I Carry Your Heart With Me

By: Sokai

Disclaimer: I, Sokai, do not claim ownership to the workings of W.I.T.C.H. - I leave that honor up to Elisabetta Gnone. However, I can and DO claim to own this story, with generally inspired ideas from Talons-Foot.

Note: Wowwwww, it's been a really, really long while since I've been back here. Actually forgot how to use the 'Doc Manager,' a sec. LoL Anyway! Hello, again, my lovelies, and Happy New Year! I hope 2012 was wonderful to you all, and that 2013 is shaping out to be even better! And I forgive you all for missing my 29th bday on the 15th . . . it's cool. LoL Just teasing. Weird to think, though, that I've been on this site, with this name, anyway, for 8 years, now . . . old. LoL

Anyway! Apologies for my very long absence around these parts, but the end of 2012 was the most busy I have ever been since my college years, really, maybe even a bit more so. I had made a bit of mentioning within my profile about how things would become so, and how majority, if not all of my fics would be delayed within getting posted as a result. I'd also stated how I would most probably continue writing them, for example, my TRG fic, but would not post anything new until it was completed, and that was/still is true. However, majority of my time, my free time, that is, had been spent working overtime on original stories/a new book, while contacting various commissioners to help with even more detailed character artwork to the others.

All that, plus possibly starting new family talks with the hubby, and . . . yeah. Busy times, busy times. . . . =)

Anyhow! Cannot promise I will be ready to return more frequently like before (and for that, I am sorry, if it turns out to be the case), but for now, here is something new! This was a commission from one called 'Talons-Foot,' who'd requested a story based upon the W.I.T.C.H. episode, "H is for Hunted," and Will's Altermere not only having survived at the end, but eventually fell in love with her.

Beyond that, and also throwing in a bit of some sort of intimate scene somewhere, Talons-Foot did not seem to mind what I did with the overall tale, and so, after an admittedly bumpy start at first (mainly because I've honestly been out of the fanfiction game/focus for a good while, now), it is as you shall soon see/read. =)

As I'd informed him, a few things to note, before reading:

1) It is a tiny bit fast paced, at times overly analytical, redundant, and even contradictory. This was done on purpose, simply to illustrate Will's Altermere, or at least the version I've dreamed up now, and her habit of sometimes going overboard with the thinking, re-thinking, and then re-thinking her re-thinking. LoL (I, too, tend to do that, as well, at times, although mostly for stories, really, and making sure they make sense, at the very least, to me. LoL) Seeing as she's now alive and her own person, as you'll soon read, I wanted to show that she really does take in every last moment, pretty much memorizes it, and will continue to reflect upon it from time to time.

Too much happening all at once, and so little time, in her opinion. :p

2) Honestly, the more I thought about it and re-watched the episode, it, to ME, at least, raised more questions than it did answers, in terms of how, exactly, did Will's A.M. gain her powers, as well. I say this simply because, at the time of her creation, Nerissa didn't acquire Elyon's Heart of Meridian to 'connect into', power wise, and amplify them (as that had been in "J is for Jewel"), versus continually using her own life force, and why she looked so ghastly over time. . . . LoL

And yes, I know that she had that staff of hers beforehand, but the series never really focused too too much on that, prior to her collecting all of those Hearts and Seals, and more or less giving it an 'upgrade' of sorts. . . .

Anyhow, because of this, I had to move things around, and essentially made Will's A.M. lose the magical abilities after she survived Nerissa's blast (in this 'universe'/story). Well, technically, I suppose she could still use a bit of it, but at her own expense/life force as Nerissa had at first and Yan Lin did at times, since Will, unlike her, is the one hooked into an Auramere, etc.

I WAS going to launch into 'my own version' explanation all about that within the story, but I felt it would take away too much focus to the actual story's point. If I ever did a prequel of sorts to this story, I'd probably go into it, then.

Just . . . yeah. It really bothered me over time, the more I kept thinking about all of it, damn it. LoL But maybe I really DID just miss something (it happens =) ), and it was explained away somewhere. If so, let me know, and I'll give you a huge kissie and relieved "THANK you, oh, my GOD!" LoL

3) I don't know if any of you know a lot of E.E. Cummings' works, but I'd named the story after one of my personal favorite poems authored by him, and mentioned him within the story (although, on here, anyhow, I'd changed his name, since we're not allowed to mention real life people, blah blah). :) I felt that that particular poem really conveys how Will's A.M. feels about her 'sister' (and also how I feel about my own . . . although I'm not in love with mine, and she actually IS my blood/real sister LoL That, and this X-Mas I'd just bought her one of those Break-Apart heart shaped charm necklaces and mailed off her half, so . . . yeah. Now we really DO carry our hearts with the other, yay! . . . . I'm a cheesy bastard, I know. LoL )

4) Most importantly, I suppose, at least, where me and my usual story ratings are concerned. Yup, it's an 'M'-ee, this time, versus my usual 'T' rating, because, as I'd already mentioned, Talons-Foot had wanted it to be M, and to have some sort of physical intimacy go on between the two girls later on. Seeing as I'd made it clear upfront that I don't honestly DO sexy time stories, since I know da kiddies also read my tales, I said the most I would be willing to do for him is something slightly similar to my "Resting Chance" story intro, where what is going on more or less remains vague and borderline (a very thin one, I think LoL) PG-13, but you'd have to be pretty foolish NOT to get that "Um . . . yeah, methinks they're having a 'Sexy Party' right now" while reading it. He said he could live with that (and later enjoyed it/the overall story, thank God LoL), and once it had been written out, so could I. LoL

Soooo . . . yeah!

