Title- Admissions of Guilt
Sequel to- Admissions
Rating- U for now
Disclaimer- Joss owns all in the Buffyverse, I just use them like Barbie's for my own twisted fun.
Distribution- If you like it, take it… just let me know where.
Summery- An old nemesis is back, and is seeking revenge on Giles and Willow.
Prologue: Willow's POV
Time… what exactly does time mean? In all honesty, as smart as I am, I could never figure it out. Is time linear? Is the beginning really the end? Is the end just the beginning? Where does it start? And, where does it end? Time is such a confusing concept. One second your being told that you have all the time in the world… in the next breath your told it is a precious commodity. Not much comfort in those wacky words of wisdom.
I close my eyes and see such marvelous colours floating around before me, dancing and swirling, perfectly in sync with one another. Sync, synchronized, it all seems to be related to time. Wow… something I've never really thought of before-not that this is exactly the right time to think about it… or is it?
I once again open my eyes and see the faces looming before me. Now I know why I shut them in the first place. I see the fear in the eyes of everyone, but I really can't say that I feel any sort of emotion right now. I wonder if that's normal? I don't know if it is or not, but I'm quite content to not feel anything just yet.
Its amazing the things that go through your mind if you let it. Weird things, silly things. I decide to close my eyes again to see the colours I saw earlier, but it's different this time. Hmmm, again with the time. Anyway, the colours are forming pictures instead of the pretty swirling they were doing before. Too bad, it was kinda relaxing.
I can't really make them out yet, but the colours are so vibrant that it's almost breath taking. Its funny, cause right now its nighttime (time? Damn), but they are so bright and vivid… its like seeing them in the day. Wait a sec… second, minutes, hours. Why is everything related to time? Can't seem to get away from it.
Is everything connected to it or something? I don't know, but it's starting to tick (tock) me off! Damn! Wait, I'm starting to get tired now. Mind is going a little fuzzy at the moment. (Moment… I'm not even going to think about it)!
Okay, yes I will. I can't help but think about it, now that I'm seeing the past play out before my eyes. Yup, there's me with tears in my eyes… hiding that damnable yellow crayon behind my back! Have I ever told anyone how much I hate the colour `yellow'?
No? Mental note… tell everyone I hate yellow. Oh, and there we are in grade six. I'm helping Xander with his math again… which really means that I'm doing it for him, again. Hey! There's Jesse. He's helping me up off the ground after Harmony pushed me. I watch him as he gives me a hug and realize that I'd forgotten about that incident. He really was a sweetie.
I'm opening my eyes now, mostly to see if the others are still staring me at. I can't say whether they are or not…all I can see are the images from my past still. Maybe I didn't actually open them yet. Oh well, let's just go with it.
Okay, more pictures here… this one has Giles in it. It's the library… and the first time we met. He was so corny and sweet with his stutter. No wonder I had a crush on him in High School. It's a secret but, well… I miss the tweed suits he used to wear.
Now its Buffy… her first day of school, and she's asking me if she can sit with me at lunch. Boy! Look at me… I was such a dweeb! I dare anyone to argue with me on that one, cause frankly… it was true, look at me. Oh wait, I am looking at me. Yuck!
Ick… College, and I don't look much better. Yup, me and Oz… saying his goodbye's. `Willow, I can't stay here because of the wolf' blah blah blah. Uh huh, been there- heard that. Sooo over it now.
Eeeeew! It's the creepy `Gentlemen' things. Yup, trying to get into the room after Tara and I magically moved the pop machine in front of the door. Could've done without that memory. Oh hey… me and Tara in snuggle mode. Funny. I should be missing her, but I'm not. Wassup with that I wonder.
Okay… would like to have `NOT' seen Tara dead in my arms. Would really like to move on to the next one now. Cool! Look at me go… kicking Buffy's ass. Yay me. Hey, I'm actually a good fighter when I'm motivated. Look at me! And all I did was up my strength to be on a level with the slayer… the skill was my own. I'm impressed.
