Hey there, Willow here.
Original Scooby, proud witch, devoted friend.
Don't be shy, I don't bite! Well, unless I go all black-eyed and willy-nilly, but let's hope that never happens again.
“I know we have a lot to talk, and I have a lot to see, just being here already tells me how much the world changed. I don´t want to stay behind this time. I want to help. Will, I never felt this alive before. The world, the Goddess need our help, but I know I can do so much more than before, cause I´m not afraid anymore… “
She smiled, looking at the other witch. “My wise Willow… ” She kissed her forehead, looking at her, into those deep green eyes. “I´m not expecting you to be the girl I met a long time ago.” Tara took a couple of steps back, feeling a little too shy. She looked everywhere but Willow, seeing her laptop mixed with witchcraft books, spell ingredients, Guess somethings never change. Tara always loved that in Willow, she was realible, even if she hated that word.
“Back in college, you told me you´re keeping a journal, so you wouldn´t forget anything… I know Sunnydale is a big nothing now, but I was wondering if you still had it… to help me.. I alwaus saw the world better through your eyes…”
“You won’t have to stay behind this time, Tara,” Willow said with a soft smile. “I’m not letting you go. Not ever, ya hear?” She kissed her sweetly on the cheek and smiled, her dimples peeking through her pores.
“You are so strong, Tara. You and I together? We’ll be the most badass team of witchy chicks the world has ever seen!” She laughed lightly, her smile falling slightly as Tara continued.
“You’re right, I’m not the girl I used to be.” Her face fell, remembering the days when she was timid and weak, afraid to do anything for herself. “But I’ve grown so much, and I wouldn’t have been able to without you.”
Willow definitely remembered keeping a journal, because she still continued to write in it as she spent her long nights at the SHIELD base. Maybe it was the chemist in her, but she always thought documenting her life was almost necessary. She wanted to have something to leave behind, something that years and years in the future historians would find and learn about the Slayer and her gang, reading as they save the world again and again. So much had happened in her life, and not one day went by that wasn’t memorable in some way or another. Guess that’s life on the Hellmouth.
Oz smiled a bit more at her. She had always been so full of joy, even when the world was ending. Oz felt a warmth start to spread inside of him. Willow He’d loved her. He had needed her. Had anything really changed? The thought troubled him momentarily. She had been the one thing he could never push far from his mind. He wanted so much to pull her close and press a soft kiss to her lips, but it had been so long. The last time he had seen her, she’d been taken. He couldn’t just come in and ruin her happiness. Instead, he grabbed her hand and gave it a gentle squeezed. “It took years, but I did.” He looked her straight in the eyes with his own. He could feel himself succumbing to her spell. She didn’t need to be a witch to have complete control over him, even if she didn’t know it. “Who all is here?”
Willow smiled widely, so incredibly glad to see Oz back to his normal, healthy, non-werewolfy self. She would’ve loved him even if he was a Chaos demon, really, but knowing that he was healthy and safe was a wonderful thing.
But then something crossed her mind.
Sure, the two of them were still adjusting to Tara being alive and back in Sunnydale, but they were still each other’s Amazons, right? Before Tara passed, they were inseparable. They had their rough patches, but the were always meant to be together in the end. But after so much time had passed, did that still stand true? And what about Oz? It had been so many years since Willow had seen either of them, and she had absolutely no idea how to feel. So many emotions, so many memories, all rushing back to her in an instant. She didn’t know what to do.
Maybe it was time to start over. Tabula rasa, a fresh start.
“Everyone, the whole gang’s here,” she answered, attempting to push away her thoughts. “The scoobies plus some of Angel’s crew are here, and then there’s some new guys, too. Crazy how much power we’ve got here.” Her face lit up. “And the library! It’s full of books! Well, I mean, that’s expected of libraries, but there’s so many books! And ingredients for spells!” She realized she was rambling and tried to cool it down a little. “I mean, approaching apocalypse and all? Not too intimidating when you’ve got all these gadgets and thingamajigs.”
