Buffy awoke early the next morning. Looking at her only child she smiled. The child had a drool spot on her pillow and was slightly snoring. She then got up and got ready for the drive ahead. After finishing she decided it was time for Joy to be conscious. She then began to jump on the bed next to her daughter.
"Rupe, cut it out! I wanna sleep! I'm not gunna do homework this early in the morning," she grumbled as she put her pillow over her head.
"Since when am I you're little lover boy?"
"Mom?" was the muffled reply that came from underneath the pillow.
"Your one and only, unlike a friend of yours that has two."
"Funny. But why are we getting up so damn early?"
"Well, two reasons. One, we've got a lot of driving to get under our belts by tonight, and I don't want to be driving past nine o'clock. Two, and the most important, I'm your mother and I said so!" She answered as she looked down at her daughter.
"Alright, alright, I'm up, I'm up."
"Oh Yay! Now, what was that all about with Rupert and homework?"
"Oh, um, I was dreaming about him," she blushed, "and this one time when I spent the night over at his house. He wanted to get up early to watch cartoons and do homework. On a Saturday? I might love him to pieces but no."
"Yup, you're my child, and he is definitely his mother's child."
"Well, enough talking, go shower and get dressed and I'll go finish getting everything finished and even get breakfast too."
"You hang out with Willow too much."
"Oh, you love them too."
"That's not the point. Now go get in before I call Rupert and tell him all about you love for them and how you would like to hug and squeeze him forever and ever." Joy bolted out of the bed and was in the bathroom faster than Buffy could blink.
When Buffy returned to the room, Joy was completely ready to go, she even had all of her things packed and next to the door.
"I was joking about the whole embarrassing you thing."
"I know, but I remember that we, and by that I mean you, were in the middle of a certain story about two lovely ladies that I have known about my whole life."
"I was wasn't I? Huh. Oh, well."
"What?!" Buffy laughed.
"And another point for the mom while the daughter has yet to score."
"Well, crap. This just isn't fair."
"Who said life was fair?"
"That one guy, he had hair and um, eyes."
"Oh of course how could I have forgotten? What was I thinking?"
"You think? That's news. I'll call the Today show!" She went to the phone.
"Alright, you have one point."
After eating and packing up the car, Buffy was once again behind the wheel and Joy was in the passenger side.
"So were was I?"
"Tara told you about her love for Willow."
'Well, I don't remember much after that news was revealed, save for the fact that Dawn was really annoying that night.'
"Don't you know that's who taught me all I know?"
"I knew it! But anyway-"
'So the summer ended. Xander was with Anya, who as it turned out was going to school with us. I had started to date Riley. As for Willow and Tara, I only knew how Tara felt. I honestly didn't know where Willow stood. I didn't know how to approach the subject so I let it be.
Classes started up and it was nothing new, except for the new librarian. Who, not to my surprise, knew my mother, but what did surprise me was that he had started to date her after meeting her on parent-teachers night.'
"That's how Grandpa and Grandma met?"
"Yeah. I was totally wigged at first, but he has been the best father me or Dawn could have ever wanted."
"Yeah, he's a kick ass Grandpa too." Buffy nodded and continued.
'Yup, I found out the night of the Homecoming dance. The six of us were going to the dance together. Everyone looked amazing. It was so much fun. We decided to go to the beach and have a picnic under the stars. We had originally decided to leave our change of clothes at Willow's house, but we left them at mine. We went back to the house and opened the door to find Mom and Dad making out on the couch.'
"Mom. Mom. Mommy?" Buffy first asked as a whisper and ended in a yell.
"Buffy? What are you doing home?" She and Dad sprung apart faster than I could blink.
"Catching you and Giles making out apparently." Willow and Tara tried to calm me down.
"Obviously." Anya wasn't helping.
"Buffy I'm sorry you saw this. I wanted to break this to you much gentler."
I remember taking a deep breath and thinking about what I just saw. "It's alright Mom. You're both adults and if you really like each other. Then I'm behind the both of you." I recall seeing five sets of dropped jaws.'
"Wow that was really mature. Are you making that up?"
"Hey! And no. To tell the truth I really liked him. Not to mention I actually introduced him to your Grandmother in the hopes they would hit it off. But I didn't think it would work. Even though she never said anything, I knew she was lonely. My parents divorce was hard on all of us, but her especially."
"Huh. Where's Hank these days anyway?"
"You know the last I heard he was in Spain with a secretary. But that was years ago."
"Well, he can stay there. I didn't like him the two times I saw him anyway."
"I know, but I've made my peace over the years. If he hadn't bailed on us the way he did, we would have Giles around and I love him much more. He's always been there for all of us. He's been everyone's Dad. Why do you think Rupe got his name?"
"I knew that!" she blew a raspberry in her mother's direction. "So what else happened that night?"
