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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/14/2011
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:27 am 
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2. Floating Rose
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Okay, the first part was kind of not that surprising for me after all (but nevertheless really exciting) because I had enough time to think about what they might plan and kind of figured that this would be the best tactic to bring Andrew to talk: to show him just how much he screwed up. I especially liked the part where Andrew compares movies to reality: it is a very interesting phenomenon how people first find some things really great and exciting, but as soon as they really imagine what it would be like in real life, it gets horrible. It is a bit like "be careful what you wish for". But now that I think about it, this is kind of the purpose of the fantasy genre, to experience exciting things that would actually really suck if that were you.

But oh boy was I in for a surprise with the actions of Warren in the end! I wouldn't have thought that he would choose this point to strike again. Not so much because of what Warren is like (because he would probably never miss a chance of being annoying and destructive), but because of the story structure I am used to. I just kind of trusted that they would be able to finish their plan and then go onto the next issue as soon as they know more. I like the way you don't write it like that, but throw in unexpected events and make everything less... linear and therefore keep your readers surprised.

Okay, last thing I would like to say: Seriously Warren?! Molotov cocktails?! You have all the possibilities of the magic and mystery of the Buffyverse and you choose to throw burning bottles?! I am not quite sure if this is actually creative, using more common and therefore reliable methods or if it is just... lame :hmm

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/14/2011
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:30 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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UGH!!! OK, it's official: I'm stressed out worrying about Willow. Hopefully she doesn't kill anyone, although if she did happen upon Warren... :hmm

That was definitely a great idea with having Willow change in front of Andrew. He got to see his f-up in super
3-D. I kinda felt like Willow was in there and reacting to Tara until the fire started. It would have been interesting to see if it was working or not. Buffy's house being destroyed = sad. What the hell are they going to do with Willow now?

I enjoyed this chapter as there was a lot going on. Warren...what can I say except I seriously hope he encounters Wolfie-Willow.

Can't wait for the next chapter!!!

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Shelby - Racing The Rain (IN PROGRESS) / Baby Makes Three (IN PROGRESS) / The Santa Line / Everything She Does...Is Beautiful / Calfornia Grass

"Transform your pain. Release your past. And ... uh ... get over it."
~Willow, Where The Wild Things Are


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/14/2011
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:03 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

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Somebody just needs to shoot Warren and put him out of his misery. I hope they are able to find Willow before she hurts someone or someone tries to hurt her.


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/14/2011
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:04 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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I thought it was great the way Tara was trying to speak to Willow when she was all wolfed out. It reminded me of the way I talk to my well trained pups sometimes. I think she was drawing from her love of animals at this point to kind of disassociate her lover with the wolf to help her manage the situation. I don't think she did this consciously but, it would have been a healthy way to deal with the situation.

I feel bad for Buffy, I mean how destroyed is the house and are the all homeless now? Not to mention Willow on the lose. I am very excited for your next update.

Thank you for your great story and updating regularly.

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Tara: " I got so lost."
Willow: "I found you. I will always find you."


Remodeling: The Reconstruction of Tara Maclay / W/T Potpourri


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/14/2011
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:02 am 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Leonhart17: Back to dibs!! :p

Yep, he sure is!

I know, it really sucks :( (as we discussed, lol). I'm sorry I didn't get to send anything before posting, it took so much longer to write because I don't have Word on my other laptop (stupid Works grrr) and it kept autocorrecting everything! Tara gets to go search for Willow now though, finally!!

You'd think there would be a time where jinxes would stop working, but noooo... :impatient lol, I read'em all and now I'm patiently waiting for more!! :p I'll write back on the other email tonight, something always comes up whenever I think I have the time to sit down and relax, lol.


viximon: Yeah...it wasn't one of their easiest plans ever, but Willow had found the idea to wake Andrew up. They already all knew what a werewolf shifting was like but because it was Willow, it was harder, true!
lol, I can only agree with you on that point :) You can count on Willow to be a special case, even as a werewolf and of course Tara would do anything to bring her girlfriend out of the wolf...

Warren is going to do down soon enough, he will have to pay for everything he's done...and the girls will get to go look for Willow in the new chapter as well. Yeah, the story is ending soon, but I've already started to play with some ideas for a sequel or something :)

I hope you'll like what's coming, thanks for reading and commenting!

Legolise: Ahh, so you had time to not be surprised anymore? It means I took too long to update!!! No but seriously, it was the only thing any of them could come up with to snap Andrew out of it. A lot of people live in these fantasy worlds because they can't/won't face reality and, as a cinema student, I can confirm the comparing life to movies sometimes, lol. It is exactly like that! That's what the fantasy genre is to remain just that, a fantasy (at least most of the time) :p

I don't think anyone would expecting that...even I was surprised at how bad it got! Well, that is kind of why I chose this point for Warren to show up his face again, he's always been unpredictable and never cared to follow any kind of plan, and when he's pissed nothing can reasoned with him...It would have been too good to be true if they would have had the time to do the spell and everything, lol. I could blame Joss Whedon for this and say I had a 'Joss' moment so I had to mess with everything you guys were getting used to...

What can I say except, he's Warren? He had everything in his possession to kill Buffy and to do pretty much he ever wanted to but he is so lame and stupid that he is the cause of his own problems...because seriously, trying to kill Buffy with a gun? Kind of lame, and the cocktails are just like him: lame, but destructive, unfortunately...I'd say it's a bit of the three? :hmm

Thanks for commenting!!

Finey_McFine: lol, everyone wants her to stumble into Warren...Tara will get to go out and search for Willow, no worries!!

Thanks, I'm glad you think so! There's nothing like unexpectedly see your screw ups up close to serve as a good wake up call...Tara and Willow wolf interaction will be explored again in due time, and Willow is so special that if someone was bound to be strong enough to react to humans while being a wolf, it'd be Willow, lol. You will have some surprises in the next chapter!

Re: Buffy's house...I know, I loved her house too! Um, that is the question, hopefully they will have an answer for it soon :)

You will have to see about Willow-Warren interactions in the upcoming chapters :p

It's here now, finally! Thanks for the feedback!!

love_2003: Um, shouldn't we say he'd need to be shoot to put us out of our misery? lol. He's going to get what he deserves soon enough, I promise!! You will find out in the new update, which is now posted!!

Thanks for commenting!

True_Love: It was a very Tara thing to do anyway, she'd do anything to bring back Willow from whatever situation she'd be in, even while being a werewolf...Dogs are so smart!! Werewolves are always described as vicious creatures but Willow is so different from anyone else so is something is bound to work, Willow and Tara would be the ones to achieve that. I also believe that's what she could be doing...Tara doesn't want to imagine her girlfriend as a violent, blood thirsty creature so she focuses on Willow herself to help herself deal better and, up to some point, Willow too.

It really sucks for Buffy, I feel bad for putting her through this but....more will be revealed in the upcoming chapters regarding her house, Willow and everything else :)

Thank you! I'm sorry I'm always late posting lately, but I still post as soon as a chapter is ready!! :)

Update directly below


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/14/2011
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:06 am 
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*So sorry I'm late with the posting again, hopefully it won't happen again (not as late as monday anyway...) There isn't much left of that story, 2-3 chapters probably, but I will possibly be working on a sequel, if anyone's interested. Thanks a lot for reading and an extra thanks to all who's taken the time to review!!!

**The song is from Patty Griffin and it's called When It Don't Come Easy

*****************

It was an hour before the police let Buffy and the others go. The fire had been put out but no one was allowed back in the house yet, not before the inspectors and the insurance company had been notified and came to take a look at the damages.

After a short discussion Buffy and Tara separated from the group to go look for Willow, as promised by the slayer. The rain had stopped shortly before and the ground was still wet and drenched at some places, the girls’ footsteps heavy and hurried as they walked in the town’s quiet streets. “Where do you think she can be?” Tara ushered as she followed her friend in an alley, undoubtedly a shortcut to where the blonde kept another tranquilizer gun.

“She can be anywhere, Tara, I’m sorry.” Buffy sighed dejectedly as she guided Tara through a maze of alleys and backyards before the witch picked up the familiar route. “We’re going to Spike’s?”

Buffy shrugged, dismissing Tara’s surprise. All she wanted was to find her best friend, make sure she was okay and then go to Xander’s and have a good cry. She kept wishing to run into Warren before all of that, of course. The slayer needed to give him an epic beatdown and if she’d get lucky enough to put her hands on him, nothing or no one would be able to stop her. “He’s got my spare tranquilizer gun. I’m sure he just left it there when he left so we’ll go check first. Do you have your sleeping spell ready in case we run into her?”

“Yes, I’ve got it ready right here.” Tara announced as she pointed her temple with a tired hand. “Buffy..”

“I know.” Buffy refused to talk about the latest events and it worried Tara. The blonde could feel the rage and despair coming off the slayer and she wished they wouldn’t run into Warren while her friend was so upset.

Tara stumbled on a root as they got to the vampire’s crypt and after a quick verification, both groaned when the gun couldn’t be found. “Looks like you’re going to have to use your spell, Tara. Better be able to cast fast if she finds us before we find her.”

The blonde sighed but agreed. She never liked hide and seek games because they always ended badly for her whenever she was playing with her brother, and this new and upgraded version was even worse. Her body swayed with anxiety at the thought that the werewolf could find them first.

It was raining again and the girls had made their way onto the other side of town. They were walking quickly, annoyed by the cold dropplets of water cascading down their backs and drenching their clothes when Buffy imperceptibly slowed down, her hand coming up to grab Tara’s jacket. “Don‘t turn.”

“What?” Why-”
“Don’t.” The slayer hissed as she moved her hand inside her sleeve and pulled out a stake. “It almost sounds like...”

“Willow?” Tara grinned hopefully when Buffy nodded, squeezing her arm to slow her down. “I swear I felt a vampire but it’s gone...Don’t move and stay with me.”

“Okay, whoever or whatever you are, why don’t you come out now? I don’t have all night so show your face!” Buffy proclaimed loudly, her body bracing itself for whatever would be coming for them.

Several seconds went by and there was still no sign of anything, at Buffy’s biggest frustration. “This is ridiculous,” she groaned as the latest events started to catch up with her. “Willow Daniellle Rosenberg, show your ass now!”

