Buffy fanfiction; Willow fanfiction
Joss owns 'em. I'm just borrowing them.
Note: For those squeamish with the thought of
suicide you might want to skip this story.
Willow's life and thoughts after the season six ender
'Grave' and her time in England.
Of course, email@example.com Let me know what you
I walk into the room
with a spell-casting book in my grasp and I can feel all
the eyes turn to me. I feel like an intruder. Nervously
I scan the room, looking for a seat.
An elderly woman looks
up from a book and rises to her feet with a warm smile,
coming over to greet me. "You must be Willow
Rosenberg," she begins. "Mr. Giles said you
would be arriving today."
I nod. "Yes, I'm
announces in a thick British accent, "I'd like you
all to meet Ms. Willow Rosenberg. She's Mr. Giles charge
visiting from America."
No one says anything,
in fact they now all turn away not wanting to look at
me. The woman motions me to a desk in the circle and I
take my place. "I'm Rosa Hagness, dear. One of the
instructors in the coven." she tells me. "You
may call me Rosa or Mrs. Hagness, whichever you prefer.
We're waiting for a few others but we'll begin
I thank her and give
her another respectful nod before she walks away. I look
around the room and see a young woman looking in my
direction. Quickly she turns away, looking back at her
book. My sigh must have been heavier than I assume
because I feel a tug on my sleeve.
about them," the young woman next to me whispers in
an English accent. She about my age with shoulder length
black hair and crystal blue eyes. "They've heard
lots of rumors but I've never been one to believe
everything I hear."
"If it's about me
it's probably true."
"You blew up an
"Well, an entire
magic shop," I shrug. "But I've done worse
too." Much worse.
Still she offers me
her hand. "Althenea Dimmons."
Rosenberg. But I guess you know that huh?" I say
Her grin is warm.
"How long are you here?"
sure," I answer her honestly. "At least the
next three months."
"Not enough time
for you build a solid relationship Althenea. But then
again, that never stopped you before. "
We both turn to the
foreign voice that's entered our conversation two desks
Prinz," Althenea tells me. "She's a S.I.T. and
witch who thinks she knows it all."
"I don't think,"
she answers smugly. "I know."
sit?" I ask.
"Not a sit. An S.I.T – Slayer in training."
those?" Willow asked. "I thought the chosen
one was just…you know…chosen."
"With the last
true Slayer, I hear that was the case. A lot of watcher
red tape led to her being lost in the shuffle somehow.
But now the council is taking an interest in all the
girls they feel may be slayers someday. So instead of
another big surprise, they train them in advance. Once
they're called into service they're prepared."
"So tell me Miss
Rosenberg," Mary says poking into our conversation
again. "…Is it true you gotta thing for the
At first I'm not sure
what she means by birds. But then it hits me…Women.
"Why? You lookin'
for a date?" I counter. My anger at her arrogant
attitude is beginning to overshadow my nervousness.
"Sorry but you're not my type."
"I bet Althenea
is…Isn't that right Althenea?" Mary nods to the
woman sitting next to me.
Mary also looks to be
about our age and she reminds me of someone. Dark hair,
dark eyes. I wonder for a moment and then I realize –
she's just like Faith, all attitude and mouth.
her," Althenea tells me.
"You can't ignore
me," Mary smiles. "I'm the chosen one or at
least I will be soon."
"I beg to
differ," I tell her.
"Because I know
THE Slayer…Not a wannabe but the genuine
"Rumor has it you
almost killed the Slayer." I flinch and I'm sure
she saw it. "But she just gave you a reprieve since
you KNOW her… right? She'd rather let you kill her
than take your life?…Realize something quick, witch.
When the time comes and I tangle with you because your
black magics threaten the world…you'll be a dead
enough…Miss Rosenberg, may I see you outside?"
I look over to Mrs.
Hagness who's standing up from her desk. Oh, God. Now
I've done it. Not even 10 minutes and I've messed up
We all watch as Mrs.
Hagness walks out of the room. Althenea gives me a pat
on the arm for support and I walk out, passing Mary who
has another smug look on her face. It's so hard not to
reach over and try to slap it off. But I begin my
breathing exercise that Giles started with me.
Once outside I shut
the door and turn to Mrs. Hagness. "I'm sorry. I'm
about it," she tells me. "I'm not upset with
you. You have to understand that Mary has a lot on her
shoulders but I do plan to speak to her Watcher about
her behavior moments ago. I brought you out here to let
you know that she gives all the newcomers a difficult go
of it. And there are many rumors floating through these
halls about you. I won't lie. And I must confess. Having
you in my class is…a bit…unnerving… I can feel
your darkness that still lies inside. It won't be easy
but Mr. Giles has informed me that he feels you can
handle it. And I trust Mr. Giles…From what I just
witnessed. I would say he's right," she grinned.
"Keep holding your ground Willow. Don't give into
your temptations. Listen to what I have to say. Learn
your lessons well. And the rumors won't mean anything,
nor anything that might have transpired recently on the
Hellmouth. Am I understood?"
I nod. Isn't this great? I …unnerve… the
most powerful witch in the room.
then," she grins. "Back to class we go."
"Hey! You're home
I stand at the kitchen
stove checking to see if the water was boiling as Giles
take as long as I expected. I'm not sure if that's good
or bad." Giles walks over and inhales deeply.
"Whatever it is your cooking it smells
I tell him. "Since most of the food at the market
looks like the part of the animal that should be thrown
away…" I pause which earns me a chuckle from
Giles. "This seemed like a safer bet. Actually I
was gonna make chicken noodle soup – it is the food of
my people ya know," I tease. "But after I got
the chicken out I realized…I have nothing to cut this
with – no knives in the house. So I went with
He leans against his
refrigerator with his arms folded across his chest.
"Do you think you can handle the knives being back
in the house?"
"I think you're
the better one to answer that than I am Giles."
"I think you're
ready but do you?"
I pause a moment and I
grin. "You know…giving up would be a whole lot
easier…but I'm sticking it out. I gave you my word and
I meant it. I've had more nightmares since that first
night – you know that. But…it feels different…It's
like… I had to hit rock bottom before I, you know,
could pick myself up again? I mean, I-I can't say I'm
making great strides yet but at least I'm standing
upright again. And pretty soon I'll be trying some baby
steps. A-And that's all good, right?"
