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Life As She Knows It

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Summary: When the Potentials are called the PTB change the world to one where they won't be "freaks" for having powers. Problem is, not all the Scoobies agree on the course of action, causing Willow to make a choice that will affect everyone on the planet.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Willow-CenteredalltherealiceFR1513,179182,4193 Apr 043 Apr 04No
Disclaimer: All characters and situations that you recognize as belonging in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, belong to Joss Whedon. All characters and situations that you recognize as belonging in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series belongs to Laurell K. Hamilton.

Background: When Buffy and the gang defeated the First, and Willow brought forth the powers of the Slayers in Training, the world changed to accommodate this change. They entire world changed to one that knew of Vampires and werewolves, a world where they were mainstream and tourist attractions. Slayers are climbing out the woodwork everywhere you look, but the world isn't quite up to date on them yet. Only those in the core group of BtVS and AtS remember what it was like before. (So characters that were around for more than half a season)

-After the finale in Buffy.

-S5 in Angel, Spike is there, Cordelia is dead, but after that no other episodes have occurred.

-After Blue Moon in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, Anita is still dating Jean Claude and Richard, but Richard is trying to convince her to choose one of them by trying to make her jealous by dating others.

AN: BtVS vampires became like Jean Claude and Asher, only those kinds of vampires turn to dust when killed. The more mature Slayers who have an understanding of their power are official executioners, and they train the younger ones. Demons are their main prey now, as they aren't protected by law. Their are BtVS demons, also there are AB style demons, but those are rare. Angel and Spike stayed like they BtVS vampires though, because there was a loophole because they were around during the final battle.

---Life As She Knows It

She awoke to a hard rapping on the front door of her apartment. Actually by the time the sound got to Willow, she was buried under pillows, and blankets, and sheets with a closed door between her and the front door. The sound was very faint. But Willow, what with her having to go out of town at least twice a month to recruit some new Slayer, and the fact that her new world gave her nightmares, a peaceful nights of sleep like she was currently experiencing, didn't come about very often.

"Go'way" Willow muttered to her pillow, one hand was working it's way out of the blankets, sheets, and other assorted bed paraphernalia to wave absently at the door. The bedroom door apparently did not convey to its brother door, because the pounding only increased. They were probably having another fight. B.D. (bedroom door) was jealous that F.D (front door) got all the attention whenever people came over to visit. F.D. was jealous of B.D. because he got to see the bedroom stuff. B.D. smug over the fact that F.D. was jealous of him, happened to forget mentioning that a whole lot of nothing had been going on in the bedroom lately. That is if you didn't count the particularly nasty bought of flu that had taken over Willow two months prior, as a bedroom activity.

Willow frowned into her pillow, and contemplated maybe "accidentally" teleporting her inconsiderate visitors to some nasty place, but ultimately decided against it, because she would’ve had to get out of bed anyway to go and touch them, as physical contact was pertinent to a successful teleportation. As this was an example of a no win situation, Willow pulled herself out of bed and walked towards the front of her apartment. She forgot to open B.D. before she left her room, which hampered her leaving of the room a bit, but it woke her up with the blinding pain in the forehead thing.

She made it to her front door otherwise unscathed and opened it a crack, only to find urgent looks on the faces of three slayers. One of whom was her ex-girlfriend Kennedy. She quickly opened the door, and they stumbled in, Kennedy, who wasn't wearing shirt for some reason, and another Slayer named Shelly were supporting a third girl whose name Willow couldn't recall. Nameless girl looked very faint, and was holding something to her neck.

"Lily got bit. It was her first execution, she freaked and forgot the basics, he drained her pretty good, but we got 'im." Shelly explained in a rush, laying formerly nameless girl on Willow's couch.

"Why is she here then?" Willow demanded, grabbing up the phone and dialing 911. "She needs to be in the hospital." While it was ringing she turned her attention briefly back to the girls on her couch as the phone rang, "Keep it tight on her neck." Running a nervous hand through her hair, she spoke quickly when the operator finally picked up, "Apartment 5B, Woolvine Road, Cleveland. I have someone here with major blood loss. Vampire bite. We need an ambulance." Willow hung up the phone instead of doing as they directed and staying on the line. She threw the phone at Kennedy who fumbled with it, but got control over it, "Call Buffy. Tell her what’s going on."

"We already tried Buffy. Nobody answered." Kennedy explained, for once she wasn't rushing in to save the day. She was hovering near the door, watching the younger Slayers, her charges, one of whom was dying on Willow's couch. The other was freaking out and forgot all the medical training she had received a year before when she had been a lifeguard, as she tried to keep her friend alive.

"Then call Xander!" Willow snapped, turning around briefly so she was looking at Kennedy. Kennedy nodded briskly and punched in a number, her voice faded into the background as she retreated to the kitchen.

Willow stood over the pair on the couch, observing what was going on, directing where she could, "Your gonna strangle her, Shelly. Firmly, but not Slayer firmly. Okay?" Willow's tone gentled as she talked to the obviously spooked Shelly. Shelly nodded and lightened her touch. Willow smiled gently at Lily who was pale, but managing to stay conscious. "Good girl. You're gonna be fine. I promise." Sitting next to her on the couch she replaced Shelly's hand with her own, and whispered a spell to slow the bleeding, "You just need to stay with us OK Lily?"

