Chapter 1: Willow Swan/Billie Moon
"Well, as someone once said to me, all I felt was music"
Birth Name: Willow Swan
Stage Name: Billie Moon
Nickname: Moon Child (Charlie – Because he used to call her mother his moon)
Date of Birth: May 12, 1982
Age: 24 (2006)
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Blonde (Currently)
Cast: Clare Bowen
Charlie Swan (Father)
Euterpe/'Euro' (Mother – Died in childbirth) ♰
Bella Swan (Half-Sister)
Clio, Thalia, Melpomeni, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania and Calliope. (Aunts)
Geoffrey Swan (paternal grandfather) ♰
Helen Swan (paternal grandmother) ♰
Drew Newton (Best friend, co-writer, and PA) – Sam Palladio
- Older brother of Mike Newton; he and Willow grew up together, and have been friends for 15 years. He went with her to Nashville and will return to Forks with her.
Tammy Brookes (Agent) - Connie Britton
- First 'professional' to believe in Willow, and Willow's stuck with her since. Tammy actually cares for all those signed with her, and it's her that send Willow home to stay with Charlie to help her recover.
Billie Moonshine born Willow Swan is the daughter of Charlie Swan and the Greek Muse Euterpe known as Euro.
- Charlie and Euterpe met when Charlie was 16, Euterpe fell in love with Charlie and vice versa and as such Euterpe gave up her immortality to be with him. And two years later Euterpe became pregnant with Willow. Euterpe's labor was incredibly difficult and proved fatal to the former goddess, it all seemed rather bittersweet in the end. Despite Euterpe having given up her immortality and her muse statues, Willow was born half-muse.
Willow was raised by Charlie and eventually Renee. When was 5 years old, she gained a younger half-sister, Isabella.
Charlie never really got over Euterpe and in the end, this added to the strain of his and Renee's relationship which resulted in a divorce when Bella was only 3 months old.
Renée took Bella with her to Downey, California, to live with her difficult grandmother, and Willow remained with her father.
Willow and Bella are incredibly close despite the five year age difference and the distance that was between them as children.
Willow Swan was discovered when she and her best friend, Drew were singing at a country fair when they were 15; by her manager, Tammy Brookes, who believed she could turn Willow into one of America's biggest country stars. Willow, being young, beautiful and ambitious, had no qualms about leaving her home life and her single father behind. She quickly rose to become Edgehill Republic Records biggest star, a country sensation, with legions of fans and sell out tours; Willow is a two-time Grammy Award–winner and five-time CMA Award–nominee. Willow shows not only raw talent but has also proven herself to be a capable songwriter and works with talented musicians.
Willow would often invite Bella to shows where she was close to where her younger sister was living, and they'd hang out and bond backstage.
A bad break up after the reveal of a very public betrayal, lack of family around her and a miscarriage deeply troubled Willow which eventually lead to her having a breakdown whilst on stage; after which she was hospitalized with severe depression, before being released into the care of her agent, Tammy, the older woman sends Willow back to Forks to stay with her father.
Willow is usually bright and bubbly, kind and caring with a deep joy that seems to seep from her pours. She's always had a deep love and talent with music and always seems to have an instrument to hand.
Leading up to and beyond her breakdown Willow had become very withdrawn and brooding; the grief over her lost child and the broken relationship left behind have left their mark on her. Willow cannot bring herself to indulge in her favorite past time. Music means little to her, in fact, music is painful for her. She also seems to have lost any confidence in herself and her talent. She also seems to suffer from some form of anxiety since her breakdown, finding it hard to go out in public now.
Willow loves her family with a passion; though there is a difference in age, Willow and Bella are close; Bella looks up to Willow. Willow and Charlie have always been close, considering that he single-handedly raised her after her mother died.
Willow is often seen in country boho style clothing. Lots of feminine dresses, cowboy boots, cardigans. Her hair is loose and lightly curled.
In colder climates, she'll wear tights or thick knee high socks with knitted scarves and hats
Powers and Abilities:
As the daughter of an Olympic muse Willow does possess certain powers and abilities which included:
Enhanced Strength: Willow is far stronger than any humans. Not as strong as perhaps the vampires and the wolves but still strong; possibly peak human levels just crossing into supernatural levels.
Enhanced Speed and Agility: Willow is faster and more agile than humans. Not as fast as perhaps the vampires and the wolves but still fast; possibly peak human levels just crossing into supernatural levels.
Enhanced Durability: Willow is much more durable than humans. Not as durable as perhaps the vampires and the wolves but still durable; possibly peak human levels just crossing into supernatural levels.
Enhanced Healing: Willow can heal faster and with more finality than humans and sustain far greater damage.
Enhanced Senses: Willow's five senses (hearing, smelling, sight, etc) are greatly increased.
Prophecy: As the granddaughter of Mnemosyne; Willow has in the past received cryptic dreams that then come true, thus implying that she may also possess a weak form of foresight.
Musical Aptitude: As the daughter of a muse, specifically Euterpe, Willow has the ability to master any musical instrument perfectly.
Musical Invention: As the daughter of a muse, specifically Euterpe, Willow has the ability to invent new musical instruments.
Chapter 2: Prologue
The curtains are closed and the lights are off inside of an apartment in Nashville, the tv plays the latest news show that has two guests ranting and raving about a subject, and beyond that a figure that lays on the couch. Willow Swan. Bleary-eyed. Dazed. But watching the show play out in front of her because it's about her. Or her musician alter ego. Billie Moon.
"Billie Moon's rather spectacular public breakdown comes only weeks" Willow sniffles, a woven blanket pulled around her, cocooning her. "After our favourite young country star admitted that she and Nathaniel Ray, fellow country artist, had suffered an unfortunate miscarriage during her 12th week of pregnancy; the whole country mourned their loss, sent out support and rallied behind the nation's sweethearts" Behind Willow, her best friend walks into the room with a tray with soup and tea. He glances to the tv. "Then not even a week ago it was revealed that Ray had been partaking in an illicit affair with supermodel Nadina Svetlana for the last year and a half" Drew moves and sets the tray on the coffee table.
"What is your point here, Diana?" Another voice states on the tv.
"I'm saying that we should be supporting her, not publicly condemning her for having human feelings" Diana argues. "This is a young woman who's had her heart broken, who's grieving, and the press is more interested in making a mockery of her struggles...."
"She's a public figure" the other voice states. "She opened herself up to criticism the day she signed her contract..."
"She's basically still a child" Diana states. "Someone's daughter and you're most pressing issue here is commenting on how 'ugly' her breakdown was on national tv, it's a disgrace.....there has been more news about Moon's personal life in this last week then Ray's, why aren't the press all over him for what he's done? Why is it that Moon must make a public statement and not Ray? Why are ya'll defending a lying, cheating, scumbag........"
"Turn that off" Drew scolds picking up the tv remote and turning off the news show, he sets the remote down and looks to Willow who sits up, he moves the tray into her lap and sits at her side. "You shouldn't be watching those stories," he tells her brushing her hair back over her shoulder.
"I want to see" she comments. "I want to see what they're saying about me"
"No, you don't" Drew argues cleaning up the few used tissues and folds up the blanket.
"It's bad" she whispers, he looks to her.
"The soup?" he asks, she shakes her head and looks to him.
"What they're saying..." she corrects. "It's really bad"
"They're vultures" he points out. "Feeding off your misery.....and it doesn't matter now" he touches her arm. "We're leaving today," he tells her as she sips on the tea. "We're going home" she sniffles and looks to him and then leans against his arm, he kisses her head and sighs softly, hates seeing his best friend like this. Knowing the pain and the hurt that she's been through. He knows she just needs her dad. So does Tammy, their agent, it was Tammy that decided that Willow needs time being away from being Billie Moon, that she needs to spend some time going back and being Willow Swan. To go, relax, recover, and then return fresh and bright.
Jasper Hale runs his fingers through his hair as he lounges on the couch in the living room, Alice at his side, she pulls her legs up under her as they watch the same news story Willow had been.
"Billie Moon's rather spectacular public breakdown comes only weeks after our favourite young country star admitted that she and Nathaniel Ray, fellow country artist, had suffered an unfortunate miscarriage during her 12th week of pregnancy" Jasper watches the screen split to show the video of the press conference where Billie had to stand and admit that she'd lost her baby in front of a room of strangers. Jasper always knew, he always knew there was something off about Nathaniel Ray, he has this look, crinkle in the corner of his eyes. And Jasper knew he was scum. "The whole country mourned their loss, sent out support and rallied behind the nation's sweethearts" Behind Jasper and Alice, Carlisle enters the room, nose in a book. He glances up and towards the tv. "Then not even a week ago it was revealed that Ray had been partaking in an illicit affair with supermodel Nadina Svetlana for the last year and a half" Carlisle closes his book and moves to stand at the back of the couch. Jasper's instincts had been proven right when that story broke.
"What is your point here, Diana?" Another voice states on the tv, a male guest leans on the table in front of him. Of course, he's male.
"I'm saying that we should be supporting her, not publicly condemning her for having human feelings" Diana argues. "This is a young woman who's had her heart broken, who's grieving, and the press is more interested in making a mockery of her struggles...."
"She's a public figure" the other voice states. "She opened herself up to criticism the day she signed her contract..."
"She's basically still a child" Diana states. "Someone's daughter and you're most pressing issue here is commenting on how 'ugly' her breakdown was on national tv, it's a disgrace.....there has been more news about Moon's personal life in this last week then Ray's, why aren't the press all over him for what he's done? Why is it that Moon must make a public statement and not Ray? Why are ya'll defending a lying, cheating, scumbag who is wandering around, flaunting his new girlfriend as if he's proud of what he's done? Whilst poor Billie is being ridiculed and bullied....." Alice turns off the sound on the tv and leans back.
