Life In Sunnydale
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Disclaimer: I own nothing in nor make any money off the stories I write, all characters belong to their rightful creators. Any character that I may create is mine and may not be used without asking but who would want to use one of my creations!
Summary: AU starting with season 2 timeline of BtVS, no slayers but evil is out there! femslash
Willow, Amy, Xander and Jesse made their way into the school with bored looks on their faces. It was their first day back to school after the short hot summer vacation. The four were not keen on returning to the school that they aptly had named Sunnyhell. They were looked upon by most of the student body as lower class citizens and unworthy of being noticed. “Oh look, it’s the Sears queen and her band of geeky friends.” Cordelia Chase, the leader of Sunnydale high’s socialite group said with a look of distain on her face.
“At least my nose isn’t so far in the air that it hits the ceiling.” Amy Madison retorted in disgust at the group of girls.
“At least my mother didn’t have to be taken out of her home in a straight jacket for trying to perform some crazy witch spell.” Harmony Kendall, Cordelia’s number one cheerleader replied.
“Come on guys, do we have to bother them daily?” The newest Cordette, Buffy Summers whined as three guys, Riley Finn, Brad Logan and Tim Mathison stepped in beside Cordy, Buffy, and Susie.
“I think I’m gonna go girl hunt,” Jesse announced having never been one to challenge the Cordettes and their men.
He walked off as Xander and Amy linked hands. The rest of Willow’s clique didn’t realize that this bothered her. Though she had a few friends, even they abandoned her for various reasons called life. “Lookie there Rosen-nerd, your friend doesn’t even want you!” Cordy howled and received cheers from the Cordettes and their current crop of men.
“Shut up Cordy!” Xander hissed as his best friend, since kindergarten, headed off down the hall.
As she ran down the hall, she ran smack into the other popular clique of Sunnydale high. This was Faith Lehane, William Burns, Daniel Ozwald, Veruca Stevens and a few of their friends. They were Sunnydale’s popular high school band, dressed in leather and often had wild parties with pot smoking and drinking. This was the circle of people and their friends that were stuck in the middle of the geeks and the socialite groups. Most of the time, this group wasn’t rude to Willow nor did they acknowledge her existence. “Hey there Red,” Faith said and looked down at the visibly upset girl. “Thanks for doing my math assignment Friday,” the pretty teen handed Willow a couple bucks.
“It’s wrong to take money Faith.” Willow said which caused the others to laugh.
“Red, if you wouldn’t be so virtuous, maybe Cordy and her girls wouldn’t bug ya so much man.” She shrugged and walked off with her friends.
Willow slumped defeatedly next to the drinking fountain and tried to fight back the tears, which flowed from her eyes almost daily. “Willow,” a voice pulled her out of her self-pity mode briefly.
“Oh,” she said upon looking at the pretty face of Harmony Kendall. “Haven’t you guys done enough today?”
“Actually,” Harmony allowed the first period bell to ring before she continued. She shared study period with Willow and wasn’t to concerned over being late. “I wanted to talk to you about my science grades. They were pretty dismal last year and my parents are ordering me to buckle down. I was wondering if you would like to help me out for a few evenings and they will pay you for it.”
Willow remembered that, when she was seven, Harmony’s mother had invited everyone to Harmony’s pool party, as they had just got a new huge pool. She remembered that Mrs. Kendall was always kind to her but Harmony never was. In fact, Harmony was worse than Cordelia Chase if that could be woven around one’s brain as a factual statement. She knew that helping Harmony with science would most likely be a huge challenge because though the teen did well in most classes, science was definitely not the blonde’s strong point. “Sure, just let me know when it fits into your Cordette schedule.” Willow said dryly, as Faith walked up to them.
“Kendall,” she turned angrily to the blonde. “I’m not gonna tell you again to stay the hell away from William! If you don’t, you and your band of fashion-designer girls are gonna find out why I don’t fit in with you even though I’m probably more popular.”
Willow knew for a fact that William hit on most of the Cordettes when Faith was not around. She also was certain that if Faith didn’t believe her, she would be in trouble also. She had seen William pulling up his shirt to expose his nice looking chest at Harmony and other flirtatious things. “She had also seen the blonde cringe in disgust. Buffy and Susie would probably date the hunky looking teen but not Cordelia or Harmony, unless Harmony was looking for a one-night stand. They stuck solely with the high-society boys when it came to long term dating. Though it wasn’t a crime in the book of rules for Cordettes to go out with guys like William, they kept their standards a little higher than those of the rest of their gang in order to show why they were the leaders. “Faith, you got the wrong one. Harmony doesn’t flirt with him in lunch or the two classes that I have with them both.” Willow said weakly, as the gorgeous brunette turned her gaze to Willow.
“You calling William a liar?” Faith’s intense glare was none to pleasant for Willow to be the object of.
“He’s simply not my type.” Harmony added to try to stop the street-wise brunette from further going after Willow. It wasn’t that she cared what happened to Willow but the girl came to her defense and, as a Cordette rule, favors were repaid unless the inconvenience to the Cordette was too overwhelming.
“Harm only dates men who ware clean-cut clothing and don’t look as if they’ve ran straight out of some freak show!” Cordelia Chase's words rang through the hall as she sauntered up to Faith. “His leather jacket probably cost a couple hundred bucks while Harm’s a couple thousand and that is why he and your silly little band is to low on the totem pole for Miss Kendall!”
Faith and Cordelia’s cliques rarely had conflict but it was on now. “You’re a stupid bitch C!” Faith reached out to shove the hazel-eyed brunette but Harmony, as the rulebook for the Cordettes requires that one do, stepped out in front of Cordelia and took the shove. This allowed Cordelia to trip the outraged brunette with a arrogant grin on her face.
“That’s queen bitch to you Faith, get it right!” Cordelia huffed and walked proudly down the hall with Faith heading off in her own direction.
“Thanks Willow,” Harmony said with a smile, the first smile she’d ever received from a Cordette.
- - - - - - -
At around 06:15pm, Sheila Rosenberg called to Willow who raced down the stairs. She fully did not expect Harmony to show up and was about to call Xander to see what he was doing tonight. “Hey are you ready?” Harmony called from the door and motioned to a classic 1969 Corvette.
“Yeah,” Willow said and wished that her father could see the car. He always loved cars and used to own one before the tragedy.
Harmony opened the passenger door for Willow then got into the car and sped off. “Dad has a few of these, he’s a collector I guess.” She said rather flatly.
“My dad used to love these cars.” Willow said in a hallowed tone as Harmony wheeled the snazzy looking car up the streets of Sunnydale.
“He is passed?” Harmony asked in wonderment as to why she hadn’t heard such news.
“No, he’s, well he was injured and never fully recovered.” Willow said in a nervous tone. She didn’t much like to talk about the events surrounding what had happened to her father because it only gave her bad dreams.
“Oh,” the shallow blonde replied with no effort to sound interested. “Here we are,” she said and pulled into a large garage that sat in the back of the Kendall estate.
As the two walked in the large Victorian style home, Willow couldn’t help but marvel at it’s beauty. Her family had money but the Kendall’s and Chase’s beyond had money. “Hello there Willow dear!” Nancy Kendall, a short slender light blond haired woman, who didn’t look any older than thirty, said cheerfully. “Will the two of you want something to eat with this?” Nancy said and held out a tray with a pitcher of ice tea and two glasses on it.
“No thanks mom,” Harmony said and took the tray from her mother’s hands, as she motioned Willow in the direction of her room.
As the two settled on Harmony’s bed and sipped their tea, Willow took a quick glance around the room. The walls were decorated with family pictures, celebrity posters and a collage of nearly 25 photos with obituaries of the students, in the popular crowd, who had died since their freshman year. Along one wall sat a state of the art entertainment center with unicorns and other figurines on the top of it. Along the opposite wall sat a computer that had fashion and celebrity gossip magazines on its desk. A large oak-framed bed was more to the center of the room, which had intricately cut glass windows and was cooled with central air-conditioning. In one corner was a door that Willow figured was to Harmony’s private bathroom and in the other corner, sat a small bookshelf that was full of what Willow presumed were romance novels or something of that nature.
“That’s sad and a little scary isn’t it?” Harmony stated more than asked, as she pointed to their fallen classmates.
“Yeah, it’s weird how they were all attributed to drugged up gang member murders.” Willow commented with a noticeable shiver.
“Do you believe in all those old tales? I mean, vampires, werewolves and other demons?” Harmony asked with a questioning smirk on her face.
Willow grew silent and had to fight off the bad memory of what happened to her father. She not only believed in those stories but also witnessed at least one of them first hand. “If I told you, you would just tell the rest of your gang and have more ammunition to get me with.” Willow stated and took her science book out of her bag. As she removed it, a cross fell out which told Harmony all she needed to know.