That should be about it! Not one of my personal favorites, and I'll probably go back and rewrite it, or possibly a prequel or even continuation at some point, but . . . here we go, damn it!

Enjoy, and great to be back! =)

This story was created/written in December 2012, and completed January 2013.

One year.

Twelve months.

Three hundred sixty-five days . . . give or take an extra one quarter, essentially.

This is precisely how long she'd been officially reborn, reborn into a living, breathing, self-aware and feeling human, from the vacuous, insignificant mystical essence she used to be.

An Astral Drop.

A mere shell, a servant to the absolute mastery of her Creator . . . Will Vandom.

And now, even though she was gratefully free from the overbearing shackles of thralldom, she has found herself to be at the mercy of the young Guardian of the Veil within an entirely new capacity:

She was head over heels in love. . . .

The realization that she was smitten with her own flesh and blood - Quite literally within this particular aspect - was not one she'd accepted very lightly at the start, or even an occurrence which had been immediate, at that.


In the beginning, the very beginning, she had been quite resentful, not to mention petrified of the her maker.

She would have also felt rather sad, as well, that those two particular emotions were one of the very first she'd experienced as a newly born living being, if she hadn't been simply overjoyed by the fact that she could feel in the first place.

To breathe.

To laugh.

To eat.

Even to cry.

Simply to experience, first hand, all of the gracious and awe-inspiring wonders of life, rather than to continue being a puppet on the other side of the looking glass. Now that she was finally master to her own domain, there was absolutely no chance in all of Creation she would ever give it up willingly . . . even if this gift had originally come from someone considered to be evil . . . and even if it had meant going toe to toe against the girl with whom she shared an identical resemblance and held a former allegiance, self imposed or not.

She could still distinctly recall, even now, a full year later, the torrent of full on petrification and primal instinct to survive which flooded every inch of her body - Her body that fateful night.

It ironically always did bring a tiny smile and hushed giggle of exultation to think upon every now and again since, in spite of the renewed sense of duress she understood should be invoked within her, instead.

It was nothing she could honestly help, or control, she realized throughout the course of the past year. Still eternally grateful for every day living, any memory made, or feeling experienced - Separate to her beloved 'sister's' - was always one to be relished, no matter the original situation crafted from it, good or bad.

She supposed this . . . peculiar behavior of hers, one done quite often within the public eye, was perhaps one of the reasons she did not possess a good deal many friends outside the carefully constructed bubble of security Will and her companions had apparently believed they had discreetly mantled around her during her one year of singular existence.

But that was all right.

She didn't mind . . . anymore, that is.

As it was now to her full understanding, wanting to protect the ones near and dear to one's heart was one of the most common traits of a human.


Like her, a fact which she honestly could not get enough thinking of.

And it was her honor to be considered among the ranks of those deemed worthy enough for that sort of attention . . . even if it sometimes could get a bit . . . now, what was the right word?


Yes, that one would do quite nicely.


What with each Guardian taking on honest shifts to watch over her and accompany her nearly everywhere she'd travel within their quiet, yet remarkable seaside town of Heatherfield.

The cheerful and most emotionally in tune of the magical quintet, Hay Lin, seemed the least bothered of them all - Negating Will, of course, it having been her own suggestion in the first place - to tag along during any outing or errand which might have occurred.

In fact, she appeared to downright relish it, as she had once admitted that she'd found it rather intriguing and quite the marvel that a being like her could exist.

That, thanks to magic, life could be created within a whole new way outside of the previous boundaries of biology.

It would have been a tad more offensive . . . yeah, offensive, to have apparently been looked upon as more of an experimental project, than a respectable, actual being, if one of the main reasons it held Hay Lin in such wonder more than everyone else but Will, herself, was due to the fact that the very same thing had happened to her beloved grandmother and former Guardian, herself, Yan Lin.

Not only that, but also by, for, and under the same circumstances and perpetrator.

"Every day marks a new adventure - Or misadventure, as the case may be - for Grandma's Altermere, especially with my Eric's grandfather as her boyfriend. They're truly quite the pair - The energetic pair, at that! " Hay Lin had giddily remarked one day while walking through the park alongside her temporary 'charge.' "You're the same way too, I suppose, now that I think on it. . . . So, I guess that's why I really appreciate these outings together . . . because I see how much the both of you appreciate every single moment. You've greatly helped put a lot of things within my own life into perspective, even more so than anything I've seen and done as a Guardian, which is saying something. . . . So . . . thank you. Life really is a humbling gift to be treasured and savored to the very last drop. . . ."

If Will's previously instilled memories of the jovial teenager was any indication, Hay Lin didn't seem to take anything or anyone for granted, already, and as she got to know her all the more through her own devices during the last year, that commendable quality had become that much more apparent.

The bubbly girl had even gone as far as to outright state to the other Guardians about a week after that private, insightful conversation, that it was honestly downright disrespectful in her view to continue referring to Will's Altermere as precisely that, even in person, as though she were still nothing more than that.

"After all, if Grandma and I could bother to bestow an official name onto her own and call her 'Yi,' then why can't we do the same?" she'd warmly reasoned while sat surrounded by her fellow companions within the basement of her family owned restaurant, The Silver Dragon.

If Will's progeny hadn't liked Hay Lin much before, she thoroughly did in that moment, especially since it granted onto her a whole new memory to cherish, as well as an emotion she was since then beginning to grow more and more accustomed to: Pride.

Now, this was a feeling she was previously aware, thanks to Will's - Their - previous scholastic learning - was one not to be trifled with, along with Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Sloth, Wrath, and Envy.

