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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/15/2011
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:26 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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dibs!

This is another good chapter, my friend! They're making progress on the werewolfiness and Buffy and Willow tag-teamed to kick Warren's ass...(break his nose, whatever...)

No worries! I understand! I'm out of town right now anyway (but obviously I have my computer and internet access so send whatever whenever!) No hurry!

Sorry the email got wiped out! That's so annoying!

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Ripples - Pretty Much Perfect and The Sequel to the Sequel, Who's That Girl?
Every Step That I Retrace/Always Leads Me Back to You/But I've Loved You All Along
Road to Recovery, The Call/The Lightning Strike, The Sun Will Rise


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/15/2011
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:54 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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The Trio...blah! Those guys were so freakin' dumb that it's surprising that they were able to exact any type of vengeance on anyone, let alone the slayer.

I really like the interactions between W/T, W/B and B/T. You do a really great job of writing these relationships. W/T are very sweet together and I enjoy their loving interactions and the way they care for each other.

Then to the end and Warren with the pistol. Maybe Willow will wolf out on his lame ass!!??

Great update!! :-)

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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 07/15/2011
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:39 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

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It really shows what kind of person/friend Willow is when she told Giles to focus on helping Buffy take care of the trio. Hopefully they find a way to take care of Warren and the trio before it is too late.


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/15/2011
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:58 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Ey, here again leaving feedback.
It just don't stop to amaze me how well your navigating this story.
Last chapter was awsome and the cliffhanger just evil.
What a timing all of them have. Giles with the news, the fullmoon thing, bastard Warren and so on.
Update soon, please. I wonder which surprises await ahead


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/15/2011
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:08 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey
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leonhart17: lol. Late posting this week, will you remain the queen of dibs? :p

Thank you! Yeah, progress is finally made and Warren may only have had a broken nose this time, but ass kicking is in the girls' agenda as well!!

I should be able to work on the next part this weekend so hopefully it won't take almost two weeks before I send you something...thanks!!

I know!! Damn hotmail account freezing!!

Finey_McFine: They are so annoying, but they (unfortunately) played a big part in season 6...If they had been remotely smart, they would have known better than to try and do anything against the slayer...idiots!

Aww, thank you!! I'm really glad you like them! They were all so lonely in the show that I had to try and make it better without going to far either...big yay if it works!! They're my ultimate favorite couple so it's not too hard to make them act all sweet and loving toward each other, lol.

Mmmm...I'd lie if I'd say that I didn't think about it...but as evil as they are, having Willow deal with murder (even accidental) is not something I want her to go through...they will have to pay for whatever crap they're doing, no worries!!!

Thanks for commenting!!

love_2003: Willow is one of the most loyal and kind hearted character I know, so it would only be right for her to take care of the most important problem first...they will do everything they can to try and stop Warren and the others, but there's no saying if they will be in time or not yet...

Thanks for the feedback!!

viximon: Hey there! Thanks for doing so, I really appreciate it!!

Thanks a lot, it really means a lot! :) Sorry for the cliffhanger though, lol. I have to find ways to make sure you'll come back week after week to read what's coming next! Yeah, the joy of living on a hellmouth is that if good things generally happen sporadically, bad things tends to happen all at once...New chapter is up now, so enjoy!!!

Update directly below


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/15/2011
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:18 pm 
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“You know there’s not need to hide away, you know I tell the truth; We are just the same, I can feel everything you do; Hear everything you say, even when you’re miles away; Cause I am me, the universe and you.” KT Tunstall- Universe and U

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

Giles was in the Summers kitchen the next morning, making a fresh pot of coffee and keeping himself busy preparing what would be that night’s dinner when Buffy came in, lured by the smell of coffee and food. “I have no idea what you’re making, Tara, but it smells so- Oops, sorry Giles!” The slayer smiled in apology. “Hey, how come you’re cooking?”

“Why hello to you too,” the watcher smirked as he poured a cup of coffee to his surrogate daughter. “The girls have classes all day and Callie just got back so I thought I’d make one of my specialties for tonight.”

Buffy accepted the mug gracefully and grinned as she recognized the smell. “Mmm, chicken piccata, my favorite.”

Giles smiled as well, carefully wrapping the plate of chicken breasts and putting it in the fridge until it would be time to grill them. “How are you feeling?” He inquired gently as he eyed her, taking in her the rainbow colored bruises covering the side of her face and her stiff posture.

“I’m okay. I can’t wait to put my hands on Warren though. We really need to stop the freak before he kills someone. Bastard.” She muttered the last part but Giles heard her loud and clear, her concern echoing Willow’s only hours before. “Where is everybody?” The slayer questioned tiredly as she took a seat at the kitchen island, missing the awkward look Giles sent her.

“Dawn is still at Janice’s and won’t be back until dinner, Callie is meditating in the backyard and Willow and Tara went to school, I believe.
They left a note.” The watcher handed Buffy the piece of paper, wondering if he should share he and Willow’s conversation with the blonde
slayer. “Oh. Okay. Did you find anything interesting in Tucson? When did you get back?”

Grinning under the explosion of questions the slayer sent his way, Giles went to remove his glasses but changed his mind at the last second. Instead he poured himself another cup of coffee and leaned against the counter. “I came back around five this morning, and Callie just got here. We did find the codex we needed in Tulare,” he commented, unconsciously correcting the blonde, “and we’ll spend some time today trying to translate everything.”

The English man’s explanations were purposefully vague but he hoped Buffy wouldn’t notice. “What do you mean, ‘some time’? We need to find if they screwed up a spell and are responsible for Willow’s werewolf problem, Giles.” Buffy argued sharply, narrowing her eyes at the watcher’s uncomfortable sigh. “What? Is there something you’re not telling me?”

“Who’s not telling?” Tara asked suddenly as she and Willow made their way into the kitchen. “Buffy, what are you doing up? You should take it easy today.” The blonde witch immediately admonished her while Willow only smirked at her best friend.

“Lose the smirk, Will, or I can decide that you’ve had enough excitement for today and put you on bed rest again.” Tara chided her, although there was the hint of a smile on her lips. “Are you okay, Buffy?”

Buffy rolled her eyes but grinned anyway. “Yeah, thanks. It’d be better if I didn’t have to work, though. How was school? And don’t think we’re done with our little talk, Giles.” She warned the watcher, shooting him a pointed look from the corner of her eye.

“School was fine.” Willow answered, her eyes glued to the coffee pot. After a second of hesitation she grabbed the biggest of the mugs in the cabinet and poured the rest of the coffee in it, ignoring the incredulous stares she got from the others. “I’m going to take some time off of school.” She casually informed Buffy and Giles as she took a big gulp of coffee.

“What? Did hell froze over and no one warned me? Was there any problem with your professors?” The slayer gasped. She knew her friend had missed classes a lot lately, but it had to be really bad if the redhead had decided to take a break.

Willow pondered in front of a plate full of muffins, settling for a blueberry one before taking a seat next to her best friend. “Not really. I mean some of them weren’t too happy with all the classes I’ve missed but they understood the situation so they’re only going to give me incompletes. I’ll make up for everything I’ve missed this summer.”

Tara kept an eye on the redhead as she pulled a quick lunch together. She was grabbing a bottle of water out of the fridge when she paused to listen to her lover’s answer. Willow had not been happy when her professors had suggested she’d take some time off to resolve her ‘health issues’, but Tara was confident her lover would catch up in no time when things would calm down. “Ok honey, I have to go. I should be back around four to make dinner.”

“Where are you going? You guys just got here. Oh, and Giles is making dinner so you are off dinner duty, Tara.” Buffy told her happily as she stole a piece of Willow’s muffin and quickly put it in her mouth, avoiding her friend’s swat at her arm with a gleeful smirk.

Smiling at the girls’ playfulness, Tara felt better about leaving her girlfriend for the day. As if Willow had sensed her discomfort, the blonde’s heart melt when the redhead shot a beaming smile her way. “You got everything, baby?”

“Yeah. I’ll be at the library for a while and then I have my Ancient Greek final. I’ll be home right after.” Tara said for the slayer’s benefit, going around the counter to kiss her girl. “Have fun with Blondie McGrabby.”

“Hey! I resent that!” Buffy objected with a roll of eyes. “You have fun with your dead language final while we’ll be researching our ass-butts off.” She corrected herself before Giles could glare at her.

Willow only laughed, obviously very amused by her best friend’s newest nickname. “I love you, baby.” She whispered into Tara’s ear, leaning in to give her a one-armed hug. “Don’t forget to take my phone in my jacket.”

“I will. Bye sweetie.” Tara whispered back, smirking as she picked up her bag. “Bye mister Giles. McGrabby.”

Buffy ignored Willow and Giles’s snickering, twisting in her seat to shot a last look at the departing witch. “Yeah, yeah. Just wait ‘till you see how grabby I can be!”

Narrowed emerald eyes were waiting for the slayer when she turned back to face her friends. “Watch your hands, pal. I’m not single anymore.” Willow told her with a ‘don’t mess with me’ tone of voice.

Buffy only rolled her eyes and snatched the rest of the Willow’s pastry before she could react.

“Hey!”

“You weren’t eating it!”

“There’s a plate full right over there, you big lazy butt!”

Buffy shrieked and stared in shock at her friend. “What? I do not have a big butt, take it back!”

Giles sighed and ran a hand in his hair. He could already feel a headache coming, the girls’ bickering sending him back in time, back when they were still in high school. “Buffy, please just stretch your arm and help yourself to the whole basket of muffins if you want to. Willow, Callie is in the back yard and would like to talk to you when you have a minute.”

Both girls turned to the watcher in a perfect synchronisation and pulled their tongue at the man. “Fine. Don’t eat all the muffins.” Willow warned the blonde as she wagged her finger at her.

Buffy crossed her heart and smirked. She waited until the redhead was out the back door to reach to the plate and pulling it in front of her. “So,” She said as she happily bit in a chocolate muffin, “what did you mean by ‘some time?’”

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

The temperature was surprisingly warm for the late March morning, but Willow still wrapped her sweater tighter around her as she hesitantly walked to the dark haired woman. Callie was sitting under the yard’s big old oak tree and had her eyes closed, but she opened them to welcome the redhead. “Take a seat, Willow.”

Willow grinned shyly and sat before the older woman, not sure what to expect. She hadn’t spent much time with Callie yet and, apart from polite small talk during meals, they hadn’t talked at all.

It took a few seconds for Willow to notice that Callie wasn’t talking and was watching her curiously. Rapidly growing uncomfortable, Willow started fidgeting with the hem of her sleeves when Callie finally cleared her throat. “I’m sorry, it’s just...I didn’t really have the chance to be alone with you before and...my God, you are fascinating.”

“Excuse me?” Willow frowned at the excitement she heard in the woman’s voice. She had heard a lot of things about herself and the nature of her powers over the years, but no one ever qualified her of fascinating.

Callie smiled warmly, aware that the redheaded witch in front of her was becoming highly suspicious of her. “You don’t have to worry, I did not mean it in a bad way. I just have rarely met such young witches with that much power. Well, I did meet a few but they were insane and already too far gone to save. You are something else, Willow Rosenberg.”

“I’m something else... Is that why you wanted to talk to me? Because you want to ‘save’ me? I do not need to be ‘saved.’” Willow was up on her feet and ready to bolt when an invisible force froze her on the spot. “You need to learn to be patient, young girl. Now sit down and let me talk.”

Released from the magical bound, Willow glared at the other witch but sat back down nonetheless. “Don’t ever use magic on me again or you will have to leave this house.”

“Fair enough.” Callie shrugged, letting her back to rest on the tree but never letting the redhead out of her sight. “Lesson one, control that temper. Your friends might think it’s cute but it will get you killed if you let it get it out of hand. How are you planning on keeping the lycanthropy curse if you jump on everyone’s throat every time something annoys you?”

Willow stiffened in surprise and shot a brief look at the house. “Rupert and I talked. He’s told me about your reluctance at trying the spell that could cure you.” Callie softly told her, knowing she was dead on when Willow lost her attitude and hesitated to meet the woman’s eyes.

“I just think we should focus on finding Warren first. He’s done too much already, we need to stop him.”

“You will find him. But Rupert hasn’t asked me here for Warren. He asked me here for you.” The black haired witch gently reminded Willow. “Which brings me back to my primary concern. With your trust issues and the way your emotions are constantly all over the place, I am afraid it won’t be safe for you or any of your friends when the next full moon comes.”

“Your last shifting almost had disastrous consequences for your friend and girlfriend, Willow. I don’t know if you were either reckless or disorganized, but this can’t happen again. Do you understand, Willow?” Callie asked the now slightly shaking witch, knowing she was being harsh but the girl needed to be prepared for whatever eventuality they were likely to face.

Willow felt something stir inside of her, and she didn’t like it. It seemed as if Callie was trying to make her snap and she had no idea why. Taking a deep breath and blocking the other witch’s presence, Willow closed her eyes a moment to center herself, images of Tara immediately filling and soothing her mind.

She was calmer when she spoke again, but her voice was cold and cautious. “It won’t work. Whatever the reason why you’re trying to get me to lose it, it won’t work so quit it. Tell me what you want to say so I can go back inside and do something useful for- what, why are you smiling like that?”

“You, my dear, have quite the temper but maybe there is hope for you after all.” Amused by the redhead’s now confused features, Callie softened her voice and lifted her hand but did not dare touch Willow. “I was trying to get a reaction out of you but you’ve got yourself under control without too much trouble. I am impressed.”

Bright and determined eyes rose to meet Callie’s hazel ones. “You were testing me. You know, if you want to know something, just ask. You don’t have to try and tiptoe around me trying to figure out who I am. Just ask and be done with it.”

“Very well. What does your girlfriend think of the present situation? Rupert told me you had just gotten back together?” Callie swiftly changed the subject, not letting Willow any more time to reflect on the fact that she had been evaluating her.

Willow’s displeasure was obvious but Callie had to smile on how the girl’s voice changed as soon as she started talking about her lover. “Yeah, we got back together last month,” the redhead answered, not willing to share the reason of their breakup, “and I think she’s dealing well, considering. We haven’t talked about this particular subject...much.”

“So you don’t know if she hasn’t been...put off by the lycanthropy? I know this is a rather personal question to ask, but have you girls been...careful?”

“Careful...?” Willow repeated dumbly, blushing brightly as what Callie implied became clear. “Oh. Oh, jeez! Um, we haven’t...we, h-haven’t really....”

Callie gave the redhead a sympathetic smile, but it had been one of the first concerns in the Summers’ household so she had to ask. “I see. I just needed to make sure you will know how to be careful when the time, um, comes since we still don’t know if you are infectious or not.”

‘Oh Goddess, kill me now.’ Willow thought, certain her face was now as red as her hair. “There’s nothing to be concerned about, ok? There hasn’t been any scratching, or biting, or anything else. Really. Subject closed, please.”

The matter was far from being over for the older witch though. “I’m sorry if I am making you uncomfortable, Willow, but this is really important.”

Willow interrupted her, her eyes wide and suspicious. “Important? How is my sex life relevant here? It’s mine and, and Tara’s, but it certainly isn’t everyone else’s business!”

“You’re right, I’m sorry. I should have let your friends handle this...I just wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting to, thinking about keeping the lycanthropy curse. It may seem like an easy solution but it is not my place to decide. I sincerely apologize for my bluntness and my insistence, Willow.” Callie murmured as she graciously got back on her feet to go back inside.

“Wait!” Willow’s voice suddenly echoed around her a few seconds later. The redhead was observing Callie with inquisitive eyes from her place under the tree and, not for the first time since meeting the witch, Callie marvelled at what she was seeing in Willow.

While the younger witch had been reserved and even apprehensive before, her features were now as open as Callie could have ever expected them to be.

“Who are you really, Callie?”

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

“What do you think they’re talking about?” Buffy wondered distractly as she watched her friend and Callie in what seemed to be an intense discussion.

“Callie had a few questions to ask her.” Giles merely shrugged as he came back with an armful of books. “It’s nothing to worry about.”
Buffy eyed the watcher dubiously but kept her mouth shut. “Those are the books you brought back?”

“Indeed. There are still a few details to work out but Callie translated most of the spell we found in the book. She translated a few others too, actually.” The books, mostly old and leather bound, were deposited carefully on the kitchen table as Giles shared the latest news with
the blonde.

“But you found the right spell. I mean the one Warren and his creepy groupies messed up? So why translated others too?”

Giles opened a tall notebook and began to read as he pondered his surrogate daughter’s question. “Three spells showed important similarities and so we didn’t want to take any chance. We thought it would be safer to cover all of our bases.”

“But you’ve got the right one, right? You know which spell was used on Will?” Buffy insisted, not caring if she was being pushy or not. They had lost almost a month researching and waiting to get answers about Willow’s condition and now that they were on the verge of finally learning the truth, the slayer was desperate to put an end to the trio’s schemes and get rid of Willow’s lycanthropy.