“Buffy.” Tara whispered as she tugged on the slayer’s arm, trying to get her attention. The slayer rolled her eyes but turned to face her friend, the stake swirling dangerously fast in the smaller woman’s hand. “What?”

Tara pursed her lips and shot a nervous yet eager look behind their shoulders. “Look behind you.”

Willow, or her werewolf self was sitting on the cold ground a block away from them, her body partially hidden by the shadows. Even with the distance Tara knew it was watching them intently, as if gauging if they were threats or not. It seemed fine at least from afar, and Tara thanked the Goddess for it. “I need to be closer to do the spell.”

Buffy glanced at the blonde and frowned as put the stake back in her sleeve, not having the intention to use it against her best friend. “How close?”

“Six, eight feet, give or take?” Tara echoed the slayer’s sigh but they didn’t have a choice; the closer Tara would be to cast the spell, the more potent it would be.

“Hey, Buffy? That thing, with Oz...you really think it worked? W-when Will used to read to him?” Tara murmured but never letting the wolf out of her sight as plan slowly formed in her head.

“Um, I guess, as long as she didn’t read to him about rabbits.” Buffy shrugged off the confused look Tara stared at her with and smirked, her tone teasing. “You’re not saying you want to read to her, huh? Because now is kind of not the right time.”

Tara rolled her eyes and motioned her friend to watch. “Don’t be silly, Buffy. I was thinking...I was thinking m-maybe I could s-sing to her? You know, to calm her down so we could get closer.”

“I guess it’d be worth a shot, Will loves it when you sing to her so maybe you can reach her that way.” Buffy commented with a soft grin, chuckling when the blonde blushed. She waited patiently but it wasn’t long before she glanced at Tara with a quirked eyebrow, clearly expecting something the blonde was failing to provide. “So?”

“So what?”

“I don’t know, sing maybe?” Buffy smirked. She snorted when she felt Tara’s hands turned her around so they were back to back, the slayer now facing the darkened street. “What, I can’t if you stare at me!” the witch mumbled, ignoring her friend’s chuckle.

Tara took a deep breath and pushed the presence of her friend out of her mind, instead focusing on the werewolf. She noted that it had came a few feet closer while she and Buffy had been distracted, and it was with a faint smile that Tara began singing one of Willow’s favorite songs, her voice soft as a murmur as she began.

Red lights are flashing on the highway
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home tonight
Everywhere the waters getting rough
Your best intentions may not be enough
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home tonight

Tara’s voice was shaky, not used of having an audience besides her girlfriend. She forced herself to forget about where they were, who was there and the blonde even pushed out of her mind the fact that her partner was currently a werewolf that could attack them if it decided it didn’t like to be sang a song.

Her voice strengthening, Tara imagined herself in bed with Willow, their bodies embracing and her lover’s smile dancing in her mind as she shared a song Willow used to listen to frequently after she had brought Tara back from insanity. It reminded her of their love and that every moment between was to be cherished, that they‘d never be apart again.

But if you break down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy

I don't know nothing except change will come
Year after year what we do is undone
Time keeps moving from a crawl to a run
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home


The slayer couldn’t resist peeking to see if it was working and it was with a surprised smile that she watched Tara’s melodic voice work its charm on the werewolf. Buffy noticed after a moment that the creature was coming closer slowly but surely, its paws silent and graceful as it walked towards them. They could both feel its hesitation however as it stopped regularly, growling and backing uncertainly before trotting forward again, the werewolf‘s ears quirking to follow the witch’s voice. Tara smiled as the wolf stopped less than ten feet away from them, this time refusing to get any closer.

The wolf growled but didn’t move when Tara, encouraged by the creature’s curious eyes, took a tentative step forward. She needed to be just a little closer to cast the spell, just two more steps and she’d be set to go. Feeling Buffy on her back, following her closely but quietly as to not raise the wolf’s unpredictable temper, Tara sang the next lines more softly, whispering them just like every time she sang them to her lover. There was no need to shout anymore because Tara knew that, somewhere deep inside the werewolf’s mind, Willow was listening as well.

You're out there walking down a highway
And all of the signs got blown away
Sometimes you wonder if you're walking in the wrong direction

But if you break down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy

Buffy watched and listened, touched, as Tara finished the song and without missing a beat murmured the incantation. The werewolf stared at her with inquisitive eyes before its they became too heavy to remain opened and it swayed, its legs giving up quickly, collapsing in the soaked asphalt with a thud, Tara at its side the second after. "She looks okay, can you call Xander?"

"I texted him a few minutes ago, he should be here soon." The slayer informed the witch and, true enough, they saw Xander’s sedan pulled in the street and parked his car next to them a few minutes after. The man hopped out of the vehicle and went to open the trunk where he grabbed thick blankets to wrap the wolf in. "Everything went okay? You guys are fine?"

"Yeah, thanks Xand." Buffy breathed as she helped Tara secure the werewolf in the back seat of the car. "Let’s go home, okay? Um, I mean, let’s go to your place." She sighed as the loss of her house hit her at full force once again.

Xander’s eyes softened and he moved to hug his friend. "It’ll be okay. I don’t know when, or how, but it will be, I promise." He whispered soothingly to Buffy’s ear, kissing her gently on the forehead as she leaned into the embrace. The carpenter smiled faintly at Tara as he let Buffy go and they all climbed into the vehicle, eager to move and for the night to be over.

**************

Two blocks away, Spike was lingering in the shadows and watched as the slayer and her friends carried the werewolf to the car. They drove off right past him but they didn’t see the him, too busy being in a hurry of getting the werewolf home before sunrise.

Spike waited until the car was out of sight before turning on his heels and shuffling back inside the disaffected building that used to be a appliance store. He light a cigarette as he turned the corner and climb two flights of stairs, his face shifting and his lips spreading to reveal a gleeful smirk as the sound of a hectic heartbeat came to his ears.

He had smelled the werewolf an hour before and if he didn’t initially have any intention of going after it, but he had changed his mind when he recognized the redhead’s familiar essence. Something had to be wrong if Willow was out on a full moon and his suspicion was confirmed when he ran to the Summers’ home to find it partially burned.

Resentful of the slayer as he was, a whole new kind of hatred took possession of him at the display of rage the house had suffered. The air reeked of gas and burnt wood but his vampire enhanced sense of smell caught another faul odor as he circled the house. He kept an eye on the wolf, occasionally whistling and showing himself to lure it into follow him. It worked a little too well since the creature almost took a good bite out of him quite a few times, the werewolf even waiting for him when Spike went into a bar where he had caught Warren’s smell again.

Now that he was werewolf free again, the bleached vampire went back to his primary interest in the form of a tied up mysoginistic, murderer Warren Mears.

The man screamed under his gag as Spike approached him, his yellow eyes boring down on him and his fangs out and ready to tear Warren’s throat.

************

Tara yawned and fought the desire to stretch her tired body in case it would wake up her still slumbering girlfriend, who was currently curled up on her side with a leg and an arm wrapped over the blonde’s body.

Everything went fine for once after they brought Willow back to Xander’s apartment, settling the werewolf in the man’s bedroom with Callie putting a shield up to prevent any more incidents if Willow was to wake up earlier than expected. It hadn’t been the case so after sunrise Tara went in and put one of Xander’s oversize shirts on her lover’s nude body before Buffy helped put her in bed. Relieved that the redhead was safe and sound and that there wasn’t any related dog attack in the papers or the news, the slayer had left with her sister and Giles to go deal with the aftermath of the previous night.

The blonde witch sighed when she felt her girlfriend’s warm body began to stir after several minutes, happy to have her back again but dreading having to explain everything that had happened while Willow was out. A soft kiss on the crook of her neck brought a smile to Tara’s full lips and she finally let her body relax, her hand sneaking under the redhead’s shirt and running lazy circles on her back to help Willow wake up. “Hey sweetie.”

“Hmmm.” Willow burrowed her head deeper between her pillow and Tara’s neck, moaning in appreciation at the blonde’s touch. She enjoyed their closeness after being apart for the last several hours and was almost dozing again when she suddenly remembered the circumstances behind last night’s shifting.

Her eyes snapping open, Willow blinked repeatedly to focus and frowned at the familiar yet strange surroundings. “Tara?”

Sensing the anxiety in her lover’s voice, Tara used the hand that was on the redhead’s back to bring her closer to her and brought her lips to Willow’s. She had spent the night practicing and carefully choosing the way she’d break the news to her lover but now that it was time, Tara found the words almost impossible to voice. “Your plan, with Andrew...it worked perfectly. Seeing you like that kind of broke him out of this fantasy world he was living in and he finally talk to Giles and Buffy.”

Willow let out a deep breath and closed her eyes, satisfied that putting herself, her partner and her friends through a hard and emotional night had served its purpose and had not been in vain. It had taken the redhead a whole lot of self pep-talk to motivate her to let everyone witness her shifting and it wasn‘t something she was eager to do again.

With some effort Willow forced her eyes open again, sleepiness fading to be quickly replaced with questions assaulting her mind. Her brows burrowed in confusion when she took in the room and finally placed where she was, her hands tightened around the covers to hide the fear suddenly gripping her. “Why aren‘t I in the basement?”

Tara drew Willow closer to her and fastened her hold on her girlfriend when she tried to pull back. “Will, don’t. I-I swear nothing happened, t-to you or anyone else.” She was quick to reassure her, one hand grasping the redhead’s shirt tightly and the other raising to cup her chin, effectively keeping Willow in place. Tara felt Willow start to give up the fight and relax as the blonde tenderly kissed her on the forehead and cheeks, her lips lingering when she reached her partner’s.

Delighted by the warm and satin like lips on hers, Willow sighed and langorously kissed her girlfriend back before pulling away, her head coming to rest against Tara’s. “Then why am I at Xander’s, didn’t the ward work? I don’t get it Tara, what aren’t you telling me?”

