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"Another day..." Giles said aloud to himself, as he sipped a bit of tea out of the small green mug. From his position in the kitchen, he could hear the sound of someone walking as they approached his little apartment. Furrowing his brow, he considered what today's interruption would bring. Another apocalypse perhaps? Un-dead kittens? Tiny angry living evil dolls? One never knew in Sunnydale, and he had almost tired of guessing. Still, there was something fascinating about having to handle the next insane event. He even managed to look forward to the challenge, though, he hoped he'd be at least out of his bathrobe and jammies before it came.
He just managed to place his small cup down, when his eyes spotted the large black grimore on his dining room table. It was odd, as he thought he'd remembered to put the book away upon going to bed. Still it had been rather late, and these days his routine was much more relaxed. Having had few months to get over the frightening visage of the first slayer stalking them through their waking nightmares, He was still uncertain as to his path forward. Being a librarian had been a convenient cover, though not lucrative, he was fairly certain the janitor was paid more. Now he was...what was the american term? Between employ? Either way, his sizable savings had kept him solvent. Still. what did a middle aged.... an early middle aged... watcher do for employment? The books of watcher lore didn't exactly cover the subject, being more concerned exclusively with preparing and minding the slayer.
The sudden thud on the door signaled the arrival of the morning paper. Sunnydale's news was always boring, as the town's folk were usually adverse to news of the supernatural. One wondered however how many stories about wild dogs could account for the incredibly high body count. Still occasionally there were flashes of news that even Buffy could use. Tying his robe quickly he moved towards the door, looking to discover what fresh insanity this day would present.
Tara looked around puzzled . She had moved out of Buffy house the night before & her eyes were still red from all the crying she had done the last few hours . She had stepped out to get a few grocery items since there was nothing to eat where she had been . She hadn't bother to change her clothes having fallen asleep in the chair having sat in it crying all night . "You said you loved me Willow " she said chocking back a sob . "But you couldn't last a day before you lost control " she said wanting to cry some more but her eyes were cry ed out & couldn't do so any more .
Tara looked around " Where am I " she said having lost track of where she was & now confused . "This isn't near where I was staying " she said looking at the signs around her lost . "I all alone ……..but I was anyway " she though remembering how Dawn had look at her when she had left .
"Dawn hates me for leaving . Willow lies to me & Buffy is in pain because of me " she said ready to start sobbing again before seeing a sign saying the school would be rebuilt soon . Tara was stunned for who knows how before heading to the nearest newspaper stand & not finding any change was about to lose it when some came by to buy one & grabbing one ran away blushing over having stoled one .
Tara read the paper date & some of the articles before coming to the fact that she was in the past . It looked like after the school had blown up & was the beginning of the school year that she had gone to College . " I lost Willow & Dawn " she said having liked that she & Willow were like a couple raising Dawn like she was their daughter " What a minute . " Willow just enter college so she not as junkie now " she said giggling . "And Dawn doesn't hate me now " she said happy . " But now what ?" she said lost over what she should since she didn't know if she should do what her heart was crying out to do . "I go see Giles " she said running off to his house hoping he was still at home. This is what Tara looks like right now .
Willow (season 4 version) In college after class
To Buffy who is walking next to her, out of the classroom: "Buff, I'll go to that wicca group. You know, the one I told you about that I want to join? I'm really looking forward to that. I hope to get better with my spells and stuff. So that, someday, I can float more that just a pencil." In the wicca group They're all just talking about the moon. Why aren't we doing spells? Or potions? Something... magical. "Hey. It's really nice what you're doing here, but we could also... you know... do spells." *gets weird looks from the others in the group* "We are a wicca group, aren't we? So doing spells should be something we do, right?" *Willow gets a bit nervouse because of all the people who are looking weird at her and no one is in any kind supportive of her ideas.* "You know we don't have to do this. It was just an idea..." *Willow's not really motivated anymore and leaves the group*
*walks into her dorm room*
She's alone, because Buffy already left for patrol.
*sits on her bed* Stupid wanna-be-wiccas. They don't do anything, but talking. I'll never get better with my spells if there's no one I can practice with.
Going to Giles later, maybe there will be some demon fighting action to use magic in . Or other supernatural forces and apocalyptic stuff going on.
