Willow's Tara-flashes are becoming more and more frequent, and someone knows what's happening…
"Seeley, can you stay a minute?" Cam beckoned to the Agent, and he immediately agreed, seating himself on the edge of her desk.
"What's wrong, Camille?"
"Don't call me Camille."
"Don't call me Seeley," he replied with a crooked grin. Cam just shook her head, gazing at her hands and picking at her nails, biting on her lip. "Cam?" he said softly.
She looked up very quickly, hissing a quick breath. "You don't honestly trust her, do you Seeley?"
"Who?" Though he knew full well who she was talking about.
"Dr Rosenberg," she replied.
"Cam, I'd trust Willow with my life, my heart and soul… in fact I have."
"Seeley, look I know you care about her…"
"I've known her for twelve years, Cam. And in that time she has brought me back from the brink of some crazy stuff … she found me, brought me back to myself when no one else could. Not the woman I loved, not my best friends…" He shook his head. "I know you don't trust her, and I get that… she's really close to these murders. But I swear on my soul, she didn't do this."
Cam glanced out of her door. Willow was hunched over one of the worktables, assembling a skeleton at a lightning speed that would rival Dr Brennan's. Hodgins approached her holding up some phials, and she instantly grinned, holding out two stoppered tubes with scrapings in them. He laughed taking the tubes and shaking his head at her efficiency before walking back to his office.
"Am I horribly paranoid Seeley?" She glanced at Willow, now having a laughing conversation with Sweets. "Have I gotten to a Hodgins level of suspiciousness here?"
"Camille, you couldn't reach a Hodgins level of suspiciousness if you tried. Just… just trust her, okay? And if not her, trust me."
"I know I can do that," she replied softly.
"Oh Goddess…" Willow moaned, pressing her hand to her head. Not again, God… the flashes were getting closer and closer together now, maybe one every hour.
"My little red, you work so hard," Tara began massaging her shoulders. "Come on, you can only do so much… the spell isn't going to be any better if you stay up another hour."
"I just… I can't have it not work Tara… this has to work," she sighed.
"And it's not going to if you're tired. This is heavy stuff, Will. Come to bed."
"God, I miss her so much…"
"We all do. But… but we'll g-g-get her back, o-okay?"
The stutter in Tara's voice betrayed her unsureness, but Willow couldn't bring herself to say anything more.
"Dr Rosenberg! Dr Rosenberg!" Sweets was supporting her weight as she collapsed against him, "Dr Rosenberg," he called again, trying to rouse her. "Willow!"
"Mmm…" She hummed back to consciousness, grimacing at the monumental headache now splitting her skull.
"Dr Rosenberg, are you okay?" The young psychologist questioned, settling her down in a chair.
"Oh I'm f-fine," Willow shook her head. "Sorry I fell on you."
"A-are you sure? I mean, does that happen often?"
"Oh, I guess I'm just tired," Willow lied, "haven't eaten anything today…"
He just quirked an eyebrow, not saying anything. But the leftward twitch of her eyes, the way her mouth turned down slightly at the corner… she was lying. Why?
Avalon stared sadly at Angela. What had the poor young artist walked into? Willow Rosenberg's life was anything but ordinary… from what Avalon knew, she worked with the two original Slayers, training the ones activated by a spell Willow cast in 2003. But back in 2002, Willow's lover had died, leaving her distraught and kind of…evil. She'd killed two people and nearly destroyed the world, though since then totally reformed. Either way, Willow was obviously hiding parts of herself from Angela. Which in a way was probably for the best. Might keep Angela alive a little longer.
"Avalon what is wrong? I don't understand why you're asking me all these questions about Willow. How do you even know her?"
"She's very famous in the circles I walk in," the psychic replied carefully.
"She psychic?" Angela said with surprise.
"You could say that." There was pregnant pause while Avalon gazed down into her coffee, slowly she looked up. "What do you know of Tara Maclay?"
"Uh… nothing. Never heard of her."
Avalon nodded slowly, then withdrew a picture from her bag. "Do you recognise her?"
"Oh my God!" Angela replied. "Yes, yes I do! Willow showed me a picture of her a few days ago… never told me her name. She said that she was her lover and that she was shot," Angela continued more softly. She took the picture carefully from Avalon, tracing the curve of Tara's cheek, then she gasped quietly. "A-Avalon… I've seen her somewhere else too."
Avalon nodded, knowing where Angela was going with this.
"Avalon, I-I painted her. A few times. I recognise her now… I painted her into a picture of Willow last night. And there's one other, from years ago. 2002 I think? This girl… lying dead – shot – on the ground. But, but I didn't know about her then, or Willow."
"What have I always told you Angela? You've got a gift, you just have to be willing to use it. Draw for me, now. Please?"
Angela pulled a pad out of her bag and grabbed a pencil. She was always willing to draw. Throughout the day, an energy always built up inside her and by the time she got home she was always desperate to begin slashing paint across a canvas, or letting the pencil pull her hand across a page, as if it were some kind of release. She never knew what she was creating until she stepped away hours later and saw an image before her. More often than not though, they seemed to mean nothing. She closed her eyes, pressing the pencil to the pad, letting her hand create curves and lines and shading. She didn't need to watch, nor did she have any idea what she was creating, but she knew that when she pulled away it would be beautiful. Half an hour later, she put the pencil down, rotating the pad toward Avalon with a nervous smile.
"Dr Brennan?" Willow approached her boss nervously, "I'm feeling quite unwell, would you mind if I took the afternoon off." She didn't exactly feel sick, but if she blacked out one more time in front of her co-workers they'd probably rush her to the ER and, of course, they wouldn't find anything. This was a spell, or maybe a demon-whammy… whatever it was it wasn't good. Her visions were getting longer, more involved.