“I heard that one of the guitarists for Faith’s band is a werewolf and that William is a day walking vampire.” Harmony said as she looked at the cross that Willow picked up. “I never told any of my friends that.” She left out the part where her friends are the ones who had given her that bit of gossip but didn’t see the importance of explaining herself where the matter was concerned.
“Why would you? It would just get you booted out of the Cordettes.” Willow said a little more harshly than she had planned on doing. “Sorry, let’s just get started.”
“Sounds like a good idea,” Harmony said in an I’m better than you tone. “I have to get showered and do my face cleansing before bed.”
- - - - - - - -
The next few days of school droned on at a normal pace minus the fact that two members of the senior class had gone missing. Willow was certain where these two clowns would end up and felt bad for herself as well as the two once future lawyers. “Willow,” Harmony’s voice interrupted her thoughts. “My parents won’t be home and instructed me to get something to eat for us before we study. So we’ll stop in at the Bronze.” The blonde didn’t look thrilled at the notion of spending her Friday night studying her newly added computer applications class. Her father had suggested that they add that to their curriculum of after school studies and chose Wednesday and Friday nights for the next couple of weeks. He thought that Harmony might really buckle down and learn if he took one of her free nights away and then he would agree to a change of evening discussion.
“That’s fine,” Willow said being glad to have something to do on a Friday night. Xander and Amy would be at the club on a date and Jesse would be trying to make a move on any girl he thought might go on a date with him, or he may even have an actual date. Willow would just have been there and in the way.
“It sucks to be you Harm,” Susie laughed and made a face at Willow. “I wonder what your new boyfriend will say?”
“Charles isn’t my boyfriend,” Harmony said in exasperation of having to explain the situation yet again. “He’s a law school guy and simply for fun. My parents would kill me if they knew.”
“That’s why Susie will learn to keep her mouth shut,” Cordelia warned in a menacing tone, as she walked up to the gang with Brad. “Charles is a muscle-bound smart guy, he’ll understand that education is priority and this will help Harm’s case so back off Susie.”
“We’ll have her a condolence party for having to hang with the geek once her studies are finished,” Buffy Summers added in a tone that spoke volumes to Willow. Her words were forced and she never looked the redhead in the eyes, for some reason unbeknownst to her, it appeared that Buffy was forcing herself to be rude to Willow.
As the gangs bantered back and forth with insults, Willow noticed William and Faith huddled at a table in the library with the strange librarian. Cordelia took a glance and shrugged her shoulders. “I’ve seen their motorcycles at his home every night this week. What a drag, hanging out with the librarian!” She said the last few words loud enough for the rocker students to hear but Willow got a feeling that something more was going on.
Willow was more than surprised when Harmony allowed her to walk into the Bronze with her that night. The two glanced around at all the dancing people before they headed up to get their food. “Anyhow, Rupert is sure that it’s Angelus.” William was saying to Faith as the two headed towards the stage.
“Well we hafta stop after one set and see what we can find.” Faith replied in response before the two moved out of earshot.
“I think they’re having less fun then I am.” Harmony quipped in a dramatic fashion. She smiled at Willow and then glanced quickly at Cordy who gave her this look that seemed to say, “you can do it Harm.”
“Angelus is supposed to be this real bad ass vampire.” Willow replied in a low voice. She had got her hands on every book that she could find as well as looked things up on the net once the tragic event concerning her father had happened. Though she wasn’t ready to talk about her father to the students of Sunnydale minus Xander, she wanted to learn all she could about demons in hopes of someday avenging his death. That was the single most important thing in her life next to being accepted by someone.
“Wonderful,” Harmony said as the cashier handed her their food. “Hold on Willow,” she turned towards the Cordettes briefly. “Core, if Charles comes in here would you tell him to stop by my house at 11:30? I should be done by then.”
“Have you tried to call him?” Cordelia asked her best friend with a knowing smile.
“No, I want him to stop over and pick his jacket up, I’m done with him.” Harmony said in a voice loud enough for everyone near her to hear.
“Oh right then,” Cordy smirked at the blonde as she walked out with Willow.
“So it’s going according to plan?” A tenth grade Cordette asked the ringleader.
“It is if you keep quiet. Only me, you and Harm know what the what is.” Cordelia smiled and chuckled. “Let’s all go dance and have fun!” The brunette said and felt bad for Harmony having to spend her time with Willow but she knew it’d be worth it in the end.
As the fun was going on inside the Bronze, Willow and Harmony went outside and were getting in Harmony’s car. Willow didn’t understand how Harmony’s father related making her buckle down with buying her a new $50 thousand car. “Isn’t that a teacher?” Harmony asked, as the teacher’s eyes turned a dull gray.
“Oh my God!” Willow shrieked and quickly jumped in the nice looking ride. “Hurry up!” She slammed her door shut and jerked Harmony into the car as the blonde was moving to slow for her liking.
The teacher spun on them with a proud showing of her six-inch teeth and thick fur. “Oh shit!” Harmony gasped and started the car. “I somehow think that her seeing us is so not good.” She said and sped up the street.
“We’re supposed to just go around in denial and think that those are drugged up gangsters?” Willow asked in a fearful tone, as the two entered the safety of Harmony’s house.
“It works for me,” Harmony said flatly and sat down on the sofa. “It’s far to complicated to have to worry about the other option.” She said and motioned Willow to sit next to her.
“Do you realize that that thing will probably kill one of our friends before the night is over?” Willow asked and then took her food from the bag.
“You’re right,” Harmony picked up her phone and called Cordy. “Hey Delia, I saw this really freaky looking teacher. I dunno, yeah, big teeth and hair was so out of style. Watch yourself when you leave.” Harmony hung up the phone and smiled as if Cordy were the only truly important friend she had. “You can call someone if you need too,” Harmony handed Willow the cordless phone. “I mean, if your friends have cell phones.”
Willow looked at the blonde and realized that she didn’t see the shallow behavior in her actions. “They don’t,” she grumbled and handed Harmony the phone back.
“So are you and Xander Harris like an item?” Harmony asked as she ate her food and browsed an article in Cosmo magazine.
“No, we’re just best friends since grade school.” Willow replied as she finished her Pepsi. “He’s been with Amy for six months now and so I guess they’re hitting it off good.”
“I’ll go get you another one,” Harmony said and laid the magazine down on the table. “Ice?” She asked and smiled at Willow who nodded yes.
While Harmony went off to the kitchen, Willow glanced at the magazine she had put down on the table. The article appeared to be about bisexuality being the in thing now. Willow always had known that she was attracted to girls. In fact, one of the girls that she often fantasized about was in the kitchen getting her some Pepsi. It was all she could do to keep the blush from showing on her face, as she recalled her last fantasy of Harmony. It was a fantasy that she had used to fulfill her needs on a typical lonely night. “Here’s your drink.” The smiling blonde said for the second time.
“I’m sorry,” Willow said and took the drink.
“Off in another land?” Harmony questioned as she settled back on the sofa next to Willow.
“No I was just glancing at your magazine.” Willow pointed to the page and Harmony smirked.
“Ever kissed a girl?” She asked with a hint of curiosity in her voice.
“No,” was all Willow was willing to say on the subject. She didn’t want to give any hint that she had wanted to because she knew that the number 2 ranked Cordette would crucify her.
“Me either,” Harmony said in a thoughtful manner. “I’ve wondered what it’s like, I mean, some of the girls in that school make the boys look like they need a full makeover.”
‘One of them is sitting two inches from you’ Willow thought but managed to keep the blush that her thoughts gave her from surfacing again. “I’ve never really kissed anyone, I mean, well you know my status at school.” Willow replied solemnly and lowered her gaze to the floor.
“Wanna try it?” Harmony asked and smiled at Willow. She knew she was following a carefully planned out script but the fact was that she found girls attractive and trying this out would tell her of her sexual preference she hoped.
“Why so you can go tell the Cordettes that I tried something on you?” Willow asked with trepidation in her voice. She often dreamed of having Harmony or one of few other good-looking girls be the first one to kiss her and now it was in the realm of possibilities. Her doubts and fears instilled in her by the Cordettes over the years were getting the better of her though.
Harmony gave her a funny look then took her hands in hers. “Not at all Willow. I’d like to try it myself and you are here. Besides, now that I’ve had a couple of chances to talk with you, you’re not so bad.” The blonde increased her smile as Willow nervously accepted her offer to try the kiss. “Just relax, all right?” Harmony instructed more than asked as she moved closer to Willow.
She touched her lips to Willow’s and then ran the tip of her tongue across them. She still had hold of Willow’s hands and felt the slight tremble at that contact so pushed her tongue inside Willow’s mouth just a little bit. She then let go of her hands and put an arm around Willow then pulled her closer and deepened the kiss. She knew that she was getting caught up in the sensation and thoughts of her plan were being pushed to the back of her mind. Harmony had been sexually active for a short amount of time as it were and she knew what this was often a prelude too as did her arousing hormones.