Tara had stopped running since she had fallen twice & was getting weird looks from the people going by . "If I getting those then I should stop running since people her are very clueless " she said softy . Tara was looking forward to finding Giles house since she had nothing but the clothes she was wearing & her mother necklace around her neck . Getting close to Giles place she saw the person she wanted to see the most/least .
"Wil...lo ?" she said coming up to her & finding that she was stuttering again . " It ………" she said before at a loss at what to say since she looked liked she was the first time she saw Willow . "Yo....u loo...ke ni..ce " she said so nervous her stutter was back again .
"No. I'm really sorry." *Willow looked sad, because she really felt sorry for the girl. But she had no clue who she was.* "Where should I know you from?" *she looked at the girl, almost staring a bit* Why don't I recognize her, but she knows me? Then she realized that she actually wanted to go to Giles and the other scoobies. "Oh... um... I gotta go, meet some friends. It was nice to... er... meet you." *She turned around and walked in the direction towards Giles' house.*
Tara felt a lot happier knowing that Willow was there . " She might not know me but I can feel her reaching out to me " she thought seeing Willow aura reach out & touch hers for a few seconds . Tara decided to take a chance " Can I co...me " she said walking with Willow & giving her a crocked smile hoping she say yes since she was sure Willow was going to Giles place & she needed to talk to him since she was homeless thanks to what had happened .
"Oh... Sure. Why not?"
Willow didn't really know why, but she felt a connection to the girl. Some kind of... familiarity, although she had never seen her before.
"Okay, my friends house is this way." *she pointed straight ahead* "On the way you can tell me your name... And where you know me from."
*she smiled* I like the girl already, Willow thought, She seems very nice. I defenitely want to get to know her better.
Tara felt a weight lift itself from her shoulders . Seeing the Willow she had fallen for made her remember that she had fallen for Willow the first time she saw her but was afraid of saying so both because she thought at first that Willow was straight & the fact that she thought she was part -demon . But now she knew the truth about both . " You know " Tara said hiding behind her hair while trying to think . "Wicca group " she said glad she didn't stutter .
"You a re.....al one " she then said .
Willow was confused.
"What?", she asked. The girl knew about the wicca group? Willow didn't understand anything. "Were you in the wicca group too? They're all so boring. They call them selves wiccas, but they don't even do any spells or real magic. Do you know what I'm talking about?" Willow tried to remember if she had seen the girl before in the wicca group, but she didn't recognize her. Suddenly Willow had to smile.
She didn't know why, she just smiled. She enjoyed the presence of the nice girl, having someone to talk to about the wicca group and spells. She couldn't take her eyes off her. The girl's hair, that she was hiding behind, had a beautiful ombré look from brown to blonde. Her eyes looked goregouse. And her cute smile made Willow wanna smile to.
Willow noticed that she was staring and blushed, she looked down on her feet. 'God, what was that? This is so embarressing.', she thought. 'Stop that!', she thought to herself.
They were only a few steps away from Giles' house and Willow realized that she still didn't know the name of the friendly girl. "Look, my friends house is right there.", she said, "And by the way, I still don't know your name, though you know mine." *she smiled* "What's your name?"
Tara nodded her head . " They acted like it was a book club what with the way they were acting " she told Willow . " I can see auras & your is so much different then the others . But in their defense did you think they be talking about spells in public " she told Willow with a soft smile not wanting to talk bad about the people in the group to Willow .
"I would have spoke up with but I didn't want to cause a scene plus you seemed to be all right so I keep quiet " she said in a whisper looking as Willow was staring at her & blushing before looking at the ground . She could feel her heart beating hard she was so happy right there & then .
" MY name Tara ….Willow " Tara said with a big smile having to force her self not to say my before Willow name & then reaching over & knocking on Giles door hard enough so he could hear her knocking .
Giles (Season 5) had been engrossed with the paper for several moments, as he waited for his scones to finish. The article he read that related the experience of a woman who swore she met herself while shopping, then was attacked by said doppelganger. "The victim believed the woman was a relative or possible a lost sibling... because of the resemblance. Then the woman attacked her, biting her near her ear and had to be pulled of the-" his voice trailed off as he stared up from the paper at the detail of the disturbing story, his hair standing up on the back of his...
"One moment!" Giles said startled all at once from his train of thought.
He fumbled to tie his robe again, and went to the door as quickly as possible.
