She didn’t talk to anyone or look at anyone as she came in. Willow kept her head down and walked straight to her room. Then she locked the door behind her, breathing heavily. The silence she felt without the essence of the slayer was deafening. Willow laid down on her bed and grabbed the corner of her comforter and pulled it around her. Xander hadn’t come with her. He said he had a few things to take care of before he moved back permanently. She felt very much alone and not safe like she had felt in the bubble that existed in Snape’s home.
When Willow walked past her, Anya thought for a moment that perhaps it hadn’t been Willow. She wasn’t bubbly or talking to anyway. But no, it was Willow. Perfect timing.
Anya quickly went to her desk, grabbed some papers, and walked back to Willow’s room. She knocked quickly. “Willow? It’s me. Anya.” She waited at the door a moment, but heard no sound on the other side. She frowned. “Willow. It’s Anya.”
She knocked again, paused, then knocked louder. With a huff, she began to knock steadily and was resigned to do so until someone opened the door. “I’m trying to be nice and not pound on the door, but I can kick it down, you know. All I need you to do is sign some papers!”
Willow didn’t say anything. She just got up, unlocked the door then walked right back to the bed and laid back down. She heard Anya come in but didn’t look at her. She just didn’t want to deal with anyone right now.
The witch obviously missed her holding out the papers and a pen, because Willow walked right back to her bed. “Um,” Anya said after a moment. She began to shake the papers. “Here. Sign. Why did you go all the way back there?”
“Because I’m tired. Do those have to be signed right now?”
Anya looked down at the papers and then back at Willow. She was tired? Anya had a job to do! “I’m not asking you to run a marathon, Willow. Just sign the damn papers.”
“Anya, I just got back. In case you missed it, I went a little off the rails.”
She gave her a look, but could tell Anya would not be put off until Willow signed the papers. She sighed and held out her hand for them. Best to just do it and get Anya out of here.
Anya snorted when she handed over the papers. “A little? You let out a scream that sounded like someone electrocuted a banshee. I heard that the first time you did it back in Sunnydale. A little off the rails is oops, accidentally botched some memories for my own gain
. This was die, die, die
.” She paused for a moment and watched as Willow’s signatures got angrier. “Did you skin anyone alive this time?”
“No,” Willow shouted, shoving the papers at Anya and hitting her slightly. “I didn’t.”
She felt the darkness swell in her but told it to back the hell off. She was not doing that again. This did not control her. And then Willow realized something - she was in control. She was completely in control of her magic and her body right now.
“Anya, you just pissed me off,” Willow said with wonder. “And look at you, all with your skin still on.”
“It was an honest question!” she said defensively, organizing the papers again. “You don’t have to mock me for it.”
“I’m not. Anya, I lost my temper with you just now, and I didn’t go all veiny. Don’t you see? I can do this.” Willow jumped forward and grabbed Anya’s arms in excitement. “I can do this!”
Her eyes were very wide. “You’re grabbing me and shaking me around. Are you positive?”
“Yes,” Willow said then hugged her tightly.
Anya tried to pat Willow on the back, but the witch had her arms locked around her so tightly, she could only move her arms at the elbows. “Well, then. I’m glad. I’ll have more papers for you to sign and hopefully, you won’t throw them at me this time.”
Willow just kept hugging Anya. “I’m sorry if I worried you.”
“You speak in past tense. We have not moved past the worrying.” She made a face. “I’ve told you before that I won’t have sex with you, Willow.”
“What?” Willow said, pulling back. “I don’t... oh because of the hugging. Anya, just because I’m hugging you doesn’t mean I want to jump your bones.”
“I understand that,” Anya replied after a moment. “But you kept hugging me. Since I neither brought you a present nor do I need to be comforted in any way, the hug extended far beyond friendly territory.”
“I will remember to put a time limit on my hugs. Hey, maybe you could carry around a timer and set limits, so when it beeps people know they have to end their hugs?”
Anya didn’t know it, but she had improved Willow’s mood tenfold by visiting today and acting like Willow needed to get off her ass and do some work - because Anya was right. Willow had work to do. She had been selfish and self-pitying and a general pain in the backside when she should have been stepping up.
“Now you’re just being facetious. You are the only one I have this problem with.” Anya finished arranging her papers. “Well, except Alice. She’s decided to be hug happy with everyone lately. Who knows what is going on in that girl’s head.”
“I wasn’t trying to be facetious. I was making a joke. You know you’re too literal sometimes, Anya, but it’s nice, and Alice never hugged her watcher, so she doesn’t want to lose anyone else without having hugged them at least once. Not that stuffy George Bunting was prowling for hugs.”
That much Willow knew from before her connection to the slayers had been cut off.
Anya shook her head. “Strange. Well, if you are no longer in a sulky mood, I have more things for you to sign and I need the next order for Mac’s giant boyfriend. A slayer spilled a drink on the next supply list before I could get it approved.”
“I wasn’t sulking.”
Anya gave her a look.
“Fine,” Willow said with a sigh. “Bring me the things I need to sign.”