"I'm glad you've made the decision to go home, Dr Rosenberg, you really should look into getting some kind of medical attention."
Willow blushed, nodding, and left the Jeffersonian. She needed Buffy and Giles and lots and lots of books… Research time. Then maybe Order-of-Rion ass-kicking time.
Avalon couldn't help but smile at the picture Angela turned to her. It was an image of Angela, completely naked and spread-eagled against a wall, there was an hand pressed to her chest, the figure owning it out of frame… but the strange thing about the picture was not the naked Angela, or even the hand, but what the hand was doing. It was pressed against her breast-bone, and a strong, pulsing glow surrounded it, Angela's back was arched and her chest thrown forward, eyes rolled back and mouth rounded… the look was almost orgasmic. Except for the glowy energy. It was like the hand was pulling the light directly from inside Angela's body.
"Oh my God Xandeeeerrrrr!" Anya's scream reverberated around the mansion. Dawn and Buffy both exchanged 'oh god' glances and quickly turned up the TV.
"At least they're uh, happy to be doing the relationship thing again," Dawn offered hopefully.
"You can say that again," Faith dropped down onto the couch, settling herself in Buffy's lap. "Didn't know the X-man had it in him to make a girl scream so good."
"And you know from personal experience," Buffy chided, jabbing Faith in the ribs.
"Hey, not saying he was a shitty lay or anything. Damn good for a virgin actually, but still…"
"I so don't need to hear this," Dawn squeaked. "Remember, me, stupid teenage years, massive crush on him? You have no idea how many nights back in Sunnydale I thought about him while I m-" Dawn's eyes widened as the Slayers smirked at her. "Read the bible," she finished hastily.
"God, Ahn…" Xander whispered, pressing his lips to the shell of her ear. "I… I just can't believe you're back." He gazed at her. She was the most beautiful creature on Earth, shiny hair and pixie-like features, with big brown doe eyes. He could look at her forever. And she was here. With him. "I can't believe The Order of Rion brought you back," he said softly.
"Mm-hmm," she murmured, already kissing his chest again.
"And they wanted you to hurt us?"
"Yep, but I didn't want to. No siree, no hurting for me. I was just happy to be able to come back to my Xander," she kissed lower and lower, tracing the outline of his abs with her fingertips.
"And you lied to them?" he said in wonderment, for the millionth time.
"Uh-huh," she replied. "I told them I was gonna come and make everyone all happy… then kill you all. 'Cept now, I'm so not gonna do the second part. Nu-uh. Just the happy part."
"God you're incredible…" he moaned. He grabbed her, pulling her up him and kissing her again. "I wish we could stay like this, just you and me in this bed… making love forever."
Anya beamed, slowly sliding down his body, pressing kiss after kiss. She slid her mouth over his neck, nipping slightly as she whispered, so inaudibly his human hearing wouldn't pick it up, "Done."
Willow walked out of the Jeffersonian, intent on getting back to the mansion, but as she walked past the Royal Diner, she couldn't help but stop, a sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach. She could see Angela in the window, sitting across the booth from a pretty blonde woman. They were both giggling and Angela had a blush on her cheeks. Oh Goddess. She really had blown it last night hadn't she? She knew she should get home, but she had to go see Angela… She walked into the diner and approached the pair sitting at the booth. Angela looked up, the grin she was sporting faltering as she saw Willow.
"Willow, hi!" She quickly regained the smile. "This is Avalon, she's my… well, she's my psychic."
"It's great to meet you, Willow," Avalon smiled, extending a hand.
Oh crap. Taking Avalon's hand would be kind of risky… if she was a real psychic, then she'd instantly pick up the high level of power in Willow's body, blowing her cover instantly. But if she didn't take Avalon's hand, then she'd be, well, kinda rude. She extended her hand slowly, hoping beyond hopes that this was one of those hoax-psychics. Their hands met, and an electric buzz of magic passed between them, Willow nearly gasped, but Avalon didn't react at all, just smiled and greeted her kindly. Willow had felt not only her own power, but Avalon's as well. Less psychic-more-kick-ass-wicca.
"Wanna sit and have a coffee with us?" Angela asked.
"I-I'd like that," Willow smiled, seating herself next to Angela. Her heart pounding she turned the the Eurasian beauty. "Look, about last night…"
"Don't worry, Willow," Angela said, "really. I-I'm sure you had your reasons. I was actually kinda hoping that there'd be a second date," she said hopefully.
Avalon bit her lip. Now or never.
Willow? She projected telepathically.
Willow's head turned toward Avalon, ready to reply, but she quickly realised Avalon hadn't spoken aloud.
Uh, hi. You're in my head. Willow was kinda nervous now. She hadn't got any serious black magic vibe of Avalon, but it didn't mean she trusted the idea of having a telepathic conversation with her.
Sorry about the intrusion, but I just wanted to tell you that I know what you are.
Yeah, and what are you? Willow replied. "And I'd… I'd really like that second date," Willow replied nervously.
I'm a witch like you, Avalon replied. I just wanted to warn you to be careful. Angela has power that you, nor her or I understand. And there are forces rising in this town that will try and destroy us all. If you value your life or hers, you'll stay alert Willow.
Wow that was grim. "How does pizza sound?"
Reviews please - I need to know that it isn't too confusing. Do I need to clarify anything, or are you guys following? It's only going to get more tangled, and I don't want to lose you... Thanks for being awesome!