**August 15, 1999**
Choices - that’s what life is about. Tonight, I have made mine. There was no hesitation in my decision, it was clear what needed to be done. It would be a battle for a soul, a single soul that no one seemed to care about. A war had been waged, a war I would partake in.
I’ve never been in LA before. I look over at the person next to me. She had come along with me without a moments hesitation. Perhaps it was that bond we created when we had done the sister spell, or the fact that we were best friends. It doesn’t matter, I’m grateful she came with me.
To be honest, I’m scared.
I’m not sure what to expect. Cordelia wasn’t able to tell me much, only
that we were needed. I know I should have told them where I was going,
but Cordelia had sounded so worried....so scared. I’ve never heard her
sound like that before. They think nothing’s wrong, but I know better.
I can feel it. I just hope I make it before it’s too late.
What a way to die. I hear their voices, all of them, mocking me, chanting my death. There had been too many of them, too many to fight off. History had repeated its self. Now it was my turn to die at the hands of my childe.
I never thought Spike had it in him. I’m sure he knew I would try to stop him from opening up the chest. He knew I could spoil his plans and I’m sure he had come down with one solution - kill the threat against him.
Drucilla has come to visit me, trying to place some comfort on my impending death.
“Daddy, I will miss you...”
“Dru....what is Spike planning?”
“Daddy, you need some rest.....it’ll all be over soon.”
She kissed me then left. There’s something different about her. Something I can’t figure out. I need to feed, I can’t heal. I need to try to find a way out, but it just hurts too much to move.
I always wondered how
I would die and what would be waiting for me on the other side.
August 18, 1999
Angel picked up the phone and called the only person who would speak to him. He waited for the familiar voice to answer and was glad to hear her voice by the fourth ring.
“How is she?”
“Hello to you too”
“Sorry, Cordy. How are you?”
“How is she?”
“Well....in what sense...there’s just so many...”
“Angel....it isn’t good....I called Giles an hour ago...her condition....”
“What about her condition...”
“Oh God no.....”
“She fell into a coma last night.....the doctors....they don’t think...she’ll recover consciousness..,” Cordelia said as she tried to hide the crack in her voice.
Angel nearly dropped the phone as he heard the words.
“Angel? Are you there....?”
“Giles’ looking for her parents...they’re on a business trip or something...they have Giles as next of kin in case she....Amy tried to....but she was too...weak....”
“Where...is she?” Angel asked as he tried to fight back the tears that threatened to fall.
“She’s at Sunnydale Hospital. They transferred her there last night...right after we saw Giles and the rest of them....”
“How are they....?”
“They seem to be holding up pretty well.....I haven’t spoken to the rest of them...I don’t think they really want to talk to me....”
“Cordelia...I’m sorry...you never should have...’
“It was the only way...”
“God...what have I done...”
“I was thinking about going back.....maybe tomorrow....”
Angel remained silent.
Tears had begun to fall down his cheek. His mind traveled back to the memory
of that horrific night. He could still smell the fear, the blood, hear
the cries.....see her struggling body on the ground....so much blood...so
much pain....The memories consumed him every time he closed his eyes...but
what most haunted
him was the look on her face as she made the final attempt to save him.
“Angel?...are you there.....?”
“We can take the Express back....”
“Then you’ll come....”
With that said, he hung up the phone and laid back down on his bed and closed his eyes, fearing to see the face that had haunted his dreams for the past three nights.
“Excuse me, Mr. Giles, if I would speak with you in private,” the young doctor asked.
Giles left the other teens in the small blue waiting room and followed the man down the hall, away from view of the rest.
“What was it that you needed to speak to me about?”
“I wanted to discuss the conditions of your nieces’ with you...”
“But you just told us about...”
“About Ms. Madison. We do expect her to make a full recovery. We’re actually rather surprised as how quickly she’s healing. The extent of her injuries weren’t as bad as we first suspected. She’ll need plenty of rest once she’s released, but that may not be for another couple of days. We want to observe her for a bit more time.”
“Yes, well, that’s wonderful, but you did explain that to us in the waiting room with....”