Oh, here we go… Xander's speech. Didn't need to see that again. And just for the record, it wasn't the part about the yellow (stupid colour anyway) crayon that got to me. He was willing to die by my side, that's what did it. Didn't matter that I was causing it… it was me he wanted to be with when the end came. That was so stupid… can't help but love the guy. Or, at least, I did. Not sure what I'm feeling now.
There I am… in Merry Old England. Such a beautiful countryside. I tried telling that to Buffy once not too long ago, but she wasn't really interested in hearing about that. Gee, go figure.
Now I'm lying on my cot, and Giles is sitting there talking to me. Telling me stories about when he was young and in a rock band, and his motorcycle. He was so sweet and patient… kept bugging the crap outa me till I finally gave up and responded. And here we go, the first words out of my mouth to anybody in almost two weeks…
"Giles… would you shut the hell up!"
Boy, that was original. Cute though… he didn't get mad or anything, just smiled and said, "Its about damn time you said something."
Yup… he's a card with the quick wit. HAHAHAHA! Hey, wait a sec… did I laugh out loud? Sec… second, that damned `time' shit!
Wait, there's Giles telling me he loves me. I wish I could feel what I was feeling when he said it. I can remember the feeling… guess that's as close as I'm gonna get to it. Wow, that sucks.
Terrific! Here we go with what just happened over the last few weeks. Really didn't want to remember all of that. Guess I have to ride this one out too, huh. Figures.
You know, silly though… again. I think all time is, is a story… in someone else's head. Yeah, kinda `Twilight Zone-y', but that's what I'm thinking. I'd like to see someone try and prove me wrong.
Well, here we are at the big climax of this entire thing… which means that this `life flashing before your eye's' thing is almost over. `Bout damn time! Time… I'm really starting to hate that word!
It had been an emotionally exhausting time for Willow and Giles over the past week. Willow had come to realize that she didn't quite fit in with the rest of the Scooby gang… not anymore. She did her best to do the things she used to do, but the emotions just weren't there. Simple things like shopping with Buffy and being shown the new high school, held no joy.
At one point Buffy had asked Willow about England, which did spark a little excitement with the red head as she told the young blonde of the hills and green meadows that were full of flowers. And she couldn't help but mention Stone Henge, one of her favorite mystical places.
But the slayer didn't want to hear about any of it… she wanted to know about the experience Willow had with the coven. Disappointment flowed through the red head as she told Buffy of what had happened while there, and that her magic was still with her.
Buffy was shocked upon hearing this and had quickly changed the subject to something a little more in line with her expertise… a new guy and Dawn's training. She had talked to Giles about her feelings, giving her a better understanding. It was then that she had decided to make a life-changing announcement… confessing her love to him.
Giles was totally stunned, which was not unexpected… but then began to rationalize her feelings into something else. He had called it the `Florence Nightingale Syndrome'. Feeling defeated, Willow told him how long she had felt this way, apologized and left him to sit and think about it.
She ran to the only place she could think of where no one would bother her, the one place everyone was determined to put out of their minds… Kingman's Bluff. And it was there that Giles had found her, and in turn, confessed his own feelings for her.
And now, here they sit, waiting for the reaction of the slayer after being told the news. All Buffy did was sit and stare, desperately wanting to say something-anything, but nothing came to mind as she watched her friend and her teacher standing hand in hand in front of her eyes.
"Buffy? Are you okay?" Willow asked cautiously.
"Wha? Uh, yeah. Its jus-uh… Well, what I uh, mean is, umm…you and Giles?"
"Yes, Buffy. Willow and I are in love."
"I need to sit down."
"Buff, you are sitting down."
"Then I need to stand up."
"Buffy…" Giles said in exasperation.
"But… your Giles, and she's Willow. That's not the way it's supposed to be."
"And just how is it supposed to be?" said Willow, irritation creeping into her voice.
"Your supposed to be, you know… just Willow. And you," she looked to the former watcher, "Your Giles." Pause "I don't know! Its just that this," she gestured at the two with her hands, "wow, you know? I didn't expect… I never thought that… uhhh."