Something about 'everything in moderation' was the usually cited reason by many which, as far as she was personally concerned, was close to impossible to master concerning anything which piqued her interest. And if indulging in any was really as 'deadly' as they are each labeled, then her newfound existence honestly was doomed right from the start, just as it had originally seemed.

All the same, she wouldn't worry about any of it for now. Because for now, she had individuals who cared enough for her to consider her newfound wants and desires, even if they sometimes knew it before she did.

And it was in knowing all of this which caused her to harbor that swelling pride.

Pride within unequivocal acceptance.

And so she now possessed a name of her own from that day on, albeit having taken several attempts on each Guardians' part, which seemed to surprise the comical as she was sarcastic Water Guardian, Irma Lair, who had made an open point to playfully tease the amply creative, pigtailed girl that she could not this time find a name which would stick, as she'd apparently been able to for her new Great-Aunt Yi.

'Altermere Will.'




These were the best anyone could think of as a variation to her true origin, before then attempting to branch out to actual, real life names.

In the end, however, it hadn't at all come to her as a surprise that the one to have finally come up with a suitable moniker was also the one who'd 'birthed' her.

The one who knew her best.

". . . . Willa," Will had said so softly and sweetly that it could have honestly melted her 'sister's' heart right then and there, had the undeniable feelings she now possessed for the 'older' girl had existed at that point in time.

Still, she could recall the distinct jolt of proverbial electricity shooting down her spine when she'd heard Will say her 'God given' name for the very first time. At the time, she had merely chalked it up to simply being so elated to finally have a proper name of her own.

And that had been the truth, or at least, part of it.

But now, she knew better.

She knew it was really because of the way Will gazed upon her when she'd said it, the connective look and unparalleled bond between the two of them that, now with a name, an identity of her own, it made their entire unique situation that much more real.

That there would no longer be any turning back for them.

And so she officially became, from that moment on, Willa Vandom, "younger twin sister of Will Vandom by three minutes," it was casually decided, mainly within further tribute and acknowledgment to the hour number she could recall being 'born.'

And within continued recognition to her origins, when asked by the sassy and headstrong Cornelia Hale how and why she'd conjured up such a name, Will had kindly remarked, without ever losing eye contact with her 'kin,' "Because Hay Lin is right: I can't just call her 'Will-A' for 'Altermere' the rest of our lives, and because I also wanted it to mean something . . . on multiple levels. . . ."

Thinking back, Willa supposed she honestly could pinpoint that treasured moment as the very first time she'd begun to fall in love with the kindhearted heroine, after all . . . but then, really, thinking upon it even more, every moment, private or otherwise, could easily be marked as the transitioning chasm between doting 'sibling,' to hopeless, romantic admirer.

And there had been so many of those building block moments, simple in nature by the majority.

Their first shared laugh.

Their first shared meal.

Their first slumber party.

Their first clothing swap.

Their first private outing together.

And especially, their first real talk together as family.

Everything done with or even for Will always just seemed that much more significant and thrilling to Willa, than anything she could have possibly felt all on her own . . and that was saying something.

Every day with the other redhead was like a whole new undertaking, as though Willa was being 'born' all over again, and the anticipation she always felt was as electric as the white hot sparks she'd manifested on her 'birthday.'

True, Willa had naturally - or, unnaturally - already known all there currently was to know about the at times shy and insecure, but always loyal and endearing tomboy, and that was yet another thing within her new life she openly took pride over, as well.

But there was just something uniquely . . . resplendent about learning something new about her each day, something which perhaps no one else knew quite yet, or indeed would ever, which made the connection the two so obviously now shared all the more what it was today. . . .

". . . . Some year," Willa breathed with a small, but growing smile, looking down upon her currently unshielded toes with a whimsical stare, and casually tucking a few strands of her now shoulder length hair behind her ear. She wiggled her appendages playfully against the fluffy, fuchsia colored carpet of Will's, and now, her bedroom where she sat, alone, upon the other girl's frog themed bed.

"Tell me about it," the voice of her personal savior and private torment sounded from across the moderately sized room, causing Willa to look up in modest surprise and embarrassment, as she had been caught within one of her many, many habitually reflective moments since her first day of true existence.

Willa felt her breath catch within her throat as she took in her 'sister's' breathtaking sight, and simply appreciated the opportunity as she always would on a daily basis.

The other girl, with her tomboyish ways, was never one for over the top dressing up, except perhaps for special occasions, such as holidays or birthdays.

And although Willa personally felt that Will could look positively radiant within a potato sack, she felt twice as blessed that it was finally her personal 'birthday' today, so that she could have witnessed her Creator take the time to have lightly curled her short, ruby red hair, paint her soft and inviting looking lips with faint, pink tinted gloss, and adorn her slim, athletic frame with a purple colored, form fitting dress.

It truly was a wonderful day to be (or still be, as the case may be) alive. . . .

And best of all, Will had sweetly made it a point to have put aside the entire day solely for her 'twin,' having taken advantage of the fact that their now shared mother, Susan, and her longtime boyfriend, Dean Collins, were presently away for the weekend upon a romantic excursion.

Willa had been waiting all week for this day to come, to have her secret beloved all to herself, but now that it was finally here, she hadn't a clue what to do first to celebrate.

"Now, let's see if I can recount everything correctly in order - And stop me if I miss anything, since Lord knows you seem to possess the better memory between us," Will began with a playful exhale and smirk, making her way over to Willa's bed across from her own to take a seat, ". . . there was me creating you - Selfishly, I admit it, and I'm sorry for again - solely to take care of the household laundry. . . . Then -"

"- There was me . . . suddenly experiencing life for the very first time . . . enjoying a full meal at home - Which I do again apologize for, having virtually cleaned out the fridge like that - and then later splashing about within mud puddles, while appreciating the cooling, tickling sensation against my skin . . . my skin," Willa contributed with a tiny giggle, managing to somehow tear her brown eyes away from the beautiful girl who looked so much like her, yet somehow not at all. She then resumed her previous gazing at her at her bare toes, wiggling them now in full force.