The doctor took a deep breath and swallowed, hating this part of his job.
“I didn’t want to explain the other young women’s condition in front of her friends. I know this most be hard, but I did want you to know how grave her situation is.”
“How really is she...?”
“She’s suffered severe
drama to the head, her rib cage almost collapsed on top of her lungs. She
suffered severe cuts and bruises on her legs, arms and back. She had massive
internal bleeding because of the damage to her spleen and liver and received
some damage to her left kidney. The amount of blood she lost was too great,
a miracle she was alive when they brought her to that hospital in Los Angeles. Slipping into the coma was the only thing that most likely stopped her pain. That most have been a horrific car accident.”
Giles fought back tears, knowing what the doctor was trying to tell him.
“Mr. Giles, the extent of her injuries are too great. I’m sorry, but I don’t expect your niece to awaken from her coma...I’m not sure she’ll make it through the night. I’m sorry.”
“There isn’t anything....”
“We’ve done all that we’ve could, I’m sorry.”
Giles nodded, his vision
blurring with his tears. Doctor Hopkins left, giving Giles the time alone
he needed. Giles replayed the events in his head, trying to find where
everything had gone so wrong, what he could have done to prevent this or
helped to avoid. He let some tears fall, then wiped them away with his
hand. He could need to be
strong for them. After regaining some composure he left to speak with the small group in the waiting room.
He was greeted by three
scared, confused faces, that feared what he had to say.
She awoke gasping for
air. The torrid nightmares had left her frightened and bewildered. She
took in her surroundings and became aware of a humoring sounds next to
her. To her surprise she found and arrangement of machines hooked up to
her, that frightened her more. She peered into the darkness of the room
and found she
was alone.She slowly got up, fear creeping closer as she couldn’t remember what had happened to her.
she told herself as she began to pull out the IV from her arm as well as
another needle. She looked around the room frantically, trying her best
to ignore the pain she was in. She would heal herself, how she knew, she
wasn’t sure. She pulled the machines with her, in the effort disconnecting
most of them, then pulled the
rest of the stings attached to her off. She turned frantic a she looked around the room. She found a closet and quickly opened it, trying to find some clothes. To her luck she found a pair of torn, dirty jeans. She pulled them on, leaving her hospital gown on. She searched its pockets, but found nothing. She looked over at the nightstand and pulled out the drawer, taking a silver toned key she found inside. She hurried over to the front of the bed and
looked over the chart that had been left in the bind. She finally found what she had been looking for, her name.
She had hoped that once she found her name she would be able to recognize it, but she hadn’t. She began hearing the sounds around her, engulfing her ears. She needed to get out. She rushed to the window, and breathed a sigh of relief as she saw her room was on the ground floor of the hospital. She opened it softly and climbed out, hoping to find something that would jog her memory, the voices around her warning her if she didn’t rush, it would cost her her life.
She walked aimlessly
in the dark night for what felt like hours. She roamed the streets, not
aware that someone was guiding her. She finally turned the last block and
found what she was looking for. The street seemed familiar enough. She
carefully walked up to the warehouse, to the door. She hesitantly took
out the key and tried the lock. She was relieved to see the door open without
a problem. She took some stairs up and entered the small apartment cautiously.
She found the light switch and illuminated the room. White sheets
covered the furniture, bookshelves were empty, and walls were barren.
She walked deeper inside, walking down a small hallway, finding the bedroom.
To her surprise, the bed was undone. She walked out, and walked to the
bathroom, finding a toothbrush, brush
She walked back out,
heading to the kitchen and looked for something edible to eat. She was
glad to find chips, cupcakes and rather strange bottle of wine and two
sodas of Pepsi. She grabbed the treats and headed to the bedroom, hoping
to find out what had happened to her.
“CODE BLUE! ROOM 102!” the nurse screamed as she saw no vital signs on the scream in front of her.
