Huzzah! I've finally had time to update! It's been quite a while, hasn't it? I'm so sorry to keep you all waiting. I hope you guys enjoy this chapter! This is really where everything changes, and yes, some major things happen that are different from the show (as they should be), or are missed altogether. There's a reason for that! Reviews and comments are always welcome. Enjoy!
She could feel it. He was close. The sun dipped down below the horizon, only peeking by this point, leaving a blood-red glow settling. Oh how perfect the setting was. It fit Willow's mood perfectly.
"Here." She said sharply. About an hour had passed by, and it stopped Xander from speaking immediately. "Where?" Before Willow bothered to answer, the wheel turned sharply off-road, stopping at the edge of the woods.
Opening the door with a flick of her finger, Willow rose quietly, her eyes locked somewhere deep within the trees. Buffy hoped, having the slightest glimmer of hope, that whatever Willow was thinking about was something the Slayer could take care of.
"Okay Will, that's great. Thanks for pointing him out to me. Now I can go track him down and-"
"No." The response cut into Buffy's heart, fear leaving her heart cold. Though it was only one word, it was lined with pure malice and hatred. "I'm not letting you do it your way." As she spoke, her feet already crunched along the gravel, steps away from entering the woods.
Before all of this, the woods had been peaceful. A place to meditate, pray, chant, be with friends, or be with Tara. Now, this same area would be almost like a playground to her. She knew this area like the back of her hand, and as she walked though the bushes and trees, it seemed that they bowed to her. A wind picked up when she sneered, loving the idea that Mother Nature herself feared the power of Dark Willow.
Xander and Buffy could only look at each other helplessly, and as soon as they even thought of getting out of the car, they found the doors not opening. "What the-?" Xander asked with a small growl. "Oh, great…" Buffy muttered after seeing Willow look behind her with a pleased smile on her face.
Now was the time for fun.
He didn't know where else he could go. Where else could he run? He felt that no matter where he went, he'd be found. Fine, so he'd go into the woods. He knew them well enough, and even if that little Witch found him, he had the equipment necessary to take her out.
Hearing a sound behind him, Warren ducked behind the nearest bush, holding his breath until the figure emerged. And there she was. 'It's showtime.' He thought with a wicked grin.
Seeing the Witch pass by him without a second glance, he held back a giddy giggle before standing at full height, a gun in hand. Raising it to shoulder height, he didn't hesitate when he pulled the trigger. Before Willow knew what happened, she landed face first in the ground, seemingly dead.
"Ha! Stupid bitch." Warren snickered, and in this triumphant air, went over to her and lightly kicked her in the ribs, just to make sure she was really dead. There was no movement. Good. Turning on his heel, he started whistling, but before he could move five steps away, there was a movement behind him.
Thinking it to just be a rabbit or something, he raised the gun in an effort to kill it, when a hand grabbed the pistol.
Warren didn't have the reaction time to yank his hand away, and instead simply stared in horror at the Witch before him. "You think that's gonna cut it?" Willow asked just a tad too sweetly.
Still holding onto the gun, Willow's hand turned red with heat, that heat transferring almost immediately to the gun and melting it to the point of uselessness. "Don't think you'll be needing that anymore." As Warren let go of the gun and stumbled to a sprint. "Run all you want! I don't want you dying too quickly now!" A cackle rung throughout the woods, a sound Willow had never heard from herself. She didn't care though. She was just excited to finally let this cat and mouse game draw to a close.
'How in the hell did she-? That was a sure hit! What happened?!' These thoughts buzzed around Warren's head as he ran, snatching his backpack and skidding to a halt. Rummaging inside his bag, he finally found something that was sure to blow her socks—and the rest of her—off. Seeing the Witch emerge from a nearby tree, he flung it in her direction, eyes wide with hope, a sneer at his lips.
Willow didn't know what the threat was, but waved her hand just as the thing exploded—and time seemed to stop. An invisible barrier formed in the same second of the explosion, and Willow was unharmed. 'Oh shit.' Warren thought with fear. He was just about to turn again when he heard a tsk-ing sound.
"Come on now, Warren. You're not making it much fun." As much fun as Willow might be having, she wanted to be done with it. Her blood fueled with rage, the Voices in her head telling her to end his life. And so that would be done.
"Why don't you stay there like a good boy?" Of course, Warren didn't listen, and started to book it again. Really not feeling like walking anymore, Willow snapped her fingers, and vines from nearby trees gripped at Warren's wrists and ankles, wrapping themselves around him sharply. Now face-to-face, Willow got her first really close look at Warren. Man, was she going to be glad when his heart stopped beating.
"I'm sorry, okay? At least she isn't dead!" Of course, Warren had no clue of just how much damage he'd caused to Willow's fragile heart, and that was just another hit that rocked her broken world. "So, instead of killing my best friend, you decide to kill my girlfriend?" Warren's eyes narrowed. So that's what Rack had meant earlier…
"Look, I'm sorry! I-I know what I did was wrong. It was bad. I'm a bad bad person. But not you. No, you're good. You wouldn't do anything as bad as me." In one ear and out the other, that was Willow at the moment. No matter how much he spluttered and yammered, she wasn't hearing any of it. Suddenly, something he said made her actually listen.
