Epilogue part 2
Willow scuffed her shoe on the ‘ground’ and turned her bored gaze to her former girlfriend, “You’d think my body would heal itself faster.”
The blonde smiled calmly, “We’ve been over this before, Willow.” Her light blue eyes sparkled as she looked at the redhead.
Willow nodded, “I know, Tara, but Chris needs me. And I’m up here…not being able to do ANYTHING and being completely useless.” She sighed and wrapped her arms around herself miserably.
“Daniel’s taking care of him,” reminded Tara gently. “He really loves that kid, you know?”
Then, Tara snorted, “I still can’t believe that you gave your friends Zombies of all things; I mean geeze, Will!”
Willow blushed, “Hey! I was nuts then!” at least the upturned graves had been redone again, that had looked easy enough from where she was.
“Still, at least Chris has family to look after him as well,” continued Tara, looking at Willow.
The redhead nodded, “Yeah,” then she snorted sardonically, feeling the irony build up around her. “All this time I’ve been looking for Chris’s father, turns out he found us along with a bunch of alien-fighting commandos. Go figure.”
The Slayerettes never could get normal guys, there was the demon-magnet aka Xander, Oz the werewolf, Moloch the computer demon and Tara…who actually wasn’t a guy but was a witch to top off the strangeness.
“And now there’s a guy who fights aliens for living; going through a polo-shaped ‘gate into space,” said Willow to herself; she looked at Tara thoughtfully. “At least he’s not a giant preying Mantis.”
Tara laughed, “Poor Xander, he always gets the demons.”
“He still does,” remarked the redhead, smirking. “But at least Anya isn’t going to eat him.” Although she didn’t always like the former Vengeance demon she knew that Anya was good for her best friend…even if she was still lacking tact.
Tara grinned mischievously, “Admit it, Will. Anya was always the annoying sister you never had.”
She’s got that right, Willow had always had a not-quite-friendly sisterly relationship with Anya, a little sibling rivalry mixed up in there. Whilst with Buffy, well; she was always the sister she got on well with.
Most of the time anyway; and although Giles was kinda like a big brother to her; next to Anya she argued with him the most- but still often looked up to him. He was also a father to all three of them.
“Tare, how’s Serena doing?” asked Willow curiously. “I haven’t seen her around much today.” Usually the former-agent was with them.
Tara looked down through the ‘ground’ at the world below them, below the realm that they were in, “She’s off with Oma, being all ascended. You know.”
Yup, getting used to ‘life’ as an Ascended being, the young woman was doing pretty well considering. She had moped after Grey for the first few days that she was ascended; at least until they had been determined to take her mind off her best friend’s emotional state.
“Do you think she’s ready yet?” Willow asked, her green eyes finding Tara’s blue.
“The whole ‘Enlightenment’ thing?” asked Tara, smiling slightly.
“I don’t see why she wouldn’t be,” the blonde replied thoughtfully. “But that’s Oma’s job, I don’t know. But it’s been months…at least down there anyway.”
Up in the higher realms it had been a little longer, which was why Willow was so eager to get back down there. She missed her son; and also her friends…hell, she even missed Duncan Grey but mostly because Serena wouldn’t stop going on about him.
Serena had been pleased that Chris was unharmed and had gotten out of the NID base alive, though she was upset about Chris going off the deep-end.
Willow frowned, guilt swirling around her stomach.
She just wished that Chris wasn’t so traumatized over what had happened; though she had to admit to herself that if he wasn’t so shaken up she’d be a little disturbed, “Yeah,” Willow muttered to herself.
One thing was for sure, she’d never forgive herself for putting Chris though that; she’d taken an innocent, her own SON, and had filled him with evil- HER evil.
In some ways doing that to Chris was worse than trying to end the world, worse than killing Warren Mears; nothing she ever did would make up for what she did to him.
And she was just going to have to live with that.
Jack twiddled his thumbs, bored, as he listened to more of Carter’s babbling; he was glad that he didn’t really HAVE to actually listen to it, he felt kinda sorry for the General though.
They were all sat in the Briefing room listening to Carter talk about nano-technology, ten minutes ago they’d been talking about what had happened at the base of the NID; they’d done the debrief months ago.
