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Tales from the Lonely Redhead

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This story is No. 5 in the series "Phoenixverse". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Phoenixverse. This is a side story to the Phoenix Risings Trilogy...a series of interludes. Just how are the Scoobs dealing now that Buffy and Xander are gone. Fic 1 up. Willow-Centric. Enjoy. R/R.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > DramaJonathanFR712,380011,31720 Apr 0620 Apr 06No
Title: Tales From the Lonely Redhead
Rating: K
Chapter: Heart Failure
Author: White Werewolf
Category: Not really shipping, Willow/Oz if anything. Some Cordy/Xander mourning
Timeline: During the Phoenix Risings Trilogy. A recounting on how the Scoobies are dealing without Buffy and Xander.
Author Notes:These are a series of interludes. Basically dealing with how Sunnydale is going without either the Slayer or the White Knight. Think “Anne” without Nighthawk.
Disclaimer: BTVS is owned by Whedon, Fox, UPN. I don't own anything except some ideas, this fic, and my site.
-------------------
Sunnydale High School
May 1998

Willow watched as Xander ran away to what looked like a bus.

“Where’s he going?” Willow asked her friends.

Oz patted her shoulder as he joined her gaze. “Maybe he forgot something?”

Cordelia nodded, “Yeah, like forgetting that school is this way.” She then gestured to the school. “With me.”

The school bell rang suddenly.

“I suppose its best that we get to where we need to be.” Giles said as he heard the ringing. “I’m sure Xander we’ll be with us shortly.”

Willow nodded slowly, “And Buffy?”

He sighed in the same speed. “Well, once she gets things settled, I’m sure she’ll be back. It is possible that Buffy is in fact in the classroom already.”

“Yeah, maybe.” Willow said as she placed her hands on the wheel chair.

Oz kissed her the top of her head, “C’mon. Let’s go.”

That being said, the four of them headed into the school.

---

Sunnydale High School
U.S. History I

Willow sat at her desk. Her wheel chair was sitting by the door and it was going to stay there until the end of class. Arrangements were made that before the last ten minutes of class, she was able to settle herself down within the chair and actually head for her next class.

This way, she would be able to get to her next class in plenty of time. Oz was allowed to help her with this task.

She scanned the room, and much to her dislike, neither Buffy nor Xander were in the room. Both their seats were empty, and she was beginning to worry. Where did Xander go after he went for the bus? And why wasn’t Buffy here?

She understood that something had to happen last night. Something terrible. She knew Buffy survived the ordeal against Angelus from Xander. But, her friend never made appearance last night or this morning. Something happened.

Something bad.

She didn’t like it.

Her mind was focused too much on her friends. She failed to pay attention to Mrs. Landon’s lecture.

Willow looked at her friends and boyfriend. Cordelia didn’t look that well. She wouldn’t admit it, but the redhead saw her keep gazing at the empty seat that usually filled by Xander.

The young woman sighed at the image. She looked at her boyfriend who at times looking at her and at the other times looking at .

“…Pocahontas was never seen to be a young woman like how Disney portrayed her. She’s in fact was a young girl around the age of 12…”

Willow did a quick double take as Mrs. Landon made her Pocahontas comment.

“Miss. Rosenberg.”

Her eyes widened at the mention of her name and turned to her teacher.

“We’re not bothering you, are we?”

She shook her head, “No.”

Landon nodded, “Alright then. According to history, John Smith wasn’t at all like how he was portrayed in the Disney film. Instead, he was rather short, fat…”

Willow kept staring at her teacher, but her mind was on her friends.

Where were they?

She didn’t know and it was starting to worry her. She hoped they were okay, and knew to some degree they were, but she didn’t know what happened.

On one hand, they still could be in Sunnydale. All she knew for sure was that Xander headed toward a bus, and that Buffy never made an appearance after last night.

The hands of the clock ticked away as she continued to sit in her seat. Mrs. Landon was still performing her lecture, and it was only a matter of time before the next class started.

Willow returned her gaze back to her book. She wanted to continue on listening about the true story of Pocahontas and John Smith. Her mind however trailed back to the events prior to this class.

Where were they?

That, she didn’t know. But one thing for sure was that wherever they were, they’d be all right. She just hoped that she was worrying about nothing.