"I promise I won't do it again!" The way he said it… "This isn't your first kill…is it?" Warren stopped. "Wh-what?"
"You've killed before?" It wasn't anything beyond comprehension, Willow could easily see something like this happening in the past…but just the thought that someone else had to go through hell with him was upsetting.
"I'm not telling you anything!" He spat.
"Aperio." Willow said silkily, voicing the Latin term for 'Reveal'.
From behind the trees, a woman stomped towards Warren, cursing his name, wondering why raping her wasn't enough, why he needed more than that.
How much more sick could this man become?
As the woman disappeared, Willow pretend to "hmm" and "ah", as if she could see his entire life, and every time she said another word, his eyes grew wider. Could this chick see in his mind?
"Please! Just…just lemme go, okay!? I'll turn myself in! I swear to God I will!"
"But whaddya think they'll do to you, huh? Not nearly enough for what you deserve…" Willow's voice seemed distant, as if she really wasn't in the present at the moment.
"No…no, you know…I think I'll give you a piece…just a piece of what you deserve…" In Willow's mind, death was a blessing.
Reaching into her pocket, Willow extracted the piece of metal that changed her entire life. That had shattered her world. "See this?" She held it up for the man to see, and he scoffed.
Ignoring him, she looked at his shirt, it ripping open before her. Hearing a choked gasp come from the murderer, Willow placed the bullet mere inches from his chest before pulling her hand away. "I think you need a little lesson in pain…" Her voice was distant, glee mixed with pain, all the while staring only at the bullet.
"Do you know what it feels like, Warren? What pain feels like? What it feels like to have the very thing you love most…the thing you cherish more than life itself…to be ripped away from you?" As Willow spoke, the bullet slowly moved forward, it now pushing against his chest.
"Please! God I'm so sorry, please, stop!" Warren was shaking by this point, eyes flitting from the bullet, to Willow, and back to the bullet.
"Hush." Willow snarled, her hand waving over his face. The result of that action caused his mouth to stitch together. "No more talking from you.
"You don't deserve to talk anymore…" However, before Willow was able to say anything more, she heard a distant humming sound. Cocking her head in confusion, she looked up to see to her right, a distant glow. Dammit, was someone coming? Seeing the light travel slow and almost haphazardly, she hadn't realized that her breath caught in her throat after seeing it was only a light. Some might mistake it for a firefly, but they didn't glow blue. Only once before had she seen this, used the same night she'd brought Buffy back to life and those biker demons showed up.
But it…it couldn't be…right…?
The bindings around Warren's mouth slowly started to detach, leaving him able to start catching his breath.
The light slowly approached Willow, and it bounced up and down a little before starting its trek back the way it came. However, only a few feet away, the light spluttered and died out.
Whatever hate and rage was in Willow had almost completely evaporated after seeing the light, her hair flickering back to its original red tresses, and after seeing it die out, she cried out in fear.
"No!" Falling to her knees where the light fell, she knew the spell had ended already, but was terrified that it meant Tara was gone.
What Xander had said earlier…did that mean…Was she really…? Her thoughts had rudely been cut off by some incessant screaming and yelling, causing a scowl to come to her face, her features symbolizing the Dark Magicks instantly returning.
"HELP ME! PLEASE, SOMEBODY HELP ME!" Warren was nearly thrashing around his nature-made restraints, the bullet now causing him to bleed, still slowly going in.
"I am so tired of you." Willow said with a growl. Then, she heard a voice somewhere in the near distance. "Willow?" It called out. Buffy.
She had to make a decision. Now. Knowing now that Tara was alive, she could choose to go there right now, to see with her own eyes, but that would mean Warren would be alive. She knew jail time was nothing for him, and he'd get out in ten years, if that. No…he still needed to pay, and in a moment of fear from Buffy seeing him, and the sheer annoyance of his presence, she made a hasty decision.
"Bored now." Twisting her hand in a jerking motion, Warren cried out one more time before the air—and skin—that used to be his was ripped off in a clean, swift movement. Willow could hear a gasp, a gag, and silence behind her, but all she could do was stand there and stare at the body.
Shouldn't she be feeling something? Anything? There was no happiness from his death…that was the most apparent feeling at the moment. No real sickness…consciousness…that wasn't back…just…emptiness.
"Willow…what did you do…?" Hearing Buffy's voice brought her back, and with it, returned hope.
"Everyone is safe now. Including Tara." There was a smile in her voice, and before anyone could say anything else about the body, it burned to a crisp within moments, leaving nothing but charred bits and a nasty smell in the air. Just after that, Willow shimmered away, leaving Buffy and Xander behind in dismay and disgust.