Willow sat next to the bed. She had awakened early and immediately went to find the room Giles was in. Angel had been sitting with him, having decided that someone familiar should be there when he did wake up. Angel had gladly taken her up on the offer to sit with Giles.
Giles slowly blinked open his eyes. This wasn't Willow's room, hell this wasn't Buffy's house, Giles thought as his eyes began to focus on the room around him. Turning his head slowly he saw Willow in the chair next to the bed her eyes closed.
“Willow?” Giles said in quiet surprise.
“Giles!” Willow opened her eyes and smiled excitedly, “You're awake.”
“Yes. And so it seems, are you.” Giles said trying to sit and becoming dizzy.
“Don't get up yet.” Willow said pushing his shoulders, “Trust me you'll be less dizzy in a few minutes.”
“Okay. And, Willow, where are we?”
“Oh, sorry.” She blushed, “Sunnydale but, uh, in the future.”
“Future?” Giles stared at Willow, “Willow what have you done?”
“I-I didn't.” Willow began, “I mean bringing you here was my idea but I didn't do this, a coven did. For the Council. They needed help and your diaries gave them the idea that I could do it, but I can't, at least not alone, so they said I could pick someone and well, I picked you.”
Giles stared at Willow for a moment unsure of whether the dizziness was causing his confusion or if the girl had made no sense at all. “My diaries said you could do what exactly?” Giles asked slowly deciding to try to make sense of what she had said one thing at a time.
“Stop the First.” Willow began pacing, “I told them I can't do it. I can't kill the First, no one can. But Giles, they won't listen. They say they have a way to do it but they don't have the power, I do.”
“All right, so a coven brought you here to the future to stop First.” Giles repeated still trying to make it all make sense to him, “How did they get my diaries.”
“The coven doesn't have them the Watcher's Council does.”
“Willow there is no Council, remember?”
“You started a new Council.” Willow explained, “You, Buffy, Dawn, and Xander you built a new Council in Sunnydale.”
“When did we do this?” Giles asked.
“After I died.”
“Okay so I'm sure I understand this. You died, the rest of us rebuilt the Council, then that council had a coven bring you to…” Giles hesitated, “Where are we exactly?”
“A hundred years from when we stopped the First the last time.” Willow explained.
“So they bring you a hundred years into the future, then you decide to bring me here because…”
“I can't do this alone. This council doesn't understand how dangerous the magics are for me. Angel and Spike tried to tell them before I got here, I tried telling them, but they insist I'm the only one. You're here to keep me from losing control, and hopefully to learn the magics necessary to save me back in our time. That's another reason it had to be you. I mean, it had to be someone who knew magic so it was you or Anya.” Willow explained quickly.
A knock on the door stopped any reply Giles might have had. “Willow can we come in?” Angel asked softly.
“Sure, he's awake.” Willow walked over and pulled open the door.
“How are you feeling Giles?” Angel asked.
“Red, explain the situation to you?” Spike asked.
“Price sent us to find out if you were awake and if you would be able to join everyone for dinner tonight.” Angel explained. “If you don't want to it's fine, everyone will understand.”
“You're somewhat of a hero here Watcher. They all can't wait to meet you.” Spike said lighting a cigarette.
“Who?” Giles asked suspiciously.
“Watcher's.” Spike replied, “They've been waiting all day for you to wake up.”
“I'll come to dinner.” Giles said.
“Ms. Rosenberg?” A young woman said from the doorway.
“Yes.” Willow turned her attention to the woman.
“The coven would like to know if you and Mr. Giles can meet them in the morning, they would like to start going over the information they have.”
“Yeah that's fine, I guess.” Willow responded, “We'll meet them after breakfast.”
“I'll tell them.” The woman turned and left the room.
After dinner Spike, Angel, Willow, and Giles sat alone in the sitting room attached to Willow's bedroom. They had all escaped the dinner party full of awe-struck Watchers as quickly as possible, Willow and Giles had so many questions and the vampires wanted to do their best to answer them all.
