The Broken One
Title: The Broken One
Characters: Nathaniel, Willow
Disclaimer: LKH owns AB, Joss Whedon owns BTVS.
Spoilers: S7 Finale for BTVS, NIC for AB
Summary: Reflections on a visitor . . .
The Broken One
She fell from the sky.
There wasn't much else for me to say. She fell from the sky and right into Anita's lap. I wasn't there to see it for myself, but I'm told that's what happened. She fell right out of the sky.
Of course, the official story is that she's a distant cousin of Anita's, visiting after some serious trauma occured in her life. Just the word 'trauma' seemed to explain a lot to people, especially the fact that she didn't speak. Humans just have to hear that word and they immediately decide to mind their own business. They were curious as hell, but they didn't want to be the callous ones to try and drag that trauma out in front of the poor girl. It was an effective cover. But it failed to answer some very serious questions.
Who was this girl that fell from the sky? What was she doing here? Where was she before she fell out of the sky? Was she to be trusted? In fact, what was this girl? Was she human or something else entirely?
Whatever she was, I could tell you that there was not another out there like her. I've never seen such a creature before in my life. She was the tiniest thing, barely taller than Anita. Her skin was pale and flawless. She had green eyes, a colour that reminded me of ivy for some reason. She had these lips that were small but incredibly beautiful. And though no one has ever heard her talk, I would stake my life on the belief that her voice was as beautiful as the rest of her.
Her hair was red for the most part, but it had thin strands of pure white hair mingling in with the rest of her locks. And there were times when the colour would change, go from mostly red to completely white. I've seen it with my own two eyes. She was standing there, clad in clothes borrowed from Cherry, staring at the dying rosebush in Anita' garden. And then a smile touched her ruby red lips and her hand went out to touch the leaves of the plant. Her hair went stark white and the plant not only recovered but bloomed completely.
It was really hard to explain the rosebush in full bloom during the winter to most other people. Thank God we all live far away from most of our neighbours.
She was definitely a magical creature, but of what magic not even Anita knew. Certainly my Nimir-Ra knew much more than she told us, that was pretty obvious. The fact that she didn't even bat an eyelash at the arrival of this woman and the fact that she quickly invited the strange woman into her home was enough proof that there was something Anita was keeping from the rest of us.
But Anita was my Nimir-Ra, who was I to question her secrecy? There was naught much I could do but obey Anita when she instructed me to take care of our new guest. Willow was her name, though how Anita figured that out was beyond me. The girl didn't say a word, sometimes she wasn't even up to writing down her request. It wasn't to say that she didn't know how to write, or was being uncooperative. But when she did take the opportunity to write stuff down, she did so in a language that no one could read. Anita would sweep these communications away from us and take them God-Knows-Where. Anita was pretty hell bent on keeping Willow and everything about Willow a secret.
But even my Nimir-Ra's restrictions couldn't keep me from wondering, and sometimes even venturing to find out what I could about this woman. And since I had been designated her guardian for the duration of her stay, it was not hard for me to find ample opportunities to find out what I could.
But again, Willow was silent. It was as if she didn't need words to communicate anything. Her every whim, her every intent, it was all understood in her body language. With one smile she could assure even the most suspicious of creatures that she was here only for good. And the way she looked at people sometimes . . .It was as if she could see into their very souls.
I know because she had done the exact thing to me.
It was one odd morning, maybe a week since her rather odd arrival, when it happened. She had wanted to go outside, so I took her to a nice but quiet park. She sat rather happily on a park bench for more than fifteen minutes, her eyes lighting up with joy as she watched a group of children engage in a game of tag. It was odd the way she took joy in the simplest things, like she could see much more into them than most people. Maybe she could, maybe she had all the answers. I certainly felt that way when she took me by the hand and looked me right in the eye.
It almost reduced me to tears when compassion and understanding flooded those green eyes of her. Her hands went up, tracing the silver choker I wore around my neck. It was a mild discomfort, a little pain that I liked having in my everyday life. It was a part of me, the unabashed lure to pain. I sought it in almost all of my activities. And yes there was the matter of my sexual preferences. I was a subordinate in very sense of the word. I couldn't get off without pain, I didn't want to try.
And she knew that with one look.
It was amazing the shame that seemed to overtake me when I knew that she saw that part of me. It was kind of new to feel shame about it. I had come to the point where I was completely fine with it. But one look from her, just the thought that she saw that part of me, it was disconcerting. It felt wrong, I felt bad. I was ashamed.
But never once was there recrimination in her eyes. Never once did I see anything like disdain in her eyes, not even one trace of disgust. All I could see was her understanding. She patted my hand and then placed her palm over my heart. Her hair seemed to shimmer before the thin strands of white in her hair became big thick strands. Her hair became an even mix of red and white and I felt this warmth start down in the centre of my being. It was like a pleasant caress, starting from the inside and heading out. It was heavenly, divine, sensual, and gentle all at once.
Then it receded, flowing out of my body as quickly as it entered. I blinked and her hair was back to normal. She offered me another smile, this one more pleased than anything else. But I didn't understand what it was that pleased her. I didn't feel any different than before. The only change was the left over tingle I felt from her touch, one that extended all the way through my body.
"What did you do?"
But she didn't answer. She never answered any questions. She only gave smiles and some sort of knowing look. And that was exactly what I got. She even giggled a bit, a few musical notes coming from deep within her throat. She reached over, patted my cheek in an almost maternal fashion before getting to her feet.
She took a deep breath, looking around the park like she was trying to preserve the image of it inside her mind. Then she extended a hand towards me, pulling me up and out of my seat and dragging me out of the park. I was shocked to find her dragging me to a ice cream shop. She was new to the city, how did she know where to find an ice cream shop?
Again, she offered no answers, only smiles and a few gentle squeezes of my hand. I still had no idea what she did to me, and I knew somehow that I wouldn't know for quite some time. It was like she set something into motion, something that she felt would be for the very best.
And I didn't know why, but I felt like it would be for the best.
There was just something about this girl, something that made everything she did seem right. And whatever she did to me, I couldn't help feel better for it.
It was like whatever had been broken was on its way to being not fixed, but mended. I trusted her to have done nothing less. But that still didn't tell me who she was. I don't think I'm meant to know. Maybe it was better that way.
Either way, it was all up to Her.