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 wake up and my head
feels like it's going to roll off my body. Okay maybe
it's not really that bad now that I'm upright but I know
it will be quite sometime before I drink like that
again. I look over but Giles isn't around. With as much
strength as I can muster I pull myself to my feet.
Slowly I go in search of Giles. When I walk into the
living room I find him asleep on the sofa.
He must have heard me
enter because he stirs and begins to open his eyes,
reaching for his glasses on the table.
"You never came
to bed?" I ask.
"I figured it was
safer," Giles replies.
"I told you I
won't do anything Giles. Not that I blame you for your
lack of trust. I'm not exactly winning awards in that
"I do trust you
Willow. Truth be known…I didn't trust myself. I didn't
think I would do anything inappropriate but since I'd
been drinking too...Let's just say, I didn't want to
take the chance I might be wrong."
grin. Wow. I actually did turn Giles on.
look so smug. Uncle figure or not…I'm still
"I didn't think I
had that much sex appeal," I tell him honestly.
But there's also guilt, anguish and as Buffy would say a
whole 'eww' factor to consider."
"I gotta admit it
would be pretty creepy and uncomfortable…well,
afterward. Of course - the touching, the groping, the
naughty school girl seducing the teacher slash mentor
has a naughty appeal," I look over to see Giles
cleaning his glasses and I realize I've rambled a bit
too long. "But it would be bad," I add
quickly, with loads of reassurance. "…Totally
with the bad. Heavy with the bad. Not good at all…I
think I'll be quiet now."
Giles blushes and
starts to stammer. "Yes well, at least we're in
agreement…I think I might regret asking but…what
brought all that on last night."
My brain struggles to
put together the last evening's events. Oh yeah!
"I got sick of
being a good girl. As if that's been a real problem
lately, huh?…I just felt…I don’t know -
trapped…Always wanting to be perfect. Always having to
do the right thing. I just wanted to throw caution to
the wind, be outrageous. Of course the whole being drunk
didn't hurt with losing the inhibitions and acting
courageous Willow," he says, sitting up and patting
"For coming on to
chuckles but stops and considers it. "Well…yes
actually, in a way…but that's not what I meant…I
mean you're courageous in many aspects on a regular
basis. And you don't need to be drunk to be bold."
I take a seat next to
him, moving slowly as I go. My head is still swimming a
little bit. "If that's true then why do I feel so
"Because you are.
Your world has been turned upside down. Losing Tara,
losing your moral compass…It's taken its toll…and
it's not as if you'll wake up some morning and
everything will suddenly be right with the world again.
You just need to take life in moments but I believe in
you. I think you can see it through." He slowly
starts to grin and then chuckle.
"You say you're
not courageous but I remember the speech you gave Angel
and myself when you thought we were working Buffy too
hard...'She's 16 going on forty and you're gonna live
forever. You don't have time for a cup of coffee?"
he adds in a poor imitation of myself before starting to
I grin too and start
to nod. "Yeah well, you two really pissed me off
"But don't you
see? You stood up to a Watcher and a 200-year-old
vampire. And after Buffy died," he says growing
serious. "After Buffy died, you were the glue that
kept everyone together. You were the one that convinced
Spike to continue helping us in our fight. You and Tara
tried to make the best home possible for Dawn who had
lost so much that year…Don't think for a moment that
you're not courageous Willow."
I consider his words
before he continues.
"You're one of
the bravest women I've ever met. Perhaps even braver
than the Slayer because you did all of these things
without Slayer speed or strength or insight. As I've
said, you're exceptional and it's high time you started
to see that for yourself. You don't need drugs. You
don't need alcohol. And you don't need magic to be bold.
You've been doing it for years on your own. You still do
it today. Standing up to Mr. Travers – not letting him
have his way, coming to terms that you need help. That
makes you very brave."
I feel myself start to
grin. "Thanks Giles."
Willow," he adds. "Keep learning that magic is
used as an extension to help the world and not just
yourself. And, with time, you will get there dear."
Giles," I tell him resolved in doing the right
thing. "I'm scared but…I will. And about last
grateful that you came to me."
My eyebrows shoot up
in surprise, although I'm pretty sure of what he really
says quickly in explanation. "If it were someone
else they might have taken advantage of the situation is
I shoot him a
suspicious look but I can't hold it for long and start
to grin. "I know what you meant," I told him
before clearing my throat. "I was just having you
on. A bit of fun you might say," I add in very
fake, very poor British accent.
He grins and shakes
off," I tell him in my normal voice. "I wanna
learn to say that one the proper way."
on," I prod. "It's funny when you say
"Do you know what
I start to laugh,
"Yeah which is why it's so funny when you say
He gives me a sigh and
mutters, "Sod off….Happy now?"
