During the commercial break, Willow turned to Buffy. “It’s really sad, isn’t it?”
“Not really,” Buffy replied. “Not as good as first season, maybe, but Jack and Karen are still pretty funny.”
“Not the show.” Willow drew her legs up onto the couch, wrapping her arms around her knees. “Anya and Xander. I know they still love each other. They just need a little push.”
“It is sad,” Buffy said. “They were so great together. And now that she’s human and everything, maybe they will work it out.”
“Maybe.” Willow nodded. ‘And maybe,’ she thought, ‘they just need a little push.’
Willow sat cross legged in the middle of her bed, a lit red candle in her hand. She concentrated on the paper heart in the bowl between her legs. “Feelings that my friends conceal, let my sorcery reveal.” She dipped the candle, watching the wax spatter the heart. “In the morning when they wake, let their hearts desire they take.” She touched the flame to the paper, and it was consumed with a “woosh”.
She sat the bowl and candle on her night table, then snuggled under her covers. “Good luck, guys,” she whispered.
Buffy woke with a song in her heart. She bounced down the stairs, only to find Dawn rifling through the refrigerator. “Hey, I can get you breakfast.” She saw what Dawn had in her hand. “Is that an apple? Are you actually going to eat a healthy piece of fruit? Is the world coming to an end? More than usual, I mean.”
Dawn stuck her tongue out at her sister. “For your information, I already ate breakfast, as the empty bowl next to the box of Sugar Bombs can attest.” She stuck the apple in her pocket. “This is for lunch.”
“Just make sure you eat it.” Buffy looked out the window and smiled. “Isn’t it a glorious morning?”
“Gee, you’re all good moody.” Dawn took the peanut butter and jelly off the shelf and started making a sandwich. “Get up on the right side of the bed?”
“I had a dream. A really nice dream.”
“Well, get your butt in gear.” Dawn stuck the sandwich in a lunch bag. “Xander will here any minute, and you don’t want to be late for work.”
“Nope,” Buffy grinned. “I certainly don’t.”
Willow woke up feeling particularly lonely. She picked Tara’s framed photo off her nightstand. “God, I miss you baby.” She wiped a tear, then started getting ready for school.
On the way, she stopped by Anya’s apartment. The ex-demon invited her in, but “only for a moment.”
“You’re packing!” Willow exclaimed. “Where are you going?”
Anya glowed. “I’m leaving. I’m moving. In. With him. Oh, Willow.”
“You and Xander worked it out?” she asked confidently.
“Xander?” Anya looked confused. “Rupert. He called me this morning. Which was wonderful, since I woke up thinking about him. I love him so much.”
“Giles?” Willow shook her head, trying to shake out the confusion. “You’re in love with Giles? My Giles?”
“We’ve been fighting it so long. I would have realized sooner, if it hadn’t been for that thing with Xander. And Rupert is a much better kisser.”
Willow was in shock. “When did you...?”
“So, I’m packing up and moving to England. You said his home is very nice. I’m looking forward to it. He has horses, you know.”
“Yes, I...” She closed her eyes, trying to concentrate. Trying to cling to anything that made sense. “Giles?”
“Sorry to rush you.” Anya escorted her quickly to the door. “I have to pack everything up to be shipped later. I have a flight to London this afternoon.” She threw her arms around Willow. “I’m so happy!”
“I’m glad,” Willow said, finding herself out in the apartment hallway. “What have I done?” Her mouth dropped in horror. “And poor Xander.”
Poor Xander stood alone and dejected in the school basement. “I wonder where Spikey went?”
Dawn knocked on the office door. “Principal Wood?”
“Come in,” he called. “Ah, Dawn. How can I help you?”
The teenager blushed. “I. Um. I. Have you seen Buffy? She isn’t at her desk.”
“She dropped off some papers and told me she had a family emergency. Which I assumed you would know about, since you are her family.”
“Right.” Dawn looked at her feet. “Probably something to do with Dad. Or something. I guess she’ll tell me when she knows more.” She dug her hand into her pocket. “I was just wondering.” She thrust her hand forward. “Would you like an apple?”
Willow had trouble concentrating in class. She decided she’d do better studying at home for the afternoon. When she walked into the front door, she heard voices in the house. Walking steathily, she crept into the living room, preparing to face the intruders.
She wasn’t prepared for what she did see. Buffy and Spike were together on the couch, her head resting in his lap, totally absorbed in each other. “I love you more,” Buffy said.
“No, pet. I love you more.” He leaned down and kissed her softly.
Willow backed herself out of the room and ran up the stairs. She fell onto her bed. “I blew it. I blew it...” she said to herself, until she drifted off into an uneasy sleep.
In her dreams, she felt a gentle kiss on her forehead. “You didn’t blow it, baby. You did good. Mostly,” Tara’s voice seemed to say. “But I think you’d better have a little talk with Xander.”