For all of my followers, I realize the blog has been super inactive the past few weeks (months?) but I was going through a rough transition. I would like to officially announce, however, that this is now an Independent RP blog for Willow Rosenberg. I will continue to reblog pictures as well, and post my own graphics/edits. Thanks for all your patience. :)
Tara Maclay…how do I being to explain Tara Maclay.
Tara Maclay is flawless.
I hear her love is insured for a million dollars.
I hear she’s good with spells. And MAGIC.
This one time, she went all White Goddess.
It was AWESOME.
They are SO not friends.
Now that they’re finally home, Willow and Tara try to settle in. They’re just friends, right. Right?
Willow is finally released from the hospital and Tara is the one there, ready to take her home.
She’d known Xander since they were four.
They’d been through everything together. Thick and thin. Good and bad. Sad and happy. Black and white.
They’d almost become a thing, but they had other people in their lives that they worked better with.
Willow loved Xander with her entire heart and she was pretty sure he loved her the same.
And even when he’d said he never wanted to see her again— and she knew he meant it— she knew he still loved her, because she still loved him and that didn’t just go away.
But things were different. Things had changed, and it didn’t matter how Willow felt about it, because she couldn’t change them back. And she was more than sure they wouldn’t change themselves. What had been done was permanent and big and loud, like a big red ‘X’ on a permanent record. Except that big, red ‘X’ was drawn on Willow’s soul, as if to say ‘don’t take this one, this one’s no good’. She felt it, even if it wasn’t actually there. Felt the weight of the giant ‘X’ marked across her very essence. It hung heavy against her, pressing against her back, her chest, her head, dragging her down, weakening her, like she wasn’t weak enough already. She’d never been the strong one, even when she had power. Willow was weak and everyone knew it, and she couldn’t imagine why anyone would associate with someone so weak, someone who could drag them down with her.
And yet, he visited her everyday. Like old times. Like they were back in Sunnydale, and she’d never abused magicks, and she’d never gone evil and tried to end the world, and she’d never messed with the balance and brought Buffy back to life. Like none of those things happened. He would come and he would sit with her, tell her about his day, or about things on the news, or bring her something from home that he had cooked that day. He mostly liked to talk about Cordy and how he was going to be a father. And their conversations were brief. Nothing big, nothing special. She’d been visited by both Fred and Anya as well in the past weeks, but besides Tara, Xander was her only regular. She figured it would feel nice to see him everyday again, see his happy face, or his sad face, or his frustrated face. Just see him. But she wasn’t— she didn’t feel that way. She just found herself wondering why he even bothered, with someone so worthless as herself.
And she had decided today that he needed to stop coming to see her. They all did. She wasn’t someone anyone should be around, be friends with, be anything with. Not even Tara, but Tara was different, wasn’t she? Always had been. Tara was a part of Willow, and she’d already had so much taken away, she couldn’t force herself to make Tara go away. In fact, she indulged in Tara. Indulged in her warm hugs, her soft eyes, her caressing hands. And she always felt cold when Tara was gone, even if it was just to go get food. And she knew it wasn’t fair of her to do that, but she did anyways. Because everyone needs someone. And they needed each other.
But Xander didn’t need her. And she wasn’t sure if she needed him. She wanted him, wanted his love and his friendship. But wanting was different than needing, wasn’t it? And so today was the day. She’d ask him to stop. Stop visiting, stop texting, stop calling. Stop being her friend. Live his own life without her, he’d be safer that way. They all would.
When he came into her room that morning, she was sitting on the edge of her bed, half dressed. She still had to wear the gown, but she had jeans on, and a shirt underneath. They had hooked up a mobile I.V. drip to her so she could take walks and start regaining her strength. It’d only been a week since she had her accident or whatever, and they still wanted to keep her a week more. She didn’t want to stay a week more, but she had little to no say in it. Didn’t matter, anyway. Tara wanted her to stay and get better, so she would stay and get better. For Tara.
“Hey,” she said quietly. He commented on her being up and dressed and she smiled softly, her eyes still casting sadness into the room. “Yeah, they’re even letting me walk around and stuff now. I-I thought maybe today we could um, go get some lunch?” she tried, looking at him with a hopeful glance, keeping her eyes steady. “I-if you have time. If not, we could just, um, sit and talk. But if you do want lunch, I just have to stay here, i-in the hospital, cause I’m not allowed to leave. Or um, supposed to. We just go to the cafeteria,” she stumbled over her words, wringing her hands on the hem of her gown. “I-it’s not the best, but, I hear they make a mean ham sandwich.”
