Stepping into Darkness
Author: Kyizi, the Diva of Darkness :o)
She scratched again at her skin. It felt dirty, she didn't belong here. She stumbled and reached for the nearest wall, steadying herself. She was weak, her body felt odd as she struggled internally for possession.
*Not long* she urged herself forward. Walking through the streets she followed a familiar path and made the effort to keep breathing. Her ears prickled at the gentle noise that was echoing through the darkness. The creature was nearby, but it was unlikely to bother her. Rounding a corner, she stopped to catch her breath. Pulling herself upright she gazed at the building ahead. She had found them.
Willow stared at the open book in front of her. It lay at the same page that it had over an hour ago, but no one had mentioned it, no one had noticed. There was a new demon threat in town, as usual, and they were, as usual, trying to figure out how to stop it.
*But how do we stop it?* Willow asked herself again, *How do we stop anything?* She looked up from her book and stared around the silent room. Xander and Giles were staring at books of their own whilst Anya was sitting at the Cash register counting the money again. Willow had watched the girl. After Joyce's death, Anya hadn't known how to react and now, faced with another death, the girl knew even less about how to deal with the situation. Willow scoffed at herself, no one knew how to deal with the situation.
Willow looked over into the shadows under the balcony. Dawn, had fallen asleep in the corner, Tara watching over her. It was the first time Willow had seen her sleep since the night that Buffy had died. Her eyes were dark from lack of sleep, but she hadn't cried. They had each allowed themselves to grieve, even Spike. He, in fact, had been more upset than anyone had expected, but Dawn had shut herself off from them. Doing only what they asked, saying nothing and simply spending each day in a world of her own, no doubt one that contained her mother and her sister. Not even Angel had been able to get through to her at the funeral, and Dawn had always listened to Angel. But she hadn't said anything, no jokes about his brooding...everything had changed. Her eyes were vacant and hollow.
There was a tinkle as the door opened and Willow turned expecting to see Spike. Instead, she saw was someone about her age, and the girl didn't look too healthy.
"Can...can I help you?" She asked stepping towards the girl. Xander and Giles had looked up from their books and Anya was hastily putting the cash back in the drawer.
The girl frowned and wrapped her arms around herself, "Willow?" she whispered.
"How do you know my name?" By this time, the others stood behind her, except from Tara who was reassuring a sleepy Dawn that there was nothing wrong.
"I...what's wrong with my voice?" The girl stretched her arms out in front of her and began to turn them over, looking at them, as if inspecting something that shouldn't be there.
"Are you OK?" Willow stepped towards her and the girl looked up, staring at them all. Dawn and Tara walked over to the group, and Dawn looked at the girl who was about the same height as she was. Suddenly the girl's face broke into a smile.
"Dawn!" She walked forward only to be stopped by Willow.
"Get out," Blackness swam over Willow's hardened eyes and the girl stepped back. Giles and Xander stood in front of Dawn, shielding her, "I don't know which one of Glory's followers sent you but you will not get her."
"Will?" The girl began to shake her head in disbelief and walked backwards, stumbling on the step. She fell backwards and groaned in pain as her bruised wrist awkwardly broke her fall. Pulling herself up she turned to flee and walked directly into Spike.
"Fliq? What the bloody hell are you doing here?" Spike eyed the girl as Giles stepped towards him.
"Do you know this girl?"
"Spike, it's me." The girl pleaded.
"I can see that luv, but what..." Spike stared into the girls eyes and frowned. After a moment his eyes widened in surprise, "No."
"Spike, please see me."
END OF PART 1