Chapter 2. Saved By A Dead Man
William the bloody walked through the cemetery gates. After taking Dawn to the hospital with Buffy and being assured she was fine, he had decided to go back to his crypt. The vampire soon spotted the old stone walls of his home, but he stopped abruptly at the fresh sent coursing through the air. The metalic smell of blood wafted into his nostrils. He spun around on his heel, trying to find its source.
Shrugging, he gave up and took a few more steps toward his crypt, then an arm, partley concealed by a graveston, appeared in the corner of his eye. Its wrist looked like it had been shredded and he cautiously ran over to it. Spike got to the gravestone and froze in shock at seeing the owner of the arms face.
“Willow.” He mouthed, his voice failing him. He dropped to a crouching position by her. And checked her pulse. He sighed in relief when he found it, through it was barely there. What happened to ya Red? He asked in his head.
The vampire quickly, but gently put the unconscious witches arms in her lap and put one of his arms under her knees and his other around her shoulders. Spike lifted Willow as carefully as possible, then ran as fast as he could.
Even with his enhanced vampire hearing he could barely hear her heart beat. “Come on Will. Hold on.” People stared and gasped as they saw the vampire carrying the bleeding girl in his arms. He turned several corners and sprinted down streets until he spotted the hospital. “Ya almost there Will.”
Spike ran up the stairs to the entrance and kicked the door open. He rushed to the receptionist and hurriedly said “Get a doctor now!”
The receptionist told Spike to take her to the emergency room and that a doctor will be there momentarily. A nurse said she’ll show him the way, but he ran off down the wall. He already knew where it was, he had just come here with Buffy and Dawn less than 2 hours ago.
Gently, he put the fading witch on the bed there and a doctor came in. The nurse who had offered to take Spike to the room ran in a few seconds later and ushered him out while the doctor and another nurse looked over Willow and started trying to help her.
Spike didn’t argue with the nurse, he just left. He had to find Buffy. Thankfully he remembered which room her and the younger Summers would be in if they were still there.
Dawn was sitting on the bed, while a doctor wrapped her cast covered arm in a sling. Buffy was standing beside the bed looking anxious. Spike skidded to a stop outside their door and burst through it a split second later.
“Spike?” Buffy said as she turned to face the undead man, her anxious look being replaced with an angry one. “Buffy, it’s Willow, she-“ Buffy cut him off with “Spike, if Willow's here just tell her to go. I don’t want to deal with her now.” She turned back to the doctor and her little sister.
“Buffy!” He insisted, she turned back, crossing her arms. “What, Spike?!” Spike swallowed and continued. “Buffy, Red, I found her in the cemetery with her arms in ribbons.” Buffy looked like he had just slapped her. The doctor turned from Dawn, her sling now finished.
“What did you say?” The doctor questioned, Spike ignored him. William locked his eyes with Buffy’s as she asked “What? What do you mean ‘her arms in ribbons’?” “Just, follow me. I brought her here.” He said as he turned away through the door and ran down the hall. Dawn jumped up from her bed. Her anger at the witch who had gotten her into a car crash disappeared and worry and concern filled her.
She ran after her sister and the vampire. The doctor following the trio.
They reached the door of the emergency room within a minute, but a nurse stopped them from going in. They all waited in a waiting room until a doctor came into view. Buffy, Dawn and Spike stood up, and the doctor looked at Spike and said “You're who brought the redheaded girl in right? Can you tell me her name?” Buffy answered before spike had the chance to.
“Her name is Willow Rosenberg. And I’m Buffy Summers, I’m her emergency contact. How is she?” The doctor looked at Buffy and said “Ms. Rosenberg is very lucky that she got here when she did. Any later and she may not have made it this far. She's still got a ways to go before she's stabilized.” Buffy sighed, slightly relieved that he thought Willow was lucky.
”What happened? Is she okay?” Dawn asked from behind Buffy. The doctors eyes switched from Buffy to the younger Summers. “She’ll most likely be fine by the time we're done. But, as for what happened, I have no idea. Her forearms were cut wide open, and she lost a lot of blood. She has bruises all over her head. And her fingernails are torn and bloody, and there’s some skin stuck under them. We’re doing a DNA test right now to determine who or what the skin belongs to. My guess is something attacked her and she tried to fight it off by clawing at it.” Buffy swallowed and instantly began trying to figure out what kind of Demon cuts open forearms.