A tingling sensation shot through Willow’s body as Harmony sucked on the tip of her tongue. She closed her eyes and imagined the things that Harmony would do to her in her occasional solo love making fantasies. She then realized that Harmony was not holding her hands anymore and was rubbing Willow’s back, as she aggressively explored the redhead’s mouth with her tongue. “Do you think you might like that Willow?” The blonde asked as she pulled away from the redhead.
Willow struggled to regain a normal pattern of breathing as she looked into the pretty blue eyes of the Cordette. That kiss was better than any fantasy she’d ever had of anyone but she was afraid to tell Harmony this. She figured it was about time for the joke to be up but saw no inkling of that in Harmony’s eyes. She thought she saw the same desire that she knew had to be in her own eyes but figured that she was mistaken. “I-It was, wow.” Willow said then looked away from the blonde.
“Willow,” Harmony pulled her close again and lifted her chin. “I understand that you are having a hard time trusting me but honestly, there is nothing up here. I think you’re a great kisser and would like to do it again. As a matter of fact, I’d like you to come here for dinner tomorrow night to prove that I’m on the up and up here.” Harmony finished speaking and moved in for another lingering kiss that she had to pull away from before she tried to move the redhead to fast.
“Why would you want to spend your free time with me Harmony?” Willow asked as she tried to look away from the blonde again. Her self-esteem was at rock bottom already and this wasn’t helping it any. She couldn’t figure out why in this world someone as beautiful as Harmony Kendall would want to spend any time with a geek.
“Willow, this little bit of time that we shared together,” Harmony glanced at the clock unseen by Willow as she spoke, “it has shown me the real you. We don’t have much in common like how I like fashion and you like reading but I like spending time with you. I think you’re a very nice person. Look,” she made a more dramatic look come on her face as if she were more serious then she had ever been. “The truth is Willow, I’ve always been into the casual sex deal and never let myself get serious with the guys I go out with. The reason is that I’m gay and never had the courage to come out.”
Willow’s face displayed a look of utter shock over Harmony’s revelation. She couldn’t believe that, first Harmony gave her a kiss that was good enough to last a lifetime and then, she tells her that she’s gay. “I, oh wow, I don’t know what to say. I think I’ve always been gay but…” Willow stopped short with a look of fear on her face. She was certain that she had just made the biggest mistake of her life by coming out to the Cordette.
“Don’t be afraid Willow,” Harmony placed her hand on Willow’s. Part of her felt bad for what she had agreed to do for Cordy but not bad enough to stop the charade just yet. “This is between you and I until we’re ready to come out. Then, if you are still talking to me, we can come out together.” Harmony pulled the redhead in for another kiss that lasted as long as the first one. “I guess we should study some before Charles gets here.”
- - - - - -
Just after lunch, Willow had made up her mind that she was no longer going to sit back and turn a blind eye to the fact that demons were slowly eroding the population of Sunnydale. She wasn’t certain, but suspected that Faith and William were involved in this fight against the demons and set out in search of them. After thinking on there whereabouts for a few minutes, she knocked at Rupert Giles’ front door. “May I help you Miss Rosenberg?” The librarian asked with a friendly smile.
“I need to talk with you,” Willow said in a determined manner. Not waiting for a response, she stepped inside the house where William and Faith sat with books in their laps. “I know all about what’s going on here in Sunnydale.” Willow continued bravely.
“You know everything,” Faith said in a mock tone.
“Miss Rosenberg, just what is it that you think is going on in Sunnydale?” Rupert asked and motioned for the girl to take a seat.
“I know that it’s not bikers high on PCP killing people. I know it because one of those ugly things tried to kill my father quite some time ago. I am trying to research and find ways to get rid of them but frankly; I don’t have the muscle, only the brains and a little knowledge of witchcraft. So I am offering you my services.”
After questioning her about basic demon practices and the like, Giles took his glasses off and wiped them. “Oh bloody hell! Don’t do it Rupert, we have enough of us involved and in danger!” William said as he stood up to create a more dramatic ambiance.
“The fact is that we need all the help we can get.” Giles replied in a non-convincing tone. “If Angelus is here, not to mention your sire, we are in great danger.”
Faith stood up and walked over to Willow. “Listen kid, this is not a game that you can jump in and out of as you wish. If you’re in, you’re in and life at school is normal. I mean, we won’t be hanging with you in our free time and such, got it?”
“Not a problem,” Willow said not wavering under Faith’s intense stare.
“You know my name and I am Rupert’s niece. My parents were both killed in the fight to rid the world of demons and so he took care of me. Now I’m in the fight and this here, is William the bloody or Spike as he was dubbed. He was granted day-walking status by my father five years ago in return for my safety and now he’s in the fight with us.” Faith’s face sported a cold and hardened look as she quickly filled Willow in on the three occupants of the room.
“All of this rubbish that you see going on in school,” William added, “is a ruse so that myself and Faith can appear as normal teenagers. The fact is, I love her and there will never be anyone else in my life.”
“That’s a bit over the top Spike,” Faith said dryly in indication that she was, by no means, in love.
“Well I do have a job for you,” Giles said and stood with a motion for Willow to follow him. “These are all the books at my disposal and we are trying to put them all on computer so that I may store away the actual books. The process is slow and done between researching the current baddy of the moment, general life and the like. Add that to the fact that the three of us aren’t very well versed in computers and there you have a situation.” Giles smiled in relief when he saw Willow’s face light up. “Thus far, there is only one other person involved in this with us. She is my girlfriend’s daughter and has become fluent with a stake, Buffy Summers.”
“So Harm is the queen geek falling for our little tale?” Cordelia asked as the two pulled into her new house that evening. She had a gleam in her eyes that told Harmony she loved crushing Willow a little too much.
“I think so but Core…”
“No buts Harm. She’s non-important so it doesn’t matter how she feels when this is over. All that matters is that we get to squash the gum under our shoes yet again and maybe go buy a new pair.” Cordelia beamed in delight as she lifted her bags from Harmony’s car. The two had gone shopping for most of the afternoon and, by the looks of Cordy’s bags, put a dent in their parent’s credit cards.
“You made me late to pick her up and so it may be squashed before you get to do any squashing.” Harmony said with a smile and pulled out of the driveway.
As she pulled into Willow’s driveway and stepped out of the car, she heard some noise from inside the house. She checked her watch and saw that it was 8:30pm and fully dark. It wasn’t uncommon for the daylight hours to begin waning early on in the fall but not completely at this hour. “Willow?” The impatient Cordette called, not having a clue that something was going on inside the house.
As the door opened, Harmony’s eyes went wide. A big orange creature had opened the door and made a grab for her. Luckily for her, Sheila Rosenberg was right behind it with a tranquilizer gun. “Oh my God!” Harmony yelled and turned towards her car then spun back around to see tears in Willow’s eyes.
Willow had tried to help her mother subdue her father before he made it to the door but they were unsuccessful. She knew now that her world was ended and the pretty teen would run for the hills for sure. She also figured that on her way to the hills, she would spread the news about this freaky thing that was inside Willow’s house. All her figuring’s were put to rest however when Harmony moved to her and embraced her in a hug.
Harmony knew that the best thing for her to do was run off and forget this little scheme of Cordy’s no matter the cost to her social standing. When she saw Willow’s grief stricken face and teary-eyes however, she just couldn’t do it. “Willow, it’s all right.” She said and wiped the tears from the shaking redhead’s eyes.
“No it isn’t Harmony.” Willow said as she sobbed into the blonde’s shoulder. “You don’t understand!” Willow spoke a little more loudly than she had anticipated but couldn’t help it. She had tried so hard to keep this secret and now all was lost. When I was thirteen, my father and I were walking home from Tony’s pizza Rama. This big orange thing made a grab for me but dad jumped in front of me. It covered him in hot red stuff and tore off his leg and then this man with yellow eyes came out of nowhere and killed it. We took dad to the hospital and he survived but he’s blind minus the times that he’s a demon. His skin is scarred and he only has one leg.” Willow said as her body shook harder with the memories of what happened to her once loving father. “Only Xander knows about it and that’s why I can’t bring anyone to my house. He doesn’t want to be seen plus during the full moon’s, we have to lock him in the basement because he turns into whatever that orange demon was.”
“Harmony could you take her out of here for a little while?” A haggard looking Sheila Rosenberg asked. The woman’s life over the last three years had been spent sheltering her husband from the citizens of Sunnydale both to protect her name and Willow’s teenage reputation. She had worked tirelessly to ensure that she and Willow were safe from his monthly demonic romp’s but she didn’t know how much longer she could go on doing this. How much longer could she hold out hope that her loving Husband, Ira, would come back to her before going on with her life? “I’ll be safe as soon as I get him to the basement and she’s not in any shape to help me.”
“Sure,” Harmony said in a shocked voice as she led Willow to her car. Neither girl saw a vampire watching from a distance and on the other side of the house, the 10th grade Cordette along with some guy were slipping back to a car.
