Twist of Fate
By Carla Kozak
Summary: Willow's point-of-view about changes in her life.
Part of The Believer Series
Disclaimer: All of the characters from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox Television and the Warner Brothers television network. I am merely a BTVS enthusiast who has woven these characters into stories of my own.
Author's Notes: All of my stories relate to each other in some way.
You wouldn't think meeting a new friend in 10th grade could change your entire life. That's because your best friend isn't Buffy. But mine is, and my life since she moved to Sunnydale has been... well, wild much seems like a bit of an understatement.
Sometimes I think about what I'd be doing if we hadn't met. I guess I'd still be shy, dowdy Willow, pining for Xander to be more than my best bud, and packing my bags for Harvard or Stanford. Or else I'd be dead--maybe even worse than dead. I had a brief glimpse into what Sunnydale would have been like without Buffy, and it wasn't pretty. The leather bustier was way uncomfortable, too.
So, this is my life: I'm staying right here. Buffy and I'll be Freshman dorm roommies at UC-Sunnydale. Xander will probably work part-time and take some classes at the community college, when he gets back from his "On the Road" experience, and Oz isn't sure yet what he's doing. He thinks he'll enroll here at UC-S, but he wants to give more time to the Dingoes, too, and do as many gigs as he can. He said as long as he's got the band, a cage for the full moon, and quality time with me on a fairly regular schedule, he'll be happy. I can live with that.
Giles is going to be here at the University, too--in charge of the medieval section of the campus library! It's in its own neat little area, in kind of a turreted building that even has ivy growing on the walls. I think it will remind Giles of England. There hadn't been a specialist in that departmental library for years, and the dean went a little loony when Giles told her he was available. Well--as loony as medievalists can go. Ooh--scary thought. I'll bet they can get weird, what with the Black Death and the fanatical religious stuff and the torture and all.
I'm so excited about living on campus! Buffy and I in our own place, away from home and parents. Not that my parents or her mom are that bad, but we really do need our space. Buffy won't have to make excuses for patrolling, and I won't have to hide when I work on my spells, as long as I don't do anything too stinky, 'cause I don't think our neighbors would appreciate that.
I'm in a sort of adjustment period with the spells right now. It's not so much that I lost my skills when I lost my virginity--it's more like the power center shifted. I'm still getting used to it. Most things are working, although the results can be kind of, well, interesting.
So that takes care of almost everyone, except Angel. We don't know where he's gone off to.
He'll keep in touch though, somehow. I know that. In fact, I'm certain of it--I helped him purchase and set up his computer. He's got Internet access, fax and e-mail. I taught him the basics.
The night after graduation wasn't the first time Angel had knocked on the French doors off my bedroom. Okay, it was the second time. So I was kind of surprised. But he told me what he needed, and we got right down to business. He said wherever he went, he'd be better off for being connected, and he didn't just mean surfing the 'Net.
"If you guys ever need me--you know, if Giles has any questions I can help answer, or whatever--" Angel's voice trailed off.
"It's okay, Angel. I know what you mean," I said.
"You'll contact me, Willow? Promise?"
"Sure," I said. But I didn't feel so sure. "Angel," I continued, "when you were dying from that poison... well, you thought once that I was Buffy. And you said you wouldn't leave her, that you'd made a mistake thinking you could."
He was quiet for a little while. "It's killing me all over again," he said softly. "But I know I'm doing the right thing. It's not fair to her, if I stick around. She needs a chance at a life."
"Buffy's life is never gonna be normal, Angel. And I think--I think knowing you loved her was what pulled her through the worst times." I had to say it.
"I'll always love her," he said. "But I have a need to protect her, too. And disgusting as it is for me to remember, I did feed from her, and I almost killed her in the process."
"Angel, Buffy forced you to do that. She wanted you to--she couldn't let you die."
"That wasn't the first time she's put herself in danger, trying to save me. But I hope it'll be the last," Angel said. He paused for a moment, then continued. "Willow, the really frightening thing was, as much as I hated myself for doing that to her--well, physically I'd never felt better. It was like being reborn. So how do I know I'm not going to want that feeling again?"
"Angel, you wouldn't!" I protested. "You know you'd never let yourself do that."
"Yeah, that's what I always thought. But I did, didn't I? Xander was right. I fed off the girl who loves me, to save my own ass. I'm not going to give myself the chance to do that again. I love her too much to risk her life for my happiness."
Maybe that'll be enough, the strength of his love, from wherever he is. Maybe she'll be able to feel it. I hope so. I want Buffy to be happy. She's had to give up so much, and she works so hard. It just doesn't seem fair. Maybe knowing Angel will always love her will kind of buoy her spirits, like having a guardian angel. Oh, that's a play on words. But maybe that's what he was meant to be for her.
He asked me not to tell her about any of our meetings, though, or our conversations. I understand. Buffy has to know he's really gone, or she'll never get over him. So it's our secret. I can reach Angel in a real emergency, but I hope it won't come to that. Fate tossed us all together, but it's time for everyone to break a few chains, and start fresh, and see what fate has in store for us now.
I'm ready for anything.
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