Will couldn't help but laugh along with her new 'sister,' especially upon witnessing the honest, childlike wonderment her former Astral Drop was in the habit of harboring over her continued appreciation of life.

She'd always found it so endearing to see, even now, how much the other girl's continued existence meant to her, and how nothing was ever taken for granted.

It truly was an incredibly inspiring trait held within her.

"So! 'Birthday Girl!' What do you wanna do to celebrate your first, official year as my favorite 'sister?' Mom and Dean are away, doing God knows what on their lovey-dovey getaway - Still gross to reflect on, their being together, a full year later, I know - so we have the whole loft to ourselves! Or, if you'd prefer, we can go out and 'tear up the town,' as they say! Even if we just hang out here in the bedroom, that'd be cool with me, although my having gotten 'dolled up' like this might then become overkill," Will gaily commenced with a small chuckle, moving her soft brown eyes away from Willa to look about their bedroom, and soak in how much it had changed in really such a short amount of time.

It was still largely decorated with various amphibian paraphernalia, despite Willa and all of her distinct and recently developed tastes and interests now being incorporated about the living area to reflect that.

Decidedly the more 'femininely aware,' so to speak , as well as outwardly expressive, as it had become more and more obvious to their dual friends and loved ones over time, Will had openly admitted to her 'sibling' that her formerly private bedchambers was a tad more . . . 'girly,' even close to Cornelia's level, than she personally might have cared for, what with the sudden overabundance of silk furniture and Jasmine floral designs, both yellow as the chosen color, and what evidently was the 'younger' girl's personal favorite.

Will's nose began to slowly wrinkle as her lips spread themselves into a reflective smile upon recalling that 'moving day' many months prior, and how 'their' mother had momentarily questioned herself as to why she had never gotten around to buying another bed for whichever daughter of hers to later claim as her own up until then, especially given that the two were now teenagers.

Thank the Heavens for the admitted convenience of Irma's, and her Water Guardian predecessor, Cassidy's mind controlling abilities, along with the sage council of The Oracle, that Heatherfield was a relatively small municipal, and that the Vandom Family had only just moved there fairly recently.

Otherwise, it would have taken quite possibly the rest of the Guardians' lives to attempt explaining away how Willa suddenly came into being, and was now a slightly known member of their city's overall community.

Will had never felt more relieved to have magical connections, especially in such high places, than she had after that whole ordeal had been done and over with. . . .

Seeing as Willa continually seized Will's bed as her own and seemed to prefer it over hers for the time being, the Keeper of the Heart of Kandrakar decidedly lazily reclined herself a bit onto her 'twin's' neatly made sheets and made herself more comfortable.

She would have felt a bit apologetic for now more or less completely ruining the meticulous bedspread, if she were not by now more than certain that Willa never seemed to mind Will's contrasting, general disorderliness in the slightest.

Will quickly leaned over to one side in order to remove a golden throw pillow from beneath her body, and allowed her gaze to linger upon it for a few moments before replacing it onto the bed at her side. She lightly ran her fingers over the smooth material, and lightly blushed when she silently marveled at the strong sensations it suddenly invoked as she did so.

She then puzzlingly began to feel her naturally tawny cheeks grow even more flush when she remembered Willa's previous explanation regarding her own obsessive collection, the day after the Vandom Family had finished redecorating the bedroom within its entirety.

"I want to fully experience absolutely every last thing imaginable on Earth - And elsewhere, if you'll ever not be as protective over me and my safety anymore. And so I've noticed on my own that particularly the color yellow, the feeling of silk, and the aroma of Jasmines are extraordinarily . . . titillating," Willa had coyly offered, sat upon her freshly made sheets and softly stroking them with both hands as she did so.


Why was that a memory to be so . . . flustered by, and why now, all of a sudden? Will wondered to herself for a pause, shaking her fiery red head, before going ahead and carefully placed her former Astral Drop's pillow off to one side.

Perhaps it was simply due to a combination of being surprised over Willa freely using such a word, and the now, similar feelings her silky bedsheets suddenly brought forth within Will, as well.

But, why 'surprise?'

After all, although she never proclaimed to be the most intelligent young citizen of Heatherfield, certainly nowhere near the same level capacity as her greatest friend, the multi talented Fire Guardian, Taranee Cook, Will was pretty smart within her own right, and dutifully applied herself . . . well, most of the time, and whenever there was actually enough time to do so in between Guardian of the Infinite Dimensions duties, as was her fairly recently appointed title.

And since Willa had been created within her image and, at the time, encompassed all of the knowledge and personal experiences previously solely belonging to her, then she, too, was rather sharp.

Even more so now, Will would privately admit to herself, as she had noticed this over time during the last year.

It was an odd sort of thing, really, to at times suffer bouts of comparative jealousy over it, and yet, at the same time, become overrun with a backwards sense of motherly pride.

But it was something Will continually felt and by now had grown accustomed to, and so wasn't honestly anything she'd be losing any sleep over.

Because it was simply Willa being . . . Willa. Diving head first into each new venture, and absorbing every last, fruitful moment. She'd even included making it a point to read the dictionary every morning before school, and then again before bed every night.

Oh, how the young teenager seemed to adore reading, although it was quite tricky for Will and the other Guardians to truly decipher which, if at all possible, of the many, many, many activities and pastimes Willa had undertaken in the last year she valued best of all.