*************

The tension in the car was heavy and grew even more as Tara turned on Revello Drive. She was constantly stealing glances at her girlfriend, wishing Willow would talk or anything. The redhead had not taken the news well, stiffening in the blonde’s arms as she was told about the house and her subsequent escape. Willow had gotten so angry at Warren that Tara had to keep her in bed for over half an hour before she felt her lover calm enough to release her, the rage consuming her receding and leaving a sobbing redhead in its wake.

Watching her girlfriend from the corner of her eye as she wiped her tears away for the fourth time since they letf Xander’s place, Tara winced at the shocked gasp Willow made when they drove past the Summers’ house to go park next to Giles’s car. The watcher was nowhere to be seen but Buffy was in the front yard with a tall man wearing a suit and she was listening to him with her arms crossed while the man guestured in the air.

Tears pooled in Willow’s emerald eyes as she witnessed for the first time Warren’s last night wrath. She glanced at her girlfriend next to her and whimpered, wanting to talk but unable to find the words. “Tara...”

“I know. Come on sweetie, Buffy’s waiting for us.” Tara ushered, her hand brushing over her cheek and placing a gentle kiss on the redhead’s temple. After taking a shuddering breath Willow acquiesced and they both got out of the car while the slayer’s piercing eyes followed their every move closely, having noticed the girls arrival.

Buffy excused herself when she saw Willow and Tara getting out of Xander’s sedan and walked over to them. Willow’s reddened eyes brought tears to Buffy’s as well but she grinned gratefully when she noted that her best friend was fine.

Willow’s arms were around Buffy before the blonde even realized it and she happily responded to the hug, taking comfort in the redhead’s embrace. “You okay?”

“I’m the one who should be asking you that.” Willow snorted as she swatted her friend’s back and squeezed the life out of the blonde‘s lungs, refusing to let her go just yet. “I’m so sorry Buffy...”

“Hey, none of that okay? Everyone is fine, that’s all that matters. No more crying, okay?” She added more softly as she gently pulled back before the wall she had put up to protect herself from losing it crumbled. She grinned and raised an raised an eyebrow until Willow smiled in return and nodded. “What are they saying so far?”

The slayer exhaled loudly and shook her head. “The most damage was done upstairs but they’re still going over everything to see if we can fix it or rebuild it or not.” The blonde shared what scarce piece of information she had gotten out of the insurance inspectors so far. “We can’t go in at all, I’m sorry guys.” Buffy added before any of the witches had time to ask. “We’re going to have to find another place to live in the meantime. I mean Xander’s great for offering us his place but it’s too small for all of us.”

“I c-could take a look around campus, there are always a few rooms available at this t-time of year.” Tara offered kindly, knowing it would be really complicated to find an apartment or a house big enough for the four of them in such short notice.

Buffy stared at the witch with a strickened expression and she glanced rapidly from Willow to Tara, confused. “What? Why do you want to look for a dorm room, you want to leave?”

“N-no, that’s not it, it’s just...it’ll be easier for you and Dawnie to find something if you are just the two of you. Big appartements are not that easy to find...” Tara argued back, not wanting to be a burden for her friend and her sister. She hesitated when she noticed that her girlfriend seemed upset as well, Willow’s arm coming to wrapped itself around Tara’s waist and her fingers clutching at the girl’s hip.

“Tara, I’ll understand if you and Will want your own place, I know it could get crowded at home sometimes, a-and you probably wouldn’t get interrupted as much, but please don’t think you’re doing me a favor by getting your own place, I really want you guys with us and Dawn’s going to be saying the same thing. Well, with a shriller voice and stumping feet.” Buffy smirked, pleased when she got smiles from her friends.

“We’ll think about it.” Tara conceded and rolled her eyes when she was welcomed by two sets of pouting lips. “Okay, fine, jeez.” The blonde sighed, mock-exasperated at her lover and friend’s behavior. “She interrupt us though and I’ll be putting the blame on you.” She warned the redhead with a peck on the lips, but Tara felt a weight lifting from her shoulders at the confirmation that she was still wanted in the Summers’ household. She had never felt more at home than when she met Willow and, later moved in with the Summers’ girl. For the first time in her life she had sisters in the form of Buffy and Dawn and she didn’t want to give them up either.

“Deal,” Willow smiled and tugged on Tara’s belt to bring her face to face, “you might want to turn around and please, don’t interrupt us.” She smirked at the slayer and wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.

Buffy snorted and rolled her eyes at them, gesturing at the insurance man that was still waiting for her. “I’ll be over there. Once you’re done Willow, we need to take you shopping for clothes!”

“Hey! What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” Willow frowned and looked down at herself. “Oh yeah, not the best look ever, huh?” She admitted sheepishly.

While the others still had a set of clothes to wear, having washed them during the night so they were clean and wearable, Willow had nothing of hers to put on when she shifted back so she had to go through Dawn’s overnight bag and borrow a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, topped with one of Xander’s zip hoodies. Except the jeans were too long, the shirt a little loose and the hoodie way too big for the slender redhead. “The jeans are kind of tight, it’s weird because they used to be loose on me.”

Tara grinned and kissed Willow on the tip of the nose, happy that her girlfriend had finally started to put on a little weight. Willow was still thin and under her normal weight but her ribs weren’t showing as much anymore and she had an healthy appetite again. “I’m glad sweetie, it means you’re getting better.”

Willow nodded and smiled shyly, glad that her girlfriend was proud of her. “You’re saying this because you want me to lose the pants.” She whispered in her lover’s ears and laughed when the slayer’s voice grunted several feet away. “Hey! No listening!”

Buffy smiled and shrugged, sticking her tongue at them and, distracted, answered her cell phone without checking caller ID when it rang. “Hello?”

Willow frowned and shot her girlfriend a concerned look when Buffy stiffened, staring back at them with a stony expression. “Spike?”

************

“I should’ve gone with her.” Willow groused as she sat in the Summers’ backyard and stared at the house with disheartened eyes. The back of the house was blackened on its entirety with soot and all the windows were broken while the door had been replaced with a large piece of plywood, but Willow was convinced it had to look worse than it actually was. “We really can’t go inside?”

“No, sorry sweetheart.” Tara reminded her lover, saddened that they couldn’t even go in to take a look at what was salvageable or not. The blonde didn’t want to get her hopes up and it pained her to repeatedly tell her partner the same thing. Willow had loved the house as much as Buffy did and it had become, over the years, more her home than her own house. “Most of the pictures and stuff were in the attic or the basement, so most of it should be fine, right?”

Tara closed her eyes and gathered the redhead in her arms, her hands searching the girl’s stomach under the hoodie and drawing shivers out of the the smaller witch when she brushed her fingers over her belly and ribs. “Maybe, we can at least hope so. And Buffy can handle herself, even if it’s Spike, you know that.”

“Yeah, but still. He leaves town all suspicious like and hurt Buffy’s feelings but now he comes back and he’s all ‘come see me, it’s important, la la la’ and she goes running? And she didn’t even want me to go with her.” Willow sighed and leaned in the blonde’s embrace, hurt by her best friend’s evasive explanation and hasty departure.

“I’m sure she wanted you to come but there are things in life you need to do alone, to prove yourself you are strong enough to handle it. Besides, we have things on our own to deal with as well, honey.”

“I know.” Willow muttered, displeased by the change of subject. “Have you talked to Callie?”

Tara still her hands over her girlfriend‘s stomach and let the redhead‘s skin warm her hands, her head resting against Willow‘s. “Giles said Callie has everything. It was all in small bags when the fire started so she thought of grabbing them and taking them somewhere safe. We just need to wait for her and come up with a plan.”

“We still need a plan B. My house is out, I think my parents are in town.”

“Xander’s apartment can only be used as a last resort...Giles said that maybe he could rent a r-room or something.” Tara said, her lips pursing in exasperation when Willow pulled away. “Don’t even think of mention it.”

“It’s the only logical solution! Giles knows it, Buffy knows it, everyone knows it. I don’t like the idea better than you do but at least we’d all be safe, Tara!” Willow ignored her lover’s warning and stubbornly cut back to the chase. “Last night can’t be happening again. Please...”

“No. There’s no way I’ll be c-consider this until we’ve exhausted every o-option.” The blonde shook her head. “We need to talk to Callie, we still have enough time to make the spell work before sunset if we start now.”

Willow looked up the sky and into the pristine white, fluffy clouds, wishing her partner would understand her point of view. “What if the spell doesn‘t work, Tara? Look around us, our home is gone! The house is gone because of an ass and my best friend couldn’t even deal with her grief last night because she had to go look for me! I don’t want to worry you, or Buffy, or Xander or anyone else, I need to know that everyone will be safe tonight if I’m going to change again.”

“Let me at least show it to you before you get mad at me again?” Willow pleaded softly, her voice barely a whisper as she kneeled before her partner, her eyes begging Tara to accept.

Tara looked down and took a deep breath, her tired eyes moving to watch as a small hand brushed her thigh. She met her lover’s eyes after a brief hesitation, sighing at the mess their lives had become over the last few months. “Willow...I know you probably won’t believe me but last night, you were...d-different. I have no idea how it was with Oz, it’s true but you aren’t like him. You can even ask Buffy, she saw it too.”

“You can be reached, the wolf inside you reacts to me a-and I’m not saying that it changes everything but still...I know you’re in there Willow and I can’t lock my girlfriend in a cage, as much as you ask me too.”

“When you love someone, you don’t always do what you want to do, but what you have to do in order to help them and protect them.” Willow conveyed gently, her face softening but fierce determination still clear in her eyes. “Let me show it to you and then we’ll talk again.”

**************

“Spike?”

Buffy muttered insults and profanities about the bleached vampire when there was no answer to guide her through the abandoned building’s hallways. Noticing a stairwell to her left, she aimed for it and knew she was on the right path when the vampire’s duster could be seen lying accross the banister, as mentioned by Spike.

‘I’ve got Mears in the old appliance store at the corner of 5th and Peach avenue. I know everything.’ The slayer replayed Spike’s message in her head over and over again as she climbed the stairs, wondering how stupid she had to be to have fallen in the vampire’s latest plot to mess with her.

“Think I was messing with you?”

“Jeez! You could announce yourself, Spike!”

The vampire smirked and pointed at the hallway that ran for over fifty feet behind him. “He’s over there.”