Nurses and doctors ran to the designated room with a crash car, but abruntly stopped as they saw what awaited them. A pool of blood lay on the floor, but the only problem was the missing body. The nurses hurried to look around the room, checking the closet, small bathroom, and even under the bed, but found nothing. The window was closed, confusing them more. Dr. Hopkins pushed himself through the small gathering and soon had the same shocked expression on his face.
“Where’s the patient?”
No one could reply.
“She couldn’t have just disappeared?”
They shook there heads, still in disbelieve.
“She couldn’t have just left, she was in a coma....dieing,” she reminded them.
They all agreed with him, but still remained frozen in place.
“We have to find her.”
Willow took a quick shower after she had made the discovery of a towel and soap. She hurried back to the bedroom and rummaged though some drawers and then a closet next to it. She found four T-shirts, one pair of leather pants, a pair of sandals, and a pair of boxers. Not the best selection, but it would do. She grabbed a T-shirt and pulled it on, directly going to the bed and pulling the covers over her.
She had taken the liberty of looking around the apartment before she had taken her shower and found some boxes half taped with items inside. Only for the food she had found earlier, there was nothing else to eat in the house. There was no phone or gas for that matter, which explained why there was no heat. The house was filled with dust, indicating that no one had been there for some time, except for the unmade bed. The bedroom had offered her the only clue to her life perhaps. On top of the bed had been a notebook that contained scribbles of information and an unfinished letter.
She was sure she should had been more frightened, perhaps even be frantic, but she felt safe here, everything even seemed a bit familiar, she felt at home. She snuggled into the cool black silk sheets and pulled the black comforter on top of her.
She would need to rest
before she left. She most have been in the mist of moving, or something
and knew once she left she could start to find out about herself.
The voices in the wind warned her the longer she stayed in this town, the
more dangerous it would be for her. The closed her eyes, enjoying the voices
lullabies. She welcomed sleep, knowing who she could see, knowing who she would find soon.
She soon drifted off to sleep, moaning his name in her sleep, as he welcomed her into his arms.
“Mr. Giles, if you could please calm down for a moment. I understand that this is bizarre, added to it the fact your niece was dying......”
“How can you lose a person in a coma?!” Giles yelled, not able to control his temper.
“We didn’t lose her, Sir. Last shift nurses may have taken her down to the morgue already.”
“How can you know, if the warning of her flatlining came to your station after she was missing?!”
Xander and Buffy remained behind him, confused, hurt and angry as he was. They were still in shock over the revelation that Willow’s body was missing.
“That may have been an oversight by our nurses when the shifts changed..” the pale and nervous nurse tried to explain.
“An oversight. A dying person is an oversight! Bloody hell, has anyone checked the morgue?!” he yelled louder.
“We have two nurses as well as two resident doctors checking, once we find her, we’ll let you know.”
“Yes, please. Don’t make it an oversight if you don’t mind!”
The nurse left in a hurry, thankful to have been able to finally escape his wrath. Giles turned to see Buffy crying, being held in Xander’s arms, whose own tears threatened to escape. He looked around and noticed someone missing.
“He went...he went to take..a walk,” Xander answered with a strained voice.
“Is she....is she..really....dead..?” Buffy asked between sobs.
“I’m not sure...the doctor...he didn’t think she would....”
Finally Xander’s tears began to fall, knowing the likelihood of the nurses finding his best friends body in the morgue.
“I’m going to check her room, perhaps they missed something,” Giles told them as he turned and let a tear slip from his eye.
He walked to the room
he had seen her in less then two and half hours ago. He walked into
the restricted room and nearly gagged as he saw the amount of blood on
the floor and on the bed. Unknowest to him, Buffy and Xander had followed
him and saw the same horrific scene. Buffy nearly toppled over, caught
only by Giles, who
had heard there gasps. Xander, however, ran from the room, past the emergency door exit, out to the cool air, and threw up the small amount of food he had been able to intake since the whole nightmare had begun. A nightmare that had been started by a worthless piece of shit, and this time he wouldn’t be able to blame Angelus, it was all Angel’s fault his world had come crashing down around him.
