Title: Four People Willow Bartowski Wasn't Supposed to Meet (But Wound Up Meeting Anyways)
Rating: PG-13 for some violence
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't sue.
Spoilers: Seasons 1-4 just to be safe.
Summary: Sometimes (Most times) there are just some things a kid doesn't need to realize about her parents. Like the people they dated before each other.
"This is completely inappropriate, Agent Larkin."
She's holding Uncle Bryce's hand as they walk through the corridor of the dimly lit, cold prison.
She's seven, and she's seen prisons on TV, but never been in one.
"It's take your child to work day," Uncle Bryce says. "Chuck and Sarah are out of the country and I'm on Willow duty. Can't be helped."
General Beckman sighs. "I suppose I'll be looking after her while you interrogate Shaw."
"If you wouldn't mind. She's a little angel, Ain'cha, Kitten?"
Willow gives her best puppy eyes on cue, knowing that when Uncle Bryce calls her a little angel it's time to put on a show.
"Kitten?" The General asks.
"I'm an honorary member of the CAT Squad," Willow smiles proudly. "Auntie Carina said so."
"Of course," the General says dryly.
They reach a cell door and the General opens it up, revealing metal bars behind it.
Behind them is a tall, unhappy-looking man with graying hair, dark eyes and strong hands.
Willow knows they're strong because they shoot out from between the bars and grab her around the throat, squeezing hard.
She gasps and chokes while the General yells for security and Uncle Bryce tries to wrench the man's hands away.
When that doesn't work, he pulls out his gun and aims it through the bars at the man's head.
"Let her go, Daniel."
"Give me a good reason, Larkin."
The gun clicks as Willow's vision starts to blur a little.
"Because if you don't, I'll leave you just alive enough."
She doesn't know what that means, but the bad man lets her go, and the General holds onto her tightly, pulling her back as she coughs and gasps for breath.
Uncle Bryce lowers his gun and turns to her. "Okay?" he strokes her hair gently, looking her over.
Willow nods, still gasping. Her hands gripping the sleeves of his jacket.
"Good girl, Will," he says. "You go hang out with General Beckman. This won't take long."
She lets the General lead her away.
"Who...who was that?" Willow asks, looking back over her shoulder as two guards flank Uncle Bryce as he opens up the metal bars to the cell.
"A very bad man," the General tells her. The woman's hand grips her shoulder tightly, but not unkindly. "Let's get you some water."
New York is so cool.
"New York is so cool!" Willow exclaims, smiling up at her father happily.
"It is!" he says, swinging their joined hands. "It's awesome!"
Officially, Dad is in New York for a United Nations thingy. But unofficially, they are working their way through every tourist spot from the Empire State Building to Madison Square Garden to the Met and everything in-between.
She's ten and just the right age for this stuff, and with school out for the summer and Mom off on assignment it's the perfect opportunity for some father-daughter nerd bonding time.
They're slowly working their way through the Central Park Zoo, snow cones in hand, reading every description, talking about almost every animal, when Willow accidentally bumps someone, her snow cone falling on the stranger's shoe.
"Oh no! I'm so sorry!" she cries, looking up at the older woman.
She has dark brown, graying straight hair and she's wearing glasses over wide brown eyes. She isn't too tall, but she's tall enough and pretty in a sort of plain way.
"That's okay. It's-"
She stops as she stares at Willow and then at Dad.
Willow frowns, looking up at her father. "Dad?"
The woman's eyes bulge. "Dad?"
Dad fumbles awkwardly. "Jill. Jill, you're here. It's...wow. It has been a long...long time."
"Jill?" Willow asks. Her frown deepens.
The two adults stare at each other for a long moment before Jill speaks up.
"Maybe...maybe we should just pretend this never happened."
"Good thought," Dad says quickly. "That's..." he takes tugs Willow along by the hand. "We're going this way."
"Dad...Dad who is that lady? Who's Jill?"
"Nobody," he says softly. "She's nobody, Will."
Willow Bartowski, at the age of sixteen, has never seen it rain like this in Burbank, and waiting for her mother to pick her up from hanging out with her friends (she's the last one left) drives her to seek shelter in the tiny sandwich shop next to the bookstore she was asked to vacate at closing time.
"Can I help you with something?"
She whirls around, wet hair flying a little, her eyes wide. "Right! Of course!" She hops up to the counter. "I am pretty hungry, and it's gonna be a while before my mom shows up..."
The woman behind the counter is very short. She's around Willow's parents' age, with dark hair and a friendly smile. "Then you've come to the right place."
Willow squints at the menu board, wiping some rain from her face. All the sandwiches look awesome to be honest, and she's super hungry after a day of digging through the bookshop.
"See anything you like?"
"Everything looks great," Willow says, grinning at the older woman. She tilts her head as she reads through the menu and comes across a sandwich in particular that confuses her. "Uh...so...The Chuck Bartowski."
The woman laughs softly. "Yeah. What about it?"
The teenager stares for a long moment, her head still tilted. "Can...can I get that with provolone instead of muenster?"
Before the clerk can answer, the bell on the door chimes.
"Willow, Honey, you ready to-"
Willow watches, fascinated as her mother and the woman behind the counter stare at each other silently, shocked.
It takes a moment but her mother regains her composure and holds a hand out. "Come on, Will. Let's go home."
Willow nods and waves to the other woman. "Bye. Thanks." She takes her mother's hand and follows her out into the rain, this time with her mother's umbrella over both their heads. "Mom, how come Dad has a sandwich named after him there?"
"No idea. In the car, please."
While it's not her first kiss, it's definitely the weirdest, and she flails before pushing the man back.
"You kissed me."
"Well, Agent Carmichael, you are quite beautiful, so yes. I kissed you."
At twenty-five, Willow is going by the name Wendy Carmichael. At least for her first field mission, and she's been paired up with an MI-6 agent who is old enough to be her father, and while she's vaguely aware that she's not ugly, she didn't think she'd be one of those agents whose partner would fall all over himself to get into her panties.
"No offense, Agent Barker. But ugh. Don't..." she takes a few steps back. "Don't do that again." She stops when her phone rings and when she takes it out, she shows him. "That's my dad. He's calling. So...so this is a sign that you shouldn't do that again."
Agent Barker narrows his eyes at the photo ID on her phone, showing a thin man with curly hair, smiling incredulously at the camera.
"Hi, Dad! No no, everything is fine." Willow frowns as she watches the color drain from her partner's face. "Except that...uh...I think my partner is gonna throw up. Gotta go! Love you! Bye!"
She stares, her eyes wide and shocked.
It's Thanksgiving, and she's home in Burbank with her family, sitting on the porch of her parents' little house, next to one of her favorite uncles.
"They were all their exes?"
Colonel John Casey walks with a cane now; shot in the leg too many times. He gives a rusty grunt that Willow knows doubles as a chuckle. "Yep. Shaw, Jill, Lou, Cole. All of 'em."
"Cole Barker kissed my mom and then he kissed me," Willow frets. "Ick."
"That was a long time ago, kid."
The Colonel just rolls his eyes and slowly gets to his feet. "Come on. Dinner's probably ready."
Willow follows him in, wiping her mouth.