AN: The episodes, ie: Lessons and Beneath you’ are not mine.
*some Kennedy-bashing. But only a mention of it*
The episode: lessons
3 months later
In Westbury England
Giles slowly approached a large tree with Willow sitting at its base, the redhead stared at the ground and magically the ground produced a large tropical flower, which rose up from the grass. She became aware of Giles’s shadow and knew that he was beside her.
"That doesn't belong there" said Giles conversationally.
“No, it doesn’t,” agreed Willow pleased with herself.
“The ‘flora kua alaya’, a native of Paraguay, if my botany serves,” he added.
She glanced up at him and smiled, “Is there anything you don’t know about?”
“Synchronized swimming. Complete mystery to me,” he confessed. He drew closer, studying the flower. “Yes. Paraguay.” He looked at her. “Where did it come from?”
“Paraguay,” she said breathlessly.
“You brought it through the earth,” he commented.
“It’s all connected,” she told him. “The root systems, the molecules, the energy. Everything’s connected.”
“You sound like Mrs. Harkness,” he observed. Referring to Willow’s Coven Mistress. She realized he’d been sent to find her, that the coven had been concerned that she hadn’t shown up at her lesson. Afraid more like.
“The coven is…they’re the most amazing women I’ve met,” she told him. “But there’s this look they get, like I’m going to turn them into bangers and mash or something. Which I’m not even really sure what that is.”
“They’re cautious,” said Giles gently. “I trust you can understand that.”
“I don’t have that much power,” she murmured. “I don’t think.”
“But everything’s connected,” he reminded her, gesturing to the flower, using her own words back on her. “You’re connected to great power, whether you feel it or not.”
“You should just take it from me,” Willow ventured, rising, crossing toward the place where she lived.
As they walked, he said, “You know we can’t. This isn’t a hobby, or an addiction. It’s inside you now. It’s magic. You’re responsible for it.”
“Will they always be afraid of me?” she asked him.
He considered, “Maybe. Can you handle it?”
She felt lost. A lot lost. She had no idea how to answer him.
“I deserve a lot worse. I killed people, Giles.”
They stopped walking and regarded one another.
“I’ve not forgotten,” he said soberly.
“When you brought me here,” she confessed. “I thought it was to kill me. Or lock me in some dungeon for all eternity, or with the torture…instead you go all Dumbledore on me. I’m learning about magic, and energy and Gaia and root systems…”
“Do you want to be punished?” Giles asked.
She felt terrible guilt and pain, and still some anger too. ‘I killed Warren…but he killed Tara.’
“I want to be Willow,” she answered.
“You are,” Giles’s voice was still calm, still gentle. “In the end we are all who we are…no matter how much we may appear to have changed.
‘Does he mean to comfort me with that?’ she wondered.
A week later
Episode: beneath you
And Willow snapped out of her vision, sprawled on the lawn before the old stone house, while Giles and Levi urged her to breathe. She had collapsed, she was lying on the ground with her hands in the grass. She looked up at her mentor and her older brother, stunned by what she had seen and felt…by what she KNEW...
“We were talking,” she told him. “And I felt…”
She jerked her hands away from the grass.
“I felt the earth.”
She looked at Giles uneasily. “It’s all connected. It is, only it’s not all good and pure and rootsy…there’s deep, deep black, there’s…I saw the earth, Giles. I saw its teeth.”
They understood at once.
“The Hellmouth,” Giles and Levi said simultaneously.
“It’s going to open,” She was terrified, swaying with what she knew. Sick from it. “It’s going to swallow us all.”
A year later
A few months after ‘Chosen’
*Buffy knew she was dreaming almost instantly, she was in her room but it was full of pearly-white fog and cloud. She looked around and raised her fists; “Okay, who’s looking to get their butts kicked?”
“I’ve no idea,” said a disembodied voice. “Though, it certainly wouldn’t be me.”
Buffy swallowed nervous, ‘Don’t worry Summers,’ she thought. ‘Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean anything…’
“Of course it doesn’t,” said the voice again sounding playful. “You did kill ‘Der Kindestod’ did you not?”
The blonde spun around trying to find the source of the voice. “Where are you? And…did you read my thoughts?!”
After a chuckle was heard she saw a figure materialize in front of her dressed in normal clothes not looking at all demony, the Slayer stepped forward, “Who…are…you,” she gritted out threateningly.
The woman smirked slightly, “No need to be tetchy, Slayer. I’m not your enemy.”
“That right?” the blonde muttered looking unconvinced. “Then who are you?”
“Trina,” she answered. “I’ve been looking forward to having this talk.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow, “Uh huh, so I presume this is a dream.”
“Kind of,” replied Trina. “It’s a form of communication that the Powers and I have selected.”
“The Powers?” Buffy didn’t like the sound of this. The PTB never brought anyone good news, they usually meant trouble. “What do they want?”
Trina smiled cheerfully, “To give you a reward.”
Buffy gave her a blank look, “A reward?” should she like the sound of that?
