Willow and Angle laughed together. “Could this be more awkward?” she asked him.
The couple walked down the street hand in hand, slightly behind the rest of the group. “Well, knowing that your love everyone is going to start the road of everyone you know becoming Immortal in thirteen minutes is not one of your typical relationship issues.” Pointed out Angel.
“I suppose not. But then, I’ve been living on the Hellmouth so long, I don’t know what’s normal anymore.”
“Trust me, not this.”
They walked in silence. It was three days after Amy had discovered the prophesy, and tonight would be the rising of the first full moon since the Awakening. They were all sort of nervous…no one really knew what the Healing was, and Giles and Jenny were still worried about their son, who was still in the hospital. Willow was practically asleep on her feet from exhaustion, and Amy was worried about Oz, who was locked up, seeing that it was that time of the month.
The entire thing had definitely put the strain on Willow and Angel’s relationship. Talk about pressure. Starting a race that would save the world was no small order. Not to mention that they were, in many ways, still strangers. Angel searched his mind for an answer to everything, then stopped walking and made Willow stop, causing her to look at him. “Tell you what.” He said. “After this healing thing is over and everything calms down a little, lets spend some you and me time. Get to know the person we have to spend eternity with.”
Willow smiled, and it was the first smile in days that reached her eyes. The sight took Angel’s breath away. “I’d like that.”
“Good.” There was a strange pause, then Angel asked out of the blue, “Can I kiss you?”
Willow grinned and
nodded, and without further ado Angel lowered his head and captured her
mouth with his own. This time, he was prepared for the rush of sensations
that enveloped him, and the fireworks behind his
eyelids were no surprise. It was still one of the most amazing experiences Angel had ever had.
The kiss was sweet and loving, like coming home after being lost for a really long time. It was passionate and full of lust, like being suddenly injected with hormones. It was bliss.
They broke apart, gasping for breath, but Angel couldn’t bring himself to let her go, or even to move his mouth more than an inch from his own. With a strangled groan he kissed her again, deepening it and tasting the inside of her. He thought he would go mad from it’s perfection.
When they finally pulled away, Angel took a shaky breath and leaned his forehead against her own. She closed her eyes and rested her arms on his, then opened her eyes and smiled. “You’re trembling.”
In the corner of his mind, he could hear his friends yelling a countdown. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…”
They entwined their fingers. “This is it.” Said Angel.
“Yeah…whatever it is.”
“Six, five, four…”
“Kiss me.” Said Willow suddenly, and Angel complied.
“Three, two, one!”
Have you ever been wrapped in dozens of blankets on a winter day, sitting in front of a fireplace and letting the warmth just soak into you? Well, if you haven’t you’ve missed something spectacular. That’s what Angel and Willow felt like right then. later, when they asked all their friends, they would say that Angel and Willow were engulfed in a golden light which slowly spread to their friends around them.
When Willow broke the kiss, Angel watched, amazed as the circles under her eyes faded away. Cuts healed themselves, bruises faded. It was miraculous. And it all happened so quickly.
Angel and Willow stared
at each other for a moment, then a radiant smile washed over Willow’s features
and she turned away, running at high speed down the street. And without
asking, he knew where she was going and
They ran down the main street and to the hospital, now retracing the familiar steps up to the ICU wing and past Walter, who greeted the running figure with his traditional greeting. She ignored him and sprinted down the hall, into the corner room. And froze.
Because Jesse was still in the bed, still asleep.
Angel caught up with
her and saw what was going on. Disappointment spread over his features.
He had been looking forward to getting to know the guy who Willow was so
devoted to. He took Willow in his arms and
rocked her back and forth as she sobbed.
“Why isn’t he awake? He’s supposed to be awake!” she cried.
“I don’t know. Shhh. I’m so sorry, Willow.”
A weak voice came from the corner of the room. It was raspy and harsh, as though it hadn’t been used in a very long time. “Me too, Wills. You know how I’m always late.”
Willow gasped and spun around, staring at the figure on the bed. “Jesse!” she yelled, throwing herself across the room and into the waiting teen’s arms.
“Hey Wills.” Then, after they had been hugging fir awhile, he said, “Jeez, you’d think I was in a coma for two and a half years or something.”
