Chapter 8 - Reconciliation
Saturday, May 4th, 2002
"Clem? Is that you?" Dawn answered the phone.
"Hey. Dave said you were looking for me."
"Yeah, two hours ago. I guess he wasn't real quick passing on the message."
"Guess not. You looking for your sister, 'cos I kinda get the impression her and Spike aren't together any more, at least Spike's back with the moody and when-"
"Clem, Buffy's here, but, well it's complicated. We need to get hold of Spike. Anya's gone missing. The shop was all shut up and none of us know where she's living now she's moved out of Xander's so we don't know if she's just ill or whether she's really missing. Xander's not answering his phone and there's only me, Willow and Tara and we can't leave Buffy alone."
"Well I suppose I could ring Anya, see if she answers, but I don't know if I should give you her address. I mean she might be okay about it, but most demons would get a bit upset if you told the slayer where they lived. And given what she is, not a good idea to be on bad terms."
"Anya's back with the vengeance gig?" Dawn's voice was halfway to a squeak. Willow's mouth fell open as she listened to Dawn's side of the conversation.
"Oh-Oh! Guess she didn't tell you guys then. Hallie said D'Hoffryn offered her her old job back after the wedding. You still want me to ring her?"
"Please. If you can. D'you think you could swing by Spike's crypt as well, get him to come over to our place or give us a call as soon as possible, unless you don't get an answer at Anya's. Then it might be better if he checked there to see if there was any trouble, unless he knows where she is 'cause none of us can do that. Just tell him to call me ASAP. Tell him it's urgent. Tell him I need him."
"This is bad. This is very, very bad." Willow paced the room as she spoke.
"Well, I guess it means Xander's responsible for messing up her life even more than we thought, but I mean she's still Anya. We just have to be really careful what we say," Dawn replied.
"No Dawn, think about it. Have you spoken to Anya since she came back? It all makes sense now. She was trying to get one of us to wish something awful on Xander. And then she hooks up with Spike who hates Xander and you spoke to Buffy after she saw the pair of them and then Buffy's like this and Xander's not answering his phone. She got Spike to make a wish and now she's skipped town 'cos she knows we'll come after her."
"He wouldn't. Spike would never hurt Buffy." Dawn tailed off.
"He already did. You saw her face last night. She maybe wasn't as bad as Xander, but she was hurt and even if Anya and Spike didn't have some sort of conspiracy Spike still might have said something without realising. Oh God, I can't believe we didn't realise what she was trying to do."
"Hind-sight's always twenty-twenty, sweetie," Tara tried to soothe her former lover. "But we still don't know what's happened. I mean it's possible, but it is just one possibility, and in a way if that is what happened, then it might be a good thing because then Anya would be able to reverse it wouldn't she? She might be angry at Xander for a while, but she still loves him, she's just really hurting. When she calms down she'd reverse whatever's happened. I'm sure she would." Tara's arms wrapped themselves around the distraught redhead, pulling her close.
"Ehm, I'm just going to take the phone upstairs and sit with Buffy." Dawn practically tiptoed from the room leaving the former lovers alone.
"What if Xander's dead? Most of the guy's Anya did stuff to, they died."
"Anya wasn't in love with any of them. Remember how you nearly cursed Oz when he left you, but you couldn't do it because you loved him. That's what it would be like for Anya to do a vengeance spell on Xander."
Tara stroked amber strands away from Willow's tear-streaked cheeks and Willow trembled beneath her touch.
"I know, but I also remember trying to kill Xander because I didn't want him to be with anyone else."
"That wasn't you. That was the spell. It's nearly impossible to use magic to create true love. The feelings you had because of the spell were more like an obsession than love. That's why it made you selfish. Without the influence of the spell you would never hurt Xander."
"But I hurt you."
"You underestimated the pull of the magic. You let it envelop you so deep you lost sight of who you were and who I was but I don't believe you ever did anything with the intent of harming me. It just got to the point where you used magic for everything as an automatic response and you didn't think about what it was you were really doing."
"Did I say how sorry I was?"
"You said it lots of times, but until now you never sounded like you meant it. You were getting too much of a kick out of having that much power to regret anything enough to give it up." Tara took a deep breath.
"Will, things went so wrong before, and there's so much work we both have to do to rebuild any sort of relationship. What happened, it's changed both of us and that's going to change how we react to each other. It's going to take time before we trust each other the way we did before, but, baby, when I see you like this, I just want to be able to hold you and kiss away all the pain. Can I? Could we be getting through this together?"
Willow tilted her head back to claim the lips of the woman she loved in a gentle kiss. For the longest time, the two sat on the sofa, Willow cradled in her lovers arms exchanging the sweet kisses and gentle caresses that were the promise of a more passionate night to come. For a time they were able to forget the problems that surrounded them.
Spike pulled the bike over at the side of the road as quickly as he could. He looked down at the surf pounding against the cliff base forty feet below as he finally located what he was looking for in his coat pocket. He checked the caller ID before accepting the incoming call.
"Hey, Clem. How's it hangin'?"
"Ehm. that's rhetorical right?"
"If you say so. To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"When are you going to tell the slayer and her people that you've got a cell-phone?"
Spike gave a snort of derision. "When hell freezes over. She's already got me by the balls. No need to give her the chance to have them stuffed and mounted over the fireplace."
'Or I might have found out two minutes ago when you heard it ringing,' thought Buffy as she eavesdropped on the conversation.
"Well, you might change your mind. Dawn rang the bar looking for you. It took Dave two hours to pass on the message. There's some sort of trouble I don't think she wanted to say over the phone, but the slayer's out of commission."
'And I'm shocked and surprised by this since there's no-one driving.' the slayer said to herself since there was no-one else to hear her.
".Anya and her ex have gone missing. She said to get you to ring as soon as possible. She said she needs you."
"Clem, get off the line. I've got a call to make."
"Tell her Anya's not answering her phone then."
"She's not answering 'er soddin' doorbell either, just get off the phone."
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