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Time Is Tight

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Caught in the cold crackle of Glory’s portal, Willow kept her head. This couldn’t be the end. There was still too much to be done. The Slayer needed her help. She was the big gun.

So, she pushed back.

With a snap, the cacophony transformed from the howling mystic static storm to a jumble of other sounds: blaring car horns, pounding footsteps, tinny music battling with other tinny music, and people. Hundreds of them. Talking, laughing, crying, yelling people.

Willow spun on the spot, assuring herself that she wasn’t, in fact, standing in traffic. Other than that, she couldn’t tell much. It was a city, and a hot, stinky one. Trash bags were piled high everywhere. She was in a large open space surrounded by lots of flashing lights, many of them reading, “GIRLS!”.

She was still in battle mode and in real danger of … well, she wasn’t sure what, but she felt like she could go off at any moment. Trying to calm herself, she took a deep breath and nearly choked on the exhaust, garbage, and cigarette smoke-infused air. Her heavy coat and turtle necked sweater weren’t helping with the stifling sensation; she could already feel the sweat trickling down her back.

“Hey, little girl. You lost or something?” said a voice that was too near. She bristled. She might be a little disoriented, but that didn’t mean she had to put up with a bunch of sexist bull. And, hey: English was spoken here.

She jerked around toward the voice. Then she blinked. The face that went with it wasn’t a nice one. And it had friends. They weren’t wearing their bumpies, but she’d been fighting vampires long enough to know what these guys were. Maybe there was a way she could put all her pent-up energy to good use, after all. She stood straighter.

“I’m fine,” she snapped

“Oh, you sure are,” said the vamp-apparently-in-charge, with an unfriendly leer.

Willow opened her mouth to start a spell when a woman walked up and placed herself between Willow and her targets. Willow could only see the back of her, but something seemed awfully familiar.

“Hey sugar, did you forget about me already?” the woman said to the ugly vampire.

“Slayer,” he hissed, falling back a step.

Oh. Well, that might explain the familiarity. Maybe.

“I’m glad you didn’t forget that much, at least,” said the Slayer. She looked around at all the bystanders. “Are we going to finish our business right here, Salvatore?”

“You can’t take all of us,” he said with a sneer. His compatriots shuffled uncertainly, but held their ground.

“You sure? Mama says gambling is a sin, but my money is on me.” She casually raised her fists and rolled her shoulders, making her long leather coat swirl around her legs. Willow’s sense of deja vu pinged again, but the fight in her pushed the feeling to the side.

She stepped up beside the Slayer, already formulating the ritual words in her mind. The woman kept her eyes on the vampires, but spoke out of the side of her mouth.

“You crazy? Get out of here, girl.”

“I can help,” said Willow. “I’ve done this a bunch.”

The Slayer shrugged. “Stupid college kids,” she muttered

Salvatore charged the Slayer, who ducked under his grasping arms and spun to kick the legs out from under the vampire coming up after him. Salvatore checked himself and returned, only to get it on the chin from one of the cartwheeling Slayer’s boots.

A crowd started to gather.

The Slayer demonstrated a few more fancy moves on various vampires, while Willow intoned the necessary phrases and rummaged around in her pockets for the catalyst. Just as her fingers closed around the sphere, a vampire wrapped his arms around hers from behind, trapping her upper arms in an unbreakable bear hug.

“Got your girlfriend, Slayer. Lights out for her,” he called. Willow rolled her eyes. No wonder Buffy couldn’t help making fun of these jerks while she slayed them.

As his fangs neared her throat, Willow pulled her hand free of the pocket and threw the little orb upward. It didn’t get as far up as it would have if she could use her whole arm, but it would do.

“Fiat lux!” she cried.

The little ball sputtered, then flared, lighting up the whole block with a pulse of pure sunlight. The crowd flinched as a body and shaded their eyes, and when they were able to see again, all the “attackers” were gone and there was a fine mist of dust falling to the concrete.

The crowd broke into applause. Willow looked to the Slayer and followed along as she sketched a bow. After a minute, people wandered away, the show apparently over.

The Slayer looked hard at Willow. “Not a stupid college kid, after all, are you?” she said.

“Well, yes and no. I’m not stupid, but college is a yes. I’m a, a witchy college kid, I guess.”

The Slayer looked annoyed. “You come down here for kicks? Because if you did, then I say it again: stupid. Or maybe just ignorant.”