"I'll bring the knives back in tonight."
I give him a grin.
"Good…Now I'll make able to make soup." I
turn back around and put the pasta into the water.
Giles starts to
chuckle and I turn around. "What?"
"Oh come on. You
can't hold out on me."
cook for me, you clean for me. All the benefits of
having a wife…Well, minus one," he grins.
"Why Giles, you
dirty old man."
"I didn't say
which benefit my dear so who has the dirty mind,"
he laughs before both turn a bright red.
I laugh and throw the
dishrag I have on my shoulder at him. "Touché…
If only you were 20 years younger Giles – and female.
I might just shack up with you for good." I wink
before going back to my cooking. "But moving onto
more important topics, what did the council say?"
speculations are correct. The hellmouth is getting
more…what did you call it? Hellmouthy?"
are afoot at the Circle K. That's for sure…Did they
say anything in particular?"
"No they didn't
but they are interested in the visions you've been
having. I told them as much as I know. Is there anything
further you might have for me to take to them?"
I shake my head.
"No I don’t. I'm not even sure if they can be
called visions - just feelings really. I haven't
'witnessed' anything yet but if I do you'll be the first
to know…I just wish I had more to give you."
alright…It will get better in time. As your skills
improve, you'll be more focused."
I gave a sigh.
"Yeah, that's if I don't get all veiny and turn
Mary Prinez into the human torch when she slings one too
many insults my way…She worries me Giles."
"You think she'll
"No, I think I'll
harm her," I tell him honestly. "Some
days I-I find myself looking at my hands and arms
wondering if I'm gonna 'meltdown' and blow the school
up. I don't wanna get all 'Carrie' on them Giles and it
bothers me. Nobody in class speaks to me. Hell, they
don't even look at me. Even the instructors of the coven
like Mrs. Hagness seem…afraid of me."
"But I thought
you made a friend. Althenea was it?"
Althenea…but I think…She's looking for a girlfriend
and I'm definitely not on the market so she's wasting
her time. It's just…" Giles waits for me to
continue without interrupting my thoughts. "They
look at me like I'm evil – the students, even the
instructors. And every look is different. For some I see
fear, in others I see contempt…In a few like Mary I
see…I don't know…jealousy almost…like she wishes
she had that power. It just gets tough sometimes."
"Well, as you
said, you knew it wouldn't be easy."
"Yeah I know and
I'm sticking it out. It's just that…Gaia above…I
feel like the same freak back in high school all over
again Giles. You know what I was like back then –
total spaz. The only friend I had was Xander and then
later Buffy too but…I feel like the outsider and I
thought I was passed that, you know?"
"Can I be
perfectly honest with you?" Giles began. I just
nod. "When I knew you in high school I understood
exactly why you felt like an outcast. The reason wasn't
because you were a freak Willow. The reason was because
you were exceptional. You were smart with a dry wit that
others rarely saw or possessed themselves. The same is
true today so I'm not surprised you feel the same
again…You're more powerful than they are. And they all
So yes, it's very much
like high school again. And truth be known you shouldn't
change that for anyone. I know you've had your doubts
but you are a great asset to everyone who loves you and
to the residents of Sunnydale who will never even know
your name. They get up, they eat breakfast, they schlep
to their jobs as you might say-."
I laugh because
hearing a slang word out of such an English mouth is
just….funny. I quickly hold up my finger. "Okay
– for the record, yes I'm Jewish but I have never used
the word schlep in my lifetime," I add with a grin.
taken," he says with a slight chuckle. "In any
case, these Sunnydale residents are oblivious but they
have you to thank because you've protected the human way
of life time and time again…We have the hardest job in
the world sometimes. We love the Slayer – and we do
what we do because it's the good fight; it's the right
thing for us. So you're not a freak Willow. As I said,
you're exceptional. And personally, I wouldn't have it
any other way."
"At least you try
to see me," I say softly.
He cocks his head.
"I do. You think the others don't?"
"I think my
parents don't," I answer firmly. "I always
tried to be the good girl. Be seen but not heard. You
know, only child, a real go-getter, hoping to hear a
'That's our gal' from them once in awhile…Truth is,
they never noticed me. They still don't. And I'm
surprised they tore themselves away from their vacation
to come to the funeral," I chuckle miserably.
"Hell even at the graveside, y-you led me away, not
them - putting an arm around me, telling me I wasn't
alone. They didn't do that. Don't you think as my
parents they should be the ones to do that? And that
doesn't mean I don't appreciate the fact I have you
Giles. I do. More than I think you realize. It's
just…they're my parents…I'm trying to make sense of
everything in my life. And why after all of these years
do I still care? Why is it so important that I think
they love me? Or maybe the real question is…why don't
they love? Why am I nothing more than a shadow to them?
And why did the fact that they ignored me make me do
things like magic to make me feel better about myself
– to make me feel special?" I shake it off and
chuckle nervously. "I'm sorry Giles. Didn't mean to
get all Freudian on you just then."
Giles begins as he walks over. He runs a hand over the
back of my head before resting it on my shoulder with a
firm grasp. "I'm convinced that the best families
aren't the ones that we're born into. They're the ones
we make. But still it's hard when you can't be
everything you think your parents want. I
understand." Giles grins and give me a pat before
walking to the refrigerator. "Believe me I
understand," he adds as he pulls out a pitcher of
"What were your
He pours a glass and
takes a drink first.
"Well, my mother
stayed at home. She had two sons – myself and a
stillbirth baby. My father was a Watcher. Of course he
wanted me to take over the family business so to speak.
And like all good sons, I didn't," he grins
mischievously. "...I liked my psychology classes
and playing guitar. I liked getting rowdy with my
friends after school. Buggaring my instructors during
school was my second favorite hobby…I liked magic…I
liked my vinyl collection…I liked being everything my
parents hated…But in spite of all my rebellion…I
still wanted them to accept me."
hellraiser? I just can't see it Giles," I grin.
"I didn't get the
nickname Ripper for nothing," he counters.
"So how did
you become a watcher?"
"The black arts
actually. And Ethan Raine."