“We do know what exact spell has been used. However, we still don’t exactly know how and why it affected Willow.” Giles reminded her. “I’ve always known that spells involving henbane were unstable, but combined with wolfs bane and aconite...add witch’s blood to the mix and you get a bloody ticking time bombing spell.”

“I don’t get it, Giles. Why would someone come up with that kind of spells if they were so dangerous?”

It didn’t make sense to the watcher’s eyes either, even if he had a better understanding of the magics, especially darker magic. His personal experience had shown him the danger of messing with forces and ingredients you can’t control or have any powers over.

“They didn’t, that’s part of the problem. They acted like fools and didn’t bother to double check their codex’s validity before translating a spell that turned out to be extremely dangerous.”

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

“Who am I?” Callie echoed with a soothing smile. “I am a 36 year old female, born in raised in Bristol, England but have been living in Dublin for about twelve years now. I am a witch, a wiccan. I have been helping with individuals dealing with lycanthropy, ever since my twin brother died ten years ago.”

Stupor washed over Willow’s features as she had not been expecting such a dramatic answer. She had doubts about Callie’s story, but never had she thought it could have been that bad for the fellow witch. “I’m...I’m so sorry Callie, I didn’t...”

Callie stopped Willow with a hand, her face calm and composed but her eyes betraying how she really felt. “It’s fine, it’s just...it has been a while since I had the chance to talk about him. I, I really miss him sometimes.”

“Tristan got scratched by his best friend when they were teenagers. Oddly enough, my brother dealt with being a werewolf much better than his friend. I think...I always believed Gus had infected my brother intentionally because he was scared and he needed someone who could understand what he was going through.” The witch recalled as she sighed and took a seat on the warm grass.

Willow pondered a moment before reaching out and took Callie’s hand, giving it a brief squeeze. “I’m really sorry, Callie. I know it must have been awful for you and-and your brother but this isn’t the same. If for some reason the spell doesn’t work and I get stuck with being a werewolf, never would I even imagine to try and hurt my girlfriend or any of my friends so I wouldn’t be alone in this. Because I am not. Alone, I mean. We’ve dealt with this before. I’ve dealt with it before.”

“Yes, your ex-boyfriend. I heard he was living in Tibet in a closed coven with monks and other werewolves.”

“What? How-”

“I wasn’t sure at first...I met him briefly last year while I was in Spain. He has been helping out young people dealing lycanthropy as well for a short while now. I only figured out he was your Oz after Rupert mentioned his name.”

Her mind spinning, Willow unconsciously lowered her hands to the ground and let herself feel the energy coming from the earth to soothe her nerves. “Does he know?”

Callie softly shook her head, staring intently in the redhead’s emerald eyes. “No. Would you like him to know?”

Willow only sighed and lay down on the ground. Protected from the harsh rays of sun by the oak’s heavy foliage, she relaxed her body and watched the clouds above her head. “No,” she eventually murmured, “Things were complicated as it is when he left. I have Tara and my friends, I’m all good.”

Both women rejoiced in the quietness that followed. Willow closed her eyes and let the wind carry the various sounds and smells surrounding her, a feeling that could have quickly become overwhelming if Willow didn’t see them as a challenge. She used them instead as tools to help her meditate, her anxiety from before leaving her in a matter of minutes.

The soft chirping of a cricket several feet from her was slowly lulling Willow to sleep, but she fought the temptation to process the information Callie had given her. Curiosity finally got the best of her and she opened her eyes to find that the other witch was back to her former spot next to the tree and was observing her patiently.

“How do you help werewolves exactly?”

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

“Sweetie, could you pass the dark green book, please?” Tara asked, her eyes glancing at the book that was too far on the table for her to reach. She was half-sitting, half-lying on one side of the couch while Willow had sprawled her body on the remaining space, her head resting on the blonde’s thighs. “Will?”

“Sorry, what?” The redhead twisted her head to look at her girlfriend, her brows knitted in confusion. “Oh, the book.”

“Are you okay? You seem awfully distracted.” Giles had told Tara about Willow spending the day with Callie, but she hadn’t pressed her partner with questioned even though she was dying to know what they had talked about.

Willow exhaled slowly and took Tara’s outstretched hand in her own. “I was thinking about Callie. Did you know that her brother was a werewolf?”

“Oh? No, I d-didn’t know. Well I knew she had amazing knowledge about werewolves, but I didn’t ask why she knew so much about the subject. Wait, you said ‘was’ about her brother.”

“Yeah.” Willow moved her body so she was lying on her back, her head still on her partner’s legs so she was now able to look up at her partner without having to contort her neck. “He had been a werewolf for a couple of years when he escaped one night and got hit by a truck. Six years without any incident and the first time he goes out he gets run over by a random truck.”

Willow glanced up when Tara, who had been running a hand in the redhead’s long locks, stilled any movement. Both witches shared a quiet and understanding look, the uneasy feeling that was obscuring Tara’s face reflecting on the redhead’s as well.

Grinning reassuringly, Willow squeezed Tara’s hand and sighed contentedly when the blonde leaned forward and kissed her softly on the forehead. A soft ‘awww’ echoed in the room quickly followed by a high pitched squeaking voice.

Tara giggled and leaned her forehead against her girlfriend a moment before her smile turned into a smirk. “How’s it going over there, Dawnie?”

The brunette was blushing but was smiling widely from her place on the floor next to the foyer. She had been busy with her homework until the witches’ discussion had distracted her. “Sorry guys, I didn’t mean to interrupt. I can go away if you want or, you know, maybe you two should get a room?”

“Dawn!” Willow exclaimed as she sat up and stared at the teenager. “Stop channeling your sister! No, stop channeling Anya!”

The youngest Summers only rolled her eyes and shrugged as she pointed at something, or rather someone in the doorway. “Fine, Callie’s there anyway so you won’t be able to shack up for a while.”

“Hey Callie. How’s the spell going?” Tara asked as she tried to not let what Willow had told her about the witch’s brother show on her face.

“It’s been doing quite well, I’ve managed to gather most of the ingredients except for one. Not one of my contacts here in California can supply me, and even Anya couldn’t get her hands on it.” The wiccan groused as she entered the room and took a seat on the chair facing the girls.

Tara frowned, unable to hide her disappointment. “What haven’t you been able to find, maybe I can help?”

“I need two leaves of henbane. I trust you don’t have any friends that carry that flower around?”

“I don’t think I would want to qualify anyone who has that in his possession a friend.” Tara responded tersely, missing how Willow stiffened beside her. “Why do you need that, I thought you had everything?”

“I did but after further research, the spell is likely to be more potent if I use more than Willow’s blood to reverse the original spell. Willow, are you okay?” Callie inquired curiously as she observed how fidgety the redhead was all of a sudden.

All eyes turned on Willow, and she instantly stilled, forcing herself to relax. She debated her next words carefully but it was no use. No matter how she chose to inform the others that she knew a way to get the leaves, Willow knew it wouldn’t be taken well. “It’s just...I, I kind of know how to get what you need.”

Willow felt rather than saw the stupefied look Tara was staring at her with. Still, she shot the blonde a brief look and couldn’t bit back a whimper when she read the shock and disappointment in her lover’s eyes. “Tara...”

“Let me guess, A-Amy is your way to g-get it? Why am I not surprised?” Tara muttered as she sat straighter and pushed herself sideways to face Willow.

“Hey! Assume much?” Willow retorted back, stung by her girlfriend’s acerbic words.

“Ok, m-maybe I’m wrong so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Where could Callie get one of the worst b-baneful herbs there is if not from a dark magic addict?”

Tears of frustration pooled in Willow’s eyes but she blinked them away. More followed and she wiped them hastily as she pushed herself off the couch. “Why are you attacking me, Tara? I’m offering a solution to Callie’s problem but if you don’t want me to, fine.”

Willow was dimly aware of the front door opening and she felt Buffy coming in but she couldn’t stop venting. Maybe her irritation was due to the new moon that was fast approaching, or it was somehow enhancing it, but whatever the reason was, it unnerved the redhead more than the reason why she was annoyed in the first place. “Whether you like it or not, I had a life while we weren’t together, we both had, Tara. I may not proud of what I did but it happened so we have to deal with it.”

“Amy used to be one of my best friends and even if I don’t see her anymore, she still kind of is my friend. She may have something that could help us but you won’t even consider it just because it’s her? That’s not fair!”

“You want to talk about fair? Your ‘friend’ brought you to a dark magic dealer j-just for the s-sake of it! That’s not w-what I consider a friend, Willow!”

“It was a mistake, don’t you think I know it now? You came back because you said I had changed, and I did. It doesn’t mean I- where are you going?” Willow spun around sharply to stare at the slayer, who was retreating slowly to the door while gesturing at Dawn to follow her.

Buffy shuffled her feet awkwardly, her hand fiddling with the doorknob. “Um. You look like you need to talk so I thought I’d go patrol for a while, let Dawn tag along for once.”

“What? Really?”

“Can I go with you? We’re done talking for now.” Willow mumbled as she went to grab her jacket.

Tara had risen from the couch as well and was nervously wringing her hands in a desperate attempt at calming herself. “Will, wait-”

“No. You say you support me but as soon as I talk about something remotely related to Amy, or magic or something, you get all judge-y. Don’t you trust me, Tara? We’ll talk later if you want but I’m too upset right now. I, I need to get some air.” Willow whispered, her voice softer but still carrying a bit of an edge.

“I better go before she gets too far,” Buffy observed as Willow rushed past her and went out the door into the darkness of the night. “You okay, Tara?”

The witch’s weak nod didn’t convince anyone in the room but Dawn silently motioned her sister to go, the teenager getting up to take a seat next to the blonde.

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

The redhead was already two blocks away by the time Buffy managed to join her. “Will, wait!”

It looked as if Willow hadn’t heard her at first, but the witch slowed down after a moment although she didn’t stop. “What the hell was that all about, it sounded bad.” Buffy commented worriedly as she fell into step with her friend. “Why wouldn’t Tara trust you?”

“Because apparently, mentioning Amy will automatically shove me off the wagon all over again.” Willow scoffed, her pace slowing down a bit now that the adrenaline from the fight began to wear off. “Callie needs a plant for the spell but it is pretty rare to find and Amy has some.” The redhead explained to the curious slayer before stopping altogether. “I was wrong to yell, wasn’t I?”

Buffy’s hesitation gave Willow the answer she didn’t want to hear. “I don’t know, Will.” The slayer searched the words that would comfort her friend. “But all this frustration you’ve been carrying around, we need to do something about it. This isn’t you.”

The slayer’s voice had been soft and caring but it still felt like a slap in the face for Willow. “I don’t know what to do, Buffy! I can’t keep it all inside, I’ve tried but I can’t! All I’ve been good at lately is hurting people, this isn’t fair.” Willow groused as she slumped on the sidewalk, unwilling to go further.

The look of complete misery on the redhead’s face upset Buffy more than she wanted to admit. Her normally placid and good-spirited friend was increasingly becoming short-tempered and it concerned the slayer. The lycanthropy didn’t seem to affect Oz’s mental stability that much back when he and Willow were together so she wasn’t sure what to do to help her friend.

“No, it isn’t, you’re right. But fair or not, we still have to deal with everything...you and Tara need to take the time to talk. Yes, again.” Buffy chuckled and bumped shoulders with Willow when she rolled her eyes, “because it’s the only way to get rid of this big distrustful elephant that’s always present in the room.”

“You never cease to amaze me with your allegories.” Willow laughed as she leaned forward and rested her head on her friend’s shoulder, her heartbeat slowing down and she realized with a smile that her bad mood had vanished.

Buffy echoed her smile as she pointed her stake in her friend’s direction. “You never cease to amaze me, period. Okay that was a little corny but I still mean it, Will.”

“You know, I think I have an idea to help out burn some of that pesky energy you have bottled up. You should train with me.”

“I’m not talking full training session, ‘let’s get you ready to take on monsters and demons’ kind of training but you know, it’d be good for you to strengthen your body. Even if the spell releases you from the werewolf thing, a stronger body helps for a stronger and more focused mind.”

Taken completely aback and deeply touched by her friend’s concern, Willow quirk an eyebrow toward the blonde as she shifted to face the slayer. “Are you calling me fat and blonde?”

“What? No! I was just trying to-” Buffy grumbled, openly sulking. “Mean.”

“Gullible.”

“Willow!” Staring incredulously at the witch, Buffy had a sensation of déjà-vu, memories of a time when their lives were simpler, where their friendship was all that mattered. “Pigheaded.”

Willow mock-gasped, her eyes narrowing and her finger raised in the blonde’s face. “Pig.”

“Whiner.”

“Demon magnet.”

“That’s not me! That’s Xander!” Buffy protested, prompting laughter from them both and letting the remaining tension bleed out.

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

It was late at night when the girls came back home, Buffy taking advantage of a quiet patrol to introduce Willow to martial arts. They had even broken into a slight jog for the last couple of blocks on their way back, using the alleys and neighbors’ backyards to make it more challenging.

Willow dropped to the ground the second they entered the Summers’ backyard, the cool grass tickling her neck but also refreshing her. “I think I’m dead.” She grunted when she finally got her breathing under control. She glared weakly at her friend, who gracefully sat next to her, her body not showing the slightest sign of exertion.

“Come on, it’s not too bad for a first time. You did great, Will!” The slayer encouraged her, genuinely proud of the witch’s efforts. Training her best friend wouldn’t be a miracle solution, but at least it would be a way for Willow to focus her energies into something productive, especially since school seemed to be out of the question for now.

“Thank you. It’s so quiet in the house.” It still shocked Willow on how attuned she felt with the world around her. She had felt like that before, back when she was always high on magics, but it was different this time. Everything was enhanced but in a good way. It was all so strong, so pure, Willow felt as if she was embracing the world.

A subtle shift in the atmosphere snapped Willow back to reality. Suddenly the grass felt like needles against her head and she sat sharply just as a dim movement behind the fence was heard. ‘Buffy.’

The slayer’s sense kicked in just then and Buffy jumped on her feet, putting herself protectively in front of Willow just as the redhead tried to do the same. ‘Will-’

“Warren.” Both girls whispered right when the man turned the corner and stopped inches away from the fence.

“You think you can do that to me?” He yelled as he paced angrily, a hand gesturing before him. “You think I’d let you get away with that? Think again.” Warren snarled, his other hand suddenly rising to flash a gun toward the girls.

“Willow!”

“Buffy!”

Willow shoved her friend and pulled sharply on her arm to get her out of the way as Warren emptied his gun in the cool, night air.

The smell of gun powder assaulted Willow’s nose and she coughed until the sound of a deafening and frantic heartbeat was the only thing filling her mind, overwhelming her. The faint aroma of vanilla soon replaced the more bitter smell of sulphur and chalk and it took a moment for Willow to understand that the heart beating furiously wasn’t hers. “Buffy?”

“Buffy!” Willow cursed and carefully moved the inert slayer that was resting heavily on her. A deep circle was rapidly spreading and covering the slayer’s left side, but a throatily groan indicated that she was regaining consciousness. “Buffy?”

Light suddenly erupted from every window of the house and Dawn’s terrified voice grew louder, muffled at first until it got clearer and shriller as she ran outside, just as Buffy opened her eyes and winced. “Shit, that hurt.”

Willow let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding, tears of relief running down her cheeks. “You’re okay, you’re fine. It’s nothing, you hear me?” She mumbled anxiously, one hand applying a steady pressure on the wound while the other searched the blondes’ jacket.

“Hey, no groping.”

“You wish,” Willow retorted with a weak smile, “I...am looking...for...this!” She proclaimed loudly, holding out the slayer’s cell phone proudly.

Dawn stumbled and fell on her knees by her sister’s side, her eyes widening at the sight of all the blood covering her slayer’s shirt. “Oh my God, what the hell happened?!?”

“Warren. Bullet.” Buffy croaked, coughing painfully. “Are you okay, Will?”

Willow heard her friend’s voice but it was distant and stifled. Goosebumps rose on the back of her neck and her body froze as she looked up at the house. Every room was casting a harsh glow into the backyard save for one room.

Her room.

Blood drained from Willow’s face when, after paying closer attention, she noticed a small hole in her room’s window. The glass had cracked under the bullet’s impact and the redhead could hear the cracks as they ran, slowly covering the entirety of the surface. Her erratic breathing and frantic heartbeat deafened the redhead, the edge of her sight blackening and threatening to swallow her whole.

“Tara?”


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:42 pm 
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Whoa! Interesting re-telling of the incident that changed it all, for us kittens. Poor Tara. Hopefully, this time will turn out better and we can all get our happy ending.

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


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Okay you so got me going crazy now wondering what is going to happen next =)!!! Love this story can't wait for the next update!!


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:23 am 
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We're closer to catching up than I thought we were!

Intense as always, my friend! Take your time and get to it when you can and I'll read it as soon as you can send it!

What? They froze your account? That sucks! Why would they do that?