"Poor girl" Carlisle comments behind Jasper. Jasper hums in agreement eyes locked on the latest paparazzi shot of Billie Moon, the day she was released from the hospital after her breakdown, she looks thin, withdrawn, lost. Not that he blames her. After everything she's been through.
Willow pulls a scarf around her neck as she walks into the kitchen where Drew and her agent, Tammy stand talking, they both fall silent seeing her, Tammy giving her a small smile.
"How are you feeling?" Tammy asks. Willow nods a little as if that answers the question. "Ready to go home?" Willow bites her lip.
"Yeah" she answers hesitantly, Forks never really felt like home, but Nashville, Nashville always felt like the place where she belonged, and now she is leaving.
"Cell phone" Tammy states, Willow holds her cell phone out with a frown. "Okay" Tammy starts taking Willow's cell phone from her and hands over a new one. "This phone is now defunct" Tammy throws the old cell phone onto the counter behind her and then taps the new one. "Myself and Drew are already on there. I took the liberty of adding Charlie and Isabella as well" Tammy touches Willow's cheek. Tammy's been there for her since Willow was 15 years old. She's stood by her, protected her, pushed her, challenged her and supported her. This is hard for her too. "I'll call every week" Tammy promises. "We'll talk, make sure you're getting everything you need. And when you come back, we'll work out an action plan"
"What if I can't come back?" she whispers sadly. "What if I can never...."
"Then we'll deal with that too" Tammy assures her. "If you want out, you can do that....just take some time to heal...." Willow nods and brushes her sleeve over her cheek. "Concentrate on you..." Tammy shoots Drew a look.
"I'll keep an eye on her" Drew promises touching Willow's back, stroking slightly to help keep her calm, Drew is her lifeline, her blanket right now and she needs him.
"Miss Brookes" Duncan, the security detail at the door states gaining their attention, Tammy turns to him. "The car's here....but so are a lot of press" Tammy sighs and presses her fingers into her eyes as she thinks.
"We can take through the underground staff parking lot" Drew offers, Tammy looks to him and nods.
"Yes, let's do that" Tammy agrees and turn to Duncan. "Find someone on staff who's parked down there....make sure they know they'll get it back" Duncan nods and presses his finger to his ear relaying the message, Tammy looks to Willow who sighs a little.
"I'm sorry" she whispers. "Causing all this fuss" Drew pulls her closer.
"It's not fuss" he assures her as he pulls back. "I've got your bags...." he adds moving to pick them up, Willow pulls her sleeves down her arms and then crosses her around her body. It is a good thing she's getting away from Nashville, she needs the space from all this, from the spotlight. She was too young. Charlie was right, she was too young for this, too young.
Chapter 3: Chapter One
Willow's eyes start to lighten as Drew drives her through Forks, a little bit of life returning to her eyes. She'd be quiet on the flight, the private jet remaining silent the whole time save from the rumble of the engines. It gave them both time to think about what's happening. They're both returning home. For the first time since they were 15 years old. Not much has changed since then. The town, in general, has the same feel to it. Drew reaches over and touches her shoulder softly, she smiles turning to him.
“You could always stay with me” he offers, she shakes her head.
“No, it'll be nice to see my dad again; feel like I've kind of abandoned him a bit....plus Bella is living with him now, it'll be nice to...to just spend time together” He nods in agreement. “How do you feel coming home?” she asks looking out the window again.
“No idea, Willow” he admits. “Guess it's weird” he adds. “It's like time stood still” he motions out the window. “And yet...the world went on” she hums in agreement.
“I wonder if that bar is still there” she ponders.
“The one we used to sneak into to sing?” he asks warmly. The owner was always lenient on them, they never drank, they just wanted to sing, and the locals loved to hear them sing. Plus their singing keeps them in longer, they buy more, he gets more money. Everyone is happy. “Maybe they'll let us do that again” he states offhanded, her smile falters at the thought of singing again, her throat actually feels tight. Drew glances to her. “When you're ready” he assures her. “Only if you're ready” he amends, she nods and wraps an arm around herself. “Maybe you can see about getting a little job” he offers.
“Cause I need the money?” she asks him raising an eyebrow. She doesn't need the money. She's set for a couple of lifetimes now because even with the money she still lived as though she has little. Her clothes are from second-hand stores and then upcycled at home, her apartment was shared with Drew, they cooked their own food. She wasn't in it for the money, she was in it for the art, for how happy singing made her, how happy she made other people with her music. That's why she did it.
“It might help” he answers. “Give you something to concentrate on, rather than, you know, stewing” she sighs and nods a little as she looks out the window.
