Okay, I'm doing another time jump… into the future… yeah. 'Cause I couldn't think of anything else… :P
Don't despair, though, it's only a couple of months… so yeah…
Beep… beep… beep…
The electrocardiogram managed to belt out a few squealing beeps, signaling that Skye
Maclay was still among the living, but from what the doctors told her family, that wouldn't last.
A woman garbed in a pink nurse's uniform entered the plain ICU room, the shock of silence surprising her as she entered. It was a differing environment from the hustling hospital staff. She tried a warm smile for the teenager sitting in a chair next to the comatose Skye's bed, tears staining her warm, pretty cheeks.
"Oh, Tara, you're here," the nurse said warmly, Tara almost saying bitterly, No, I'm a figment of your imagination. "I didn't anticipate for you to still be here." Her voice was thick with a British accent.
"I'm glad you didn't get hurt any worse in that accident," she added.
Any worse than my heart being ripped in half? "Th—Thank you, Ms. Red."
"Call me Jillian, please." She persisted. "And how's Donny and your father, I didn't hear anything yet about them."
They almost died. How do you think they're doing? "The doctors don't know." Tara put a hand over her prodding stomach and sighed.
"Miss Maclay, I know what it's like… you haven't any idea—"
"T—That's what everyone's saying," she started to sob. "I—I can't do this without my mom…"
Tuesday awoke with a start, panting… it hurt… so… much…
"So is Oz my daddy, now?"
Those were the first words to escape from Willow Rosenberg's mouth that warm Saturday morning. Thunder rumbled in the once still, humid air, creating a disturbance, much like a shock wave. Windows rattled in their panes—Xander had yet to fix them—bringing Willow into the sudden brightness of the conscious world. She had fallen asleep at the local desk, were she was working on some random paper, which didn't appear to stop Tuesday from nudging her to get up. That was just nothing compared to her nightmares that visited her often. It was the same thing, over and over; two vampires and a pale, pretty little black-haired girl. They were dressed all funny, too. That nightmare last night was the first different one in weeks…
"Mom? D'you know what today is?" a grin broke onto the little girl's face. "My birthday!" she shrieked with glee.
How could Willow have forgotten? Since no one really knew Tuesday's birthdate, the Scoobies just made the day October 13th, also known as the day, exactly one year ago, when Tuesday first arrived on the doorstep of the rundown shack like manor in Wales.
Willow yawned, stretching a bit as she skipped down the stairs in a trancelike state. Conversation already came from the kitchen:
"'Every dog has his day'. Amanda, I think I got yours." Andrew teased.
"Well, then must have gotten yours," she visibly lifted up a fortune cookie and the prediction therein. "'One day you will meet a handsome man and fall in love with him'!"
"Hey! By the way, what exactly does RSVP mean?" he inquired; now grasping an obvious invitation card.
"Refreshments Served at Vi's Party?" Amanda suggested.
Andrew rose from his seat. "Tofu sausages?"
"I respect that you don't eat meat... please respect that I don't eat fake meat." She stared out into the window. "This is pretty weird. Most of the time, it just… snows… around this time of the year."
There was an abrupt knock at the door, but whoever was at it refused to wait. The door swung open, a red-haired, middle-aged woman standing there.
"M—Mom?" Willow managed to stammer.
Sheila Rosenberg looked a little worn and studied her daughter for a moment, then flung her arms around Willow. "Oh, God, it's you… you don't know how worried your father and I have been since that sinkhole in Sunnydale… we thought you might've been… you could've been killed!"
"Uh…" was all Willow could reply. Andrew and Amanda looked at each other, giving a mental shrug.
"And Willow, I haven't seen you for what? A year and a half? What have you been doing? Where have you been?"
"And look at this!" Sheila kneeled to Tuesday's eye level and smiled wearily. "Who is she?"
"Mom… this is Tuesday… she's my… she's my daughter…"
"Now, I'm gonna ask one more time," Erestdae stated to the woman strapped to the wall. "Where does the Witch live?"
"I don't know what you're talking about!" the Latino twenty-something spat.
"Yes you DO!!!" he yelled, lashing out another skin-piercing strike of his whip. "At least tell me your pretty little name." He commanded, smirking at the sight of the girl's grimace.
"So…" Sheila began, seated on the couch. "Tuesday… she's that girl… Tara—" Willow nodded. "That's her daughter. And you've taken her in? And you're back with that boy… the musician."
"Yeah… yeah, that about sums it up. So, are you going to stay for a while?"
"I can set up the pull-out couch downstairs, Mrs. Rosenberg." Amanda chimed in helpfully.
"No," she replied. "I've better get going. I've overstayed what I was expecting. But Willow, dear, keep in touch, will you?"
"'Course, Mom." She smiled, giving her a goodbye embrace. Sheila reluctantly went out the door, then pulled out into the street in a shiny orange car.
"She doesn't know, does she? About who we really are?" Amanda asked, her voice distant.
"Well… the only two adults who ever really knew about what was going on were Joyce, Buffy's mom, and Giles… but they're both…"
"I know." She interjected softly.
Next chapter: Nina and Angel; Isis and Spike's arrival at the manor; the scoobies' new threat; and a little surprise (in a family way)