FR13- for mild profanityWarning:
BtVS and Stargate SG1Word count:
Willow and Xander meet someone familiar at Jack's barbeque. NKotB companion fic.Timelines:
Set between chapters 10 & 11
of NKotB- the timelines for that are two years post season 7 for BtVS and late season 3 for SG.Feedback:
BtVS and Stargate belong to Mutant Enemy and MGM respectively.
She was nervous.
Everyone who knew to look for the signs had already guessed that she was, the wind chimes tinkled like fairies as a slight gust of unnatural wind whipped through the house; the breeze outside was almost nonexistent.
“It’s not that bad, Will,” Xander consoled carefully, “we’ll get to meet other kids, Jack said that Major Ferretti’s kids are about
Willow pointedly ignored him, blowing lightly through the bubble stick’s hoop; she watched as the thin film rounded into a bubble and finally pulled away from the plastic, “They’re older than us, way older than us.”
Her friend sighed, and she felt a little babyish; she wasn’t upset because the kids were older than them, that didn’t bother her at all; she hadn’t been feeling all that good for the last few hours; maybe it was because she was nervous.
She always got anxious when she had to meet strangers.
But meeting a load of people she didn’t know, and having it happen in a world where she and Xander’s only advantage was their equally-new friends didn’t sit well with her, “What if they don’t like us?”
He frowned at her, “Well, then they don’t like us- if we end up with another Cordy, at least we’ll have each other, and our new friends.”
Actually, having another Cordelia Chase in their lives had worried her a little.
But that was nothing compared to the thoughts that had been racing through her head for the last three or four hours, there were worse things besides another Cordy, “They’ve known each other longer, Xander. Remember when Susan tried to be friends with Harmony, Cordy and Aura?”
Xander gave her a vague expression, “No.”
Willow sighed, “It wasn’t that long ago, Xand! Remember? Cordy didn’t like Susan, but Harmony and Aura liked her...
Her friend shrugged, “It’s Cordy, they probably stopped being Susan’s friends because, otherwise, Cordy would have been mean.”
That was a good point.
Willow placed the pink container on the step below her and stared into the hoop, it had a shimmering film that fit snugly within the plastic, “Aren’t you a little scared that they’ll do the same to us, somehow?”
She blew through the hoop with a little more force than was necessary, the bubble winked and vanished before her eyes; disappeared, like their new friends would. She knew that she was probably being a little silly, but there was some part of her that was waiting for them act like...well, like grown-ups.
Xander glared at the hoop in her hands, “You made the bubble burst, that’s not how you do it right; here, let me try.”
A strange feeling of anger and resentment welled up in her stomach, his hands seemed to get bigger as they closed in on her plastic hoop; she pulled it away and shoved him backwards off the step; she watched as he fell on his butt, “I can do it right, I just didn’t want to; you didn’t answer my question, Xander Harris.”
Xander grimaced as he climbed to his feet, “I don’t want to answer your stupid question; it’s stupid. And don’t full-name me, it’s weird!”
Actually, if she’d full-named him she would have said ‘Alexander Harris’, but he pretended that his real name was Xander, she wanted to tease him about it- especially if he didn’t answer her question, “It’s not weird; besides, I didn’t full-name you.”
A shadow suddenly fell over them, blocking the sun’s heat; her first thought was that one of their new friends had heard them arguing and had come out to break them up, because it wouldn’t be nice to argue when they had guests coming over; her mom had always made her be on her best behaviour when she had her colleagues over.
Wondering if she was going to get scolded, Willow turned her head and looked up to the place where she thought one of their faces might be- but only saw empty air, she lowered her gaze and finally saw who it was.
The person wasn’t a grown-up, not really
, she was a girl; maybe several years older than them, she looked a little nervous, “Um... hi,” she said, eyeing them both warily.
She didn’t look like another Cordelia; for one thing, she wasn’t at all scary, and for another, the new girl had blonde hair... Cordy had brown.
Maybe Xander was right.
Willow turned back to look at him, and saw that he looked a little nervous too; maybe he was just as scared as she was about the barbeque and the new people; she gazed back up at the girl and noted that her blue eyes were flitting around, “Hi! Um... are you here for the barbeque?”
The girl nodded, looking a little surer of herself, “Yes, my dad is friends with Colonel O’Neill, they work together a-a lot.”
Willow nodded, finding her slight stammer sweet; she knew someone with a stammer, “You can play ‘bubbles’ with us, if you want.”
The girl smiled, and nodded, "Uh... sure," and looked for a place to sit on the steps.
“If Willow lets you,” muttered Xander, sulkily.
Willow glanced back around and saw him glaring at her, she sighed, wondering why she’d gotten so angry so suddenly, “Sorry, Xand... I won’t full-name you... I won’t even use your middle name?”
Xander looked a little less angry, “Good... stupid middle name.”
Glancing back, she saw that the girl looked confused, “Oh... Xander has a funny name, but he doesn’t like it when I tell people what it is.”
The blonde nodded, still looking perplexed, “What is it? Y-you know, pretend I didn't ask that.”
Xander glowered at Willow pointedly, she quickly decided that she wouldn’t betray his secret name; she had just pushed him over, after all- unfortunately that meant keeping it from the girl, and she was really nice.
Willow searched for something to say, “No, that's okay... the thing is, Xander doesn’t like the name because it’s kinda girl- um, well it’s not a great name... and we don’t let people know what it is... especially ‘cause I pushed him over, so I’m really not going to tell this time... but if we’re all friends for a long time, then I guess it’s okay to tell...”