Lily managed a nod through the haziness overtaking her due to blood loss, but she was trying her hardest to fulfill Willow's request. Willow, according to all the other girls, was their goddess. She was their protector. She looked after the girls. They were around because of her. Lily turned into the hand Willow had smoothed over her cheek, as she passed her some energy to keep conscious. "Your going to be fine. You have to be so Buffy can kick your butt for not remembering your drills." Willow smiled conspiratorially, which made Lily positive she would be fine, just a little anemic, after all, who would joke if it was that serious?

---

"How could you do something so stupid?" Willow demanded of the two girls who were hunched over in their chairs in the hospital waiting room. "She's dying and you bring her to me?"

"We thought that you could magic her better." Shelly muttered looking at the floor. Her head swung up and her gaze locked directly on the glowering witch standing over her and Kennedy's chairs, "And you did. I heard you say some spells, and she seemed a lot better by the time the ambulance got there." Her head ducked again at the glare Willow turned full force on her at her words.

"If witches could magic blood out of nothing than we wouldn't have to kill things for sacrifices." Willow snapped not bothering to soften her tone or her words, the way she usually did when she was talking to the newly called slayers.

Sighing Willow turned and sat in the empty chair next to Kennedy. She rubbed her forehead and closed her eyes briefly, before looking down at the floor as well. She noticed she wasn't wearing shoes. She had been in such a rush when the ambulance arrived that she had just climbed in with Lily, leaving Kennedy and Shelly behind to wait for Xander to pick them up. She was glad the hospital didn't have a no shoe's, no service rule, like convenience stores. She remembered that Kennedy wasn't wearing a shirt, and snickered at the thought that they wouldn't be able to go into a Circle K. She sobered quickly though, remembering where they were. The emergency waiting room was surprisingly empty. You always expected them to be filled to the seams like the show, ER, would have you believe. She'd also been too preoccupied with Lily to notice whether any of the nurses or doctors where as good looking as they were portrayed on TV. She had a feeling they weren't.

Instead of finding out where the medical staff ranked on the chart of prettiness, Willow stared at the door Xander had disappeared into. He was listed as next of kin for most of the slayers. Legally he was guardian for a lot of the young-uns who ended up staying with them. She focused her attention on willing Xander to appear in the doorway, bringing them good news on Lily's health. Things didn't happen that way, unfortunately. She stared at the door for a good twenty minutes before he finally appeared, jerking his head at her in a signal for her to come to him.

She hurried over and he silently shook his head, "The doctors said that it was too late, she lost too much blood initially. He didn't so much drain her as he ripped her neck open." He sighed and leaned towards Willow, his arms starting to stretch out to pull her into a hug, but she stepped back, quickly leaving him to jerk back into an upright position. "What I gathered from the girls on the ride over was that Lily got too close. He grabbed her, he was supposed to be asleep, and he bit her. Both of them went after him, so she was bleeding on the floor for awhile before he was dusted. And then they went to your house. Why I don't know."

"Because they're stupid." She muttered under her breath before walking back over to the two girls who still sitting in the same position they had been in when she was lecturing them. "Lily's dead. You killed her with your quick thinking." Shelly began to cry immediately as Willow knew she would have, Kennedy looked like she wanted to hit something, probably Willow, but she settled for pulling Shelly to her in a hug.

Willow felt herself be yanked back over to the wall she had been standing at with Xander. He spun her around so she was facing him directly, his good eye squinted up as he glared at her, "Don't you think that was a little harsh?"

"No." She said defensively.

"Well I do." Xander snapped back, his face softened slightly before he continued, "They're just kids. Sure they're supposed to save the world, but they still have a long way to grow up. Kids make mistakes occasionally. We've all made our own share of mistakes in the past, remember Willow?"

"Jesus Christ Xander! This is not a mistake like forgetting a homework assignment or missing your curfew. This is someone’s life. A life that ended way too early, and as harsh as it sounds, it's their fault." Willow hissed at him, pointing her finger across the room at the chairs.

"Actually Willow, it was a vampire's fault. He drained the girl. They did their job." He shrank back slightly at the glare she was sending him but continued, "Willow, we discussed this, the Slayer's need to be trained. As hard as it is for them, this is their destiny. And this destiny comes with risks, they know that."

Willow looked at her best friend, barely recognizing him. After he lost his eye he had bounced back to being the same old Xander. After the battle and the death of Anya, he had been fine at first. Then when everything changed, he'd begun to change as well. Their new world disgusted him, the new rules made him physically sick, as it had all of them at least once.

He'd taken it upon himself to be the poster boy for their organization. When Willow found a new Slayer, Xander would be the first to volunteer to recruit, despite the eye patch, people still took to Xander when he went into comforting mode. Parents trusted him and the spiel that he and Buffy had worked on to get them to hand over their daughters. It was amazing how easy it was to convince people what was best for their children’s well being. Willow knew why Xander did it, he wanted them to have every advantage they possibly could have in the fight. He wanted vampires gone, not "useful members of society" with all the new Slayers about it made his dream more possible. If they should lose someone in the ensuing battle, even if those battles were technically court appointed executions, so be it. As long as the bottom line was that the bad guy died right along with the good.