Oz was so glad to hear that Willow was well. She deserved to be happy. He couldn’t help but to give her a half smile. Then, she asked the question. He’d continued to study meditation techniques in Tibet after his last visit with Willow. There had been a few incidents here and there, but no people had been hurt. Since then, he’d managed to go several years without an incident. Of course there were a few days of the month that he was a little more on edge, but he’d learned to control it.
He looked her in the eyes, placing his hand on the side of her cheek as if to emphasize how serious he was. Oz could feel his shoulders relax as tension left them and he let out a sigh.
Willow had almost forgotten about his stoic, emotionless stare. Sure, it was charming and mysterious and always intrigued the red-head, but in all their years of knowing each other, she still couldn’t tell what he was thinking. It was like he was a brick wall, completely unreadable.
Seeing his slight crooked smile, if even for a moment, was the most emotion she could ever seem to get out of him. But seeing it for the first time in so long? She couldn’t help but smile.
As he rested his palm on her cheek, she felt a chill run up her spine. He may have been few with words, but his touch always spoke volumes. It was always full of love and passion and care, and it made Willow feel unbelievably safe. She never felt that with anyone else before.
“Oh, Oz, that’s great! I, I can’t believe you really did it.” She smiled at him, like the way she used to. She was so proud of him. He’d come so far, and he was so strong. She knew he would do it. She always knew.
Her voice. As soon as the monosyllabic ‘hey’ left her mouth, Oz knew he was in the right place. Things were going to be okay again. He watched her carefully almost worried for her to continue. Her eyes had glazed over as if she was lost in thought. Then, in an instant, she was back. Her arms were around him and before he knew it, he was holding her once again. It had been far too long since he had last felt her embrace, but he hadn’t forgotten how it made him feel inside. He hugged her tightly, noticing her voice falter sligtly as she whispered to him. “I missed you too.” He stated quietly, not a hint of his usual stoicism in his voice.
Oz was exactly where he was supposed to be. Not only would he help to prevent the end of the world once more, but he was finally with her. The girl… now woman that had changed his life forever. Apart from music, she was the only thing on the earth that truly made him feel something. As he breathed, still holding her, he noticed that she smelled slightly of old books and rosemary. She had definitely been working spells recently. Of course recently could have been the night before. Oz’s sense of smell was pretty strong for obvious reasons. He loosened his hold on her to back away slightly. “How have you been?”
Willow still couldn’t believe that the body her arms so tightly wrapped around was Oz. Oz, her first love, her first…everything. She had forgotten the chill his voice gave her, that crooked smile that made the entire world disappear, every danger and threat temporarily gone, until it was just the two of them staring back at each other.
“I’ve—I’ve been good, y’know, considering,” she shrugged, gesturing to the base and the dangers she’d been facing. “A little overworked, I suppose, but that’s pretty normal for your average apocalypse.” She smiled at Oz, remembering the times when they were facing the apocalypse together. It was a strange thing to reminisce, but she couldn’t help but miss it just a little.
“But you! Oz, you, I mean, the last time I saw you, you were,” she drifted, wondering if he was able to get complete control over his wolf side. He’d come so far the last time she saw him, but now it had been so many years and he must have done it, he must have.
She took a step closer, staring into his eyes. “Did you do it?”
Tara loved that woman.. Or the girl she was a long time ago. Of course she knew they weren´t the same person from 10 years ago, after all, 10 years is a lifetime! But who cares? who could care if that woman, with those big green eyes and so much goodness inside her heart.
Even if she didn´t see that anymore.
Of course Tara was running against all the odds to meet this new and improved Willow, and she felt so weak next to her, even with so much magic running through her veins. Resting her forehead agaisnt Willow´s, the blonde witch tried to stop herself from stutter.
“I remember the gun noise, I remember the window glass cracking… It´s so clear to me, like the day they found me and brought me here.” She didn´t remembered her own death, just knowing these two things already freaked her out. Of course, she didn´t know if she should say everything to Willow, to restore their old connection.
“I was meditating for a long time, until my body become numb. And I remembered. where I was, what happened… ” She gave Willow another kiss, deeper this time.