It's good to see Giles
finally relax around me again. I think we'll survive our
little seduction fiasco.
I'm sitting outside
Giles cottage, practicing some meditations but failing
miserable. I keep thinking about chicken. And Tara.
Odd combo to the
outside observer I'm sure. But as I recall my lesson
from earlier that week about finding inner peace and
making peace for those around you, Tara comes to my mind
blocking out the lesson I learned. I think of her
because she had this skill. She didn't have my power but
in truth she was always far more advanced in many areas
as a Wiccan.
Buffy had been called
away to see Angel in L.A and when she returned home she
brought a bucket of chicken for us. But we'd just
finished eating. Everyone was stuffed so when Giles
confessed that we really weren't hungry a look of
disappointment washed over Buffy. Of course she bragged
it was okay and just meant there was more for her.
All of us at the table
sense Buffy's mood but it was Tara who spoke up first.
Not more than three minutes before she complained of not
being able to eat another bite. But seeing Buffy's state
of defeat, Tara held out the plate asking for a
drumstick. Soon we all joined in and Buffy grinned
warmly. Tara made Buffy smile. She made lots of people
smile. Tara. And chicken.
I run my fingers throw
my hair and for the first time since arriving I notice
how long it's gotten. I haven't worn make up in nearly a
month. Not that anyone would notice. Well, Tara would
notice but she's not around. She noticed everything
around her and she always looked for the good in
everything. If she saw me right now I'm sure she'd tell
me I looked beautiful although I feel like nothing
special. She's tell me I was special and that the look
was 'natural' and add that I never looked more beautiful
than when I was just 'myself'. She would…but she
can't. I lean against a tree and I remember yet another
time at Buffy's dining room table.
Joyce, Giles and Buffy
had just cleared the table from dinner on Christmas Eve.
Somehow Xander, Anya and Dawn got into a discussion
about Santa Claus. Dawn, being a teenager didn't believe
in St. Nick but Anya went on to explain that there was
in fact a Santa Clause. The flying reindeer and coming
down the chimney were very real. Then she added the part
that he doesn't bring present though. He just
disembowels children. We all sat there a bit stunned but
Tara was there for the save yet again.
In that shy voice of
hers I adore, she said 'the reindeer part was cute' and
I could feel my heart melt. She always looks for the
best in everything; in everyone. I suddenly realize I'm
doing it again – thinking and talking about her, even
if it is only in my head, in the present tense. But
she's not present. She gone.
I start to cry and
bury my face in my hands. I feel like screaming out to
any God or Goddess that will listen and ask 'Why her?'.
She was such a good, honest person with a dear heart.
Why couldn't it have been someone else that lost their
life that day? A mugger, a rapist, a corporate raider.
Why couldn't someone who did nothing but destroy, hurt
or mame be the one to die that day? Why couldn't it be
me? Why her? Why now?
I understood what
Giles said about finding Jenny Calendar in his bed. And
how he wished it could've been him. I understand it more
now than I did when I first arrived. If I could trade my
life for hers I would but I realize there is no
bargaining here. What's done is done. I can't change it.
Tara's gone. I'll never stop loving her. Ever. She was
far too powerful a force for me to ever forget. And I
don't want to forget. I want to remember but I want a
day to come when I can think of her and smile without
crying like this. She's not here but I can feel her.
I can feel her
shushing me, whispering endearments, calling me Baby. I
began to have a feeling of contentment start to wash
over me. And like an epiphany - a moment of clarity - I
realize just what it is that I live for. I really didn't
live for Tara. I lived for what Tara stood for. That's
why we came together to begin with. That's what bound us
together even after our brief separation. It was about
helping others, making sacrifices to see that the people
I loved - that we loved - were healthy and happy.
Buffy saw it. Dawn saw
it. That's why Tara was still a part of their lives even
after she left mine. And Tara was right. I strayed from
what brought us together. I quit helping people I loved
and began to work my will as I saw fit - to make things
the way I wanted, not necessarily to make them better
for everyone as a whole. Sure, I told myself I was still
helping but I was only lying to myself. I'm getting it
now. All of it.
I wipe my eyes and
take a deep breath. Yeah, Tara is gone but I wouldn't
let her be forgotten. I'd keep her memory alive by going
back to Sunnydale and finish what I originally started.
I gave up Oxford, Harvard, Princeton and Yale to fight
monsters. I gave up 'golden opportunities' to battle
evil. I really did get the better end of the deal, truth
be told. I had Tara, no matter how brief. And even
though she wasn't beside me I'd keep her there for all
I figured it out
Giles. I know why I'm still here.