Hammond was just keeping them up to date on the situation with Willow and Chris, all in all Jack knew that they had been pretty lucky; the consequences for their actions against the NID could have been a lot worse.
The last three months had been full of many headaches, cover-ups, security checks and whatnot; it was a good thing that three former-Initiative soldiers had taken it upon themselves to speak up for Willow and Chris, defending them at every direction.
Riley Finn, his wife Samantha and Graham Miller were friends of Willow’s group and were also demon-hunters; they, along with SG1, Hammond and a few others, had managed to convince the Joint Chiefs and the President to not hold them accountable for their actions.
A full investigation had been opened up and by the end they’d been persuaded to leave them alone- partially anyway.
Willow and Chris were going to be monitored closely until the Government felt that they weren’t a threat anymore, though they weren’t obtrusive in any way. They just stayed away and watched them.
Though, the fact that Willow was comatose meant that monitoring was kept to a minimum; they didn’t believe Chris to be as much of a threat as Willow, which was understandable because Chris was just a little kid…to them anyway.
If they’d seen Chris three months back he’d be feared as much as Willow was at the moment; but thankfully they hadn’t been there.
If they had it also might have given them more of a reason to raise hell about the death of Kinsey; fortunately, his demise at the hand…tentacles of the ‘fish-monster’ had been covered up just like everything else.
According to the President, Kinsey had been on his way out anyway; it seems that good-old-Mr. President had gotten tired of Kinsey’s presence around the government and had been working on sacking him for the past year or so.
Of course, in the public eye there had to be a reason; and now there was; officially: Senator Robert Kinsey had, silently, tendered his resignation several months ago and was now unable to be reached for questioning; he’d taken the quiet way out before anyone had known what was happening.
It seemed, to the public and to his family, that Kinsey had dropped off the face of the Earth and was completely untraceable. And ‘officially’, no one really knew anything other than the fact that Kinsey had given in his resignation and flown the coop so to speak.
Jack smirked to himself, feeling smug, as Major Carter’s prattle passed over his head.
Unofficially, good ol’ Kinsey had been eaten by a big fish and taken up into the ceiling to take what he so richly deserved.
The colonel grinned inwardly, life was good… and it would be perfect if Willow would just-
A knock jarred Jack out of his thoughts, he looked at his CO and then at the door as Hammond said, “Come in.”
An airman opened the door and said, “Sir, the new patient, Willow Rosenberg, has just woken up.”
YES! Jack grinned triumphantly and said, “Ain’t life grand?”
Wasn’t Danny gonna be pleased.
Chris padded downstairs slowly, rubbing his eyes with one hand and clutching at Loki with the other; the embossed cotton image of ‘Scooby Doo’ grinned out from the child’s navy blue night shirt.
Daniel smiled to himself as he watched Chris amble over to the kitchen table, yawning, “Morning, Chris.”
The five year old mumbled something unintelligible, the only thing he could make out was, “Daniel.” That was pretty much it.
“How’s Loki this morning?” Daniel asked, only half serious. He grabbed a bowl as his son climbed into his chair clumsily.
Chris blinked through his myopic blue eyes, seemingly withdrew his glasses from nowhere and then put them on, “Loki’s a toy, daddy.”
Daniel smiled, “Of course he is. What was I thinking?” Chris shrugged sleepily to his rhetorical questioning.
The archaeologist looked up at the top of the refrigerator which held all the cereal, “Coco Pops?” he looked at Chris questioningly.
The redhead nodded, rubbing his eyes after taking his glasses off again; he replaced them a second later.
Daniel tipped the brightly-coloured box towards the white bowl and, without looking around, asked, “Did you have another nightmare?” no answer.
He turned back from the cereal-filled bowl as saw that Chris was peering at him with tired eyes; the boy nodded; frowning, “Did I wake you up?” the kid asked.
Daniel shook his head, “No, I’m a sound sleeper.” Most kids wouldn’t even know what that meant; but Chris nodded acceptingly.
He had one smart kid.
*Thirty-eight minutes later*
Chris traipsed down the stairs again, now clutching his new book to his light blue, dark-blue-striped shirt. The baseball cap he was wearing was crayon-blue with the ‘Nike’ stamped on the front just above the bill, “Daniel!”
