Disclaimer: I own nothing and seek no profit from this story. No copyright infringement is intended.
Feedback would be lovely. :)
Many, many thanks to Elisabeth and Leslie for the beta. Any remaining mistakes are mine.
Willow never thought she'd ever have to give her "gay now" speech to herself, or that it would be in such an odd situation. True, the spell she had done was supposed to make her dream, very vividly, of her true love, but she had assumed that she would dream about Tara. Never once did she think she'd dream of someone else, let alone a man. Especially not a fictional
On top of everything else, she was having a really hard time understanding why she wasn't buying the whole 'gay now' thing anymore. Maybe it was his eyes, or his smile, or his laugh, or the way they could talk about anything and everything for hours on end ... or maybe it was the fact that she had done the spell four times that month alone. (And three times the month before, all with the same result.) Whatever the reason, Willow was beginning to think that she was not really and truly gay. She decided that she might be bisexual, though. Yes, she reasoned. She was probably bi. She could live with that, she thought, and not feel guilty.
It was the whole possibly being in love with a fictional character thing that had her reeling with guilt. How could she have let things get this far out of control? She knew that, clearly, her subconscious had been trying to tell her to finally let go of the past, of Tara, and to be open to dating men. The spell had just been a catalyst for that, providing her with the man who had often fueled her childhood fantasies of adventure and romance. He had always
been her Prince Charming, after all. But to fall in love with him? That was insane! She knew he was merely a character in a book she had read a hundred times. A fantasy. He was absolutely nothing but a dream.
But, if she knew all that, why was it so hard to accept? Why was it so hard to not do the spell again? Why was the idea of never hearing his voice, never feeling his arms around her, never going to him again, more painful than anything else had been since Tara's death? Willow knew it wasn't the kick she got from doing the spell. She didn't get a kick at all from this particular spell. In fact, one could barely call it a spell. A little bit of chanting went into the brewing of the potion, but that was it. The rest of the ritual was just ... well, drinking a nasty herbal liquid. It wasn't her magickal addiction come back, rearing it's ugly, veiny head. No, it was him. Simple as that.
She picked up the vile next to her bedside and looked at the green substance inside. Willow knew she shouldn't drink it. Trying to justify it as she did every night, telling herself she was just going to tell him good-bye, she tilted her head back and quickly downed the bitter potion, lay her head down on the pillow, and waited for sleep to claim her.
'This is the last time,' she told herself as she fell asleep. 'The last time.'
***They met in a meadow this evening. And, Willow noticed, it was evening. It always seemed to be evening when they met. She'd always wondered if that had to do with the fact that it was night where she was coming from, or with something else entirely, but she never let her mind dwell on such thoughts for long. She didn't come here to think, after all.
The sun was dipping low on the horizon and she saw him in the distance, riding his horse steadily toward her. Looking down, she smiled as she saw she was dressed in the clothes of his world. Willow loved the dresses here. This one was made of a satin-like material and was a soft burgundy color. Too dark to be called red, too light to be called burgundy. She didn't quite know how to describe it, but whatever it was, it was beautiful. The dress had delicate silver embroidery and Willow thought that the embellishment was her favorite part. Someone had taken a lot of time, and a lot of care, to make this dress. And she loved it. She felt at home in it, just as she felt at home in this world.
Willow knelt on the grass, spreading out the blanket, preparing the food he would eat for his dinner, pouring the wine that would quench his thirst after his long day. She rose as he dismounted his stead and waited until he'd removed the battle armor he always wore. He wiped the sweat from his brow and turned to her, a smile on his face. "Willow."
She smiled brightly, stepping closer, his name on her lips, "Faramir."
"I told you that I would."
"Yes," he said. "But every time you go away, I fear I shall never set my eyes upon you again."
"I will always come, if you need me." Even as she said the words, Willow knew she meant them, despite what she'd promised herself before going to sleep.
"It does me well to see you, as it always does," he extended his hand. "Today was hard, and long."
Taking his hand in hers, Willow led him to the blanket. "Then don't think about it right now. Think about being here, with me, think about things we haven't talked about yet, things we haven't done, or places we haven't been, and tell me about them."
Faramir grinned as they sat down. "I can think of many things I would like to do with you, like to show you. But you never stay in one place long enough for me to have the chance. Will you ever stay with me? Will you ever allow me to show you the White City?"
Willow wanted to say yes. Wanted to promise him the world. She blinked back tears. "I think this a dream. Faramir, I know this is a dream. I cannot make promises I know I can't keep. I will not hurt us both by doing that."
