I Can't SAY Glarba…
Willow's hallucinations intensify… and they need to talk to a certain bleached vampire.
Willow strolled into the house humming. A second date. She was going on a second date. With Angela. Beautiful, clever, sweet Angela… who Willow had totally blown off the night before. But Angela was okay with it. Angela wanted to go on a second date.
"Someone's happy," Buffy smirked, raising her head from her book.
"I got a second date with Angela."
"See Red, we told you that it'd be fine!"
"I… I really think it is! But," Willow shook her head, what did the psychic know anyway?
"What 'but', Will?" Buffy asked, closing the large tome she'd been flipping through. "Hellmouth lifestyle kinda means 'buts' are big. And please don't make whatever juvenile joke just popped into your head, Faith."
Faith frowned playfully, rolling her eyes.
"I… I… nothing. Really." And then blackness.
"I still can't believe you never told me about your family and all that," Willow said softly, folding Tara into her arms as they began to slowly revolve on the dance floor.
"I was just afraid if you saw the people I came from…you wouldn't want to be anywhere near me." Tara blushed, breaking eye contact with Willow, btu the redhead pulled her back into focus.
"See? That's where you're a dummy. I think about what you grew up with, and I look at what you are…it makes me proud. It makes me love you more." Willow pulled her love more tightly against her, her heart pounding in time with Tara's.
"Every time I… even at my worst, you always make me feel special. How do you do that?" Tara murmured, overwhelmed.
"Okay, I can't be the only one getting serious repeato vibes off this whole thing," Buffy said softly. Willow was lying on the couch, still completely out of it. Her skin was covered in a fine sheen of sweat and she was whimpering and thrashing softly.
"I know," Dawn whispered. "I don't wanna cry demon, but that's pretty much only because I can't say its name."
"Where the hell is Xander?" Buffy asked.
"I love you Willow," Tara whispered, pressing soft kisses up and down her neck.
"Mmm," Willow shuddered, "I love you too. Always you."
Tara slid further up onto the bed, nestling herself into the cushions and pulling Willow with her.
"How are you, love?"
"Will, look at me," Tara propped Willow's chin up, gazing seriously into emerald eyes. "There's something wrong, isn't there?"
"Nuh-uh. Not here. Not when I'm here."
"Here, in your arms, in our bed. Together. Just us. No outside world to be all scary. When I'm here, with you, it's like none of that's even real," Willow whispered, placing gentle kisses onto the backs of Tara's hands.
"It isn't," Tara replied softly. "The only thing that's real is you, and me. Us."
"This is the longest she's been out Buffy, I'm scared," Dawn murmured.
"Can you go get Xander?" Buffy asked.
"But…but he's with Anya. They're, ah, you know…"
"Yeah, well they've been screwing all day. Gotta come up for air sometimes," Faith stalked upstairs, but before she could get halfway, she inexplicably turned back and came and sat back down next to Buffy.
"Uh, Faith, Xander?"
"Right!" She quickly stood again, heading for the top floor. But once again, within thirty seconds she was back sitting next to Buffy.
"Oh fine," Buffy said, exasperated, "I'll do it!"
But she didn't.
"Mmm…mmmm…XANDER!" Anyanka howled his name, clutching at his chest as she threw her head back. The room was boiling hot. It smelled like sex. She rolled her hips again and again, and he began to pant more heavily. Pulling her down into a crushing kiss, he groaned, shuddering his own release. She rolled over, chest heaving and a grin on her face. But he didn't allow her to break their connection, he simply stilled them for a moment, before regaining their rhythm again.
"Mmmm," she hummed again, "do you believe it's the appropriate time to stop counting when you reach the twenty-third round of copulation?"
"Probably, Ahn… I stopped at three."
"Oh. I'll stop the-eeeeeeeennnnn!" Of all the things he could have wished in her presence that would keep him out of the way of the other Scoobies, she decided that endless sex was definitely the best possible outcome. And he hadn't even yet realised he'd made the wish. He probably never would.
"I'm worried about what that psychic, Avalon, said," Willow whispered, burrowing further into Tara's arms.
"What did she say?"
"She told me that Angela had some 'big power' and that I had to be alert."
"Oh," Tara said softly. "I'm sorry Will. I know you really like Angela."