Giles nods. "See,
when I started to dabble in black magic, and that's
putting it mildly, I realized just how dangerous the
world is and how fragile…There was a bloke who had his
eye on young lady I'd been seeing. I decide to work a
little magic to eliminate the competition."
Giles pauses and licks
his lips. "I did a spell. The results of which made
his car lose control. He and five of his friends died.
Ethan and I went out to celebrate when we heard the news
by getting drunk and doing another spell on a couple
girls we fancied. A simple lust spell. One night stand
sort of thing…I didn't even do the spell on the girl I
killed those boys for. It was someone I'd met only once
I can't believe my
ears. "Jeeze Giles."
"I'd like to say
I cleaned up my act after that but I didn't…More
spells. More girls. More deaths…But the time did come
when I had to take a serious look at where my life was
going. And I knew I had to make a choice of which side I
was going to be on…So…I did…It wasn't until I saw
the darkness that filled the world – that filled
myself – that I could make a real choice about my
"And you turned
Giles took a sip as he
"I choose the
good fight. Ethan…he didn't…He liked the chaos of it
all. But I knew I had to do what I thought was
right…Just like you're doing now…The power is
alluring, seductive…but in the end if all you have is
power you find life isn't very fulfilling."
"Maybe we're a
lot more alike than I ever thought," I reply.
"I believe we
are…Well, I'm going to settle in before dinner,"
he says making his way from the kitchen.
He stops and turns
around with a grin.
bringing back the knives…it really does means a lot to
me." He can tell I'm not just talking about the
"No thanks needed
Willow. You've earned my trust."
I grin and go back to
my cooking. But a thought occurs to me that chases the
smile away. Giles trusts me again. But will the gang
ever reach that point?
Today we're going to try a simple exercise," Mrs.
Hagness begins. We're all sitting in a large circle.
"As we've been instructing everything is connected
to the earth and you will use these skills today. You
will levitate this rose and slowly pick the petals off.
Miss Rosenberg and Miss Dimmons, please come to the
center and sit across from each other. Miss Rosenberg
you will perform the spell and Miss Dimmons will be your
The word 'anchor'
pierces through me. I had an anchor but she's dead and
I'm not sure I'm ready for a new one yet.
"No offense to
Althenea but do you mind if I do this one alone. I don't
want an anchor."
"It can be
dangerous," she tells me.
"What's the worse
that could happen?"
spontaneously combust," she answers.
that could be bad…but…maybe you could just keep a
cup of water handy so if I start to smoke you can put me
The comment actually
makes a few people around us chuckle and Mrs. Hagness
tries not to grin.
decision Willow," she replies seriously.
I nod understandingly.
"No anchor. I wanna try."
I take a deep breath
and blow it out slowly before looking around the circle.
"I've tried this
spell before with…with someone and the rose got a
little out of control. If it looks like it's moving
toward you t-then chances are it is so…duck."
With that I close my
eyes and concentrate on my breath. When I feel the rose
lift I open my eyes to see it. One by one I 'will' the
petals off until there's nothing more than a stem.
Gently I rest it back to the ground and let out a long
breath. I did it. I controlled it. I had power over it
and I feel myself grin.
Mrs. Hagness compliments. "Exceptional control. Who
wants to try next?"
I make my way to leave
the circle when she picks up the barren stem and hands
it to me. "Here. You've earned it," she grins.
I give a small grin of
my own and take it. Secretly, I can't wait to show
"Willow you have
to get up. We're going to be late."
"Just five more
minutes? Please?" I mumble into the pillow.
"I told you last
night you should have gone to bed instead of staying up
to read that spell book."
Oh yeah, that spell
book! That was cool. It was about the root system and
how everything, even humans, is connected to the earth.
It even had meditations to use for healing flesh, which
if I ever get back in good with the scoobies could
certainly help out. I only managed to get halfway
through it last night but I'll be able to read more
today. The thought wakes me up and I sit up, rubbing the
sleep from my eyes.
Giles steps inside the
bedroom and yanks the covers off my body.
now," he tells me.
"I'm up. I'm
"Where the bloody
hell are my shoes?"
"How would I
know?" I tell him as I finally leave the bed and
make my way to the bathroom. "Do I have time for a
tells me. "It's a half hour to our meeting and it
takes 15 minutes to get there."
"Well can I at
least brush my teeth and my hair?" I ask.
"If you go now
and quit arguing? Yes," he says looking under the
bed for his shoes.
"Which shoes are
you looking for?" I call out as I walk through the
ones," he yells back.
"Check the hall
closet," I shout back as I close the bathroom door.
As I put the toothpaste on my brush I hear him yell a
'Thank you' and I have to grin. How the guy managed to
survive before I got here is a mystery. I race along to
finish up and come out in my robe. He's in the living
room and gives me that 'Giles look' before he starts
pointing at his watch.
"You're still not
I tell him as I walk back to the bedroom.
After I finish putting
on my clothes I wonder if I should wait just a few extra
minutes just for spite and to see if he starts making
that clicking noise with his tongue when he's upset.
Besides it's only a watchers council meeting. I'm not
even a Slayer so why the hell should I be there? I
figure I've given Giles enough grief and passive
resistance isn't going to help either one of us. I put
on my shoes and grab my coat as I exit.
"Hurry up Giles.
We're gonna be late," I tell him with a smirk as I
walk quickly out the door.
Quentin Travers. I'd
forgot how much I dislike this man until I see him
walking over to Giles and I with a smile. I could fake a
smile like Giles is at this moment but why bother.
early," he says as he walks over. I make sure to
flash Giles a 'Willow look' in response.
"Excellent. The council is assembled so we'll start
We walking inside Mrs.
Hagness' class room and I'm surprised to find her there.
Uh oh! What'd I do now? This is certainly not
good and I find myself standing closer to Giles. He must
have picked up on it because he starts to lean down to
alright," he says. "Don't worry."
would like to ask you some questions Miss Rosenberg.
Please have a seat," Travers tells me, pointing to
a chair. Cautiously, I sit down. "It's our
understanding from Mrs. Hagness that you've done
extremely well in your studies here so far."
"Yeah, a regular
four point 'o' er. What do you want Travers?" Wish
this guy would cut to the chase.