“You don’t have to do this Harmony but I beg you, please don’t tell the rest of the kids. You can let them rag on me for everything else but not this.” Willow pleaded with the blonde.
A lump welled up from the pit of Harmony’s stomach into her throat. She knew, at that instant, that she could not go through with Cordelia’s plan to run Willow to the ground. “I won’t say a word Willow, I promise.” Harmony leaned over towards the passenger seat and pulled Willow into a firm hug. “I am so so sorry Willow. I had no idea that your life was in such a state.” As Harmony held the trembling redhead, she reflected on how hard it had to have been on Willow in dealing with her father’s tragedy at home and then the Cordettes at school. She made a vow to herself that her days of berating the redhead were long gone even if it meant giving up the social status that she worked so hard to gain. Social status meant nothing if you had to further damage an already broken human being to get it.
Harmony held Willow and wiped her tears with an occasional gentle kiss until the redhead seemed to settle down a bit. “Thanks,” Willow said softly as Harmony started the car.
“It’s all right Willow.” Harmony replied and headed up the street towards her own house.
As they pulled in, Willow saw someone fighting across the street. She looked over and saw Faith and Buffy managing to fight off a vampire and barely get him staked. “Can we go inside or is it to late?” Willow asked hurriedly in order to keep Harmony from seeing Buffy. The view from her yard was not a bad one at all due to the security lights that flashed on and off.
“No it’s fine,” Harmony said and closed the garage door. “You want to stay here tonight?” The blonde asked as they entered the house. “Hey dad,” Harmony called, as Willow nodded yes to Harmony’s question.
“Hi Harm,” Marty Kendall, a wealthy real-estate mogul, said with a smile. “I see you two didn’t make it back in time for dinner but there is some left overs in the kitchen.” He smiled and shook Willow’s hand. The man’s actions reminded Willow of her own father greatly. As to where her mother was more aloof, her father was friendly and outgoing with everyone he met. He went out of his way to make everyone feel welcome in his presence and always had a kind smile and word that seemed to uplift whomever he was in contact with.
“Maybe you can have something light.” Harmony said to Willow and directed her towards the kitchen. She knew the redhead was probably too upset to eat much but hoped she would have a little something to carry her over till morning.
- - - - - - -
Buffy and Faith ran up the street at a frantic pace. The two teens had managed to get a lead on Angelus’ whereabouts and called Spike. “This looks like Red’s house.” Faith said, as she loaded up her crossbow and Buffy got behind her a ways to keep her covered. “The door is wide open.”
“He told us not to go in till he got here Faith. I mean we know what we’re doing but he said it will take brute strength to fight with Angelus.” Buffy muttered as the brunette went inside the house.
As Faith stepped into the foyer, she Saw Sheila Rosenberg on the floor still in a weakening struggle for her life. Angelus was drinking from her with a satisfied look on his face. She loaded the crossbow and fired with it hitting him in the shoulder. Angelus howled and rose to his feet, as Buffy sneaked around the side and grabbed up the still breathing Sheila Rosenberg. “Run B!” Faith shouted and made a mad dash for the door.
“We don’t have time to go after him!” Buffy shouted as she got Sheila into Spike’s car.
“You take her,” Spike yelled and jumped out of the car to assist Faith.
As Buffy sped off with Sheila, Spike and Faith battled Angelus until the vampire escaped them both. “Is she gonna be ok?” Faith asked as the two stepped back inside the house.
“I think so,” Spike looked around for a phone number to call. “I wonder where Mister Rosenberg is.” Spike queried and got his answer when he saw a dying Worf demon on the floor. “I saved him once but I don’t think I can this time.”
- - - - - - - -
Willow and Harmony were relaxed on Harmony’s plush bed. “Thanks for helping me. I never expected that you would.” Willow said in a tired voice.
“I never expected that I would either Willow. Sometimes we all grow up I guess.” Harmony said and moved closer to the redhead to get a gentle kiss.
“You have more unicorns?” Willow noticed that there was a couple that she had not yet seen on the computer desk. “They’re cute but is there a purpose for collecting them?”
“Sure,” Harmony said as she rubbed Willow’s shoulders. “The way the story goes, the unicorn was left out of the ark all alone when the floods ravaged the earth. That’s kinda how I feel most of the time. I follow Cordelia blindly and play her silly games to keep from being alone. The unicorn was forever playing silly games and hiding and so that’s what I do. I hide my true self because I fear being alone like the unicorn was. It’s part of doing anything to be accepted. I’m just like everyone else Willow in that all I want is to be happy and I am most of the time but the fear of being shut out makes me do crazy things. The fear of what will happen if everyone knows what I really am makes me hide and I’ll probably end up washed away like that unicorn was because of it.”
Willow was shocked at the depth the blonde was able to use while explaining her situation. She had always thought of Harmony as Cordelia’s shallow sidekick and was beginning to realize that she and the blonde had more in common then she could ever imagine. “I always saw you as having it all, I mean, I’m the one who wasn’t accepted and liked. You had all the boys after you and were friends with Cordelia. I…”
“Being friends with Cordelia requires a certain way of behaving, dressing and you have to meet her standards on a daily basis or you are out. Spending this time with you has shown me that that’s not really what friendship is about and I thank you for that. No matter where we end up in life or what happens to this thing we’re building here, I will always thank you for that.” Harmony said and kissed Willow again. She supposed that once Willow found out of the initial plan that she had with Cordy, their time together would be over. She knew for a fact that once she refused the plan, she would no longer be a Cordette either and wondered if she was strong enough to take that risk. Everything that was moral within the blonde screamed for her to abandon this plan to hurt Willow; while another part of her, the insecure Cordette part, warned her not to give up her social standing for Willow and continue on with the plan.
Harmony pulled Willow closer and kissed her more passionately as her cell phone rang. She begrudgingly answered it, “what’s up Buffy?”
“Listen I know Willow was supposed to have dinner at your house,” Buffy began nervously. “Um, Spike and I saw her mom being taken to the hospital, is she by chance, still there?”
“Yeah she’s here,” Harmony handed Willow the phone and got up to put her shoes back on.
“Willow, Angelus was in your house. Your mom was still alive when Faith and I got to her and so we got her to the hospital. You should get there right away. We didn’t catch Angelus either.” Buffy said and quickly hung up the phone.
“I’ll drive you,” Harmony said and stood up to go tell her father while Willow ran a comb through her hair and put her shoes on.
- - - - - - -
When the two arrived at the hospital, they found Giles in the waiting room. “It’s all right Giles,” Willow confirmed, “she knows about this stuff.”
“Willow part of the deal was not for you to run around telling the entire town about…”
“She didn’t tell me anything, even us shallow blonde’s know what goes on at night around here.” Harmony added as Cordelia came racing into the waiting room.
“I saw your car outside on my way home. Are you all right?” Cordelia looked concerned, which caused the blonde to be more torn.
“I brought Willow here,” she motioned to the redhead who was talking with Giles about whatever had happened. “Look Core, there are things going on with her and I think we should wait on this little joke.” Harmony tried to reason with the brunette in hopes that it would buy her some time to figure out how to get out of this mess.
“We have a back up plan Harm.” Cordy smiled and withdrew some photos. “I just finished developing these pictures Teresa and Josh took outside Willow’s home. Wait till I have it posted in the school paper with the headline, Rosenberg has freak for a father!” Cordy slapped her hands together in triumph. “Teresa said that she heard Willow telling you the sob story. This is going to be priceless.”
Normally the blonde would be smiling in delight over Cordy’s brilliant plan but not this time. Harmony looked over at her friend and then back at Willow and then something snapped. Before she realized what was going on, her fist was connecting with Cordy’s mouth. “Cordy her mother is in the hospital and how would you like to have to live with a father like that!” Harmony shouted not realizing how that was going to sound if it reached Willow’s ears.
“Harmony Kendall, you will pay for this you stupid little bitch! Without us, you have nothing!” Cordy turned on her heel and stomped out of the lobby, as Willow approached Harmony.
Willow looked at Harmony as Cordelia stomped angrily out of the hospital. “Um, is everything ok?”
“Don’t worry about it right now Willow. How’s your mom?” Harmony looked at Willow with a concerned yet sad look. She knew that it wouldn’t be long before she had truly lost everything. Her status as a Cordette was surely gone and her new-found status with Willow would soon follow.
“She didn’t die so won’t be turned,” Willow said as she lowered her gaze. “I guess my dad is dead though and I don’t know how to feel about it.” The tears began to fall down Willow’s face as she spoke. “He doesn’t have to be a demon now but I still had a part of my dad with me and now I have nothing. In a way I feel a sense of relief for him but still it hurts because he’s totally gone.”