“Is she awake? Can we see? Please let us see her.” Dawn asked quickly, as she stepped toward the hallway that led to where Willow was. “She’s not awake,-” He said. “-as I said she lost a lot blood, she barely had any left. It’s a wonder how she stayed alive long enough for us to work on her. And the nurses are checking to see if there's any more damage that we may have missed when she first arrived.”
He turned back to Spike. “You might have saved her life, I imagine she’d be very grateful if everything turns out okay.” He said with a small smile. “Now, I’ve got to go give the nurse her name and she’ll pull up her medical records and we can see what else we can do.” The doctor walked off toward Willow’s room. Buffy spun around to face Spike and started quickly.
“What happened? Where did you find her? What attacked her?” “I was on my way back to my crypt and I smelled blood. I saw Red by a gravestone and picked her up and brought the bird here. But I didn’t see what attacked her.” Spike said. “Okay.” Buffy said while nodding to herself. "Was there anything weird about where you found her?" The vampire shook his head. "Aside from a pool of blood big enough to swim in? Nothing."
Then Buffy's anxious, concerned face turned to one of shock and sorrow. “Tara.” She whispered. Dawn gasped and her uninjured hand came up to her mouth and she said “Oh my god, Tara.” “Bollox.” Spike muttered as he sat back down. “I’ve got to call her. Spike can you call Xander and Anya?.” Spike nodded and stood again. “I'll find a phone then.” The he said and wandered off.
Buffy continued. “Dawn you just wait here.” Buffy pulled out her phone and called Tara. The phone rung 3 times before Tara picked up. “Hi, Buffy.” She said with a yawn.
“Tara sit down.” Buffy said firmly. Tara paused before answering. “W-why?” “Just do it, just sit down.” Buffy waited. “Okay, I’m s-sitting down, what’s happened?” The blonde witch asked, the worry in her voice evident. “Tara, Willow, she um, Spike found her in the cemetery. We’re all at the hospital and Willow’s in the emergency room right now. The doctor said they're doing everything they can, and he thinks something attacked her-“ “I’m on my way.” The witch interrupted, then hung up.
Tara was the first to arrive. She ran into the waiting room and stumbled to a stop. Her eyes wet with tears yet to be shed. “Which r-room i-is she in?” She asked looking around. The slayer stepped over to her and gently grabbed her shoulders. “Tara, Willow’s okay. The doctor’s in with her right now and she's going to be fine, okay? Just calm down.”
Tara stared at her, her eyes wide and she was obviously exhausted. “W-where is she? I n-need to see h-her. I can help her, I c-can heal her.” Tara said franticly. “Tara. Tara, you don’t need to, the doctor and the nurses are doing the healing. You just need to sit and I’ll get you something to drink, okay?” Tara hesitated for a moment, then nodded, and Buffy helped her sit down on the chair she just vacated.
Buffy rushed off to get her friend a drink. When she got back the witch just held onto the slayers bottle of water.
The blonde was anxiously starring at the hallway Dawn had said Willow’s room was down. When the doctor came out of the room, 2 hours later, and over to their small group it had gained 2 new members after Tara.
The witch was the first to stand and was right in front of the doctor when he said. “Ms. Rosenberg is going to be fine.” The whole group sighed with relief. “Her head and arms are bandaged and she should be waking up any minute now. Which ones of you are her family?” “We all are.” Xander said seriously without hesitation. He was clearly anxious to see his best friend and wouldn't let anything stop him from doing so as soon as possible. The doctor looked at him and said “Okay, well then, you can all go see her now. But, don’t excite her too much or touch her bandages. And don’t be too loud.”
He gestured to her door and everyone hurriedly walked to the room, Tara in the lead.
Willow was lying unconscious in the bed, a blanket covered most of her, but her shoulders weren't covered and showed that she was wearing a hospital gown. Her red hair nearly entirely coved by the bandages. Her skin was paler than normal and there was a drip hanging on a metal stand beside her bed, with a tube leading down to the crook of her elbow where it disappeared into her skin and a canula looped around her ears and rested at her nostrils.