However, because Will lived with her, she had the advantage of observing her progeny's penchant for enveloping herself within the written word any chance she could find.

In fact, the Vandom's family home was now more or less a personal library, particularly the family room, where Willa would be known to spend hours upon hours reading the surplus of books she'd receive as 'just because' gifts from either their mother or Dean, or ones she would personally purchase with her cut of the girls' shared weekly allowance.

"There are so many major forms and genres to choose from and enjoy - And quite frankly, I'd rather not limit myself - but I do think I might celebrate poetry most of all . . . particularly love poems, and if written by the immensely talented E.E. Cummings," Willa had confessed, almost bashfully, during a dual 'escort' with both Will and Taranee one time, after having been politely asked by the observant intellectual.

It had been kind of hard not to, the way Willa had practically clung, for dear life, onto and figuratively ingested her latest literary purchase at that point, B. B. Commons: Complete Poems, 1904-1962, as the trio leisurely walked about the seaside city on that afternoon.

Will couldn't help but briefly roll her eyes, and faintly smile to herself as she further recalled the incident, remembering how Taranee had then openly made the, by then, all too apparent note that the longer Willa continued to live and experience things on her own, the more unparalleled she and Will became.

"Because the real Will - Or, you know, the 'original Will' I know would quite possibly prefer getting an unnecessary root canal before voluntarily reading things like poetry and, from what I've heard, the dictionary day in and day out the way that you do, Willa," the good-natured Fire Mistress had remarked in jest, running on ahead of both redheads before Will could have retaliated physically as she'd admittedly then wished to.


"What's so funny, Big Sis? Penny for your thoughts?" Will suddenly heard Willa cheerfully interrupting her previous, and a bit unexpected prolonged musings.

And a nickel for your kiss . . . or, better still, a dime if you'd tell me that you love me, as the song goes, she silently bemoaned as an added thought, the soft smile forming upon her face effortlessly dissipating as her heart began to quiver with its all too familiar, and unshakeable pangs of unrequited, forbidden affection for the girl sat before her.

Her Maker, as always, seemed none the wiser to her ongoing troubles just then, as Will merely slid her mimicking, molasses tinted eyes back onto her and smiled deeply through her now dying laughter.

Although Willa was confident that that beautiful smile was more so presently directed toward the affectionate nickname given to the Keeper, what now felt like ages ago, she was also rather certain that it concerned the almost ridiculousness of the latter question.

And Will said so.

"What, is one full year of being truly alive starting to make you rusty, already? I thought you were pretty good - Freakishly, at times, I openly admit - at knowing what I'm generally thinking or feeling?" Will teased, although suddenly feeling rather relieved that it did not seem to be the case this time.

To be fair, for the entire day, since the very moment she woke up, Will had been feeling a bit . . . she didn't want to call it 'off,' but more like she was living within someone else's skin, or feeling emotions which were not normally her own.

It truly was, to say the least, mind-boggling.

Especially right then, at that moment, as she continued to sit upon Willa's bed, and felt all of the swirling emotions of 'titillation,' as Willa had put colorfully, although quite accurately, put it. . . .

Still, it just did not make any sense!

Why all of a sudden?

Why to her?

And why today?

After all, Will had sat there, in that very same spot, for what honestly felt like hundreds of times by that point, and not once had doing so ever invoke such . . . palpitating fervor prior to now.

. . . . That she could remember, anyway.

She just wished that she would stop feeling so confused about it, and that it could be explained (or, at the very least, explained away) in some form, already!

. . . . And, just like that, it seemed, the Universe suddenly complied to both girls' fairly similar want, however unbeknownst to one another.

". . . . I believe that I probably know you better than you think, Will. Better than anyone else alive, even - Comes with the 'territory,' after all, need I remind you! Hell, I know you even better than I sometimes care to take note of. . . ." Willa began with her usual liveliness, stating what they both knew to be undisputed fact, before the broad smile which had graced her mirrored features suddenly withered into a worried frown.

Seeing this instantly made Will's 'older sibling' instincts kick into high gear, her heart starting to throb with disquietude within accompaniment. She hurriedly lifted herself off of Willa's smooth bedspread and crossed the brief distance to where the emotionally wounded girl still remained, perched upon Will's cotton-made own.

"Hey, hey . . . what's with the sudden depression? That's very unlike you," Will remarked within a hushed, lulling tone as she descended upon the now sheepish looking Willa with a strong hug of comfort, before then taking a seat at her right side. "In fact . . . I don't honestly remember a time in this past year when you've ever been truly sad, or anything negative like that - At least, not in front of me, or perhaps for very long, anyway . . . not even when I nearly lost you to Nerissa. . . ."

And there it was.

That fateful, near fatal moment finally being outwardly addressed, and the name of the one who had originally made any of this possible finally being said aloud by Will.

Willa personally had zero qualms over speaking about either one, at length or momentarily, something which, again, often surprised their shared comrades.

However, out of respect to her beloved 'sister,' and to the obvious, lingering feelings of mixed trepidation and specially reserved resentment toward the now long defeated sorceress and former Guardian, neither topic was ever generally brought up within Will's presence.

But with today being what it was, the one year anniversary since Willa's life had nearly been cut tragically short, it would have been honestly comical to believe it could have been avoided being discussed at some point.

Will sighed heavily with profound regret upon catching Willa's sympathetic gaze the moment she'd released her from her previous embrace.

