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"You're willing to let her go? Even after everything you've been through?" Giles asked as he stepped up behind his Slayer
If Buffy had been normal, Giles' sudden appearance would have startled her but thanks to the PTB's, she wasn't normal so his appearance was anything but sudden. "She doesn't remember us
, Giles. What else can I do?" Her eyes were glued to the red haired Scooby moving around the dance floor without a care in the world.
Giles moved out from behind Buffy and leaned against the railing beside her. "Perhaps if you spoke to her...." He trailed off as he watched one of the young men on the dance floor approach Willow, proposition her, and then smile wildly when he wasn't turned down. A creaking sound drew his attention back to his companion for the evening. Turning his head, he could see that Buffy's knuckles were white from her grip on the metal railing. "She doesn't understand what she's doing." He tried to defend the young hacker but his heart wasn't in it.
"That seems to be the answer for everything she does these days." Buffy hissed out, voice filled with pain and simmering anger. But as the sound of joy-filled laugher reached her ears, Buffy's anger deflated and she was left feeling a painful ache within her soul. "It isn't fair, Giles." She whispered as she turned her back to the dance floor, unable to watch any longer.
"No, it isn't." Giles agreed as he copied her movement. "But you must keep hope that she'll remember someday."
Buffy snorted and used the sleeve of her form-fitting black sweat shirt to wipe at her teary eyes. "When, Giles? When she's Tom Q. Normals wife and mother to their two point five kids?"
Giles was silent for a moment. "I wasn't aware that you could have half a child." He was trying to lighten the mood but was failing, dismally. "You're not even going to say goodbye to her, are you?"
"Wasn't planning on it." Buffy sniffled and looked up at her surrogate father. "It's just too hard, Giles. I can't pretend to just be her best friend. I can't listen to her talk about her latest boyfriend and all the things they did together. Because those talks will someday evolve into wedding dresses and bridesmaids and I just can't...." She trailed off and fell silent as her emotions threatened to consume her. "I can't be that person anymore because she grew up and fell in love with her best friend." She spun back around and searched the crowded dance floor for her former partner.
"How's Dawn handling all of this?" Giles kept his back to the railing.
Buffy snorted as she crossed her arms and rested them against the railing. " She isn't handling it at all, actually. She's locked herself in her room and will only talk to Andrew." She stopped searching when she wasn't able to find the red head. "Gone home with another one." She mumbled to herself not worried since Willow could take care of herself with or without the memories of the last four years.
Giles frowned. "If you hadn't killed that Chaos demon, I would have." He hissed out, darkly. His family was falling apart and there wasn't anything he could do about it. "Have you spoken to Kennedy since all of this happened? Xander? Faith?"
"I spoke to Kennedy two weeks ago when she called to check in. It's weird, you know? I never considered us close or even friends but she's been all....supportive....and stuff. I guess being a real Slayer has mellowed her out a bit." Buffy told him. "Xander's on assignment in Ireland, some little town is being terrorized by leprechauns, guess they are real after all, we're suppose to get together next week when he gets back. And I'm going to see Faith tonight when she picks me up. Jack managed to talk her into joining up as well."
"Captain Jack Harkness was always a charming bloke." Giles told her with a fond little smile.
Buffy turned her head to give him a look. "You knew him when you were Ripper, right? Because that would so explain the story he was telling me the other night. The one where you took off all your clothes and streaked through the streets of Cardiff because he called you a stuck up red coat. Do you think he was around to see an actual red coat because that be cool."
Giles felt a blush working it's way up his neck. "Yes, well...." He took his glasses off and began to polish them with his ever present hankie. Placing them back on his face, he sighed. "I can't say I'm too thrilled about the idea of you working for him, Buffy. What he and his team does is dangerous. Maybe more so than what we do."
"I'd say we're equally matched on the danger scale." Buffy shrugged off his concern, she could take care of herself. "I'll be alright, I'm Buffy Summers remember? The first slayer to live past twenty-two? Ringing any bells for you Watcher man?" She began to tap her foot to the German music blaring from the stage. The band wasn't bad, whoever they were.
"I just hope you took on this assignment for the right reasons and not because of what's going on with Willow." Giles raised his voice slightly to be heard over the rising noise in the club and gave her a stern look that clearly said that he knew her. "Just remember you have Dawn and Jordan to look out for, alright?"
Buffy cringed at the reminder. Some days she wished she hadn't grown up because her life was more confusing now than when she was a teenager just finding her feet in the whole Slayer game. "Dawn is an adult, Giles, as she is so fond of reminding me, when
she is talking to me. And Jordan....I hope she's young enough not to remember Willow. At least she looks like me because how would I explain red hair? Tell her she got it off her father
Giles raised an eyebrow. "You don't intend to tell her about her mother?" This surprised him because Buffy always expressed the desire for any child of hers to have the love of two parents not that there was anything wrong with just one.
"I'm her mother!" Buffy growled. "I
carried her for nine months. I
gave birth to her. She shares nothing
with Willow except a name." Her sudden wave of anger was gone as fast as it came. "I don't want her hurt, Giles. I'm
barely making it through this. Jordan doesn't need to know that pain when I can protect her from it so easily."
"It is your choice." Giles conceded. "Will I still be allowed to see her?"
Buffy nodded. "Everyone except
Willow. I don't need Jordan slipping and calling her mama, that would cause more problems than I could handle. At least she doesn't remember Jordan's our daughter. She just thinks she's mine. That makes things easier."