Spike rolled his eyes and went to grab the slayer’s shirt when she didn’t move but she brushed him off, annoyed by his smug attitude. Finally moving, Buffy hadn’t made five feet that she swirled on her feet and sucker punched the vampire square in the face. “Don’t ever do that again.”

“Bloody hell!! What’s the bloody deal with you woman?!?” Spike shouted as he grunted at the lancinant pain coming from his broken nose. “I’m doing you a favor and that’s how you thank me?”

“Because you call leaving town doing me a favor?”

“You told me to leave you alone, you sodding twit!” Spike blocked Buffy’s next punch but she easily swiped him off his feet and kicked him in the stomach, stepping on his fingers when he made a move to grab her ankle. “Don’t touch me. You try to put another hand on me and you’ll lose every freaking limb. Are we clear?”

Spike didn’t answer and just jumped back on his feet, muttering as he walked Buffy to the furthest room, keeping a respectable distance from the blonde at all times.

Buffy opened her eyes wide as she entered a room that used to be the manager’s office. Warren was there, tied up to a chair in the middle of the room, as promised by the vampire. “Well, look at what we have here.” The slayer glanced at Spike before taking a step forward.

She was standing right in front of the restrained man in seconds and she was easily towering over him in spite of her shorter height. Buffy could feel the man’s fear but his anger and hate as well. Even in his precarious condition Warren was glaring at her disdainfully as if she was the worthless one. Buffy leaned closer and shot the man a look that sent him to squirm apprehensively in his seat.

Hey Warren, remember me?”


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/14/2011
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:07 am 
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booya!

Oooh, so Buffy's got Spike and Warren on her hands? Her temper isn't going to get better from that! :) Poor Buffy!

This is intense as always! Willow's still being all self sacrificing and wanting to lock herself up. There's a lot going on and I love it!

No worries, take your time! I've been busy for Kyle's birthday anyway (so unfortunately, I haven't gotten to write much more -I'm trying to get some time today, though! Of course I'll send you anything I get finished!)

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/22/2011
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:18 am 
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If it were anyone else but Warren, I could feel sory for him now- heh-heh-heh.

I'm worried about Buffy, tho; he's human and has really mainly committed human crimes, so if she goes too far....

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/22/2011
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:37 pm 
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*queue the overly dramatic ominous music*

I've been reading this all along, but neglecting my duty to comment. *hangs head* Bad kitten...

We all know Warren is a misogynistic pig, that deserves the beat down he is due. He obviously doesn't care for anyone but himself and has absolutely no remorse whatsoever for the situations he has either created or perpetuated by his lack of action (Willow's now being a werewolf).

Buffy is at cross road. She can either pound him into nothingness and feel completely vindicated doing it, or she can turn him over to the police, or she can rough him up a bit and then turn him over to the police. My only concern with turning him over to the police is can he come up with an alibi? He's done it before to weasel his way out of trouble and then he would only continue his vendetta until something worse happens. I have a feeling getting him to confess would be nearly impossible, and well against his nature - nothing is his fault - that's actually a mental disorder, but I digress. What to do, what to do? What can she live with?

Decisions, decisions... what comes around goes around and he is REALLY up for coming around part...

A sequel would be fun, lets see where they go from this little episode.

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/22/2011
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Only 2-3 more chapters...boo. I would definitely read a sequel! Pretty please!!! :pray

Anyway, I love 'Tara the wolf whisperer,' she really seems to be connecting with Willow on some level.

I can see Tara's point of view in why she does not want to lock Willow in the cage, but I'm not sure she has any other choice unless she wants to continue with the sleeping spell.

I was very happy that they found Willow so quickly and that she didn't get into trouble. I was relieved that Spike's plan didn't work either. Willow never would have forgiven herself.

Great Update!!! Looking forward to the next!

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/22/2011
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:37 pm 
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Hey guys!!

Sorry, this is not an update... :blush It is on its way but, unfortunately, its posting will be delayed from a couple of days. Something came up that I want to do but, especially, it is something I need to do and because the deadline is August 31st, I will need to kick my butt to try and make it happen. In return, I will post an extra long update as soon I can, which should be next weekend. Thanks a lot!! :)


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/22/2011
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Good luck with whatever! :D

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/22/2011
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:39 am 
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Glad to see that werewolf-Willow didn't hurt anybody or nobody hurt her. Looking forward to see what Buffy and Spike will do with a tied-up Warren.


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/22/2011
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:40 am 
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Wow, now I am really looking forward to the next update, I wonder what is going to happen to Warren now. I sure don't know what I would do, but since it is Buffy there is probably going to be a lot of violence.

Speaking of which: I don't understand why Spike still cares. In the show (and in your story too) he is treated like shit aaaall the time even if he actually does something that could be considered as good. And now I could tell you again how much I like how close to canon your characters and their relationships are, but I think I might have already mentioned this a few times. But it shows how much I enjoy them! =) It is also great how they still stick together despite (or maybe because of?) all the horribleness that is going on.

To the question if you should write a sequel: I would really like that. I have the feeling it all just started and would be happy to read more of it. You very rarely find a story with so realistic and detailed characters, relationships and still have an exciting story going on. There, I said it again. You see, I really love this.

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/22/2011
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:56 am 
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Leonhart17: Now I know where the booya comes from, lol!

No, it doesn't get better for her, of for them for that matter....but it will soon!! You know a bit of it, but there is more now :P

There really are a lot going on, true! I wish I could say it things quieted down for them but hey, I would be lying (and it would be boring, lol)

It's been a while because it it now your birthday!!! I need to stop jinxing myself with everything, I had promised it'd be one more week but it's been a month!! Crazy!!

DaddyCatALSO: lol, that is the general feeling going around for Warren...Buffy will find a way to handle this that should be satisfying for her, and readers too...

Thanks for commenting!!!

vampyregurl73: Aww, even if it's better when people leaves comments, just knowing that people are reading is great too!! *puts pillow under your head* lol

He really is, there's no questioning about that! But he will be getting what he deserves, no worries about that (maybe not enough but still, that a** will be paying for what he's done)

Finding a way to make sure Warren would get punished for everything he's done wasn't easy exactly because of what you described. He has a way to make things go his way even he's responsible. I think people will be fine with how Buffy will deal with him and if not...well he is being dealt with anyway so he won't be bothering anyone anytime soon!!

A sequel might be in the works soon, hopefully!! Thanks a lot for the feedback!!!

Finey_McFine: Yeah, I think so. My outline is kind of AWOL though so we'll see how those 2-3 chapters go, lol. Yay, I'm glad that a sequel seems to be interesting you guys!! :)

I thought so too! They are so close that I really believe that pretty much nothing could keep them from connecting on some level...

More of that on that chapter (much longer because I was bad and didn't update on time like I said I would). They will all come to realize that everything doesn't go as you'd want it to, so it's the decisions you make based on that that will make a positive difference, not being stubborn and refusing to agree to anything...

Yeah, it went well on that front for once, lol. Thanks a lot for commenting!!!

love_2003: It's a good thing nothing bad happened or Willow never would have forgiven herself...new chapter is here now, I hope you'll like it!! Thanks for commenting!!

Legolise: Ahhh, that is THE question, lol. The answer is in this chapter, finally!! I don't if people will be surprise or expecting this, but I guess I'll know soon enough :P

It's kind of complicated about Spike...they kind of know that he is not like other vampires and even if they want to treat him differently, he's still a vampire with a chip (which makes him different from Angel). I think Spike still cares no matter what because, with Buffy and the gang, he found a sense of 'living' that he never had before, even when he was with Dru. He is, on some level anyway, respected (especially by Willow and Tara, true) and he knows that Buffy acknowledges his help even when she beats him up...Thank you, yeah you mentioned it already but I still love hearing/reading it, it means I'm doing a good job writing them! :)

I've got all positive responses until now and I really want to be working on one, and I'll most probably do it as soon as I finished with this one...I can't wait!! Aww, it's really kind of you, thank you!!! And hey, I will respond to your email really soon, I was just much busy than I thought with school starting and other annoying real life stuff, I haven't forget about it!!! :)

Thanks for the feedback!!

Update directly below


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/22/2011
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:57 am 
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Hey you guys!! I am so sorry about the delay but I got caught up with real life stuff and starting the new (and last EVER) semester was rougher than I thought, but here is an update!!! And if I can't promise when exactly when the next one will be, I can promise it won't be that long before another one, lol.

*****************

Tara was at a loss as she stood in the middle of what used to be Oz’s old cell. Willow had told her that it was still used from time to time when a werewolf or other creature had to be captured instead of killed, but she had reassured her that it hadn’t been used in the last year.

The cell wasn’t as horrible as Tara had expected. It was more spacious than she would have thought and there was a lot of natural light coming in, at least during the day. The gate was as large as the cell itself and the electronic lock made it easier for the person inside to free herself if no one was around but still, Tara hated it.

She slowly spun around and, as she inspected the room one last time, her eyes met Willow when she glanced outside the cell. The redhead was sitting on the ground on the opposite wall and her head was resting on her crossed arms over her knees. Her girlfriend seemed lost in thought until she blinked and her eyes were suddenly on her.

Tara tried to put herself in Willow’s place, as if she was the one having to be locked up at night while her partner spent the night sitting across the room to keep her company until things were right again. Imagining the gate closing in on her upset and pained Tara but, at the same time, it also gave her an odd sense of safety.

“You see it now, don’t you?” The redhead’s soft voice came to Tara’s ears. The blonde sighed heavily as she finally understood and she nodded, walking over to where Willow was slightly dozing. Tara crouched before her and ran a loving hand through her girlfriend’s red locks, concerned by her girl’s exhaustion. “You okay sweetie?”

Willow opened an eye and yawned, knowing better than to lie. “Just a little tired. It’d be better if my head wasn’t pounding so much.”

Tara smiled sympathetically as she helped her girlfriend up. “Why don’t we go get you some new clothes, we’ll stop by the doctor’s office and see if we can get a new prescription as well.”

