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Three Lions
By Lesley

Part 12. What's the Story, Morning Glory?

The volcano is awesome. A classic cone reflected against a still clear lake. The whole town is great to chill in, to come down from the shamans and the mountains and just hang in. Bacon and eggs for breakfast in flower filled gardens buzzing with humming birds. Lots of travellers to talk to when I'd go wolf if I had to speak one more word of Spanish. Internet cafes in need of web site design and computer fixage, which pay the few bucks needed to keep on searching.

I'd say this all out loud, but that would take away the mystery. "Cool," sums it all up anyhow.

The searching thing's getting there. Still furry 3 nights a month if I don't practice. But I practice, and I can sleep in cheap hotels now, not cages. That's a good thing. Bondage - not my thing - might be the wolf's. Still working out the whole Veruca cage thing, but I think it was mainly wolf calling to wolf. I can think of Veruca and there's no fur.

Still doesn't help with my Will. I start thinking too much about her and it's fur and fangs - not good. If we do flash forward to 'old lady with blue hair in Istanbul' the old guy might still be furry. Make a pretty funny picture I guess. Werewolf with a walker chasing an old lady round the casbah. One casbah that would be definitely be rocked.

I've been listening to a lot of English music lately. Been travelling with an English Warlock with a walkman full of Oasis, Radiohead and The Verve - some great stuff. The English music reminds me of home. I miss it. But, hey, I'm learning some things from the shamans that mean I might get to go home one day. Even if she's still happy with Tara I'd still like to see her. I'd still like to go home, even if it is hell - or the entrance to it anyway.

In the meantime its local buses full of locals carrying chickens for me. I sold the van a year back. The potholes killed the shocks, and I don't need the privacy so much now. Buses are fun, despite the potholes and the chickens. At least it's not dogs in bags like there were in Ecuador, or the you don't accept sweets on buses thing of Colombia. But they were fun, and I learnt some things there too. Good job being a wolf fixes my back when I change, or with these roads I'd be the first werewolf ever to need a chiropractor.

Mike the Warlock talks enough on journeys too. It takes my mind off the pain from each jolt on barely padded seats. He doesn't seem to mind that I just go, "Ouch" occasionally. The accent reminds me of home too. Though he sounds more like Spike than Giles or Wesley. Mike also gets the deep novels from the book exchanges, and doesn't mind me borrowing them. It's good to have someone talk. I've missed that. I still miss her.

I could shag, as Mike puts it. I get enough offers form girls on the road. I can't. I've never been into that. Went groupie free even before I got wolfed. Can't get into it now, and I can't get involved or it's hello wolf. So it's lone wolf time.

At least with most travellers and locals in the bars, watching the semi-finals, the net cafe should be empty, and I can get my mail in peace. Poor Mike. We only came down here when we did so he could watch the England Brazil match in comfort. At least the beer and fellow Bits seemed to help. If Germany goes through I'm going to have to keep him from his spell-books again.

It's weird. Everyone except us Americans seems obsessed with soccer, and haven't heard about any of our football players - except  OJ, and they're so not impressed there. Mike can walk into a bar anywhere south of the Rio Grande and start talking about great matches of recent years, and Becks foot, and everyone has a view - no matter what the language. It's a good job I'm not a jock, or I'd feel upset. Larry would have been lost. Poor Larry.

Mail time. Oasis playing in the background. As Mike would put it - sorted.



Subject:           whassup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


any hot chicas down guatemala way dude? Spring Break was awesome. really missed some hot babes down at the gigs in Carmel man. when r u coming home we need you on bass - last one got eaten.

miss ya




Subject:           Help Willow

Oz man. I hope you're still using this. I found it in Will's laptop. There hadn't been any messages for some time - but I guess you 2 been giving each other space.

Thanks for opening this. I know you don't owe me nothing. I wish I didn't have to do this, but you gotta know and somebody got to tell you.

She's dead. Willow's gone.

Tara was murdered by some bastard who came after Buffy. Will fell off the magic wagon big time and did some things she wouldn't if she'd been Willow. Giles took her to England to detox. She got a message to me just before she died. Spike's there. Bastard tried to rape Buffy. Now Giles had him in the same house as our Will. Then we get the she died call.