Giles sighed. "Perhaps." He turned to survey the crowded floor below the balcony where they were currently situated."Well, I wish you all the luck with your new career and remember that you'll all have a place here." He pulled the blonde Slayer into a hug, never wanting to let go.
"I'll miss you." Buffy wrapped her arms around the man she considered to be her father and basked in the feelings of warmth and safety he had to offer her. After a minute she pulled back. "I should be going. Jack wants us to report in bright and early so we can get to know Torchwood three." She pushed off the railing and began to push her way through the crowd, Giles following behind in her wake.
Unknown to either of them, Willow hadn't left the club, Nano, like Buffy had first thought. Instead, she had spotted Buffy and Giles on the balcony and moved off the dance floor to greet them. All thoughts of a greeting fell from mind as she overheard what they were talking about; she didn't mean to eavesdrop but the crowd had pushed her into a position where she could see and hear them but they couldn't see or hear her. Her frown grew as she listened to Buffy speak. Why hadn't anybody told her? Pain clouded her green eyes as a headache throbbed behind said eyes. Jordan? She knew that name. Clutching her head, she clawed her way through the murk and fuzz that the Chaos demon had left behind more than eight months ago. Jordan was her....oh my god!
By the time her eyes snapped open, Giles and Buffy were gone. Pushing her way back through the crowd she quickly made her way to the one and only exit. Fire hazard
, she thought briefly. Hadn't Buffy said something about Faith picking her up? When did Buffy and old Leather and Lace get so close? Not that they were enemies after the fall of Sunnydale or anything but they weren't buddy buddy either, were they?
She wondered in confusion and mild panic as memory after memory began to invade her mind. "Buffy!" She called out and stumbled, catching herself on the brick wall that made up the front of the club.
Buffy blinked as she looked up. Had somebody called her?
She looked around the crowded street and when she didn't see anyone, went back to waiting for Faith to arrive. Giles had already left, claiming a headache as an excuse to leave the jumping, hip, club but she knew that he just wanted to be alone to process everything.
Willow gritted her teeth as another stab of pain went through her head. What's happening to me?
"Buffy!" She called out again when she caught sight of her lover. Lover? When had that happened? That would explain Jordan being my daughter.
"Willow?" Buffy recognized the voice calling her name and quickly made her way toward it. Willow wasn't suppose to see her, dammit!
She wanted to stomp her foot in frustration. "Wil?" Pushing several people aside, she finally caught sight of her friend, in pain. "Wil!" She rushed to the crouched woman. "What's wrong?!"
"Why?" Willow lifted her head to look at Buffy. The pain wasn't so bad now but it still hurt. "Why....didn't....you....tell....me?" Her stomach felt queasy.
Buffy helped the Scooby up and managed to get her away from the most crowded area of the sidewalk. "Tell you what?"
Willow remembered it all by this point but the pain was making it hard for her to concentrate on just one memory. "You were gonna go away and take Jordan." She whispered.
"How?" Buffy eyed her friend. "Wil?" She questioned. "I got a new job so yeah I'm going to take my daughter with me."
daughter, Buffy. Ours
" With each passing second Willow's headache was fading. "Jordan Willow Summers is our little girl. We didn't decide on a name until she was placed in our arms. I picked Jordan after my grandmother who died in the Holocaust and you picked Willow after me. You said that way she'd have something of mine but she already did. I did a spell the night after you told me you went to the sperm bank and made a withdrawal. I wanted so much for you to be carrying my child that I made it happen. I made my case to Gaia and she made it happen. Jordan is ours
Buffy, in every sense of the word, and you were going to take her away." Tears filled her eyes. "That was
suppose to be a secret." She gave a watery laugh.
Buffy felt like the world came to a stand still. "You remember?" She asked in a whisper. "You remember us?" She had to know.
Willow nodded, her red hair falling in her face. "I remember everything, Buff, everything
. I remember me and Kennedy breaking up and you being there for me. I remember the night you told me that you loved me and I remember the day you proposed. I remember our hand fasting ceremony and Jordan's birth. I remember it all and I'm so sorry." She also remembered the last eight months of not remembering.
"You didn't know." Buffy wrapped her arms around her lover and breathed in the scent of her hair. It had been so long since she had been able to do this. "The Doctors wouldn't let me tell you, they were afraid you'd have a relapse and forget even more stuff. I was willing to have you just my friend if that meant you were still in my life."
"Then why are you leaving?" Willow asked in a small voice.
Buffy pulled back and gave her a sad smile. "Because I found myself falling in love with you all over again and it hurt that you didn't remember loving me at all."
Willow buried her face in Buffy's neck and placed a kiss there. "Don't leave." She whispered.
"I have to, Wil. I got a new job and I start tomorrow morning." Buffy stroked Willow's hair.
"Take me with you." Willow pleaded. She didn't want to lose the love of her life again.
Buffy smiled. "That I can do." She was content to crouch there on the sidewalk just holding the woman she loved.
And that's how Faith found them half an hour later when she arrived to pick Buffy up and take her home. "I'll be damned." She whispered as she leaned against the car and just watched the couple reconnect on the London sidewalk. After a while she grew bored, snuffed out her cigarette with her boot, and approached the couple who were starting to receive stares from the people moving to and from the club. "Time to go, B. Welcome back, Red." She helped Buffy steer the wobbly Willow to the car and drove them to their flat. After dropping them off she made a mental note to call Giles when she got home. He'd be thrilled to hear that his family was right once again.