Ch 7. In which two witches say hello.
Standard disclaimer applies to this and all following chapters, and I won’t be saying it any more, because by chapter 8, I figure you know that I can legally claim only the story-line and none of the characters or settings.
Willow and Tara were finishing a quiet meal at one of the diners in town. They were taking a night off from studying and taking time from themselves. Tara was laughing at some funny story that Willow told of Buffy’s first year in Sunnydell, when Willow saw Xander walk in with Spike and saddened. He still wasn’t talking to her, and when she tried to call his house, his mother said that Xander had moved out and wouldn’t give her the number for his new place or tell her where it was. Xander and Spike made their way to a booth with three people already there and sat down, not noticing her and her girlfriend.
Tara followed Willow’s gaze. “Willow,” she said softly. “Go talk to him. If he leaves, who knows when you’ll see him again.”
“Thank you, babe,” Willow said, leaning over to kiss the gentle witch on the cheek. She still wasn’t sure what goddess she had pleased so as to have Tara in her life, but she was infinitely grateful to whichever one it was. “I’ll be back.”
“Take your time. I’ll wait,” Tara replied. Willow had been miserable over her and Buffy’s treatment of Xander for the last several weeks, and Tara was hoping they could resolve it.
“Xander?” Willow said as she got to the table, immediately becoming the focus of two sets of brown eye, two of green and one of blue. She gulped. “Can I talk to you? You know, with less stare-y people around.” Xander whispered in the ear man beside him so he’d move, and stood up. They stepped outside before Xander spoke.
“So, what’s up, Wills?” Xander asked, hoping she wasn’t going to lecture or deliver Buffy-messages. He’d missed his friend, but he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t snap if she did such a thing.
“I just wanted to say, I’m really, really, really, really, really sorry for not saying anything whenever Buffy was yelling at you. We did check the book, and it was wrong, not you, and even if you had been wrong, Buffy was still way too mean about and anyway, can we please be friends again because I really miss you and Giles misses you and I think Buffy misses you too, only we didn’t know where you moved too and your mom wouldn’t tell me and you didn’t come to meetings even so I was afraid you died almost, but then I remembered that you wouldn’t do that to me, so you were just still mad and…”
“Breath, Willow,” Xander cut in, knowing she could go on for hours. He wasn’t clear if he’d gotten babble tendencies from her or she from him, but she did tend to do it more often than he did. She took a deep breath and seemed to hold it, waiting for his response. “I said, breath, silly, not just stop talking. Holding your breath is not breathing.”
She let out the breath and took another. “So, will you forgive me?”
“Of course, Wills,” he pulled her into a warm hug and waited a few seconds to release her. “Wait, I’m getting the idea that Buffy has been holding out.”
“She knows where I’ve been staying. A friend of mine…” He gestured to the table inside. “…bought Deadboy’s old place. I moved in with him and his sister and his sister’s boyfriend. Spike’s staying with us too. She saw us all there, that night we got into the fight. Got all pissy with us when she was the one trespassing and Delvin told her never to come back without an invite. Although, I think that was just to make her mad cause he knew she was the slayer and telling her to wait for an invite was like comparing her to a vamp.”
Willow frowned. “Buffy said she was going to say sorry if she saw you, but she didn’t know where you were. But she did?” She looked at her friend with troubled eyes. “I’ll talk to her. Can I meet your friends?”
“Sure, come on.” He led her back inside and too his table. Spike shot him a concerned look, and Xander smiled reassuringly at him. “Everyone, I’d like you to meet Willow, one of my bestest buds since kindergarten. Willow, this is Delvin, Diane and Greg, my new roomies.”
Willow gave a small wave, uncertain about these people. She didn’t feel like she had the right at the moment to ask when Xander had met them, so she settled for studying them. Diane and Delvin were obviously sister and brother, in their late-twenties or early-thirties, each with golden skin-tones, jade green eyes and black hair, though Delvin’s was pulled back in a braid, it’s length obscured, and Diane’s was very short and somewhat spiky. What was very odd were the identical scars running from just below their left eyebrows to past their hairlines. Greg on the other hand was rather Nordic to their eastern Europe. About the same age as the others, maybe a little younger, he had that haircolor that was the kind that people argued whether it was dark blond or light brown, the type of tan that was more from sunlight than DNA, and light brown eyes. But he appeared to Willow to be the friendliest of Xander’s new friends judging by the huge grin that split his face on her introduction.