The two held each other and cried, enveloped by the golden light that seemed to radiate from everything that Willow and Angel touched. Nurses came in, shocked, and doctors processed in, and there was much confusion. But through it all, Willow remained by Jesse’s side, and Angel by hers.
When it was all over, Jesse stood up and stretched. “Well, now what? I’ve done the whole waiting to die thing, and it’s not an experience I’d recommend. I’m going for the live a little thing right now. But first-“ he said, turning to the couple. “Isn’t there someone else we should go see?”
They nodded and headed down two floors to the preemie section, where Jenny stood by an incubator. She looked up when they walked in.
“Hey you two.” Then, “Jesse!”
The woman hugged the boy lightly. “I’m…”
“Mrs. Giles. I know.” He turned to Willow. “It’s really weird, Wills, but while I was in that bed, I heard everything you told me. When you taught me all my lessons, I learned them because I had nothing else to do, and I could hear other people in the room too. So I know stuff. I think I might even be able to test out of high school.”
“That’d be neat. Then you’d be with the rest of us at school.”
They all turned back to the incubator, and the small baby boy inside it. “He isn’t any better?”
Jenny shrugged. “I don’t know. The doctor’s rounds should start any minute.”
Sure enough, the doctor walked in just then. “Hello, Mrs. Giles. Let’s check on little Shawn.”
The doctor bustled around, checking charts and machines, and his eyebrows raised. “Well, well.” He muttered. “How interesting.”
After several more minutes, he turned to Jenny. “Mrs. Giles, I think that your son has improved enough to take him out of the incubator.”
“Yes.” The doctor removed
pipes and wires, then lifted the tiny baby boy out of the incubator and
into his mother’s waiting arms. Not an eye in the room was dry. At that
moment, Giles came running in and saw the
“Oh, thank God.”
The father held his son and both smiled. Giles sniffed, then tears began to fall. Then, he turned to Willow, holding out the child.
“Oh, I couldn’t.”
“Nonsense. You’ve been here every day with us for the last week and a half. It’s you that healed him. Hold your godson.”
More tears shot to Willow’s eyes and she took the tiny baby into the arms, smiling at Angel, who held him next. “He’s beautiful.”
Giles noticed Jesse and his eyes widened. “Oh, hullo. You’re up and about.”
“Very observant, G-mister.”
Jesse laughed and hugged the older man. “I’m happy to see you, too.”
And then, believe it or not, things became surprisingly normal. Jesse moved in with the rest of them, into a room in the furnished attic. He tested out of high school and was accepted to Sunnydale U. Everyone continued their normal demon-fighting lives. It was all so normal, it was almost scary.
Days were spent researching or in summer classes, evenings they patrolled and then headed back to the house, where they would hang out. Sometimes they cooked as a group, which was hilarious, or they would order take out. The radio was normally playing, and slowly everyone redecorated the entire house. Afternoons, you could find a lot of them in the gardens, which Willow tended to with utmost care.
The roommates become very close. For the first time in her entire life, Willow felt like she had a family. There were practically no secrets between them. She and Angel became closer every day, learning more and more about each other. And found themselves more and more crazy in love.
Before anyone really knew what was going on, summer had ended and the school year had started, first term being over. That’s when something really strange happened.
One night, the housemates
were doing they always did, cleaning up after they made dinner. The stereo
was blaring an Aerosmith CD-it was Jesse’s turn to pick the music of choice
that night. While Willow was drying
dishes, the doorbell rang. She put her towel and said, “I’ll get it.”
“You’re just trying to get out of drying duty.” Said Jesse, and she playfully ruffled his hair.
“Look who’s talking, slacker.”
A series of ‘oohs’ and ‘ouchs’ rang out from various people all over the room. She laughed and proceeded to the door, Angel catching up with her and circling her waist from behind her, nibbling on her neck. She giggled. “Quit it!” she scolded. “We have company.”
“It’s probably just Giles and Jenny. Or Buffy and Scott. And this isn’t anything they haven’t seen before.” Pointed out Angel as he continued to taste the flesh under her ear.
He obeyed her wishes and stopped kissing her neck, but didn’t remove his arms. She decided she could deal with that and opened the door anyway. After she saw who stood on the doorstep, she froze.
