Introducing Willow, the Squint
Title: Introducing Willow, the Squint
Author: Maeve Bran
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, I'm just borrowing them for a little fun.
Summary: Willow has a new job... at the Jeffersonian's Medico-Legal Lab in DC.
Twistedshorts Challenge: #36 Willow
Notes: This is a follow-up to "Buffy Gets Busted".
"Buffy, are you sure?" Willow asked for the hundredth time as she finished packing.
"Yes, Will, I'm sure. It's time you got to get back to finishing your degree. Besides, from what Dr. Brennan described this job is perfect for you," Buffy reassured her.
Willow zipped up her last piece of luggage, then left the bedroom and went into the living room where Xander, Dawn, and Giles were waiting to see her off. Willow was touched that they had come, for despite working together everyday for the past year to establish a New Watchers Council, they had rarely gotten together as just Scoobies.
"You didn't think you could sneak off to Washington D.C. with out saying goodbye, did you?" asked Xander.
"Apparently not," Willow laughed as she hugged the man with whom she had shared so much. "I'm going to miss you, Xand."
"I'm going to miss you too, Will," he said as he returned the hug. "But you can count on my hitting you up for a place to stay if I'm in DC on Council business."
"We'll muddle through without you for a couple of years, Willow, but as soon as you have that degree we'll need you back," Giles assured her. He hugged her as well.
Willow had already loaded most of her bags into Buffy's car; only the carry on was left. She picked it up and said one last thing to Xander before walking out the door. "Don't let Buffy die. I don't have it in me to bring her back again. Oh, and if the Apocalypse comes, call me. I'll be on the first plane back."
"Sure thing," came the reply.
The next day, Willow arrived at the Jeffersonian bright and early. She hadn't wanted to be late on her first day of her independent computer studies. She had, of course, had to submit to being photographed and filling out paper work to get her clearances, but after that she found herself on the elevator with someone who seemed both familiar and different.
"You must be Special Agent Booth," Willow said. "It's nice to finally meet you."
Booth seemed started at her greeting. "I'm Booth. How did you know that, Ms...?"
"I'm Willow Rosenberg," she replied. "I've heard about you from Buffy Summers."
As soon as the name Buffy was out of her mouth, the big FBI Agent let out a groan. "What did Buffy tell you?" he asked cautiously.
"Oh, everything. I'm her best friend," Willow threw over her shoulder as she stepped out of the elevator. She almost laughed at his crestfallen expression. "Don't worry, us Scoobies have plenty of really embarrassing under-enchantment stories of our own. There was this time, in high school, that Xander wanted to get back at the girl who broke up with him? He had a love spell cast so he could break up with her instead. It backfired and every woman, and I mean every woman in Sunnydale, except the girl it was intended for fell violently in love with him. I try not to think too much about that. So don't be embarrassed."
"You must have had an interesting high school," Booth laughed, seeming more at ease.
"You have no idea," Willow agreed. Then she turned her attention to the immense space that was the Medico-Legal Lab and looked around. It appeared empty except for her and Booth.
Beside her, Booth let out a low whistle. "This has got to be a first. No matter the time, whenever I've been here at least Bones has been working, if not a squint or two." Booth mused.
"Bones? Squints? Are you high, Agent Booth?" teased the redhead.
"No, I'm not high," Booth answered. "Bones is what I call Dr. Brennan. 'Squints' is a technical term for people who spend a lot of time squinting at evidence for the hard scientific facts. And it's just Booth around here."
"Okay, I guess I'm a squint now, too," Willow mused herself. "Dr. Brennan spends a lot of time here, huh?"
"Yeah, more than is probably healthy for her." Booth paused, then continued; given the embarrasing things she already knew about him, he apparently thought he could trust Willow with a little more. "I had been making some progress in dragging her out of the lab and into the real world, but I blew it."
"You mean that thing in Wolfram and Hart?" Willow asked. "Didn't she hear that you were under mystical suggestion?"
"Yeah, I told her. Angel and Wesley explained it. I know she understood. But still, it hurt her," Booth said, anguished. "I don't just go around kissing every pretty woman I meet. It was so out of character for me."
"The way I heard it, it was more than a simple kiss," Willow stated. "You are not the only one with issues from last week."
"What do you mean? What's wrong with Buffy?" Booth asked, concerned.
"Nothing is wrong with Buffy," Willow hastened to reassure him. "It's just, you must have noticed that you and Angel look alike."
"I noticed," he answered, wryly.
"You do know that Buffy used to date Angel," she continued.
"Buffy still loves him, but they can't be together. It was a very traumatic relationship, with a very bad break-up. They've settled into a friendship since but those old feelings are still just under the surface."
Booth's expression said he hadn't thought about Buffy's problems before. He obviously was doing so now. "Buffy must have been really confused."
"I think that covers it. But like I said, we've had a little experience with mystical love spells. I wasn't trying to make you feel worse, just pointing out that you weren't the only one with problems," Willow explained.
"So what do I do?" Booth asked.
"I don't think you can do anything but give it time, and if you have feelings for Dr. Brennan, let her know that she matters more than anything else," Willow answered.
"Alright," Booth said. "So how did you get so wise?"
"My best friend, the Vampire Slayer, has dated two vampires and a black ops military man that was being fed drugs to be super-human. I've dated a werewolf, a powerful witch and another Slayer. My other best friend dated a cheerleader and an ex-vengeance demon." She shrugged. "I've had experience in the world of wacky love lives."
"Okay. Wait, did you say a werewolf?" Booth asked, amazed.
"Yes, a werewolf." Willow shook her head, then tried to lead the conversation elsewhere. "How about a tour of the lab? I'd like to know my way around when the others get here."
"Sure thing." Booth smiled and started to show her around.