“You’ve spent the last eight years fighting the forces of darkness, saving peoples’ lives,” said Trina crossing her shirt-clad arms. “You are deserving of a reward…do you disagree?”
Buffy frowned then shook her head, “Well, no but…
Trina nodded, “Brilliant.”
“So, what do I get? A new pair of shoes…what?”
Trina chuckled, “No, you get a wish.”
Buffy scoffed, “No! If you know about the ‘Der Kinderstod’ thing then you know about all those times my friends and I got into trouble because of wishes.”
“The PTB have no malevolent intensions,” she promised. “And this wish has nothing to do with Vengeance Demons.”
The blonde considered this, “Are you serious? I get a wish, and nothing…bad will come out of it?”
“Not unless you wish it to,” Trina answered. “You can wish for anything you like…you can wish that Angel never lost his soul, that Riley never left you, that you you’re just human- no Slayer powers...anything.”
“Really…I…really?” the Slayer stuttered slightly disbelievingly.
“Yes, really,” then she said. “You’ve got 12 hours to think of a wish, I will return then.”
Then Buffy woke up.*
Buffy blinked up at the ceiling and uttered one word, “Wowsa.”
*5 hours later*
Willow placed some rocks on her girlfriend’s tombstone; she traced the name with her fingers, “Hey baby, it’s me again.”
Despite the fact that Tara’s body wasn’t in the grave she still felt that she could speak to her, the original grave had fallen into the crater when Sunnydale had gone FUBAR.
“I did it, I never thought I could. But I did,” she said looking slightly sad. “But she didn’t give me much of a choice.”
She had broken up with her latest girlfriend, Kennedy, recently something that she had found hard to do despite her reasons…which were pretty valid.
“She really wasn’t lying when she told me she was a brat,” Willow continued. Kennedy had also said that she got everything that she wanted. That should have been the first warning sign; the dark-haired Slayer was a control-freak, she tried to control everything…even her. Many blazing rows later Willow had ended it, and unsurprisingly Kennedy hadn’t taken it at all well.
Then her phone rang, bringing her out of her depressing thoughts. “I’d better go,” she said. “I’ll be back soon, though.” Smiling weakly, eyes wet with tears she got to her feet and walked back to her new home while taking her cell out and answering the call.
*2 hours later*
Buffy had her arm around Willow as they sat on the sofa together watching reruns of ‘Stargate: SG1’, they chuckled through the funny parts of the show and frowned at the bad guys messing with SG1. The NID reminded them too much of ‘The Initiative’.
Willow had snickered when Buffy wondered out-loud whether that was where Maggie Walsh had gotten her ideas from.
Buffy smiled at the recent memory, she looked at her best friend and saw that she had fallen asleep with her head on the blonde’s shoulder, she hugged her warmly and looked back at the television.
A few minutes later Buffy heard Willow’s moans of fear and distress and looked at her, “Damn.” The Slayer shook her friend’s shoulder gently, “Will, wake up.”
“Tara…” the blonde heard her mumble.
Buffy sighed, “Oh Will.” If only there was something she could…there was.
*5 hours later*
The sky was dark outside, and getting darker by the minute.
A flash of light lit up the area briefly and then dimmed, the source of the light was currently residing in the Summers’ bedroom where Buffy was. The blonde was sitting in her chair expectantly, waiting for the woman to appear.
“Hey Trina,” she greeted. “The wish?”
Trina nodded brightly, “Twelve hours has passed now.” Then she frowned. “You do know what you’re wishing for, right?”
“Uh…oh! Yeah, I do!” Buffy said looking a little nervous.
“I…I wish for….”
Willow pressed her face into the soft pillow sleepily, she vaguely noted that her bed was warmer than usual. She rolled onto her back and looked at the ceiling and yawned, she raised herself into a sitting position.
She first thing she noted was that there was a person-sized figure under her bedcovers, the next thing she noticed was that the figure had blonde hair, she frowned slightly, “Buffy?”
Why would Buffy be in her bed?
Then she heard a yell that made her as nervous as hell, “Dawn?! Breakfast!”
“Okay…so,” she muttered cautiously. “So…not Buffy.” Then who?
She swallowed and got off the bed slowly and quietly, she moved around to the other side of the bed and ripped the covers off expecting an attack. Then she gaped in shock and went even paler than usual.
“Ugghhn,” she choked out.
The figure opened her eyes, her blue eyes, and looked at Willow smiling nervously, “Hi, Will.”
“Uh…T-Tara?” she said in a tiny voice. Shaking Willow moved forwards as her formally-dead-girlfriend sat up in bed; the redhead touched Tara’s shoulder uncertainly and swallowed almost choking as she figured out that Tara wasn’t a ghost and that she wasn’t dreaming. “Tara?”
The blonde witch got to her feet and enveloped the redhead in a warm hug, “Hi baby,” she mumbled into her girlfriend’s shoulder.
A/N: That’s all for now, there’ll be a short sequel but probably not for a while.