Title: Whispers in the Forest
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Disclaimer: Don't own anyone.
Summary: Response to the Quickie Challenge, Pairing #111.
The forest was always quiet. The sun would waft in through
the trees, casting strange patterns of shadow and light on the forest
floor. Birds fluttered about, singing their songs in an almost
hushed manner. It was tranquil and peaceful, like nothing she was
used to. She loved it here.
Now if only it weren't so cold.
Willow Rosenburg shivered, pulling her winter jacket closer
to her body while blowing warm air into her palms. Her fingers were
starting to feel a bit icy and she just knew that her nose was all
red from the cold. Well, serves her right for sitting in an English
forest in the middle of December. But it didn't really matter all
that much anyway, she wanted to be out here. Being cold was a small
price to pay for such peace.
It was Christmas Day, she knew that much. Giles was up at
his house, probably debating whether or not to come and get her. He
would, eventually, but for now, she had the entire forest to herself.
Maybe she could catch another glimpse of HIM.
It was bordering on obsession, her need to see him. But
after that first time, she had been hooked. He was so beautiful,
looking unlike anything she had ever seen before in her life. She
had been sitting in this exact spot when it happened. She looked up
and into his blue eyes and nearly fell over. By the time she
scrambled to her feet, he was long gone.
She had been so excited, the first time in a long time. She
had rushed back to Giles, telling him all about the creature she had
seen in the forest. Giles had been astounded, but that had mostly to
do with her sudden outburst than her discovery. She supposed she was
keeping to herself a bit much, but it hurt too much to even try to
talk to others at times. Quiet was much better, and she had been
almost completely silent since Giles had brought her to his house in
But that had been thrown out the window when she saw him.
Tall, with long blonde hair, dressed in greens that brought out his
fair skin. His blue eyes were amazingly clear and his features so
defined and breathtaking. He had this bow slung around his
shoulders. It had been so incredibly startling; she just didn't know
where to begin.
Giles had followed her down to the forest, but they found no
trace of him. She went back everyday, hoping to catch a glimpse of
him again. But it had been so long, two months; she couldn't help
but wonder if she had made him up. Giles probably thought she had
imagined the whole thing, but she couldn't accept that. She needed
to see him again, to verify that she wasn't having delusions. She
didn't want to be that far gone.
But she hadn't seen anything of him since that one day. She
leaned back against the tree behind her, sighing unhappily. Her
green eyes traveled over the landscape, idly wondering if she should
just head back already. The cold was getting to be a bit much. Snow
was starting to fall again and staying out here would just result in
one Willowy Popsicle.
She stood, taking a moment to enjoy the snowflakes falling
around her. She stretched out a palm, letting a few gather and melt
away there. She smiled faintly to herself. That was one thing she
had always disliked about good old Southern California. No snow, not
even during Christmas. Of course, there was that one incident during
her senior year, but that was really more of a divine intervention
thing than anything else.
She remembered the sheer amount of fun they all had that
day. Rushing about in the snow, acting like children. Angel,
standing there and laughing with them. Even Xander didn't protest to
having him there, knowing the whole thing was of bigger significance
for Buffy and the vampire. God, how they had played that day. She
almost wished she could go back to those times when she was a whole
lot more innocent.
But there was no going back. And giving the idea more
thought, it wasn't really all that appealing either. She had grown
up a lot since those days, too much to ever really want to go back.
Besides, going back would mean never meeting Tara. And she didn't
want to let that go, Tara had been too important.
She sighed again, wiping her palm on her pant leg before
turning to head back to the house. Giles would be coming to get her
soon; no doubt the snow would make him worry for her. Best to get
back fast, sit down at the dinner he had set out, and pretend to act
a bit like the Willow her friends had known. She could give them
that much during the holidays.
"You always look so sad."
She froze in her tracks, eyes going wide and heart rate
picking up. She turned slowly, eyes searching for the source of the
voice. And then there he was, leaning against the tree she had just
left. Her breath caught in her throat as she got a good look at
him. Just like she remembered, blonde hair, blue eyes, and bow. He
was looking at her with concern in those blue eyes, tilting his head
slightly, which allowed her to get a good look at his ears.
Pointy ears. Why wasn't she surprised?
"You always look so sad," he repeated, not moving from his
spot. "Why is that?"