“Okay so we know I died and the others started a new Council but what else happened? Any one get married? Have children?”
“Where should we start?” Spike asked, so much had happened to Willow's friends, he wasn't sure what she wanted to hear first.
“He married Anya.” Angel stated.
“But they…” Giles began finding it hard to believe the couple reconciled.
“Fighting the First made everyone rethink some of their actions.” Spike explained, “Harris decided he loved Anya more than he feared being like his parents.”
“Anya reopened the Magic Shop. Turned it into a franchise actually. Still in their family too.” Angel said proudly.
“What about Buffy?” Giles asked not sure he wanted to hear this answer knowing it probably didn't end as happily as Xander and Anya's story.
“She gave up slaying.” Angel said.
“Not completely though, still patrolled occasionally but let Faith take over most of the slayer duties.” Spike finished.
“So she went back to school then?” Willow asked, hoping her friend was able to achieve a semi-normal life.
“Not exactly. She began working with potential slayers. Training them.” Spike said, “It was good for her.”
“What about Dawn? Oh and Cordelia?” Willow asked.
“Dawn went to college, then came home and became a Watcher. She married and had two children.” Spike said, “Her Great-Granddaughter is currently a Watcher here.”
“Can we meet her?” Willow asked excitedly.
“I'm sure you can.” Angel replied, “She was out of town tonight but should be back tomorrow.”
“So what about Cordelia?” Willow asked.
“Cordelia worked for the council.” Angel answered quietly.
“Did she marry?” Giles asked.
“Poof couldn't get married.” Spike replied.
“You and Cordelia…” Willow said surprised, she had known how they felt about each other but never thought Angel would admit it or even try to have a relationship.
“Yes.” Angel said, clearly not wanting to discuss it any further.
“We should let you two get some rest. The coven will keep you busy tomorrow.” Spike said standing up and heading toward the door.
“Can you find your room okay?” Angel asked Giles as he followed Spike out.
“Yes thank you.” Giles answered and the vampires left them alone. “I better be going.” Giles said standing up. “I'll see you tomorrow.”
“'kay.” Willow said following him to the door and closing it behind him.
“Hello.” Dawn said picking up the receiver. “Cordelia? Hi, how's everything in L.A.?”
“I need to talk to Buffy or Xander.” Cordelia said quickly, barely acknowledging the younger girl.
“Sure. They're both here. Which do you want?” Dawn said, slightly irritated by the older girl's disregard.
“Doesn't matter, Xander I guess.” Cordelia said. She usually preferred not to talk to either, but if she must choose she'd rather talk to Xander.
“Xander, phone.” Dawn yelled in the direction of the kitchen.
“Who is it?” Xander asked coming up behind Dawn, cookie in hand.
“Cordelia.” Dawn said handing him the phone and walking out of the room.
“Hi Cordy, what's up?” Xander said into the phone.
“Xander, Willow and Giles are in trouble.”
“Uh, duh, coma, remember?” Xander replied. That was a dumb comment even for the former cheerleader.
“Not the coma, the First. I had a vision.”
“The First is gone. That trouble is in the past.” Xander said slowly, “Having delayed visions?”
“No.” Cordelia said angrily, “The First is back, well it's wherever they are, and it wants Willow dead.”
“Listen to me.” Cordelia said slowly, “I don't know where they are, but the First is really, really pissed off that Willow is interfering again. I'm not sure what its original plan was this time, but it didn't involve Willow. Now it does. You guys need to find them and bring them back before it's too late.”
“Love to, any idea where they are?” Xander said sarcastically, “Not like we can pick up a phone and call them.”
“Lorne's looking into alternate dimensions, Wes and Fred are looking into magic, and Angel and Connor are, well, beating the hell out of the demon world trying to find something.”