He stared out the peephole to see Willow and a friend. Opening the door he smiled broadly.
"Good Morning, Willow, Tara." Giles greeted calmly, "Up and about early are we?"
"You're both welcome to come in. I've just been making scones." He announced realizing just how domesticated it sounded. Still he was just genuinely excited to see his old student and her friend. He was beginning to suspect he was lonely, but he didn't let on. That was a topic for another moment.
"So... what brings you around? Creatures, demons, dolls... a combination creature-demon-doll... my that would be something wouldn't it?" He mused with morbid curiosity about the reason for their visit.
"Hey Giles." Willow said smiling, then she added with a look of confusion on her face: "You know Tara? And... Where do you know her from?"
Creature-demon-doll?!? "No, not really." Willow said laughing. "Actually I was thinking that you might have some interesting demon-y case to work on." Willow paused, thinking about their current situation. "Plus there's also one kinda weird thing going on." She looked at Tara, then back to Giles. "Tara knows me. But I am sorry, no matter how hard I try..." She looked very sad at Tara. "I can't remember ever having met you before today.
Though you already explained that, because you saw me in the wicca group and I didn't notice you, because you didn't say anything."
She looked at Giles again while taking one of the scones he brought to them on a plate, they smelled really good and tasted even better. "But all that still doesn't explain why you know Tara. I'm really confused right now. Though I'm sure this'll all be clear after only a few sentences of explanation and it won't be so complicated and confusing anymore." She smiled at Giles, hoping to get an easy explanation for this so all would be clear and not so weird anymore.
"Hey Mister Giles " Tara said as she walked into his house looking around feeling at home for the first time since she had stepped out of her place .
"Like how domestic you look right now " she said taking a scone from the plate with a silent thank you to Giles for that .
"Hope you not bored because I hate for you to leave " Tara said looking at the man who was the closest she had to a father .
"And Willow right in that something weird happing around here in Sunnydale " she said relaxing & giving Willow a sad look .
"I so sorry Willow you confused over things & I tell you now since I wanted to get her since it really weird how I know you & you don't know me right now " Tara said looking scared . "I didn't lie to you Willow & as soon as I tell you understand & hopefully still like me " she said looking over Willow & Giles . "But first I need to ask you a question " she said looking at Giles . "It the first year of Buffy & Willow going to college & like Willow said she just saw me in the Wicca group so how come you know my na....me ?" " she said stuttering at the last because she was scared at what was going to happen & almost curling into a ball but not doing that .
Dawn dropped her bags on the floor of her new name apartment. It wasnt in the safest Los Angeles neighborhood nor was it the worst. Angel had generously offered to put her up in a room at Hyperion Hotel and well she would indeed be spending alot time there offering her assistance whenever it was needed, after leaving slayer central in south america first and then her apprentice with Giles in London next, Dawn reminded herself coming to LA was about learning about being independent as much as anything else and living where was worked in co opt style would remind way to much of dorm room living with the slayers and then the regimented life style of slayer commend central, she moved away to train under Giles in London after her brief romance with Lieutenant Xander proved tumultuous and politically distracting to the troops below their rank, she didn't want coming to LA to feel like a step backwards, to feel like another false start.
She had studied demonology, improved her phyiscal fighting ability which admittedly is not a attacking one and always will be a self defense one, she had a natural sympathy with slayers and made a phenomenal mentor for a while, as a personal counselor and advocate then as a watcher like Giles or leader like Buffy. Dawn knew she was intelligent, she had studied ancient texts under Giles, strategized with Buffy and Xander, for a while she even thought she might have a talent for magic ( spoiler she didnt) but well its fine for the average person to be a jack of all trades master of none the average person is not sisters with the legendary Buffy Summer. Dawn needed to her own place in the world.
So that night as she locked the doors, closed the blinds and crawled into bed early for the expectation call of Angel and crew tomorrow she knew she would muster the courage to face any new challenge coming her way...as long as it wasn't to crazy she thought as she drifted off to sleep.
Giles smiled slightly at the redhead young woman playfully for a moment. "Ah, a little game with the old man today? Pretending not to know Tara." He said dismissively, then walked into the kitchen to bring out the small tray of scones he'd carefully prepared.