"Ugh . . . I'm sorry, Willa. I know you don't like it whenever I launch into 'Self-Blame Mode' over this, but I honestly can't help it," she confessed with a deflated air, slouching forward and clasping her hands together over her lap. "I mean, I'm the leader, the supposed-to-have-it-all-together Keeper. It's my job to keep everyone safe, for God's sake! Yet, without even trying, that . . . that witch not only later managed to take Matt away from me for some time, but also had been so heartless enough to throw away your newfound life when . . . when she'd electrocuted you! Like it was no big deal! Like you were no big deal! And I just stood there, and let it happen!"

Willa winced within great affect, first, at the mention of her private competition and Will's boyfriend-turned-fellow magical being, Matt Olsen, before her focus effortlessly shifted onto the other girl's unrestrained guilt, apparently over both incidents.

"Will, please . . . you have to stop beating yourself up about all of this, you really do," Willa whispered against her 'sister's' cheek as she leaned forward to provide her own physical comfort in kind, doing her best to block out the swelling sense of romantic desire to do more than simply give Will a hug. "If we were to get technical about it, that blast was actually meant for you, not I. I was created originally as a replacement for you, as was the case for Yan Lin and Yi, remember. . . . You also seem to continue conveniently forgetting that I'm the one who chose to willingly place myself within harm's way - To protect you, to keep you safe . . . and to freely relinquish my life. And even though I wholeheartedly love the life I still thankfully possess, I would gladly do it all again for you. . . ."

Will shifted awkwardly within Willa's continued touch, the torment of that night mounting even higher upon listening to the girl's own admission.

"A-And I . . . I would have gladly done the very same thing for you," she breathed in emotion, fresh tears brimming her brown eyes as she turned her head away from Willa in embarrassment, not wishing for her to grow any more upset than she might have been in that moment if she had witnessed them forming.

Willa, however, would have none of that, it seemed, as Will suddenly felt her shifting next to her, before settling onto her knees directly in front of her on the floor.

Will's heart curiously began to race and skin begin to crawl uncontrollably the moment Willa gently touched the side of her face with one hand in order to properly turn her attention onto her, while resting her remaining free hand upon her bare knee.

She honestly resembled a little girl just then, in that position and within her simple, sunflower dress, the way her small, but growing smile and rouge stained cheeks accompanied her questionable, timid expression. And then . . . somehow, at the same time, she looked more radiant and stunning as a young woman than Will had ever before seen her.

And this time, that particular thought, that particular feeling, did not escape her within significance, and what it quite possibly translated into . . . but surprisingly, it no longer alarmed her in the slightest. . . .

"I'm just . . . just so eternally thankful to you, Will, that you were somehow able to . . . 'short out,' I suppose, the excess amount of electrical energy coursing through my body at the time by . . . sort of absorbing and distributing it evenly between us when you took my hand," Willa began softly with a broadening simper, and then light squeeze of her 'twin's' hand. "If you hadn't done that, managing to fully connect with your Quintessence ability, and tapping into what remained of Nerissa's left within me, my life would not have been reinstated, and I would not be here. . . . So, no matter what you say, no matter how you feel from this point on about it, I am telling you one final time: You are not a failure, and it wasn't your fault."

Willa had expected her 'sister' to either burst into full on tears in that moment, either within gratitude upon listening to her being 'officially' absolved her sins, however self imposed, or because her words had become daggers and had driven the pain of those events even deeper into her heart.

What happened next, however, was something the former Astral Drop could not have even begun to dream of.

Before she could stop herself, or indeed even fully realize what she was doing, Will practically launched herself out of her spot on her bed and nearly crushed the unsuspecting Willa's similarly small frame, as her glossy lips heatedly met hers within an undeniably awkward, positively unexpected, although thoroughly welcomed kiss. . . .

Will had only ever done so, kissing, with her boyfriend, whom did not escape her mind within that unintended moment of more than inappropriate intimacy with someone who was not him . . . someone who was simply meant to be, and act like her sister.

The guilt of her betrayal would come later, she was sure, and the consequences it would naturally bring.

However, this one kiss, compared to the countless she had shared with Matt in the last year of their relationship, somehow managed to outweigh all of the upcoming, crushing doubt, judging hardship and heartache she knew was soon to come. . . .

In this one kiss, everything, how she'd been feeling all day, and indeed the true reason why nearly losing Willa continued to affect her so powerfully, finally clicked.

In this one kiss, Will felt like home.

She felt utter jubilation, along with a freedom she had never before known was possible.

She felt . . . love.

True love.

And it had been right there in front of her all along. . . .

Both girls hadn't the foggiest what they were doing, or potentially were about to do, or indeed how to do it. The only thing either knew for certain was that whatever was about to happen, they both wanted it, perhaps equally as much. . . .

Willa let out the most adorable squeal that Will had ever before heard escape from her sinfully delicious lips, as she had somehow managed to release them long enough to begin leaving an asymmetrical trail of butterfly kisses all across the girl's identical face.

It should have truthfully felt more than just a little bit odd, and certainly uncomfortable, to suddenly being physically familiar with someone who not only looked exactly like her, but was also someone of the same gender.

However, to Will, to Willa, it was somehow almost natural, as though their coming together in such a way had always been the norm, and what was meant to be.

And maybe it truly was. . . .

Willa, taking a cue from her 'sister,' shakily rested both of her hands upon Will's bare shoulders, feeling shivers of nearly unchecked anticipation coursing throughout her entire body.

She had yearned, prayed for this very moment nearly every night, all the while never once daring to hope it would ever remotely come true . . . but now that it was, without any sort of possible misunderstanding, it was almost too much to take. . . .

With a large gulp, simultaneously swallowing down both her lingering fear of rejection, as well as natural reservations toward such activities, Willa emitted a playful sort of growl, as it was now her turn to suddenly take charge of the extremely pleasant situation.