Harmony looked into Willow’s pained eyes and felt a knot well up in her stomach. She wished that there was a way to fix her pending problems with Willow and take everything that Cordelia had set in motion away. She wished that she could take the pain of her father’s loss away also but knew she was helpless in both areas. “I’m so sorry Willow,” was all the blonde could get out of her mouth for fear of spilling too much. She knew that Willow could not handle any further stress at the moment and racked her brain to come up with an idea to stop Cordelia and her gang. “Is there anything I can do for you besides sit with you here?” Harmony asked sincerely, as she pulled Willow into a firm hug.
“I don’t know what I need Harmony,” Willow said and sobbed into the blonde’s shoulder. “I think that I just need to rest or something. My head is all jumbled up. I’m afraid to leave mom though.”
Harmony lead Willow into a smaller waiting room that was empty. There were a few chairs and one long leather seat in the room, with a few small tables and two large lamps. “We can relax in here and then if something comes up, Mr. Giles will come get us.” Harmony said and wiped the tears from Willow’s face.
Willow was surprised at how attentive the blonde was to her needs. She had always thought Harmony to be a shallow blonde who wouldn’t understand how to comfort someone but was finding out differently. She knew there was a lot of shallowness within the blonde but that it was mixed with a little common sense. “Thanks,” Willow said and snuggled up to Harmony with hopes that she could get a little sleep.
- - - - - -
The gang had all returned to school within the next couple of days and all seemed to be going well. Willow’s mom was home and had made arrangements for the two of them to move into another house while their current one was sold. In the meantime, the two were staying in Sunnydale’s best hotel suite. Willow was hurt deeply over her father but knew it was for the best. During the occasions that glimpses of him would come through while at home, he would display utter remorse and regret over the things that he did during his demonic outings. She knew that he didn’t want to live like that and that gave her a small bit of comfort. The move and Harmony had given her hope that things were finally turning around in her life but she hadn’t a clue as to what lay ahead for her.
As Willow scanned the halls for Harmony, Spike tapped her on the shoulder. “Mate we have a meeting tonight just before dark. Angelus is doing a bang up job of destroying the town and Faith is in the hospital. Buffy is there with her as she feared that something might go wrong if someone didn’t stay with Faith.”
“Why aren’t you there? I mean you’re,” Spike shrugged his shoulders before Willow could finish.
“I know lass but Buffy insisted that she be the one to stay and I check on things from this end.” Spike smiled and put a comforting hand on Willow’s shoulder. “I’m sorry that I couldn’t save them both.” He shrugged again as Harmony came towards them.
“Hey Willow,” Harmony said with her usual snobbish grin planted on her face. “I didn’t think that you would be here today.” Spike noticed how she shifted her glance from Willow to Cordelia in a nervous manner.
“I figured that I may as well get things as back to normal as I can.” Willow said with a slight smile. She wished that she could give Harmony a hug and big kiss. The blonde was a great kisser in Willow’s eyes and she wouldn’t mind if Harmony kissed her all day with no interruptions.
Harmony spotted movement from Cordy and rushed Willow outside. “I want you to come to my car for just a minute,” the blonde said with a fake smile as she moved quickly to her car. “I hope that I wasn’t intruding on something important with you and William.” Harmony continued speaking as she opened the passenger door and motioned Willow to get in.
“No it’s fine,” Willow said as Harmony got in on the driver’s side and started the car. “Where are we going? We have class soon.” Willow’s voice rose to panic level, as she had never ditched a class before.
“Relax Willow,” Harmony said and drove a short distance away from the school. She then moved over to Willow and kissed her lips gently. As Willow welcomed the kiss, it grew more passionate and longing. “I missed this the last couple of days,” Harmony said as she moved closer to Willow and began trailing her fingers up the redhead’s arms in the gentlest touch that she could muster.
“I missed this too Harmony.” Willow said and allowed herself to relax in the blonde’s embrace. “You have no idea how much you helped me through the last couple of days.”
Another pang of guilt washed through Harmony’s body as the rain began to fall. She wished that the rain could wash it all away and make her not have to admit to Willow the things she knew that she would soon have to confess. She knew that she was only buying a short amount of time when she swept Willow away from Cordy’s path earlier but it was a few moments longer with Willow nevertheless. “Willow, there are some things I need to tell you so that we can move forward with this thing we’re developing, if you still want to do that when I’m finished.” Harmony steeled herself having made the quick decision to get this over with as quickly as possible. She decided that it was time she take charge over her own fate and stop running from the Cordette’s.
“This sounds serious,” Willow said in a small voice that was tinged with fear. She wondered what was so important that Harmony would stop their make out session and feared that the bomb was about to be dropped. “I mean like can it wait till after school or when we finish this?” Willow asked with a fearful smile on her face.
“No Willow,” the blonde said and looked away from the redhead. “I really don’t know how to begin Willow but I hope that, when I’m finished, you can understand that I’m being as up front as I know how. I want a clean slate for us because I really do like you, more than I realized I ever could.”
“All right,” Willow said in a despondent tone of voice and wished that she could wash her fears away in the poring rain. She was scared that Harmony was going to bail on her or that she never even cared about her. Her mind was resolved to act nonchalantly to whatever bad news the blonde bestowed on her and wondered if the Cordette’s were in on it also.
Harmony took Willow’s hands into her own and looked her straight in the eyes. She knew that it was now or never and that this was the only chance she had in saving any shot she had with furthering her relationship with Willow. “When I first approached you for help with my studies, it was true that I needed help. My father had told me to get the help or he would take the car. So, I was complaining to Cordy about it and she came up with this plan to embarrass you and I agreed to it. She wanted me to get close to you and see if you could like me and then I was supposed to make you look like an idiot in front of the school.”
As Harmony struggled with the words that she needed to continue, due to both a trembling voice and fear of saying the wrong thing, she saw the utter devastation in Willow’s beautiful green eyes. The redhead looked as if someone had taken a knife and stabbed her in the heart then drew it up through her entire body. “When we started spending time together, I found myself enjoying your company very much Willow and wanted out of the stunt. When I tried to get Core to back down, she told me that she had found out about your dad and even had pictures. She had planned to tell the school about him and that’s why you saw me punch her at the hospital. Willow, what I told you about my sexuality is all true. I have not lied to you about anything and would give anything in this world if you could find it in your heart to forgive me because I swear that I do like you a lot.”
Willow found it hard to breathe suddenly as the words that came from Harmony’s mouth stung her hard. She chastised herself for ever believing the Cordette but mostly for trusting her with her secrets. “I trusted you Harmony and you betrayed me!” Anger replaced the look of hurt in Willow’s eyes as she freed her hands from Harmony’s grasp. “You were going to sell me out after all that has happened in my life!”
“No Willow,” Harmony tried to explain that she had nothing to do with the family part of Cordy’s plot but Willow shoved her away and jumped out of the car. “Willow wait!” Harmony shouted and stepped out of the car.
“Stay away from me Harmony Kendall!” Willow shouted and ran off into the rain.
“A little rough patch Harm?” One of the Cordette flunkies asked as she stepped towards the blonde.
“Tell Core to fuck off!” Harmony said and jumped back in her car. “I want no part of any of you!” She started the vehicle and sped off in the direction Willow had ran.
Giles, Buffy, Spike and Faith, who was just released from the hospital, met up at Giles’ apartment just before sunset. They waited around a few minutes for Willow but saw that she wasn’t coming so were getting ready to start the strategy meeting. “Sorry that I’m late,” a haggard looking redhead announced and sat down next to Buffy.
“Did something happen with Harmony?” Spike asked having remembered that he last saw her with the pretty blonde. He needed something to focus his attention on rather then the fact that he felt Faith should still be in the hospital. She had only had a few stitches and a concussion but he wanted her rested up.
“We don’t have time to discuss my personal life Spike.” Willow replied curtly but her body language gave Spike his answer. He had grown to be a very perceptive vampire over the years and that was probably one of the main reasons that he still was walking around in a soulless body. He didn’t know what it was but knew that the two girls had a falling out of sorts.
“We always get personal things out of the way so that we can concentrate on the other stuff.” Buffy replied with a small smile. She too had figured out that something had gone down with the blonde because Willow placed her arms protectively around herself when Spike asked his question.
“Let the girl alone,” Giles said dryly and got up to answer the door with a look of exasperation on his face.
The look only grew more evident when he opened the door and saw that Harmony stood on the other side of it. “Mr. Giles, I need to speak with Willow.” The blonde said and pushed her way confidently into the room. Her gaze dropped slightly in surprise when she saw the collection of people in the room but she quickly regained her composure. She had a purpose for coming here, demon fighters be damned.
“I think we have more important things to do then deal with the likes of you.” Buffy said protectively, as Faith lit a cigarette with a look of amusement on her face.
“I don’t want to talk to you Harmony.” Willow said and fought back the urge to cry again but the blonde moved quickly to her side. She placed her hand on Willow’s arm only to have it pushed off. This was not enough to shake Harmony’s confidence however, as Willow had hoped.
“Then just listen,” Harmony said with her confident smile slipping into one of sadness and concern.
“We have pressing matters to attend to.” Giles said in an irritated manner.