He grins and looks to
Giles. "She's got spirit. I'll give her that,"
Spirit. I don't have
spirit. Quite the opposite. I have nothing left to lose.
It's been over a month and Buffy still won't speak to
me. No one at home does. Well that's not true. I've
spoken to Xander once with a conversation no deeper than
'How's the weather?'. I'm not sure if that's a good
thing or a bad thing. Would I be ready to speak to them
now if they called? I don't think I am. I don't think
I'll ever be.
I watch as Travers
turns back to me. "You're here today Miss Rosenberg
because we'd like to advance your classes. Move you up
and onto bigger things. In fact we'd like to make you
part of the coven itself and not just a student."
all your studies at this time. And as it turns out,
you'll be needed at the Hellmouth sooner than we
"I'm not ready to
go back there. I'm not sure if I'll ever go back
there," I tell him honestly.
you've had some difficult times recently and-."
Let me tell you about my 'difficult times'. My lover
died in my arms. I nearly killed my best friends with
the Black Arts. Oh yeah and let's not forget the whole
trying to end the world thing too…I'm not welcomed at
the Hellmouth and I'm in no rush to get back there
"It wouldn't be
soon. You still have a few weeks of training left and we
I give a sarcastic
snort. "A few weeks of training? Most of your coven
has studied years and I don't see you in a mad rush to
send them any where near Sunnydale. Why do I get the
"You know the
Slayer. How she thinks. How she works. You are also far
more powerful than any current students. Perhaps even
more powerful than some of our instructors who are part
of the coven you're joining."
"Well at this
point I'm not even on speaking terms with your Slayer.
And it wasn't magics I was using. It was black arts and
I'm trying to get away from that. I'm trying to learn to
balance and now you want to throw me back in for your
purposes. I don't think so Travers," I say as I
rise. "Find yourself another lackey because it
I'm almost to the door
when I hear Giles call out my name making me stop. I
turn to face him.
"Please hear them
out?" It's not a command but a request. Why can I
never say no to this man?…I know why. He loves me –
unconditionally…And I feel the same for him, even
after the Ripper tales he's been sharing with me.
"You've got two
minutes," I tell Travers. He starts to open his
mouth and I add, "For Giles. Not for you or you or
you or you," I say pointing to a few other council
members scattered about the room. "So speak
coming to Sunnydale," Travers begins. "You've
felt it. The coven's elders have felt it too. No other
student has. You are the one we need. The one the Slayer
stop him. "Her name is Buffy. Your Slayer has a
name. Try using it once in awhile. Maybe it will help
you remember she's human. Grant it a-a super human but
still a human…Continue."
He licks his lips
nervously and I have to admit I like the fact I'm making
him squirm. "Buffy," he starts again, this
time stressing her name, "is about to come up
against something dangerous to the Slayer line.
Something grander than any of us could imagine. She'll
need everything at her disposal to face it."
"Oh right. Like
when she turned 18 and you took her powers away while
fighting a badass super Vamp? Oh wait! Or how about when
she went up against brain sucking Glory but you wanted
her to play 20 questions first before you'd tell her a
damn thing? Forgive me for even THINKING IT, but I doubt
highly that Buffy's best interests are in your heart
My sarcasm isn't going
over well with the room. The council looks pissed with
the exception of Giles who has a smirk on his face. He
knows I’m telling the truth. The truth that he can't
mention for fear of being cut out of the loop again. His
eyes silently cheer me on.
"When Buffy falls
another will take her place. We know this. We understand
this. Perhaps that's something that you should learn
too. Our primary focus is fighting the forces of
darkness, not protecting an active Slayer. That's a
watchers job - to give her what she needs to see her
tasks are carried out. Mr. Giles has taught the
Slay-Buffy…everything she needs to know. But in order
to fight this darkness she'll need your powers."
"So your solution
to the latest rising problem is to have one of the
darkest of the dark witches at Buffy's side? A witch who
doubts her course in life and whether she can control
that darkness within herself? And you want her sitting
right on the Hellmouth?…To borrow a Giles phrase -
that makes you 'profoundly stupid'."
"As it stands
right now…no, we don't want you there. We want you
here, learning control, discovering a new outlet for
your energy, to get you in touch with the true ways of
the Wicca Religion. With your knowledge and aptitude we
have no doubt that a few weeks is all you'll require
before going back…Consider this Miss Rosenberg. How
would you feel if the fate of Buffy and that of your
friends rested in your hands but your fear stopped you
from returning? What if they died like your lover
because you weren't there to prevent it?"
I grin. "Sorry
Travers but emotional blackmail won't work on me. And
emotions aren't something I have much of at the moment
aside of anger and despair. I'm not what you need right
"Right now you're
not. But you will be. All the council is asking is that
you consider it."
"Are we done
now?" I ask as my hands move definitely to my hips.
yes," Travers answered.
retort. "Giles? I'll be in the car."
With that, I leave the
classroom without looking back.
turn to see Althenea come toward me, picking up her
pace. "How are you? I haven't seen much of you
since you've been in private sessions with the
We start to walk side
by side as I head to yet another tutorial. "Same
ole. Same ole," I tell her. I see an inquisitive
look. "American term. Means the same - not better
but then again not worse. How about you? Find a new
anchor yet?" I grin.
I grin. And she follows suit.
"We're heading to
the Techno Palace tonight. Want to come?"
"Techno Palace? A
"Well I dance
like a Jewish, white girl," I grin. "I'm not
sure if you'd want me stepping on your toes."
"I'm not much of
a dancer myself to be honest. But it would be nice to
just hang out for a while. We could catch up and you
could tell me about your work at the coven."
I know I have to put
the breaks on right now. "Look Althenea. I'm
flattered really. But I'm not sure if I'm the kinda girl
you want to be courting. To be totally honest, I'm a
wreck and you deserve to spend your time on
"Is this about
what Mary said?" She doesn't wait for an answer.
"Willow, I'm not looking for anything more than a
friend. I don't have many friends here…Okay I have no
friends here," she grins sadly. "They all
think I'm going to make a pass at them or something and
that's not the case. The only reason they asked me to go
is because I was standing there and they felt they had
to invite me too. It just would be nice to talk to
someone who's…well…like me."