“'Kay. So I'll let Buff know the new situation and you let us know if you find anything.”
“Bye.” Cordelia said before hanging up.
“Buffy, Dawn, Kennedy!” Xander yelled replacing the receiver.
Willow stretched, she didn't feel like getting out of bed yet but the coven was expecting her. Getting out of the bed she walked over to the closet and took in all the clothes that Spike and Angel had gotten for her yesterday. Since hadn't wanted to leave Giles they had offered to take care of it, she had to admit that she was concerned. Spike could come back with who knew how much leather, and with Angel she risked an entire black wardrobe. Fortunately they had chosen well, not her taste exactly, but close enough. Quickly picking a long black skirt and a white top she headed to the bathroom to shower and dress.
Stepping into the shower she began to review the last couple days in her mind. She fought the First Evil, kicked its non-corporeal ass, and didn't go all evil. Then next she knew she was a hundred years in the future, having to fight evil again. Thank God she was able to bring Giles here. She needed him, always had. He was the one person she knew she could count on if things went bad here. The one that would always be there for her, not that Xander and Buffy weren't, but it was different with Giles. She knew that the others looked at Giles like a father or just another adult but she just couldn't see him that way. Back in high school she had a serious crush on him, and somehow that had never changed, not even after she met Tara. As much as she had insisted to everyone that she was ‘gay now' she knew that wasn't completely true, if it was she would have been over the Giles thing a long time ago. Not that any of that mattered really, after all, Giles would never see her as more than a child, another of his ‘children' to protect and take care of.
Giles stepped out of the shower wrapping a towel around his waist and heading back to the bedroom. He hadn't slept well at all, too much had happened. Willow was alive, and awake. He still wasn't clear how, but he figured the coven would explain that today. He had been so worried both before the battle, about whether Willow could handle the magic needed to stop the First, and after, about whether going with Buffy and Willow's plan had killed the girl. He didn't know if he could've dealt with it if she had died. Buffy's death had nearly destroyed him, but Willow was different. His relationship with her was different, Buffy and Xander were like his children, he didn't understand them, probably never would, but he loved them and would do anything to protect them. Willow, though, he had never been able to see as a child, she was… This was pointless, he told himself, Willow wouldn't ever see him as more than a father figure.
“Come in.” Giles said. Startled out of his thoughts by the knock on the door and had given the invitation without thinking.
“Giles are you ready… Oh!” Willow said entering the room. “Giles I'm uh, you did say come in.” She babbled turning back toward the door, her face reddening.
“I'll wait out… Just wanted to see if you were ready for breakfast.”
“I'll be down in a moment.”
“'Kay. See you downstairs. “ Willow said quickly retreating closing the door as she finished speaking.
“What would you like to discuss first?” Melanie asked Willow and Giles after introductions had been made. “Our theory about the First and the Hellmouth, or what Mr. Giles needs to know to help you when you return to your time?”
“Actually I would like to know more about how we got here to begin with.” Giles replied. “If you don't mind.”
“Of course.” Melanie looked at Willow, who smiled and nodded at the other girl.
The coven was making Willow slightly uneasy. They kept staring at her, like she was a freak or something. They didn't seem afraid of her exactly but they weren't treating her as normally as they treated Giles either. “Um, first can I ask something?”
“Oh, of course.” The entire coven turned their attention to Willow.
“Why are you all treating me so… Funny?”
“Funny?” One of the girls in the back, Willow couldn't remember her name, asked.
“Different. Not like you treat each other or Giles.” Willow clarified.
“We are very sorry.” Melanie said immediately, “We don't mean to make you uncomfortable but you must understand you are very powerful and very well known. We've never met a witch with so much power, it radiates off of you.”
“Oh, uh, okay then.” Willow said blushing. “Um how did we get here?” Now she simply wanted the attention back off of her.
“Okay.” Melanie said turning her attention back to her explanation. “In the last several years many of the oldest magics have been found, one's that had been lost for centuries. Spells to move people or objects through time.”