Angel awoke startled. He had managed to sleep a good hour past sunset, something he had never done before. His aching limps served as a reminder of what haunted him awake and asleep, but finally, this sleep had offered him what he had so much craved, rest and peace.
Yes, he did still dream
of the redhead that had haunted him these past nights, but this time is
was not of what had happened at that mansion that night, but solely of
the gentle, caring soul he had known before in Sunnydale. She had looked
as he usually remembered her, in green overalls with her usually decorative
T-shirts. It was that vision
that he saw once more in his dreams tonight. He urged her to return to him, apologizing to her for all that had happened, to forgive him for all he had done to her in the past and present, to thank her for all she had done for him, for going as far as losing her life for him, a miserable undeserving soul.
And she came to him, let him envelop her in his arms. She looked confused, lost, and hurt, but in all her emotion, trusted him. The moment he held her, his soul had felt a sudden peace he had longed to have.
He picked up the phone and dialed Cordelia’s number. <Maybe she has moreinformation on Willow>.
His heart sank once more, dreading the possible thought of never seeing his little witch again.
Willow awoke refreshed.
The food and sleep had done wonders for her. The pain she had felt earlier
in the evening was slowly becoming a faint memory. She slowly got up and
headed to the chair that had her clothes laid out. She would need to be
creative in order to cover herself properly. She reached over for the boxers
could hardly hold them up. The next up were the large leather pants. To keep both from falling, she ripped the T-shirt she had slept in and managed to make it into a belt/sash. She tied it as tightly as possible, praying the extremely baggy pants did not fall. She put on both v-necks on, hoping it concealed her bra-free breasts. She grabbed the bit of money she had found in the nightstand drawer. She looked around the small room, hoping to return one day, then took the notebook from the bed and walked out of the bedroom, out the door to catch a train to LA.
“Mr. Giles, we weren’t able to find your nieces’ body in the morgue, nor have we been able to find her throughout the hospital. I am dumbfounded to say were she is, or what her condition is,” Dr. Hopkins said worried and completely embarrassed.
“What I don’t understand doctor , is how an 18 year old woman in a coma can just completely disappear.”
“I do not have an explanation for it...we’ve checked all cameras and video around, but there is no sign of her.”
“I just can’t believe that of all places in this damn town here in a hospital...a place that should be safe...away from anything...”
“Giles?” Oz said as he tapped him on his shoulder.
“Not now, Oz. As I was saying....”
“What?!” Giles yelled as he turned to look at Oz.
“I think we should talk first before....”
“I was talking to Dr. Hopkins about this just now and you...”
Before he could say another word, he was being pulled away be Oz, Xander, and Buffy.
“What is the problem...”
“What if Willow was taken?” Xander asked worried.
“What do you mean?”
“You said it yourself. There was no way she could have gotten up and walked away. What if what ever she was trying to stop in LA came back for her? What if someone took her?” Oz reasoned with him.
“But why? Who would take her?” Giles asked, processing the information he had just received.
“That’s what we have you for?” Xander reminded him.
“Right, then...Buffy, Oz, you both go and set up a search for her. Xander call Cordelia, she may be the only one who knows why Willow went to LA. Amy is still unconscious, but as soon as she wakes up I’ll speak to her. I’ll go to the library and see if there is a prophecy or something. Meet me in the library in an hour.”
The group went off,
leaving a very confused doctor behind, determined to find their friend.
Willow handed the ticket agent a ten dollar bill for a train ride that cost a sixty.
“You must be joking with me right?” the middle-aged attendant asked her.
“I need to get to LA.”
“As much as I want to be president, but dreams can’t come true all the time.”
“This is all I have.”
“Then that won’t get you even six miles from here. Look, your holding me up from my beauty sleep. You either have the money or not.”
She took back the bill and pulled out a dollar bill. She confidently put it on the counter, and waited for his reaction.
“You got to be joking me right. Your wasting my time, little girl. A dollar? Didn’t pass kindergarten did you?”
“Are you sure that’s a dollar. That looks like a hundred dollar bill.”
The guy looked closer then looked up at her, about to tell her to go to hell, but was stopped by her gaze. She held his gaze, never blinking an eye.