White bandages were wrapped around her arms, but some red was starting to show through them. They were wrapped from halfway down her forearms to the base of her thumbs. Her hands were slightly red from the tightness of the bandages. Tara was in the doorway one second, then beside her ex-girlfriend before the next one came.
Tears slowly rolled down the blonde witches cheeks and her hands gently touched either side of Willow's face, ignoring the black veins that had crawled over it. “Baby it's g-going to-to be okay, you're g-going to be okay, e-everything's g-going to be okay.” She swallowed hard and kept her eyes locked on the bed-ridden girl.
Xander stood at the foot of her bed and Buffy and Dawn were standing at the opposite side to the blonde witch. “P-please wake up. P-please baby, w-wake up.” But the only movement from Willow was her slow breathing. Everyone aside from Tara shared glances, trying to think of why her veins were black and pulsating rapidly. Buffy decided to ask the doctor the next time she saw him.
A few minutes passed and nobody moved. Then Willow did. She rolled one of her shoulders and opened her eyes slowly. Everyone standing in the hospital room gasped and stared at the injured girls eyes, which were pitch black. Dawn squealed, put uninjured hand to her mouth and stepped back.
“Her eyes were like that after she went to that Rack guy.” Slowly, very slowly Willows eyes turned from their pitch black to their regular green and her veins returned to normal. Tara's eyes widened and a joyful smile spread across her face. Willow's eyes were dazed and shifted around the room, not really seeing anything properly. She blinked and her green eyes settled on Tara.
Her pale skin turned even whiter, her eyes grew wide and a look of pure unadulterated terror came onto her face. Her hands shot up and pushed Tara back. And she scrambled to get as far away from the blonde witch as she could. Tara nearly fell to the ground but Xander caught her. Willow pulled herself out from under the blanket and pressed herself up against the wall. She curled in on herself, trying to get as small as possible. Her arms covered her head, and she started to scream. “GET OUT! GO! GET AWAY FROM ME TARA! RUN. GO! GET OUT!!!”
Tara was crying harder now, scared for her love, and her eyes stayed locked on the terrified witch.
Buffy started trying to calm her down. Willow's arms opened enough for her to look at Buffy, then her eyes moved to Dawn and she pushed herself to the other side of the beds metal headboard. “DAWNIE RUN! GO! GET AWAY FROM ME, DAWNIE! GET OUT! RUN!” She screamed again and again. Dawn's eyes filled with tears that she wouldn't shed. She stepped back, and Anya wrapped her arms around her shoulders.
”GET OUT! RUN AWAY FROM ME! RUN!” Willow screamed over and over and over.
The doctor burst into the room and ran to his screaming patient. He yelled something to a nurse in the doorway and she moved quickly and grabbed a syringe then half filled it with a clear liquid and handed it to the doctor. He injected it into Willows neck.
Seconds later her scream died, and her whole body went limp. The doctor and nurse gently lay Willow back down and pulled the blanket up to her shoulders. The nurse fixed her pillows so her head inclined upwards slightly. She took her blood pressure, and the doctor told the Scoobies to wait in the waiting room again.
Xander helped Tara sit down. She brought her legs to her chest and buried her face in her arms. Her muffled sobs lightly echoed around the white room. Buffy had her arms around a crying Dawn's shoulders. Other than the brunette girls crying there was silence, until Xander broke it.
“Okay, why did she want us to get away from her?” Buffy shook her head. “I don't know. Maybe whatever attacked her took our forms and-” She trailed off, not really knowing what to say and not wanting to think about Willow being attacked and nearly killed by copies of themselves.
Silence fell again. And it lasted until the doctor came out of Willow's room. All eyes fell on him, aside from Tara's, hers were still hidden in her arms. “Ms. Rosenberg is sedated, but okay. Do any of you know why she would want you all to leave?” Buffy and Xander shook their heads slightly.