"I don't know," she stuttered, shaking her head a few times
before looking up as if to verify he was actually there.
Dumbfounded, and really with no clue as to what to do, she ventured a
step closer. He didn't seem to mind, so she braved another. And
another and another until she was standing right in front of him.
She gazed upon him in wonder, eyes going over his features,
straying on the ears more often than not. He allowed, standing
perfectly still while she looked him over.
"What are you?" she managed to whisper, regaining her voice.
He smiled at her, something that was halfway between a smirk and a
grin, before replying.
"Elf?" she repeated, eyebrows arched and voice heavy with
disbelief. He only smiled that smile again and nodded.
Probably not the most intelligent thing to say, but she
couldn't come up with much else right now. Her eyes strayed back to
his ears and she felt the insane urge to touch them, just to make
sure they were real. That this wasn't some sort of delusion or prank.
"You never answered my question," he stated, interrupting her
thoughts again. "Why are you always sad?"
"I'm not always sad," she muttered defensively. "Just most
of the time. And how do you know anyway?"
"You've come to these woods everyday for the past two
months," he reminded her. "And you have been in them many times
before that. I have seen you."
She was really going to have to stop saying that.
"Why?" he pressed.
She shrugged, eyes going downcast as she thought over her
"I lost the one I love," she offered in explanation. "And
then I did horrible things out of grief. Unforgivable things."
"Nothing is unforgivable," he interrupted. "Because if
someone wants to make amends, it shows they are redeemable. No,
seeing something as unforgivable only means you will not forgive
"That's pretty deep," she murmured, eyeing him
suspiciously. "But you don't know the whole story."
"But isn't that why you seek me?" he returned easily. "I
know nothing of what you did. I only see your remorse, your guilt,
and your pain. I have everything I need to judge you impartially.
Isn't that what you wanted?"
Her mouth failed her again. She opened it, trying to get
words out, but only a few sighs came out. Her mind raced, thinking
over the things he said. Why did she seek him out? Was there any
good reason for her obsession with him as of late? She looked hard
into herself for a moment, biting her lip as she thought it over.
Sighing, she raised sad eyes to him and gave the only answer she had
"I seek you because you are beautiful," she finally
answered. "And if I am blessed enough to see something so beautiful,
than maybe there is someone out there who wants to save me."
"Maybe you do not need saving," he shrugged. "Maybe you just
need to move on."
She gave a bitter laugh.
"Easier said than done," she muttered sadly.
"Why?" he demanded, a frown on his face. "You are mortal and
your time here on this earth very short. Why should you spend it
bogged down in hatred and self-loathing? Isn't the point of life to
live while you can?"
"You say these things, but you don't understand how hard it
is," she threw back at him, tears threatening in her eyes. "It's
just too hard!"
"It's really not," he whispered to her, hand going to cup her
cheek. She looked up at him mutinously, to which he only smiled
again. He descended on her then, sweet lips covering her own. She
gave a little sob, arms going around him and crushing herself against
him. He held her while they kissed, her tears staining both their
faces while his closeness brought her some warmth.
She jerked apart from him, sniffling as she turned to look
behind her. Giles had come looking for her. She turned back to him,
eyes sad and confused. He only laughed, kissing her lightly once
more before releasing.
"Come back to these woods my darling Willow," he invited. "I
will always be willing to see you. Together we can get you past this
"And if we can't?" she asked. He smiled.
"We will," he promised, walking back into the trees. "It
might take a while, but we will. But don't worry, I have all the
time in the world for you my sweet lady."
"But why?" she asked, tears spilling down her cheeks once
more. He turned, looking back at her with those beautiful blue eyes
of his again.
"Because you need it," he replied simply. "And I want to."
"I don't even know your name," she laughed, wiping tears from
her face. He smiled at that smile again and turned away to disappear
into the forest. His voice came wafting over his shoulder, warming
her entire being.
"My name is Legolas. I will see you again."
And then, he was gone, not a trace of him left. She stood
there for a moment, peering into the space she had seen him last.
Another cry from Giles startled her. The redhead turned, shivering
in the sudden cold of the forest. With one last look behind her, she
made her way to where Giles was searching. Her heart felt lighter
than it had in months and for once, she was looking forward to what
was to come.
Things were looking up.
The Quickie Challenge: