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Willow nervously waited next to Buffy’s dad in the appropriate area of Sunnydale General. She tried not to think about the fact that her girlfriend was in the mental ward, or that there was an entirely different universe inside that blonde head where they weren’t dating or in love. She tried to focus on other things, normal things, the soda machine, the weird scent of the aftershave Hank always wore, the shiny designs on her nails Buffy had done right before this latest incident.

She tried to deny the fact that her girlfriend had screamed at her last week, telling her that she was cheating on someone called Tara, and a mysterious group called the Trio were after her. Willow tried, very hard, to be normal for Buffy and keep up the denial so that her love could keep her mental state together. The problem was, Buffy needed to help. And she was refusing, until yesterday. The doctor had called and told them Buffy was well, and she could come home. Great, Willow had thought, now everything can go back to normal. Reality could once again be aligned in its proper spherical order.

The redhead perked as she heard Buffy’s chipper voice down the corridor as she was wheeled out by the aide. She and Hank stood and joined them, walking on the other side of Joyce.

“I’ll take her home, Mrs. Summers,” Willow offered, and opened the door of her car for Buffy, who got inside with a grin, her usual cheerful self firmly back in place.

As soon as they had waved and said their goodbyes, Willow pulled out of the parking lot and headed towards the outskirts of town, her eyes solidly black. “You got what we needed?”

Buffy nodded grimly and retrieved her dagger from underneath the seat. “Let’s put this bitch in the ground.”

There. Everything was back to normal now.