“Can I see them?” Willow asked excitedly. This was something she definitely wanted to see before she went back home. “Spells to heal, uh, magical comas too?”
“Your coma was a result of you releasing too much energy into your magic. Well, specifically because you had to fight yourself as well as the First. After we got you here we simply did a spell to replace some of your energy then you regained the rest on your own.”
“Replace my energy?” Willow asked, “But Angel said I died in my time, wouldn't the energy have come back on it's own eventually?”
“No. The magics so fully drained you that your body couldn't fight it. Couldn't rebuild its energy. Magic was the only way.” Melanie explained.
“But it's okay now?” Giles asked, “She won't have any side effects?”
“No. The magic was white magic. We know her history we would never have agreed to this plan if it required dark magic to heal her.”
“Okay so now, I guess, how do we stop the First?” Willow asked, “Mr. Price said you had a plan?”
“Yes we do.” Melanie answered, “It seems to want to reopen the Hellmouth. I believe we found a way to close the Hellmouth permanently, if we can get the First close enough maybe we can close it inside.” She handed Willow a piece of paper, “This is the spell we found.”
Willow quickly read the spell and passed it to Giles. “It looks like it could work to me. But how do we get the First into it?”
“That's what we aren't sure of. It does seem to be targeting the slayer lately. So we were thinking maybe we could get her to lure it there but lately the slayers haven't been living long enough to accomplish something like that.”
“Maybe Angel or Spike…” Giles thought out loud, “They've been targets before…”
“But isn't that risky. I mean the First totally played them Giles. Had Angel ready to fry himself and Spike killing, I don't know if it's safe.” Willow had begun pacing the length of the small room.
“What do you suggest?” Giles asked, hoping she had a better plan, he agreed completely with every one of her suggestions.
“Can I have a couple days to think about it?” Willow asked.
“Sure, but the longer you take…” Melanie said reluctantly.
“I know.” Willow said sadly. She knew she needed a decision fast.
“Giles I've been thinking.” Willow said as soon as she saw the Watcher sitting in the library.
“About?” Giles looked up from the book he had been reading, glad to have some company.
“Buffy, Xander, everyone.” Willow pulled a chair over to sit closer to Giles. “They must be terrified. I mean first I am in a coma then all of sudden so are you. It's not like they know where we are.”
“You're right. They must be concerned but I don't know what we can do.”
“That's what I've been thinking about. What if we can contact them let them know that we're okay?” Willow said quickly.
“Willow, we're a hundred years in the future, how do you propose we…”
“Magic.” Willow leaned forward. “I've been looking through the coven's books. I think I found a spell that could allow us to contact one of them. Just to let them know.”
“Have you spoken to Melanie?” Giles asked, not sure he wanted Willow experimenting with any more magics than she had too.
“I wanted to see what you thought first.” Willow replied shaking her head. “Do you think it'll work?”
“I don't know.” Giles removed his glasses and began searching for something to clean them.
“Will you help me though? If Melanie approves?”
“Of course.” Giles replied.
“Oh, and Spike and Angel are going to show us around the new Sunnydale tonight. You don't mind do you?” Willow asked as she stood and replaced the chair she had moved.
“That sounds fine. We should at least know the area before we try fighting anything.”
“Angel said we might be able to meet the Slayer tonight too.” Willow said as she exited the room. “I'm going to go see what I can find on that spell and then call Melanie.”
“Nice to see patrolling hasn't changed at all.” Willow said wiping dust off her jeans as Spike pulled a stake out of a vampire.
“Yeah, a lot of things may change but not slaying.” Spike commented before turning back to help Angel with the other vampires.
“Ooh is that the Bronze?” Willow asked excitedly pointing to a building across the street.
“What? Yeah I guess it is.” Angel said looking in the direction Willow was pointing. “Hasn't been called that in a long time though.”