She felt like she was falling. Or maybe floating? Or spinning, or even flying upwards. She was doing something, and she wasn’t enjoying it. Her body felt like it was being pulled in every possible direction, like something was trying to pull her apart, pull every last fiber of her being away, undo everything that was her being. Undo Willow Rosenberg and package her somewhere else, each part of her in a different dimension. Was this death? Was this what dying felt like? She wanted to open her eyes, but she wasn’t sure she even had eyes to open. She was nothing but her soul now, an amorphous nothing floating through the endless stream between life and death. If she focused, she felt like she could see something. It took a lot to focus, to open what must have been eyes, and focus on the everything that was nothing around her. Just a stark blankness. She wasn’t even sure it was a color. People say when they die they go to a white and cloudy place— was this that place? It surely wasn’t heaven. Someone like her, someone who’d done the things she had, surely wasn’t getting into heaven or any heavenly dimension in between. It was straight to Hell for her. Purgatory if she was lucky.
And suddenly she had form and shape and figure, and the colorless space around her had form as well, and she was sitting on a bench, in the middle of a whispy nothingness. She clutched her hands in her lap. She had form, but she couldn’t see herself— could see her physical appearance. She was there and she knew she was there, but that was all. There was no her to touch or feel or see or smell or hear or taste. No sense. No nothing except everything that wasn’t something. And every nothing that was never something. Her vision sank lower and she could see herself now— but not her, just her body. The vessel that once carried her. Red hair and all. Plastered and wet, sticking to the floor, to her face. She was dead. That’s why she was here, in this endlessness. Really, actually, dead. And right here, right now, she was in Limbo. Waiting. Waiting to be escorted to her personal hell. Because spirits couldn’t make the journey alone. Detached from their vessels, they would split and tear and rip apart in the ether. Only the strongest of spirits made it back to the physical world, but only after great effort, great loss. She wasn’t sure how she knew this, but she did. She knew everything know. Life, truth, death. Good, evil. Meaning, just, love. But it wasn’t her knowledge to keep.
He was coming. Her escort. She looked all around, seeing all three-hundred and sixty degrees— but there was nothing, no one. She just felt it, pulsing through her soul, her essence. And then there was something pulling at her, tugging at every tiny particle that made her up. And suddenly she was physical. Her hands appeared, then her arms, then her torso— her toes, knees, thighs. And the blank nothingness bled with color. White, silver, gold. Black. The pull was like someone had strung each pore of her body with a fish hook and was reeling her in, pulling her away from where she was supposed to go, tugging her in the wrong direction. But it was stronger than her want to stay and wait, and she was soon gone from the colorless, senseless, spaceless nothingness that had been limbo. But she still felt him, her escort, waiting just around the corner. He was there, and she knew it, but she still couldn’t see him. Couldn’t hear him, or smell him, or taste him. Just feel him. Waiting.
And then she was somehow Willow again, but she was still her soul, and she was in that same marble sanctuary she’d died in. The same two oracles looking at her. “Do you understand now?” they said in unison, their voices like some holy being, speaking down on her like the filth she was. “You can not rid yourself of the darkness inside of you so easily. Did you really think it would be that easy? You could just wish it away and not expect something like this to happen?” As intimidating and frightening and all-being as they were, Willow wasn’t scared. She was already dead, what more could they do? She cast her gaze downward, looking at her naked toes. She let the feel of the cold marble roll up the backs of her heels and into her legs. She shivered. She wanted to always be able to feel. She didn’t like not feeling. “No, I…” she started, bringing her gaze back up to be level with the oracles’. “I just wanted it gone. Wanted to stop feeling like that.” They shook their heads in unison as well, one simple motion that looked like it took years to orchestrate. “Willow Rosenberg, whatever is inside of you is a part of you, and you must live with it everyday. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, what you have done, or what you will do, it is yours and you must look after it!”