Of course that doesn't
mean that Buffy will want my help now. It doesn't mean
that I'll fight by the Slayers side ever again. It also
doesn't mean I'm not scared out of my wits thinking what
a loss of control will do to the world. Okay yeah. Big
doubts for sure but…It's still there. It's still in me
– that light that Tara gave me as well as that purpose
before I ever saw her face. The darkness, the black evil
has made it's home inside me too but…I've gotta try.
If not for everyone else then at least for Tara. She
wanted to help heal the world and as long as I'm still
alive I'm going to do everything in my power to see her
goals become my realities. Not just for her but for me
too. And for the world.
Good to see you again."
Yet again, Quentin
Travers. He reminds of a snake as he smiles and shakes
my hand. Creepy, crawly, slithering.
"So how goes your
work with the coven? Mrs. Hagness tells me you're close
to a break through with that Pleiadian spirit conjuring
spell you've been working on."
I look around the room
and I'm surprised to find only he's alone this time with
Giles and I. There's a large table in the council's
chambers and I take a seat across from him, looking at
all the books around us. Too bad we didn't have this
library in Sunnydale.
"Well she's being
a bit premature," I tell him finally focusing my
eyes on him. "We've got a long way to go I'm
"Well finding a
Pleiadian in this dimension would help our fight without
are a highly intelligent race of humans, I doubt they'd
be fool enough to join our cause."
I can't help but be
sarcastic with him but my slight grin softens the blow.
he asks, raising his eyebrows optimistically. "So
you've decided to return to Sunnydale?"
"At some point I
have to go back. If nothing more than to try to make
amends with the people I love," I tell him.
"Just not anytime soon."
A silence falls
between us until he clears his throat. "I think the
Slay-Buffy…can be very forgiving."
I really don't want to
get into a personal debate about my life with this man
or a debate about my life with the Slay-Buffy as he now
calls her. I grin with the knowledge that he remembered
our last conversation and my utter distain for his
casual attitude toward my best friend and the saver of
his ass many times over. How many big bads did she's
stop over the years. How many pats on the back did he
get from the council for a job well done although he had
absolutely nothing to do with it? To think about it just
irritates me so I try to push it out of my head and move
"Care to explain
why I'm sitting here again?" I ask him. "And
why the private meeting?"
"I wanted to have
more of a personal get-together. Less formal," he
I grin. He realized
that bullying didn't work the first time so now he's
going to try the friendship route. Goddess Athena above,
this man is so fake sometimes. Does he realize I see
right through him?
He wants me to say
I'll do it; that I'll help the council. It was true that
I was finally putting my life, or the tattered remains
of it, together again. And the spells and knowledge I
was gaining from the coven was mind blowing. Many times
I sat in and listened, thinking how much Tara would have
loved to be a part of something like this. These women
were true Wiccans and not at all what I had expected.
They were dedicated, diligent in their tasks and morally
just. I admired all of them and I had to wonder how I
managed to get a seat. Then I realized as I looked
across the table – Travers.
He was the reason and
the only reason I was now in the coven. Sure I had
skills and I breezed through the standard spells and
lectures. I was always good at picking things up
quickly. But after seeing these women of the coven,
understanding their power, their way of life…I just
didn't fit in. Like I told Giles…high school all over
again. I wish I could be like them but I honestly don't
know if I'm strong enough. Would bad things happen
again? Of course they would. That was a given. But when
they did would I get all implodey like Giles
mentioned? Or would I be able to ride it out? Would I be
able to control that darkness; that evil? I didn't want
to think about it anymore with Travers sitting across
"Well here I am,
informal and all," I tell him. "What did you
want to discuss?"
Travers looks to Giles
first. I'm surprised when Giles speaks.
"Two slayers in
training have been killed – one in Turkey; one in
Germany. We're researching to see if it was perhaps
random attacks - a coincidence as it were. We do have
fears however it might mean something deeper. We've been
unable to contact their Watchers."
"So what does
that mean to me? I'm not being flippant Giles. I'm
asking honestly. I'm not sure what I could do to
Travers clears his
throat before he speaks, "We think these events
might be tied to the visions you've had as well as
visions of the coven. But at this time we have nothing
to support that theory. As a precaution we'd like to
send you back to Sunnydale to…keep tabs on the
Hellmouth and it's activities."
"I told you I
don’t know if Buffy will even speak to me."
Buffy, we'd like you in Sunnydale observing and
reporting any unusual activity."
Okay. That made me
Sunnydale is unusual." I chuckle. "I'd have a
better chance spotting something consider
Travers lets the
comment go and continues, "Did you realize that
Sunnydale is building a new high school?"
mentioned it this spring but he didn't have all the
"Right on the
"Over the old
He nods. "They've
been doing work on it the last two months with 5
different construction crews – one of which your
friend Mr. Harris is a supervisor. They've been working
in three shifts to see it's completed before the fall
semester starts. It's my understanding that Dawn Summers
is a freshman this year. Is that correct?"