But I'm not like
you, I think to myself. "Yes we both do the
witchcraft thingy and we both have an attraction to the
'fairer sex' but…You're a good person Althenea. I
can't say that I'm the same."
"I don't think
that's true. You've done some harsh things yes but
you're a good person too Willow. I can see it in your
"Aura or not, I
started using magics to help the people around me but at
some point I used it to help myself. I put a spell on my
girlfriend to make her forget a fight we had and nearly
got us killed. I used magic for everything that I saw
fit not to mention using it to hurt the people I love.
Somewhere along the way, I lost what it means to be a
true Wiccan and I'm paying the price. I don't want to
drag you into that."
anything about 'dragging'? Look. A couple of drinks and
a couple of dances. That's all I'm asking," she
tells me. "Maybe you should stop focusing on all
the wrong deeds you did and start moving toward
forgiving yourself…I'm not going to push alright? The
invitation is there. We'll be meeting at 7
tonight." I watch as she pulls out a piece of paper
and writes something down before handing it to me.
"That's the address. I hope to see you there but if
not…maybe I'll catch you around again sometime."
I take the piece of
paper. There's something about her…she reminds me of
myself many years ago. It probably took everything she
had to make the offer to me and against my better
judgment I hear my voice saying, "Okay, I'll be
"Really? You mean
nod. "Maybe you're right. Maybe a night out of
Giles place would do me good."
"Great! I'll see
you there then…7pm."
"7 pm," I
She smiles and waves
goodbye as she turns around and walks back the other
way. I look at the paper again and wonder if I just lost
what's left of my mind I recently found.
"I'm going out
tonight Giles. If that's okay, I mean?"
You're not a prisoner here," he tells me before
taking a bit of his dinner.
I made sheppard's pie
but without the pig guts or cows feet or whatever it is
the yokels put in this stuff. I had to go into the city
to actually get ground chuck. Yeah I'm a carnivore and
damn proud of it I must say. Sure, it costs me a pretty
penny but hey…I needed some real meat. I think I'm
starting to have iron withdrawals. I dreamt of a Big Mac
from Sunnydale last night because I think even the
hamburgers over here are made with something other than
old Bessie. But then again there's that big debate that
the food back home is kangaroo meat but that's just a
rumor. I know when I learned the DoubleMeat Palace
served veggies I felt sooo cheated after all those years
of thinking I was building my cholesterol levels. At
least their fries were always greasy.
me to meet at a club. Catch up on what's going on,"
I tell him.
he smirks. And I know what he's thinking.
"It's not a
date," I insist. He continues to grin. "It's
just a 'hey, how ya doin' get together thingy."
He chews but he
doesn't lose his grin. Alright. Now he's starting to be
you?" I ask turning the tables.
me?" he replies.
night. You shouldn't be sitting all alone. Don't you got
a honey tucked away at some flat in London
"No. No 'honey's'
to speak of," he answers.
"Oh come on
Giles. You're moderately young and quite handsome. I'm
sure you could get a date."
"Thank you I
think," he replies with a bewildered look.
"A-Actually, I was seeing someone but it's a bit on
again off again."
"Right now it's
off I'm assuming?"
"I'm not sure. I
haven't spoken to her recently."
"Well pick up the
damn phone," I tell him. "Give her a call. You
really need a life Giles and I refuse to be the reason
you stay home."
"To be honest, I
don't mind being home…I've wanted to look after
"Well I don’t
think I need a nurse-maid. Hey! I know what! Why don't
you call her tonight? Sure it's short notice and all but
maybe she'd like to get together. You two could hook up.
Meanwhile, I can go to the club and explain to Althenea
repeatedly why any attraction to me is bad news."
"I don't think an
attraction to you is bad news Willow. Too soon perhaps
but not bad news."
let's look at my history. Xander – who didn't know I
even existed romantically. Oz – werewolf. Enough said.
Then Xander again but that ended with his girlfriend
getting spiked on a collapsed staircase. Then Oz again
who cheated on me and then nearly ate me and not in good
way. Then Tara…" I trail off. I'm tempted to add
'she's dead because of me' but instead I stick some
mashed potatoes in my mouth.
"It wasn't your
fault," he says softly.
I set down my fork and
shake my head. "How do you do that? How do you know
exactly what I'm thinking?"
"I read it in
your eyes," he replies softly.
"And you're being
evasive," he retorts, finishing off the last of his
dinner. I try not to grin. I am being evasive and I know
he won't let me get away.
"She's not dead
because of you Willow. It was just her time.
Unfortunately you had to bear witness to it."
"I just keep
thinking of…all kinds of things, you know? Like
maybe…maybe if she'd waited just a few more days to
come back to me. Maybe if I told her we should take
things slow again and sent her back to the dorm. Maybe
if I went over to the window when she mentioned that
Xander and Buffy were making up I could have taken the
shot. Maybe it wouldn't have killed me. Maybe I would
have saw it and pushed her out of the way…Lots of
agrees, "but not one of them can hold you
accountable for her death…You will move on at some
point Willow. And you will find love again."
I snort. "I'm having a hell of a time finding me
Giles let alone someone else."
nods. "But there will come a time when you realize
your place and you'll accept affection again. It might
take time and you might not feel worthy at first but
don't let that stop you from trying. In fact…I'd like
you to make another promise."
I sigh. "Another
promise? I think I'm promised out Giles."
"Promise me that once you feel more grounded; once
you realize your place in life, you'll allow yourself
the chance to move on and love someone else."
hooking me up with Althenea are you?"
he chuckles. "I think it's too soon for you and
overseas relationships rarely work. Believe me I know
first hand…I mean later…somewhere down the road.
You're too young to give up on loving someone and
consider if the situation were reversed. Would you want
Tara to spend the rest of her life lonely, mourning
another girl? If I were dead?"
He just nods.
"I'd want her to
be celibate the rest of her life. Maybe join a
convent." The tiniest of grins comes to my face
when I think how ridiculous it sounds out loud.
He tries not to
chuckle. "You don't really mean that, do you?"
Darn tootin' I
think with a grin. That's my first reaction anyway but
the longer I sit there the more I realize that no, I
wouldn't. Feeling this way, this ache…I wouldn't wish
it on anyone, especially Tara. And if the right girl did
come along to offer her support, maybe someone to pick
her up and dust her off…yeah, I would want her to move
"Well I wouldn't
want her to forget about me," I said. In a quieter
voice I add, "And I don't want to forget about
Not any more than you would her."