“No, we don't. We have no idea.” Buffy stated calmly, then asked “Um, why were her, um, veins black?” “No clue.” He said, shaking his head. “She'll be sedated for a minimum of 4 hours, so if you want to go, one of the nurses can call you when she wakes up. But of course, you're welcomed to stay.” He said, nodding sympathetically at the crying blonde.
“Yeah, thats probably a good idea.” Buffy said as she stood. Tara quietly spoke quietly without moving. “I-I'm s-staying.” “Okay.” Buffy glanced at Xander then Dawn and Anya. “Um, Tara, one of us could stay if you-” “I-its okay B-Buffy, Thanks.” Tara said as she pulled her head from her arms and wiped her eyes with the ends of her sleeves.
She moved her legs down and stood. “I'm j-just gonna go t-to the bathroom.” “Okay.” Buffy said. Xander went up to Tara and put a hand on her shoulder and said. “Tara, you don't have to wait here alone. You don't have to go through any of this alone.” He looked at Anya. “I'm gonna stay Anya, is that okay?” Anya waved off his question smiling and said “Sure.” “Okay.” He turned back to Tara, whos eyes were getting wet again.
“She's going to be okay, Tara.” She gave him a small smile. “Th-thanks Xander.” She turned and went to the bathroom.
Spike, Dawn, Anya and Buffy said goodbye to Xander and went home. Spike to his crypt and Anya to her and Xander's apartment.
[Willow's Hospital Room 2:07AM ]>
The redhead was sleeping restlessly under the hospitals sedative. She tossed and turned in the bed. Her friends had left less than 15 minutes ago.
The doctor was studying a screen beside Willow's bed and writing something down on a clipboard. “This is not good.” He would say every 10 or so minutes.
After an hour of studying his patients monitors and vitals, the tired doctor decided to go and get some coffee. And the nurse had just left for the bathroom a few moments before.
Suddenly, Willow's eyes flew open and were again glowing black. But, she was still breathing as if she were asleep. Everyone of her veins pulsed hurriedly and quickly filled with magic that turned them black.
She slowly floated up off the bed with her head falling back. A purple-black energy rippled around her and the blood that had slowly soaked through her bandages got smaller and smaller until there wasn't any left. The bruises on her head dissipated, and she slowly settled back on the hospital bed.
4 minutes later the doctor came back into Willow's room and sipped at the cup of coffee in his hand cautiously. As he stepped back over to check the monitors he said “I'm back Will-Enberg.” He had a tendency to mix his patients first and last names together. Before he looked at the monitors he glanced down at the sleeping redhead. Her bandages stopped him from noticing that her wounds had completely healed. “Don't worry, you're gonna get better, I promise.”
He wanted not only to help the injured redhead, but to stop that blonde girl from crying like that again. He took a sip of his coffee and looked up at one monitor. He nearly did a spit take. All the things he had said “This is not good” about had turned, well, good.
He checked her arms. The blood on the bandages was gone. He quickly, but gently, unwrapped them. He stared at her forearms in stunned silence, there was no trace of her injuries, non at all.
[Inside Willow's head 2:07AM]> “NO!” Willow yelled. It wasn't Willow as she was now. No, it was Willow from junior year in high school. She was a little confused about why she looked like her younger self, but decided it didn't matter. “Please don't, please! Please don't heal me. I don't want to get better. I don’t want to hurt Tara again. Please don't.” She begged the purple-black cloud swimming around her, sobbing as she did so.
The cloud was all her magics, and she could feel it starting to heal her body. “JUST LET ME DIE!” She screamed. “I don't want to hurt my friends again. Just stop and go away! I deserve to be dead! If I’m dead I can’t hurt Tara!” The cloud gathered together in front of her and compressed into the shape of a human body.
The human body intensified in detail and Willow held her sobs back to look at the figure. Its skin was nearly paper white, and it wore all black clothing and its hair, eyes and veins were blacker than night. 16 year old Willow looked into the eyes of her older, scarier, smiling self.
”Okay, I don't know who, er, what you are, but please! Please just let me die, please!”
Dark Willow laughed. Her creepy laugh sent a shiver down the younger Willow's spin. “I'm not going to let you die. If you die now then I'm not going to happen.” With that, Dark Willow vanished and current Willow's body healed entirely.
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