Rolling on top of a very surprised Will, who could only blink in surprise at the now uncharacteristically dominating girl pressed firmly on top of her, Willa grinned seductively as she slowly leaned in close.

". . . . Just in case I lose my nerve . . . or you had any ideas of getting away from me," she softly purred against Will's ear with a faint blush dusting her tanned cheeks.

The sensation of Willa's warm breath tickling the Keeper's already rippling skin nearly brought her to the brink in that moment as her mind continued to shut down, while her body rapidly began to accept the newly realized feelings swirling within her . . . in addition to physical changes, particularly below her waistline and moist, in nature. . . .

Taking a chance of her own, Will swiftly wrapped her strong and nimble legs around her 'sister's' waist, causing her short dress to invitingly rise further up her thighs and evoke a sharp moan of increased arousal and expectancy from them both.

No longer was there a look of embarrassment upon either one of their faces, but rather one filled with overflowing lust, desire, and passion they were both quite eager to share with one another. . . .

Almost as though that one, simple, physical motion from Will had been some sort of catalyst, the next several moments were nearly lost to the two Vandom girls, as they fully and freely allowed their hands to roam, albeit clumsily, about their still fully clothed bodies.

Each touch was like Heaven, and each gasp and groan brought forth felt so good and so exhilarating to listen to it was almost maddening, the way it only heightened each girl's want and need, strengthening their efforts.

Willa could no longer imagine another moment, imagine a world wherein this was never done again, sharing her love physically with her beloved. And, from what it appeared to look like as she managed to cease her sloppy, and feverish suckling upon the girl's neck and gazed into her eyes, Will clearly felt the same way.

She wasted no time in quickly cupping Willa's face in between her hands and lustfully smashed her lips against her own for the second time, both girls nearly climaxing then and there as they reveled within the added feel of each of their concupiscence.

After only a few moments of cumbersomely grinding against one another, all the while never missing a beat where their prolonged kissing was concerned, in contrast, both 'twins' quickly found a shared pace, matching each movement as they feverishly pressed themselves desperately against the other and rapidly heightened their ecstasy.

It was not until Willa decided to push her ongoing bravery to the edge by daring to blindly reach down toward Will's nether region to begin properly pleasuring her, that it finally personally dawned upon the pair that their clothing indeed sneakily remained upon them.

But by then, it truly no longer mattered.

For, the moment it'd also reached the both of their minds that their forbidden act was now becoming that much more so, once Willa's dainty fingers tickled against the surface of Will's now exposed, and black colored boy short panties, their bodies instantly tightened, becoming wracked with undeniable elation as each trembled uncontrollably within physical, and wonderfully satisfying release. . . .

". . . . W-Wow," was all Willa could weakly manage, the first to attempt any sort of words after several moments had elapsed into a few minutes, as both girls took their time to recuperate and properly allow the overall event to effectively sink in.

And also, of course, the usually accompanying afterglow both had heard so much about amongst their older, bragging peers, well prior to this special occasion, and now so joyfully welcomed, themselves.

Willa felt Will's chin lightly bob up and down within thankful agreement against the top of her head, as they both continued to remain upon the carpeted floor, however now warmly curled up together with Will's arms wrapped affectionately around her.

"Yeah, 'wow. . .' and all that with our clothing still on," the Keeper playfully remarked with a gentle squeeze of the beautiful girl resting peacefully against her. "Now, in all seriousness . . . tell me something: How long, exactly, have you felt this way about me?"

Will could feel Willa's body immediately tense up upon hearing this, and instantly regretted asking the question. The last thing she wanted to do was to ruin the wonderful moment, or, worse yet, give the other girl the impression that it had been something she had not wanted, after all.

She was about to apologize and instruct Willa to forget about it, when Will unexpectedly began to hear what sounded like laughter, light at first, before building into one slightly delirious in nature, as though the world's funniest joke (possibly by Irma) had just been told.

". . . . A-Are you k-kidding me?" Willa mustered up in between giggles, sliding out of a naturally perplexed Will's grasp and sitting up at her side. Taking a few more moments to allow herself to calm down, she then continued. "O-Oh, Will! I . . . I have loved you, been in love with you, quite honestly, pretty much since day one. . . ."

At this, Will let out a deeply affected gasp, and nearly headbutted her 'sister' at the speed through which she'd then sat up to properly meet her effortlessly loving gaze.

"W-Wait, what? That long? B-But, why? I mean, why didn't you ever say anything? How could I have been so utterly blind to it this entire time? Blind to how I've evidently felt all along, as well?" Will prattled on in question, more so to herself, shaking her crimson colored head back and forth within further disbelief.

Willa simply smiled gently at this a moment, finding her newfound lover's obvious confusion, in addition to overall obliviousness to be ridiculously adorable . . . at least, now that Willa no longer had to shelter away her feelings in secret, that is.

"I can't believe you have to ask and to wonder why at all, Will," she replied with resumed giggling, before the long consistent reason which currently echoed within her mind then began to resonate within her heart once more, causing her previous, ongoing worry of never somehow winning Will's affections to return within full force. "B-Because . . . you were taken . . . by Matt. Because you still are taken by Matt . . . and not by me, as much as I had always secretly yearned for that to change. I didn't want to come between the two of you, the happiness you seemed to share and all that you'd been through, both as a couple, as well as comrades on the battlefield. . . . And you have to also remember, Will, that in the very beginning, I once had feelings for him, as well . . . granted, by proxy. Still, because of this, I knew, I know how special he is to you. . . ."

It was true.

It was all true.