Drew's rental car pulls up outside of Charlie's home, it hasn't changed either. An old two-story house. A woodshed that's full of firewood. There’s a small boat in the garage, fishing gear, an old buoy. Even the police cruiser is parked a little off center. Willow takes a breath staring up at the house. Drew reaches over and takes her hand in his. She nods a little and gives him a sad smile and then pushes open the car door, just as the front door of the house opens and Charlie steps out. Willow lets out a breath because he's older, when was the last time she actually saw him? And that just hurts because the answer is too long. Her lip trembles as she walks towards him, his feet carrying him down the porch steps. Tears are already gathering in her eyes because this is her dad, her safe harbor, her protector.
“Dad” she whispers softly, feeling everything break at the sight of her father, he smiles at her but it's pained too. He's missed her. She moves towards him faster now, everything else forgotten, his arms instantly wrapping around her when she reaches him, letting her burrow into his chest.
“I know, moon child” he whispers as she starts to cry. “It's okay, I've got you” he promises her, fingers stroking through her hair as she weeps against him. Drew stays at the car, giving them a moment. She pulls back from Charlie.
“I'm sorry,” she tells him. “I'm sorry....” he frowns at her. “It's all my fault, I should never have left, I should never have tried..” He brushes her tears away with his thumb as he shakes his head.
“No” he whispers. “I'm so proud of you, I'm so very proud, this is not your fault, none of this is your fault” he assures her. “This is just a blip, just a blip...you'll be fine” he kisses her forehead and then pulls her into another hug. “You're going to be fine” Drew pulls Willow's bag from the car and sets them down next to her, he touches her back a little and she pulls back from Charlie, but keeps her head on his chest. “Are you staying?” Charlie asks Drew.
“No, sir, I should...go and face my own family” Drew admits, Willow looks to him.
“You going to be okay?” she asks him, Drew nods and then shrugs.
“It's been eight years since they told me if I left to never come back so...” Unlike Charlie, Drew's parents hadn't been as supportive of his decision to follow Willow to Nashville. They'd wanted him to take over the family business, Newton's Olympic Outfitters, it's not something he ever wanted to do. He takes a breath and shrugs again. “I'll call you later,” He tells Willow, she nods and watches him climb back into the car. Charlie kisses Willow's head and then picks up her bag.
“Come on, sweetheart, let's get you settled” he takes her hand and pulls her gently towards the house. He's got his little girl back and he's going to look after her.
Willow's bedroom is exactly as she left it, except all the musical instruments are gone. She looks around slightly as Charlie lingers at her back.
“Drew text me before you arrived” he offers. “I took them all out” he explains, she turns to him. “They're in the attic, for now” she nods a little and looks back at her room. “We could change it” he rambles a little.
“No” she shakes her head. “No, this is just what I need” she isn't lying, she needs her own things, she needs no reminder of Billie, she just needs to be Willow, to rest, to recover, to grieve. Away from the musical world, away from Nathaniel and his girlfriend, away from the vultures of the press. She just needs her daddy. She turns to Charlie and smiles as she starts to cry again, he cups her cheek.
“How about some of that herbal tea you like?” he asks her, hates seeing her so upset. He should have been there for her. “I have some snickerdoodles too”
“From that bakery?” she asks softly, he nods.
“Of course, you know I would never attempt to make them myself” he teases a little, her smile is more genuine now.
“Sounds great” she offers, he kisses her forehead before heading downstairs, leaving her alone in her room, her smile fades as she moves to her bed, sitting down on it everything starts to weigh down on her. All of it. She closes her eyes and sniffles.
Chapter 4: Chapter Two
Willow probably made a mistake leaving the house. She already feels panicked. Her skin is clammy. Everything itchy and hot. But she wanted to do this. She takes a deep breath and waits. Students slowly trickle from the school ahead of her and across the parking lot eyes watch her. Jasper stands staring at her. Recognition tickles him because he is pretty sure he knows who she is, even with the bad superhero level disguise, sunglasses and baseball caps never work.
“What's wrong?” Alice asks from Jasper's side, his features dipped into a frown.
“I think that's Billie Moon” he admits not looking away from Willow.
“The singer you're obsessed with?” Alice asks him, he turns to her and gives her a look. “You have every album and every single she has ever released...”
“That just makes me a fan” Jasper argues.
“Okay,” she whispers with a smirk. “Why would she be here?” Alice asks.
“I don't know” he answers watching the girl. She shifts slightly and Jasper pauses seeing her boots. “It is her” Jasper whispers. “Those cowboy boots” Jasper points out. “They were custom made for Billie” Alice smirks and raises an eyebrow.
“Oh yeah, you're not obsessed at all” she teases.
“Wonder why she's here” Jasper mumbles to himself.
“Maybe she has family here” Alice offers leaning back against the car. “Maybe she's just taking a break....if anyone deserves it....” Jasper nods in agreement.