"I assure you, it is quite true. I love her, Buffy. I'm sorry if you have a hard time understanding this, but it doesn't change how we feel for one another." Giles replied as he gave Willow's hand a reassuring squeeze.
"Whoa, hey! I didn't say I hated it or anything, just that… give a girl a chance to get used to this. I mean, we've known each other for over seven years now, and then, outa the blue… you know? I'm-I'm okay, its just that I need to get… cause your, you know… and I uhh,"
Buffy, it's okay… really. We understand that it's going to take time for you to get used to the idea of Giles and I being together, we knew this when we decided to tell you." Willow finished as Buffy gave a huge sigh of relief.
"So, uh… how long have you guys been, well…"
"Giles only just told me about an hour ago. Me, on the other hand, told him a little before then."
"Sooo, that means I'm the first to know… right? Please tell me you told me first?" the blonde almost pleaded.
"Yes, Buffy. You were the first person we've told. We thought you deserved to be the first to find out."
"Oh, yay me!" Buffy replied excitedly as she clapped her hands.
"So, does this mean your okay with it, Buff?"
"Wills, its not that I'm `not' okay with this, its just gonna take some getting used to, that's all. I'm totally happy for you both. I couldn't have picked better for each of you!"
"You mean that?"
"Well, duh!" Buffy leaped over to the couple and gave them a huge hug, backing off when Willow managed to squeak, "Need air…"
"Ooops, sorry. Hey, Xander's coming over in a couple hours! Can I tell him about you two? Please please please?"
"Buffy, I think I should inform you that begging is not becoming of the slayer." Giles said, and watched as the girl quieted down but shoved out her bottom lip to pout.
"Giles, I'm kind of feeling sorry for her. I mean, how much more pitiful can a person look?"
"You are quite right, luv. Buffy, you have our permission to tell Xander."
"Yay! I knew the pout would work. Oooh, I can't wait to see the look on his face when I tell him." She finished with rubbing her hands together while a sinister little laugh escaped her lips.
A look of abject horror came over Xander's features as the most unconceivable information known to man was brought to his attention. `How could this happen?' he thought to himself.
"How could this happen?" he voiced aloud for all to hear.
"Its not the end of the world you know." Buffy replied.
"Not yours maybe… but mine has just shattered into a million little pieces." He turned his attention to Giles. "But your sooo `old'." He exclaimed. "Don't you think you're a little `mature' for my Wills?" he looked to Willow, "Your latching… you've only been back for a week and still trying to adjust to everything, and you latched on to what was comfortable- your father figure." he rationalized, "That's all he is, you know… a father figure."
"I am not `latching'!" fired the red head. "I love him… more so than just as a father figure, and have for a very long time."
Xander knew it was a childish thing to do, but he knew arguing with his best friend would get him nowhere… so he covered his ears with his hands and chanted.
"I can't hear you, I can't hear you, I can't hear a word your saying." Then began to loudly hum a tuneless song.
"See? This is why I didn't say anything before now. I knew this is how you would react. Xander! Stop acting like a child… your not a kid anymore!" shouted the red head with the hopes of being heard over his humming.
Xander quieted and removed his hands from his ears.
"As for being too `mature', as you put it… I would ask you to stop and think before making any such quips about our age difference. Might I remind you about your relationship with a certain demon? And as for being a `father figure', yes, I suppose at one time that is what she thought of me. But even you have to admit that we all have grown in one way or another, and things have changed."
"But…" the young man looked so crestfallen, "she's my Wills."
"No, Xander, she is not. She is `my' Willow." Giles face softened as he spoke to the brunette. "I promise you, I will take care to see that nothing happens to her. I would never let anything hurt her… you have my word."
"See that you keep it," Xander replied, "cause if anything happens to her… well, no offense."
"Understood, and none taken."
"Hecate?" Willow's voice said softly, full of surprise and wonder.
"Umm, Wills?" asked Buffy, but got no response from the witch as Willow carried on a one sided conversation, causing the small group to worry.