Angel looked over her shoulder and extracted himself from his girlfriend. So, these were the ever absent parents.
“This is…a surprise.” Continued Willow. “What are you doing here?”
The woman shrugged. “We had some time off and decided to come see our girl for Hanukkah.”
“Don’t worry, we’re not expecting to stay here. We got a room at the hotel.”
“Well, that’s good, because Angel’s in your old room, but it’s being redecorated so he’s sharing with Xand right now.” Then, she realized they didn’t know Angel. “Oh! Mom, Dad, this is Angel. My…boyfriend. Angel, these are my parents, Sheila and Ira Rosenburg.”
He shook both parents’ hands. “Nice to meet you.”
“Likewise.” Said the gruff man who was Willow’s father. “Well pumpkin, can we at least come in?”
“Oh! Yeah, sure.” She stepped aside and her parents came in. Just then, Amy rushed into the hall. “Hey Will, we were thinking about having a swing lesson in the rec room. Sound good?” Then, when she saw the guests, she froze. Two strangers she had never before seen in business suits. A woman with red hair and a man with green eyes. Gotta be Willow’s folks. “Uh…hey. I’m Amy.”
“Hello dear.” Said Sheila.
All five people stood around in the hall in silence. “Um…mom.” Said Willow finally.
“Um…no offense…but…what are you doing here?”
“Just checking in.”
“Mom, the last time you two checked in together was at least two and a half years ago.”
“What, are we not welcome?” asked Ira.
“No! I mean, yes! I mean…it’s just weird. You haven’t even bothered to call for the last couple months, just send the money to my account. Then, out of the blue, you’re here? It doesn’t make any sense. You never come here.”
“We wanted to see our daughter. And who she was living with.”
Angel could see that Willow was getting angry. That she was about to blow. But her parents had no idea what they were in for. Angel excused himself, dragging Amy with him and heading to the rec room to stop the swing dancing that had no doubt already commenced. Willow looked back at her parents.
“Why would you care? Especially now.”
“We were concerned for you.”
“Mom, if you were concerned that I was letting freaks move into the house the time to visit would have been five months ago. Not now.”
“Oh no, not about that dear. See, we got a copy of your report card in the mail and were concerned.”
Willow’s brow furrowed. “Why? It was the same as usual. A’s.”
Willow’s mother pulled out the piece of paper and pointed to a grade. “A minus.”
Willow exploded. ‘You came here because I got an A minus in public speaking? I thought that was really good considering I almost passed out every time I had to give a speech. But then, you wouldn’t know that, would you? You never asked. How dare you! You’ve never even showed the slightest knowledge that I was alive. No birthday presents, nothing. Now this!”
She was furious. Her eyes glowed and her parents took a step back out of fright. “Well, we didn’t know. Now that we do, we’ll just be on our way.”
“Yeah, you do that! Go! Don’t you see, I’m not craving your love anymore. I have love. The people in this house give it to me. My boyfriend. My godson. Giles and Jenny, the only parents I’ve ever really had. They give me love. Now, I want you to leave this house and I don’t want to see you again for a very long time!” she screamed.
Then she pushed them out and slammed the door behind them, slumping against the wall. “Oh, I feel so much better.”
Then, when she thought things could get no stranger, the doorbell rang again. She opened it with a sigh and was practically floored with shock when she saw the person standing there. “Uh…hi.”
After a pause, Willow hugged the girl. “Cordy, what are you doing here?”
“I came to find out
what’s going on. I was in a car accident the other night and a pole went
through my arm. Hurt like hell.” Said the girl as she stepped inside the
house. “But then, I pulled it out and it healed itself right up like it
had never even been there. Now, I’m not complaining, because that would
have made a killer scar, but still it’s
very weird. And since this town is the crowned capitol of all things weird…”
Then Jesse walked into the hall. “Hey Will, now that you’re finished screaming at your parents, can we turn the music back on?” then noticing Cordy he smiled. “Hey.”
Cordelia’s response was a fairly good swooning faint.
“So, you’re saying that in roughly a week, we’re all going to be immortal?”
“Nine days, two hours and twenty-three minutes.” Corrected Anya.
“Oh. And you guys seem very calm.”
