TITLE: Baby Makes Three
RATING: PG13 (Language)
DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other BtVS characters, as well as some random dialog, belong to Mutant Enemy. ALL other original characters belong to me! Mention of any 'real' people in this fic is brief and pure fantasy.
SUMMARY: Totally AU! Willow Rosenberg is a senior at Sunnydale High. She and her friends are bullied relentlessly until Willow stumbles upon a huge secret and decides to take matters into her own hands. There is no Hellmouth, just lot's of teen angst, self discovery and of course Willow/Tara goodness...eventually.
[i]Thoughts are in italics[/i]
FEEDBACK: Yes! Any glaring issues…please send me a PM!
"Willow! Sweetie, are you almost ready?" The woman called up the stairs.
"I'll be down in a minute Mom!" The young redheaded girl answered back as she continued to turn from side to side, staring at herself in the full-length mirror. "Yeah, you look hot. You are one sexy beast. In fact, by the end of the day, I bet you're gonna have to beat them off you with a stick. It might be a hot dog on a stick, but it's still a stick." She sighed deeply, " Yep, America's Next Top Dork. 'Who wore it best? Willow Rosenberg or Bozo The Clown? Willow Rosenberg! Yeah..." The petite young girl threw her hands up in mock celebration, then pulled her hair up in a tight ponytail and placed the bright orange hat on her head.
She crossed her bedroom to the fish tank in the corner and leaned forward, smiling at its colorful occupants, before dropping several bits of food in their tank. "You guys are all neon and bright and people call you pretty. They call me a dork. See? It's not as great on the outside as you think it is."
"Honey, if you don't come now, you're going to be late. You can talk to your fish later! I'll meet you in the car!" Willow's mom shouted.
The redhead grumbled, "I'm upstairs, in my bedroom with the door closed and she still knows what I'm doing? What, does she have a crystal ball or something?" Willow thought about the implications for a brief second and then grimaced. I srue hope she doesn't ALWAYS know what I'm doing in here, because that is just eww. Finally able to compose herself and shaking off the undesirable thought, she picked up her satchel and headed out the door.
Exactly seven minutes later, Willow was still sitting in her mother's car, parked in front of the Doublemeat Palace. Once again, Willow was staring at her reflection, only this time it was in the small vanity mirror on the flip side of the sun visor.
"Do you think that's a cow or a pig?" She asked her reflection, commenting on the pink and yellow cartoon character protruding off the front of the baseball style cap.
"Are you asking me or is that a rhetorical question?" Her mother asked.
"Both?" Willow questioned, turning to look at her mother and closing the visor.
"I think it's a cow with large pig like ears. It's a cow-pig!"
"Ha ha, very funny. Do I have to go in? Aren't my grades good enough?" Willow whined.
Willow's mother sighed deeply, "You know how your father and I feel about this. If you want a car, you're going to have to work for it. At your age it's a psychological imperative that you learn the value of money. If we just give you everything, you'll take it for granted and expect it; but if you work for it...you will definitely appreciate it more." Willow stared blankly at her mother. "Willow, did you hear a word I just said?"
"You lost me at psychological." The redhead replied flatly.
Willow's mother rolled her eyes, "Go, I'll pick you up at nine."
"Fine." Willow groaned as she exited the car, shutting the door behind her and making her way into the restaurant.
The Doublemeat Palace, or DMP for short, was a staple in the town of Sunnydale, California. The bright yellow fast food restaurant with the royal blue trim was located on Main Street near the high school and was a perennial hot-spot for teenagers. The majority of Sunnydale's youth frequented the burger joint after school and various sporting events. It was quite popular and Willow despised working there.
Several months earlier, she asked her parents for a car and was met with a resounding 'no.' They told her to get a job and they would match whatever she managed to save towards the purchase of a car. Willow was shocked.
The honor student was far from irresponsible and felt like she deserved to be given a car. She was a good kid and hardly even talked back. Not to mention, as an only child, had become accustom to getting what she wanted. She was somewhat spoiled, even though her parents liked to say she was just 'well taken care of.'
In truth, her parents were worried. Willow had very few friends and spent most of her time online; her high school life, beyond academics, was virtually non existent. They secretly hoped that by forcing her to get a job, they would also be acclimating her to society. Willow, however, saw things differently. She saw it as pure, unadulterated torture.
A few hours into her shift, Willow was bored out of her mind and passing the time by reading Agatha Christie's, Death on the Nile. Normally, she couldn't get away with reading a book at work, but today was slow and she was working the drive thru window, off by herself.
Even though Willow loathed the DMP, her bosses loved her. She was punctual, always in perfect uniform and could make change without the aid of the cash register, making her somewhat of a rare commodity. She was also quick on the computer and whenever they placed her in drive thru, things seemed to flow faster than usual. Willow also seemed more productive when she was off on her own.
Willow was deeply involved in the murder mystery when she heard the familiar beep alerting her that there was a customer in the drive thru. She reached down to the waist pack and clicked on the mic to her head set, "Welcome to the Doublemeat, where the meat is double sweet. How can I help you today?"