* * * *
* * *
"Willow." Came a soft voice slightly to her right. Willow turned her head, and there stood a figure in a long shimmering gown of white and gold staring back at her. Her golden hair was done in a single braid which was draped over her shoulder and ended at her waist, with silver strands braided throughout making it almost sparkle with a life of its own when the light shone on it.
Her face was strikingly beautiful with its creamy white skin, which set off her eyes and her soft pink coloured lips. Though her lips were not upturned, Willow could see the smile in her cerulean blue eyes.
"Hecate?" she asked.
"Yes, child… it is I. The time has come, and you are almost ready."
"Ready for what?"
"I have watched while you abused the power that I bestowed upon you, as I have watched you punish yourself in the aftermath of all that you did."
"I'm truly sorry about everything I did, Goddess. I'm doing better now though. I've been to…" but was cut off.
"I know all that you have done and been through, my child. I have seen the progress you have made while in the care of my followers in England. I have stood by without interfering, and watched as you learned the tools necessary… something you should have done when you decided to become one of my followers. You were warned by the man you stand with, warned years ago… but his warning went by unheeded."
"I remember." Willow replied, looking at the floor as shame overcame her.
"Do not look away from me." Willow immediately brought her head back up to look at the surreal being standing near her. "It is only fitting that you feel shame for all you have done. But even I am willing to overlook it. You have come far, my child, in such a short time since."
"Thank you, Goddess." Willow said meekly.
"Yet you are still not at peace with yourself because of those actions of the past."
"How can I feel at peace after hurting everyone I love, and almost destroying the world? I-I killed two men."
"You know what you must do. It will not stop the hurt you feel, my child… nothing can do that for you. But it will ease some of your suffering."
"I must sacrifice myself."
"Yes, my child. Offer yourself to me, and you will be reborn."
"Where should I go?"
"To that which almost ended all, so will it bring forth anew."
With that said, the figure began to slowly fade, and her final words sounded like a distant echo. "I await your offering there."
Willow stood silent and closed her eyes as she brought her hands up over her head, and murmured to softly for the others to hear what was said. When finished, the small group stood, mouths agape when Willow's clothes changed from jeans and a t-shirt, to a soft white, sleeveless dress.
"Willow! What the hell is going on? What did you mean, `sacrifice myself'?"
"I'm sorry, Buffy, I have to go. Something I need to do." Willow looked to Giles with a small smile on her lips. "Everything will be alright now. You'll see." She said as a hand came up and caressed the side of Giles face. "I love you."
"Willow?" Giles asked, unable to say anymore as fear gripped his soul.
The red head backed a few steps away from the group as a wind from nowhere came up and surrounded her like a whirlwind… and within seconds she was gone. There was only silence as the three looked at the empty space that was once filled with their friend.
"Willow, nooooooo!" screamed a terrified Xander.
The small group remained silent as they watched the young woman disappear before they're eyes. Horror gripped each one of them, as Xander was the only one to find his voice and scream her name.
"Willow, nooooooo!" The young man desperately looked to Buffy and Giles in hopes of someone doing something… anything to stop his best friend from doing the self-sacrifice that she had talked about with someone they couldn't even see.
"Giles, you heard her, right? Was she talking to herself? Do you think she meant what she said? We have to do something!" Buffy finished, hoping her mentor could shed some sort of light on this situation. She watched as Giles mentally shook himself, and saw the gears in his head begin to turn.
"Yes, Buffy, I heard every word. And by listening to the way she was speaking, I do believe she was quite lucid… she was talking to someone that we were not meant to see."
"But, how could a Goddess ask someone to sacrifice themselves… just to prove they're loyalty? It's just not right!"
"Buffy, if you look back into the bible… I assure you, it happened quite frequently."
"Okay, ya know… I'm real glad you two want to get into some sort of philosophical or theological conversation, but now is not the time for it! My best friend just left and is about to kill herself to please some God, and all you two can do is talk about how often this stuff happens!" said Xander as he turned his head to look at Giles. "You promised me you would never let anything hurt her… well get your ass in gear `cause I'm holding you to that promise!"