Willow’s face fell as soon as Tara mentioned the accident. The gunshot, the blood, the expressionless look on Tara’s face as she fell to the floor…it was all too much. That sting of pain rushed back to Willow, her skin feeling hot as anger stirred. She couldn’t imagine what it must have felt like, having the entire world melt around you as you were pulled into death. She couldn’t bear to think of Tara going through that, feeling the pain drain the life from her bones.
And then it hit her. Tara never saw what happened after her death, or at least Willow was pretty sure she didn’t. When Tara died, Willow’s entire world crumbled around her. She turned to the dark arts, transforming into someone who was far from Willow, into a monster. If Tara knew, if she’d seen her lose control, she could never forgive her. Tara always hated how much Willow used her magic, but knowing that she went completely tumultuous and unrestrained? Knowing that she took the life of the man who killed her one true love? Tara would never be okay with that. Not even for a second.
“Tara,” was all she could whimper. She wanted to tell her the truth, tell her what happened after she’d gone. But knowing that she wouldn’t understand, knowing that Tara could be gone in an instant if she knew what Willow did, was far too terrifying a thought.
She was just the one Oz wanted to see. Any time he had tried to clear his mind, she was the last thought remaining. Willow… “Hey.” He felt an odd warmth spread across his face as the corners of his mouth tilted upward. He thought he’d never see her again. He had spent years keeping his distance in order to keep her safe and happy while he learned to take control of the wolf. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he hurt her… she’d been through enough no thanks to Oz.
Taking a step towards her, Oz spoke in a very steady and controlled tone. “How are you?” She looked stressed. It wasn’t a unique look in the complex. It seemed like everyone was extremely tense. It was expected. The Powers That Be hadn’t brought them together for a party. This was serious. Oz had faced the end of the world before and that sort of experience wasn’t common, unless of course you were in a place like Sunnydale.
“Hey,” she replied softly, her voice barely able to make a croak. Her mind was racing, unable to comprehend what stood before her. He was the last person she expected to see there in the SHIELD base, but then again, it made a kind of sense, didn’t it? He used to be one of the Scoobies, and he was, essentially, verging on “super hero.” Of course, his wolf phases didn’t allow him much control ,but he was certainly more than human, and that seemed to be the going trend in their army.
The last time she saw him, they didn’t necessarily end on the best terms. He was still trying to control his wolf side, and she was deeply in love with Tara. But now? So much had changed. Tara was dead, Kennedy was in her life, and Willow had grown so much. She suddenly couldn’t wait to hear what he had been up to, where he’d been and who he’d met and everything in between. Her last years of high school were rushing back to her, beautiful nostalgia of the good old days filling her body with warmth.
Willow realized that she hadn’t said much of anything since he arrived, lost in a daze of remembered and disbelief. Suddenly, her eyes lit up with life and she threw her arms around the werewolf, pulling his body snugly into hers.
“I missed you,” she whispered, the feeling of oncoming tears beginning to well up in her throat. With his arms wrapped around her, all of the bad seemed to fade away slightly, leaving nothing but the two of them, together, at last.
Tara looked at the red head, feeling stupid, cause they´re still walking on eggs aroung each other. this shouldn´t be happening, they were finally together now. ”I like your hair like this.. You look mature and wise…” she said, her lop sided smile on her face.
“I´m sorry I left you alone now.. I had to gather my thoughts, find myself… ” Tara said, feeling weird, like she didn´t belong there, with Willow, feeling her warm skin under her fingertips. “We spent 10 years apart, I spent 10 years without you and I want to be with you again… for the rest of my life.” The blonde said that and pulled Willow to her embrace, kissing her deeply.
“I won´t let you go, Willow Danielle Rosemberg. Not this time, not even death will take you away from me.”
Willow smiled at her compliment, remembering how much she missed Tara’s sweet and innocent smile, even if it did seem a bit timid.