“Oh, but it's not a vampire club like in that horrible world Anya created right?”
“No. Still a club but different name and eighteen and older now, kids are kind of discouraged from going out after dark.” Spike replied.
Before Willow could ask any questions, a scream came from one of the cemeteries. Spike and Angel glanced at each other reluctantly.
“Go. We can find our way back.” Willow assured them. “Really?” She insisted.
“It's not like we've never faced a demon before. And we are armed.” Giles pointed out.
“You can find your way back?” Angel asked still unsure.
“Yes. Go.” Willow said, “Save the world.”
Giles and Willow watched as the two vampires took off in the direction of the scream. “Who would've thought Angel and Spike would not only get along but actually be friends?” Giles said as they disappeared from sight.
“Guess when you outlive everyone you know you have to make adjustments.” Willow said, “Wanna go back home or go to that club.”
“Oh come on. Everyone we know died years ago. Who's gonna know that that you did it?” Willow insisted pulling him toward the club across the street.
Giles returned to the table carrying two drinks. Setting one in front of Willow, he took a sip of the other as he sat down. “Having fun?” He asked.
“Sort of.” Willow said. “Going to a club is a lot more fun with all your friends than alone.”
“You're not alone.” Giles replied, having to shout over the music, some things never change.
“That's not what I meant.” Willow corrected, “I mean you're here but you don't…”
“It's not as much fun being here with an old man?”
“No, I mean you are not old Giles.” Willow quickly took a sip of her drink.
“Older than you.”
“Well yeah but that makes you more…Interesting.” Willow said smiling.
“You think I'm interesting?”
“Of course. You know, well, you're smart and cute and strong and…”
“Cute?” Giles inquired.
“Oh God, did I say that?” Willow said her face quickly turning the color of her hair. “Okay too much time around Anya. Thoughts aren't supposed to pop out like that. I know let's just forget I said it.”
“But you thought it?” Giles asked.
“Giles I…” Willow quickly finished her drink. “I don't expect you to… I shouldn't have said that. It's not like you…”
“Why do you think I don't?” Giles asked raising an eyebrow.
“Because you're…Well you're Giles.” Willow stammered.
“Is there a reason you all think I'm asexual?” Giles asked slightly angry.
“Asexual? I don't, It's just that I'm, well, I'm just me.” Willow tried to explain, he obviously didn't understand that the problem was her. How could he ever be interested in her?
“Well, yeah. How could you ever take me seriously, I mean first I'm that shy little nerd hanging out in the library…” Willow said nervously trying not to look at him.
“You haven't been her in a very long time.”
“No then last year I tried to kill you, and end the world. So much better there.”
“So that means no one would possibly find you attractive?” Giles asked. “What about Kennedy?”
“Oh see that's another problem. Gay now.”
“Yes that is a problem. But are you gay?”
“Tara, Kennedy?” Willow said looking up at the Watcher.
“Oz, Xander?” Giles countered.
“Many people find both sexes attractive Willow.” Giles said calmly.
“I, uh, I guess I… Can we talk about something else please?” Willow finally stammered.
“Dance?” Giles asked.
“Come on, everyone we know died years ago. Who's gonna find out?” Giles repeated her earlier words.
“Fine.” Willow said taking his hand as he headed toward the dance floor.
“We were just getting ready to go out and look for you two.” Angel said as Willow and Giles came through the front door laughing.
“We're sorry we just stopped at that club and…” Willow began.
“And lost track of time.” Giles said. “Sorry to have worried you.”
“Still want to meet the Slayer?” Spike asked. Glad to have Angel stop pacing.
“Sure. It's not too late?” Willow asked.
“No she just returned from patrol.” Spike explained. “Come on. She's in the kitchen.”
The pair followed Spike as he pushed the kitchen door open. “Abigail, they're back now.”
“Oh, sorry.” The young dark haired girl said turning to face the people standing just inside the door. “Starving after patrol.”