Willow moved further away from Xander before shaking her head and heading for the double doors that would release her from the ER. "Willow, you can't go yet. The cops will be here soon. Standard for a vampire bite."

---

"So why was Miss Chester brought to you and not a hospital?" The detective, a bored looking man with a buzz cut, asked, glancing up at her for a second before writing something on his notepad.

Willow shrugged before answering, "Because they're little girls who were scared, and they thought I could help."

"Isn't one of them a licensed Vampire Executioner?" He questioned, the fact that a woman who was barely more than a girl herself was calling two females who were almost her age, 'scared little girls' and saying it with so much authority and age in her voice caught his attention.

"Just because you have an ID that says you are, and a stake that your asked to use, does not make you a grown up." She answered vaguely as she watched the wall behind him blankly.

"So why did they think you could help?" Detective Myers asked, though he knew why. Willow Rosenberg was his last interview for the night involving Lily Chester's death.

"Because I'm a witch. I know them and the woman who trained Kennedy, I've done a few healing spells over the years. But they're long termed and none are immediate. Magic scares Kennedy therefore she doesn't understand it. She thinks it's all powerful, even though I've told her time and again that nothing is all powerful. Everything has limits." Willow said to the officer. Ms. Rosenberg seemed to physically end her answer there, she jerked her head and closed her mouth, a glimmer in her eyes told him she had a lot to say on the subject. Whether it was magic, or limits, or power, or even the shirtless girl Kennedy, he had no idea.

"So what was the extent of the magic you did do on Miss Chester?"

"I did a spell to slow the bleeding. One to give her some strength so she didn't die before she got somewhere that could give her a chance at surviving. And one to calm her so, if she did die, she wouldn't be scared."

Detective Myers nodded as he wrote down her descriptions, he flipped the book over to a blank page and slid it and the pen across the table to her, "I'm going to need you to write down the spells you used, so we can verify them in case something comes up."

She nodded as well and quickly wrote down a few sentences. "The one to slow blood was the only one that required an exact spell, with Latin and everything. None of them used herbs or candles or phases of the moon. The last two were more prayers than actual spells." She informed him as she wrote. And he frowned, since prayers, even to the goddess or whomever witches prayed to, didn't usually count as spells. At least not in his experience. He informed her of that fact and she simply shrugged, muttering something about, "Just in case."

He asked her a few more questions pertaining to times and locations, and telling her that if anything suspicious comes up, they may have to come to her house and look around. But he doubted anything would come up out of the ordinary. They shook hands and went on about their ways, she left with the man with the eye patch and the two young women Lily had been with. And he went downstairs to the morgue to see when the autopsy was scheduled.

---

"I'm just saying Giles, if we were to let the world as a whole know about Slayers..."

"Then there would be a spree of mayhem. Slayers and suspected Slayers would be snatched off the street and sold into slavery. Secrecy is out only weapon now."

"Actually the likely hood of a mass crime spree is unlikely. As it would be just that, considering the fact that Vampires are now very preoccupied with the law." Andrew piped up from his corner of the room, contradicting his mentor, earning him a dirty look from Giles and a thankful one from Willow.

"Giles, you’re the adult here. You should realize that the Powers That Be didn't just switch the fabric of the world around so it would be harder for our killing machines to do their job. They did it so that they would exist in a world where their power wasn’t anything new; a world where their power was run-o-the-mill, so they could exist as normally as possible."

"These girls," Buffy contradicted, walking away from the wall she had been supporting, "we, Slayers, are not normal. We are not meant to have normal lives. If we were, then we wouldn't have been chosen."

"Hypocrite." Willow muttered under her breath, Buffy heard, as did everyone else in the room, and even the subtle human noises that had been filling the air ceased as Buffy turned a deadly look on Willow.

"What. Did. You. Call. Me?"

Willow sighed and slunk down in her chair before looking at Buffy and the death glare she was receiving, and sitting up tall and saying her previous accusation louder. "I called you a hypocrite. Ever since I met you you've been preaching that you are just a normal girl. You want to be normal. You don't want to die at 16!" Her voice rising with every sentence, she rose out of her chair and walked into the middle of the room so she and Buffy were standing face to face, "Which is what you're sentencing these girls to! While you go out with guys, acting like a "normal" 23 year old! While you force these girls into a life they never asked for!"

"A lifestyle you forced on them." Buffy countered quietly, reminding Willow of her role in the Slayer's awakening.

"Which I only did because I thought I would be saving lives!" Willow yelled, "And because you asked me to, and we had the consent of what we thought were most of the Potentials."

"You are still the main reason they are around Willow. Without your help it would just have been an idea, a wish. You brought it to life." Buffy answered cruelly.

"And you took their lives away." In a much smaller voice Willow said, "I quit," and left the room, her friends, and the life she knew.

TBC

The End?

You have reached the end of "Life As She Knows It" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 3 Apr 04.

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