“Willow!” Bella yells the second she recognizes her sister, Jasper and Alice look across at Bella and then Jasper's eyes move back to Willow who waves towards her sister and smiles but even Bella can see that not all is well with her big sister. They embrace one another, years of stress in Willow keeping her tense but she clings to her sister, holding her tightly. Willow looks up and across the parking lot, her eyes meeting the gold ones of Jasper, she is quick to look away, to keep herself hidden and small. She almost didn't leave the house but she wanted to surprise Bella, to have at least one good thing come out of being here, of coming back. “Dad never said” Bella states pulling back.
“Well, I didn't know till yesterday” Willow admits. “Tammy and Drew they.....set it all up, they think I need some time back home....after everything that happened....” Bella's smile slips and she nods.
“I'm really sorry” she whispers. “I know how much Nashville means to you.......Nathaniel is a dick” Willow sniffles slightly and nods reaching up to rub at her eye.
“It's over now” Willow adds. “That's all that matters”
“Yeah, except he seems to be...” Bella stops herself seeing Willow's expression shift to deep sadness. “Sorry,” Bella whispers looking down. “That's not what you want to hear...” she sighs a little. “Hey” she looks back up at her sister. “Ice cream?” she asks, Willow smiles and nods.
“That sounds great actually” Willow assures her tucking her hands into her coat pockets. “But do you think we could....do it back home....” Bella nods understanding, she heard the news, watched the reports, she can't even begin to imagine how Willow feels at the moment, with the loss of her unborn child and her boyfriend, the criticism from basically every media outlet, it's no wonder she came home to be away from all of that.
“How did you get here?” Bella asks.
“Drew dropped me off” Willow admits. “Dad said you got a truck” Bella nods pulling her bag up her arm and then nods to the beat-up red truck parked nearby. “Oh” Willow whispers and then smiles. “It's...rustic”
“We're not all billionaires” Bella teases.
“Actually it's more like millionaire” Willow corrects, Bella turns to her and raises an eyebrow.
“Really?” She asks, Willow nods. “I mean, I was joking...I never even thought....” Willow shrugs.
“It's not like I spend it, or talk about it” She argues. “I never went into it for the money, I did it because I loved it.....” Bella smiles.
“I think that's why they all fell in love with you” Bella points out. Willow looks to her.
“Come on” Willow walks away with a sigh, heading towards the truck, Bella follows after her. “Thinking chocolate with caramel sauce” Willow offers and then glances back to Jasper who raises his hand to wave at her, much to Alice's amusement. Oh, she is never going to let him live this down. He's almost full on fanboying over a country singer.
“Wait till I tell Rose” Alice mumbles under her breath, Jasper looks to her and she smirks back at him.
“I hate you,” Jasper tells her, Alice chuckles. “You know how much I love her music...it's more than just....music, it's...emotions” Alice smiles warmly, she knows this, she knows why Jasper likes Billie Moon's music, it's why a lot of people love her music, the raw emotion and passion in her songs makes it real. “She has a gift” Jasper finishes and nods turning back to watch Bella drive away. “She doesn't deserve what happened” he whispers, Alice loops her arm with his and presses her head to his shoulder.
“No” Alice agrees. “No, she does not” he looks down at her.
“Have you seen anything?” he asks her, she shakes her head and then shrugs. “What?” he asks.
“I hear music some times” she admits. “I didn't understand it but I think I do now...I think it might be her” Alice adds. "I think it is her" she looks to Jasper who nods a little in agreement. "It's like that's the only way I can see her, hear her...." Alice concentrates a moment. "Yeah, I can't.....it's only music..." she shrugs a little. "Not that surprising given who she is but maybe just a little annoying" she admits, Jasper smirks.
"But nothing bad can come from music, right?" he asks her softly.
Chapter 5: Chapter Three
Willow hums a little licking ice cream from her spoon, Bella smiles sitting across from her. It's been too long since the two of them have hung out as sisters. Bella usually only catches glimpses of Willow whilst she's on tour, but she's usually more Billie then. Sticking to her public image. Bella misses her sister sometimes.
“Tell me everything,” Willow tells Bella leaning back in her seat. “What have I missed?”
“Not a lot” Bella answers with a shrug.
“Hmm,” Willow breaths and raises an eyebrow. “From that doe-eyed look you have, I would have guessed that...there is a boy” Bella looks up at her sister. “I'm not so fragile that you can't talk about it” Willow assures her. “I made a mistake, loved the wrong man....doesn't mean I am suddenly against all love” Bella smiles a little. She knows how much Willow loved Nathaniel. She remembers the letters and the emails and the photos of the two of them. Willow had been so in love with him. She wanted to settle down. Have a family with him. Saw her future with him. And she's had it all pulled out from under her.