A shrill voice shot back at her immediately, "You can start by taking my order and not screwing it up."
Willow cringed, she knew that voice and it cut through every fiber of her being. Even through the scratchy speaker of the drive thru, the voice was recognizable and it belonged to her arch rival, Cordelia Chase. By far the meanest of the mean girls at Sunnydale high school. Cordelia had made it her life's mission to make Willow's life a living hell and so far, had been quite successful in doing so. Willow could hear giggling and random chatter in the background, she figured it was Cordy's minions, the Cordette's, so she flipped on the video monitor to confirm her suspicions.
The monitor was black and white, but Willow could still make out the shiny new convertible Mustang and three other girls in the car. All of them cheerleaders and all of them loyal to 'Queen C.' In the front seat was Harmony Kendall, Cordelia's closest accomplice and quite possibly the dumbest girl Willow had ever known and in the back, was Buffy Summers and Tara Maclay. Buffy had moved to Sunnydale in their Sophomore year and Willow didn't really know her very well. Tara had grown up in Sunnydale, moved away and had recently moved back. She'd run into Tara a few times, without incident, but always tried to keep her distance. In Willow's eyes, she was guilty by association.
"HELLO! Are you there?" Cordelia screeched through the mic.
Willow cleared her throat, "Yes, go ahead."
Cordelia rattled off her order while the others laughed and yelled obnoxiously in the background.
Willow spoke as little as possible and focused on getting her hands to stop shaking. She knew as soon as they pulled up to her window she was sure to take a verbal lashing.
"Thank you, p-please drive through," Willow braced herself and true to form they didn't disappoint. As soon as the car came into view of Willow, all four girls burst out laughing.
"Well, well what have we here? Willow Rosen-nerd got herself a job...dressed as a clown!" Cordelia spat as the girls laughed once again.
"Th-Th-Th-That'll-" Willow's face burned bright red as she struggled to get the words out.
"Th-Th-Th-Th, you gonna get that sentence out sometime today?" Cordelia taunted.
"Your total is eighteen twenty-six." Willow finally managed to give them the total; she'd never been so nervous.
Cordeila collected cash from the girls and held her hand out to Willow. As the redhead reached for the cash, Cordelia opened her hand suddenly; letting the majority of the bills and coin change fall to the ground.
"Oh my God! What a loser!" Harmony shouted.
"Thanks a lot Cordy," Willow hissed.
"Hey! Don't get snippy with me, nerd! You're the one who dropped it. Geez Willow, can't you even handle a lame fast food job?"
Willow's eyes narrowed and she momentarily pondered jumping through the window and squeezing her fingers tightly around Cordelia's throat. She opened her mouth to speak, just as a co-worker brought her the order.
"Here you go Will," Marcie said handing Willow the bag and noticing the angry tears in Willow's eyes, "Hey, what's wrong?"
"She's a total loser, that's what's wrong! She dropped our money all over the ground and I am NOT picking it up. Gimme my bag! I'm a paying customer and I'm sick of waiting!" Cordelia shouted loudly.
Willow grabbed the bag and thrust it through the window. At this point she just wanted them to leave; she was totally humiliated.
Cordy grabbed the bag and handed it to Harmony, "See you in hell, LOSER!" She exclaimed as she pulled away with all four girls still laughing.
Willow took a deep breath and closed her eyes, trying to calm her nerves, but it was too late; the tears had already started to fall.
"Hey," Marcie said as she placed a hand on Willow's shoulder, "Come on, go take your break, Scotty can take the window for awhile and I'll go pick up the money."
Willow nodded weakly, taking off the bulky headset and heading for the backdoor. There was a hidden space out back with a picnic table for the employees and Willow plopped down; her head in her hands. A few minutes later, she felt a soothing hand rubbing across her back.
"You can't let them get to you like this. They're nothing but a bunch of rotten bitches." Marcie proclaimed. Willow simply nodded in agreement. "Will, you have GOT to start standing up for yourself and stop letting them get the best of you."
Willow giggled nervously, "Yeah, that's easy for you to say, you don't have to deal with them everyday."
"Well, you could always drop out like I did and work here for the rest of your natural life." A look of sheer terror crossed Willow's face. "That's what I thought," Marcie smirked, "Besides, how much do you really have to deal with them anyway? I mean, I can't imagine you sharing any of your AP classes with those empty headed bimbos."
Willow chuckled, Assistant Manager Marcie Ross always had a way of making her feel better. When Willow first started, it was Marcie that was there to guide her and allow her to make mistakes. She and Willow had been acquaintances throughout junior high and high school, until one day in their junior year Marcie disappeared. Marcie had been a quite girl and Willow never even noticed that she was missing, until she got the job at the DMP. She had been shocked to find out that, not only had Marcie left school, but it had been over a year since she'd done so. Willow felt awful, knowing all too well how it felt to be invisible. Although it was days like today, that she wished she really was.