The story you're about to read was intended to be part of a larger series. Inspiration being inspiration, I wrote it one day, long before the parts that should have been written before.

At first, I decided to keep that story somewhere, waiting for the beginning to be written.

But finally, this part being quite independent from the rest, it can be read alone.

So some background for you to understand :

the story takes place nearly one year after 'Chosen'. Giles rebuilds the council, helped by Willow and Xander, Kennedy, Wood and Faith. Buffy for her part, decided to live a normal life in Rome with Dawn.

After some months in Cleveland where the new Council is, Willow, Kennedy and some other Slayers and Watchers (including Rona and Vi) have been sent to Brazil by Giles.

There, the demonic community intends to make them regret to come and is hard on them.

So the atmosphere is : work and work and work again when this story happens...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The silence had established its reign on the council's HQ. Slayers who had patrols duty on that evening were out and the other Slayers had withdrawn in their districts. The hall and the big lounge, usually place of passage and life where Slayers and and Watchers were meeting all day long, were henceforth deserted and plunged into darkness. In the long corridors of the building, only the security lights enlightened the blank walls and the impeccable stone floor. At a random crossraod of a corridor, one could perceive here and there a light under the door of a room: probably a Watcher reading again some notes before going to bed. Or still some Slayers having decided to occupy their free evening by a henceforth rare "girlie night".

But it was necessary to climb up to the summit of the building, in the last floor to find another room largely lit in spite of the late hour. It was the library. The unlimitedness of the room and its strict and clear organization imposed at once the respect to every guest and the deathly silence which reigned there, still strengthened this impression of crowned which anyone got from the impressive council's library. Giles had particularly followed the implementation of this room and Willow could only notice the great work he had managed to make this room the sanctuary of the knowledge it was and never stop amazing the witch.

Except tonight. Half collapsed on the table, pressed on her left hand, eyes lost in the vagueness, Willow seemed far from being in her now famous « research mode ». She seemed even rather ready to fall asleep from one minute to the other. What eventually happened.

Her face slid slightly along her arm and her forehead struck the corner of one of the numerous books which were covering her table. At the rough contact of the book against her skin, the witch jumped. She shook herself little and turned around to see the clock hung on on the wall behind her. It was henceforth 11:45 pm. Willow sighed. She was there for several hours now and she began to feel really tired. She tried to dive back into the reading but she felt again very quickly her eyelids fight against sleep. She proably should stop there for this evening and to go down to go to bed. But for some reasons, she didn't succeed in deciding to join her bed. She wondered if Kennedy had come back yet. She wasn't on patrol duty tonight and hadn't shown any enthusiasm for an evening of research, contrary to Willow who was in a very bookish mood. Both young ladies had thus decided to part after dinner, Willow spending her evening in the library and Kennedy … Well, she didn't know exactly what her partner was doing. She had doubtless gone out in city with Rona and Vi. Or, the three Slayers had met in Vi or Rona's room to share a pizza-TV evening and evoke memories of the time when they were still only potentials, or to remember their last exploits of demons Slayers.

Willow sighed again. If such was the case, Kennedy could indeed spend half the night out: nothing seemed to be able to stop Vi when the three girls shared that kind of evening. Willow didn't really bother about it: spending an evening from time to time only alone with books wasn't to displease her and even turned out to have become a necessity. But this evening, she felt too much tired to be able to take advantage completely of this moment of peace of mind.

Willow again felt sliding from fatigue towards the table and shook herself again. She stood up, took back her book, opened wide eyes and resumed her reading. Long minutes passed which seemed to her to last long eternities. The words danced in front of her eyes, forming sentences which resounded in her head but whose meaning didn't reach up to her brain lost in the mists of the sleep any more. Willow didn't realize this time she was falling asleep. Her left hand curled up and covered the book still put in front of her. Her body fell over slowly forward and her head came to rest in the hollow of her arm, her long red hair covering the pale skin of her arm and the pages of an old book whom pages had turned yellow by time. The witch sank into a dreamless slumber.

Which didn't last. Or lasted hours. She couldn't have known. What she knew, was that she abruptly had just been awaken by a gong. Willow jumped slightly before realizing that it was the gong of the clock that had just woken her. Without standing up totally, Willow turned her sleepy eyes to the clock behind her. It was a big round clock, encircled with a matt metal which seemed to her to be some bronze. It was placarded on the wall behind Willow, enough high to be visible from all spots in the library and seemed to dominate it down from its overhang. Big black digits were pointed by silvery needles which shone in the light of the neons. They were now indicating midnight. The clock sounded slowly its twelve knocks. The famous twelve knocks of midnight thought Willow. Why famous? She was too much tired to remember. But while the knocks shelled one by one to indicate the passage towards a new day, behind her half-closed eyes, Willow looked at the bowes located under the centre of needles and indicating the date, turning on themselves to move from one day to the next. This slow movement had to rock her because the witch fell asleep again before having seen figures indicating that we were henceforth May 7th.