Cold Hand, Warm Heart
Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy, but I do own Sophie :)
"YOU WHAT?!" Buffy screamed, after Dawn explained what had happened to Willow and Tara. "What in the world made you decide to shrink Willow and Tara?! And why didn't you tell us?! I swept, Faith vacuumed, who knows what could have happened to them... Oh god, everybody check your shoes!"
"I have to say Dawn, this is most irresponsible of you" said Giles as he lifted one foot, then the other, relieved to find that there were no squashed wiccans stuck to either of them.
"And you!" Buffy yelled, rounding on Connor, "You knew, and you didn't tell anyone? Your father is so going to hear about this when he gets here." Connor opened his mouth to defend himself, when Angel, Spike, and Illyria walked through the door. "Watch your feet!" Buffy cried, "Dawn shrank.."
"Willow and Tara? We know" said Angel, pointing to the two tiny wiccas sitting safely in the palm of Spike's hand. They waved cheerily at Buffy.
"Thank god you're okay" said Buffy, rushing to inspect her miniaturised friends for any sign of harm, before looking to Spike. "Where were they?"
"Found 'em in the trash. Well, actually, Big Blue over there found 'em, but I got 'em out."
"The trash? Oh, that would have been my fault" said Buffy guiltily, realisation coming to her. "Those squeaks! Will, that was you wasn't it?" Willow nodded. Connor tried using this opportunity to quietly slip away, and took Dawn's hand to help her sneak off with him, but Illyria spotted them.
"The girl you call Dawn and the boy who frequently lusts after me are escaping."
"Hey, you two get back down here, I'm not done with you yet!" Buffy yelled. The two turned back with their heads bowed. Connor was blushing furiously.
"I don't lust after you Illyria" he mumbled, embarrassed.
"True" said Illyria, cocking her head at him and gesturing to Dawn. "Now it appears that you lust after her."
"I do not!" yelled Connor, his face turning redder, while everybody raised their eyebrows at him, and Dawn giggled.
"There is no need to be embarrassed, boy" said Illyria. "The girl lusts after you too." Dawn's giggling stopped abruptly, and she blushed.
"I do not lust after Connor!" She cried. Faith had spent the length of this exchange desperately trying not to burst out laughing, until Sophie tugged on her sleeve.
"What does lust mean?"
"Uh, well, it means.. I don't think you're old enough to know, Little Red" said Faith, scooping the little girl into her arms and carrying her out of the room. "Let's go watch that movie you like, Beauty & The Beast, isn't it? Man, how the hell did I suddenly become the responsible adult around here?"
"Seriously" said Angel, pointing after the Dark slayer, "How did she become the responsible one?"
"I don't know" said Buffy, "And frankly, I don't really care right now, I've got more important things to worry about, like.."
"The young ones are escaping again" Illyria interrupted. Dawn and Connor froze.
"You can go" said Buffy, "But don't come back down until you've found a spell that will change Willow and Tara back to normal, and no lusting!" Angel looked at her sympathetically as the two twenty-somethings disappeared up the stairs.
"Connor hasn't been too much trouble, has he? I'm happy to take Dawn for a few months when the Senior Partners thing blows over, if that'll make up for it."
"Nah, he's not too bad" Buffy smiled. "It's mostly Dawn, I think she's a bad influence on him.."
Meanwhile, still nestled in Spike's hand, Willow was beginning to feel increasingly helpless and frustrated.
"We can't even help ourselves get out of this mess, because nobody can hear a word we're saying!" she complained. "And no offence to Spike, but his hand is really cold!" Willow crossed her arms, pouting, and Tara laughed. "It's not funny!"
"Sorry" Tara smiled. "You just look so much like Sophie when you do that."
"Really?" asked Willow, sounding a little surprised. In her opinion, Sophie had always looked more like Tara, except for the flaming red hair which she had obviously inherited from her.
"Uh-huh" said Tara, wrapping her arms around Willow as the redhead laid her head against her soulmate's chest. The sound of Tara's heartbeat usually had a calming effect on Willow, reminding her that the blonde was truly alive, and that the three months since her resurrection had not been a dream. Willow's simple presence did the same thing for Tara.
Sitting in the lounge room, Sophie shivered. Faith looked at her, concerned.
"You okay there Little Red? I hope you're not comin' down with somethin'." Sophie shook her head.
"No, I'm okay, but my mommies is cold, and Mommy Willow's fusterated that nobody can hear her." The little girl thought about this for a moment, before leaping from the couch and rushing towards the stairs. "I gots an idea!"
"Hey, where you goin' kid?" asked Faith, speeding after her. "Watch out for Illyria, she's not used to kids, doesn't know she's gotta be gentle with ya!"