“I know what you all have to tend to,” Harmony turned briefly towards the man. “You have to stop this fanged creature that everyone in this town knows about but hides the fact that they do. You don’t really have some secret organization here Mr. Giles so don’t fool yourself into the notion that you do. You are simply one of a few who are trying to do something about it rather then ignore it. Even my father has crosses in his office that are supposed to be because he likes them but nobody is stupid enough to truly believe that.”
Faith recalled that her own family kept a lot of crosses around the house and smirked with a hint of sadness dancing in her eyes. “She’s right G-man. Look what happened to mom and dad because they knew and tried to keep it hid. Maybe fighting in larger numbers is what we need.”
Buffy’s face shadowed the same look that Faith sported minus the smirk. There were many times that she had wanted to tell her own mother of the dangers that lie throughout Sunnydale. She had felt that eventually her mother would believe her and be a little safer because she could try to protect herself. She wondered if Mrs. Rosenberg had not had the knowledge that she had, if Angelus would have succeeded in killing her as the element of surprise would have been greater. She also knew that passing out flyers to the entire town would be a huge mistake as most would rather think they were all crazy then do anything about it. “Maybe a few more bodies in the battle would help. At least we could keep more people safe.” Buffy said in a small voice.
“Have you all gone stark raving mad?” Spike roared in disgust and rose from his seat. “The more people that we allow into our group is the more people that have a chance of getting hurt!”
“No that’s not my suggestion,” Faith said dryly. “My suggestion is to help people realize that the things they believe in the back of their mind are true. Maybe then they can be more careful when they’re out at after dark. Like if Mr. Simpson, the gas station attendant, is aware of what’s out there and someone is attacked in his back alley, maybe he can lend a hand and save a life. This doesn’t mean that they all will be in the daily fight, just more able to look after themselves.”
“Like an underground deal,” Buffy said in a more perky tone of voice. She liked the sound of that and knew that the possibilities could be endless if Giles would only agree to the idea.
“Let’s deal with Angelus and then discuss your preposterous idea!” Spike shouted with rage in his vamped eyes.
“You all can do whatever you want,” Harmony said impatiently. “I just want to talk with Willow and then I will leave you and pretend that I’m ignorant to all that is evil in this little hellhole that you will all probably call home for the rest of your lives.”
As the gang gave Harmony looks of disapproval in varying degrees, Willow stood up. “I said I don’t want to talk to you Harmony. After what you did to me, I don’t even want to see you!” Willow’s anger won out over the hurt that welled up inside her briefly.
“Willow, I told you the truth of it all. I had nothing to do with what Core was going to do to you concerning your family. She had Teresa spying with some jock and they took pictures. They heard us talking and I swear that I had no idea that they were there.” Harmony tried to convey her sincerity both in her eyes and with words but felt that it was not working. She knew that she had to reach Willow somehow; she couldn’t let it go like this.
Willow was far to hurt and angry to notice the pleading look in Harmony’s eyes but Buffy wasn’t. She didn’t know the full details and wasn’t sure if she wanted to know them but she felt that Harmony was on the up and up with what she was saying. “Harmony, why don’t you just let Willow finish out this meeting and give her some time to relax. Maybe then the two of you can talk this out.” Buffy offered both to steer things back on course and to give Willow the time she needed to figure out her next move.
“Just take a seat Ms. Kendall,” Giles said and opened a notebook to begin the meeting. His plan was for Willow and he to set up a navigation spell and she would be the navigator from his apartment. She would warn them of the danger surrounding them and things of that nature while they searched for Angelus. If this went well, they would use it more often with he and Willow taking turns being the navigator as he knew she could not be available on a nightly basis with school work and home life taking precedence at times. “Granted this is not full proof by any means as we can only detect dangers that are at a very close range but it’s all we’ve got for the time being. My hope is that with time and some fine tuning we can increase our range of detection.”
“That all sounds splendid,” Spike said in a mock tone as he flipped his cell phone shut. “At the present time however, we’ve got to get to the Bronze. Word is that it’s being attacked. Red should stay and work on your brilliant idea.”
Faith and Buffy did not like Spike’s attitude toward Giles’ idea but agreed that it would have to wait. They stood in unison and headed out the door followed by Spike and Giles. “You don’t have to stay.” Willow said bitterly as she went over the notes that Giles had given her once more.
“I know that,” Harmony said softly. “Willow, I know you’re busy and all but I just can’t let what we were starting end like this.”
“You have to Harmony. I can’t forgive what you’ve done to me.” Willow said and got up to answer the door, which was shaking from the rapid knocking. “Oh hey Jesse,” Willow said with a thin smile and stepped back to let her friend in.
“Amy and Xander are at the Bronze and there is some big trouble going on there.” The young teen said frantically. “I remembered you saying that you had to stop here for something and…”
“Willow!” Harmony shouted not caring that she was interrupting the two friends conversation. She tried to motion towards the mirror discreetly but Jesse saw her and bore his fangs instantly.
“No, no, this can’t be!” Willow shouted in a shrill deafening voice as the vampire made a grab for her.
“Snap out of it Willow!” Harmony shouted and held a cross out in front of the redhead, which caused Jesse to flinch and step back.
With actions that felt more robotic then those of her own, Willow moved behind Jesse with a stake in her hand. “Stay out of this Harmony!” Jesse bellowed and prepared to turn towards Willow.
“Oh don’t worry, I won’t get my nails dirty for the likes of you!” Harmony snapped back in her best snobbish tone of voice. The vampire whirled on Harmony who he thought had stupidly lowered the cross. This gave Willow the time that she needed to stake him and that is just what she did.
As Jesse dissolved into a pile of dust and the stake clanged on the hardwood floor, the former Cordette and head of the geek-squad looked at each other. Tears fell down Willow’s cheeks like a river for the loss of her long-time friend at her hands. Her body shook with racked sobs as the events of the last few days came flooding back into her mind. Reality had sunk in like never before now, there was evil out there and nobody was immune to it. If you wanted to be on the side of the good, you may have to kill your best friend, a family member or even a lover. Harmony’s shock was evident; the fact that anyone could be turned into one of those creatures in an instant had gorged itself in her mind in a most unsettling reality check. “Willow,” the Blonde attempted to reach out to the shaking redhead.
“I killed my friend.” Willow said in a hallowed voice as Harmony pulled her into her arms. Both girls displayed rattled nerves but Willow clearly needed tending to now and Harmony hoped that she would allow her to do it.
“One of those creatures killed your friend Willow.” Harmony said softly and wiped the tears from Willow’s face. “Let me take you home,” she nudged the redhead towards the front door gently as she spoke.
“I can’t go home!” Willow snapped and pushed away from Harmony. “You’re just doing this to get back in my good graces!” Willow’s eyes glazed over with anger as she kicked the coffee table and then whirled on Harmony as if she were going to hit her.
Harmony grabbed hold of Willow’s hands to stop a possible attack from the redhead. “Willow I know you’re angry with me and hurt over what you just did to Jesse. I’m not trying to get back in your good graces by using his staking and your unstable mental status. I just want to get you out of here!” Harmony said in a very annoyed tone of voice. Part of her wished that she had stayed a loyal follower to Cordelia and not gotten into this mess but another part of her was glad that she decided to take this road and be true to herself.
Willow kicked Harmony’s knees and jerked her hands to get away but the blonde held her hands firmly. “Get away from me!” Willow seethed with clinched teeth then began to shake. She began to cry hard again and her anger receded to the background as Harmony held her tight. “I am so so sorry Jesse,” Willow muttered as the blonde led her out the door and into her car.
Spike and Faith raced into the Bronze where they found chaos. Horned creatures and vampires were unleashing a reign of terror on the club’s occupants and several larger demons were stopping the patrons from getting out of the club. “I don’t know if we have enough numbers.” Spike muttered under his breath with the realization that maybe the others had a plan that needed a little tweaking, but a plan nevertheless.
Meanwhile, Buffy and Giles entered from the back entrance and witnessed much the same thing the others saw. The only difference was, shockingly, Xander and Cordelia were trying their best to fend off the creatures. Seeing them come together for the good of the club's occupants, further solidified Buffy’s idea to educate the town more efficiently of creatures that go bump in the night. “We’ve got to put a dent in their guards so that we can get people out of here!” Buffy shouted loud enough for Xander to hear her.
After thirty minutes of brutal combat, with casualties, the gang and their ragtag band of demon fighters fought off the demons. They were all thankful of the other patrons of the Bronze who followed suit and joined the fighting. “Oz and his chick are both wolves,” Xander mouthed as Amy helped him to stand.
Giles was pleased to see that Amy too had some knowledge of the craft and was able to help him create fireballs to kill many of the creatures. He knew that Amy didn’t have the ability to complete this task on her own but was glad she was able to assist him. He was beginning to warm up to the idea of adding members to their gang also because their chances against Angelus and other powerful forces would be greater with not one but two others with some knowledge of the craft among them. “There goes your band I would assume,” Giles said with a glance towards Spike and Faith.
