4

Chapter Four: Willow, a Cop, and a Werewolf

Ah, perfect timing. The sun is just beginning to set. Hopefully, by the time we get off the subway, Oz will have the perfect view of San Francisco from Twin Peaks. The more I'm around him, the more I want him to love San Francisco as much as I do, for many reasons.

As usual, the banter with Oz is fun. He talks about wanting to form a band here. I wonder if I'll be his groupie girl again, the way I was back in the old days at The Bronze. Oh gosh, I think I'm falling for him again. I didn't think that would happen. Since Oz, most of the people I've fallen in love with have been women. At first, it was a woman, Tara, just like it was a man, Oz. For me, it's about the person. I'm beginning to fall for this person all over again: the way he smells, the goofy smile, the eyes that are huge with wonder and experiences of a world from a whole different perspective. I don't think I even realized how much I missed him. I thought it was all a done deal when I found out he got married in Tibet. I guess that didn't turn out to be the case.

But oh, what am I going to do about the Ana Lucia problem? Not something I want to think about right now.

"Here we are!" I say almost too enthusiastically. Twin Peaks at sunset. What can be more beautiful than that? If there's anything I've learned about Oz and me, it's that even when it's complicated, it's also beautiful.

"Wow," he says, "I can see why you wanted to bring me here. It's….almost magical seeming."

"Well, and that's a big deal, coming from either one of us!" A werewolf and a witch; what can be more magical than that?

"I could stay up here all day," he says. "Especially with you."

I feel like someone just sucked all of the air out of my stomach, but in a good way.

"Uh, but what about, uh, that woman you met in Tibet…."

"Bayarmaa? Ah yes, I loved her, I really did. But she wanted a kid, and that just….wasn't something I was ready for, you know? I'm not sure if I ever want to have kids. I just wonder if it would be fair to, you know, pass along some of my..tendencies…"

"I understand," I say, and I do. Me with my addiction to magic, my fluid sexuality, my…..witchiness? I wasn't sure who would want to be with me long term, and I had not even entertained the idea of kids. "I'm not sure I want kids either." There's a tinge of sadness in my voice that even I can here. When you're a woman, especially a Jewish woman, you feel a certain obligation to have kids, to pass along your lineage. My parents haven't been the most attentive ones in the world, but they're both mega smart, and they gave me some good genes. Plus, it would be nice to have more Jewish people in the world after what happened in the Holocaust, even if one was the son or a daughter of a former witch.

Suddenly, his arms are around me, and I instinctively rest my head on his shoulder that rests just a little below my head. I feel protected in a way that I haven't in a long time. As a feminist, a part of me wishes that I didn't feel comfort in feeling that way, but I do.

"I know I wouldn't mind having another little Willow in the world," he says. He smells the same as he did all those years ago. It's like…home."

"And I wouldn't mind another you. But, uh, one thing at a time."

We both laugh, a little nervously, and turn back around. "Hey look, the sun is really setting now! You can see the city at its most beautiful."

"Yeah," he says nodding. "I love it even more now. An amazing view with one of my favorite people."

"So, I'm still your favorite, huh?" I say in almost a teasing voice. "There was no one else after Bayarmaa?" Well, I don't believe that for a minute, but this is a gentle way of prodding.

"Well, there was this girl I met in Seattle named Claire. She was amazing. In fact, she kind of reminded me of you, only with an Australian accent." He gently rubbed my shoulder. "But then, she got back with her old boyfriend Charlie. He was kind of a stoner, but he was getting help. Plus, they had been through a lot of weird shit together, a really tough plane crash and all. So I backed off." He sounded sad about it, but also like he had come to a point of resolution. Some things just aren't meant to work out.

"Interesting, my last girlfriend Ana Lucia survived a plane crash too. But, that's a story for another night." I'd rather talk about Ana Lucia as little as possible right now. It did not fall out well, but she's an amazing woman. And when is she going to come over and get the rest of her shit? She's been ignoring my texts about it. It's kind of childish, really. I know it's hard, but we both need to find some closure at this point.

"This kind of reminds me of the old days, you know, that point up at the top of Sunnydale?" Oz winks at me. My mind comes right back to where we are, Twin Peaks at sunset. It's perfect.

"That place where Buffy used to hunt vampires and other creatures of the night?"

Oz laughs. I guess every love spot has its downfalls.

"By the way, it's not a full moon tonight, so…"

"So, we can stay out as late as we want! But honestly, Willow, we could even if it wasn't a full moon. I hardly ever change anymore."

"Good for you!" I say, proud of him. "And I stay off of magic, for the most part, unless it's absolutely necessary."