* * * *
After the dust settled from Willow's appearance, the young woman was able to see the horrid reminder of the monster she had allowed herself to become not so long ago.
"You know what to do, my child. I am here for you."
"Yes, Goddess, I understand." She replied and closed her eyes.
She could feel the power rising up within her and forced herself to relax. Arms held out in front of her and palms facing the ephigee, she began to softly chant. A rumble from deep within the ground told her that ephigee was doing as she wanted… the grotesque monument was slowly sinking back into the ground where it belonged.
"Stop. You will take it no further."
Willow stopped what she was doing and opened her eyes, only to see that the pitchforks that sat atop of the ephigee were still there… totally exposed. Willow turned questioning eyes to the sky in hopes of an explanation.
"It is a necessary reminder for you, my child."
"But, I don't want to remember."
"It is better this way… to remember what it is that sets you apart from the beasts you fight. When you look upon this, it will remind you that once; you were no better than they. It will also give you the strength you need to make sure that this will never again happen. It is the way I wish it to be, for you will need all the strength you have… as well as from those around you." She finished.
"I don't understand what you mean. Strength for what?"
"Tis not the time for you to know… but soon, my child, soon you will be in battle, a battle for your very soul."
"But, who will I be fighting?"
"You, my lovely one. Never fear, for I am always with you… I will be there when you need me most. You are never alone."
"But when will this happen? How can I fight myself? I don't understand what you want of me." She said in a small voice, "I'm sorry."
"In time, little one, in time. After all, time is like water, and each ripple holds infinite possibilities. Each choice you make causes new ripples to appear." Said the dis-embodied voice, which only caused a look of confusion to cross Willow's features.
"Yes, I know you do not yet understand. It is connected to all things, it takes and it gives, and bends with the flow of the tide. It appears to run in a line, yet it also seems to run circular. You mortals have this saying… What goes around comes around. Tis a simple explanation, but quite accurate. Time… such an easy concept, but one that is hard to explain to such an inferior race. No matter, your race will figure it out for themselves one day."
Willow could think of nothing else to do but nod her head.
"You know what it is you must do."
"I await your sacrifice. You may begin."
* * * * *
The three sat in the car as Xander sped his way down the streets of Sunnydale, desperately hoping to get to his friend before anything could happen. He was scared to death and didn't care who knew it, but the look on Giles's face made it worse.
"Giles? Don't worry; we'll get there in time. She's only been gone for about ten minutes, not much time for anything too bad to happen." Said the slayer in the hopes of calming everyone down.
"Buffy, you don't understand. I can feel her emotions." He stated as he looked to the blonde woman sitting beside him. "Within these last ten minutes, I have felt a variety of emotions from her. I've felt confusion, fear, and now…"
"And now what?"
"An almost tranquility has come to her." He said softly. Neither spoke another word as Xander pushed the gas pedal to the floor. `Cops be damned' he thought.
"Oh god!" was all Buffy could manage to squeak out.
* * * * *
Though she could see nothing, it felt as though someone's palms rested against hers as she spoke quietly to the unseen entity.
"My pride and humility, my heart and my soul. I am your servant, I am your daughter. In your hands, my life do you hold. From air to earth, and fire to water. I give the purity of life, for you to behold."
Willow felt a warmth spread around her, as though someone was wrapping arms about her body as if in a gentle embrace. And it was comforting in a way she never thought possible.
"I accept your offering, my child, with happiness in my heart. I will leave you now to continue what you must finish. Remember, Dearest, you are never alone." The final words faded and the red head knew she was once again by herself.
Slowly she turned away from the pitchforks and again closed her eyes, and as she began to chant her body lifted from the ground and was suspended about five feet off. So absorbed was she in what she was doing, that she didn't notice the audience that had approached.
* * * *
Relief flooded the three of them as they stood there watching the young woman as she began to levitate off the ground. Giles recognized the words she spoke, and held off the other two from going to her.
"It is a simple incantation. Sh-she is bringing back life to the area she destroyed." He explained. "It is a renewal spell. Watch and see for yourself." He said a little breathlessly.