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:00 am 
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Aggghhh!!! :gnome

Ok, so I know we're gonna have a happy ending, but I seriously hope what happens next does not send Willow into a crazy manic rage of wolfieness.

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:35 pm 
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So he didn't score even a single hit this time? Good, kind of amazing, but points out how lousy a shot he was.

Willow's temper is downright scary; it's at the point where she can't even listen to people. (Sorry, I've had too many people like that in my life, it sets me on edge. But I know Willow will pull out of it because she *knows* she's doing it.)

Hee-hee, I apologize but I just had a Season 8 moment. ("I'm watching those hands, you two.")

Beyond that, I was climbing wals becausae we really learned very little in this chapter but I still enjoyed it. Well done.

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:39 am 
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Of course, I read a story and it stops at the worst cliffhanger possible! =)

I really enjoyed the story so far. I especially like how realistic everything is set up, Willow's issues about herself in particular. It's not like "oh, Tara is back, now everything is alright again", it really takes a lot of time and many, many hours of talk until everyone is trusting each other again and is at least semi-comfortable with themselves. Even though it can get really frustrating. My reaction to Willow probably wanting to stay a werewolf was that i had this desire to shake her really hard and yell: "What is wroooong with you?!" I am probably not the most patient person in the world, but still I do appreciate a realistic view of things.

I also liked your Spike. Okay, secretly I am a fan of Spike anyway, but I think the role he has in your story is really close to canon. He has this slight tendency to sense the people's problems and then talk them into things (like he did here with Willow). On the other hand he can be really nice and helpfull, for example talking to her at all, running after the van and so on. In my opinion, this is the very essence of Spike's character: That he is bad in a very subtle way but then again has this strong desire to help out. And you captured these character traits really good. You put Spike right on the same spot I would put him (at least so far).

So, all I have left to say is: Keep the good work coming!

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:12 am 
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Things were going so well...then all falls again. On the cruelest way.
You're kinda evil. I fear for Tara. Buffy I suppose will be 'right soon with the slayer powers and such.
How comes everytime Willow argue with Tara something awful happens. She must be overhelmed with guilt about all....
I'm getting sidetracked.
Just update soon and don't make us suffer anymore :impatient


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:22 am 
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I'm starting to like this Callie character a lot more now. I'm most definitely ready for Warren to be gone now. Praying that Tara wasn't even in the house and she is ok.


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:35 pm 
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AZ_Artist: Everyone knows there will be a happy ending, but it's still unnerving when something happens to one of the girls and you don't know exactly why/how it happened. New chapter's here so I hope it will answer any questions or doubts you may have!

Thanks for reviewing!

WR/TM: Sorry! It's not exactly that I want to drive people crazy, but it kind of had to happen, lol. And the late posting wasn't on purpose! Real life kind of got in the way, drat...It's here though, I hope you'll like it!

Thanks for your comments!

Leonhart17: Sorry Maggie, looks like you lost your queen dibs strike last week! :p

Yeah, I know, lol. I just can't help it! I'm so sorry I didn't have time to send the last part before posting it...hopefully there aren't too many typos and stuff...Stupid real life getting in the way! I'll try sending something if I can get some time to write (my brother's in town with his wife and kids and I haven't seen them in a year, plus we got the kids baptism tomorrow and we're running around like headless chickens trying to getting everything ready. I miss my boring life!!!!) I hope you're doing well!! :bigwave

*They didn't freeze my account, it just kept freezing by itself, lol. So annoying though!!

Finey_McFine: Sorry!!! You'll see what happens next, I think you should be [kind of] happy about it :p They will have a happy ending anyway!

Thanks for the comments!!

DaddyCatALSO: Um...no, not exactly, lol. You'll understand better with the new chapter :)
It is getting harder and harder for Willow...but she has help now and even if it doesn't always look like it, she is getting slowly better. After all, she has Tara back!! Yeah, I know people like that too and it is *way* not fun...That's exactly it, once you know you're doing it, it gets easier to work on it :) New chapter is here now so I hope it'll help answering some of your questions...

Thanks for the feedback!

Legolise: Ahh, sorry about that!! I usually go crazy when I read a story that ends with a cliffhanger, but I kind of had to do it anyway, lol. Thank you, I really appreciate it! I don't always follow canon but I still try to keep it as realistic as I can because that's how the characters are, especially Willow...She's worked so hard to get where she is and yes, she's better and everything, but her issues and problems doesn't miraculously goes away just because Tara's back, I agree. It's taking some time to make them better but that's how life is...lol, We'll know more about Willow and her thoughts about lycanthropy in the upcoming updates. I'm not that patient either so I can't help taking the time to set up everything the way it's supposed to.

Thanks! I'm not always a big fan of him, and he messed up a lot (who didn't) but his heart is at the right place, most of the time. After all, he was an insecure poet back in his human days! He deserves a shot at being more than a bloodsucking fiend, and I'm glad to see it works for you!

Thanks a lot for reviewing!!

viximon: Yeah, I know. And I know I'm responsible for it in this story, but it will get better soon! I know it's probably not meant as a compliment but I will take it as such, lol. Because the point of cliffhangers are to get a reaction out of readers! Well, they usually don't argue so it seems to make it even worse whenever temper rises between them, unfortunately...Willow's always had guilt and self-esteem issues and, if she's worked on them, she still has a way to go...

New chapter is up now, hope you like it!!

Thanks for commenting!!

love_2003: Yay, I'm glad you like her! We all need to be patient a little while longer, who knows maybe something fun (horrible) will happen to him...You can figure it out now, the new chapter is up!

Thanks for the comments!!

Update directly below


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/23/2011
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:36 pm 
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*Really sorry for the late posting, this past week has been insane, but the next update should be up next friday as usual.
******************

Nearly six years had passed since the first time Willow had set foot in the Summers’ home but, as the redhead ran in a haze through the too harshly lighted house, it had never seemed as big before.

Hours seemed to have passed for Willow by the time reached the second floor, the stomp of her feet echoing eerily in her ears. She stopped abruptly in the doorway of her room, suddenly unable to go further. Her ashen face closed up and hardened, the sight of the bullet hole triggering flashbacks of what she had just witnessed.

Willow hesitantly put a foot in her room, then the other one. Through the darkness she noticed the messed up bed, the covers all piled up and half of them lying on the floor.

Terrified of what she might find on the other side of the bed, Willow froze and swallowed hard.

Darkness veiled her eyes as she remembered that Warren had attacked them. He had violated their safety, he had tried to kill her best friend, he had killed-”

A hand on her back startled Willow and she spun sharply with her hand raised, shock coloring her features. “Tara?”

“Will, what’s-”

Tara’s words died in her mouth as Willow practically lounged at her, effectively knocking every ounce of air from the blonde’s lungs.
“Shhh...i-it’s okay sweetie, it’s okay...a-and B-Buffy is too. Goddess, sweetheart, don’t cry like that.” Willow only clang at her girlfriend harder, her loud sobs and her trembling body breaking Tara’s heart.

Tara shifted her body to embrace Willow tighter and her arms went stiff around the redhead when she glanced around their room, her eyes doing a double-take at the hole in the window.

Ice ran down the blonde’s spine, realizing for the first time what had almost happened. Tara had been sitting on the front porch when gunshots were heard, Dawn’s panicked shouting scaring her to death. Running into the backyard and seeing the slayer down and covered in blood sent Tara in panic mode herself. After checking in on Buffy and Dawn, reassured that her friend wasn’t dying and oddly comforted by the distant sound of sirens, Tara had rushed inside in search for her lover.

Tara kept whispering soothing words to her girlfriend as she slowly walked her out of the room and closing the door behind them, the witch sighing in relief when Willow sniffled and pulled back gently. “You’re, you’re okay? You promise?”

“I’m fine, honey. See?” Tara demonstrated by turning around, opening her arms to show that her body was intact. “We s-should go though, the ambulance is almost here.”

“Huh? Buffy!” Willow grasped Tara’s hand and pulled her along with her down the hallway and the stairs, the redhead brutally stopped by her partner after she stumbled and almost fell. “Will, calm down, tripping and k-killing yourself won’t help matters!”

Willow was breathing hard and was limping badly by the time she reached the living room and Tara, concerned, dragged her hand down her lover’s jacket to take her hand. Frowning when her hand met something warm and sticky, Tara brought the redhead’s hand up to the light. “Goddess, Willow!”

Startled by the blonde’s yelp Willow looked sideways and stared at the blood covering her hand and leg. “I-it’s Buffy’s blood, I was applying pressure to her wound before Dawn replaced me.”

The faintness of Willow’s voice registered in Tara’s brain but she was more preoccupied by the tear in the girl’s jeans. “Um, Willow...sweetheart, I-I think the blood is yours.”

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

“How come we haven’t seen a doctor yet, in the movies they’re always doctors around.”

Tara sighed and watched Dawn pacing anxiously, wishing she could do the same. After confirming that Willow had been hurt as well, the blonde had hurriedly cut off the piece of clothing off her lover and wrapped her leg in a towel, the bullet having penetrated the redhead’s leg.

Both injured girls had ridden the ambulance while Tara called Xander so he could take them to the hospital. They had been waiting for almost two hours now and it was driving everyone crazy. “I just, I don’t get it. You said they weren’t too gravely injured but we’ve been waiting forever, what’s taking so long!”

Dawn’s impatience was finally rewarded as a middle-aged man in blue scrubs came in the waiting room and walking straight to them. “Mister Harris?”

Xander looked up in surprise, not expecting to be the one being talked to. “Um, yes?”

“Hi, I am doctor Jones. You were listed as next of kin for misses Buffy Anne Summers and Willow Danielle Rosenberg. They were actually listed as each other’s emergency contact but considering the circumstances, you were their next contact to them both.” The doctor spoke calmly and it helped, consciously or not, to release part of the tension that had been filling the room until now.

Dawn was jumping in place, hovering before the doctor and it was only with a distracted mind that she noticed she was about as tall as he was. “Is my sister okay? And Willow, is she okay too? Come on, talk, you’re a doctor, you’re supposed to talk, right?”

“Dawn, please.” Tara quickly put herself between the teenager and the patient man, wrapping an arm around the brunette’s waist and held her close. The witch didn’t need to ask as a pointed look was all the doctor needed to resume sharing news with the gang. “It is quite okay, miss. Yes, miss...Summers, your sister is doing well.”

There was a brief hesitation but seeing that both Xander and Tara nodded to go along, the doctor shuffled with his hands until he kept them behind his back. “There were some complications during Ms. Summer’s surgery when one of her lung collapsed but we were able to fix it. The bullet thankfully didn’t nick any other organ so apart for two cracked ribs and the lung, your sister was really lucky tonight.”
Tara smiled in relief and squeezed Dawn’s hand in comfort, Xander coming in to hug them from the teenager’s other side. “T-thank you so much, doctor. And Willow, how is she?”

The doctor eyed Tara curiously but smiled nonetheless. “Miss Rosenberg was lucky as well. We successfully removed the bullet from her thigh but it came really close to tear the femoral artery. A few millimetres to the left and she could have bled to death even before you realized what happened.”

“Both are stable and we’ll have to keep Miss Summers a few days to make sure her lung is healing properly, but Miss Rosenberg should be able to go home in the morning, right after the morning rounds. Would you like to see them?”

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

Dawn arrived at her sister’s room before everyone else, bolting as soon as the doctor informed them of the girl’s room number. ‘Girls’ number’, Tara corrected herself. The only perk of knowing about half the staff of the hospital was that the nurses taking care of Willow had put her in the same room as Buffy, knowing that otherwise they would have to deal with two stubborn and cranky patients if they couldn’t see each other.

Both girls were asleep so the gang was quiet as they took seats, ready to wait however long they needed until their friends woke up. Dawn was the first one to talk after a few minutes, her voice low but rough. “She doesn’t look too bad, right? I mean she’s been worse, and slayer healing will put her back on her feet right away, right?” The teenager was now silently sobbing and Tara pulled her against her and hugged her tightly. “She’s going to be okay, sweetie, the doctor said so.”

All jumped when a strained voice echoed Tara’s comforting words. “Yeah Dawn, I’m okay.”

“Buffy!”

“Ow. Don’t squeal, please.” Buffy mumbled groggily as she struggled to open her eyes. Surprise was obvious on her face when she finally manage to take in the full room. “What’s going on?”

“Oh.” She whispered right after, suddenly remembering everything. Concern and fear gripped her though when she noticed she had a roommate. “Will?”

“She was hit in the leg.” Tara, who was still holding her girlfriend’s hand and rubbing it soothingly, met the slayer’s eyes. “Buffy...”

“She got up trying to protect me. She would have been safe if she’d stayed down. She-”

“She saved both of you trying to protect you, Buff.” Xander piped in quietly from the back of the room. “By the looks of it, she would have been shot in the shoulder or...in the head if she had stayed down, so I will only say this: Buffy and Willow alive. Xander, Dawn and Tara happy.”

Buffy glanced down at herself and at her still unconscious friend before glancing at the rest of her family, determination clear on her features. “I can’t take this anymore. Warren has to be taken down. For good.”

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

The slayer was back home less than two days later thanks to slayer healing and she smiled gleefully at the colourful banner and balloons that were decorated the living room as she made her way in, Giles hovering close by. “Aww, thanks guys, that’s sweet.”

“Don’t be so giddy, they’re the same balloons from when I got home yesterday.” Willow smirked as she made her way into the room, already manoeuvring her crutches expertly with Tara tagging along and holding a tray filled with beverages. The redhead slumped next to her friend on the couch and gave her a bear hug, careful of the slayer’s still tender abdomen. “I’m glad you’re home.”

Buffy smiled in the witch’s shoulder and nodded. “Yeah, me too.”

“We still didn’t find a way to get rid of Warren that isn’t illegal or you know, condemning us to hell for eternity.” Willow deplored and sighed, her mood improving noticeably when Tara sat next to her and began running a hand down her hair. “It’s just, I can’t believe they didn’t even arrest him!”

“He had an alibi, Will, or at least they think he has one. It’s you and Buffy against him.” Tara reminded her gently even if the blonde was as outraged by the impasse as anyone else. After a promising first meeting with the police, shock and anger shook the Summers’ household when they were told that Warren Mears had an alibi for the night of the shooting and that they couldn’t find a match for the bullets either.

Willow scoffed and crossed her arms on her chest, her features stern and worried. “Now that creep must think he’s invincible or something! What if doesn’t back down, what if he tries to finish the job? What if-”

“What if what?” Buffy asked, immediately on alert when she saw her friend tense and getting in some kind of trance. “What’s wrong?”
“I just finished casting a ward around the house, so I’m guessing Willow felt it when I activated it. Everyone of us is now free to come and go, but everyone else will set off a blasting alarm sound.” Callie informed them helpfully as she joined the rest of the group. She helped herself to a cup of coffee and took the remaining chair, taking a big sip of the steaming beverage and sighing happily. “You Americans sure make good coffee.”

“Why did you wait so long to cast something on the house, he could have tried attacking us again!” Buffy scowled the witch, but in truth the blonde was mad at herself. It was her job to protect her family and because of a moment of distraction she and her best friend had almost died, and now even with slayer healing it would be a few days before she was well enough to try something against Warren.

Willow put a hand on her friend’s knee and squeezed it to get her attention. “That kind of spell can only be cast when all occupants of the house are inside, so she had to wait for us.”

“Oh. Sorry, Callie.” Buffy apologized sheepishly before sharing a look with her watcher. “Is there anything we can do? We can’t just sit here and wait!”

“There may be something we can do, or that Willow can do actually.” Giles began with an hesitation, glancing briefly at the witch. Tara caught the look and frowned, knowing that particular issue had been put aside for the last couple of days. Her mind reeled as she pondered the pros and cons of performing the spell without the last ingredient, and if it would be smart to even consider casting it since they were so close to the full moon now.

If they’d decide to put the spell aside, Willow would have to go through the first of three shiftings starting tomorrow night. In the other hand, if she’d agreed to go see Amy, her girlfriend would have a have a chance at getting rid of her lycanthropy but it would also put her in close contact with a still potentially unstable witch.

Tara glanced at her lover and her heart made a decision she wished she wouldn’t regret later.

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

The trio’s previous lair had been deserted for days but the spacious room already felt as if it had been uninhabited for months, if not years. Warren was standing in the middle of the room and was watching closely something inside a large metal barrel, a smirk stretching his face. “Did it work?”

Warren took the shovel Andrew was handing him and poked something that was resting in the bottom of the barrel with it. “Yes!” He shouted triumphantly as he brought the shovel out, a small object nested in the crook of the tool. What had been a pistol was now unrecognizable as it looked like a piece of rusted metal now.

“So cool! There’s nothing they can’t do to you now.” Andrew gushed, admiring the half melted, half rusted weapon with a proud smile.
Jonathan was staring at it awkwardly from his place on the couch as he didn’t feel the necessity of taking part of something he felt ashamed of. “It was still lucky you didn’t get caught. She survived, and you hit Willow too. You keep hurting her and she never did anything to you.”