"Next, I suppose your going to tell me that you aren't her girlfriend, and you haven't spent the last six months, exploring the magical arts together... against my advice of course." Giles said yelling out from this kitchen in a polite but direct manner. "Then you'll pretend that Buffy hasn't faced a massive half man half demon in the bowls of a super secret lab, and won after we imbued her with mystic energy." He finished.
He next prepared the small tray of earl grey tea, with three cups and the customary sugar and cream. Honestly the games you two get up to."
Carefully returning he sat it down in front of the two of them, and was greeted by slightly shocked faces.
"Wait... " Giles said aloud, suddenly realizing they may not be joking. "You're serious... you've no idea what I'm talking about?"
"Goodness me." Giles said wondering just what could have gone wrong.
"Both of you, whats the last thing you remember?" Giles asked urgently.
All the things Giles had said in the last minute were rushing through Willows head. She couldn't believe what she just heard. She looked shocked at him, unable to talk for a while.
She shook her head trying to get a clear thought.
"I remember that Oz left. Thanksgiving wasn't too long ago... It was a weird Thanksgiving, Angel came back, but he didn't want Buffy to know he was there. Oh and just two days ago I made a spell, didn't go as planed. I'm still so sorry Giles I just wanted to... not feel so bad anymore, because of Oz. And then everything went wrong. You got blind, Buffy married Spike..." She stopped talking and looked around. "Wait. Where's Spike?", she asked. "Is he with Xander?"
She sighed and looked down on the floor for a while. She tried to process all the things she heard from Giles.
Then she suddenly looked up and asked: "What exactly do you mean when you say 'girlfriend' ?!?!?"
Dawn woke up in a sore daze, she felt tired deep down in her bones as if it had been scarcely a minute since drifting off to sleep, now the suns bright rays were streaming through the window curtains. Dawn rolled over to keep sleeping but quickly decided against it, sitting up, some mornings were just like that she thought, stretching her arms "Ugh jetlag" she thought as her blurry eyes came into focus at the purple wall paper and thick fuzzy comforters "I've been kidnapped! her first thought snapped.. no wait am I in my old room? she corrected herself slightly embarrassed then more frighteningly with the panic inducing thought the last several years were but a wacky sunnydale dream. She walked across the room pulling aside the blinds "It's Revello Drive...its true but everything looks exactly the same" she whispered to herself.
"The old me would be rash in this situation but I have to be calm and think, the old me would... wait am I the old me" as she went to look into the mirror. "Nope, still twenty two thank god" she was still wearing her clothes from last night as well. She quietly opened her bedroom door to inspect some more and light footedly walked down the hall towards the main bedroom, Willow and Tara's bedroom, they would know what to do, unless they were as lost as herself, she stopped and turned around to the voices coming from down stairs, changing course.
Still being as light footed as possible she peaked into the kitchen nook area and what she saw knocked the breath out of her lungs. "It was her! or well, a version of her, still with a pink barrette in hair preparing breakfast cereal with Buffy "But how? "I mean what the freak!" she moaned to herself. moments later hearing her younger self shriek the same phrase, returning to spying, younger Dawn made faces and pouted"What year is it?" she cringed as she watched, not unsympathetically. Buffy had really done a lot for her, a few months earlier Dawn would have been feeling even more sympathetic for her, except she was currently not on speaking terms with her sister at the moment and neither was Xander for that matter, she disapproved of their relationship from the beginning and after it blew up in a speculator fashion effecting one operation after the next,, the "I told you so" was all but implied. Although Dawn's finale decision to leave slayer central and strike out on her own was never about Xander or Buffy.
Dawn retreated backup stairs and packed one of her diaries into a purse "This will come in handy" considered whether to climb out the window or hide in the closet until the people down stairs.. Buffy and her younger self, had left (if that is who they even really were) hearing Buffy and Dawn leave out the front door made the decision for her.
She went towards Buffy's room picking out a change of clothes, got dressed and went back to her room, before deciding to put a small pink barrette in her longer and darker hair "Just in case anyone I know see's me, It could be dangerous for people to know I'm from the future" she sighed "So most for not backing a step backwards ye?"
As she walked down Revello Drive everything looked exactly the same. "Excuse me" asking a pedestrian "What year is it" oh great, its two 2001, perfect. then I thought occurred to her that making her blood run cold.. "I am going to kill those monks" as she arrived at the magic box,