Okay, she was scared now. She shrunk back as their voices turned into a boom and the sanctuary suddenly became dark and thunderous. “Y…you did all this…just to teach me a l-lesson?” she squeaked quietly. Once again, they shook their heads, less synchronized this time. They were splitting apart, their power fading. She was becoming more whole, more Willow. “No,” they said. “We do not care about your feeble life, or you girlfriend’s feeble life.” Willow flared up, anger in her eyes. “We exist simply to maintain the balance of good and evil. By releasing the darkness within you, you upset that balance, therefor we took action.” They had faked it, faked interest in her life, faked trying to help he, faked feeling sympathetic for her. “When you have learned the true meaning of strength, you may it back.” Willow was snapped from her thoughts. She looked up, eyes wide. “Wh-what?” The female oracle moved forward. Willow gulped and took a step back. With each step she receded, the oracle gained, until Willow’s back was firmly against the marble wall, the same cold tingle in her feet now rushing up her spine.
“It’s not your time yet,” the female oracle said quietly and lifted her hand, extending one finger. She placed it in the center of Willow’s chest. “But you will walk the earth without magic until you can learn.” Willow’s jaw quivered. “L-learn? Learn what?” she asked, but before she could get an answer, there was that pull again and the room around her was being torn away, like it was made of paper. Being sucked into vacuum. Ripping apart. The female oracle faded with the room, and suddenly Willow was falling, backwards, her arms stretched out in front of her.
Falling, falling, wham!
After the words had been uttered, there had been no other thought in Willow’s head except: I have to get rid of it. It was like an infestation, growing beneath her skin, unseeable, but touchable, palpable, corporeal. There. With every pump of her heart, every inhale of breath, every bat of her eyes as she blinked. How had she not noticed it before? How had she been so blind? His touch, his presence, his aura, floating all around her, swimming through the ether, touching her essence like it owned every part of her body. The Malocchio’s energies are inside of you, Willow. That’s what Tara had said, after pulling some of Willow’s sorrow and guilt and magic out of her body in an attempt to calm the wailing red-head. And now she wanted it gone, out, dispelled. Wanted to wash herself of it, stand under the hot water of a shower for an hour, let the droplets rinse her free of the slick, raping magicks that were whirling around inside of her, attaching themselves to her own magicks, her own energies. Would it be that easy? She’d tried. Standing in the small shower for over an hour, bracing her palms against the tiles, crying underneath the waterfall, letting it cover up her pain and sobbing. It hadn’t helped much. Maybe calmed her down a little. When she’d stepped out of the shower and wrapped herself in a towel, she’d just laid down on Tara’s bed and curled into a ball, staring at her palms. And she’d stayed that way until the blonde witch had come into the room, calling for her. Even then, she’d just continued to stare at her hands, only prying her eyes away when Tara sat down next to her and rest her hands lightly on Willow’s shoulders, shaking her from her trance. She helped Willow change into her pajamas, then tucked her into the bed, where Willow just laid, staring up at the ceiling. In the still silence of the room she could almost hear the magic churning inside of her, in the pit of her stomach, like her insides were a cauldron for the marinating evil that the Malocchio had left her with. Had infested her with.
She was diseased and she needed a cure. She could feel it infecting her. Now that she knew it was there, she could feel it. How foolish she’d been to think she could just be rid of it like that. Be rid of what was inside of her. The nightmares— or night terrors more like, as they surpassed what would amount to as a bad nightmare— continued to plague her, only adding to train wreck of thoughts of how to get rid of it. It was a virus, slowly overtaking her whole body, and it was do or die at this point. Cure or wilt. But there was nothing in the books. Nothing about residual magick from another person. Nothing about the Malocchio’s magick. Nothing about how to fix it; fix herself. She was on her own in this. Alone, again.
Meditating helped her keep control of herself. Sometimes she would get itches— an itch that could only be scratched by using. And those were the times meditating helped the most. It was the same routine each time: sit down, grasp her knees, and slam her eyes shut. Think of the calm ocean, or sitting in the woods, or just laying in bed with Tara. Think of an autumn tree, blowing lightly in the breeze. Slow your breaths. And now, think of nothing but Tara’s face. Tara’s eyes, Tara’s nose, Tara’s mouth. In. Out. In. Out. And then her eyes would flutter open softly and something like several hours would have passed. The other residents of the house knew to just leave her alone when she was in her meditative state, and sometimes she found them sitting on the couch, or making food in the kitchen; but more often than not, she would open her eyes to an empty house and feel the strangling grip of loneliness pulling at her heart strings.