“What is she, your secret crush? I’m sorry to break it to you, my friend, but she doesn’t swing that way. The bitch attacked me and broke my orbs, so it would have been a bonus in my book if she’d drop dead too.”

Jonathan bit her lip and glanced around the room. All their books were gone, presumably at the slayer’s house and the weapons and magical components that had to be left behind were now missing as well. It was only a short matter of time before Buffy or someone else discovered their new lair and put an end to this.

Because they would find them. They always did, and it wouldn’t be pretty. Warren and Andrew didn’t care much about the slayerettes but Jonathan had seen them save the world countless times back in high school and in college. They were a force that wasn’t to be messed with.

And now Warren had made it personal by attempting to kill the slayer for the misogynistic thrill of it. “I’m just saying, you don’t know them like I do. You were lucky enough to not get caught, maybe you should let them go and leave town before they go after you again.”

“You know them?” Warren scoffed with a roll of eyes. “Weren’t they ignoring you and treating you like anybody else did? Don’t forget whose side you’re on, Levinson.”

Jonathan scowled but shut his mouth. Andrew shot him an odd look, shaking his head and seeming to be deep in thought when Warren moved his dominating glare on them. “Don’t you have something to do?”

“Huh? Yeah, I mean yes! I’m going now!” Andrew shouted, promptly on his feet and running out the door. Jonathan stared at his retreating back, unsure if he should follow or not. His doubt was confirmed when Warren walked up to him and handed him a book. “Come on, we’ve got work to do.”

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

The sun was high in the winter sky when a dark sedan pulled in front of a small Victorian house, its occupants not getting out immediately, being busy eying the house with a doubtful expression.

Willow was the first one out the car after a few minutes, Tara jumping out of the vehicle right after to follow her, protectively wrapping an arm around the redhead’s waist. “Y-you sure you’re okay? We can ask her to come outside...I-I don’t think we should go inside.” The blonde argued as she glanced between the house and Xander’s car. The man had accompanied them but it had been agreed that he
would stay in the vehicle and wait for them.

“We won’t go inside, Tara. It’ll be fine, you have to trust me, okay?” Willow retorted patiently, clenching the wooden cane’s handle in a way that betrayed her tone of voice. The witch knocked on the black door and stepped back, taking comfort in the blonde’s arm supporting her.
Footsteps were eventually heard behind the door and Tara stood straighter, bracing herself for whatever could be coming for us. She missed her girlfriend’s gasp as the door opened and revealed an emaciated, sweaty brunette. Amy’s eyes were hollow and twitchy and
Tara watched as the witch struggle to put a name on her face. She finally turned and fixed her glassy eyes on the familiar face on front of her. “Willow?”

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

Xander watched as the girls entered the house with Amy. Willow had waved him to go but going inside wasn’t part of the plan. The black door mocked him by daring him to imagine and guess what might be going on on its other side.

After fumbling with his cell phone a few moments, Xander dialled Buffy’s number to ask for advice. He hung up before the first ring and dropped his phone on the passenger’s seat, frustrated with himself. Things between him and Willow had gotten slightly better since they all spent the night at the hospital, and it worried him that going in his friend’s back to ask for support would ruin the truce they were currently in.

Deciding that taking a walk in the yard and around the house couldn’t constitute as breaking the redhead’s instructions, Xander got out of his car and trotted through the yard. All windows were closed and the curtains drawn so all the man could hear were muffled voices, but from what he could make out of the noises inside, neither of the girls didn’t seem to be in any kind of immediate danger.

Xander was somewhat reassured but Amy’s reputation was weighing heavily in the balance, so it was with a renewed determination that the carpenter walked back to his car to make a call. The sun was high and the vehicle hot as a furnace so Xander took refuge beneath the trees’ shade to make his call, his eyes distractly taking in the scenery and the numerous pedestrians circulating up and down the street.

The phone was ringing in Xander’s ear for the third time and he started pacing restlessly, not paying attention to the street’s traffic
anymore. He turned around and put a hand to his other ear to cover a truck’s loud passing when a sharp elbow in the ribs made him drop his phone. “Hey, watch it!”

“Sorry!” A young blonde haired man shouted as he backed away while shooting nervous glances at him. Xander frowned and stared back in suspicion. The hoodie and pants the other guy was wearing felt familiar but he couldn’t place them, or he couldn’t until the man pulled his sweater’s hood over his head to hide. Flashes of an unknown individual running in the rain with a garden gnome in his arms hit Xander and he narrowed his eyes dangerously as he stepped closer. “You’re one of Warren’s friends?”

“What? I don’t know any Warren, I swear!” Andrew mumbled, fear suddenly gripping him. Last thing he expected when he’d decided to take a shortcut was to run into one of the slayer’s friends on his way back to Warren’s.

Xander snorted and jumped forward, surprising Andrew before he had time to bail. Grabbing him by the arm, Andrew started to panic when he realized the taller man was dragging him to his car. “Wait, wait! Are you kidnapping me? You can’t kidnap me! Oh my God, I’m being kidnap, it’s so cool!”

“Shut up and get in there.” Xander opened the passenger door and pushed him in. He glanced at the house one last time and hoped the girls had everything under control.

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

“Is she okay?” Tara asked as she handed her girlfriend another wet washcloth. She watched, unnerved, as Willow took Amy’s temperature before using the fresh cloth to cover the brunette’s eyes. “She’s still running a high fever.”

“D-Do you want me to make some t-tea or something?” Willow sighed at her lover’s stutter. She hadn’t expected to see a sick Amy either, but she couldn’t just turn her back on her and let her suffer like she would have if Buffy hadn’t been there.

“Tara, baby...Yeah, it would be great. Do you think you could take a look in the attic, if-if you don’t mind? She keeps all her stuff up there.” Willow asked gently while glancing down at her friend.

Tara frowned but nodded. “O-okay. How long are you planning on staying here? I-I don’t mean t-to be rude but Willow...”

“I know. I just want to make sure she’s fine and we’ll be on our way, I promise. She has no one.” Willow pleaded softly, her hand reaching the blonde’s to squeeze it. She grinned and kissed it when Tara reluctantly agreed. “I’ll go look for the henbane.”

Willow’s attention was back to Amy when she heard her groan. Tara lingered in the doorway and observed them interact a few moments, a thoughtful frown clouding her features.

“When did you stop?” Willow asked her friend a she tried to piece everything together.

Amy whimpered and rolled over to her side, not answering Willow’s question. Just remembering where she was, and who was in the room was a constant struggle for the brunette, so trying to determine when did the withdrawals started was beyond her current capabilities. “I don’t know, a few weeks ago maybe?”

“Have you done magic since or are you still clean?” Willow checked as she brought the small garbage can closer to the witch in case she’d felt sick again.

Amy opened her eyes and watched Willow’s hands moving over her blankets. I relapsed once, I think. Maybe twice. Thanks, by the way.” She retorted dryly.

Willow’s head snapped forward, startled. “What do you mean?”

“Come on. Thanks to you, my life has been a living hell since Buffy beat the crap out of Rack and made him leave town.” Amy sobbed as a wave of nausea hit her.

“She did us a favor. Nothing good came out of going to him, you know that.” Willow cringed at the accusation but kept her head high. She was proud of the progress she had made and looking at Amy only fuelled her determination at staying on the right track. “It’ll get better, I promise. It feels impossible right now but stopping was the hardest part, all you have to do now is hang on.”

“I don’t think I can do this, it’s too hard, I need it so bad!” Amy began crying in earnest, not caring about whom she was crying to.
Her hands holding a tray of cups of tea and a small dark pouch hanging from her wrist, Tara stared between the weakened witch and her girlfriend, her blue eyes shiny and forlorn.

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

Buffy was drowsing on the couch, bored from watching old reruns on television when tires screeching in her driveway startled her awake. Flinching after sitting up too fast, she begrudgingly walked to the door, holding her side cautiously. She stepped back as the door was slammed opened and a stranger was forcefully pushed inside. “What the...?”

“Buffy Summers, aka Chosen One, aka The Slayer, meet Andrew Wells, dork and Warren Mears’s best friend.” Xander introduced the new comer dryly.

Buffy and Xander shared a look over Andrew’s head, shock clear on the slayer’s face. “Xander, what did you do?”

“I was waiting for the girls outside and ran into him.” Xander shrugged as he pushed Andrew forward and sat him on a chair. “Do you have something to tie him up?”

“What? You can’t tie me up, I request-”

“Shut up, Andrew. Giles!” Buffy shouted, pleased with herself when loud footsteps instantly rushed towards them. Giles barged into the room seconds later, his face laced with concern. “What is it, are you alright? What-who is this?”

Buffy let Xander to do the introductions while she went to pick up something to immobilize their hostage. She came back as Andrew was trying to make a run for it, but he hadn’t made five steps that Giles had grabbed him by the collar and shoved him back on the chair. “Are you certain about this, Xander” The English man asked as he quickly secured Andrew, effectively keeping from escaping again.

“He’s wearing the same clothes as the night I saw him running away with the gnome, and Spike had said that one of Warren’s accomplices was a short blonde haired geek.” Xander confirmed confidently, glaring threateningly at the new comer.

“He’s right, Giles. He does notice that kind of stuff. It’s kind of freaky but, in this case, quite useful.” Buffy added when the watcher seemed dubious.

“Very well, then. I believe it’s time we have a little chat, don’t you think?” Giles asked Andrew as he towered over him.
Andrew swallowed hard.

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

“You okay, baby?”

Tara sighed and shot a brief look at her lover. “Yeah. I’m just tired.” They were almost back home after spending a few more hours with Amy, and the tension from their time over the witch’s house was still highly palpable in the backseat of the cab they were sitting in. “Will-”

“Tara-”

“Sweetie...Willow,” Tara began after receiving a shy but encouraging smile from her girlfriend, “What is happening to Amy...it happened t-to you as well, isn’t it?”

Willow lost her smile, dreading what her partner had witnessed over at Amy’s house clued her in what exactly she had been going through during their time apart. She glanced at the cab driver and exhaled gratefully when their house came into view. “It wasn’t that bad.”

The redhead got off the cab and flexed her leg gingerly while Tara paid the driver. Her leg was still aching but it had improved significantly during the last few hours. A soft hand on her arm tore her out of her thoughts and she smiled at the soft blue irises that were watching her with concern and care.

“I know it’s hard to believe,” Willow argued, “but it’s still the truth. I got sick because I quit cold turkey after overusing the powers I had for so long, but I wasn’t always using dark magics like Amy did. Buffy’s spell was the biggest dark magic I’ve ever done and I haven’t used that kind of magic since then, but Amy’s been solely using dark magics ever since I changed her back. Believe me, her withdrawals are worse than mine were.”

Tara bit her lip and glanced at the house, not able to look at the redhead anymore. Back at Amy’s it wasn’t the brunette Tara was seeing, but Willow. Watching her girlfriend tending to Amy painfully reminded her of Willow’s own addiction and the fact that she hadn’t been there to help her.

Forcing herself back to the present, Tara’s whole demeanor changed and softened when she felt soft lips on her cheek. She hadn’t even realized how tense she was until Willow snapped her back to reality with a loving kiss and she smiled, reaching for the redhead and holding her close. Her girlfriend’s perfume soothed her instantly and Tara absently brought her hand up to rub the girl’s back. “I love you, you know that, right?”

Willow grinned in the crook of the blonde’s shoulder and nodded. “I love you too.” She whispered back. “Do you think, do you think we could go take a nap, together?”

Tara shivered as she felt lips on her neck, soon followed by a warm tongue. Her hand stilled and tightened around Willow’s shirt, and Tara had to swallow back a moan as her partner stared her down with half-lidded, lust filled eyes.

They almost ran to the door, Willow’s limp slowing down them a little. Tara let out a frustrated sigh but Willow glared and cursed as they ran into Buffy as soon as they were past the door. The slayer was sitting on the stairs and had obviously been waiting for them. “Hey.”

“Hey. No offense, Buffy, but you’re kind of in the way.” Willow tried to be polite but her hormones were thinking otherwise. “Can you move, please?”

Buffy blushed as she realized why the girls were such in a hurry and shot them an apologetic look, reluctantly shaking her head. “Sorry. There’s something we need to talk about and it can’t wait.”

Now that she had two very curious, albeit slightly irritated set of eyes on her, Buffy stood and went to take a seat in the living room. Willow and Tara were behind her and they took places on the couch, but they sat several inches apart. Buffy noticed and felt bad to, once again, inadvertently keeping the girls away reconnecting with each other. Running a hand through her hair, she locked eyes with her best friend and cleared her throat. “We have a hostage in the basement.”

She normally would have laughed at the bewildered stares she got from Willow and Tara, but she didn’t even have the heart to smile. “Will, do you know an Andrew Wells? He was a year behind us in high school.”

“Um...no, it doesn’t ring a bell, why? Is he our hostage?” Willow wondered, confused as why there was someone being held against its will in the house, and why she was supposed to know him.

Buffy merely shrugged. “He says he’s Tucker’s brother. Tucker was a guy who released trained hell dogs at our prom to kill everybody dressed in formal wear.” The blonde explained Tara when she saw the curiosity in her eyes. “Nobody was hurt, I got them all in time.”

Tara sighed in relief, the idea of their friends being in danger always scaring her to her deepest core. “Oh, good, t-that must have been an awful night...but where d-does Andrew fits into all of this?”

“Xander ran into him near Amy’s house. He’s Warren’s best friend and one of his accomplices.”

All eyes were on Willow but she barely noticed it, being busy processing the new pieces of information she had been given. Tara’s warm lips on her cheek relaxed her some, and if her voice eased her back from the anger that was suddenly rumbling inside, the idea of having one of the person responsible for her new condition in her house disturbed and upset her. “I, I think I’m going to go up and take nap.”

“Willow...”

“Have you managed to make him talk yet?” The redhead tediously questioned Buffy, closing her eyes and biting the inside of her cheek, not really caring about the answer.

“Some. Giles and Xander are with him.” The slayer told her gently as she got up and shifted her weight from one leg to the other, refraining from matching her friend’s pacing.

“Okay. Do I have to see him? Because I really don’t feel like it for now.”

Buffy and Tara shared a concerned look, the awkwardness filling the room keeping them on edge. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to, honey. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to see him, you go and rest and I’ll go deal with this. Did you get what you needed at Amy’s?”
Tara nodded and handed Buffy the small pouch, relieved when she was freed from its presence. “You should get some rest too, you have two persons down there that are more than competent to take care of him.”

“I know. I’ll take a nap later, but I have to take care of this, I need it. Is pizza okay for dinner? We didn’t have time to make anything.”
“It’s fine, thanks Buffy.” Tara grinned before taking Willow’s hand and guided her to the stairs. The redhead followed quietly, a sign that she was far more upset by the newest development than she was letting it on.

Buffy watched them go and her features hardened as her friends disappeared from her sight. She spun around and headed for the basement, her fists clenched dangerously tight.

***********

Willow all but collapsed on her bed, not even bothering to take off her shoes. She curled up in a foetal position and stared at the placated window, her body shivering slightly as memories of the shooting crawled her way back into her mind. The mattress shifted under her a few seconds later as Tara sat next to her and gently pushed her on her back before undertaking to remove her shoes and sweat pants.
The redhead docilely complied and she was dozing lightly when something pinching her on the thigh bolted her back to consciousness. “Mmm...what you’re doing?”

“I’m changing your bandage. “Huh... Will?” Tara’s shocked voice startled Willow and she opened her eyes, now fully awake. “What, what’s wrong?”

“How does your leg feel?”

“Um, it feels okay, I guess. Why, is there something wrong?” Eyebrows knit in confusion, Willow looked down but she couldn’t see anything. Tara decided to let her see for herself and took her hand to help her up. The stitched surgical car Willow had on her upper thigh was barely red anymore, and the wound seemed to be almost completely healed on the surface. “What the heck?”

“You didn’t notice it today? It can’t have healed itself that quickly by itself, Will.” Tara claimed tersely as she stared dubiously at her girlfriend’s wound.

Willow sighed, instantly acknowledging the blonde’s suspicion. “I didn’t do anything, and neither did Amy. I don’t know why it healed that fast but I’m not the one responsible for it, Tara.”

“I’m not accusing you of anything, sweetie. I’m just kind of surprised, a-and curious as to how this could have happened.” The blonde pondered thoughtfully as she tried not to let herself get distracted by her girlfriend’s half naked form. It had been so long for the both of them and today’s aborted attempt at spending precious time alone had really gotten to them. Tara almost wished she hadn’t given up her dorm room since they would at least have been able to spend more than five minutes together over there before getting interrupted by their friends.

‘I wonder...’ Tara took a closer look at the scar and, as she expected, she could have sworn it look even better than merely a few minutes later. “Will?”

Questioning emerald eyes rose to meet Tara’s and she smiled. “Yeah?”

