Xander rubbed the back of his neck as he walked down the hall toward Willow's room. He had left the rest of the house fast asleep. It had been such a wonderful night. He sighed. For the first time in a long while, he remembered what was wonderful about being a Scoobie.
He smiled as one of the coven approached him. She was tall with long dark hair and walked with a Ginger sway. Ah, Gilligan's Island. He couldn't remember her name, but she'd come with Willow on a mission in Africa once. It was something with an R. He closed his eyes and dug deep. Names he could do.
"Rhoda?" He smiled. Another classic television show.
"Xander, it is good to see you again despite the circumstances." The woman smiled, but the look didn't reach her eyes. "Willow is awake. Well, she's asleep now, but she woke up."
"That's good news." Xander sighed. "Which means there's bad news, too. Hit me with it."
"She has no memory of us, not a single coven member. She's been asking for an Oz, a Daniel Osbourne, and, occasionally, for you." She bit her lip. "She's quite frightened."
"Time for a little best friend magic, then." Xander smiled.
"It won't be that easy. Willow is panicked. She refuses to talk to any of us beyond demanding to see you or..."
"Yeah, yeah, Oz. They used to date back in high school. He's an original Scoobie." He smiled at her blank look. "One of the lucky few that knew Buffy when there could be only one. He's a friend."
"Then you know where he is." She visibly relaxed. "Call him."
"He's asleep, but I'll call the house soon." Xander glanced at his watch. "You do not want to wake up the slayer this early."
"Why would calling this other man wake the slayer?"
"Well, they share a room." He smiled. "And they got engaged last night, so it isn't the best day to call early if you know what I mean. Don't worry. I'll go in and try to get her to talk to us. She always comes around for me."
"She's been through a lot. Kennedy has been siphoning power from her for years. i cannot begin to fathom the trauma of such a violation." Rhoda shivered and grabbed his arm. "The amnesia may be the result of the power drain or it may be her mind's defense mechanism kicking in."
"Either way, we need our Willow back hale and hearty. I don't need the instruction manual. I'm her best friend. There's this whole crayon thing. You wouldn't understand." Xander stared at her hand. "I know you're a witch and all, but get your hand off me."
She pulled her hand away slowly.
"I look like any ordinary one eyed guy, but don't push it. I've seen more battles than you, guaranteed, and I did it without any precious powers. I may look like shit to you, but I come through for my girls."
"I meant no disrespect." She held up the offending hand. "I care about Willow."
"There's a line, and you can't cut."
"If she doesn't recover, you lose some shared memories. We lose more. She's the strongest of us. Do you know what that means? Do you have any idea?" Rhoda looked at him with disdain. "We need her."
"Then let her family take care of her. She's ours. We will figure it out. We always do." He looked into her pale blue eyes and waited.
"We need her. Please help her." Rhoda stepped back and dropped her gaze to the floor.
He opened the door and glanced over at the bed. Willow was still asleep. He took a deep breath. Good. He needed some time to chill out. He pulled the chair next to the bed and grabbed Willow's hand.
"Xander." Willow squeezed his hand. "What happened? Did it work? Why are we in London? Oh my, what happened to you? Did Angelus do that to you?"
He shook his head, unable to answer the barrage of questions.
"Is Giles okay? Is Buffy? They mentioned another slayer. Tell me Buffy's okay." Her fingers dug into him.
"We all made it." He swallowed. If she asked for Tara, he was screwed.
"Where's Oz? Why isn't he here?" Her eyes were wide and shining. "I understand I was out of it for a while. I mean we're in London. But, he's here right? You've seen him?"
"I saw him last night."
"What about Buffy?"
"Yeah, she was there. Not much of a party without Buffy." Xander smiled.
"You were at a party with Buffy? You were out there having fun while I was here alone?" Willow looked around the room and yanked her hand free. "There aren't even flowers. Did you all just forget me?"
"Of course we didn't forget you, Willow."
"Then why was I left here with strangers?" She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him.
"They aren't strangers. They're your friends, too." He took a deep breath. "We knew you were in good hands."
"Okay, but I'm not a fool. You don't look the same and neither do I. How long was I asleep?"
"A few days. Buffy and Oz saved you from Kennedy, but you were pretty beat up." Xander rubbed her leg gently under the blanket. "Buffy sucked the power right out of Kennedy and stopped the spell that was draining you. I think it freaked Giles out. There were a lot of dear lords involved."
"I don't remember any of this." Willow looked up at him with a sad smile.
"Fine. There's no pressure." He leaned forward and smiled. "What's the last thing you do remember?"
"I was in the hospital in Sunnydale, and you left to help Buffy." Willow swallowed. "I know the spell worked. I know it did."
"The one to give Angel back his soul. It worked, right?"
Okay. I'm sorry. I usually don't leave so much unresolved. There is a sequel bouncing around in my head. Actually, if I look at it the right way there are several. Let me know if you want me to pry them free.
I hope you all have a very happy new year.
Thanks for all the kind words. They keep me going.
The poll on my profile page closes at the end of the month. Help me pick my next long story with your vote. Pretty please.
Thanks again for reading.
Have a happy new year.