“I didn’t much like it anyhow.” Faith drawled and lit a cigarette. “Did they get away?”
“Who the hell cares!” Cordelia barked and waved her hand around in the air as if to say that she were the only person of importance in the mix. “Look at my outfit! Who is going to pay for this?” Cordy continued shouting in her best dramatic tone.
“You should have let her get bit!” Amy barked at Xander with anger in her eyes. “You’re nothing but a selfish bitch Cordy!”
“I want some answers as to what is going on here!” Xander yelled above his girlfriend. He almost lost his life tonight and was determining that all those old stories he’d heard since childhood were more than stories.
“We don’t have time for explanations. We’ve got to get patched up, some rest and then get the mastermind behind all this mayhem!” Spike yelled and turned towards his car with the other core group members following him.
“Well let’s go and get our answers.” Amy said with urgency in her voice, as she and Xander jumped in his car and chased after the group.
- - - - - - -
Harmony sat quietly with Willow in the suite that her mother had rented out while they waited to be moved into their new digs. She wanted to but knew it wasn’t right to push the fragile redhead into talking about Jesse because Willow was obviously grief-stricken. She also wanted to push the issue of them fixing the relationship that they had started but knew that too was not the right subject for the time being. This was Harmony Kendall however, and no matter how much she did change, her own wants would prevail in the end, right or wrong, they would because of who she was. “Willow,” Harmony asked as she stood up. “Would you like me to get you something to drink while we wait on Sheila?”
Willow looked up at the blonde with tearstained eyes. “Why are you still here Harmony? You have done enough! The joke is over! Besides, mom won’t be home because she’s getting back to normality.” She wanted to believe Harmony at this moment more then ever before but couldn’t. She wished that she could let Harmony back in her inner walls so that she would hold, kiss, and comfort her. She felt as if she were crumbling into a million pieces and the only one there to help her was someone who betrayed her.
“God Willow I don’t know what else to say to show you that the joke was over for me before it was complete. I swear to you that I had nothing to do with Core furthering the plans against you but that’s all I can do.” Harmony put her arm around Willow’s back as she looked into her eyes. “Please Willow, let me be here for you.” She spoke in a soft voice, trying hard to convey honesty with her soft-spoken tone and in her eyes.
“Harmony, I’m terrified to believe you because my entire life has been full of let down’s and trauma. Before my dad was turned into a demon, he and mom used to go away for long trips often and leave me with a sitter. Now that he’s gone, mom has reclaimed that lifestyle I’m afraid. Then there is all of this, my school life sucked forever and now one of my only friends is gone at my hand. I thought I could trust you but I just don’t know.” Willow’s small frame trembled as she spoke to the blonde. She wanted to be strong and push Harmony away but knew that she needed someone to hold her together for the moment.
“Willow,” Harmony pulled the sobbing girl into her arms and wiped the tears from her eyes. “I am willing to get my makeup all smudged for you. Doesn’t that count for something?”
Willow looked up at Harmony, who was wiping a few of her own tears and a small smile made its way to her face. Oddly, that did count for something to Willow. Harmony prided herself on her looks and better then everyone else attitude. For Willow to see her all but begging forgiveness and her makeup in a mess was a big deal to Harmony and Willow knew it. “I’m so scared that this is all part of a bigger plot against me. I just need time Harmony, time to trust you again if I can.”
“I understand that Willow. I’m not asking you to forget everything right this second. I just want you to relax and let me help you for now.” Harmony pulled the girl tight against her as she spoke. “Your world is all screwy right now and I don’t want to be part of that screwiness. I want to be part of the stability you know? I don’t want to be the unicorn anymore Willow, I just need a little help in case I stumble back into the silly games and arrogant behavior. Those unicorns get left behind, please let me stay on the boat Willow.”
Something within Willow moved upon hearing Harmony’s words. Something told her that this girl was being honest and had just as much of a screwed up life as she did. Willow returned her gaze to Harmony’s face and fought to continue her resistance. She knew it was futile because the not so shallow blonde had penetrated her heart. “I have missed you so much Harmony but I’m scared and I need to be mourning Jesse right now rather then being scared of a relationship.”
“I know that Willow and understand it fully. Just don’t shut me out totally, please?” Harmony asked as she began to rub Willow’s tense shoulders. She had never in her young life felt this way about another human being and wanted desperately to hang on to that good feeling that Willow gave her.
Willow relaxed fully in Harmony’s embrace and allowed the teen to relax her muscles. She knew that she liked Harmony a lot and wanted to fix things with her but wasn’t about to give in over night. Harmony needed a lesson taught to her and Willow vowed that she would not allow herself to take her back until she was certain that she had learned the lesson.
Willow knew that she was in trouble with her current resolution however, as soon as Harmony’s lips gently touched her own. Part of her didn’t want to reciprocate the kiss but another part of her needed the kiss because it made her feel emotions rather than those of sadness, self-blame, grief, and anger. As Harmony slowly deepened the kiss, Willow responded eagerly. She knew that she shouldn’t be letting Harmony do this but the part of her that needed this comfort and attention was winning solidly. “Harmony stop,” Willow managed to get out between passionate kisses.
Harmony stopped right away and looked at Willow with desire-filled eyes. “Willow, I’m sorry. I just get a little carried away with this making out once in awhile. The fact is, I want you in every way possible,” she licked her flavored lipstick off Willow’s bottom lip as she spoke. It seemed to have the desired affect as Willow relaxed again and Harmony began the make out process again by kissing Willow several times.
Willow’s sense of keeping control left her quickly as Harmony moved to licking the back of her neck while gently rubbing her lower stomach. All Willow could do was relax and allow soft moans to escape her mouth as Harmony lowered her mouth to Willow’s breasts while she rubbed her thigh against Willow’s aroused center. “Willow, I’m so sorry for everything that I did to you. Please look in my eyes while we do this and you will see how sorry I truly am. I am so sorry for all the bad things that you’ve gone through in your life and the part that I took in them. Let me make love to you Willow, so that I can show you how true my feelings are.”
In the moment of passion, Willow could see the raw emotion in Harmony’s eyes. She felt secure in the notion that Harmony really wanted to regain her trust and to have something special with her. The feelings that permeated throughout Willow’s mind and body were slight fear and a great wanting to allow Harmony to be the first one to be intimate with her. She knew that she cared deeply for the blonde and could only pray that she wasn’t making a mistake as she allowed the former Cordette to make love with her.
Willow awoke the next morning with a great feeling of peace and having a good rest. It was a feeling that she had not experienced in a long time. She stretched lazily and rubbed her eyes open as she turned to face the one who gave her the restful night’s sleep. Immediately, feelings of fear formed a knot in the pit of her stomach. She tried to move out of Harmony’s arms as the panic began to overwhelm her but had no success.
Harmony’s eyes shot open with a scowl plastered on her face. She hated being awakened before she was ready to wake up on her own. “Willow, what’s wrong?” She asked in a sleepy tone of voice.
“This, you, what’s the game now?” Willow asked in a frantic tone. “You know, I just found out that one of my best friends was a vampire then I had to stake him. I shouldn’t have to deal with your games Harmony!”
Harmony pulled Willow’s face to her and kissed her firmly on the mouth to stop the babbling. Her brain wasn’t fully alert in the morning and there was no way she would be able to keep up with Willow’s frantic emotional state. “There is no joke Willow. I made love with you last night and today we are going to tell your friends about Jesse and us. That is, if you want there to be an us.” Harmony looked deep into Willow’s eyes and placed a gentle kiss on her lips after she finished speaking.
Willow allowed herself to relax slightly as she looked into the blonde’s eyes. “I’m scared to trust you Harmony.” She said softly and returned the kiss. She wished with every ounce of energy within her, that she could fully trust the blonde but feared that she never would be able to.
“I know that Willow,” Harmony said and kissed the redhead several times. “Apparently this relationship thing takes something I’m not good at, work. I’m willing to try it out to see if I can fix the damage I’ve caused. I’m tired of having those pink unicorns being the symbol of my life and want something better as I come into adulthood. I want you to be that something better but can’t force you into anything.”
Willow tried to find something other than honesty in Harmony’s eyes and tone of voice but couldn’t. “I’ll give it a try,” Willow said with noticeable hesitation in her voice. “I don’t want to tell everyone until I get the Jesse ordeal out of the way. I think Amy, Xander and I will need some private time for that.”
“All right,” Harmony said and got up from the bed. “I’m going to go home and shower. I have to stop in to see if my new shoes and jacket came in and then I will pick you up. We will go to Giles’ house whenever they set up a time.” She leaned down and kissed the redhead again. “I am truly sorry Willow and I thank you for giving me the chance to prove myself to you.”
“You’re welcome,” Willow said softly and kissed harmony back. “I just hope that I’m doing the right thing.”
“You are Willow,” Harmony said in a low voice as she kissed her more vigorously.