“You might want to look at that again. I think you were mistaken, that’s should be more then enough.”
The man looked lazily down, then met her gaze once more.
“Yeah, more then enough.”
He punched a ticket up for her and handed her ticket as well as forty dollars in change.
“Have a pleasant ride.”
Once she left the counter
she let a tear escape her eye. A sudden wave of pain and guilt plagued
her. She cursed the voice in her head for telling her how to trick him,
for scaring her about a power she never thought possible to have. She wasn’t
normal, there was something wrong with her. She went up to the attendant
and handed her
the ticket. She stepped onto the train and took her seat.
As the train pulled out of the station the haunting nightmares that had plagued her returned. <Were they true? But how? How is it possible?> The comfort of safety she had once felt back in her apartment was gone. She frantically opened the notebook and began to read it.
She found what looked like spells scribbled across many of the pages, some telling her what the purpose of it was. She pulled the unfinished letter and began to read it, her mind racing to find some form of recognition.
I know I should have told you all that I was going, but I didn’t have enough time. He needs our help, he’s in trouble, I know he is. I can’t explain it, I wish I could, but there are just so many things you don’t know about, it would be hard for any of you to understand. I just wish you aren’t mad at me too much.
I’ll call as soon as I get there. I know you’ll want to.........
She read over the letter
at least four times, trying to remember who Giles was, who she should have
told she was leaving? It was all too confusing for her to think. Her head
began to throb as she heard pounding close by. She whispered the haunting
melody she knew by heart
She closed her eyes, the words filling her mind. Tears began to stain her face as she tried hard to remember why the song she sang was so important. She looked out of the window as the train pulled away, feeling she had been here before, not so long ago. She looked next to her and stared at the empty seat. Someone should have been with her. Was it supposed to be Giles, or maybe Angel. It didn’t make sense. She fell into the confines of sleep, the only way the terrible pounding in her head would seize.
She prayed she’d find
him, it would be the only way to save herself.
Giles waited impatiently for the group to return from their patrol. It had been more then four hours since the disappearance of Willow’s body. The small group had searched the entire town, but had found nothing. Even Willy was unable to help, even with money and fights encouraging him.
He had looked through each prophecy he could find or something that the damn books could help him in, but none came. He rubbed his tired red eyes and looked up from the blurry book and caught sight of the empty chair in front of the computer.
His mind trailed back
to that horrific call he had received from Cordelia a night ago. It had
been a call he had always dreaded. There was no getting over the fact that
the teenagers that helped Buffy had become to mean so much to him. They
had, in some sense, become his children, which made the news of Willow
in the hospital
badly hurt make him feel worse.
They had all rushed to the hospital to see a frantic Cordelia trying to explain what had happened, but it was until they he saw her lifeless, bruised, bloody body on the bed, did he realize how real the dangers they faced were. How many times hadn’t they fought the worse and won? How many times hadn’t they teased death?
But now one of them had fallen. A pure, sweet generous soul had befallen a gruesome attack, of which had cost her her life. But what had made it far worse, what made his soul heavy with guilt was the fact that the angel had gone to battle by herself, with no help of any of them.
Perhaps if they had heard Willow’s reasoning or if they had listened to Cordelia, if they had given them the benefit of the doubt. If they had cared, then this might have never had happened. But none of them had wanted to see past their feelings of anger, or envy and even their denial.
Now they would have to live with the feeling that they had failed their friends, a guilt he was sure they would never be able to forgive themselves for. His thoughts were interrupted by the rush of three voices coming in the library doors.
“Did you find anything?”
Their expressions were enough of an answer.
“What do we do?” Xander asked, scared to hear his reply.
“We keep searching.”
Angel walked silently in the park. He hadn’t completely healed from his injuries, but the apartment served as a constant reminder of what had happened. He could still smell her there, her scent still tantalizing the air.
He walked aimlessly, his mind drowned in thoughts and sorrow.
