alixtii: Mary Jane, in love, a cartoon  heart floating next to her. (heart)
[personal profile] alixtii
Title: It Isn't Even Past
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Characters: Willow Rosenberg, Jesse (BtVS), Amy Madison, Xander Harris
Summary: Willow relives a memory from her middle school days.

AO3 Link.

It Isn't Even Past

Time is an illusion, the division of a world into past, present, and future merely an artifact of a failure to see the larger picture. Willow knows this to be true--it was explained to her quite patiently by Althanea during that summer in Devon--but she can't quite bring herself to believe it. The past to her will forever be filled with that which she once had and has now lost, a country she once called home but from which now she is an exile.

So many people and places and things lost. Perhaps if they were not so many, she would be able to accept the unity of time with more equanimity. But no. Tara stands out among them all, of course, but still even she is only one among many. The entire town of Sunnydale is lost, destroyed. And if she traces the lineage of woe all the way back to the source, there is the first, the initial loss of a friend which marks a change in Willow's life so profound she never could have anticipated. How she managed to survive that long on the mouth of hell without losing a friend she'll never know, but she now has learned, through Althanea's teachings, that everything she is now was already inherent in that single moment.

. . .

"Do you think I could come over tonight?" Amy asked as she sat down at the lunch table across from Willow and Jesse. "My mom's on a broth kick again."

Willow shivered commiseratively. "Sure," she answered without thinking. "We can make brownies."

"Chocolate is where it's at," Jesse said. "I'm in."

Amy just rolled her eyes, but didn't say anything.

"Did I hear someone mention chocolate?" Xander asked as he sat down next to Willow.

"Brownie-baking at my house tonight," Willow explained.

"Ah," he said. "Your mom's hitting the can again?" At Amy's nod, he nodded back sympathetically. "That sucks."

"I don't know how I'm going to survive all summer with her. I tried to get her to let me spend a couple of weeks with my dad, but she's still convinced he's the devil incarnate or something."

"I can't wait until summer," Jesse said, demonstrating his more or less usual amount of tact. "One more week, then we're out of here for good: Sunnydale High, here we come."

"We'll be at the bottom of the totem pole all over again," Amy pointed out.

"Yeah," said Jesse, "but we'll be able to see up the skirts of the girls at the top of the pole."

"Boys." Amy shook her head, but wasn't able to completely refrain from laughing. "Why do we put up with them, again?"

Willow just shrugged. "I dunno."

"Seriously," Jesse continued. "Junior high's been hell. How can Sunnydale High possibly be any worse than this?"

. . .

"You ever think about trying to change things?"

Willow started, and the four junior high school students froze in place. She had been reliving the memory as part of her Broussard trance, as a centering exercise. She hadn't realized it was possible for anyone else to travel back to this moment with her. "Amy," she said with surprise. "What are you doing here?"

"Same thing as you," Amy answered vaguely. "Remembering the past." She walked around until she stood across the table from her younger self. "You ever think about reaching across the table and giving me a good throttle?" She looked over at Jessie. "Or casting a luck spell on him, see that he gets saved from the vampire's fangs?"

"They're just, you know, reflections of what was," Willow answered. "We can actually affect them."

Amy snorted. "Can't or won't? You can't tell me you're not powerful enough to do it if you wanted to."

Willow studied Amy. "And you aren't?"

Amy shrugged. "I don't want to. I like how things played out; being a witch is fun."

Willow's eyes narrowed. "So you're tempting me, what, for kicks?"

"Mostly," Amy agreed with a smile. "Mostly for kicks, but a little bit out of spite, too." Amy examined the tableau of Sunnydale Middle School around them. "You know, I think I miss this place even less than high school. And that's saying something." She eyed the young blonde girl suspiciously. "Okay, my mom was a bitch, but you know, I really was sort of fat back then."

"No you weren't," Willow quickly answered, "you were just--" but Amy put a hand for silence.

"Don't try to be nice," she ordered, and was gone, leaving Willow once again alone with her past.

AO3 Link.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-07 05:18 am (UTC)
ext_14447: (BTVS: Willow)
From: [identity profile]
I really liked this. It was very different and I liked how you wrote Amy and Willow.

Thank you for writing this.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-08 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so glad you liked it!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-07 04:31 pm (UTC)
ext_30166: Sierra looking holy shit amazing (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I love this. The idea of going back and reliving a memory is interesting, and you really got S7 Willow.

I like this line especially: The past to her will forever be filled with that which she once had and has now lost, a country she once called home but from which now she is an exile.

Great job!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-08 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad it worked for you. Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-07 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I enjoyed this. Great concept - Willow's awareness later on *would* give her different eyes to look back at the past, to those moment before 'hellmouth' became a word for her. Amy is nicely sinister here, too - butting in on another's trance.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-08 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you. I'm glad you liked it!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-07 09:27 pm (UTC)
snowpuppies: (Default)
From: [personal profile] snowpuppies
Ooh! Interesting! I like, not only Willow's journey to the past, but how Amy came with her. The short scene between the friends was so wonderfully drawn - it felt very real and still very Jossian.

Well done!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-08 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

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