But it wasn’t enough anymore. After a week of night terrors and epic-length meditations, it wasn’t enough anymore. It wasn’t getting better. And Willow didn’t want to just deal with it anymore, she wanted it to get better. Go away, even. Stop. Stop so she could focus on fixing the mess she’d made. The skin burns on her neck from Buffy’s hands had finally faded and left, now only a thin red line along the base of her neck, where the skin has actually split and scarred slightly. Though no blood had been drawn, the skin had been stripped from her by the sheer force of the Slayer’s grip. Willow ignored it, mostly. It burned today, like some sort of sign or warning that something was going to happen— whether that be a good or a bad something, Willow couldn’t tell. She rubbed her neck gently, applying a think layer of lotion to the dry skin before turning back to face the once again empty room. Her skin gyrated with the rumblings of magick, making her whole body tingle. She’d just awoken from a trance and it was all so fresh and flowing inside of her. The fear of hurting someone again suddenly struck her, a thick sock to the face. Her heart thumped loudly, leaping into her throat. She had to get rid of it, before it exploded out of every pore in her body, like a leaking faucet. She wouldn’t let herself hurt anyone ever again.
It was early in the morning, and everyone was gone. She wasn’t sure where, all she knew was that Tara was at work. Beth had probably gone somewhere with Cleo. She typed out a short message to Tara via text before setting the phone on the bedside table. Willow sat on Tara’s bed (her bed?), cross-legged, staring down into her lap, as if waiting for the answer to come to her. She was so tired; figured she hadn’t slept a full night in about a week. Her eyes drooped heavily, like they were made of lead. Her head rolled forward, her chin dipping to touch her chest. With a start, she sat up straight. Concentrate, don’t fall asleep. On the fringe of sleep was when she was her most vulnerable. She could get caught up in a dreamscape, disillusioned by a dream, and accidentally use magic. Ruin everything she’d been working for. She was simply trying to dispel some of her magic into the ether, get rid of some of her pent up energy, return it to its original source. Her eyes drooped again.
A sheet ruffled, thrown in front of her face. A small scream escaped her lips, echoing all around her. She looked down, and she was standing in a pool of water, maybe waist deep. Someone was under the water. She reached down to help pull them up, looked like they were drowning. Blonde hair, sad blue eyes. Buffy. “Buffy!” she called out, reaching down with both hands. Against her will, they closed tightly around Buffy’s neck, holding her under. “Wh-what? No! NO!” she cried out, but she wasn’t in control anymore, and as she looked at her reflection, she saw a dark-haired woman grinning maniacally back at her. “Stop it….stop it!” she cried out, feeling as Buffy’s body became weak and stopped struggling under her. “Buffy, no!” she cried out.
“Buffy!” she screamed, jolting awake. To her left, a lamp shattered. The sheets flew up in a gust of wind; the window slammed open, the panes flapping in the whirlwind. Her breaths were deep and heavy and as she looked down at her hands, she saw thick, slurry magic curdling in her palms. Black magick. Evil magick. “No, no, no!” she cried out, leaping off the bed and making a dash for the bathroom sink. Turned the hot water on and shoved her hands under. “No, please, no!” she begged, feeling her knees go weak. They gave out and she was holding herself up with her elbows on the counter as she desperately tried to get rid of the black on her hands. The sink wasn’t working. She stumbled over to the shower and smashed the knob to cold, throwing herself in, fully clothed. The water sprayed into her face, washed down her front, soaked her straight to the inside. And to her relief, washed the black off. It soaked back into her skin, receding into the cauldron in her stomach. She felt suddenly sick and pried herself out of the shower and over to the toilet just in time to relieve her empty stomach contents into the bowl. Her whole body shook. She just couldn’t take it anymore. “Please,” she begged in a small, broken voice. “Please make it stop.”
She wasn’t sure who she was talking to, but someone out there had to be listening. Whether it be a demon, or a god, or just a random passer-by who could hear her moans through the window, someone had to hear her. “Please, I’m begging you,” she croaked, “take it away. Take it all away. Make it stop— please, please, just make it stop…” She sank to the floor of the bathroom and curled back up in a ball, shivering in her soaking wet clothes, her hair in little red tendrils as they curled up from the wetness. “I’ll do anything…”
Her eyes drifted closed and she waited for it, waited for the nightmares to come. But they didn’t. And she suddenly felt warm, glowing. Her eyes opened up slightly. Was she in heaven? No. If she had died, she most certainly wasn’t going to heaven. She didn’t deserve to go to a nice place like that, did she. Willow opened her eyes fully and found herself in a white, marble room. She’d been here once before, but she couldn’t quite place it. With one hand, she pushed herself up to a sitting position. Her clothes were still wet, she could see that— but she couldn’t feel it. Couldn’t feel the pressing coldness of the wet cloth against her skin. She stood up shakily and looked around. “H-hello?” she called out warily. No answer. “Anybody here?”