“Maybe you don’t remember, but when i-it happened, you tried to stop B-Buffy’s bleeding, right?”

Willow frowned but acquiesced. “Yes, until Dawn arrived. Why wouldn’t I remember that?”

“Do you remember if you touched yourself? Did you touch your wound with Buffy’s blood I mean.” She quickly added when Willow quirked an eyebrow. “I don’t know, maybe. Why?”

“Oh.” The redhead whispered as she figured out what Tara had been hinting about. “You think slayer blood accidentally penetrating my wound may have healed it faster?”

“Maybe. We’ll have to check with Buffy later. She went b-back to the basement for now.”

Willow’s face darkened at the reminder of Andrew’s presence in the house, but she smirked as something popped in her head. They were alone upstairs, and everyone knew she was tired and was supposed to take a nap. “Tara?”

“Yes, beautiful?”

Willow leaned forward and teased her girlfriend by placing kisses on her cheek, along the jaw line and up to her ear. “Make love to me.”


Last edited by Gaga01 on Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:39 am 
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Oh! The part of Willow getting to the bedroom and describing all the fears was awsomely well writed.
The Willow getting hurt, that I wasn't expecting. It was a really cool twist and a very creible one.
Lucky just a scare. Thank you!
Warren and Andrew issues are still unpredictebly and I like it. It adds to the tension.
The meet with Amy was weird, in a caring disturbing kind of way. I mean, the ratty witch was vulnerable, still slightly bitchy but it was a great scene to introduce Tara to the withdrawal thing.
It was sweet of Willow to try Amy to feel better.
So...the wolfie will be stopped on time or there will be another mess? I wanna know.
Can't wait till friday. But I will.


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:00 am 
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Damn it! Again! I'm blaming heat exhaustion because I was straight passed out whenever you posted this.... Stupid 105 degrees making me useless the rest of the day!

You used the blood thing! Yay! I wonder if the werewolf thing would have an effect too... Glad they caught Andrew and got a little break!

But that cliffhanger is just mean! (Early chapter for me, please? I'm willing to beg!) Aww, it's good that you're getting to see your brother though! Have fun! I had 60 members of my extended family invade my house yesterday for a family reunion so I know the feeling - hectic! I'm with you on missing our boring lives! Where did they go?!

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:51 am 
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Ah, new chapter, finally! ;)

I'm glad everyone turned out to be more or less fine. I wouldn't have expected Willow to be hurt either and have to agree that that was a nice plot twist. If it really was Buffy's blood that made her heal faster, I would think about filling it into bottles and selling it. No money problems, ever again! Okay, probably unrealistic and kind of unhygienic. Oh, and i forgot gross. I suppose only sellable to those who also buy powder made from tiger bones. Okay, I am getting way too much into detail about selling slayerblood, so I'm just going to stop now.

I wonder what they are going to find out from Andrew. I always saw him like the kind of guy that would rat his friends out when threatened. I hope it will be in any way useful though. Would be kind of sad if they held him hostage in vain.

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:37 pm 
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I was so happy to see an update this morning, that I made my nephews wait around for me to finish reading before I took them home, lol.

I was relieved to see that Tara was uninjured and that Willow's injury was minor as well. Interesting that the slayer blood got mixed with Willow's. Does this mean that it may have also inadvertently cured the wolfieness??? I know, it was a stretch, but you can't blame a girl for trying...can you? lol

I liked the awkwardness in the meeting with Amy. Willow is very sweet and caring to take care of her, even after everything that has happened between then, but then again she HAS taken care of Amy for years already as a rat. A little OT here, but it always kinda pissed me off that Amy NEVER said thank you to Willow for taking care of her rat-self for 3 years! OK, so I feel better now, lol.

Anyway, great update! Can't wait for next Friday!!

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:18 pm 
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viximon: Thank you! It's always fun to know when a part in particular has been enjoyed by people :) I think no one was expecting that, lol. I'm glad it worked and you were surprised! Yeah, I couldn't have hurt her too bad, I love her too much for that :p

Those guys may be dorks, they are unpredictable dorks and that's what make them dangerous...Amy is an odd girl and it was a weird meeting, I agree- especially for Tara, who in this story had never met the other witch before. Thanks, that's what I was going for! :) Well, Amy is still kind of her friend, to some extent. And we all know Willow has a huge heart, so it wouldn't have been her to leave without turning back. You will find out soon, stick around!! Sorry I haven't had time to post friday, but it is here now!!

Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

leonhart17: Sorry! I don't mess up the update schedule on purpose, silly real life getting in the way of everything...heat exhaustion is awful!! I'm glad you're better now though! :)

Yep! The more I use, the more I play with later, lol. Haha, you will find out soon enough :p Andrew is harder to write than I thought!! We'll see if they'll catch a break or not!

Awww, I've been meaner before though! And you already know part of the rest, so :p whenever I say that I'll have time to write I don't, so I will say this: I'm swamped and it's crazy here, so I won't have time at all, lol. (way to unjinxed me, huh?) I can't wait for the family reunion next month but I'm kind of dreading it too, lol. I know!! I desperately need it back!!! I'm almost missing school!!

Legolise: Yes, so sorry for the wait!!

I've been mean enough since the beginning, I couldn't have injured any of them too gravely! I must say I'm glad it surprised people like that, I still manage to make the story unpredictable! ;) lol, that's true-all their financial problems would be gone forever if they'd do that, or if Buffy used her slayer strength like Anya suggested :p It would be gross though, so better not do that...hehe! rambling about blood is funny (in this context anyway)

You will have to stick around to find out, but even them aren't sure of what Andrew is going (and if) to talk...We'll probably see a new side of Andrew soon enough, and hopefully the gang's efforts will pay off :)

Thanks for commenting!!

Finey_McFine: I'm glad you were glad!! So sorry for the late update again, I'm not doing it on purpose :blush lots hopefully it'll go back to normal soon...aww, that's funny!! And it makes me kind of happy that my story gets loyal and eager readers such as you, lol. :grin

Yeah, I didn't want to have Tara injured just like I didn't want the girls to be recovering forever either...Ahh, that's the million dollar question! I fairly believe slayer blood really have supernatural virtues (as leonhart17 pointed out, even vampires craves their blood so it must means it's not just efficient for slayers) lol, no I can't blame you! There's no telling if it will do something else to Willow or not yet though :p

Willow would be prompt to help her friends, even those who don't necessarily deserve it, but there was no way Tara would be all 'let's help her' without any hesitation...after all, she's the girl who greatly help Willow's downfall into darker magics...(bad Amy!!) She did take care of her!! Yeah, I totally agree, Amy only got pissed because Willow couldn't manage to turn her back before, but who got into this mess in the first place? Her name rhymes with Shnamy, lol. I'm glad you got it off your chest!!

Thanks a lot for commenting, sorry again for the late update!!!

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:19 pm 
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I know, I'm late with the posting!! So sorry, the week has been hectic, exhausting and kind of depressing (spent the week unpacking winter boots. Can anyone say Eww??? I don't want to risk promising an update next friday and miss it again so I will shoot for saturday...I will do my best to stick to this one! Thanks also for everyone who takes the time to comment and leave feedback, I really, really appreciate it and it helps motivating the heck out of me, lol.


Warning: NC-17 (yes, for real!)
Goes back to PG-13 after


I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter; I hope, we’ll have more than we’ll ever need; I hope, we’ll have more happy ever after; I hope, we can all live more fearlessly; And we can lose all the pain and misery; I hope, I hope – I hope, Dixie Chicks

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

Music blasting from headphones was impregnating the air as Buffy walked in the kitchen, bag of the last and most needed herb in hand. The sight that welcomed her sent her into an incontrollable fit of giggles, momentarily forgetting about their hostage downstairs. Callie was grinding various herbs and seeds in a set of small bowls and she was moving her body along to the music, humming the melody off key.

Getting her laugh under control but unable to restrain an amused smirk, Buffy came forward and dropped the small pouch straight in front of Callie’s face. The witch jumped and tugged on the earphones, smiling shyly at the slayer while she fumbled with the iPod to turn it off.

Buffy helpfully pressed the right button and her smile got wider when she peeked at what the woman have been listening to. “Really, Callie?”

Callie scolded the small blonde and shrugged. “What, it is great music! Your sister loves it!”

“Of course. I didn’t know Dawn listened to the B boy. She will so never hear the end of it for this.” Buffy smirked as she leaned on the counter to watch Callie work. “How is it going?”

“Pretty well,” the witch announced, genuinely pleased with the progress she’s made, “The herbs are almost done, and I will prepare the seeds tonight. Is that...?”

“Yeah. Is it potent enough? Can you use it?” Buffy asked somewhat dreadfully, observing Callie’s cautious handling of the henbane. The witch took a small leaf and brought it to her nose and grimaced. “This is fresh. Do I want to know what kind of girl this Amy must be if she can afford fresh henbane? This bag alone must have cost a fortune.”

Buffy tensed at Callie’s words and at its implications. “I don’t know and frankly, I kind of don’t care. We have it, you do whatever you have to do with it and dispose of the rest once you’re done. I don’t want that stuff in my house.”

Callie smiled comfortingly and nodded. “Will do, don’t worry. Is Tara still around? I need to ask her something.”

“Yeah I-um, you know what, I think she’s busy. Willow was tired and they went to take a nap, better not disturb them. Will still seemed upset about the whole Amy thing.” Buffy rapidly babbled as she blushed.

“Oh, very well then. I will ask her later when- Are you alright, my dear? You seem flushed.” The witch wondered with concern as she watched the blonde glancing briefly at the ceiling before eyeing the rest of the kitchen to avoid meeting Callie’s questioning eyes.

“I’m fine, I’m more than fine. Or, as Will would say, I’m Finey McFine fine! I’m going to go back in the basement now and beat the crap out of our hostage.” The slayer giggled nervously although Callie could have sworn there was the hint of a smile on the girl’s lips.

“Taking a nap, my as...never mind.” Buffy smirked and muttered to herself, glad that, for once, her slayer hearing had helped in keeping her friends from getting interrupted and not the other way around.

Callie watched Buffy go, bewildered. She put the henbane back in its pouch and closed her eyes to listen attentively at her surroundings but, except for birds chirping outside and a creaking sound or two coming from upstairs, nothing stood out. She shrugged and resumed the herb grinding, a fond smile on her face. “Americans.”

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

“Mmm sweetie, that was...umm...-ahh!” Tara bit her fist and turned her face in a pillow when Willow wrapped her lips around her clit and sucked hard on it. Her fingers were still buried deep between Tara’s legs and were rapidly bringing the blonde to her third orgasm. Tara screamed in the pillow as her girlfriend grazed her teeth over her oversensitive nub and added a fourth finger, stretching them to reach her G-spot.

As she became aware of her surroundings again Tara felt softer licks lapping up her juices and gently cleaning her, helping her body going back to a more relaxed state. Hands were felt on her thighs, stroking her lovingly as Willow placed a last kiss on Tara’s nether lips before she slowly crawled up her lover’s body, kissing and licking Tara’s sweaty yet sweet skin. Tara giggled as Willow hit a particularly sensitive spot near her hip and, when she unsuccessfully tried to shy away, she retaliated by poking the redhead in the ribs, knowing it was her girl’s weak spot.

The blonde was rewarded with a high pitched squeal as Willow jumped backwards to get away but Tara was quicker and she grabbed her girlfriend’s arm, using her momentum to reverse roles and straddle Willow. She brought her lover’s arms up, effectively restraining her and took advantage of her new position to kiss the redhead with passion. She could still taste herself on her girlfriend’s lips, arousing Tara anew.

Smiling when Willow granted her access to her mouth, Tara pushed her tongue in and duelled the redhead’s for dominance. They shared hungry kisses for several minutes before Tara’s hand ventured down the body underneath her while pushing Willow’s legs apart with her knee. The throaty moan that escaped Willow’s mouth was music to Tara’s ears but she wanted more; she needed more.

It was only when Willow’s breathing became erratic against her lips that she begin teasing her girlfriend by pushing her knee up her girl’s center, slowly initiating a rhythm. “Tara, please.”

“Please what?”

“Ugh...Tara, come on!” Willow panted as she grounded her pelvis hard on Tara’s knee, trying to get some release. Tara smirked and sensually brushed her fingers over her lover’s skin, the touch of her finger tip as light as a feather. She thoroughly enjoyed making her lover squirm and, even after being apart for so long, the blonde still knew Willow’s body better than her own. That was why she took her time rediscovering the redhead’s porcelain skin, even if it was driving both of them crazy.

Her hands finally settled on the slender witch’s breasts, Tara smiling widely at the reaction she was getting from her lover. Willow gasped sharply as the blonde alternated between caressing and pinching her nipples and, with agonizing leisured movements, kneaded the small but firm flesh before dropping small kisses down her chest and stomach.

“Tara, please.” Willow begged with more urgency before sighing and forcing her body to relax. Tara loved teasing her and no begging would work until the blonde was ready to give her what she wanted. She bucked her hips and chest forward in a desperate attempt to speed things along but the disappointment she felt as her lover’s knee disappeared was short lived when two fingers were suddenly filling her, stretching her and pumping away, no longer teasing.

Tara felt it when Willow was close to climax. The way her whole body would become tight under the blonde’s ministrations, her breasts softly jiggling under her heavy breathing and her legs spreading as wide as she could were always the first signs of a major orgasm. Tara waited until the last second before adding a third finger and drawing them almost completely out before pushing them harder back inside her partner, Willow’s hips bucking widely as she met the blonde’s thrusts.

With one last thrust and her thumb now rubbing the redhead’s clit, almost grinding it into the girl’s pelvis, Willow came with a powerful moan that was quickly followed by Tara’s strangled name. Tara was unable to muffle the scream since her mouth was still glued to Willow’s breast, sucking and licking so hard the redhead almost came again.

She didn’t let time for Willow to recover as she pushed herself back on her lover’s stomach, lying down in top of her, her hand slowing her movement but never stopping. The girls’ breasts were pressed tight together and rubbed against each other as Tara released Willow’s hand and brought it to her lover’s face, kissing it soundly. The never ending stimulation of Willow’s hot and wet core, combined with the constant pressure on her clit and her girlfriend’s ample breasts brushing against hers sent her climaxing again, but this time Tara was ready. She locked lips with Willow and swallowed her scream as she gently stilled her hand without removing it, bringing her lover back to the present with her. “So?”

“So what?” Willow whispered roughly, still trying to get her breathing under control. She moaned as Tara wiggled her fingers inside of her, her pupils instantly dilating again.

Tara giggled and locked eyes with bright green eyes, a smug smile on her lips. “Care for another round?”
Willow smirked and leaned in for a soft kiss. “Always. But-”

“We won’t get interrupted. Not with a slayer with exceptional hearing in the house.” Tara laughed, loving the heavy blush that suddenly covered her lover’s delicate features as they barely looked so alive before. “So?” She dared the redhead with a quirked eyebrow.

Willow pushed her uninjured leg up to spread the blonde’s leg wide and swiftly moved them so they were side by side. “Turn around.”

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

“Did I hear something?” Giles glanced at Buffy with inquiring eyes, frowning when the blonde shrugged and flashed him her famous ‘I am innocent’ face. “Nope, didn’t hear anything.”

“Really? Huh, I could have sworn I heard Willow’s voice. Maybe I-”

“Nuh-uh, no one is going anywhere. Will and Tara are busy...napping so let’s not disturb them.” Buffy warned him with a pointed look.

Giles stared back, confused by the slayer’s obstinate mind. It took him several seconds and Buffy raising her eyebrows suggestively before he caught on and cleared his throat awkwardly. “Erm, yes, very well. Let’s resumed then.”

Xander glanced between the two of them curiously. He had no clue what they were talking about until Giles coughed and blushed. “Oh. Oh! Okay... yeah why don’t we go back to torture our guest here.” He mumbled as he stared into space. He never saw Buffy pick up a dirty sock in the laundry basket and throw it at him. It hit him right in the face and unfrozen him from his momentary trance, Buffy’s smirk and deadly eyes jerked him back to reality for good.

Andrew babbled but his voice was muffled by the tape covering his mouth. His eyes were wide and watched warily as Buffy walked up to him and he let out a squeak when she brought her hand up and, without a warning, removed his gag with one swift move. “Owww, that hurt!”

“You thought that hurt? You wouldn’t know hurt if it hit you in the face.” Buffy towered over him, far from impressed at the glaring Andrew was trying to pull off.

“I’ve already told you, I have nothing to tell. Besides, I don’t speak with the enemy. I would never betray my best friend, even if it was to join the slayer’s ranks.”

Buffy laughed at Andrew’s attempts to look intimidating. “Okay first, you have no idea who your enemy is. Second, if Warren really is your best friend, then I’m really sorry for you but you’ve never known what a true friend is and third,” the slayer pushed Andrew backwards until the chair’s legs were off the floor and the only thing keeping him from falling was Buffy’s grip on his shirt, “I would never want you in my ranks. We’re a closed group and besides, I don’t need cowards like you.”