“Adjustment has already occurred.” Explained Oz.
Cordy was silent. “This is seriously wacked. I need sleep. Do you have an extra bed?’
Willow nodded. “Yeah, actually there’s a spare bed in another room in the attic.”
“Good.” Willow walked Cordy to the room and she put down her duffel bag. “Oh, I almost forgot.” She said, and dug through the bag until she brought out a framed picture. “Here. It turned out really well.”
She handed it to Willow, and she looked at the photo. It was the one Cordy had taken the day she left, with Angel and her covered in food. It made her smile. “Thanks, Cor.”
“The girl shrugged awkwardly. “You know, things in L.A. didn’t go so well. I was wondering if maybe…”
“We’d love to have you here, Cordy.”
The brunette looked immensely relieved. “Really?”
After a pause, Cordy
hugged the smaller girl tightly. ‘Thank you.” She whispered.
Well, here we are. All of us. It’s very strange, looking at your friends and seeing the same face you’ve always seen, knowing that you will continue to see that exact same face for the rest of forever.
We became Immortal tonight.
What a sentence to write in a diary. I’m quite sure that now all the other diaries are jealous. It’s not every day that an event like that is recorded.
We all gathered at the house for the event, waiting quite nervously in the rec room. Even Xander didn’t touch the food we had set out. We just sat, very rarely speaking, staring at the clock. Never do that. It’s one of the most tedious things I have ever experienced.
Finally, midnight rolled around. The clock struck once, then twice, and again and again, as we all held our breaths in anticipation. I’m not sure what we expected, really. Whatever might have been in our heads, it certainly was nothing compared to what actually happened.
Which, of course, was absolutely nothing.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have no doubt that we are, in fact, Immortal. I can feel it, a sort of confidence and wildness running in my blood. And I feel more…alive than I’ve ever felt before. But there was no golden glow, no flash of light or cool breeze. The clock kept ticking and the new millenium had started.
Maybe whatever powers that be got tired of being melodramatic.
Willow shut her diary with a sigh. What now? It was almost dawn, and she hadn’t gotten any sleep. She was quite sure that she wouldn’t. She rose from her bed and stepped onto her balcony, letting the early morning breeze run through her hair.
Things were going to be different now. And yet, strangely the same. Looking back on the events of the past months, she realized that most life events don’t have a climax. Which is why most fiction is so unrealistic. Life just…goes on. People take what comes to them in stride, accepting and moving on. The fact that she and her friends would be doing this for an extremely long amount of time seemed unimportant.
She looked down at the gardens below her and saw a sight that made her smile. She slipped off the balcony and out of her room. Once she was down the stairs and out the door, she headed straight for a small corner of the gardens that most people didn’t even know existed. There, she found who see was looking for.
The figure turned and smiled at her. “You’re late.”
She raised an eyebrow. “You were expecting me?”
“Of course.” He took her hand and led her through the small field of wildflowers to a moss-covered log, where she sat. He grinned and kneeled before her, resting his head on her lap with a sigh. She smiled and ran her fingers through his hair. They often sat here like this. They both found it extremely relaxing.
Suddenly, he reached up and grabbed her hand, entwining his fingers with her own. “You know, I’ve come across a terrible dilemma.” He said seriously.
“Really? What’s that?” She asked, concerned.
He looked deep into her eyes. “Well, I find that I remember proposing to you so many times, it seems that I can’t figure out an extremely original way to do it this time.”
Willow would swear even a hundred years later that her heart had stopped for a moment. Then she smiled. “Oh really?” she asked casually.
“Mmm, yes. How exactly do you propose to a girl that you’ve proposed to at least a thousand times before?”
“A thousand? My, my. I think that’s an exaggeration.”
“Maybe a little.” He grinned at her, then his face became serious. “Willow…I may not know exactly how to say it, but I love you more than anything. And it just…seems right. Your arms are where I feel at home. Please…marry me?”
Emotion welled up in her eyes and Willow cupped his face with her hands gently. “Have I ever said no?”
He considered. “Once or twice.”
She laughed. “Well, not this time. Not ever again. I love you.”
They kissed sweetly
and the sun rose, the brilliant beams of light illuminating everything
in their path.