She must be dreaming; but it all felt just slightly too real to be a dream. Like she was half awake, and was walking through a dreamland. She opened her mouth to call out once again when a figure appeared in the doorway— decked out in white drapery, with sparkling silver skin, and hollow yellow eyes. Then it hit her— this was the Oracles’ sanctuary. The Powers That Be had summoned her once again. Willow swallowed. It was surely to kill her. What else would they want with her? “We feel your pain,” the figure said, cutting into Willow’s thoughts as they moved into the light. It was a woman, and her hair was pulled up into a bun, dark curls falling around her face. She looked so elegant and regal. Willow stiffened. “My…pain?”
Another figure appeared next to her, nodding his head. “We did not ever mean for this to happen,” he said. Their voices seemed to match, like it was one being talking through two vessels. Willow blinked, confused. There was something cunning behind the way he offered his words and Willow suddenly felt herself panicking. “I…um, I’m s-sorry. I didn’t mean to…I’m sorry,” she stuttered, shrinking away from the two. The female shook her head. “Do not be sorry, Willow Rosenberg.” Willow swallowed the lump in her throat. “Ummm…o-okay. Wh-why am I h-here?”
The male stepped forward. “Would you like us to take it away, as you said?” Her eyes lit up a bit and she stood up a bit taller. “That darkness inside of you.” She blinked and looked down at her hands. They wanted to help her? But…why? There had to be some ulterior motive. There always was with the PTBs. “Wh…why?” she asked and the two seemed perplexed. “Why do you want to help me..? I-I’m evil, I did…evil things.” The female shook her head disapprovingly. “You are not evil,” she corrected. “You did, however, do evil things. We had hoped, though, that by bringing back your lover, such misdeeds would have been prevented.” Willow’s head shot up. “Y-You ressurected Tara…because you knew?” she said darkly, feeling something like rage stirring inside of her. “You knew I was going to turn? Why…why didn’t you just kill me before any of that happened!?” she exclaimed. The male shook his head.
“We have no reason to interfere with the human life cycle. We exist to keep the world turning. We sensed a great evil, and therefore tried to stop it. Because of our shot-comings, we offer you this now— would you like for us to take away your magicks? That darkness within you, consequences be damned?”
Willow ruffled her nose. Consequences be damned didn’t quite sit right with her, but she the offer sounded too nice, too good. Maybe too good to be true, but whatever consequence did befall her, didn’t matter. Because she couldn’t live with it anymore. She most likely deserved it, anyway. Taking in a deep breath, she stood up taller, giving the two oracles an even glare, her hazel eyes glinting. “Y-yes,” she stuttered, her breath catching. She cleared her throat. “Yes,” she said more confidently, “Take it away. All of it.”
With a nod, the two reached out and each placed on hand on Willow’s forehead. Their hands were cold as the marble she stood on— barefoot, she now realized. “Then so shall it be,” they intoned, their voices melding into one. And then there was a sucking, a pulling, like someone had shoved a vacuum down Willow’s throat and turned it on high. She gargled and choked, gasping for air, as she felt the magicks being pulled from her, pried from her very essence, her very soul. Strings being severed. Draining, draining…disappearing. Her body was growing weak, her knees knocking. Her legs gave way and she crashed to the floor, her vision fading, block dots eating at the last bit of reality she could see. One minute, she could see their faces, blurry as they were, looking down at her with something like empathy. Had they done it? Her body was so weak, Willow wasn’t even sure they’d left any semblance of her essence at all. Yes, they had done it— and more.
They faded quickly and she was back in the bathroom, still on the floor. Thump-thump. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t breath. It was all too much. Thump-thump. The only sound was her heart beating slowly. Thump….thump. Would it hold out? Thump….
A soft sigh of breath, and it beat no more. A smile on her lips as she faded from the world. Yes, they had done it. They had successfully reached into the being that was Willow Rosenberg and removed her darkness, her magick. And they had stolen away every last bit of her, and let her slip through the veil of the living.
Because every choice came with a consequence.