“You can laugh all you want, slayer, but you don’t have anything against us. No proof, no weapon, anything.”

“True,” Buffy agreed, surprising Andrew but Giles and Xander as well, “the police has nothing on you or Warren, but it seems as if you’re forgetting something... Oh for God’s sake, we have all of your books and stuff! Seriously, you really call yourself an evil guy?” She scoffed with a frustrating groan and allowed the chair to fall back on its legs when Andrew stared at her with a flustered expression.

Andrew smiled wickedly and shook his head. “You may have our books, Slayer of the Vampyres, but only very few of us can decrypt them and even fewer of us can cast a spell contained in any of these books.”

Giles cleared his throat and came closer to Andrew, his expression uncertain and nervous. “Really? I must admit I found some of the writing quite hard to understand.”

“Of course, it was before we discovered the spell you had planned to incapacitate Buffy had been translated wrong with the use of an archaic grimoire, and written in the wrong dialect. Then we found out you used Willow’s blood, a powerful witch’s blood to cast a spell meant on a slayer with ingredients that weren’t meant to be used together in the first place. Giles enumerated with a straight face, secretly enjoying the way Andrew rapidly lost his superior smile and squirmed on his seat.

“I didn’t know it was witch’s blood when I collected it. I really thought it was slay- yours, I mean.” Andrew rambled as he realized for the first time what Jonathan had been trying to warn him about. The slayer and her civilians were smarter than he had first thought, but his faith in Warren still made him believe nothing could hurt him. “You can’t do anything to me, I’m human! A-and I only did it for Warren. I wanted to save him some time but Jonat- my friend didn’t give me the right index, I’m not the only one to blame!”

“If you don’t even bother double or triple check your sources when you play with forces you can’t even begin to understand, you are the one to blame. You acted like a fool and an arrogant amateur, and look where it has leaded you, Andrew. Believe me when I tell you you don’t want to be on the slayer’s wrong side.” Xander threatened the shorter blonde guy, his hands in his pockets to look nonchalant in front of Andrew as to hide his own nervousness.

“You don’t understand, I was doing it for-”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. You were trying to please your ‘friend’,” Buffy air quoted the last part as she took a seat on the last step, “but by doing so you’ve put my best friend through misery and pain for the last month, and I can’t just let you go without making you pay for it.”

Buffy was getting tired of their hostage’s futile attempts at bravery and she had noticed how it was bothering her friend and watcher as well. She has observed Andrew closely ever since he had stepped inside her house and, as relieving as it would be to beat the crap out of him, physical violence was not the answer to get him to talk. Andrew loved the attention he was currently getting, she could see how he was craving it.

Part of Buffy felt bad for him, the man must have had a pretty crappy childhood to, once older, have affiliated with an individual such as Warren Mears. As the blonde watched Giles failed to make him talk, an idea popped into her head. A beating was out of the question, but it existed many other kind of tortures as well, she decided. Ignoring the eager set of eyes that followed her everywhere she went, Buffy casually walked over to the big sink near the washing machine and turned the faucet on.

Picking up a few glasses and filling them with cold water, and careful to not spill anything, Buffy locked eyes with her hostage as she came back towards him. “You know, Andrew, hostage or not I’m sure you must be really thirsty, huh?”

She nodded for Xander to untie one of Andrew’s hands and she handed him the tallest of the icy water filled glass. The blonde man gulped it down in a matter of seconds and eagerly took a second glass that Buffy had ready for him.

Xander was staring at Buffy as if she had grown a second head but she ignored him, keeping her eyes on their hostage. “I bet that was good, huh? Your throat must have been scratchy from all that not talking you didn’t do.”

Andrew, as expected, scowled and pouted, or at least he was until he noted that the faucet was still leaking a small stream of water. “Um, your didn’t turn the faucet off.”

“I know.” Buffy answered curtly. “It’s pretty, isn’t it? The sound of water, like the rain that hits the window or the sound of a waterfall...it just never stops. I couldn’t go to the beach for too long when I was younger because hearing the waves as they crashed on the shore or the rocks always made me want to pee so bad, you know?”

The water running hadn’t been bothering Andrew right up until the moment where Buffy made him thought about it. He frowned and his face contorted instantly, suddenly fighting the urge of having to use the restroom. “Can I use your bathroom?”

“Um...nope. Sorry but I want my bathroom to remain a hostage-free zone.” Buffy commented sadly although there was the hint of a smirk on her face. She had tricked Andrew into the only kind of attention he would never want. The slayer’s smile grew wider when Xander burst out laughing and gave her a not so subtle thumbs-up.

“But I really have to go!” Andrew whined audibly, suddenly not caring who was hearing him or not.

Buffy’s smirk appeared fully on her lips and she shook her head regretfully. “Sorry, the bathroom is for friends, family and cooperative hostages only.”

“But-”

“No buts. No talking, no peeing.”

Xander glanced at his best friend, amusement obvious on his face. “That is an interesting new rule. I vote for it. Giles?”

“What? Oh, right, it is quite the new rule and I shall agree to it as well.” Giles gave his accord while he cleaned his glasses, turning sideways to hide a smile.

“Great, how about we go see how Callie is doing upstairs and come back here some time during the night.” Buffy proposed and smiled when the two other men lead the way back upstairs.

Andrew groaned and fidgeted frantically on the chair, his free hand and legs tugging at the remaining restraints. “Okay, okay, I’ll talk just, just let me go to the bathroom, okay?”

Giles shot his slayer a surprised but pleased look as Xander moved to release Andrew from his bindings. “Wait!”

“Let’s get him to sing some before he gets a reward, if it’s worthy or not.”

Xander tightened the rope covering Andrew’s limbs again and pulled back to take a seat on the floor.

Andrew sighed and closed his eyes as he did his best to forget about his immediate need. “What do you want to know?”

Giles was next to take a seat on an old chair he dug from underneath the stairs. “Why don’t you start with Warren’s obsession over Buffy?”

The short man was clearly unhappy about the question but, remembering what was at stake here, opened his eyes to look at his audience before settling his attention on Buffy. “Warren hated you ever since the time you interfered with Katrina...”

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

“You awake?”

“Hmph.”

“Is that a yes hmph, or a no hmph?” Willow whispered as she enjoyed the view of her girlfriend’s body. The blonde was sprawled on her back and putting her nakedness in full display for the other girl to see. Still getting no reaction from her lover, Willow sighed and cuddled the blonde closer until not even a piece of paper could pass between them, gently fondling the girl’s ample chest.

Tara woke up to the feeling of something warm and smooth nuzzling her breast. The warmth continued to spread as she woke up more fully and recognized the touch of a hand on her belly, rubbing it gently. “Yes.”

“Huh?”

“It was a yes hmph, sweetie.” Tara talked in a low voice, rejoicing in their room and floor’s quietness. “Hey.”

“Hey back.” Willow smiled as she kissed her girlfriend’s breast one last time before moving up to press her lips sweetly against Tara’s. “How are you?”

“Perfect.” The blonde smiled as she turned over to her side to wrap her arms around Willow. “I love you so much.” She breathed in her girlfriend’s ear, her hands roaming down the redhead’s back and sides and loving the goose bumps that spread like fire under Tara’s hands.

They remained quiet for the next minutes, relishing the peace of the room and knowing it could end at any moment by one of their friends. “Tara?”

“Yes, love?”

Willow drank in her partner’s beauty as she struggled to find the right words, wishing she could shut her fears and concern down without having to worry her girlfriend, but also knowing that Tara would want to know whatever inner turmoil Willow was going through. “If...if the spell doesn’t work or something else happened and if-if I was to remain a werewolf, would it be it for us?”

Tara’s eyes snapped open and gaped at the redhead, shock clear on her face. “What? Willow! Why w-would you even think t-that? Did Callie s-said something you haven’t told me?”

“Hey, no stutter okay? I didn’t mean to upset you baby, I just...Callie hasn’t said anything or I would have told you, I promise.” Willow was quick to reassure the blonde, cursing herself for not approaching the subject with more tact. “I was only thinking...the spell is a dangerous one and if it’s going to put people in danger to cast it, maybe we- I shouldn’t let you guys get along with it.”

The emotions flickering in her lover’s eyes were mirrored in Tara’s. She was tortured as well by the different ways the spell could go and, if she was honest with herself, Tara would admit she wasn’t as confident as she seemed in reality. She may have not talked to the redhead about it, but she had spent most nights thinking of the possibility that she spell could not be successful. It had scared Tara the first time she had seriously considered the lycanthropy as a permanent thing, flashbacks of her dramatic encounter with Oz and witnessing
Willow’s shifting being painful reminders for the blonde.

After a while she had taken on herself to consider Willow’s affliction on a more logical level; all things considered, lycanthropy was not much to be worried about comparing to what could have happened if either of them had been turned. Willow wouldn’t be changed much by her new life as long as precautions were made and she’d agree on working on her issues. Neither of them, Scooby gang included, knew what could be the extent of having to deal with a werewolf that was also a powerful witch, but there was one thing Tara was absolutely certain of.

“Sweetheart, I know there is no way I can begin to understand what’s going on in that big brain of yours, but there’s only one thing you need to be sure of. I would never, ever let this get between us if it were to be true. You’re it for me, there’s no one else and never will be...that won’t change whether you’re happy Willow, quirky Willow, vixen Willow,” Tara smirked as she peeked at the redhead’s wandering hands as they were now nested between the blonde’s breasts, “or wolfie Willow. This is just another part of who you are and my love for you won’t ever change that.”

Willow grinned tearfully at Tara’s heartfelt declaration. Sometimes she still had trouble understanding how someone could love her as much as the blonde did but, as she lost herself in the pair of heavenly blue eyes that meant the world to her, Willow had the feeling that figuring out was not that important. If Tara loved her about half of how she loved her, then nothing more needed to be thought out. “Thanks. I am too, you know.”

Tara pulled Willow closer to her and let her girlfriend’s warmth soothe her, their bodies fitting perfectly and melting into one another. “You are what?”

Willow put her head on the blonde’s shoulder and sighed as she closed her eyes. “Yours.”

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

“Hey, if it isn’t the sleeping witchy beauties! We saved you some pizza if you’re hungry.” Xander welcomed the girls as they finally joined the others in the dining room two hours later.

“You mean that we hid the pizza from you so they would have something to eat.” Buffy rolled her eyes and got up to get the rest of the food. “It’s okay Buffy, we’ll get-” Tara started but she was unceremoniously interrupted by the slayer’s retreating back and waving hands.

“So, good nap? Oww!”

Xander rubbed his head where Buffy had slapped him and shot the witches a sheepish smile. Willow and Tara exchanged a startled look, the redhead blushing brightly. “Oh come on guys, we haven’t been able to tease you for months, you’ve got to give us this one.” Buffy grinned smugly, laughing when Willow stuck her tongue at her.

“Okay, fun was had so let’s change the subject now. How’s it going with A-Andrew?” Tara stared at Xander with a mock-offended look before surprising Willow by kissing her sweetly on the cheek. Both smiled their thanks as the slayer put several slices of pizza and bottles of water in front of them and promptly started to eat.

Buffy glanced at Giles and sighed. “He’s talked some but not about anything relevant. Apparently Warren’s have been holding a grudge against me ever since the robot thing.”

“April? You haven’t done anything wrong to him back then, why would he want to kill you?” Willow wondered with a frown, highly disliking the idea that Warren may have been plotting against her best friend for over a year already. “What did he have planned?”

“We don’t know yet. Andrew admitted the spell that was meant for Buffy was destined to make it easier for them to kidnap her, but he says he doesn’t know anything else.” Giles answered as he helped himself to another slice of pizza.

“I don’t normally do such a thing, but I could easily be persuaded into casting a truth spell on the boy. Is it just me or does he appears to be quite enjoying being your hostage?” Callie asked curiously as she pushed her plate away. “I couldn’t eat anymore of this, delicious as it is. I truly am going to miss America when this will all be over.” She added with a sigh, oblivious to the way the others all smirked. They had gone through this with Giles on more than one occasion over the years, so this was mostly funny to them.

“Andrew lives for the show,” Xander remarked from his place, “I knew guys like him in high school. They take everything life throws at them and they distance themselves as if they were in a play or a movie. Nothing is real to him, he lives in a fantasy world.”

“Yes, Xander but even if you were right, if Andrew doesn’t want to take responsibility for his actions as well as for Warren’s, there isn’t much we can do. Right now we should be more concerned about Warren’s imminent payback. We have no idea how long it could be before he retaliates and takes revenge again.” Giles argued sternly as he removed his glasses and dropped them on the table.

Buffy was watching the exchange absently, the argument having been talked over on several occasions in the last twenty-four hours. She also noticed how her best friend had pulled back and quiet from the others since the moment they began talking about Andrew. The slayer knew the frown clouding her friend’s face meant she had something in mind, and chances were she wasn’t going to like it. “What’s up,
Will?”

Willow eyes snapped up and she glanced at her friend, startled. “What?”

“You have something in mind, I can tell. What is it?”

All eyes turned to the redhead and she gulped audibly, irritated with herself that someone had noticed. ”It’s nothing, I was just rambling in my head.” She joked and studied her pizza intently before randomly picking the olives from it and tossing them away.

Tara’s interest was piqued as well about what was bothering her girlfriend, whatever it was. “You okay sweetie, what were you thinking about?”

Willow pursed her lips and looked at her friends thoughtfully, a plan already formed in her head. She doubted it would be welcomed well but, as far as their history went, she knew they would at least let her talk before things went to hell. “I think I know what could convince Andrew to talk.”

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

An hour later Buffy was guiding her friend down to the basement, where their hostage was dozing in a chair. She shot another look at Willow as they reached the floor and she realized she must have been scolding because Willow took her hand to pull her back where Andrew could see them and wrapped her arms loosely around the blonde.

As expected, tempers had exploded when Willow revealedher plan, stupefaction and anger rising to object. Buffy had been the first one to begrudgingly agree, before eventually be followed by Xander, Callie and Giles. Tara was still on the fence on the matter so the others had kept her upstairs to discuss and try to come up with another solution. “Is he looking?” Willow hushed in her friend’s neck, Buffy squeezing her tighter indicating that Andrew was watching them with wide eyes.

Willow dug her nails in her friend’s back when Buffy tried to turn away as they heard Andrew mumble a soft but excited “so dramatic”. He was undoubtedly taking pleasure in seeing another side of the slayer’s life, and didn’t seem to care to intrude in the moment. Buffy sighed and strengthened her hold on the redhead, not ready to let her go yet. “It’ll be okay, I promise.”

“You better, or I’m kicking your ass.” Buffy shot back with a ‘you better know what you’re doing’ kind of voice. They were not playing games anymore, they were a long time passed that. “Yeah, I know.” Willow nodded as she released the slayer from her embrace.

Buffy glared for good measure and took a step back, taking a deep breath before facing their hostage. “Andrew, you must remember Willow, after all that’s her life you’ve been screwing with.” Buffy introduced them, ignoring the roll of eyes the witch sent her way.

Andrew’s demeanor changed and he narrowed his eyes at the newcomer. “How many times do I have to tell you it’s not my fault! I didn’t know it wasn’t your blood! You will try to weaken me by take me by the sentiments but it won’t work, I am a warlock, a hardcore dark magic practitioner. You cannot break me.”

“Whatever. Enjoy Will, he’s a real treat to talk to.” Buffy shrugged and squeezed her friend’s arm as she went back upstairs, the temptation of punching the boy becoming harder and harder to resist to stay with Willow.

Andrew shifted her gaze to Willow once Buffy was gone and, for the first time since becoming the household’s hostage, showed signs of nervousness. Willow took it as a good sign and she took her time walking closer, glancing around the room a few moments before settling on a cardboard box halfway between Andrew and the stairs. “So, Andrew,” she asked him out of the blue, biting back a smirk when he jumped, “you’re a warlock, huh? Have you been practicing long?”

“Um. A few years I guess, why?”

“Just wondering, the spell you did required lots of power so I was curious to know if you have been the only caster.” Willow baited him and was rewarded when Andrew sat straighter in his seat, insulted by the redhead’s words even though Jonathan had been the spell’s main caster. “It wasn’t an easy spell to perform but we-I was more than capable to handle it. I am no newbie at this but I suppose it is understandable for you to disagree to that, with having gone through magic addiction and all.”

There was a glint in Willow’s eyes as she held Andrew’s gaze but she smiled and shrugged, seemingly unbothered by the comment. “We have so much to talk about, Andrew.”

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

“And she was really nice, I never thought she could be like that, you know? But of course, being both powerful casters, it was only a matter of time before we met.” Andrew gushed at Xander as the man escorted the blonde back to the basement the next day. Ever since meeting Willow Andrew had become fascinated by the witch and never talked about anything else, at the gang’s highest displeasure.

