A/N: I have made a good head start. And don’t ask me who the ‘old enemy’ is, I won’t tell until she shows up. *there was a hint in there.* As I haven’t yet seen seasons 6 or 7, the time of year may be inaccurate. Oh well.
Willow stood and let her sheets slide to the ground. She walked over to the foot of the bed and yanked the dress on over her head, leaving her shift on underneath. Walking over to the door that led to her bathroom, she opened it and went inside to brush her hair and rinse her teeth. She thought it was a shame that they didn’t have toothbrushes here, but life isn’t fair that way. My teeth’ll probably rot, Willow thought wryly.
A quiet knock came at the door.
“Who is it?” Willow called. Some habits, namely watching out for vampires, never break.
“Only me,” Nessa called from the other side of the door. The flaxen-haired elf was her best friend in this, what had she called it, Middle-earth. True enough, she had met others and was even traveling to far-off Gondor in a few days, but Nessa was the kindest, helping her when she had appeared here, lost and confused.
Willow had found out the second day of her stay here that her coming was not an accident. Apparently one of the younger elves, Larien Elensar, had tried out an old prayer and gotten…interesting results. Namely Willow.
Willow was all right with the arrangements, but she was worried what Buffy and the others would think or do when they found she had disappeared. She was assured by Lord Elrond himself that time in Willow’s universe moved much faster than in Middle-earth, so two days in Middle-earth is about a millisecond on Earth.
Meanwhile, Willow opened the door to see Nessa, flushed and smiling mysteriously.
“What is it?” Willow asked.
“Word has just come that there is to be celebrations at Minas Tirith, for the king has had an heir! I am coming with you when we go!”
Willow raised a hand to her forehead. Only last night, she had had a dream of the king. He had been holding a baby in his arms, weatherworn features alight with happiness.
“Willow?” Nessa asked anxiously.
“Oh, it’s nothing, I guess.” Willow lied. “I was just…worried about my friends back home.”
“Tell me about them.” Nessa led her over to the bed.
“Well, there’s Buffy, my best friend in the world, and Xander my other best friend. Then there’s Giles, and Dawn—and Tara. They don’t even know I’m missing yet. Probably still asleep.”
“Who are they? I mean, what are they like?”
“Buffy is—strong, and smart, and brave. And pretty. And kind. I guess everything in one. Xander’s funny, and I’ve known him since we were kids.”
“Children. Giles is like a father to everyone, and Dawn is so… sweet and perky. And Tara…” With a pang she remembered her lover, worlds away and not knowing she was gone. “I miss her so much. I love her, I love them all. And I could never forgive myself if they got themselves killed while I was gone.”
“They must care about you very much.”
“Yeah. Do you know what it’s like, to be so much in love you can’t stay away for a minute? Do you…you know, have anyone?”
“Yes, I’ve known love. But it is to me forever lost.”
“He…went away. To Valinor. And I will join him, once you are home.”
“But—I can’t keep you away from him! You have to go!”
“No, I want to see my friend safe. But you are comfortable here?” She asked anxiously, taking up one of Willow’s hands in her own.
“Yes! I feel—like I’ve been here my entire life. It’s so wonderful.” Willow walked over to the open window and looked down upon the forested valley. The hills rolled to the farthest point of the horizon. A silver river snaked through a gap in the hills. This was Imladris, home of the elves and one of the fairest cities in Middle-earth. Willow loved it. It was not too cold, being late August, to swim in the river, and Willow had done so, with Nessa and her other friend Aredhel. She had also talked with Lord Elrond, about her coming and her past. Feeling that Buffy wouldn’t mind, she had told him about the Slayer, but no one else, not even Nessa. They just wouldn't understand.