They killed her man. Those bastards killed our girl. She needs you. I need you here when they come back. I'm gonna try but might just need the back up.

Phone me. Reply to this Come home. But don't let her down again. She loved you.




Subject:           Important News

Dear Oz,

Giles here, not Wesley, though it's his account we're using, and he had your e-mail details on his hand computer thing.

I know we haven't been in touch recently, but I also know that you loved Willow very much, and that you would want to know, and have every right to do so. I'm so sorry to be the bearer of the worst possible news.

Willow died in her sleep on the 21st of June.

She was staying with me in London, and everything that could be done to help her was done. I don't know if you were in regular contact with each other, or if that was too painful. In case you don't know. Tara was killed by a stray shot meant for Buffy. Willow had been abusing her powers. Tara had left her as a result of that, but Willow had made some progress and they had only just got back together. Tara's death was too much for Willow, and she never really recovered. The best available help was here in London, and she came back here to stay with me. I am sorry to say that help did not work, and she overdosed.

Though she could not help herself she was a great comfort to Wesley and Spike, both of whom are also currently staying with me. They send their deepest condolences, as do I. She will be greatly missed.

I will be bringing her back to Sunnydale in the next couple of days. The formalities have to be attended to beforehand.

With deepest sympathy,

Rupert Giles

I think I sat at the terminal not moving, for what seemed like hours. I couldn't move. It took everything I had not to change - to destroy, to kill, to take out the pain on anything and everyone around me. I didn't manage to stop the change completely. My talons went straight through the table.

As it was it took every mantra, every talisman I had on, every fibre of my being to remain me. If I gave into the wolf right now I might not come back. There's no reason to come back. She's gone. But she can't be. She has to be there - somewhere in the World there has to be a Willow. Even if we can't ever be together again, there has to be a Willow somewhere in the World. It just doesn't work any other way.

My sweetest memories are of her. Her face the first time we ever made love. Willow kissage. Her silly hats, and stealing grenade launchers. My Eskimo, and the sexiest ghost I've ever seen - and by now that's a lot. Giving a whole new meaning to panic.

My bitterest memories are of her too. Seeing her and Xander in the factory, when I was so scared she was being tortured or murdered. Her face when I left. Her tears over what I did with Veruca. Giving a whole new meaning to pain.

The two sets of images just blended in my head on re-run. There's all this pain. All these words in my head. But I can't seem to say anything. I'm numb and my mouth won't even open. I know I'm laconic but this is ridiculous.

The pain's worse than when I was tortured by those nazi bastards.

Spike helped save me from them. I know it was probably for his own reasons, but he still helped get me out. Willow never held a grudge about being kidnapped by him. Almost seemed to like him in fact - even after parent teacher night. Last I heard he had a chip stopping him hurting humans. How could he try to rape Buffy? How could he possibly kill my Willow? How could anyone possibly kill my Willow?

I should believe Xander? After what he did with my Will; I should believe him? I know he loved her. Saw that with my own eyes, and wish to god I hadn't. But why would he lie to me about this? Does he hate me that much? Because I had her, and he didn't?

Willow would have sent me a message, I know she wouldn't just leave. Not if she was still my Will. But was she still my Will? Was she Tara's Willow - happy to follow her to the grave, with no thought for me, or even dear old Xander? Had she changed that much?

We hadn't e-mailed for a long time - too painful for both of us. I wish I had now.

I want to believe Giles. He wouldn't lie to me. But he did that test thing to Buffy.  After that I never quite knew what to believe. I've travelled enough to see people do bad things for what they think are good motives. Hell, those soldiers probably thought torturing me was for mom and apple pie. The death squads, after the shamans we were studying with, probably think just the same.

Wesley? What was Wesley doing anywhere near my Will, after not wanting to trade her for the Box of Gavroc. But there's no way useless, fall over my shadow, Wesley could hurt my Willow.

None of this makes sense. Oasis sings it all for me. I'm still not sure I can talk yet.

"What's the story morning glory


Continued in Part 13. Should I stay, or Should I Go?

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