That didn’t quite sound right.
“...Not that I don’t think we can be friends for a long time,” she babbled on, anxiously, “I...” a hand closed over her mouth, cutting off the stream of words.
Xander shook his head and looked at the girl mischievously, “That’s Willow-babble, you’ll get used to it after a while.”
Willow felt her face burn with embarrassment, and nodded; finally, Xander removed his hand, “If I start to babble again, just cover my mouth; otherwise...”
Xander smirked, “Otherwise, she won’t ever stop.”
The girl smiled, looking amused, “D-did you even breathe at all?”
Willow grinned sheepishly, “Don’t think so.”
The girl was really nice, and kinda funny too; she hoped that they got to be friends; even if she was older than them. They were probably going to stay where they were; so long as their new friends didn’t send them away after the barbeque, but maybe Xander was right.
Maybe she was being stupid.
“What’s your name?” Xander asked suddenly, shifting from foot to foot restlessly, “I’m Xander.”
“My name’s Tara,” she replied, voice a little stronger; she looked at Willow, “And you’re Willow, right?”
Willow nodded, there was a sudden feeling of familiarity; it had started when she’d first laid eyes on the girl, even before she’d introduced herself Willow kind of already guessed what her name was; maybe she knew the blonde...
The name hit her with the force of a truck, and repeated itself within her mind over and over again; she’d known the girl, she must have known her back home; but she’d never played with her in Kindergarten... maybe they used to live near each other back home, and had seen each other every day...
Yes, Willow had just seen the girl a lot... she had thought that she’d looked familiar.
Besides, her last name probably wasn’t even Maclay.
Willow looked at the blonde, trying to see if it was; she was surprised to see the girl glaring at her friend with a mixture of confusion and anger, “What’s wrong?”
Tara looked down, “My name’s Tara Ferretti, not Maclay.”
See, her name wasn’t Maclay.
Xander cocked his head, perplexed; he opened his mouth but was cut-off.
They towards the source of the voice and saw man, his reddish-blonde head was poking through the door; he looked at the three of them in turn and smirked, “Louis says to get your ass to the barbeque pronto, or there won’t be any more food left.”
Tara frowned at him, “No, he d-didn’t... he doesn’t use swear words around us- and I’ll bet there’s plenty of food still th-there...a-and don't call h-him ‘Louis’!”
The man rolled his eyes, “Whatever, you and your baby friends should move anyhow.”
With that said, he stomped off out of their sights.
Willow bristled at the rude tone of the older teen, she didn’t like him very much, “What a mean boy! Is he your brother?”
Tara nodded, still looking upset, “That’s Donny, he’s nineteen so he's not as old as he likes to believe, I'm a few years younger... he’s quite friendly most of the time... I guess something's annoyed him.”
Xander stood up, and scratched his head, “Oh...Hey, he said a bad word... and, Tara- why did he call your dad ‘Louis’? He’s your brother, right?”
The three of them rose to their feet and started walking towards the door, Tara had an awkward look on her face, “Well, actually; Donny and I are adopted... about nine years ago we got taken away from our other dad.”
Willow frowned, “Why?”
Tara looked down again, her hair fell like a curtain over her face, “He isn’t a nice man, but I don’t remember that much about him.”
She must have been rather young to not be able to remember her dad, or maybe she wanted to forget... she guessed that was a good thing; if her dad wasn’t nice... Xander’s wasn’t either. Tara tucked her hair behind her ears, out of her face; a familiar gesture.
“So, your name used to be Maclay?” Xander asked, knowingly.
Tara nodded, looking as if she was considering something; then she shook her head and stepped through the door after them; a smile suddenly lit up her face, “Hi, Dad; Donny said that all the food would be gone.”
Jack stepped out of the kitchen, holding a barbeque fork, “Nah, there’s plenty of food, right Lou?”
The man nodded, holding up a burger, “Plenty. Don’t you always go believing everything Donny says, the number of tales he makes up would fill a novel.”
He winked at her, as she nodded.
Willow looked around and saw Daniel, he was talking with Teal’c... or talking to Teal’c; Daniel was doing most of the talking, something that didn’t really surprise her, the man was pretty quiet. She turned and saw that Xander was looking at her, “What?”
Xander smirked, “Told ya it would be okay.”
Willow agreed silently, and felt her face split into a wide smile as she saw Sam wander out of the kitchen from behind Jack, “I’m gonna talk to Sam.”
“Will that mean brain-talk?” he asked hesitantly.
Willow just grinned, and nodded, “Probably.”
Xander grimaced, “I’ll pass; I don’t want my head to explode.”
As Sam drew up to them, Xander walked towards Jack; leaving Willow to beam up at her; wanting to tell her without the noise, she took the woman’s hand and pulled her away towards the door they’d she’d previously came through, “Guess what?”
“What?” Sam sounded amused, she knelt down to her level so that Willow didn’t get a stiff neck, “Or do I have to really guess?”
Willow shook her head, and laughed, “No, that’s okay; I’ll let you.”
Sam looked interested, and leaned in when Willow started in a secretive whisper, “I made a new friend.”
“Really,” she sounded pleased, “she nice?”
As if she’d be friends with her if Tara wasn’t nice!
“Yes,” she nodded, “Her name’s Tara, and she’s blonde, and she has a mean brother, and her daddy works with Jack-
Sam was going to need to cover her mouth.