Dousing the Flame
Willow ran to Jenny’s. It was the only place she could think of. Angelus didn’t have an invitation, so she knew she could be alone there. Well, not alone, exactly. Away from him. She couldn’t believe he hadn’t caught her. Maybe the shock of knowing she had seen him like that had momentarily paralyzed him. Whatever it was, she didn’t care. All she knew was that she was glad he hadn’t caught her. She couldn’t face him right now. She couldn’t deal with what she had seen.
“Oh, Willow. What’s wrong, honey?” Jenny exclaimed as she opened her front door to find the girl sobbing on her porch.
“I’m an idiot,” Willow managed as she walked inside. When she
realized that she was now in a place where Angelus couldn’t get to her,
the redhead really lost it. She was sobbing so hard that she could
hardly stand, and Jenny practically had to carry her to the couch.
After she had Willow settled, the computer teacher went to make herbal
tea, hoping that the brew would
soothe the young hacker. She lifted a silent prayer to Whomever was listening that whatever it was that had left the girl in this state could be fixed.
Angelus stood over the body of his victim, shaking slightly as grief began to replace the shock. He had lost her; he was sure of it.
He could see it written all over her face.
“He was just standing there, holding her. He’d killed her, Jenny. She was younger then me. I’d seen her at school. She was only a sophomore... and he killed her. Oh, God, how could I have been so stupid?”
The teacher held the girl as she told the story, her heart breaking for her young friend. “You loved him, Willow. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that you still do. Love can blind you to a lot of things.”
“He’s a murderer. I knew that from the start, but I went ahead and fell for him anyway. And Spike and Dru. I became friends with killers. I completely ignored what they were.”
Jenny held Willow closer as her sobs began anew. “Oh, honey, I wish I could fix things for you, but I can’t.” She paused and drew Willow away so that she could look in the girl’s eyes, which were puffy and red from crying. “I can help you to change things, though.”
Angelus slammed his fist into the wall, leaving a rather impressive hole. He winced at the pain; he was sure his hand was broken.
But nothing compared to the pain in his dead heart.
“A permanent soul? Why didn’t you tell me you were working on that?”
“I didn’t want you to know. I didn’t actually plan to use it on him. I know that sounds like a ridiculous lie, but it’s not. I was afraid he’d turn you. If he did, I was going to use it on you.”
Willow sighed as she looked at the printout in her hand. The curse to permanently anchor Angel’s soul. Dear Lord, she didn’t know if she could do it. But she had to; it would be selfish to ignore this opportunity. Angel deserved another chance, even if it meant she had to watch the body of the man she loved with the Slayer. Besides, Angelus was a killer. Willow had blinded herself to that reality, but it was still true. And now that she saw him for what he was, she couldn’t allow him to do more damage. She wouldn’t be able to face herself in the mirror each day if she did. She looked up at her teacher.
“Do you have all the ingredients?”
Jenny shook her head. “There are a couple herbs I need, but I know someone who can get them for me. She can be here in a few minutes.”
Willow looked at Jenny, her resolve face firmly in place.
Angelus slumped to the floor, his shoulders shaking in silent sobs. In all his time as a demon - before the curse and after it was broken - he’d never actually loved something before. Until now.
And he had ruined it.
Cordelia Chase put her hand on Willow’s shoulder in an uncharacteristic show of concern.
“It really is the right thing to do,” the brunette told her.
Willow wiped her eyes and attempted to smile. “I know. But thank you for saying it.”
Cordelia gave the other girl’s shoulder a gentle squeeze. She looked up as Jenny entered the room. She had never seen the teacher look so serious.
Drusilla let out an unearthly cry as the stars began to scream at her.
She was going to lose her Daddy again.
Tears rolled down Willow’s cheeks as Jenny chanted in an unknown language. She looked at Cordelia as the brunette handed her the ingredients that would help complete the ritual. The two girls lit the herbs and began to chant as well. Willow’s voice broke, and she sobbed in earnest as she helped to complete the spell that would recurse Angel permanently.
And destroy the man she loved.