“Hey! I’m not ignorant, either. I’m just...sorta...dizzy.” Her legs gave out but strong arms caught her mid-droop.

“Damn, girl. Let’s get you someplace cool, alright?”

“That sounds nice,” whispered Willow. “I’m Willow.”

“Okay Willow. We’re gonna take a little walk now. I’m Nikki. You tell me if you’re gonna puke or pass out, you hear?”

+++

They sat in the darkened theater, a giant soda plunked between them. Willow barely noticed the kung fu movie with terrible dubbing flickering across the screen, just like the other people in the audience. They were all here for the air conditioning, too.

Willow was wrung out. She was pretty sure she’d closed the portal behind her with that sangre spell, so Dawn should be okay. And Tara had been restored before Willow had levitated up to investigate the portal. That was a relief. But she felt..buffeted. Unsteady. Her nose wasn’t bleeding, but she was far from tip top. So many spells in one day. Or maybe, if she was where she thought she was, it had been years, decades even, though it felt like an hour at most.

Willow had read the Watcher’s Diaries, whether Giles had approved or not. She wanted to help Buffy, and that meant knowing as much as she could. There was a lot to know about Slayers, and the Diaries were usually the closest thing to a primary source available.

So she’d done the reading.

One Slayer just sort of...popped out. Maybe it was because her Watcher wasn’t as dry a narrator as most. She could feel the excitement of the city within his words. The pulsing backdrop for the thrilling tale of Nikki Wood, Slayer. Like Buffy, she was called at 15, and fought against a whole host of evils of the demonic and completely human kind. Active from 1970 to 1977. Slain by Spike, the Slayer of Slayers.

It didn’t exactly surprise Willow that, in the flesh, she was also hotter than, well, something pretty darned sexy. The reading couldn’t convey her softness. Soft eyes, soft lips, soft hair, soft hips. It couldn’t adequately describe the fire, that something that was so strong in her. Like the Force, she thought. She wondered if Star Wars had come out yet. Willow almost asked, but then realized that she didn’t want to know what year it was. Whenever it was, it was long ago and far away from Sunnydale. The bellbottoms were proof enough of that. She giggled and sipped her soda.

Nikki was looking at her. She was probably waiting for Willow to freak. Willow didn’t want her to worry.

“Um, so I guess you’re wondering why that wasn’t so weird for me, right?” Nikki raised her eyebrows, waiting. “It’s because I’ve been helping fight the forces of evil since high school. My best friend is a Slayer, too.”

Nikki looked away. “Sorry about that,” she mumbled.

“What? Why? Oh! No. Buffy’s not dead. At least I don’t think so. I’m just not in the right space right now.”

Nikki looked confused and wary. Willow could tell she thought she meant “space” as in “headspace” as in “headcase”.

“I mean, the space-time continuum has gone all ‘woo-ooo’. See, we were fighting this god, and there was a dimensional rift thingy and then… Whoosh! I was here and not there.”

Nikki did not look any less confused.

“I’m from California,” added Willow.

Comprehension dawned across Nikki’s face. “I shoulda figured,” she said.

Willow knew she wasn’t explaining it right, but at least Nikki didn’t look suspicious anymore.

“Do you think you could help me get back?”

Nikki’s brow furrowed but after a moment she seemed to come to a decision.

“I’ll take you to my Watcher. You helped out a lot with Salvatore and his boys. That ought to be worth a bus ticket, at least.”

+++

Bernard Crowley was really cool. Once Willow had explained the situation to him in a way that actually made sense — this time — he jumped right into the research.

He scanned the spines of the books on his bookshelves and talked a mile a minute. He never paused, even when he found something that might be useful — he just tossed it onto the long table taking up one whole side of his loft.

“Giles, you say? How extraordinary! And after the turn of the next century? That’s marvelous! A Dr. Giles was Head during my first few years with the Council. Lovely woman. Very intelligent and very kind. What you might call ‘holistic’ out there on the coast.” He scrambled up the library ladder and reached way over to grab a purple-bound volume. “A god. Hmmmm. Glorificus. I don’t…”

“Yeah, we couldn’t find a lot on her, either,” said Willow. “She predated the written word, or something. We had this whole ‘she who must not be named’ thing going, but then everybody was calling her Glory. Better than Voldemort, I guess.”

Both Crowley and Nikki turned to look at her.