“Will is super, I already know that. She was even better before you messed her up so you know, thanks a lot for that.” Xander replied dryly as he pushed Andrew back in his chair and secured the cuffs. Ropes had been on their way to break his skin so Giles had decided that metal cuffs would be the best alternative and, he had precised, wouldn’t leave permanent marks on the boy in case he’d remain held against his will for several more days.

Andrew scoffed and shook his manacled wrists to test their strength, something he had always wanted to do. For real, not like when he used to play with his brother and pretend he was a double agent being interrogated by Mulder and Scully. “She’s not mad at me, she knows it’s not my fault. The spell turned out good anyway, werewolves are cool. Way better than vampires. She told me that she could help Buffy more that way.”

Xander slapped Andrew hard, not even caring about the plan anymore. He had held everything in in the fear of getting into another fight with his best friends, but enough was enough. He couldn’t take Andrew’s denial speech anymore, he couldn’t just be fine with everything.
He felt as if his world had been shattered so many times in the last year that he didn’t think he could take much now. Buffy and Joyce’s deaths, Buffy’s dramatic resurrection and Willow’s downfall into magics, leaving Anya at the altar...There was only so much he could take.
Xander left without turning back or apologizing, leaving a shell-shocked Andrew alone in the basement.

Buffy and Callie were chatting and drinking coffee in the kitchen when Xander slammed the basement door closed, surprising the both of them. “I slapped Andrew.”

“What?”

“He was getting on my nerves and I lost it. I could’ve punched him but I settled on slapping him.” Xander repeated more forcefully as he grabbed his jacket on one of the chairs. “Where’s Will?”

“She’s upstairs with Tara, they needed some time alone.” Buffy told him as she got up, concern written on her face. “Are you okay?”

“No, but I’ll be, I just need to get some air before I go back down there and beat the hell out of him. Did you do your job?” He asked almost harshly, eyeing Callie with an unreadable expression.

Callie tensed but she didn’t let it show. She had faced worse than frightened and worried friends so even if Xander’s concern touched her, she wasn’t put off by it. “Yes, everything is safe and ready.”

Xander nodded and let himself out the kitchen door, leaving Buffy and Callie to stare at each other. “I should go after him.” Buffy whispered just as footsteps were being heard coming down the stairs, distracting the slayer and making her frown.

“He needs time, Buffy. Everything has been sprung on him lately and he isn’t dealing well. I know, you’re all in the same boat but you’ve had more experienced in the matter, don’t forget that.”

“Boat? That’s the word you’re going with?” Buffy grinned at the witch, grateful for the diversion. Her head shot up when she heard Willow and Tara coming in, the taller witch hovering protectively next to her lover. “Is it time already?” The slayer asked darkly, sighing at her
friend’s nod. She hadn’t realized it was that late already.

“As soon as Giles comes back,” Willow took Tara’s hand and intertwined their fingers together, and she shared a look with her before turning back to her best friend, resolve face on, “it’s showtime.”


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:05 pm 
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dibs! Got it back! Lol, and I just walked back in the door from David's house!

Oooh, another cliffie ending! I think you're good at writing Andrew! Lots of selfish whining and nerd references :P

You already know how I feel about this chapter! Wonderful! And the 'water torture' was hilarious!

It is bad if you're wishing for school again! And I seem to recall we've jinxed ourselves before, so hopefully the reversal will work! Let me know! I might have some stuff for you to read this week if you've got some time!

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:15 pm 
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2 *very* good choices in ways to make Andrew spill the beans. (your mentioning his childhood; maybe he grew up around people who weren't so much itnerested in hearing the truth as in hearing how it was spun..) Odd;if Brad Kane had been around to be in the Trio as Tucker, he probably would've been the dark mastermind and Warren the talespinner, wiht Jonathan of course continuing as the sympathetic one.

Henbane; I guess Buffy's read her Hamlet ,a nd ahs the right idea if there are leftovers; I agree, no poisons around except in a leak-proof selaed and labeled container! Especially poisons which can be used in dark spells.

A closed club; well, I have an original chacater in my ficverse who's been trying to "join" the Scoobies since S-1, but they don't need a Steve Urkel type.

I am seriously worrying how this spell will go though, in many ways.

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Wui, great new chapter!

I really liked the way they decided to "torture" Andrew. You got me scared for a minute there that there was going to be actual water torture. The thought of stuff like that makes me feel reeeeaaally uncomfortable. But that kind of torture was actually quite hilarious. Although, now that I think about it, the thought of not being able to go to the toilet makes me really uncomfortable too. All of the sudden I can actually relate to Andrew :lol

I somehow don't understand where the thing with Willow talking to Andrew is going. I believe that I miss something really obvious and that everyone but me totally knows what's going to happen next. But well, I guess I will just wait and anticipate and be overly excited when you post the next part because it will contain a surprise (at least from my point of view). I like surprises :grin

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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:18 pm 
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So Andrew is quite smitten by Willow's nice coolness, mmm.? Interesting

Showtime!!
This kind of action brings me a sense of dread. I hope this time things go smothly for the Scooby gang
Cliffhanger, cliffhanger why are you always in every end? LOL


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Leonhart17: lol, yeah you do! Talk about good timing! :p

Yeah, I'm all with the cliffie endings lately, lol. Yay, I'm glad he's realistic! I kind of liked him in the show but he was so whiny sometimes!!

Thank you!! It really means a lot!! :grin well, that's probably what I'd do too if I had to torture someone, lol. Hilarious, and effective! :p

It is so bad...it looks like jinxs or not, nothing is going the way I want it to so part of me wants to blame the full moon for that...I read the last part of the wolves tonight and I'm left to read the party one, I'll email you about it tomorrow :p

Thanks so much for everything!! :)

DaddyCatALSO: Thanks, I'm glad you like what I did with Andrew and his background...we never heard much about him and his childhood but with Tucker as a brother, things must not have been really funny growing up...

I agree about the henbane...I read online about that kind of herb ans stuff and those are not the kind you want to have in your house, especially not henbane! That is some crazy stuff!

I think that as much as they'd like to expand their group, all their previous attempts at having social lifes outside the slaying world had desastrous results so they are better with just them...I pulled Callie in so I guess she is kind of part of it now, but they didn't let her in just for fun...they do not need Steve Urkel people, lol.

Thanks for the feedback!

Legolise: Thank you!! It's always fun to know that people are enjoying the story! lol, no there was no way they would have done actual water torture on him (or any other kind of 'real' torture!) because that's not who they are...well, I can't imagine anyone torturing someone that way and finding it funny, lol. Hehe! I know, it must be psychological-I am the same way-as soon as you can't do or have something, that's all I can think about :p

I don't know if it was that obvious, but either way it will become clearer in today's new chapter! I can't explain anything in more depth before you read the chapter, or I would give spoilers away! Aww, well I hope you will enjoy this surprise...it will be a surprise, most probably!

Thank you for commenting!!

viximon: Yep! But honestly, who could blame him? I'd be the same if I'd met her, lol. Willow is truly special and Andrew acknowledges that, which is a good point for him :p There have been lots of cliffhangers lately, true! We're getting closer to the end though, so that's kind of inevitable....you will have to read the new update to find (hopefully) answers to your questions, otherwise I would be giving spoilers away!! :)

Thanks a lot for commenting!!

Update directly below


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 07/30/2011
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:19 pm 
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“My friend, we’ve seen it all; When it made no sense at all, you dare to light my path, and found the beauty in the aftermath” –Give Me Strength, Snow Patrol
***************

“Have you tried his phone?”

Jonathan ducked the book that Warren threw to his head and jumped off the couch to distance himself from the man. “Of course I tried his cell, dumbass! I called him fifty times and he doesn’t answer his stupid phone.”

Warren groaned and tossed his cell on the table as he rubbed his eyes and mumbled incoherent words.
Jonathan could only make up a few of them such as ‘slayer’, ‘witch’ and ‘over’, but it was enough to send chills down his spine. “Um, Warren, w-what are you saying? You’re not really going to, you know...?”

“I need to find Andrew. He was supposed to go for recon and come back, but that was over twenty-four hours ago. Stupid! Stupid jerk, stupid bitch! I’ve had it!” Warren screamed and shoved everything that was on the table on the floor, the guys’ laptops and computers included. “Warren, stop! What the hell is wrong with you? Don’t you think it’s time to let it go? It’s over, man.”

“It won’t be over until the bitch has breathed her last breath.”

**********

“Hey, Andrew.” Willow greeted the blonde as she descended the basement steps, Tara, Buffy, Giles and Callie on her heels.

Andrew lit up at the sight of the redhead but frowned when everyone else, minus Xander, separated and found different spots around the room. “What’s with the delegation? Wasn’t I humiliated enough, am I like some sort of freak show to you now?”

“Cut the martyr crap, Andrew,” Buffy rolled her eyes, “whatever the reason that pushed Xander to slap you, I’m sure you deserved it.”

Willow’s head snapped around and she faced her friend, stupor clear on her face. “What? Xander hit him?”

“He slapped him. I know it was wrong, but can you really blame him? He cares about you Will, as much as I do. He’s not handling this...thing as well as we thought.” Buffy gently informed Willow of their friend’s bail.

The witch’s poised exterior crumbled a bit but she shook it off and quickly got her act back together as she offered her friends a wan smile. “Oh, okay. I’ll find him and talk to him later then.” She sighed before turning back on the room’s main subject of interest. “Are you okay, Andrew?”

“Yeah. It still stings a little but I’m tough, I’ve had worse. Why are they all here?”

“Honestly? We don’t trust you, Andrew.” Giles stepped up and stood to the man’s left side. “Willow’s always been too nice to others and we are rather concerned you are going to try and manipulate her into believing whatever fantasy world you live in. If we’re not careful next thing we know you will convince her that being a werewolf is cool.”

Tara’s hand on Willow tightened and there were daggers in the glare she sent Giles. She hated the plan her girlfriend has come up with. She hated it so much and she still had not completely grasped how Willow had managed to convince her to go along with it. The blonde was annoyed, not to say highly upset with their friends for agreeing so easily at what she considered a reckless attempt to make their drama queen hostage talk. If he really knew something, which Tara was starting to have serious doubts.

As if Willow had sensed her distress, Tara sighed when her girlfriend gently pushed her away in retreat from the others before raising her hands to her face and kissed her, ignoring everyone else in the room. The kiss was purposefully light, mostly for Willow’s sake rather than Tara’s, but held as a reminder from their afternoon together, and as a promise that would be fulfilled later.

No one spoke, politely looking away while the girls had a much needed moment. Tara began to relax and respond to the kiss when a soft gasp interrupted them. The girls spun just in time to see Andrew, mouth open and his eyes wide. Willow’s green irises darkened and she quickly approached the man, her walk stealthy and silent.

Andrew reacted on instinct and tried to back away from her but the manacles restraining him forbid him any escape. “I’ve been nice with you so far but look at my girlfriend like that once again and you will regret having ever crossed my path, are we clear?” Willow hissed, her face close enough for Andrew to see the different shades of green coloring the witch’s eyes.

“I-I promise, I will never look at her again.” Andrew gulped fearfully, twisting his head to look at the wall.
Willow closed her eyes and sighed, knowing all eyes were on her once again, Callie’s disapproving stare weighing the heaviest on her. Angry with herself because she had just proven her emotional instability by reacting irrationally to the witch, Willow considered giving up, releasing Andrew from his hostage situation and getting everyone to leave as well so she could deal with tonight alone.

The words were on her lips, just about ready to be announced when a set of soft lips brushed against hers, vanishing the uncertainties and anxiety that were starting to overwhelm her. “Relax, sweetie it’s okay, I’ve got you.” Willow breathed in relief and leaned in her lover’s touch, nodding and kissing her back.

Someone clearing its throat called them back to attention and Willow stole a last kiss from her girlfriend before facing back her friends. She and Callie shared a brief look, Willow silently agreeing to spend time again with the witch soon. She finally turned to Andrew and, if she wasn’t smiling or looking too comfortable, she still did what was right. “I was out of line, Andrew, I’m sorry. I’m not handling the new moon too well, I didn’t have time to adjust well yet.”

The quietness of the room suddenly became deadly silent as Willow’s voice echoed against the cement walls. Everyone was still dispersed in the room and their gaze slowly shifted to watch the redhead, who was still sitting in front of the house’s hostage. Buffy was the first to move and she glanced at the small window that was casting a darker glow with every minute that passed. “Why won’t you talk, Andrew? We know you know more than you think you know, you know?”

Andrew frowned and looked at the slayer, confused. “Huh? No, I’ve already told you, Warren’s holding you responsible for the loss of the April-bot and for Katrina leaving, but that’s it.” He stubbornly repeated the exact same thing as he did for the last twenty-four hours.

“You see, Andrew, that’s the thing with you. You stick with the safe story, no matter what and even when innocent people get hurt you continue to unreasonably lie to us,” Buffy admonished him as she paced around the room and stopped near Giles right next by the stairs.

Andrew was glancing continually between the group members, unnerved by their relentlessness and seemingly unconscious inability to stay in one place. “Will you stop moving? I can’t pull an exorcist to see you all! You think Warren is angry with you but it’s nothing to compare what he’ll do to you once he finds me! And, for the last freaking time, I haven’t hurt anyone!”

He had almost screamed the last part but there was something odd in the air and it was starting to freak him out. Andrew was squirming on his chair to get a better view of the room but it was no use; from where he was, on one side of the room just under the window, all he could see was the bare room before him.

Except for Willow.

The redhead was still sitting on a box less than three feet away from Andrew and was staring at him with an unreadable expression on her pale features. “What’s going on?” He asked nervously as he finally noticed how he and Willow were on one side of the room, Buffy and Callie on their right and, finally, Giles and Tara a bit further back. “Hey, that’s not funny, someone tell me what’s going on! You’re trying to scare the heck out of me but it’s not working!”

His strained voice told the others otherwise but no one contradicted him, all eyes focused on Willow and her every movement.

Willow felt the first strain in her bones as the last ray of light vanished behind the trees. She stood up and removed her shoes before tossing them away. The stirring inside of her was rapidly growing and spreading through her muscles and skin as everything became hyper sensitive and painful. Her head started to throb and she shot a worried look to Callie, but the witch was already there, hand raised.

With one swift but expertly executed movement Callie sealed the part of the room Willow occupied, a sharp blue light running on the walls and in the air securing the other occupants from any danger. The spell had been tricky to cast as it stopped so close to Andrew, but the plan had been clear: the man had to see up close what he was responsible for, so close that the reality he refused to accept couldn’t be denied anymore.

Andrew gasped and stared wide-eyed at the redheaded witch, too shocked to speak. He heard voices behind him but his eyes were glued to Willow, not understanding what was happening before him. “What’s, what’s going on? What’s happening to you? What’s happening to her?!? We’re not the full moon yet!” He shrieked as Willow whimpered and fell to her knees, not able to stand any longer.

“Full moon lasts three nights, genius! Any true warlock knows that!” Willow barked as she grabbed her stomach and groaned, fighting against the pull the werewolf was having on her. Teeth grinding to hold on a little longer, her eyes desperately searching for a specific pair of calming and reassuring eyes.

Heaven-like blue eyes were suddenly on her, Tara appearing on the edge of the ward. Her body was practically vibrating with anxiety but she held Willow’s gaze without wavering, trying to push all of her love and strength into the last moment they’d shared until sunrise. “I’ve got you honey, just let it go. It’ll be worse if you fight it so let it go. I’m here, Buffy’s here, G-Giles, we’re all here so you’re safe. Let it go.”

The words were barely out of Tara’s mouth that Willow let out an agonizing moan as she began shifting. With a last glare to Andrew and oddly satisfied at seeing the terror in the man’s eyes and face, Willow’s world blackened and, with a last scream, she let the werewolf out.

Andrew whimpered and frantically pulled on his restraints as he watched the redhead morph into a werewolf. He had always imagined it to be thrilling and exciting, as he had seen it countless times in movies. He wasn’t naïve to the point of believing that it didn’t hurt, but nothing had prepared him to this. He sincerely liked Willow and, even if he now realized that she had taken the time to hang out to lure him into befriending her, her interest had been genuine. From what Jonathan had said about her, Willow Rosenberg was one of the nicest and most generous he’d ever met and Andrew had to agree. He had messed up badly; they all had screwed up so bad.

Buffy tore her eyes away from her best friend, now almost fully changed, with extreme difficulty but she was rewarded with something worth looking. Tears were streaming down Andrew’s cheeks, pain and desolation clouding his face. Gone was the cocky geek trying to be a hardcore hostage by refusing to talk; Andrew’s gasps echoed Willow’s and he yelped when the newly emerged wolf took a leap at him. The ward repulsed the beast and sent it flying to the other side of the room, where it landed with a heavy thud and a grunt, and it was with a choked voice that Andrew spoke the most-wished words. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, I’ll talk, I promise.”