“Wow, you’re Willow!” Greg said, pushing his hand across the table to shake hers. “I gotta tell you, I feel like I know you. Xander’s been telling me about all the fun stuff you guys did when you where kids. Can I have your autograph? No never mind, that’s silly. But it is good to meet you…”
“Bloody Hell! Whelp, did you have to introduce the Rat to Red? All we need is one more babble fest around here!” Spike said, ignoring the pout that both the witch and the lab rat sent him. “I can’t take it. I’ll see you lot later.”
As Spike strutted out of the diner, Xander spotted Tara at her table. “Oh, Willow, I didn’t know Tara was here, too. Call her over, I’ll introduce her too.”
As Willow went to get her girlfriend, Delvin pulled Xander down beside him. “Every thing alright, Alexander?”
“Yeah, we talked. Buffy didn’t tell anyone that she knew where I was, and told them that she fully intended to apologize should she run into me. But Willow’s good, she just has trouble standing up to Buffy sometimes,” Xander explained in an undertone, as the two witches approached. Again he made introductions, only introducing Tara as “my bestest bud’s lovely lady.”
“P-pleased to meet you,” Tara shyly offered.
“And you as well,” Delvin said with a charming smile. “Alexander failed to mention that so many of her “girls” were so beautiful.” His eyes glinted teasingly at Xander, while the young women blushed prettily. Ah, youth.
Xander half-heartedly elbowed his teacher in retaliation. “Stop picking on my girls. I told you I hang out only with super-model material.”
Tara giggled. “I d-don’t know about that, Xander, b-but, we’ll leave y-you to your meal.”
“Okay, if you must. But, hey!” Xander grabbed a napkin and borrowed a pen from Diane, who always seemed to have one tucked away somewhere on her person, jotting down the number at the mansion. He handed it to Willow. “So you can get a hold of me.”
“Thanks, Xander,” Willow said, tucking the number into her purse. She bent to give her friend another hug. “It was nice to meet you all. I hope to see you again soon.”
They all said polite farewells. However, as soon as the girls left, Diane turned to Delvin.
“I got a vibe, did you?”
He nodded. “The girl, Tara, she’s from old magic. Alexander, did you know?”
“I knew that Tara was a witch, yeah, but so is Willow. I told you that.” He was confused about the exchange.
“Yes, and Willow has planted the seeds of greatness in herself,” Diane confirmed, trying to think of a way to explain what she and her brother felt. “But, Tara. She is so very… natural. The power in your friend is something that quite frankly anyone can tap into if they have the focus, but the power in Tara is beyond that. It comes from her, not the energies around her.” She rubbed absently at the scar on her forehead. “She must be from an old line,” she finished lamely.
“Okay,” Xander said, still confused but letting it drop. He shared a look with Greg that clearly spoke of the cultural barrier between them and their teachers. “So, I told Giles…”
Later than night, Tara stared up at the ceiling, Willow sleeping with her head on Tara’s shoulder. It had been hard back at the diner, pretending that she wasn’t terrified. She was quite proud that she had only stuttered a little, really only as much as she did around Buffy. She carefully slid out from under her lover and tip-toed to her closet. Inside she pulled out a keep-sake box that was one of the few things she’d taken from home when she ran away. Inside were several journals passed from mother to daughter for many centuries in her family. She carefully picked up the oldest one and opened it to the right page. Glancing over her shoulder to be sure Willow was still sleeping, Tara reread the translation that was penned on loose-leaf paper with ball-point pen.
“One Ancient One in Two Ancient forms,
Man And Woman,
Taught by Death,
Will take to Them Two of New Blood
To Teach, To Care.
But the Evil will Rage;
It Shall come for the Ancient One,
And without the Two
The One will Fall.
The Evil will take the One’s power
And on the Closed Mouth of Hell
Will the Fate of Man be Decided"
Tara moaned. She knew that the One was Xander’s new friends. The Scoobies were going to be so mad when they found out that there was another prophecy.
AN: Okay, um, well. I livened it a little. Didn’t I? *Ducks flying objects* Well, no one is making you read it, geez. No, seriously, did you like it or should I just keep my silly notions to myself?