“That’s…um... not important,” said Willow. All of the sudden she was remembering all the time-travel stories where insignificant things led to terrible outcomes. What if talking about Harry Potter ruined everything? What if there never was a Harry Potter because she’d named He-who-must-not-be? She sat down heavily at the long table.

Nikki sat down beside her.

“Don’t worry. Bernie’ll get you all set up. You’ll see.” Nikki’s eyes seemed even softer here in Bernie’s loft. Once Bernard had accepted Willow’s tale, Nikki had relaxed, draping herself over various pieces of furniture, playing with a silver dagger, listening to them talking. Now, she took Willow’s hand, squeezing it gently. Willow felt the power there, banked and comforting.

“Breathe, girl.”

“You don’t seem too freaked by all this. I mean: time travel! Don’t you think that’s weird?”

“Yeah, sure. But I’ve learned to roll with it in this business. If I let every mind-blowing thing I saw stop me, I’d never get anything done.”

“What if my being here changes things? What if I mess everything up?”

Nikki shrugged. “Things might be different. They might not. Worrying now won’t help any. Just do your best and deal with what comes when it comes. That’s what my mama says, anyway.”

Willow took a deep breath and blew it out slowly.

“Right. Do my best.”

“That’s right.” Nikki let her hand go and stood. “I’m gonna split, Bern. I’ll stop by in the morning.”

Bernie waved vaguely, his attention on the purple book. Nikki grabbed her coat and put it on with a swirling motion that grabbed Willow’s attention. Then she was gone, the door snapping shut behind her.

The coat. Willow’s heart plummeted. That’s what was so familiar. How many times had she seen Spike make the same exact motion?

Breathe.

+++

Willow stayed at Bernie’s.

And stayed.

And stayed. A couple of days turned into a couple of weeks. He was a wonderful host, taking the disruption in stride and making her as welcome and comfortable as a girl not yet born could possibly be. They spent their days researching. Dimensional convergences, time travel, the powers of the gods, monks, even the Knights of the Byzantium. There wasn’t a lot to go on, but they went over what they had very carefully. Sometimes, he took her with him to visit libraries around the city. He sent away for more materials.

Willow sighed over the lack of internet searches.

When they weren’t researching, they talked about stuff. He was fascinated by her and her time. He said he agreed with her about the advisability of leaving a small footprint, but he asked lots of questions — about Glory, mostly, but also about life in the future. He seemed disappointed to hear that there were no commercial space flights and that she didn’t know anybody with a wristwatch videophone or a flying car.

“Just DeLoreans,” she joked. “And only in the movies.” He didn’t get the reference, of course.

He made lots of notes.

She wore the hand-me-downs that Nikki brought — colorful clothes in varying degrees of slinky and voluminous. Wide bells on the pants, wide sleeves on the tops, a couple of maxi-skirts that weren’t that different from what Willow wore back home.

Nikki stopped by a couple of times a day, and Willow found herself counting the minutes until she appeared. Bernie was great, but another person helped keep things from getting too samey.  Nikki liked to hang out on the roof, running through her kata and shooting the breeze. Willow would sit on a beach towel and skim through the tabloids, highlighting anything that might be Slayer business. Orange for neck trauma, yellow for animal attacks, green for general weirdness.

Nikki talked a little about her life. She showed Willow pictures of her son — so cute! — and told funny stories about slaying. She only asked Willow about little things. About various baddies and her friends, mostly. Not so much about Buffy, though. Willow could see how a Slayer-yet-to-be might be an uncomfortable topic for her. The future didn’t seem to interest her a whole lot. Willow didn’t like to think about Nikki’s future much, either. But girl talk seemed safe enough.

“A werewolf and a witch, huh? You like to walk on the wild side dontcha, sugar?” Nikki let out a low whistle. “You don’t seem like the type, but can’t judge by looking, that’s what they say.”

“Type? What type would you think I am?” Willow felt that she ought to be indignant or something, but she was mainly just curious.

Nikki’s brow furrowed as she considered the question. She finally shrugged. “If I didn’t know better, all I’d see was a pretty girl with a nice straight life ahead of her.”

“Pretty, huh? Well, thanks, but not so much with the straight. I hope it’ll be nice, though,” said Willow.

“Now that I’ve seen Bernie go bananas for your ‘exquisite note-taking technique’, I’d peg you for someone who likes to keep it all under control, but...”