Maybe in fact, Buffy and Xander were on their way back to the school and they’d meet at lunch. The whole gang again. Her, Buffy, Xander, Oz, and even Cordelia…

…Cordelia…

She turned to face the girlfriend of her best friend, and wondered how she was doing. To Willow, Xander was her best friend and confident. To Cordelia? She was the same, but also more.

The redhead let out a breath.

“Where are you?”

---
School Cafeteria

Willow sat quietly at the table.

It was lunchtime.

She hated the wheel chair. It made everything slower and distant for her. She couldn’t wait for the day when she’d be able to sit normally and use her legs again.

“Hey.”

Willow smiled when she heard the word from her boyfriend.

“I hope you like this,” He said simply.

Oz placed the tray in front of her. He sat shortly after that moment.

On the lunch tray was what Willow had been best accustomed to since her days at Sunnydale Hight. These were what was best in her opinion, and were great that Oz knew what she liked.

A piece of chicken rested in its own compartment within the tray. Green beans sat by its side. On the other sat mashed potatoes.

Oz looked at her. “They were out of mac n’ cheese.”

She sighed, “Nothing’s going right today.”

He looked at her, “I’m sure they’re alright.”

Willow took in his calm demeanor, “How do you know?”

Oz shrugged, “Trying to be optimistic.”

“Hi.”

The two looked up from where they sat.

“Cordelia…” Willow said slowly.

She smiled slightly, “Can I join you?”

Willow looked at her and then back at Oz. Then at her, “But your friends?”

Cordelia rolled her eyes, “Listen, Willow. My ‘friends’ are so-called sheep. And normally, I wouldn’t mind sitting with them.”

Oz nodded, “But…”

She sat down, “Xander… That big doofus hasn’t show up yet. I tried calling his cell, and he won’t answer.”

Willow sighed, “We’re all worried. Buffy’s not here.”

She scowled, “I bet all high and mighty planned this. She’d take Xander away from us and then have us all worried.”

Willow looked at her strangely, “You really think that?”

Cordy sighed, “I dunno. I just…just…”

Oz said, “Feel helpless.”

She nodded, “Yeah, I guess.”

Willow took a piece of chicken with her fork. “I just don’t understand. Xander doesn’t leave without telling anyone.”

“He said he’d be right back.” Oz pointed out.

Cordelia argued, “That was over four hours ago!”

“Good point.”

Willow shook her head, “I just don’t know what to do. I could try a spell.”

Oz simply gave her a look.

She sighed, “I know. I’m not strong enough yet.”

A moment passed.

“But…”

A look was given by Oz and Cordelia.

“Alright, alright.”

Oz smiled.

Cordelia said, “For a guy who doesn’t talk much, you certainly are good with words.”

He grinned, “I have my moments.”

---
School Library
Rupert Giles rubbed his glasses with his handkerchief and placed them back on his face as he pulled out another book from his daily librarian duties.

Even though he was a watcher, he still had to perform the daily task as the school librarian.

Even though he hated the ordeal at times, he did enjoy this. It was one of the few moments in his day when he didn’t have to worry about an upcoming apocalypse. But in truth, he knew that that feeling was never going to last a long time throughout his day.

He checked the dates of the books and made sure they were parallel to the inventory status.

“Giles?”

He sighed as he closed his book. Looking up, he spotted one of his younger friends.

“Hello, WIllow.”

Willow nodded as she was pushed by Oz. Cordelia followed shortly behind her.

“Did you hear from Buffy or Xander?” Cordela asked as she approached him.

He looked back at his book remembering the just random moments of normalcy. “I’m afraid not.”

Oz pushed Willow to where Giles was standing. He had his hand placed on Willow’s shoulder, providing the comfort that he was known for.

Corelia dropped her bag by her foot when she reached her friends.

“This doesn’t make sense, Giles.” Willow said to him. “Buffy and Xander leaving like this doesn’t make sense. Why would they do that?”

Giles scratched his forehead. “I don’t have the slightest idea, Willow. I suppose the amount of emotion Buffy felt last night made her feel overwhelmed. Killing her boyfriend’s body like that would hurt anyone.”

”And Xander?” Oz asked.

“Well, Xander is known to skip class every now and then. But he has yet to make an appearance. I do feel that we do not need to worry.”