My sigh is deep.
"I see your point Mr. Travers. I do…But I'm not
sure how I can help them right now. You don't seem to
realize what it's like to live with this power. A-and I
live in fear of feeling too much of anything. I'm unsure
of what reaction it might bring on as a result. It-It's
still in me Travers. That darkness. T-That magic…A-and
I don't want to hurt them anymore than I already
have…I don't think you understand that," I
confess hanging my head.
Rosenberg," he begins getting my attention.
His voice is soft and
careful. For once the man doesn't sound like a drill
sergeant and his tone pulls my eyes up to meet his.
"I don't have the
kind of power that you have. But I do have the
responsibilities of power. I'm responsible for countless
lives, my own included," he says with a grin.
"It's very weighing. And yes I come off very stern
at times but I need to be in order to maintain some
assembly of control over this organization. My father
oversaw the council and his father before him…Now from
what Mr. Giles tells me you're making great strides
"It doesn't feel
like it's enough," I tell him honestly.
"Of course it
doesn't. You've had terrible losses. But you're quickly
approaching a time when all the lessons will be finished
and the rest of your growth depends on putting those
lessons into practice and making amends, or in the worse
case, finding closure with the relationships you've
"And you think
Sunnydale is the next step?"
"I do," he
I don't reply but I do
consider his words when I hear Giles speak.
talking about putting you on a plane to the States next
week Willow…But we would like to do it soon.
Especially if our assumptions regarding these potential
slayers deaths mean something far more dastardly."
"Do you think I'm
ready Giles? Because you've been telling me to listen to
that little voice in my head a-and it hasn't always been
right. I mean butcher knife a-and a tub of hot water.
Far from my brightest move we both agree. But that's
what the voice told me to do."
"You've come a
long way since then Willow."
I sigh again. I just
can't be sure. At this point, my voice is torn. Yes I
want to be there for Xander and Dawn who's sitting right
on the Hellmouth but…
evil is going down I don't…I don't want to loose it
"I have faith in
you Willow…And as I said I'm not putting you on a
plane this week. Go to the coven. Learn what you'll need
but realize that your family…our family…needs
I give a small grin.
Yet again, I can't tell him no.
I'll do it. But I just want some warning, okay?"
he nods with a supportive grin. "You have my word.
No surprise plane tickets or teleportations. I
In spite of my fear
and reluctance, his grin calms me.
Giles is in his living
room talking to a 'Watcher type' guy when I enter from
my day's lesson.
"Hi," I say
"Willow this is
Mr. Jacobs, a fellow Watcher," Giles tells me.
I give a polite nod in
"Nice to meet you
Miss Rosenberg," he nods to be before turning back
to Giles. "So do you really think it's best to sit
"Well it doesn't
seem like there's any place one can run at the
running? A-and what are they running from?" I ask.
that the Watcher's of the murdered potentials were also
killed," Giles explains. "Seems it wasn't just
a random act. But we're double-checking to be sure that
it isn't truly a coincidence. Past history, perhaps
personal enemies that would do these Watchers and their
"Are you in
danger Giles?" I ask.
"It looks like
we're all in danger," Jacobs speaks up, "but
hopefully the council gets to the bottom of this
"I'm sure they
will. It will just take time."
"If someone is
killing potentials time might be something in short
supply. Perhaps I'm lucky my S.I.T is older than most.
She's less likely to be called."
"Well she's still
younger than the current Slayer so just be on your
"You know when I first heard the news that you were
the Watcher Giles, the one overseeing the slayer,
I was a bit envious. But I realized something soon
after…If I wanted to be the Slayer's Watcher that
would mean Buffy would have been my charge. Not to say
that Buffy isn't a fine young woman," he adds
quickly. "She's done an outstanding job and your
work with her shows but…I'd keep my potential. She's a
bit hard to manage at times but…she's bright,
resourceful, dedicated. I wouldn't trade her for
anything. Even a Slayer," he adds with a grin.
"I know it's not very professional of me and if the
council ever knew-."
"It makes perfect
sense," Giles says grinning, cutting him off.
"I do understand. You work with them. You train
them. You teach them everything you can. You laugh. You
cry. You argue some days until you're blue in the
face," he says with a grin. "But I
understand…It's worth it. And if you share so much
with them it becomes personal regardless of how the
council thinks it should be."
considered a trip back to the States. Her cousin is
about to marry. But I think it's best if she stay here
just to be sure. At least until we learn more."
won't," Jacobs says with a grin. "She'll
fight. She'll argue. Then she'll realize that going back
for the wedding means facing the rest of the family. At
which time she'll then thank me for giving her an excuse
not to attend." He laughs as he moves to his feet.