“Hey!”

“...werewolves: not the easiest to control.” Nikki regarded her with raised brows.

Willow shrugged. “Well, just for a few days a month. Oz was usually all about keeping his cool. And I did have a tranquilizer gun.”

“Hmmmm. Little girl with a big gun. That sounds more like my kind of gig.”

“Yup. We’re peacekeepers,” said Willow.

“Mmmmm,” said Nikki. “How about your witch-gal? She a peacekeeper?”

“She’s the peacefulest. She’s...world peace. I miss her so much.” Willow sighed.

Nikki nodded and concentrated on her routine, graceful, controlled, and powerful. Willow wondered when her focus should shift from missing her old life to making the most of this one.

+++

One evening, Bernie left her at the loft when he went to visit some of his occult contacts.

“Really, darling, you’d be too tempting a morsel for such unsavory characters. Better they never clap eyes on you,” he said. “Things shouldn’t be too humdrum once Nikki gets here.”

They weren’t. Nikki showed up early and announced she was giving evening patrol a pass. She grabbed a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses and they headed for the roof to watch the sunset. They rested their elbows on the lip of the roof wall and let the magic of dusk take hold. There was a moment when the city sounds seemed to get quieter and and the softness of the night began to take over. Magic hour.

Nikki was fidgety tonight. She kept turning her glass in her hands and not looking at Willow.

“What’s up?” asked Willow. “Are you worried about Bernie?”

“Naw. He’ll be okay.”

“What then?”

Nikki turned toward her and opened her mouth, then closed it. Willow waited.

“What made you try girls?” Nikki finally asked. Now she looked at Willow very intently.

The wine in Willow’s glass sloshed over the rim. She set it down at arm’s length from her on the wall and cleared her throat.

“It was just...Tara. Well, in a way, I guess Buffy softened me up.”

Nikki’s brows rose. “You and Buffy…

“Oh, no. She’s not...it’s just that I didn’t have a lot of girlfriends growing up. There was a girl that decided back in Kindergarten that I was odd man out, and the other girls did what she said. So I hung out with the boys more. But Buffy didn’t care what Cordelia said, she wasn’t afraid to be my friend. I thought she wasn’t afraid of anything. And I liked having a gal pal. I dunno...I guess a lot of our relationship was talking about boys and monsters and stuff. It just never went that way.”

“Do you ever wish…”

To stop the wish, Willow put two fingers over Nikki’s lips. Her soft, soft lips. She realized Nikki was trembling. With her other hand, she took Nikki’s wine glass and put it next to hers on the wall, never breaking eye contact. With the words There’s No Time Like The Present arcing through her brain, she leaned in and pressed her lips where her fingers had been.

The rightness was immediate. Nikki’s kisses pulled Willow into a river of sweetness. She wanted to pay attention, but the kisses flowed so naturally into touches, and then into caresses, that she found her senses taking over for her brain.

They were laying entwined on Nikki’s coat by the time she had a moment to think. Nikki chuckled.

“Got that busy head of yours to quiet down for a minute, didn’t I?”

“Uh huh,” said Willow. “I, uh, I… Wow.”

“Wow yourself,” said Nikki. “You hungry?”

They took the wine back down to Bernie’s and raided the refrigerator.

Willow was coaxing Nikki into tasting some of Bernie’s Camembert cheese when he bounded in, brandishing his satchel.

“That was a very fruitful expedition, my darlings! This might be it!”

“It” meant home, and home meant Tara. Willow took a moment to deal with a sudden attack of the guilts before she snuck a look a look at Nikki. She was frowning at the smelly cheese. Willow swallowed down the lump in her throat.

“That’s really great,” she said. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

Nikki wrapped the cheese up and put it back in the fridge.

“Sounds like research time. You all go ahead. I’ve got to get back to the sitter,” she said. She grabbed her coat and left.

+++

It took a few days, but eventually they had figured out the elements necessary to send Willow to 2001. That didn’t mean they could figure out how to put them all together in the same place though.

“The casting circle wouldn’t be a problem if it didn’t need to be moving through time and space at…” Bernie checked his notes again. “...88 miles per hour!”

Willow almost choked. “It says that? Really? Really really, for reals?”

“Well, yes, once I calculate the...oh never mind. The easiest transport to obtain would be a car or a small plane, but both would be too small for the circle. Perhaps a lorry? Would one be able to reach those speeds? If we could even find one!”