“You’re choosing a new jacket over dealing with this?” Willow asked with fake disgust in her voice. She knew that Harmony had done a great job of helping her through some rough times but fashion would always be high on her priority list.
“It was special ordered three weeks ago from Paris.” Harmony smiled and continued to kiss Willow.
As the two teens became engrossed in their passionate kissing, Xander let himself in the hotel suite. “Will?” He questioned and opened the door to her room, as he often did without hesitation. “Oh my God!” The young man shrieked in shock but didn’t take his eyes off the two women.
Harmony moved begrudgingly away from Willow and the bed. “I’ll see you later Willow.” She smiled at Xander, who was picking his jaw up off the floor, and left the room.
“Willow?” Xander questioned in a slow drawn out manner.
“She’s my girlfriend Xander. It started out as a joke that Cordelia cooked up but we’re getting past that now.”
Xander looked at his best friend for several minutes before he decided to speak again. “You’re kidding me right? Harmony Kendall is a bigger bitch then Cordy ever thought about being.”
“I used to think so too,” Willow said sadly. “Xander there is some other things that we need to talk about and I think you need to sit down.” As Willow finished speaking, the funny teen looked into her eyes and knew that this conversation was going to be a long one.
- - - - - - - -
Willow and Xander walked somberly into Giles’ apartment. She had phoned Harmony to change their meeting plans because both she and Xander had a rough time dealing with Jesse’s loss. Their conversation was short but the hugging and tears lasted for the longest time. “Hi,” Willow said to Giles, Spike, Faith, Buffy, Harmony, Amy and, surprisingly, Cordelia.
Spike looked at the larger group of people and frowned. He did not like where this was going but knew deep down that the only way to win this battle was awareness. “First off, we’re not passing out fliers or anything of that damn nature!” He bellowed with a growing desire to take over the situation.
“First of all,” Giles stood up. “I am the leader of this band and don’t you forget it!”
“Who the hell Cares about who does what! I was almost killed last night and I want it stopped!” Cordelia bellowed as she stood up.
Willow noticed that Harmony looked uninterested in the developing situation before them. She was busy watching Faith and Buffy who seemed a little chummier then usual. “You were almost killed, Jesse is dead. The vampires turned him and I had to stake him. So don’t come in here acting like you are the only thing that matters Cordelia Chase because right now, you are on the bottom of my important list!” Willow shrieked in anger.
Giles began to speak as he wiped his glasses. “Faith, Willow, her friends here, and myself have had great losses because of demons. We are all in agreement that, no we will not announce things from the rooftops, but will make people more aware of things. We’re going to work on some things with the craft to enable us to do more on this end. We also want the public to know who they can try to get help from should the need arise. It is a simple word of mouth process and will work better than our prior ventures. The more knowledge people have, the safer they may be. The plan is to simply let people know that those crosses most everyone carries will work in some cases and who to call if they spot something strange.”
“Whatever, just clean this town up before me or one of my friends gets turned into some fashion crippled creature!” Cordy shouted and looked at Harmony. “You have a choice to make Harm and make it right now!”
“My choice has been made Core,” Harmony said and smiled at Willow. “It used to be fun to be one of your flunkies but not any more.”
“Are you with us Willie or do we scratch you off the list?” Faith asked in a condescending tone. She received a glare from the vampire but paid it no mind. “You’re acting like a fucking jerk so you will be treated like one testosterone boy!” She added with a lot of edge to her voice.
“I don’t like it but I’m in.” Spike said begrudgingly. “No more fighters trained!”
“I’ll train whomever I wish to do whatever I wish!” Giles snapped back at the vampire with growing irritation in his voice.
“So Willow is doing the witchie thing with Amy, I’m doing the whatever you need me to do and we trust these three to fight for us all?” Xander asked in a concerned tone. “What will these two snobs be doing?”
“I will be waiting for Willow to finish with you boring people so that I can go have some alone time with her.” Harmony stated and was glad that a few people in the room didn’t look shocked. She calculated that, after their conversation yesterday, some of them surely had the brain power to figure some of what had gone down out.
“I will be here from time to time to see that the utmost important matter in this room, my life, is being protected properly.” Cordy said and gave Harmony a look of disgust.
“Can we get out of here now Willow?” Harmony said impatiently with no notice that Amy was giving Willow a strange look that mirrored one of not accepting her relationship with a girl.
“Sure,” Willow said flatly and took Harmony’s hand. “I’ll be here at 6 tomorrow Giles and we can get started on fine tuning that spell.”
“That will be great,” Giles said with a small smile. He was glad that things were coming into place but the constant fear of what evil would come next was in the back of his mind.
- - - - - - -
Harmony and Willow sat in the back of a movie theater after dinner. They held hands and sipped their Pepsi’s, one diet and one regular to fit the needs of Harmony’s obsession with being thin. “Do you worry about Core?” Willow asked the blonde who seemed to be more worried about rubbing circles on Willow’s palm with her thumb then anything else. “I mean her attitude and the things that we know are out there.”
“She wouldn’t worry about me, so why should I worry about her?” Harmony asked with a tone in her voice that showed Willow she wasn’t concerned about such things at the present time.
Willow knew that if she were going to make a go of it with Harmony, she would have to accept all aspects of the girl. There was the good kisser, the caring and comforting person, the occasionally deep conversationalist and the great orgasm giver. Then there was the frequent shallowness, non-caring of others attitude, occasional showing of arrogance person and, just flat out self-centered side. All of these things rolled into one was what made Harmony Kendall who she was and Willow knew that she loved her no matter what. She also knew that, deep down Harmony would be crushed if something happened to Cordy. Finally, she knew that a part of Harmony would always be a Cordette and hoped that she could live without the social status.
As Willow withdrew herself from her thoughts, she noticed that a muscle bound young man was talking with Harmony. “Core told me that you ditched me for some chick. I trust she’s not so high on the geek list as this chick is. I bet she can't give you pleasures like I did.” He chuckled knowingly as Willow pretended not to be paying attention.
“Charles,” Harmony looked at the man in disgust. “You and all the other guys I had relations with were just an outlet. Some means of releasing stress and now that I’m out of the closet and the Cordettes, I have no stress.” She turned her gaze to Willow and saw the huge smile on her face. She knew that she had just passed a major test, as Charles Gunn walked off in defeat.
“I think I believe you now,” Willow said in a small voice. “About this not being a joke I mean.”
“I’m glad that you do Willow because I am being more honest with you then I have ever been in my life.” Harmony said and leaned in for a kiss.
“Thanks for showing me the real you Harmony.” Willow said and returned the kiss happily. “We’ve got a long way to go before we can get out of this town but I think we’ll both make it.”
“At least we have a reason to make it now Willow.” Harmony said and put both arms around the redhead. “Charles wasn’t that good in bed anyway so don’t let yourself think that you’re inadequate compared to him or any of the other guys I’ve been with.”
“How many other guys have you been with?” Willow asked curiously, as their kissing grew more needy.
“Not many, less then most girls at the school and more then a few of you.” Harmony replied cryptically. “I enjoyed dating, making out and sure the sex but not with so many as most people think. I did have some sort of decorum when choosing my sleeping partners.”
“Do you ever think of all this evil stuff Harmony?” Willow asked as she settled against Harmony’s chest and allowed the blonde to rub her breasts from the outside of her shirt.
“Once in awhile but I figure that it’s best to live life as it comes. They will get one big bad vampire and another will take his or her place.” Harmony said and began to kiss the back of Willow’s neck.
“You either need to stop that or we need to go somewhere else.” Willow said with a slight blush.
“Let’s go then,” Harmony said and quickly got up from her seat.
As the two teens left the theater holding hands, Willow looked across the street. She saw Buffy staking Angelus. “The locator spell worked wonders!” Xander called over to his friend happily.
Part of Willow was elated to have the creature gone as he was one less evil creature to worry about. Another part of her was sad because Amy worked the first major spell with Giles rather than herself. “They don’t really need me Harmony.” Willow said, which allowed the shallow blonde to see her insecurities come to the forefront.
“I do Willow.” Harmony said and kissed her longingly in front of Willow’s friends. “We can need each other and that’s all we’ll ever need.”
Willow smiled at her girlfriend and returned the kiss. “So what do I do when you go off to Paris to do whatever you plan on doing there?”
“That was my and Cordy’s dream,” Harmony said and opened the car door for Willow. “You will go to college and do your computer thing and I will go do my fashion design thing. I’m sure that we can find a school that has a top notch program in each field.” Harmony finished speaking and started the car.
“I think I love you Harmony Kendall.” Willow said and kissed the blonde on the cheek with tears in her eyes. For the first time in Willow’s young life, she was crying tears of joy.
“I know that I love you Willow Rosenberg.” Harmony said as she slowed the car and gave her lover a quick kiss on the lips. She felt happy for the first time in her life and hoped that she would remain as such for a long time to come.