“It’s okay, Tara. I understand,” she put her arm on her shoulder. “You’ve been through a lot, a I,” she paused, brows furrowed. “I guess I haven’t really been there for you like I should. I mean, you died. It…it must have been traumatizing, coming back into this Hell? Being ripped from…” she trailed off, not entirely sure of where Tara was. Was she in Heaven? Was she pulled out of a beautiful place just as Buffy had been? Willow knew it was irrational, but she couldn’t help thinking that somehow it was her fault. That somehow she pulled her out of her euphoria just as she did to Buffy. As much as she missed Tara, she couldn’t help wishing she didn’t come back. She deserved to be at peace, not surrounded by chaos and death.
“I’m not going anywhere, either,” she finally said with a pained smile. She wouldn’t leave Tara, and she wouldn’t let her go again. Not this time.
Oz walked through the halls of the shield complex carrying a small amp with one hand and a guitar with the other. Everything else had already been moved to his room. The place was huge and reminded him too much of The Initiative. He felt himself tense. He acknowledged the thought and allowed it to pass. This state of mindfulness had taken him years to achieve. He’d learned the technique in Tibet and had been putting to constant use ever since. He was especially careful a few night out of the month that were higher risk than the rest.
He’d been brought here by the Powers That Be. It wasn’t a situation that he completely understood, but he could go with the flow and it’s not as if he was unfamiliar with odd circumstances such as these. He finally reached his apartment and set down the amp, so that he’d have a hand free to open the door. Once it was open, he picked up the amp once more and entered the room, closing the door with his foot. Sure his music might not be completely necessary for saving the world, but it would help him to relax and might come in handy.
Once everything was in place, Oz decided to take a look around to get a better feel for the place. Everyone seemed incredibly anxious and busy. He searched for a familiar face. Turning a corner he saw her. She was facing away from him, but the hair was unmistakably her’s. Then without a single thought, her name escaped his lips. “Willow…”
Willow had spent most of her morning running around the base looking for resources, searching through every book she could find in search of protective spells, dexterity enchantments, healing elixirs, and anything else that could be of use.
She was deep into a book on the floor of the library when she decided it was time for a break. Turning the crinkled page and setting the book aside, Willow gathered herself and headed towards the kitchen. She was definitely going to need some coffee to keep her going for the rest of the day, and some brain food certainly wasn’t a bad idea, either.
In front of the cafeteria was a large sign that listed what they were serving; nothing looked particularly appetizing, although reading the word “lasagna” was making her mouth water. As she stood there reading through the available desserts, she could sense a presence behind her. The aura was strong, and definitely familiar. Just as she began to piece it together, the sting of a bittersweet voice filled her ears.
Turning around slowly, her eyes fell upon the man she never thought she’d see again. “Oz?”
The blonde witch opened the door carefully, looking at whoever was knocking on her door. She was trying to be careful, and not get in anyone´s way. After all, that was her nature, who she was. Being invisible. After 3 weeks she barely left her room, hiding in there like a stupid, scared girl. Like her teenager self. She wasn´t the strong aomaz she became right before her death. She was just some stupid girl who went back and lost all the fierceness and strength.
“Willow?” At least she wasn´t stuttering anymore. For someone who wanted to show Willow she could be the same woman she was before happened. Or a better woman, someone who could be with the other witch in every way. Just like before. ”
“Hey, how are you?” She didn´t felt like she should call the other girl hers. At least not now. Matter of fact, Tara was kinda tired. she was using her time to sleep to remember her ‘adventure’. And this was helping her to canalize her energy. “How can I help you?”
“Hey, Tara,” she said with a smile, her lips slowly falling as she eyed Tara. She looked exhausted, lost, and completely undesiring of company. “Is everything okay?”
She stepped through the threshold, leaving the door ajar. She reached her hand out to place it on Tara’s shoulder, but quickly retracted in case she didn’t want it. She seemed a bit off, and Willow didn’t want to make her uncomfortable, so she plopped herself down in the bed in an attempt to hide her worry.
“Can’t a girl just swing by to see her favorite gal?” She smiled hopefully, wondering if maybe she was just over-analyzing things. She just got her amazon back, she wasn’t ready to lose her again.