Sanity is Overrated
Rating: PG, just to be safe, I don't expect this to go too far
Disclaimer: I don't own anything!!!!!
Timing: For BtVS, set after Tara's death, and all the unpleasant stuff that comes with that. Xander did NOT stop Willow from destroying the world (don't worry, that'll get explained). For the Anitaverse, set after Narcissus in Chains, but don't expect me to write much about the audeur.
Summary: What if Willow was overwhelmed by the dark magic and became ... slightly insane?
A/N: Okay, only a few more chapters to go!!
* * * * *
Anita woke (relatively) early the next morning, and prepared for her office hours at Animators, Inc. Various thoughts drifted through her mind as she prepared that first coffee of the day, until she eventually settled on the thoughts of Nathaniel and the young witch.
Having checked on them before retiring the previous night, Anita was slightly more kindly disposed towards any possible relationship. It seemed that Nathaniel had a bit more self-control than she and Micah had exhibited, which, Anita mused, was delightfully ironic. She had found the two young people lying fully clothed on top of the bed, the wereleopard curled protectively around the witch, who huddled pitifully in his embrace. They were both sleeping peacefully, and Anita had quietly left the room without disturbing them.
A small sound at the doorway to the kitchen brought Anita abruptly back to the present. She whirled around defensively before recognizing the black hair of the witch standing at the entrance. The girl’s clothing was dishevelled, wrinkled from sleeping in it, and her hair floated almost ethereally around her head. It gave her a slightly mad look, and Anita relaxed only slightly, still keeping herself on guard against this unknown factor.
“Good morning,” Anita made an attempt at civil conversation, a fact that would have many of her acquaintances dumb with shock. “How are you feeling today?” Not expecting a coherent answer to the, admittedly lame, question, Anita began to turn back towards her coffee.
To her surprise, the dark-haired girl did reply, in a soft singsong, as if a child.
“I’m really not sure,” she began. “Everything is so queer today! I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is, who in the world am I?”
Anita stared at the witch in a stunned sort of shock. What an answer to a simple question! She opened her mouth to issue a typical sarcastic response, but abruptly held her tongue as she took note of the desperate sheen in the witch’s eyes.
“Who am I then?” the girl continued, voice becoming shrill. “Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here ‘til I’m somebody else!”
Feeling an unexpected surge of pity for the dark witch, Anita replied in a soft voice.
“I don’t know who you are. That’s something you’re going to need to figure out by yourself.”
At the witch’s soft sob in response to Anita’s answer, Nathaniel entered the kitchen distraught eyes glancing quickly at Anita before gently pulling the witch into his arms. He held her lightly for a moment, with her burying her face in his shoulder, before she slowly pulled back, and turned once again towards Anita.
Although her expression was soothed, Anita could still identify the barely constrained panic lurking in the background. For some reason, the girl desperately wanted her to understand.
“It’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder what could have happened to me. When I used to read fairytales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened. Who believes in witches and vampires and werewolves? But now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to be a television show made about me, that there ought! And when I grow up, I’ll make one!” The witch’s voice trailed off uncertainly. “But I’m grown up now…”
She turned into Nathaniel once more, and as he led her away, Anita thought hard about the girl’s recent revelations. She didn’t know who she was, so amnesia, perhaps from some traumatic event or powerful magics. But despite her seeming simplicity, the girl knew there was something wrong. She didn’t quite know what was wrong, but she could remember a difference. It was this realization that instinctively told Anita that the girl was likely to regain her memory.
This was a frightening concept. Anita robotically poured and prepared her coffee as she considered the consequences of the witch’s memory returning. Best-case scenario: she thanks them for their concern and returns home.
Anita snorted in derision. When was the last time the ‘best-case scenario’ occurred in her life? Unlikely. Worst-case scenario: … Anita paused. That could be anywhere from becoming suicidal to murderous, to … Anita’s mind shied away from what could be worse than homicidal, but she knew there was another possibility that she couldn’t quite put her finger on.
Shrugging away those concerns for the moment, Anita finished her coffee and glanced at her watch. After a short curse and a glare at the betraying device, Anita placed her mug in the sink and hurried for the door. She hesitated only briefly at the threshold, straining to sense any danger directed towards her still sleeping cats. All he heard was the murmur of low voices coming from the bedrooms. Concluding that Nathaniel could handle any trouble the witch would cause (and pausing in shock at that trusting thought), Anita reluctantly continued out the door and prepared for a war zone when she returned.