***********

Tara sighed as she moved her legs on the floor, unable to find a comfortable position. After Andrew’s tearful surrender, they had moved the now cooperative hostage upstairs in the living room, leaving the blonde alone to keep an eye on her girlfriend. The werewolf’s incident with the ward had left it unharmed but annoyed, and Tara could discern the frustration shining in the creature’s dark eyes as it carried itself around the room to inspect the limits of the magical barrier.

“Will?” Tara asked for a moment, hoping she could distract her girlfriend from attempting any escape. Not that she could manage anything, but the blonde couldn’t just sit there and watch, it was driving her crazy. “Sweetie?”

There wasn’t much reaction from the wolf except for a quirked ear in Tara’s direction. “Come on baby, I know you recognize my voice, I know that you do. Please look at me?” The witch tried with a calm voice and she threw an imaginary fist in the air when the wolf slowed down and, after a few seconds, turned its head in her direction. “Good girl. Now can you stop pacing, it’s driving me crazy.”

The werewolf growled and resumed its pacing but, Tara noted, it kept shooting her briefs glances at her and it didn’t seem to be as interested in the ward much anymore. “Will, stop it.”

“You’re trying to scare me off now?” The blonde warned when the wolf snapped its jaws at her. “You better not do that again or,” Tara tried to think of something that could be enough to stir something inside her lover and pulled her back to her. She knew it was a long shot but, deep down, she had the feeling there was still a tiny part of Willow still present in the wolf that reacted to her and she wanted to work on that part, enhance it. “Growl, bark, hiss, do anything like that to me again and I’ll leave you alone, am I clear?”

Tara only meant she would leave the basement as she would never threatened Willow to leave again, not even when chances were she wouldn’t understand the warning but Tara frowned as the werewolf looked about to lunge at her, its teeth bared before its ears moved forward sharply and sat on its haunches with a whimper. “Will?”

The wolf growled and pushed its ears back down again. Tara stood up and glared, using her height at her advantage against the creature. “I said no! Do not do that!”

“Is everything okay?” Buffy inquired from the top of the stairs, her head peeking in to check on Tara, concern on her face, having heard the growls and Tara’s loud voice.

Tara flashed a small grin for the slayer’s benefit and raised her thumb. “Everything’s fine. How’s it going with Andrew?”

Buffy groaned as she sat on the step, observing the wolf as it turned its back on her and resumed pacing the room, sniffing and scratching at the walls and floor. “Even as a werewolf she is freakishly smart.” She commented distractedly, Tara following her gaze and nodding. “The ward’s solid, she won’t get through it. So?”

“Oh, right. It’s...disturbing. Apparently Warren wants to take over the town, kill me because he can’t deal with having a woman being stronger than him. We haven’t heard about him much before because his other plans all failed.” She sighed as she shared the latest piece of information with the other blonde.

Tara ran a nervous hand through her pony tail, playing with her long locks and staring worriedly at the slayer. “P-plans, as in multiple?”

“He built an invisibility ray but it got broken when they tried it in an arcade place, there was the gems of O..a...the gems of whatever but Will destroyed them, and I won’t talk about Warren casting a possessing spell on her ex-girlfriend to turn her into some sort of sex slave,” Buffy counted on her fingers, sparing a look at the back of the basement where the wolf was sitting quietly and watching them, its body completely still and alert. “That’s creepy, Will.”

“Tell her.”

“What?”

“Tell her if you don’t like her doing that. It took a while but I really think that, deep down, she hears and understand us.” Tara explained her point of view, repeating what she has been doing before the slayer had joined her.

Tara stifled a laugh when Buffy’s attempt to rouse Willow’s attention only managed to get a low growl out of the wolf and one full view of the creature’s back. “Is she ignoring me?” Buffy protested with a pout, eliciting a gentle smile from the witch.

“I don’t think so, maybe. I’ve never had the chance to spend much time with a werewolf before, or one that is awake at least.”

“Oz wasn’t like that,” Buffy reminisced out loud, memories of countless nights spent at the high school library with Willow to watch the small werewolf. “I remember that Will used to read to him a lot, she used to say that it calmed him down, but he was more agitated than her, and he never seemed to understand anything we said. Even as a werewolf, she is special, huh?” The slayer mused softly, sighing as Xander’s voice got louder all of a sudden.

“She is, she always was, even when she didn’t believe it.” Tara agreed with a sad smile, her heart swelling with love and anticipation to get her lover back with her, planning to keep her in bed all days and to have her way with the redhead until neither of them could take it.

Naughty thoughts brought a smug smile at Tara’s lips, vivid images of her partner’s naked and writhing body under her filling her mind. She was so absorbed in her inner fantasies that the deafening siren that suddenly blasted in every room of the house startled her. She frowned in confusion and watched warily as the werewolf whimpered and started trotting anxiously inside its confined space.

“Buffy! Tara!” Xander’s voice urged them upstairs as the blaring continued. With a longing glance at the nervous werewolf, Tara ran after Buffy and both girls rushed into the living room, sighing as the siren abruptly ended under Callie’s words. “Someone’s here.”

“Button, button, who’s got the button. My money’s on Warren.” Xander joked but there wasn’t the hint of a smile on his face. His lips were pursed and tight, his hands dangling in the air and powerless against the upcoming confrontation. “Where is that bastard?”

His question was answered sooner than he anticipated as a sharp piece of rock broke the living room window into hundreds of pieces. “Everyone down!” Buffy yelled and pushed Tara on the floor, making sure to lower herself down enough so she could protect the blonde but still high enough to see everyone else in the room. Callie was the closest from the rock and she shakily unwrapped the paper sheet that was wrapped around it, paling as her eyes danced over the sheet. “It’s over. Is what over exactly?”

“Fire!” Andrew screamed as he noticed the bright flames reflecting in the door’s mirror. All spun around and
ran to the kitchen, Callie staying behind. “They’re throwing Molotov cocktails!”

Xander cursed as he stopped inches from the kitchen door; the flames were already high outside and were licking the house’s exterior with languish but precise moves, a sign that something had probably been used to accelerate the fire outside as well.

A loud crash coming from the living room soon followed by Callie’s frantic voice sent Buffy in slayer mode. She trotted back to Callie with her brain going in overdrive as she thought of a way out. Two more glass-breaking sounds were soon heard upstairs and Buffy for a moment felt her slayer mask slipping. Her house was under attack. Her home, her mother’s home, was being set on fire and if she didn’t stop it right away she’d lose everything.

“Callie, Tara, do something!” She yelled to be heard over the roar of the flames while running to the closets and taking out blankets. She grabbed as many as she could, her ears catching Giles and Xander’s voices as they threw buckets of water into the fire that was raging in the kitchen.

“It doesn’t work! The fire can’t be put off with magic!” Callie shouted back as she started to panic. The woman had faced danger on multiple occasions over the past few years but facing an angry werewolf was nothing comparing to be stuck in a house on fire. She ran to the front door and burned herself with the doorknob when she took it in her hand but she opened the door anyway, backing away quickly as more flames crawled on the frame.

Through the flames and the smoke Callie discerned a silhouette further back in the street. The individual was watching the house as it burned, his face becoming more and more visible as he walked closer. “Buffy!”
The slayer was by her side in a second, wet blanket in hand. She followed Callie’s pointed finger and her eyes narrowed dangerously as she stared Warren down.

“I told you it wasn’t over. Fire’s magic proof so you know, you’re kind of screwed.” The man sneered, a wide smile stretching his face. “Good luck with the dying!”

“Warren!” The man was already gone and never looked back as he turned the corner of the house, disappearing behind the bushes. The sound of the glass breaking echoed in the night one last time, immediately followed by frantic yelps and whimpers. “Willow.”

Sirens finally filled the cool night air, but they were still too distant to be of any help. It would be too late by the time they would get there.

Tara was hot. She ran from room to room, desperately trying to help Xander, Giles and Andrew to put out the fire in the kitchen so they’d have one way out, but it was growing too quickly for the wet blankets and buckets of water to be efficient. The werewolf’s muffled barks rang in her ears and she wanted to go downstairs to make sure her girlfriend was safe, but another crash and Buffy’s warning deafened the blonde, confirming her fears. They were trapped in the house and Willow was trapped in the basement and in the magical ward Callie had put up.

“We can’t put it out!” Xander yelled as he and Giles came into the living room, both men red and sweating heavily from the heat. “We need to do something, we can’t just die like that!”

Buffy took a deep breath and glanced at her friends, her eyes wide and shiny. The sirens were getting closer but still not enough. The werewolf’s cries were getting louder and more panicked by the second and the slayer couldn’t find any way to get them all out. “Okay, okay, think people! There must be something we’re missing!”

“We don’t enough water to do squat, and magics won’t put it out either.” Callie groaned as she cradled her hand protectively on her chest. “We need to do something about Willow downstairs, poor girl must be going crazy.”

Tara’s eyes filled with tears but it was so hot that they dried as soon as they fell down her cheeks. “We need w-water, w-what they’re going to do once the firemen gets here and f-find a werewolf downstairs? Buffy, I need to get Willow out of there.”

“We need water!” Buffy shouted, suddenly grinning. “We need rain!”

“It’s not raining, Buff!” Xander stared at the blonde as if she was crazy. “And I doubt it will start just because you ask for it.”

Tara gasped and smiled, understanding what the slayer meant. “E-elements! We summon the rain, it’s m-magic but it’s not directed to the fire so it could work!”

Xander laughed as he remembered one specific day at the beach the year before. “Oh, oh like the day Willow summoned fire but ended up with a storm!” His grin grew wider when Buffy and Tara nodded and laughed, the light at the end of the tunnel finally shining brightly for all of them.

“Do you know the spell? Good,” Callie smiled and asked Tara as she grabbed Giles’s arm and pulled closer as a beam threatened to fall down. They were all standing in the middle of the room, the fire roaring as it made its way through the walls, ceiling and stairs. “You do it and I’ll release the ward. Hopefully Willow will notice and make a run for it.”

Tara nodded shakily and quickly closed her eyes. She began whispering under her breath, feeling the tug of the magics in her whole body as the elements responded to her. One of the perks of being a white magic caster was that not only the elemental elements tended to respond more easily to the witch or warlock, they also responded faster.

There was a thundering crack outside and all breathed in relief as they heard the most welcome sound of heavy rain falling on the house. The cold water slowly tamed the fire, right before there was a tremendous splash against the front door as a wave of water washed everything in the living room and gave the gang a momentary way out. “What the hell?”

Tara glanced at Xander as she grabbed blankets and helped Buffy passing them to everyone. “I may have asked for help so we’d have a way out. Callie?”

The witch was already done, a hand in the air. “It’s done so everyone out, now.”

“What are we going to do, we won’t be able to stop her.” Xander wondered with concern, eyeing everyone anxiously as they all went outside. The sirens were getting closer and the red lights could be seen in the dark sky, informing them of their imminent arrival.

Tara refused to leave until she got at least some sort of sign from her girlfriend, needing to know she was alright. “Willow! Will!” The whimpers had stopped a few minutes before and it took all of the witch’s willpower to not run downstairs to get her partner out herself.

Through the tumult caused by the burning flames, the sirens and Tara’s own pounding heartbeat, the blonde finally discerned faint but frantic claws scraping on wooden stairs. Tara was beyond relieved and eager to see her girlfriend but she nonetheless let Buffy pulled her outside. Girlfriend or not, Willow was still a werewolf at the moment and the sparse occasions where she listened to the blonde weren’t a proof enough to trust that the wolf wouldn’t try and attack them during its escape, especially if it already was in a state of panic.

Both blondes ran down the porch stairs and Buffy had to push Tara in the bushes as soon as their feet touched the ground, the pummelling of the werewolf’s paws right behind them. Bringing her hand over Tara’s mouth to muffle any form of protestation, the slayer heard the beast as it bolted past them.

The others were all sitting in Giles’s rental car and they watched as the werewolf made its way out, jumping off the porch and directly on the cool, wet grass, missing the girls by inches. It scanned the street briefly before settling its gaze on the car and its occupants.

The wolf seemed unhurt and fine, physically at least. It collapsed on the grass and rolled in it to cool down from the house’s scalding heat but the blaring sirens startled it and it ran off in the darkness of the street, disappearing in seconds. “Will!” Tara screamed. She pushed Buffy and jumped on her feet, running after her girlfriend. “Willow!”

“Tara!” Buffy grabbed the witch’s arm and tightened her hold when Tara thrashed in her arms, desperately trying to free herself. “We’ll find her, I promise but you can’t run after her right now, she could hurt you!”

“I don’t care, we need to find her now!” Tara shouted angrily, stepping on her friend’s toes with all her force and shoving her away. Buffy let her go but she hadn’t made five steps that Tara turned around, surprised that the slayer didn’t even tried to stop her.

Tara’s eyes filled with tears and she sighed when she took in the sight before her. Fire trucks were parking on the house’s front yard and in the street, doors slamming as the firemen and police pulled out hoses and started working on the house. The rain hadn’t stopped yet and if it had greatly helped putting out the fire so far, there were still lots of work to be done. The gang had gotten out of the car and were being interrogated by the police but what broke Tara’s heart was the sight of her friend halfway turned toward her house as she watched it burn, arms crossed over her chest and tears running down her cheeks. “Buffy...”

Her heart was aching to go after Willow. Every worst-case scenario popped into Tara’s mind as she tried to imagine where her lover could be, and what she could be doing. She prayed to the Goddess for her girlfriend to be safe a while longer, until they could find her but, right now, she had to agree with the slayer, as much as she hated to. There was nothing she could do to help Willow, but her best friend needed her the most.

She quickly closed the distance separating her from the blonde and hugged her tight, whispering soothing words in the smaller woman’s ear as she began to sob. Tara sighed when she saw Giles coming to meet them along with a policeman. “Do you want me to call Dawn?”

Buffy took a shuddering breath but nodded gratefully. “It’d be great, thanks. And as soon as I’m done talking with the police we’ll go look for Will.”

“We d-don’t have the t-tranquilizer gun anymore.” Tara pointed out delicately, saddened by the miserable look on her friend’s face.

Buffy frown distractedly as Giles introduced her to the police inspector, glancing at Tara as she released her from her embrace. “I know where I can find another one.”

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

“Another one! And the next round is on me!” Warren exclaimed gleefully, deliberately ignoring the annoyed glares he got from the other patrons of the bar. After setting the slayer’s house on fire, the man had escaped and found refuge in a low profile bar in the south part of town, a place that managed to survive because it had succeeded in staying off Buffy’s radar so far.

The bartender, a demon with a yellowish skin and horns on either side of his head, gave Warren the evil eye but served him another drink, quickly taking his money off the counter and rubbing it against his jeans to remove the human smell from it. “What are you so chirping about?”

Warren smirked and drank his shooter in one gulp, looking around to see how many creatures were listening. “You don’t know yet? The slayer’s dead, man! Her and her little friends are burnt pieces of meat as we speak.”

“Oh yeah, and you’ve done that how exactly?” A Gak demon asked as he took a seat next to him, his voice rough and scratchy.

“Because I set her house on fire while they were all inside. I covered every way in and out and I even magic-proofed the fire so they wouldn’t be able to magic their way out of there.” Warren threw a smug smile around, frowning when every demon and vampire present glowered at him. “What’s with the pouts? I freed you from the bitch and her lackeys, you should be happy someone finally had the guts to do it right. Slayer’s gone and there’s no one in the world to stop me now.”

“Is that so?” Someone sneered from behind. Warren stilled and twisted around on his bar stool, his eyes widening at the new comer.

Spike’s narrowed eyes were throwing daggers at Warren and he shifted in game face as he leaned forward. “I’d like to test that theory.”


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/14/2011
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:41 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:20 am
Posts: 673
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dibs!

Oooh, Spike's back! Unexpected twist!

It really is a little bit heartbreaking to read about their house getting burned - I love Buffy's house! And poor Tara not getting to go find Willow - but her comforting Buffy is totally what she would do!

Lol, sorry we jinxed you (remember when we kept doing that to ourselves last year? Annoying!) But I'm glad you're enjoying the reading (did you read the new version of the wolves one because there's a lot more to that one now...)

_________________
Ripples - Pretty Much Perfect and The Sequel to the Sequel, Who's That Girl?
Every Step That I Retrace/Always Leads Me Back to You/But I've Loved You All Along
Road to Recovery, The Call/The Lightning Strike, The Sun Will Rise


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 Post subject: Re: When It Don't Come Easy Update 08/14/2011
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:53 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:25 am
Posts: 453
Location: Spain
The plan of face Andrew with reality was hardcore, tough kinda cruel to Willow and the gang themselves.
It worked wonders, no doubt.
Willow-wolf was scary but had this kind of cute side to her too. I smiled when Tara tried to reason with her.
And then stupid Warren has to come and hell's here again (almost literaly)
And now casa Summers is burn and the werewolf lose. :gnome
I hope Willow is all'right, she can hurt people now, if she does the human one will be devastated.
What now?
And Spike! Yay for Spike!! :applause
The end is coming? Aww I will miss this story. In the meanwhile I'm gonna enjoy the rest of the ride at full
Keep it up!


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