“Can’t we just go at Xander’s? I’m sure he has aspirin or something, and we could go for clothes later? I’m not in the mood for shopping right now.” Willow confessed hesitantly, not wanting to disappoint her girlfriend but unwilling to go to a cacophonic mall lit with thousands of fluorescent lights, afraid it would just aggravate her migraine and her crabby mood.

The blonde frowned and brought her hand up to Willow’s forehead and checked for any sign of fever. Relieved when everything seemed normal, Tara let her hand linger on her lover’s face, her fingers tracing Willow’s eyebrows, nose and lips. “Okay. O-or I could go while you take a nap, that way you’d have surprise bags to open later. Xander’s at work anyway so you’d have the apartment all to yourself.”

Willow grinned in approval, loving their new plan even more. It would have been the perfect idea if it didn’t involve Tara leaving for a couple of hours. “Okay but don’t take too long, I miss you baby.”

“I won’t, I promise.” Tara gave Willow a quick peck on the lips and put her arm around the redhead’s hips and gently pushed her forward, in a sudden hurry to get out of the cell. “We’ll talk to Callie as soon as I get back to Xander’s, okay?”

Nodding easily, Willow scrunched up her eyes when they got outside, the brightness of the sun making her eyes water. “Okay. Hey, what happened to Andrew? Did you guys let him go?” She asked, curious now that she remembered not having seen him since last night. She hadn’t seen anyone besides Buffy, Dawn and Giles, but Willow hoped their hostage hadn’t simply vanished after all they did to make a potential ally out of him.

“Xander took him to work,” Tara laughed at the burden their friend had taken upon himself for the day. “Andrew was all excited to be able to use a hammer and everything.”

“Poor Xander...I bet he’ll lock up Andrew somewhere before the end of the day.”

“Willow! Yeah you’re right, who am I kidding. Come on, let’s get you to bed, sweetheart.” Tara kissed her lover on the cheek as she guided her to the car, oblivious of the pair of eyes that were watching them from the other side of the cemetery.

***********

“Not too shabby.”

“Shut up, Spike.” Buffy glared and moved away from him, annoyed at his jubilant attitude. As she observed the vampire’s hostage with a more clinical view, the slayer had to agree with Spike’s comment even if she would never admit it to his face.

Buffy exhaled tiredly, her fist slightly numb and her joints stiff from when she had hit Warren in the face. She wasn’t proud of it but a few punches would only leave the man in pain for a few weeks without any lasting damage. He probably had a broken cheekbone and a small concussion but considering she could have broken every bone in his body, Warren had been lucky.

Warren didn’t think the same thing as his head lolled from left to right, his left eye almost swollen shut by the deep purple bruise that ran from his hairline to his nose. He was grunting whenever he tried to talk or take a deep breath, his tongue gingerly licking his split lip while he gave Buffy the evil eye. “You are ssss-so dead.”

“Huh. Isn’t it what you told me last night? Good luck with the dying?” Buffy recalled as she moved around him while staying where Warren couldn’t see her. “Looks like your plan failed. Again. Just admit you’re screwed, Warren.”

“I’m screwed? Your ass is going to jail for this, stupid bitch.” Buffy jumped back when Warren tried to spit bloody saliva on her but she avoided it and punished him by slapping him hard on the back of the head. “I’m the one going to jail? You tried to kill me and my best friend and you burnt my house down, you bastard. And I guess I remind you that the murder of your girlfriend isn’t going to help you either.”

“You can’t prove anything, bitch. I have an alibi for everything.” Warren covered his surprise as he didn’t expect Buffy to know about Katrina. “And I ain’t killed Katrina, the idiot left months ago.”

Buffy ignored Spike‘s snort and shook her head, unphased by the man‘s empty threats. “Warren, Warren...you don’t get it, don’t you? Why do you think Andrew‘s been AWOL all this time, huh? Hint, he didn‘t flee to Mexico like Jonathan did.”

The slayer knew she hit a nerve when Warren’s eyes almost bulged out of his head and his face flushed. “Yes, in case you’re wondering, Andrew was in the house as well last night. It’s not as fun when it’s your friends you’re hurting, isn’t?”

“You bitch!”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m tired of your incessant whining, you’re giving me a headache so why don’t you shut up?” Buffy grabbed the duct tape Spike had ready for her, tore a good piece of it and put it over Warren’s mouth, slapping him in the process when he tried to bite her. “Hey, none of that. Even Willow is well more behaved than you when she’s wolfed out.”

“What are you going to do with him?” Spike demanded casually, unconsciously licking his lips as he stared hungrily at the blood leaking from Warren’s nose.

“I can’t call the cops now, not with the way he looks. I suppose we could always convince him he had an accident and was attacked by a gang on PCP.” Spike smirked at the old joke knowing that, even several years later, it was still the most popular excuse by the Sunnydale police to explain vampire attacks.

Spike had a very different opinion from the slayer, never having had the intention of releasing the man. The vampire knew evil and even if he was human, Warren Mears had all the qualifications of an evil being. And William the Bloody had every intention of remaining the sole evil source of Sunnydale. “Go, and only come back after Sunset.”

Buffy shot him a strange look and took a step back, unsure of what the vampire was talking about. “What?”

“I said, get the bloody hell out of here and come back when the sun has gone bye-bye.” Spike growled as he stood straighter and stared hard into the slayer’s eyes.

Slayer and vampire glared at each other for a moment as they gauged each other out, and for the first time Buffy noticed something different about Spike. There was something about him she couldn’t place, something that had changed about the vampire since the last time they were together. “Spike...”

“Don’t,” He replied darkly, startling her when he strode closer and stopped when his lips were an inch short of kissing her, the cold emanating from the vampire sending chills down Buffy’s back. “Go. Come back later. You’ll get what you want.”

Buffy hesitantly raised a hand but folded her fingers into a tight fist before she had time to reach Spike’s face. She closed her eyes and sighed and before she could change her mind, twisted around and trotted toward the exit, never looking back.

Spike watched her go, never feeling his features changing as the smell of blood became too strong to deny. He turned to Warren and smirked at the sudden terrified expression deforming the man‘s face, and revealed his elongated fangs and his golden, animalistic pupils.

Warren’s muffled screams lasted only a few short seconds and had already died by the time Buffy had reached the first floor. She pulled out her phone and quick dialed a fairly new but already familiar number, sighing in relief when her watcher’s attentive voice rang in her ear. “Giles, we need to talk.”

************

Willow woke up to the sound of agitated voices coming from the kitchen. Rubbing her eyes to chase the remnant of sleepiness from them she groaned when she peeked at the Star Wars alarm clock. She had been sleeping less than an hour and her body protested when she swung her legs out of the bed, her throbbing head slowing her down.

Putting a pair of Xander’s sweat pants on and wishing Tara would come back soon, Willow cringed as the voices grew louder once she opened the door and made her way into the kitchen. The others had all taken place around the dining room table and were discussing hotly but all shut their mouths as soon as the red came into view. Xander was the first to acknowledge her, tilting his head and smiling gently. “Hey Will, how’d you feel?”

“I’m fine, what were you talking a- oof!” Willow gasped when Anya came out of nowhere and hugged her to death. “Anya...oxygen....becoming an...issue.”

“Oh, sorry!” Anya apologized and freed Willow from her bear hug, moving a few steps back and promptly leaving the room without warning. The redhead frowned but smiled gratefully when Dawn served her a cup of coffee. “Thanks, Dawnie. What was that all about?” She asked in confusion, nervous about her friends’ abrupt quietness and Anya’s conspicuous behavior. “Did Tara call?”

“She should be here soon, she said she was stopping by your doctor’s office to get a prescription. You’re okay, you’re sure?” Buffy spoke for the first time, her eyes darting quickly from her friend to Giles as they were too jumpy to settle on anything for more than a few seconds at a time.

Willow frowned and knew better than to shake her head, her shoulders bobbing as she shrugged instead. “Yeah, I just have a migraine. Did you see Spike, what happened with him? Are you okay?”

The redhead missed the warning look Giles shot Buffy but the slayer didn’t need to be reminded that what had been happening with Spike and Warren was to be omitted for the time being. “It’s okay, Will, I’m fine. I think he got the chip out, somehow. I’m fine, he didn’t even try to attack me!” Buffy was quick to assure the redhead when she bolted from the table to take a look at her. “I’m fine Will, I swear.”

Willow didn’t look convinced but she appreciated the slayer humoring her, Buffy letting her check her neck and wrists for any sign of biting or scratching. “What did you do to your hand?” She asked as she brushed her fingers over the barely visible chafes.

It was an innocent question but it put Buffy on the spot, no one else having noticed her bruised joints. “I hit him. Spike. I was pissed that he left and came back as if nothing was wrong and it ticket me off so I punched his boney face. Hey, Anya’s back!”

The diversion worked and Willow focused her attention on Anya and on the large plastic bag she was carrying. Her curiosity was as its peak when the vengeance demon stopped in front of her and handed her the bag, almost shoving it in her arms when Willow didn’t take it immediately. “Come on, go ahead, it’s for you.”

Willow raised an eyebrow and put the bag on the table, a stunned smile soon lighting her face as she inspected its content. “Buffy, Dawn and Callie have one as well. Yours is bigger because it is for both Tara and you.” Anya explained with a surprisingly soft voice. “You’re upset because you lost Buffy’s house and your personal property and it’s important to take care of yourself when you’re upset. Xander didn’t have anything girlie so I took care of it for you.”

Willow was at a loss for words as she went through several bottles of shampoo, perfumed soap, hand cream, body lotion and much more. Anya had thought of everything as there was even bubble gum toothpaste, colorful tooth brushes, shaving cream and scented candles. Tears welling in her eyes, Willow laughed when she reached the bottom of the bag and found pairs of matching panties and bras.

“I hope you like them, and that Tara will, they should be the right size but we can go and exchange them if they don’t-” Anya was interrupted as Willow twisted around and hugged her, genuinely pleased and grateful at the girl’s gesture. “Thank you, Anya, you’re really sweet.”

Anya beamed and smiled widely at Willow’s display of affection. “I’m glad you like it, Willow. I have to get back to the Magic Box before it loses too much money but I will be back tonight to help with the spell.”

Willow’s eyes hardened as she shifted her gaze from the already gone girl to her friends, before finally locking eyes with Callie. “I guess it’s time we talk about the spell, Willow.”

