes, and nodded instead. The Watcher and the three young people gathered in a small circle, holding onto each other. "Close you eyes," the man instructed, and they did. The Watcher spoke an incantation, which sounded somewhat to Giles like Latin, although certainly not Latin as he'd learned it, and a little like Hebrew, but again, not as it was found in any book.

He felt Buffy scream soundlessly. Buffy buried the other three alive, as they smiled and encouraged her to do it. Xander looked in a mirror, and he was small, blonde and female. An enormous being of light touched Willow, and she burned with the pain, but it was a hollow pain. Colors spun and changed. Thunder roared. Warmth. Blood. Together. All alone. Sudden darkness.

As one, the four sets of eyes flew open, and they all gasped.

"Was that a vision, or a nightmare?" Willow asked no one in particular.

"There was good stuff in there, I'm thinking, but it wasn't easy to find" Xander offered.

"Did we all see the same thing?" Buffy asked the man who had chanted.

"If you did not, you saw nothing at all, and do not belong," he replied solemnly.

"The Unity," Giles said hesitantly, breaking the silence that followed, "it's, it's..."

"Like the joining spell," the female council member explained. "The Intellect, the Spirit, the Heart and the Body are as one. And you are they."

"Explain the whole 'as one' thing, because I'm not flowing on that one," Buffy demanded. "In the joining spell, the others were unconscious while I fought Adam with their essences helping. We were sort of all one - but we were sort of all me. It was freaky, but I could handle that again - how 'bout you guys?"

Her Watcher and her friends nodded in agreement. "As long as the First Slayer and the Cheese Guy aren't part of the package, I'd be in," Xander replied. "So why the big hoopla and the committee and all? We've been this way before - no biggie."

"The Unity is like the joining spell, but much different. You would change - all of you. Yourselves, but not always, and not only. Beyond yourselves."

Buffy stomped her foot. "Do they teach 'Cryptic' as an required course in Watcher School?" she demanded of Giles. "'Cos this isn't like any explanation that actually *explains* anything that I've ever heard."

"What the Watcher Dame is trying to tell ya," Whistler broke in, "Is that yous guys would all be one soul, in four bodies. Until, of course, the Unity is called, and there'd only be *one* body 'til it was done."

"So, some of us would just *disappear*?" Willow asked. "And come back, or not? I mean, I've gotten kinda attached to this body, and I'd hate to lose it this far along. So, would this be 'disappear' in a 'never to return' kinda way, or just in a 'can't see you right now, but you're still alive' kinda way?" She looked at the three others. "Is it just me, or isn't this a factor in any decision to the rest of you?"

"Willow, I find it hard to believe the Council would want any of us to cease to exist as individuals," Giles said with assurance.

Whistler stared at him in disbelief. "I betcha still leave cookies out for Santa and think the tooth fairy's real, huh?" Giles looked offended. "Haven't ya figured yet that the Council only cares about what achieves their goals?" the demon continued. "You as an individual mean exactly squat to them." Giles nodded slowly, absorbing and acknowledging the truth in this.

Before the little man could go on, Buffy broke in. "Then we don't do it. As the Slayer, my life isn't my own, but my friends aren't going to cease to be people in order to defeat Glory. I'll do it myself."

Whistler shook his head. "No can do, cutie. Ya can't win without them. But they'll still be people - most of the time."

"And we'd be, like, what the rest of the time? Undead?" Xander wasn't sure he liked the sound of this.

"Greater than the sum of yer parts," Whistler replied.

"Isn't anyone in this room capable of straight answers?" the Slayer fumed.

Even Whistler's usual good humor seemed to be flagging. "Fine," he responded somewhat snappishly, "I'll give ya the Easy Reader version. Ya know Glory is a god, although slightly unstable due to the pressures of holding her human form. She wants the Key so she can open the demon dimensions, and with the power she unleashes, wrestle this world away from the Big Guy. He needs a champion to stop her - the Unity. The four of ya will be combined as one - a single being with the best features of each of ya. However, this being will only exist when needed - the rest of the time, yous'll still just be the four of ya. With a few minor differences," he added, almost as an afterthought.

"So the Unity isn't a group of angelic beings, after all?" Giles mused aloud.

"What 'minor differences'?" Willow worried.

"It always has been in the past," the female Watcher explained. "Angels, I mean. There have never been four humans with the proper characteristics at once before. The body needed above average strength, the spirit great contact with the ethereal, and so on. Only angels possessed all the needed qualities."

"Until now," Whistler said softly.

"Yes, until now."