Giles rises to his
feet too and they walk toward the door. Jacobs nods to
me politely. "Good day to you Miss Rosenberg."
I nod back with a
Giles tells him. "And give Kennedy my
Jacobs nods again.
Once we're alone, I
turn to Giles.
"If someone is
out to kill the slayers in training…is someone trying
to eliminate the line do you think?"
something," he tells me. "Unfortunately, it
"Are they going
to go after Buffy? After you?"
"Well if my
assumptions are correct - and they are just assumptions
at this time…I would say not immediately, no. They
want to rid the world of as many potentials as possible.
They know who the active slayer is so in the interest of
time it would be to their advantage to see that the line
is broken first."
"Kill all the
potentials and then kill the only remaining Slayer -
Giles points out. "She is still a Slayer too after
all. But that would be my theory without knowing
Giles," I say shaking my head. "So all these
girls are like knocking on deaths door without having
the perk of being a Slayer, like super speed, strength,
so on and so forth?"
potentials have dormant traits. That's what makes them
potentials. Uncovering those traits is a Watchers job
like Mr. Jacobs. When it came to Buffy I had to train
her to realize all her full potentials. She has many
more skills than what an S.I.T would have as you can
"You did have a
really tough job," I tell him.
He starts to laugh.
"Some days, you have no idea."
"I have to admit
Giles I respect you. I mean I always respected
you," I add quickly. "I just never realized
how deep your job really went. I thought you just…you
know…watched…did a little sparing…looked through a
bunch of books. A-and not that any of that isn't
important. It's just…" Why do I feel like I keep
putting my foot in my mouth?
understand," Giles tells me. "My duties were
just far more reaching than you imagined is all."
tell him, pleased he could say it much better than me.
"Plus, you know, act now and you get to oversee
taking care of the Slayers dysfunctional friends too.
You're life seems full of burdens."
"You're not a
burden Willow. None of Buffy's friends are. Like Jacobs
said, the council would like Watchers to remain detached
but…These people that surround my Slayer are just as
important to me as the Slayer…Did I ever tell you what
happened when Faith had kidnapped you and wanted to make
that trade to help the Mayor fulfill the Ritual of
"You mean the
spider box?" I shake my head. "I don't think
Giles goes back to his
sofa, patting it for me to sit down which I do.
"Buffy wanted to
make the trade immediately. Wesley didn't. He wanted to
look into other options and in his eyes your life wasn't
worth thousands we could save by destroying the box. As
far as I was concerned…We would make the trade and
look into other possibilities. As Wesley pressed his
point Oz shattered the urn we needed for the destroying
ritual. Whether we had the box became a moot point then.
At which time I made the call to the mayor…But the
point to this story is that I believed in you Willow. I
knew that this was one of many fights we faced. You
wouldn't have turned your back on Buffy or anyone else.
We certainly couldn't do the same to you. And I was more
pleased than surprised when you handed me the pages
regarding the mayor's ascension from his sacred book.
You found a way to stop the mayor…But truth be known
it wasn't just your abilities to help the Slayer that
made us realize we only had one option – only one
thing we could do. It was our love for you. We were, and
still are, a family in the truest sense of the
"Yeah well now
I'm the black sheep Giles."
"Even black sheep
can find redemption Willow…And Jacobs is right. It's
not all black and white when you love people."
really think we're still a family Giles? I mean after
everything I've done?"
"Yes I do Willow.
It will take time…I know you're getting tired of
hearing it but look at where you were when you first got
here. Look at where you are now."
"I'm still scared
your fear. When I decided to turn my life around in my
youth…I was frightened too. But I overcame it. You
will overcome it too Willow. Give it time."
"I will Giles. I
I'm sitting in the
coven's secret, not so secret, chambers reading a spell
book. It's a private room reserved only for the coven
but everyone knows where it is. I'm still trying, after
all these years, to get that harnessing of the sunlight
under control so it will help Buffy when she goes nest
hunting. One ball of energy and bam! Instant vamp dust!
My latest attempt looks like a firefly, which is far
from what I hoped. Suddenly, I feel a tap on my
I turn around to see
Althenea standing there with a broad grin.
grin softly. "Not that I'm complaining but what
brings you by."
She looks like she's
ready to burst as she takes a seat beside me.
"They're moving me up," she whispers
excitedly. "I'm becoming an official part of the
great news!" I tell her. I realize that for just a
moment I felt sheer joy. Something I hadn't felt in
ages. It had little to do with me but still I figure it
counts for something. I didn't spontaneously combust or
something horrible like that. So that's good.