*************

Tara grunted and dropped a bag on the floor as she unsuccessfully attempted to unlock the door, one of the heavy canvas bags biting painfully into her wrist. She muttered and began putting all bags on the hallway floor when she jumped, startled by the door suddenly opening in her face. “Dawnie, hey.”

“Wow, you sure know how to shop, Tare. You’d make Anya proud.” Dawn smirked as she stepped into the hallway to help bringing the armful of bags inside. “I thought you were only supposed to pick up a few things?”

“That was the plan, or until I went into every store I could see and I k-kind of went nuts.” Tara frowned, following the teenager into the living room where they put all of the witch’s purchases. “The purple bag is yours, and the yellow one is for Buffy.”

The brunette snapped her head in surprise, a smile gracing her face. “Really? Tara, you shouldn’t have…that’s really sweet, thank you. Looks like it’s presents day, with Anya showing up with stuff for us as well. Well, for us girls.”

“Anya came by? That’s really kind of her.” Tara commented softly and grinned, the girl’s smile contagious as the witch watched her surrogate sister go through her bag. “Where’s Willow?” She asked when she realized the bedroom door was opened and that there wasn’t any sign of the redhead anywhere.

“She’s in the bathroom taking a shower, she said you could go in if you want.” Dawn said distractedly, busy going through her gift bag, squealing excitedly when her hand fished a sweater out.

Tara let Dawn enjoy her presents and jaunted to the bathroom. She could hear the water running so Tara knocked and twisted the doorknob, happy when she found it unlocked. “Hey honey, I’m back.”

“Hi, baby.” Willow welcomed her, her voice reverberating on the ceramic tile as she turned the water off. Tara grinned wickedly when she saw the towel folded up neatly on the cabinet and she quickly went for it, grabbing it just as Willow pushed the curtain to take possession of it. “Hey!”

“Hey what?”

“Give me the towel back, Tara.” Willow playfully scowled and reached for it but the blonde put it behind her back, keeping it away from her lover. “Tara, come on, I’m cold!”

Tara seized the shower curtain and gave it a slight tug, smirking as it revealed the redhead’s body and hardened nipples. “I’d say. I don’t know about the towel though, I kind of like the feel of it in my arms.”

Willow rolled her eyes and pushed the rest of the curtain out of the way, climbing off the bathtub naked while hundreds of droplets of water cascaded down her body. As expected, Tara forgot all about the towel as she admired her girlfriend’s glistening skin and dropped the towel, which Willow hastily picked up. “Spoil sport.”

“I was cold.” Willow reiterated with a smirk and a shrug but she leaned forward and kissed her partner’s pout away. “Better?”

“Always. Did you have a good nap?” Tara grinned and sat on the counter, glad to see her girlfriend in a better mood than when she left. She enjoyed the view, watching contentedly Willow as she dried herself while listening distractedly to the girl’s babble. “Wait, what about Anya? And where does that bra come from?” Tara asked with a frown just as Willow was putting on a dotted purple and white bra, quickly followed by a pair of matching panties.

“You really were listening, huh?” Willow smirked and turned to her girlfriend, loosely wrapping her arms around her, her still damp body fitting perfectly against the blonde’s. “It was a gift from Anya, actually everything on the counter is from her, it’s her gift to both of us.”
Tara nodded appreciatively at the display of products and smiled as she kissed Willow on the neck and admired the redhead’s backside. “I like Anya and I’m grateful for her help but, really Will? A thong?”

“Does it surprise you, coming from Anya? You can’t be that mad if you can’t keep your hands to yourself.” Willow chuckled, gently reaching behind to take Tara’s wandering hands off her buttocks. “I’m glad you’re back baby, because Callie wants to talk to us. She’s getting ready to do the spell.”

*************

“I know it was an accident, Andrew, you don’t have to apologize every ten seconds.” Xander mumbled in exasperation as he opened the door to his apartment and let Andrew go inside first, allowing Xander to roll his eyes at the younger man as he followed him in.

“I didn’t think nail guns were that sensitive. It’s lucky no one was sitting on that chair, huh?”

“Yeah.” Xander shivered at that could have happened if someone had been hurt or worse when Andrew had accidentally triggered the nail gun right in a nearby chair. Seven times. “If you want to take a shower, now would be good before the girls come back and monopolize it for the rest of the day.”

Andrew smiled and looked down at his dusty clothes. “A shower sounds good. Do you have volumizing shampoo? My hair are all dull and…and never mind, I’ll use whatever you have.”

Xander groaned and collapsed on a chair, already wishing he had locked Andrew up somewhere so he could catch a break. He promised himself he would talk to Buffy as soon as she got back to see if they could let the man go since it was safe to assume that Warren wouldn’t be a threat anymore.

Warren gone…it wasn’t the case yet but it was only a matter of hours now, Xander mused as he glanced at the clock. He watched absently Andrew grab a drink from the fridge before heading for the bathroom, Xander only snapping his head up in alarm when he heard yelling and a slamming door. “What the hell?”

“Um…huh-huh…g-gir-girls i-in-”

“Girls in bathroom!” Willow clamored in annoyance as she walked in the kitchen, a towel wrapped around her. Tara was right behind her holding a dark bag. “Xander, scissors?”

“Second drawer. Andrew walked in on you?”

Willow glared as she leaned on the counter, not enjoying her friend’s smirk. “Get your head out of the gutter, Xander, I wasn’t naked. He caught us um…kissing and stuff.” The blush coloring Willow’s face made Xander smile, grateful that even through everything his best friend had kept part of her innocence.

Tara noticed her lover’s discomfort and the way Andrew kept peeking at her so she hurriedly cut the tags off Willow’s new clothes and gave them for the redhead to go and get dressed. “There you go sweetheart.”

“Thanks. And stop staring at me!” Andrew shrunk and took several steps back at Willow’s warning and scowl.
“I’m not, I swear! I promise, Tara, I’m not staring at her!”

Tara shook her head and took a seat next to Xander, sighing heavily as exhaustion started to catch up with her. “You’re back early.”

Xander grinned but cringed at the cause of his impromptu afternoon off. “Yeah, John McClane here thought it’d be a good idea to use a nail gun to fake a real one. Don’t worry though, no one was hurt but I had to get him out of there before somebody got killed.”

“Thank God.”

“Yeah. Are you guys going somewhere?” Xander asked when Tara kept glancing at her watch and the oven clock to check the time.

Tara nodded as she shot a look to the bedroom closed door, wondering what was taking Willow so much time. “Callie’s waiting for us.”

“So she’s going along with the spell?” Xander hesitantly asked even though he already knew about the witch’s plan for tonight but uncertain about what Tara had been told so far.

“It’s alright, Xander, I know about the plan. Willow wants Callie to perform the spell at Oz’s old cell so we’ll have a plan B if the spell doesn’t work.” Tara admitted with a sad smile. “What’s taken her so long? Will?”

“Willow, honey, what’s wrong?” Tara exclaimed as she burst in the bedroom after her knocking remained unanswered. Willow was curled up on the floor and was shaking badly, her new clothes discarded next to her. Tara and Xander dropped on their knees on either side of the redhead, the blonde’s hands on her girlfriend to turn her over but Willow wouldn’t move and her body was as taut as a piece of steel. “Will? Come on, sweetie, talk to me!”

“Xander, c-call Buffy!” Xander gulped and jumped back on his feet and ran off to find a phone while Tara whispered soothing words in her lover’s ears and stroke her back as she struggled not to panic. As far as she knew, Willow was not having seizures but there was something else wrong with her, something that Tara couldn’t understand but the slayer might. Her months dealing with the recovering redhead had given her an edge regarding Willow’s health and magic problems that Tara hadn’t managed to gain yet.

Lost in her thoughts, it took Tara several seconds before she realized that Willow’s whimpers had become more than painful moans. “What? What are you trying to say, love? Come on, take your time and tell me what’s wrong.”

Willow bit back a sob as she felt her insides being set on fire and torn apart by something she prayed she’d never have to experience again. She shut her eyes tight when a wave of nausea hit her and the magics building inside threatened to swallow her whole. “Rack.”

*************

I don’t know what’s wrong with her, just come home now!” Xander yelled curtly on the phone before hanging up and walking to the door to answer to the incessant knocking that started while Xander was on the phone. “What!”

“Wow, way to greet people, Xander. A little rude though.”

“Amy?” Xander’s eyes narrowed immediately in suspicion. Willow’s sudden sickness and the witch’s presence couldn’t be coincidental. “What are you doing here?”

“Ah, nothing much. I thought I’d pay my friends a visit. You know, for old time sakes.” Amy smiled sweetly and tried to walk past Xander to get inside but was refused access as the carpenter’s arms created a barrier between her and the door. “Come on, Xand, let me in.”
“Sorry Amy, but no. Leave and don’t make a fuss out of it, okay?”

“Sorry Xander, I really can’t do that.” Amy’s features softened as she raised her hand and sent a blast in Xander’s way. The man didn’t have time to scream as he was magically thrown backwards across the apartment and he crashed hard against a bookshelf.

************

“What?” Tara whispered in confusion as she felt Willow’s body tensed so hard that the blonde actually got scared Willow’s bones would snap under the pressure.

“I believe she said my name. Hello strawberry.” Rack smirked from the doorway while Amy stood in his shadow.

“Long time no see.”

**************

“And I’m telling you, I know what I’m doing, Giles!” Buffy argued as she and her watcher waited for the elevator to reach the floor to Xander’s apartment. Both were with Callie when Xander’s urgent phone call dragged them back to his apart in haste, Callie staying behind to continue the spell preparations.

Giles sighed in frustration, the slayer’s stubborn mind giving him a headache. “I just want you to be careful, Buffy. We still don’t know for sure what is Spike’s deal. You ought to be cautious, that’s all.”

“I am,” Buffy reiterated once again, slightly annoyed by Giles’s insistence. The elevator bell rang and she almost jumped out of it, hurried to get to Willow. “I just…” Buffy’s reply died on her lips as hair stood on the back of her neck and goose bumps rose on her arms . Giles ran into her when she stopped abruptly without warning, sending both of them on the floor. “Giles, what the hell?”

