Return to Familiar Chapter Five


Author: Aine
Rating: For the moment, PG-13 for some violence.
Disclaimer: Yeah yeah, I know I don't own 'em...

Sunnydale Prison

A young redhead is fidgeing nervously outside of the prison's visiting room, "I don't think I can do it Faith. It'll break his heart."

Faith turns Willow to face her and cups the redhead's cheek, "Hey, if he's even half the father you think he is, he might be sad, but his overall feelin' is gonna be that he's happy for you. He'll be grateful that you're bein' taken care of." Faith kisses Willow lightly on the lips, "C'mon Red, it'll be alright. 'sides, me and G'll be here for you... always."

Willow begins to smile, "Thanks Faith. You always know what to say," the 15-year-old takes a deep breath and opens the door.

"Tara? Baby-girl, open up."

A muffled voice could be heard through the door, "I can't."

Mr. Maclay opens the door anyway, "I know I'm violating you privacy, but I'm worried. Your mom is worried. Are you mad at her?"

Tara is looking out of the window above her bed, "No, of course not. I just... I just couldn't look at her. I'm a murderer. She shouldn't have to see me again, ever."

Mr. Maclay is shocked at what is daughter just said, "What? That's ridic..."

"NO!" Tara yells at her father, then calms down a bit, "No. It's not. It's my fault Mama died. I killed her," Tara looks down at her lap, not crying, but ashamed.

The older blonde hurries over to his daughter and wraps his arms around her, only to have Tara try to shrug him away, he smile a little and says, "A shrug of your shoulders isn't quite enough to get me to let go. Tell me what's going on. And why all of a sudden?"

Tara nestles into her father's warm and loving embrace and tell him what she's been replaying non-stop, "The day Mama was shot, she was leaving the house and I ran up to her and asked her if I could go. She didn't want me to go, but i begged and she finally gave in. If I wouldn't Have begged her to go, she wouldn't have jumped in front of me when the man fired the gun, so she wouldn't be dead. She'd be alive, if it wasn't for me, she would be alive."

"Oh hunny," Mr. Maclay gentley rubs his daughter's back, "It's not your fault. Do you hear me? It's not your fault. Your Mama... let me tell you about your Mama. She believed in fate. I'm not sure if I do. But she did, and by that belief this will kinda make sense. The thing with fate is, is if she didn't get shot in the convenience store, she could've gotten into a car crash, or something much worse. She could've suffered.I hate that she died, it's not fair, and i think she was taken away too soon. She is such a... was such a beautiful person, inside and out. But you know, I mean I could never be happy that your Mama died, but we have a great life now. I love joyce very much, and Buffy. You three ladies are the light of my life. I know i kind of went off topic, I'm sorry." Mr. Maclay gets up off of the bed and goes to just outside the door, where he picks up an old ceadr box with Celtic engravings on it, "I was going to wait until your sixteenth birthday to give you this, but I think you need this now."

Tara takes the box and places it on her lap, "What is it?"

"It's your Mama's magic things. Her book of shadows I believe, and i know there is a pendant and a blessing for the pendant in there. Every gerenation of women on your mother's side of the family has blessed it. It is supposed to connect all of you somehow. I'm not sure about it all, but it's all written down. There are other things in there. Not all of it is magic supplies. But, look through it for a while. I'll let you alone and I'll come back up when supper is ready."

Tara hugs her father with tears running down her cheeks, "Thank you Daddy."

Sunnydale Prison

Willow steps tentatively into the small visiting room, nervously adjusting her dirty ol'd base ball cap. Taking a look around she see's a security guard in the back corner, and her father is sitting at a table in the middle of the room. She smiles and takes a deep breath, here goes nothin', "Hey Papa."

Looking at his daughter, "Hey baby, see you still wear that ratty ol' cap."

"Yes, and I'm not a baby Dad, I'm fifteen," Willow says honestly annoyed.

The older redhead chuckles, "You'll always be my baby."

"Yes. Yes I will. I miss you Papa. I miss you all the time," Willow reaches out to grab her father's hand, but quickly pulls away. Any contact is against the rules.

Mr. Rosenburg sees his daughter pull away from touching him. He knows that it's against the rules, but he just wishes he could hug his daughter. Atleast touch her hand. With a sad look in his eyes he breaks the silence, "I miss you too Darlin'. You're still my whole world."

"I know," Willow barely whispers, thinking of what she's going to have to tell her father.

"You haven't written in months, I was beginning to worry you'd forgotten about me," Rosenburg tries to lighten the mood, failing miserably.

"I'm sorry. Life's been kinda hectic. I'll try and do better," Willow gives her father a small smile.

"So, why the surprise visit?"

Willow starts to fidget nervously, "Well, um... I wanted to tell you something," taking a deep breath to just get it out, she is interrupted.

"Wait, I need to tell you something first. Okay?"

Willow nods.

"The judge didn't approve my extension. I-I'm goin to be leaving in two months," tears start to run down the older man's face.

Looking confused, Willow asks, "They're moving you to a different prison?"

"No," he says shanking his head, "My execution date is in one month and twenty-seven days."

Willow starts to cry, "Papa? No! Please, can't you do something? Oh my God!" Willow begins to sob.

Her father continues talking to her, "I was thinkin' of talkin' to that Mr. Giles that you're stayin' with. I was hopin' maybe he'd be your Daddy. Maybe he'll adopt you and be a better father to you than I ever was or coul've been. Would that be alright?"

Willow can only nod. Tears are still streaming down her face, even though she has calmed down a bit. She gets up and runs around the table to her father and tackles him with a fierce hug. He can't return the hug because his hands are cuffed, but he lats his head on his daughter's shoulder, reveling in the touch that he hasn't been able to feel in ten years.

Suddenly a loud voice is booming out, "NO CONTACT!" When neither prisoner nor visitor move, "STEP AWAY FROM THE PRISONER!"

Willow finally yells back, "GO TO HELL! You try listening to your father tell you that he is going to be murdered in two months."

The guard tries to calm Willow down, "I know, I'm sorry Miss, but it's prison policy."

"I know, I haven't been able to even touch my father since i was five years old. It's been ten years. I want a fucking hug from my father when I'm sad. I mean, I am obviously not going to slip him anything, you guys searched me before I came into the prison."

The guard shakes his head, "I know, but I'm sorry. I'm also afraid that your visiting time is over, I'm going to have to escort you outside now."

Willow bows her head in defeat, "Yes, sir." She then looks back at her father, "I love you Papa." Willow walks out into the waiting room. Her tears have yet to stop falling.

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