The last time he had seen Willow was a week ago. He had gone back to Sunnydale to check up on everyone. It had become a need for him to go and visit Willow. The thought paralyzed him as he realized that may have been the last time he would ever see her smile, hear her laugh, talk to her or......
He was brought out
of his thoughts by a figure sitting on a near by bench. What had
caught his attention was her hair. The coppery hair that swayed in the
wind. He moved closer, noticing how small in frame she was. <It wouldn’t
be. There was no way in hell> he thought. He shook his head, <Am I losing
my mind?> His hope got the
best of him and called out her name.
The young woman turned, then suddenly stood, surprised to see the person in front of her.
“Angel?” she asked, not sure if she was dreaming or if it was the actual man in front of her.
Angel looked at her in complete confusion. This couldn’t be her, she was in Sunnydale - dying, but as he moved closer her scent became familiar. His eyes turned watery, shock still apparent on his face.
Willow wasn’t sure what to do as he came closer to her. The first thoughts she had was to run, but each step he took made her believe he could help her, that he cared for her, that he could save her. She remained still, tears falling down her face.
“Willow?” he asked once more, still not able to believe it was her. He noticed her healing cuts and bruises on her face and knew it had to be her. There was no mistaking who she was.
“You know me?” the red head asked a bit frightened.
Angel’s look soon turned to confusion. He looked at her closely, seeing the bewilderment, hope and fright in her eyes. He nodded his head, letting her know he did.
She gave him a weak smile as more tears fell. Angel hugged her, squeezing her tightly, as he caressed her hair, trying to soothe the sobs that came from her body.
“I know you, Willow.
I know you.”
He held her until the sun threatened to rise. They walked back to his apartment in silence, waiting for what the morning would bring.
“Did you find, Angel?” the frantic voice asked over the line.
“I called, looked, and paged. I haven’t found him yet.”
“Is there anything else you can think of that might help?”
“I’m sorry, Xander, but Angel was the only person who knew what Spike was planning with that chest. He hasn’t talked to me about it, he has been passed out for the past days too, you know.”
“You have to find him, Cordelia. He might know who took, Willow.”
“I’m heading over to his apartment once the sun rises.”
“Fine, but once you find him tell him to call us.”
“I will...Xander...I’m sorry. If I had known...”
“This isn’t the time for that, Cordelia. I’ll call you soon.”
Cordelia hung up the
phone, feeling the guilt of responsibility for what had happened. She picked
up her purse and checked for her keys. Once the first ray of light hit,
she’d go see Angel. She just prayed he could help find the hacker.
“How long have you been here?” he asked.
“A couple of hours.” she replied as she snuggled a bit lower into the covers.
His hand instinctively began to caress her hair, trying to comfort her as much as he could.
“Do you remember anything?” he asked.
“Bits and pieces.”
“How did you get here?”
Willow wasn’t sure how to reply.
“I went to my apartment and found my notebook. It had an address. I thought I had moved, so I came here.”
“Your apartment or dorm?” he asked her confused.
Angel thought for a moment then realized what she meant.
“The apartment you were in was mine. You live in a dorm at Sunnydale University. You roommate with Buffy.”
“She’s one of your close friends,” he replied with unease.
“Oh...I can’t seem to remember her.”
“Do you remember me?”
She wasn’t sure what to tell them. What if he thought she was crazy. Angel could see the emotional struggle she was in. Something was wrong, he had some thoughts, but keep them silent. There was no way he would push her in anyway.
“Do you know who I am?”
Willow nodded, still afraid to talk to him.
“Do you know what I am?”
Willow looked at him for a moment confused, then remembered. Then she nodded once more. Angel looked at her a bit surprised.
“What am I?”
“You can tell me....I will believe you....trust me.”
And trust him she did. She looked at him, close to tears, taking a risk on her own sanity.
“You’re....you’re a vampire.”
“How did you know I was....”
“I dreamed about you. When I was asleep you were there. I....saw what.... I... we...we were in some kind of fight....so much blood....I know there was someone else...something happened. I just can’t remember...,” she said as she broke down in tears once more.