The three stood in awe as they're gazes settled upon the beauty that floated in mid-air. If it weren't for the fact that they knew her so well, they might not have recognized her, for the way the sun shone on her hair, it cast a fiery glow around her head. The paleness of her skin and the white of her dress almost seemed to glow with the rays of the sunlight. It was as though they were looking upon the beauteous wonder of an ethereal being… not the Willow they had come to save.
And as they watched, a yellow mist began to rise out of the ground, almost like a fog as it hovered. They saw the colour of the dirt change from a charred black to a lighter shade with grass beginning to poke out.
"For that which I had taken, so shall I return anew. That which I destroyed, so shall I give it life. So mote it be."
They stood motionless as they saw the entire thing… grass was growing all around, and wild flowers making their way up to the light, and rewarding them with the sight of their first bloom.
It was absolutely breath taking, and Giles couldn't help it as his mind traveled back to England… to the place where he had first seen her do this. To the moment when he realized that he was in love with her.
The three watched as Willow smiled and opened her eyes to take in the sight of what she had accomplished. But as she looked on, a frown twisted her features… she couldn't take her eyes away from the life below she had created.
"Something's wrong." Giles said, causing the other two to look at the worried expression on his face, but he continued to stare at Willow. Buffy and Xander looked back, not understanding what he was talking about, until Willow's frown turned back into a smile. But something wasn't right, the smile looked almost… sinister?
Hollow sounding laughs emerged from the red head's lips as everyone saw that what she had just created, whither and die before their eyes. Looking back to Willow as a scream escaped her lips, they watched her fall to the ground in an unconscious heap.
The three onlookers ran towards they're friend, who now lay upon the blackened earth. What had once been a vision of beauty and wonder, now held nothing but death once again.
The former Watcher made it to Willow's side first, gently moving the girl onto her back and brushing the hair from her face to check for any sign of a head injury.
All breathed a sigh of relief when all they saw were a few small scratches, but nothing more. Xander leaned down and gently began to pat her cheek in hopes of waking the unconscious girl. In all his years of fighting demons and vampires, this is the first time in his life that he knew what real fear felt like.
"Wills… hey, c'mon. You gotta wake up." He said softly, and was rewarded with a moan that escaped the red head's lips.
"Willow, come now, luv. Wake up." Giles almost pleaded.
Willow's eyes fluttered open and looked around in confusion, wondering why everyone was staring at her… that is until she noticed that she was lying rather unceremoniously on the ground.
"Willow, are you hurt? Can you stand?"
"I'm fine, Giles… I think. What's going on?" she asked as the two men helped her up off the ground, causing her to gasp as she took in the view before her. Where she stood no longer held any sort of life… no flowers graced they're presence, not even so much as a blade of grass. "But…"
"Wills, it's okay. You're going to be fine."
"Fine? You call this fine?" she gestured around her. "Look around you… don't you see it? Everything is dead, there's nothing here! No plants, no flowers… not even a damn bird! What the hell did this!?"
"Not what… who."
"And just what is that supposed to mean, Xander?"
"What that means is… it was you." He replied, placing a hand on her shoulder, which she quickly shrugged off.
"Your crazy! I would never do something like that." She finished, and then realized what she said. "Okay, once I did do it… but that was a while ago. And all of you know the circumstances that were involved, but this…" she gestured with her hands, "I was trying to make it right again. That's what she wanted me to do."
"What… and you call killing yourself making it right?" Buffy said with a note of sarcasm, causing Giles to give her one of his `not now' looks.
"Who said anything about killing myself? What are you talking about?"
"Quote, `I must sacrifice myself', end quote." Quipped Xander. "Sounds a little like `Hey there, Grim Reaper! Come on in for a spot of tea, and while your at it, take my soul too!' to me."
"You know, guys, for the record… there is more than one way to make a sacrifice without having to die." She said, mortified. She decided to go on with the explanation when she received quizzical looks from all around. "Things like sacrificing your pride, so on and so forth?"
"You mean…?" But Buffy didn't finish the question.