“Are you sure?” Bella asks her, Willow smiles and nods, she sets her hand on the table and Bella takes it. “His name's Edward” Bella admits. “Willow, you'll love him...”
“If he makes you this happy...I'm sure I will” Willow assures her. “Of course, you understand if I do have a sly word with him, just so he knows that if he were to ever hurt you” Bella smiles and nods.
“I know” Bella assures her. “You wouldn't be my sister if you didn't”
“Eat your ice cream and we'll bunker down to watch some really bad romcoms” Willow offers, Bella smiles.
“I would love that” Bella assures her poking at her ice cream. “It feels like ages since we've just hung out as sisters”
“I know and I'm sorry,” Willow tells her sadly. “Things have been a bit....”
“You don't have to apologize” Bella stops her. “I understand...It's not your fault...” Willow smiles and looks down, tears gathering in her eyes. Because she knows that she's been a terrible sister and daughter the last few months, opting to keep her pain to herself and not share it with them. She didn't want to upset them by bringing it home. Now she has no choice. Charlie leans in the doorway watching his daughters together. He had worried once Bella was born that it would cause a rift in the family but it just brought them closer. The sisters are as close as full siblings. And Willow is a good role model for Bella. Having Willow here might set Bella back onto the right path. The path where she doesn't run off to Italy after a boy.
Willow checks her sunglasses are in place over her eyes as she sits at the wheel of her car. She'd managed to arrange for a rental whilst she's here. Drew leans against the wall waiting for her. Letting her come to him on her own. She clutches to the wheel and closes her eyes. She can do this. It's just coffee with Drew. Just coffee. She can do coffee. She takes a deep breath and opens the car door, Drew glances over at her as she locks the car and makes her way over to him. He gives her a warm smile and leans up approaching her.
“Hey” he greets warmly.
“Hey” she whispers. “How did it go with your parents?” she asks as he pulls her into a hug, he takes a deep breath and then lets it out. “Oh, that bad?” she asks him, he pulls back and tucks his hands into his pocket.
“Well, it wasn't great” he admits. “You know how they were when we left” he reminds her, she nods. His parents had been completely against Drew leaving to join her in Nashville. He was the oldest, he was supposed to take over the family business, and it has since gone on to Mike instead. “But they didn't kick me out when I asked to stay,” Drew tells her. “And they never changed my room”
“They love you” she assures him. “They're probably just happy to have you back”
“Yeah, maybe” he shrugs. “So, you okay to do this?” he asks her.
“It's just coffee” she answers. “And I have my disguise in place” she pulls her baseball cap down a little. He smiles at her. All worried and caring. He knows her better than anyone else in this world, he can read her better, and he knows she is hurting. But she hates showing it. Her break down was embarrassing for her, on stage, in front of all those people. He knows she's never going to get over that.
Drew holds open the door for her, letting Willow brush past him into their old haunt. The first place they ever played together. They used to come here all the time. Even doing their homework in the back room. It hasn't changed in here. Her eyes take in the familiar deco, the familiar warmth that settles over her. And her eyes then find him. Declan. Willow instantly finds him. The cafe slash bar's owner. He's aged, a lot, since the last time they were here. Willow smiles softly seeing him. He glances up as he finishes serving the table. His eyes finding her. He knows who she is the second he sees her. He smiles brightly.
“Willow” He breaths warmly setting his tray down and moving towards her, she smiles, warmly, actually having missed this man. He was the one that gave the two of them their first stage. Pushed them to sing and perform. Drew knew this would cheer her up. She lets the older man pull her into a hug.
Chapter 6: Chapter Four
Declan sets an iced tea in front of Willow as he and Drew join her at a table. She turns away from the café's wall of framed photos, some are signed, ones that Willow had gotten and sent back for Declan, because she knew he loves country music just like she does....did, she supposes her feelings towards that have changed a bit now, hopefully with time and healing it will become a love of hers again, she doesn't know what she will do if it doesn't. It's her life. Her job.
“It's here if you want it” Declan assures her, Willow blinks a little and turns back to him, she missed the start of that statement. “Your job” Declan explains for her. “Both of you” he adds looking to Drew.
“Thanks, Dec, but I think I need to make it up to my parents” Drew offers.
“You taking a job at the Outfitters?” Willow asks, Drew nods.
“Yeah, for a while” Drew admits. “Mike's got his exams and he's graduating....so they need someone to pick up the slack, I said I'd do it for free for them” Willow smiles at him, Drew has always felt bad for how it ended with him and his parents. How hard he fought himself on calling them or coming home. They didn't support his dream, and he had to leave. He had to get out of this town. And now he's back. Because of her. Because he came back with her. Drew shakes his head at her, already sensing where her mind is going. He knows her better than anyone. He scoots his chair closer. “Hey, Willow” he coos. “I chose to come back here with you”
“You could have stayed in Nashville,” Willow tells him. “Picked up a spot with one of the other artists”
“I'm with you” he counters. “You're my best friend, I'm not going to leave you when you need me” he holds her hand tightly. “And I think it would be a great idea for you to pick up a couple of shifts here”
“I don't know” Willow whispers. “It's been so long”
“It doesn't have to be full time like you used to” Declan assures her. “Do a lunchtime or an afternoon or something, see how it feels” Willow nods and smiles. She likes that. That she could probably do.