"So, that means we can look at the stars, up here at Twin Peaks. And then, maybe grab a bite to eat somewhere?"

"Yes," I say, "Unless you want to come back to my place and make dinner together?"

We get back to my place, laughing about old memories with the Scooby gang. I wonder how they're all doing, the ones that are left at least, after all the drama we've faced.

Wait a minute, why are the lights already on? I swear I turned them off. A weird and palpable vibe goes through the room. Someone is here, and this someone doesn't especially like the sound of our laughter.

Ana Lucia.

"Uh, hi," I say, not exactly knowing how to respond to this situation. Awkward seems like a bit of an understatement. And I forgot that she still has a key. Of course. Maybe it's time to get the locks changed.

"Well, good evening Willow, and gentleman caller. I came to get the rest of my stuff." And indeed she did, as boxes are full of what she had left here. Her voice is like steel. I wonder if this is how she talks to people while they're under arrest.

Oz and I look at each other, not really knowing what to say. Ana Lucia doesn't like long silences, though, so she's quick to chime in.

"Well, well, you sure don't waste any time, do you, Red? I mean, we've been broken up for less than a month, and you're already bringing someone else home? I mean, COME ON! Am I that unimportant to you? Am I that easily replaceable? And by a MAN, nonetheless? What happened to you being a lesbian?"

"Um, well, I am most of the time. But I'm sometimes attracted to men too. Especially this one…."

"Huh, yeah, it sure does appear that way. I mean, why didn't you tell me that? You're such a hypocrite. I was MARRIED to a MAN, and you knew that, yet you didn't tell me about your past." Yikes, I wish she wouldn't yell so loud. The neighbors might hear her.

"It hurt too much," I say, sounding like a deflated pancake. Tara died, which was horrible, but she didn't leave me by choice. Oz did. In some ways, that was worse. Both of my soul mates left me, just in different ways. I thought Ana Lucia could take their place, and she tried, but she just couldn't. Then again, I don't think I ever took her husband Danny's place either.

She sounds really angry, and I don't blame her. I did lie to her, and I shouldn't have. But I don't like to talk about my childhood, including high school. I feel like my life didn't really start until I got to college. I just hope she doesn't completely lose her shit, like she did that one time.

"Um, hi Ana Lucia, I'm Oz. I'm Willow's….old friend from high school." He extends his hand, but I can tell from his face that he's afraid she's going to bite it off.

"Yeah, you guys seem really friendly." Her voice sounds bitter and ice cold. Then, a thought seems to cross her mind. "Wait a minute, Oz. Were you in Seattle before you were here?And do you play guitar?" Her body language is aggressive, hands on her hips, standing tall. She sounds like a cop doing an inquisition. I start to feel nervous for Oz.

"Um, yeah. Why?"

"OH MY GOD! You're the Oz who tried to take Claire away from Charlie!"

Oz looks genuinely shocked, and terrified. "It wasn't like that, I swear! THEY WERE ON A BREAK!" He sounds very defensive, the way Ross and Rachel always did on friends when they had to tell people they were on a break to avoid being accused of cheating. "And how on earth do you know them?"

"Huh, funny you should ask. Well, we crashed on a plane together and ended up on an island in a dimension that's, shall we say, not quite our own. So needless to say, we have the kind of bond that lasts into eternity."

"Hmm, well, that explains some things." Oz's voice seems to calm down.

"So, you believe me?" Ana Lucia sounds incredulous. "I mean, people often haven't in the past. I only let it slip this time because I was pissed. Normally, I've been trying to keep it to myself, so people won't make me go to the white coat doctor asylum."

"Um, Ana Lucia," I can hear how soft and meek my voice sounds. "There are some things I haven't told you about my high school years."

"Huh, I think that's a bit of an understatement, Will. Well, that's okay. Sometimes, you have to keep your past quiet, especially when it involves magic and shit that some people don't even believe in." Her mind drifts off a bit, but she sounds less pissed now. "Well, I'm um, going to go now. Willow, I hope it works out for you." She sounds sad, but also like she understands, to a degree. Maybe one day, I'll take her out for a drink and explain some things. But I don't think that day will be soon. I think we both need time to heal.

"Bye, Ana Lucia."

"Goodbye, Willow," she says, not looking back, carrying the remains of her stuff in her arms. The door shuts behind her hard, and she doesn't even try to catch it.

Oz looks bewildered, but not upset. "Um, I would have said it was nice to meet her, but it didn't seem appropriate at that moment."

I nod, walking over to the door to make sure it's bolted. Hopefully, she won't come back, at least not for a while, until we've all cooled off a bit. Worse case scenario, I currently have a werewolf in the house.