I continue to grin as
she explains how Mrs. Hagness wanted to move her up and
have her do work with the coven on matters of 'research
and such'. It's not a huge role she admits but it is a
step in the right direction for her.
"My mum is so
thrilled," she tells me with a grin. "She's
trained for years herself but she was never a part of
something like this. I think she's living vicariously
through her daughter but that's fine by me."
congratulations," I nod supportively.
"Seems now we'll
be able to speak for more than just a few minutes a
week. I mean…I hope you don't mind. I do enjoy talking
to you but I hate to be a pest."
"You're not a
pest," I assure her. "But to be honest, I'm
not sure how much longer I'll be here. The council is
making arrangements for my return to Sunnydale. Probably
in the next few weeks."
She cocks her head and
looks at me. "You don't feel you're ready, do
I give a brief grin.
"I don't know Althenea. I mean…yes a part of me
is ready. I know that the people I love might need my
help and I want to be there for them. But then there's
this other part…"
"The part that
says the people I love don't love me anymore and maybe
I'm just wasting my time. A-and maybe just being around
will do nothing but bring up bad memories. The part that
asks what happens if they do accept me b-but something
bad happens to them too a-and I get all veiny and on go
on another vengeance rampage. Or-Or how about the part
She smiles and puts a
finger over my lips just for a moment to stop my
"You've got lots
of parts." She grins at me and I feel a lopsided
grin come to my face for just a moment. "But you
won't know anything until you get there…I've heard
talk. You are one powerful Wiccan."
that," I tell her. "My sunlight spell I've
been doing for 4 years now is still dimmer than a
"And if you
perfect that spell will you regard yourself as a
powerful Wiccan then?" she asks knowingly before
continuing. "I think you try too hard to do
everything right. Once you get this spell under control
I'm sure you'll find something else you haven't mastered
to make yourself feel inadequate. And it's a bloody
shame if you ask me."
"Well I didn't
ask you," I say trying to be indignant but my grin
works it's way to the surface. She knows I would like to
hear her opinion even if I might not want to believe it.
"I don't know…Maybe you're right that I try too
hard." She gives me a look that urges me to add,
"Okay I know that I try too hard," I finally
She grins before
with black magic Willow but the strives you've made…I
have to say. It's phenomenal…You went from being a
black magic witch to being a dedicated Wiccan. You made
the jump and there's not many people that can say the
some people in this covert US military operation thingy
and it's been pointed out to me that most people who
tangle with the dark voodoo usually don't make it out
alive. I'm lucky I guess."
"Not luck. I
don’t believe in luck. I think each one of us is
responsible for who we are and what we do. You chose to
turn things around Willow. And you have. So regardless
of any argument you're going to try to throw at me I'll
still say you're very brave and you're very skilled. Now
with that said…tell me more about this rumor I heard
of you and the Pleiadian spirit conjuring you're trying.
After all, if you leave someone has to continue
it," she grins.
She's a sweet girl and
I can't help but grin back.
I got busted. Of
course I didn't really go out of my way to hide.
I went to 'my spot' as Giles had nicknamed it. And
instead of being at the coven like I should have been
I'm playing with flowers from different areas of the
world, testing my knowledge in root systems.
I just didn't feel
like going to class today. Besides, what's the point?
They're shipping me off in the next week or so. I think
the boycott of my studies today is just some undermining
of authority on my part. I'm not really sure why. It's
been a day of demons too. Not the scary looking ones
like those that live in Sunnydale but my own. I keep
finding my fear grip me all day long.
I told Giles I feel
like I'm relapsing again but he assures me it's to be
expected. My confidence wasn't about to arrive and stay
in place according to him. I would slip now and then.
And the prospect of going back was sure to bring up
But now it's
dinnertime and Giles decided I needed a 'night out on
the town'. In Westbury that consists of a little diner
on the corner at the end of Giles street.
are," the waitress says putting one plate in front
of me and one in front of Giles. I look at the plate and
then at Giles and then at the plate.
"So this is it
huh?" I ask him.
Mash," he tells me with a grin.
Somehow my off-handed
comment of not knowing what Bangers and Mash was
prompted Giles to go into field trip mode. So here I
sit. I poke at it with my fork. One side is mashed
"This must be the
mashed part," I tell him. He grins without comment.
I move my fork around in the gravy and hit something
solid before stabbing it. I pull it up for inspection.
"That would be
the banger," he tells me.
"It looks like
sausage," I tell him.
"It is," he
Bangers and Mash are just sausage and mashed potatoes?
Why not call it sausage and mashed potatoes?"
He shrugs. "Why
are undergarments called knickers and cigarettes fags?