"She's nothing compared to you. And I have you now."
"Just us?" Tara whispered.
"Forever. I promised I'd always find you. It's taken me a long time baby, but I found you. And I'm not letting you go."
"But if you don't go then our friends will be in danger."
"I don't care. I want YOU."
"I love you, Willow."
"Will, c'mon. Wake up. Please," Buffy urged.
"Not now Dawn…" Buffy dismissed her sister, putting more cool water on Willow's burning forehead. She was getting paler by the second.
"Dawn, I said not now!"
"But Buffy, look!" Dawn gestured to the bandage Willow had strapped around her wrist. It had been hidden by her coat until now.
"She didn't say anything about getting hurt," Faith said softly.
Buffy slowly unravelled the bandage and her breath caught in her throat. There was a bone-deep puncture in Willow's wrist. It was swollen and red, the veins around it dark and bulging. Just as Buffy unwound the bandage, Giles came downstairs.
"My God. That's a Glarghk Guhl Kashma'nik puncture."
"A glarba-ghost-cashmere huh?"
"Buffy got stuck by one years ago. It made her all hallucinate-y. She went totally nuts and tried to kill us all."
"Thanks for that memory Dawn."
"But, but this is good!" The youngest Summers cried. "We've already done this demon, we know how to beat it."
"You've already faced this demon," Faith clarified.
"Yeah, it was all ugly and stuff and it stabbed Buffy, but-but then Spike and Xander went and caught it and Willow made an antidote using its own poison and fixed Buffy."
"You've already faced this demon," Faith repeated.
"Yeah, I've told you, it stabbed, Buffy slayed. Well. Sorta. She went nuts first and Tara had to rescue us but Buffy got all inner-power-y and then she slayed."
"You've already faced this demon," Faith said for the third time.
"YES," Dawn shook her head, "how thick are you today Fai-," she paused, eyes widening. "Oh."
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking B1?" Faith gave Buffy a significant look.
"If you're thinking 'holy shit, Rion did this and they're gonna use these hallucination thingies to make Willow evil' then yep."
"That's pretty much what I got."
"What's the purpose of that one?" Niamh crouched behind Amy's shoulder, looking at the vision orb in front of them. In it, they could see Dawn, Buffy, Faith and Giles all crouched over Willow's shaking form.
"Her?" Amy chuckled, "that's Dawn. She's Buffy's sister. Sort of. She used to be The Key."
"The Key that Glorificus coveted back in 2001?"
"And her powers?"
"Not much. Kinda bookish. Decent when it comes to basic fighting and research. Buffy'd do anything for her though," Amy mused, smiling at the despairing look Buffy was giving her sister.
"Yeah, Buffy sacrificed her life for Dawn in the battle against Glorificus."
"How very interesting. I think we'll be wanting to keep little Dawnie around. For now."
"What's up with Willow?" Amy gestured to the way her movements had become seizure-like.
"The Glarghk Guhl Kashma'nik's poison has intensified, it is beginning to manifest itself in very dangerous ways in her body. Time will tell what visions it's giving her, but whatever they are, we can assume that they aren't good for her mental state."
"But didn't they just say that it'll be like, super-easy to kill? Just get the antidote and bam, problem solved. You're leaving a lot to chance, considering 'evil-Willow' is one of your most important players."
"Well here's the thing, the only antidote is the poison of the demon that stabbed her, correct?"
"That's what they're saying," Amy gestured to the orb.
"Which is why the very demon we summoned to stab her, is now kindling," Niamh smirked, gesturing to the bonfire before them.
"Niamh, I really do like you."
"Oh my God…" Willow groaned, clutching her head.
"Will, you're awake!"
"Agh, with the yelling and the hugging and…ow."
"Sorry," Buffy pulled back nervously. "How are you feeling?"
"You're not in a mental institution, Willow."
"Uh, I know that."
"Just checking." Buffy smiled sheepishly. "Look, whatever is in your visions, it isn't real. You have to remember that."
"I know, Buffy. Hallucinations. None of it's real."
"Good, just… hold onto that. We'll get you an antidote and you'll be fine. I promise."
"Thanks," Willow said softly. "Now, would you mind if I just…went to bed?"
"That's fine, Willow."