I think about it some
more and start to nod. "Then yeah…Yeah I guess I
would. She'd deserve to be happy and I guess if I wasn't
the one around to make her happy then…Yeah I would
want her to find somebody…Just as long as she wasn't
prettier than me," I add with a grin. "I'm
Giles doesn't hold
back his laugh this time. He sighs and pats my hand.
"It's good to see you coming around."
supposed to mean?" I ask him.
might say you're getting 'Willowy' again. Little by
It's odd, Giles. I know she's dead but somewhere in my
mind I have this feeling I'm going to go home and she'll
be there. Do you think that's odd?"
"I think it's
totally logical. Just remember that the reality of her
not being there will be painful. But that's okay. Baby
steps after all."
"Oh yeah, I'm
just full of baby steps," I tell him. Somehow my
progress doesn't seem to be as speedy as I'd like.
"That's fine. No
one's asking you to run a marathon."
the Watchers Council," I add sarcastically.
"They can sod
off," Giles replies before taking a drink.
language!" I say in mock shame. "How dare you
speak so poorly of them? Especially after they bought me
clothes and everything." He grins at my sarcasm.
everything had a price," he grinned.
"Well it's good
to know my existence is worth a couple pairs of jeans
and a few sweaters. I will admit however the leather
bomber jacket is pretty cool but again…I'm not sure if
it's worth my life."
optimistic of you. When you first got here your life
wasn't worth living. I think you are making great
strides Willow. Even if you don't see it."
am," I consider. "And I've been thinking a lot
about what you've said. I've been going to the advanced
classes. Listening to that little voice in my head like
you said. Thinking about where I'm at, where I've been,
where I'm going. I'm still clueless on most of it,"
I giggle before turning serious. "Nah…I'm getting
there…Actually I was thinking…"
what?" he says as he gets up to rise off his empty
"About what you
said. About what my purpose was before Tara came
I grin. "When I
told Buffy I decided on Sunnydale U she could have done
cartwheels. But then she realized what I would be
'throwing away'. She told me there were safer schools.
Safer prisons actually," I chuckle as I remember
the two of us lying on a blanket, talking about the
future and our plans after graduation. The world was
wide open to us back then. Funny how things changed in
just a few short years.
"I told her that
I wanted to help her fight the evil in the world. I
wanted to be a Wiccan…And I think I still do Giles. I
don't think that's changed. Well…the part about Buffy
has changed. I don't think she wants me around and I
don't blame her really."
"Maybe you should
call her? Speak with her?"
answer quickly. "I just…I wouldn't know what to
say. 'Sorry I kicked your ass and tried to kill you'
just doesn't seem to work, ya know?"
"You have to
speak to her at some point."
Why did Giles have to
be so damn logical? It was pain in the ass sometimes.
know," I answer with a sigh. "Maybe after I
get back to Sunnydale. If I am going to talk to her I'd
like it to be face to face. She deserves that. Plus I
have a better chance of getting my stuff out of her
house before she gives me the boot."
"I don't think
she'll do that."
"But you don't
know that she won't, do you?"
Giles purses his lips.
"Honestly I don't. She's asked about you when I've
called over but…It's hard to say what she's really
thinking. You've hurt her greatly but you have the
chance at making amends."
"Well all I know
is I'm not ready to see them. Any of them
"Well keep up
those baby steps. As you've said you will get there with
time. There's no rush."
mention the Council."
"This latest evil has them concerned. And they
don't think the Slayer alone can handle it."
"Do I have to
remind you too that the 'Slayer' has a name?"
grins. "I'm quite aware of it. Even lost my job
because I had the 'love of a father' for her according
the council. Thank god they didn't think it was another
kind of love."
I chuckle and pick up
my plate, taking it to the sink. "Don't worry about
these," I tell him pointing at the dishes. "It
won't be a long night and I'll do them when I get
here," he answers.
"So are you gonna
"Call your lady
He looks undecided.
"Oh come on! Do
it! Do it!"
pushing this aren't you?"
"Yeah I am. You
need a night out Giles. I'll be fine…So go. Have
I look at my watch.
It's 6 pm so I know I better start getting ready so I
can catch the bus in time. He still looks unsure when I
leave but after I start to change I can hear him on the
phone and I grin. Guess he's not the only one who can
The bass is loud. The
place is packed. And I'm starting to wonder if this was
such a good idea. I wander through the crowd when I feel
a tug on my arm.
Althenea is beaming.
friends?" I ask as I look around.
says cocking an ear. It's so damn loud in here I know
she won't be able to hear me. I nod back toward the bar
and pull her along. It's a little quieter back here but
"What did you
say?" she asks again.
Our voices are still
loud but at least we can be heard.
"I asked where
your friends were."
"They're not my
friends remember? But to answer your question, they left
about 15 minutes ago. Said this place was dead even
though we're elbow to elbow in here. I wanted to stay to
see if you'd make it."
I apologize. "The transfer over here was running
Like I said, I really don't enjoy being with them
anyway. I just thought it would be nice to get
The sound is already
starting to get to me. "Well since it's just us,
mind if we find a coffee shop or something a bit more
quieter? I hate having to yell in your ear."
She nods and gives me
a grin. She motions her head toward the exit and I
follow her out.
The evening air is
cool compared to the packed bar.
"Ahh," I say
finally resting my eardrums as we walk along the street.
"Not a party girl
There's a club where I live. Called the Bronze. It's
pretty cool and I like the music but it's not nearly as
packed or as loud."
"There's a pub I
know about. Some place none of the other girls will
"A gay pub,"
she grins. "Wanna go. We can talk openly and
actually talk instead of scream."
Gay for two years and
never set foot in a gay bar. What the hell. "Okay,
lead the way."
It's only a few blocks
away. We walk inside and I'm relieved that she was
right. Much quieter without the relentless bass ringing
in my ears. A couple leave a pool table and Althenea
asked if it's okay that we take over. She starts to rack
the balls as a waitress comes over. She orders a gin and
tonic and asks me what I'd like.
Coke," I answer.
Althenea tells me.