"Uh huh." The red head nodded, "I came up here to make things right… fix what I did. That's all. Create life, not take it… been there, done that-got the memories."
"Well, it w-was an honest mistake, Will. We d-didn't know…"
"I know, Xander, and its okay. I'm, you know, a little freaked out that you thought I'd try to kill myself… but I can see how you'd all see that." Replied Willow as the group gave a huge sigh of relief. "Lets go home, I can fix this again tomorrow." With that said, the red head took a step, but stumbled, causing Giles to reach out and steady her.
"Willow, are you alright? Are you sure you're not hurt, luv?" Asked Giles, full of concern.
"No, no. I'm fine… just really tired all of a sudden. I guess it took more out of me than I thought." She chuckled and leaned on Giles for support.
"Let's get you home then." He said as he scooped her up into his arms, and placed a tender kiss on the top of her head.
* * * *
The watcher carried the young woman up to her room and placed her carefully on the bed, removing her shoes and covering her with a blanket. He sat down on the side of the bed next to her and smiled as he saw her gazing up at him with a tired smile on her face.
"I'm sorry, Giles… I mean Rupert. Its hard to get used to calling you that after calling you Giles for so long." She said, causing the older man to chuckle.
"I must admit, I too find it rather overwhelming to hear you say my given name." He said as he brushed a lock of red hair from her face and tucked it behind her ears. "And what, if I may ask, have you to be sorry about?"
"For earlier today. I didn't stop to think that you guys couldn't hear her like I could. I didn't realize that you would misunderstand what was going on and what she wanted me to do."
"Nonsense. It wasn't a conversation meant for our ears… only yours. And everything is fine now. No need to worry yourself over what happened, it was an honest mistake as Xander said." He looked at her a little more closely. "You, my dear, need to rest. You look absolutely exhausted."
"You know something? That's exactly how I feel." She replied as her eyes began to drift shut.
"Rest now, I'll see you later." He finished. Willow gave a slight nod and closed her eyes as Giles softly placed a kiss upon her lips.
"I love you, Giles." She murmured.
"And I you."
* * *
"Okay, Giles… what's the skinny?" Asked Buffy when she saw Giles make his way down the stairs and take a seat in the armchair.
"I beg your pardon?" he asked, confused at his slayer's choice of words.
"What happened? How did you know something was wrong before anything happened?"
"Oh yes, that. Back when Willow was on her rampage, she had taken the magick that the coven had imbued me with. Ever since then I have been able to feel her emotions, as you saw earlier today. But…"
"Go on, Giles. But what?"
"Buffy, right before the laughter and the death of the plant life… I didn't feel anything. It was almost as if she didn't exist. It was rather disconcerting I must say."
"Well, how far does this emotion thing go?" Xander asked, curiosity getting the best of him.
"A few months ago, I could feel everything as if they were my own emotions… I could see what she was seeing. For lack of a better term, it would almost be like reading her mind… but more intense than that. I knew what she thought, I felt what she felt." He sighed, "But over time it has diminished. Now I feel her emotions, but it's not as strong as what it once was. I suspect that in time, even this will fade all together as well." He finished.
"Wow." Replied a dumbstruck Buffy. "You know, maybe that's all this is. Maybe it is starting to disappear, just a little at a time."
"I suppose you are right. It's just that it's been such a part of me for some time now that I have become somewhat accustomed to it. I believe I will miss it when it does go."
"Would you like us to stay the night here? We could help keep an eye on Willow."
"Thank you. Xander, but no. I think everything will be fine. I do appreciate your concern however." He looked to Buffy. "I do believe you have patrol tonight?"
"Yeah, I do. Your sure you don't need us to stay?"
"No, Buffy. Go on with you, both of you. It's been a rather long day for everyone."
* * * * *
Unknown to the rest, a lone figure stood at the top of the landing listening to every word being said. A menacing smile slowly came to the lips of the young woman as her blue-flecked green eyes watched two of the three people downstairs left.
"Oh, this is going to be so much fun." She whispered to herself, then turned and made her way back to the bedroom.
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