They're laughing at you not with you.
Willow pondered everyone's expressions. Jamil and Shang-Da wore
matching expressions of amusement. Jamil looked like he was holding
back laughter. She assumed it was at her expense. It usually is.
She could handle the amusement. It was the look on Richard's
face that had her worried. Richard looked very irritable. She
wondered if it was good for her health to have her Ulfric irritated
at her. He had the air of one about to give a lecture. She should
know, Giles always had that look. All Richard needed were a pair of
glasses to clean and maybe some tweed.
Richard finally spoke. "Willow do you realize what you just got
Willow distinctly felt like she was going to be treated like a
child. She could hardly take that from her pseudo-father-figure
Giles. She didn't think she would be able to hold her tongue
with a guy that wasn't that much older than her. Even he was the
Willow crossed her arms and took an aggressive stance. "Yeah, I
get to beat down Tall and Skanky until she cries `Uncle!'
Sounds like fun to me."
Willow may be regretting her decision to let her beast do her
talking for her but darn it! She wasn't going to let them know
it. She had to do this for the honor of the pack. Sylvie would
have done it. She was going to make Sylvie proud even if it meant
being hospitalized. She hoped that wouldn't happen.
Richard gave a sigh. "Willow, Lucy is an alpha. She has been
Lukoi for longer than you. She could easily kill you. I can go and
straighten things out between you and Lucy. We'll get this
Willow almost let out a growl. He was going to make her look bad in
front of an entire pack that didn't even know her. She was going
to look weak. Her beast stirred restlessly at that thought.
Willow arched her eyebrow at Richard. "If I don't go through
with this challenge then I will be effectively saying that she is
dominant to me. Correct? I'll be saying that she is superior to
Richard gave a nod in reply. "Willow, I don't want to see
you get hurt or killed over something this trivial."
Willow growled, "It is not trivial. I'm not going to submit
to her type. I've been turning the other cheek to her type in
high school and even up until college. I'm not taking it
anymore! I'm doing this. Even, if it kills me."
Jamil finally decided to give his opinion to the matter. "Aw,
let her do it. She'll get her ass handed to her but she'll
make her point."
Willow glared at Jamil. "Thanks for the vote of confidence,
Tweedle Dee," she said dryly.
Jamil gave her a big ole grin. "Anytime, Fireball."
Shang-Da walked up to Willow and put an arm around her. "I can
give you some pointers. So, you can at least make a good showing
against Lucy. You don't want to ruin the good name of our
Willow rolled her eyes at Shang-Da. He was being helpful at least.
They didn't think she had it in her. She would show them. She
had been fighting the supernatural since she was fifteen. She could
so take down that tramp.
Shang-Da interrupted her thoughts before they could take a nice
bloodthirsty turn regarding Lucy. "You are going to need to go
to bed early. We'll start your training first thing in the
morning before you go to Marianne's. You are going to need all
the training you can get. Our clans are getting together in just a
Great, she thought, at least I have a deadline to my doom. You
don't usually get so much notice in Sunnydale. Monsters there
just don't give you that much advance warning. How very uncouth
Richard still had a stubborn gleam to his eye. "Jamil, Shang-Da,
I want to speak with Willow alone."
Oh Boy! It's lecture time. She thought sarcastically. She
couldn't wait. She watched as Jamil and Shang-Da left the cabin.
Jamil shot her another of his guaranteed to infuriate grins. He had
to be doing that on purpose. She was beginning to think that he
liked to piss her off. Maybe she should sneak into his cabin and
hide all his beads so he can't change to match his outfits. This
idea had some merit.
Richard closed the door behind the others. He slowly turned around
and gave a sigh. "Willow, there is no need for you to sink to
Lucy's level. The chance of one of you getting killed is
possible. You don't want to go down that road Willow. You can
still stay innocent. There is no need for you to be a monster."
Willow was perplexed. What did he mean? She was already a
monster. She turned furry once a month whether she liked it or
not. Heck, she was a monster even before she met Michael.
"Richard, I'm not innocent. I haven't been innocent in a
long time. It is really hard to stay that way when you literal live
above the mouth of hell."
Richard gave her a sympathetic look. She didn't need sympathy.
She needed support. She felt her irritation begin to rise.
"I'm doing this with or without your permission. Lucy
didn't just slur me. She slurred Sylvie, Gwen, and the rest of
the clan. Sylvie would beat her down if she was here."
Richard smiled. "Yes, Sylvie would do that but you aren't
She finally had it. She was doing this and Mr. Good Intentions
wasn't going to stop her. She gave him her Resolve Face.
"Nope, I'm not Sylvie. I'm Willow. I maybe crazy to do
this but I'm going to do it anyway."
Richard finally caved under her stare. "I'm surrounded by
crazy people especially crazy females."
He then walked up to her and stared down into her green eyes. She
felt her breath catch. He had the loveliest brown eyes. They were
so warm and inviting like pools of hot chocolate. He leaned down
and brushed the hair away from her face. He gently gave her a
chaste kiss upon her forehead.
"Just be careful. There is no need for anyone to die."
She felt tingly from where his lips had touched her skin. She could
feel the blush beginning to rise from her toes. She was going to
melt into a very large Willow-puddle right there at his feet if she
didn't leave right then. She couldn't speak so she just
nodded her affirmative. She didn't think she was going to get
much sleep that night. She was going to be plagued with thoughts of
yummy Ulfric all night long. It isn't easy being Willow.