I take off my jacket
and rest it on a chair next to a nearby table as I pick
out my stick from the wall. I'm actually pretty good at
pool. It's got more to do with my physics knowledge than
any actual skill.
"You're not gonna
beat me too bad are you?" Althenea asked.
"I'll try to go
easy on you," I tell her as I line up my shot.
I send the cue down
the table at lightening speed, knocking in both a solid
I check out the table.
"Solids seem to be my best bet."
got a stripe right by the pocket," she points.
"Yeah but I've
got nowhere to go after I make the shot but if I do
this," I say as I bounce the cue off the bumper
sending a solid into the side pocket, "it lines me
up for three more shots," I add as I point them
Hell," she sighs. "You are good."
I give a small
chuckle. "Nah just a major geek who likes physics,
mathematics and a bunch of other boring stuff."
boring," Althenea replies. "Without people
that understand that 'boring stuff' we'd all still be
living in caves trying to create fire."
'It's good to know I
lack the culinary finesse of a caveman.'
Xander's words from
our beach trip come back to me and I have to smile. It
was a great day…until I screwed it up with magic gone
array, yet again. Sure I got the fire started for Xander
but I didn't get the balance right and brought the
rainstorm too. Up until that time it was a good day
Buffy and Riley were
happy and in love. Tara was there although she refused
to wear her two-piece bathing suit she looked yummy in.
I remember telling her maybe it was better that she
didn't wear it. It might be a bit awkward for my friends
if I took her right there on the beach. She promised
she'd make for not wearing it when we were back at her
dorm room…She didn't disappoint.
For a split second I
think that I can't wait to get home to see her.
Instantly, I can feel my grin fall. She's not at home.
She'll never come home again. No more dorms. No more
cuddles. No more two-piece bathing suits. No more
The waitress brings
our drinks and Althenea pays her before I can. I try to
give Althenea the money but she won't hear of it, saying
it's my turn to make another shot. I stuff it back in my
pocket with the insistence that the next round was on
By my forth round my
shooting was crappy. My words were slurred. And I didn't
seem to have a care in the world. Except when I thought
about Tara. Althenea must have noticed it as we sat at
again?" she asks.
I grin sadly. "It
"I wish I was
good with words. I wish I could think of something to
say to make you feel better."
I brush her off and
reach for my glass, finishing it off. "You know
maybe it's the booze talking but I wonder if I'm even
gay. I wonder if I'll ever kiss another girl and if I
do…How would it be?"
"What do you
"I mean…Will I
freak? Will I care enough about someone that I'd want to
kiss them? Do you think T-Tara will be watching me,
thinking 'That bitch doesn't even give a shit that I'm
gone'? " My words sound slurred even in my own
ears. "I made a promise to Giles tonight that
someday I'd move on but. I can't let her be dead and if
someone did come along…I mean how do I handle that?
And how do you I know that I won't get another girl
killed? Killed…like I killed Tara?"
"You didn't kill
Tara," Althenea tells me. "Someone else shot
"But she died
because she knew me. She died because she was in my
bedroom…You know there's a part of me that thinks,
every now and then, it's a dream. All of this. At some
point I'm gonna wake up and she's gonna be right there
beside me. She's gonna hold me. She's gonna shush me and
tell me to relax. And when that doesn't work she'll make
love to me and prove that she's still there. Flesh and
blood. That's crazy huh?…I'm crazy, aren't I?"
Althenea answers. "Sounds like you love her."
everything…She WAS my everything. Now she's worm
food…And all the powers I had were useless. I couldn't
save her. I tried but…mystical fuckin' death my
ass…I should have been able to bring her back!"
I slam my glass back
down on the table. I look to see if it shattered but it
didn't. And if it did why should I care? Why do I always
have to be the good fuckin' girl? Not breaking things.
Making sure everything is okay. Trying to help everyone
but myself. Why am I such a fuckin' mess yet try to make
the world a tidy place to live in? And why am I still
sitting in this pub?
I spent my life being
a shadow. Ignored by my parents. Pining for Xander, my
best bud, who loved every women in the world but me.
Falling for a guy who's part animal and takes the first
'other' woman he's attracted to to bed. And then taking
up with Tara who left me when things got too rough for
her, only to kill her in the end. Why would I even want
to put myself through that again? Giles promise be
damned. This love shit is pointless.
I wish I could be like
Faith. She didn't give a shit what anyone thought. She'd
fuck 'em and leave 'em. No sorrows. No regrets. But not
me…oh no, not me…I saddle myself with guilt from
everyone around me. I stand tall…And then I
crumble…But I keep getting back up, don't I? And for
what? For who? Certainly not myself. It's always for
everyone else. I'm Giles hacker. Buffy's big gun.
Xander's confessionary. Dawn's surrogate 'father' and
Anya's antagonist because let's face it - the woman's
gotta have conflict in her life somewhere. She lives for
it, craves it. It's her calling in life. When she
couldn't dish out vengeance as a demon I was the perfect
"I need another
drink," I tell Althenea.
"I think you've
had enough," she says gently.
How could I have
enough? I'm still conscious.
Reluctantly I agree.
After all one more would be bad and I'm not a naughty
girl, right? Oh sure, I go ballistic once in awhile,
destroy everything around me but I always 'do the right
thing' in the end. Old reliable. Reliability sucks. I
literally slide off the bar stool and grab my coat.
"Let me take you
home," Althenea tells me. "I've got a car back
by the club."
"I'll take the
bus again," I tell her.
"Right and forget
where the bloody hell you're supposed to go? I think
not. Mr. Giles and the coven would have my head."
shame," I tell her. "It is a pretty
Am I flirting with
her? I can't tell. From the look on her face neither can
she which is good. Lord, I know I'm drunk now.
I follow her outside
and she helps me into her car. It's little car. Looks
like a circus clown car and I chuckle to myself. Wonder
if Bozo and Crusty are someplace in back? I turn around
but there is no back. I give her directions and she says
she thinks she can find it. We drive along in silence
and when we finally arrive at Giles street I point out
is," I tell her.
sure?" she asks. "I don't want to leave you in
the middle of nowhere."
"I know all the
houses in this country look the same," I tease her.