Bangers and Mash are just another great mystery in
English slang I suppose."
I ask as I turn my fork around inspecting it.
"I can be,"
he says. "Or in the States, beef. This
establishment makes theirs with lamb which is quite good
assuming," he chuckles. "Try it."
I shrug and pop it in
my mouth, starting to chew. Not quite what I'm used to
that's for sure but not entirely bad like most of the
food over here.
"Pretty good. I
wish I'd looked into this sooner. This is much more
easier to stomach than…well…eating stomachs."
"I never served
you any dishes with stomachs," Giles replies.
"Just pigs feet," he mutters.
I sit my fork down and
shake my head. "What? You're kidding right? When
did I eat pigs feet?"
Giles laughs before
diving his fork in his mash. "You know that meat
you like to eat on crackers?"
"You said it was
is." He just smiles.
"I ate pigs feet?
The feet of pigs?"
"Quite a few
Okay. I got he willies
now. And I just stare at the plate before me wondering
if I really am eating lamb. Maybe returning to Sunnydale
is a good thing after all.
Giles tells me with a smirk. "Before it gets
Tentatively, I take
I turn to see Giles
walking toward me.
"I don't think I
can handle much more knowledge right now. Besides I've
been working on the whole earth is connected theory. And
see?" I say showing him my arm I sliced the first
week of my arrival. "No more scar. I grew skin
Giles. This is really gonna help out the gang 'cause you
know how Xander's always getting cut or knocked out or
something. This way I can fix him or
anyone…well…that's if they take me back."
"I wonder if
we're sending you back too late instead of too
"Waiting is the
hardest part sometimes. You know you're going back but
you're not sure how they'll react. It's
I let the conversation
die off. We could go over it again but he can't promise
they'll still want me. He made a call to Buffy and told
her when and where I'd be arriving. I heard him ask if
she'd like to speak to me but since he didn't hand over
the phone I guess I knew the answer. Now I really don't
want to see her. Or Dawn. Or Xander.
Yeah I miss them but
maybe it's still too soon. Maybe I could postpone it a
bit longer until I am ready. But I know that isn't an
option. I leave in less than three days. My ticket is
already bought and paid for. Giles asked the coven about
teleporting me but they feel since I've been affected by
black magic that might be not so good. As Mrs. Hagness
pointed out I could end up in any dimension as a result.
And spending a lifetime in 'melting world' or even
'world without shrimp' has little appeal to me. This
world is tough, real tough, but it's the only world I've
known and there are things worth staying here for. Even
if they never speak to me again.
practicing with roots more today," I tell Giles,
"and I actually managed to get a palm tree here a
few hours ago. Wanna see? I promise to send it right
He grins. "It's
not going to destroy it, will it?"
all," I reply. "Here. Sit down."
I take a seat and I
pat the ground next to me and Giles follows suit. I put
my hands on the ground trying to find the right
location. That's when it starts. Something black, dark.
Unlike anything I felt before in my studies. It was
getting larger and larger and grumbling. I feel my body
start to shake in response and I can vaguely hear Giles
calling my name. His voice sounds more frantic but I
can't pull away.
My throat is tight and
I can't breathe. The black begins to change and alter to
a brilliant white but the closer it gets the more I see
that it's teeth – fangs actually. It's a mouth with
sharp, pointy, scary teeth and it's coming right for me.
It's dark but it feels
like it's burning my skin. I want to tell Giles to run
but I can't even suck in a breath. Suddenly I feel Giles
hands on my shoulders as he pulls me closer. As my hands
leave the earth and I feel my back pressed tight against
his chest I try my best to remember how to breathe. The
vision starts to recoil away with the sound of screaming
and Giles voice breaks in over my growing hysteria.
breathe!" Giles tells me.
" I ca- I
breathe," he insists, trying to call me down.
It works but I'm still
having a difficult time catching my breath. I wonder if
he saw or felt the same thing. I've had visions and
flashes of oddities concerning the Hellmouth for weeks
but nothing like this.
happened?" I ask.
"What do you
I sit up, using my
hands to help support my weight. I feel drained.
"We were talking
... and ... I felt... "
Suddenly my hands feel
like they're on fire and I snap them back, looking
"I felt the
earth. It's all connected. It is, but ... it's not all
good and ... pure and rootsy. There's ... deep ... deep
black, there's ... I saw, I saw the earth, Giles. I saw
He's right and I know
what it wants. "It's gonna open…It's gonna
swallow us all."
I watch the rain when
I hear Giles come from behind me.
"And in keeping
with quaint old British tradition, you would now be
expected to get into it."
"I don’t know
if I can. Giles, I’m not done here."
