I Try to Avoid Looking Forward or Backward
April 22, 2005 7:07 PM
Willow had pretty much been avoiding everyone for weeks. Well, as much as she could. She'd started seeing the coven again. She had not seen Andromeda or Nessa or even Augusta. It had mostly been Irulan. Things were tough, but she was pushing through.
It was not much of a shock to find Buffy sitting in her rooms. She had been very avoid-y.
Buffy was waiting for Willow in her rooms. It was impossible to catch her friend anywhere else, and she guess that Willow at least came in here to sleep. She was sitting on the counter in the small kitchenette and sipping out of a juicebox.
Willow walked in right at the end of her juicebox and Buffy made a face when she slurped the last of the drink. "My juicebox is empty. Damn it."
"There's more in the fridge. You can have another."
Willow didn't know why she felt so awkward and uncomfortable around Buffy now. This was her best friend. She'd been there for the worst and had still stayed her friend. Perhaps it was the fact that Xander was not around. He was always good at mediating the two of them when there was tension.
"I've cleaned you out," she replied tossing the drink box into the trash along with the others. She'd been waiting a while. "I've also cleaned out every single excuse I could come up with on why you're trying to avoid me. So I'm going to wait here until you explain it to me."
Willow looked away. "Well, maybe I can't explain it."
From the look on Buffy's face that response was unacceptable.
"I scared people. You saw what happened. What if I go nuts and try to end the world again?"
"I already told you I'm not going to let that happen. Stop avoiding me and I'll help you get through this."
"I should be able to control myself, Buffy. I don't know if I can. I think it's just better if I keep my distance."
Buffy crossed her arms. "That's one of the more stupid things you ever said." Before Willow could protest, she took a step forward. "No, do you remember how we almost didn't defeat Adam because we fought with each other and didn't talk? We pulled through at the last minute. You, me, Giles, and Xander. I know we're all pulled in different directions right now, but we're still a team and if you don't talk to us, we'll all fall apart."
"I can't right now, Buffy. I don't know what there is to talk about because I don't exactly know what's going on. I do know this, though. It's easier for me to control myself when I am not around the people I am close to."
"I don't even want to pretend that I know what's going on, Wills," Buffy said after a moment. "I don't get the magic stuff and I never will, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to worry. I hate, I hate
that I can't be there to help you, but can you at least tell me you're going through a rough patch? I don't like being left in the dark."
"Buffy, I think my releasing the essence of the slayer is having side effects. I can feel you... all of you. Now people I am emotionally attached to, I adopt their emotions when I am standing near them. I'm losing me."
Buffy fidgeted a few moments, biting her lip and picking at her shirt sleeve. "Do you think you have enough control for a hug?"
"Of course I do," Willow said, hugging her. "I'm working with the coven again. I'll get better. It will be all right. I'm just on shaky ground right now, Buffy."
She held her friend tightly. Sometimes things felt too overwhelming, and for a moment she would consider what would have happened if they hadn't started this training center and the new council, but Buffy couldn't leave girls to fend for themselves and squashed the thought.
"Well I hope you get un-shaky soon. These slayers are running me into the ground. Since Mac and Kasie got to go on their own spree, the little babies think they can go running off. We seriously need a healer or something, because I'm tired of hearing that the slayers are getting hurt."
"I know. I've been looking into it. I might have to enlist Hannah. No one wants to deal with us, and I think a wizard healer might be the better way to go. No explanations. I haven't really had time to do much. Giles hired a wizarding guy. Old and sorta scary. I haven;t met him, but with a nickname like Mad-Eye it's got to be interesting."
Buffy looked at Willow strangely. "Giles hired an old guy whose nick name is Mad-Eye? It sounds like the guy is a pedophile or something. Watch your backs, girls, Mad-Eye is coming!"
"He's dangerous. Draco is slightly unnerved by him, and Draco isn't frightened of many things. Hold on."
Willow grabbed her laptop and started a search.
"Oh. Oh, Buffy. Come look. I think this Mad-Eye Moody guy might be a little helpful."
Buffy walked over and stood behind Willow. "Yech. Helpful in what way? Is that a wooden leg?"
"Not that part, Buffy," Willow said, pointing. "This part."
Willow pointed to the section on the site where it talked about how many dark wizards he had brought in.
"Oh," Buffy said, leaning in closer to take a good look. "Oh
. He's like the supercop of the magic world. How did Giles get him?"
"Maybe they knew one another before? We could always ask. Or I could ask Andromeda. She knows everyone."
Buffy smirked. "You know, I need to talk to Giles' girlfriend whenever someone's not nearly dying. I have no clue when that'll be, but I consider it my duty. Maybe she can give up the dirt on this Mad Eye dude."
"Buffy, you have to be nice to Andy," Willow said. "Keep in mind that she let me stay with her during that one summer when I was messed up. And she's Draco's aunt, and she's scarier than she looks."
"And she's dating Giles. It's tradition, Willow. We can't deny tradition."
"Buffy, I've seen her mad. Don't make her mad, okay?"
The slayer pouted. "You're sucking all the fun out of my significant other torture. Fun sucker."
"I'm not sucking the fun. I'm not sucking anything right now. You know Giles didn't make things difficult when you had your Draco thing."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "There was no Draco thing." She stopped, suddenly realized that Giles hadn't
made a fuss. "Hey, why didn't my not-boyfriend get a shovel speech? Do I not rate shovel speeches anymore?"
"I gave him the shovel speech."
She smiled at Willow. "Well thank you." Buffy sighed heavily. "So can we agree that you will tell me you're having a rough patch in return for me not shovel-speeching Giles' girlfriend?"
"Fine. Though I think you should at least threaten Andromeda. Just don't be too graphic. She speaks that language. I think a mild threat might make her feel welcome. You know, provided you like her. Which and marvel at this, she has a grandson who's six or seven or something like that now."
A snort escaped before Buffy could hold it back. "There's a possibility for Grandpa Giles?" She started snickering.
"I've never seen anyone look less like a grandma. Except for maybe Mac's grandma. Now she's one you don't want to threaten. She might hit you with her cane."
"Well if she's anything like her granddaughter, I think I'll do without the massive bruise on my head that would come about threatening her." That thought led to another in her head. "By the way, I was thinking of getting Kasie into that acquisition stuff we talked about. After that last fight, I can tell she's getting restless. Has Oz mentioned it to you?"
"I haven't talked to Oz since then," Willow said awkwardly, looking away.
She wasn't going to push it, but there would definitely be some chats with Giles after this little meeting about Willow's problem. "I'll talk to him then. Do you want to talk to Kasie with me? She seems to like you, although I think she likes you more because you magically toss her in the air for kicks."
Willow wanted to say no, but she knew Buffy would get irritated about that. "Um, ok. I suppose we should give Kasie more stuff to do. She's better when she has projects. She seemed more clear when she and Mac were working with Oz to plan the take down of, what did she call him? Fancy Pants."
Buffy snorted. "I'll ask Giles if he has things at the top of the list he'd like her to snatch while we're out on a hunting trip." She gave Willow another hug. "Remember that even if you can't be around me, you have to at least let me know how you're doing, even if it's not good. Okay?"