He stepped off the last step and ran to into the other room, red drawstring pant flapped around his legs- a sign that the pants may be just a little too big for him.
The phone rang again, very loud through the apartment.
“Daddy, the phone’s ringing!” he yelled, he fell silent and listened for the sounds of his dad; he heard the back door of the garden closing.
Chris ran to the phone, he didn’t want the phone to stop ringing before his dad was able to get to it; he picked it up, “Hello?”
Someone was about to reply but his dad came into the room, Chris took the receiver away from his ear and held it up, “Someone’s calling.”
Daniel smiled at him and accepted the receiver, “Janet?” a few seconds later his eyes widened with shocked happiness. “She is? That’s…that’s…uh, I’ll…I’ll get over there. Bye.”
He slammed the receiver down, making Chris jump a little, “Your mom’s awake.”
For a second Chris didn’t feel anything, then the emotions hit him full force; joy, sadness, surprise, hope and anger, “She is!?”
Daniel nodded, “C’mon, I’ll drive us over there!” he made a beeline for the door, grabbing his coat and car keys along the way, and then both of them were out of the house and running for the car.
Chris gulped, clutching Loki tighter, his mommy was awake.
“Well, Willow,” said Janet warmly. “Daniel and Chris are on their way over here; you’ve finally joined the land of the living.”
Willow smiled at the quip, but underneath the fake smile all she could feel was sadness and guilt, maybe some fear along with it, “Yeah.” She looked away.
She’d woken up in the Infirmary about a half hour ago and Janet hadn’t stopped poking and prodding her since; she just wanted to see her son again, “Do you know when they’re gonna get here?”
Janet pressed her fingers into Willow’s wrist, at the pulse point, again and said, “In a little while; it depends on traffic.”
The redhead nodded, “I guess.” On the one hand she wanted Chris and Daniel to take their time getting there; on the other hand she really wanted to see them…well, it going to be one of them, anyway.
She knew one thing though, she felt like crap.
“Mommy!” Chris ran into the room and raced to the bed before jumping onto it, he started to slip a little so Willow caught him and pulled him up further onto the bed.
“Hi, sweetie,” she hugged the younger redhead tightly. “Glad to see you again.” Loki was squashed between the two of them.
“Me too!” he exclaimed eagerly. “And you’ll never guess what!”
Chris grinned proudly as he pulled away from her, “I’m a whole five years old now!” she knew, she’d watched his reaction to her not being there on that day.
“You are!?” Willow smiled back at him. “Wow, suddenly I’m seeing you go off to college; you haven’t got your driver’s license yet, have you?”
Chris laughed, “No, mommy!” he hugged her again around the waist.
Willow stroked his head and looked up at Daniel, she smiled at his confused look and mouthed, ‘I knew!’ silently.
The archaeologist smiled brightly as he glanced at Janet; Willow smirked inwardly, no, Janet hadn’t told her; she’d seen it looking down from the sky. How insane did THAT sound!?
Willow waved him over firmly, “Thanks for being there for Chris; he really needed you.” And she knew that he still did.
She saw a sad smile play across his features and felt an ache deep in her chest, he probably thought that he wouldn’t get to stay with Chris; she wouldn’t do that, “Are you okay?”
Daniel nodded, smiling, “Fine, you?” Janet had left the room, huh; she’d only JUST realized that.
“Tired,” then she smirked. “Despite the fact that I’ve been sleeping for about three months.”
Daniel gave her a small grin, “Well, comas do do that…” then he winced; Willow just grinned and looked down as Chris sat up.
“Mommy? Can daddy come live with us?” he asked hopefully. He looked at them in turn, blue eyes wide behind his glasses. “Please!” he put his small hands together in the typical prayers position.
Lost for words, Willow just blinked at him and then looked at Daniel, “Um…” did Daniel want to live with them? If so where would that be? At Daniel’s apartment? Back at Cleveland? Where?
Daniel laughed nervously, “Well, I think we kinda need to think about this a little more.”