Angel went to her side and began to stroke her hair. She looked up at him, tears smeared on her face.
“Why can’t I remember?
What’s wrong with me?” she asked him. He tried to say words of comfort
but knew they were of no good. What Willow needed was her memory, or was
that what she really needed?, he thought.
Willow fell asleep in his arms, her weakness still evident. Before Angel could join her in her slumber and lay back, he heard a pounding at the door. He carefully pulled Willow off him and placed her on the bed as he got up and went to answer the door. To his surprise it was Cordelia.
“Where the hell have you been?” she yelled at him as he opened the door.
“I’ve been out”, he simply replied.
“That’s great! I need help and your ‘out’. Willow disappeared, no one knows where her body is....Xander told me.....,” she began to say as she slumped on the sofa.
“I know,” he replied as he closed the door.
“Know what?” she asked confused.
“That Willow was missing.”
“Because she’s here.”
“That’s impossible, Angel. Is this some kind of sick joke?”
“Cordelia, Willow’s in the bedroom.... I found her in the park.”
“That’s impossible, Angel. Willow was close to death when they took her to Sunnydale...there’s no way...”
“If you don’t believe me, then just turn around.”
What Cordelia say shocked. There was Willow standing against the door, wearing an oversized T-shirt.
“Oh my God....”
Those were Cordelia’s
last words before she fainted.
“Angel, is that really her?” Cordelia asked him as she stared at her from across the couch.
“But what if.... what if she’s a clone or something..... you didn’t see her, Angel. She was dead when we found her....... It was until we gave her CPR that we found a pulse..... I just can’t believe it can be her...” Cordelia told him.
She sat up on the sofa, looking at the red head, remembering the way she had seen her last.
“And she doesn’t remember anything?” Cordelia asked him even more surprised.
“No, she doesn’t.”
“Did you call Giles?” Cordelia asked, smoothing down her hair.
“I did. I told him she was here. There on their way,” he replied.
“How long ago?”
“About five minutes ago.”
“You don’t remember me?” Cordelia asked her.
Willow looked at Angel, who was standing between the two women then at the ex-cheerleader.
“No,” she replied.
“How about Xander, Buffy, Amy..”
“I...I don’t remember any of them...I can’t seem to..” she trailed off as tears appeared in her eyes.
Angel immediately went to her side, taking her into his arms, trying to comfort her.
“You’ll remember, you just need time, that’s all.”
Cordelia looked at the couple and suddenly felt a saddened feeling in her.
“I’m tired, Angel.”
“I’ll take you to bed,” he told her as he pulled her up with him and walked over to his bedroom.
He helped her in bed and pulled the covers securely over her.
“Sleep. I won’t be long.”
He kissed on her forehead and left her, returning back to a still stunned Cordelia on the sofa.
“How, Angel. She looks almost healed, that’s not possible. I know she’s a witch, but Amy still isn’t even conscious...?”
“I don’t know. I wish I knew.”
“And she can’t even remember me...... did she know you?”
“She did....I’m just not sure how.”
“Giles is gonna want answers....”
“I don’t have any...”
“You look like hell.... how are you feeling?”
“I need sleep.... still a bit bruised... but I’ll make it.”
“Then go rest. They won’t be here for at least three hours. I’ll bring Willow some clothes.”
“Thank you, Cordy.”
“No problem, I’ll go.”
Angel walked over to the kitchen once she left, needing to feed, but stopped as he remembered he had left a mug full of nourishment on the nightstand next to his bed. He turned around and went to his room. He smiled a bit, happy to see Willow sleepy peacefully under his covers. He walked over to the nightstand and picked up his mug, completely surprised to see it empty.
“OPEN THE FUCKIN DOOR ANGEL!”
Angel and Willow quickly awoke, both hearing the furious voice from the living room. Angel bolted up from the bed and moved to the living room cautiously. He looked over to find Cordelia standing in front of his fridge, frozen in place.
He moved to the door
as the pounding continued and flipped the locks open, then quickly stepped
back as it was pushed open. He flinched back as the three crosses blinded
him. Xander rushed at him, taking out his holy water, ready to strike.