Willow looked concerned, “How could we not worry?”

Giles replied, “Xander has more often then not proved he can handle himself. And if he was in danger or known someone he valued as a friend was in danger, he wouldn’t stop himself from getting help.”

Cordelia pointed out, “Unless he’s feeling hopeless and that people don’t care about him.”

Willow asked, “What do you mean? We don’t see him as hopeless?”

Cordelia approached her, “Willow, how difficult was this year for you?”

Willow looked back at the year. Her starting to study magic, her continuing a relationship with her first boyfriend, her attention growing to Buffy by the second.

She sighed and admitted, “Pretty busy.”

Cordelia nodded, “Well, how do you think Xander felt? Buffy was always moaning about her undead boyfriend, you were busy with Oz and magic, and Giles over here was…”

Giles cut her off, “We understand Cordelia.”

She shook her head, “No you don’t. You know how many times Xander would feel alone, or worthless. How many times I heard him question himself?”

Willow shrunk in her seat. “I never realized…”

“He has been feeling a little left out, like you three don’t respect him sometimes. And not to mention his parents.”

Willow turned to Giles, “Oh god.”

Giles replied, “I’m sure it’s not that bad.”

Willow looked at him, tears rimming her eyes, “How can you be so sure?”

Giles shook his head, “Even if what Cordelia has revealed to us is certainly the truth.” She gave him a stern look, “I do however believe her. I can call in some contacts that I know of. Maybe someone has seen him or Buffy for that matter. I still believe though that given the proper situation, Xander can take care of himself.”

Willow had to admit, “You might be right, Giles. But, I’m more worried now, more than ever.”

Cordelia said, “I can try his cell again. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did something drastic at one point.”

Willow asked, “What can we do till then?”

Oz said one word simply.

“Wait.”

---
Willow’s Room

Willow rolled herself to her bed. After placing her hands on the wheels, she pushed herself out of the chair and onto the bed. To do this at first required allot of effort.

This was probably her second week of following this procedure. Her parents made sure she’d be able to do this on her own at one point, and as soon as the following week started, she was able to do such a task.

She rested her head on the pillow and looked back at the day. It had been dramatic. While, she wasn’t in physical pain, she didn’t feel well emotionally.

There was no way she wanted to keep feeling this way. Especially after the revelation from Cordelia Chase.

She swore, that young woman was evolving all the time. Especially since she and Willow never got along. It was through the relationship with Xander that the two started to become friends.

It was always from the rudest that was most honest.

Rolling to her nightstand, she pulled out the drawer that she had used a million times before, and pulled out a red book.

Sitting up, she grabbed a pen that sat on her nightstand and opened the book. She went to the first clean page.

Using the pen, she wrote down the date, May, 25th, 1998. Letting out a breath, she started to write.

“Dear Diary…”

She paused. That greeting didn’t feel right. Shaking her head, she scratched off that entrance, and wrote…

“Dear Jesse…”

That sounded better.

Using the name Jesse always made Willow feel closer to her friend from a few years ago. And writing in this now, always made the words more personal. And she loved that. She felt using Jesse’s name was always fitting. She didn’t know why, but it worked. Maybe because he was a best friend too, like Xander. The three were close, and using his name as an entrance, made this better, and more valuable to herself.

And with those words, she started to write the day’s events. From just as she woke up, to the moments in the morning at school with Oz, Cordelia, Xander, and Giles…

To the moments when Xander left, to the class with Mrs. Landon, to the moments at lunch, and finally to the moments within the librbary.

She then wrote about how she felt and didn’t know what to do tomorrow. She wrote about hoping beyond anything that they’d be able to find their friends, or at least hear from them and know that they were okay.

She looked out the window, and noticed how it was getting dark. That meant Sunnydale’s night life was going to appear shortly.

That left one question.

What were they going to do without a slayer?

She sighed, and glanced at the clock.

Not only had this been an emotional day, but a tiring one. She placed her book back into her drawer and turned off the light.

She was at least thankful that Oz, Giles, and even Cordelia were going out tonight. She wanted to too, but couldn’t with her being in a wheel chair.

Willow shook her head.

“Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.”

She hoped.

--------
THE END

Another Interlude to follow.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Tales from the Lonely Redhead" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 20 Apr 06.

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