“Okay” Willow whispers. “I can do a shift” she assures them. “I guess, it's a start” She looks up as the door goes, her eyes adjusting slightly to the invasion of light from outside. She knows that the two people walking in weren't here the last time she lived here. They're too pretty for her not to have noticed. Not that she's vain, but someone looks like they do and she's going to remember them. “They're new” Willow comments, Declan hums in agreement watching the pair take a table against the wall.
“The family moved here a couple of years ago” Drew offers.
"And you know this how?" Willow asks him.
“Mike was excited to get all the gossip out” he explains, Willow smiles a little, her eyes drifting back to the pair. “They keep to themselves, mostly” Willow raises an eyebrow turning back to Drew.
"Mostly?" she counters.
“Urm Bella is dating one of them” Willow leans back.
“This Edward guy?” she asks, he nods. “Have you seen him?”
“Seen photos” Drew answers.
“Can I kick his ass?” Willow asks, Drew smirks and chuckles.
“Oh yeah,” he answers honestly. They have no secrets. None. He knows everything about her. Even things Charlie doesn't know. She and Drew lived together, spent every waking moment together since they were little, of course, she told him, and yeah, of course, he freaked out about it. Most sane and normal people would. But he eventually accepted it and they moved on with their friendship. It brought them closer, made them stronger. She glances back at the two unknowns, something about them unsettles her, her Olympic heritage waking, pushing, warning her. She turns back to her drink and taps the side of the glass.
Willow stands and pulls her jacket on once she's finished her drink, she has spent enough time outside in public, and with each passing moment the risk of her being recognized increases, more so in Forks. Drew looks to Declan who nods understanding, they all know what she went through. It was splattered all over the news and the papers, her troubles have been out there for the whole world to see. It's embarrassing. Willow moves away from the table to take a breath, her eyes looking over the wall of music posters. She still doesn't have it in her to listen to or play music yet. Behind her, Jasper approaches. He clears his throat a little, she tilts her head in acknowledgment. As if she didn't already know he was standing there.
“You dropped this” Jasper states holding out Willow's phone, she turns and looks at him. He's....beautiful. Not in the way that Nathaniel is, Nathaniel is the country music god, rough but handsome. This guy is...beautiful in a different way. More...Southern charm, especially with that accent. She realizes that she's staring, she is, she can't help it. But she stops herself, instead, she shifts her eyes to the cell phone before taking it from him.
“Thanks,” She tells him. “I didn't even know I dropped it” she whispers sheepishly.
“You're welcome, Billie” he states back softly, Willow glances up to meet his eyes, golden amber ones stare back at her. “Sorry” he quickly states, feeling her unease at being seen as Billie. “I'm sorry” he repeats softer.
“It's okay” she assures him, her voice quiet and weak. “But...Billie, she's...She's just a construct” she offers. “A broken one at that” she shrugs a shoulder. “It's Willow” she admits. “Willow Swan”
“Swan?” He asks back. “Bella's...sister” he realizes.
“Yeah, that's me” she tugs her jacket closer. “Look, can you...”
“Pretend I haven't seen you?” he asks warmly, she nods a little. “Sure” he answers. “Of course I can” he adds. She looks to Drew as he touches the small of his back, curling his arm around her protectively.
“Come on” he whispers leading her away. Jasper glances between the two of them, if he was human he would question their connection, their relationship, but he's not and knows how they feel around one another, there is nothing romantic or sexual between them, they're like siblings. A friendship that is so strong that it transcends just friends and moves into family. Like him and Alice. He watches as Drew opens the door for her before Jasper turns to face them.
“I hope you feel better soon” he offers, she glances back at him, he smiles at her.
“Thank you” she counters with warmth before she and Drew leave, Alice smirks at Jasper side.
“Yeah, you're just a fan” she teases, Jasper shoots her a look. “You're so smitten” Jasper groans and hangs his head.
“Did I come off badly in that? I can't remember what I said” Alice laughs, Jasper closes his eyes.
Chapter 7: Chapter Five
Jasper turns a record over in his hands before setting it onto the record player on his dresser. He bought it just for this album. He'd heard there was something more to it when listened to as a record, and they were right, it's rawer. More haunting. He sets the needle into place and closes his eyes as Billie Moon starts to sing. He remembers the first time he heard her. It had been on the radio, her first single, he and Alice had been driving through the deep south, just close by to Nashville. He knew that moment he heard her, that first chorus, he was lost. He fell in love with her voice. The way she sings with pure emotion and power. And now he's met her. The real Billie. Willow. Beautiful and boho, but with that undercurrent of pain. She's still in so much pain. And he knows. He knows it hasn't been that long. And something like that. The loss of a child. The loss of a lover. He knows it takes time to heal.