He cupped her face in his hands, kissing her gently. "I am no dream, Willow. I am flesh and blood, just like you. What will it take to convince you of that?"
"I'm not sure you can," she answered honestly.
He closed his eyes. But he could not hide the hurt on his face. After a moment, though, he looked at her once more and smiled, and Willow knew he would make the best of the time they had. He always did. Still smiling, he said, "Well, then, let us eat, let us enjoy ourselves, let us forget our cares until you must leave me once more. For it is my time with you that makes my life ever so much easier to live."
Willow blushed. "You always say the sweetest things." She handed him the goblet of wine and poured another for herself.
"Yes, I have been called a charmer."
Willow's green eyes sparkled as her lover managed to say that with a straight face. Her laughter filled the air, soon followed by his, and for what felt like the hundredth time the two of them slipped into the comfortable pattern they had established over the course of five months. They merely gave and received love for the time they were together, for the time Willow slept ... and she was ever aware that she was sleeping.
As always, when Willow awoke, she felt like crying. The vile lay a few inches from her limp hand, and the groggy reminders of the spell worked their way through her mind, proving once more that Faramir and the relationship she had with him was nothing more than a figment of her imagination. She had made it all up to make herself happy. It was a painful pill to swallow, but as they say, life moved on. Willow was determined not to go back. She was going to find love -- and a real life -- in her own world, outside of her dreams. It was the right thing to do.
She lasted a week before she went back, retreating into that happy place she'd found in her dreams, almost running into Faramir's arms, confessing it all, apologizing. He had understood and forgiven her immediately, once again trying to convince her that he was as real as she was. And Willow wanted to believe. Wanted to believe so badly.
***"Will I never convince you, my love?"
Willow wiped a tear from her cheek, still grateful that he'd forgiven her for almost abandoning him. "I don't know, Faramir. I've told you. I've explained it all. You are a character in a book in my world. I think I may be going crazy."
"If I am nothing but a character in a book, then how does my life go on when you are gone? How do I experience the things I do on a daily basis? How did I get the orc blood on my hands today? The very blood you saw me wash off not an hour ago?"
Willow didn't know what to say to that. In truth, she didn't have an answer. She wished she did. If she could answer him, come up with a logical explanation, then she could appease them both, but the answer was not forthcoming. She stood, brushing the grass from her skirt and walked over to his horse, stroking the animal's neck. "I wish I could stay asleep, dreaming, forever."
"Do you?" he walked up behind her.
"You wish to spend forever with me? Here?"
She turned and looked up into his eyes. "I love you."
A look of shock crossed his face for a split second before he crushed her to him and claimed her lips. Willow returned the kiss passionately, her mouth opening to allow his tongue entrance. She did not resist at all as he led her back over to the blanket, lowering her to the ground and began to love her. She wrapped her arms around him and encouraged him further, moaning softly as he set her on fire. They lay together all night and watched the sun as it broke over the horizon, sending the first rays of light across the land.
"I love you, too, Willow," Faramir whispered in her ear.
Those words were echoing in her ear as she awoke, and after that incredibly beautiful night, she went to him every evening and didn't feel the slightest bit guilty. Or, at least, she told herself she didn't. Her friends, of course, didn't have a clue about any of it and for that, she did feel a bit guilty. They wouldn't like it ... what she was doing. It would scare them, the way she was using magick. They wouldn't understand that it wasn't the magick she was after ... it was the man. They'd just hear 'spell' and 'nightly', and freak. So, Willow was going to make sure they didn't find out for as long as she could. Unfortunately, or fortunately, she wasn't sure which, they found out a lot sooner than she ever planned.
But then, discovering their best friend, their gay best friend, was pregnant with a fictional character's baby wasn't something they dealt with on a daily basis. But they eventually came around. Especially when they all discovered that Middle Earth really did exist. It wasn't a fictional place, it was another dimension.
Willow was overjoyed until she realized she would have to leave her friends behind in order to raise the baby with Faramir. But Buffy and Xander, after making her swear she'd visit, and let them visit, (all in a very complicated fashion as inter-dimensional travel was not an easy thing), they all agreed it was for the best.
They wanted Willow to be happy after all. And Faramir? He was positively ecstatic. Willow told him the news in the middle of the day, and the first thing she said to him was, "I'm not dreaming."
Willow knew without a doubt she would always remember the smile, the absolute joy, that spread across his face when she said those three words. It was enough to make a girl fall in love with him all over again.
Besides the mini-sequel found here: http://www.tthfanfic.org/story.php?no=6188&chapter=3
I have no plans of continuing this story at this time. :) ~Em