Willow eyed him, well; Anya and Xander HAD just moved to Colorado Springs, Chris had already started a new school- which she knew that he hated. What to do?
“Why do we need to think about it?” whined Chris pleadingly.
Willow tilted her head slightly in consideration, “Well…”
Chris jumped up excitedly, “I’ll even go to that horrible school, a-and I can go over to Hailey and Ty in the holidays or the weekends, and Uncle Xander and Aunt Anya live here already anyway! And I think Dawn’s moving here too! So that means that Aunt Buffy and everyone else will come over…just like when we were in Cleveland!”
His babble tapered off as he finished talking; he eyed them both hopefully.
Chris DID have a point…well, several actually. Maybe that would work out…but, no way, Daniel wouldn’t want…, “Honey, I don’t think that Daniel would want-”
She blinked as she caught his gaze, it was equally as hopeful as Chris’s; if not, more so.
But that was because he wanted to get to know Chris more, not because…
Willow nodded slowly, coming around to the idea, “I guess we could do that.” and why not? Besides, if the government drones really were going to start keeping an eye on them they’d probably want them staying where they were, in Colorado Springs.
“Yay!” yelled Chris, face lighting up immediately. He threw his arms around her neck and hugged her tightly, then he drew away and grinned at Daniel. “Now you really CAN be my daddy!”
Daniel smiled obviously pleased, and also extremely relieved. He grabbed Willow into a hug, caught up in the moment.
Willow felt her breath hitch in her throat at he pulled her to him, wow he smelled pretty nice, “Um…” she usually didn’t like guys, right?
She’s liked Oz and Xander…there was that Thomas guy- even if he WAS a vampire; heck, she had more crushes on guys than girls as she grew up. Tara was really the only woman she’d ever been in love with.
A small spark zipped through her at Daniel’s touch, over the last few years she’d been theorizing a little that maybe she wasn’t gay at all, but rather she just fell in love with the person inside…not the packaging- however attractive it was.
It made a lot more sense, actually. She’d never really been able to really explore that theory, she hadn’t dated since Chris was born; she didn’t want strangers near her child and, well, she’d been feeling too guilty to even think about dating after Tara had died.
She felt Daniel pull away suddenly and felt disappointment sweep through her, Willow looked at him and saw that he had an apologetic look on his face.
“Sorry,” he fidgeted slightly, still looking guilty. “Just got-
-caught up in the moment,” finished Willow knowing. “I get it.” Then she looked away, feeling just as uncomfortable as he was. “You’re sorry?”
Daniel looked at her for a moment, obviously speechless, “Um…” then he sighed and smiled sheepishly. “No, not really.”
Willow felt relieved, “Oh, that’s good.” She noticed at the corner of her eyes that Chris was grinning excitedly up at them, but silent.
The archaeologist looked slightly confused, “I-it is?”
Willow smiled at him, “I guess.” She looked at him, smiled widening; that look on his face was so cute!
Chris fidgeted with poorly-contained excitement, he was humming to himself a little while he gazed up at them, Willow just smiled at him and ruffled his hair, “Are you gonna get married now?!”
Willow felt her face burn, “A BIT too soon, Chris. Let’s just see what happens first, okay.” Daniel’s face had gone a little pink as well.
Chris shrugged happily, “Okay!”
The two adults shared a pink-cheeked grin, then Daniel said, “I’m glad you’re okay, you had me worried…US worried! Y-you had us worried…uh…” Daniel’s face went pink again and he smiled sheepishly.
Willow smiled and nodded, “That’s okay, Daniel. You were worried about me?” she watched him thoughtfully as he blinked, trying to answer without making himself embarrassed again.
“Uhhh…” he blinked, and then swallowed and nodded. “Yeah, I-I was worried; and not just because I thought Chris was going to lose you…but…”
The redhead nodded, “I get it…” she seemed to ‘get’ a lot about Daniel these days. She certainly knew that she wanted to get to know Daniel some more, and not only because he was Chris’s father.
She had a feeling she’d get along quite well with Daniel Jackson.
A/N: well, it's all finished now one year and seven months...yowsa :) look out for my sequel when i get around to writing it....
Pleeeeeaaasse review! :) it's my last chapter and i'm not above begging ya know