“She really does have a beautiful voice” Carlisle comments from the doorway, Jasper hums in agreement. “Alice told us what happened”
“I heard” Jasper states turning to his adoptive father. “I was an idiot” he admits. Carlisle smiles a little.
“Jasper, you've been listening to this girl sing for years....you like her music, you are a fan....every fan reacts that way meeting the subject of their affections”
“But I'm a vampire” Jasper corrects. “More than 100 years old and I stumbled and blacked out like a pimple infested teenager” Carlisle chuckles a little. “Carlisle, she's so beautiful” Jasper admits looking out the window. “Like a delicate flower,” he offers quietly. Carlisle smiles watching him, knowing that it is more than some fanboy crush, Carlisle knows the look on Jasper's face, he's seen it with all of his children, save for Jasper and Alice. He's found his other half. He may not completely understand it fully yet. He will. “Why would anyone hurt her?” Jasper asks sadly.
“Human motive is rarely black and white, Jasper,” Carlisle tells him, Jasper hums a little and then grabs his jacket from the couch behind him, his fingers moving to turn off the record player when he pulls back.
“I'm going to take a walk” Jasper admits pulling on his jacket. Carlisle gives him a look and smirks watching his son leave.
Willow sits on a park bench looking out of the road in front of her. Her socks pulled up to her knees, her cowboy boots on her feet. A cute cream dress covering her body and a cardigan. Open weave and earthy brown. She has nowhere to be. Nowhere to go. No schedule. Or public appearances. So she just sits there. Enjoying her coffee. Jasper sits at her side, his hands safe in his pockets.
“Some might accuse you of stalking me” She comments, he looks to her and shakes his head. “But it's a small town” she adds. “I know how easy it is to run into people here” she looks to him and gives him a small smile. “Hello again”
“Hello” he greets softly. “You seem better today” he admits and cringes slightly.
“Thank you” she comments. “I slept much better last night” she admits and then turns to him. “You're not going to....tell anyone, right?” she whispers. “That I'm here?” he shakes his head.
“I would never” he assures her firmly, and she believes him. They both fall silent. Just sitting together. She leans back, comfy, one leg over the other, her coffee perched on her knee. It's not uncomfortable. It's far from it. He's never been more relaxed. “You're really talented” he blurts out, she gives him a sad smile and shrugs.
“It's just music” she comments, but he can see the lie, he read the interviews, he knows how much music meant to her. She used to say in interviews that Charlie once told her; all she felt was music. That's not 'just music'. And no one with her talent and passion does it because it's just some job. She loves it. And Nathaniel ruined that for her. Ruined her life. Her love. “I didn't know I had fans this far North, I mean...outside of my friends and family” she admits turning to face him, he nods and shrugs.
“Not really from around here” he admits, she smirks.
“Really?” she asks. “Hadn't been able to tell” he smiles looking down.
“The accent gives me away every time” he complains teasingly. She chuckles looking back out over the road, her fingers brush over the takeaway cup in her hand. She takes a breath and stands before turning to him.
“Walk me home?” she asks him, he nods and stands, joining her. He's a proper gentleman, he's not going to say no to her. “Thank you” she offers before she loops her arm with his and he takes a breath to hold, waiting for her to react to the firmness. He knows vampire skin it hard to the touch, firm like marble. But she just hums and walks with him. He releases his breath and smiles to himself as they walk together, just meandering towards her home. “They all think coming back to this place will help me” she admits. “But it just reminds me why I left all those years ago...” he watches her face.
“Do you miss Nashville?” he asks her, she hums and nods.
“I know that probably seems silly” she offers. “Given all that happened there, given that...” she shakes her head. “He still lives there” she turns to him, a stark sadness to her face. “How bad did it look?” she asks him. “They don't like me watching the news, and they won't tell me.....”
“It's wasn't that bad” he assures her softly. She looks at him.
“People still love him” she comments.
“People still love you” he promises her. “Your fans are standing behind you and they'll wait however it long it takes for you to be you again” she gives him a sad smile.
“What if I never am?” she asks him. “What if I can't....do it anymore?” she sniffles.
“Then they'll stand by you” he answers. She looks away from him and takes a deep breath, her eyes looking around.
“I used to come here with Drew” she admits. The whole park is empty, always is, it's not a place kids come to hang out. “His parents weren't as understanding about the music stuff as Charlie was....so we'd hide here and write or sing” he smiles a little. “It was so much simpler back then” she clutches to his sleeve a little. She doesn't know why he is easy to talk to. Why she feels at ease talking to him. But she does.