"Yes, and my fear
is being an obnoxious blabbermouth. You’re the one
that keeps telling me to trust my instincts."
we be listening? I don’t want to go back home just so
I can screw up again. Why don’t I stay? Not forever.
Just long enough to, I don’t know… make my fear shut
up a little, maybe?"
I hear the taxi honk
but I ignore it. Giles, however, gives him a wave to
hold on a moment.
but…try to be very specific. What exactly are you
starters, the Hellmouth’s getting all rumbly again.
And now I know it’s got teeth. And are those literal
teeth? ’Cause I don’t know if I can handle it. And
what if I can handle it? Does that mean I have to be a
bigger, badder badass than the source of all badness?
And what if I give up all this control stuff and I go
all veiny and homicidal again? And what if—."
take you back?"
Okay so he hit the
nail on the head like always.
"Willow, we could
spend another two years here training and practicing and
learning to hone your powers and still there’d be no
way of knowing for sure that the friends you left behind
you… are still your friends."
"Well, sure. I
mean, if you put it that way. Duh."
"I’d love to
offer you some guarantee that you’ll be welcomed back
to Sunnydale with open arms but I can’t. You may not
be wanted. But you will be needed."
"Is that all ya
"For the moment,
I sigh. Might as well
get it over with. I know he's right. It's not about my
skills. It's about acceptance and there's only one way
to find out. "Okay. Guess I’d better."
I stand up and Giles
picks up my belongings.
and the others might follow."
As we walk to the taxi
I sigh. Gaia, I hope he's right.
+ + + +
London to Chicago is now boarding at gate 67."
I give a deep sigh. This
is it. I'm heading home.
"Looks like my
number's up," I say, trying to grin.
Giles leans down and
kisses my forehead as he strokes my cheek. "Be
strong Willow. I have faith in you. Don't forget
"I won't Giles
a-and I could say thanks for everything but that seems
kinda lame. But…thanks for everything."
"Any chance of
getting you to visit the Hellmouth soon? It's the number
one vacation spot for Watcher's I hear." I give him
a chuck on the shoulder and he grins.
"I'll try to
visit soon. The council is concerned about the recent
turn of events but I will try to make the time I
I feel like I'm going
to cry so instead of turning into a blubbering mess I
simply wrap my arms around him and pull him close to me,
hiding my face.
"I love you
Giles. Thanks for believing."
"I love you too
Willow," he replied before kissing the crown of my
head. "Take care dear. Remember I'll be in meetings
tomorrow but I'm just a phone call away. You know I'll
contact you as soon as I can."
I pull away and pick
up by travel bag without looking at him. I can't look at
him just yet and I go up to the ticket clerk handing my
ticket over. She nods me ahead but before I pass the
final gate I look back to see Giles grinning at me. I
grin too and give him a wave, which he reciprocates,
before starting on my way. Once my back is turned and
I'm heading toward the fuselage only then do I let the
river of tears flow. I know I'll miss his guidance. His
stories. But most of all I'll miss him.
+ + + +
I realize while
waiting for the layover that this wool coat and sweater
aren't gonna cut it in California so I head to the
restroom with my flight bag in hand. After a quick
change into a blouse and leather jacket I decide to go
in search of some coffee. I'm three hours from Sunnydale
now and I need caffeine of some kind. I reset my watch.
If my plane's on time I'll get in around 9:30 pm west
coast time. And with any luck I'll have someone waiting
to pick me up. Not long after I return with my mocha in
hand, the plane begins boarding and I know…It's now or
never. I could run. Chicago is what's known as a hub.
You can get anywhere in the world from Chicago. But I
take a deep breath and square my shoulders as I stand. I
can do this. One foot in front of the other. Baby steps.
+ + + +
The pilot welcomes me
to Sunnydale. Okay he welcomed all the travelers to
Sunnydale over the P.A. but that's not the point. At
least I heard someone say it. As the overly friendly,
obnoxious flight attendants bid us goodbye I take my
time walking. I pace my steps carefully because my legs
feel quite wobbly. I'm still not even sure what I'm
going to say when I see them. Maybe I'll start with I'm
sorry and take it from there. But the truth is I really,
really, really am not ready to see any of them yet. And
I wish I could postpone if only for a little bit longer.
But wishing it won't make it so.
I enter the airport
and I look around.
No Buffy. No Dawn. Not
I thought at least
Xander, out of anyone, would be here but then again why
should he. I hurt him too after all. I can't help but
feel a sense of utter defeat wash over me as I look
around at other arrivals being hugged and kissed by
loved ones. I had loved ones in my life but apparently I
pissed it all way in my anger and despair. I try to
remember Giles words before I left. I might not be
wanted but I'll be needed. I give a deep sigh.
I | Part
II | Part
III | Part