Giles grunted as he rolled away from the blonde. “You’re the one who bloody stopped.”

Buffy jumped back on her feet and helped Giles as she shot her friend’s door a brief look. “Something’s wrong. It reeks of bloody magics.”

Buffy’s eyes widened and paled at Giles’s words. “What?”

The slayer dropped the watcher’s hand and ran to Xander’s. The door was locked when she tried to open it and she began pounding on the door, the sense of dread she’s been feeling ever since Xander’s phone call turning into a full blown panic. “Xander! Will!”

Buffy’s heart twisted into a painful knot when it was red-eyed Tara that let her in a few seconds later. The witch had been crying and it showed as her cheeks were still damp with tears and she threw herself at the slayer. “Oww!”

“Y-you said h-he was g-g-gone!! You assured me that y-you had taken c-care of him!” Tara shouted angrily just as Giles came in behind Buffy, worried by the blonde’s vehement voice. “What the bloody hell is going on, where’s Willow?”

“Rack took her.” Xander muttered from where he was sprawled on the couch, his hand clutching an ice pack to his head.

“What?” Buffy yelled, glancing between her friends with alarmed and wide eyes. “Rack’s gone!”

Tara snorted and watched as Giles made his way to Xander to check him out. “He’s not, Buffy, and he took Will. She’s gone…” Fighting back tears was becoming a lost cause and she began sobbing again, too frustrated to care about losing it in front of everyone.

Giles made sure Xander wasn’t suffering from a concussion and, once satisfied the young man only had a big bump on the head and a bruised back, the watcher turned to the girls. “Tara, I need to know what happened exactly.”

Tara wiped her cheeks and nodded, smiling thankfully at Giles when he handed her a tissue and guided her to a nearby chair. “I-I only have been home a few minutes when Willow went to the bedroom to get dressed. S-she wasn’t coming back so I-I went to check on her and she was on the floor, shaking a-and in p-pain.”

“That’s when you told Xander to call me.” Buffy piped in quietly, helping Tara to move on from the part where Willow had been in distress. “How did Rack come in?”

“Amy was at the door right after I hung up with you. She got pissed when I wouldn’t let her in so she played ultimate frisbee with me.” Xander added as he carefully sit on the edge of the couch, not feeling well enough to stand up just yet.

“Will mumbled something about Rack when I asked her w-what was wrong and all of a sudden h-he was there. He said something about Willow being a b-bad girl a-a-and I couldn’t do a-anything because Amy had me pinned on the floor. A-and then Willow screamed and they
were gone.”

The silence in the room was so thick that everyone jumped when Buffy grabbed a coffee mug out of nowhere and threw it against the wall. It shattered in hundreds of pieces, coloring the white tiled floor with blue sparkles. “I’m sorry.”

Buffy sighed and met Tara’s eyes with hesitation, scared of what she would see in her friend’s eyes. The slayer’s guilt multiplied by a million when there wasn’t any trace of hate of betrayal in the pair of blue orbs that met hers, only sorrow and pain. “Don’t be sorry, Buffy, just fix this. I need her back before he hurts her again.”

“I will.” Buffy winced at Tara’s order but she nodded nonetheless, acknowledging it was her responsibility for their friend’s abduction. “Okay, you and Giles will get back to Callie. She’ll help you while I have to take care of something.

“Take c-care of something? Of what? What is more important than your best friend’s life?” Tara asked incredulously and, furious, blocked the slayer from leaving.

Buffy shot Giles a pleading look and frowned when the older man shook his head. “I promise you Tara that my main concern is Will, but right now there’s something I really need to do. I won’t be of any use while you and Callie try locator spells anyway.”

Buffy went around Tara and the witch, too stunned to react, let her go. Giles sensed it was better to take her mind off the slayer’s back before she got angry again and so he gently took her by the arm and turned her around. “Tara, I can assure you Buffy will come back as soon as she can. In the mean time let’s go and see what Callie can do to help us, alright?”

“Giles, if he hurt her again…”

“I’ll kill him myself.” Xander promised shakily as he stopped behind Tara. “Or I’ll throw up on him until he dies, we’ll see. Come on, let’s go find your girl.”

**************

The cold biting deep through Willow’s skin and bones was what finally woke her up. Nauseous and dizzy after having gone through a brutal teleportation, Willow cautiously opened one eye to see where she was. “It was about time you woke up, I was going crazy here.”

“Go to hell, Amy.” Willow grunted as she closed her eyes again. She had hoped for a horrid nightmare but the brunette’s voice and the ropes biting into her wrists just proved her that it was all real. “Rack…”

“He’s around.” Amy confirmed sullenly, her former arrogant behavior now gone. “How are you?”

Willow glared laughed bitterly as she struggled and slowly pushed herself into a sitting position similar to Amy’s. “I’m just peachy. After all, there’s nothing I love more than being kidnapped by a magic dealer and someone I used to believe was a friend. You could have at least given me the time to get dressed.” The redhead muttered in annoyance as she shivered, both from her lack of clothes and the dangerous situation she was in.

“Vertirse.” Amy whispered after a brief look around. Willow looked down and sighed in relief as her underwear clad body was now covered with loose fitting jeans and a long sleeved shirt. “Thanks.”

Amy nodded almost shyly before taking a sharp breath and closing her eyes, her face scrunching up in pain. Willow frowned when the cave they were in suddenly shifted to reveal street lamp posts and fragments of a red building. “Amy, what the hell?”

“You couldn’t help yourself, didn’t you?” Rack rebuked the witch sharply as he appeared from behind. “Hello, Strawberry.”

“What the heck did she do, where are we?” Willow asked, her natural curiosity making her momentarily forget who she was talking to.

“Amy is helping me with a little trick I taught her,” Rack smiled as he bent over Willow and let his fingers trail the redhead’s jaw line. Its callous hands snapped Willow out of it and she pushed him away, but the warlock was prepared for it. He grabbed the redhead’s hands and held them tightly together until Willow whimpered under the strain he was putting on the bones. “You know the rules, Strawberry, be a good girl or else…”

Willow glared and tugged on her hands, the sharp throbbing she felt in her left hand intensifying as soon as they were free. “Bite me.”
Rack laughed and shot both girls an amused look, but to Willow it looked more like a predatory scowl. “Our time apart gave you back your edge, I like it. Now let’s see if you’re still as tasty as I remember.”

Willow tried to back away but it was no avail, the wall behind her preventing her from fleeing. “No, please…Amy!”

Rack raised his hand at Amy when the brunette was about to stand up. “Amy’s busy.” Without any warning the warlock grabbed Willow by the shirt and she screamed as he began draining magics from her.

************

“I am so sorry Tara.” Callie sighed when the locator spell she had performed failed. It was the third one they’d tried and, so far, none of them had succeeded.

Tara exhaled shakily and shook her head, not accepting than any of their attempts to locate Willow worked. “I-I don’t get it, we should b-be able to find her!”

“I know. Just…let me think a minute.” The older witch sat on the ground and took the redhead’s dragonfly pendant Tara had lent her to perform the spells. Willow had given her the night before so she wouldn’t lose it while being in werewolf form.

Callie focused her energies on the pendant and, slowly, cautiously released Willow’s energies dormant in the pendant into the atmosphere. The witch’s magics followed Willow’s and escorted them as they instinctively reached in search of their owner, but soon Callie felt them become restless as they roamed helplessly, unable to find the redhead. With a frustrated groan Callie gathered them back before they could escape and regretfully handed back the pendant to Tara.

“What, what is it?” She inquired cautiously, puzzled by Callie’s forlorn expression. Tara suddenly felt lightheaded as all kinds or horrible scenarios swirled through her mind and almost sent her to her knees. She knew what it meant when a witch’s magical energies couldn’t find their way back. “Oh God…”

Strong hands caught Tara as she collapsed, her legs buckling under the implication of the failed spell. The blonde could hear voices trying to calm her down and comfort her but they were so distant and hazy, as if in another dimension. “I-I need her, I need to find her, she c-can’t, can’t b-be-.”

“She is not. We will find her, Tara, I promise you but I need you to be strong for her, okay? You have to be strong for your girl if you want us to find her.”

“Now let’s think. What are the different reasons for a witch’s magics being inept at tracing their owner?” Callie questioned Tara with an energetic voice, wishing to snap the younger witch out of the despair state she was in.

Tara frowned and thought hard several minutes, her ocean blue orbs reddened by the tears and exhaustion. As she calmed down and faced the situation with a more rational side, Tara remembered two things. “You wouldn’t have been able to release and feel Will’s magics if she had been g-g-gone.”

“Good. And?”

“W-Willow is with two powerful witches-um, warlock o-or whatever he is.” The blonde slowly as her brain worked out more plausible explanations about her girlfriend’s disappearance. Tara smiled sheepishly, still worried out of her mind about Willow but now feeling a little foolish about her meltdown. “They may be using a cloaking spell or something else to make sure we won’t find her. I’m sorry, Callie.”

“Love makes you do the wacky, huh?” Callie dismissed the blonde’s apology with a grin and she squeezed her hand reassuringly when she noticed Giles standing in the crypt’s doorway. She helped Tara to her feet as the watcher came closer, the hope shining in his eyes fading away as Callie shook her head. “Come on, honey, I may have one last spell up my sleeve before we have to go on with the big one.”

************

The light had already started to fade inside the appliance store when Buffy came back, a stake ready in hand. The building was even quieter than before, something she had trouble believing. She quietly climbed the flight of stairs but she stopped in the hallway leading to
where Spike and Warren had been, the need to enter that room not necessary anymore.

Buffy didn’t have to wait long before she sensed the vampire approaching, its steps silent as if it was crawling on the walls, and yet the faint hissing it made as it came closer, a trait most of fledglings shared, warned her of its imminent arrival. “Hey Warren.”

The hissing stopped and footsteps echoed on the cement floor as the vampire finally halted. Buffy turned and took in the man’s bumpy brows, its sharp teeth and the drool that leaked from its mouth and Buffy’s heart gave a sharp twist. Warren had deserved everything that had happened but her slayer conscience reminded her that is was another human life gone to hell, this time literally. “Slayer.”