“Willow, Giles this is Abigail. The newest Slayer.” Spike said, “Now if you all don't mind I have some things to do.” He finished and quickly exited the room, leaving them alone.
“Hello.” Giles and Willow said in unison.
“Hi.” Abigail said finishing off the sandwich she had been eating. “Wow. You're Rupert Giles. And you,” She said turning her attention to Willow, “you really don't look like someone who could destroy the world.”
“That's because I'm not cranky right now.” Willow said smiling. “Can we ask you some questions about the First?”
“Can. But don't know how much I can help you. You probably know more than me.” Abigail said pulling out a chair and sitting down, gesturing to Willow and Giles to do the same.
“Do you know what it wants?” Giles asked as he and Willow took seats across from her. “Has it approached you?”
“Approached me? I thought it wasn't corporeal.” Abigail said confused.
“It takes the form of dead people.” Willow explained.
“Um, I don't think it has. But Mr. Price and my watcher seem to think it's trying to open the Hellmouth. That's killing slayers because they're getting in the way.”
“That's what he told me too.” Willow said, “We want to ask you to do something. If you don't want to that's fine we'll understand.”
“Would you be willing to lure it to the Hellmouth?” Willow asked. “Spike and Angel would be watching. You'd be protected.”
“Wouldn't it be dangerous to lead it right to the Hellmouth?”
“The coven believes if we can get it to the Hellmouth that Willow will be able to trap it inside.” Giles explained.
“Then I guess, I mean what can it hurt right. Angel and Spike will be there.”
“Great.” Willow said relieved that some part of their plan might go right. “We'll let you know exactly what you have to do as soon as we figure it out.”
“'Kay. Then I'll see you later.” Abigail said standing up. “I'm going to bed, got school tomorrow.”
“Bitch. What the hell is she doing here?” Angel said quietly at the door. “This wasn't supposed to…'Night Abigail.”
“Good night Angel.” Abigail said as she passed him.
He watched her leave before quickly disappearing before Willow and Giles left the kitchen.
“Has anyone found anything yet?” Buffy asked slamming a book shut, “'Cause I got nothing.”
“Nothing” Kennedy replied,
“Zero” Dawn slammed her book closed.
“Nada.” Xander agreed.
“This is useless.” From Anya, “How are we supposed to find anything without the two research geniuses?”
“Not really seeing much of a choice just now.” Xander said closing his own book.
“He's right. We aren't just going to sit around and wait for the First to take them out, wherever they are.” Dawn said quietly.
“Xander are you okay?” Buffy asked noticing her friend no longer seemed to be listening to them, but was concentrating on something.
“Willow?” Xander said cautiously. “Where are you?”
“Xander?” Anya asked, as everyone else continued to stare at him.
“Willow? Can you hear me?” He asked again. “Right just listen,” He stopped for a moment and listened quietly. “'Kay got it.”
“Xander?” Buffy asked not sure what had just happened.
“Willow… She, um…” Xander began not sure how to explain what had happened. “Willow's okay. So is Giles.”
“How do you know that?” Kennedy asked still confused about the whole concept of magic.
“She uh, told me.” Xander hesitated. “She said she couldn't hear me but that her and Giles were a hundred years in the future and they were okay. They have to stop the First from opening the Hellmouth…”
“Again?” Dawn and Anya both interrupted.
“Yeah. Anyway, they're okay and have a plan. Angel and Spike are there too. They'll come back as soon as it's done.”
“Do they know it wants to kill them?” Spike asked.
“Doubt it. Couldn't ask any questions,” Xander said sparing the vampire a glance, “But she says not to worry.”
“We've got to get her back here.” Buffy said, “Don't care what she says. I'm worried.”
“But hey, if we know where they are maybe we can bring them back.” Dawn said excitedly.
“I'll call Althenea and Amy and get them both over here.” Xander said reaching for the phone as he spoke.
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