Angela entered her apartment. It had been a long day. Brennan had made her work late because, with Willow being off sick from the lab, there was twice as much work as usual. She was exhausted. Angela pulled out her easel, grateful to get to draw something other than murder weapons and the faces of dead girls. She closed her eyes, letting her hand guide the charcoal. Her mind began to wander. Why was Avalon so worried about Willow? Was Willow a…a psychic? Did that make her dangerous? Surely not. Nothing sinister about a pizza date. She chuckled lightly, opening her eyes to see what it was that she'd drawn. Oh.
"Giles!" Buffy bounded into the kitchen, her hair still sleep-mussed. "Giles. Kennedy and Faith took all of the girls out last night, but absolutely nothing. No demon. Just a couple vamps."
"Did they ask around, try to find out where the Glarghk Guhl Kashma'nik went?"
"No luck, the guy at the Chinese place said that he didn't even know that there was a glarba-"
"Glarghk Guhl Kashma'nik ."
"Whatever. He didn't even know that there was a Glarba thingy around town."
"How odd. And Dawn's locator spell?"
"Zilch. We need someone who can track demons like that by scent."
"He's working 24/7 on the murders Giles." Buffy blushed, not wanting to look at him, "I…I was wondering if it might not be such a bad idea… I mean, because we really have to get this sorted out…we can't afford to, well, you know, evil-Willow is pretty much as bad as it gets and…"
"Buffy? You're rambling."
"Right. I… I want to call Spike."
She'd drawn Tara. Again. She was even more beautiful in charcoal than she was in water-colours. This time she was crying, her head bowed and her bangs covering her eyes slightly. But just like every drawing from the past week, in the top corner were a set of ink-black eyes.
"Do they know about me, Willow?" Tara asked softly, pressing kisses into her lover's hair.
"No. They don't know that I have you back. You're all mine. Like when we first began."
"Yours. Always yours."
"I just wish you didn't keep disappearing… going back to them. I like it when you're here with me. Don't get me wrong, I love Buffy. But I love you more."
"I like it here too. Tara, I don't want to keep leaving."
"Oh love, you won't have to keep leaving forever."
"I can stay?"
Willow smiled, simply nestling her head in Tara's cleavage and falling asleep.
"Angela, do you know how long until Willow comes back to work?" Hodgins asked, approaching her desk.
"She texted me this morning…said she was going to come by for a little while this afternoon."
"Oh good… Not that Dr Brennan will admit it, but I think she misses her."
Angela laughed, grinning at him. "She probably does."
"How's it going, you know, with the two of you?" Hodgins was trying – and admittedly, failing – to sound casual.
"It's good, I think," Angela said carefully. "There's a lot I don't know about her still."
"But that's half the fun of a new relationship," Hodgins tried to smile.
"And the other half?"
"Sex," he chuckled.
"Hi, Connor investigations, we can help."
"That's never going to work, Connor, seriously. Give it up," a muffled voice said.
"Shut up Gwen." Connor muttered. "How can I be of assistance?"
"Hi, Connor, it's Buffy."
"Is Spike there? I need to talk to him."
"You guys… I mean… you two…"
"Yeah yeah," Gwen pulled the phone from Connor's hands. "Look, you guys haven't spoken since Sunnydale fell. You sure you wanna open that gate?"
"I don't know who you are, and yes. Yes I wanna."
"Fine," she said dismissively. "SPIKE!"
"Bloody hell woman," for the first time in five years, Buffy heard the voice that once made her melt inside. "You tryin' to burst my eardrums?" Buffy could almost picture him, exasperated-almost-bored expression, swagger in his step… the way he'd joltingly snatch the phone from this woman's hands. "Hello?"
"Spike?" She said softly. Why was she suddenly tongue-tied? Faith…Faith…think about Faith, you're with Faith… you love Faith.
"Buffy?" his breath hitched slightly, which she realised was kind of ridiculous, 'cause, you know, no breath.
"Oh God… I'm leaving before he swoons," Buffy heard the muffled voice of this Gwen chick as she, by the sound of it, walked away.
"Spike, I need your help."
So so so sorry it's been so long. I had writer's block, but I'm totally back with this one now. Actually getting into it. Lots of updates will ensue. YAY. Reviews please?