Cordelia quickly ran over to him, pushing him as hard as she could to the
side, making sure Angel
was out of range. Xander crashed to the floor, sending the jar and cross flying to the floor. Before the new arrivals could react, Doyle raced into the apartment, his gun drawn.
“Put the crossbow down, slayer. And the stakes, watcher.”
They both hesitated, but soon heard a bullet hit a vase across the room.
“I won’t hesitate putting the next one in either of you.”
Buffy looked over at her watcher and gave his approval. She placed her crossbow down as well as one of her stakes as Giles disarmed himself as well.
“Grab the cross bow, Saks,”
Cordelia did as she was told and retrieved the weapon from the floor. Angel got up from the floor slowly, looking at the small arsenal the group of people had carried with them.
“The other stake, Buffy,” Angel reminded her.
Buffy gave him a dirty look, then felt the barrel of the gun poke her on the back. She complied giving up her last weapon.
“You too, Xander,” Cordelia added as he waddled over next to Giles. Giles motioned for him to do as asked and took the stake out of his pants.
“Now, if you all would like to take a seat.”
The small group did as the stranger asked and settled uncomfortably on the long blue sofa.
Doyle remained standing, his weapon still drawn.
“Bit late, “ Angel commented.
“Came as soon as I got the message. Just came into town tonight.”
Angel took the weapon from Cordelia’s shaky hands and thanked her.
“So what do they want?” Doyle asked him.
Before Angel would answer, Giles replied.
“We’re here for Willow.”
Doyle looked up at Angel, still confused by the situation at hand.
“And the need for all the weapons......?” Doyle asked.
“We came to rescue her,” Xander replied angrily.
“What are you talking about. Willow came here willingly,” Cordelia said.
“We came to take her back to Sunnydale with us,” Buffy told them, the worry and stress from the past days showing.
“No,” a simple reply
came from in back of them.
The entire group turned to see Willow standing against the hallway entrance.
Xander quickly stood and started walking towards her. His evident shock remained on his face as she moved away from him, seeking out Angel.
The other two looked
on confused, still not aware of her current situation.
“We came to take you home,” Buffy quickly said as she stood up.
“My home is here,” Willow replied as she stood next to Angel.
“No, it’s in Sunnydale, with us,” Giles told her.
Willow looked away from them, trying hard to remember if they were saying the truth. It was just all too confusing. She looked back at them, her eyes filled with unshed tears.
“I don’t remember you,” she mumbled.
“What? What are you talking about, Willow. We’re you’re friends, we.....”
“I can’t remember,” she replied, her mind trying to search for a memory.
“Remember? What is she talking about Angel?” Giles questioned.
“She has amnesia.”
“She doesn’t remember us?” Buffy asked surprised.
“It’s a trick...” Xander told them, ready to attack.
“It isn’t,” Cordelia tried to explain.
“We’re here to take her home and that’s what we’re going to do,” Xander declared as he moved to take a hold of her.
Willow quickly moved behind Angel, his body shielding her.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she replied a bit frightened.
“You heard her,” Angel said.
“There is no way she is staying here,” Xander said he said as he pulled out a hidden cross from his pocket.
“You heard the lady,” Doyle warned him as he pointed the weapon at him.
Giles pulled him back, whispering some words for him to calm down.
“This is not getting us anywhere,” Cordelia commented.
“We all need to cool off. There’s a conference room downstairs. Saks, would you mind helping me escort our guests there. We need neutral ground and for now that’s as good as it’ll get.”
She nodded in agreement as she accepted the crossbow from Angel.
“We’ll be down shortly,” he informed them as she felt Willow grab onto his waist rather tightly.
“We are not leaving her here alone with this monster,” Xander retorted.
Doyle shot him a deadly look, and motioned for them to walk out with him.
“We don’t have a choice,” Giles informed them as he began to walk.
Once the group left, Angel turned around to see a very weak Willow barely standing. He carried her to the sofa, scared to ask.
Willow looked at him as a tear escaped her red eyes.