Another day, and then the paper provided an answer.

“Look here. This article says the Long Island Rail Road has reached a top speed equal to what we need. Splendid! I think I can arrange for us to have a car to ourselves for the casting.”

He made a few calls. They would have full use of the first car on the last run out to Jamaica the day after tomorrow.

+++

Bernard made a farewell dinner for Willow the next evening, with Nikki as the only other guest. After dinner, he shooed them off while he did the washing up. They went up to the roof and looked out at the city.

“It isn’t so bad, is it?” asked Nikki.

“What? The being here or the going back?”

“Either one, I guess.”

“For the record, I’ve loved being here. I wi… I’d like to be here longer.”

“Yeah, it was just starting to get good, huh?”

Willow laughed. Nikki leaned in and kissed her.

“You take that back with you, hear?”

Willow stayed up on the roof when Nikki left for patrol.

+++

The three of them took the subway up to Penn Station sometime after midnight. It was still hot at that hour, and the knapsack Will wore was making her back sweaty. She was fascinated and repulsed by the grime, the filth, and the graffiti. She didn’t see the fun dancing people Keith Haring kind of writing. It was more of an angry scrawl, screaming from every surface. The station didn’t smell very nice, either. While they waited on the platform for their uptown train, she watched rats scurry through the litter piled on the tracks.

“Isn’t all that stuff a fire hazard?” she wondered aloud.

Nikki, who had been giving her best Slayer vibes at anybody who even looked like they might come near, stood a little closer. She let the back of her hand brush against Willow’s, but didn’t look at her. She’d been jumpy ever since she got in from patrol. Bernie resettled his satchel under this arm and leafed through his notebook, seemingly unconcerned with their surroundings.

They switched to the Long Island Rail Road at Penn Station. Bernie checked the schedule.

“There are a few trains out before ours. I’m to meet with the conductor. He’ll make sure we’re not disturbed.”

Willow nodded. She was starting to get anxious. She wanted to get back, sure. But get back to what? Would everything be different? Would Tara even be there? Would she still be healthy? Restored? Would Willow’s time with Nikki have changed anything for Buffy? And what if it changed nothing? Was her existence meaningless? Her impact without weight?

She thought she might barf.

Nikki was talking with Bernie and shaking her head. Willow’s own head was a whirlpool of suckiness, so she tried to focus on them, instead.

“I’m telling you, Bern. This one’s gonna be a problem. I don’t feel right leaving Robin with the sitter until I’ve finished it.”

“The little man is welcome to stay with me anytime, darling. You know that. But surely it can’t be worse than any other fiend you’ve faced? I hate to see you so rattled.” He looked over at Willow. “Perhaps you just don’t like goodbyes, eh?”

Nikki pursed her lips, but didn’t argue. “Yeah, okay, but I’m bringing him over before dark tomorrow.” She left Bernie to go over his notes, and came to sit next to Willow.

“Nervous?” she asked.

“Like you wouldn’t believe. I mean, I’m going home, right? But you guys have made this pretty homey, too. What if home isn’t, anymore?”

“Shush, baby. You’re gonna be just fine.” She looked up at Willow from under her lowered lashes. “I’m gonna miss you plenty, though.”

Willow threw her arms around Nikki and held on tight. Willow figured a train station — with all those greetings and farewells — was just the place for public displays of affection. Bernie, at least, regarded them with a fond look.

It seemed like no time at all before they were being beckoned toward the front car by a conductor who closed the doors after them. He conferred with Bernie and then pulled a tarp out of a supply cabinet and handed it over. After briefly speaking with the driver, he headed back down the train — presumably to hang “out of order” signs and see that they weren’t disturbed.

Bernie immediately directed them to spread the tarp and started constructing the circle with items from his bulging satchel. The sand went down first, then the candles at the four points. As the train lurched forward, he righted the candles and settled them more firmly into the sand. He put together a little copper brazier and set it at the western point of the circle.

“I don’t think the direction of travel matters, just the speed,” Bernie said. He carefully placed a pocket watch and a sprig of greenery from native California plants into the pan. He gave them each a sage smudge and lit them.

“Now, we’ll walk in a figure eight through the car, and purify the space, and then it will be ready for you.”

They were just pulling into Woodside Station when the purification was complete.

“This is it,” Bernie reminded them. “The top speed will be between this station and Forest Hills. Bon voyage, darling.”