“Can we make this quick? ‘Cause you’re really low on my list of priorities today.”

Warren scoffed and he made wet sounds as he spoke, his new fangs giving him troubling enunciating clearly. “Your bitch is not here to stop me this time. Kinda funny, come to think of it. I guess she really is one now.”

Buffy’s eyes narrowed and her hands clenched tightly into fists, the force of her anger making the stake crack in her hand. “Ok, enough talking, more dying.”

The fight was quick but violent. All the hatred and resentment she had towards the man caught up with her as she waited for the vampire to strike.

Excited about his newly found strength and immortality, Warren charged but Buffy was ready. She let herself fall backwards as Warren rushed her and she kicked him in the legs, making him stumble to the ground.

Buffy jumped back on her feet and sent a round kick in the vampire’s back when it tried to get back up. Warren collapsed again and he grunted as the slayer’s boot viciously hit him in the ribs. His attempt at grabbing her foot was unsuccessful as he three of his fingers were broke when she stumped on them and she kicked him one last time in the face, breaking his barely healed nose. “Aghh! You bitch!”

“Game’s over Warren. Have fun in Hell.” The slayer’s stake found its way to the vampire’s heart quickly, almost on instinct. There was little dust as Warren exploded, leaving Buffy to lean over him as if she was expecting to come back.

“You made it quick. I’d figured you’d pound him into a bloody pulp.” Spike commented as he came out of the shadows to inspect the remnants of dust on the ground. The slayer still hadn’t moved but the bleached vampire hesitated as he stood next to her, unsure of her next move.

Buffy stared at the concrete, somewhat befuddled that someone who had done so much damage could leave so little trace once dead.
She felt Spike beside her, her stake twitching lightly in her hand as she picked it up and shook it to dust it off. “You know I could do the same to you.”

“And yet you don’t.”

“No.” Buffy sighed and glanced at the former man next to her. “Why can’t I?”

“You want me to cure you from your guilt trip so you can feel free to dust me? Not a bloody chance.” Spike scoffed, amused. “Maybe, and I say maybe, that something stirring deep down inside you that you actually feel pain if I’d die.”

Buffy rolled her eyes and pocketed her stake as she got ready to go and deal with more important matters. “I’m giving you one last chance, Spike. Don’t screw up or your new and shiny new chip-less brain won’t make a difference. I shouldn’t even let you go get away with this.”

Spike took a step closer and looked down in the slayer’s eyes, unblinking as he met her gaze. “I am different, Buffy. You may think you don’t believe it, but if you were so sure of yourself I’d be ashes by now. I can change. I already did.”

The vampire kept quiet as the slayer’s searching eyes stared hard at him for several long seconds. He let out an unnecessary breath when she sighed. “Then prove it.”

*************

“Are you sure there’s nothing else you can do?” Tara asked again as she pleaded Callie to try another spell to locate Willow. The last one she supposedly had in mind had been as deceiving as the others and they were now out of option.

Callie nodded half-heartedly, hating herself to have run out of option so quickly. “I may be a strong witch, Tara, but I don’t have the powers it would require to project myself into another dimension to see if Willow’s there and bring her back. The most apt person to achieve such a thing right now would be Willow herself.”

“But-”

“We are about to cast a powerful spell, Tara, I know you want us to try everything and so do we, but we also have to be reasonable about this.” Callie explained patiently but Tara would hear none of it. She took a spiteful look at the carefully laid out ingredients and talked herself down to keep herself from destroying everything. “What’s even the point of doing that spell if Will is not here?!?”

“The henbane, once prepared, is only viable for twenty-four hours and then I will have to throw it out and Goddess knows how long it’ll be before we can put a hand on more. Whether Willow is here or not the spell will work if it has to. We can’t put this off any longer.” Callie
tried to reason with Tara when she saw that the blonde was about to lose it.

“I don’t c-care about the henbane or the spell of anything else! All I care about is to have my girlfriend back before Rack hurts her again.”
Tara climbed back to her feet and jogged past Callie and Giles, and neither of them dared holding her back. “Fine. You do your damned
spell and I’ll find her myself.”


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:01 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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birthday dibs for me! BOOYA!

I was not expecting vamp!Warren but I'm glad he's staked now... And I'm all anxious now about Willow! Tara needs to find her! And Buffy should be free to help her out with that and hand out the ass kickings that Rack and Amy deserve...

Great update, my friend!

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:10 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

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I was kinda hoping Spike would just kill Warren, but I like the way you made it play out instead. I think Buffy being able to stake him herself helped with some frustration and any guilt she might have had. Now they just need to find Willow before Rack and Amy do anymore damage.


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:14 am 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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I really like the Vamp-Warren twist...nice job! Absolutely perfect excuse for Buffy to dispose of his worthless ass and without the guilt. Spike does get some good ideas every now and then.

You did a really good job of building the tension through out the chapter as well. I knew something was up, but I never expected to see Willow kidnapped and by Rack and Amy. Like everyone else, I thought Rack was history. Maybe Willow will wolf out and give them both exactly what they deserve!!

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:10 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
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A fed-up character is always a good way to end a chapter.

Hope Callie is 1- capable of casting the spell herself 2-correct in saying that the spell will work regardless of where Willow is.

"Ashes by now" I like a good Rodney Crowell reference, intentional or not.

Okay, did Spike gain a soul in this 'verse? I know, I know, wouldn't I like to know :-).

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:37 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:25 am
Posts: 453
Location: Spain
Wow. That chapter was...intense!
Lot of stuff going on.
Awsome script
Buffy's disposing of Warren was clever and kind of evil mastermind done. Good trick
And I wanted to bear-huf Anya there. She was so adorable.
Willow and Tara seems to be Fate's favorite toys. Hope all ends well.
Rack return to the picture are bad news. Kidnaping Willow worse news.
And Willow is wolfie-girl still. There's timeline to the spell to dewolf. Tara is desperate (Hope she doesn't go and do something reckless)

Anyway. Magnific update. Keep it up!


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:53 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 6:53 am
Posts: 37
Location: Germany
Wow... that chapter was really awesome. There was so much going on and it was so intense and emotional that I kind of don't know where I want to start. So everything from now on might come out as unorganized gibberish.

Okay, first the Warren thing. I really didn't expect this, but it was a really smart solution. I especially liked Buffy's thoughts about what is being left of him now. That was a really deep and thoughtful moment (in contrast to the happy „yay we did it“ moment you would usually expect) which fitted really good, first of all of course because of all the other things that are going on, on the other hand it is a feeling I often have and I believe many other people have too that once they have finished something that led to a lot of worries and trouble all that is left is a feeling of indifference. And of course this moment opens this popular discussion about how much a single life can change and stuff, but I won't go down this road because I was planning on going to sleep some time tonight.

Sooo, on to Rack. I don't really have much to say about him. He is always showing up when you want him least (not that you could ever want him to show up though). I wonder though: does he know that Willow is a werewolf? I'm too lazy to go back and see if it was mentioned somewhere. If not, wouldn't it be kind of smart not to perform the spell yet? I bet Rack and Amy would be at least a little surprised. On the other hand, he could probably sense it anyway, so there is probably not going to be a very dumbly looking Rack torn into pieces. Too bad, it would probably cheer me up.

Last thing on the emotional part of this chapter: The moment where Buffy throws the mug against the wall seemed especially vivid to me. I don't know why, but it created a very detailed picture in my head which doesn't happen very often.

On to the lighter moments! I knew there had been some of those. Yeah, right, short before all hell broke loose. I again liked the twist in the middle a lot when they were just about to reorganize when something horrible happened, just this time it wasn't Warren but Rack. I especially liked these moments (it's list time):

1. "Willow! Yeah you’re right, who am I kidding." It's very rare that Tara allows herself to be a teeny tiny bit mean, I just noticed and liked that, also that she went nuts on shopping, it happens to me all the time.

2. Anya having the intention of doing something nice that actually turns out to be nice. Also a rare moment.

3. Warren not being able to think of a name for Buffy that isn't "bitch".

Good, now only one last thing, a question of some sort: Where did Giles and Buffy go? I didn't notice them leaving or saying that they were going somewhere which kind of confused me a bit and made me kind of jump back again and again to see who was where and if the timeline jumped or stuff.

Wow, that was not as unorganized as I would have expected it to be, just... really long. It is a good sign, really, because if I have to say a lot to something I liked it a lot (it's kind of proportional). And now I can't wait for the next chapter because there are just so many things that need to be resolved. I'm really looking forward to it.

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:41 am 
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4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:59 am
Posts: 160
Okay, first of all I'm sorry that I never commented on this while it was still regularly updated, but I loved this fic right from the start. After I broke my silence last weekend I feel the need to finally give my compliments for the beautiful writing which really made me feel with and for our beloved couple and their friends. Is there a chance for an update in the near future? It really makes me feel extremely uneasy that Will is suffering in Racks evil clutches since over two months (ok, I know with the next update you can pick up right where you left and have Will rescued by Tara hopefully before she suffers anymore, but the uncertainty you left us with ist still somehow painful to me). So please, PLEASE update!


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:27 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Location: Indiana
Oh my goodness! You pulled me in! Is Wolfy-Willow going to get her paws and jaws on Mr. Rack and Miss Amy? I certainly hope so, but at the same time I don't want her to be a killer...

Jee Golly Wiz...This fic is amazing, Doll. Please update it soon.

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:07 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:39 pm
Posts: 234
Location: Canada
Hey guys,

Sorry, this isn't an update...it will happen, and I really hope it'll be sooner rather than later but it's not for tonight. Real life has caught up with me and is being a pain in the ass lately: graduated from college, planning a trip/vacation, need to find a job in my actual field of studies and move to a different town/country, bla bla bla, won't bore you with the details. I just wanted to thank everyone for the feedback and I will get this story finished, I just don't know when. Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic (Castle) kind of got in the way of that as well but it will get done. That I can promise.

I hope everyone is doing well, take care everybody, until next time!!

Marie :)


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 09/18/2011
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:16 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:19 am
Posts: 4
Any hope for an update? Loved where this was heading.


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