How could Willa have allowed herself to forget all about that, especially the feelings that she, herself, used to harbor and understand toward the kindhearted, and brave young man?

She had grown so covetous and blinded by her own personal dream of finally having Will all to herself in the last year, that she had managed to morph Matt into some sort of devilish creature somehow more sinister than Nerissa, herself.

Those seven sins truly were deadly, after all. . . .

Sensing Willa's now sudden, great need to escape, immense ruefulness then suffusing her face and causing Will to frown heavily upon witnessing, for the second time that day, anything but true happiness shining forth from her 'sister,' she immediately rushed forward and pulled her close into another, tight hug.

". . . . Listen to me, Willa. Yes, Matt means a great deal to me. When I thought Nerissa had kidnapped him, and then later 'sent' Shagon to constantly torture me about it . . . well, you were there. You saw how much I was going out of my mind with worry and dread, that what had nearly happened to you, could have already happened to him," she stated shakily, gently stroking Willa's long, and free flowing hair. "If the other Guardians - If you hadn't been there every step of the way to calm me down, and reassure me that he was still all right somewhere, I never would have made it. . . ."

"So then, I was right. . . . I have completely ruined everything between the two of you," Willa whispered against Will's chest within lament, attempting to pull away from her, before the other girl then strengthened her hold.

"No. I said listen to me, all right? You haven't ruined anything between Matt and I, because what we used to share together as a couple is no longer there," Will revealed, almost heatedly, before it quickly ebbed away by the slight ache within her heart upon finally admitting to herself what she had known to be the truth for quite some time, however had been too afraid and conflicted to own up to.

Willa made another move to release herself from her 'twin's' grasp and this time, was not denied, as she looked up to meet Will's saddened smile, and nod of her head within added confirmation.

"W-What do you mean, 'no longer there?'" she asked hesitantly, continually feeling blameworthy, and yet, daring to still feel a tiny smidgen of lingering hope that Will was trying to say what she was now slowly beginning to think she was trying to say.

"I mean that, for the past few months, especially, Matt and I have just been feeling . . . 'off,'" Will responded with a light sigh, looking down at her hands a moment, before returning a steady gaze back onto Willa. ". . . . I didn't really want to fess up to it to myself completely at first, for obvious reasons . . . and I certainly didn't ever want to talk about it to any of the girls, or to you, even, because then that would have made it that much more real to me. . . . I don't know whether if it's because we haven't been able to see each other as much lately, what with our various, individual activities, and also because the need to kick some bad guy ass together has thankfully been rather lax. . . . But, that former connection he and I used to share just . . . just isn't there, anymore. And, before you even say it, no, this isn't some sort of guilty and befuddled, post-sex sort of rant, either. Oh, but trust me: the guilt over what we've done - That we'd done it while I'm still technically with Matt, that is, is there. In spades."

Willa was about to open her mouth to reaffirm her own blame and readiness to share the burden, when Will quickly raised a hand to stop her in her tracks.

"Nuh, uh! Stop, Sis. I'd freely made the decision to continue on with you, and I will gladly face whatever's coming to me once I tell him the truth . . . the whole truth, that I'm no longer in love with him, and . . . am instead in love with you. . . ."

Even though it was fairly obvious that the current discussion they were having was heading down that specific direction, even negating their previous, physical joining as a possibly furthered indication, Willa still found herself to be feeling positively flabbergasted, all the same.

And then, nervousness.

Then, sheer excitement.

Then, finally, absolute relief.

Yes, certainly relief, that her long, unintentional, at times disheartening, but always valued journey was finally reaching its end.

That, finally, her heart's call was truly, and without a doubt being answered.

Hay Lin was right, after all:

Life, no matter what it would sometimes throw into the mix, truly was a gift to be savored to the very last drop. . . .

Willa could no longer contain herself, as she once again pounced onto her beauty, her muse, and now, truly returned lover and planted another kiss, this time tenderly, onto her lips.

Will gladly reciprocated the gesture, slowly wrapping her arms back around Willa's form, enjoying the moment a few seconds longer, before pulling away briefly to playfully ask, "So . . . we've covered the first time love confessions, and first time lovemaking. Is there anything else you'd like to do for your 'birthday,' today?"

Willa giggled, beginning to blush within reflection as she then honestly began to think about the question, before calmly replying, "Well, while I think we definitely need to talk things out a bit more - That is, where we proceed from here, as well as how you truly came to realize that you love me, back . . . I was thinking that maybe we could try what we just did, again? Only, this time, without the clothes, without a doubt, and also upon my nice and inviting silk bedsheets. . . ."

Will blinked within surprise momentarily, noting at how quickly her 'sibling' had already returned back to her normally happy self, before smirking mischievously at the deliciously tempting idea.

"I get the feeling that being with you in this whole new way will never not be interesting, either," she said with a chuckle, kissing the top of Willa's forehead, before looking back at her seductively. "And I believe the word you'd first used in regards to those sheets was 'titillating. . . .'"

- The End

(A.N. Oh! And yay, also, to my slight Xena reference, there, I'd forgotten, with the girls thinking of calling Willa 'Alti' at first. Damn, that Shamaness is a bad ass. . . . LoL

Uhhhh . . . there you have it! Love-Love time between a girl and . . . herself, more or less. Nothin' wrong with that. =) But, no, seriously, their interaction grew on me, though, I'll admit. Might draw them together some day. Gasp! Will/Willa pairing? Oh, noes! LoL

Anyhow! I hope you've all enjoyed it, the way Talons-Foot thoroughly had, again, thank Jeebus. NOW I can finish up a few of my DRAWING commissions, before getting back to work! =) )