Willow hugged him tightly and turned to Nikki.

“I wish…” she started. But Nikki put two fingers over Willow’s lips, and all she could do was kiss them. Until Nikki replaced her fingers with her mouth. Willow tried to say a lot with the kiss, and she understood a lot of what Nikki was trying to say, too. But the conversation came to an end when the train started to pull out of the station. They drew apart and regarded one another solemnly. Nikki nodded. It felt like goodbye, but also good luck. Willow felt much more focused.

She sat down in the circle and took a deep, centering breath.

“Here goes nothing,” she said. She began the chant.

+++

The static-y flashing subsided and Willow found herself sitting in a suddenly quiet, dark, temperate, and still place. She took a breath and found the air to be fresh-smelling. An ocean breeze was detectable, but only just. She was outdoors, sitting cross-legged on concrete. She looked around and made out a corrugated metal fence and a little shack. She found an opening in the fence and walked out onto a vaguely familiar street.

She walked along in what seemed to be the right direction before she realized where she was. It was Sunnydale, alright. The lot she’d just left was the one where Glory’s poor mind-slaves had built the rickety tower. There was no sign now that it had ever been there.

Maybe it hadn’t.

Feeling anxious, she headed for the nearest landmark: the Bronze. When she got there, everything seemed normal. It was “no cover Tuesday” and the place looked as she remembered it from the post-Troll renovations.

When she saw her friends sitting at their usual table, the ball of worry in her belly loosened slightly. Xander waved when he saw her. That was a good sign. At his side, Anya continued her conversation with...Tara. Tara who was looking at her and smiling her sweet Tara smile. Willow practically floated over to the table.

“You made it,” said Tara. “I wasn’t sure you would.”

“Oh, baby, it’s so good to see you. It’s been so long.” Willow touched her cheek and pushed her hair back behind her ear. She leaned in to give the lobe a nibble.

Tara’s smile went all crooked. “Maybe we should fight more often, if the making up is going to be this nice.”

“I’d tell you to get a room, but I already know it’s across town,” said Xander. “I’m getting refills. You want the usual, Will?”

She nodded, never looking away from Tara.

“I’ll help carry,” Anya told him, and they headed for the bar.

“We had a fight? When was this?” asked Willow, linking her arm with Tara’s and snuggling in close.

“Uh, this morning? I flounced off to go to the Cultural Fair without you?”

Willow paled. “But Glory…”

Tara looked confused. “Glory’s gone, sweetie. Are you feeling okay?”

“She’s gone? Really?”

“I can still hardly believe it, either. All that worry and stress, and now all we have to think about is finals. Weird, huh?”

“Finals and making up,” corrected Willow. “I am definitely focusing my efforts on that making up thing.”

“Well, of course,” said Tara, her sly crooked smile coming out again.

+++

Buffy joined them after patrol. Spike showed up soon thereafter, no surprise. He was still a little banged up, so Willow supposed that Glory had tortured him before whatever had happened. A part of her was happy about that when she saw him standing there in Nikki’s coat.

When Anya dragged Tara off to the ladies’ room and Xander dragged Buffy onto the dance floor, she was alone with Spike. That was okay. There were a few things she hadn’t wanted to ask Buffy, just in case something awful had happened. She didn’t care if she upset Spike.

“Is Dawn okay?” she asked.

“Girl’s all tucked up in her bed. School night, you know.“

“What happened with Glory?” she asked. “The real story.”

He raised an eyebrow and took a sip of his beer.

“The Knights of Ren-Faire killed her human host. That pudding-faced doctor. I thought the Watcher got rid of that confusion spell. You still afflicted?” he asked.

“No, I just don’t remember how we remembered about that.”

“That other Watcher, the retired one that does films now — he sent a packet of info and mojo to ol’ Rupert. Was a damn sight more helpful than whatever bollocks the Wankers were willing to share. Any of this ringing a bell? It was barely a week ago.”

“A Watcher that makes movies?” She must still be muddled from the time-tripping. Except… “What was his name? Was it Crowley?”

“Sounds about right.”

“Oh Goddess. I fixed it. I wasn’t even trying and…”

Tara walked up and wrapped her arms around Willow’s waist from behind and rested her chin on her shoulder.

“Ready to go home?” she asked.

“You betcha,” said Willow.

No time like the present.

FIN