"But this is it. That's Giles car over there,"
I say pointing again. "Anyway, thanks for the
ride," I tell her.
I'm not sure how it
happened but she leans over and she kisses me softly on
the lips. She pulls back slowly with a smile. "I'm
not good with words like I said. But maybe that helped.
Now you can say you've kissed another girl."
"Not quite what I
meant," I tell her.
"I know. But it's
a start." Her grin is warm and I can't help but
smile too. "…See you around the coven?" she
"Oh yeah," I
sigh. "Like it or not I'll be there."
I open the door and
give a wave before shutting the door and staggering up
the cobblestone path to Giles door. She's still watching
even after I unlock the door with the key Giles gave me.
Probably wants to be sure I'm at the right place. She's
a sweet kid. Okay she's only two years younger than me
but I've got lifetimes on her at this point. I wave
again as I walk inside shutting and locking the door
home," Giles says walking from the kitchen into his
living area. He's got some soft music on, a fire going
and a glass of wine in his hand. What a nice little
seductive lair he's got here. Maybe I returned too soon?
"Should I come
back?" I ask. "Lady friend still here?"
At first he looks
confused before starting to chatter. "Oh that.
No…We had dinner but I'm alone now. Thought I'd just
do some reading tonight," he says as he walks and
sits down on the sofa.
He looks good. Damn
good. Dockers and a blue crewneck sweater. Tweed Giles
was always too stuffy but dressed down Giles always
looked hot, especially when he played guitar. Goddess
above! I am drunk. I'm having issues all over again. Oh,
shit! Fuck the issues. Fuck being the good girl.
He's reading as I
approach. I take my jacket off and let it fall to the
floor. The sound makes him look up and I'm standing
above him. Carefully I take the book from his hand. I
know as I reach out it has to be one of the two books I
see before my blurry eyes. I toss it next to him on the
sofa and pull the wine glass from his hand. I take a
drink and rest it on the small end table as I straddle
his hips. Gently, I pull the glasses from his face and I
hear him nervously clear his throat.
are you doing?"
What am I doing?
That's a good question...I'm sick of being the good girl
that's what I'm doing. I'm sick of always doing the
want me to do," I tell him before I lean down,
letting my lips snare his. I feel his hands shoot to my
arms in protest yet that doesn't stop him from returning
the kiss and silently I'm pleased. I pull back slightly,
tilting my head to the other side, to reclaim his lips.
I'm not quick enough because there's enough of a lapse
that he pushes back and away from me.
drunk?" he asks me.
little," I confess. Okay it wasn't a confession. It
was a lie. I'm a lot drunk.
He gives me that
goddamn disapproving glare. Like he's so righteous. God
that fucking annoys the shit out of me. I reach down and
stroke the zipper of his Dockers. I grin when I feel his
erection. I start to stroke him again but he grabs my
you're having fun," I chuckle.
His sigh is heavy and
I lean over again and begin nipping at his earlobe.
"Dear Lord," he says gently. I giggle softly.
"Come on Giles.
Let the Ripper come out and play," I whisper in his
He moans and I feel
his hands grip onto my denim clad thighs. His breaths
grow more rapid with each passing second.
"Look, y-you have
to stop this," he tells me.
stop," I answer as my hands work their way back to
his waistband. I start to undo the button. "All the
advantages of being married minus one," I whisper.
"You know what a perfectionist I am. I gotta have a
He groans and I feel
him rise up - his lips capturing my neck, his fingers
burying themselves in my hair. Before I know it he
shoves the book to the floor and my back is lying
against the sofa. I should feel something right? Some
fireworks? Some wetness? Nope. Nothing. Dry as a bone. I
know the peck from Althenea did more for me than what
I'm feeling at this moment. And to be honest it didn't
do much at all. Yes you are really gay Will. No doubt
I look up to see that
he's leaning over me but the look in his eyes isn't raw
passion that I was expecting. It's compassion.
says softly. "I won't do it."
I watch him move away
quickly, darting off the sofa.
I suddenly realized he
was only trying to divert my attention long enough to
get away. Sure his body reacted to my touch but…Let's
face it…He might be Giles but he's still a man. And
Giles is a smart man alright. Smarter than me still. He
gave me what I wanted as a diversion.
I suddenly realize why
I continue to be the good girl. Being the bad girl is
just too painfully embarrassing and it's just not…me.
I haul myself into a sitting position, resting on my
elbows as I watch him pace the small room.
Giles," I begin.
still grieving Willow. You're evaluating everything in
your life. And perhaps this is just one of the waters
that you wanted to test. You knew you'd be safe with me
and…God I need another drink."
I watch Giles dart to
the kitchen. He comes back in chugging on the wine
bottle, not opting for a glass. I start to laugh. I
can't help it.
"This is not
funny," he tells me.
"Are you really
sure you wanna down that bottle?" I ask. "If
we're both drunk then who knows what might happen."
He was the voice of
reason after all but if that voice is gone… Quickly he
stops, nearly choking in the process.
right," he nods putting the bottle down.
"You're absolutely right." He continues to
sorry," I try to begin again.
"No, I'm sorry
Willow. I should have never…No. You're drunk and
I…You…No. It's entirely my fault."
I grin at his
babbling. "You're fault? So you've always had lusty
feelings for me?" I ask, already know what he'll
gracious no!" he replies.
"Not many men
have. Good thing I realized I’m still gay huh?" I
tell him as I sit up, feeling a bit defeated.
He stops his pacing
and comes to kneel in front of me.
"That's not what
I meant Willow. You're a very beautiful, young woman.
Emphasis on the word young…And yes I…reacted…but
any love I'll ever feel is strictly platonic…Well
maybe 'strictly' is too strong a word. After all I did
consider it if only for a split second but I would
I put a finger over
his lips to stop him. "I get it Giles so stop
apologizing. I came on to you remember?"
"Well, yes I
remember and truth be told I'd like to
nothing," I tell him. "Let's just go to bed
and call it a night. I promise I'll keep my hands to
myself. And this will be our little secret."
I watch him nod.
"You go on ahead. I'm going to stay up a bit
Willow. Just sleep it off."
Suddenly I feel very
tired and going to sleep does sound like the best
option. "Okay. Goodnight Giles."
I | Part
II | Part
III | Part