'Well, after the whole walk in thingy, us girls got changed and everyone drove down to the beach. It was a starry night. We sat around the fire playing silly games and telling scary stories and stupid jokes. After awhile, Xander took Anya home. Then me and Riley went for a walk. It was lovely. Then walking back towards the fire I noticed that Tara and Willow were sitting really close to each other. Riley decided to walk to the car and get his jacket. I decided to go sit next to the fire. As I got even closer I noticed that Willow's arm was around Tara shoulder and her head was Will's shoulder. She then pulled back slightly. Their faces were only inches apart. Willow ducked her head and slowly closed the gap between her and Tara, who was doing the same thing. I remember thinking, 'Okay so maybe Willow is a little gay.' They were so close I knew they could feel each other's breath on their lips. They wet their lips-
"SON OF A BITCH! STUPID ROCK!" Riley's cry of pain cut though the air and the moment like a knife. Willow and Tara sprung apart and stood to find the source of the cry. I ran to him. It turned out he stepped on a rock barefooted.'
"What a dork."
"Yeah, a hottie, but a dork. And that's kinda why I broke up with him."
'He told me that he was going to join the army and was leaving the next week that night.'
"Buffy, I'm leaving and I want you to come with me."
"What? I can't."
"Why not? I love you."
"I still have to graduate. I am only seventeen, I can't go. I'm sorry."
"But don't you love me?" I looked away from his pleading eyes. I knew that deep down, Riley wasn't the man I saw myself having children with or growing old together.
"I'm sorry." He looked in me the eye. He sighed and hugged me.
"It's okay. Will you at least write me every now and then?"
"Did you? Write to him I mean?"
"Once every other month. We're good friends now. He is married to a woman named Sam, who he met at boot camp. They are now in Fort Wainwright Alaska."
"Hmm. So what happened with Tara and Willow?"
'Well, after the rock thing, they went for a walk along the beach. I called for them after Riley and I spilt. We left the beach and Riley dropped each off at Willow's. We put on some pjs and watched a movie. Willow not surprisingly, fell asleep during it.
"Tara?" I whispered so not to wake up Willow.
"Buffy?" Tara whispered back.
"What was happening around the fire earlier?"
"What are you taking about?"
"I saw you and Willow. You guys almost kissed."
"You saw that, huh?"
"Yeah. I also saw that you were interrupted. Did you kiss her during your walk?"
"Tell me you guys at least talked about what almost happened."
"No. I d-don't want to scare her or freak her out. Especially if she did mean to kiss me."
"Didn't want to? I saw her inching toward you too."
"No she wasn't. She does not want me like I want her."
"And why is that?"
"Well, she's straight, for one thing. And even if she wasn't, it not like she would like I was pretty or even want someone like me."
"Willow would have to be crazy to not like you. And seeing as you're crazy too, you're made for each other. She does love you. It's just a question of whether it's romantic or platonic love."
"I'm hoping for the first."
"Yes. I have to admit the two of you were so damn cute dancing last night."
We fell asleep soon after. The rest of the semester went along pretty eventfully. With of course the exception of me and Tara trying to figure out exactly how Willow felt about Tara.'
"You couldn't figure it out?"
"Not without directly asking her."
"So why didn't you?"
"Because that would have been the logical idea."
"But during Christmas break we got our answer."
"Did she tell Tara? Did she tell you?"
'It was the night of our first day off. Me and the gang went to the Bronze to celebrate. Willow had been acting rather strangely all night, and it stumped the rest of us. Around midnight I was driving Tara and Willow back to my place for another sleepover.
I was driving down Main as I talked to Tara, who was up front, and Willow, who was in the back behind me. Willow was still rather quite, which, for Willow anyway, is discomforting at best. I caught a red light and stopped. I turned to Willow and gave her a goofy grin and she laughed slightly as did Tara, but she stayed in her own little world.
"Willow are you okay? You're kinda quite." I finally asked.
"Umm? Oh, I'm fine I was just thinking."
"About what?" Tara asked.
"Nothing," she blushed slightly, "Just feeling a little introverted today."
"Oh, okay," the light turned green and I started drive forward, keeping my eyes on the street in front of me. "But you do realize that we love you and if you ever need to talk about anything you can tell us right?"
"I know. And I love you guys too-" Willow responded. Suddenly I had bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I looked out the window on the passenger side window to see a set of headlights coming toward us fast in the middle of the intersection. I remember the sickening crunch as the other car hit us and the feeling of being my head on the steering wheel just before I passed out.
I then remembered a light shining in my right eye. I saw paramedics standing in front of me. "What happened?"
"You were in an accident."
"Are my friends okay?"
"We are working on them now." I then remember hearing another paramedic saying, "The passenger is crashing."
"Is Tara dying?"
"Just relax, she'll be fine. Now just be quite and don't move around."
I also remember hearing a British man's voice.
"What took you lot so long? I called twenty minutes ago." I turned my head as the paramedics were working on me, and saw a cop talking to the source of the voice, a tall brunette man with a sculptured face, wearing a leather duster. Another man walked to him.
"Spike what are you doing?"
"Spike is it? What happened here?" the officer asked.
"Actually it's William Blood, the other is just a nickname. I was walking home and saw a truck ran the red light and hit that Jeep. Are they okay?" he looked to me. He saw that my eyes were open and smiled at me, and I smiled back. That smile was the last thing I saw before I passed out again.
"Dad called the paramedics?"
"Yup, and he even pulled us all out of the car, before it got fire."
"What happened to Willow and Tara?"
"Pit stop. I have to get some more gas, and look at that, it's lunch time."
"You are evil."
"Yeah, just a little."
"Dad's nickname was SPIKE!?!"